Sunday, September 26, 2010

Marriage Retreat

Jonathon and I just returned from a much-needed weekend away.  We attended a marriage retreat called A Weekend to Remember.  It was nice to just spend uninterrupted time together; to focus on one another and just enjoy each other.  Our kids stayed at home with my parents, and were glad to see them this afternoon.

We ate at a couple of new places and were VERY pleased.  The first was Big Bowl, which is a Chinese/Thai food restaurant.  It was VERY good.  I had the Spicy Cashew Chicken...MMmmm!!  The second place was a burger joint called Meat Heads.  Very cool place to eat!  

So, if you are married, regardless of how long, I would encourage you to look into attending a retreat like this one.  We all need a boost here and there, and a God-honoring marriage is a life-long process.  Click here to see Family Life's information for their retreats.  (If you attend a church, I believe that you can get a better rate if you try to take a few other couples from your church).  But regardless, it's definitely worth it.  We need to protect and fight for our marriages, because Satan is on the attack and trying to destroy marriages because strong marriages are a threat to him.

P.S. - I also discovered, in person, Anthropologie.  Ooohhh $$$$$.  But lots of inspiration!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

My Sister is My Hero

My younger sister is my hero.  I just wanted to put that in print somewhere.  MY SISTER IS MY HERO.

I've always cared deeply for my brother and sisters and parents.  I feel like we're a pretty close family.  We really enjoy being around one another.  I feel like I can tell my siblings and parents just about anything, and I hope they feel the same way, too.  I also feel that I can trust that they'll tell me the truth about things and, for the most part, I hope I take the truth well.  So, I feel truly blessed by my family.

But back to my hero.  I remember the first time I realized that she had something that I didn't.  We were pretty young and we both just met some people and I just went on with the activities of the day.  Before I knew it, she was running around with these people as if they'd been friends forever.  I remember wishing I could make friends like that.  But it wasn't because she was trying to be popular, it was because she LOVES people.  And I mean TRULY LOVES, the way we're all supposed to.  A self-less kind of love, and she has it...for everyone she meets.  If you've met my sister, you know that.  She's a great friend.

She's a great sister, too.  She calls just because.  She listens anytime of the day (or night) even in the midst of her own craziness.  She is an encourager and she has a pure heart.  She isn't afraid to challenge me to think outside of myself and sometimes tells me the things I don't really want to hear, but I need to...She's a great sister.

And she's an AMAZING Mom and Wife.  We had a great example of a mom (and a wife to my dad) to learn from, and my sister caught it all!  She prays for her kids like I'd like to.  She has patience beyond what I can describe and she gives all of herself to others.

But most of all, my sister is my hero because of the Godly example that she is.  She has strength beyond measure.  In a whirlwind 24-hr period, my sister's perfect baby girl went from being seemingly perfect to she and my brother-in-law having to say good-bye to their baby girl this side of heaven.  But the grace and humility that exuded from her from that day on has amazed me.  And I know that it wasn't just "holding it together" for the few hard days at the beginning.  She presses on everyday, because even through this unthinkable pain, her eyes are on the prize (Loving Jesus and People).  She looks for opportunities to LOVE people that she can now connect with more than before because of this experience.  She most definitely is my HERO and I am truly blessed to have a WOMAN of GOD to walk alongside and learn from.  You can read a little more of her heart and life here.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

New Quick Recipe!

I was searching the web for a quick & easy recipe for snacks.  I kind of wanted to find something that was "fall" themed but it had to be simple and was limited to what I had in my pantry.  I fell upon this recipe here.  Mmmm! Whoever decided that chocolate and peanut butter went well together was a genius!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Blogging world

I have been spending lots of time reading sewing and craft blogs and have enjoyed every minute of it!  So many great ideas out there!  I just found a great new blog here.  Check out her first giveaway here (especially if you love fabric and sewing (my favorite "craft").

Friday, September 3, 2010

Things I Love

It's Friday of a 3-day weekend, what more can you love than that!?  I'm looking forward to enjoying this long weekend with my family and my in-laws that are here visiting as well.  I hope everyone can have a relaxing weekend and take time to just enjoy.  Rebel against the fast-paced, experience-based society and just be with your family - love the people around you.

I'm grateful for time like that this weekend.  Stress-free, schedule-free....deep feels good.  I'm grateful that my son and husband "hid" under the blankets and pillows for at least 20 minutes tonight in the living room.  I'm grateful that my son is pretending to make us all ice cream cones complete with sound effects and all. I'm grateful to hear my daughter laugh so hard that she can barely stand up.  Awww...this is sweet!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Watermelon Cookies

I got this idea on the web somewhere, but now I can't seem to find where.  Anyway, I've been wanting to make these ever since I found them, and hadn't found a "reason" to make them yet.  Well, tonight is our Fall Kick-off for Brigade, which is the jr/sr high ministry at our church

These are not watermelon flavored, but just look like watermelon slices. 

First, Grab your favorite sugar cookie recipe.  I use one from Gooseberry Patch Old-Fashioned Country Cookies recipe book.  Prepare the dough as normal, except add in some green food-coloring.  (You may have to add a little bit more flour due to the liquid of the food-coloring).  Continue as directed in the recipe.  Roll them out and cut them into half-circles.  I used the top of a round tupperware container and then cut those in half.  And BAKE.

For the frosting, I use butter frosting from Better Homes and Garden cookbook:
1/3 cup butter or margarine
4 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla
red or pink food coloring

Mix this up and frost the cookies, leaving an edge on the outer circle part to make it look like a watermelon slice.  Then I used chocolate chips to look like seeds! Here's how mine turned out - please keep in mind, my husband had the camera at the church getting ready for the night and my 3-yr old "helped" me in most stages.

Hope the kiddos love them as much as we have (You have to "try" them to be sure the taste ok)

(The left-over frosting goes wonderfully with graham crackers for a quick snack)