Sunday, December 30, 2007
We packed up in Roxboro on Thursday with such amazing help from many Westwood people. THANK YOU ALL!! We had no idea how much stuff we really did have. It's mostly all unpacked right now except our many books and I'm going to work on those tomorrow. It was not hard for us to leave our house. It was not hard for us to leave Roxboro. It was hard to leave our Westwood friends that have become our family. I realized that so much more today when we worshipped with our new church in Elkin. It's so different worshipping with people you have yet to really know. I am thankful, though, that we worship the same God and I know He will provide great friendships here and new opportunities for us to serve in Elkin.
I absolutely love our new house in Elkin and can't wait for everyone to come visit! (This is your official invitation). We're still waiting on our new sofa and loveseat to come and then we'll be ready to host some get-to-gethers! We have so much space to really spread out and enjoy all of the things we've had stored. For instance, we're now able to keep our keyboard up all the time so I enjoyed a nice relaxing hour of playing through some old music tonight. And...we have two bathrooms! Luxury. Unfortunately, we are sharing our house with a gazillion ladybugs. Better them than roaches or rats, I know, but any extermination or prevention advice is welcome.
Today was a little weird because we walked to church - a new, but welcome, experience. We literally just have to walk around a fence and we are there. We also spent the rest of the day in Winston-Salem looking for pots to accomodate our new house plants and a few other items- yes, it took all day for some reason. It's fun to actually have space to decorate with some new stuff. Anyway...just a glimpse into our life in Elkin...still in a blur.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
1. List 12 random things about yourself that have to do with Christmas
2. Please refer to it as a 'hoopla' and not the dreaded 'm'-word (which, for you bloggy newbies, is meme)
3. You have to specifically tag people when you're done. None of this "if you're reading this, consider yourself tagged" stuff is allowed...then nobody ends up actually doing it. The number of people who you tag is really up to you -- but the more, the merrier to get this 'hoopla' circulating through the blogosphere.
4. Please try and do it as quickly as possible. The Christmas season will be over before we know it and I'd like to get as many people involved as possible.
1. I am not a fan of colored Christmas lights...I am definitely on board with the clear lights and I think that's how it's always going to be.
2. In more decorating news...my love for silver jewelry also translates to the tree. I'll always pick ornaments that incorporate silver, not gold accents...I can be so picky.
3. So, I love the fact that my dad literally looks like Santa Clause (see picture below). All year, but especially around Christmas, you can be anywhere with my dad and kids are staring at him and whispering to their parents. I love to watch kids come up to my dad and talk to him. He's always been great with children, so it's so fun to watch.
4. This year, my house probably has the saddest decorating "on the block" and I hate that. I love decorating the house...not just for Christmas, but at the change of the seasons. This year my decorations consist of Christmas cards we've received on the mantle, the stockings I finally bought us this year, and presents I've wrapped stuffed on the shelf since we've already packed our books. Boo. As sad as that is...it's probably good...Jazz would have way too much "fun" with a Christmas tree!
5. I really shop for Christmas all year. Anytime I find a great sale gift for someone, I pick it up. Lots of times, this means I forget what I have bought and end up buying more than I probably should. This early shopping really lowered my stress level this year...I had almost everyone bought for before December even rolled around!
6. I'm a big fan of gifts...I don't really know why...it's even one of my highest love languages (fortunate and unfortunate for Justin!) I have never been given the opportunity to give my parents or anyone else a Christmas list of what I would like, however, so it cracks me up when I hear people doing that. If my mom had let us do a Christmas list, though, it would have saved her a lot of time not buying clothes for me that I have never liked. We have very different tastes! (Don't be appalled...she already knows!)
7. I'll always remember a Christmas that fell on Sunday when my sister and I were little. We, of course, went to church that day, but our parents wouldn't let us open our gifts before church. They had a children's sermon at church that day and whoever was leading it asked all the kids if anyone had not opened their gifts yet. My sister and I were the only ones! But...I'm glad I have parents have their priorities in order...as embarrassing as it may have been that day.
8. I can't wait till we start having children and can really begin to define what we want our Christmas traditions to be for them. Right now, it's just great that we can travel and see our families whenever it works best.
9. I love one tradition that we seem to have at my parent's house. On Christmas day, after we've opened gifts, my sister will usually make monkey bread...one of her specialties...which is oh so delicious!
10. When I think of Christmas, I can't help remember how many years my sister and I would sleep in the same bed...eagerly anticipating Christmas morning. I don't know why, but we could never get to sleep...when we would finally doze off we would still wake up so early in the morning to run downstairs to open presents.
11. I really was not wise in my packing...I totally packed up "White Christmas," which I love to watch every year. I'm sure Justin is not quite as upset as I am.
12. I love driving around looking at Christmas lights. I must admit, I'm not a fan of a lot of them, but as I was listening to the radio last night, my perspective changed a bit. One of the short commercial segments reminded me that everyone's different tastes in Christmas lights truly reflect the different personalities God has given us. Instead of defining decorations as tacky or ridiculous or gaudy (which I have been guilty of), I hope I will remember to thank God and celebrate the unique ways he has made all of His creation, reflected in the ways we choose to decorate and express our personalities.
I tag Rebecca...cause she needs to blog anyway :)
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Another part of our day has consisted of watching our poor little puppy walk around so helplessly. We had her fixed today and we picked her up about 5:30. She is so pitiful! It's killing us. Anyone who's been around Jazz knows that she is anything but slow and quiet. It's so hard to watch her in pain. Hopefully she will heal well.
My friend Jen is on her way home from India now! I'm going to meet her flight at 8:00 Friday morning. I can't wait to see her! Pray for her safety!
Monday, December 10, 2007
The other weekend we spent some time cleaning up and painting the house we will be living in in Elkin. We are so blessed to be able to live in one of the parsonages that the church has and we won't have to search for a place of our own.
Here are a few before and after pictures of the house:
Saturday, December 8, 2007
I think that being married to Justin has prepared me for change...he certainly is a fan of it. I feel completely at peace about moving to Elkin, but that does not mean a piece of us won't be left in Roxboro. There are several young women I have worked with at the Pregnancy Support Center who I just don't understand how God could ask me to leave behind. But I know He has others who can lead them closer to Himself...hopefully I have laid a good foundation. It has been eye-opening for me to be reminded over these last weeks that I am replaceable. Maybe not "replaceable." I know there is no one else just like me! But...in the since that God uses us where He can be most glorified and we can grow for a season, and then moves us to where He can continue to change us for His glory as He brings someone else in to lead His people closer to Him (as in Justin's position) and brings someone in to administrate vision (as in my position). I so look forward to how God continues the work He has allowed us to be a part of in Roxboro while at the same time being excited about the new opportunities that await us.
I hope to share more of our preparations for this move over the next weeks. Thank you for your prayers for us! Sorry, there will be no new recipes for awhile...I'm trying to clean out what we've already got!
Friday, November 9, 2007
We had this for the first time the other night and loved it! I didn't include the sherry because I didn't have any, and it still turned out great. Hope you enjoy!
hands-on time: 30 min. total time: 30 min. makes 4 servings
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/4 lb New York or sirloing steak, thinly sliced
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 lb button mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/2 c dry sherry
1/4 c low-sodium chicken broth
1/3 c sour cream
2 cups cooked white rice
1/2 c fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the steak with 1 teaspoon of the salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper. Cook the steak until browned on all sides, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Wipe out skillet. Add the remaining oil and place over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook until their juices evaporate, about 5 minutes. Add the sherry and broth. Bring to a boil and cook until the liquid reduces to 1/4 cup, about 5 minutes. Add the sherry and broth. Bring to a boil and cook until the liquid reduces to 1/4 cup, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low, add the sour cream, and heat until the mixture thickens. Transfer the steak and any juics that have collected on the plate to the skillet, and add the remaining salt ad pepper. Heat until warmed through. Spoon the steak strips and mushroom sauce over the rice and sprinkle with the parsley.
Sunday, November 4, 2007
Monday, October 29, 2007
Prep: 5 min Total: 30 min. (includes marinating)
1/4 cup (Kraft) Sun-Dried Tomato Vinaigrette Dressing, divided
4 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves (1 lb)
1 tomato, finely chopped
1/2 cup Shredded Low-Moisture Part-Skim Mozzarella Cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil or 1 tsp. dried basil leaves
Place large sheet of heavy-duty foil over half of grill grate; preheat grill to medium heat.
Pour 2 Tbsp. of the dressing over chicken in resealable plastic bag; seal bag. Turn bag over several times to evenly coat chicken with the dressing. Refrigerate 10 min. to marinate. Remove chicken from marinade; discard bag and marinade.
Grill chicken on uncovered side of grill 6 min. Meanwhile, combine tomatoes, cheese, basil, and remaining 2 Tbsp. dressing.
Turn chicken over; place, cooked-side up, on foil on grill. Top evenly with tomato mixture. Close lid. Grill an additional 8 min. or until chicken is cooked through.
Makes 4 servings.
Serving suggestion: Enjoy with cooked spaghetti and grilled or steamed vegetables.
10. anyone's toes she can sink her teeth into
9. the top of my shaving cream can...she'll chase it around all day
8. a piece of ice...she comes running when I go to the fridge
7. a Pepsi (not coke) bottle...any size works
6. any color sock...clean or dirty
5. dryer sheets...maybe they will help her breath
4. a plastic bathroom cup
3. straws keep her occupied for hours
2. our books...she now reads more than Justin
1. the new Dance Dance mat...she's no better at dancing than we are
Sunday, October 28, 2007
For instance... we finally got a lot of rain the last few days, something that Jazz has not really seen much of, so we were really having to get creative in getting her to go outside. My strangely creative husband (love you babe!) decided to take Jazz out while wearing a wet suit (spring suit to be exact) so that he wouldn't get his own clothes completely soaked! I really think he looks for any excuse to put that ridiculous thing on. Thankfully, it was at night and maybe the few neighbors we do have didn't notice anything weird.
Jazz's new raincoat!
Ok, our final quirky decision of the week...We are now owners of Dance Dance Revolution. I have actually wanted this for a while, so I'm so excited! (It actually seems like the one fun workout I can think of). So we got it yesterday and had too much fun and laughs trying it out!! I've done some of those dance things at the arcades before, and I always joke about Justin trying them out, but I can't believe we actually own it now! We may be hosting some dance parties (!?) in the near future...so be ready! Believe it or not, Justin and I are pretty close dance competitors. Who knew! I learn something new about him all the time!
Anyways...I'm going to have to come up with a strategic plan for blogging regularly. Any ideas??All of my entries just seem to be embarrassing for me and Justin!
Here are some pictures of our weekend at home for my sister's birthday!
Just a cool picture of the family that Justin took! Unbelievable sunrays!
Jazz patiently waiting until Justin gives her permission to get her treat.
A picture of my mom's flowers for her to see. She's finally taking a computer class and now gets on the internet to read my blog. I guess pigs are flying somewhere, too!
Sunday, October 7, 2007
Jazz checking thing out in the Wal-mart parking lot on the way to the beach
She's not too sure about the ocean.
But she loved digging in the sand!
One of Justin's fish!
Thursday, October 4, 2007
Today, after I had a cart full of groceries, I got in a line behind one person after I had passed up lines with 4 or 5 people in them. No brainer, right? Apparently not...the other people seemed to know what I didn't. And that was - the lady I was behind was taking full advantage of the fact that Wal-mart will match any other competitor's price. Translation: she had 3 or 4 ads with her from various grocery stores and expected the cashier to change every Wal-mart price to match the sale price at every other store for the items she had. I must say - I was dumbfounded. And this is why I thought "unbelievable" over and over again for the next 10 (yes, atleast 10) minutes that I waited for 3 (yes, 3) cashiers to go through her items and correct the prices at the register against the prices in the ads.
I wasn't angry...I was just amazed that this was happening. It does baffle me that people do not think about how their actions affect those around them. (I couldn't change lines because there were also several people behind me at this point). In fact...I think I would have stayed in line anyway, just to make sure what I was seeing was actually what was going on. It was truly unbelievable.
I wish I could say the story stops there, but it doesn't! After the cashier had (very patiently) rung up each of the ladies' items, the customer handed over about 20 coupons to be scanned as well. At that point, the cashier informed the customer that she would be unable to use the coupons because she had used the sell prices from other stores (many were BOGO free items). The lady was furious! And again, I was dumbfounded (that's the best word for my disbelief at this point). She refused to pay for her items without being able to use the coupons, and after yelling at the cashier, she asked to speak with the manager. All I know is...I had already finished checking out (and I had a lot of stuff) and the lady was still there complaining. I can't help but tell you that the words "I wouldn't have wasted an hour here - I would have gone to Food Lion if I knew this was going to happen" actually came out of her mouth. UNBELIEVABLE. I must say...everyone around her wished that she would have gone to Food Lion. And I must say...it just would have made sense (seeing as their items were already on sale). I mean, I like to get good deals...but the whole scene I witnessed today seemed very selfish. I'm a huge fan of coupons. In fact, I'm usually at Lowe's Foods with my many coupons each week because they double them and if I'm lucky the things I have coupons for are even on sale. But this....this was a whole other level.
Ok...I think I'm through venting. I wish I was ready with a spiritual application, but the majority of things that have run through my head today have been more about how ridiculous that lady was. Maybe there will be something to come. We'll see. Until then...I'm waiting to see what will happen on my next Wal-mart trip.
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
Justin and I took a canoe out on the lake - prepared to enjoy a nice relaxing time of fishing. I could really care less if I caught anything because we weren't going to keep any fish this time to bring home. Too bad we hadn't brought the cooler, because if we had, the large bass I caught would have been our dinner tonight! I'm usually pretty good at reeling the fish in and taking it off the hook, but last night I literally screamed when I saw the fish jump out of the water! It echoed all around the lake and freaked Justin out. So...thankfully my wonderful husband saved the day and finished reeling the fish in and taking it off. We considered keeping it for a few seconds, but thought better of it. Plus...Jazz was freaked out, too. The fish was bigger than her!
Anyway...it was a fun night of fishing...something Justin and I love to do. Our dog is fitting right in with us. She still loves the water. She jumped right out of the boat last night and swam around for a little while. She's fearless. She's funny-looking now, though, 'cause Justin and I gave her her first haircut! We haven't done her head, yet, so she's got a tiny body with a big head! She looks hilarious, but still adorable. We're contemplating a trip to the beach, just so we can see her in the waves. We'll see how the weather is the weekend!
Saturday, September 29, 2007
She was such a good swimmer! Justin was so proud.
Also, I've decided that Jazz is so easy to please. We've bought (way to many) toys for her to play with and without a doubt, the things that keep her entertained the most are...straws, a coke bottle she's been playing with for days, and the top to one of my shaving cream cans. I hope this means our children (one day) will be thrilled with a cardboard box!
Friday, September 21, 2007
And...other than that...today was a glorious day of shopping - something I haven't done in a while! I am, however, ashamed to say that I did come home with a halloween outfit for Jazz!! Something you'll have to wait and see! :)
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Saturday, August 18, 2007
We've been getting Jazz acquainted with Dwight since Justin's brother got us The Office for graduation!!
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Saturday, August 11, 2007
If Jazz is any indication of children to come...we will simply be letting our children play with cardboard boxes. Jazz plays with every cord, every remote, our feet and every basket rather than playing with the cute toys we got her! It's hilarious.
My other mission is to train a dog who actually likes to curl up in my lap. So far, Justin has gotten the playful puppy, but I want the cuddly puppy. Hopefully this will be something that comes with age. Right now, she will actually get off of my lap to go purposefully sleep on the base of a floor lamp we have in our living room. Go figure!
I believe I may have been mistaken...other than the labor, a human life, and the crying...I believe a child may be easier! Our puppy sure is fun, though!
Friday, August 10, 2007
And...I have a confession. I definitely dropped Jazz today and it was all I could do not to cry. We were standing out on our front (concrete) porch today and I was holding her while Justin was leaving. She freaked out (because Justin is definitely her favorite!) and wriggled out of my arms before I knew what was happening. She fell flat on her back with several accompanying wails. I have never felt more terrible. She seems to be doing ok, so I'm thankful for that. I hope she doesn't have a concussion or anything. She's so tiny! I know I'm going to end up spoiling her now.
Sunday, August 5, 2007
Thursday, July 26, 2007
In other news...Justin is getting really good at the guitar...and I'm actually getting close to having the title of Director at the PSC. God is so good to us...we really are blessed in Roxboro.
Sunday, July 15, 2007
Monday, July 9, 2007
Saturday, July 7, 2007
Monday, July 2, 2007
Sunday, June 24, 2007
Saturday, June 23, 2007
Thursday, June 14, 2007
- I haven't read one book...and I'm ok with that
- All of my paycheck isn't going toward gas anymore....and I'm definitely ok with that!
- Justin and I have been on two dates :)
- I've made dinner 4 nights already this week (2 more than a normal week before)
- I've been able to keep my house clean enough so that its ok if people just drop by (this was NOT the case before graduation)
- We've watched as many movies in one week as we probably watched all semester
- I have been able to actually have time to brainstorm about things at the Pregnancy Support Center
- We have had friends over twice this week...probably equal to all semester...what a blessing!
That's all I can think of for now, but, bottom line is...I'm so thankful to be done with school. I do feel weird, like there's something I should be doing, but I get over that quickly and sit down and catch up on all the HGTV I have been missing!
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Monday, June 11, 2007
But, God has just blessed me tremendously today. One thing I have learned over and over again since working at the Pregnancy Support Center is to come to God with even the smallest of my problems and to truly be thankful for the small things that He does as well. I woke up so discouraged about my job this morning....I let a silly e-mail from someone really get me down....and God quickly reminded me this morning that He is so good.
Psalm 8 quickly pierced my heart as I read, "What is man that you are mindful or him, and the son of man that you care for him? Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet." I am so thankful that God gripped me with the reality of how privileged I am just to be able to serve the women at our center. I am truly amazed each day that He has given me such an amazing opportunity to help meet a great need in our community. Praise God that He is mindful of us....even when we fail to recognize Him. What a great, majestic God who is not just mindful of us but truly knows the best for us and blesses us beyond what we can even imagine!
Sunday, June 10, 2007
My piano students had their recital today and I was so proud! Everything went surprisingly well. I made some goodies for the reception and I thought I would share the recipes since they're simple. Enjoy!
Cherry Jell-o Apples
I learned about this from a lady at work. It's so simple and great for snacks, especially for kids.
Just slice some apples, place in a ziploc bag or container and shake with some (dry) cherry jello. (Just enough to lightly coat the apples). They're messy, but surprisingly good.
This is another easy appetizer or snack!
1 (8oz.) can of crescent dinner rolls
1/2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 (3.5 oz) pkg. sliced pepperoni
1 c. pizza sauce or spaghetti sauce
Heat oven to 350. Separate dough into 4 rectangles; firmly press perforations to seal. Place 8 pepperoni slices on each rectangle. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons cheese. Starting at shortest side, tightly roll up each rectangle; pinch to seal. Slice each roll into 4 equal slices. Pinch dough together on one side of each slice to seal. Place sealed side down on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes. Serve with warm pizza sauce if desired. Makes 16 pinwheels. (I've never used pizza sauce - they're good enough by themselves!)
I hope you enjoy these recipes....let me know if you like them! Now that I've got time to actually cook dinner I hope to share some more recipes. Stayed tuned!
Friday, June 8, 2007
Anyways...I am terrible at this blogging thing...(good thing no one actually reads these!)...we were gone last week to the beach, which was wonderful and this week has been equally wonderful as I am beginning to realize what life without school looks like. We have been on two dates in one week! (Thanks to some recently acquired gift cards!) I think that's about the same number of dates we've been on since we got married. Praise the Lord for graduation! I am so thankful to begin this new chapter of our lives. But, since we did not have lives before graduation I have got to get my butt up and get a life so I actually have something to write about!
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Monday, May 21, 2007
Since being with Justin I have thought a lot about change. I think that change is so important for a Christian, especially. God calls us to change - we are not to be the same today as the day He first saved us. I pray that for my life. I really do want to be an ever-changing, ever-progressing Christian. We believe fully in the phrase "People don't know what they like, they like what they know." I have found this to be so true. Not only in others' lives, but in my life as well. Even though I like changing certain things around me, I really don't like the uncomfortableness that comes from changing my way of doing things. I could just as easily be lazy and let things be. So often I have let this be characteristic of my life. I know God calls us to so much more, though, and I get excited about the changes He wants to make in me. Just as I get uncomfortable now with the way my house is arranged, I pray that I will allow God to make the changes necessary in my life so that He can arrange me to best serve and glorify Him.