Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas Concert & The New Fave.

*Christmas card on the previous post... we're cheap and only sent the 10 free ones I got (thanks for the coupon, Trina!), but just print it if you aren't a grandparent, aunt, etc and are feeling left out. We love you!!

And now for a non-picture post, because it's been awhile (and probably will be awhile before inspiration strikes again)...

So, my sweet husband asked me awhile back if I'd be up for going to the Keith and Kristyn Getty Irish Christmas concert. Um... yes!! So, we had a very special date night last night. Jimmy John's and wonderful Christmas music!

I wasn't sure what to expect at an Irish Christmas concert. But, it was just incredible. Classic Christmas hymns and original ones with an incredible Irish feel. The band (including bagpipes and accordians and a gal who was stunning on the violin) was uber talented and really played with all of their hearts. The Gettys were wonderful. The music was of stellar quality. And we got to sit with dear friends.

But it was the story woven through the night that was just amazing. I needed to hear it again, just as I do every Sunday, every day really. And the joy that each person on stage (and in the auditorium) just oooooooozed out. It's the fact that the story of Christmas is THE story of the Bible. If you understand it was a story written from before time began to our hope yet to come that awaits believers in heaven... a hope foretold by the prophets, fulfilled in the Messiah, who was born of a virgin, and who was sent. Sent to die. For wretched sinners like us. Giving us hope. And life. And forgiveness.

As they sang the story of the Gospel, with a Christmas emphasis and Irish twist, they also stopped to simply recognize that Christmas isn't warm and fuzzy for everyone. Some people are super lonely. Some feel hopeless. They spent a few songs singing about trials and each of these few songs crescendoed to a rising energy because of joy found in Christ alone and rock-solid hope to be found in His truth. One of the songs is my new favorite song. (For now... I'm always changing my mind about my favorite song. I have about 30, I think.)

It's called Still, My Soul, Be Still and you can sample it here and you can download it from their new cd Awaken the Dawn. If not, just buy the whole cd. It's great.

Just thought I'd share about one of my favorite new songs. It brought tears to my eyes and Dustin and I both were really encouraged by it and it also made me think and pray for several friends of ours going through various trials.

And now, I've got to get Nate signed up for some violin lessons or maybe get him started on the bagpipe or just start working on his accent. :)

Merry Christmas!!

Just Merry Christmas Card

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Thursday, December 09, 2010

A Very Difficult Christmas Recipe =)

Christmas Mug of Hot Cocoa (Christmas mugs make the cocoa taste better)

A splash of Peppermint Mocha Creamer (off-brands such as Aldi's will do just fine)

3-4 Cinnamon Red Hots


Friday, November 05, 2010

What a Year!!!

Love at first sight...
Hi Mommy!
First of many kisses...
Our little man
Month 1
Month 2
Month 3
Month 4
Month 5
Month 6
Month 7
Month 8
Month 9
Month 10
Month 11
Last Night :)
Birthday Bananas and Balloon!

Happy Birthday to our sweet Nathaniel! We love you!! We praise God for your life which brings us so much joy. All praise to the Giver!

Psalm 126:3 - The Lord has done great things for us; we are glad.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Baby Apple Butts

 15 Weeks Today

Baby Bump for sure

Baby's the size of an apple

Next appointment, December 2, we'll find out the baby's gender. It was sooooo fun not knowing last time, but I am not sure how I waited! I'm dying for December 2 to hurry up and get here! :)

Big Brother Nate is 1 tomorrow! Pictures from the year-in-review to come soon. Hopefully.

You're all caught up on the pregnancy now.
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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Book Review: Prayers of an Excellent Wife

If you are married OR if you know anyone who is, raise your hand. Yup. That covers just about everyone. And, in that case, you should hear more about this book, because you would either be benefited to read it or be a blessing to share it. Christmas is just around the corner.

When we're honest with ourselves, praying for our husbands, our pastors, our friends, our children... um for ANYONE can leave us too-often-tongue-tied. "Please help my husband today. Thank you for my kids... Bless so and so." We know that there is so much more that we could/should be praying for them, but either feel bound by time constraints or, if you are like me, don't know where to start in the vast ocean of things to potentially ask. Not to mention the constant temptation to laziness, pride (too independent to be depedent, which prayerlessness reveals), etc.

This is where Andrew Case's book is extremely helpful. Prayers of an Excellent Wife is basically a carefully compiled series of Scripture-SATURATED prayers for wives to offer up on their husband's behalf. Each one is taken from a different passage or good chunks of a passage of the Word. Each prayer fits on one page, and my (new) habit and goal is to pray 2 pages - left and right - each day.

Here are some examples, taken from different days, so it loses the flow of one, cohesive prayer focusing on one passage or theme. But, it will give you a taste of the book, and then you can go snag your own copy!

"Perform your good pleasure in him - use him as a vessel to magnify the beauty of your Son. Give him this day his daily bread, providing for his physical needs, for You are a loving, merciful Father who gives good gifts to His children. Teach him to trust You, being not anxious about whether he will have enough for tomorrow."

"Please cause him to say, "How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!"

This next one's convicting!

"Grant him continual patience and forbearance to live with me, a wicked wife. For I have sinned against You; I have acted very corruptly against You by forsaking my duty to help my husband lead our home in righteousness and the fear of You; I have not kept your commandments."

"O Lord God, make him continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that he has heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven. Keep him! Keep him! Keep him in the love of Christ."

My first thought in reading this book, a few prayers in, was initially and wrongly somewhat critical. It went like this - Who needs this book if you have a copy of the Bible? You can open up the Word and pray through it like this. My following thought was broken and corrected. More like this - Um... but I don't do that. The more I read it, the more I realize how much I need a guide like this.

My hope is that through reading/praying through this book, maybe several times over, perhaps one day I won't need it as a launching pad for my prayers as a habit has been formed. But, for now, it's helping strengthen those weak, weak spiritual "prayer muscles" (if you will) and guiding me in what to pray, stirring my heart for the Lord to be constantly at work in my dear husband for His dear Name.

Click HERE to find out how to obtain your own copy!
Thanks, Andrew Case, for this terrific and needed resource.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Frugal Tip of the Day...

In an effort to revive the blog a little, besides with just pictures of a certain cute little guy, I thought I'd pass on a new favorite frugal tip today. We like to live (um... and have to!) tight, and it can actually be fun along the way. :)

The tip of the day is to check your receipts. This may seem like a no-brainer, but we've found it can really pay off.

2 Great Examples and One Just-Decent one... =)

1. Sonic - We love Sonic, especially during Happy Hour. They are hard to find in Louisville, but there are a few. Awhile back we bought a Sonic Route 44 and on our coupon it said if you take a survey, you can get a coupon code for a free Route 44 the next time you come. We did, and came back, and got the same message on the back of our receipt. This happened over and over, and I think we got about 10 Route 44's for the price of 1 before we got to a receipt that didn't offer that. And the next time we bought one, we had the same message on our receipt, and the process started all over again. It takes about 1 minute to do the survey.

2. JCPenney - If you make a purchase there, your receipt will have survey info on the back (takes maybe 3-5 minutes) and when you finish it, you get a coupon for 15% off your NEXT purchase at Penneys. And, it can stack on top of sales or whatnot. Dustin gets work shirts on clearance at JCP using these coupons, and he gets them for dirt cheap.

3. I bought a camisole on sale at NY&Co (mall walking for pregnancy health, right?) today and there was a survey listed, that once completed, will send me a coupon for $10 off of my next $50 purchase. Although I doubt I'll use it, I could pass it along or something.

The point is that this seems to be a big trend now... so check your receipts to see what you can save.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

For Laura Cozart =)

My sweet friend Laura texted today requesting more pictures of Nate. So, this is to make her smile. Miss you, Laura!

1. Maybe not the best expression, but we like this picture because it was one of the first times for Nate to wear shoes. Such a big boy!
2. Granna snapped this great picture in Cincy at our new fave spot to eat there, It's Just Crepes! She had to take about 15 pictures of him playing and wiggling but this one was worth the effort. Love it!
3. Playing outside! We do that a lot these days. Trying to soak in the warmer weather and pretty leaves before both the temperature and the leaves start falling!

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Cindy's Pumpkin/Apple Muffins

2.5 c. flour (regular, not self-rising)
2 c. sugar
1 T. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 c. solid pack pumpkin (15 or 16 oz can)
1/2 c. vegetable oil
2 c. peeled, finely chopped apples

In a large bowl, mix 1st 5 ingredients and set aside. In a medium bowl, combine eggs, pumpkin, and oil. Add the liquid ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until just moistened. Stir in apples. Spoon batter into paper liners, 3/4 full. A small amount of PAM to the liners will help them not to stick. Sprinkle on topping, and cook in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes.

Topping (She said they usually double the recipe below, so I did too!)

2 T. flour
1/4 c. sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
cut in 4 tsp butter (cold) till mixture is crumbly in relatively small chunks

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Catch Up - Facts of Randomness

1. It's 4:17am, and I am having what I guess is pregancy insomnia. My theory is that it kind of happens when it's time to "drop" your 1st Trimester naps that were so needed, because the energy's kicking back in. So, the nap I thought I needed yesterday was perhaps not as essential anymore. No naps tomorrow!

2. I'm not sure who reads this anymore, if it's something to keep up, what to write when I do post, etc...

3. Nate's going to be 11 months tomorr... nope, today. It's the 5th. One more month until he's ONE! Unbelievable.

4. His little brother or sister is somewhere between the size of a kumquat and a fig, according to my sources. Yes, we will find out this time, even though yes, it was actually really fun not finding out last time! We thought we'd try the finding-out strategy this go round.

5. A sweet lady from Korea, a long-standing member of our church, joined me for lunch today and kindly brought us a box of the Korean equivalent to Moon Pies. So, I just had one as a 4:24am snack. And it was yummy.

6. Brr! It's getting chilly around here. Like everyone else, I get so excited about the fall - sweatshirts, leaves changing, Nate in his cute winter clothes, soups, chilis, etc. It is coupled with a nervousness about what follows... for several months, but I'm getting a little tougher each year here. I was such a pansy my first year and daily wore my ski jacket to recess when I taught 5th grade, but if you have been a long-time follower of this blog, you probably already knew that and have laughed at me before.

7. Dustin's folks are coming to visit this weekend, and we are so looking forward to seeing them! We miss our family and friends in Texas and abroad. We have some fun things planned... Friday night, Carolyn is going to help me practice sewing on my new (dusty, sadly) machine that I still haven't used yet. Meanwhile, Dustin and his dad are headed to a local football game! We might go on a day trip to Cincinnati, and we will definitely go to Dudley's (my father-in-law) favorite place to eat in Louisville. Have you been there? You should! Just don't eat all day before you go... so you can enjoy more than one piece of evilness. They are dying to get their hands on Nate, if they can catch him in his busy boy-ness.

8. Later this month, we're headed to St. Louis for a friend's wedding. We're excited about the road trip together. Dustin and I love road trips!

9. I have found to be extremey useful these days. Mainly, the calendar features and the to-do and shopping lists you can create. Check it out!

10. I'm guessing this will be my last post for a few months until some inspiration strikes, because posting at this hour can't be too insightful or deep. But, I guess it served it's purpose, because I'm tired again and you are caught up at some level. Until then...

PS: Since we're talking random here, I'll leave you with some random pictures of our Friday night to stick with the theme. Let's just say it was a funny night, but one of the best we've had in a long time. It started with 1 neighbor kid asking Dustin to fix his bike and then grew. I didn't even get a picture of the final crowd, but it was fun. We loved meeting a good chunk of our neighborhood kids, and Dustin enjoyed getting to be handyman and tearing apart one clunker bike they found at the dumpster to fix the other two. And I think some of the kids enjoyed playing our keyboard and eating Nate's goldfish. We hope to hang out with them again sometime.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Dancing in the Minefields...

I'm toying around with the idea of blogging a little again. Just a little though. Don't get too excited or anything. And mostly just sharing links of this or that, and pictures of this or that, maybe recipes of this or that, and maybe every once in awhile, an original thought. But again, don't hold your breath. :)

For now, I have to give props to an old friend of mine for a great link. Sarah was a friend of mine in my Camp days, and I really admire her still. Her blog shows that she's still a jewel. She linked up to this Andrew Peterson music video. Since several friends of mine at church just RAVE about his stuff, I thought I'd give it a listen. It was really, really good.

Go to Sarah's blog for a little blurb and the link. HERE.


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Family Fix

The family is requesting more pictures, namely of Nate. So, I dusted off the blog to add a few for their viewing pleasure. We need to take some new ones. The football picture is at least a month old, but the others were just a week or so ago.

Nate's a fun little 9 month old. We are thankful for each day with him.

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Monday, June 14, 2010

Friday, June 04, 2010

Pass it on...

What's the point of this blog, I sometimes wonder. I guess one of the main purposes it has seemed to come to have is to just pass on stuff that has been helpful to me with the hope it may be helpful to others.

So, Dustin and I found our good friend's blog awhile back, and I get e-mail updates when he posts. So, thanks, Aaron Menikoff. I needed to read this!

Here's a snippet:
We are to pray recognizing that we do not pray to earn God's favor but because we have God's favor.

Read more

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Helping Mr. Butts

Having been a teacher myself for 3+ years, I try to be an understanding teacher-wife. Especially at the end of the year, I try to remember how much I needed long naps, help with grading, encouragement, big hugs, brownies, caffeine, etc. Last night was hilarious. We graded so many Geometry projects that we were getting delirious. It felt like a high school lock-in or something. We may pay for it all day, but man, it felt good to be done with that huge stack when we finished. You go Mr. Butts (and all of my other teacher friends/family) - you are almooooost to summer! Hang in there!  
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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Vegetarian Recipe - for Mel's birthday!

I have about 2 dozen more cookbooks than I need, so I'm attempting to pare down. This means I need to figure out the recipe keepers! And, it makes Dustin happy because he knows I'll let him try to sell (some of) them at Half-Price, or I'll sell them at a Yard Sale. Hopefully. It also means a more organized shelf... one of them anyway.

I've just been typing a few a day, but I started drooling when I read this recipe. It's become our spring/summer fave! And, I hadn't even thought about it yet this year. Especially as veggies get cheaper (and if you are in Louisville, you seriously need to check out Fresh Produce Warehouse by TJ Maxx).

It's meatless too. Just in time for my Merdy's birthday. That was my childhood nickname for my middle sister Melodie! She's not a meat lover. We even made this for her once when she was here. Dustin loves it too! What's not to love? Roasted veggies, yummy bread, cheese, MAYO, etc. :) And, we usually serve it with homemade (much easier than you think) pita chips and store-bought (one day I'll make it...) hummus.

Okay, enough jibber-jabber. Here's the Butts' This-Time-Of-Year Favorite... typed especially for you!

Roasted Vegetable Focaccia Sandwich – (a Pampered Chef goodie, with my notes)

*You can double everything, and have 2 large sandwiches (good leftovers, if you eat them quickly) OR you can double everything BUT the bread and have lots of roasted veggies to pick on! Yummy!
*Good with pita chips and hummus

1 medium eggplant
1 large zucchini
1 T. olive oil
2 garlic cloves, pressed
Salt and coarsely ground black pepper (optional)
8 ounces mozzarella
1 medium tomato, sliced
1 (7 1/2 inch) loaf focaccia bread (about 12 ounces)
¼ cup reduced-fat mayo (or more…)
½ cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves

1. Preheat to 450. Cut eggplant and zucchini crosswise into ¼ inch-thick slices. Combine eggplant, zucchini and oil. Add garlic. Toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper, if desired!
2. Arrange veggies in a single layer on Stoneware Pan. Bake 25-30 minutes or until vegetables are tender and deep golden brown. Remove from oven to cooling rack; cool slightly.
3. Meanwhile, cut mozzarella and tomato into ¼-inch-thick slices. Cut bread in half horizontally. Spread mayo on cut surfaces.
4. To assemble, arrange basil leaves, veggies, tomato slices and mozzarella slices over bottom half of bread. Top with top half of bread. Cut into slices and serve.

Yield: 6 servings

Happy birthday tomorrow Melodie! Love ya! Card should be at your new place soon... as in already. Did you wait until the 14th like you were told? :)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

"Not the greatest good..."

I loved this Mother's Day. It was special.

However, this post reminded me that "Motherhood is not the greatest good..." It's not the highest calling for a woman.

Read more here.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

No way!

"Good morning, Mom!"

"Really? I'm 6 months old today! Get out!"