Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Happy Bday Bro!

Today is my big brother's birthday! Growing up I always remember having so much fun at Tommy's birthday parties! He always had lots of friends over and Dad always made great food. (The tradition lives on!!) Tommy and I are only 17 months apart and were always close growing up. We shared a bedroom our whole lives until he went to college and for the most part, got a long really well with each other. Through the different stages in life, he has always been such a good brother to me. He never let anyone pick on me in school and always let me play with him and his friends when we were little. After he went to college, he would let me come and stay with him, take me to Tech football games, and when I was old enough, dancing. He always encouraged me in my sports and told everyone how proud of me he was. What a blessing to have such a brother. We don't get to see each other much now, but I love him just the same!! Happy birthday to the best brother ever!!

Here's Tommy and me one day when we were out shootin pistols (there was a storm coming)
Don't mess with TX

Here's us fishin in the one of the only ponds in our area, times

Don't know how well these turned out, but it's a scrapbook page of us growing up, hehe...

Monday, March 29, 2010

Palm Sunday

I remember growing up and always looking forward to Palm Sunday. The children were the ones that ushered the service in. We would all gather in a back classroom where we would be given palm branches. Then we would go out waving our palm branches down the aisle, singing as went.We would lay our palms down at the front at the altar and find our way back to our parents. I loved waving my palm branch and singing to the Lord.

Yesterday brought back those memories once again as we all sang to Jesus, the only one worthy of our praise. During one of the songs, the girls came out with their palm branches and did a beautiful dance with them. They waved them around as they danced to the music and I was overcome with tears. Tears of grief and sadness, but also, even more so of deep deep comfort.

My baby cousin, Hannah Spoon, died in May last year from a fatal car accident. She was only 3 years old and precious as can be. Here's a sweet picture of her at her last Christmas on earth with us.

Somehow, watching those girls sing and dance, I thought of Hannah. And I thought, O God, thank you, thank you. Is this what Hannah gets to do all day now...sing to you, dance for you, praise you, be in your presence? Palm Sunday was only the beginning--of the greatest trajedy and triumph in all of time. The Christ crucified, BUT the grave couldn't hold him and HE AROSE! HE LIVES! Thank you, Lord, that you have conquered death and that we have eternal life with you when we repent, believe and accept your gift of eternal life.

Here is Celeste, Hannah, Cassandra and Sarah (my beautiful cousins)

Here is Kim, Hannah's mom, holding her and smiling so beautifully

Hosanna in the Highest!!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Balcony Oases

Flowers are so cool and they just make everything more cheerful! I had been talking to Wade about gettin some window box type things and flowers for our balcony. I actually thought this was a project we might work on while his parents were down visiting, but I should've known better, hehe... Saturday I thought we were just going to look at the planters and stuff and we ended up coming home with planters...and...more flowers than we had room to plant! lol... We have several different colors of pansies and this smaller version called violas (they look just like little pansies to me) And, we have sever different bulbs that we are trying to get to grow.

So, right now these look just like pots of dirt for the most part, BUT I'm hopeful that with water, sun and time they will one day be full of gladiolis, dahlias, calla lillies and tulips! Kinda hard when you have zero yard to work with, but we did our best to get some soil on the patio where they stand a chance to grow.

After the bulbs bloom out and it's too hot for the pansies, I hope to plant some pretty perennials...we'll see how it all turns out. For now though, I am loving our patio and sneak out there often to look at, talk to, and sing to the flowers.

One of our favorite features, hehe, is the tricycle that's poppin a wheely on the balcony railing...that was Wade's finishing touch and I love it! The white lights add a nice ambiance for patio sittin

Hello pretty flowers! Keep blooming!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Community & The Beautiful Fight

Okay, so I have been CrAvInG...bratwurst! I haven't had one since last summer sometime when we lived in North Carolina! We don't have a grill and it's also been way too cold to enjoy grilling outside--now some would argue that we could've made them on the stove in the house...we've tried that before and they just didn't taste the same and talk about a greasy mess on the stove and surrounding area! hehe... Well, Tuesday turned out to be a gorgeous day and my friend found out about this craving so she bought some brats and invited us over to grill with them!! Let me tell you, that brat was sooo good!! All those juices and flavor flooded my mouth and I felt that craving satisfied, lol...I know that sounds a little extreme, but when you wait and wait for something, it makes it taste that much better!

How glorious it is to live in community with each other, encouraging each other in life's daily demands and our Christian walk.

Here are the gals enjoyin the sunshine

Tuesday also marked the end of the women's bible study I had been attending at College Park. We did a study through the book, The Beautiful Fight (now known as Holy Available), by Gary Thomas. This whole book is really about surrendering more and more of ourselves to the Lord so that we are available to carry out His divine purposes to BRING HIM GLORY! It's about not settling in our Christian walk. This book focuses more on the do's than the don'ts... Gary Thomas does a wonderful job showing that we are saved by GRACE alone but also have a responsibility to live our lives to the Lord because He bought us with a price. I think I am going to read this book again soon, to really try and soak in what it says. I like this book because it is hard to know what the Christian life looks like and how we are to live out our faith, right here right now. I know we all sometimes feel like, well I haven't been called to full time "mission work, evangelism, etc..." but it focuses on how our every actoin can be in His service.

He had a quote by Henry Drummond that says, "No man can do more with his life than the will of God--that though we may never be famous or powerful, or called to heroic suffering or acts of self-denial which will vibrate through history: that though we are neither intended to be apostles nor missionaries nor martyrs, but to be common people living in common houses, spending the day in common offices or common kitchens, yet doing the will of God there, we shall do as much as apostle or missionary or martyr -- seeing that they can do no more than do God's will where they are, even as we can do as much where we are -- and asnwer the end our life as truly , faithfully, and triumphantly, as they."

Here are a few quotes from the book that I like.

"Our greatest foe is what we most often seek--unencumbered lives and unbroken leisure, lives free from any care or concern." Gary Thomas

"God is the agent of change, but we have a responsibility to surrender ourselves to God's change--a real responsibility to respond to the leading and pressure of God's Spirit." GT

"Our "private" battles have a very public effect, for what we cultivate in secret shapes the world we live in." ---GT

"Transformation is never about winning His favor but rather revealing his presence." GT

I'm so thankful the Lord's not finished with me or you yet! and that Lord willing, we won't look the same a year from now or 10 years from now! Wherever you are in this beautiful fight, I encourage you to surrender yourself once again to His calling on our life in the daily things and to SEEK Him.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Spring Break 2010

As we all knew it would...time flew by while Mom was here, BUT we had such a wonderful time together.
We spent our days going around town, watching our favorite shows (mostly HGTV) and of course, Pride & Prejudice, and sewing.

Whew, this bag took a lot of time, but it sure did turn out CUTE! If anyone wants one, you better put your order in now, hehe...

Inside, lots of pockets! Hurray! (Figuring out how to get the lining sewn in was quite the challenge. The pattern wasn't that clear, but Mom stayed with it until she got it!)

Friday night Jacque & Ben came over and Mom showed us how to make her famous chicken enchiladas!

Everyone got involved

Here's Jacque learning how to roll 'em on up!
They sure turned out yummy!!

Ben & Wade waitin on the finishing touches

Saturday we took it easy that morning and had lunch at the Original Pancake House. Then we took mom to the fancy mall and went in stores they don't have in Lubbock, TX, like Sacks Fifth Avenue, Tiffany's and Burberry's and the Sony Store. Wade was a trooper and we had fun looking at all the stores. We have a hard time believing though that people actually have enough money to spend at those stores...and...that there are some that do! Sometimes shopping makes me sad though because there are some that are just filling their lives with things because they don't know the satisfaction and peace that comes from knowing the Heavenly Father.

Before we took Mom to the airport we stopped and had a famous Bub's Burger. It was warm enough to sit outside on the patio! It was fun to watch all the people out and about on the Monon Trail.

I sure am thankful for this time Mom had to come and spend the week with us. I'll always treasure the memories we made together.Being together makes me realize how much I am like my mom, hehe, and that's a good thing. She's the strongest woman I know. LOVE YOU MOM!


Thursday, March 18, 2010

tote bags...part 1

So, before Mom came I decided I wanted to make something with her while she was here...I chose tote bags! So, the first hurdle for me was actually even finding a pattern...I had to ask the lady at the sewing store how to even locate a pattern! ( I felt like I was in an old school library that still had card catalogs!) She showed me how to look in the back of the clothes pattern books to the "accesories" part, sure 'nough, there they were. Hmmm....hurdle two...figuring out how many different materials I needed and how much of each....I remember saying in Jr. High, when am I ever going to use all this fraction stuff?! Welcome to sewing 101...hehe...Well, for anyone who knows me, the next hurdle was actually picking the fabric! I decided to wait until Mom came to do that with her, so she could also pick something she wanted. We ended up not being able to find material that was already quilted that we liked, so Mom talked me into just quilting the one that she wanted. At first I thought it was going to be really hard, but it's not hard, it just takes time. AND, it's looking terrific! We found some awesome fabric on sale and it looks even better quilted. It's been fun and she's having a great time doing something she never gets to do. I'm glad she was here too because she's actually sewn with a pattern before and this is all new to me!
Wade has been gone for work, sad face, but he is coming home today!! We'll get to show him all the work (or play) we've been doing! It's been nice though to just have time with Mom, but we're both looking forward to Wade being back! He's so much fun! The weather has been just beautiful and today is supposed to be even warmer!! A whole 65 degrees!! Yee haw! Alright, I gotta go...time to sew and run a few errands before work time arrives! I'll post the finished product soon!!

Getting started!!

The pattern paper is so fragile, pretty cool how they have cut outs for four different bags in each pattern packet!

At first, quilting seemed a little overwhelming, BUT

Once Mom got going, she made it look easy! Also, I learned my new sewing machine had a handy foot just for quilting that has this cool guide leg thing!

Ta da!! It's neat how much quilting added to the design!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Pillows, cookies and more...

Our friends, Eric and Karisa, just had a baby boy, Cayde! This is a pillow I made for them. It's my first baby pillow and I think it turned out pretty cute!
Mom came in on Saturday and we are having a ball. We just started making tote bags...can't wait to post pictures of them! Hopefully we can read the pattern better than we read the peanut butter cookie recipe last night...hehe...but the cookies still turned out quite scrumpous! A Sunday filled with church, food, naps, laughs and being with family....can't think of a better way to spend the day!
God is so good!
Here is Wade and Mom mixin up the cookies!

The dough wasn't very thick...seeing as how we added a 1/2 a cup of milk that was actually supposed to go in the filling...not the dough...oh well, it all worked out!

Wade brought these goreous flowers home on Friday! I just love them! Makes the whole house cheerful!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Handsome Hubby...

Hehe...Wade doesn't even know I took this picture last weekend, but I love it. The Lord has blessed me with more than I could ever ask or imagine (Eph. 3:20-21) in my husband, Wade. I never knew being married would be so wonderful. Sometimes people ask me if I ever get lonely being so far from "home." I am never lonely, homesick at times, but never lonely because my best friend in the world is here with me. He helps make even the most mundane tasks fun and actually, it's those that I look foward to the most now. If there was a hidden camera set up somewhere, most people would think we were off our rockers goofy, but that's us, and we have so much fun.
His heart is so kind and gentle, yet deep and strong. He challenges me to grow in my walk with the Lord just by how he lives each day, so steadfast. I know everyone tells us we are only at the beginning of the journey, but I can honestly say, our relationship just gets better by the day. I am so thankful for a husband who knows and loves the Lord and so is able to love me. I look forward to as many days as the Lord gives us together with eager expectation. May it always be so and may the Lord continue to grow our love for Him and each other. Ladies, if you're single, wait for the man God has for you, it's more than worth the wait.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Let the visitors begin!

This weekend kicked off the beginning of a string of family visitors! We will have at least one family memeber up to visit each month through May! Let the good times roll..I hope...JUST KIDDIN! We love having our family up!

Wade's Dad, Mike, and his wife, Jan, made the long drive from East Texas up here to Indy. The Lord gave us the warmest weather of the year and gave us real hope that Spring is just around the corner. We spent the day going around downtown Carmel and Indianapolis. The streets that had once been completely vacant were crawling with people like us, anxious to be outdoors and breathing in fresh air (without freezing, hehe). We had a blast just going in different shops, walking, and talking. We stopped in at Bub's Burgers for about a good burger! Definitely the best one I've had in a long time. None of us were brave enough to go for "The Big Ugly" a 22 oz. hamburger...uugh...but there were plenty of pictures on the wall of those that took the challenge and conquered, hehe.

Wade & Mike downtown Carmel

Wade needed some help crossing, thankfully there was an officer around to help out!

Look, no bulkey coats!

We stopped in to see what we could find at a two story antique store...some very cool stuff! Wade even found me a vinyl of my very first Randy Travis CD! Still know every song on there...
Wade also found me a nice fur to wear on these still chilly days...

Always fun to explore old things

We also made a stop at one of my all time favorite kinds of stores...a CANDY SHOP!
Just look at all those lovely chocolates! It's a dangerous place where there is candy available by the pound!
I tried to show a little restraint though and stuck with this adorable milk chocolate truffle lady bug! SO CUTE! (and even tastier!)

(Had to take a picture of my shoes while they're still white...)

A beautiful day....more to come!!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A time full of memories...

"Reflect on your present blessings - of which every man has many - not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some."
      - Charles Dickens

"I don't believe couples fall out of love - they fall out of repentence."
    - Gary Thomas

Wade's love for snow...

What a winter it has been! I have to laugh every time I hear someone complain about how much snow we've gotten because (as many of you already know) at our house snow is a BIG DEAL! Every time there is even a mention that snow could be on the way, Wade is on the lookout! He has loved snow ever since he was a little boy in East Texas. After having a few days in a row above freezing, almost all the snow that was on the ground is now gone. I am looking forward to Spring and I love walking outside and hearing birds chirping, but I do hope it snows at least one more time this season for my Wade. If this becomes a more permanent place for us to live we are definitely going to have to go all out and get proper snow gear! (snow boots, sleds, waterproof pants, etc...) I know I've gotten a lot tougher though when I can now think that 28-32 degrees feels so good! (Much better than those days with highs of 17!) Here are some pics from a snow day we had recently.
      Snow Angels!!

By the time we got outside in the snow, most of it had dried building a snowman was pretty challenging. We had to start with some that had already been piled and packed together a little bit.
Before long though, we had a crude form, eyes, a nose, arms and a hat!

Job well done!


What a fun day playing in the snow!

Here are the poor ducks trying to survive this Hoosier winter

One day it will be so nice if we ever have a garage...but for now we have the joy of cleaning the snow off our cars before we go anywhere :)

The snow is so reflective that night time looks like day!