Friday, September 26, 2008

Beauty in Truth

Sometimes when I'm spending time in the Word, a verse jumps out at me & I read it over again... & my heart is stirred by the beauty of the truth spoken. God's Word is full of amazing promises & full of the love He has for us. If you don't spend time reading the Bible daily, I pray that you start to... there is no other way to truly know the heart of the God that created & loves us more than ANYTHING.

Whenever a verse stirs my heart, I take a whole page in my journal to write it out & dwell on it, highlighting key words or phases. I'd like to share the verses that I have written down - I pray your heart is stirred as well!

O Israel, hope in the Lord! For with the Lord is steadfast love & with Him is plentiful redemption!
Psalms 130:7

For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
1 Corin. 13:12

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out all fear.
1 John 4:18

Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
Romans 13:10

The Lord is merciful & gracious, slow to anger & abounding in steadfast love.
Psalms 103:8

...& He will be the stability of your times, abundance of salvation, wisdom, & knowledge...
Isaiah 33:6

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace...
Hebrews 4:16

But our citizenship is in Heaven, & from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ...
Phil. 3:20

For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from Him.
Psalms 62:5

For God is not a God of confusion, but of peace.
1 Corin. 14:33

Monday, September 22, 2008

Gingerbread Muffins

I love love love the gingerbread muffins at Jason's Deli, so I googled to get a recipe that would come close, & it did... although not as amazingly yummy as the little ones at Jason's, these muffins are pretty good (especially with butter, or if you're at our house, "I can't believe it's not butter!").

Gingerbread Muffins

1/2 cup sugar
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 cup chopped nuts (I did not put nuts, I close-to despise them in my food)
1 egg
1 cup molasses (I used regular)
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup melted butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter muffin tins or line with cupcake papers. Combine sugar, flour, soda, cinnamon, ginger, salt, nutmeg and nuts in a bowl. In a separate bowl, mix egg, molasses, buttermilk and melted butter, and add to the dry ingredients. Stir until just blended. Spoon into muffin tins and bake 20-25 minutes. Test with a toothpick; muffins are done when it comes out clean. Can also be served warm with whipped cream or ice cream as a dessert.

Source: Bed & Breakfast Cookbook by Pamela Lanier

Friday, September 19, 2008

Good free stuff today!

Go check out the Motherload today for some good free stuff - I am excited for my mailbox to soon be spouting out coffee & granola!! yumm!

Also, I was introduced to some other sampling websites - what FUN!

& of course Walmart always has some good stuff...

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Book Review: The Shack by William P Young

Where to start.

I'll start with my initial feelings toward the book. All I knew was that it was supposedly written by a Christian, it was a best seller (usually those two things do not go together), & God was an African-American woman. Okay. So, I may not have read it if book club had not voted to read it.

I'm quite glad I did.

The plot: I'm going to try to be vague. The main character is Mack, & he goes through a tragedy early in the book, then gets a note from God, asking Mack to meet God at the place where the tragedy happened. Mack goes, & most of the book is about the time he spends there with God, Jesus, & the Holy Spirit. (As for God being an African-American woman, God gives an explanation for why He chooses to reveal Himself in that way to Mack, & I really liked that part.)

What we talked about in book club: Everyone at book club (which this time was a big group, 17 people) loved the book. Most people had a part of the book that they didn't like, or could have done without, & the book provided many topics to discuss, such as the Trinity, why bad things happen, what God desires from us, etc.

Recommendation: If you love the Lord & have a thorough knowledge of the scriptures, I *may (see edit) recommend this book. Know that this book is fiction & cannot be taken as full truth. Only the Bible is full truth. Someone cannot read this book & then know what it is to know God & know how to love Him. I think it is a good guide, or a tool, along with scripture, because it discusses a lot of important things & makes some great points, but it does not explain itself fully in some degrees so some things could be taken the wrong way.

I really enjoyed the book & would love to hear your opinions as well.

**Edit: read the comments. I retract that people that love the Lord should read the book, now I have no idea if I recommend it. Although I enjoyed it & was not tempted to take any of it as truth, that is not the case for all & I do not want to cause anyone to be confused about REAL TRUTH.

Monday, September 15, 2008


I just want to say... I am ECSTATIC about this weather. It is AMAZING. Right now it's less than 80 degrees out, & it won't even hit 90 today, WHOOO!!! Fall is coming!! Although they say it is only a front, it will get warmer again, who cares! Today is a day for driving with the windows down, sitting outside at Starbucks, & wearing jeans without sweating!!


Sunday, September 14, 2008

Smoky tomato soup & grilled cheese

Here is a recipe for you! I made this the other night for the first time. I'm not a huge tomato soup fan, but I liked the flavor of this one, so if you really like tomato soup, you will probably love it. I think it will be a good meal for when we have several chillins running around one day.

This is a Rachael Ray recipe, but I have made some modifications.

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO), plus additional
4 slices smoked bacon, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 onion, chopped
3 stalks of celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 quart chicken stock, divided
1 tablespoon fresh marjoram, finely chopped, or 1/4 teaspoon dry oregano
1 28-ounce can crushed fire-roasted tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup heavy cream (optional)
Butter for sandwiches
16 slices of party-size (small squares) rye bread (I used sourdough)
16 small, square slices sharp cheddar cheese, cut into slices 1/4-inch thick (Cracker Barrel brand is the perfect size)

Heat a large soup pot over medium-high heat with 2 turns of the pan of EVOO, about 2 tablespoons. Add the chopped bacon and cook until crisp, stirring every now and then, about 2-3 minutes. Remove the crispy bacon from the pot and reserve for the Mini Grilled Cheese Sammies.

To the soup pot, add the garlic, onion, celery, carrots and some salt and pepper. Cook, stirring every now and then for 4-5 minutes, until they start to get tender.

Remove the tender veggies from the pot to a food processor or blender, throw in a big splash of the chicken stock and the marjoram, and puree until smooth.

Return the veggies to the pot, place back over medium-high heat and add the remaining chicken stock, fire-roasted tomatoes, sugar, red pepper flakes and heavy cream, if you are using it. Bring up to a bubble and simmer while you make the sammies.

Preheat large skillet over medium heat. Assemble your grilled cheese sandwiches, with cheese & bacon on the inside, & the bread buttered on the outside. Grill the sandwiches on both sides until the bread is browned & the cheese is melted.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

DC pictures

Here are some long awaited DC pictures!

Here's everything we did, with some pictures:

National Cathedral

Nationals vs. Braves game (we surprised Josh with tickets, he is a Braves fan)

Philadelphia: Independence Hall, Liberty Hall, Betsy Ross House, Christ Church, Benjamin Franklin's grave, Philadelphia Musuem of Art (& the famous Rocky steps), philly cheesesteak (this is not just a meal, it's an event)
International Spy Museum

Washington Monument

World War II Memorial

Veitnam Memorial

Lincoln Memorial

Arlington National Cemetery

JFK 's grave & the eternal flame (& Robert E Lee's house, in the background)

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Mount Vernon

Old Town Alexandria

Bureau of Engraving & Printing (where they make money)
Smithsonian Castle & The National Museum of Natural History

White House (tour!)

Capitol tour

National Archives (where the Declaration & Constitution are)
Jefferson Memorial

We also tried to go in Ford Theater & The American History Museum but they were closed... we will see them next time!
It was definitely the busiest vacation we have ever been on! But we had a lot of fun with Zac & Cara & everything we saw was so cool.

Friday, September 5, 2008


We are back from DC! We spent the past week in DC & a day in Philadelphia, & we were so busy seeing all the sights, & after a delayed flight coming home, we are exhausted! & now having to play catch up, as well as a LOT of work for me during the next few days with church stuff.

SO, come back in a few days to see pictures from vacation!