Esther 4:14b

"...and who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this."

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

More Pics from Colorado Trip

Braden LOVED having his picture taken...whenever I pulled out my camera, he'd have to stop and turn and smile or do some other sort of face. I tried to get a photo of him with every family member. Unfortunately, I can't post the one of him with my hubby or the one of hubs and I in bunny ears and easter bonnets because he asked me to not disclose his name or photo on this blog (due to political reasons...less fuel for the fire of those who would like to get him out of politics), but trust me...he makes one cute uncle and will be a great dad someday!
Aunt Brie & Braden (I think I'm his favorite!)

Mommy (aka Chelsea) & Braden

Our little Easter Bunny who had a just eaten squash...can you tell?

Here's my own Easter bunny who I got a kiss from a few years ago:

A Visit to Colorado

My dad's birthday was on March 14th and while it wasn't any special year (i.e. one ending in a zero or five), we decided that it'd still be fun to surprise him. So, I convinced my sister to fly in from Seattle with her 6 month old (I must confess that part of my reason for dreaming up this birthday surprise was so that I'd have a convincing reason to get her to come so I could see my nephew for the 2nd time!), and my hubby and I flew in from the East Coast. Our brother is currently living at home for the year so that worked out great. All I can say is thank goodness my mom works for the airlines so that we can all fly very cheaply and frequently!

My sister, nephew and I arrived in to Denver on Thursday night where Mom picked us up. The next day, Dad's birthday, we had a fun girls day shopping for an Easter dress for my Chelsea and just enjoying Braden time. He's the first grandchild/nephew in the family, so he is spoiled BIG time! Dad was flying in from Nashville that evening to the Colorado Springs airport, so the whole clan decided to meet him at the airport with balloons and a sign to surprise him, and boy was he surprised!!! We had all called him at different times throughout the day so that he wouldn't get suspicious and it worked. I'm sure Brock just loved hanging out with all us crazy girls, but hey wherever our family goes there's sure to be a lot of chatter and laughter to follow.

My hubby wasn't actually able to fly in until Saturday so we waited for him to celebrate Dad's birthday, but we had an awesome steak dinner with excellent baked potatoes and roasted veggies and of course we all had to enjoy Mom's tablescape (she LOVES setting different tablescapes so anybody needing an idea of a gift for her, there you go). Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture because I was preoccupied snapping photos of Braden...oops! Then, to top it all off, we indulged in a delicious peanut butter fudge cake Mom made. The rest of the day was spent watching movies (No Country for Old Men, August Rush, and The Game Plan) and NCAA basketball of course.

The following day was off to Palm Sunday service and then just relaxing until we all headed up to Denver to catch our respective flights Chelsea & Braden back to Seattle around 5pm, hubby down to Nashville for business around 8pm and me back out to the East Coast at midnight. Now, I wasn't too crazy about having to wait in the airport that long, so I was very happy to learn that the Philadelphia flight was oversold. This meant that I'd be spending the whole next day in the Denver Airport...say it with me now...yuck! So why was I happy? Well, it meant I'd get to fly to Nashville with hubs and spend the night in a comfy bed instead of on an airport floor and the day lounging around a nice hotel and then return to Philly (via Denver of to love Frontier's hub being Denver) the next night with him. One more day off work...woohoo!

It was a wonderful weekend and here are the photos to prove it:

Birthday Boy (aka Dad/Grandpa/Hubby) & Braden

Grandma & Braden

Uncle Brock & Braden

Another Birthday Cake

We had another birthday at work this month and because March is the month of St. Patty's Day, I decided to make the cake I saw on the cover of the Betty Crocker magazine in my grocery store's checkout line. Here is the recipe and some photos of my cake.

GRASSHOPPER FUDGE CAKE (makes 15 servings)
1 box Betty Crocker SuperMoist white cake mix
1 1/4 cups water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons mint (not peppermint) extract
3 egg whites
12 drops green food color
2 jars (16 oz each) hot fudge topping (I only used 1 jar)
1 container (8 oz) frozen whipped toping, thawed (I used the "lite" version)
5 drops yellow food color
Andes crème de menthe chocolate candies, unwrapped and cut into pieces

1. Heat oven to 350°F for shiny metal or glass pan (or 325°F for dark or nonstick pan). Spray bottom only of 13x9-inch pan with baking spray with flour.

2. Make cake mix as directed on box, using water, oil, 1 1/2 teaspoon of the mint extract and the egg whites. Reserve 1 cup batter. Stir 3 drops of the green food color into reserved batter; set aside. Pour remaining batter into pan.

3. Drop green batter by generous tablespoonfuls randomly in 12 to 14 mounds onto batter in pan. Cut through batters with metal spatula or knife in S-shaped curves in on continuous motion. Turn pan 1/4 turn; repeat cutting for swirled design.

4. Bake 28 to 33 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Run knife around side of pan to loose cake. Cool completely, about 1 hour.

5. Carefully spread fudge topping evenly over cake. In medium bowl, stir whipped topping, remaining 1/2 teaspoon extract, remaining 9 drops green food color and the yellow food color until blended. Spread whipped topping mixture evenly over fudge. Garnish with candy pieces.
Store covered in refrigerator.

Personally, I wasn't that crazy about the cake because I'm not that big of a mint fan, but the guys at work seemed to enjoy it. I don't think I'd make it again, though.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Journey With Christ

So I know it's a little late in "Holy Week" to be posting a Scripture reading schedule for the week, but that's been the story of my life these past few days. (More to come on that in another post.)

We were out in Colorado this past weekend and my parent's church had this insert in their bulletin. Unfortunately, I just found it again yesterday as I was unpacking, so I have quite a few days to catch up on, but thought I'd share it with you all too:

The final week of Christ's life leading up to His crucifixion and resurrection has been known as "Holy Week" throughout the liturgical history of the church. This week provides a powerful opportunity for each of us to retrace Christ's steps that week...and journey with Him...and reflect on who He is and what He did...and worship.

Mark 11:1-9 (Matthew 21:1-9, Luke 19:28-44, John 12:12-19)

Mark 11:12-19 (Matthew 21:12-17, Luke 19:45-48)

Mark 11:20-13:37

Mark 14:1-11 (Matthew 26:6-16)

Mark 14:12-72 (Matthew 27:1-61, Luke 22:66-23:56, John 18:28-42)

Mark 15:1-47 (Matthew 27:1-61, Luke 22:66-23:56, John 18:28-42)

Matthew 27:62-66 (Hebrews 10:11-25, I Corinthians 15:1-4, Romans 5:8-11)

Mark 16:1-11 (Matthew 28:1-8, Luke 24:1-10, John 20:1-31)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Beads Please

My craft interests seem to jump from here to there and back again over the course of time. I love scrapbooking, making cards, designing save the date cards, invitations, and favors, making napkin holders, making custom photo boards, designing centerpieces, and much, much more.

Eventually, I'd like to learn to sew better, but I'm intimidated by my mother and sister-in-law who both are excellent seamstresses who work (or did work) in the NYC/London fashion industry. They both made my wedding gown -- a knock-off of three different $6000 dresses that we combined in to one for less than $600! The alecon lace and silk satin fabric was luxurious and MUCH better quality than a dress I could have gotten at David's Bridal for the same price. Here's the sketch my sister-in-law made combining the three dresses (lace from one, sweetheart neckline from another, and mermaid flair from a third) and a back shot of the dress on the big day.

I think it's their old Singer sewing machine that intimidates me...I can't even figure out how to thread the thing. And then they sew on it so fast my eyes are spinning in my head. My mom is giving me her much more current sewing machine and while I know that "real" seamstresses swear by the old Singers, maybe I'll be a lot less intimidated if I can actually figure out how to thread the thing! If I knew how to sew I could have fashionable clothes at a fraction of the price as well as outfit my future home for much less. And I see all the cute things that others are sewing on their blogs and it makes me wish I could sew too. Anyways...I digress.

Lately, I've really gotten into beading. Here's my first project:

I have a long way to go and I need to learn how to photograph the finished product better, but I really enjoy it and am scouring the web and craft stores for affordable, high quality beads. So far, the best website I've found is Firemountain Gems. Does anybody else know of any other high quality but affordable sites? I'm hoping to get good enough where I could sell them along with some of my other crafts but we'll see where God leads. For right now, I'm just going to enjoy the time and talent He's blessed me with as I aim to craft for His glory.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

From my Bookshelf

I just finished reading this book a few days ago and LOVED every minute of it.

It's about the pro-life vs. pro-choice debate. An abortion clinic burns to the ground with the doctor inside and a 19-year-old girl (one of the Christian protesters) is accused of the arson and murder. It gives a good look at how the legal system works and how in every circumstance we are dependent on God's grace and mercy because even when we follow the letter of the law, there are still people out there ready to slander us. I highly recommend this book.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Spring is Coming

You know when you see these popping up out of the ground and being sold at the store that spring is on its way, and none to soon if you ask me!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

An Overdue Thank You

For those of you who read Carrie's blog, you might recall when she had a BINGO game. Well, last week I received this cute little package that brigtened my day:

Thanks Carrie! The lotion smells so good, the notecards are very cute, and the Dutch mints are delicious and perfect for a Dutch girl!

What are you doing with your dash?

Remember this post? Well, it got me thinking about a poem my mom had sent me a little bit ago; I found it kind of ironic that I ended up being a dash and then she sent me this.


I read of a man who stood to speak,
at the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on her tombstone
from the the end.
He noted that first came the date of her birth
and spoke of the following date with tears,
but said that what mattered most of all
was the dash between the years.

For that dash represents all the time
that she spent alive on the earth
and now only those who loved her
knew what that little line was worth.
For it matters not, how much we own,
the cars...the house...the cash...
What matters is how we live and love...
and how we spend our dash.

So think about this long and hard;
are there things you'd like to change?
For you never know how much time is left
that can still be rearranged.
If we could just slow down enough
to consider what's true and real...
and always try to understand
the way other people feel,
And be less quick to anger
and show appreciation more
and love the people in our lives...
like we've never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect
and more often wear a smile...
remembering that this special dash
might only last a little while.
So, when your eulogy is being read...
with your life's actions to rehash...
would you be proud of the things they say...
about how you spent your dash?
Acts 24:16: "So I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man."

Philippians 2:3-4: "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourself. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others."

Galatians 6:9-10: "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of God."

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

This is funny

First off, I want to apologize to any of you out there who may be French. This is all in jest.

As I was browsing through some blogs this morning, I came across this post on The Sparrow's Nest. After following the instructions and laughing really hard at the search result, I decided to click on the site Google recommended and came across my two favorite quotes in a long time:

"Going to war without France is like going deer hunting without an accordion. All you do is leave behind a lot of noisy baggage." Think about this now...let it sink it...picture it. It's pretty darn funny, right?

Or better still, the quote from last week's [don't know what week they're referring to] Wall Street Journal: "They're there when they need you."

This crazy thing called LIFE!

It's been almost a week since I wrote here simply because life had a way of catching up with us. We've been staying busy laying wood floors, getting on top of the rest of our unpacking from the move, planning more trips, and who knows what else.

Also, I took a little reprieve from blogging because I was fed up with how some people use blogs to slander and tarnish a person's reputation. We experienced this over the past week. As some of you may know, my husband serves as a committeeman in our town, and last year as the mayor. We've come under attack before from some of his political malcontents, but yesterday the paper thought it was more newsworthy to feature a guy with an ax to grind with my hubs bashing both him and I on the front page than covering Super Tuesday II, the Paid Family Leave Act that the state Senate approved the day before, or any other story that is actually newsworthy instead.

We prayed long and hard before my husband got involved in politics, and before each of his campaigns and elections, and we know that God is calling him to be a light in the dark (and unfortunately far too often crooked) world of politics. But, it doesn't make it any easier when his name gets dragged through the mud. Thankfully we can praise the Lord that the article seemed to backfire on the malcontent yesterday; regardless, we're going to keep on keeping on as long as God calls us to this road "for such a time as this."

Please be in prayer for our nation right now at the local, county, state, and national level. It's so important that we have godly men and women who are willing to take a stand and be true public servants instead of being in politics for personal gain.

And thanks to those of you out there who use your blogs to encourage and inspire people. If only the rest of the blogging world could be like you.