Sunday, December 27, 2009

Sarah Foxwell

Last Tuesday, Troy and I took the girls driving around looking at land and houses.  We were trying to find a place to live, figuring out which town we would like to live in.  (We're moving to the Eastern Shore of Maryland, more about that in another post.)  We began in Berlin and ended towards Salisbury, on Old Ocean City Road.  We didn't find any good prospects.

When we got home, there was an amber alert for a girl named Sarah.  She had dissappeared from...Old Ocean City Road.  She was only 11 years old.  An ex-boyfriend of her aunt's had kidnapped her from her home while she slept.

Thousands of local searched for her.  We hoped she would be found alive, even though the temperatures were mostly below freezing.  Three days later, on Christmas, her body was found.

This story makes me hold my girls closer.  It makes me not want to let them out of my sight.  It makes me realize how fragile life is, how quickly it can be taken.

Some really bad things have happened to us lately.  It's not often that a church tells you they don't want you anymore and to leave.  It's not often that you have to pick up your family and leave the place you planned to live for the rest of your life to move to an unknown situation.  It's not often that you have to leave dear friends and family forever.  It's not often you face life semi-unemployed - yikes!  Yes, we're dealing with all these things right now.
But, you know what?  God keeps showing us how much He cares.  He does little things after each bad thing to remind us that He's in charge, that He loves us.  He loves each of us as much as I love my little girls.  Those ones that I don't want to let out of my sight.  It is His way of telling us that everything will be okay, even if we can't see the future.

Please pray for the family and friends of Sarah Foxwell.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Dear Friends

I'm sorry to have abandoned you.  I can't believe how busy I've been.  We are in Maryland visiting my family for Christmas.  I forgot the plug to transfer pictures to my computer, but I'm taking some really good ones.  Next week, I will be back home and just going through storage stuff, so I'll take some breaks and catch you all up.  Please don't abandon me.

Merry Christmas!

(ps., are you all tracking Santa?  Camdyn is loving it!)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Wow, it's been Twelve Years!

Twelve years ago today, I was single.  Not lovin it, ha ha!  Right about this time, I was heading to the church to get dressed for my wedding!  I can still remember so much about that day, all the people who came to wish us well, all the fun we had.  I wish we had been able to enjoy it all night long, but we planned the ceremony way too late and people left to go home to bed.

When I look back at that day, I think, Wow, what a big dress I wore!  And, then, I remember how hard it had been for Troy and I to live so far apart and how excited we were to be able to see each other every day.  Back then, everyone didn't own a cell phone with unlimited minutes, we actually had pagers.  And calling cards.  I can't wait to try to explain these things to my daughters...

Anyway, we got to talk to each other once a week.  Or, in case of a wedding emergency.  Sometimes, I made those up, lol!  It was awful, being so far apart.  But, one good thing we had was letters.  I still have every letter we ever wrote to each other, even from back before we were dating.  I think I will be very happy, someday, to have those to look back at and read.  (I don't have time now, ha!)

Anyway, here is a picture from our wedding day...Enjoy!

I am so lucky that I got to marry the man who was my best friend for so long before we even started dating.  He has stayed that best friend and we've grown closer through everything life has thrown at us.  I look at him know and am in awe of the wisdom he has.  What a perfect man God picked out for me!

Friday, December 11, 2009


Well, I've had a rough day of shopping, cleaning vomit, (don't ask...), cooking, packing and watching my girls the whole time.  I'm at a stopping point with making my Christmas cards until I can get to the store tomorrow, so I am indulging and taking a break learning how to work my early Christmas present. 

Thank you Santa!!!

Actually, I've been saving money since spring, and Troy recently made a little extra DJ-ing that brought us close enough that he gave me the OK to get it.  My old camera was getting pretty bad, I couldn't stand taking pictures with it.

So far, I've taken 34 pictures.  I've figured out how to turn the lense to manual and back.  And, I'm trying to figure out how to edit pictures.  Here are a couple of my favorites, so far, (un-edited).

Now, if only someone would just give me the clif notes on how to work this thing to the best of its capabilities...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

I'm a proud mama

I'm sitting here wasting time on FB and trying to back-up my computer so I can do a disk clean-up and free some space.  I'll tell you why later ;-)

Earlier, when I was working on my Christmas cards, I was watching the Top Chef Las Vegas finale I had DVR-ed the night before.  The 3 finalists' moms were able to come to the finale and eat a first course their sons made.  Then, they hung around until the winner was announced.  The mother of the winner said something along the lines of, "I'm so proud of my son."  I'm sure she said more, but I've deleted it and that's all I can remember.  As she said it, I wondered, "what would it take for me to say that?"  And I realized, every day, I'm proud of my girls and the new things they learn.  The ways they grow physically and mentally.  The funny things they say and do.  Their kindness to each other.  And, multiple times a day, I think to myself, "I'm so proud of those two girls."  And, it didn't take them winning Top Chef for me to say that.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Teacher Gifts

I'm watching the Today show.  Every year, I've watched them show a segment along the lines of, "great gifts for your child's teacher".  Today, for the first time ever, I don't have to watch it and wish I had a child's teacher to give a gift to.  9 years of watching this segment and I finally have a child to have a teacher!  Too bad I didn't get any great ideas for the segment, I'll have to take Camdyn shopping this weekend and let her pick something.

Monday, December 7, 2009

I hate developing pictures

They never turn out right :-(  Do you see the awesome picture at the top of my blog?  I love the shades and tint, it looks great.  That's how pictures look on my computer, even taken with my really old, 4mp Kodak.

But, I send away to get them developed and they come back awful.  Way too green or red, (which I learned is because they're printed on Fuji paper - Snapfish), cropped funny, (I didn't send them that way!!!), or, the latest is too bright.  I just got our picture for our Christmas card today from Kodak.  Averie's face is so washed out, I am so sad :-(

I had hoped Kodak would turn out better than Fuji, and maybe it did.  I guess I shouldn't complain, at least my reds aren't too bright.  Sigh.

Does anyone have a great onling photo processor to recomend I use?

Friday, December 4, 2009

Jewelry Giveaway

I rarely do this, but a friend of mine is promoting her Etsy business - it's beautiful jewelry.  Here's her store:
She has a ton of sales going on right now, and she'll customize any piece for you.
I know I have tons of you who read my blog but don't follow, so, if you want to win a beautiful pair of earrings from BellaRegali, go to this blog and enter to win some gorgeous earrings.  I really want them, but if I don't win, I know I can have a custom pair made for me ;-)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Taking Christmas Pictures

Yesterday, I finally got around to taking our picture for our Christmas card.  I've only been doing photo cards for a couple of years now.  I used to stamp my cards, back when we had no children, because the pain of sending out a picture of just the two of us was too hard.  But, now that I have my blessings, I love to share their growth with our loved ones.
Anyway, I figured it was time to get them taken yesterday.  Stupid me, though, I waited until nearly noon to get them finally ready.  We had to take baths first, and I had to get the scene ready.  Too many excuses...
Finally, I had the tree set up and the girls dresses around 12:15.  Averie was tired and hungry.  Camdyn was in a great mood.  I made a mistake and handed them each glass balls to put on the tree - and Aves' went straight into her mouth.  After she discovered that they fit just right, I couldn't keep them away from her.  And, each time I had to dig one out of her mouth, it set her off into a crying fit.  I compromisedby giving them pretzels and letting Averie wrap the garland.  It sort-of worked.
Then, we had the issue of Camdyn's out-of-practice picture smile.  First, it was too big...
Then, it was too small...
Then, back to too big...
Finally, I figured out how to make it just right - funny faces. 
I ended up with 2 good ones, but to see them, you have to wait until you get our Christmas card in the mail!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Our Thanksgiving weekend

This year, we went to Troy's sister's house for Thanksgiving.  We had turkey,
yummy side dishes,
and fun with family.

The church's music director was on vacation again, so Troy led worship this Sunday.  We had a great time in Kidmo, the children were in the mood to participate, which we always love!
We went to another church in the area and led them in an afternoon of praise and worship.  Thank you, Spring Harvest Church, for the opportunity!
Now, back to the daily grind...

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Old pictures

I'm talking, really old.  Like, from 25 years ago.  Ones that, even though you look horrible, you can laugh at them and say, "That's back when my mom dressed me."  (Leaving me no excuse for now!)
Hmmm, I can't say my mom dressed me here, but I can say she forced me to wear those awful glasses.  That was back when baptist said wire rim glasses were evil.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Mmmm, Fudge

Who else besides me could make fudge turn out like this?
Pretty gross, huh?  And, this was my second batch...

Friday, November 20, 2009

Husband Encouragement Challenge

I haven't been posting about this lately because the days of challenges have been veery similar.  That is, until Day 24.
"And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord." (Ephesians 6:4)

Then, it goes on to say, "A wise wife will support her husband's leadership in the home as much as possible, and will praise him for his fathering skills. Negativity makes a man feel like a failure, and may make him to want to give up."

Hmmm.  This strikes a chord with me.  I'm a little, overbearing, shall we say, in my parenting of the girls.  I have my ideas of discipline and expect Troy to know exactly what I'm thinking by my evil eye.  One of the girls acts up, I expect him to interpret my squint as, "3 minute time-out".  And, if he doesn't, well, it's not pretty.

I really need to work on this.  I guess God knew I was getting bored with the challenge and needed something to "challenge" me.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Knit Hats

I posted about this on my other blog, , but I wanted to show my blogger readers these, too.  I finished Aves' hat, finally, that flower kept hovering over my head.  It's so intricate, I use #1 needles for it, and I was trying a new pattern.  I liked the way it turned out.  Here are the girls in their pretty knit hats...

Averie's looks funny because, well, she doesn't like wearing it.  It was quite the fight to keep it on long enough for me to snap the picture.

I finally put items in my Etsy shop!

I've had this shop since the end of last year, but have never listed any items.  I have had some in the works for a while, and finally got around to listing two items!  A blue and a red Christmas ornament.  Beautiful quilted balls.  I only listed two, but will make some more soon, (tonight?), and get them listed soon.  I am selling them cheaper than most of the other quilted ball sellers, so maybe they'll sell quickly!
Here's my store...

Feel free to purchase ;-)

Monday, November 16, 2009

I could have been grilling...

Want to see my new toy?

Yes, I have a new stove.  We went to Michigan last month to pick it up.  3 hours each way.  But, it was worth it.  Troy plugged it in a couple of weeks ago while trying to figure out which knobs to buy for it.  He never unplugged it, since it's gas and we figured, why walk over to the outlet.  Until, yesterday, he was showing our friends the stove and they wondered why the grill was hot?  Duh, it's electric.  One of the kids had brushed by the knob and turned it on.  So, I could have been using it for sandwiches all along, lol!  We're so clueless.

Last week, Troy had to take a little trip to pick his grandpa up from the airport.  He took Cam with him, and I let her take the camera.  Here's what my budding photog came up with...

She doesn't know she's getting her very own camera from Santa...Shhh!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Our Mini-Vacation

Earlier this week, we left the girlies with grandpa and grandma and headed off to Schaumburg, just me and Troy.  He did some work and some relaxing, and I did some shopping.  We've been living so far from easily accessable shopping for a year now, and it was so nice to be 2 minutes from Target again!  I hit the Container Store, Marshalls, Old Navy, Woodfield Mall, and many, many more places.  I managed to control my spending, only getting the girls one set of matching dresses, a coat for Aves, a scrapbook for Camdyn, and these...

Pretty boots :-)

Here's where Troy used to spend 8 hours a day...

What a nice break it was, but it was so good to get back to my babies!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Days 12-17

I haven't been updating because, my husband took me on vacation!  I guess my challenge has been working, lol!
Most of the ones lately have been more reminders to uplift and not criticize.  Must be something I really need to work on.
One that really struck a cord with me was day 16.  "Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." (2 Peter 3:18a)

It says to notice ways your husband is growing spiritually.  Well, he has been a Christian for nearly all his life, and has been growing in those things since then.  But, lately, he's really become very obviously spiritually wise.  Many times over the past few years he's had to make decisions and lead others in difficult areas.  His quiet wisdom and supportive advice has been instrumental in the lives of countless others.
He is a great spiritual leader.  I believe his wisdom in actions is making permanent changes in the lives of many around him.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Days 10 & 11

Day 10:  "Behold, you are handsome, my beloved! Yes, pleasant!" (Song of Solomon 1:16a)

Probably every wife wants her husband to tell her constantly how beautiful she is and how he adores her, but do we return the favor?
The challenge asked us to tell our husbands what we see in him that makes him attractive.  Physical or spiritual.  Well, since my husband is the most handsome man in the world, that's easy.  I hope I let him know that enough.  And lately, his "Strength of character in a culture that lacks integrity?" is shining through.  He's standing for what the Bible says instead of what "men" say.  It's hard, because men he trusted are betraying him.  But, he's right in his words and actions, he has nothing to be ashamed before God about.  The way he's handling himself in adversity is wise and exactly the way the Bible directs him to.

Day 11:  "Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord." (Ephesians 5:22)

I hate to sound like a broken record, but it's easy for me to respect my husband.  I used to joke around with him in front of others, but in doing that, probably really embarrased him because I was really picking on him. And, don't even get me started on when I used to play on his worship team - can I blame my infertility hormones?  (I don't, completely, maybe a little...)
He's always the one to have the wise things to say in a serious conversation.  And, every once in a while, he's really funny ;-)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Day 9

No, I didn't skip day 8, but it was simply "encourage your husband".  That's what I've been trying to do all along.  Thank him for being faithful.  Okay, so that's a big thing, I'm SO thankful that he's faithful to me.  It's something that I don't even worry about, I trust him so much.

Day 9:  "Be swift to hear, slow to speak . . ." (James 1:19b)
Yesterday wasn't the day for this one, or maybe it was the perfect day for it.  Anyway, I didn't do too well, but I think the things I said were things I needed to say.  He's been a pastor for years now.  For some reason, people who go to church seem to think that they "own" their pastor.  Why?  Because they give money to the church?  Well, some of them do, some don't, but that's beside the point.  You give your money to the Starbucks barista, do you "own" her?  You give your money to Apple when you buy off of I-Tunes, do you "own" them?  So, why do you seem to think you "own" your pastor?  He works for God, not you, he'll answer to God, not you.  That's what a TON of people in churches today need to learn.  That's something along the lines of what we were dealing with yesterday, and I, fed up with the pain he's been in for so long, said some things that I don't think he expected to hear from me.  I hope they were things he needed to hear, things to encourage him.  I hope...

I'm so proud of my husband.  Yes, he'll answer to God for the way he's serving Him, and I believe he'll have a mountain of jewels to lay at Jesus' feet.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Pumpkin Bread

If any of you have ever had Bob Evan's pumpkin bread, this comes really close to matching it in flavor and texture.  Really moist, not too sweet, yummy!

Pumpkin Bread
3 1/2 c. pumpkin puree
1/2 vegetable oil
2 2/3 c. sugar
4 eggs
3 c. all purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves

*Preheat the oven to 350*F.  Grease and flour 2 loaf pans.
*In a large bowl, mix the pumpkin, oil, sugar and eggs.
*In a seperate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and cloves.  Stir into the pumpkin mix until blended.
*Divide the mix evenly into the 2 loaf pans.
*Bake for 55-60 minutes.  The top of the loaf will spring back when lightly pressed.

**The recipe I followed didn't have a measurement for the baking powder, but did mention it in the directions.  After researching, I came up with many recipes that don't use baking powder, and many that used the same amount as baking soda.  I compromised with 1/2 the amount, but feel free to adjust as you desire.

**Add-ins:  Chocolate chips, dried cranberries, cinnamon chips - Yum!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Days 6 & 7

Day 6:
"Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." (1 Corinthians 10:31b)

"Praise your husband's creative side."  Wow!  This one's easy.  His handiwork, he's awesome at fixing up a house.  He's fixed up 3 houses for us since we started buying houses.  And music.  He was a worship pastor for years in our prior church and has been leading worship in our church for a few months.  Although he's facing Satan for it, he's staying honorable through it all.  He has the ability to take a band from merely "playing music" to "worshipping God".  He has a true heart for worship.
Day 7:

"Do not overwork to be rich; because of your own understanding, cease! For riches certainly make themselves wings." (Proverbs 23:4, 5b)

"That I may cause those who love me to inherit wealth, that I may fill their treasuries." (Proverbs 8:21)

Finances.  Always a good way to start an argument.  He's so wise with how he handles them.  Even when I overspend, he gets us back on track ;-)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Trick or Treat 2009

We don't take the girls door to door on Halloween, but we did dress them up and take them to Grandpa & Grandma's and across to our neighbor's, Mrs. Robin.  Averie was a cow and Camdyn was Tinkerbell.

Daddy posed with both of them on our front steps.

Isn't she a cute cow?

Then, we had hot dogs and homemade apple pie after the festivities.  Yummy!  I'll have to post my recipe, soon.  It was a combination of a couple of recipes from my old church's cookbook.  It's nice cooking things I can remember or at least imagine those who wrote them making.

Saturday, October 31, 2009


I love reading quotes and verses and applying them to my life in this moment.  Here's one from Mother Theresa that is very easy to apply at any moment.  Right now, it's easy for us and all of the leadership team in our church to be sad.  We've lost members of the team and the church.  We're being gossiped about all over our small town.  It hurts.  But, I have to keep reminding myself that we're not here for those who have left and are gossiping - we're here for those who are searching for Jesus' love.  So, I think I'll post this on my fridge to remind me that all we do is between us and God, and to "do it anyway".

People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway. If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway. If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway. What you spend years creating and building, others could destroy overnight. Create and build anyway. If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway. The good you do today, will often be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway. Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough. Give the world the best you have anyway. You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.”

–Mother Teresa

Friday, October 30, 2009

I love leaves

We rent a house with at least 6 huge maple trees. I love their shade in the summer, and I love their leaves changing in the fall. We have the prettiest fall trees on our street. Now that it's getting later in the year, those pretty leaves are starting to fall. My landlord swept up a ton of them yesterday, these very leaves are now gone...

It's so windy, (and warm!), today, there are almost as many leaves down, now, as there were before he swept. But, they are blowing across the street into the field behind our neighbor's house. The farmer probably loves it, because our soil is full of clay, and leaves help adjust that problem. I would, at least.
So, we're having chili for dinner. And pumpkin cookies for dessert :-) Yum! Great fall foods.

Is Blogger better than Wordpress?

I am a little frustrated with wordpress. I can't change my background to anything fun, and I can't figure out how to show my followers. So, I'm considering a switch to blogger. Do any of you who have used both have an opinion about this? Those of you who use Blogger, do you like it? Do you have any hints for me as a new user?

My first question is, How on earth do I make my picture under my blog title smaller???

It's a bit of a hassle, switching like this, I hope I like it!

Anyway, here's the link to my wordpress blog so you can catch up on me :-)