Friday, December 30, 2011

Goals for 2012


     As the last days of 2011 are upon us, I decided to take a few minutes to identify my goals for 2012. I have tried to make resolutions before, but usually, about a month or so into it, I completely get off track. However, this is the first year I have really sat down and prioritized things, and I have never written them out before. (Hoping that having this visual, along with you all as accountability partners will help to motivate me!) I am such a procrastinator and tend to very sporadic at times, so we will see how this goes. I have prayed, and will continue to pray daily, that God would give me the strength and motivation to stick with it. (I just had to laugh as I know full well that God can give me all the strength in the world, but if I choose not to use it, that's my issue:) Anyways, here are my goals for 2012...

1.) Memorize Scripture. My goal is to memorize one verse a week. 

2.) Arise early in the morning for quiet time with God. I was in the habit of doing this daily last winter when I was completing the God Seeker Bible study with a small group of girls. However, I have unfortunately not stayed consistent with it. I am just not a morning person... AT ALL. I can say that starting my day out with the Lord is so relaxing and comforting, and from it I gain much needed strength to face the day. As Beth Moore says, "Having a good day means hearing from God through His Word." So true.

3.) Make a candlelight dinner for Jeff at least once a month. In order to do this, I must....

4.) Enhance my cooking skills. I wouldn't say I am a bad cook, I just need more practice.

5.) Stop procrastinating!!! For me this will mean getting assignments done ahead of time, staying on top of housework, preparing dinner as soon as I get home, etc.

6.) Get and stay organized. I have never been one of those crazy, label maker kind of organized women, but I hope to do better with it this year. Our spare bedrooms are an unorganized mess right now, so I am going to tackle them first. I have this really neat vision in my head to make one of them a prayer room, so that is what I will keep at the forefront for motivation.

7.) Eat healthier and exercise more. I really have no excuses for not doing either one of these things considering we have a total gym, P90X, and other exercise equipment. Again, I am very sporadic, especially in this area and seem to only stick with it for a short period of time.

8.) Make weekly menu's. I want to try to do some freezer cooking, so making a menu will be imperative. For more on freezer cooking, click on the Money Saving Mom button to your right. She prepares a lot of their meals in advance, freezes them, and cooks them throughout the week for dinner. This seems to be a very efficient method, especially for working women and busy moms.

9.) Drink more water and less coke. 

10.) Continue to work on crafting projects and blog on a regular basis. I know I have said it before, and I will say it again, thank you all so much for taking time out to read my posts. It means so much to me. Thank you for allowing me to literally put my heart down on paper and share it with you. I hope so far you have been inspired, encouraged, and challenged in your relationship with Christ. Because after all, in the end, that is the only thing that is really going to matter.

Well, there it is. There are so many other things I could add to this list, but honestly, I would just get overwhelmed. I will keep you all posted on my progress. Any prayers and words of encouragement are welcomed with open arms. Much love to you all, and Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

All the Pretty Things

     This is a post that I have wanted to write for a while now, but again, as I've said before, I'm a procrastinator. I first had the idea for this post back in September, before I even had a blog. It was just a few days after my birthday and I was up one morning listening to Beth Moore on Life Today. At the end of the show, they showed a clip of different children in Africa who didn't have any shoes, and were asking that donations be made to send shoes to those children for Christmas.
     I had just bought a pair of new shoes from Kohl's the day before, and they were a little uncomfortable, but I decided to give them a try. When I heard about the Christmas shoe drive, I instantly thought to take the shoes back to Kohl's and use the money to send shoes over to Africa. I now look back and realize that this thought was from God, because my next thought was, "but those heels are so cute." Yes, I am embarrassed to share this with you all, but my desire more than anything is to be real. I never want to portray having a perfect, trouble free life, where my relationship with God is never tested.
     I went on about my day and didn't really think much more about the shoes. As I was driving home from class that night, I was listening to a CD that had some new Tenth Avenue North songs on it. One of the songs was called All the Pretty Things. I was somewhat mindlessly singing along, when the Holy Spirit hit me like a ton of bricks. Suddenly I felt the Lord saying to me, "You're loving all the pretty things, Ashley." (The way I usually know that God is trying to get through to me, is when I have a thought I know I could not have possibly thought of on my own.) Tears came to my eyes as I asked the Lord to forgive me and rid me of myself and all my selfish ambitions. I felt so ashamed and embarrassed as I knew there were no excuses, only selfishness. 
     As I have thought more on this, I have learned (and am daily learning) the importance of first time obedience. I have also been thinking about how we place so much importance on material possessions and how in the end, none of it is going to matter. When I face God before the throne, He is not going to care about the house I lived in, the car I drove, if I wore designer clothes (and shoes ;), etc. What he is going to ask is,"How well did you love? Did you love with all that you had and shine my light in a dark world? Did you do everything possible to spread the gospel of my Son, and reach lost souls?" (I don't really know that He will say it like that, but I do know we will have to give an account of how we spent our days on Earth.) The greatest desire of my soul is to hear Him say, "Well done good and faithful servant."
     So, after pondering all these things, I began to look up different Bible verses regarding material possessions, storing up Heavenly treasure, having all our needs met by the Lord, etc. Here are some that I came across:

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in Heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." -Matthew 6: 19-21

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is life not more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?" -Matthew 6:25-26

"Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things." -Colossians 3:2

"Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you." -Isaiah 46:4

"And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus." -Philippians 4:19

"You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing." -Psalm 145:16 

     The book of Ecclesiastes is also jammed pack with different verses about material possessions and such, as King Solomon writes how they are all meaningless. This is coming from a man who had it all; wealth, endless possessions, pleasure, fame, etc. You name it, he had it. He even says in Ecc. 2:10, "I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure." He then goes on to say in verse 11, "Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun." Did you catch it? He described everything he had and had done as, "a chasing after the wind."  
     I get the sense that this is exactly what we are doing; chasing after the wind, trying to fill the void with stuff. I once heard a song that said, "There's a God shaped hole in all of us, and the restless soul is searching. There's a God shaped hole in all of us, and it's a void only He can fill." How true is that? We try to fill the void with anything possible; wealth, materials, relationships... the list goes on and on. However, I can tell you from personal experience, that until you surrender your life to Christ and find pure satisfaction in Him, you will never find rest for your restless soul.
     So, with all these things being said, I want to encourage you to lay all your cares down at His nail pierced feet, and allow the God of all comfort to completely fulfill all your desires. My prayer is the same as that of  the writer in Proverbs 30:8 who said, "Give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread." Let's stop looking at all the pretty things and focus fully on the beautiful One.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Miscellany Monday

     Wow! I cannot believe that Christmas is over and a new year is upon us. Is it just me, or do the years go by faster each year? Anyways, I thought I would do a quick catch up of what's been going on the last couple of days...

1.) My Christmas Eve dinner with Jeff's family went great. We had good quality family time, good food, and lots of nice gifts. I do have to thank Jeff for helping me prepare, as he cooked the ham while I got everything else ready. It's nice to have such a supportive husband.

2.) Jeff surprised me with a getaway to Cool Springs, Franklin Tennessee. I had never heard of it before, but after looking at pictures of the hotel we're staying in and the huge mall that is there, I am so excited to go. He also informed me that there is a Starbucks right beside the hotel, which is music to my ears considering I've been loving me some peppermint mocha's ;)  I am mostly looking forward to getting some yummy tea from Teavana, and a couple of candles from Bath and Body Works. We are also going to tour the Opryland Hotel one day, as Jeff has said it is absolutely incredible inside. I will be sure to take plenty of pictures!

3.) Christmas day was a blast. We began the day by going to my parents house, where my mom made a delicious breakfast casserole and we exchanged gifts. We also had a very special guest from Malaysia with us this year. My brother went on a mission trip to China back in May where he met a lot of new friends. Well, one of those friends just so happened to be in Ohio for an internship, so my brother went up and got him, and he will be staying with him until Sunday. His name is Boon and he is here to train professional athletes. He is very friendly, funny, and fit right in with the family.

4.) I have been so lazy today. Seriously, this is the first productive thing I've done all day. I know that sounds so bad, but I have literally been going pretty much non-stop since Thursday, so my body needed some down time. And let's face it, everyone loves a lazy day every now and then. However, tomorrow I plan on getting up early for some much needed quiet time. After that I have errands to run, cleaning up to do, and then we are going to my parents house for dinner and hanging out with Boon.

5.) I received $30 in itunes, which I am so, so excited about. The David Crowder Band's last CD comes out on Jan. 10, and I cannot wait to get it. I am a huge Crowder fan and am so sad that their journey as a band is ending. I understand their reasons, but their music has had such an impact on my life that it is just sad to see them go. Here is their newest song with the lyrics below. Hope you enjoy it. Have a great night!

This place is trying to break my belief
But my faith is bigger than all I can see
What I need is redemption
What I need is for You to put me back on my feet

I swear I'm trying to give everything
But I feel I'm falling, oh make me believe
What I need is resurrection
What I need is for You to put me back on my feet
If I could feel You shine Your perpetual light
Then maybe I could crawl out of this tonight
If I could feel You shine
Oh let me feel You shine
So beautiful and warm
So beautiful and bright
Like a sun comin' out of a rainy sky
Oh let me feel You shine Oh,
Let me feel You shine

I lift the knife to the thing I love most
Praying You'll come so I can have both
What I need is for You to touch me
What I need is for You to be the thing that I need

If I could feel You shine your perpetual light
Then maybe I could crawl out of this tonight
If I could feel You shine
Oh let me feel You shine
So beautiful and warm
So beautiful and bright
Like a sun comin' out of a rainy sky
Oh let me feel You shine
God I need a Savior
O come Generous King
O God I need a Savior
To come rescue me

Oh let me feel You shine Your magnificent light
Then maybe I could crawl out of this tonight
If You let me feel You shine
Oh let me feel You shine
So beautiful and warm
So beautiful and bright
Like a sun comin' out of a rainy sky
Oh let me feel You shine

Let me feel You shine
Let me feel You shine

Friday, December 23, 2011

Our Salvation has a Name

     Can you all believe it...only 2 days until Christmas. My heart saddens as I type that, and I can't believe it's gone by so fast. As I have been cleaning my house today, I have been listening to 88.5 as they are doing their 88.5 hours of non-stop Christmas music. This song has been played quite a few times and I've been loving it. I never really thought about the fact that our salvation does truly have a name, and it is the name above all names. Jesus. The sweetest name I know. Isaiah prophesied the coming of our Savior when he said, "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." -Isaiah 9:6 Aren't you so thankful that Jesus came to be with us in the flesh, to dwell among us, and change our world forever? I know I am. As we are getting closer to celebrating the birth of our Savior I would encourage you to think about how God loves us so much, that He was willing to send us His Son, Emmanuel, which means God with us. Merry Christmas Eve Eve!!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Redneck Family Christmas

     Last night was a blast!!! We had so much fun and everyone's outfit was hilarious. I have been very busy with cleaning today, as I am preparing my house for Jeff's family to come over for dinner on Christmas Eve, but wanted to take a moment to share some pictures with you all. Hope you enjoy :)
 Dysfunctional Family # 1
 The Troutmans. After seeing what everyone else was wearing, I considered myself to be a high class redneck. Do you like Aaron's "dip cup?" He cut the bottom of a water bottle off and put melted chocolate in it.

Dysfunctional Family # 2
 The Miles'. Hannah claims she's "pregnant" with Bieber's baby! 

Dysfunctional Family # 3
 The Markwells! (Love Izzy's facial expression.)

My brother Aaron. I will have to admit, he probably had the best outfit. It's all in the wig:)

My cousin Brandon and her husband Brandon. All I can say is, "Wow!"

The Farmer and his daughter. 
 My mom and her sisters. This is the funniest picture I've ever seen of them!

     As you can see, we had a really good time and have decided that next years theme is going to be, "A Ghetto Family Christmas!" I can't wait!!! I am going to try to post something tomorrow, but won't promise anything. Hope you all have a great night.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Miscellany Monday

     This week is going to be jammed pack with Christmas activities. On Wednesday night we will going to my Aunt Tammy's house to have dinner and exchange gifts. Two years ago my brother thought it would be really funny to show up in tacky Christmas sweaters. Of course Jeff and I, both having the sanguine personalities that we do, agreed that we'd show up wearing something ridiculous. So, Jeff showed up dressed like Cousin Eddie and I was his wife. He wore these outrageous baby blue pants with a skin tight cream turtleneck, and I wore a ragged plaid skirt (which may be used for this year as well) with this old Christmas sweater of my moms. I also added these huge, tacky earrings that were my mother-in-laws back in the day, and a handmade ribbon. (You know the kind that you wrap around gifts and can take scissors and make it curly?) It was absolutely hysterical. I so wish I had some pictures to show you.
      Anyways, every since that year, we have wanted everyone to dress in goofy outfits, and this year we have chose a red-neck theme. I am really not sure what I am going to wear yet. As I said before, I think I am going to incorporate the plaid skirt into the outfit and I'm not sure about the top. However, I do have a pair of coveralls that I will be wearing over my outfit for our entrance. No worries, I will definitely have pictures to show you all. I also googled handmade red-neck gifts, and came across the idea of putting dry beans into a zip-lock bag and labeling it, "Red-Neck Bubble Bath." I would like to do something more, but time is not going to allow me to do so.
     This will be the kick off of the Christmas festivities and will be followed by attending Christmas Eve service at church, hosting Jeff's family for dinner and gifts, going to my parents house for breakfast and gifts on Christmas day, and then going to my Aunt Rosie's house that afternoon. Needless to say, we will be going non-stop for a few days. With that being said, I am warning you in advance that I may not be very consistent with my blog posts. I am going to try to post a marriage tip tomorrow, and may be able to post on Thursday, but after that, I may be MIA for the rest of the week. Thank you all for being patient with me. I think that is all I have for tonight, but will leave you all with this...

"Have a Real Grand Christmas!"

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Sunday Worship Song

     A lady from the worship team sang this song today at church, and it was so beautiful. They showed a video that went along with it and made it very moving. This song is off of The Story CD, which is definitely going to be the first album that I purchase with my i tunes gift cards that I get for Christmas. One of my favorite female Christian artists, Nichole Nordeman, wrote all the songs on the album and it takes you from the beginning to the end of the Bible through songs. Being the music lover I am, I cannot wait to get this. Anyways, this song is sang by Francesca Battistelli, and is written from the perspective of Mary. Our sermon today was on faith, and as our pastor pointed out, if it wasn't for the faith of Mary and Joseph, there would be no story. 
     As I put myself in Mary's shoes, I wonder what my response would have been when Gabriel announced that I would give birth, knowing full well that I was a virgin. What a disgrace she would now be considered to her family and community. What a slap in the face to Joseph, her finance, who also knew full well that there was no way the child in Mary's womb was his. What great faith Mary had when she said to the angel, "I am the Lord's servant. May it be done to me as you have said." I would like to think that I would have given the same response as Mary, but how could I ever say for sure that I would have been so willing to do so. After all, when Mary accepted this task she ran the risk of being stoned to death, losing Joseph, and, as I said before, disgracing her family. What a mature and selfless young woman Mary had to be to set all these things aside and simply trust her God. How I pray to have that kind of faith. Strong, courageous, unwavering.
     Not only did she have faith when the angel told her she would be with with child, but think about the journey along the way. As my pastor also pointed out, there could not have been a worse time for a census to be issued when Mary was so close to giving birth. The distance from Nazareth to Bethlehem was about 80 miles. I have not yet experienced what it's like to be pregnant, but I have a lot of friends who have, and I would guess that they would definitely pass on traveling 80 miles, on a donkey, while being 9 months pregnant. Not only that, but then going into labor and giving birth in a stable. If I were Mary I'm sure I would have thought to myself, "This is the Messiah, the Son of God, and he is going to be born in a stable?"                
     However, the thing I love most about God is that He can redeem anything and make it beautiful, and how beautiful it is to think our Savior entered the world in such a state of humility. He deserved so much more than a stable and a manger, but as the Bible tells us He, "Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-even death on a cross!" (Phil 2:6-8)
     What a sweet, sweet Savior that we serve. Jesus did not deserve the cross, but yet He knew it was the only way to save us, so that we may have the hope of eternity.  I am so thankful that Jesus did not stay a baby. He choose to live and die on the cross, and after resurrecting, is now sitting on the throne at the right hand of God, waiting for the day when He can come and rescue us. I am looking so forward to that glorious day friends, and I pray that you are too. Over the next few days let's meditate on the humble way that Jesus came to this earth during His first coming, and gladly rejoice in the hope of His second coming, where He will forever reign as King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. Until then, I pray that God would make my heart a dwelling place for Him, and that I may have such an immoveable faith as Mary and Joseph.

My favorite part of this song is:
I'll hold you in the beginning
You will hold me in the end
Every moment in the middle
Make my heart Your Bethlehem
Be born in me

I also love this song by Mercy Me, which was written from Joseph's perspective. He also displayed a great faith when he trusted what the angel told him, and took Mary as his wife, and ultimately became Jesus' earthly father. I hope you all enjoy both of these songs as we celebrate the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Have a great night.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Marriage Tip Tuesday

     It has been entirely too long since I've posted a marriage tip, and for that I apologize. When I told Jeff it had been over a month since I've done a Marriage Tip Tuesday post, he jokingly said, "Oh great, marriage must be going bad." I can assure you, that is not the case, I just got really busy with school work and have had a lot of family/church events lately. Speaking of... Last Tuesday my church hosted a women's event with guest speaker Esther Burroughs. I had never heard of her before, but what a delight she was. She was so full of Godly wisdom and told lots of interesting stories.
     One of the stories she shared was that, when she was a young wife and mother she often felt very lonely, due to the fact that her husband was a full time minister who was very dedicated to his ministry. She told of a day that she went to visit her neighbor who was an older woman and a member of her church. Esther sat down with her and began to tell her of her loneliness and asked the woman to say a prayer and ask God to change her husband. The woman held Esther's hand and began to pray with her. She said the woman just kept thanking God over and over again for Esther's husband and the kind of husband, father, minister, man of character, etc. that he was. Esther said she kept thinking to herself, "Okay God, when is she going to ask you to change my husband." She then went on to say that, by the end of that prayer, she couldn't wait to get home and get her hands on her husband because she made him sound so good.
     I thought that was such a cute story, but also a good lesson for us as wives. It is so easy when we are frustrated with our husbands to think, "If he would just change and do..., then I wouldn't be so upset." However, this is a dangerous place to go and can be very harmful to a marriage. The next time you get upset with your husband, (and I'm speaking to myself here, too) instead of wishing he would change, let's begin to thank God for making him the man he is, and ask for God's wisdom to be a better wife. My prayer would go something like this... "Thank you Lord for giving me Jeff and allowing me to be on this journey with him. Thank you Lord, that he is a Christian man who seeks to do your will. Thank you for letting him love me so well. Time after time, Your tender heart and love for me has been displayed through Jeff, and I thank you for that. Thank you for the provider he is for our family. Please fill him with your Spirit daily, and please give me the wisdom to know how to love Jeff and be the wife that he needs me to be. Amen." 
     Speaking of a marriage prayer, I came across this sweet, amazing song the other day, and couldn't wait to share it with you all. What a sweet prayer and a good one to pray over your spouse on a daily basis. Hope you all enjoy this song as much as I did. Have a great night everyone!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Sunday Worship Song

     I love this song by Selah, and thought I would share it with you all as well. Happy Sunday Everyone!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Aliens and Strangers

     Today on my way home from work I decided to stop and pick up a few things from the grocery store. As I was walking in, I noticed a woman who was clearly not from here. (If I had to guess I would say that she was from the Middle East.) She had a cart full of groceries and a couple of bags in her hand. I also noticed that she had a very lost and confused look on her face, and she was looking all around the parking lot as if she were waiting for someone. I instantly thought to myself, "I hope someone hasn't left her and she finds whoever it is she's looking for." I was in the store for about 10 minutes, and when I came out I noticed that she was still standing there with that same lost look on her face.
     I almost walked away but felt prompted by the Holy Spirit to go and ask her if she was okay. I walked up to her and said, "Ma'am are you okay?" She looked at me with a surprised look on her face and it was clear she did not speak a lot of English, so I said, "Are you looking for somebody?" She said, "I'm waiting, somebody, come get these," while pointing to her groceries. I wanted to make sure she was okay so I said, "Oh, are you sure you're okay though?" She assured me that she was and I didn't want to be pushy, so I walked away and got into my car.
     As I drove off I felt as if the Lord said to me, "Ashley, you are no different from her." I then suddenly thought of the verse in 1 Peter 2:11 where we are referred to as, "aliens and strangers in the world." That's when it occurred to me that, just like the woman at the grocery store, I too am looking for someone to come and take my load, and His name is Jesus Christ. This world is not my home, but rather a brief stop on a journey to a much greater place. How I am anxiously awaiting for the day when the Good Shepherd comes to rescue His flock, and take us to lie down in His green pastures. With that I say, "Come quickly Lord, come quick."

Monday, December 5, 2011

Miscellany Monday

     Hey Blog Friends! Thought I would take a moment to share some miscellany that has been going on in my life lately. First, I will share our annual cookie day. My mom, three aunts, and cousins all get together around Christmas time to bake cookies. The recipe is from my great, great grandma who was from Germany, and who so graciously shared her recipe of German Lep Cookies (I just had to Google that to make sure I was spelling lep correctly because it sounds like lip:) After seeing the recipes online, I quickly decided that it is not the same recipe that we use, therefore, it is a secret. Muhahaha! are some pics that I took from this years cookie day. 

 This is the "cooling table."

Here is what they look when they are decorated. I did all of the mittens. There were a good dozen or so of them, so they kept me busy for a while. My mom did the adorable snowmen. She is so talented!

More Mittens:)

My Aunt Beverly did these "Rudolph Reindeer."

My Aunt Tammy did these snowmen. So cute!

Our first full table of cookies. By the end of the day, we had three full tables covered.

My little cousin Izzy had a blast decorating the cookies, but mostly enjoyed eating them. (As did I ;)

      I also wanted to share some pictures of my Christmas decorations with you. So here they are...

 This is my nativity scene that was passed down to me from my Mom.

This our "Dancing" Christmas tree that plays music as the lights go in rhythm with the song that is playing. With the title of "Incredible Light Show," who can resist?! Hahaha!

This is my Christmas table scape. Thanks to my mom, as each piece was given to me by her.

Here is a closer look at the dishes. Love em!

 This is our little Charlie Brown Christmas tree that we put in our sun room each year. It was the first tree that Jeff and I bought together and has some of our favorite ornaments on it.

This is our tree in the living room. I have had this tree since the 7th grade, and have had many ornaments that are on it since I was born. 

This is one of my most prized possessions. It was my Granny's and whenever she wanted to start decorating I would race down to the basement, and this is the first thing I would grab. Some of my fondest Christmas memories were made with her.

     Well friends, I think that's all I have for tonight. I still have to make dinner and my soul is longing for some quiet time with the Lord. I love to cuddle up with a cup of coffee, get my Bible, journal, and I Pod, and simply rest in His presence. So, that is what I'm off to do. Hope you all have a lovely evening.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Sunday Worship Song

     I will begin this post with another, all too familiar apology, for my lack of blogging last week. I am going to try to do better this week, but I will not promise anything as this week is jammed pack with Christmas festivities. On Tuesday, I am going to a women's event that my church has each year. On Friday, Jeff and I will be attending Marriage Rocks at church, and on Saturday my cousins are coming over and we are taking them out to look at Christmas lights. So, I would like to say that I will be more consistent this week, but instead I will say that I will do my best. I will definitely be posting tomorrow; I can promise that much. Here is another great Christmas song by Brandon Heath. I hope you all enjoy it.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sunday Worship Song

     So, now that it is officially Christmastime, I have decided that the Sunday worship songs over the next month are going to be Christmas songs. I came across this song a couple of months ago and it is quickly becoming a favorite. I have always enjoyed Joy Williams' music and this is such a beautiful song. I am moved to tears every time I hear it. Like I have said before, the story of Christ's birth is truly amazing and I am completely fascinated by it.  I hope you enjoy this song as well. Hooray for the Christmas season!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

     Hey all! I just wanted to wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving. I'll admit that I am slacking in the blog world and today was a total flop as I did not take one single picture at my aunt's house. I do have a good excuse for being so lazy and that is that I have strep throat and have not felt very good at all today. The morning started out good, but as the day went on my head started hurting again and my throat is swollen on both sides. Anyways, I promise to do better on Christmas day as we will be going to the same place. One of the traditions that I had as a child was watching a Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. I love Charlie Brown specials and this one was one of the best. I hope you feel like a child again as you watch this. I also wanted to say, since it is Thanksgiving, that I am first and foremost thankful for my relationship with my sweet savior Jesus Christ. My gratitude goes so much deeper than my words could express and all I can say is, "Thank You." I am also so thankful for my sweet husband Jeff. He is above and beyond anything I could have ever imaged and my best friend in the whole world. I'm thankful for my loving family (aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.) who are deeply rooted in Christ and have passed that on to me. I have the best mom, dad, brother, and soon to be sister-in-law that I could have ever asked for and I look forward to making many more memories with them. I'm thankful for all my friends near and far, (Love ya Ramber;) and for my closet friend Stacey. You all play such an important role in my life and things wouldn't be the same without you. Lastly, I am thankful for my home, food, clothes, and car. In America we are so blessed, and it is so easy to take these things for granted, but they are truly a privilege to have. I hope you all had a blessed Thanksgiving day. Much love to you all.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Homemade Pumpkin Pie

     Hey Everyone! I made a homemade pumpkin pie tonight, which makes the fifth one that I've made in the last week. (No they were not all for Jeff and I:) Anyways, I have found that the homemade pies, beat the store bought ones hands down. This is not only my opinion, but Jeff's and some of his friends as well. So I wanted to share the recipe with you all. Here it is...

1 15 oz. can of Pumpkin
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons Pumpkin Pie Spice
2 eggs
1 can (12 oz.) Evaporated Milk
1 unbaked 9'' Pie Crust

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, mix well, and pour into pie shell. Bake at 450 for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 and bake for an additional 40-50 minutes. (For me, I do exactly 43 minutes) Let cool, top with whipped cream, and enjoy! 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sunday Worship Song

     This is such a powerful song by David Crowder and a beautiful reminder of just how much He loves us. Listen to it and believe it with all of your heart, because the depth of His love for us has no end my friends. Have a great night.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Miscellany Monday

     Well, another Monday has come and gone. Oh, how the days fly by. Anyways, I really don't have a lot to share tonight, but, I wanted to share some pictures from Shine. (The disabilities prom at my church) I know it's been over a month since we attended, and I had planned on writing a special post for this. However, being the procrastinator that I am, I haven't gotten to it yet. 

This was the sweet girl that my brother and his fiance had the privilege of escorting.

Jeff and I in our "Under the Sea," attire:)
Aaron and Me. 
My Wonderful Parents. (Don't they look cute in their Hawaiian clothes?!)

Our dear friend Bruce. He is an incredibly Godly man who has a heart for serving and for mentoring other men. It is such a privilege to know him. (He was a little embarrassed by the wig, but I finally talked him into wearing it:)
 A family group picture with a few of the participants.
     It was such a fun night and I am already looking forward to serving again next year. Words cannot explain what an awesome feeling it is to make the participants smile. This is their night to "Shine" and our night to let His light Shine. I also cannot tell you how blessed I feel to be serving side by side with my family. I realize in the society we live in today, it is a rare thing to see a whole family in church and serving together. It is definitely something I don't take for granted. Had God not intervened in each of our lives, there's no telling where we would be right now. I love each and everyone of my family members and am so proud of them all.


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sunday Worship Song

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”-John 8:12

Friday, November 11, 2011

Baking Up Some Love

     So, Jeff and I have officially deemed Friday nights as, "lazy nights." A couple of our favorite shows come on, so we have been cuddling up on the couch for the last couple of weeks. Well, tonight we went to Wal-Mart to get a pizza and some snacks when we came across this....

 Chocolate Peppermint Cookies with Creamy Peppermint Icing!!!
What love!

     How my heart was leaping for joy:) I love anything that is chocolate and mint, so this was right up my alley.  They are in the oven now and I am anxious to get them out and icing them. Jeff and I did a little taste test of the icing and it was pure bliss! What's that sound I hear? Could it be the timer? My cookies are finished and we are going to thoroughly enjoy them . Hope you all have a great Friday night.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday

     Hello Friends! Since I haven't done this segment in a few weeks, I thought I would share some of the things I've been loving lately.

1.) Thai Food. So, Jeff and I had not been out to eat Thai food for a long time. (I can honestly say that it was Sept. 30 because it was the night Courageous came out. For me, that's a long time to go without Thai food:) Anyways, after work I called Jeff and asked him if we get some takeout and he agreed that would fine. I got my favorite dish called Pad See Ew. It's a combination of rice noodles, chicken, broccoli, sweet black bean sauce, and lots and lots of spices. It was such a nice treat and tasted even better considering this chilly night we are having.

2.) I am loving this time of year. I am really excited that Thanksgiving is just right around the corner, and  love everything about Thanksgiving day. I wake up early to bake whatever I am taking to my Aunt's house (usually pumpkin crisp), watch the Macy's parade, and then we're off to my Aunt's house to spend the day with our family. The richness of the quality time we spend together is priceless. Not to mention the food. Oh the food is just simply splendid! I am convinced that my Aunt Rosie is the best turkey baker in the country, and the gravy she makes...don't even get me started. She has also started the tradition of making a huge pot of wassail each year, which besides coffee, is my favorite winter drink. 

3.) Today (along with everyday) I am loving my husband. He has been a little anxious about some things lately and I just wanted him to know that I love him, believe in him, and have full confidence in him. I am praying that God would give him the peace that passes all understanding (Phil. 4:7), and that he would be still and know that He is God. (Psalm 46:10)

4.) Lastly, I am loving this song by Audrey Assad. It was sang at my church last year around Christmas and it is such a beautiful song. It is truly crazy to think that Jesus, God's Son, came to earth in such a humble way. Like the song says, He could have came in such a powerful way, but yet He chose to come as a helpless babe. I am still fascinated by the Nativity story. What a sweet Savior we serve.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Sunday Worship Song

     I just heard this beautiful song for the first time and it is definitely one of my new favorites. As Christians, we are called to let our lights shine bright so that others may see the light of Christ's love and turn to Him. As the Holiday's are upon us, what better time of the year to let His light shine. I would encourage you and your family to generously give to whatever organization you are passionate about. A few good ones that I can think of are World Vision, Operation Christmas Child, The Angel Tree, Salvation Army, etc. Let's show others locally and around the world just how much their Savior loves them. Much love to you all! Have a great Sunday evening.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

And So It Begins....

     As you can see, I am really excited for Christmas! I woke up this morning and a Christmas movie was on TV, which only added to my anticipation to start decorating.  So, for most of the day that is what I'm going to be doing. And of course, you know I'm blasting my Christmas music as well. Right now I'm loving Matthew West's new CD. Have a great day everyone!!!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Miscellany Monday

Happy Halloween!!!

     So, I have to admit that I am not the biggest Halloween fan in the world, but I do enjoy it to an extent. My family and I had a lot of fun last night enjoying chili and carving pumpkins. Here is a picture of the ones we carved. 
 I wish the picture was better. I did the mummy one and the large jack-o-lantern. Jeff did the two small jack-o-lanterns. 
     Now that Halloween is pretty much over, I am getting in full Christmas mode. Throughout the next couple of days I will be taking my Fall decorations down and putting my Christmas decorations up. I can't wait!!! Once I get my trees and other decorations put out, I will take some pictures and post them.  Starting tomorrow I will also begin to blast my beloved Christmas music. David Crowder has a new Christmas CD out that I am so anxious to get. Until then, here is a little Christmas song preview;)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sunday Worship Song

     I can't believe it's already Sunday again; time goes by so fast. It took me awhile to pick a song today, but I've settled on this one by The David Crowder Band. They are mine and Jeff's favorite band and this song actually plays a part in our story as a couple. I hope you all have a blessed Sunday as you praise our wonderful Savior.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Bittersweet Reality

     Well, I'm back from vacation and can't believe how fast time flies. We had such a wonderful time and could have probably stayed a couple more days. However, I was really starting to miss my sweet doggie Starbuck, sleeping in my own bed, and showering in my own shower. So it's bittersweet; good to be back, sad to be back. (Mostly sad to return to work and all the demands that life throws our way.) Anyways, I thought I would share some pictures of our purchases with you. We mostly bought new additions for our Christmas decor, which by the way, starting next weekend my blog will be all decked out with all things Christmas. Call me crazy, I don't mind. To me a month is not long enough to celebrate the birth of our Savior, look at all the sparkling lights, smell all the wonderful smells of baking, and listen to the jolly sounds of Christmas music. At the Lemr household we become like little children during this season. We also got a jump start on our Christmas shopping by purchasing a few gifts. (I will not be sharing pics of these items due to the fact that my family members read my posts and I wouldn't want to spoil anything.)

     A cute snowman tower. I think I'm going to 
     put this beside our Christmas tree.

Snow Owls! These are actually cuter in person and I have
    an idea for them. (I'll share next weekend!)

    A cute Christmas village that lights up and 
   plays music. The Santa also spins around.

 Here are the jeans that I got for only $23!

     We also made many Starbucks runs and did lots of eating out which is a very special treat for Jeff and I. We left on a set budget and actually spent less than what we anticipated. May I also say how much it enriched our marriage. We had lots of good talks in the hot tub and over coffee, and just enjoyed being with each other. If there is any way that you and your spouse can get away for a little while, I highly recommend it. Here are a few more pictures taken from the trip:

  I already miss all of the beautiful scenery.

 I am going to try to make one of these.
 It's mostly made of Styrofoam and felt.

      This was our last day in Gatlinburg:(

     Well, that's all I've got for now. Have a great night!