Tuesday, October 30, 2012

As for Me and My House-Week 4

     Thanks so much for joining me for the fourth and final week of this series. I have had so much fun sharing my thoughts and tips with you all and hope you have enjoyed it as well. Since we are getting ready to enter the Christmas season, which is a time for peace, I thought I'd end with just that...peace in the home.

     We all long for peace in our homes, dont' we? However at times the demands of life get so overwhelming that conflict and miscommunication are inevitable. But, take heart friends...we can set an atmosphere of peace in our homes. I love the idea that Courtney from Women Living Well had of lighting a big candle in your home and praying for peace each time you walked by and saw the warm, serene glow of the flame. I love, love, love candles so this is a technique I've adopted for our home. Each time I walk by and notice the flickering, I instantly pray that our home and marriage would be one of peace, love, and joy. I also then take a minute to pray for the safety of my husband, and thank God for all of the blessings he has so graciously given me. I am so undeserving but bask in the goodness of his glory and loving-kindness.

     Another way to add peace is by playing positive music. It's not unusual for Jeff to come home to me cooking in the kitchen while listening to our local Christian radio station or some other Christian album. Some of my fav's are Steven Curtis Chapman, Casting Crowns, Jeremy Camp, and Bethany Dillon. All elements affect the atmosphere of peace in the home, including sounds, so why not fill you home with joyful noises unto the Lord.

     Lastly, (and I know I've touched on this before) pray for peace in the home and ask God to give you the wisdom to discern anything that is threatening the peace of your home. Some examples of this may include constant arguing, watching inappropriate movies/shows, listening to distasteful music, etc. Our home should be our haven and a safe place to land after a long day. We should want to come home and enjoy being there!

     As the holiday's are upon us, I pray that we will look to the Prince of Peace and strive to be Proverbs 31 women who look to the needs of our family and home before ourselves. Happy Homemaking everyone! Thanks again so much for joining me on this journey. You all are the best!

Remember that Steven Curtis Chapman album I mentioned earlier? This is by far one the best songs that he has ever written and is such a peaceful worship song. Sometimes I turn this on and just sit quietly with my eyes closed worshiping our wonderful Heavenly Father.  Not to mention the crazy, powerful lyrics....

Come rest your head upon his breast
Listen to the rhythm of his unfailing heart of love
Beating for His little ones
Calling each of us to come
Be still, Be still


This one gets me every time. I imagine myself just crawling up in God's lap, laying my head on his broad chest and listening to His heart. With every beat I can hear Him say, "Be still my child. I've got you; you're safe. I created you for my pleasure. You are fearfully and wonderfully made, and I love you more than anything in the world." God is so good, isn't He? Be blessed this week, friends.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sunday Worship Song

     I love this powerful worship song by Kari Jobe. The Bible tells us that when we seek God with all of our hearts, He will be found. (Jer. 29:13) Sometimes face down before God, is the best place we can find Him and receive His peace, love, and joy. I have been belting this song all afternoon and love the truth that it speaks. Even when our hearts are broken or our fear consumes us, God is still God and He is a faithful Father who can be trusted by His children. Fall on your knees today, friends...I promise you'll find Him there.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

As for Me and My House-Week 3

     Hey everyone! So glad you're joining me for week three of this series. Can you all believe that it's been three weeks since we've started? It's crazy how fast time flies. Tonight I wanted to discuss having a home that is filled with joy. With all of the negativity that surrounds us on a daily basis, it can be easy to bring that same negative attitude into the home. However, we can have homes that are filled with complete, crazy joy.

     One way I like to create joy in my home is by filling it with lovely scents. I love to bake and for me it is a huge stress relief. Not to mention the way it makes my home smell. Besides, who doesn't like to walk into a home that is filled with the smell of fresh baked cookies or bread? Just the other night I made my first pumpkin roll, and while it didn't turn out to be the prettiest thing I've ever made, it tasted great and the appearance had Jeff and I rolling in laughter. Take a look for yourself...

See what I mean? It fell apart and stuck to the towel. But hey, it was a learning experience and I learned that next time I need to pour less of the batter onto the cookie sheet. I'll be making another around Thanksgiving and hopefully the presentation will be much better. I'll let you know. I would highly suggest making this if you are a pumpkin fan, plus it was super easy. Click here for the recipe.

     As homemakers our goal should not be perfection. At times, we are going to bake pumpkin rolls that fall apart, have windows that are streaked, and craft projects that are a total flop. The key is learning to laugh at ourselves and learning to extend grace to ourselves. After all, what better way to spread joy in the home than filling it with laughter. Which brings me to my second point...

     Laugh. together. often. Bring back family game night. Watch a funny movie. Have a pillow fight. Whatever it may be for your family, just enjoy the quality time together and laugh until you cry.

     Lastly, I was thinking about the song we used to sing in Sunday school that went a little something like this...J.O.Y., J.O.Y., this is what it means..Jesus first, yourself last, and others in between. I began to think about the truth in this song in terms of keeping Jesus at the forefront, and putting others needs before your own. Again, just as we talked about last week, serving can be a source of joy. After all, Jesus, the Son of God, did not come to be served but to serve. (Mark 10:45) Let's look to His example of showing unconditional love to the members of our family, and see if our homes are not filled with joy overflowing in the process.


Monday, October 22, 2012

Fall Photo Fun

     Jeff and I have been married for a little over five years now, and I thought it would really nice to have some couples pictures made. So, that is exactly what we did yesterday. I want to say a HUGE thank you to my mom who so graciously took time out of her day to take pictures of us. Love you, Mom :) Here are some of my fav's...

Here are a few that didn't quite make the cut...
We like to call this one The Zombie! Haha!
     As you can see, we had a really great time together and I feel so blessed to call this man my husband. I love him more than words could say and look forward to many, many more years together. 
*We will resume Week 3 of the As For Me and My House homemaking series tomorrow. I was too anxious to share these pictures today :) 



Sunday, October 21, 2012

Sunday Worship Song

     Hello friends! Sorry this is so late, but Jeff and I have been taking couples pictures at a local state park and just got home not too long ago. It was such a beautiful day and the scenery was beautiful. You can't help but feel God's goodness and love all around when you are surrounded by His beautiful creation. I thought of this song many times today, and wanted to share it with you as well. Enjoy the rest of your Sunday!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Our dream in a Song

     I just heard this new song by Brandon Heath. A-mazing! Our dream is to move out to the country one day where there is nothing but hills, daffodils, and lots and lots of love. We would really love to have a small farm with a horse, chickens, donkey, and who knows- maybe even a cow. Haha! Anyways, this song sums it up perfectly, and we just may have had a little slow dance to it. ;)  Hope you all enjoy it, too! Have a great night.

Monday, October 15, 2012

As for Me and My House-Week 2

     Welcome back, friends! So glad you're joining me for week 2 of this series. Today I wanted to discuss what it looks like to have a home filled with love. Love should be our number one priority, and our driving motivation. The Bible tells us that if we give all we possess to the poor, and have faith that can move a mountain, but don't love... we have nothing. Love was most certainly the language that Jesus spoke, and we should therefore speak that same kind of love into our families and homes.
     We can fill our homes with love in many ways. One way would be to speak words of encouragement to the members of our home. Build them up when they are in the home, because when they are outside of it, there are so many voices that will try to tear them down. We need to be purposeful to speak words of life to them, and not let any unwholesome talk come out of our mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (Eph. 4:29)

     Another way to show love in the home is by serving your family. Acts of service speak volumes when it comes to loving our families with all we have. Think about all the tasks we do as the women of the home. We make meals, we wash dishes, we wash clothes, we sweep, we mop...the list goes on. I personally have come to thoroughly enjoy cooking and cleaning, because for me, I see it as a way to show love to my husband. After working all day, I know he appreciates coming home to a warm meal and clean house. Some women would think I'm crazy for the statement I'm about to make, but I can honestly say that I love serving my husband. Yes, let me repeat that... I love to serve my husband!

     When we first married I was not a good housekeeper. I'm embarrassed to admit that, but it's the truth. We were newly married, I began a new career which required me to take college courses one night a week, I was involved in Bible study one night a week, and I did childcare at church one night a week. By the weekends, I just wanted to relax. I now realize that this was not only lazy, but very selfish of me as well. When I stopped looking at cleaning house as more and more for me to do, and started looking at it as a way to serve and show love to Jeff, it changed my whole mindset. It was no longer about me, but him.

     I have now found that it is so much easier to maintain a clean home. Obvious, I know... but sometimes my stubbornness causes me to be a slow learner ;) My typical cleaning schedule consists of dishes daily, laundry and vacuuming every other day, and a deep clean once a week. My deep clean consists of mopping the floors, scrubbing the toilet and sanitizing the bathroom, wiping down countertops, stovetop, etc., and vacuuming again. (I'm a little OCD when it comes to vacuuming my carpet. I just love to always see the lines, that's all :)

     By following this schedule during the week, it gives me the weekends to focus on other things that would otherwise be overlooked or forgotten. For example, two weekends ago my goal was to get all the baseboards wiped down, as well as the vents, and windows. Then, this past weekend I was able to oil the hardwood floors, cabinets, coffee tables, and bedroom furniture. This weekend, I plan on tackling our utility room...again. Is it just me, or is this one of the most difficult areas to keep clean?

     Lastly, a way to show love in your home is by simply showing affection. Don't be afraid to shower your family with hugs and kisses. I love getting a hug from my husband at the end of a long day and it fills me with so much peace to know that no matter what happens during the day, I get to come home to him. Besides, who doesn't appreciate a good hug? :)

     My challenge for you this week is to fill your home with love by using encouraging words and affectionate touch. These two are the most important. Then, if time allows, I would encourage you to pick one area of your home that could use a little TLC and tackle it. If cleaning is not a way in which you choose to serve your family, find something that will allow you to serve them. Perhaps for you it could be making a delicious meal.Whatever it may be, serve them well! Happy Homemaking, friends!


Saturday, October 13, 2012

Sunday Worship Song

     I have been loving this happy and upbeat song by Mosteller, and can relate to it so much. I never knew the true meaning of life until I saw His love with my eyes, and it. changed. everything. Had God not intervened when He did, I am convinced that my life would be a complete wreck. I praise Him for lifting me out of the slimy pit; out of the mud and mire; He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. (Psalm 40:2) For this reason, my heart overflows with thankfulness and all I can say is, "Thank you Lord. Thank you. Only by your grace, love, and mercy have I been saved. You are so good to us, precious Jesus." My prayer is that today you would see His love with your own eyes, and overflow with gratitude to the only One who is worthy. Be blessed, friends!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies


     As if I wasn't ready for Christmas enough, making these tonight definitely added to the anticipation. As I was baking them I felt like I was at my aunt's house for our annual cookie day. Anyways, in preparation for an FCA event that my brother is helping to host tomorrow night, I made 6 dozen of these delicious little cookies. I got the recipe from the Hershey's Classic Recipe book, and was pleased with the results. Here's how to make em'...


1 cup (2 sticks) of butter, softened

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup packed light brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 eggs

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups (12 oz. package) Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

1 cup chopped nuts (optional)


Heat oven to 375. Beat butter, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla extract in a large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs; beat well. Stir together flour, baking soda, and salt; gradually add to butter mixture, beating well. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts, if desired. Drop dough by rounded teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. Enjoy!

Monday, October 8, 2012

As for Me and My House- Week 1

     Yay! I am so excited to begin my first ever homemaking series. I'll admit, at first I thought to myself, "Am I even qualified to begin such a series? After all, I have not always been the best at keeping house and goodness knows I still have so much to learn." Then I thought if I felt this way, there must be others who feel the same way...so I thought we could just learn and grow together :) I am so glad you are joining me here, and look forward to the next three weeks of discussing all things home.
     To me, home is a place where you love, grow, laugh, cry, and learn together. It is a place that you want to be and know that when you are there...you are safe. Home is more than just beautiful, expensive decorations and a place to "show off" to other people. It's about the love, trust, and faith that is built fully upon God. Which brings me to my first topic of this series...building your home on the strong foundation of Christ.
     As a Christian, and a striving Proverbs 31 woman, this is of utmost importance to me. So, how can you build a home that is full of faith and Christ's love? One of the easiest and most effective ways is to pray together. There is power in prayer, y'all. Not only can prayer strengthen your home, but it will most definitely strengthen your family. Prayer allows us to see the heart of others, and what is worrying them, or filling them with complete joy.  A few years ago, my Bible study group would do what we called, High-Low. The goal was that everyone would say one high (good) thing, and one low (not so good) thing that happened that day. After everyone shared we would all thank God for the highs in our life and pray that He would help us with the low points in our life. A good time for your family to pray together may be at the dinner table. For others it may be bedtime, or first thing in the morning. It really doesn't matter when you pray together just as long as you do pray together.
      Another way to have a faith filled home is to do daily devotions together. For those of you who are running low on time, there are some really great one minute devotional books out there, such as Jesus Calling, Jesus Today, and Jesus Lives. (All by Sarah Young) There is no better place to be than in His Word together as a family. The bond that this can build is unexplainable. I can't explain it from a human perspective, but I can say from experience that when Jeff and I are in God's Word together on a regular basis, our love is stronger, the laughter harder, and the peace undeniable.
      Lastly, a way to build a faithful home is to literally fill your home with Christian decor. This is a great way to display your faith and a way to witness when guests are over. Here are a few pieces of decor that we have received and purchased over the years...

(Please excuse the glare. I took like 10 pictures and this was the best one.) This is the picture that overlooks our living room, and one of the first items we received when we moved in. (Thanks Mom and Dad :) In case you can't tell, this verse is from Rev. 1:8.
This is a small collage of pictures that adorns our dining room wall.
 An adorable canvas print that describes a Christian marriage. (Once again, thanks Mom and Dad!)
A cute plate holder as you walk into our living room. In case you can't tell, the plates read, Kneel in Faith, Stand in Courage, Walk in God's Love.
     My challenge for this week is to take time to pray together as a family, (don't forget those Highs and Lows :) spend time in His Word, and add at least one piece of Christian decor to your home. Let's strive to be homemakers who fully rely on God and seek out His strength daily. Our job as the woman in the home is not easy, and if we are not looking to Jesus for wisdom and strength, then we will fall. We daily need His perfect and gentle guidance to be able to guide and love our own families well. Without Him we will be like the man who built his home on sand, instead of the true Firm Foundation. Seek after Him this week, friends, as we all strive to create spiritually healthy homes. 
As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. -Joshua 24:15

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Sunday Worship Song

     I love the truth in this song and the way that it reminds us that God is faithful to ALL of His promises. If you are going through a difficult time, I would encourage you to remember that we serve a faithful God who loves us and is for us. None of His promises will return void. He keeps His word, and He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Hold on to Him, friends. Have a blessed Sunday!

(Stay tuned tomorrow for the beginning of my 4 week home making series titled, As for me and My House. I am so excited about this series and hope you will join me!)

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Crockpot Potato Soup

(Picture via Google images)
     I have this yummy soup simmering now and it it smelling lovely. This is my first attempt at potato soup, so we'll see how it goes. By the way, the crock pot chicken and dumplings that I made a couple weeks ago turned out to be delicious. If this soup turns out to be as good...we're in for one tasty dinner! I found this recipe through Pinterest (from there it directed me to this blog) and the ingredients were very budget friendly. The instructions were also super easy. It took me maybe 15 minutes to throw together, if even that. So, with that being said here is the recipe...
1 30 oz. bag of Shredded Hash Browns
3 14 oz. cans Chicken Broth
1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
1/2 Onion
1/4 tsp. Ground Pepper
1 8 oz. pkg Cream Cheese
In a crockpot, combine everything except Cream Cheese. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Add the cream cheese about 1 hour from serving, and keep heated until melted. Serve with shredded cheese, bacon bits, (I'm kicking myself for not getting any bacon bits. Unhealthy, I know...but it would go so well :) green onions, etc. Pretty much whatever you think would be good! Enjoy!
(I just did a little taste test...incredible :)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

A Quick Catch-Up

     I'm am so missing you all here, and after Thursday I will have a lot more time to dedicate to this blog, as my semester will be over. I wanted so badly to post last night, but after taking three quizzes...I was done with thinking for the night. Last week was jammed pack with fun activities...
On Thursday I had coffee with my beloved best friend from high school, Amber. I love this girl so much, and was saddened that our time together was so short. Amber and I have this way of just picking up where we left off, and there is never a quiet moment. It was my first time meeting her sweet baby boy, Miles. He is so precious and most definitely a very content boy. Here's a pic of all of us...

On Friday night, my church held it's annual disabilities prom called, Shine. This is always such an incredible and humbling experience. The presence and love of Christ is undeniable. This year we had the privilege of escorting a sweet young lady who was such a blast!

She was very anxious to play games, so that was our first stop. By the end of the night she had 12 prizes!
Hanging out with the girls!
After taking a picture with Kathleen and I, she requested a pic with "just the boys." :)
This was another young man that we met last year. He is hilarious! :)
Bustin' a Move! She loves to dance.

Stealing a dance with the boys :)
This was such a fun night and as I said last year, this was their night to Shine, and our night to let His love Shine.
On Saturday, Jeff and I went on an early morning walk with my best friend Stacey, her husband, and her daughter for the March of Dimes walk. After that, it was time to prepare for my Aunt Norma's annual Fall Party. As promised, I made the adorable owl cupcakes from Pinterest...
I was very pleased with how they turned out, and they received many compliments :)
Me and my Sweet Husband. I love this guy so much!
My beloved brother and sister-in-law. And, yes...jokes on me as Kathleen's little sister decided to give me bunny ears :)
My awesome parents. Love them!
The hilarious Izzy!
My girls Hannah and Emily.
Mom and Aunt Tammy.
And...last but not least, my Great Aunts Rosie and Norma. I love both of these women so much and they have more influence on me than they'll ever know.
     Okay.Wow, that was a long list! As you can see life has been very full lately but so much fun! I am very blessed to have a wonderful family and they are all so dear to me. I have many more things to share, but it's 12:20 am...and I am ready for bed. Goodnight, friends!