Tuesday, December 31, 2013

new endeavors... new goals... new year.

I love starting a new year..... I've always loved fresh starts.
This year we made a list of things we loved about 2013... ways we've grown, things we've learned, blessings we've seen... and then we made a list of changes we would like to make in 2014. Afterward, I chose a scripture that I felt correlated with their pursuits for this year and will pray those over them. Bring it on 2014!

Monday, December 30, 2013

our Christmas service.

  Many thanks to my sisters for taking pictures.... I didn't even take my camera out!

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lovin' on our neighbors.

I go back and forth in my love of homemade gifts.
Some years I think it's the effort that counts.
Other years I am convinced that gift cards are way more fun than my creativity.
This year we decided to opt for homemade presents for our neighbors.
[Have I mentioned lately that we have the best neighbors EVER?]

We survived through the Christmas craze and focused on making New Year gifts.
Our go-to this year was Homemade Hazelnut Hot Cocoa and Cinnamon-Sugar Pecans.
I'm pretty sure they are going to be a hit... especially with invites to come skating in our backyard!
Hazelnut Hot Cocoa
1 cup cocoa powder (Dutch-process preferred)
2 cups powdered sugar
2½ cups powdered milk (or non-dairy milk)
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons corn starch
1/3 cup dry Hazelnut creamer
Mix dry ingredients all together. Serve 1/3 cup of cocoa mix with 1/2 cup of hot water.

Cinnamon-Sugar Pecans
This is our GO-TO gift anytime we are in a time crunch. Always a crowd-pleaser.
2 lbs pecans (we use the Costco bag)
2 egg whites
3 tsp. vanilla extract
2/3 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup white sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup cinnamon
Wish egg whites and vanilla until frothy. Mix in nuts and coat evenly. Pour over mixed dry ingredients and toss. Pour on baking sheet and place in 275 degree oven... 20 minutes on one side, then flip nuts and 20 minutes on the other side.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Crazy J strikes again.

Took a head-dive into the coffee table just in time for Christmas.
This kid is such a trooper.
We are actually surprised it took him this long to make it to urgent care.
Always keeping us on our toes....

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


I knew Ronnie Smith.
I grew up with his family.
His parents were my youth leaders.
I swam in his pool, played in his basement and ate his parent's amazing cooking.
Growing up, he was just a boy.
A boy who would annoy his sister and I when we were downstairs perfecting our dances, threatening to tell everyone at school how weird we were. I told him I didn't care... he knew that I did.

A few years ago he moved to North Africa with his young family to further the Gospel to a people who hadn't experienced God's love. To say I was inspired by this move would be an understatement... I was challenged, and slightly jealous.
A life filled with the purpose of God.
A life set apart from materialism, showmanship and narcissism.
A life laid down for others.
A life of love... true love.

 His sacrifice challenged mine.
It still challenges mine.
He is a hero... not only because he died for Christ, but because he truly lived for Him.

You left a legacy that wasn't necessarily your intent.
You desired to show God to a people who didn't know Him, and in turn you also challenged the people who claim Him as their Lord to do the same. You marked our life with a question.... a question that we should have asked a long time ago: What are we truly here for?

That question will haunt every decision we make, every breath we take, every place we find ourselves... and I pray that through the tears of loss, we will find purpose, destiny and calling.

You will be in our stories to our children late at night... the man we reference when we talk about passion, faithfulness and mission... the heart we long to fashion ours after as the years go by.
We love you. You will be forever missed.

"Pray that many will see the passion of this young couple and stand in His gap to fulfill the great commission. 'Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. . . . Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.' —Revelation 2:10"
-Benny Matthews

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