Friday, December 31, 2010

Nine And He's All Mine :)

Happy Birthday to my New Year's Eve baby!

corey's 9th birthday!

Nine years ago, I blinked and when I opened my precious 5lb premie is now 60lbs of tall lanky goofyness!

Things that make me smile:

-you sing and dance to Singing in the Rain whenever it rains...especially down Walmart isles.

-you are obsessed with torMadoes.

-your skinny legs are adorable in pjamas

-Mom, rub my feet (no, Corey rub My Rub My Feet! I love feet wars!)

-You are a momma's boy (always have been, always will!)

We Love You Very Much Big Guy!

Happy 9th Birthday Corey!

Monday, December 20, 2010


Oh come, Oh come, Emmanuel And ransom captive Israel That mourns in lonely exile here Until the Son of God appear  Rejoice, Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, Oh Israel!  Oh come, Thou Dayspring, come and cheer Thy people with Thine advent here; Disperse the gloomy clouds of night And death's dark shadows put to flight  Rejoice, Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, Oh Israel!  Oh come, Thou rod of Jesse, free Thine own from Satan's tyranny From depths of hell Thy people save And give them victory o'ver the grave  Rejoice, Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, Oh Israel! Rejoice, Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, Oh Israel!
I love this song, an emotional reminder of the Redeemer, Light, God with Us....disperse the gloomy clouds of night and Death's dark shadows put to flight!

I have to admit, my spirit has been anything but Christmasy. I've been stuck in a funk that I wasn't able to shake...gloomy, sad...disappointed...wronged! That last feeling took until Saturday to actually rise to the surface. God, I was wronged! It's like the perfect 3 point basket...amazing arch, perfect follow through...straight shot to the hoop...only at the last moment it bounced right out of the rim! My wonderful prayer warrior friend prayed with me Saturday night. God just released me from so much pain, guilt, hurt.

The weight lifted from my heart is indescribable. I'm ready for Christmas a different way, a new meaning for the birth of this Dayspring. After struggling with darkness these few weeks, the refilling of His light is such a that I pray I won't soon forget!

How are you this Christmas season? Happy and filled with good cheer? Overwhelmed? Discouraged? Saddened by a loss? Our church is having a series on Hope and it is amazing, straight to the heart. Please, take a few minutes and listen to our pastor speak....and may the God of Hope fill you to the brim with healing, peace and His love!!!

I'll probably be gone for the rest of the week....lots and lots of crafting going on...and of course, lots of family time! So, if I don't get a chance to get another post in before---Merry Christmas!!!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas Pictures/Pulling My Hair Out!!!

Does anyone else have this problem with Christmas Pictures!?!?!!!

Ugh! It only took 30 million takes before we had one suitable for pictures for the grandparents....and a little shot of peppermint schnapps for the photographer ;)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Primary Christmas

Let's wrap this list up!

Old folks--on Sunday, Kidzlink took the boys and a ton of other kids to a local nursing home where they decorated rooms, visited with old folks and sang carols (and if you were Corey, you did a little booty shakin too!...cracked the staff up!) I am so thankful for these opportunities that Kidzlink gives the kids to serve. We had 3 very excited boys who talked all the way home about their afternoon :)

While they were out, Jim and I watched movie and I finished wrapping balls for my new project!

I saw these beauties here and had to try and make some! After hunting down Anthropologies' version (whew---$68 for less than 6 feet of garland!!!!!) and then searching etsy for colored felt balls, I remembered that I had a huge stash of merino fiber waiting for me to spin up (shyeah...I'm never gonna do all of that!). I even had dye tucked safely away somewhere!!!!

So, here's my version of making your own felt balls (oh man....the joking done while making this project! Delicious Dish....why did you have to make balls So Funny!!!)

Anyway, gotta stop chuckling and start tutorialing ;)

I started with about 6 inch sections of wool. Firmly grasp the fiber and pull...Do Not Cut.IMG01722.jpg

Divide each section in half length-wise. Then with the smaller section pull off about 1/3 and pull it out until it looks like a long fluff. Roll in a semi tight ball. Fluff the remaining 2/3rds and wrap around the small ball. It will look like a large cotton ball. Do this 30 or 40 times in order to make a 8 foot garland, spaced 2.5 inches apart.

Here's a shot of the smaller ball, pulled apart 2/3rds section and a finished ball, just in case I have you totally confused....really, it's not rocket science, just time consuming.

Once you have your balls rolled (ahhahaha), fill your sink with some hot suddsy water. (just think everything you Wouldn't do to a wool sweater).

In one hand hold the fluff ball, with the other gently scoop water on top. Toss ball l of back and forth like you're making a meatball, every once in a while scooping more water on top. Once it seems to have a good felt going on the outside (so you won't unwind your ball), dip it in the water and let it soak for a bit. Next step is to roll it in your hands like rolling a ball of playdough until it feels like a gumball.

Now the fun part! I had dye laying around (my favorite culinary colors is safer and easier to work with than normal yarn dyes)....but you can also use koolaide (not the sugared kind) or gel food dye.

To dye 12 balls, I added 1.5 cups hot water to a mason jar, 1/2 tsp dye and a good glug of white vinegar. Swirl it around, toss in your balls and microwave for 5 min (be careful because it will start to really bubble and might boil over).
Cool, Rinse and Dry.

There you have it! Lots and Lots of felt balls! (this is a gallon sized jar by the way...not a little quart)
With an embroidery needle, thread the balls with crochet thread and viola!


Hang on your wall with book page snowflakes.....
Hang on your tree.....

Make a wreath or a banner....the world is your oyster!

Also, this doesn't have to be just for friend Joyce loves pink so I dyed a few up for her :)

If you're loving the look, but not wanting to go through the hassle....I have a ton of them leftover. I don't have an etsy account, but leave me a message if you're interested! I have 2-10ft garlands that I'll sell for $15 each or $20 for both. I also have a bunch of fiber left if you want something custom!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Cake Walk

Do you ever have one of those weekends where it takes you half the week just to process it all?

Yeah, that was mine....

Friday started it all off with 4 boxes of cake mix, a couple lbs of butter and a the biggest bag of powdered sugar that I've ever seen!

At Thanksgiving, my grandma asked if I could make her a baby shower cake for her neighbor. Alex and her family just moved into the house across the alley and my grandma being the insanely sweet person that she is, decided to throw this stranger a shower for her and her adorable 1 month old daughter!

This is what my kitchen looked like Friday afternoon:
I had visions of a 3 layer cake....1st layer of baby blocks, 2nd a pink layer cake and then some cutesie little booties.

For the blocks, I used a Martha tutorial....tweeked a smidge. I filled a 1/2 sheet cake pan with almost 3 boxes of cake mix. The left over I used to make the cupcakes for the booties (ended up making 6 cupcakes....and needed EVERY single one! stupid cake sticking to the stupid pan!!!!)
So, back to the sheet cake....after the cake had cooled, I cut it in half (width-wise). On one half, I put a layer of frosting and then added the second half on top. This leaves you with a crazy thick cake....cut it into 6 blocks. Frost each block (crumb coat and then your regular colored frosting). Pipe and decorate to look like blocks. I also used each one to spell out "baby" but I highly doubt that anyone noticed!

Up next was the round layer cake. My original inspiration came from a Wilton cake from their website, but I decided to skip the whole "ribbon" look and just do some cute little daisies. The wonderful pink shell edging fell halfway to my grandma's house...thank God that I had the sense to grab the bag of icing just in case!!!!!

Ok...almost there....are you sick of cake (I sure am!). So the booties. If you google cupcake booties you get a whole slew of instructions. Basically you take 3 cupcakes, cut one in half and then flip the other 2 upside down so that the top is on bottom. To the upside down cupcake I frosted a half (also upside down..and I trimmed off the "top" to make it more boot shaped). Crumb coated and then piped it to look like crochet...small star tip with a "W" motion...yeah, I know (seriously rolling my eyes at how ridiculous this is!)
Layer it all together, hold on your lap for an hour while traveling in a snowstorm....pray you don't end up with a frosting rainbow smeared all over your wool peacoat!

The cake was a hit, the shower was cute...the baby..oh, the baby! Cutest little girl with a head full of hair and a plaid bubble skirt...seriously made my womb hurt!!!!!!

Alright, lets check the list....Baby, Cake, on to the Aussie! First I sweetened you up with talk of cake and onto the hard stuff----

Last weekend our church was blessed to have Christine Cain speak. She is a pastor from the Hillsong Church. She speaks all over the world and somehow by the grace of God she made it to our little neck of the woods!

Christine's mission is to abolish injustice in the 21st century......the A21 campaign. Their main focus is to stop human sex trafficing. This video tells a little bit more about it all.

She spoke to us about being the light in the darkness. We are called to be in the world, just not of it....boldly proclaiming hope, not trapped in our holy huddles scared by the big bad devil. It was really inspiring. It was like watering a seed deep in my heart...this dream that we have for Las Cruces and its people. I'm not sure what all this entails, but I'm praying and trying to process it all. There will be further posts on this for sure!

If you're so lead, check out the A21 campaign. These stories are heartbreaking....but Christine and her crew are out there one girl at a time saving lives, giving a hope and a future....loving the lost and afraid with a love that only comes from Jesus!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Random Fatty Friday-ness

So, it's been awhile since my last fatty'd be safe to say that I've been trying very hard Not to console myself with a vat of cookie dough!!! Honestly, I've been pretty good, but haven't walked much (cold weather does nothing for my motivation!). 2 weeks ago, I cleared off the clothes and other assorted junk from the old far I've got 24 miles logged, and 3 blisters.

But one thing I didn't gain was pounds!!! Even with my trusty Aunt Flow visiting And Thanksgiving, I still managed to loose 4 lbs :)

Thank you Jesus that I've been able to finally get back on track since we got back from NM!!!!!!

On another completely random note, lots going on this weekend involving lots and lots of randomness!

-old folks
-an Aussie
-lots and lots of Fun!

Got your curiosity up?

See y'all Sunday-ish!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Random Acts Ideas Needed!!!

I've been brainstorming all afternoon ideas for some quick (and cheap) random acts of kindness for the boys to do this month---kind of like an advent wreath but the treat is helping others!

So here's my question---What are some acts of kindness that you do to share the joy of Christmas?

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Holiday Spirit

I don't know if it's the typtophan or complete exhaustion from everything else, but this lady cracks me up!

This week I walked over 12 miles! (well, until yesterday....when a blister the size of my pinky toe ripped open and now I can't stand to even think about walking!!!!! UGH! I know I'll be better by Monday..Satan, you can't bring me down!)

Have a great weekend! Enjoy your internet magic...hahaha (or should it be hohoho?!?)

***No, I am not at Target...nor will I be there anytime soon this weekend....but, I am not above giving a list to my crazy, wake up at 3, black friday shopping mother!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Sweatin' To The Spirit

Does anybody remember Sweating to the oldies? Seriously, who could forget?!?

This morning, I found something even better---sweatin to the Spirit! Halfway through my 40 min on the treadmill, when I'm sweating, hurting...wanting to just give up and slow the speed down...something happened....a switch flipped. Like usual, I had music going, but usually we can't get the local Christian station in our bedroom so I've been rocking out to the "classic" rock station. This morning it seemed like at that 15 min mark every song just hit me! There I was crying, singing, sweating....clearing all the junk that I've been holding onto for the last few weeks...really, I'm sure that I looked like more of a freak than Mr. Crazy Hair Short Shorts on those Oldies tapes! (thank God that Jim had taken the boys with on an errand)

organs on the way to dripping springs

One of the songs that got the ball rolling was Casting Crowns' I Will Praise You In This Storm....
I was sure by now, God, you would have reached down and wiped our tears away, stepped in and saved the day, but once again..I say Amen..and it's still raining. As the thunder rolls, I barely hear you whisper through the rain "I am with you". And as your mercy falls, I raise my hands and praise the God who gives and takes away.......I lift my eyes unto the hills, where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.

I remember meditating a lot on that Psalm while watching the sun rise over these beautiful mountains....My help comes from you matter what...

I'll put the rest of the songs on my playlist. Maybe someone else will be comforted by the reminder that gratitude and praise is the best medicine for a hurting heart!

Have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Catching My Breath


I feel like I have so much to say, but no words to say breath has been heart is a pile of goo, ripped out and stomped....

Yet, through it matter what...

God Is In Control.

He is still the same, yesterday, tomorrow and today...He is good even when I'm not really feeling like that.

Jim got word last week that he is a semi finalist for the fire postition. As in the pageant world, unless a finalist cannot fulfill his firemanly duties or if they decide to add more cadets, we're done. I just don't even know what to say. We put all of our hope and trust into God's leading and once again, here we sit. Other opportunities have presented themselves..and God still has given us such a heart for Las Cruces...We Will get there...just probably not as we had expected.

I'm disappointed, crushed, defeated.

But, I am not this devistated person. I am still a daughter of the King, loved beyond measure even in my pain.

God still blesses us, stretches us, teaches us to trust in His Soveriegnty.

I've been struggling with how to write this post.

Am I hurting? Yes.

Will I heal? Without a doubt.

This weekend we were blessed to hear a message from Bishop Mpemba...a pastor from Africa that we are affilliated with. It was life breath, straight to our souls.

God does not give you a dream that He cannot fulfill.

It might not look like how we think it should, but even right this very moment, God is working this for our good.

Thank you for all of your prayers and thoughts through this all....we are completely blessed to have such amazing friends!

Bwana Asifiwe! (Praise the Lord!)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

He's Leavin On A Jet Plane

...and I know when he's comin back again....

Jim left this morning for Las Cruces. He has an interview tomorrow....nervous? Yes. Trusting in God to do great things? Yes!

I'm sure we won't know anything right away, but I'll update you as soon as we know something.

He goes in at 9 am their time, 10 for us northerners ;) Prayers would be So Appreciated!

Thank You All :) :) :)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

A Quickie Before We Hit The Road!

Thank You, Thank You for all of the prayers and well wishes!

This past week has been Amazing!

Jim's friends were wonderful and I know that we will have "family" down here too! (how crazy to stay in a house for a week with people I've never met before!!! But, Guy and Mel are wonderful, generous hosts and I love them dearly!)

white sands nat monument
(us at white sands national monument)

So...Jim had his huge physical test this that we were seriously worried about....the pneumonia incident really sucked his strength....would he even be able to pass this super hard course?!?....did we waste all of this time and energy coming down here just to be disappointed?!? what? This morning we spent the entire time in prayer, Jim got an awesome word during his Bible Study and I kept getting led back to David and Goliath...the Lord was with us and we were going to be ok!



His interview will be in a couple of weeks :)

I'm extatic!

All right, well, we're off! Nothing like a 24 hr. drive to bring you back down to the normal world! (and I still have so much more to tell you!)

Thanks again my lovelies for praying! God is so Good!

Cheesburger, Cheeseburger, Cheeseburger....

...and farmer/artist markets

our first night in town, Guy and Mel took us to this little burger joint called Guacamole's. If you're in the area, you have to stop!!! It's got it all: beer, great burgers, fresh potato chips and dining al fresca


we sat next to the fire place, which I'm sure comes in handy with these cool desert nights....but it was beautiful the night we were there! (aren't the little pineapple table numbers awesome?!?)

saturday morning, Jim had his big written test so Guy and Mel took me to the local farmer/artist market downtown.

I really need to grab some of these cute hanging peppers before we leave!
farmer/artist market

this couple was so cute....I could have sat and watched them all day long!

musicians at the farmers market

every week, this gentleman draws a different picture on the square....he does amazing work!

street artist

of course there were plenty of veggies (but we know what they look like!)

oh, the artists though! so cool, so diverse!

farmers/artist market

this man makes light shades out of tin cans! if you get a chance, check him out at Cantastiks!cantastick at the farmers market (too cool--google them!)

the new mexico soaps were pretty cool---lots of neat shapes and scents---and they were friends of Guy and Mel and were super nice!
sweetest soap lady at the market

another street musician.

musician at the farmers market

art is everywhere in the city....

tile on the square at the f.m.downtown farmer and artist market

this will be the new home to the market....I love how the metal rebar and studs will rust and change as time goes by...very NM!

soon to be square for the farmers market

these people are cementing the square with colored cement...the skill and patience involved is mind blowing....all this for something people will walk on!

painted cement in the new square

so, are you bored with our trip yet? I have so much more to show's amazing how much variety surrounds this town...we've only been down here a week and yet I feel like I have begun to tell you anything!

Oh....and Jim passed his first test...hence us staying down here for the week....the next one is today at 10:30 (11:30 our time)...prayers appreciated!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Passenger Side Window View

Ok...moving forward....

deserts-these hills cracked me up, they look like Huge excavation piles, but in the middle of no where

desert hills
we took a short cut down rt. 54, turning off the main highway at Tucumcari--that "rock hill" was ginormous!!!

rt. 54 is LONG...and barren...and no cell phone reception....but really pretty cool...

rt 54

lots of ghost towns...

rt 54

and wind turbines on hills...

rt 54 wind turbines

a couple super small towns....

rt 54

lots of pecan groves...

Pecan fields

and of course, sand!

yep, it's a desert

Jim called his friend, Guy when we hit Alamagordo to get directions into town.....

are we there yet? (getting directions from Guy)

and before we knew it, Las Cruces....which we all know is Spanish for The Cruces ;)

entering las cruces

...old snl skit...Chris Farley as a weather man...anybody?!?....

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Life Is A Highway

what a week!

full of emotions, a total roller coaster of excitement, anticipation, nerves...fear...

we left last thursday at the crack of dawn...actually earlier than dawn, but ya know
heading out---5 am!!!
here we are...2 crazy kids heading out on a journey into the unknown!

ironically last sunday was our 12th wedding anniversary (it's been 12 years since we took the plunge into the unknown, fitting that this would be a trip filled with possible new beginnings!)

Jim had worked the day before, so I took the first shift driving. I made it to just past springfield, mo. we ate some lunch at a rest stop and headed on.

no pics of the first day:

1) because I was busy driving (and singing to the satalite radio's hits of the 90's).
2) Jim took over for the last mile of mo, and just past ok city.
3)OK really isn't all that interesting (especially at night!)--you know that saying a chicken in every pot...well there's a cow in every if steers for miles and miles excites you this is your place!

the next morning, again way too early, I noticed these strange soy bean fields that looked like they had frost on some of their leaves. I asked Jim about this, but I was lucky to have gotten him awake enough to get out of the bed and into the he was no help!

once the sun rose more, I was surprised to see the "bean plants" were really cotton! in all of my sheltered-ness, I have never seen a cotton field before---here's my version at 85 mph (lovin the speed limits in ok and tx!)
amarillo cotton field

near amarillo, we saw the worlds largest cross. there's also a restaurant that advertises a free 72 oz steak...could you imagine?!? I don't even buy pot roasts that big!!!
world's biggest cross (texas rt 40)
finally after putting some serious miles on the rental car we saw this:
welcome to NM
(again, going around 85 as we blew into the state...not to bad considering it was with a cruddy camera phone!)

so far, its been a good trip, a strange trip, and a love of this area keeps growing and growing!