Tuesday, January 29, 2013

R & R

October 2007
A couple weeks ago, Josh took me back to 'our' honeymoon cabin at a nearby Bed and Breakfast to celebrate our fifth wedding anniversary (which was back in October, but things were a bit busy then!).  My mother-in-law watched our two oldest, and our youngest got to tag along with us.  Very little of the cabin had changed, and it still looks like the picture I took five years ago (above), only this time it was snowy outside and of course, nothing was growing.  We went out for lunch and supper, and breakfast was delivered in the morning.  Our time together there was so relaxing and rejuvenating!  And it was extra special going back to where we spent the first couple days of our married life. :)

Cold and Snow

Well, we survived the sub-zero temperatures we saw last week!  Some days were bitterly cold. Especially when there was wind.  And the water pipes survived, too, though they did freeze numerous times.  My hair-dryer came in handy for thawing them out again.

We are definitely back in Minnesota!  I recently overheard a few older ladies in a quilt shop discussing the weather (it was a blustery cold day), and their conversation went something like this:

Quilt Shop Worker- You were brave to come out in weather like this!
Lady Shopper- Well, this kind of weather just begs for us to go out in it, you know, to see if we can master it!
Other Lady Shopper- Yeah, we are hardy Minnesotans!

I chuckled and quietly commented to Josh, You never would have heard that in North Carolina!  There it takes just a few flurries for the stores to be cleared out of milk and bread and for schools to be closed in anticipation of a 'blizzard'!  Gotta love those cultural differences. :) 

We are back to nice winter temps this week...as I'm typing it is 23 degrees.  And last night we got around 10 inches of fluffy snow.  It is so beautiful.  The two oldest boys were playing outside this morning and using dustpans to shovel snow!  I wish I would have thought to snap a picture of them.

Snow accumulation on our back deck
The almost-completely-sided garage with a new blanket of snow
 Hope you all are staying warm!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

From the Kitchen

This has become a new family favorite.  We like how it has a unique flavor...it adds a nice change to our meal selections!

Spicy Thai Noodles

1 (13.25oz) box whole-wheat linguine, cooked
3 chicken breasts, cubed and cooked
1/4-1/2 cup sesame oil (I get this from the Asian food section at Walmart.)
6 Tbsp. honey
6 Tbsp.soy sauce (I use Bragg Liquid Aminos.)
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables, thawed

Mix all together and serve hot.  Enjoy!  Let me know if you come up with any tasty additions or subtractions--there are so many variations you could make with this recipe.

~Adapted from the recipe found here.

Monday, January 21, 2013


Matthew 5:48 states, Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

Does that seem like a tall order?  Does God require the Christian to reach sinless perfection in his or her earthly life?

No, God knows we will not reach that state until we have our glorified bodies.  1 John 1:8 reads, If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

Why then does God tell us to be perfect?  Sometimes I have thought, "If I can never reach perfection, why even try?  Why does God ask me to be what is impossible?"  I love it when I have had a question in the back of my mind and then in church God uses something our pastor says to give me just the answer I need.

Reaching perfection is not the point.  Striving for perfection is what God requires of us.  He knows when one strives for perfection, excellence is produced.

This was such an eye-opener and encouragement to me!

Olympian athletes are not perfect, but they have reached a very high level of excellence in their sport because they earnestly, diligently strive for perfection.  1 Corinthians 9:25 says, And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things.  Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.

Philippians 3:14 reads, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:13 states, I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

We can be excellent Christians.  God has given us the strength to do as He bids.  As we yield ourselves to Him, we become more and more like Him--the Perfect One.
Press on!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Goals for 2013

It is a brand new year for new beginnings!  My goals for this year are listed below.  Some of them are also "our" goals (both mine and Josh's).  I am including what I came up with for my mission statement and theme for the year, along with some encouragement for me in attaining these goals.  There are so many areas of my life where I must be a better steward/caretaker of all God has given me. 

This is my first time really writing down my goals for a year, and I know I did a no-no for newbie goal-setting in creating such a long list of things to tackle.  But for now I am going to leave it that way.  As Zig Ziglar once said, "If you aim for nothing, you will hit it every time." :) I am sure I will be tweaking, changing, adding and/or removing goals as is best throughout the year.  I plan to post a monthly check-in for accountability.  

Flourish in Faithfulness 

Mission Statement
I desire to glorify God by being a wise steward of all He has entrusted to me.

1 Corinthians 4:2
Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.

1 Corinthians 10:31
Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. 

1 Corinthians 14:40
Let all things be done decently and in order.

Philippians 4:13
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Proverbs 28:20a
A faithful man shall abound with blessings:

Personal Goals
Read through the Bible in a year (using the plan you can download here)
Focus on punctuality, organization and consistency in my life
Blog 1-2 times a week
Return to my pre-pregnancy weight by June 1st
Exercise 4-5 times a week
Memorize Colossians (basically two verses per week)
Read 12 books
Put together a homemaking binder in January
Utilize a menu plan and cleaning schedule
Work on strengthening my core muscles with the Tupler Technique
Go to bed by 10:30 PM
Try at least one new recipe each week
Journal a bit about every day
Take a photo of our everyday life at least once a week
Make baby photo books for our youngest two

Marriage Goals
Go on two overnight get-aways
Have a monthly date night
Read a marriage book together
Be better about having lunches on hand for hubby to take to work
Seek ways to bless my husband

Family Goals
Go on two camping trips
Cut way back on eating refined sugar and refined carbs
Go to family reunions
Visit my grandparents several times
Attend my cousins’ weddings
Do preschool with our 4 year-old
Go through Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons with our 4 year-old
Potty-train our 2 year-old
Read to our boys daily
Play with the boys more
Spend regular one-on-one time with each of our boys
Help our boys memorize Bible verses

Ministry/Friendship Goals                                        
Continue attending our church’s monthly Ladies Bible Study     
Become more involved in our church                                                    
Have people over to our home at least once a month                            
Continue sending birthday cards to extended family                              
Send a note to an elderly friend every month
Hold a fun sister get-together with all my sisters                                 

Financial Goals
Save for a family vehicle to replace our car
Sell some big items on Craigslist
Do a will

Home Improvement Goals
Remove the old house from our place
Landscape our yard
Buy a new mailbox
Plant a vegetable garden
Make flower beds
Finish the decks
Finish the garage
Paint interior walls of our house
Paint cabinets
Paint garage doors                   
Pour cement pad in front of garage
Build a clothesline

Did you set any goals this year?  I'd love to hear from you in the comments below!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


My sincere apologies to whoever sent a card to the address for the Walter Reed Army Medical Center I posted last month.  It turned out the address was incorrect, as the cards I sent were returned to me. :(  I am guessing yours has been/will be returned as well.  I should have made sure the address was right before I copied it from the source I did.  I'm so sorry.  Here is the correct address if anyone is interested.

A Recovering American Soldier
c/o Walter Reed Army Medical Center
6900 Georgia Avenue, N.W.
Building #2
Washington, DC 20307-5001

Hopefully this address will work!

Happy New Year!

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow;
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.
-Alfred Tennyson

Only fear the LORD,
and serve him in truth with all your heart:
for consider how great things
he hath done for you.
1 Samuel 12:24

Thou crownest the year with thy goodness...
Psalm 65:11

Happy New Year!