Monday, September 12, 2011

See Stephanie use leftovers... (o:

Had a fun time with dinner tonight. What's in the fridge? Hmm... chicken that needs used up, sausage that needs used up and a whole bunch of delicious (but need to be used asap!) homegrown tomatoes from my beautiful and wonderful sister in law April. Sadly but successfully, I used them all up.

Thanks for the tomatoes Apey!

Dan says it was good (he rated it 4 out of 5 stars), but I should keep it to just sausage or just chicken next time. Never thought I'd hear him tell me to limit the meats! (o:

The funny thing about using leftovers.... you tend to end up with even more leftovers when you're done! Now I need to figure out how to use up all the rest of that bow tie pasta! (o:

Alfredo, anyone???

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Autumn Awesomeness

September is here... and so is my craving for all things autumn!!!

I love fall:
1. Cool, crisp air
2. Yummy fall produce (apples, pumpkins, squash!)
3. Football season
4. My birthday! (duh!)
5. Oranges and reds and yellows
6. A fresh change of seasons and the smell of new school supplies

So I know it technically is still summer, but I had to do something to hold myself over. Therefore I promptly lit my pumpkin spice candle and got busy making a yummy apple pie! Here's the final result:

This fall I will be insanely busy. On Sept. 21st I'll begin my masters degree online. I know just about as much as you do about how that will go- I'm kinda nervous about taking classes, let alone an entire degree program online! Good thing there is a five-week trial period for me to try it out cost-free. I will also be working at least 25 hours a week at the daycare (just started two weeks ago!) and we'll see if I can handle my normal 10 hours a week at the YMCA on top of that! Prayers and cookie care packages are appreciated. Hehe.

I have officially been sick for forever now. I cannot stop coughing and I'm very tired since I can't sleep easily at night (coughing!). Its sometimes hard to breathe easily too (coughing!) and I find myself wheezing. My abs have gotten a workout though (coughing!) so at least that's a sort-of good thing. I'm ready for this to be done!

Good news for today though - my apartment gives the appearance of being clean! (And some of it really IS clean - just need to get to the spaces not visible to the unobservant eye). (o: AND... I have a delicious pie to eat.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Where Am I ????!!!!

Life has been very busy lately! I PROMISE you all that I will start blogging again soon! I just need to:

A: Get over this awful cold
B: Figure out how to juggle two jobs and an impending masters degree
C: Organize my stuff (its everywhere!) since I just bought a new desk
D: All of the Above!

If you haven't guessed it.... D is the correct answer! Sorry I haven't been able to catch you up on my new job and such. That will come soon I hope. But for now, I leave you with a cute picture of me and my brand new "nephew," Caesar.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

New issue of House of Fifty!

If you didn't see my last post about House of Fifty, that's okay! You can catch up with issue two. I like to browse this magazine (the pictures mostly hehe) and get ideas and inspirations for the house that I will have someday (crosses fingers).

I especially love the "Blogs We Love" and "8 Tips for Taking Better Photos" sections. (o:

Here's a link to issue two! Enjoy!

They also have an interesting blog that I just discovered: Click here.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Hot Fudge and Wedding Rings

The last time I was at work some of the kids decided to play "ice cream shop" together, as the play room that I work in has a rope jungle gym fort with a little window that just BEGS to be a pretend ice cream shop ordering window. It's so fun to watch them pretend - the kids lining up for their ice cream.

"I'd like a chocolate ice cream with rainbow sprinkles" "Ok, that will be $20 please."

And then they get silly: "Haha! I gave you ice cream with worms in it!" or "I let the dog lick it first!"

And then I hear this scenario: Child one orders a hot fudge sundae with lots of whipped cream. "Ok, coming right up!" Child two scrambles to "make" the sundae with lots of care and dramatic flair. "Here you go! It's your lucky day because it's for free!" Child one takes the pretend ice cream and turns around to leave. Child two says, "Wait!! You forgot your change!! Here's a thousand dollars! Thanks, come again!"


Three weeks ago I was water-tubing and lost both my engagement ring and wedding band in the lake. I was devastated and I can't stop blaming myself for it even now. I know they are only things, and that the marriage is way more important than the tokens that represent it. But I just ache knowing that the rings I received from my husband and have loved for the last two or more years are impossible to get back! Of course we don't have the money (at all!) right now to go out and simply replace the rings. I'm trying to find more hours at my current job and am looking for a new job now because of our financial situation and in some meager hope to start saving a little here and there to put toward a new set of rings.

But wouldn't it be nice if I could just go get a free hot fudge sundae and get back $1000? Hahaha! I'd get ice cream every day for that deal!

It's so easy for me and Dan to buy into the lie that if we only had more money, we'd be more secure. If we had better jobs, we'd be more free in a way. If we could live more comfortably, we would be more happy. If we weren't so poor, we'd be better off. Certainly, if we had what we feel we deserve as college graduates and hard-working citizens we would be able to afford new wedding bands. If only, if only, if only....

And yet, our needs HAVE been met - and we have been able to live abundantly and comfortably. I'm not sure how our finances work out each month, but they do! We have been so blessed. We never have to go without much - there is always food in our kitchen, blankets on our bed, a sturdy roof over our heads, and not one but two cars that we have been able to repair because funds come in at just the right time. Sometimes things do get pretty tight, but we make it through. And God is faithful. Always.

Let your conduct be without covetousness; and be content with what you have: for He has said, I will never leave you, nor forsake you. – Hebrews 13:5

But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain that we can carry nothing out. – 1Timothy 6:6-7

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.  -- 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

VBS Fun!

Day two of "Pandamanium" vacation Bible school is over! So far, Jungle Crafts has been fun and successful. Here are pictures of the crafts we will be making this week:

Day 1: Picture frame, day 2: panda prayer jar, day 3: jonah and the whale game (whew we'll see how it goes tomorrow!), day 4: salvation necklace and bracelet, day 5: gift box for sharing God's gift of love with others. (o:

Not the most flattering shot of the craft lady, but hey! It was like 100 degrees in that room and I don't need to dress up for the kids. (o: Thanks, Dan!

Some pictures of Dan's birthday breakfast (nope- no tiny pancakes with a candle in them! sorry!). I think he enjoyed it without the candle anyway. 
 Yummy eggs, toast and bacon! Dan enjoyed a whole day of golf on his real birthday (monday), so I really didn't get to see him much except for breakfast and late evening. So we decided to do something extra today to celebrate.
Today after VBS we went out for sushi (Dan's choice!) and it was quite delicious! I had no idea what I ordered, but it was yummy. Then we wandered around Hobby Lobby (Linnea, we HAVE to go there next time you're up!) and looked at all the fun stuff they have there. After that we finished up some VBS prep stuff and went out for ice cream.

What a great day!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Been A While!

July has been SUPER busy!!! So here's the low-down on what we've been up to!

We started off with our friends' wedding on July 2nd. (Congrats, Samantha and Luke!) Dan and I were both in the wedding party, so it was a ton of fun. The lakeside ceremony and reception were beautiful and the whole day went off without a hitch! The bride and groom said their I do's beneath the beaming (and HOT!) sunshine, which made it even more perfect when the Lugia's ice cream truck arrived! What a perfect idea for a relaxed summer wedding- good thinking, Skuras!

As soon as the couple left the reception, we cleaned up, loaded the car, drove home, unloaded the car, hopped into another loaded car and headed to PA! We arrived at Dan's parents' house around... midnight (???) and woke up the next day to go to church and then celebrate Linnea's birthday and Gretchen's send-off to her missions trip. That was July 3rd.

On July 4th we celebrated the holiday by riding all the way to Delta Lake Bible Conference Center, where family camp was just getting started. We enjoyed the week thoroughly and got to see friends that we haven't seen in a while. Over the course of the week we had some close encounters with skunks (we know two were caught, but suspect that there was at least one more!), visited with my very adorably pregnant former roommate and her husband, got a chance to see the Ellwoods (including their brand new baby boy, Eli!), and went on an exciting water-tubing adventure during which I lost my wedding rings in the lake. I cried for three days and felt very terrible and irresponsible, but am now ok and looking forward to finding adequate replacements. Every night we enjoyed the amazing John Stumbo who spoke about his near-death experience and how it drew him closer to God, sat around the campfire and sang to the guitar, and enjoyed each other's company. Every morning we woke up to the sound of the annoying crows (and the guy who yelled "shut up" at them), braved the nasty bathhouse for a shower, and listened to our friend Michael speak in the Youth Tabernacle. Of course, we enjoyed a few Delta milkshakes while we were there too. (o:

Unfortunately, these are the only pictures I have from family camp!

 I worked the entire week following camp, sometimes twice a day! And that brings us to this week: Vacation Bible School. I am the craft lady and Dan is the Bible Story Guy/Games Man. Today went very well - I think the rest of the week will go well too! Going to be a tiring week though!

Today is also Daniel's birthday! He took today to relax and go golfing, so I haven't seen him since 7:00 this morning. Can't wait to see him tonight - maybe we'll do something spontaneous. (o: He is now 24 - happy birthday, sweetie!

Next week, after VBS is over, we head back to Delta Lake to be camp counselors for Senior High youth camp! Niether of us has done this before, so pray that we do things the way we're supposed to and pray that we know how God is working in the lives of our campers and how we can best guide them and be there for them. Be assured that I will post about our adventures as counselors!

That brings us all the way to August! Hopefully, the only huge event that August brings is a garage sale (please! I have tons of garage sale boxes in my livingroom that need to go!). And Dan will begin school and I will continue to look for teaching/subbing jobs. We've had a very exciting and fun summer, but we are very unsure of what the fall looks like for us still (jobs, mostly). Thank you all for your continued prayers as we seek full-time employment.

Well, my time here in the computer lab at Roberts should be ending soon, as it is beginning to look like rain and I walked here from the apartment. Who knows when I'll post next - our internet has been out the last few days and the cable guy said he hopes that someone can come out tomorrow and take a closer look at the problem. (o: 

By the way, my blog title and URL have changed - I am no longer "good lookin cookin" since this blog is more about our daily adventures than about food. (o: Hope you can all adjust, as I am! I'll be sure to let you know how VBS goes this week, complete with pictures.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Pie Fail...

So I have been a "Mrs. Landin" for almost two years now - and let's just say as any other Mrs. Landin knows, culinary skill runs in the name! Usually I have no problem trying new recipes and cooking/baking ideas. However....

Enter, the dreaded pie. Why on earth this is the most difficult thing for me - I have no idea. I have successfully made pies in the past - in fact, I'm happy to report that my strawberry/apple pie resulted in good reviews at my best friend's engagement party. But I have zero consistency with this baked wonder, and today is PROOF that Grandma Landin will always wear the Pie-Making Crown.

Dan has been away in Pennsylvania off and on for the last two weeks and needless to say, I've really missed him! So today as he traveled back home, I was excited and wanted to make him a special treat: Peach berry pie.

Grandma Landin's pie (as said before) is simply amazing. And the good news is: I have her pie crust recipe! The bad news: I still can't make it like her! I followed the recipe exactly, and there was no way that I could roll it out without it crumbling in my hands. Sadly, I threw out the batch... (Pie fail part 1)

So I found an identical recipe that adds more water and an egg white. Success! I was able to get a consistency that allowed me to roll it out and make a smooth crust. Another fun thing I wanted to try: my new King Arthur Flour pie making stuff!
We've gotten a lot of stuff in the mail recently. Shown here, along with a tiny blender and tent seam sealer, are the things I ordered for pie-making! Crust protector shields and a lattice pie top cutter.
Well, I used the lattice pie top cutter, which didn't go as smoothly as I had hoped (the tiny pieces of pie crust didn't cut all the way through and I had to knife them out!) and I forgot completely to use the crust shield. Here's the end result:
Looks like it has potential, right???

Wrong. It burnt on the outside, drooped in the middle, and was completely soupy and doughy on the inside...

How disappointing...

For some reason, Dan still liked it...

... and cleaned his bowl.
Sigh. I suppose I am my own worst judge. But really???? Soupy pie? Not happy!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Be a blogger!

I know this blog isn’t extremely interesting – it’s basically just a collection of my thoughts and some blurry pictures of our recent adventures – but it has provided me with a sort of journaling outlet. Even if no one enjoyed reading what I write, I would still do it simply because by getting my thoughts into writing, somehow I feel that I have taken things off of my shoulders and can move on to what’s next. I have also recently been journaling as I do my devotions in the mornings. I have found that writing down my prayers and thoughts about the passages I am reading helps me to better organize my thinking and make sense of what God is telling me (and make sense of what I want to express to him!). Bottom line: journaling is something that I have grown to like and maybe even love. And blogging got me started.

I know a few people have mentioned to me that they like reading my blog and are wondering “how do you do that?!” so I am here to show you how we can be blogging buddies! I suppose in the process of me telling you how to get started, I’ll update the look of my own blog. (o:

1. First things first: what do you want to write about??? Give it some good thought before you start. Or don’t, and just make your blog a fun hodge-podge of things like mine is. What will you call your blog? I know mine is called Good Lookin Cookin because I had intentions to turn it into some fabulous culinary site with photos of delicious meals and baked goods, but it has evolved into more of a what’s-happening-with-the-Landin's page for friends and family. Perhaps I’ll re-title my blog today. (o:

2. If you don’t already have a Gmail email account, you should create one to use for signing in. It’s easy and, if you don’t want to, you don’t have to use it! I have 5 different email addresses, but that doesn’t mean I use them all - most of them are where I send all my junk emails.

3. Once you have your email account and you have your ideas together, go to this site, ( click on “Get started” under the text “Don’t have a Google Account?” and from there it is quite self-explanatory.

There are other blog providers out there, but I haven’t really wanted to try them since Blogger is so easy for me to use and because it allows me to connect with other family members and friends who have blogs.

With a blog of your own you can enjoy journaling like I have – plus you can easily share with family and friends. AND if you do become a blogger, make sure you tell me and we can leave each other comments! How fun!

Here are some example blogs that I stumbled upon to show you what kinds of things people blog about:

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Summer Lovin - I'm Lovin Summer!

We are all set and ready for our big adventures this summer! Most of those adventures will involve camping - and we are excited to say that our brand new tent is on its way! This is what we got:
This tent is the Coleman WeatherMaster Screened Tent for 4 (which means that it probably fits us two and everything that we're bringing!) and includes an attached screened-in room! We got it from, so it really wasn't too expensive, especially after using $35 worth of free Swagbucks gift cards and a $50 gift card from our Chase Ultimate Rewards. Always gotta be thrifty, right?!
Walmart supplied us with everything else: an awesome 5-day cooler, sleeping bags, an air mattress and pump, and of course - a cooking fork! (o: Can't wait for those campfires!

We are planning to spend fourth of July week with family at my parents' church's family camp. Great speakers, great music and worship, and a wonderful family environment - with a side of waterskiing and a golf tournament for garnish. (o:

Ahh!!! My power just went out! Good thing this computer is using its battery! I'm currently typing this blog without internet access though, so we'll see if I can save it in a Word document. Hmm... I wonder what happened- the weather is nice so it can't be related to wind or stormy weather. Guess I can kick it like the Amish for a little while (as I sit here with my laptop).

Other than our family camp trip this summer, we plan to also spend a few nights in the Adirondack mountains with another couple that we went to school with. Our goal: to climb at least one mountain! We also would like to see if we can do a short camping trip to Niagara falls for our 2nd anniversary, but we'll see how the timing and the finances work out.

Speaking of finances - my car has done it once again! Yesterday I hopped in the car to head to work and the car wouldn't start (it's famous for this). So I twisted the key in the ignition a few times (Dan did this the other day) and it worked - it started! However, it was making a really terrible squealing sound that kinda freaked me out, so I wanted to turn it back off. Well, I turned the key to "off" and.... the car kept making noises - it was still on and sounded like it wanted to start again! I even took the key out of the ignition and stepped out of the car and it was still trying to start!! Needless to say, I was becoming a little more than freaked out and I had no idea what to do. While this is all going on, my landlord is gone and my husband is gone for a few days, so I am all alone with a car that won't shut off! Thankfully, my dad answered his phone and helped me to stop bawling and do something about the car. I managed to drive it with my blinkers on going almost 20 mph down the road about a mile to our car shop. It was squealing and it smelled bad, but I didn't have any other choice! I was about 200 feet away from the shop when the hood started to pour out smoke. I had my windows down, so the smoke started coming into the car and I actually started coughing and couldn't see. Luckily, I made it into the parking lot just in time and thank goodness the car shut off when I turned the key this time!

Scariest. thing. ever.

And I missed my shift at work. And now we need to figure out how to pay for my car. Again.

Hopefully when the guy at the shop calls me, he'll say that he'll pay for it! Seeing how this car has been there multiple times already and he's never mentioned anything being wrong with the starter before.... Oh life.

And my power still isn't on, and I'm hearing sirens outside, so (hopefully not, but) maybe someone ran into a power line pole? Hmmm... well at any rate, I can't wash my dishes without electric so... I'll go for a nice walk! I'm lovin the summertime and lovin that I can just pick up and go outside on a warm sunshiny day like today.

Power's back on! Life is good. (o:

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

All in a day's work...

My delicious macaroni salad that I made today when I needed a break from cleaning. This is going to my graduation party this Saturday - so excited!  

Woke up at 6:00 to the sound of my alarm...

Woke up at 7:00 to the sound of my alarm (hey... it's only an hour later than I had thought I wanted to wake up)...

Dan woke me up again at 7:30.... and THEN I began my busy day!

I had already steam cleaned the livingroom, used easy-off on my oven (that stuff is miraculous!), and had gotten that half of the house cleaned up earlier in the week. Today we attacked the bedroom, bathroom, our dressers, my desk, and the stairs! I am proud to say that I can now see my desktop, my bedroom floor can be walked on without having to make sure you don't step on something, and the bathroom is spic and span.

With time to spare! Today we also enjoyed throwing a football in the backyard and going to some friends' new apartment for dinner (yummy blueberry waffles- thanks guys, it was great!). I finished my macaroni salad for this Saturday and made a fruity jello for our dinner tomorrow night with friends. Seems like we realllllly like having dinner with friends this week! (o: [Really, we love hanging out with people any time!!!] The weather was perfect, and our time together and with friends was fabulous! It really was a Wonderful Wednesday.

Life. Is. Good.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Memorial Day Weekend Update

May 29th, 2011 002 by landin_stephanie
May 29th, 2011 002, a photo by landin_stephanie on Flickr.
Dan and I looking summery on a beautiful 80-degree day. (o:

I know I haven't been writing a lot lately. School has ended (yay! graduation!) and we have passed our first major wedding rush of the summer (Congratulations Matt and April and Matt and Miki!!!) and are now looking forward to camping and road trip season. (o:

But first, cleaning. Tomorrow is Memorial Day, which equals a day off for everyone, which equals the perfect opportunity to arise early and spend a delicious 12-14 hours of sorting, packing, unpacking, scrubbing, folding, tossing, sweeping, dusting, washing, and rocking out to my computer tunes. Perhaps a break can be had to bake something delicious. Perhaps a few of those hours can be spent as a date with my hubby instead of scrubbing. We'll see!

Some pictures of our latest adventures:
New bedspread and pillows - a little cooler than the thick comforter we had!

This year's first flowers- pretty crocuses that I forgot to post earlier.

Yummy fried eggplant - Dan liked it too!

Not sure why this is blurry- possibly because I stole it from facebook without really saving it from the original photo. Hmm... Anyways- this is us at Matt and April's wedding. What a perfect day!

Graduation! Teaching positions: be aware that I am fully ready and anxious to fill you!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

In the mood for food?

Check out this (free!) e-magazine I just discovered... lots of good stuff and bright, inspiring pictures!
House of Fifty

Then check out this link I followed to start meal-planning: everything is RIGHT THERE for you!
Meal planning and recipes

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Marvelous May...

And so begins the rest of my life...

Ok, so I just needed to say that because graduation was yesterday and I at least needed one sappy line commemorating the event... :-)

But really, I am beginning the rest of my life - so let's at least start fresh, clean, and motivated. Today's first sign that spring cleaning fever and summer workout determination is on its way: I cleaned out our refrigerator AND took a half hour power walk tonight. Hoping to take my new-found school-free freedom and form some new GOOD habits - keeping things tidy and taking care of myself and my husband in the "healthy lifestyle" department seem to be on the top of my list (that is, right after "find job now").

Tomorrow is full of working (double shift), but I'm determined to also fit in some deep cleaning in my bathroom and another wonderful power walk around the neighborhood! Let's hope the weather holds out!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

I hate laundromats....

It's so hard to be patient and wait for us to find out where we are going to truly settle down... It seems so far away that we will both have steady full-time jobs with benefits and an actual house to live in!

It's the everyday little things that I'm getting impatient with... like laundry. Obviously, if we could afford a larger apartment we would definitely go for one with all of the following: first-story entrance, dishwasher, washing machine and dryer, two or three bedrooms, full size (or even half size!) kitchen, and a nice patio or deck area. Dream on, right?

Today Dan and I visited the dear old laundromat. We really did have a good time together, joking around and flirting while we loaded the machines up and sat together at the tiny table sipping frozen lattes and doing homework. However, it has always grossed me out to think that my clothes and towels and sheets are being washed.... in the same machines that gross, stinky, careless people wash theirs in. I shudder when I think about it. Literally... I just shuddered.

We took our clothes out of the dryers today and immediately I began to see oily spots on the load of reds that I was folding. Needless to say, I was enraged and stormed over to the machines to inspect them! After I couldn't find anything noticeably wrong with the machines, I just sighed and continued my folding. And now I find myself dreaming about the future again... a future in which I have my own house and my own machines. This is what I've picked out, feel free to buy them for us. :o) You can buy the house for us too if you want. Thanks.

LG DLEX5101 W 27 7.3 c.u. Ft. Electric Steam Dryer - White

LG WT5101 HW 27 5.2 c.u. Ft. Top Load Washer - White

Both found at my beloved, where my entire house's wishlist resides...

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Checking in...

So it has been almost a week since my last post... for good reason! This week has been incredibly busy - my solo week of student teaching, graduation fast approaching, and apartment in a shambles - my time is more devoted to these things than my blog. (o:

Sad thing: our brand new camera is broken. Dan and I wanted to take a nice Easter picture together and it fell onto the hard floor. The lens won't go back in now - anyone know how to fix a camera??? We are very sad!

On a good note - I am officially done with school in fewer than 10 days! And it is confirmed that I will be getting my foot in the door for substitute teaching at the school I am student teaching at. My teacher asked if I could cover for her for three days in May and I was approved for it like that! So encouraging!

My BEST FRIEND is getting married in less than a month! I can't wait - I hope everything goes perfectly for her and her new hubby on their big day. I can't wait to go home to see her and my family!

Well, more to come later... It's been a long and busy week so I am pretty tired!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Sunday

"So Joseph bought some linen cloth, took down the body, wrapped it in the linen, and placed it in a tomb cut out of rock. Then he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb. Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Jesus saw where he was laid. When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus' body. 

Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, 'Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?' But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. 

As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. 'Don't be alarmed,' he said, 'You are looking for Jesus the Nazerene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, 'He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.''"

Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday

"It was the third hour when they crucified him. The written notice of the charge against him read: THE KING OF THE JEWS. They crucified two robbers with him, one on his right and one on his left. 

Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, 'So! You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, come down from the cross and save yourself!.' In the same way the chief priests and the teachers of the law mocked him among themselves. 'He saved others,' they said, 'but he can't save himself! Let this Christ, this King of Israel, come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe.' 

Those crucified with him also heaped insults on him.

At the sixth hour darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, 'Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?' - which means, 'My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?' When some of those standing near heard this, they said, 'Listen, he's calling Elijah.' One man ran, filled a sponge with wine vinegar, put it on a stick, and offered it to Jesus to drink. 'Now leave him alone. Let's see if Elijah comes to take him down,' he said. 

With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last. The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. And when the centurion, who stood there in from of Jesus, heard his cry and saw how he died, he said, 'Surely this man was the Son of God!'"

Monday, April 18, 2011

These are a few of my favorite things...

I love the idea of mismatched solids with prints for my future dinnerware... Thoughts on mixing the yellow solid with the print next to it? Thank you, Pier 1 Imports, for the inspiration. :-)

Hopefully my kitchen colors will be someday be something like the following:

Sage/olive green painted walls with white cabinetry (some with glass fronts). Red and yellow accents, dinnerware, and appliances.

Obviously, this is just me dreaming for now... but who knows? Perhaps it will become reality someday?


Any ideas why this happens exactly when I don't want it to? Probably once every other month, I go to bed feeling a little more tired and dizzy than normal only to wake up half way through the night and get sick. Sometimes twice in one night. Hmmph. Nothing crazy weird, but getting really annoying since it basically ruins the next day for me.

For example, I have this week off of school and had it all planned out to get lots of things done. Today I was supposed to clean the apartment completely and do all of the laundry. Right now, I don't even feel like eating breakfast, so that stuff isn't going to be accomplished. I guess I can just do some of it and enjoy a day of no worries.

I will say I had a productive day yesterday - recycled a giant stack of papers from my desk and successfully got the kitchen and livingroom cleaned up. A few successful recipes that I've tried so far:

Deep Fried Eggplant - Dan gave it a 5 out of 5 :-)

Tilapia Parmesan - Didn't get a rating from Dan but I thought it was fabulous!

Well, Dan has brought me bananas and ginger ale so off I go! Possible I may return later as today will be somewhat boring. (o:

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow.... please!

Isaiah 41:10

So do not fear, for I am with you; 
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Psalms 138:7

Though I walk in the midst of trouble, 
you preserve my life;
you stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes,
with your right hand you save me.

2 Corinthians 13:11
Aim for perfection, listen to my appeal, be one of mind, live in peace.
And the God of love and peace will be with you.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Start over!

Hello my blog readers!

It finally feels like spring is coming (didn't that officially start about a week ago?) and I'm getting the urge to start over in so many areas of my life - kinda like a giant spring cleaning fest!

This includes a spring cleaning in my apartment (typical), a spring cleaning in my diet (necessary), a spring cleaning in my work and workspace (please!), and a spring cleaning in my soul.

However, I need to remember that it's not about doing doing doing... it's about leaning on someone who always gets things right and involving Him in every decision and step (or leap!) of faith. Priorities. I want to make none except to live a Christ-filled life. Under that one simple priority, I can accomplish so much without feelings of guilt or failure for the things I push to tomorrow's schedule.

A devotional that I've been meaning to put on here for you all to read:

"When I was prosperous, I said, 'Nothing can stop me now!' Your favor, O Lord, made me secure as a mountain. Then you turned away from me, and I was shattered." - Psalm 30:6-7

"Just when I'm feeling all secure, like I'm God's best friend, an earthquake splits that lofty mountain right down the middle. And boy, am I dismayed. I have a feeling we can never get so secure in ourselves that we cannot be moved.

Can a rock ever move forward

Maybe I just get bored easily. I'm forever wanting to go someplace with God. I forget that in order to really want to go, something has to happen to make me want to leave where I am. Maybe we're all just sick to death of taking three steps forward and two steps back. Call me a math wizard, but isn't that still one step forward? Isn't that still some pretty big progress as we run against hurricane winds of a godless culture? And if we don't lose that ground, aren't we on our way somewhere new?

Willing to take three more steps - even if we lose two?"  

(from Beth Moore's book: The Promise of Security)

Seems like a lot of things that have been happening lately are those "things that need to happen so I want to leave where I am." Haha! I am still wanting to stay put for fear that moving is going to be hard. Trusting in Him, I'm taking some steps.... even if it means this rock needs to get up out of it's comfortable spot in the ground and let God carry me to where he wants. Security? Yes please! But I don't want my own security - I want His.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Spectacular Savings

If you haven't heard me rave about my new couponing experiences, you need to visit and find out what I'm so excited about! She explains in great detail how to get started with couponing and also gives endless thrifty tips (like freezer meals, swagbucks and other earning sites, and rite aid match-ups!).

This week there is a $50 Amazon gift card give-away going on. So if you wanted to get started with following her blog - this week would be a great week to start! Visit for details.

Love love love it!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Here it is! Yummy penne with spinach cream sauce. Dan and I both enjoyed it for dinner tonight. (o:

And now I believe I will top it off with some chocolate milk. And some mad typing for student teaching. You see - tomorrow is my last day for this first placement and I have quite a bit of catching up/organizing to do! (o:

It's been a great experience and I'm sad to leave, but I'm also anxious for the next placement. I've met my new teacher and I think it will be a fabulous placement as well.

Car update: surprise! Apparently nothing is wrong with it. The only thing they did was change the fuel filter and put new gas in it. And.... they can't find anything else. So basically we paid over a hundred dollars for a tow and over a hundred for them to look at it in the shop only to find out... there's nothing wrong. Sweet.

And now I will start typing. And making something sweet for my students tomorrow as a good-bye present. (o:

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The good, the bad, and the... hmmm

Yesterday I was zipping along to my student teaching placement in my car. It was a beautiful morning and the sun was poking up and warming my black pea coat as I sat behind the wheel. And then, disaster. My check engine light decided it wanted to flicker rapidly at the same time that my accelerator decided to stop working. Cars behind me became impatient, honking in anger as I turtled my way to the side of the road, ready to burst into tears. I called my master teacher's cell phone- not on. I called the school office - answering machine. I called the school office again and hit my teacher's extension - no answer. I finally got ahold of the secretary only to discover my teacher was in a meeting. By now I am freaking out thinking that I'm never going to notify anyone that I am stuck and will be late. Dan answers his phone when I call him (thank goodness!) and I sob my heart out - bless him for being patient with me.

Long story short - we had to get a tow (for the "awesome" price of $105 since I was about 20 miles away) and took it to the shop. My teacher (bless her for her patience too!) somehow got my message and came to my rescue on the side of the road. The rest of the day unfolded somewhat according to plan.

Now, the story isn't over because today I called Dan to see if he had heard from the car shop. We called and found out that they had simply hopped in our car and started it up and ran it around the block a few times with no problems! Somehow this seems to be only half-way good news (we got a $105 tow for no reason?). Will this ever happen again to me as I drive to my school? I will NEVER trust my car again!

Alright! Done complaining - on to more entertaining things. (o:

I did my summer chicken grilling! Here's a yummy picture. For some reason I didn't have much of an appetite to eat it, though Dan said he liked it and finished mine for me:

Something else that I managed to do that fell into my "summery" theme this week was finding some pretty flowers for our kitchen table! People from church were allowed to take home parts of a left-over flower arrangement, so I found something pink and cheery.
Tomorrow I hope to organize my student teaching binder like a mad woman! And also to make the Giada penne dish from swagbucks TV! I'll let you know how it goes!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Ok, so about those daffodils....

It's Sunday!

I love Sundays for many reasons - the primary reason of course being that it is the Sabbath and a day set aside for worship and resting in my Lord and Savior.

Another reason? Sunday always feels like a fresh start! For example - last week I screwed up some of my best laid plans (example: I did not get around to planting any daffodils and my lesson planning and workouts didn't quite make it to the top of my priority list). But today I feel like I can tackle those things with success and I'm making plans all over again!

Some of my plans (these will also fight those winter blahs that I talked about in my last post):
  • Eat summery foods (aka healthy with lots of colorful fruits and veggies!)
  • Actually plant those daffodils!
  • Do some spring cleaning - my desk being the primary target (let's just say my trash cans will see many different old magazines and papers this week).
Speaking of summery foods, let's try some recipes together - email me your pictures of your finished results and I'll post them on here for us all to get in the summery mood! 

Let's get our grill on and cook up some chicken! I plan to use this marinade recipe then grill on my George Foreman and toss my chicken into a baby spinach salad.

My second recipe is actually coming from Swagbucks TV (Swagbucks is one of my new favorite things - see the very bottom of my page!). Giada De Laurentiis makes a delicious-looking penne pasta (the video is called "How to make a light and healthy penne" if you'd like to make it yourself!). I've watched this video before while doing my dishes (might as well earn those swagbucks while I wash!) and every time I have just drooled over it, so now I want to actually try it!

One more summery food recipe - picnic potato salad! I can just imagine sitting outside with a warm breeze to  blow away all the paper cups and plates when I think about potato salad. This recipe is sure to take me to a happy (warmer!) place this week: Picnic Potato Salad

A while ago, Dan decided that he would make dinner. He was so proud of it (for good reason- it was delicious) that he asked if I was going to post it on my blog. So here it is! Dan's Shepherd Pie. (o: