Thursday, December 31

2009 from my nest's vantage point

Is it just me, or is the thought of 2010 just a bit strange? It’s like, hello? What happened to the last twelve months? :-)

At our last life-group, one of the guys asked if everyone would share what God had taught them in this past year. One thing I really like about our group is that they are more than just a ton of fun, they are open about who they are and what God is doing. But anywho, that has had me thinking about things, and about how God has continued to teach me more about trusting Him, and about His grace in my life. These are lessons He has been teaching me awhile… and I hope the lesson never ends, even though the ways to learn seem hard at the time! Sorry this is SO long!
*He has taught me about His grace through our marriage. I honestly have never been so deeply, contentedly happy. :-) Dwight is the hugest blessing I could have ever dreamed up! I had no idea when we began our friendship what a man he was… it is fun discovering more and more about him! I know I have SO much to learn about being a godly wife and friend to him, but it is definitely fun learning, I just get impatient and want to be the wife to him now that I hope to be when we are 100, but growth comes with time. :-)
*He has taught me about trusting in His graciousness as He provides for our needs. Learning to differentiate between needs and wants can be difficult sometimes, but He (and Dwight) is so patient with me! I never budgeted when I was single, so learning to do that is kind of different, but good. Dwight and I know that his being an accountant in full-time ministry (as his stated occupation- we want it to be our mentality for the rest of our lives) is probably only short-term, but it is where He has us now, and that it good, even though it definitely brings its own set of frustrations (those in full-time ministry know what I’m talking about :-P). And honestly, I don’t think people expect that when you are an accountant, or something like that in ministry. It is like they expect those frustrations to only be there when you are something like a pastor, etc. (or another “official ministry type” title). But they are there just the same. But God is our faithful provider, and we are blessed that Focus is able to offer benefits like health insurance. Comes in handy when you have a baby! :-)
*He has taught me His grace in times of loneliness. It is hard being so far away from our families and friends. Aside from our small group, I really don’t know anyone here, and it is so different than living at Heritage, with girls popping in and out of the apartment, not to mention having Kate around. :-) But God has been gracious in allowing friends to come into the area so much more than I expected. I’m trying to think… I got to see Christy like 3 or 4 times??? :-D And Kate several times as well! And Erin and Chloe, and Heidi and Rachel and Amy (others too!)… I have truly been blessed!
*He has taught be about trusting with my health, and how He cares about details (like taking care of Chloe), more than I even do! I have been so tired this past year, and have had a difficult time rebounding since Chloe’s birth, but I know that full healing with come in time. :-) Dwight is so sweet when I’m feeling down, and Chloe is even extra content on those days! And we have the best moms. :-)  When I had the kidney infection these past weeks, my mom flew out the day after I called and asked her to come, and Dwight’s mom was willing to come out, too, even though it was the week before Christmas and it wasn’t easy for either of them to get away from home (and the kiddos still at home!). But it was such a relief to have Mom here (she flew home Christmas morning). We had some rough bits during the time I was sick, and there were times where I was scared because we didn’t know what we should do, and if I would need more than the doctor’s office could give me, but things are so much better now. Now I just need to get strong again. :-) God is gracious in that I was able to begin nursing again after the worst of it was over. (We had to switch to formula because I thought I wouldn’t be able to nurse anymore - I dried up, not to mention one doctor put me on medicine that I shouldn’t have been on, but He has restored my supply back to where it was before I got sick, which is wonderful for several reasons!)
*He has taught me about His graciousness in giving me a huge desire of my heart. I got to become a Mama this past year, and it is the best job in the world! I love my little girlie so much. It is incredible to watch her grow – and wow does she grow! ;-) We are blessed that she is so healthy, and that even her little trip to the E.R. with her toe was quickly taken care of and healed well. I love her laughs and giggles, and her chatter. She is all girl. Loves to talk and look at herself in the mirror. When she realizes how cute she is, we are in trouble! I love singing to her, and just holding her. She is definitely a smiley snuggle-bug.
*I am still in the midst of learning trusting God with our cars and apartment. :-) We had one car get us safely to our families and then back home, but is now pretty much out of commission, so we need to decide what to do about it. Thankfully, it isn’t difficult being a 1-car family, and I don’t mind at all not having one available to me – just glad that we have the Jeep for Dwight to get to work! (Yes, I love that jeep. Even thought it is a gas-hog. There is just something about a 4-wheel drive that makes one feel adventurous! Trucks and SUVs make me very happy.) And it is looking like we will probably be moving to another apartment in the next month. (Such as exhausting thought. But we have issues related to a new neighbor and strong cigarette odors infiltrating inside.)  So even though I don’t know how those two situations are going to pan out, I know that God is in control of them!

Other random lessons –
* Stretch marks are ugly. Enough said. And when I get strong again, sit-ups will be a new great friend.
* Colorado has weird weather.
* I love humidity. I really miss humidity. Our humidifier runs non­-stop.
* We live at 6500 feet. I cannot cook rice normally for the life of me. Many recipes just are absolute flops. But for some reason, I still have good luck with Southern Living recipes. Go figure.  I knew I liked that magazine for some reason.
* I am in desperate need of beef recipes. Please share. :-)
* Cloth diapers are cute. Chloe is currently wearing a bright pink cover. I know, like you really care for that type of info. And, that I’m a disposable diaper snob. There is only one type that I can stand putting on her. :-P I know, pathetic.
* I am getting quite tired of WBLA. It is almost finished (on 54!), and I’m mortified that it isn’t done yet, but I’m really tired of it.
* Root-beer floats are amazing. So is the cherry coating on Dilly-bars. 
*That if I ever get to design my kitchen, I should not install a dishwasher. I’ve had one for over a year now, and have not used it once. 

Anywho, I would definitely say that 2009 was a marvelous year. I mean really, wouldn’t life be boring if not for the ups and downs? :-D Here’s to 2010 (I’m guessing it will be April before I start writing the correct date! Hehe!)

Love you, my friends! 

*Praise update: Dwight's car sold quickly on Craigslist, and it looks like we move into a different apt. on the 16th. Thankfully, our small group is coming over to help with the lugging. :-D They are so sweet and Dwight was quick to agree that we pick up pizza for all that day. He really likes pizza. :-) 

Wednesday, December 30

Free E-Book

Thanks to Money-Saving Mom, I was able to download this book for free. :-) Now to just find the time to read it! :-P It is about the power of a wife in praying for her husband - and I want to learn to pray for Dwight better each day! So, I haven't read it, and henceforth am not exactly endorsing it yet, but Mary K. Mohler endorses it on the website, which rates pretty high in my book. ;-)

Someday I Hope to be this Artistic . . .

Tuesday, December 29

Hold On . . .

Excerpts from Hold On, by 33 Miles. . .

Don't be afraid,
You'll make it through,
Just call out to me and I'll come running to you!

Hold on, hold on!
When the current pulls you under,
And your heart beats like thunder.
Just give me your hand,
And hold on, hold on!
Until the storm is over,
And I'll be fighting for you.
Just give me your hand and,
Hold on!

I'll give you hope, I'll give you faith!
And if it's dark, I'll light the way,
For you, for you!
By your side, until the end,
Until you're standing tall again!
I'm here, I'll always be here.
And if the tide, sweeps you out to sea,
When your strength is gone, and it's hard to believe!

Hold on, hold on!
When the current pulls you under,
And your heart beats like thunder!
Just give me your hand.
And hold on, hold on!
Until the storm is over,
And I'll be fighting for you!
Just give me your hand,
And hold on, hold on!

Sunday, December 13

A crazy reason as to *why I blog*

One reason is so that I can discover things I like, post them, and then . . .  find them later. ;-) Hope you don't mind. :-)

Saturday, December 12

Giveaway by Elana's Pantry

Christmas giveaway by Elana's Pantry! She is giving away her The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook along with a 5 lb. bag of almond flour. If you are interested, check it out for yourself - the cake on the cover does look pretty good. :-) Thankfully, there aren't any real food allergies in our family, but I'd still love to learn to cook for those (we have friends in Lifegroup with Celiac) who do. She is up in Boulder (about 1 1/2 hours from here in the Springs), it would be fun to take one of her classes someday!

Thursday, December 10

Christmas is Coming!

What can I give Him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would give Him a lamb
If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part-
But, what I can I give Him. Give my heart.
~Christina Rossetti
"One does not surrender a life in an instant. That which is lifelong can only be surrendered in a lifetime."
- Jim Elliot

Tuesday, December 8

$ 5 Dollar Magazines from Amazon $

Okay, so this is a big splurge for me, since my Amazon gift cards (courtesy of Swagbucks - see below if you aren't familiar with that - you'll want to be!!!) are verified, but not posted yet. Which means I actually have to pay for them, err. But anyways, Amazon has been having a select group of magazines on sale for $5.00 (yes, for a year's subscription!) for Christmas, and each week it is a different set to choose from. So last week - yeah, this week is the
last one for me! - I was able to pick up Real Simple and Southern Living, and this week they are offering Country Living among their choices. Happiness!!! :-) Check it out here. :-)

Okay. So what is Swagbucks? Basically, I use it as a search engine (instead of Google). Every now and then, a little box pops up saying that I have won 1 or 2 or 4, etc. "Swagbucks". These "bucks" are put into my account that I have with them (which is free) and I can cash them in for things like Amazon gift cards (45 Swagbucks = $5.00 Amazon gift card). I haven't had ANY spam, or anything else negative from them at all. And have been able to get over $25.00 in gift cards in just a few months! Please consider using my referral if you want to try it out for yourself!
(okay, so that was shameless, see what I get out of it by checking their referral section on their site - you'll want to get your friends to sign up too! *wink*)

*Note - Last year I am positive that I was able to use over $5 worth of coupons out of Real Simple. So... guess that is one way to justify it! :-) Now I am trying to recall if Country Living had coupons... and can't.

Easy Homemade Cream of Chicken :-)

So I am finally getting around to sharing some things with y'all that I've found - it has been a bit busy with traveling and all - and with a new cutie that thinks she is the energizer bunny and needs no sleep at all. *not quite, darling!* Her poor little dream world was shattered when I let her fuss herself to sleep yesterday - but I needed a break! :-) Thankfully, she slept much, much better last night - the several days of 15-30 min. of sleep at a time (yup, day & night) was a killer.

Anywho - I found this recipe for Condensed Chicken Soup (and yes, I do realize that the mushroom - yuck- is at the forefront in the above pic) at The Kitchn and decided to give it a try! {Original intent was to post it before Thanksgiving for you Green Bean Casserole makers.} I was pleasantly surprised! It is easy to make, cheaper than buying a can at the store, and I can make it with as much (or as little, which is my preference) salt as I want.

Here's the recipe for cream of chicken soup. To make cream of anything else, just substitute the broth for another type. For cream of mushroom, cook some mushrooms down in the butter, then add the flour and some cream. This recipe makes a little over a cup, equivalent to one can of soup. Enjoy!

3 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons white flour

1/2 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup milk
Salt and pepper

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat then add the flour. Cook, stirring rapidly, until the mixture is thick. 

Add the chicken stock and whisk until smooth, then add the milk. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring, until thickened. Remove from the heat and add salt and pepper to taste. 

This will keep for a couple days in the fridge, but it's best to use it the day you make it.

*note from Beth: I buy my chicken stock powdered concentrate from Whole Foods (from their bulk section). Very cheap and lasts awhile since I freeze it and just use what I need, reconstituting with water. :-)

*Here are some coupons for Campbell's, in case making your own isn't your thing - or there's a great sale! :-)

Free nursing cover with promo - onefree

Can be found here. (In spite of their slightly-cheesy name...)

Simply go to their website and choose the design you want (Elsa is above - so pretty!). At checkout, type onefree (yup, as of today this would still work) into the promo code box, and you only have to pay shipping ($8.95). :-) They typically sell on this website for $32.00 + shipping, so this is a great deal. Never used one? (or, um, wouldn't actually have a use for it? I guess they'd make a good gift!) Try it out! I also have a cover from Peanut Shell and love it. Chloe can be quite wiggly at times! ;-)

Wednesday, December 2


Of course, when we think we don't have what we want to have, what we think we ought to have, we are being discontented with the state God has put us in. The antidote to discontentment is thankfulness and giving up our own way, our own ideas of what we think we have to have. We get God from that. We get His grace. - Elisabeth Elliot

The opposite of poverty (is not wealth, it) is enough. - Compassion International

Leaving our families was hard. We are blessed to be a part of a fantastic church and also a great life-group, but it still gets pretty lonely at times! There are so many things we hope for - to be content with where God has placed us for this time being can be difficult - I want to know what the next step is and when it's gonna happen! ;-) God, help me learn to be content with your plans and provisions for me! I have so much to be grateful for!

*A marvelous year of being married to the most Godly and handsome man I know. His wisdom, kindness and desire for the things of God run deep. He treasures me and it is an honor to be his wife
*Our little girl. She brings me such joy! I love singing to her, reading to her, and playing games. She has the cutest giggle. :-)
*Our Faithful Redeemer. I pray that Chloe learns to love Him and give Him her life at an early age!
*Extended families who encourage us and support us with love and stories from when we were little, etc. :-) It was wonderful to be able to spend the last two weeks with them.
*Wonderful friends! :-)
*A safe pregnancy & delivery with Chloe, and health for all of us! She is doing extremely well. I'm also grateful for a fantastic pediatrician. I couldn't be happier with them!
* Our wonderful Church with Godly preaching and our life-group. I LOVE our life-group. Not only are they inspiring to me with their lives of faith & joy - they are heaps of fun. :-) {at church, our life-group is even known as the "fun group". Who'da thought?:-)}
* Beautiful mountains to look at. I love it when they are snow-capped.
*Dwight's job at Focus on the Family, which is sufficient to provide for our needs!
*Our cozy apartment. I love keeping a home for Dwight and our girlie! Visitors are welcome, as long as you don't mind sleeping in a sleeping bag on the floor. ;-) It is a lil' home for a lil' family. :-)
*A sparkly Christmas tree, warm tea, scented candles, etc. I can't help it. They make me happy!

This post by Young Marrieds was encouraging to me, and it kinda ties in, so here you go. :-) Small Beginnings.

Have a wonderful December, all!

Our 1st Anniversary!

Thank you, Lord for bringing us together in your time! I love him, love him, love him! :-)