October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween! How are you celebrating? As you've seen, we already carved pumpkins to decorate our porch. We're making chili and having our friends over tonight to eat and watch a creepy-themed movie (but not a scary one!). Our choices are Clue, Young Frankenstein, Harry Potter, Pan's Labyrinth, and the Wizard of Oz (plus maybe others).

Halloween is not as much fun now as it was when I was younger and got to dress up and get candy, but it is still fun to celebrate. I can't wait until next year when we'll have our own place to decorate and hopefully host trick-or-treaters!! My favorite thing about this holiday is that when it's over I can start getting ready for Christmas!! Christmas playlist...get ready.
Mummy Candy Bars I made for our party :)
(Yes, I got the idea from Pinterest)
Yummy Mummies! Haha

October 28, 2011

Good Things Coming!

There are so many good things coming out soon!! Just in the past few days I've found seen previews or pre-orders for various media that make me so excited!! I thought about just adding this to the post about Michael Buble's new Christmas album, but I decided to leave that one separate because it's so good! So, what's coming up??

The Lorax movie
(made by producers of Despicable Me)
Can't express how much potential there is for this movie!! I LOVE the Lorax. We watched the movie in APES (AP Environmental Science) in high school and I just loved it. I am so pro environment. I used to be OBSESSED. A definite tree-hugger and animal-saver. I mentioned this in a previous post, but a few weeks ago I was going through all my childhood notebooks and school papers to clean out and consolidate, and I would just laugh because over and over again I would find writings about saving the environment! I was such an activist, even at age 5 or 10. So anyways, love the environment. And, Despicable Me is hands down my favorite kid's movie that's come out in recent years. I love Up and Walle but Despicable Me I don't think I'll ever get sick of. So, lot's of potential. I hope it's awesome!! (Also, I like how trippy this picture is! Haha) Watch the trailer here.

This Warm December - a Brushfire records holiday album 
Jack Johnson + Christmas. Could there BE anything better?? (said in Chandler's voice.) Finally - a combination of two of my favorite things. I can't wait to download Jack's single (In the Morning) and think about Hawaii on Christmas day! I listened to the preview here and think it sounds great. Very encouraging since I haven't been such a big fan of a lot of his recent stuff. Unfortunately the album isn't entirely Jack Johnson (I wish it was), but it does have a lot of other beach-chill artists like Zach Gill, Matt Costa, ALO, and G.Love. Should be good-listenin. View the album here. (Note: this is actually the second album! Apparently they also made on in 2008...I need to check that out!)

Phish 2012 Calendar
This is wonderful news to me because two years ago, when I was in Venezuela, I saw the calendar on Phish's website. I had to order everything online that I wanted to buy for Whit for Christmas because he would already be there when I got to the US. I thought this would be such a great gift for him because each month would have a different picture from that year's tours! Whit had been to a decent number of shows too, so I'm sure a few would be on there that he was at. One of Whit's favorite things about Phish shows is the lights, so I know he would think the pictures were really cool. So I planned on buying the calendar. Then, when I went to buy it, mysteriously it was gone! I searched online for it and there was no record of a Phish calendar anywhere. CRAZY! So when I saw this yesterday I immediately purchased it! (I think I figured out what had happened - right now it's on pre-order, so a couple years ago it must have sold out after the pre-order and not gone on sale again.) Whit doesn't have any use for a calendar now that he has a smart phone, so I'll get it! Score!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

You know, normally I don't post recipes on my blog. I think blogs have so much more potential than for just posting recipes. I mean, it's nice to find a new recipe every now and then, but for me reading recipes is usually just pretty boring. However, this recipe is too good not to share! This is my new favorite fall snack. I recommend making these as soon as possible so you realize how good they are and can make many more before fall ends! Nancy made these earlier this month, and we have a few get-togethers coming up that hopefully these will last for. :) So, bake away! Just be prepared to be addicted!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

2 cups flour

1 cup quick oats, uncooked

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup butter, softened

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1 cup granulated sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup pumpkin

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 375.

Combine flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.

Cream butter. Gradually add sugars, beating until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla. Mix well.

Alternate additions of dry ingredients and pumpkin, mixing well after each addition. Stir in chocolate chips.*

Combine in a 9x13 pan. Bake for about 30 minutes. (They will be very crumbly.)

Note: Don't forget to add the chocolate chips, like I did. You'll have to pull them out of the oven 12 minutes in and swirl the chips around before it's too late! 

P.S. Sorry the way that everything is spaced out! I hate that too. It happened when I tried to change the way the picture was on the screen, and now there's no going back. Whoops!

October 27, 2011

Are You Serious?

I've been hoping this would happen!!

:) :) :)

I have his previous Christmas album, which is fantastic. Sadly, it only has 5 songs!! I've been wanting more!! He is the best singer of Christmas music! I can't wait until November 1st! (I'm trying to actually wait until then this year to start listening to Christmas music.)

October 25, 2011

The Pumpkin Patch & False Advertising

On Saturday Whit and I drove to Lynchburg to spend the day with my brother and his wife. It was so fun to hang out with them! They just got married this summer, and I feel so blessed to have family in the same stage of life who we're friends with and really like! We played monopoly at McDonald's, went to the pumpkin patch, stuffed ourselves at Five Guys, and then carved animals into our pumpkins. 

Of course we checked out the petting zoo. 

There was a play area for kids that was made from corn instead of sand or mulch! GREAT idea!!
Then it was the time for the maze. I'm so glad we got to do this because I've been wanting to do a maize maze ever since I went in middle school! It wasn't as great as I was expecting though, because I was of no help - I wasn't really paying attention to where we were going. Oh well. 

The map of the maze.

The whole time we were in the maze we could smell funnel cake sooo we had to get some!

Fried Oreos - DEEEE-LISH

The search for the perfect pumpkin.

Unfortunately, once we got home we found out the pumpkin patch's big secret. Evan's pumpkin had a price sticker not-quite-peeled-off. We remembered seeing all of these big cardboard bins around the area with the pumpkins and realized that it was a hoax! Our pumpkins didn't come from this patch - they were imported from another store! Bah! No wonder there were so many good looking pumpkins...

Our pumpkin!

The final product - a sloth and a penguin.

October 24, 2011

The Magic of Fall

So by now you should know I am not crazy about the fall like a lot of other people. No, my favorite season remains: summer. I do miss the humidity and I don't mind the bugs. There's no reason you can give to convince me that the cooler weather is better than the season I love. But, fall can be nice. And what to make me like it more than being able to take pictures outside on a lovely day. So enjoy a few fall favorites that help me enjoy the transition out of my favorite season.
Hello sun!
Peeking through the leaves.
Illuminating the leaves.
A most dramatic leaf.
On the road.
Okay so I know this picture doesn't really have anything to do with fall, and it's not the greatest angle, but it's belly cat! The shyest cat in the world. She was so afraid of my camera - right after I took this she ran.
This is the tree that looks so magical.

October 21, 2011

Dry Erase Crafts

I have seen so many fun crafts on Pinterest that I broke down and finally did some. I wasn't in huge need of the final product, but I wanted something fun to do while Whit was out of town! 
The first you have probably all seen, which is simply a dry erase board! I suppose the point of this craft is that you can make it for really cheap. I decided I would rather have a prettier frame and spent a bit more money, but this is a great project because you decide how much you want to spend.

The second is a paint chip dry erase calendar! I was inspired by a flip chart paint chip calendar, but I thought it would be better as a dry erase board that you could re-use. I'm not going to lie, this is the same frame, I simply switched out the "picture." I was doing a third project though, and my budget liked the double-purpose frame idea better. They sell this frame at Michael's in a size smaller though, so I might get that at some point so I can have a dry erase board and a dry erase calendar - at the same time. Haha.
does anybody know how to flip this picture around? for some reason Blogger decided it needed to be vertical.

Do you recognize a problem? Yeah, you're writing on top of glass, so of course it's going to look blurry and not show up very well. I figured that would happen. SO cute but not super practical. Also, I need to buy some bolder markers and see if they show up better on the darker colors.

What's my third project, you ask? Can't show you yet! It's a gift. Maybe one day :)

October 20, 2011


Yesterday I listened to an awesome sermon by Mark Driscoll. I've been reading through the Old Testament (in Judges now), and it's hard for me to always see the bigger picture because I get bogged down by all the details (8000 people's names and places...it's hard for me to concentrate on what I'm reading when there are so many details). The sermon was called The Bible is About Jesus, so I thought it pretty appropriate for my situation. I know that the Old Testament is about Jesus, but I honestly just can't see it on my own! The sermon was extremely helpful in seeing God's entire plan for the Bible and earth in general, so it was very encouraging to me.

Here are my thoughts:

-Mark pointed out many references to Christophanies (appearances of Christ before Jesus was born in human form) as well as acts that happened in the Old Testament that Jesus later also completed and fulfilled.
 My favorite was comparing Jesus' death on the cross to Isaac's willing sacrifice for his father Abraham.

Here's what he says:

"It was in that place that Abraham almost sacrificed his only son Isaac, and Isaac willingly carried wood on his back to his place of potential death, and he laid himself down willingly to die at the hands of his father. Just in the nick of time, the angel of the Lord appeared (Jesus before His birth to Mary) and said "Do not sacrifice your son; it will be provided."
That ultimately Jesus would come, another son, to carry His own wood, His cross, in that same region, to willingly lay down His life at the hand of His father.  That that was all foreshadowing and predicting and anticipating what Jesus would do in that place. The temple was built in that same place that Abraham almost sacrificed Isaac, foreshadowing what Jesus would, many years later, ultimately accomplish."

-I also learned that when Isaiah was called into ministry and saw the vision of the glory of the Lord (Isaiah 6), it was Jesus whom he saw!! John says that in John 12:41. Whit and I looked at these two passages last night, and I encourage you to study it too. I often think it's sad that people rejected Jesus, and it is, but the crazy thing is that it didn't surprise Him at all! I'm sure He was upset that they didn't believe in Him, but it was part of His plan. He told Isaiah to tell the people that they wouldn't understand. Then His words were fulfilled when He came to earth, did many signs and miracles, and people still didn't believe.

-Another good thought - today as people we think we're free, but we're NOT. Our culture makes us think we are, but we're all slaves to something. We just get to choose what enslaves us (money, relationships, comfort, success, dissatisfaction, depression, etc).

My thoughts overall:
Sometimes I think that the Bible is so literary that everything was just written to be symbolic, which is cool, but discouraging. I want the Bible to be REAL not just literary. I read the Old Testament and think - these are just random stories, their lives were so different, why were all these random things recorded? Why did that situation happen? But every story recorded was for a purpose. Jesus later came and fulfilled all of those things!! Take a story or event from the Old Testament. At first glance it might seem pretty random or insignificant. But I bet that you can find a way that Jesus ultimately fulfilled that story. And you think - what does that even mean? How can you fulfill a STORY? But He did. (For example, what I mentioned earlier about Isaac. Or look at the story of Ruth - Boaz redemption of Naomi is just small picture of the way that Jesus redeemed all His children.) So it's not all just symbolic - and it couldn't be! The OT was written BEFORE Jesus came. God totally had a plan! He allowed all those things to happen and be recorded so that Jesus could fulfill them and so that we could see Jesus in them, because the Bible is about Jesus.

October 16, 2011

Hubby is Home!!

This great man is finally back with me!! My hubs was out of town all last week for a business conference, and now I have him all to myself again! If you didn't know, he is going to the Financial Professional for our region in Cru when we move up to Philadelphia. Right now we're raising support before we start our new jobs, but Whit got to go to Orlando last week for the finance conference. It turned out to be a great experience - he met/made friends with the other finance pro's (including older married men with kids - crazy), learned TONS about his new job (and now knows that the job has enough responsibility for about 2 1/2 people's worth of work!! - yikes), and got to go to Disney for free! I had a great week too - worked a lot and got to talk to/hang out with lots of friends! A few highlights - I stayed with Morgan in Lynchburg for a couple of nights (her apartment is like a 30 second walk from J.Crew so you better believe I bought a few things ;)) and got to see Evan & Courtney's new apartment, and got to skype with Laura in Spain! But now that Whit's back I get to hug him a lot, listen to him play piano, and watch the next season of Friends! :)

Another thing I've done recently is narrow our wedding pictures down from 1633 to 308 to make a big wedding album/book with all my absolute favorites. We're getting an album from our photographer, but could only have FIFTY pictures!! How is that possible?? (She had like 80 just on her blog post!) So I wanted to make another one for us (ahem, me) to look at and to show people that has more images from the day. I finally did it after months (I would do it one day for a few hours and then be so sick of choosing pictures that I couldn't do it again for weeks), and now I can finally start making the album!! Don't worry though, it's all fun for me. Although it is HARD WORK choosing between 12 pictures that are almost exactly the same. You are constantly asking "do I want the one where my smile is pretty but it's kind of crooked, or the one where the lighting is better but the bottom of my dress is cut off?" - uggh! Anyways, in the process I decided upon my favorite wedding picture:
:) :) (isn't he so cute and happy??)

October 13, 2011


I learned a new word today  - Favicon. Wanna know what it is? Add my blog as a favorite on your toolbar at the top of your browser and you'll find out! How cute?? A little sailboat...

October 12, 2011

Awesome Deal on the NEX-3

If you've read my blog or been looking at cameras and are thinking buying an NEX, I found an amazing deal! You can get the NEX-3 with two great, versatile lenses (18-55 and 16mm) for only $500! The best deal I've ever seen on all three is $650. If you want more information about the NEX, please ask! I'd be happy to share what an amazing little camera it is! :) Here's the link.

October 11, 2011

New Year's at Madison Square Garden

AAAAAAAH!!! Phish finally announced their New Year's run!!! 
Phish. New Year's. Madison Square Garden. That is where I need to be!! 

I've been wondering if they were planning to play or not. They said that after this summer they didn't have anything planned as far as touring goes, but I was still hoping they would play new year's. I mean, they can't not play new year's. And I was REALLY hoping that they would play somewhere awesome - that Whit and I could attend. 

Now we just have to see if we have to be at Christmas Conference. Radiate is great and all, but this is the one year of our lives (if we never leave staff) that we wouldn't have to be there. And it's kind of ridiculous to have a mandatory work conference every year of your life over New Year's. That's when people want to see their friends and family...and Phish. So hopefully we can go!! I want to SO bad, especially since this is the only year we might be able to get out of the Cru conference. And MSG is classic. It would be soooo so fun to spend New Year's in New York City!!! *fingers crossed!*

October 6, 2011

A Few Things

Sorry for the last of posts recently! Last weekend was the most relaxing time I've had in awhile, and since then life has been pretty uneventful. So that means you get a post about various random things about which I don't have enough to say for them to deserve their own post.

-Like I said, last weekend was so relaxing. I don't even know what I did Friday! I think it included shopping. Saturday was the perfect segue into fall. Friday was warm, which made me happy, and then Saturday was one of those beautiful fall days for which God created a little town known as Blacksburg, from whence comes a football team so great it turns non-sports fans into football watchers. In the afternoon we caught the matinee of Courageous. It was funny and motivating and was pretty good for being a Christian film that lacked a Hollywood-sized budget. Then it was time to support my Hokies again! After two years of not watching any of their games...whoops, don't tell anyone! Whit's parents took us to Bdubs and then we watched the second half at home with our pumpkin chocolate chip cookies and bean dip. The game sucked, but I paid attention and enjoyed watching it. 

-Last night we watched Thor. Whit wanted to watch it, but I couldn't figure out what it was about until we started watching it. To help you, it's about a god who gets banished to earth because of his pride/foolishness, all in comic book fashion. It was a good pick for Whit since I enjoyed it too. My favorite thing was that they created a whole city where the gods lived. I miss watching movies that have creative, other-worldly scenes! (like Avatar!) It actually looked kind of Biblical - the gates to the city were HUGE, and this bridge looked gold but when they walked on it glittered like multicolored gems. When I woke up this morning I was reminded how blessed we are that we know the truth - that beyond this world lies a perfect, everlasting world that we get the privilege of living in forever! 

-Along those lines, I have been extra thirsty lately because the tap water here has sand in it. I drink a lot of water during the day, but I have to go all the way downstairs and it takes a while to fill it up from the fridge, so sometimes I just resort to drinking out of the bathroom sink. It's easier to not complain about it after living in Venezuela where if we ran out of water when the power was out, there was no way to get more. However, it's water that makes you thirsty again! It doesn't satisfy. It's a great reminder that Jesus is the living water, and His well satisfies eternally.

-I found my Vince Guaraldi book of Christmas music for piano! It was the one thing I lost in all of our moves. It's the most motivating thing for me to play on piano. I love love love Vince Guaraldi, and I love playing Christmas songs on the piano. 

-We have 50% of our support!!! Praise the Lord! I have felt so blessed lately seeing God's provision for us.

October 1, 2011

Hello October, Welcome Fall!

Yes, I did say "welcome" fall. I have been so annoyed with everyone being all "woohoo it's so cold outside, let's drink a pumpkin latte and be excited about fall!" If that's you, it's nothing personal, it just seems like an attack on summer, which I feel personally connected with. Hah. The reason I was annoyed was because WINTER sprung up on us so quickly!!! Well, to me it felt like winter. I was having such a beautiful summer week, sunny with a high of 95 and the next day the high was SIXTY-FIVE. I thought my life (well, my summer life) was over. And there everyone was cheering on the cold weather! Why would you do that?? I don't understand why anyone would want it to be cold outside. If you recall, that's why I lived in Venezuela - I had one precious year of summer every single day. :) Anyways, I was upset that it felt like fall while it was still summer. That was just not okay. But now that it's October, I am ready to be excited about fall! I spent forever at Michael's yesterday looking at all the holiday stuff. Could NOT believe they had Christmas stuff out - in September!! But I had fun looking at it nonetheless. October to me means it's the start of the holiday season! We can go to pumpkin patches getting ready for Halloween, start putting out decorations and burning deliciously scented candles, and in one month I can start listening to Christmas music!! So hello October, I'm finally ready for fall! (Minus the sore throat I'm getting because of the change in weather.)