Wednesday, February 23, 2011

But YOU are God...
Gracious and Merciful, 
Slow to anger,
Abundant in kindness,
And did NOT forsake them. 
Nehemiah 9:17b

This little guy is proof. God never leaves. Never stops loving. Never stops His overflowing of kindness. 

My new little nephew #8. Isn't he a sweetie?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Under Construction

Please excuse the mess. Although I like to pretend I'm a nerd, somehow the Blogger layout always seems to be my own worst enemy.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Six on Sunday: Blogging Rules

The first of the series begins with rules. MY blogging rules. If you ever suspect I've made an infraction on any or all, please notify the local authority... aka my softy husband.

1.  Personal devotion time must be completed.
If I'm not getting my Daily Bread, then how can I post the very convicting thoughts that God presses upon me?

2. In order to even sign onto blogger, our house must be clean. 
That's right, if you don't see me here often, it's 'cause our house is terribly messy. Or my OCD has kicked in again. You'll have to ask my husband which it really is. Poor guy was in for a little bit of shock after the honeymoon.

The BeAUTifUl flowers my husband surprised me with on V-Day.
 I told you he spoils me.
3. This is a journal, not a commitment.
Yeah, yeah, it's great to have 300 followers. And to write eloquently. Even post some pretty amazing photos. But in reality, this is just a place to record my thoughts and memories as a young wife. These days will never happen again and this is a place to look back and see the amazing work that God has done, and will continue to do in our lives. The day I start feeling a responsibility to blog, only because I haven't posted in a few weeks (or months) will be the day this blog shuts down. As God gives me time, I will talk of His unending mercies.

4.  Absolutely no complaining. 
 Philippians 2:14-15 Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.

5. Relationships come first. 
Time with the husband... sisters.... my new baby nephew(coming soon, to a sister near me!).... or family.... these all get first priority over the ramblings of this blog. 

6. Whatever is true, noble, right, & pure...
Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Pizza Love

Not that you won't see us occasionally dining at the nearest Olive Garden, or find a large bouquet of roses on my kitchen table, but sometimes a quiet night at home is my kind of romance. (As a disclaimer, we DID go on a early Valentine's Date last week to the city... and my amazing husband did buy me a pair of boots. I absolutely don't want any ideas floating around that my man doesn't spoil me very frequently!)

If there is one thing we've missed lately it's PIZZA, and somehow it just doesn't fit into our food budget often! I decided to splurge and make a partially from scratch pizza, but with this recipe I made two pizzas and bread sticks that lasted us for two meals for around $6.00. 

Maybe pizza will find it's way back into our lives?!

Pizza Crust

1/2 cup warm water (about 110 degrees)
1 envelope (about 2 1/4 teaspoons) instant yeast
1 1/4 cups water, at room temperature
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 cups (22 ounces) bread flour, plus more for dusting work surface and hands
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
Olive oil or nonstick cooking spray for oiling the bowl
1. Measure the warm water into a 2-cup liquid measuring cup. Sprinkle in the yeast and let stand until the yeast dissolves and swells, about 5 minutes. Add the room-temperature water and oil and stir to combine.
2. Process the flour and salt in a large food processor (only use a food processor if your model is at least 11 cup capacity and heavy duty enough for bread kneading. No burnt up motors, please!), pulsing to combine. Continue pulsing while pouring the liquid ingredients (holding back a few tablespoons) through the feed tube. If the dough does not readily form into a ball, add the remaining liquid and continue to pulse until a ball forms. Process until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 30 seconds longer.
3. The dough will be a bit tacky, so use a rubber spatula to turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead by h and for a few strokes to form a smooth, round ball. Put the dough into a deep oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled in size, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Press the dough to deflate it.
Pizza Dough Kneaded by Hand
Follow the recipe for Pizza Dough through step 1. Omit step 2 and instead combine the salt and half the flour in a deep bowl. Add the liquid ingredients and use a wooden spoon to combine. Add the remaining flour, stirring until a cohesive mass forms. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth and elastic 7 to 8 minutes, using as little dusting flour as possible while kneading. Form the dough into a ball, put it in a deep oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and proceed with the recipe.
Pizza Dough Kneaded in a Standing Mixer
Follow the recipe for Pizza Dough through step 1. Omit step 2 and instead place the flour and salt in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle. Briefly combine the dry ingredients at low speed. Slowly add the liquid ingredients and continue to mix at low speed until a cohesive mass forms. Stop the mixer and replace the paddle with the dough hook. Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Form the dough into a ball, put it in a deep oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and proceed with the recipe.

This is where I took my own liberties with the recipe, mostly meaning I have NO exact directions to give you, but I'll give it a shot anyway.

Remaining Ingredients:
1 - 2 cups pizza sauce, either homemade or store bought
1 cup sharp cheddar, grated
1 cup mozzarella, grated
2/3 package of pepperoni slices
1 cup prepackaged italian cheese blend
1/4 cup margarine, melted

To finish the pizza:
Preheat oven to 500 degrees.

Divide dough into 3 parts. With two of the part pat and stretch the dough out with your hands to about 14 inches in diameter. Do not use a rolling pin to flatten the dough. Place dough onto a large baking sheet or stone. Spread pizza sauce(use your own judgement, but do not overload the pizza), cheddar, mozzarella and pepperoni slices over crust.

Before placing pizzas in oven, turn it down to 425 degrees, then place pizza on lowest rack of oven. Bake for about 15 minutes, sprinkle italian cheese mixture over the tops and bake for another 2-5 minutes until bubbly. Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
 To finish the bread sticks:
Divide remaining third of dough into five pieces. Roll into an oblong shape and place in baking pan. Brush a good amount of the melted margarine over the top, then sprinkle with Italian cheese. Bake at 425 degrees for 15-20 minutes. 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Any "gods?"

Exodus 22:20 He who sacrifices to any god, except to the
 Lord only, he shall be utterly destroyed.

Strong. Solemn.Warning... our God is a jealous God.

 I find a similar idea in the relationship with my husband. Would I even dream of pouring out my time, energy, and adoration to a man other than Tyler? Don't you think he might be jealous if I began cleaning, cooking and spending large amounts of time with another man? To do so, would clearly be out of Biblical bounds.

That screams sin.

How is it then, that it is so often dismissed when we pour out our time, energy and adoration to another "god?"

Yes, I'm guilty of just that. I've sacrificed to many others besides my One True God. Oh, and just so we're all the same page, another god doesn't necessarily mean a little golden buddha. Mine are my body, my earthly life, and entertainment.  I've spent more hours than I'd like to admit towards my physical appearance. I've given in to the worry and fret of this life. I've let the world's entertainment swallow precious moments away from my devotion time.

I've fallen short. What God desires of me is my undivided attention. Just like my husband when I get home from work.

 God deserves all of your devotion, adoration and worship. Don't forget, to give that to another "god" would mean utter destruction.

 Let's pray for a renewed devotion to Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. 

Thursday, February 3, 2011

We've Got It All

Thankfulness is being pounded in to me. 

I heard it last Wednesday night. 

I heard it on Sunday Morning. Sunday Evening. And again during devotions on Monday in our study through Exodus:

Exodus 16:8
Also Moses said, “This shall be seen when the LORD gives you meat to eat in the evening, and in the morning bread to the full; for the LORD hears your complaints which you make against Him. And what are we? Your complaints are not against us but against the LORD.” 

Not only are unthankful, complaining and grumbling people just plain not fun to be around,

 " being unthankful is a slap in the face towards God and the transformation process He is working in your life RIGHT NOW."
-Pablo Moreno, Engage Truth

We made a thankful list over a steaming hot mocha and caramel macchiato, and trust me, coffee DID make it on the list!

Our Marriage
God overcame some pretty big obstacles to make our dreams come true!

Our Jobs
God has and still continues to provide abundantly.

Really, how could we BOTH come from such loving families? That's huge, people, huge, and I hope we never take it for granted. 

2 Running Cars

Try bouncing around for a few weeks and starving yourself spiritually. Then go to a church where the BIBLE is taught. You'll walk away feeling like it's Thanksgiving all over again. 

OUR Home
No place we'd rather be. 

Healthy Bodies
We have strong healthy bodies to serve the Lord. Now where is it you want us, God?

Yes, the dog made it on the list. She makes us happy and always brings a smile to TYLER's face. 

Sunshine -y Walks
Or even gray walks. Doesn't matter, it's just one of our favorite times. 

Don't ask. Don't tell. It's a God given addiction.

Tyler is HERE
As we think back to one year ago, when Tyler went to Bible College, it was the HARDEST time we've encountered yet (but still we wouldn't have changed it). Not that Bible College is a thing of the past, it's now just an adventure for our future, if God so wills. 

This last week we were faced with a decision. A tough one, and we didn't know how we could possibly know what was the right thing to do. But we committed and surrendered it to God, and He made the way clear. 

 Ephesians 3:20-21
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory.... 


What are you thankful for?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Effects of Winter Grays

What is it about those gray skies and foggy mornings that gives me that urge to change sabotage my hair?

Two Winters ago I chopped of 12 inches.

This time, I roped my oh-too-sweet husband into dying/highlighting my hair, not to mention I'll be chopping of about 6 inches tomorrow.

It's only hair, albeit slightly purplish. Right. RIGHT?!

I'm enjoying the spontaneity of these moments, soaking in the fresh memories with my new husband -- even if it is at the the cost of my hair.