Friday, September 30, 2011

Season of Gratitude

Today I went up to the ACU campus to watch the butterflies. I just marvel at the beauty of God's creation. There's really not much more to say. Our creator is magnificent and the effects of His glory can be seen all around us.

Season of Gratitude (from last night)

Ok so, I forgot to write a gratitude post last night, and sadly I don't have a very good reason for that. The one thing I was really the most grateful for yesterday was keeping busy. Not working is a lot harder than one might think. However, this week and last I've kept rather busy. I feel a lot better during the day knowing that I have things to do. Yes, I'd love to finally get paid for something, but for now, this is pretty good.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Cara Cara!

Some of you may have seen these little guys before, but I hadn't! I went to the store to get some regular oranges and found that the only ones that were really any good were in one little basket. They looked like regular oranges so I didn't think much of them, until I cut them open! They were red inside!

I thought for a moment I had accidentally gotten grape fruit, but they didn't really look like grapefruit either. They are Cara Caras, a South American navel similar to an orange. The flesh is a nice red color. They have a mild taste, just barely citrus-y. They have a very low acid content and you can tell the difference. It's like eating an light orange. They were really good and we both enjoyed them so I thought I would share them with you.

You can find more information on them here:

New Item!

I just posted a new cat toy to the shop! Simon loves these and I'm glad to share!

All You Need Is Love!

My up-cycled crayon was featured in a new treasury! This crayon makes a great stocking stuffer for any young girl or girl who is young at heart!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Season of Gratitude

Today I had my three-month follow-up from the LEEP. Unfortunately, I was denied coverage for the lab fees for the pap. Therefore, I just had a simple visual exam. Praise God, everything looks to be healing well and there were no visible signs that any malignant cells were regrowing! The next visit is in November, but for now I will rejoice and be grateful for continued health.

Friendly Reminder!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Season of Gratitude

The tress in Abilene haven't decided to kill us yet.

We just watched The Happening. It was an okay movie. As corny as it was, I do kinda like the idea behind it.

I suppose what I'm actually grateful for tonight is that we as a family (meaning me with Philip's compliance) have taken steps to maintain a "greener" life style. I really just consider it trying to live in a more sustainable way and not really "going green" or what not.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Recipe: Simple Chicken Dinner

Winner! Winner! Chicken Dinner!

I am a huge fan of easy dinners. Here's one of my favorites.

Start with a package of chicken breasts and trim the fat. Drain the juice from one can of pineapple slices (make sure it's juice not syrup) into a pan.  Place the chicken in with the juice. Add barbecue sauce (use your favorite, but I'd recommend a mild or sweet sauce). Leave to marinate overnight or for the day.

Grill the pineapples.

Steam rice.

Then grilled the chicken. As you grill the chicken, baste with barbecue sauce.

Serve the chicken in pieces with the grilled pineapple on steamed rice.
How simple is that? Eat with chopsticks and enjoy!

Season of Gratitude

My gaming blog has had over half of it's all-time views in the last three or so days.

My etsy shop has had incredible traffic.

I have an interview tomorrow.

God is good.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Season of Gratitude

So, I know I didn't post yesterday, but I had a good reason. Yesterday was the husband's birthday! He was able to take most of the weekend off so we've had a bit of a mini-vacation. I've really enjoyed having him home and getting to spend some time together, especially with the holiday season coming (retail during the holidays gets rather busy). I always say that birthdays are days to take time out and tell the person that you are glad that they were born.

My life has been greatly blessed by the presence of my husband and I am very glad, and grateful, that he was born.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Zombie Treasury!

Today was the anniversary of the release of the movie Shaun of the Dead. Enjoy some funny zombie items and get ready for Halloween and the zombie apocalypse all at once!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Season of Gratitude

Bazinga! Tonight was the first time we watched Big Bang Theory as it aired. We usually wait and watch the whole season on DVD, but Philip reminded me that it was on and we were able to watch it. While Big Bang Theory is awesome, what I'm grateful for is being able to spend time with Philip. We didn't really have anything planned, and there wasn't a long list of things to do (okay, there was, but nothing that had to be done tonight). We just ate dinner and watched TV, and that was really great.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Colors of Christmas Treasury

Hey everyone! One of my Christmas ornaments was featured in the treasury linked below! Thanks to NinjaKittyStudio for adding my green star ornament.

Season of Gratitude

This morning as I was driving Philip to work I saw a rainbow. It was vibrant and long and was a beautiful way to start the morning. As we stopped at a traffic light, I thought that my eyes were messing up because all of a sudden, I saw two rainbows. I looked again, and sure enough, there were two rainbows in the clouds! The second was slightly faded, but there were clearly two.

I've always loved rainbows; I guess every little girl likes rainbows. However, I've grown to love them even more as I learned to appreciate their meaning. At the end of the story of the flood, God makes a covenant with Noah that He will never cause the waters to destroy the earth again even though humans will deserve it. God placed the rainbow in the sky and declared that from that day forward, the rainbow would remind Him of his promise to Noah and He would have mercy on the people on the earth.

The rainbows this morning were so special because they were a reminder that our God is a merciful God. No where does God say that He will hold back the floodwaters if we behave. God's covenant even states that mankind will have evil in their hearts and will fail to do good, but God will remain faithful to His creation and will look on it with mercy.

This mornings rainbows were not just a beautiful way to start the day, but they were a miraculous sign of the merciful and loving God whom I am so grateful to know.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

God is Love

Here's a new treasury that I made of items with this simple yet profound verse (one of my fans).

Season of Gratitude

Today I would say that I am very grateful for the encouragement of friends. Particularly as I venture into this unknown world of writing as a career and using this blog to get going, encouraging words have been a blessing. I check the site stats and what not (probably more often then ever possibly needed), but the other day a friend actually told me that she had been reading the blog! I was so excited that I finally had proof that a real person was reading what I wrote! It was a great encouragement, and Sarah, I am very glad to count you as a friend and colleague.

Monday, September 19, 2011


My bear soap was featured in a treasury on Etsy formed on the concept of animals and Noah's Ark! Check it out:

Recipe: Pot Roast

This is one of our favorite recipes and is perfect for welcoming the cooler weather!

  • Beef roast cut (.5-1 pound per person)
  • Potatoes (I use baking potatoes but other options may work as well)
  • Carrots (I usually get a bag of organic baby carrots that are washed and peeled. This saves so much time on  prep and helps to beef up the portion of our diet that is organic without adding too much to the grocery bill.)
  • Onion
  • Bay Leaf (or a few small ones)
  • Beef Stock (Or can use vegetable stock or broth if you prefer. It's usually easier to find organic vegetable stock than it is to find organic beef stock. I prefer the taste with the beef stock.)
  • Handfuls of each: pepper, salt, and oregano (I will often use coarsely ground sea salt and use a little less in the pot itself and then add salt if necessary to the final product.)
  • A few cloves of garlic. (peeled but whole)

Peel and cut the potatoes into good size chunks. Peel and slice the carrots if using regular ones. Peel the onion and cut into 1/4s. Put all the veggies on the bottom of your crock pot or slow cooker. 

Salt and pepper the beef and sear in olive oil in a separate pan. I like to sear just long enough to get a few kinda dark areas. Place the beef on top of the veggies.

Add the salt, pepper, oregano, bay leaf(ves), and garlic cloves on top of the beef. Poor the stock into the crock pot covering at least most of the roast. It usually takes two boxes for my crock pot which is a 6 quart pot. Cook on high for 6-8 hours.

Season of Gratitde

Today has been a good day. Philip had the day off (yippee!!!). Usually his one day off for the week is Sunday which is generally a pretty busy day for us. So, we were both excited. We slept in (though Simon wouldn't let us sleep in too much). We had a lazy morning with Simon sleeping on my lap while I napped on the couch and Philip played Fallout 3.

Then we had lunch at Jason's and went to see The Lion King in 3D! The Lion King was awesome. You see so much more definition and you can see all the layers of the animation. It was seriously great. Afterwards, we got ice dream from Chick-fil-A and then we went to Hastings to walk around.

Little did we know, Hastings had put out the new DC Heroclix Superman set that Philip has been looking forward too. His birthday gift is his order of this set as he's been waiting for it for a very long time. (If you're interested in Heroclix and want some early info click here to see more.)

Then, as we got home, I got out of the car and what did God surprise me with? A large group of monarchs was flying around a tree outside our apartment! I absolutely love butterflies and their presence has been a constant reminder to me of God's amazing grace and transformative power. This sighting was just another of God's little love notes.

(I hope to post a picture soon, camera cord is missing.)

So, the husband and I are both blogging. Then, we're having grilled cheese and soup for dinner and watching The Big Bang Theory season 4! There's a lot to be grateful for today.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

New Etsy Items!

I just posted a bunch of new soaps into the etsy shop! One is an unique piece with a fabric flower embedded in the soap. There are also some that make great favors for baby showers and birthdays! I've made many batches of the bumble bee soap for friends baby showers in the recent months and everyone loves it! A great and unique way to thank your guests.

You can see the new items here:

Season of Gratitude

Today I am incredibly grateful for my Kindergarten class. I teach Kindergarten for Sunday School, and I absolutely love it. I look forward to class every week. This week was particularly fun.

We walk the kids through the new testament and of course we start at the beginning. This week, we were talking about the three wise men. In the past this lesson has been a movie day. The activity is really short and the kids don't always get it. Typically after the teaching part of class they draw their gift to Jesus, which is intended to be something deep and spiritual, but the kids are five, they don't really think that way.

Instead, today we had them draw what they would bring Jesus if they had been with the wise men. My favorites included a rattle, a doll, and a bottle. The bottle was so that baby Jesus could drink it and get really fat. (Definitely a walk away and laugh moment.)

Then, we had the kids wrap gifts to give away. The rules are that they have to give the gift to someone not in their family and not in our Sunday School class. We had some of our high school kids come and help, and the little boys just loved it! Not only did several of our little boys talk about how they would give their gifts to girls so that they could get girlfriends, but they were really hoping that some of the high school girls would be cheerleaders. It starts so early!

Then came my favorite part! Before they sat down for lesson, the kids took their shoes off and placed them outside the classroom in a line against the wall. The Three Kings then came during class and filled them with treats!

I loved doing this! It was great to see the kids emptying their shoes (particularly one boy who trying to put his boot on but it didn't fit so he flipped it upside down and shook out a starburst). We had several adults wishing they could be in Kindergarten for class that morning. I really enjoyed putting that together for our kids. I can tell why "Santa" likes coming very year on Christmas.

I am so grateful that I get to be there for these kids and minister to my church family every week. In particular, I'm glad that I have a church family that is so supportive of my work with these kids. I've had experiences in the past when I've been told that for whatever reason that I haven't been able to minister in one way or another, but the church we're out now is incredibly supportive and I couldn't be more grateful to our ministers for giving me this opportunity each week.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Season of Gratitude

Today I am grateful for my education. Specifically, my MFT training. Being trained to think systemically has proven to be helpful in so many ways! It's helped me to be more empathetic and more understanding. It helps me to see people in a new way. By viewing people within their context, they begin to make more sense and it becomes easier to see why a person would do or say certain things.

Further, my education has made me a better problem solver. If something is bothering me, I can take the time to think through what the problem actually is and why it is a problem. I feel like I'm also better able to go about finding solutions. When you can see the problem in a systemic way, there isn't just one answer, there are hundreds.

All this to say, my two years of grad school were some of the most challenging, and most expensive, but I feel as if I have a unique experience that has better equipped me for life in general, and I am extremely grateful that I was able to have this opportunity.

Friday, September 16, 2011


A dear friend just lost her teenage daughter very suddenly this morning. Please be praying for her and her family. (I don't want to post any details to respect their privacy.)

Season of Gratitude

Today I am very grateful for my wonderful husband and our time at the fair last night. It's been a crazy week for him at work and I know he was tired and wasn't really feeling it, but we had a great time. We ate yummy fair food, walked through the carnival and all the displays, and fed the animals at the 4H petting zoo! The petting zoo is my favorite every year. Philip just sits back and laughs at me. I'm such a little kid there, but that's okay. Last night really helped me remember how much fun I have when I let my guard down. Oh, and I had my first fried Oreos! They were really yummy. Plus, it rained! It seems to always rain during the fair here, and the rain was such a blessing in this time of drought.

All things considered though, I am just so glad that I got to spend that time with Philip.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

A Season of Gratitude

A lady from my church recently posted on Facebook her Summer of gratitude. Everyday she posted what she was grateful for that day. Well, I feel like I could use an attitude make over so I'm going to copy her. From now until Thanksgiving I will post one thing I'm grateful for. I will keep a running list here on this blog and at the end of it all, I pray that God will change my heart and help me to recover the sense of awe and wonderment I once had with the world.

Today I am grateful for the cooler weather which signifies a change in the seasons.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Comic Book Christmas!

I just made and posted my first comic book ornament. I had a ton of fun making it and really look forward to making some more. This one's plastic for those with small kids and pets that like the Christmas tree (my cats took out their fair share of delicate ornaments). I plan to make others using other comics and characters including some in glass. Here's the one I just finished made from June 1992's Green Lantern #25:

You can find the etsy listing here.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Big Boy Food!

Simon turns one next month so when we had to get him more food this week, we got him adult food! He has a little kitten food left so we'll mix it for the next week or so. It's the same flavor as his kitten food so I don't think it'll taste all that different, but just in case it's a rough transition for his tummy.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Gamer Girlfriend Reviews Recap!

Last week I stepped it up and got started bloging more seriously. (As you probably noticed.) I have a second blog that I dedicate to video games and the associated culture. Here's what was posted there this week:
A short review of the new game: El Shaddai
A full length review of the innovative, choose-your-own-ending game Catherine.

If you into video games, or dating/married to a gamer, check it out!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Works in progress!

Here's a sneak peak at what I'm working on right now!

I've got three scarves that I'm finishing up. (I like to multi-task.) I have two others started, but the kitten got ahold of them, so they may need to be taken apart and repurposed. At least Simon had some fun, right?

From right to left: Purple needle-knit solid scarf; Purple ribbon-yarn needle-knit scarf (similar to the orange and black one in the etsy shop); and a Nursery Yellow solid needle-knit scarf.

I'm also working on finishing my painting of Kuroneko Sama. You can see the unfinished piece below. It will be of his frightened eyes. I just find it to be his cutest face! =^.^=

Slow Cooker Ribs and Cornbread!

One of my favorite late summer/early fall meals is barbecue ribs, cornbread, green beans, and salad. These ribs are so simple and easy to make and can be altered to your taste (I like mine mostly sweet with just a little bit of spice.) and to the number of people joining you.

Rib Rub Recipe:

  • Cumin
  • Chili Powder
  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder
  • Paprika
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Brown Sugar
Combine all the ingredients according to the taste you're looking for. I usually use a lot of brown sugar, onion and garlic powders, and paprika. Like many of my family's recipes, you know it's going to taste right if it smells good.

Rub the mix on all sides of boneless ribs and let sit in the fridge over night. If there's any excess rub mix, place this in with the ribs while they marinate.

Layer the ribs in your slow cooker with your favorite barbecue sauce. I usually use Kraft's barbecue sauce as I find it to be pretty mild in spice but complements the rub well.  Start with sauce on the bottom. Cook for about seven (7) hours on low. Ribs should be tender and able to be cut/pulled apart with a fork.

For cornbread, I like to use Jiffy's cornbread mix. I find it has a good flavor and they come out just crumbly  enough.

Prayer Request

Yesterday evening, one of the tenants of a local apartment attacked and shot one of the workers. Prayers go out to Jacob and his family. Any readers who are the praying type, please pray for a continued recovery and sense of peace for those living in the apartment complex.

Details on the event can be found here.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Some Reflections...

So, I was watching TLC this morning and was about to do some chores when I saw that the premiere episode of their new show, "Big Sexy" was going to be playing next. I decided I would watch it. After all, the commercials had peaked my interest and I really didn't feel like doing dishes anyway...

Let me begin, for those who don't know me, by saying that I am "plus-sized" or "big." I don't particularly like to label myself by my size, but it gets the point across for now. While I admire these women for their perseverance in the fashion industry and their desire to provide positive role models for young girls, I had a few issues with the show very early on.

One of the very first scenes was a woman putting on two layers of shapewear on just her lower half. While doing this, she's talking about how beautiful she is and proud of her size. I'm wondering, if you are so proud of your size and feel so confident in your beauty, why do you need two layers of Spanx?

The next scene is of all the ladies going to a fashion show during fashion week. The models in the show are typical models who are very thin. One of the ladies began to make negative comments about how one of the models was too skinny and "all bones." Later, the ladies were joking around in such a way that sounded to me like they were teasing that model in the same way that many mean kids teased them in high school.

During the fashion show itself, the one lady who talked about the very thin model also said that while those models could go all day without eating, she couldn't. She went on to say that she could eat a whole chicken. Specifically, one of those rotisserie kind with all the drippings. In the same breath that she commented on how unhealthy the thin model was, she spoke of some very unhealthy eating habits on the other end of the spectrum.

Another scene that they showed was particularly disturbing to me. At a BBW party (a party for Big Beautiful Women and the men who love them), they had a "Thunder Thigh Contest." During this time, women got up and danced around to show off how large their thighs were. It was at this point that I was really turned off from this show and a few minutes later turned it off.

I strongly believe in loving yourself and your body no matter what your pant size. This is something that most, if not all, women struggle with from time to time, and something that I have had many battles with. However, there seems to be a trend towards no longer recognizing the unhealthy nature of such large physiques. Yes, you should love your body no matter what it looks like, but part of loving your body should be to take the best care of it possible.

While I am glad that many media outlets are trying to stray away from the uber skinny model of beauty, I think we also need to be careful that we do not overly glamorize the other end of the spectrum. Just as it is unhealthy to be too underweight, it is also unhealthy to be too overweight. I just worry that we could be sending just as unhealthy a message to our young people with shows like this as we do with shows that encourage girls to starve themselves.

Final word: Love yourself no matter what you look like, but just as you should always be striving to be a better friend, wife, daughter, etc. strive to be healthier too whatever that may look like for you.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Micah 6&7

I heard this song this morning and it touched my heart. Specifically, I love the verse that the young lady sings towards the end. Micah 6:8, "Seek justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God." With that verse swimming in my mind, I decided to read Micah 6 and 7 again. These two chapters struck me as being incredibly relevant to our society.

In this part of Micah, you see the Lord's accusation of Israel. Once again, the chosen nation has turned away from its God and has forgotten the awesome acts of mercy that have saved them in the past. The writer hears the Lord's accusations and knows that he is guilty. He pleads with God, what can I do to make you love me again? What do I need to give you? He asks God which sacrifice would be necessary. Barrels of oil? Costly livestock? His own son? He offers God everything that God does not need and nothing that God wants.

God's reply is simple. He wants a faithful people. He wants his chosen nation to seek justice, love mercy, and to walk humbly with Him.

Still, the people seek to find their fulfillment elsewhere, but it is not successful. Micah 6:14-16:
You will eat but not be satisfied;
   your stomach will still be empty.
You will store up but save nothing,
   because what you save I will give to the sword.
You will plant but not harvest;
   you will press olives but not use the oil,
   you will crush grapes but not drink the wine.

The writer continues to talk of the corruption all around him. Everyone is corrupted from the nation's leader to his own wife. He is crying out against the evil around him, but his voice is so small among the crowds. Yet,
But as for me, I watch in hope for the LORD,
   I wait for God my Savior;
   my God will hear me. 
Do not gloat over me, my enemy! 
   Though I have fallen, I will rise. 
Though I sit in darkness, 

   the LORD will be my light. (7:7-8)

How can this man, surrounded my evil, watching his nation suffer rightly due to their own sin, have such hope? Because he has walked with his God. He proclaims at the end of the book the reason for his hope-- He can have hope, because he knows who his God is.

Who is a God like you, 
   who pardons sin and forgives the transgression 
   of the remnant of his inheritance? 
You do not stay angry forever 
   but delight to show mercy. 
You will again have compassion on us; 
   you will tread our sins underfoot 
   and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea. 
You will be faithful to Jacob, 
   and show love to Abraham, 
as you pledged on oath to our ancestors 
   in days long ago. (Micah 7:18-20)

Today, I know that it is easy to look around and see the corruption of our world. It is easy to see how even those of the Church have strayed away from their God. But today, I challenge us to seek justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God, because then we will have the hope that comes from knowing the person of our God and knowing that He will always be faithful to us, no matter how unfaithful our world becomes.