Saturday, July 30, 2011


So sorry!
like surprises!!!

I do not like giving them. I do not like getting them.

In fact, I am that person who buys a gift and then immediately has to give it to its recipient or at very least, tell them what I bought.

I have an announcement.
Unfortunately, I cannot post the full story until early next week!
(for secrecy sake)


Thursday, July 28, 2011

MISSION PINK~On the Windows!

We're goin' GIRLIE here!

(not WANTS, but NEEDS!)

I can't wait to reveal this room to you when it's finished!
But for now, I will give you some details about the window treatments! :)

I started with some plain white curtain panels I purchased at Target (my homeland).
...and speaking of "my homeland," my "home" Target has a STARBUCKS inside!
(my two favorite things wrapped into one beautiful package!)

Oh! Right! Windows!
So, I bought the white, cotton panels, the cute green on pink polka dot grosgrain ribbon, and these fun pom-pon tassles! Why white? Because it brightens up any room, and because we have some GREAT paint detailing going on in this room! So, it'll just make the whole thing look very custom!

First, I ironed the curtains out. Then, I sewed the edging onto the very edge of the curtain panel. I eyeballed it, and the beauty of this detailing is that you totally do not have to worry about sewing a straight line! I did go back over the ends so they won't fray upon washing!

Next, I pinned the ribbon where it belongs using a seam in the curtains to make sure I had straight lines.

Next, I sewed VERY close to the edge of the ribbon, making sure I didn't sew through those cute polka dots! (That would have been scandalous!)
(Actually, I'm not that good. I probably sewed through a couple) !)
The important part is to make sure you stay on the ribbon!

Here's a little peek at the finished panels! I'll show you what they look like installed later, but I'm so happy with how they turned out!!!

This is totally a project any beginner can accomplish easily!
It's "SEW" easy!

(I couldn't help myself)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wednesday's Word-The View from 30,000-Part 3

So, you believe that there COULD be A god...

Which one should you choose?
The opportunities are endless...
And, contrary to SOME beliefs, they are NOT ALL THE SAME GOD!
(but that's a WHOLE OTHER can of worms...)

I don't know about you, but I want MY God to be:
All Knowing!
I want MY God to be someone who knows more than I KNOW!
I want MY God to be someone who has a better plan than I HAVE!
You know, THE ORIGINAL?!

Wednesday's Word is comin' atcha from 1 Kings chapter 19 today! Yep, that's FIRST Kings! (It's on page 297) !) In this time, this king named Ahab was ruling, and the nation of Israel was primarily worshiping this god called "Baal." Ahab followed a line of atleast five other kings of Israel who "did evil in the sight of the Lord." But, the Bible says this about Ahab: he "did more evil in the eyes of the LORD than any of those before him...more to provoke the LORD, the God of Israel to anger than did all the kings of Israel before him." (1Kings 16: 30, 33) And, Ahab, was on a manhunt for a prophet of God named Elijah....and Elijah "turns himself in."

Elijah told Ahab to assemble all of Israel on Mt. Carmel, and to make sure he brought the 450 some-odd "prophets" of this god, Baal, along. Check it out:
God-1 prophet.

So, they all assemble, and Elijah says, "How long will you waver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him." (1Kings 18: 21) I see all these people considering the true God. They get SO close to making their minds up and then they waver.

Is it fear?
Is it not wanting to give up control?
Outside influence?
Not wanting to give up their current lifestyle?

That was a pretty BOLD statement by Elijah! He's so confident in his God that he could say with authority to choose between the two. Whoever is REAL, choose Him! How did he do this? He basically says:
You prepare a sacrifice to YOUR god.
I'll prepare a sacrifice to MY God.
"The god who answers by fire-he is God." (18:24)
Everyone agreed.

The 450 prophets of Baal went first. They prepared this sacrifice and then began to call on Baal (all 450 of them). They called out and danced from morning until noon. No answer. I love Elijah's response around noontime (a little bit of sarcasm):

"'Shout louder!' he said. 'Surely he is a god! Perhaps he is deep in thought, or busy, or traveling. Maybe he is asleep and must be awakened.'" (18: 27)
Love it! Can you hear it now?
(think of your best radio voice)
"BAAL! The Traveling god!"

Then these "prophets" shouted louder and started slashing themselves with swords and spears! These guys continued in their "frantic prophesying" until it was time for the evening sacrifice.
No answer.

Now it was time for Elijah to prove to these people his God was FOR REAL! He built his altar with stones and dug a trench around it. He told some people to fill four large jars full of water and to pour it on the altar. So, these people would have had to carry these jars to a water source, fill it, and carry it back. Remember, they're on top of a mountain, so unless there was a top-o-the-mountain lake, they may have had to travel somewhat to find a water source. Elijah had them do this three times. This would have given the water enough time to soak into all the wood on the altar, and the bible tell us that there was so much water that the trench they dug was full of water. By this time, I think we can safely assume it's either dusk, or dark since the other prophets threw in the towel around the time for the evening sacrifice, at which point Elijah began building the altar and called for the people to gather the water.

At this point, Elijah calls on his God one time:

"Answer me, O Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you, O Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again." (18: 37)

"the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench." (18: 38)

What a sight THAT must have been! A fireworks display straight from God! God proved Himself after a long day of waiting, hoping, worshiping this false god. And the people's reply?

"They fell prostrate and cried, 'The Lord-he is God! The Lord-he is God!'"
(18: 39)

See, these other "gods" cannot prove themselves. They do not measure up! They are not THE ONE, TRUE GOD! FOUR HUNDRED AND FIFTY PEOPLE TRIED to call on a god that simply did not exist. ONE MAN called the ONE God, and BAM! God showed up. He proved Himself.

He has been tested.
He showed Himself to be true.
Like Elijah said,
"if the Lord is God, follow Him."

Monday, July 25, 2011


I am on a "Top Secret Mission." We will call this:


Some of you have been wondering what I'm up to.

I will give you a teaser:

Bought this cute side table at Hobby Lobby on sale for $44. It was 30% off of THAT!
Wrong Colors.
No Prob!

NOW we're talkin'!!!

This is an example of some of the "artwork" I've been painting.
There are two more "like" this, but different (I cannot show you right now)
And, there are two more cute things I painted that I (also) cannot show you right now.

I'm also going to embellish these curtains I bought!

I'm pumped! This is going to be FUN!!

Friday, July 22, 2011

The End of the Rope

This week in review:
Tate started Cub Scout day camp. Naomi started swim lessons. Darby broke her glasses. I was supposed to run our completed Dossier and associated copies to Lancaster (a two hour drive) but everyone was "on vacation." Drove to Mt. Airy, MD (hour+ drive) to have dinner with our friends, HEATH AND ERIN who are leaving for China TOMORROW! Started having "tire pressure issues" on this "trip."
Just assume that every day I had to run Tate to Cub Scout Camp, Naomi to Swim lessons, and that Darby couldn't see for the rest of the week since her glasses were broken, okay? Ran to Lancaster (the aforementioned 2 hour drive), but my friend, Beth, accompanied me, so it wasn't so painful.
WEDNESDAY: (This is where the fun really kicks in...hint...YES. That is sarcasm)
Drove Tate and his buddy to Cub Scout Camp (They had to be there by 9. It was 45 minutes away. I drove 1 1/2 hrs by 9:30) Took Naomi to swim lessons where I wrestled Darby for an hour. Upon finishing, I found out that I had a flat tire! Yes. A flat tire. Fortunately, my friends were there, and Andy threw my spare tire on despite my car not having the appropriate tools to CHANGE a flat tire! Drove to our trusty Mennonite garage where they plugged the hole for eleven bucks. Had some girls over for ZUMBA and then our Young Life Alumni over for bible study.
THURSDAY: (at this point in the week, the temperature is 100 degrees outside, mind you)
Tate-camp. Naomi-swim lessons. Darby-wrestling a very cranky Darby (remember, she can't see...and it's a HUNDRED degrees outside). Then we went out to Chick-fil-A with some friends. Lunch was great, but "The Screamer" in the playground had us running out of there with our ears plugged. Ran 7 miles on the treadmill. Sewed a bit with some friends for THIS project from "The Farmer's Wife"!

See our masterpieces?! :)

My partners in "crime,"
and our young friend, Hannah
(who is in 8th grade and is a better seamstress than I am!)

Camp. Swim Lessons. I ran Darby up to pick up her new glasses! woohoo! While I was up there, I picked up a lot of the necessary supplies for a pretty big project that I'm super pumped about and will post on soon! Went to pick some popsicles up for all the Cub Scouts (you know, since it's 100+ degrees outside today). On the way, I looked back at Darby, and found THIS:

Yes. These are her new glasses.

No. They are not supposed to look like this.

And...I feel like I have arrived...back at Monday.

Cue, rope.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Wednesday's Word-The View from 30,000 Part 2

"Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect..." 1 Peter 3:15

Dallas and I take this verse very seriously. In fact, we regularly study religions outside the christian faith so that we're "bringing our 'A' game in life." Sit me next to a Mormon or Jehovah's Witness, and I will repreSENT! !) But, as I became overly aware on my flight home from Texas, I am unprepared to give a reason to all these "minor" religions...

I flew from Dallas to Atlanta, where I switched planes and ended up sitting next to a girl in her mid-twenties. She was a rug weaver from Alabama. I asked her why she was traveling to Baltimore, and she said she was going there for a Lakota Indian Tribe Sundance. (SMOKES! That religion wasn't in the books I read!) I asked her if she had Indian ancestry. "No. I read this book after my husband read it." She told me that it was the way she chose to worship and pray (to the same God of the Christian faith). WHA?! She also said that she has participated in sweat ceremonies in which you sit all day long in a hut made of willow branches got it...sweat. This, she said, brings you closer to god. (I write that with a little "g" because I do not believe she worships the Almighty God) Her husband had already been in Maryland for a couple weeks, and she was invited to come to the last 4 days of the ceremony. And, the last four days are where I ran out of ideas on how to bring this back to Jesus.

A little research, and I found that Day one of the last four days includes finding and cutting down a "sacred" cottonwood tree, bringing it back to camp. They apparently cut it way back and then stand it upright into a hole in the ground. Day 2-3 commences the dancing/fasting/praying. They dance and dance and dance. Day 4 is where it sorta gets gross, so if you're easily grossed out, then you should probably skip the rest of this paragraph. At this point, a select group of men who have pledged to pierce lay down. The Medicine Man comes and cuts two incisions into each man's chest and sticks a peg through the hole. The men then tie the peg to ropes hanging from the top of this tree and continue to dance. At the end of the day, these men yank backward and the peg tears through their skin. They lay the skin at the base of the tree. the sacrifice has been made. This does not represent the God I know!

If I had KNOWN about this ceremony, that apparently a prayer would be answered through sacrifice, I could have asked her to explain this sacrifice, and then that would have been my segway into talking about Jesus, the PERFECT sacrifice-ONCE FOR ALL!

Getting back to the original Scripture, always be prepared to give a reason. If you need a REASON, then you're asking "WHY" kinda questions. My kids are constantly asking "Why" this and "Why" that...because they are seeking an ANSWER, a REASON. So, if I'd asked my flying partner WHY they rip a peg outta their skin, maybe I would have gotten to the reason behind it-the sacrifice. So, basically, if you keep asking "WHY" kinda will eventually come to SOMETHING that you can use to bring the conversation on home.

This reminds me of the story in Acts Chapter 8 (verses 26-40) where Philip was told to go out to this road where he met up with the chariot of an Ethiopian eunuch-an official to Candace, queen of the Ethiopians. The Holy Spirit told Philip to "Go to that chariot and stay near it." (I love that part-Philip is a RUNNER!) The eunuch was reading the book of Isaiah on his way to Jerusalem to worship. So, Philip, running beside this man's chariot...wait a minute...can you PICTURE this situation and how RIDICULOUS Philip must have looked?!! He is now RUNNING next to the chariot, "creeping" on this man's quiet time with the Lord! And, Philip says (through the window as he's running beside it to keep up!), "Do you understand what you are reading?" The man replies, "How can I...unless someone explains it to me?" Then, the man invites this "crazy runner guy" into his chariot! (What a WILD God we serve!) The eunuch reads Philip this passage and asks Philip what Isaiah was talking about. This is my favorite part:

"Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus." (vs 35)

I love this because Philip met the guy EXACTLY where he was in Scripture AND in his quest for truth, and the eunuch totally "sold out for Jesus!" In fact, they passed some water where the eunuch ordered the chariot to stop and was baptized! As soon as the eunuch came up out of the water, the Holy Spirit took Philip away and he "...preached the gospel in all the towns until he reached Caesarea."

FOLKS! This is an example of how SHARP WE are supposed to be! Philip was led by the Spirit, went to "crazy" lengths to obey, and led this man to Christ...beginning RIGHT WHERE HE WAS!

I was speechless when this girl was telling me about her personal faith. I prayed, don't get me wrong, but I just didn't have an answer! I wasn't ready.

Are you?

Friday, July 15, 2011

Things I love about TEXAS!

First of all...this list could go ON and ON! I'll try my hardest to keep it short!

1) Texas A&M-WHOOP!
2) All my Aggies-WHOOP!
3) FREEBIRDS (The Original "Chipotle")
3.5) Texas Pride
4) The Texas sky
5) Bluebell ice cream
6) Taco Cabana and the associated fresh tortillas

7) Tubin' down the Guadalupe
8) Two steppin'
9) Shiner Bock
10) Texas Pride (yep! They even have the Great State of Texas "embossed" into their overpasses-just in case you forgot where you were!)

11) Bedazzled anything (namely, belts)

12) Cowboy boots and all things associated with them!
13) James Avery Jewelry
14) Texas Pride
15) that..."Everything's bigger in TEXAS!"

Kelly's "Campaigner Cookies"

Get ready!
You now have the secret to the WORLD'S BEST CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES!!

There's no way to say this humbly...
...I'm sorta locally famous for my cookies now that I've made them all but maybe 6 Wednesdays the last four years.
I have actually met high school kids from our town who have said,
I have made them every Wednesday when we have had our Young Life bible study that we call "Campaigners," so they have become known locally as "Campaigner Cookies."
"What makes them so good?"
Dallas replies, "Love."
Cheesy, I know, but it's the truth. :)

I cannot take credit for these, however...
My mom gave me the recipe she's used my whole life,
and she said she got it off the butter flavored crisco container. :)

1 1/2c butter flavored crisco
2 1/2c light brown sugar
2 Tbsp vanilla-use the real stuff, please!
4 Tbsp milk
2 large eggs
4c flour
2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
2 entire bags of MINI semisweet chocolate chips
(This is the doubled recipe. Split in half for a small batch)

Preheat oven to 375.
Blend Crisco, brown sugar, vanilla and milk until mixed.
Add eggs and mix.
Add 2 cups flour and mix, then add the last 2 cups of flour, salt and baking soda.
Mix, but do not let it get soupy!
Stir in the two bags of chocolate chips by hand. (this takes some muscles)
Yes. You heard that correctly.
Stir both bags right on in.

USE THE MINI CHIPS!!! (Nestle and Hersheys both make these-they both work well!)

This is what makes them perfectly shaped and fluffy!
Roll them into about 1" little balls before baking.
Take the time to do this-makes a BIG difference!

You are going to need a cooling rack with the small holes. If you don't have one, either buy one, or let the cookies cool for a minute or two on the sheet before moving them over...otherwise, they will melt through the rack (I made these at a friend's house before and that happened because her rack had MUCH larger squares)

I also use this square, metal spatula I got at Williams Sonoma.
It was 25 bucks.
Twenty-five of the best bucks I've ever spent!
You can also cut perfectly square brownies with this sucka!
Love it! It is WELL USED in my house!!!


VOILA! The best chocolate chip cookies you will ever sink your teeth into!
(That was said as humbly as I could...I'm sorry. My cookies are where I draw the line)

Now, go make some COOKIES!

And, let me know how you like them! !)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Wednesday's Word-The View from 30,000

I just got back from my girls' weekend in Texas! Whoop! I traveled by air since I live in PA.

Since we have finished our Young Life ministry, I have been trying to be very intentional in my ministry as I go through life, so I was thinking during my flight as I was "stuck" between my sleeping flight partner and the window:

"How do I use this opportunity in travel to glorify You, God?"

As I was looking out the window at this view:

I became aware of the 120ish people around me...and the 6 billion or so beneath. More importantly, I became acutely aware of the God above...and around me...and beneath me. This God I serve, knows me intimately...knew the people around me intimately, and is intimately involved in the 6 bil. below! I can hardly comprehend! I mean, I couldn't even see through the cloud cover, so I was only aware at that point, of the 120 some-odd folks in the sky with me, but the God who created this view, knows EVERYTHING going on beneath this cloud cover! Even when the clouds parted for the few minutes during my flight:

I still could not even SEE the people below. There's no WAY I could be intimately involved or personally know all those people below. So I prayed...for the opportunity to talk to my sleeping flight partner. Praying that I could leave him with a glimpse of Jesus.

Eventually, he awoke, so I asked him where he was off to. Our conversation led him to tell me about his and his wife's property and how his sweet wife runs a free retreat center in Maryland for Pastors and Ministry Teams! AHA! This whole flight, I assumed he needed ME! (I know, how humble!) I wondered in this conversation what was up with my whole conversation with God about all these people in the sky with me. I realized that striking up conversations with strangers to see where they are in life and who they are not only represents Jesus, but also ministers to people around us (you know, the "snoopers" on the conversations)! When I left the plane, I made a wrong turn and turned around to see this same man talking with the couple who were traveling on the same flight...and sitting directly in front of us. This couple was asking my flight partner about his wife's retreat center! Maybe they needed that retreat! Maybe they would never have heard about it if I hadn't struck this conversation up with the man of God sitting next to me!

He perfectly orchestrated where we were sitting on the plane so that couple in front of us could hear our conversation!

How's THAT for a God that is IN THE DETAILS!
He has the PERFECT view from 30,000 ft!
He intimately knows everyone around you...
...the people in the sky above you...
...and the people on the elevations below you!

Because He is so intimately involved...I will trust Him with the details!

Monday, July 11, 2011



We got our USCIS approval letter today!

We can officially proceed with our adoption of two children from Ethiopia!


Wednesday, July 06, 2011

What's in YOUR Purse?

I love my purse!

It's Ann Taylor circa 2009.

It's huge.

I love big bags.

That being said, I had to "clean house" before I make my trip to Texas on Friday for my:


And what did I find?

My Bible
My Notebook
A PEN! (This one surprised me since I can NEVER find pens in my purse, and yes, it could be because my purse is so big, but I can never find them, none-the-less)
A hairbrush
A McDonald's toy (ugh)
Part of Naomi's dance recital costume (the choker)
Two things of hand sanitizer (consequently, I rarely use the stuff)
My wallet
My thingy that holds my inhaler, chapstick, lipgloss, and eyedrops (I'm addicted to eyedrops)
A hairclip
A thing of hotel-grade shampoo (who knows...)
Sunscreen and two sunscreen sticks (I have two redheads..count 'em...two)
And, finally...


Because you just NEVER KNOW...

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Lost glasses


We lost Darby's glasses...last week.

At her last eye doctor appointment, the doctor told me that she's probably legally blind without glasses. That means, that she wouldn't be able to read the big "E" at the top of the vision chart without glasses. And, yes. You read that correctly, she's been without glasses for almost a week now. That might explain her irritability as of late.

Fortunately, we had already ordered a new pair.

Unfortunately, the glasses place had to order a new piece of equipment to cut the lenses.

I have to say, having little ones in glasses is not for the faint of heart. It's sort of a constant battle. And, by that I mean, "WHERE ARE DARBY'S GLASSES?! oh. there they are" kind of battle. You sort of have to be constantly on the lookout because you never know when she's decided she's "so over wearing these today." We make trip after trip to the eyeglasses place to make sure they fit perfectly. We often break them. We more than often, reorder new glasses with a new prescription. So much so that the guy who works on glasses and I are actually, and very literally, on a first name basis. (His name is Mark, for those of you who don't believe me.)

Mark bends over backwards for my girls. The man's a glasses making genius! Today, I called to see if our new glasses were ready yet. I got the strong arm from the girls on the phone, but when I asked to talk to Mark, they quickly obliged. Mark got on the phone, and I told him the scenario. He told me he'd make a quick pair to hold her over until they get the new part later this week. "They won't be pretty," he informed. To which I replied, "NO PROB! She just can't see her little world, and she's been very irritated." Now, this could totally be because we have two littles who wear glasses and pretty much keep the place in business, or it could be because we finally found one business who is so customer service oriented and who actually CARES about VISION instead of the bottom dollar, but I am ONE HAPPY CUSTOMER!

Dallas is constantly heard saying things like, "Why don't we just go to a place in town?" and, "We can find cheaper glasses." Yes, dear, we can...but Mark is the best! And, their service is the best. So, wish me luck, and pray for Mark-so he doesn't break the frames when he works his magic! !)

And, if you're wondering where, exactly, we go: FUTURE VISION-Chambersburg, PA

Here's to good vision!

Friday, July 01, 2011

The NATE Chronicles-The Finale

After going to bed last night at 8:30, I woke ready for anything...

Nate slept in 'til 7...AGAIN!

But, he spent most of the morning doing this:

(That's my leg he's clinging to)

Darby even joined in with her own little fake tantrum!

After alternating holding Nate and Darby for awhile, I resolved to stick Nate in the backpack, and boy am I glad I thought to do THAT!

If he hadn't pulled my hair out, I probably would have!

And then Kristin came to save the day! ...AGAIN!
Believe it or not, she is also dog sitting, horse sitting and working probably 30 hours this week!
She probably has more superwoman in her pinky finger than I will EVER HAVE...PERIOD!

The kicker?

I think I'll start calling her the BABY WHISPERER!

This was the highlight of Nate's week-His reunion with Daddy!

Nate, it was super fun having you join our family for the week!

Don't be a stranger now, ya hear?!

The NATE Chronicles-Day 4

Exhaustion has set in.

We had a really good day!
Not so much whining or crying from the cheap seats...
Nothing difficult or stressful happened...
Actually, the day was the easiest day I had all week thus far!

My sweet friend, Sarah, came over and picked Tate and Naomi up to go rock climbing in her garage. She also took the kids on a tour of their motor home (and an imaginary trip to Paris)!
(Sarah, will you take me to Paris next time, too?!)

The Cable Guy came in the early afternoon, and Darby and Nate were all up in his grill (which made for an interesting 30 minutes for ME). I'm sure he was HAPPY to finish his job and get back on the road!

Also, Darby has become "Mama's Little Helper" today.

I had the chance to vacuum, mop and dust the main floor, so I took it. I also had some relaxation time in the afternoon while Tate and Naomi played outside and Darby and Nate napped.

I have absolutely nothing to complain about!

I was just TIRED!

So, I ran out and got a pedicure when Dallas got home from work, and Dallas suggested I go to bed at 8:30, which I was happy to oblige! (I'm pretty sure I haven't gone to bed that early since I was about 10 or slept that long since college)

This morning, I'm awake and refreshed and ready to welcome two MORE kids!
I know, I know, it's a little bit crazy, but everyone will leave tomorrow, so I'm not too concerned!

We're embarking on the last episode of:


I have mixed feelings about could go either way. !)