Friday, October 29, 2010

Can Halloween be beneficial to the cause of Christ??

Before October ends and Halloween is in the past, I've gotta share some of my thoughts on the whole idea of this holiday. It's interesting how little we think about the consequences of things like Halloween before having kids...

I've always enjoyed Halloween. My parents made sure to keep all the scary stuff out of it. We enjoyed dressing as crayons or indians and walking around our safe and pleasant neighborhood with all our friends. My favorite Halloween memory was at Indiana Wesleyan with my best friend. We went to class dressed up and left a crate with candy in it outside our dorm room door. I love Jamie.

Derek's family didn't participate in Halloween. Since we've been married, Derek has thoroughly enjoyed dressing up. (Today he was so mad at himself for not thinking of having everyone dress up at school). He loves dressing up the kids and the dogs too.

Marie and Lexi, aka "Hunny" pot and Bee (2009)

After we were married, I was so excited to pass out candy. Right now I cannot for the life of me figure out why I was so excited about spending money we've never had on candy that we usually ended up eating most of. Besides that, the first year, no one came to our door. The next year only like 2 kids came. The 3rd year, our first guest was a teenager who wasn't wearing a costume. ((That just irritates me)).

This year we plan to trick or treat with my little sibs in their neighborhood. Jack and Marie are both going as pumpkins. (I got both of their costumes on half-off day at Goodwill! Although I'm a little nervous about Jack's fitting. He's a big kid!)

So now we're almost caught up to my point... Last Sunday Pastor Blodgett spoke on alcohol (which someday I hope to be brave enough to post about, but for now I'll just say - I went into that message full of pride and left it convicted, humbled, and overwhelmingly grateful for First Baptist Church and it's pastor). While the focus was on drinking alcohol, the application is limitless. As I pondered what we should do as a family about Halloween, I thought about the passages Pastor B brought up... 1 Corinthians 6:12 and 10:23.

"All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify." (10:23, NASB)

So I thought, how on earth is Halloween profitable or edifying? It's fun, and who doesn't love candy?? But beneficial? I couldn't justify it. But I couldn't seem to let it go either.

The other day my little sister said something like, "You can make any holiday anything you want." How true is that. So we've decided instead of turning out all our lights and hiding from the neighbors, pretending like we're too good for this nation-wide holiday, we're going to make this opportunity beneficial, edifying, spiritually profitable. Our children are going to grow up enjoying dressing up, eating candy, and sharing the Gospel with every kid who knocks on our door.

Going up to someone to share the Gospel is not easy. But on Halloween, children and parents are knocking on your door, willing to take whatever you have to give them!! So now, to me, not only is participating in this "evil" holiday beneficial, not participating is seriously missing out on probably the easiest way to further God's Kingdom!

It doesn't matter how hard the world tries to shut out God, He is always there. We, as believers, have the awesome responsibility of letting everyone know that! Halloween is a great opportunity to slap Satan in the face and to teach our children about sharing the Good News in even the darkest situations!

Here's a link to a free tract download to be handed out with life savers!
Here's another cool idea to hand out - Scarecrow Lollipops with tract!

How do you plan on spending Halloween night?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pumpkin Patch Fun

 The 3rd annual pumpkin patch photo shoot was very different. There were key things missing, or just not quite right.

  • We were not in PA
  • It was too sunny and too hot
  • No Stacey
  • No Natalya
But we did manage to get some good shots. We couldn't really see the screen of our camera because of the sun, but we're getting good at point and shoot blindly and quickly.

I do not love change.

But I do love my family to pieces.

Marie loves "pumpums"
Jack doesn't love them quite yet.
Marie picked out all our pumpkins except Daddy's. He wanted to pick his own :)

Overall it was fun, even though we were sweaty and grouchy and, in Jack's case, hungry.

Happy Fall everyone!!

Friday, October 22, 2010

House Update

I just love this place.
Well, there's not much to report. The basic house inspections have mostly passed. One problem that has popped up is the radon level is high in the basement. Apparently that's common in these parts. As long as we can find a way to pay for it, it's not gonna stop us from buying this house! We're still waiting to hear about the well and sewage... I think. Anyway, prayers that everything else comes back in tip top shape would be much appreciated!

Otherwise, the papers have been signed! So unless something major happens (like God says no!), we'll eventually live in this house! Eventually. While there is a closing date, the loan is still in the hands of government people. Enough said.

Here at the good ol' rental, we have some serious mice issues. But we've done a pretty good job lowering the cochroach population. The toilet broke last night. We were told it was completely new. When the guy came to fix it, he said the piece that broke was very old and just had to be replaced. It's just like our landlords to cut corners. They seem to be very good at it.

I'm learning to be grateful. I mean overall this rental is just what we needed. I'm praying that the reason we're having so many problems is because God is giving us a way to get out of the lease and move into our own home soon!

This verse encouraged me yesterday -

"Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, and He will do it." Psalm 37:5-6

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Chicken Salad Recipe

Yesterday a very rare thing happened... I was cooking in the middle of the day. This chicken salad made me do it.

I LOVE chicken salad. My MIL made this one for Father's Day using The Pioneer Woman's recipe. I haven't been able to stop thinking about it since. Several months later I've finally made its deliciousness. The greatest part: it's so easy even I can do it! :)

You'll need:

1 whole cut up fryer chicken (or about 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts)
2-3 stalks celery, chopped
2-3 whole green onions, chopped
2-3 cups green and red grapes, halved
1/2 cup mayo
1/2 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
Small handful of fresh dill, minched
1-2 T Lemon juice
1-2 T Brown sugar
Salt and Pepper to taste
Cayenne pepper to taste (optional)
Bacon bits (optional)

I went the boneless skinless chicken route because I hate bones (and chicken was on sale at Meijer!). Place your chicken in a large pot covered in water and bring to rolling boil for about 45 minutes (or whenever you get back to it. I love no-rush recipes!)

Take 2-3 stalks of rinsed celery and slice right down the middle.

Chop as fine or as chunky as you'd like.

Take your green onions, chop off the hairy end and discard. Chop up all the rest of your onions. (Don't forget to be wearing your contact lenses at this point or your children will wonder what the onions did to make you cry).

Halve or quarter your grapes. Eat a couple. You're probably hungry.

Put your fruit and veggies in a bowl big enough for the complete salad. Get out a separate bowl and mix your mayo, sour cream/plain yogurt, lemon juice, brown sugar, salt and pepper.
Next time I'm going to go lighter on the brown sugar and use real mayonnaise instead of Miracle Whip.

Add fresh dill and a dash of cayenne pepper.
I was too lazy to mince my dill.

Mix together.
Taste test.

Oh, the chicken. This can be done at any point but would probably be wise to do it earlier so it can cool a little before mixing with the fruits and veggies.
Remove the chicken from the pot, pull apart with your fingers or a fork.

Add chicken to the fruits and veggies, pour dressing over top and gently mix together. Add bacon bits of your choosing, find a place for your delicious salad in your fridge and let chill for several hours (or for as long as you can stand waiting... It does taste best fully chilled. I tell you this from experience).

See, so easy! And scrumptious! I know this is a summery recipe, but my excuse is we've been having an Indian Summer around here. (But really it's because I love chicken salad summer, winter, fall, and spring!)

Now I'm going to go enjoy myself some before I get my wisdom teeth pulled and don't get to eat for awhile.

Monday, October 11, 2010

A Colorful Reminder in a Godless Neighborhood.

The other day I spotted this tree.

It's just gorgeous with its layers of color.

When I first noticed it a few days ago, it was the most colorful tree on the block. I pointed it out to Derek and said, "Such a beautiful tree in such a Godless neighborhood."

Even in the midst of one of the ugliest, meannest, scariest, seemingly Godless neighborhoods in Elkhart, God IS there.

He is here. Where we live.

Thank You, Father, for that reminder.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Baby Girl Time

I've been spending so much time lately on my jewelry business that poor Marie has gotten a little neglected. Yesterday I decided to drop everything and have some baby girl time. She never complains for it, but it melts my heart to see how much she enjoys it!

First we worked on tossing a ball into a box. The other day my mom and Marie were playing with a bouncy ball... Marie kept putting it on the floor and kicking it. While I'm so proud of her soccer skills, I thought it was time she learned that balls can be used for other things too!

Just as we stepped outside, Daddy came home! So I got to take pics.

I love this one because Derek was trying to teach her to underhand toss the ball but she wasn't even getting close to the box. So she decided to throw it as hard as she could. Miss Independent.

Then she came up with her own game - throw the ball down the sidewalk then bear crawl to get it...
I have no idea how her little mind comes up with these things.

Of course I had to get a pic of Jack...

Later, Marie got her grocery cart out and began using it the only way she ever has - to chase down the dogs. Time to teach her what it's really for. I lined up some chairs in the kitchen and put all her "groceries" on them. She walked down the "aisle" and put her "groceries" in her cart...
Yes, this is what we did instead of mommy doing dishes.

Then we headed off to pay the cashier...

Who, of course, was Daddy...

"Uh oh!" All out of money.

She tried to take the money right out of Daddy's pocket, but he made her clean up her toys to earn it back. She was such a good girl!

I love Baby Girl time. Looking forward to more of it today!

Monday, October 4, 2010

I am a woman

and as a woman I have the right to change my mind... again.

I don't like the idea of combining this blog with my jewelry blog. It just doesn't make sense.

So head over to my new DandLs DangLs blog to keep up with contests and giveaways, tutorials and tips. You'll love it there! :)

Also a prayer request...
The people selling the house that we LOVE decided they were willing to accept our offer! Please pray that -

- the loan goes through quickly
- the house passes all inspections (the sellers condition was that we buy it as is)
- our landlords will be willing to return our deposit even though we will be breaking our lease
- all the little details fall into place
- we will continually be sensitive to God's desires.

Thank you!!

Friday, October 1, 2010

3 Months

3 months ago today, my sweet, wonderful, adorable, handsome, precious son was pulled out of his comfy cozy home (my belly). One look at his squishy, chunky, dimply cheeks and I burst into tears. I was grateful they didn't tie my arms down this time so I could mop up my tears.

My heart burst with love for this little dude.

My heart bursts with love for this little dude on a regular basis.

I'm not sure how much more my bursting heart can take.

I love this little dude.

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