Friday, December 28, 2012

family rollick

Christopher and I went trekking in the state park down the street from our house again today.  It was refreshing for our first day back in the Carolinas.  Alexander was in great need of a two hour sprint around the woods (literally, he doesn't stop from the time we get out of the car to the time we get back in it).

Needless to say, he's been completely worn out since we got home. :) cutie.

Today was also filled with wonderful mail :)  In addition to all the lovely Christmas cards we received, the sweetest package came in from my dear friend, Jennifer.  She recently came back to the states from Nepal and unbeknownst to me, she did a bit of shopping while sharing Jesus with everyone around. :)

I really feel so honored.  I can't explain how much this gift means to me. 
I feel like if I were to be depicted in a gift, this would sum me up perfectly - amazing tea, warm handmade slippers, and a pop-up letter. :) It makes me smile so big. 
Thank you again, Jennifer.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

friends, friends

It's been a great weekend to say the least!  We got into Mississippi Thursday.  Christopher has been hunting ever since ;) but my best friend and her fiance came into town yesterday to hang out with us a bit.  It was awesome.  We drove out to Canton last night to see the lights and our wonderful friends, the Voth's, joined us.  It was so amazing to hang out with such close friends for a night - just what we needed!

Karate chopped kiss under the mistletoe ;)
Creepy sleeping Santa

Best Frands

Then Collette came over and we made reindeer noses :)

Did you see the circle around the moon last night?!

Peace to all! Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 16, 2012


It's hard finding a church sometimes.  We really thought we would just "know" when the right one came along.  And I've really been thinking that maybe we've known all along - it just looks differently than we thought it would.  But I guess that's how Jesus always does it, huh?

So we've been to two churches in the four weeks we've been here (Week 1 was spent unpacking and Week 3 was spent nursing our puppy back to health after "the wound").  Saturday of Week 2 was spent in the most bazaar trip to the post office I've ever encountered, where (I'm not sure if I already told you this story but here is round two if so) A of all, the line is ridiculously long, B of all, we meet an awesome couple that saw our "I love Mississppi" tags and struck up conversation about all sorts of interesting things (i.e. cloth diapers), C of all, the lady at the counter wouldn't tape my box!  What's a girl to do when she has no packing tape at home and the lady at the counter won't tape her box?  Let's just say it was definite conformation for me that this far northeast is not "Dixie" as many people argue it is.  If we were truly in Dixie, my box would have been nicely taped by the sweet smiling woman at the counter.  Anyways, that's part of the story behind your package Kelly ;).  So in the midst of talking about the back roads of MS, our dog, their history, and cloth diapers, they invited us to church.  Hello!  "Yes! We would love to come to your church tomorrow."  Thank you, Jesus.
So we went to church the next day, and although the service wasn't what we're used to and the word wasn't really where we're at in our lives, the people were amazing.  Everyone was so nice and genuine.  So, since that day, we've made a ton of really great friends - ones that I don't see us living without in years to come.  They have sought us out in the most genuine and friendly way.  We just got back from the Christmas party a little bit ago. :)  It's so easy to talk to everyone there.  It's never uncomfortable or awkward at all.  We basically love it.

So then we go to a church today that we found on igloballegacy, which is a website where you can search churches in your area that support Bill Johnson Ministries.  Awesome help in a place where you know a limited number of people and a limited number of routes.  The church we went to today was right up our ally.  Amazing worship and an amazing word.  So much revelation.  It was really so great.  One guy and one girl introduced themselves to us before it started and they were both super cool, however, after the service was over I was a little surprised in the "not at home" feeling I had.  A few women came up to us and told us they were glad we came, but other than that, no one really talked to us.  That kind of changed everything.

Christopher and I are huge on community and thoroughly believe it is where Jesus loves to thrive.  So I think we know where we're being led, but it's still so different than we thought it would be.  Our good friend, Beau, once told us that sometimes it's better to choose the church by the community, and then listen to sermons and worship the Lord on your own.  We may try that out for this season.

I'd love to hear what you all think.  What would you do?

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Romping + Date Night

Lori Beth picked me up around 4:30 today with dog in car and mine rolling in poop in the front yard.  We cleaned him up a bit then loaded the two in her car.  We went to a state park pretty close to our house and let the dogs off the leashes.  Romping is one of Lori Beth's favorite things to do, which means we're basically two peas in a pod just hanging out together.  I don't think Alexander stopped to take a breath the whole two hours or so we were in the woods.  We walked some beautiful trails and stopped at a lovely clear creek.  I plan on returning to that creek with a book and my poop-necked dog eventually.  You know how when you're in the woods and it's about to get dark and you think you have a lot more time than you really do before night?  That happened.  We did half the walk in the dark with coyotes howling.  It was refreshing.  I'm quickly beginning to love Lori Beth.  We had awesome conversation the whole time - family, dogs, Jesus.  It was just what I needed, some girl time with a good friend.

Christopher decided tonight should be date night before I went on our romp, so when I got home, he got dressed and we went to a restaurant we've been hearing a lot about - Thai Taste! Mmmm.  It was so very yummy.  We're suckers for Thai food.  I got a splendid red curry dish and he went for the house noodles, which were delectable.  All in all, we'll be returning, a lot.

After our dinner, we popped our peppermints in our mouths and headed home to pick up the hot coco and Alexander.
Hot coco in hand.
Christopher thought tonight would be a great night to drive around and look at all the Christmas lights.  It was.  I couldn't get many pictures, but believe me, we saw some pretty houses.  Here's a really terrible picture of a giant reindeer:

It was a great night.  Much needed.  Also, my recipe cards came in this week, and I'm super excited to have my own recipes written down in my cute little recipe box. :)  It's the little things that make me happy.

I alsooo, finished two cowls this week.  Pictures to come - maybe.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

pumpkin raisin biscotti

I took my second attempt at this recipe yesterday, and it turned out better than the first.  I made them thinner this time so they are crunchier than the first.  This biscotti is a softer type of biscotti, not the hard crunchy kind you usually have.  Regardless, it's delicious and super fiberous.

All you need: 

1 cup sunflower seeds
2 cups raw unsalted almonds
1 cup ground flaxseed
1 can organic pumpkin
2 carrots
1 apple
1 cup raisins
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp pumpkin spice

- Grind the sunflower seeds and almonds in your food processor until they're finely chopped.  Then pour mixture into big bowl.  Add flaxseed, cinnamon, and pumpkin spice to it.  Mix it all up.

- Grind your carrots and apple (a little at a time since it's wet).  Add your pumpkin, carrots, and apple to the mix and stir it up real good.

- Once it's mixed well, add in your raisins.

- Pour the mixture onto your pan or cutting board, and shape the mixture into biscotti, or whatever shape you want them.  My batch made two dozen this time.

- The recipe says to bake them for two hours at 145 degrees, then reduce heat to 105 degrees for six hours.  Both ovens I've cooked these in only go down to 170 degrees, so I just cook them at that for eight hours.  I'm thinking if I cooked them longer they would probably be crunchier, but we like them a little soft.

Happy baking!

I got this recipe from:

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Christmas Parade!

Our new friend John Paul came over today to help Christopher work on the fence he's building so Alexander can stay in the backyard by himself.  While he was here, he told us the Christmas parade was tonight.  Oh. Boy!  I got excited quick :)

Obviously, my favorite part was the hillbilly section of the parade.  As follows:

This one had hydraulics.

An interesting video popped up in our house tonight.  Christopher saw it on facebook and got a little hooked.  We're not quite sure what to think. ---Angels??? Homemade videos??

What do you think?