31 December, 2009

Looking Back

We kicked off 2009 in high style, by joining together in marriage on January 10th. It was a snowy day, but many family and friends made the trip over to celebrate with us.

Two weeks after our wedding, a home pregnancy test confirmed my suspicions. We were blessed by the honeymoon baby we had hoped for! :)
The baby was dubbed, "Boing", in honor of the aerobics that he/she would do, making my pregnant belly dance. What fun to watch! I pulled out baby name books, looked up meanings, and we actually discussed Ava Grace for a girl and Judah Scott or Nathan Scott for a boy. Names like Nicole Grace, Felicity Noelle, Connor Riley, Caleb Joshua, Justice Michael, Elsie Kathleen and Aria Joelle also made the baby name list.

The end of June brought a much enjoyed trip to New Hampshire, visiting friends and enjoying the coast. We visited a lighthouse, drove through a mountain pass, and toured different parts of the state with our dear friend Lindsey Peterson.

September 26th, I was extremely pregnant, as in 37 weeks pregnant and feeling ready to pop any day. September 26th also was the wedding day of our dear friends, Joel and Esther Meeder. Scott and I were honored to be the Best Man and Matron of Honor, and guess what...lots of activity brings on labor pains!
Sure enough, I was in labor by 1pm on September 27th, and on September 28th, our daughter was born. It was 12:21 pm when she was fully delivered, and the nurse immediately took her from the doctor and placed her on my chest. No one bothered to find out boy or girl, since we didn't know yet, and so we basked in the miracle of our lovely generic baby. Then we remembered to check, and sure enough, it was the daughter I thought it was! One look confirmed that she is Ava Grace, named after myself. She was 8lb, 14oz, 21" long. And at 2 minutes old she had the most perfect pout I had ever seen...and she hasn't lost it either. :)
What a blessing! Ava has grown and become a light in our lives beyond anything we could have imagined! She loves her grandparents and aunts and uncles, blesses us with hundreds of smiles, and is a wonderful gift.

It has been a full year...tell me about your year. I want to know what God has blessed you with, miracles that have happened, events that shaped your life, and the things that inspire you.

God's blessings to you in 2010!

Love from our home to yours...

28 December, 2009

23 December, 2009

Christmas Treats!

'Tis the season to eat goodies! Here's a sampling of our snacks:So, I made the almond bark pretzel sticks, and had some almond bark left over. It makes delicious peanut clusters. I'm sure it would be fabulous on cashews as well.
And not to forget the chocolate clusters. Mmmm, yummy!
"And you shall call His name Emmanuel, which means "God with Us."
I'm so thankful that God is with us, that Jesus came in such lowliness and humility to be our Savior!

Body Scrub

If you're anything like me, your skin dries out during the winter months. My hands always look chapped, or are so dry they feel papery. I was looking for a solution and stumbled across a recipe for a body scrub on Martha Stewart's site. (Check it out here: ( http://www.marthastewart.com/article/natural-beauties-body-scrub )
I love lavender, and did some research and found out that almond oil is incredibly good for your skin. So, to combine the best of everything, I looked up prices and did some ordering.
The lavender oil and almond oil are from Swanson Vitamins ( http://www.swansonvitamins.com ), and the purple coloring is from Brambleberry ( http://www.brambleberry.com/default.aspx ). Sugar courtesy of Hy-Vee food stores.

Mix it all together and store in a wide mouth jar.

This is incredibly moisturizing, so be sure and give your skin time to absorb the oil after using it.
As a side note, this is a slightly purple tint, but you can't really tell in the photo. You can omit coloring altogether, but I opted to use a natural colorant as opposed to food coloring. Using a colorant such as one from Brambleberry means you will need to use more, just fyi.

Make some and enjoy the luxurious feel of moisturized skin! Best part, it's great for your face too!

18 December, 2009

A Blue Velvet Dress

When I was born, my daddy bought me a very special dress for going to church the very first time. It now fits Ava, so of course I did a photo op! Enjoy!
The dress is made of dark blue velvet, and trimmed with white lace.
Of course, there are ruffles on the bum. :)
My beautiful Ava!

17 December, 2009


I've been keeping busy these last couple of days...

Making cinnamon rolls...

Putting new contact paper in our drawers to replace the ratty old shredded stuff...

Making Pumpkin Gingerbread...

And generally having a good time! Can I add a picture of my girl? She's the focal point and one of the best highlights of my day! She's turning into quite the conversationalist, and discovering her laugh. Yay! I love baby laughs!!! Especially my baby's. :-)You have to love the chica that can pull off a tired expression and a hilarious hairdo and still look absolutely darling.

14 December, 2009

Oh, Baby!

We visited my parents' church on Sunday, and all 4 babies that were born around the same time were there. Eva was born 9/25, Ava and Wesley both on 9/28, and Bella on 10/28. They cooperated so well for us to get this adorable picture!

13 December, 2009

Something to Stuff

I made Ava's stocking! My old (new to me) machine works beautifully, and I had this done in about 1.5 hours tops. I used my stocking as a pattern, and here is my finished product:

I liked the look of her name on the stocking itself and so that's where I put it. :) The fabric is Walmart, and the ribbon trim is Hobby Lobby. It was fun!
Cute, huh? :)

I Want to Praise You!

"Let the first song that I sing be praises to my God and King."

It's Sunday morning, and as often happens especially on Sundays, my thoughts are more centered around how I can praise God today. Admittedly my thoughts do not always center on Christ, and it often shows in how I manage my day.

Something that often comes to mind is, "How much does God want my praise, my adoration, my unconditional trust in Him?" Elizabeth Elliot said it well: "He gave all, He asks all."

Would you agree that God not only deserves the praise He asks of us, He deserves it every day! Before we tackle our day, we should be taking time to thank the Creator of our day. It puts everything in perspective and freshens one's heart and attitude to meet the demands of the day ahead.

Praise the Lord with me this morning! For He is good, and His mercy endures forever!

11 December, 2009

The Jesse Tree

I promised to share Christmas traditions, so here's one we've started. (I realized that many of our new "traditions" won't happen until Christmas day, and it would be fun to post pictures.)

This is a Jesse Tree. It is a pictorial representation of the lineage of Jesse, from whom came Jesus Christ. This tree was an early present from our sister Lori.
You start with 25 velcro patches, to which are affixed 25 ornaments.

Starting on December 1st, you read Scripture that chronicles the story of Jesus.
As you can see, the ornaments are replaced by felt figures that represent the Bible passages read...we begin with Creation, then the fall of man, the salvation of Noah and the promise to never flood the earth, and we will work our way through to the second coming and eternal reign of Christ.We have a handy-dandy binder that has all the verse references in it, and all the figures for the tree enclosed as well.

The italicized references are the shortened version, so if you are short on time you get the same picture, but it doesn't take quite so long to read.

We've really been enjoying this! It will be fun next year when Ava is old enough to put the figures on herself. :)

I just want to share the verse that is on the front of the binder, and the verse that culminates the Jesse Tree.

"Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse,
and a branch from his roots will bear fruit...
with righteousness He will judge the poor,
and decide with fairness for the afflicted of the earth...
Then in that day the nations will resort to the root of Jesse,
Who will stand as a signal for the peoples;
and His resting place will be glorious."
Isaiah 11:1, 4, 10

(December 25th reading)
" 'The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!' "
Revelation 11:15b

The Jesse Tree is a beautiful picture, and also a reminder that
Christ will return and claim His own!
Are you ready?

"Believe on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and you WILL be saved..."
Acts 16:31

My Cutie...

I cannot get over how beautiful and precious Ava is! She does have her quirks. As a substitute to always having boring old tummy time, I use the Boppy, as many moms do. She loves to look at a book while she's at it...

Yes, Winnie the Pooh is acceptable reading material. :)

This was just today. (The photo above was yesterday.)
She has such inquisitive eyes...

She really is such a sweetheart!

Appetizer Wraps

I love trying new foods/recipes that sound appealing. We are going to a Christmas party tonight and are supposed to bring a dessert and appetizer. The dessert is Scott's department: a raspberry-dark chocolate cheesecake. YUM. So I decided to make tortilla wraps as an appetizer. Here's the process:

I began with tomato basil tortilla wraps (these are soft, flexible, big, and so yummy!), fresh spinach, swiss cheese, cream cheese, mild salsa and mesquite turkey.
I used too much cream cheese and salsa. Next time I'll half it and mix 4oz. of cream cheese with 1/3c. salsa. Less salsa makes a thicker spread, but this was a pretty good consistency. (If you have too much it makes a great chip dip!)
Cream cheese spread went on the wrap first.

Next the spinach. Leave about 2-3 inches of headspace on one end of your wrap, the filling will move as you roll everything up.

Add the swiss cheese...

And the turkey...
And roll it all up, then slice! The ends make great snacking. :) The amount I had made 3 wraps.

Bon Appetit! Delicious, fairly nutritious, and oh so easy!

10 December, 2009

Winter Wonderland

"Sleigh bells ring, are you listening,
In the lane, snow is glistening
A beautiful sight,
We're happy tonight.
Walking in a winter wonderland.

Gone away is the bluebird,
Here to stay is a new bird
He sings a love song,
As we go along,
Walking in a winter wonderland."

Well, we seem to have an early wonderland this year! I took a few minutes this afternoon while Ava was napping and snapped a few photos. It is insanely COLD! It is also immensely beautiful.
The front walk. This is a very poor example of a pile of snow, but it is cold and white nonetheless!

Our front windows! There's about 14-16" of snow here:

The other side of the building, facing away from our windows. Doesn't the magnolia tree look gorgeous?

Yes, I realize this is a picture of my leg. The snow is about knee-high on me.

Our neighborhood as seen from the front stoop. It all looks so clean...too bad it's such a pain to drive on...we just all need a one-horse open sleigh. (I feel a song coming on...)

All in all, it's another beautiful day here at Apt. 101! Remember...Jesus makes us as white as snow!