Friday, February 21, 2014


I don't need help, but I would LOVE your help! The Pampered Chef's new spring catalog kicks off March 1st, and I need to book some shows. Our master bathroom had to be renovated (not by choice) and we are working hard to get out of the unexpected debt. The show can be Facebook, catalog, or a cooking show. Here are the March specials~

My favorites are the batter bowls & the stainless steel mixing bowls!

If you are interested in any of the above host specials, message or text me and we will get you set up. If you don't want to host, but you'd like to shop, we can do that too!

Here are the March guest specials if you spend $75 or more before tax and shipping. I'll also throw in a free gift when you hit this goal.

Love our knives!

Here is a super cute dessert for St. Patrick's Day! And, you can get this trifle bowl for 60% off, if you host in March!

Prepare fudge brownie mix according to package directions. Cool completely and cut into 1-inch squares. Meanwhile, combine instant vanilla pudding mix and 3 cups milk in the small batter bowl. Add green food coloring as desired. Whisk 2 minutes. Refrigerate 5 minutes or until thickened. To assemble, gently press half of the brownie squares into bottom of trifle bowl. Evenly layer with half of the pudding, half of one container of whipped topping (8 oz), and half of the creme de menthe candies. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Top with sprinkles or small candy decorations, if you'd like!

Do you have a favorite St. Patrick's Day food? Share the recipe!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Funny Stuff on a Ship

Here are things that made us laugh on the cruise.
  • During dinner the first night, the song from Titanic was playing. Not the best choice.
  • A few different times, Rob told me I needed to tell my girlfriends certain things, not him. Well, they weren't there, so he got to hear it all.
  • At breakfast one morning, this guy said, "Have you ever heard of I-tunes?". Yep. We've heard of it. Bless his heart, he was serious.
  • Fanny packs.
  • So many t-shirts that said "My Wife Rocks" or "My Husband Rocks". The best is when the couples were both wearing them at the same time.
  • Pantyhose with sandals. You are on a cruise!
  • The water slides were so much fun! I laughed a lot. Later when I was laying on a chair near the slides, two sets of older couples were trying out the slides. They were having the BEST time and it was making me giggle. They acted as though it had been years since they had done anything but walk, and their joy was contagious.
  • My hat flying into the ocean.
  • There weren't assigned seats at dinner in the formal dining room, so we just picked a table the first night. No one sat with us. We were losers. It happened again on the third night, and it appeared as though people were actively avoiding sitting with us. We didn't mind and kept laughing about it. At one point during the week, a couple sat with us for a minute and then saw their friends, so they left. Foiled again.
  • Trying to play putt putt during a tropical storm made us laugh. Trying to walk down stairs during a tropical storm made me laugh.
  • I walked into the lobby one day and stumbled upon a couple working on some Olympic ice skating moves. It was hilarious. I told them to carry on, but they were embarrassed. Busted.
  • During a dance party on the Lido Deck, they played the Cupid Shuffle- obviously. This sweet 50-ish year old man was gettin' it. Getting it! It made me laugh so hard- not at him though! He was just dancing with reckless abandon and it was not good. His legs looked like limp noodles, but he was whipping them around to the left and to the right. It was amazing and he was having the best time.
What makes you laugh?

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Life Aboard a Ship: Part 2

I'll use less words today. I promise.

On Wednesday we were up at 7, had breakfast in the dining room, and headed off the ship to Grand Turk. It is such a beautiful little island!

We couldn't afford to do an excursion, so we spent about four hours walking the beach, swimming, and laying out. We headed back to the ship for lunch- free! The ship was practically empty as everyone was on the island. No lines for food and no one else was at the pool. It was awesome. Rob headed to the gym to get his steps in while I swam and read books. Not at the same time. Rob also had a chance to chat with Alex, the producer of the movies, about his dad, so that was cool.

Later that afternoon we too another nap simply because we could. It was glorious. We grabbed a slice of pizza before worship & the speakers. That night a couple spoke and they weren't horrible, but they weren't amazing. We met a cool couple from North Dakota that night which was fun. After dinner we saw Nicole C. Mullen in concert and she was great! At 11pm they opened a Mexican buffet which was tasty! We had made good choices all day and exercised, so I ate there guilt free. The food all week was good, but not amazing. The buffet has some highlights that night.

On Thursday we woke up before 7 again, but thankfully fell back asleep until 9. We headed back up to the track and walked 5,000 steps. We attempted a game of mini-golf, but the wind was crazy and it wasn't working out so well being on the top deck. We ended up having hurricane force winds all day while it rained on and off. I sat and read, but every time the sun peaked out, I would move by the pool. I got a total of 45 minutes in the sun all day. I tried. The boat was leaning to the side and the pool was spilling out. The captain had to let the stabilizers out to steady the boat. It was pretty crazy. After lunch, we got in the hot tub while it rained. It was under a little gazebo and was shockingly peaceful. So what do you do on a ship while it rains- you nap! More sleep for us!

That night we worshiped with the band, listed to another speaker about marriage, had dinner, and packed our bags. We went to two concerts that night and just hung out. It was a great evening.

On Friday, we relaxed on the boat until 10:00 am, and then headed to the airport. By the grace of God we were able to get on two different stand-by flights, so we got home three hours ahead of our scheduled flight. Due to the weather across the states while we were out to sea, over 6,000 flights had been canceled. Some people we met in the airport had been there since Wednesday. I couldn't believe we got home as quickly as we did. 

So that was life on the ship. I loved every second of it, even the rain. It was one of our favorite vacations and we are so thankful to have been blessed with such a gift.

What has been your favorite vacation?

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Life Aboard a Ship: Part 1

I haven't blogged since October 30th, and now, twice in one week! Watch out.

People keep asking what we did all week, so I figured I'd just write it down and direct them here. I don't have that many words a day people. This is neither spiritual or thought provoking.

We landed in Miami around 6 pm after a few hours of easy travel. Our hotel was in a slightly shady area of town, but that's what happens when you book the cheapest option on Expedia. The inside was nice and the room was great, so that's what matters. Also, they had free shuttles to the airport and $10 rides to the ship. Done. We don't have a TV in our bedroom (on purpose), so hotels are extra fun for that reason. We ordered a pizza (which we hadn't eaten for over two weeks thanks to Rob's diet) and watched the mid-season premiere of The Walking Dead. The trip was already off to a nearly perfect start!

I should also add that Rob has to get in at least 10,000 steps a day during this 21-day challenge he is participating in. He woke up early Monday and walked the hotel and used the gym to get steps in while I slept and slept and slept. He checked in and dropped off breakfast in bed from the continental breakfast, but then I went back to sleep. Don't judge me. It was vacation. I dragged my tail out of bed around 11 simply because we had to catch the shuttle to the ship.

Once aboard, we walked all over the ship and tried to get our bearings. It wasn't until about Thursday that I was confident about which direction to go or whether to go up the stairs or down the stairs. To help Rob get to 10,000 steps a day, we didn't take the elevator all week. What kind of cruise was this??

I should also mention that a Christian organization ran this Carnival cruise, so all of the speakers, entertainment, and bands were Christians. As were all the people on the ship. There was so much smiling.

That night we heard Gary Chapman speak- the author of The Five Love Languages, which is a book we love. Even though I had heard the information before it was a really good session. (Rob is words of affirmation, but that is at the bottom of my list. We still aren't sure what my #1 is....maybe physical touch or acts of service.....but I really love gifts too.) There was also a worship band that led us each night and they were very talented. After dinner we went to hear a comedian, Bone Hampton, who was hilarious. We stopped by one of the concerts (Building 429) for a little bit, but we were too tired to stay.

Each night the organization left something on our door, and this specific night they left us a bottle of "Night Lotion" and massage oil. That made us giggle. They also left us a $100 ship credit to use on whatever we wanted on the ship- how amazing is that!

Tuesday was definitely my favorite day of the cruise and maybe my favorite day in years! We woke up on our own at 6:45 (I know, right?) and walked the track together to get in steps for Rob. It was so nice to do this together.

The track was on the top deck and wrapped around the putt putt.

After breakfast, we took a short nap. Score. Also on the cruise ship, were some of the actors/producers/directors of some recent Christian movies such as Fireproof and Courageous. They aired their newest film, "Mom's Night Out", and it was amazing! I laughed and cried. I can't wait to see it with friends when it comes out this Mother's Day weekend. After a quick lunch, we headed to the shop to buy me a new, big black hat to shade my face and neck. We had ship credit, so why not? As we were positioning our chairs to lay out together, the wind ripped my hat off my head into the sea. It. Was. So. Sad. I just watched as it bobbed away, and then I was sad I littered in the ocean. After some sun, we played on the water slides and went swimming in the pool. Rob spent the day with me which was awesome because laying out is not his thing. He headed to get more steps in while I manned the pool some more.

So much fun!

One of my favorite things to do. This was the scene of the crime where my hat was ripped from my head.

I was really overcome with thankfulness throughout this day. I had a really hard time wrapping my mind around the fact that this was our life. More on that later. I had an ice cream cone and headed back to shower and take another nap. I'm telling you, this day was glorious.

After another great evening of worship, Alex (the director/actor/producer of those movies) spoke on protecting your mind. Such a good reminder of how our spouse is not the enemy; satan is. We had dinner with a very nice and perky couple from Nebraska. She taught aerobics for fun, has birthed three kids, and adopted a fourth from China. She ordered a fruit plate and salmon. Then they declined dessert and left! Who does that?? I unashamedly ordered a bacon cheeseburger and dessert despite little bitty Christie sitting beside me. In my defense, I picked some of the bacon off *gasp* and didn't finish the burger. Dinner wasn't until 8:00 pm, so we were always ready to eat!

Rob's alligator appetizer!

We headed up to play the "UnNewlywed Game" but it was boring, so we left. Next up was a concert by Peter Furler, the former lead singer of Newsboys. It was such a good show. We stayed after everyone left and were able to meet Peter and chat with him & his wife for a bit. It was really fantastic!

We were in bed after midnight and we weren't sure how the week could get any better!

Apparently I have way more words than I thought. I will finish tomorrow.

What has been your favorite day, or what would it look like if you could plan it?

Monday, February 17, 2014

Thoughts Aboard a Ship

It's been a while since I've blogged. I'm officially not a blogger anymore; however, all that time on board the ship gave me time to think. Scary, huh? I figured I should get a few more blogs in before my domain name runs out.

I rarely struggle with insecurity. I am not a girl who creates drama or worries about what others think. That's not out of pride; it is simply because I am 100% sure of my identity in Jesus. For some reason, I made up what people were thinking about us leaving our kids. No one said anything to us except they think it is healthy, but I'm sure they were out there somewhere- how can she leave her kids that long? (That's insecurity, right? Worrying about made up things in regards to what others think for no reason at all?) I think it came from two things. It came from mommy guilt and it came from satan trying to rob me of peace.

We left the kids from Sunday until Saturday. That's six nights. Six nights without snuggles, kisses, and laughs- for me. We left them with people we love and trust; the kids were on vacation too. Four nights and three full days out at sea with no Facetime or texts. It was awful hard. Shockingly hard once we were there. We paid 75 cents a minute for about 5 minutes to check Facebook Wednesday morning. I needed to see the messages from Stacy and my parents with updates about the kids. I had to see pictures of them alive, I mean, laughing. I was shocked at the relief I felt of simply knowing they were fine.

This might sound weird, but leaving them that long was one of the hardest things I've ever done. But I'd do it all over again. You know why? It allowed me to trust God even more.

I rarely rely on God as I should when I'm comfortable. We have a house, insurance, our health, money to pay the bills, great friends, amazing family, and people are a blessing to us. I mean, we were on a free cruise- we have it good. It is disgustingly easy to get comfortable and forget how desperately I need Jesus.

Leaving the kids made me uncomfortable because I was reminded that I am not in control. I prayed more for my children from Sunday through Saturday than I have total this year. That was embarrassing for a few minutes when I realized it, but I was so thankful for the realization because it has driven me to my knees on behalf of my children. Even though I am back in my warm house in our cozy beds all together, I am no more in control of what happens to them than I was from the beach in Grand Turk. But God is. And I'm good with that.

So, I'm praying for them. For big things. For little things. I'm trusting God will continually do more than I can ask or imagine. And I will leave my kids again without worrying about what others think because it is super important for our marriage and God is way bigger than my silly fears.

People have really differing opinions on leaving kids, even with a sitter, let alone for a kid-free trip. What are your honest thoughts, or what works for your family? (Just because it works for us, doesn't mean it has to be right for you by the way- I am good with opposing opinions.) What are you praying for right? What are you trusting God with?

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Twin Tuesday

I've thought about blogging once or twice lately, so I figured, why not give it another whirl?

This morning, I loaded up the twins to drive to the Food Bank in Hampton to pick up 75 bags of food. After the food was loaded, I drove it to Jenkins Elementary where our friend Tim unloaded the food for the students. Our church does this every Wednesday, and I am excited to be a part of it. I don't have to get the kids out of the van- just pick up the food outside & drop it off outside- someone is waiting at both places to help. Basically, I'm just the taxi. I often use my kids as an excuse to not volunteer as much as I'd like (and most of the time it is legit), but this opportunity is awesome!!

Hayden doesn't like to leave the house, so as we were getting shoes on & loading up in the van, he kept yelling, "No give those kids food!" It was funny, but sad. It was funny because he is clueless and was being selfish, but sad because I want to foster giving & grateful hearts in my kids. I love that at 2 1/2, I can talk to the twins about giving food to people who don't have food. I love that I can pray with them for the kids we are feeding while we drive. I love that we can thank God for all he has given us. I love showing them at a young age that there are practical needs that we can fill without very much effort at all! I love showing them that our church is making a difference.

My friend Susan gave me a copy of 31 Biblical Virtues to Pray for Your Children last month. Each day of the month, you pray the corresponding number over your kids that day. Today's virtue was GRATITUDE! It says, "Help my children to live lives that are always overflowing with thankfulness and always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." It then references Ephesians 5:20 and Colossians 2:7. I have been praying that big time over my kids today. Two and half is a tough age at times, filled with selfishness and greed. All my "tricks" and advice don't always work, so I'm counting on prayer.

Side note- we are looking for a few more people to help with this taxi service & to help by meeting us at the school to simply unload the bags! Let me know if you'd like to help! We are also partnering with Jenkins to provide more food bags for kids on the waiting list each week. If you'd like to donate a food bag, simply fill a bag with the following items & get them to me!

*Family sized box of cereal
*1 can spaghetti or ravioli (meal in a can)
*1 can vegetables- something kids might eat, not brussel sprouts
*1 individual portion of applesauce (little plastic cups)
*2 bottles of water or real fruit juice
*1 individual bag of chips
*1 individual portion of cookies (must be store bought)

Here are the virtues if you'd like to copy, paste, print, & pray these over your kids!

31 Biblical Virtues to Pray for Your Children
by Bob Hostetler

1. Salvation -- “Lord, let salvation spring up within my children, that they may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.” (Isa. 45:8; 2 Tim. 2:10)

2. Growth in Grace -- “I pray that my children may grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 3:18)

3. Love -- “Grant, Lord, that my children may learn to live a life of love, through the Spirit who dwells in them.” (Gal. 5:25; Eph. 5:2)

4. Honesty and Integrity -- “May integrity and honesty be their virtue and their protection.” (Ps. 25:21)

5. Self-Control -- “Father, help my children not to be like many others around them, but let them be alert and self-controlled in all they do.” (1 Thess. 5:6)

6. Love for God’s Word -- “May my children grow to find Your Word more precious than much pure gold and sweeter than honey from the comb.” (Ps. 19:10)

7. Justice -- “God, help my children to love justice as You do and act justly in all they do.” (Ps. 11:7; Mic. 6:8)

8. Mercy -- “May my children always be merciful, just as their Father is merciful.” (Luke 6:36)

9. Respect (for self, others, and authority) -- “Father, grant that my children may show proper respect to everyone, as Your Word commands.” (1 Pet. 2:17)

10. Biblical Self-Esteem -- “Help my children develop a strong self-esteem that is rooted in the realization that they are God‟s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus.” (Eph. 2:10)

11. Faithfulness -- “Let love and faithfulness never leave my children, but bind these twin virtues around their necks and write them on the tablet of their hearts.” (Prov. 3:3)

12. Courage -- “May my children always be strong and courageous in their character and in their actions.” (Deut. 31:6)

13. Purity -- “Create in them a pure heart, O God, and let that purity of heart be shown in their actions.” (Ps. 51:10)

14. Kindness -- “Lord, may my children always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.” (1 Thess. 5:15)

15. Generosity -- “Grant that my children may be generous and willing to share, and so lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age.” (1 Tim. 6:18-19)

16. Peace-Loving -- “Father, let my children make every effort to do what leads to peace.” (Rom. 14:19)

17. Joy -- “May my children be filled with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.” (1 Thess. 1:6)

18. Perseverance -- “Lord, teach my children perseverance in all they do, and help them especially to run with perseverance the race marked out for them.” (Heb. 12:1)

19. Humility -- “God, please cultivate in my children the ability to show true humility toward all.” (Titus 3:2)

20. Compassion -- “Lord, please clothe my children with the virtue of compassion.” (Col. 3:12)

21. Responsibility -- “Grant that my children may learn responsibility, for each one should carry his own load.” (Gal. 6:5)

22. Contentment -- “Father, teach my children the secret of being content in any and every situation, through Him who gives them strength.” (Phil. 4:12-13)

23. Faith -- “I pray that faith will find root and grow in my children‟s hearts, that by faith they may gain what has been promised to them.” (Luke 17:5-6; Heb. 11:1-40)

24. A Servant’s Heart -- “God, please help my children develop servant‟s hearts, that they may serve wholeheartedly, as if they were serving the Lord, not men.” (Eph. 6:7)

25. Hope -- “May the God of hope grant that my children may overflow with hope and hopefulness by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Rom. 15:13)

26. Willingness and Ability to Work -- “Teach my children, Lord, to value work and to work at it with all their heart, as working for the Lord and not for men.” (Col. 3:23)

27. Passion for God -- “Lord, please instill in my children a soul that „followeth hard after thee,‟ one that clings passionately to You.” (Ps. 63:8)

28. Self-Discipline -- “Father, I pray that my children may acquire a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right and just and fair.” (Prov. 1:3)

29. Prayerfulness -- “Grant, Lord, that my children‟s lives may be marked by prayerfulness, that they may learn to pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers.” (1 Thess. 5:17)

30. Gratitude -- “Help my children to live lives that are always overflowing with thankfulness and always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Eph. 5:20; Col. 2:7)

31. A Heart for Missions -- “Lord, please help my children to develop a desire to see Your glory declared among the nations, Your marvelous deeds among the peoples.” (Ps. 96:3)

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Wife Wednesday

I have a bad cold and I'm too tired to write a for real blog.

Rob and I went on a road trip Monday. He spoke at JMU's Greek Intervarsity & did an amazing job. I am always amazed by him and his talents. We had a great time on the road trip with lots of uninterrupted time together. We discovered that we have checked off most of the things on our bucket list, so we started new lists. We talked about the best and worst parts of being married to each other. We made out like teenagers. We talked about dream vacations. We drove there and back in one day and realized we aren't spring chickens anymore. We were strugglin'! Ha!

I just love time with Rob. We decided it is the best to be married to our best friend.