Thursday, December 11, 2014

December

BGG Con
November was a blast.

We went to the 2014 Board Game Geek Convention in Dallas. So much fun. I (Kristy) didn't have a break down from social anxiety this year. Yay! I only got really moody once (that I can remember) but it was super late at night. :)

I played 38 games in 5 days. Anthony played 33. Anthony volunteered in the library for an hour and went to a charity auction for a couple of hours, so I was able to play a few more than him. 

If you would like to see all the games I played, click here. Games I would highly recommend include:
Playing Las Vegas

  • Black Fleet (pirates...need I say more)
  • Colt Express (very cool game with a cool "board")
  • 7 Steps (pretty abstract...not in America yet)
  • Machi Koro (we already owned this one but it is worth mentioning)
  • Robinson Crusoe (extremely difficult co-op game but very cool)
  • Hot Tin Roof (very similar to Ticket To Ride but maybe a little simpler...I liked it)
  • Paperback (kind of like Scrabble mixed with Dominion...if you know what Dominion is)
  • Planes (like Mancala but with a twist)
  • Mysterium (similar to Dixit...also not in America yet)
  • Alchemists (cool use of new technology...iPhone)
  • Eight Minute Empire (quick, light Euro)
Anthony, Alejandro, Jordan, & me
One night we went with a group to Hard Eight BBQ. It was pretty good, not my all time favorite BBQ place but it is seriously hard to compete with Prairie House...mmmmm....

After staying up past 2 am four nights in a row, we were exhausted when we got home. I was super irritable and ready to fight somebody for two days after that. I even risked going to a post office I had an incident at about 3 years ago but this time was much nicer despite my attitude. ;)

I'm starting to recognize a theme. I would like to ask all two of my readers to please remember me in your prayers. I need God to work on my attitude. 



We spent Thanksgiving with Anthony's family in Paris...Paris, TX, that is. We had a great time and so much delicious food. 

The day after Thanksgiving we all went out to the bottoms on the Red River. A lot of them spent several hours riding four wheelers over the dunes. Anthony's aunt made chili and hot cocoa. We roasted hot dogs over a camp fire and made a campfire dump cake. I had never had a dump cake, much less one made over a campfire and, oh man, was is delicious!

Now December is in full swing. We went to the Denton Tree Lighting and had funnel cakes. Anthony and I are really starting to feel at home in Denton. We tend to run into people we know when in stores or out at community events.

We had our own little tree lighting event of ourselves the other night. We watched Mickey's Christmas Carol and A Muppet's Christmas Carol while decorating the tree and mantle. It was a nice cozy evening just the two of us.

Have a merry Christmas everyone!



Tuesday, November 11, 2014

November...and October. -_-

Well, I completely forgot to post a family update for October. Oops. :) If you are interested in seeing our menu for October, click here. However, we didn't stick to it that well...again. -_-

Good news, we have had quite a few orders through Kapp's Kitchen. Very encouraging. 

Rick Morton with Tanya and Anya
The weekend of Nov 1st, Project 1:27 at Shady Oaks Baptist Church hosted it's first big event in acknowledgment of Orphan Sunday (Nov 2nd). Project 1:27 at Shady Oaks Baptist Church is a ministry my in-laws started at their church for support for adoption, foster care, and orphan care. They are just in the early days of the ministry but it is very encouraging to see interest growing. On Nov 1st, they hosted a mini-conference at the church. Rick Morton was the guest speaker and Kapp's Kitchen provided quick breads as refreshments. There was around 30-40 people who came and it was very encouraging. Mr. Morton also spoke at Shady Oaks on Sunday morning. If you would like to hear his sermon, you can see the video here.

On a related note, Phyllis called us telling us of two little girls who were in need of a "forever family." Anthony put it on our church's Facebook page with little expectation of getting a response. Within 20 mins, a couple from our Sunday school class messaged Anthony. Long story short, they are now in the process of adding these two beautiful girls to their family. It is a beautiful story but it will be a challenge. Every adoption is. However, they have a large, willing support group around them. They also have started a GoFundMe page to help the raise money or the adoption process and expenses to come. If you are interested in giving to this sweet family, check out their page here.

I have volunteered to learn the sound board at our church. Very intimidating but I'm getting it. I have been doing the words for the screen for a couple of weeks during Sunday night church but that is way easier than learning the little intricacies of the sound board, cd player, and lights. 
My back row Baptist view.

Soooo, November....this is a very full month for us. Next week, we are at the Board Game Geek Convention playing board games for five days. We are so excited about it. 

I always get a little nervous because there are a lot of people at this event and I am not the best in a crowd. The other thing is my confidence drops dramatically when I am in a crowd...especially when females are a minority. It is a roller coaster of emotions for me. First, I'm confident because I'm one of the few women at the event. Then, I start wondering, do these people even want to play a board game with a woman, what if I don't catch on right away, what if I do something stupid and ruin the game and once again fulfill these guys preconception that women should not play board games....see how my mind sometimes runs away. However, I am blessed with a wonderful husband that keeps reassuring me and two other great friends. 
Picture of the main hall at BBG Con 2013
Last year when we left the event, we said we would try to step out on our own more and face our introvert fears and try to meet more people. One good thing to keep in mind is that a large majority of these people are just as geeky, introverted, and socially awkward as I am. :) All the same, we are getting so excited. This year we are staying at the hotel instead of driving back and forth, so it is going to feel like a mini-vacation.
The four of us geeks at BGG Con 2013
I have come down with a cold that I'm fighting off. We are praying that Anthony doesn't catch whatever it is that I have so we can have a good time at BGG Con. We would appreciate your prayers as well. :)

The next week is Thanksgiving, which in addition to great food, always means, for us, more board games. ;)

I am never one to get excited about Christmas. I'm usually a bit of a Grinch however, this year, I am so in the holiday spirit. I'm actually having to restrain myself from making cocoa, putting on Christmas music, and decorating the house. I refuse to do it until after Thanksgiving...however, I don't see anything wrong with making some hot cocoa. :D

I have decided to finally learn to sew. I bought a sewing machine before we got married and I haven't even taken it out of the box until this past weekend. Today, I figured out how to change the needles out, attach a walking foot, wind a bobbin, and thread the machine. I also made a hand warmer as a practice project in honor for the cold weather that blew in last night. Yay! Now, on to my first project...I'll post on the results next month. :)

Because of all that has gone on in the last couple of weeks, I was just able to get a menu for November made this past weekend. As such, I couldn't remember what we had for some of the meals earlier in the month. :) I'm actually already deviating on the plan for today because, like I said above, I'm sick and just didn't have the energy to make a quiche. ;)


Friday, October 31, 2014

Reformation Day


Today is a very important day in history. Possibly the most important day in in the last 500 years.  

On this day, 497 years ago, in the town of Wittenberg, Germany, a German monk, Martin Luther, nailed his Ninety-Five Theses to the door of the Castle Church. 

Now, most people picture this angry man stomping up to the church door, pulling out a railroad spike, & nailing his letter to the door using a giant mallet. This couldn’t be further from the truth. At this time, it was customary to post writings on the door of the church almost like we would to a bulletin board these days. Using a nail was the method of doing so. I’m sure the local door maker loved this custom…maybe he even started the tradition. 

Martin Luther was a teacher at the university. He had been teaching through Paul’s letter to the Romans when God saved him. He wrote of his salvation: 

My situation was that, although an impeccable monk, I stood before God as a sinner troubled in conscience, and I had no confidence that my merit would assuage him. Night and day I pondered until I saw the connection between the justice of God and the statement 'the just shall live by faith.' Then I grasped that the justice of God is that righteousness by which through grace and sheer mercy God justifies us through faith. Thereupon I felt myself to be reborn and to have gone through open doors into paradise. The whole of Scripture took on a new meaning...This passage of Paul became to me a gate to heaven.

I love that testimony so much. It is very similar to mine, as well, especially the “The whole of Scripture took on a new meaning.”

As Luther continued teaching through Romans, he began to see the corruption of the Roman Catholic Church. He wrote his Ninety-Five Theses in a response to the errors that he saw in the Catholic church and theology. He nailed one copy to the door of the church, sent another copy to the archbishop Albert of Mainz and Magdeburg, and sent a third copy to the bishop of Brandenburg (his superior). He wasn’t intending to be disrespectful or challenge the church. His intention was to invite the scholars of the day to debate these ninety-five issues. 

None of what Luther believed was new. However, this particular paper really set fire to people. Martin Luther was condemned by the Pope and he and his followers were viewed as criminals deserving death by the Roman Catholic Church. 

In one of the most loved scenes of Luther’s life, he is brought to Worms, Germany to stand before an assembly of the Holy Roman Empire and either renounce or reaffirm his work. This is referred to as The Diet of Worms. I know it sounds hilarious, however it is pronounced “Deet of Vorms.” A diet is a council.

Johann von Eck asked Luther if the 25 writings Eck had presented were his and if he was ready to renounce them as heresies. At this point, movies have shown a confident Luther boom in a loud voice his reaffirmation of all he had written. However, that is Hollywood and no where near the truth. Luther’s response to Eck was to ask to consider the question over night. Luther no long resembles the brave hero but more like me…scared, intimidated, unsure if what I am doing it the right thing. 

That night, Luther prays. He had been promised safety but is not sure if that promise will be honored. He doesn’t know if he will be executed, imprisoned, or allowed to return home safely. His prayer that night is one of the most honest and beautiful prayers I have ever read outside of the Bible.

O God, Almighty God everlasting! how dreadful is the world! behold how its mouth opens to swallow me up, and how small is my faith in Thee! . . . Oh! the weakness of the flesh, and the power of Satan! If I am to depend upon any strength of this world - all is over . . . The knell is struck . . . Sentence is gone forth . . . O God! O God! O thou, my God! help me against the wisdom of this world. Do this, I beseech thee; thou shouldst do this . . . by thy own mighty power . . . The work is not mine, but Thine. I have no business here . . . I have nothing to contend for with these great men of the world! I would gladly pass my days in happiness and peace. But the cause is Thine . . . And it is righteous and everlasting! O Lord! help me! O faithful and unchangeable God! I lean not upon man. It were vain! Whatever is of man is totering, whatever proceeds from him must fail. My God! my God! dost thou not hear? My God! art thou no longer living? Nay, thou canst not die. Thou dost but hide Thyself. Thou hast chosen me for this work. I know it! . . . Therefore, O God, accomplish thine own will! Forsake me not, for the sake of thy well- beloved Son, Jesus Christ, my defence, my buckler, and my stronghold. Lord - where art thou? . . . My God, where art thou? . . . Come! I pray thee, I am ready . . . Behold me prepared to lay down my life for thy truth . . . suffering like a lamb. For the cause is holy. It is thine own! . . . I will not let thee go! no, nor yet for all eternity! And though the world should be thronged with devils - and this body, which is the work of thine hands, should be cast forth, trodden under foot, cut in pieces, . . . consumed to ashes, my soul is thine. Yes, I have thine own word to assure me of it. My soul belongs to thee, and will abide with thee forever! Amen! O God send help! . . . Amen!

The next day, Luther was brought back to the assembly and, once again, asked to renounce his writings. Luther did respond and his speech is still talked about today and used as a battle cry of Christians being demanded to bow before man rather than God.

Unless I am convinced by the testimony of the Scriptures or by clear reason (for I do not trust either in the pope or in councils alone, since it is well known that they have often erred and contradicted themselves), I am bound by the Scriptures I have quoted and my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and will not recant anything, since it is neither safe nor right to go against conscience. Here I stand, I can do no other. May God help me. Amen.

While the council were deliberating what to do with Luther, he fled. The Edict of Worms read:

For this reason we forbid anyone from this time forward to dare, either by words or by deeds, to receive, defend, sustain, or favour the said Martin Luther. On the contrary, we want him to be apprehended and punished as a notorious heretic, as he deserves, to be brought personally before us, or to be securely guarded until those who have captured him inform us, whereupon we will order the appropriate manner of proceeding against the said Luther. Those who will help in his capture will be rewarded generously for their good work.

People were also banned from reading or owning any of his writings. Many people were executed, including being burned at the stake, for supporting Luther.

So what is the big deal with these ninety-five concerns? What are they exactly? 

Luther’s biggest concern with the Catholic Church was the selling of indulgences. An indulgence is where you can pay the Roman Catholic Church an amount of money to have your time in Purgatory lessened. Purgatory is a fictional place the Catholic Church teaches a Christian will go to burn off sins until they are purified enough to enter Heaven. During Luther’s time, the Pope sent Johann Tetzel to sell indulgences in order to raise money to rebuild St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Tetzel is attributed with the creation of the slogan of indulgences, “As soon as the coin in the coffer rings, the soul from purgatory springs.” Thus, the topic of selling indulgences is the main focus of Luther’s Ninety-Five Theses.

Most Protestants have never read Luther’s Ninety-Five Theses. They are essentially the Protestant birth certificate and I encourage you to read them. Some of the topics Luther references have long been rejected by Protestants (the papacy, Purgatory, indulgences, etc.) but are still important to know in the understanding of our history. 

You can read all ninety-five here but here are a few:

#5 The pope has neither the will nor the power to remit any penalties beyond those imposed either at his own discretion or by canon law.

#8 The penitential canons apply only to men who are still alive, and, according to the canons themselves, none applies to the dead.

#10 It is a wrongful act, due to ignorance, when priests retain the canonical penalties on the dead in purgatory.

#13 Death puts an end to all the claims of the Church; even the dying are already dead to the canon laws, and are no longer bound by them.

#21 Hence those who preach indulgences are in error when they say that a man is absolved and saved from every penalty by the pope's indulgences.

#22 Indeed, he cannot remit to souls in purgatory any penalty which canon law declares should be suffered in the present life.

#27 There is no divine authority for preaching that the soul flies out of the purgatory immediately the money clinks in the bottom of the chest.

#32 All those who believe themselves certain of their own salvation by means of letters of indulgence, will be eternally damned, together with their teachers.

#36 Any Christian whatsoever, who is truly repentant, enjoys plenary remission from penalty and guilt, and this is given him without letters of indulgence.

#40 A truly contrite sinner seeks out, and loves to pay, the penalties of his sins; whereas the very multitude of indulgences dulls men's consciences, and tends to make them hate the penalties.

#43 Christians should be taught that one who gives to the poor, or lends to the needy, does a better action than if he purchases indulgences.

#44 Because, by works of love, love grows and a man becomes a better man; whereas, by indulgences, he does not become a better man, but only escapes certain penalties.

#45 Christians should be taught that he who sees a needy person, but passes him by although he gives money for indulgences, gains no benefit from the pope's pardon, but only incurs the wrath of God.

#62 The true treasure of the church is the Holy gospel of the glory and the grace of God.

#68 Nevertheless, they are not to be compared with the grace of God and the compassion shown in the Cross.

#72 On the other hand, let him be blessed who is on his guard against the wantonness and license of the pardon-merchant's words.

#76 We assert the contrary, and say that the pope's pardons are not able to remove the least venial of sins as far as their guilt is concerned.

#79 It is blasphemy to say that the insignia of the cross with the papal arms are of equal value to the cross on which Christ died.

#82 They ask, e.g.: Why does not the pope liberate everyone from purgatory for the sake of love (a most holy thing) and because of the supreme necessity of their souls? This would be morally the best of all reasons. Meanwhile he redeems innumerable souls for money, a most perishable thing, with which to build St. Peter's church, a very minor purpose.

#86 Again: since the pope's income to-day is larger than that of the wealthiest of wealthy men, why does he not build this one church of St. Peter with his own money, rather than with the money of indigent believers?

#90 These questions are serious matters of conscience to the laity. To suppress them by force alone, and not to refute them by giving reasons, is to expose the church and the pope to the ridicule of their enemies, and to make Christian people unhappy.

#94 Christians should be exhorted to be zealous to follow Christ, their Head, through penalties, deaths, and hells.


#95 And let them thus be more confident of entering heaven through many tribulations rather than through a false assurance of peace.

In closing, I hope you remember Martin Luther's work and his humility when you sing the song he penned, A Mighty Fortress Is Our God.



Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Fish with Trish Giveaway

Trisha Ramos, of Fish with Trish and Wretched Radio, is giving away this beautiful bag full of Christian evangelism tracts. If you are interested in entering, go to her site www.fishwithtrish.com.

Trisha Ramos is a super sweet lady who has a passion for reaching the lost. She & her husband, Emilio Ramos of Red Grace Media, author of Convert: From Adam to Christ & pastor of Heritage Grace Community Church in Frisco, TX, evangelize every week at UNT. Such a lovely family. 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

September

Here it is September is over and I never posted. Oh well. ;)

I really can't remember much about August anymore...I'm guessing it was hot & dry...it is Texas. ;)

One cool world-traveler.
This past month, Jonathan, Kim, and Elijah came in for a whirlwind trip. They were here a few days, then took off to the Cayman Islands with Mom and Dad for a much needed trip and to see one of Kim's wonderful college friends get married. We got to see them again last night after picking them up at the airport.

Kapp's Kitchen has been getting a lot of encouraging comments lately and we have had a little business. We are going to be doing pies at Thanksgiving and Christmas so that should really pick things up. Also,...praline season is coming up and that is one thing that the people at church are already asking us about. We are working on getting our fall menu up, but I would certainly suggest our molasses cookies. They are so soft and yummy, and it makes our house smell like Christmas when we are baking them. :D

I started BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) this past month. I have never been a part of this and only heard about it about a year ago when my mom and Granny started attending and telling me about it. I am really enjoying it so far. It is one of those studies that you get as much as you put into it. Anyone who knows me, knows I tend to write...a LOT. So, while everyone comes to class with their little sheet of questions over the study the previous week and they all have answered the questions on the pages that the questions were typed on, I walk in with my giant notebook of about 10 pages of notes/answers. I know I turn red every time I have to flip the page of my notebook and everyone else is just sitting there with their nice, neat paper. Everyone probably thinks I'm nuts. LOL

I met one girl in my group at BSF who lives pretty close to us. Her and her husband have only been married just over a year and moved here last December. They don't have any kids yet and she is a stay-at-home wife right now. So, we are talking about becoming walking buddies. We also had a newlywed couple move in across the street a couple of weeks ago. They seem to be a really sweet, Christian couple and he is part of the youth ministry at a Baptist church up the street. So, maybe one of these days we will have them all over...maybe even start a little game group. :)

In the next few months, Anthony and I may start trying to practice hospitality more often. We would like to have a small group to actually start a little, regular game group, too. Our house is so tiny but I think we could manage to move some furniture around, set up some card tables, and actually be able to fit 5 or 6 couples.

I did do a menu for September but we did not do too well sticking to it, so you may see some of the same meals planned for October. If you want to see it, you can click here. I'm trying to keep all these on line so that I can just reuse them later. At the end of the year, I should have an entire year of monthly menus that I can go back to when I don't have time or the motivation to make one. :)

Here is this month's menu. Hopefully, we will be better about sticking to it this month. :)


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

August, a late post

Well, August is half way over and I'm just now getting to posting. :)

The last of July...well, all of July, really...was very busy for us. My trip to Alaska took up much of my time. After two weeks of being in Barrow, Kim and I flew down to Anchorage and Anthony joined us. Poor Jonathan had to work. We had not been apart that long since we met. It was not easy being away from each other that long.



We had a great time playing with Elijah and having Kim chauffeur us around. We went to the botanical garden one day and as we were pulling into the parking lot we were all staring at this really cool moose statue...then it walked away. We all started laughing & taking pics of her. We also went out to the marsh and saw two bald eagles, enjoyed some great food, and had some delicious chocolate. We would move there if we were willing to shovel snow in the winter. :)



Granny past away on July 21st. We will all miss her but it was a joyful experience for her. She had been very much ready to go Home since her heart attack just after Thanksgiving last year. Most of us fight hard against death, but for Granny, it was like relaxing, like going home...which is exactly what it was.



In John, Jesus pray's to God the Father regarding His Apostles and includes all who would become a part of His bride. He speaks of us not being of this world. Those who have been chosen by God have been adopted as His children. A Christian is just like a child who has been adopted and is waiting to go to his new home. Granny got to go home in July.


"I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth. 'I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word," (John 17:15-20 ESV)



Saturday, June 28, 2014

July 2014 and Alaska Trip Update

Six months down, six to go for the year of 2014.

I've been in Alaska for about a week now. I'm in Barrow for two weeks baby sitting my adorable nephew and then in Anchorage for a few days.

Barrow is the top of the US. It is the largest town on the North Slope of Alaska, 320 miles north of the Arctic Circle with a population of a little over 4,500. This week the weather has been alternating between sunny and raining with a temperature ranging from the upper 30's to the mid 40's (36 degrees as I write this right now). Barrow is a whaling town. Whaling is illegal but is still legal for natives. They stick very close to their historical methods by going out in small boats rather than large whaling boats. They whale in the spring and the fall. This past spring they caught 7 whales which is about average for a spring catch. They are allowed to catch up to 18 a year.
I am lucky this year that I happen to be here for Nalukataq which is several days of celebration for the spring catch. The most famous part of this celebration is the Blanket Toss. Everyone is welcome to jump, including visitors. One of Jonathan and Kim's native friends tried to get me up there but there is no way I'm doing that. I would come home with a broken leg for sure. In the below video, a guy is jumping with a bag of candy & tossing it in the air for the kids. It was so cute, like an Alaskan piƱata.
Keep in mind that the video was taken at about 10:30pm. Yes, the sun is up 24 hrs a day right now. Luckily, the room they have me in has wonderful curtains that block out most of the light. The only hard part is getting the urge to go to bed when it is still sunny out. But, I've worked nights so it isn't that big of a deal for me.

My nephew is so adorable.

A time for laughter...
A time for weeping...
I'm trying to soak up all the cool air over these weeks. There is still a little ice left on the sea.


I've been away from Anthony for 7 days now and I'm, according to my phone, 3,396 miles away from him. We haven't been apart this long or this far since we met. We still have one more week to go apart from each other, then Anthony will come up to Anchorage when Kim & I go down to Anchorage. We'll get to see their new house and he'll get to meet his nephew.

Since we won't be back in Texas for part of the month, this month's menu will be a little abbreviated. I've moved some of last month's planed meals to this month's menu since several of them didn't get made last month.




Tuesday, June 3, 2014

June!!!

May was such an emotional month. I have a blog post drafted about it but I'm not sure I'll post it. A friend from Twitter lost his wife and I really took it hard. They were married about a year before we were & are about the same age as us. She found out she had cancer, looked like she was going to beat it, and then they found another type of cancer. She was an amazing woman and her and her husband are amazingly strong in the Faith. I cannot wait to meet her when I go Home. 

The best news though...I'm an aunt!!! Elijah was born a week early and then spent a week in the NICU but is much better now. My amazing sister labored for 35 hrs! I haven't gotten to meet him in person yet but I will be in June! Can Not Wait!

I also got to spend several very nice days on the Arkansas/Mississippi border with my Granny. We had a really nice time relaxing in a gorgeous old home on the lake, couple of trips to Sonic for Granny's favorite pineapple slush, a little shopping, and a nice picnic in the park. I missed Anthony very much but it was really nice to spend some quality time with her.


One of my three beautiful sisters-in-law graduated from high school as well. Congrats to her on that!




So, here is the menu for this month. Several of these days won't happen because I will be out of town so Anthony will have to fend for himself. :( 



We've decided to hold off on starting Kapp's Kitchen in full force until after we return from Alaska. In July, we hope to hit the ground running. Still have to get back to our amazing friend, Jordan, on what we want for a logo...never thought this would be the most difficult thing to decide, apply to sale at the Denton Community Market, order a cabana and packaging supplies, and create business cards and labels. So exciting, though!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

It's May!

May 1st we woke up to 36 degrees! Nuts! Later that afternoon, it was in the 70's & felt great. The next day, it got up into the 90's. Gotta love Texas springs. :) Don't gotta love the allergies it leads too. :P

This month it the month our business will be fully established. We have both completed the required Texas Food Handlers training. Monday, we will go get our food handlers cards, register the business with the county and state, get our sales tax ID number, and open our business bank account. Once that is complete, we will be able to apply with the Denton Community Market as a vender. I still need to work with our friend to design us a logo, create some business cards, price our goodies, make labels for the goodies, and finish the website.

So far, some of the recipes we have ready are a chocolate chip cookie, white chocolate cherry cookie, corn cookie (sounds odd but is amazing), a chocolate chunk toffee cookie, a cream scone, a white chocolate cherry cream scone, a gluten-free chocolate chip cookie, a cookie we will probably call Kitchen Sink cookie, a focaccia bread, a French baguette, and a spice brownie. We are working on a chocolate cookie, a brown sugar cookie, a molasses cookie, an oatmeal cookie, among a few others.

As far as the home goes, things are getting cleaner. I'm still avoiding my arch-nemisis, the office. I will conquer that room someday...I will!

So, here is the menu for this next month. I did forget that I will be in Arkansas partying it up with my Granny in Arkansas for a few days this month, however, I never feel bad when we don't get to one of the day's plan. It just makes next month easier to plan for. :)


We actually did not have the Potato & Sausage Breakfast Popover Casserole today, after all so that will be saved for another day. Instead, I made White Chocolate and Cherry Cream Scones for breakfast. They are delicious & one of the products that we hope to sell. :)


Today my husband replaced the light fixture in our entry way. It is so bright but looks so nice! Now I just need to decorate the walls around the entry way. The seem even more empty now with all this light. :)


In other news, I took dad to the airport on Friday (yesterday) & he made it to Anchorage. Soon my parents will have their first grandchild, Kim and Jonathan will have their first child, and I'll be an aunt for the first time! I cannot wait to meet Elijah!

Friday, April 11, 2014

On To Our Next Adventure

This week is officially the third week of me being a stay at home wife. There are several reasons for me quitting my job: (1) Anthony and I have decided to start a home baking business, (2) we have already started another business (that I really need to get caught up on) called Texas Dining where we are reviewing food establishments in Texas, (3) I want to write so I'm hoping that I will have some time to devote to it, (4) I need to focus on my health and get that back under control, and (5) it is way past time for me to get this house organized. I will be going into much more detail about each of these in posts to come but that is kind of a summery of our decision.

So, for the last three weeks I have been working on getting the house clean and organized. I am still avoiding my archnemisis, aka the office, but once I get it organized, I'll feel like I've really accomplished something. :)

In order to help me with this goal, I am using a few tool. One of these is the FlyLady but customizing it for me (which is what she suggests). Each week is a different "Zone" and each day you do a 15 min "Mission" in that Zone. For example, this week's Zone is the kitchen and today's Mission is to sweep & mop. In addition, each month has a "Habit of the Month." This month's habit is making your bed. So far, I have stuck to this every day but one which, for anyone who knows my history with bed making, is a major step in the right direction. :)

In addition to FlyLady, I am using a couple of apps. FlyLady recommends the Cozi app. I'm not sold on it yet, but I am giving it a try. I also use an app called Home Routines that must have been developed by someone who was familiar with FlyLady, as well. I got it a couple of years ago but have never really used it much until now. For shopping, Anthony & I use the Ziplist app because it can be shared. I think the Cozi app can as well but I'm just testing it for now.

Some things I've learned over the last couple of weeks is that I need to be better about sticking to my schedule. I made up a schedule that, so far, I have not followed very well but I have tweaked it a bit so hopefully this will be a little better.
I also have a weekly plan for my "Daily Chore." For example, I know that the best day for groceries is on Wednesday because that is when the new sales come out, so Tuesdays I will clean the kitchen. Shopping day is Wednesday because some stores will let you use the sales from the previous week in addition to the new sales so you get double sales. Since I know I will be getting groceries on Wednesday, I will make the kitchen my "Daily Chore." This will give me a chance to clean out and inventory the pantry, fridge, and freezer. (Boy, do I wish trash day was on Thursday.) I have Saturday set to do the garage & car but as I get some of the other areas organized enough where it doesn't take as long anymore, I may work on the garage then, as well. I plan on changing this quite a bit as time goes along but this will help me until I get things under control.


I may only vacuum once a week (probably on Thursdays since Friday is trash day). Anthony says he wants to be in charge of that, so what ever day he wants, is fine with me. :)

I wish I had taken before and after pictures of each of my rooms as I go along. So far, our bedroom, the kitchen, the living room, and the bathrooms are staying pretty clean and organized. The biggest hurdles are going to be the office and the garage. I've already got a load of stuff in my car to take to Goodwill but, sad to say, you can't tell I have removed anything from the garage. Oh well, one box at a time and this mountain will be moved! ;)

The other goal I have, which we actually have been pretty good at doing for a while now, is creating menus. Last year, I did a whole month menu & we went shopping only once for a big trip & then got fresh fruits and veggies on a weekly basis. It was great. However, I was not great at doing that much more the rest of the year. I was pretty good about doing a week at a time, though. So, now, I'm hoping to go back to the monthly menu design. I'll try to remember to post our monthly menu at the beginning of each month on this blog. That will also give me the opportunity to login on my phone if I'm at the store and want to check something (I always make a list but sometimes I like to make sure I didn't miss something). So, here is this month's menu (if you click on it, it will take you to a larger view):


Saturday, February 8, 2014

2013 In Review

So, I have started so many blog posts but either never finished them, became frustrated with some aspect of the post, or had so much to write/research that I didn't know where to start. In order for me to try to get back into blogging again, I decided to do a bit of a "year in review" of sorts.
  • In January, I started a new job as an Imaging Systems Administrator (ISA) for the hospital that I have worked for 9 years now. I started with this hospital as the deep night (11pm-7am) CT tech. After 5 years of that, I moved to our off campus imaging center as the supervisor for 3 years. My job currently is considered an IT job handling the applications associated with the radiology department. It has been an incredibly challenging year but I work with an amazing team that has supported, encouraged, and helped me learn a complete new set of skills.
  • In March, we took a trip to Alaska. We visited Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Barrow with Kim and Jonathan. We had an amazing time and got to have a couple of those "once in a lifetime" type of experiences. I got to check off one of my "bucket list" experiences...seeing the Aurora Borealis. I loved Alaska so much. I cried much of the way home. I didn't want to leave and I didn't want to leave my sister. :)
Barrow, AK
  • On our way home from Alaska, Anthony and I celebrated our first anniversary. :) We had our cake topper once we got home. :)
First Anniversary Cake. It was actually really tasty.
  • The choir at our church that Anthony is a member of, recorded a CD and Anthony had a solo.
    Apparently, my little 2nd cousins who my parents take care of as often as they are able, love this CD. The CD is very Southern Gospel and these 2-7 year old kids love this music...I love that. :)
  • We both went on the choir trip to Killeen, Texas. The choir performed the music from the CD at two churches, one a large church in Killeen and the other a very small church near Waco. The small church was my favorite. This church was smaller than Malta but reminded me a lot of it. There were probably 4 or 5 times as many people in the choir than the congregation who came that night but they were amazing. One little old lady was so moved by the whole experience that the choir director had her pull a chair up front. We sang a great song that half way through, the little old lady was bawling. By the end of the song, half of us were wiping tears away as well. 
  • In October, Anthony and I finally took our "official" honeymoon to Walt Disney World. This was Anthony's first time and he keeps talking about "the next time we go..." LOL He has joined our dark side. Mwahahaha. ;) We had a lovely time. We visited his grandfather while we were in Florida as well. 
Day 1, Magic Kingdom
  • Anthony has been given additional duties at work along with a couple of raises this year. I am so proud of him. He is a very hard worker and excels in his position. It isn't the easiest job and can be quite frustrating at times but he does a great job and his coworkers love him. [Note from Anthony: They mostly love me because I bring baked goods.]
  • I found out that I have hypothyroidism and that most physicians don't know much about the current research regarding hypothyroidism. I found a physician, thanks to a friend, who did finally diagnose me and would prescribe meds for me. Since being on the medicine, the severe  swelling in my legs and feet, I have suffered with for about 3 years, has all but disappeared. Other physicians I have visited simply ignored or wrote the symptoms off as "just my hormonal cycle." I have had more energy and other symptoms have improved as well. I believe that I have been hypothyroid for most of my life but due to outdated "normal ranges" provided by labs, I have never been considered in the hypo range. As you can tell, I'm not exactly happy with the majority of physicians at this point. 
  • In November, we attended the Board Game Geek Convention in Dallas with our friends Alejandro and Jordan. We had a great time, got lots of games, and have decided to make this a "once every two years" thing after next year. The only downside was that there was a Doctor Who convention going on in Dallas at the same time. Oh well. ;) 
Playing Pointless at BGG Con
  • Kim and Jonathan came in for Thanksgiving the week we were at the BGG Con. We picked them up at the airport and took them to Chick-fil-A (usually their first stop once getting back into Texas). We brought them home and they wanted to show us a DVD of pics from their trip up the Ice Road and of the house they are buying in Anchorage. The video ended with a picture of an Ultrasound. SHE'S PREGNANT!!!! I bawled and bawled. I am soooooo excited!
  • We also attended the Tucker family Thanksgiving reunion this year. This is my mom's side of the family. Every two years, we all get together for a family reunion. This is usually filled with great fellowship, delicious food, games until the wee hour of the morning, and bocce tournaments. We were not able to be at the reunion until late Friday night due to the fact that I was on call on Thanksgiving Day. But Anthony and I had a wonderful Thanksgiving, just the two of us. 
Anthony baking his famous rolls.
  • The Monday after Thanksgiving, my Granny had a heart attack. Since then, she has had at least one more. She is in a lot of pain and it has taken up to this point to get things regulated for her. In fact, things still aren't great for her, so prayers for her comfort and spirits and prayers of wisdom for the physicians are most appreciated.
  • Shortly after Granny's heart attack, Shiloh ran out into the street and was hit by a car. It was a very traumatic night that ended in us having to put her down. We took the day off the next day because we were still so upset and a major ice storm hit that prevented us from leaving the house for several days. With the exception of a hike to the Walgreens for a few things we needed...thank goodness for our Alaska gear. :) We miss our little neurotic buddy, so much. I still tear up sometimes when I come home and she isn't jumping up and down so excited to see me.

  • We found out Kim is having a boy. His name is going to be Elijah. I love it!
I think Kim is training Elijah to be a Baylor Bear in utero. ;)
  • I have started learning to knit. I made a scarf & hat for my Grandma & a shawl for my Granny. I used a loom for those projects so now I am trying to learn to knit with needles. I've got a nephew on the way & 100's of projects I want to make for him. ;)
My first scarf.
It has been a year filled with challenges, tragedy, stress, excitement, joy, family, and friends. Not much unlike any other year. The best part of it all is that I get to share it with my best friend and love of my life, Anthony.
We totally get each other's silliness.


So what are our hopes for 2014?
  • Our church has started a Sunday night service that includes a discipleship time. We are table facilitators during the discipleship time. We are very excited about this new adventure in our church.

  • We are really working towards starting a baking business. Our first step is working on some awesome recipes. I've got an AMAZING chocolate chip cookie recipe and adjusted it the other night to make a White Chocolate Cherry cookie that was equally amazing. Anthony sold a fantastic Brown Butter Pumpkin Cake around Thanksgiving. Soooo good. So, if you or anyone you know is looking to purchase some cookies or cakes, we may have an offer. ;) We have a few things we need to work out like, a name for our business, a logo (I'm sure our friend Jordan will help us with that), etc... Also, if you have any requests or suggestions for items to try, please, let me know. :)
White Chocolate Cherry Cookies
  • Seeing my nephew sometime in May or June.
  • We hope to announce we will be adding to our family as well, but things seem to be going a bit slower than we had hoped. So, prayers on that front are appreciated as well.
  • I hope to start writing more and publish some articles (just need to find out how and where). I dream of writing women's Bible studies and speaking at women's seminars. 
  • I hope to study theology more and understand God more accurately. 
  • We hope to finish our reading through the Bible and find a good resource to go deeper in our daily Bible reading together. Maybe a systematic theology guide or A Baptist Catechism...something to help us understand what it is we claim to believe and "to be able to give a reason for the hope that is within us" (1 Peter 3:15)
  • There are other hopes and dreams we have....I guess we will just have to see what God will bring to us. :)