Saturday, April 25, 2009

Ben is sniffing a cucumber

Why, you ask?

Well last night Ben and I were cooking together and he was in charge of chopping up the habanero pepper.

So off he goes, chop, chop, chopping away--he really is a great kitchen helper!

And I had this thought, you know maybe I should tell him to be careful to not get the habanero spicyness on his hand--but I thought, naah-- I'm sure nothing will happen.

And so, about 15 minutes later, Ben realized that his nose and upper lip were on fire! just burning like crazy because he had wiped his hot little hand on his face.

It was really one of the craziest things we have ever experienced, and pretty painful for him at the time...he was actually persperating because of the heat.

But anyway, he gave me permission to put this picture up, because I knew that although it wasn't funny at the probably would be later. We were frantically searching around for how in the world we could cure the incredible burning.

We gave him a tomato paste mustache, smeared my girly rosewater salve balm on him, put cucumber slices up to his nose, just about everything! The cucumber seemed to help cool him off the best and finally we just put an ice pack on him for awhile...

it was a pretty intense night though.

So moral of the story, wear gloves when you chop habaneros.

It was funny because after the fiasco, we watched Slumdog Millionaire, and there is a sceen where the little girl picks some really hot peppers (with gloves on and everything) and puts them in a little boy's sheets. She was like 7 and even she knew to wear gloves- something Ben or I had never thought of. We thought it was pretty funny and will definitely follow her suit in the future!
Posted by Picasa

My First Purse

Ta Da! This is the new purse I made. Sadly, my favorite purse died the other week. One of its handles just completely snapped off. It was a sad day- for both Ben and I. Ben is a big advocate of the purse, at least for me. I am not really that much of a purse girl on my own, and that results in my having full hands all the time. Without a purse I am carrying the wallet, keys, phone and maybe one other thing on all my outings-- leaving no room for Ben to hold my hand or for me to really be able to do much with my hands at all.

So Ben is constantly trying to get me to wear a purse. But now that my purse died, I was back to my old ways of carrying everything in my hands. This just wouldn't do. So I found a little purse pattern that I liked and thought I would try my hand at making one using some scrap fabric I had lying around (my purse matches the curtains :) )

I think I am going to like it pretty well...and I know Ben will!

Posted by Picasa

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Vintage Mirror

Well, I'm not gonna lie, this post is mainly for my mom. She bought us this pretty little thing and I finally got around to hanging it up!

I put it right over our antique dresser! Its super cute :)

Thanks Mom!
Posted by Picasa

Monday, April 20, 2009

block party, yummy food, etc...

This weekend we helped out with a block party at church. It is actually a really neat thing that our church does with about 12 other churches in the area called meet the church. I love that these churches will actually join with each other in trying to share the gospel across Pensacola rather than competing with each other for higher membership. Its a really neat thing to be a part of. So anyway, we drove out to this park, not really knowing what this block party was really going to entail.

We were joined by people from 4 different churches across the city. We met in a park in a lower income area of town, cooked burgers, played with kids, face-painted, talked to families and really had a great time.

It sooo reminded me of being in Bryan with my little girls! and the same for Ben with the boys he used to take to church--we felt right at home! It was soo good to be a part of an outreach like that-- it is a need that is easily present in every city and we were both so glad to know that some of the churches in our area have recognized that and are doing something about it.

Right now it is a once a month deal, but who knows, maybe the Lord will pull on enough people's hearts to make it a once a week thing! Anyway, I just had to share that because it made us so happy to be with those kids and to talk with some of the families there! And to know that there are churches working together for the Kingdom in our area is something we can't get enough of!

But on an entirely different subject, Ben really loved what we had for dinner tonight and actually requested that I put it on the blog with his endorsement :) Ben said that it was one of his favorite meals I have made and that everyone needs to make it for their husband :) haha

So per Ben's request....

Chicken Lettuce Wraps with Mango & Cucumber

2 breasts of chicken, grilled and shredded
1/3 cup lime vinagrette (1/4 cup lime juice, 1 tsp honey, 1/4 cup EVOO, salt & red pepper)
Bibb lettuce
1/2 cucumber, seeded and cut into 1/8" matchsticks
1/2 mango, cut into 1/8" matchsticks
1 TBSP chopped fresh cilantro

Toss grilled chicken in the lime vinagrette, set aside. Toss together cucumber, mango and cilantro. Serve on a large plate with Bibb lettuce and chicken.

For dressing:
1/4 cup rice vinegar, seasoned
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/8 cup tahini
1/4 cup soy sauce (lite sodium) or stir fry sauce
1/4 cup asian sesame oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/8 cup fresh ginger, chopped (or a couple of dashes of ground ginger if you don't have fresh)

Finely chop the garlic and ginger, mix all ingredients together and pour into a bowl to serve with the lettuce wraps.

Cook some white, brown or jasmine rice while the chicken is grilling to serve with the wraps!

It was a really fun "finger food" type of dinner and Ben loved it (to my sheer delight and surprise).

hope you enjoy it :)

and on another note, I was standing in line at Kohls the other day and the old man in front of me thought I was staring at his muscles and totally started flexing his muscles at me and wanted me to feel them. It was really creepy. To his credit, he did not look his 60 years of age one bit and he was in great shape, but I was really freaked out. My eyes pretty much popped out of my head, I backed away, really not wanted to squeeze his biceps and all I could say was, "thats great. thats really great" while trying to muster up a smile.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Art of Domesticity

Hey Family & Friends!!

I just started a new online business. I am really excited to start this! The Lord has been so good to allow Ben and I the time recently to put it together.

I am just starting out so there is not much up on my shop yet, but I'd love for you guys to check it out and spread the word :)

just click here to be directed to my site!

Hope you enjoy it!


Look! Our little plants are growing and on the verge of blossoming!

I apologize for my bad picture taking skills, they are a little fuzzy, but if you look real close you can see some little bell pepper and poblano buds!


Monday, April 13, 2009

The Routine

I have dropped the ball a little bit on writing our happenings this past week, but truthfully, there's just not that much to write about!

We seem to be getting into a routine here finally. A few months ago it seemed like there was something new we were finding out every week or some new place to go, but for the past few weeks we have been visitorless, trainingless and haven't been uprooted from our home to places like Alabama or Colorado.

Its been kind of nice (although we never get tired of having people visit us), but I think we almost feel the need to move or go somewhere or to see friends and family! We aren't used to being in one place for so long and we definitely aren't used to "routine".

Its kind of weird. So, we have had a "routine" week. Maybe the first in a long time...and I am sure it is nothing we will get too used to.

We've woken up every morning around the same time for Ben to get to Muster, drank our coffee, ate our cereal. We've played tennis or worked on projects in the afternoon, we've gone to Bible Study and Wednesday night church, watched Lost with friends and have made it to bed by 10 almost every night.

This has been our routine for the past few weeks---its really a very nice routine. Just nothing that I thought was "blog" worthy at the time.

But I nixed that blogworthiness idea and just decided to write about it anyway! So here's to our routine week. We've enjoyed you and we promise not to get too attatched to you. You haven't been mundane or boring, just somewhat predictable.

Well, thats all for today!
Maybe I will put up some new recipes soon :)

Monday, April 6, 2009

Thrifty Nifty

Among the many household projects we are trying to wrap up while Ben has so much free time, has been our intent to budget.

It is something we have had to be careful in doing because we don't want money to become our primary focus and spend to much time laboring over it, but at the same time, we want to be intentional with what we have and not wasteful. We have some different saving and giving goals we would like to achieve, but have had a hard time reaching them without having some sort of system of spending in place.

So this weekend we set up a budget! We have talked about it before, but this time we sat down together, talked through it all and Ben even set up a fancy-schmancy Excel budget worksheet for us to input our spending into!

We set up different categories like: groceries, gas, coffee, eating out, and misc. Ben even had the idea to make a small category for "ben fun stuff" and "ashley fun stuff" so that when he wants to go hit golf balls he can budget money from that category to do so and when I want to buy sewing fabric or art supplies I can budget it from that category!

Some things we like about this new budgeting plan:

1. We are hoping to come under budget in most of our categories so that we can give even more and save more wisely!

2. It will be a good lesson in being disciplined and not just giving into every material desire we have.

3. It fosters better communication between the two of us in the money area and gives us common goals to strive toward!

woohooo...its kind of like a game!

us vs. the budget worksheet.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

This is what we are up to...

We have had MASSIVE amounts of free time lately. It is a blessing, and definitely wonderful to have this time together...but it also comes with its challenges.


What do we do with ourselves ALL day long?!

Or even narrowing it down:

What do we do with ourselves all day long that will be fruitful and inexpensive!

I mean of course we could just run amuck all day long and go on shopping sprees and entertain ourselves with outside means, like eating out, mini vacations, movies and such...but that gets pretty expensive, pretty fast.

And we could just stay at home all day and bum around, but we get too stir crazy for that.

So the question lately has been, what do we do with ourselves that will be not only permissable, but beneficial? How can we enjoy this time together, but not be wasteful with the time given to us?

Well, one of the ways we are taking advantage of this time is by getting more involved in our church. When Ben was in the middle of training, we were very limited on what we could maybe one thing a week with the church, because of all his studying.

But now, on top of the small group we were already in- we were able to start helping out with the church's youth group on Wednesday nights. It is a SUPER small group- I'm talking like 4 kids max. but we are actually really glad for that because we know exactly who we are supposed to be pouring into and can really devote our time and energies to the kids! Ben taught the lesson this week and it was great! I believe the Lord really used him, and because he is a cool, older, Jesus-loving, hardcore, military-man they were so responsive and easy to engage in the lesson (usually they are pretty quiet). I am excited to be involved in ministry together- it is something we have never done together in a formal setting!

Another new thing for us has been my joining the praise team at church. It has been a really stretching experience for me actually and something I was almost resistant in doing...but God has had His way and I am up there! It is definitely good to help lead worship again- it is just something God has wired in my heart that I love to do! And I am thankful for the new lessons He is teaching me through it.

Ben has also been working on his waking up early skills-- he is becoming very disciplined in it! which is very hard when you don't really have anything to wake up early for, but he is trying to train himself now so that it won't be such a struggle when he gets back into training.

And finally, another thing we are praying about is what I will do once he starts training again. I have enjoyed being at home with him thus far and have seen how the Lord has really used it. If I had been working, or tied down to anything outside of Ben and our home before hand, I would not have been able to go with Ben to Colorado or Alabama or to spend this time with him right now. But recently, we felt that it was time to take that before the Lord again, to see if He would lead us to have me work or take grad classes or volunteer or to have children. We basically were just trying to pray with open hands- for whatever the Lord would have.

In the past few days, we have seen the Lord open the doors for me to at least apply to this really cute coffee shop nearby. It is brand new, super cute and pretty much everyone who works there is a girl! We both saw that it could be a neat ministry opportunity and a fun part-time thing for me to do while he is busy training.

So, we have inquired and have had a positive response from the owner and are now just waiting to see if the Lord's hand is really on this.

So, God is shaping our days here in Pensacola and helping us to become established here--exciting times!...we are just praying that we will always be willing for what He wants to do with us!