Friday, September 24, 2010

fall wreath.

welcoming in fall with a burlap & muslin wreath. :)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Falling in Love with Fall Bags...

These newbies will be going in the shop--hopefully by the end of the day!

Friday, September 10, 2010

what i'm reading

I just started a new book study that I will be going over with a friend here in town & several other college aged girls.  I am still in the very beginning of the book, actually I just finished the introduction---so I haven't even started on the chapters, but I am very excited to get into it!

The book, on whole, is simply about encouraging women to become better theologians.

And what is theology you ask?  Simply put, it is knowing God.   Knowing God changes our patterns of beliefs, how we react to circumstances, how we choose to live our lives, how we serve our families, friends, church & the community.

Mrs. James states that "real theologians are those whose hearts are captivated by God himself, who cling to the truth in life, who humbly kneel to adore him, and whose lives are transformed by what they have learned.  Theology makes a difference to all of us."

She also states that "the purpose of this book is to reunite these two identities {the mary & martha identities} to help women begin the process of becoming better theologians.  There is no trick to this, no quick and easy method for deepening our relationship with God.  It takes time, something in short supply for most women.  But anything worthwhile takes time, and what could be more worthwhile than knowing our Creator?"

Even though I am just starting the first chapter of the book, I am already very excited to begin reading it!   The book is heavily endorsed by solid men such as J.I. Packer & R. C. Sproul, making me even more confident that it must be a good read.

I'll let ya know how it goes!  Or, why not check it out for yourself!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

a labor-less weekend

Ben and I IMMENSELY enjoyed our Labor Day Weekend.  With his crazy class schedule, we never get a Friday night to ourselves, making the weekends seem soooo short these days.   Often, he has to start his week on Sunday after church to get in as much studying as he can before Monday hits, so really our weekends are generally smooshed into Saturday and half of Sunday.   

This weekend he had most of Friday off, all of Saturday, Sunday AND Monday off!!!  ((YAYY!!))
We celebrated most of the weekend by doing absolutely nothing.  I mean we did DO things but not important time crunched things.  Instead we went shopping/small errand running at our leisure on Friday, with Starbucks in hand,  and ventured out to a new cupcakery in town and met the sweet little owner (her name was Fara, just like my Mama Carter).  On Saturday we slept in, food shopped & mowed the lawn, got another Starbucks then went to see Ramona & Beezus (we have a secret crush on Selena Gomez--not a creepy crush, just an "aww she's so cute" crush).  The movie was actually really cute and it cost us a grand total of $2.50 each at the on base movie theater---even better.  
Our main event took place on Sunday when we had Ben's class over for dinner---many of the fellas & ladies were out of town, but about half of them had stayed in San Angelo for the weekend, making it quite the perfect little shindig.  I cooked up some dinner, while one of Ben's classmates took care of dessert:  cupcakes.

It was a deelish night.  We set out different toppings and frostings for everyone to top their own cupcake.  The results were pretty fun & yummy, of course.  

Here's my cupcake:  chocolate cake, cream cheese frosting & shaved chocolate & espresso

What party is complete without a friendly game of Operation?   I say friendly, but this game really turned out to be quite dangerous---the "electric shock"  kinda freaked me out and well lets just say more than once, the game & different people in the room went flyin'

A couple of the guys & Ben getting ready for surgery...

The best part of the weekend, was knowing that we had Monday off too!   We had a super fun time on Friday, Saturday & Sunday---and still had time to recover & spend time together on Monday! 
ahhhhhh if only every weekend was at least a three day weekend....

Monday, September 6, 2010

Homemade Vanilla Extract

A while back, while we were still in Pensacola, I was a part of a a Vanilla Bean Co-op where I bought vanilla beans for $0.28 each!  If you have ever bought vanilla beans at the grocery store, you know what a great deal this is!  I have been looking forward to making my own vanilla extract from the beans, but with the move and everything, am just now getting around to it.   I love pure vanilla extract, but unless you are in Mexico, its SO expensive at the stores & for such a small bottle too!  Making your own, especially if you can get the beans from a co-op or online for cheap, is SO much more affordable.

Here's what you need to make your own Vanilla Extract.

Step one:  8-10 vanilla beans.

Step two: get yourself down to the local liquor store and find yourself a 1 Liter of Vodka-80 proof.
I got mine at the military shopette on base (tax free), so that's why it is called military special ;)
Not gonna was kind of comical going into the liquor store right after church on Sunday to get our bottle of Vodka.

Step Three: Split the vanilla down the center to expose the beans inside

Step Four:  steep split vanilla beans into the bottle of Vodka, or you can transfer it to a different glass container if you prefer.  Shake it real good, with lid tightened, and let steep in a dark area four four weeks to 6 months *waiting longer will yield best results.   Shake bottle about once per week until its ready to use!