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I'm just a girl trying to keep an eternal perspective on life, and live it to the fullest :)

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Father's Day Gift Ideas

To all the men who have been a positive influence in my life, thank you! 
From my dads, to my husband, to my pastor at church, etc. Each one has been a part in protecting, leading, and proving in different ways and at different stages of my life. 

Children desire (and really do need) a strong and positive male figure in their lives. Many children are missing that, for more reasons than one, but I won't go into that. 
My purpose in writing this is that I want to honor the men in our lives. 
I want to plan some fun crafts my girls and I can make together.

Even if you don't have anyone here on earth you can give praises to for being a good man, you can give praises to our Heavenly Father! He is a father to the fatherless. When we become a Christ follower, we are guaranteed to have a perfect eternal life and a Perfect Father in Heaven! 

So, here are some crafty gift ideas to get the wheels in our heads turning!

If you have any other suggestions, please leave a comment and/or link! Thanks!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Little Girls' Dresses

Love this idea for taking used men's dress shirts and turning them into little girls' dresses!
Anyone want to teach me how to sew?!

Quote of the Day: 5.27.2011

I admit, that I struggle with bitterness. But, when I take my focus off of the object of my bitterness and onto Jesus I cannot stay bitter. His Spirit lives in me! 

I pray...

  • to see others through the eyes of Jesus. 
  • to have my heart break for what breaks His. 
  • that the fruits of His Holy Spirit flow from my life.

Wisdom from Oswald Chambers

Defenders of the faith are inclined to be bitter until they learn to walk in the light of the Lord. When you have learned to walk in the light of the Lord, bitterness and contention are impossible.
Biblical Psychology

Monday, May 23, 2011

Menu Plan Monday: 5.23.11


***Below are dinner dishes. Breakfast is usually cereal, a protein shake, yogurt parfait or waffles/pancakes. Lunch most often leftovers, sandwiches or salads.***

Grilled Chicken w/ baked potatoes
Lasagna Rolls w/ salad
Enchiladas w/ spanish rice
Eating Out
Lemon Garlic Salmon w/ mashed potatoes
Slow Cooker Chili

“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” 
- 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (New International Version)

Praying for Joplin

After church, my mom, one of my daughters and I spent the day with extended relatives. We arrived back home around 6pm, not having any idea that just at that time there was a monstrous tornado devastating the city of Joplin, MO.

Completely oblivious to the mass destruction and suffering nearby, I went to bed at about 10:30 without having turned on my radio/tv/computer. I was awakened a short while later with a phone call from a coworker notifying me that the hospital I work at had implemented their "Disaster/Mass Casualty Policy" due to this terrible tornado. I was in disbelief.  Then, after calling my department at work, and being put "on-call", I looked up photos, videos and news articles on the internet.

I've been aware of other natural disasters lately from the Japan earthquake/tsunami to the devastating tornados and floods that have ruined homes and lives. However, this tornado really hit home. I had family at a graduation in Joplin just the day prior, my dad has worked in Joplin, and we have visited several times. My brother-in-law just moved to Kansas City from Pittsburg, KS (which is just about 30 miles from Joplin) last week. I can't help but think of the people I've known throughout the years who are from Joplin, MO. I pray for them, and for the people I don't know. I pray for the families worried about a loved one(s) they can't get in contact with. I pray...

Here are some of the most recent sobering facts via The Washington Post :

*Death toll at 89 and likely growing
*Tornado path: 6 miles long, more than a 1/2 mile wide through the center of Joplin
*25-30% of city damaged
*Every window in town hospital blown out
*Sirens gave residents about 20 minutes warning
*Deadliest Missouri tornado on record
*Closing in on 20th deadliest U.S. tornado; right now deadliest since 1953 Worchester, Mass., tornado (killed 94)

Here is an iPhone video shot from a helicopter just after the tornado blew through the city:

This morning, as I type this, Joplin is being hit with another round of storms which are producing hail, strong winds and rain. Needless to say, the relief efforts have had their roadblocks. Their risk for further severe weather is a threat throughout the day. To be a helping hand,  join in with one of these organizations @ How to Help.

So, after the relief efforts, what is there to do for the lives that will be forever changed? Pray for God to comfort those suffering. Only HE has the power. Pray for HIM to use and work through You.

True comfort and hope are only found through intimately knowing Jesus. 

Because we live in a fallen world, life inevitably includes sorrow. When sin entered the human race, it brought death—physical death and spiritual death with all the accompanying ramifications. Death or loss of anything we value causes grief. However, God has a higher purpose for His people, and He is faithful to use our most painful times to mature us, to draw us into closer dependence on Him...

We must recognize our limitations and remember that God is the one who "heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds" (Ps. 147:3). We should do all we can do to ease others' pain, but we can't do what only God can do. He is "the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles" with a comfort that is transferable.22 In a fallen world where loss and grief are guaranteed, God will use us to comfort others when wounds are raw and deep...

In the book of Revelation, God offers one final word about our grief: "Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. . . . And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, 'Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away" (Rev. 21:1a, 3-4).

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Dinner and Dessert!

You have to check out these two AMAZING looking recipes! I can't wait to try them! One is healthy, and the other... well, not so much. I think if you have them at the same meal, it would balance out :)

See the full set of step-by-step instructions with pictures @


Don't forget dessert... STUFFED COOKIES via Serious Eats and Picky Palate!

This picture makes me salivate! Yum! I'm imagining all the "stuffing" possibilities... various types of other cookies, candy bars, etc...

Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 sticks softened butter
3/4 Cup packed light brown sugar
1 Cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 Tablespoon pure vanilla
3 1/2 Cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
10 oz bag chocolate chips
1 bag Oreo Cookies, I used the double stuff :)
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.   In a stand or electric mixer cream butter and sugars until well combined.  Add in eggs and vanilla until well combined.
2.  In a separate bowl mix the flour, salt and baking soda.  Slowly add to wet ingredients along with chocolate chips until just combined.  Using a cookie scoop take one scoop of cookie dough and place on top of an Oreo Cookie.  Take another scoop of dough and place on bottom of Oreo Cookie.  Seal edges together by pressing and cupping in hand until Oreo Cookie is enclosed with dough.  Place onto a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet and bake cookies 9-13 minutes or until cookies are baked to your liking.  Let cool for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.  Serve with a tall glass of milk, enjoy!
Makes about 2 dozen VERY LARGE Cookies :)

See the full set of step-by-step instructions with pictures @




For the Beauty of the Earth

This song has been one I've been singing to myself and listening to a lot lately. I like the original better than the newer version, but both are wonderful! It reminds me of my maternal grandmother. When I was a little girl, I remember listening and watching her sing these type of hymns in her choir. I love the sound of organs and trumpets played in The London Philharmonic Orchestra And Amen Choir. Neither of these YouTube videos have that "old hymn" sound to them, but they both sound marvelous!

For the Beauty of the Earth

1. For the beauty of the earth,
For the glory (beauty) of the skies,
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies;
Lord of all, to Thee we raise
This our hymn of grateful praise.

2. For the wonder of each hour
Of the day and of the night,
Hill and vale and tree and flower,
Sun and moon, and stars of light;
Lord of all, to Thee we raise
This our hymn of grateful praise.

4. For the joy of human love,
Brother, sister, parent, child;
Friends on earth and friends above;
For all gentle thoughts and mild;
Lord of all, to Thee we raise
This our hymn of grateful praise.

5. For Thy Church that evermore
Lifteth holy hands above,
Offering up on every shore
Her pure sacrifice of love;
Lord of all, to Thee we raise
This our hymn of grateful praise.

6. For Thyself, best gift divine,
To our race so freely given,
For that great, great love of Thine,
Peace on earth, and joy in heaven:
Lord of all, to Thee we raise
This our hymn of grateful praise.
Lyrics: Folliot Sandford Pierpoint
Music: Conrad Kocher

Which version do you enjoy more?

Original Version: The Mormon Tabernacle Choir


Newer Version: The St. Paul Cathedral Choir

Psalm 8
 1 LORD, our Lord, 
   how majestic is your name in all the earth!

   You have set your glory 
   in the heavens. 
2 Through the praise of children and infants 
   you have established a stronghold against your enemies, 
   to silence the foe and the avenger. 
3 When I consider your heavens, 
   the work of your fingers, 
the moon and the stars, 
   which you have set in place, 
4 what is mankind that you are mindful of them, 
   human beings that you care for them?[c]

 5 You have made them[d] a little lower than the angels[e] 
   and crowned them[f] with glory and honor. 
6 You made them rulers over the works of your hands; 
   you put everything under their[g] feet: 
7 all flocks and herds, 
   and the animals of the wild, 
8 the birds in the sky, 
   and the fish in the sea, 
   all that swim the paths of the seas.

 9 LORD, our Lord, 
   how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Quote of the Day: 5.18.2011

Ephesians 4:21-24 (New Living Translation)

21 Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, 22 throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. 23 Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. 24 Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.

New Self via BibleStudyTools.com
Paul refers to the transformation that occurs at conversion as the creation of a new self. "Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator" ( Col 3:9-11 ). The Greek term for "new self, " neos anthropos [nevo"a [nqrwpo"], depicts an individual, male or female, who possesses a "new nature" or "new humanity." It characterizes a metamorphosis in conduct from a life of sin to one of righteousness and is equivalent in meaning to being born again. A parallel expression occurs in 2 Corinthians 5:17 where the individual is described as a "new creation."
The process of transformation into a new self is described by Paul in Ephesians 4:22-24 as involving three stages: (1) putting off the old self, which belongs to the former way of life; (2) being made new in the attitude of one's mind; and (3) putting on the new self. The words translated "put off" and "put on" in (1) and (3) are past tense in Greek, indicating a completed action (perhaps baptism). The word "made new" in (2) is present tense, indicating a continuing development of spiritual attitude.
In this process, the former self, which was given to the gratification of human desires, is put away (Col 3:8), stripped off like filthy clothes (v. 9). Baptism, unlike circumcision, which was the putting away of a mere piece of flesh, represented rather the stripping off of the whole body of flesh (v. 11). It s the entire former self that dies. Paul states in Romans that "our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin" (6:6).
Becoming a new person in Christ begins with the transformation of the mind. "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind" (Rom 12:2). However, although the decision to become a Christian may be instantaneously made, the transformation of a sinful human body into one that exemplifies the conduct appropriate to the mind of the new self (righteousness and holiness, Eph 4:24) requires a lifetime of determination and discipline (Eph 4:22-5:21).
Peter writes: "Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation" (1 Peter 2:2). For Paul, the creation of the new self is the antithesis of the decay and death of the old self, the human body: "Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day" (2 Cor 4:16).
This renewal is possible because the Spirit of God "helps us in our weakness" (Rom 8:26). "If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you" (Rom 8:11).
John McRay

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Quote of the Day: 5.17.2011

Though I feel super small at times, this truth (stated by Oswald Chambers' in his book So Send I You, 1325 R) lifts me up and carries me through!

We are all based on a conception of importance, either our own importance, or the importance of someone else; Jesus tells us to go and teach based on the revelation of His importance. "All power is given unto Me.… Go ye therefore …."  

Matthew 28:18-20 (New Living Translation)

 18 Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. 19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations,[a] baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Our Backyard Garden

We were planning on going out of town this past weekend, but plans changed. Despite my youngest daughter being sick, we all got out of the house and enjoyed some time at a Greenhouse and picked out some edible plants for our backyard garden.

A couple weeks ago my loving husband ;) surprised me for Mother's Day by purchasing supplies for a raised backyard garden! We worked together to outline the garden with blocks and fill it with a special mixture of soil called Mel's Mix (from All New Square Foot Gardening) that our neighbors introduced us to (thanks Carl and Sharon!). We placed a fence around our garden to protect it from our dogs. We had already planted our flowers out front a few weeks ago. Now we were excited to sow some plants we can use in the kitchen! We already have blueberry bushes along our back fence. We placed bird netting over them because last year the birds took most of our crop. So, hopefully that will do the trick!

So, on Saturday after we purchased our plants, I spent a while outdoors enjoying my time with the dirt. I also transplanted some plants I had started from seed. There is something about gardening that clears and refreshes my mind. I feel as though I can better talk with God as I am digging in the soil (after all, man came from dust).

Here is the layout of our garden (It is approx. 4' x16') :
Unfortunately, I've already witnessed some black birds picking off leaves of my herbs. When I was out there yesterday, I also noticed that some cute little bunnies must be nibbling away at some of my other plants ;(

So, after consulting with my mom, we devised a plan, and I sprung into action.

To keep away the birds, I took some disposable pie tins, poked holes in them, and tied them to our fence. The noise and reflection of light should keep away the birds I'm hoping :)

As far as the bunnies (I like calling them bunnies rather than rabbits... its more endearing), I've place moth balls around the outer edge of our bricks lining our garden (not in our garden). The smell is supposed to keep the critters away.

(I'm glad this is in our backyard and not our front. Our cute decorations might make people jealous- haha)

I am getting ready to go water now... I'm hoping those tactics have worked!

I'm so excited to see what we reap here in the next 2-3 months!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Breakfast- Hawaiian Style

In honor of my sister living in Hawaii (poor thing-I know), I want to share a this banana pancake recipe that my mom has made several times throughout my life. I recently started making it again since my sister sent me some coconut syrup a while back. My girls and I can't get enough of this!


1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon white sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg, beaten
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, butter, or applesauce
2 ripe bananas, mashed
Combine flour, white sugar, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together egg, milk, vegetable oil and bananas.
Stir flour mixture into banana mixture; batter will be slightly lumpy.
Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Cook until pancakes are golden brown on both sides; serve hot.

Coconut Syrup
(Instead of buying, you can also make your own. In microwavable bowl, mix one 13oz can coconut milk, with equal amt (13 oz) of light corn syrup, and add 2 Tbsp honey. Mix and put in microwave for 10-15 seconds, stir until solid parts of coconut milk are liquified. Pour into cleaned-out old syrup container, label and place in fridge. When ready to use, microwave for 10 seconds and shake to mix. Enjoy!)


Pineapple-Orange Juice (or any other tropical juice)



1 fresh pineapple (peeled, cored and diced) 
4 medium oranges, peeled and sectioned
2 kiwi fruits, peeled and diced
1 large mango, peeled and cubed
6 oz fresh strawberries, sliced
3 Tbsp honey 
1/2 cup fresh lime or lemon juice 


In a glass bowl, toss all ingredients; serve immediately, or cover and chill before serving.