Monday, June 27, 2011

Cookie Dough

Who doesn't love raw cookie dough?!

I usually ignore the fact that it's recommended to NOT eat it raw because of the eggs. Who doesn't?

However, I actually abide by that rule when I'm pregnant. That's why I was super-excited to come across an egg-less cookie dough recipe meant to be eaten raw!

(Note: No, I'm not pregnant!)

Ingredients:
2 tbsp butter, room temperature
1 tbsp brown sugar, NOT packed
1 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp flour
a drizzle of vanilla
milk
chocolate chips

Mix the first five ingredients. If it's still a bit stiff, drizzle a teeny tiny bit of milk to thin it out, until it's the desired consistency.

Mix in chocolate chips.

Get a big glass of milk to go along side it and enjoy!

A cookie dough recipe that won't make you sick! Well, as long as you can control yourself on not quadrupling the recipe and eating it all in one sitting...

PS-Don't try to bake them. They won't rise without the egg!

PPS-I am not responsible for the guilt and desire to run 3 miles you may feel after eating these. However, I WILL take credit for any feelings of euphoria you may have.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Awesome Friends

I have amazing friends.

Sometimes these amazing friends, for none other reason than the fact that they're totally awesome, do nice things for me.

This week, I received a package in the mail from Brenda.

Bren had her first baby girl just a few weeks after Kylee was born, and she too, has been bit by the crafting bug.

Inside this box, aside from a very sweet letter that I'll keep forever, was tons of crafty stuff! My favorite item was a homemade (by Bren) pocket diaper made especially for my sweet miss! (Brenda even made sure it would fit by asking for Kylee's measurements "to compare to her daughter's." Sneaky, sneaky!) She also included prints of the pattern for the diaper (in case I wanted to make it myself, which I will be doing!), little storage bins, a Ziploc bag FULL of ribbon, and lots of other stuff.

Let's go back to that ribbon. Oh boy...have I been busy. For a few days, when if my children nap at the same time, I've been making bows. I've had some ribbon of my own that I'd been meaning to use so I pulled that out, and I also repaired some of my older ones.

I made these.And these.This one was made especially for Independence Day.

And before I go on, I have a question. Is it possible to be in love with a hair bow??
Please don't judge me. I have an addiction to adorable bows.

Anyway, I have made many many more bows!!

I love seeing her holder with all of them on it!
Why yes, I only have one daughter. Why do you ask?

Thanks Bren!!!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Camouflage

Ok so I'm not really crazy about my feet. I'm sure it has something to do with the fact that they're extra-wide and one of my toes is always trying to make a right-hand turn because of being broken as a child. But whatever. I mean really, who likes their feet?

However, there's a retired Marine in choir at church with me. (I have a point.)

He's aware that Greg is a former Marine. And to get to his seat in choir, he has to walk past mine. And for the past few weeks, he keeps looking at my toes! (Marines can be strange characters.)

Anyway, he keeps telling me he wants to see camouflage toes. 

I took that as a challenge. 

And lucky for him, I have quite an array of pink colored nail polish!

And that brings me to my point. While I'm not crazy about my feet, I was too proud of myself not to post my finished product! :)

Owl Lunch

Hoo Hoo!

Friday, June 17, 2011

A Lesson in Trucks

He started this all on his own. :) He's pointing to each kind of truck and telling her what it is. 

Letter

To the Evil One (whose name isn't even worth being mentioned):

I am writing this letter to inform you that I see what you are trying to do.

You are very aware that God has been working in our lives for the past few years towards something very big. We are finally in the final stretch for His Will to be revealed, but we're in the waiting process for it to finally come to fruition.

Through this waiting process, it has occurred to me that you are trying everything possible to get Greg and I to become so discouraged that we give up on everything, move on with our lives, and foil this part of God's will for our family.

I would just like to tell you that you aren't as sneaky as you hope to be. I am on to you, and want you to know that this is happening, just as the LORD told us it is. We will NOT be discouraged, and we will NOT throw our hands in the air in surrender. The LORD is our strength, and HE will sustain us. (Psalm 3:5)

He is on our side. and Romans 8:31b says "If God is for us, who can be against us?"

That being said, in the name of Christ Jesus, get behind Greg and I. And you can kiss my butt while you're at it.

In Christ,
Emma

Friday, June 10, 2011

Faith

I used to wonder how my faith in the Lord compared to other people's...not that it mattered. I know God doesn't love certain people more just because they have a stronger faith in Him than others, but the thought crossed my mind that God is really the only One who knows our level of faith. WE don't really even know it, since we have nothing to compare it to. Does that make sense?

I often think about what it means to have "child-like faith." Believing that He can perform miracles...He can heal a blind man, and instantaneously cure cancer, and handle my situation.

Sure He can do all those things.

I had 100% faith that He was capable of all of these.

It wasn't until He said to me, "Trust me with this," that it hit me...it's not about believing that He can do all of this...it's believing that He will.

There is such a difference in these two ideas, and I didn't realize how little faith I had in believing He WILL take care of everything until He told me to let Him do so.

This means not worrying...

Not trying to work out every detail myself to make sure it's taken care of (this is not easy for me!)...

Not questioning what He told me. If He told me something, then it's so.
Imagine you have a child that, at age sixteen, comes to you and says, "If it's possible, can you buy me a car?" Your answer to them is, "Yes, I will buy you the car."
After that, imagine that they kept coming to you saying the same thing, "Please, can you buy me the car????" Eventually, I would want to smack them upside the head and say, "I told you that I would buy you the car! Stop worrying and let me work out the details in doing so!"

Get what I'm saying?

The Lord clearly answered "yes" to our request, yet because it hadn't actually happened yet, I kept asking for it. He is such a gracious God though, and thankfully, instead of reprimanding me for constantly asking Him, He kept reassuring me that I heard Him correctly, and showed me ways He was already working out details that I thought I'd have to worry about. One way He spoke to me and reminded me that I heard correctly was by reminding me of Hebrews 11:1.
"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." (NIV Version)

So I'm at the point now where I've started thanking Him that He said yes. Even though He hasn't "proven Himself" yet and showed me that it's true, why does He need to?

He is God. The Creator of everything.

I can trust that His yes means 'yes,' and His no means 'no.' He also reminded me of this through James 1:17, which says
"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning." (NKJV) (Emphasis added by me.)

So once again, I will say, "Thank you Lord for what's to come!"

Monster Jam

Unbeknownst to my son, mom has turned playing with monster trucks into an
educational activity.

Muah-ha-ha! (That's my evil laugh.)

Hunter L-O-V-E-S monster trucks and watching Monster Jam on hulu.com. Back when we had cable TV in Arizona, Greg got home from school right at the time that Monster Jam came on the Speed Channel. It was an every day affair that Greg and Hunter sat down to watch it together. That's when Hunter's love for Monster Trucks really blossomed. Ever since then, he has collected many toy monster trucks, and they're one of his favorite toys to play with. We also took him to Monsters on the Beach both years we've been here in Virginia Beach.

Now that his imagination is just starting to really come out as he grasps the idea of "pretending," we started having our own Monster Jams on the living room floor. We set up obstacles, and he lined up the trucks and each one gets their turn to freestyle. We both become the announcers as each truck takes their turn. He makes me laugh with how much he retains from the commentators from the show. He says things like, "BIG AIR!" "He's going to fill the clock." "He's going into 'bonus time,' " and he even told me one of the trucks "broke their left-front tire." I make a chart including every participant, and each one gets a score from the judges. Hunter is responsible for keeping score.
Hunter absolutely LOVES the new game, and I love that he gets practice forming and writing numbers! (After we pick a two-digit score, he has to tell me what numbers need to be put together to form that number, then he writes it down.)

Win-win!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Rescuer

On Sunday at church, we sang God of Wonders.

While we were singing "God of Wonders beyond our galaxy" I thought about how He is the one who created the galaxy and the universe...how majestic is He because of this?! How awesome He is. After thinking about that, He whispered to me, "Emma, if I created all of that, and I created everything on earth, then why would handling your situation be a problem for me?"

Phew! Ok, God, I got it! It really is ridiculous sometimes that we (or at least I) have a slight fear that He won't be able to work it all out.

Uh, ya know the beautiful gift of life, and how the way children are created is a pretty awesome process?

Yeah, God created that process.

And ya know how a seed is planted and grows roots into the ground, and then it sprouts above soil, and even if you don't have a green thumb (like me) and you keep killing the top part of the plant (like me) it still sprouts up because the roots are still alive?

God thought of that process too.

Or how about the beautiful process of weather? It must rain to keep everything alive, cuz ya know, a land with only sunshine turns into a desert. (I mean that metaphorically too.)

That was God.

And ya know how the earth is the perfect distance from the sun so that we don't freeze or burn to death?

Yep, that was God too.

If God is capable of, not only maintaining, but CREATING these things, why on earth would He have any trouble handling my measly situation?

I studied 2 Peter 2:4-11 this morning, which just hit it all home for me.

2 Peter 2:4-11 NIV:
For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell,[a] putting them in chains of darkness[b] to be held for judgment; 5 if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others; 6 if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; 7 and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the depraved conduct of the lawless 8 (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)— 9 if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials and to hold the unrighteous for punishment on the day of judgment. 10 This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the flesh[c] and despise authority. Bold and arrogant, they are not afraid to heap abuse on celestial beings; 11 yet even angels, although they are stronger and more powerful, do not heap abuse on such beings when bringing judgment on them from[d] the Lord.

Verse 9: "...the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials..."
Why wouldn't He?

We serve an awesome God. A God that is capable of so much more than our mind's can even fathom, yet sometimes, I still put limits on Him of what I can fathom.

I don't need to worry. He's got this.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Waiting

I read this blog this morning and it made me cry.

We, too, are waiting.

And waiting.

And waiting.

And I don't want to wait anymore.

I'm tired.
Just as she so beautifully put it, "I feel like a child who needs a nap and has run out of patience."

But I think this blog is what I needed.

I don't have the strength to wait anymore. I need God to fill me with His strength. I need Him to wipe away my tears.

I know He sees the bigger picture. And I know it will be worth the wait.

And I definitely know He is doing such a work in me with teaching me patience, and definitely teaching me to absolutely, 100% trust in Him.

Maybe His work in me is not done.

Maybe there's something else He wants me to see...something else He wants me to learn.

So, I'll continue to wait.

Why would I want to shower my child with more blessings if they're not even thankful for the ones they have?

He has been so good to me. And I am thankful...I just need to show that better. And I will do that by giving thanks.

Today's gonna be a good day. Ya know why?

Because GOD IS GOOD.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Jumble of Emotions

Keep in mind while you read this (and any) post, you can click on the pictures to enlarge them!

Today is a reminiscing day.

While trying to rearrange and condense old boxes in our spare room, I came across a box full of memories.

I found an old church bulletin from 2002! Back when Warren Woods still used Hymnals!

I also found another one from '03. (Why do I still have this stuff?!)

Those boxes I wrote around those names were from back in '03. Note that my Gregory was listed.

'03...I was a sophomore in high school...and Gregory was just the son of regular attenders at our church.

Also in this box many notes written back and forth between my friends and me during service.

And papers that were created during Sunday School in like 5th grade that only Shannon Iafrate and I understand.
(It's amazing I came out ok as an adult since I obviously paid such good attention every moment during church...on a side note, I did also find some sermon notes of mine in this box too!)

This box also had countless pictures from all throughout high school...

And the card my parents gave me for my high school graduation....

Cassette tapes (ha!) from our premarital counseling...

Our cards from our wedding day...and our program for our wedding ceremony...Inside this box is lots and lots of wonderful memories for me in the years leading up to my wedding.

It got me thinking about the last decade of my life...how blessed I was growing up with such a wonderful family, awesome friends, and great church.

After reading the front cover of our wedding program, and being reminded of that day, I began to think of the last five and a half years that I've spent as Gregory's wife.

I started crying because I was overwhelmed with emotions from all these different times in my life being put in front of me.

And in our 5.5 years of marriage, we have dealt with a lot of transitioning...and we're going through another transition time right now (that I'll blog about at a later date.)

I am getting a little overwhelmed with everything we're going through right now...but remembering our wedding day and how in love with Gregory I was made me think of how much MORE I love him now.

I am so SO blessed. We have a wonderful marriage.

This is my life now.
That man means the world to me. I love him more than I could ever have imagined loving someone. And I know he feels the same about me.

God has blessed our marriage, and I'm so thankful.

And He's blessed us with a family...


Yes, we've been through a lot...and are going through quite a bit more transitioning right now too.

But in all of it, because of God's blessings, I can see that He has been with us through it all. He has had His hand in every part of our lives together.

And whatever lies ahead, I know He'll continue to guide us.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Bird Face

I have blogged about this before, but have something to add to it...

While our children's personalities are like night and day in comparison to eachother, I have found another physical characteristic that is the same...

Here is a picture of Hunter at 3.5 months old...
We used to call that his "bird face."

I just took this photo today if Kylee at 4.5 months old...
Our silly children...

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Memorial Weekend

My parents and my niece, Aimee, came into town from Michigan for the weekend. They arrived Friday night after a very long drive. (Friday evening during rush hour on Memorial Weekend is not the best time to be driving into Virginia Beach...)

Here's Aimee and Kylee...

Saturday, we went up to the Eastern Shore. You have to take the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel to get there. This thing is 20 miles long, and has two tunnels. By the time you reach the other side, you're pretty sick of bridge.

We ate up there, and then went to Cape Charles, which is just a small town up there in the bay. We stuck our feet in the water and it was so warm! It was a beautiful day. Aimee even found a crab in the water...

After church on Sunday, we went to the beach. We typically going to Sandbridge Beach, which is south of the strip. It's quiet so it's where most of the locals go, but we thought Aimee would like to see the typical VB oceanfront. Boy, was it packed! We had a fun time though.

Aimee is growing up so fast...isn't she gorgeous?!
Kylee had a great time just hanging out in the shade in her car seat.
While we were there, she kept herself occupied with her feet... :)



Hunter doesn't like to swim much. The ocean intimidates him. Last year, by the time we got him to actually willingly go into the water, the season was over. Now his fear has returned this year and it's like starting at square one again. The boy LOVES playing in the sand though.
We ended the evening (and weekend) with S'mores...YUM!

We had a wonderful weekend!