dos dias...

...until we leave for COSTA RICA!!! Eric and I are beyond excited. I am more excited for this than our cruise for our honeymoon! (Well, at least equally as excited ;)

Here's a little Q&A I know you are dying for:

Have we packed?
Does washing clothes and borrowing a suitcase count?
Have we finished reading Genesis?
Do you know how long that book is? We are making a dent...
Have we prayed for our teammates?
Have we prayed for our missionaries, The Jones'?
Have we prayed for peace of mind for our family members we are leaving back home?
Check, but to no avail so far!
Have we emptied our refrigerator?
Except for some milk (to be polished off with cookies tonight!) and some juice.

Have we thanked God for this amazing opportunity every day since the day He called us to go?
ABSOLUTELY! Thank you God, you are truly magnificent.

"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

Matthew 28:19-20

hole in the wall

Yes, we have a giant 6 foot hole in our wall! When Eric and I bought our house back in February of '08 we had BIG intentions for it. It wasn't necessarily what some would call a "fixer-upper," but it had lots and lots of potential for improvement. Slowly but surely (as we like to save up for home improvements, not credit card them) we have made some small changes in our house. We have literally painted every wall in our house, minus 2 bedrooms. Eric's music room is tan and we actually like the color in there. We are holding off on painting the 3rd bedroom because it will one day become a nursery...therefore paint choices will be made upon discovery of the sex of said future child.

Sooooooooo back to the original idea of the post, the wall. It is the wall that separated the living room from the dining room. As the trends of today have dictated, we love an open and airy floor plan. Enter: sledgehammer. NOT! I am a little bit of a freak when it comes to destroying my house and I didn't want drywall dust everywhere. So we carefully covered every inch of our furniture in both rooms and tacked sheets up in all the doorways leading to other parts of the house. We are now on day 6 of the project (it is a lot more waiting than I anticipated) and we are almost done! But guess what? NO FINISHED PICTURES FOR YOU! Ha! I will post them later...guess you will have to come back and see them!!!

I will leave you with a before shot of the dining room:

Eric trying to walk through the wall...

And a during shot!

great grub 8

Yes, I know. It has been a long time since I last posted. That is what happens when you don't work and don't get on the internet!!!

This next recipe is part mine, part internet find. My friend Karen aptly named them "Popeye Patties" because they are mainly spinach. Here you go!

Popeye Patties

1 (10 oz.) box frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained well
1c. italian style bread crumbs
1 onion, chopped
5 eggs, beaten
3/4 c. butter, melted
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp. garlic salt
1/2 tsp. thyme

Add all ingredients into food processor and pulse until combined. Form balls, using 1 teaspoon mixture for each and bake on lightly greased baking sheet for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. May be frozen either before or after baking. Yields 2 to 3 dozen.


great grub 7

I can not take full credit for this dish. I found the recipe at and stole it and made it my own. It is also part of my quest to eat at least 3 vegetarian meals a week and do it on a budget. You can add all kinds of veggies to this dish too. This is a yummy budget-friendly meal for sure! (Sorry no picture this time...I am really bad at remembering to take those!)

Mexican Lentil Casserole

1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup green bell pepper, chopped
4 cups water
1 cup lentils
2 cups brown rice, cooked
6 oz tomato paste
1 packet taco seasoning
1 1/2 cups shredded fiesta blend cheese
8 oz. sour cream
olive oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a medium saucepan coated with olive oil, saute onions and green pepper. Add the water. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir in lentils, cover pot, reduce heat to low, and simmer 20 minutes. Lightly oil a casserole dish or spray with a nonstick cooking spray. Remove saucepan from heat and stir in remaining ingredients, reserving 1 cup of cheese, mixing well. Spoon into prepared casserole. Bake, uncovered, 20 minutes. Add reserved cheese blend on top and bake 5 more minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

inexpensive etsy 5

I haven't bought anything for a while off Etsy...and then I looked at Maggie. She had just had a bath and started smelling all pretty when I noticed, she needed a new spring collar. Enter: Lucky Fiona. And wouldn't it be my lucky day when I entered her store that she was a having a buy one get one free sale! So I did. It hasn't gotten here yet, but this is the one I bought:

The free one was super cute too...but I forgot to get it's picture. Oh well!

Happy shopping!

to rejoice or not to rejoice...

I am 2 half days away from the end of my career as a teacher. I can't lie, it is very bittersweet. When Eric and I made the decision to walk away from this profession, I was nothing short of ecstatic. Weeks later I sit here in a quiet classroom reflecting on my experiences over the last year and a half with mixed emotions.

I love(d) teaching. I am glad that God has given me this opportunity. It is cliche, but true, that I think I learned more from my students than I actually taught them. I went to public school, but it is a whole other world when you view it as a teacher. These kids just want to be loved and paid attention to. It doesn't matter their background, white/black/hispanic, broken home/loving parents, rich/poor. They crave attention. They crave discipline (whether they realize it or not). They crave love. No matter how sarcastic I was to them, or how mean, or how many names I called them, I still had at least 10 kids in my room every morning before school and 1 or 2 everyday during lunch. If I stayed late after school I am sure they would have been there too.

They all have stories. I have had kids that go to school all day, work half the night, and come home to a mom/dad passed out on the couch drunk. I have young girls that are so wrapped up in their boyfriend's that their straight A's turn to C's and mama wants to know why. I have young believers that think they know so much of what Christianity is and have to learn the hard way that they have only just begun to understand. It absolutely breaks my heart that I won't be here next year for the new bunch or the returning bunch.

I can take solace in the fact that my God is bigger than me. I don't have to be the one to "save" these kids. God ordained this new journey I am about to take, and he will send someone in my place for these kids. It is definitely not about me. That doesn't mean that my heart won't hurt for them.

I am leaving a part of my heart at Emerald High School, but with the security of knowing God hasn't left his.