{The Father of mercies and God of all comfort}

Friday, December 30, 2011

Undecorating

I am refusing to "undecorate" for the new year? That was a little confusing, but it's true. I don't want to take down all the Christmas stuff. It went by so fast. I feel like Christmas should still be here. Maybe the heat doesn't help with the quick passing of the holiday. I also feel that if I take all the decorations down, it's really over. I know it really is, but I'm sad. I know I'm just babbling here and I should stop. All I'm saying is I don't want to...I'm four.
And I never shared pictures of things decorated

very boring front door area I've had that snowman wreath for years

It's more flattering in person

Cute stockings; I made Coco's in the middle

A close up of the paper mistletoe, just ignore us smooching :)

Where most of the Christmas was happening

There's a sparkly gift box in the cakestand in the right corner

I really enjoyed decorating for Christmas in our first place; this may attribute to my hesitation as well. I just love it all!!!!

{Have a Merry & Bright New Year}

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas 2011

It was a wonderful Christmas this year. I'm not sure how it got here so fast, but the year just flew by! I'm so thankful for a wonderful year and a wonderful husband to spend the morning celebrating the birth of our Savior. We did our traditions as planned from last year except for advent, and we did not go to the candlelight service. Ryan worked some crazy overtime before and after Christmas day, so we weren't able to make it to a service. We didn't watch a Christmas movie either, just Bones, but we did drink cocoa.

We woke up on Christmas, I made breakfast, we listened to Michael Buble's Christmas album and opened stockings. Coco was first so he could wear his sweater and have his treat. It was a giant bone. I was really into the three wisemen gifts this year; one for spirit, mind and body. However, Ryan got me like a thousand gifts, so I made him choose three and the rest were "stocking stuffers" even though they didn't fit in my stocking.

Ryan never asks for much; if he asks for anything. He just bought a new radio for his car, because he had to change the battery and when he did his mp3 player converter he installed shorted out and messed up his radio. So, he bought one a couple of months ago, on the cheap, and installed it himself. It's pretty great. All that to say, he didn't get much, but he got everything on his birthday/Christmas list with the exception of a nice barbeque pit which we can't use now anyway. His family and my famiy made it possible to cross everything off his list, now I have to make a new one and it took me all year to finalize the one we just destroyed!

Stocking stuffers
Coco: A hat and scarf (that he hates), a new green sweater, a giant rawhide bone, and a green bone that I crocheted for him.

Me: Fortune cookies, skittles, chapstick, a new IPod touch, a micro SD card and converter, leopard print Coach shoes, a pearl and ruby necklace, and Left for Dead 2 for XBox. (I know these seem like huge gifts, but Ryan swears he got great deals).

Ryan: Battlefield 3, Gears of War 3, and Modern Warfare 3 (he wanted them), the new Switchfoot album, the new Michael Buble, and a new band we discovered and enjoy Icon for Hire, fancy socks, practical socks, and an airbrush paint thing and yellow paint for the radio in his car (I know my gifts pale in comparison to his; I suck).

Our Three Gifts
Me: An ice blue KitchenAid mixer (gorgeous), a Michael Kors leather jacket (smokin'!), and a pair of black patent leather, sling back, peep toe Jimmy Choo's (!)


Ryan: A suede sportscoat with matching tie, a pair of Monster brand headphones, a netbook for school (I forgot to mention Ryan is registered for classes :)

I have a hilarious video for you of Coco opening his stocking. He knew the giant bone was in it all week and on Christmas morning couldn't wait to dig in.



We got some great things from our families, but the list is long, so if they show up in other posts I'll let you know. One of my favorites from my parents was a Lacoste watch and Ryan's is an air compressor.

Project 52 catch all

Project 52 {16}
Highly Edited
I learned to crochet


{17}
Thankful
Lunch with my aunts, mom, and grandma (and little brother)



{18}
Christmas Card



{19}
Ornament Reflection
It's really hard to capture a reflection on normal sized blue ornaments


{20}
Your Tree
With gifts a plenty for the whole family


{21}
Winter Wear
Who are we kidding; I couldn't resist


{22}
Mistletoe
I made the mistletoe from paper


Whew! That's my project 52 all up to date.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Where did we leave off...

Um. I have no clue. Let me try to fill in the gaps among my sparse posts lately. I have reasons for being MIA, I think. Like watching Bones on Netflix, crocheting, and the husbands new work schedule. I blame those things. :)
  • Ryan and I have become addicted, not obssessed, with Netflix. We watched all of the Big Bang that's available, The Walking Dead, started That 70's show and King of Queens, and are currently watching Bones. There are soo many episodes of Bones. I LOVE IT! We've also been watching How I Met Your Mother, but those have to be sent via snail mail, so we have to fill our time somehow and that is with Bones. I kid you not we watch it every spare moment.
  • Ryan started a new job a couple of weeks ago. He's at the same warehouse except he's working nights. Ah. Boo. It could be worse and I know I am not the first nor will I be the last wife who sleeps alone. When he took the shift his boss bumped his title to warehouse senior which is just under supervisor, sweet, so he got a pay raise, awesome! The only catch was working lame hours. Now we were told the shift would only be until the end of the year, so hopefully they meet the deadline. Ryan says they're really close and they just put a new hard-working guy on the team. Good news. So, that's been keeping me away from the computer. I see Ryan for about an hour when I get home from work, we eat dinner, watch an episode of Bones and he's out until around 7:30 a.m. So I don't see him before I leave. Sad day, but this is good.
  • I learned how to crochet. I was going to make super cute boots for my class for Christmas, but started way too late and ended up making little lambs. I didn't snap a picture, so I'll make another one to show you guys. And I'm making Coco a crocheted bone for Christmas. I'm also contemplating making him a new dog bed, but haven't put much thought into it.
These things have kept me pretty busy in the evenings, so computer time has not been a necessity, but I sure miss it. I have lots of things to share (that I never did) and Christmas updates, as well as project 52. I've got some pictures, but figured I'd wait to throw them all in one post. I'm pretty sure you didn't miss anything from November to now. Our life has been pretty uneventful. I desparately need to keep up to date with my life on this blog though. It's so nice to look back and see where we've come.

Praise the Lord and Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 5, 2011

All Dressed Up

Here's the beautiful tree decorated.

We hung blue ornaments on it, Ryan's airplane ornaments and words

The small tree Ryan got me in college is in the window of the guest room. Complete with all of the other ornaments. We loaded it down. It's cute and not fluffy, so it needed a lot them.


Monday, November 28, 2011

Oh Christmas tree

     Friday after thanksgiving Ryan and I decided to go to a Christmas tree farm to buy our first official tree! It was very exciting. Growing up I always had a real tree and Ryan always had a fake one. So, when we got married we decided we'd buy real trees for Christmas. So this being our first Christmas on our own we drove down to the Spring-Cypress area in our Cobalt to pick up a tree, which we had to attach to the roof of the car. Classy, but so fun.

     It was so hard to choose the perfect tree. We walked around for like 45 minutes before we found her, yes it's a her. She's beautiful and fluffy and she smells delightful.


Isn't it gorgeous?!

On the wagon.


Ryan cutting her down

Classy car ride home

What a fun time.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

I am thankful for:
  1. My loving, kind, hard working, God fearing, wonderful husband.
  2. Our new apartment: the opportunity to be together.
  3. God's provision, which has been abundant, from last year to this year.
  4. Family who cares and is available.
  5. Our jobs. My promotion and raise and Ryan's recent promotion!! and now an official Baker Hughes employee full time. Praise God.
  6. The opportunity for Ryan to go back to school soon and my exploration of a master's program.
  7. Our church search. Though it's slow going it's wonderful to have the opportunity to choose a church where God wants us and the fact that we live in a country where we can choose.
  8. The season to give thanks and a God to praise.
  9. I'm reserving nine and ten for
  10. God's provison. It's that abundant!!!!
We had thanksgiving lunch at Ryan's parents and dinner with my parents. As usual. I was sick on Tuesday with some stomach pains, which surfaced again on Thursday (great), so I felt pretty nauseated on thanksgiving. I felt better by the end of the night, but the day kind of sucked. Friday night I had more pain and we went to pick up a Christmas tree from a farm on Friday.

I was going to make Coco a shirt for thanksgiving, but I thought the weather would be warm according to the weather channel so I didn't. It turned out to be way cold in Crosby (okay like the low sixties) and windy everywhere else. So, I made him a bow-tie like these here, except mine is not as cool, but it was still cute.

The other dog is my mom's. I guess she's afraid of pictures.
We were way casual, because it was so cold. I have a really cute outfit picked out. Sad face.

Happy Thanksgiving 2011.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Repeat after Celebrant

If that title doesn't confuse you, let me explain. We visited church number trois (3) on Sunday. It was ecclectic to say the least. Much like UBC in Waco where David Crowder plays. I thoroughly enjoyed the time of music/worship, but alas we have some hang ups.

The pastor was out of town at a sister church, so a guest pastor spoke. He was great. Funny, emphatic, full of Jesus and passionate about what he was saying, which is a perk from last week. The message was on faith read in Hebrews 11. Good stuff for sure.

There were some communal prayers that the congregation recited together. Not uncool, but maybe that's not my prayer for the day. A guy (I'm not sure who he was or what his title was) stood on the stage and we all prayed the prayer on the screen together out loud. Then, the guy asked everyone to say another prayer that was on the screen. His title was "celebrant". He would read and then the "congregation" would read the response. Not that the prayers aren't biblical, but it seems to impose a thought on someone. If this prayer is not on their heart, then their individual needs and confessions are not being met through a communcal prayer. Ryan points out that the prayer may not be sincere in everyone's heart, because it is a pre-recorded prayer written for everyone, doesn't sit well with us. It's the same as worship through song. Some people are moved by hymns, some others (myself included) are not. I need things to be relevant otherwise it's not from the heart to the Lord. Also, the guy offerend communion at the end of the service. Fine indeed. However, the guy said, "if you are anywhere on your journey to Christ, we invite you to join in this feast with us." Okay, false. You may not be "anywhere on your journey", in order to partake of the Lord's Supper, Communion, the last supper, you must profess Jesus as Lord. You are taking, figuratively, of his body and his blood that cleanses from sin. You can't be thinking that he may be Lord, you have to believe it and profess it. It is a sign of your love and devotion to him.

Again, not what we're looking for. We're not striving for perfection, but a strong biblical foundation that fellowships freely with one another and opportunities for growth and involvement.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Another one bites the dust

Tried another church on our list on Sunday. Let's just say we're looking for something different.

The church is pretty big, kind of formal, a little disconnected it seems. The pastor is a third generation in that particular church. He's Bible oriented which is great, but he sounds like a robot. Very little emotion, not emphatic (not that we're looking for emphatic, but a little more energetic maybe), and sort of solid in the Word. The message was clear, not very enlightening, and he ended with a cliffhanger; interesting. The message was from the gospels about Jesus healing the leper and telling the leper to show the priest, but instead he tells many people resulting in Jesus having to stay outside the city gates on his travels. He compared leprosy to sin, solid argument and we agree. He then went on to say that the leper "did not need to profess Jesus as Lord", I'm quoting him there. Ryan and I looked at each other in confusion. The service continued and he ended just before the end of the story to say that he'll pick it up on Wednesday night. Huh? A cliffhanger? Shouldn't he have continued? Well I guess now I'm hooked and I can either read it for myself or go back Wednesday night, which we did not.

After the service Ryan and I were talking about the aforementioned quote, and decided that he didn't mean that the leper didn't need to profess Jesus as Lord, but in order for healing he didn't need to say it out loud, presumably the leper knew in his heart. Nevertheless, he probably shouldn't have said it in that way, it was a little misleading. I joked just after this was said, that it seemed that the robot had malfunctioned and was now having glitches, whereas he probably wouldn't have said it if he were rebooted. Hah. I know I'm hilarious.

The search continues this Sunday. We're trying out a church in downtown where a friend goes. It should be interesting. The last church seemed lacking in fellowship and connection between the members of the congregation. I honestly felt like I was in my religion class in college with 200 other freshmen. We definitely want something more warm and inviting. Otherwise a great church with a solid leader.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Project 52 {15}

Project 52 {15}
Fall


Our Halloween pumpkins turned around.

"We gather 'round the table join our hands and sing, Praise God from whom all blessings flow.
I love this time of year, it always brings me here, to be with you."

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Shades of gray

I finally solved our wall of mirrors problem. A month or so ago I bought some white fabric to cut and dye for dining room curtains. Oddly enough these would not cover the window, but the giant wall of mirror in the classy dining room. Honestly, what were designers thinking? Yuck. At least it was an easy fix.

this is the best picture I could find of the whole room before curtains

I died the curtains a nice shade of gray. I think it's pretty great. I had to mix two dye colors together to achieve the color and it was nerve racking which is why it took me so long to finally do it. I left the panels the full width of the fabric and just sliced it vertically, 6ish yards at $5 a yard 30 bucks for floor to ceiling curtain panels, I think so!!

Sorry it's a little dark, the sun goes down so quickly these days. Much improved.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Slow and Steady

I'm slowly knocking things off the long list of things that need to be done everyday and things I want to do for fun. Like get a hair cut:


This was the inspiration, if only it would do exactly this... (sigh)

I've got some really great things to show you, but I haven't taken any pictures in good lighting with the time change screwing things up. I still have to nail down some details of a couple of things and you'll see what's up.

Friday, November 4, 2011

It's working

Ryan is kicking butt with his diet. After the first week he lost 11.8 pounds, week two 4 pounds, week three 5.2 pounds, and we're nearing the end of week four now. So, after three weeks Ryan has lost a total of 21 pounds. Wow. He's doing really well and I'm trying hard not to pressure him and keep him on track with meals. I make all of his food and the trooper that he is, eats it.

I've been playing it really safe with the food, believe me. We decided to just do chicken since turkey breasts are more expensive and he suggested it. Poor thing eats chicken, rice, veggies, and spinach everyday. He does his exercises, but we haven't made it to the gym in a while, because he gets home so late and we've been really tired. Only two weeks left and he'll for sure reach the 30 pounds in six weeks goal at this rate.

I came home at lunch today and saw Ryan's wedding band on the table. I texted him a picture with the message "oh for shame," because he forgets to put it on sometimes. But I thought it strange that it was on the dining room table. He texted me back and said that the ring doesn't really fit him anymore, it's been falling off his finger for two weeks, and the cold made it worse so he left it at home. Sad. We'll have to get that fixed along with buying him some new clothes. He kind of looks silly in his pants, and his belts don't even fit anymore.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Project 52 {14}

Project 52 {14}
Costume


"Among my frivolous thoughts,
I believe there are beautiful things seen by the astronauts"
--Owl City

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween Review

Ryan and I struggled with costume ideas and finally ended up choosing his a week before Halloween. I was an owl. I found a template here and just made it my own really; I rocked it! Ryan was his character from Little Big Planet, only our favorite PS3 game, okay well it's my favorite. Coco was Ron Weasley from HP, because he has red hair.

I made my costume out of a pillowcase, a small feather boa, and 1.5 yards of fabric. I also bought some rocking owl eyelashes. I dare say it was too cute.


I still had to add the boa where the white is

I made Ryan a shirt with a zipper like his little character. On the game he's wearing cut-offs (classy I know), wellington boots, and an army helmet. The body color of his character is white like this hence the shirt I made.

I didn't know they made shirts like the one I made. The character also has vampire teeth and carries around a frying pan that he slaps everyone with. Did I mention I love this game!? Ryan is sticking his toungue out because that's what the character does, he's just keeping it real!


I made Coco a sweater like Ron's that he gets every year from his mom for Christmas. I also made a look-a-like gryffindor scarf, and we tore a twig off the bush to be his wand, but his dog cousin ate it. Ha.



We celebrated at the sister in law's and had some fun.
We didn't get any trick-or-treaters last night. Go figure.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Out of the running

Our first church visit was Sunday. We chose a church relatively close to the apartment, just south on 610 maybe a mile and hitch a left and you're there. Super easy. The church has two contemporary services (sweet) and a ton of Sunday School classes to choose from.

Our plan of attack is visit the contemporary service, and no Sunday School. We kind of don't feel it's worth it if the pastor is not on par. So, that's what we did. We hit up the contemporary service equipped with fresh music and a pretty young crowd. The church itself is rather contemporary, to my liking. However, the executive pastor came up at the end of the service (the associate pastor delivered the message) and informed the church that he was stepping down from his pastoral duties to be a church consultant around the U.S. Boo.

Ryan and I decided that we probably wouldn't go back since we've both been to churches with interim pastors and they were not good experiences. So, we discover a new church this coming Sunday. Praying that the Lord will direct us and show us which church we are supposed to serve at.

Project 52 {13}

Project 52 {13}
Spooky


"On mounting a rising ground, which brought the figure of his fellow-traveller in relief against the sky, gigantic in height, and muffled in a cloak, Ichabod was horror-struck on perceiving that he was headless!"
--The Legen of Sleepy Hollow

The statue in the courtyard lost her head last night. If I dare say spooky!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Project 52 {12}

Project 52 {12}
Pumpkin


Coco painted the little one that says 'Boo'. Those are legit his paw prints in the o's.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Project 52 {not12}

I'm pretty sick, so I haven't been to work in two days to take a picture of week 12, and we haven't bought our pumpkins yet. Hah. We will this weekend even if they will only be used as Halloween pumpkins for a week. We'll just turn them around and rock them through November.

picture to come, they'll be really cute I can't wait to show you.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Church Search

     When Ryan and I moved we discussed our church situation. Our home church, and an incredibly wonderful one at that, is about 40-45 minutes away. Which means we have to get up just as early to make it to church on time as we do on any given work day, not fun. We also have to bring the dog, because we're usually in Crosby much longer than a church service and Sunday school class and we can't leave him locked up in the apartment all alone for an entire 8 hours. So, our decision was to continue to go to our home church for one month and find a new church over here. Booo! Well, the first weekend I was sick, so we technically spent five more weeks at our home church. But I was sick again two weeks ago, so it made four weeks. I was teaching pre-k and kindergarten Sunday school during our contemporary service and we would go to our grown up Sunday school class during the traditional service, because Ryan was going to the contemporary service and I didn't want him to have to go to both. Not that a double dose of God's word is bad, we just need to fellowship also.

     Anyway, our last Sunday was last Sunday (?). I taught my Sunday school class and met Ryan in the late service to hear Robin preach one last time. Now granted neither the church or us are dying, but we won't be back to worship with the church probably until Christmas, so I needed to be in the service. Now, we're on the hunt for a new home church and not only does it kinda suck, it's scary. I am reluctant, but I am aware that this is what God wants. I'm excited about that, and a little nervous.

     We informally established guidelines for our church hunt and since I'm spending the day at home quite ill with a doctor's appointment coming up, I decided to search via Googlemaps for churches over here. I googled baptist churches within ten miles, but knew I wouldn't want to go that far. Well I got six pages, so that was promising. We already knew about a few churches from friends and family, so we added those to the list.

Criteria:
  1. The church has to have a website.
    • this may sound shallow, but hear me out. If the church has a website that means they are interested in reaching our generation somehow, they are progressive and this could imply they are interested in community as we are.
  2. The church has to have a contemporary worship service.
    • Hymns are great, but I find hymns are just not my worship style. They can be beautiful and full of truth, but I struggle to find depth and meaning in my worship with hymns. Contemporary worship fits me and Ryan better.
  3. The church's beliefs have to mirror ours and vice versa.
    • The church doesn't necessarily have to be a baptist church, but the mission statement of the church needs to declare Jesus and the gospel. We want the Bible and not a prosperity or "happy people" message. We will start with Baptist churches though.
  4. The church has to have Sunday school and Bible study groups that meet our lifestyle.
    • We want a Sunday school class full of young married people who can relate to where we are in our life and marriage. We would like to get involved in a Bible study group during the weeknights to build friendships and serve the church.
     These criteria are not in any particular order. If one church I googled didn't have one of these then they were axed from the list. This is our starting point and I'm confident that one of the churces on this list has to work. Some of them are large, medium, and even smaller. We'll pray about it and see where God wants us.

     As for the visitation process; we will choose one church, not sure how yet, go to their contemporary worship service, and possibly a Sunday school class and have a debriefing, then we'll hit up another church the next Sunday. I realize this will be a lengthy process, so we need to be patient and not become discouraged. There are so many options.

The compiled list:
  • West University Baptist Church
  • Houston's First Baptist Church
  • Tallowood Baptist Church
  • Crosspoint Church
  • Memorial Drive Baptist Church
  • Berachah Church
  • Ecclesia

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I've got some time

I've got a little time to kill before I start my evening rituals and finish some curtains that have been sitting half finished for about  two and a half weeks!

--I'm feeling much better. Still pretty tired, but that's a given. The nasty cough is thinning out thanks to Mucinex and the weird Neti Pot.

--I cleaned out my bag for work. So much more organized and lighter. This is minus my classroom notebook and my team leader notebook. I only bring those home on weekends and when I have important work that needs attention. And I've added another book since this was taken.

Ryan and I went on a picnic on Saturday at the park. Of course we brought Coco. It was slightly muddy, but the ground wasn't wet.

--I relocated Benaiah to the book shelf  in a freshly cleaned bowl.

--Deciding which Halloween card to make for the classroom parents:

Bat
or
Spider

Now I need an Oreo snack.