The Scenic Route: Daily Life

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

This last Saturday my Mom and I worked at a used booksale which meant visiting with the  few people that came to look (our shift was SLOW because it was the last shift) and having plenty of time to sort through the books to see any caught our eyes.

Earlier in the day we went to Bible study and a few yard sales and I went to the library to pick up the next book that my friend Shauna and I are reading together.

Shauna and I skyped Friday and it was so much fun. It was nice where she lives so she brought her iPad outside and was working in her garden while we chatted. I miss living just one neighborhood over from her, but I'm so thankful for our chats! We're reading Agatha Christie's "What Mrs. McGillicuddy Saw" which got off to a roaring start!

Sunday was slow and quiet. I made a coffee cake using several recipes from an old Betty Crocker cookbook that we have. My brother began a LOTR marathon which continued on Sunday morning while I was baking.

Apparently the writing bug bit him because he got out one of the journals he uses to write stories in. While he was busy adding to this one, I came across my sister who was working on an art project.

A few years ago my friend Jeremy taught me the fun that is speed scrabble while we were visiting his family in GA. Fast forward about a year and my friend Ruth introduced me to bananagrams. On Saturday we picked up an old Scrabble game whose pieces are going to be used for games of this.

I was happy to have a willing body to join me in a game on Sunday afternoon. I'm trying to convince my sister that it's fun!

Today marks the last day of my sister being 15!!! I'm pretty excited about celebrating 16 - especially since I know it only BEGINS tomorrow! :)

April Fool's Dinner

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

I was the kid that read Family Fun magazines. I have so many ideas filed away in my mind and occasionally I pull one out.

Last month I came across an idea on Pinterest which reminded me of the April Fool's day pranks involving food that I read about in Family Fun a few times. I liked this idea because it didn't involve strange food or something that people might not enjoy eating.

Before I go any further, let me just say that I am HORRIBLE at pulling off practical jokes. The rest of the members in my family are clever, sly, and patient. April Fool's day is always FULL of practical jokes at my house.

Year after year SOMETHING always gets me. Just to give you an idea...This year I nearly got clotheslined on plastic wrap that was placed across the kitchen door frame. Notice I said NEARLY. I slowed down and turned my face to the side JUST in time NOT to be the victim of that awful prank!

April 1, 2014 will go down as the day I had my own FUN on April Fool's day. :)

I was a horrible blogger and did not take a single picture....I'll show you what I fixed and how I conducted things.

Everyone came to dinner with no idea that anything out of the ordinary was about to happen.

Before dinner I collected all of the necessary items that each person would be able to use at different times of the meal.

Everyone sat down and I announced that dinner was going to be different. They were told that at no time during dinner were they allowed to talk about the menu or the food choices they had or were making. I passed out blank menus like the one above. With ZERO talking, everyone had to fill out their own menu.

Once all the menus were filled out, I collected them and told each person what their first course would consist of using the answer key. Our dinner had a Star Wars theme and there was no rhyme or reason to why each item was assigned to each character. 

I thought about doing a menu that COULD be figured out, but then I decided that for this year, this would be more fun! 

Aside from the no talking about the menu rule, there were only a few other rules:

You cannot move on to the next course of your meal until you are ready to be finished with the course you are on.

Once a course is over all the items from that course are forfeited and you cannot use them for the rest of the meal. 


Since I made up the menus and directed each person as to what each of their courses would consist of, I decided that the only way for me to play along would be if someone else chose my items. I ate whatever my Mom chose for each course! Thankfully, she ended up doing a great job of it!

Our appetizer was my version of this strawberry salad, ice water, and a knife.


Our main dish consisted of a napkin, my version of this skillet mac and cheese, german sausage, and a fork.


Our dessert was a lemon bar and a spoon.

After dinner was over, everyone tried to decode the menu without actually looking at menus. It took about 20 minutes or so, but they did figure out which character stood for each item! They also clued me into a little prank of their own that went COMPLETELY unnoticed by me.

I drink ice water CONSTANTLY. So, earlier in the day they put a hard boiled egg into the door of the freezer where the ice comes out. They waited patiently all afternoon for me to squeal about the egg that came out of the ice machine. Unfortunately, I was so busy preparing the menus and the dinner that I wasn't drinking anything. 

I filled up a cup with ice to put into the pitcher of water for the table. I was in such a rush that I didn't notice the egg that came out with it. I dumped the ice - egg and all - into the pitcher and placed in on the table. I poured myself and glass of water and STILL did not notice the egg.

FINALLY, my Mom said something about the water and had to tell me about their prank. All I could was laugh! Their prank was a good one, but my unintentional prank of being completely clueless was pretty funny too!

So, that was April Fool's day this year. I'm looking forward to doing something similar next year!

Have you ever done something that required planning on April Fool's? 

What's the best (or worst) prank you've been a victim of?

If you have any questions, feel free to ask! I hope everything makes sense. It was a lot of fun and the perfect way to "get" everyone without ruining anything!

A Special Kind of Weekend

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Sunday, April 20, 2014

This Tuesday is the perfect mix of gray skies, wind in the trees, puddles on the ground, and rain falling from the sky! I'd love to curl up with a book and something hot to drink....for now, I'll settle for looking back on this last weekend!

Friday was really warm and pretty. I spent the morning putting on a pot of sauce, chopping lettuce, making garlic butter, and baking some cupcakes.

 Heidi and her husband were coming and since her husband's birthday was Sunday, we decided to decorate the dining room and celebrate! :) Heidi said, "So...Whose birthday?"

 They were only here for a few hours but I really enjoyed the chance to just sit and chat with Heidi for a bit. My heart was so happy!

After they left I asked my brother to go on a bike ride with me. I am not one to ride bikes, but I really enjoy it and every now I borrow one.

We rode and talked and raced and chatted with a lady who was walking her two little dogs. I really should ride more often!

Saturday...After Bible study my Mom and I decided to go mattress shopping. She's good at spontaneously suggesting things like that.

While we were out we decided to see Captain America! Can I just say I really like Captain America? I think it's the whole American gentleman, big band loving, good old days thing...The movie was really good and so full of one unexpected thing after another. If you haven't seen it, go. If you have, let's talk about it!!!

Who is your favorite super hero?

What is your go-to meal when company is coming? 

The Scenic Route: Easter 2014

Monday, April 21, 2014

This weekend ended with the celebration of the life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus!!!! I love knowing that people all over were traveling to be with the ones they love to celebrate on that day. For those of us who have died and now live with Christ, the day is EXTRA special. :)

Our Easter looked a lot different this year since Julie's dad just passed away. Normally, we would eat outside at her house, but since she wasn't there, we went through the holiday without her and her husband...

The day began with some time in my room putting the finishing touches on the Easter surprises I've been planning for my brother and sister.

My Mom and I put together a few small gifts for them. I put some of the gifts in eggs that I hid in places where they would be sure to find them as they went through their morning routines. Some of the eggs had two part clues that they had to match up and figure out in order to find their gift. Four of the eggs had things to trade for the real gift.
I loved this...We haven't put baskets together for them in a few years and I don't think they were expecting an egg hunt. I did not give any indication that anything was out of the ordinary. My sister told me that when she came out she noticed one egg and then another and then another but didn't touch them "just in case".

I heard some whispering in the living room. My brother told me that they were talking about the eggs and decided they'd better just leave them alone!

The egg that got my sister's attention and led her to hint around with "Are we supposed to be doing something with these eggs!??!" was in the dishwasher.

My brother came across three eggs but was doing his oil pulling so he didn't say anything. I went to the garage and asked him if anything was getting in his way...He then went back and gathered the three eggs and I told him to start collecting any teal eggs he came across.

They got down to having one egg each left to find. One of the eggs had the second part of the last clue...That egg was in my brother's shoe so I "had" to make a run to the grocery store to help that part of the hunt continue!

After all of that excitement, we put the finishing touches on lunch and sat down. The menu:

mashed potatoes
gravy and mustard sauce
green beans
deviled eggs
pineapples au gratin
Jay's fruit salad
60 minute rolls
Jay Juice

and Lemon Spice Cake

We took our time eating lunch and then during clean up my brother and sister shared the first half of the play they performed in with Jay. Eventually we moved on to the "mysterious" eggs in the backyard. They had been driving my brother nuts since noticed the first one while he was taking care of the dog that morning.

The eggs in the backyard had John's account hidden in them waiting to be unscrambled. After the eggs were collected they set about the task of sorting out the account. Once they were satisfied the adults put in their two cents and then I read through John 18-21 pausing for the bonus questions that I wrote on the back of some of the papers. Since John didn't include the details of Jesus' ascension, I turned to Luke 24:50-53.

The rest of the day was very restful...I took some time to read while everyone else watched "Call the Midwife" and then we ended the day with this week's session of Behold Your God.

I'll recap Friday and Saturday's activities tomorrow because they were pretty exciting! :)

The Circle: Thank You Notes

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

This month, Kiki and Jess are hosting The Circle link up. Kiki described this month's theme this way:

While I know that most of us are not born with the gift of comedy (ahem, me), Jess and I have also realized that it's of equal importance to write sincere thank you notes to those people and things around you that you're thankful for, too. Think of them as little notes of love or laughter. You take your pick!

I'm going the serious route...

Thank you God for knowing me and making yourself known to me. Though I have to fight to keep my eyes on You, the sight that you have given to me is precious to me. For all these things that I'm about to mention, I am grateful, because I know they are meant to point me back to you.

Thank you John Piper and Desiring God for delighting in helping others come to see and savor God. My life began to look a lot different after you taught me that "God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him." The pursuit of God IS magnificent. Thank you.

Thank you Mom for following so hard after God. I love you! 

Thank you to my siblings for letting me be "Sissy" for all these years...I love our talks, our laughs, our games, and watching each of you grow and try things! 

Thank you BBC for taking great books and ideas and turning them into lovely series (I cannot figure out how to make that word plural). 

Thank you Twinings for making such nice tea. I've really enjoyed them over the last few years. 

Than you Blogger for making a way for people to write and connect over even the silliest things. 

Thank you God for all the variety You've put in my little world lately...I'm thinking especially of the flowers coming up in my bulb garden, the warm and sunny days, and days like today that bring a dose of rain and dreariness. 

Thank you READERS it's fun to know that you're reading along. I especially love when you comment and tell me about the place where you blog! 

What are some things you're THANKFUL for? 

Maybe you'd like to join in the link up this month? 

In Its Time

Thoughts for Your Weekend: The Business of Knowing God

Friday, April 11, 2014

The focus from Behold Your God: Rethinking God Biblically this week was Beholding Your God in the Face of Jesus Christ.

Over the last two weeks we've been studying what it is to know God and how God is in the business of making Himself known.

The question was raised: When you go to Scripture, do you go there asking God what He is revealing about Himself in the words you are reading?

So often, I go to Scripture looking for the hand of God at work and the finger of God pointing out His will in the lives of His people.When it comes down to it, those things are there, but there is more, The Bible is the very unveiling of WHO God is.

The Bible is the Word of God sent to unveil the person of God. Jesus Christ is called "The Word" and He too was sent to unveil the person of God.

This weekend, whatever pages you find yourself reading in the Bible, go there to meet God. Say to Him, "God, what are you revealing about yourself through these words?"

May your spirit be captivated by the very God who is the Creator and Sustainer of all that is. May your soul thirst for more of His Word because it is the means by which you taste yet more of Him.

God calls His people to know Him. Let's go to His Word to meet Him, to see Him, and to be satisfied in Him!

Room Reveal pt. 1

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

I've been talking about the work being done on my bedroom for a while now. I've been collecting ideas and pieces of furniture for a few YEARS. It takes me FOREVER to make up my mind.

Today you get to see the most basic of before and after photos. The "worst" is behind us. Now the fun of putting everything together begins.
Before, but post popcorn removal.
In January, that giant window and brickwork were put in. At the end of January, I scraped the popcorn off of the ceiling. I will be doing a post about that some time soon with all of the details on how that went.

February and March were BUSY months around here...The room just sat empty.

Naval by Sherwin Williams
When we cracked open the paint can and put the first bit of paint on the walls last Thursday, I was sooo excited. It was EXACTLY what I wanted! I was LOVING it. So far, everybody calls me crazy for putting navy in a basement. You know what? I wouldn't change it!

My Mom put in a TON of work helping me get the ceiling ready to paint, painting the ceiling, and painting the walls. She is just over 5 feet tall, but she climbed up and down the ladder doing the trim work that I am far too clumsy to do.

After 5 painting days (we were only able to do one coat of paint a day because of day light and the other stuff that needs doing each day) we were GLAD to be done on Saturday.

So there you go! After all is said and done, everyone who has seen it (with the exception of my Dad) LOVES it. My sister who was very fond of the previous color and was completely uninterested in the navy even said that it looked good.

Now I'm on to mattress and light fixture shopping, junk sorting, and furniture arranging.

Are you into COLOR or neutrals? 

Have you done any projects around your house recently?

The Scenic Route: Spring, Spring, Spring

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

This last weekend was busy!

My Mom and I went curtain shopping and ate out at our favorite terriyaki place. After Bible study on

Saturday, we put the last coat of paint up in my room (I'll show you some pictures of that tomorrow). That evening the house was quiet, the painting was DONE, and I sat down with a book. Don't you love reading on a quiet evening?

Sunday was a true day of rest. Jay came over in the afternoon for some cake and ice cream and he joined us for a session of the Behold Your God study we're doing.

Saturday the gardening bug bit me...That just means that now I'm really, extra excited to get back to working in the dirt! It was like spring happened over night.

Slowly but surely, things have been coming back to life, but Saturday it was as if everything was finally really waking up! I noticed the trees had just barely started sprouting their new leaves.

Then yesterday it felt like full on summer. Every time I went outside I just wanted to stay out there. It was at least 70, but I'm sure it must have been ever warmer than that!

 Today, I'm thinking about putting aside a few other things and spending some time cleaning up my flower beds. When I got up this morning, I noticed how blue the sky was and decided to go walk around the back yard like a crazy person taking pictures shortly after 7...

Before I forget again, I did a guest post over at Kiki's blog yesterday!!! Kiki and I have been getting to know each other and I've really enjoyed it! You should go look around her blog and leave her a comment or two. We all love comments! :) 

What was your weekend filled with?

What is your favorite sign of spring?

Etsy Swap 2014: The Reveal

Thursday, April 03, 2014

AMY and MEGAN got together to host a little swap that turned out to be a lot of fun!

I've known about etsy for quite a while and I've encouraged my crafty friend Heidi to start a shop of her own on there. Until this swap I had never really looked around or bought anything from the shops.

Well, now I know what the etsy madness is all about! There are so many great shops with CUTE, QUALITY items that would make great gifts.

* * * *

My package was PERFECT. Seriously, I couldn't have picked out a better gift! As I was browsing, I came across this shop that had these zippered pouches but then I found out that the person I was matched up with OWNED the shop! Let's just say that ELIZABETH really outdid herself!

Elizabeth sent me:

A Starbucks card which I am really looking forward to using! 

A set of notecards from in the mailbox - I love the map theme! 

The exact zippered pouch from ElahTree  I was planning to get my partner!

On top of all that, when I opened the package I got so excited! I saw gold and purple and gray and string...I knew it was going to be good! 

Thank you, thank you, thank you, Elizabeth! I absolutely love everything you sent my way! 

* * * *

When it came to sending some gifts to my partner, I went back and forth on getting the items shipped to me so that I could pack a box and then send it on to her...but then I decided that it would be more fun for her if I shipped each thing straight to her so that she would get a series of packages. That's fun, right?
Samantha (who happens to run ElahTree) was my partner and I really enjoyed "stalking" her in order to figure out what I should get for her! As I was shopping I realized that she reminds me a lot of my friend Anna. In other words, I kind of feel like I "know" her...
 I sent Samantha:

A thank you stamp from paper sushi.

A set of note cards from wit & whistle.

A couple of nail polishes that I thought would look great on her and a little note introducing myself.

* * * * 

Thanks for hosting this Spring FUN, Amy and Megan!!! All of the shopping and goodies were great, but what I enjoy most about these things is a chance to meet new people!

What I Learned in March

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Before April gets going, I wanted to take a moment to think about what I learned this month and record some of its highlights!

Here we go, five things that I learned in March:

1. I began attending a new Bible study group this month. We're going through a look at the history of the Bible. At the second study I saw the tie between Jesus as the incarnate Word of God and the Bible as the written Word of God - both were placed in this world and breathed out by God by means of the Holy Spirit. Matthew 1:18, John 1:1 and 2 Timothy 3:16 are KEY.

2. A few weeks later, in "Behold Your God: Rethinking God Biblically" by John Snyder, I was studying John 10:27 and I was reminded of that fact that I am known by God. That thought always makes all the craziness of life on this earth disappear.

3. Speaking of craziness...I learned that I am super indecisive when it comes to paint choices. After a lot of thought, some advice from my Mother, and standing around in a paint store forever, I made the move.

4. A lot of choices need to be made. Choices in general overwhelm me. 

5.  When making meringue, I think the size of the bowl has an affect on how much the egg whites will grow. I need to test this, but I used a smaller bowl the last two times and my meringue just didn't grow as much as it normally did. 

Highlights of March:

*The month began with "goodbye Tacos" as a send off dinner for Jay. It snowed that day and I'm happy to say, that one month later, it seems like spring is REALLY here.

*I got truly sick for the first time in about a year. This is a highlight because MAYBE it means I got 2014's bug out of way.

*I got a bit of reading in this month...Some were read alouds with my siblings when they were sick.

* The Etsy Swap was great! I finally joined etsy and loved shopping for my partner. I was blown away by the gifts my partner sent to me! 

*Shauna and I finally picked a book to read together. Mine just came in the mail yesterday. I'm excited to be connected to her again and have this motivation to skype again soon. We're reading "The Culture-Wise Family" by Ted Baehr and Pat Boone.

*Food wise, I discovered Twinings Irish Breakfast Tea (YUM!), my Grandma Bingo's Lasagna, White Pizza with ricotta cheese, Chicken Pot Pie Soup, Butterscotch Cream Pie,  Salted Dulce de Leche (I "made" my own) Banana Cake...

*I LOVED attending the final practices for my brother and sister's play....They were FANTASTIC and working on the stage make-up is always great fun.

*Picking Jay up at the airport and doing a late night snack run. It was great hearing all about his trip looking through his pictures, and he even brought back some presents. I'm still looking forward to hearing more.

*Celebrating Alice's 90th birthday with her HUGE family. She only had 3 children, but they've got their own grandchildren now and her family really doesn't show any signs of slowing down. I finally got to meet her sister and it was great to see them enjoy each others' company.

*The painting finally began! I'm starting to get excited about the thought of putting my room TOGETHER.

So, that was March 2014. As usual, my spirits are doing well thanks to all of the good weather. These two Bible studies have been excellent for my soul. I'm ready for April even though I'm wondering how it got here so quickly.

I've got a few things up my sleeve today, here's to hoping that I pull them off!