Saturday, June 28, 2008

Red Velvet Cake and other Doings

Its been a bit of a crazy week around our parts. Between my sweet hubby's 24th birthday and general busyness, hubby's car... imploded. Of course, that's my non-technical female term for some very serious bad happenings inside of the engine that led to hubby's old (but faithful) car totalling itself. After paying a pretty penny to get this car fixed to a certain point, the mechanic then discovered that many other bad things (insert technical terms here) had happened. Sigh. The car was kaput. What began as an inconvenience turned into a bit of an event. So, long story short, even though it wasn't what we had planned on, we ended up purchasing a "new to us" car for hubby. Even though this might seem like a bad thing, the Lord provided for us in many ways, guiding this, and I am convinced that this is a good thing the Lord had planned for us. These are the ways the Lord provided for us:

1. Hubby's car died right outside the apartment complex, as opposed to on the highway or at his workplace. Two nice men helped him push it into a spot.
2. Our car insurance covered the towing to a garage.
3. The mechanic who was working on it bought it for the amount we owed plus a wee bit more. (Such a blessing!!)
4. We found a great used car quickly and the Lord has provided for us financially.
5. Hubby's car was quite old and took up a lot of his free time fixing it. Now that free time can be used for things like... oh, I don't know... dates with his wifey :)

We've had a wonderful Saturday so far, and I've made a Red Velvet Cake for a little family party we are having for him. Something about making a red cake in a red kitchen wearing a red apron makes me blissfully happy!

Many thanks go to Momma for reading me her great recipe over the phone. I made my own buttermilk (see the note at the bottom on how to do that) and I think it turned out great. No since in buying buttermilk when you have vinegar and milk on hand! The icing is doubled, not 1 1/2'd like I originally wrote, so use the numbers to the right.

Note: You must, must wear an apron, unless you wear all red while baking this cake:)

It's a yummy three tiered treat when you're all done.
I'll try to post pictures of the finished product when I ice it all!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The finished Polka Dotted Dress

I've been quite delinquent lately about posting pictures of the actual *finished* products of my crafting :) Without further ado, here's the navy polka dotted dress I made for a friend's wedding. The picture is a little out of focus, but it will have to suffice, since I didn't take any others!

Sadly, I was more than a little disappointed with the quality of the fabric. Even though it was more pricey than I would normally pay in the store, it was thinner and more cheap feeling when it arrived than anything I've ever bought. Sigh... once again, I was struck by The Perils of Online Fabric Buying. I think I'll stick to JoAnn's from now on... and this time I mean it!

Questions we Need to Ask

As summer is approaching (or is already here, like in Texas) :)

Do God's standards on modesty change because I approach a body of water?

Who are we trying to please- God? or man?

Here's a great read.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

1 Year Together

It is AMAZING to me to think we have been married for a year! Sometimes I feel it was just yesterday- and sometimes I feel like we've always been married :)

(This post is a few days late since we were celebrating and I didn't have time to blog on the real day) :)

On our sixth month anniversary, I posted about my top ten favorite things about being married. This time, I thought I'd write about my five favorite things I've learned *while* being married.

1. I remember a sweet friend telling me once, "You'll never know how sinful you really are until you get married." At the time, I was completely puzzled about what she meant. Boy Howdy, now I understand :) Being married is like looking in a mirror and seeing yourself as you truly are- I think a lot like the way God sees us. It has truly helped me grow in my walk with the Lord EXPONENTIALLY!

2. That things will not always turn out the way you wanted them to- and that's OKAY! In fact, that's GOOD. Looking back, I would have thought our lives one year into marriage would look completely different from how they look now. But Praise be to God for His Perfect Plans. And thanks be to God for teaching me contentment, and helping me realize *my* way isn't the best way.

3. How being young and being married is one of the best gifts the Lord has given me. So many people questioned and told us we were too young. My favorite reply to that, of course, was "My grandmother had been married for 6 years and already had 4 babies with another on the way by now. The way I look at it, I'm way behind." I was joking... mostly... but I loved to watch people's faces when I said it :)

4. How much more a supportive and loving family means to you. I've called my momma probably a billion times in the past year, with questions ranging from, "How in the world do I get x stain out of y fabric?" to "Now how exactly do I make this pie?". All the silly things I really thought I knew before I got married... that I apparently didn't know. I think while you live at home, you don't really appreciate all the little things.

5. That love can grow and change in ways completely unexpected. I love my husband in so many different ways now- not just the silly girlish love that is desperate for his attention (of course, that's still around sometimes!), but also a steady kind of love- a kind of love I believe can only come from the Lord. The kind where you would lay down your life for one another, and I don't mean in the dramatic "Romeo and Juliet" kind of way. I mean the daily, silly, sometimes ridiculous way. Like laying down desires and needs to make room for the other's way. The same sweet someone who once told me how I'd see my own sin better when I was married also once spoke to me about living for the Lord. I remember her saying, a lot of people would say they would die for the Lord. The kind where someone holds a gun to your head and asks you if you are a Christian. But how many people can LIVE for the Lord? The kind of life where you daily lay down your needs, your desires, and your wants. It's a lot harder to die every single minute. And that's how I see true married love. It may sound completely ridiculous, but dying to your need to fold tee shirts a certain way can be hard. Dying to your need to wash the dishes a certain way can be hard. Silly? Yes. But I don't think anyone but a happily married couple can understand how much those little things mean.

Thank you to everyone who remembered our anniversary even though I didn't post about it. It *truly* warmed my heart.

We read our vows again to celebrate- and to remember. It was very convicting to remember all the things I vowed before God. May He give us, in His Everlasting Mercy, many more happy years together, and many more things learned.


I, Colin, covenant before God and man, to you Lauren Christine to
be your loving husband, and to lead you, to protect you, and provide for you in devotion to the Lord.

I vow to love you as my wife as Christ loved the church, to lay down my life for you, to wash you with the water of the word, to love you as my own body and to nourish and cherish you as the Lord does the church; to render unto you the affection due you, knowing that I do not have authority over my own body but you do, to dwell with you according to knowledge, giving honor unto you and living together with you as heirs together of the grace of life.

You alone will be my delight as the wife of my youth where divorce is neither a threat nor an option. I will fight for you and for our family. I will be yours in times of plenty and in times of want, in times of sickness and in times of health, in times of joy and in times of sorrow; in times of failure and in times of triumph till death do us part. I pledge to you my life as a loyal and faithful husband.


I, Lauren Christine, covenant before God and man, to you Colin, to be your loving wife, and to obey you, be faithful unto you, and care for you in devotion to the Lord.
Just as the Church is subject to Christ in all things, so will I be unto you in everything. I will live first for God, and then for you. I vow to always build up our household and seek to crown you by nobility in my character. I will discretely and chastely keep our home, working with eager hands, and always seeking to bring you good, not harm, all the days of my life.
If the Lord so chooses to bless us, it will be my delight to be the fruitful bearer of your children, and I will help you teach them the commandments of the Lord as we talk of them in our house, as we walk by the way, when we lie down, and when we rise up. Wherever you go, I will go. I will not separate myself from you. Wherever you lodge, I will lodge, your people will be my people, and your God, my God. The Lord do so to me, and more also, if anything but death parts you and me. I will be yours in times of plenty and in times of want, in times of sickness and in times of health, in times of joy and in times of sorrow, in times of failure and in times of triumph, till death do us part. I pledge to you my life as your loyal, obedient, and faithful wife.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Tag! :)

I was tagged for a fun meme by sweet Tiffany, who I had the pleasure of meeting (along with her lovely sister Shannon) at the SAICFF Sense and Sensibility get together. (They are on the far right in the picture)

Who is your all-time favorite author and why?

Too Easy :) Miss Jane Austen. I love that *every* book ends in a happy marriage. And every love story is so sweet. The families are endearing, and none of the "modern" problems plague those gals! I'm now in the process of finishing up Mansfield Park- I decided to try to read all of her books this year.

Who was your first favorite author and why? Do you still consider him/her to be among your favorites?

First Favorite Author... definitely Beverly Lewis. I still consider her to be among my favorites to be sure. I love the stories of Amish communities and families- the lives in the book are simple and yet complicated. Wonderful stories!

Who is the most recent addition to your list of favorite authors, and why?

Hmm... I'd have to say L.M. Montgomery. I hadn't read Anne of Green Gables or the rest of the series until earlier this year (I know! Shocking) but I fell in love with them when I began the series. I've read the first three and I have plans to continue on with them as soon as I'm done with my last Austen.

If someone asked you who your favorite authors were right now, which authors would first pop out of your mouth? Well, the ones listed above :) and Debi Pearl since I'm slowly making my way through Created to be His Helpmeet.

Thanks for tagging me! Lots of the blogs I read have already been tagged, so I'll just tag Jaimee and Jennifer (if they'll play) :)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Back to our Regularly Scheduled Craft Programming

Our local Pottery Barn outlet has the greatest "bargain bins" in the whole world (in my humble opinion) :) Everything in them is marked half off, and an additional 70% off of that. Of course, it takes me a while to do that math... but its worth it!

You have to be really committed to digging. And washing. Because nothing is in its original package, and there is a lot of junk in those bins.

I was so excited to come across two different window sheers, and I paid about 3$ for each of them. All this white one needed was some serious trimming and hemming (about 29 inches too long!) and some serious washing and ironing. It was so worth it though!

Shown here is the other one I picked up. I have *no* idea what to do with it!

Here's the options:
1. It's about 15 inches too short. I could add fabric to the bottom (using what I cut off of the other and maybe adding some purple ribbon to cover the seam)
2. I could make a contrasting valance to go above it.
3. I could make it into throw pillows for the bed, and bite the bullet to pay full price for the matching sheer that goes with the door.

Any advice or better recommendations??? :)

Monday, June 2, 2008

The Road Trip, Part Two: Creation Museum

As my dough rises in the kitchen, I have the perfect opportunity to finish the trip post! We absolutely LOVED visiting the Creation Museum- I've been wanting to go there since they opened a year ago. It was truly awesome to watch Scripture applied in a museum! The planetarium was great, and the gardens were beautiful, but the museum was by far the best part. Please excuse the fact that the pictures are in kind of a reverse order- that's just the way they uploaded.

One of the neat things we learned about is that before the fall, the dinos were herbivores in Eden. And you could pet them. (Maybe)Beautiful gardens outside- very Eden like :)
The bridge is a wobbly bridge though, so be careful!!

Oh no! This dinosaur has just realized that meat is good to eat. This is after the fall, of course, since all dinosaurs were herbivores before. Run, hubby, run!

I would not have wanted to be around when T Rex realized that he was now a carnivore.

Biblical History is the KEY to understanding dinosaurs.
Learning all about dinosaurs!

Grumbly workers helping out Noah. And the explanation of Gopher wood, if you have very good eyes!
Noah in the background, chatting with a carpenter.
Uh oh, should have listened to Noah...
Where Shem, Ham, and Japeth went after Babel.
I love dinosaur statues!

The museum is laid out following the "7 C's". I love how EVERYTHING points to CHRIST!
The Garden of Eden.
Hubby watching a dinosaur eat a pineapple. Yum!
Uh Oh, the tempter is coming (look at the tree)
Everything ends with an awesome movie explaining the cross and Jesus' sacrifice. I loved how they used biblical creation to help people understand how the Bible is completely true and Jesus is Lord!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jig

We had a wonderful time on our vacation- from fellowshipping with wonderful friends to enjoying the Creation Museum and God's wonderful, beautiful earth. Here are some fun pictures from our trip!

Our first stop was Dallas, where we stayed with my beautiful pregnant friend Rachel. Isn't her belly gorgeous?? I just loved feeling little Luke wiggle and hiccup.

Next we drove to Hot Springs, Arkansas. We went on tours of the springs and bath houses from the 1900's, and then camped... while it stormed :) It was a little... damp... but fun. Hubby said I'm a real prairie muffin.

The bath houses were very neat- a little reminiscent of Titanic. Touring the showers was a little weird...

The piano lady, dressed in the newest of fashions.

Hubby enjoying the promenade.

After enjoying some *very* hot spring water, we headed to the Gardens. They were majestic, breathtaking... unbelievable. The chapel there was truly amazing. Alas, the camera died before we reached the chapel and the bridge.

Even when one is enjoying the outdoors, one must stay connected. :)

Hubby took some beautiful pictures of flowers.

To give you an idea of how big the trees were!

I absolutely *loved* Arkansas- I was so sad to leave! We were there for only two days- sniff! I want to go back, definitely. The people were so nice, and the trees were enormous!!

On to Tennessee...

Memphis was... disappointing. Here is the most fun we had: imitating the giant statues. I guess Memphis would be more fun if you liked that kind of music...

Hubby posing like Elvis.

Me doing the best air guitar I know how to do (terrible).

Allright, onto Nashville to see our friends!

One can simply not go to Nashville without hearing some country music. Some was good- some was... not.

We ate crackers and cheese at a vineyard. Upon reflection, the vineyard looks a lot like a graveyard in pictures. Hmph.

Awww, we love each other. :)

To Kentucky!!

The most Providential meeting of friends from Texas in Louisville, Kentucky. Amazing!

Bethan is the Hostess with the Most-ess. Isn't she adorable?


Such a sweetheart! And one of the best wives I know. What an inspiration :)

From there we headed to the Creation Museum. But I must break from blogging... my hands are tired... and we took about a million pictures there. :)

Made by Lena