Five Things That Make me Happy Friday!

It's Friday!!! Woo hoo! It has been tough trying to get back into the swing of things after having spring break! I am really excited about this weekend because we are going to visit my parents! I always enjoy spending time with them. I hope you all have had a great week and have been able to find little things in your life that make you happy!

Here are five things that made me smile this week!

{I started my new journal, this always makes me happy!}

{My new Starbucks coffee mug that I got from Colorado}

{A kindergarten student brought these flowers to school and I thought they were beautiful!}

{I wore this ring that my great grandma crocheted. Any jewelry that I have from my great grandmas/grandmas is so special!}

{Starbucks in Colorado. Soooo yummy!}

"Rejoice in the Lord ALWAYS. I will say it again: Rejoice!" Philippians 4:4


Crazy Love

Hey guys I'm back! We had a great time skiing last week! Skiing is one of mine and Jonathan's favorite things to do. I did not want to get off the mountain the last day! We went to Crested Butte, it was our second time there and we absolutely love it there! I am not going to post many pictures because they are all already posted on Facebook so if you want to see more, just check out my Facebook page.

{I loved the beautiful homes they had on the mountain! If I lived here I would ski everyday and drink a lot of hot chocolate!}

{I seriously think the Grinch lives at the peak.}

{Jordan, Me, and Jonathan about to hit up the blacks!}

{So beautiful!}

{Our last night we ate at The Secret Stash. Great restaurant! We had a pizza with chicken, sun dried tomatoes and goat cheese. AMAZING!}

We went to Crested Butte with the college group at our church...have I ever mentioned how much I love those guys and gals?! Anyways, Jonathan and I got to spend a lot of quality time together because we got to drive one of the buses. Well Jonathan drove the bus. We had one bus for the students and one for the luggage. When we drove the bus with luggage, we had many meaningful conversations, listened to some great music, and listened to some AWESOME pod-casts! We listened to quite a few Francis Chan pod-casts. You must listen to him speak if you haven't before. Every one of his pod-casts got me to thinking about my life and what it really means to be a Christian. I started questioning what it means to be a Christian in America versus other countries. We spent three weeks in China this summer, and the Christians we met there were really Christians. In China you don't just say you are Christian just because it's the "normal" thing to do. In China, along with other countries, when you are a Christian, you give up everything. In America, we don't do that. What have I given up to be a Christian? I haven't been persecuted by my family or government.

Francis Chan talked about how your life as a Christian should be so much different than the lives of those who are non-Christians. When I look at my life and compare it to scripture and then compare it to non-Christians, I would honestly have to say I look more like a non-Christian. I still stress and worry, I am consumed with material things, unfortunately I get caught up in gossip, and judge others. In America, it's all about fitting in. How can be a Christian but in an American way?You're not supposed to look like everyone else.

Matthew 7: 13-14 says: "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But, small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it."

There have been so many times that I try to make a middle road. There is no middle road according to God's word. There is only a narrow and wide road. Sometimes I try to see how far I can go and do the things I want to do but still be a Christian. I test the boundaries. This isn't what God called us/me to do. His word also says,"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven." (Matthew 7:21) How scary is that?! Every morning I wake up and worry about my future. Where will I work? Will I even get a job? Do my clothes look cute? Is my house clean enough? What do others think of me? Why do I worry about things like that so much???? What I should worry about is whether or not my life brings glory to God, not to myself. Everything is about me, me, me. Not God. When I am gone from this world, my clothes, house, job, etc. will not matter!

Have you read the book Crazy Love? It is by Francis Chan as well. You should read it. But I will warn you, it will convict you and it will change your life!

In this book, he says, "Worry implies that we don't quite trust that God is big enough, powerful enough, or loving enough to take care of what's happening in our lives." I have memorized Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you..." I think I know God is in control, but then I don't truly act like He is. If I truly believed that, then why would I worry so much?

I promise I am almost done, but I must say God has a laid a lot on mine and Jonathan's hearts lately. Here is one last paragraph in the book Crazy Love.

"I think most American churchgoers are the soil that chokes the seed because of all the thorns. Thorns are anything that distracts us from God. When we want God and a bunch of other stuff, then that means we have thorns in our soil. A relationship with God simply cannot grow when money, sins, activities, favorite sports teams, addictions, or commitments are piled on top of it."

Francis Chan was discussing what it meant to be a lukewarm Christian. I do not want to be a lukewarm Christian. I want to be the person God has called me to be.

PS: Sorry there was no Tasty Tuesday, but we were gone all last week and we have only cooked spaghetti this week; everyone knows how to cook that! So, I thought I would share with you the things that have really been on my heart.

I hope you have a wonderful week!!


Five things that Make me Happy Friday!

Wow this week has flown by! I am so excited it is Friday! I leave tomorrow for Colorado to go skiing and I am super pumped! I loveeeee skiing! Hopefully I will be able to blog some while I am there, but if not I will be back next Friday. I hope everyone has had a great week! Here are some pictures from my week. I love sharing with you the little things that make me happy. I hope you can find little things in your life that make you happy too! It was hard for me to narrow it down to five things, so today I am sharing eight things with you!

{My week started out by watching Pride and Prejudice on rainy and lazy Sunday afternoon}

{I am trying to drink more green tea (that I bought in China) and less coffee}

{Yay for warm weather and cute sandals}

{I love turquoise and orange together. This is from an outfit I wore this week.}

{I am really missing China right now. This time last year we were getting ready to spend three weeks there!}

{I love these trees in the Spring}

{During my unit I had my students write a book about Spring. These are all of their books. Aren't they so creative?! I love all of the bright colors!}


Tasty Tuesday: Mandarin Orange Cake

It's Tasty Tuesday and boy do I have a yummy recipe for you! Today I am going to share a dessert recipe. My mother in-law made it and Jonathan and I fell in love with it! It is called Mandarin Orange Cake! It is real light so you don't feel terrible after eating it. Jonathan and I always swap out the oil for applesauce; it makes it healthier and very moist! I will put the original recipe along with our changes.


- One box of yellow cake mix
- 11 oz. can mandarin oranges, with juice
- 4 eggs {We used 2}
- 1/4 cup oil {We used 1/4 cup apple sauce}
- 16 oz. can crushed pineapple, drained
- 3.4 oz. package instant vanilla pudding
- 16 oz. container of cool whip {We used fat free cool whip}

Mix together the cake mix, mandarin oranges, eggs, and oil {applesauce}

{A lot of Laughter!}

Bake in three greased and floured 8 inch cake pans at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

For frosting, combine the pineapples, cool whip, and vanilla pudding.

Make sure the cakes are completely cooled before adding the frosting!

Add frosting between each layer and over the whole cake!



My Spirit Rejoices

Oh how I wish to be here again...

"My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior." Luke 1:46-47


Five things that Make me Happy Friday!

It's Friday!!! Here are five things that brought a smile to my face this week!

{$1 Rack at Target!}

{My run with Hershey}

{Bright colored paperclips, also from Target}

{Cute gloves and a cute brush make cleaning dishes fun!}

{Owl wine bottle stoppers}

Happy Friday!!

When Under Pressure

I'm feeling a little overwhelmed right now. Thank goodness tomorrow is Friday and that in a week I have spring break! Just found out today we are going skiing over spring break! Woo hoo!

Anyways, I have so much to do before then and I always stress over whether or not I can get it done plus keep a clean house, workout, etc. I know I can. I always do. A while back, I bought a book called Give Thanks. I posted about it here. Well I decided I needed to use that book tonight as I am feeling stressed. I found these two prayers:

When I'm Under Pressure
"Lord, thank You for all those who rely on me at home, at work and in my daily life. It is a good feeling to be needed. Give me strength to fulfill my duties and obligations to the best of my ability. I leave the rest in Your capable hands, Father."

Hard Work:
"Father, I am happy for this productive work You have given me to do. Thank You for the satisfaction that comes from a job well done and for giving me a strong, disciplined spirit."

God is good!

Here are two pictures from my unit. The kiddos at school just make my day!!


Tasty Tuesday: Mexican Black Bean Lasagna

Today I have an awesome Paula Deen recipe! It is called Mexican Black Bean Lasagna! I got this recipe from her May/June 2010 magazine.

Her recipe does not call for any meat, but I thought it would be yummy if we added beef to it. So this is a great recipe for vegetarians too! Here is her recipe, my changes are italicized.


- 1 pound of ground beef, cooked
- 1 taco seasoning packet
- 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained and rinsed
- 2 (10 ounce) cans diced tomatoes with green chilies, drained (we used one mild and one hot)
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/2/ teaspoon ground cumin
- 8 (6-inch) corn tortillas
- 1 cup Mexican-style cheese blend

1.Preheat over to 375 degrees. Spray a 9x5 inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray. Since I added beef to the recipe, I used a 9x13 pan instead of a loaf pan.
2. Brown meat and add taco seasoning using the instructions on the packet.
3. In a large bowl, combine beans, corn, and tomatoes.

4. In a small bowl stir together ricotta, sour cream, and cumin.

{I love these measuring spoons that my mother in-law gave me! They say "A heap of Happiness" and "A cup of Closeness."}

5. Place 2 tortillas on the bottom of prepared pans.
6. Spread about 1/3 cup ricotta mixture over tortillas.
7. Top with about 1/2 cup black bean mixture.
8. Top with about 1/3 cup of the meat.
9. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup cheese.
10. Repeat procedures 3 times.
11. Bake for 20 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted.