7 Quick Takes: 4/5/13

Happy Friday, and Happy April! I took last Friday off because of Good Friday which means that I have two weeks of material to catch up on…the only problem is not much happened last week….or this week to be honest. This ought to be interesting!

1.) Let’s see……not much happened last week except that I finally wrapped up and submitted my report just before the deadline, and it was Holy Week. I did a few posts last week about Holy Week and you can find those here:

Palm Sunday
Jesus Anointed at Bethany
Maundy Thursday
Friday Contemplation (Good Friday)
He Is Risen! (Easter Sunday)

2.) I’m in charge of snacks for book club this week…and I’m doing a new lemon bar recipe…..that can be found here. I can’t wait to try it, and I can’t wait to discuss this book. For this month we read Never Look Back by Kathy Herman. It is a story of redemption, forgiveness, and resilience. I love Kathy Herman and this book certainly did not disappoint.

3.) I’ve decided to start a quilt. A full on, piece by piece quilt. Not like the tee-shirt quilt I made a few years ago. I made card stock patterns for each block, and I’m picking up coordinating fabric pieces at my fabric store. They started selling fat quarters and eights which will be a big help until its time to bind. I’m excited to get this project going….and I’ll keep you updated on my progress…..because I know you are so interested to hear all about it.

4.) I shopped in my first H&M last weekend, and had a bit of a “moment”. I walked in, and saw the sizes and the clientele and realized I was going to have a bit of a hard time in this store. I wear size 18 (16 on a good day) and they don’t really have much above a 12 or 14. I had a gift card and just wanted to get in and out as quickly as I could. It was not my proudest moment as all of my middle school body issues came rushing back in one fell swoop. It was B-A-D bad. I got some shirts in the biggest size they had and a scarf and got out! Swore off stores with sizes for the rest of the day. I went into book stores, a Vera Bradley store, and some tech stores….no more sizes.

5.) I thought I’d left all of the body issue nonsense behind me when I got out of middle school but every now and again it all comes back, and I end up a crying mess in the middle of a huge shopping mall. Let me tell you it is a sight to see. When I started high school I got rid of all of my baggy clothes, bought jeans that fit right (and looked good!), bought cute tops….no more tee shirts to try and hide what I thought was less than perfect. I don’t usually let it get to me anymore but sometimes, and it is a rare occasion when it does but it just so happened that I let it get to me on a day out with my family, in the middle of one of the biggest shopping malls in our area. Not my proudest moment.

6.) Turns out the shirts fit pretty well….and the scarf was quite pretty. My meltdown obviously had no real basis other than that I was having a slightly off day, and got discouraged for a few minutes by the sight of super skinny models in all of the ads, super skinny customers in the store, and all of it brought back memories of bullies in middle school. I’ve learned not to let it bother me…..and on the rare occasion that it does I can (sometimes) just brush it off and go on my way….

7.) I struggled to find things to talk about today and once I got going I just went. Sorry for the downer of a post today I just felt like I should share. I hope that someday this post will help someone like me. Don’t let your feelings of imperfection ever hold you back, or keep you from truly being yourself. I did……and now I regret it. I missed so many opportunities as a kid because I was afraid of what other people thought of me…and now I take every chance I get to experience new things, go to new places, and meet new people because I’m done holding myself back! God doesn’t make mistakes and once I accepted that idea, and started accepting myself, I felt so much better each day I woke up. I don’t worry anymore about what I see in the mirror each day, because God has helped me see me, the way that HE sees me!

Thanks for putting up with my ramblings today….now go see Jen for more QT’s!


P.S This week is Opening Week of Major League Baseball! Go Tigers!
I’m warning you now, from now until (hopefully) November you will hear a lot from me about baseball. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!



I told you all this week in my 7 Quick Takes post, how excited I was that Chonda Pierce was coming to perform at our church. Mom and I have catered these kinds of events for the last few years, and I have never gotten starstruck. I’ve met (and fed) Aaron Shust33 MilesRebecca St. James, and many, many more. I have never gotten starstruck…until tonight.

Mom and I were putting the food out tonight in the catering room, and in the hall I could hear the distinct voice of Chonda Pierce. If you have ever heard her, you know her voice. You know that when she breaks precious into two words “pre cious” what she really means is “oh honey, that ain’t right” She walked into the catering room, and I’m not kidding you….I CRIED. My mom, God bless her, was in the room and covered for me, laughing about it, and Chonda very graciously took pictures with both of us, and we were able to talk with her for a while tonight.

She has an amazing testimony. She speaks very openly about the struggles she and her family have been through. If you ever have the opportunity to go see one of her shows, I encourage you to do it. She is a delight, and she is JUST.SO.FUNNY!!!

Goodnight all! 

7 Quick Takes: 3/8/13

It’s Friday once again, and you know what that means……7 Quick Takes. I’m joining up with Jen as always, at Conversion Diary. Go check out what everybody else is talking about this week.

1.) I made this soup this week. It turned out so great! It was very flavorful, and oh so healthy. My family loved it and there was enough leftover for another meal. I recommend trying it…it’s easy, tasty, and filling. You can’t go wrong with this.

2.) Monday night, one of my favorite shows airs. I don’t know if any of you watch Switched at Birth on ABC Family, but this week’s episode was phenomenal….I talked about it in a post earlier this week. This show is so well done, and there is a lot that can be learned from it. Check it out if you haven’t yet!

3.) Tuesday my sweet, sweet dad tried to get reservations for our family at the Be Our Guest Restaurant for dinner while we are in Florida. It would have been to celebrate my 20th birthday, and mom and dad’s 25th anniversary. They are booked SOLID the whole week we are there, but that is fine with me. Just being on this trip with my family is all I need. I am so excited just to be there!

4.) Wednesday night I took the online test for the Jeopardy! College Tournament……My family makes it a point to watch Jeopardy! together every night. If we aren’t home we DVR it, and watch it later. Dad and I each take the test every year. I felt so dumb last night when I saw some of those questions, and I learned that I know nothing about current pop culture……

5.) To go along with the above, my dad was on a game show, just not Jeopardy! He was on Who Wants to be a Millionaire a few years back when Regis Philbin came back and did a week in Prime Time. We are quite proud of him around these parts. Even though he has this under his belt, Jeopardy! is the one that we both would really like to try and get on. I have watched Jeopardy! since I was in elementary school, of course I didn’t know anything back then, but now I look forward to sitting down with my family for a half an hour each night and watching it. Sounds odd I know, but we love it!

6.) You guys all know by now that I like to read. I bought a copy of Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables this week. If you have not seen this book, it is HUGE! I put it on the counter and the cashier picked it up, looked at it, and (dead serious) asked me if I planned on reading the entire thing. I responded (very politely), of course…why wouldn’t I? Well, she said, it’s just soooooooooooo big! I am undaunted by this. I will be in a car from Mid-Michigan to Florida. I need LOTS of reading material! When people tell me that they don’t like reading, or that they could never read a WHOLE book……I don’t even want to think about it……I can’t imagine not wanting to read, there is something amazing about a book, here I hope this will help you understand what I’m talking about….

7.) One of my favorite ladies is performing at our church this weekend and I am so excited to get to meet her! Chonda Pierce is a Christian comedienne and she is amazing! She has a wonderful testimony, and when she sings….ah! I can’t wait! She is supremely funny, I know that we are in for a treat this weekend! 
I hope that you all have a wonderful weekend! Enjoy this time with your family and friends…I know I will!

7 Quick Takes: Spring Training Edition

I have discovered that I pay much more attention to what I do during the week when I know that I am going to blog about it later on….So, because it is Friday once again I will be joining Jen over at Conversion Diary…if you haven’t watched her show Minor Revisions, find the archived episodes and be prepared to have lots of fun, they are wonderful!

Let’s get to it. You may notice that I gave it the title ‘Spring Training Edition’ that’s because the light at the end of the endless winter tunnel is finally in sight. That light is called Spring Training….and when we finally step out of that tunnel in April it will be opening day and the beauty of spring will be upon us, with the sound of a ball connecting with  a wooden bat, the cheers of fans, the aroma that can only come from a combination of hot dogs, pizza, and popcorn. I’m sorry, I’ve gotten carried away and should probably get to the takes, after all that is the point of this post….here we go. 
1.) Baseball for me is all about family, and instead of going into detail here I did two Talkin’ Baseball posts this week here is Part One, and here is Part Two
2.) Some facts for you about my beloved Detroit Tigers: 
  • The Tigers have four World Series wins
  • In 2011 Starting Pitcher Justin Verlander won both the Cy Young award and MVP 
  • In 2012 Miguel Cabrera became the first player since 1967 to win the Triple Crown
  • There are eight men in the Hall of Fame that played the majority of their career in Detroit
  • Al Kaline hit 399 Home Runs in his career before he retired, that’s the kind of man he was. He didn’t want to be defined by his stats.

so, there are some little tidbits I find interesting…….

3.) We (mom,dad, and I) have what some may call a ritual when we get to the ball park. I always stop at the first vendor I find, and purchase a score card. After I have made my purchase, we find our seats. No matter where we sit, whether it’s the last row of the upper deck, or halfway down the first baseline in the lower section, we go to our seats and just watch. We watch batting practice, I fill out the lineups for both teams on my scorecard and then we get food! 
Photo Credit: Me, with the super zoom on my camera. Taken from the last row of the upper deck .
4.) I love baseball food, and each park I’ve been in seems to have their own signature kind of food available. The Tigers have Little Caesar’s Pizza (LC Pizza is owned by the same family that owns the Tigers). Don’t get me wrong I LOVE Little Caesar’s but there is a small little Gyro stand in Comerica park. There is only one, and that is where I always get my food; I will either get the traditional gyro or the gyro “nachos” (pita chips, and all of the fixings of a traditional gyro…YUM). In Pittsburgh at PNC Park it’s Perogies: All types, potato, cheese, onion, you name it! Of course there is the classic Ballpark hot dog, and an ice cold Pepsi!
5.) Other than Detroit my favorite baseball city that we have visited was Pittsburgh. The people were pleasant and didn’t seem to care that we were the opposing fans. We toured the ballpark and it was gorgeous! Not just was the baseball great but in general there is so much to do! We went to the science center, did our own little walking tour of the city, and drove of Mt. Washington (grandma, mom, and I flat out refused to ride up the Duquesne Incline). I highly recommend Pittsburgh for a family get away!
6.) My grandma (not the one that vacations with us) for some reason still after many, many years of not explaining it to me (or anyone for that matter) is a HUGE Derek Jeter fan. Derek Jeter is a Yankee. The name Yankee is not often said in this home, and when it is it’s not usually in a nice way (sorry to any of you readers that may be Yankees fans….). Years ago, we took Grandma K and Grandpa to go see the Tigers. It was going to be great, we were going to have a great night at the game, all was well….until we got to our seats. We were sitting maybe ten rows up from the visiting dugout, and the visiting team just happened to be the Yankees. Derek Jeter was down there signing autographs and Gram wanted to go down there…but not alone. Oh no, she wanted me to go with her…I refused, vehemently. I noticed the shadow of a smile on dad’s face, and Gramp’s too not Gram….to this day she still brings it up “Do you remember that time we could have gotten Derek Jeter’s autograph but you wouldn’t come with me?” Yes, yes I do. I regret nothing! I love my Gram, just not her choice of players to cheer for. Once again, Sorry Yankee fans! 
Gram and I
7.) This post is to kind of prepare you for whats to come for about six months. Once baseball season officially begins I will somehow find a way to mention it in just about every post that I publish…even if that post is about what I read that day in my devotions! Take this as an apology in advance. However on the topic of my daily devotions (I’m not going to relate this to baseball in anyway) today’s was pretty great I’d like to share it with you…..It was all about prayer. Praying continually as we are told to do in Thesselonians. It said that prayer is a two way street. That continued praying “refines our awareness of God when he answers us” (Perry, 18)*. I was struck by the phrase that said “God only asks for a small portion of our day and gives us eternity in return” (Perry, 18)*. I’ve had a lot on my prayer list, and I’d like to ask you to please pray for a dear family friend. He was out early this week letting his dog out at about 10:30 at night. They have a pretty steep driveway, and it was still really icy. He took a really bad fall, has a severe concussion, and bruised pretty much the entire left side of his body. Please pray for him, and his wife, pray that he will heal quickly, and without complication…but especially pray for the pain to go away, I have a feeling he’s going to be pretty sore for a while. Thanks so much! 
Enjoy the beginning of baseball, but not only that, the Lenten season has begun and so begins the preparation for the Easter season, and Pentecost. I so love this time of year! I wish you all a wonderful weekend!
*Delight Yourself in the Lord….Even on Bad Hair Days By: Sandra Bricker, Kristin Billerbeck, Diann Hunt, Debby Mayne, and Trish Perry. 

Talkin’ Baseball: Part Two

If you missed Part One, you can find it HERE.

Let’s get right to it…..here is part two.

We were driving down to a game about seven years ago. We had just gotten off of the highway and turned onto Woodward Avenue in Detroit…up until this point I’d had my nose stuck in a book (big surprise). I put down the book, and looked up to see dad turn his head and glance out the passenger side window. It was just for a split second, but he got this look of sadness in his eyes. Wondering what it was that he saw I turned and looked out too. It was the old Tiger Stadium, which is now just an empty lot and distant memories.

Dad told me on the way into the stadium of all the games that he attended there, I was at one of them too long ago now to remember. He told me about the seats, and the smells, and how “they don’t build ’em like that any more.” Walking into Comerica Park, we came in the center field gate, and walked across the right field walkway. If you’ve ever been to Comerica you know that in right field is a row of statues. 
Dad made it a point to stop at each statue and tell me a little bit about each player. Not only did he teach me about these six, but the history of the game and of the Tigers along the way. Somewhere I have a picture of when we got to our seats, mom took a great picture of dad and I sitting together; he’s pointing out to me something on the field and I’m just sitting there listening to him teach me something new about the game. He bought me a scorecard that night, and taught me how to keep an official score during the game. I was enthralled! The Tigers lost, and it was a bad one but that didn’t matter to me at all. That night, sitting between mom and dad I connected in a new way to my dad. It was so much fun! 
This was a connection we had never had before, I finally had something that I could do with my dad! Baseball became so much more than a game to me. It became a way of life, an ongoing love story with a game that was so unpredictable. You never knew from one game to the next, or even from one inning to the next what may happen. Mom, Dad, and I would sit on the couch at home, pop popcorn and enjoy being together. Sure, dad would still yell at the T.V. but it didn’t bother me, and sometimes (depending on the reason for the yelling) mom and I would join in! 
It was the 2006 season, and the Tigers were heading for the playoffs. My grandma had a viewing party at her house on the night that the Tigers won the American League Championship! We watched the game together, all of us, as a family. From my (now 93 year old) great grandmother, down to my now 14 year old cousin and everyone in between. Baseball is a game that transcends the boundaries of age, gender, and race. It brings people together in a way that nothing else can. This was something that we could share as a family, something that brought all of us together. Now, we make it a point to go to at least one game a season….the whole family anywhere from 12-15 of us depending on when we go. The Tigers lost the World Series that year, and in 2007 we had a partial season ticket package…we went to Opening Day, and 17 other games over the course of the season…it was AWESOME! 
With Mom, Dad, and Grandma across the river from PNC Park in Pittsburgh
In 2008 a tradition started in our family. Dad planned our summer vacation to be in Cleveland Ohio that year. He got us tickets to see the Tigers play their division rivals the Cleveland Indians. The next summer we found ourselves in St. Louis Missouri watching the Tigers play the Cardinals, we stayed in town for two games that week. This past summer we went to a game in Chicago, then we followed our Tigers to Pittsburgh and had tickets for the entire three game series. No matter where we go, we are not alone. The people around us may not be Tiger fans, but they are baseball fans, and somehow we can all look past the team names we wear, and just enjoy being with other people who are as in love with the game as we are. The Tigers were swept this year in the World Series, and made some interesting off season moves but as they begin Spring Training this week at this house we are looking forward to a great season to come! 
You don’t have to be a die hard to understand the connection between a father and daughter that night during something as simple as a baseball game. A connection that to this day is shared in the whole family. Aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents. We all get together and share the love of a game that brought us closer as a family. 
So whether you are a fan or not (and if you’re a Yankees fan I won’t hold it against you) I hope you understand that this is about more than a game. It’s ultimately about our family. Get ready folks, there will be many more baseball related posts in the months to come….don’t say I didn’t warn you! 
Oh, and here is the reason for the title of these posts… Two Versions, take some time a watch them both!

Talkin’ Baseball (Willie, Mickey, and The Duke): By Terry Cashman

Talkin’ Baseball (Detroit Tigers Version): also by Terry Cashman…enjoy!

7 Quick Takes: One Louder Edition

Joining Jen and the rest at Conversion Diary for a little Friday Fun, be sure to check it out.

So, last week I told you all about Disciple Now, and I promised you a recap; here it is:

1.) We kicked off the weekend with a leadership meeting, and prayer for all of the kids that would be participating. We went over rules and expectations, and got ready to welcome them for the weekend.

Handbook/Note Keeping Journal
2.) Usually a rule on weekends like this is that (for the students) cell phones, i-devices, tablets, etc., etc, are not allowed. This one was different however. We literally wanted to be One Louder for the whole weekend. So, we allowed the students to keep their electronics. We blew up Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook all weekend using the hashtag #OneLouder. 
2a.) On Sunday, to wrap up, we were told that our tweets were seen by a possible 140K people! How awesome, that our message went viral! At one point in the weekend we were “Trending”. 
3.) The theme of the weekend was One Louder. Andrew, our Sr. High Pastor said it best in his blog this week:

One Louder is buzz language for living out of ones own comfort zone and reaching outside to those who don’t yet know the love of Christ. One Louder is the acceptance of the outcast, the defense of the oppressed, the standing up for the bullied, and the love for the unlovable. Ultimately One Louder is a life lived for the other.

 You can find him at Arpology... he was the creative genius behind this weekend.

Our speaker for the weekend was our College Pastor, in one of his messages he said that we need to live our lives as an 11-out-of-10, One Louder, one more than normal. He also said that  we need to think outside the “soap”box. One louder isn’t necessarily street corner preaching, but that it could be Shiva…the Jewish mourning tradition of just being present. One Louder could be just listening to someone talk, when someone asks you to pray for them instead of adding it to your list take the time right then to pray WITH them.

4.) I had the most amazing group of girls to spend the weekend with. They are all struggling with issues that I dealt with at that age, and in one of them I see so much of myself. I could tell that she (more than the others) was really struggling to fit in, and that reminded me so much of my eighth grade self. I was able to have some great talks with her, and just be a friend for all of them this weekend. We started with small groups on Friday night, and right off the bat got into some pretty deep spiritual discussions, and I could tell right then what we were in store for, for the rest of the retreat. We did some get to know you stuff where the girls introduced themselves, and then got to ask me any question that they wanted to. I highly recommend this to anyone in a youth leadership position: I had them write on a slip of paper (anonymously) any question they wanted to…spiritual, fashion, relationships, nothing was off limits….and then I had to answer. Let me tell you, things got emotional. We talked about our spiritual journeys, friendship troubles, the importance of knowing that no matter how you feel about what you see in the mirror, GOD sees beauty! I got emotional, and so did my girls.

Then when we had gathered ourselves together we settled in with popcorn, and homemade peanut butter fudge and watched The Princess Bride. Which up until this point in my life I had never seen…..Holy Twoo Wuv Batman! It was AWESOME! I didn’t know what I was missing until now…..Loved it!

5.) Saturday was a day of service. We were sent all over the community to do a day of service projects. I went with my girls over to a local clothing closet, and food distribution center. We painted, vacuumed, sorted through bags of donated items, cleaned windows inside and out, and scrubbed floors. We did all that in two hours, and still had two more to go. We headed back for the church where we joined in on the folding of 4,000 plastic grocery bags for the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan…yes, we folded 4,000 plastic bags! It was fun!

6.) I had a wonderful weekend, hanging out with the teens, seeing old friends, and remembering my time as a student on these retreats. These kids have committed themselves to living One Louder! They have said that they are not ashamed of the Gospel! I saw the power of God working in them! How amazing it was to see prayers answered this weekend!

7.)   Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.” 

 One Louder. Don’t be ashamed of the Gospel, don’t be ashamed of your faith, of who you are in Christ! Live your life as and 11-out-of-10! Let your actions, your unyielding faith, your love speak One Louder! I know that in this society it isn’t always easy, God never promised that your cross wouldn’t be heavy, but he did promise to bring you through. Living One Louder may sound impossible, but not with God on your side. I can’t wait to see where he takes this. We can be One Louder here at home, or on an international mission field. We can be One Louder as a pastor, or as a psychologist. God can use you wherever you are, whatever your circumstance he can use you to be One Louder!

Thank you so much for your prayers for this weekend! I would like to ask that you keep praying for our teens, as they return back to “normal” life. Being back at school, and at home for some is not always easy. Please continue to pray.

Allow me to leave you with this….here is a picture of me (on the right) and my best friend.

The two of us met seven years ago as students at Disciple Now, and were back this year as leaders! I trust this girl with my life. We keep each other accountable, we keep each other in line, and we confide in each other…thanks to a Disciple Now seven years ago….I got to witness friendships like ours formed this weekend. Thanks be to God for putting these people in our lives!

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!



7 Quick Takes: 1/18/13

Once again joining Jen @ Conversion Diary, I’m going to get right to it today since I still have to pack, find my study questions, re-read them, and cross-reference the scripture that goes with them before I head off to my weekend of leading the eight grade girls in discipleship…Disciple Now (the retreat I’ve been telling you about) begins tonight at 5 P.M…..allow me to use up some of my takes telling you all about it……again.

1.) The theme for the weekend is “One Louder”, referring to Paul’s challenge to not be ashamed ofthe life-changing gospel in today’s world. This is pretty exciting…..eighth grade is that weird year where you want desperately to fit in, and sometimes, unfortunately, you’ll try to change yourself to do that….I want these girls to know that they have nothing to be ashamed of, and that they are perfect just as they are! I am so looking forward to leading their discussions, and seeing what God does for them this weekend!

2.) The verse that we are focusing on for the weekend is Romans 1:16

“16 I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes…”

This is a wonderful passage, and one that I hope will inspire these kids this week to live their lives for God no matter what society may say about them!

3.) Along with worship services, small group time, and service projects….we do get to have some activity time as a large group; this year it is ice skating. I am 20 years old, born and raised in Michigan, and NEVER, not a day in my life, have I ever been ice skating….your prayers are appreciated!

4.) I had the opportunity to go to three Disciple Now’s as a student, and had some wonderful experiences with my friends. It was always great to spend the weekend living with sometimes twenty other girls, and just being able to share how God was working in our lives, and talking freely about what was happening. Worshiping alongside your best friends, and acting like fools playing your typical “youth group” games! I am so excited to be on the other side now as a leader….watching someone else look like a fool playing the games, and leading those discussions.

5.) The service project is one of my favorite things to do on retreat…I have no idea what it will be, but I’m game for anything and I can’t wait! We are called to be Jesus’ hands and feet, and what better way than to go out and serve in your community!

6.) So, that whole 5 take lead in brings me to this….take #7

7.) I would like to ask you to please pray! We have filled slots for 43 hours of prayer for this weekend! From the time we start tonight, ’till the time we finish on Sunday afternoon we will be covered in the prayers of our church family! I ask that sometime in those 43 hours, you remember us, and you say a prayer. It doesn’t have to be anything specific, it doesn’t have to be a whole hour….just pray that God opens our hearts, and prepares us for the work that he can do in us this weekend! Please join me in praying:

  •  for the 85 students (grades 7-12) that will be participating. 
  • For the 24+ College students that are small group leaders
  • the 12 families that have opened their homes to us this weekend
  • the hands that prepare our meals
  • the band that will lead us in worship
  • that hearts will be opened
  • that healing will take place
  • that love will come where there is none
  • that HIS light will shine in the darkness
  • that we will be ONE LOUDER!

I know I said it doesn’t have to be specific, and then added this list….it still doesn’t need to be specific. Just knowing that we are covered in prayer for the weekend is a wonderful feeling! I will try to keep you updated as much as possible throughout the weekend…and if I’m not able to do that, I will do one big “Disciple Now Recap Post” on Monday.

Until then, thank you for your prayers thanks for stopping by, and like always I’d love to hear from you in the comments! Let me leave you with this throwback picture….

I’m the one on the bottom left….five years have gone by since Disciple Now 10….this will be the first one in FIVE years! I can’t wait….have I said that yet?! I really can’t wait!


Just an update as of 8 am this morning….we have one student and two leaders down for the count with the flu. Please pray for them, and the rest of us as we scramble to fill their shoes.

7 Quick Takes: 1/11/13

I’m so happy that Jen is back at the helm this week! She is still recovering, and still in my prayers, help her in yours as well. I’ll be linking up with her over at Conversion Diary……

Here we go…

1.) Friday caught me off guard this week, it really sort of snuck up on me and I wasn’t at all prepared for this post today. Well, there’s one!

2.) Winter semester starts officially on Monday, I have loved having so much time off….being home with my family, and just hanging out.

3.) I don’t mind winter, as long as there is snow on the ground, once it warms up and the snow melts away I want it to be warm and sunny all the time and get depressed with the next big snowfall. I know that it comes with living in Michigan but, it’s the same every year and after a while I just want to back my bags and head someplace warm…Florida, California, Arizona, Hawaii …..anywhere warmer than here would be perfect!

4.) I did a little sewing to keep myself busy this week, you can read about that HERE.

5.) After the holidays got over with, I got back to strictly counting my calories, and exercising….I’m to a point where my body is getting back in line, and I could eat anything that’s not nailed down in this house. I’m getting used to a certain number of calories again….but I feel GOOD!

6.) Tonight, I am (finally) going to go see Les Mis. I have been waiting a long time for this one, and I can’t wait!

7.) I wrote a little bit last week about the youth retreat that I am chaperoning, please continue to pray for as as we plan for this weekend. Pray for the kids as they prepare, and pray that God would ready their hearts for what’s in store. Pray also for Jen, as she continues to heal, pray that God will work in her, and bring a swift recovery.


DIY: Maxi Skirt

For Christmas my aunt gave me a gift card for Hobby Lobby….which for me, is like giving liquor to an alcoholic! I go crazy in that store; yarn, needles, fabric, cross stitch kits, embroidery floss (at only forty cents a piece, I can have fun with that)….I could go on, but then I might bore you to tears.

Before I went off track I mentioned that I received a Hobby Lobby gift card for Christmas, today, I finally used it. I have a single maxi skirt in my closet that, although very versatile, it’s the only one I have and it is bright blue….not a great color for fall and winter. I decided that I would make my own maxi skirt.

Here is how I did it:

I started with four yards of brown Jersey Knit fabric (I was quite generous with the yardage, that way I will have more left over for other projects)

Brown Jersey Knit (Sorry about the terrible lighting)

Next, I grabbed my favorite blue maxi and used it as a guide for the length, and side seam measurements for the new skirt. 
Favorite blue Maxi, wrinkled from spending all of fall in the back of my closet

I then pinned about an inch longer than the blue skirt, instead of going for the half circle cut of the blue, I wanted a straight skirt. It doesn’t flair out like the blue, but it still fits nicely. 

Pin, Pin, Pin

After all of that pinning, I cut straight across….

Just that simple
After that, I cut a piece of my extra fabric to create a waistband for the skirt….I like my skirts to sit at my natural waist, so the waistband size is all up to your personal preference. 
Waistband, I ended up folding it in half so that is wasn’t nearly as wide, but was thicker
Now for the fun part, sewing! I pinned up the side, and ran it through the machine, TWICE. I use a zig-zag stitch (just because I feel like it is more secure as far as seams are concerned. (and yes, I did say that I ran it through twice, better safe than sorry)
Sew, Sew, Sew
after sewing my side seam, I worked on my waistband, getting it ready to sew onto the skirt. 
More sewing
With the skirt, and waistband already sewn up, I pinned on the waistband and got ready for more sewing
I highly recommend that when you sew on your waist band you use a bobbin of elastic thread, the only issue that I have found with this, is that unfortunately you have to wind the bobbin by hand otherwise your machine stretches out the thread, and it tends to not come out as well….or maybe that is just my experience, and if that’s the case any advice on how to fix that would be greatly appreciated. 
Elastic Thread; spool and bobbin

I attached the waistband, cleaned up my edges, cut off any excess fabric that I had, and viola!
 My finished product…..(with bare feet and the bottom half of my favorite 
whatever-color-you-want-to-call-it peplum top!
I had so much fun doing this project, it was a great thing for a cold, windy, wintery day in Michigan! 
I still have a few yards of this fabric left…..stay tuned to see what becomes of it!

Christmas Traditions

For today’s post I am joining Janssen, Landen, and Merrick for: Christmas Traditions….check out theirs, or, if that is how you found me, thanks for stopping by!

It has been tradition in my family, that on Christmas Eve mom kicks dad and I out of the house….

Me and Mom.

Now, it’s not what it sounds like. Mom gets us out of the house so that she can wrap gifts, and do some last minute food prep. While mom has the house to herself, dad and I go out to the mall…not for any shopping, but for coffee.

Every year for as long as I can remember, dad and I go out early on Christmas Eve and walk the mall. As a young girl he would buy me a hot chocolate, and himself a coffee, and we would walk the mall and just watch people. Men in a hurry for that one last thing, women looking frazzled, kids getting their wishes to Santa right at the last minute. I love it! Now we go, and each of us get a coffee, and we walk, and talk, and laugh with each other. It’s a chance for my dad and I to hang out, and create memories…..when dad and I come home, we wrap mom’s presents. At night we have a big Italian dinner; lasagna, salad, bread- then we head to church for the candlelight service. When service is over, we go out for dessert, then we’re home for the night. Every year it’s the same, and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Me and Dad

I have so many wonderful Christmas memories with my family, and I look forward to many more to come!

Merry Christmas!