Seven Quick Takes: 11/15/13

Hello all! In addition to my usual Quick Takes post today, I have also posted a Pintester Movement post so make sure you check that out as well……you can find that RIGHT HERE. Now that I’m done with my self promotion let’s get on to a Holiday Edition of Quick Takes…..Holiday? You may be asking…..yes, Holiday!

1.) I love the Holiday season….Thanksgiving, Christmas, snow, the lights, the music, hot cocoa, candy canes, baking cookies, wrapping and giving gifts, turkey, mashed potatoes…..I could go on, but I won’t. I think you get the idea….I love the Holidays!

2.) This Holiday season I’m also looking forward to the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special….I’m a nerd, this should not be news to you…..I have gotten completely hooked on Doctor Who and the thought of David Tennant coming back makes me pretty happy!

3.) I’ve been playing Christmas music since Halloween, the tree and lights will go up on Black Friday, and we will be watching Band of Brothers like we do every years while we put up the decorations. It is a tradition that we started a few years ago, and we can get through the whole series in a weekend so it just kind of works.

4.) Also in December (and, I know this has nothing to do with the Holidays, it’s just something I’m really looking forward to) The Hobbitt: Desolation of Smaug comes out! I am can’t wait to go see this one with my family!

5.) We are gearing up for the Children’s Christmas musical, and our Choir and Orchestra concert in just a few weeks and they are going to be so much fun. As soon as the director can find me a husband someone to play my character’s husband I will be able to start rehearsing with the kids, and I am so excited!

6.) I volunteered to bring a sweet treat to my next book club meeting, and I’m looking for some kind of coffee cake, or brownie, or a bar of some kind to take. I’ve been scanning Pinterest (not that I really needed a reason to do that) and have come up with a few ideas but I was wondering if you had any tried and trues recipes that you use, anything that is your favorite, or that you just want to share!

7.) As I always do, I’m linking up with Jen at Conversion Diary. Go check out all of the other Quick Takes, and (*Warning* more self promotion ahead….remember to check out my Pintester Movement post)!

Bonus # 8.) Check out these hand painted shoes I posted about last week…you won’t regret it!

Blessings for warm and Happy Holidays!

Megan

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!

Blessings,
Megan

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!

7 Quick Takes: 1/4/13

Linking up for another Quick takes post….Jen, the usual host, has recently been hospitalized…please keep her in your prayers!

Instead of linking up at Conversion Diary, the link up is taking place at Moxie Wife

 So, let’s get to it, shall we?!

1.) For the life of me I have not been able to write 2013 on anything these last few days! Sometimes I can start the year off remembering to write the new year, and some years I can go until February writing the old year. The way things are going now, I have a feeling I’ll be writing 2012 for a while….but hey at least I remembered it for this post!

2.) On New Year’s Eve, we had some friends over for dinner, and played some games, and by 10:30 I was zonked out in bed….in my defense, it had been a long weekend and I haven’t been sleeping well….I did wake up briefly to (what I hope was) the sound of fireworks being set off a few houses down….yeah, happy new year to you too buddy!!

3.) New Year’s Day, we go to a friend’s house, where they host sometimes up to 30 people; and the men watched football, the women sit around and  knit/crochet/cross stitch/eat for the whole day.

4.) My Wolverines offered up nothing but disappointment…..once again.

5.) I was back to work on Wednesday, and enjoyed being back. I like having a break, but I also like my schedule, and structure, and it’s nice to get back to that. I’m starting my winter (most of spring) semester in about a week and am really looking forward to it.

6.) From January 18 -20 I will be a college sponsor on our church youth group’s annual discipleship retreat. If you think about it between now and then please pray…

pray for:

  • The Students; Grades 7-12
  • The Sponsors; College Students 
  • The Host Families; Brave men and women opening their homes to us
  • and last but not least, our youth pastors who have worked so hard to plan this weekend, and make it a wonderful worship experience for these kids. 

Most importantly, pray for God’s presence, and for the kids to just open themselves up to the amazing things that God can do in their lives. I will let you all know how the weekend goes after it’s over….look for that post in a few weeks.

7.) I will be leading the 8th grade girls for that weekend….I was one ( a long time ago) and I know how they can be, so please pray for me to be able to offer them some guidance, pray for the family opening their home to us, and pray for the girls. Please just keep that weekend in your prayers. I remember being a student years ago, and having my life changed on this retreat, I know that if we open ourselves to the Lord he can do great things. I’m really looking forward to being on the other side of things, as a leader to these kids! I’m so excited to see what God has in store for all of us!

Happy New Year to you all!
Blessings,

Megan

7 Quick Takes: 12/28/12

So here we are, another Friday…another installment of Quick Takes. I will be joining Jen at Conversion Diary. So, without further ado… Quick Takes:

1.) On Sunday our church choir went to Crossroads Village; a park here in Michigan, that transports you back in time to old grist mills, one room school houses, and steam locomotives. Our choir sings in the small wooden church, that is still heated by wood stove, and we sang for a crowd that filled the eight rows of pews, all of the standing room, and wound out the door into the small courtyard. I love to wander thought the general store, and just see the town…in the winter, and decorated for Christmas, it’s like a different time….a simpler time… I LOVE it!!!

2.) Ten years (or so) ago, we moved my great grandma into a new apartment, when we did my dad inherited her box of 8mm films….lots and lots, and LOTS of them. So, for Christmas we had them converted to DVD’s for dad, his brother and sister, and my grandma. We were all together on Christmas morning, and after these were opened, we watches them. There was no sound, just some stock music in the background, but we laughed and cried, and laughed till we cried! Never imy life have I laughed like that. It was so fun to see dad and his brother and sister watching these, seeing them as kids, with their dad and mom. It was evemore fun for my cousins and I to see our prents at that age…and just how much we take after them! 
3.) I have been enjoying my Christmas gifts these past few days, especially my teapot,  there is nothing better than a good cup of tea. I love brewing loose leaf, so I love that the teapot came with multiple pouches of loose tea. I have ver much been enjoying chinese green tea, with a little honey and lemon, you have the perfect cup of tea!

4.) I have just started reading Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore, so far I am not far enough through it yet to really say much, but check back in a few weeks for my review of what is turning out to be a very intriguing book.

5.) Working two days this week, and heading up to Frankenmuth this weekend. Frankenmuth, Michigan ( as I have told you before), is a piece of Germany, in northern Michigan. We will be heading up for some post Christmas shopping, and lunch as a family before we start back to work and school next week. I’m looking forward to some more family time. 

6.) The homemade Christmas gifts were a hit, and I am so glad.the calluses, pricked fingers, and nights of staying up until three in the morning were totally worth it!

7.) Today, I am spending the day with my cousin. We will spend the day watching Disney Princess movies, making homemade pizzas, and playing board games…. A girls day, and I am so excited! 
I hope you all have a great, relaxing weekend.
Blessings, 
Megan 

Phone Dump: 12/2/12

I decided today, that on Sundays I will be doing an Instagram Phone Dump. I don’t feel like this really needs much explanation….so now, I will let the pictures do the talking….

1. One of many towels that I will be cross stitching for Christmas this year….this one (as you can see) is a work in progress.

     2. A shot of my desk at work. This week I was preparing music for two upcoming Advent services, and   a Christmas concert,

3. Mom and I in Frankenmuth (dad took the pic). We did a little Christmas shopping in Frankenmuth Michigan this week, and if you haven’t been there, or don’t know what I’m talking about Click Here!
We got LOTS of shopping done!

4. My favorite store! Yankee Candle! Mom was on a mission to find a Jelly Donut Candle. This is a scent that we got her for Christmas last year and she LOVED it….this trip we ended up with Maple Pancakes, needless to say, the house smells AMAZING!!

5. This is a Chocolate Turtle Cupcake from Sugar High Bakery in Frankenmuth. They are winners of Food Network’s Cupcake wars! This was an awesome cupcake!

6. Me with my cousin. Sweet girl was so excited to be a part of her very first Children’s Christmas pageant today! I’m so proud of her!
I hope you are enjoying this first Sunday of Advent!

Blessings to all,

Megan  

Small Business Saturday

The Saturday after Thanksgiving is traditionally “Small Business Saturday”, a day to go out and support your local businesses and small business owners. I did my part today, by supporting a small business that I absolutely LOVE…The Flint Crepe Company.

The Mama Mia….this thing is AH-MAZING!!!

FCC is a local resteraunt that uses all locally grown ingredients. Local produce, local meats and cheeses, and if they can’t find an ingredient without high fructose corn syrup, they find a way to make it themselves. Supporting our local farmers, and the farmer’s market…I can go in their and know the name of the farmer who grew the tomatoes that go into my food, and the name if the man who they buy the cheese from.
They are the quintessential small business, they started as a food cart at the local farmer’s market, and eventually that business grew into having a small business in a growing college town. Prime location in downtown Flint, settled between thre college campuses they are a prime location for lunch with friends, or a nice place to study (with the best coffee I’ve ever tasted).

Some, would walk in, take a look and leave. Some may call it “hipster”, but that label has (ironically) become too mainstream in our culture….I believe that “Artisan” is the best way to describe the atmosphere…and as far as the food is concerned…I’ve never had better! They make it fresh, so you know it comes to you hot! They are stuffed full of whatever you choose. You can order a menu item, or you can create your own….the possibilities are endless, and I guarantee you will not be disappointed!

So, today on Small Business Saturday, go out and support your favorite small/local business(es)

Blessings,
Megan
and let me just add…GO BLUE!! BRAT THOSE BUCKEYES!!

7 Quick Takes: Black Friday Edition

I’m joining Jen at Conversion Diary for the highlight of my blogging week, go see her at Conversion Diary, and add your link!

Now, on with the takes:

1. Black Friday shopping is non-existent in this family….we just don’t do it. On Black Friday, we turn up the Christmas Music, and pull out the decorations.

2. We put up the Christmas tree accompanied by the voices of Bing Crosby, Michael Buble, and the fabulous A Capella group Straight No Chaser….just to name a few.

3. Once the tree is up, we turn OFF the Christmas music, and the DVD collection of HBO’s Band Of Brothers comes out. We watch as many of these as we can on Friday, and if we can’t finish we make a weekend out of it and watch the rest on Saturday.While Band of Brothers is playing we put up the lights, garland, and ornaments. (This is one of our family traditions, started a few years ago when one of our TV networks started showing B.o.B….now we do it each year).

4. Tonight, we will be turning off the lamps and overhead lights, and plugging in each and every Christmas light in our house. We will pop popcorn, and settle in to watch Sherlock Holmes 2: Game of Shadows. Black Friday does NOT have to include department store brawls and/or shopping at midnight! : )
If you are a BF Deal Hunter I would love to know how you fared today! Did you get what you set out for? What time did you start?? Do you have any BF traditions??

5. The first snow of the season is finally upon us! We were just sitting down to part two of B.o.B and the snow was blowing like crazy outside….I love this time of year. Watching the snow fall, the glow of Christmas lights, the sound of Christmas music, and the sweet smells of sugar cookies and cinnamon…to me, that says winter. I have a few days off from school that I will spend with my family doing who-knows-what….and I will certainly be enjoying it.

6. The winter village is up, as is the Nativity. Now, I will be putting lights up in the rest of the windows, and possibly fixing myself some hot chocolate, and watching Mary Poppins on ABC Family

The Nativity, the centerpiece of our Christmas decorating. 
The Winter Village; Stays up until all the snow is gone at the end of the season
7. The advent season will soon be starting, and I don’t want to lose focus this season on the reason for celebrating. The tree is gorgeous, the village scene is cute….but the Nativity, and what it represents is what is truly important. Enjoy your Black Friday, and the many days to come leading up to Christmas! Tell me about your holiday traditions, what special things you do with your family! I love to hear feedback from my readers!
Blessings,
Megan 
Let me leave you with one of my very favorite Christmas Songs: 

Thanks-Living

A number of years ago, I remember that the weekend of Thanksgiving my dad was preaching on a Sunday night, and he was giving his Thanksgiving message. Something that he said really stood out to me. He asked the congregation “Why is it, that we only focus on giving thanks once a year? Shouldn’t we make a lifestyle out of giving thanks? So this year, instead celebrating Thanksgiving….celebrate Thanks-Living”.

I haven’t forgotten those words because HE WAS RIGHT! We put so much focus on Thanksgiving, and the days leading up to it, but on Friday we go out and buy more stuff! To be fair, most of the time we are buying for others but, I digress. On Facebook people have been listing something new each day that they are thankful for. That’s great…it’s fun to see what people think of, but what happens on Friday? When Thanksgiving is over are you still going to post what you are thankful for? Instead of giving thanks JUST in the first few weeks of November, I want to be able to honestly say that I live a thankful lifestyle. I don’t want to only be thankful for God’s blessings, my family and friends, and the freedoms that I have once a year. I am thankful for those things year round, and live my life that way.

I’m not saying that the Facebook posts, or “what are you thankful for” traditions are wrong, but that out focus might just be a little off. This may sounds somewhat like a New Year’s Resolution post, but think of it as a Thanks-Living Resolution. Try to give thanks each day for what you have. Whether it’s waking up that morning, or the circumstances in your day that surprise you. Give thanks for the people that cross your path, or the one that holds a door open. Give thanks to the Lord for the blessings in your life, and for his grace.

Now, I want to thank YOU, my readers (however few there may be) for putting up with this post. I’m sorry if I sound preachy, but this has been weighing on my heart this year and I wanted to share.

Thank you all, and I wish you the happiest of Thanksgivings, and I hope that you will join me in a spirit of Thanks-Living.

Blessings,
Megan