November was a long month. A very long month. I got into a car accident the first week of November, my Grandfather passed away the second week of November, and Eric was in a car accident the third week of November. Again, November was a long month and although it was filled with so many emotions, there was also so much thanksgiving. God’s faithfulness was so evident over every situation. Eric and I came out of both accidents without being hurt and I was surrounded by so much peace after hearing about my Grandfather passing away. Eternal life is so beautiful and I found so much peace in knowing my Grandfather’s relationship with the Lord. The older I get, the more peace I have with death. Death used to be something I refused to talk about, hear about, or address. But after November, I have found so much peace.
I spoke at my grandfather’s funeral because people deserved to know what a special relationship my Grandma and Grandpa had and just how much that meant to me.
“Three years ago I had the privilege of living with my Grandparents for three months. I was student teaching close to their house and they graciously let me stay with them. During that time I got to see the daily interactions of my Grandma and Grandpa. Something I never witnessed before, to that degree. I witnessed the way they cared for each other and consistently put each other first. I listened as they reminisced about the memories they shared together. But most of all, I watched a growth in my Grandpa throughout the years of what really mattered and how faith and family became such a large part of his life. How he openly talked about the importance of having faith in a marriage in all seasons of life. Before getting married this summer I was praying and thinking about the vows I was about to say to my husband and the importance they play in a marriage. I started thinking of living with my Grandparents and how faithfully they lived out their vows in everyday life through the good times and bad, and were constantly by each other’s side. In Grandpa’s final days, I witnessed my Grandma being by his side, while my Grandpa did everything in his power to make sure my Grandma was okay. He showed me the value of commitment, care, and loving someone unconditionally. I am so thankful I got to witness and feel his love and strength day in and day out and feel so blessed to have seen his faith through his words and actions.”
There are things I will always remember about my Grandfather. I will remember his tall frame, endless sarcasm, and how he used to scare me when I was little because of his sarcasm. He was an avid Penn State fan. My Grandmother and him would travel to games near and far. Other than my Grandma, who he loved so dearly, Faith Hill was a close second. 😉 He would make this very clear during football season or anytime she showed up on the t.v. And last but not least, my Grandfather wanted to own a horse…dreamed of owning a horse…was determined to own a horse. I’m still not sure exactly where it stemmed from, but there you have it.
I’m so thankful I got to know such a sarcastic, loving, and wise man that I got to call my Grandfather. He will be missed so much.
When Eric and I started dating, we really wanted to make Christ the center of our relationship. We thought one of the best ways to do that would be to read a faith based book. We read the five love languages first and learned SO much about each other in a very short time.This was by far one of the best things we’ve done. Shortly after, we decided to read a book together called, “The Will of God as a Way of Life.” Not only could we see into each other’s hearts but it also brought out a side of us where we were forced to dig deeper. Since we only saw each other on the weekends, we would read a chapter or two during the week and then talk about it when we were face to face. We’ve done this a few times, even since being married and I highly recommend it. You’ll be surprised by the conversations that come out of reading together as it allows you to grow closer. Couples that read together, stay together.
Peppermint is my love language. Peppermint bark is an entirely different ball game. A ball game I actually like. There is something about it. I don’t know if it’s the peppermint smell, how nice it looks on a plate, or how it can be perfectly used as an appetizer ;), dessert, or snack. I love how easy it is to make and how it can be wrapped up and used as the sweetest gift. I love all things chocolate and peppermint and this time of year it makes things even more merry and bright!
1 bag mini candy canes or 1 bag of Andes Peppermint Crunch baking chips
What do to:
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a small sauce pan melt the dark chocolate on a low heat, making sure not to burn the chocolate. Stir chocolate to make sure there aren’t any unmelted pieces. Pour onto the parchment paper and spread evenly. Place the baking sheet in the freezer for 25 minutes or until completely hard. Meanwhile, crush up candy canes into bits and pieces. I love the fresh peppermint flavor but for a time saver you can use, Andes Peppermint Crunch baking chips as a substitute.
Take the baking sheet out of the freezer and prepare the white chocolate the same way you prepared the dark chocolate in a small sauce pan. Once all of the white chocolate is melted, you can mix in the crushed up candy canes or wait to sprinkle them on top. Spread the white chocolate and candy cane mixture over the frozen chocolate. Spread evenly. Avoid overspreading the white chocolate. It may cause the dark chocolate to melt and show through the white chocolate. Place in the freezer for 25 minutes or until completely hard.
Remove the bark from the freezer and break apart into desired size pieces.
About a year ago our church sent out an e-mail. It was information regarding about a new small group series for women called Lineage of Love (LOL). I was in my first full year of teaching, living two hours from Eric, planning a wedding, and felt in over my head in so many different ways. So in the midst of a million things going on, naturally, I signed up for one more…and I am so glad I did.
Our church heavily encourages small groups. Small groups are the time where you can do life with people, live out your faith, and invite people into your home and grow closer. I totally get small groups now.
This study will open your heart, soul and mind in ways you did not expect, and most importantly enrich your relationship with God. The beautiful woman pictured above, Heather Zeamer poured her heart and soul into writing this series. The year long study will stretch you and make you evaluate your relationship with God and others. You cannot go wrong here. I promise. Clear your schedule for just one evening a month to find safe places to heal and grow, discover your purpose, and grow in your relationship with Jesus.
If you have questions about the study check out the LOL website or e-mail me directly with questions!
I was 14 when I decided I really wanted to have something of my own to take to Christmas dinner. Before the days of pinterest, I decided to google “Christmas appetizers.” The recipe seemed easy enough to put together for a family gathering but the finished product appeared as though it took a lot of time and effort on my end. 😉 Soda bread and spinach dip it was!
It has been a staple at every single Christmas since then. It’s mouth watering, addicting, can’t-stop-eating, my go-to appetizer and is a HUGE hit! I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again. It is extremely easy and you’ll look like you slaved all day. 😉 It is the perfect holiday appetizer.
Spinach Dip ingredients:
1 cup mayonnaise
1 (16 oz) container of sour cream
1 (1.8 oz) package dry leek soup
1 10 oz. package of frozen spinach (thawed and drained)
What to do:
In a large bowl, stir all ingredients together until thoroughly mixed. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Easy peasy.
Soda Bread ingredients:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/3 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg lightly beaten
2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup butter, melted
What to do:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly grease 9×5 inch loaf pan. Combine flour, baking powder,sugar, and baking soda in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix egg and buttermilk together. Add the egg and buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture. Gradually add butter and mix until moistened. Pour into the prepared pan. Bake for 65 to 70 minutes or until you can insert a toothpick and it comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let it cool.