Saturday, December 25, 2010

A Very Merry Christmas...

Well, this was a very Merry Christmas, but it was a busy one!

We got into Midland on the 18th of December, and right away I went out with my Father, a.k.a. "Pop-sicle." We went to the Dow Garden's Christmas walk. It's basically a candle lit walk though beautiful snow covered gardens with Christmas lights. I love it. After the walk we went to Pizza Hut. We always share a veggie pizza, it was yummy!

On the 19th we had a pretty low-key day with church, and going out to lunch with Justin's parents.

The 20th we basically stayed around the Biddle's house because my Mum had the 48 hour flu.

The 21st was fun. The day started out with Justin taking me to Omelets and More for breakfast. That is where he took me December 21, 2007 before he proposed on the Tridge. It was really sweet and romantic. After that my Mum and I had a day of hanging out and shopping. That evening Justin and his family and I went to Frankenmuth. We went to Zehnder's Chicken Restaurant and then had a beautiful snowy carriage ride.
Justin and Me before dinner at Zehnders.

Justin's family at Zehnders.

The 22nd Justin and I hung out with a couple of old friends of ours, Marc and Beth. We had lunch with them. After I went to a movie with my Mum, "Tangled," and did a little more hanging out with her. It was nice to have some extra time with her. Justin hung out with a friend from college.

The 23, Christmas Eve Eve, Justin, my Mum, and I went to Frankenmuth for a little last minute Christmas shopping. We also ate at the Brewery there... they have the BEST soft pretzels! Later that night, my friend Tori came over to my Mum's and we ate pizza and played a game. It was wonderful to see her!
Mum and I eating cupcakes in Frankenmuth. Soooooooo yummy!

Christmas Eve, at 1pm, Justin and I went to my Pop-sicles new home and had Christmas with him and Leslie and the family. It was nice. Then we had Christmas Eve dinner with Justin's family, went to the Christian Celebration Center Christmas Eve service. That evening we opened gifts with the Biddle's.
Christmas Eve at Pop-sicles.

Christmas Day. We spent the night at my Mum's house so we could wake up Christmas morning there. So we opened presents at like 7:30 am at her house, we visited the Biddles for a little while, and then headed over to my maternal grandparents house for yet another Christmas celebration. Then we went back over to Justin's parents home and packed up. Now I'm writing my blog post!
Christmas morning... a classic Winnie the Pooh for me! :D

My brother, Mum, Me, and Justin at Grandma & Grandpa Coggin's: Christmas Day.

It has been a crazy vacation, but a fun one. It is such a blessing to be able to spend holidays with family and friends that we cherish. Thank you to everyone that made this Christmas such a special one!

Merry CHRISTmas, and love to you all!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

I Celebrate The Day

This is one of my favorite Christmas songs.

Please read along with the lyrics, and think about what Christmas is truely about: The Savior, Jesus Christ's birth.

And with this Christmas wish is missed
The point I could convey
If only I could find the words to say to let You know how much You've touched my life
Because here is where You're finding me, in the exact same place as New Year's eve
And from a lack of my persistency
We're less than half as close as I want to be

And the first time

That You opened Your eyes did You realize that You would be my Savior
And the first breath that left Your lips
Did You know that it would change this world forever

And so this Christmas I'll compare the things I felt in prior years

To what this midnight made so clear
That You have come to meet me here

To look back and think that

This baby would one day save me
In the hope that what You did
That you were born so I might really ]live
To look back and think that
This baby would one day save me

And I, I celebrate the day

That You were born to die
So I could one day pray for You to save my life
Merry Christmas.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

A Night to Remember

Justin and my friends: Andi, Jessica, and Jordan. Their hands spell out "LOL." We did a lot of that...

Last night was a pretty crazy night. It started off alright. My friend Jordan had just graduated from college, so a group of us went to Chattanooga for the night to celebrate. The plan was to go to Buffalo Wild Wings and then to the RAVE to watch the new Narnia movie. Well, we all purchased our tickets online so we knew that we would have tickets. And then we went to B Dubs. Well, we parked in the lot right next to the restaurant and went inside. We had a great time, and ate a ton of food. Well, we left the building intending to get in the car and go to the movie... But the car wasn't there. Yes, it was towed. To get the car back we had to find a ride to the tow place, and pay a HUGE fine. Well, since we had pre-purchased the tickets we decided to call a taxi and then just go to the movie. The taxi was very interesting. The driver told us it was his first week on the job, the van was basically falling apart. It would lurch every few minutes. To top the whole ride off, he was spitting tobacco in a Mt. Dew can. Well, we arrived at the theater in one piece and got there just in time to see the movie. We even got pretty good seats. After the movie, I called a friend who lived a little ways away and she drove Justin and I to the tow station, which was really, really shady. It was seriously in the ghetto. Well, we paid the crazy high fee, and drove back to the RAVE to pick up our friends. The drive home was fun, we were all tired, and acting like crazy people. Laughing, singing, and talking about the evening. Once we were back home our friends spent a little more time with us drinking hot cocoa and playing Apples to Apples at our house. At about 1 am everyone decided it was time to leave and go to bed. It was a crazy night, but it was wonderful. Justin and I haven't had that much fun a long time. God is good.

A Night with the Girls

For those of you who don't know, last Friday I spent my entire evening talking to a group of high school girls about the importance of purity. I mentioned something about this in a previous post, click here to see it.

Anyway, I think the night went well. It started off with eating dinner, and fellowship. There was a ton of food, and the girls were so welcoming.
Everyone getting food.

I brought chocolate chocolate chip cake.

The few of the young women.
After dinner, we all shared prayer requests and prayed. Then it was my time to speak. I shared my testimony, and then had a few things I wanted to share about sex, modesty, and purity. I will post my notes here below.

When I was done speaking, the girls talked and asked questions about the topics I brought up. After a few hours, parents started to come and pick up the girls. It was an amazing night full of food, fellowship, love, God, and good girl talk! I loved being in a room with so many young women! I love being married, but I do not get enough good girl time! I think I got my fix for a while now. ;)
Marshi, the Bible study's leader, and me.

If you would like to hear my testimony, I would LOVE to tell you! Just leave me a comment, or give me a call.


"Notes for Purity Talk
v  I’ve been told that I can be completely transparent with you women, so I’m not going to hold anything back. I will be honest and upfront with you, so if you have any questions, at anytime, just let me know. I’ll answer them.
v  Read Testimony.
v  I’d like to talk with you about a few topics: sex, modesty, and purity.
v  I’m sure you all know that having sex outside of marriage is a sin, and not part of God’s plan. But do you know why?
Ø  First off, our world has turned sex into a dirty thing… it’s not! Sex was God’s idea, He created it! Genesis 2:18-25 “24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.” They were walking around the garden naked for goodness sake!
Ø  Another lie in society is that sex is purely physical. That you could have sex with tons of people and there are no consequences. Sex is far more than physical: It’s to make babies, for fun, for celebration, and glorification. (Does sex outside marriage glorify God?) Sex is incredibly emotional too, especially for women. Sex outside marriage creates emotional (and possibly physical) baggage that is taken into marriage. Marriage is already tough enough without extra baggage.
Ø  I hear this questions all the time, “If you never kissed him how did you know if he was a good kisser or not! I also hear, “I need to have sex with my boyfriend, how else will I find out if he’s good at sex or not?” My husband is the only man I have ever kissed or had sex with, I have nothing to compare him to; therefore, he is the best kisser and other things in the world! I think that’s part of God’s plan for sex. If you don’t have sex outside of marriage, the sex you have when you are married will be wonderful because you have nothing to compare it to!
Ø  The Bible’s Hebrew word for sex is “yada.” Yada means “known, recognized, understood, and respected.” It’s used in reference to a man and wife having sex and in reference to a person being in deep fellowship with God. It’s something to think about…
Ø  Any questions about sex?
v  Modesty… if you are anything like me, I was sick and tired of hearing about the importance of modesty…. As a result, I’ll keep this short, but the thing is, it is important. Maybe not as much for us women, but definitely for the guys out there!
Ø  Letter to Girls from the Boys of Superchic[k]
Ø  Letter from Justin
Ø   “I also want the women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, adorning themselves, not with elaborate hairstyles or gold or pearls or expensive clothes.” --1 Timothy 2:9
Ø  Mrs. March talking to Meg about being more than just a pretty face.
Ø  Any questions about modesty?
v  When it comes to purity, the most common question is “How far is too far?” But a better question to ask is “How can I honor God with my relationship?”
Ø  A great way to honor God is to follow these few steps, I followed them, and thought they may be difficult, they will pay off in the end:
§  Give your physical life to God.
·         2 Timothy 2:22 “Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”
§  Establish your boundaries BEFORE you start dating! If you’re already dating, it’s not too late to establish boundaries.
·         Boundary/TLW Pass out flyer and do it!
§  Tell your boyfriend/date upfront where you draw the line.
·          It’s awkward, but essential. When Justin found out about my promise, he helped me keep it. When I was weak, he would be strong and say we shouldn’t kiss. If your guy isn’t willing to be supportive, move on. It’s tough, but YOU ARE WORTH IT! It may also seem like there aren’t any good guys out there, but trust me, they are. God may still be preparing him for you.
§  Get accountability.
·         This was important for Justin and I. If we weren’t accountable to someone, it was a lot easier to give in and do things we shouldn’t. Meet up with a mentor, or your mom, or even another Christian girlfriend once a month and let her know what is going on in your relationship.
§  Last, pray about your relationship!
·         God is the best listener, and he always has the best plan for you. Justin and I would pray together about our relationship. We would also do a weekly devotional. This was incredible for our relationship. (Intent to marry?)
Ø  Purity is more than just not having sex before marriage. It is about keeping our minds and hearts pure too.
Ø  “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” –Romans 12:1-2
Ø  Any questions about purity?
v  My youth pastor once told me, “We’re all preachers; and our influence, our reputation, will be more powerful to our non-believing friends that almost every sermon they will ever hear in a church building.” I didn’t really take this to heart until a couple months ago when I got this Facebook message out of the blue.
Ø  Read Josiah’s note.
Any Questions?"

Friday, December 10, 2010

85 Calorie Gingerbread Cookie

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda 
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 ½  teaspoons salt
¾  sticks unsalted butter
½ cup packed dark-brown sugar
1 large egg
¾  cup unsulfured molasses

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; set aside. Beat butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy; beat in egg and molasses. Add flour mixture; mix just until combined. Divide dough in half; flatten into disks. Wrap each in plastic, and refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out to 1/8 inch thick, dusting lightly with flour as needed. Cut out shapes with cookie cutters, and brush off any excess flour. Transfer to baking sheets. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Cool.
P.S. Thanks go to Martha Stewart for the recipe!

Christmas Cookie Marathon...

Last weekend Justin and I spent the WHOLE WEEKEND (minus time for Church) baking Christmas cookies. We tried one recipe for sugar cookies three times before we got a batch that were edible. We're not sure why we had so much trouble with them. But we got 'em and they taste great! We also made spritz cookies and on Sunday I made gingerbread people. I also found out that my gingerbread people only have 85 calories including the frosting! So I will be posting that recipe a little later.