New Years Eve!

I have always loved New Years. It's just a super fun day to remember the past 365 days, and plan ahead for the next. I like the horrible concerts on the TV special, and counting down at midnight... It's just a lot of organized chaos, and that's just my style : ) 970

We had the regular crew over, and as you can see, the night was rockin.

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I made my favorite dip trio: Salsa, Guacamole and Cilantro Dip. It was delicious!

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My guacamole is super easy: 4 avocados, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp onion powder, and 1/2 tsp salt. It's so easy and so delicious!

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We also grilled wings: Honey Hot and Lemon Pepper. They were, of course, to die for. That big pot is full of B's homemade BBQ sauce! It was for the New Year's Day meal my mom was cooking up...

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I love our friends so much! We have so much fun together. PS: The girls dominated the Catch Phrase competition.

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Taylor made this awesome cinnamon roll pie and it was delicious! The crust was made of cinnamon rolls, with apple pie filling and topped with streusel... OMG, I wish I had a piece right now!

That sparkling grape juice, doe.

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Our party was super rocking. As you can tell, from this photo of Taylor, cowering in the corner, reading with a booklight. She really knows how to ring in the New Year! #partyanimal

Catching Up: Christmas Mission Trip 2015

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The weeks leading up to Christmas were very busy for me this year! This is the first year I have been working full-time, and on top of that I am in school, so it was definitely an adjustment. I'm used to being able to get everything done during the day while B is at work, then spending time together in the evenings watching Christmas movies, but not this year! So, when Christmas break got here, I really wanted to enjoy it! I packed a lot into these two weeks, but it was all so awesome. I want to catch up on all that I did over these past two weeks, but it will probably take several posts to do so... Here we go!

First up: Christmas Mission Trip : )

Every summer our youth group goes on a Mission Trip to Augusta, Georgia to work at Broad Street Ministry Center. I love this place. I have been every summer, and it has become so very special to me! The past few years we have gone during Christmas, too. We usually work on the Christmas gift donation, but this year they asked us to help with their Christmas meals!

They do so much good work in a part of Augusta that is less-than glamorous. They have a food pantry and a clothing "store". They have Bible studies, Vacation Bible Schools all summer, and church services. They have a dental clinic and provide literacy teaching and computer training. They are a light in a dark place. It is very humbling, but also an honor to work alongside these ladies.

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We took 26 students + 11 adults, which was a bigger group than we usually take! This was awesome for two reasons: 1) How awesome that that many wanted to give up their Christmas break to serve others? 2) We were able to get a lot done at BSMC. They had a list of 20 or so things they wanted us to do, but said there was "no way" we would get it all done... Little did they know, that set a fire under all of us, especially our youth minster Taylor Tom, to get make sure we got it all done! I was so proud of them.

 

The kids also had to clean various parts of the building, organize clothing donations, decorate a bulletin board, wash and clean out the ministry center's van and other various tasks. They did it all, and with smiles on their faces. It was so encouraging and I was so proud of them!

 

 

Our main job was to get Christmas dinners packed up and ready for donating. We had to organize the donations, set up our assembly line and then pack the bags up. We packed over 80 bags!

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I'm so proud of our students, and I'm so thankful for the opportunity to have served at Broad Street yet again! This has already gotten me excited for the summer mission trip : )

Catching Up: Thanksgiving 2015

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Oh, a couple of weeks off of work... A week to do whatever I wanted... A week without standardized testing or lunchroom lines or telling 20 5-year olds to be quiet, keep their hands to themselves, follow directions... Ahhhh. It's going by too fast : ) I decided it was time to stop laying around and actually do some catching up on my blog! So, here goes... Thanksgiving 2015.

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The food was obviously the best part.

All our favorites were there! My mom basically did everything herself. She is my hero!

 

We had all the classics... Turkey, dressing, creamed corn, cranberry sauce, pasta salad, broccoli salad, and so much more! I was stuffed.

I didn't get any pictures, but after my family's lunch, we headed over to B's grandparents for his side of the family's Thanksgiving! I have never had to eat two Thanksgiving meals in one day, so I will definitely know how to better pace myself next time. Ha!

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2015 has been a year full of change... some good, some bad. But, through it all, I have a lot to be thankful for. My husband, our home, my new job... Our family, our friends, our church... God has blessed us beyond measure, and at the end of the day, there is really not much left to complain about.

To quote a very wise and wonderful man:

"My cup runneth over, and I will continue to fill it..."

My Garden: The Beginning

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I love gardening. Ever since I can remember, my Dad always planted tomatoes, cucumbers and other veggies. A few years ago, I was able to have my own garden and I loved it! But since we got married and moved into our own house, we haven't had time or really been able to make a plan... This year, I was determined!

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First, my sweet man built me a raised bed so we didn't have to plow up the yard. I loved it! It makes it even more special because B built it for me. : )

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I've planted strawberries, squash, zucchini, jalapeno peppers, bell peppers, banana peppers, cilantro, cucumbers, and tomatillos. I took these photos last week and everything has changed so much already! It's raining today, so I'll try to take some updated pictures tomorrow.

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Spring time has been good for my heart and soul. I love the fresh air, the warm sunshine and the new beginnings! Maxx loves it too : )