Archive for November 2013

Happy Thanksgiving! [Day 28]

No Comments »

Today is the first Thanksgiving I have ever missed. It is a day of thanks, but I don't feel thankful at this very moment. I am a bit sad. I love my family, and while I am totally happy living in the UK, I can't help but wish I was with my family today.

It is said, "When you feel the lack, give thanks." It's hard to feel sad about what you lack when you focus on how much you actually have. So here goes. Day 28—a list.
  • Jesus dying on the cross for my sins and giving me a hope of eternal life in heaven
  • The best husband in the whole world
  • A home—a comfy one at that! With plenty of nice things!
  • Food to eat—I've never had to go to bed hungry
  • Snacks in excess—when I finish something, I can just open another!
  • Clean water
  • Hot water to shower with
  • Warm clothes
  • My iPhone!
  • Netflix and plenty of DVDs—a constant source of entertainment
  • Religious freedom
  • My ability to read
  • The Bible in my language
  • Friends—both in England and America!
  • Technology—allowing me to talk to my friends and family in America at the click of a button!
  • Chocolate
  • My supply of Cheetos—gonna restock soon!
  • Coffee
  • Books & my kindle
I can go on forever. Buuuuut, I'll stop now! Happy Thanksgiving, folks!

Also, it's an American tradition for the president to pardon a turkey every Thanksgiving of my favorite traditions! Enjoy this video from yesterday!

Two Years Ago [Day 27]

No Comments »

Two years ago, my life forever changed. My crush asked me to be his girlfriend. It is said that absence makes the heart grow fonder. Today, 731 days later, we are no longer in a long distance relationship. We are no longer on two separate continents. We are man and wife, roommates, best friends, slumber party buddies for life and I couldn't be more overjoyed! I love my Craig more than I ever knew I was able to love.

Thank You, Lord, for giving me so much more than what I dreamed for! Thank You for my Craig. 


No Comments »

Everyone got my hopes up. November was supposed to be super cold and stormy. There was supposed to be more than the usual amount of snow for this time of year. But has it snowed yet? No. Has it been stormy? No.

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas. Too bad I'm going to be in California for Christmas. At least I can have a white weekend-before-Christmas. I can only hope and dream.

God, please make it snow!

Everything Blog...

No Comments »

I can spend hours just in this folder of my phone. Ah smartphones.

30 Days of Thanks - Day 20

1 Comment »

Today, I am thankful for the internet.

I mean, think about it. Can you even imagine your life without the internet?! Crazy to think that I have lived through its invention.

Thank You, Lord, once again for technology! I can't imagine what life would be like without it! Thank You for the ability to communicate with my friends and family back in the States at the click of a button!

Recipe: Homemade Pumpkin Pie

No Comments »

Homemade Pumpkin Pie
Makes 2 traditional sized pies

• 2 cups pumpkin purée
• 3/4 cup brown sugar (increase to 1 cup if you like your pie sweeter)
• 3 large eggs
• 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
• 1/2 tsp ground ginger
• 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or 1/4 tsp ground cloves if you don't have any pumpkin pie spice on hand)
• 1 1/2 cups unsweetened soy, almond or rice milk (I prefer soy!)

1. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl, and mix thoroughly.
2. Pour mixture into pie crusts.
3. Bake at 425 degrees F. for 15 minutes.
4. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F. and bake for 45 additional minutes.

30 Days of Thanks - Day 17


Shallow Day!

Today, I am thankful for pumpkin! Truly!

Thank You, Lord, for making such a wonderful vegetable!

Pumpkin is a vegetable, right?

30 Days of Thanks - Day 15

No Comments »

Today I am thankful for a country that doesn't understand the concept of traffic. I DO NOT miss SoCal traffic. Traffic here barely even delays you. When an English person complains of traffic, I can't help but laugh—laugh at the irony that they have lost mere seconds of their lives while I calculated a loss of over a month of my 2012. 

Thank You, Jesus for no traffic!!

Recipe: Homemade Pumpkin Butter

No Comments »

I thought living in a country that lacked Target was bad...and then I realized I lacked more than Target...Trader Joe's is lacking too! What a catastrophe!

No more seasonal yummies right at my fingertips. And then Pinterest happened. 

Enter about 20 different pumpkin butter recipes. After a lot of research and a bit of experimenting, I have come up with my own amaaaazing pumpkin butter recipe! It's so good on top of a crumpet, english muffin, or a piece of toast. In fact, I like it so much I'm tempted to eat it straight from the jar with a spoon. Shhh, don't tell my dentist. 

Pumpkin Butter
Yields: Approximately 1 cup

• 1/4 cup brown sugar
• 1/4 cup water (or apple juice!)
• 1/2 teaspoon allspice
• 1/4 teaspoon ginger
• 1/4 teaspoon clove
• 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
• 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1 1/2 cups pumpkin purée

1. Combine everything in a medium saucepan over medium-low, stirring occasionally.
2. Once mixture begins to bubble, lower heat and allow to simmer.
3. Check roughly every 10 minutes and stir so the mixture along the edges of the saucepan doesn't burn.
4. When mixture becomes thick (so it doesn't slip off of a spoon—roughly 40-50 minutes), remove from heat.
5. Allow to cool, then enjoy!
6. Store in a glass jar inside the fridge.

Giving to the Lord

No Comments »

Giving to the Lord has always been a strong conviction of mine. God has blessed me so abundantly, so giving should be a natural response of worship. But how can you give when what you are giving already rightfully belongs to the Lord?

Growing up, I experienced this phenomenon many times with my parents. As Mother's Day would draw closer, as a young girl, I would go ask my mom for some money in order to buy her a gift. Now, as a housewife, I'm experiencing it once again. My husband's hard-earned money will be used to purchase him a Christmas gift. This is something I am having a hard time rectifying in my mind. I guess it is something I will always struggle with.

There is one thing I know for sure. While I do feel silly giving gifts with money I haven't personally earned, it isn't as silly as trying to give to the Lord. Nothing I give to the Lord belongs to me. The firstfruits of my harvest —of my income— are already the Lord's. Leviticus 27:26 says, "But a firstborn of animals, which as a firstborn belongs to the Lord,* no man may dedicate; whether ox or sheep, it is the Lord's."

Pastor Chuck puts it this way in The Word for Today Study Bible: "There were certain things that you could not offer to God, because they belong to Him in the first place. If you said, 'Lord, I give You this firstborn lamb of mine,' or 'I give You my firstborn son' —no, those already belong to the Lord. The same with tithes. Those are His. If you use them, you're taking that which belongs to God."

Chew on that.

*Emphasis on Scripture is mine.

Blog - A Haiku

No Comments »

Editing my blog
It gets very exhausting
I hope I am done

30 Days of Thanks - Day 13


I've been so busy cooking and baking these past several days. (That's why I keep missing random days of thanks—yes, I'm aware that's a poor excuse.) To be more efficient, I decided I'd start using a meal planner. It definitely helps, but since I am saving time, I find myself being more elaborate with meals and spending all the time I saved! Ha! Oh well. Here's to true domestication!

In light of all the things I have been cooking and baking lately, I am thankful for the opportunity.

I am thankful that God provides and that my husband and I can live off of one income. I enjoy being home. I enjoy cooking and baking. I enjoy doing "boring" housework. I absolutely love being a housewife!

Thank You, Lord, for Your constant provision. Thank You for making it possible for me to stay home. Please be with Craig as he works and give him strength and energy to get through each day. And please bless him for his labor. In Jesus's name, amen!

Recipe: Homemade Baguettes

No Comments »

Homemade Baguettes
Yields: Two roughly 9-inch baguettes

  • One (1/4-ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water (110 degrees)
  • 2 tsp sugar 
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil, plus more for the bowl 
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more if needed
  • 1 tsp salt 
  • Cornmeal, for the baking sheet
  1. In a medium bowl combine the yeast, water, sugar and oil. Stir well and then allow to sit until frothy, about 5 minutes. 
  2. Slowly add in the flour and salt and mix until the dough starts to come together. Begin mixing more quickly and continue to mix until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. 
  3. Coat a large bowl with a little oil; place the dough in the greased bowl and turn to coat the dough. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot until the dough doubles in size, about 2 hours. 
  4. Gently deflate the dough with your fist and divide into two equal portions. Place both portions on a floured surface. Pat each portion into a large rectangle, about ¾-inch thick. Roll up the dough tightly to form a loaf. Pinch the edges of the dough and tuck into the roll to seal the ends. Gently roll the dough back and forth to slightly taper the ends. 
  5. Place both loaves on a large baking sheet lightly sprinkled with some cornmeal. Using a sharp knife, cut ¼-inch-deep slashes across the loaves at 2-inch intervals. Let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour. 
  6. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Brush the loaves with some cold water and bake until the bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped, about 30 minutes. Remove the bread from the oven and allow to cool.

Recipe: Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

No Comments »

I have a reputation for altering recipes. I find the recipes online, change them up to my liking, and then when I go to make the item again, I've forgotten what changes I made the time before. It's quite a frustrating cycle. I decided that I don't want to deal with this problem any longer. My solution? Repost my altered recipes on my own blog! 
Here's my first one! I love all things pumpkin so I decided to add pumpkin to an all-time favorite! Lo and behold, someone had already done it! Below, you'll find my altered recipe for pumpkin oatmeal cookies!

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies
Yields: Approximately 20 cookies

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour 
  • ½ tsp baking soda 
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt 
  • ½ tsp cinnamon 
  • 2 Tbsp butter (room temp.) 
  • ½ cup pumpkin purée 
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar 
  • ⅓ cup white sugar 
  • 1 large egg 
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract 
  • 1½ cup rolled oats 
  • ⅓ cup dried cranberries or nuts (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon until very well combined.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together the butter (room temperature), pumpkin, brown sugar, and white sugar on low speed. Once they’re well combined, add the egg and vanilla and beat until well combined again.
  3. Add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and beat on low speed just until a thick, creamy batter forms. Add the dry oats and the optional dried cranberries or nuts and stir them into the batter with a spoon.
  4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spoon the batter onto the baking sheet in 2 Tbsp portions, leaving about 1.5 inches between each cookie. The cookies will not spread much during baking, so gently pat them down into flattened circles.
  5. Bake the cookies in the preheated oven for 16-18 minutes, or until slightly browned on the surface. Allow the cookies to cool on a wire rack before eating.
  6. Store in an airtight container. 

30 Days of Thanks - Day 11

No Comments »

I missed day 10. We got home at almost midnight last night; that's my excuse. After church, we went over to the house of some friends of ours from church. When we got back home afterwards, we came to the realization that we had seen them three days in a row. I love my church family!

Today, I am thankful for my church. I am so blessed to go to a church that teaches the Bible. I am so blessed to go to a church where I feel at home. I am so blessed to go to a church where I've made great friends that I enjoy fellowshipping with.

Thank You, Lord, for my church. Thank You for the people in it and thank You for allowing me to live in a country where we can study the Bible freely.

30 Days of Thanks - Day 9

No Comments »

Today I am thankful for my bed and for the roof over my head.

Yesterday, my husband and some of our friends stayed late at church recording music and working on some music videos. I was with them as well. We were there until about 4:00 a.m. so I pulled several chairs together and made myself a bed and slept while they worked. I kept waking up because I was cold and because the edges of the chair were jamming into my sides. It wasn't the most comfortable sleeping arrangement. When we got home afterwards, my bed felt heavenly to me. It was such a sweet relief! It made me realize, once again, how blessed I am. I have a nice, warm home and a comfy bed. There are people all over the world who don't have homes or places to sleep.

Thank You, Lord, for always providing. Thanks for blessing me with a bed and a home. Please help me to be appreciative and not complain and help me to be continually thankful that I am better off than many. Amen.

30 Days of Thanks - Day 8

No Comments »

I'm allowed to be superficial occasionally, right?

Today, I am thankful for fleece-lined leggings. Need I say more?

Lord, thank You for blessing me with way more clothes than I actually need. I know I don't deserve it and I am truly thankful!

30 Days of Thanks - Day 7


Today I am thankful for my husband, my very best friend.

God blessed me with more than I asked for. He's so handsome—I just can't stop looking at him!! :) He's loves Jesus and I know he loves me too. He's a hard worker and he does his best to provide for us! And he's the perfect leader; he takes responsibility but does it with humility. Today, I witnessed that humility in action. 

Our church has a few home bible study groups. My husband is a leader of one of them, although it isn't at our house. Before we went to our bible study, we received a phone call that the people whose house it's at wouldn't be home in time. Our options? Have it at our house or go to another bible study. Even though he had already prepared to lead, Craig decided we could just join another group for the evening. He didn't complain that he had prepared for nothing. Not one negative thing came out of his mouth. I was really impressed how he made a decision so calmly and humbly. I am so blessed to have this man as my husband. His humility makes him easy to follow. 

This is just one example. You'd be tired of reading if I made an exhaustive list. 

Lord, thank You SOOO much for blessing me with such a wonderful husband. Please help me to be as wonderful of a wife to him as the husband he's been to me. I ask that You would continue to be the glue in our marriage and draw us closer to You as You draw us closer together. In Your name, Amen.

30 Days of Thanks - Day 6

No Comments »

Today, I am thankful for clean water.

We take it for granted all the time. It's as if God owes it to us. But He doesn't. In fact, there are many many people around the world who don't have easy access to clean water. People die every day because of the lack of it.

Thank You, Lord, for allowing me to live in privileged countries that have clean water. Please help me to not take it for granted and cause me to be reminded to pray for my fellow believers around the world who have to live with the lack. 

If you feel so inclined, check out to find out more information about countries lacking clean water and what you can do to help.

30 Days of Thanks - Day 5

No Comments »

Today, I am thankful for the English language.

Why?—might you ask. Several months ago, at Missions Day at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, there was a pastor from the Calvary Chapel in Luxembourg. He spoke a lot about their country and how modernized it is and how clean it is, and after a few minutes I found myself wanting to be there. But before he finished and walked off the stage, he mentioned something that left me completely dumbfounded. The people of Luxembourg still do not have a Bible translation in their own language. This isn't a third world country in the middle of nowhere. This is a wealthy, modernized country, yet they still don't have a Bible! This pastor, along with some friends of his, is working on translating the Bible into Luxembourgish.

Lord, please help me not to take the Bible for granted. Help me to cherish it constantly. And please be with the men who are working on the Bible translation. Shower them with strength and diligence each and every day. Amen.

Day 4

1 Comment »

Today, I am thankful for good health.

These past several weeks, I've been a bit of a complainer. The cold wind has caused my lips to be really chapped and crack....It hurts to open my mouth when I eat. And on top of that, I've had some pretty painful toothaches. After fighting the pain of opening my mouth, the right side of my mouth hurts because of temperature sensitivity and the left side hurts because of a probably cavity. Eating seems like such a chore the days! And naturally, since I love eating, I've been in a complaining mood.

Now that I've vented, I will explain my reason for my thanks. Verbalizing my "health problems," I realize how minor they truly are. I wake up each morning with no major concerns. I know God holds my life in His hands and I am so thankful that He chooses to give me the breath of life each morning. He doesn't have to keep me healthy. He doesn't even have to keep me alive. Oh the riches of His grace!

" that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God."
Ephesians 2:7-8

Thank You, Lord, for waking me up each morning. Thank You for my life, and thank You also for my health. Please help me to live my life in a constant state of worship to You. Amen.

Day 3

No Comments »

Clearly I'm blessed. I missed days 1 and 2 because of that. Too busy to get on a computer—having too much fun to even want to get on a computer.

Today, I am thankful for the loving people around me—my husband, his family, my church family and friends. When life is full of love, social networking feels more like a distraction than anything positive. (Oh the irony! Blogging isn't considered social networking, is it?) Many people feel homesick when they move far away....I moved to a completely different continent and I still feel at home. Though I miss my friends and family back in California, I couldn't be more thankful for the family I've been grafted into here and for the friends I've made along the way.

Thank You, Lord, for placing so many loving people into my life. Please help me to spread that love to those I meet from here on out so that they can see You through me! In Jesus' name, Amen.