Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Our 2nd Wedding Anniversary!

I am back to the blog!  I will take the next several days to recap my mom and stepdad's visit.  They were here for about 10 days and we did lots of traveling around and seeing/doing things, so I wasn't on the computer much!  I got caught up blog reading today and in the next few days, I will get caught up on posts!  

But first I wanted to wish my husband a happy 2nd anniversary!!  Our actual anniversary was Sunday, May 29th.  We woke up early to take my parents to the airport in downtown Phoenix.  We didn't have much of anything planned for the day because we had originally planned to make a quick weekend trip to San Diego this coming weekend.  Then we realized we have a very important Kenya meeting on Sunday afternoon where we will have to pay the balance of our trip, so we could not miss it.  We did not want to rush back from San Diego on Sunday, so we decided to forego the weekend trip and go another time.  We will most likely go later in the summer, after our trip to Kenya.  It is nice that San Diego is only 5-6 hours away, but we need a little more than 36 hours to see and do things!  It will be fun to see the west coast beach!

Anyway, back to our anniversary!  We went to a friend's house for a cookout.  There were several couples from our small group there.  It was a lot of fun.  The weather was nice...around 90 but it didn't feel super hot.  When we left, we did some shopping and came home to grill steaks.  We ended the night with our favorite froyo place, Swirl It!  It was yummy!

Here are a handful of photos from our wedding day.  It was hard to just pick a few.  I think I narrowed it down to about twenty! lol!  Enjoy!!


Here's me, standing in dirty mulch..hahaha




And my handsome man!








The first few moments after the ceremony!


Heading out to take photos at St. James in Louisville. 



Yes, we had some mild cake smashing.  I was ok with it! :)





Leaving our reception!  I like this photo because it kind of shows the old stone building.  Our reception was at the Old Medical School Building in Louisville.  I wish I had a full shot of the entire building!




One of my favorite things about our wedding day...leaving on a horse and carriage!



Nathan, you are my rock!  I am blessed to have been chosen to be your wife and you for my husband!  You are the most humble and hardworking person I've ever met.  You are my best friend and soul mate and a great Godly leader!  I love you Vinny!  Happy 2 year anniversary!

(That's what I call him...long story short, I called him vern long ago, then verny, then vin, then vinny.  And it has stuck).


p.s...Let's not talk about picture quality and how dark and grainy they are!  It makes me upset!  I would NOT recommend our photographer.  At least we have a video, too!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Spiritual Gifts Test

Have any of you taken this spiritual gifts test?



It's a questionnaire designed to help you determine your spiritual gift.  Every Christian has at least one, sometimes several, but no one has every gift at one time.

I thought it was interesting...it gives you your score in each area: Administration, Discernment, Evangelism, Exhortation, Faith, Giving, Helps/Ministering, Knowledge, Mercy, Pastor/Teacher, Teaching, and Wisdom.

I was surprised to learn discernment is my number one spiritual gift.  I could probably say I know right from wrong and good from evil fairly well, but I tend to ask a LOT of questions.  That is why I didn't think I would have a high score for discernment.

Faith was my number two with the second highest score and then tied for third was Giving and Administration.

If you decided to take this little test, let me know what you get and what you think about it!!  Hubs and I both took it because we are going to discuss our results at our small group tonight.  Everyone is supposed to take it and report their results tonight.  Should be a fun discussion!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Sneak peak at the landscaping!

I am so excited to finally get our landscaping done!  Very happy to not have a dirt front yard (or back yard for that matter) anymore!!  Just a side note: if you build a house or buy a spec, make sure you factor in the cost of landscape design because it is NOT cheap!!  Shoowee!

Here's a before pic of our cute, tiny front yard.  I'd say our front yard is a bit smaller than what most look like around here, except our neighborhood all has this size.  Not many people have grass in their front yard.  In fact, I think only 3 houses have grass in their front yard in our entire neighborhood.  Back yards are different.  A lot of people have back yards built for entertaining because you can be outside just about year-round.

It's nothing too special...we picked the number of plants and design to please the HOA.  We had them add "mounding" to make the yard contoured instead of just flat.






This is where the tree will go...I am glad they dug that hole because I was not about to dig a hole in AZ dirt!


Dudes unloading some rock and stuff...


Plants arrived.  They all look like puny things now but they are all flowering plants and should grow quite a bit bigger.  I think we got a honeysuckle, an agave, a red bird of paradise, some katie ruellias, and the tree is the state tree- palo verde (desert museum).


If you can see that spaghetti tube running to each plant...that's the drip irrigation system.  You pretty much have to have this for your plants to survive.  It's on a timer to drip for 1 hour at 3am and 3pm.  In the "winter" I think we can change it to drip only once per day.



This was not in our original design, but the company had some extra river rock, so they added in what they call rip rap...yeah, it's to catch all that rain water we get here. ha!  No, I think it's just for looks.


The last few photos are the finished product!  Lots of rock and tiny plants! haha  Hopefully in a few weeks, the plants will bloom and maybe in a few months the tree will look a big bigger.  We put in huge flagstone steppers instead of a walkway made from pavers....saves $$ doing that!





Well, that's it for the front yard!  The back yard is almost done, so I'll wait to post pictures of that until it's complete!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday and a Birthday Shout Out!

Link up with Jamie!



I'm loving that I got to skype with my mom, stepdad, sister, and nephew on Mother's Day!  Look at this sweet little man!  He was being so serious!




And here he is playing with my buddy Riley who I miss sooooooo much!



I'm loving that there's a Shane Co. in Scottsdale!  Shew!  I don't have to mail my rings off to Kentucky!  My friend Teagan and I went up to Scottsdale yesterday so I could drop them off to be sized and rhodium plated.  Yay for shiny rings!


We also stopped at the Camelback resort and spa to get a gift card and had yummy lunch.

It was so pretty there!  I wanted to get in the pool!



I'm loving Sprinkles cupcakes! Teagan introduced me to heaven in cupcake form!  I did not know there was one in Scottsdale.  Apparently it started in Beverly Hills.  I tried the lemon coconut and peanut butter chip and brought home to share with hubby.  They were both amaaaazing!




Edited to add...I'm loving that they finally started our landscaping today!!  It's still dirt, but we have the irrigation put in and the plants in the front!  Should be done by the end of the week! yay!

I'm loving "Stronger" by Hillsong...love it when they play this at our church!


I also want to say happy birthday to my stepdad Simon (I'm pretty sure he reads my blog)!

Happy Birthday!!

Here he is running to get Webster who was probably getting ready to roll in something stinky. lol!

And here's us!


Have a great day!

BBS: Chapter 14

Chapter 14: A Heart That Watches Over the Home
"She watches over the ways of her household." Proverbs 31:27

What meant the most to you from this chapter or offered you the greatest challenge or inspired you deeply? Hmmm, I'd have to say "eliminate idleness."  AKA laziness or time-wasting!  I might just spend a few minutes too long reading blogs every day and even spend my precious minutes with hubby playing gasp words with friends!  eek!  I need to kick procrastination out the door and stick to my to-do list!  I'm a pretty good planner and organizer, but I do love me some blog reading, so I need to find the perfect balance.  Set a timer or something! ha!

Watching and Working--Let's focus on "watching" first.  How was "watching" (from Proverbs 31:27) defined and described?  It says that the woman "watches over the affairs of her household.

What does Psalm 23:3 say about God's watchcare over your "ways" and "paths" or "tracks"? He guides me in the paths of righteousness.

Like the Lord, our Shepherd, a homemaker after God's own heart carefully notices the patterns of her home life, the general comings and goings, the habits and activities of the people at home.  The Hebrew word for "ways" means "literal tracks made by constant use."  They're like the footpath that cuts across a lawn due to repeated use.  Would you say that you are "watching" well over your loved ones and are aware of their "ways"?  Why or why not?  Yep, I think so.  I'm always watching out for my vinny.  In addition, I like keeping track of my fam!  I try to talk to my sibs often, like once per week (more for my sis...hello, free mobile to mobile), and of course my momma and grandparents!

Are there any "ways" developing that you are not pleased with, that don't seem to honor God's standards?  What can and will you do about them?  Hmmm,  I don't think so.  If anything, we could just make better use of our time in the evenings.  But hubs works pretty late and has a 45 min commute, so it doesn't leave a ton of time in the evenings most days.  But we're not doing anything that doesn't honor God, just relaxing from a long day. ha

Watching and Working--Let's look at "working"-Not working outside the home, but inside! 

Proverbs 10:4-Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth.

Proverbs 12:11- He who works his land will have abundant food but he who chases fantasies lacks judgment.

Proverbs 14:23- All hardwork brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.

Proverbs 18:9-One who is slack in his work is brother to one who destroys

Proverbs 20:13- Do not love sleep or you will grow poor, stay awake and you will have food to spare

Proverbs 28:19- He who works his land will have abundant food, but the one who chases fantasies will have his fill of poverty

Proverbs 31:13- She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands

Proverbs 31:27- She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness

Now look at the picture God paints for us in Proverbs 24:30-34.  What is His message?  Do not allow yourself to become idle.

Ecclesiastes 9:10-Whatever your hands find to do, do with all your heart

-Step 1: Understand that this role as helper and guard is God's plan for you.  This is a good palce to consider the word virtuous (Proverbs 31:10).  What were the components of its definition as stated on page 169?  Moral strength and stength of character

How does God's calling to be a "virtuous" woman help you to understand and embrace your God-given role as a helper to those in your home and a guard over your home?  I think God has blessed me with a servant's heart, so I desire to be the helper in the home.  It's nice to do these things because I want to, not just because I should.

-Step 2: Begin watching over your home.  Do you need to spend some time in prayer about this vital step?  Do you need to ask God to help you take this step?  I should always be praying about this.

-Step 3: Eliminate idlenss.  I know we've spent a lot of time on the first half of Proverbs 31:27, but write out the second part again.  "and does not eat the bread of idleness."

Can you think of three real ways you can eliminate idleness today...and in the week (and weeks!) to come?

1.  Get my to-do list done before spending leisure time on the computer
2. Prioritize....get the most important things done first
3. Pray about it

It's funny that this chapter was for today.  I have a million things going on in my brain of things to do and I couldn't think straight of what to do first and I felt like time was going by so fast today and I wasn't getting a lot done (hello, run on sentence!).  One of those things being catching up on these BBS posts.  Funny, because I needed this one today, specifically. :)

BBS: Chapter 13

Chapter 13: A Heart that Makes a  House a Home
"The wise woman builds her house." Proverbs 14:1

 What meant the most to you from this chapter or offered you the greatest challenge or inspired you deeply?
I liked the note, "God gives us the heart, the wisdom, and the words to create a healthy atmosphere."  I am challenged to build a refuge and avoid the negatives!

The Business of Building -- To gain a better understanding of what it means to make a house a home, write out Proverbs 14:1 :: The wise woman builds, But the foolish pulls it down with her hands!

-- Creating the atmosphere. As we start, take the temperature of your own home. Share a few words that describe typical daily life under your roof.
The temperature at our home is a nice 75.  It's not crazy yet.  No kids, no dogs.  We are actually just starting to get "kind of" busy, but I'd say it doesn't even compare to those who have kiddos.  Typical daily life: hubby wakes up early and goes to work around 6am, I run errands, clean, take care of the home (bills, phone calls, organizing, laundry, and keep up with things like birthdays, etc...), sometimes I walk with the girls, cook dinner, hubby gets home around 6-7pm and we eat and relax or take a short walk.  Depending on the day, we may have something to do or somewhere to go in the evening.  See...not too crazy.

Now look up these scriptures and check the ones that you most need to apply in order to build your home into all that you and God want it to be....
  • Proverbs 12:25 :: Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, but a good word makes it glad
  • Proverbs 15:1 :: A soft answer turns away wrath but a harsh word stirs up anger
  • Proverbs 15:13 :: A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance, but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken
  • Proverbs 15:15 :: All the days of the afflicted are evil, but he who is of a merry heart has a continual feast
  • Proverbs 15:18 :: A wrathful man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger allays contention
  • Proverbs 16:24 :: Pleasant words are like honeycomb sweetness to the soul and health to the bones
  • Proverbs 31:26 :: She opens her mouth with wisdom and on her tongue is the law of kindness
These are all great verses to memorize.  I should try to apply Proverbs 15:13 and 18!
--Avoiding the negatives. As we took apart Proverbs 14:1, we noted that there are (at least!) two ways a woman can put her home building at risk. Jot down what comes to your mind in each category ::
1.) Active (wording destruction) -- the book mentions out of control anger
2.) Passive (failing to work) -- "checking out", not showing attention to detail

-- Understand that wisdom builds -- "We've talked about "wisdom" throughout this book, so I thought this would be a good place to insert a working definition of wisdom ::: Wisdom is the ability to use the best means at the best time to accomplish the best ends. It is not merely a matter of information or knowledge, but of skillful and practical application of the truth to the ordinary facets of life.
GOOD...BETTER....BEST

Which area of this definition challenges you most? Or, put another way, do you need more knowledge, more skills, or more careful diligence to applicatoin? Share what you plan to do about any weak areas.
I am good about getting things done if I have a list but I have anxiety that builds up if I have several things to do and I'm trying to think of what needs to be done first and end up wasting a lot of time!  I just need to stay organized and keep my little to-do list and I'm good! ha

Proverbs 31:13 :: She seeks wool and flax and willingly works with her hands
Colossians 3:23 :: And whatever you do, do it heartiliy, as to the Lord and not to men

"Commit your works to the Lord and your thoughts (and plans) will be established" (Proverbs 16:3).
Verses to Memorize -- Proverbs 14:1 :: The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish pulls it down with her hands and Proverbs 31:27 :: She watches over the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness.

Sorry I am late linking up with this chapter!  Last week was super busy, so I'm playing catch up!  Honestly, I don't think I got a lot out of this chapter, but that's ok.  I'm sure a lot of these chapters relate better to different people (Some chapters helped me so much and some are just good as a refresher).  Anyone else feel that way?

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