Friday, May 20, 2016

Grilled Cheese Egg Sandwich

 You really can't go wrong with an egg sandwich in the mornings before you start your day. And this grilled cheese egg sandwich is Michael's favorite and the most requested.

Lucky for me, it's fairly easy to make.


Butter or margarine
2 slices of bread (whatever kind of bread you like or have on hand)
2 eggs
1-2 sliced of cheese (I used American but have used sliced of cheddar or mozzarella)
sliced ham
salt and pepper to taste

Heat a pan over medium high heat and melt some butter. While the butter is melting beat eggs with salt and pepper and butter one side of each slice of bread.

Once the butter melted add eggs to the pan and cook using a rubber spatula to fold eggs while cooking.

When eggs are nearly cooked add one slice of bread, butter side down to the pan.

Add cheese and meat on top of the bread. When the cheese begins to melt move eggs to bread slice.

Add second slice of bread to pan, butter side down.

Put the sides together and continue to grill until golden brown.

Move to a plate, slice in half and enjoy!

Do you have a favorite breakfast?

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

That Feeling of Home

It's been over a year since my whole life changed. And there are moments when the pain still brings tears to my eyes and an ache in my soul.

I miss a lot of things that used to bring me joy.

I miss the church that I practically grew up in. I miss people that I spent well over a decade getting to know.

I miss being in ministry. I miss leading and teaching. I miss being apart of a team that worked to teach Jesus to kids in fun, creative and great ways.

I see how much I took it for granted. When I had to walk away because of all the painful things I lost all the joyful parts that went with it.

Because I can't see any of it the same anymore. My memories have been tainted. And I just want to scream "It's not fair!". But really that won't do any good.

Because that church was more than a building for me. It was where I was introduced to Jesus. It was where I found confidence in teaching. It is where I met Michael. It's where I fell in love with him. It's where I got married. It's where I sang and laughed and cried. It's where I taught and learned. It's where I brought my babies for their first outing. It's where I watched them grow as they learned about God. It's where I met people that I thought I would have friendships with to last a lifetime.

It was home.

And sometimes when I was younger it was the only place I had that felt like home.

And now it's not the same. I can't go there anymore and find the peace and safety that it once held. It is not home.

And it's the same with those I knew there. Oh, how I miss them! But they are not home. 

When Michael left, they stood together with me in my pain and hardship. They helped me by giving support and helping with my home. And to have that was amazing.

But it quickly faded. Because, life goes on, even when yours feels like it's in a standstill.

Now, I can't even drive by it without feeling the sadness and the longing for what it once held for me. I don't feel like I could call those who are within those walls. I can't walk in the doors because I know that it would just break me down.

But all is not lost. Because I am still walking with God, my marriage is restored and my family is okay.

I know that it's okay to miss what I once had. 

But I have to learn not to dwell on it. If I spend too much time living in what my life used to be I will never see what it could become and I would missing out on what it is right now.

And right now, it's about working on how to make the best of what I do have and where I am and to keep moving forward. To continue in healing and forgiveness. To grow stronger and learn again who I am. I'm working on being the best wife and mom I can be. And learning to trust again. And hopefully, finding my way back to knowing that feeling of home.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Bible Journaling: 1 Peter 5:7

This is a verse that I have to remind myself about a lot.

Because I am someone who holds on to everything. I carry it with me wherever I go. All those things that make me feel, especially the negative ones. Especially the ones that give me anxiety and bring me fear. I carry those ones. They are the hardest to let go of.

But then we have this letter from Peter. He is giving instructions on how to live. with caring for others and learning to submit to God and to others.

In 1 Peter 5:7 he states "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you."

It's a simple statement and reminder of God's love. He is a God that should be feared and respected. He could knock out the entirety of civilization with just one thought but instead He gave his son for my sins. And even on top of that he is willing to bear my burdens because he cares.

In his love he wants to free me of fear, and worry and the thoughts that ring through my mind that say that "I am not enough" and "I can't be loved".

He has proven over and over again that I am loved by him. God's actions have done nothing but show his love for those who are his. So I know that I can trust him with my fear. I can share it with him and he will still love me when the words are out. And then I don't have to hold on to it anymore because he is carrying it for me.

I'm going to leave you with a song.

It's one that I've been hearing a lot lately and I thinks it's beautiful. The video is long but I think this song is worth the listen.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Mother's Day Signs

What is the best present to give your mom on Mother's Day?

Pictures of her grandchildren, of course!

This year for I wanted to make my mom and my mother in law some an awesome wooden sign that would include pictures of all the grandkids.

And they are pretty lucky ladies having so many of them. One has seven grandchildren and the other has eight.

But I wanted to to give it a twist.  It would be easy to make the signs with current pictures with kids ranging from new to 13 years old, but it would quickly become dated as the kids grew older, requiring the need to update the pictures regularly. So instead I opted to specifically use only baby pictures and label the signs "grandbabies".

And here are the results:

I had a ton of fun painting the wood and the words, and editing the pictures that were used. Michael even helped cutting and sanding the wood, adding nails and hangers to the backs.

What I love is that this sign is sturdy enough to sit on a shelf, like you see in the picture or can be hung on a wall since we added picture hangers to the back.

I think they turned out fabulous!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Bible Journaling: Leviticus 6:13

I've been really enjoying my time Bible Journaling. It gives me time to focus on a specific verses and a way to creatively and actively meditate on God's Word.

This verse is from Leviticus 6:13 which says: "The Fire must be kept burning on the alter continuously; it must not go out."

In this verse, God is giving Moses instructions to give to the Israelites about the alter. It talks about the literal fire that is always burning where offerings are given. Each day the priest is to clear the ashes from the day before and add wood and keep the flame burning. It needs to be consistently renewed.

And I believe that this is true for our spiritual fire. It must be kept burning. There must be a daily connection to God to keep the fire going. A daily renewal. Just like the physical fire in the temple.

For me this means reading my Bible everyday. And talking to God. Some days have long conversations and other days it's just a quick check in. But there is always something to bring him in. I also will spend time, usually weekly, working on some kind of Bible journaling. And we also do some kind of weekly Bible study with the kids.

I want to do my best to feed the flame of my spirit. I never want it to go out.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

DIY Bunkbed

We have needed a new bed for our girls for months. They share a room and Sidda has been sleeping on a day bed and Anya on a toddler bed. But the toddler bed just wasn't cutting it anymore. Anya was just getting too big and wasn't having a good night sleep any night... ever.

But we couldn't just get a new twin bed. The room would be stuffed if we second bed was added. So the search was on to find a bunk bed for the girls.

But here's the problem. Good quality sturdy bunk beds are completely out of our price range. And we had no desire to get a cheap one that would fall apart in a matter of months.

So, Michael decided it he wanted to take this on and build a bunk bed for a reasonable price that would last and be sturdy.

I'll let him explain the rest.

This was a big deal for me. My other woodworking endeavors include: a planter... which is still standing and functioning though. I  looked online for different plans and other DIY sites, but these guys had thousands of dollars of tools at their disposal. So I pulled out a pencil and paper and started drawing and doing some arithmetic.

My main concern in this whole project was not having a pancake for an Anya. I wanted to be sure the top bunk didn't fall and there was no wobble factor whatsoever. I kept thinking of for a bed on top of another, but couldn't get comfortable with the support. I finally had an aha moment while at work and came down and drew up plans. I looked at the Lowes website to figure out cost and measurements and the time to get the wood was ready.

As follows is the step by step I went through and some thoughts:

Starting at the top I measured the twin mattress in Sidda's bed. I wanted to make sure I didn't build and entire bunk bed only to have the mattress not fit. I went with 76" x 36" It left, in theory, about an inch and a half of wiggle room for sheets.

Next picture straight down is deciding that the entire bed would be supported by 4 4x4 post. This was in my wheelhouse, because it's how I made the raised planter. I went with 2x6's for the frames for each mattress so the mattress wouldn't pop over too much. I also liked a nice sturdy piece of would that would serve as the main framework for the bed. No wobbly here folks. The 4 post would go on the outside with the 2x6x76's attached directly to the board. A 1x2x76 would attach to each of those to hold the slates that hold the mattress up.

Picture to the right is the bread and butter of the support for the top bunk. It's the difference between just hoping screws would hold up the bed and using gravity to my advantage. It'll make sense in a second. So the 2 6's in the picture are the bed frame. Those are attached to the post. Well directly below and above each frame are 2x4's that atttch to the post. SO the top bunk is not only attached to the post via screws. It was a dedicated 2x4 system holding it up as well using gravity to furthur secure it into place. Even if the screws fail from the frame to the post it has another system holding it. Genius? I don't know maybe...

The picture down from the frame and to its' right is the spacing for the slates. And the final picture below is some math to help me cute out my genius support system.

These two pages are the math. I calculated what size wood I would be purchasing, what cuts I would make from that wood, I boxed the working cuts and how much would be left over, which were starred as extra. This gave me my shopping list for lumber. I'm not going to comment much more. The handwriting is illegible for the most part but it makes sense to me. 

Now was time for the shopping.

And you'll see some of that wood is being held up by a sweet mobile table that I could not have done this project without. Now time for the cutting. Unfortunately, I only had a circular saw. A miter saw would be an infinite times amount better. Next time I need to cut wood I'll need to save up for a miter first. Here is it cut:

That took quite a while but the Behemoth of a task was yet to come: Sanding. I had a power sander and went through about 30 sheets of sandpaper through out maybe 5 hours of work over a couple of days but how glorious the wood looked and felt:

Next was time to stain and then seal the wood. We, because Jessica helped(she's gorgeous by the way), we stained three sides of the wood. Flipped it a couple of hours later and stained the other side. We waited a few days then sealed three sides, then a couple hours later sealed the 4th: 
see, beautiful

Now the moment of truth had arrived. I really had to build this things. No instruction sheets, no manual, no wizened old sage to direct my motions. It was me, my drill and my clamps. I built the the sides first:

Man it took so long just to build one side now I had to do it all over again. But it was strong and level and looked pretty good. Here's a side view of the rails that will hold the slates: 

You can also see above and below the 2x6 my genius 2x4 supports doing their job. Everything was screwed on to each other. No nails, no glue.

I kinda decided on the fly that I would attach the slates to each frame first to make absolutely sure the mattress would fit. It wasn't meant to support the frame, just make sure that everything was going to fit. And it did:

Everything looked great, plenty, but not to much room for the mattress so now it was time for the side rails and ladder.

The side rails and ladder would be built into the frame. It all held the bed together and was firm and looked nice. The final screw going in:

Just add two mattresses and some sheets and some super excited kids:

It doesn't wobble or sway, so possibly not earthquake resistant... but Sidda gets up no problem, only one hit to the head from the fan, and Anya uses a little stool to pop in her bed. She stays in bed all night, praise the Lord!

Jessica and I walk by and she makes me feel proud and I feel proud for providing something my family needed with my two hands. I've already promised MJ a loft bed and now the project list is getting big. Thank you God for allowing me this family and this time.

And there you have it!

Michael did an awesome job and the kids have been sleeping on it for the past week and there is no squished baby, no falling off issues, just full nights of great sleep.

And it here is a picture of Michael with the bed he made!