Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Camera Cleanse

I often take pictures of things with the intention of blogging about them, but end up not doing it, and that leaves me with lots of random pictures on my camera.  So from time to time I'm going to start doing a camera cleanse, where I post all the random pictures taking up space on my memory card and write a short little description for each one.  Hope you enjoy!

Triple peanut at Dave and Scottie's house.

Hiding the dirty dishes before friends came over for dinner.

Happy Valentine's Day to me and Ivy!

Happy Valentine's Day and Happy Birthday to Jillian!  Hers weighed 8 oz, mine was 11oz. Not surprised.

Tiffani and I bought the same knock-off Toms while in China, and just figured it out.

Another busy week, as evidence of the front door shoe pile.

Cleaning Out Candleholders

 Several weeks ago at The Well we used over 100 mason jars with tea-lights in them to decorate the stage.  A few days prior to that I had gone down into the dungeon basement to see what condition the jars were in, since we hadn’t used them in several months.  And unfortunately, they were like I expected to find them – in really bad shape.  They had lots of wax melted down into the bottom of them, soot from the flames had built up on the inside, and many had mouse droppings in them (eww!).  They were going to need some TLC to look good for Wednesday.  I googled ways to get wax out of candleholders, and several sites said to stick them in the freezer for an hour, and then it should pop right out.  I tried it with a few, and it seemed to work, so that was going to be my plan of attack. 

 As I started knocking the wax out of the candles, I found that it only worked about 50% of the time though.  And even for the ones that the majority of the wax had come out of, there was still lots of thin, waxy residue inside the jars.  So I set two large aluminum pans on the stove, filled them about half way full of water, and turned all the burners on medium.  In one pan went the jars that still had the wax in them, and I made sure they were still standing up; in the other pans went the empty jars, and I laid those down on their side. 

Once the jars with wax heated up enough, I could just dump out the melted wax and then I added those jars to the other pan.  And after the empty jars had been in the water for a while, I could wipe them out with a rag and all of the waxy residue came off.  The only problems though, were that after a while the water in the pan would get waxy, and so would the rags, so we had to change them out fairly often. 


 I’m sure there was a more efficient way to do this, but it’s what we figured out, and it worked!



Friday, February 24, 2012

(Barely Made It) Breakfast Casserole

Monday night was my night to cook dinner for my community group, and I made breakfast for dinner, because it's my favorite!  I made biscuits, this hash brown casserole, and a breakfast casserole.  While the hash brown casserole was in the oven baking, I was putting together the breakfast casserole, which was a recipe I had never made before.  I had mixed all the ingredients together and then my heart sank when I read the next line: Pour into a greased 9x13 inch baking dish. Cover, and chill in the refrigerator for 8 hours, or overnight.  Refrigerate for 8 hours?!? Community group started in just a few hours!  What was I going to do?  I went ahead and poured it and wrapped it, put it in the freezer and prayed to the casserole gods.  It was in the freezer for about 40 minutes before I baked it.  When it came out it looked a little funny to me.  I'm used to breakfast casseroles being very fluffy, and this one was more flat and dense.  I don't know if that was just the recipe or due to my mistake.  I was nervous about how it would taste, but the little bite I tested seemed fine, and when I went to help clean up after community group was over, this was what the dish looked like:

People had gone back for seconds and ate it all up!  So I guess it turned out ok!

Breakfast Casserole

  • 1 lb. ground pork sausage
  • 1 tsp. mustard powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups milk
  • 6 slices white bread, toasted and cut into cubes (I used wheat though)
  • 8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
  • Crumble sausage into a medium skillet. Cook over medium heat until evenly brown; drain. 
  • In a medium bowl, mix together mustard powder, salt, eggs and milk. Add the sausage, bread cubes, and cheese, and stir to coat evenly. Pour into a greased 9x13 inch baking dish. Cover, and chill in the refrigerator for 8 hours, or overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). 
  • Cover, and bake 45 to 60 minutes. Uncover, and reduce temperature to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Bake for an additional 30 minutes, or until set.

Much Needed Engouragement

The past two weeks have been packed for me.  Literally something every single night of the week after I leave a full day at the office, putting me back home anytime between 10:00 and midnight.   I hate that whenever people ask me "How are things at The Well?" or "How are you doing?" my answer is usually just "busy," but that has been the real truth here recently.  And it's really been getting to me the past few days.  I'm exhausted in just about every way, and if I'm being honest (which I am), I'm a little burnt out at the moment.  Feeling that way leading up to one last busy week of work before taking a group of students on a spring break mission trip is overwhelming, so I quickly took advantage of an open chunk of time in my day yesterday to get away for a bit.  And while I was reading my Bible I came across this very encouraging passage in 
Hebrews 10: 32 - 39:

 Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you stood your ground in a great contest in the face of suffering.  You sympathized with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions.  Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated.   So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.   You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.  For in just a very little while, “He who is coming will come and will not delay.  But my righteous one will live by faith.  And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him.” But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved. 

This definitely helped me to gain perspective again, and hopefully it will for you too, whatever it is you're facing!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Downtown E-town

Today was a grand day.  I took Eliza and Heather to downtown Elizabethton.  It's one of my favoritest places, and I love being able to introduce other people to it and watch them enjoy it.  We started things with lunch at The Coffee Company, which was delicious as always.  From there it was on to two antique stores, which ended up being quite successful trips.  I've been on the lookout for quite a while for an old, vintage apron, and I fond an adorable one for $2, and at the same store I also got a little ladder made out of tobacco stakes.  I'm not sure where I'm going to put it, or how I'm going to use it, but the possibilities are endless and for $15, I couldn't pass it up!  At the next store I found a directors chair for $12.  The fabric on it is stained, so I want to redo it with a fun patterned or floral fabric, and I think it will be adorable!  At that store we also found a bunch of old glasses and had a lot of fun trying them on, which got us some chuckles from the other customers.

When we were done antiquing we went to the covered bridge to see the ducks.  We didn't have bread to feed them, but they were fun to watch nonetheless!  

Black and White Swing Dance

Thursday night was The Well's 3rd Annual Black & White Swing Dance; this has come to be a much anticipated and looked-forward to event!  We transform a boring brown room into something a bit snazzier, have fun black and white snacks like Oreo balls, chocolate covered peanut butter balls, and chocolate dipped pretzels, and have someone there for the first hour to teach some basic swing dancing steps.  We ask everyone to come in black and white attire, and it's always fun to see them all dressed up!  For the last hour or so of the night we end up playing a bunch of fun, general dancing songs, so regardless of whether you have a date or not, or can swing or not, everybody can dance and have a great time!

Kerri, who is on the Missions Team, and Eliza, Kristen, Katelyn and I, who all serve on the 12:13 team!

Staci, Carly, me, and Heather

Me and Tiffani

Jillian and I

Monday, February 13, 2012

Baked Ziti

A had some girls over tonight for dinner, and to talk about China!  They're both going on The Well's trip to China this summer and we got together so I could just share some of my experiences from last year's trip, and give them some tips and such.  I made baked ziti, and this recipe has become my go-to recipe when I need to make something easy, filling, and to feed more than just myself; it's definitely a keeper!

Baked Ziti
1 15 oz. container ricotta cheese
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1 16 oz. box of ziti or penne pasta, cooked and drained
1 26 oz. jar Ragu Chunky Pasta Sauce
1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350* 
Mix ricotta, eggs, and parmesan cheese; set aside.
In another bowl, mix pasta and pasta sauce together.
Pour half of pasta mixture in a 13x9 inch pan, spread with half of cheese mixture, top with rest of the pasta mixture, and then the rest of the cheese mixture.  Top with mozzarella cheese.
Bake for 30 minutes.

A Weekend with Friends

Vienna Cafe, very quaint and cozy!
On Saturday I was able to go down to Maryville to spend the day with some dear, dear friends of mine, Dave and Scottie Thomas, and Michael and Haley Dotson.  They used to all live in Johnson City, but then got married and now live in Maryville and Knoxville, and I haven't seen any of them since this summer - way too long!  Dave and Scottie and I all went out to lunch, and then Scottie and I went to some cute little stores and a coffee shop in downtown Maryville, and then went shopping to get stuff to make dinner.  When we got back to their house Michael and Haley were already there, and then we spent the next little while chatting and munching and cooking dinner, well, Scottie made dinner and the rest of us sat and munched.  After dinner we played games, and then I headed back home.  It really was the perfect Saturday catching up with old friends!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

New Curtains

In my last post, I said that I would show you a picture of the curtains after I had ironed them and painted the curtain rod.  I'm having some friends over for dinner tomorrow night, so I wanted to go ahead and get them ironed at least, since that's what would be most obvious.  And since, let's be honest, it'll be a while before I'll get around to painting the rod, I'll go ahead and show them to you now.  I really like how they look!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Power Tools

One of my Christmas presents this year was a drill. It was the one thing I specifically asked my dad to get me, which I'm sure he was more than pleased to do.  What dad wouldn't want to buy his daughter power tools for Christmas?!?  But since Christmas it's been sitting in the closet because I haven't needed to use it - until tonight.  A had found new curtains a little while back, $8.99 per panel at Ross, very good deal, and this afternoon I finally got a new rod, so now it was time to hang them!  I think the rod is a tiny bit crooked, but other than that, it all turned out great!  I didn't take a picture of them yet though, for two reasons.  1) They are extremely wrinkled and I want to iron them before their big blog debut, and 2) In the store I thought the rod was kind of a dark brown/brushed bronze, but once getting it hung up I realized it's definitely black.   The big grommets on the top of the curtain panels are a bronze color, so I'm going to get some metallic spray paint and paint it to match; when that's done I'll show you a picture.  In the meantime, here's a picture of my handy little drill, and me on the step stool.  And note, socks on a stool without any sort of traction = increased chances of slipping. 

Thursday, February 9, 2012


Here are some shots from our Well service last night!  We're doing a series called [be]LOVE[d], all about love, and we've had this huge LOVE logo hanging on the stage each week.  Seth made the letters out of PVC pipe, using a heat gun to heat up and bend the rounded parts!  Then he painted them black, screwed eye hooks all around the inside, and then he and I both strung them with neon yarn.  I love getting to do creative, hands on things like this, all for the purpose of glorifying God and bringing students closer to Him!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

New Flavors

There are always little indicators at my house of how busy things have been, like how many empty coffee mugs are laying around, and how many shoes are in the entry way, because I haven't had time to put them away yet.  And this was the sight when I finally got home tonight around 10:00ish...

Aaannd, look what I saw at Kroger tonight!  I'm usually pretty good about not buying the newest random flavors of things, but I just could not resist when I saw these.  I love Cheerios.  I grew up on Cheerios.  And I also love Peanut Butter.  So I just had to try them; even if I did pay $3.99 for a not-very-big box...

The Super Bowl

For most of you, you know that I am a big Patriots fan.  And for those of you who didn't know, and might assume I'm a Patriots fan just because I think Tom Brady is attractive, well, you're wrong.  And if you're wondering why in the world am I Patriots fan?  It's because it's in my blood!  My dad is from Maine and is therefore a fan, and it has been passed on to me.  So needless to say, I was quite excited about the Super Bowl!  I got all dressed up in my Pats gear, complete with bows and red shoes!

Yes, it is Valentine's Day ribbon, but the bows were a last minute idea and it was the only red ribbon I had in the house.

They're getting worn, but I love 'em!
Well, we all know how the game ended, and yes, I was quite bummed out, but, what can I do?  I'll cheer them on next year!  And speaking of cheering, here is a link to just a small bit of footage of me cheering, and this is my crazed fan alter ego...

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Bedroom Rearranging

I've always like the idea of putting a bed in the corner of a room, having it stick out at an angle, but never had a room big enough.  Then, last weekend when I was watching You've Got Mail there was a scene in Kathleen's bedroom and I noticed her bed was in the corner.  I glanced into my room and realized "I could make that work..."  So, today I set out to make it happen.  This is how it looked before...

Looking in from the bedroom door...
...and from the bathroom.

 I took everything including the mattress off the bed (to make it lighter and easier to move), moved some smaller pieces of furniture out of the way, and took everything out from under the bed.  It took a while to actually move the bed, because I'd have to push it a few inches, walk to other side and pull it a little, stand back and look at it, push some more, and pull some more, but eventually I got it into place.  I made it back up and really liked how it looked!  

A few mid-move pictures...

Now this is the view from the bedroom door...
...and this is the one from the bathroom.

But then came the issue of reincorporating some of the pieces I'd moved out of the way, namely the trunk.  I didn't want it at the foot of the bed anymore, so I moved it to the wall with the window, but I didn't like it there either.  The only other place I thought it could fit would be in the space behind the door.  I messed with it a while and found a way to make the trunk and coat rack still fit, but the basket full of hoodies didn't fit.  I moved the hoodie basket and laundry basket all around trying to find a lay-out I liked, but just couldn't.  I ended up leaving the laundry basket where it used to be, and the hoodie basket is shoved in the closet for the time being.  

 The rearranging did help break up all of the blank wall space that had been haunting me; there's still a lot, but I don't think it's as obvious.  But now the space between the bed and bookshelf is wide open.  I would love to get a funky, comfy chair to put there and make a little reading nook! 

Wouldn't a cozy chair be perfect to the left of the window?!?  And I want to change up the curtains now too; that'll be the next project, along with getting something on the walls.  

And here's a close up of the pillow on my bed: The Ornament Of A House Is The Friends Who Frequent It ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...