Sunday, April 24, 2011

Movie Night

Married life is wonderful, especially in a small town! It forces us to be creative and not spend our money! So, this past Friday night, we decided to watch Tangled...

inside a fort!
Could there be a better way to spend a Friday night? 

Um, yes! Popcorn and a milkshake--the meal of champions! Though this may sound juvenile, it was so much fun! We blew up an air mattress to make it more comfortable and worked with the limited space and limited number of blankets! I love quit nights in a small town!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

New and Old Friends

I have loved weddings for a long time, and though I have recently gotten married myself, that has not changed. (I do have to say that after being on the other side of a wedding, I appreciate all the little things a lot more!)  One reason I love weddings is the fact that it brings people together.  This past weekend, I went to Jackson, TN, to watch a good friend from high school get married.  It was such a sweet time to celebrate Kristen and Jeremy's union in addition to seeing many close high school friends who now live all over the southeast. The ceremony was beautiful, focusing on Kristen and Jeremy's commitment to the Lord and how that will shape their lives together. I can't wait to see how God uses them as a couple to further His kingdom. I pray God's blessing on them!  After the beautiful ceremony, the reception started! It was such a good time seeing all of my Jackson friends in addition to several Samford girls I have met over the years!

University School of Jackson's Class of 2006 Mini-reunion

Laurel and Elizabeth

Briana Gray. I love how much our worlds collide!

Katy, I think I've seen that dress before! It's stunning:)

We definitely enjoyed the dancing!

The groom definitely had fun as well! Hip-hip-hooray!

God has greatly blessed me with wonderful friends. Though my high school friends have all moved away from Jackson (except for Kristen who just moved back), we are able to keep in touch with one another, sharing with each other the work that God is doing through all of us in our different towns/careers. 
He also blesses us with new relationships. We had the Lavender's over for dinner tonight and really enjoy building a relationship with them. (I forgot to take pictures of the food so I could blog about it, but I fixed a pork tenderloin, green bean bundles, twice baked potatoes, and blackberry cobbler.)  I wasn't exactly sure what to think of Aliceville when I took the job at First Presbyterian, but there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that I am exactly where God wants me. I have enjoyed seeing some stereotypical small town happenings, but one thing I did not really expect was how much people in a small community care about one another. The body of Christ is a beautiful thing, and when you slow down, you are able to enjoy the blessings of fellowship that God has blessed you with.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Chefs in Practice

Something that John and I enjoy doing together is cooking, which is great because we eat three meals a day! I have really started enjoying the Pioneer Woman's cookbook.

This was our first meal as a married couple...leftovers from the reception. (Obviously not out of the Pioneer Woman's Cookbook, but I was excited about our first meal in our house.) I was especially excited to use our china, silverware, glasses, flatware, napkins, napkin rings, and place mats!  I'm such a nerd! Maybe only my married friends will truly understand this!

This was a recipe we tried in the Pioneer Women's cookbook. I will warn you that these are not normal spaghetti meatballs but they are still delicious. (I was also really excited to use this casserole dish!)

Chicken Cacciatore
Most recently we fixed Chicken Cacciatore from the Southern Generations cookbook. Unfortunately, it doesn't have pictures like the Pioneer Women, so it's more difficult to follow for an amateur like me (I'm a visual learner)! This was delicious and will definitely be on the list of rotated meals. It was really easy!

(6 servings)
4 chicken breasts
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup olive oil
1 clove garlic
1 cup union, chopped
1 green pepper
1 can tomatoes
1 (8 oz.) cup tomato paste
1/4 lb. mushrooms
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon oregano

Dredge chicken in flour. Heat olive oil in a skillet. Brown chicken on all sides. Add remaining ingredients. Cook covered on low heat for an hour or until tender. Serve with hot spaghetti or rice and grated Parmesan cheese.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Storms in Aliceville

Last night I was driving home from the PA baseball/softball game when it started raining...then the rain turned to hard rain...and then it stormed! On the drive home, lighting struck right by my car. By the grace of God, I made it home safely. By the look of things, the wind had knocked a few limbs off the trees but that was about it.  Tricia Lavender and Tom Kay both called to make sure I was ok. (One of the many benefits of living in a small town. People really care about you! The next morning I walked around and found the damage to be worse than what it had originally appeared.  Praise the Lord for keeping everyone safe!

We have talked in Youth Group about suffering and that behind everything, there is God. We may not understand why destruction comes, but we know that ultimately it is for God's glory. We have confidence that when storms come in our life, God is there for us. He is able to rescue us!

"Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble,
and he brought them out of their distress.
He stilled the storm to a whisper;
the waves of the sea[a] were hushed.
They were glad when it grew calm,
and he guided them to their desired haven."

-Psalm 107:28-30