Monday, December 22, 2014

2014 in Review

I realize I haven't blogged in a very long while, but the other day I was just thinking about the past year and how much has happened and I wanted a place to write it so here it is:

If I had to choose one word to describe this year I think I would choose CHANGE. Keep in mind the following is just the "highlights" of our year...

Last Christmas Josh asked me to marry him and I said yes- thus beginning the craziest whirlwind year!

We immediately started planning the wedding and January was filled with all that entails: trying on wedding dresses, getting rings resized, trying to choose a date, being overwhelmed with just how many details there are in planning a wedding, and basically just trying to keep some semblance of sanity.

When February came around it was a welcome reprieve to go to the Leadership Conference at Lighthouse Baptist Church in San Diego. Several of us from our church went down together with Josh's family and we had such a good relaxing time. I got to see the ocean for the first time and see Mexico (off on the not so distant horizon), to meet new people, and fall in love with my husband even more. 

Josh turned 21 in March and other than that I don't remember much (the months leading up to the wedding all kind of blur together...).

April was sooo busy pulling last minute wedding preparation together, marriage counseling, Josh and I found a little apartment just in time, and I apparently hadn't reached my craziness threshold yet so I started a new part time job on top of my other part time job as the unofficial manager of a frozen yogurt shop. :p

Then came May. And what a wild month it was. We got married and went on our wonderful honeymoon. Then we came home. I moved into our house, I went back to work, and as soon as we got back our church began a series of special meetings- we had evangelists and missionaries and special speakers- every night for 5 weeks. 

In June I was offered the job as the manager (officially) of Wyogurt, so I took it and quit my other job. What a blessing to at least cut some of the chaos out of my days, I actually had time and energy to make dinner for us.

July must have been somewhat settled into a routine because nothing really stands out :)

And then August came and made up for the lull in July. We had to put Smokey down (had him since I was little) on my birthday, and Josh took me to Billings for the weekend and we had such a good time just getting to spend time alone together. When we got back my parents told us that they were moving back to Idaho, so my family abandoned me by the end of the month (I hope you feel guilty! jk). 

In September Josh started his scrapping business on the side and my family came back for a weekend when a friend of ours got married. A week after their wedding our friends moved to Louisiana. (Our church is small so losing this many people made a big difference).

In October I was sick for 3 weeks straight (this doesn't count any of the other health issues I had going on this year, basically my body just tanked and this was the lowest it went) and ended up seeing 3 doctors. This is a big deal because the last time I saw a doctor (besides my chiropractor) I was probably..... 12? At the end of the month Josh's brother moved to San Diego which left a pretty big hole here.

November was the BEST month of our marriage so far! We got to spend so much time together and things were just going really well. I quit my job at Wyogurt and started up my own housekeeping business and started teaching piano lessons again. Josh got carbon monoxide poisoning so we made a trip to the ER to get him taken care of. We celebrated Thanksgiving with Josh's family and it was the first holiday without my family.

December has been a VERY interesting month. Josh's family was gone for most of the month of November and when they got back they told us that his dad (the pastor of our church) was going to resign as he has been called elsewhere. So this means big changes for our church and quite possibly for Josh and I as well. As of now we know we are supposed to move, but we don't know where or when quite yet. Some big decisions to be made here and prayer for us would be very, very much appreciated. Now we're looking forward to a road trip together to go see my family for Christmas and we are soooo excited.

We have been married for 7 months and marriage has already been the biggest adventure of my life. I'm so thankful for my husband. This next year is most likely going to be as interesting and full of surprises as this year has been. If you think of us we would appreciate your prayers. God has definitely taken care of us through everything!

Hope this catches you all up with our lives :)

We hope you are all doing well and wish you a happy new year!!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

A Question for the Ladies

All right, Ladies. I'm curious: What made you decide to marry your husband? What made you decide that no matter what other men you met, no matter what hard times you had to go through, no matter what his faults and annoying habits (:p) THIS was the man you wanted to spend the rest of your life with? Leave a comment and direct your friends here to answer too, please! I need all the wisdom I can get. Thank you :D


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Camp Devotion

   I went to summer camp last week and the girls have a tradition where the seniors do a devotion with the freshmen. Since I was a senior this summer I really wanted to do a devotion. For a long time I couldn't decide what to talk about, then one day I was thinking about how bad drama is every year at camp. BAM! I knew what I should research :) I thought this would be helpful to everyone, not just the freshmen, so I invited all the girls to my cabin. My mom thought this could be helpful to other people, hence the blog post :)

   Our youth pastor talks about how Satan doesn't want us to go to camp because it's always so good for us, I think it's very true. But I don't think Satan gives up when we get to camp either. Can you picture him saying, "Dang it, she's at camp.. Guess I'll just leave her alone?" I think he does everything in his power to keep us from getting much out of camp. One of the things he uses to distract people, especially girls, from the important things is drama.

   Before I go any further, I want to make it clear that I am not perfect and I will mess up at some point this week. I'm talking to myself here as much as I am to you. I probably got a whole lot more from this when I was working on it than any of you will, but I do think this can be really helpful to you. I wish someone had told me this when I was younger, that's why I'm telling you. I'm going to use a lot of verses for credibility because I don't want you to say, "That's just Hannah's opinion, who cares what she says."

   Now I know that camp is a place to have fun, but camp is also a place where you can be blessed and yo have so many opportunities to bless someone else.

   James 3:14-18 pretty much sums up what I'm going to refer to as drama and unprofitable emotions. It says, "But if you have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace." So drama is jealousy, fighting, and ugliness in our hearts being revealed; it brings about confusion and evil things. We are supposed to be peaceable, gentle, merciful, without hypocrisy, and so on.

   I want you to understand this isn't "just" girls being girls, this is a spiritual battle that we have to fight like it says in Ephesians 6:12 "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."

   Girls are emotional right? That's just the way we're made. But! that doesn't mean we have to be slaves to our feelings, we can control ourselves. Our flesh is sinful and we need help because a lot of times we don't want to control our emotions. That's where Philippians 4:13,19 and 1 Corinthians 10:13 come in. "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."

   Girls can be really cruel; when you're mean, blow a situation out of proportion, or whatever- it reflects badly on you. It doesn't accomplish anything productive, it damages your testimony, it hurts you, it feeds a critical spirit, you look foolish (Proverbs 12:16 A fool's wrath is presently known: but a prudent man covereth shame.), it reveals the ugliness in your heart (Proverbs 23:7 For as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he...)(Matthew 12:34b-35 ... For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.), and really- does it make you feel better?

   There are some different things I've seen cause drama at camp: 1) When you're dealing with a problem 2) When a friend has a problem- it can directly or indirectly affect you 3) When friends are fighting 4) When girls are just plain mean.

   So what do you do when you have a problem? If possible get it taken care of as soon as you can. Sometimes though a situation can't be dealt with at camp (like family issues or something). In this case camp will be so much better for you if you can just let go. 1 Peter 5:7 "Casting all your care upon him for he careth for you." Luke 12: 6-7 Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows." Your trials are precious to the Lord. 1 Peter 1:7 "That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ." In Psalms (56:8) David said that God saw his tears and put them in a bottle. (Psalms 55:22) God will bear your burdens if you'll let him, and remember- whatever you're going through- in Hebrews (13:5) He promises never to leave you.

   Now what should you do if a friend has a problem? Proverbs 17:17 "A friend loveth at all times and a brother is born for adversity." Sometimes she just needs to know that you love her, that you are there for her, for you to encourage her, and for you to pray for/with her.

   When friends are fighting... What can you do to fix it? Well, it helps to avoid the fight in the first place! proverbs 14:29 "He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly." Proverbs 15:1 "A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger." Proverbs 18:19 "A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city: and their contentions are like the bars of a castle." Stop and think about what you're going to do or say- if it isn't gracious then don't go down that road. It will save you a lot of trouble. If you end up in a fight you need to humble yourself and try to make things right. No matter who was "wrong" if you are the one to take the first step you'll both be better for it.

   When girls are mean... I'm mostly just going to tell you how to not be the mean girl, because if no one is mean, no one gets hurt. It takes everyone to make this work. Proverbs 24:17 "Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth." Proverbs 17:9 "he that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends." When someone messes up you don't need to tell the world. If you see a friend doing wrong don't try to shame her publicly; go to her privately and tell her out of love that she shouldn't behave that way. If a friend rebukes you out of concern don't be offended. Remember, Proverbs 27:6 says, "Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful." Don't talk badly about someone to their face; don't say something flattering to their face if you're going to whisper behind their back either. Psalm 62:4 "They only consult to cast him down from his excellency: they delight in lies: they bless with their mouth, but they curse inwardly." Proverbs 11:9 "An hypocrite with his mouth destroyeth his neighbor..." Proverbs 16:28 "A froward man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth chief friends."

   This week, at the very least you can refrain from tearing each other down. One way to avoid a ton of drama is to just be silent- it's often the wisest decision. if you can't be gracious you're probably better off keeping your mouth closed. Proverbs 17:28 "Even a fool when he holdeth his peace is counted wise; and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding." Proverbs 26:20 "Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth." Proverbs 10:19 "In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise." When you're silent it keeps you from being mean, encouraging hurtfulness, or from being sucked into pointless drama.

   On the other hand, Proverbs 25:11 says, "A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver." When we speak we should keep Philippians 1:27 in mind. "Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel." When unbelievers look at our behavior they should see a difference and want what we have. We are saved, not only does that make us sisters, but we are individual members of one body. Ephesians 4:22-32 "That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor; for we are members one of another. Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil. Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minster grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day or redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."

   Build each other up this week, not with empty flattery to puff up our pride, but sincere encouragement. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 "Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up." Lift each other up this week.

   If we are all kind, considerate peacemakers and do our best to minimize the drama- I promise you will get more out of camp. Don't let Satan steal camp from you while you're here.

So that's what I told the girls :) Hope it can be a blessing to you!


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Graduation and 'Possum Pie

I'm back!
  First of all I want to thank my new followers for following me, y'all make my day! (No, I'm not southern; yes, I said "y'all.")
So to fill you all in since my last post...
On May 27th I graduated from high school at TVBC, which was an honor because we moved away from the Treasure Valley in 2009 but they let me be a part of the group! I still consider it my church because we don't have a church here and I have so many friends there that keep me up to date on everything. It was a crazy busy weekend but it was soooo wonderful to get to see people and be back "home." There were 14 kids and that's a fairly large graduating class for us, we combined the homeschoolers and the church school kids. (Fun Fact: there were 4 redheads this year. I'm gonna guess that's probably never happened before.) I'm not going to post any pictures of the graduation because there are other people in the pictures and I don't want to put someone's face on here without their permission.

It's always kind of hard to come back here after a few days up there, this time it was especially hard. I'm not sure why but it definitely took longer to settle back into the routine of living in the sticks. I don't mind living here as much as I did when we first moved, and sometimes I even really enjoy it here! But I do miss a lot of things about "civilization."

What better way to snap out of a funk than staying busy and chocolate/sugar? When we got home Dad asked that we make 'Possum Pie. Now that title may sound disgusting but it's sooooooo good! I think this dessert has a lot of names: Chocolate Cheesecake, Four-Layer Dessert, Better than Robert Redford something, etc. The basic recipe calls for Cool Whip and instant Jello pudding mixes, but why settle when you can make it homemade? So here is our version of the idea. It may look really long and complicated but it's super easy :)

For the crust:

12 tablespoons butter, melted
1 1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 cup pecans, chopped

Preheat oven to 350* Combine the butter, flour and pecans to make a dough and press into the bottom of a 9x13 glass baking dish. Bake 10-15 minutes or until the crust starts to turn golden.

For the pudding:


1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
dash salt
3 egg yolks
1 1/4 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon vanilla

Whisk the dry ingredients in a small saucepan, then add the egg yolks and combine. Then add the milk and bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and becomes smooth. Off the heat add the butter and vanilla, whisk until smooth. Set aside.


2 1/2 cups half-and-half (or whole milk)
1/3 cup sugar
pinch salt
6 egg yolks
2 tablespoons cornstarch
6 tablespoons butter, cut into 6 pieces
7 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate ( i used chocolate chips)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Bring the half-and-half, some of the sugar, and salt to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.
As the half-and-half begins heats, whisk the egg yolks, cornstarch and remaining sugar in a medium bowl until smooth. Slowly whisk about 1 cup of the simmering half-and-half mixture into the yolk mixture to temper, then slowly whisk the tempered yolks back into the simmering saucepan. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, whisking vigorously, until the mixture is thickened and a few bubbles burst on the surface, about 30 seconds. Off the heat, whisk in the butter and chocolate until smooth and melted. Stir in the vanilla.

Now combine the vanilla pudding with the chocolate pudding. (I also added coconut at this point because Dad wanted a German Chocolate cream pie type of filling.) Then place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pudding and refrigerate until chilled and set. At least 4 hours.

 Whipped Cream Topping:

1 pint heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons instant vanilla pudding mix
powdered sugar to taste

Pour the cream into a mixing bowl then add the vanilla and sprinkle the pudding mix on top. Mix that then add the sugar to the cream. Probably about 2 cups.. Whip until stiff peaks form.

Cream Cheese Layer:

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar (approx)
2/3 of the whipped cream
In a mixing bowl beat the cream cheese then add the vanilla and sugar to make a thick frosting.. Then add the whipped cream and beat it all together. Now you are ready to assemble!

The crust must be completely cooled. Take the completely cooled crust and spread the Cream Cheese mixture over the top. Then carefully spread the Chocolate Pudding over the cream cheese. Lastly, spread the remaining whipped cream over the pudding. VOILA 'Possum Pie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I just realized I don't have a picture of how it looks when it's finished.. Oh well, my apologies. If you make this I'd love to hear how it turned out! You can come up with a lot of versions. We've made lemon before, plain chocolate (instead of the coconut chocolate), and Dad wants us to try making a pumpkin one..


We make the pudding the night before so it can cool and set up before we assemble the whole dessert.
We make half of a batch of vanilla pudding and add it to the chocolate pudding so it's not overwhelmingly chocolatey, but I'm sure it's not necessary.
Next time I make this I'm going to toast the coconut, then pulse it in the food processor to make it less stringy, before I add it to the pudding.
Pudding recipes came from The America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Apple Bundt Cake

I love cooking so I decided, Hey, why not just post a recipe on my blog? It needs help.

So here it is. I found a recipe online last week and couldn't wait to try it. But being me, I couldn't follow the recipe so it's a little bit different, which is good because I don't remember where I got the recipe in the first place... Just a heads up: the apples in this cake make it really moist, and I thought that it tasted way better the next day; although there was absolutely nothing wrong with it the night I baked it haha

Apple Bundt Cake:
1 1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup white sugar
1cup brown sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3 cups tart apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1 cup raisins (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350*. Grease and flour a bundt pan and set it aside.

Mix oil, sugars, eggs and vanilla in a large bowl until thoroughly combined. (I couldn't bring myself to put 1 1/2 cups of oil in my cake so I substituted some of the oil with applesauce but you don't have to do that.)

Add flour to the bowl then add the salt, baking soda and cinnamon and stir just until combined.

Mix in the apples, walnuts and raisins. Pour it into the prepared cake pan, or have your brother hold the bowl so you can scrape the sticky dough out. *cough cough*

Then bake it in the oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a toothpick stuck into the cake comes out with just a few crumbs or clean. In my oven I think that was a little bit too long so next time I'm going to check it after an hour and go from there.

Then when the cake comes out of the oven, let it cool for about 10 minutes and hope with all your heart you greased and floured the pan well, shake the pan a little bit to loosen the cake then flip it upside down on a cooling rack and let it cool. Voila!!! Slice and enjoy :)

 And if your dad is anything like mine he won't think the cake is finished unless it has a glaze or frosting of some sort... so I made a toffee sauce to go with the ice cream too.

If anyone makes this recipe I'd love to hear how it worked out for you :)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Homeschooling: Real Life

   I don't know how many people know about home schooling- the real home schooling, that is. I think there are a lot of misconceptions about it, so I want to talk about what home schooling was like for me.

   I'm so thankful that God led my parents to home school me before I started school. It was so good for me- I was able to learn at my own pace, I was able to form close bonds with my family, I had more free time to do other things, I was able to learn practical life skills, soooo many benefits to home schooling.

   I love to learn, I find it fascinating that there is soooo much information available, just waiting for me to seize it for myself. I think part of enjoying learning came from being home schooled because learning happened all the time, not just when I had to open a book and study. Life is full of teachable moments and when the whole world is your school, not just being confined to a classroom, the chances of learning something practical are much greater. Learning was fun for me and happened all the time. As long as I remain teachable, I will continue learning as long as I live.

   I learned to read when I was four and I've loved reading ever since. Reading opened up a world of possibilities for me. There were stories of far away places that stretched my imagination, pieces of history in a fascinating plot that made the facts more real and memorable than a textbook, lessons that characters learned that I would analyze and be able to apply to my life. There were biographies of remarkable people that challenged me to do something worthwhile with my life. There is the Bible, God's word given to man that we might know Him and learn how to live a life pleasing to Him. There were textbooks full of information to give me a foundation of knowledge for the rest of my life.

   I may not pursue college, but only because I don't feel it's what I should do. Not because I think I couldn't make it. And if I don't go to college, that doesn't mean my education is finished. I will continue to read and learn new things!

   I was able to spend my time pursuing activities I enjoyed and learning real life skills. I played on a basketball team when I was a freshman in high school at a Christian school and I enjoyed every minute of it. I learned how to play the piano and thanks to a wonderful teacher playing the piano is a pleasure. Now I'm teaching other kids to play, so I was given a skill that I can use for income. I've been helping my mom in the kitchen for as long as I can remember. Cooking for people and seeing them enjoy the food I've prepared makes me happy and is a way for me to care for them. It's a way to be creative and serve people. There are so many things I've learned and so many more still to be learned.

   My parents were able to choose a curriculum that they agreed with so they didn't have to counteract the information I learned, as they might have had to do if I had gone to public school and been falsely taught the material mandated by the government.

  I was taught to think for myself and research information rather than just accepting what someone says to be the truth. I was taught to seek wisdom from the Lord and not from worldly sources.
I was able to be myself, grow at my own pace, ask questions, and so much more! I was able to learn from someone that cared about me. The teacher was able to focus on my needs as opposed to a whole classroom of students all with different needs.

   I was part of a large home school group through my church so I had friends outside my family that were my own age, we went on field trips, we put on plays, we had science fairs, we had so many opportunities to make friends and learn.

  My brother and sisters are all also home schooled and we've had a lot of fun. Sometimes all the "togetherness" is one of the worst parts about being home schooled and I'd sell them off to the highest bidder... but those moments are very few and far between. For the most part, being with them is one of the best things about being home schooled. We've always been close and after we moved to our present location they became my best friends.

   I can't fully cover all of home schooling and do it justice but I hope this has given you a little glimpse of what it was like for me. Home schooling has been a HUGE blessing in my life and I am sooooooo extremely grateful for the Lord's hand in it all. I believe that home schooling has been advantageous in my life and there are so many benefits that come with it. I hope to someday home school my own children!

 Here is a link to a (humorous) video that talks about some of the more common myths of home schoolers: Seven Lies About Homeschoolers.

Set Apart Girl Magazine

Soooo I have some exciting news! At least I find it exciting..
 The May/June edition of the Set Apart Girl online magazine is up now! It always makes my day when I see that a new edition is up :)

It's written by Leslie Ludy and other young ladies at Ellerslie/ Set Apart Girl team.
Right now Leslie is writing a series "The Top Ten Time Wasters," there are articles on godly motherhood, dressing in a modest yet attractive way, and so many other topics. There is a section for what the Ludy kids are saying and doing. Occasionally there will be an article by an "Anonymous Warrior Poet," a godly young man writing to sisters in Christ. Ahh the whole thing is wonderful! This magazine is really encouraging to me, it challenges me, the pictures are beautiful, and if you haven't read it you should at least check it out!
Happy reading,