September Happenings

Hi, friends!

I thought I'd pop in and give you a little update on what's going on in our lives lately. I can hardly believe October is TOMORROW but I'm ready for all things fall! 

As many of you know the sewer replacement was a major happening this month. Looking back at how emotional I was that week makes me want to wear a cone of shame around my head. You know the Bible story where the disciples are on the boat with Jesus and the storm comes and they FREAK OUT? I always used to inwardly chide them for that ridiculous behavior until The Holy Spirit pointed out that I was just like them, except instead of a boat, it was a sewer replacement and mounds of dirt. It's scary how over the top emotional I can get when I take my eyes off Jesus.

For everyone who encouraged me that week and even after I can not thank you enough. It means a lot to me and I definitely need it.

Our yard is still a mess but it is much better. The massive dirt pile is settling and Dave has faithfully worked out there moving dirt.

This past week I received a pink hexagon bracelet I ordered from Michelle at Hecho a Mano Jewelry. She was super kind and threw in an extra bracelet along with a note of encouragement about our yard. I was so thankful for that encouragement because right before I checked the mail Dave and I had been discussing yard issues.

If you are looking for some cute bracelets I highly recommend Michelle and her shop.

I'm taking a Bible class this semester. It is a 3 year program and when you are done you get a Bible degree. You can pick up and leave off at different semesters, which is very convenient. Before I left for Korea in 2012 I completed semesters 3 and 4 and now I'm back taking semester 2.

The course goes through the entire Bible over the 3 years. You meet once a week for 3 hours and have 3 different sessions: The Old Testament, The New Testament and doctrine. This year we are doing Exodus through Joshua, The life of Christ and the book of Acts. There is a lot of reading to be done through the week but it is so good to be saturated with God's Word and His truth.

I'm loving the fall season! It finally cooled off here last week and has been wonderful. After missing fall and Christmas last year I'm really excited about it this year and have been decorating. I even made my own fall wreath this year. I normally get annoyed at Hobby Lobby for putting their Christmas decor out so early but this year? I love it!!! Bring on all the Christmas decor!

I finally started working out again! I can hardly believe it myself. It has been right at two years since I have consistently worked out. I remember my friend Pam, in Myanmar, asking me if I thought it would be hard to get back into working out. At the time I told her no but boy, I was wrong. It wasn't the physical part that was hard but the mental part. Big life changes take a lot of time to get through. 

Anyways, I had enough of not working out so I signed myself up for crossfit and two 5k races. I already ran one race and the next one is coming up in a week. It's been a lot of fun to run and I finally feel like I am in the groove of working out again, and it feels so so good! I'm no pro and I'm basically starting from scratch but that is okay. Something I think is funny is that at crossfit when they demonstrate the moves they usually grab my weighted bar to demonstrate because it has the lightest weights. ha! I do know that I'm building a foundation again and getting healthy will take time. I'd also rather do quality and build up rather than quantity (heavy weights) followed by an injury. 

This week at work there was an incident and I got a big fat cut on the bottom of my foot. It bled, a lot. I was shocked at how much blood came out but after a trip to the ER they just glued it back together and it is in the process of healing. I honestly wasn't too worried about the cut but I was sad because right after I felt like I was in a groove of working out I'm no longer able to until my foot heals. I am super thankful that it cut right where it did because if it had been a different angle I probably would have broken some toes. And I would show a picture but, that's gross and I'm not doing it.

I hope you all had a wonderful September. What was your favorite thing about this month AND what are you most looking forward to this fall? 


Let's be More like Matthias

Who is Matthias? 

I didn't know about hime either until a couple of weeks ago but I really like this guy. He is written about in the books of Acts. 

Let me give you some background information: 

Matthias comes into the picture because Judas, the disciple who betrayed Jesus, had committed suicide. Jesus at this point was in heaven and the disciples were looking to fill Judas' spot. The Bible says they searched for someone who had been with them from the time Jesus was baptized by John until the day He went to heaven. 

Did you ever think that it wasn't just Jesus and the 12 disciples? It was a team of people. Helpers. The unnoticed ones. But seriously, who do you think cooked for all 13 men? It couldn't have been the disciples because they always seemed to have some type of something / drama going on. It had to be this team of people that went along side Jesus and the disciples.  

You know who was on that team of people who went around where Jesus went? 

Matthias. He was there. 

You don't read in the book of Matthew, Mark, Luke or John what a faithful accompaniment he was. You don't read that he served. You don't read that he left whatever life he had to follow Jesus. 

But you know what? God saw. 

Acts 2:24, 26 says, "And they prayed, and said, Thou Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen....and the lot fell upon Matthias." 

God saw Matthias. More importantly than Matthias, God saw his heart. He saw His faithfulness and God honored that. He became an apostle. 

And that spoke to my heart. I can fill my life with so many things and can seek the approval of so many people but the one thing that matters most is that I'm faithful to God because He sees.

So at the end of the day I want to encourage both me and you to be faithful to God. It doesn't matter if men see. It doesn't matter if you are honored like you think you should. Just be faithful to serving Christ and God will reward you in due time. 

Happy Friday, friends! What are your weekend plans? Had you ever heard about Matthias before?


Affordable, Fast and Easy DIY Fall Sunflower Wreath Tutorial

Raise your hand if you love pretty fall wreaths? 

Now, raise your hand if you love the prices of those pretty fall wreaths? Yeah, me neither. 

I've been looking for a fall wreath to hang on our front door for a while but every time I found one the price was way more than what I wanted to pay for. I spotted a few that I really liked and decided that I could make one similar for much cheaper. And I did. And I love it! 

And now I'm here to share how I made this so you can make one too. The total cost for this wreath was $18.57 (excluding tax) and took me around 10 minutes to make. 

I was looking for a wooden wreath that was not all brown. I liked ones that had some white in them and Hobby Lobby had the perfect one. They also had tons of fall floral out so I chose two floral pieces and headed home. 

Also, side note: this is not a sponsored post in any way, although I wish it were because that means Hobby Lobby would be sponsoring my blog, and wouldn't that be a dream come true? 

Here is what I purchased as well as the supplies I used: 

*  Twisted wood wreath from Hobby Lobby - $9.59 after using a 40% off coupon 
*  Sunflower from Hobby Lobby - $4.79 
*  Flower bunch from Hobby Lobby - $4.19
*  Hot Glue Gun
*  Something sharp to cut the flower stems with as they have metal in them. 

Here is the wreath and flowers I purchased:

I started by cutting off the long stem from the sunflower and removing the wire entirely.

I poked the remainder of the stem through the wood in the wreath. I don't think it has to have hot glue but this was going on my front door so I wanted to make sure it was secure. 

I then removed flowers from the large stem of flowers and intertwined it into the wreath until it looked right.

And that is it! It was so simple and easy and I think it turned out lovely.

Here it is on my teal door. I think it is a really fun fall edition for this season.

I had a lot of fun putting this together and I was glad that it was fast and turned out really well. I hope it is a help to you and if you decide to make your own wreath please do send me a picture of it!

Do you like wreaths? 

Have you ever made your own? 

Have you ever seen something you really liked but just decided to make it for cheaper? 


A Friendship Only God Could Create

Okay, guys. I have a super fun story to tell you today. It's how God gave me a good friend.

I will start by saying that I am so so grateful for the friends I have. When you strive to live a life for Christ and strive to share Him with others, having a good group of likeminded friends who you can cheer on and can cheer you on is an incredible gift. I truly believe each friendship is a gift, however, how I met the friend I'm going to tell you about today is really interesting.

Remember when I lived in Korea in 2012? While I lived there I attended a small (but amazing) international church. One of the girls I met there who became my friend was, Amanda, from Living in Another Language. I know some of you have read her blog and are familiar with her. Amanda started doing design work and she is also the one who designed my blog. Whenever she finished a new blog design she would share it on social media. One day she happened to share a new design for Life's a Journee, written by Elicia. By this time it was around 2013 when I had moved back to America.

Elicia and I began reading and commenting on each other's blogs. She and her husband were living in Korea at this time so we had that one thing in common. Not too long later Elicia and I started e-mailing and FB chatting all the time. It was an instant friendship, even though we had never met. ha ha! In 2015 Dave and I were living in Burma and Tom and Elicia were getting ready to wrap up their time in Korea. They were going to travel SE Asia and had Burma on the list and wanted to come and meet us. We invited them to stay with us at our apartment and Elicia and were so excited to meet each other! I'm also glad both of our husbands were chill about all of this especially since they were going to stay at our apartment in Burma with us. =)

Tom and Elicia came to Burma in May of 2015. We were on summer break at that time and were able to show them around lots of the sights in Yangon. They then went to Inle Lake on their own and we met them up in Bagan and toured with them there as well as in Mandalay.

I will tell you that April and May in Burma were two super hard months for me. We were halfway through the year and I was struggling. I mean, when Alisha left in April I cried that whole entire night after she left. It was awful. But I'm telling you what, God knew that in May, even though I had never met Elicia, that I needed a visit from her. It was so so encouraging for Dave and I to have another Christian couple our age to just talk life with. It was also nice because Tom and Dave hit it off pretty well so it wasn't weird for them to hang out while their wives chatted away for hours.

I will also tell you that Tom and Elicia grew up in a completely different denomination than I did, not that that is bad but I've heard various things about that denomination's doctrine. So the first morning Tom and Elicia got in I did indeed ask what they believed about the doctrine of salvation. ha! That's always a nice way to welcome someone, right? And they believe salvation through Jesus alone, just like we do, but I just had to make sure.

Mandalay - where the monks kept asking, "Photo? Photo?" 

They also got the royal treatment. And I do mean Burmese treatment. At a temple in Bagan, we had someone throw flowers at our backs because we wouldn't purchase the flowers to offer to Buddha. That was a weird incident. Elicia ran over a snake when her and I took these little scooters around. Then, far away from our hotel, my scooter died, so her and I were on her tiny scooter, and I do mean tiny, trying to get help. It was hilarious! We also saw a horrible dog fight. We saw a dead man by a lake (long story but he was green and it scarred us). Then after we finished our time at the lake and we were pondering the dead man our taxi driver ran over a dog. And if you saw me laughing right now after writing this paragraph you would think something was terribly wrong with me. But it was all just so shocking so it was either be scarred for life or laugh. And we can't forget that Tom and Elicia came into Myanmar with no US cash and just their credit cards and literally, no ATM's work in Burma. I think Tom tried probably 50 ATM's. We just loaned them cash and they had to Paypal us when they got back to America.

Now, Elicia and I stay in touch using Voxer and we vox all the time. Just ask our husbands who loathe the voxing beep. ;) Tom and Elicia also came to visit us in Kansas this July on their summer break. It was so fun!

Tom and Elicia are now living in Morocco and guess what? Morocco and Myanmar are so so similar. When we vox we often say it is a "M country similarity". Elicia has told me multiple times how she feels that God sent her to Myanmar to prepare her heart for Morocco. And I just have to say God is so awesome! He knew I needed encouragement in Myanmar and He knew Elicia would need preparation for Morocco. I think it's neat too because I can encourage her while she is there and can understand some of what she is going through.

So, all that to say, God knows exactly what He is doing. He brings people into our lives through the most interesting ways but He brings just who we need and exactly when we need them.

I hope today that wherever you are in life you will make room for godly friendships to be part of your life. God uses people to encourage you to share the gospel, to encourage you in daily and to just have a friend. It's worth the time and effort and is a really huge blessing.

Tom put this video together of their time in Myanmar and I think it is not only fun but a good insight into Myanmar culture.


10 Foods I Don't Like That Most Other People Love

Today I'm sharing a random post of 10 foods that I don't really like but everyone else seems to love. I didn't think I was a picky eater until I wrote out this list. But goodness, I guess I was wrong.

Also, all photos in this post are foods I love because why would I take pictures of food I hate?

Let's get to it!

5 Foods I Don't Like That Most Other People Love 

1. Peanut Butter

It's true. I'm not a fan of pb. Feel free to quit being my friend or reading my blog but the fact is the same, I just don't like that stuff much. When I think of peanut butter I think of it as dog food because I give my dog pb as a treat. For all you people who take a big spoon of it and eat it, gross! I just can't. First off, you can't even chew that stuff and it just gets stuck in your mouth. Ew!

Now oddly as it may sound, I still will eat peanut butter in things. I'll eat peanut butter cookies, some peanut butter desserts and I do love some Justin's chocolate hazelnut butter (which doesn't taste like pb at all).  I will eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich while camping but it definitely is not a go to for me.

I tried to like peanut butter. When I lived in Korea we went to Taiwan for vacation and I figured I'd travel really cheap by taking my own peanut butter and making my own sandwiches. Then the guy at the airport took my peanut butter because he said it was a liquid???? Seriously?! And peanut butter wasn't cheap there. That pretty much sealed the deal on my hate for peanut butter.

Lastly, powdered peanut butter that you all put in smoothies. Barf.

2. Bananas

Again, ew! I don't know why I don't like them but I just don't. After running races they often have bananas and I just think "Why would I take a banana when I can go and get a burger or bacon?" ha!

However, just like peanut butter I can eat bananas in things. I can add them to a smoothie or have a banana dessert. However, I never really do add bananas to my smoothies nor do I make banana desserts...

The only bananas I really like to eat are fried Brazilian bananas and those are served as a dessert. So good!

3. Peanut M&M's

Just don't tell my nephew, Elliot, about this. He loves M&M's a ton but I just can't eat those either. I don't even have a reason for not liking these they just aren't my thing. However, if my nephew wanted to sit and share his M&M's with me I'd act like I loved them. =)

4. Egg Salad & Miracle Whip

No! First off, who invented Miracle Whip? It's a sweet taste and just so gross. For all you people that lather your sandwich with this I have three words: get some mayonnaise!  Also, egg salad?! Why? That is such a weird combo to me.

5. Girl Scout Cookies

I know people rave about these cookies and hoard them in their freezer all year but I just wonder why you would want an over baked processed cookie when you can have something delicious, like a homemade chocolate chip cookie? The only girl scout cookie I can remotely eat is the peanut butter one, which is ironic, considering my #1 disliked item on this list was peanut butter. ha!

6. PSL

Gross! Why do people have to put pumpkin and spices in everything? I can't even handle the smell.

7. Milk

I tried. I really really tried to like milk because it was healthy but I just don't like the taste of it. Dave, the PA, told me I was lucky osteoporosis doesn't run in my family. I told him I am sure I drink enough milk in my coffee.

8. Oreos

Whenever I see people eating Oreos I think it is a waste of calories. I mean you could be eating a chocolate chip cookie fresh from the oven but you settled for an Oreo?

Here is a weird thing though - when I live abroad I eat Oreos because sometimes they randomly sell them in Asia and it tastes like America. And if you live in Asia, you know what I'm taking about! There comes a point where you will eat anything that tastes like America.

9. Strawberries, Blackberries & Raspberries

I can eat these but they aren't my favorite. But blueberries! Give them all to me!

I think strawberries are too tart. Raspberries are a bit too sour and I don't like all those seeds in blackberries.

The only strawberries I ever loved to eat were the ones in Korea. We took a field trip to the strawberry fields and I almost got sick on how many I ate. They were so sweet and good.

10. North American Fruit

Okay, I like fruit but apples and a lot of the fruits we get here in America aren't my favorite thing. I really prefer tropical fruits and I blame this on growing up in Brazil followed by amazing Thai mangoes. I mean papaya, mangoes, passion fruit and coconut??? So amazing. I honestly don't eat a lot of fruit unless it is blueberries as I'd rather eat veggies. I love kale, collard greens and asparagus. Am I weird?

What are some foods you don't like that most people like? 

Is there anyone else out there on this planet that doesn't like peanut butter? Did you know Asian dogs don't like peanut butter! It's true. They like rice. We tried to give a dog there pb and she wouldn't eat it but she chowed down a rice ball. ha ha! 

What is your least favorite food? Why? 

Oh and while I was looking for pictures for this post I came upon this oldie but goodie picture of my pet duck named Quack. <3 Which you should know I refuse to eat anything duck after having a pet duck....


I'm Going to Miss Pooping in a Bag - The Horrible Story of our BrokenSewer Line

This past week has been one of the hardest of my life. I'm not kidding either. Maybe I won't think it was one of the hardest in a few weeks but this week was rough.

Back in July our friends came to visit and stay the night with us. Well, when they were here a couple of us showered, I ran the dishwasher and we all used the toilet; the normal things. Well, I went down in the basement and saw that the sewer line had exploded and there was poop all over our floor followed by a big pool of water that had come up from the drain from our sewer line. Have you ever cleaned poop off your basement floor? I hope you can say no because it is awful. 

We got a plumber out here to snake the line and he informed us that the sewer line was broke right where it connects to the main city sewer line. I tried to remain calm as I asked him what he thought it would cost to fix something like that and he said he would guess around $1,000. ha ha! I laugh at his answer now. 

A plumber came out and informed us that to repair it they would have to dig a trench in our entire back yard and because our neighborhood is older they really buried the pipe lines, 15 feet down. He gave me a quote of $5,400 and I about fell over. Thankfully we found someone that did it for much cheaper plus insurance gave us $800. 

We could use water in our house but minimally, as in we could flush the toilet once a day. I showered at the Y and didn't run the dishwasher. However, the plumbers didn't get the license from the city in time to get the repair inspected so we had to wait another week and by that time our water usage was almost at zero because it would constantly back up. And that is when my husband pooped in a bag. Because when you have lived in Burma (and I am not even going to go into the poop stories from there on the blog) but pooping in a bag isn't so bad. I did not do that! 

The plumber was nice and walked me through the process. He told me it was a big job because they would dig deep and then said, "your yard is going to look like Beirut." And he did not lie.  

I also felt horrible because our nice neighbors who live behind us have a little baby and they had to empty their shed because the sewer line was right under it. I was told they would only go a few inches into their shed area and they dug a massive hole over there. Then when they finished the repair they put all the dirt back but it isn't compacted yet so we have big mounds. It looks like a giant monster ground hog came through our yard. Thankfully our neighbors have been so nice and understanding with this entire ordeal. 

Then after the big mound is there I'm supposed to water it so it can compact. I was out there with a hose watering dirt. However, I see now what a waste of time that was as in the last two days Wichita has received over 10+ inches of intense rain. I'm sure it was more than that because people have had to get rescued from their cars due to flash flooding. 

Anyways, all the rain made a massive trench and the biggest trench is right under or AC unit. I'm so thankful the guy that suspended our ac unit (so they could dig the trench under there) and put three beams under the unit or else our ac would be under water as that trench is 3+ feet deep. I know because I have been out there bucketing water out of it and trying to fill the trench again with dirt. Thankfully Dave went out there and filled it the best he could.

If you are wondering how our sewer line broke it is because they think the city line got replaced at one point and they didn't attach the proper pipes to our old house pipes. I am sure I could fight the city on it to pay if I had pictures and a letter from the plumber but to be honest, I don't have that emotional energy in my right now. 

Then to top it all off, with all these rains we have two leaks in our roof. I'll be working on that tomorrow (Saturday) so hopefully by the time this is published on Monday something will be in route to get this roof fixed. 

As far as our yard, we have to wait a couple of weeks for it to compress down, flatten it out and hopefully plant grass. 

OH and my tomato plants and garden got demolished. Thankfully, I moved two of my basil plants to a pot but my tomato plants that had tons of little tomatoes got destroyed. And yes, I cried a lot over my tomatoes. I cried over my yard and then I cried that I was crying. 

BUT I can flush my toilets, do laundry, run my dishwasher and shower at the same time so that is a huge blessing. 

I asked Dave what he thought God was teaching us during this trial and he said, "Not to buy an old house again." I don't agree 100% but I am sure God is going to teach us something through this. Maybe I'll learn how to be calm. ;)