Thursday, March 31, 2011

Show Us Your Life: Tell Us About Your Church

I was so glad that Kelly posted this topic for her SUYL. This is the first one I have ever done so here goes...

As a Christian, one of the most important things in my life is our church. Jason and I really really loved our church - Watkinsville First Baptist in Athens, GA where we met and attended college at University of Georgia (GO DAWGS!). We loved this church because they did a great job of reaching out to college students. They have a college students breakfast every fall when new freshman arrive where they provide free food for all. It's a good time to get freshman plugged into a good church right off the bat. Plus they have an awesome Sunday School class for college students. One of the reasons we really liked it is because when we went there, they had everyone sit around round tables. For half of the time we would discuss questions with each - which helped us get to know lots of other people our age at the church. After being there a year or so, we started to get involved. I helped out in the nursery for a few years and Jason got involved with the worship team - he played the saxophone. He loved this opportunity and made lifelong friends during all the time he spent practicing and playing on Wednesdays and Sundays. Although the worship team always wanted to record a worship album, they never pulled it off while we were in Athens. However, they finally accomplished their goal and published one this week! You can find more info about the worship album here.
Here's Jason doing his thang at worship band practice
To top everything off, we loved our head pastor, who preached the truth unashamedly week after week. So when we decided that we would get married in Athens, there was no question that we would get married at Watksinville Baptist and get married by our pastor during our college years - Carlos! Although the church was primarily held in a gym, they did have a smaller chapel that was used in the earlier years - that was where we had our wedding ceremony.
Here's a photo of the Watksinville chapel we got married in.

So all that to say, when we found out we were leaving Athens and headed to Augusta - we were a tad devastated. How would we ever find a church that measured up to Watkinsville? True- it was hard to leave our friends in Athens, both from school and from church, but we were also excited about finding something new. 

During our first few weeks in Augusta, we tried out various churches. I grew up going to a pretty wide variety of churches. When I was really young, we went to a large Baptist church. During my pre-teen and teenage years, we went to an Assemblies of God church that we were heavily involved in. Then, around the time I left for college, my parents found a Southern Baptist Church  - Johnson Ferry Baptist that they switched to. Since we had really agreed with everything that they taught at Watksinville, we mainly looked at Baptist churches in the Augusta area, although we were up for a few other options as well. After a few months of search and praying for a good church to come our way, we found our current home church, Warren Baptist - - it is located in Augusta, GA off of Washington Rd. We go to Sunday School at 9:20 and Contemporary Worship Service in Simmons Hall at 10:45. 

Right off the bat we liked the solid, biblical preaching that we heard from our head pastor. We really like how he preaches the truth of the word, and doesn't worry about being politically correct, or making people feel good. Instead he challenges us - this is exactly what we were looking for. Plus, the church is very missions and ministry based. It works in conjunction with a lot of local charities, something that Jason and I both want to spend more time doing in the near future. Plus, they have mission trips throughout the year - like the one Jason is going on next week. 

One of the things that really sealed the deal for us during one of our visits to Warren was when we saw that they were starting a Nearly-Married/Newly-Married Sunday School class the next week. We had been looking for a church that not only a) had Sunday School Classes - you'd be surprised how many didn't - but b) also has Small Groups during the week. Well this class provided all that and more. Through our involvement in this class, we met a lot of other couples like us who were just starting out. Lots of them had even moved to Augusta for medical school like us! Since we didn't have any family in the area, it was such a blessing to have other believers in our lives to encourage us and provide much needed friendship. We have enjoyed lots of fun times with this group and have now had to move onto a Young Married Class (since we are no longer technically "Newlyweds"). Jason was even asked to co-teach this class- so we are thankful that God has given us a place to serve in this stage in our lives. 

I want to echo what Kelly said in her post and really encourage those of you out there who don't go to church to try it out! It really isn't all that scary. I mean yes, it can be a little awkward the first time or two, but before long you will start to get to know people. Also, if you go to church but still don't feel like you have community there, try out a Sunday School and/or a Small Group. At our church we meet on Sundays and Monday for Small group/Bible Study with the same group of people and it has really helped us get to know each other better. There is nothing like studying the Bible together in a small group/Bible Study setting. I look forward to Mondays every week because of our Bible Studies. 

So if you haven't already found a church, try some out and pray that God leads you to the one where you belong. Sure, no church is perfect, but there is a perfect one for you, where you can find a place where you are needed and where you can serve others, inside and outside the congregation. It's so true, if you are single, then what better place than church to find friends and even a future spouse? If you are married, what better place to be strengthened in your marriage than in a Sunday School or Small Group with other couples in the same boat? Just be brave and visit around until you find a place is right. 

Until next time...

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What I'm Lovin' Wednesday

{1} I'm loving that next week Jason gets to go on his first mission trip to Ecuador! He is going with a medical group and they will be providing free medical care to Ecuadorians in various villages near the city of Ibarra. We just went to their last team meeting and they will be leaving on Saturday morning. Thank you to all those who are supporting him on this trip! You can be praying for the hearts of the Ecuadorians to be open to the Gospel and to give the team opportunities to minister to their physical and spiritual needs. 

{2}I'm loving that next week I get two days off! That's right, I'm taking off Thursday and Friday and will be spending it at the lake house with my fam. 

{3}I'm loving this Beef Stir-fry recipe I found on Pioneer Woman's blog today. It looks so good. I think I'll make it sometime soon. 

{4} I'm loving the "How to Make Pillows" post over at The Lettered Cottage. Aren't they soooo cute? Maybe this will be what finally gets me to break out the sewing machine that I got for our wedding that has never been used! 

{5} I'm loving inspiration from Feast your eyes...

{6}I'm loving the style ideas I get from "Love, Ramsey"

{7} I'm loving pastors who preach the truth and challenge me in their sermons. Mars Hill Church: Mark Driscoll

Until next time...

Baby Blue Bathroom Redo

We have a teeny tiny master bathroom. I think that is one of the easiest ways to date a house - just ask to see how big the master bathroom is in comparison to the rest of the house and it will give you a good clue. Although our house isn't extremely old - built in 1989 I think - it definitely shares the small bathroom characteristic with other older homes. When we moved from our apartment in Athens to our house, the one space that got a LOT smaller, was our bathroom. Over the past year or so, Jason and I have learned how to dodge each other in the bathroom and time our showers and other activities to avoid us both being in such a tiny space for long periods of time. As with a lot of the other rooms in the house, the paint color kind of matched what we already owned, so there was no need to paint it right away. In the case of our bathroom, it was a light lilac shade, which went okay with our oceanside decor. However, over time, the slightly off-color of the walls and the streaky water marks (due to our malfunctioning fan) got to me. 

Here's the before photos of our bathroom (taken with my phone, hence the bad quality). Can you tell the paint is slightly purple? And doesn't match at all? Or maybe it's one of those things that you have to see in person...  
 Here's the shower curtain that we matched the new baby blue color to. In this photo you can see the purple color a little more clearly. 

So here's how it went down: 

Jason replaced the broken motor in the fan in our bathroom - BROAN-NUTONE BP27. The broken fan was part of the problem of our streaky bathroom walls.
Good as new!

Then we took down all the fixtures, patched a few holes, and taped the room up, I did this on Sunday afternoon when Jason was studying - so it took forever! Since this little project, I have decided that the smaller the room is, the harder it is to paint. Just getting all my painting gear + my ladder + plus myself completely filled the space up! Jason couldn't even come in to see my project it was so cramped! By the way, due to some recommendations from other bloggers, we used green frogtape and it worked okay, but next time we are using the trusty blue tape again. :) 
Since we were in a time crunch, we decided NOT to take out the toilet. We figured that no one is ever going to see behind there anyways- unless they are painting the room a different color. So we just covered the toilet with plastic floor covering, taped it to the sides of the toilet, and tried to get as far down with a paint brush as possible. 

In this room, we have two shiny silver towel holders that had gotten really "non-shiny" over time. Jason put his science knowledge to work and used Acetone and a rag to make them as good as new! 
One problem we ran into with this room is that we only bought a quart of paint. We thought it would be enough and would save us about $10. Well sure enough, on our second coat we ended up with 2x2 square of wall that desperately needed paint. So we had to run out and get some more. This time, we bought to sample sizes that had screw on lids that will actually be easier to use in case we need to touch-up in the future. 

Overall, we were really happy with how our weekend project turned out. This photo is still "pre-cleaning" so it should look even better for when our renters arrive! 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Before & After: My Beloved Craigslist Refrigerator

When we got married, we had no appliances of any sort. So we decided to do what other broke newlyweds do - "Craigslist"! - Is "Craigslist" a verb now like "Google"?

Anyways, our refrigerator was a steal of a deal ($375?) that we got out of Austell. In the summer of 2009, Jason was in Augusta taking classes and living with our friends Paul and Shannon while I was living in Atlanta, getting used to my job. So it was up to my dad, my 5 year old brother Lucas, and me to move go retrieve the refrigerator. I planned it so we had already picked up the moving truck - a stroke of genius if I say so myself. Anyways, it was the first of many items loaded into the U-Haul headed for Augusta.

About a year ago, I attempted to clean this thing, but I couldn't get into all the nooks and crannies since it is situated against a wall. This year, Jason pulled it out for me so I could take all the drawers out and clean it really well.

The method:

  • Move refrigerator away from wall - may need hubby's help with this one 
  • Clear all items from refrigerator
  • Take out drawers and shelves that can be removed
  • Clean drawers out with warm water and soap in the kitchen sink
  • Spray 409 to your heart's content and wipe with a sponge
  • Spray Windex to your heart's content and wipe with paper towels 

 Before - Ewww! Yes, I am ashamed. 

After - Who knew a fridge could be this pretty?! I still sigh when I open it - 

Until next time...

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Blogging Challenge - Day 15 - Bible Verse

At Bible Study tonight, Jason read this entire chapter aloud. It was pretty awesome - you should read it too.

Psalm 119 (NIV)

א Aleph

1 Blessed are those whose ways are blameless,
who walk according to the law of the LORD.
2 Blessed are those who keep his statutes
and seek him with all their heart—
3 they do no wrong
but follow his ways.
4 You have laid down precepts
that are to be fully obeyed.
5 Oh, that my ways were steadfast
in obeying your decrees!
6 Then I would not be put to shame
when I consider all your commands.
7 I will praise you with an upright heart
as I learn your righteous laws.
8 I will obey your decrees;
do not utterly forsake me.

ב Beth

9 How can a young person stay on the path of purity?
By living according to your word.
10 I seek you with all my heart;
do not let me stray from your commands.
11 I have hidden your word in my heart
that I might not sin against you.
12 Praise be to you, LORD;
teach me your decrees.
13 With my lips I recount
all the laws that come from your mouth.
14 I rejoice in following your statutes
as one rejoices in great riches.
15 I meditate on your precepts
and consider your ways.
16 I delight in your decrees;
I will not neglect your word.

ג Gimel

17 Be good to your servant while I live,
that I may obey your word.
18 Open my eyes that I may see
wonderful things in your law.
19 I am a stranger on earth;
do not hide your commands from me.
20 My soul is consumed with longing
for your laws at all times.
21 You rebuke the arrogant, who are accursed,
those who stray from your commands.
22 Remove from me their scorn and contempt,
for I keep your statutes.
23 Though rulers sit together and slander me,
your servant will meditate on your decrees.
24 Your statutes are my delight;
they are my counselors.

ד Daleth

25 I am laid low in the dust;
preserve my life according to your word.
26 I gave an account of my ways and you answered me;
teach me your decrees.
27 Cause me to understand the way of your precepts,
that I may meditate on your wonderful deeds.
28 My soul is weary with sorrow;
strengthen me according to your word.
29 Keep me from deceitful ways;
be gracious to me and teach me your law.
30 I have chosen the way of faithfulness;
I have set my heart on your laws.
31 I hold fast to your statutes, LORD;
do not let me be put to shame.
32 I run in the path of your commands,
for you have broadened my understanding.

ה He

33 Teach me, LORD, the way of your decrees,
that I may follow it to the end.
34 Give me understanding, so that I may keep your law
and obey it with all my heart.
35 Direct me in the path of your commands,
for there I find delight.
36 Turn my heart toward your statutes
and not toward selfish gain.
37 Turn my eyes away from worthless things;
preserve my life according to your word.
38 Fulfill your promise to your servant,
so that you may be feared.
39 Take away the disgrace I dread,
for your laws are good.
40 How I long for your precepts!
In your righteousness preserve my life.

ו Waw

41 May your unfailing love come to me, LORD,
your salvation, according to your promise;
42 then I can answer anyone who taunts me,
for I trust in your word.
43 Never take your word of truth from my mouth,
for I have put my hope in your laws.
44 I will always obey your law,
for ever and ever.
45 I will walk about in freedom,
for I have sought out your precepts.
46 I will speak of your statutes before kings
and will not be put to shame,
47 for I delight in your commands
because I love them.
48 I reach out for your commands, which I love,
that I may meditate on your decrees.

ז Zayin

49 Remember your word to your servant,
for you have given me hope.
50 My comfort in my suffering is this:
Your promise preserves my life.
51 The arrogant mock me unmercifully,
but I do not turn from your law.
52 I remember, LORD, your ancient laws,
and I find comfort in them.
53 Indignation grips me because of the wicked,
who have forsaken your law.
54 Your decrees are the theme of my song
wherever I lodge.
55 In the night, LORD, I remember your name,
that I may keep your law.
56 This has been my practice:
I obey your precepts.

ח Heth

57 You are my portion, LORD;
I have promised to obey your words.
58 I have sought your face with all my heart;
be gracious to me according to your promise.
59 I have considered my ways
and have turned my steps to your statutes.
60 I will hasten and not delay
to obey your commands.
61 Though the wicked bind me with ropes,
I will not forget your law.
62 At midnight I rise to give you thanks
for your righteous laws.
63 I am a friend to all who fear you,
to all who follow your precepts.
64 The earth is filled with your love, LORD;
teach me your decrees.

ט Teth

65 Do good to your servant
according to your word, LORD.
66 Teach me knowledge and good judgment,
for I trust your commands.
67 Before I was afflicted I went astray,
but now I obey your word.
68 You are good, and what you do is good;
teach me your decrees.
69 Though the arrogant have smeared me with lies,
I keep your precepts with all my heart.
70 Their hearts are callous and unfeeling,
but I delight in your law.
71 It was good for me to be afflicted
so that I might learn your decrees.
72 The law from your mouth is more precious to me
than thousands of pieces of silver and gold.

י Yodh

73 Your hands made me and formed me;
give me understanding to learn your commands.
74 May those who fear you rejoice when they see me,
for I have put my hope in your word.
75 I know, LORD, that your laws are righteous,
and that in faithfulness you have afflicted me.
76 May your unfailing love be my comfort,
according to your promise to your servant.
77 Let your compassion come to me that I may live,
for your law is my delight.
78 May the arrogant be put to shame for wronging me without cause;
but I will meditate on your precepts.
79 May those who fear you turn to me,
those who understand your statutes.
80 May I wholeheartedly follow your decrees,
that I may not be put to shame.

כ Kaph

81 My soul faints with longing for your salvation,
but I have put my hope in your word.
82 My eyes fail, looking for your promise;
I say, “When will you comfort me?”
83 Though I am like a wineskin in the smoke,
I do not forget your decrees.
84 How long must your servant wait?
When will you punish my persecutors?
85 The arrogant dig pits to trap me,
contrary to your law.
86 All your commands are trustworthy;
help me, for I am being persecuted without cause.
87 They almost wiped me from the earth,
but I have not forsaken your precepts.
88 In your unfailing love preserve my life,
that I may obey the statutes of your mouth.

ל Lamedh

89 Your word, LORD, is eternal;
it stands firm in the heavens.
90 Your faithfulness continues through all generations;
you established the earth, and it endures.
91 Your laws endure to this day,
for all things serve you.
92 If your law had not been my delight,
I would have perished in my affliction.
93 I will never forget your precepts,
for by them you have preserved my life.
94 Save me, for I am yours;
I have sought out your precepts.
95 The wicked are waiting to destroy me,
but I will ponder your statutes.
96 To all perfection I see a limit,
but your commands are boundless.

מ Mem

97 Oh, how I love your law!
I meditate on it all day long.
98 Your commands are always with me
and make me wiser than my enemies.
99 I have more insight than all my teachers,
for I meditate on your statutes.
100 I have more understanding than the elders,
for I obey your precepts.
101 I have kept my feet from every evil path
so that I might obey your word.
102 I have not departed from your laws,
for you yourself have taught me.
103 How sweet are your words to my taste,
sweeter than honey to my mouth!
104 I gain understanding from your precepts;
therefore I hate every wrong path.

נ Nun

105 Your word is a lamp for my feet,
a light on my path.
106 I have taken an oath and confirmed it,
that I will follow your righteous laws.
107 I have suffered much;
preserve my life, LORD, according to your word.
108 Accept, LORD, the willing praise of my mouth,
and teach me your laws.
109 Though I constantly take my life in my hands,
I will not forget your law.
110 The wicked have set a snare for me,
but I have not strayed from your precepts.
111 Your statutes are my heritage forever;
they are the joy of my heart.
112 My heart is set on keeping your decrees
to the very end.[d]

ס Samekh

113 I hate double-minded people,
but I love your law.
114 You are my refuge and my shield;
I have put my hope in your word.
115 Away from me, you evildoers,
that I may keep the commands of my God!
116 Sustain me, my God, according to your promise, and I will live;
do not let my hopes be dashed.
117 Uphold me, and I will be delivered;
I will always have regard for your decrees.
118 You reject all who stray from your decrees,
for their delusions come to nothing.
119 All the wicked of the earth you discard like dross;
therefore I love your statutes.
120 My flesh trembles in fear of you;
I stand in awe of your laws.

ע Ayin

121 I have done what is righteous and just;
do not leave me to my oppressors.
122 Ensure your servant’s well-being;
do not let the arrogant oppress me.
123 My eyes fail, looking for your salvation,
looking for your righteous promise.
124 Deal with your servant according to your love
and teach me your decrees.
125 I am your servant; give me discernment
that I may understand your statutes.
126 It is time for you to act, LORD;
your law is being broken.
127 Because I love your commands
more than gold, more than pure gold,
128 and because I consider all your precepts right,
I hate every wrong path.

פ Pe

129 Your statutes are wonderful;
therefore I obey them.
130 The unfolding of your words gives light;
it gives understanding to the simple.
131 I open my mouth and pant,
longing for your commands.
132 Turn to me and have mercy on me,
as you always do to those who love your name.
133 Direct my footsteps according to your word;
let no sin rule over me.
134 Redeem me from human oppression,
that I may obey your precepts.
135 Make your face shine on your servant
and teach me your decrees.
136 Streams of tears flow from my eyes,
for your law is not obeyed.

צ Tsadhe

137 You are righteous, LORD,
and your laws are right.
138 The statutes you have laid down are righteous;
they are fully trustworthy.
139 My zeal wears me out,
for my enemies ignore your words.
140 Your promises have been thoroughly tested,
and your servant loves them.
141 Though I am lowly and despised,
I do not forget your precepts.
142 Your righteousness is everlasting
and your law is true.
143 Trouble and distress have come upon me,
but your commands give me delight.
144 Your statutes are always righteous;
give me understanding that I may live.

ק Qoph

145 I call with all my heart; answer me, LORD,
and I will obey your decrees.
146 I call out to you; save me
and I will keep your statutes.
147 I rise before dawn and cry for help;
I have put my hope in your word.
148 My eyes stay open through the watches of the night,
that I may meditate on your promises.
149 Hear my voice in accordance with your love;
preserve my life, LORD, according to your laws.
150 Those who devise wicked schemes are near,
but they are far from your law.
151 Yet you are near, LORD,
and all your commands are true.
152 Long ago I learned from your statutes
that you established them to last forever.

ר Resh

153 Look on my suffering and deliver me,
for I have not forgotten your law.
154 Defend my cause and redeem me;
preserve my life according to your promise.
155 Salvation is far from the wicked,
for they do not seek out your decrees.
156 Your compassion, LORD, is great;
preserve my life according to your laws.
157 Many are the foes who persecute me,
but I have not turned from your statutes.
158 I look on the faithless with loathing,
for they do not obey your word.
159 See how I love your precepts;
preserve my life, LORD, in accordance with your love.
160 All your words are true;
all your righteous laws are eternal.

ש Sin and Shin

161 Rulers persecute me without cause,
but my heart trembles at your word.
162 I rejoice in your promise
like one who finds great spoil.
163 I hate and detest falsehood
but I love your law.
164 Seven times a day I praise you
for your righteous laws.
165 Great peace have those who love your law,
and nothing can make them stumble.
166 I wait for your salvation, LORD,
and I follow your commands.
167 I obey your statutes,
for I love them greatly.
168 I obey your precepts and your statutes,
for all my ways are known to you.

ת Taw

169 May my cry come before you, LORD;
give me understanding according to your word.
170 May my supplication come before you;
deliver me according to your promise.
171 May my lips overflow with praise,
for you teach me your decrees.
172 May my tongue sing of your word,
for all your commands are righteous.
173 May your hand be ready to help me,
for I have chosen your precepts.
174 I long for your salvation, LORD,
and your law gives me delight.
175 Let me live that I may praise you,
and may your laws sustain me.
176 I have strayed like a lost sheep.
Seek your servant,
for I have not forgotten your commands.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Our First Garage Sale Ever!

We had lots of fun this weekend putting on our first garage sale ever! I know that normally this isn't something to write home about, but with our new toys (blog, flip, mac), there is some serious fun to be had. Just leave it to Jason to make a cool video about something that most people may consider less than exciting.

Ever since Christmas break we have been "purging" ourselves of things that we really don't need or use all that often. This is a very difficult concept for me. It seems that when I was growing up there was always some sort of extra room or basement to put my "old" things in - things that were special to me, or had some sort of significance that put them a level above the things that were trashed. Well, then came college, then came marriage, then came the weekend that my mom cleared the house of 99% of my collectibles and we loaded up my Highlander and brought them home. Somehow, those things took up a LOT more space in our little starter home than they did in my parent's basement. Finally came the inevitable confrontation between my new hubby and all of my precious "things". For some reason, he care quite as much about my handwritten letters to my friends in middle school, my 3rd grade science notebook, or my art projects and English papers acquired through the years. In fact, it was at this moment in time that I realized a scary bit of info about Jason. He LOVES to get rid of things - to simplify life. The same thrill that I get about buying something new, he gets about getting rid of something old. This is another thing that is opposite about us that we have come to discover. So there I am - a potential pack-rat to be, in the same room with the simplifier, and things can get a little heated - lol. Anyways, all that to say, we did get rid of a lot of my stuff, but that was about 1 1/2 years ago.

Enter this past Christmas break. It was then that we realized that our house contained quite a bit of stuff that we could do without. At this point, I came prepared with the knowledge that Jason loves purging, so I was prepared to fight to the death for things that I really cared about, while still being willing to acknowledge the things that I could do without. We decided that we would try the "yard sale" thing to try to make a few bucks. It turned out that the goal of making some cash at the future yard sale really helped me get over the hump and get rid of those 8 or so pairs of black pants that I had never worn :)

Slowly but surely, we made it through all of the rooms, closets, and other random spaces in our house. Finally, last Friday, we finished!

So here's how it went down:

  • We posted a $30 ad in the Augusta Chronicle - this was split between us and our friends Michael and Angelyn who partnered with us on the yard sale.
  • On Friday night, they came over, we grilled out, ate dinner outside for the first time this year, and started a quite lengthy "pricing party". All of said pricing was done in our kitchen - which made for the mess you see in the video above. 
  • Then we went to Kroger, grabbed some supplied and drove around sticking our signs throughout our neck of the words. 
Saturday morning was there before we knew it and even though we were setting up by 7:00am to get things ready by 8:00, we had quite a few eager customers rooting through boxes before we had even set everything out! The whole experience ending up being a lot of fun. We sold some stuff, made some money ($183 net to be precise), and had some good quality time to chat with friends. All in all, I recommend garage sales as a great way to encourage would-be-pack-rats-like-me to get rid of stuff they never use, to make some $ in the process, to meet some neighbors, and to spend some time with friends (I highly recommend partnering on your first "yard sale" go round). Plus, it didn't hurt that the weather was AWESOME! Highs were 85 that day, but in the morning it was much cooler. So other than the light yellow green pollen dusting that our stuff got, it was perfect! 

Here are some pics: 
Angelyn pricing away
 Me in my new Relay for Life T-shirt!
 Michael spent much of the night pricing books 
 The kitchen in disarray 
 Putting signs around town 
 The guys hard at work 
 Yard Sale! 

 The morning of 
 Hanging out - those chairs that were clearly marked "Not for sale" were the most asked about item there! 
 At the cashier's table 

 Sad because of her name-tag that says "Make Best Offer" 
 The end! 

I'm linkin' up: 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Best Cookies Ever! aka Peanut Butter Monster Cookies + some "Bieber Fever"

Best Cookies Ever: Peanut Butter Monster Cookies


  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup ... or 12 oz jar creamy (or crunchy - I used a little of each) peanut butter
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups (or more) M&Ms
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 4 1/2 cups quick-cooking oatmeal (not instant)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats. In a very large mixing bowl, combine the eggs and sugars. Mix well. Add the salt, vanilla, peanut butter, and butter. Mix well. Stir in the M&Ms, baking soda, and oatmeal. Drop by tablespoons 2 inches apart onto the prepared cookie sheets.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Do not overbake. Let stand for about 3 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool. When cool, store in large resealable plastic bags.

Note: this recipe is adjusted from Paula Deen's version here.

Sorry I got a little "Bieber Fever" and had to add this!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

What I'm Lovin' Wednesdays: Week 6

Happy Wednesday Y'all! We'll make this short and sweet! 

{1} I'm loving...Warm Weather! I wore a t-shirt and shorts this weekend and wasn't even cold! It was glorious! Plus, look at the upcoming forecast. This is definitely one of the perks of living in Augusta, GA. 

{2} I'm loving...Pioneer Woman's Photo Posts/Contests. Check them out here. They actually make me want to seriously get into photography - that's saying something.

{3} I'm loving...All my friends who are expecting their first baby. It is such an exciting time and fun to be a part of! 

{4} I'm loving...Spring Flowers and Plants. We went to Lowe's over the weekend, and I was drooling over the all sorts of flowers, bushes, and trees that we could add to our front yard. We'll see if that happens later this summer... 

{5} I'm loving...Preparing for my first garage sale! We are venturing into this with our friends Angelyn and Michael, so if it's a dud, we can at least hang out with them bright and early this Saturday from 8:00-noon! 

{6} I'm loving... My favorite weeknight routine.... Work out, take a warm shower, wear my favorite black stretch pants, sports bra, and worn-in t-shirt, have cereal for dinner, and sit on the couch with my laptop or favorite book. This is the life! FYI - this combo is even better when the house is completely clean! 

{7} I'm loving...Hymns. There ain't nothing like them: 
O worship the King, all glorious above,
O gratefully sing His power and His love;
Our Shield and Defender, the Ancient of Days,
Pavilioned in splendor, and girded with praise

Frail children of dust, and feeble as frail,
In Thee do we trust, nor find Thee to fail;
Thy mercies how tender, how firm to the end,
Our Maker, Defender, Redeemer, and Friend.


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