Jake & I flew to Minnesota for Christmas this year. We were there from Friday, December 19, thru Monday, December 29. It was so fun being home in Minnesota for Christmas with BOTH families. We had Christmas with the Flamings on Wednesday (Christmas Eve day) out at Jen & Eric's.
All the kids
Dad/Grandpa first read the Christmas story in Luke 2. Then we went through Adorenaments by Family Life.
Mom Flaming made quilts for all us kids. Thanks, Mom!
Ethan (7 months) "opening" gifts.
Luke (my cousin) & Jess (Jake's sister) I set them up at the wedding--it's going good! :)
Last night, after church & the youth Christmas party, Jake & I had our own Christmas. It is fun starting our own traditions together. We had to have Christmas really early since we are flying to Minnesota tomorrow morning. We'll probably be traveling most holidays now.
We started off by caroling to some older ladies in the church. We then came back to the church, ate, had a challenge & then ended with a White Elephant Gift Exchange. We had a great time. I'm so thankful that Jake & I can serve together with the youth. We're enjoying it.
During the Gift Exchange
He's about to open the gift Jake brought!
Jake photo-shopped a picture of Pastor Dave onto Elvis's body. He made the photo look like an album cover. It was HILARIOUS!
I am THRILLED to announce that I finally have a full time job here in Wilmington. It has been a LONG process, but God has given me a job. I will be working for AV Alive. It is an office type of position. I'll be doing order tracking, customer service, answering phones, filing, projects, etc. . . The owners of AV Alive attend Grace & have kids at WCA. I start TOMORROW!
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the Lord forever; for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength.Isaiah 26:3-4
Jake & I went to Charleston to spend Thanksgiving with my sister, Emily. We drove down Wednesday afternoon & came back Saturday morning. It's just under 4 hours from Wilmington to Charleston. We had a great visit. It was fun seeing her AGAIN this weekend & her new house!
Last weekend we went to Pennsylvania for our Tuttle Family Reunion at Camp Calvary. Our last reunion was my senior year of college-Fall of 2003. It was so fun seeing everyone! Here are a few pictures from our fun weekend.
Grandma with her kids (missing Uncle Chris)
Some of the great grandkids (missing 5+)
Cousins & Spouses
It was WONDERFUL to see my family!
Luke & Jake (brothers-in-law???)
Singing "Orphans of God"
We left our camera in our cabin until Sunday morning. Oops! I'll have to steal some pictures from my Dad's camera. We had a wonderful weekend.
Last week our pastoral staff had their annual retreat. We watched Micah & Laci while Pastor Dave & Jenny were on the retreat. We have watched Micah & Laci before. This time we had Micah & Laci from Thursday late afternoon through Saturday afternoon. Once again, we had a great time together.
Friday (while Micah was at school) Laci & I made a necklace & bracelet. We also mixed up sugar cookies, which we rolled out Friday night with Micah & Jake.The kids like to play Pig Mania!
Saturday morning Jake did Micah's hair like his. You should've seen Dave & Jenny's reaction to Micah's frohawk! Priceless.
I decided to make some Christmas gifts this year with my "free" time (since I am STILL job searching). I asked my friend Beth for some gift ideas & she suggested a book for our niece & nephews. The book would say what our life is like here in NC. I thought that was a GREAT idea since we only see them a few times a year. (I used to see them weekly at church.)
I decided to do the ABC's about our life in North Carolina. The book is going to through laminating machine & then I'll bind it & make a cover.
Jake brought home the laminated pages Wednesday night & we worked together on putting the book together & binding it. Here is the finished product:
Hopefully the kids will like it! It was fun to put this together for them. I only spent money on more glue sticks & laminating, otherwise I used up scrapbooking supplies that I already had. It did take a lot of TIME, but i have some of that right now. :) I started another project yesterday that will be another Christmas gift.
PS--Jen if you see this. . . don't show the kids! ;)
I have been job searching since we arrived in Wilmington (beginning of August). I thought that I would have a job by the time Jake started school (end of August). Obviously God has different plans. There was a job that i had had 2 interviews with & really wanted. Yesterday, I found out that i did not get the job. I was so disappointed. Jake came home from school with a bouquet of flowers for me. He's so sweet. The bouquet even has green button mums, which we had in our wedding. I arranged them in a vase (from our wedding) while we talked. Later Jake just sat me on his lap & held me. I am trying to fully trust God for ALL things (good & bad & disappointing times). I would love to be working full time right now, but God has not allowed that, yet.
Jake's a keeper! I am so thankful for my wonderful husband that God brought into my life. God has been so faithful to us & we will continue to trust Him for the future.
I have been sick & tired of my blog template/background for months now, but have not had the time to fix it. I started looking for a new background, but I was not finding what I wanted. I decided to ask my cousin Loraena, the blog queen, for some ideas. Her blog looks so great! She actually used a designer whose proceeds go toward an adoption fund. Loraena also told me about this website. They have such great backgrounds! I may have to start changing my background more often--maybe even seasonally!
Two weeks ago I made granola. Jake loved it & we ate it right up (for breakfast, snack, etc. . .) So I made a BIG batch the following week. Homemade granola is so good! Here is my "recipe": (Typically, I just dump whatever is in the cupboard.)
4 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup coconut
1/3 cup pecans
1/3 cup almonds
2 cups cereal (Last batch I used Cheerios & Chex.)
1 cup Raisin Bran cereal
1/2 cup craisins
(You can also add oat bran, wheat germ, powdered milk, sesame seeds, Rice Krispies, etc. . .)
Mix the previous ingredients in a large bowl & set aside.
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup honey
1 cup orange juice
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Whisk in a microwavable bowl. Microwave for one minute. Mix again & pour over dry granola mix. Make sure mix is evenly coated. Pour granola onto a deep baking sheet. Bake at 325 for 30 minutes. Stir granola every 10 minutes.
**Most recipes call for a lot of oil (one cup!). I use juice instead (less fat & healthier). The sugar in the juice works well to coat the granola & allows it to clump. You can also use maple syrup.
Jake & I are youth leaders at Grace. Saturday night we had a haunted hayride out at the Dixon Farm. It was fun! We first bussed the kids to an open field where they played football until it was good & dark. Then all of us leaders took our places in the woods along the path. I was in a truck waiting to turn on the truck, rev the engine, turn on the lights & honk the horn as the tractor went by. Jake was further down in the woods with an empty paintball gun. He was also near some men with chainsaws (minus the chains). The teens seemed to love it!