26 March 2010

Give Away and a Moving Date!

First things first, my friend Emily is having a delish give away on her blog. Go here to take part, leave a comment and let her know I sent you. If you like tea or even if you aren't a big tea fan (like myself) I can pretty much guarantee you will love this tea! We had a tea tasting night for one our monthly ladies fellowship meetings and this was the best tea we tasted.

Secondly, but perhaps slightly more importantly (sorry Em!) - we booked our flights! This is a bit of old news for those of you on FB, but that's just how it goes. We fly out at 7:40am on Monday June 14th! I am perhaps most looking forward to sweating the WHOLE summer! (Please remind me of that when I'm roasting.) And so the adventures of getting rid our belongings begin again. Only 3 short years ago and we were in the same spot. Except this time there is much less to get rid of - thank goodness!

We'd appreciate your prayers today and into next week about our future. Some of our future plans are potentially being decided during this time frame. But for now, when we return to the U.S. we'll be staying with my parents in Nashville. And we are waiting on God to show us what to do from there.

Happy weekend to you all. Hurray for British Summer Time beginning here tomorrow night!! Bring on the long evenings!

24 March 2010

God's Economy

I love God's economy. I love that in giving I receive. I love that when I am empty, He fills.

Have you ever waited so much you start to feel you really can wait no longer? That's where I was yesterday and this morning. But today throughout the day, I have been pleading with God to change me in the wait. (And not because I'm spiritual, but because I've been miserable!) Because that's why I'm here, right?


The amazing thing. He's been answering. All day. In little ways.

Ever since November I've been helping out on Wednesday afternoons at a ministry through our church called CafePlus. Basically just a gathering for over 55's to get out of the house, see some friendly faces, have their bodies stretched (they do chair aerobic-type things), mind challenged (by various speakers/topics), and tummies filled (tea/coffe and "homebakes"). This has slowly become my favorite time of the week. Each week I get to chat with, smile at, get smiled at, serve these beautiful people. And every week, no matter how much I give (which really isn't that much all things considered), I receive more than I give. I always walk away blessed, filled, encouraged. Only in God's economy.

Another way God has filled my tired heart today, just came via a friend's blog. We knew and her family from our church in Raleigh. You've got to read this post. She spelled out so much of what God has been teaching me and challenging me with. And not only that, she posted the most amazing song on there. It's my new theme song.

May God be glorified in the wait.

16 March 2010


Not much blogging the past week+ because there hasn't been much to report and we're just busy with life. I had my first family photo shoot of the year on Saturday morning. I was so very thankful the sprinkles held off until the very end. I always forget how much I enjoy the madness of photo shoots until I do one. And then I edit them. And then I see adorable faces like these....

And it just reminds me of why I love doing this so much! This picture must typify life with 4 boys! The sweetness and the chaos all in one :)  I have to give shout out to Brady (on left) who looked like this in pretty much every photo. No matter what was going on around him, that kid was looking straight at me and smiling sweetly! And while I only have a handful (out of about 500!) where all 6 family members are looking at me, I (thankfully) did get a few. But my favorite shot so far is this one....
It was a good reminder that I just might want to do this "for real" when we get back to the U.S.

Mark continues to plug away. I'm so proud of his hard work and determination to finish up as much as possible before we leave. And speaking of leaving, we're leaning more and more to leaving in early June. Stay tuned for a final date....

As one last hurrah and a much needed "spring break," we are headed south this weekend to England --the Lake District to be exact. We are both looking forward to getting out of town for awhile. I've been wanting to go there for quite some time so am excited about it. We don't have many plans other than to rest and relax. I'm also pretty excited about having Friday and Monday off. Two four days weeks in a row is something to blog about!

I'm sure there will be travel photos forthcoming. Until then enjoy the rest of your week and weekend!

06 March 2010

Yummy Chicken Recipe

I know I don't usually share recipes on here (maybe never have, in fact), but since we've had this one twice now and both really enjoy it, I thought this time I would.

It's from a recipe card I picked up at Sainsbury's (our local supermarket). I got it because it looked like something both Mark and I could eat - which is always what I'm on the hunt for since I often cook separate meals for us. Any time I can cook something the same (that we will both like) I'm always extremely thankful.

Here's exactly what the card says (except for the parenthesis, those are my US translations):

Butterfly Chicken with dry rub

Why not try....slicing 4 chicken breasts horizontally, but not all the way through, then setting aside. In a bowl combine 1 Tbsp Paprika, 1 Tbsp Rosemary, 1 Tbsp Thyme, 1 Tbsp Ground Cumin, 1 Tbsp Ground Coriander (Cilantro), 2 crushed garlic cloves and the zest and juice of 2 limes. Rub the mixture onto the chicken breasts and allow to marinade for 30 minutes in the refrigerator before cooking on the BBQ (grill) or under the grill (broiler).

My adjustments: I haven't used the paprika just because with my allergies I generally stay away from that one, and I haven't used as much Rosemary because it isn't my favorite herb. But, I absolutely love the garlic, thyme and cumin with the lime juice (I've never included the zest because I never saw that part until typing it out!). And this last time I used fresh coriander since I had it.

The best part of this whole story is that when I served it to Mark on Thursday night he said, "Chicken breasts? What did I do to deserve chicken breasts?!" You'd think I'd served the guy a grilled, juicy fatty steak with his favorite sides! We rarely eat just chicken breasts because it is cheaper to use them in something else, or to use whole chickens or parts of chickens with bones, but very rarely (so much so Mark made that comment!) we'll splurge. If you are on a tight budget and going to splurge, this is a good recipe to splurge with.

I like to cut the chicken up and put it on a salad. Or, make guacamole and put it with the chicken on large romaine or cos lettuce leaves (that's my "wrap" since I can't have the flour ones).

Hope you can enjoy this recipe too! Let me know if you try it and like it.

04 March 2010

They're Back....

It's about time these luscious snowdrops made their return! I think they have maybe been around for a week or two, but it has been so cold and windy that I haven't attempted to photograph them yet. But, today, despite having plenty on the to-do list, thought I'd better take advantage of the blue skies and low winds before the rain moves in tomorrow. It's amazing how quickly time flies when I'm photographing! I'm sure at some point you'll see more of these guys, but for now this is all I have had the chance to work on.

This little robin was so fun! He moved so quickly when he moved. But the funny part was that he seemed to think I should stop photographing the flowers and let him be my model. He flitted and fluttered, stopped, hopped, stopped, hopped closer, etc, until he was literally down the barrel of my zoom lens. For this shot I had to carefully lean back to get him in focus! Oh, he was so gorgeous with the orange/red belly gleaming in the sun!

And to prove there were some blue skies around...
Oh the hope of spring! These are the first little buds this year of a rhododendron bush that I photographed last year. Pure bliss!

02 March 2010

The Doric Dialect

So you've heard me mention Doric some in the past, especially recently on my post about my colleagues teaching me "Blanahoolie".

Today at work I got an email that had an article about the new library going up on campus written in Doric. I can only read most of it because I have heard it spoken for over 2 years at work. Just have a look for yourself (scroll down to the section "Mair Doric").  If you click here, it might help you translate some of it. Just helps you understand it really is like a different language at times!