Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

Hello friends! Amy here. I just checked the archives and discovered that it has been well over two months since my last post. Pathetic, I know! Julie has been doing a great job at adding updates, but I have been waiting to get back to the blog world for a long time, and I decided tonight would be the night. "Why tonight?" you ask. Well.....
(drumroll please)......
I just turned in my very last research paper of the school year!!!!!!!!
Okay, so I may be overreacting a bit, but I am very excited about this. Granted, I still have several small assignments to complete before I am free for the summer, but this is a major milestone of the semester and I can now see the light at the end of this tunnel!
I thought I would take a few minutes to let you know some of what's been going on in my/our world during the past two months.
Here are a few of the highlights and lowlights (I'll let you guess which ones fit into each category:-).
1. School and homework have taken up the majority of my Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, plus a few Saturday and Sunday nights here and there.
2. I have continued my internship a couple of days a week and have learned a lot!
3. I have continued serving on the Youth Leadership Team at church and have had a ton of fun working with the other leaders in setting up events and studying God's Word.
4. The twins are still coming three days a week to keep us on our toes and fill our days with love and laughter.
5. Mom, Julie and I have been attending Beth Moore's "Breaking Free" Bible study every Monday night and have learned a lot about conquering the devil's strongholds.
6. Katie took a spill off of a four-wheeler. She dislocated her elbow and chipped a few fragments off the bones in her arm. She is healing up very nicely, though, and should regain most of the range of motion in her arm. We praise the Lord for protecting her from further injury.
7. I have been planning my graduation open house and several other senior projects while working my way through the application process at the local state college.
8. I have been passively searching for a summer job. If anyone has any good ideas, I would love to hear them!
9. This past weekend, Julie and I were blessed with the opportunity to travel with 69 other believers down to the Districts Spring Blitz in Rochester, MN. There we worshipped with a wonderful band, listened to some fantastic speakers, and attended seminars on various topics relevant to the Christian life. In between planned sessions, we had a lot of time to talk, play, shop, tour, and laugh with some great friends. A weekend away was just what I needed to remind me to relax, spend time with the Lord, and to focus on encouraging people around me.
Spring can be such a busy time for a lot of people (myself included). If you're feeling frazzled, you're not alone. Be encouraged: God cares about the smallest details of your day and He will give you the strength not only to survive, but to thrive, as you seek His will and trust in His grace. Hang in there!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Falling Out

Yesterday, Kyle heard an airplane outside. We were talking about it, and he said, "Julie. Airplane. Poland." I said, "Yes, I went to Poland in an airplane and then I came home." He gave me his usual quizzical look (twisted mouth, one eyebrow about a foot above the other), meaning he was thinking hard about this, and said, "Come home. Fall out!" I tried to explain to him that the plane landed and I walked out on the ground. His response to that was, "Fall out. Ground." Apparently in his mind, when it's your turn to get out, they just open the hatch and let you go!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Psalm 51:12

"Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me."
I came across this verse this morning. I love it because it reminds us that just the fact of our salvation gives us immeasurable joy, and also that we should ask God to remind us of everything He's done for us. Beth Moore says in the Bible study "Breaking Free" that sometimes we aren't free because we don't want to be; we are too comfortable in our bondage, or too scared of what will happen when we let go. She says we can pray for God to change our "want to." I think that applies to other things too. Sometimes I just don't want to be patient with my sisters, or I don't want to volunteer at church for one more thing, or I don't want to help with the dishes. Even if I do it, my spirit is probably not willing. To me, this verse says that joy and a willing spirit go hand in hand. And it makes sense: if we are filled with joy from Him, our spirits will be willing to do what He wants us to do. We can ask God for joy to change our "want to's!"

Thursday, April 8, 2010


When I got home from Arizona on Monday, there was an envelope on my dresser with Taste of Home's magazine, Simple and Delicious. At first I thought it was just another advertisement to get me to subscribe to the magazine, but then I looked in the envelope and there was a letter in there. It said that I was a runner-up in one of their recipe contests, and my prize was a year's subscription to the magazine! I was so excited! I had entered the contest like last summer, and I had almost forgotten about it completely. But there was my recipe, with a picture and everything. I've never won anything like this before! Since it was in their magazine, it is now on their website too. My recipe was for "Banana-Berry Pie." I had the idea in my mind for a while, and when I saw they were having a contest for berry recipes, I decided to go for it. Now I am excited to try other recipe contests!

Banana-Berry Pie


1-1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs

5 tablespoons butter, melted

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon ground ginger


3/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons plus 3/4 teaspoon cornstarch

1 tablespoon strawberry gelatin

3/4 cup cold water

2 cups sliced fresh strawberries, divided

1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk

1 package (8 ounces) reduced-fat cream cheese

1/4 cup cold 2% milk

1 package (3.4 ounces) instant banana cream pudding mix

Directions: Combine the graham cracker crumbs, butter, sugar and ginger. Press onto the bottom and up the sides of an ungreased 9-in. pie plate. Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack.

For filling, in a small saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch and gelatin. Stir in water until smooth. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Cool slightly. Arrange 1 cup strawberries over crust. Pour gelatin mixture over strawberries. Refrigerate for 2 hours or until set.

In a large bowl, beat the sweetened condensed milk, cream cheese, milk and pudding mix for 1 minute. Spread over top of pie. Refrigerate for 2 hours or until set. Garnish with remaining strawberries. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 8 servings.