Friday, May 2, 2014

Friday!

Hey there friends! It's Friday here! My heart has been so full lately with watching God work in so many lives, and I'll get to that on another day. But for today here's a few Friday pictures for you from what we've been up to!

1. Our little man is getting ready to start school in the fall and he had his Kindergarten screening a few weeks ago. Can you even handle the cuteness! He's a mixture of scared and excited I think. 


 And a little bit of silly I guess. 


We never opted to send him to preschool so we've been working with him on learning to write a bit and recognize letters and such. He's doing well and I think will be eager to learn in school next year. I'm no elementary school teacher, but I think he'll do well! 


2. Chris and I have been doing T25 for the last 7 weeks or so. It's been so fun! We've never worked out together much, so it's been a fun thing to do as a couple and the 25 minute time span it takes to complete each workout feels doable for this out of shape body. I've seen a lot of growth in my strength and endurance and I'm excited to keep it up! The kids like to join us from time to time as evidenced below. My daughter clearly needs some girl time.... to learn to exercise with a shirt on! Yikes! 


3. My sister and her hubs got a new puppy and we've gladly joined in on the festivities that a new puppy brings. My kids are LOVING it and it just melts my heart to watch the little man with her. He's loves on her so gently. Cocoa is a Chesapeake Bay Retriever and won't be little for long, but we're enjoying her puppiness for now (While letting my sister do all the hard work. It's fun being an aunt!)! 



4. We celebrated a birthday in our house recently! We love birthday's at the Perry house. They are a wonderful opportunity to celebrate our favorite people! 


God's grace has been evident in all of our lives through this guy! He's my best friend. He loves our family so well and loves God and serves others with such a genuine heart. He's such a blessing and I pray God gives him many, many more years to serve Him with! 


5. Working with our College & Career group at Sonrise Baptist Church over the last year has been one of the greatest joys of the last year for us. Recently we went bowling as a group (GLOW Bowling as you see evidenced below). My 3 year old daughter had the highest score (how does that even happen!) but we all had a fun night! Seeing these college students and young singles grow in Christ is such pure joy for us. We are excited about what God is doing in their lives! 


Me with my little winner! 


6. Easter was of course a wonderful day of celebrating our Risen Savior! We enjoyed some typical festivities of coloring eggs and such with the kids then had my sister as well as some other friends over for an Easter meal. It's such a joy to rejoice with brothers and sisters in Christ for all that God has provided for us in Christ through his death and resurrection. 


Our sweet friend Kaydi Harp provided a little Easter Photo Booth for our church families this weekend after our Easter services. What a sweet service she provided and some sweet little pictures she was able to capture of our littles! 




7. Our little lady went to her first REALLY girly birthday party last weekend, where I let her paint her nails by herself for the very first time. She was pretty thrilled, and took it all very seriously. 


Such a fun little group of girls! 


8. Another birthday took place this last week. My little sister Brittany is entering her last year in her 20's! She requested this lemon blueberry cake with cream cheese frosting and I happily set to work making it for her.... and eating way too much of it. 


Wishing you a wonderful year ahead Brittany! You are a blessing and it's a joy to have you as a sister! 


9. Lastly, our little man started his T-ball season Monday night with his first practice. He's excited to play with the new Little League team in our town, and I was excited about how organized the practice was! It should be a fun season for him! 



Sorry about the slight overload! Enjoy! 








Thursday, January 23, 2014

Living out this Prov 31 stuff is exhausting!

Tonight I completed a somewhat exhausting day. I got up early to run an errand before work. Got there just in time to check a few e-mails before heading into a counseling session. Finished that around lunch time only to start working on…. well work. Went to a 3 o'clock meeting that got done at 4:20 (I usually leave at 4 on Wednesdays). Finally got out the door at work at 4:50. Drove home, made dinner, gave my kids baths, went to church. Tried to love on and encourage a few college girls. Texted back and forth with my counselee all through church Scripture to encourage her during a rough night. Brought the kids home, quickly drove to my sisters (we're sharing her T25 videos!), came home, cleaned up the bedroom a bit, and I just finished prepping for the Counseling Women class I'm teaching tomorrow morning at Baptist Bible College.

Whew!

While prepping for my class I was reading through Proverbs chapter 31 and these three verses seemed to describe my day.

Strength and dignity are her clothing and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. 

The last 6 months have been a trying time as far as trusting God with the future. We just. don't. know. what's. next. It's one of those seasons of waiting and wisdom as we seek to do the next thing. But God has prepared me for this time through lots of other seasons of waiting and proving Himself faithful to the task. He always takes care of us. He always provides in ways that we couldn't have imagined starting out. So I've had the joy of learning to laugh…. to whole heartedly trust what God has in the future. Sometimes I just chuckle that we're here again and I'm sure it won't be the last time in our lives.

She opens her mouth with wisdom and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
I hope what I had to share today was wise, and that I was kind in all my presentations of it. God has thrown me some kind of crazy situations lately that I wasn't expecting to get right now as far as walking with girls through some just tough situations in life and my prayer day to day is that I am always pointing them toward the Lord. That HE will be their all consuming joy.

She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. 
And idleness…. yeah, that didn't get to be me today. This semester is just a plain old busy season of life for me with all the different roles I've been put in in work and ministry. (You ever have a season like that, where you just sit there and think, what did I get myself into? Yeah, I'm in one of those!) And all those things are important. Really important at some level. But I don't want to neglect my own household. My first responsibility lies there. So I took the extra minutes with my 3 year old daughter to snuggle her as she went to sleep tonight. I sang her the songs she wanted to hear and those extra minutes settled her like only mommy time can. It was pure joy, for both of us. I can't be idle at work, but those dishes need washed, and the clean clothes put away, and those exercise videos really should be done at home too. And now into the wee hours of the night (ok it's only 10:45, it's not that late!) I'm ready for bed. Because it all needs to be done tomorrow. But this Woman Who Fears the Lord of Proverbs 31, she is consistent. She keeps going. She doesn't do it all at once, but she moves with the ebbs and flows of all the different seasons of life, recognizing that none of it will last forever, enjoying each one and working hard through it all. And what a blessing she is to those around her.

I pray I might be called that woman at the end of my life. And that you might too.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Here's to a New Year!

My husband and I were joking on New Year's Eve that last year on January 1st my daughter came down with Influenza B….. over the next week and a half each of us fell to it for what was one of the more miserable couple of weeks of our lives (as far as sickness goes). And so began one of the hardest years of our lives. 2013 came in with a vengeance and proved to be a year that would try our faith in some of the strongest ways. Personally, I'm glad to see it go. While I wouldn't trade my kids' growth or the experiences with them, I would've preferred to do without some of the other trials. But the neat thing about hard times is the growth it produces. James 1:2-4 teaches us this: 

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.


This was a year full of various kinds of trials in our family, but they produced their desired effect in the long run. God grew us in ways we didn't know that we needed to grow and our faith is stronger than it was at this time last year. Here are a few things that I'm  praising God for doing in me:

-I trust Him more with the ugly stuff. God doesn't always bring prosperity, or help us accomplish our personal goals. He has a bigger plans in mind. It's easy when life just keeps throwing junk at you to question His goodness. I get that. I questioned his goodness this year. But through His Word God grew my faith and I'm thankful that I see Him more clearly today than I did January 5th 2013 and I trust Him to do His good even in the really hard times of my life.

-My heart is more generous, even though we have less. 

-I trust Him to provide even more than in the past.

-I've seen God answer some specific prayers in the last 6 months that have grown my faith and caused me to pray more, and be very, very thankful! 

So even though in some respects in my book 2013 was a total bust, in God's timeline of my life 2013 was exactly what I needed to look more like Jesus and to, as James says, be a mature Christian. 

Here's a little video recap of the year for ya. As is typical, the instagram pics show lots of smiles. You'd never know how hard life has been! (Something good to remember as you watch everyone else on social media. Their lives aren't as pretty as they look on camera!) But it shows off some of the fun stuff of the year. We truly do have much to be thankful for! 


video



Monday, November 25, 2013

Just a couple simple thoughts from Isaiah 46

As I sat in bed last night ending a really, really nice weekend, I opened up my Bible to Isaiah where I've been spending a bit of time recently. Now I'm not an Isaiah scholar and don't even begin to pretend to be, but I've picked up some really encouraging themes present about my God that have been an encouragement to my heart. I'll share one from last night today:

Isaiah 46: 3-11

“Listen to me, O house of Jacob,
all the remnant of the house of Israel,
who have been borne by me from before your birth,
carried from the womb;
even to your old age I am he,
and to gray hairs I will carry you.
I have made, and I will bear;
I will carry and will save.

“To whom will you liken me and make me equal,
and compare me, that we may be alike?
Those who lavish gold from the purse,
and weigh out silver in the scales,
hire a goldsmith, and he makes it into a god;
then they fall down and worship!
They lift it to their shoulders, they carry it,
they set it in its place, and it stands there;
it cannot move from its place.
If one cries to it, it does not answer
or save him from his trouble.

“Remember this and stand firm,
recall it to mind, you transgressors,
remember the former things of old;
for I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like me,
declaring the end from the beginning
and from ancient times things not yet done,
saying, ‘My counsel shall stand,
and I will accomplish all my purpose,’
calling a bird of prey from the east,
the man of my counsel from a far country.
I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass;
I have purposed, and I will do it.

Here's what got me. Verses 3-4 show the breadth of God's hand in our lives. We came from Him, He carried us through the womb of our mothers, and then took us all the way to old age, all the way to our gray hairs. There are some beautiful words written about love in this life between a man and woman in marriage and love so often looks like a man and woman walking through this life together into old age. Perhaps even to the point of one caring for the other through illness or suffering of some kind. Love sticks with a person, even when their youth has long fled, their waistlines have thickened, wrinkles formed from years of smiles and tears, and dementia has taken over the mind. Love stays and cares and that's what God is doing here. Walking with us into old age. Creating us, bearing our loads and often carrying us through life. We don't do it alone. He is there, and ultimately he delivers us. He saves us through His son. He loves us that deeply and purely.

Then God says, compare me. Compare me to the other gods people erect in their life. The wealthy have glitzy gods, and back then they literally had them formed into gods that they'd have made, carry home, and sit in a place where they could talk to it. But that little god couldn't do anything. It never moved from its place where it had been set. You could cry out to it, but it would never answer. I have lots of gods too, and while I wouldn't classify myself as wealthy by American standards, my heart still creates the same kinds of gods, desiring comfort, or security, or a Pinterest worthy living room, or perfectly obedient kids, or a little waistline, or Starbucks, or jewelry, or any one of the thousands of things that my heart vacillates between on any given day. And the true God says, 'Compare me.' Compare me to all those things and what stands? Who is bigger? Who has been at your side all this time? He has. My God has.

Remember this and stand firmly in this truth! God gets serious here. He just throws it out there, who He is.

for I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like me,
declaring the end from the beginning
and from ancient times things not yet done,
saying, ‘My counsel shall stand,
and I will accomplish all my purpose,’
calling a bird of prey from the east,
the man of my counsel from a far country.
I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass;
I have purposed, and I will do it.




There just isn't anyone who compares to my God. He knows the beginning all the way to the end and He will accomplish everything he has set out to accomplish. From the beginning of time, to the end of this world, and all the details of my little life, He has spoken it all out, and He will bring it to pass. That is my God. He is good. And He will do it.


Friday, November 8, 2013

It's Friday Friends!

I'm still stuck in October.... my brain doesn't want to admit that my favorite month of the year is over. You think I'm kindding. Luckily so far, November is looking a lot like October, with some beautiful color left in the trees and perfect temps!

I didn't get my Friday post up last week, so I'll back track a bit today to fill in.....


1. For the last 10 years our church, Sonrise Baptist Church, has hosted a wonderful Fall Festival for our community. It's a great opportunity to serve and love the people around us with fun and games... and my yummy cookies! This year Pinterest inspired a few spiders, very fall like. 


We had our own little Hulk in the house this year. He has the Rooooaaaarrrr down pat! 


And our little Repunzel loved being all dressed up. 


     


2. This happened. God's creativity on full display. The colors were magnificent! 


3. We dressed up again for Halloween and I managed to rig up a the little crown that came with her new Repunzel baby so she could wear it. She might really think she is a princess now. We don't normally emphasize the whole princess thing (even though we may secretly consider her our princess.... we don't appreciate the haughty spirit that often comes with reinforcing it for little girls, so we try to stay away from it with her so as not to contradict the humility we try to teach her.) 

                    




4.    Chris took the kids to a local park and let the kids run around happily. 








5.    Right after the above photo this happened. His first little bee sting. Poor guy. Fortunately he had little reaction and is fine now. 



That's pretty much been our last couple of weeks. We've had some fun! 


God has been good during this season of life that's different than usual. It's astounding to me how God shapes and molds us through his Word and through circumstances. Disappointments, opportunities, the good, the bad, the patience testing, the joy.... God is at work through it all. And while I'm really, really excited to see what God has for us in the next season of life, I don't want to miss what's happening in the here and now. Because he's just as much at work today as he will be tomorrow. 

What's been going on for you? What is God using in your life?! 

                                                            photo H54Fbutton-1_zpsa7aaa665.png



Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Perry's Eat! Our Favorite Garlic Chicken Pizza

Some foods fill your brain (and your mouth) with memories. The smell, the texture, the taste take you right back to a certain season of life. This pizza is one of those.

I was first taught how to make it by my sweet friend Crystal. During my last year of grad school we were two of the last of our college 'gang' to still be in town and we had a Friday night ritual of cooking dinner at my apartment and watching Friday night TV. I particularly remember Joan of Arcadia.... One night we made Chipotle copy cat (Before we had one in our college town), other nights fish tacos, and.... this pizza. I believe the recipe first came from our friend Letty (thanks Letty!). And after I got married the following fall it became a regular in our rotation. Last night as we were eating it my husband said all he could think of were our first few years of marriage in our first apartment, then our first house and lots of episodes of Smallville and Gilmore Girls. Ha! Apparently we watch TV when we eat this pizza :)

Well it was just as much of a hit last night as it was in those first few years and will definitely be making it's way back into my regular rotation!

I even found a decent crust that was easy and quick to throw together! Win! Win! I found the recipe for the crust here.



Ingredients: 

Crust

2 cups of unbleached self-rising flour*
2 Tbsp olive oil
6 Tbsp water
*Substitute 2 c. all-purpose flour + 1 tbsp baking powder + 1/2 tsp salt and increase water to 1/2 c. 

Toppings

1/2 red onion
2 cloves garlic, pressed or 2 3 tsp. of minced garlic
Olive oil
2 chicken breasts sliced in thin strips
3 Tbsp parsley
2 c. mozzarella cheese


1. Preheat oven to 425°
2. Mix the flour, oil, and water together. The mixture will be flakey, so use your hands to form it together and shape into a ball. 
3. Cover with saran wrap and let it sit for 10 minutes.
4. While the dough is sitting heat a good dosing (3-4 Tbsp.) of olive oil in a frying pan. Sauté the onion and pressed garlic until the onion is soft and sweetened. Add the chicken and cook through. 
5. Grease 2 pieces of parchment paper and roll the dough out between the two. I ended up finishing the rolling without the parchment paper to get it thin enough. 
6. In a separate bowl combine the chicken/garlic/onion mixture with the parsley and half of the cheese. Spread on the crust distributing evenly over the entire surface. Top with the remaining cheese.
7. Cook in oven for 10-13 minutes or until crust is cooked through and cheese is bubbly. 

And Eat!


<a data-pin-do="buttonFollow" href="http://www.pinterest.com/pinterest/">Pinterest</a>


Seriously, it's fantastic! Enjoy! 








Friday, October 25, 2013

It's Friday!

Hey there friends! I'm linking up with Lauren for High Five for Friday!


Sometimes we get a pause from ordinary life and get to step back and enjoy. Last weekend was just that! On Wednesday we thought our weekend plans were going to be thwarted by a stomach bug that hit my husband, but everyone woke up Thursday morning feeling great, so we finished packing our bags and headed up to the south side of Chicago where much of my family lives, praying that no one else would come down with anything! And this trip was a bit different than most. We had very few plans. Our only real objective was to visit a church that we've recently heard about near where my family lives. Other than that we just wanted to enjoy time with my family, and that we did!

1. Friday we hung out at my grandparents' farm. They have the most beautiful old Victorian home out in the country. My papa keeps Poll Herfeord Cattle and he and his son (my uncle) farm a lot of land out there. So we took the kids down to where my Uncle Craig was combining (is that a word?) and we all got a turn riding with him in the combine, watching it do its thing.





Isn't my gramma's place beautiful! It's one of my favorite places to be.



She was pretty excited about it :)


It really is incredible what this thing does..... it can separate all the corn kernels from the cobs and stalks and spits out all the unwanted stuff. Papa was telling me how when he was a boy they went through the fields two rows at a time with a horse and some kind of cart. It's amazing the transformation farming has gone through in the last 60 years! 




The kids loved watching it work! 

2 of my favorite people! I've always had such a soft spot in my heart for my Gramma! She was a huge influence on me as a girl in learning to appreciate the beauty around me in all of God's creation and the creativity of others. 


2. Friday night we got to eat at one of my fave pizza places growing up. We often visited it for family birthdays and such!



We had dinner with my sister Brooke and my step-dad John. It was great to see both of them and catch up a bit! 


Landon loves his Aunts! 

Then afterwards we headed to a local Starbucks and chatted for awhile about bee keeping, my step-dad's specialty. We had fun.

         


3. Saturday morning had more farm time filled with kittens and cows and it was the perfect medicine for this slightly weary family.


How stinkin' cute is this?!!

They chased these poor kittens all around the barn and I thought for sure one of them would fall and puncture themselves on some rusty something, but we managed out without any tetanus shots! Success!


I always love these climbing the fence shots at the farm. 


We got to spend a little time with my mom that morning. Can you believe that was about the best shot I got of the three of them. The littles weren't exactly in a sitting down mood. 


We enjoyed riding what Papa calls the 'Mule'. I don't know what it actually was... some kind of small tractor/riding little truck. I'm not sure. But we got to ride out to see another pasture of cows and let me tell you... they are so cute. I mean SO. Cute. I couldn't get any decent pictures, but they are such sweet animals. 


Later in the day I got to meet up with my college roommate from my freshman year of college at Baptist Bible College. She and her husband and 4 BOYS live outside of Seattle, so I haven't seen her since freshman year and randomly they were in town speaking at a Missions Conference at a church. So we ran up to catch up for a few minutes. We only got to talk briefly, but it was sweet to see her and April :) 



4. My great grandpa has sold the farm house he's lived in for the last 60ish years. So my gramma and her siblings have been cleaning it out. They have found so many fun old pictures! Looking back at your history and heritage is such a neat privilege that I know not everyone has. I was thrilled to find a few gems like these....


This was my great grandma (My maternal grandmother's mother). 

This was my mom and I when I was around 7 months old.  I was kind of a chunk here! 

Hands down my favorite. These 2 are my great-grandparents (my maternal grandmother's parents).  Isn't it precious!!  

5 generations and one of the youngest pics I've ever seen of myself. I was pleased to see that my daughter looked a bit like me as a baby. I've never been able to tell who she looked like! 

This is precious too. My grandmother's 17th Birthday party in the 1950's. Her sister is on the far left.




This one was so fun to me. My parents divorced when I was 4 so there really aren't a lot of memories or pics around of everyone together. This had both of them and my mom's parents and her paternal grandmother.  Pretty neat.... and my brother Aubrey is the spitting image of my dad :) 

This one was so cool too. Me (As a baby), my dad, his mom, and her mom (4 generations). And that dress my grandma is wearing... priceless!

5. Sunday was a wonderful day. We attended church in Northwest Indiana at a church we've recently become familiar with. If you're looking for a good place to learn and grow in Christ I highly recommend Bethel Church in Crown Point, IN (and they have a campus in Cedar Lake too!) 




We heard a wonderful gospel centered message, ate lunch at Portillo's a popular Chicago area restaurant, and headed downtown to visit my step-dad farmer's market in the Pilsen Community at 18th and Halstead where he sells his honey and jellies and jams... and eggs... and all kinds of stuff. 


He calls himself the King Bee. I don't know how that name got started but it fits him perfectly. He had 11 of these shirts made with little honey bees all over them. He's kept bees for as long as I can remember and I'm glad he's been able to make such a nice business out of it. 


 

My kids kind of love the city too. Landon tends to come alive as you can see.... well both of them do.

     


Seriously my favorite place on earth. 


After hanging out with my step-dad for a bit we headed to the north side of the city to visit with my brother. After graduating from the Illinois Institute of Technology he got a job in the city and has made a nice life for himself there. The kids loved hanging out with Uncle Preston! 

We took a walk AROUND THE CORNER to my little slice of Heaven on Earth.... Target of course. 



Chris snapped this shot of me looking around. Clearly I'm excited. 2 whole stories of Target goodness!



Preston got right on down and hung out with the kids. Of course they loved it. 

We walked around the back side of his street to a fun little city park where the kids had a ball playing and running all their energy out !










Ok so this whole Friday post is about last weekend, but it was just that good. And this week has just been work, not as exciting :) 

Thanks for looking at this glimpse into our weekend and thank you to our family for allowing us to crash in your homes and hanging out with us. We love seeing you!






 photo H54Fbutton-1_zpsa7aaa665.png