God’s Provision…What It Looks Like For Us

So Sunday at church our pastor Jason was talking about tithing and stepping out in faith that God will provide. He shared a story about getting an unexpected check in the mail in college that was the exact amount he needed (and didn’t have) for a bill. As I was thinking about how God has provided for us over the last few years I thought I needed to share. We have also received random checks in the mail but it’s so much more than that.

Roughly 3 years ago when I was pregnant and working full-time I started looking into daycare costs for both my kids. It was insane! When we did the math I would have been working full-time to keep our benefits and make roughly $400 per month. For some people that is ok, but for us it wasn’t. We decided that I would quit and stay home with my kids. But that was a scary decision to make. I made almost 50% of our income and held the benefits for our whole family (very good benefits I might add!!). Before I quit I had a random lady that I didn’t know ask me if I wanted some boy clothes. She gave me 6 black garbage bags full of clothes 0-2T!! After my maternity leave was over I quit my job; it wasn’t an easy transition for Taylin and I but it was the right decision. Over the years we have had many random blessings come our way.

I have gone grocery shopping to find that nearly every item on my grocery list was on sale…God Stretching our budget. Pretty sure Fred Meyer didn’t know what I needed that week!

Many hand me down clothes and shoes for both Taylin and Bryson. We have bought almost no clothing for either of my kids in the last 2 years!!

Random side jobs at Christmas for both Tom and I

Random checks in the mail – we just got one last month!

A free tire for our car when it was leaking and couldn’t be fixed – Discount Tire rocks!!

Currently I’ve been provided with opportunities to work. Work that I can bring Bryson to. While I’m technically a stay at home mom I also clean 2 houses, nanny for a friend and substitute at the preschool at our church. Often Gods provision is opportunity. I could have easily said no to all those money making opportunities but I haven’t. With me doing side jobs we can put a little money in savings, we can go on a vacation. We can get a random cup of coffee at Starbucks. It just adds a little margin to our budget.

Trusting God isn’t always easy, it’s not always glamorous but if you step out in faith he will come through for you. Last year when I did our taxes I was surprised to see that Tom made a couple thousand dollars shy of what WE made when WE were both working!! Are you kidding me!! God is SO faithful!

If you aren’t currently tithing I want to encourage you to start giving something consistently. Anything just do it consistently.

30 Happy Days ~ Days 3&4

Day 3:
Friday our evening was filled with cousin fun! My sister-in-law and brother-in-law were out celebrating their anniversary so we had 3 extra kids for dinner and into the evening! They played and had a great time together!

IMG_0259 - edited_edited-1IMG_0286_edited-1Day 4:
On Saturday we spent most of the day at home. I needed a couple of things from the store so we decided to walk. The kids rode their scooters. I love that Bryson is finally getting old enough to do these kinds of things! photo 2(1)In the evening we headed to Anthony’s in Edmonds. We enjoyed a Mother’s Day celebration with my mom’s side of the family. My mom grew up in Hong Kong and Taylin loves to hear stories of her childhood. Taylin always says, “Tell me a story of when you were a kid!” and my mom always has lots of fun stories to tell!

photo 1(2)So grateful for my mom and her special bond with my kids! They are lucky to have such an awesome grandma!

30 Days Of Happy ~ Days 1&2

So I was catching up on a blog that I love late last night and she just finished up a “30 Days Of Happy” project. I’ve seen a bunch of things on FB and Instagram with the hashtag #100happydays but let’s be honest, I’m really bad at doing things daily so I’m going to stick with 30 days! I’m gonna just roll with life…post as I remember. That may be daily or it may be two or three days together. This project really is a reminder for me. Lately life has been a little extra stressful so I want to learn to find happiness in all situations and learn to create happy days for my kiddos. I hope my project will bring some joy to your life as well!

Day 1:
Yesterday Bry took a short nap so we ended up outside playing before Taylin got home from school. He spent a long time jumping over and over off our steps. The simple things of can bring so much joy to a child. We sipped on some smoothies and just enjoyed the sunshine! In the Northwest you have to take advantage of it when it’s around!
IMG_0190_edited-1IMG_0188_edited-1IMG_0185_edited-1Day 2:
Today after lunch Bry played in his room by himself! Seems like a normal thing but he hasn’t really learned how to play on his own yet. The mess on the floor was him dumping out toys…not really playing with them, but it captured his attention! The few minutes that he choose to be in his room were so precious to me. Trying to entertain all day or listening to whining when I don’t is very draining. After awhile I went and sat down on the floor, we played with his football and giggled together. This sweet boy went to bed so happy and giggly!
IMG_0242IMG_0253No matter what is happening in your life and in your world it is possible to find some joy in the day! Don’t forget to look for it!

Quiche & Pie Crust Recipes

Tonight I made a yummy quiche so I thought I would share the recipe. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
IMG_0107-1_edited-1Pie Crust:
3 cups flour
1 cup Crisco
1 egg
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vinegar
½ cup water

Cut the Crisco into flour until it’s about the size of a pea.
Mix remaining ingredients together in separate bowl and then toss it into the flour/Crisco mixture

Roll out to 1/8 in thick. I use a fork to poke some holes in the crust. To be honest I don’t know why I do this but my grandma does it so I do it!

Bake the crust for 15-20 minutes at 375 degrees.

photo(1)This makes 2 crusts – for the quiche I normally just make half the recipe.

Quiche Recipe:
1 cup washed/shopped kale
Browned sausage or meat of your choice (about 1 cup)
1 cup shredded mozzarella  cheese
4 Eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp nutmeg
Dried onion – I just shook some in – you can also do fresh if you prefer but I was being lazy!

Put the kale, sausage, and cheese into the partially baked pie crust. Mix the rest of the ingredients together & pour into the crust. Bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes or until cooked through. Enjoy!

Roatan Day 2

Today was a simple day. We attended rChurch then enjoyed a few hours of free time in the afternoon. In the evening we got to meet the families we are building for and have pizza with them. It was really great to meet them ahead of time and start building relationships now! I’m so excited to start the build tomorrow! Here are a few pictures from our day!

IMG_9553_edited-1IMG_9550_edited-1IMG_9540_edited-1There is a vender on the beach that walks around with these doughnuts. They were AMAZING!! If you ever get a chance to eat one, do it!  IMG_9570_edited-1

The beauty of the island is amazing…then you look around and there is extreme poverty. It can be hard to process at times. IMG_9555_edited-1Having pizza with the families. So fun to meet them now.

Tomorrow is day one of the build pray for safety and for all to go well!

Packing For Roatan, Honduras

Today marks 3 weeks until my trip to Honduras which means I’m starting to prep for my trip. A lot of people are last-minute shoppers and planners but I am defiantly not! I’ve been creating a packing list as things have popped into my head so I thought I would share it with you. These are things that are helpful to me when traveling abroad, especially in developing nations.
Passport – Check the laws to the country you are traveling to. In Honduras if you don’t have at least 6 months left on your passport they won’t let you in (No exceptions!)
Money (small bills)
Journal (if that is your thing)
Bible (I will use the app on my phone – It’s one less thing to pack)
Camera/Batteries/SC Cards
iPad or Laptop
Chargers for all devices
Playing Cards/Skip-Bo
Plug adapter (if necessary)
Water Bottle
ZipLock Bags (Just a couple – you never know when you will need them)

FoodOn mission trips the food choices are often made for you so it’s nice to have a few snacks. I like to pack a few things that I know I enjoy because it makes the whole food thing a lot easier for me!

Via/instant coffee/Cream
Propel/Crystal Light – these are great for flavoring your water. I generally drink bottled water but depending on where you travel the water can taste really gross. These are a great way to change it up and mask any gross flavors the water might have.
Granola Bars/Trail Mix/Dried Fruit (things with substance are good in case your food options aren’t great. A good protein bar can replace lunch if necessary).
Candy 🙂 I like to bring a couple of treats! It’s nice to have a treat at the end of the day!

First AidI like to bring an assortment of basic supplies and basic medicines. It’s much easier to pack them with you instead of hunting them down when you need them.
Bandaids (large & small)
Triple Antibiotic Ointment
Benadryl Stick (see Link)
Antibiotics (in case you get sick with “island tummy” or something else yucky!). You can request these from your general dr.
Any of your own prescriptions
Baby Wipes – (great for “washing hands” on the job site)

Clothes/Toiletriesdepending on where you are going you may need to research what is culturally acceptable. I tend to say modestly won’t hurt anyone!

Light Jacket/Poncho (often even in warm place they can have crazy rain so having a light jacket or poncho can really come in handy).
Shirts – Ladies if you will be working pack regular T-shirts that come up high enough so you won’t have gaping when you bend over. Remember modesty is always better. I don’t think anyone has ever been offended by someone being too modest 😉
Skirts – I love maxi skirts!
Tank Tops – always best to keep them modest
Swim Suit
Swim Cover Up
Bandana/Hat – to protect your head from the sun
Flip Flops
Tennis Shoes
Work Clothes – Clothes you don’t mind getting dirty!
Work Shoes – they may get muddy – something you can throw away at the end of the trip.
Work Gloves
Sunscreen – high SPF can be hard to find so bring a enough for the entire trip
Aloe Vera
Shaving Supplies
Hair products
Nail Polish – It can be really fun to paint the little girls nails depending on where you are traveling to!
Hair Dryer/Flat Iron
Bug Spray – high DEET percentage is good! The bugs can be crazy overseas!
Snorkel Gear – you can rent but I like to bring my own if I have room

I pack most of the items in my checked baggage but I like to pack a few things in my carry on in case my luggage gets lost. Luggage often gets lost in foreign countries so pack what you can’t live without in your carry on. I know this from experience…my bag was lost when I went to Hawaii and I never got it back. I was very grateful for the few things I had with me!

Prescription Meds
Swim Suit (finding a new one could be really hard depending on where you are headed)
One change of clothes
All technology (camera, laptop, iPad, etc.)

One last thing I wanted to share is this video from my last trip to Roatan in 2011. My amazing friend Brea From CYE Photography was on the trip and put this together. Check out her website for more of her amazing work!

<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”//www.youtube.com/embed/RukkD2pvq_A” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen>

I hope this list is helpful to others. I’m also posting it for myself so I can come back to it and use it to pack! Do you have any must have items when you travel?

24 Hours in Portland!

So a few weeks ago we heard that Sherry and John from Young House Love were going to be at the Portland Home Show. I absolutely love and adore their blog, I read it every single morning. When I heard they were going to be in Portland my friend Lisa and I decided we were going to drive down and go to the home show.

We left here at 6:30 on Tuesday night and 3 1/2 hours later we were in Portland!! Lisa’s amazing friend Amy let us crash at her house for the night. The next morning we got up and went to Fabric Depot – this place was huge and had so much fabric – it was a little overwhelming!! They had some amazing home decor fabrics

I bought some flannel to make some burp rags for Bryson and the chevron print is for a pillow and a few other accents for Bryson’s room. The camo was by special request from my husband…he really wanted camp burp rags for his son!

When we were done at Fabric Depot we went to Mother’s Bistro & Bar in Portland for lunch and I had biscuits and gravy…it was so so yummy!! I highly recommend trying it out it if you’re in the Portland area!

Next up we were off to the home show! We had heard that Sherry and John were teaching an invite only blog seminar while they were here but we had not gotten the official invite 😦 When we got to the home show the first thing we did was ask where they were. The woman at the info booth said they were just starting their seminar and if there was room we were welcome to go listen!

Photo courtesy of the Portland Home Show

I was so excited…seriously they have an amazingly successful blog so to get to hear them speak about blogging was amazing. Following the seminar they did a meet and greet and with the everyone that attended!

Photo courtesy of the Portland Home Show

Photo courtesy of the Portland Home Show

It was a lot of fun meeting them and hearing them speak about blogging! I learned a lot of tips and tricks about blogging!

I was so weird when you read someone’s blog every day for 2 or 3 years and then actually see them in person!

Next up we headed to HomeGoods and scoped things out – I didn’t get anything but it was fun to finally go to the store I’ve heard so much about! I’m so glad I took a random day off work…we had so much fun in Portland even if it was only a 24 hour trip!


We are currently enjoying a family vacation at my grandparents in eastern WA which gives me a lot of time to think. Sometimes I wonder why does God allow us to go through certain things in our life…why do we have to go through periods of pain…I’m sure we learn and these are the things that help us grow and shape us into the people God planned us to be. But that still doesn’t mean these times are fun.

I found this on Pinterest and liked the variation on “God does not give us more than we can handle”

In spite of tough times I know we have so much to be grateful for

My family
My beautiful daughter
My amazing friends and church family
Our great house
Two stable job’s

Sometimes life doesn’t go as planned and I don’t have to understand that. At times it can be hard but in the mean time I”m going to cherish the good times and be grateful for all we have been blessed with.

A Very Magical Princess Tea Party

My sweet Taylin turned 3 last week and I had so much fun planning her birthday party. She is really into princesses and dress up so I planned a Princess Tea Party in our back yard. Taylin’s favorite color right now is purple so I decided to do everything in purple, yellow and white. For the food I did a pretty simple menu but made the food look really pretty.

  • tea sandwiches – Ham and Cheese, and cream cheese with jelly cut with cookie cutters into hearts and stars
  • Sub Sandwiches for the adults
  • Fruit Kabobs – the fruit was also cut into fun shapes
  • Cheese kabobs
  • Baby carrots and celery in ranch dip

For the drinks I went to the Business Costco and got individual sized Martinelli’s Sparkling Apple Cider, and an assortment of lemonade.

When the girls arrived I had a table where they could decorate a tiara – we had jewels and glitter stickers (from Dollar Tree) to decorate with.

We had a dress up station for them.  I had necklaces and bracelets for the girls to play with. I think Tay changed changed 3 different times!

After we ate and let the kids run and play a bit we had story time with princess Amy! One of my good friends dressed up in her wedding dress to be a princess for Tay’s party! The girls loved it!

After story time and presents we did cake. My step mom loves to make cakes so she made Taylin’s beautiful cake.

After cake we did the pinata – I made a pull string pinata but it didn’t really work so we let the girls hit the pinata!

Towards the end of the party we had some special visitors. My friend decided to crash Taylin’s girls only party and dressed her two boys up as Princes!! So stinkin cute!!

Thanks to everyone who came out to Tay’s party and made it so special! A couple more of my favorite pictures from the day!!

Taylin’s Special Day

I am a full time working mama and often I feel like I’m missing out on quality time with Taylin. The weekends are always so packed with cleaning, laundry, parties, and church so I decided that I wanted to take a day off and do some fun stuff with my girl. Today was the day and I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day! Tay had a great attitude – which is huge right now – the sun was shining – also a big deal in the Pacific NW!!

We started off our day with breakfast with my two sister in laws and my two nieces. The girls had fun and it was great to spend some time with my sister in laws.

Then Tay and I met up with my mom to get pedicures. Tay loves to have her nails painted but had never been to nail salon before so I thought she would have fun (and so would I!!)

She was very interested in what was going on

She was totally chillin- waiting for her polish to dry
Taylin and my mom

My girl and I enjoying our Pedicures

Then we went to the pool and swam with some of our friends

Tay so excited to go swimming!

This was the best day with my sweet girl. I can’t believe she is going to be three on Thursday! I’m so blessed to be her mama and hope to have more fun times like this in the future!