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!Ā  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!

Roatan Day 1

So I just wanted to post a quick update on our first day which was really just a travel day. Our flight was scheduled to leave Seattle at 5:55 but due to delays we didn’t leave until almost 6:45. This made things a little nerve-wracking for us knowing that we only have a 40 minute layover to catch our next flight in Houston.
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The beautiful sunrise on the airplane

I tried talking to a flight attendant about it and she was no help. My hope was that they would either hold the plane or it would be delayed or something. I was talking to my brother-in-law about what to do. He told me to “use my superpowers” so I prayed!!! I prayed that God would help us make our connection and I specifically prayed that our connecting gate would be moved closer.

We landed in Houston it was roughly 12:35-12:40 our connecting flight to Roatan was scheduled to leave at 12:52. We taxied into gate A16 and they announced that our connecting flight was moved to A17!! These are the little moments that so many miss. They are the moments of God saying, hey I’m here with you…STOP WORRYING!! The flight attendant asked people to remain seated if they didn’t have a connecting flight. Of course everyone decided to get off the plane. This struck me…we are always in such a rush. Little moments like this are way you can serve other people. So back to the story…by the time we made it on our plane it was 12:50!! We made our connecting flight with 2 minutes to spare! We got on the plane…then we sat for about 10 more minutes…they were loading up our luggage! And every single piece of luggage arrived in Roatan!

While on the plane I’ve been reading “Kisses From Katie”. It’s about an eighteen year old girl who moved to Uganda and has essentially adopted something like 13 kids! Anyways it’s totally my kind of book!

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“And Even as I realize I cannot always meat or mend, I can enter in. This is Jesus. Not that he apologizes for the hard and hurt, but that He enters in. He comes with us to the hard places. And so I continue to enter.”

I’m pretty sure this is going to be a challenging book!

So we all made it to Roatan safe and sound. We ended our evening at Half Moon Bay enjoying a nice dinner together!










Today our plans are to head to church, hang out at the beach for a little while then have dinner with both the families we are building for. It’s going to be a good day!!

My Wonderful Husband

So my husband rocks…as you know I’m leaving for a trip to Roatan in two weeks. Over the last few weeks I’ve had several friends ask who was taking care of the kids. To me it seemed like a no brainer…of course it would be my husband. He is taking a week off work to be Mr. Mom while I’m gone. As I thought about it I realized it may be less common than I think for women to get away.

This trip is for me to go and serve with my church. We will be building two houses for two different families in Roatan. But in addition to serving it will be an opportunity for me to relax, to connect with other adults & build new friendships, for me to have a purpose outside the home, for me to give back, and an opportunity for my husband to spend quality time with the kids.

Portraits1-187I have always felt a calling to missions and my husband knows that. If it was up to me I would live somewhere far away and I would be snuggling orphans all day. That isn’t our life, so I appreciate his willingness to let me go on these trips every couple of years. Let me serve where I feel God is calling me and to fully support the things that are important to me.

Husbands figure out what your wife needs. How can you support what is important to her? Those nights away with girlfriends may be a little chaotic for you but they are so important for her. Does she like to workout or run? Be home so she can go to the gym. Whatever it is figure out a way to help her focus on something that is important to her.

Thank you Tom for letting me leave for a week! Thank you for seeing the big picture and never making me feel bad about being gone! I’m so excited for my trip and excited to see all that God is going to do!


Freezing Biscuit Dough

So today I’m talking biscuits! Random I know, but I’m headed to Honduras in 2 weeks so today I made a few meals and other items to put in the freezer for my husband to make when I’m gone. I saw this somewhere on Pinterest and decided to try freezing my own biscuit dough a couple of months ago. It worked great so I’m doing it again! My mother in law gave me a yummy recipe so I’m going to share it with you. I’m sure this would work with other recipes so if you have one you love, make it then follow the freezing instructions.

IMG_9465_edited-1Ā Ā  Ingredients:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cups unsalted butter – softened (1 1/2 sticks of butter)
  • 1 cup buttermilk or you can substitute “sour” milk (1 tbsp vinegar or lemon juice add milk to equal one cup of liquid. Let sit on counter for 5 minutes before using)Mix all dry ingredients together. Work in the butter with a pastry cutter. Once the butter is incorporated well, pour in your milk and mix together. Knead dough on the counter then cut biscuits. If you are going to eat them right away heat your oven to 425 degrees and bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.

    IMG_9454_edited-1Freezing instructions:
    IMG_9461_edited-1Line baking sheet with freezer or wax paper. Cut biscuits and place on the paper. Make sure they aren’t touching. Flash freeze them on the baking sheet for one hour. This will help them not stick together when you place them in the bag. After the hour is up place them in a freezer bag.
    IMG_9465_edited-1To bake after they are frozen, let then thaw at least partially or place them on a plate and microwave them for 10-15 seconds or until they are slightly soft. Then bake at 425 for 10-12 minutes.

    I love doing this because it’s a better option than grabbing a container of Pillsbury biscuits. We don’t eat very much processed food so it’s nice to have a few things ready to go for those nights that you don’t want to do all of the prep!

Our $300 Per Month Grocery Budget

So I have had it on my mind to blog about our food budget for a while but it took me a while to actually get around to doing it. Every now and then it comes up that we only budget $300 per month for groceries. I always get people saying, “man it would be nice if we could do that” or “how in the world do you do that??”. So I thought I would share how we do it.

IMG_9450_edited-2A few things to mention:

  • we drink organic milk & eat organic yogurt
  • we buy off the dirty dozen list for organic produce
  • we don’t eat most processed foods (meaning we don’t live on mac and cheese!)
  • we do our best to eat clean/healthy meals
  • our budget includes cleaning supplies, diapers, wipes and all toiletries. But I do cloth diaper my son about 80% of the time.
  1. Meal Planning – I feel like this is the only way to stick to a budget. When you wing it you end up spending more money! I generally meal plan 1-2 weeks at a time and buy the food we need accordingly. If I can make meals that will also create left overs it eliminates the need to buy as many lunch supplies. I generally plan 5 meals a week which leaves one night for left overs and we have dinner at my in-laws on most Sundays.
  2. Plan your meals around what you have, what is in season and what is on sale. When I’m planning I always check my cupboards and see what I have on hand. For example if I have a couple of cans of beans and diced tomatoes then I will generally plan to do taco soup or chili because I already have most of the ingredients. We also try to buy what is in season for fruits and veggies. I love fruit but if it’s too expensive we just don’t eat it. Most of the winter we have been eating apples, bananas, and pears. I would LOVE to buy the $5 package of strawberries but it just doesn’t fit our budget. I try to shop the sales. I always try to price compare as I’m shopping and try to find the best price for what I need. Ask around you may find out some useful information. My sister-in-law found out that Fred Meyer marks down their organic dairy section on Fridays. If i can work it into my schedule I stop by Friday mornings to see if I can score organic milk for 50% off!
  3. Don’t buy junk food!! Ok so this is hard for a lot of people but seriously we don’t buy junk food. My husband will attest to that. We don’t buy chips, ice cream, granola bars, soda or other processed foods. At times it sucks but I’m sure it keeps up healthier!!
  4. Make things from scratch – I make my own bread 2-3 times a week. I got a used bread machine for $20 and from what I’ve read online it costs about $0.50 to make a loaf of bread machine bread. I buy my yeast at Costco it’s SUPER CHEAP!! You can get a 32oz package of yeast at Costco for less than the small jar costs at the store. I recently started making my own Honey Nut Granola! It’s so delicious and super easy! I make waffles for dinner about once every 10 days. I make a double batch and freeze the left overs for my kids breakfasts. Here is my favorite waffle recipe šŸ™‚
  5. Don’t buy everything at Costco – I think sometimes people think it’s just easier to shop at Costco but it’s not always cost-effective. We buy very specific things there – peanut butter, TP, dishwasher soap, coffee, cheese, eggs, frozen chicken tenders, half and half applesauce and some baking supplies. I make my list and I STICK TO IT!!
  6. Be committed to your budget – This is our reality…we can’t afford more than $300 per month so I have figured out how to make it work. And let me tell you we never starve. We eat well…yes my husband misses having ice cream around or having Doritos with is lunch but he has never gone hungry! We buy the necessities and I try really hard not to buy things because they just look yummy!

In an effort to be completely honest there are a couple of exceptions to our $300 per month budget. First of all we usually buy 1/4 or 1/8 of a cow once a year. This is money we don’t factor into our budget. We usually use money from my husbands bonus or from our tax return to pay for this. If we don’t have the cash we don’t buy the beef.

Additionally if my husband gets a nice commission or some sort of extra money there is times I go stock up on a few things at Costco. By stock up I mean maybe spend an extra $100 not $500!!

Basically what it boils down to is setting a goal and deciding you are going to stick to it no matter what it takes. For me as the stay at home mom I feel like it’s part of my job to use our money wisely. I do my best to stick to our budget and by making that a priority I’m honoring my husband’s hard work. There are times that things happen and we end up spending more but it is possible to live on a tight budget…you just have to be a little creative!

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 šŸ™‚ 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 šŸ˜‰
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!

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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?

2014 Personal Goals

This is the first year I’m sitting down to make some personal goals…I think having clear goals helps you have something to be working towards. Some are bigger & some are smaller but I wanted to write them down.

  • Read Bible daily
  • Monthly date nights with my hubby
  • Take the kids on individual dates throughout the year
  • Travel to at least one new place (Chelan, Oregon coast, or maybe Victoria, BC)
  • Have girl’s nights more often
  • Exercise 3 times per week (make it a normal part of my life)
  • Take time to rest (this is hard for me)
  • Create some reachable financial goals for 2014 with my husband
  • Be more encouraging to the people around me
  • Read more – 6 books in 2014 – I’m a REALLY slow reader!
  • Blog more!
  • Be a little more unplugged (less technology)
  • Learn something new

Have you thought of any goals for the year? They don’t have to be crazy or scary! For me I like lists to refer to and I like to think about what’s important to me and how IĀ  can invest in it.

Honey Nut Granola Recipe

A couple of weeks ago I decided to make some granola. I’m not really a cereal girl but I do love granola! I had been craving it but didn’t want to pay the high prices at the store. I’m not sure why but granola tends to be pretty expensive. So I when on Pinterest and found a recipe to try. You can check the original recipe here. I decided to tweak it to what I like and what I generally have on hand.

When it comes to granola I like to keep it simple. I hope you enjoy my recipe!
2 cups oats
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/3 cup chopped almonds (or other nuts)
2/3 cup honey mixed with 2 tsp hot water
3 Tbsp olive oil

Pre-heat oven to 250 degrees.

Mix dry ingredients together. Add in the honey/water mixture and stir well. Once the dry ingredients are coated well with the honey add in the olive oil. Mix well.

Spread out evenly on a cookie sheet that is lined with parchment paper. You will bake the granola for 1 hour stirring every 20 minutes or so to make sure it browns evenly. After the hour let cool (the granola will get even crunchier after it cools). Store in an airtight container.

This thing about granola is that you can tweak it to whatever you love. Try adding different nuts, sesame seeds, raisins or other dried fruit.


Taylin’s Bedroom…Time For An Update!

I’ve had an itch to do some decorating around my house! The other day I decided to deep clean my daughters room and ended up rearranging. I would love to totally redo her whole room but right now we just don’t have the budget to do that. So basically I’ve decided I need to add a little pop of color to her space. It’s currently purple and gray with a few other random things. She has a few pillows that have pinks and teals in them so I’m going to take from that and try to do a little update to her room!

Here is my inspiration board for the updates to her room!
Tay's Room Update_edited-3Photo Credit {1. Here, 2. Here, 3. Here, 4. Here}

The first thing I want to do is some sort of small collage of frames or possibly pictures. I’m not exactly sure but I love this one from Shanty Insanity! Check out her blog…her house is absolutely adorable! I’m sure you will find inspiration for lots of projects!

The second project is going to be painting the back of Tay’s books shelf. This is a big trend right now and a simple way to add color to a space! I’ve seen this on Young House Love and this small shelf on my board is from Welcome To Heardmont. We were given a small very simple bookshelf from some friends. It’s not fancy but it was free and it does the job! So I think it will pop a little more if I paint the back. Lucky for me I already have paint in the right color!

The next thing I’m thinking about is a canopy. This one from How Does She looks super easy to make. It’s made with curtains, ribbon and a huge embroidery hoop. I’ve got some extra white curtains so I’m going to see if I can make something similar out of them!

The final project I’m planning to make is this super fun heart wall art. This is from Honeybee Vintage and is a pretty simple project. I love it because it makes a big statement but is still very simple and inexpensive.

This is her room currently…we will see how it all comes together! The top half looks light purple but it’s actually a gray…I promise šŸ™‚
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The Sweetest Morning

Today was a day in the world of mommyhood that you don’t want to forget. We got up on time. I got Taylin off to school without any major issues. No attitudes. We weren’t running for the bus. She remembered her lunch. You know, all the millions of details that take over my mind each morning. Our routine is to get her off to school then Bry and I eat breakfast and then our day together begins. Today he was full of sweetness and I don’t want to forget it.

Often as mom’s our days are so full of keeping the house running, picking up after the kids, laundry, changing diapers, kissing owies and figuring out why our kids are screaming or whining AGAIN!!! Today I just sat and enjoyed the sweetness of my son. He is almost 20 months and is so full of personality. Just recently he really wants me to be part of his world, playing, showing me things, snuggling and it’s just so precious.

Here are a few pictures from our morning.
IMG_9267IMG_9272_edited-1 IMG_9278_edited-1IMG_9303_edited-1 IMG_9290_edited-1 IMG_9307_edited-1Let me be the first to admit I need to do this more. To stop. Play. Listen. It’s not in my personality to just “sit around”. I have to feel like I did something each day. Today I did. I hung out with my son. There are toys everywhere. I have no makeup on & I haven’t even brushed my hair, but I had the best morning just playing with my son.

Don’t let these sweet moments pass you by!