Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A Home for my Books

I'll admit it. I think I am a bit of a book addict. Always have been. I started my love of books in 1st grade when my teacher began a contest to see who could read the most books. My mom was a teacher, and I begged her to bring home books every night! Sure enough, by the end of 1st grade, I had read well over 2,000 books. I consider this is good addiction. Nothing that requires therapy or medication.... just time and a cozy chair. I like having a variety of books stationed in different parts of my house. Now some people like having one book going at a time. (My husband) Here are a few of the books I am currently reading that can be found throughout my home.

Living Room Book
This book is in my living room and has already provided me with non-stop laughter. The story is set a small town in the south and the main character wants to leave her little town and find greater things. The Dairy Queen is where she and her sister meet to plan their future, while eating dilly bars. My father in law gave me this book after her read it.

Living Room Books Cont.
These books spend their time in my living room, resting on our glass coffee table. These are great books to pick up and inspire thoughts and ideas as well as interest a guest while visiting.

These are two gardening books that traveled from my grandmother's shelves in West Virginia. I am hoping they will provide Daniel and I new gardening tips as we anticipate what will come of our garden this year. Tomatoes, spinach, and peppers... oh my!

Kitchen Book
While shopping in downtown Charleston, Daniel and I found this book in Williams and Sonoma. We started flipping though it and kept saying, "Oh, that looks good." After little thought, we decided that this would be our Charleston souvenir! Each page makes you want to spend more time in the kitchen enjoying food!

Before Bedtime Books
I have been reading Tracey Hogg's Baby Whisperer book. It is interesting and has lots of neat ideas.

Morning Books
This is my basket of books that I keep in my cozy corner. I read these books during my morning devotion time. This basket houses, The Power of a Praying Wife, Mark for Everyone, My Solo Devotion, My Bible, The Incredible Christian, 1000 Gifts, the Art of Loving God, and Live to Make a Difference.

As I think about my love for books, I think about Mrs. Eishenhaur, Mrs. Hartenbach, Mrs. Alleman, Mrs. Miller, and Mrs. Blake. My K-4th grade teachers that left a lasting impression on my life as a reader, instilling a love that has grown since I was a child.
It all started with a teacher and it never ends. I love teachers and am thankful to be one!

Be Blessed Friends!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Young House Love Inspiration

One of theeeee best blogs can be found at . This blog is written by a husband and wife, John and Sherry Petersik. They devote much of their time to renovating older homes. I love to watch their ideas become projects and projects become masterpieces. They are so funny and offer so much advice on how to be a DIY(er). A few weeks ago, I read about a project they were doing in their living room. They wanted to add color behind their couch with eight frames they had purchased from Ikea. However, they wanted the cost to be low, but the outcome to be beautiful. While contemplating art that could be framed, they considered the idea of putting scrapbook paper in the frames, until they could decide on something they liked. After a trip to Michaels and $5.88 later.... this was born...

This was the picture. The picture that had me sold. The picture that my husband and I agreed would give us inspiration to create our own 8 frame art.
Saturday provided the perfect opportunity to get our frames hung, since the rain kept us captive inside.

First, Daniel took my butcher paper, rolled it out, and traced around the outline of the frame. This would give us a good visual to figure out the placement of our collage. (We got this idea from Young House Love). Then, I placed them on the wall by eyeballing where I thought they looked good.
Next, I called in the husband again. He checked my placement with his handy dandy level and sure enough, I was pretty close, but slightly off. He adjusted my mistakes and began hammering. He is so good with perfect measurement (me... not so much).

After careful thought and careful precision measurement by my awesome husband, as well as sanding and repainting where scratches were made, we were ready to hang our work. We pulled the paper from the wall and put up our art in its place. This was the final result.

We were both pleased as the spring colors changed the feel in our home. I love the way they all compliment each other! What project are you working on? Please tell me about it! In the meantime, I can't wait to see Spring reveal itself.... as our days get longer, weather gets warmer (excluding the past few days) and yards liven up with beautiful flowers. Be Blessed by the beauty God gives us!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Meal Plan

Monday- Homemade Chicken Salad Sandwiches with Chips

Tuesday- Stuffed Peppers

Wednesday- OUT with Family

Thursday- Fish Tacos

Friday- Southwest White Chicken Chili

Saturday- Steak and Homemade Shakes


Thirsty for Truth

Today's sermon was centered around John 4, which tells the story of the Woman of Samaria, known to us as The Woman at the Well. Our pastor reminded us that as Jesus was traveling into Galilee, he took a tour through the city of Samaria. He choose this path, not because it was the only path to take, but because Jesus loved ALL of the world, and HAD to go through this town to talk with its people. As he passed through, he grew thirsty. I thought more about this story when I got home from church and wanted to find more. I dug back into my Bible and then ventured onto a website called and found an article entitled, Thirsty for Truth. Below is a part of the article that I liked. It was written by Liz Curtis Higgs. I have highlighted the parts that struck me!

We don't know her name or age. But her conversation with the Lord is his longest one-on-one chat recorded in Scripture. Reason enough to give our sister from Samaria a fresh look.

It was high noon on a hot day. Jesus, tired from traveling, chose a sensible rest stop—Jacob's well outside the town of Sychar—while waiting for his disciples to go into town for food. When our unnamed woman appeared with clay jar in hand, Jesus made a simple request: "Will you give me a drink?" (John 4:7).

Uh-oh. (1) Jews weren't supposed to speak to Samaritans. (2) Men weren't permitted to address women without their husbands present. And (3) rabbis had no business speaking to shady ladies such as this one. Jesus was willing to toss out the rules, but our woman at the well wasn't. "You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman," she reminded him. "How can you ask me for a drink?" (John 4:9).

She focused on the law; Jesus focused on grace. ( As I read the Bible, this seems to be a reoccurring theme as we get to know our Jesus)

The rest of the article goes on to tell her story and talk about her gutsy, yet kind demeanor with Jesus. All in all--- I learned that our response to the Lord should be somewhat the same. We must first confront our true selves, experience his grace and share the good news with the world.

Have a blessed week. May your thirst be quenched!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Toasted Marshmallow Milkshake

Once again... while blog browsing, I ran across this amazing recipe on, Joy the Baker. This recipe started screaming, "Try me, Try me!" I listened and I am so glad I did. It was one of the yummiest 5 minutes my life has offered. (Yes, I downed it very quickly). Below is the recipe that I highly recommend making. It is so simple and only requires a few ingredients! The best part was the little marshmallow bits that swam up my straw while I was sipping away! Enjoy my Friends!
  • IMG_0405

Toasted Marshmallow Milkshake

Print this Recipe!

8-10 large marshmallows

3 large scoops vanilla ice cream or a heaping 1-cup of vanilla ice cream

1/2 cup of milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place marshmallows on skewer and toast until slightly charred over a gas flame. If you don’t have skewers or a gas range, you can toast the marshmallows on a sheet tray in the broiler for 2 or 3 minutes. Keep an eye on the marshmallows as they’re in the oven. They’re liable to burst into marshmallow flames pretty quick. Place on a plate to cool slightly.

In a blender mix together ice cream, milk, vanilla extract and toasted marshmallows. Save one or two toasted marshmallows to top the milkshake(s). Blend well. For a thinner milkshake add more milk. If you’d like it a bit thicker… add more ice cream. Pour into glasses and top with toasted marshmallows. Enjoy on the quick.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Black and Blue Berry Yogurt Blast (and Wheat Germ)

If you like Blackberries, raise your hand! Meeee!!!! I do, I do!
I have loved blackberries since I was a little girl. Summer mornings were always spent in the woods, tending to the blackberries before the birds enjoyed them! Mom loved to make pies and cobblers. I just liked eating blackberries.
One of my very favorite yogurts is the Blackberry Yoplait Light.
This is it below:

This morning, in my attempt to be more health conscious, I decided to kick my breakfast up a notch! I added fresh blueberries, a dollop of whip cream and a dash of wheat germ. It looked good, smelled good, and ohhh man, did it taste good! I let my husband have a little taste and he put in a request to add this to the breakfast menu. I smiled, not just because I was glad he liked it, but because I snuck in a little smidgin' of wheat germ. (He always makes fun of my wheat germ jar that I keep in the fridge).
So what about wheat germ? Has any one out there added this to their diet?

I learned about wheat germ while reading book about Eating Clean that a friend let me borrow last year. I learned that wheat germ is a part of the wheat kernel. The germ is only a very small part of the kernel. The word germ has nothing to do with bacteria; it simply refers to germination. The germ is the reproductive part that germinates and forms the wheat grass. Within this germ lies a healthy dose of daily vitamins, like Vitamin E and Potassium. It is packed with protein and antioxidants. I love it because it is an easy way to add nutritional value to a variety of foods.

How do you add nutritional value to your foods. Any secrets? Please share!

Thursday, March 17, 2011


My amazing mother shared this song with me a few days ago. Please listen to this song with an open heart. It may leave you with a renewed spirit. Be Blessed by Him!

Monday, March 14, 2011


I fell in love with this beautiful quote that truly makes so much sense. Perfect sense, actually.
In what ways did joy show up today?

I heard joy on the radio while listening to 106.9
I felt joy when a few of my students were truly connected with today' lesson.
I smelled joy while my husband prepared dinner (Spaghetti with Italian Sausage)
I saw joy while watching the students prepare for their Broadway performance, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory!

That was my string of twinkling lights today! What was yours?
Shine On My Friends!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sunday Thoughts...

It's late Sunday night. I'm drinking my chai tea (ahhhhh) and reflecting on what today has offered. Sunday's are always my day to re-center, re-group, and re-organize the upcoming week. But this Sunday was different. A bit extraordinary and ordinary. Yes. That is how it can best be described.

This morning we discussed God's greatest commandment in Sunday school class. Reading this part of Mark, reminded me of what this life is all about. Jesus amazes me in this passage when he was asked by the Jewish people what the most important commandment is. His response-- impeccably simple- yet so thorough--- "Hear, Oh Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength." (Mark 12:29-30) We had a great discussion about these profound words that we so often forget. After Sunday School, Daniel and I were sitting in the sanctuary, getting ready for service to begin and I pulled my Bible from my bag and noticed a book called, The Art of Loving God, that Ginni Poole gave to me a few Sunday's ago. I had not had the chance to read much of the book yet, but a little voice said, "Open up the book, and look inside." I wasn't sure why I felt the need to read it, but I did. I opened the front cover and began reading the introduction on the inside sleeve. Right in front of my eyes, sat the same scripture we had just discussed. Coincidence--- I think not. God was there, right in front of me, talking to me, encouraging me with his greatest commandment.

As I walked away from church, I wanted more. I wanted him to knock on my door at home, have a cup of tea, and teach me more about his greatest commandment.
This made me wonder how often am I aware. How often am I oblivious to His calling? How often do my own pleasures keep my from growing closer to him?
This week my prayer is that I can experience more of this Great Commandment. What does it look like? What does it sound like? What does it feel like? As you begin your week, think about these questions. Ask yourself, "What am I really trying to accomplish? What actions characterize me? Does my thinking lead to problems or solutions?"

Be blessed my friends!
I appreciate all your comments-- please keep them coming!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Different Eyes

As an educator, I have been blessed with the gift of working with children and teaching them about our world and how to live in it. As an educator, I teach children how to read, write, speak, and think. What a privilege! As an educator, I not only teach, but I am taught. Kids teach me new things everyday. Today I noticed one of my students was saying the words, "Snip-Snip-Snip," as he cut his "ch" and "sh" picture cards apart. Remembering that I had said the same thing last week when I was helping him cut his cards, I said, " Seth, I heard you say snip-snip-snip while cutting." He said, " Yeah Mrs. Noles, that is what you say when you cut."
I stopped and my first thought was "Hallelluah, he has been listening." But my next thought was, wow-- how powerful my words are and what an impact they can have. I thought of this more throughout the day!
Later this evening, I came home and noticed that my mom had posted a Youtube video about some of our friends at her church. Once again, I was blessed the children in this video. Once again, I learned another lesson. This lesson was about perspective. Please take the time to listen to the story of two children, Luke Blain and Allie Greenlee. Both have a strong connection with each other and with the Lord. Watch and Be Blessed!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

I saw this picture and it reminded me of one of the many things that my mom always told me that I thought was silly, and now realize is true. When we would be stuck in traffic or behind someone slow, she would say that God was just placing a guardian angel to keep us from harm on up the road. I would laugh. Now, I know how true this is. This picture also reminded me of a song called Entertaining Angels. Remembering how important it is to treat others with
kindness as we go about our daily lives. I wonder if I have ever entertained an angel? I hope so. Be Blessed Everyone!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Good to Great

I just started Chip Ingram's book, Good to Great in God's Eyes. I have been wanting to read it, since I have listened to the series on his podcast. The first chapter is titled, Think Great Thoughts. He spends time talking about great thinkers, such as, Augustine, C.S Lewis, and Martin Luther. From these great thinkers, we are still reaping the benefits of their thoughts. He believes that in order to live an influential, fruitful life for God, it is not possible to have a mind filled with flawed, pessimistic, cynical thinking. Later, he goes on to discuss the word, dwell. He found this greek word, logizomai, for dwell, was not a casual word. It means to deduce, to reason, to calculate, to ponder, to deliberate, to subject analysis or thought. He asked the question, Where do you dwell? What do you think about when you drive? What do you listen to at home? What channels do you find yourself being attracted to? This has really challenged me to take a step back and look deeper into my own life and ask myself some really tough questions. I did find comfort in this statement: God loves me at this moment as much as he ever has and as much as he ever will. Really? I'm as loved right now as I will ever be! Now those are great thoughts. So as Monday comes to a close, I hope this has offered a bit of motivation for the week ahead. Take time to ponder, to dwell, to notice the good that God is doing. And remember, you are today where your thoughts have brought you. You will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you.

Be Blessed.