Saturday, April 30, 2011

Where the Magic Happens

Our bar stools have finally arrived and our kitchen is complete (and most of the main level of the house)! All that's left is the foyer which I can't wait to get started on.

Anyways, here are some pics of our kitchen. It's pretty simple and neutral to blend with the adjacent dining room and seating area. I am so glad we finally have more seating in this room because this is where the magic happens. This is always the place people want to hang out and end up just standing around! There are a lot of things I love about this kitchen including the appliances and layout. It's super efficient and a great space for entertaining and cookin up some awesome dishes!

(Sorry for the crappy pics. One of these days I will get a good lens for interiors so I can actually use the good camera!)

View from foyer
Bar stools

View from dining room
 View from stairs to lower level
 Hanging glass candleholders and vases
The tea pot!
View towards seating area/ music room

We're one step closer to a finished house! Wahoo! I think it's time to start working on the master bedroom... :) Pics to come!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Easter Insight

This past Sunday was a great Easter. Zach and I had both been working really hard to make it a great day for the people and families of our church. This intense preparation for the most important day in our faith opened my eyes to a few new things I had to share here on the blog.

First off, the elementary age children at FHC got to experience Easter in a whole new way this year. We created 10 different booths/ exhibits/ stations around the Big Deal Warehouse that told each part of the Easter story from the Last Supper/ Passover meal to Christ's resurrection.

(Sorry the pics are bad. I took them quickly with the iphone and it was dark.)

Each station enabled them to touch, hear, taste, smell, or watch the different elements of each scene. A few examples include:

The Garden of Gethsemane (trees, rocks, and artwork)

The arrest of Jesus (sword, torch, and soldier's helmet)

Peter (fishing net, campfire, and rooster)

The crucifixion of Jesus (three crosses above and bench below with nails, sponge with vinegar, dice, and garment)

Empty tomb! (with cloth and fragrance)
The talented Yoshi James created a clue card where each child could write what they saw, touched, tasted, etc at each station.

Although all of it turned out really cool, there were two parts that held meaning and significance to me personally. The first thing was the last supper.

I had to do some research on the Passover meal/ Seder meal and it's so interesting! I think the purpose behind it and meaning of the symbolic foods is really significant for all believers. I'd love to annually host a traditional Passover meal with friends and celebrate not only how God used Moses to free the Jews from Egypt, but how he freed all of us from sin through Jesus. It's definitely a good reason to party. :)

Our Easter activities had a very climatic ending with the releasing of white doves, one at each of the five services.

In the box
Flying high
The remarkable thing about these doves is that they know how to get home. We rented them from a man about 30 miles away and no matter where they are released they will figure out their way home. I have no idea how this is possible, but it's amazing! On some symbolic level it makes me think that deep down we all know where our ultimate home should be and the way to get there. We just have to want to get home.

So in addition to what happened for the kids on Easter, it was so special for me to see Zach lead worship in the SouthPark sanctuary. (He does this every weekend, but sometimes I don't get to be there since I am teaching in a children's environment.)

Sometimes I forget what a privilege it is to be married to a worship leader and what a huge responsibility it is. It humbles me so much to see how God is using my husband as an instrument (with his instruments!) for His glory. It makes me so proud to see my husband's heart for Jesus so visible and impacting thousands. That is one of the biggest and most amazing blessings in my life. I am so honored to walk beside you Zach through ministry and life.

(Funny side story: Zach occasionally gets drawings/ notes from children sitting out in the sanctuary. It's really interesting to me that kids seem to experience worship through writing and drawing and want to share it with Z. Anyways, on Easter Zach got this portrait of himself from a young boy in the crowd. Ha! I love the nose, soul patch detail, and shirt collar. Hahahahaha)

All in all it was a GREAT Easter and I'm so glad we got to celebrate our savior's death and resurrection in such a big way with all our FHC family. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Quirky Cards

So I love greeting cards. Well, actually let me rephrase.
I love 'some' greeting cards. I love the ones that are completely random, quirky, and void of sentimental cheesyness. These unusually creative cards are fairly hard to come by and why I have been mildly obsessed with Fresh Ink cards by Hallmark for the past few years. They are so ridiculous and fabulously random.

I seriously can't even begin to count how many of these I have given to friends. Alarmingly, over the years they have become more scarce, only appearing in some random CVS stores and no actual Hallmarks. Why?! I don't know. I guess this is a sign the end is near. Ha! Anyways, Z and I stumbled across some at our local CVS just the other day and I had to take some quick pics of some of my favs that have been around forever...the "classic" Fresh Ink cards if you will...

Birthday awesomeness/ movie-making genius

It's not everyday you can give a card in the shape of processed meat... oh wait you can! Thank you Hallmark.

"Have that kind of birthday."

And my all-time favorite birthday card...

Oh Fresh Ink... how I love you and your quirky messages in all your square-shaped gloriousness! Thank you for bringing me and so many of my friends ridiculous moments of unexpected joy. :) You have definitely made many of my days brighter and more full of laughter.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Dining In

Zach and I finally finished our dining room. The giant picture frame is empty no more! FINALLY. I guess that's 4 rooms down, 9 to go. HA. Oh well. It will happen eventually...

Anyways, here are a few pics of the dining room. I know it seems like we constantly eat out due to the food pictures I post, but we actually use this space a lot when guests are over (typically every Sunday night) and when I cook dinner... which has been happening a lot less lately due to celebrations, Easter and the new job. I am hoping to get in a good meal/cooking routine by the time Allie is here in a week since I love to cook and eat. Both are therapeutic for me. :)

View from upstairs seating area

View from kitchen

Raw wood table

The funny photo is from our Florida photoshoot
My trusty capiz shell pendant fixture that has been with me since 2006!
 The artichokes

Next on the list is the kitchen. Stay tuned for photos soon!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Mail Time

Zach and I just sent Allie another care package. We are so anxious for her to be here in May, but we wanted to send her a few things for fun and a few things in preparation for our time together. Here's a look inside her box...

As usual, we each wrote her a letter.

As a fun, outdoor, adventurous activity, we want to start geocaching with Allie. We think it would be a really fun thing to do together wherever we are. To introduce her to this modern, world-wide treasure hunt, we sent her a turquoise treasure chest!
 Rolled up inside the chest is a canvas map with an explanation of geocaching.

We also sent a little Forget-Me-Not grow kit since we can't forget her for one second!
 Since Allie loves ping pong, we got her a travel-ready, tabletop version she can play anywhere.
 We also sent copies of the blog posts since she left and pictures of the bear from my mom and dad's neighborhood. Thanks for posting them on Facebook Aunt Susan!
For this care package, we included some music and DVDs.

Last time Allie was here she asked for some specific music. She also mentioned having trouble knitting. Because of this I took a video of my sister teaching her a few tips so her items don't fall apart!

The last DVD is really special. It's a copy of the 'Our God' video that begins our Easter service this weekend at FHC and it's completely amazing. Thank you Eric Schlenker for your all your hard work creating this awesome video! Anyways, so the reason this is significant for Allie is because she was really the inspiration behind it. Last Christmas my parents gave Allie a few DisneyNature DVDs including Earth and Oceans. Her love of nature has really opened our eyes to God's majesty and greatness. Because of this Zach had the idea to use the DisneyNature footage with the song 'Our God' by Chris Tomlin. The two together are truly breath-taking and inspiring. You can't help but worship when you watch it. It also is amazing to me the impact Allie is having on thousands without even being here just by her being the person God created her to be. It is encouraging to see how he can use anything to bring Him glory and I hope she sees the significance in it. Anyways, Eric made us a copy that is dedicated to Allie and it's so special.

In the theme of Easter, we also sent Allie a small taste of last week's Big Deal (the family environment at FHC). The world around us not only proclaims God's greatness, but also our need for Jesus and how he came to die for our sin. Because of this, we told the story of salvation through five different plants. Since I obviously can't mail Allie five plants, I put together a cool envelop with cards that explain the significance of each plant and how they remind us of Jesus. It was actually a really unique way of telling the story and making it memorable for children.

Here's the outer envelop...

The edges of the envelop peel open like petals to reveal the cards inside

The cards...

Lastly, we sent some treats! A chocolate bunny (because Allie loves chocolate) and beef jerky because...well... Allie loves jerky. :)

I hope you love it all Al! We sure do love you and can't wait to see you soon!