Thursday, April 25, 2013

Thankful Thursday

Today I'm thankful:

--for worship music.  I am a very lyrically driven person {as should be obvious from my obsession with words} and song is my favorite method of worship.  I love how poetic the words are written, yet how they are able to express so eloquently what I never could in 1,000 words.  I love that it can echo through the walls of my home and vehicle, allowing me to be in a near constant mind state of worship.  I love that it can move me to strong emotion and action.  I love it.

--for a pretty incredible group of youth group girls {I adore the guys too, but this week, I'm especially thankful for the girls}.  I love getting to teach them on Wednesday nights, and I'm thankful that they all come to that class.  They have some things in the works too that exhibit a Jesus heart and they make me proud.  They are truly a blessing to me.

--that the youth rally planning is going full steam ahead!  I am also beyond thankful for a congregation of people who are excited to share in mine and my sister's dream {as well as our husbands who got on board without question}.  The glory is the Father's!

--that my boy finally had a little free time and was able to mow the lawn.  It was getting a little jungle-esque out there...

--to be a Stampin' Up! demonstrator!  I love their products and am so excited about the new catalog about to be released!  I get to do something I love and make a little money at the same time...that's just grand.

--that Grey's Anatomy is a new episode tonight!  This may sound a little ridiculous, but after two weeks of reruns, I'm ready to snuggle in with my Seattle peeps and find out what they've been up to.  {Don't you love how I think they're real I get attached to fictional characters, what's the big deal?}

--for the blessing service that our Elders and minister performed on Sunday for our kids.  I'm hoping to get a whole post up about that soon, but for now, I'll just let you know how thankful I am to worship with a family who blesses our family's efforts to raise our daughter as a child of the King--and who helps us do so.

be grateful.  give thanks.

love, angie

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Stampin' Up! Retired List Available!

The list of retired products from the 2012-2013 annual catalog is available!  If any of your favorites or long time wish listers are on there, snag them up quick!  All of these products are discontinued as they sell out, so it's a first come/first serve basis.

These retiring products will be available through June 3 or until they sell out.  
They've gotta go to make way for the new pretties coming in the brand new catalog!  It will debut for sales on May 31, 2013!  They just released the sneak peeks to the demonstrators, and let me tell you, there is some super pretty goodies in there :)

happy crafting,

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


What a whirlwind these past two weeks have been.  Between planning and prepping for a youth rally this fall, preparing and hosting my Stampin' Up! club, going on a ladies retreat, preparing material and teaching Bible class, traveling, and on and on and on...  I haven't stopped.

Until yesterday.  And then I just stopped...  I slept in and stayed in bed watching tv past that.  My house was a disaster.  I had been washing the dishes regularly, but my sink was never emptied.  I had been washing the clothes, but the lack of folding led to a literal mountain of them on my couch (Hunter, bless his heart, had to dig for his work clothes every morning...).  I have a little walking path to my bed because everything has just been laid somewhere.

Hunter and I haven't even had time to just sit and visit.  Every conversation we've had is about some task and what the other needs to take care of; making travel arrangements or bill payments; asking one another to do something for the kiddo...  No rest.

Thankfully, I'm starting to catch my breath and wrangle my life back to a state of normalcy (somewhat...).  Little by little the house is getting picked up and cleaned, and slowly but surely we're sneaking in small conversations about non-pressing matters.

This is kind of a pointless post to a reader (if anyone out there even reads this...); but it's my outlet and venting board.  So I feel better even just expressing my need for a slowed least for a few days.

which is good, because that's all I'm gonna get off...  in a few weeks, the crazy picks right back up where it left off!

But at least I have an incredible partner and adorable baby along for the ride...

Enjoy your life--even the busy-ness of it all.  Just don't get lost in it.

love, angie

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Thankful Thursday

I missed last week's Thankful because I was traveling, so now I have two weeks of thankful expressions for you!

Today I'm thankful:

--that one of our guys in our youth group put on the blood of Christ in baptism last Sunday!  He is a very special young man to Hunter and I, and that decision was such a blessing.  We are so proud of him and excited to make this journey with him.

--for mine and AJ's long weekend trip to Branson!  We flew up Thursday to spend a few days with my sister in that fun little town (thank you Southwest for uber cheap tickets)!  We had a really fun time, and that trip will get its own full post soon.

--that we are having a ladies' retreat this weekend.  I am so ready for some time away with the girls (and quite honestly, I'm needing a little break from mommy duties...not a long one, but a break).  It's going to be a great time in the Word and in the woods. Mmm.

--for the birth of sweet little Jaxson!  A dear friend of mine {whom I've mentioned on here before}, after years of struggles, prayer, and faith, was blessed with her miracle this week.  It's just a beautiful story.

--for my monthly Stampin' ladies.  They're my form of therapy :)

--for Dove (the company).  I am so grateful that they have taken a stand to push natural beauty as opposed to what society pushes.  Their ad that has been circulating is extremely powerful--girls and women of all ages need to watch it and take its message to heart.  Boys and men who struggle with self worth and beauty need to do the same.

--for my best friend, Rachel.  I've been missing her pretty bad here lately.  She seems to make my days a little better and I just love her.  I need to see her face soon...

--that there are still decent cartoons that teach values and necessities, but don't drive me crazy {i.e. Mickey Mouse Clubhouse--my tot loves her mouse!}.

--that my boy was safe after a fire at the refinery yesterday.  It was a brutal reminder to me of the danger that my boy and my dad walk into every day.  I am so thankful for their safety each day it is gifted.

--for hope.  In the middle of the massive tragedies that have hit our country this week, hope arises.  It can be witnessed as people reach out to one another; as people pray mightily; as our nation comes together.  Our heart aches for the people in Boston, MA and West, TX and for the families affected by those fears, injuries, and losses.  Our prayers for peace, healing, strength, and hope are covering them.

be grateful, give thanks.

love, angie

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

one day without shoes

It's no doubt that TOMS has become a stylish and well known brand.  In fact, it's one that I love.  Their products are high quality and super comfortable.  

Something I love even more than their shoes (or shirts or eyewear) is their mission:  One For One...  For every pair of shoes they sell, they donate a pair of shoes to a child in need of shoes (in multiple countries around the world).  For every pair of glasses they sell, they donate eye care to someone in need.  Their company's entire foundation and purpose is to give back...and I really dig that.

Arabella and I sport our TOMS regularly and proudly.  But April 16, 2013, we're going without them...

Tuesday, AJ and I are going #onedaywithoutshoes along with the rest of the TOMS community in order to raise awareness for kids in need.  
Inspire people to ask questions; inspire people to learn; inspire people to act.  
Make a difference.

Random questions. Thorough answers.

What's the date this year?

One Day Without Shoes is on April 16, 2013.

How do I get involved?

Simple: Go without shoes on April 16! Better yet, get a group of friends/classmates/co-workers to go without shoes – you’ll be joining thousands around the world in a global movement.

What's the best way to get the word out?

Our DIY toolkit has lots of creative ways that you can help spread the word. From stencils for t-shirts to stickers, there are lots great ways to raise awareness for a good cause.

Are there places that it is culturally common to not wear shoes?

Yes, there are some places in the world where going barefoot is widely accepted. But when children are affected by disease and illness, or unable to attend school due to inadequate footwear, it is not about a cultural preference, but about the need for protection. One Day Without Shoes is about raising awareness for children's global health and education issues.

How can I get involved beyond One Day Without Shoes?

We are so excited that you are interested in doing more! There are many barriers to children’s health and education. We encourage you to find a solution you are passionate about supporting, such as education, clean water, agriculture, microfinance, health or child labor. There are lots of organizations working to improve children’s health and education worldwide that need support. Need a place to start? Check out TOMS Giving Partners. We are working on getting a list online. Until then, please check out the TOMS blog at to see some of them.

Who gives TOMS Shoes to children in need?

TOMS Shoes are given through a network of humanitarian organizations – our Giving Partners – that serve impoverished communities worldwide. Each organization provides TOMS Shoes to children in need along with their pre-existing health, education and community development programs. As of January 2013, TOMS works with over 75 Shoe Giving Partners in over 50 countries worldwide!

Repost these pictures, e-cards, and facts.  Visit the website and download your tool kit.  
...go OneDayWithoutShoes and help change the world...

join the global movement with me.

xoxo, angie

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

LTC 2013

I mentioned a while back that we took our youth group to a leadership conference on Easter weekend.  This is the 5th year that Hunter and I have been involved in it--our group had been going for a while before we moved here.  Let me give you the skinny on it for those of you who aren't familiar with LTC...

LTC stands for Leadership Training for Christ and there are several conference locations.  We attend the one in Houston (CTLTC--Central Texas LTC).  There are multiple events that students can compete in ranging from team events such as Bible Bowl, Puppets, Live Drama, and Chorus to individual events such as Speaking, Photography, Sign Language, and Artwork.  There are also events that are completed prior to the conference such as Service Challenge and Video Bible Drama.  Members of the congregation take the roles as coaches for each event, guiding and leading practices for each event.  This year we had a group of 40 people with us, supporting/coaching/feeding our kids!

Now, when I say compete, the thought of competing against other teams and people comes to mind.  However, the great thing about LTC is that it sets criteria to follow, and that is what is competed against.  So all of the teams who compete have the possibility of going home with a gold medal (ideally)!  This allows the purpose to remain that students participate in and attend this conference to learn and better their own leadership qualities, giving God the glory in their lives.

Each year, a theme is chosen from the book of the Bible that the conference will center around and focus.  This year was the book of Matthew with the theme, "The Extra Mile" (taken from Matthew 5:41--"If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles.").  All of the songs, artwork, scripts--everything--are pulled from the context of that book and pointed toward that theme.

Something else to be explained before I get into anything else--there are age divisions for competition (3-6, 7-9, 10-12).  The team must compete in the age group of the oldest member.  So we had a 4th grader competing in a 7-9 level on puppets and 8th graders competing in 10-12 puppets; 4-9 graders competing on a 10-12 level on live drama; also, our chorus was made up of six 10-12 graders and six 4-9 graders.  If we had more younger kids, we would have been allowed to compete as a mixed chorus, i.e. a lower grade division.  However, being evenly split, they competed on a 10-12 grade level.

Our group has done outstanding every year we've been here.  And it's obvious beyond the medals--we have a group full of leaders, full of active Christians, full of kids who don't settle for tradition but require explanation.  These kids are incredible and the fact that the Lord placed Hunter and I here to work with them astounds us daily.  They have and continue to bless us so!

This year was no different--our kids were great.  They start studying the theme/Bible book in their Sunday morning class when school starts. Usually, Bible Bowl drilling also starts then on Wednesday nights (we did that a little differently this year by starting out with the quizzes on Sunday nights as a congregation and kept their Wednesday night class something non-LTC.  Wednesday night Bible bowl kicked off in January).  All of the other events start practicing pretty hard core in January and go that way until Easter, which is the weekend LTC always is.

When I say hard core practicing--there is always a practice for something(s) Sunday afternoon and something(s) after evening services.  So depending on what all the kids participate in, they are easily and often at the church building for services and then practicing and studying all day long.  I say this to try to explain how hard these kids work and how much they care.  None of them are forced to compete in any event--they choose it all.

That being said, here are what we competed in this year and the awards they received:

  • Sign Language--4 Intermediates (they had to translate a song and a scripture); 3 golds and 1 silver
  • Sign Language--1 Interpretation (she was given the topic of Communion but had no idea what she would actually be signing)
  • 2D Art--1 Gold
  • Photography--1 Silver
  • Scrapbook--1 Gold (team of 4)
  • Bulletin Board--1 Gold (team of 3)
  • Video Bible Drama--1 Gold (team of 13--they reenact a Bible story and relate it back to a modern skit.  All of this is recorded and mailed in for judging pre-convention)
  • Service Challenge--5 Golds (they must record service events that they have done throughout the year and explain how these events changed them and their Christian walk.)
  • Puppets--2 Golds (7-9 team and 10-12 team)
  • Bible Bowl--2 four-person teams ranging 7-12 grades, all judged and tested the same.  All 8 boys received a Gold as an individual score, and both teams received a Gold for their team score!  On top of that, both teams were the second highest scoring team in their age bracket (we had a 7-9 team and a 10-12 team)!  SO proud.
Older guys (10-12 division--with an 8th grader) on the left; Younger guys (7-9 division--all 7th and 8th graders) on the right.

All 8 Bible Bowl boys and their coach!
  • Live Modern Drama--1 Gold (team of 8)
it's kind of hard to tell, but the fella on the far right is actually inside a rolling suitcase.  hilarious!  and an incredibly effective prop.

  • Chorus--1 Gold (team of 12)  They sang: "Love the Lord", "Seek Ye First", "I Have Decided", "I Feel Good", and "I Will Follow"

Let me give you a little backstory on Chorus...because I think you need to know how amazing that GOLD is to those kids!  First of all, our congregation is small so our youth group isn't huge--for the size of our congregation, it is; but we don't have 50-100+ kids that some of these other groups do.  Now, as you can probably know, singing is not a gift given to everyone.  However, if we have kids who wish to be in Chorus, we encourage that whole-heartedly!  So we may not be capable of massive harmonies or perfect blending; but our kids work hard and they make a joyful noise to The Lord, and that is all we ask.  The first year I was here, the chorus received a gold--but because all of these old kids we have now were wee ones then, they were able to compete as a Mixed Chorus (lower age group).  We have been awarded a silver every year since, much to mine and my co-coach's dismay--we knew what our group was capable of and we knew how well they had done with that in mind.  But, we took what we were given and bestowed it upon them with utmost pride for them.  Each year, we would leave practice hearing them claim, "Maybe this will be the year we'll finally get a gold!"  We tweaked, we worked, we learned, we praised...and when it came to the performance, their joyful hearts lifted a great blessing to the Lord.  And the judges recognized that.  And they got a gold.  My co-coach and I cried for two days straight!  We are SO proud of them!

Scholarships are also a big part of the convention each year.  The big name Christian universities (Harding, Lubbock, Abilene, and Oklahoma) sponsor the event and give out a number of scholarships to students who participate in LTC and will be attending their school.  There are also two scholarships given by the LTC board.  Students must apply, compete in convention, and provide recommendation from their elders.  Two years ago, two of our girls (our only two seniors and also cousins!) were granted those scholarships.  This year, one of their younger brothers was our only senior--and since his sister had already received one year before last, we all kind of went in with the thought that they would probably honor someone else with it.  However, Cale's light shone through (as it always does...incredible kid, he is) and he was one of the 2 recipients chosen out of the 9 who applied!  I wish someone could have filmed our little group when our congregation name was announced...I don't think any of us stayed seated.  With him being our only Senior, we knew immediately who it was and we just couldn't contain our joy or our pride.  He's awesome.

All of this is to  Our kids get it.  The practices are tiresome and can get annoying; but they trudge through anyway.  They don't settle; they work.  They don't expect anything; they give all they've got.  They praise, they serve, they love.  They get it.

I pray that you're as able to see God's hand as we have been through working with these kids.

love, angie

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Thankful Thursday

Today I'm thankful:

--that I was able to restart my girls' class last night.  We are going through the book Secrets about Guys {that shouldn't be secret}, finding out what Godly guys are really looking for in a girl and how to see our beauty as God sees it.  I'm really enjoying my time with them.  Not only am I thankful for the opportunity to teach them, but I am beyond thankful for each of those girls.  I love them more than they'll ever know.

--that while I'm teaching the girls, my hubs is studying through communion with the guys.  I'm proud of him and thankful for his leadership.  And I love those boys more than they'll ever know too.

--that our Chorus got a GOLD at LTC this year!  That weekend is so much beyond the medals...but in my five years here, they have been trying SO hard to make that accomplishment.  They got it the first year as mixed chorus (meaning they had more young ones than old ones), but this was their first time to get it after moving up a bracket.  They worked hard, they worshipped, and they made a joyful noise of praise.  It was a fantastic feeling to be able to present that award to them this week.

--that this time next week, my bug and I will be on a plane to spend a long weekend in Branson with my sister!

--for this little cold snap.  I have no idea where it came from, but I'll take it.  I know pretty soon that our temps will be unbearable, so I'll take windy and 50 in April no problem.

--to be able to be a stay at home mama.

--for our garage sale this weekend to raise funds for our trip to Women of Faith in Dallas!  It's a great weekend, and I love that our group does fundraising to help offset the cost of the trip so that more ladies are able to go.

--for a messy kitchen and living room.  I may have just cleaned them today, but those messes means that my family ate dinner at home together and that my toddle tot has been playing her heart out tonight.

be grateful, give thanks.

love, angie

Stampin' Up! Color Refresh and FREE Shipping Offer!

First of all, who doesn't love some FREE shipping?!  You know we all have that little part of us that cringes a little when that total goes up after shipping charges...

Well, this weekend, that won't happen on your Stampin' Up! orders!  Starting 12 am (MT) on Saturday, April 6 through 11:50 pm (MT) on Monday, April 8, all Stampin' Up! orders will ship FREE! There is no size or dollar limit to these orders, so stock up!

*This offer excludes expedited shipping.

And as many of you loyal Stampin' Up! customers know already, the new annual catalog will be making its debut in June!  (actually May 31 this year--we just couldn't contain the excitement!)  A few years back...2010 to be exact...SU completely made over their color families, adding brand new colors and bidding farewell to a few.

It's that time again with the 2013-2014 catalog...  Granted, you'll have to bid adieu to a few of our colors many have grown to love, but that is making way for some fabulous RETURNING colors and one brand NEW neutral!  These changes are rounding out our color families, offering each color in each family, allowing you to choose your color and intensity for your projects.  The new colors also help keep Stampin' Up! fresh and trendy, allowing your crafts to fit in with the times seamlessly.

This chart gives the breakdown of what's going, what's returning, and what's new.

Take a look at the video below for a visual explanation of our new color families.  
(it wouldn't let me embed it--click the link to view it on YouTube)

You'll notice that 9 of the "new" additions are actually returning "In Color" options so you may already have ink and accessories in those colors!

*Beginning today, all retiring/discontinued color products (ink, paper, ribbon, accessories, etc.) will be available only while supplies last.  This means that some products will not be available through the retired list period.  

The new color families will be available in the new annual catalog which will be available to order from on May 31!

Don't miss out on FREE shipping this weekend!

happy crafting,