Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas with the niece and nephews.

OK, so Slim is in love with this little man. Really, how could you not be? His smile lights up the room and he is just a lover.

We spent the weekend at my parents house after a bad start, which you will hear about in a later blog. We arrived at my parent's house around 4 on Saturday, just in time to share an early dinner with them. My mom had made a roast with veggies and potatoes. Delicious, of course. After dinner, my parents, Slim, and I played cards. My dad and I won Hand and Foot.

Here is a sweet pic of Slim and his newest nephew. Aren't they cute. They came over on Sunday before church and then again after church because Brandi was feeling sick and needed some time by herself to rest. We had a blast playing with the kids.

Davis sure can dance. If you tell him to, he will just start to move his body to the music or to the music in his head, and he has really good rhythm.

We spent Sunday afternoon at the Villages visiting Uncle Mike, Aunt Marti, and Melinda. We heard some live music at the church, had a delicious dinner, and then did some dancing in the town square. If you have never heard of the Villages, check this out!
I wish that there was a place like this for us younger folks.

On Christmas Eve morning, Greg, Brandi, and the kids came over for presents and brunch. It was crazy, but it was really fun to watch the kids open their gifts. Strangely enough the favorite toy was an old doll stroller that my mom had previously purchased. Davis loved being pushed around in it... Even little Gracie took a turn pushing.

It is so amazing that this little man has warmed up so much since the last time I saw him. He will give hugs and smile at everyone now... well not everyone. Church still was a bit overwhelming for him. I have come to be ok with the face that he likes Uncle Slim more than me. :)

There were the most pics of Davis from this trip, I mean we do have 2 years to make up for...

We stayed to watch the kids open their stockings on Christmas morning. They had their new robes on, and were so cute. Our camera battery had died at that point, so you will have to check out Brandi's blog to see those ones.

Isn't Brayden sweet?
I think that my favorite quote from all of Christmas was when Brayden opened up his Lightning McQueen helmet and pads and said... "wow, totally coo!" He was so excited about Christmas this year. He wanted to help everyone open their presents and was so glad to give gifts too. Greg and Brandi took the kids to the dollar store to pick out gifts for all the adults. I got a horse statue, some clear playing cards, and Noah's Arc characters. Slim got a sword and a motorcycle. Pretty much our favorite presents.

We made it back in time to spend the day with Slim's family. You will have to wait on pictures of that, because as I said before, the camera battery died. I know that there are some pictures from that day though, because Haley got a new camera.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Overwhelming Blessings!

Thanks to a lot of hard work and generosity of people in our community, the Be a Santa to a Senior program was more of a success than we had planned.

We were able to provide gifts to over 525 seniors, this year! It was such a blessing to be able to bring the presents into facilities knowing that the clients would now be able to have a gift and a visitor this year.

Last February, we received a card from one of the seniors who got a present last year, and it said that she was so thankful for the gift and the visit and that the time we spent there was the only Christmas she had last year. This lady since has passed away and we are glad that we got to be part of helping her to have an enjoyable December, last year!

I want to say thank you to everyone who helped me, and kept me sane during that time.

Here are some:
Corol- for heading it up in Ft. Myers, and for doing such a great job!
Sharon- for all the help with wrapping and delivery
Aaron- for seeing our clients and delivering to them
Alaina- for having your class at school participate and for being so generous

There are so many more people who made this possible! Thank you for everything. How about 2,000 next year? :)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Welcome sweet one...

Nathan Robert Arnold came into the snowy land of Buffalo, NY on 12.16.07

I am so glad that he is here, and so proud of his sweet mom. (Heath, 'you done good') I can't wait until March when their smiling family is all down in Florida for a mini-vacation.

Heather, Jacob, and I were the best of friends in college. We haven't seen each other since 2002. THAT IS A LONG TIME! So much has happened since then. I am not going to bore you with a list, but know that my heart aches to spend some time with them, even if it is not sitting at a truck stop eating black bean soup and cornbread.

I love you guys! I hope that the four of you have a fantastic Christmas. Wishing you snuggly pjs, hot cocoa, and lots of love!

Friday, December 14, 2007


sorry... I had to do it!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Being a santa to seniors...

Just call me Mrs. Claus...
This is me unwrapping, re-wrapping, and wrapping some more. Hundreds of presents for hundreds of needy/lonely seniors in the area!

The process isn't always the neatest part, as you can see in the photo above, I am sitting on a bow or something. The entire office was turned upside down, but day three of presents is starting to bear a lot of 'fruit'. Piles of presents in everyroom of the office.

Presents for another facility...

More and more...
Extras in the boxes for more presents

Our Christmas tree, with even more presents! There are going to be so many seniors who are blessed with presents this Christmas!

Thank you to everyone who has donated!

God bless us, everyone!

Monday, December 10, 2007

The lights on my tree, I wish you could see, I wish it everyday...

Around the holidays, it makes me wish that I could be close to all my friends and family who are scattered around the US. I wish that I could make Christmas cookies with the Hams, go shopping with my mom, and play in the snow with Heather, Jake, and Sydney. I wish that I could sit and drink hot cocoa with Jenny and Danielle, like we used to. I long to sit by the fireplace with my whole family because no other room in the house was warm enough. Don't get me wrong, Christmas here is Florida is something that is totally fun. I mean where else can you have weather in the 80s in mid-December? I do love it here, but I wish all the people who I care about could be with me.

Anyhow... the Carpenters are on the Christmas music station like 30 times per day... so here it is (the lights on my tree- feel free to sing along to add to the effect)
It was dark in the room, but since I am not a professional photographer, I couldn't get the flash to work correctly to show the gorgeous bulbs... so it looks like it is the middle of the day.

Yes, we have the tree in the kitchen, it was too big to go anywhere else. Surprisingly, the Dude hasn't barked at it, or tried to eat any ornaments! I am pretty grateful for that, as I would have had to beat him. (just kidding, but seriously)

My time in Orlando

... was awesome. It was great to be with my family. We really just relaxed, ate, and shopped. (The things that we do best.) While I was gone, I decided that I am going to never go without Slim again. I hate being away from him, and things are just more fun when he is around. Make sure that you check out his blog to read about what he did while I was away!

Davis is pretty much A-DORABLE! He hasn't spoken yet, but we are anxiously waiting to find out what is going on in that cute little head of his.

Greg has been shaving his head, but I cannot wait for them to let it grow into a 'fro'.
I know that you are only looking at this post for the picture... so I will stop blabbing on and on!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

I am so proud of my husband!

So, I have been accused lately of having short posts, so this one should prove to be a bit longer.

This one's dedicated to the one I love:

Caring, Thoughtful
Hardworking, Smart, Creative
Dependable, Pensive, Generous, Heartwarming
Quirky, Talented, Loving, Handsome, Helpful, Wonderful

I have the best husband in the world. He takes such good care of me, and really is working so hard.

He busts his butt at the gym and is so diligent with his diet, that in the last week, he has lost 15 pounds! Keep up the great work, Sweet babe! I love you.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

MAC rocks our world.

BY THE WAY, great serious face, Car!

This was taken over Thanksgiving break, we went to the Millenia Mall and got some new eye make-up. The cute litte MAC girl showed us what we could do with it. Enjoy!

The best picture ever...

How funny is this?

I promise that it is only grape juice, but it sure does make for a great shot.

I love this man... I will see him and kiss him a lot this weekend.

Until then, CHEERS, Bray!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Peppermint Bark

Made it today- it was perfect.

Here is how...

Melt 1/2 lb of Semi-sweet chocolate
Spread onto a waxed paper lined cookie sheet.
Stick it in the freezer.

While that is freezing, melt 16 oz of white chocolate
Stir in 4 crunched up candy canes
Spread that over the hardened dark chocolate

Freeze for 5-10 minutes

Break, and serve (or give Slim one small piece and stick the rest in the fridge because I am bringing it to the CAREGiver Christmas party)

Friday, November 30, 2007

I think that this one speaks for itself...


Get out of here and go read their blog...

They have him... and he is happy, see ---------->

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

These little ones...

... have my heart and are getting a new brother! Greg and Brandi are in Liberia as you are reading this. I haven't blogged in a while, because I wasn't sure what I was allowed to say.
Read their blog to hear all about what is going on there.
This isn't the best picture of me with the kids. They are obviously eating cereal, and the color is bad, but I do love them, and can't wait to see them, next weekend, when I go to meet Davis!
I was with them the week of Thanksgiving, and got to spend a lot of time with them at Stephani's wedding!
I promise that there are pictures to come. I just have to hook up that darn camera:)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

some good insight

"You see, it's not our job to accomplish God's will. That responsibility belongs to Him alone. Our job is simply to say yes to whatever specific tasks He puts before us. Then to follow through, one request at a time, with our lives as well as our mouths: 'May it be to me as you have said.'"

"Obeying then simply believing that God will do what He says He will do.
Even when it doesn't seem to make sense."

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Sorry about no posts...

A lot has happened since last I posted.

The most major event was that I turned 27 on Sunday, November 11th.

Here is the birthday week story:

Slim told me a few weeks ago that he had to go to Orlando for the Hillsong Conference, and that he would be gone for my birthday. I wasn't thrilled about this idea, but at the same time, I would never keep him from seeing Hillsong United.

He and I celebrated all throughout that week. He got me the most amazing presents and we just had a blast. On Thursday night, we went to Carabbas for dinner and then saw Dan in Real Life. For those of you who haven't seen it yet, it was really good. Check it out. I said goodbye to him on Friday morning, and wouldn't see him again until Sunday night.

On Friday night, I went over to hang out with the Joneses. We had pizza and watched Grey's Anatomy. I went home around 9 and went to bed early. On Saturday morning, I woke up and got ready for Walk Now for Autism. (Pictures to follow... they are on the laptop and I need to upload them from there). Team Summit raised over 23,000 dollars to help in Autism research. It was so awesome to see over 400 people turn out to be a support to the community. The weather was awesome, too!

I spend the afternoon relaxing and then got ready for dinner with the girls at Sushi Thai. I rode to Naples with Carly, Abby, and Mel. We were running late, but I tried not to freak out about it. When I got there, I walked up and thought that it was quite ironic that the DeAngelis family was also having dinner at Sushi Thai and sitting at the table right next to us. I walked up to the table and then all the girls husbands jumped out and yelled surprise. It was so shocking, but I thought to myself, this is nice, but I am the only single one here. About a minute later I hear... "did someone say something about a party?" Slim came out from hiding in the bathroom, and I was shocked. I was amazed that he had come home early to throw this surprise party. Come to find out, he never went away in the first place. He had stayed at his parent's house and even been to the house while I was at the walk to shower and get ready. Crazy kid, that Slim. The party was awesome... there are pics of that, too. I will upload them tonight.

My official birthday was awesome, too. I went to both services at church because I knew that Kari, John, and the kids would be at the 9:00. Then I had special birthday lunch with Slim, Carly, and Kevin, at La Bamba... where we always go. (If it is good, why mess with it?)

In the afternoon, we got some bad news. Slim's Aunt Ellen, who has been suffering with breast cancer for years, passed away on Saturday night. We are sad because she will be missed, but we are thrilled to announce that she is with her Heavenly Father and no longer in pain! We spent the afternoon as his parents house, and then went to pick up my car, from church.

On the way there, John DeAngelis called to say that they had two extra box seats to Elton John, so I had the wonderful blessing of seeing Sir Elton John with pretty much everyone else in SW Florida. There were more people there than I have ever seen in Germain. Apparently it sold out in 41 minutes. It was crazy, but such a fun way to end my birthday!

Thanks to everyone who made it fun! Love you guys!

Monday, November 5, 2007


Over $30,000 worth of food was purchased within a 2.5 hour period to stock not just 2 but 3 food pantries in the SW Florida area. That was over 25,000 lbs of supplies!

I will work on the video.

Way to live generously, Summit!

Right now there are two teams out... one in Kenya and one in Russia. Please pray for these groups, as they will be gone for about two weeks. The team in Kenya is working with Help the Least of These... the same mission that Slim did his work with this past summer. If you haven't read about his time there, be sure to visit his blog and learn all about his trip.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Keeping up with the Joneses

We don't even try to keep up, but we do like living life alongside them.

Here are some pics of us with our dear and darling friends Kev and Car-

The house and the Dude

I have been meaning to post these for awhile. Here is what the main living space looks like right now.

Oh Dude got a polo. Slim picked it out because they could match. I will get some family pics for you all soon. Here is the Dudetronicsita- modeling for you.

just you wait...

I can't wait to update you all on how much food was purchased for the food banks in our area... but you will have to wait a bit longer until the video is shown tomorrow at Summit.

I will have Slim help me upload the video to my blog... hopefully, or at least I will be able to link you to it some how or another. He makes the videos and knows all about the technical stuff... I just write blogs:)

Also, please check out my friend David's blog. David and I went to middle school together at Chestnut Hill Middle and high school together at Faith Heritage. We both lived in Liverpool and spent a lot of time hanging out while we were home for breaks and summers during college. He is married now, for 5 years to Rhonda, and they are in ministry at a church in VA. Keep up with his blog by linking on the side. I am trying to get David and Rhonda down here to visit soon... (really to come and be a part of what God is doing here!) Shhhh don't tell! He and Slim would get along great, and really, I just want to spend some time with Rhonda:) Just kidding David, but seriously!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Walk Now For Autism

On November 10th, 2007 a group of us from Summit Church will be walking to support the cause of finding a cure for Autism.

Check out the website

Great cause- Great fun- Great potential! Watch for pictures!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Fault Lines

More insight from our girl's small group book...

"We all have fault lines that run through our souls...weak spots in our psyches that may go undetected-or simply ignored-for years. Living high above the hidden issues, we may function failry well in our outer lives, never acknowledging our vulnerablilty or the need to guard against potential attack. These are the very places Satan searches for when he prowls around 'like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.'"

What are your fault lines? What is your weak spot?

-Maybe it is finding significance in what others think about you... I have this problem!

MY PERFORMANCE+OTHERS' OPINIONS=MY SELF WORTH (Robert McGee's The Search for Significance)

"For that particular mindset pushes me not only to be what God wants me to be be but also what everyone else wants me to be. Including everything I think they want me to be. A chronic chameleon, I spend my life constantly changing colors and outfits to fit whatever situation I find myself in. It is exhausting. Futile. Hopeless."

"Worst of all, I may persist in viewing God as an aloof and distant judge, holding up a scorecard to rate my every attempt to please Him, rather than seeing Him as He truly is... a loving Father on bended knee with hands outstreched and a smile as big as eternity. Praising my every step. Picking me up when I stumble. Helping me walk while He teaches me how to run. Ready with acceptance and approval when I have been killing myslef to obtain on my own."

Just some thoughts...

Monday, October 29, 2007

Yesterday's church service

I couldn't have said it better than this. Make sure that you read the one titled Chicken Noodle Soup!

Read and comment on Car's blog!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

things I love... (in no specific order)

1. my husband- he has great ideas, he cares about people- and where they are going to spend eternity, he takes great care of me, and loves me even when I know that he wants to smack me:)

2. the cooler weather- it is finally feeling like fall. I love it.

3. my friends- God truly has blessed Slim and me with some of the greatest people, in our lives.

4. my brother- today is Greg's birthday. He turns 29. He has an awesome wife with some killer kids!

5. my other brother- he flies up to North Carolina for an interview this week. I pray that if that is where God wants him to be, that God will open the doors and lay the path for Jim!

6. my parents- such cool people with great hearts!

7. my bosses- they came over for lunch today and we had a great time with them.

8. my dog- he can eat those big hard bones in 3 days. I have never seen anything like that!

9. my Lord and Savior- He has given me another year to live, I turn 27 in two weeks. It is crazy!

...and a picture for good measure. This was from when we were on our way to Alcatraz Island. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

sorry about that last post...

... too many words, and not that interesting. I did find it fun that two of the top three are right here where I live.

Slim and I had a date to Sushi Thai. Our favorite.

I heart the ginger salad dressing. It makes me so happy!

I had a Mexican Roll... apparently it was still Japanese. Not sure how that works out.

Slim has been eating Masseman super Thai hot. He is crazy and I am still unsure how they make coconut milk and curry mix together to create something good. It is his favorite though.

Way to go, SW FLORIDA!

Best Cities for Job Growth
By Mary Lorenz, writer
Florida isn't just for vacationers and retirees anymore. It seems the Sunshine State is also a hub for employers and businesses eager to expand and hire more workers. recently released its annual list of the 200 Best Places for Businesses and Careers, and, among those places, five Florida cities ranked in the top 10 for U.S. cities with the highest job growth. Cape Coral, Fla. held the top spot for cities with the highest job growth. Las Vegas, Nev. ranked second, followed by Naples, Fla. and Sarasota, Fla. McAllen, Tex. rounded out the top five.
If you need a change of scenery and are thinking about relocating in the next few years, consider one of the following 10 cities, which are projected to have the highest job growth this year, as reported by and based on five-year projections from
Cape Coral, Fla.Population: 562,000
Most popular jobs and average local salary*:Registered nurses -- $44,561Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives -- $48,772Accountants and auditors -- $41,609
Jobs more common to Cape Coral than other U.S. cities and average local salary:Helpers/roofers -- $19,634Athletes and sports competitors -- $15,496Construction managers -- $55,752
Las Vegas, Nev.Population: 1,777,000
Most popular jobs and average local salary:Elementary school teachers -- $29,318Registered nurses -- $51,869Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives -- $49,474
Jobs more common to Las Vegas than other U.S. cities and average local salary:Gaming supervisors -- $22,624Gaming change persons and booth cashiers -- $23,016Gaming service workers -- $12,879
Naples, Fla.Population: 317,000
Most popular jobs and average local salary:Registered nurses -- $47,015Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives -- $52,641Accountants and auditors -- $41,363
Jobs more common to Naples than other U.S. cities and average local salary:Construction managers -- $67,005Helpers -- painters, plasterers, paperhangers and stucco masons -- $19,753Tile and marble setters -- $30,447
Sarasota, Fla.Population: 689,000
Most popular jobs and average local salary:Registered nurses -- $43,211Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives -- $48,643Accountants and auditors -- $39,408
Jobs more common to Sarasota than other U.S. cities and average local salary:Fence erectors -- $24,917Financial managers -- $75,189Motorboat mechanics -- $27,961
McAllen, Tex.Population: 697,000
Most popular jobs and average local salary:Elementary school teachers -- $36,246Registered nurses -- $47,115Secondary school teachers -- $39,915
Jobs more common to McAllen than other U.S. cities and average local salary:Personal and home care aids -- $16,142Oil, gas and mining service unit operators -- $29,877Agricultural products graders and sorters -- $12,472
Port St. Lucie, Fla.Population: 391,000
Most popular jobs and average local salary:Registered nurses -- $46,074Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives -- $39,025Accountants and auditors -- $43,736
Jobs more common to Port St. Lucie than other U.S. cities and average local salary:Helpers -- painters, paperhangers, plasterers and stucco masons -- $25,097Helpers -- roofers -- $18,240Roofers -- $24,463
Riverside, Calif.Population: 4,017,000
Most popular jobs and average local salary:Elementary school teachers -- $48,696Registered nurses -- $58,573Secondary school teachers -- $50,286
Jobs more common to Riverside than other U.S. cities and average local salary:Terazzo workers and finishers -- $32,930Slot key persons -- $13,343Automotive glass installers and repairers -- $42,514
Fayetteville, Ark.Population: 417,000
Most popular jobs and average local salary:Registered nurses -- $41,669Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives -- $43,358Elementary school teachers -- $36,306
Jobs more common to Fayetteville than other U.S. cities and average local salary:Meat, poultry and fish cutters and trimmers -- $17,975Agricultural inspectors -- $27,180Purchasing managers -- $54,734
Ocala, Fla.Population: 311,000
Most popular jobs and average local salary:Registered nurses -- $44,557Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives -- $43,782Loan officers -- $36,586
Jobs more common to Ocala than other U.S. cities and average local salary:Recreational vehicle service technicians -- $28,633Farmworkers, farm and ranch hands -- $17,963Nonfarm animal caretakers -- $17,209
Phoenix, Ariz.Population: 3,976,000
Most popular jobs and average local salary:Elementary school teachers -- $29,399Registered nurses -- $50,755Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives -- $43,028
Jobs more common to Phoenix than other U.S. cities and average local salary:Aircraft structure surfaces, rigging and systems assemblers -- $35,324Gaming and surveillance officers and gaming investigators -- $22,074Umpires, referees and other sports officials -- $50,326
*Salary information provided by Other data compiled by and

Monday, October 22, 2007


I came home early from work today because I have some kind of flu. Slim came home and brought me soup and the first season of Heroes. He has watched from the beginning, but I was many episodes behind, and so I haven't been able to watch the new season with him yet.

I have been watching all day. I am addicted. What and incredible show! I can't wait until next week now that I am caught up! I guess that being sick was a bit better because of my hero (Slim). PS I heart Hiro Nakamura

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Compare and Contrast!

I have always wanted this...
...but Slim and I got this...

I am very happy with my Eureka Capture! Let's compare it to the Dyson...

• HEPA filtration and exceptional on-board cleaning tools help you get into those hard-to-reach crevices, high-ceiling areas and stairs for deep cleaning
• Telescopic self-cleaning spin-duster, turbo nozzle, power paw with riser visor and dual-powered edge cleaners make it easier than ever to reach hidden dirt
• Extension hose reaches up a flight of stairs while vacuum stays at bottom; easy-roll wheels and an ergonomic looped handle deliver comfortable, easy operation
• Powerful 12-amp motor; 30’ cord; dazzling red shell
• 43.5Hx15Wx13D"

• Absolutely perfect for pet-inhabited homes, this powerful bagless upright is proven not to lose suction using the IEC 60312 CI 2.9 test standard, and will not clog
• Best pick up across all floor types; hygienic and quick to empty; air expelled from a Dyson has up to 150 times less bacteria and mold than the air you breathe; approved for allergy suffers by the British Allergy Foundation
• Level 3 root cyclone; quick-draw telescope reach; 5-yr. warranty; no extra costs; carpet care kit keeps new carpet looking new; low reach floor tool for easier cleaning under low furniture
• Lifetime HEPA filtration for cleaner expelled air; certified asthma friendly according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
• Fingertip brush control; mini turbine head cleans pet hair from confined spaces such as upholstery, stairs and the car; 43.5Hx16.7Wx13.2D"

Ok, so the Dyson sounds a bit better, but let me just tell you that we love our Eureka. It is bagless and you can wash the filters instead of buying a new one.. the same reasons I love the Dyson..

We saved $430 for purchasing the Capture, so all in all we made the
right decision!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Brandi had this on her blog today...

Here goes

1. I am so thankful for the love of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Even when the Laura I despise shows (the one who whines, complains, argues, is prideful, is jealous, and who lets the anger get the best of her,) Christ still loves me.
2. My husband is the greatest man I have ever met. His humor and concern for people never ceases to amaze me. I am so blessed that I have been called to be his wife!
3. My family... My dad and mom are still together and both love the Lord and each other. I have an older brother Greg. He is married to Brandi. They have 3 kids who I adore (one of which we haven't met yet. They are the best! Jim, my younger brother is my heart. He can sometimes be difficult to understand, but I 'get' him.
4. The amazing friends who walk alongside me each day(whether you are close by or faraway!) You know who you are!
5. My dog Dude. He always makes me feel important, even when he is giving me bruises.
6. I have the awesome opportunity to work for friends who have a heart to care for others. In the business I am in, we just simply get to love God and love people... What could be better?
7. Summit Church is an answer to many years of prayers.
8. I am so thankful that God's mercy is new every morning!
9. Houghton College helped me to expand my thoughts and introduced me to people who have changed my life.
10. I am honestly so thankful for the Internet. Without it, it would be so difficult to keep in touch with people who have been 'lost along the way.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Another thing I want-- that has to do with fall...

Pumpkin Ginger Nut Muffins
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup pumpkin
1/3 cup melted butter
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup chopped toasted walnuts or pecans

Sprinkle top with a mixture of brown sugar and cinnamon before baking or frost with killer icing of...(after they are baked of course)

1 tablespoon vanilla
1 lb. powdered sugar
1 stick butter
8 ounces of cream cheese

1 Preheat oven to 350°F. In a medium sized bowl, sift together the flour, salt, sugar, and baking soda.
2 Mix the pumpkin, melted butter, eggs, 1/4 cup of water, and spices together, then combine with the dry ingredients, until just incorporated. Do not over-mix. Fold in nuts.
3 Divide mixture into a muffin tin. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
Cool on a rack.
Makes 12 muffins.
(I would eat everything pumpkin flavored this time of year... ps, Panera, pumpkin muffins?)


I love them.

I want to be wearing them every day, but the weather isn't cooperating. (I still wear them in hopes of delightfully brisk weather)

Check out some of the sweaters that I wish I was wearing right now. Anthropologie makes me happy. It was 3 years ago in November, when Carly and I found Anthropologie for the first time! We were at the Mall of Millenia and we came upon the store that changed us forever:). Fun feminine clothing, beautiful things for your home, the list could go on forever! Check them out! Anthropologie!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Let's help out!

From Brandi's Blog: Link to her to find out more

Do you like winning things? Do you like helping people? If you answered "yes" to both questions, this is the place for you. (I won't ask which you like better!) Now, first: the story, then: the gifts!
I want to introduce you to a family. Jon and Christie D. (no last name to protect identity) and their boys. Jon is our wonderful pastor and the best shepherd of a flock that I have ever seen! He and his wife, Christie, love our church and serve it faithfully and sacrificially. I could go on and on and list the ways that they serve our church body and the community that we are in. I could list the times they were called to help someone in the middle of the night. . .The number of community organizations that Jon sits on boards for. . .the number of life lessons I have learned through their faithful example. However, all you really need to know is that they are amazing, faithful people full of integrity. They also happen to be adopting. After 10 years of infertility, Jon and Christie thought adoption would be the way that God chose to expand their family. God had a surprise in store for them, 6 years ago when they found out that they were pregnant with their first son. 3 years later, surprise little boy number 2 came along! While Jon and Christie love their little boys, they still felt their family was not complete. They continued to try to get pregnant while pursuing the options in adoption. This year has brought 2 miscarriages and a renewed sense of God's call to help the orphans through adoption. They prayerfully considered many countries open for adoption and soon settled on VIETNAM! They are now pursuing an adoption of a little girl.You may be thinking, "how does this affect me?". God's Word is clear about helping others. He says over and over throughout the Bible to "share with God's people who are in need" (Romans 12:13), especially pastors ( I Tim. 5:17-18)! Please join us in helping this wonderful family answer God's call to care for a little girl halfway around the world who needs a family so desperately.
We are giving away PRIZES!!!! Now, are you curious?Prize #1: TIFFANY & CO. SILVER NECKLACE (Return to Tiffany, Oval Tag)*used but polished and comes with tiffany box complete white bowPrize #2: Pampered Chef Basket full of fun and useful kitchen toolsPrize #3: A Goodie Bag of Professional Beauty Supplies (donated by Friends Beauty Supply)Prize #4: Sea World Tickets for 2Prize #5: TimeWise® Microdermabrasion Set from Mary KayPrize #6: A new blog header and background by Whitney R.*the girl who just redesigned mine
For every $5 you donate, your name will be entered in our contest. (so, if you donate $20, your name will be entered 4 times and so on and so forth, you get the picture)
If you cut and paste this post on your blog to encourage your readers to join in on the fun, guess what? We will enter your name AGAIN.
If people donate from your blog, ask them to write your blogname in the "Comments" section and for every $100 donated, we'll enter your name a THIRD TIME.Contest winners will be drawn at random as soon as all of the money is raised! Let's go girls!Just go back to your blog, write a post encouraging your readers to join in the fun and link this post. Then, come back here and add your name through "Mr. Linky".
1. Becki
2. Laura
You're next!
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Thursday, October 11, 2007

Celtic Woman Wannabee...

If you had asked me two weeks ago if I had ever heard of Celtic Woman, my answer would have been no, but I soon learned that we would be attending the Celtic Woman concert and sitting in the box. About a week ago, I asked Slim if the Celtic Woman sang... he of course laughed at me because now I know that the Celtic Woman is more than that... it is 5 woman plus their entourage, and I am a now a HUGE fan.

It was high security, top notch sets and lighting, and a lot more fun than I was prepared to encounter. Here is how it works. There are 4 main singing girls who wear princess dresses and sing like angels and then there is this feisty little fiffer of a woman who plays the fiddle better than anyone I have ever heard. She frolicked around the stage kicking her legs and spinning around while playing. It was incredible.

Check out their website.

Here are a few pictures of them..

Now don't be confused, the pictures are misleading. I am not sure that there was one moment when these ladies were just standing there and singing. They were always moving and it seemed that they were having so much fun.

I know the tickets are pretty pricey, but if they are coming to your town, you should check them out. The tour dates are on the website. I know that you won't be disappointed!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

waiting for fall weather

Last night the weather was so nice-- a little bit of breeze with a cooler bite in the air. It makes me so excited for December when the weather finally feels like early fall. I get these glimpses of fall when I am driving and it looks like it might be a bit cooler outside, but as soon as I open the door to the car, I am overwhelmed by the heat and humidity.

For the past 3 years, Carly and I have had the wonderful tradition of spending the weekend before Thanksgiving at my parent's house in Orlando. There is an ACSI convention that takes place there on the Monday and Tuesday before Thanksgiving, and we have just made it a tradition to spend time doing girly things and getting ready for the holiday.

I was not sure that I was going to be able to do it this year because of being away for my honeymoon, but Steph's wedding is that Wednesday before Thanksgiving, so I am going to have to be there anyway. I am so excited for the Mall at Millenia, Starbuck's peppermint mochas, doing some sort of craft, having the weather be a bit cooler, hitting up Mt. Dora, eating good food and having great conversation. I almost get cozy inside just thinking about it.

Fall weather, we are waiting!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

New Davis Pictures...

I am falling in love with this boy, who I have only met in pictures and prayers.

Look and his sweet face and pray that God allows him to come home to us soon.

To read his orphan report, please check out

Friday, October 5, 2007

Be a Santa to a Senior!

This will be my second year heading up a program at work, called Be a Santa to a Senior. Santa for Seniors is similar to Toys for Tots, except we provide the opportunity for people in our area to purchase gifts for needy or lonely seniors. Last year was the first year our offices of Home Instead Senior Care participated. We had 2 trees up in the community and provided gifts to about 175 seniors.

It was such a privilege to wrap and deliver the gifts and see joy come to the senior's face. What a blessing! This year I hope to double the amount of gifts that will be donated to seniors in SW Florida. There will be two trees in Naples, and 2 or 3 in Ft. Myers. Stay tuned for locations. (I know for sure that the Sunshine Pharmacy on Gulfshore Blvd. will be hosting a tree again this year)
If you are a teacher or a youth worker, it might be fun to get your class involved to sponser a senior, or maybe each child to purchase a gift. Pray about how you can help!
If you don't live in this area, be sure to check with your local Home Instead Senior Care branch to find out if they will be participating in the Be a Santa to a Senior program.
Visit to find the Home Instead near you.
Visit to learn more about the program.
Comment me if you would like to volunteer to help with wrapping or delivering gifts!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

some thoughts for you...

"For God never withholds good except when He has something better to give!"
J. Weaver
This idea struck me at 7:30 am while I was sitting at the office, waiting for the phone to ring and for the day to start. I couldn't wait to start reading my new book, so I didn't...
This quote was on one of the first few pages and it has been running around in my head all day. I keep thinking about what I want right now, and how I feel as if God isn't giving it to me. <---- Lame I know... but it is exciting. Every time I let my flesh get in the way of what God is doing, I become the center... and that isn't where I want to be. Remember, Laura (I talk to myself in the 3rd person) God placed all the stars in the sky and He knows them by name! He cares about every detail and knows our heart and desires better than we do.
Maybe you are waiting to get a job, or change jobs.
Maybe you need a new car.
Maybe you are short on money.
Maybe you want to have a baby, or are waiting to adopt one.
Maybe you are trying to purchase a home.
You know what you are waiting on...
God knows the desires of your heart; His timing is perfect.
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Thursday morning girl time

A few years ago, probably 3 now, a group of 5-6 ladies got together on Thursday mornings at Einstein's Bagels to study God's Word and discuss what He was doing in their lives.

I was among these women and this was my favorite time of the week. Things happened though... Lisa moved away and got married, Kate moved away and got married, Carly got married and moved (but not away), Kendal moved away, and that left Lindsey and me... so we stopped meeting. We tried to keep it up for a while, but it just didn't work out.

Tomorrow that all changes.

Place: Panera Bread- Coconut Point
Time: 6 am (goo)
What: A woman's study
Who: Carly, Alaina, Abby, and me (if you are interested and are willing to take the 6am challenge, we will see you there!)

I will post about how great this is... wait for it!

Friday, September 28, 2007

New picture of Davis

Check out my adorable nephew...

I got an email from Brandi last night saying that they might even be able to travel and have him back here before Christmas... HOW EXCITING! Pray that everything continues to go so smoothly, because I definitely want to snuggle him one time, on Christmas day! He has the sweetest face!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Back in action

Sorry it has been so long. My pictures are up. I haven't finished blogging about my honeymoon... just know that it was great! I will post a few more pics later.

Here is the link for wedding pics

Thursday, September 20, 2007

leaving the West Cliff Inn, but more delicious food

I didn't know that leaving Santa Cruz would be so hard.

Slim and I woke up to the smell of quiche baking in the oven. We could hardly wait until 8:30 for breakfast time. We had a quick breakfast, and then packed our bags and headed on our way back to San Francisco.

The weather has been so awesome, but the mornings are a bit chilly. Please notice the temperature reading in the car.

Slim doesn't love this picture of himself, but you had to see how cool the sky looked.

... and here is Laura B. Gillian , the racecar driver.

We drove the hour and a half to Brandi's uncle's apartment in Emeryville. Uncle Barry is letting us stay there on Wednesday and Friday nights, while we are in San Fran. When we got there, we took a nap, of course, and then prepared for our delicious meal at one of Uncle Barry's restaurants, Horizons.

We left the apartment at 6 pm for our 7:00 reservation. The drive was only 20-50 minutes. We should have had no problem at all, but due to some errors in directions and me trying to navigate to compensate for the errors, we didn't make it to Sausalito until 8 pm.

Thankfully, the staff was awesome, and were all completely understanding. We were dining with the chef, and he was just making us whatever he wanted.

The 6 course meal was as follows...

1. grape tomatoes filled with cream cheese, feta, and carmelized bacon
tempura crab cake filled mushrooms
2. ahi tuna over quinoa
3. deep fried eggplant with a yellow tomato sauce over greens
4. duck confet with plantain sweet mash over black rice
5. Maker's Mark float(vanilla ice cream with Maker's Mark whiskey)
6. cayenne pepper lava cake with orange fondue. Check the pic and the pic of the happy couple

gosh we are cute...

The drive back to the apartment was much nicer than the drive there, we made it back in 25 minutes.