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A Narrative On Rocks And Snowflakes

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While redoing our corner rock garden recently, I hauled bucket after bucket full of rocks from different places on the property. I was honestly surprised at how heavy they were and how many loads of rock it took to cover that small garden plot.

And because I handled each and every one of these rocks individually, I noticed something very interesting about them: no two were exactly alike. Sure, there were hundreds of gray rocks, rocks with red speckles and rocks with little holes in them. But despite being in the same category of rock, they weren't identical by any stretch of the imagination.

These rocks are very much like snowflakes. All snowflakes are hexagonal (they have six sides in the middle), but they are each slightly different. How boring would it be to see a sky full of the exact same snowflake falling? There's no room in our lives for cookie cutter snowflakes, right?

But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. And if they w…

Our Youth Group Word Wall

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We are absolutely in love with the start of our word wall in the teen room. They chose a handful of words that meant something special to them in their Christian walk, and we accented it with a few string art pieces.

The result? We want to do more!



Each of the string art boards was made by hand, pounding in nails and stringing them with embroidery floss. Again, we chose words and symbols that tell a story about how we want to live the life of a believer to the fullest.

For a step-by-step string art tutorial, you'll want to read this.

Danny cut 1/4-inch craft plywood into 6-inch squares for the Scrabble tiles. I created the letters and numbers in Pages on the computer and sized them to fit in a 6-inch space so they looked like the actual game tiles.

After sanding the boards down, Danny wood burned the letters using my patterns. I think they turned out absolutely perfectly, and they're just the right size for our wall space.
As we worked on each piece, we would play around with…

BBQ Chicken Crescent Ring

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In the heat of an Iowa summer, the last thing I really want to do is turn on the oven. The stove is bad enough, but baking or roasting something turns our kitchen into a sauna.

And that's only good at the gym.

That being said, this amazing crescent ring is totally worth a few minutes of heat. After the chicken has been in the slow cooker all day, and the smells have been assaulting you, you'll be completely willing to suffer the high temperatures for a little while.


Ingredients:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 1/2 cups BBQ sauce
5 slices bacon, cut in four pieces
2 cans crescent rolls
1/2 bag shredded colby jack cheese

1. Place chicken and BBQ sauce in the slow cooker. Turn on low and leave for 6-8 hours.

2. Once it's cooked through, shred the chicken into a large bowl and set aside.

3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

4. On a large baking stone, arrange the crescent roll wedges into a large circle using an upside down bowl in the middle.

5. Layer shredded chicken, chee…

Words For Wednesday

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Iowa: Where Even The Weeds Are Pretty

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Despite the heat and humidity, it's a beautiful time to be in Iowa. Here's just a sampling of what's growing wild on the property in early August.


Guest Post: I'd Rather Have Jesus...

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My mother-in-love has a wonderful and unique opportunity in her life as God lays out a new path for her. After more than two decades as an Army officer's wife and almost 20 years as missionaries to Mongolia, she is now in another phase of her journey with the Lord. Here is her story. Have your Bible handy.
Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ ... I press on toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Jesus Christ. Philippians 3:8,14
My honey and I are in preparations of starting on a new journey/adventure of the Lord's direction. It will mean starting over again in a new location (wherever He leads us), new home (whatever He provides) and getting rid of "stuff" (another way to say "down-sizing"). The Lord put me in remembrance of the Pilgrims leaving their "every-things&…

What To Do With Your Garden When You Hate To Weed

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I finally figured out what to do with our corner garden space. This little plot of ground has been the bane of my existence since we moved in, and I'm not exaggerating. Weeding is my least favorite thing in the whole wide world, so the prettiness never lasted and there was little to show for my hard work. This beautiful rock garden is now my perfect solution.

Part of the problem was that I planted a package of wildflower seeds in it three or four years ago. This was a huge mistake. It was impossible to keep it looking healthy, and it was mostly green blades of weeds. So this is what it looked like a week ago.

After I pulled everything out and turned up the dirt, I put down a thick layer of newspaper. The "experts" say that this will block the weeds from coming up and will decompose over a matter of time. I'm interested to see how well this works.

New, fresh dirt. I'm not sure that's the technical way to say it, but that's what it is. The dirt already the…