Monday, December 31, 2007

Jordan Family Christmas 2007

Tim and I went home to PA this Christmas. We spent the first half of Christmas day with my family and the second half with his family. We had a wonderful time with both the Jordan and the Baylor families. Here are some pictures of Christmas with my family.  The Baylor family Christmas will follow in an upcoming post.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

"Christmas Past" - 2005 Christmas party

Tim and I were talking the other day about how we had such a fun time with all of our friends in VA Beach at our annual Christmas party.  Just wanted to take a minute and say Merry Christmas to all of our friends in VA.  We miss you and love you so much!  Hey maybe next year you can all come out to Chicago... there is sure it be SNOW :O

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Remember the Persecuted Church

A few Sundays ago, I attended a "Christmas Card Writing Party" for the Persecuted church. I went thinking that I was just going to go, eat some cookies, write some cards and leave, but that was not exactly the case. As I read Prisoner Profile after Prisoner Profile, my heart became broken for these believers in all parts of the world who are persecuted for their faith.

Here is one such profile:

Prisoner Name: Y Wo Nie
Location: Vietnam
Arrested: August 2004

Pastor YWo Nie was arrested August 18, 2004 for leading a demonstration demanding more religious freedom and the release of property confiscated by the Vietnamese government. He received a nine - year sentence. His family has not been able to visit him.

My heart could not shake the fact that I complain because we cannot go out to dinner more often or buy more things around the holidays, when these believers are in a cold, dark, lonely prison cell because of their faith in Jesus Christ!

Let's pray, write, and support the persecuted church - not only this holiday season, but throughout the year!

To find more information about these prisoners and their situations, go to

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Update on Katie

For the latest update on Katie, click here to go to her blog and read her latest post. Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers. You are a blessing!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Need Some Jewelry for Christmas?

I wanted to get the word out there that I am making jewelry right now. If you are looking for a good Christmas gift for a friend, co-worker, sister or mother; jewelry just might be the best idea. I have included some pictures of what I have ready to go already. But I can always complete an order if you have a different idea. I should have no problem getting it to you before Christmas. Just contact me via e-mail. My e-mail address is Feel free to e-mail and ask me any questions that you might have. I can even wrap it for you or send it in a gift bag.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Pray for Katie Barker

Tim and Katie came to visit this past weekend. We had a wonderful time with them. But Friday night Katie's eye started to really hurt and water alot. The pain got so extreme through the night that she went to go visit a doctor here in Chicago. They gave her drops for her eye and told her that it was an "Ulcer of the eye" The pain got better, but her eye began to swell. Tim drove them home and they immediately went to the emergency room and then to a specialist. I don't know all of the details, but I know that they are concerned about her vision. PLEASE PRAY that she will be ok and that her vision will not be affected. She then went downtown to John's Hopkins. They said there was an infection. They created an eyedrop especially for her. They are very strong adn she takes them every hour- even through the night. She has to go back for a daily follow up. Right now she can't really see anything out of that eye. She won't know anything for sure about her vision for a few weeks. There is a concern of permanant scaring.

Again please pray for strength and wisdom for Tim and Katie.
I will try to update you when I hear anything more from Tim.

Thank you for your prayers and support. I know it means a lot to them right now.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Thanksgiving at HFLS

We had a big Thanksgiving feast at school and we celebrated with Thanksgiving Bingo, A turkey craft, and "Charlie Brown Thanksgiving" It was a lot of fun!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Thanksgiving in Chicago

Well, this year we were not able to make it home to PA for Thanksgiving. So instead we did a BIG Turkey dinner with the Logans. 

It all started 2 days before the actual day, when I started the brine for the Turkey (Martha Stewart recipe).  It was a great recipe, but some of the spices were tricky to find.  I ended up finding everything (at various stores) but the juniper berries.  Any ideas where to find them? Oh well, the turkey seemed to turn out well anyways. It was very moist and tasty too.

We had a wonderful time of fellowship with Scott and Lindsay.  We are so thankful to the Lord for their friendship!

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving too! What did everyone do this year?

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Pumpkin Cranberry Bread

I decided to make small loaves of pumpkin cranberry bread for my fellow employees at HFLS this year for Thanksgiving.  It was quite the challenge, as I had to make 16 mini loaves to make.  But it really was fun. I turned on some Christmas music and started baking! About three or four hours later I was  finished.  Here is the final product!

Monday, November 19, 2007

A free date night!

Friday night there was a benefit dinner for Holy Family Lutheran School, where I work. It was a very posh event to raise money for the school. The night would have cost us $65 a person - had we been required to pay. Yup that's right! Teacher's got to go for free! There was an open and free bar for the cocktail hour from 6-7:30pm and then dinner started with this delectable salad below:

This is just a picture of the gorgeous butter flower :o)
Below is a the main course: Herb-Crusted chicken, with roasted asparagus, and garlic mashed potatoes. Absolutely amazing!
I didn't get a picture of the dessert, because I was helping with the live auction. The dessert was a fried bread pudding with brandy icecream. It usually don't like bread pudding, but it was good!

Below are some pics of the baskets that people put together for the silent auction. There was also a live auction that auctioned things off like vacation homes for a week, dinners for 8, and boat cruises.

This is the banquet hall that everything took place in. Very nice! The kids from Holy Family gave a presentation -singing, speaking, etc. They did a great job!
The benefit raised over 100,000 dollars for the school. What a blessing: especially since we are building new school that will be finished this May!

Overall, it was a fabulous night... and how can you beat FREE, right?

Friday, November 09, 2007

Pros and Cons of Living in an Apartment

Ok, so I have lived in an apartment and have also lived in a townhouse. So I have a pretty good take on each. I have decided to compile a list of pros and cons to living in each.

Pros to living in an Apartment:

1. You don't have to mow the lawn
2. You don't have to remember what day is trash day (not to mention that in our apartment we just found out that we have a garbage chute on our floor!) How awesome is that?
3. It takes about half the time to clean your place
4. No gutters to clean
5. No snow removal ( a BIG deal here in Chicago)
6. You know where EVERYTHING is
7. It's easier to speak to your significant other from room to room (only 2 of them!)

Cons to Living in an Apartment:

1. You can't always paint the walls
2. You are a little more crowded - harder to have guests
3. It's not your home- you can't do whatever you want to the space you live in.
4. You can hear your neighbors... whatever they are doing!
5. It's hard to get to know your neighbors well.
6. You can look out your window into someone else's window.
7. Smelly and dirty hallways

Do you have any to add to either of my lists?

Friday, November 02, 2007

A Fun Week in the 3rd Grade Classroom

This week was a fun week at school. As you know Wednesday was Halloween, so we decorated bags for the kids to take out trick or treating. Then I handed out candy to them in little individual pumpkin bags. They were so grateful! I also gave them each a Fall pencil. You would have thought that I had given them a sack of gold! The were so excited! It was very sweet!

Then today we had a little "Reward celebration" I promised that I would bake them brownies if they showed 10 acts of kindness. They have really been struggling with kindness and so we were trying to work towards that goal as we reviewed Ephesians 4:32 "Be Kind and Compassionate one to another. Forgiving one another, even as God forgave you in Christ." So they reached their goal yesterday. So last night I baked them brownies. Again, they thought I was the BEST for baking something (even though it came from a box)

We also took a little trip to a local park. We have no playground of our own. So this was something special! They earned this treat by getting at least a C or above as a class on 10 tests. It was hard and took a while, but they finally got there. It was so fun to reward them with those special treats today. Some may call this bribing, but i like to call it creating incentive!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

God's Blessing : A New Car!

Since we have been married, we have never bought our own vehicle....that's almost 5 years! God has always given us one some way or another. Well, when we moved to Chicago, we found that I would be working an hour away in the city and Tim would be going to seminary in Deerfield. So we decided to start shopping for a car. The Lord opened up the doors for us to buy this Honday CRV for a great price. Tim drives it into school - mainly because it would probably be vandelized where I work... sadly enough. So I get to drive in it on the weekends etc. Needless to say it should be a good car to get us through for a loooong while with kids and everything. So we are thankful to the Lord for His provision.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

A Day in the City with Family

Tim's dad was passing through on his way up to Northland and Maranatha to recruit teachers. So yesterday we took him all around the city. We ended the night with a sunset boat tour of the city. It was awesome! Definately something that you should do if you are ever in the city!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

The Chicago Bulls!

At school on Friday, a doner brought in 4 Free Bulls tickets for whoever wanted them. I signed up right away and was able to get 2 of them! So Friday night, Tim and I spent the evening in the city. We took the train in at 6:30pm and didn't return until 1am. It was such a blast!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Turning Over a New Leaf

Well, it's that time in our lives, where Tim and I are realizing that we have gained weight and we have got to do something about it!

Our good friends, Rob and Julie, did the Beach Body P90X diet and exercise program for 90 days before summer... and they looked great! So mid September Tim and I started the program as well. With the program you have to work out about 1-1 1/2 hours six nights a week. The DVD package we bough includes 12 different workouts (weights, pull ups, push ups,crunches, yoga, plyometrics, kenpo etc.) The whole idea is muscle confusion. It's definately the hardest program that I have ever done. But I have to admit, that I am feeling great and starting to lose weight and get back into shape.

Along with the exercise program, there is a meal plan to follow. The diet is very low in fat and carbs (at least for the first month) and high in protein. So we eat a lot of fish, grilled chicken, salads, egg whites, and almonds. The good thing is that they have recipes for the dinners. So I have made most of them and we have really enjoyed them! Here are just a few of the meals.

Beef and Broccoli Stirfry

Lemon Dill Salmon with wild rice and asparagus

Mango salsa Mahi Mahi with asparagus and wild riceSword fish covered in basil pesto sauce, with sauteed squash and zucchini, tomotoes with basil and mozerella cheese.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

A Day in the City

I took a day off of work this week, so that Tim and I could take a break from our respective school work and spend some time together. We decided to go into the city of Chicago for the day. We had such a great time together! We took the train in, so we could read and relax on the way in and then we wouldn't have to worry about parking. While we were waiting for the train, a parade went by. It was homecoming for our local high schools. So we got to enjoy a little taste of our local town before we went into the big city!

We visited the Art Institute and Millenium Park. We took the (EL) around "The Loop", which gave us a great view of the great architecture of the city. We stopped at a great local cafe for lunch and enjoyed hot flatbread sandwiches. We walked by the Lake side of the city and watched the boats float by. Really there is so much to see in the city, that we decided we would have to make it a goal of ours to make it in every month or two months, just to get the full experience of it.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

My "Holy Family"

This past month of working at Holy Family Lutheran School has been a challenge and a blessing all wrapped into one. I am dealing with inner city kids and families, which to say the least is different than my experience at GCA. There is definately a need to be met here. But I have to admit there are days that I do not feel up to the challenge. Some days I come home discouraged and exhausted. I wonder if I am even making a difference at all! But I know that I must encourage myself with the fact that Christ's strength is made perfect through my weakness. Praise HIS name!

Friday, September 14, 2007


The other day I came home after a long and hard day at work. I knew Tim wouldn't be home from school for a few hours, so I stopped at Starbucks, got a tall, nonfat, pumpkin spice latte and a snickerdoodle cookie. I brought them home and snuggled on my couch under a blanket with a book , my coffee and my cookie. It was a cool night out and it was just beginning to really feel like fall. I read for about 2 hours - what a nice way to relax!

How do you like to relax when you get a chance to?

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Fall is just around the corner

I love the looks and smells of Fall .
I had a a gift card to Michael's and one to Hallmark, so I got this Pumpkin vanilla spice candle along with the Fall garland, that I wrapped to make a centerpiece for my table.

This is the apple spice candle on my stove....mmm, it smells so good!

I got these fresh veggies and fruits at local farmer's market. Everything was so tasty!

I made homemade blueberry muffins with the blueberries from the farmer's market.

*What is your favorite thing to do in the Autumn Season?

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Our New Home

We are all settled in and enjoying our life here in Chicago. As promised, here are some pics of our new place with our decorations and a fresh coat of paint.

Monday, August 20, 2007

My First Day of School

Well, I spent all week last week preparing for this day: the first day of school! I have 12 kids in my class so far ( they expect for me to have 15-17). It was a great day overall. The kids have a lot of energy and I like that, but it certainly is a challenge to keep them focused and to keep them quiet when they need to be.

We did some fun activities though. We played the toilet paper introducation game. I told the class that we were going to do an activity with Toilet paper and to take as much as they thing they will need for the activity. After everyone takes what they want (usually a few take A LOT) - I tell them that they need to tell one thing about themselves for every square of paper... they all moan --- but it's a fun way to get to know each other!

Then there is the factor that this school is a so different compared to GCA. So it will definately take some time getting use to.

But overall I am excited that God has placed me here and looking forward to the ministry that he has for me.

Friday, August 10, 2007

I have a job!

Well, as of today - I have a teaching job!

The last few days have been quite the roller coaster.

Wednesday -I turned down the Trinity "Academic office assistant" position. Tim and I prayed about it and just felt like we should wait to hear from the two other schools.

Later Wednesday - I got a job offer from "Holy Family Lutheran School" to teach 3rd grade.

Today - I heard from the other school that they had chosen another candidate, so I accepted the third grade position at Holy Family. I was glad to have one door close and another open up!

I am really excited about this position. Holy Family Lutheran School is a ministry to underprivilegeded kids in downtown Chicago. The school is fully funded by Holy Family Ministries. They provide breakfast and lunch for the majority of the children in the school every day. The Principals name is Cheryl Collins. She has such a vision for the school and for the kids. Her attitude and vision is contagious!
It has been so great talking to her and hearing about the ministry. She seems to be excited about adding me to the team. That was encouraging to hear.

The salary is pretty decent and the benefits are great! What an answer to prayer.
-- It is going to be about a 45+ min. drive there every day, so that will be a little different than the 2 min. drive that I am use to :o)

All in all --- Tim and I are really excited for the position and thankful to the Lord for His guidance. "Thanks be to God, who causes us to triumph"

Thank you for all of your prayers! They are so appreciated. We love you and miss you all so much!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

God continues to be faithful

Well, the hunt for a job has been pretty consuming recently. God has opened so many doors, and I have had interviewed at several places recently.

First, I interviewed at a Muslim school to teach K5. That would have been a very different experience, but a ministry none the less. They ended up choosing another candidate.

Second, I interviewed for 2 different types of jobs as Trinity Evangelical Divinity school ( where Tim will be attending school). On of the positions offered me a job as an academic assistant to several faculty members. We are still, considering this position. The pay may not be as good, but the location would be convenient and they would help with Tim's tuition as well as with mine if I go for my master's degree. I have to give them an answer by Wednesday 8/8/07.

Third, I interviewed for a position as a third grade teacher at a Lutheran school near down town Chicago. It is a ministry to families in poverty. The pay is decent, and the benefits are great. They would also pay 50% - 75% of a master's degree at Concordia University.
I have been called back for a second interview on Tuesday 8/7/07.

Lastly, I interviewed for a second grade public school position in Deerfield, IL (town where Trinity is). There is a possibility that we have found a loophole with the certification issue. The interview went very well and they said that they would let me know by early next week if there would be a second interview. They pay would be very good and the location would be ideal.

Sooo, now we are just waiting and praying and trying to make the best decision possible. I will try to keep you posted as to what happens. It is so good to know that God has already chosen what is the BEST place for me to work/minister. I just have to walk by faith to find it.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Chicago here we are!

Well, we are finally here in Chicago! We packed up the truck with MANY of our VA beach friends on Sunday, July, 15th. Thank you sooo much to all of those of you who helped with the loading of the truck and the cleaning of the house. You were such a blessing! We were able to get the truck loaded in an hour and 15 minutes. When we unloaded the truck here, it took us over 6 hours to get it all into the house! It was just Tim, Scott, and I. Yikes! What a day that was! I am glad that is over.

Tim and I have been furiously unpacking boxes and getting our little apartment set up. Tim painted already, the living room is guacamoli green and our bedroom flyaway blue. We will get some picture out soon.

The rest of this week we will be job searching here in the area. I have applied to Trinity for a few positions there and I am looking into some other private schools in the area. I was going to teach in the public school, but it doesn't look like my Illinois state certification will be all lined up in time. So we shall see. I will keep you posted.

We miss you all so much already! Hopefully we can continue to stay in touch through blogging, facebook, e-mail, and phone calls.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Four Wonderful Years

Tim and I were out late last night celebrating the season finale of LOST with some friends. So when he woke me up this morning, I was reluctant to open my eyes. But when I did I saw this beautiful gold box with a card next to me on the bed! Today is our four year anniversary. He was sneaky and told me that we were not going to do gifts this year b/c we are going away for the weekend to the outer banks with some friends. I was totally fine with that, but here I was in bed with a box next to me. I was so excited that I could hardly handle it. I started squeeling as I opened the package. To my suprise there was a gorgeous diamond eternity necklace inside! He knows that I have wanted one for sooo long! He totally floored me. I had no idea of what he was doing!
I have to say that I have a wonderful husband -- and not just because he bought me jewlery :o) Marrying him was the best decision that I ever made! He is kind, sweet, and loving towards me. He has stuck by me through thick and thin. He has always supported me and loved me. This year has been busy with work and life, and he has helped me with dishes, laundary and vacuuming! He is such a hard worker, whether it's teaching, painting, or doing school work, he is so diligent in all that he does. I am so proud of him! I know that he will do a great job at Trinity. Yes, it will be a challenge. But he is the type of person that rises to a challenge. I believe great things for him! All this to say, I love my dear husband, and I cannot imagine my life without him! Love you babe! Happy Anniversary :o)

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

We Have a Place to Live in IL :o)

Well, I just got a message from Brookview Village, an apartment complex in Glenview, IL, saying that we were APPROVED ! I can't believe it, but we actually have a place to live now when we move :o) It is definately starting to feel more real now. Now, we just need to pray that I will get a job there. I have put in all of my applications and dropped off portfolios. I am just waiting to hear back from someone.

Below are some pics of the apartment. I think we showed these a while back, but here they are again, now that the "deal is done"