Saturday, December 31, 2011

remembering and anticipating

wanting to remember 2011 . . .

we bought our first home
I was blessed by a new group of women with shared life experiences
new deepening friendships
my best summer ever
John's life spared
we welcomed to new nieces
our southern road trip
lived with Amy
speaking at STP
speaking at our women's retreat
trip to Asheville, NC 
trip to Athens, GA
trip to Louisville, KY
joined Christian Family Chapel
our first Christmas tree
our first fireplace
joining a Crop Share Association
my big sis graduating from PA school
surviving and accomplishing two months of gluten and dairy free
finishing our wedding album (5 years later)

looking forward to 2012 if the Lord wills . . .

starting it off with my birthday
John turns 30!!
John leading our region's Summer Training Program
celebrating 6 years of marriage
anticipating God's work and goodness to us
Maschhoff's visiting us
speaking at the Alabama Women's Retreat
caring about physical activity for the first time ever
projects, sewing, crafting, painting, decorating
planting some things

Friday, December 30, 2011

Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O Lord, God of hosts.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

On every Merry Christmas, may our love of decor not stop at a tree but let our adorning be the hidden person of the heart, may our hunger not linger only on delicious treats but feast on evey word that comes from the mouth of the Lord, may our desire for fellowship not flourish only among our family gathered, but rest in our restored relationship with God Almighty because of His Son, may our delight in gifts lead us to remember and receive the Gift of Jesus, and may our festive singing be worship of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Friday, December 02, 2011

That which tears open our souls, those holes that splatter our sight, may actually become the thin, open places to see through the mess of this place to the heart-aching beauty beyond. To him. To the God whom we endlessly crave.

Ann Voskamp

Thursday, December 01, 2011

birthday girl

my dear, dear mother was born this day.  she is a model of all models of a gentle and quiet spirit.  she loves well.  gives grace abundantly.  and has sacrificed much out of the joy in her heart for her family.  what a woman.  happy birthday Mom!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Giving Thanks

What a special time of year. We stopped on Thursday to give thanks to God for all that He is and does. On Friday we were given so much more to be thankful for.

John fell through our attic onto our garage floor while taking down christmas ornaments. His head was bleeding, but he was conscious. We took him to the ER and CT scan revealed his back had broken in his 11th vertebrae. Our Dr. said 50% of all 10ft falls are fatal. We were sent home with various meds to help John cope.

Today we saw a Neuro surgeon for his back. With rest and a back brace John should be healed in two or three months! The surgeon said he has seen cases like this were the people don't make it. And here, by God's grace, John is walking around, pretty dizzy and stiff. But he is alive. He is well. Lord willing he will heal. So humbled that every breath is given by God. And thankful for God having more in store for John here on earth! Praises be to His name. As for me and my house, we will praise the Lord!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope everyone is enjoying there special familes wherever you are. Mine happens to be with me, having a Florida thanksiving.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Pre Thanksgiving Ministry Dinner

We had 11 freshman students over for our regular bible study with a thanksgiving dinner twist. Between John, Amy and I we pulled off a holiday tradition a week early. And would you believe that one of our students whose family doesn't really celebrate Thanksgiving had his first traditonal meal in our home! I feel privileged to have fed him. We are not ready for the real show down next thursday. My fam is in town from Colorado and Arizona. I just cannot wait. And yes! Thats a 20 pounder.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

I just picked up our first organic share of vegetables. Yum. This week we have cucumbers, bok choy, arugula, lettuces, chinese spinach, radishes, zucchini, yum yum peppers, eggplant and a basil plant. Now its time to eat more salads than ever, get creative and chow down. Anyone have ways they use bok choy in everyday recipes? Bring on the vitamins and folic acid.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

I saw on instagram the great idea of covering a foam pumpkin with paper. I finally did it while watching football with John yesterday. I used scriptures instead of any old book and picked ones that describe my great Lord or what He has done for me. It will encourage me abd my family towards gratitude for years to come.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

If I had a dollar for everytime someone told me how good my husband was at a game, let's just say I wouldn't be trying to win free chick-fil-a for a year.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

will be eating more chikin

Two new random facts about me. I have consumed chick-fil-a for breakfast lunch and dinner in one day. And I have lived in a chick-fil-a parking lot ofr 24 hrs.

Proud to know me? I thought so.

John, Amy, I and four of the UNF Navigators participated in our first "first 100" grand chick-fil-a opening. We camped out and won free chick-fil-a for a year! It was pretty memorable.

Tents, naps, balderdash, dancing, four square and chicken. This describes our last 24 hrs. We are glad to be back to real life now. :)

Monday, October 31, 2011

John and I signed up for a organic crop share at a local farm. We start picking up our vegestables in two weeks, but we got to visit the farm this weekend for a tour, bean and pea picking and a potluck. So fun to see where our food will grow and taste off-the-plant goodness. Plenty of food picks along with new recipes to come!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

chicken and dumplings

here is the recipe for the yummy meal we had on Sunday.  I used a chicken breast rather than the skinned chicken pieces it asked for.  And I just used one, the recipe calls for 4 pounds of chicken.  I am using much less meat in our meals these days and it was a great ratio for us.

Monday, October 24, 2011

good weekend

This past weekend was so full and wonderful. Both John and I had the opportunity to speak at different retreats one for the women and one for the men of our region's ministries, 100ish at both. We got to bring carloads of our students along with us. We got to exhort our college friends with the word of God.

We also got to see an old friend. Bring a new friend to church. Found out our new friend trusted Christ for her salvation, rightousness and eternity. And lay around all day Sunday watching football. Our team won. Barely, but still. We watched in sweat pants. And I tried my hand at a chicken and dumpling recipe. Yum. Thats all. Just wonderful.

Friday, October 21, 2011

warms your mouth and belly

tried this recipe for slow cooker red beans and rice, yum!  Worth a shot in your crock pot this weekend!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

I love this man so much. This week's date night included burgers and wine on the beach. It was so refreshing to be with him. John is such an encouragement, a true joy to my heart, a delight to my eyes and still butterflies to my stomach. I am so thankful for the Lord's abundantly gracious love toward me that He would give John to me.

Monday, October 10, 2011

our weekend

a few weeks ago we came up with the great idea of taking our students camping.  It was a great idea until fierce winds and spotty rain showers forced us to cancel.  We tried though.  A few of us went  out during the day and braved the winds on the beach for a whole 30 minutes before turning around.  Instead we played games at our house and built a white-trash makeshift fire in our backyard complete with cinder blocks and dead branches from our yard.

the fire got us in the mood for using our fireplace.  we put on shorts on our date night and enjoyed the fire for all of 5 minutes.  You see, Florida doesn't start selling firewood until around christmas. 

Our Jacksonville friends invited us to the Jaguars game on Sunday.  It was my first pro football experience.  The rain held off to give us pretty perfect weather and there was enough people watching for me to do when I wasn't game watching.  Oops.  You see, there was a what looked like a first date couple in front of us.  Which is more interesting, really? Unfortunately, the Jags lost, even with all of my attention and cheering.  But we are thankful for cooler weather, games, fires and friends.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Friday, September 16, 2011

a new journal

Does anyone else who keeps a journal have a hard time writing on the first page? I have such hesitation staring at the first blank page that my natural instinct is to turn the page so my first words would be hidden behind the first page. Because what if my penmanship is poor the first page? I will have to see that every subsequent day. Do I begin with cursive? What if I want to switch to print? What I write in the first lines could be too telling. What if someone mistakingly claims it and reads a few words before realizing their error? I don't want the tone of the first page to set the pace for everything else, I want to wait for the right tone-setter. So I leave the first page blank, so there is room to write the perfect thing later. To make it look pretty. To not waste anything. Because a journal is a year-long comittment for me, here's to second pages.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

the great indoors

this weekend has been a delight.  Although we have been up to our ears in paint (a LONG kitchen cabinet project that I started in May, I don't want to talk about it) we have been able to sneak in some relaxation.  Leave it to football and temporary low temperatures to get this girl into the fall mode.  I know, football?  Me? its not the watching of the game, but the sounds of football in the background while I do something else that is so soothing.

We made chicken noodle soup and chili, put out some delicious smelling candles and I even did some crafting.  That might be why I love fall so much.  It ushers in a season of nestling inside and eating comfort food.  I love being inside.  I am one of the weirdos who grew up in Colorado and somehow does not like to hike.  Call me lame, call me lazy, but I call me a lover of my home, wherever that is, a temporary summer dwelling in the smoky mountains, a small apartment in the semi-ghetto or our new home.

So to marry some of my favorite things, fall and food,  Amy introduced me to the most delicious cookie I  have ever had.  Its a family recipe. The cookie is so moist its like cake.  And its not too sweet, don't let the icing fool you.  Its enough to make you want a fourth.

So here it is


Mom's Pumpkin Cookies

Sift together:
   2 cups sifted flour
   1 tsp. baking powder
   1 tsp. baking soda
   1 tsp. cinnamon
   1 tsp. salt

Blend in 1 cup of shortening (Amy used butter, and accidentally cut it in half and they were amazing). Add 1 cup of pumpkin, 1 egg, and 1 cup of sugar.  Mix well.

Add 1 tsp. vanilla, 1/2 cup pecans, and one cup chopped dates or raisins (we were out of raisins and Amy must have not been interested in the dates)

Bake 10-12 minutes.  Frost with caramel frosting

Mom's Never Fail Caramel Frosting:

   1 cup brown sugar
   5 Tbsp butter
   1/4 cup milk (as more as needed)

Boil.  Take off heat and add 1 cup powdered sugar. Beat with egg beater.  If its too thick, add cream.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

there is a first for everything

John and I were delighted to kick off the year with the very first NavNight at UNF! John set a perfect tone for our ministry. We want to glorify God, grow spiritually, share the gospel and make generations of Christ-following laborers.

Look who has joined us!

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Last weekend I got lucky and traveled to AZ to watxh my sis become a PA MMS.
The weekend was full of good company, good food and all that makes up my sis and her husbands fun and full life.
And I got to eat froyo with my very great friend Becca, who happens to live in small little Gilbert AZ as well. What a lucky gal I am.
And look at this line of beauty I call family. Love you. And April, I am SO proud of you. You can check my moles anytime.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Has anyone else around these parts had a hard time finding a decaf worth drinking at starbucks? No? I am the only one who worries about such things? While most people are trying to get their kids to bed at night or get to bed early for tomorrows big day, I am left wondering what to drink.

Well i was honest one day with my local barista. Starbucks doesn't brew decaf past 10 in the morning? Can anyone explain? And if anyone has had a decaf americano, well he. You know its disappointment in a cup. So the friendly barista whipped up a quad decaf for me. Which is 4 shots of decaf espresso topped with a bit of hot water, add a splash of half and half and you have got a buttery smooth and rich drink. Just in time for beddy bye. Which is what i am drinking before my 4 hour flight to AZ.

Can anyone else tell that traveling without the hubs is quite boring?

Purity means freedom from contamination, from anything that would spoil the taste or the pleasure, reduce he power, or in any way adulterate what the thing was meant to be.
Elisabeth Elliot.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Today is a day of doc appointments so John and I treated ourselves to Angie's Subs out at Jax beach. We have survived the first days of school with both of us feeling a little under the weather. I am not sure if our bodies are just now catching up to us or if we shook too many germy hands on freshman move in day.
Hopefully I feel better because tomorrow I leave to see my big sis graduate from PA school in AZ. And hopefully John feels better because there will be no one to care for his sniffles. In critical news: John is wearing a new shirt that I find him irresistable in. :)

Monday, August 22, 2011

For until men recognize that they owe everything to God, that they are nourished by His fatherly care, that He is the Author of their every good, that they should seek nothing beyond Him-- they will never yield Him willing service. Nay, unless they establish their complete happiness in Him, they will never give themselves truly and sincerely to Him.

-- John Calvin

Friday, August 19, 2011

two brand new loves

Hello friends who read my blog.

I have been introduced through some friends to the wonderful site,  It is a virtual pinboard of all the things that inspire you, things you want to remember, ideas etc.  And once I got the hang of it, I LOVE it.  Who does not like to keep all the pretty things they find on the world wide web in one place?  And I can see what my friends think is really pretty too.  My usernames is mrsteten.  shocked I am sure.  But check it out if you want.

AND then, through a pinterest link, I found this site just last night, and FELL. IN. LOVE.  A cute woman started her own vintage clothing and home goods store and has a blog about it called a beautiful mess. She includes oh-so-needed info, like how to pinroll your hair in the cutest way ever or how to DIY lace briefcase, pictured above.  Of course!

Hope you enjoy these to time wasters as much as I have.

Freshman move in day at UNF. Can you see how pumped we are? Pray if you would!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Amy and I headed to the beach today. It was a perfect combination of sun, breeze and ocean. Maybe too much sun, I am a little pink. We only listen to depressing singer songwriter types so the only semi-pumped music we had in the car was Michael Jackson, so . . .

Monday, August 15, 2011

I finally caved. Here are the pics of God's home that He gave us. I have been so hesitant because I want to post it in all its glory. But any homeowner could have told me, the glory never arrives. There will always be three things I would do in any room to put our stamp on this house. But I am more than pleased with it already.  And John's youngest sister, Amy, will be living with us for a year!

John's office/ my fav room in our house/ the lodge/ the study/ the library
In a few months you will find me by the fire with a pumpkin latte

my office/ guest accommodations/ future nursery if God wills.
this is the house we prayed for.  no pics of the kitchen yet.  it truly is a disaster as we try to put our stamp on it.
Amy's room.

our love nest.  

steadfastness, that is holding on;
patience, that is holding back;
expectancy, that is holding the face up;
obedience, that is holding one's self in readiness to go or do
listening, that is holding quiet and still so as to hear

S.D. Gordon
Quiet Talks on Prayer

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Waiting on God requires the willingness to bear uncertainty, to carry within oneself the unanswered question, lifting the heart to God about it whenever it intrudes one's thoughts. It is easy to talk oneself into a decision that holds no permanence-- easier sometimes than waiting patiently.

Elizabeth Elliot

Friday, August 05, 2011

For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as the LORD our God is to us, whenever we call upon him?

Dueteronomy 4:7

Friday, July 29, 2011

The summer is coming to a close. We are preparing to say goodbye to our friends and gear up for the fall semester to start in a few weeks. It has been unbelievable to see God at work in 130 lives, including mine. I am leaving with treasures God has given me from my time with Him from His word. This was a training prgram for me too.
I have learned a lot of my experiences in ministry this summer, mostly by watching others love people well. And I am thankful for the ministry I work for. The Navigators have been a huge agent of blessing in my life. I can't wait to see what God has planned next.

Monday, July 18, 2011

God was so good to give us an overnight escape to do what we LOVE to do. Eat and explore places to eat.

While in asheville we ate delicious meals and walked around until we were ready for another delicious meal. With a glass of wine or a sipping chocolate in between. We split most things, just so you don't think we are glutons, just half glutons.

And when we were tired of eating and walking we set up our double eno for a nap in the park! It was so special to experience it all with my best friend. Thanks Lord.

Friday, July 15, 2011

My first sipping chocolate did not disappoint. Cayenne & Cinnamon liquid truffle. A french press was to wash it down.

We have the opportunity to get away tonight. So we are headed to Asheville NC where we will eat our way through the city. And stop and take pics along the way.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

I took the three women I am discipling this summer on an adventure. We took pictures in fields of wild flowers, picked berries and then floated down the lazy river at the local water park. Day well used I say.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

The power of prayer cannot be diminished by distance, it is not limited by age, infirmity, political changes or restrictions. The power of prayer in the life of an obedient Christian can only be undermined by neglect.

David Bentley-Taylor

Friday, July 01, 2011

ok, fine.  I confess.  The only thing I am cooking these days are Pioneer Woman recipes.  Its not that I am PW snob.  Its not that I go to her site to decide what to make for dinner.  Its that every time I browse, I am forced to cook something because it looks so dang tasty.  Its not really a choice.

And PW does not disappoint.  This soup is a bit spicy and I love it.  But it does call for some major simmer time that I cut in half due to lack of planning, impatience, and stomach growls.  This meal we enjoyed with some friends visiting the training program, Ben and Caryn!  Thanks friends for taking a chance with my cooking and for great conversation.

So thankful that this summer means more time with fam while we work. With one brother and sis-in-law 40 minutes away and another sister at the training program, we have gotten some sweet, but short bonding time in. Thanks Lord.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

the pioneer woman seals the deal

There are few recipes that appear on The Pioneer Woman's blog that I do not drool over a little and think of an excuse to make.

This pork sandwich with cilantro jalapeno slaw was no exception.  We ate it last night with our siblings, Amy, David and Pamela.  Yum!

It is spicy pork that is cooked in Dr. Pepper and chipotle peppers in adobo sauce.  My only recommendation would be to buy the precut slaw bag.  Cutting cabbage into thin slices might be impossible.

We spend a good part of our week one on one with students. Sharing about life. Praying. Soaking in God's words. And of course sipping coffee. This summer just means we get to do it overlooking lush green mountains.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Earlier this summer we invited all the women of the program to join us for some worship and karaoke. With a trip to the thrift store in between.
Here is one of my fav team looks: jean jumper homeschool moms. (self-titled)
So fun.

Friday, June 17, 2011

I still cannot believe this was the setting for bible study this week. Shade. Breeze. Trees. Iced Coffee. Cows. What else might we need? Amazing.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Today was the first day of work at Dollywood for most of the 150 students in our training program. Look at those dresses and smiling faces after long hours of work in the summer heat.

Thursday, June 02, 2011


This summer I have been given the gift of shepherding 17 women. They will have other older women pouring into them this summer, so they are not limited to me. But its my privilege to know them, serve them, and care for them this summer.
Each of these 17 women have teams of three to four younger college student women. They lead them for the next 8 weeks of the program. We are so thankful that older students are willing to serve he younger students. To thank them we gave them small gifts. Which meant I had an excuse to find 17 cuter than cute aprons to remind them to serve.


God is so creative and loves beautiful things.  I was able to witness something I have never seen before a couple of days ago.  Apparently there is a specific type of firefly species that mates for two weeks in early summer.  What is special about this species is that part of the mating process is synchronizing themselves to light up all at once, then stop, then light up all at once again.  Its like natures christmas tree.  There are only two places where you can see this happen, about 30 minutes from where we are living this summer and somewhere in China!

So we took about 12 women to see it happen.  We drove into the Smoky Mountain National Park and started walking a trail as the last bits of light were fading. We could see a few fireflies light up.  But as we laid out our blankets and waited, slowly more and more started lighting up the forest.  It was so unreal, one of the girls said she felt like she was in an enchanted forest.  I was so excited that God had created such a treat!  We spent most of our evening singing praises to our Heavenly Father and thanking Him for it all.  A few other spectators even joined us in singing a few songs.  :)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Pigeon Forge

We just arrived in Pigeon Forge. Our home away from home for the summer. This summer we will host around 140 college students in the Smoky Mountains. They will work at Dollywood theme park, live in a hotel, and be involved in intense bible study, evangelism and discipleship training for 8 weeks.
This blog is about to become a whirlwind of random pictures, stories from PG Las Vegas and mountain adventures. Here we go!


Saturday, May 21, 2011

5 years baby!

Today I celebrated the fifth year of marital bliss with Mr. Teten. We had brunch at our favorite local restaurant, went to a nursery and dreamed of future gardening, drove up the coast to a cute little town to walk around, read at a coffee shop and have dinner, and stopped on the drive home at the beach for the sun setting, more reading and watermelon for dessert. What made the day special was spending it with my best friend. I love him. He surprises me, holds my hand when I need him to, gives me butterfly kisses (don't tell him I told you so) and I even love the way his deodrant smells. The Lord gave me a great thing when He gave me John. I CANNOT wait to see what the next five years will bring.

Friday, May 20, 2011

One of fav things about summers in Jax is movies at the beach. A little picnic, a little wine, a little sea breeze and a classic movie.
This time we even invited friends into our little secret.