Verse of the Week – John 10:10

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they might have life, and have it to the full.”

John 10:10

Jesus came to give us life, real life, full life, and deliverance from the evil one who wants to destroy us completely. Before I started following Jesus, I tried to fill my life with alcohol, drugs, boys, and drama. Thankfully He grabbed ahold of my heart and I have never been the same. One thing I love the most about my job is that I get to tell kids about Jesus, and how He offers real life. The world wants to capture their hearts with things thatwill leave their lives empty and take away their hope. We want them to know that Jesus can offer them real life. My sweet middle school girls bring so much joy to my life, and I hope to shine Light into theirs. Pictured above are Alison, Hutton, Molly, Lauren, Sophie, and Neali.

Who are you shining your light on?

Verse of the Week – Matthew 4:19-20

“Come, follow me, ” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” At once they left their nets and followed Him.
Matthew 4:19-20

I went back to work last Thursday after 2 months fo sabbatical. The time off was wonderful and much needed, and going back has been difficult. I have been playing catch over the last week, and I have this feeling I will never get there. This verse reminds me of my calling and keeps my mind on Jesus, instead of on my frustrations. I am called to follow Him, and He has made me a fisher of me, teenagers in particular. I trust Him, and follow Him into the sea of the middle and high schools, until He calls me elsewhere.

What has the Lord called you to?

Frugal Friday – Dallas Dining Under $20 Part II – Twisted Root Burger Co.

For the second installment of my Dallas Dining Under $20, we visited Twisted Root Burger Co. on SMU Blvd. It is a full bar and restaurant with a great patio and super fun atmosphere. All opinions are my own and I was in no way compensated for this review.

Twisted Root Burger Co. is a local Dallas mini-chain that rocks. They have specialty burgers for $7.99 and regular hamburgers for $5.49, game meats and buffalo burgers for $8.99, turkey and veggie burgers for $5.99, and a host of great sides for $2.99 and under. Friends of ours decided the new SMU location would be a great place for World Cup parties, and they were right. I had eaten at the Deep Ellum location, but hadn’t visited the new one until the last USA game of the World Cup. We had so much fun and the food was wonderful. If only the USA team had advanced…

Jed had a bacon cheeseburger with fries, and said it was delicious.

I had a turkey burger with goat cheese and a side of fried pickles. The goat cheese was awesome and the fried pickles were perfection.

The Twisted Root Philosophy: Three chefs, sick of eating frozen and factory-fabricated burgers, opened a real burger joint and make everything from scratch. Fresh meat patties, fresh-cut fries and sweet potato chips, homemade ice-cream, homemade pickles and homemade Root Beer…even homemade ketchup, mustard and BBQ sauce! It’s slap-yo-momma good!

The price is right and the burgers are tasty. What more could you ask for?

What is your favorite burger joint?

Verse of the Week – Titus 2:3-5

Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the Word of God.
Titus 2:3-5

This Titus 2 woman goes against who the world says I should be. I want to be a Godly woman, love my husband and future children well, and be pure, kind, and self-controlled. I pray that the Lord helps me to become the woman He wants me to be. By nature I am rebellious, selfish, bossy, and mean. The Lord has been hard at work in me for the 12 years I have been following Him, and I hope He continues.

Frugal Friday – Dallas Dinners Under $20 Part I

Since we started our Total Money Makeover one year ago, we are on a strict budget to help us reach our financial goals. We realized that we were spending WAY too much money dining out. This city has a million great restaurants to tempt us, so we had to take control of the situation. We now limit our monthly dining out budget to $150. We could easily spend that on one meal in Dallas, but we try to make it stretch as far as possible. To do that, we have to find affordable fare, and we have. I’ve decided to share our favorite Dallas dinners under $20 with y’all. The opinions are completely ours, and we are in no way affiliated with or being compensated by the restaurants.
Tony’s Pizza and Pasta has been around for a long time, and is located on Northwest Hwy in East Dallas. They advertise that everything is prepared fresh and cooked to order, and the place is BYOB. They brought garlic rolls out before the meal, for free, and I was hooked.

Shrimp Scampi – $8.95
I love shrimp, but Jed is not a seafood guy. I have to order them when we are dining out since I can’t cook them at home. To find a good shrimp dish for under $10 is pretty much a miracle, so I was really excited to try the shrimp scampi. It did not disappoint.

Calzone $4.95
Jed loves a calzone, and we actually tried this restaurant solely because they served them. He let me try one bite, and then took down the whole thing.
Overall we give Tony’s Pizza and Pasta an 8 out of 10. It was not the best meal ever, but it was definitely great for the price, and we will be back. I would say it is better than most Italian chains (Olive Garden, etc), and I prefer local, family owned anyway. If you live in DFW, check it out.
Where do you dine out on the cheap?

Anthro Inspired Vintage Necklace Remake

I love all of the gorgeous statement necklaces that Anthropologie and a lot of other stores have been featuring lately. The ones at Anthro are priced from $42-$198, which is way out of my price range, as usual. I found this lovely faux pearl bib choker at an estate sale for $2. Vintage costume jewelry is my favorite kind of estate sale find. It needed a little help, so I removed the broken clasps and attached ivory grosgrain ribbon so that I could adjust the length.

The ribbon ties in a bow and falls down my back. I love it!

Here are the different length possibilities:




Extra Long

Even longer

The necklace is backed with lovely ivory satin. It is a little stained and worn, but I like to call that vintage character.

One clasp wouldn’t come out, but it doesn’t show when I wear the necklace. I simply glued the ribbon on with craft glue. It would probably look neater if I sewed it on, but I don’t know how to sew. Oh well, it works.

Verse of the Week – Psalm 42:7-8

Deep calls to deep

in the roar of your waterfalls;

all your waves and breakers

have swept over me.

By day the LORD directs his love,

at night his song is with me—

a prayer to the God of my life.

Psalm 42:7-8

This verse has always spoken to me of the way God’s love covers me. He swept over me with His love, relentless like the waves, and for that I’m forever grateful. There is a song by Pat Green that reminds me of God’s pursuit of me.

Wave on Wave – Pat Green

Mile upon Mile I got no direction.
We’re all playing the same game
We’re all looking for redemption
Just afraid to say the name
So caught up now in pretending
What we’re seeking is the truth
I’m just look for a happy ending
All I’m looking for is you
It came upon me wave on wave
You’re the reason I’m still here
Am I the one you were sent to save?
It came upon me wave on wave
I wandered out into the water
I thought that I might drown
I don’t know what I was after
Just know that I was going down
That’s when she found me I’m not afraid anymore
She said, you know I always had ya baby
Just waiting for you to find what you were looking for
It came upon me wave on wave
You’re the reason I’m still here
Am I the one you were sent to save?
It came upon me wave on wave
Wave on wave
Wave on wave
The clouds broke and the angels cried
You ain’t gotta walk alone
That’s why he put me in your way
You came upon wave on wave
It came upon me wave on wave
You’re the reason I’m still here
Am I the one you were sent to save?
It came upon me wave on wave

The Best of Beach Week Part II: Recipes

I am loving all the great posts linked up to Beach Week! Here are some of the great beachy recipes.
I am completely blown away by these key lime cupcakes at Not Just Paper and Glue. I really want to try this recipe.

How fun are these surfboard cookies?! Check them out here at Memories by Anna Dawn.

This pina colada shake by Frenchy at Le Chateau des Fleurs is the ultimate summer treat.
Check out all the great beachy posts linked up to Beach Week here.

Frugal Friday – Saving Vacation Memories

As you have read, we were blessed to go on a fabulous beach vacation to Mexico this summer. It was incredible, and I wanted to find a way to include the memories of this trip in our home decor. I found a 40% off coupon for Hobby Lobby when they already had all frames and shadowboxes marked 50% off. Awesome! I saved the free maps and brochures that we collected on our trip to use as a background collage. Using Mod Podge, I attached them to a sheet of cardstock. I added the shells we found while snorkeling, and ended up with a super cheap and easy vacation memory collage. I’ve tried scrapbooking in the past, and always found myself spending way too much money and never finishing the thing. This was much cheaper and I actually completed it in a timely fashion.

How do you preserve your vacation memories?

I’m linking to some great parties. Check out the full list here.

Hodge Podge Friday

> Photobucket

A Little Oil Doesn’t Scare Us – Our Navarre Beach Vacation

My family has taken a Florida beach vacation almost every year since I was a toddler. We used to go to Destin, but now prefer Navarre Beach. It is a lovely piece of land that is much less crowded and has no traffic. We love it.
This year we almost didn’t go because of the oil spill. We thought that there would be oil everywhere and the beach would be ruined. Thankfully we had a great real estate agent who kept us updated on the real beach conditions, even sending pictures. With her encouragement we decided to go for it.

We saw very little oil and had a amazing week of sand, sun, and fun together. Perfection.

Jed learned how to snorkel and collected so many shells to add to our collection.
Sweet Caroline, our niece, loved her first beach experience. She played in the sand and loved the water.

The water was so calm and clear by the end of the week that the snorkeling was just awesome.
The clean up crews were everywhere, keeping the beach spotless. Their tent was just down the beach from us. You can see it in the left side of the picture above.

This was our incredible house. My parents and their best friends the Filipeks rented it for all of us to enjoy. We are so blessed.

This tent has been through many Short/Filipek beach vacations. It is a lifesaver in the hot Florida sun.

We went crab hunting one night, and it was so much fun. We hadn’t done it in years and had forgotten how much fun it was.

Here we are, the Shorts and Filipeks, now with the addition of the Johnsons and the Ebys. We have been going on vacation together since Sarah and I (the oldest kids in each family) were 4. That year was 1983, my friends. Each family has four kids, and now 2 of those kids have babies of their own. We play on the beach all day, play board games and watch movies, cook fresh seafood every night, and enjoy each others’ company.

Does your family have any vacation traditions?