Sunday, October 12, 2008


Fall has always been one of my favorite times of year. This year I have especially enjoyed it! I don't know if it is because we have previously experienced such a long/cold winter and then a soggy summer. Whatever the reason I have made a point to do all of my favorite things during this season. Here is my top ten list of favorite things to do in the fall in no specific order:

1. Go CAMPING! I love to camp and the fall is definitely one of the best times to go. The leaves are changing, sleeping weather is perfect and the warm campfire always feels great in the evenings! We have started a tradition with my brother, sister-in-law, sister, brother-in-law, nephew and my cousins, Emily, her husband Ben and my cousin David to make an annual camping trip to the ledges around this time of the year. Last year was our first year doing it and we continued the tradition this year at the beginning of October. Unfortunately my cousins and brother-in-law were not able to make it but rest of us continued the tradition! We had amazing weather and enjoyed a wonderful time together. I can't wait for next year!

2. Visit a PUMPKIN PATCH We were able to visit the Carroll Pumpkin Farm in Grinnell, Iowa this year with a group of friends. We had a great time and were amazed by all the activities that were there. The farm is absolutely beautiful! The weather was great and thanks to Joni (Carroll) Boone we were able to stay a little later and enjoy dinner around a campfire that evening!

3. Decorate PUMPKINS! I wanted to get a pumpkin this year and didn't want to deal with the mess of carving it. So I thought of a different idea and decided to "monogram" the pumpkins instead!

4. Visit the FARMER'S MARKET. I wasn't able to attend the Des Moines Farmer's Market as much as I would have liked to this summer. So I wanted to make up for it this fall. I have had quite a few weekends in October and September that I have been able to attend. It is by far one of my favorite things to do on Saturday mornings. Now that I have Tim hooked on the "famous" breakfast burritos he is more than happy to tag along with me! Last week while I was at the Farmer's Market I picked up a delicious bag of apples which will go along with my next item!

5. Make a homemade APPLE PIE. I have never made an Apple Pie from scratch and with Apple Orchards in season I thought this would be the perfect time of year to make one! I love to bake so this was a lot of fun. I will have to continue to work on the "decorative" part of it but enjoyed making my first Apple Pie!

6. Enjoy a PUMPKIN PIE BLIZZARD from DQ. Pumpkin Pie is my favorite kind of blizzard from DQ. This kind is seasonal so I have to enjoy them now while they are still available. If you have never had one, try one they are delicious!

7. Sip on a PUMPKIN SPICE LATTE from Starbucks. Again these are also seasonal and one of my favorite drinks from Starbucks. I have only had one so far but I am looking forward to having a few more before they are taken off the menu!

8. Attend a FOOTBALL GAME. Football is one of my favorite sports to watch and fall is not fall without watching a game outside. I love bundling up in a cozy sweatshirt, a comfy pair of jeans and enjoying the crisp air and excitement of a good game! This unfortunately I have yet to do. The ISU games have not worked into our schedules so I am hoping to attend the Ankeny/Southeast Polk football game in a couple of weeks!

9. Play on a FALL SOFTBALL LEAGUE. Tim is basically good at every sport and if we ever play a sport one on one he always beats me! This can be very frustrating to me at times because I do tend to be competitive. One of my character flaws would be that I don't like to lose (just ask Tim about our monopoly game!). So it is so much fun to play in a sport where we can be on the same team and win together! We both enjoy playing softball and it is actually a sport that I can keep up with Tim in. Playing in the fall is always fun. We are on a co-ed team through our church this year and have had a lot of fun.

10. REJOICE and make time to thank the Lord for the many blessings he has given us. Everyday I am in awe of the new things the Lord teaches me and this season I have been in awe by both the teachings and amazing beauty he provides us with everyday.
"Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations."

I hope that maybe one of my top ten list items will inspire you to enjoy this season! Also if you have a favorite thing to do in the fall that I have not mentioned send me a post! I would love to hear any new ideas!

Monday, October 6, 2008


Last December during my Christmas break I woke up early one morning to have some "quiet" time. During that time I came across verse 16 in 1 Thessalonians "Be joyful always". This verse has stayed with me and the word joy has constantly been on my mind since that time. Also shortly after that devotional time we celebrated Christmas with my extended family. Each year we have a random gift exchange (we draw numbers, person with number one gets to pick a gift first, the person after them can select their gift or pick a new gift etc.). So we never know for sure whose gift we will receive. Randomly after many different trades I ended up with a gift from my Grandma. The gift ended up being a Willow Tree Angel and the description on it read Joy "Joy frees the spirit". I was completely taken back by the gift and again felt that God was revealing this word to me for a particular reason. I know that the Lord is wanting me to learn from this verse/word and apply this verse/word to my daily life.

This fall I was thrilled when I found out that a study was going to be led in our church on the book of Philippians. I feel the Lord has been leading me to study this book for the last couple of months and again this book is centered around the word joy! I am excited to see what the Lord is going to reveal to me during this study. I also feel that with everything I have gone through the last two months joy was something the Lord did not want me to forget when dealing with a very difficult situation. No matter what the circumstance we are to always feel joy in our hearts because we have the greatest joy of all and that is our personal relationship with Christ. No circumstance/situation can every void out that joy that will always and should always remain in our hearts.

"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer". Romans 12:12