Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Relief of Knowing You're Not Alone

Sorry. By the title you may have thought this blog post would be ultra spiritual... about faith or trust or something like that. It isn't. :) It's just that today I had a stunning realization that I am not a complete wacko! All of which is totally blog worthy after months of not blogging, right?! 

There are times when I sit down with Joel after a long weekend of great events and seeing God do great things in the lives of people and realize that we haven't seen our family or friends for weeks or months or BOTH! I feel the horror of my in-laws thinking I hate them. And then I think that maybe my friends hate me because I haven't text them back for a couple of days. And it's then that I feel like I am INCREDIBLY lame and there must certainly be something wrong with us (well, in many ways there probably is). Completely Serious. Weeks! And it's not because we avoid any one of them on purpose (usually). It's really just because we don't have 8a-5p-ish jobs and with varying seasons we get more freakish-scheduled and with the both of us, someone ALWAYS has a weekend activity, if not 10 activities and we WORK on Sunday's. We COMPLETELY love where God has us, but thus a con that includes at times (ok, almost always) having a LAME-O social life.

And then I read the following paragraph from Beth Moore's blog (yes, I know I am not Beth Moore and I am not writing a book... though maybe someday) and it gave me such joy because I realized I WAS NOT ALONE! GAH! (A few notes: Beth is in the middle of writing a book with her daughter Melissa, Melissa and Amanda are her daughters, LPM is her ministry, Living Proof Ministries). 

"Melissa said something to me yesterday that I’ve thought about a lot. She said, “You and Daddy and [insert Amanda's nickname] are pretty much my social life right now outside of home because I can’t be a dependable friend.” Whoa. Have I ever been there. People ask often how I’ve “balanced” (me balanced???) ministry with family and I’ve said the same thing over and over: I dumped practically everything else. If you have the updated version of David: A Heart Like His, it’s dedicated to my friend, Johnnie Haines, because she stuck with this on-again-off-again friend for 30 years. I’d drop out of communication for weeks at a time. I’m not suggesting anybody out there dump their social life. It’s not healthy. It’s just what I had to do for long stretches of time in order to fulfill my responsibilities to family and calling. These days I have my fellow sojourners at LPM and YOU and I am inexpressibly grateful. Truly, it’s one reason why I love blogging so much. It’s the way I get outside without ever leaving my home or office."

This makes me realize A LOT about me, us, and the friends that have stuck close despite our TOTAL wackiness. And honestly, it makes me ok with being lame if I'm putting my chips daily where I should (God, marriage and work). I am continually realizing that life is NOT balanced. And honestly, I'm totally ok with that. Someday (maybe), I'll see my friends (if I have any left after the next few years) more often! 

Sigh. I'm not alone! :)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Livin' It Up!

Sorry everyone! It has been a L.O.N.G time since we've blogged. We've SERIOUSLY been livin' it up. One thing that annoys me is when people make themselves "busy" and then complain about it. Every one of us chooses to busy. We sign up for ALL of it (especially in this house). That to say, we're not sorry for not blogging. We've been living it up!

But if you REALLY want to know why we haven't blogged (if there are still any of you out there). See below. This is a screen shot of our calendar. Here's a sneak peak into what life looks like everyday in the Vint home (and it's summer) (and we don't have any kids) (and I happen to be an organized/efficiency freak and put all of my meals on my calendar).

There's been A LOT in the mix lately-- from job changes, loving each other well and going on vacation, junior high ministry, some house improvement, trips, vacation, work, mission trips, high school ministry, camp, family, friends, going to the pool and college ministry. Would we have it any other way (most of the time)? Heck no! Who else gets to do what we do?

Maybe we'll see you soon! :)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

My Favorite Granola Recipe

I'm certainly not a lady that feels she has to make every last thing from scratch (and don't worry I won't put that pressure on you either), but I do enjoy some homemade granola now and again. I have been looking for a granola recipe for over a year that I really like. I've tried at least 10 recipes, none of which hit the spot. My friend Sydney brought me over a sample of the recipe she uses and I loved it! Thought I'd share!

Sydney's Homemade Granola


  • 3 cups of old fashioned rolled oats
  • ½ cup of walnuts roughly chopped
  • ½ cup of almonds roughly chopped
  • ½ cup of pecans roughly chopped
  • ¼ tsp of cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp of salt
  • ½ cup of real maple syrup
  • ½ cup of dried cranberries optional


    • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    • Mix all of the ingredients so everything is coated.
    • Spray baking sheet (use one with sides).
    • Layer granola evenly on baking sheet.
    • Bake for 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.
    • Cool for 20-30 minutes (until cool to the touch) before storing.
    • Store in an airtight container.
    • Yields (9) ½ cup servings.

      Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Loaf

      The other day Joel and I were in the mood for some tasty goodness  and so I whipped up this easy "bread" (it's a lot more like cake, lets face it). It turned out simply divine... mmm... mmm... good! I found it on the food blog Dinner with Julie.
      Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Loaf
      • 2 cups all-purpose flour
      • 1 cup sugar (white or brown)
      • 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
      • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
      • 1 tsp. baking powder
      • 1 tsp. baking soda
      • 1/4 tsp. salt
      • 1 cup pumpkin puree
      • 1/2 cup canola oil
      • 1/2 cup buttermilk, thin plain yogurt or milk
      • 3 large eggs
      • 1 tsp. vanilla
      • 1/2-1 cup chocolate chips, chopped walnuts or pecans, or a combination

      • Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9″x5″ loaf pan with nonstick spray.
      • In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, spices, baking powder, baking soda and salt. 
      • In another bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, oil, milk, eggs and vanilla.
      • Add the wet ingredients to the dry along with a few handfuls of chocolate chips and/or nuts, if you’re so inclined, and stir just until the batter comes together. 
      • Scrape into the prepared pan and bake for an hour, until the top is cracked and springy to the touch.

      Sunday, January 9, 2011

      LIfe is like a box of chocolates (or a bucket of chips)... you never know what you're gonna get!

      Today was the kickoff of 180. A leaders training would not be complete without Mexican food from the infamous El Azteca of Ames. They have ridiculously delicious food and when it is light on the checkbook, we are always game!

      With that said... you have to see what the chips were delivered in.

      Nothing, but a fully sanitized trash can. Whon whon whon!

      Gotta love it!

      Sunday, January 2, 2011

      We Had a Whole Week Off & We Stayed Home!

      Another blessing of our jobs at Cornerstone is that we have the whole week off between Christmas and New Years! Working in ministry we naturally work with people. Joel is well, 120% extroverted. He can never get enough and I well, my people-meter blows at around say 80% (don't worry, its not because of you of course). Sometimes I feel bad when I just want to stay at home because I am all peopled-out, but I LOVED this week. LOVED IT (until the end of the week I was all ready to have a good ol' time)! We spent a record 10 nights not doing a single activity besides staying home (that was partly due to sickness). Joel also read A LOT for his seminary classes (yes, he is getting his Masters... cool, huh?).

      That said, I will recount to you most of what we did this week (backwards).

      We had a New Year's Day party. Ah friends, food, football... and a little Grumpy Old Men to boot! Did I mention that Joel gave me my fav movie selection for Christmas? Love these movies!

      Did I mention footballl... yep, we've certainly watched (are watching) our fair share of that lately! In my second life I think I'm going to work for ESPN as a sports analyst. =)

      Joel was a well, a little under the weather on New Year's Eve so we hit the hay about 9:00p. I wanted to show my love and devotion to Joel and stay home with him, even though I was throwing a pity party for myself on the inside. I was sad to not be ringing in the new year with friends and fun. I soon got over myself (thanks to the Holy Spirit)... oh yes, and because I was the one who got sick earlier in the week and probably gave it to Joel.

      Wah-lah! A little somthin' I threw down on New Year's Eve (while Joel was sick). Window transformation (in reverse... hah). The one set of windows we had yet to paint white in our home. This was one of those..."why didn't we do this a long time ago" type things. I like it way better!

      The day before this I did come down with the awesome 24/48 hour flu. I am a huge baby when I am sick and want all the care Joel will offer, while Joel hates all personal contact while he is sick. We are so opposites sometimes! Who knew?!

      Don't you love when the trees are like this? For an instant I really like it (and then I step outside and freeze my toes off). Our God really was the originator of beauty. Our fake flashy lights do not compare to days like this. On this day we were on our way to Des Moines to do some exchanging and returning.... and we picked out some tile for a project Joel has been working on all month and much of this week. That will require a post of it's own in a month or so!

      Somewhere in here Joel and I did celebrate Christmas together. We got to attend the Cornerstone service (which I have never done), make our own special Christmas Eve and Christmas morning meals, and enjoy one another. SUPER FUN! We also spent most of Christmas day with Joel's family enjoying food, opening gifts, and playing games.

      We shared the Sunday before Christmas with the Vint side of the family. Notice I only like pictures of young children and beautiful aged women (I'm so weird with photo taking).

      Love Joel's grandmother, Melva. 1st Christmas without her beloved husband of 42 years. So hard! Do notice that her christmas light necklace blinked!

      We spent the weekend before Christmas celebrating with my family in MN. My baby brother is 19. WILD!
      A family favorite Christmas character even showed up. Santa and his little elf (my Grandfather has dressed up as Santa for years and come to our home... I used to be SO SCARED OF HIM and would hide). Some things do change. Isn't my Grandmother lovely?!

      Joel's first time on Grandpa Santa's lap. Santa called us a bunch of ding-a-lings!

      The week before Christmas we celebrated in style with the 180 leaders. "North Pole Trash" was the theme. Cute, huh?

      This is one group acting out the dance they made up to a beloved Christmas carol. We had a blast!

      The best and worst costume contest winners. Sonny got a Barbie for being worst dressed and Jewels got a Cafe gift card. Mmm... the cafe!

      Most of the leader gang. Thanks for all you do ya'll!

      That's a wrap for the 2nd Vint Christmas Season!