Sunday, December 29, 2013

Ten Facts

I didn't plan to take a blog break over December, but it happened and I enjoyed it. I'm ready to get going again! 

Most of the blogs I truly enjoy are those that allow me to get to know the author. I really wanted to write a post that would give you a good glimpse of who I am, and thought long and hard about how to do that. A Facebook "game" came along that gave me the opportunity to write ten facts about Jonathan and me, and I realized that it would also accomplish what I wanted to convey here. You'll certainly know more about us after reading these ten facts, some of which are sweet and some of which are downright surprising.  

1. We "almost" met on two different occasions during our teen years (we both grew up in CA and my church was planted out of his church), but God didn't actually have us meet until we were twenty-one, on a street in Oklahoma City while we were attending Heartland Baptist Bible College.
2. When I was fifteen, a friend sent me a picture of her youth group. I remember noticing one handsome young man in the picture, and guess who it was? Jonathan! I'd had that picture of him
six years before I ever met him! I didn't put two and two together until after we were engaged.
3. Even though I was a freshman and Jonathan was a junior/senior, we had a class together. He would arrive early to practice the piano, and I would arrive early to listen to him, although I was studiously focused on my books.
He knew. (And I thought I was so subtle!)
4. The day we met, I called my parents and he wrote about me in his journal. To quote, I described him as "very nice" and he described me as "fascinating." I consider it love at first sight. 
5. Our relationship seemed to progress in eight-month increments. Eight months after we met, we officially started dating (we called it a betrothal). Eight months later, we were engaged, and eight months later we were married!
6. Over a year of our relationship was long-distance, while I finished college. I hadn't seen him for five months when I was home with my family over Christmas break. He showed up on our front step and proposed as soon as I opened the door. 
We saved our first kiss for our wedding day (and holding hands, too). I always wanted to save my first kiss and everything else (even "I love you") for the man I married, and I'm so thankful he felt the same way. It was SO worth the wait!
8. We were expecting baby number two by our second anniversary, and hope to welcome several more children into our family.
9. We are surrendered to serve the Lord with our lives, whether he keeps us in Washington or calls us to be church-planters or missionaries.
10. Jonathan is the most wonderful man I've ever known, a dream-come-true of a husband and an ideal daddy. As much as he loves me, God has his heart completely and he is quick to follow His leading. I rejoice to know that this is what "happily ever after" is all about!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

How to Turn Your Toddler's Art Into Fine Stationery

My two-year-old is an artist. She follows in her mama's footsteps, and in her daddy's, too (though few people know of Jonathan's artistic talent). Rather than only giving her typical coloring books, we gave her a spiral bound notebook to go crazy with her brightly colored crayons. As I flipped through the pages exclaiming over her beautiful artwork, I had the urge to share the cheerful scribbles with others who love her.

Tearing out a page and popping it in an envelope would have been easy enough, but I wanted it to feel more special and intentional. That's when the idea struck! I would turn her crayon masterpieces into fine stationery!

I selected some of her more colorful pages, and cropped the art to about 4" x 5 1/4", just the right size to mount on the front of a 4 1/4" x 5 1/2" card. 

The cards were easy to make by cutting a 8 1/2" x 11" piece of card stock in half, and then folding each piece in half. 

My adhesive of choice a was a simple glue stick, and then I chose a crayon in a complimentary color to draw a border around the edge. 

On the back, I noted in pen that the artwork was by my daughter, age two, know, for posterity. ;)

I'm eager to get these little beauties in the mail on their way to grandparents and friends. While it may not be fine stationery, it is certainly FUN stationery!

What art projects have you been working on lately?

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Delicious Homemade Mayonnaise

I was desperate. I needed mayonnaise for a recipe within the hour, and unthinkably, we had run out! I called my neighbor to ask if she could spare some. She said she didn't have any, but suggested looking up a recipe to make it myself.
I have never bought mayonnaise since. Though I grew up as a die-hard Best Foods fan, I'm completely happy with my homemade mayonnaise - even more so since our family has begun getting away from processed foods. And my husband would brag about this stuff all day to whoever will listen. *smile*
I've altered the original recipe enough that I realized it could actually now be considered my own. So without the worry of plagiarism, I'd like to share this recipe with you!

Mayonnaise Recipe

2 Egg Yolks
1 Egg
1 Tablespoon Mustard (Try different kinds to get the taste you like.)
1 Tablespoon Water
2 Teaspoons Lemon Juice
2 Teaspoons Vinegar (Again, try different kinds! We've only used varieties of white vinegar so far.)
1 Teaspoon Honey 
1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt
Pepper to Taste
2 Cups Oil (Light Olive, Avocado, Vegetable; You can use Olive Oil, as well, but the flavor is stronger.)

Fit a food processor with the steel blade, and blend all ingredients except the oil. Most processors' feed tubes have small holes in them, so check to make sure yours does. Then fill the feed tube with the oil so that it drips slowly into the bowl, smoothly combining with the egg mixture. Once it has begun to emulsify, the oil can be poured in slowly. You should end up with a silky mayonnaise that's just begging to be tasted! 

The flavor is unique, and can be altered by which ingredients you choose, so have fun coming up with a taste that suits your family. We love the gourmet quality of this delicious mayonnaise, and now that I'm experienced, it only takes me five or ten minutes to whip it up. This makes about 2 1/2 cups, so if you have a large family, you might consider making a couple batches at a time. 


Have you ever tried your hand at making your own condiments?

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Two Verses

Last night before I went to sleep, I read several Psalms in the Bible. Two verses in particular made me smile, and I'd love to share them.

The first verse would be perfect in a bedroom as framed art. I hope to do that eventually, because reading it puts me at ease.

I will both
lay me down in peace,
for thou, LORD, only
makest me dwell in safety.

Psalm 4:8

The second verse made me think of this blog! I'm sure you'll see why~

But let all those that put their trust in thee
let them ever
shout for joy,
because thou defendest them:
let them also that love thy name
be joyful
in thee.
Psalm 5:11

Hope you have a restful and joyful weekend!

Friday, November 1, 2013

I Blinked

Apparently, I blinked.

My last post was at the end of July. It is now the beginning of November. REALLY?!? How did August, September, and October pass so quickly?

The silver lining is that if anyone did stop by my blog, the post that has been up for the last three months is the one in which I shared the Gospel. If a person only ever saw one post on Danson For Joy, that's the one I would want them to see.

In case you were wondering, I did not give up on the blog. I told you I wouldn't! *smile* The last three months have been full of delightful distractions, most of which I will probably write about. I realize there will be occasional (okay, frequent) lapses in my writing due to putting first things first. Before I'm a writer, I'm a wife and mama. (Those are each full-time jobs!) However, I also realize that I need to set a goal for myself.

Right now, my goal will be to post once a week. That will give you, my dear readers, something to look forward to (I hope you'll look forward to it!)...and if you don't hear from me, call me out! *laugh* Right now, my very dear readers consist of just two. If any other friends, relatives, or "future friends" are reading, please let me know! Any blogger LOVES to get comments, and I'm no exception (remember my compulsion for checking the mail?). Even more, I'd love for you to join/follow Danson For Joy so that you'll see my new posts. It's encouraging to know that people are along on this journey with me!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Most Important Thing

Before I get too far into writing this blog, before I post about any projects or tutorials or recipes, before I let another day go by, I must share with you the most important thing in my life.

That is my relationship with Jesus Christ. 

I am a Christian, and I don't want to waste any opportunity to tell someone about the gift of eternal life that we are offered in Christ.

Though I could talk about it for hours, it is really quite simple. It's all in God's Word, the Bible.

God is real, and He created the world and everything in it. (Check out the first chapter in the Bible, Genesis 1.) He created us...perfect. He gave us a free will, and the first man and woman, Adam and Eve, chose to sin against Him. Because of that, we are all born with a sin nature. ("For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;" Romans 3:23)
The holy and just penalty for sin is death. We die physically, and we die spiritually, too, to spend eternity in hell. ("For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Romans 6:23)
GOD LOVES US! Because He is holy, He requires the penalty for sin to be paid. But He provided a way that we don't have to pay it.
God, in His sinless state, was born as a man, Jesus Christ, to die in our place. He was crucified on a cross and shed His blood to pay the penalty for sin for us. He conquered death by rising from the grave three days later. He is now in Heaven, and if we accept His payment for sin, we can spend eternity in Heaven with Him and be spared the eternal torture of hell. ("But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8)
It sounds so blunt, but it's the Truth. I'm glad someone told me...and one day you'll be glad someone told you (unless you choose not to believe, and then you'll wish you could turn back the clock and choose differently!).
If you believe what the Bible says, repent of your sins and ask Jesus to be your Savior! He will forgive your sin and save you from hell, and you can have a home in heaven when you die. No other person or thing can save you, according to God's Word. Only Jesus. We cannot earn salvation. But once we accept the gift of salvation through Jesus, it is everlasting. ("For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." Romans 10:13

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Organic Herbal Salve

Many people are seeking out natural remedies and natural body care products to go along with a healthy lifestyle. I've been experimenting over the last year or more with making various products in my home for my family. One of them is my organic herbal salve...

I'm looking forward to selling my salve online in the near future! Currently, I'm checking out the different options and the best way to go about it, but I'll be sure to give you the information when I'm open for business!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Professional Pen Pal

When I was in my teens, I had something like thirteen pen pals...all at once! Only one or two girls were ever in my social circle, so I sought friendship from afar. Inspired by Proverbs 17:17, "A friend loveth at all times..." I determined to be the most faithful of friends - translated to the most faithful of pen pals. :) Every letter I received garnered a reply. And then I'd wait hopefully for each pen pal to write back.

To this day I am an obsessive mail-checker. I have no more pen pals, but still I'm always excited for the random letter from a loved one.

Of the few blogs I follow, a couple have almost become like pen pals to me, in a sense. I look forward to "checking the mail" every day and receiving their "letter." Even if their blogging subject that day might not be of particular interest to me, it's like catching up with a good friend who I know will be there with something to share.

I want my blog to be like that for you, whoever my wonderful readers are. As I'm just starting out, I don't know how often I will be able to post, or what exactly my posts will be about. But I do know that I'm going to stick with this. Rest assured, you will always receive another "letter" from me. :)

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

First Blog Post

My self-imposed bedtime was two hours ago, but both Jonathan and I are staying up late. It's a hard habit to break, as we've been night owls all of our marriage (almost three years).

We're sipping lemon drop tea as we work on our computers. Well, Jonathan's working. I was reading blogs. :) I only just discovered the joy of blog-reading in the last year...maybe more like the last six months. Before that, I thought blogs were just online journals that people published in hopes of being popular. Ha!

Pinterest became my friend when I was night-nursing my first baby, Jessica, and inevitably, as I pursued the pins, I found the blogs.

I LOVED THEM. Not all of them, but quite a few. They are so inspiring and informative! I am truly grateful to many of these bloggers for sharing their research and experience so I can learn and benefit. 

The idea that I could be a blogger myself came on slowly but steadily. I dismissed it for awhile with the decision that I simply do not have time. I have two babies and I'm constantly busy. Good blogs require a huge time commitment.

But the idea of how AWESOME it would be to have a blog like those I was reading was so appealing. It would be fun, and if it ever became a stay-at-home job, it would be wonderful!
Jonathan was completely supportive of the idea, and willing to help me get started whenever I was ready. After a few months, I finally decided to do it. YES! I will begin a blog.


So, tonight I was reading one of my favorite DIY blogs and laughing out loud over the author's humorous writing. When I read it to Jonathan, he rather randomly pointed out that I myself currently don't write.

"I write thank-you notes!" I exclaimed.

"That doesn't count." 

"I'll write when I blog," I countered, realizing it has been a LONG time since I've written creatively.

"When are you going to start?" he said, obviously annoyed with my procrastination.

"Not until after the yard sale! I'm waaaay too busy right now."

"And those bloggers aren't?"


"This would be a great time to start," he continued. "Write about this-" and he waved his hand to indicate our living room, which is in disarray as I move the contents of rooms around and organize in preparation for our yard sale this Friday. "Write about what you're doing to make this happen."

Okay. Simple enough. I'll start. Right now.

This isn't exactly the way I planned to begin my blog, but it's a start. And I simply need a beginning. 
I'm smiling. This is going to be an exciting journey.