Confessions of a Pinterest Snob


I have a confession to make.

I am a Pinterest snob.

It’s true. I can’t deny it any longer, but I also can’t feel sorry for who I am.

The truth is- I refuse to follow men on Pinterest.

I know. Shocking, sexist, etc. It is what it is.

I just can’t bring myself to do it. I realize that Pinterest has expanded and grown and become one of the most important social media websites. Which means, I should evolve and grow along with it. But, in the beginning, it started with women. It was like a world wide secret women’s club where we could get online and share all of our favorite clothes and recipes with abandon.

With no complaining from the opposite sex.

We could pin 150 different ways to do our nails, if we wanted to. And in fact, we got more followers that way. Because it was a safe place where we could be as girly as we wanted to be and everyone else there wanted to be girly, too.

And when in real life, we talked about what we had seen on Pinterest, it was if we were speaking in code that only member of the club could understand.

I am not saying that now that Pinterest has grown that men don’t also pin super awesome things like quotes, photography, and…cars. I am just saying that I can’t get on board yet. I can’t give in to it not being about women.

One day, I am sure I will no longer be a Pinterest snob. I will repent of my ways and realize that having men on board means they can help us with all those wonderful DYI projects that need sawing or drilling or things that would mess up my newly Pinterest-ed manicure. But until then, I am living in the dream that this genius idea of a website really was a facade for a world wide secret women’s club, where boys weren’t allowed and still always asked the question, “What the heck is Pinterest?”

Leipzig- The Amazing Race


On Monday, we spent the day in Leipzig hosting the second annual Leipzig Amazing Race!

As huge Amazing Race fans, we were honored to be hosting such a prestigious event. Last year, we joined the race for the first time as racers. This year we were able to the race from the other side!

The Leipzig Amazing Race was created by the missionaries in Leipzig as a fun and creative way to orient their Let’s Start Talking teams with the city.

Tasks must be completed in various locations throughout the city such as, the train station or the post office. The idea is that the tasks would also help the newbies gain more confidence in their new surroundings. Last year, this goal was explained but the competition got a little fierce between the Leipzig missionaries! So, this year, Chris and I created a few more rules to keep the Leipzigers from completing all the tasks and giving the interns more of a chance to lead the race.

Here is an example of a clue:

Clue #9:

We have been waiting so long for “SPRING”When it comes, you’ll see. We will JUMP for joy and even sing.

Answer: Trampoline in the city

Task: Take turns jumping on the trampoline and take pictures!

 

We started out with a clue, in which they had to figure out a specific location. Once they found that location, then we gave them a task the had to be completed. Tasks included things like printing off train schedules, finding out costs of postage, and even learning a few German words! They visited places that would be important to daily life, such as the bakery or the grocery store, but we also included places that are important to the history of the city, such as Bach’s grave. Both teams were extremely competitive and ended up finishing the race with a time difference of less than a minute! And I am happy to say that the ladies took home the prize this year! It was well deserved and I do think they enjoyed every minute of their ice cream prize!

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Chemnitz \\ Fernweh Travel Series


Okay, so Chemnitz is not a far away place for us, but for many of you it is! How could we not start our travel series with the very important former “Karl-Marx Stadt”?

Chemnitz, Germany is in the state of Saxony and has been around since the 1140s. Chemnitz sits at the bottom of the Erzgebirge (the Ore Mountains), which means in winter, we usually get a good amount of snow, and summers are beautiful!

During the German Democratic Republic, Chemnitz was known as Karl-Marx Stadt. One of the most interesting sights to see in Chemnitz is the large Karl Marx bust in the city center. Before seeing it, I imagined it to be about the size of a person and likely in a museum. It proudly stands outside and is as tall as a building, a constant reminder of the cities recent history.

Side Note: Those born during the German Democratic Republic must write on forms City of Birth: Chemnitz, formerly Karl-Marx Stadt because their birth certificates say Karl-Marx Stadt.

Our Chemnitz Recommendations

Restaurant: Diebel’s

For some great German food, Chris and I love Diebel’s. Its best to go in summertime because you can sit outside right on the river! We recommended the Schnitzel or (if its the season) the Asparagus soup.

Sight to See:  Karl Marx Kopf (The Karl Marx Bust)

As I said above, the Karl Marx bust is one of the most interesting and defining sites in Chemnitz. It is a constant reminder of the history, and a very visible sign of the effect that Socialism had on Germany.

 

Time of Year to Visit: Summertime.

I might say this for all German cities. There is nothing like Chemnitz in the summer. First, you are greeted with the beautiful yellow fields. Then comes the Asparagus season, followed quickly by Strawberry season. Seeing the city during this is gorgeous, but if that isn’t enough, just drive a few minutes into the Ore Mountains and see how easy it is to fall in love with Germany!

 

Best Museum: Industriemuseum (Museum of Industry)

For much of its history, Chemnitz was the industrial center of Sachsen. There is saying about the three largest cities in Saxony, ” In Dresden they planned it. In Leipzig, the funded it. In Chemnitz, they built it.” This museum gives a great history of industry in Chemnitz and Saxony.

Off the Beaten Path: Marschner’s

One thing we haven’t figured out in America yet is Eiscafes (Ice Cream Cafes), but I am certain we will! By far the best ice cream in Chemnitz, and likely in Saxony. East Germany has the best ice cream in Germany and this is one of the best cafes with one of the largest selections. All ex-Pats agree, you can’t miss Marschner’s on your Chemnitz visit!

 

Connecting this week with: Mercy Ink, Cornerstone Confessions, Time Warp Wife.

 

Fernweh Travel Series


In German, if you want to say that something is hurting, such as, “My stomach hurts”, you would say, “Mein Bauch tut weh.”

wehtun= an ache

Fern= far away

Fernweh is the German word for wanderlust and literally means an ache for far away places. Let me just say, I have always had a bad case of Fernweh. This series will be about all the places we have been blessed to live or travel to in our life- some well-known and some a little more obscure, but each unique and always worth the trip!

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Also, a great excuse to share my photography!!

Here are some places to look forward to:

Chemnitz
Bremen
Prague
Berlin
Vienna
Colorado
Dallas
Los Angeles
Norman

Where is your favorite place you have traveled?

6 Things You Don’t Know about Chris and Krista


  1. Chris and Krista met the very first time when they were seventeen. Krista was hosting a birthday party at her house for a friend of hers. Chris arrived with his girlfriend, but only stayed a short time. They exchanged one sentence that day. (Side note: That friend is now their sister-in-law!)

  2. Chris and Krista were best friends before they started dating. They would talk for a few hours almost every Friday night during Chris’ freshman year of college and Krista’s sophomore year. Krista wrote in her journal, after six months of these chats that she saw so many great qualities in Chris that she would really like to have in her future husband!

    First ever picture together!

  3.  Chris and Krista started dating in college (Krista’s junior year, Chris’ sophomore year). Krista lived in California and Chris in Oklahoma. They dated long distance for 2 years!

  4. Krista told Chris after one month of dating that she would be moving to Germany to do the HIM Program after she completed her college degree. If he wasn’t okay with that, then they needed to end the relationship. Chris, a half-German himself, said that he had always wanted to live in Germany, but never thought he could ask anyone to go with him. At that point, they knew God was moving their lives in the same direction.

    Chris and Krista’s first time in Germany together in 2008

  5. Chris told Krista after 4 months of dating that his dream was to be a firefighter and she needed to really considered what it would mean to marry a firefighter. After much research and consideration, she decided he was worth it. After working the night shift their first year of marriage, Chris’ dreams started to change.

    Engagement Photo on an old firetruck

  6. At one point in their relationship, Chris and Krista had a dream of learning a craft and setting up a booth on Venice Beach, as their livelihood. That dream may or may not still be alive.

Waiting on God Free Printable


Last week, I posted about our current journey waiting on God.

Turns out, that there many of you that have experience with this or currently experiencing it! In this post, I featured Isaiah 40:31, which is one of my favorite verses. Because of the popularity of the verse, I decided to make a free printable for you with that verse! Feel free to print it out and put it anywhere that it can give you some encouragement!

WaitontheLordPrintable

 

What’s your favorite verse of encouragement when you are waiting on the Lord?

Connecting this week with: Time-Warp Wife, Cornerstone Confessions, Mercy Ink, Wise Woman, Deep Roots, Serving Joyfully, Graced Simplicity.

Waiting on God


Patience.

What a lovely, ugly word. It’s a virtue. It’s a fruit of the Spirit. It’s important. And often, it is the bane of my existence.

In a world of instant coffee, news, and information, we don’t often have to wait on anything. Living in Germany, Chris and I learned the meaning of patience waiting for the next tram or bus. Ten minutes of standing there.

Just waiting.

We thought we were going to die.

Then, we got more and more used to it. We enjoyed those moments of pause in the day, when we could stop and smell the roses. (Literally. There are flowers by our tram stop.)

Little test of patience in life are sometimes troublesome, but often quickly overcome. Then, there are the big, huge, in your face tests of patience.

As many of you know, Chris and I are making quite a big, life-changing decision right now. We have sought all the advice of every person willing to give it. (There were many.) We considered all the evidence. And, then, we got on our knees and banged on the door of Heaven. We prayed our hearts out. We prayed and prayed and begged and prayed. And do you know what we heard:

Wait on Me.

Over and over again. Wait on Me.

I would start prayer like- But, God, we need an answer. But, God, this. But, God, what about that?

Every time the answer was the same- Wait on Me.

Patience. God was asking me to have patience and wait on His timing. The audacity. Doesn’t He know how valuable my time is? Doesn’t He know that I have to make plans? And even more so, there are more people involved in this decision than just me! Doesn’t  He know those people need an answer?

But in my heart, I knew. It wasn’t their decision. It wasn’t my decision. It was His decision. He knew the next step to take, when we were supposed to take it, and where it would lead us. And more importantly, He knew when He should tell us.

So, we waited. We told the voices of the world to be quiet. We told everyone that this decision was not about us, but something bigger than us. And we waited. And waited. The voices were not silent. They tried to be encouraging, then became critical, then became frustrated, then became critical again.

Then, for just a moment, we let doubt creep in. It was only for a little, tiny second.

It was enough.

“….and do not give the devil a foothold.”  Ephesians 4:27

The devil had a foothold and doubt turned into stress. Stress turned into depression. And depression infected us.

But, we kept praying. Soon, the depression lifted and can you guess what happened?

God was faithful.

We don’t have all the answers and we still don’t know for sure everything the future holds. But, He is opening doors in places that we could have never opened them ourselves. He is revealing things to us that we know are direction from Him. He is confirming our diligence in making a wise decision and waiting on His counsel. He’s coming through.

And we are looking back thinking- how could we have ever doubted?

He is so worth the wait.

But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.
Isaiah 40:31

 

This post was shared on these sites: Christian Mommy Blogger, A Wise Woman, Bible Love Notes,  Live Called, the Family Blog,and Missional Women.

 

Vegan Lemon Scone Cookies Recipe

 

I know that many of you were big fans of Krista’s Kitchen! I haven’t shut the site down, but instead have decided to combine it with this blog, just to keep everything in one place.

Since moving to Germany, Chris and I have really learned a thing or two about cooking. We had to get used to what we would see in grocery stores here. We can get a lot of things but sometimes it so expensive or its a trip all the way across town for one bag of something or one can of something else. Because of this, we have really been exploring new recipes, making things from scratch and nutrition. Somehow, this little recipe has become a huge hit!

Before these cookies, we never really had our thing. People would say…oh Ed and Courtney used to bring this or Clint and April used to bring this and don’t you remember when Roy and Tiffany. (Those were some of the HIM workers in Chemnitz before us.) We always brought the vegetable tray. We didn’t have a thing and we didn’t really want a thing. But, we had been trying our had at a vegan lifestyle and Chris found this recipe on The Sweet Life. We wanted to show some skeptics that vegan food can also be delicious. (It doesn’t just mean tofu!) And what do you know?

This recipe became our thing!

Everyone asks for the recipe all the time. So, go ahead! Try it. But, I have to say that no one makes them quite as good as Chris. I don’t know what his secret is!

We didn’t do much adjusting because they were perfect, just they way they were. And if you don’t tell, no one would even know they are vegan! I changed the name to Lemon Scone Cookies, because mine turned out a little fluffier and reminded me of scones! Enjoy!

The original recipe is from The Sweet Life.

Lemon Scone Cookies

1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
zest of 1 large lemon (about 1 heaping tbsp)
1/2 cup plant butter
1/4 cup apple sauce
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract

Topping:
1/2 cup powdered sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

2. Mix together flour, baking powder, and salt.

3. Using a mixer, beat together sugar, lemon zest, and plant butter on medium speed until light and fluffy.

4. Add apple sauce, lemon juice, and vanilla extract. Mix until fully combined.

5. Mix wet ingredients with the dry ingredients. (You can use a mixer on this part, but I chose not to, in order to avoid overmixing.)

6. Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes until edges are firm. The cookies will be light in color and I cooked them until they were a little brown.

7. Remove from oven and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Transfer to a wire cooling rack to allow cookies to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

 

This recicpe will also be translated and featured in our upcoming cookbook fundraiser. We are creating a cookbook to raise money for our new church building in Chemnitz! Stay tuned for more information!

Yellow Fields and a free download

I have a very particular view of what Heaven will be like. Chris says my view of Heaven can’t really exist, because it includes the ocean, and the snowy mountains, and the yellow fields. So, maybe my view of Heaven is really what I already have- just without disease and tears and pain. Nothing but the warm sunshine, hot chocolate, and the view of dolphins playing in the distance.

If you read my Germany Bucket List , you now know that Item #1 is officially complete! Here are the pictures:

 

 

But, I didn’t set out to just take a picture of the yellow fields. My goal was to take the perfect picture of the yellow fields. And I succeeded! This in my opinion is the perfect picture of the yellow fields and my idea of Heaven:

 

 

By request, I also created a downloadable desktop background of one of my favorite pictures of the yellow fields. Enjoy!

YellowFieldsBackground

 

Yellow Fields Desktop Background

 

German Culture: The Mice Will Dance on the Table (Phrases)

One of the best things about learning a new language is learning phrases. Learning a culture’s phrases or saying really gives you an insider’s perspective to the people and the culture. Since Chris is out of town, I thought it would be appropriate to share my favorite German phrase that I just recently learned.

In English, we say:

When the cat’s away, the mice will play.

In German, they say:

Wenn die Katze aus dem Haus ist, tanzen die Mäuse auf dem Tisch.

When the cat’s out of the house, the mice will dance on the table.

 

I love this phrase for so many reasons, not the least of which being that I am definitely guilty of dancing around my house to loud music, when Chris is gone. (Okay, its not so loud because we are in Germany and I do when Chris is home, as well.)

As I said before, phrases and sayings, give you a peek into the culture. Ironically, in my opinion, this is not very descriptive of German culture. Germans love holidays and celebrating, but I don’t imagine peeking into the window of a German and seeing them dancing around their house to loud music, while their spouse (or roommate or kids) are away.

But, this phrase makes me think that I may be wrong about Germans. Germans do follow proper decorum in order to maintain their public face, but clearly what goes on behind closed doors is a little less proper and just another reminder, that once you break past the outer German shell, there are some crazy cool people waiting to be known.

I personally think we should adopt this phrase in America. Its much more representative of our culture than the phrase we currently use.
Who’s with me?

What phrases do we use that you think describe Americans?