Sunday, November 27, 2011

Week 1 - Worship Fully

Advent starts today! We are so excited to be in this season again as we continue to figure out how to get back to the basics of Christmas. How to celebrate in a way that honors our King, our Immanuel and not stuff. Week 1 with Advent Conspiracy focuses on worship- "Worship fully." But also being conscious of what you are worshipping... are you worshipping the baby Jesus born unto us a Savior? or are you worshipping shopping? checklists? business?

We hope you share your thoughts as we go through this journey of Advent 2011 together! How will you choose to worship fully this week?

Here's a quick vid and devo from [AC] to get your worship juices flowin.

Worship Fully from Living Water International on Vimeo.

Christmas begins with a baby born in a manger. He changed the course of the stars and turned fathers’ hearts to their children. The heavens sang his praise as angels sang glory to God in the highest and on earth his peace. Shepherds praised God and traveled to Bethlehem to see him. Magi journeyed from the East to worship him. His mother treasured these things in her heart. They called him “Immanuel”—“God with us.” He proclaimed his presence to the end of the age.

What we do unto others, we do unto him.

Again this Christmas babies will be born in ramshackle homes. Herod will not try to kill them, but their drinking water will. Again Jesus will turn our hearts to children. We who still hear angels will journey to see Christ in the least of these. Our camels traded for drill rigs, we will bear the gift of life: clean drinking water, offered in Jesus’ name. Mothers will treasure these things in their hearts. This is full worship.

Worship derives from Old-English words meaning “worth-ship.”

What we give worth to is what we worship: possessions, God, shopping, children, money, Jesus. We worship all the time. Advent is a time to consciously direct our worship towards Jesus, Immanuel, God with us. A time to worship fully.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Day Three - Dinner

Our last dinner. A can of cream of mushroom, chicken, left over mixed veggies, and potatoes. If you want you can throw in the rest of the milk and left over pasta. This was so good!

Day Three - Lunch

Having tuna again for lunch today as we run around.  :)

Day Three - Breakfast

Did you know that if you take hard granola bars and pour milk on them and then put them in the microwave for about 45 seconds they turn back into oatmeal!  Delicious!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Real Taco Cabana Girl

We interrupt our meal posts to share with you a great opportunity to help out a friend of ours!

Her name is Kara Beth Starr and she is one of the finalists in the first ever Taco Cabana talent contest! If she wins she will get to hang out with Anjelah Johnson and be in a TC commercial! (Plus free TC for a year!)

You can see her awesome video here!

If you think that Kara should be the winner (why wouldn't you? she is so cool!) then go Vote Here!!! She would be so grateful! :) Thanks, readers!

Day Two - Dessert

Milk and rice makes rice pudding and it makes it pretty well!

We made dessert tonight and it was good!
  • 3 cups of our nut milk
  • 2 cups cooked white rice
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • (we bought some as our dried fruit item in the food pak)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • Ground cinnamon, generous pinch

In a saucepan, combine 3 cups milk, 2 cups cooked white rice, 1/2 cup raisins, 1/3 cup sugar and a generous pinch of ground cinnamon. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the milk is absorbed and the pudding is thickened, about 20 minutes. Serve warm or let cool, press plastic wrap onto the surface and refrigerate until chilled. Makes 3 1/2 cups. Thank Rachael!
One more day of meals!
Tomorrows Menu:


Tuna and Crackers

Chicken Noddle Soup

Day Two - Dinner

Day Two - Lunch

Day Two - Breakfast

Nothing complicated about this.  Fruit and granola bar.

The Menu for today is

Fruit and Granola Bar

Tuna and Crackers

Chicken, Beans, and Shells

Rice Pudding 

If you are just joining us we decided for three days we would eat meals that are easily made from item found in a CHF Food Pak©.  Doing this we would remember to be prayerful for the needs of the hungry and maybe raise some funds to feed a few families.  If you would like to donate we are asking for $5 sponsors for each meal that we create.  Just email us that you would like to help and we will respond back with what you can do.  If you just want more information about CHF and the Food Pak© visit their site here.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Dinner Day 1

We made some pasta for dinner!
Saved some for tomorrow, we will change it up a bit by adding some different ingredients.

Lunch Day 1

Rice and Veggies
We only used a little bit of the rice and half of the veggies because we plan on using the rest in the next few days.

Nut Milk

In the list we listed a bag of unsalted nuts.  One thing that we have always wanted to have as part of the food pack is milk, for both drinking and cooking with.  Thanks to mike+brit for finding this video because now we can make milk!!!  We picked up almonds and made some pretty awesome almond milk this morning.

Don't drink to much we are going to try to use this milk for a few things tomorrow and Wednesday. :)

Breakfast Day 1

We only used half of the can of potatoes because we are going to use the other half for Day 3's dinner.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Prep for day 1

So tomorrow we start our food challenge so we took our list and headed for the store!

This is what we picked up!  One full pak!

Here is a look at what we plan on eating.

The Menu

Breakfast:  Beans and diced potatoes

Lunch:  Rice and vegetables

Dinner:  Pasta

So we set the beans to soak tonight and tomorrow morning I will wake up and finish cooking them!
I'll be sure to share photos of everything we make.  I will also share what we are doing with our bag of nuts that we haven't done before, lots of exciting things happening tomorrow.  :)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Food Pak Challenge III - The List

Here is our shopping list!

Everything is pretty basic. We specified a few of the generic items to work with what we have planned but other then that all of these are items that you should find in a typical Food Pak©.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Invite - Food Pak Challenge III

As part of our goal to give to CHF this Christmas we are recruiting another holiday to help us spread a little awareness and yummy-ness, and hopefully raise some funds toward our goal.

Okay here is what we are thinking...

Thanksgiving is coming up in a week and a half and just like everyone else we plan on feasting until our bellies are full! But in between the turkey being carved and the pumpkin pie we still remember that there are some people that aren't able to feast on ordinary days. As a matter of fact, 1 out of 4 children go to bed hungry in San Antonio- that is 25%! So to remember and to help we have come up with a plan. And because we want to help these children through CHF we want to use the Food Pak© again.

We have come up with a menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the three days leading up to Thanksgiving (Monday-Wednesday). Each meal is created from the food in the Food Pak©, and for the two of us we plan on only using the amount of food in one Food Pak©. 3 days, 6 meals, and we are inviting you to come along with us. We will be posting instructions, ingredients, and menus in enough time for you to try one meal, one day, or all three days with us. The point isn't to starve yourself but to see the things that this box can do for a family that is hungry. To raise funds we are asking for sponsors to commit to give $5 for any one meal. At the end of the three days we should have $45 and that's just about enough to feed a family for two months!

So this Thanksgiving let's really celebrate and be thankful knowing that we were able to feed the ones that can't quite feed themselves.

Please RSVP and Come back tomorrow and look for the shopping list!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Gearing up for Christmas - 2011

Christmas is getting closer, and if you don't believe us just take a walk into your local grocery or retail store. And just like everyone else, we too, are getting ready for the season.

For us, getting ready for Christmas looks a lot like....

Working with our church to get local Angel Tree wishes passed out and Haitian orphan shoe boxes distributed. Taylor was there yesterday setting up.

CHF Toy wrap is also on the list and the email was sent on Saturday to sign up for this this year!
Within minutes we (myself, my sister, and her boyfriend) were signed up to ensure our spot. Taylor has class on Saturday mornings this semester (something that she declares she will never do again) and will not be able to make it.

We are also figuring out what we will be doing as a family this year. CHF and Food Banks seems to be at the top of our list.

Don't forget about our Toy Closet! We still have to find what we will be doing with all of the toys we have collected this year.

So many things to do... We also plan on coming out with another TaylorFrankie Christmas List this year to share some ideas of gifts that give back. :)

Last year we made a video as a part of a contest that showed how we did Christmas differently for Advent Conspiracy. Take a look and let us know what you plan on doing this year for Christmas.

Start Something that Matters

Look what we got today!!!  Can't wait to get our book and start reading!
Also, be looking for a giveaway contest soon!

Welcome to TOMS Books for Bloggers Program!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


During November each year, Movember is responsible for the sprouting of moustaches on thousands of men’s faces, in the US and around the world. With their Mo’s, these men raise vital funds and awareness for men’s health, specifically prostate cancer and other cancers that affect men.

The Movember Effect: Awareness & Education, Survivorship, ResearchThe funds raised in the US support prostate cancer and other cancers that affect men. The funds raised are directed to programs run directly by Movember and our men’s health partners, the Prostate Cancer Foundation and LIVESTRONG, the Lance Armstrong Foundation. Together, the three channels work together to ensure that Movember funds are supporting a broad range of innovative, world-class programs in line with our strategic goals in the areas of awareness and education, survivorship and research.
For more information on the programs they are funding please visit the following:Prostate Cancer FoundationLIVESTRONG, The Lance Armstrong FoundationAwareness & EducationGlobal Action Plan

Even TOMS is getting in on the Mo-ness!
Check out the Limited Edition Movember TOMS!

Check out the Movember site for more fun!

Half Birthday

Well... I just got home and saw that Taylor didn't post anything and now she is asleep.


Well, for today we will just wish the love of my life happy HALF Birthday!!!

I love this girl :)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Orphan Sunday

November is Adoption Awareness Month and today is Orphan Sunday! The Christian's calling to help the orphan is clear. This video says it all!

Why Love Orphans? from Christian Alliance for Orphans on Vimeo.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Sunny Saturday

Sorry no photos for this Sunny Saturday... instead we'll just have to tell you how we enjoyed the day!

Taylor has class on Saturday mornings so I went to Devine to spend some time with the family. Mom, Kathy, and I headed down to the Devine Fall Festival Parade with some family and friends watching the floats, cars, trucks, and bikes pass by. It's a small town so everything is about the same each year but it is still fun to go out and see everyone. Plus, people walk next to the floats handing out candy...Yay, free candy!

After the parade we headed to Pleasonton to visit my grandparents and to have lunch. Then my sister and I went to see a movie.

Taylor had some fun girl time with Mom and Teddi after her midterm!

The day ended with a quick game of basketball between me and Brogan and then a fajita dinner! Yum! Then we all sat down to watch Cars 2!

Not a bad day. :)

Now I have to go wake Taylor up from her spot on the couch.

Hope your Saturday was good, too!

Thank You Notes

It's Friday and this is when we like to catch up on a few personal things... check emails, return calls, and write thank you notes. I hope you don't mind....

(James can we get some thank you note writing music, please.)

Thank you Halloween,

For being the one day of the year when it is okay to play with your food.


Thank you Texas,

For cutting back during the recession and letting fall go. Who needs fall? It's not like he did anything anyways.

Thank you Pinterest,

For being Facebook's good looking best friend.

Thank you Five Guys,

For making me feel like I am actually the size of 5 guys...

And last but not least

Thank you Midterms,

For reminding me that the semester is only half over. :(

Thank You Notes is a product of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. We just liked it so much that we decided to do our own version. :)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

We love CHF!

I know, we must have said it a million times, but they are just so great! They are a bunch of really cool people with enourmous hearts of love that pursue God and His love for the poorest children. Children's Hunger Fund fights hunger, malnutrition, abuse, neglect, and disease, but most importanlty they provide hope! Hope found in the promises of a God who is bigger than the poverty they are facing and even better than canned foods and medicines.
It's exciting to share with you this update from Dave Phillips about how CHF is growing and expanding to reach more children in His name in our own cities (and families!) and across the nations. What great news!

(This is the somewhat shortened version that was emailed. Click the link after Dave's name to read the little bit longer but more exciting letter!)

I am very excited to share with you a HUGE development for Children’s Hunger Fund. For several years, we’ve quietly searched for a new building to use as a launching point for greater impact in the lives of suffering children. I am happy to announce that we have found the building! Yesterday, we officially took occupancy of CHF’s Global Distribution Center in Sylmar, California!
If you’ve ever visited our cramped Pacoima facility, you can imagine how much more we could accomplish with more space. This move will double our current warehouse capacity to ship and receive product for needy children. This may be the most exciting growth opportunity we’ve ever pursued, and it is also our greatest step of faith. We are completely dependent on God to move in the hearts of friends like you to fulfill this vision.
As we step out in faith, we NEED you to join us! With worldwide Thanksgiving and Christmas distributions of food and toys ahead, we are facing our greatest financial challenges yet.Will you help?
For the children we serve, Dave Phillips President of
Children's Hunger Fund

So neat to see CHF's dependence on and trust in God. Their faith is inspiring! And the cool part is that we can claim the same when we too pursue "God-given visions".

So excited about the plans we are working on to help CHF in the next couple months! Hopefully we can bring awareness to our community of the beautiful work that CHF does and how they can be a part of God's work loving the poor.

"...The LORD is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does. The LORD upholds all who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down. The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time. You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing."
Psalm 145: 13-16

Kaitlyn's Blood Drive

For those of you who follow us on Facebook you may have seen a little bit about our cousin Kaitlyn.

Kaitlyn and her mom Veronica

Kaitlyn is 11 and recently found out that she has scoliosis. We have been praying for her as she went through the surgery to correct her spine and are happy to announce that after just a week she is home walking around. She is one tough girl! A lot went into getting ready for her surgery, such as a blood drive to provide all the blood that would be needed for the long procedure, another even that will take place is a plate sale to raise money to help pay for it.

While Taylor was not able to be there to give blood, I was. It was scary. For those of you who don't know I have a bit of a fear for needles, and blood... but I have a great love for my family and was going to give it a try.

Here is a video of the day, please forgive the shaking of the video... I was very nervous! Oh and keep an eye out for my mom, she gave with me!

The turn out was so great! At the end of the day they had two trucks with 44 units completed, and we had to turn a few people away because we couldn't fit them all into our time frame. But everyone got a chance to help out. Thank you everyone for your donation, and your prayers. I am sure we will have the same great support when we come around to selling tickets and plates for our great cousin!

We got to visit Kaitlyn in the hospital on Monday just in time to trick or treat floor to floor with some of the kids. It was good to see her and her mom and our uncle Juano! She had tons of balloons and animals and even made a few new friends! This girl has a big heart filled with lots of love!

Praying for you Kaitlyn! And hoping you have a great recovery!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Almost there!

So exciting! Just updated our water project update over there on the sidebar --->
and guess what is happening in the next few months...


Our well should be finished between now and January! Oh my goodness! When you really think about it, it's incredible. God allowed us to be a part of changing a community forever. Families will experience clean water for the first time. Children will be able to go to school instead of walking miles a day in search of dirty water. Babies will live!

After this phase is completed we should be receiving GPS coordinates of the project. Then we'll know just where it is! How cool, right? Can't wait for that confirmation! Check out our sidebar to see what else will be happening in this process over the next three months!