Saturday, November 30, 2013

Day 25, 26, 27, 28, 29 & 30: A Month of Thanks

Day 25:  School is always better when you know there is a break coming.  I love the feeling of anticipation and excitement for a long weekend, especially a long weekend that includes a holiday.  I am thankful for last days of school before breaks.

Day 26:  The Farmer coerced me into being his helper on this day.  I woke up, put on thermal pants, an Under Armor shirt, a fleece pullover and a Carhartt jacket, ear warmers and gloves....and I was STILL COLD.  Of course the one morning I actually get to help, its snowing and sleeting.  But, even though I was sick with a cold and it was freezing and windy and wet, I enjoyed being The Farmer's helper for the day.  I am thankful that he chose me to be his helper and that for the rest of my days I will be working by his side.

Day 27:  I am strangely thankful for sick days.  I caught a cold last Friday and it hit me hard on this day.  Although I felt nauseous and I had no energy for any activity, I was lucky to have a day to just sleep and try and get better.

Day 28:  This year we did something a little different for Thanksgiving.  We had our annual Thanksgiving lunch at my parents' home for the first time and I made my first turkey.  I loved making new memories and having new experiences with people who have been in my life for so long.  I'm thankful for Thanksgiving.

Day 29:  One of my best friends, Jordan, and I made our way to Oak Ridge, TN of our half marathon this coming Sunday.  We are staying in an amazing bed and breakfast (I will show you all pictures and videos later) and I'm having such a good time with her and my mom.  I'm thankful for this trip and the chance to make new memories with these two.

Day 30:  I cannot believe this is the last day of "A Month of Thanks".  I have loved every second of this!  It's so nice to step back and be continually aware of what you should be thankful for.  While we are in Oak Ridge, we had an extra day before the race to chill out and enjoy this town.  We made our way to some antique shops and they were seriously the best I've ever been in.  The prices were higher than I'm used to, but honestly, they were acceptable considering the amazing products.  I was lucky enough to find old, fabric feed sacks.  If you've never heard of these, they're what old seeds and feeds and flour would be purchased in and when they would use all of it up, girls and women would make dresses and quilts out of them.  Anyways, I'm thankful for days of exploration.


I'm so sad this month is over...but December will be just as amazing.

Happy Last Day of November,
Meagan

Monday, November 25, 2013

Days 20, 21, 22, 23 & 24: A Month of Thanks

Day 20:  I'm thankful for friends at church and the opportunity to serve the 5th grade girls.  Although they drive me insane, I really do love them and pray for the best for them.  Each week they amaze me more and more with how much they absorb about the Bible, even when they don't want sit still and listen.

Day 21:  I love rain.  I've learned to embrace the rain as a farmer's wife.  We had more than enough rain this year, but most of the time rain is good.  I'm thankful for rainy, cozy days.

Day 22:  I'm thankful for in-laws!  Travis's older brother and wife came to visit for Thanksgiving and it was so nice to spend time with them over pizza and trips to WalMart.  I always look forward to seeing them.

Day 23:  For most of my life, I have always hated dancing.  The hatred toward dancing ceased when I attended prom with The Farmer my junior year of high school. It was very fun to let loose and dance with people you love, and now, I love dancing.  This past Saturday was my favorite event of the year:  The Barn Dance. The Barn dance is fantastic...a whole post dedicated to its existence is in the works.  I'm thankful for barn dances and friends to dance with.

Day 24:  I'm thankful for getting to know new/old people through huge feasts.  We were invited to the Turkey Feast.  The funny part about the people who came to this event is that all but 3 of them were either my teachers or youth leaders while in high school and middle school...and now we're friends.  I'm thankful for having friends who are older and wiser and very fun to talk to, and I'm thankful for meeting new people through these events.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Apple Pie - 'Merica

I'm not really a pie maker...I like cakes and muffins and breads and things, but pies? I have never been a huge fan.  Well folks, things change.  I have recently become a lover of pies (part of this admiration for pies may have stemmed from my recent purchase of a Fiesta-ware pie pan), and because it's Fall and The Farmer's family is celebrating Thanksgiving today, I made an apple pie...for the first time! Also, I'm American, and apparently apple pie is "American", or as many local citizens say, "'Merican". Here's to you, America!


I used my Amish cookbook that I have always taken for granted. They have the simplest recipes for everyday types of meals.  If you're a simple, country cooker you will not regret buying this gem.


What you'll need:

-3 c. sliced apples (about 4 apples)
-1 c. sugar
-1 T flour
-2 T rich milk (or whipping cream)
-2 T butter (melted)
-1/2 tsp cinnamon
-1 box of pie crust (I recommend Pillsbury)

If you are more adventurous and would like to make the pie crust from scratch here is their recipe:
Pie Crust:
-3 c. pastry flour
-1 c. shortening
-1/2 c. ice water
-pinch of salt

Mix together flour, shortening and salt, to crumbs.  Cut in water.  Do not over mix.





Now back to the apple pie:

1. Slice and core apples.

2. Take of skins of apples.

3. The recipe tells you to mix apples, flour, sugar and spice together, put in unbaked pie crust and add milk and butter; I mixed flour, sugar, cinnamon, milk and butter together, then mixed in apples and then added to pie crust and it turned out just fine.

4.  I weaved the top of my crust so cut the other pie crust into strips and begin weaving.

5.  Brush egg whites on to the top of the pie crust.


6. Sprinkle sugar and cinnamon on top as well.

7. Bake at 375 for 40-45 minutes.  I used a stoneware pie pan and because it hold heat better than metal, I set the temperature for 350 and baked for the same amount of time.

8.  Let cool and serve how you like it!



This really is a good recipe and it was so simple.  Enjoy!

Happy "Almost" Thanksgiving,
Meagan

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Sunday Dinner: Ep. 1

Sunday dinners came into my life when The Farmer and I started dating.  Almost every sunday his family sits down to a home cooked meal and spends the afternoon together.  I love sundays!  This past Sunday, The Farmer was in charge of cooking...so I recorded this historic moment.




If you haven't heard....I have a giveaway going on right NOW! Click here to enter.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Days 16, 17, 18 & 19: A Month of Thanks

Day 16:  For as long as I can remember, Saturdays have always been spent with my mom.  We would always curl up on the couch, make breakfast and settle in for some Hallmark movies or we would get up, get dressed and go to the mall and spend the day shopping and laughing; both of these types of Saturdays brought amazing memories with them. While I was engaged, Saturdays with my mom were one of the things I was scared of losing.  Things change drastically when you get married, and I was mentally preparing myself for these changes.  I am so fortunate that Saturdays with my mom have not stopped happening.  I can count on spending every Saturday with her, even if it's only for a couple of hours, I still get the pleasure of bonding with her. Honestly, since being married, our relationship is better than its ever been. I'm thankful for Saturdays of all kinds spent with my mom.

Day 17:  I'm thankful for The Farmer's desire to spend time with his friends.  When you're dating, you tend to get frustrated with each other about the amount of time you spend with friends outside of the relationship, but for some reason marriage brings the exact opposite out of you.  Since being married I've been so much more relaxed and "cool" with the things that The Farmer and his friends do.  I'm glad that he has amazing men in his life that enjoy the same things he does.  These hours spent playing and watching basketball, goofing off and making weird jokes gives him a chance to be more of who he is.  Plus, who doesn't like to watch a bunch of white guys "play" basketball?

Day 18:  I'm thankful for Hulu.  The Farmer and I decided not to go the cable or satellite route.  It's way too expensive for what we need right now, and all of the shows we like to watch are right there on Hulu or Netflix!  We bought an Internet TV (A TV with wifi capabilities) before we got married and it can easily be classified as the best decision we ever made. It allows you to connect to Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Facebook and so much more right on your flat screen TV with no Wii or Xbox.  If you're in the market for a new TV... go the Internet TV route!

Day 19:  The Farmer and I were asked by our old youth pastor to help babysit for the bible study he was a part of.  It's a group of married couples with young children and they needed someone to keep them occupied while they had bible study.  We immediately said yes.  I LOVE kids; I could spends days with kids and not get tired of it...okay, maybe just a little tired of it, but not enough to stop.  I hope to be a mom someday and I thought this would be a cool way to see how The Farmer and I worked together to watch, and at times, discipline kids.  I'm very thankful that this group of adults has given us a chance to get to know their kids, they rock!

There's a giveaway happening! go here to enter!

Monday, November 18, 2013

YouTube Debut + Giveaway

I just got a new DSLR camera and I am irrevocably in love.  It is a Canon Rebel T5i.  What won me over?  The AMAZING video recording.  I have never had a video camera that took such good videos until now.  I finished editing my very first video and after hours of trying to upload it directly to my blog, I decided to just start a YouTube channel and direct you all there.  Here's what I dabbled in at a bonfire The Farmer and I went to:





Now that you've watched my fist video, it's giveaway time!

The prize:
You are entering to win a medium sized Apple Pie scented candle.  Since the air outside is getting cooler and Thanksgiving is just mere days away, I thought the combination of apple pie and candle would be a great way to show you guys how much I appreciate you!

How to enter:

1.  Click the "Join This Site" button my blog and become a follower!
2.  Subscribe to my new YouTube channel:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYJXq9qmC-Wp40D3gysvofA/videos?view_as=public

This giveaway ends in 1 week!

That's it! Enter away.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Days 14 & 15: A Month of Thanks

Day 14:  I love late nights filled with tv shows and movies...and studying. Although your brain is dead, it is nice to have these nights to just forget all the stupid stuff and life and focus on how Carnegie used the ethos appeal in his articles.  Am I right?  I'm thankful for late nights of studying, even though they are not ideal, for a thursday night, they're as good as it gets.

Day 15:  One of my favorite memories I have from dating The Farmer was the nights we would spend at his parents' home.  These nights including my cooking, card games and babysitting.  Tonight The Farmer and I, and one of my brother-in-laws and his girlfriend all got to hang out and babysit for The Farmer's parents.  I'm thankful for old memories that also make great new memories.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Days 11, 12 & 13: A Month of Thanks

Day 11:  Let's be honest, even though we're paying to go to college, we still love when a professor cancels class.  As ironic as this phenomenon may be, I am thankful that my ENG 105 professor canceled his class for a WHOLE WEEK.  Yes, you read that correctly, and yes, I am completely overjoyed!

Day 12:  This is the day I went way out of my comfort zone and posted a very controversial post about homosexuality and abortion.  I am thankful for a lot on this day:  I'm thankful for the strength that God gave me to press "Publish" and the words He gave me to write, I'm thankful for supportive friends who stood by me whether they agreed with me or not, and I'm really thankful for the negative comments that I received in public and private; these comments ironically gave me a stronger drive to write more about those issues and to even answer questions that you guys have about Christianity.  If you do have any pressing questions please do not hesitate to comment below, or email me at:  meagankaypalmer@gmail.com.

Day 13:  I started quilting my quilt #2 today and I couldn't be happier.  Quilting is such a peaceful hobby to practice in the Winter.  It's cold, there's nothing to do and even if there was, you would be too cold to do it, and it's an easy way to be curled up and cozy, while be productive.  I'm thankful for the strange desire I have to quilt and to do other "grandma" things. I'm also thankful for one of my best friends, Jordan, who does all of these things with me.  It wouldn't be the same without you!

Monday, November 11, 2013

I'm a Christian - I Cannot Stay Silent Anymore

I became a Christian 7 years ago.  After this conversion of faith, I have grown in many ways, including my continual understanding of the Bible.  I do not usually post things like this.  I hate confrontation; despise it, actually.  Since starting college this past August, I've conditioned myself to remain silent.  When topics such as abortion, gay marriage and gun control are brought up in discussion, I say nothing because I fear what trivial argument will follow.  I was wrong to stay silent.  Those "trivial" arguments are anything but trivial; they are the topics that are ripping our country apart.  I am tired of hiding my opinion; I'm tired of the fear that has developed because of people who see my views as judgmental or hypocritical. I'm angry; I'm angry at the people who have no concerns for a Christian's obsolete opinion; and I'm angry at myself for being silent.  I am a believer of the God who is bigger than all of you, and I was created to speak His name.

First let's define what a Christian is. I've learned that the idea of a Christian has been tainted and disfigured by our culture, and frankly, by those "Christians" who just go to church. A Christian is someone who believes that Jesus Christ came from Heaven to die on a cross to save them from their sins, and has a continual relationship with Him that far extends the walls of a church.  To a Christian, a sin is anything that goes against God or his commands.  Sinning can be lusting, lying, cheating, sexual immorality and other physical actions, and it can also be a delay or absence of obedience towards a command from God. This command can come from a written verse in the Bible, or a conviction that a person may feel in a certain situation; one could also consider a conviction a "call to action".  A true Christian, one who has a relationship with God, believes every single word of the Bible.  I want to make that clear:  a Christian believes every miracle, number, name, command and event that is told in the Bible.  You cannot be a Christian and disagree with any verse in the Bible.

Having said all of that, I'm going to show you biblical proof for why I disagree with a couple of the huge topics being discussed in our culture today.

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 ESV
"Or do you not know that the unrighteous[b] will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,[c] 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God."

For those of you who hold the belief that the only reference to homosexuality being a sin in the Bible is Sodom and Gomorra, you're wrong.  The apostle Paul wrote the majority of the New Testament and in 1 Corinthians and 1 Timothy, he lists multiple sins for the audience and one of them includes homosexuality.  Yes, being gay is a sin just like being a thief, an adulterer, or being greedy is a sin.  Now, before you go on the ever popular "the Bible is not a credible source" rant that I just love, you should know that I do not care (in this moment) if you believe the Bible or not.  As I expressed in paragraph 2 of this post, if someone claims to be a Christian, they must believe every single word of the Bible.  I am standing before all of you claiming to be a Christian, I believe every single word that the Bible holds.  The verse above is found in the Bible, and I believe it. So, what does that mean?  I believe that being gay is a sin because I am a Christian, and as a Christian, my duty is to follow the Word of God, and the Word of God tells me that homosexuality is a sin. But the Word of God also tells me that I am just as sinful as anyone who practices homosexuality, that I was like you:  sinful, dirty and full of hate for things of God.  Just as I believe that homosexuality is a sin, I also believe what the second part of the passage above says: "But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God".  I believe that you can be redeemed from any sin, because I'm a Christian, and as a Christian, it is my duty to follow the Word of God, and the Word of God tells me that ALL can be saved. This is when I start to care if you believe the Bible or not.

This next cultural topic is touchy.  Abortion has been on the minds and hearts of many over the years and, just like homosexuality, I've remained silent.  I ardently believe that abortion is wrong.  I think it is wrong to abort a child after having premarital sex, or even marital sex for that matter.  Who are we, mere humans, to decide when a life should end.  My pastor put it this way:  "You cannot make a 2nd wrong choice, after having made a 1st wrong choice". I know what you're thinking, "what about those women who were raped, you judgmental, insensitive hypocrite".  And you thought you were going to get away with that; you thought you had found a loop hole to my argument: nice try. I have never been raped, I have never known anyone who has been raped, but I know young children who are the product of a rape, and I know adults who are the product of rape, and they are the most amazing Christians I know.  If someone who had been raped came to me and asked me what I think they should do since I disagree with abortion, I would say that redemption and freedom are found in the story held in the Bible.  I would say that God is far bigger than this sick tragedy they have been through and that the child that they are carrying deserves to know the truth of Jesus just as much as they do. Psalm 106:10 says, "So he saved them from the hand of the foe and redeemed them from the power of the enemy". God can be your strength, even in a time when the worst has been done to you. That may not be enough for you.  If that response does not satisfy you, as I'm sure most of this post will not, then I unfortunately cannot do anything about that.

The fact of the matter is that this world is expecting Christians to bow down to the way things are.  This culture is waiting for us to just give it up and see that times are changing and that our crazy old manuscript of tales is not applicable anymore.  Do you really expect me to walk away from God and ignore verses here and there just so we can all "be happy"? Why is it that Christians are the ones who must leave all they believe behind? I do not regret to inform you that true Christianity is not dead.  Somewhere in the hills of Kentucky and the plains of Missouri lies a church practicing the truths of the Bible.  There are Christians in Seattle, New York, Atlanta and every other major city in America that week-by-week are learning to trust God more, and more.  Christians are still here; we are not extinct;  we have a voice! I cannot sit back and let the world disregard my God.

You're disgusted? You're appalled that a group of people can ignore the facts of science and government and count all that as vain just to believe in a God that doesn't even exist?  I'm not sorry that I offended you.  I can't be sorry for telling you the truth.  I tell you the truth out of love. I want you to believe in the God I believe in; I want you to know Him and experience His love each and everyday of your life.  Because I love you, and because I want the absolute best for you, I cannot support sins that will only make you temporarily happy when I know that there is eternal happiness waiting for you to explore.  The God who created the whole Universe sent His son to die a barbaric death for your sins, and the love he displayed through sacrifice, is the love that you can know.

Days 9 & 10: A Month of Thanks

Day 9:  I am such an introvert.  I have always needed "alone time" and "girls nights in".  Although there are nights with exceptions, I can be found at home reading a book, listening to music, cooking, baking or watching a movie alone or with very close friends.  Because of this attribute, I am thankful for Saturdays like today.  I watched Christmas movies, perused Southern Living magazines and had lovely conversations with my mom.  These days I am recharged and refreshed and ready for the week to come.

Day 10:  I go to an absolutely amazing church.  Each and every decision is made after a time of deep prayer and biblical proof.  Just as every decision is made this way, every sermon is this way as well.  This Sunday I could not stop listening, and by the end, I felt conviction and a desire to change.  I am thankful that God used my pastor to speak to me and I'm thankful for conviction.  Although it can be scary or uncomfortable, it is nice to know that God still speaks to me.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Days 7 & 8: A Month of Thanks

Day 7:  I'm thankful for the ability to run.  I have always taken the ability to walk for miles and run for hours for granted.  This half marathon training experience has really opened my eyes to how lucky I am to even get to run 13.1 miles.  There are days when I despise running, but even on those days, I am thankful that I have that chance.

Day 8:  I've always been a more artistic person and I love weird "art" things like international films, live book readings, poetry, music shows and short stories (in small doses).  Last night The Farmer and I went to a coffee shop open mic with a couple of friends.  I'm thankful for people who feel so deeply and I'm thankful for settings that allow people to express themselves through whatever medium they choose.  I'm also thankful for peppermint tea...it was delicious.

Thankfully yours,
Meagan

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Days 5 & 6: A Month of Thanks

Day 5:  This is my first semester of college, and although I've taken a few college classes already, nothing can prepare an incoming freshman for what a full college semester is like. There's multitudes of papers and speeches; there's new people to learn how to communicate with; there's professors (who don't count as people) to learn how to deal with; and there's "department events" that you have to squeeze into your schedule.  In the midst of all of these things, it's nice to have a quiet, inspiring place to write papers, make power points and practice speeches. Today, I'm thankful for my local coffee shop. I'm thankful for its cheap, warm caramel lattes that keep me company on the days like today, when I have so much to do, and no where else to do them. 

Day 6:  In June, I was approached by the children's minister of my church with a proposition. Because I wasn't old enough to be a middle school youth leader yet, she asked me to teach 5th grade girls on Wednesday nights; I immediately said yes. Guys, I had no idea what I got myself into. 6th graders are one thing, but I never knew how...indescribable...5th grade girls were. There have been weeks when I have gone home ready to curl up in a ball and die.  I've never left feeling empowered by God that I was making the right decision by serving them, and that's been hard. They're the most confused, mean, dramatic and sweet girls I've ever been around (they're a walking contradiction). This week with them was perfect. I've never been more proud and amazed with kids then I was with them. I'm thankful for their random thoughts that lead to God talks, their spunky spirit, and their amazing ability to soak in facts about the book of Ruth, even though I thought they never heard I word I said. 


I love being thankful,
Meagan

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Suggested Reading

I have been an article reading fool lately!  For some reason, my Facebook friends have been having some great taste in webpages the past couple of weeks, and I've enjoyed what they've shared.  Here are some of my favorite articles I've been reading and pondering over the past couple of weeks!

Thought Provoking:
A Response To:  "Marriage Is Not For You"

Fox News' Highly Reluctant Jesus Follower

The Spiritual, Physical and Intellectual Me

My 26 List

Sex Trafficking Map


Photography
Ashley Revell 


Interesting
The Maternal Moment

Oreos May Be As Addictive As Cocaine 

Men Walk Slower When They're In Love

Bring A Healthy Friend

President Taft's Diet


Enjoy,
Meagan

Monday, November 4, 2013

Days 3 & 4: A Month of Thanks

Day 3:
I had the great pleasure of going to Garden of the gods (located in Southern Illinois) with my sunday school class.  I loved having the chance to get to know these new people in my life, and there's no better way to do that then by hiking and climbing on giant rocks! I am thankful for these new friendships God has given me and I'm thankful for strengthening the old ones that I've had for years, and I just can't help but be thankful for God's beauty during this season.


Also, I'm thankful for "No Shave November".  Doesn't The Farmer look good in a beard?








Day 4:
I am thankful for quiet mornings full of cereal, the Today Show and my husband.

Stay thankful,
Meagan

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Thankful


November is one of my favorite months. It's a time to really contemplate what we're thankful for. This month I want to post what I'm thankful for each day!

Day 1 & 2:
I've spent loads of time fellowshiping with amazing people in my life. Friday night I had the amazing opportunity to see Josh Turner (aka, my absolute favorite singer of all time) play at the Grand Ole Opry with my husband, one of my brothers-in-law and my best friend.  If you ever have the chance to go to the Grand Ole Opry, GO! The atmosphere is amazing and the singing is even better. Have you ever gone to a concert where the "artist" sounds horrific? I have, and at the Grand Ole Opry, no one sounds horrible.  They all sound just like they do on the radio, which, for me, says a lot about their talent. But seriously, go to the Grand Ole Opry!

Today, I spent the whole day with my sweet, loving mom. She helped me clean my home and let me crash at her house to watch Hallmark movies together. I love every moment I spend with her and I'm happy to have these memories in my heart forever.

These two days I have been thankful for family and fellowship; a lovely combination. 



Thankfully yours,
Meagan