september sabbaths

remember this post?

well, it's the end of september and i have not really gained any understanding of the word, "sabbath."

i think i will move on to "streamlining" next month (read: tomorrow) while keeping the idea of keeping the sabbath holy in the back of my mind.

does anyone have any suggestions for unlocking the secrets to this lost commandment?

(i.e. opinions, books, messages, etc)

i'll take any and all suggestions, thank you!


menu plan monday?

FAIL! it's tuesday, if you didn't notice.

DOUBLE FAIL! bryan and i ate b-bops yesterday.

this week there are only 3 days of september, and even though i have meals planned through tomorrow, i've been less then inspired.

so, yeah. today, i'm probably just going to make something up for dinner.

next week will be better.


dr. wife to the rescue!

earlier this week, after bryan was complaining about frequenting headaches and not sleeping very well, i battled the desire to be impatient and unmerciful to my husband. and by battled i mean completely lost the battle with hardly a fight. i was tired of his complaints, especially because i couldn't fix his problems. especially because we had already spent hundreds of dollars to try to fix the headaches. so why didn't he just buck up already and get over his pain?
several times God spoke into my heart, "...in sickness and in health." oh how humbled i need to be! i am so thankful that headaches and lack of sleep are bryan's only sicknesses and i'm so thankful to be learning these lessons on such little things.

after my change of heart, i decided to put some effort into finding some sort of solution to bryan's pain. i did some research and found lots of answers! i'm finally starting to take after my mom's resourcefulness and desire to discover natural causes and cures.

it makes sense to me that if you can find a natural cause for an ailment, you should be able to find a natural cure. after i researched headaches and the causes for them, i've deducted that it's probably allergy related. in an article i read, allergies that cause headaches also causes two other side-effects: sneezing and um, another side-effect which shall remain nameless. : ) bryan has experience both of those side-effects. in the same article i also found that foods that can cause the allergic reaction of headaches are:
  • milk
  • milk products
  • chocolate
  • chicken
  • liver
  • alcohol
  • strong cheese
i was amazed by the helpfulness of this information! bryan's dad happens to be allergic to milk-just milk, not all dairy. we both think milk is the culprit. bryan, being the great guinea pig that he is, is going to take a break from drinking straight up milk for a while and see if that helps. if not, we'll add all dairy to the list of "do not eat." we'll continue to work our way down the list until something changes-hopefully it does!

in the meantime, we're going to see if some of these natural remedies help:

apparently, 3-4 slices worth of lemon juice will give you immediate relief from a headache

eating a peeled apple with a little salt in the morning on an empty stomach for about a week will cure your headaches (not so sure about this one, seems a little too good to be true. but i know that eating fruit on an empty stomach is really good for you so we'll probably try it!)

i also looked up some natural sleep aids. there were some obvious things like cutting out caffeine and laying off the sweets before bed but one interesting thing i found was how important magnesium is. it's a natural sedative and being magnesium deficient can directly cause insomnia. also, whole wheats can help promote sleep as well. we're thinking we'll try a magnesium supplement with some whole wheat toast or crackers before bed and see if that helps!

i'll keep you posted on the results and you can always be praying for bryan's health!


month four on the oregon trail.

or month four of marriage.

same thing, really: broken axles, dead oxen, starving until we get to next town and free land!*

no really, by God's grace marriage has been good to us in these four short months. the rewards we reap despite small bumps in the road are rich to the soul.

i can taste freedom! see this post regarding our financial goals for 2009. in august, we wrote a check to pay off "my" car, or the focus. at the beginning of this month we paid off our wedding bands and last week we wrote a pretty big check to bryan's parent for "his" car, or the suburu. we only have two more checks to go, meaning we'll be completely debt free by the end of november! can you tell i'm a little excited?
also, we found out some news about iowa state tuition as bryan will be starting full time next semester. it's a little bit of good and bad.
the good news is that formerly, we had only been told of the yearly payment plan option, in which we pay for an entire year with 12 monthly payments starting in april. but since bryan was starting half way through, that obviously didn't make sense for us. however, after purging our debt and paying cash for dmacc classes this semester, we knew we wouldn't have enough to pay in full at the beginning of the semester. but we recently found out that their is an alternative payment plan where we pay in 3 payments over the course of next semester.
the bad news is that one semester at iowa state is $3,600.00 and we can't change bryan's fafsa until next year, meaning we won't qualify for any financial aid until fall of 2010. so that 3,600 bucks is all ours to handle. (for comparison sake, we only paid $1,350.00 for dmacc this semester) *deep breath* though it's a large chunk of money, i'm honestly not too worried. i've reminded myself that within the course of 6 months, we will have paid of $5,500 in debt, which is TWO THOUSAND more then tuition. also, if we're really good with our money, we'll have the first payment of $1,200 by the end of this year. from there it's just trusting God that Bryan will be able to make at least $600 a month to finish out the other $2,400.
anyway, i'm moving on, because i know you don't care that much about our finances.

we're finding that there needs to be a balance in almost everything. recently, it's been mostly balancing our time. i'm still trying to figure out how to get stuff done when bryan's home. i don't like cleaning when someone is "watching" me. and it's always hard to be productive when my husband is taking a break after a long day of work. but we're learning that there is a time to hang out with eachother and a time to...not. meaning, i have to learn to be productive even when bryan's home so that i can completely devote my mind, body, and whole self to him when we have specific time alone with eachother. but we still hang out plenty, especially when i've been extra efficient!
otherwise, it's been sooo easy to love one another lately. praise God for this! i'm soaking up these months and trying to engrave them in my heart for when hard times eventually come.

i've been at a pace of about 1 project/improvement a week. here are some pictures chronicling my journey:
our computer desk station (that chair won't be pink for long!)
our beautiful bedspread

here's our old bedspread...it was scratchy and crazy and i'm sad i ever spent $100 bucks on it. especially considering the replacement was $60

our record collection in my favorite piece of new furniture, our little bench that fits perfectly in our little nook

painted and filled bookshelves

and a new futon cover!

and here's what i'll be up to this weekend while bryan's gone:
  • sanding and painting one of our shelves.
  • making the back set of living room curtains
  • making a few pillow cases
  • starting my painting projects : )
what?!?! no, no, no, get your mind out of the gutter-we're not gonna have a kid. but we got to practice our parenting skills on this little guy:
bryan says, "i don't get why parents are always complaining about how tough it is to raise kids. i joke around with them, you give them pizza, you give them candy, you let them live their lives. they're adults, for goodness sake." (for you office fans out there)

p.s. we can't wait for another one! congratulations todd, paige, and atticus!

*footnote: i've read two francine rivers books this month and they BOTH referenced the oregon trail. also, both groups traveling on the oregon trail in the books detoured to california. weird. needless to say, the oregon has been on my mind.


bacon, pasta, parmesan!

my friend morgan asked me to post this recipe and her wish is my command!
actually, i was totally already planning on posting this recipe as it is one of the few that i can kind-of claim as "my" own. my mom made up this recipe for a contest when i was just a kid! she didn't win, but it has stuck in our family and has also made its home in the alsbury house!

8 strips of bacon
1 cup of green beans
2 cups penne noodles
1/4 cup parmesan
salt to taste

  • cut up bacon into bit-size pieces and place in a large saute pan
  • cook bacon at a medium heat until cooked thoroughly
  • do not drain grease! this acts as your "sauce."
  • meanwhile, boil water and cook pasta as directed
  • toss green beans in with the bacon until cooked all the way through
  • add pasta and parmesan and stir it all together
that's it! it's super easy, pretty frugal and surprisingly yummy!

also, all of the ingredients amounts are just estimates so add more bacon or green beans or just throw in whatever kinds of pasta you have in your cupboard. i usually add a little salt too.

menu plan monday

here's what we're eating this week!

homemade velveeta mac n' cheese & salad

bacon pasta parmesan (yep, you did see this last week-we love this meal!)

homemade lasagna & french bread

homemade pizza (here is the pizza crust recipe i use)

Bryan is leaving me on friday to play at a retreat in KC with the rest of the Anthem Band

leftover lasagna

leftovers, clean out my fridge!

leftovers, clean out my fridge!


frugal friday: therapuetic shopping

FACT: i needed some new slacks. as in: pants-that-are-not-jeans. as i only have one pair of such pants and they may or may not have a hole in the crotch.

FACT: i do love me a good deal.

gap is having a 40% fall sale on select items. i love gap sales:

1 pair of black straight fit pants
regular price: $54.50
on sale for: $24.99

1 pair of stone capris
regular price: $39.50
on sale for: $9.99


total after sale price: $34.98
15% off for using my gap card: -$5.25
8% cash back via e-bates: -$2.38

MY TOTAL: $27.35
SAVINGS: $66.65/71%!

yeah, that's right. i'm awesome.


simple refreshment.

i confuse myself. a lot. i'm constantly in conflict between the way i am, the way i want to be and the way i was raised. so, today, i felt like figuring out why i'm so confusing to...myself. maybe this will help you understand me too.

i'm an ESFJ in myers-briggs lingo.

here are some descriptions that i particularly connected with:

"...They have a strong need to be liked, and to be in control. They are extremely good at reading others, and often change their own manner to be more pleasing to whoever they're with at the moment...

"...They may have a strong moral code, but it is defined by the community that they live in...

"...An ESFJ who has developed in a less than ideal way may be prone to being quite insecure, and focus all of their attention on pleasing others. He or she might also be very controlling, or overly sensitive, imagining bad intentions when there weren't any..."

the above quotes basically answer all my questions about me. no wonder i'm so confusing! these words were written about me! i'm sooooo influenced by those around me. i'm like a permanent junior higher. crap.

"...All ESFJs have a natural tendency to want to control their environment. Their dominant function demands structure and organization, and seeks closure. ESFJs are most comfortable with structured environments...

i guess you can probably tell why i'm so great at my job. it involves high control, organization and structure. hmmmm...sound like any one we know?

"...ESFJs respect and believe in the laws and rules of authority, and believe that others should do so as well...This tendency may cause them to sometimes blindly accept rules without questioning or understanding them..."

oh my word, this one cut deep! just ask bryan about the time we were rollerblading and were about to go on a trail until i saw a sign that said "no wheels." i completely refused to go.

"...ESFJs are people persons - they love people. They are warmly interested in others. They use their Sensing and Judging characteristics to gather specific, detailed information about others, and turn this information into supportive judgments. They want to like people, and have a special skill at bringing out the best in others..."

this very much describes my optimism in people, i have a lot of faith in people. sometimes that is good and sometime i get disappointed.

even though i've known about myers-briggs personality stuff since i was a kid, it's never really affected me that much until now. for some reason, today, it was really beneficial to read the descriptions of who i am. and knowing who i am helps me see what i specifically want to change, or rather, ask God to change.

i think my personality will probably be about the same but i'd like to ask God to change my heart in the following ways:

i want to be less controlling. nobody likes to be controlled (there goes my people-pleasing sensor) but more then that, i know it's not my job to play "god."
please, God, help me to trust you and not myself. change my heart and allow me to be led by you and also by my husband.

i desire to be more confident and not so insecure. it is very true that i can easily take things too personally and focus
all my attention on pleasing others. this part of me has really wounded me and i'm more insecure then i want to be. this also relates to the moral standards quote. please, God, help me to be confident in all that you have revealed to me by your word. help me to love freely and not hold back because of my own insecurities. you are my rock and foundation, whom shall i fear?

sorry for the somewhat me-centered post, but i'm actually really refreshed by all of this. praise God for simple refreshement!

*for the source of the above quotes, go here.


menu plan monday

well, i've finally come to point in which i'm confident enough to post what we eat for dinner every week. seriously, the first months of marriage were full of frozen pizzas and eating out.

but the month of september has been a great cooking month for me so far, so i'm excited to share with anyone who cares...

*drumroll please*


chicken ceasar salad
garlic bread

fried veggies/leftover salad

pizza soup

bacon, pasta, parmesan

broccoli quiche


grilled paninis

so that's what we're having. if you need any more information, let me know!



just kidding, i don't care. just kidding, i love iowa state. just kidding, i don't. just kidding, of course i love the cyclones, i've lived in ames my whole life. just kidding, i'm not cheering for anyone. just kidding, who else would i cheer for? just kidding, go hawks! just kidding, just kidding, just kidding.

have you ever seen this lady?

ahahahahahahaha. so funny.

the above basically explains why i haven't been blogging: our lives are so uninteresting right now that all have to keep you entertained are random clips and movie reviews. (see previous post)

uninteresting is NOT a bad thing though. we've gotten into a very normal, steady stream of life. everything is really great actually. like i said in my last post, bryan and i are definitely having the most fun in our marriage ever. our apartment is slowly coming together as a home. bryan has been very disciplined in his work, school and ministry. he seems to have developed a good schedule in which he's not so overwhelmed with everything. and i have too. i've developed a perfect balance of work, high schoolers, time with bryan, cooking and cleaning and small projects.

confession: the only thing that's missing for me is time with God. why is it so easy for making dinner, organizing something or going to work to take priority over what might be the most important part of my day? well, i think a simple answer is that feeding my family and going to work and keeping things sane around here are priorities of the day. bryan and i do need to eat.

here's the real dilemma though: i love being a wife. i've never been more joyful in the mundane tasks of the everyday. i'm really content. and even more, Christ is doing things in and around me in the midst of my being a wife and especially a high school small group leader!

so, i think that's the real answer. everything i've ever asked to have when i'm 21 years old has been given to me. and i've just never been able to figure out how to be content and in need of God. i'm either crying out in bitter need and seeking His word daily, desperate to see Him move. or I'm content and happy with my life and occasionally seeking His word, without much passion.

however, i KNOW that the Bible, being the book it is, has wisdom for the content heart as well as the weary. and i definitely know that God wants MORE for me and those around me then i could ever imagine, so being content is somewhat silly. and i know that seeking Him daily will also prepare me for the day which i am not so content. all in all, it sounds like i should quit writing and start hanging out with God.

if you are willing:
please pray that i can learn passion in times of contentment.

wow, i just looked at the title of this blog, ha, bet you weren't expecting THAT!


monthly review

i keep seeing today's date and marveling at it in wonder.

really? september 2nd?


august, as i predicted, was an insane month! and a wonderful month. definitely one of my favorites.

here's a review of all things august:

3 months down!
i love marriage! august 23rd was our 3-month anniversary. the past month of marriage just kept getting better and better. and better. we've simply been enjoying eachother so much mostly due to the fact that i, especially have been letting go of the little things.
  • letting go. i have a lot of trouble taking things so personally when it comes to my husband. and worse, the biggest cause of the former is that i ask him to do things, in my head, and he somehow fails to do those things. when he would fail to do the things i had clearly asked him to do, in my head, it would hurt me to the deepest level. how could he treat me like this? well, i'm learning, ok? i'm learning not to assume, but i'm also learning that i just need to be ok and love my husband even if he fails to read my mind.
  • what's in a word? encouraging eachother has been another thing we've become more natural at. by the grace of God, we've not really tore eachother down with words. but we've both, ok, especially i, have been lacking in words that build up. we had a series of conversations about how we both felt so overwhelmed by eachothers expectations. we weren't making an effort to tell eachother how much we really care for eachother and we've found that is important.
  • share the load! oh yeah, bryan is not just my roommate and he's not just my friend. he's not even just my husband. he's my other half. i had a total breakdown somewhere in the middle of august. i got home from work one day, sat on our couch, thought about everything i had to do and just melted. bryan found me curled up in a ball underneath our covers when he got home from work. (i'm not kidding!) it was the first time in my life that i caved under pressure. my personality tends to resonate a "suck it up, get it done-and do it with a smile" type of attitude. i can easily find joy in pressure, but this time, i couldn't do it. i curled up in a ball and cried. literally. and when bryan got home from work, what do you think i did? i told him i "wasn't feeling well." and i didn't tell him what was really wrong until two days later. i'm stupid. after i told him everything i was feeling, i immediately felt better. he didn't offer to help with some of my tasks and he didn't really say anything in particular to encourage me. just the fact that i knew i could share my load with him gave me immediate peace. and to add to that peace, he really is such a servant-hearted husband. i rarely do to the dishes anymore.
so yeah, marriage is great, and we learn new things everyday.
uncle bryan and aunt lg!
possibly the most exciting piece of news:
mya rosalie duvick
august 27th, 2009, 6:52pm
7lb, 7oz, 19"

this is my brother, luke, and his beautiful baby girl:
my family is so blessed by this little one! please pray for luke and diana as they adjust to life with little mya. praise Him!
entertainment reviews
we watched a lot of movies this month, and we have some thoughts for you:

District 9. so stinking good! it was incredibly well made and thought-out as well as thought-provoking. bryan and i had several conversations about the controversies brought up in the film. we don't however, think the movie is making a statement about "illegal aliens" or immigrants. we've heard that's been said, but ignore it. also, coming from me, it's not so scary!

UP. we realize we're a little late for a review but this movie... SO GOOD! we just saw it in the dollar theater. i personally cried 5 times, so be prepared with tissues, women! you too men, because bryan himself shed a few tears. it's is the BEST disney pixar film thus far (in our opinions) and we both agree it has the perfect balance of fantasy, reality, laughter and tears. it receives a high five from the alsburys!

The Time Traveler's Wife. this coming from a girl who gets extremely sucked in and involved in chick flicks, despite the quality or writing: i did not care for this particular movie. it was, in the simplest terms, awkward. i guess i hope the book was better.
in other news:
  • paige and i have HALF of galatians memorized. i feel such a great sense of accomplishment! i was hoping to finish the whole book by the end of 2009 but i'm not sure if that will happen. whenever we finish, it will have been a race worth the run!
  • NERD ALERT. i'm becoming even more of a nerdy wife. you know how much i love coupons and deals, and now i've fallen in love natural/homemade products.
  • i completely chopped my hair off last night. i was getting sick of it being so stinking long and straight and...boring. so we make some drastic changes. drastic. i can't decide whether i look like i'm a forty-year-old woman or a 12-year-old boy. i'll let you decide. unfortunately, i can't post pictures because we seem to have lost our battery charger for our camera. so you'll have to wait!
if you got this far down, i'm amazed. there is still much more to update but i'll save that for a later day.

until next time, thank you and goodnight. um. good afternoon.