proud to be a homeowner

I woke up this morning and all I wanted to do was shovel. Shovel my deck, shovel my sidewalk, and shovel my driveway.

For the sake of context, I'll tell you that I grew up with four brothers. Four brothers that did most if not all of the shoveling growing up. I was required to shovel maybe once every couple years, and when I was required to shovel, I hated it.

So why the sudden change of heart? I don't know. Call it homeownership, I guess. But it sure was satisfying to be responsible for my own home.

It will probably get old by tomorrow.


chocolate is good for the stomach

Sometimes, you just need 22 ounces of chocolate in your life.


ima winker

in the past few week i've realized something about myself.

i'm a winker.

it's awkward, i know. i don't even know when i started to do it...it just kind-of...happened. i can't explain myself. i have no excuse for my actions. if you judge me, i'll completely understand.

one day, i was making jokes and laughing like a normal person and the next, i was winking. i was working at hyvee and joked about the weather and iowa and i winked. just like that. like i'd been doing it my whole life. when did i become so cliche and charming? when?!

where do i go for support, or rehab or whatever? is it intentional or an uncontrollable eye twitch? is it a learned trait or does it run in my family?

i don't know, guys, i just don't know. so many questions, so many fears.

at least i'm not ugly.


retroactive birthday blog

23 things I love about my husband

23 He's a ginger. [i really want redheaded children] 22 He's exactly my height, which means we are very hug compatible. 21 He's very cuddly. He loves being near me, and snuggling me and keeping me warm in the winter. 20 He's really very silly. He loves being awkward, crazy, and even just a little bit weird. 19 He's incredibly easy-going. He's never in a hurry [which drives me nuts sometimes] and he's always calming me down and giving me perspective. 18 He has a definite cool factor. He is very likable and respectable among the majority of people. 17 He plays the bass guitar like a pro. 16 He can learn pretty much any instrument he desires. 15 He's really smart, and an even harder worker. I have never had any doubts that he'll provide for me and our family. 14 When he sets his mind to something, there is no changing it. 13 He's madly in love me, and sometimes I don't understand why or how I'm so lucky. 12 He is the most attractive man I've ever met, in complete honesty. I've never been so attracted to mere physical features. 11 He has incredible taste in music. 10 He always knows what kind-of music I'll like or what movies I'll like. 9 He challenges me to depend on God. 8 He loves people, particularly people that are hard to love. [he'd love to hang out with the homeless all day] 7 He has a heart for worship. 6 He's famous. 5 He is always seeking to go deeper in his relationship with God and to gain more knowledge and wisdom from God's word. 4 He thinks I'm hilarious and laughs at me all the time. 3 He pursues me and loves me and serves me as Christ pursues, loves and serves the church. 2 He gets excited when we talk about our future children, he'll be an awesome and super fun dad. 1 He has an incredible God story and he loves God more than me.


alsbury family vacation

In the middle of October, we were super blessed with a trip to North Carolina to see and enjoy the Senior Alsburys and the Panickers (aka, Bryan's side of the family). We had SOOOO much fun hanging out in the beautiful Carolina Mountains. These mountains are covered with deciduous (that's a fancy word that means the leaves change colors in the fall, foo') trees and we were there at the peak of the fall season. Needless to say, it was breath-taking, especially for this girl who LOVES trees!

Here are some pictures from our trip:

In O'Hare Airport, I experienced a "first"-seeing a dinosaur skeleton! It was of course, fake, but still, I had never seen a life-size dinosaur skeleton so it was exciting. See my excitement?

The next day, I had another first experience, riding in a train!!!! We didn't actually go anywhere, besides up the mountain and back, but it was awesome! TWO FIRSTS IN ONE TRIP!

The awesome view from the train.
Jobin & Jenni
LisaGrace & Bryan

Bryan loves all animals.

The whole Alsbury Clan!
L to R: LisaGrace, Jenni, Jobin, Bryan, Joyce, Tom

Let not forget about the train museum...yes, TRAIN MUSEUM!!!!
This sign is awesome.
Jenni & Jobin terrorizing the town.

And we also went to a mansion. The Biltmore House:

The rest of our vacation included playing the Farming Game (Jobin won, again), driving around in the mountains which consequently included me puking my guts out several times in front of Bryan's family, went to a Cherokee Indian Reservation Museum (which was awesome), and had some family pictures taken!

It was so much fun, can't wait until next year!


so i work at HyVee...

Some of my favorite things about working at HyVee:

My co-workers are fun, they call me LG or LeGit.

A little girl was leaving my line with her mom the other day and exclaimed at the last minute, "You're pretty!" It definitely made my daylife.

I was on ESPN! During the Penn State Game in Iowa City, ESPN did some "city shots" and I was in one of them because I was working right before the game!

SO MANY people think my name is strangest name in the world! They look at my nametag and look at me and just frown like I shouldn't have such a weird name. I just laugh and say, my mom made it up, it is a weird name. My favorite was when one guy came up to me and asked, "Is your name Lasagna?" I laughed for 5 minutes straight.

Um, that's all for now. But I'm thankful for such a fun job.


pardon the dust...

So I'll be blogging every day until Christmas in order to have 100 blogs in 2010. Just a warning, you'll be hearing a lot from me...if this last week is any indication.

I'm also in the process of redesigning the blog...again. What can I say, change is fun, and blogs are fun to change. I'm not exactly sure how I even want to change it yet, but I'll definitely be playing around with it!

Well, I'm off to (finally) do our Christmas Decorating with my husband! Pictures to come soon!


Old Threshers, Mount Pleasant, IA

Does it really need an explanation? Besides awesome?


we are awesome

I know I'm about a month too late, but I have a boatload of old pictures to share with my blog friends anyway, so I thought I might as well share the most awesome one.

What are some alsberries to do when they don't want to spend any money and don't have any ideas two days before Halloween?

LisaGrace: Bryan, what should we be for Halloween?
Bryan: I don't know a rock an a hard place? (a hint of sarcasm in his voice)
LisaGrace: hmmmm...this could work.

So with two dollars and 34 cents, stolen paper sacks, and spent creativity, we have this:

A rock and a hard place. Hilarious.

Look, here's our friend Layla as Mrs. Fox between a rock and a hard place. tehehe...


what kind-of stockings should i make?

I really want to make Bryan and I stockings this year, but I just don't know what kind I want to make.

I could knit some stockings, but for some reason I'm drawn to cross-stitching. I like the idea of a more modern Christmas look, but at the same time, I really LOVE kitchy stuff and cheesy Christmas decor. And since it's not adorning my house all year round, you might as well go crazy with cheesiness right?

What do you think? Which one is your favorite?

move over, honey nut scooters

ah, we've had a good run. you've been good to me, i promise, but you as well as i know that i can't pass up a chance to save $.40

there's a new generic brand of honey nut goodness around. it's sweeter, crispier and the little oh's get stuck together sometimes making my munching experience a little more interesting. sorry, scooters, did i mention they're forty cents cheaper than you? yeah, well. i guess this is goodbye............

hello honey nut crispy oats from ALDI, the greatest place in the grocery shopping world! tortilla chips for $.99, fresh salsa for $1.99, and pepperoni for $1.99! not to mention the rock bottom price for perhaps my favorite food in the world: off-brand honey nut cheerios. only $1.59 a box. ALDI can't pull off cap'n crunch, but they sure do whip out a mean honey nut crispy oat.

i'm a happy camper.


an important question...

bryan and i watched the LOTR trilogy over break. in case you were wondering, it was epic. but you probably already knew that. watching the movies did, however, cause me to question something.

how did they choose which hobbit to board Oceanic Flight 815?

it's an important thing to consider and for your reading pleasure, i've considered it.

let's first knock out what everyone else is thinking, isn't Frodo Baggins the most likely candidate to board flight 815? we all know the island chooses the people, and Frodo was chosen for the greatest task in all middle earth! if the ring chose Frodo, why not the island? well, folks, let's not forget about another island...the one that all the elves sail off to in the end. yep, Frodo goes with them, and there's no coming back from there. which, i believe, is why the island didn't couldn't choose Mr. Frodo. plus, he's kind-of girly looking.

so, what about Samwise Gamgee then? the best friend, the loyal companion, the big-hearted, home-loving hobbit also known as Rudy. why wouldn't the island choose such an upstanding halfling? well, i propose that dear Sam had perhaps too much heart for the island. i mean, think about it, he would have over shadowed Jack in an instant. i can just see the disaster that was avoided...Jack would be all like, hey, we should do this and Sam would be all like, Mr. Jack, i'm just trying to help and everybody else (with Sayid leading the charge) would be all like Jack, i'm turning in my jersey if Rudy can't play.

ok, i'll admit it, we just watched Rudy a couple weeks ago too. but you have to admit, ever since the Goonies, Sean Astin has been type-casted as awesome, and the island just isn't big enough for Sam's heart.

then there is Peregrin Took, affectionately known as Pippin. the pipe-loving, barrel of ale he was, you have to admit he was loyal. for instance, when he stupidly touched that skeleton in the mines of Moria, thus causing the huge attack that ensued, he loyally fought with the fellowship. and when he stupidly looked into the seeing stone, he luckily didn't think of Frodo and the ring. and when he stupidly gave his allegiance to the crackpot steward of Gondor, Denethor II, he did end up saving Faramir's life. oh what am i saying, Pippin was the biggest fool of a Took there ever was.

we all know that it is Meriadoc (Merry) Brandybuck who gets chosen by the island and if the reasons above don't support Merry for the Island in 2004, consider the following. who was brave enough to ride out to battle with the soldiers of Rohan? Merry. did any of the other hobbits fight in a real battle? hecks no. and who knew how to party like a rockstar? Merry. and who was a perfect shoe-in for a herion-addict character than a hobbit that can smoke a whole barrel of South Farthing Longbottom Leaf in a day? Merry.

case in point.


aspirations and other things

this morning i got out of bed at 5:30am. that hasn't happened for a long while. it didn't even happen when i was working outside of the home. it certainly hasn't happened since my office became my laptop.

why can't every morning be like this? i'm sipping hot chocolate, listing to the Film Score Pandora Station, and writing. I'll probably pick up my knitting needles later this morning before church, but that's hours away.

but seriously, i would love if this morning was a reality in my life. oh discipline, why are you beyond me? someday, i will catch you.

have you ever noticed that we tend to make all these wonderful, perfect plans in our heads about our lives, be it day-to-day schedules, or life-long plans, that never seem to be as important, when caught in the moment you haven't yet brushed your teeth for the day?

i notice that a lot. i had a plan. i wrote it down! it was all there, what happened to the day? why do i still have my pajamas on?

somehow, by God's grace, no doubt, i still manage to accomplish everything. i still work my three jobs. i still make dinner, or at least, eat something. i still spend time with Bryan. i still get all my ministry stuff done. i still sew and knit and write.

but, at least for me, i'm always stuck on the fact that it could all be more efficient; i could do so much more than i'm currently doing, you know?

i suppose that's my lot in life, though, being who i am and being gifted with the personality i have. but i can dream, right? i have aspirations, you know.

i want to write. and i want people to read my words. a lot of people.

i want to make things that people enjoy and want to show off. i maybe even want to make a side-income making things.

i want to counsel people on budgeting. i want to help people my age get a grasp on simple things like paying their rent. i want to help money make sense to my generation.

i want to go to college. (your mom goes to college)

i want to take some classes and learn how to do things. like prepare taxes. and quilt. and write (better).

i want to write children's books, and finance curriculum, and screenplays.

and i really, really want to ride in a hot air balloon.

i'm already feeling overwhelmed by my plans for myself. but i'm not taking a single thing off my list. my dreams may change, and there is nothing wrong with that, it doesn't mean i'm giving up (i say this more to myself, than you). right now, i want to have these goals. i like hard work, challenging myself, and accomplishing impossible things.

and there you have. aspirations and other things. (see how i cleverly worked in the title, there?)



I could tell you about the awesome lighty-uppy rainbow skywalk in Davenport, IA.

I could tell you about being able to see Illinois from our hotel.

I could tell you about the Bucktown Center for the Arts or the amazing bag I purchased there.

I could tell you about the Art & Hobby Shop. By "Art" they meant picture frames and by "Hobby" they meant one hobby, that being model train building.

I could tell you that I stole hot breakfast, when the college kids were only supposed to eat the cold muffins and danishes.

OR I could just get this song stuck in your head until Christmas:

Sabino on the Dance Floor from Veritas Church on Vimeo.

All would suffice as a summary of the retreat.

But I'd rather tell you about CHERITH (Care-ith), a special lady so much like myself that had the courage and conviction to release a huge burden off her shoulders while consequently encouraging the rest of our small group to do the same.

I'd rather tell you about the undeniable UNITY our college ministry now feels because of the brokenness and openness almost every one of us experienced on the retreat.

I'd rather tell you about the huge weight of something (bitterness? un-forgiveness? selfishness? pride? bittgivefishide? yeah that.) that was LIFTED off of my shoulders after years of being unable to give my fears to God and choose to be selfless and Christlike again.

I'd rather tell you about the TWO INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS who gave their lives to Christ last weekend and are so stinking excited about it! Praise God for Sharon and Manson!

I'd rather tell you about the thousand of tears that occurred last weekend. Tears of brokenness, tears of sorrow, tears of forgiveness, tears of joy, TEARS OF FREEDOM.

What a joy it was to go on this retreat, even though I am not a college student. On Sunday morning, I could feel the freedom resonating in the room. The joy was not to be contained. It wil not be contained!

30 blogs to 2011

One of my many goals this year was to write 100 blogs. Right now, after a two month hiatus, I'm still sitting pretty well with 70 blogs.

I think I can do it. Just 30 more blogs. 29 more after this one. Yeah, I got this.

I'm back like Eminem, yo.


and Fall has begun

Our lazy summer days are represented by this calendar from two weeks ago:

Our weeks all-too-quickly went from the above, to the below:

Happy Fall!


My Decision to Line Dry

Here's another little-known fact about the writer of this blog: The power of suggestion is ten trillion times stronger for her. It's what makes her so agreeable!

I'm going to stop talking in the third person now.

You cannot suggest something to me (even indirectly) without expecting that I do exactly what you suggest. Please, don't use this against me. : )

For this reason, I pretty much only read one blog (other than friends and family). And even on that blog, I pretty much only read one author's posts.

And, to my admission, I pretty much do everything she suggests.

So, anyway, this is about my decision to line dry. Which basically means this is about Tsh's suggestion to Line Dry.

In all seriousness, I have loved line drying my clothes. Here are my reasons:

The smell! Oh, the smell!
Seriously, I would rather have a freshly line dried shirt than a bouquet of flowers. Not even kidding you. When I walk outside to pick our clothes off the clothes-line, I breathe deep. I think I love the smell even more because we've been using soap nuts to wash our clothes naturally. Because it's natural, there's no smell, which is a good thing. But there's something about smell that convinces us of cleanliness, you know?

Energy Savings
I actually do care about the environment, but I probably care more about our budget. And we definitely save some dough by not using our dryer. Enough said.

Laundry has a little more life to it.
Knowing that it might rain that evening is good motivation to get our clean clothes off the line. Motivation is something that I need, considering I tend to leave our clothes in the dryer or unfolded until my husband decides to do something about it. With line drying, I have to deal with the laundry today.

I love being outside, and I don't get nearly enough of it. Therefore, if the only reason I go outside on any given day is to get my wonderful smelling laundry, I'm okay with that.

Finally, I have one warning for you. You may end up looking down at this at the end of the day:


new city, new look



Pretty great, huh?




My new favorite book thing...

I'm a declutterer, a purger, a non-packrat, whatever you want to call it. And my husband is the opposite. When we moved, I told him that it may save our marriage if he were able to part with at least five of the following: records, board games, video games, and books.

We sold many of these things at a garage sale, and we both felt pretty good about it. I then proceeded to sell a few more books on half.com. I had a good experience with it, but PBS is better, for all involved.

It's free to receive books
Yep, completely free. The program is a credit system, the start-up "cost" consists only of posting 10 books you want to get off your bookshelf. After you post 10 books, you receive 2 credits and each book can be requested for 1 credit. Then for each book you send out, you get another credit.

It's really easy
I'm really impressed with the way they set up the site. When one of your books is requested, they make it incredibly easy to send out your book. They provide a printable wrapper to mail your book in and inform you of the amount of postage it will take to mail it out. You simply wrap the book, put stamps on accordingly, and mail it out-without a trip to the post office.

The cost is minimal
PBS provides only the cheapest shipping options, and on average, it's between $1 and $3 dollars to mail a book.

It makes Bryan AND LisaGrace happy
Bryan gets books he's always wanted for next to nothing, and I get rid of books I don't want or need. This is a rare thing indeed.

BTW, Danielle, thanks for telling me about it-I referred you when I signed up the other day-hopefully you get a free credit or something!

Click here to sign up. If you want to refer me, my email is alsburyhome @ gmail.com (remove spaces)


Marion the Librarian

I finally got a library card at the Iowa City Public Library. Woot!

Currently, I only want ONE book I want from the Iowa City Public Library:

They don't have it.

So I inquired about inter-library loan. They checked it out (no pun intended) and the only libraries that have the book are AMES and Indianola. Which is unfortunate because I know that the one in Ames is checked out, and I even know WHO has it checked out right now. : )

Already getting impatient with the library, I checked out amazon.com, just to see what the price was on this book. Guess what? It's being sold new for $.49! Well, more like $4.48 because the shipping is $3.99. BUT I had a $5 amazon.com gift card saved up from Swagbucks (you seriously need to sign up if you haven't already), so I went crazy and ordered the book.

It was completely free after the gift card!

I still need to make use of my local library...


and the latest HyVee employee is...

I WILL be a helpful smile in every aisle.


Life in Iowa City

This past month-our first month in Iowa City-has been too perfect. God definitely led us here. I've been working from home part-time, and have been lazy about getting a second job. However, I have applied to be a "Donut Artist," a cashier at ALDI and a baker/cashier at K-Mart. Please pray that I could get a nights and weekends part-time job!

I love being at home during the day. But I'll be a little honest with you, being at home all day with Bryan is a little overwhelming at times. I love my husband a whole lot, but we are not quite used to having so much time together. Let's just say, he's out inspecting apartments this morning, and I'm very thankful to have time to myself.

I'm currently reading this book, called You Are What You Eat and Miranda and I watched Food, Inc. the other day. Between the book and the documentary, I'm seriously challenged to start thinking more about what we eat. While I can't make any drastic changes to our diet if I want to stay on a budget, but I think I'm going to start shopping at my local Farmer's Market, and move forward on my plans to plant a garden next summer.

Have I mentioned how much I LOVE these people?
Clint and Miranda Robinson-we love you! Miranda and I lived together way back when. Today, we hang out pretty much every day, are trailer park neighbors, and are going to lead a group of Salt girls together this fall. Bonus: our husbands are awesome friends too! I call us the perfect storm of friends. We get along too well together.

My awesome cousin Lauren also lives in Iowa City and I've loved reconnecting with her. We're only seven months apart, so we were always together when we were kids. Lauren is the one teaching me how to knit! She and her awesome husband Lee had this freaking-adorable baby back in December, and I have the pleasure of being his personal nanny every time they need me to! Here is Louis Cosmo Willberg in all his cuteness:
Are you kidding me with that smile? Love him!

Our house trailer has been filled with people ever since we moved in and I wouldn't have it any other way! Sara stayed with us the day after we moved in (she was so awesome about the boxes EVERYWHERE!). My brother Mark's future roommate here in Iowa City got a job and needed a place to stay, so Corey has been living with us for the last few weeks. I'm glad we've had the chance to get to know Mark's roommate-Corey is awesome!

My kindred spirit/best friend has already come to visit me-I'm so blessed by her! Audrey and I enjoyed one of my favorite places in Iowa City so far, Artifacts. We also got to see where her brother Collin is living this fall.

My dad also visited last week and I got to go our to lunch with miss Valerie Allen this past tuesday!

I'm blessed with so many awesome people in my life!

So many people are coming to Iowa City for Veritas. It's been so amazing and encouraging to meet the many people eager to see God work all the more in Iowa City. I'm so excited to get The Salt Company and Veritas Church up and running this fall!

Whew, that was a long post, but hopefully you feel a little caught up on our lives! I'm off to call one of my dear friends in Ames, Paige!


Gas Leak!

I've promised some stories, and I'm not about to let July get away before I share them.

One of the many things I love about our new home is that I have a gas-burning stove to cook our food on. I've never had a gas-burning stove and I'm definitely enjoying the difference it makes, albeit small.

The one thing about a gas burning stove is that it's actually directly connected to a gas line (I know, who would have thought?) thus increasing the risk of a gas leak.

About a week after we moved in to our new home something fell behind our oven. Bryan went on a quest to retrieve said item and pulled out our stove slightly. He was able to retrieve the item, but in the process, he saw this little gem:

How could we possibly pass up a darling little porcelain cow that doubles as a salt shaker?

Bryan made the obvious decision to pull the stove out further, so he could in turn fit his entire self behind the oven and retrieve the precious item.


Yep, he ripped our gas hose.

As I could smell the gas from across our trailer in another room, I became worried at the amount of gas that was pouring in our atmosphere. Bryan thought quickly to turn the gas off as I opened the windows.

The next morning, we called Mid-American Energy to come and replace our hose and all was well. But our trailer smelled of those glorious gas fumes for a least a few days.

The joys of owning a trailer!

The best part of all of that, is that we received an adorable little cow salt shaker for the price of about $40 to replace our gas hose.

You may ask, was it worth it?

And I say, is that even a question? Look at that cow! : )