'member that time?

'member that time when i was in eight grade? and remember how i was kind-of cool in the eighth grade hallway and lunchroom, but the seventh graders that rode my bus still generally hated me?

and remember how i was sitting by myself on the bus and the seventh grade girls behind me were all like, "hey, your hair looks really cute today." and i was like, "thank you, i did these pigtails myself." and they giggled?

and then, remember how i got home after walking home from my bus stop i found an eaten sucker stick stuck in my hair? and how it took me like three hours to figure out that they had probably put the sucker stick in my hair. because really, who would even be that mean?

yeah, that probably never happened.

[it's 'member that time monday at the van voorst's blog!]

ps: just so you know, i totally have a good sense of humor about this kind-of stuff. i actually do think this is funny! so, consider this my permission to laugh at my own misfortunes! : )


newborn hat

contrary to popular belief, we are not trying to get pregnant in order to fill these shoes. i swear, everyone wants a little dimpled redheaded alsbury baby these days. okay, so maybe i want one too...but, no! we're content right now. : )

Blog 011

anyway...i made the booties and this teeny tiny hat for veritas' first and favorite newborn, hudson michael! doesn't the duck make a cute hat model?

mike and alicia are in our connection group and i thought it would be just adorable if their sweet baby boy had a some hand-knit winter gear! although, when i dropped off dinner and the gift last night, i looked at hudson's head and i think he's already a little too big for the hat. whoops! alicia, you'll have to let me know how/if it fit! : )

pictured below is the matching set:

Blog 005


goodbye late nights.


hello [super] early mornings!

remember this post? well, on january 15th i had my second interview with the owner of capanna coffee company. guess what? i have a new job!

no, no, no, contrary to popular belief, i would not kill myself by working four jobs. do you think i'm crazy? my two weeks notice is officially in at hyvee as of monday. i'm kind-of sad about it, but mostly not.

i think capanna is going to be a great fit for me because...
  • i'll be working early morning shifts! this does mean getting up at 4-4:30am, but it also means i'll get to have dinner with my husband and have really consistent work-from-home hours
  • i'll be getting a pay upgrade!
  • i'll be working with people! i already get to work with people at hyvee, i know. but the coffee shop enviroment is a different kind of people work. especially in the morning, i'll get to know all the "regulars" and get the chance to build "deeper" relationships
  • i'll be learning new skillz. i know my way around financial stuff, i know how to fry some darn good french fries, and i know how to check out groceries. i'm pumped to increase my skills by learning the coffee trade.
  • i'll be working the morning shift! i'm just really excited about starting my day so early. plus, i think it will be awesome practice for children someday...just sayin'
thanks to those of who prayed for me, i felt so confident about taking the job that day. i'm excited to start in the coffee business!


one time...

[this is my own rendition of paige's 'member that time posts, i'm always trying to be like my idol]

one time, i was with my friends at a hotel in minneapolis. and i had to pee, but i didn't because i was having too much fun. and then we decided to go get snacks at the vending machine. and my friend jessie made me laugh so hard that i fell on the floor and got in the fetal position and couldn't stop laughing. then i peed right there on the hotel hallway floor.

but hey, i was only like, 16 or something.


baby booties

Blog 002

aren't these just the cutest? i found the basic pattern here. i think the "moccasin" style is stinking aborable, but my mom pointed out that most moms like to have simple clothing that will go with a lot. she's so wise. so i used a neutral "boot" color and a blue.

it was a challenge working with such tiny needles, but now i'm that much more practiced at knitting.

Blog 001


my favorite meal ever.

Poached Egg on Toast

I don't know what has come over me the last two weeks, but i only have eyes for poached eggs.

I finally figured out how to poach eggs and now I can't stop eating them. It took several failed attempts and wasted organic eggs to get it right, so for those of you who have been craving poached eggs like I have [i'm sure that's all of you, right?], here are some helpful tips to poaching your own egg.

Step One: boil water in a small sauce pan.

Step Two: pull out your toaster [if it's in the cupboard like mine is], the butter and a slice of bread. don't start toasting yet, it's all about timing.

Step Three: crack one egg in a bowl or cup

Step Four: once the water is boiling, turn down the heat to medium high and give the water a good stir so there is a mini tornado in your boiling water. dump the egg in the center of the "storm."

Step Five: stick your bread in the toaster and start toasting. it should pop up in 1-2 minutes so you'll have just enough time to butter the toast before the egg is cooked. the egg will take 3-4 minutes to cook.

Step Six: using a slotted spoon, scoop up the cooked egg and drain the water off, place on your piece of toast. pop the egg and salt until taste.

i'm gonna go make myself some poached eggs right now!


a deal worth blogging about

Living Social is offering a $20 Amazon.com Gift card for $10 right now. The website says the deal is available for 22 more hours, but I assume they'll cut it off at some point-they've already sold over 100,000!

Check it out here if your interested!


'member that time?


'member that time when i signed my own yearbook? and remember how all i wrote to myself in eighth grade was:
Hey Hun

and remember how someone else a bunch of other girls also wrote "hey hun" but some of them spelled it "hon" and so i changed my totally original signature from "hey hun" to "hey hon" halfway through the yearbook signing sess?

and remember how at the beginning of that year, i forgot about school picture day and this is what i looked like on school picture day?
but remember how despite my awkward school picture [or maybe because of the picture] i still was popular enough to get voted "funniest girl" in the whole eighth grade?!?

that's right people, out of 367 kids, i was voted funniest. eat it.

this blog is linked to my hilarious friend paige's blog here.


vague request

i know this is extremely vague, but if you read this today and think of me, could you pray for me? i don't know what God has in store, but i am very anxious about it.

i know God is in control, but things feel rather out of control right now.

your prayers are very appreciated!


winter head wrap



i literally made this knitting pattern up. that's how awesome i am. i knew what i wanted it to look like because i saw one just like on miss valerie's head. it took me about 20 do-overs to get it just right. good thing it's small! i think i'll be selling these in my future etsy shop this winter. : )

here's what it looks like on my head:



the women

well, i have absolutely no subjects for a hilarious blog. so in the interim, you get to read a spiritual one.

i was reading matthew one last week as per my bible read-thru plan. as i was reading through the genealogy of Jesus, and i was really struck by the mention of women. i've often heard it mentioned as a curious thing as genealogies are always stated through the male line, and it's rare that women are mentioned at all. but this is not what struck me.

as my eyes scanned each woman's name, i thought of each of their stories. tamar, rahab, ruth, bathsheba, mary...each a totally different woman, with a totally different background. i was especially thoughtful of tamar, ruth and bathsheba.

tamar's story is, to be blunt, messed up. in short, she dresses as a prostitute so her father-in-law will impregnate her. but in more detail, her father-in-law [Judah, son of Jacob] had deprived her of really her only rights as a woman back then: to bear children. so what does she do to keep her rights as a woman? she tricks her father-in-law so that she may bear a child from his family. you can read the full story here.

this woman is in the line of jesus.

ruth's story is amazing, actually. it is very much the opposite of tamar. her husband dies, and she responds rightly in spite of her pain. she comforts her mother-in-law [who is a widower herself] by selflessly giving up her life and following naomi and the one true god. in the midst of this, god rewards her for her selflessness with a husband, boaz and also children by him.

this woman is in the line of jesus.

the story of bathsheba simply makes me furious. i get so mad at king david, a so-called "man of god." [not that he wasn't, but this story is not a good example of his godliness]. king david "takes" her, gets her pregnant, and kills her husband out of guilt. it's just infuriating to me. but god makes the most sinful and unfair things into purposeful ones and bathsheba gives birth to solomon.

this woman is in the line of jesus.

revisiting these three stories caused me to reflect on who our god is and what his character is like. he is perfect, he is just, he is merciful, and he is all-knowing. even when life seems completely unfair because your husbands are evil and you can't have children, or your husband dies and you choose to give up everything, or when a king kills your husband to have you, god has a purpose for your life. and the result of these women's suffering was that they were honored to be in the line of jesus, the savior of the world.

pretty amazing, right?


the best invention ever.

toilet paper strap

for those of you who may have poop on the brain, no, i do not mean the toiler paper itself, but the strap that makes it so easy to carry.

thank you, target.


2011 Tools [Budget]

In 2011, our main financial goal is to pay cash for Bryan's last year [YAY!!!!!!!] of college. This semester is paid for, thanks to a whopping scholarship, bryan's awesome grandparents and some savings.

We were blessed to start out the new year with over $1,000 in our emergency fund [thanks mom and dad alsbury!], a completely fixed car [we had some non-emergency things to fix totalling about $600], and one months of expenses in our checking account. i love starting the year out right.

We have also revamped our budget a little bit this year, which I'm very excited about. We're focusing on our sinking funds, so that all those little things we have to pay for throughout the year don't catch us by surprise and drain our emergency fund.

i thought that some of you would appreciate seeing what our budget looks like, for either the purpose of being nosy or the purpose of knowing how to start your own. [either way is fine with me, but i do hope you have your own budget or will be inspired to start your own!]

between my three jobs and bryan's plasma money, we make about $2,350 before taxes. our taxes are about $350, so this budget is based off of $2,000 in income each month.

let me know if you have any questions!


ipod touch case

Bryan's 60gb classic ipod broke a while back and after some saving up and some christmas money, he decided to purchase a 64gb ipod touch. we found out that classic ipods have moving parts in them and that those parts can wear down-thus the ipod breaking. the ipod touch doesn't have moving parts, so our idea was that this ipod could potentially last a long long time.

i hope i never say "ipod" that many times again. sorry.

the only thing that can be a bit fragile is the screen. so, in light of the fact that bryan will be carrying this new toy around with him everywhere he goes, i thought i'd whip up a case for him to carry it in.

i just used some scrap fabric and batting i had and measured it against the ipod. each piece was about 5"x14"

i got this iron-on set for Christmas and bryan found the awesome chemistry-set-cooking-up-music thing you see above. it's not as vibrant as i hoped, but still has a cool effect!


hefty goal

see that chair?

i think i'm going to re-upholster it.

am i crazy?



2011 Tools [Menu Planner]

I recently "splurged" on myself with a one year subscription to real simple magazine. [ok, so it wasn't really a splurge considering I ordered it on Amazon.com for $10 which I paid for with free giftcards from swagbucks.]


I received the issue for january a while back and it contained the above page in it. When I saw it, I thought, this is my kind-of menu planner. [you can download the pdf here]

no more forgetting that one ingredient.

no more prancing around the different sections of the grocery store because my list is all jumbled.

no more running out of room on my piece of scratch paper that my list is on.

and on top of that, it's cute!


2011 Tools [Bible Read Thru Plan]

Although I didn't complete this last year, I LOVED this Bible Read-thru plan and will be doing it again this year. Thanks, Paige!

Some things I love about it are:
  • Each month only has 25 reading days, so if you miss a day, you automatically have "catch-up days." Amazing.
  • You're in the gospels ALL year. Talk about getting to know Jesus a little better.
  • For some reason it's that type of reading plan that really make me want to read ahead, which is a good thing!

PS: Comment if you want me to email the PDF to you!


twentyeleven goals

some essentially immeasurable goals
be more hilarious.
[by writing intentionally humorous blogs mostly]

be more adventurous.
[by traveling spontaneously at least once this year]

be more creative.
[by having 'craft time' once a week]

be more ambitious.
[by starting the rough sketch of my novel idea]

be more shrewd.
[by having products and a business plan for an etsy shop by the end of the year]

some more measurable goals
complete one craft-project a week

blog 3 times a week [156 blogs in 2011]

send birthday cards to everyone in my [immediate] family

have a party of people over once a month

complete a bible read-thru plan [still haven't accomplished this one in my lifetime]

read 20+ books

make dessert twice a month

make adorable christmas stockings

learn photoshop

drink more water [as opposed to the barely none that i drink now]

[to be continued]