Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Happy Christmas!

Well, another Christmas come and gone. I can't believe it. Even though it flew by, I'll count it as a success.

It all started off with Christmas Eve with my parents. My mom had the greatest idea to go out to dinner instead of trying to cook a big mess of stuff for just 5 people. We went to the local Japanese steakhouse and it was oh so yummy. It was wonderful having a change when turkey and ham is king this time of year. We went back to their house after dinner and drank coffee while we opened presents.

We had such a great night and Jackson was so excited about his presents! Momma and Daddy got him a train table and he just loved it, of course! Then we went home and got the little man in bed and started furiously cleaning and cooking for the next morning. I got all of the presents set out and got Jackson's stocking ready for Santa Claus to fill it! Then after all the had to stuff was done, Kyle and I snuggled in on the couch to watch a movie. It was so nice to just sit there and be still before the busyness that would ensue the next morning.Christmas morning rolled around and we were hosting Christmas breakfast at our house! It was so much fun getting everything together and I was so happy to have both of our sweet families over to our house for some yummy food. Kyle and I got up about 6 am and finished up all of the preparations. We had Paula Deen's baked french toast, Breakfast Cassarole, Marybeth Whalen's sausage balls, fruit salad, and Marybeth Whalen's wassail. Jackson finally woke up about 7:30 and we watched him open his presents.

Shortly after he opened everything, our family started arriving. Sorry I don't have any pictures from our breakfast, I guess I was too occupied with everything else to take pictures. After everyone left around 11:00 we cleaned up a bit and had family nap time! (Well, Jackson and I took a nap. Kyle worked on downloading new music to his Ipod, thanks to Itunes cards that he received.) That afternoon we went to visit Brian at the fire station and then headed over to the Van Nus Christmas dinner. It was delicious as usual and we had such a great time watching the kids run around and play while we all caught up.

I tell you what, our God is good. It has been a very rough past couple of weeks here in our house. Kyle lost his largest account because they could just simply not afford him anymore. I never thought that this horrible housing market would hurt Kyle's business, but it seems to be slowly trickling down to him. The account he lost was for a subdivision and they have a ton of houses up for sale, which means there are fewer people paying their dues, and they just didn't have the money any more to keep Kyle on. So, needless to say, finding this out just a week or so before Christmas hurt. Winter is always tight for a landscaper, but this has made it unbelievably tight. Of course all of this means that I need to go back to work full time. And with my job, that is not too secure either, since I work for a company that is totally in the throws of this lousy housing market. But, our God has been completely faithful to us and has shown us that He is in control of this situation. We have laid it at His feet and are trusting solely in Him to pull us through and to show us what to do. All in all, He has brought Kyle and I so close through this situation. I am so thankful for all of our blessings that God has poured out on our lives and I know He will get us through this situation. God has shown me this Christmas even more than ever that it isn't about a tree that is completely surrounded by presents, and a home that is beautifully decorated, and a kitchen that is bursting with Martha Stewart like goodies. It is about a baby that was born in a manger that should have been born in a palace. It is about that baby, who came to this world for me.

God bless you all,
Please God, please have someone stop me from eating all of the apple dip. You would think with it being a dip for apples that you would want something healthy, to go along with the... well, you know, healthiness of the apples. Not here in the Van Nus household. Oh no. A dip for apples should completely make the healthiness of the apples null and void. Here's the reciepe:

8 oz. cream cheese- room temperature
1/3 cup of firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup of white sugar
1 tsp. vanilla flavoring
6 oz. Brickle chips (like what is in a heath bar. You can find it in the grocery store close to the chocolate chips)

Mix the first 2 ingredients and let sit for 15 minutes. Mix in remaining ingredients and refrigerate. Serve with your favorite apples.

This is really one of my favorite holiday snacks. It is so good. My brother in law said that it was life changing! I would post a picture of it, but Kyle's uncle said it looked like it had been digested and then regurgitated. The Van Nus' are really known for their tact, you know? But who cares what it looks like. It is amazing.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Soups on!!!

It's A Soup-Tacular!
One of my very favorite blogs is having a soup fest today. And well, I just couldn't resist. One of the only things that I love about winter is soup. (This is probably the one thing my husband hates the most about winter. Sucks for him, because after all, I am the one who cooks.)

So here are 2 of my favorite soup recipes. I'll do my best to include everything, but I'm sure y'all understand that recipes tend to change a little bit every time you make them.

Broccoli Cheese Soup:
1 Tbsp of Butter
cup chopped onion
garlic cloves, minced
cups chicken broth
(16-ounce) package broccoli florets
2 1/2
cups 2% reduced-fat milk
cup all-purpose flour
teaspoon black pepper
ounces light processed cheese, cubed (2% Velveeta works splendidly)

Heat large pot over medium heat and melt butter. Add onion and garlic, and saute until tender.
Add broth and broccoli. Bring mixture to boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat to medium and cook about 10 minutes. (You want the broccoli way more tender than you would have it if you were just steaming it.)

Combine milk and flour, stirring with a whisk until well blended. Add milk/ flour to broccoli. Cook 5 minutes so it can get thick, stir constantly. Stir in pepper. Turn heat to low and add cheese, stirring until cheese is melted.

Place one-third of the soup in a blender or food processor, and process until smooth. Return pureed soup mixture to pan.

Trust me... you'll love this one!

And finally... my Mama's Soup Beans (This is really just kind of a put in the pot whatever sounds good kind of recipe):

1 lb. Bag of Pinto Beans
Ham Bone w/ some ham left on it (if you don't have a leftover ham bone you can use any type of ham product that you have on hand. It is for flavoring mostly, but chunks of ham is really delicious in it.)

Ok, y'all. This one is so easy. You rinse your pinto beans in water removing any bad beans. Place beans in a large pot and fill up with water. I put a big tablespoon of salt in the pot as well then put on a lid. Cook on high heat until the water is boiling. Let boil for about 10-15 minutes. Drain water off of beans and fill the pot back up with water, just covering the beans with one or two inches. Place the ham in the water with the beans. Take your onion and cut off the top and peel. Drop the entire onion in the pot. (Again, this is just for flavoring.) Add a little bit more salt. (Depends upon your taste.) Let simmer over medium low heat for a couple of hours, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender, but not mushy. Take out the ham bone. Serve with cornbread. If you like raw onion, it is delicious with this.

Hope you guys enjoy!!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I'm addicted...

Ok... confession time. I'm addicted to blogs. I've become so addicted that I feel very inadequate about my little humble blog. I read so many witty and funny blogs that I have really put off writing anything in my own. There really are some good ones out there that I could spend hours on hours of reading. (Wait, I did that last night). Here are some of my favorites:

BooMama :This lady is soooo funny. I feel that I know her, and it makes me a little sad that I don't. She shares in my love of Paula Deen and to me that is best friend material.

Pioneer Woman: Uhhh, when I grow up I want to be her. She has 2 blogs. One which details her everyday life on a sprawling ranch out in the middle of nowhere, and the other where she shares her recipes that are simple and delicious. And she plates a lot of her dishes on gorgeous FireKing Jadeite! My mother would be so jealous if she saw her collection!

Cheaper by the half dozen: This lady has 6 kids. Nuff' said. She is raising her kids and still manages to write a book about the true Joy of Christmas, which was heart warming and very inspirational. I purchased her e-book from her site, and I highly recommend it!

These are just a couple that I am totally in love with. If I could ever figure it out I would put up one of those nifty blog roll things and you could see all of the blogs that I'm addicted to! Thats on the list of to do's to make my blog not so lame.

Monday, November 12, 2007


For the past week or so, I've felt very challenged to make a list of the reasons why I love Kyle. I don't know why. I think God is just challenging me to be very cognizant of the blessings in my life and praise Him for all of them. I challenge you to do the same. You don't have to blog them or anything, but just take the time to write out a list of the reasons why you love your spouse or significant other. I think in the grind of life it is very easy to magnify the flaws of your spouse and forget the gifts and strengths. Here's my quick list. Please know that this is just a fraction of why I love Kyle. Trust me, I could go on and on! P.S. I'm going to put up Halloween/ Jackson birthday pics very soon! Promise!

A few reasons why I love Kyle Van Nus

  1. He will refer people that he trusts to anyone. This may not sound like a huge reason to love somebody, but I do believe that this shows his true nature. Kyle wants to help the people out that he trusts and loves. Kyle, who is a business owner himself, knows that referrals in any service industry are huge.
  2. He loves to talk to people. Sometimes, this is the thing that makes me the maddest at him. But, God has been revealing to me that this is his gift. People love talking to Kyle because they know that he will listen and then have a thoughtful conversation with them. Kyle is one of those rare people who isn’t just waiting for their turn to talk. He listens… then talks.
  3. He loves his mama. Girls, the best way to find a good guy is by finding one who loves and respects their mama! Kyle usually talks with his mom once a day on the phone, and every time he gets off the phone you know you’re going to hear, “I love you”. He respects his mother. Before Kyle and I married, he would take his mom out about once a month for dinner. Just because.
  4. He would do anything to help somebody. Again, this can make me livid at times. Even though I think it is crazy and dangerous, he will stop and help a stranger with car troubles. I’m reminded about the verse in the Bible about “what you do for the least of these, you have done for me”. Kyle doesn’t limit his help to strangers. His willingness to serve extends to all of his friends and family. He has become quite the professional mover. I’m quite thankful for this, because in turn our family and friends have been more than willing to help us when we have moved.
  5. He’s handsome. I know it is a shallow reason to love him, but it definitely doesn’t hinder me from loving him! He’s got killer dimples and sweet brown eyes.
  6. He can put just about anything together. He says it is just because he is good at reading and following directions, but I tend to disagree. When I try to put something together, I always read the instructions. But most of the time it doesn’t matter because I just don’t have the knack for putting things together. I get frustrated and impatient. Kyle can come right behind me and assemble whatever it is in a fraction of the time that I can do it. (And do it correctly!)
  7. He loves our child. Seeing my son develop a strong and lifelong bond with his father melts my heart on a daily basis. I know that Kyle would lay down his life in an instant for our child, as would I. I don’t think I’ve ever truly understood Christ’s love and sacrifice for me until I had a child. And I know that Kyle feels the same.
  8. Kyle has set very attainable goals for his business and for our family. He sat down at the beginning of this year and wrote out a list of goals that he wanted to reach by the end of the year. He’s done quite well with all of them and I think a lot have been reached already. I love that he is always thinking about moving forward and making himself better each day.
  9. He cracks me up. Every day. If you know him, you know this is true.
  10. I feel 110% safe and secure when he is around. When we are out to eat somewhere, he always likes to sit where he has a full view of the door. I used to be very confused by this, but I know it is because he wants to have an eye on everyone who is in and out. Just to be aware of his surroundings. This is just one example of how he keeps us safe. I could go on about this one for a long time.
  11. Here’s the most important reason why I love him: He loves me. Crazy me! Me, with all of my flaws and insecurities. All my weird quirks. He even loves me when I don’t make it very easy for him.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Free Fallin!!!

Seriously guys, I love fall. I love everything about it. I love it so much that I decided to make a list of my top fav's:

1. Pumpkin Spice Latte's from Starbucks. I know that it is outrageous to pay 5 dollars for a medium sized cup of coffee, but common', it is sooooo good.

2. Opening up all the windows in the house and letting that cool air in. It's been a late fall around here, and I just did that last week. The house felt so fresh and I loved it.

3. As much as I love a good pair of flip flops, I love just as much finding a really cute pair of shoes for fall/ winter. I went to Payless a couple of weeks ago and found 2 adorable pair of flats that are perfect colors for fall! And even better, they were buy one get one 1/2 off! Can't beat that! (P.S. did y'all know that Payless sells American Eagle shoes now? I'm all about name brand for cheap!)

4. Pretty Red Maple leaves! Our climate doesn't always allow us to experience the changing of leaves, so the years that we do get pretty leaves I am so thankful! God really has blessed us with such an amazing creation!

5.Thanksgiving. Love, love, love it! I really think that Thanksgiving gets skipped every year. But Thanksgiving is such a special time for family and good food!

6. Jackson's birthday is in the fall! This just adds to the fun of this season! I'm in the process of planning a Thomas themed party for our little guy. Can't wait for that!

7. It's kind of needless to say that I love Halloween. It's so much fun to pick out costumes for Jackson and to get goodies together for all the kids in our neighborhood. (Even though we are never here to give them out personally because our church has the fall festival on the same night. grrrr.)

8. Yankee Candle Co. fall scented candles. (This isn't just secluded to fall, my house smells of fall all year long thanks to these candles!)

I've got to cut this list off at some point because I could just keep going and going. But let me share my favorite fall activity before I'm done...

8. BURT'S PUMPKIN FARM. Period. This has been the 2nd year that we have gone to Burt's to pick out a pumpkin. I know that this is going to be a cherished tradition for our family for years to come. Burt's really is special. You get to take a beautiful drive up through the mountains and then low and behold, out of nowhere there is a huge pumpkin farm! It is just a magical place. We went last weekend with Andy and Leila and had such a great time. I got up extra early and made a breakfast casserole and homemade donuts. We needed some fuel for pumpkin picking! After eating, we headed off to the farm. Jackson was just the cutest and has decided that he has a crush on Leila. He flirted with her all day long! When we got to the farm and got out of the truck it was so crisp and cool. We headed straight for the pumpkins. I only got a few pictures of Jackson head on because he was running frantically touching all the pumpkins screaming, "Punkin!" Nevertheless, I got some great shots that will be cherished for years. After looking at the pumpkins we went to the hayride. They take you all around the farm and you get to see the fields where pumpkins are still growing and they have a cute little show with talking pumpkins. After that we went and finally picked out a great pumpkin. It was not an easy decision because there are so many great ones! Ours is pretty big again this year, but we downsized. Last year was a little over kill. But anyways, I seriously recommend this place. Check it out at .

I hope y'all have enjoyed my list. Please take a moment to thank God for such an amazing time of year and realize all of His blessings!

Here's Jackson and Uncle Andy! Thanks for going with us guys! We loved having y'all be a part of our tradition!

Here's Jackson looking at all the "punkins"!
Here we are on the hayride!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Croupe is just about as disgusting as it sounds

Yup, you heard it right. Jackson has Croupe. It started Thursday night and I thought he was just getting a cold. Then it just kind of lingered all weekend and on Sunday he developed a cough. Kyle took him to the doctor on Monday and she told us that it was Croupe! Seriously, I have only heard my grandmother talk about babies getting "The Croupe". I didn't know that it was still around. Please keep our sweet little man in your prayers for a speedy recovery and some peace from those rough coughs.

So on to other updates. Let me again stress how badly I stink at blogging. I think about updating serveral times a week but I just never get around to it. I think the last time I blogged I said that we were about to go to North Carolina to see my grandmother. Here are some sweet pictures of Mamaw and Jackson swinging:

The middle one is my favorite. Jackson sat on the swing with Mamaw for about 20 minutes and almost feel asleep. We had such a great visit with her. It was fun going up and surprising her for the afternoon. When we got to her house Mamaw was up in her garden pulling up bean vines. The woman is 86 years old and works harder than anyone I know that is half her age. Just about 2 weeks ago she had a pace maker put in, so she's had to take it easy. I'm sure she's hating the down time!

As far as Jackson news, he is talking up a storm now. It is truly amazing how he went from saying just a couple of words to talking in pretty complete sentences. It really has made life so much easier. He lets me know what he wants to eat and drink, what he wants to do. And he also has a huge vocabulary regarding Thomas the Tank Engine. He know all of the engines names. He knows the names of the engines that I don't even know. And trust me, I've seen my share of Thomas shows and dvd's. We bought him a Thomas coloring book with stickers in it. Here is the result:

We had a great family outing at the fair. We had a great time eating all of the junk food and riding the ferris wheel. Jackson also loved the petting zoo.

I love the picture right above. I think it shows how much Jackson favors Kyle. This was taken on the ferris wheel which cost us $12 to ride. The fair is ridiculously exspensive, but we had a great time.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

It's official, I kind of stink at blogging. I will work harder at keeping updates on here! Anything exciting that happens with us is usually on the weekends, so here is a post about our last 2!

The first weekend in August, we were very busy with our garage sale. All in all, it was a bust! My good friend Leila came over and sold some stuff she had from her old apartment and we had a great time talking and selling our junk together! She sold every single item that she had brought over! I did not do as well. But, I sold some pretty useless stuff and got a little money for it. I had one sweet old man come by and buy a ton of stuff from me. I don't know why in the world he wanted all that junk, but he gave Leila and me a little entertainment for a while. The only downside of the entire day was that I didn't sell my old dining room table and chairs. Anybody have any interest? It's an antique!!! (And I'm selling it for a really cheap price!) Sorry I don't have any cute pictures to post from the sale. I wish I would have taken some!

Last weekend was a fun one! We went to our favorite restaurant in the world on Friday night, Chili's. Jackson chowed down on some chips and salsa. That little boy loves spicy food. I think that is definitely a trait from me. I craved really spicy stuff when I was pregnant with him. After dinner we went to my other favorite haunt, Target. I got a bunch of pictures developed so I can continue with my scrap booking. Saturday morning was tons of fun with a trip to Costco to get our new dining room set! We were very blessed that it was on sale for an even better price than it was before. God really does care about every little detail of our life. Here is a picture of the new table:

I reorganized the kitchen Saturday afternoon while Jackson was napping. I love the new set up of everything and I felt very productive. Don't you just love that feeling? I thrive off of it! Such a dork, I know! Then on Saturday night we had the greatest time with Megan, Jason, and Eli. We had a great dinner at Steak and Shake and then went to Chucky Cheese! The boys had a great time! Oh, and Jackson's Uncle Brian and Aunt Sara came as well. Good times were had all around. Then that night after we put the boys to bed, we stayed up until 1 in the morning playing the Wii. Sorry, again no pictures. I'm really trying harder to take more pictures and documenting our great life, so please bear with me. Since I have no pictures of these events, here's an adorable pic of Jackson in his favorite Thomas shirt. Or as he likes to call it, "Mas"!!!

Notice his haircut? That happened on Saturday morning as well! Here is Jackson sitting at the new table in his big boy seat:

God has so graciously given us such a sweet little boy. Here he is helping Mama sweep up after dinner:
Please pray for Kyle and I this coming Sunday. We are going to be teaching preschool at church. We'll be in Jackson's class for the 2nd hour. I'm very excited about it and I pray that God uses me to teach these precious children about His love for us. I'm also going to be singing in choir! So Sunday's have gotten a little more hectic for us, but I'm really looking forward to it! I will post some pictures soon from our trip we are taking to North Carolina on Saturday. Love you guys, and God bless!

Friday, August 10, 2007


I found this on Beth Moore's blog and thought it was very powerful. I needed this today:

My Dear Sister,The God of Glory has called you. You have a ministry. In Christ, you are enough for that ministry. Never forget that showing God off is your ministry. No matter what, keep your heart in your ministry.Unveil your face and serve others with authenticity. Always remember that the power is in God's Presence. Let nothing Come between you and intimacy with God. Keep moving forward from glory to glory. Let God thin that veil. Remember, ministry is not about position. It's about people. Let name after name be written on your heart. Do not seek great things for yourself, seek a great God. As you leave this place, go in a fresh anointing. He who turns water into wine turns wimps into warriors. You have a ministry. Go fulfill it.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

boys x 3

I found out that my sister is having a baby boy in December! Wow, I can't believe how many little boys are overtaking our family that used to be dominated by girls! I swear that God is making it up to my dad, who was surrounded by nothing but girls. Some of my earliest memories are of Megan and I clipping our pink barretts in his hair. We even had girl animals. So, I'm sure he is glad about all the testosterone in the family now! I am ecstatic about another boy! I can't wait to hold that little guy! I just can't wait until December!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Goings on and such!

Hello everyone! Welcome to our humble blog. I just decided to start doing this, and I apologize to anyone who is bored enough to actually read any of it!

Life has been crazy for the past month or so. I just realized yesterday that we have had something going on every single weekend for 4 weeks! First we had Andy and Leila's wedding. It was absolutely beautiful and I was so happy that our family was a part of it. Jackson had his first job as a ring bearer... and if I do say so myself, he was the cutest little guy ever. He did excellent and stood at the alter with Kyle the entire time. The wedding went off without a hitch and everything was perfect.

Then the next weekend Jackson came down with what I think was a viral infection and earache. Poor little guy. So that entire weekend was spent at doctors appointments and loving on him. Thank goodness he is all better! And wouldn't you guess it, the next weekend I got the same viral infection! I know how bad I felt and I couldn't imagine how a little bitty body like Jack's could go through it. So that weekend was also dedicated to a doctor's visit and Kyle being Mr. mom! He was so amazing and took such good care of me. I basically slept the entire weekend. But, I'm all better now as well!

And finally the next weekend was spent at the beach on a short vacation! It was such a nice long weekend and I'm very grateful that we could get away. The beach was just stunning. I don't think I've ever seen the water that clear at a beach in America! It was seriously like water in Mexico. Just much cooler!

So.... this weekend was spent at home! As much as the beach was beautiful, it was so nice to be at our house with nothing much to do and no sick people to take care of! We got the garage cleaned up, got some closets cleaned out, and caught up on family time! Sunday we went to church, which unfortunately we have not been able to go to for 4 weeks! Needless to say, Jackson had gotten out of the routine of going to nursery and didn't do too well today! The teacher said that every time the door would open he would say, "Daddy?" Poor little thing. But it was so nice to get back to church.

So, we're pretty much up to date on the past month or so! Upcoming goings on include:
1. Megan, Jason, and Eli moving back to Georgia! (Please pray for their safety and also that their house back in N.M. sells).
2. I'm having a yard sale!
3. Megan finds out the sex of the new baby! Yippee! My money's on a girl.
4. Repainting our bedroom and redecorating with the unbelievable bedspread my mom found a thrift store! My mom really has talent!