Halloween Costume Reveal

This is the last post from #Blogtober14. I'm not gonna lie, I'm a little sad! Helene & Taylor have done such a great job & choose awesome prompts! Can't wait 'till next year!

Ending with a Halloween Costume Reveal seems like a good way to end!
This year, we had two Halloween costumes. One for our Alice in Wonderland Murder Mystery party last weekend & another for our school's Halloween Party. So, without further ado, I give you.....

The Queen of Hearts & The Mad Hatter

and His & Her Pirates

 What was your costume?!
Hope you guys had a Happy Halloween!! 
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Host a Soup Parrty


This year was the third year in a row that our Church has hosted a soup party. It's a tradition that I hope to carry on & host, no matter where we are. It's fabulous. What other time do you get to taste 15+ home cooked, delicious soups?! Fall isn't over & we're coming up to the really chilly part of the year, why not host your own soup party!!  

What's a soup party? 
A soup party is a party filled with soup, obviously! It should also be filled with lots of friends! 

Zachary and I at our last soup party! (Sorry these next two pics are a little blurry, but they're the only ones we got this year! :) I must post them for memories sake, ya know?! )
Zachary & Nik at the soup party! 

What do you do?
Invite your family & friends, ask them to make a soup & bring it in a crock pot! Once you have all your soups lined up and ready, the eating begins! Have everyone try each soup. Once everyone has had their fill & tried each one, hand out peices of paper for everyone to select their favorites! Give the first, second and third place soup makers a prize! 

What do I need?
-desserts & bread (if you want, or ask friends to bring a dessert & bread with their soup)
-Large paper plates
-small cups to be placed on top of the plate &  used as bowls like so;
If you want to get real fancy, why not decorate, too?
These potted flowers  in a pumpkin are easy & beautiful. Why not try a cinnamon pumpkin tea light holder, too? 

Need some delicious soup recipes for your soup party?! Try these!

Also, not to brag or anything ;), but I won last year with a recipe similar to this one. This years top 3 were delicious, mine this year didn't stand a chance!! #1 was a pumpkin curry soup. #2 was a creamy onion soup and #3 was a delicious taco soup! Click for similar recipes!

Also, why you're at it, why not 'Click' and 'Save Image as' these  Soup Party Printables I made for you!


Let me know if you host one! I promise, it's tons of fun!
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Letter to my Younger self

Hello Young Heather,
How are you love?! This is your future self. You get real cool when you grow up. Real Cool. Please see above photo for proof. Ya. You rock. Little one, listen carefully. Live your life. Live it. Stop worrying about things. Stop being so full of all those insecurities. Later on in life you will realize that these insecurities about what you look like are lies. They're just lies. Your worth is not in your outside appearance little one. Your worth is in the Lord and He finds you beautiful. Oh, and so does this guy below.
Ya, he kind of adores you. And guess what!? He's your husband! He's kind of amazing. I know he looks slightly creepy in the above photo, but he doesn't always look like that. He's extra hot. So, save yourself alot of heart ache & drama & protect your child hood. Don't worry about boys! Trust me, this one above comes along & you will wish that you saved it all for him. 

Stop working so much, but if you insist, save some of it dang it. Really, listen to your Economics teacher senior year. Do what he says. He's smart. Also, never get a credit card. It's a bad idea.

 Also, cherish your family. Stay home on week nights, get to know your brothers & sister more. You will forever be grateful. Treat your mom better. Hang out with your dad & grandparents. You will really miss them later in life when you live overseas for what feels like forever. Also, Danielle & Juliette are where it's at as far as high school friends go. They will be with you later in life. Also, Kerri. Don't loose touch with her. You will miss her later. Invest in those relationships. You will cherish them forever. 

And, please invest in Apple Stock. 

With love, 
Your Future Self
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Our New Pets

Readers, I'm so sorry. I have failed to introduce you to our two new pets. I know, you're devastated. Don't worry Reader. I'll introduce you now. Turtles meet Readers. Readers, turtles.  These guys are not really new anymore. We've had them, miraculously, over two months! Who knew tiny baby turtles bought in China would live this long! But they're happily still alive in their little turtle bowl.
We have one girl & one boy (so they say, how can you tell really?!) and they are just too cute! They have their own little personalities. The one hides under a leaf & likes being submerged in the water. We always make sure to have fresh, big leaves in there for him. This is the best shot I could get of him above. It's cloudy & unfocused but you get the gist. He lives under those leaves. The second I lay one down he scurries over to it & pushes himself under. The other likes to be up on top of the dry marbles. She loves to stretch out her legs and arms completely. I've even seen her sleeping with her head stretched out over the rocks, further than I knew it could stretch. Multiple times I've thought she had died, because all her limbs were jutting out at weird angles. But no, it's just the way she likes them while resting, weird turtle.
They're super active! This house will be silent, except our two little turtles and their crashing pebbles. We have yet to seen them eat and aren't really sure if they are eating but they're still alive so I think we're good!

And there you have it. You've been formally introduced. 
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Roasted Cauliflour & Aged Cheddar Soup

This soup has become one of my favorites this season. It's light, savory & delicious. I've made it 3 times in the last month!  I found this recipe on Closet Cooking, where I seem to be finding all my recipes as of late. Kevin posts so many delicious looking recipes, that there's not enough hours or meals in my week, to try all the ones I'd like to. You'll love this soup, friends. It's oober easy , made with very few ingredients, but tastes like you spent hours in the kitchen! Also, it goes perfect with this beer bread. Enjoy! 
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  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon thyme, chopped
  • 3 cups vegetable broth or chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups aged white cheddar, shredded
  • 1 cup milk or cream
  • salt and pepper to taste
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Toss the cauliflower in oil and season with salt and pepper. Lay them out in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast in a 400F oven for 20 to 30 minutes, until lightly golden brown.
Heat oil in a pan, add onion & saute about 5 to 7 minutes. 
Add garlic & thyme. Saute one minute.
Add the broth & the roasted cauliflower. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat & summer for 20 minutes. 
Puree the soup in a blinder. Pour back into the pan.
Mix in the cheese. Stir. *Don't bring back to a boil.
Mix in the milk & season with salt & pepper. 

Top with more cheese, bacon or thyme! Enjoy!!
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Cinnamon Pumpkin Tea Light Holder

This is a repost from last Fall but since it's that wonderful season again, I thought why not repost it! This is a super easy DIY, using one of, if not THE, favorite fall goody, pumpkin. Happy Decorating!

We recently had a Harvest Party with our church and a few girls and I were in charge of decorations. 
Of course we took to Pinterest ( like you do, also, follow mehere! ) and found this oober easy (see how that's just another way of saying 'super easy', I'm really using my synonyms today. ;)) Fall decoration. 

These smelled great  and  looked awesome! 

Small Pumpkins

Cut the top of the pumpkin off and scoop out the insides. 
Poke holes throughout the pumpkin and pumpkin lid. 
Poke enough holes for the light to shine through and for enough oxygen to get in to keep the flame lit. 
You can use a pencil or screwdriver for this.
Coat the inside of the pumpkin with cinnamon.
Place tea light in the center. 

Light when you start dinner or company comes over!It makes a beautiful, easy decoration to set the mood for the holidays!
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Harry Potter's Creamy Butter Beer


Want a warm and cozy drink for the holidays that's not hot cocoa? I mean, still have hot cocoa. Hot cocoa is amazing. But, every now and then, it's fun to try something different! Last year we had a Harry Potter Murder Mystery Party & this butter beer was definitely enjoyed! It is super rich. I suggest having it in place of dessert. Here's a super easy butter beer recipe below for you to try! 


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2 1/2 cups  milk
2 tablespoons of brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp butter

2 1/2 cups of milk 
1/2 cup of butterscotch chips

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1. Heat milk in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Stirring constantly.
2.  Once warm, add the remaining ingredients. Stirring constantly.
3. Once mixture is almost boiling, remove from heat.

4. Top with whip cream, caramel sauce & sprinkle with cinnamon. Enjoy!

Tip: Blend if you want it extra frothy!
This recipe is found here along with 10 other variations. I would love to try them all & try the one that I think tastes the most like I imagine it! Let me know if you try one. Enjoy! 
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J&C's Baptisms

Justin & Catherine are some of our closest friends. We met them in Korea 4 years ago. They had been dating for a little over 6 months & Justin had just became a Christian. Our first meal together, shortly after we met them, we talked about Jesus over shabu shabu, a Korean hot pot meal. We quickly grew a strong connection to this beautiful couple. I can remember so many times that Zachary and I were praying together for them in Korea. We had such a strong sense in our Spirit that God was going to do something great with them. We could see that God had a calling on their life & that He meant for them to be close, real close to Him. I could see & feel all over them God's longing for intimacy with them. Do you ever have moments like that? Where you can feel God's heart towards people? I felt it with them.
We all moved to Dongying together and took a job teaching at the same school. After Dongying, we moved to Qingdao, Justin & Catherine were married and moved back to Qingdao. They took jobs at our school & lived with us for 4 months, while looking for an apartment. Then this past year, we have seen them baptized & give birth to their beautiful son, Elijah. Through all of it, we've seen their growing faith & trust in the Lord. We've seen such maturity in the Spirit. God has used them to encourage & strengthen us in our faith. We've learned from them & found places of rest with them. God is so good. We have been beyond blessed to have known this couple.  They're amazing. We praise God for them & how He keeps bringing us together!
On Easter this year they were baptized at their church here in Qingdao. They had waited to be baptized until they found a steady Church body to be apart of. We felt so thankful to have been there for their baptism!
The baptism took place at the Intercontinental swimming pool, where the International Church of Qingdao meets, they meet at the Hotel, not in the swimming pool, though that would pretty sweet, huh? Zachary and I got there early, got decked out in our shoe covers & enjoyed the Easter morning at the pool. 
It made me think of my baptism, when I was in high school. It's such a special moment, this moment you publicly proclaim that you freakin' love Jesus, that He's washed away your sins, & that you desire Him, to follow Him, to be like Him & to know Him more. Before Baptism, I think there's always this nervous, giddyness. It's exciting & awesome but in front of tons of people!
Slowly people started trickling into the pool area. We joined friends and waited for the Baptism to begin.
Catherine was 6 months pregnant at the Baptism. We joked about how it was a "family baptism."
I love this girl!
Justin was first up!
And there he is, under the water!
Next up, Catherine!

After Justin in Catherine there were 5 or 6 more baptisms. Justin is American, Catherine is South African, there was a girl from Papa New Guinea & a few others from various countries in Africa. It's so cool living in an expat community & going to an International fellowship. We get a small taste of what it will be like with all the nations before God in heaven. 
It was so excited & awesome and as you can see brought many to tears.
After the Baptisms, all together we sang Amazing Grace. It was powerful & such an awesome moment, on Easter morning, celebrating the Resurrection of our Lord, and singing about His sweet grace as an International family!
They were all smiles after!
Their baptism was such a great way to celebrate Easter. Congratulations Justin & Catherine! Thank you for inviting us to your special day! We love you!
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