Steep On It


Homemade Chai Tea

  • 2 quarts (8 cups) of water
  • 8 bags of black tea (I used English Breakfast)
  • 1/2 cup of honey//sugar//agave//stevia
  • 16 whole cloves
  • 16 whole cardamom seeds
  • 5 cinnamon sticks
  • 8 slices fresh ginger

Combine all ingredients in crockpot on High for 2 or 2 1/2 hours
Strain mixture and refrigerate up to 3 days or use right away hot.
To serve: take tea and mix with almond milk right before drinking.

Today was a day to make cards and water herbs, drink chai and go on a long walk around our town. Rizo and I hit up the Art Museum and thought about the potential of this summer.

This recipe is from a book my old roomie gave me for my birthday last year. As I was making it, I was thinking back on how I’ve had AMAZING memories these last two years in Grand Rapids and yet how they have been the fastest years of my life.
Got me thinking more about the comparison of my life and this chai…
The longer the tea steeps, the stronger it gets…
At various points throughout the steeping process it tastes good, sometimes things need to get added and changed and altered though…
There’s not really a “Best Point”, its more like a “Variety of Marvelous Flavors”

Then life was awesome, now life is awesome, and next year it’ll be awesome.
There’s just different kinds of awesome..
We all have our variations of ‘chai’ that we like; we all have different points where we love where we are at.

While I’m complaining about my digestive tract and not being able to eat some of my favorite recipes, someone else down the street is praying they could have anything to eat.

Our circumstances are all different. Your passions are not my passions, our environments are different and our preferences of toilet paper vary.

So, for me, my awesome point in life right now is that I’m discovering my purpose; what God is leading me into.

What is your ‘chai tea’ these days—what’s made you stronger and what are you enjoying right now? Take time to steep on it.


Paints & Perfect Walking Weather

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The weather has been the most perfect temperature for my two days off this week.

I cannot express how wonderful I’ve been. I had a date last thursday, after working a back-to-back. Mi Amor’s grandpa took me out. I got my fancy on and we went out to an art benefit for the mental health association. I haven’t had that much fun in a while. Its funny how we can have different levels of “fun”. Sometimes quietness and relaxation is fun, other times laughing and going out. Anywho, within the various forms and hours of the day, I got to catch up with a friend who came up from south of Chicago. After a VERY short hour and a half, coffee, and pumpkin bread, I headed off for home. At this point, it was 11:30p.m. and I had gotten to bed at midnight the night before after work, and got back up again that day at 5:45 for work. SO, you figure I’d be tired right!? Wrong. I was living off adrenaline. I was SO ready to be home and embrace Mi Amor.

My weekend was filled with many memories, including dinners, games, movies, soccer tourney, baking, & pumpkin carving.

Oh and by the pictures in the slide show above, you can see a bit of a glimpse of my new hair, and some of Mi Amor’s & my artistry flying about.

Yesterday, after a very random, get-ready-in-five-minutes after making pancakes, went to chapel at Cornerstone University with Rizo.
I walked back, and knowing that it was going to be in the 70s, was definitely glad I did.

I talked to my sister-in-law for four hours while painting. {also shown in slide show}
Hearing her voice is so refreshing, my talks with her always fill up my ‘joy tank’.

Had me some “Sonrisa” time last night; Zumba, facemask, soaked our feet, & watched a movie.

I woke up this morning, headed off to my Doctor’s appointment, {I had to choose a primary care physician for my new insurance} and after being told I was doing everything right and was in beautiful shape. I drove back home, found out that I can get time off for flying to Minnesota {home} in January. Picked up an extra shift this coming Sunday. AND walked to my dentist appointment.
After being told my teeth were perfect, no cavities ever, to keep up what I’m doing, I was then told that in the next year I need to get all four wisdom teeth out. BEcAUSeeeeeeeeeee: my mouth isn’t big.
every woman wants to hear that


I adore both my dentist and doctor-both very personable and sweet.

My doctor was a Missionary Kid who grew up in Haiti. {therefore speaking French & Creole}

I walked to AutoZone to get my 5W-30 Full Synthetic to top off the oil in my car-cause it was running low.
Walked to the Dollerstore, MusterdSeed Resale shop {goes to Sarah’s House in Uganda for HIV kids}, checked out a little Indian spice shop, and then to save-a-lot to get ingredients for my brother’s bday present and Mexican night at Poppins with Sonrisa & her man!!!


I am livin’ it up!

Aimless Autumn Walk


Tossing leaves in the street


contrast between autumn & summer, divided by a street


after dancing through the leaves


Walking back to Poppins with the setting sun


Life was terrible today

HA! I think not. 

I had a marvelous day today…and amidst my wandering feet on my evening autumn walk, I hadn’t known where I was going. I just wanted to embrace more outdoors after making stuffed green peppers for dinner. 

I was dancing and laughing like a ten-year old girl in this quaint neighborhood nearby, when I turned a curve, where my feet walked right up the sidewalk to a church, where I was greeted and before I knew it, singing…

I honestly, cannot explain the reason I went in. 

The message was on the balance of God’s justice and mercy. I think maybe I needed to be reminded of how much I don’t deserve love.
Thank goodness life’s not fair.
I received a bit of a mind wandering moment, thinking of how wrong my actions are, all the time. Every day my focus slides.

I was hit with how much my desires are put before God.

I should be loving God
loving people

grr. I despise my emotions sometimes. 

I’m not keeping Him first, and ya know what, sometimes it feels good.
Gah-I hate that it feels good at first.

Being selfish is so easy…

I’m so screwed up.

I am faced, once again, with my tattoo.
What anchors do I need to rid myself of? 
What’s holding me back from loving God? 

Autumn always helps me re-align myself…
Thank you, Big Guy, for moving my feet.



Church Tasting {day 1}

After my morning cereal and strawberries, I set out to a Christian Reformed church, about a mile down the road from me.
Even though our beliefs don’t line up, I thought it might be interesting to check it out.

The people were EXTREMELY nice to me. I met two women right away, recognizing my new face (small church-just like back home). They walked me up the stairs while asking questions about my move and career field.
After grabbing a bulletin, I was walked by a nice man to my seat.
I ended up sitting by an elderly man, who didn’t realize I had sat down and bumped his knee into me while talking to a friend on his other side.
He apologized and asked about me.
I told him I was just taste-testing churches,
He said “Well, you’ve come to the best one in all of Grand Rapids. I should know, I used to pastor it!”
I laughed at his charm and elderly cute-ness.

The service was similar to my home church.

The music style began with a drummer, acoustic guitar, three singers and a piano, then after a couple of songs, a blessing and greeting happened.
We sang without the drums,
and the offering was passed.
An interactive reading commenced and then the message was spoken.
And our ending was songs with the organ.

Beautiful church, friendly body of believers, and great message.

I probably won’t go back.
Beliefs are SO important in finding a church.
I do feel like with ALL the events they have going on, I could be of great service, but if I don’t have the same ‘standards’ then, we’re not a great fit.
There are plenty of other churches to taste, so I’ll be hopping for a while.

I went for an EXTREMELY long walk this afternoon…mulling over life as it has been this past week.

I found some cute shops…

Pretty flowers and great houses, and got some new porch ideas.

Wouldn’t this look fabulous in the fall with the colored leaf canopy!?