9.30.2009

life and times' first giveaway!

I've given in.

I'm doing it.

I'm jumping the gun!

...And announcing my first giveaway!!!

I've been so blessed by so many new friends that I want to bless you guys back with a giveaway. This one is going to be small, but I think you will enjoy it.

The first item is this compact ESV study Bible. I have one of these, and it stays in my purse almost always! I love how small it is (it is about 3.5x6 inches), yet how easy it is to read. It is my favorite translation of the Bible-- English Standard Version-- and my two most favorite qualitites about this little Bible is that (1) it's God's Word and (2) IT'S PINK!!! October Breast Cancer Awareness anyone? (Now, if you happen to be a guy that wins this little giveaway, I can get it in a manly pattern and color, so now worries!!)


The second item is a gift card to Starbucks. It's fall now, and that means that soon it will be Christmastime. And around Christmastime do you know what Starbucks has? Peppermint Mochas. Oh. My. Gracious. They are divine! So, here is a little $5 gift to keep you warm.


You can have up to 5 chances to win. Leave a separate comment for each thing you do.
1. Comment on this post.
2. Become a follower of my blog and leave a comment telling me you did (or are already).
3. Blog about this giveaway and leave a comment giving me the link to your post.
4. Tweet this giveaway-- include @WhitAlexander in the Tweet.
5. Put my button on your blog and leave me a comment telling me you did.

The giveaway will end Sunday night, Oct. 11 at 11:00 p.m. EST. I will use Random.org to generate the winner, and then announce the winner Monday morning on the blog and via Twitter. Have fun!

Now...get to commenting!!!

Comments for this post are now closed. Thanks for entering!

9.29.2009

orphans and orphan sunday

Dr. Russell Moore is one of my heroes.

And he is one of my heroes because of his position on adoption. I've blogged about his book, and I am so glad some of you have picked it up to read it. And if you haven't bought/read "Adopted for Life," yet, I am not sure why you are still reading this and not grabbing your keys to head to your nearest Barnes and Noble.

I digress.

November 8 is Orphan Sunday. Is your church recognizing it? They should be...and this blog from Dr. Moore (among countless other reasons) is why. Please go read this blog post. And allow God to speak to your heart.


And on the topic of adoption, if you are reading my post, and you are married, if you have kids or if you don't have kids, I beg of you...please consider adoption. Ask yourself if you are even OPEN to the idea. And if you are open to it, take the next step. I can promise you it is the Lord's will that we adopt children.

"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."
-James 1:27


I know this is a little lengthy, but here are some facts on orphans:
  • Fact: Nearly 144 million children across the world are orphans.
  • Fact: Every 2 seconds, another orphan dies from malnutrition.
  • Fact: 87.6 million orphans live in Asia. 43.4 million Orphans live in Sub-Saharan Africa. 12.4 million orphans live in Latin America and the Caribbean.
  • Fact: 6,000 children are orphaned by AIDS every day. That is newly orphaned child every 14 seconds.
  • Fact: Around the global, 15,200,000 children have been orphaned by the AIDS crisis. If all these children held hands, they would stretch across the United States. By 2011, this virtual chain will reach around the world.
  • Fact: Malnutrition plays a part in more than half of all child deaths worldwide. Every year, malnutrition is associated with the deaths of five million children under the age of five.
  • Fact: Even more often, malnutrition cripples children's growth, renders them susceptible to disease, dulls their intellects, and diminishes their motivation and their productivity.
  • Fact: India has more orphans than any other nation, totaling 35,000,000 in 2003; nearly 1 out of 10 of India's children are orphans.
  • Fact: In India, one out of two children under the age of 5 is underweight.
  • Fact: Millions of children suffer from micronutrient malnutrition, when the body lacks essential minerals and vitamins. These deficiencies can lead to severe mental or physical impairment, life-threatening anemia, lowered productivity, blindness, a weakened immune system.
  • Fact: 854 million people do not have enough to eat - more than the populations of USA, Canada and the European Union.
  • Fact: By 2020, southern Africa will lose one out of every five agricultural workers to AIDS. With a shrinking labor force, food is harder and harder to come by in areas that need it most.
  • Fact: In like sub-Saharan Africa, where up to 20% of the adult population has been impacted by AIDS, orphaned children not only lose their parents but also teachers, health workers and civil servants who die of the disease.
  • Fact: Sub-Saharan Africa has the greatest portion of children living as orphans. In 2003, there were 43,400,000 children with no living parent. This number represents 12% of the region's children.
  • Fact: It is estimated that by the year 2010 in sub-Saharan Africa alone, more than 18 million children – more than all the children in the United Kingdom, will have lost at least one parent to AIDS.
  • Fact: Every week, AIDS claims as many lives as American fatalities in the Vietnam War.
  • Fact: By 2010, the total number of orphans, from all causes, in Sub-Saharan Africa will increase to 50,000,000.
  • (I got these facts from here.)

Are you open to the idea of adoption? Are you open to the idea of your children adopting? I plead with you...I beg of you...with everything that is within me and everything that Jesus Christ is begs you to adopt a child.

I encourage you to go to Dr. Moore's blog. Dr. Moore is, by the way, father to four brothers-- two of whom he and his sweet wife Maria adopted from Russia. Dr. Moore's Web site can be found here.

I finally will ask of you two things:
First, our dear friends from Seminary, Ken and Sarah Lovett, have just started the adoption process. They are planning to adopt two children from the Ukraine. Please pray for them that God will bless their process, that it will go quickly, and that He will provide the funds they need. Pray also for the two precious children Ken and Sarah will adopt-- that they will adapt quickly to the U.S., that they will attach themselves to their new parents, and for their spiritual lives. It is never too soon to start praying for the salvation of a child.

Second, I would ask that you would pray for Mat and I as we wait upon the Lord until He gives us the "GO!" and we may start our own adoption process. We eagerly and anxiously await the time when we are able to begin the process. We have already begun and we continue to daily pray for our future children, as it is very possible some of our children are alive today in dark, lonely orphanages somewhere in the world, waiting on their mommy and daddy to come and get them. And come and get them we most certainly will...when the Lord's timing comes.

Until then, help us pray for our future children and pray for orphans everywhere around the world, that the Lord would provide homes for them and change the hearts of people who are not open to the idea of adoption.

Adoption is the Lord's will...after all, is it not by adoption that we have been made the sons and daughters of God through Christ Jesus? What a testimony to His love for us!

Ask yourself...Am I open to the idea? I plead with you, with all that I have within me, to be open to adopting a child, just as God has adopted us into His family, and loves us not like we are His, but loves us as we are His.



five of them

Yesterday, Mat and I got the great chance to keep the Allen kids.

...All five of them.
Anne-Marie, who is 6

Caroline, who is 5

William, who is 4

Alden, who is 2

Elizabeth, who is about 14 months

They were all so good, and Mat and I had a lot of fun. They were hilarious, and Anne-Marie and Caroline were two of the best little mommies in the world!

This is Alden. He is 100% B-O-Y!


This is William. He is so funny!


Sweet Anne-Marie being "mommy" to Elizabeth.


Mat reading to Alden...I think this might have been the only 5 minutes he stayed still the whole time we were there!


Anne-Marie, William and me (and please excuse how rough I look...taking care of 5 kids is hard work!!)


Precious baby Elizabeth...she is absolutely one of the best babies ever born!


Me and the whole Allen clan (Caroline, who I didn't get an individual shot of, is sitting in my lap)


And finally, my favorite picture of the whole night, made by none other than Miss Anne-Marie...

She's got pretty good photography skills, don't you think?

Jason is the vice president for advancement here at Southern, and he and his beautiful wife Karen used to attend Dauphin Way back in the day before they moved to Louisville. I'm so glad we got connected here. Their kids are so wonderful, and I love being around them!

And besides, Mat and I need all the practice we can get dealing with 5 children at once, right?!

9.23.2009

recipe: lemon poppy seed crisps

Every now and again, Mat and I get a craving for something sweet after dinner. This happened last night. I wanted to do something different than my normal chocolate chip cookies, so I opened the cabinet, planning to pull out Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins to make.

On the back of the package, there was the best little recipe. I made Lemon Poppy Seed Crisps, and they were so good! The crisps are light, and they would be the perfect shower food. Mat loved them, too, so it all worked out quite well.



Lemon Poppy Seed Crisps
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 T sugar
2 T milk
1 pkg. Martha White Lemon Poppy Seed Muffin Mix
3/4 c. powdered sugar
2-3 t. milk

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine sugar, milk and butter in a medium bowl; blend well. Add muffin mix; mix until well-blended. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet.
2. Bake at 350 degrees for 5 to 7 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Cool 2 minutes; remove from cookie sheets. Cool completely.
3. In a small bowl, combine powdered sugar and enough milk for desired drizzling consistency; blend until smooth. Drizzle over cooled cookies.

Enjoy!

9.22.2009

Tiny Houses

I love all things tiny. When I was little, I had an amazing obsession with dollhouses and dollhouse furniture. So, when I stumbled upon this Web site, I was so happy! Go check out all the Tiny Houses. I need one of these in my life...

that is, until I can't find anywhere to put my "not-in-season-right-now" clothes.

for the love of chalkboards...

...I am telling you about this giveaway! Go check it out here.

9.21.2009

cambria cove giveaway

My wonderful bloggy buddy over at HerSouthernCharm.blogspot.com is hosting a wonderful giveaway. Go here to check it out!!

prayers for auntie katie...

Please go and subscribe to this blog...

Katie is a missionary in Uganda, and her stories will break your heart. I am so blessed by her willingness to go and serve the Lord by serving the people of Africa.

I have begun to pray for her every Saturday when I pray for other missionaries that I know personally, and my prayer is that you will, too, begin to pray for her. She is a godly woman who wants the nations to know of our Savior Jesus Christ.

Go here to read a summary blog entry of her work in Uganda.

This is Katie and her 13 children she has adopted. They all live with her and call her mom. Katie is 20 years old, and she cares for more than 400 children.

Will you commit to pray for her? Please pray for her to the glory of our great God!

9.19.2009

yeah, that's our cat

Just wanted to leave you on this fine Saturday night with a hilarious picture of our cat, Little One. This one cracks me up every single time...


I mean every...single...time.

Yeah, that's our cat.

And please don't tell anyone we are...ahem, cat people. Which, we aren't, of course.

a cincinnati anniversay

A few weeks ago, Mat and I celebrated our 1st Anniversary. We decided that we wanted to have a very "Mat and Whitney" anniversary, so we decided to drive to Cincinnati to celebrate!

We had so much fun. We just drove around the city, and we did have ice cream at the oldest Graeter's in the U.S. We were told to go to Mt. Adams to see the amazing view of the city. We went, and it was so beautiful!




We ate at a place called Terry's Turf Club. Mat's dad had seen it on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, and he told us about it. It was a small little hole in the wall, but they had the absolute best cheeseburger I have ever put in my mouth! It was so good!


We also got to eat the topper from our wedding cake. I don't know if a lot of people do not enjoy their toppers, but Mat and I ate the whole thing (not in one night)! Ours was fresh and just as good as we had remembered it! Our wedding cake was one of my most favorite parts of our wedding.


Since the traditional first anniversary present is paper, Mat got me personalized recipe cards with an acrylic box.


How cute are these?!? Didn't he do a great job? Yes, he did!!!

We had a wonderful first anniversary! I am so glad-- every single day-- that I get to spend the rest of my life with Mat. He is absolutely my best friend in the entire world, and I love him more than anything. He is my spiritual leader, my companion, and my favorite everything. Without him, life would be so much less dull, and I am forever thankful to God for sending Mat into my life.

Mat, I love you more than anything. Thank you for picking me. You are my favorite!

9.18.2009

arise and be comforted

"Arise and be comforted" by Watermark

Arise and be comforted
For the Lord, He is good to the weary
And even the young heart can tire and fall
But He knows them all
For the Lord, He will renew their strength
And they will soar on wings as eagles
And they will run and never grow weary
They will walk and not grow faint
For the Lord, He is good
Lift your eyes to the heavens
For the creator is living in you
Come surrender as you are

And know that you’ll never stray too far
Let His power within you heal your heart
Lift your eyes to spacious skies
Let Him chart your way to flight
Spread your wings and fly
For the Lord, He is good

9.17.2009

sanctification

Sometimes it takes us a long time to learn things from God. Sometimes, it only takes a second or two. Today, it was one of those "second or two" times.

I won't/can't go into details, but let's just say that today, I did not get something that is usually so readily available to me. It's something that I am accustomed to having daily, and that I need daily, and it has never been denied to me whenever I have needed it. But today, it was not available to me for several reasons.

And, at first, I was so upset about it. Like I said, I am accustomed to having it daily, and now I am at the point where I will not be able to reap benefits from this said thing. It's weird. And it made me very, very upset...upset to the point of many tears.

Mat was at work (which, praise God for His provision of a great job for Mat), so I called my precious mum, who is always willing to lend an ear. I told her about my situation, and she was so understanding and kind. Mum listened to me as I tried to utter out words through my tears. She spoke words of encouragement and positivity into my life, and for that, I am thankful. She even offered to help me out, but I refused, for various reasons that I will leave unsaid.

I hung up the phone, ate my dinner, and headed out the door to Seminary Wives Institute. It was there, on my walk to Norton Hall, that the Lord revealed something to me...one little word, actually.


Sanctification. All of this is for your sanctification.


And with that being said, I felt relief. I felt peace. And I felt safer.

Sometimes I have no idea why things happen the way they do. Sometimes I have no idea why bad things happen. Sometimes I have no idea why good things happen. But, sometimes, in the midst of bad things happening, like they did today, I am reminded by a loving, sovereign God that things happen for a reason...and today, that reason was for my sanctification.

I don't know when I will get to again be in my routine of having this said thing back into my life. But, I do know this: God is using this time for my sanctification, and for that, I am grateful.

Sanctification. It's all for my sanctification to the glory of our great God.

elliot on "feminist theology"

[The following excerpt is from Elisabeth Elliot's chapter in Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, entitled "The Essence of Femininity: A Personal Perspective." It can be accessed in full here.]

The feminist theology of Christians (I cannot call it "Christian feminist theology") is a Procrustean bed on which doctrine and the plain facts of human nature and history, not to mention the Bible itself, are arbitrarily stretched or chopped off to fit. Why, I ask, does feminist theology start with the answers? One who spoke on "A Biblical Approach to Feminism" defined her task (a formidable one, I should say!) as the attempt to interpret the Bible in a fashion favorable to the cause of equality. The "interpretation" called for amounts to a thorough revision of the doctrines of creation, man, Trinity, and the inspiration of Scripture, and a reconstruction of religious history, with the intent of purging each of these of what is called a patriarchal conspiracy against women. Why must feminists substitute for the glorious hierarchical vision of blessedness a ramshackle and incoherent ideal that flattens all human beings to a single level-a faceless, colorless, sexless wasteland where rule and submission are regarded as a curse, where the roles of men and women are treated like machine parts that are interchangeable, replaceable, and adjustable, and where fulfillment is a matter of pure politics, things like equality and rights?

(This article is from the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. Visit their Web site here. This article came from here.)

9.16.2009

get your buttons!! buttons for free!!

The Life & Times of the Alexander Family

So, Lucky Girl over at Lucky Girl Blog Designs redesigned my entire blog as a prize I won in a giveaway over at TidyMom. Isn't it adorable? I think she did such a great job!

She also provided me with this really cute button, so if you're a fan, grab it (html code over to your left) and put it on your blog!

And don't forget to leave me a comment in my previous post to tell me who you are!!

HAPPY 1/2 YEAR BIRTHDAY, ELLIE PARKER!

Today is Ellie Parker's (my cousin's baby girl, who I call my niece) half birthday! She turns 6 months old today!

Ellie and her mommy (my cousin, Meg)


I can't believe how much she has grown...

Ellie just a few days old...


Ellie at almost 6 months old...

It seems like just yesterday I was driving like a mad woman to make it to Gadsden for her birth. She has gotten more beautiful every day (and who even knew that was possible with such a gorgeous newborn?!?), and Mat and I both thank God for her and her life. We are so blessed to be able to have her in our wonderful family.

Happy 1/2 year birthday, EPG! Your Aunt Whit-Whit and Uncle Mat love you very, very much!!!

give me a shout out!

I have been reading lots of blogs lately, and it has lead me to curiosity...

WHO'S READING MY BLOG?!?!

With that being said, I'm asking you to do me one little bitty favor...post on this blog and let me know who you are! I'm doing this so I can get a feel for just how many people read my blog. I know who my faithful readers are, and you know if you are one of them, but even if you are a regular, go ahead and leave me a comment telling me who you are. I would LOVE to hear FROM EACH OF YOU!!!!!

It doesn't take long...just type in a comment who you are. C'mon, you can do it! Just give the comment thing a try! It's so easy!! And, it would absolutely make my day!

Enjoy yours!!

pumpkin cookies and icing

My friend Holly is an amazing cook! She comes from a big family, so I'm assuming that's where she learned to cook. She used to cook for us all the time in college, and one autumn, she made these cookies for us. They are wonderful! I always like to make them to celebrate the turning of the leaves and the changing of the weather. Enjoy!


Pumpkin Cookies

2 cups shortening (Crisco)
2 c. sugar
1 15 oz. can pumpkin (we usually get Libby's)
2 eggs
3 1/2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
Mix all together. Bake @ 350 on greased sheet for 9 minutes.

ICING:
1/2 c. brown sugar
3 tbsp. butter
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tbsp. milk
Confectioners sugar
Heat first 4 ingredients until mixture boils. Add conf. sugar until you can spread it. It's going to get thicker as it sits, so just add milk to thin it out.

9.14.2009

i am a guest poster!

My friend, Mrs. Jones over at A Real Life Wife asked me to be a guest poster on her blog. I graciously agreed, and here is my guest post...it's a recipe for Chicken Empanadas and Cilantro Cream-- so delicious!

Go check out the blog here...

9.12.2009

new bag

I have a dilemma. My birthday is next month, and besides a cute little netbook I've been jonesing for, I need a new purse. I've been carrying my much-loved and cherished Longchamp bag for almost 3 years now. And I love it, but I think I'm ready to graduate to a real leather bag. A sweet brown one, you know?

So this is my dilemma. I love HOBO bags, but are there any others out there that I should know about? I need help in making a good decision! Let me know if you have any ideas!

9.11.2009

a seminary girl once said...

I am a huge fan of Melissa Moore Fitzpatrick. For those of you who don't know, Melissa is Beth Moore's youngest daughter. Melissa is a Bible scholar, to say the least, and even though she is a graduate of seminary already, she is going back to get another degree! She is now working on her Th.M. (Master of Theology) in Biblical Studies at a seminary close to Atlanta.

Now, the reason I love this woman so much and admire her even more is because of her love for Christian higher education and a deep understanding of God's Word. Melissa has brought so much to the table at Beth Moore's Living Proof Ministries. Beth's studies are now deeper with more Biblical groundings than they ever have been. It's amazing how much Melissa has gained from her education.

I read this blog post from Melissa on the LPM Blog. If you are in seminary, you need to go read this blog! And even if you're not in seminary, go read it anyway. It's a wonderful post, and it has become my prayer for my seminary education.

I'm so thankful for Melissa's post. It has come at just the right time. But then again, doesn't God always work like that??

9.06.2009

here's another giveaway...

Here is another great giveaway. I won a giveaway from this precious gal a few days ago, and I am so excited!

Click here to go to the blog for the giveaway.

9.03.2009

giveaway 'plosion!

So Natalie over at Natalie's Sentiments is having a giveaway 'plosion for the week of her birthday. Here is another one of her great giveaways this week. Click here to view.

Good luck! (But more good luck to me, of course! Haha!)

9.02.2009

another giveaway...for a blog makeover!

Here's a blog makeover giveaway!!! Enjoy! And thanks, @TidyMom!!!

http://tidymomof2.blogspot.com/2009/08/lucky-girl-design-giveaway.html?showComment=1251929618053#c8840422307505979688

my ellie's wordle

In case you haven't noticed, I'm a little obsessed with wordle. Here is one for my sweet baby niece, Ellie Parker, who will be 6 months old the 16th of this month! She is beautiful, and loved so much by her Aunt Whit-Whit and Uncle Mat...