april tuition update


this whole month i’ve been stressed about this tuition thing. things seemed so discouraging all month long. until this week. why am i ever ever anxious when i have this promise?

God is definitely reminding us that He loves us and desires to take care of us. i’ve been working more hours at the coffee shop since the new store has opened, so that’s been a temporary blessing. bryan finally got a job! he is going to be working at the fareway meat counter. we found a great deal on a moped which will make it possible for bryan to get to work. (although, extra vehicle expenses are no fun either…) a dear friend connected me to an opportunity in which i will make an extra $300 for three days of work in may. praise Him!

God also continues to teach us generosity, we wrote a few more checks this past month to summer missions trips. i want you to know that i don’t say this to impress you or feel good about myself, believe me, i wouldn’t say it all if i didn’t want to encourage you in this way. this has been something God has been teaching me a lot about lately, and i want to take this moment to share with you. also, check out this message from our old church. super convicting.

my friend, mikki, who is in our amazing connection group shared the best perspective on tithing i’ve ever heard. she and her soon-to-be husband are both dental students and thus living off of student loans for the time-being. but she said something like this: whenever we tithe, we’re technically paying 7% interest or whatever it is on that loan money. but who’s to say that God’s work isn’t worth 7% interest?

that hit me hard! what an awesome way to think about giving to the Lord’s work. so i want to say, before i update you, that if we have to take out student loans because we gave too much of our money away this past month, bring it on.

with that said, here’s our update for april:

tuition for 2011-2012 school year: $9,654.00
savings at the end of april: $1,300.00
difference: $8,354.00
percentage saved: 13.46%
percentage left to save: 86.54%

i was not expecting to really put any extra in the bank, so i’m encouraged!

latte changing pad


we were in ames for easter last weekend-it was our first time missing veritas since we began 7 months ago! it was definitely weird to be away.

but we loved our time in ames with my family too and at cornerstone, our amazing “mother church.” quick non-sequitur: after being in a teeny church for almost a year, bryan and i were just in awe of the well-oiled machine that is cornerstone. everything runs so smoothly, and the quality of everything there is outstanding. even the programs were printed on nice paper and perfectly folded! it was magical.

anyway, because it was our first time back in ames since christmas, i knew i wanted to make sure to meet two very important babies. two of my dear friends from our old connection group had babies in november of last year and i hadn’t met them yet!

i also wanted their moms to feel loved too, so i made each of them a “latte changing pad.” the one pictured is the one i gave to whitney. i used a blue and green animal print for rachel’s since she had a baby boy.

i found the pattern in a book a received for christmas, one-yard wonders: 101 sewing projects. this is the book’s description of the project: this compact changing pad and sleeve can hold a small package of wet wipes and two or three toddler diapers. it is intended for the toddler mom who no longer needs a big diaper bag, as it can be rolled up and tucked right inside your purse. perfect for a trip to the coffee shop! 


i thought that sounded perfect for them, as their babies are already almost 6 months old! it was fun to give my friends a simple little gift of love and meet their babies-love you Rachel & David and Whitney & Gracyn!

the directions were pretty easy to follow, although i admit some sentences weren’t as clear to me. the first one i made took about two hours to make, and the second only one! it was a pretty easy project, not quite like my last baby gift. : )

happy crafting!

she researched


i’m running out of “what would ami do?” posts, i believe this series will be finished by june. however, stay with me, because in may i’ll be tackling possibly the three biggest decisions my mom made regarding motherhood:

choosing not to vaccinate
staying at home

but in preparation, i’ll tell you something i admire most about my mom. she can read boring research books like it’s her job.

the older i get, the more i realize that i am my mother. i think all women go through this. we turn into our mothers because, hey, we turned out okay, right?

and though i did take to reading at a very young age, this is one quality of my mom that i don’t possess. i hate reading anything but fiction. ugh, i dread the thought of it. i have to fight to finish anything that is non-fiction, unless it’s a novel written about a true story or something.

i’m just hoping that when i become a mom, i will naturally become awesome at this. i envy those of you who have this quality. (ahem, paige)

my mom didn’t just make her unconventional decisions off the fly or because she was a rebel without a cause, she read and read and read and read some more. and the more she read, the more she leaned towards these decisions. both home-birth and choosing not to vaccinate were not her original plans, but her resources and research led her to those decisions.

i greatly admire how much she cared about us to spend so much time and energy poring over books and researching. thanks mom!

stay tuned for next week!

baby blanket


whew, this is definitely the biggest project i have undertaken yet. and i am so proud of how it turned out. my cousin and i say all the time, knitting is magical. it really is! what was once a rolled up piece of yarn is now a beautiful blanket, ready to provide warmth and comfort for it’s owner, which in this case is baby thune. our pastor’s wife, ashley, is due in may. a bunch of us church women gathered to celebrate with her last sunday, we’re all so excited for this baby!


i absolutely loved ashley’s face when she saw the blanket, it made all the time spent on this fun project worth it for sure. i’ve had the joy of getting to know ashley this semester in a bible study we’re in together, and when i saw this pattern, i knew i wanted to make this for her!

i found the pattern, by the way, in a brand new book called a knitter’s home companion. it’s written by an iowa city local and is a most adorable collection of stories, recipes, and knitting patterns. it’s also the only book i have finished so far this year, so it has that going for it. if you’re a knitter, i highly recommend picking this book up!

happy crafting!


pretty make up

i’ve received quite a few compliments on my prettiness from children. random kids in the park, at the grocery store, or at church have pronounced me as pretty.

i almost always flush with joy at their shameless compliments but i got to thinking the other day…

am i really that pretty? or do i just look like a mom?

[this is pretty much a rhetorical question, unless you feel the need to tell me how gorgeous i really am. in that case, go right ahead]

[photo credit]

she ran to God


it’s time for another “ami quote.” and this one is important. my mom said this to me many times as i came to her in tears or in loneliness or in stress. half the time it would frustrate me, because i just wanted to vent, or a physical voice, but she persisted. she would say, all the time:

run to God

she always encouraged me to pour my heart out to my savior and allow him to bear my burdens. like i said, sometimes it was frustrating to get that from my mother. but most often, when i felt the need to cry out to my mom, i came to her with problems that she couldn’t do anything about. they were issues of the heart and deep spiritual needs that only the Lord could fill. somehow, she knew that, and she encouraged me to go to directly to the source.

in hindsight, i now realize how amazing that actually was. 

mothers naturally want to feel needed and as though their kids want to talk to them. just as a woman, i feel this need. for my mom to basically say no to that naturally desire to comfort me and give me such truth is truly amazing to me. i admire her greatly for this. and it has undoubtedly shaped my relationship with God.

i would like to point out, though, that those three words would not have been at all effective if my mother didn’t lock herself in her room to have her time with the Lord. and that’s what she did. she would literally tell us not to interrupt her unless we were bleeding so she could have her precious time with God. she journaled, she cried out to God, and she poured over the word. her time in the word was her lifeline, and i never doubted that. 

she was an awesome example of what a real relationship with God looked like. i have so much to live up to and work on! 

a short while ago, dawn asked this question about my mom:
“wondering how your mom held such strong and unpopular convictions, yet managed to be so full of grace toward others who didn’t share her convictions.”

well, in short, i’m pretty sure this is why she was and is able to have such grace toward all women who come to her for advice. she runs to God first, and with His strength she is able to love without judgment. [she’s certainly not perfect, but i know God uses her greatly in this way!]



how am i doing on my goal? you know, the one where i’m trying to be more hilarious. am i trying too hard?

i don’t think i am. not yet anyway.

if you doubt my hilarity, please consider this as evidence:

yep, that’s me. 
oh gosh. i’m freaking hilarious.  

‘member that time?


‘member that time when i bossed my littlest brother adam around all the time, but i gave him money to compensate him for his troubles? ‘member how i would send him on all sorts of errands for me, be it running to get me a candy bar from char’s, the neighborhood gas station, or simply a glass of ice water from upstairs, meanwhile i would just dole out the washingtons like a queen?

‘member how at the height of my laziness, as i was lounging on the couch, i asked adam to go to the bathroom for me, because i just couldn’t get up to go?

well, he obviously couldn’t serve me to that level [without a catheter], but he was still such a good brother.

ps: happy 19th birthday to my baby brother adam two days ago!

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