Friday, August 30, 2013

Two Years Old!

So yesterday we had a birthday……

*sniff sniff* My little baby-dog is a whole two years old now!
I did not attempt to bake him another dog-friendly cake like I did last year, because that was a disaster. You know the dog-friendly cake tastes bad when the dog won’t even eat it. Ahem.
He did get his favorite dog treat, some bites of my lasagna and his favorite: a small chunk of shredded cheese straight out of the bag. Oh yea, and he got a bath. Because he went swimming in the pond and there was no way I was going to hug that dog with him smelling like that.
It’s hard to believe that just under two years ago we were giving him his very first bath at our old house.

It’s really funny to look at his puppy photos and see how his facial expressions really haven’t changed all that much over the past two years. He just weighs fifty more pounds.....

For those of you who may not know, we adopted Duke the day after Thanksgiving in 2011 from the Humane Society. His original name was "Jabo", and it was totally love at first sight. He was so excited when we first met that he started scooting around the floor on his belly. Sold. He came home to be our child dog dog-child and has made us laugh every day since. Seriously guys, adopt a dog. Best. Decision. Ever.
Leaving the shelter with our new baby!

Christmas 2011

Christmas 2012

Okay, enough with the puppy-dog cuteness. Who else is excited about a three-day weekend? This has been one roller-coaster week for sure, so I’m definitely looking forward to a lazy weekend, some cookouts, and a few hours at the pool. I hope all of you have a safe and happy weekend!  :)
Just kidding, one more:

Okay, I'm done now, I promise.
"You are the Lord, You alone. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and You preserve all of them; and the host of heaven worships You."  ~Nehemiah 9:6

Monday, August 19, 2013

Bundle of the Week

Happy Monday! Today, I’d like to share some exciting news:

I’m really excited to partner with The Bundle of the Week! Here’s how it works: every week they sell a bundle of five eBooks for only $7.40 (that’s 65% off!) The sale goes up on Monday at 8 a.m. and closes the following Monday at 8 a.m. This is a Christian-based organization, so you won’t ever find anything gross or inappropriate in the bundle. However, the topics from week to week vary from marriage to organic living to organization tips. As of this week, I am an affiliate with this company which means I earn a small percentage if you use the links on my blog to purchase something from their store. From time to time I’ll do a post detailing the Bundle of the Week, but if I don’t do a post one Monday, you can still click on their image I have in the sidebar to find out what this week’s bundle is. As an affiliate, in order for me to receive credit for the sale, you have to use one of the links posted on this blog. I have the links to this week’s bundle in this post. I also have links in the left sidebar that will link to the current week’s bundle. I love this company, and I have used them to purchase bundles before. They feature some really great authors with helpful information (I recently purchased one that covered blogging!), so I’m really excited to help spread the word about this great resource.


This week’s bundle is for the married folks, with 5 eBooks to spice up your love life. Everything from rekindling romance to being the best spouse you can be is included in these five books. I understand how easy it is to get busy and put your marriage on the backburner while you handle “everything else”, but we do not need to do this! Rediscover that spark and prioritize romance this week. ;)  Since I often post about marriage on this blog, I thought this week’s bundle was a great one to feature. Click here to get your bundle!

Here are the five books, along with a short description:

“The Wife Life” by Marla Taviano: Is married life a little different than you thought it would be–or maybe a lot different? Do you wonder if something is wrong, if other people feel the same way about their marriages? Are you sometimes intimidated by wives who seem to have it all together? Marla has been there, and she knows what it’s like to adjust from unrealistic expectations to real life. In The Wife Life she offers hope and encouragement — with her trademark humor and the sensitivity of someone who’s been in your shoes.

“31 Days to Great Sex” by Sheila Wray Gregoire: In 31 Days to Great Sex, Sheila takes you step by step through the process of building a fun and intimate sex life. It doesn’t only focus on the mechanics of sex — though there are certainly exercises that will give you tons of fireworks — but also focuses on building friendship, experiencing real intimacy, and learning to have fun again.

“Rekindling Romance Kit” by Jason & Jami Balmet: Romance is a big part of marriage, and can be a very enjoyable part at that. But without care it can wither and perhaps even die, relegated to anniversaries and Hallmark holidays. In Rekindling Romance, Jason and Jamie have created the perfect romance kit, with 7 inexpensive date ideas and more than 30 pages of printables to help you reignite the spark!

“The Irresistible Husband” by Jason Gratehouse: The Irresistible Husband was written to help every husband live up to his potential to be irresistible to his wife. This book is simple, practical and easy-to-read, and the principles within will help you have the marriage that you and your wife have always dreamed of. If your marriage has reached a plateau, or is even in a state of decline, this book could be the spark to rekindle the flame.

“Christian Woman’s Guide to Romance on a Budget” by Rhonda White: Is your marriage in a rut? Take action with these fun date ideas that won’t break the bank. This is a quick, Christian-based ebook that includes Scripture from God’s Word for your marriage plus tips for a healthy relationship and 33 date ideas to help you rediscover the romance!

Remember, you can only get this bundle for the discounted price of $7.40 through 8 a.m. Monday next week, so order yours today!

"The godly offer good counsel; they teach right from wrong." ~Psalm 37:30

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

WFMW: Easy Dinner Recipe

I love easy dinners. What I love more than easy dinners are easy dinners that taste really good. Everyone knows that pork chops and mac n’ cheese is easy, but you can only eat that for so long before your whole family is like “nooooo…….mac n’ cheese again???!?” Last week Roman posted a picture of one our favorite meals and he was asked by several of his friends to dish out the recipe. Your wish is my command!  :)

Creamy Pesto Chicken
2 tbsp. butter
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (cut into cubes)
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
3 cups bow-tie pasta
½ cup pesto sauce (we use the basil kind, not the original kind)
½ cup milk
½ cup Mozzarella cheese (optional)


1.       Melt butter in a large skillet. Add the chicken and cook until firm (about five minutes). While the chicken is cooking, go ahead and start cooking your pasta in a separate pot.

2.      Add the soup, pesto sauce and milk in with the chicken and bring it to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook until chicken is cooked through.

3.      Optional: sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top and stir it in. (Because we all know that cheese makes everything more awesome!)

4.      Drain your cooked pasta and add it to everything and *boom* you’re done.

5.      Post pictures of your amazing dinner to Facebook

I discovered this recipe scribbled on a piece of paper in my recipe drawer about three weeks ago and decided to give it a shot. I have no idea where I wrote it down from, or how long it was hiding out in my drawer, but I’m definitely glad I ran across it! We may or may not have eaten it once a week for the past three weeks……   O:)

Easy, delicious dinners work for me!

“Those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.” ~Romans 8:14

Monday, August 12, 2013

Creative Writing

When I was in eleventh grade, I had a pretty awesome English teacher. Every day, he would start our class with a "creative writing" exercise. We had a journal. We had fifteen minutes. We had to write. Sometimes there would be a specific topic on the board; sometimes we had the freedom to pick our own topic. The point of the exercise was just to get us writing something. This same English teacher was the one who chased me down the hallway at school when he found out I had picked Accounting as my major for college. He was convinced I was making the wrong choice....that I should instead try to be a writer or an English teacher. I thought that was silly because I always hated grammar. Seriously, who actually enjoys taking a sentence and diagramming it?

Oh c'mon, don't tell me you can't remember that. It's not that you forgot, it's just that your brain is blocking the awful memory of THIS:

Okay, so my drawing might be a little *off*, but back to my point. I graduated from high school and kissed sentence diagrams and creative writing sessions goodbye and buried myself in numbers........(that sounded much more exciting in my head.) Only I never really stopped the creative writing sessions. I had a prayer journal, actually prayer journals, that are filled with random thoughts, prayers, drawings, and ideas.

Fast forward a couple of years and you'll find me halfway through college realizing that maybe Accounting wasn't my thing. I didn't want to quit after all of my effort so I just pushed forward and graduated. Three days before my graduation from college I launched this blog, and a year and two months later I launched a second blog, Faith, Marriage & Family .

I wouldn't call my college career a mistake, because it did land me the job I have now which has sustained me and Roman's way of living and provided us with great health insurance. And it does provide a nice "back-up plan" should things turn south in the future. But I am excited about where God is leading us next. I don't think I will ever be forced to diagram another sentence (Dear. Lord. No.), but hopefully I can make "creative writing" my job profession in the near future.

One thing is for certain, I won't ever stop writing-no matter where life leads. Not because I feel like I have to keep writing, but just because I love it. I love reading words. I love writing words. I love books. I love blogs. I just love everything about writing. Call me a nerd if you want, but this is just something I'm passionate about. And I'm glad that I get to do something I love and have such awesome people surrounding me as I do it (that would be you, my dear readers.)

So hats off to you guys for being so supportive and awesome, and here's to a bright future full of more creative writing sessions and less sentence diagrams. Because seriously, who needs those things anyways?

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'"  ~Jeremiah 29:11

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Creepy Crawly

I hate creepy crawly things. Snakes. Spiders. Alligators. The entire bug species. Except caterpillars, those are pretty cool….only because they turn into butterflies. But there is one particular bug that has earned my particular hatred.


I hate them. I hate them more than anything. I pray all the time that God would simultaneously kill every single roach on this planet in the most awful way He can think of. I think He doesn’t because He likes to laugh at the funny dance I do every time I see one.
I’ve always hated roaches, but after my incident at our first home my hatred increased. We were living in a trailer (read: really hard to keep roaches out of them), and we were having some issues with roaches in our cabinets. One day while Roman was at work, I decided it would be a good idea to clean out the cabinets in the kitchen island and give it a good spray with some roach killer. I drug everything out and washed everything and got ready to spray. I was really excited because so far I had not seen one single roach.

That’s because they were lying in wait for me.

I stuck the spray can inside the cabinet, pointed it at the upper corners and pressed the trigger.

When I say that the next ten minutes were the worst ten minutes of my entire life, I am not joking. They were worse than any illness I’ve ever had. They were worse than any migraine. They were worse than any tragedy I’ve had to endure. The. Worst. At least fifty roaches came pouring out of every opening in my cabinet. They were flying at my face. They were crawling on me. I am 100% certain my neighbors probably thought I was getting violently murdered, because I was screaming louder than I’ve ever screamed before. Seriously guys, I’ve had nightmares since then. It was AWFUL. Roman was at work, so I called my parent’s house. My dad answered the phone to his daughter sobbing on the phone about how much she hated trailers and roaches and living next to the woods and summer time and how she was going to live in her car where it was safe. When he finally understood what I was talking about, he drove to my house with some heavy duty bug killer and caulk. He spent the next two hours sealing up the cabinets and killing every roach he could find. I have the best dad ever.

I tell you that lovely little tale so you can have a very deep appreciation for my roach hatred. And to ask if there are support groups for traumatizing roach event victims. The bad thing is Roman hates roaches just as much as I do. So every time we find one in our house, the conversation goes something like this:

Roman: I killed the last one. Your turn.
Sarah: I can’t do it.
Roman: It’s your turn.
Sarah: No really, I can’t do it. Please kill it.
Roman: You.
Sarah: You.
Roman: Please???!??
Sarah: No you. PLEASE.

(I normally win, because I have the best husband ever.)

Two nights ago, Roman and I were lying in bed right next to each other talking about our day as we got ready to go to sleep.

Sarah: What was that?
Roman: What?
Sarah: It felt like a bug.
Roman: Now I feel it too. It does feel like a bug.
*move covers around, feel around bed sheets*
Sarah: Maybe it was just the pillow case or something.

So last night Roman was in the shower and I was catching up on some reading while I was lying in bed. All of a sudden, it felt like there a bug crawling along my arm. Naturally, I freaked out because the edge of the pillow case was obviously not down by my hand.


I immediately ran to the closet and grabbed a shoe and when I came back, it was gone. I spent the next five minutes carefully pulling back the covers while standing in a defensive stance with a sandal in my left hand, praying desperately that God would help me find the worst thing He had ever created. I finally spotted it, and beat the crap out of it. Seriously, I hit it about ten or fifteen times. Because, you know, you can never be too sure about roaches. You have to make sure you kill them real good.

I seriously debated sleeping on the couch last night. I mean, I had a ROACH in my BED. But I finally convinced myself that he was alone and that if I slept on the couch I wouldn’t get much sleep and that I was probably safe. Of course, for the next half hour I tossed and turned because every time a stray hair touched my back I freaked out and flapped my arms around like a chicken.

If any of you actually like roaches, you are no longer my friend. Unless you can deal with the fact that I am on a personal vendetta to kill every single one of them. And don’t tell me that they serve a purpose, because I don’t even care what that purpose may be.

So if you ever come over and find me standing on top of the bed with a sandal in my hand flapping my arms around like a chicken, you’ll know what’s going on.

Seriously, there’s got to be a support group somewhere for this.

“Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is Mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord.” ~Romans 12:19

Friday, August 2, 2013

TGIF Friday

Thank. God. It's. Furlough. Friday. 

Life in the Casterline household has been hectic at best and slightly chaotic at worst over the past two-ish weeks. I will be the first to say: it stinks not getting paid every Friday, but I totally needed today off.

My washing machine and dryer are busily humming away and I am trying my best to get caught up on all the household stuff that needs to get accomplished.

  • Six (!!!) load of laundry
  • Dirty dishes
  • Grocery shopping
  • Balancing the checking account
  • Vacuum/Mop
  • Clean the bathrooms 

And all the women across America nod in understanding.

What makes the six loads of laundry sound really bad is when I tell you that I stayed up until 1 a.m. Wednesday night doing two "emergency" loads of laundry because my husband was out of socks, and I was out of clean pants and underwear. Lovely. TMI? I'm sorry. 

But sometimes, that's just how life goes. I'm sure you understand, right? Please tell me I'm not the only one who gets behind on housework. Because as much as we would like to say that our houses are Pinterest-worthy clean and tidy and organized and spotless and perfect, I would guess that more than half the time they are anything but. 

But gosh-dern-it my house is going to be clean by the end of today if it's the last thing I do. And then tomorrow afternoon I am going to be a complete bum and maybe go to bed at seven o'clock at night. 

In other news, my dog decided to mark his spot on top of the litter box. Yes, as in, he peed on it. So that was a fun experience to clean up. That's also how I came to the conclusion that I should probably mop my floors today. Nothing reminds you how badly you need to mop your floors than when you have to get down on hands and knees to clean something up.

And all the women across America nod in agreement.

I hope all of you lovely peeps have a great weekend. Word to the wise: get some laundry done. Because two loads of laundry on a Saturday is a lot better than six loads of laundry on a Friday. That sounds like something that should go on a fortune cookie. Ahem. 

Here's to a better weekend (after I dominate my to-do list) and a less hectic week next week (as well as more consistent blogging!).   :)   :)  

"For your Maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is His name; and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer, the God of the whole earth He is called."  ~Isaiah 54:5