My 100th Post!

In honor of my 100th post I will be following in the footsteps of my good friend Sarah and share 100 random facts about myself.  I wasn’t sure I would be able to think of 100 things but then I remembered fact number one stopped worrying.

  1. I tend to share a lot of info fast at the beginning of relationships if I really like you. Not much is considered sacred.
  2. I have five younger sisters and two younger brothers. 
  3. I have a five year old nephew named Tucker. 
  4. My husband and I shared our first kiss at the altar.
  5. I could easily eat half a watermelon every day.
  6. I saw Knight’s Tale in theaters seven times. Don’t judge!
  7. I moved 19 times before turning 20. 
  8. I gained 49 pounds during my pregnancy.
  9. I have lost 56 pounds since my pregnancy.
  10. I tend to only have two to three really good friends at a time.
  11. I think all mothers should be able to stay home with their children for the first five years paid.
  12. I love giraffes.
  13. I own over 60 cookbooks.
  14. My friend April and I once drove from Chicago to Bloomington just for Godfather’s Pizza. 
  15. I once drove from Chicago to Ames, IA in under four hours.
  16. My first boyfriend was a kid names Matt at my daycare when I was three. He was “going with” at least three little girls at the time. We would take turns sitting on his lap. Yep. Heavy stuff.
  17. My mom took me to the Return of the Jedi when I was ten days old.
  18. I have eighteen year old twin sisters who are six feet tall.
  19. I asked Jesus to be my Saviour when I was four years old. 
  20. I read approximately 900 words per minute.
  21. I still have most of the friends I made when I was five. 
  22. I have a hierarchy of relationships: my “world”, my good friends, my friends, acquaintances, people I love because God has told us to love everyone. Um, yeah. I’m a bit of a social snob.
  23. I completely and utterly adore my in-laws. They could not be better for this family if I’d hand picked them. You know why? Cause God’s hand picking is way better than my own. :) He done good.
  24. I get motion sickness on carousels.
  25. I am an introvert. Ha! I had you fooled, didn’t I? It’s true though.
  26. Erik and I dream of one day living on an acreage with a big garden, some chickens, and a goat or sheep.
  27. I tend to have a heart for sheep who are wandering from the flock. Maybe because I’ve been there.
  28. I haven’t used shampoo or conditioner in my hair since Luke and Holly’s wedding in May.  I don’t miss it.
  29. If I could meet one Hollywood celebrity it would have to be Angelina Jolie. I want to tell her how to find what’s missing in her life.
  30. My upbringing trained me to act the part of an extrovert. Thanks mom.
  31. I have a stripe of scar tissue down the center of my forehead that serves as a personal emotion barometer. It turns bright red with strong emotion lighter red with less strong emotions.
  32. I miss being a waitress. 
  33. I was in a sledding accident when I was eleven that resulted in 23 stitches on my nose and #30.
  34. I once broke two bones in my foot by dropping a plastic children’s chair on it.
  35. I was home schooled my whole life until I started college.
  36. I started college at sixteen.  
  37. I never technically finished high school.
  38. I have lived in three states.
  39. George MacDonald is one of my favorite authors.
  40. We have the names of our next daughter and first son picked out and engraved in stone (not literally). 
  41. I grew up in a Chicago suburb.
  42. I believe love is a verb.
  43. I was a flower girl four times.
  44. I’ve been a bridesmaid twice. Both times for people who didn’t really like me anymore at the time.
  45. I love raw honey. Love it.
  46. I watched every episode of Alias. Even the dumb ones (Thanks a lot Abrams).
  47. I haven’t gotten a speeding ticket since my daughter was born.
  48. I had my license suspended for too many tickets when I was nineteen.
  49. I don’t like living in college towns. At all. 
  50. Christ’s example of loving leadership in the New Testament is the example I believe leaders should live up to. I believe His example is one of loving guidance versus forceful directive as a matter of routine. This is what I strive for towards my daughter as her authority as well.  
  51. I am double jointed in my fingers.
  52. I am married to Erik.
  53. I like my husband about as much as I love him.
  54. My husband is a cute pretty-boy that my daughter is the spitting image of.
  55. The first concert that I ever went to was for Clay Cross. Yep. Old school Christian.
  56. The first secular concert I ever went to was at the House of Blues in Chicago and it was a personal sized set (about 50-75 people) for the Verve Pipe. Still like them a whole bunch.
  57. I gave up drinking bottled water. Making my dent in the landfill issue. I have been doused with water as a punishment for this.
  58. I love getting handwritten notes. Love, love, love. even like an e-mail is good. Words in writing that I can read over again at another time are what I like.
  59. I think guys can be pretty dumb when it comes to girls and relationships. Once, in high school, I had a close friend who always told me he loved me as a sister.  I believed him. Then we didn’t talk for awhile and I e-mailed him and said “hi. I’m thinking about you and praying for you. I love you, Ambre” and he responds with “um, what exactly do you mean by ‘love’? do you mean ‘love, love’ cause if you do, I’m sorry that I led you on.” He goes on to confess that he did think of me as more than a friend once, but now he’s getting engaged. What?!? How to kill an innocent friendship in 50 words or less.
  60. I like Grasshoppers and Brandy Alexanders.
  61. I think the SNL “cowbell” skit is funny.
  62. I think the SNL “get off the roof!” skit is side-splitting funny. 
  63. I believe the the movie “the Wedding Date” has some of the most amazingly awful lines of any romance movie ever. Here’s a gem, ” I would miss you even if we’d never met.” righhhht.  Or how about “I would rather fight with you than make love with anyone else.” Uh, huh. Give that man an emmy!
  64. I don’t think my roommates when I lived at Gryn realized how often my morning OJ was spiked.
  65. I use to have a gorgeous great dane named Freya. Now she lives with Erik’s parents. Lucky them!
  66. I love getting mail.
  67. I believe that chastity should be a lifelong goal and hope to impart that to my children.
  68. I play guitar. Not super well, but I enjoy it. 
  69. I have an annual Mighty Ducks Marathon with one of my girlfriends. Two words: Jonathan Jackson.
  70. I love fireplaces.
  71. I could drink hot chocolate every day and never get sick of it. 
  72. I’ve been to Canada and Mexico.
  73. If I was to go back to school I would want to be a nutritionist and a naturopath. Not the type of naturopath that communes with spirits though. They scare me.
  74. Speaking of scares, I am scared of the outdoors after dark in the fall. Blowing leaves don’t help at all. 
  75. I love fall.
  76. I wish I could eat white pasta everyday for as long as I live. Angel hair especially. Yum!
  77. I read the last installment of Harry Potter in eleven hours. My wonderful hubby picked it up at midnight so I could start reading when I got up in the morning and he tended the baby all day. He loves me. 
  78. I believe the church needs to be more concerned about loving people and less concerned with visible to the earthly eye results.
  79. My engagement ring is a beautiful pearl. I was tired of girls always comparing carats. I didn’t view it as the measure of my worth or a wise use of Erik’s income. He picked it out on the way to propose and I couldn’t love it more. Since then he’s given me earrings and a necklace to match. I’m a lucky girl.
  80. I think that families should live within 30 minutes of each other and be huge parts of each others lives. I also think families shouldn’t drive each other to the bottle. That’s not part of my utopia.
  81. I don’t like cats, but since my baby loves them, I’ll probably end up owning one in the next five years.
  82. I hate beer.
  83. I had an eating disorder in my teens.
  84. I’ve never smoked a cigarette or done any drugs. 
  85. I once lived with a family where the dad smoked pot every day.
  86. I detest folding laundry and putting folded laundry away. If it wasn’t for Erik, we’d never have clean clothes.
  87. One of my pet peeves is when someone has done something major to someone else in a relationship, but acts like nothing ever happened. Just cause the other person never brings it up, doesn’t mean it was okay.
  88. I really enjoy wearing skirts, but
  89. I hate shaving my legs.
  90. I very much am not excited about the idea of camping. Very much not.
  91. I already have a date arranged with a friend for opening night for Harry Potter.
  92. I am 1/8 Native American. That’s why I have a flat face with super wide cheek bones. 
  93. My mom wanted me to be a journalist. I think freedom of speech is turning into a joke in our country.
  94. I sleep under a down comforter all year round.
  95. I have an irrational fear (or is it?) of someone breaking into our home through open windows while we’re sleeping.
  96. I wish I had been born a Jew. I’d like to share that in common with Christ.
  97. I would love to share a huge house with another family of our choosing (you know who you are) so our kids could grow up together, we could work the land together, support each other as women, and serve God better. Unfortunately my low standards when it comes to tidiness would drive a wedge between us. Bummer.
  98. I wanted to be a missionary to an orphanage in the Ukraine when I was younger. 
  99. I eat my steaks medium-rare.
  100. I really enjoy reading peoples comments on my posts.

Food is Not the Nucleus of My Life

    I read an article about someones journey into raw foods and there was a quote I walked away with by a man who called himself Nature Love. I know, I know, but I really felt what he said resonate within me. About legalism in diets he shared,

    “Food isn’t my focus, it’s my nourishment.”

    I feel that was a good reminder for me as I can occasionally become consumed by things that are of value, but in the end will burn.

Growing up, my Mom would end every meal time prayer with “and bless this food to the nourishment of our body and protect us from evil.” It’s a comforting prayer and a blessing on the food partakers at the same time.

    Proverbs 3:7-9 (New International Version)

    7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;

    fear the LORD and shun evil.

    8 This will bring health to your body

    and nourishment to your bones.

    9 Honor the LORD with your wealth,

    with the firstfruits of all your crops;


Swimming with the Fishies or Please Stay In My Kitchen

I did it. Despite what I said before I went ahead and bought anchovies! Indulge me as I share my rationalization please. I really enjoy Caesar salads and everything I read says you need them in your dressing for authentic flavor. Not to mention they are very high in protein! So, yeah, they are now chillaxin’ (Erik’s favorite word) in the pantry waiting for me to get up the nerve to try them.

“I will nevers” can be pretty tough to promise since people can modify their minds through knowledge and hormones and the Holy Spirit can change hearts. Frankly, I doubt God really cared much about the anchovy purchase Monday night, but I’m writing more generally about the principles of life here, folks! Never say never. Never say always either. In that spirit, I would like to propose a new list of items that at this moment in life with the knowledge and current enjoyments that we have, we would like to think we shall forever find in our kitchen followed by three things we are dreaming for. Here goes for me:

1. Ziplock Freezer Bags- I love these little soldiers!

2. My beautiful Kitchen Aid Mixer and Ice Cream Maker Attachment

3. coconut oil

4. garlic press, the Pampered Chef one: it actually works and keeps me from having smelly hands

5. cumin

6. milk for making kefir, yoghurt, and ice cream

7. raw honey

8.  frozen strawberries (they do wonders for the consistency of a smoothie)

9. milled flax seed/flax seed oil

10. my crazy huge cookbook/recipe collection

My Dreams and Kitchen Desires:

1. Blend-Tec

2. Pampered Chef Stainless Steel Pots and Pans set (this is my goal by end of summer with my PChef commission checks)

3. Mortar and Pestle

Mortar and Pestle

How about you?


Greedy Tomato Grubber (me)

As I’ve mentioned before I am unable to have a garden as we have no yard. I do however have some tomato plants growing in kitty litter buckets. They are doing fabulously!I think I have approximately fifteen green tomatoes  right now with more every day.

I don’t like sharing. Actually, I love sharing. I don’t like it when people steal or manipulate the situation instead of just allowing me to share with them. What does this have to do with my two tomato plants you ask? Well, I suspect that my neighbors are going to take my tomatoes without my permission. Why do I think this? Besides just common Ambre paranoia? Because: they all admire my plants and will even stop and look at them and talk amongst themselves when they don’t know I can see them. They keep better track of how many new flowers the plants have then I do. They take it upon themselves to use my water bucket to water the plants when they think I’m slacking. Because they’re there. That’s why.

I don’t think I even was completely aware of the way I had begun to feel towards these individuals- suspicious, unloving, resentful- until I read the following verses and felt conviction in my Spirit that I was being unloving.

Deuteronomy 23:24-25

24 If you go into a vineyard that belongs to someone else, you are allowed to eat as many grapes as you want while you are there. But don’t take any with you when you leave. 25 In the same way, if you are in a grain field that belongs to someone else, you can pick heads of grain and eat the kernels. But don’t cut down the stalks of grain and take them with you.

If this is the way I would have things be if someone asked, I should just resolve in my heart to have it be this way regardless. That frees me up to love my neighbors when I see them and that’s more important to me then my tomatoes.

To boot, if I’m honest with myself, the real reason I want people to ask first is so that I can get the recognition for my benevolence. Yes, benevolence. A haughty word, for a haughty attitude. Shame on me! I didn’t do anything praise worthy with these tomatoes. I didn’t cause the sun to shine or the rain to fall. I didn’t put the nutrients in the dirt. I didn’t keep the bugs or blight away by my great power and knowledge. Praise the Lord for His great mercy!

nara and jamie with my tomato plant

Inara and her Auntie Jamie blowing bubbles behind one of the tomato plants


IJM

Sorry this is up late guys, we’ve been doing a lot of travelling due to a dear friends funeral and I lost track of time.

The ministry/organization I am highlighting today is The International Justice Mission. Due to time restraints I will be quoting a lot of info straight from their site. ” International Justice Mission is a human rights agency that secures justice for victims of slavery, sexual exploitation and other forms of violent oppression. IJM lawyers, investigators and aftercare professionals work with local officials to ensure immediate victim rescue and aftercare, to prosecute perpetrators and to promote functioning public justice systems.”

Their general caseload includes cases on the following: slavery, sexual violence, illegal detention, police brutality, illegal property seizure, and sex trafficking.

Ijm has a four fold mission:

1. Victim relief- relieve victim of current situation

2. Perpertrator Accountability- bring justice as required by law to abusers

3. Structural Prevention- prevent said abuses from befalling others in similar situations

4. Victim Aftercare- provide victims with resources to encourage them and help them in their new lives

I first heard about IJM in an article I read in Relevant Magazine and I really felt my mind to be of one accord with their cause. They were discussing their work in Rawanda and their stories and pictures broke my heart. I highly recommend reading the article. In it Gary Haugen (the man who formed IJM) quotes the following verses when speaking of the conviction that befell his soul and prompted him to organize IJM  “Micah 6:8, ‘He has told you, O man, what is good and what the Lord requires of you, but to do justice, to love mercy, to walk humbly with your God,’ or Isaiah 1:17, ‘Seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow,’ or Jesus is saying, ‘Do unto others as you’d have them do unto you.’ So if you were being abused and oppressed by someone, what would you want someone to do? You’d want someone to intervene on your behalf.” These are the verses that moved him to action and I pray that they move us to action as well.

If you would like to make a donation to International Justice Mission you may do so on their site. If you would rather wear your donation, JedediahHouse offers Hope T-Shirts to raise money for different organizations including IJM.

Today as you go about your business may you do as my friend Dana always encouraged me, “Walk with the King and be a blessing”.


Brittney Mann, sister, friend…

We lost a dear friend to colon cancer yesterday. Britt was a sweet girl that Erik had gone to college with. They both belonged to the same small church group for awhile and he counted her as one of his dearest female friends after our wedding. Britt was courageous to the end and never waivered in her trust in God and her assurance of where she was going when she left this earthly body.

Congratulations, Brittney on receiving your reward. You will be missed. Your family will remain in our prayers. We will smile at your funeral because we share your Hope.

(Brittney visiting us at the hospital after Nara’s birth. I think she’d laugh cause I can’t flip photos!)


Good News for Today is…

…found in Ephesians 3 verses 14-21

14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, that ye may be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inward man; 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; to the end that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be strong to apprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge, that ye may be filled unto all the fulness of God. 20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, 21 unto him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus unto all generations for ever and ever. Amen.