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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Best Scampi Sauce EVER!!

We made this recipe for mom last year on Mothers Day (or was it her birthday??). Anyhow, it was sooooooo tasty. The sauce even made a wonderfully delicious salad dressing. And here is the kicker...it is a Weight Watchers recipe!! Amazing right? (with Shrimp it is only 4 points per serving) So tonight we decided to eat flounder. We cut the flounder into cubes, made some rice, green beans, and brussel sprouts. Then we made this scampi sauce, brought it to a boil and poached the cubed flounder in the sauce. It cooked up in less than two minutes! Over rice it was DELICIOUS! So...kudos to you Weight Watchers recipe team! This is my favorite scampi sauce ever.

4 tsp olive oil

6-8 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup low sodium chicken broth

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup + 1 T minced parsley

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper

Cook the garlic until tender in olive oil. Add the rest of the ingredients and whatever meat you like (=

Some other ideas:

*allow to cool and whisk in a little bit more olive oil as well as some mayonaise or dijon mustard to turn into a more "tight" salad dressing...yum

*add some corn starch (or make a roux) to thicken the sauce up a bit

Wonderful Wordy Wednesday...hehe!

I couldn't think of a title for this post, so I just tried my hand a little alliteration! I am just going to write about 3 things from my day.

1. My niece Abigail (age 2.5) has learned the "Going to the Chapel" song on my blog and asks my sister to look at my blog when she gets onto her blogger account so that she can sing along with it! How cute!!

2. My countdown for my wedding doesn't say two months anymore and that is really exciting!! Also, I am going to church with Dusty and the kiddos on Sunday to enjoy our first Easter Sunday as a family! (I know it isn't official yet, but it is so exciting nonetheless)

3. This one is from yesterday but it was so funny I couldn't resist. I had to work late yesterday so Anna Sophia and I had to pick her brother, Jason (age 5) up from school. We were driving through a neighborhood on the way home and there was a tractor trailer parked in someone's driveway with the hood opened and Jason got dead serious, jumped forward in his seat, stuck his head out the window and yelled "OPTIMUS!!!!" He really thought that the leader of the Autobots (for those of you who don't know, that is from Transformers...and not necessarily the movies) was parked in the neighborhood. I have to say I LOL-ed very hard.

That is all for today. Time to get ready for church! (=

Monday, March 29, 2010

A New Blog to Enjoy....and a Giveaway

Once again, Carrie has shown me a new blog for me to follow (the blog isn't new, it is just new to me). It is called "A Joyful Chaos" (boy doesn't that sound like life!) She is having a giveaway and one lucky person will win this book! I think it would be a great read...and if you know me at all you know I am slightly obsessed with Amish and Mennonite culture! Visit her blog here to see how you can enter to win this book!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

I am TWICE His!

I am sure you have all heard this illustration before on redemption. My pastor shared it tonight and it is one of my favorite stories he tells. I think this story is the perfect picture of my Savior!

"Tom carried his new boat to the edge of the river. He carefully placed it in the water and slowly let out the string. How smoothly the boat sailed! Tom sat in the warm sunshine, admiring the little boat that he had built. Suddenly a strong current caught the boat. Tom tried to pull it back to shore, but the string broke. The little boat raced downstream.

Tom ran along the sandy shore as fast as he could. But his little boat soon slipped out of sight. All afternoon he searched for the boat. Finally, when it was too dark to look any longer, Tom sadly went home.

A few days later, on the way home from school, Tom spotted a boat just like his in a store window. When he got closer, he could see -- sure enough -- it was his!

Tom hurried to the store manager: "Sir, that's my boat in your window! I made it!"

"Sorry, son, but someone else brought it in this morning. If you want it, you'll have to buy it for one dollar."

Tom ran home and counted all his money. Exactly one dollar! When he reached the store, he rushed to the counter. "Here's the money for my boat." As he left the store, Tom hugged his boat and said, "Now you're twice mine. First, I made you and now I bought you." "

Isn't that just like the Lord? First He made us. After years and years of sinful man pushing God away, He sent his precious Son to buy us back to Him! I am twice His! First He made me in my mothers womb, and then He bought me with His precious blood! Thank you Lord!

" In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins" Colossians 1:14

House Renovation Update!

Here are some pictures from the work done this weekend. We had three men from the mission helping us and they were a real blessing! Enjoy!

A little spray paint spruced this door up! And they made it so it won't fold in the middle (=

Sunny hallway! It was like a cave with the wood panels

Our BEAUTIFUL new {free} kitchen floors

This is the most exciting to me...my PANTRY! I can't believe I really have one! These things were stuffed into cabinets or onto the makeshift pantry {a bookshelf on the back porch hehe} This is so exciting and wonderful, I can't put it into words

A close up of our sunny hallway (=

Thank you Dusty for your diligence in getting the house ready for a woman to live there! I can't even put into words how great it makes me feel! Thank you Lord for providing everything we have needed to do this work!

Friday, March 26, 2010

A Relaxed {snuggle bug} Friday

Blankies, jammies, and crayons

Pretty pink windows for a pretty princess

A Mohawk (=

Fuzzy towel

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

No More Anna Nicole Smith!!

I have to say that for the longest time, people have jokingly called me "Anna Nicole Smith" because my name is Anna Smith. I also must admit that I am oh so excited that I will only be Anna Smith for 2 more months! HOORAY!
I have been practicing my new name...I think I quite like it! (=

P.S. Since Smith is a boring name, there is no chance of it dying out, and I have had it my whole life, I am not holding on to it...I am going to keep my middle name! Still excited...

Monday, March 22, 2010

My First Wedding Gift, bluegrass and a new baby....

This is kind of a random and scatterbrained post. Just hang in there and enjoy all of my good news!

I got my very first official wedding gift since being engaged! My Aunt Brucie and her daughter Lauren can't make it to my bridal shower since they have a wedding to attend that day, so they presented me with a $75 gift card to Wal Mart (I am registered there and Bed Bath and Beyond)!!! I was so excited!! Dusty and I are planning a Wal Mart date soon so we can get something fun and exciting with this gift money!! What should we get?? Any suggestions?? That's a lot of money to spend LOL!
Things are just moving right along for us. A group of guys at Dusty's church informed him that they would be willing to play some of their good old bluegrass music for our wedding ceremony and reception! FOR FREE!! How exciting is that? My barn chic dream wedding is just falling right into place! I'm so thankful for that! God is so good to me, even when I deserve the exact opposite.

We had a new addition to our family about 2 weeks ago! My brother Christian and his wife Stormy welcomed a sweet baby girl into the world! Her name is Lilei (pronounced lily) Marie. She is so sweet and calm. I believe she has already chosen her Aunt Nina (that's my name to the nieces and nephews by the way) as her favorite!

I hope you have a wonderful Monday!

Faithfulness Farm Giveaway

I just found this blog through Carrie at Farming on Faith! I got excited about this giveaway since I will soon be moving into my own home and cooking for my husband (=!! YAY!! Gail at Faithfulness Farm is celebrating her 100th post with a giveaway. You can check her out here!
Have a happy Monday!!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Who Is This Dusty???

So I figured now is a good time to tell everyone a little bit about my soon to be husband, Dusty Brackett. Well he is definitely perfect for me. I couldn't have picked him on my own because he is too perfect for me. God sent him to me. A while back I posted my dream list. I think I should go through that list with Dusty in mind....

1. His other love
  • He must love the Lord with all his heart (CHECK)
  • He must serve the Lord in some way (CHECK- I will tell you about this later)
  • He must be a spiritual leader (DOUBLE CHECK)
  • He must be willing and able to lead me, teach me, and grow with me in Christ (CHECK)

2. Personality

  • Funny, witty (CHECK CHECK)
  • Adventurous (CHECK)
  • Family Oriented (CHECK)
  • Hard-working (CHECK)
  • Enjoys playing games (CHECK)
  • Likes cats and children (CHECK- he can do without cats but doesn't hate them)
  • Likes camping (CHECK)
  • Good with big crowds (CHECK)
  • Deep thinker (DOUBLE CHECK)
  • Emotionally in touch and open (TRIPLE CHECK)
  • Respectful and Chivalrous (CHECK- I have a funny story for this)
  • Committed (CHECK- I have the ring to prove it HAHA)
  • Honest (CHECK)
  • Likes my big family (especially my mom and dad) (CHECK CHECK CHECK)
  • Kind of nerdy (HAHA...UMMM...CHECK!)
  • Likes being outdoors (CHECK)
  • Laid back (someone has to balance the control freak in me) (OH MY WORD! CHECK!!)
  • Educated (CHECK)
  • Do-it-yourself-er (CHECK)

3. Dreams/Goals

  • Wants to live on a farm, or at least in the country with some animals and a garden (hey a girl can dream!) (CHECK)
  • Wants to have a family (CHECK- we have a head start on that one)
  • Dreams of living a (close to) primitive, non-materialistic lifestyle - such as living off the land, and off the grid (CHECK)

4. Physical Traits

  • In good shape for hiking, running, etc. (tree climbing is bonus points) (CHECK CHECK)
  • Good smile (LOVE HIS SMILE)
  • Has loving, soul-searching eyes (CHECK- OUR EYES ARE THE SAME COLOR!!)
  • Can dress GQ for church and rugged outside of church (HAHA...CHECK)
So as you can see he is everything I wanted and so much more!! Dusty works as the assistant director at Crossroads Rescue Mission (www.crossroadsrescuemission.org) in Shelby, NC. He has such an amazing and wonderful job and gets to see men go from crack addicts to preaching and teaching the Word of God. I am so excited to become a part of that! I will go from full time Nanny to full time support of a man in the full time ministry!! How exciting! I will also become a step mother to FOUR children. You heard right. Now before we all get on our high horse about divorce, let's stop and remember that not everyone who is divorced chose divorce. Sometimes it is out of your control. We will only have his children on weekends and certain holidays. They are great kids!! I love them so much and they seem to reciprocate those feelings! Zac is 15, Mackenzie is 12, Levi is 10, and Andrew is 8. If it had been any other man with any other children I probably wouldn't have considered it at all, but I am in love with everyone involved. (=
So here is my funny story about Dusty's chivalry. My mom and I were walking into the store to pick up my wedding dress and I stepped aside and waited for her to open the door. Not because I expected my mom to do that but because I have become so accustomed to waiting in the car to have my door opened and stepping aside for him to open the door for me! It's really quite wonderful!!
I am so happy and I am so sure that this is the will of God for my life! I wanted everyone to know a little bit more about my man so that you could see why I love him so much! (= He's pretty lovable.

"Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another." 1 John 4:11

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

To ALL of my readers...before you give up on me...

I am writing this post as an apology of sorts.
It was brought to my attention that the pictures I put up came across the wrong way. Apparently the portrayal of affection was such that it gave an appearance of wrongdoing in our relationship. I want to assure everyone who reads this that Dusty and I are saving certain things (this is hard to convey without being too forward) until marriage. If my engagement pictures gave the appearance of anything else then I am truly sorry. We were trying to convey our love through the art of photography and we had my mother with us the whole time. We are doing our best to live for the Lord and we never want to bring dishonor to HIS name. I have removed the pictures until after we are married if I feel led to continue blogging. Please pray for us in these next 9 weeks until the wedding.
Anna Marie

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Every Need Supplied....

I have heard so much preaching and teaching in the last week on the Lord and his MIRACULOUS provisions. I am seeing it more and more every day! Hopefully I can put together a blog in the next couple weeks about all that I have learned. This is just a brief post on how GOOD the LORD has been to me just in the past week. Here is a list of my biggest blessings this week:
1. We got the barn for the wedding and it will only cost us $150. That includes getting some fresh sawdust spread on the floors for us! Amazing!!!
2. We got 9 (that's right NINE) pork roasts to cook for our barbecue reception! FOR FREE! I will probably be able to get the rest of the meat we need this week! God is so good!!!!!!
3. Dusty and a guy from the mission laid FREE tile in the entryway and bathroom in my future home (I will refer to it from now on as 'our trailer'). We had to buy the subfloor but the tile was free and on top of that we got a FREE bathroom sink and a FREE faucet! These are luxury items that the Lord has provided for us to have. Not only does He supply our everyday needs like food, clothing, cleaning products, but He also gives us extra sometimes! God is so good!
Here are some pictures of my new entryway and bathroom:

This is what the floors USED to look like...

This is my new bathroom sink and faucet

These are my new floors!!!!!! YAY!!

"Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah." Psalm 68:19

Friday, March 12, 2010

Going to the chapel and we're gonna get married...

(A fuji mum...one of my favorite flowers!)

Ladies (are there any gentlemen reading???), I will try to update you from time to time but if you have ever planned a wedding in less than 3 months, you understand how crazy things can get!!
So I will just update you on the recent happenings....
Wednesday we met with a florist and we fell in love! She will be doing my bouquets, boutonnieres, corsages, and cake flowers. My bouquet will be a wildflower mix of thistle, fuji mums, papyrus, wheat, purple aster, lavender, and a few other things...I am so excited about it! It will be tied up with rafia. The moms and grandmoms will have purple aster and wheat tied with rafia and the dads, grandads, groom, and groomsmen will have thistle and wheat tied with a twine rope. It will be perfect for our "barn chic" wedding!
Thursday I got to go pick up my dress and pick out the material for the girls dresses. It is a purple chantung and it is beautiful (and machine washable!). Hopefully we can dress it down just a bit with brown sandals for shoes (=
Tomorrow we are going to look at one (hopefully two) barns for the wedding and to get some meat so we can start cooking and freezing our meat for our barbeque reception! Everything is so perfectly falling into place that I have no doubt whatsoever that I am in the Lord's most perfect will for my life! I am thankful for the times that He shows me that!
Today a man from the mission (where Dusty is the assistant director) laid tile in entry way and bathroom. Next week a man is going to paint the walls in the house and then the landlord is going to have someone come over and lay new carpets! The Lord can work anything out for us and make a 35 year old single wide trailer feel like home sweet home! Little is much when God is in it!
I am having a thankful kind of day! What can you thank Him for today???

Monday, March 8, 2010


So, I haven't really had time to post due to all of the excitement that comes with being engaged. We have moved the date to May 29th and it was obviously the Lord's will since I got the photographer who did my sister's wedding and we loved (Gina Covington- THANK YOU!) and we got our preacher who was not available the 22nd! God is good. Sometimes we don't understand things right away but then He makes it clear to us! I love when that happens!
So here is what we have done and are working on so far: we have made the layout for our invitations and are going Monday (Lord willing) to take pictures for engagement photos, the background of our invites, and our wedding favors. My mom came up with the genius idea of giving out wallet sized photos of the married couple with the date and their names as wedding favors. It is inexpensive and it's not just something that will end up being clutter! It was a hit at Melanie's wedding. So, that is fun and exciting! I also have picked out my dress and it is sitting at Poffie Girls in Gastonia waiting to be picked up for alterations! I am really excited about that!!
We are going this week to look for dress patterns for my girls. I got Dusty's outfit (a purple gingham button up shirt and flat front khakis) today for only $45!! Amazing!
There is so much to look forward to and the Lord has been with me so far! I am thankful that he is such a loving and faithful God who likes to spoil his children sometimes!

"Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart." Psalm 37:4

Thursday, March 4, 2010

I'm Engaged!!!!

It's true, Ladies! I'm engaged!! Dusty popped the question this evening! I'll have more pictures soon! We are so excited to share the rest of our lives together! Please pray for us as we are planning to be married on May 22!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

My Very First Blog Award!!!

I just got into town about an hour ago. I went to Moyock, NC for a long weekend to meet Dusty's parents. We took his son Andrew and headed out on Saturday morning around 6:15. We had a great weekend! His family seems to really like me! So exciting! I'll blog about that later!

So while I was in Moyock without my computer I got on my phone to check a blog or two before bed and I found out that Carrie at Farming on Faith gave me this blog award! I am so thankful! Carrie, thank you! Your comments are always an encouragement to me!
Here are seven things about me:
1. I am the youngest of six children

2. My favorite color is green, preferably chartreuse.

3. I have named all of my cars. Carmen- an 87 buick electra, Scarlett- a 94 saturn wagon, and now Greta a 2010 Hyundai Accent.

4. I am in love with Dusty Brackett!

5. I love to go camping and especially love cooking over an open fire.

6. I love yard games like badminton, ladder ball, croquet, etc.

7. I love the LORD!

I am supposed to pass this on to seven people, but I only have 7 followers so I will just pick one special person. A faithful follower who leaves comments and encourages me. I love her very much!!
Tessa Burton - And Again I Say Rejoice