Sunday, June 28, 2009


Thursday night was a MUCH anticipated event - the annual GA lock-in! The girls were beyond excited to say the least! Since we have been learning about North American missionaries, and our focus this month has been on missionaries in HAWAII, it was only fitting that we have a Hawaiian themed night! The missionary that our focus has been on, Joy Turner, is a missionary to international students coming to Hawaii to go to college. So, our activities were around traveling, tourism, and the Hawaiian culture. I had decorated all the tables and food tables with sand buckets, flip flops, and beach towels, and found a "Hawaiian Luau" CD that I had playing the entire night. I greeted each girl as they arrived with her own colorful lei.
We ate pizza (not really Hawaiian, but who doesn't like pizza?!?) and fruit kabobs, and sipped on our Hawaiian Punch through the little umbrella straws.
We then played Limbo,
and had a "Tacky Tourist" beauty pageant (which the girls LOVED - they played it all night!)

Then, the girls were ready for crafts...my girls are all about some crafts! We used fabric paints and decorated pillow cases - very few people leave home for a long trip without their pillow!
We ended our Hawaiian activities with Banana Splits, where I had all different kinds of fruit toppings (and, maybe a little chocolate syrup) for the girls to make their yummy concoctions.
The girls a blast!!

It was a great night!

Friday, June 26, 2009

I Would Like To Thank The Academy...

I am so flattered that I have received a Kreativ Blogger Award! Thank you Maggie Elizabeth for such a sweet compliment! I have had so much fun putting my blog together, and it has become a really fun hobby as well as a great way to keep people informed about this crazy life of mine!!

As a recipient of this award, I am supposed to share 7 things that you may not know about me, as well as nominate 7 fellow bloggers for the award.

7 Things Most People Do Not Know About Me...
1. I am a MAJOR perfectionist.
2. I love a beautifully wrapped present.
3. I love old things, and the story behind them.
4. Jewelry is a huge addiction of mine!
5. I am a night owl, much to my husband's dismay!
6. I'm ALWAYS redecorating something.
7. I am a coupon clipper and sales paper shopper.

And now for the nominations. Ha-Hum...AND THE AWARDS GO TO...

Happy Blogging!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Contact Us

I LOVE to hear from each and every one of you!!! PLEASE feel free to leave us comments on the posts, or if you had rather:

shoot us an e-mail at:

or, be-friend us on Facebook:

Home and Garden

They say "home is where the heart is" and I couldn't agree more! I love making our house a home inside and out, and living life through the journey of making it what we want it to be. But, home for me is not just our house...home is our family too. So, from home improvement to craft projects, to flowers and family gatherings -you've came to right place to find 'em!!

Top 2 Tuesday - Fav Home Products


SPRING is Here!

Out with the Old...

A Little Sunshine and Loads of Laundry


Joy Seeker

Harvest Happies

Little Happies


All in the Family:
O Happy Day!

To Infinity and Beyond

Bailey Bash on the Bay 2010

Batter Up!

Easter Weekend

Love Day

Weekend Wrap Up on a Tuesday

Did You Eat Your Black Eyed Peas Today?

Goodbye 2009...

A Very Merry Christmas

A Christmas Spend the Night Party

Shop Til Ya Drop!

Happy Birthday, Daddy!

It's a Birthday Fiesta!

Fun With The Fam


Old Fashioned Foot Washin'

It's Great to be an Aunt!

Imagination Place

Floral Designs, Party Planning, and Craft Projects, OH MY!:
Watermelon Wedding

Another Beautiful Wedding

Tying the Knot...in the Rain!

A Candyland Adventure

Waiting with Hope

I hate the word infertility. It sounds so...well...infertile. It instantly makes me picture a field of dried up soil with nothing planted in it because it's not a good piece of land for something to grow on. Infertile means no hope of a future harvest. Infertile just makes me sad. SO, I choose to use the phrase "waiting with hope" instead. Waiting with hope implies something might just happen! So, that's what I'm doing. Waiting with hope...and, I will until God answers our prayers.

If you're out of the loop on our Waiting with Hope journey, here's a 30 second run down (sorry for all the "fertility language" - if you have a question feel free to ask...or, of course use the handy dandy Google!):

~ diagnosed with PCOS and referred to a Fertility Specialist in January 2007

~ after taking Clomid for 14 months and being on the hormonal roller coaster that made me about lose my mind, we got pregnant in March 2008...then, miscarried just a few weeks later

~ started FSH shots in Fall 2008. Had first and only IUI the day before Thanksgiving.

~ Became pregnant from IUI, which ended in an incredibly serious tubal pregnancy 7 weeks later - January 2009.

~ Now, we sit. Letting my body rest. Waiting on God. Waiting with hope.

If you would like to know a little more, take a look see below:

While I'm Waiting

Keepin' It Real

It's Been a While

Are You Aware?


Straight from my kitchen to yours!! Click on the links below for something YUMMY:

Saint Patty's Day Cupcakes

Best Potato Soup Ever!

Taco Pie

Pepper Steak

Homemade Banana Ice Cream

Peanut Butter Cake

Our Story

Our life - in the short version...

I grew up in North Alabama in a very "Leave it to Beaver" family, and in a modern version of a Mayberry town. I was my own spirit as a child, and little Ms. Independent...oh yeah, I'm still that way! I have been a good little Baptist girl all my life, and learned to love Jesus with all my heart from a very early age. I went to college at Auburn University (can I get a WARRRRR EAGLE!!!!), and majored in Child Development and Family Studies. I came home for the summer after my junior year, and was introduced to my future husband through mutual friends. We met, and he instantly fell head over heals - I tried to run as fast as I could in the other direction, but thankfully God had a better plan than I did! We dated, were engaged, and married less than 2 years later :)

Having been married over 7 years now, we've learned ALOT about life, each other, and the Lord. And, Brad has learned there is NEVER a dull moment when you're sharing life with me...something completely crazy is always just around the corner! HA!! We have had our share of rough spots in the road along the way, but we've been so incredibly blessed in our journey too!!

Our day-to-day lives revolve around youth ministry, seminary, our sweet Yorkie - Ellie Jane, family, school, home, Jesus, and all the quirky little things that make our lives what they are!! We are so honored and privileged to share our lives with you and that you take the time to stop by and read about us is so humbling! We pray that every word read would be a reflection of His GRACE in our lives!

If you are still curious about who were are...

How We Met...


My Bradley

Wedding Part 3 - The Reception!

Wedding Part 2 - Your Presence is Requested at the Marriage of...

Wedding Part 1 - Goin' to the Chapel, and We're - Gonna Get Maaa-aried...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

We've Been FLIPPED!

5 of the most amazing days have just came to an end...I have been to more church camps, conferences, Disciple Now weekends, Youth Rallies, and Chili Suppers than most church goers in my life...but, this one was different. No, it REALLY was different! Student Life camp this year was a heart piercing event like no other. We were F-L-I-P-P-E-D! The theme, "Flip", was true to its meaning - lives were flipped upside down by Jesus. I watched our students transform from just being "good kids" to good kids seeking the heart of God, and worshipping Him with their lives. It was intense, emotional, draining, exciting, joyful, heart wrenching, soul searching - and my heart was overflowing through the whole experience!

We are incredibly blessed to have a youth group that is awesome, and God united us in a mighty way the past several days - we truly became a family! I miss "our kids" already! I am so thankful that I have the opportunity to serve Mt. Vernon by Bradley's side and be apart of this youth ministry!

"Lord - live through us so that others may see Your glory in us"...FLIP! Thank you, Lord!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Student Life - Here We Come!!!

Well, as I type this Brad and I have just loaded up our Youth Group and are heading to Student Life Camp for 5 days!! Camp this year is going to be in Gatlinburg, so it will be a little bit of a different set up than the normal camp. But, it promises to be an awesome week...Louie Giglio is the camp pastor, and contemporary Christian artists Fee, the David Crowder Band, and Leeland will be leading all the worship time!! I think I'm as excited to go as the youth! Most of our students have never been to an event of this magnitude, and I am so thankful that we have the opportunity to expose them to this. Back in the day, MY youth group would go to Student Life Camp...and, now I get to go back as a Minister's wife. It's very surreal! But, my excitement lies in one major component. When I look back on my life, so much of my spiritual growth as a teenager was marked by a camp, mission trip, Disciple Now weekend...God uses these times when we are stripped away from the "outside world" and are completely engrossed in His Word and fellowship with our brothers and sisters in Christ to shape us. Our Youth Group is so hungry for this type of growth - both individually and collectively. My prayer is that each one of them will come back and be changed - forever.

The theme this year is "FLIP" and is based on the verse "So the last will be first, and the first will be last" Matthew 20:16. Jesus teaches us to live in a way that is completely opposite of what the world says. He changes minds and hearts as he turns lives upside down. Please pray for us as we explore the FLIP!

I can't wait to see God move in the hearts and lives of our youth!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Imagination Place

On Monday, Valerie and I took Carolyne and Sam on a little day trip. We met Brad for lunch at the Courtyard (soooo yummy!), and then we went to Imagination Place in Gadsden. The kids had so much fun! If you have never been, Imagination Place is a hands-on Children's Museum inside the Mary G. Hardin Center for Cultural Arts. It is set up like a little town complete with a Piggly Wiggly, doctor's office, bank, construction zones, vet's office, and so many others! Each space has dress up clothes for the children to really get in to "character". This was right up Carolyne and Sam's ally - they both love dress up clothes, and Sam is all about some hats!!

Who says a girl with a bow and smocked outfit on
can't get a little dirty??
Little construction workers!

Quite possibly the highlight of Sam's day -
they had a BUZZ LIGHTYEAR costume!
He was beside himself excited!!

Carolyne shopping at Piggly Wiggly.

Mommy's little fireman!

Up in the tree house!

They were so excited to "work" in the bank
just like daddy!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Peanut Butter Cake

If you know me very well, you know I like to cook...ALOT! I cook supper usually every night of the week. For some people cooking is a chore, and something you do because you have to. Not for me. There's something therapeutic about it, and I like to try new ingredients and put a twist on an old favorite! I love to get new recipes, and thought it would be fun to share some of my own with y'all!

This past week, I was in the mood to bake. I made 2 Peanut Butter Cakes, and they were soooo YUMMY!! I made one for church on Wednesday night, and the other was for a get together with Brad's family for a pre-Father's Day celebration. Several people have asked for the recipe for this FABULOUS cake, so I thought this would be a great recipe of the week!

Hope you and your family enjoy this favorite as much as mine does! I got this recipe several years ago from a dear friend in the ministry, Suzanne Winningham. Thanks Suzanne!

Peanut Butter Cake

1 Butter Cake Recipe Cake mix OR Yellow Cake Mix (I always use Duncan Hines)
4 Tablespoons peanut butter
Mix cake mix according to package directions, and add the peanut butter before batter is completely mixed. Bake at 350 degrees in either a 10x13 pan, or 2 round cake pans for 30 - 35 minutes or until cake is set. Let cool.

1 8oz. cream cheese, softened
4-5 Tablespoons peanut butter
3/4 box Confectioners sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla
1-2 Tablespoons milk

Cream cream cheese and peanut butter together. Add 1/3 of sugar, and blend. Add vanilla. Add another 1/3 of sugar, and blend. Add 1 tablespoon of milk. Add remaining sugar, and blend. If icing is too thick to spread, use 1 more tablespoon of milk. Mix all ingredients until completely blended.
Ice cake layers...and enjoy!!!
Since this week's recipe is a baked good, I have to put in a plug for a wonderful new product. It's called "Baker's Joy", and it is absolutely true to its name!! It is used in replace of having to grease and flour your cake pans...just simply spray the inside of the pan (just like a Pam spray) and voila! - You're ready to pour in your batter! It takes out a step that I despise and usually make a mess with. You need to try it - I guarantee you'll be glad you did!

If you try the recipe or the Baker's Joy, let me know what ya think!!!

Have a happy Monday!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Story Behind the Song

Tonight I went to a Songwriter's Showcase benefit concert for the Big Oak Ranch. This is a major fundraiser for this ministry that is made possible through Randy Owen, from Alabama. The performers are songwriters of hit songs that we hear on the radio all the time - they told the stories behind the songs, and then performed. These people were not just some "nobody" people that write songs, hoping to one day make it big...they've already made it big, writing songs that have become #1 hits for people like Tim McGraw, Brad Paisley, Garth Brooks, Kenny Chesney, Reba McEntire, and sooooooo many others. It was such a neat experience to hear the stories of what inspired a song.
And, to also get to hear Alabama perform..."Lady, Down on Love", "Lead On", "Tennessee River"...it most definitely took me back to my childhood (That REALLY makes me feel old, by the way)!!
On the way home, I was thinking about all the many songs that are written. One of the songwriters said that someone asked him one time what he wrote about, and he said "my life - it's honest, and that's what moves people". That comment really stuck in my head. Songs affect us differently - some are funny, happy, sad, heart wrenching, inspiring, energizing, patriotic, informational, thought provoking, fun to dance to, easy to sing with...But, they are each written because of an experience in the life of the writer.

It made me wonder - if I were to write my life in a song, what would it sound like? How would it move someone - to cry, to laugh, to rewind and listen again? Would it be a song that anyone would want to hear?
Ironically, someone sent me one of those crazy quizzes on Facebook today, and it was "What is the theme song of your life?" Normally, I don't do a whole lot of those quizzes, but since I was pondering this thought anyway, I had to do it. The result was "Unwritten" by Natasha Bedingfield. You can listen to the song here. The result explanation said, "You live life to the max, and live each day like it's your last. You forget the rules, and just go for it, and want to experience it all before it disappears...Your life is a book...and your writing it! Love it, make it, work it, shape it...make it what YOU want! Don't forget a happy ending though!" Interesting........

So, next time you hear a song that sticks with you, think about the words...those were written by a real person with real life problems and joys. And know - there's always a story behind the song...

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

My Girls!

Tonight was one of my favorite nights - Wednesday night. I teach GA's (Girls in Action), which is a missions focused, service learning class. We learn about missionaries all over the world, and the work they do, and then the girls put what they've learned into action (thus the name!) and do different projects - whether it's an activity to learn more (like a craft or cooking activity) or a service project (like having a can food drive or selling crafts to purchase Bibles). It is soooo much fun, and the girls are always so eager to learn about the new missionaries, and ways that they can serve too.

Teaching GA's is such a special thing to me. I was a GA myself, and then an Acteen in middle/high school - and, so much of who I am today and the love I have for missions is due to being apart of this group.
This is a picture of my girls, and yes, they are "mine". Not only do I call them mine, but they will be quick to tell you that I am theirs! I love them, worry about them, cry with them, laugh with them, hope for them, and pray for them. These girls mean the world to me, and I look forward to teaching them every single week.

They each are individually unique...
Abby is the leader.She is super creative, & is always making something unique & beautiful. I hear myself in her words when she says, "I want it to be really funky!"

Amelia, or "Milly", is incredibly intelligent, & people that don't know her very well say she is shy and quiet. But, on contrare! She is very funny, always with a bright idea or story to tell.

Kyla is sweet, shy, and always cautious...she loves to help, & I can see her years from now being the one behind the scenes doing the work that no one ever sees.

~And, last but not least, is Courtney. Courtney is incredibly mature for her age, and is always polite, respectful, and a little lady. Courtney started coming to GA's when Abby decided to be a "missionary" at school, and persistently invited Courtney to come to church. After only one week, Courtney was hooked on our Wednesday night fun. Last week, she accepted Christ in Bible School! I'm so proud of her, and her new commitment to the Lord!

I have a very special bond with these girls. Each of them have traits that I see in myself and I have a connection with each of them in different ways. But, our connection is not just in our personalities clicking. We are united as daughters of our Heavenly Father, and He put a calling on my life to minister to these girls. Thank you, Father, for such an amazing blessing! No matter what my week has been like at work, I so look forward to being with my girls - I leave with my mind and spirit renewed, and feeling like I just left a party with my best gal pals! Isn't it awesome that when we follow God's plan, and do the work He has laid out for us, in the end WE are the ones who receive a blessing??!!??

The year is quickly coming to an end for our Wednesday night classes at Mt. Vernon, and I will only have one more year left with these girls. I'm gonna miss my girls when they move up to Acteens...but, I know there will be another eager group of girls waiting for me...and, they too will be my girls!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Welcome to Reflections of Grace

I'm so glad you have stopped by to read my new blog! I have wanted to start a blog for some time now, and am just getting started. I hope to keep others informed about the happenings in mine and Brad's lives...you all know there is ALWAYS something a little crazy going on with us! I hope that you will be inspired, amused, encouraged, and maybe gain a little insight into world of the Powell's!

I named our blog "Reflections of Grace"...I really pondered what to name "our blog", and thoughts of cutsie names came to mind - but in the end, I'm always reminded of the calling on our lives and my mind always points towards Christ. So, I hope that my thoughts and sentiments on this blog would always be a reflection of Him, and the grace He has shown to us.

You'll never know what I'll be writing about...whether it's crazy mishaps in my life, wonderful shopping finds, delicious recipes that you need to try, and just simply my thoughts that I want to share...

Let me know what you think....and, don't be a stranger - Stop by again soon!