Friday, February 17, 2012

What if I can't find my big girl panties?

It's been one of those weeks. After a great weekend away with no stress and no work, I got slammed. Some things I had planned for, but others--not so much.
  • The car registration is almost expired--Where is the tax receipt? Ummm--have to go to the courthouse to get one...
  • Pre-school registration is Monday--do we have Joe's immunization records? Nope--have to go to Ruby to get those.
  • It's my weekend to do kids at church--did I remember? Nope--luckily I have the best friend in Becki who volunteered to take it after the horrific look on my face yesterday.
  • Add to that list of unexpected-the 3 papers I have had to write in the last 4 days and the App Ad paper that is looming somewhere in the near future.

I needed the days to slow down to a snail's pace so that I could get everything done. But alas, time moves at its own speed, and it's Friday. I wish I could say that now that everything is checked off, I am stress free. But that is not the case. I got my butt-kicked by this week.

Amazingly, it has been a really good week for me and the Word. God has been pouring truth and grace into my life everyday, knowing how much I would need it. Cause while I realize that it sounds like I am whining (okay, I am whining), I'm amazed at what God is able to do in the midst of stress and frustration. I've been reading 1 Peter--and I needed this reminder!

Trials are a part of life. Things do not always go smoothly. And somehow we start to think if the going gets tough, it must not be the right direction. But I have not found that to be true. Rather, I have found that when we have to fight and work and not everything is peachy-keen, those are the times we grow the most. And JOY is ahead.

In addition to the wonderful words I have been reading, I have been really blessed by the friends in my life who have come beside me to bear the burden. Corey was on call this week, and with all my evening classes, it can be a problem. I don't like missing class, and he has to be at work. So Monday we did the Great Child Swap. I picked up Libby from school, took her and Joe to the law school where the wonderful Chelsy threw them in her mini-Cooper. She took them back to our house, fed them, and played with them until Abby Quinn Lilly could get there to relieve her. Corey got home eventually. Wednesday, Lauren happily volunteered to watch Libby so I could go to a meeting-Corey ended up getting out of work on time, but it is so nice to know I have people. Today, while I attempt to get work done, Becki is watching Joe (along with her two little girls). Having a community like this one - it's priceless. Especially on days (or weeks) that I can't find my big girl panties.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Book Nook:: Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

It's been a while since I read a book. Like since last summer-it makes me sad to admit that. Oh law school, how you steal all my free time...

 Since we had a very long drive over the weekend to TN, I had a great opportunity to finish the book I started last fall.

I realize that the movie is already out, and you might be dismissing this review; I will always recommend you READ THE BOOK. It was so compelling. And so stinking sad. I am a sucker for all things melancholy, but this book was even a bit blue for me.

It is about a little boy who lost his father in 9/11.  He is on an adventure to find a lock for a key he found in his father's possessions after he died. The really heart-wrenching part is looking back to the history of the family: the grandmother and grandfather. I don't know how the producer/director of this movie will show the raw emotions of these people. The chapters where these two take first person are the ones I bawled my eyes out. The book was well-written; the characters were quirky; the plot was well-developed. Until the end. I won't ruin it, but endings typically disappoint me, so still read it. I'll go see the movie and compare :)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

O, to be a Joseph

We wrapped up a 30 week long journey in the book of Genesis on Sunday. One of the applications was to look back and see what impacted us the most and talk about it.

The people of Genesis really stood out to me. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob...and at the end, Joseph. Some of them I really relate to, some I do not. Joseph is one of the ones that I wish I related to SO MUCH. If I could sum up Joseph in one word, I think it would be "perspective." He was able to see the BIG picture. He trusted that God would work things out-even when he was sold into slavery by his brothers, even when he was thrown into prison because of Potipher's wife, even when he was forgotten by the cup bearer. He maintained perspective through the whole thing and did not question God. The final chapter has verses that I have read over and over, Joseph is talking to those same brothers that sold him into slavery and he says,

 "You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives." (Genesis 50:20).  

And I wish that my response to hardship and suffering was that God is in control.  To look at the big picture and TRUST that whatever is being done has purpose in shaping me and refining my character.  Generally I just throw a temper tantrum and act like a five year old-I whine and complain that it is hard. I might end up in a place of trusting God but it is usually after several other responses-anger, sadness, fear, etc. Really all those guys in Genesis end up in a place of trusting God. I love the verse in Hebrews that says, "By faith, Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God." (Hebrews 11:8-10).  Abraham never saw the city-but he trusted that God would build it. Isaac and Jacob too. I want to be a person that trusts the Architect and Builder - who has promised me a life abundant.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Kitchen Adventures: Keeping it real.

I haven't blogged about food in a LONG time-but let's face it, I haven't blogged about anything in a LONG time. Life happens-and I'm ok with that. The blog serves its purpose of cataloguing those things I care to catalogue, and memorializing things that I want to memorialize. But I will say that I miss blogging about food. I love food. I love cooking and baking and eating (now I don't always like the result of all of this eating, but that is a different topic for a different day).

This year, I have been taking more steps to eat REAL food. What does that mean? For me it means making more of my food from scratch to eliminate preservatives and other stuff that I don't think my body really needs. I started small. One recipe here, another there. Pizza dough was one of the first that I tried. It was a HIT, so I have continued. Haven't bought it in almost 3 years. I also made my own granola-more for cost purposes than anything else. Since this adventure began, I have added recipes along the way. I make my own soups, pasta sauces, and hummus. I make the kids pancakes and freeze the extras.

But this year (so far) I have added bread and pasta.

 (I know this is more a pic of the soup than the bread-but both were great!)

I tried bread before, but the recipe wasn't great, so I was discouraged. Then a couple weeks ago, I was talking with my friend Lauren-at a knit circle-and she told me she made all of their bread. She is the mother to 3 boys under 5, so if she has time to do this, I figured I did too. She gave me her recipe and it has been AWESOME! It is honey wheat, and OH SO delicious.

The pasta was made purely because we had none and dinner was supposed to be spaghetti. I had no desire to do my homework, so I made pasta instead! It was really yummy. I did a whole wheat variety. We cut it thick and whipped up some marinara. The only thing is that I will use my mixer with the dough hook next time. My wrists can't handle all the kneading.

So here are the recipes:

Bread ala Lauren
3 cups flour (I use half white, half wheat)
1 tsp salt
1 packet (1 1/2 tsp yeast)
1 cup warm water
1 egg
2 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp oil

I throw it all in my mixer for 8 minutes. If you enjoy kneading or need the release, do that. Then let it rest for 1-2 hours. Form into a loaf and put it in a loaf pan. Let it rise a little more. Bake at 375 for 30-40 minutes.

The pasta recipe is from my Better Homes and Gardens cookbook (my go-to for easy and usually good recipes). You can access it here. The only thing I did was use half whole wheat flour.