Monday, February 28, 2011

Oh, Beans.

While on the topic of confessions, I have another for you... if I could only remember what I was... ergh...

Anyway, I did some rearranging in my kitchen recently, giving our coffee beans and paraphernalia a new home.  I had to label the outside of the jars, because once I closed them I knew I wouldn't remember which was which (and probably would have to open all three before finding what I was looking for).

Yes, that reminds me what I was going to tell you.  I am terribly forgetful.  In fact, when I was younger, I'd put sticky notes on my dresser drawers to remember what clothing was in each one.  (Otherwise I'd open each drawer trying to find my socks, shirt, etc...)

I like labels because they are a visual reminder (and I am, obviously, a visual person).  I don't like forgetting things, because it reminds me that I'm finite (which is humbling).  But in the midst of that, I remember my infinite God and his admonitions to remember (and not the location of my underwear, but to remember Him). How do I remember God?  I set up ebenezers.

My ebenezers include paintings of scripture, mementos (like a stone from a sermon about the rocks "crying out" that Messiah has come, or my wedding ring), and even sticky notes all over my computer desk.

How do you remember?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Big, Sweet Deal

So, I used up all of my Pandora hours for this month on Monday.  I'm pretty bummed.  Especially because I had the intro song to Guys and Dolls stuck in my head ("I've got your horse right here. His name is Paul Revere...") and I really wanted to listen to some musical soundtracks...  On the bright side, it's only a few days until March!!!

The Cast

Speaking of March, both of my siblings' birthdays are in March.  Actually, my friend Michele--who really should be considered a sibling--shares a birthday with my bro.  They were twins separated at birth, by a year.  Figure it out.

Forming the Crust

Anyway, it's still February.  This month my hubby and my newest sibling, Andrew the Brother-in-Law, celebrate their birthdays.  And I helped them.  Because, as my dear friend Suzanne always says, "Birthdays are a BIG deal!"

Flour, butter, sugar... YUM!

Andrew celebrated his birthday on Tuesday, although somewhat secretly (to avoid being showered by his fraternity brothers... teehee).  And, since I really really really reeeeeeally like celebrating birthdays, I made his favorite apple pie.

You see, I have connections.  I know his mom.  And I remembered that she once told me he prefers Dutch Apple Pie (aka. crumb topping), and that she showed me the combination of three recipes she uses.

If Yogi Bear tried to steal the pie, he might get stuck in my tiny kitchen, so I figured the pie was safe to let cool on the stove top.
All in all, we had a fun time eating pie and drinking milk to celebrate Andrew's graduation from teen-hood.  I was thankful to help celebrate one of my favorite things (birthdays) with another of my favorite things (baking) and producing one of the boys' favorite things (pie).

Happy Un-Birthday to you, friend!

(Or happy birthday, on the off-chance that it is, actually, your birthday today.  I hope someone bakes you a pie.)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Oh, Nuts.

Umm... I don't know how to tell you this, but I need to get it off of my chest... I like organization, and things to have a place... I like order... yeah, order is a good, solid engineering word.  I like that.  I won't say I'm a neat-freak though--I like things tidy, but I'm definitely not a freak.  Although I am an established nerd, demonstrated by my enjoyment of Douglas Adams and ability to easily convert between decimal, binary, and hexadecimal.  Speaking of binary, there are only 10 types of people in the world... those who can read binary and those who can't...

Uh...  Sorry about that.  Hope I didn't lose you.  See my trusty timer?  We teamed up with my ninja to make something really awesome.  Something that just fits together.  Orderly.  Yummy.  (I like it.)

Roast these...

Then puree them and add cocoa and other goodness, making chocolate peanut butter.  Yeah, I went there.  It's like spreadable Reese's peanut butter cups.  You can put it on your toast.  This way you can have candy for breakfast and feel good about it.  (Did I mention it's gluten-free and vegan?)

I found the recipe on the Smitten Kitchen blog.  They're geniuses.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

"What are you doing?"
"Taking a picture."
"So I can blog about it."
"You would."

And I am.  About a month ago, I discovered a crack spanning the entire width of the bottom of my Kitchenaid mixing bowl (see photo)!

We purchased them six months ago with wedding money, and I really liked them.  I decided to check out the Kitchenaid website and track down a replacement.  I had no luck online, so I sent a message to customer service--just to see what would happen.

Fast-forward to this afternoon:  I came home to a FedEx box addressed to me.  I couldn't remember ordering anything, so I opened it up to find...

Brand new replacement bowls (and a whole set)!!!  Kitchenaid has great customer service and (per the warranty) quickly replaced my bowls (at no cost to me) in the same color that I originally purchased them.

P.S.  I count it as a Valentine's Day present from God!

Friday, February 11, 2011


With a Compressor at a Natural Gas Well

I think the last time I wrote a research report was in high school.  It was titled "Not Your Mother's Mars", and discussed whether or not there was water on Mars (and if you're wondering, there was at one point, maybe).  I was a cool kid in high school, promise.  Anyway, tonight I'm beginning research on my second (ever) research paper assignment.  I'm taking Written Communication for Engineers, so they won't let me write about water on Mars (bummer), but I'm happy to announce that after many hours of pensive web-surfing I have chosen a topic... (drum roll, please)... Compressed Natural Gas Powered Vehicle Fleets!  I know you're wondering how I can stand to write this post while such an exhilarating topic awaits me, I am a little crazy, I guess.

Admittedly, I've been pretty apprehensive about the assignment--it's (on average) a 15-page single-spaced report full of technical jargon and fancy diagrams--but I've realized my folly.  Worry and fear are my biggest temptations and my most frequent sins, and sometimes I let my anxiety get to outrageous levels before I repent.  This last week was no different, as I found myself distraught; I couldn't choose a topic, I didn't know what to do.  In these times, I'm thankful for the Christians that God has placed in my life.  Nathan calmly reminded me what scripture says, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God, and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:6)," and then he prayed for me.  Ah, blessed community!  Praise God!

In class the next day, I realized that one stressor was the tone my professor used.  Though she speaks strongly and seriously about the assignment, I will not worry about my performance in this class, but trust God and work for His approval and His glory.  I am thankful that God is guarding my heart and my mind by revealing temptations and showing me a way out!

P.S.  My interest in compressed natural gas vehicles stems from my summer internship with a natural gas company.  (See pic)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Setting Up an Ebenezer


"Originally a biblical place name (meaning ‘stone of help’ in Hebrew). This was the site of the battle where the Israelites were defeated by the Philistines (1 Samuel 4:1). After they took their revenge, Samuel set up a memorial stone bearing this name (1 Samuel 7:12) (, emphasis mine)."
I have a memorial stone that I wear on my left hand, reminding me of the covenant I made with God and my husband six months ago today.  And today we remembered and celebrated.  I am thankful for who Nathan is, who God is making him, and that he is in my life.  All glory to God for our marriage!

Image (c) Cathy Mores Photography

P.S.  Isn't he handsome?  And the smooch... I just had to put it up... it makes me smile.