Saturday, March 13, 2010
A major theme throughout Crazy Love is this concept of a comfort zone. We all live within self-made walls that dictate what we are willing to do on any given day at any given moment. In the video Francis Chan asks the question again, "What are you doing that requires faith?" Let's put this in more visual terms, something that helps me grasp concepts.
I think we live our lives in our comfort zone almost 100% of the time. Imagine yourself in a wide open plain. (Are you imagining?)Here's a plain for visual reference:
In the middle of this plain, we are pretty much guaranteed to not have to make any "leaps of faith". Things are just fine here. I'm OK, you're OK. Go to work. Come home. Comfort zone. Out there on the edge of our comfort zone is a cliff. If you go far enough from the center of your plain you'll hit a spot where you can't go any further without faith that God will catch you. It's not comfortable there. It's scary. Just look at Harrison Ford. He's freakin out, man. Human nature leads away from discomfort. Like it or not, God is all about you living life on the edge, letting it all hang out, and taking some crazy leaps of faith. Is this opinion? Did I just cook this up? Francis Chan confronts this concept head on in Chapter 7 by asking some tough questions that lead to an interesting place: the edge of your comfort zone.
Questions (rephrased from page 113)
Can you find fulfillment outside of God? What do non-Christians do to find fulfillment in life?
Can you please God without wholehearted surrender? Read Hebrews 11:5-7.
Will God catch you if you leap? Is it better out there on the edge?
Are you willing to trade some comfort to please God? Are you willing trade all of your comfort to please God? Are you willing to live without a plan or idea of what will happen tomorrow or next year?
What are some simple actions that require faith? (last paragraph on page 117)? Read Matthew Chapter 25, verses 31 through 46.
1. _______ the ___________.
2. Give __________ to ______________.
3. Look after the ________ and ______________.
Why do these things require faith? Why do they please God? Are they directly tied to our salvation?
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Hello blog! I was thinking I needed an outlet and remembered our happy little blog. Tracie has posted so many pleasant little things that I now feel odd posting about any random thing, so I decided we could keep a food focus for today. The following is a lightning review (well, ok, it's more like a novella) of where I ate lunch.
Buffalo Wild Wings Grill & Bar
5000 Jimmy Lee Smith Parkway
Hiram, GA 30141-2769
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I had every intention of eating somewhere healthy today. In fact, that's how I justified not going home to reheat some pizza while I watched something mind numbing on Netflix. We discovered the new Blimpie that opened inside the ColdStone Creamery last night, so I headed there, with happy thoughts of $1.00 off a tasty sandwich (or so i had been told by the lady there last night). So, I turn into the parking lot (correctly, this time, not repeating my mistake of pulling through the Starbucks drivethrough lane and having to squeeze past some caffeine fiend jonesing for a fix) and there it was: Buffalo Wild Wings. Had I been there before? I can't remember. Seems like I tried to sell them some advertising once. Or was that the Buffalo's? Buffalo's has good corn. Does Buffalo Wild Wings have good corn? As these thoughts dance through my head my highly efficient auto pilot kicks in (NASA should study this mechanism and program it into their Mars rovers so they will go places and do things with almost no processing power required) and I find myself parked. And if I'm parked, then the car is off, the keys are out and I'm heading in (all autopilot, NASA. Can you see the potential?).
Here are my impressions:
A short cattle chute finds me in a large dark room with TVs everywhere and at least two projectors. I am instantly greeted by two young ladies. The staff are all wearing the typical black pants/black logo t-shirt uniforms that allow them to completely disappear in the darkness if they want to. It's a sort of culinary camo. I'm taken to a table. I do a quick turn, deciding which chair to sit in. There are a few people at the bar across the room. To my slight annoyance, every TV is tuned to an esoteric sports network (The Ocho?) and not a single one has closed captioning turned on. Am I doomed to silent sports? Which is worse? Silent sports tv or sports broadcasting on talk radio? I pick the tv closest and arrange myself accordingly. Country music plays unobtrusively. They have a lunch menu, so I order a Coke (let's make the best of this whole 'sports bar' thing, right?) and give it a look over. Tiny burgers or wings. Wings it is! Can I replace the celery? Nope. What sauce? Ummmm, medium? The Coke arrives, and it is good and strong. Now, I wait.
Fiddling with my phone, I am suddenly startled by blaring commentary from one of the TVs. Where is it coming from? Why doesn't it make sense? It must be coming from that one with the icy dart board on the screen. What is that? Curling? Hmmm, I'm down for curling. My mind shifts into overdrive, trying to make sense of the really loud gibberish. I soon decide there are two commentators speaking English and a gaggle of lady curlers speaking French/German/Curlish. It turns out curling is pretty cool. I watch the ladies do these crazy graceful Superman-esque gliding lunges, sending their "stone" down what should be called a curling lane (which would be located in a curling alley) while their lackeys try to make them look good by vigorously manipulating time and space with tiny brooms to 'curl' the stone into their opponent's stone. It's slow. There is no violence. But it's cool. I'm not sure it's a sport, but the Olympic Games are really just a series of TV shows, so if I'm entertained, then more power to the curlers. I change seats to face the appropriate curling screen, wishing someone would turn it down.
After what seemed like a pretty long wait (how long does it take to deep fry some wings and french fries?) my food arrived. Holy cow, that's a ton of wings! The fries are thin cut and seem to be cut fresh in the kitchen, giving them a happy home made texture/taste. The wings were good. It seems like wings are wings, but I did appreciate that the sauce didn't melt my face or stain my fingers permanently. They came with two ramekins of ranch (or bleu cheese) dressing which was very good. Over the course of my stay at Buffalo Wild Wings my eating experience has gradually gotten better. The food is good and hot. My drink is refilled THREE times (in my opinion, this is what I tip for). Someone finds the remote and turns down the curling to something softer than deafening and I get to eat in peace, enjoying my fried food tour de force. Heck, I even tried the celery. To my shock and dismay, it tasted fine, proving that my taste buds have been dying off since my childhood when sharp cheddar made my eyes water and anything green tasted like grass (celery) or horse poop (green beans). In the end, my food costs $10.37 and I tip $2.00 plus the change, so $13.00 out the door. Not a cheap lunch, but hey, I have five wings left over in the fridge at work, I drank some darn good Coke, and there was curling. I give the place 2 out of 5 Cupcakes and 3 out of 5 Hand Grenades.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Yesterday I made these Cinnamon Bun Pancakes. Oh, man, were they good. They tasted like cinnamon buns and pancakes all in one.
- 1-½ cup All-purpose Flour
- 3 Tablespoons White Sugar
- ½ teaspoons Salt
- 4 teaspoons Baking Powder
- 1 Tablespoon Cinnamon
- 2 whole Eggs Beaten
- 1 cup Milk
- 2 Tablespoons Corn Syrup
- ¼ cups Butter, Melted
- 1 Tablespoon Vanilla
In medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and cinnamon with a whisk. Whisk well to make sure everything is combined.
In separate large bowl, beat together eggs, milk, corn syurp, butter and vanilla. Stir in flour mixture.
Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium/low heat. Pour about 1/4 cup batter onto griddle. Brown on both sides.
Serve warm with icing drizzled over the top.
These were especially easy to make since Jason and I bought our two burner griddle pan. I highly recommend it.
I have been asked a couple times for my chili recipe, so I thought that I would share that as well. I have been known to double and triple this recipe and I usually cook it in the crockpot, but it can be cooked over the stove.
1 lb. ground chuck or turkey
salt and pepper to taste
2 cans diced tomatoes with garlic and onions
2 small cans tomato sauce
1 TBS chili powder
1 tsp cumin
salsa (any kind. I just pour some in to add a little spice. Maybe 1/2 c to a cup)
Brown meat with salt and pepper. Drain.
Add tomatoes, spices, meat, and salsa to a large sauce pan and cook for 20 min or so on medium. (this can also be done in the crock pot)
Serve with Fritos, cheddar cheese, and sour cream. This is also good with basic Jiffy corn muffins if that is what you happen to be craving at the moment.
And finally, I think I am going to make this and surprise Jason when he comes home tonight. I made it at my first Apples of Gold Bible study and Jason said it was the best apple pie he has ever had.
The Mom's Apple Pie to End All Mom's Apple Pies
1/3 c sugar
1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
3 TBS flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
6 large Granny Smith apples (pared, cored, and sliced)
Short and Tender Pie crust
2 TBS butter
1 c lightly spooned all-purpose flour
1/2 c firmly packed brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 stick butter
Combine sugar, brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon in large bowl, pressing out any lumps. Add apples and toss well to mix. Pour into pie shell and dot with butter.
Topping: Combine flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Scatter topping thickly over apple filling.
Bake in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes or until crust and topping are nicely browned. Cool before cutting.
An interesting tidbit about apples, baking apples have rounded bottoms (think Granny Smith) while eating apples have more pointed bottoms (think Red Delicious). You can eat baking apples, but it isn't good to bake with eating apples. Now you know. :)
Pie Crust Recipe
1 3/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 TBS sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c shortening
3 to 4 TBS cold water
Combine dry ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Cut in shortening with a pastry blender until fine crumbs form. Add water a tablespoon at a time, mixing briskly with a fork just until pastry holds together. Do not over mix or pastry will toughen. Roll out on floured surface to a 13-in round. Fit into a 9-in pie plate. trim overhang to 1 inch; turn under flush with rim. Pinch to make the crust edges fluted.
I just remembered that I used all of my cinnamon yesterday for the pancakes, so unless Jason stops by the store on his way home, we won't be having apple pie this evening. Oh, well.
Last weekend we re-ordered Cole's crib. The perfect one that I liked so much and that we thought there was one left of, didn't really exist, so we had to go with something else. I definitely don't like it as much as the original one, but this one was a little cheaper and it is still fairly unique. Hopefully it will actually be here in a few weeks. On Monday, our friend Jay came over and painted a tree on the wall in Coleman's room. I think it looks awesome. Jason and I sat up there the whole time and watched him paint.
Jason made a video of the process as well.
So, the last piece of larger furniture that we need to buy for Cole's room/our house is a glider of some sort. I am hoping we find one for a decent deal on craigslist, especially since we got such a good deal on our dresser. I feel like we are doing pretty well for getting the room ready.
Finally, here is a picture of me Jason took a few weeks ago. I guess I need to get him to take another, because even though I don't feel like I am bigger, I probably am.
This was taken at 23 weeks.
25 weeks, 2 days (where has the time gone?)
Friday, February 5, 2010
Saturday, January 23, 2010
So, two weeks ago I said something about posting some big news. Well, right after that good news, I got sick and did not feel like doing much of anything for a few days, so I figure, better late than never and I will post now.
On January 13, we went to the doctor and had an ultrasound. We finally got to see our little one.
Here he is! If you are having trouble with figuring this picture out, his head is to the right and you can see his profile.
Apparently he really likes to be curled up.
And, I saved the best for last.
Here you can see his face. I think he is going to have Jason's nose. We really weren't expecting to get to see a 3-D picture of Cole. It was so nice to get a sneak peak of our little one. Now we are working on getting everything ready for his arrival.
21 weeks, 1 day
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Jason and I started dating less than a month before the start of the decade, so technically we have been together for 10 years now.
2000: I finished up my junior year of high school and began my senior year. I went to Malawi on a missions trip over summer break.
2001: I went to Paris, France on a missions trip with the seniors at my church and to New York with Model UN at school. I graduated from North Cobb and started Berry College.
2002: I continued at Berry. I worked for a professor in the education department. That summer I stayed in Rome and worked at Berry. I traveled to Canada with my family over summer break.
2003: Still at Berry and still working for the same professor. I began junior block and had my first teaching experience.
2004: My family went on our last big vacation together. We took a Caribbean cruise and traveled to Puerto Rico, Dominica, St. John, and Aruba. Began my student teaching that fall in Rome. I lived with two roommates in a house off campus. Jason proposed on December 19.
2005: I finished my student teaching, finished my portfolio, looked for a teaching job, graduated from Berry, got a teaching job, and married Jason all before June. We moved into an apartment in Kennesaw and I started work as an ESOL teacher.
2006: We moved to Carrollton and lived on a farm in what could be considered a barn (there were tractors inside it, just not in the attached apartment). While it was nice to have cheap rent it was a pain to live so far away from family and friends and my job, so we began our long search for a home of our own.
2007: We bought our first house and moved to Dallas! We also got a second dog (Chloe).
2008: I began working on my masters in early childhood education and I could be found driving almost an hour twice a week to take classes at Berry.
2009: We got pregnant and I had a miscarriage (not a fun thing to remember, but a huge part of my life for the year). Jason got a wonderful, miraculous job. I finished my masters and got a pay raise. I got pregnant again. God told us that this one would stick through a pastor friend. We got to see our little one moving around and we heard its heart beat. I walked in my graduation from Berry for my masters degree and got my hood.
That is just a brief synopsis of the past decade. I couldn't remember everything, nor does anyone really want to read everything. A couple interesting things to ponder. I graduated 3 times in the past decade, so somewhere around my house are three separate sets of graduation robes and there should be 3 diplomas, but I'm not sure my high school one ever made it to my house. I also lived in 4 different cities in Georgia. Not too strange for some, but I didn't move at all in the decade prior to this one.
That is all for now. Tune in next week for some super exciting news.