Monday, September 27, 2010

how to study the Bible

i recently listened to this seminar on how to study the Bible, by Matt Chandler at the Village Church in Dallas. he teaches the same basic format i learned at the Austin Stone, but it was encouraging and motivating to hear a refresher.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

a satisfying investment

i recently made some muffins that called for cutting cold butter into the flour mixture. i've never been very good at this, mainly because it takes so long to do it with two knives that i would give up before the butter bits were small enough. these muffins didn't turn out so well either. i don't know if it's because of my bad butter-cutting technique or if it was just a dud recipe - anyway, i decided to buy a pastry blender. it was only $3.99 at Target, and i've already decided that it was money well spent. tonight i used it to make the most delightfully flaky buttermilk biscuits. here are some pictures.

pastry blender at work

well-blended dough

btw, that's not old nasty dr pepper in the background - it's olive oil

try not to drool

i like strawberry preserves. and butter.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

my eyes are bigger than my stomach

Lately I've been trying to do more reading and creative projects and less vegging out watching movies or tv shows. I've also been cooking more instead of buying frozen meals or fast food. It's much more satisfying to use my free time to work on my ever-growing reading list or make something new, and it's cheaper and healthier to make my food from scratch (usually). My only problem is, I get a little overly ambitious in my projects, which in the past has caused me to get overwhelmed and burnt-out and give up.

For example, I'm currently reading 4 books. One is my read-while-I'm-on-break-at-work book, one is my read-before-bed book, one is my read-while-eating-dinner book, and one is a book I started months and months ago that I can only read a little at a time of because it makes my brain hurt. I have this entire weekend off from work, and I've barely read at all. I spent today in Austin, visiting my sister and a friend, and shopping. And guess what I bought. 2 more books! AAAHHH!!! It's a disease! For fear of burning out to the point that I stop reading all together, I've decided to put my 2 new books away on my shelf, and I'm not allowed to start reading them until I finish one of the ones I'm reading now. We'll see how that goes.

As far as projects go, I have fabric draped over my ironing board in the living room, calling out to me to begin working on the messenger bag I want to make. I have been doing pretty well at "stash-busting" my collection of yarn. But on the way home from Austin, I almost stopped at Hobby Lobby to buy more yarn, when I had 2 unfinished knitting projects waiting for me at home! Thankfully, I stopped myself before it was too late. Once I see the rows and rows of beautiful yarn, it's all over for me.

I recently took a trip up to Arkansas to visit my brothers and new sister-in-law. After eating Janna's yummy homemade meals, I became more motivated to start trying out new recipes myself. The problem here is that I'm cooking for just one person. Most recipes make at least 4 servings, usually more - if they didn't make lots of servings, it wouldn't feel like they were worth making anyway. I've already found lots of recipes I want to try, but it takes me forever to finish eating just one of them, even if I freeze half. My freezer is quickly filling up, and I've had to stop cooking for awhile.

Well, all that to say, now that the craziness of summer is over, I can focus on other things. The list of things I want to do goes on and on, far beyond reading and cooking - like finally get involved in a church here in Temple, start exercising again, write letters to people more often, dust off my guitar and try to re-teach myself some cords....too much to do, too little time. And before I know it it'll be time for me to start looking for another travel assignment. *sigh*

I'm going to go read a book now.

random picture, just for fun

Friday, September 10, 2010


"They [metaphorical Christian doctrines] mean that in addition to the physical or psycho-physical universe known to the sciences, there exists an uncreated and unconditioned reality which causes the universe to be; that this reality has a positive structure or constitution which is usefully, though doubtless not completely, described in the doctrine of the Trinity; and that this reality, at a definite point in time, entered the universe we know by becoming one of its own creatures and there produced effects on the historical level which the normal workings of the natural universe do not produce; and that this has brought about a change in our relations to the unconditioned reality."

I love C.S. Lewis, but sometimes he makes my head hurt a little.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

sigh of relief

as i try to make my way in this grown-up world of being a responsible adult, i keep discovering that various things i believed as a child were actually lies. for instance, that my acne would clear up after adolescence. also, that after i finished school for good, summertime would just be like any other time of the year. summer was always a crazy time of campouts, vacations, swim team, random activities, and disrupted schedules when i was growing up. and although i loved it, it was always kind of nice to go back to school in the fall, and back to a normal routine. i guess i assumed that it would change after i finished college and entered the real world. i was sad that i wouldn't have the long breaks in the summers anymore, but also looked forward to having a somewhat normal schedule year-round. boy was i wrong. in actuality, adults get to deal with all the craziness of summer (trips, vacations, events, etc) AND continue going to work each week, paying bills, juggling life, etc. which is why i've been dead to the blogging world the past couple of months. i don't remember ever having such a full summer in my life. and although it was great, i'm welcoming the first cool breeze of fall with a sigh of relief.