Sunday, March 30, 2008

From a Gal Who Likes to Be "In the Know"

This is a devotional someone sent me that really stomped across my mind as I was reading it and I kept thinking, how does this writer know me so well?

"The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too." Genesis 3:6 (NLT)

Eve tends to get a bad rap. Yes, I know she earned it by ushering sin into mankind, but I'm just not so sure I wouldn't have done the same thing. So, I'm leery about throwing stones at Eve.

You see, I too would've been tempted by the serpent's promise. I have a compelling desire to be "in the know." I don't like feeling like I'm missing out. Like Eve, I desire wisdom. And I certainly don't want to be intentionally held out on - especially by a God I'd been trusting to tell me the truth.

Satan convinced Eve that God was indeed holding out on her ... He was holding back some deliciously ripe fruit, and lying to her about the consequences of eating it. She wouldn't die, He just didn't want her to attain His status with the ability to know good and evil. Well, that last part is true. You see what Eve knew up until this point was only Good. Everything she saw, experienced, and knew was Good. What she did not know yet was Evil, at least not until she ran into the serpent and sank her teeth into that fruit. Then she knew it all too well, as feelings of guilt, shame and fear flooded her. Those feelings drove her to hide from God, for she knew there would be consequences. And there were ... including being booted from the garden of goodness.

Sadly, Eve and her husband, in swallowing the fruit, had swallowed traces of evil sinfulness that would somehow fuse themselves into the first couple's spiritual DNA. God wanted to ensure they didn't also eat from the tree of eternal life while they were in this state. In His sweet mercy, God kept Eve (and you and I) from living forever in a spiritual state of sin.

So, its true, God was holding something out on Eve - knowledge of evil. How I wish I didn't know evil. If only Eve could've seen what I see: the only thing God was holding back from her was something not worth tasting, not worth knowing, and not worth possessing.

Do you ever feel like God might be holding good things out on you?

Sometimes I look around and wonder why I don't have this, or why I can't do that. I guess the wise response would be to just trust God that He will provide everything I need and nothing I don't. Why does that feel so hard to settle for? Why does accepting God's ways even feel like settling at all? I suspect it's because I have the same impulse Eve did - to have and know it all.

Do you ever fear that following God's orders fully will cost you too much - more than you care to give up?

In Genesis 3:3, Eve makes God's orders about not eating from the tree even more restrictive than they actually were by claiming that He said she couldn't even touch the tree or its fruit. Don't we do that sometimes too ... make what God calls us to do or not do seem even more restrictive or unreasonable than it really is? While reading of Eve's adventures in the garden, I decided I want to cement in my soul the truth that I can follow God's orders with complete trust that He has my best interests in mind and at heart.

I also decided, in honor of Eve who always gets a bad rap, to make a big bowl of apple salad with celery, walnuts and raisins. As I tasted the crunchy, fruit salad I thought: Oh Eve, how I wish you hadn't eaten that apple! But I also understand why you did. Hopefully, I will learn from your mistakes.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Weekend With Marie

This weekend one of my favorite people came up to visit. Marie (Baylor Buddy) came up from Houston to catch up, and talk wedding now that she and Travis are heading towards the alter. She brought me the cutest Easter basket, full of all my favorite things:

I took her to a craft fair in town on Friday night, and we both agreed these giraffe print lunch bags with lime green handles were too cute to pass up. We both got one with lots of bling, and then many other goodies.

After Saturday School I took Marie to a wedding to help serve cake, and sample chocolate.



After a breakfast of liquid chocolate, and cake crumbs, we headed to Sprinkles for a lunch of cupcakes.

We spent the afternoon shopping up and down Dallas. I found this cute little art piece for my kitchen. This artist makes 'new hearts, out of old parts'....every piece is old wood carved and cut, with rusted and warn metal parts. I love the idea that the pieces had a life and a story of their own prior to this little art piece. I bought a ton of other fun stuff, but this was my favorite purchase.

We headed to Babe's for dinner. I had heard about this cute restaruant with rave reviews, and Marie agreed to try it out.
We arrived just ahead of the crowd. They have the cutest little area outside that you can choose between truck beds, John Deer tractor seats, and more while waiting. Once seated the food is served family style, it was yummy!

And the final fun thing of the day-a wedding theme! Marie has chosen the peacock feather to work for her color scheme. I love a good wedding theme. I can't wait to watch all the details come together.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Let Them Eat Cake


I spent most of Thursday evening baking a cake for my friend's parent's vowel renewal ceremony. This is the cake in progress. I head to the reception hall tomorrow for the rest of the prep/cutting/platting/serving. I found I'm not a huge fan of cake baking....but ask me in a month from now and I'm sure I will tell you I like it again.

51 of 101

....maybe not the most exciting news for anyone, but me...


Over spring break I checked off the 51st thing on my 101 list. Granted, there are some pretty tough things left on there, and I imagine it will be at LEAST another 10 years before I'm finished, but this is one more thing accomplished (and I needed to accomplish this before I can complete some of the other 'travel' related 'to do' items). For the first time, I applied for a passport. I even got a cute little cover (like it's going to get so much wear and tear I'll need one, but it was cute, I couldn't resist). I went and turned in all my paperwork last Friday, and it came in the mail today, a WEEK to the day of the application. I had heard all the expectations about it taking 6-8 weeks, but I'm guessing the postal service was kind to me....considering how much business I've given them over the years. ;o)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Gorman Grammar

about, above, across, after, against, along, among, around, at, before, behind, below, beneath, beside, between, beyond, by, down, during, except, for, from, in, inside, into, like, near, of, off, on, onto, over, past, up, upon, with, within, without, since, through, throughout, to, towards, under, underneath, until
My junior high english teacher made us recite this list of prepositions every day in class. (I bet some of you knew where this was going as soon as you saw the title.) She was a legacy that was talked about years before we actually made it to junior high. She was tough, but I can't TELL you how many times I have pulled this list out of my brain file to use in life. I'm grateful to her. I remember she threw an eraser across the room when I think really hard, but more importantly: I remember my prepositions! I found where I had written these down in an old file of papers from junior high, but I didn't need the file to remember. I ran into her a few years back at a vertical language arts meeting in the district. I very timidly told her I had been her student. She pretended to remember me, as all teacher learn to do, but most importantly.....I remember her lessons! I had to take this trip down memory lane when I saw this list! For those of you who are Gorman graduates, am I missing any? I'd hate to have an incomplete list!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter!

I tried out a recipe, it didn't work out well, it turned out pretty dry.
Just for fun: The dogs went on a treat hunt, they managed to grasp the concept without any support and help from the rest of us watching...and laughing.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Honey Bunny


This afternoon I walked by a bakery after lunch with my Mom downtown....and I spotted the cutest thing....the bakery was full of all these little bread bunnies. I had to buy one b/c I have to take it home, investigate all it's parts....and then I hope to make some next year for Easter (I already have my project for this year, so hopefully next year-April 12th, 2009-be there if you want a bunny by your plate, I'll probably start my shopping list next week for those of you who know how much I LOVE to plan ahead). It's made of some sort of honey bread....and they had them in all sorts of little displays. The bag doesn't do it justice. When you find yourself talking to the objects in the bakery window in a baby voice, it's time to take one home to a less public atmosphere to finish your conversation with said object regarding how cute it is.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Dallas In Bloom

This morning my cousin Holly and I headed downtown to the Arboretum. Each spring they have a large tulip collection on a display throughout the park, and they call the event 'Dallas In Bloom". It was a gorgeous day.





Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Kimbell Art Museum


This morning I headed to Fort Worth with Kelly (amid some torrential rain). They have an exhibit that will be leaving soon called "Picturing the Bible: The Earliest Christian Art." It was art work from the 4th century that demonstrated how the early Christians expressed their beliefs. There were some really neat pieces on loan from the Vatican, the British Museum, The Louvre, and Metropolitan. I learned a few things along the way as well, and it was neat to see how the church has developed, and the stories that early Christian's clung to as their faith and beliefs were tested. I've often seen and heard the traditional fish symbol, or icthus represents Christians, and Jesus who is the fisher of men. There was a section of pieces with this symbol on it, and they went on to explain that it is an acronym. The word meant fish in Greek, but each letter had a word connected as well which I didn't know. "Iesous Christos Theou Yios Soter" or in English "Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior." One of my favorite pieces on display was this cross from the Vatican that is said to have a piece from the cross Jesus carried in the center of it. When it leaves the Vatican the opened cross in the center where the wood rest has to be covered with black velvet.

The museum is a small one, but it has a lot of great exhibits in their 'every day' collection as well. It has also one some awards for this archetectrual design. www.kimbellart.org

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Palm Sunday Ponderings

Today Pastor Graham talked about building your life on the rock solid foundation of Christ. It was a great message from 1 Peter 2:4-10. He said something that I'm going to concentrate on this week. I've heard it before in many ways, but I always love it presented in any worded form. It comes from the vs.9-11, in a sentence: "God made you who you are, so you can tell the world who He is." Despite life's trials, I feel joy because I have the company of the Holy Spirit in my soul, and I know I need to share this more. Today as I was rushing from one outing to another, which fills my life way too often, I thought-I do not say this enough....I do not share this enough. As Easter approaches, how fortunate I feel for this "mess" I call my life because it is now "my message"! I am so excited each day, but more so each year I celebrate being a Christian! I don't always feel this way-but today I was just treasuring each trial for the opportunities they provide!

Galaxy Drive In


I have had this on my 'to do' list for over a year now. I have always wanted to go to a drive in movie (my Mom claims I have been to one as a child, but I don't remember). I found this drive in via the interent. http://www.galaxydriveintheatre.com It's about an hour from my house, 30 minutes from downtown Dallas, straight down 45 for the Texans that can make the journey. IT WAS FUN! It's one of about 400 drive in theaters left in the country. They show double features every night for VERY affordable prices. There are two mini golf courses to choose from, and play at while you wait for the movie to begin, and a super cheap snack bar. I'll cross it off the list, but I definitely plan to go back sometime. AS a bonus, I spotted two shooting stars while I was watching the films! I snapped a few shots BEFORE the show...but you get the idea!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Carrot Cake Cupcakes


I had a carrot cake a few years ago that was to die for...I've wanted to find a recipe that taste as good since then...but I'm still on the hunt. In the mean time. I made these today (it's my turn to bring dessert for bible study, so I figured I'd do something seasonal). They are really moist. I turned it into a cupcake instead of a cake recipe....
Preheat oven 325 degrees. Grease and flour a pan.
In a bowl mix:
2 c. all-purpose flour
2 t. baking powder
1 1/2 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
2 1/2 t. cinnamon
In a second bowl mix together:
4 eggs
3/4 c. veg oil
3/4 c. unsweetened applesauce
2 c. white sugar
Beat in flour mixture then add:
2 3/4 c. shredded carrots
8 oz can of crushed pineapple, drained
3/4 c. chopped walnuts
1 c. flaked coconut
Bake 35-40 minutes (25 minutes for cupcakes)
Icing:
(I halved this recipe when I made it for the cupcakes)
16 oz of cream cheese
2 sticks of butter (1 cup)
8 c. of powdered sugar (2 lbs)
2 T. of milk

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Four Facts on Friday

I get these forwards all the time....probably b/c I'll do them b/c I never want to be the person who doesn't respond...so here are my Friday Facts:

A) Four jobs I have had in my life:
1. Subway 'Sandwich Artist' ;o)
2. Baylor Call Center
3. Insert Office Filing, Phone Call Answering, and Spreadsheet Type Task Here
4. Teacher

B) Four movies I would watch over and over
1. Pride and Prejudice BBC
2. My Big Fat Greek Wedding
3. Bridge Jones' Diary
4. Anne of Green Gables (Childhood favorite....but I still love it).

C) Four places I have lived
1. Dallas, Texas (the first few days of life ;o))
2. Richardson, Texas
3. Waco, Texas
4. Plano, Texas

D) Four TV Shows that I watch:
1. American Idol
2. Survivor
3. Martha
4. The Deadliest Catch (just to represent the million little strange shows I pick up....I love this one!)

E) Four places I have been:
1. Hawaii
2. Savannah, GA
3. New York City
4. Belize

F) People who e-mail me (regularly):
1. Mom
2. Maggie
3. Jodi
4. Insert all those 'work people' here.

G) Four of my favorite foods:
1. Bread
2. Petit Fours
3. Iced Sugar Cookies
4. Pizza

H) Four places I would rather be right now:
1. At the beach
2. In my bed
3. At a spa
4. ....honestly I'm OK with where I'm at.....but I had to fill in all four of these!

I) Things I am looking forward to this year:
1. Upcoming Trips-Florida, Kansas City, California to name a few.
2. Summer
3. LOTS of graduation celebrations with the family....
4. Catching up with old friends,and getting to see their faces in person!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

30 Something....


This evening I went out with my friend Sonia, we headed to this quilt store she has been telling me about,and I bought fabric for my next quilt. I haven't even started on the quilt I bought fabric for last year (Dick and Jane), I'm never short on projects. I've been eying these thirties patterned fabrics for several years. I told myself my 'next quilt' would look less like colorful bubblegum-I tend to be drawn towards those colors....I guess myself just didn't win out on another argument regarding fabric colors.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

A Wacky Week

I could fill this page with all the comedy of errors I have encountered, experienced, and created this week. I would....but in the end-some secrets should be saved ;o). Reflecting today, all I could do was laugh about living out a really wild week...and most of it I'm already forgetting. BUT, on Saturday in the midst of a marathon of errands and 'to do' list doing I looked down and I saw I was wearing two different shoes....same style, different colors. I thought...if I had to sum up this week's theme in a single story-this is what I would pick.

Easter Fact

Did you know that this is the earliest Easter has fallen in over 300 years? I learned this today, I had to share, I think it might be the teacher in me that can't let the opportunity go by...

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Thundersnow


....I know the whole snow thing is a little redundant, but this afternoon when I was driving home in the DRIVING SNOW I thought-only in Texas. It had been raining all afternoon, the temperatures started dropping, and the rain became a 'wintery mix'....the wintery mix became "Thundersnow"....a Thunder Snow Storm-I just loved the name the weather forecasters were using. It looks just like rain with the wet streets from all the afternoon rain (minus the freezing lines of water on my windshield), so you are going to have to take my word for it...I can't remember the last time I saw 'driving snow'....and I can't believe we had the second 'snowstorm' of the season (both) in March! Now the wait begins....will the roads glass over tonight? More pure sleet is expected, but with so much rain, it's a dance with the temperature that will determine driving conditions, and ultimately-tomorrow's school agendas.....
P.s. This is a picture I took the other day when it snowed, I was sitting in my car waiting for it to warm up, and my windows wouldn't go down (and I sure wasn't about to get back out) so I could get a shot of my yard, I just captured the corner I could see through the iced over windows....but I wanted to add some visuals for those of you who think snow is fun any which way you can get a little covering!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

School Snow Days

Today, March 4, I woke up and there was snow all over the ground! It was so fun to see. It was one of those rare 'snow days' that we went to school (no ice on the roads, which usually shuts Dallas down-probably thanks to the almost 80 degree weather this past weekend). Sure enough, as I drove up to the school the third graders were having a snowball fight in the front of the school. This afternoon the 6th graders had found what remained of a few chunks of ice and were 'carrying it home.' Snow never seems to last throughout the day....it was such torture when I was little to sit inside and watch it snow...and not stick, or worse yet, to leave for school knowing it would all be gone in the afternoon-another lost opportunity to build a snowman. I used to love it when my Mom woke me up in the middle of the night so I could go play in the snow for a few minutes. There is something so fun to be the first one to walk on snow! I remember one time I went outside in the morning and I collected a small bowl of snow and put it the freezer so I could play when it when I got home from school. I'm still waiting to build another snowman...maybe next winter...

Sunday, March 02, 2008

The Waco Way

This weekend I headed to Waco with my friend Kelly to see a play one of her friend's was directing. A trip to my alma mater? Count me there! Since I've started this blog, I don't think I've documented this much traveled road South down 35....and so...a few of the highlights for all of you who traveled it with me for so many years....or didn't, here is my Baylor-Road Traveling Experiences:
I have it down to a science, I know where you will at 15 minute intervals (it takes about 2 hours total with weekend traffic). You know you are exactly 45 minutes outside of Waco when you pass 'The Catapillars'....I don't know what this really is, it's a bunch of dome houses along the road where people live, but to me, it's how I timed this road trip back and forth from college and home for 3.5 years.

...travel another 30 minutes down the road (going past the Hillsboro Outlet Centers which is the 15 minute interval between the two) and you will hit a little town called West, Texas. My car broke down here once, but that is only bad experience I have had. This stop is better known at the 'Czech Stop.' There is a festival there in the fall, but really-it's all about a bakery full of kolaches. There are a lot of signs that claim to have good kolaches, but the Shell station is where you are supposed to stop. I didn't capture all the cars, it was PACKED. We parked across the street today and waited in a winding line for about thirty minutes to get our box to go. They serve fruit kolaches, but my favorite is the sausage and cheese. If you haven't been-erase all the ideas of what you think a kolache is, because these are different....


And then-there is Baylor. You can see it from the highway. My very favorite building (and there are a lot of pretty ones) is Patt Neff. When Baylor wins a football game they light it up in green, and the chimes play from the bell tower nearby. This is rare, but there were a few good wins while I was there! We beat UT my freshmen year (just 1.5 hours down the same highway),the goal post came down, and was walked home along 35. The tower was lite.

No visit is complete without a stop at the bear pit. Today, one bear was sleeping in a den, I don't know where the other one was. They are cute. Sic' Em Bears!

Even with all that fun, my favorite thing in the world is coming back home, and getting my first glimpse of the Dallas skyline (even on a rainy day).

Saturday, March 01, 2008

A Life Philosophy

Today, after Saturday School, I went out with my friend Sonia. We headed to a quilt shop, and then a Korean grocery store that just opened in town. I'm not proud to say that I am a super picky eater, but I also try to show manners and attempt to eat whatever tofu, noodles, and dishes that are set before me. Some eating is more about the experience than the feeling of satisfaction! I do have one little life philosophy that has yet to really fail me, and that is that-no matter how unsatisfactory food can be from different countries, cultures etc, I think we can all universally enjoy a dessert. I have no fear in ordering off a dessert menu! And so, I conclude this blog report with a picture of how my afternoon with Sonia ended: