Friday, January 31, 2014

{Nola's First Dance || The Steel Wheels}

Today's Song of the Day
Americana.  So wonderful.  This is a fun song to getting ready to in the morning :)

What songs do you like getting ready to in the morning?

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

{Subaru Family}

Frank and I are a Subaru family.
We do not own a Subaru...yet.
Subaru won our hearts over with their fantastic commercials.  I mean, take a looksy through these brilliant developed commercials, and tell me you don't have least have a soft-spot for Subaru forming in your heart:

Subaru shows more concern for the safety of the owners, family love and values, and realistic scenarios.  Sure, their performance is great, but Subaru knows that people who really care about what matters don't look at all the high-tech new gadget thingys all over the place.  They look at the safety of the children that will be inside of it.  They look at the longevity of a vehicle that will hold great memories of roadtrips.  They aren't so worried about going super fast in the middle of the desert, since they'll never be in the middle of the desert, nor is there a place to drive super fast, without limits.  Subaru owners love their Subaru.  Subaru stands for those of us who love memories, love family, love safety, and love people who share these same loves.  Even though we do not currently own a Subaru, we are a Subaru family.

Monday, January 27, 2014

{Things I Learn}

So, recently I learned that there could have potentially been a 51st state in our nation today.
No, I'm not talking about Washington, D.C.  I'm talking West Coast...
[Photo Credit]
The region that makes up Northern California and Southern Oregon is a people group all to themselves.  When you think of California, typically you think of places like San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Los Angeles, Fresno, and other cities like them.  All of these places are densely populated with tons of stardom flowing out of them, right?  Well not all of Cali is like this.  In fact, if you were to drive to the tiptop of California's borders, you will feel like you are in another land.  Mountainous and free, these people are far opposite from their fellow-Californians further South.

Glenn County Joins State of Jefferson Movement
[Photo Credit]
The culture was so divided top-to-bottom that back in the late 1930's, plans began developing to make that region a state of its own.  They went through all the "legalities" and wrote up their own constitution as a state, stopping people at the invisible borders so that they can have a copy of their new 'birth certificate.'  They gave their new state a name to officiate it: Jefferson.
Everything was set, and plans were for go; they were to announce their new statehood on Monday, December 8, 1941.  Does this date ring a bell?
[Photo Credit]
Yup.  Instead of announcing the birth of a new state, the U.S. declared war on Japan.  Anything good to come out of this new statehood would be drowned in the cries of war.  The State of Jefferson never got to announce their birth, and most of the American people have never known they ever wanted to exist.
[Photo Credit]
Although not legally recognized as an official state, Jeffersonians still say they are not from Northern California, and they are not from Southern Oregon;  they are from Jefferson, born and raised in Jefferson, plain and simple.  Maybe in the future, the descendants of these rebels will once again declare their independence as a recognized state, and be the 51st state of America - who knows?

{Eats: Green Eggs & Quinoa}

Yesterday, I was in charge of making Sunday lunch.
I discovered a blog recently that had tons of pictures of foods she has eaten.
Most of them looked delish!!  I wanted to try some of them.
She didn't give ingredients, or a recipe, so I came up with one on my own and it turned out fantastic!
I call it... Green Eggs & Quinoa!  Or Poached Egg on the Greens!  I haven't decided yet...

Here's the ingredients I used, with approximate measurements for 2 servings:

2 cups quinoa (you can also substitute rice or couscous)
2 tbs black olives (or green olives, if you prefer)
1/2 roma tomato
1 cup spinach
2 egg (1 egg per serving)
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil (mine was flavored rosemary)
1 tbs pesto

And here is the recipe I developed:

1.    You will need three pans running at a time (or at least, that's how I did it).  In one small frying pan, cook the quinoa (pronounced keen-wa).  Typically, you would run 2-4 tbs water over the quinoa as it cooks.  After it's completely soft-cooked, you will run 2 tbs of olive oil over it, mixing it to spread the taste around.
2.    The second pot will be for the poached eggs.  I plan on putting my own poached egg instructional up here soon, but for now, you can look here!
3.    The third pan will be for veggies.  Put all of the other veggies into this frying pan and start cooking them.  I recommend adding 1-2 tbs of water to help them cook and remain their savory taste.  If you want, you can add a little vegetable oil or olive oil, to taste.
4.    Once all of these are done cooking, you can place the quinoa into the bowl first, topped with the sauteed veggies, layer on a poached egg, and smooth a tbs of pesto across the top.
5.  This recipe takes approximately 20 minutes total, and the recipe here is for 2 servings.  Serve up, preferably in bowls, and enjoy!

Quinoa is a huge source of protein and "acceptable quantities of calcium, phosphorus, and iron, [1]."  Spinach is also a good source of iron, eggs are fantastic protein agents, and tomatoes have good beta carotene - an antioxidant that helps boost your immune system and lowers your risk for cancer.  In this bowl is nothing but healthy, tasty, goodness.  What better way to thank yourself for being healthy but to chow down!

{How To Interpret the Bible}

    In my time as a believer, it has pained me to hear lies coming from the mouths of those around me.  What lies?  I have heard sooooo many interpretations of the Bible from so many different people; I have heard excuses and reasons as to why the Bible fits the lifestyles of so many truly unjustified people; and I have heard people say, "It's all about how you interpret the Bible."  That is not true.  You can't just interpret the Bible in order to fit your own lifestyle or worldview; it was written with purpose and reason - ONE purpose and reason - and that is to listen to the voice and breath of God speaking through His chosen divinely separated authors who wrote His words for us to understand.  While I am not a Biblical expert, I do have a few tools of advice I would love to share so that you can understand and apply what God is saying in His Word.

    Last semester, I studied in a class called "Hermeneutics."  Long and fancy word, you might say.  You might also be asking what that is or Googling that word right now. Well the basic definition of hermeneutics is: the principles of Biblical interpretation.  In this class, we are shown how silly it is to try and match our own desires, lifestyles, and worldviews to that of the Bible.  In some ways, culturally, this class was a bit of an adjustment.  But by the end of the class, the Bible is a whole new world again!

    When interpreting the Bible, many times you ask, "What does this mean to me?"  Good question, right?  Wrong.  By asking what a particular passage means to you is taking away the essence of God speaking to a broken world.  Instead, when approaching interpretation of Scripture, ask yourself two questions:

  1. "What does this mean? and 
  2. How does it apply to me?"  
In that order.  What's the purpose for these questions? By asking the first question, you are asking: what happened in this time period? What was the significance of [this place, or these people] mentioned?  Why is it worded the way it is worded?  What are the original meanings of this word in Greek/Hebrew?  By asking this first question, you are finding out what the passage actually means in its context.  Once you have done a wee bit of studying, you can go on to the next question: how does this apply to me?  

Notice, it's not "how can  I apply this to me?"  Interpreting the Bible is not about you and your lifestyle, or me and my lifestyle.  We need to fix this.  Ask how this passage applies to you?  Does it say, "thou shalt not bear false witness against your neighbor"?  Well what does it mean?  Bearing false witness means we are making up stories.  This passage means that [the audience - us] are to not lie to or about our neighbor.  In essence, do not lie.  How does this apply to me?  I should not start rumors about my neighbors, I shall not lie to them or about them.  I, in general, shall not lie.  See how this works?  There are more tools in the world for Biblical interpretation, but I want you to start off with these two basic questions.  They will get your further in study than you'll ever know!

I also want you to understand: no one is perfect.  No one.  At all.  The question of morality vs. immorality does not quite exist in the sense of us being human.  We are all sinners who have fallen short of the glory of God, as it says in Romans 3:23.  Although we have been given guidelines for "morality", we are still "immoral" sinners, simply striving to be "moral."  Don't feel that you are too imperfect to study God's Word - His Word was meant for those who are not too proud to be wrong.  However, that also does not give us the right to "be immoral" just because we are sinners, and God loves us anyways.  I hope that, as you learn more about God, you also learn that having a right relationship with Him means that you will learn to love like He does, and will surrender your whole life to Him so that He can change you for His good and perfect will.  

Please never hesitate to ask questions!!  Maybe I don't have the answer to everything but I would rather you ask and us search for an answer, than for you to search alone and misinterpret God's message to you.  I will be praying for you as you learn how to read God's message to us, and that you will grow in your relationship with the One who made you and loves you.


Thursday, January 23, 2014

{When I'm Small || Phantogram}

Today's Song of the Day
I listened to these guys (just a little) a few years ago, and bought one of their albums.
I soon forgot about them until I watched a video posted by another blogger that I follow.  I had  to know what this song was and who it was by.  In the past week, I have woken up with this song in my head at least twice, and I've constantly had this song going on in my head.  It's a good song.  Thankfully, because of the catchy monotonous beats and tones, it hasn't bothered me yet!
FYI.  This chica likes to flip her hair back and forth... and in her face...

What songs do you ever wake up with in your head?

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

{The Life Inspiring} January 22

Today was the first day back to school.  I had three classes and work.  Two of those classes gave me two syllabus slaps with a bunch of reading. My least favorite assignment given for every class is a ton of reading.  But I guess I have no choice, right?  What was interesting about today was that two-thirds of my professors had cool cups with 'kid story' characters on them.  No shame in that! I thought that was really cool.  It was good to be back in class, even though it feels like we never left last semester.

Wednesday, January 22
 The sun was so bright this morning!
 The Lorax!  Brought in by Dr. Caudill to Abnormal Psychology.
 I love seeing the sun shining through the trees on my way to class.  It's neat when I take a picture, I can look and see all the spindly twigs sprouting out from the branches.
 Philosophy class.  I hate this book.  This guy is a horrible philosopher with really bad arguments.  It's infuriating to see the way so many people think about Christianity.  The reason they have this view of Christianity is because of all the people whose lives don't line up with what they say they believe...
 Peter Rabbit!  Belonging to Dr. Gentry in Philosophy.  Frank loved Peter Rabbit as a kid.
 When Frank and I were just beginning to know each other, I mistakened one of these lights for the moon!
 The Boulevard is lined with flags from every country represented by our graduates.  Seeing these lines of flags was the first time I felt God telling me that CIU is where I belong.  Can you name the countries these flags belong to?
 I. love. Subaru.  We don't own a Subaru, unfortunately, but we are definitely a Subaru family!!
 Good ol' Dr. Farra.  I love being a Psychology major.
 If there is ever an opportunity opened to us to go, Sweden is where Frank and I have always felt called to to serve!  I hope we can go someday, even if it's only for short-term!
 There's another clock!
 Our teachers leave out puzzles and games for us in the hallways.  Sounds childish?  Wouldn't it stop you in the hall?  Yeah, it works ;)
 I was spying on Frank while he was in class!!!
 The view of sunlight coming through the window in the room next to me.
 I've never noticed the old time fire alarm in the hallway!
And the last rays of light leaving me for the night.  God gave us a beautiful first day of school!

I decided on a name for this little project!  The Life Inspired.  Because all of these things, taken for granted, inspire our every day lives.  We don't really think about it, but it's true.  How much do you pay attention to what you see at the first minute of the day?  Or how things on the walls have really because 'wallflowers'?  Our life is subconsciously inspired by the small things.  The life around us is inspiring us, even when we don't notice.  Life inspiring us is open-ended; how will life around you inspire life yet to be seen?  Think about it.

The day started with a beautiful sunrise and gorgeous blue sky and ended with the most beautiful colors!
How was your day?

{My-Life Mosaic} Jan 21

I enjoy carrying my camera around.  I love being able to take pictures of things I know that, sometimes, memory just can't suffice.  A lot of times, people try to comfort you by saying, "we'll always have the memory" but fer serious - do you really remember all those times you could only have the memory?  Yeah, maybe (as some people say) that's because we don't use our minds like we used to, but even then, do you think we would really remember everything.  I want to remember everything.  I'm a pretty sentimental person.  Am I alone when I say this: when I was young, I wanted to get away from home so bad... I couldn't wait!  And even though, now, I enjoy being out on my own, I've noticed how much I really do miss home, that old refuge, the old place I grew up in.  No I'm not alone, because - even in some small way - everyone misses something about their home.  I like looking at pictures of home sometimes because it's like comfort food for my memory.  When you're hungry and want something to eat, sure thinking of food makes it somehow a little bit easier to cope with the hunger.  But actually having food to eat satisfies that hunger completely.  In this case, remembering home is good, but actually seeing pieces of home help to sooth the soul.  Although right now I really can't wait to leave this place, I know someday I'll miss it.

Tuesday, January 21
 This is the first thing I looked at yesterday morning.  I noticed that a bit of dust has collected on it.  Hubby usually gets that off for me.  I love the little things he does for me.
 The sky is my headboard!  This is the second thing I saw this morning; blue sky with a few puffy cumulus clouds.
 My husband loves ties, this shirt, and he works in the kitchen.  He gets little stains everywhere and doesn't realize it.
 I like hard boiled eggs.  I'm a vegetarian and therefore need extra foods in my diet for protein purposes.  I'm thankful the caf offers these little babies!
 Someone was sweet enough to share their sweetness with the rest of the admin building yesterday.  I can always go for a little piece of chocolate (peppermint bark).
 I've always known this chandelier was hanging in the lobby, but I've never really stopped and looked at it.  No, it's not grand, but it's very pretty, and adds a bit of charm to the rest of the building.
 Here's a new clock face I'm getting used to looking at - right outside my office.  I look at it everytime I pass it to see what time it is - even if I just checked a minute ago.
These are the doors to the closet in my office.  For some reason, I really appreciate the old round pull knobs that allow it easy open.  I just like the fact that they're round!


That was my yesterday, as I celebrated my brother's birthday.  It's funny how much more I'm noticing now that I'm paying attention.  I feel like Sherlock!  "You see, but you don't observe."
I'm still rattling through some ideas of things to call this little personal project.  For now, I will keep it the same, but soon there will be a new name.

Have you noticed anything new in your environment?

{Brother: Nathaniel}

Meet Nathan
Meet my only brother, Nathan.  He is 5 years, 11 months and 1 day younger than me.  He is coming up on 6'0 tall, and he is an excellent runner.  On his finest time thus far, he's run a 5:37 mile!  That's crazy!  He loves football, particularly the Bears, and love airsoft.  He's learning more and more about the Bible and has a lot of things he wants to do with his life: landscape architect, professional chef, amongst a few others.  What the reason for talking about him today?  His 16th birthday was yesterday!  "Happy birthday, Nate!" He's very far away from me, but I imagined a big hug from him and felt better.  {Lord, thank you for my brother, and for leading him with wisdom that he needs.}  I love my brother, he's very cool, and if you ever have a chance to hang out with him - take ie.  He'll make your day ;)

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

{My-Life Mosaic} Jan 17-20

Last week, I decided that I wanted to start carrying my camera around everywhere I go.  I want to try this for the semester, but it might extend to the rest of 2014.  The purpose?  Two purposes:

1.)  I see the buildings and trees and other structures around us (this is gonna sound cheesy) as a "blank canvas" of sorts.  Other than regular wear-and-tear, and maybe some growth and vegetation, our surroundings basically stay the same.  However, everything else changes and moves around.  Since the earth is a "canvas," we humans (and animals) are the portrait being painted.  The problem with this painting: we won't be here forever.  How often do you see someone walking a dog in an animal-free environment?  How often do you notice that big clock at work?  Sure these things happen, but how often?  Maybe we know these things are there, but do we take them for granted?  I don't want to take pictures of things people see all the time; I want to take pictures of things people don't notice.  I want to take pictures of things that aren't there everyday - they are painted there today, but are wiped away and forgotten tomorrow.  I want to capture the small things that slip our minds and attention, but we'll remember when we see them later.

2.)  The second purpose is much less impressive: I want to practice.  I'm not a licensed professional photographer.  I don't have all this chunky, expensive equipment.  I don't have super pricey editing software.  I don't own a Mac.  I'm not very tech-saavy.  None of that.  I have an old, hand-me-down, camera that doesn't have a working flash.  It's manual; I have to focus my own lens because it is not point and shoot.  It takes practice to use, and I'm finding out new things about it every day.  I've had it for almost three years now, and the more I've used it, the better I've gotten.  I want to keep learning, and keep getting better.  So I want to carry it around and practice.  Every day.  Everywhere.

So for now, I will share some pictures I have taken in the past few days as I've run through my mind whether or not I want to do this.  Keep a look out for more posts like this, and soon I'll add a tab for {My-Life Mosaic}. (and.. maybe I'll think of a more clever name)

Friday, January 17
 My path to and from the school, and work.
 Frank has been working checker at his job.
 I love freshly-sliced cucumbers.
 I love healthy lunches that include egg sandwiches.
 I got some coupons from a friend.
 I think about my sweetheart while I'm at work.
 I always look at this clock when I pass it.
 There are so many different bowls in the cafeteria.
 Sometimes, I forget the signs are there.

Saturday, January 18
 I love the way the light hits the steps.
 There are a lot of children here, and it's lovely hearing them from outside while they play.
 I love that the fruit (good stuff) and the confections (junky stuff) are in the same location.. tempting..
 I love the little bunnies Frank makes out of lemons to decorate the food.
 I got this fruit from some friends.  I love fruit.  I don't like pineapple.
 Frank is working through some personal stuff, and I get to help him.

Sunday, January 19
 All caught up with Sherlock, we got to watch the long-waited new episode to season 3!

Monday, January 20
 This is the view from my pillow when I wake up in the morning.  I always say: who needs a headboard when the sky is our headboard!
Frank loves to read, and we love old clocks, and our engraved ships.  I don't mind that the one on the left is crooked.

Look around you today, and try to notice the little things.  How often do you take them for granted?
Share some parts of your day that you've never noticed.