January 31, 2007

more food stories

Ok, so I've officially made my first "craving something way too late at night" run. Ok, so it was only 10:30. I don't stay up that late. I was checking my e-mail when I looked up and said, "I want a hamburger." So I ask Allen to muscle test and sure enough -I'm needing some serious red meat. So we hop in the car and headed down to Wendy's for some good old fashioned fast food cheeseburgers. That was some good eating there. Somehow the better restaurants can't seem to get the pickle and onion thing right. White bread and hormone injected antibiotic fed cow meat never tasted so good.

a yummy oops meal

We had some chopped bell pepper and onion from when we took pizza toppings to community group last Friday, so I decided to do ravioli with alfredo sauce served with sauted peppers and onions on top. It's based off a recipe I found at allrecipes.com, and Allen and I really like it. Since I wasn't feeling too good yesterday Allen went and got the ravioli and cheese for me. He ended up getting a different brand of cheese than I usually do which might account for what happened to my meal. Of course half and half might not freeze as well as I thought either. (I freeze my milk products and thaw them as needed. Otherwise I'd just throw half of it away. It works pretty well.) So I have the ravioli boiling, and the peppers smell wonderful, but the cheese and butter and half n half are still resolutely not melted together. Even when it's being difficult I can usually coax the cheese into melting down nicely and at least shaking hands with the butter and half n half. Nope, despite my best efforts it remained lumpy and unappetizing. Perhaps the half n half was a little odd as well since I didn't really like the smell. That could just be my pregnant nose though. So...away goes the stubborn alfredo and out comes a jar of spaghetti sauce that I happily had on hand. In goes the ravioli and the peppers and onions, and in a trice I have a yummy looking meal. It's not the meal I thought we were having, but I think we're probably going to have it again. I love it when things come together like that.

January 30, 2007

This caught my attention....

I was idly perusing facebook as I do occasionally. (News Feed really does make stalkers out of us all.) When I stumbled on a group that linked to Bound4Life. I'd never heard of this group before, but they're pretty interesting. One thing is that they have whole list of stories and excerpts from victims of incest and rape telling how abortion is NOT a compassionate response to their victimization. Instead offering hope to the downtrodden throwing the sop of ready abortion at them turns victims into victimizers and only further engraves their shame and depression. Instead of giving hope to the hopeless we make them murderers of their own flesh. It really makes you think about whether or not we really are thinking clearly about the travesty of abortion and the very nature of what it aborts.

The other thing I found so interesting is that the are a "silent" organization. They protest with tape over their mouths- on that tape is simply written the word "LIFE." In a day when so many Christians seem to implicitly believe that Congress will save this country and where an American flag in seen at some churches more often than the Lord's Table, I find it so refreshing that here stands a group with silent lips and hearts of prayer. This is not a group of people pounding on the doors of Congress; it is a group pounding on the doors of heaven and calling out to God to remember the blood of the unborn and rescue this nation. The line is not a plea; it's a warning. It's a visible reminder that God is in control of His world and that when He acts there is nothing on earth or above it that can stop God from accomplishing His will. Some people will heed the reminder and pray all the more fervently and with all the more hope because they have remembered that "our help is in the name of the Lord." Other people will scoff at their silent accusers to their undoing -forgetting the Lord of the universe who bends all things to His will.

I'd encourage you to take a look at this group's website. I don't think we all have to be involved in a pro-life movement at that level, but if you're thinking about getting involved this group looks they'd be worth looking into -if only for ideas to frame your own involvement.

January 26, 2007


Ok, this really doesn't have anything to do with my baby, but it's about a baby. Tonight we got together with a bunch of community group people for pizza, and our community group leaders have a little 6mo boy. He really is a cute little fellow : D He's really starting to coo and laugh more now than he was when we first met him. I ended up spending a good part of the evening holding and playing with the little guy. Good practice I reckon. Another girl helped his mom give him a bath, and we ended up having a little convention in the bathroom. She was so enthusiastic -breaking out into song repeatedly as we got him ready for bed. She had to take him out into the kitchen to show her husband the cute little naked baby. I can't say that I tend to get that overtly enthusiastic about babies, although when there's a baby around Allen and I do tend to out maneuver each other to get to the baby first. Come this summer we might be a little more willing to share : D

to be Praised!

I don't think that I take being married for granted. After all, waking up most days and being awed by the fact that I get to wake up next to this man for the rest of my life doesn't exactly sound like I'm taking him for granted. Seriously, a day doesn't go by when I don't thank God for my husband. My relationship with him has been so healing in so many ways. I don't mean to say that we haven't had our rough spots where Allen was at his wits end, and I was crying on the sofa. We've had days like that, but on a day to day basis I think our marriage is practically perfect. Then I hear stories like I recently heard from another newly wed wife. Her marriage isn't perfect. She has respect issues, and he has issues being respect-able. He isn't loving towards her, but she doesn't seem to be giving him a lot of reasons to be. It's a rough tangle that literally makes me want drop to my knees and simultaneously beseech Christ on their behalf and praise God that I have as kind and loving and dang near perfect a husband as Allen. I can't even imagine the struggles that this couple is going through. I really want to be able to talk to her and help her, but I feel so inadequate. I hate to speak out of my good marriage and presume to tell her what to do when I haven't been in her shoes. It's so easy to say, "Well the whole problem is that you aren't respecting him. Give up on the rest and respect him. Make supper for him whether he appreciates it or not and don't gripe if he stays on the computer all night despite your gentle requests for a little conversation." I'VE NEVER BEEN THERE! But I can tell you that if I was there and someone with a good marriage tried to tell me that I would seriously want to punch them in the nose. Probably a pride/anger issue I know, but it's tough hearing from someone who seems to have it all together that you need to do everything different when it's taking all your strength to just making through the day without walking out the door. I don't know if that's where they are right now, but that's where they're headed in a hurry. I just pray that people (perhaps us Lord?) will be able to come along side them and encourage them and counsel them. It's not just either one of their problem. It's them together.
Again thank God for a husband like Allen. I don't deserve a great marriage. I didn't pass some test with God so that I could automatically opt for a perfect marriage. It could just as easily be me trying to hold things together with a husband who doesn't seem to all that worth holding on to at times. Oh, but praise God that I have Allen. I don't why God has decided that they need to go through this storm, and I can't feel guilty that they are where they are. All I can do is stand back and marvel at the wisdom and grace of God who dispenses His will left and right, and we do not know the reasons why.

January 25, 2007

My birthday

Originally posted Oct 9th in my facebook notes

I had the best birthday weekend (ok, so Friday afternoon we got a bit stressed), but we really had the best time. I'll post pics after we pull them off the camera. My in-laws are really fun people to hang out with. It's really great when I jump in on their humor -I get some of the most surprised looks. Aaron and Andrew and their dad have this crazy, spontaneous sense of humor that can be a lot of fun. Can be. Sometimes I just have to tell my father-in-law to zip it :) He's not used to having a daughter around to tease. But Sunday we didn't want to leave. The waves had just started to get good, and Allen (my husband), Aaron, and I were having the best time body surfing. The ride back yesterday wasn't quite so much fun (around 9 hours), but it was well worth it.

On my birthday Debbie made me a carrot cake (yum), and we went out to this seafood buffet up the beach a ways. (Ummm, seafood). Earlier that day Allen had given my puzzle pirate some new clothes. Everyone thought we were goofy, but I like them :P Oooh, and he gave me some amber earrings. I've loved amber ever since Kirsten became my favorite American girl doll. Anyway, a great birthday all around. And today I get a package in the mail in which my folks sent me the cutest purple pjs. Yep, good birthday.

A day trip we took a while back.

This has been reposted from my facebook notes, so it's out of sequence with the rest of the posts.

Ok, so Tennessee won the game. Get over it cause this post has absolutely nothing to do with football. If you can have a strong stomach for traffic and the ability to hie yourselves up the Smokey Mountains you absolutely must do so. It's gorgeous -and crowded. According to google maps it should have taken Allen and I about an hour to get to Sugarlands Visitor Center. It took about two due to Pigeon Forge's deliberate effort to rig the traffic lights so that you have the maximum amount to time to realize that what you really want to do is go play mini-golf at Old MacDonald's farm and then pop next door for a gut-busting dinner show. Ignoring these temptations Allen and I pushed on to Sugarlands where we took the Gatlinburg trail into town. In my family we do this as a cool down hike in the afternoon after having hiked a good 8-10 miles in the morning. Allen and I did it because parking in Gatlinburg is horrendous, and -well- it is a nice walk. My family isn't very tourist-y. We usually stay in the mountains. The only reason we go to Gatlinburg is because it's Gatlinburg, and that's where you go when you go to the Smokies. You walk into town, pity all the poor people who haven't been up in the mountains, buy your taffy, walk back, and have hot dogs at the camp site. Since this was the first time we'd been to the park, and everything was so crowded Allen and decided to start with Gatlinburg. Now I've been to Gatlinburg multiple times, but Allen found a part of Gatlinburg I've never seen. We went and bought taffy at the same store where my parents bought me taffy as a little girl, but we also took the tram to Ober Gatlinburg and rode the chair lift and went on the alpine slide. I'd never done any of that before, and we ended up having the best time. I thought I was going to show Allen my Gatlinburg -the place my parents had taken me too since I can remember- and he ended up showing me another Gatlinburg. Now it's ours. Funny how marriage changes things. We never did make it out to Newfound Gap or Roaring Forks, but we'll be back. I'll show Allen more of my Smoky Mountains, and he'll end up making them ours.

So ends my great experiment in education

Since this past Monday I have officially not been a college student. Yes, I have given up the ghost in favor of more profitable pursuits -like not working myself sick when I have a baby inside me who needs me to be as healthy as I can be. Frankly, when I'm in college it consumes me. I can't focus on anything else. Left to myself come sickness or apathy I would stay in there because it's been so ingrained into me that I'm a student. Being a student is pretty much all I can do with any competency. Now I'm learning that I can do other things even better than I can study. I can be a wife and a mom. According to this little crumbsnatcher jostling around inside me I am a mom already. Being healthy for her and doing my best to creative a welcoming environment -physically, spiritually, and emotionally- is way more important than what Harry Berger has to say about green worlds and second worlds in the Renaissance revival of the Golden Age. Admittedly that stuff is interesting. God only knows why. Most people wouldn't give it a second thought. Just because I've left school doesn't mean that I'm about to stop learning. Instead this gives me the opportunity to learn how to do something I haven't done very well until now. Live. To quote Pratchett, "The world is my mollusk." I can teach myself to tat, read all those Schafer books I want to read, cook without worrying about what all I'm not doing, blog away to my heart's content, and scour ebay for bargains. In a way that's still hard for me to understand, I'm free. Leaving school meant leaving behind a lot of expectations about who I was supposed to be and what I thought myself to be. Now I have only God and Allen to please, and Allen's ridiculously easy to please. Best of all, I can learn how to be pleased with myself. This all might not seem directly related to school, but I had a lot of emotional investments in school that weren't all healthy. Leaving school is allowing me to distance myself from those investments and rethink how I see myself. All in all, it was a hard decision. I didn't print out that form easily. However, I believe that it was the best thing I could do.

January 22, 2007


It's been fairly tempting the last few days/weeks to wonder where God is in the tangled up sprawl that I call my wonderful life. But there are times when God just completely shows up in the oddest moments. For instance, last Sunday as per usual Allen and I went to Famous Dave's for lunch. It's the only good b-b-q in Knoxville, and we've developed rather a habit of going there after church. They're onion strings are pretty good, and since I wanted some we ordered a side of them. But they're out, and I am disproportionately saddened by this news. However, it's really not that big a deal. Not nearly as big a deal as the brisket b-b-q sandwich I ended up having. When we finally get up to leave our server comes rushing up to us with a plastic container of onion strings! They got the stuff in to make more, and these are on him. If we had left a little earlier or gotten there when I thought we were going to we would have missed out on the most incredible opportunity to see how much God really cares about even the littlest of our desires. He worked everything out perfectly so that we would again be struck by how much He loves us.

A similar thing happened today. After I withdrew from the university Allen and I went to mall to see if we could do something suitably celebratory. While there I duck into Icing and get some wonderfully sparkly, dangly earrings. After we leave the mall we get half way home before I realize that I've lost one of my brand new earrings. (I had put them on while we were walking around the mall.) So we turn around and go back hoping that maybe it had dropped out when I got in the car. It's not there. We walk through the mall on the impossible chance that we could find it. As I'm walking down the mall I ask one of the mall security men if anyone has turned in an earring. He radios in and says that yes someone has turned in an earring. So we go to the mall security office and there's another officer with my earring. As the officer said -this sort of thing never happens. When you lose your earring in the mall that's it. You don't find it again. But praise God that He took another opportunity to show us how much He loves us. It's so good to be reminded that God is very good.

kicking and screaming

Ok, hopefully she's just kicking. I don't think the screaming is supposed to start until after she's born, but I'm pretty sure she's been kicking. Sometimes it's hard for me to tell since I really don't know what baby kicks are supposed to feel like. Earlier today I was posting on my brother in law's facebook page when I felt something hitting my side. I suppose it could have been gas, but I'm pretty sure she was trying to say hi to her uncle : ) I really can't wait to see my big strong brothers in law holding their tiny little niece. I bet Aaron could just about hold her in one hand. The past couple of weeks she's been really quiet. Occasionally I'd feel a whack that felt like it could have been her kicking, but before this week I didn't feel much. Now I think she's moving around a lot more. It's pretty exciting. Oh, yeah, Allen keeps saying that we're having a girl, and the muscle testing bears him out. So until we get definitive proof otherwise we're going with female pronouns. We do have a boy name picked out just in case though. Oh, and if any of my friends stumble on this site and grin cause they think they know what girl name we have picked out I want to warn you that you're wrong. Yup. We changed our minds. Not going to tell you what we changed it to either. You'll just have to wait and see.

January 16, 2007

busy week

I went to the women's center last Thursday, and school started that week as well. Things are starting to get crazy here. Some of the herbs I've been taking threw off one of the tests and confused the nurse. We're going to go back in there after we get that straightened out. Ah the wonderful world of herbs. Sometimes they work too well : ) I'm probably going to have to drop one of my classes or at least take an audit. Since I won't be going back after Baby's born it doesn't really matter if I have to drop with a W. It'll probably be the medieval class since it's the one that looks the hardest and is my only Friday class. We'll see though. It'd be nice if I could take a full load, but since I actually like to cook for my husband I don't think that's going to happen. It's not as though I have the background to really work with this material anyway. I'd need at least a semester studying history, politics, and theology in the Medieval world before I could knowledgeably interact with this material. Sigh... I can't wait to start learning this stuff so I can teach it to my kids. Lord willing they are going to be so much smarter than me.

January 5, 2007

Sheltering and Accountability

When people talk about sheltering I kind of twitch. In some ways I was sheltered, but oh praise God for the ways in which I wasn't. My mom had this idea that everyone had to "earn their keep." If you didn't work you weren't a member of the family, and she considered me a borderline member at best. So I worked my tail off getting the scholarships and academic honors that seemed to keep them tolerably disposed to my position as firstborn. It was never enough. If you folded all the laundry you should have done it faster or sooner. And NEVER expect commendation for your work. It was in the little ways I wasn't sheltered (getting a job at a science center to earn money for college and going to weekly community group at church) that I learned that I didn't have to "earn my way" with people. I learned about GRACE! I want to add that my parents were both dealt rough hands as children and struggled mightily to create a better home for their children, which they did in many ways. My dad would have cheerfully fought grizzly bears for us, and my mom has this wacky sense of humor and love for the outdoors that sent us singing down many a trail. I've braided bread for my mom and helped my dad build fences. I love my parents very much. However, I needed people outside the home and especially people from the body of believers to teach me some of the things my parents didn't or couldn't teach me. That's something that I don't think my parents have been able to accept very well. They never welcomed outside interference and/or mediation, and to a certain extent I agree with them. There are things that should remain in the family. Aunt Elmira's gallstones and the number of spankings little Timmy got last week are of no concern to anyone outside the family. Yet there are other issues that need to be dealt with, and if the family won't deal with them then someone outside the family should. This is where accountability becomes so important. If we shelter our children to the point that we cut out other influences then our children are stuck with the way we see the world. As Christian parents we do our darndest to make this a Godly view of the world. However, we have our own struggles and areas of unbelief that make this picture incomplete and flawed to a greater or lesser extent. By placing our children in community -especially in community with other Christians- we are imposing a certain accountability on our parenting. If Mark can come home and ask why his friend Thomas doesn't get any spankings at all and Susan can ask us why she takes home economics every year when her friend Anna is planning to become a lawyer and both of them can get honest answers as to why we do things our way then we have accountability. Even if they can't discuss their questions as I couldn't discuss mine, they are laying the groundwork for the day when they can ask questions -and find answers. At this point parents might rightly wonder how they can keep their children from being blown about by every wind of trend or doctrine. In the wake of questioning many of the ideas and assumptions I had been brought up with I found myself literally having to relearn how to think and live in everyday situations. However, my parents always impressed on my the ascendancy of God's Word. I grew up knowing that it is absolutely true and the only standard for living our lives. Because of this my questions drove me towards the Gospel instead of away from it. This is the main way I believe parents can keep accountability within their homes. It would be wonderful if we could be perfect parents, but that won't ever happen however much we try. However, if you strive to instill in your children a love and a passion for the truth and person of Jesus Christ then your very errors will drive them into to arms of Christ for answers.

January 4, 2007

New Clothes!

Buying clothes is so much fun. Old Navy had some of their maternity stuff discounted, so I bought a few things. One shirt, two cami's, and a dress to be precise. The dress was rather a splurge, but Allen said it was okay since I'd need some sort of Sunday clothes anyway. I only hope that the neckline isn't too low and that I bought the right size. For some reason people seem to think that just because I woman's waist has temporarily gone awol she wants to prove that her bust hasn't. /me shakes head. You don't have be able to stare down it to know that it's there. Anyway, hopefully I can wear this dress into spring -perhaps freshen it up with a pretty scarf or necklace.

Now I suppose that I really do need to go see to my kitchen. Someone really needs to do dishes, and it's not nice of me to wait for Allen to help me all the time. But first I think I'm going to spend a few minutes on the bedroom. It ain't always easy, but I'm going to get the hang of this domestic stuff one of these days : )