Friday, December 31, 2010

Auld Lang Syne

I should first say that I've never really understood this song. But upon looking it up on Wikipedia I've at least learned what the phrase means.

Auld Lang Syne = "Days gone by" or "Old times"

and that seems a bit fitting for my last post of 2010. What has happened in this year, these days, that have gone by? How has the Lord taken care of me? And what have I learned along the way? (sidebar: not every month will be covered)

February: I moved from Coupeville to Oak Harbor and helped in the blessing of the Sweethearts Banquet at church. The SHB is one of the highlights of the BBC callendar, and in serving those couples that I love I get great joy and satisfaction.

May: My Birthday! Another year older...and hopefully a little wiser. I can be a pretty selfish person at times (it's something that I'm working on), but being 31 has me thinking outside of myself and looking at how I can try to be a blessing to others.

June: I go to Washington D.C. to attend LTIA & give Senator Cantwell a "talking to"...well maybe just a little. June had the SPG's traveling to DC to learn about our country, it's foundation of Biblical values and how to lead effectively (that is it in summary, because really it was so much more). I also got to finally meet Julie!!! My e-Buddy for the past 3...almost 4 years now. You never would have known it was our first time meeting each other.

July: I said so long to one of my SS girls as she moved with her family to the Methow Valley. We miss Lilly, but I know she'll be a blessing to her fathers ministry as she grows up there. I said goodbye to my other friends for the ministry as well. The Lord had me reimursed for a discrepancy that I made in paying back the FAFSA people for my loan, it was a NICE payback. I needed the money right at that time too. Now if I had not have made the oversight I would have kept the money that is true, but I probably would have squandered it, and I know exactly what that money is for and haven't touched it since I got it (trust me it will come in handy in the coming months). And I also started my involvement with the Central Whidbey Republican Women (that's right Nancy), and the campaign for Kelly Emerson as Island County Commissioner. Call it inspiration from the prior months activities. I'll call it the summer of sign waving.

Summer: The summer also had me working with Alyssa on photos for a book that she was contacted about for her vertical garden and taking photos for A Knot in Thyme for the new brochure that they wanted to put together. A busy fun summer of taking photos, but it was satisfying.

September: After a stressful month prior at work I made my way over the mountains to visit Kali & Maggie and our evangelists over in the Methow Valley. I even got an extra day off of work! It was a very restful Labor day weekend and the Lord encouraged me with my visit over there.

October: The Lord spared my job. That's right folks. Just a few months prior Pastor Sargent had preached a message and within it made a point about working and how we should be thankful for the work that he does give us. Well during that message I was going through a time where I was not happy about what I was doing and it was affecting my work ethic & motivation. During that time also though things were changing behind the scenes at work. Well The message that night changed my thoughts and so I changed me actions accordingly and was rewarded with getting to keep my job.

November: I house sat for 2 weeks (during Thanksgiving) only to have the tool shed of my friends house topple over in a huge wind storm, which was followed by snow a few days later. I battled frozen spickets and icy roads. November also brought an old friend to WA from Michigan and it was so great to see her. Her father was the Pastor of the church that I was saved in back in Sicily and the last time I saw Joyce she was 16. Now she's a young woman in her 20's, man time flys! It was great to fellowship with her for a couple days.

December: Brought a new ministry opportunity with the Bible studies with "T" and a trip to go see my family in CA, and the apartment ads in the paper as I look yet again for another place to live. Hopefully one of these days I can make one last move and call it HOME for real.

Through all my travels the Lord kept me safe, and brought me back to home. He provided in some pretty miraculous ways and I look forward to seeing what He sets in motion for me in 2011.

Happy New Years everybody!!!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas in California

Well, I'm still sick:P I feel aweful and though my fever isn't very high it's enough to make me feel VERY uncomfortable. Last night I found myself having cold sweats. Not fun. However, before I decide to pass out on the couch to hopefully get well enough for church tomorrow, I thought I'd post one of my favorite cartoons I found on You tube as my Christmas post.

A lot of people have seen the digital Nativity (hilarious). And the little girl telling the story of Jonah is really great also. But how many of you have seen "Small One". I'm guessing not many. Produced by Disney (of all companies) it's a fictional, albeit, biblical inspired story of the account of Jesus' birth. It's really good and I bet you can't get through it without getting a little misty, if not outright shedding a tear. I know that I can't.

The first time I saw it I was 2 when it showed as a double feature with Cinderella on one of my first Father daughter dates. I then had it (and still do) on vinal, yes that means a record. You know those things that are about 10x's bigger than a CD. Yes, those. And I would listen to it for hours in my room (along with stories about Annie Oakley, Little Orphan Annie and the Nutcracker Suite). It's about 25 min long in it's entirety. Enjoy!

And thank you to all of you who thought enough to get me a gift for Chrismas....

Dad: Shirts and Jane Austen DVD's
Nancy: gluten free girl and the chef: a love story
Matthew: Little House on the Prarie DVD
Jack: Sound of Music 40th Anniversary Edition
Mom: Jewelry
Sam: The Muppets Season 3
Kali: handmade red scarf
Maggie: Slippers & a purse hook
Nicki: a waffle maker
Alyssa: a wall hanging of the Serenity Prayer

Other gifts recieved were: The Flavor Bible (for me mixing flavors together while I cook), The Pricess by Lori Wick, Will Write for Food (about food blogging) and a Barnes & Noble GC.

My family also enjoyed the homemade presents that I made this year. Here are my borthers wrapped up in their no sew blankets. Really it was the first thing they opened this morning.

Friday, December 24, 2010


O how I've missed writing! See a couple weeks ago my hard drive went down on my laptop. And thankfully it's still under warranty but that means that I had to send it to Kentucky to get worked on. I miss it. Especially since I have work that needs to be done for the SPG's on it. Sadly I think I'll have to start from scratch with a lot of my stuff on there. So how am I able to write right now? Because I'm using my step-moms laptop. I have so many things to share but not enough time so I'll just sum up the past couple days...

-Bible study #2 with "T" went great! #3 is scheduled for the 30th. She's hung up on works though and working for salvation. so that's something that we'll discuss further.
- Left WA yesterday and now in CA. Of course I ended up waking up yesterday sick! 3 outa the last 4 times i've come back here I've gotten sick. This is not cool. Especially with 100 degree temps kicking in. I'm basically doped up on asprin, for the aches and pains, and OJ right now.

Maybe I'll write some more tonight after I'm done wrapping presents if I have the energy.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

What is grace? and other good questions

Last week you may remember that I talked about a Bible study that I was going to hold with "T", a recent visitor to my church. Well that took place last Thursday as planned and although we had a few interruptions, it was a great Bible study! And it all started with the above question...What is grace?

Right as the study was about to begin she posed this question to me. REALLY! (and that's not said sarcastically) See, Bro. Geist just started preaching a series on Grace at church on Wednesday nights and last Wednesday was the first study on it titled Grappling with Grace. Basically he spent the evening defining grace and what it means to the spiritual life of a Christian. Without rehashing his entire lesson the definition of grace can be summed up as unmerited favor and devine influence on a heart (click here to see Webster's full definition). But her question was not something I was expecting and so it was nice to have the previous evenings notes in my Bible cover, which we did.

Then, she wanted to know about her Bible and what was in it. Well, the way it started was she was reading the first paragraph of the e-Life study we were working on and this was the first sentence "Although the whole Bible is the Word of God — all 66 Books — the Gospel according to John and the Epistle to the Romans were given specifically to show how you could receive eternal life." Well "T" read the line about 66 books and wanted to know more about them and so I naturally just did what I know to do and explained that the 66 books combined both the Old and New Testaments. Which led to her next question, What is the difference between the two testaments? WOW, it made me think about how much I take for granted. Of course though it was a great question! And so I broke it down even more, by explaining that the Old Testament talked about everything before the Birth of Christ and that the New Testament included everything about His birth, life and the reason why he came into the world to die for mans sins.

Now the other part that was refreshing/surprising was that these are usually questions that people ask when they want to tear the Bible apart, but this was not "T". She was really asking because she didn't know any of these things. But that's fine because after all that's why I was there.

So we continued and arrived at the portion of the study that talks about the 10 commandments. "T". Again another good question arose. She wondered how it was that God didn't judge sin like we do, you know BIG sins and little sins? Well, when we got to James 2:10 that verse was covered in full "For whosoever shall keep thewhole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all." And then I was able to explain to her by this is the fact that a lie that someone tells is just as bad is God's eyes as someone that is in jail for murder. That seemed to be all that she needed, or wanted, to know. If the Bible said it and she had a scripture to back it up then that seemed to be enough of an answer for her to accept. And really that about sums up about how the rest of the evening went with the rest of her questions, God said it and that settled it ofr her.

The 10 Commantments also left "T" thinking though about how fall she's fallen short of them and in "T's" own words "How much she has to work on." The hope is of course that she can see that faith in Jesus is the solution for her sin problem, not works, as the lessons progress. Our next on is this Tursday night. She already texted me this evening letting me know she was looking forward to it, and so am I. I hope she has some more questions.

Now for a little nugget on how small this world is..."T" and I actually used to live in the same apartment complex a year ago, back before we both moved to OH. I'm tellin' you, only God can script this stuff! I can't wait to see what's next.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

We seem to be experiencing technical difficulties

At least that's how it seemed tonight. Let's see...where to begin...

One of my ministries at church involves editing video for our Bible Institute. Well can you believe that it wasn't working the way it was supposed to tonight (naturally I'm dripping with sarcasm)?! It's not that I don't like trouble shooting, because truth be known I DO. I enjoy the sense of accomplishment that I feel when my hard work finally pays off. It's just that it was adding more work to my otherwise long day and I really wanted to get home to dinner and more study time for Thursday's Bible study. So first, I had to split up the video into 2 different DVDs, no biggie a little extra work, but nothing big; then it ended up that I was getting an error code when burning the DVD, so I had to create a completely different file...extract it...and reload it for burning, that did take a little bit of time. FINALLY, once it was all finished I headed over to the office to burn the DVD's only to find a scratch on the Part I DVD, which only let the DVD burn 50% of the necessary information that I needed. Seriously at this point I was loosing my sweetness, hey I'm only human. It was a quarter to 9 and I still hadn't had dinner yet. All work and no food make Carolyn a whiny girl. Because lets face it in another life, pre-GF I would have just headed out to BK to curb my appetite but that was not in the picture.

Then after arriving home my Dad called me to ask me a strange, but well meaning question. Wanna take a guess? He asked me if there were any special Christmas cookies that I wanted him to make for me for Christmas. My reaction was pretty dumb struck as one could imagine. Then as I started to give my answer it completely dawned on him that Christmas cookies, at least the regular family Christmas cookies were not to be had by me. Actually last year my mom made GF snowball cookies for me and they turned out good. So instead he asked about what candy I might like...mmm...chocolate covers a multitude of cookies;)

And as for my DVD's I called Sherri to ask her if she would help me out tomorrow. She graciously obliged my request and I don't know what I would do without her sometimes. All she needs to do it copy them and she should be all set.

Hopefully the technical dificulties don't persist...unless there is a lesson that the Lord wants to teach which case I hope I pass.

Monday, December 6, 2010


Something that I like to do is mark down all the promises and commandment that I find when I am reading my Bible. I haven't even scratched the surface, but it sure is a lot of fun. I'm a methodical person at heart and when I first set out to do this exercise that's exactly what it was to me, an exercise. I had devised that I would systematically go through and find all of them and then I would know them all. Well the problem with that is that the Bible was not meant to be a systematic book. It's a book that is alive with truth and meant to meet peoples various needs as they come up. To stifle something like that with my lovely vision would probably not bode well for future spiritual growth. I mean half the fun of a journey is the process in getting there, right? And for me there is no better journey then the one that the Lord leads me on.

So instead of ruining the journey I simply mark a "P" or a "C" in the margin next to it and it usually is something right that I need at the time.

I bring it up because tonight I was reading John 8:32 "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free". What a fabulous promise from God's word. That we can know truth and that it will free us. John 14:6 makes what truth is pretty clear "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me".

I was especially struck by this promise tonight because I was preparing for a Bible study that I will be holding with a lady who was a recent visitor to my church. She's burdend with many troubles, but I know the Great Physician that has the power to heal and I'm hoping that she will want to know him as well. I won't mention her name for her anonymity deserves to remain intact, but for the sake of future updates we'll call her "T". It's really a blessing that the Lord is allowing me this opportunity because for a while now I've been asking the Lord to avail me of the opportunity. Which brings me to another promise, Jeremiah 33:3 "Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not".

If you pray I'd ask that you remember "T" and that she would allow the Lord to show her His truth and that it would make her free.

If you're interested in the study that I will be going through with her click here for the e-Life studies and you can work on them as well.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Sometimes you need a reminder

There are things that a person sometimes forgets. But when that happens there are hopefully friends there to give you a gentle reminder, and sometimes, like tonight, it's accompanied by a lot of laughter.

There is in my repertoire quite a few phrases that I like to utilize. Like ....

- It's not my first Rodeo: Used to express my experience in a certain area, and can be in reverse when something does turn out to be my first "Rodeo".

- Adapt and Overcome: This one I started using when I was in VP-46. Things there weren't always the greatest and with all the changes that were taking place that was just a truth that I adopted in order to get through the day. Meaning that you can never really change anyone and not every situation you find yourself in will be enjoyable, but the best a person can do is adapt to the situation, and overcome the hurdles that hold them back from really succeeding.

- It is what it is: This one I started using just by virtue of the fact that I would hear it all the time in the Navy. It's amazing how things can set in subliminally because though I use this one, I don't really like it. I try to use it cautiously because it's a phrase that sticks in my craw. Why don't I like it? Well because when a person uses it they are saying that change is not possible. That a person cannot rise above their circumstances and that it's better to accept what's in your life then to try and do better. As a person who strives for, but falls terribly short of, perfection you can see where the contradiction would come into play. Yet I still get up every morning looking for ways to improve who I am, where I'm going, and what the Lord wants from me. Basically this phrase kills hope, which the Bible has much to say on the subject. It's appropriate to use when stating an actual fact about something, but not so much when you have a problem to overcome.

This brings up my final phrase, which I actually had to be reminded of tonight by some dear friends.

- You'll be strong: I know I started saying it was when I was in Sicily, and I can only assume that I started saying it as a personal mantra to keep me motivated when I was working in NAS Sigonaella Security. That was definitely a place that I needed to exercise personal motivation in. Whenever someone would complain about something my retort "You'll be strong", another version of "Adapt and Overcome". But as the years have gone on its fell out of my vernacular. However, I have to say that I like this one much better and am thankful to Joyce reminding me about it tonight. Why do I like it better? Because I can actually reference it to scripture, Philippians 4:13 - I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. This was the way I started using it once I got saved, and what my friends remember about it. Something not going right? "You'll be strong", thinking about giving up with that trial that you're facing "You'll be strong". Strong in the Lord that is.

There have many times this year where I have not felt strong, but here is 2 Corinthians 12:9 - And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. When I am weak then the Lord is stronger than I am and more capable of working things out for my improvement. Coming through a challenge? "You'll be strong". Rest in the Lord.

Really I'm a little ashamed that I forgot about such a great saying that I did use to spout off pretty much all the time. But all I can assume is that as with anything time and people change and different phrases arise to deal with different situations. This one though, is making a comeback. Sometimes a person just needs a reminder from some friends. And I write this knowing full well that I may need to come back to it in the future for another reminder.

Think I can't handle it..."I'll be strong".

2 Corinthians 12:10 - Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

I just had to add this photo because it made me laugh!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Chicken Recipe

For those that read my post about my chicken I appologize for not posting the recipe sooner, but it was in a bag that I had put in the fridge, even though I thought I had put it in my purse so I' posting the real recipe. Hopefully you all can find your own way it make it as juicy as I had it, but how you do that is up to you.

- 3T of fresh rosemary or 1T of dried rosemary (I prefer fresh)
- 1/2tsp of paprika
- 1/2tsp of salt
- 1/4tsp of black pepper
- 1 4lb. chicken
- 2 lemons cut into quarters
- 1 stick of butter - 2 heads of garlic

- Preheat oven to 375 & spray pan (hopefully its the Pampered Chef covered baker).
- Remove the inard parts of the chicken. Rinse in cold water and pat dry.
- Combine the half the rosemary, paprika, salt & pepper. Put a good portion of garlic in the bottom of the pan you are using keeping some on reserve for the inside of the bird.
- Truss the chicken and put it in the pan you are using.
- Put lemons, the other half of the rosemary and a couple cloves of garlic in the chicken cavity
- Make sure the butter is soft and add the herb mixture to it. Microwave for abt. 10 seconds. Just enough to make it spreadable and spread over the chicken.
- Now if you're using the covered baker cover the chicken and bake for 60 minutes. Then take the cover off and bake for an additional 30 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 180 deg. so that the skin can become crispy. If you're not using the covered baker cover the chicken with foil and bake for the same amount of time. When you take the foil off make sure to baste the chicken abt. every 10 minutes until a meat thermometer reads 180 deg.


Hallelujah Chorus Flashmob

I Love a good flash mob! As long as they are wholesome, which is rare, but a lot of the silly ones are great. Improv Everywhere does some of the best ones. This one s not by them. It was sent to me by my friend Vicki today. I hope you all enjoy it as well. I'm totally looking forward to seeing Handle's Messiah again this Christmas season!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Winter Wonderland & other wonders

Finally, I got to enjoy this view from the porchlight last night! And let me tell you, it was hard earned. It was just supposed to be a simple snow day right? Let me begin at the beginning...

See we rarely get snow on the island because well it's an island water usually adds an element of warmth to the air and so the freezing that tends to happen to most places where it snows doesn't really tak place. And I should probably qualify it to say that it almost rarely snows because it seems to be more frequent in the past couple years. But while the temps had been freezing in the past week, the weather men in the area were only calling for light flurries. So Monday morning I made my way to work as usual, but desperately wishing that I had my Isotoners with me.

No sooner had the 8:30 crew joined the office did the skys open up dispensing the cold, white snow and it did it plentifully. At first we weren't to concerned, because usually when it does snow, it takes a while to stick. But not this time. The ground was primed and freezing, which only compounded the anxiety of when we would be allowed to leave work. Where I work just happens to be at the bottom of 2 hills and I don't have 4WD either; none of us that were allowed to leave early did. Eventually, probably around 11 we were allowed to leave, but the damage was already done. The initial hill that I tried to climb had me sliding back down it. Thankfully the second hill I tried had a better success rate because it had been diven on all morning, but had it not been my friend & fellow church member Tom was on speed dial to come & get me out of a jam. However, once I reached the HWY it wasn't much better. All we could do was inch along the HWY and a normal 10 minute drive turned into a half an hour drive, for my co-horts it took an extra 30 minutes into Oak Harbor. It was treacherous on 20, there were at least 5 spin outs and the big rigs had to pull over to chain up. Now spin outs are never fun, but on an island...surrounded by water...that just adds another element of fun, right? Nothing like a water hazard to add to the excitement of inclement weather travel.

So I finally made it to the house that I am staying at, house sitting for actually, and here was the side yard/street view at abt. 11:45. It's Probably abt. 4" at this point.

Now the previous evening, not knowing about the gift that the Lord had in store for us, had decided to wait until the afternoon "after I got off of work", to go back to my place to get the ingredients in order to make the pie for tonights pie fellowship at church. At this point, after the initial hill debacle I had just decided to pack it in for the day...except that my wonter boots were also home and those I NEEDED. My tennis shoes were not holding up well. So I called my friend just to let her know about the snow and without asking her anything, she told me to use her van to drive in the snow. Her van is much heavier than my car and holds up well in the snow. PTL! so now I had a way into town, but I knew it would be another 30 minute drive. I go again...scrapping down the van...heating it up...and off I got into the crawl.

It's weird how when the snow comes it makes everything so still that when your crawling on the road at 25mph it can feel like you're flying. I know of at least one other person that shares that senitment, anyone else out there?

Well I made it to my apartment almost without incident. However, I failed to remember that one does not stop at the top of an icy hill, stop sign or not, when trying to navigate a snow covered terain. Thankfully, again, a passerby saw my plight and took pity on the situation and gave me a push up the hill. He seemed kinda irritated, so I guess chivalry only died a little within his heart. O well, at least I made it up the hill.

Still hangin' with me? OK, got my stuff and made it back to the house unpacked and now I'm ready to bake! Right? You'd think.

If that had been true I would have started right away. Instead my friend called again and reminded me about the fact that the hose needed to be unhooked from the spicket so that the pipes didn't freeze. OK, no biggie...NOT! I was able to find an allen wrench in a drawer and set to it. All to no avail. The thing was already frozen solid! YIKES!!!

Remember people, righty tighty...lefty loosey (the wisdom dispensed to me by my mech friends from my Navy days).

So now what??? I tried to call anyone I knew who had lived in a cold climate (remember people I'm an original California girl). First, I called my friend to see what she wanted me to do. After all this hasn't been the easiest house sitting job, last week we had a major wind storm that toppled over one of her sheds! But alas all I got was her voice mail. Second I called my Dad. He's from Pittsburgh, PA and he'll know what to do, right? Answering machine. Really?! (if I couldn't laugh I'd cry. Not to ironic that Sunday evenings message at church was about how not to worry.) So what's my 3rd option? Think, think, think. Ahhh HA, Tim & Katie! They're from the frozen tundra, a.k.a. Minnesota. They'll totally know what to do. So I rang them up. Katie was home & her advice, a blowdryer and extension chord. That way if I can't get the hose unstuck at least it doesn't re-freeze with warm water on it. At this point I'd try anything!

Blowdryer? Check. Extension chord, well naturally the extra long one that I needed was in the shed that was still standing, but it was all tangled up since it had originally been in the one that toppled over. I tried and tried, in the dark and the below freezing temp last evening to work out the kinks and tangles, all to no avail.

*Sidebar* I hope my friends that know me are enjoying the mental picture of this struggle.
OK, time to regroup. So in the end all I could find was a bunch of smaller extension chords that I attatched together.
But that endedup not working so well. Finally, my friend called me back and told me to just go ahead and use the hot water idea, and if I couldn't get it off then we'd just pray that it wouldn't freeze. Well that's fine, but really I just couldn't deal with it if I had to contain another disaster, especially busted pipes. So again, here I go. But finally...Ta-Da!!! I am smarter than a frozen water spicket! YES! I was super relieved that the hose came loose. And my tools that worked? HOT water and an Allen wrench. Definitely have to remember that for "next time".

This one I took just for fun

YAY, for snow boots!

Finally, after all was said and done, I got to start & finish my Oatmeal Pie (click the link for the recipe, I got it from another blog). And those that chose to partake in it tonight found it YUMMY!
My evening day may not have been ideal, but I learned a couple things:
1) Why worry when you can pray?
2) Oatmeal Pie is YUMMY
3) That God's plan will always cause a person to wonder. Why? Because in the prevailing thought that stayed with me throughout the evening and that I expressed to my friends is that, I just had to wonder what the Lord was preparing me for. Because it just seemed to be one thing after another. It's definitely gonna be something, but what only He knows in the end. Whatever it is I wonder if I'll be trudging through snow doing it. If so I'm definitely more prepared than I used to be.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Cooking again

It's been a while since I've posted any recipes...a long while! It's not that I haven't been cooking, it's just that I haven't really made anything that has excited me. Most of it has been repeats of my stand by list. However this past week I received my Pampered Chef products and I was fully inspired to use my new stoneware baker! So as I was waiting for Nicki to come over and help me make my Christmas presents I set to work on making dinner....Roasted Chicken, mashed potatoes and green beans, I only took pics of the chicken process though because I wanted to highlight my new cooking tools.

It all started with this little gem. I decided to make it one of my 1/2 price items from my Pampered Chef party the other week. A while back this covered baker was only available to hosts, but now everyone can get it. I've only used it once but I know that I will be using it a LOT!

The Covered Baker
Then I peeled the garlic. I love garlic! I just don't like it making my hands sticky. So the peel removerreally helps that.


Isn't this just a lovely picture of tastey goodness! The restaurant is not longer around, and I can't even have traditional Pizza anymore, but I remember Peter's Pizza in SF and specifically the aroma of the toasty garlic, Mmmmm....Seriously! I can't have it anymore:( WHAAAA

In a word...shredded!!! I loved this knife! There is nothing that is so much fun as cutting with a sharp knife. Can I get a witness from the other cooks?

Diced Rosemary & my new knife
The recipe originally called for EVOO and the spices sprinkled over the chicken, but as much as I like EVOO if I need a fat to cook with, I prefer butter. All the way! Butter makes everything better. Well, nit my wasteline, but my tastebuds sure dig it.

Butter and herbs in a bowl Remember all that garlic I rolled? Well I decided to use it as a spice on the bottom of my baker as an aromatic (I've been watching food network alot, can you tell?), and then some in the crevis of the chicken as well.
Toss garlic in the bottom of the baker
I know this looks like a hot mess, but trust me it was totally NOT! I melted the butter slightly, for abt 10 sec. in the microwave. Just enough to make is spreadable. If I could have handled my camera to take a pic of my hands I would have. Again I've fallen vicitm to Food Network nirvana. See I'm house sitting this week and my friend has the FN channel!!! It's also Thanksgiving week, and everytime they get the Turkey ready for the oven they but the spices in the butter and then spread the butter over it with their hands. I guess I just didn't allow enough time for the butter to soften. But still you just make it work.

The carnage!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Are you carrying any baggage?

I know it's been a while since I've done one of these. Not since the days of my list, and I don't even think I reviewed this book back then. In any case, this was the first of my books that I had to read for my completion of Bible Institute.

You may be asking yourself why I would re-read, and re-do a book report that I had already done for a previous class? well for a couple reasons. The first is because it had been 2 years since I had taken our world evangelism class (where I first read this book) and it's always good to brush up. The second is because I couldn't find my original graded copy, we had a different Pastor teaching that class and he graded it, not my current Pastor. Lastly, because after reading my original book report, I could hardly see why my Pastor back then would have given me and A. I missed a lot of talking points in the original paper. This would not be acceptable for this assignment. So I chose to re-write my paper. I did use most of my old paper to bring the two assignments together though. Hey, I like to work under the phrase "work smarter not harder".
This time I feel like I have a much better paper. Maybe I'll post it once I get the grade back.

Like the title suggests this book is mostly about the ideals that Americans hold to and how they can be hindrances when dealing with other cultures. This is an especially important consideration for a person that is ministry bound to consider. And that is in escense the objective of the author.

Nussbaum starts off by pointing out that there are about 10 commandments that Americans live by, which are:
1. You can’t argue with success 2
2. Live and let live
3. Time flies when you’re having fun
4. Shop ‘til you drop
5. Just do it
6. You are only young once
7. Enough is enough
8. Rules are made to be broken
9. Time is money
10. God helps those who help themselves

He then continues the book through a seies of American proverbs that illustrate how Americans act in, and re-act to situations (for better or worse). Some of the proverbs to consider are “Live and let live”, Winning isn’t everything”, "Just Do It", and “Home Sweet Home”. According to Nussbaum all of these sayings focus on the three major goals of success, self-esteem, and fun that, he says drive Americans to make the decisions that they do. What do these proverbs/saying mean to you? Do they evoke any thoughts on how you make your decisions?

It's a really good book. And I'm happy that I decieded to read it again. I got a lot more out of it the second time around. If you're interested you can find it on Amazon.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Veterans Day

In all my antics in growing up, and with all the titles that I ever thought I would hold, Navy Verteran never would have been one of them. However, that is one of the titles that I hold in my life. I shouldn't say proudly, because the Lord does hate pride, but I can say that I honorably served in the USN for 5 years (I have the DD214 form to prove it).

This picture was taken in 2000 and I was 20. Oh how much I had yet to learn, even though I thought I knew it all back then. Who would know that within a years time I would be stationed in Sicily (a country I had always hoped to go to), standing watch on front gate (on the look out for terrorists) and that I'd come to know the Lord Jesus Christ as my Saviour.

However, this leads me to a thought. While those of us who have given up chunks of our lives, yay even some lives entirely, in order to protect both hearth and home; serving in the armed forces for our Nation is nothing like serving in the Lords armed forces. Once we enlist in those there is no DD214 separation paperwork, and our honorable service is only recognized upon our promotion to glory. We can only hope to hear "Well done, thou good and faithful servant", Matthew 25:21.

The word Veteran is a noun & means - One who has been long exercised in any service or art, particularly in war; one who has grown old in service and has had much experience.

Sadly I believe that there are all to many Christians that fall out of the spiritual battle before becoming seasoned enough to hold the title of Veteran. I believe primarily because alot of people don't ever learn to use their sword, Hebrews 4:12, and because of that they don't know how to use their weapon against the attacks of the enemy. Just like a military service person, the Christian has been given a weapon in order defend themselves, which is the Bible. One way to hear the afforementioned scripture is to know your Bible. And while I admit I have a lot to learn from it and that I'm still learning how to use it better. It is has by far been the best means of defense that I've had in the past 9.5 years.

11 years ago I joined the Navy to serve my country and get money for school. A year and a half later I was actually saved to serve in a much greater capacity than I could have ever imagined. The serving has not stopped and I hope one day that I can count myself worthy of that Veteran status.

Until then however, let me just say that I am happy to be called a Veteran of my country and want to thank all of those that have served and are still serving in our nations Armed Forces. Let yourselves always be counted Semper Fi.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Time to Vote

A few weeks ago I was asked to join a letter campaign and help endorse one of our local island candidates so I did, and it was recently printed in our local news paper. Here it is...

It's important that candidates listen to their constituents and it's a quality that I look for in who will get my support. November 2nd is right around the corner, I hope you use your vote wisely.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

It Is Well With My Soul

When I got out of the Navy the original plan was to go to Bible college. Me and all my pals from Sig were going to meet back up again and it would be just like the old days. However, I serve a BIG God and he had other plans in store for me.

As time started to elapse between my time back then and my time here on Whidbey the Lord started to show me that all my motivations for attending a Bible college were motivated by the flesh, i.e. my desire to get married, which I still have just in the Lords timing and not mine but I digress. So I knew that my church had a Bible Institute, but I didn't know what to make of it. A church that trains men for the ministry?! Can a lady even attend? So I talked to my Pastor at the time, Pastor Prisk, and he said that ladies were of course welcome to take the classes, just not the ones that train the men for preaching, based on 1 Timothy 2:12 and the qualifications for a man being the one to preach found in 1 Timothy 3:1-7. So I started going, but was quickly snatched away for deployment. I already knew that the Lord wanted me in WA so I decided rather than intermitantly attending classes that I would wait until I got out of the Navy, which actually worked out because shortly after returning from deployment I was put on night check. It would have been very difficult to attend Bible Institute at that time.

So in 2005 I got out and set to work on Bible Institute training. Training to use the information that I learned to use in my Sunday School classes, which I have; to share with friends to encourage them, which I have; and ultimately to use that knowledge to better serve the Lord and understand His words with, I'm still working on that but that's life it's a constant work in progress.

It was easy at first to see my progress because I basically needed all the classes that were offered, but as time passed by more classes were added, turning a 3 year program into a 4 year one, and then all the classes were re-set to accommodate the Preachers In Training here. Not that I was upset exactly, I mean they are the men that would be preaching and the institute is designed for that, but it did start to get discouraging after a while because slowly all the classes that I have already taken have started to resurface and I started to get lost in the classes and what I needed (some of the classes kept me in limbo because they had yet to be defined). Eventually it really started to affect my spirit. Each time someone would stand up in the pulpit and expound on the program and how long it was, I would sit in my pew and stew about it, knowing that I might very well be in the institute for a few more years and trying to accept that, after all the world is not the stage for the "Carolyn Show", but never quite coming to terms with it. So at the beginning of the month I finally decided that rather than continue to stew about it I would just ask Pastor so that I could see the big picture and continue to stay motivated.

After his much needed vacation he came back and yesterday asked our seceretary to bring him my permanent record. How the scenario played out shall remain within the walls of the office, but I know that there was some discussion with Tim about it and that a dear friend stepped in to advocate for me. So about 3:30pm I got an email telling me that I would have to do to complete the requirements for it was 2 more book reports! Really?! Completely! Totally!! Seriously!!!

I really don't know what else to say...I know a total shocker! But it's humbling and overwhelming at the same time to know that I'll have my Diploma after these 5 years. I do actually plan on taking any new classes that come up, just because I always like a good challenge and learning from my Pastors. Sitting under their wisdom and getting to absorb all that they have dispensed is priceless and I can only hope that I can allow to use a fraction of that as I continue to go forward in the life that He has designed for me. Suffice it to say, it is well with my soul!

When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll.
Whatever my lot thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

New GF Product

You might remember that last month I went up to visit Kali and Maggie and while I was there they had told me that they had seen Gluten Free Bisquick in their Super Wal-Mart. While I was intrigued, I kept my excitement at bay because I had yet to see this for myself. However, I am happy to report that this product really does exist!!! And I bought a box today while I was at doing my grocery shopping.

There is also a new GF only store in town. I definitely plan on frequenting it because I would hate to see it go away. Everything in there is GF! It's nice because everything in prominently displayed, unlike where I found the Bisquick displayed today, on the bottom shelf. I probably should have gotten a couple more boxes because there was only a couple left, but then again I know I'm not the only one who needs this great product. And besides that greed and glutony, both of which God speaks against.

I hope that if you are reading this in the states that you are able to go out and get it in your local super market. I do know of some people though who may be reading this from north of the border, in which case I hope you can find it online to purchase if it has not arrived in a store near you. And if your not GF but know of someone that is, don't fret about what to make because now you too can help your guests indulge in the fare in which you will make for them. Once I make something with it I will let you all know how it goes. Mmmmm, bicuits are now withing my grasp. I love those with some pot roast!!! And some strawberry short's really almost to good to be true!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

I WON!!!

I've had my blog for about 3 years now and off and on I enter various giveaways. Mosly to no avail. I don't enter them all because some things I don't have a use for and really I don't have enough time in the day to enter everything. I don't always care about winning and I don't wait by my email waiting to be notified, but there was a giveaway recently that I did want to enjoy winning as and I DID!

I follow Gluten Free Girls blog, aka Shauna & Chef Ahern. If you haven't read it you should, I mean really you should. I love the way she tells food stories. Seriously I cried when I finished her book. I find her stories engrossing and BTW, I love the recipes too. Well a couple days ago she was having a giveaway for some books, have I explained how I love books, especially food ones? Well I should sometime. But I digress. There were 3 up for grabs...Will Write for Food, Food Heros: Preserving Tradition, and Urban Pantry: Tips and Recipes for a Thrifty, Sustainable & Seasonal Kitchen. Tonight I hopped online just to check my email and I had a note from Shauna letting me know that I had one the book below.

It really made my weekend! At least until I go to church tomorrow. When it comes I'll totally have to take a picture...or two.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A Giveaway

Pioneer Beauty is having another giveaway for $100 worth of Marie~Madeline products. Below are jsut a few of the items that are sooo cute. I love the bag below! Here is the link to the Pioneer Beauty giveaway. Now you have your own chance to enter when you click on it and go there.


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