6 Down, ____ To Go

Winter quarter is over and Spring Break is here!  I’m taking a couple of days off to make 2 long weekends so we have a little extra time for fun!  Tomorrow I think we’re going to head over to the beach for a picnic, then next weekend we are going to Las Vegas for a couple of days.  It’s always nice to get out of town, even if it’s just for a short time.  With home being my place of work and my place to live, I think I’m especially grateful for a couple of days away.

It’s hard to believe that we’ve been through 6 quarters here at Fuller.  Yes, I say we. No, I’ve never say foot in the classroom (aside from the 15 minutes or so I sat in for a class when we were visiting before retreating to the library to play in my phone and read my Kindle) but I do feel very much a part of the whole seminary experience.

We’re 6 quarters in and I am thrilled to announce that Than has been accepted into the PhD program! The PhD program has been on Than’s radar since that visit to Fuller in 2012 where we so clearly knew that Fuller was the place for us.  It’s been pretty amazing to watch the relationships that Than has built – exceeding our expectations and hopes in many ways.  The PhD journey will begin in August and conclude in…well…we’ll see!  At minimum we’ll be here at Fuller for 18 more months and from there we’ll see what’s happening with his research to see where God takes us next. It’s abundantly clear to us that this is the right next step and we are very thankful for God’s clear direction!

Friday night we went out to dinner to celebrate at a restaurant we have always wanted to try in Pasadena (thanks Mom and Dad for the gift card!) – Roy’s Hawaiian. Our kind waiter asked if we were celebrating anything special so I told them what we were out celebrating.  Clearly not your typical birthday or anniversary but he asked, so I told! We enjoyed a delicious dinner and much to our surprise they brought us a complimentary dessert, took our photo and printed photo and put it in a little frame for us. Totally going above and beyond. I highly recommend the non-traditional celebrations – free dessert without the singing! 

It’s been an eventful week around here and we are very excited about what is ahead.

 

EARTHQUAKE!!

Exciting news from Pasadena!  This morning we experienced our very first earthquake since living in SoCal. Well…I experienced it. Than experienced it by sleeping right through it!

I have been waiting since we moved here to experience an earthquake. I diligently follow “Every Earthquake” in Twitter and have been waiting and waiting to actually feel one.  Up to this point there’s been nothing more than little 1.5’s and 2.0’s, which shake things less than the cars driving by on the freeway until this morning!

It happened just minutes before my alarm was supposed to go off. I was in bed (obviously – where else would I be before my alarm goes off?!) and I felt a couple of big jolts and a loud noise from outside (think garbage truck emptying the dumpster) and then it was over. I wasn’t 100% sure if it was an earthquake, but by the time I got up it was all over Facebook and Twitter and the news. Now THAT is one way to start a Monday morning!

Since Than didn’t experience it, I thought that it was only right of me to shake him awake later this morning – but I resisted the temptation.  After all, he did hug me during the earthquake – even if he had no idea what was going on!  One minute the world was shaking the next minute he reached over and hugged me.  All together now…”awww”.

 

A Post about Hockey and Goat Cheese – Our Random Life

Another weekend has come and gone. I am totally missing that extra hour!  I enjoy my job, but I sure wish that we could lose an hour during the work day rather than on our precious weekends!  It’s been a good weekend.  On Friday night we went to an NHL game – Ducks vs. Penguins.  Than is a huge Penguins fan and I got him tickets for his birthday last October. It was fun to finally be able to put them to use!

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Saturday we went out for breakfast, Than worked on papers (the end of the quarter is near!) and I went for a walk with a friend.  Saturday night we had dinner with some friends who are about to have a baby then are moving to Texas early this summer. We live in a place where so many people we know are in transition and it’s sad to think of the many friends who have already moved away in our short time living here!

Today was a typical Sunday – Fidelis (our Sunday school class), church then the Community Meal.  Tonight when we got home I was feeling creative so I put my creativity to use in the kitchen.  What’s on the menu? Homemade fruit snacks (we’ll see how they turn out – they’re still settling in the fridge!) and an amazing Goat Cheese Personal Pizza (see recipe and photo below).  Disclaimer: I don’t measure so I would just recommend using the following according to your tastes.

Goat Cheese Personal Pizza

Ingredients:

  • 1 Flour Tortilla
  • Diced Onions
  • Olive Oil
  • Crumbled Goat Cheese
  • Turkey Bacon
  • Dried Dates
  • Sea Salt
  • Cracked Black Pepper

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Carmelize diced onions in a little bit of olive oil. Cook a couple of slices of turkey bacon – I just cooked mine in the microwave.  Place the tortilla on a baking sheet. Spread the carmelized onions over the tortilla, followed by crumbled turkey bacon, chopped dates and crumbled goat cheese.  Drizzle a little olive oil over the top and top with a little salt and pepper.  Bake for 10-12 minutes and enjoy!

It’s an amazing mix of sweet and salty, creamy and crunchy.  All my favorite things in one!  Next time I might try sprinkling some red crushed peppers on it or drizzling a little balsamic vinegar for a ltitle more bite.  We love tortilla pizzas at our house – such a quick, easy meal in a pinch.

It totally tastes better than it looks – just took a quick pic with my phone before digging in!

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The 3 Things I’m Not Giving Up for Lent

That’s right. The 3 things I’m NOT giving up for Lent.

1. Facebook – I can’t. Facebook is my job. Literally. Or at least part of my job!

2. Coffee – I thought about giving up coffee and every morning as I long for my coffee I can be reminded to reflect upon the cross… And let’s be honest – I’d just replace it with tea.
3. Sugar – I can’t give up sugar with pure motives. Giving up sugar for me would be entirely for the wrong reasons.  It would have nothing to do with Jesus and everything to do with wanting a flat belly.
 
The trends of what people give up for Lent are fascinating to me. Barna wrote a really interest article about Lent that is definitely worth checking out. You can find it here.  However people going so public with their fasts is a little bit concerning to me.
 
Matthew 6:16-18
When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and to your Father, who sees what is done in secret will reward you.
 
Don’t get the wrong idea. I believe that Lent is a valuable and important tradition.  But is it really necessary to tell the Twitter and Facebook world what you’re giving up? 
 
This year, instead of not doing something I’m going to DO something.  Do I have a plan? Kind of. Am I going to tell you about it? No. My hope is that during this season the evidence of the cross will shine brighter than it did a month or a year ago. 
 
Whether you choose to fast from something or do something out of the ordinary this season or keep on living like you’re living everyday, it all boils down to what’s in our hearts.  Daily we must humbly recognize our need for a Savior and allow His grace to transform us more and more into His image. I hope that this Lenten season is a time of reflection and celebration of the every growing impact the Cross has made and is making and will make in your life.

Rain Rain Go Away…Or Not!

It’s been a rainy couple of days here in SoCal.  In fact, over the past 24-48 hours we’ve had more rain than we had in all of 2013.  Unlike the Midwest where sunny days after a long winter refresh and revive the soul, for this Midwest girl transplanted in California, I’d say that rainy days are refreshing and energizing to my soul!  I even heard a few claps of thunder this afternoon which resulted in something that can only be described in one way – giddiness!

After a long work week that got even longer Tuesday morning when the hard drive crashed on my laptop, I am glad for some downtime this weekend!  I haven’t left the house in over 24 hours and I am not going stir crazy in the slightest way.  Last night we watched Captain Phillips and a few episodes of New Girl on Netflix.  Today I’ve been reading, cooking, and starting some Pinterest projects.  Weekends like this make me wonder why I don’t give myself more downtime! 

We just enjoyed an at home candelight dinner because….well, why not?!  I think we’re going to start eating by candlelight every night!  Sometimes the smallest things can make something so much more fun.  It’s especially helpful to eat by candlelight when you’re trying out a new recipe that tastes better than it looks…. No, that wasn’t the motivation behind tonight’s candlelight dinner – it was just a happy coincidence as 1 of the 2 new recipes I tried wasn’t exactly pleasing to the eye!