Thursday, December 30, 2010

No More Special Coffee

This morning, rather, this afternoon, after I dropped my sister off at work I headed to one of my new favorite places to hang out, the Starbucks in Elmwood Village in Buffalo. Its a young neighborhood with hip and college-y hangouts. I like it because it has free wifi and a good atmosphere to get homework done or reading accomplished. They also have my favorite drink, the double shot soy chai latte, to 130 degrees (Thats simply because I don't like really hot drinks unless its below the freezing point outside).
  Well this time I ordered the drink, and asked the girl "Can I have that to 130 degrees, please?!" She nods and goes ahead making it. All of the sudden it exploded. Oh crap son. Apparently she thought I asked her to make it "230" degrees, which is above the boiling point. It exploded all over her, so she ran in the back to tend to her wounds. I felt so bad and apologized. It was no good.

Thats my story for the day.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

For the Absent

O God, whose fatherly care reacheth to the uttermost parts of the earth: We humbly beseech thee graciously to behold and bless those whom we love, now absent from us. Defend them from all dangers of soul and body; and grant that both they and we, drawing nearer to thee, may be bound together by thy love in the communion of thy holy Spirit, and in the fellowship of thy saints; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

(from the Common Book of Prayer)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Mini Expeditions: Love Came Down on Christmas

Here I am, chillin in New York with my family. It feels great to be back and see everyone. My "little" dog is laying by my side, chili is on the stove, hoorah.

Anyways, here are some GREAT articles and links about Christmas that I have really enjoyed this year.

  • Disturbing Christmas
    • By CJ Mahaney
    • "Only those who have been profoundly disturbed to the point of deep repentance are able to receive the tidings of comfort, peace, and joy that Christmas proclaims."

        • Christmas is For Those Who Hate It Most
          • by Matt B Redmond  (from Gospel Coalition)
          • "We have it backwards. In the irony of all ironies, Christmas is for those who will find it the hardest to enjoy. It really is for those who hate it most."

        Any other Christmas tidbits you'd care to share?

        Saturday, December 18, 2010

        Quick No Bakes!

        Every year, (Since last year, haha) some people from my church get together for a Cookie Exchange! Everyone brings 2 dozen of their favorite cookies, and you end up coming home with about 3 dozen different and delicious cookies from everyone! Depending on the amount of people, you get about 3-10 of each different cookie!

        This year I was a little short on time, and a friend had recommended these delicious Chocolate Oatmeal No Bake cookies. As soon as I heard no bake, I was all over that. With the help of my roommate and a friend, we whipped these bad boys up real quick. Here is the recipe and some pics from the cookie Exchange:
        Chocolate Oatmeal No Bakes

        2 cups sugar
        1/2 cup cocoa
        1 stick butter
        1/2 cup milk
        1 tsp. vanilla
        3 cups quick-cooking oatmeal
        1/2 cup peanut butter
        (coconut- optional)

        Combine sugar, cocoa, butter and milk in a saucepan. On medium heat, bring to a boil for one full minute.Remove from heat. Stir in peanut butter (optional), vanilla and oatmeal.
        Drop by spoonful onto wax paper. Let cool for at least 30 minutes.

        Lisa and I with some of our delectable selections!
        So much fooooood! Our hostess definitely has the mostess! haha

        Do you have a favorite Christmas cookie?

        Thursday, December 16, 2010

        Mini Expeditions: Music

        Lately Ive been mixing it up with some new music. My Pandora already ran out for this month (ugh only 40 hours!), so Ive had to really be creative in my music listening. Continuous play on iTunes can only go so far, especially sicne I havent mixed up my playlist since I was in Russia. There is some great stuff out there. So let me take you on a little musical expedition!

        • Todd Whatley and the Frontmen
          •  :Poor Boy" gets me every time! 
          • southern pub music!

        • The Civil Wars
          •  Joy Williams really goes big in her new duo with John Paul White. 
          • Oh gosh, "Barton Hollow"- repeat repeat repeat. 
          • literally americana folk music that sounds like its from a bygone era, with banjos!
          • when I listen to their music I feel like Im wandering in the woods, about to stumble upon the civil war.
        • The Temper Trap
          • obsessed with the song "Sweet Disposition"
          • weird alty-folk 80s'esque electronica with epic lyrics
          • check out their remix playlist, definitely worth a listen

        • Red Mountain Music
          • GLORIOUS hymns, thats really all I can say. GLORIOUS
          • I love "All Things New"

        • Jon Foreman
          • yes he is the lead singer from Switchfoot, but his solo music is so different (and better)
          • deep lyrically driven folk rock music 
          • My fave is "In Love"

        Okey dokey. Thats all for now.

        What music have you stumbled upon lately? Anything good?

        Tuesday, December 14, 2010

        Joyce Carol Oates and Home

        Joyce Carol Oates, a National Book Award winner, returns to her hometown of Lockport, New York and recounts the places and faces that haunt her memory from childhood for an article in the Smithsonian. This piece is quite good and as I read it I was right with her, also knowing in my own way of the romance she had with the city from hours of wandering around it, getting to know its deepest crevices.  I also connect deeply with her descriptions of the Lockport Public Library, and how she remembers always taking time out to go and read. 

        "The consequence of so much unsupervised freedom was that I seem to have become precociously independent." ...Joyce, are we the same person?

        Joyce Carol Oates Goes Home Again

        Here began my “romance” with Lockport, which I experienced as a solitary individual mostly walking—walking and walking—along the streets of downtown, and along residential streets; over the wide windswept bridge above the canal at Cottage Street, and over the narrower bridge, at Pine Street; on paths above the towpath, winding through vacant overgrown lots in the vicinity of Niagara Street; and on the shaky pedestrian bridge that ran unnervingly close beside the railroad tracks crossing the canal. Many days, after school I went to my grandmother Woodside’s house on Harvey Avenue, and later on Grand Street, across town; after visiting Grandma, I took a city bus downtown, or walked; to this day, I have a proclivity for walking—I love to be in motion, and I am very curious about everything and everyone I see, as I’d learned to be as a young child; and so I have felt invisible also, as a child feels herself invisible, beneath the radar of adult attention, or so it seemed to me at the time. For Lockport, which I’d previously experienced only in the company of my mother, my father or my grandmother, seemed very different to me, when I was alone. The small city—26,000 residents in the 1950s, now 22,000—became an adventure, or a series of adventures, culminating with the Greyhound bus to take me back home to Millersport.
        Do you feel this kind of connection with your hometown?

        Christmas Card Crafts!

        My sister and I loveee crafts. During any given day during the holidays, I await picture text messages from her showing the latest craft delight! I thought I would post some pictures of Christmas cards we both made recently, and maybe they will inspire you!

        All the cards are made out of easy to acquire scrapbook paper, ribbon, buttons, and glue!
        (And you never know, one might arrive in your mailbox!)

        Do you make Christmas cards?

        Saturday, December 11, 2010

        2am Chit Chat

        My mom called at 2am tonight.

        Most moms call at 2am if the house burns down, or if there is an emergency. But my mom just called to chat. She had just gotten some text messages that I had sent earlier in the night and wanted to say hi. I love that about my mom. I love that she doesn't get mad if I forget to call her back, or if she gets woken up by texts in the middle of the night, but she just takes advantage of the opportunity and talks to her daughter.

        I love that she always has something encouraging to say to me, even when I have crazy things going on. I love that she remembers who my friends are, even when she has only met them once.

        Gosh, I could go on. I love my mom, and I love our random 2am chit-chat.

        Wednesday, December 8, 2010

        Our Eyes Are At Fault

        Be brave, my dearest Maria, even if this letter is your only token of my love this Christmas-tide. We shall both experience a few dark hours -- why should we disguise that from each other? We shall ponder the incomprehensibility of our lot and be assailed by the question of why, over and above the darkness already enshrouding humanity. We are being subjected to the bitter anguish of a separation whose purpose we fail to understand. And then, just when everything is bearing down on us to such an extent that we can scarcely withstand it, the Christmas message comes to tell us that our ideas are wrong, and that what we take to be evil and dark is really good and light because it comes from God. Our eyes are at fault, that is all. God is in the manger.   -Dietrich Bonhoeffer (before he died in a prison camp)

        Tuesday, December 7, 2010

        Experience New England: Latin Fa La La's

        Saturday I went with some ladies from my church to our friend Diana's jewelry party. She and her husband have just recently joined Grace Harbor, and it was great to go support her and see some of her wonderful handmade accessories! I would totally recommend taking a glance at her page on Etsy! (and then buy some and give them as gifts!)

        Last night my roommate Niki and I headed to the 62nd Annual Brown Latin Carol Celebration! It was held in the First Baptist Church in America and featured choir performances that were simply magical and readings that touched on the season, all in Latin! A woman from our church is studying classics at Brown, and I'm so glad she told us about the event! It was simply awesome to hear our favorite Christmas carols sung so beautifully and in Latin! I hope more people come with us next year, and man, we need to remember to get there EARLY, (starts at 8) because it was mad packed!

        Celebrating Advent has been wonderful. I'm a few days behind because of the crazy weekend, but I'm absolutely looking forward to catching up today. It has been a great time of establishing a steady time to read my bible and think. It has also caused me to really think about the glory of the incarnation and what it means. The fact that the holy, perfect, and righteous God would send his son to the earth- the earth full of humans that repeatedly rebels against Him and slanders Him. So that we could then kill Him. But all for our salvation and his glory. Whew.

        And lastly, Red Mountain Music has a new cd that is available to stream or download on their website. They have really wonderful, gospel centered hymns. Oh man, so good. Especially the song "All Things New," which I think is the first track. Perfectly fitting for Advent as well :)

        Thursday, December 2, 2010

        Mini Expeditions

        An expedition is an excursion, journey, or voyage made for some specific purpose. Well, today I'm offering you some mini-expeditions, with the only real purpose being to show you some really great things Ive stumbled upon. Here we go!

        Sacred Deprivation by Erin Davis  
        Article from the True Woman website. "It was in that exhausted state that I had an epiphany. I’m not tired from a lack of sleep. I’m tired from a lack of the sacred.... "

        Desktop Wallpapers from Smashing Mag for December. I love to get some fresh new digs for my lappy! They range from Christmas theme, to simply beautiful scapes, and far from tacky. 

        Hubble Space Telescope imagery Advent Calendar for 2010. Keep checking this page - every day, for the next 25 days, a new photo will be revealed here from the Hubble Space Telescope, some old and some new. How cool, and its the third annual.

        TV Evangelist Being Extorted Over Affair. I kind of like this article. Though I don't know much about this man or his ministry, I like his statement: "To our beloved partners and friends," he said, "we're not here to excuse sin, but we are here to celebrate the goodness and the grace of God. He has helped Joni and me."    God is holy. Men are sinful. He forgives us if we trust in him and follow him. It has nothing to do with our ability to live a perfect life, but to trust in the one who did.