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My Memorial Day was restful and fun.  Restful in the sense that I was able to relax and enjoy myself, not in the way that I sat and did nothing.  A couple friends and I took a girls-only trip into the city.  We rode the bus there, as that is the best way to do these things.  Then we wandered, ate delicious lamb gyros, had lovely gelato, wandered some more, shopped a bit, had appetizers, shopped some more, then came home.  We had a full day of it. 

I bought perfume for the first time ever.  I think I like the scent.  I am pretty sensitive to most scents, so I have never bothered buying any in the event I would not be able to wear it.  It’s very citrusy, a combination of passion fruit & raspberry nectar.  I just bought the baby container (.25 oz) as I am not ready to commit to the big size (1.7 oz).  Ooo, and it’s from Victoria Secret, their Live Pink scent (in the yellow container).

Lately, I have been indulging in many things that I never did previously, usually because I was afraid it “wasn’t me” or some other silly reason.  It has been invigorating.  Simple things, like fun hoodies or different styles of skirts/dresses/etc.  Or even trying a perfume out. 

I like it.

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Every so often I have moments of slight to medium panic when I think about grad school (online) starting the end of August.  How will I pay for it?  Will I be able to work and do full-time studies?  Will I ever manage to learn Greek and Hebrew?  Then, that reminds me: I must, must, must begin to work in my books I purchased (see previous post). 

Today, I started in my Greek textbook.  According to the author, if I work through two lessons a day, six days a week, I will get through the book in one month.  It sounds feasible.  But all I did today was copy the alphabet onto flashcards, and now I am practicing the sounds of the letters.

The other night, I babysat my nieces, and when my brother and sister-in-law came home, I mentioned to them about leaving in a year or two to go to grad school.  My eight-year-old niece overheard me and started crying.  I felt terrible.  I did not tell her that I might not get to come back to the area, that it all depends on where I manage to find a teaching position…  I really don’t like the idea of leaving.  Alas.

It’s much harder to leave children than adults.  Adults understand; children do not.

This is the disparity of life: I walk down the street, holding a borrowed umbrella, Starbucks Caramel Macchiato in hand that I purchased with a gift card, wearing a Columbia shell that I got at the thrift store for maybe $5. While walking, I pass a woman, probably homeless, who is bedraggled, clothes have seen better days, wet from the rain.

The difference between us is stark, but the biggest difference is that I am able to live with my parents, that I have been raised middle-upper class, that I have had no real hardship in my life.

I consider myself poor, but I live a life of luxury.

Yesterday, and especially last night, I was having a Psalm 27 sort of day.  This morning I woke up to a Psalm 30 feeling in my heart.

God is good.  He is merciful and gracious.

Psalm 90:14 “Oh satisfy us in the morning with Your lovingkindness, That we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.”

Be proud of me: I actually slept in until 9:30am today.  Moreover, it is 10:45am and I am still in my pajamas.  Will the decadence never end?? ;)

Going back a bit, the puppy will have to be postponed.  There were three puppies in the potential litter I was going to pick from, but two of them died.  So, sad for the owner and the mama dog, but probably better for me.  What with starting school soon, it’s probably not the best timing to have a puppy anyway.

I co-facilitated a training yesterday at work.  First time I’ve done that.  Honestly, it wasn’t all that different from when I would teach a class or do a presentation at college.  Except it was, of course, way more colloquial.  It helps confirm to me how much I really do like teaching.

Here is an interesting statistic: back in 1950, the average 14-year-old had a vocabulary of 25,000 words.  In 2006, the average 14-year-old had a vocabulary of 10,000 words.  Does anyone else think that is a problem?  If you use an average of, I think it is, 4,000 words a day, where are you going to make up for all the rest?  By reading!  It is imperative that we get kids reading and that we read ourselves.  And if you can’t figure out what a word is, use a dictionary.

I’m still on track with LiveStrong.  I really like that I’m learning about portion sizes and good nutrition.  I am also noticing correlations, such as: if I eat enough fiber, I will feel full for fewer calories than if I don’t get enough fiber.  One of my favourite meals is this: two corn tortillas, 1/2 chicken breast (baked & sliced), 1/2 cup black beans, 2 tbsp homemade guacamole.  It’s roughly 350 calories, 10 g fat, 13 g fiber and 23 g protein.  And if you’re supposed to have between 20-25 g fiber a day (depending on caloric intake), then you’ve got a substantial amount right there.  So tasty and always fills me up.

Well, I suppose it is time for me to shower and start my day.  Adieu.

Homemade “Oreo” Wafers

½ cup sugar
10 tbsp butter, at room temperature
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 ¼ cup flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt

Cream together butter and sugar.  Add egg, mix well.  Stir in dry ingredients until all blended.

Roll into 4 logs, 1” in diameter each.  Wrap in wax paper.  Chill for 20-30 minutes in the freezer or overnight in the refrigerator.

Cut into ¼” slices.  Place 2” apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake at 375 F for 10 minutes.  Allow to cool 1 minute on pan, and then finish cooling on paper towel.

Makes 95 cookies.  (Each cookie: 22 calories, 1.25 g fat, 1 g sugar)

Last night, I saved my mom from the immanent doom of a bee.  (She is allergic, deathly so.)  I myself am terrified of bees, but that is because I have never been stung, so the fear of the unknown overwhelms me.  It was on a bag, just sitting there; Mom thinks it must have been close to death because it wasn’t moving, but I think he was just faking it until his moment would come (which it never did).

I approached said bee, heavy glass in hand, cardboard in the other, and slowly, deliberately placed the glass over him.  Then I slid the whole thing onto the cardboard and placed it on the ground.  I asked my mom if she thought he could escape, which she did not.  I, however, wanted to be on the safe side (because you never know; he could be a very strong bee) and so I placed a potato on top of the glass.  Just in case.

Potato/Glass Death Trap

I made sure to lock the door to the garage, also, so that no one would walk in and knock the glass over.  Mom thought it was hilarious, so she put the following note on the door to warn Dad:

Mom thinks she's funny.

Dad told us he also thought it was hilarious.  I, for one, thought that I only took necessary precautions against the scourge of society, aka the bee. 

It’s good I was there.

I’ve been feeling overwhelmed and underappreciated lately (as evidenced by a previous post).  And don’t forget to throw a bit of discouragement into the mix.  I don’t think this is an accurate feeling, though.  If I take a step back and look objectively at my life, there is absolutely no reason for me to feel those things.  And yet I do.  So what is going on?

I’ve got to get out of this funk.  Here is a list of good things in my life:  Less than three months of work left.  Grad school starting soon.  Maybe a puppy in my future.  Church is going great.  Friends are pretty awesome.  I’m eating healthier, living healthier and losing weight. 

Here is a list of things I want to have in my life: A climbing partner.  A Bible Study with folks my age and level.  Daily time with God.  (And at least two of those things are things I can have with a little effort.)

A reposting of my resolutions from this year:

I resolve to be real about my faith.  To spend intentional time with God.
I resolve to be confident in who God made me to be.
I resolve to not make foolish resolutions throughout the year, but to be careful with my decisions.
I resolve to do more of the things I think about doing (such as writing, my sewing projects, finding a climbing partner, etc).

Surely this is possible.

I’ve been on LiveStrong for two weeks now, and I’ve lost 4 pounds and 1 inch off my waist.  That is what I call success.  While I am being very careful (and very strict) about what I eat, I am not hungry and not deprived.  I still get little extras, although now I wait until the end of the day to see if there is room leftover in my calories/etc.  I’m eating regular meals, with regular snacks.  And I’m getting out and moving more than before.  All I needed was a little motivation.  And how encouraging to see that it’s working!

Another success.  Last night my mom and I built a bookcase.  Okay, it was one of those you buy in a box from Target, but we still assembled it, which took a screwdriver and a hammer.  The sides & shelves are pressboard, and the back is cardboard.  But it’s all a lovely espresso wood grain finish.  So classy.  Plus now I have room for not only the books I own, but the new ones I plan on acquiring.  On a side note, I have books in the attic, books in the “library” downstairs, books in the hallway outside my room, books in my room.  If I ever move out, I am going to have to have an entire bookcase lined wall or two to accommodate all of my books.

Today I spent a bundle at Amazon, in preparation for grad school.

Learn New Testament GreekLearn Biblical Hebrew

A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, Seventh Edition: Chicago Style for Students and Researchers (Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, and Publishing)From Resurrection to New Creation: A First Journey in Christian Theology

And obviously I just more or less stole those images from Amazon.   Hopefully Amazon won’t mind.

Anyway, the first two were recommended by my brother, who had to have a foundation of the languages before he could start seminary.  He thought Dobson did a great job with the books, so I got them for myself so that I can get a head start.  Kate Turabian’s book is pretty self explanatory.  And the last book is written by one of my prof’s from Bible College.

I’m a nerd.  But so entirely excited.

Oh, did I mention that I am now officially a member (albeit a Student Member) of the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS)?  Yes, folks, it’s true.  I had been waiting for this day for years.  I can become a full member once I get my ThM.  Woot!