Strawberry Fields Forever

This morning I took Gideon over to my Grandpa and Grandma Aase’s house to run around eight o’clock. We found out this week that he’s 115 lbs, so the puppy is going on a strict diet and I’m gonna try to exercise him as much as possible. I figured it’s more fun for him to go out there because he doesn’t need a leash most of the time. And it’s great to hang out with the grandparents 🙂

We also went out last night and I helped Grandpa Lew put netting on the strawberry plants, because the bulk of the harvest is going to be within the next week or two! The nets keep the birds from eating my delicious strawberries.

Gideon was beyond excited for a car trip out to Grandpa’s house. He loves it there!

My happy puppy.

I can’t wait to go and pick strawberries! The last 5 or 6 years I’ve missed the bulk of the season being off at bible bowl tournaments. So there are some perks to being home 🙂

A super beautiful morning!

I’m also really thankful that my grandparents live so close, and are very involved in my life and willing to let me come over whenever. They are the best 🙂

 

p.s. I also got up at 6 and ran, did some chores, and found good running shoes. Instead of TV is going well!

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The Green Monster

I was browsing through some healthy eating/ running blogs this afternoon, and came across this recipe for a spinach smoothie. My first thought, was “Eww, gross!” Some people go a little too far in their healthy eating obsession. But the lady swears that it doesn’t taste like spinach, and my grandpa had just dropped off some spinach grown in his garden, so I thought I’d give it a shot.

It’s pretty darn delicious! This is the recipe I used:

– 2 cups of spinach

– 1/2 cup of milk

– 1/2 cup of non-fat plain yogurt

– 1 medium banana

– Crushed ice

– 1 packet of sugar

My mom even liked it! It made about two smallish servings, but obviously can be scaled up or down. It’s super healthy and filling, so I think I’ll be making the green monster smoothie a lot more this summer.

 

 

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Old Job/New Job

My new place of employment!

They have a brand new building! It smells good there.

They have lots of fireplaces.

And a very nice physical therapy/rehab room. Apparently it is also a place of perpetual sunshine. +Points!

I had an interview at ComForcare here in Austin yesterday, and they offered me an LPN position! I take my boards this Sunday, and I have orientation Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. I start on the floor training on the 20th! I am amazed at how quickly it all came together. God has provided and I am so thankful. I don’t know yet if I will have a part-time/casual or full time position. They won’t know which one is available till Monday, but I’m really hoping for the full time!

I put in my two weeks notice at Sacred Heart yesterday. I’ve been working there as an aide for a little under a year. I am really gonna miss my residents and co-coworkers. I’ve learned a lot in my year there. Though cleaning up urine and poop can be a little unpleasant at times, it’s definitely a growing experience. Taking care of people with dementia can be challenging and requires a lot of patience. But God has definitely been teaching me compassion, patience, and humility. It was a blessing to get to know these people.

 

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My Adventures in Bread-Making

This weekend, I decided to try out a few different bread recipes that I’d found online. I’ve made bread before, but it never turns out quite right. So, I figured the only way to get past that is a little bit of experimentation and trial and error.

Attempt #1: Basic Bread from Joy the Baker

http://www.joythebaker.com/blog/2010/02/bread-and-butter/

Rising in the sunshine on the porch.

After the first rising - punched down and divided into two balls.

It rose! Shazam!

The finished product (there were two). It looks like a UFO?

Sliced

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So this bread was pretty good, but it was a little dense. It rose super well since I had it sitting on the porch (and it was 80+ degrees!), but I don’t think I made the slits on the top fast enough because it sort of splooshed flat right before I put it in the oven.  Anyways, it was still pretty decent!

 

Attempt #2: No-Knead Bread from Steamy Kitchen

http://steamykitchen.com/168-no-knead-bread-revisited.html

I mixed all the ingredients (flour, salt, yeast, water), at noon on saturday, and left it to sit. On sunday morning at 6, I formed it into a ball, and set it in this cloth. This is 6 hours later at noon.

And here it is done! And yes, it is in a pot.

And again! Yes!

Sliced! I like this bread.

Look at those air bubbles!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This bread was great! It takes almost a full 24 hours to make (because of the 12-20 hour rising time), but it’s hardly any work! You bake it in a pot (which looks kind of funny), but it makes the crust crispy and delicious. This was less dense, more chewy, and more crusty than the first recipe attempt. Plus, I think it looks cooler. I will definitely be making this again 🙂

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News.

Today’s edition of Instead of TV:
– I got up at 6 and ran around east side lake with my friend Katie (and went out to coffee and had a good talk!)
– Finally got around to going to Sacred Heart during the daytime to talk to the scheduler about my summer situation.
– Applied for an LPN position at Comforcare. I actually got a job interview done as well!
– Worked.

The last few days of this no TV thing have gone really well. I’ve been able to read a lot! I’ve also tried to be more productive around the house (cleaning the litter box, doing laundry, etc.) It’s strange the little things that I put off when I can fix my attention on something lazy (television). It lets me sort of block out the fact that I have tons of things I could be getting done.

Up until now, all of my superiors there had been very positive and basically assured me that I would have an LPN job there.Then on tuesday, I talked with the nursing supervisor at SHCC. She told me that they had just hired 2 new nurses and that there weren’t any openings for me, but I was “welcome to apply” if one happened to come up. I was sort of shocked by this. And my only plan all along had been to work there, so I didn’t have a plan B.

Thankfully, there are a few other places in town that are hiring. And even though I’ll be sad to leave Sacred Heart, and I’ll miss the people there, this will be for the best. I’ve been thinking about how I hate feeling out of control. I hate not knowing what the future will bring. God is using this (even this small thing) to teach me to trust and obey. And not to be anxious for anything. This is just another one of his graces toward me, teaching me to lean on him and not my own strength (or money-earning potential from a job). And for this, I really am thankful!

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Instead of TV…

Today instead of watching TV, I:

  • Ran 2 and a half miles (outside in the sunshine!)
  • Read my bible
  • Studied for my NCLEX – PN
  • Cleaned my room
  • Worked for 8 hours
  • Read the first chapter of  The Mortification of Sin, by John Owen

I’m not going to do this all the time, but I think for now, it’s helpful and motivating to me! One source I saw today said that the average American spends about 5 hours a day watching television. Crazy! But I understand how it can be done, and can become a habit.

P.S. – I’m starting up the Mortification of Sin. I read about half of it last year, and then stopped because I got distracted or something (typical me). So I’m excited about that! I borrowed this copy from my brother, Kyle ( I think when Judah was born, so I know I’ve had it over a year). It has all sorts of notes written in the margins, and things already underlined for me! Thanks, Kyle 😉

The language is a little tricky in places, but I got used to it after the first chapter or so.

My favorite quote so far:

“Mortification (of sin) from a self-strength, carried on by ways of self-invention, unto the end of self-righteousness, is the soul and substance of all false religion in the world.”

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In the Summertime

The last few weeks, I have spent an inordinate amount of time watching entire seasons of Lost. I usually don’t watch that much television at all – during the school year I am in class during the day, and I work most evenings. But my family has Netflix, and that means that I can watch most television shows and a lot of movies on my computer at any time. And then there’s always Hulu, where you can watch new TV episodes the day after they air.
I haven’t done really anything productive in the past two weeks, and I’ve spent most of that time watching the television or bumming around on my computer. God has been convicting me lately on my use of time in regard to this.

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. – Ephesians 5:15 &16

This is the verse that has been on my heart. I am not my own – I was bought with a price. And I’m to glorify God with my body. How I live, how I speak, how I act, and how I use my time.
So I’ve been thinking, what could I be doing with all these hours I waste on media? This summer, I’m going to try to find out. Until my 20th birthday (August 31st),  my goal is to not watch any TV or movies, unless it’s a group event or something. (Example: if my family or friends are going to watch a movie together, I’ll do that with them, but I won’t just sit down and watch something by myself cause I’m bored or my favorite show is on).
So today, instead of watching Lost with my little brother, I read my bible for a while, and then spent a good chunk of the morning and afternoon cleaning on the north and south porches. I got something done. So I’m just gonna take it one step at a time, and try to make the most out of the time I have. Reading good books, getting things done for my mom, studying, and investing in relationships. And mostly I want to grow in love for the Lord.
And  Lord willing, writing things down on here will help keep me focused.

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