Wednesday, December 26, 2007

A Guaranteed Christy-fied Baking Experience

Yesterday I made Cinnamon Apple Oatmeal cookies and I was going to post a picture of my delectable creations. However, before I could find our ever-illusive camera, my family (i.e. my brother) finished off the last of my Cinnamon Apple Delights! But I remembered the recipe (well, rather the process) so I decided to post it for any of you adventurous culinary artists out there who need some holiday baking inspiration!

  • First, have your dearest mother buy a bag of Cinnamon Chips from Wally World in hopes that her children will make some cookies.
  • Second, have your most beloved sibling reject your ultra-cool idea of Cinnamon Blueberry cookies. (I thought it was a perfectly logical idea! I mean, if cinnamon goes well in blueberry pies and blueberry crumbles, then why not make Cinnamon Blueberry cookies!?!)
  • Thirdly, be inspired by the applesauce simmering on the stove.
  • Fifth, exclaim with great enthusiasm and zeal, "I know! I'll bake Cinnamon APPLE Oatmeal cookies!!!!!!!" (Don't forget to add the seven exclamation points at end.)
  • Sixth, rummage up a mixing bowl and the needed utensils and add liberal doses of the indicated ingredients. (Feel free to use whole wheat flour instead of the nutrient-starved white flour or applesauce instead of eggs.) Don't worry about amounts--measuring is over-rated.
  • Seventh, look in the cupboards and add any other spices, seasonings, or yummy-looking ingredients that you find. (Don't forget to look in the freezer! That's where I found the frozen apple juice concentrate!) Mix thoroughly.
  • Eighth, steal an apple that your mother is trying to wash and chop half of it into small bits. Add to batter. (Use the other half of the apple to calm your borborygmus stomach).

  • Ninth, taste it! And be careful when letting your family taste it, they might take more then you expected!
  • Tenth, plop the batter into small roundlets on your cookie sheet and bake at 350°. It's ok to run upstairs while they're baking and read blogs but make sure to listen for when your mom calls you to tell you that the cookies are getting black.

  • Eleventh, don’t burn your tongue while you carefully nibble at the steaming cookies because you can't wait until they've cooled down to try out your new creation!

  • Twelth, for a ‘more excellent way’ (1 Corinthians 12:31) dip cookies in honeyed peanut butter or add a fluff of whipped cream to the top!


Thursday, December 20, 2007

My grammy and I :D

So Joel and I drove up to Maryland Wednesday night and stayed with my Grammy. And as I write this, we are in an Apple store at the mall buying my grammy a Mac computer. I decided it was the perfect opportunity to blog so I convinced my grammy to take a picture with me. :D

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Caitlin graduates. We take pictures. Not normal ones, cuz that would be boring... Enjoy :D

Monday, December 17, 2007

Character Development

my goal:

"God's work is ever characterized by calmness and dignity." -Selected Messages


"The Christian life is more than many take it to be. It does not consist wholly in gentleness, patience, meekness, and kindliness. These graces are essential; but there is need also of courage, force, energy, and perseverance. The path that Christ marks out is a narrow, self-denying path. To enter that path and press on through difficulties and discouragements requires men who are more than weaklings.

"Some have no firmness of character. Their plans and purposes have no definite form and consistency. They are of but little practical use in the world. This weakness, indecision, and inefficiency should be overcome. There is in true Christian character an indomitableness that cannot be molded or subdued by adverse circumstances. We must have moral backbone, an integrity that cannot be flattered, bribed, or terrified.

"God has given us ability, to think and to act, and it is by acting with carefulness, looking to Him for wisdom that you will become capable of bearing burdens. Stand in your God-given personality. Be no other person's shadow. Expect that the Lord will work in and by and through you.

"The same spirit and principles that one brings into the daily labor will be brought into the whole life. Those who desire a fixed amount to do and a fixed salary, and who wish to prove an exact fit without the trouble of adaptation or training, are not the ones whom God calls to work in His cause. Those who study how to give as little as possible of their physical, mental, and moral power are not the workers upon whom He can pour out abundant blessings. Their example is contagious. Self-interest is the ruling motive. Those who need to be watched and who work only as every duty is specified to them, are not the ones who will be pronounced good and faithful. Workers are needed who manifest energy, integrity, diligence, those who are willing to do anything that needs to be done." -Ministry of Healing

Friday, December 07, 2007

Grammy's Ragamuffin Bible

My Grammy says that everyone should have a ragamuffin Bible; one that they can mark up and make their own. She says, "If you must, or if you have to preach a sermon or do something official, get another Bible, plain and black, and take that to church and have it be your grown-up Bible. But when you're alone with God, pull out your ragamuffin Bible. I'm tellin' you, you'll never be the same!"

Back when I was a Western child, it was only a rare and EXTREMELY special occasion that I got to see Grammy and Grampy, who lived way out East in Maryland. But whenever I did get to see them, it was always with great excitement. Sabbath's were my favorite because my Grammy's purse was always full of unique sabbath toys that none of the other children at church had. And tucked away were her Sabbath "cough-drops" (which were actually butterscotch or creme savers) to occupy our mouths with something other than talking.

But my FAVORITE thing of all was my Grammy's Bible. It was well-loved and falling apart, but I was intrigued by the treasures I would find within its pages. Genesis 1 had stickers of bugs, animals, and birds. Exodus 8 was surrounded by bright green frogs and little black flies. Tucked away midst the pages about the sanctuary was a piece of linen like the fabric that the priest's wore. A few pages later was a braided cord in gold, blue, purple, and scarlet liked the colors used in the sanctuary. Jonah's story was graced with a humongous fish, which curved around the edge of the words. There was an endless amount of treasures just waiting for my eager eyes to search them out. I was always looking for the newest additions and fondly tracing my favorites that had been there ever since I could remember. It was in my Grammy's Bible that I was drawn to the Word of God for the first time. It became something more then just a book that I was told was special. It became a Book that would change my life.

As I grew older, and stickers lost my interest, I learned to find new ways to make the Bible come alive. I learned to dig deeper, past the surface stories, to what lay below. I learned to enjoy prophecy and I became fascinated with word studies and discovering the hidden truths behind every verse.

But every once in a while, I'll visit my Grammy again and take another look at her ragamuffin Bible. And I am reminded of why I first fell in love with God's word. It's fresh and alive! It's captivating! No wonder the little children flocked around Jesus. The secret to it's power lies in it's simplicity. The Bible says we must have faith like a child.

When I was a child, I believed. I knew that the stickers, while just colors on a page, represented real stories and real lives effected by God. Now, in my college life filled with analytical thinking and dissection, I want that simple belief of my childhood back. I want to be still and KNOW that He is God! I want to not only be certain that He will answer my prayers, but ACT on that belief!

At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, "Who then is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" And Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said "Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever receives on little child like this in My name receives Me." -Matthew 18:1-5

Thursday, November 01, 2007


A Portuguese word which has no direct translation but can be roughly translated as "a feeling of longing for something that one is fond of, which is gone, but might return in a distant future. It often carries a fatalist tone and a repressed knowledge that the object of longing might really never return."

"The famous saudade of the Portuguese is a vague and constant desire for something that does not and probably cannot exist, for something other than the present, a turning towards the past or towards the future; not an active discontent or poignant sadness but an indolent dreaming wistfulness." -A.F.G. Bell

"Saudade is different than nostalgia (the English word, that is). In nostalgia, one has a mixed happy and sad feeling, a memory of happiness but a sadness for its impossible return and sole existence in the past. Saudade is like nostalgia but with the hope that what is being longed for might return, even if that return is unlikely or so distant in the future to be almost of no consequence to the present. One might make a strong analogy with nostalgia as a feeling one has for a loved one who has died and saudade as a feeling one has for a loved one who has disappeared or is simply currently absent. Nostalgia is located in the past and is somewhat conformist while saudade is very present, anguishing, anxious and extends into the future. In Portuguese, the same word nostalgia has quite a different meaning."

"Although it relates to feelings of melancholy and fond memories of things/people/days gone by, it can be a rush of sadness coupled with a paradoxical joy derived from acceptance of fate and the hope of recovering or substituting what is lost by something that will either fill in the void or provide consolation."

"Saudade is, therefore, one of the deepest human feelings, and the greatness of its power is exactly that it transcends itself, creating other feelings, which, by their turn, stimulate men. And that’s certainly one of the difficulties of translating or even grasping the philosophical significance of saudade: saudade becomes greater and deeper while illuminating other feelings, but it also becomes more difficult to understand it."


The previous quotes from various research I did this evening was inspired by a conversation I just had with my roommate, Caitlin. She speaks Portuguese and was telling me about Saudade and how english doesn't have a word for it. Have you ever heard the piece Kol Nidrei? We happened to be listening to it as we discussed Saudade. It's melodies paint a musical portrait of the essence of Saudade.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

the garden and a plentiful Harvest

Who knew that SAU's Community Garden would provide opportunities such as caroling in October laden with packages of Collard Greens, Arugula, Kale, and much much more!

The harvest of our garden reminds me of another Harvest.

It is interesting to note that sometimes Biblical Harvest represents the gathering in of the righteous and other times it represents the cutting or trimming of the wicked. Examples of the latter:

"And I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and on the cloud sat One like the Son of Man, having on His head a golden crown, and in His hand a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to Him who sad on the could, 'Thrust Your sickle and reap, for the time has come for you to reap, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.' So He who sat on the cloud thrust in His sickle on the earth, and the earth was reaped." -Revelation 14:14-16 (More in verses 17-20)

"For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: 'The daughter of Babylon is like a threshing floor when it is time to thresh her; yet a little while and the time of her harvest will come.' " -Jeremiah 51:33

When we were at the garden on Monday, I was circumspectly picking the outermost Arugula leafs when Luke came over and starting ripping them off in a much harsher manner than I. He then stated that the Arugula was tremendously overgrown and needed to be immensely truncated in order to grow back smaller leaves that are good for salads.
When sin gets overgrown in our life, we need to be pruned or harvested. It hurts and is uncomfortable but when it is over, we can grow back tender Godly characteristics that are perfect for His salad of work.

And now for some examples of the former type of Harvest:

"Jesus said to them, 'My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work. Do you not say, 'There are still four months and then comes the harvest'? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. For in this the saying is true: 'One sows and another reaps.' I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored and you have entered into their labors.' " -John 4:34-38

"Then He said to His disciples, 'The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.' " -Matthew 9:37,38

"And He said, 'The Kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground, and should sleep by night and rise by day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he himself does not know how. For the earth yields crops by itself: first the blade, then the head, after that the full grain in the head. But when the grain ripens, immediately he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.' " -Mark 4:26-29

Then let the Harvest continue!

"For the earth which drinks in the rain that often comes upon it, and bears herbs useful for those by who it is cultivated, receives blessing from God; but if it bears thorns and briers, it is rejected and near to being cursed, whose end is to be burned." -Hebrews 6:7,8

A vision of the church: "Along the bank of the river, on this side and that, will grow all kinds of trees used for food; their leaves will not wither, and their fruit will not fail. they will bear fruit every month, because their water flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for medicine." -Ezekiel 47:12

Monday, September 10, 2007

*Alaska's Atrocities!

A great tragedy has taken place in the lives of some of those dearest to me. My former suite-mate, Kristin Thomas, has moved to the bitter wilds of the Alaskan tundra. For some reason, she thought the scenery would be better on the other side of the United States. How silly. More commonly known as "Red Bud I", the region our dear friend has moved to will prevent her from blessing us with her presence on a regular and frequent basis. You see, it is so far removed from the beaten path that it takes a long sleigh ride followed by several hours of dog-sledding and snow-shoeing in order to get to her far-removed igloo. We have attempted one or two trips to visit her and bring her firewood, hot soup, fur parka's, and such but the snow drifts have just been atrocious lately. I believe they've been having quite frequent blizzards up in that altitude as of late. ...It's a sad tale indeed.


Love your former suite-mate, Christy

*The credit for the location (Alaska) of Kristin's new home goes to the genius mind of Ivan G. Marsh.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The last of the summer pictures!

The last of the summer pics (at Alex's and Joel's insistence)

Boat driver Christy :DSunrise over Saranac Lake

Wake-boarder Christy (sometimes)

Kristin and I
My Dad's amazing water-skiing skills

Monday, August 20, 2007

Cascade, Porter, and Giant (Day Off Hike #3) [8 of 46]

View from Cascade

The last 2 day offers left on top of Cascade (no, andrew doesn't usually have a fro, and yes, it was windy)
Summit of Porter

Random keys and shoe at Giant Mtn trailhead
Chipmunk who decided that my log was the scrait place to be
In remembrance of The Wolf/Agent Bumper Tree
It took a while to get a picture of this little shrew that Andrew saw on the edge of the trail. He was only about an inch long.

Our little summit friend :)
We didn't feel like asking anyone to take a picture, so here's our self-portrait :

Esther and Whiteface (Day Off Hike #2) [5 of 46]

At the old ski lodge ready to head up
A dog house along the trail? A nasty spot to sleep? Nope! A picture op!

Agent Mudslinger, Agent Caboose, and Agent Bumper Tree (haha)
of the LEGS agency (Agent Pacemaker on the right)
Picture Break!

Views from Whiteface:Horseshoe lake from Whiteface
At the summit!

Algonquin, Iroquois, and Wright Peaks (Day Off Hike #1) [3 of 46]

Ready to go! (photo's courtesy of Andrew Whitlow and Kristin Thomas)

The back-seaters!

3 mile hike in.... in the dark :D

Pondering over Joel's EUREKA! tent

The view from Marcy Dam
Pausing for a picture on the trail (really just an excuse to rest for a minute!)

View from Algonquin
We came up with fun nick-names for all of us. I was first mate. I believe Kristin is going to post a more detailed account on her blog.
At the top of Algonquin, the 2nd highest peak in NY!

View from Iroquois (i think)
Atop of Iroquois

....alas, Andrew didn't bring his camera up Wright so we didn't get pictures.