Thursday, January 28, 2010

Can't Hardly Wait.

No, I'm not talking about the 90's movie or anything even related to it.

What I am talking about ... is the release of two books I am eagerly anticipating.

The first happens to be released on February 2. Its the new Beth Moore book on Insecurity. I just have a feeling that I'm going to hear a good word on those pages.

I am borrowing this image from Amazon.

You can read more about it here.

And the Second is this.

Oh. My. Word. Doesn't that sound fantastic?
(I know, its two books and I said I was excited about two books, but you understand what I meant).

I didn't even know it was coming out. But my blogging buddy, Brittney, posted about one of her other books recently, and I became curious as to whether Rivers had published anything that I had not yet heard about. And right there on the Francine Rivers webpage was information about this little jewel.

I love Francine Rivers. I think she is a blessed and talented writer. My favorite books ever are her Mark of the Lion Trilogy. They are seriously wonderful. And this guarantees to rival them. And you know what is even better? Ha!! It releases on my Spring Break. Thank you Lord! You definitely won't have to ask what I'll be doing for a few days that week.

Now, I ordinarily do not read much during the semester, but my schedule is a little backloaded this semester (in that most of my classes are on Thursdays and Fridays) and it feels like my weekends might just be a little lighter because of it (though the weekdays are not so exciting). And because of this, I have already had opportunity to read one full book.

I'm so looking forward to reading many more.

post. script. Brittney, I hope it is okay that I called you my blogging buddy! And the new Bound For Books layout is super adorable!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Snack. Attack.

Well hello there! This is Katie, your blogging friend that has been posting infrequently since school started back. Remember me? Ahh, surely it has not been that long. Either way, it really is lovely to see you again.

While you all have been busy reading other peoples blogs or going to school too, I have been reading and writing and reading some more. Oh, and going to class too. And organizing my pretty new notebooks and folders of course.

It has been a good time really. But with all of that busy-ness, I have been getting oh so hungry!

And you know me, the queen of cooking... {ahem, the (maybe someday) aspiring queen of cooking, more like foodie} has had to develop some creative ways to satisfy the hunger when I don't have hours and hours to cook (and when I haven't made another quasi-meal plan or gone to the grocery store for the supplies). And that creative way has been to keep some good man-friendly and Katie-satisfying snacks around the house. (When I say, man-friendly, I mean that the Mr. has made a trip to the grocery store and purchased snacks he likes). These are some of my favorites: (p.s. no one paid me to say this, or anything else for that matter).

Triscuits! We both really like the cracked pepper and olive oil ones.

Carrots! I like 'em plain...

and the Mr. likes his with some Ranch dressing. Here is my favorite, not-made-from-scratch Ranch: Litehouse Homestyle Ranch. It tastes almost as good as if your momma had made it!

And my favorite variety of the Sunchips right now happens to be... oh, any kind really. But I always like Original and the Mr. really likes Peppercorn Ranch.

And to finish it off, I must say that I'm a big fan of the Tillamook. And we both especially swoon over the Colby Jack. Can't find it sliced, but Handsome is pretty good with a knife, so we manage (and it costs less not pre-sliced anyhow!).
Now, of course, we only eat these in moderation. And no one has been making any meals of it.

So... what are your favorite snacks?

Friday, January 22, 2010


I suppose its time for a random post, because I haven't done a random post in at least two weeks and I haven't posted at all this week because I've been plum tired.

School is going well. Lots of reading. Lots of To-Do Lists are being made. It is sort of refreshing in a way.

I have about ten post ideas stewing in my brain (okay, maybe more like three or four) but I just don't have energy to type them up and scan them for errors right now! Plus its a Friday and who checks my blog on the weekend anyway?

I love Valentines Day. I want to decorate the house, but I don't think Mr. Ruggedly (ahem) would be too thrilled with pink and white frillies and hearts all over the place.

My hair is finally getting really long. And I really like it.

I also like rainy, cold, snowy weather right now.

I know, I know. I haven't posted the chocolate post I promised. It will be coming soon.

This weekend's plans? Latte's. Reading. Eating. Walking. And Organizing.

Oh, and speaking of organizing: I went through a bunch of drawers and the closet and a million other things the other day and it was such a good way to get rid of clutter before school gets really crazy.

Now, time to clean and relax (and get some television watching in) before Handsome gets home.

I'm still here. And I'm still writing,

Monday, January 18, 2010

A Saturday - Sunday Summary.

Well, I shouldn't have promised you all that I would not post about food. That is because it has squelched my inner creative juices, as it seems food is one of the things I most enjoy posting about.

I had a reader request to write a weekend wrap-up, and because she is one of my favorites,I'm kindly obliging! I think her request was prompted by my complaining about being bored silly last weekend which was absolutely not the case this weekend.

Handsome and I drove down to Hometown on Friday afternoon and evening. The Mr. had to have some work done on his truck and then worked with his brother on a house his brother is building. As far as I can tell, they had a lovely time together.

While he was off being a super-productive handyman, I was busy with errands and baking and studying, oh and recovering. You see, I had this cold/fever situation about 15 days ago and the remnants are lingering. I have probably been through about five boxes of Kleenex in the last two weeks. Please don't tell the tree-friendly people or they may put me out to pasture, left to use the leaves and grass.

Other than the recovering and sleeping in part, I hung out with my parents and ran errands with both.

I bought the cutest little tote from Target. Oh, you can see it right here:

(I know, I know, the photo quality thing. I'm working on it. Promise).

I have been feeling rather dorky with my eight year old backpack lately at school. I actually don't mind the backpack when I am at school and other people are wearing jeans and sweatshirts, but it feels a little odd when I have to dress sort of fancy for a few classes and I have both shoulder straps on and the front of my bag has been graffitied from Sharpies like it was cool to tag in high school. (Ok, kidding about the graffiti part but it added to the story. And also, "graffitied" is actually a word. I looked it up).

I also did my first reading assignments of the semester which feels like an accomplishment seeing as I'm in complete denial that 1. school has begun again and 2. once school is over this time, its pretty much over. But I'll save that much for another post.

My mom and I also made a delicious dessert that I'll hopefully write a post about later on. Mmm. Seriously, I would survive completely on chocolate if it was possible. And trust me, its not possible, I have tried.

What did you to celebrate the three day weekend?


Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Long Road to Domestication. Part III. AKA Progress.

Well, I'm not sure you are going to believe this... but we have already prepared two of the three meals I planned!

Thank you, thank you. You can hold your applause!

There really is something to having a plan! I definitely don't think I'll ever be a day-by-day planner, but making some decisions about a few meals each week and getting the correct ingredients and recipes for those meals ready to go is like completely revolutionary ya'll! I'm so excited.

So Monday evening we made up the fried egg sandwiches. Delish! And so super simple. Apparently Handsome makes them somewhat regularly (just with the egg and toast/english muffin) and I think he even enjoyed having bacon and sausage and cheese as garnish to his usual. Anyway, think this could go on a more frequent, intentional rotation and might even work for breakfast or lunch sometime. (And I totally want to make scrambled egg, cheese croissants sometime. Actually, I've been wanting to for a while, but I feel more equipped to tackle it now, so maybe soon).

But the real accomplishment has to be the beef stew I made Tuesday! I had some time to chill at the house in the afternoon so I thought it would be the perfect opportunity. And I was able to get my great Mom on the phone at least twice, which was a definite plus, too.

So the other day I had purchased pre-tenderized beef for stew and I floured, salted, and peppered it to my hearts content.

I cooked that in a pot with butter, olive oil and a little garlic.

Then I added the onions.

Next I tossed in a bay leaf, 1 1/2 cups Barefoot Shiraz wine, 2 cups of water, celery, carrots.

Let it simmer.

Then let the whole thing sit in the oven.

And later I added some beef broth and the potatoes.

When we were just about ready for dinner, I cooked some extra wide egg noodles and tossed the stew on top of the noodles.

And there we had it: home-cooked dinner, two nights in a row!

Maybe I am moving forward on the road to domestication!

And yeah, I know. I totally should have taken a photo of the stew on the noodles in a bowl or something.
But I can only progress in my life in one area at a time, so be patient with me.

I'm here. And I'm still writing...


Monday, January 11, 2010

Quasi-Meal Plan Monday.

My sweet husband will probably laugh when he reads this, and begin his own blog "This is the REAL Katie dot blogspot dot com" which he threatens to do regularly, because the man thinks you all should know the truth about the execution of my big plans whether they be projects or discussion about cooking him meals.

So in the interest of full disclosure on my own blog, I'll explain that this post is merely an aspiration. And I'll be upfront and tell you about my shopping extravaganza today. Okay, maybe extravaganza is a little bit far from the reality, but I went to the grocery store (with a bit of a plan) which is pretty much a miracle in my house. I have a lot more success at grocery shopping and cooking in general when I am not in school, so making a meal plan trip the week that classes begins is a little bit ambitious, but you know, I'm growing and maturing and trying to learn to love cooking eat at home a little more often. And even though Mr. Ruggedly Handsome could likely survive on chips, crackers, cheese, and cereal, I occasionally feel terrible that some weeks he has to. And truthfully, I'm not particularly pleasant if I don't eat protein at least once a day.

So I called my mom and I read some recipe books magazines and I decided I would head to the grocery store to buy us some healthy snacking options and to go out on a limb (or more like the freaking Golden Gate Bridge) and buy some raw meat and veggies and other things that tend to go bad in my kitchen). And off I went, semi-list in hand. And now I am now home, and unpacked, and happy to say that this week, I should be able to "cook" dinner for hopefully WITH my husband three times.

I definitely won't say that I'm going to cook meal A tonight and B on Wednesay and C on Thursday, but without further ado, these are the meals I have ingredients for!

A. Beef Stew! Oh my gosh, its an undertaking I know. I think I'm going to adapt this Real Simple Recipe a bit, but I've definitely got beef chuck, vegetables, and a little bottle of wine ready.

B. Fried Egg and Sausage or Bacon Sandwiches. I went ahead and bought some sausage and fresh cheese and we already had eggs (and bacon). The fried egg part might actually be scrambled egg and cheese and salsa, but you get the idea. And I'm extra excited that we will even have the choice of wheat or sourdough English muffins (for the bread part), because we have a few sourdough left from the last time he went to the store and I just swoon over the wheat.

C. Spaghetti and Meat Sauce. Okay, so I didn't really do buy a lot of ingredients for this one, because we have a variety of pasta noodles at hand in our make-shift pantry, as well as spices, and we also have some marinara sauce, so all I bought for this was a little bit of ground beef.

But its a start right? Maybe someday I'll be super fancy and plan out an entire week worth of meals, execute in a proper fashion, and turn into Martha herself (or maybe Julie is the new Martha). Or hmmm, maybe I'd rather turn into Ree. Well, whatever, you get the picture.

So I'm here. And I'm writing (and maybe even cooking)!


Oh and as a bonus, for the day next week sometime when I'm starving and have no time, and no desire to go back to the store, I gathered up the few things I need to make a creamy chicken and noodles soup.

Soaking It Up.

What can be better on a Monday morning than a little trip to Target, coffee in hand, a little trip to a relaxed grocery store and absolutely no time frame in mind, and the possibility of eating lunch with a good book?

I promise. I'm totally relishing in every second of it before the classes start.


Saturday, January 9, 2010

What To Do on a Weekend?

So it is officially my last "free" weekend before I go back to the books. I have one smallish school related task to accomplish before the end of my lovely Saturday, but I don't expect to spend more than a couple of hours on it. And to make it less painful, I'm fairly certain those will be coffee shop hours! Yay!

Anyhow, the laundry is pretty much caught up. The house is clean. The husband has a few hours of occupied time as well. But basically we are free people and I'm not exactly sure what we should do to occupy ourselves.

Watch movies? Go jogging? Start some kind of project? Go grocery shopping? Cook gobs and gobs of food? Any ideas? Day trip to a fun little city not to far from our home?

I imagine we might have to go throw the football at the park. And we will go to church tomorrow. But that still leaves us with probably fourteen hours of free time!

What do you do with your husband to enjoy weekend time when there are not a lot of chores or other demands? Or does anyone ever really have a weekend like that?

I'm here. And I'll be waiting and relishing the free moments...


Thursday, January 7, 2010

So It Depends on How You Count.

I was prompted by a reader to post a little more information about Epiphany. I had never done the counting and just celebrated the day with my church and enjoyed the worship service recognizing the holiday. So when you count you might think that actually January 5th is the 12th day of Christmas, but in my church we count it to the 6th.

I found an article that explains a little about the calculation and will post a link to it, but wanted first to share two parts.

"The term epiphany means "to show" or "to make known" or even "to reveal." In Western churches, it remembers the coming of the wise men bringing gifts to visit the Christ child, who by so doing "reveal" Jesus to the world as Lord and King. In some Central and South American countries influenced by Catholic tradition, Three Kings’ Day, or the night before, is the time for opening Christmas presents. In some eastern churches, Epiphany or the Theophany commemorates Jesus’ baptism, with the visit of the Magi linked to Christmas. In some churches the day is celebrated as Christmas, with Epiphany/Theophany occurring on January 19th."

"Epiphany is the climax of the Advent/Christmas Season and the Twelve Days of Christmas, which are usually counted from the evening of December 25th until the morning of January 6th, which is the Twelfth Day. In following this older custom of counting the days beginning at sundown, the evening of January 5th is the Twelfth Night. This is an occasion for feasting in some cultures, including the baking of a special King's Cake as part of the festivities of Epiphany. In some church traditions, only the full days are counted so that January 5th is the Eleventh Day of Christmas, January 6th is the Twelfth Day, and the evening of January 6th is counted as the Twelfth Night."

This is the article if you are interested.

And as a final note, my favorite thing about the Sunday when we would celebrate Epiphany was the singing of the hymn "We Three Kings!" Its a good one.

"... Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, 'Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him." Matthew 2:1,2


On the Twelfth Day of Christmas.

Ahhh! Its after midnight where I live so Christmas is officially over. I grew up going to a fairly liturgical church that celebrates Epiphany on the 6th of January every year. It is one of my favorite celebrations in the church. It is the day that the church celebrates the Wise Men visiting the baby (and probably by that point toddler Jesus).

So... I always think of Christmas, the whole season, as lasting until at least January 6. And in celebration of that, I spent about ten hours with two friends making around sixteen batches dozen tamales. I had thought about making some kind of wintery-stew in the next few days, but I definitely think I'm going to let that idea pass. (Okay, that was a little side story, but tamales are a Christmas-winter food so there you go).

And as a little Christmas present to me, my friends shared with me that my classes begin two full days after the day I had thought them to begin. Everyone in my program has something we should be completing by the day I thought was the start of classes, so somehow I just equated one with another. What a lovely 12th day present for me.

And since I wasn't home all evening to celebrate with my hubby, we may just have to extend our Christmas a little longer. (So we start a little after everyone else, and leave our decorations up a little longer than oh-every-other-single-human-being-with-a-rational-mind, but its our house and our lives). But my husband LOVES Christmas. And who am I to squander his joy?

Oh, who am I kidding? He will probably have to talk ME into taking the decorations down (He really is the more rational one you know) in a little while (a time period I am choosing NOT to describe to you because I don't want you to make fun of me).

Merry (belated) 12th Day of Christmas to you!

I'm here. And I'm still celebrating...

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Some Days are Long Days.

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. I can not really comprehend what my friend is going through, nor her man or her mother or anyone else. I think I'm going to share with her Angie Smith's blog and Katie Rowe's blog, because at some point maybe their words can bring comfort and I pray for her to have God's peace brought to her, that which surpasses our understanding.

Speaking of the Lord, my Bible "verse of the day" today (I got one of those verse of the day calendars this year during my Christmas shopping. I haven't had one in like seven years and I'm super excited about it) was a good one (I know they are all good ones, but I heard it loud and clear). In the midst of hearing about my friend's family, recovering from a fever and day in bed yesterday, and seeing my parents after they sent my brother off to live almost half way across the world, I was comforted, reassured, encouraged, and gripped by these words in Deuteronomy 32:3,4 (NIV)

"I will proclaim the name of the Lord.
Oh, praise the greatness of our God!
He is the Rock, his works are perfect,
and all his ways are just.
A faith God who does no wrong,
upright and just is he."

I did accomplish a few things in the evening, as I got most of my clothes hung up from our two-ish week hiatus from our town to our hometown and to the wedding. And while my husband was hanging a Christmas present and rearranging the other wall decorations we have, I finally made a decision about hanging (and re-hanging) a quote board and photo frame. And he (not to brag or anything), being the super handy, super efficient and helpful man that he is, has already hung them over my desk. (Which not having a blank wall in the room and making a decision is really no small feat considering that wall has been empty for the last oh, sixteen months, since we first moved in and I haven't wanted to put the nails in. But whose counting months anyway?).


BTW: Buddy, if you happen to read this while you are off on your new adventure, sorry I didn't get to say bye because of the fever but I love you! Have fun over there.

Lisa Update.

My friend Lisa's little baby has gone to be with the Lord. She was not able to fight the infection very well. Thank you for your prayers and I ask that you keep Lisa, Eric the Daddy, and their families in your prayers still.


Monday, January 4, 2010

LIttle Baby Update #3

I haven't posted an update in a few days, but will now. I just talked with my mom and the little one has developed an infection. Lisa, the sweet mom, has still not been able to get to the out-of-town hospital, because she got sick and was readmitted to a hospital in the town the baby was born.

There was discussion that Lisa might be transferred to another, a different-town out-of-town hospital to see a specialist. We are hoping she will be transferred to babies-town, out-of-town hospital instead, so that she will be close in proximity to her little precious one.

Lisa's Mom is on her way to the out-of-town hospital to be with the little baby since she is sick. Please keep the little one, Lisa, and Lisa's mom in your prayers.


Sunday, January 3, 2010

Abide. (And a Song for a Sunday).

"Stop trying; start abiding."

Yesterday, I was going through the papers and notes that collect in my Bible. Out of a desire to want to be in the Word more, I thought perhaps it would help me to not have things falling out of it each time I opened.

I happened upon some old sermon notes and one thing was immediately brought to my attention. It was a quote that said "Stop trying; start abiding" and it really struck a chord with me. Sometimes I get so caught up in "doing" the right things and in the religious practices, that I don't really let God in to do His work. I don't "abide" or dwell with him, but instead think on Him only at the surface. I listen to Christian radio and I sing the songs. I go to church fairly regularly. But I haven't let God get close in a while. I haven't listened for his voice or given access to my heart.

I think it was out of some fear. I came to know Christ on a personal level more than a decade ago, but I fell away from intimacy with Him at some point. I pushed for the things I wanted. I acted selfishly and didn't trust him with my heart and feelings. This left me feeling sort of in control of a few things, but very alone.

Over the past few days, in thinking on the passing of a decade and the beginning of a new one I debated what "goals" I might set for myself. I debated whether or not to post a Happy New Year type of post and whether I should make resolutions and make them public on my blog. At my Church this morning, we were encouraged,for the new year to think on the things the Lord has done for us and instead of making resolutions to read the entire Bible this year or to pray thirty minutes each day (things that we can strive to do), to remain focused on what Christ has done for us. And in so doing, He will respond by drawing us ever closer to Him.

So instead of a resolution to read my Bible everyday or to sing more songs or to pray more, I'm just going to ask God to abide with me more. To forgive me once again, like he did the first time, and to draw me ever closer. To give me a greater desire for His Word and for His Will. It can be a scary thing to trust God with all of the decisions that have to be made and to put ones selfish desires aside, but deep in my heart I know that His way is better than my way. That He has greater purposes than I can fathom. That His plan will prosper me and will give me hope.

And He has already shown himself faithful to me and that he is attentive to what is going on in my heart because he planned such a wonderful encouragement for me today at that same service. One of the worship songs for the morning was (a modernized rock version) of the very old hymn "Abide With Me."

  1. Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
    The darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide;
    When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
    Help of the helpless, oh, abide with me.
  2. Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
    Earth’s joys grow dim, its glories pass away;
    Change and decay in all around I see—
    O Thou who changest not, abide with me.
  3. I need Thy presence every passing hour;
    What but Thy grace can foil the tempter’s pow’r?
    Who, like Thyself, my guide and stay can be?
    Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.
  4. I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless;
    Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness;
    Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
    I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.
  5. Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes;
    Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies;
    Heav’n’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee;
    In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me

So in 2010, I am resolute in one thing. That I will abide, in the archaic definition of the word meaning to dwell, with Him more. And that in the abiding , I will yet again hear His voice. That I will be reassured of His grace to me. That I will again feel the closeness. And that I will again come to trust.


P.S. I decided I would post this because I am thankful for the Lord's faithfulness and hope it might be an encouragement to someone else.