Back to School; 7 Quick Takes

Happy Friday, and Happy Back-to-School!! I’ve been slacking recently in my posting, I apologize for that! School started this week, and I am so happy with my decision to switch schools, and majors. I can already tell that this year is going to be fantastic! As for this post pulling double duty, it is 1.) Meant to wish you all a Happy back to school, and 2.) 7 Quick takes. I’m doing another themed 7QT hope you don’t mind : )

1.) I am officially a student of The University of Michigan (Flint). I love the campus! I have a free gym membership to the rec center on campus, there is a lovely little cafe within walking distance, and best of all…. I have friends on this campus. People that I’ve known for years and years. More than anything I’m excited to know people on campus!

2.) I mentioned the free gym membership…I fully intend to take advantage of this. My goal, and I’m telling you this so that you can hold me accountable to it, is to be able to run ten miles by this time next year. Every year here in Flint we have this big 10 Mile road race–The Crim. I’ve walked a 5k, and my long term goal is running the 10 Mile. So, on the days I have class I will be going down to school a few hours early to start working out. If anyone knows of a good plan for beginning runners I would love to have your advice!!

3.) I have a new major. I am now a Clinical Psychology major. This means that my ultimate goal is to become a Therapist…more specifically a Christian Counselor. I have a long road ahead of me, but I’m trusting that God will provide, and carry me through!

4.) My class for this semester is Abnormal Psychology, and I’m really looking forward to it. This class is meant to take us inside the mind and how it works. We will be covering all of the disorders, syndromes, and malfunctions…what causes them, how the work, and how to treat them. We will also begin taking a look a research practices, statistical research, and case studies….I’m so excited for this class.

5.) I went back to school shopping today….new jeans, and some adorable leopard print flats. I’ve NEVER owned anything that was leopard print, so this is a bit of a leap for my and my wardrobe…I’ve had these shoes for about two hours, and I haven’t taken them off….I think we have a winner!!

6.) URGENT PRAYER REQUEST!!! Please pray for a family from our church. The grandfather of a friend of mine walked away from the senior living apartments where he has been living. He suffered a stroke around Easter time, but seems to have been in good health since then. They believe that he is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s. He has been missing for almost 72 hours now. Search and rescue teams have been working tirelessly to find him, but his family is frantic. Please please pray that he is safe, that he is found, and that all will be well. Thank you so much.

7.) As always, I’m linking up with Jen and the others at Conversion Diary….go check it out!!



Catching Up

I’ve been slacking a little bit as far as blogging goes, so I’m going to try and catch up a little bit here.

Things have been pretty busy at work and at home getting ready for school to start back up. I finished my transfer orientation, toured campus, and purchased my text book. I’m only doing one class for fall due to the fact that tuition at U of M Flint is much higher than at MCC. I am enrolled in Abnormal Psychology for the fall semester, and I’m really looking forward to it!

I was sent a copy of a Young Adult Novella written by a former teacher of mine that I will be reviewing soon, so be looking for that.

I will get back on schedule with a special Fall edition of 7 Quick Takes this Friday, and I have a few recipes to share with you soon as well!.

How’s that for catching up!?

Blessings All!


7 Quick Takes: 4/26/13

Happy Friday! I’m going to be quick today, because I’m heading into the office early today. So, let’s get right to it!

1.) I just made this darling skirt using THIS tutorial. Super simple, super cute, super comfy!

2.) I finally finished my first full row of blocks for my quilt….once I can get a decent picture I will post but trust me when I say it is my best work so far! It looks really cute, and everyone who sees it can tell right away that it should look like books lining a shelf! I’m excited to see how it turns out!
3.) Today after work, I will be finishing my (FINAL) semester as a nursing major. I’m excited to officially start studying Psychology, and seeing where God leads me with this new journey. I register for classes for the fall on Monday and am really looking forward to this semester!
4.) There are moments in life when I am so glad that no one is around to capture them on film of any kind. Thursday, mom and I battled a big, ugly, hairy spider that somehow found its way into our car. You should have seen it…..we looked ridiculous! You (like dad when we told him the story later), may think that we are wimps for freaking out over a “little” spider….but when you are trapped in a car with a far-from-little spider, you’d react the same way we did! It was pretty funny when we were telling others later on but at the moment not so much!
5.) I am so ready for vacation! It cannot come soon enough……….
6.) I’m boring today….sorry! My week was pretty uneventful so I didn’t really have much to share…
7.) Tomorrow I turn 20. I am spending the day with family, and that is absolutely all I want for my birthday! I couldn’t ask for anything better than hanging out all day with family! 
I didn’t really have a lot to work with this week….so there you go 7 Quick Takes….go see Jen for more! 

7 Quick Takes: 4/12/13

Happy Friday! Today, I will be spending the entire day catering for Casting Crowns….One of my all time favorite Christian Bands… let me apologize now that this may be a rushed post. 
I’m going to get right to it: 
1.) Check out my post Quilts, Pasta, and a Throwback to find a great recipe for some (amazing) homemade pasta! Trust me, you can’t go wrong with this recipe.
2.) I bought some more fabric today for my quilt, and while I still don’t have much progress to share with  you I figured I’d show you the fabric that I managed to find: 
These fabrics, though they don’t really seem to match match at all, I know….I.JUST.KNOW that I can make them work!! I loved these bundles when I saw them and honestly couldn’t pass them up (it helped that they were on sale).

What I didn’t show you was that one black square in the last photo. I took several pictures of it but was never able to really get a good one. I’m using the black as a kind of “background” I didn’t want to just use plain black because that’s no fun. I bought four yards (I was being generous, this is my first quilt after all) of black with (in a light black/dark gray) has a print of music notations! I love it, and it is going to add the right bit of contrast, and dimension. 
3.) It has been raining here for four days, and is supposed to turn to snow sometime today. I know the weather right now is wonky all over the country, so I am not alone in my weather woes….I just want to be able to get outside and uncover plants, and put in my garden….and just do spring-y things! I can’t wait to put my garden in this year. It is something that I really look forward to each year. 
4.) I’m an addict. Not to anything detrimental to my health (only if I fall out of my chair laughing). No, I’m addicted to A&E’s Duck Dynasty. Yes, yes I am, and I am proud of it! This family is amazing! They are so rooted in their Christian faith and share it each week on their show. It is so great to see a family interact the way they do, and more importantly share their faith the way that they do….and they are SO.DANG.FUNNY!!
5.) I have a random question that has nothing to do with any of the above quick takes… you know of a good homemade-or-inexpensive blister prevention or treatment? I have terrible blisters on my feet from my tennis shoes. They are not new….I’ve had them for years, and wear them all the time but all of a sudden I have these awful blisters after only a few hours of wearing them? Normally I wouldn’t care but when the weather clears up and I start walking the neighborhood again I don’t want to deal with blisters every day. Any advice or remedies would be very appreciated! 
6.) Only a few more weeks to the end of my spring semester. When it’s done, I have the summer off, and will then be starting at my new school, with my new major. I’m really looking forward to this new chapter that God is writing for me. There are doors being opened, and I’m moving forward and am totally committed to my new major. I’m excited to see where God leads me…
7.)  There is so much going on these next two weeks: work, small group, rehearsal, extended rehearsal, work, baking multiple batches of deserts, formal dinner for 75 (helping to cater), playing in the orchestra for Ordination service, catering a lunch for 50, delegate to two (or more) days of District Assembly, delegate to Missions Convention, work, work, small group, rehearsal, dress rehearsal, work, concert, final exam. Throw in Sunday morning services and some studying and there goes the next two weeks of my life. 
So, until I wrote it out like that it didn’t seem so bad…….please don’t let me get in the habit of writing out my schedule like this! It’s crazy seeing how much I actually have to fit in, but I take it all a day at a time. Focusing on what is right in front of me…otherwise I get run down. I realize now it sounds like I’m complaining, and I don’t mean to…..this week I basically just wrote what came to mind……there is a lot jumping around in my brain right now, sorry! 
Jen is not hosting this week, after just having her baby…, head on over to Grace at Camp Patton for more of this weeks Quick Takes! Be praying for Jen, and baby Joseph! 

7 Quick Takes: 3/22/13

Happy Firday! I love, love, love Friday’s! For me, it is the end of the work week, and gives me plenty of time to hang out with my family. Friday also means it’s time for another installment of Quick Takes! I’m joining Jen over at Conversion Diary, let’s get to it!

1.) Last Saturday night my whole extended family (on dad’s side) got together to celebrate my Great Grandmother’s 94th birthday.

Four generations: Great Grandma, Grandma, Dad, Myself, and my Cousins. This picture should actually include a few more grandkids and great grand kids however they were not in attendance. 
2.) I would like to ask you to please pray for my Great Grandma, as I said she is (now) 94 years old, her health is failing. We are aware that at her age it’s pretty normal for her health and memory to be slowly declining, however the decline has NOT been slow. From week to week she seems to just get worse. If you would please pray for her, and the family as we try to help her….it would be very much appreciated! 
3.) It’s NCAA Tournament time, which means that for the office and family I’ve filled out brackets. Mine never really seem to go very far….so this year (because ESPN lets you make up to ten) I’ve done 9. Hopefully at least ONE of them will make it to the end! 
4.) NCAA Tournament time in this house means that basketball is on all day. ALL DAY!!! There is no escaping it, however today I plan to take four (or more) hours and sit down and watch Les Miserables. (Released TODAY on DVD!!!) complete with popcorn and snacks, and a full box of tissue! 
5.) Even though Wednesday was the first day of spring, it is still snowing like crazy here! I almost can’t believe that it really is March! I am ready for the Florida trip! I know it’s still months away, but I would love to move it up because this snow is killing me! 
6.) I’m still working on the parenting interview, and I’m loving the research aspect of Psychology! It has been so much fun gathering information, and conducting interviews. Now, I have to find a way to put it all into a paper…..the not so fun part…..
7.) This week is Palm Sunday…..the day that we celebrate Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. It is also the start of Holy Week. Thursday, we are having our Maundy Thursday service. There is something so striking about this service. We have a partial orchestra, and a full choir. It is a candle lit service, one by one, as each scripture is read, and each song is sung a candle will be extinguished….we share communion, and after the final prayer a lone trumpeter plays were you there. The sound of the horn rings out almost eerily in the completely dark sanctuary. The congregation leaves in absolute silence. Silence is loud, very, very loud. This was the night of the last supper, the night Jesus was betrayed. Friday, we have no service. Friday (Good Friday) is a day of contemplation….something that I will share with you all next Friday! I love Holy Week. I love the services that I get to be a part of…..I love what Jesus did for me on the cross, dying for my sins!
Blessings to you as we enter into this coming week. It’s not about the bunnies and the candy….though I do love a good marshmallow Peep, it’s about the Cross, and the sacrifice, the grace and salvation we do not deserve but are granted anyway.
(Youtube: Keith and Kristyn Getty)


7 Quick Takes: 3/15/13

Happy Friday friends!! As always, I’ll be bringing you 7 quick takes… we go:

1.) I told you about my experience on Saturday meeting the incredibly funny and talented Chonda Pierce. If you missed it, you can read that post here

2.) I came across an old Bible this week, and as I happened to be flipping through it I found this old picture of me and my grandpa.

I was so surprised when I found it! It had been years since I had last seen it, and I’m convinced that finding it again was a God thing. I’ve been missing Grandpa so much lately, and coming across this picture just seemed to….help. 
3.) Sunday night we kicked off the Michigan Nazarene Holiness Summit. It was nothing short of amazing! We had a former General Superintendent speak Sunday night, and a line up of great Holiness evangelists on Monday. You could feel the Spirit moving on Sunday night, and Monday. It was such an awesome couple of days! 
4.) Tuesday I started working on another research paper for my Child Psychology class….this one involves conducting interviews with parents on parenting and discipline. I finally got the interview questions taken care of, and rounded up willing participants…..this ought to be interesting! 
5.) I hated music theory when I was in high school, and over the years nothing really has changed. I found out on Wednesday that some of the music the our orchestra will be playing for Easter Sunday needs to be transposed from Alto Sax, into French Horn…and some from Flugelhorn into French Horn. If you have any transposition tips, I would appreciate the help! 
6.) You may have noticed after stopping by that The Shelf has a new look! I was ready for a change, and this is it! I have added some new features; an about page, a what I believe page, and a chance for you to follow me on Pinterest. Check it out! 
7.) From my devotions today: Psalm 144:2 “He is my loving God and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield in whom I take refuge, who subdues peoples under me.” 
These words came at a time when I most needed them, it is amazing the way that God sends things, or people, along at exactly the moment that we need them. I thank Him each day for how he continues to work in my life! 
Enjoy your weekend, and make sure you go see Jen for more Quick Takes! 

7 Quick Takes: 2/8/13

Happy Friday! As always, I’ll be joining up with our wonderful host Jen, over at Conversion Diary…..and away we go!

1.) Last Saturday I spent all day writing, and writing, and writing and….well, I think you get the picture. I was alone at home and I had my computer in the living room, and I decided that I would put something on the TV just for a little noise….I went to NetFlix and I thought that I would see what all the hype is about with Downton Abbey.

I have seen the light! I watched all of season one on Saturday…all of it! I’m finally beginning to get caught up now on season three, and I’m wondering why I didn’t just start watching it to begin with back when it first started! I have gotten myself totally hooked, and I am falling in love with these people! It has made for some great TV watching!

So.Much.Love for this show!
2.) My research paper is finally finished, and (as I figured would happen) I didn’t stick with my original topic. I thought that the topic of Religion would be easy, but boy was I wrong. I had no problem finding the research to go along with that topic, but putting my thoughts into words was SO difficult for me! I finally just picked an entirely different topic: Parents’ Relationships. I used my own mom and dad as an example, and incorporated Alfred Bandura’s studies in Observational Learning……basically I said that kids learn from watching mom and dad, although I said it in more technical terms….I can tell, that this is where my heart is at. Not necessarily this developmental stuff, but Psychology in general, I can talk about it for hours, and I never tire of reading about it! I’m in for a fun ride!
3.) Sunday we had a preview rehearsal of the concert our Worship Arts Ministry will be presenting for Easter, and I was totally blown away by the music! It is a really good mix of some new contemporary worship songs, and traditional hymns of the church! The orchestration is gorgeous, and I cannot wait to get my hands on the horn part!
4.) I’ll admit this to you….please don’t judge me. I’m writing this late Thursday night….as I’m looking out my window, all I can see is swirling snow. According to weather maps, I am right smack in the middle of this “Massive snow storm”. Local stations are calling it “Snow Storm 2013” and the National Weather Service has even named it. Let me ask you this, when did we start naming something other than a Hurricane? I don’t know, to me it just seems silly….but that said, if you are on the east coast I know that you are about to get hit much harder than us here in the Midwest. Please, please, please stay safe, and warm. Don’t go out in this unless it is absolutely necessary. This stuff may look pretty, but it can turn dangerous in an instant! Stay safe!
5.) I’m hoping to head out soon to score myself some good deals on fabric, using my new student discount at Joann Fabrics. I have these grandiose plans of making a “vintage inspired” skirt. I have a plan, and a pattern, now I just need the fabric….that’s what I’m still trying to decide on. Solid or print? Pastel, dark, neutral? If I go with a pattern what should it be? This is why it has taken me so long to pick a fabric…I cannot decide what I want. Help!
6.) The cold bug has hit our family and two-of-three are down for the count, myself included. Mom and I both have it, however she is much worse than I am. Dad (lucky duck), seems to never get sick when her and I do, but so far we don’t have it so bad (knock on wood). Hopefully this is it and it will vacate the  residence soon…if not we’re in for trouble if dad gets it. 
7.) There are some things that need no words….and this, I believe, is one of them…..Take a look: 
By the end I was crying like a baby! This kid is amazing! I can only hope that his story will inspire people to think differently about handicaps. Honestly, I do not have words for how incredible this story is! I hope you enjoyed it as much as me! What an inspiration!
As I said at the beginning, go see Jen, and everyone else for more Quick Takes! Enjoy, and have a wonderful weekend!

Homemade Granola Bites

It’s snowing here today, for about the third day in a row, and I’m hunkered down; working on my psychology paper, watching Downton Abbey on NetFlix, and figured that I would take a small break and share this recipe with you.

I love making these homemade Granola Bites, I eat one in the morning for breakfast with a smoothie, and it keeps me going for hours. They are delicious, you can add to them whatever you want, and they are easy to make and store.

The recipe is this:

1/2 Cup of Nut Butter (Peanut, Almond, Cashew) I use peanut butter, to please everyone’s taste
1/3 Cup of Honey
1 Cup of Old Fashioned Oats
1 Cup of Shredded Coconut (I use unsweetened because this recipe is sweet enough already)
1-2 tablespoons of some kind of flavoring in my latest batch I used vanilla, and in my first batch I used maple  you can mix it up to be whatever you want.
1/2 Cup of some kind of mix-ins: Chocolate Chips, Butterscotch chips, dried fruit.

Throw it all in your mixer, and mix until well combined. You can scoop them out into little balls, or wrap them as small bars. This recipe is entirely yours to have fun with. You can literally do whatever you want to with this recipe. I do however recommend that you store them in the freezer, they hold up much better that way, than at room temperature.

 Gather your ingredients

 Throw them in the bowl and mix well!
Mix VERY well

 and store. I use leftover containers. I stack them in two layers with parchment paper between them. 
I also scooped some right onto small squares of parchment (using the same scoop from above), 
and wrapped them up as bite sized granola bars! Then I tossed it all in the freezer to store. They are quite tasty, and really easy to do for breakfast with a green smoothie, or some kind of protein smoothie. 
With this recipe I cannot stress enough to just have fun with it. You can honestly put whatever you like into it, fruit, chocolate, nuts. The possibilities are endless! HAVE FUN!

7 Quick Takes: 2/1/13

Happy February everyone! Wow, January flew by fast……

It’s FRIDAY! I love Fridays, the end of my work week, a day at home catching up on DVR’d television, another installment of 7 Quick Takes, I’ll be Joining Jen as always, so when you’re done here head on over to Conversion Diary to see what everyone else has going on…So, how about I get right to it?
1.) On January 28th I celebrated the 200th birthday of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, and by “celebrated” I mean- I started reading it again (for the umpteenth time). I love this book, and any book that was written by Jane Austen, however she has given my quite unrealistic expectations when it comes to men. 
2.) I’m currently in the process of writing a paper for my child psychology class on “The Making of a Child” beyond the biological aspect. I’ve chosen my topic to be character development, and raising your children with religion. It’s a lot harder than I thought it was going to be. Being a single college student with no children of my own I can only go off of how I was raised by my own parents, and whatever research I am able to dig up. If any of you can weigh in on this, whether or not you are raising your children in church…I need both sides…and anything helps at this point! 
3.) I decided that I don’t need my Nutrition class this semester…I signed up for it back when I was still a nursing major, and psychology majors don’t need it so I dropped it. I made one of my first grown up decisions without consulting my parents (they didn’t care, and I was thinking at least one of them would be slightly upset….I was wrong). I got my refund in the mail today, it was only a half refund which is definitely better than nothing and I was so happy! So, for the remainder of the semester I am only doing psychology….which is what the rest of my time in college in general is going to consist of. I LOVE IT!!
4.) I have been singing the songs of Les Miserables for the last week, they are totally stuck in my head and won’t go away. Not that that’s a bad thing… just won’t go away! Let me just tell you though, that Les Mis was one of the best movies that I have seen in a LONG time, and I love that the story of redemption takes center stage. Yes, I cried like a baby when I saw it, but it was totally worth it! 
5.) I’m writing this on a mental break from my paper, and I would like to apologize for what may seem like nonsensical rambling, because that is essentially what this is. 
6.) I’m totally drawing a blank here, so……………11 days until pitchers and catchers report to Lakeland, FL for SPRING TRAINING! The long winter is finally coming to a close, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and Baseball is on it’s way back!
7.) I think that’s it for this week, the paper won’t write itself, and I need to get back to it. Thank you to all of you who stop by each week, I didn’t think anybody would ever look at this blog but some do, and for that I thank you! Have a wonderful weekend, and whether you are cheering for the Ravens or the Forty-Niners, I hope you have a great time on Sunday.
Go Ravens!

Mental Break

Every now and then I need a good little mental break, especially right now. I’m writing this paper for my child psych. class, and normally I don’t have any problem coming up with things to say that make sense and flow well together but I have been stuck on the dang intro paragraph for about an hour now and it is killing me. I’m hoping that by taking this mental break, and doing some lighter writing (read: blogging or complaining whatever you wish) will help me to focus when I do go back to the paper. I used to be able to sit at my computer and in no time at all have at least the intro, and background information in the time that it has taken me to get this far.

When I chose my topic, raising kids with religion, I thought it would be an easy topic compared to the others on the list. I was WRONG, this has proven to be a pretty hard topic and as I said I’m only on the intro! I’m going to do a little more writing tonight, and hopefully after a good night’s sleep and some coffee in the morning ideas will flow better, and I’ll be able to formulate coherent sentences…..we’ll see. In the meantime, prayers are appreciated, I’m struggling on this one for some reason, and can’t seem to get rid of this writer’s block.