Saturday, July 30, 2011

a recipe - grilled cheese and "ta-MAH-toe" sandwich

If I was super cool...I'd have neat pictures to go along with all this.

But I'm a college student who doesn't own a camera.

And I make this in my cafeteria (which involves jumping into at least five different lines to collect the necessary ingredients). The bolded directions are the quick version. The other notes are tips for people who go to Cedarville.

Step One: Get two pieces of homemade bread. Sometimes the bread is kinda smashed, but if you're careful you can stretch it a little bit. (bread line)

Step Two: Get lots and lots of cheese (mixing different kinds is always good) and slices of fresh tomato. Break up the cheese into smaller pieces so you make sure that the entire piece of bread is covered. (Sandwich line)

Step Three: Put a little bit of Caesar dressing on the inside of each piece of bread (and some in between the cheese, if you like that) (Salad Line - NOT the main one)

Step Four: Sprinkle a little Parmesan cheese on there (Pizza line)

Step Five: Sprinkle some basil and a little garlic salt on it as well (stir-fry line OR vegetarian line)

Step Six: Put it in the sandwich smasher until the outside is crispy and the cheese seems to be melty (yes. that is a word. sorta.)

thanks to Megan who every much helped me figure out this sandwich. We make it (or a variation of it) almost every time we eat together (and many other days as well!)

it would also be great with a slice of prosciutto (a major shout out to my italian heritage). but again, i'm making this in a college cafeteria. i've never seen prosciutto there.  ;)

oh so good.  wish i could have one of these right now!

class recommendations for cedarville university

For those of you still attending Cedarville, I thought I would take this moment to pass on a little advice. Here is a list of my absolute FAVORITE classes while at CU. I'm not taking the time right now to type out the explanations for each, but if you would like to know why, just ask. :)

1) Wisdom Literature with Dr. Estes (this man has impacted my life in such profound ways...and I actually took this class spring 2010 and then sat through it again spring 2011 because it was so good :)

2) Human Sexuality with Dr. Dolph

3) Scriptural Interpretation of Gender Issues (SIGI) with Dr. Fagan

4) Psalms with the esteemed Dr. Estes

5) Social psychology or Intimate Relationships with Dr. Dolph (it's a tie...I couldn't pick)

6) Old Testament Literature with Dr. Miller

7) Abnormal Psychology with Dr. Becknell

These are some of the classes that I WISH that I had time to take...

1) Hermeneutics with Dr. Couser
2) New Testament with Dr. Couser
3) Church History with Dr. Smith
4) Pentateuch with Dr. Ham
5) Logic (and/or Ethics) with Dr. Graves

Ok.  That's all for now.  :)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Currently Reading: A Family's Guide to the Military for Dummies

A Family's Guide to the Military for Dummies
by Sheryl Garrett and Sue Hoppin

In 59 days, I'm getting married (!!!) and soon thereafter, Mr. Mays (who will technically be Lieutenant Mays by that point) and I will be moving to Mississippi with the Air Force.  Since I like to know as much as I possibly can before I go into a new situation, I started scouring the internet and the libraries for information on being a military family.  This book has helped a lot!  Here are just a few of the topics covered:
  - shopping at the commissary
  - Tricare options
  - understanding military compensation 
  - pros and cons of living in on base housing
  - all those silly little acronyms (CONUS, for instance)
  - military benefits
  - childcare/school options
  - family support centers

This book really does cover a lot of topics and I learned a great deal.  I did have to weed through a few things because certain parts didn't apply to us.  There was a lot of information about raising children while you're in the military and we just aren't at that point in life yet.

If you happen to read this post and you and/or your spouse as ever been in the military, comment and let me know your favorite part about being in the military.  And also perhaps tell me something that you struggled with.  :)  I'd love to hear what you have to say!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

bike lane woes


i have a serious problem with bikers who REFUSE to  use a nice, wonderful bike lane/path when it it provided and instead insist in riding in the narrow lanes for cars.  this video, however, is forcing me to be a little more gracious to the bikers.  enjoy!

Also, this picture just made my day.

Currently Reading: Heaven to Betsy and Betsy In Spite of Herself

Heaven to Betsy and Betsy In Spite of Herself
Maud Hart Lovelace

Ah, the beloved Betsy-Tacy series.  These are the stories of my childhood.  As we moved around the country, I felt like these were the friends that moved with me.  We started with reading the four books that were about their childhood, growing up in Deep Valley, Minnesota around the turn of the century.  Then I followed Betsy, Tacy and Tib through their high school years (with all the various ups and downs of high school, crushes, dances and more).  I toured Europe with Betsy.  I read as she FINALLY married Joe Willard and followed her as a newlywed.  Some years later, I found a few more Deep Valley books.  The two books mentioned above are her freshman and sophomore years of high school respectively.  I am reading through the series again this summer before I pack up all my books to move to Mississippi.  Mr. Mays agreed that if I have to be moved all over the country and perhaps all over the world and be moved away from friends and family, I could at least bring my fictional friends along.

These are such wonderful, classic books.  I've read each book at least a dozen times and I still love
 re-reading them again.  They are mentioned in my favorite movie, as well.  :)  Hope that you'll get a chance to pick up one of these books soon.  They really are enchanting.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

song for today

thanks to my AWESOME sister and brother-in-law, this is one of mr. mays and my favorite songs.  :)

Friday, July 15, 2011

mark driscoll responses

If you're even semi-involved in Evangelical circles, you've probably heard about Mark Driscoll's recent facebook post asking his followers, “So, what story do you have about the most effeminate anatomically male worship leader you’ve ever personally witnessed?”

Clearly (and for good reason) this has raised a lot of controversy.  Although I have been challenged by Driscoll in the past, I'm glad that people have spoken out against this.  It would be pointless for me to attempt writing a Christian response to this - others have written much more poignantly on the subject.  Here are a few links to articles I have appreciated on this subject.

In fairness to Driscoll, I must add that he apologized for his flippant comment.  I do admire his willingness to admit that he was wrong and his obedience to the elders who are over him. 

Currently Reading: Evidence Not Seen

Evidence Not Seen: A Woman's Miraculous Faith in the Jungles of World War II
Darlene Deibler Rose

Mr. May's grandmother saw me reading while I stayed with them in Michigan and passed along this book.  I've always liked biographies (especially missionary biographies) so I was excited to own it.  (I'm pretty much happy to own any book though).

Anyway, the story is incredible.  Within the first year of marriage, Darlene moves from a small town in Iowa to New Guinea.  When World War II begins, she and her husband are taken hostage and separated to different POW camps.  She spends four years in the camp (that's the part I'm in right now).

This woman is pretty incredible.  She tells the story of what happened, but she never dwells on the facts too long.  In fact, she almost seems to downplay the situations...she's as cool as a cucumber in situations where I would have been terrified.  Perhaps what I like most is that Darlene always credits God with working things out...she was completely reliant on Him and simply acted with faith knowing that He would take care of her.

I was a bit nervous starting this book...since I was a little girl I've always had nightmares whenever I read/watch anything related to World War II.  So generally I just avoid reading "extra" books from this time period (clearly, I've had history for all my school years so I've read a lot on this era due to that).  Is it normal to see have nightmares when you're an adult??

Update from the last currently reading post I finished the book and really, really liked it.  I would highly recommend it and I liked Stafford's approach.  Since finishing it last week I had continued to think about it, especially as my job means I work with a lot of children!  It's also come up in several conversations I've had.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


"Chocolate cream pie! You know what I love about cooking? I love that after a day when nothing is sure and when I say nothing, I mean nothing. You can come home and absolutely know that if you add egg yolks to chocolate and sugar and milk, it will get thick. That's such a comfort."

Today was just one of those days where pain and discouragement are much more prevalent than peace and contentment.  So I came home, exercised and decided to bake.  Baking is cathartic.  There is something so serene about kneading dough by hand, washing dishes in hot sudsy water, checking on dough rising, smelling sweet aromas from the oven.  If I had another life, I would probably open a bakery.  I found this recipe today so that's what I decided to bake.  Doesn't it look delicious??  I'm waiting for the dough to rise, so I can't report on it quite yet.  But if you're looking for a diabetic-suicide, this looks like the recipe to do the deed!  I'm leaving out part of the sugar, because it just seems a bit over the top.  :)

Friday, July 8, 2011

my job

a post about my job?  sounds simple.  but here's the truth: it's a little bit hard to pin down exactly what i do.  but i'll do my best.  :)

I work for Safe Families for Children of Central Indiana.  Check out their website, blog, facebook and twitter for more information!  :)

Short Version:  We take children in crisis situations and place them in loving, Christian homes.  We are an alternative to foster care or DCS where the children are taken from their parents.  Rather we work with the biological parents and allow them to retain parental custody.  Sometimes we only have the children for a couple of days (if, for instance, we were providing respite for a tired single mother).  Other times the children stay with us for several months at a time.  In the meantime, the child is being loved on and cared for by a volunteer family (we call them Safe Families).  These family integrate them as one of their own while reminding the child that they will return to their parents.  The families pray for the parents of the children and set up visits between the parents and children.  We visit the children in the homes, arrange visits, act as a liaison between biological families and Safe Families, provide support, etc.

Long Version:  I work with people.  That means that each day is a beautiful mess.

Some days it seems that all I see is the mess.  Broken people.  Hopeless situations.  Impossible barriers.  We spend several hours getting a plan in place only to have someone call it off.  But this is not the whole story  There is more.

There is beauty in the mess.

There is beauty in seeing a mom care of another's child as her own.  There is beauty is watching volunteers spend hours working on projects.  There is beauty in seeing one family envelope another in love.  There is beauty woven in and around this mess.

The question is, will I enter the mess in order to find the beauty?

The answer:  I must.  I must because Someone else entered the horrific, decrepit mess of my life.  And He makes beauty out of my life. 

He is a God who erases statistics - I love that about Him!  Those hopeless situations I wrote of?  He brings hope...He makes the impossible possible!  He knows about pain and suffering...the Bible says he was a "man of sorrows, acquainted with grief."  He can be near and dear to these families in need.  He knows what it is like to have a child ripped away and to watch them suffer. 

This Man brings beauty out of my oh-so-messy-life.  These families that I work with?  This Man wants to bring beauty out of their oh-so-messy-life.  And He wants to do the same to yours.

So my job is indeed a beautiful mess.

But I'm really just following His example.  :)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Currently Reading: Too Small To Ignore

I'm starting a new "series" where I share what book I am currently reading and my thoughts on it.  I love to read all sorts of books.  But in this world of electronics, movies, TV and more, I have found that it becomes far too easy for me to put aside reading for another day or simply never finish a book.  This will be a simply accountability to both read and reflect.  And hopefully it will also encourage others to read. :)  Mr. Mays and I plan on reading books together when we're married, so hopefully that will give me even more to write about.

Too Small to Ignore:  Why The Least of These Matters Most

Dr. Wess Stafford, President and CEO, Compassion International

This book shares Stafford's personal life (including growing up in a remote African village) and his professional life.  He writes compellingly for Christians to "change the world one child at a time."  If you know me at all, I would hope that you know that I love teaching and working with children.  I spent two years doing children's ministry with Life Action Ministries, I have spent countless hours babysitting children, I have taught children's classes in at least four different churches.  Just last night I was sharing with Mr. Mays the excitement I feel when I see little ones understand the story and see their little hearts being turned towards God.  I still have a lot of the book left to finish, but already I am challenged and encouraged by Stafford's words.
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