Sunday, July 31, 2011

{HIS Umbrella (banner) over me is Love}

Protecting us from the storm's of life, God's umbrella performs an inverse in our experiences by exchanging biting rain for showers of love.  Enamored by His goodness, it invites, envelopes, and sustains us from all that dares to dissuade us from true happiness and joy.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Nothing Further Needs To Be Said

Angry Bird Cupcakes

In my madness to peruse all things crafty on various blogs, I stumbled across the following today and am going bananas over it....

Angry Bird Cupcakes

Can you say happy husband?  Now I can feed his Angry Bird obsession another way......Dabbled has created step by step instructions on how to create these beauties...


Now who's hungry?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

My Chicken Curry

I made enough of this to serve 20 people on Monday Night.  People LOVED it and a few have asked for the recipe.  My husband requests it for dinner all of the time, and I have to restrain him from eating all of it.  
Laura’s Chicken Curry

serves 4 people

3 tablespoons olive oil or more to taste
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
7 tablespoons curry powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon paprika
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root
1/2 teaspoon white sugar
salt to taste
8 chicken thighs - cut into bite-size pieces
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup plain yogurt
1 can coconut milk
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper or to taste

   How to Make:
      1.     Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. 
      2.  Saute’ onion until lightly browned and 
      3.  Then stir in garlic, curry powder, cinnamon, paprika, bay leaf, ginger, sugar and salt. 
      4.  Continue stirring for 2 minutes. 
      5.  Add chicken, tomato paste, yogurt, and coconut milk. 
      6.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes.
      7.     Remove bay leaf.
      8.  Stir in lemon juice and cayenne pepper. Simmer 5 more minutes. 

     The result should be thicker in texture and extremely aromatic. 

     Vegetarian Alternative:  Another alternative is to substitute extra firm tofu for the chicken.  I saute it in the pan with the olive oil after I cook down the onions, that way all of the onion flavor is infused.  Then once they have browned, I start with step number three in the directions.

  Final Step: Serve over jasmine rice.

If you are an athlete, the garlic, ginger, and turmeric are natural anti-inflammatories for the  body. 

Happy Eating!

The Third Jihad

In order to understand fully the ideology behind why our soldiers and freedom are constantly being attacked by Radical Islamists, I have been watching an entire series of documentaries to try and foster some level of awareness.  My husband and I just finished a documentary called The Third Jihad and we are reeling from what we have discovered.

This is NOT the America I believe in......

Wake up America.  We are not in a war of weapons, but of ideologies.  The goal of Islam in the United States is to convert as many people as possible and to turn our nation into an Islamic State.  Don't believe me?  I challenge you to watch the movie.

My opinion still stands that the majority of Muslims are peaceful people, but it is the Radical Ones who scare me the most.  They are no different than extreme so called Christian groups (ie. Westboro Baptist), who vehemently defend their belief systems.

As calloused and relaxed as most Americans have gotten towards our service members fighting a war, as well as our personal freedoms, do you really want to live in a system where your rights are taken away from you?

So many people are experiencing new rights because of changes in what is acceptable for a value system.  I would caution you though, have we become so relaxed that we are numb to the silent changes which are about to have a tsunami affect on our culture?  I am not trying to make everybody panic or mock what I am really trying to say, but consider what is happening right underneath our noses.  Tolerance becomes tyranny when subtle behaviors shift the way things have always been in this country.  Wake up...we have been asleep far too long.

TTJ regular trailer from Clarion Fund on Vimeo.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Why I like Netflix over Redbox

I have a confession.  I am horrible about returning Redbox videos to the kiosk.  With as much as I work, and as blonde as I am, my husband and I have been buying more Redbox DVD's than we have cared to over the past six months.  Why?  Why spend the money renting something that is ultimately going to end up costing you more than retail in about 21 days?  So, I stumbled across Netflix and streaming their videos by accident because of a class I am taking for school.  You see, I have to watch the movie "Big" for my Counseling Adolescents class and did not feel like "renting" it from Itunes for 24 hours at $2.99.  I had to come up with a different solution and fast.

This brings me to Netflix.  I used to hate having to mail their DVD's back and wait for another one to arrive.  If I was watching a marathon tv series, I would end up getting frustrated by the lapse between one season to the next or one dvd to the next. It did not matter if I timed things out to have a DVD constantly in rotation.  One would always get lost in the mail, or the weekend would impact my ability to receive it.  So, I signed up for streaming my movies.  Even though I am not much of a "woohooer" can we scream "WOOHOOOOOO"!  For $7.99 a month, I can stream all the documentaries, foreign films, tv shows, etc that I want and I don't have to worry about spending $2 on gas just to drive to a Redbox location to return a darn movie.  Since your average movie now costs about $9 per ticket, I think it does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that this is a good deal.

In the past 18 hours, I have discovered all the National Geographic documentaries on Afghanistan, the war, our troops, mental health, foreign films, and a bunch of tv shows, and my queue is LOADED with all sorts of new stuff. As a Licensed Professional Counseling student, I am always looking for insight into how this war impacts our troops and their families, and now I have discovered a means to do so.

What do you think?  Are you a netflix fan or foe?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Mastering the Art of Counseling

I have been working towards a Master's Degree in Professional Counseling for the past two years and am 2/3 of the way finished.  Since I am doing my entire Master's online, I am required to travel up to school and complete three one week intensives.  Last week was one such week. It changed my life and brought me into a deeper understanding of myself and how I see my world.  For one thing, I have an opinion, we all have opinions, but one of the things I hide behind is that judgement of the world around me.  For example, if I see somebody doing something wrong I pass judgement quickly on their behavior or their actions.  At least I used to do it a lot more, because even though I have improved dramatically in this area, I still suffer from the occasional exclamation about how ridiculous I find something to be.  Quite frankly, it is starting to bother me that I used to look at life from this perspective.  Without sounding too judgmental, I am also aware of when others around me are starting to express negativity and rather than feed into theirs, I have been really working hard at not responding to it.  I cannot avoid it, but I sure as heck do not have to feed into it.

Self awareness is a huge part of a counselor's toolbox.  It is the vehicle by which we gauge our biases towards life, and helps foster our understanding of self in light of the world around us.  It is part of the construct of our worldview and shapes how we interact within that dynamic.  For example, if I had the worldview that people are nothing but drama, then I am going to look for drama to verify that supposition.  On the other hand, if I believe that people are made in the eyes of God, then no matter how they behave, I try and view them through the lens of Christ.  When you stop and consider, it is a pretty serious matter to align your principles and your life according to that train of thought. 

So stop and consider.   In light of what you experience and see going on in the world around you, what is your worldview?


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