Top Ten Tuesday: Dear Freshman Me

Top Ten Tuesday: Dear Freshman Me


Today at 9:30 am, I will attend my last class at the undergraduate level.  Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday I will take final exams, and next semester I will be a student teacher in a fifth grade class.  Lord willing, I will graduate in less than five months.

Looking back, I realize that some of the emotionally challenging days of college could have been avoided.

10 things I wish I could tell my freshman self

  1. God is God. You are not.  Trust His plan, and don’t try to fix it.
  2. Be humble. Be a servant.  Be like Christ.
  3. Treat your body like God’s temple. Worship in it, but don’t worship it.
  4. The accolades really don’t matter, so don’t get too engrossed in the competition. Enjoy the challenge for how it is building you individually.
  5. To have friends, you must show yourself friendly.
  6. Enjoy the moment because it is all you have.
  7. Quit worrying about money. God will supply your needs.
  8. Wear your polka-dot rain boots. Wear your green shorts.  Wear your flowy skirts.  Don’t be embarrassed by your quirky style.  When you finally get brave enough to wear those clothes in your junior year, you will get a ton of compliments.
  9. Get involved in school events and at church. You want people to know who you are.
  10. Perfection is unattainable. Quit trying so hard.

I would never claim that college is easy, but the past 3.5 years have been some of the most rewarding years of my life.  As I learned the ten truths that I listed above, I have grown emotionally, spiritually, and relationally.  I have seen God’s provision to pay for college and missions trips.  I have seen God’s sovereignty to orchestrate convenient class schedules and amazing summer jobs.  God showed His grace by sustaining me through difficult classes and long nights.

Truthfully, student teaching terrifies me, but I must “walk the walk,” not just “talk the talk.”

  • God will continue to provide for me.
  • God will continue to orchestrate His plan.
  • God will continue to graciously sustain me.

Meanwhile, I will believe the ten statements that I want to tell my freshman self.

What is Christmas?

What is Christmas?

It seems that in December, we click the “fast forward” button on our already busy lives.  In addition to scheduling parties, concerts, and family gatherings, we join thousands of shoppers at the mall so that we can find the perfect gift for everyone on our list.  We also manage to find the time to decorate our houses with trees, tinsel, garland, lights, ornaments, and figurines.

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Why do we smash more activity into our busyness?  Because it is Christmastime!

But what exactly is Christmas?

When I asked Google about Christmas, I found some poetic results:

  • wrapping, and sticking, and envelope licking
  • tree decorating and staying up lating
  • shopping and bopping and parties non-stopping
  • stocking filling and lots of good willing

While those answers might sound pleasant, I think there has to be more to the most expensive holiday in the USA than “Monopoly cheating and quality streeting.”

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I originally drafted a post about the etymology of the word Christmas (Christ + mass) and how that is associated to what Christmas is, but I realized that Linus from Charlie Brown explained it better than I ever could.

 

Christmas is not a season of bustling bodies and predictable presents.

Christmas is not a month of extravagant parties and family feasts.

Christmas is not long days of travel and competitive board games.

Charlie Brown Snoopy and Peanuts Gang Nativity by MagnetsbyAbby:
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Christmas is a moment that changed all other moments.  Christmas is the birth of Jesus.

Top Ten Tuesday: Peanut Butter Jar

Top Ten Tuesday: Peanut Butter Jar

10 Alternate Uses for a Peanut Butter Jar

When I saw this illustration, I knew that it had the makings for a terrific Top Ten Tuesday post. Every time I try a new peanut butter, I save the jar and re-purpose it is some way (but I don’t save duplicate jars because that would be excessive). Here are my ten suggestions for reusing an old peanut butter jar.
1. Cereal bowl

2. Gift in a jar

3. Fishbowl

4. Flower pot

5. Oatmeal in a jar

6. Pencil holder

7. Board game piece storage

8. On-the-go snack container

9. Piggy bank

10. Pantry item storage

 

P.S. Every Wednesday night, I eat dinner while sitting next to this sign…I think there is enough peanut butter in my blood to make me a hazard whether I am ingesting peanut butter at that moment or not.

Rice Krispie Treat Oatmeal

Rice Krispie Treat Oatmeal

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Last Wednesday, I promised to share my recipe for Rice Krispie Treat Oatmeal.

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I wish I had a great story about Rice Krispie Treats, but I don’t.  Actually, I don’t like store-bought Rice Krispie Treats because they are too thick and dry.

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But I do like oatmeal, and I like Rice Krispie cereal, and I like marshmallows, so I figured that I could put them all together.

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It was a good decision.

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Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/2 banana, mashed
  • 1/4 cup Rice Krispie cereal
  • 1/3 cup marshmallows, divided

Directions

  • Combine oatmeal and water in a microwave-safe bowl.  Microwave on high for 90 seconds.
  • Stir in mashed banana and half of the marshmallows. Microwave an additional 30 seconds.
  • Stir in Rice Krispie cereal and remaining marshmallows.
  • Eat and enjoy!
Cinnamon, Peanut Butter, and Banana French Toast Sandwich (Blind Spot Monthly Series)

Cinnamon, Peanut Butter, and Banana French Toast Sandwich (Blind Spot Monthly Series)

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Let’s get sentimental…

On Monday, I surprised my grandparents by flying to Michigan and walking through their front door (when they weren’t there…ooops!).

Since I hadn’t seen them in over a year, this was just as much a gift to myself as it was a surprise for them.

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When I start to list generalized memories about my mom’s parents, so much comes to mind:

  • Fishing
  • Camping at the “North 40”
  • Long road trips
  • “Grandma Camp”
  • Geocaching
  • Board games
  • Potter’s Wheel Bible Church
  • French toast and bacon

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Mmmmmm…French toast covered in cinnamon…

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Ingredients:

  • 2 slices of bread
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbs milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbs Blind Spot Cinnamon Roll nut butter
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Directions:

  • Whisk egg, milk, and vanilla together.  Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon into the mixture and let sit.
  • Spread 1/2 tbs of Blindspot Cinnamon Roll nut butter on each of the pieces of bread.  Slice 1/2 of a banana and place the slices on one piece of bread.  Sandwich the bread together with the nut butter and banana in the middle.
  • Coat a frying pan with nonstick spray and heat over medium heat.
  • Dip the sandwich into the egg mixture and flip so that both sides are covered.  Transfer the bread to the heated pan.
  • Cook until both sides are brown, turning as necessary.
  • Eat and enjoy!

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P.S. The Penzeys cinnamon was a gift from my grandma because she knows that cinnamon can go on anything!

P.P.S. Happy National French Toast Day!

What food do you always eat at your grandparents house?

What do you put on French toast?

Blind Spot Nutbutters Monthly Recipe Series

Blind Spot Nutbutters Monthly Recipe Series

When I was in Pennsylvania in July 2016, I bought a 1.2 oz. container of Super Squirrelly nut butter.  Never before had I sampled a blended nut butter that tasted so real, nutty, and sweet.

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I was in love. For two weeks, I plotted ways to buy more Blind Spot Nutbutter.

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When I returned to Pennsylvania at the end of those two weeks, I bought a 12 oz. container of Squirrelly Tail; although it was ten times the size of the first jar I had bought, the jar was empty much too quickly.

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For the first month of senior year, I basically lived off of peanut butter, but no brand that I sampled tasted as good as Blind Spot Nutbutter.  Thankfully, my mom (the real MVP) ordered four different flavors for me to devour.

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I am only slightly ashamed to admit that I ate the entire jar of butterscotch peanut butter in one night.

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At the beginning of November, I became an official Blindspot #nutbutteraddict, and I ordered seven new flavors to try, and I thought of an awesome idea for my year as a #nutbutteraddict…

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Blindspot Nutbutters Monthly Recipe Series

That’s right! Every month (starting tomorrow!) I will be posting a new recipe using one of Blindspot’s signature flavors!  We’re talking about cookies, cakes, muffins, waffles, and even drinks with Blind Spot Nutbutter!  I am beyond excited to create these treats and share them with you.

I hope you enjoy!