Monday, July 30, 2012

Last Week of School

So it's the last week of classes.
Really crazy. 

This week we have some final assignments to do. 
We also have a few group discussions to have. 
We have a vision/prayer assignment for Pastor James. 

But the biggest thing we have to do is study. Study study study. 
We have a big final exam on Thursday for all the vocabulary we have learned and for the review statements we have. There are like 10 sheets of 10-30 statements each that we need to memorize and there are at least 100 vocab words to memorize with their definitions. Phew!
The test is done as a team game. There are a few different types of games. So basically every person on the team needs to know all aspects because we will be quizzed on it all. 
The price is real money. 
So it matters. 
Like $400 of mattering. 
I am one of the three team leaders. I have 7 team members and I like our chances, though all the teams are pretty even. After class today my team huddled in the back and studied for an hour. We will do the same at lunch tomorrow and Wednesday, and after schools as well. We will continue to practice with our roommates and also before class. We are intent on being amazing. 

So with that being said, there's a lot on our plate this week AND we have dinner plans with a few different local families and so that takes up time (though will be awesome fun). So I will be not blogging regularly this week, if at all. 

I'll be back for sure by the weekend - Friday is our graduation and Saturday is our last day in TN. Sunday morning early we leave for Destin, FL and our roadtrip begins!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Food, clothes and C.S. Lewis

First off it's late. I've been in the pool and water usually makes me sleepy. Plus we have to be at school by 8:20am. Now normally we get there by 8:30 but somehow that 10 minutes feel crazy...especially since we normally only HAVE to be there by 9am but show up stupid early. This feels like a stretch.

But here are some thoughts:
  • Tonight I made two giant freezer bags of veggies and meatball pasta. It is in a red sauce with cream cheese and amazing. I also made enough for dinner. 
  • Tonight Paul and I swam in the pool since we only have one more week to enjoy it!
  • Tonight we played Ticket to Ride and I hit my all time high - 198!!! It was epic. 
  • Tonight I am sleepy
Last night I made steamed broccoli, spaghetti squash, yoshida fish and cheesy potatoes. It was excellent. Look!

Today was a good day. Steve Murrell the President of Every Nation came in to talk to us about discipleship. It was really great  - we just finished his book "WikiChurch" on the same subject but still really really really enjoyed all that he had to say. 

Also I wore my new Goodwill blouse (remember, $4.50) and felt great in it all day. I LOVE it. 

And as we've learned church history and various other topics, there have been so many wonderful quotes by Christians and, actually, non-Christians that have amazed me. I heard this one yesterday and needed to repeat it. It's by C.S. Lewis. He so often has the best quotes - plus he wrote Adventures in Narnia!

So true. 
But oh does Christianity give me security and significance like nothing else every could. 
And now, to bed.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Food Prep for Travel

In a shocking twist, the School of Ministry is almost over. Ok it's not so shocking. Really it just makes sense. 8 weeks and we're 6 and a half weeks in. Only one and a half weeks left. Well one week and 2 days. Yikes. 

So I'm getting ready to be on operation $20-a-day-for-food during our travels. Now there needs to be considerations - we can only refrigerate not freeze once we're on the road, so I can really only cook food for the first week and then we need to have other ways to keep food costs down. For example, we can keep milk in our cooler, so we can do things like cook Tuna Helper or Chicken Helper on our camp stove. Boring, yes, but cost effective allowing us to see America and have the summer adventure of a lifetime. And since I've already bought these things in our school food budget, this means we can save more daily over the travel times.

But there are some things I can cook. AND there are some deals to be found while we're here as we prep for our travels. My goal is to make roughly 5 meals worth of breakfasts, lunches and dinners to eat over 7 days - so that we can eat out, regionally, for 2 meals each week. We still want to experience the places we visit and their food, and save money. 

So this week at Costco I saw roasted chickens for $5. Excellent. I decided to make this into one Nashville dinner and travel lunches. By the time I was done I still had a bunch of chicken leftover that I will turn into another Nashville dinner or two. 

The roasted chicken deskinned and ready to be shredded.

Leftover chicken after one dinner's worth and lunch meat was removed.

I decided to make chicken pockets. I bought biscuits at Walmart. I then roasted veggies (broccoli, peppers and Zucchini) added diced tomatoes and mixed all with garlic salt, Johnny's garlic seasoning and mayo. I threw in some shredded cheese. 

Then I opened my cans of biscuits (on sale from walmart). I spread them out as wide and thin as I could get them, so there would be a great ratio for filling. 

I then put filling on the bisuits

Added a top biscuit and then pinched the sides all closed.

Ready to be baked.
I turned the oven to 425 and baked for 15-20 mins.

Mmmm tasty looking. 
The only thing I would change would be to pinch them tighter even closer so they couldn't open during baking. 

Then into the freezer to be frozen until we begin our travels.

Then into a ziplock for freezing.

Next up? Pasta, Rose Sauce, roasted veggies and meatballs. Looking forward to cooking them AND eating them. Mmmm. Love me some meatballs!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Stoney River Steakhouse and a double date

Sunday night we were going out for dinner with friends. Pastor James wanted to give two of our classmates a giftcard for a fancy steak house. These two students were nominated by their classmates as the most studious. And I won! With Abigail. We are the two married ladies in the class that also have our husbands here with us. So we made it a double date. 

Also on Friday I went to goodwill and got a blouse for $4.50 and I love it! See!

So we went to Stoney River

Deep fried poppyseed balls with honey butter

My meal: Grilled Trout with Asparagus and Potatoes Au Gratin

Paul's meal - tasty tasty!

The four of us at dinner with our food

 Me and Paul!

Abigail and TJ

We had such a great night with TJ and Abigail. It's funny, because Abigail and Paul share many of the same strengths and TJ and I share many of the many of the same strengths, however Abigail and I have many of the same strengths or beliefs and Paul and TJ have many similar beliefs. It was fun to talk and be able to relate to each of them in different ways. We loved talking about marriage and ministry with them through that all. 

Abigail is pregnant, and both of them are going into teaching for this year and TJ will be going into ministry in a year. They're from Orlando at the EN church there. Since they live clear across the country from us, it was great to have the chance to spend time with them before we all parted ways. They're a lot of fun. 

Afterwards we picked up some groceries on our way home. Paul found some meat. Lots of meat.

Paul and his meat baby!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Buffalo River Float = Happy Happy Happy

Saturday I did something that I have been looking forward to for years. Four years in fact, since I last did it. Summer 2008 I went canoeing down the buffalo river with Morgan and some other friends. It was one of the best days of my life. Since then I have looked forward to a repeat adventure. So when I heard I was coming to Nashville, TN I made the plan to come again and boy am I glad I did. I invited our classmates and 10 of us ended up going. We arrived at Lobelville, TN at Heath's canoe rental around 8:30am. We got our 5 reserved canoes and started the adventure!

You can see us here getting ready - we're in the truck about to head down to the river to begin!

The canoes behind us!

You can see the launch space behind us to the left
...and Alex explaining her fear of boating (which was shortly conquered)

Heather and Virginia

Alex - now in love with canoeing!

The river was beautiful.

Rachel and Karylanne

After about 45 minutes of canoeing (including one awkward crazy turn filled with logs and currents to avoid) we found the rope swing place. The girls arrived about 30 minutes before the guys so we took turns braving the rope swing. I went first since I'd been here before and was slightly less scared than the others. I felt empowered, haha. It was awesome. 

Then Heather tried

Then Alex went

Next up was Rachel.
Who, congrats!, just got a job for after school. 

Nice form, Rach!

Next up, Karylanne!

She was not afraid at all.

The spot was beautiful

Finally the boys caught up. 
And in the excitement to join us their canoe hit a sandbar and they tipped.
This was randomely caught mid tip.

Also the other guys joined us 

Paul and Evan's canoe filled with water

Christopher tried out the rope swing as well

He had great form!

Then Evan tried

Next up Tarzan!

I tried again


Karylanne tried again as well

She got some height

Christopher got some rad height!

So did Evan!

We all ate together and talked some more before heading back out

The ride was so beautiful

We stopped mid way for some snacks and swimming.
We chilled in the refreshing water for about an hour and it was lovely.
There was even a natural lazy river that we took turns enjoying.

It was lovely. 

We had hit the river at about 9am, and returned to the base at about 3:30. We left the base at 4 and headed back to Nashville. We grabbed some McDonalds on our way and then headed back to Nashville. We caravaned home and let GPS lead the way. This took us through the countryside, down some backroads and while it was a random trip, it sure was beautiful. 

Our classmates came over for dinner afterwards. Pizza, Nachos and Pasta. It was tasty and it filled my heart with happiness to feed friends. 

I loved how everyone laid around the living room happily. There were people on couches, on chairs and on the floor. It looked like a group of friends - and it felt like one to - it is so strange to think we only met these new friends 6 weeks ago! Even stranger that we leave in 2 weeks today!! Crazy!!


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