Thursday, May 26, 2011

Cheesy-Onion Cornbread

I am sitting here eating this amazing cornbread I made yesterday, and I thought I'd share the recipe.

2 6oz packages buttermilk cornbread mix (I used Martha White)

1 cup shredded colby-monterey jack cheese blend

Chopped tops of 2 green onions (about 1/4 cup)

1 tbsp butter or margarine

1 1/3 cup milk

Preheat oven to 450. Combine cornbread mix, onions, and cheese in a bowl. Set aside. Put butter in 8x8 inch pan and place in oven for 4-5 minutes, until butter has melted and begins to brown. Add milk to dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Pour batter into hot pan. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until cornbread begins to pull away from the sides of the pan.

And that's it! And it's delicious. I normally don't like cornbread because I kind of choke on it (I have problems with my esophagus and some foods are hard for me to heat) but this cornbread is quite tasty. It's like savory cake. Yum!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tae's bookmark

I got my information packet on my newest correspondence sponsorship today (that's where you write letters and pray for a kid but you don't actually pay the money, like in a "real" sponsorship.) The new information packets that Compassion sends out are pretty neat- instead of a folder, you get a little booklet, and included in there are a few perforated pictures of your sponsor child. One of those pictures is on a bookmark, and on the back of the bookmark is a list of suggestions for how to pray for your sponsor child every day of the month. The list was pretty neat, so I thought I'd post it here.

1. To accept Jesus as Savior and to grow in Christ
2. To trust God for everything
3. To do well in school
4. For the Compassion center leaders
5. For his (or her) family
6. To resist negative peer pressure
7. To learn good hygiene practices
8. For good nutrition
9. For strong friendships
10. To develop a tender heart
11. To learn God's word
12. For protection from natural disasters
13. To use good social skills
14. For a bright future
15. To develop his (or her) skills and talents
16. To learn from the center programs
17. To make wise decisions
18. For safety in daily activities
19. For freedom from fear
20. For patience and perseverance
21. To resist temptation
22. To always tell the truth
23. For the desire to follow God's will
24. For good sibling relationships
25. For physical health and strength
26. To honor his (or her) parents
27. For a spirit of hope and joy
28. To grow closer to God in prayer
29. For comfort in sadness
30. For stability for his (or her) family
31. For solid self-esteem

I think that those are good things to pray for for any child. I'm blessed to have the opportunity to impact the life of someone who lives so far away. I love my sponsor kids!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

My Notebook

I haven't slept through the night in a while.

Sometimes it's been by choice. Like a few nights ago, I wasn't that tired so I stayed up til 2:30 chatting online with friends. Sometimes I stay up late listening to TV shows online. Sometimes I stay up reading a book. My nights have been peaceful, and I haven't been very tired during the day.

Tonight is different.
I have a little notebook that I carry with me everywhere. Most everyone knows about it, but it's such a fun and exciting story that I will rehash it here for those of you who don't. In the summer of 2009, I started taking some medicine to correct some internal imbalance I was dealing with. For whatever reason, no one thought to tell me that this common medication could wreak havoc on a person with a history of general anxiety disorder- a person like me. I took that medication for almost a month, not realizing until more than three weeks in that this sudden resurgence of debilitating panic attacks had started up when this new medication entered my life. It took MONTHS to get that stuff out of my system, and during that time, my life was horrible. Seriously. I had food to eat and a roof over my head, but I couldn't do anything. I couldn't go anywhere or spend time with my friends. I couldn't do my job properly because every night at work I'd have at least one severe panic attack, which apparently caused at least one of my coworkers some irritation since they told my boss I wasn't pulling my weight, as it were. I couldn't eat. Fear had me paralyzed- and my brain is flawed in ways that make it difficult for me to cope with fear.

The only thing that got me through that time and kept me out of the local psychiatric hospital (don't for a second think I'm exaggerating for dramatic effect) was making my little notebook. My mom loaned me her Bible, heavily underlined and annotated, and I worked my way through the Psalms (and eventually a few other books) picking out verses that expressed what I was feeling and wrote them down in my little notebook. I started taking that notebook with me everywhere, to read when things got scary, and it worked. It took some time, but reading those verses calmed me down.

Eventually I got to a point where I was "in the clear" after reading between a dozen and two dozen verses. I knew things were bad when I got to the verses toward the back of the book, the ones I hadn't completely memorized from reading them over and over again. Thankfully since that one awful summer, I haven't had too many times like that. I still have panic attacks sometimes, but they usually aren't very bad and quite often I don't even have to dig my little notebook out of my purse (though if I didn't have it with me I'm pretty sure it would make me nervous.)

I am sad to report that tonight, though, I got to the last page in my little book and still hadn't calmed down. It's taken me a long time to type this (you try writing coherently sometime when your thoughts are zooming at a hundred miles per hour and your adrenaline is higher than Gary Busey- zing) but in order to get myself through whatever it is I have going on tonight, I thought I'd type out some of these verses here. I guess it's kind
of like writing lines when you're in trouble- typing out these words forces me to think about them a little harder than I would if I were just saying them out loud.

Hear my prayer, O Lord; let my cry for help come to you. Do not hide your face from me when I am in distress. Turn your ear to me; when I call, answer me quickly. Psalm 102:1-2

Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the Lord has been good to you. For you, O Lord, have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before the Lord in the land of the living. Psalm 116:7-9

O Lord, hear my prayer, listen to my cry for mercy; in your faithfulness and righteousness come to my relief. Psalm 143:1

For He will deliver the needy who cry out
, the afflicted who have no one to help. He will take pity on the weak and the needy and save them from death. Psalm 74:12-13

When I said "my foot is slipping", your love, O Lord, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul. Psalm 94:18-19

Rescue me and deliver me in your righteousness; turn your ear to me and save me. Be my rock of refuge to which I can always go; give the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress. Psalm 7

Because You are my help, I sing in the shadow of Your wings. My soul clings to You; Your right hand upholds me. Psalm 63:7-8

My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will never be shaken. Psalm 62:1-2

When I am afraid, I will trust in You. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me? Psalm 56:3-4

Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me, fo
r in You my soul takes refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of Your wings until the disaster has passed. Psalm 57:1

Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me. Psalm 54:4

Praise be to the Lord, for He has heard my cry for mercy. The Lord is my strength and my shield, my heart trusts in Him and I am helped. Psalm 28:7a

These are just a few verses that have gotten me through some really rough times (and yes, they helped even tonight.) I hope that they may hel
p you some day when you are feeling down, or scared, or forgotten by God. Even though He doesn't always answer right away- and not always in the ways we expect- He cares for us. He hears our cries for mercy and He comes to our relief. He won't ever leave us or forsake us. Remember that, and let your heart rejoice.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Current events

Can I just say that I am super pumped about this week? Because I have a feeling it's going to be awesome.
Normally talking about my upcoming week is something that I save for my personal journal (which happens to be a composition notebook with a penguin chick on the front- if you ever find it, NO TOUCHING.) But I am so excited about this week I want to share.
Wednesday is my birthday, and since I don't normally work Wednesdays, having the day off wouldn't be anything really special. So I took the rest of the week off! I work a few hours Monday night and Tuesday morning, and then I'm done! I actually have some fun errands to run those days so that makes it more tolerable.
Wednesday my dear husband is working like, 11 hours (I asked off for his birthday...even though he didn't :P )so I will be spending the day with my mom. Because how lame would it be to spend your birthday at home by yourself? We are going to the zoo, and we will get food and go back to my parents' and watch stuff (probably the Office on dvd.) And it will be good.
Thursday is Brandon's day off, so we will spend time together that day. We are going to lunch at PF Chang's and possibly going shopping at the mall. The nice mall, not the one we normally go to. Haha. And it will be good.
Friday is my birthday party! A couple of my friends are coming over to watch movies and eat yummy food. I am so excited because I miss my friends so much- though I get to see my bestie Kelli every couple of weeks (still less often than I'd like), one friend I haven't seen since last October, and the other two since my wedding last January! And even then it's not like we could exactly hang out. We'll eat and laugh, and it will be good.
Saturday I'm going to see A., the girl I mentor. Though we won't be celebrating anything, we will be painting suncatchers and having a nice time. And that'll be good, too.
And lastly, on Sunday my parents are allegedly taking us out to a fancy-ish dinner for my birthday, since Brandon couldn't come eat with us Wednesday and the rest of the time people are working (people that aren't me.)

So as you can see, I have a very exciting week ahead of me, and I am greatly looking forward to it. Yay!

Mommy's Day

Happy Mother's Day!
Brandon and I are so blessed to have the best moms on the entire planet. For serious.

My mom is wonderful. She is kind and funny and a wonderful friend. She is a good listener and a good talker, too. She has more patience than she probably realizes- she has put up with me and my anxiety problems for years and years and has always been there for me when I need her. If I'm worried, she will text me. She talked to me on the phone practically every day from fifth through seventh grade, helping me through my panic attacks and many times preventing them from happening. She also loves Jesus and shows it every day at work (she works at a Christian bookstore) and at home (through her Bible study, verse memorization, and willingness to pray for anyone who needs it). She is awesome, and I love her, and I hope that she had a good day today, because she deserves it.

My mother-in-law, Denise, is one of the nicest people I have ever met, and I am so glad she is Brandon's mom. There are so many stereotypes about in-laws being horrible, difficult people, but I think I hit the jackpot. Denise is kind and fun to talk to (we talked about makeup tonight, which she couldn't really do with her husband and four sons!) She (and her husband) have done and continue to do a great job raising their boys. I hope she had a good day, too!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Another unbirthday

One good thing about having a birthday so close to Mother's Day (and Derby Day, which is practically a holiday around here) is that I get multiple birthday celebrations and usually early presents. ^_^

Today we went out to eat with my in-laws for my birthday. I chose Tumbleweed, because I am soooo tired of Red Lobster and those were the only two restaurants that popped into my head. We met B's family over at the restaurant. His aunt Ann had lunch with us, too. Even though I was sniffly (I am semi-sick) I had a very good time and a delicious lunch. I also got a very pretty and very sparkly necklace for my birthday. Stephen, my second-youngest brother in law, said that the store had many styles of pendants available, and they looked through the whole display trying to find me a walrus necklace (they had sea turtles and dolphins, so why not?) Of course, no one sells jewelry in the likeness of my favorite animal, so they went with a heart pendant instead. And that's fine, because I love it. And I love the fact that someone likes me enough to dig through boxes of necklaces trying to find me a walrus. ^_^