Saturday, December 29, 2007

English Muffins

For as long as I can remember I have always loved English muffins. When I was a little kid, I would ask my mom if there was food in heaven; and if there was, I told her that I would eat fried eggs and English muffins for all eternity. Needless to say, whenever I have eaten English muffins, it has always been a bittersweet experience, for I know that once I finish the English muffin, it means that I am one English muffin closer to finishing off the bag, which for me is always a heartbreaking moment. Even though I experience the most heavenly bliss as I eat them, I am simultaneously flooded with a melancholic awareness that the ecstasy would soon end, and if I want more, I would have to pay out the nose to buy another bag at the grocery store. Who wants to pay $2.50 for a bag of six Thomas English Muffins?!

The reason I have told you all this is because it will help you understand how enthralled I am that I have now discovered the most glorious solution to my (now) late heart-wrenching conflict! I have discovered that I can make English muffins in my own kitchen!!! I hope you understand that to me, this is better than discovering the Holy Grail, the Fountain of Youth, even the Garden of Eden itself!

Earlier this morning I made my very first batch of English muffins. They were much too dense than I had hoped for, but they still tasted like English muffins. If anyone has any idea how to get dough to rise really well and make those little tiny bubble holes for which English muffins are world renowned, please let me know! An interesting thing to note about baking English muffins - you actually do it over a skillet. I would never have guessed. Anyway, I will periodically keep you posted as I continue to improve on making English muffins.

Friday, December 28, 2007

God Himself

A sister in Christ, for whom my heart breaks because of the pain and fear her and her family are currently enduring as she battles with cancer treatment, recently wrote this: "George MacDonald is so right. It’s not what God can give me that I want, it’s God Himself. He can give me so much. He has given me so much. But even if He gave me my normal life back tomorrow, it would mean nothing without God Himself. That is where the true rest comes, and while there is a physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual turmoil in my soul, there is One stronger within me than all this. He is the One that keeps my soul from suffocating under the oppressive fatigue. He is the One Who surrounds me with His light even when the dark clouds come."

Whenever I am faced with painful, trying circumstances, I often find myself praying that God would "give me this" or "give me that," and that if God were to give me those things, then everything would be ok. But what a lie from the pit of hell that is! What is life without being filled with God Himself? I read this morning in Psalm 37, "Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desire of your heart." What is the true desire of my heart but to bask in the celestial glory of God Himself! His love alone is better than life. And praise God that He has an unrelenting grip on my soul, for were I not bound to Christ by His redeeming blood, I would so recklessly and unabashedly seek anything but Him! Oh that I would delight myself in the Lord so that the desire of my heart would be satisfied in the river of His delights!

"How priceless is your unfailing love! Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast on the abundance of your house; you give them drink from your river of delights." - Psalm 36:7-8

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Phoebe jabbering

Phoebe doesn't talk too much (she's a woman of few words), but when she does, it's really cute.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Phoebe and the Butterfly

Phoebe has a love/hate relationship with the orange butterfly.

The Book of Esther

I posted some brief thoughts on my "Virtual Soapbox" blog, and I thought I'd post something about it here as well. You can follow this link to read it, but I'll talk about it briefly here as well (here's the link: This is an essay written by one of my former professors at BIOLA, Dr. Ron Pierce, who specializes in teaching and researching Old Testament scriptures. In this essay Dr. Pierce asserts that the book of Esther has been grossly misconstrued in its interpretation and that commonly held beliefs about Esther and Mordecai could not be further from the truth. He convinced me of this view when I was in college. Perhaps his essay would at least challenge you to reexamine what you currently believe and why you believe it, even if you are not pursuaded by his arguments (although, personally, I find it hard not to be pursuaded). Here is also the direct link to Dr. Pierce's essay:

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Ice World

We woke up Sunday morning to having everything in sight covered in a layer of ice. It was gorgeous, and these pictures do not do justice to the beauty that surrounded us.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Rejoicing and Weeping

I have been reading a book about the "apostle of prayer," John Hyde (better known as Praying Hyde). I recently read that Praying Hyde believed that as the Lord deepends our souls to be filled with greater joy, He cannot do so without deepening our souls to experience greater, deeper sorrow - sorrow over sin and sorrow over other's pain. I have been praying that the Lord would deepen the well of my soul to experience deeper joy and deeper sorrow. Romans 12:15 says, "Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep." No verse better captures a more practical way of loving others in whatever place they are in life. My heart has been so void of such compassion in the past, and how much more so it needs to be filled with greater compassion! I have seen an immediate answer to my prayer, for recently while many friends and family have been experiencing overwhelming pain, sorrow, confusion, and fear, I have found that my heart has been breaking in sorrow over their pain and that I have been flooded with tears and anguish as I lift them up before the Lord in prayer. O that I would now be flooded with tears and anguish over my own sin and sin in the world!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Coke Bomb Explosion Prank

I just saw this on YouTube and thought it was hilarious!!!

Stout Night

I got the idea to host a beer tasting from J.D. Patton, who hosted the first beer tasting I've been to. I then hosted one at our apartment, and it was a lot of fun to try out a wide variety of beers and taste the diverse flavors each beer had to offer. August Napotnik hosted the most recent one, which was on Saturday, December 8th. It was "Stout Night." We all brought different stouts, tasted them, and then rated them. One thing you can do with stouts that you can't do with other kinds of beer is give them your own name. Some names that were given to the stouts were "Shoe-Leather Stout," "Cough Syrup Stout," and "10W30." You get the idea. Needless to say, it was a very enjoyable evening. Our next beer tasting? January 19th - "O Heavenly Hefeweizen!"

Ivan - tasting the goods

Tristan - "If you think this is good, then you oughta try Mike's Hard Lemonade!"

Monday, December 10, 2007

Phoebe and the Gang

These are just a few of phoebe’s friends. Let me introduce: (from L to R) Maddie Oates, Ellie Loynes, Reagan Driver, Liam Chase, Phoebe, Nora Prather, Levi Napotnik, and Annya Rothwell. They are lined up oldest to youngest. A couple other of her best friends who aren’t pictured are Noa Noll, Jude Lookabill and Abby Benson.


Here we are at Anna’s wedding (6/11/06). Sisters are such wonderful blessings. I hope Phoebe has sisters who are her best friends.


This is Rachel and me just fooling around at a wedding we were at recently. Rachel is the coolest. She makes me laugh all the time. She says I make her laugh a lot too, although it’s not because I have this comical, witty sense of humor, it’s just that according to her, I revert to the little sister she never had when I’m with her.

Phoebe's Cuteness

I can’t believe Phoebe is almost 6 months old! She seems to be hungry all the time. We have been eating lunch together everyday – she eats her rice cereal and I eat something along the lines of a turkey sandwich. She watches me intently whenever I eat anything and is always especially enthralled when I drink from my blue water bottle for some reason. I think this next week we are going to introduce some peas into her diet! We’ll see how that goes. I have heard you’re supposed to start babies off with something nasty like peas then gradually move up the totem poll to yummy foods like bananas and pears.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Bears vs. Redskins

Sarah and I had the awesome opportunity to go watch the Chicago Bears battle the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field in Landover, MD. It was freezing cold (about 20 degrees), but a lot of fun to watch. Sadly, the Bears lost, but it was fun to hang out with Sarah for several hours and freeze our butts off together.

Phoebe's first snow

Earlier this week Phoebe was able to experience her very first snowfall. Granted, she experienced from inside, but it was an experience nonetheless.

Three Ridges Wilderness - The Priest Wilderness

Saturday morning sunrise

A view from The Priest summit, looking back at Three Ridges mountain

Last weekend I went on a backpacking trip with my two friends Matt and John. Friday night we hiked up Three Ridges Mountain and camped. Saturday we hiked down Three Ridges Mountain across the valley and then up The Priest Mountain. Sunday we hiked down The Priest and back to the car. We hiked 26.3 miles and gained over 7000 feet of elevation. It was a brutal trip, but a lot of fun.

A Small Answer to Prayer

As I was preparing to go to the Viking Chili Bowl rugby game over Thanksgiving, I discovered that my relatively new cleats were gone. I had saved up plasma money to buy these puppies - kangaroo leather, wide fit, classic look - and they were gone! I was so disappointed. I have been praying that they would show up. However, the more I thought about it, the more I was convinced that I had left them in an unlocked vehicle and had them stolen.

Well, lo and behold, I was getting ready to go on a camping trip and I was looking through my closet for warm clothes when I discovered the missing backpack containing my missing cleats! I was so excited! Praise the Lord! What a wonderful heavenly Father we have who would take delight in engaging in the small things in life!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Phoebe's first rice cereal!

This is our first attempt to feed Phoebe rice cereal from the spoon. Sitting down while eating is overrated.