Friday, June 29, 2007

11 months...

Today is Jonathan & my 11 month wedding anniversary. It's hard to believe that next month, we will have been married for a whole year! It's been such a good 11 months... I cannot wait to see what comes next!

Thursday, June 28, 2007


Note: If you don't know, this is a very. big. deal.

I'll soon be in the process of applying for grad schools, and until that time comes, I'm doing everything I can to make myself the best candidate I can be. I'm maintaining good grades, I'm studying for the GRE, I'm making good relationships with my professors so that I can have great letters of recommendation, and I've done extensive research (NOT my cup of tea) that I'm going to write an undergraduate thesis on (breathe...)...

Now, the one thing missing here is work experience. So, I've been looking for a practicum (a volunteer work experience in Psychology that will earn me credit towards graduation) for a couple of months now. I wanted to work in a hospital (because I'm hoping that will give me an edge getting into the program of my choice, which is actually primarily a medical school).

And I got one! I'll be working at a hospital near here (it's about a 35 minute commute) on their inpatient unit. I am VERY excited.

Warning: Details to follow which may seem boring if you don't know what I'm talking about.

The unit has 20 beds, which apparently are nearly always all full. The (I'm not sure what to call them yet... patients? clients? I'm sure there's a "correct" term) have 4 group sessions a day, and there are three kinds of sessions: Process sessions (where they talk about some issue facing them... one ex. I saw on the board was self-mutilation), Expression sessions (typically a game or arts/crafts, etc.), and Education sessions (learning about processes and topics they should know).

I'm so excited to get started. I can't wait to converse with the patients, and see all the things I've been learning about in real life. The therapists said that most of the people they get are suffering from depression, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia, some are detoxing from an addiction, and sometimes they get people with personality disorders. (You may not know this, but THIS is exciting).

Anyway. Hopefully, I'll have some good stories to tell. :)

Monday, June 25, 2007

Menu Plan Monday: June 25

Monday: Quesadillas, Mex. rice, beans
Tuesday: Chicken in Lime Butter, wild rice, veggies
Wednesday: Tasty Taco Bake, corn
Thursday: McCormick Pulled Pork (slow cooker), french fries
Friday: Chicken Cordon Blue (pre-packaged), wild rice, veggies
Saturday: Sour Cream & Dill Chicken, egg noodles, green beans
Sunday: Roast, carrots, potatoes

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Wordless Wednesday: June 20

This is Lola, with her baby.

WFMW: Stinky Laundry

In the interest of transparency, I'll admit that I haven't quite gotten the hang of keeping house. I'm trying--but occasionally sometimes I get bored, or distracted, or I forget what I was doing.

Often, it happens with laundry--I'll wash a load before running off to class, or to work, or... well, it really doesn't matter, does it! And then I'll forget it's in there and it will be a day or so before I remember that it's in there and that I need to dry it. By that time, it smells kind of... off.

Solution? Run the wash again with some white vinegar in there along with the detergent. It fixes the smell and when they're done drying, you don't even smell the vinegar. Works for me!

Be sure to check for other great tips at Rocks in My Dryer.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Menu Plan Monday - June 18

Looks like I was a slacker on my blog this week!! For now, these are my meals for this week... I'm having trouble feeling inspired, though, so these are subject to change!!
Monday: Chinese Take-Out
Thursday: Skirt-Steaks w/ Blue Cheese Butter, Roasted Asparagus Tips, and Sherry Cherry Tomatoes (Saw this meal on Rachael Ray, and I've been wanting to try it!!)
Friday: Leaving Town

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Works for Me Wednesday: June 13

Maybe it's just me, but when I cook refried beans to go with Mexican food (like the quesadillas we had last night), I ALWAYS burn some of them to the bottom of the pan, and then have a horrible time cleaning it up. Apparently, I am bean-cooking challenged.

Recently, instead, I started cooking them in the microwave in my 1.5 qt. pyrex bowl... Works great! I don't usually "cook" in the microwave unless something is frozen, but refried beans are one thing I doubt I will ever cook on the stove again.

See what works for other people at Shannon's blog, Rocks in my Dryer.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Menu Plan Monday

This week, I'm working late again several nights, and Jon is having a hard time with something. Dinners are all about ease of preparation and his comfort foods.

Monday: Crock Pot Onion Soup Pork Chops (these didn't get made last week.), wild rice, veggies
Tuesday: Easy Quesadillas, Beans & Rice
Wednesday: Buffalo Chicken Breasts (new recipe), salad, rolls
Thursday: Oven BBQ Chicken (His absolute favorite), beans, rice

Friday my mom is coming to town... I haven't decided yet if I will cook or if we will go out.

Be sure to check out Laura's blog at I'm an Organizing Junkie to get more menu ideas!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

HEC - Day 10

I missed a few days of the HEC... Life, and all that, you know. But I'm back!

10--DAY 10
We all crave appreciation. We want to know that we are valued and loved. Early love letters probably reflected our admiration, but if we're not careful, our spouse will forget why we were drawn to him. If you still have any of your old love letters, re-read them for clues to deepen your current level of appreciation for your spouse. When we spend time criticizing our husbands, we lose time that could be spent admiring them. As you consider various ways to encourage your husband, ask, "How can I admire him?"

Does your husband know that you think he is attractive? What was one of the characteristics in your husband that first drew you to him? Was it a physical characteristic, or something else?

Was it his gentle, compassionate eyes? Kindness or concern for others? An easy-going confidence? A steadiness that comes from trusting in the Lord? Strength of character in a culture that lacks integrity? Do you see at least a glimpse of that characteristic in him today? Whatever it is, tell him!

When Jonathan and I first met, we became really close friends for about a year. I was drawn to his compassionate nature, his willingness to listen to me, and his concern for others. I didn't know that I could love a friend like I loved him. It took longer for me to notice his curly brown hair, and his gorgeous brown eyes. I think it was a blessing that we lived far apart--although it made it hard to "hang out," we became close without the possibility of a relationship ruining our friendship, and I became close to him before I felt something more. I grew to love his heart and his mind--not his looks or his touch.

Now, I still appreciate those characteristics in him, but I see more. I love his passion (for everything from sports to school to me). I love his tenderness and the way he makes a fool of himself--just to make me laugh.

I'm thankful for my husband, and I'm as attracted to him as I have ever been.

My heart right now...

The more I seek you,
The more I find you.
The more I find you,
The more I love you.

I want to sit at your feet,
drink from the cup in your hands.
Lay back against you and breathe,
feel your heartbeat.

This love is so deep,
it's more than I can stand.
I melt in your peace--
it's overwhelming.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Husband Encouragement Challenge: Day 2

Reflections on Yesterday:
Yesterday, I repeatedly told Jonathan how thankful I am for how much he does for us--and he gave me good opportunity! We have been talking about buying a laptop when we graduate (next summer) for me to take to graduate school. Yesterday, he proposed a new plan: buy my laptop now because we are able to do so easily, and then save to buy one for him, too. He worked out how much it would cost, when we'd pay it off, where the money would come from, everything! So, tonight, we're ordering a new macbook. Yay!
He really does a great job providing for me and managing our money.

Here's the text for today's challenge, taken from Sarah's blog:

30-Day Husband Encouragement Challenge
By Nancy Leigh DeMoss

June 5--DAY 5

"Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers." Eph. 4:29

Another way to describe the positive side of this "30-Day Encouragement Challenge" is by using the word "edify," which means, "to build up." Negative comments only discourage and tear down. Positive comments encourage and build. Do you edify your husband before others, adding to his value in their eyes? This is especially important to other family members. Do you praise your husband to his relatives, and yours? Does your husband's mother know how much you love him? How about your dad? Perhaps you can drop a word of praise into a conversation or letter. Be creative in letting your relatives know that you respect your husband, love him, and support him - in spite of whatever flaws and weaknesses he may have.

This is something that I try to do sometimes, if not often. I heard once that a couple decided that they would never say anything negative about each other in the presence of other people--what a beautiful decision! I know that my mom is a close confidant to me, but I try not to air out negative things about Jon (when I'm perceiving some) to her. I want to stand by my husband, united with him.

I already know when I will be able to toot his horn to her today--when I tell her about the laptop plan!

Monday, June 4, 2007

Angela Hunt's "The Awakening"

I love to read. The problem is that usually, by the time I'm done with my assigned reading for school (the portion that I do, anyway), I don't have time to read for pleasure. This summer, I'm working a job that requires a lot of just sitting and being available. If no one needs me, however, I have long stretches of time in which I can do whatever... And so far (3 days) I have used that time to read!

Yesterday and tonight I read Angela Hunt's The Awakening.

I really enjoyed it! It's a beautiful allegory about the love that God has for his children. At one point, Aurora (the main character) hears a voice that says, "I have always loved you." She doesn't know it, but it's God speaking to her. What a simple, poignant statement that we all need to hear.

I have always loved you.

It's a comforting whisper--a needed revelation.

My God never fails.

Husband Encouragement Challenge

Laura, at In Light of the Truth, is hosting a 30-day Husband Encouragement Challenge for the month of June, which I think is SUCH a great idea!

I'm starting a little late, because today is the 4th, but I don't guess it's ever too late to start encouraging your husband.

I realize I just kind of jumped into posting without introducing myself. My name is Grace, and I've been married to Jonathan for just over 10 months. We are both psychology students, about to enter our senior year of our undergrad (although if you think this means we're almost done with school, you're DEFINITELY wrong. Jonathan is going to pursue a masters when we graduate, and I'm going after a PhD). Our faith is very important to us--we trust in Jesus as savior and strive to serve him. Also, we have a kitten named Lola (hence the name of the blog... I'm not TOO creative).

So, now that that's done with, here are the instructions for day 4 of the challenge, from Laura's blog::

30-Day Husband Encouragement Challenge
By Nancy Leigh DeMoss

June 4--DAY 4

" . . . let him labor, working with his hands what is good . . . " Eph. 4:28

We are all accountable for the things we say, both negative and positive words. Have you embraced the challenge to speak only positive things to your husband and to others about him? Here's a suggestion that touches the core of your husband's world.

Some women take their husband's career for granted, and they show it in many ways. Do you "dump" on your husband at the end of the workday, or do you strengthen and encourage him with your words? A wise wife will make her husband feel that she values and appreciates his work. Let him know that you are glad he is a hard worker. Take opportunities to praise his diligence and resourcefulness to others.

If your husband is out of work, unable to work, or refuses to work, you'll need to be more creative. Praise him for a character quality that you see in him that would be a vital part of a successful career—such as persistence, decisiveness, strength, an analytical mind, organizational skills, good with people, good listener, determination, etc.

I am very thankful for Jonathan's job. He works as a Pharmacy Tech, which is a great job for an undergraduate. I especially appreciate his job because he recently found a new position. He was working in a hospital pharmacy, working until 9 most nights and working every other Sunday morning (if not more). While I was so proud of him for working so hard (usually about 40 hours a week, on top of being a full time student), I missed him.
Then, however, he got a new job at a retail pharmacy. His hours are less, he gets paid more, and they're always closed on Sundays and holidays (also an issue at the old job).

However, I'm thankful for other ways that Jon works for us, besides his job. He is an excellent manager of our money. God has blessed us generously (for college students!), and Jonathan is both a good steward and a good manager of what we have.

Ok, now that I've bragged on him some, I need to go wake him up so he can get off to that wonderful job! :)

Meal Plan Monday

Hi! First time posting (to my blog, AND to MPM!), but I love reading Laura's blog at I'm An Organizing Junkie. I'm working till midnight several nights this week, so we don't have many meals on our mealplan, but I thought I'd share what we do have!

Slow-Cooker Onion Soup Pork Chops
Crab & Penne Casserole (from Simple & Delicious Magazine)
Parmesan Chicken Fingers (also from Simple & Delicious)
Mango CousCous w/ Salmon (yet again, from Simple & Delicious)

All of those links to the magazine are subscriber only, I'm guessing because they came out of recent issues. I would be glad to post the recipes, if anyone's interested!

Slow-Cooker Onion Soup Pork Chops (easy!)
Put pork chops in the slow cooker.
Add 1 can chicken broth (I guess you could use a different stock/broth also).
Add 1 packet of onion soup mix.
Cook on low 8 hours or high 4 hours.

This is SOOOOOOOO good! Jon & I think it would be good with Mashed Potatoes, but I haven't had time to do both together yet.