Friday, June 25, 2010

Baking Time!

Sometimes it's just time to bake some cookies! :) This is my first ever home-made batch of chocolate oatmeal cookies. They contain:
Hershey's semi-sweet chocolate chip morsels
Baking soda
Vanilla Extract
Light Brown Sugar
White Sugar

And they taste MMMMM GOOD! :)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Movies and More

I have always been a movie-junkie. Sometimes too much. It occurred to me that I should start blogging about some of the really good ones that I've seen. Ones that I thought others might enjoy seeing as well and are maybe not as widely known. I will be upfront about what I did and didn't like.

"Smile"~(PG-13)There are some issues here with parenting. Katie, a teenage girl who thinks she might be ready to have sex gets away with more than she should due to her parents constant arguing. But, that's not at ALL what the movie is about and it is good to know that the girl decides on her own that she's NOT ready. The movie is really about a girl named Lin from China who was born with a cleft lip. Katie and Lin were born on the same day but live two very different lives---one in L.A. as a spoiled teen and another sheltered by her father who was abandoned by his wife and son for taking in the adopted deformed girl (Lin) as an infant. The movie is extremely touching as Katie goes on a missions trip to China where she takes it upon herself to meet Lin in person and finally talk her into having the surgery she's wanted her whole life. It really makes the experience of 'being there' on a missions trip---not just hearing about it, very realistic. (As a side note, having never been on a missions trip but having studied abroad myself, I think Katie's character does a great job of portraying how scary the experience of traveling that far away from home can really be!) It also shows how both girls lives are drastically changed because they were brave enough to try something new (traveling 1/2 way across the world to do something totally selfless and having a major surgery where others would see her face that she hid her entire life). I give this movie 2 thumbs up!

2nd favorite recently watched movie "As It Is in Heaven".
Things I did NOT like about this movie: There are two or three scenes with total female nudity----it's a European movie (Swedish more specifically) and those Europeans aren't afraid to 'show it' by any means. My mom actually watched the movie and wanted to share it with our family until we got to those scenes and she said, "FORGET IT!" However, I will also say that my mother was BALLING by the end of this movie----and I didn't want to admit it but I watched it twice in one week--the second time with her--and I cried both times too!

I also find the pastor's wife's concept of God and sin to be very disturbing and unbiblical. You come to understand why she believes what she believes---because she has been hurt deeply. But nevertheless, it does not fairly or accurately portray who exactly God is. The statement "There is no such thing as sin" seems to stand out in my mind!!

Why do I love this movie so much? Well, it's about a Swedish man who has to retire from his very accomplished career as a conductor at an early age because of health. He returns to his small home-town in Sweden where he reluctantly chooses to take over the position of choir director for a very small volunteer church choir. Not only did I find his approach to working with the choir amusing and educational (having experience in this myself and coming from a classical background!) but, what he teaches them, what they teach each other and what he learns from the experience is invaluable. In a nutshell, the title is fitting in that they learn to love each other not just in words but in action loving each other as we can imagine it would be in heaven. It highlights the ugly, pathetic human side of people BUT, in that it also shows what real compassion looks like. I can't tell you the end of this one but I do recommend you watch it (maybe fast-forward through the inappropriate parts).

Two movie reviews in the looooong 'Elizabeth version' is probably enough for one night :)

What else have I been up to? Well, I'm coming up on my 4th Sunday at my new church organ position. I'm house-sitting for the pastor this coming week and hosting a whole bunch of people there for one night! I'm babysitting for a women's bible study group next week. Teaching piano (not very busy in the summer but there are a few good students who didn't quit on me for the summer!! :) Hmm...I've spent a lot of time job searching and have some interesting prospects.

I was thinking of moving my piano/re-arranging my apartment tonight. I went for a long (almost 1 hour) bike ride alone on the rails-to-trails tonight, right before dark. I haven't decided yet whether I'll move the furniture and piano or not. I just see my piano teacher laughing in my mind. He knows that would be just like me to spend more time re-arranging my room than sitting on the piano bench and practicing!!!! In my defense---the piano is REALLY out of tune right now and playing it makes me want to cry for it :) The movie made me cry enough for one night! :)

If anyone has anything they would like to see me blog more about, please let me know! Of course this is my blog---my time---my space---so, I just do it for enjoyment. But, I could use some fresh ideas and input!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Summer Happenings

Dear Friends,

I just learned today that the first day of summer is still a week away. They could have fooled me...I thought we were already there! :) I realized April to June was just a little too long to not put up a new post!

This past weekend I had a wonderful visit with my friend Jaime and her three kids and new baby girl. My mom and I enjoyed the time together as well. It amazes me that no matter how many babies come into the world every day, when you hold one and look at their tiny fingers and tiny toes and there sweet little mouths, you realize all over what a gift from God they are. It also amazes me that we ALL came into the world this way! Totally helpless, innocent, and dependent on the love of our mothers. What a wonderful gift to have a wonderful mother and also to be one! I truly can't wait until I reach that point in my life. I believe that is my calling one day and my friends have really inspired me through sharing their experiences and challenges of parenting.

Anyways, I have some absolutely precious pics from our visit and I want to share them!! I also have other pictures I would like to share with you.
Leanna Rose born on 5/30/10~almost 2 weeks old
I've always been told how small my hands are....not next to her though!
The proud big sister ;)
This is one tolerant and sleepy baby!
My Mom and Leanna
Her hands were like this forever...this is her relaxed state..hehe :)
Mama and her girls :)
Jaime was so nice to let me dress up her little doll baby :) I put this little white and blue dress on her and the barrette needs some more hair to stay put but, we thought we would play dress-up anyways :)

A couple of weeks ago I went to Virginia Beach for a couple of days. The moon was beautiful over the ocean.
My good friend Malorie opening up a gift box from my mother---gifts for baby Brenda who is due very soon! Mom got her her very 1st baby doll! :)
My hair is a mess but it's's the beach and I look relaxed and happy :)

Busch Gardens: One of the coasters