Sunday, September 27, 2009

Los Angeles

Wellll, I am not really good at updating this as much as I should. I will work on that!

Grant and I just got back from Los Angeles, CA for the NYWC- National Youth Workers Convention representing my awesome job, Camp Electric. The convention has a exhibitor area where you buy a space and set up your booth. It's been great to spread the word about a camp focused on the Lord. My boss graciously allowed Grant to come along with me on the trip so we have both got to talk to people about CE as well as getting to hear from speakers like Donald Miller, Perry Noble, and listen to the David Crowder Band. Awesome!

This is a picture of Grant and I outside the Staples Center in Los Angeles on our first day there.

Our first day here we set up our booth and then headed to explore LA. We made it to Rodeo Drive, stopped in Louis Vitton, had some delicious fat free yogurt, and just enjoyed a new place! While we were here we ran into a great college friend, Mike Barbera so it's been fun to catch up with him and the ministry he is involved in.

The hotel we stayed in had a Spanish-Mexican theme. I loved it. Grant...
not so much :) He prefers the straight-lined, white, modern hotels.
I love the ones with character!

Donald Miller spoke and encouraged the youth workers to work to be involved in writing the story to your student's lives. He taught that without hardship in life there is no story. Everyone goes through hardship and it's about how you break away from that that determines how your story is written. Obviously he said it a lot better than I did. HIs new book is called "A Million Miles in a Thousand Years". He also wrote "Blue Like Jazz". About his new book, he described it as more of a narrative than a religious based book.

One of my favorite things I discovered was "FroYo" as our friends told us it
was called-Frozen Yogurt. Only 2 Weight Watcher points! With fruit-3 points! Awesome!
While we were at the conference at our Camp Electric booth our "neighboring" booth were some guys representing a movie coming out called "I-Heart Movement" ( that comes out this November (the 2nd or 3rd).

So, after that little advertisement I will get back to what I was saying... So, these guys-Ben, Matt, Pat, and Diego were our neighbors for the weekend and they invited us to their church in Newport Beach. I believe the church was the Newport Beach Church. I could and am probably wrong about that but Grant and I went to visit Sunday night and it was AMAZING! The pastors came over from Australia (husband and wife pastor the church). The church is kind of a branch of Hillsong. From the moment Grant and I walked in we were extremely impressed. Everyone was super nice and welcoming. Seriously. Everyone. From the moment we walked up to the door there was someone there welcoming us and directing us. When Grant and I stood around awkwardly someone would come up and talk to us about anything. We later found out that they have everything planned down to a "T". They have people who's responsibility is to talk to people who aren't talking to anyone. They have a women's ministry that the wife pastor leads up and the girls involved in the ministry all wore the same t-shirts (trendy, I may add). They had people responsible for getting water to the speaker...just planned down to every last step. And, the worship was amazing. The songs started and people rose from their seats to go to the front to worship. Very high energy.

The church was primarily people our age (20's-30's) and they brought in a speaker Judah Smith (I now follow him on Twitter: judahsmith) who is a pastor in Seattle, WA ( who was very captivating, spoke the word boldly and was hilarious.

We were just very, very impressed with this church! It was a great experience!

Well, that's enough of my advertising for now. I just can't help but share the awesome things that I learn about :) I hope this makes up for the several days of posts I missed. Does anyone read this? Ha!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Recipes for Non-Veggie eaters

I have a real problem with veggies.

All my adult/college-ish life I have wanted so badly to like salads. They are decorative and appealing, but the taste is just so bland. Now, I know it's the toppings that make the difference, but you can end up adding the same amount of calories and fat to a salad as you would buying Mc D's why put myself through the torture :) I admit, they really are pretty. I keep waiting for my taste buds to catch up with my desire to like veggies...but in 25 years, the taste buds are stubborn and haven't changed, atleast in this aspect.

So, anytime I want to start a diet or work to become healthier this issue makes it much harder! I really like Weight Watchers because it is a "lifestyle" like they like to say. I have always succeeded on Weight Watchers (I am currently back on the plan and it's hard but slowly working).

So, for any of you who are like me out there and don't like veggies but don't want to just give in to eating only carbs, here are some good recipes my WW instructor sent me. She sent me over 500 pages of recipes all with the WW point value. If you want the recipes, I can email you. I printed them out and had them bound for convenience. It's the best recipe book that fits what I enjoy that I have found. Maybe now I might actually start cooking!

Last night I made "Parmesan Chicken Cutlets". Grant seemed to like this recipe as well. What is hard about trying to diet is when you have a husband (or kids for those of you that do) who aren't dieting and you need to make good food choices for them as well. But, this book of recipes has some great choices!

Parmesan Chicken Cutlets (I served with corn which was 1 point per 1/2 cup and Grant had a salad on top of that)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp Italian-style dried bread crumbs
1/8 tsp paprika
4 (4 oz) boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Preheat oven to 400. In a ziplock bag, combine cheese, bread crumbs and paprika. Shake well. Pour crumb mixture onto a plate. Dip each chicken piece into the crumb mixture, turning to coat all sides. (I thawed out the chicken for about 5 minutes in the microwave before doing this...mine were frozen.) Arrange chicken on a non-stick baking sheet (or spray the pan with cooking spray). Bake until chicken is cooked, about 20-25 minutes.
4 servings, 4 points each

Light Chex Mix (I also made this last night as a snack for the week or however long it lasts...since it calls for a lot of different cereals, I got the generic brands of them all)
3 cups Rice Chex
3 cups Corn Chex
3 cups cherrios
3 cups pretzels
Butter cooking spray
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp butter flavored sprinkles
1/2 tsp garlic powder (or more)
1/2 tsp seasoned salt
1/2 tsp onion powder (or more)

In 15"x 10" x 1" baking pan, combine cereals & pretzels (I actually combined all of these in a large bowl first to mix up b/c it's hard to mix on a pan then I poured on baking pan). Lightly coat with a butter cooking spray (0 WW points, btw), drizzle with Worcestershire sauce. Combine remaining ingredients & sprinkle over cereal mix. Bake at 200 degrees for 1 1/2 hours, stirring every 30 minutes. Cool. Store in airtight containers.

12 1-cup servings, 2 points each (and I have just been scooping 1/2 cup into baggies and writing a 2 for 2 points on the bag in permanent marker). A good amount of snack for only 2 points.

Here is what I have planned for the next two weeks:

Honey Mustard Chicken- 7 points with rice (ranges from 3-4 points for the rice I picked up)

3/4 cup light honey mustard dressing
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
2 tsp dill weed, freshly chopped (I just bought it in the seasoning)
1 medium scallion, finely sliced (or finely chopped onion or chopped green onion...I will be leaving this option out of my recipe, see above note on hating veggies, ha!)
1 cup corn flake crumbs
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (four 4 oz halves)

Preheat over to 425. Coat a baking pan with cooking spray. In a small bowl, combine honey mustard dressing, salt, pepper, dill and scallions. Remove 1/3 cup of the mixture and set it aside. Put corn flake crumbs into a shallow bowl. Dip the chicken breasts into the honey mustard mixtures and then into the corn flake crumbs. Place each breast into the baking pan. Bake uncovered until the chicken is golden and no longer pink inside, about 15 minutes. Drizzle remaining honey mustard dressing mixture over the chicken breasts and serve.

For the remaining recipes, let me know and I will post the directions. I just didn't want this post to be forever long...considering I don't know if this even gets read by people!

Sweet & Spicy Dump Chicken- 6.5 points per serving (thought about cooking with rice: 3-4 points and corn-1 pt)

Grilled chicken on George Foreman with Tony's seasoning (3 points) with Easy Mac & Cheese (a recipe-not from a box)=4 points per serving for Mac & Cheese

Cheesy Chicken Stuffed Shells: 2 shells=8 points; a salad for Grant would go good with this recipe...I may do skinny breadsticks (not sure about the point value at this time).

Deluxe Meatloaf: 6 points per serving; salad for Grant and skinny breadsticks for both of us.

Teriyaki Chicken: 5 points per serving, will probably serve with rice for 3-4 additional points

Pimento Cheese: 3 points for whole batch (may use this for lunches); Bread is additional points. I have whole wheat bread for 1 point per slice and another option is honey whole wheat bread for 2 points a slice.

Potato Brunch Casserole: 3 points per serving

French Toast Casserole: 2 points per serving. Grant will LOVE this! You have to do night before b/c it requires bread to soak in pan. I will probably serve with fruit.

Hope this encourages the non-veggie eaters like me that we DO have hope out there!

Monday, September 7, 2009

The Ocoee!

Grant planned a trip with our youth group to The Ocoee over Labor day trip and it was GREAT! I haven't been since I went as a 9th and 10th grade intern with Greg Hauss at Bellevue and it was still as awesome as I remembered it! I think a good instructor makes all the difference. Our instructor or guide, Chris Phillips, asked us if we wanted a "mild" or "wild" (white water rafting) trip and everything in me said "MILD" but the rest of the boat overcame my small voice so our trip was WILD :)

Let me preface this by saying that my Mom and Dad went white water rafting about 10 years ago and she had a little incident. Mom was born (well, not born with it, but close enough) with a buck tooth that I was OH so lucky to inherit and when she was white water rafting, her oar (or more specifically, the t-grip...I feel like a pro white water rafter using my terminology!) hit her smack in the mouth and left her two front teeth (one being her buck tooth or "snaggle tooth" as Grant and I like to refer to mine) dangling. So, I was KIND of hoping for that same thing to happen to my snaggle tooth...much to my's still there safe and sound :)

On one of the first rapid was a Class 4 called "Double Tuck". This one was where our instructor tried to "sink" us...obviously knowing what he was doing. He warned us by saying: "If you do not cling to your seat buddy you WILL fall in." So, I was sitting next to a youth, Matt Moore, and I did what I was told then look to see Grant dangling out of the boat along with another youth, Kayla. I start frantically screaming for Landon (Grant's seat buddy) to "GRAB GRANT, LANDON!!! GRAB GRANT!!!) I don't know if I thought Grant was on his death bed, but you would have thought my screaming was saying just that! And, Landon, being the hero he was saved Grant from his doom! Kayla's seat buddy, Molly, also rescued her. So, our whole raft had successfully stayed aboard for the whole "wild ride".

Another really awesome part of the ride was going down the last rapid "Hell's Hole" backward. It was cool to see the river like that but also kinda freaky because....we were going BACKWARD.

We had a group of 39 awesome adults and students and we just loved it! We luckily brought an amazing cook who made us this OUTSTANDING BBQ pork on the first night and then grilled out hamburgers and hotdogs the second night...pretty sweet for "roughing it in cabins".

I actually thoroughly enjoyed the bus rides as well...I started the Twilight series...but that will be for another post :)

This is one of my favorite snapshots of the white water trip...please notice Chris, our Bartlett campus associate pastor screaming for his life. He says he was hamming it up for the camera, but I don't believe it :)

I plan on sharing some GREAT Weight Watcher recipes soon! I will keep you posted.

Friday, September 4, 2009

So, I guess I am now a "Blogger"???

I am joining the Blogger world!

I have been extremely hesitant to because my thinking has always been that I don't want to ramble on about mindless topics and expect others to read them. I have always been under the impression that I have to be super smart and say smart things all the time.

So, I am going to try my best to be interesting, even if not "super smart".

A little about me (I am assuming that people reading this already know me, but here we go anyway):

I am married to a Reverend! Ha! Just happened (didn't just get married, but Grant just became Rev Run as Drew calls him). Super proud of him! It's really a neat thing. Not that titles mean anything, but if you knew his heart, you would be excited for what the future holds.

We have several "kiddos". Two being Reilly (Grant spells his name differently, but I picked him out) who is a Puggle- a mix between a pug and a beagle. He was suppose to be my "purse dog" but unfortunately he now weighs closer to 45 pounds so he's not even a backpack dog...maybe a suitcase dog is more like it. Then, there is Tony Almeida, our Great Dane. I have a new found fondness of Great Danes since we have had Tony. We will probably always have a Great Dane...we might have to go through a few of them b/c they have short life spans, but they are the sweetest, lovable dogs ever! One of my favorite characteristics is that they like to lean on those who they love. So, you can be standing there outside with Tony and if you aren't careful, he could come over and knock you slightly off balance b/c he leans and puts all of his 120 pounds into you. And, Reilly is great too...just crazy! If you know him, you understand that I use the word "crazy" very loosely.

The other kids in our lives I like to say are our children are the youth group at Christ Church. Grant is the youth minister for Christ Church and that includes the Arlington and Bartlett campus. I just love them. It's great getting to hang out and get to know all of the students. You create different bonds with them and we have come to just LOVE them.

Our lives right now are pretty crazy! As of now there are pretty much only 3 nights a week that we don't have scheduled events on a regular basis but I honestly enjoy it. We start our week off on a Sunday with Reverb (our youth program) at the Bartlett campus. Monday I have girls bible study at Bartlett for high school girls taught by Jessica Nabakowski (love it!), Tuesday is now my new free night, Wednesday is Reverb for the Arlington campus, Thursday Grant leads a bible study at Blake and Allison Butler's house at 7:00 p.m. for college and past coeds (one of my favorite times of the are welcome! We have a few superb cooks that bring us food on a regular basis- Sara Hillis, Laura Epting, and E Gullett) and then Fridays & Saturdays are usually free unless there are events planned. And, that's just my schedule, but I love it! Keeps me busy!

I also work for Camp Electric ( which I am sure you will hear tons about later! I am truly blessed with my job situation!

I am going to test out how to add a picture with a pic of Grant and I! More to come later! I may even post again later today :)