Teaching to Learn and Learning to Teach

With a face that cute…
February 8, 2012, 6:57 am
Filed under: Cool Finds, Family, FUN!, Girly-Girl, These are a few of my favorite things...

… I’m glad that her mom sends me pictures so regularly. I do admit, however, that the texts make me wish I was there fighting with all the fam over who would hold her.

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Out of Eggs?
February 6, 2012, 8:00 pm
Filed under: Cooking, Cool Finds, Family, Quirky

Last week, I had just returned from the store, had just started making butter horns, and had guests coming in an hour, when I realized I only had one egg and the recipe had called for 3. Yikes! What’s a girl to do? When I text-messaged one of my neighbors and didn’t hear back right away, I called my mom.

Jenn: Mom remember that stuff you gave me that you can substitute for eggs?

Mom: Yes.

Jenn: What do I do with it?

Mom: Dissolve 1 Tb. in 3 Tb of water for each egg.

Jenn: Thanks. What’s it called?

Mom: Flax meal.

Jenn: You are the best. Thanks, Mom

It worked! I’ve had it in coffee cake before, but it worked in my rolls. They were speckled, but they were delish and nutrish :). Just thought I would share this info. Flax meal lasts in the fridge forever, so it’s nice to have a little on hand for when you are baking and out of eggs.

  • Adrienne and Raqel visited my family with me. My dad cleaned the house because he thought Adrienne might be a boy
  • Spent Valentine’s Day with some of my favorite peeps: Joe and Heidi, Karrie, Dave and Tricia, Lisa, and Jess Stucky and then attended the big band concert
  • Hosted Women to Women with Heidi
  • Enjoyed the Idiot Abroad Dinner Club
  • Had an informal interview on the beach for my dream job without realizing it
  • Saw West Side Story :(, Beauty and the Beast :), Bill Cosby, The Gettys, as well as Miracle on 34th St. at The Million Dollar Theater in L.A.
  • Discovered Cleo’s a trendy Middle Eastern restaurant close to the Pantages
  • Enjoyed “Game Nights” and a bacon feast with RED, Adrienne, and Phil
  • Made 500 cake pops and bars for the Ladies’ Tea at Church
  • Went to Iowa and celebrated my Grandmother’s 90th birthday with the Wilhite Clan.
  • Road Trip with Jessica Wiley Frederickson for Sarah Marquez Wiley’s Baby Shower
  • Spent Easter with RED, Adrienne, and the Dennis Family
  • Helped with Breakfast for Year End Show
  • Said goodbye to dear friends: Jones Family and RED.
  • Settled into my first apartment
  • I became an RD after Dave and Karrie sang a job offer and after Joe gave me the RD Pep Talk
  • Had my first and hopefully my last root canal
  • Attended the Grand Baby Wedding for Bel and Bella
  • I ran out of gas
  • Survived August and learned a great deal about God as my rock, my defender, and advocate who knows my concerns, my needs, my fraility and my sin and despite all of that saved me and chooses to allow me to participate in His ministry
  • RD, RA, and SLS Retreat and WOW Week
  • Became friends with Sarah, Noelle, Natalie, Kaylin, Rae, Summer, and Stacey
  • Had many house guests including Raqel, Kellie Zerlang, Laura and baby Garrett, Cynthia and Jodi
  • Played Gotcha for the first time
  • Went to the Pasadena Flea Market and became a fan of Good Will
  • My sweet niece, Isabella, was born
  • Became reacquainted with old friends
  • Went back to school
  • Completed C.E.R.T – Community Emergency Response Training
  • Introduced to Dr. Mario, the best game ever :)
  • Watched the Keller boys for a weekend when Mabel was born
  • Celebrated 3 more holidays with the Kintner/Ramirez/Allen Families
  • Started a new tradition of retreating to Mount Hermon for a few days after Christmas

So thankful for the days God ordained for me.


My cousin recently commented on the fact that I must be busy because I haven’t posted much recently. Indeed I have been. I went from caring for 88 college kids to hanging out with a bunch of munchkins. Friday the 16th the students checked out at 5pm and I checked into the Keller Day Spa  er I mean Day Care at 5:30pm  for a few days. My friend Heidi just had her fourth baby, so while she and her husband were in the hospital, I was home with the three boys ages 8,5, & 3. We had a lot of fun, but I discovered I am not cut out to be a single mom :).

I’ve also had time over the break to hang with my friend Laura’s son, Garrett, my nephews, Sean and David, my nieces, Katie and Isabella, and a few other kiddos. In a few days I also hope to meet my friend Sarah’s daughter Gigi.

Kid’s never-ending  battery supply always surprise me but also enthuse me. It also amazes me how it is the unplanned and unpurchased kind of fun that they love best. The Keller boys preferred building a river and dams in the gutter to the playplace at McDonalds  (although all kids do like McDonalds) and Garrett kept saying “Jen, boom,” interpreted to mean “Let’s wrestle or how about you throw me around.” He was also content to just tell me to sit and watch him play only he can’t say “s” and instead says “sh”. These aren’t fantastic pictures since most of them are from my phone and are pictures of kiddos on the move, but this is what I’ve been up to recently.

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The Long Awaited Messiah
December 20, 2011, 8:37 am
Filed under: Christian Living, Family, Lessons Learned

Gifts not only represent the great gift received on that first Christmas – God incarnate, they can be a good example for kids of the expected Messiah, the long-awaited Messiah. On this end it can be hard to imagine the longing God-followers had before Christ, but waiting until Christmas eve, Christmas morning, or Christmas afternoon can be a small taste of that expectation for kids. Explain that as a part of giving gifts at Christmas.

Back Home

It’s good to go away and it is good to be home. I took advantage of the NANC Conference being close to my hometown and I went to visit my family last weekend. I drove up with my brother Jason and as usual half way to the Bay we stopped at Arby’s. It doesn’t matter what time of day it is, we eat :).

It was so good to hold my little niece, once her daddy finished holding her ;) , and to have the reality sink in that J&B are parents and that we have a new member of the family to care for and love as long as she or we live. We are going to see her grow, learn to read, learn to ride a bike, have joys and sorrows, and hopefully, see her passionately love Jesus. Right now, she loves to sleep and nothing can wake her when she wants to sleep, but when she decides she doesn’t want to sleep there is not much you can do about it.

After a quick weekend with the fam, I met up with my co-workers for a quick trip to the city before the conference. It was drizzly and wonderful. We had lunch at a little cafe called Marios. It’s tiny and there really isn’t a kitchen. There is a large toaster oven and a panini grill behind the bar in which they make delicious sandwiches and pizzas. We saw the taping of a verizon commercial, had pumpkin spice lattes, road BART and busses, walked around Ghirardelli Square, climbed many a hill, and had a lot of fun together.

Some of the highlights of the conference trip were good conversations with friends. We all stayed at a large house and had times to sit, eat, laugh, and chat. The challenge with that many people staying at someone’s beautiful home is that something inevitably goes wrong or gets broken. The first mishap was putting dish soap in the dishwasher. Don’t ever make that mistake. Bubbles flowing everywhere. Yikes! If you do make that mistake, vinegar and salt help. The second mishap was the garage doors fiasco. There were two and that was our mode of leaving the house with all the doors  locked. Unfortunately, when one would go down, the other would go up and then when both would close one would close and reopen. It was a good trip, but it was nice to get home and to sleep in my own bed. The last night of the trip in the middle of the night I got really confused and yelled in the middle of the night, “Whose in here?” I woke up two of my friends. When they tried to tell me that the door was just open, I couldn’t understand them. I was still processing who they were :). When one of them finally got up to close the door, she was ready to figure out the mystery and I was already back to sleep :).

It’s good to go away and it is good to return home.

What’s new?

1. Items hung on my walls including the frames from the flea market. Cherilyn, you asked for pictures; here they are. The step stool with the suitcase on it is also “new” from the flea market.

2. Sweet Notes from Villains. Never got anything like this in my old job :).

3. Refreshment and rest looks like this:

4. My niece is still new in my mind and she’s most definitely blog worthy (at least in this doting aunt’s mind).

5. Sweazy won Gotcha! I don’t know how many played, but out of an enrollment of 1000 students, one of my girls got 120 cumulative kills. We had a Sweazy Alliance. Our motto was, “Don’t forsake the Alliance for cute boys.” I stayed in until Friday at which point I fell on my sword for the Sweazy Victory Chain. I had to stay in all week to protect a Sweazy friend who was below me, so I resorted to participating in all the safeties available except for Friday’s. Friday I was sick in bed, so I didn’t yell out “Ninja” at anyone dressed in black that might have tried to assassinate me :). Here are the other day’s safeties:

Monday – ride an imaginary horse
Tuesday – talk on a banana like a phone
Wednesday – in song narrate your day and what you are doing
Thursday – waddle like a penguin

I have never been so paranoid in my life. I heard helicopters everywhere, I had my banana at hand while shopping at Costco, I had full conversations with the banana to my face, I semi-waddled into a class off campus, I wouldn’t open my door when a student that wasn’t from Sweazy knocked. I made friends and watched the girls build relationships with one another and think through issues of life far beyond the game as a result of what the competition brought out both positive and negative in their hearts, relationships, and lives.

6. I was sick over the weekend, but am on the mend. It was a good time to reflect again on God’s kindness in making me stop, rest, and eat better. I’ve never eaten so much chicken soup or rehydrated with such mass quantities of Gatorade. It was also a humbling reminder that I’m not all that important. God is at work and He allows me to be a part of that, but you pull me out of the equation and He is still at work. I needed that reminder to not be overwhelmed with the needs, demands, and responsibilities before me. If you start to think of yourself too highly and try to compare the demands before you to “your personal resources” (I put that in quotes because a friend recently reminded me that my time, energy, strengths, giftedness, etc. are not really my resources.), you are going to get overwhelmed or feel that your resources are overwhelmed. When you see, however, God’s responsibility and care for all those things which is matched by his infinite wisdom and limitless resources, you are not overwhelmed but in awe and energized to move in in the strength He provides. He is matching your time and your giftedness as a miniscule part of His resources at His disposal to a specific situation in which He is working for believers good and His glory. It also helps you prioritize as you see how He is working apart from you and that everything doesn’t and shouldn’t involve you.

7. We’ve celebrated a birthday and had wing breakfasts at my place. Here’s a picture of my favorite RA Team celebrating Natalie’s birthday as well as a few other pics for your enjoyment. We had a lemon and turquoise theme. Lemons are Natalie’s favorite fruit and turquoise her favorite color.

8. Tonight we had an event called Sardines and Shakes or Murder and Malts. This is a traditional Sweazy event during which we turn off the power to the dorm and in the dark either play Sardines or dub someone “the murderer” and play an intense game of hide and seek. We wash all the fun down with shakes or malts afterwards :).

9. My favorite blogger on contemporary Christian issues and thought, who is the recent author of The Next Story: Life and Faith After the Digital Explosion, has been around campus speaking in chapel, classes, and participating in a Q&A. My personal thinking and campus conversations have been shaped by his messages. His first chapel message dealt with all speech flowing from the heart and what that reveals. He challenged us to consider how all of God’s commands for our speech apply to how we communicate through email, texts, Facebook, or blogging. His next message dealt with technology’s use as a part of the command to subdue and have dominion over the earth, but he went on to show how the fall affects that in a way where technology starts shaping and changing us to recreate us in its image or to run our lives. It also draws us in and promises us fulfillment and happiness and encourages us to rest and trust in it. We can be idolatrous about technology. He challenged us in the midst of a world of beeps and distractions to think about how to limit distractions and carve out time to think. Shallow thinking = shallow living and the many beeps in our life on our phones, dishwashers, coffee pots, microwaves, etc. are not discerning in when they beep. They just do their job, as they were designed to do, drawing us away from whatever we are doing at the moment. You can listen to those messages by clicking on the links above or by going to http://www2.masters.edu/pulpit/ . I hope to consider and blog more on this soon.

10. NANC – well NANC itself isn’t new, but the NANC Conference will be new for me this year. I’m very much looking forward to it.