Friday, March 19, 2010

Mad About...

Stained Glass Windows! I loved them long before I realized it. I remember going to different churches ever so often as a little girl and sometimes there would be a giant stained glass window. I would stare at it fascinated by the way the light filtered through. My Grandpa and Grandma Shaw had a tiny one in the basement in their home in Montana. It might sound funny but I love the scene in The Phantom of the Opera when Christine is singing to the long, blonde haired wimpy guy about how she is scared to go and lure the Phantom into a trap. Not only do I think that song sounds beautiful (and it's not on the C.D. grrr...) but they are standing in front of a gorgeous stained glass window! (I like stained glass windows even more when they are in secluded little hallways like that. Perfect place to sit and read or think or pray.) About three years ago, when I was in Calvin's little church in Switzerland, our group entered one of the tiny side rooms where there were extremely tall stained glass windows with scenes from the gospels. Caitie sang a song acapella in there and it was probably one of my favorite moments on the trip.

I found out last summer that New York City is full of them. The one at the top of this post is in the MET and the one below is by Chagall and it's found in the U.N. There are stained glass windows along one wall in the chapel at Grace and this morning I was trying not to be distracted from the message by staring at them.
I have come to a decision. I made it quite awhile ago.

One day I will have a stained glass window in my house.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Mandy's Monday Night Soups

I decided to go the way of many aspiring bloggers out there and rip off Julie's idea from Julie and Julia and blog about attempts, successful or otherwise, in the kitchen. Partly, because I need to learn how to cook and I need to have a fun motivation to do more cooking. I like to cook, it just takes time, and when there seems to be little time, cooking goes out the window for me. My friend and former roommate, Christine Low, began a similar experiment making cakes and cupcakes. Just yesterday I was looking through the bookshelf and found a cookbook on soup; 400 soups to be exact. So I thought it would be fun to try and make a different soup every Monday night, hence: Mandy's Monday Night Soups.
Well, my first attempt was made tonight. Soup du jour: Spinach and Rice Soup.

It turned out alright. I have this thing where I like whatever I make to look exactly like the picture (if there is one). Tonight, on that account, I failed.

The Original:

As far as I could tell, I followed the recipe to a T, and this is how I discovered that it's okay to tweak! I think I chopped the spinach, onion, garlic and red chili too finely, due to the Quisinart my sister and I purchased for my mom this Christmas. That thing is powerful, let me tell ya, and I hate chopping so I LOVE it!
[Side note on red chili: My mom was right...wear gloves. We didn't have any, and as I type, my thumb is stinging. If I suck on it, my tongue and mouth sting. If I rub my eye, my eye stings. I've washed my hands a number of times. Trust me: wear gloves.]

The Actual Outcome:

Next time I make this soup, I will use less spinach, a tad more risotto, and one cup less vegetable stock. Other than that, I was pleased and my mom seemed to enjoy it. We also ate some thin bagels which my mom discovered. Brilliant invention. The same taste but much less bulk. Always nice to avoid extra inches to the spare tire.
I had to add a little Italian flare at the dinner table with some placemats and flowers.

If this looks appetizing in the slightest to anyone, let me know and I'll add the recipe.

Friday, March 05, 2010

New Room!

So I'm finally getting around to showing you pictures of my 98% completed room. But who knows when I will get to that 2% so I decided not to wait any longer.
First...two snapshots that got me started. I liked the laid back look. A white bedspread, a painting as a sub for a headboard, and the fun light above the bed:

And the finished product! Here's what you see when you get to my door:

I brought my black desk up from downstairs. I saw the clipboard idea on a decorating site online.

My curtains from IKEA.

I liked the tiny orange seeds. ;)

My comfy bed!

The next picture helped convince me to paint the back wall a fun bright color and the you'll see in the following picture how I wound up with a similar floor lamp.

This is my favorite little corner of the room. A little reading nook. The next picture I found on the internet to show my mom that turquoise and black work together:

And I think it turned out just fine. :) My mom and I found this little side table at the best thrift store ever...Sun Thriftstore in Sunland, and we took it home and painted it black and added new handles.

Cute little chair from IKEA again.

And some pictures I took in NEW YORK! :)

I kinda like having a less cluttered chest of drawers now...just a picture of my mom and dad. A necklace, rose and little bird from Melissa Johnson. The little bird picture is also from her. :) She bought them at the interior decorating store she works at.

The next two pics are the knob ideas I got from Anthropologie and the following two are the knobs I actually wound up buying from there. (About the only things I can afford there.)

This last wall is my least favorite wall of my room, but I do like the picture. I eventually want to finish that little square of pictures on my door and paint/write a verse over it.

And there you have it. My new room!

Wednesday, March 03, 2010


No this post is not about the show. (I used to watch it, but it got a bit dark for my taste.) No, this post is about real life heroes. It would be perfect for a "Mad About..." but I already have one set up for that and I didn't want to wait!
The concept of heroes was not really something I thought much about growing up. I believed Jesus to be my hero in that He is my Savior, and like any little girl, my Dad was my hero, but that's pretty much where my list ended.
Within the last year at leat three more have jumped onto that list. My Mom, Lady Jane Grey, and Jim Elliot.
My Mom because I have learned so much from watching her strong trust in our God since my Dad's death. Her love for my sister and I despite my unlovableness, her godly wisdom and encouragement to me, especially in the last month or so. She is truly one of my best friends.
Lady Jane Grey because she gave up her life at such a young age for Christ and for the truth. Some may die for Christ, but how many will die for the truth that bread and wine don't actually become the body and blood of Christ during Communion? The primary cause of her execution was because she took the throne of England for nine days, even though it was FORCED upon her, but they would have spared her had she denied the truths she stood for. Hmm...I suddenly had the feeling that I've blogged about this before. Oh well. It's worth repeating.
My most recent hero is Jim Elliot. I think pretty much everyone knows his story and I've always been convicted by his love for Indians he had never met that wound up taking his life. But I've been even more convicted and encouraged by his life. I've been rereading Shadow of the Almighty. I read it the first time in Junior High for a book report, but I don't believe I was saved then and frankly, it bored me. The second time through I'm loving it. I've been reading it SUPER slowly, but I'm nearing the end. The book is technically authored by Elizabeth Elliot, but its mostly his letters and journal entries that she has compiled together as a biography on his life. What I can't get over, again, is the age he was as he wrote down paragraph after paragraph of his thoughts which clearly led to his actions. He died at 28 and where I am in the book, he has just turned 25. From what I can tell he truly lived out Philippians 1:21, "For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." Something Austin just preached on last Sunday. A sermon I think I need to hear every week.
With that, here are some quotes from Jim Elliot from the book. Enjoy.

"Dreams are tawdry when compared with the leading of God, and not worthy of the aura or wonder we usually surround them with. God only doeth wonders. He does nothing else. His hand can work nothing less. Praise to the Guiding God of Israel, and that Great Shepherd of the wayward sheep. When he directs a path, no way can seem bleak, no instance dull."

He was 21 when he wrote the following three quotes: "Prayed a strange prayer today. I covenanted with the Father that He would do either of two things: either glorify Himself to the utmost in me or slay me. By His grace I shall not have His second best. For He heard me, I believe, so that now I have nothing to look forward to but a life of sacrificial sonship (that's how my Savior glorified Him) or heaven - soon. Perhaps tomorrow! What a prospect!"

"What I will be doing one year from today is a complete mystery. Perhaps a sick bed or a coffin - glory! Either of these would be fine, but the latter would be immortality, a swallowing up by Life. For this I am most anxious."

"'Enjoyed much sweetness' in the reading of the last month of Brainerd's life. How consonant are his thoughts to my own regarding the 'true and false religion of this late day.' Saw in reading him, the value of true notations, and was much encouraged to think of a life of godliness in the light of an early death."


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