Thursday, May 31, 2012

[ A Couple Thing You Might Not Know ]

A couple things you may not have known about me...

I like to garden. I would consider it not just 'gardening' but serious gardening. Like hiking into the woods with rubber boots, shovel over the shoulder, bucket in hand and wagon in tow searching for ferns. Like spending hours on my knees weeding the back garden, just so I can sit and enjoy watching the birds, evil chipmunk and occasionally the dog run through. I guess you could say that I've found a new hobby.

I like to cook. But not with recipes. I like bake, but rarely follow what the paper says. I'm not much of a rule breaker, but baking and cooking seem like a safe place to break the rules. I like to try new things, which unfortunately results in throwing out some nasty desserts or weird tasting dinners. But it's fun to be able to create things plus you do learn over time what works and what doesn't. 

I'm a coffee snob. Instant coffee is borderline sinful. Rich creamy espresso. A delicious latte. That's right, I discriminate with my coffee preferences. I like Starbucks more than Caribou. I don't like Maxwell House. I like coffee, fully caffenated or decaf, just for something to drink in the morning. I. Love. Coffee.

That's me for today!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Boda Chocolate Chip Cookies

From the kitchen of Jean Boda, passed down by Matt Boda

* Preheat the oven to 375 degrees

I N G R E D I E N T S:
3/4 cup butter (melted)
1 cup brown sugar (packed)
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups semi-sweet chips

* If making Gluten Free, use Pamela's Pancake & Baking Mix (which I highly recommend) and 1 1/2 tablespoons xanthan gum. 

D I R E C T I O N S:
  1. Cream wet ingredients together
  2. Mix in dry ingredients (I typically just dump it all in & mix)
  3. Mix until smooth
  4. Add chocolate chips
  5. If you allow the cookies to chill for 30 minutes in the fridge before you put them on the cookie sheet, they often stay together better & are a bit fluffier.
  6. Drop by tablespoon onto a greased cookie sheet
  7. Bake 8-10 minutes (sometimes a bit longer
  8. Allow to cool slightly before removing from sheet

* If making Gluten Free, use a lighter cookie sheet as they hold heat differently than a darker pan. The darker pans will most likely burn the bottom of the cookies because they are so much hotter when the cook. If you don't have a lighter pan, you can also use tin foil on top of the pan - which also makes cleaning up a lot easier

* If making Gluten Free, you should scrape off any extra cookie left behind when removing them from the pan and re-spray to keep the cookies from sticking.

You can also freeze the cookie dough and use it later 
or have it on vanilla ice cream!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

[ Women & Relationships : Part II]

A while ago, I began a blogging series regarding Women & Relationships. This stemmed from a panel discussion that I was asked to be on where women would ask the questions that were burning a hole in the hearts, and then men asked us questions. Both had great questions. Questions that made me think. Questions that made me want to dig into the Bible and figure out why and how and when. Questions that I decided to tackled via blog. First, I wrote about the time old question of: How do you know when you've met Mr. Right? Despite the fact that this question has been around longer than I have or even my parents have, men & women are still asking it. The age old answer, "You just know." seems to be a good answer. I like it, but I like to get knee deep in relationships and wade through the trickier answers.

Here comes the next question and I'm ready to dive right on in.

Is it true that a man desires respect above love?

Noun: A feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements.
Verb: Admire (someone or something) deeply, as a result of their abilities, qualities, or achievements.

Noun: An intense feeling of deep affection: "their love for their country".
Verb: Feel a deep romantic or sexual attachment to (someone): "do you love me?".

I am not a man, but over time as I have grown up with a strong father figure, played sports under male coaches, had male friends and finally married a wonderful man. I am a woman and do understand my need for love, something that I think helps me understand the "other side". In college, I made the mistake in a male figure in my life that I had no respect for him as a man. I had no idea what I was saying. I had no idea that to a man, respect is tied into his very being. It has been through the very patient loving of my husband that I have come to understand that love and respect are mutual partners. If I do not respect my husband, I cannot love him. If I don't love my husband, I won't respect him. Men often define love differently than their wives, while women often don't know how to define respect. If both you and your spouse have these needs, but don't know what they are, how can you satisfy each other? Without a definition, it's like trying to throw a dart at a board but you don't know where to aim.
Love and respect, despite the differing importance to the different sexes, are mutually important. And here's why...

"A guy named John Gottman runs something called the Love Lab at the University of Washington in Seattle. He is a Jewish guy who has spent years studying relationships. One of the things he does, as explained on the video and in the book Blink by Malcolm Gladwell is the idea that our faces tell a story about our future. The idea of reading facial expressions is a crucial part of his research (if you've ever seen the USA Network show Lie to Me, it's based on this research and very interesting). Basically what Gottman does is to interview people and record the dominant facial expression that a husband and wife are displaying as they interact in the lab regarding their marriage.

Here's what I find interesting. Gottman says that there is a primary emotion in a husband and in a wife (different for each) which, when it is the dominant emotion, he can tell in advance that their marriage is in trouble. Interestingly, it is not the same emotion. In a wife, he is looking for the emotion of "disrespect" - in other words, when a woman no longer respects her husband, she will have trouble remaining married to him. In a husband, Gottman is looking for the emotion of "apathy" - in other words, when a husband becomes apathetic and no longer active in his love and pursuit of his wife, he will have trouble remaining married to his wife.

Here's what I find even more interesting. I've always wondered why Paul in Ephesians 5 commands a woman to "respect" her husband and a husband to "love" his wife. I think Gottman helps me understand this. Gottman is onto something that comes from God's own heart. God, in directing and inspiring the Apostle Paul on what to write in his letter to the Ephesians, nails this very issue of what Gottman has discovered via his research. Women struggle to respect their husbands and men struggle to actively love their wives." [Thoughts from the wise Dr. Matt Boda]

So what does this mean? As a married woman, what I feel whether I acknowledge it or not, will be displayed to my husband and vise versa. This is where the most crucial part comes in, learning to love from God's heart. If I am loving my husband the way that I know how- as a woman- I am going to fall short. If my husband respects me the way he knows best- unfortunately, he's going to fall short. Our marriage is going to be a rocky one, as I am struggling to respect because I only love and he is struggling to pursue and love as he seeks to give respect. Paul in Ephesians writes from God's own heart, the only heart that knows how to love both men and women within the full realm of love. If I am not pursuing God, I can't pursue my husband as he needs, giving him the respect needed to love. If my husband is not pursuing God, he can't give me the love and pursue-ment that I need. God is essential.

Back to our question, is it true that a man desires respect above love? For a man, they are the same.

For further reading & info:

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

[ Working Around the Farm ]

I've been keeping busy around the farm and thought
I'd catch you up with some of the project I've been doing:

 I have the best relaxing spot ever. EVER people. My dog's kennel. That's right. We used to have wood panels half way up our covered & screen in porch. They were uneven and were kind of gross from rain coming on stormy days. Remington had to jump up with his front paws just to see out. Kind of sad when he has to hang out there all day when we're at work. So, we took down the wood panels and grabbed some chicken wire. My sister, Kirsten, and I took an hour to secure it around the entire screen in portion, just in case Remington got pretty excited and tried to run through the screen.

After the chicken wire was up, we strung lights around the rafters, hung up some planters with fragrant petunias and a lantern across the screen. As the sun went down, the porch became a totally different place. It's relaxing, no bugs, soft music and a comfy chair. My dog's kennel is now my outdoor porch that happens to have a dog kennel in it.
Pics to come - my camera batteries just need to charge.

If you have ever visited the Mall of America or have plans to, you need to go to the Amazing Mirror Maze. It's on the third floor past one of the food courts. It's so crazy fun and a bit scary...
you have to go!

I really don't like paying for plants. So this weekend, I went fern hunting. I found a herd of ferns in the forest (no, I'm not making this up). I dug them out and they now reside on the north side of our house! So much better than buying them!

This is how we garden. No, not really. We are moving our garden this year so we can plant more things including sweet corn, pumpkins, potatos, tomotoes and lots of other fun veggies! Since this ground was covered with knee high grass, we got out the disc to really work the soil. We're going to go over it one more time with the tiller and then I can plant! Hurray!!!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

[ Why We Lean ]

Last night we had my bestie, Betsy, over so she could see my wonderful sister, Kirsten, before she heads back up north to the mother land- aka Canada. There are two handfuls of people that I can be around that rejuvenate me more than anyone else. My sister, mum and pops, my Hubs and Betsy the Bestie. Her love for people pours from who she is and you can't help but catch onto her enthusiasm. We had a bonfire, invited the Hubs' parents over from next door, my sister's boyfriend got home early from a conference he's at in the area and the evening was perfect. Friends, awesome food, warm weather and eventually a walk through the lush woods. It's those kind of evenings, when you spend time with people you care about and who care about you too, that make a busy life worth it. Everything that seemed so big and daunting earlier in the day just seems to be insignificant as we lean into relationships with others. Despite tiredness from another short night, I feel alive and ready. And that's why we lean into relationships. That's why we lean into people.

This is the man I love. A man not afraid to love his pup. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

[ Good, Bad & Ugly ]


My beautiful sister, Kirsten is visiting for a week and a bit!
I love having family come stay with us- 
it makes our big farmhouse feel cozier, homier and farmhousier. 

We celebrated the Hubs' 26th birthday this weekend and it struck me how old he is. 
Yeah, I'm following behind him by 7 months, but 26 just seems light years away from 25. 
Anyhow, Happy Birthday Hubs!


I found 2 more places with gluten free food... our local golf course now has gluten free items. 
AND Starbucks makes coffee ice cream. 
Why is this bad? Because I want to eat them. Lots. 
That is bad for my waistline.... 


We deep cleaned two more bedrooms upstairs this weekend. My sister, Kirsten, and I decided to tackle a project that has been hanging over my head for almost 2 years now. Originally, I used the rooms for storage or whatever didn't fit somewhere on the main level of the house. 
Now we can have more guests come and stay! 
Why ugly? Well, we didn't find any alive mice or bats, which is a good thing... BUT the amount of dust and dirt along with the mouse skeleton was pretty gross and would probably qualify as a ugly. 

I'm working pictures so you can see just how different it looks! 

Friday, May 4, 2012

[ Woah There ]

Life has been nutso recently (yes, that is a real word). The fast pace always seems to catch up with me at the weirdest times. All of a sudden, I realize how tired I am. How much I need coffee. How much I need to sit and soak up the sunshine. How much I need to lean into a friend or two. How much I need to be still before God. I realized as soon as I sat down at my desk early this morning that I need to slow down. So, when the pace of life isn't letting you slow down and your calendar is loaded for the next month or two, how do you do it? I schedule time for me. It sounds ridiculous, but sometimes it's the only way- or I forget. I put into my little Google calendar (love it, try it, you will too!) and when it's time for some down time, I do it. So, I'm thinking I might schedule in some Vitamin D time and lay out and read. I'll leave my phone inside and it'll be glorious.

I. Cannot. Wait.

What do you do when life can't slow down but you need to?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

[ Guest Blog: His Story ]

Wow, I never really thought that I would be honored to write on my wife’s blog or ever write a blog post, it's kind of her thing. But I figured it was time to write down my story about where we’ve been and how it’s gone. 

To start off I am the Hubs, the husband Kylie talks about often in her blog.  I went Crown College for 4 years and obtained my B.S in Sport Management and played 4 years of college football.  I met my gorgeous wife in college.  Coming out of college in 2009 I thought getting a job would be hard, but not as hard as it was for me.  After graduating I worked my summer job where I worked while going to college.  I loved that job, but it was only seasonal, lasting from April to September.  While working that summer I started sending out resume after resume to companies that were hiring only getting a few interviews and not much else.  Then in November 2009 with not having found a job yet I applied at a Target store just to get a job to have income and pay off loans and save up for the future.  I never thought I would be working at Target as a team member with a 4 year degree and previous work experience, but God had other plans for me that I did not expect. 

Through my time at Target, God taught me many valuable lessons of perseverance and patience.  I had a very hard time allowing God to take control of my situation and turning it over to him entirely.  I had many hard discussions with my father, mother and future wife (at that time) about what I am supposed to be doing and why God had burdened me with not being able to get a full time job.  I am a person that wants to figure things out for myself, does not like getting a lot of help and tries to control or figure it all out on my own.  I kept telling myself through this time that I needed to just control this situation and figure it out for myself.  I started to tell myself that I was not good enough for jobs and started letting Satan creep in my life telling me false lies about myself. 

In the midst of all this, in August 2010, I married the love of my life, Kylie.  Through this time Kylie has been my best friend.  Through the thick and thin, she has always been there for me.  In the spring of 2011, I finally started letting God take control of my situation and things started to change, but not in a way that we could see at first. It began when that spring, we had a blow to the knees when Kylie lost her job.  As she didn’t work for 3 months we lived on a limited income, which was a challenge, but so rewarding when looking back at it, which would prepare us and shape us to be more life Christ.  Living on a limited income makes you look at things in a different light and truly shows you how God can bless you.  We learned that while God can bless you, it is essential to learn to accept those blessings. It is a hard lesson to learn, a lot harder than it sounds. However, I learned how to take blessings from the people who wanted to bless us with things whether it was helping around the farm or taking us out for dinner.  Together, Kylie and I learned that financial gain and status are not important in the view of eternity. Society tells us to get as much money as we can. As our mindsets were changed, God began opening up my eyes to see where I could be going with my career. For some reason, he waited until we had gone through this, but it was perfect timing- something that only he can know. In September of 2011, I applied for law enforcement school. I have always wanted to do this but always made up excuses to not do it. A big excuse was the money, but God had provided and blessed us this far, so why would he stop now? I finally allowed God to lead me, and with family encouraging me, I applied and started taking class in January 2012.  I will be completed with school in August 2013 which then I will be able to achieve my career goal of becoming a Police Officer.

To wrap this up, all I want to say GOD IS GOOD.  When things got bad, all I could hear was “God will never put something in your life that you cannot handle or defeat.”  With that repeating in my mind, I knew that God was in control. I knew he would take care of me. I knew he would provide for us when we needed it. I knew he had everything planned out.  This has been an amazing journey and I know that it’s not over, which is the most exciting part.  I know that with my amazing wife, family and my wife’s family were essential to this process and I could have not done it without them. They prayed for me daily. There when I need someone to talk to and there just to give me a pat on the back and say keep up the hard work and keep on persevering. 

I hope that if you read this you come out with something that can apply to your life.  Just remember don’t count God out. Let him lead you were he wants you to go and you may be surprised.

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