Calendar Friday Five

For today’s FF, tell us about five calendar themes that you like to see hanging on your walls or going with you to appointments, or that you WISH existed to adorn and accompany your life.

(1) My handy dandy date planner. When I was serving at DLC, we always got one for each of the staff. In May, we would sit down and plan out the next year. I used that planner all the time. Since starting at a new call, I went and got myself a new handy dandy date planner.

(2) The calendar on my phone. It’s not really fancy but once it is in my phone, it is also transferred to the date planner. Hard to forget when it is in two different places.

(3) The inspirational calendars that my youth at DLC have been selling for several years. The pictures are fantastic. We always got a free sample so I would use that one in my office.

(4) Any fun calendar! Last year I bought myself a Gooseberry Patch calendar with recipes. It was fun. Sometimes I would get a calendar for Christmas from my sis…Precious Moments, kitties, etc.

(5) Hmmm I guess if I could have a calendar to WISH for it would be a calendar that would predict when I am going to find my Mr. Right etc!

Advent Friday Five

1. How are you? How can we pray for you? I am doing great! I am always asking for prayers for God to bring my Mr. Right into my life and to start a family etc. I am so ready but know that it will happen in God’s timing and not mine.

2. On another level, I am sure that many of you have treasured Christmas ornaments. Tell us about one of your more treasured, and why it is special. I have an ornament on my tree that is 5 moose sitting in a canoe. I had it engraved when I took some ladies from my last call to a town where they have this great Christmas event. A lot of us got that ornament and had it engraved. As I just began a new call, it reminded me of those sweet ladies. I also have a homemade snowball ornament that was given to me as a going away gift from a sweet lady. There are so many great ornaments on my tree and they all have such wonderful stories.

3. Since I have started in a new call in a new city, I have a new guilty pleasure called Shubies which is a store of wine, cheese, craft beer, gourmet foods, fun kitchen gadgets and more, besides a bakery/lunch counter. I am currently enjoying an (overpriced) kale-avocado-goat cheese pressed sandwich on cranberry sunflower seed wheat bread. O.M.GOODNESS. What is one of your current guilty pleasures? At this time of the year, it is anything cinnamom…Cinnamon candy canes. I also love to indulge in a little Eggnog at this time of the year as well.

4. I picked up a beautiful hank of handspun wool in heather grays and purples in October that I am sending my sister for her birthday this month. I have been looking forward to giving it to her. What is something (tangible or less tangible) you are looking forward to give in the next few weeks? I am excited to give my mom her gift. Since she is in a nursing home, my sister and I always really think out what we get here…little activity books, etc. This year I am excited to give her a portrait of me that I had done when the church did a photo directory. I bought a beautiful frame to go with so I am excited to give her that this year.

5. We must have random words for a random sentence or story, right? So, here are your words (or forms of) to use in a sentence or two: earth, cranberry, codfish, kettle corn, pitcher, love, joy, hope, peace, Santa, artist. The artist Santa ate codfish and cranberry kettle corn with the pitcher; a sign of love, joy, peace, and hope on Earth.

Prayerful Friday Five

Anne at RevGalBlogPals writes, “I am always grateful for the prayers of others, but I am especially touched when someone asks, “How may I pray for you? During this season of fullness, how may we pray for each other?”

So how may we:

  • Pray for you: It seems that the one thing I am always praying for is for God to bring Mr. Right into my life so that I can get married and start a family; two things that I yearn so deeply for. I wonder if and/or if it will ever happen to me. I know that it will happen in God’s timing and not my own but that is so often so hard to trust in. Prayers for me as I begin a new call are much appreciated too.
  • Pray for someone you carry on your heart: There are many who I carry on my heart. There are my friends who are battling cancer. There are my friends and family who daily struggle with mental illness. There are my many friends whose relationships are struggling. I truly could keep typing..for there are so many that I carry on my heart. Today and lately my heart has been carrying my dear friend Mike who has been going through a divorce and living away from his daughter. He is such a blessing in my life. I pray for peace and so much more for him.
  • Offer thanksgiving with you: My family finally being able to get their harvesting in. New life. New relationships. New jobs and so much more.
  • Ask God’s blessing in your life, or
  • Lift up anything else in your heart? There is so much I could lift up in the world. It seems the world is always so full of so much hatred, evil etc. I pray for God to show us his light especially in this season of Advent. I pray for peace, hope, love and so much more!
  • And how can I pray for you?

Thanksgiving Food Friday Five

1. Turkey: love it? hate it? self-basted? fry it or roast it? Tofu-turkey? Tell me more. (I’ve only had one roasted turkey come out totally delish so I’m fishing for your tips!) There is just something about eating Turkey on Thanksgiving. I don’t hate turkey but I wouldn’t say I love it either. I do like it though! And totally roast it.

2. Stuffing: bagged? homemade? sage? sausage? cornbread? oysters? nuts? Got any inspiration for me? I love, love, love STUFFING! Any kind of stuffing too. I have even been known to make Stovetop stuffing for supper. I know, I know, not the healthiest choice but it is such a comfort food for me.

3. Cranberries: When we celebrated Thanksgiving in Europe one year, our French friends thought we were nuts to choose a very sour berry and then load it with sugar. (Let alone the stuff that comes out of a can in a blob of gelatinous ooze!) What do you do with cranberries? Sorry I just cannot do cranberries!

4. Potatoes: (Boil ‘em, mash ‘em, stick ‘em in a stew…) What’s your pleasure? I’m a girl who loves carbs so potatoes are on the top of my list. I like them mashed. I like them in a stew. I like them fried. And I also love sweet potatoes…especially candied sweet potatoes.

5. Pie: I’m married to the Pie Man. Anything but coconut pie floats his boat. What do you make? (or buy?) Pumpkin? Pecan? Apple? I can’t remember the last time I made a pie. But I like just about any kind of pie…apple, pecan, cococonut cream and so much more. My fave is pecan though.

BONUS: A recipe that you’ve tried out and will make it to your table this year. I don’t cook the meal but if I were to bring something, I would probably bring some of my pumpkin muffins. I found these on Pinterest and they were such a big hit.

Pumpkin
Streusel Muffins
INGREDIENTS:
  • 2
    cups all-purpose flour
  • 1
    cup sugar
  • 1
    teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon
    ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon
    nutmeg
  • 1
    teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking
    soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1
    (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 1/2
    cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2
    large eggs
  • 2
    teaspoons vanilla extract
For
the cinnamon streusel topping
:
  • 1/4
    cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4
    cup brown sugar
  • 2
    teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2
    tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into bits
For
the glaze
:
  • 1/2
    cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1
    tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • 1-2
    tablespoons milk
DIRECTIONS:

Preheat
oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-cup standard muffin tin with paper liners; set
aside.
To
make the streusel topping, combine
flour, sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Add cold butter and toss to
coat, using your fingers to work the butter into the dry ingredients until it
resembles coarse crumbs.
In
a large bowl, combine flour,
sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda and
salt.
In
a large glass measuring cup or another bowl, whisk together pumpkin puree,
butter, eggs and vanilla.
Pour
mixture over dry ingredients and stir using a rubber spatula just until
moist.
Scoop
the batter evenly into the muffin tray. Sprinkle with reserved topping, using
your fingertips to gently press the crumbs into the batter.
Place
into oven and bake for 16-18 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center
comes out clean.

To
make the glaze, combine confectioners’ sugar, butter and milk. Whisk
until smooth. If the glaze is too thin, add more confectioners’ sugar as
needed.
When
the muffins are done, cool for 10 minutes and drizzle the glaze on each
muffin.
Allow
glaze to set before serving.

An Incredibly Random Friday Five

1. What’s up? How are you? I am getting for a transition. I have accepted a new call and am 9 days away from my last day at my current  call. So I am full of all sorts of emotions; happiness, sadness, joy, sorrow, etc. It is such a weird place to be and so very bittersweet but am ready for this new adventure and to be closer to my momma.

2.
If you were a Panda Bear that could speak O.k., even that is too random for me. You are moving to a new office. You can only take five books with you (pretend there is no thing such as kindle, nook, etc.). What would they be BESIDES teh Bible, which is already written on your hearts, yes? I laughed when I read this question because I am moving and getting a new office (as I stated in the above question). So if I had to pick five books besides the Bible, I would pick (1) Pastrix by Nadia Bolz-Weber, (2) The Wounded Healer by Henri Nouwen, (3)Vibrant Faith in the Congregation by Dr. David Anderson, (4) From Word to Sacrament: The History of the Diaconate–Dr. Duane Larson (5) One of my fave children’s books about being from the Prairie. I am blanking on the title and that bookshelf has already been packed away into boxes so I cant go check.

3. If you had a superpower that could give you a five hour retreat, and you could go anywhere in the world to spend those five hours on retreat (because you have superpowers, ya’ know?), where would you go? There are two places that I would go to; two of my favorite places on Earth; SuperAwesomeBibleCamp (aka Camp of the Cross in Western ND) and Wartburg Seminary. I haven’t been to WTS in so long and that is a holy place that I yearn to be at.

4. What piece of music, song, hymn, etc. are you diggin’ right now? One of my favorite Christian bands at the moment is For King and Country. But I also am diggin’ The Rend Collective Experiment. The Rend Collective reminds me of Mumford and Sons. And of course, Psalm 30 by Ben Larson always holds a special place in my heart too.

5. Use the following words in a sentence (or two): Tangle, dribble, hook, Panda, shark, smile, worry, island. The Panda will dribble a basketball with a smile on his face. The shark will worry especially when he seeks a hook that could tangle him up.

Super Power Friday Five

List five super powers that you use in your vocational life. This isn’t bragging. It’s naming the light that shines from your lamp stand.

(1) Being a positive smiley person. At least thats what I have been told. I’m not saying I don’t have bad days because I totally do!! When I was in college, a couple of friends nicknamed me “smiley” because they said I always had a smile on my face. It is totally a gift that I have been given by God.

(2) A baby whisperer. Ok I am not really one but I LOVE babies. And I jump at every chance I get to hold a baby or help out a family at church. A couple of years ago at our church dinner I helped out a family, took the baby and rocked him straight to sleep which is exactly what his momma had been trying to do.

(3) Writer/Preacher! I have been a writer ever since I can remember. I also never thought I would preach but I love that my collague lets me preach once a month. Lately I have gotten lots of compliments. Totally all the work of the Holy Spirit and I am glad to partner with the Holy Spirit here.

(4) A Master Packer! Ha! I have had way too much experience packing and helping others pack…through seminary etc. And now I am finding myself in the midst of a transition as I get ready to start a new call. Crazy to think that I actually am a pretty good packer! 😛

(5) Self-Care. I really try to take care of myself because it is so important. I try to work out and do Zumba a couple of times a week. I try to eat healthier…which Im not great at…but I keep trying! 🙂 I make sure to carve out time to spend with family and friends!

Whimsical Friday Five

Soooo… Let YOUR inner whimsy fly! List five characters, creatures, things or feelings YOU’D like to do the next time you have the opportunity to be in costume. Will you be biblical, Disney, vegetable, or historical? Will you make a political statement or just live out a fantasy? do tell!


I always struggled to come up with “cool” costumes. One year I decided to be a sandwich for Halloween. I dont remember much about the costume but remember that I tied two pillows to myself to make the bread. Looking back on it….it was pretty lame costume. As I’ve gotten older I have actually had a lot of fun thinking of costumes. When I was at seminary, there was always a Halloween party for the kids and they would trick or treat through the dorms. I loved that. I found some Princess Fiona ears at store and so I painted my face green and was Princess Fiona for Halloween. It is one of my fave costumes. Probably because I saw how much joy it brought the kiddos!

Another year I went as static cling!

(1) I think it would be fun to dress up as Hermione from Harry Potter. I love the books and just think it would be fun to dress up as one of the characters from the book.



(2) NEMO! I love the movie and think it would be incredibly fun to go as Nemo from the movie. I haven’t seen many Nemos so it would totally be out of the box.

(3) In this world of technology, I suppose it would be rather clever to go as a Facebook page or Twitter feed or something like that.

(4) One of the Veggie Tales would be so much fun!

(5) I cant think of any others? What are your best costume ideas?

Me as Princess Fiona

Triumphant Friday Five

List five triumphs – they can be professional (grew a youth program from 0 to 60 in 2 years) or they can be personal (she said yes). You can do a quick list or you can elaborate. They can be little (I avoided the office candy jar this week) or HUGE (I had to grind it out, but eventually I passed all of my ordination exams). It’s totally up to you. And if you’d like a bonus question: give us a fail (hmmmm) – but you don’t have to do that one if you’re too busy being triumphant.

(1) Finally getting my Driver’s License–It was right before I went to college. When it came time for my mom to get her driver’s license, her dad and her were almost in a bad accident which scared her. Mom never got her license until she was in her 20s. I was nervous too so it took me a little while to get my license too.

(2) Graduating seminary. It is one of my most blessed and triumphant experiences. To this day, I am so glad I stuck with it even when it was so difficult. It was also the first time I was more than a couple hours drive away from my family and friends!

(3) Having my first poem published in a poetry anthology. So cool!!! I have had a few poems also published in some publications like the seminary’s newsletter the Persistent Voice.

(4) Learning Zumba and sticking with it. I may not be the most coordinated person but it is something that I LOVE doing. I also have shed some pounds because of it. I am so close to being under 200 pounds and I cannot  remember the last time I was under 200…probably in jr high or high school.

(5) Professionally I have been blessed to serve at DLC. One of my triumphants there has been adding my own milestones that werent already part of their list of milestones. I love teaching the Faith Milestones and love that it helps equip homes and families to pass on faith and values!

BONUS: The one failure I immediately think of ties to my seminary experience of being triumphant. When I was at seminary, I really struggled with Systematic Theology. In fact, I took it three times. 🙁 The third time one of my professors realized I was an auditory learner so we did an independent study. We recorded our conversations and then I would go back and listen to them. At the end of the session, he asked me to bring in some friends and they got to share with me how I had grown. It was so cool. I am so thankful for Winston. I also am thankful for my seminary advisor Nate who supported me throughout my journey. I remember sitting in my endorsement interview where my candidacy committee asked me, “Why I had struggled so much with systematics etc?” I answered. I remember Nate saying, “Do you know how easy it would be for  Tara to walk out that door, shut the door, and never look back? It takes more guts to stick with it.” Those words have stuck with me!

All About Babies Friday Five

Today’s Friday is about babies. Tell us about babies in your life, of all kinds, even ideas!

Tell us about the babies you’ve paid attention to in your life:

1. babies of family or friends–Shout out to my friends L and B on their new baby girl M. Also shout out to my friends J and C on the birth of their new son D. And a third Shout to GirlWithBlog and her Husby on the announcement that they are expecting again. Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE babies. I am so ready to have babies of my own. Either I need to find my Mr. Right OR I need to simply adopt or do foster care. I love buying baby gifts for all my friends and families and their little ones! Babies are oh so sweet and remind me of the beauty of God’s creation.

2. animal babies–Baby calves. I love bottle feeding baby calves. I miss getting to do this more often than I do. Baby kitties. Baby monkeys. Any baby animal gets me!

3. babies you remember in movies or on tv–The twins born to Jesse and Rebecca on Full House. The current babies on Greys. Lots of babies seen on America’s Funniest Home Videos. Babies seem to be all over the place on tv and on movies when you think about it!

4. babies in the Bible–So many but the one that immediately sticks out in my head is Baby Jesus!

5. anything that may be a “baby” arising in your own life–Hmmm….I’ll have to think about this one!

Another Friday Five

1. How are you? What’s up with you? I am good. I had my wisdom teeth pulled on Monday so I didn’t go into work until Wed. I am thankful that my experience was a good one and that I wasn’t in much pain. I am excited to start our 3 year old Prayer and 3rd Grade Bible milestones this week. I am looking forward to our rostered leaders retreat Sun-Tuesday of this next week.

2. Last Saturday, I went to the outlet store and stocked up on underwear for the year. I love a bunch of new fresh underdrawers! I also love a cabinet full of paper towels. What silly thing makes you happy? Hmmm….Cinnamon gummy bears make me happy. New k-cups for my Kuerig. It seems like I am always trying new ones and I really don’t need new ones because I still havent finished the other ones I’ve tried.

3. Give a shout out to someone you love, appreciate, or want to thank! All my awesome friends and family. They are true blessings in my life! (Check out my blog post from a few days ago)

4. Miss Kansas has the Serenity Prayer tatooed on the side of her body. I sadly do not have a tatoo, and maybe you do, but if you were going to get a prayer tatooed on the side of your body, what would it be? I don’t think I will ever get a tattoo but if I did. I would probably put on the words “Psalm 30.” Psalm 30 holds a special place in my heart…and it would be a way to share and remember the story. When my friends Renee, Jon, and Ben were in Haiti during the earthquake, I was at the Diaconal Ministry formation event. My small group led worship on the day that we found out that Ben had died. We had Ben’s version of Psalm 30 playing as people entered into worship that day. “You turn our mourning into dancing.”

5. Use some or all or a form of the following words in a sentence: jello, kittens, mercy, dump-truck, tabuleh, terror, skipping, monkey, Rev. , health, and snoring. The skipping monkey ate jello with the kittens as the dump-truck drove by and saw the rev snoring under the tree.