honey

I’ve discovered that I love honey lattes. And I’ve discovered that it tastes just as good to order a regular latte and add honey yourself as it does to order a honey latte. When you order a honey latte you pay what you would for a flavored latte. When you add the honey yourself you just pay for the regular latte. Who doesn’t like saving 50 cents?

That is all.

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Construction update.

Good morning!

Confession: I’ve been using heavy whipping cream every morning this week in my coffee.

Question: Why is it that every coffee pot I’ve ever owned (or used) drips all over the place when I actually pour my coffee? Is it just me?

Update: I promised construction photo updates. I’m going to follow through. Now.

flat before

This is the space before construction...who doesn't want cinder blocks for walls right? dorm life here we come!

This is day two:

tyler

Tyler learns to build things with my dad and grandpa. Yes, my grandpa looks like Santa Claus.

hole

They cut a hole in the bathroom floor.

Day 3:

walls

Look! The walls are going up!

Great job Tyler!

Day 4:

insulation!

So yes. It’s coming along. Stay tuned!

 

construction….and john mark mcmillan

Wait…someone take a moment to document this momentous occasion (I guess the blog does that)…..I am blogging…at 8am. This is crazy. Tyler and I woke up early this morning and made our way to my brother’s house where the apartment construction is taking place. So far I haven’t joined in with the building. Mostly because I’m ridiculously clumsy and would probably hurt someone or myself. Also, the times that I haven’t spent building things (maybe 2 times?) I never quite got the hang of using a hammer. Pathetic? Perhaps. I just feel I’m gifted in other areas. 🙂

Rather than put on a pair of safety goggles I’ve opted to blog, read, write, and bake. Yes, bake. Don’t worry, there are plenty of folks here to eat the things I bake. I’m also listening to John Mark McMillan. I don’t know if I mentioned it here before, but I’m a huge fan of his album Good Medicine. Seriously. He’s such a poetic songwriter. I love that he writes worship songs with more than the same 10 words strung together in a slightly different order. For some reason a lot of folks have decided that they’re satisfied with music that isn’t creative.  McMillan is a breath of fresh air. I think my favorite song is Death In His Grave. A friend of mine wrote that his music is what Christian music should sound like. I agree.

So let me tell you about this new apartment. For the past year we have been renting an attic from our friends. It’s basically like renting a room. We share the kitchen and living room and the attic acts more as a bedroom/office. Anyway, it’s been an amazing time. We’ve really enjoyed getting to know our friends better. However, the time has come for a bit more privacy. We were going to look around for cheap apartments back in December, but my brother had a better idea. He and his wife proposed that they build a studio apartment in their basement. Now, this basement is one of those ones that doubles as a garage so one side opens up to the back yard. This means that it has windows! We’ll also have a little patio area. It’s going to be small, but it will have what we need. We’ll have our own kitchen, bathroom, and entrance.  AND when we leave for tour we’ll be able to rest easy knowing that my brother and sister-in-law are upstairs and our apartment isn’t just sitting empty for a month or so. It’s going to be lovely.

We’re taking pictures of the progress, so I’ll be sure to post them over the next week.

Have a lovely Sunday.

 

 

Why I like Mumford & Sons so much

I’ve posted about Mumford & Sons a lot, claiming that they have amazing music, but I’ve never really gone into detail about why I like them so much. Here are a few bullet points:

-Their instrumentation is remarkably simple, and it works extremely well. There are four members. They play upright bass, guitar, keys, and banjo. Every now and then the bass player switches to electric bass, the banjo player picks up an electric guitar, and the guitar player/lead vocalist opts for the mandolin. They all sing. The sound is full and beautiful.

-They cook on the road! Their set up is a bit more complex then a 12volt slow cooker which lets them create delicious meals.

-They write thought provoking lyrics. “Awake My Soul” is a great example. I suggest you check it out.

-I never want to skip a song on their record.

-Marcus (the lead singer) has a book club via a blog.

-They are incredible live.

-They seem quite friendly. Tyler made his way backstage at the show we went to. If you walk confidently past security they assume you’re allowed back there I guess. He had a nice conversation with King Charles (the opener) & Winston (the banjo player).

-They are connected to Soul Survivor. This makes me extremely happy.

My intention in this post is not to convince you that Mumford & Sons is the best band out there or that they are perfect. When you find great music you want to share. That is all.

If you do check them out, you must listen to Roll Away Your Stone. It’s my favorite.

-jenny

 

Homemade pasta!

Last night Tyler and I tried our hand at making homemade pasta. We recently purchased  pasta maker. It took us a little while to get the hang of it, but the end result was amazing! I don’t think I’ve ever had pasta that good. We went with angel hair (my favorite!) and tossed it in olive oil with garlic, tomatoes, basil, and fresh mozzarella. Delicious!

I didn’t know that making pasta would be so easy. It does take some time. You have to put the dough through the machine quite a few times to get the correct thickness for the noodles, and then you pass it through the appropriate setting for the type of pasta you want to make. Our machine makes angel hair, fettuccine, and lasagna noodles. I think you could make pasta without a machine, but you’d have to roll the dough until its really thin and I doubt you’d be able to cut the noodles small enough for angel hair. You could easily do it for fettuccine though.

I’m excited to try different recipes. We stuck with traditional pasta last night, but we’re going to try making wheat pasta or spinach. Yum!

In other news, I’ve been obsessed with the music of Laura Marling lately. You may want to check her out…

-jenny

O to grace how great a debtor daily I’m constrained to be…

Good morning friends.

It’s a dreary day in Nashville, but in a sort of beautiful way. Does that make sense? The greens and yellows in the grass seem to be a little brighter in the drizzle and the gray. And with good coffee within arm’s reach, it’s shaping up to be a good day.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about ice cream and what I can do with it. No, no, no, I’m just kidding. But in all seriousness I’ve been thinking a lot about Jesus and the gospel and what it all means for me. All of this thinking has led me to believe that I don’t think about this stuff enough. Tyler and I are reading through the Bible together *hopefully* in a year. Our campus minister at UD told us that you can read through the whole book in a year if you read 3 chapters a day and set aside one day per week for 4 chapters. We decided to start with the new testament and have read through Matthew, Mark, and Luke so far. It’s remarkable how fresh these books seem, even when I know I’ve read them many, many times.

We’ve been reading the same parables and words over and over again. And I’ve been convicted over and over again of how much I need grace and how unworthy I am of it. I think part of my problem is that I don’t think about grace enough. I”m not thankful for it like I should be. And when we stop thinking about grace, we start thinking that we’re just fine the way that we are. That we don’t actually need grace. That we don’t actually need Jesus. That’s a scary place to be.

I guess I’m writing this to say let’s focus on grace and what our response to it should be. Coffee is yummy, but this is a much better way to start my day.

-jenny

Healthy cookies?

If you’ve read much of my blog, you’ve probably gathered that I enjoy food. Specifically desserts and baked goods. I’m a huge fan of chocolate. Mmmm…

Due to my desire (or the reality that I am actually doing this) to bake delectable desserts as much as three times a week, I’ve decided to make a change. You see, all of that baking is pretty unhealthy. I’ve made a commitment to bake once every two weeks for the next few months. I know, that’s crazy, right?  It’s actually been hard. Is that pathetic? Probably yes.

Tonight I baked cookies. I was craving oatmeal chocolate chip cookies (I am not a raisin fan) but have been wanting to experiment with the whole “healthy” baking concept. So Tyler I looked up recipes that don’t include sugar (and no artificial sugar!) or butter. I found one that looked pretty good, so we gave it a shot.

Now, there is one important thing that you must do before baking a “healthy” version of a cookie or brownie or whatever it is that you’re going to make. You have to remind yourself that your cookie (or cake or brownie, etc) is NOT going to be just like the full fat version. This will be a version of the original—perhaps a cousin to it. If you want the final product to taste just like your favorite brownie or cookie, you will be disappointed. I mentally prepared myself for this before I began baking.

We decided to follow this lovely recipe. The recipe calls for honey instead of sugar (yum), and substitutes olive oil and applesauce for butter. We followed the recipe exactly, except we added lots of cinnamon, and used sorghum instead of molasses (we didn’t have any). Sorghum is kind of like maple syrup. And of course we used chocolate chips instead of raisins.

In the end, the cookies tasted completely different from an original oatmeal chocolate chip cookie, but in a very good way. You can really taste the honey and the cinnamon and I think that overall the flavor is really yummy and satisfying. So if you’re up for an experiment you may want to give the recipe a shot. Those of you opting for the delectable original, keep fighting the good fight!

-jenny

An inspiring evening…

Last night Tyler and I attended a benefit concert for The Contributor, a street paper in Nashville. The Contributor is sold by homeless or formerly homeless vendors throughout the city. They buy the papers at a low cost and then sell them for $1 to Nashvillians. The paper is filled with articles, poems, and short stories by homeless or formerly homeless writers. I started seeing folks selling the paper about 2 years ago and wondered how it worked. Soon after, we started buying the paper and reading the articles. We don’t always buy from the same vendor, but Tyler has gotten to know one specific vendor in East Nashville. Turns out, his work selling The Contributor has changed his life. He’s recently been able to find housing and is even getting married. We heard similar success stories at the benefit last night. It was a beautiful and emotional time. Best of all, the vendors who spoke about their success with The Contributor gave all the glory to the Lord.

Two of the best things about The Contributor is that it gives the homeless a voice and it puts a face to homelessness. Living in Nashville, we see homeless people all the time. So much so that you almost don’t notice it after awhile. What a sad place to be.  We tend to dehumanize the homeless because it makes us feel a okay about not doing anything.  It’s difficult to know what to do, but ignoring the situation certainly isn’t right.

It was an inspiring night. You can learn more about The Contributor here. Perhaps there is a street paper in your city? It might be worth finding out about and supporting.

And of course…the other great thing about last night’s event…THE MUSIC! I love living in Nashville. We get to hear such amazing music. Two stand outs for me last night were Robby Hecht and Angel Snow. Angel actually had a song on the MCU Family Christmas album. Check ’em out if you like!

Well, we’re off to shoot a music video this evening. We’re supposed to get snow tonight in Nashville so we’re going to start shooting at midnight in hopes of having snow in the video! I had an afternoon latte in preparation. 🙂

-Jenny

New Year’s Refreshment (there is no mention of food in this post! crazy!)

Hello friends.

I’ve been meaning to post some sort of New Year greeting for a few days now. In fact, I wrote a lengthy blog yesterday and didn’t end up posting it. It’s 2011 and we’re officially into a new decade. Where did the time go, right? I’ve heard a lot of my friends talking about their goals for this year or their resolutions and they’ve been asking me if I have any. I’ve never been much for New Year’s resolutions. I guess I’ve never really understood how we can choose one day out of the entire year and say, this is your day to start over. What makes that day different from any other? I know, it’s the beginning of a new year, so it is technically different, but I’ve never understood why Jan. 1st is our only “do over” day.

I was reading a few of my friends’ blogs yesterday when I stumbled across my friend Bethany’s latest post. Bethany and her family are missionaries in Nicaragua. Bethany pointed out that we can experience “New Year’s refreshment” every morning. She quoted Lamentations 3:23, “Great is His Faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh every morning.” The Lord gives us a fresh start every morning. What an encouragement.

I don’t know what the new year holds for us, but I do know that God is good. Maybe that’s all I need to know. That sounds so incredibly cheesy, but I honestly can’t think of another way to say it. Bask in this truth friends!