Saturday, August 31, 2013

Chess Pieces of Life

If you have been reading my blog for a while then you read this post here about stepping into the highest calling God has for me and going back to get my Masters to be a Child Life Specialist. The first necessary step was to the take the GRE. I signed up a couple weeks ago and then took it on Friday. What I thought would be a normal day turned out to be a faith building event....

I had Friday off of work as the family I nannyed for was headed to Tennessee for Dollywood to make use of the Labor Day weekend. That gave me the day to sleep in, review concepts, and rest before taking this humongous test that I was terrified of. (ex. I don't do well with tests, it makes my stomach hurt sooo bad and I get shakes) I also had friends coming up from Florida to stay with me since the daughter was competing in a soccer tournament near my house.

As I cleaned and got ready for the guests to arrive many people called me, texted me, and prayed over me for the test. I am forever grateful to these people because I am sure that is what helped to keep me so calm that day. Just another reminder of how God uses other people in your life to remind you of the love and care he has for you.

Anyways my friends got in and I had about an hour left before I needed to leave to head down there. We chatted for a bit and I reviewed a little more and then got my stuff ready. They decided they would hang out at the house until I got done taking the test. I left early as I was worried I might hit traffic and just wanted to be on the safe side. They prayed over me before I got in the car and headed down. Traffic on the highway was clear as day but then getting off took a bit of time, but not to worry I left early enough to get there early. I got there around 4:30, went to the bathroom and then went to check in. After filling out a piece of paper saying that I was me and that I was taking my own test I sat down and waited for my named to be called. I sat for about 20 minutes when I heard my name.

"Miss Robinson?"

I got up confidently and went to the door where the lady was standing.

"Do you have another form of ID that is not expired?" -- dumb look on my face and then realization hit me.
"Probably not with me but at home"
"Well I cannot test you with out an unexpired form of ID."

BOOM. HEART SANK. In my head was 1,000 thoughts. I just paid 185 dollars and they wont let me take the test. Crap traffic is a mess it's gonna take me forever to get home. Holy cow how could I have been this dumb.

(Side Story - I misplaced my drivers license about a month ago and have not gotten around to getting another one. Any time I have been ID I have just used my military ID from when I was still in college and was allowed to have one, that one expired in the only form of id I had was my passport, which was at home.)

As I went to the front desk to talk to the gentlemen I explained that I had my passport at home, and if I could go get it and bring it back and still take the test. This was his response.

"You can have till 5:30, then we can't allow you to test"

OH NO. Rush hour traffic, it took me 20 minutes to get here...doing the math in my head amongst questioning why this is happening to me I took a breath and got on the phone immediately. My friend Patrick was at my house still and I needed him in this clutch moment. He answered the phone and I talked as I was panicking about the situation. He went in my not clean room and found my passport and headed down as fast as he could. I decided to meet him at the gas station right off the exit so that I could just get back to the place as fast as I could. The clock was moving and I only had 30 minutes to get back there to take my test.

He ended up getting to me at exactly 5:20 and after looking on my maps I found a back way to get to the testing center and needed the roads to be clear so I could make what would have been a 10 minute trip into 5. After breaking many laws and do not enters and one road ways, I was able to make it to the center in 3 minutes. I got out of my car in my maxi dress and ran as fast I could into the building with my passport.

(All the while no one knew what was going on and people were sending me prayer texts thinking I was in the test... I was a mess)

I walked back in sat down at the ladies desk and she looked up at me and said.

"I already marked you as a no show."

------------------Head in hands and tears about to emerge--------------------

I said "The guy told me I had until 5:30 to get back here, I have to take this test"

She looked at me and said "Well what you are going to have to do is take the test in less time"

As she said this I perked up to listen to what she had to say. Which was basically it was like my test started at 5 but I missed 24 minutes of it so I couldn't get those back, if I finished a section early, I needed to move on and not take any of the breaks. After agreeing that it was totally ok and that I was a fast test taker she signed me in and got me to a computer.

A lot had happened in an hour and I had not even started the test.

As I sat there I took a moment to pray and had a talk with God telling him that he had to come through for me in this moment, for stamina, and knowledge and peace.

The test was long for sure, but I finished every section early and just prayed through the entire process. When I had about 2 sections left I was getting weak but took a moment to lay my head down and know that in another hour or less I would be done and I would know my tentative results.

At the end of the test, I clicked through everything and finally got the page I wanted to see.

VERBAL : 150


My heart dropped. I got the scores. Not only got the scores but my math was 4 points higher then I needed it to be. I quietly clapped my hands and couldn't click through fast enough to get out of there and go be happy after all that happened that day.

To say it was faith building is an understatement, I know God never gives you something you can't handle, He knew I could, He just needed me to have full faith in him.


Friday, August 30, 2013

High 5 for Friday

Crazy week to say the least, all coming to head tonight when at 5pm I sit in front of a computer and take a test that helps determine my future....the GRE. I guess I am as prepared and I am going to be but if you read this and think of me around then please say a prayer for peace and knowledge.

With all that here is my 5 for Friday!

 photo H54Fbutton-1_zpsa7aaa665.png

1. With the kids in school the Nanny to Do list is always a fun time and you never know what you get to do. On Monday I got to build this bench for the hallway. I just need to get some paint and we are going to have the kids decorate with their handprints.

2. Obvious GRE study brain when I was driving and realized that I never put the cap back on or closed my gas tank on the nanny van....

3. Abby was my mentee when I was in college and one of my best friends and I love her dearly. Driving home from Bible Study Wednesday I decided to call her and we talked for around an hour and I am always so blessed by what she has to say.

4. Milo Man and I with our rendition of Paris in Fall. I put the Eifel Tower up a while ago with some sconces but as the fall rolls around so does all the decorations in this house.

5. Due to not wanting to study and not feeling tired enough to go to sleep, and my best friend Patrick coming into town this weekend with his mom and sister, I made these bad boys, Soft Pumpkin Cookies with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting, you can find the Post here. They are a part of my Fall Baking List which goes into full swing on Sunday! 
Now time to clean, go take some dogs to a kennel and then freak out a little bit before 5pm gets here.

Pumpkin Cookies with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

We are now 2 days away from September which means we are only 22 days away from the first day of fall....YES!

I am coming into my prime slowly but surely and have now completed the third thing off of my Fall Baking List!

Today I bring to you the product of not wanting to think about taking the GRE.... Soft Pumpkin Cookies with a Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting.

I bake when I am stressed and I had just about had enough of looking at big vocabulary words and math problems for the day so I started baking.

The original pin for this is on my Fall Baking Pinterest Board and you can find it here!

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup softened butter
1/2 cup softened cream cheese
2-3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
Start by preheating that oven to 350, you know when you preheat the oven that it starts to feel good, cause glory is about to happen!
Then take the Flour, Baking Powder, Baking Soda, Ground Cinnamon, Ground Nutmeg, Ground Cloves, and Salt and mix them together in a bowl, and set aside. (And if you are me, make sure you got your Frank Sinatra Pandora list going on in the background)
In another bowl, take that 1/2 cup butter and white sugar and cream them together. (Jenny mistake, my butter was not softened -_- can we say over eager baker? Make sure you soften it ok? Ok.)

Now comes the reason we are all here. Add that glorious Pumpkin. Oh Pumpkin how you amaze me with your ways. Welcome back for this season, you have been so missed.

Add the egg and the vanilla as well and mix that all together!

Then slowly....don't get too excited, start to add the flour mixture bit by bit until all is right with the world and you have a lovely batch of pumpkin cookie dough.*drooling is acceptable*

 Get your cookie sheets out and if you are like me and do most things just like mom did I put tin foil down because that means you have a much easier clean up. Spray that pan with some non-stick cooking spray.

Drop a tablespoon of cookie dough for each cookie. (SIDE NOTE: What you drop is what you get, if you are like me and just dropped some because you couldn't wait to get to eat them, then they will bake just like that. On my second batch I greased up my hands and actually made the cookies a more uniform shape, it's up to you how you want to do it)

Place them in the oven and let them bake for 15-20 minutes until perfection arises. While they are baking it's ok to sit down, relax, and just breathe in all that cinnamon and pumpkin smell.

Pull them out and set them on cooling racks to be completely cooled.

See more uniform cookies up top and to the bottom what I like to call more Avant Garde...

While those beauties are just cooling, get all of your items together to make what could possible lead to my death with the greatness of it.

Take the butter (note butter softened this time!) and cream cheese and cream them together in a bowl.

Then slowly add 2-3 cups of powdered sugar about 1/2 cup at a time so that it doesn't produce too much of a mess, but what is baking without a little mess! I think I ended up with 2 1/4 cup sugar.

Then comes the best part add some vanilla and the ever so great cinnamon and transform that from any old cream cheese frosting to the wonderful Cinnamon Cream Cheese frosting.

Frost those beauties and partake in the wonderful that is everything fall should ever be!

PS - Keep an eye out for these little buggars who attempt to thwart your plans by partaking in a cookie by their own accord.....
Don't forget to go check out all of the recipes I have already created on my Fall Baking List Here.
You can find the pin for this cookie Here.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

August Cara Box!

I love the Cara Box Exchange that Wifessionals puts together every month, but I am excited for the new change to move it to 4 times a year, to let us get to know our partners and put a better box together for them.

Cara Box
I was paired with the lovely Cait from My Life as a Long and had such a good time putting her box together. She is married and lives in Tennessee and loves fall, which I found to be an instant connection. She already has her fall decorations up and actually is part of the reason that I had the confidence to start putting my stuff up already as well. I hope that she enjoyed her box. You can see what I sent her here.

I was also paired with Alissa over at iAManRD. Alissa is engaged and we had a great time chatting over email and getting to know each other. I love following her blog she often posts a lot of great things about eating well and considering I am always attempting to do so it helps me a ton. She did fantastic making my box and I just loved opening my mail to see it sitting there all ready for me!

She obviously caught on to my love for fall which just made me so excited!!!
- Autumn Cling Ons - I know these are for the windows but I put them on the fridge and they look so cute there.
- J stick on letter - not sure where I am putting this yet but I can guarantee I will find a craft to incorporate it soon.

- Fall Oven Mitt and Towel - I got this box the day I was making my Apple Pie so I definitely put both of these to use making a fall treat immediately.

- Candy Corn Lollypop - Who doesn't love a good candy!

- $10 Michaels Gift Card - Speaking straight to my crafting heart, I cannot wait to go and see what I want to get with the gift card, I am sure I will put it to such good use!

Thank you so much again Alissa, I just absolutely loved my box!


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A Letter to Myself

A lot of changes are coming in my life, big ones that affect me in major ways. I am known to get stressed way to easily and make myself sick worrying about things. I decided to write this letter to myself to look at whenever I feel like I need a lift up.

Hey girl,

I know you're super stressed right now. But I want to remind you of a few things.

1. Your predicament is only momentary, you won't be living paycheck to paycheck every day of your life. So for now just remember that you have all the necessities and a little extra. Just remember that one day it will all come to fruition and learn to live in the small things.

2. You will make it. I know that this test seems like it's going to be impossible, but you are a really smart girl. You can do it, and you can pass. Don't allow yourself to get psyched out from thoughts swirling around in your head. Just remember to pray and do your best, cause that's the best you can do.

3. The future is not in your control. You know who your maker is and you know who has full control over your life. You are not promised tomorrow, so make sure that you do not miss the opportunities right in front of you today, worrying about tomorrow. God has it all under control and he knows exactly what is going to happen. Rest in that.

4. Breath. Don't forget to take those moments, light your candles, put on your relaxation music and just lie on the couch. That doesn't make you lazy or unproductive, it makes you better. You need time to unwind, make sure you allow yourself to actually do that. You do so much for others don't forget about yourself.

5. You only need to please 1 person. God. No one else, not your family, not your friends. As long as what you are doing brings Glory to God then you are doing what you are suppose to. Don't worry about what others think or what they themselves are doing. You do you girl.

6. One day this will all make sense. When you look back 1 year, 5 years, and 10 years for now you will get the opportunity to see the little chess pieces that God has moved around to have you exactly where he needs you in that moment. It will be a good day and you will get to read stuff like this and remember that it all worked out and you didn't need to stress about it.

In the end, you are beautiful, smart, funny, creative, loving, caring, and the list goes on and on. Never ever forget that my love.


Monday, August 26, 2013

Pre Fall Baking - Butter Crumble Apple Pie

I needed to bake this reason, like really needed to, not a want but a need.

So I did! My first ever apple pie. I got my recipe here at The Country Cook which I have found as such a cute blog, and followed along exactly to get one amazing pie!

This is another of my pre-fall baking projects as I get ready to tackle the list that I have. At the top you can click my Fall Baking List section to see what else I have done and what my plan is for the Fall, September 1st is only 6 days away, so I am getting mentally prepared. Luckily with the best roommate ever, I am  putting up fall decorations here and there every day. She constantly comes out and goes "what did you add today?" She is a great sport though.

With that being said here is the Butter Crumble Apple Pie.

1 (9inch) pre made pie crust or make your own. I used this recipe here.
6 Granny Smith Apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
1/4 cup All-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
Butter Crumble:
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 stick butter room temperature
I use the recipe she had linked for the pie crust on the bottom, it's super simple, but I think my next pie I am going to attempt to use a crust with butter, it just makes it that much better.

I squished that thing to the best of my ability and couldn't for some reason get the crust to do a little crimping at the top so I just left it as is. Put it in the fridge to let it set while you do the next step.

 Then I took the 6 apples peeled them and then cut around the corn and sliced them into thin slices, and added the cinnamon, sugar, and flour.

Then I poured the batch of apples into the pie pan and made sure it all laid as flat as I could get it. 

Then I made the crumble with the flour, butter, and sugar (man what a combination) and spread it all over the top.

Put it in the preheated oven for 45 minutes grab a mason jar with some lemonade and enjoy a good book or tv show while your house starts to smell soooooo divine.

Pull that joker our and just marvel at the beauty of all your hard work.

Not gonna lie when I was doing this I was so nervous that it wasn't going to turn out good. I ate a slice with some vanilla ice cream about an hour later and it was really good, my roommate liked it as well and so did her boyfriend, so it was definitely a successful baking item for the fall!

Don't forget to pin my Fall Baking List Pin and this new pin for the pie!


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

My Roomates Boyfriend...

Is a very healthy guy. Like for real. Very regimented when it comes to his food intake and his workouts and everything. Yes he has the occasional apple pie that I make but other then that he is on point and I am so in awe. Last night my roomie decided she wanted to start to get healthy so he came over and laid it all out on the table of what she needed to do. I was in the living room lying on the couch with my plethora of candles lit and my relaxation Pandora station going and listening to the whole thing. Of course I gave my two cents every 5 seconds just to be funny because hello that's me. But I was really taking everything in and to heart.

I know that everything comes with time and if you just change one aspect of your life at a time eventually it will all work together.

So for lunch today I am making Skinny Tastes, Chicken Thighs with Artichoke hearts (and sundried tomatoes)
I found the recipe HERE looking through one of my favorite sites online for healthy recipes.

My mouth immediately watered and I knew that I needed to make this so I went out and got all the ingredients and made it happen.

Here are the progression pictures as I prepared it.

Have you ever seen this beauty right here??

My boss uses this stuff all the time, perfect for when you want some rice but don't have 1800 years to cook it. Basically you pull the cup out, pop open the top a tad and put it in the microwave for 1 minute and then ta-da perfectly cooked rice.

All together with rice and two pieces of chicken and goodness you looking at around 450 calories. Not to shabby!


Monday, August 19, 2013

Parties, Karaoke, and Fall Weather!

This weekend consisted of long nights and fun times!

Friday as soon as I got off work I headed home to change before going down to Atlanta for a birthday party for Andrew, who serves with me in Passion Kids. We went to Fellini's which is a pizza place and sat outside, it was feeling fantastic! After we all ate I pulled out the pound cake I made the night before, I was really nervous how it turned out since this was my first time ever making pound cake. But to my delight everyone thought it was super good and raved about it. I was one happy Jenny.

After Fellini's we headed to Happy Karaoke which is a Korean Karaoke place, and it's an experience that I think every person should have at one point in their life. Basically its you and all of your friends in a room with a tv and some microphones and just about every song known to man, and you just go as long as you want and then pay at the end. It's a ton of fun.

After Karaoke we headed back to our cars and we rode in Haylie's really cool car with the top down, and it was so much fun. It was super cold because of the fall weather that decided to grace us with it's presence and my hair was out of control, but going down 85 singing at the top of our lungs makes the night that much more fun.

We were all just going to head home when Haylie said she didn't want to stop hanging out so we decided to head to Steak and Shake, it was already 1am at this point so we were all like, what the hey, why not. We stayed there till around 2:30 and then when I started to fall asleep at the table I figured it might be time to stay home. Don't worry I was awake the whole way home but got in at 3 and slept really good that night. I still got up at 9.... which is dumb but story of my life.
Saturday I got up and got ready to head out with Lindsey for our roomie Saturday, we decided to go out to Longhorn which is where her boyfran works and have lunch there. After I was done getting ready, I noticed just how long my hair has gotten. My hair grows at a very fast pace and you can ask anyone who knows me, I have had every length of hair imaginable. This was my hair in 2011, last year, and then the picture I took this year....crazy. grows fast.

And as per usual our roomie Saturday selfie.

Saturday night I babysit my kiddos so that my bosses could go on a date, which is always super easy and fun since they are my kids and I know the drill.
Sunday was a sleep in day for me. My church is practicing Sabbath for two weeks. We do it every year to allow everyone time to rest and get ready to start another school year. It's a beautiful thing that I am so glad our leadership does as an example to our whole church. So I slept in for a while and then got up and decided to go and do a walk/run. I also weighed in on Sunday and was .5 lbs lighter, woot woot. My run went great, my pace was trimmed down by 12 seconds since the last time I ran it and I felt really good.

Linking up with these fantastic groups today!

Sami's Shenanigans

Hope you had a fantastic weekend!