Showing posts from July, 2013

Smoothie Secrets

I promised I would write a post with my smoothie secrets.  Here it is.

First of all, I have no special equipment.  My parents have a Blendtec, an awesome smoothie (and other food) maker that is used by Starbucks to prepare their frozen drinks.  It is really great, but also very expensive.  There are a lot of other blenders that are marketed specifically for smoothies, and they may be great, I don't know.  I have a Magic Bullet.  It's great for 1 serving, if you want to make larger quantities I'd spring for something else.  If I burn out the motor on this one, I may try the Nutri-Bullet.

Bananas make a smoothie "smooth" - I don't know why, but bananas greatly aid the consistency of a smoothie.  I try to buy over-ripe bananas, cut them into chunks and then flash freeze them to use in smoothies.  Unless I am completely out of bananas, they are in every smoothie. Another thing that makes a smoothie super-sooth is avocado (which you can freeze).Sneak in vegetables…

I'm a Naz-been

A few weeks ago, my cousin and friend, Karissa wrote a very insightful blog post regarding being a "Naz-been," or a former (recovering?) member of the Nazarene denomination.  She specifically spoke of the guilt associated with her growing up in the Nazarene church.  I agree with both her fondness of the church and her feelings of guilt.  However, I would say that my association with the church growing up was primarily one of fear.

I do not think that this atmosphere of fear was intentional, but it was there (at least for me) nevertheless. Because the Nazarene church theologically opposes the "Once Saved, Always Saved" doctrine taught by Calvinist churches, there was a lot of talk about "losing" your salvation.  Because of this, there was a great deal of fear that I might sin and not be saved anymore.  I was so fearful that I might die or Jesus might come back before I had asked for forgiveness for something and then I would go to hell.

I do not think th…

A teacher's reflection on the Trayvon Martin murder

I teach Trayvon Martin.  Not in the literal sense, but most definitely in the metaphorical sense.  I teach high school.  Trayvon Martin would fit right in walking the hallways of my school.  I can see him in my head - joking with his friends (probably too loudly), walking through the cafeteria, tray in hand, and yes, getting into trouble.  
It's what teenagers do.  
Get in trouble.  Push the limits.  Rebel against authority.  
It's normal. 
While I don't necessarily agree with it, marijuana use is common among high school students. 
Trayvon was not an abnormally rebellious teenager.  He was a normal one.  One who is exactly like many that I have taught.  
He probably didn't see the point of school.  
But I hope he had at least one teacher who cared about him.  I hope he had at least one teacher he cared about.  
My heart is saddened by both his death and the acquittal of the one who killed him.  
My sadness has nothing to do with his race.  It has everything to do with…

One Thing that Bothers Me

The George Zimmerman murder trial ended last night with an acquittal.  Without speaking of the outcome of the trial (yet), one thing that really bothers me about the discussion surrounding the trial is the seeming ignorance of race.  There are those who are saying that because Zimmerman is "hispanic" (although the correct term would be Latino) this murder trial has nothing to do with race.  This bothers me for two reasons:  1) It implies that it is no big deal if one minority murders another, and 2) "Hispanic" is not a race.

Zimmerman's ethnicity is Latino, but his race is white.  There are only 3 options when it comes to race:  White (Caucasian), Black (African), and Asian.  That's it.  Brown is not a race.  One can be Latino and white (like Zimmerman), Latino and black, or Latino and Asian or any combination of the previous options (see "mulatto" and "mestizo").

Latin Americans don't quite fit into the Census Bureau's neat li…

On this 4th of July

As I reflect on my (lack of) patriotic fervor today, I am reminded that our past (even the past that happened before we were born) continues to shape us in substantial ways.

I have never been what you would call patriotic. My family by no means discouraged patriotic feelings, but love of country was not a central value in our home. The central value was love of God, and love of God was not intertwined with love of country. We did not celebrate Independence Day in any special way, and although I'm sure we went to fireworks displays, it wasn't a family tradition.

I've always HATED the song, "God Bless the USA" by Lee Greenwood.  I don't know why - it has always just grated on my nerves.  In college I made the decision to no longer pledge allegiance to the flag - I just felt that pledging my allegiance to anything or anyone other than God just didn't feel quite right.  I've always exercised my right to vote, and although I may support specific candidate…

Raising a Reader

There are a lot of blogs and websites out there that talk about raising a reader, but as a librarian with a book-loving toddler, I thought I'd add my own advice.

BE a reader.  This is the most important one.  You cannot expect that your child will be a reader  if you aren't.  As the old saying goes, Values are caught, not taught.  This is especially true with reading, and it can't be faked.  Your love of reading will come through in every book you read with your child, and your child will see it and learn it.  Have lots of books.  This one seems a bit obvious, but it's important.  And not just children's books - that goes back to number 1 - your kid needs to see lots of different books about many different topics.  Read to your child every day.  The easiest way to do this is to make reading a part of your bedtime routine.  However, anytime your child brings you a book, read it for goodness' sake!  Reread.  And reread and reread and reread!  Seriously, you might…