Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The newest project

Here is a picture of the latest project I am working on. I am hardly creative, so this project has been quite frustrating for me. Ugghhhh!

My friends baby's name is Tyler. She was born about a week ago, and I am painting letters for the nursery....that is, if what I am doing in fact goes with the nursery she has put together. The "T" and the "L" are experimental. I think I am going to sand down the "T", and just to polka dots to outline the letters instead of doing willy-nilly polka dots. My eyes tend to like uniformity quite a bit instead of chaos. I don't know, I'm too tired to think right now. What do you think?

UPDATE: I just changed the letters to look like this. Two letters will be painted like the "E", and three will look just like the "R". I think this is a better plan!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Doctorate in Education

I decided to pursue the Doctorate in Eduction - under one stipulation......that I wouldn't have to take out students loans. The whole program costs about $40k, which is quite a bit of money. I still have a VERY small residual student loan out from a number of years ago and don't like it very much. So, here's the deal, if I can get into a TA program or a Research Assistantship Program at Sacramento State (which they currently do not offer), I'm gonna bite the bullet and go for it. There is little to no government funding for those of us that want to pursue higher education, which sucks BIG TIME. I guess I leave it up to God, cause there's nothin' I can do except be the squeaky wheel.

I had a pretty in-depth conversation with the director of the program yesterday, and he said that he's going to talk to the graduate studies department to see if there is anything they can offer, but until then, I sit and wait. I will email him in a month to check and see if he has gotten any further with it. I was very frank on the phone and said simply that we can't afford it, and that loans weren't an option for us. I don't think it's wise to take out $40k in loans at this point in our lives. So, that leaves me with the option of a TA program or Research Assistantship Program. Come on God, open one up please - oh yeah, and an divine acceptance would be good too (sometimes those TA programs and Research Assistantship Programs are fairly competitive.....I have been accepted to one before that was highly competitive, but that was a whole different situation).

Ducks need to be lined up, and God knows what needs to be done in order for me to get there. So now, I study for the GRE, and wait!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Expensive Decisions

For those of you who actually read this blog - which I think is down to maybe 3 people now (despite the HIGH amount of traffic my blog gets, only 3 people comment regularly), but you know that I have been trying to figure out if I want to go back to school for a PhD, EdD or another Master's Degree. Something inside of me is telling me that my education is not over. The other 'something' inside of me says that I simply don't want to put that much effort into an education that I may not use when we start to foster or adopt children. But, there is this nagging feeling, and has been for the last 4 years since I completed my Masters Degree, that I'm not done. In the last 4 years, I have ordered information from college's all around the country that offer doctoral degrees. I have also sent numerous emails to people trying to get more information, only to correspond back and forth, then lose interest because the effort is SO great for these programs.

The most recent program is the EdD program at Sacramento State. This program is nice because it is tailored to folks who are working full time. The classes are minimal - on Friday nights and all day Saturday's. The downside - the program is an additional 60 units, which would take me 3 more years - YEAR ROUND!!!! I would not be able move for 3 years if I start this program, and did I mention that it would take 3 WHOLE YEARS - - - - - - - - YEAR ROUND? I am finally coming to a point that I need to stop wavering back and forth and come to a decision.

Here's the kicker - I know that I will be disappointed in myself if I do not go "all the way" and get that doctoral degree. I will be settling because I don't want to put in the effort to get that additional degree. So, what do I do?

The program is quite inexpensive, but still out of our price range. It's $12k a year. That's an additional $40k, which is a bargain for a doctoral degree, but QUITE expensive for us. Unfortunately the government, with all of the money they give away for school, does not take into account how much you paid for you house, and how much it costs to live per month. Ugghhhh! I've got a lot to think about. Any suggestions?

Sunday, July 20, 2008

I can't even think straight!

Have you ever been so damn irritated that you can't even think straight? That's where I am right now. I think I need a glass of wine and should probably go hang out in the hot tub...alone!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The wonders of a young star...

I just read these quotes from Misha Barton:

"It kind of irritates me that I'm seen as this pretty face. People also say I'm too thin. The truth is pretty people aren't as accepted as other people. It comes with all these stigmas."

Uh, yeah - Miss Barton, studies have proven that "pretty people" as you call them are MORE accepted as other people AND have more opportunities than other people. Get an education and stop being so ignorant! This leads me to my second quote from this "pretty person":

"I do intelligent roles. I don't want to be labeled as doing silly movies. I'm more mature than kids my age because I'm constantly surrounded by adults."

Why does she HAVE to mention that she is "MORE MATURE" than "KIDS" her age? Uh yeah, if you have to tell people that you are mature means that you probably aren't or it means you are aspiring to be more mature, but in fact haven't achieved this yet. I have heard countless people say this (remember, I come in contact with late teens, early 20-something's constantly because of teaching and hear this all the time). But uh, yeah - if the phrase, "I'm so mature" or any variation of that has to be spoken, it means you're probably not. If someone really is that grown up beyond their years, it wouldn't need to be talked about, their maturity will shine through. (My students say this crap all the time, and their actual maturity level amazes me - but then again, I am the one making the judgement, so I could be wrong here because I have limited contact with these young-ins).

I have come in contact with some of the most mature people I have ever met in the last year or so. This last summer session I instructed, there was a 17 year old girl who was one of the most mature 17 year olds I have ever met. She never once mentioned that she 'thought' she was mature, even in our long conversations after class which we had quite often, but her behavior screamed that she was much older than her age. In fact, when meeting her I remember thinking that she was probably in her mid-twenties - not because she looked it, but because she acted it.

I remember saying things like this when I was in my late teens, primarily when I was 16 or 17. Looking back on it now, I should have embraced my immaturity and shortly after turn 18 or 19, I can't remember now, I remember telling people that I was going to be a Toys-R-Us kid forever. Even now I simply didn't want to grow up. I strongly embrace my immaturity even now. Plus, being 'mature' is no fun and mature people bore me. But, I guess if I have to tell people that I am embracing immaturity, does that mean I'm not? Or does that mean I'm trying too hard?

I don't ever wanna grow up - never, never, never!

Thanks for letting me rant about one Miss Misha Barton! :)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


One of our neighbors was planning on selling her house. She fixed it up a bit, and put it on the market about a year ago. We just spoke to her today and she said she isn't going to sell the house, rather 'spend the rest of her days' there. Selling the house concerned me a bit because her driveway is right outside the masterbedroom window. If professionals moved in there, they would be leaving for work at o'dark-hundred in the morning and wake me up. Purely selfish - I am SO glad that she is going to stay. It's a 5 bedroom house, 3 stories, and would attract a seriously large family coming in and out all day long. At least for the next 5 - 10 years we will have a great neighbor. Today I gave her some home grown tomatoes for her sandwiches that she eats everyday. And, we got to talking, and she's going to teach me how to sew. It's a favorite pass time for her. I'm excited to get to know her better. Maybe, eventually, I can talk to her about God. One can hope that the door for that is opened right?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

It pays to look....

Yesterday Shawn and I went out for lunch. We happened by the Thrift Shop near the little place we were going for lunch. We had NO IDEA there was a thrift shop near where we were going. I wondered in there to kill 30 seconds because Shawn wanted to get a menu from a nearby restaurant and discovered that they had a GREAT set of china there for $50. It was service for 10, with one piece missing. All the rest of the pieces were in good shape, except one, which I discovered today had a chip. No biggie, since one piece was missing anyway, we have true service for 9. An odd number, but hey, our table doesn't even fit 9 people, so we've got it covered.

Well, the best part is, all of their kitchen ware was on sale for 50% off. Now I know I know - I could have gave them the whole $50, because, you know, it's for charity right? But, I wouldn't have paid $50 for a used set of china. So, we paid $25 for it (I will give extra money to missionaries next month to make up for it, I promise). I told Shawn that even if we didn't decide to keep it we could just donate it back to the Thrift shop. Now we have a great set of china for when company comes over (because I simply will not use the china my mom traded me for our wedding. It's too nice!). Yeah. What do you think?????? I actually looked it up online and it's quite an expensive set of china. Each 5 piece setting is around $36.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Healthy Yumminess

I don't usually endorse products, but I MUST tell you about these baked goods. You can find the products HERE! These cookies are from the Rising Dough Bakery. Just look at the nutritional facts. 200 calories, 4 grams of fat and a WHOPPING 10 grams of dietary fiber (this is for the Double Chocolate Chip version - other varieties have differences in nutritional info.). But let me tell you, the Double Chocolate Chip Cookie is absolutely amazing. It tastes like a brownie - no lie! Especially if you warm them up a bit. I eat one of these for lunch almost everyday - and for a late night snack if I feel so inclined. Each time I order I get two boxes (free shipping). They are awesome!!!!! Even my mom liked them, and that lady hates just about anything healthy....lol. I have tried the other varieties, and they are good too, but I keep coming back to the Double Chocolate Chip Cookies. Man cannot live by bread alone - but no one said man can't live by Double Chocolate Chip Cookies alone.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Jesus in Question.....

This article from cnn.com raises some interesting questions.

A 3-ft.-high tablet romantically dubbed "Gabriel's Revelation" could challenge the uniqueness of the idea of the Christian Resurrection. The tablet appears to date authentically to the years just before the birth of Jesus and yet — at least according to one Israeli scholar — it announces the raising of a messiah after three days in the grave. If true, this could mean that Jesus' followers had access to a well-established paradigm when they decreed that Christ himself rose on the third day — and it might even hint that they they could have applied it in their grief after their master was crucified. However, such a contentious reading of the 87-line tablet depends on creative interpretation of a smudged passage, making it the latest entry in the woulda/coulda/shoulda category of possible New Testament artifacts; they are useful to prove less-spectacular points and to stir discussion on the big ones, but probably not to settle them nor shake anyone's faith.

The ink-on-stone document, which is owned by a Swiss-Israeli antiques collector and reportedly came to light about a decade ago, has been dated by manuscript and chemical experts to a period just before Jesus' birth. Some scholars think it may originally have been part of the Dead Sea Scrolls, a trove of religious texts found in caves on the West Bank that were possibly associated with John the Baptist. The tablet is written in the form of an end-of-the-world prediction in the voice of the angel Gabriel; one line, for instance, predicts that "in three days you will know evil will be defeated by justice."

Such "apocalypses," often featuring a triumphant military figure called a messiah (literally, anointed one), were not uncommon in the religious and politically tumultuous Jewish world of 1st century B.C. Palestine. But what may make the Gabriel tablet unique is its 80th line, which begins with the words "In three days" and includes some form of the verb "to live." Israel Knohl, an expert in Talmudic and biblical language at Jerusalem's Hebrew University who was not involved in the first research on the artifact, claims that it refers to a historic 1st-century Jewish rebel named Simon who was killed by the Romans in 4 B.C., and should read "In three days, you shall live. I Gabriel command you." If so, Jesus-era Judaism had begun to explore the idea of a three-day resurrection before Jesus was born.

This, in turn, undermines one of the strongest literary arguments employed by Christians over centuries to support the historicity of the Resurrection (in which they believe on faith): the specificity and novelty of the idea that the Messiah would die on a Friday and rise on a Sunday. Who could make such stuff up? But, as Knohl told TIME, maybe the Christians had a model to work from. The idea of a "dying and rising messiah appears in some Jewish texts, but until now, everyone thought that was the impact of Christianity on Judaism," he says. "But for the first time, we have proof that it was the other way around. The concept was there before Jesus." If so, he goes on, "this should shake our basic view of Christianity. ... What happens in the New Testament [could have been] adopted by Jesus and his followers based on an earlier messiah story."

Not so fast, say some Christian academics. "It is certainly not perfectly clear that the tablet is talking about a crucified and risen savior figure called Simon," says Ben Witherington, an early-Christianity expert at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Ky. The verb that Knohl translates as "rise!," Witherington says, could also mean "there arose," and so one can ask "does it mean 'he comes to life,' i.e., a resurrection, or that he just 'shows up?' " Witherington also points out that gospel texts are far less reliant on the observed fact of the Resurrection (there is no angelic command in them like the line in the Gabriel stone) than on the testimony of eyewitnesses to Jesus' post-Resurrection self. Finally, Witherington notes that if he is wrong and Knohl's reading is right, it at least sets to rest the notion that the various gospel quotes attributed to Christ foreshadowing his death and Resurrection were textual retrojections put in his mouth by later believers — Jesus the Messianic Jew, as Knohl sees him, would have been familiar with the vocabulary for his own fate.

Knohl stands by his reading. "The spelling and the phrasing is unique," he told TIME, "but it is similar to to other texts found around the Dead Sea." Yet for now, at least, Gabriel's Revelation must take its place among a slew of recently discovered or rediscovered objects from around the time of Jesus that are claimed to either support or undermine Scripture but are themselves sufficiently, logically or archaeologically compromised to prevent their being definitive. In 2002, a bone-storage box with the legend "James Son of Joseph Brother of Jesus" bobbed up that seemed to buttress Jesus' historicity while at the same time suggest that the Catholic teaching that he had no true brothers was false — but the Israeli Antiquities Authority declared the inscription as a forgery (although various experts continue to disagree). In 2007 the Discovery Channel aired a documentary (funded by Titanic director James Cameron) that purported to have located the "Jesus Family Tomb" in the Israeli suburb of Talpiot, with bone boxes with the names "Jesus Son of Joseph," "Mary" and one of the names of Mary Magdalene. If the ossuaries were for the gospel Jesus, his mother and Mary Magdalene, then the implications for Christianity would be dire; but despite considerable initial hoopla, the idea is regarded by many as speculation.

It remains to be seen whether Gabriel's Revelation, and especially Knohl's interpretation, will weather the hot lights of fame. Even the authors of its initial research seem a little dubious about his claims that it is a dry run for the Easter story. But, as often happens in such cases, they seem better disposed to a slightly toned-down assertion: in this case, that the Gabriel tablet does indicate a very rare instance of the idea that a messiah might suffer — a notion introduced in Judaic thought centuries before by the prophet Isaiah but which supposedly went out of style by Jesus' time. If that more modest theory gains traction, it will forge a link between a trend in first-century Judaism and one of Christianity's galvanizing thoughts — that God might throw in his lot with a suffering or even murdered man — that could contribute to a growing mutual understanding.