Friday, July 31, 2009

Pineapple Upside-Down CUPcakes

For Erin's Luau going away party, I spent the morning making pineapple upside-down CUPcakes. Personally, I am not the biggest fan of pineapple, so they were a little sweet for me, but if you are into sweets, than you will love this recipe!

To make 24 cupcakes, you need:
1 Box of Cake mix & ingredients needed for that
(there are recipes to make real homemade cake mix,
but who has time for that???)
1 20-Ounce can of pineapple (I used whole)
1 Cup of Melted Butter
2 Cups of Brown Sugar
1 Jar of maraschino cherries (or, whatever equals 24)

You can begin by taking all the pineapples out and placing them on a paper towel so they are not full of pineapple juice.

Mix the melted butter and brown sugar together. Spray the cupcake pain VERY well, and then layer the bottoms with the butter and brown sugar mix.

Place the cherries in the middle..

Strategically place the pineapple around the cherries (for the whole ones, you will have to break them up into smaller pieces).

Pour the cake mix over the pineapple, and bake at 350 degrees, for 25 minutes.

Make sure the cake mix looks pretty well done (it should be pretty brown-ed). If done, take the cupcakes out, and immediately take a knife and loosen the cupcake edges so they do not stick. Wait 2-4 minutes, put wax paper on a pan and put the pan over the cupcakes in the cupcake pan. Flip the cupcakes over, and carefully remove the cupcake pan off the top.
And, WALA! You have your cupcakes!

I put them all in a big cake box.

The boys took all the leftovers home :)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

where is your hope?

This blog post is for Christians. 

i've drifted away from God a little in these past months...

Not that I have completely renounced Him in any sort of way, or have stopped believing... but just been kinda drifting. Don't act like you don't do it...

It's easy to drift away from God... but only to a certain point.

Now I craaave Him.

When you work at a church, it's kind of "in your job description" to crave God. So when I quit, it's like the craving went out the window. I got scared, and confused, and thought ministry was the middle ground of me and my connection with God. So naturally, I began to put my hope in other things.

What do we put our hopes in?

Material things. 
Loved ones.

As I sit here tonight, I can confess that as a 25 year old woman, I constantly worry about getting married, being financially stable, finding a job that I love... etc. etc. I put my hope in these things. Like having these things will make me feel "fulfilled"...


what does that even mean?

I go to work 3 days a week, and I watch people's loved one's slip right through the hands of death, and tragedy. A young mother of two watches her husband, as a short swim turned him into a quadraparaplegic. A mother watches her son die from a mistake that I am sure he would regret. A husband watches his wife pass on, as he thinks about their one month old baby at home. 

I begin to realize something. 

how can I possibly be fulfilled by something
 that can so easily be taken from me?

One of the pastors at my church (and a very good friend of mine), is dealing with his 25 year old sister having a very life threatening health condition. 

Holy moly, I'm 25 too.

Totally unexpected, totally a shock. I'm sure his parents never imagined that they would have to deal with this situation, with Leah being so young. 

I begin to realize something else. 

i am not promised tomorrow. 

so often we can sit around waiting for the "fulfillment" in life to come later. Some people will say, "Work hard now, enjoy life later". Sometimes I make decisions based on this imaginary man who will hopefully enter my life at some point. But I forget to except the fact that "he" could never show up, or when he does, he can just as easily be taken away. 

God has given, and taken away, in my life this year...

but mostly, taken away. 

He has taken away people that I love, 
things that I love, 
hopes for my future, 
and the list goes on...

But what God hasn't taken away, is Himself. 

And in reality, He is - 

and the list goes on...

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Derek Webb's new album!

Wow, enough about Michael Jackson... sheesh... lets chat about a wonderful musician - Derek Webb. If you've never heard of him, than you might want to think back to the older days of Caedmon's Call, in which Webb was a member. But now, Webb is out, and on his own (that is, if he doesn't have his wife, Sandra McCracken, in tow). 

Derek Webb brings up so many memories for me... the moment I heard his first album in that little blue truck, or what about the time I saw him for the first time at the House of Blues and was completely awe struck, or the time he was pissed at me when I threw that Invisible Children Benefit concert... Oh, so many memories. 

But through all of the ups and downs I have had with Webb, one thing has stayed consistent - his music. His fiery lyrics that call Christians to living a life that actually imitates Christ, can get any (true) Christian on the edge of their seat. Oh ya, I said it, "true" Christian. ;)

Well listen up, because his new album is halfway out the door, and it's already more controversial than ever! There is already tons of Christian bloggers who are angrily blogging about his lyrics, and how he cares more about starving people than saving the souls of homosexuals, and sharing the gospel (apparently they haven't listened to Webb's millions of songs about this...)


Blogs like those make me not want to go to church anymore. 

Lets chat about this - Webb's new song calls out Christians, because most seem to care more about changing laws for homosexual marriage, rather than trying to help the starving people in the world. Here are some of the lyrics, and yes, there are some naughty words in the song...

"You say you always treat people like you like to be
I guess you love being hated for your sexuality
You love when people put words in your mouth
'Bout what you believe, make you sound like a freak

'Cause if you really believe what you say you believe
You wouldn't be so damn reckless with the words you speak
Wouldn't silently conceal when the liars speak
Denyin' all the dyin' of the remedy

Tell me, brother, what matters more to you?
Tell me, sister, what matters more to you?

If I can tell what's in your heart by what comes out of your mouth
Then it sure looks to me like being straight is all it's about
It looks like being hated for all the wrong things
Like chasin' the wind while the pendulum swings

'Cause we can talk and debate until we're blue in the face
About the language and tradition that he's comin' to save
Meanwhile we sit just like we don't give a s**t
About 50,000 people who are dyin' today

Tell me, brother, what matters more to you?
Tell me, sister, what matters more to you?"

Unfortunately, for all you Christians out there, Webb is right. And I believe that people don't like it because his lyrics call you to living a different life. 

Imagine this - instead of all the crazy antics, and all the money poured into "Yes on Prop 8", we pour all of that time and money on relationships... on people who are suffering... 
How about, instead of Sunday sermons focusing on telling your congregation on how and why to vote a certain way, YOU preach the gospel?!

I look forward to listening to Webb's new album, and watching his 60 minute documentary, while being encouraged to live my life more like Jesus would. Thank you Webb for being a bold and prophetic voice to this generation. 

...Oh, and thanks for selling your albums for so cheap. 

Buy your copy here

Sunday, July 5, 2009

MJ, No for me...

This is what I received in my email tonight...

"Thank you for your registration.

Sorry, we regret to inform you that your registration to attend the Public Memorial Service for Michael Jackson was not selected.

Hundreds of thousands registered, but only a few can be in attendance."

Then I went to copy that picture that is posted, and it came up as, "MJ_No". Thanks a lot... I even get the "no" picture. Psh. 

Friday, July 3, 2009

Michael Jackson Memorial Tickets!

So apparently they are giving away 11,000 tickets to MJ's memorial through a lottery on Sunday morning. You have to register early to have a chance. I recommend all people registering because either you will go to MJ's memorial, and that would be awesome. Or, if you get tickets, then you can sell them and make some money. You can thank me later for the tip....