Friday, July 27, 2012

Caffeinated Randomness - The Star Wars Edition


That's right.  If you didn't know it by now I am a Star Wars freak.  I don't get dressed up or go to conventions but I love me some Star Wars!  I first saw Star Wars when I was 4 years old at the Royal Theater in Victoria, BC.   I sat on my uncle's lap.  He covered my eyes in the opening battle scenes but I pushed some fingers open so that I could see the whole show.  It was love at first viewing.  I then had to have Star Wars blankets.  Star Wars figurines.  You name it, if it was Star Wars I wanted it.  But alas I was a girl and girls shouldn't have to many Star Wars toys.  That's the reason I was given for not getting a millennium falcon or a coveted light saber.

I wanted to be Han Solo that Halloween.  Even then I knew he was the coolest person in the series.  But no!  I was a girl and I had to be Princess Leia.  Luckily I didn't have any hair so my hair wasn't put in the cinnamon buns on the side of my head, but I had to wear the a mask.  If you remember the masks of the late 70s/early 80s, you will remember how uncomfortable they were.  I'm still a bit angry about not being Han Solo.  I had the short hair.  

I never grew out of my Star Wars fanatiscism.  Every year when it was on tv, I got to stay up late and watch it.  While everyone was waiting for Return of the Jedi to come out, our local theatre had a double feature of Star Wars and Empire Strikes Back.  When Return of the Jedi came out we were camping and near our campground was a drive in theatre.  I talked my grandparents, parents and aunt into taking us kids to the movie.  After seeing it, I was upset it was over.  I was sure that there would be no continuation and the rumours of a prequel were just that rumours.  

My first foray into the Columbia Movie Club had me buying all three of the original movies on VHS.  I still have them.  They became my comfort movies.  When I was sad, upset, stressed or couldn't sleep I would put these movies in and I still do.

Then in my mid twenties, George Lucas, redid the original movies and re-released them.  I saw every one of them in the theater with my friends.  I was amazed by the additions, but I was more amazed at seeing the movies again on the big screen and not my console TV.  Nothing beats the big screen.  I fell in love with Han Solo again. 

Jump forward a year later.  GEORGE LUCAS WAS MAKING THE FIRST THREE EPISODES!  Yes I know it seems like I'm yelling because I was at the time and jumping up and down like a little girl at a Beiber concert.  I'm certain there were tears and everything else.  I wanted to sleep outside of the threatre waiting for opening night, but alas I didn't do it as I moved from a small town in BC to a large city in Alberta.  

I know what everyone says about the new movies.  There are some things I agree on, but the one thing George Lucas did not goof on was casting Ewan MacGregor as Obi Wan Kenobi.  I have to say of the three, Revenge of the Sith is my favourite.  The end battle scences between Palpatine and Yoda and Obi Wan and Annakin are amazing and poignant.  

You may wonder why I'm writing about Star Wars now.  It's because this week my daughter finally wanted to watch it with mommy.  Thomas already watched it with me, but Nicole has never shown any interest in them.  This made my heart sad.  I wanted to share my experiences with her.  Finally I have been able to.  She loved the movies.  But she does have some questionable tastes.  In Empire Strikes Back when Han Solo is going down the carbon chamber, I asked her if she thought he was cute.  I did.  She said no.  I asked her who she thought was cute.  Her answer......R2D2.  That's right, she likes the droid.  She wants to dress up like R2D2 for Halloween now.   She has played Lego Star Wars with her friend and wants to get Star Wars Kinect, which I am all for.   We are waiting to borrow the new episodes from my mom as I have never bought them.  I'm going to have to think about that soon though as all my movies are on VHS and once the machine is gone I'll need to dvd/blue ray them.  Star Wars in HD.......better get crackin on that.  

I've left you with a Star Wars treat this week.  It's a parody of Carly Rae Jepsen's Call me Baby using clips from Star Wars.  I hope you enjoy it. 

What is your comfort movie?  What is the movie of your childhood that you want to share with your children?   Come link up with the rest of the java junkies this week.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Caffeinated Randomness - Family Traditions


This week I'm going to talk about traditions.  Every family has them.  A friend of mine just moved into her new house and asked people to comment on her Facebook page their families' traditions.  Some were simple like family movie night or board game night.  Some where seasonal like setting up Christmas lights the day after Halloween (for the record this is not me!).  Some were related to food.  

It got me thinking about my family's traditions.  We do seasonal stuff revolving around Christmas.  We have a tradition that on a person's birthday, they get to choose the food for all the meals of the days.  Sam really doesn't get to choose his food yet, but I make sure every meal is made with his favourites.  The one tradition that we do pretty regularly is Saturday morning pancakes.  I was inspired by Cindy Bultema.  She does Sundae Sundays.  She sets up a sundae bar for her family.  I tried this but always forgot to pick up whipped cream as it doesn't last a week in our house (the kids and I like to eat it).  The one thing I did always have in the house was the fixins for pancakes and syrup.  That's right I make the pancakes from scratch.  The recipe I use is pretty simple and from the Disney Cook Book.  

Most Saturday mid-mornings (I don't usually start cooking until around 9 am), I start making the pancakes. The first thing you need is your attractive lounge attire.  It is a must, at least for me.
My beautiful lounge wear.
I mix all my dry ingredients together.


I mix all my wet ingredients together.

I mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients with my whisk.  (It's all very professional around here)

I then let my batter sit while I heat my electric fry pan.  You don't want to set it too hot or you end up cooking the outside of the pancakes, but not the inside.   

I take out my trusty scoop.  Which is about 2 tbsp.  I use two scoops per pancake.  I like my scoop as I get pretty uniform pancakes and very little mess or waste.  It is also great size for cookies too.

This last Saturday, someone who will remain nameless was impatient for the pancakes to be made and raided the Frootloops.

Once they are browned on one side flip them.

When they are brown on both sides serve.

I serve my pancakes with homemade syrup.  I found the recipe on Pinterest from Sugar Bean Bakers.  It is quick and very yummy.  I just keep filling up this bottle.  In the recipe she says keep only for week, but I keep in the fridge and it has kept quite well for at least a month.

I have made these pancakes for over three years now and have had very few complaints.  The nice thing about the recipe is that it is so simple and quick that if you need to double the recipe you can.  They freeze very well if you want to make more for later in the week, which I do during the school year.  You can also add blueberries or chocolate chips if you want. 

A very satisfied customer.
Another satisfied customer
Pancakes - makes about 10 med pancakes

1 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1 tbsp oil
1 egg

Measure out dry ingredients in large bowl.  Measure out liquid ingredients in another.  Mix together until smooth.  Let sit for 5 minutes.  Heat a lightly oiled frying pan over medium high heat.  Scoop the batter onto the frying pan, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.

I have learned that sometimes a family's traditions don't have to be ornate.   They can be very simple.  These are the things our kids are going to remember.  I remember having pancakes and bacon and eggs on Sundays growing up.  This is what I want my children to remember and to pass on to their children.  The fun of making the pancakes and the memories that you make while making them.

What are your family's traditions.  What do you like to do?  

Come link up your randomness this week.  We love to hear and read everyone's stories.

Monday, July 16, 2012

They are knocking

Two doors.  A choice.  One will offer us ease and quick riches.  It will offer us fun and excitement.  the other door offers us trials.  it offers us a life of hard work as a servant.  It also offer us eternal life and grace.  Which one do we open?  Instant gratification or the joy of a job well done?

As christians we need to not only answer this once, but daily.  I was reminded of this last week while listening to the Imperfect Wives radio show.  Cherie read Genesis 4:6-7.  

Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it. ” NIV84

Cain had anger and discontentment in his heart after Abel's offering was accepted over his.  I've seen this hurt in my daughter's eyes when her brother won a bigger prize at our local amusement park.  I could see her eyes saying "It's not fair, I'm older!!!", just as Cain felt.  Kevin Leman mentions in the introduction of his book "The Birth Order Book" that he wanted to call it "Abel had it coming."  (LOL)

God loved Cain just as much as he loved Abel.  He reminded Cain that "sin is crouching at your door."  Only we can let it in.  Satan will use any trick in his book to get us to answer, think SNL Landshark (if you knew what I was referring to immediately, you're showing your age).   He will tell us what we want to hear and make it all pretty and shiny, but underneath it's rotten and tarnished.  These things are lies!  They are distortions of the truth.  

There is another door mentioned in the Bible in Revelation 3:19-20.

Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent.  Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. NIV84

Another person  stands behind a door.  This person offers us truth, justice, peace and grace.  This person died for us.  He suffered so we didn't have to.  All He asks for is our submission, humility and obedience.  We are taught these things are wrong in our society, just the way Satan wants sit.  he wants to distort the truth as he knows the lies he is selling.  He knows what he offers is cheap.  What Jesus offers us is riches and prosperity - it is freedom.  Yes, that's what being a servant of Jesus means - freedom from bondage; freedom from sin; freedom from shame; freedom from our past; freedom from.....

Two doors.  One offering instant gratification.  One offering eternity.  One seems to be free, until you read the small print.  One seems to cost a lot, but is actually already paid for.  They are knocking.  Who will you answer?

Linking up with the SDG Sisterhood.

Messy Mondays - He answers when called

Messy Mondays where I share what God has been showing me through the messiness of life. It is my personal belief that this walk isn't clean and crisp and straight or narrow. It's wide and twisted and mucky and messy. It's about the ups and the downs, but through it all God is there with us

While waiting for my hubby to get into the van  so we could go to church, I decided to read my Bible.   Shocking isn't it.  It is because I rarely just read my Bible while driving somewhere, I have lots of books and devotionals and a Blackberry to help me ease the time.  When I opened my Bible, I said a quick prayer that I would get something meaningful for me.  This is what caught my eye:

“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation. ” (Psalm 91:14-16 NIV84)
I had a handwritten note right beside these verses with change "him" to "her".  I quickly read/prayed these verses.  He knew exactly what I needed to hear and when  I needed to hear it.

God loves me.  God loves you.  He will rescue you and protect you.  However, you have a part in this.  You need to call on Him.  You need accept defeat.  Defeat that you can't do it on your own.  Defeat that you are not in control.  Defeat that you need help.  When you do this, He will answer you.  He will walk right beside you through the darkness; through the fires; through the lonliness and the storms.  He will not leave you alone.  He will lead you to saftey.  He will shelter you from the attacks if you stay under His umbrella for the rest of your days.  He is offering His salvation, we must choose to accept it.  

I'm calling out.  Calling for His protection and strength.  Seeking His guidance and wisdom.  Pleading for His peace.  I'm embracing the salvation He is offering.  

What are you doing?

Friday, July 13, 2012

Caffeinated Randomness - The Prairies Really Become Country!


For those that don't know, I live in a small town near Calgary, Alberta.  Calgary is the oil and cowboy capital of Canada.  I'm not joking.  We have the largest outdoor show on earth every year here called "The Calgary Stampede."  Have you heard of it?  It's pretty international.  In fact, this year is the centennial.  We get inundated by tourists from around the world to check out our cowboy festival.  The funny thing is the only time Calgary really is the Cowboy capital of Canada is during Stampede.  

During this time everyone dresses up like a cowboy.   People take off their office clothes and put on their blue jeans and plaid shirts.  They line up to get free pancakes and sausages (otherwise known as the Stampede Breakfast).  Everyone goes and cheers the bull riders, barrel riders and chuck races (NASCAR with horses).  My personal favourite is the mutton bustin'.  Think small children on bucking lambs.  Literally.  It's so cute.

Calgary's version of NASCAR

 Last year their Royal Hignesses, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge even took part in our festival.  

The part that I always think is funny is that everyone all of the sudden becomes a country music fan.  Where most of people listen to hip hop or rock, they all of the sudden become an instant Keith Urban fan.  The country bars become packed and the place to go, where otherwise they would be pretty quiet.  Today while trying to avoid the Stampede (crowds and my family do not go together) I read Jon Acuff's blog - Stuff Christians Like.  One of the posts was "The easiest way to write a country song".  It made me laugh.  I watched the video by his friend, Andy Gullahorn, of which I will share with you.

It's sooooo true.  If you listen to country music, especially 90s country, this is exactly how they are written.  I've been listening to country on and off since I was kid and know that I don't need to dress up like a cowboy to do so.  In fact, most people I know who like country don't look like a John Wayne wannabe either, unless it's Stampede time.

Do you listen to Country music?  Is their a country festival in your "neck of the woods?"  Come and join in the Country randomness this week.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Messy Mondays - Lean on.....???

Messy Mondays where I share what God has been showing me through the messiness of life. It is my personal belief that this walk isn't clean and crisp and straight or narrow. It's wide and twisted and mucky and messy. It's about the ups and the downs, but through it all God is there with us.

I'm not writing this to "toot" my own horn, but if you need something and I can give it to you or can assist you in anyway, I will.  It's in my nature.  I'm a fixer/helper.  Recently this year I was asked to make a meal for a friend's aunt who is dying of cancer.  I gave her 6.  Not that I was looking for an award, but I had extra meals already prepared and knew they would be needed. 

My problem is the fact that I don't know how to ask for help.  I will take on so much and don't know when to say no.  If I see something that needs to be done, I will do it.  I am reminded of the song Lean on Me.  The chorus says:

Lean on Me, When you're not strong
And I'll be your friend
I'll help you carry on
For it won't be long
'Til I'm gonna need
Somebody to lean on.

That time is now!  I have been struggling.  I have been under a fog of cloud and dealing with trials that are no one's fault, they are just the cards dealt to us.  I need to "swallow my pride" and let people know exactly what I need.  I need to accept that I am not superwoman, but that I'm imperfect  just like the rest of us.  I need to acknowledge that no everything is not fine, but that everything will be fine.  I have trusted God and asked for His help and guidance.  But don't allow my friends and church family to assist me, as they have allowed me to assist them.

The problem, I'm not sure what I need.  An hour alone.  A meal.  Laundry being done (ok, that might just be a little selfish).   I'm not sure how to let go.  There's a humbling of oneself to realize you need to become dependent and let go of your independence.  Funny enough this is something that I speak to my evil twin about.  She has had to do this as her sight has faded.  There is that surrender.  That we can't do it alone.  That we do need to lean on others. 

We are part of a body.  We are not the foundation, that spot has already been taken by Jesus.  We are but the parts.  We cannot excist alone.  We are all a part of a community.  We were created to be in relationship - with Him and with each other.  When we don't accept help, we essentially are saying that we don't need that relationship.  We are saying that we are in control, which is a lie.  We are not in control of anything.  God is.  It's when we think we are in control that we feel like we are losing control. 
We need to rely on each other.  We need to realize that we are not alone.  We need to surrender and embrace the dependance.  Just as I need to rely on my friends the way I let them "lean on me."
Friday, July 6, 2012

Caffeinated Randomness - Just Say No to Remakes


Remakes or Redos.  You know them.  How many times do we have to see a remake of Superman or Spiderman or the Incredible Hulk?   My husband personally wants to know the answer to this in regards to Pride and Prejudice (eventhough the BBC miniseries with Colin Firth is the best in my opinion).  How many different versions of CSI or Law and Order or NCIS do we really need?  Then you have the copy cat shows that originated in England and are remade in the states - The Office, Antique Roadshow, the X Factor.  Does no one have an original thought in their body or is imagination dead?

If you watch classic movies you know what I mean.  Have you seen the original version of The Women?  It is a classic and an amazing movie.  There are no men in it.  EVER!!!!  They are mentioned or alluded to.  It is about lies and affairs and how women interact with each other.  It is an amazing movie and one of my favourites to watch on TMC.  I was excited to see the new version with Meg Ryan and Debra Messing.  I finally caught it on W network and had to shut it off.  It was bad and didn't have the intent of the orginal.   I should have known.  If I ever hear of Gone with the Wind being remade, I think I will start an Occupy Hollywood for the grievous remakes they have made.

I also have a problem with this when tv shows from 20 years ago are made into movies.  21 Jump Street comes to mind.  No I will admit I have not seen the movie.  I lived the tv show.   I watched it from the pilot to completion.  I know about Johnny Depp and then Richard Greico.  I personally favoured Peter Deluise.  I was in a group talking about the movie and said I couldn't watch the movie because of the tv show.  One of the women didn't know it was a tv show.  She didn't even know that Johnny Depp was in it.  WHAT are you kidding me?  Again another sign I'm getting older.

It's the same with music.  With very few exceptions do I like the remake rather than the original (Whitny's version of "I will always love you" is much better than Dolly's).  I know imitation is a form of flattery and I know many symphonies play Beetoven or Mozart.  However, when all you hear on the radio is some redo or remix of a song made popular 20 years ago and the younger generation doesn't know what you mean or even know the original, that's when I have a problem.

My daughter is learning this.  The song "Blackbird" by the Beatles is one of her favourite songs.  However, she has only heard the version by the King Singers.  Today she heard Sarah Maclachlan's version for "I am Sam".  She sang along but at the end said the King Singers version was better.  I wonder what she would think of the original.  I'll have to play it for her tomorrow.

Which version do you think is better?  

What do you think of remakes?  What is a movie you think would be a travesty to remake?  What movie or tv show would you watch if it was remade?  Come link up with the randomness this week.

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Alberta, Canada
I'm a 39 year old (oh yeah I'm telling you my age) Stay at Home mom. A former Bad Girl now reformed sinner, I'm married to my Y2K guy and raising 3 great children from God. Proudly Canadian, however, missing the West Coast, I currently live in the prairies watching the farmers fields produce as I learn how God produces the fruits in me.

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