Category Archives: Work

Breaking the Silence

WOW that was a long time of no communication, and for that, I really must apologize. I can only speak for myself here, I totally  got absorbed in the craziness of last semester, and then decided to be lazy during Christmas break. And then continued being lazy about the blog, so I’m really sorry. That’s the last time I will apologize, however, because my next story will make you wonder how I got this far in school, let alone in making desserts. I’m breaking the silence with a K-Shaming post.

In my internship, my unit was responsible for hosting a potluck this month and I chose to do dessert! Mainly because I force myself to do something from scratch, desserts are easier than making lasagna (my other option), and- honestly?- I thought I might be able to convince my hubby to make it for me. No go on that last one though, so I asked for suggestions  and chose Famous Wafer Dessert. It’s so delightfully delicious, as well as low in ingredients so it was a perfect solution.

Here’s the recipe quick, so you can understand my mistake later:

Famous Wafer Dessert:

-Two boxes Famous Wafers (a chocolatey wafer)

-One Quart of Heavy Whipping Cream

– Your choice of fruit as a garnish (I recommend berries of any kind, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries)

That’s it.

Whip the heavy cream in the blender until it turns to whipped cream, and then one by one using a knife, gently spread about a quarter inch of the whip on the wafers.  Put them together on a platter so they are standing up, perpendicular to the platter. The way I prefer to do it is in a circular shape around the edge of a round plate, and then I serve the fruit in the middle of the dessert. Don’t use all the whipped cream for this! Once you’ve got all the cookies ‘glued’ together by the whipped cream, use what’s left to do a final coat all over the wafers, completely covering them. Once you’ve done this, cover it with Saran Wrap (use toothpicks to hold up the Saran Wrap and protect the frosting) and let it set in the fridge for a minimum of two hours, adding the fruit right before you serve it. The way it works is the hard wafer absorbs some of the moisture in the whipped cream and expands into a cake-like texture by the time it’s ready to serve, and just melts in your mouth. It’s light, fresh, and a huuuuuge crowd pleaser.

My problem happened when I realized I had no toothpicks to stick in the cake to keep the saran wrap off the whipped cream- I searched high and low and found none, even though I swear we had a whole jar in the cabinet. Since I was sure I had some somewhere, I decided not to go to the store because, well, that’s just silly! I knew I’d find them as soon as I get home from the store anyways, so I decided to use uncooked spaghetti instead. Genius! Who needs toothpicks when you have uncooked spaghetti? Perfect. Let’s do that.

In the morning, when I got up (late, I might add), I went to put my dessert in the car only to discover that the moisture in the cake had also done its work on the spaghetti. Every piece was totally limp and the saran wrap was resting nicely over every inch of my gorgeous cake.

Curtis got a kick out of my muttering while I started yanking out the spaghetti thinking I’d just have to re-frost the top of the cake before serving. But that was before the spaghetti broke apart in my hands, leaving pieces of noodle in the stupid cake. By this point, I was hyperventilating with frustration, and started cutting the cake into slices to try and neatly dig out each individual noodle left in it.

After ten minutes, I was pretty sure I had it spaghetti-free, but it was no longer my pretty masterpiece….nevertheless I brought it to the potluck, and decided to be grateful that it was an Italian themed potluck. That way, if anyone found spaghetti in their dessert they’d assume that it somehow found its way from another plate, not that the baker had spent twenty minutes playing ‘Operation’ that morning.
And…….everyone loved it! Thank goodness. It was not the relaxing potluck I thought it would be, as I was peering at everyone’s plate hoping to not see a noodle sticking out.
Success….?
Maybe, maybe not. But I bought some toothpicks and started blogging again, so maybe it wasn’t all bad 🙂
-K

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Filed under Baking, Dessert, School, Work

The Non-Vegetarian Sister

Major thanks to my wonderful sister for keeping you all going with reading material the last few months. Im sorry for having been away so long, I take a break and she goes vegetarian on me!? Although these meals look delicious and I truly do trust M’s talent in the kitchen, I’m not sure I could do tofu.
I really like meat.
Now that school is back in session and my internship has started, I plan on being much more diligent in my efforts to share my goings-on with you all. Because I am having some truly awesome experiences!
Because the nature of my job has a huge element of confidentiality, I hope my shortened version of experiences will still be able to show how much I am loving social work.
I’ve got a great group of supervisors both at school and my agency, but so far my relationship and dependency on God has blossomed in a way I didn’t expect. I wrestle a lot with being a follower of Jesus and being a person who advocates for others especially when the two vocations don’t mix. Or cant mix.

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(From A Voice in the Wind, by Francine Rivers)
It’s an awesome learning thing for me, and I am repeating to myself daily that God’s plan for me is greater than my plan for myself. Self-care has been underlined from the beginning as something that is necessary to my health and ability to do my job, so posts like M’s last week (even though I have no moppets yet!) made a big impact on my day.
Did anyone else gain from M’s post last week? I love how God uses so many different people with so many different talents to reveal Himself to us.

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~K

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Filed under Family, Food Stuffs., God, School, Work

The day I went back to work

…. was all in all, a surprisingly good day.

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I packed everything up the night before so leaving would be a breeze (maybe not the right word) in the morning to drop Gabs off at my mom’s. I woke at 5:45 to get ready and feed my lil lady, and we were at my mom’s by 7- I had told her that I’d shoot for 6:45, just to give myself a little wiggle room and good thing I did!

I was a little nervous about getting back into the swing of things at work, so with those nerves swirling around in my head, I kissed Gabs good-bye and gave her a choked-up monologue about how much I love her and that I would be back before she knew it. She was asleep, but I know she already missed me. Just let me believe that, okay??

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A couple tears later I was on my way to work!

Then I had to turn around again because I left my phone in the diaper bag. At my mom’s house. I’ll admit I was kind of glad I had a good reason to go back and give Gabs one more goodbye kiss!

My next stop, since no one was at the clinic yet, was to go pick up some donuts for my coworkers, who I had missed the past few months. I ordered a dozen assorted and had a nice little chat with the donut man- he asked why just a little lady needed so many donuts! I explained to him that it was my first day back at work and leaving my baby and that I wanted to surprise my fellow employees with some sweets. He was so kind and encouraging, and said, “You sad momma! You will have hard day, you need a donut!” Definitely brought a smile to my face.

Until I realized that they didn’t take debit cards, only cash. Aaaand I had no cash. I apologized profusely and said I would go find an ATM and come back- but he insisted that I just take the donuts! He said, “You take the donuts, pay me tomorrow!” I had NEVER been to this little shop before, but this man trusted me to take everything and come back the next day with the $8 it cost?! What?! I almost cried right there. I tried to say no, that I would find an ATM, but he said no- that I needed to bring them to work and have a good day. Thank you, Lord for a little ray of sunshine on an emotional day.

That was the first awesome thing about my day back. 

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Worked out in my favor to choose to come back on National Nurses Week! I didn’t end up having one, but they were pretty to look at!

My second “God story” about my first day back requires a little background. (If you’re still reading this mammoth of a post, bless you. I admire your stamina) Last year, I had a special case I was working on very hard at work. It was regarding a patient who was in liver failure and had a special condition known as Hemachromatosis. I can’t tell you too much about the case because of patient confidentiality, but basically- this case was my baby. I talked to this man a few times a week and even worked with a couple students from our Christian high school to donate some of the credits from a blood drive to his cause. (He needed to have blood taken out each week and that gets expensive!! Each student was able to give him a ‘credit’ (free blood draw) when they donated.) When he found out that we had done that, he called in tears and said how God’s blessings were raining down on him, even though his body was in so much pain. I learned SO much about that blood disorder and spent many, many hours working with insurances to help this man. But I had never seen him face to face- I just talked to him on the phone.

My doctor came into my office yesterday- and said, “Monica, you’re gonna love this. You’re gonna want to see these people.” I thought to myself- which patients do I know well enough that I would want to just go see them in a room randomly?? I was caught off-guard. Because there in the room, were an older man and his wife.

You guessed it.

“Are you Monica?” It was my special case! It was that man! We spent the next half hour talking about his life and how much has happened since we got things rolling, and his health has improved ten-fold. He thanked me for taking the time that I did to make things possible for him. God, Thank you again. It was the encouragement I needed to make it through this day! I don’t tell this story to ‘toot my own horn’– but to say that God knew I needed something a little extra-special on this day away from Gabs.

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Anyways, pretty cool huh? I love my job. I also love that I will only have to work a few times a month. Being a nurse is an amazing career, and being a mommy is an amazing purpose. I’m thankful for my hard-working husband who wants me to be able to spend as much time as possible with our daughter. Not everyone can do that, and it’s not something I take for granted.

She is not as chubby as this makes her look but I LOOOVE her chins! You'll forgive me someday baby girl!

She is not as chubby as this makes her look but I LOOOVE her chins! You’ll forgive me someday baby girl!

I mean, look at this girl. She’s hilarious. She’s like my teensy little BFF.

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She had a great time at my moms, and got to meet Gibbs, my mom’s giant chocolate lab.

At one point, I heard a 6 month old cry at work and it sounded JUST like Gabs- I definitely lost it and had a weepy 3 minutes in the employee bathroom, but all in all, I really enjoyed my day back. I also really enjoy the fact that I don’t have to go back for a whole week!! Oh, it’s gonna be concentrated with cuddles and kisses, let me tell you.

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Not to mention, Joey made me dinner last night. I could get used to that!

After my run this morning, I went to pay the donut man, and gave him a pretty big tip. We had a nice conversation and I told him how much it blessed me that he let me take the donuts yesterday. He told me that he somehow knew I’d come back.

Some people are just good people, and I liked this donut man. I shall be back, donut man.

Let’s pay it forward today, people. Buy someone’s drink for them at Starbucks. Let someone ahead of you in line. Mow your neighbor’s lawn. It will probably be just what someone needed. Be kind & bless someone today!

~M

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Filed under Baby, Family, Work

Quick K Update

I have to extend a huge thank you to my co-blogger, M, for keeping this blog going lately. I have been absent far more than I want to be, and far busier than I want to be as well.

I just thought I’d give ya’ll a little run-down of what I’ve been up to lately and I’ll tell ya right now- cooking is not it. Haha, sorry, I wish it was, but our meals have been downright boring lately!

I am very nearly finished with my ‘Junior’ year of my major, which is social work in the Child Welfare department. I can hardly describe how much I am loving it! Finally discovering my passion in life and deciding what I want to do with that passion has been quite a journey for me. I mean, come on- I’m almost 26 years old and I’ll be starting my ‘senior’ year of college soon. All the ‘ thingies are because I have enough college credits to be a junior for the second time. And none of them add up to a major that I can graduate with!

Anyways. Here’s what’s going on.

Senior year I only have to take 2 classes on campus and I am also doing an internship. All social work majors must do an internship, and for those of us who work and attend school, we now have to find a way to squeeze in 16 hours a week of an internship at a social services agency. I was extremely blessed to have been selected (after a rigorous application process,an interview by five social work professors and possible employers, and a two week waiting period) for a Title IV-E Stipend Program! What this program means is I will receive a $15,000 scholarship to pay for school and living expenses during my internship and then am required to work for Child Welfare Services for a year after I graduate. Basically, school is paid for, I don’t have to work quite as much, I don’t need a second job, and I will most likely have a job when I graduate, because the rate of agencies hiring on Stipend interns is about 98%. God is so good!!!! Seriously people, when I got my acceptance letter I literally jumped around the living room screaming and crying for like five minutes before curling up into a ball on the floor with my letter crumpled in my hand. I think there may have been some shock. And I think I scared poor Jasper.

Now that the shock has worn off a little, I have started an interview process with a few different agencies to see where I fit best for my internship next year! Along with this exciting and busy time of deciding internships there is the normal amount of homework still needing to be done for all my classes….let’s just say I’m pooped, and can’t wait for summer! So, for now, I am going to continue to rely on my wonderful sister to entertain you all and squeeze myself in whenever I can!!

~K

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Filed under School, Work

Breakfast on the Go

So I am making an attempt to eat breakfast every morning. It really is so hard for me to do- all I need is coffee to get moving and I am rarely hungry until about 11 am so I often skip ‘the most important meal of the day’. But M has always been on me to get my metabolism moving with some nutrients that will give me more energy than even coffee can. what!?! I don’t want to believe it. So I tried it along with my coffee today.

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Super quick and easy and on the healthy side (I think) haha
Happy Friday!
~K

Breakfast sandwich
Fry an egg however you like it, runny yolk is my fave. Salt and pepper it while in the pan. While that’s frying, toast an English muffin.
Set the egg aside and quickly prepare the toasted English muffin with some shredded asiago cheese, lettuce, and bruschetta (Kraft) dressing. Wrap that little bundle of yumminess up in a paper towel and get goin!! There. Metabolism boosted. 🙂

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Bedside Books: The Good Earth

This book has been in my “Top 5” category for the past ten years. Possibly even “Top 3”. The Good Earth is one of a few books that has had a place on my bedside table since I was in Jr. High. I don’t know what it is about those books on my table- its almost like I can’t fall asleep unless I know I have the option of re-reading one of them.

I don’t know why K and I both love to re-read books- I mean, there are so many books out there that you could probably read for the rest of your life and never have to re-read anything. Come to think of it, I can think of a book about that very concept!! See what I mean? There’s really no excuse to re-read things. Yet, we do. And I think we do have some good reasons.

The Good Earth is the life story of a poor farmer in China before World War II. His father gives Wang Lung a freed slave as a wife, and together, they bear the brunt of living a hand to mouth existence. However, through hard work and frugality the couple manages to enlarge their property and make a better life for themselves. The story continues with it’s ups and downs as famine and drought force them to leave their home and ride the ‘firewagon’ to an unknown city to find work. Wang Lung’s wife and children are forced to turn to begging while Wang Lung pulls a rickshaw to feed his family. He longs to return to his land to continue farming, and worries that his children will grow up as thieves because they steal to feed themselves.

His life takes another drastic turn when Wang Lung unwillingly joins a mob that is looting a  rich man’s house. Wang lung manages to escape with enough gold to bring his family back home and start a new life. From then on, his sons grow up and Wang Lung faces the new difficulty of living a wealthy life and all of its hidden thorns.

Pearl S. Buck is an amazing author, and I highly recommend this book to all. If you have been looking for that next ‘Argh I can’t put it down!!’ book, I promise you , this is it. It is historical fiction, and its voice is a little different that most books today because it takes place in the early 1900’s.

You’re gonna love it, guys. Go grab a cold drink, sit in a shady spot outside, and enjoy.

~M

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Crazy Monday

I love Sundays. They are my ‘free’ day. It is the one day I don’t have work or school and it’s usually filled with church, relaxing, and time spent with family and friends. Yesterday was no exception!  The only problem with Awesome Sunday is that its followed by Crazy Monday. My Mondays start at 4 am and end around 7:30 pm. However, today I am very excited about some new things on the horizon!

I already miss M- She and Joey left for Israel yesterday and I am still waiting to hear how the first leg of their trip went! It’s 12:30 am Tuesday for them now, so I’m sure they’re asleep, so I’ll have to wait to text her and see 🙂 I was kind of hoping she’d find some miracle Dead Sea product for me as my favorite face moisturizer was discontinued a few years ago and is now outrageously expensive…

It’s my last jar…..and I’m very sad.

I’m hoping M can scoop some seaweed from the Dead Sea and bring it to me…We’ll see. I’m tellin’ ya.  This stuff works wonders. I have yet to find a suitable replacement.

Secondly, I started a new woodworking project yesterday (Awesome Sunday) and it’s partially inspired by the movie Pride and Prejudice (the one with Keira Knightley and Matthew MacFadyen) which I have never seen but love the quote of his, ‘you have bewitched me, body and soul, and I love, I love, I love you.’ *sigh* It’s just so beautiful. So I sketched some pretty stuff around the words and started burning.

I’m currently into paisley patterns

I just used some scrap craft wood I had- super cheap at Michaels. Like a dollar.

It’s comin’ along!

Hopefully I can finish it tonight.

Thirdly, I started a new book recently- A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin. I’m sure you’ve heard of it already. The book is fantastic so far. My Grandpa Cole gave me a useful tip on how to handle large books with a lot of characters- when you begin the book, make a list of characters with a brief (like two or three words max) description of who they are and use it as a bookmark until you’ve got it down. Works like a charm. Hopefully I’ll have a review of this one soon!

I’m a fast reader, but this one will take me awhile!

And lastly, M got this FANTASTIC (and when I say fantastic, I mean fan. tas. tic.) table from her husband’s younger brother. He made it in his woodshop class out of the rails from a staircase and some beautiful wood pieces. It’s a little higher than waist level- more at bar level and is perfect for a crafting table. I mean perfect. I feel kind of mean describing this gorgeous table especially since I have no picture to share. However. I am coveting this table and since I don’t have a big enough vehicle to smuggle it into I have decided to make my own. One of my friends’ father has a woodshop and has agreed to help me make my own table! This is an extremely rough sketch of what I am hoping to create.

I am hopefully finding the wood I need this week, and I will take MANY photos, I promise.

So, with all these cool projects on my calendar, it’s only going to get crazier for me this week! Oh! And I still haven’t found a cake recipe for M’s cake yet. I’m hoping to find one in Mom’s recipe box! We shall see….

Happy Monday!

-K

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