Tuesday, January 25, 2011

February crafts

Can't believe February is lurking around the corner.  I've already come across way too many cute things I want to make, so I've already set a date on the calendar to get crafting.

Here's what I'm making this month:

Yarn Love

Postage Stamp Coasters

And a jewelry organizer, inspiration courtesy of Craft Warehouse.

I'm excited to start working on these projects for a few reasons:

1. Being a student, especially in the program that I am in, everything is theoretical, so its exciting to produce something tangible with my own two hands.

2. Home gets a little update and I get the claim of "making it myself" - such a rewarding feeling!

So I'll definitely be staying busy while its gloomy and rainy outside.   How are you spending your gray February?  Are you working on any projects?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Mission Connexion

It's been a while since I wrote, but its been a busy couple weeks!  This past weekend was AMAZING, spent at Mission Connexion NW.  I love this conference, every year it reminds me how much work there is to be done in this world AND inspires me to see all the great work for the Kingdom already being done.  Absolutely fabulous being surrounded by so many mission-minded people - with the united mindset, it really feels like family. It was also a blessing to sing worship songs in hindi, arabic, hungarian and english, especially in the context of remembering Christians all over the world and the different challenges they face because of their faith.   We even got a list of a few churches we'll be visiting in the coming months.  We ran into a woman attending Village Baptist church, one that was recognized by the City of Beaverton for its diversity. How beautiful it is when the church breaks racial and cultural stereotypes and embraces the beauty in culture!  I love it!

Finally, we forgot to pick up our copy of Operation World - hopefully we'll get that soon, but if you're not in the loop with this and are interested in what is going on around the world you at least have to check out their website.  The book and the website allow you to look at any country and see what sorts of social, political, economical, etc. issues the country is facing and what to pray for.  The book is set up to walk you through praying for every country throughout the year.  Pretty amazing resource.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Exciting Weekend Deals

I don't post deals often but these are pretty exciting:

1 year Bon Appetit magazine subscription for only $3.99!! Just enter the Coupon code "FOOD."

Old Navy is having a Practically Free For All Sale, clearance items up to 80% off this weekend only (Jan. 14-17)

And if you're a JRR Tolkien fan - he's having a pretty big birthday bash at the Kennedy School, with a showing of the trilogy, music, costume contest, and more. Find details here.

Pretty rad eh?

Singularities, Single Spaces, & Seedfolks

This week has been pretty intense.

Even though its 2011 and we don't have civilians with flying cars, technology has been becoming an even bigger part of our life and after hearing The Singularity: Humanity's Last Invention segment on NPR, I am honestly a tad freaked out.  Generally I embrace the benefits of technology and am not too cautious - but this week when I heard Martin Kaste discuss the reality of artificial intelligence multiplying in its intelligence and potentially becoming a threat to humanity, images of all those apoccalyptic Matrix and 1984 horrors started filling my mind.  We are closer to such an invention than ever before - don't you think its time we slow down a little?

I also read Paul Fleischman's Seedfolks, which was timely as its a story about an inner-city community in Cleveland that blossoms as its members slowly decide to plant in the neighborhood rundown empty lot.    The story was inspiring and reminded me of the many beautiful community moments at my previous apartment complex.  I miss that place a lot and hope to engage similarly where I am now.  Perhaps getting connected with a community garden in Tigard would be a good place to start... I will keep looking.

Finally, the intensity of the week concludes with David sending me the article that has finally convicted me of my writing sin: the double space.  Writing and typography snobs will agree that single space is the way to go.  I have without conscious thought have been typing double space my whole life and believed it was better.  I can't break the habit, but I will be giving it a shot - after this post. Wish me luck!   

Here's to a great simple weekend doing simple things!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Super cute video + book

This is an absolutely adorable video put together by Ocoee Middle School in Florida:

The awesome part is that this is clearly a school-wide activity and the principal is in on it.  The lady in front of the kids (not on the stage) wearing the red sweater shaking her fist in the air is the principal.  So cool and inspiring seeing a principal get down like that in honor of getting her students into reading.

If you're feeling uninspired (especially with this gloomy rain outside) - check out the Awesome Book of Thanks.  It's so cute, it should definitely make the grouchiest person crack a smile and think of something to be thankful for.

Happy Thursday. You almost made it to the weekend!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

My favorites from this month's Cooking Light magazine

Looking to January's Cooking Light magazine for meal inspiration this week: 

Also excited to visit Indian friends for dinner this week for some authentic Indian food.  Perhaps I'll be able to acquire a recipe for a true Indian dish. 

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Favorite Show: Parenthood

Primetime tv is usually filled with pointless promiscuity and unnecessary violence.  A lot of lust and very minimal quality content, seldom (if ever) does it address any thought-provoking, real life issues that are important in our society.

Parenthood is different.  This fictional drama explores the daily challenges faced by a realistically portrayed family (you wont find any sitcom stereotypes here) and explores important issues in todays world. The issues are explored with respect and range from autism, alcoholism, responsibility, commitment, and beyond.  Each episode follows the challenges family members are facing individually as well as how these challenges interweave and affect others in the family.  Characters are well developed and although there may be some profanity or sexual scenes, they are not there just for the sake of it.  This show is rich with meaning and purpose, and gives a realistic picture of the complexity of personal, family, and work life - how decisions affect ourselves and those around us.

Overall, I think this is a worthy show - I've seen every episode of Season 2 so far and continue to be impressed.  It's definitely one of my favorites of all time.

Watch it here and see for yourself.

2011: Embracing technology in education

Old news: technology is a way of life for most kids today.  Club Penguin is as popular with 2nd graders as Facebook is with teens. Children's computer use has tripled in the last ten years.  Although obsession with technology may have its own variety of implications, it only makes sense that the educational system began to use technology for their greater good:

Canby school district is incorporating ipods & ipads in their elementary classrooms to help kids learn to read and do math.  My little brother learned to search for his favorite videos on youtube before he learned how to write, so I definitely see why this is catching on.  Not only are kids enjoying these devices - they are proving to actually increase test scores - and as we all know, the education system today is all about test scores.  New York Times agrees.

For a while, students were able to take advantage of technology for their benefit, as their technologically challenged teachers caught up with the times. Not any more.  Schools are now using technology to combat the very thing kids used to rely on to cheat. 

I'm taking a course this terms called Computer Apps in the Classroom...clearly I'm already excited about the topic since I write this post even before my first day of class...but it is almost certain that I will be engaging this topic further in the coming months. 

Do you feel it is important to consider the implications of technology in the classroom?  What excites you about increased technology in the classroom?  What worries you? 

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Love: Asos Fashion Online

I may have just discovered the online version of Nordstrom Rack - Asos.  Ton's of designer fashion decently priced (including a large sale and outlet section), and finally a store where I feel I actually have a decent selection to choose from.  Will definitely be looking into this place once its time to update the Spring wardrobe.

Pictured above - a couple of my favorite things from this site: HeadbandNecklace; Dress

Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Year!

You may have taken down your Christmas tree, but Russians are just gearing up for the orthodox Christmas celebrations.  And just when you thought you have received all your new years congratulations - here's one more - vintage Russian style.

Discover more Soviet new year's greetings here.   And if you feel inspired - make some pierogi.  Yum!
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