Sunday, July 29, 2012


My days of freedom are dwindling.... only 4 days and counting... the non-educators have zero sympathy, I know. But for those of you who have ever had a profession where you encounter a "busy season", imagine busy season lasting 10 months. You really need those two months of solitude to remember why you chose your profession in the first place. 
Like any "brief" hiatus, as the finish line approaches, there is a rush to complete all that you planned for the said break. 

I made great Cappuccino Brownies for my small group that turned out amazing!
I think I've decided I'm not a horrible baker after all. Recipe at bottom...
Is your mouth watering yet?
The original recipe called for a thick frosting, but I lightened it up a bit with a summer glaze.
One of my student's parents felt a little bad for me having to take on her challenging daughter and gave me a giftcard to Shakespeare's Tavern last spring. We just now got the chance to go!
As a literature teacher, who teaches Shakespeare, I can't believe I've never been here. It was so fun! Twelfth Night was the scene of a great date night with by hubby and some yummy Shepherd's Pie on the side. 
As your Coffee Connoisseur, I can't believe I've never been to a "CUPPING", until now. My friend Ashley and I went to Counter Culture for a free "cupping" on Friday. Imagine a wine tasting, but with coffee. I loved it!

Cappuccino Brownies come from the "What's Cooking" Baking Cookbook, but I was lacking a few things and didn't want the rich icing so I will note the changes made: 

Generous 1.5 cups self-rising flour (I only had all-purpose which you can look up online how to add 1/8 teaspoon salt and extra teaspoon of baking powder)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp unsweetened cocoa (plus extra for dusting)
1 C butter softened (I only had a half a cup so I used EVOO for the other half)
Generous C of sugar
4 eggs beaten
3 tbsp instant coffee powder dissolved in 2 tbsp of hot water

(CubBuster's) Icing

1/2 tsp vanilla
Confections Sugar
1/2 cup milk

Grease an 11x7 shallow cake pan and line bottom with wax paper. Sift flour, baking powder, and cocoa into bowl and add butter, sugar, eggs and coffee. Beat well with electric whisk or by hand until smooth, then spoon into prepared pan and smooth the top. 
Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes or until risen and firm. let cool in pan for few minutes then turn out onto wire rack and peel off lining paper. Let cool completely. 
To make frosting, beat all ingredients. Start with a cup of sugar and continue adding more as you beat with electric mixer until consistency desired. (I had it pretty light but thick enough to spoon out) drizzle over entire brownie block before slicing. It will be absorbed naturally by the brownie. ENJOY! 

~Cappuccino CubBuster

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Sunny San Diego

We had a great trip out to beautiful San Diego. This was our view from the train from LAX to Solana Beach
Wednesday night when we arrived we had to go from a plane, to a bus, to a train. We did it all and saw it all!
Not a great pic, but the Cubbuster did it again. Padres 1- Astros- 0
Jaj is no fair-weather fan. She doesn't give up on the Padres!
Matthew's first time to San Diego proved to be one of the best. Not only did he walk on and play Torrey Pines (a perfect dream for him shooting 77 with my dad's clubs), but he also loved the huge Pacific waves!
One of my all-time favorite spots- hiking the hills of Torrey Pines
Spent an afternoon in the gorgeous La Jolla Beach. The pictures really don't do it justice.
I had a similar pic in Paris, where I was immediately told to get down by an officer. The people of Cali are a little more relaxed about tree climbing.
Matthew went out to wait patiently for the perfect wave with the many surfers. He didn't really enjoy all the waiting around, and he's a golfer- go-figure.
Del Mar beach was packed and the weather was perfect!
An amazing woman: my Great-grandmother is 97 and still looking amazing. It was a true blessing that she could finally meet my hubby after 8 years.
We had such a great time seeing family and relaxing. Love my Cali Jaj!


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Movies that Move

Our 4th of July was a little non-conventional since non-Independence day patrons were setting off the non-American fireworks without any fire code or regulations or possibly instructions written in their native tongue. You can't really tell from the video, but the flaming cow had fire spewing out of all sides of it (including the rear) and then spinning wheels of fire came flying at us (I don't think this part was planned). Notice Matthew's evil laugh in the background before we begin to run ourselves. I don't think I've ever laughed and cried so hard at the same time. Best 4th EVER!

We got to see my precious nephew when we got back from Ecuador. He is probably the cutest thing I've ever seen. I finally bribed him to say mine and Matthew's names. We are Aunt Khaki and Uncle Myth.... I kind of feel like super heros. I hope it sticks!

Easton's signature dance was incredible. My sister and brother-in-law truly know how to raise their kid right! :)   I hope he becomes a dancer like his Aunt Khaki. He already has Intro to Hip Hop checked off.

He's just growing up before my eyes..... well not before mine since he's living in a different state, but he's growin up beautifully all the same!


Saturday, July 14, 2012


Many people wonder why you need to go to another country to serve. Well, I don't think you need to. In terms of "serving"--i.e.  helping, assisting or  giving to others-- I agree that our country needs a ton of service. Heck, serving in downtown Atlanta in some of the poorest, most dangerous neighborhoods is pretty much like being in a different country. Although, there's a difference between giving aid and spreading the gospel. God has done SO many unbelievable things in my life that I should constantly be giving thanks to Him. Just like when I find an amazing, new coffee shop and want to tell the world, so too, I want to tell the world of God's amazing gift of grace and love. There are so many people who have heard of Jesus in our country of battling church corners, but there are many people who have never even heard of the name Jesus who live in complete darkness on other side of the globe. That's not to say that there aren't people in North America who need to hear the good news of Jesus, but why not spread the news locally, regionally, and globally? I think it's a draw on one's heart that must be experienced to properly explain. Our Texas-Ecuadorian pastor gave it to us another way. He said, "When the Ecuadorians see you Americans come all the way over here to help them in life and in ministry, they too decide to go out and serve others in love." It's like a sort of chain reaction. A "pay it forward," if you will.  Trust me, you may think it's just a way to "serve", but I can't help but think it's a way to meet my extended family.


Monday, July 9, 2012

Que pasa

After a week of rice dieting, broken Spanish, and sore muscles, Matthew and I now have many new sisters and brothers in Ecuador. Our mission trip journey was spectacular only because of the One who enabled us to work, love, and serve our South American, church family. There is so much to say about the trip, but I will have to add commentary in upcoming posts. For now, I will let the pictures speak for themselves. God is good, and it is amazing to see His love and His ability to break language and cultural barriers through the outpouring of His good works and great love. 

I loved these little ones. Winter break was about to start for them (south of the equator), so we got to have VBS and medical well checks during the last two days of school.

The camp that the full-time missionaries started was directly outside an active volcano! It was just gorgeous, and thankfully didn't erupt during our stay.

Camp terrain was pretty amazing!

Not only did I help paint the school, but learned how to use a nail gun to make benches and tables for the jungle camp and local church partner. Matthew knows that nail gun is number one on my Christmas list this year! 

Probably one of the hardest and sorest days for the men making and pouring concrete at the church.

There wasn't really sophisticated scaffolding in the small town we worked in. Thank the Lord no one fell! 

The medical clinic saw about 288 people in four days, and I was able to use my spanish to help a bit in the pharmacy portion. Our perspective was certainly adjusted in seeing all that the Ecuadorians don't have.

With the men working construction, we were a little short on male disciples, so we Oscar nominated stars stepped in for VBS. My agent should be calling to book my next show any day now.

To see God's splendor and promise in the many rainbows after afternoon showers was breathtaking.

We got to visit the middle of the Earth at the Equator on our last day. Who knew that it would be chilly there so high up, and that the equator would be yellow!

One of my favorite little boys!

Pastor Hernon and his wife welcomed us to their church with open arms and open hearts. We will miss them dearly!

Our translators became our BFFs. It was funny to make jokes about our language differences. They are truly God's precious children!

Thank God for all His blessings. We wanted to serve others, but ended up being served in so many ways.

More to come...