Friday, December 18, 2009

Longwood Gardens

Every other year, the Drexel Chorus gets an opportunity to sing at Longwood Gardens for their Christmas Wonderland. I took a few pictures while I was there this year. The fountain show is my favorite part. I could sit and watch the fountain show all night! (...if I could manage to stay warm long enough ;-) )





Some Christmas spirit for you...

Monday, December 14, 2009

Warm holiday sipping...

Wassail, wassail all over the town...

What better than to warm your spirits on a chilly December evening than a hot cup of Wassail with its wonderful smell wafting through the air?

I made a lovely pot of wassail this weekend. Feel free to scale the recipe (mine was suitable for a party of 16).

1 gallon apple cider
1 quart orange juice
1 quart pineapple juice
1 quart cranberry juice
1 orange (cut in half, squeezed over the pot, studded with cloves, tossed into the pot)
1 lemon (cut in half, squeezed over the pot, studded with cloves, tossed into the pot)
3 cinnamon sticks
all spice berries (I didn't measure these... maybe a tablespoon or two?)
a sprinkle of ground cinnamon
a sprinkle of ground cloves
a sprinkle of ground all spice
a sprinkle of ground nutmeg

bring to a boil and simmer for an hour
transfer to a crockpot or serve directly from the pot

optional alcohol:
cream sherry and brandy (you can add whatever amount you wish... )

mmm... the left overs taste great too!!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Way Back When-esday

Sunday, November 22, 2009

No Dairy Cranberry Apple Cake...

Here at the den I have ventured into a new realm of cooking... the ultimate goal is to produce a god-daughter friendly baked good that I can take when I visit (... I've been promising a visit for much too long). My adorable god-daughter "BF" just turned 5 years old! BF has a few allergies which, I'm pretty sure, include milk and eggs. Cranberry apple cake for a 5 year old?! you say? Well, no, I'm really not expecting a 5 year old to be ecstatic about cranberry apple cake, but I had to start somewhere and seeing as Thanksgiving is quickly approaching, I thought I'd start with something seasonal. Plus, I'm not really sure what all I need to avoid other than dairy in making a BF friendly item.

It looks quite lovely... the raw batter certainly tasted good! Since I'm going to JB's extended family thanksgiving dinner tomorrow, I'm going to refrain from eating it just yet so that it will still look pretty when we take it. I stole a little piece that baked over the edge of the pan and it seemed to be pretty tasty... here's hoping! (Shh, don't tell them that they're the guinea pigs ;-) ) More to come on the taste review...

In case it is as tasty as it seemed, here's the recipe: (I forgot to add the vanilla... oops... next time)

1 3/4 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt (I used kosher salt)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. all spice
1 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp egg replacer, 3 tbsp warm water mixed
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup applesauce
3/4 cup rice milk with 1/2 tsp. cider vinegar
2 tbsp honey
2 tsp vanilla

Mix all ingredients to form batter...
Fold in fruit

2 1/2 cups chopped green apple (reserve some for topping)
1 cup cranberries (halved) (reserve some for topping)

Pour into 9" greased & floured pan (mine almost overflowed the pan but I may have used too much fruit).
Top with reserved apples and cranberries, sprinkle with raw sugar.
Bake at 350°F for 50-70 minutes or until set in the middle (check with toothpick).

Sunday, November 15, 2009

In memorium...

look, my arm...

This guy was standing to my left... the right hand corner of his video features my left arm (blue sweatshirt, wrist watch)

Implosion of the Drexel Shaft...

THE DREXEL SHAFT is GONE!



I was there to see it in person. Alas, my cameras both failed me... the one taking the video stopped recording when the explosion occurred for unknown reasons and the one that I was using to take still pictures decided to turn off... GRRRRR! of all the times! Anyway, I really couldn't have used the video anyway on this blog because the petite blond girl next to me started yelling obscenities as soon as it happened.

Anyway, you can enjoy the first youtube posting of the implosion and a few of my before and after shots


In this next video you can see the shockwave... the point at which my video taping camera stopped its recording...

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Comment spam

Well, ladies and gentlemen, due to the volume of comment spam that has been occurring here at the Den, I've added a step to the comment process which asks you to type in some sort of word in an attempt to reduce these unwanted comments. Please don't let it stop you from leaving comments on my sporadic postings... I <3 comments... I just prefer real comments!

Thanks to everyone who leaves real comments for me! :-)

New posts are coming soon... I promise (as soon as I get a few spare minutes)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

100 things... finally

1 - part of the reason I've been avoiding my blog was to avoid this post
2 - I never know what to say about myself in these list things ... everything I think of seems uninteresting and I don't know why you'd want to read 100 of them
3 - I enjoy playing with little kids... as long as they're not destructive
4 - my favorite age to babysit for is 0-1.5
5 - besides wanting to be the Philly Phanatic, I also wanted to be a master Lego builder... yes, it is an actual job where you build with Legos and get paid for it!
6 - I am the 6th grandchild on my dad's side of the family, but I'm the first with brown eyes
7 - my hair does whatever it wants, whenever it wants - JB's neice once told me that I just need to tell it who is boss... it still doesn't listen
8 - I've donated my hair twice for Locks of Love
9 - my all time favorite band is The Changing Times... I always told my neighbors I wanted The Changing Times to play for my wedding reception but they told me that I could have my dad play at my wedding - Cousin Amy set the precedent... they played for her reception... maybe one day...
10 - I like to listen to loud polka music while I clean
11 - I like to listen to music I can sing to while I'm driving... lucky for everyone I do most of my driving by myself
12 - liturgical music & show tunes are my favorite types of music to play on the piano
13 - one day, I'd like to sing Bach's Mass in B Minor... that will never happen with the Drexel Chorus
14 - I've sung with the Drexel Chorus for 8 years... year 9 started on Sept. 21st.
15 - I've been singing in various church choirs since 1st grade
16 - I do NOT like roaches... ewwwwwww
17 - sleeping is a guilty pleasure... I'd love to sleep/stay in my bed for hours on end, but usually I end up getting up because I feel guilty that there are so many other things I should be doing
18 - I get grumpy when I'm hungry... like the plant in Little Shop of Horrors... feed me, feed me now!
19 - When I'm hungry I have a difficult time deciding what to eat... I usually try to think about what I'm going to eat before I get hungry
20 - I CANNOT tollerate open drawers, especially if something is sticking out of the drawer. All drawers must be closed all of the time!
21 - I organize my closet by type of clothing and each type of clothing has its own type of hanger... pants on black hangers, sweaters on pink hangers, blouses on light blue hangers, etc.
22 - When I was younger I had a lot of trouble finding shoes that fit so when I'd find a pair that was comfortable I'd get them... I need to break this habit because now I have A LOT of shoes!
23 - I like to sleep on cloud 9... cushy beds and piles of pillows... can't wait till I have time to put on my new mattress topper!!!
24 - I like going in the ocean but I do not like to step on things that are on the bottom... so, I always take my "rafty-raft"
25 - this means that I have completed 25% of my list of "things"
26 - years old = me
27 - I like to cook, but I also like to bake... I've been told that this is unusual as people generally tend toward one or the other
28 - Mom gave me a test to determine if I'm dominantly right brained or left brained... guess what?! I use both my brains... but I tend toward the scientific and logic
29 - I've lived in the same apartment for 6 years
30 - I'm currently living with my third roommate in the apartment
31 - I have no idea what my roommate is actually studying (astrophysics)
32 - my previous roommate and I were both in civil engineering
33 - my first roommate is married and lives in Texas?
34 - I am seriously addicted to bubble tea... I don't know what I'll do when the Bubble House isn't right down the street
35 - I'm not really a fan of chocolate... unless it is dark chocolate!!!
36 - I'm allergic to roses... they're pretty but not worth the lack of ability to breath
37 - my favorite flower is amaryllis
38 - my favorite easter flower is the calla lily
39 - I don't have a favorite color
40 - I don't have a middle name
41 - JB and I have the same three digits following our initials on our school email addresses (the only difference is s vs. m)
42 - I met JB freshman year of college
43 - He doesn't remember this
44 - we met in the Newman Club
45 - I couldn't imagine dating a non-catholic
46 - I have "honorary grandparents"... the best next door neighbors any kid could ask for!
47 - I have one sister
48 - I have 13 first cousins... this pales in comparrison to JB's (approximately 40ish?)
49 - I still have trouble with the names of some of JB's aunts and uncles... cousins, pshh, who knows!! (I can name a few of them... mostly the older ones)
50 - I'm now 50% of the way through this list... I wonder if anyone is still reading...
51 - In third grade I decided that the recessional for my wedding would be Widor's Toccata... I haven't changed my mind!

52 - I had just finished second grade when I was first "hired" to sing for a wedding
53 - my church choir director was awesome... she's the reason I'm so involved in liturgical music ministry today!
54 - I once went to every Easter service at my church because I was involved in some form (singing, ringing handbells, altar serving, lectoring) starting on Holy Thursday straight through every Mass on Sunday
55 - I enjoy traditions... esp. Christmas and Easter food traditions!
56 - I went to 13 years of Catholic school - apparently this is evident in my cursive handwriting
57 - my first year of college would have been easier than my senior year of high school if I hadn't had 2 kidney stones!
58 - I enjoyed "tornado drills" in kindergarten because sister would give us fresh baked chocolate chip cookies if we were good while we were near the kitchen
59 - my first grade teacher tried to ruin my life... she said I'd never go anywhere with math or science
60 - I have two bachelor degrees in engineering
61 - I'm working on my masters in Civil engineering
62 - I attended the same highschool that my parents went to and even had some of the same teachers!
63 - the high school I attended was co-ed when I went there but not when my parents went there... to this day, the second floors of the two wings do not connect to eachother
64 - I have never had a pet... my stuffed animals make up for this with their respective personallities...
65 - my sis would kill me if I gave away her "nickname" that was used at home when we were little... this doesn't stop her from calling me by my nickname
66 - my favorite vegetable is asparagus
67 - when we were asked to bring in a vegetable for stew in preschool I volunteered for lima beens and an onion... my classmates thought this was gross
68 - I like liver and onions... my grandmother ordered it one year when we were at V-7 for my birthday dinner... I've liked it ever since
69 - my mom and I have very different cooking styles... I have no idea where I learned to cook
70 - I cook when I'm stressed... like I shouldn't be doing other things with my time
71 - I have 9 pillows on my bed not including my body pillow or my smiley face pillows or my eeyore pillow (and my bed is only a twin)
72 - I don't like other people using my pillows... I have specific pillows on the bed that are "guest" pillows... I never sleep on these (they are in the back)
73 - I like to sleep under a pile of blankets so I like it to be cold when I'm sleeping
74 - I have been known to yell things in my sleep and wake up my family
75 - the furniture in the bedroom of my apartment was specifically designed and built for the apartment (interchangeable to the other bedroom as well) by my dad and me
76 - I have a beautiful coffee table designed and built by JB's dad
77 - I would like to travel; some of the places I'd like to go include: Slovakia, Germany, England, Rome, Italy, Hawaii, Alaska, Seattle, Dubai, New Zealand, Austrailia...
78 - I'd like to go back to New Mexico, the Navajo nation was pretty awesome!
79 - I like making cards rather than buying them, I think it adds a personal touch that you just can't find in a store bought card... every now and then I find a "must send" store bought card... those exceptions are few and far between
80 - I can no longer keep up with making baby blankets for baby showers... not enough time to crochet!!
81 - I've made two full size afghans... one for one of my best friends in high school and one for my sister
82 - I have a collection of matching sets of hats, scarves, and gloves... I like warm cozy things!
83 - I collect baseball caps... I put them up on pins around the top of my room (who needs crown molding?! ;-) )
84 - I got a fortune cookie at the Hard Wok Buffet that says that I'll be ok as long as I don't sign up for anything new... hmmmmm, perhaps I should try this for a while
85 - I <3 <3 <3 the green beans at the Hard Wok... I don't know what they put on those babies, but I could eat whole plates full of them!! (and crab rangoons)
86 - I like toasted marshmallows, but I'm not a fan of smores... toasted marshmallows on chocolate graham crackers is where it's at (this goes back to my lack of enthusiasm about milk chocolate)
87 - my left knee hurts when it is cold and rainy
88 - I didn't really own much in the way of pink clothing until I started working on construction sites... now I feel the need to have pink things!
89 - I enjoy painting my fingernails creatively... I managed a Phillies "P" and a baseball for playoff season
90 - I like Vera Bradley bags but I refuse to pay full price for them... therefore, I never have the current patterns... only retiring ones (or ones that they run particular sales on)
91 - AC Moore and Home Depot are equally dangerous stores... I could easily waste half a day in either one
92 - I enjoy making jewelry... I like to go to craft fairs for ideas :-)
93 - sometimes I think I should open a cafe or a hobby shop...
94 - I have a large collection of teas... I made a prototype shelf out of foam-core board several years ago... the tea is still on the prototype shelf... wood version coming eventually?!
95 - T gave me the cutest tea pot... my teapot looks like a little piggy (it whistles through it's snout)
96 - I don't have cable tv, but I do get more homeshopping/infomertial stations than you could ever imagine... oy!
97 - I have been told that my blog is religious... I was surprised by this comment
98 - In addition to engineering school, I'm currently attending bartending school (I've been trying to do this for several years but haven't been able to fit it in... here's hopin)
99 - I have a twin sister who isn't really related... my best friend from home was born a day after me and we went to school together for 12 years
100 - I made it to the end!!!!!!!! hope you enjoyed my list.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Inspiration...

Service Team 2009-2010 is going to be awesome!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

oops, this was still in drafts...

Have You Forgotten (Daryl Worley)
I hear people sayin', "We Don't need this war."
I say there's some things worth fightin' for.
What about our freedom, and this piece of ground?
We didn't get to keep 'em by backin' down.
They say we don't realize the mess we're gettin' in
Before you start preachin' let me ask you this my friend.
Have you forgotten, how it felt that day?
To see your homeland under fire
And her people blown away
Have you forgotten, when those towers fell
We had neighbors still inside goin through a livin hell
And you say we shouldn't worry bout Bin Laden
Have you forgotten?
You took all the footage off my T.V.
Said it's too disturbin for you and me
It'll just breed anger is what the experts say
If it was up to me I'd show it everyday
Some say this country just out lookin' for a fight
Well after 9/11 man I'd have to say right.
Have you forgotten, how it felt that day?
To see your homeland under fire
And her people blown away
Have you forgotten when those towers fell
We had neighbors still inside goin' through a livin' hell
And we vow to get the ones behind Bin Laden
Have you forgotten?
I've been there with the soldiers
Who've gone away to war
you can bet they remember just what they're fightin' for
Have you forgotten
All the people killed
Yes some went down like heroes in that Pennsylvania field
Have you forgotten
About our Pentagon
All the loved ones that we lost
And those left to carry on
Don't you tell me not to worry 'bout Bin Laden
Have you forgotten?
Have you forgotten?
Have you forgotten?!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I haven't forgotten. It was a clear blue beautiful day. I was at the public library when I heard about it. All of my high school friends had left for college but my move-in day was still 6 days away. I remember watching the television coverage. It was all so unreal. The events of 9/11 changed our lives forever. How quickly people seem to have forgotten the American spirit of unity that was displayed in the days and weeks following the attacks. Today's college freshmen were only about 11 years old... they barely even remember the events if they were allowed to watch any of the footage.
9/11/01 - Never forget

Monday, September 14, 2009

seriously?

Ok, first things first, I'll get around to a 100 things post... it just isn't going to appear as my 100th post as that is now and you are not going to read 100 things... maybe 100 words ;-) before I check out for the night.

Tonight was the epitome of random spontaneity!! I called a friend to see if she'd had dinner yet... which she was eating when I called. Instead, she came over for left over birthday cake from my cousin's birthday celebration over the weekend. Incidentally, the intrigue over the cake was that it was a mudslide cake... chocolate Kahlua cake with Bailey's Irish Cream icing. It turned out to be quite a tasty morsel! Anyway, I realized it was Monday which could possibly mean Big Bang Theory on TV. I turned on the tv and low-and-behold Dream Girls was on... not that I haven't seen this movie about 7 or 8 times (or more) and also seen the School of the Future's stage performance... but I get sucked in every time! To make matters more ridiculous, it is a long show without commercials... then add commercials and Oh my! Enter new roommate, returning from a grad student reception where they served wine, but very little food. C. enjoyed roommate's "glowing happiness." While many funny/crazy things transpired, I'm kinda tired so I'll leave you with C's descriptor for me for this evening... "you're a weirdo-face".

Yes, thank you, I certainly am! ;-)

G'night!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Dear Blog,

Dear Blog,

I'm sorry for the recent neglect. I didn't mean to abandon you for weeks at a time but I've been very busy. I have a new roommate who has now returned from a traveling expedition. I've been to Knoebels with my dad for our yearly excursion... so much fun - just a bit soggy. I've survived hundreds of spiders at work and expect that I will see many more in the upcoming weeks and months. I've gone swimming a few times at mom-n-dad's. I've sung for a number of polka masses and a polka lutheran service. I've tried out some tasty new recipes. I've found a type of karaoke that I actually enjoyed... thanks church choir! I've colored many notecards for a friend's music students. I've eaten at some tasty restaurants. I've worked many more hours that I expected. I sang in a chorus concert. I did a back flip on a windy day through a burning hoop... ok, perhaps I imagined that one ;-)

As you can see, Blog, I've had a few things on my schedule. I'll try to visit more often in the near future!

Love,
BECA Hawkette

Friday, August 21, 2009

Seven Quick Takes on Friday (vol.2 - work)


1 - There are killer spiders all around me (how they get to the middle of a river puzzles me!)... I've decided I really hate spiders!


2 - I can usually work a whole shift w/o using the porta-potty... except when the option is taken away - then I have to go :-O


3 - 90 degrees isn't so bad when there is a swift breeze... it's horrendous when the breeze goes away!


4 - don't ask Walmart staff where to find a barometer - they have no idea what that is.


5 - rivers can flow in two directions


6 - shade is very precious


7 - Friday is the new Thursday (at least when your jobsite works 6 days a week).

Friday, July 31, 2009


This is my first go at quick takes... since Musikfest starts tonight, I think I'll focus on 7 quick takes of the festival:

1. Musikfest started in 1984 with 6 stages.

2. For many years, the highest point (elevation wise) of the festival was Familienplatz which was located at the top of the Broad Street Walk. (The road has since been reopened and this platz has retired.)

3. The "big name" groups used to be presented at Kunzplatz which was located where Moravian College's new Hurd Campus Residence is being built. These concerts were known to draw crowds that would force the closure of Lehigh Street. The big names have since been moved to "River Place" on Sand Island.

4. Festplatz was the center of polka music at the festival until a few years ago... now it features a mix of music that incorporates only some polka. Each year a German band (from Germany) would be hosted and perform at various times throughout the festival.

5. The Star of Bethlehem which sits high atop South Mountain can be seen from most parts of the festival grounds. The star stands 81 feet tall and is illuminated 250 50-watt light bulbs.

6. I remember when the Musikfest Office overlooked Liederplatz from its back door. It later moved to a location on Broad Street and is now located at the Banana Factory on the South Side.

7. This year's Musikfest runs from July 31st - August 9th... you should definitely come!!!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Summertime... and Musikfest!

Well, well, 3 days and counting till the kick-off of America's largest free music festival on Friday July 31st... MUSIKFEST!!!!! 10 days of concerts on many many stages... there's something for everybody!

If you're in the area on Thursday Aug. 6, check out my friend Dante Bucci at Liederplatz sometime between noon and 3pm. Here's a taste of Dante's music...



Let me know if you're planning to "Fest"... I'll be there as much as possible :)

If you're around on Aug. 9, come check out the Polka Mass at Musikfest featuring The Changing Times (Dad and the guys) and the Tatra Slovak Folk group. Mass is at 10am at Festplatz (under the bridge between Conestoga and Spring Streets.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Christmas in July!

So in honor of Christmas in July, I will share with you my most favorite rendition of a Christmas song that I never even really liked before I heard this version! This group is awesome! Seriously though, you need to listen to the whole thing... it's only 3.5 minutes... here it is, Straight No Chaser...

Straight No Chaser - 12 Days of Christmas


... and remember folks, there are only 153 days till Christmas!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

See you soon!!


Photo and video editing at www.OneTrueMedia.com

Please excuse my lack of pictures... I repeated them to get through the verse of the song. Apparently I need to use my camera more since these pics were totally from the choir page!

Anyway, the real point of this post...
Please say some prayers for my friend, "S" (didn't know if she'd want her name here). She will be traveling to Turkey for a loooooong time... well, really for the next six months. But that feels like a really loooooong time! Please pray that she has a safe trip!

back to the topic of cameras...
She has a fancy new camera... can't wait to see lots of cool pictures when she returns!

We'll miss you!!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

8 to the Bar



this one seems appropriate for today...



RIP MJ

Monday, June 8, 2009

I <3 my roomie...


The cutest teapot ever!!!!!

My roomie gave me this adorable teapot for my birthday. She will be leaving this summer *tears*. The teapot which we use frequently to satisfy our slight tea addiction (if you've seen the wall of tea options, you understand... perhaps a picture for another day!) is hers... now I have my very own... and it's smiling :-)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Big Day...

Before...

Monday, May 18, 2009

Flashbacks...

Here's a little video I put together about a month or so after I moved to my apartment. It's a bit choppy/bouncy as I was walking around with my laptop using my usb webcam at the time... how far technology has come since I did this!



Home Sweet Home!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Guest Post!!!

Since Hanta has no time to post, Max and I (this is Fritz) have decided to take over the blog and write a post! Here's a little slide show we put together way back in September. Master has more pictures that should go here too but we used what we have.

Take us back to the beach, we're ready to party!




Hanta will be back soon... just a few more weeks of classes.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

the toll of death rings on...

John 12:27-36


Jesus Speaks about His Death
"Now my heart is troubled - and what shall I say? Shall I say, 'Father, do not let this hour come upon me'? But this is why I came - so that I might go through this hour of suffering. Father, bring glory to your name!"

Then a voice spoke from heaven, "I have brought glory to it, and I will do so again."

The crowd standing there heard the voice, and some of them said it was thunder, while others said, "An angel spoke to him!"

But Jesus said to them, "It was not for my sake that this voice spoke, but for yours. Now is the time for this world to be judged; now the ruler of this world will be overthrown. When I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to me." (In saying this he indicated the kind of death he was going to suffer.)

The crowd answered, "Out Law tells us that the Messiah will live forever. How, then, can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?

Jesus answered, "The light will be among you a little longer. Continue on your way while you have the light, so that the darkness will not come upon you; for the one who walks in the dark does not know where he is going. Believe in the light, then, while you have it, so that you will be the people of the light."
Do I/we act as people of the light? Can others tell through the actions of our daily lives that we believe in the light? Or, do I/we walk in darkness? Can we believe without seeing? Is our faith strong enough? Would we have had the courage to believe if we lived when Jesus did? Would we have been confused and afraid? Would we have turned our back on the Messiah?

(Today's reflections apparently turned into a laundry list of questions! However, they seem like good questions to ponder during this season of Lent... Happy thinking!)

Happy St. Patrick's Day
to all you Irish folks.
(Isn't everybody at least a little Irish on St. Patrick's day?)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Romans 16:25-27

Concluding Prayer of Praise
Let us give glory to God! He is able to make you stand firm in your faith, according to the Good News I preach about Jesus Christ and according to the revelation of the secret truth which was hidden for long ages in the past. Now, however, that truth has been brought out into the open through the writings of the prophets; and by the command of the eternal God it is made known to all nations, so that all may believe and obey.

To the only God, who alone is all-wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever! Amen!
Hmm, I think that says everything... no more thoughts here.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

V is for Victory

tonight's reading comes from Psalms 20:1-9

A Prayer for Victory
May the Lord answer you when you are in trouble!
May the God of Jacob protect you!
May he send you help from his Temple and give you aid from Mount Zion.
May he accept all your offerings and be pleased with all your sacrifices.
May he give you what you desire and make all your plans succeed.
Then we will shout for joy over your victory and celebrate your triumph by praising our God.
May the Lord answer all your requests.

Now I know that the Lord fives victory to his chosen king;
he answers him from his holy heaven and by his power gives him great victories.
Some trust in their war chariots and others in their horses,
but we trust in the power of the Lord our God.
Such people will stumble and fall,
but we will rise and stand firm.

Give victory to the king, O Lord;
answer us when we call.
So, the one thing in particular that comes to mind as I read this is that God does answer all of our prayers. Those times when we think He isn't listening or hasn't heard us are the times when the answer to our prayers isn't quite what we think it should be. The answer to our prayers is not always a 'Yes'. Sometimes God has another plan for us. Although we may not see it or understand it at the time, His answer to our prayers is what is best for us in His plan for us which is far greater than any plan we may have for ourselves.

Friday, March 13, 2009

on the streets of Philadelphia...

Tonight's reading is from Revalations 3:7-13

The Message to Philadelphia
"To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write:
"This is the message from the one who is holy and true. He has the key that belonged to David, and when he opens a door, no one can close it, and when he closes it, no one can open it. I know what you do; I know that you have a little power; you have followed my teaching and have been faithful to me. I have opened a door in front of you, which no one can close. Listen! As for that group that belongs to Satan, those liars who claim that they are Jews but are not, I will make them come and bow down at your feet. They will all know that I love you. Because you have kept my command to endure, I will also keep you safe from the time of trouble which is coming upon the world to test all the people on earth. I am coming soon. Keep safe what you have, so that no one will rob you of your victory prize. I will make those who are victorious pillars in the temple of my God, and they will never leave it. I will write on them the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which will come down out of heaven from my God. I will also write on them my new name.
"If you have ears, then, listen to what the Spirit says to the churches!"
Well, this one hits home quite literally (well, maybe a different continent). Anyway, perhaps more of us in Philadelphia should listen to what the churches have to say. Perhaps if more of us did, we'd have less violence on the streets and in our communities. Perhaps we would not have to bury six police officers in sixteen months! Perhaps we'd have more brotherly love in this "City of Brotherly Love."

Thursday, March 12, 2009

and the roulette continues...

Tonight's page opens to: 1 Corinthians 7:1-16

Questions about Marriage
Now, to deal with the matters you wrote about. A man does well not to marry. But because there is so much immorality, every man should have his own wife, and every woman should have her own husband. A man should fulfill his duty as a husband, and a woman should fulfill her duty as a wife, and each should satisfy the other's needs. A wife is not the master of her own body, but her husband is; in the same way a husband is not the master of his own body, but his wife is. Do not deny yourselves to each other, unless you first agree to do so for a while in order to spend your time in prayer; but then resume normal marital relations. In this way you will be kept from giving in to Satan's temptation because of your lack of self-control.
I tell you this not as an order, but simply as a permission. Actually I would prefer that all of you were as I am; but each one has a special gift from God, one person this gift, another one that gift.
Now, to the unmarried and to the widows I say that it would be better for you to continue to live alone as I do. But if you cannot restrain your desires, go ahead and marry - it is better to marry than to burn with passion.
For married people I have a command which is not my own but the Lord's: a wife must not leave her husband; but if she does, she must remain single or else be reconciled to her husband; and a husband must not divorce his wife.
To the others I say (I, myself, not the Lord): if a Christian man has a wife who is an unbeliever and she agrees to go on living with him, he must not divorce her. And if a Christian woman is married to a man who is an unbeliever and he agrees to go on living with her, she must not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband is made acceptable to God by being united to his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made acceptable to God by being united to her Christian husband. If this were not so, their children would be like pagan children; but as it is, they are acceptable to God. However, if the one who is not a believer wishes to leave the Christian partner, let it be so. In such cases the Christian partner, whether husband or wife, is free to act. God has called you to live in peace. How can you be sure, Christian wife, that you will not save your husband? Or how can you be sure, Christian husband, that you will not save your wife?
Wow, sounds like the Corinthians were having a tough time with the concept of marriage, perhaps particularly mixed-faith marriages. This reading is still very pertinent in our times. It seems that marriage is not taken as seriously now as it was in the past. Divorce seems to be the easy solution. How is it that we have come to a point where a lifetime commitment can be taken so lightly? (I like how St. Paul specifies what comes from him and what comes from God.)

The last paragraph of this reading brings me to an idea I have about "my marriage." (I'm pretty sure all girls think about what their marriage might be like one day... perhaps with the rare exception of those who know at an early age that they are being called to a religious vocation.) At any rate, I have always thought that the guy I marry must be Catholic... or be interested in RCIA. Why, you ask? welllll, I don't think that I could fully share my life with someone else who doesn't share in my values and beliefs. Don't get me wrong, there are many wonderful people in this world who share values and beliefs and they certainly aren't all Catholic. However, I feel that this is important in my life. When two people give their lives to eachother and become one, how does one choose which faith pathway to walk if they are not walking along the same pathway? Now, I'm certainly not saying that I would expect a potential marriage partner to be at the same point in their spiritual journey as each person's journey is very different. How can you share your lives if you don't share God?

Are you part of a mixed-faith marriage? Does it work for you? How do you make it work? (I know there is at least one person who reads this blog who might be able to share some insight... please do enlighten me!) Thanks!

While I have many more thoughts on this matter, perhaps I shall save them for another day and get some shut eye.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Tonight's Reading...

1Corinthians 14:26-40


Order in the Church
This is what I mean, my friends. When you meet for worship, one person has a hymn, another a teaching, another a revelation from God, another a message in strange tongues, and still another the explanation of what is said. Everything must be of help to the church. If someone is going to speak in strange tongues, two or three at the most should speak, one after the other, and someone else must explain what is being said. But if no one is there who can explain, then the one who speaks in strange tongues must be quiet and speak only to himself and to God. Two or three who are given God's message should speak, while the others are to judge what they say. But if someone sitting in the meeting receives a message from God, the one who is speaking should stop. All of you may proclaim God's message, one by one, so that everyone will learn and be encouraged. The gift of proclaiming God's message should be under the speaker's control, because God does not want us to be in disorder but in harmony and peace.
As in all the churches of God's people, the women should keep quiet in the meetings. They are not allowed to speak; as the Jewish Law says, the must not be in charge. If they want to find out about something, they should ask their husbands at home. It is a disgraceful thing for a woman to speak in a church meeting.
Or could it be that the word of God came from you? Or are you the only ones to whom it came? If anyone supposes he is God's messenger or has a spiritual gift, he must realize that what I am writing to you is the Lord's command. But if he does not pay attention to this, pay no attention to him.
So then, my friends, set you heart on proclaiming God's message, but do not forbid the speaking in strange tongues. Everything must be done in a proper and orderly way.

Well, that was quite the Bobby Flay throw-down for the ladies in tonight's reading! Perhaps I'll mull this one over a bit more before attempting to write any coherent thoughts about it.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

New Testament Roulette

Here's a little thing I picked up this weekend so I thought I'd share it with you...

tonight's reading is...
drumroll...

Mark 10:22-34

Jesus Speaks a Third Time about His Death
Jesus and his disciples were now on the road going up to Jerusalem. Jesus was going ahead of the disciples, who were filled with alarm; the people who followed behind were afraid. Once again Jesus took the twelve disciples aside and spoke of the things that were going to happen to him. "Listen," he told them, "we are going up to Jerusalem where the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and the teachers of the Law. They will condemn him to death and then hand him over to the Gentiles, who will make fun of him, spit on him, whip him, and kill him; but three days later he will rise to life."
How lent-ishly appropriate! How confused the disciples must have been hearing their teacher talk about his death again for a third time. I find it hard to imagine myself in their shoes. What would I have been thinking? What would I have done? Would I have been like Judas? or perhaps Peter? maybe like the women of Jerusalem who met him along his journey to Golgotha?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

My ABCs

A

- Available: I try to be available to everything - therefore, I am a very busy person!

- Age: 25

- Annoyance: open drawers

- Animal: the furry pink muppet who plays the drums?

B

- Birthday: June 8

-Body Part on opposite sex: eyes, heart

- Best feeling in the world: a big Hug, crawling into my bed

- Been in Love: aren't we supposed to love everyone - now, no one said I have to like everyone ;-)

- Been on stage?: Absolutely! (You should come to my concert on March 15 - beware the ides of march!)

- Believe in Magic: wasn't that by The Lovin' Spoonful?

- Believe in Miracles: they're all around us

- Believe in Santa: absolutely! How could you deny the spirit of Christmas?!

C

- Candy: mmmmmm

- Color: oh no! I can't answer this question - I don't know the answer - I get all nervous when I get asked this question - can I answer with a 96 box of Crayola Crayons?

- Chocolate/Vanilla: chocolate or vanilla what? it totally matters!

- Chinese/Mexican: what about Thai/Indian? any/all of the above sound good

- Cake or pie: yes, please!

- Continent/Country to visit: Europe/all of them

- Cheese: as long as no mice are involved

D

- Day or Night: hmmmm... I like sunny days and starry nights

- Dance in the rain: absolutely!

E

- Eggs: pysanky

- Eyes: in the back of my head... better watch out!

- Ever failed a class?: Not yet, that would mean I didn't work hard enough.

F

- Full name: Johanna Mikitka - that's it, that's all there is to it!

- First thoughts waking up: I'm supposed to have thoughts when I wake up?!

- Food: I'm ready whenever you are!

G

- Greatest Fear: uh, roaches? idk

- Goals: be the best person I can be. Live a full life so that people can't say I have potential - my physics teacher once said that potential is a bad thing because a person who has potential isn't everything they can be.

- Get along with your parents? sure... Dad is always right (except when Mom is).

- Good luck charm: uh, not that I can think of

H

- Hair Color: Brown

- Height: 5'something

- Happy: If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands

- Holiday: a jolly holiday - like in Mary Poppins?

- How do you want to die: why ponder things so clearly out of our control?

I

- Ice Cream: hmmm, perhaps some springer chip, or some moose tracks, or maybe a banana split?

- Instrument: piano, voice, English handbells... maybe one day I'll learn to play the accordion!

J

- Jewelry: always my Order of the Engineer ring; other times class ring or one of a few other rings, necklaces, bracelets, earings, ankle bracelets - depends on the situation

- Job: "staff professional" - in many other states I could say engineer - but in PA you have to have your P.E. to say that.

K

- Kids: I like kids!

- Kickboxing or karate: um, I'd probably hurt myself doing either

- Keep a journal?: sometimes - mostly I just tell my mom

L

- Longest Car Ride: continuous: Philadelphia, PA to Clemson, SC; over three days: Philadelphia, PA to Oklahoma - both rides involved a 30ft. trailer, a 15 passenger van, and a concrete canoe!

- Love: <3

- Letter: I like to get them in the mail!

- Laughed so hard you cried?: totally!

M

- Milk flavor: chocolate

- Movies: depends on my mood

-Motion Sickness?: not that I know of - unless it involves the Paratrooper at Knobels

- McD’s or BK: BK

N

- Number of Siblings: 1 real sister; 1 "nocturnal twin"

- Number of Piercings: one in each ear

- Number: 3.14159...

O

- One wish: life without conflict

P

- Perfect Pizza: homemade or Papa John's with pineapple & jalepeno (if I'm ordering out)

- Pepsi/Coke: Pepsi

Q

- Quail: How am I supposed to respond to this?

R

- Reason to cry: it's my party and I'll cry if I want to :-D (I think somebody put my brain-radio on shuffle tonight)

- Reality T.V.: ugh - too much reality

- Radio Station: any one that is not playing commercials - internet radio favs include WALN, WMID, OmegaRock

- Roll your tongue in a circle?: yes - particularly to annoy my friends who can't ;-)

- Ring size?: I think all my fingers are different

S

- Song: I couldn't pick just one!

- Shoe size: Women's 10, Men's 8.5

- Salad Dressing: depends on my mood - usually some type of vinegar based dressing

- Sushi?: oh man, this alphabet is making me hungry!

- Skipped school: I skipped one class in college so I could finish the homework that was due at the end of class... showed up at the end to turn it in - other than that, I can't cuz I feel super guilty!

- Slept outside: in a tent

- Sing well?: I try

- In the shower?: If my roomie isn't around

- Swear?: I work with drillers and construction workers - my brain has a full working vocabulary of words - I try not to use "drillers mouth" at the office or around children - some of the guys try to provoke my use of words... some I just won't use!

- Strawberries/Blueberries: mmmmm fresh fruit!

T

-Time for bed: I've heard that normal people keep schedules - I confess, I am not a normal person ;-)

-Thunderstorms: awesome - especially at the beach!

U

- Unpredictable: can this be predicted?

V

- Vacation spot: anywhere as long as it doesn't invovled homework!

W

- Which one of your friends acts the most like you: hmmm - I'll have to ponder that more

- Who makes you laugh the most: Fritz ;-)

- Worst feeling: getting out of my glorious bed

- Wanted to be a model?: not if it involves wearing makeup - yuck!

- Worst weather?: Hurricanes and tornadoes

X

- X-Rays: been there


Y

- Year it is now: 2009!

- Yellow: brick road? ... submarine?

Z

- Zoo animals: I want to go to the zoo... I've lived blocks from it for 8 years now!


LAST PERSON WHO…

1. Slept in your bed besides you: Elle - that Elephant sleeps all day!

2. You went to the mall with: do strip malls count? - in that case, my Dad - who can pass up a trip to Sears Essentials and the Dollar store?!

3. You went to dinner with: a lot of canoe people

4. You talked to on the phone: JB

5. Made you laugh: myself - I laugh at myself frequently

6. Hugged you: JB

7. Said they loved you: mom sent me an IM kiss

8. You spoke with: Theresa (my roomie)

9. You cried over: the guy at church who called me close-minded

10. Made you mad: the guy at church

I'm going to tag Aimee and T if they want to do it... and anyone else who might feel like participating.

This alphabet has been brought to you by the Letter J and the number 8.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Na zdravie!

Happy St. Cyril & Methodius day!

Monday, February 9, 2009

25 things...

This is really a post from facebook, but since some of the people who read my blog (or have left comments on occasion) aren't on facebook (yes, there are some people who are not yet on facebook in this world!), I've decided to post it in both places... here goes:

Rules: Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about yourself. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you.

To do this, go to “notes” under tabs on your profile page, paste these instructions in the body of the note, type your 25 random things, tag 25 people (in the right hand corner of the application) then click publish.

1. I can't stand open drawers... even if I can't see them at the moment. If I know it's open, I have to close it.
2. The drawer thing is even worse if there's something sticking out of the drawer.
3. The clothes in my closet are organized by type; each type has its own hanger variety (pants on black, sweaters on pink, etc.)
4. I prefer to give hand made cards over purchased cards.
5. I like to make gifts for people - necklaces, earrings, scarves, blankets, etc. but I rarely make anything for myself.
6. I like to sing - sometimes I think of my life as a really long musical... I'm still waiting for a whole street full of people to burst into a dance number.
7. I don't have a favorite color - I get really nervous when people ask cuz I feel silly telling them I don't know what my favorite color is. I'm a big fan of the 96 box of Crayolas :-D I like bright colors.
8. Although I really don't worry about what others think of me as long as I am happy with who I am, I do worry that people don't like me and are talking behind my back about me.
9. I really want to be the "Phillie Phanatic" when I "grow up"
10. I have a large collection of stuffed animals... a few of them have personalities
11. My dad and I custom designed/built the furniture in my bedroom at my apt.
12. JB's dad custom designed and built my coffee table.
13. I have a large, well-organized collection of LEGOs. One day I hope to have a room in my house just for them.
14. I like to cook when I'm stressed... or when I have a few free minutes.
15. I enjoy planning parties.
16. I'm a terrible liar - even when I try, I can't keep from laughing
17. There are very few foods I don't like/won't eat... really... try me!
18. I have a slight obsession with bubble tea... and Josh Groban (totally unrelated obsessions)
19. My bathroom is rubber-ducky themed - including: shower curtain rod, shower curtain, carpet, hand towel, matted picture on wall, trash can, and light switch plate cover.
20. I strongly dislike the feel of makeup - I own very little with the exception of chapstick, lip gloss, and an eyeliner.
21. I've acquired a reputation for making excellent jello shots - they actually taste like drinks, not just jello with vodka
22. I've always wanted a stained glass window in my house
23. I like to cook new things - esp. ethnic foods - it's a fun challenge
24. I would love to live in a big old farm house... I really like houses that have lots of character.
25. I miss some of my closest friends from the past whom I thought would be life-long friends... not that I don't have many great friends now... I have some of the best friends a girl could want... but it makes me sad that some people have essentially disappeared from my life.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Here and Now...

So I've accepted Aimee's challenge over at The Mother Load - a here and now picture with no editing (courtesy of the MacBook's built in camera and PhotoBooth)

Here you have it... Homework Hanna

Yes, I like to keep my head warm... I'm quite sure that warm brains think better than chilly ones ;-). Well, I've had enough homework for the night. So, this will just about wrap up my day.

Please keep the Drexel community in your prayers as we mourn the loss of two of our brothers and await the recovery of four more. RIP John & Ian... you will be missed!