Tuesday, December 14, 2010

being back at Gordon.

DISCLAIMER: the below post is about working at Gordon and how much I enjoy it. This does not mean that I did not enjoy my other jobs and it certainly does not mean that I did not enjoy the people I worked with. In fact, the people I worked with at my other jobs are FABULOUS and are still people I keep in contact with, miss dearly and enjoy seeing. I am more or less reflecting on my current situation.

That being said...I've been back at Gordon since July and never really posted about how much I have appreciated this opportunity.

1. The Christian Environment.
I work at a place where we pray before every staff meeting. I work at a place where we pray for each other. I work at a place that educates students with a Christian education that I benefitted from myself. I work at a place that seeks to glorify God above all else in the missions we are working towards. What a blessing to be working at a place like this. My favorite thing about being a student at Gordon was the idea of "freedom within a framework of faith." What a cool slogan. Okay, I'll admit, I never understood that until I had graduated, but it's something Ry and I talk about often. Gordon let us grow and explore and challenge our way of thinking on a daily basis...but within the framework of faith. Within the idea that the Bible is truth. Within the framework that God is who He says it He is. And now, as an employee, I'm finding that I'm being stretched and taught by the people around me in the same way. It's kind of neat and it's always exciting.

2. The people.
I work at a place that is so full of SO many amazing people. I wish I could fully explain this statement, but every day I'm amazed at the people I get to interact with, whether it be my boss(es), my co-workers, professors or students. I work for/with people who are constantly encouraging and people who make me want to be a better person. Also, we have become friends with so many different people that we wouldn't otherwise be friends with if I didn't have the opportunity to work at Gordon. Example: I just was driving back from an exercise class (that I wouldn't have been at had I not gotten the job at Gordon) and had a thoughtful conversation about the idea of Election and the statement "faith is a miracle." So wonderful.

3. Coaching.
When I tell you there are few things that bring me greater joy than glorifying God through soccer, I'm not lying. I love it. It brings more joy to my heart than I can explain. Soccer is a gift from God and being able to share that passion with my players is so exciting to me. And now that I work on campus I get to see my players and maintain relationships off-season so much easier than when I tried to coach when working full-time at another job. I love it and am so thankful that I get to be a part of coaching at Gordon again.

4. The transition.
What a neat time to be working at Gordon. I started not long before the faculty/staff meeting that Jud and Jan (the president and his wife) announced that June 30, 2011 would be their last day serving at Gordon College. So bittersweet. The more I've learned about Jud and Jan, the more I like them. But it's also exciting to be a part of Gordon going through this change and the search to find a new president. I will definitely miss Jan's story telling - one of my favorite things as a student, and one of the things I've gotten to hear a little more of as an employee through a few small interactions. But, change is exciting, and it will be exciting to see what God has in store as Gordon moves forward.

Those are just a few things. And not everything at Gordon is perfect. But it is exactly where I'm supposed to be right now (duh, God is sovereign and works these things out). It's so exciting and I love being there. What a blessing to be back working at a place that helped shape me in so many ways...and now I get to work towards giving that to other students...so great.

Monday, December 13, 2010

a beautiful disaster.

Disclosure: This blog is about food, yet again. It's not my fault, I swear. If you'll kindly notice, the two people from my family that blog ONLY blog about food*. It's in my blood. I can't help it. I've tried changing, but it's not worth it. Life is just not as fun without delicious food and wonderful people to share it with.

Last weekend we were going to make a Peppermint Fudge Cake I found in Bon Appetit to bring to a friend's house for a nice holiday dessert. We didn't end up needing it, but I had all of the ingredients (mostly just the whipping cream) that I needed to use, so I attempted (yes, attempted means I failed...) the cake this weekend. Well, everything was going fine and dandy until I had to remove the cakes from the pans. As usual in the Dumas household, they stuck like glue. Bummer!! I didn't know what to do, so I took them all out and cooled them in hopes of piecing them back together into some form of cake...and quickly realized that there is no way that cake would ever resemble a cake. SO Ry suggested I make a trifle....and oh a trifle I did make, thanks to the inspiration of the cake. I pulled all the parts from different recipes:

Layer One: Peppermint White Chocolate Mousse found on Epicurious.com (Bon Appetit)

When I whipped the cream to fold into the white chocolate/cream mixture I added one tsp. of peppermint extract. OH - I opted for this mousse because it was much quicker than the mousse suggested in the original cake recipe...

Layer Two: Chocolate cake found on Epicurious.com

This cake was light and fluffy and REALLY tasty. It would have made a great cake had I properly prepared the pans...but I still haven't figured out how to do that. Oh - this made way too much cake for the trifle and we have an extra layer and a half...but again, this was an unintentional trifle, so that's okay.

Layer Three: MAJOR CHEATER ALERT. I didn't have time to make real chocolate pudding, so I used a box. SHHH don't tell jaq and dodd, the wonderful friends who shared this dessert with!

So I layered those twice and topped it off with some peppermint whipped cream:
1/2 cup whipping cream, 1 TBS confectioners sugar and 1/2 TBS peppermint extract.

WOAH. maaaaaaajor mistake turned into one of the most delicious desserts I've tasted. I love it when that happens. And the real reason I'm blogging about this is so that I can find the parts of this trifle when I go to make it again :)

*My Uncle's Blog: http://mealsfromtheroad.blogspot.com/
My Cousin's Blog: http://fortheloveoffoodandmyfather.blogspot.com/

Sunday, December 12, 2010

so much fun happening here:

So it seems like we've continued to go non-stop since soccer season ended. Every day has some sort of activity planned, but that's what keeps life fun!! This weekend started out Friday evening with Erin, Jake, Lindsay and Warren in Newburyport. Newburyport is a cute little ocean town about 45 minutes from us. The first and second Friday night's in December they do a Christmas celebration and the shop sstay open late and there's a ton of people...so we ventured out, thanks to Erin's excellent planning (I'm glad we have a friend that actually does the planning, otherwise we would never do anything...I'm terrible at finding cool things to do!). It was great - a bit cold, but fun! Ryan tried some caviar at the jewelry store:

And then we kept walking and saw so many people carrying bags of popcorn, so we set off on a mission to find the popcorn...and the insurance agency was making kettle corn in the street! DELISH:

we wandered, listened to carolers and music and laughed. it was so nice. Then we went back to Warren and Lindsay's and played a game called Quelf. Oh my gosh. I nearly peed my pants laughing so hard at some points. This is the game of random..example: erin drew a card that made her have her thumbs in her mouth the whole game and when talking she had to have her thumbs in her mouth while touching her shoulders. Ry had a card that made him laugh any time someone else did. Jake had to annouce every time he had a question by raising his hand and saying "excuse me, i feel a question coming on..."...and it goes on. It was just a fun and relaxing Friday night.

Saturday was a nice day as well. Ry got up with Beans and let me sleep an extra hour when he came in to wake me up with the scent of a dutch apple pancake wafting in with him. Yes, he is an amazing man. He went off to the gym and I got to go on a coffee date with one of my players. One of my favorite parts of being a coach is getting to know my players off the field. I have a team full of amazing girls and I feel so blessed to be a part of GoCoWoSo. Anyways - afterwards it was back home to cook (butternut squash soup and a chocolate cake that was supposed to be a layer cake that turned into a trifle because it did not want to come out of the pan...) and get ready because we had tickets for the Bruins last night!!

It was a pretty good game..until four seconds left in OT. The Bruins made a HORRIBLE giveaway in the Flyers zone and the Flyers intercepted a bad pass and took it up the ice on a 3 on 1 break and beat Thomas to the near post. Sigh. It was pretty funny after the Flyers scored - it was just so anticlimactic and everyone just got up and left. It was a fun way to spend a Saturday night with Ry, though.

And then today! A nice service at church. It feels so warm and cozy at church with everyone around for Christmastime. We had to get right home, though, because Jaq and Dodd came over for games!! We haven't seen Dodd in a year since she has been in Alabama for her AIA work. We had Buffalo chicken dip (compliments of Jaq) while we played Phase 10:

And butternut squash soup after we played Bananagrams:

That soup is delish and you can find the recipe here: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Butternut-and-Apple-Harvest-Soup/Detail.aspx?prop31=6

It was so fun seeing those two. We love playing games with them and just enjoy their company.

So...another wonderful weekend in the books. Next weekend seems quiet as of right now - we're hoping to have some time to actually spend time at the apartment...but who knows if that'll happen!