Monday, January 31, 2011

Cookies and Oreos and Brownies, Oh My!

When people ask me to make things, they normally ask me to make pillow cookies.  Pillow cookies are AWESOME!  They are a chocolate chip cookie with a brownie inside.

My boss actually sent me a recipe (not knowing that I am famous at my church for pillow cookies) about a chocolate chip cookie with an OREO inside of it.  How crazy is that?

Cookie Progression:

The cookies were actually REALLY good.  That was my half.

Do you have any good, fun recipes you'd like to share?

Friday, January 28, 2011

Now and then it's good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.

~The Cockle Bur

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Month Of Rice

I would like to apologize.  I know that I haven't been around lately.  I mean, I've posted stuff but ME, my words or thoughts have been slightly absent.

But I thought I'd tell you guys about something I'm gonna try ("try" being the operative word).

A few months ago, I got an e-mail from Oxfam.  You clicked on a link to see what you would be "eating" tonight, depending on where you were in the world.  You could get one of three things:

It was either rice, rice and a staple food (like beans) or a full meal.

I got rice:

You are one of the 50% of people in the world who will eat nothing more than basic staple foods like rice today. While you go hungry, 35% of the world’s population will eat slightly more than you – and only 15%, the lucky ones, will get a full meal. 

And then I thought...50%?!  50% of the world will only have RICE for dinner?  What is it like to eat only rice for dinner?

My husband is an accountant and you know that we're gearing up for tax season.  Once tax season comes, he eats dinner at work...perfect timing for me to try this (especially since Steve gave it the big N-O)

So here's my plan:
I am going to eat rice for dinner for a month, starting on March 8th.  I know, random date.  My husband's birthday is March 1st and I want to take him out to dinner, so I'm starting on a random date.  The money I would have used for groceries will go to help build a playground for children in Uganda.

The only reason I bring it up is...


Sure, maybe a month is crazy, but maybe you could try a week?  Or even a day?  I think it would be a lot of fun to do it together (of course I do!  I'm the crazy one doing it for a month!).

You can leave a comment if you want to join me or, if you'd like to check out some links on hunger in both the US and around the world, you can visit these:
ELCA World Hunger
Feeding America
Bread for the World

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Jesus says, "You are the light of the world." I like even more what Jesus doesn't say. He does not say, "One day, if you are more perfect and try really hard, you'll be light." He doesn't say, "If you play by the rules, cross your T's and dot your I's, then maybe you'll become light." No. He says, straight out, "You are light." It is the truth of who you are, waiting only for you to discover it. So, for God's sake, don't move. No need to contort yourself to be anything other than who you are.

- Father Gregory Boyle, 'Tattoos On The Heart'

Thursday, January 20, 2011

If It Were My Home

There's a new website called: If It Were My Home.  Using this tool, you can see what it would be like to live anywhere in the world and then see the size of the country compared to where you live.  It also gives you a list of books to read about that country.

Let's give it a try:

If Ethiopia were your home instead of The United States you would...

have 12.9 times higher chance of dying in infancy
be 3.5 times more likely to have HIV/AIDS
have 3.1 times more babies
die 22.44 years sooner
use 99.72% less electricity
consume 99.33% less oil
make 98.06% less money
spend 99.61% less money on health care
experience 33.33% less of a class divide

A few books to read:

Let's do another country...
This one will be a bit opposite.  Hong Kong!

If Hong Kong were your home instead of The United States you would...

have 52.61% less chance of dying in infancy
use 52.43% less electricity
have 46.13% less babies
have 43.01% more chance at being employed
consume 30.44% less oil
live 3.72 years longer
experience 18.44% more of a class divide
be 83.33% less likely to have HIV/AIDS
make 7.97% less money

Wow!  Look at THAT!  What a difference, right?

Here are a few books:
Maid to Order in Hong Kong: Stories of Migrant Workers (I will say, Hong Kongers LOVE their maids.  My parents are considered "weird" because they don't have any)
Hong Kong Murders (This book is really good.  My mom sent it to me and I read it)

Okay, let's go back and try a different country.  My country does a lot with El Salvador, so let's do that one.

If El Salvador were your home instead of The United States you would...

have 3.4 times higher chance of dying in infancy
use 93.81% less electricity
consume 88.17% less oil
make 84.7% less money
spend 94.64% less money on health care
have 30.59% more babies
die 5.06 years sooner
have 22.58% more chance at being employed
experience 16.44% more of a class divide
be 33.33% more likely to have HIV/AIDS

Here's a book for you to check out:

This is definitely something to check out!  Visit the link here.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


I have been at my job for nearly 4 years and I have not received a promotion.  In fact, people who have been hired AFTER me have received promotions.

It's starting to get to me.  But I need to remember that it's pride and my sense of "fairness."


Sunday, January 16, 2011


True Grit was a great movie.  I loved some of the lines from it ("There is nothing free in this world...except the grace of God") and the version "Leaning on the Everlasting Arms" that closed the movie out.

The Road by Cormac McCarthy is probably the bleakest book I've ever read.  Ever.

I really want to watch Rocko's Modern Life.  I realized that I was yelling at my cat (to stop chewing the corners of my laptop) in the same voice as Mrs. Big Head.

Does your cat eat feathers?  Like out of the couch cushions?  My cat ate 4 feathers in 5 minutes and I'm a little bit worried.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Stopping In

Hey everyone!
Just wanted to say hello and have a good weekend :)

If you can, the Chip-In on the right ends in two days.  You could win a 7 day vacation in sunny Florida!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


I was watching Dateline (I LOVE Dateline), a story about a pastor and his wife who was murdered and his children who should have died, but were saved from their life-threatening bullet wounds.

It's about forgiveness that wasn't expected and about pain and the way we deal with our wounds.  And it's being made into a movie named Heaven's Rain.

And I think it made me realize that I have a small wound that I keep thinking has healed, but it has not.  Of course, it is nowhere near the pain that the Douglass family felt, but it has to do with God's church.

Andrea on Arise2Write asked if we had ever been hurt by the church.  I've covered it before on here as well.  I love my church and I love the way it treats all people, but I know that when I go to churches that are not mine or like mine, I recoil.  I recoil at the things they say and I turn from them and they way they talk about God and life and everything under the sun.

Then the guilt!  The guilt of turning from God!  But it's not that.  And I think I'm starting to understand it.  And I think that it's time that I let go of the anger...and I felt that I had forgiven, but I don't know if that's the case.  I think that I forgave my grandmother and my friend, but I have not forgiven their churches.  And I need to.

The quality of mercy is not strain'd,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest:
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.
- Portia, The Merchant Of Venice Act 4, scene 1, 180–187

Monday, January 10, 2011

Helping Out

If you want to see the original post by Building The Blocks, please feel free to visit here.

On the right side of my blog, there is a chip-in.  A family is going to adopt two children who are HIV+ and they need between $5-10,000 to make it through the trip with the children and everything.  They leave in a few weeks!  And if you help, you could get more than that satisfied feeling:

"Won't you consider helping them out and at the same time YOU are given the chance to be the lucky winner of a 7 night Stay at Sand Castle One Condominiums in Indian Shores Florida!!!"

To get more details, visit here.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Christmas/New Years Pictures

I thought I'd show you some pictures from our Christmas/New Years trips to Los Angeles and Las Vegas (in no particular order)

Steve and I went to Homegirl Cafe (Debbie!!!  How awesome is that?!) before my family got in.  They have great tacos.  If you're in LA, you should visit them.

For my dad's birthday, we took a helicopter ride to the Grand Canyon.  I had never been there before, so that was fun.

 That's my 15-year-old brother on the left.  He's training to be an MMA fighter and the guy on the right is one of the top 5 MMA trainers in the world.

Who-ville at Universal Studios, LA 

Universal Studios with my husband and brother 

Happy New Years!  Fireworks in Las Vegas 

My dad said, "Strike a pose" and this is what happened. 

My favorite picture of my sister.  Behind a cactus with a champagne glass in her hand.

Friday, January 7, 2011


Technically, it's the season of Epiphany and I can still listen to Christmas music.  Our church had an open mic night and someone sang the Dave Matthew's "Christmas Song" and I really loved it.  The comment someone posted on this YouTube video is very poignant and says: "I love this song! As a Christian, I really appreciate the honesty of Dave in his writing. This song is about the beauty of the story and In Dave's eyes the failure of restoration... (the blood of our children on the ground) This must have been how the followers of Christ felt that day. There Lord dead and gone... hopeless and distraught..."

So, here are the lyrics and the video.  One of these days, I'll get back to actually speaking, but, at this point, I'm still adjusting:

Christmas Song by Dave Matthews Band

She was his girl; he was her boyfriend
She'd be his wife and make him her husband
A surprise on the way, any day, any day
One healthy little giggling dribbling baby boy
The wise men came, three made their way
To shower him with love
While he lay in the hay
Shower him with love love love
Love love love
Love love was all around

Not very much of his childhood was known
Kept his mother Mary worried
Always out on his own
He met another Mary who for a reasonable fee,
less than reputable was known to be.

His heart full of love love love
Love love love
Love love was all around

When Jesus Christ was nailed to his tree
Said "oh, Daddy-o, I can see how it all soon will be
I came to shed a little light on this darkening scene
Instead I fear I've spilled the blood of our children all around"

The blood of our children all around
The blood of our children's all around

So I'm told, so the story goes
The people he knew were
Less than golden hearted
Gamblers and Robbers
Drinkers and Jokers, all soul searchers
Like you and me
Like you and me

Rumors insisted he soon would be
For his deviations
Taken into custody
By the authorities less informed than he.
Drinkers and Jokers all soul searchers
Searching for love love love
Love love love
Love love was all around

Preparations were made
For his celebration day
He said "eat this bread and think of it as me
Drink this wine and dream it will be
The blood of our children all around
The blood of our childrens' all around
The blood of our children all around

Father up above, why in all this anger do you fill
Me up with love, love, love
Love love love
Love love was all around
Father up above, why in all this hatred do you fill
Me up with love, fill me love love love
Love love love
all you need is love
you can't buy me love
Love love love
Love love
And the blood of our children all around

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Faith is putting all your eggs in God’s basket, then counting your blessings before they hatch.

~Ramona C. Carroll

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The object of a New Year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul. 
-G. K. Chesterton

Monday, January 3, 2011

God will not look you over for medals, degrees or diplomas, but for scars. 
- Elbert Hubbard

Saturday, January 1, 2011

And The Winner Is...

Woo!  Happy New Year everyone.  Sorry it's been so long.  I was in Los Angeles and Las Vegas with my family.  One thing I will say: I never need to do Las Vegas at New Years again.  Once in a lifetime deal, for sure.

But here I am to announce the winners!!  Before I do, I would like to give a special thank you to Shelley.

The $50 gift card goes to:

and the $25 gift card goes to:

Please e-mail me your addresses at DanaeHudson (at) gmail (dot) com and I will hopefully be able to send out the cards in the next week or two!

Thank you, everyone, for your donations.  I know that you were a blessing for a number of people this holiday season.