Saturday, February 26, 2011

melting moments

almost every day, i ask jordan if he would have a melting moment with me.

you're probably thinking now that i'm really cheesy or weird or just overly romantic.

but really i'm asking him if he'll share the most wonderful australian cookie - a melting moment - also known as a yo-yo - with me. and we do kind of have a moment usually. but that's not what my question was about.

so i figured since i made some melting moments myself the other day (instead of eating the store-bought ones which are also incredible) i should share the wonderful recipe so you can try it too!

they are so delicate, they almost crumble as you pick them up and literally melt in your mouth. the lemon filling is just sweet and tart enough to make the shortbread cookie really special.

so delicious! i love australian cookies! i am leaving the recipe in it's original form because i think it is so interesting following aussie recipes! i always have the computer with me to make conversions. but it's getting easier to just know.

melting moments:
175g (60z) butter, softened
1/4 cup icing (confectioner's) sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup plain (all-purpose) flour, sifted
1/4 cup cornflour (cornstarch), sifted

60g (2oz) butter, softened
1 cup icing (confectioner's) sugar
2 tsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. finely grated lemon rind

Preheat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF). Place the butter, icing sugar and vanilla in a bowl and beat with electric beaters until light and fluffy. Stir in the flour and cornflour with a spoon until combined.

Place the mixture into a piping bag (or ziploc). *I made these by just rolling them into balls by hand and then using a fork to put lines in one direction on the top.* Pipe 3 cm (1 in) rounds into a baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper, allowing room for spreading. Use a fork Cook for 12-14 minutes or until golden. Cool on trays.

To make the filling, place the butter, icing sugar, lemon juice, and rind in a bowl and beat with electric beaters until fluffy and creamy. Pipe onto half of the biscuits and sandwich with the remaining biscuits. Makes about 16 filled biscuits.

Replace lemon juice and rind with lime or orange.
For chocolate, omit the lemon juice and rind. Use 3/4 cup icing sugar and 1/4 cup cocoa powder for the filling and add 1 tsp vanilla extract and 1 tsp water.


Wednesday, February 23, 2011


i could do like 3 or 4 posts just about yesterday. it was such a packed, important day for me in ministry, my personal life here, and social life! but since i have to go to campus in a few minutes, i thought i would just share one story!

since this is o-week, like i told you before, this is the perfect time for us to "launch" at new campuses, which just means try to start a ministry/movement at a new uni. jordan and i have spent a good amount of time trying to investigate the uni, figure out how things work, if i ministry like student life would flourish there, etc. so yesterday morning was finally the day we were supposed to go to vic uni footscray (victoria university at footscray park). honestly, i was pretty nervous about how the day would go, because despite our research, we had not gotten very far and i'd heard from several students that clubs/student organizations are just not a part of student life at the uni, so i was a bit discouraged about whether or not we would have wasted day. we really had no appointments at the uni, knew no students, had no way of getting in contact with any was looking bleak.

so we arrive at prayer at 9, and i just start praying for God to really show off, to give us stories to tell about how great HE is and in a time when we were able to do NOTHING. but really i was also just nervous a bit. well, it turns out that yesterday, waaay across the city, at a completely different campus not associated with vic uni at all, chris and lori's team had a guy from vic uni (how RANDOM is this?! there are tens of THOUSANDS of people at each uni and the chances that someone would actually fill out a survey are usually slim, but that it would be a very interested student from a uni with another 50,000 students there for the day?? no way). so obviously we knew that that contact was handed to us directly from God. it was not coincidence.

when we get in the car at about 10:30 to drive over there, we still had nothing. jordan pulled out ben's (the guy from vic uni) card and called him to see if by chance he would be coming to uni that day (not likely since classes haven't started and he was a 4th year). he said yes, he's coming at 2, but he'll leave now to meet us earlier! he also told jordan that he used to be involved with Student Life a few years ago before it had fizzled. so ben came to meet us and we went to lunch; it turns out he loves Student Life, is "keen" to get involved again, loves to share his faith, and is willing to help begin a movement!

if you have ever been involved in ministry before, you know that this type of random meeting with a student who is the perfect candidate to lead your movement doesn't happen!! anyway - i was blown away, so humbled that God would perform that feat in front of me, and that now vic uni may once again have a thriving ministry! praise God for his mighty ways, and for the fact that it's so easy for Him to just show off! You are so great, God!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

kick-off camp!

believe it or not, we've been here over 6 weeks! i can't say i've been transformed into a city girl yet. honestly, when i'm trying to think of something to do here, i still can't, even though cities are supposed to have so much to do in them. but we manage!

anyway, this week is O-week, or Orientation Week for the rest of the world that doesn't abbreviate everything possible. this is the week before classes begin, when students flood into the lawns, student centers, and public areas. i.e. the BEST time of the year for ministry!

to kick it all off, we hosted a kick-off camp (i know, fitting title), this weekend! it was at a scout camp about an hour outside melbourne (or 3 hours from our house via public transport - yikes!) it was actually an incredibly refreshing weekend for me ministry-wise because i was able to finally get to know the students who make up the movement in the melbourne area. they are fantastic - love the Lord - desire to reach their campuses - and are lots of fun, too. i don't know what i was expecting, but they fit the bill and it was so good to know who we get to work alongside this year.

since the past few weeks have been spent on campus usually in a study room somewhere meeting, hashing out roles, strategy, praying, etc., this week has been great to DO what we came here to do! and to see Aussies committed to the mission is amazing. can you join me in praying this week for us and our students as we do tons of outreach and handing out flyers, host cheeseburger parties and welcome bbqs, make follow-up phone calls, have first meetings with students who will hopefully choose a life of adventure with Jesus, become part of Student Life (campus crusade's name in AUS), and be future missionaries to their countries - literally all over the world. but most of all Asia. seriously so many Asians in this country.

here's a picture from kick-off camp. Gina on the right - she is our
Servant team leader at RMIT Uni in the City, but does a TON for
Student life. Then Ron is in the middle - he is on RMIT Bundoora,
working with that team. and then me and Chris (on the staff team)

Loving this week and trusting God for BIG things in Melbourne!

Monday, February 14, 2011


1) the restrooms here are called toilets. so if you say, where's the bathroom, it sounds kind of funny. so you just say, "where are the toilets?"

2) the stalls themselves have some unique characteristics, which EVERY stall i've been in has had. so overall the toilets are more uniform from place to place than in the US.

3) the locks on the public toilet stalls are not the side-to-side slide locks like in most US bathrooms. you instead turn them clockwise or counter-clockwise to lock or unlock. may seem like a silly thing to say, but they are ALL like this - and i noticed...

4) each stall also has 2 things - a feminine disposal bin of a specific brand, "pink," which is only significant because EVERY stall has the exact same type and brand in the whole country. they also all have syringe disposals for people to put their used needles in once they shoot up - UM - is this weird to anyone else!??!

5) the water goes straight down when you flush; it does not spin around clockwise or counter-clockwise - just goes straight down.

6) you have choices about how much water you wish to use to flush - a half flush button or a whole flush button. and they are always buttons. i always use the half flush, unless, know.

7) many toilets are two separate pieces. you know the part that the water collects in on the back of the toilet? well this piece often is much higher on the wall, not really attached to the bowl at all. and the bowl is often just that - you really feel like you're going in a porter-potty or something.

8) there are often not public toilets in places you feel like there should be. so you better go before you leave home - or else! for reference, you could go to the National Public Toilet Mapto find one, though.

9) on a side note about toilets, i fear that this will happen every day when i go to the toilet. that a giant snake will come out of it - and when i googled aussie toilets of course i find an article about a 6 ft python coming out of an apartment building's toilet - AHHH!

10) i found this too...why on earth would someone create this!??!
i hope you all now feel more educated about Aussie toilets. :)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Aussie word of the day...


Funny story: The other day we were in the city, "decoding" a brand new university by walking around, figuring out where students hang out, asking questions, and getting our bearings. When we walked in off the street, we passed a sign for the University Arcade. Then we just walked in and went to the library and a few other places. We came back downstairs to look around before we left, kind of discouraged because there are really no communal places for students to hang out, and they didn't really want us around for their orientation day in a couple of weeks. So since there were really no good places to pass out flyers, I suggested we check out the arcade before we left to see if any students were playing games or just hanging out doing whatever. That is when Jordan informed me that an "arcade" in this country is just a breezeway, walkthrough, cut across to anther street. OOPS! I guess I won't be playing any skee ball with the students this year!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

public transport...

So here in Melbourne, we don't yet own a car. This may come later, but for now, we are regular users of the public transportation system. You know how when you ride on the metro or the subway a few times a year it just seems so cool and adventurous?? Okay, well at least that's how I feel. You get to play balance games with your friends, make a lot of noise because you're at a conference or on vacation, and rush to get the next train, but if you miss it it's fine because you don't have anywhere to be quickly and it's just funny when you run and embarrass yourself and STILL miss it.

So I feel a bit differently now that public transportation aids me in getting EVERYWHERE. I now play the balance game out of necessity because there are so many people that I don't have anywhere to hold on. I get really really excited when I know more than one way to get somewhere (like on two different lines) or when I know the times at a stop before I get there. And now I get quite the pout when I miss the tram! Surprisingly, I am almost silent on the tram, train, or bus (yes Melbourne uses all three, and I do too). After the first couple weeks of observation, I was astonished to find that people actually don't LIKE being on the tram/train/bus!! This of course was a revelation to me because in my previous life - being on public transport was exciting and fun. So once I realized this, I also put it together that people like silence around them when they are undergoing the drudgery of their day on the tram line. So now I'm quiet. I bring my Kindle, but so far I've only used it once because I just like watching. Oh no, maybe I'm THAT person on the bus that people are creeped out by?! Nahhh.

Anyway, so typically we have to leave about an hour before we need to be somewhere to make it on time. This is VERY painful for me because 1) I like sleep. 2) It took me 5 minutes to get to work in Blacksburg, including parking the car and walking into the building. and 3) I like to be as efficient as possible, and taking a bus, tram and train all in one morning to get to work just doesn't quite fit the bill. Here is a typical description. The bus comes at 8:26 actually just across the street from our apartment...SCORE: Public Transport - 0 and US - 1. We then take the bus down to the 55, which takes you directly into the city, if you're going to that side of the city, which today we aren't. Darn. Okay so the tram - the 55 - comes at...oh I can never remember this....SCORE: Public transport - 1 and US - 1. So we're waiting usually a few minutes but thankfully the 55 comes every 5-10 minutes. Then we ride that for a while, maybe 20 minutes, if people are quick and have their metcard out and ready, then stop at Royal Park and jump on the train, which comes at 9:05, hopefully we made it. Because if not, we must wait until the 9:25 train, which most certainly doesn't get us to work on time at 9:30. While riding, we cross our fingers and hope the train is going "the right way" around the city loop. If it does, we hit our stop second after coming into the loop. If it doesn't....well, we're going to be running to work. Anyway, we arrive into the station on time, about 9:25, go up 5 escalators...yes 5...out of the pit into the most amazing multi-dimensional, multi-leveled mall you've ever seen. We walk out the doors, cross the street, and here we are at our work place for the day...RMIT Uni. Whew!
here is the tram we caught...
the inside. lovely Aussie colors of green and gold.
here is the train!

I'll have to tell you about grocery shopping another time. But before we go, I'll just mention the most hilarious and miserable transportation experience we've had to date. Jordan and I went to IKEA, around 4. We left the building about 5:30 after I about lost it thinking about trying to get home with all the stuff we bought and stuffed into a GIANT ikea bag which now weighs 40-70 lbs. I have no idea how much really. All I know is that when I got home I had a strap shaped bruise across the top of my shoulder. Jordan was carrying a HUGE box with the desk chair we bought. So we cross the street from the mall...I am probably such a spectacle. Being a woman of wide hips, I decided the best way to carry the bag was of course on my hips. If this was a normal sized bag this would have been fine. But I probably looked ridiculous. So we ride the tram, train, and then bus home with this stuff. It took us an hour and a half, because since we're smart we came home during rush hour. And we just sat on top of our stuff, enduring stares. That trip ended with us standing at the bus stop for 20 minutes. Miserable but laughing. It was quite the experience. That was the second week we were here.

Hopefully this gives you a little look into our lives, and a good laugh this morning. Or afternoon, since it's four there now. Happy Thursday! It's already Friday here.