Happy 4th!

Happy 4th of July!

I’m listening to fireworks go off outside and wishing my husband were here to celebrate this evening with me. It’s a holiday that makes me appreciate him and the things that he does in serving his country even more than usual. But alas, he is out trying to keep our highways safe and drunk drivers off of them. I am truly lucky to be loved by such an honorable and wonderful man. I could not ask for more.

While thumming through a magazine of recipes that I borrowed from a dear friend, I found a recipe for “Oreo and Fudge Ice Cream Cake.” Everything about that sounded wonderful so I thought I’d try it…. and it was amazing.

Here’s the recipe… if you are an ice cream cake fan, I encourage you to try it. I was very pleasantly surprised.

12 ice cream sandwiches (Doug wanted peanut butter and I wanted Mississippi mud, so we did 1/2 and 1/2)
1 tub cool whip
 8 Oreo Cookies (crumbled… I actually used more than 8.. just put in cookies until I was tired of crumbling them up :D)
1/2 cup hot fudge (warmed up)
3.9 oz chocolate pudding mix

Lay out a long sheet of foil. Lay 4 ice cream sandwiches in the middle. Mix togheter pudding, cookies, 8 oz cool whip, and hot fudge. Layer on top of sandwiches. Layer 4 sandwhiches on top, followed by another layer of cool whip mixture. Top with last 4 sandwhiches. Frost top and sides with remaining cool whip. Lightly wrap up in foil and freeze for 4 hours.

Definitely worth trying….. here’s to ice cream and a ton of calories 🙂

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Some favorite quotes…

I have not yet begun to fight!
-John Paul Jones
The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be.
Anne Frank

If A=Success, then the formula is A=X+Y+Z with X being work, Y being play and Z keeping your mouth shut.
-anon

“Those who have a ‘why’ to live, can bear with almost any ‘how.'”
-Viktor Frankl

The only way of finding the limits of the possible is by going beyond them into the impossible.
Arthur C. Clarke

A man can no more diminish God’s glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, ‘darkness’ on the walls of his cell.
C. S. Lewis

A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.
Albert Einstein

I must uphold my ideals, for perhaps the time will come when I shall be able to carry them out.
Anne Frank

I think I can…. I think I can…

Well since I have no internet at home currently and the government blocked wordpress, I haven’t been able to update this blog in a while. I will be getting internet at home here soon… and thus, my bloggage should recommense shortlythereafter.

What have I been up to today? Well my morning began with a 3 hour drive to Raymore to spend this long weekend with my husband and to go visit my brother, who got in from Iraq last week and who lives in Kansas. Got to Raymore about noon and Doug was hungry so we took off of Ihop, my favorite restaurant ever! Just so happens that Trooper Wright and Trooper Miranda were walking in for lunch, so joined them and I was finally introduced to a couple of my husbands co-workers. It was interesting to  see my husband in his “Trooper Element” though I had no idea what they were talking about for the majority of the meal. The cop “language” is definitely not one that I am fluent in….. yet. This too, I shall master eventually.

Once we got home, Doug needed to do some paperwork from a DWI arrest last night and I decided to kill the time by studying for the blasted Substance Abuse midterm that I have to endure on Thursday. Unfortunately I have determined that my coping strategy of “zoning out” when the teacher begins talking has not been a good idea. I really have no idea what the majority of my notes mean! So.. I’ve had to resort to actually reading my textbook! Novel idea right!? 🙂 1 chapter down.. 5 more to go before Thursday. I think I can.. I think I can.. I think I can…. Nope.. it’s not working. Ugh.

Now, instead of reading I am reclining in my husband’s ghetto bachelor chair in his more ghetto bachelor pad watching my new favorite show, The Unit. It’s one of those shows (like Army Wives) that Army Wives probably shouldn’t endulge in… too close to home. Everytime my husband mentions his desire to be in Delta force, I cringe and think about this show. I’m watching women band together and comfort each other in the midst of their husbands deployments.. a reality that I soon will be facing as my soldier deploys in September. I’ve been here before, I dealt with deployment once, I know what to expect, and still I’m scared.

I am a strong woman, I WILL deal with this too.

On another note, I tried a new (or new to me….) Rachel Ray recipe yesterday and thought I’d share it with you as it was wonderful!

  • One 1-pound package potato gnocchi
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 12 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into thin strips
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • Directions:

    1. Cook the gnocchi according to package directions; drain.
    2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until just cooked through, about 5 minutes; season with salt and pepper.
    3. In a small saucepan, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook until toasted, about 3 minutes. Whisk in the half-and-half and chicken broth; bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until thickened. Whisk into the chicken mixture, then stir in the gnocchi. Bring to a simmer, then season with salt and pepper and top with the scallions

    NOTE: I didn’t have any potato gnocchi on hand so I tore up biscuits into small pieces and boiled them in chicken broth in place of the gnocchi!

    Double Master’s??

    I think I have lost my mind… that is if I ever had one to begin with… but I’ve made a big decision… are you ready for it????  Ok… Here it is….

    I am doing a double Master’s!

    Yes, that’s right, I am ‘THE’ massive over-achiever. But the rationale behind my decision is solid and makes perfect sense. Currently, I am pursuing a Master’s or Arts degree in Counseling emphasis on Professional Mental Health Counseling. With this degree I am required to take 4 electives to make my 60 hours. To add an emphasis in Marriage, Family and Child Counseling I am only required 3 additional classes, which can be taken as 3 of my 4 required electives.  So I end up with the double degree with no additional course work and still have 1 elective class left to choose something fun to do.  (if there is anything fun about Master’s classes that is….)

    See… it makes perfect sense. I’d be stupid not to do it. Right?

    My husband’s first words when I told him……. “Have you lost your mind????”  closely followed by “How much is this going to cost me??”

    Reflection #3

    Though I am not pleased to hear that other people are experiencing the same anxiety and fears that I am feeling, it is reassuring for me to know I’m not the only person in our cohort who struggles with self-doubt. This battle waging inside my brain is tiring. Part of me knows that I have nothing to fear, and yet the other part of me is screaming that I’m going to fall on my face.

    Additionally, I have come to the realization that my inability to share my feelings with my cohort is not the root of my problem. My problem stems from my perfectionist beliefs and the underlying cognitive assumptions that I have to be perfect. This has been a revelation for me and a sort of “ah-ha” moment in my life. Sounds simplistic and ridiculous, I know, but it was one of those moments when the light bulb finally came on and I figured out what the deal was. It’s not that I’m afraid of sharing my feelings, because I’m completely comfortable sharing them with those who are close to me, it’s my fear of being less than perfect that is at the root of my anxiety. For the continuation of our group experience, my hope is that I will continue to experience “ah-ha” moments. Additionally I hope to become less defensive when faced with religious views, or lack of religious views which differ from my own.

    HTP Analysis

    Last week in Assessment we studied the HTP (House-Tree-Person) projective test and were asked to complete the drawing to turn in to our professor, who took them home and analyzed them.  I was a little anxious about getting them back as I am constantly amazed at how accurate testing proves to be, and as my grade is in this man’s hands, I was nervous about him analyzing my personality.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that his results were exceptionally close to who I am, and that he didn’t see me as delusional, psychotic or bordering on the brink of a breakdown.

    This was his analysis:

    1. Partially in control of demands from the environment.

    2. There is potential for meaningful social interaction and contribution.

    3. Solid grounding emotionally and cognitively.

    4. Much emotional nurturance felt. Perhaps emotionally encapsulated to some

    degree.

    5. A happy atmosphere representing joy and freedom emotionally.

    6. Potential for trauma somewhere in the personal history.

    7. An abundance of life energy shown in the anchoring felt by the person.

    8. Warmth in the household.

    9. Privacy in the household is a high value but there is social interaction

    shown.

    Reflection Paper #2

    Brandy Pfeifer

    Reflection Paper #2

    I must acknowledge that upon learning that we would be engaging in a counseling group in class, I was rather freaked out.  My preliminary thoughts were based upon the idea that group therapy would not be beneficial for me in the slightest. My preconceived notion was that 1 therapist would not be able to adequately attend to the needs of all group members.  However, upon further study combined with  firsthand experience, I’ve come to understand that the majority of the therapeutic relationship is found amongst the members of the group and not between the therapist and the client as in traditional therapy.

    In our group especially, I felt the energy in the room switch from fun and energetic to nervous and somber as soon as the chairs were circled up.   As this was our first group experience together, I’m quite sure that most of us were a little apprehensive coming into the meeting. The nervousness was expressed in the quiet voices, the shaking legs, the downcast eyes, and the constant fidgeting. 

    Further reflection indicates that I was one of the nervous members. Everything I had planned to say about my “object” and my family kind of flew out the window when my turn to speak rolled around.   Furthermore, when asked what my goal for therapy was, I flinched.  “Do I really want to reveal my insecurities to my classmates?” was my primary focus. Though I am very confident in my academic ability to make it in this field, I am constantly fighting a battle within myself concerning my aptitude for excellence in the Mental Health arena.  My brain equates failure with anything below perfection. Therefore, I stay quiet in most instances, even when I feel that I know the correct answer or when I have something valid to offer.  Sharing these insecurities indicates a lack of perfection within me.

    My goal therefore, is to be more open, to share more of my insecurities with my classmates and to learn from those fears while experiencing the effects of an open, unhindered relationship with my peers. After sharing this information in group, I believe that the members of my cohort will assist me in altering this cognitive assumption and I will enhance my education while learning to be more comfortable with myself.

    First Night in Group Therapy..

    Group therapy.  Bunch of people sitting in a circle talking about life.  Sounds easy right? Wrong. As a counseling student “Techniques of Group Therapy” is a required course. As a part of the course we are expected to participate in an hour of group therapy weekly, which we do as a class every Monday night. Last night was our first. I went into this group meeting thinking it would be “Hi, I’m Brandy and I’m a perfectionist” type stuff.  Again, WRONG. One hour of group and I wanted to cry because of some things people brought up. We were instructed to bring an object to group that “defines” us. When group time came, we all clutched our beloved articles to our chests and timidly took our seats. I thought I was prepared, however, I was incredibly nervous. Keep in mind these are people I’ve been in class with for the past 6 months. Once the conversation got rolling I learned things about these people that I would never have imagined. Sad life stories of loss and pain mixed with joy brought tears to my eyes. As a group we have already established a bond that can only be understood by us, however it is my belief that this group will bring us closer than we ever imagined, while helping us deal with issues that we face daily and help us to become more effective counselors in the future.

    Ahem…

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