Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Happenings around our home...

You might think that I"m still spring breaking. If you guess that you actually guessed wrong! I've been busy spring cleaning, freezer cooking and de-cluttering. Maybe instead of Spring cleaning, we should call it "nesting".

YES! That's right, our family is growing. Not by one or two, but by three through adoption! We are so thrilled that the Lord has seen fit to bless our family with three precious little ones.  That brings our total to an even two boys and two girls. Our new daughter is 4, and our two sons are 3 and 1.

The girl's bunk beds are set up and the boy's room is cleared out ready for a crib and toddler bed. Their foster family is actually sending them with a good supply of clothes and toys so we are just trying to get big picture necessities. 

In just 10 days they will be home for good. No longer will they wonder if they are being shifted from one home to the next. No more will they be seen as the state's responsibility. They will be sons and a daughter. They will bear our last name and live this life right along with us. Our house might change over the next few years, but their home will always be with us.

We are so excited. We will have our hands full but let me tell you, it's much better than empty!


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Growing

Our little girl is growing up.

Either her jeans have shrunk or she is a few inches taller than last year.

Her pleads for me to help her with brushing teeth and hair have been replaced with "I can do it"s.

Cartoons no longer interest her but rather "grown up shows with real people like Little House on the Prairie".

Style opinions are offered everyday now and my outfits either get thumbs up or thumbs down.

Her descriptive words have made us giggle with words like good and bad being replaced with impressive or dreadful.

As if these weren't enough clues to remind us that she is growing, she read the Bible story to me last night instead of me reading to her. What a delight all these changes have been but I cannot tell you how much it warms my momma heart to see her taking her walk with the Lord as her own. Not only is she growing on the outside but we can begin to see a little seed of faith growing on the inside too. As much as I want her to stay a little girl forever, I even more so want to see her become the godly little lady that her Creator has for her to be.

  


Monday, March 12, 2012

It wasn't me!




It wasn't me who stayed in my pj's till the doorbell rang today. 

It was not me who got into a water fight while washing dog; leaving my little one soaked. One point for mom!

It wasn't me who allowed our little girl watch a movie in the middle of the day "just because". 


It certainly wasn't me who made a big pile of French crullers with my little one for an afternoon snack using this tutorial

Nope, none of those sound like something we would do over spring break!


 

Friday, March 9, 2012

Follow through...

It's the downside to an overly creative mind... Uncompleted projects.


Our daughter has half painted pictures and uncompleted crafts in every nook and cranny of her room. She often sets out to make a masterpiece and somewhere along the way, her very talented mind strays her off course to another project.


The character of perseverance has been one we have been working on lately; seeing a task through to the end. Boy did our little girl impress us yesterday.


She sequestered herself to her room for the afternoon and diligently worked away on this masterpiece.
 































 I have to say that I'm so proud. Not only does her talent shine through, but so does her hard work. She left no square undone and even cut off her Classical Conversations cd to concentrate better.


Work while you work, play while you play, this is the way to be happy each day. All that you do, do with your might. Things done by halves are never done right. ~Anonymous

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Wrestling


 
Three times today I've heard the exact same question asked to me; by three totally unrelated people in completely different settings. The wording might have been different but the results they were seeking were all the same.


"Is she your only one?"

"Is she an only child?"

"How many kids do you have?"


Maybe our daughter is getting to an age where most people already have another one, or maybe we look old like we should have a houseful?

Although the questions don't offend me, I do feel that there are implications to the questioning. Like somehow we must have the perfect 2-4 kids. No more, no less. You see, if you only have one then there are automatics that are assumed. Your child must be unsocialized, you just want it easy on yourselves and have the benefit of one child. She must be spoiled rotten! If you have more than four somehow you are automatically a large abnormal family somehow. You can barely fit in a idealistic SUV or minivan and you are certainly part of the quiver full movement. By no means are either one of these approximations true, but none the less, they are the things society thinks!

It's easy to let societal norms translate into what we should do in our family, particularly with family size. Afterall, most things we do as a family aren't the common American ideal way of doing things since we are missionaries in this crazy Army, so shouldn't we at least try to look like a normal family?!

These thoughts have been swirling around in my head for the past few weeks. I began to feel sorry for our daughter thinking about her not having siblings right now. That sorrow turned into discontentment and reared it's ugly head as anger.

We have a desire for many more children. We have spent many nights processing paperwork, exposing our home to many inspections and sending emails to and from the foster care agency.  Yet, God has closed that door that he had us work so hard to pry open. We feel that it's just a for a season but we don't know His ways.

My discontentment seeped out in the form of questions to God, and I knew I was headed down a slippery slope and I had the entire American culture I was sliding down with. Why could he not just give us one more child right now? Why am I feeling like I should have peace with one child? Who will fill the other slot when everything is set up for a family of four?

The Lord, in His faithful, patient and abiding way implied a very simple and profound truth on my heart.

                      {Wanting something that is not in MY will for you right now is simply SIN!}

You might be thinking well of course there are things that I want that God doesn't have in the game plan right now. I want world peace, I want every person to hear the gospel, I want all orphans to find a forever home. I'm not talking about those hopes and prayers. I'm talking about pushing my agenda so much that it brings me to a place where I have the audacity to question a Sovereign God. That my friends, is sin.

In my quest for contentment I am finding new joy in our little one. I am reminding myself to delight in being the mommy of one on those days where I have been teacher, mother, playmate, chef and maid to her. I'm barricading my mind with scripture when I start to wonder what it must be like to have many children that play together. I'm praying that I wait upon Him and count my blessings in my waiting. My prayer is to leave the sin of discontentment no room in this heart that my Creator conquered.

What about you? Are some of your plans conflicting with the Lord's plans and you need to lay them down?



                               

Monday, March 5, 2012

Menu Plan Monday




Whew, I am slap wore out. We have been gone the past two weekends conducting marriage retreats. Although I thoroughly enjoy these weekends, they leave me feeling a bit stuffed and bloated. It's hard to make good food choices when while eating out especially when the meals are free.

So, this week is all about eating clean. We have slowly been moving toward clean eating as a family as we have been cutting out commercial food at home. The only items I have been buying pre-made are yogurt, cereal, pasta and the occasional tortilla chip for salsa. My goal is to adjust my eating for breakfast and lunches and eat a reasonable dinner.


Monday- Bacon wrapped chicken with asparagus and veggie orzo

Tuesday- Fiesta Steak and Pasta Salad with spinach salad

Wednesday- Small group- grilled hamburgers (beef and turkey)

Thursday- Shrimp and Spinach Salad with homemade bread

Friday- Camping in our RV, grilled organic hotdogs, raw veggies and yogurt dip, smores

Saturday- Beef Danube with egg noodles with spinach salad

Sunday- Homemade whole what pizza with raw veggies and yogurt dip


Lunch ideas: Sweet potato topped with chopped turkey

                     Salad topped with boiled egg
                  
                    Apple peanut butter and raisin sandwich

                   
                  
Snacks: Homemade granola bites, homemade fig newtons, cubed cheese, grapes



I'm linking to Org Junkie 

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Pumpkin Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake is a favorite of my sweet husband's. He doesn't have a huge sweet tooth like *ahem* someone I know, so when he puts in his opinion for a sweet treat, I'm sure to listen.

I needed a cake to send with him to work. We feed soldiers and he gives a devotional on Wednesdays. It's been a blessed time to break down the walls of uncomfortableness that some soldiers seem to have with their chaplain. It's a great way to win favor when you are new to the unit too!

I went to one of my favorite cookbooks for my carrot cake recipe.

My aunt gifted me this cookbook after her stay with me in Germany. It came complete with notes scratched in the margin. Beside the Pumpkin Carrot Cake Recipe, she wrote "Best Cake I have EVER Made!".  That's saying a lot from a woman who knows her way around a kitchen.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups LIBBY'S® 100% Pure Pumpkin
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 can (8 oz.) crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1 cup (about 3 medium) carrots, grated
  • 1 cup coconut, flaked
  • 1 1/4 cups nuts, chopped, divided
  • Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe follows)

Directions

PREHEAT oven to 350° F. Grease two 9-inch-round cake pans.


COMBINE flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in small bowl. Combine milk and lemon juice in liquid measuring cup (mixture will appear curdled).


BEAT eggs, pumpkin, granulated sugar, brown sugar, oil, pineapple, carrots and milk mixture in large mixer bowl; mix well. Gradually add flour mixture; beat until combined. Stir in coconut and 1 cup nuts. Pour into prepared cake pans.


BAKE for 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 15 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.


FROST between layers, on sides and top of cake with Cream Cheese Frosting. Garnish with remaining nuts. Store in refrigerator.


FOR CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:
COMBINE
11 ounces softened cream cheese, 1/3 cup softened butter and 3 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar in large mixer bowl until fluffy. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 2 teaspoons orange juice and 1 teaspoon grated orange peel; beat until combined.



Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Fair

It had rained all weekend and the evening was chilly. We were driving home from worship service last Sunday night and she spotted it. In the past we have been very proud of ourselves, thinking ahead, taking a different route to avoid the attraction. But in our laziness Sunday night, we drove right in it's path.....

The fair. Ugh.

It's so germy. It sorta grosses me out just thinking about it. Even without thinking about the filth, the cost alone is enough to get my stomach turning.

But, it was a holiday weekend after all. And these weekends don't come soon enough. We have almost a year's lost time with daddy seeing he was gone for most of her "5's".  It's hard to look at those pleading big brown eyes and say no.

We knew what we had to do. We pulled the van over and checked around our pockets for cash and gave the "parent nod" to one another.

Oh the squeals that came from the back seat. I guess we had forgotten just how exciting a little roadside fair could be to a six year old.

We spent the evening watching our little girl ride the carousel of stationary cars, take a train ride around the fair grounds and get her stomach taken on a small roller coaster. 

Her favorite part of the night? A ferris wheel ride with her daddy. It was a full blown date in her book.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Menu Plan Monday

Ahhhh....I feel so refreshed after a weekend with my family unplugged and laid back. We needed some family time in between retreats, hosting and chaplain duties. We ate out a few times this past week so I'm ready to get back in the saddle again.


Sunday- Lunch: Cheeseburger Frittata with spinach salad and sliced apples
                
             Dinner: Swedish Meatballs over egg noodles and green beans (Just using the sauce from     this recipe, I have homemade meatballs I need to use from the freezer)

Monday- Grilled Pork Tenderloin with roasted potatoes and grilled veggie kebabs

Tuesday- Tamale Pie with salad with jalapeno lime vinaigrette

Wednesday- Small Group: Breakfast for dinner, making spinach and feta quiche and sausage, egg casserole

Thursday- Green Chili Enchiladas with chips and salsa



Head over to OrgJunkie.com for more yummy menu plans


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A Bargain of a Ball

I love the challenge to be frugal. It's almost like a game at times. When I found out my husband's unit was celebrating the end of their work in Iraq, I was thrilled to think of about preparing for a ball.

I set the budget at $50 for my entire look for the night. I knew it would be tough to meet, but I gave it a shot.

The dress....
After seeking out thrift stores first, I stumbled upon this beautiful royal blue dress at Ross. It was the perfect color for the aviation core and fit just right. Total for the dress...
$29.99! I actually spent less than that because I had a gift card from returning a pair of shoes that I had purchased for our little girl. The gift card was for $11.00 and some change leaving me out of pocket only $20 or so.

The jewelry......
Because of the neckline of the dress, I knew all I would need were earrings. Score big time for my budget! I found some large earrings at a costume jewelry store for $6.99. Instead of choosing the earrings with silver and blue, I opted for the neutral ones so I can wear them again.

The shoes....
I was bummed out to find that my go to ball shoes no longer fit right. Who's foot grows in their late 20's?! Anyways, I went to our local mall and scanned the clearance sections for formal shoes. You won't believe the deal I got! I happened to find the perfect pair for $19.99. Only, when I got to the counter, they were non- refundable, marked down shoes and half off the lowest price. That's right, I only paid $10 for these beauties!

Because my total was not even $40 at that point, I threw in a clearance bag to go with the shoes too! at $9 even, the bag was mine!

I did my own hair, just putting it in rollers. So there you have it, a ball for less than $50.

Saving money can be done and you don't have to look like the goodwill to do it. I found that having an open mind and being willing to try stores, dresses and sizes that you might not normally try might result in finding the one perfect item you were looking for. I also prayed that the Lord would help me honor Him with my finances and help me make my husband proud of the way I look at the same time. He truly answered!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Menu Plan Monday

Some of our menu got switched around last week due to a crazy Army week. We had leftovers one night and ate a recipe for this week last week so some of our meals we are going to try again this week.

We ate out several times this week and I have to say that aside from an authentic Korean restaurant here in our town,  no meal has been worth the price it cost to eat there. I'm thinking that a lot of out to eat meals are microwaved now a days?!


                                         

Monday: Tostados with homemade refried beans, citrus fruit

Tuesday: Pan seared tilapia, pesto spaghetti squash, sauteed green beans

Wednesday: Small Group Grill out night- providing grilled chicken and brats and everyone brings a side

Thursday- Bourbon Chicken with brown rice and sitr fry veggies

Friday- Chicken Picatta (Lemon Chicken) with egg noddles and steamed broccoli

Saturday- Healthy-ish? Carrot Cake Pancakes with organic breakfast sausage

Sunday- Tacos, fruit salad



Find more menu plans at OrgJunkie.com

Thursday, February 2, 2012

We're Moving....{again!}

Here's a few clues about our new location.....


It has an annual average rainfall of 39 inches per year- that's more than Seattle.



This city was named after Christopher Columbus.



It is a very international city where we can eat food from different cultures every night.



This city has a grocery service where for a small fee, you can have them delivered to your doorstep!



It has been voted the most walkable city.



So have you guessed yet?!


Yep, it's our nation's capital, Washington DC! 

We are so excited and blessed to be on yet another adventure. How cool will it be to picnic on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and be in DC during such a historic election? We hope to learn about many different cultures and experience once in a lifetime things. Of course, we are excited to serve those that the Lord has called for us to serve.

As you can imagine, this is what brought our adoption abruptly to a halt in December. We are trying to get answers about moving while adopting and are still submitting on various sibling groups. If God brings us to mind, would you mind praying for us?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Reading Classics

One of the things I have enjoyed the most about homeschooling is getting to chart our own course. While there are a lot of responsibilities that come with being in charge of my child's schooling, there are also tremendous privileges. This year, I am fulfilling my own secret desire of reading many classics.

I have the best mom that any child could have had. She is a reader! She would read anything we brought to her and she would do all the voices. The problem is that I was an unfocused child who lacked self discipline and I wasn't patient to endure an entire classic over a month or so. I feel out of place sometimes when people talk about classic story lines because I have simply never read most of them.

So this year, I've made a goal to read a classic to our daughter each month. We have celebrated with watching a movie version of it at the end. Even without the movie reward, our daughter has been so eager to read each page. She is clearly her father's child because she has such a long attention span.

What about you, have you read many classics? Any that you would recommend?

Monday, January 30, 2012

Menu Plan Monday

Can I tell you that I am actually excited about posting my menu and doing some cooking this week?! After a few days on a retreat and NO cooking, I re-energized and ready to hit the kitchen. Aside from all meals being provided for us, we also enjoyed the fellowship we had with other Chaplains. We feel like we have a clearer picture of what God has for us in this ministry that He has called us to.



Here's our menu:

Monday- Chili with cornbread (make double batch for small group)

Tuesday- Turkey, Feta, Spinach stuffed peppers, fruit salad

Wednesday- Small group potato bar, baked potato with chili, sweet potato with smoked turkey

Thursday- Bourbon Chicken, brown rice, stir fry veggies

Friday- Military Ball

Saturday- Cajun Chicken Pasta , spinach salad

Sunday- Tostados made with homemade refried beans


What's your week looking like?

I'm linking to OrgJunkie

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Opening and Closing Doors

                                                                  Image Credit

The past few weeks have been a little up and down for our family. We have seen photos of precious children waiting in our state for a forever family. It's overwhelming to see the amount of children that need homes. There have been times our heartstrings have been pulled and we have pursued these children.  ~DOOR OPENS~


Not long after that, our agency had a fruit basket turnover and the continuation of what we had started seemed to cease. There was restructuring in the office and we were shuffled around in the mix. Our name was no longer known and our profile was lost. ~DOOR CLOSES~


We became hopeful when our friends brought home a beautiful little boy from a private agency much like our daughter was adopted from. It would be a financial leap for us and use most of our emergency fund that Dave Ramsey helped convince us to have. We were willing because afterall, most of it would come back on our taxes next year. ~DOOR OPENS~


We printed off forms full speed ahead until we read the tax law changes and saw where that money is no longer refundable. ~DOOR CLOSES~


Just yesterday I contacted a representative with the Child and Family services in our state. She deals with straight adoption cases rather than just fostering. We are inquiring if there is expedited options for military or if we can work with a state that does expedite military cases. Within just a few minutes, I had a return email from this very busy lady. We are expecting a phone call any moment today to discuss how we can bring children into our family while living this crazy military life. ~DOOR OPENING?~


Adoption always seems to have ups and downs or rather the opening and closing of doors. It plays on the emotions and creates heartache at times. My hope is solely in clinging to a Sovereign God who before the foundation of the world, set all things in order. He's using my Good Morning Girls study to remind me of just how much he is in control. He has ordained for this season and the body that is surrounding me at this time to bring comfort. 


Would you pray for us that we would see Him more clearly in the open and closed doors?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Menu Plan Monday

I love showing hospitality by having friends over for meals. I think it's a great way to be Jesus to someone and it keeps us transparent by exposing how our family operates before, during and after mealtime. I have to be honest though, there are times it can be exhausting! Our small group has grown exploded! So it seems I just got the dishes done from last week and I'm already grocery shopping for this week's study. I'm certaintly not complaining, but I am tired this week.

It's times like this that meal planning is crucial! To let you in on a little secret, I actually planned out my whole month of January last month so our "food life" doesn't get affective by my tiredness this week. What a blessing menu planning can be!





Monday- Chicken noodles with Peanut Ginger sauce (I'm modifying it a bit to include brown rice noodles instead of linguine) In light of the Chinese New Year, we are also going to take time at meal time to pray for the persecuted church in China.

Tuesday- Post-Wide UMT gathering. We are supposed to bring football cookout food so we are bringing Turkey Italian Sausages grilled with onions and peppers.

Wednesday- Small group- Asian night- making Mongolian beef with rice and possibly chicken satay

Thursday- Leftovers or out to eat

Friday- UMT training retreat for the whole family!

Saturday- UMT training retreat for the whole family!

Sunday- Chili and cornbread with citrus fruit salad for dinner after we return



I'm linking to Org Junkie

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Healthier Fruit Pizza

There are some sweets that I have a love/hate relationship with. I love the way they taste. The way they smell. The way they satisfy my sweet tooth. But then there's the hate part. I get an extreme sugar high which leaves me tired and lethargic feeling. The taste rarely outweighs that yucky feeling, and I hate that!

I served this tasty dessert last week at small group. It was pretty well received and satisfied our desire for something sweet after dinner. The leftovers were good in the fridge for the next few days too!


s


Sugar cookie dough
Slightly adapted from this recipe. I halved it and had to add some half and half in order to get the dough to form together well. I was having trouble with it being too crumbly. I would also melt the coconut oil before trying to form the dough. Press it into a pizza pan and bake.

Icing 

One 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese softened
about 1/4 cup of honey (or to taste)
Mix these together and spread over the cooled crust

Garnish with fruit of your choosing and slice like a pizza.


I'm linking to Gratituesday,
                      Tempt My Tummy Tuesday,
                      Tasty Tuesday 
                     Finer Things Friday
                       

Monday, January 16, 2012

Menu Plan Monday

Last week was a success for us again. I did some rearranging in the menu in order to satisfy different appetites. I have found that if I stay flexible and be willing to have hamburgers on a different day then  planned, it keeps us from wanting to eat out. Here's what this week looks like...


Photo Credit

Monday- Cheeseburger soup with homemade bread and apple slices

Tuesday- Crockpot Beef tips, egg noodles and green beans

Wednesday- Small group, spaghetti and meat balls

Thursday- Hashbrown Quiche with smoothies

Friday- Spinach, Chicken and feta quesadillas with carrot sticks and orange wedges

Saturday- Southwest chicken salad with cilantro lime vinaigrette

Sunday- Mexican chicken soup (Rescheduled from last week, we didn't get to it)


As you can see, tonight we are having soup with homemade bread. I received a bread maker for Christmas and just this week made my first basic loaf. I'm looking for more whole wheat recipes. Do you have any you could share? :)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Homeschool Reset Button






We all have those days where the math fact sheet is taking way longer than usual to complete. The normally fun spelling game is not catching their attention and your enthusiasm is at an all time low.

In our home, if you fast forward this scene, you would probably see the scenario ending with frustrated crying from both student and teacher.

Let's face it, some days the school mojo isn't flowing. We sometimes bring what just happened in the kitchen into the school room and it isn't helping our teacher/student relationship.

Instead of forging ahead and forcing something that just isn't happening, why not hit reset?

~ Leave the school books behind and take a walk together. Fresh air always helps.

~ Do some exercises and breathing techniques to calm and get some blood flowing to the brain.

~ Stop everything and read a book to your child. Children really feel special when they are read to.

~ Switch up the order of your school day. Who says math always has to come first?

~ Have a "do-over" day. Enter the school room all over again saying surprised hellos. This usually brings a giggle.

~ Assign a reflection activity like journaling or drawing. It can quieten the mood.

~ Pray! I've heard a million times, you can't stay mad at someone you are praying for.

What are some strategies that help you when you need to lighten the mood in the school room?

I'm linking to Women Living Well

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Creamy Bacon Pasta

On Thursdays, my husband gets off early for work and we have a dedicated family night. Sometimes that means going to a movie, the park, and a lot of times going out to eat. After all our Christmas traveling, this past week we just felt like staying in and ended up having dinner on the coffee table, watching a movie. I needed a last minute meal and had all the ingredients for this...



3/4 pound center cut bacon cut into pieces

1 tablespoon dried minced onions

5 cloves of garlic mined

1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

1 carton good chicken stock plus one cup water

1 14 oz. can diced Italian tomatoes

1 pound whole wheat linguine

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

4 oz. Neufchatel cheese

parsley for garnishing

Cook bacon until crisp. Remove bacon from pan and drain all but one tablespoon of oil. Cook the onion, red pepper and garlic in the oil until soft and smelling good. Pour in chicken stock and tomatoes and half the bacon. Bring to a boil then add noodles. Cook until noodles are al dente. Stir in cream cheese and Parmesan cheese. Serve with crisp bacon and parsley on top.

Recipe adapted slightly from Tasty Kitchen


I'm linking to.... Tempt my Tummy Tuesday 
and Tasty Tuesday

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Menu Plan Monday

I'm proud to say that we stuck to our menu plan perfectly this past week. We even skipped going out to dinner on Thursday night and played Kinect together as a family. I've managed to stay on my grocery budget really well too!



Sunday- Salsa Verde Pork with homemade refried beans

Monday- Parmesean encrusted tilapia with italian brown rice and mixed veggies

Tuesday- Dijion chicken with green beans and roasted potatoes and carrots

Wednesday- Small group, Mexican theme (unsure what I'm making yet)

Thursday- Back yard camp out (organic hotdogs and veggies with dip)

Friday- Hubby off work, out to eat

Saturday- Mexcian Chicken Soup tortilla chips, citrus fruit



I'm linking to OrgJunkie

Thursday, January 5, 2012

You Know it's a New Year...



When you order the southwest chicken salad at your weekly Chik-fila homeschool playdate. 

When you've read more chapters in your child's classic novel to them in the last 5 days than all of the month of December.

When you actually stop by Goodwill to see if they happen to have a ball gown just to stick to your budget.

When breakfast, lunch and dinner are all followed by scripture reading.

When you feel like you might die because when you look at the time elapse on your Shred video and it only says 4mins 30 seconds.

When the sink has been empty of dirty dishes four nights in a row.


Let's face it, we all know what we need for a better 2012. A closer walk with the Lord, a more frugal budget to honor Him, more quality time with our kids to teach them, a tidier home to welcome more guests, healthier eating to show gratitude for a healthy body.

My goals are much like yours I'm sure. I've been really great at fulfilling them too! The only problem is it's only the 5th day of 2012 and I already begin to feel the steam slowly leaking out.

My prayer for 2012 is for consistency. Knowing that I cannot continue on my own very much longer, I look to an unchanging God. My Yahweh who doesn't need anything to exist. He doesn't require sleep to accomplish tasks daily and he doesn't struggle to be the same in June as he was in January.

Let's pray together that the goals of 2012 are met with not just hard work and striving but with a surrender to the consistent, unchanging Master of all. May the Lord be glorified by our lives in four months as He is today.

I'm linking to Finer Things Friday

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Crunchy Broccoli and Spinach Salad

Just like any family, we intend on trying to slow down on our eating and incorporate healthier foods with the new year. This salad is a great way to get everyone eating veggies! Our little girl is a bit more particular with raw veggies but the dressing in this salad had her eating broccoli like it was candy.


Ingredients


  • 1/4 cup sucanat
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 package (3 ounces) ramen noodles, broken
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  •  chopped broccoli
  • baby spinach
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
 Discard the seasoning packet for the Ramen noodles and crush them up. Brown them in the butter with the almonds over medium low heat just until golden.
Toss the broccoli and spinach together and sprinkle the noodles and almonds on top. In a salad dressing jar, shake together the sucanant, vinegar, oil and soy sauce.
Recipe adapted from Taste of Home
I'm linking to Tempt my Tummy Tuesday
and Comfy in the Kitchen






Monday, January 2, 2012

Menu Plan Monday

I hope you had as good of a holiday season as I did. We were so blessed to spend time with family and unwind a bit. Being from the South, the holidays meant a lot of delicious but unhealthy food so we are hoping to keep it lighter around here.
                                                   {Pot Roast with gravy we had last week}

Here's our menu for this week:

Sunday- Vegetable beef soup with yeast rolls, cheese slices and apple slices

Monday- Grilled Chicken with Baked potatoes and spinach salad

Tuesday- Red Beans and rice, citrus fruit

Wednesday- Small group breakfast theme, making spinach, feta quiche and sausage breakfast casserole

Thursday- Family out to eat night

Friday- Spaghetti with steamed broccoli and spinach salad

Saturday- Chicken quesadillas with smoothies, attending a wedding that night



Go check out some other menus at Orgjunkie.com