Thursday, June 30, 2011
When our 2nd daughter was born my husband worked the weekends. He would leave on Friday and we would not see him again until Monday morning. It made for long weekends for me with a 2 year old and brand new baby. That being said we didn't make it to church as often as I would have liked. It was so much effort for an exhausted mom sometimes.
One weekend though I decided we were going to do it. We were going to get up and go to church. We were going to see friends and it would be glorious. Wouldn't everyone be so impressed to see me walk in with my two small children? Wouldn't I look like I had it all together?
My baby daughter slept through most of the service just until the very end. I took her out to the nursing room to feed her. I rocked her, feeling very proud of our accomplishment.
Let me add here that I had chosen to wear a very light, almost white pair of capris that spring morning. That is a critical piece of information.
As I rocked her and let her nurse, I noticed her sweet little face strain and heard the gates of baby poop open and there was no closing them. Immediately I felt the warm sensation all over my legs. The pride that I had been feeling just moments ago turned to dread. I picked up that sweet little baby to find that she had not just "blown out", she had EXPLODED all over my nearly white capris and all over her sweet little outfit.
I just sat there and stared. I had no idea what to do. It was running all down my legs. I had never in my life seen so much poop. I was mortified.
I had a small pack of baby wipes in my bag but no change of clothes for my daughter or FOR ME for that matter! What was I thinking? Why did I not have a change of clothes FOR ME in there? I grabbed the wet wipes and just started wiping and may have shed a couple of tears. I wiped my daughter down and somehow managed to get her "SOILED" outfit off then wiped her down again. I wiped down the chair I was sitting in because you know it had to run somewhere. Then I wiped my capris down but there would have been no amount of wet wipes to clean nearly white capris from the obvious stains of yellow runny baby poop.
I wrapped my daughter up in her blanket and grabbed the mountain high pile of wet wipes and the one dirty diaper because of course there was no trash can in the nursing room and walked out trying to hold my head high and praying no one would see the yellow stain all over the front of me. I got my two year old daughter out of nursery and walked passed many a person who said, "You're leaving early?" I would just smile and say, "Yes, we need to get going."
I did see our family doctor and he expressed his concern wondering if everything was ok. I smiled weakly and moved my daughter's blanket that I had strategically placed in front of me. He just grinned and said, "Ahhh, yes."
Just another lesson in not getting too proud of an accomplishment because as every new mom knows, pride cometh before the POOP explosion!
Friday, June 10, 2011
I doubled the mixture recipe because I used the larger flour tortillas. It made 10 taquitos. The next time I make them I want to try out THIS dressing to use as a dipping sauce for them.re
We love veggies and dip. My hubby would eat this all of the time. He LOVES veggie trays at parties. My oldest loves carrots and ranch as a snack even for breakfast now and then. I am always on the search for healthier dips. One of our faves is hummus so when I stumbled on this recipe I knew I had to try it. I found it on the Weelicious site which I am a huge fan on. Catherine is amazing!
The recipe is White Bean Basil Hummus. OH MY GOODNESS! I have found my favorite dip ever. It is so easy and so cheap! I do not have tahini because I use a dab of peanut butter instead in my regular hummus recipe so I just left that out altogether in this and it is marvelous. The Weelicous recipe is HERE. The following is my adaptation.
White Bean Basil Hummus (Makes 1 1/2 Cups)
1 Can Cannelini or Northern White Beans, rinsed and drained (Reserve the liquid.)
1 Cup Fresh Basil, chopped
1 Small Garlic Clove
1 T. lemon juice
1/2 Tsp Salt
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
Place all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. Add some of the bean liquid to blender if extra liquid is needed to completely blend. Dip your veggies and pita and be prepared for a taste sensation!
Monday, April 25, 2011
I've been perusing Flickr to find some examples of homes that I am drawn to.
(Original image can be found HERE.)
(Original image can be found HERE.)
(Original image can be found HERE.)
(Original image can be found HERE.)
(Original image can be found HERE.)
A big porch is a MUST!
(Original image can be found HERE.)
Alas....I have let go of these dreams for now. If we move it will more than likely be to yet another apartment that has much better rates for rent but is smaller with much less storage space. BUT the rent is extremely better for our budget AND there is a nice little fenced in back yard for us to play in and playground areas all over the complex.
When we began talking about this I felt so let down. I want a house. But then something changed. I let it go and I began to feel this twinge of excitement about something different, about change. It may not be what I had dreamed of but it may be something so much better when viewing it from God's perspective. So we consider and ponder and see if this is what God has for us. I'll tuck my dreams away for now and maybe someday I'll have a little bungalow with an amazing porch. As long as I am with my little family, I'm home.
Monday, April 11, 2011
This past week I have really been struggling with being content. Currently we live in a townhouse apartment and I find myself saying/thinking, "When we are in a house....." I am not content in our current housing. We don't have a yard and I don't feel like I can really decorate the way I want to. We just kind of moved in and that's that. The book has made me see that I have so much more than so many people and I am so blessed. It's a daily struggle. Ok, who am I kidding? Sometimes it is a minute to minute struggle. I want to be content.
We will be living the college life two more years and I am having a really hard time finding contentment. I am longing for the next chapter. The one where I have the house with a white picket fence and a hubby who loves his work, our bills are paid and maybe there is a third sweet little babe in tow. I really am in a constant struggle with longing for these things and reminding myself to be content where God has me. He has me HERE, RIGHT HERE for a reason.
I stumbled on this quote online last night and...WHACK it hit me between my eyes! "The longer you wait for the future the shorter it will be." Loesje
I constantly have a running play list like the following in my head:
When we have a house....
When we know for sure where we'll end up....
When Hubby is done with college....
When Hubby has a job....
When I lose weight.....
When......blah, blah, blah!!!!
What about RIGHT NOW? What about living this moment right now that God has given me?
If I am not content right now, why in the world would God bless me with more? Isn't He always teaching me? Why can't I learn what I need to learn? It feels as though I need to be taught over and over again the same lessons. I just don't get it, which leads me to believe I am a slow learner when it comes to life lessons.
I am so moved by certain songs that hit me deep within my soul and feel as if they were written only for me. A couple of weeks ago at Bible study after the earthquake and tsunami in Japan we sang a song that I had not heard before and WHACK it hit me right between the eyes. It is on my short list of songs that have really stirred something within me. It is called Beautiful Things by Gungor. I want to share the song and lyrics here in this space of mine because it has meant so much to me. I have played it over and over in the van. My oldest daughter calls it her favorite song now and sings along with me as we listen over and over to the truth in the words.
(Remember to pause the play list at the bottom of the page to hear the song in the video player.)
You can find the lyrics HERE. They are very inspirational so take a moment to read them.
It is my prayer this week to live in contentment and watch my life be made beautiful. It is beautiful..."Because when you stop and look around, this life is pretty amazing!"
Thursday, April 7, 2011
2 T. butter
4 T. vegetable oil
1 white onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped (remove seeds for less heat) (I didn't use a jalapeno.)
1 1/2 t. chili powder
1/2 t. ground cumin
1/4 t. ground cinnamon
1 small tomato, chopped
2 T. chopped fresh cilantro (I forgot to buy this, so it didn't make it into mine.)
2 1/2 c. shredded, cooked chicken
1/4 c. sour cream
1 15 oz. can refried beans
tortillas (The recipe calls for 4 but I was able to fill 8!)
1 c. shredded monterey jack cheese
Preheat oven to 45o degrees. Melt the butter with 2 T. vegetable oil in a skillet and transfer to a bowl. Heat the remaining 2 T. vegetable oil in skillet. Add the onion, garlic, and jalapeno and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the chili powder, cumin, cinnamon and 1 t. salt; toast 30 seconds. Add the tomato and cilantro and cook until slightly dry, about 2 minutes. Stir in the chicken and sour cream and warm through. Remove from the heat.
Brush a rimmed baking sheet with some of the butter-oil mixture. Spread 2 T. refried beans down the center of of each tortilla, leaving a 2 in. border on both ends. Top with one cup chicken mixture and 1/4 c. cheese. (I didn't use this much chicken or cheese in each tortilla so it stretched farther.) Fold in the ends and roll up. Put the chimichanga seam-side down on the baking sheet; brush with the butter-oil mixture. Bake 8-10 minutes per side, brushing again after you flip.
Serve with more cheese, lettuce, and tomato. Serve with rice, beans, and guacamole.
I think the next time I make these I will do everything the same except I will omit the cinnamon. I wasn't crazy about that taste in it. I like cinnamon in my desserts not main dishes.
I tried a smoothie recipe that I found in an Everyday Food magazine a while back. This was a winner! I was interested in how the oats would taste in it and they were so good.
Banana Oat Smoothie
1/2 c. old fashioned rolled oats
1 c. plain yogurt
2 ripe bananas, cut into thirds
1 c. milk
4 t. honey
1/2 t. cinnamon
Add all ingredients to blender and blend until smooth.
Weeknight 4 Cheese Quiche
1 c. sliced mushrooms
1 c. chopped onion
1 pkg. (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, and drained *
1/3 c. Miracle Whip
1/3 c. milk
1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 prepared pie shell (9 in.) (I made my own.)
1/4 c. real bacon bits or crumbled bacon
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a skillet with cooking spray. Add mushrooms and onion; cook 5 min. or until tender. Stir in spinach; mix well. Mix dressing, milk, and eggs until well blended. Add spinach mixture and cheese. Pour into pie shell; sprinkle with bacon bits. Bake 50 min. or until golden. Makes 6 servings.
* I learned a great trick from Rachael Ray about thawing and draining spinach because who really remembers to let the spinach thaw. Pop it in the microwave and defrost it. Then dump in in a towel, wrap it up and while running cold water over, squeeze the water out. Once it isn't so hot just squeeze until no more water comes out. It works great. I even have a special spinach towel that I use just for this because it has a nice green stain on it.
I am anxious to try this again with the same egg base but different veggies and cheese.
Friday, March 25, 2011
It is A Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. Have you heard of it? Have you read it? I am thoroughly excited about reading it. I can't wait to get my hands on it, read it, highlight the parts that hit me between the eyes and really, really, really contemplate all of the things that I am grateful for because I take so much, SO MUCH for granted in this life. I am a "see the glass half empty" kind of person typically.
It drives my heart nuts when my head is so full of worry and anxiety over really stupid things. I have never had to worry about life and death situations with my kids. They are healthy. God has seen us through a couple of very scary things, but I have not had to worry over a pronouncement of terminal illness. I have never had to worry about a phone call from the bank saying that something that belonged to us no longer did due to finances. There have been bills paid late here and there, reconnection fees have been paid before, but it has always worked out. I have a roof over my head, clothes on my back and food in our pantry. The other stuff is truly just the cream on top that we can live with or without and I take it for granted.
My friend told me about his statement from the book that WHACKED me hard between the eyes. It was something about how when we worry or stress out about our circumstances or issues at hand, we are basically calling ourselves atheists because if we truly believe, then we know He WILL take care of us and we have no need to worry or stress. WHACK! I am so guilty of worry and stress, like I need to be totally convicted and the key needs to be thrown away guilty. How can I call myself a Christian when I don't LET myself just trust? Has He EVER let go of me? Has He ever not provided in His way, in His time? No!
So today at Bible study I started a new study called Plan B by Pete Wilson and guess what...It totally falls into line with what I am wrestling with. Will I truly trust Him when my plan doesn't go the way I think it should go? So excited from what I will glean over the next 5 weeks in this study!
During our worship time, they played a video of a song that I had not heard before and am kind of embarrassed to say I didn't realize it was J.J. Heller. Hello! Where have I been? But this song hit me between the eyes again! WHACK! Like by the end of the very first line, I was choking back tears and hoping I wouldn't go into sobbing hysterics. It was beautiful. Just beautiful. I want to share it with you here. (Remember to scroll down and pause my music player to be able to hear the video.)
And by the way....I bought the Ann Voskamp book today and can't wait to start it and just soak it in!
Monday, March 21, 2011
1/2 c. chopped onion
4 T. butter
1/4 c. flour
2 c. chicken broth
1 t. chicken bouillon
8 oz. sour cream, room temp
3 c. shredded, cooked chicken
2 c. shredded cheese
4 oz. can green chiles, drained
1 t. chili powder
10 - 12 tortillas
Sautee onion in butter until tender. Whisk in flour and add chicken broth and bouillon. Cook and stir until thickened. Remove from heat and add sour cream. In large bowl combine chicken, 1 c. sauce, 1 c. cheese, chiles, and chili powder. Mix well. Fill each tortilla with mixture. Roll up and arrange in a 9 x 13 inch pan. Spoon remaining sauce over tortillas. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.
YUM! This is a recipe that I have made since the early days of married life and it is still a winner in hubby's heart!
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
I didn't really sit down and pick a study that I wanted to join. I joined because my friend asked me to and I just picked the one she was doing. When I saw the cover of the book something struck deep within me...loss, love, and legacy. Wow! Those are three really meaning-filled and profound words.
Loss: I have been aching lately with loss and missing my mom. It was much stronger during the holidays this year than last. I think it has alot to do with all that is on our plate as a family and being away from my extended family. Sometimes I feel really alone tucked down here and just want to call her. When I am at the end of my rope with tattling and kids not sharing and Hubby has been gone for the third entire day in a row, I just want to call and beg her to come and help me, just be with me. So "loss" is a huge thing that I am struggling with. My loss isn't as huge as Naomi's loss was but it's still a loss and it is where I am.
Love: At my church's Mom's group a few sessions back we had a speaker come in and talk to us about grace. She ended by reading I Corinthians 13 from the perspective of a Mother. It brought tears to my eyes and struck a chord in my heart. I have not been the most loving of moms lately. I have been short, impatient and easily frustrated lately. I think it has alot to do with just being cooped up due the winter weather and lots of illness, but still...
"Love is patient, love is kind (even when we've cooped up for days upon days and we feel loopy). It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud (even when I feel frumpy and out of place, or my kid is throwing a fit and no one else's is). It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs (even when I am at the end of my rope dealing with the terrible pre-twos and emotional 4 year old and I am tired from interrupted sleep and feel like I am single-parenting). Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres." (That is my take on it.)
Legacy: I really, really, really want to leave a legacy for my girls that is filled with love, constant, cherishing, unconditional. I want them to look back and remember their mom was kind, loving, giving, and strong only when under the wings of her Jesus.
As I said this is our last week and we will be moving on to another study called "Plan B." That one has piqued my interests too. I know one thing for sure that I have adored being with these other women each Friday morning knowing that they are real and striving for the same goal as I. As I work on the last week of this study, a skit by Nicole Johnson came flooding my memory. It totally speaks about building legacies even in the midst of the mundane task of life. I want to share it here with you and hope that maybe it will resonate with you as it has with me!
(Remember to pause the music player at the bottom of the page before you hit play.)
These are my cathedrals. Aren't they grand???? I sure think so and can not comprehend why I am allowed to build within their little walls!
Monday, February 7, 2011
Saturday, February 5, 2011
A few weeks ago I bought a bag of hair clips from Hobby Lobby promising myself I was going to make clips for my girls but I just haven't found the time to do it. Yesterday the little one went down for a nap and the biggest one fell asleep on the couch so I rounded up my felt, fabric scraps, hot glue and got to work. I was only able to crank out 5 since the oldest didn't sleep very long and was feeling sick when she woke up.
I was happy with my results though and can't wait to make more. They were so easy and much cheaper to make than buy!
We made a teepee for our Little People to camp out in.
Basically you shred up 2 toilet paper rolls, grate a bar of Ivory soap, and add warm water until you get the consistency that you want. My youngest daughter (almost 2) had the most fun shredding the toilet paper up because she tries to do this frequently throughout the day and we usually tell her, "NO!" My oldest daughter (4 1/2) had more fun actually playing with the clean mud.
It was not quite the hit I was hoping it to be but it was still fun, cheap, and easy! I used the recipe that I found HERE. There are also lots of other recipes on this site too for fun things to do.
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Thanks flower patch farm girl for having the giveaway. Now get over to her blog and try to win along with me on THIS POST.
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
I am PLUM WORE OUT! I've tried to catch up on all our regular laundry plus sickie laundry like blankets and such. There are also more dishes it seems when we are sick so I've been trying to keep up with that. There is also the extra runs to the grocery store for Sprite, yogurt, chicken noodle soup, toilet paper, and such.
I also feel like a deer staring at headlights as 1/2 of my family has had the flu and my oldest has been running a fever today but no other signs of being sick. I don't want to get sick. It's not good when Mama is sick.
And oh my, the little one...well she has been a SPITFIRE since being sick last Wednesday. Last night was bad, bad, bad and today hasn't been much better. It didn't help that she had to get some shots yesterday either...they made her even more grouchy. I'm about ready to pull my hair out right now...but I won't since I don't think it's a good look for me.
So it has been a movie, tomato soup (from a can) and grilled cheese kind of night. My attitude has been sour and I am ready to put these littles to bed and collapse into a pile.
I am so grateful that His mercies are new every morning because tonight I am clinging to that.
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
I am a big believer in having a yummy special breakfast on Christmas morning after the opening of presents. I had found a recipe on The Pioneer Woman's cooking blog a few weeks back and knew I had found what would be made for my family. The recipe is called Make Ahead Muffin Melts and you can find it HERE. These were so, so, so, so good and so easy. You make the egg mixture the night before so all you have to do the morning of is scoop the mixture on english muffins and broil. They were superb and got rave reviews!
On Christmas Eve we had snacks to eat while watching Despicable Me. I made homemade French Onion Dip from an Alton Brown recipe on the Food Network site. You can find the recipe HERE. This again was an easy recipe to make and the results were 1,000x's better than the plastic container stuff from the grocery.
On New Year's Eve my mother-in-law and I made an incredible ham from a Neely's recipe. We had watched them make it on their show and knew that this was to be our New Year's Eve masterpiece and that it was! It was a show stopper as you can see from the below picture. The recipe is found HERE.
And now it's a new year and we're all looking for light, low calorie recipes!!!
Monday, January 10, 2011
I have two knitters in my life and stumbled across a tutorial on making a knitting needle case...PERFECT! This was really not difficult to make and I was so happy with how it turned out. I found the idea on the blog Multicrafty. The actual tutorial can be found HERE.
When I was a preschool teacher I received a Hot Rice Pack that was handmade. It is one of my favorite things to use when I am not feeling well. I found a tutorial on line for making these. They were insanely easy!!!! I foresee many more of these in my future. The tutorial I used is HERE on the Pie Birds, Buttons and Muddy Puddles blog.
I also made a few of the Felt Rose Wreaths to give as gifts. This is such an easy project and can literally be done in one evening. If you don't sew, this is a good crafty project for you as long as you are armed with good scissors and a hot glue gun. I got the idea from The Pretty Poppy on THIS blog post.
Each year I want to make something my for my girls with my own hands. This year I decided on handmade dolls. I found an incredible book called Wee Wonderfuls: 24 Dolls to Sew and Love (which my mother-in-law ended up buying for me for my birthday after I raved about it). It is awesome and has such fun ideas in it. I made a boy doll and a girl doll for my girls. They love them which makes my heart happy!
I made one more thing but forgot to take a picture to share here. I made an iPod cozy for one of my nieces using THIS tutorial on Sew, Mama, Sew!