Monday, April 25, 2011

Letting Go

We are considering a move this summer. My dream is to be moving back into a house. I LOVE to drive around our town and look at homes stashing away ideas for someday. We are blessed to live in a community where there are many beautiful homes. My idea of a beautiful home is a place filled with character or A.K.A. it has been around for awhile. I love older homes. There are certainly some beautiful new homes but the older ones have character. You can't build character. It comes over years and from families who fill a home with laughter and tears and memories.

I've been perusing Flickr to find some examples of homes that I am drawn to.
Moore House - Yorktown Battlefield, VA
(Original image can be found HERE.)

Bungalow, Schenectady, NY
(Original image can be found HERE.)

Savory Spoon
(Original image can be found HERE.)

Craftsman House - Bungalow, Columbus, OH
(Original image can be found HERE.)

Farmhouse Sunrise
(Original image can be found HERE.)

A big porch is a MUST!
An inviting porch in Manchester
(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


I am still reading One Thousand Gifts and loving it. Anne Voskamp is really an artist when it comes to writing. The way she writes is beautiful like she is painting a picture. And the words that she writes are profound and moving.

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


We love Mexican food....alot. I am always anxious to try out new Mexican recipes to add to our favorite recipes. This is one I found in a Food Network magazine and decided to try out this week. Hubby and I loved it but the littles were less than thrilled with it. I won't give up though. We'll try it again and again. I'm sure one of those times, they'll realize how good it is.

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.

Banana Oat Smoothie

Three quarters of my family love smoothies. My oldest daughter does not. She thinks she does but when I offer her one, she will rarely finish it. I can't figure this out because really a smoothie is like a milkshake! My youngest daughter LOVES them and I know it is one way I can get good, healthy things in her as she is my pickier eater.

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.


My hubby LOVES quiche. If we are out at a restaurant and he spots it on the menu, he will more than likely order it. Sadly, I have never made it for him here at home. Strange, since it is an easy thing to make and I usually have all of the ingredients on hand. I had found this recipe in a Kraft Foods magazine that I used to get and pulled it out this week to try. It's a keeper and very easy! It is called Weeknight 4 Cheese Quiche but only has one type of cheese in it, so I don't quite get that. I'm sure I can remedy that next time, though.

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
4 eggs
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.