Thursday, January 23, 2014

Crazy Weeks

It has been a couple crazy weeks for us.  Visiting family and helping others and just living our normal, busy lives.

My goal through out is to find God in all of it.  He is here.  In grace and mercy and love.  His miracles surround us.  We just have to be on the watch for them.

I have been a follower of Christ for some time now.  I was never one of those who was on fire.  My relationship and journey with Christ started out slow.  Very slow.  In the beginning of my relationship I know I was saved but I am not sure He was Lord over my life.

But, right now, I am in a place where I want to see the miracles of God in everything.  In everything.  Even in the ugly and scary.  Because He promises me, in His word, they are there.  As my pastor said last week, the miracles are not always physical.  They may be spiritual or relational or emotional.  Or any number of ways that are sometimes harder to see.

Today, I am choosing to wake up and actively look for the miracles because I know they are there . . .

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Ear Piercing

This is what happens when you are the youngest of three girls.  You get to do things the other girls had to wait three more years to do!  Ears Pierced!!

The rule was the girls had to wait until they were 8 to get their ears pierced.  I had to and it sounded like a good rule to me.  Old enough that they can take care of the ear care themselves.

About a year ago, actually probably longer than that, EG started asking for her ears to be pierced.  I figured the big girls would say "No way!  We had to wait.  You have to wait!"  But, they were all for it.  Then even offered to help her clean her ears.

The answer from us was still "no."  Then, right before Christmas, I weakened.  I figured it would be an awesome Christmas gift for EG.  I kept it a secret from the big girls because I figured they would be just as excited.

So, Christmas morning she opened her Clairs gift card and she was thrilled.  A week later we had them done.  She did awesome.  She barely even flinched.  But, I am not that surprised.  She is tough, tough, tough . . .

(I am not sure the video will work.)

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Pioneer Woman Round Two

Winter is such a great time for soups.  I love soup and most of the kids do as well.  Hubby will eat it but I feel he likes a meal with a little more substances to it.  But, so far, most of the recipes for soups I have tried he has liked.

This is Chicken Tortilla Soup.  

I started off with two baked chicken breasts, shredded.  The recipe called for the special seasonings on top before baking which I think I will do more in the future for other recipes.  The seasonings smelled great and gave the baked chicken a great flavor.

Lots of peppers, green and red.  And, of course onion and garlic.  All of which was sauteed while the chicken was baking.  Not pictured is the added black beans and Rotel tomatoes.  The base is water and chicken broth.

(The special seasonings which included cumin and chili powder.)

Tortillas cut into strips to add in at the very end.

Wonderful, delicious, hot soup!  Topped with cheese and sour cream!  It was a hit by most.  But the kids were not a big fan of the tortillas.  They felt they were too soggy.  That's OK because hubby and I liked them and were more than willing to eat them all!

I am not sure we will do this again.  We have a very similar recipe for a chicken chili with much the same taste with not quite all the work.  But, who knows.  Maybe on another cold weekend day, I will attempt to make it again . . . 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

PW Strikes Again

This post is for you MB!  (And I will have one more sometime soon!)

On December 31st we sat down as a family and looked over our goals for 2013.  One of mine was to cook through the Pioneer Woman's cookbook.  I did really well for awhile.  And then this school year started and it just became almost impossible to spend any time really cooking.  Much less cooking something new.

But, over the holidays I had a little bit of extra time.  Not much.  But a little.  So, here is one of the latest recipes I have tried from PW.  It is pork chops with cut up apple and homemade grits.  The dinner was a success.  I love pork chops anyway but this spin on it was really, really delicious.  And hubby LOVED the homemade grits.  As did I and I think at least 2 of the 4 kids liked them.

Most of the ingredients.  Real maple syrup which cost a small fortune.

Bacon and onions for the grits.  I cut the bacon too big.  But, no one in my family complained.  They all LOVE bacon with just about anything.

Add grits and heavy cream.

Fry up the chops.

Diced apple.

Let simmer all together for a little bit.

I didn't take any good presentation pictures.  You would place the diced apples on a plate and lay the pork chop on top with a big spoonful of grits on the side.

It was sooooo good.  With a little bit of preparation we could definitely do it again . . . 

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Christmas Trimmings

Best. Tree. Ever.

Our wedding ornament smack in the middle of the tree.

My nativity set when I was a kid.  It is missing its shelter but everything else it here.

Some holiday traditions we have managed to carry on for more than a year:  Ornaments with the name of Jesus on them hung on the tree.  Reading through some type of Advent book.  This year was Jotham's Journey and it is highly recommended.  And our Jesse Tree - tracing the lineage of Jesus through the Old Testament.  

This year hubby made a manger to place under the tree.  On Christmas Eve, before I went to bed, I placed a blanket and one of the girl's baby dolls into the manger.  Just another, more visual reminder, of why we celebrate.

It is crazy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of Christmas.  Hopefully those were  few things we did to try to stay focused on Jesus this season.  Next up, Christmas morning . . . 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!

So, how do you all celebrate New Year's Eve and New Year's Day?

Our kids like to stay home.  Play games.  Drink hot chocolate.  Watch movies and football.  Wait for the ball to drop.  Watch the rest of their movie and then sleep on the couch.  A couple of years ago, we ran across Abbot and Costello on the TV.  So last year I bought a DVD that has 8 movies on it.  They can only watch it New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.  I think they enjoy that the most!

Depending on whether or not daddy has to work depends on how creative we need to be.  Daddy was home and awake for a little bit last night so I didn't have to be quite as creative as in years' past.  Also, the kids are getting older so they don't need to be entertained as much in order to stay up late.

Both daddy and I were snoozing on the couch before the ball dropped.  Nature Girl, at about 11:58, changed the channel and woke us up.  (We let EG sleep.)  Daddy promptly fell back asleep.  We shared our Happy New Year's and at about 1AM finally went to bed.

Today is more movies and, of course, football.  Maybe a few chores around the house and a walk or a bike ride if the weather would only cooperate.

I have only two resolutions:  to love Jesus and to simplify.  Maybe tomorrow's blog I will flesh out what that might look like in 2014.  I do know it is a year, day, a minute for great potential . . . .