Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Few Of My Favorite Things

This is non-exhaustive and in no particular order list of things that the Lord has allowed me to enjoy today, this very random day:
  • Seasons: Thank you Missouri for coming through on this. Winter is a beautiful thing.
  • Venti Ice Water from Starbucks: its triple filtered goodness.
  • Kind Cranberry Almond Bars
  • Ghiradelli Dark Chocolate Carmel Squares
  • This Book: It has been such a good way to start the year.
  • Audio ESV Study Bible Online: I LOVE listening to the text as I read it.
  • Texting my NEPHEWS: what in the world. i am old. (well technically this was the other day but everytime I go to my texts and see their names I think it is funny that they are old enough to text me!)
  • Working for His Voice For Sudan and getting to stay home with my boys. (hard to balance but SO worth it!)
  • New friends coming over for lunch playdates!
  • And last but not least....Good Music: I will spare you the links and let you have a couple guesses. :)

Monday, January 25, 2010

What's On The Menu Monday

Well, apparently, each Monday I need to clarify what exactly WOTMM is so that no one accidentally thinks all of the listed food items are being prepared only on Monday. Rather, WOTMM is a list of meals I plan to make through out the week. I don't like to set the days for them because then I feel confined (i know, weird right? but this right-brained girl is proud to even have a list okay.) The list helps me stay within our grocery budget while providing healthy, well rounded meals for the week making us less apt to eating out or making unnecessary trips to the store.

That said, here is this weeks: (we have been invited to various homes for meal lately so some of these meals were from last weeks list)

Its going to get cold this week so I have two soups on the menu

Baked Potato Soup

Split Pea Soup

Salmon Pasta Alfredo- brown rice pasta with homemade Alfredo sauce with baked Salmon on top or mixed in

Baked Mahi Mahi with rice and black beans: I just take frozen Mahi Mahi from Trader Joe and thaw it. Place it in a baking dish, sprinkle lemon juice, garlic salt and some McCormick's Montreal HAMBURGER seasoning on it. Bake it for 20 and dinner is served :)

Ahi Tuna Steaks with Broccoli: these are pre-seasoned and frozen by Trader Joe's. EASIEST MEAL. Thaw them in the fridge, then just throw them in the oven for 20 mins and have a spectacular steak! Then I just steam some broccoli to have with it.

Nacho Bowls: this is kinda like build your own burrito only with chips instead of tortillas. Meat, (we will use mahi or talapia) beans and the fixins on a bowl full of chips.

Happy cooking...what are y'all eating?

Friday, January 22, 2010

37 Years of Injustice

Most of you, I am sure, are aware that today, January 22, 2009, marks the 37th anniversary of the passing of Roe v Wade. In this, the US Sepreme Court held that a woman may abort her pregnancy for any reason, up until the "point at which the fetus becomes 'viable.'" As today has gone by, I have seen many pictures flash onto my computer screen from various blogs and news pages. Groups of people who feel strongly for or against Roe vs. Wade showed up today at many captital buildings and planned parenthood clinics all over the US.

What some are celebrating, others are begging to change.

I am among those who are begging for change.

I did not, however, get the chance to go to our capital building today or stop by the planned parenthood clinic and I am sure many of you reading this did not as well. So I decided to write a little blog about it, maybe to reach a small few and to honor the sanctity of Life.
Last year on Sanctity of Life Sunday, Pastor John Piper spoke these words:

"Mr. President, some of us WEPT for JOY at your inauguration and we pledged that we would pray for you. We have hope in our sovereign God."

And that we do.
Pray for our leaders.
Hope in our God.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

For Lack of Better Words

If you have known me long, or maybe just stop by to read the blog now and again, you probably know that I am a music lover. Music of just about any type. (yes even country has its place in my heart...although WAY back in the back:) I feel deeply about music and how it moves people and reaches places that words alone can never reach. Journey back through history, studing cultures and there is hardly a culture, if any, that didn't have "their" music. I have often pondered how God created man with a song in their heart. Individual man yes but also man in the communal sense. It's as if music has this ability to bring cultures together. Older with younger, Asian with African, European with South American. There seems to be few boundaries that music cannot break.

That being said: I have an issue.

Lack of Superlatives, or rather, OVER USE of superlatives.

I was warned of this quite often by my dear friend Danny during college. About once a week, along with correcting my grammar, he would challenge me on a use of a superlative like: "how was the DNow?" "It was THE BEST ONE I have EVER played for" or "how's the new album?" "IT IS AMAZING, BEST album by FAR!" I think you get the picture. Each time I would over use the EST's and the AWESOME/AMAZING/BEST EVER statements, he would smirk and say, in his ever so kind way, "oh really." He continually challenged me on this. He said, "One of these days something is going to truly be THE BEST or AMAZING. How will anyone know if they can believe you or not?"

Well, just last week Danny and I were chatting on the phone, just getting caught up on life. And I said to Danny, "You know, all those times you warned me about over using my superlatives? Well, I have almost posted a blog about how truly AMAZING the Switchfoot concert in Dallas was and how FANTASTIC the new album is, but I can't bring my self to write it...because this time,well...it really is THE BEST/AMAZING. I feel like if I tell them this, they will just write me off as a dorky old fan and not give it any thought." He laughed and in the nicest way possible basically said, "I told you this day would come."

So folks, here I am, finally blogging, months later, about how AMAZING the new Switchfoot, Hello Hurricane Album is. If you are a long time fan or you are a Switchfoot newbie, your heart will be ministered too, your soul will be challenged and mind will be stronger. Lyrically and musically this album is mature and rich with real life, real feelings and real theology.

So please, read past the superlatives and go get the album....or better yet, grab tickets to this tour....worth every penny.

Monday, January 18, 2010

What's On The Menu Monday

Y'all, apparently I only blog on Monday's about food...lame.

I actually have had very limited time on the computer this month. Most all the time I have had online has consisted of work for His Voice for Sudan. I love my job. I am trying to get a good routine established here in our new city as the "newness" wears off and reality that we are here for good sinks in. In this said routine, blogging time has gotten squeezed but I hope, as soon as some of my work deadlines come to a close, I will pick up and have a less lame blog...hehe...in the mean time, here is WOTMM:

Taco Soup: one can kidney beans, on can corn, 1 can rotel, 1lb of browned turkey burger seasoned:: served with shredded cheese and tortilla chips. (don't drain any of the cans, just dump it all in)

Salmon Pasta Alfredo- brown rice pasta with homemade Alfredo sauce with baked Salmon on top or mixed in

Trader Joe's Cheese and Bean Enchiladas - this is a frozen meal that is organic, gluten free and vegetarian! AND SOO YUMMY! good to keep on hand to throw in on those days that cooking seems daunting!

Spinach Lasagna Bake: This is gluten free (brown rice) noodles, spinach, ricotta/cottage cheese, mozzarella all layered and baked.

Baked Mahi Mahi with rice and black beans: I just take frozen Mahi Mahi from Trader Joe and thaw it. Place it in a baking dish, sprinkle lemon juice, garlic salt and some McCormick's Montreal HAMBURGER seasoning on it. Bake it for 20 and dinner is served :)

Breakfast Skillet: Potatoes, garlic, eggs, turkey bacon and cheese all mixed up in a skillet. If I am not up for it, this night might turn into egg sandwiches or omelets.

Okay, that's what we will be eating....what about you?

Monday, January 11, 2010

What's On The Menu Monday

Well last weeks WOTMM was so fun! I hope you get some good ideas for your meals! I pretty much had someone ask about each recipe so I will post some of those soon. Here is what we are eating this week. It is a little different than normal because our sweet friend, The Reardon's, are visiting and they are Gluten Free AND Dairy Free. So she brought some fun recipes for us to try!

Okay here goes:

Enchilada Casserole- (dairy free so we are using Soy cheese...it will be a fun new thing for us) with Guac and Chips for side - from Saving Dinners- GREAT cook book! (we are going to use black beans instead of meat for Vern's sake)

Fish Tacos- this is a by-weekly one for us, we LOVE it!

Tuna Fusilli- a tuna pasta dish from Saving Dinners with Broccoli

Gluten Free Vegetarian (spinach) Lasagna- I've never made this so I am going to kinda make it up...we'll see :)

Baked Wild Caught Salmon and Baked Potatoes

Ahi Tuna Steak and Asparagus

I am excited that Erin brought her fun new recipes for us to try this week...What are yall cooking?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

A Letter on Contentment

Recently I got an email from a friend who was struggling through wishing she and her family were in a different place in life. She was vulnerable and reaching out for encouragement. As I wrote her I couldn't help but think that this was for more than just her. I have walked this road and walk it everyday really. These are just a few things I sent her to chew on, things I (attempt to) fight the battles with everyday. Thanks to all the ladies along the way that have poured this Truth into my life. Thank your Lord for your Word. Amen.

Here is the letter (I took out somethings in order to keep her anonymous)

As a wife and mom who has moved 6 times in 7 years, lived in three different cities, worked from home while my husband finished school and dealt with the trials and emotions that come along with all of the aforementioned, I would say I can relate with how you are feeling. I have been where you are and have learned so much along the way. I am honored to share with you what the Lord taught me during my days of wishing for root planting. (and wall painting ha!). I have to hold to the below thoughts each day to not fall prey to the Joy quenching snare of the enemy.

There is no particular order to what I am going to share; all have had tremendous affects on my heart.

1) “Wherever you are BE ALL THERE” This is a quote from one of Vernon and my heroes of the Faith, Jim Elliot. I have held this motto since I first read it in college. It has helped me in times that seem “transitional” especially. It is easy to get caught up in what is going to be and TOTALLY miss out on what is happening that very day. It is easy to hope in tomorrow or hope in the next “season” and where it will take you and completely miss what is right there. People do this all the time, especially women, i.e. when you are single you want to be married, when you are married you want to finish a degree and have kids, when you have a degree and have kids you want more kids or your own home, when you get both of those you want more time to yourself and with your husband. On and on the cycle goes, satisfaction placed in your own desires and not in what God has provided for you THAT day. Which leads me to my next though:

2) Covetousness. Yes Covetousness. I use to think this meant wanting what someone else had, and it does. But ultimately it means “wanting/longing for something God has not provided for you in that moment in time.” Covetousness when played out in this scenario might lead you to not be thankful for what He HAS provide for you. A sweet Girl, (who will grow up so fast!) a husband who let you pursue your dreams over his, a home that is affordable, although with white walls, it is warm in the winter and cool in the summer, food for the three of you and great relationship with those around you. Thankfulness generally squeezes out the sin of Covetousness that we all struggle with. Give Thanks to the Lord for HE is GOOD and His love endures forever! He has not forsaken you and will not put you to shame.

3) Unrealistic Expectations. It is easy for us to think when we are in one place in life; the next place will be better. But when it comes to moving back to your home state, reality is, it will be NOTHING like it was the last time you lived there. You are different and so are all the people you know and love there. It will be just as transitional to move back to an old homeland than it was to move away. Be careful not to fool yourself that somehow God will provide more Joy for your in your next season (or wherever is next for you) than He has offered you today.

Knowing you, I am sure you know and have counseled people in this:: THE #1 REASON, IF NOT THE ONLY REASON for frustration or disappointment is UNMET EXPECTATIONS. If you have high and lofty ideals of what life will be like “someday” you will often find yourself frustrated and disappointed with life NOW. Also, when the transition does happen and you find out you are moving or what ever it is you were longing for, you are likely to be disappointed with the end result, and thus the cycle continues.

I know you are a women who fears the Lord and wants to follow Him. My advice to you in this season is to make SURE SURE SURE that your husband knows you are up for anything he feels led too. Your husband MUST, and I MEAN MUST, know that you will be joyful and loving no matter if he finishes school and moves y'all to Delaware?!?! He needs to know that you trust him and his relationship with the Lord and his ability to hear from the Lord. Your husband does not need a lot of your input on this. He will lead your family and he will follow what God has told him for y'all. You, my friend, get to sit back and enjoy it and bring your husband Joy!!!

Okay that was way long but I hope you are encouraged today friend!

Monday, January 04, 2010

The New What's on the Menu Monday

Well, as many of you remember, I use to do What's on the Menu Monday where I posted recipes each Monday and asked you to comment one as well. Recently, finding recipes has not been the hard part of cooking, what has been hard has been getting variety in what we eat. I tend to make the same things in an endless rotation. So I have decided to post our weekly menu each Monday (inasmuch as I can remember to). I would love to hear yours as well!

I started writing out the menu of what we were going to eat a couple years ago and it has made a TREMENDOUS difference in our grocery bill. It helps from over buying or under buying and having to return to the store for one annoying ingredient. I don't label which night we will eat what I just list out 6 meals, 4 hot breakfasts and some lunch varieties. The rest of the meals are filled in with left overs and cereal/cold type foods.

You will find that we eat a little different than most. Vernon has a pretty strict diet because of his health issues. He sticks to "Eating Right for Your Blood Type" and his blood time is A. Mine on the other hand, is O and that diet is complete opposite of A's. So we have finally found a great balanced. We get most of our protein from nuts and fish for Vernon's sake and we have very limited gluten for my sake.

So here goes for this week:

Shrimp Alfredo Linguine- made with brown rice pasta and homemade Alfredo sauce. (so easy)

Almond Parmesan Crusted Talapia, Brown and Wild Rice and Broccoli (also so easy)

Breakfast for Dinner: Omelets, Homefry Potatoes and Bacon (bacon is for me hehe!)

Mahi Mahi and Brown Rice with Feta

Cheese and Black Bean Enchiladas

Salmon and Baked Potatoes

Hope this gives you some ideas! I really need some ideas and would love to hear from you! If you are interested in any of these meals, let me know and I will try to tell you how I made them. I RARELY use a recipe I just kinda make it up based on other things I have made. I very rarely spend over 30 mins making food so most, if not all of these are easy and quick.