Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving Weekend

Justin had four whole days off for Thanksgiving! And we had a great time! We had our families up for Thanksgiving Day. My parents and brother and Justin's parents too. We had great food and they all enjoyed playing with Micah! We played in the yard, put up the Christmas tree and the outside lights, ate waffles and pancakes for breakfast, listened to Christmas music, slept in (as long as Micah would!), and generally stayed around the house!

Micah in his Christmas pajamas

Peeking over the couch

All the guys. Micah, my dad, my brother (standing), Justin, and Justin's dad

Grandmothers! They don't look it, do they?

We fed our pastor's animals while they were gone! Micah loves the dogs!

Micah loves to sit on the counter!

Putting up the Christmas tree!

Micah loves to sit here while I get ready! He usually ends up wet too! :)

We rearranged the living room to put up the tree. We love the new arrangement and plan to keep it! And we really have to work on getting something on those walls!

Other side of the room and the Christmas tree! I think we found curtains too! I just need to order them! Hurray!

We had a great wekeend! We are back to our normal routine today, although I am thinking about Christmas present ideas too!

Monday, November 21, 2011


I know I normally post recipes on Monday but I wanted to share a really cool story today! Our church goes out soul-winning locally every Sunday afternoon. It's a time when we knock on doors, invite people to church, and share the Gospel. Typically someone in the church has someone get saved every week. Last week, we had 8 people get saved and my soul-winning partner and I were so excited to win one of them! My soul-winning partner and I also had someone saved this past Sunday (yesterday). It's so thrilling to go out and share the Gospel and know that that person is going to Heaven because you obeyed Christ's command to go into all the world!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Friday Favorites: Food and Friends

Tonight we had carnitas! Justin and I have both ordered these at our local Mexican restaurant and loved them! So we made them at home. It's a great recipe from Smitten Kitchen; the only thing I would change would be to add more spices. But the pork has an amazing flavor. We also had friends over. Great food is better with friends, right?

The boys on the couch. That's my really good-looking husband on the right :)

Lesley and Micah.

Rarely get a picture of me and my little man. Love him! (Any my camera is really bad at catching red eye. What's with that??)

Food. We really know how to eat around here.

That was four pounds of pork in that pot. We ate it all. Every single scraping off the bottom of the pan.

Reading a book and taking off the hat!

He really wanted to play with it instead!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Sweet Ginger Carrots

I discovered recently that my diet is about 85% carbs. Oops! So in an attempt to eat more vegetables I came up with this recipe. Vegetables need to taste very, very good. And Micah can eat this too!

5 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks (cut them however you want)
1 tsp. butter
2 tbsp. brown sugar
salt and pepper
1/4 tsp. ground ginger

Boil your carrots until tender. Drain. Salt and pepper to taste than add butter, brown sugar, and ginger. Stir gently until butter melts and carrots are coated. Serve warm.

Don't they look tempting? I even ate these when I warmed them up to take the picture! You can easily add more ginger for a little more kick but since we were having company I kept it subtle.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Problem is Me

I've discovered an ugly truth in my life. I know, you want to know because we love to know dirt on people. And since I brought it up...... The problem is always me. ALWAYS.

The problem is not that the weather's gloomy, or that my husband isn't paying me enough attention, or that my child didn't nap, or that someone said something to hurt my feelings, or that I'm not appreciated, or fill-in-the-blank with any excuse that we make for our bad attitude/behavior. The problem is me. My heart. My attitude. My expectations.

I've never found a clause in the Bible that says I can have a bad attitude if someone treats me badly. Or even not quite the way I wanted.

I've not found a verse that states that I can put myself at the center of the universe and expect everyone to revolve around me as I so often do.

I've not seen where my spirit is dependent on the weather or my company or my situation.

What I have seen is that God expects me to control my spirit. Pro. 25:28
God expects me to forget self and serve others. Phil. 2:4
God expects me to rejoice no matter my situation. Phil. 4:4
God expects me to love regardless of what the other person is doing. 1 Cor. 13:4-7

The problem starts with me when I decide to be selfish and make life about what I want to do. The problem ends with me when I decide to submit to what God wants me to do and be. And because God is so generous He even allows happiness to come through obeying Him.


Monday, November 14, 2011

Chicken Focaccia Sandwiches

We've been on a sandwich kick lately. We did the steak so we had to do the chicken!

Makes 2 sandwiches:

2 tsp. dijon mustard
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper
1 tsp. onion powder and garlic powder
3 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 chicken breasts, thinly sliced
1/2 cup cheddar cheese
1 cup spinach leaves
4 slices focaccia bread

Mix the first five ingredients in a bowl or bag. Add chicken and mix well. Let chicken rest for 20 minutes to 3 hours.

Cook chicken in oil until juices are clear and chicken is browned.

Layer chicken onto two pieces of focaccia and top with cheddar. Place under broiler until cheese is melted. Cover with spinach and other slice of bread.

Yum! Once again, the vinegar and mustard is great with the spinach! Justin worked late and I had eaten a snack with Micah so I wasn't sure I was hungry. Justin informed me that it didn't matter; the sandwich was so good that I wanted to eat it anyway :)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Friday Favorites: Veteran's Day

Happy Veteran's Day! I am so thankful for our country and for the men and women that have sacrificed for our freedom!

This is my papaw. He was serving in Guam during the bombing of Japan that ended WWII.

And here is a video that our media team at church put together for "I Love America" Sunday. It's really great! (And I'm not just saying that because my wonderful husband did most of the work :)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Sweet Potato Fries

Potatoes are yummy but sometimes you need a change. I think this recipe originally came from Rachael Ray; man, I love her food! These fries are quick and delicious! I make them for Micah and just cut back on the cayenne!

3 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into fries
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Season fries with oil, salt, and pepper. Spread on cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until tender.

Mix together brown sugar, cayenne pepper, and cinnamon. Sprinkle over hot fries. Let sit five minutes until sugar melts.

Serve! I especially like these with chicken. You can add more cinnamon but my husband isn't crazy about sweet food, unless it's dessert. So season to taste.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

More House Pictures

We've almost gotten back to normal since we moved, I think. Justin and I were discussing the other day how the place just feels like home :)

Front of the house. It has shutters; they just aren't up.

Micah's room. Yes, it's pink/purple. Repainting is at the top of the list of projects :)

He loves the shadows from the windows in the afternoons.


Plenty of room to play!

Playing in the front yard

Playing the piano with Daddy

Reading a book on the couch

This is what it looks like after playtime :)

Justin even mowed and I think he was really excited!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Easy Steak Sandwiches

I knew steak sandwiches would thrill my hubby! And I was right! He got excited as soon as he saw them on the menu :) I planned to have twice-baked potatoes with them so I didn't want to do a philly cheese steak. Too many of the same flavors at one time. So I came up with this and we loved it! Definitely a repeat!

Makes 2 sandwiches:
2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tsp. each garlic powder and onion powder
1/2 tsp. each salt, pepper, steak seasoning, and cajun seasoning
1/2 pound of sirloin steak (or comparable steak)
2 sub rolls
2/3 cup Italian blend cheese
1 cup fresh spinach

Mix seasonings in bowl or bag.

Slowly whisk in vinegar and then oil.

Slice your steak thinly and add to the marinade. Mix well. Let sit for at least 20 minutes or up to two hours.

Cook steak in a little oil over medium heat to desired doneness. (We did not eat our meat that rare. That was during cooking.)

Layer steak onto one side of the sub roll and top with cheese. Toast until cheese is melted and bread is browned.

Place spinach on the other side of the bread. Fold together and eat! The balsamic vinegar is perfect with the spinach.

Here's the complete meal! I'm getting hungry...good thing it's almost time for supper!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Oatmeal Streusel Apple Pie

I LOVE pie. Really, I do. And I love apple pie. There's a lady at my church that makes an amazing apple pie. I could eat the whole thing. (I haven't, just in case you were wondering!) This is not her apple pie; I wouldn't dare try to replicate it.

But this is an amazing apple pie! My husband said so and he's the expert here. And I made it yesterday and it's gone. That's why we need to quit this dessert making...the scale won't like me soon.

Now notes about the pie. I know, you are supposed to use tart apples. Well, I didn't have tart apples. I had gala apples so I just used less sugar. If you use tart apples put in more sugar. And they were small apples so I used 7, normally you can just use five larger apples. Now on to the pie....

Pie Crust:
1 1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. sugar
1 1/4 sticks butter
3-4 tbsp. cold water

Pie Filling:
7 Gala apples, peeled and thinly sliced
2 tbsp. flour
1 tbsp. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Streusel Topping:
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup oatmeal
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 stick cold butter

Cube butter and place in freezer. Mix flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor. Add processor and pulse until crumbly. Slowly add water. Don't overmix. Once you get to 4 tbsp. stop! Dump it out on the cutting board and knead together. It will pull together nicely. Wrap in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for an hour. Unwrap and roll out. Place in pie dish. (Or round cake pan if you don't have a pie dish....)

So I really didn't measure my flour and sugar :) This is how much flour I used.

Mix together flour, sugar, and cinnamon. Set aside.

Quarter your apples.

Peel, core, and thinly slice.

Mix first four ingredients for topping.

Cut in the cold butter with a pastry blender.

Toss apple slices in the filling mixture. Place in pie crust.

Spread streusel topping over the apples.

Bake at 350 degrees for an hour. Or until pie crust and topping is browned and apples are tender.

Cut and serve. Store in refrigerator if you have leftovers.