Friday, December 30, 2011

Friday Favorites: Anniversaries

Yesterday was our fourth wedding anniversary! "Happy Anniversary to us. Happy Anni.." Yes, I sing to myself :) It's fun to celebrate markers of big events looking back at what the past year has brought and anticipating a new year together! We went out to eat (without the adorable little boy) and had a great time! I love that man that I married.



He is the most handsome man ever! And he's a great leader and provider for our family. I'm so blessed with an awesome husband!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Purpose: How I Use My Time

What I do with my time shows what is important in my life. Do I fritter time away on the internet? Waste time watching tv? Read books when I need to be cleaning? Straighten closets when I need to play with my little boy? Find busy activities when I need to spend time with my husband? No matter what my words say my actions will show what's true.

I am trying to be more purposeful with my time. Spend time wisely on the appropriate activity. Hopefully none of my activities are wrong, but they may be wrong when done at the wrong time. It helps me to have a schedule and know what I am trying to accomplish when. Am I studying my Bible? Ok, I need to remove all distractions, including that temptation to go to sleep. Am I spending time with my husband? Ok, step away from the computer and look at him! Am I playing with my little boy? Ok, stop thinking about all that needs to be done in the house. Make a list and take care of it later.

It's amazing how many things I can fit into my schedule. I can get so much done just by thinking about why I am doing something and when's the best time to do it. We are only given so much time. And we are all given the same amount of time. What are you doing with yours?

"See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is." Eph. 5:15-17

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Monday, December 26, 2011

Friday, December 23, 2011

Friday Favorites: G-tubes

I never thought I'd hear myself say, "Wow, I'm glad Micah has a g-tube." Well, at least not before he had one placed. But wow, am I glad Micah has a g-tube!!

He started getting sick on Monday and we just assumed that he had a cold. And he got a little worse and a little worse. Then yesterday, he didn't want to eat or drink so we were planning on putting his formula through his g-tube. Except it didn't work correctly. It hadn't been used in several months and we weren't sure it was even still correctly placed.

So after talking to his metabolic doctor, we took him to the Corbin ER and had them check his g-tube placement. They flushed it and flushed it and finally got it working correctly. They even did a x-ray to make sure it was placed in his stomach. They also diagnosed him with an upper respiratory infection and gave him antibiotics. After three hours we were sent back home.

The cool thing was that the physician assistant's that served us was the same one we saw the last time we were in the E.R. He remembered us too. He said he always remembered his patients with rare diseases. :)

Micah was actually much worse today. He's eaten a banana. That's it. And the boy loves to eat. He's had diarrhea from the antibiotics and he's thrown up twice. But he was doing better tonight than he was this morning. We've been tubing 3 ounces of Gatorade every hour and we're going to tube Gatorade three time tonight as well.

Tomorrow his doctor really wants his to get half of his protein from food but if he won't eat still we are going to give him Pediasure through his g-tube.

And while we're on the subject, Micah's metabolic doctor is awesome!! He's on vacation with his family for Christmas and I've talked to him on the phone twice today and Justin several times more than that! And that's just today! We're so thankful to have such a great doctor! He's been doing everything he can to keep us out of the hospital and take care of Micah.

We've already canceled our plans for traveling for Christmas so we'll be at home letting the little boy recuperate. I hope he starts to feel better soon! And Justin's parents came up yesterday and my parents will be up on Monday so we get two Christmas celebrations!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Never Lose the Purpose

Usually I start out something new with a purpose. And I can go several weeks on the excitement of doing something new and succeeding. But if I forget my purpose, the shine wears off of that activity and it grinds to a halt. That can be very, very bad; not only for me, but also my family.

I'm doing a study in Deuteronomy on raising children. Deuteronomy is full of admonitions to parents. And I was considering the reason I discipline Micah, I was a little surprised to realize that I had forgotten the purpose of my discipline. It's not so that Micah behaves (although that's nice). I discipline so that Micah will grow up knowing there are consequences to sin. God always sees and He can never overlook sin. There are consequences, good or bad, to every decision we make, every word we say, every thing we do. I want Micah to obey me now so that He obeys God later.

Will that make a difference in how I discipline? Of course it will! When I realize something that important is on the line I will find myself being more consistent and deliberate in my child-rearing.

What about my purpose as a wife? My purpose as a homemaker? As a blogger? What's my purpose for getting up early? Why am I striving to stay at home more instead of being involved in lots of activities? Why do I study my Bible?

I think as we get ready to start this new year I will be looking at the reason I do what I do. And I might share some of it with you. I suspect that rediscovering our purpose will change our outlook about the most minor parts of our days.

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Micah

My aunt took this picture when we were at my grandparent's the beginning of the month! Love this little guy!


Monday, December 19, 2011

Beef Stew

Beef stew is a perfect cold weather meal! Especially if you can make it in the Crock-Pot and eat it after church on Sunday.

1 package stew meat (roughly one pound)
2 tbsp. flour
1/2 tsp. each salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, steak seasoning, and chili powder
3 cups beef broth
2 cups chicken broth
2 large potatoes, peeled and cubed (large chunks)
5 medium carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
1 onion, cut into large wedges
1 1/2 cup peas
1/2 tsp. each oregano, basil, and thyme
2 tsp. salt
2 beef bouillon cubes



Mix together flour and next six seasonings. Sprinkle over meat and stir until meat is coated. Shake off extra flour. Brown meat in skillet over medium heat. Work in batches if your pot isn't big enough. I did two batches. If you put too much meat in the pan it will steam instead of browning.
I have to confess that I have had a tendency in the past to skip this step but it really makes a difference in flavor and taste.



After all your meat is browned, add it to your Crock-Pot. Pour one cup beef broth into your hot pan to deglaze the pan. Scrape the bits of flavor off the bottom of the pan and pour into the Crock-Pot. This also makes it much easier to clean your pan!



Chop your veggies if you haven't already done so. Add veggies to the pot along with the beef broth, chicken broth (I would have used more beef but I didn't have more. I think I liked it with the chicken though). Add remaining seasonings and stir.



I did all this prep work Saturday and put my Crock-Pot liner in the fridge. Then Sunday morning I turned my Crock-Pot on high and cooked it while we were at church. Cook on high for 5-6 hours.
Mix together 1/4 cup flour and 1 cup of the broth from the stew and stir until all the lumps are gone. Add to the stew and cook for 30 more minutes. I did this after church and let it continue cooking while I made biscuits.



Enjoy with your hot, buttered biscuits!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Weekend Conclusions

We exchanged Christmas presents with some friends this weekend. They got me this lovely picture to go in our bedroom! It's exactly what I wanted!




We're doing black, white, and gray with the purple.

Now for some wonderful pictures of the little boy. You know you were wanting to see his cute face!



"Falling" off the dinosaur!



He loved this!



Frozen broccoli makes him giggle!



He loves to sit up here on the counter!



And, of course, Mary Poppins. The first thing he wants to do in the morning is turn on Mary Poppins. I tell him he at least has to eat breakfast first! :)

On a more serious note, I found this article very interesting. It makes several good points. "Why the World Hates the Duggars"


And to end on a lighter note, this video is hilarious!



Enjoy the start of a new week!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Friday Favorites: Bible Story Book

Micah got Egermeier's Bible Story Book at his baby shower (thanks, Aunt Pam!) and we've used it (almost) ever since! We've read through the entire thing once and are on our second trip through. Technically, it's over his age level but he loves the book! He sits, listens, and looks at the pictures. Then he gets to play with the book!



A little bitty dude here!



This is the right book.



Where were we?



Serious face for the camera



He has so much fun playing with the book!



Love this little guy!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Sausage Balls

I'm beginning to get the impression that sausage balls are a Southern thing. One more reason that it's good to be from the South! :) These are especially popular around the holidays. Since we got married in December we even had them at our wedding reception. I didn't get any because the guests ate them all! Do you feel sorry for me yet??



Three ingredients are all you need!
2 cups sharp shredded cheddar
1 roll (1 lb) hot sausage
1 3/4-2 cups biscuit mix

Combine cheddar and sausage in a medium-sized bowl. Just use your hands. It's the only way this will work. Slowly work in biscuit mix until the consistency is not longer sticky. It should be easy to work into a ball.



Roll the mixture into balls about 3/4 in. in diameter. Place touching each other on an ungreased cookie sheet.



Bake at 375 for 15 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked all the way through. Enjoy hot or cold! If you are taking them somewhere, eat one right away or you might not get one later!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Living Room Curtains

The curtain rod for the living room came today! My wonderful husband put up the curtain rod after church tonight and here are the new curtains! I love them. I'll probably do a double-take every time I walk into the room for the next couple of days!



Hopefully the curtain rod for the dining room will come tomorrow! :)

Application Needed

I had another post planned for today. I actually had most of it written and was going to put it up this afternoon. Then I sat down to read my Bible for a little encouragement this afternoon. And I read this: "The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy. The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works." Psalm 145:8-9.

Now OBVIOUSLY, I'm not God. (Just thought I'd clue you in there!) But we are supposed to be like Jesus, right? What would change in my home and in the people I influenced if I behaved just a little more like these verses describe?

If I were to be gracious with others. Gracious means "favorable, kind, excellent." If I were to extend kindness to others. If my work offered excellence.

Full of compassion- It's easy to be compassionate with myself. "Oh, you poor thing, nobody has it as bad as you do." That's called a pity party, by the way. But if I were to really feel for others. Put myself in their shoes and understand, as much as possible, what their life is like. Could I offer compassion to the teenager struggling with things that can appear insignificant to adults? Could I offer compassion to a child whose feelings have been hurt? Maybe I would pray more for other people's needs?

Slow to anger- I always say that it's hard to make me mad. And I think that's true about the big things. But there are some little things that can drive me up the wall so quickly. And they are things that don't matter. Couldn't I let those go?

Of great mercy-Give what's not deserved. One thing I have noticed over and over about God while reading my Bible is that He is not stingy. He is a God of abundance! Could I not overflow with mercy? Instead of judging and condemning, couldn't I pray? Can't I repay good for evil?

Good to all- Wow! That includes that lady that drives me crazy because I don't think she takes care of her kids. That includes my husband when he works late all week. That includes my child when he won't nap and is grouchy.

Tender mercies are over all his works- What characterizes what I do? If someone described me in three words what would they say? I don't think I'm brave enough to ask anyone. But that's a good question to consider.

I don't mean that we should never speak the truth in love. Or that we shouldn't discipline our children. But we are so quick to extend the negative instead of allowing God to love others through us.

God's Word is so challenging. I am memorizing these verses because I don't want to forget what I'm learning here. And I want to apply it; the Bible has a transforming power!

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Monday, December 12, 2011

French Toast

Brunch is such a yummy word. Especially at Cracker Barrel about 11 in the morning! But if you can't manage that, it's time to make it for yourself! Here's some French toast to have at your brunch.

6 slices hearty bread (I love to use sourdough bread)
4 eggs
salt and pepper
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tbsp. water



Combine eggs and next four ingredients. Beat well.



Place bread in egg mixture, coating thoroughly, then flip. Add directly to pan. If you leave bread sitting in the egg, it absorbs the egg and your bread will be heavy and will rip.



Cook in a small amount of oil over medium low heat until browned and crispy. Flip and repeat!



Stack on a plate and serve with butter and syrup. Or powdered sugar and fruit. Whatever strikes your fancy.



Our breakfast meal that day! Side note: to get really cheesy eggs, add cubed velveeta. It's amazing!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Anticipation

Our curtains have arrived!! I'm so excited. However, they aren't hanging yet because the curtain rods aren't here. I can't wait to get them put up so I'm giving you a sneak peek of the curtains beforehand :)



The dark brown ones are for the dining room. And don't worry, we bought them with the intention of repainting those orangish walls that you can see in the next picture. And the whitish ones are for the living room. They are really closer to cream in actual color. They are 95 inch curtains so we're going to hang them at the ceiling and let them hang all the way down! Beautiful!



We've had a nice Saturday! I was cooking and took this picture of my wonderful family! Not to worry their attention quickly switched back to the ball game! And even if TN lost.....so did KY! :)

Friday, December 9, 2011

Friday Favorites: Restaurants

Today Micah and I stopped by Justin's office after Toddler Time. Then we decided to go out to lunch! We went to our local Mexican restaurant and ordered Micah food off the menu! What's the big deal? We've never ordered all his food off the menu before; I've always taken him food. But they have a vegetarian menu (which he mostly still can't eat) with lots of vegetables! They brought him a rather large plate of sauteed mushrooms, broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots. And a tortilla, which he wouldn't eat. But he devoured the vegetables! They were really good; Justin and I both tried them. And Micah loved them!



This is him "eating." Not at the restaurant :) I don't know how he got his arm out of that shirt but he seemed really proud of himself!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Chicken Macaroni and Cheese

I love macaroni and cheese! I always use Velveeta. I know, fake food. But we don't eat it often :) But I wanted a one dish dinner so we came up with this! Meat, veggies, pasta, and cheese. What could go wrong?

1 1/2 cups cooked cubed chicken
2 large carrots, chopped
3/4 cup frozen peas
1/2 pound elbow macaroni
8 ounces velveeta, cubed
1/2 stick butter
4 tbsp. flour
2 cups milk
salt and pepper
1/4 tsp. each nutmeg and ground mustard

I cooked my chicken and cut up my carrots at lunchtime to speed up prep.



Cube your Velveeta. Then you won't burn your sauce cutting up your cheese. Fill pot with water and add carrots. Bring to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions. Add peas the last two minutes of cooking. Drain.



Return pot to burner over medium low heat. Melt butter.



Add enough flour to reach this consistency. Cook while stirring for two minutes to remove any flour taste. Pour in most of the milk and stir until thickened. Add more milk if necessary. Add seasonings and stir in Velveeta. After cheese has melted, add pasta, chicken, and veggies to the sauce.



I even made some for Micah with Cambrooke cheese sauce powder. They are pretty similar, aren't they? (The one on the left is Micah's.)



Yum! And we have leftovers for lunch!!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Kingsport Weekend

We've talked about my love for Mary Poppins, right? No? Well, I LOVE Mary Poppins. When I was little I wanted to be Mary Poppins. She's everything that women on tv aren't anymore. She's cheerful, good with children, and feminine. Now Micah just loves the music :)



It's the only thing he actually watches!



He sits for a few minutes and then gets up and changes positions. Then watches some more!



I made Micah some low-protein banana bread and I must say, it was delicious! I had several people try it and they didn't know it was low-protein. (And on that note, we really have started working on a low-protein blog.)



Micah in the car. No, he didn't ride there :) But he likes to "drive" and honk the horn.



We went to a basketball game at our high school. Yes, we were high school sweethearts! I know, it's cute :) Anyway, back to the game....Micah loved the game! He would get so excited when everybody clapped and cheered and he clapped and slung slobber everywhere.



Yes, that used to be us. And I was assured that we looked that young too.



Justin's senior year in the same gym.



This little snowman dances and sings. Micah was very captivated.



Micah and my papaw.



Micah and Mamaw Jane. Obviously he was having fun! These are his only living great-grandparents.



Micah and Justin at my grandparent's house. Seriously the cutest little face in the world!!

Of course we had a great time visiting with both sets of parents. And I came home with a huge stack of books too!