Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Blogger Comments

For some reason Blogger won't let me post any comments. So thanks for all the sweet comments, especially about the baby! I appreciate them all!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Easy Bacon Pasta

Last Sunday my husband took some friends to the airport and I cooked some food I knew he wouldn't be crazy about. If he's eating pasta, he wants a full sauce. So I made this meal for me and I loved it!

5 slices bacon
1/2 package mushrooms, sliced
2 pats butter
1 serving spaghetti
1/4 cup parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions.

Cook bacon in pan until crisp. Remove to a plate and cool. Crumble into bite-sized pieces

Add mushroom and butter to bacon grease and cook until mushrooms are tender.

Add spaghetti noodles and 1/4 cup pasta water to pan. Stir and cook for 2 minutes. Add more water if pasta gets dry. Stir in most of the cheese. Top with crumbled bacon.

Serve with the rest of the cheese on the top! Enjoy!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Baby News

Justin and I are thrilled to announce that Baby #2 will be appearing sometime around September 8th!

Hurray! We are so thankful for God's blessings on our family!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Updated Cleaning Schedule

If you remember, we moved to our new house at the end of October! And we are totally in love with the place! I am so thankful for all that God has blessed our family with! But this also means we have extra space! And extra space needs cleaning! So I have modified our cleaning schedule to fit very nicely with our lives.

Cleaning: bedrooms, sweep the whole house
Laundry: colors and delicates

Cleaning: bathrooms
Laundry: Micah's and towels

Cleaning: kitchen and laundry
Laundry: sheets and whites

Cleaning: living room, hallway and entry
Laundry: colors, if necessary, ironing

Cleaning: any small jobs that need done
Laundry: typically none

Saturday and Sunday:
I usually only cook on these days. I will take care of things that come up but I plan to spend this time with our family.

I still meal plan for two weeks at a time and grocery shop every two weeks. Typically I go to the store on a Monday or Thursday morning. I usually have to spend no time worrying about what needs to be done or when I'm going to do it! That's very freeing to me and worth the time adjusting the schedule when necessary.


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

21 Months!

I can't believe it's only 3 more months until Micah is 2! The time has gone by so quickly! He is so much fun and we love having him!

He loves to run, climb, jump, turn in circles, and go backwards.

He says
-eye (and pokes me in the eye to get his point across!)
-hot (and waves his hand; this is mostly about the stove but occasionally the bathwater too)

When you tell him to say "bye-bye" he blows kisses. It's adorable. He even blew a kiss to the lady that drew his blood at the hospital last week.

He will keep doing anything if you applaud for him! He really hams it up for an audience.
He loves to read. His favorite books are changing now to bigger ones.

He still LOVES Mary Poppins. The other morning he went over to the tv to get me to turn it on. I told him that we weren't watching tv until after breakfast. Then I asked him if he wanted toast and jelly (one of his favorites). He said "uh-huh" and went back to the tv. haha It was hilarious! He did eat toast and jelly before we turned on the movie! If you even say "Mary Poppins" he jumps up and runs to the tv!

He is doing so well drinking his formula! He's usually done by naptime and that's amazing since I've spent his whole life shoving formula on the kid.

He's starting to get interested in coloring. It keeps his attention for about 10 seconds! Then he wants to go outside.

He can identify his nose, ears, tongue, arms, belly, and feet for you.

He knows where all the rooms in the house are and can report to that place when sent there. That's really nice :)

He helps me carry laundry baskets and shoves the clothes into the dryer when I put them on the dryer door. He also picks up all his toys.

He loves bathtime! His favorite thing is to fill his cup with water and shake it up and down! Yes, this slings water everywhere but we just wipe it up.

We are so thankful for our little boy!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Micah and the Ballgame

Micah loves it when Justin plays basketball on the Wii! Today Justin played a game and Micah wanted his favorite seat! I don't think he knows it makes the game harder to play :)

He did get down and then he would want to get back up. Justin would pause the game to help him but if the game is paused then Micah goes to the tv to get him to turn it back on. Then Justin would start the game and Micah would try to climb back into his lap. He took a little longer than usual to play the game!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Friday Favorites: Good Reports

Yesterday we took a family trip to Cincinnati for Micah's doctor's appointments. We stopped at Chick-fil-A on the way up to let Micah get out and play. And apparently every other parent within 50 miles had the same idea! He seemed to have fun though. We ate while we were there and Micah though their fries were delicious. At least, if he didn't, he ate most of them!

Micah's metabolic doctor was thrilled with him. He's growing and developing well. They did some bloodwork to check his amino acid levels since he was sick a few weeks ago. Also he has some eczema which is probably due to the cold but it can be caused by low amino acids. So it will be nice to know those numbers.

We also saw surgery about Micah's g-tube. They decided not to mess with the granular tissue around the g-tube because it wasn't causing any problems. They did however change the g-tube because they said we were probably "running on borrowed time" with the old one.

Micah actually fell asleep in the car for a little bit on the way back! He was exhausted. Then he woke up and was his normal happy self. We ate at Longhorn Steakhouse for dinner and Micah enjoyed their fries too. And the tomatoes off of our appetizer plate.

It was dark after we left the restaurant and I turned the light on in the back so that Micah could look at his book. Then we turned the light off and played Sesame Street on the iPad :)

I did have a dream last night that Micah's -tube came out. I managed to wake Justin up (oops!) but I realized as I was turning the light on that Micah was asleep in his bed!

We're thankful for our little's boy health and the awesome people that help care for him!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Chicken Fiesta Soup

I love soup on a cold winter's day. And I love spicy soup with tortilla chips especially. I can eat a whole bag of tortilla chips with one bowl of soup. It involves a lot of dipping. This concoction was perfect for this week. We finished it up for lunch today and still loved it.

2 cups cooked chicken breast (I used this recipe and just used salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and cumin)
2 can great northern beans
2 can enchilada sauce
1 can diced tomatoes with green chilies
3 cups chicken broth
2 cups corn
2 tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano
salt and pepper to taste

This recipe is super simple. Combine all ingredients in Crock-Pot.

Cook on low for 4-5 hours or high for 2-3 hours.

Serve with tortilla chips and shredded cheddar cheese. And even sour cream if you do that sort of thing.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Our Model

Role models, mentors, life coaches: everywhere we turn people are looking for someone to show them how to live. This is not always a bad thing; I've learned so much from the people God has placed in my life. But our ultimate role model is Christ! He never failed.

Ephesians 5:1-2 states, "Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savor."

We are to walk in love "as Christ loved us." My motivation to love others is that Christ loves me. But love is acted out in that next phrase, "And hath given himself for us." Christ gave Himself for me. I didn't deserve it. I don't deserve it. I can never deserve it. But He loves me so much that He gave up everything for me. And I'm to love others enough to give myself for them.

This is not the message you hear from the world. The world says "Find yourself!" "Fulfill your dreams!" And they don't care who you hurt to do that. Leave your family and live your dreams. No matter that you have crushed the hearts of your husband and children. Climb your way to a position of power and don't worry about who you step on on your way.

But what does God say? "Give yourself." It's not exciting. It's not flashy. It's not even very appealing. But we do have a model for it. Christ. And our goal is to be like Christ, right?

Christ's giving of Himself was an offering and sacrifice to God! We can give a daily sacrifice to God by giving ourselves to others. The sacrifices were so important to God in the Old Testament. And in the New Testament we are admonished to "present your bodies a living sacrifice..." (Rom. 12:1) We can be that sacrifice when we give ourselves to others.

Give yourself. Christ put aside His own needs to serve others. He willingly walked the road to Calvary to fulfill God's plan. He patiently dealt with people who turned their backs on Him. Christ had compassion. He served. He loved. He obeyed. What a model to follow!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Message Links

Our Pastor is out of town, well out of the country, on a missions trip. He's in Kenya, Africa, helping one of our missionaries train nationals to share the Gospel and reach Africa for Christ! Exciting, isn't it? We've already heard some good reports and he's not even back yet! In his absence, our four deacons have been rotating the services. My wonderful husband taught two lessons on spiritual marketing and in my completely unbiased opinion, they are fantastic!! I'm so proud of him!

Part One


Part Two

Friday, January 13, 2012

Friday Favorites: Friends Having Babies

A sweet lady I go to church with had her baby boy last Friday! On my birthday which I think it really cool. And then another sweet lady from church had a baby girl today! Hurray for a full nursery!

I also went to see a friend who has a three week old little boy. He is totally precious. And she has the picture because I forgot my camera. Bummer. The little boy looks just like his big brother. I was commenting on how tiny he was because even now he's a pound and a half smaller than Micah when he was born and she was cracking up because they thought he was huge! It's all a matter of perspective, I guess!

And we got snow last night! We probably had an inch and a half and I was so excited!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Purpose: Why I Read My Bible

I attended a ladies lunch last spring where Cindy Schaap was speaking. She was talking about the importance of reading the Bible and she said "No one needs to see me without Jesus." Isn't that the truth! I am a sad, miserable mess on my own. I have nothing to offer and no good to show for myself. But with Jesus I can be anything He wants me to be. I can be a wife that encourages and builds up my husband. I can be a mom that loves and trains my child(ren). I can be a homemaker that creates a place of refuge for my family and guests. I can be a soul-winner that impacts my generation for Christ. I can be a lady who shows the world joy in following God. But I can do none of that on my own.

What does this have to do with reading my Bible? The Bible is what changes me. The Bible is how God teaches me Who He is and what He wants me to be. The Bible is what enables me to renew my spirit daily to serve my family and, boy, they are glad I do that! I can draw upon God's strength to get through my day and whatever the day brings.

So I read my Bible in the morning before the rest of my family is up. I moved off our really comfy couch where I had a tendency to fall asleep to the kitchen table where I can brighten the chandelier and stay awake. I read to learn about Jesus not to mark it off my to-do list. I read a little in the afternoons while my little boy is sleeping to renew my spirit. I eat more than once a day, don't I? And you know what? I look forward to it. When I am really struggling or having a hard time dealing with something time in my Bible gives me the strength to get through it with a cheerful spirit.

Sometimes I don't notice an immediate change. I may wonder if reading the Bible is really doing me any good. But I can look back over the past year and see some ways that God has changed me. And I know it's all from the Bible. And besides that, God commands me to read my Bible. And God always blesses obedience.


Monday, January 9, 2012

Lasagna Rolls

My husband loves lasagna! I don't make it really often because it's not a cheaper meal but when we do have it we want to do it right. This is my favorite way to make lasagna.

18 lasagna noodles
1 pound roll of hot sausage
1 16 oz. container of ricotta cheese
2 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, divided
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, divided
1 egg
salt and pepper
1/2 tsp. parsley
1 large can of spaghetti sauce

Cook pasta according to package directions, except slightly undercook by two or three minutes. Brown sausage in pan and drain.

Mix ricotta, 1 1/2 cups mozzarella, 1/2 cup parmesan, egg, salt, pepper, and parsley.

Add egg and combine well. Don't leave this step out this really holds the mixture together. You will notice a huge difference before and after this step.

Stir the browned and drained sausage into the cheese mixture.

Pour a small layer of sauce into your baking dish.

Lay out your noodles and smooth mixture down the middle of the noodle. I usually do three noodles at a time to speed things up. Try to portion out your cheese mixture for the amount of noodles.

Roll noodles up and place in pan. Keep pushing noodles over to make room to add more.

Cover with sauce. Smooth sauce over all the edges of the noodles so they don't crisp in the oven.

Top with the remainder of mozzarella cheese then the parmesan.

Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until cheese is browned.

I have to do something about the lighting in my kitchen for pictures! Really I just need to move the food to a different location to take the pictures. Sorry about that! But the lasagna is delicious even if photographed badly :)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

First Week of the New Year

We got Micah's room painted on New Year's Day! It was pink. Kinda sad for a boy's room, don't you think? So we picked green and blue and got to work. Actually Justin did most of it. And he did a great job! I love the way it turned out. (I need to work on taking better pictures.)

Friday was also my birthday! I had a great day! My boys spoiled me rotten. We went to eat at Cracker Barrel and Justin bought me some beautiful roses. He also got me some slipper socks. I had never heard of them and they are wonderful. My feet are always cold even when I have on socks and now they never are!

I also got a new chandelier for the dining room! We wanted to replace the other one and Justin found this one for me. He also installed it and put in a dimmer switch! It's amazing!

Isn't it beautiful? I love it!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Oriental Chicken

Another Crock-Pot meal! I love my Crock-Pot and how easy it makes dinnertime. I found the original recipe for this in a cookbook I have and promptly changed it totally around. We loved it. I plan on trying it using chicken breast at some point instead of the dark meat.

12 chicken legs
salt and pepper
3/4 c. soy sauce
2 tbsp. garlic teriyaki (you can substitute regular teriyaki or soy sauce)
1/2 c. water
1 cube chicken bouillon
1/2 c. chopped red onion
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. garlic powder
dash red pepper flakes

Sprinkle chicken legs with salt and pepper. Place under broiler for 5-7 minutes or until skin starts to brown. Repeat on the other side.

Mix the next 9 ingredients in a small saucepan. Simmer until chicken bouillon and brown sugar is melted.

Place chicken legs in Crock-Pot and pour sauce over the top. Be sure to coat all the chicken.

Cook on low for 5-6 hours or on high for 2-3 hours.

I served the chicken over rice with a vegetable stir-fry on the side. The chicken is so tender and just falls off the bone. Delicious!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year's Resolution

I only have one New Year's Resolution this year and it's simple in theory. I want to be committed to spending more time in the Bible. Not just reading to say I've read. Not marking time and reading the Bible through. Not skimming while thinking about other things. Not dozing off again and again. Really studying, learning, and applying the truths of the Bible to my life. Allowing the Truth to transform me from the inside out.

The Bible has an amazing ability to impact my personal life. I'm doing a study in Deuteronomy and the command to learn and obey and teach children as been repeated over and over. One of the first commands was "And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all they might." The focus, the priority is the relationship with God. If I love God, obedience is not an issue. The heart is what needs to be changed. Deuteronomy 5:29 says, "O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children forever." It's the heart. If my heart is wrong, everything is wrong. And if I love God my heart will not be wrong. I will have the right heart. The right heart always leads me to obey God. And obedience always brings blessings. (Deuteronomy 5:29; 6:3, 18)

All the other things that I want to accomplish this coming year will be mobilized by my time in the Bible. If I am seriously studying my Bible, then I will be better at obeying God's commands and that will transform the areas of my life that need change. If I am studying my Bible, I will have more wisdom as a wife, a mother, a homemaker, a worker at church. If I am studying my Bible, it will be easier to discipline myself to get up early, to exercise, to guard my tongue. I can focus on what will change my whole life instead of having a list of things to try to do on my own all year.

The Bible has all the answers for all the questions. Will you join me this year in committing to God's Word?