Monday, April 30, 2012

Swiss Chicken Casserole

I love chicken casserole. And I love Swiss cheese. What could be better than putting the two together?

2 pounds chicken tenderloin
salt and pepper
1 tsp. each garlic powder and onion powder
5 slices Swiss cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 box chicken flavored stuffing

Place chicken in an 8*8 pan. Top with seasonings.

Place cheese on top of chicken.

Layer soup over cheese.

Mix stuffing with enough boiling water to moisten, about 3/4 cup. Crumble stuffing over top of casserole.

Bake at 400 for 45-55 minutes or until chicken is done and stuffing is browned.

Serve warm with sides. It was delicious! I want to eat it again. Right now. haha

Friday, April 27, 2012

Parenting Panic

Last Friday we were planning on eat dinner with some friends. After Micah got up from his nap we did our normal stuff and then I started baking his food and went to get ready. Micah normally plays in the bathroom or runs around the house like a wild man while I'm getting ready. That day he was running around the house. He was quiet for a few minutes and I thought I should go check on him. I didn't want to call for him because he is typically busy looking at a book or playing with cars.

He wasn't in his room. He wasn't in Kevin's room. He wasn't in the living room, the kitchen, or our room! And I didn't hear him anywhere so I started calling his name. I was started to wonder where on earth the child could be! I walked back to the main hallway and kept calling his name. When I heard muffled thumping I looked through the closets and then called for him again. That's when it happened.

The doorbell rang. The front door. Where there is no walkway and people never come. I went over and yanked the door open and there he was standing on the front porch ringing the doorbell! He had unlocked the front door, let himself out, and closed the door behind him! Unlocked the door. All. By. Himself. I pulled him back in the house, "You get yourself in here right now!" He got the whole "you never go outside by yourself speech" and I started to relax.

Oh, and note to self. The two-year-old can unlock the front door. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Where Do You Find Joy?

My husband and I attended the Faculty/Staff Appreciation Dinner at his workplace last Thursday night. It's an annual event that is fairly well attended and we normally sit with his office staff. The same was true this year. We arrived, greeted people, I got screams from people who didn't know I was pregnant, and then we found seats. The food was delicious; the company was funny; and it lasted longer than it was supposed to :)
Part of the evening includes recognizing staff members who have been working at the university for a certain number of years. They even get a check that is proportional to the time they have committed to the university. They also give out three "big" awards that recognize character and outside talents as well as achievement in the winner's specific domain. This part always makes me uncomfortable.

Why? Because I like recognition as much as the next person. And being a wife and mother doesn't come with raises, awards, promotions, accolades, or a list of accomplishments that everyone can ooh and ahh over. No one applauds when I check off my to-do list, although sometimes when I write down everything I've done in one day I feel very accomplished!

But you know what? I'm not supposed to find contentment or joy in being recognized or applauded. I am to have a deeper, more lasting, source of joy.
Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasure for evermore. Ps. 16:11
God really didn't intend for us to be miserable. The purpose of life is not the pursuit of happiness but happiness can be found in God's will. I'm always inspired when I think about some missionaries' wives that I know. They live in a foreign country in conditions much less conducive to happiness than most people have and they are some of the most joyful people I know! What makes the difference? Their relationship with God does!

If I am searching for joy in man's applause I will constantly be unhappy if I don't get it and might even wander into sin looking for it. If I find my joy in knowing and serving God, I can have joy anywhere in any situation. I can be in the presence of God all the time. Yes, even while I make breakfast, read stories, clean bedrooms, discipline a toddler, make dinner, take a nap, and find a smile to go with my words. So where do I need to put my efforts? Into my relationship with God. I need to spend time with Him. I need to learn His Word and practice applying it to my life. I need to obey and allow Him to change me. I must choose to make my time with God a priority. I can find satisfaction in knowing that I make God smile.

That will certainly get me farther than constantly bragging on myself to get others to notice how awesome I am. That typically backfires anyway!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Happy Birthday, Micah!

Micah turns two today! I can't believe my firstborn is already this old! Here is the precious first picture of him! He was a whopping 9 pounds, 9 1/4 ounces. And he was wonderful! 

And here he is now. I tried to take pictures of him before church yesterday and he was more interesting in running around! But you get his enthusiasm! Doesn't he look like a little man now? 

I am so thankful that God blessed us with such an amazing little boy! I am thankful for his health. God brought him through a lot when he went through his metabolic crisis and he has been uncommonly healthy for a infant/toddler.

I'm thankful for everything we've learned since having him. We've learned to be more selfless. We've learned to be work together and purposefully make time for our marriage. We've learned that someone is watching every single thing we do!

I am thankful that God granted my dream of being a mother!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Friday, April 20, 2012

Friday Favorites: Dishwashers

We bought a dishwasher! My wonderful hubby installed it on Monday and can I just say, "I LOVE IT!" It's seriously amazing. 

We were thinking it would be a big time-saver and it is! That sounds really nice with another baby on the way. Cleaning house is like paperwork in an office- it has to be done but you don't want it to be your main focus.  So let's find the most efficient method and go with it! That's why I use my cleaning schedule.  But before I go off on how glad I was to have a cleaning schedule after I had Micah...

This dishwasher gets the dishes very clean! I love that. And Micah's formula cup doesn't smell. I'm doing a happy dance here. Don't judge; you've never smelled it :)

And where are the buttons? They are "hidden" along the top edge.  My husband liked the look better plus we let Micah play with the buttons on the broken one since we moved in. I could have retrained him but since we could avoid this issue we decided not to confuse him.

Do you have a dishwasher? What ways do you save time cleaning?

Monday, April 16, 2012

Roast: Carnitas Style

I wanted to have a special lunch for Easter that wasn't ham. We love carnitas but they require close attention for the last 45 minutes and I was going to be at church. So why not turn it into a roast that I can let cook while we're gone?

3 lb. Boston Butt roast
3 limes, zested and juiced
2 tsp. garlic powder, cumin
1 tsp. salt, onion powder, pork seasoning
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 cup water

Place roast in crock-pot. Zest limes and then juice them. If you roll limes firmly on the counter under the palm of your hand they are easier to juice. Or you can let your handsome husband with strong hands squeeze the extra juice out :)

Sprinkle the rest of the seasoning on the roast. If you do not have a pork seasoning, add 1 tsp. chili powder and one additional teaspoon each of cumin and garlic powder. Add liquid and cook for 10-12 hours.

Your meat will be falling off the bone! Remove from Crock-Pot.

Shred and serve with lime juice and salt. You could also put this on tortilla shells and have carnitas this way. Delicious and it does all the work itself!

Now we put this roast on late at night after we spent all day in Kingsport. I think if you watch this video, you can tell it was late at and we were tired! To find the inspiration for the "voice" (which is supposed to be Julia Child) you'll have to go watch this short clip from the Cosby Show.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Playing in the Sprinkler

My parents bought Micah a sprinkler and we let him try it out today for a few minutes. He was a little surprised but he really liked it!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Thoughts on Sickness

Micah and I have been a little under the weather the past few days. I think it was a sinus/allergy issue. I could have quickly (at least more quickly) resolved mine with NyQuil and almost round the clock sleep. But Micah didn't seem up for around the clock sleep! :)  But God has a reason for everything and there were several things I thought on while I was sick.

1. I am so thankful for my health!! So many people struggle with chronic illnesses and fatigue issues. I am so blessed with good health most of the time even when I'm pregnant. It is a privilege to be able to manage my responsibilities and take care of what God has given me.

2. I have a wonderful husband! He has checked on me and taken care of me and picked up many of my responsibilities while I was sick. And smiled the whole time! He loves me and our boys very much!

3. I can Not-do all my scheduled work and the world will not fall apart. I know, a no-brainer, right? But I'm a list-maker and I love to check things off my list! But if it doesn't all get done the house does not explode. My husband does not get upset. And I don't think the little boy even notices. Probably a good thing to be learning!

While I was glad to think on those things, I'm even more glad to be feeling better! I'll probably take things half-pace today and hopefully be at it this weekend!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


17 Weeks

The little boy would never look at the camera when Justin snapped the picture. 

Beautiful row of irises along the shed.

They are all this gorgeous purple color! 

This azalea is beautiful! There is one even prettier in the front yard but I didn't get a picture of it today.

This has been a busy week and little boy hasn't been sleeping well so blogging has taken the bad burner. But we'll be back at it soon!