Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Faithfulness = Consistency

I want to be a consistent person. And I just realized that faithfulness is consistency. By forming habits I am practicing consistency and developing faithfulness. And I just have to be faithful to what I am doing now. 

Faithful to exactly what I need to be doing RIGHT now....not the rest of my life. Not even the whole day. Just now. 
Faithful to get up when my alarm goes off. 
Faithful to read my Bible and pray. 
Faithful to fix breakfast
-do the laundry
-clean the house
-read to my children
-feed Kevin
-discipline Micah
-play basketball
-fix lunch
-take naps
-fix dinner
-plan meals
-schedule my kids
-practice piano
-greet my husband with a kiss
-clean up the kitchen
-go to church
-prepare breakfast for the bus kids
-go soul-winning
-put the kids in bed
-write my blog posts
-go to bed at a decent hour

Faithfulness is not serving God for however many years, months, days I have left. Faithfulness is serving God right now. This very moment. Doing exactly what He would have me do. 
If it's not impressive. 
If nobody notices. 
If it's the routine, the mundane. 
If I repeat it every single day of my life. 

Be faithful just by showing up and doing what I'm supposed to. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Baked Chimichangas

Baked chimichangas? Yes, the technique did come from Pinterest but I made my own filling and have several other in mind. I want to try one with pork. And one with chicken. Yum! Maybe pork and black beans? Back to these: the shell gets nice and crispy just as if you had fried it. 

1 lb. ground meat
1 tbsp. taco seasoning
1 tsp. each garlic powder and cumin
1/2 cup water
1 can diced tomatoes and green chilies, drained
4 tbsp. tomato paste
1 cup cheddar cheese
1 cup refried beans
4 tortillas
1/2 stick butter, melted

Brown hamburger, drain. Stir in taco seasoning, garlic powder, and cumin. Add water and cook until water is gone.

Add tomatoes and green chilies. Again, cook down until liquid is evaporated.

Stir in tomato paste.

Turn off heat and stir in cheese.

Divide filling into four equal portions.

Brush both sides of a tortilla with melted butter.

 Spread 1/4 cup of refried beans down the center of the tortilla.

Top with 1/4 of the meat filling.

Fold one side of tortilla over the filling.

Fold over both sides as directed above.

Roll the tortilla over and tuck ends under.

Bake at 425 degrees until tortilla is crispy. I flipped mine after about ten minutes because the bottoms were browning faster than the tops.

After the flip. Cook another ten minutes.

Both sides came out brown and crispy. Yum!

I served mine with some leftover rice and it was delicious. They reheat well, even in the microwave. The shells would stay crispier if you reheated them in the oven though.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Doctor's Visit

The boys went to the doctor yesterday. They did great. 

 Micah is two and a half now! I can't believe my baby is so old! He weighs 34 lbs. and is almost 40 in. tall. Yes, he's huge for his age.

And speaking of huge...check out those cheeks! I love them! Baby Kevin weighs 13.6 lbs. and is 25 in. The doctor looked at me and said, "He was 7"15' when he was born?" haha He had gained two pounds more than they would have estimated. He's trying to catch up with Micah, I think. He'll be two months old next Friday. Time goes by so quickly!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Friday Favorites

I love running. I hate running. We love and hate each other.

I hate running because it hurts. It hurts my legs, my lungs, and my hairdo. (ha!)
I hate running because someone else has to watch my kids. (i.e. the hubby) and sometimes it's hard to work into the schedule.
I hate running because I'd rather sit on the couch. Seriously, wouldn't you?

                                         Photo Credit
But I also love running.
I love running because it makes me feel better when I'm done.
I love running for what it does for the number on the scale and the muscles in my legs.
I love running because there are at least twenty blissful minutes alone. No crying, no correction, no cooking, no cleaning.
I love running because of how refreshed those minutes alone make me feel when I'm back home.
I love running for the time to dream and pray.

The nights are getting longer. It gets dark earlier and I won't be running often. But when I do know that I will be hating it...but I will be loving it more.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Helpful Habits

There's a quote on our church sign right now that says, "First we make our habits, then our habits make us."  Isn't that true? Our habits can help us do the right thing or encourage us to do wrong. They can spur us on to discipline or cause us to be idle. And I've found there are some helpful habits when it comes to running our home. They cause things to go more smoothly and help me stress out less about getting things done. And that's a good thing! Here are a few things I do to help myself out.

Start the night before. I hate mornings so anything I can do to make them nicer is helpful :)

  • Clean kitchen. I hate waking up to a dirty kitchen. I feel behind before I've even started. 
    • Start dishwasher
    • Wash any other items
    • Take out trash
    • Lay out a new towel and dishcloth
    • Sweep the floor
  • Prepare first load of laundry so I can put it in as soon as I get up. 
  • Lay out the next day's clothes.
  • Pack diaper bag and snacks if we are going anywhere in the morning.
  • Plan my morning time. 

My goal for in the morning is to start my day before my family starts theirs. I need that quiet time and I feel much less rushed if I wake up for my family instead of to my family. 
  • Bible study. Right now I'm doing this while I'm up with Kevin through the night. 
  • Appearance. I prefer to have my hair and makeup done before Micah gets up and Justin leaves for work. That's the goal.
  • Check what's for dinner. That way I know what prep needs to be done and when I need to start it. 
  • I also normally check my email and facebook and read blog posts. 
Micah and I have normal morning chores. We unload the dishwasher, start and change out laundry, and occasionally even do our daily cleaning before breakfast. We listen to our church's podcasts during this time too. Then we eat and brush our teeth. 

As you know, I have a weekly cleaning schedule and errand day. We pick up toys before naptime and before bedtime at least. We try to get to them before lunch and supper too. We do pick up the toys in one room before we go play or work in another. 

There are two new habits I am trying to start this week. These areas always stress me out trying to plan a time for them to get done so I've broken them down. I'm going to try to plan two meals a day (except for on shopping days) and iron for 15 minutes either before or after lunch. We are always working in the kitchen then so it fits in fine.I so dislike that stack of ironing in my laundry room and how long it takes to do it!  And I hate realizing I need to go grocery shopping in two day and I haven't even thought about a new menu! I would like to plan those two meals during my morning time but I could do them before I nap in the afternoon if necessary. I'll let you know how I come along with those! 

I hope to continue evaluating my habits and adjusting them to help our home run smoother. I want to use my time well and not waste mental effort when I could do it almost subconsciously. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Cheesy Bacon Biscuits

Pinterest has been a great inspiration for meals! I saw this idea but they just put cheese and bacon on top of canned biscuits. So I changed it some...I almost always do that.

Mix up some biscuit dough. Use my recipe or use your own.
Biscuit dough
1 cup cheese
4 slices crumbled, cooked bacon

Stir in 3/4 cup cheese (I used mozzarella) and 3 slices crumbled cooked bacon. 

Roll out as normal. I rolled mine out pretty thick so that they would be tall and fluffy. 

Cut out and place on baking dish. I use my pizza stone for biscuits. 

Top with 1/4 cup cheese and another slice crumbled bacon. 

Bake at 400 degrees until biscuits are browned and cheese is melted. Enjoy! Refrigerate any leftovers and warm up in the microwave. I've been eating them for breakfast and snacks and I think they might be even better the next day.

Sunday, October 21, 2012


If with courage and joy we pour ourselves out for Him and for other for His sake, it is not possible to lose, in any final sense, anything worth keeping. We will lose ourselves and our selfishness. We will gain everything worth having.   Elisabeth Elliot
I love Elisabeth Elliot quotes; she had so much to say about being a woman. Deep things that contradict everything my flesh wants to do. Deep things that will lead to a more joyful life when implemented.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Friday Favorites

I love this sweater! And that boy :) 

 Kevin isn't too sure what to think of hats. Especially if they roll down over his eyes in the car...

 Micah's such a big helper! He loves to empty the bottom rack of the dishwasher. 

And put clothes in the washer. 

 It's quite fun when you get to throw them in! 

And the boys' laundry basket is bigger than the rest of ours. It's a favorite play space. 

They were well occupied while I mopped. 

Who needs toys?  

Then Micah mopped :) 

 Me and the boys! 

 Snuggle time with baby Kevin! 

 Micah wanted to take a picture to send to Daddy!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Days I Don't Feel Pretty

I have some weeks days when I don't feel pretty. I don't like my hair. I don't like my face. I don't like the way my clothes look. You ever been there? From my observations and questioning this is pretty universal to females. This used to get me really down and it was all I could think about. I was just sure that everybody else thought I looked pretty bad too. But you know what? Nobody really pays that much attention to me. And if they do, they are not as hard on me as I am on myself. So now I have a new approach.

1. Do my best. Even when I don't feel like it's helping, I still fix my hair and makeup. Why give up totally? This is something I do every day; it's a nice habit to have. Just do your thing anyway!
applying makeup in mirror

2. Forget about it and smile. I purposefully look in the mirror, say I did the best I could, and go on with life. Smile. Seriously, try it. There's an old song that plays on one of my Pandora stations that says, "It's what you wear from ear to ear, and not from head to toe!" And that's so true. The prettiest people can appear very unattractive if they look grumpy. (And I have a thing about the grumpy mom of little children look anyway.)

3. Focus on others. Now that I'm not focusing on what I look like I try to specifically focus on encouraging others. What can I do to help them? That gives me something to think about instead of my appearance.

Actually, this isn't a bad practice even on the days when I feel like I look ok. Do your best, add a smile, and focus on others!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Roasted Parmesan Potatoes

I saw a recipe on pinterest for some yummy looking potatoes and the link was dead! So I decided to make up my own. And they were delicious!
6 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 slice bacon, chopped
salt and pepper
1 tbsp. oil
1 tbsp. butter
1/2 tsp. each basil and oregano
1/2 cup parmesan cheese


Place potatoes on baking sheet. Top with oil and stir.

Add chopped bacon, salt, and pepper.

Cook in a 425 degree oven for 35 minutes or until they start to crisp on the outer edges. Remove pan from oven and turn on broiler.

Add butter, basil, oregano, and parmesan. Place until broiler until cheese melts and the top of the potatoes start to brown.

We ate these with hamburgers; hamburgers really need potatoes! I even ate the leftovers the next day and I don't typically enjoy leftover mashed potatoes :)

Sunday, October 14, 2012


If by doing some work which the undiscerning consider not spiritual work I can best help others, and I inwardly rebel, thinking it is the spiritual for which I crave, when in truth it is the interesting and exciting, then I know nothing of Calvary love. -Amy Carmichael

No matter how exciting a work seems it is just work once  you've done it for a while. Work where you are and find excitement in God's will, not something new. Some of the greatest things done for God are done by repeating the routine day after day.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Friday Favorites: Missions Conference!


Missions Conference starts tonight! I am so excited! This is by far my favorite weekend at church all year!
We have an exciting lineup of speakers and activities and, as always, if you can't join us in person you can watch the services live or see the services (or listen to podcasts) later!
For more information on speakers or to watch the services you can visit our church website.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

My Story

I am writing a story. And like any good story, it will be read by many people. My husband, my children, my friends, my church family, extended family. Also others on a smaller basis...doctors, grocery store cashiers, librarians, people I visit soul-winning, my husband's colleagues. Everybody I meet will read part of my story.
Every single day is recording part of this story of my life. Unlike a book, I can't go back and edit the past. What's done is done, permanently inked into the pages. The only thing I can change is now. I can't change outcomes or the actions of others like I could as the author of a book. I am not the author: God is. I am only one character and I can only change my part in my story.

Some people will also tell my story. Some people will tell small chapters of my life as it affected them. Some people will tell larger portions because they were an integral part of the story. My husband, for example, is the other main character in this tale. But probably no one will tell and relive this story as much as my children. My story will influence every day of their childhood and many days beyond that.  My story will shape their attitudes. My story will affect their actions and decisions. My story is important. Not because I am important but because it influences those who are important to me. 

Every routine, every day affects what my children remember as their childhood. Do we play? Is there music? Is our home fun?  Our marriage changes the way they view relationships.  Are we in love? Do we find time for each other? How do we talk to each other?

My words tell my children about their worth, their importance. Do I want to be here with them? Do I treasure their part in our family? Do I take the time to teach and train them? Do I teach them to enjoy work?
My relationship with God steers my whole story. It guides my emotions during tough times. It chooses my words and my attitudes. I don't have to tell people about this aspect of my life because it screams in their faces as they watch the story unfold. Do I teach my children about Jesus? Does the Bible really affect how I live my life? Do I teach them to view life through the lens of Truth?

My children's version of this story will be different from mine. More important than what I will say about myself is the impact I have on others. I cannot fool those who see me day in and day out. They see the real me and someday it will be told in their story. 

Today is a blank page. And this is my only chance to write it. 
This post was inspired by a post by Courtney at Women Living Well. Please visit and read!
Photo Credit

Monday, October 8, 2012


I signed up for a Pinterest account several months ago and left it sitting because it seemed like a great way to waste more time online :) But after much persuasion I checked it out a couple of weeks ago....and I'm a huge fan! I try to refrain from pinning cute pictures and quotes and go with things that are actually helpful like recipes and toddler activities. (Not because I don't love quotes...I DO! But in the interest of time managment I've avoided them.)
Last Friday night I made these baked donuts. They were amazing and really simple. And much healthier than I would have expected! I am so excited about doing my meal plan this week with the new recipes I've found too! 

If you click on the picture of the donuts it should take you to the website with the recipe. Yum! I shouldn't make these very often!  Expect to see some more Pinterest-inspired meals over the next few weeks!
I've also found some fun sewing projects for whenever I carve out some time to sew :) 

Friday, October 5, 2012

A Day in Pictures

I started taking pictures in the morning and just kept taking them. About half way through the morning I decided to just do the whole day in pictures. I love to be able to look back at what we've been doing.
 Homemade banana bread for breakfast!
 Making rolls for ham sandwiches at lunch!
 Kneading bread dough is great fun!
 We read great piles of books around here. This was only two of them.
 What happened to morning awake time? :) And yes, I was playing the piano while he slept.
 Micah playing with toys.
 Micah's turn!
 We dump out all the toys during piano practice.
  Laundry and ironing.
 Hello, Baby!
 Cleaning the living room.
 Micah played on the back porch while I cooked lunch.
 Mary Poppins after naptime. Obviously Micah was mesmerized by the iPad.
 Kevin all wrapped up for our walk. Justin had a discipleship session so we went to the playground!
 Micah ready for the walk!
 Daddy's home!
 A late dinner.
 Tomatoes from the garden still. Maybe more homemade tomato soup?
 Micah's formula.
 Micah helps put Kevin's lotion on after his bath.  Love my boys!
Playing with Daddy before reading and going to bed.