Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Work and Results

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.      - Thomas Edison 

With few exceptions (none that I can think of but I'm just covering my bases), anybody that accomplishes anything does so because they work. The famous brilliant men of the past like da Vinci and Einstein probably worked more in a few years than most modern people will in a lifetime!

God loves work. And he loves work done right. Don't believe me? Go read Proverbs! Just read one chapter that corresponds with the date (you know, chapter one on the first of the month, chapter two on the second of the month, etc, etc) and write down every reference to work or labor. God intended for us to work to keep ourselves out of trouble! We act like we are supposed to scoot by with as little work as possible and lie on the couch but that was never what God intended. He wants us to do something with our lives! The Bible even states that Jesus did so much (work!) that the world couldn't contain the record of all of it if it were written. (John 21:25)

We can do far more than we realize if we are willing to work hard. Sometimes it's easy to be jealous of what others have without realizing they have worked for it! I don't just have a clean house. I have a clean house because I do the work to have a clean house. Now I have removed most of the mental work from cleaning by having a schedule but I still have to do the physical work. I have to get up, get my supplies, and scrub.

I'm not just learning the Bible. I'm learning the Bible because I'm working at learning the Bible. Do you want to know what the Bible says and how is applies to you? Good! But God's not just going to zap the information into you because it's a good request. You have to read and study and listen. For years. Just keep doing those things and you'll be learning the Bible. God is a master teacher. (Psalm 25)

I'm not just thin. I'm thin because I work to be thin. Now honestly, I have a genetic predisposition toward being thin. But if I didn't watch what I eat and exercise I wouldn't be thin regardless of genetics.

I have fun and (for the most part) obedient children. But you know why? Because I work at that. And that takes a lot of time and mental as well as physical effort for me. But if you want the results you must do the work. There are no exceptions to this.

Sometimes work is called something else, like practice or training.

Want to learn to play the piano? Practice and practice some more.
Want to be a better cook? Practice. Get in there and cook. Over and over.
Want to learn a foreign language? Practice. Read. Study. Exercise your skills
Want to run a 5K? Run. Train.

Do something little each day toward a goal. Have goals for that matter.

Our society is developing an allergy to work. What's the best prevention for developing this allergy? Arm yourself with God's view of work.

Can this go in my classroom?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Hard Shell Tacos

Geniuses live on Pinterest. Or at least behind the websites that get pinned. Make your own hard-shell tacos?? Seriously, so easy. All you need are corn tortillas, an oven, and some Pam. (Off-brand, of course, for me. But for the life of me I can't think of what else it's called. Spray? Then you might use hairspray. I can see that having bad results. I'll think of it after I post this and then I'll feel stupid.)

Warm your corn tortillas in the microwave (oh, you'll need a microwave too) until they are soft and pliable. You don't want them to crack. Spray both sides with cooking spray! (There ya go!) Drape them over two of the wires on your oven rack that you have preheated to 375. Yes, they will look like they laying more straight than draping. That's ok. They will drop.  Bake for 5-10 minutes or until they get crispy and slightly brown. Go check out this tutorial for pictures. I refused to photograph my dirty oven. 

Then you fill with all kinds of deliciousness! 

Last night I just did regular taco meat, refried beans, lettuce, salsa, and cheese. Yum!! They were delicious. We had our go-to Mexican rice with them. And check out this corn. Seriously, one of the best things I ever ate. I think if I fixed the whole bag this way I could eat all of it myself. Just pour frozen corn onto a cookie sheet. Add a little oil, salt, and pepper and broil for five minutes. Simple! 

I even made a veggie one for Micah. I sauteed carrots (until soft) and added mushrooms and cooked another three minutes. He had lettuce on his. The boy loves lettuce. And he loved this taco.

Today for lunch, (getting tired of tacos yet?) I cooked up a chicken breast with cumin and garlic and chopped it up. I threw it on top of refried beans and lettuce all nestled down in those shells and topped with cheese. Delicious!  Oh, and I made more corn for lunch today. Seriously, it's that good.

Good food doesn't have to be complicated. Just wait until I show you French bread pizza. I could eat it every day too. With that corn.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Friday Favorites

Pinterest is fun! Most of the time it's easier to pin than to do. To pin or to do?  Shakespeare could have said that if he had known about Pinterest. A blog that I read suggested challenging ourselves to do six of our pins over the next six weeks. Sounded like a great idea to me! So last night when I was up with Kevin I picked out six pins.

Now if I had really wanted to challenge myself I would have picked some sewing pins. And I looked at all of them. But they still seem scary to me. I need to just pick a time each week to sit down with my machine. Sing it songs. Dust it. Maybe sew something on it too! But back to the pins I did pick.


1. I only picked one recipe. I regularly use my recipe boards for menu planning so that wasn't much of a challenge. A dessert though is less likely to be done and this one looks delicious. 

2. Number two got picked because I really want to write more. Great place to start. There are a ton of questions so I'm hoping to get through two or three a night. 

3. I'm going to put my sign in the laundry room. I have a canvas already to make it on. I'm looking for stickers or stencils to use for the letters. 

4. Fun car activity for Micah! And I already have felt and a diaper case. I do need glue however. Who doesn't have glue? 

5. Although let's be honest...there is no way I am going to print out pictures for the prayer sticks. It would never get done so we're just putting names on ours. And I think I'll have two cups. I'll put them all in one cup. And once we pray for a person they will get moved into the second cup until we get through them all. Then we will move them back again. I'm quite excited about this. I have a few supplies that I'm going to pick up at Hobby Lobby tonight. The excitement level is higher than you may expect since we don't have one close by. We're going out of town on a date and stopping at Hobby Lobby. That's true love! What a husband!

6. Pretty simple. Measure, trace, cut. Attach to lampshade! Isn't it cute?

Oh, and don't forget to notice an update. Over to the right, under my really cute picture (ha!), you can find a Pinterest button that will take you straight to my Pinterest boards. There's some pretty neat things there. 

Sisters Share It All: Pinterest Challenge

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Dangers of Motherhood

I would expect a serious entry from that title but this is anything but. My nose and Micah's head had a fight. Micah's head won. It was a funny situation. I bent over to kiss Kevin's head in the bouncy seat and then moved up to kiss Micah's head. He was sitting in a kitchen chair. Either he moved or I seriously misjudged spatially. I whacked my nose good on the side of his head instead of brushing a kiss across his forehead. He wasn't injured at all.

Can I just say I almost broke my nose?! Seriously, it's swollen and discolored and it hurts! It throbs when I bend over and it hurts to touch my face. It's really pretty funny.

It wouldn't be so bad except both of the boys cranked me on the nose with their heads in the past few days. Ouch! But I didn't scream because I thought it might be traumatic for them.

I did try to take a picture. But it didn't really show anything so I won't share it here. So instead you can have some adorable pictures of my kiddos.

I know I'm prejudiced but they are the cutest little things that ever walked the earth. There you have it.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Learning to Love

I was a little surprised when I first noticed it. Surprised and uncomfortable so I shoved it aside, smiled, and pretended it didn't happen. Then it happened again. And I felt shocked. Surely this was some flaw in my system? What on earth could be wrong with me? I forgot that God doesn't need my explanations; He knows my heart. So I covered the uncomfortable with the rationalizations. "You know I don't meant that, God. Don't let anything bad happen because I thought that." Only an immature understanding of God's love shoves that out like breathing. 

What was, and still is, so shocking? I don't always love these people that God has given me. 

That child that came out of my own body? The one that I had loved and prayed and agonized over? Sometimes I want to go away. I want to say that this wasn't what I asked for. He's not what I expected. Occasionally he makes me want to bang my head against a wall. 

That husband that I promised to love? He doesn't live up to my (often ridiculous) expectations at times. And sometimes he even annoys me on purpose to be funny. 

This baby that I cradle? He's needy. He keeps me awake at nights. He pulls my hair. 

This home that God gave me to build and keep? Sometimes I want to go far away. Away from the laundry, the menus, the dust. To something exciting and celebrated. 

But you know what? I don't. I don't run. Or quit. Or scream. Or bang my head against the wall. Instead I choose to love. I act what I don't feel. The feelings only mean so much. But actions? They speak loud enough for the deaf to hear them. Loud enough for children to understand when they can't articulate ideas. Loud enough to cover the stifled sigh (I'm working on not sighing.)

I may not always be able to control what I'm feeling. But, by God's help, I am able to control what I'm doing. And feelings follow the doing. Want to love? Act loving.  Smile and train and love that toddler. Speak the words of affirmation as much as you discipline. Cuddle the baby while you dig your hair out of his sweaty little fists. Allow the husband the freedom to be him. Love that him that he is.  The dust? It's there even after I sweep and that's ok. 

This life is only happening once. These moments are molding me into something that I'm not on my own. And I can choose to love. Just as Jesus chooses to love me. Not because I deserve it. Not because I live up to expectations. Because I'm His. And these are mine. 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Pork and Black Bean Chimichanga

Justin and I both loved the chimichangas we had a few weeks ago. I really wanted to try a pork one and after I made a pork roast I had the perfect opportunity! We knew we were going to make these so we intentionally didn't eat all the roast. Trust me, we easily could. We're big eaters. 

I love pork. The roast had a honey parmesan seasoning but I reseasoned it for the chimichangas. Yummy, savory pork. Crispy tortillas. Food is so delicious!

Last time, I used the huge tortillas. This time I used the regular taco size because I wanted a bigger crispy tortilla to filling ratio. This is the way I will do them from here forward. 

1/2 onion, diced
Pork- I used leftovers from a roast
1 cup black beans
1 tbsp. taco seasoning
1/2 can diced tomatoes with green chilies
1/2 can tomato paste
2 cups cheddar cheese
8 tortillas
1/2 stick butter, melted

Brown onion in a little butter or oil. I like to cook mine on a low temperature long enough for it to be soft. I have a thing about onions. They should only be crispy if it's a bloomin' onion. Or occasionally onion rings. Otherwise, I want the flavor minus the texture. But back to the story..

Turn down heat on the skillet and add pork. Stir and add more oil if the meat is sticking. Really you are just warming up the pork. Add your taco seasoning as well. 

Add black beans.

And diced tomatoes...and tomato paste...

I divide my filling into eight sections right here. I have no ability to divide equally while I'm filling them. Some would be huge...and others little bitty. You should see me fill muffin tins!

Coat both sides of the tortilla with the melted butter

Slap one section of your filling on the tortilla.

Top with 1/4 cup cheese. 

Fold into the cool shape. You can see HERE to see how to do this. Bake at 425 until shell is crispy and brown. I always flip mine about 10 minutes in because the bottom browns fastest. 

Yummy. Crispy. Savory pork and beans. I would eat them right now. Except I have no pork...sad.

 Finished product! Chimichangas, Mexican rice, and corn. Go enjoy. Eat your face off.  (What does that even mean?? I don't know but it sounds like ferocious eating!)

Friday, February 8, 2013

Glitch in the System

So here's the problem. My exercise time is also my blogging time. Oops. Not sure how I coordinated that so poorly. But exercise has been winning out. And I've been sick this week and crashing after the boys were asleep. So brief recap...

1. Once again, I'm very thankful that God has protected my boys from my illness. Some nasty sore throat/fatigue/aching ears virus type thing that tested negative for everything important. (Especially mono. Really, I'm not in the demographic. "Stay-at-home-mom contracts the mailbox." Seems unbelievable.) Also: Halls Fruit Breezers = amazing!

2. We took Micah to Cincinnati while I sounded like a man. Everyone was too polite to comment. He had been changing several key habits of his for the past three weeks and we wanted to have him checked out. So far, so good. He seems to be returning to normal and all his levels have come back fine. Hopefully, that was also just a virus.

3. I'm cutting my hair tomorrow. Well, I'm not cutting it, but you get the idea. I've worn it in a ponytail for weeks and realized I was growing it out so that it would be easier to put into a ponytail. Seemed stupid.

4. God answers prayers in uncomfortable, but effective ways. You may hear about this. You may not. Just know that it's true. Have you ever noticed this in your life?

5. I have some awesome blog post ideas that I need a little more time to sort through.  I really have got to find a good blogging/writing time.

6.  It's almost the middle of February, little dude is already five months old, and big dude will be three in two months. I'm in denial about all this except for the moments when I'm searching for the "pause" button for time.

7. I've accepted the fact that we're weird. Apparently. I stay at home (with my college degree). We have a child with a rare disorder and had another kid, we hope to have more children, we intend to homeschool, I wear skirts (I never mentioned that, did I? Well, it gets noticed in person.) I'll just introduce myself as Lisa Freak so people don't have to find it out so slowly...kidding. Kidding! I don't think I'm weird at all. :)  But I tend to skirt (haha) around these issues so that people don't think I'm weird and that gets old. I try to remind myself that I'm only supposed to really care about what God thinks about me....I'd have to change a lot more than those few things to be considered "normal" by the world and I'm not interested.

8. My mind has been working ninety miles an hour like normal even if I've not been blogging! I'll get back to it. Promise.

Thanks for reading all that; it was a not-so-brief recap! Enjoy your weekend!