Thursday, June 26, 2014

Banana Bread

Banana bread is something I never ate a lot growing up. I have to admit that I'm not crazy about banana flavored things so it just seemed irrelevant. But I hate to throw away food, even overripe bananas. I found this recipe online a few years ago and was intrigued by the lack of milk and eggs in the recipe. I tweaked it some and it's a favorite at our house- even mine!

This only makes one loaf and it's gone in a day here. Once I made it with Micah's Cambrooke "flour" and it only had the protein from the bananas and the minimal amount in the flour. There was 4-5 grams of protein in the whole loaf of bread and it was delicious. Froze well, too.

2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter, softened
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup bananas (I usually use three, you can typically make it with two)

Place butter and sugar in bowl of stand mixer (or use a bowl).

Peel your bananas. These were definitely past eating. 

Mash bananas thoroughly with fork. 

Mix together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. 

Cream butter and sugar. 

Oh, and it helps to have totally adorable kitchen help!

Alternately add the dry ingredients and the bananas until all ingredients are incorporated. 

Spoon into a greased loaf pan. 

Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. 

And if you are really cool, you'll eat it in a tent like we did. (Excuse the grainy photo.)

2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter, softened
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup bananas (I usually use three, you can typically do it with two)

Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Mash bananas with fork. Cream butter and sugar. Alternately add dry ingredients and bananas to creamed mixture until all ingredients are incorporated. Spoon into a greased loaf pan and bake at 350 for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Yum! Yum! And you don't have to throw out any old bananas!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Best Plan

Right now I'm searching for a new exercise plan. I'm halfway through this pregnancy and I need to change up what I'm doing a little to accommodate the space Caleb is taking up. But I gave up on finding the perfect plan. Because what's perfect for another pregnant lady may not be perfect for me for health, lifestyle, or personality reasons. 

A couple of weeks ago I quit a Bible reading plan I started about a month before. I hated it (that feels unspiritual to admit). The concept was to read four chapters in four different places every day and read through the Old Testament once and the New Testament twice in a year. Once I started it though it seemed so choppy. As soon as I got into the story in one spot it was time to switch gears and go somewhere else. And yes, I did feel like a quitter stopping it but I'm enjoying reading much more now! 

Do you want to know what the best plan is? The best plan is the one you actually do. Someone else may love the Bible reading plan that I hated. After all there is no wrong way to read the Bible. 

photo courtesy of stuart miles/

Often we look for the plan that will fix all our problems. 
Or the plan that someone else uses.
Or the plan that impresses other people.

But why not find a plan you will actually stick with? Whether it's exercise, or Bible reading, or menu planning, look for something that's practical and even enjoyable. Whether you want to teach your child preschool, or clean your house weekly, or learn to play the violin, pick the plan you can do. 

Maybe it doesn't look impressive. Are you more interested in telling people your Bible reading plan calls for reading ten chapters every day and not reading it or actually reading two chapters consistently every day? Which one is really going to help you? 

Are you more interested in planning the menus or reading how someone else does it? Do you want to clean  your house or research 10,000 different ways to get the work done before you try something? The hard part about picking a plan is that you actually have to do the work to see if the plan works. 

Maybe you'll have to adjust your plan midstream like I'm doing with exercise. Maybe you'll need to quit a plan totally and do something different. That's fine. The glory isn't in the plan; it's in getting the work done. 

Find the plan you can actually do. And then do it. 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Do Something

Sometimes the end can seem so far away. The goal can be so huge that it seems impossible to attain. (That's not just me, right?)

But you get there the same way you eat an elephant. One bite at a time.

Minute by minute you live your day for Jesus.

Minute by minute you do the small things that add up over time. The fifteen minutes of exercise, the thirty minutes of piano practice, the instruction in the alphabet and numbers, the memorizing of Scripture.

photo courtesy of stuart miles/

Think about your goals: obedient children, a new song learned, a clean house, a new skill mastered.

You don't have to do it all today.

But do something.

Train in obedience in the little moments.

Practice the same three measures of the song.

Clean the bathrooms. Sweep the floor.

Don't try to do it all or you might just do nothing.

You don't have to do it all today.

But you do have to do something.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Around the Web

The internet can truly be an amazing tool! I find so many nifty things to cook, read, and try. Of course, the internet can also be a black hole that sucks the reality out of your world so use caution. Or a timer. 

This week I thought I would share a few things I've found recently. Think of it as a recommendation from my computer to yours. 

photo courtesy of stuart miles/

Now if you're like me just seeing "Pioneer Woman" makes you want to eat this. I mean...what recipe of hers is bad? But these noodles are amazing. We like Asian inspired meals and this was an interesting twist on what we normally eat. I just stir-fried some chicken and veggies to go with the noodles for a complete dinner for us. 

I've been a regular reader of Phylicia's for some time now and I absolutely love this article! I know women who complain about how they never get any respect and on the inside I'm smacking my forehead and saying, "Duh, because there's nothing to respect!" Don't worry, I've never actually told anyone that. But seriously, read and apply. Share it with your friends. Send it anonymously to people who need it. (Just kidding on that last one. At least put your name on it.)

Kat Lee blogs and podcasts at two different websites and I read and listen to them both. The "Inspired to Action" podcast is directed toward moms and has amazing motivational material for whatever stage of motherhood you may be in. Totally worth your time. Also I'm a podcast junkie. I'm admitting it. 

What have you found on the internet that you love? 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

How You Use Social Media

I love Facebook. I have friends from high school that I rarely see, friends from college that have moved all over the States- and even the world,- and friends that are missionaries around the globe. It's great to be able to see what they are doing, watch their children grow, and keep up with their lives.

I also hate Facebook. There are two extremes on Facebook normally. There are the people that whine all. the. time. about whatever is going on in their lives. It seriously must be bad. And then there are the people who look like they are living the best days of everybody's lives every single day. 

photo courtesy of tungphoto/

Now the first group of people don't bother me too badly. I just ignore them (or hide them from my news feed.) But the second group of people? They can get under my skin sometimes. This jealousy problem is rarely when I'm in an intense trial; for instance, when Micah was in the hospital I could have cared less what anyone else was doing. But when my morning has consisted of a fussy baby, cleaning toilets, disciplining a preschooler, and a husband calling to say he's working late, that picture of someone on a cruise or sitting at Starbucks can make me really depressed. I just want to say, "Wouldn't it be nice?"

What does the Bible say about comparison? That's always the real question. 2 Corinthians 10:12 says, "For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise." That's pretty plain. It's not wise to compare myself to somebody else. 

That picture is a glimpse of one moment of their day. I don't know the whole story. I don't know what trials they are facing. I don't know the difficulties they wake up to every day. I just don't know anything beyond that one blissful looking moment in that picture.

It's even more startling to realize that one the morning I described above I could take several pictures of our life that look just as wonderful. It's all in the perspective you have.  When you are faced with jealousy creeping up on you, think about the pictures you could take. The freshly-baked bread, the kids snuggling together watching a movie (even if they did just try to push each other off the couch), the newly-mopped kitchen floor, the piles of folded laundry, the Dr. Pepper you bought while you were grocery shopping, the date night you had last week, even the medicine bottles and the baby that just fell asleep after crying all morning. Your life is just as amazing as theirs. And really more so because it's yours. Because God gave it to you to live for Him.

Those wonderful stories and pictures can also make me think, "Why can't I do that?" There are plenty of reasons. Maybe their children are all in school all day.  Or they only have one and he naps for three hours every afternoon. Maybe they don't have children or their children are grown. Maybe their husband's schedule is really flexible. There are a million reasons why it works for them and not for me. Facebook is not there for me to compare my life to theirs. I need to just do my work

Use Facebook (or other social media) as a way to grow. There are plenty of people to friend and pages to follow that can teach you useful things about life. Use social media to keep up with your friend's lives. Rejoice in their triumphs and pray through their tragedies.

But don't use social media as a way to compare how wonderful their life is with how miserable yours is. You can't know that.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

And It's A...

In case you were wondering we had our ultrasound this morning! And we found out what I suspected all along- it's a BOY! 

photo courtesy of digitalart/

I love the idea of having my three little stair step boys running around all over the place.  We are going to name him Caleb Andrew. 

Little boy didn't want to uncover his face for us to see us but he did shove his foot out for us to see a lot! It's a big foot :) I love how much they can see on ultrasounds now. It's amazing!

Monday, June 16, 2014

What We've Been Into

Like everywhere else life here gets a little crazy sometimes. And this has been a crazy week or two. 

Last weekend, we went to Kingsport. Here's Kevin with my papaw. 

While we were there we went to Justin's 10 year high school reunion. No, he didn't go to an all-boys school! But it is a small school and only about half of his class showed up. It was a lot of fun though! 

And I was developing a full-fledged sinus infection while we were on our trip. I had missed the misery of a sinus infection for a long time.  At the end of the week Kevin had a nasty, unexplained rash that is slowly fading. Someone was at the doctor three times last week; do they have a frequent flier program with discounts or rewards or something? 

We had a big storm last Tuesday and our Bradford pear split and fell against the house. That was exciting-that's slightly sarcastic- since I heard and saw it fall. 

Just split in half. The whole tree has to go now. Boo! 

AND...I'm 18 weeks pregnant now! And on Wednesday, we find out the gender (as long as baby cooperates)! I don't care one bit either way but I'm very excited to know! I really like referring to the baby by name! 

And my hubby with our boys! 

Other random notes

-On Sunday I had the privilege of introducing a lady to the Lord while we were out soul-winning. Amazing experience and I'm grateful for the opportunity to share the Gospel. 

-Our Pastor left this week for a three-week missions trip to Africa. He'll be visiting our missionary in Zambia, conducting a training conference in Zimbabwe, and teaching at a training conference in Kenya. It's a fantastic work happening; the people there are open to the Gospel and thirsty for training.  Please pray for him while he's traveling! 

-I've really missed blogging. I have a list of ideas that I am starting to work through for later this week! 

How has your week been? 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

One Little Decision

There's a story in the Bible that we all know. It's an infamous story about a famous king who committed adultery and murder, caused God's name to be blasphemed, and suffered severe consequences. Yes, obviously I'm talking about King David.

But that's not where the story started. It started in the first verse of 2 Samuel chapter 11. David was not where he was supposed to be. David was supposed to be at war with the kings and instead he sent his general and his servants and everyone else and he stayed at home.

And apparently while he was home, he was doing nothing. Verse two tells us that he got off his bed in an eveningtide. If you want to get in trouble, just do nothing. Being busy with the work God gave you will help your life.

My point isn't to rehash the story. We all know it and if you don't, go read 2 Samuel 11 and 12. Or watch Veggie Tales "King George and the Ducky." Just kidding, they generally "loosely" retell the story. Read the Bible and then watch the Veggie Tales.

photo courtesy of stuart miles/

My point is that David's decision to stay home had huge repercussions. One little decision that he probably thought didn't matter.  But our decisions do matter. What we decide today can affect the rest of our lives and our children's lives, just like David's decision did.

What are you deciding today? Are you deciding to read your Bible? To train and love your kids? To invest in your marriage? Are you deciding to follow the leaders in your life? Are you giving your life to serve God or just living for yourself?

Today matters. I know I've been harping on that lately but it's true. And sometimes we need to remember it when we are doing the same things day in and day out. Don't give up on the work God has for you. And even when you feel like what you do doesn't matter, it does.

Today matters. Go live like it.