10.14.2011

reach out

Just about an hour ago, my husband was one of the first to approach a semi truck that had gone through a guard rail and down a hill, throwing the driver into the river. As others stood and drove by, he pulled up and dove over the rail, pulling the driver to safety. 

What an amazing man I am married to, but also, what a reminder that is to all of us. How many times do you pass an accident or a person injured or in distress and think, "Someone else is probably calling 911..." "Someone else will help." 

Usually, that is what everyone is thinking. 

So, dive in. Help when you see there is a need.

10.13.2011

warm the soul

After sharing these with a number of friends, I thought I had to share them with you too! These are my favorite, favorite fall recipes that just warm your mouth and your soul.

Crescent Chicken



For 8 servings (1 crescent per person)

  • 3 boiled & shredded boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 packages of 8 Big & Flaky Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
  • 2 cans of Cream of Chicken soup
  • Roughly 4-5 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • Salt & Pepper
 45 minutes - 1 hour     easy
{Great with a vegetable & mashed potatoes on the side} 

[note: I've also made this substituting the chicken for canned tuna. Follow same instructions] 


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees 

2. After preparing the chicken and cheese, cook the soup according to the instructions on the can 

3. While soup is cooking, take two triangles (crescents) from the roll and press them together making one large crescent 

2. In the larger space, put a handful of cooked chicken and shredded cheese 

3. Roll the crescent over the stuffing, making sure to pinch the edges 

  4. Do this with the remaining rolls, making 8 large stuffed crescents and place in a casserole dish

5. Pour half of the soup over the rolls and sprinkle with salt and pepper

6. Bake the rolls at 350 until they are golden (usually 45 minutes)

6. While the rolls are baking, make some mashed potatoes and a vegetable 

7. Use the remaining soup as additional gravy to top your mashed potatoes and rolls

. . .

Mama's Meatloaf (really, shepherds pie)


         For 4-6 servings

  • 1 lb. ground beef or turkey 
  • 1 package Chicken Soup dry mix
  • 6-8 servings of mashed potatoes 
  • 4 cups shredded cheddar cheese 
  • Salt & Pepper
               45 minutes      very easy

[note: a friend also made hers like this, but in muffin tins! Great appetizers or smaller portions] 

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2. Grease deep baking dish 

3.  Mix ground beef and dry soup mix with hands 

4. Knead the mixture onto the bottom of the baking dish 

5. Cook until beef is done (35-40 minutes) [note: turkey cooks faster, around 20-25 min.]

6. While beef is cooking, make mashed potatoes 

7. When beef is done, place made mashed potatoes on top of beef and top with cheese 

8. Cook for another 10 minutes until cheese is melted 

9. Top with salt and pepper and serve aside vegetable

. . .

Acorn Squash 


For 2 servings

  • One acorn squash; choose a squash that is deep in color and without blemishes 
  • Butter to liking (2-4 Tbsp)
  • Brown sugar to liking (2-5 Tbsp)
  • Optional 1-2 Tbsp of Maple Syrup
  • Dash of Salt & water

1 hour - 1 1/2 hours   very easy

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees 

2. Wash and then using a strong knife, cut the squash in half from stem to end 

3. Using a spoon, scoop out the middle

4. Place each half in baking pan with open side up, then add about 1/4 inch of water to pan

5. Place your liking of butter and brown sugar in each open squash and slightly salt. Atop with some maple syrup if you choose

 6. Cook for 1 hour to 1  1/2 hours until soft and golden. Stab inside of squash with fork to make sure it is very tender

7. Let cool and eat!



10.12.2011

be still

Almost every night this is how it goes: I lay down, then I get thirsty and realize I have forgotten my water. I get up and go get it and lay back down only to feel hot so I get up and open the window. Then I lay back down only to realize that I don't want to cool off the rest of the house and so I get up and shut our bedroom door. After laying there with the window open, I am cool and comfortable but now stuffy and can't breath so I get up and take an allergy pill. I lay back down only to most likely get up and go to the bathroom shortly after falling asleep. 

In our house we have a small chalkboard that we write verses on. I am usually the writer and being that I am pretty perfect and don't need to work on anything (haha!), I always put verses that I think will be good for hubs to read. I love when the heat of an argument rises and I can tell him to look at the board. 

Well a few weeks ago, he wrote on the board. "Be still and know that I am God." ps 46:10

"Be still..." just stares at me as I buzz around the house. Laundry, dishes, making beds, making dinner, etc... I can't sit still and I have never been able to. 

But I justified it as being a good thing. I'm not lazy. I get things done and I'm always looking for new opportunities. But after hearing "be still" from a number of people in the last week - I got that I needed to work on it, but it wasn't until last night that I realized what it really meant. 

I don't think it was directed at me in terms of being physically still, although sometimes I literally need to get tasered to just chill out, God was telling me to keep my mind still. 

At Bible study and church we've been talking about fear of death. Now, I am not afraid for my own death but it brings me to tears (like it did last night) thinking about other deaths. My baby, my husband, my family members or close friends. 

Being a mom has made me such an emotional mess. The other day I was crying to the movie Tangled. Why? Because they took the baby from the parents! My mind immediately goes to my baby being taken and there I stand, a blubbery mess. 

Almost every day I hear something that makes me think, "What if that happened to me?" And then your mind goes out of control. Ah, the joys of worry. Without worry, life would be so peaceful. And I do trust God, but when I get together with all these faithful, wonderful women and learn about their babies death or husbands or all the other troubles - it makes me know that I am not in control, He is. 

And boy, there are a lot of times that I think I could have solved a situation better than Him. It's all a mystery. 

Fear, worry and anxiety do nothing but take away from joy we can be experiencing. You can actually really miss out when you are held back by worry and not to mention, spend the night crying and not getting any sleep just because you are thinking of the "what if's" and then have to get your picture taken for the newspaper in the morning with puffy eyes.

Be still. Be still in my thoughts. And I'm sure Chris would be able to actually fall asleep if I tried to be still at bedtime too.

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God and the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Phil. 4: 6-7

10.11.2011

yes, thank you and NO

No? Who says, "no?" I am good at saying "no" to my little munchkin, but I am not good at saying "no" to anyone else. I have a gut feeling there are more of you out there like me. 

For instance, my mother, my grandmother, my sister... well just about my whole family was born with a big guilt button and we all know how to press each others. My mom makes me feel guilty, her mom makes her feel guilty, I make them feel guilty, my sister makes everyone feel guilty. Shesh. How exhausting. 

Patsy Clairmont said to wake up in the morning and say, "Yes to God, thank you and then no." It was so easy for me to remember the "yes" and "thank you" part, but "no?" I couldn't even say "no" to myself. 

Many of us are just wired this way. We are so extremely worried about hurting other people's feelings that we will hurt ourselves over and over again and hurt the ones closest to us.

And that hurt shines through. People can almost always tell our motives in doing something: if we are doing it for God and because we love to do it or if we are doing it out of guilt. 

Guess what I learned? It is okay to say "no." When we are wired with reacting only to emotions and tip toeing around our fear of hurting people's feelings, we are bound to have a breakdown. We get exhausted. We take out our stress on other people, and they don't deserve that - and we don't deserve the stress. 

Now there is another side to it. I do things that I don't want to do because it brings someone else happiness - and that makes it all worth it. But if there is something that I can look at and see mostly stress, exhaustion, worry and guilt boiling in it, I know the result won't be worth it. 

"No" is not a bad word yet we can barely spit it out. Those of us who don't have "no" in our vocabulary get walked all over. We start doing everything for everybody else and the word spreads. 

You can usually pin point if this is you because the asker's already have it planned out. They start with "Hey, would you mind babysitting tonight?" The minute that "sure" spills out of your tired mouth, they already know what time they will drop the child off, when they will pick them up and barely squeeze in a "thanks!" before hanging up. It is just expected of us notorious "yes"-ers.

Now, mother's would do anything for their children, right? We wouldn't do anything that would hurt them and protect them with all we got. 

Well, draining ourselves with constantly saying "yes" to things we don't want to do is hurting our children, our husbands and everyone that is close to us. We come home and don't want to make dinner because we are exhausted, we have emotional breakdowns because we've kept it all in, and while our family sees the stress and tiredness coming out from throwing that dinner party, we manage and smile to everyone else like it was no problem. 

Who is that hurting? You and everyone close that is closest to you while you save minor hurt feelings of others. 

As a Christian, it is really difficult to say "no" when someone is wanting help. We want to be nice and lead a good example. But again, we must look at the motives.

Are we doing it because we care or are we doing it to gain approval, avoid confrontation or compete? If we are doing it for the last three motives, you are better off saying "no." And boy does it feel good! Trust me, you'll love the feeling.

Mother Theresa said, “It’s not how much we give, but how much love we put into giving.” 

Don't do something if you really don't want to do it because more people suffer - including yourself. Practice saying "no." I will be. 

"Better a meal of vegetables where there is love than a fattened calf with hatred." Proverbs 15:17

10.10.2011

Women of Faith weekend

WOW. That is really all I am left to say after the Women of Faith event I attended this past weekend. Okay, that is a lie because I have been rambling to my husband ever since I got back.

These women (and man) and their stories were inspiring, emotional and incredibly real. A realness that allowed I bet every woman in the arena to resonate with what they said. A realness that almost made me feel uncomfortable because you think that they are talking about you. 

If you have never gone, I recommend it with everything I got. 

I came back early to take care of a sick baby and relieve my husband a bit who had succeeded in full-time daddy care for two days. Poor little girl is still not doing well! 

Here are some of my favorite tidbits from the Women of Faith weekend: 

  • "Pride is bad helium" 
  • If you get defensive when someone calls you on something, they are probably on the right track
  • Wake up and say "Yes" to God "Thank you" and "No" - the no part is essential for those of us who constantly feel guilty not to do something or are worried too much about what other people think: IT IS OK TO SAY "NO"
  • We are constantly worrying about the friends our children hang around when it is just as important, if not more important, the friends we hang around
  • Minimize your words if your a talker - almost always will something slip out that you will regret 
  • Everything you do matters. All of your actions matter. It isn't usually what comes out of your mouth that people will look at, but how you are as a person - how you act. 
  • If you are searching for happiness, you will never find it. Humans are built to be in constant need of more or better. Happiness ebbs and flows, but only real joy comes from the Lord.
  • On that note, be content in all things. Enjoy things, but stop yourself in this search for more, better or this unattainable satisfaction.
  • Patsy Clairmont (my favorite!), her opinion on taking medication: "If it helps you, I say, 'Pop that pill in Jesus name!'"  
  • Be still. "Be still and know that I am God." ps 46:10
  • Never underestimate the power of prayer
  • Smile when you talk - others won't be able to help the smile that grows on their face 
  • Children are never too young to learn manners
  • People are "...restless until they find rest in You" -Augustine 
  • Learn how to forgive yourself and learn to ask for forgiveness. Saying "I'm sorry" doesn't cut it. If you mean it and want to hit the reset button, ask, "Will you forgive me?" You will see how much harder it is to ask that other than say "I'm sorry" 
  • Be a friend to yourself first - then you will know how to be a friend to others
  • Give yourself grace, allow for yourself to be imperfect and know that YOU ARE ENOUGH 
  • Be tough and never give up

 
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