Friday, March 30, 2012

feed my family friday:::i'm branching out asian style edition:::and what you might see at my house right now

good morning, lovelies.
how is your day going? 
why don't you grab a  cup of coffee or tea and chat for a minute?
i'd really love to have you at my house so that i could actually meet you, and hug you, and tell you all about my week. 
 i would love to hear about yours, too.
if you came to my house, you might see some pretty interesting things, though.

like maybe  for sure you would see this...

why? oh, why?

or this...

finally!  clean socks!  i might make you help. ;) 

definitely this...

hill of calvary

you would trip over this...

jack and henry's landing pad.

i would quickly hide this...

yes, that's out nativity set, laying on the floor in the living room.  gahhh!

we could discuss this...

what's your decorating style?

i would tell you all about these...

my favorite cleaners  in the world .!

and i would share this recipe with you...
i might even make you some. ;) 

:::here's the recipe:::

1 1/3 lbs chicken breasts
{or one container extra firm tofu, if you're meatless}
1/2 lb cherry tomatoes
2/3 cup canned pineapple chunks
2 stalks lemongrass{i didn't have this}
1 TBS oil
1-2 TBS red curry paste{i used TWO}
1 2/3 canned coconut milk
1 TBS brown sugar
1 1/2 TBS fish sauce
2 TBS fresh lime juice{i used reconstituted}
cilantro leaves

1. cut chicken into half inch cubes
{i used crock-potted dark meat because i'm a rebel{not really}, that's just what i worked great!}
rinse cherry tomatoes. drain pineapple.  rinse and trim lemongrass, chop it up!

2. heat oil in wok or pan, stir in curry paste and saute briefly.
add coconut oil and bring to a gentle boil.
add lemon grass, sugar, fish sauce and lime juice.
add chicken and pineapple and simmer uncovered for five minutes.
make sure chicken is cooked through.

3. now stir in tomatoes until they are heated through. sprinkle on cilantro and VOILA!
yummy in your tummy authentic asian food!

i served ours on rice noodles and it was delish.  the recipe suggested to serve it with rice.
oh! and if you are using tofu, i fried ours in a little in coconut oil and then added it towards the end.
{i'm not a fan of rubbery tofu, though. :/}
sandi, you.were.right!!!  :)

i hope you try was super easy and really yummy!

so what do you think? 
wanna come over?

"This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it."
Psalm 118:24


linkin' up here

life rearranged

Thursday, March 29, 2012

a mini break and more happy

i'm not gonna lie, girlfriends.
running uphill against the wind was challenging this morning.
the thermometer read a brisk 37 degrees, so i surely didn't repeat my mistake from the other day.
hello, sweatpants and sweatshirt!
if only i could clothe our perennials who are hanging on by the skin of their little teeth to survive this cold front.
my husband wasn't able to go with me this morning, so it was a little boring until i got to this...

it seems quite fitting that the town we live in is named hillsboro.
can you just imagine the Artist as He stretched forth His mighty hand, 
and painted this beautiful canvas for us to live in and enjoy?

so yesterday the kids and i took a mini break and decided to skip school.
everyone else is doing it, right?
that's actually one of the things i love about home school.
you can take those little breaks, and just make up for them later.
since we aren't taking an official 'spring break', we decided to head for the hills and enjoy the beautiful day.
henry was blessing me with flowers. :)

we headed to the co-op in the town where my man works and enjoyed some yummy food.
i indulged in white bean, potato and kale soup, a hummus wrap, and some tea.  it was delicious!
they took a sun dried tomato wrap and loaded with hummus, cukes, carrots, red pepper, kalamata olives, feta cheese and spinach.
you should make it!
i definitely plan on it. :)

we also went to good will and hunted around for a while.
i sort of wanted to buy this plaque because of the message, but i wasn't in love, so it stayed.

i do love me some good will, but it seems like the prices just aren't as good as they used to be.
maybe i'm a serious cheapskate, but $4.00 for a used shirt is high to me. 
i'm all about the $2.00 bag sales at our local thrift, though.
now THAT'S a deal!  :)

do you remember last week, when i posted about our easter garden?
my friend, alicia, has a little happy project series going, and the first challenge was to visit a nursery and buy a plant.
the next week's challenge was to drop it, and do it!
we were supposed to drop something that we were doing and do something for someone else.
this is really hard for me, i have to admit.  the dropping it part, that is.
i don't like leaving messes, or having my schedule interrupted.
i know that sounds terrible, but i'm working on it!
God wants me to be available for Him at any given moment, so this was good for me to reflect upon all week.

when i saw this recipe that carissa had pinned, i knew i wanted to try it.
the girls and i got busy making a double batch and we baked one of the batches that day for supper dessert,
reserving the other for another time.
the next day, we were headed out to hunt for a rock for our garden, and i thought about this giving plate that someone had given me several weeks ago, that had been sitting on my stove, waiting to bless someone else with it's message.  then i thought it might be nice to bake up that extra batch of dough, and pass the plate along to a friend up the road who is such a sweetie.  {that was the whole point of the plate anyway, to refill it with goodies and pass it on.}  i was just waaay behind in the process!  so, while the kids were waiting for me outside, i baked up the batch of cookies and we deviated from the plan {a little} to bless my friend that day. 
i want this whole, drop it and do it philosophy to stick, so i'm going to keep practicing, 
because i need it. :)

it truly is more blessed to give than to receive.
don't you agree?  :)

have a wonderful, happy day!


linking up with alicia

Monday, March 26, 2012

where did they go?

does anyone know where the weekend went? did spring go?  that is the REAL question here.
has anyone seen either one?
because i blinked and it was monday, and according to the crazy lady who was running this morning, 
35 degrees is too cold to be wearing shorts.  now it's raining little ice balls out there!
my poor honeysuckle, hydrangeas, and flowering crab tree.
i hope they make it.  :/

 random fact about me:
i have a devout love for tube socks, no matter what the season.
apparently, i'm cold blooded.
 you can find me sleeping in them in the winter, and wearing them all summer long.
just don't make fun of the chickens{my legs, that is}.  

hey! check out what i'm doing today...
hopefully the red won't be needed much except for smiley faces and 100% marks!


lately, it seems like every weekend is jam packed full.
last saturday, we went to  a birthday party at chuck e cheese for my two year old nephew.
it was nuts, but the kids loved it!
i, on the other hand, saw millions of little green germs waiting to infest my family.  germ-o-riffic!
here's the birthday boy, blake.  isn't he a doll?


henry with stewart.


on last saturday night, we had a guest speaker at our church from Bible Tracts Inc.
it was so awesome! Mark Smith is the director there, and his desire to spread the gospel through tracts is totally inspiring.
he definitely sparked a flame in our hearts to be more active in telling others about the gospel.
oh! and you should have seen jack and maddie yesterday!
they were handing out tracts to all of our closest neighbors and when jack came back in, he was beaming from ear to ear.
he said, "my heart just feels so happy, mom!"
they definitely  challenge and inspire me to be more bold in my faith.
>>>---->childlike faith<----<<<
if we tell them{the kids} that the Bible commands us to tell everyone about Jesus  they say, "well, let's tell them then!"
they don't ask questions.
not like me, anyway....
"what will they think of me?" or "will i offend them?"
guess what? the Bible says people will be offended, but God will take care of that.  
we plant and give the message, but He gives the increase.
so, yes, by all means, let's tell them!

this saturday, we went to a baby shower for my nephew and his beautiful wife. 
they are having a little boy in may, so we got to 'shower' them with gifts.
they are the cutest couple ever.  :)

so then on saturday night, we had a group of men at our church from Pacific Garden Mission.
they sang and gave their testimonies of how the Lord swooped down and picked them out of  lives of abuse, drugs, and addictions, and gave them new life and hope in Him through Jesus! 
they sang old gospel hymns{my fave], and brought a little chicago to our country church.
we're planning to take a trip down to chicago to tour the Old Lighthouse{the mission}.  
you can go have dinner there, tour the facilities and even hear an unshackled taping.
have you ever heard of unshackled? if not, you must check it out!

in other random news, we were reunited with kit cat after his weekend stay at the vet.
i never EVER thought i would say this, but.....i love this cat!
i was practically wiping tears leaving him.  uhhhh, when did that happen?
it all starts out so innocent and 'just for the kids', but soon you find yourself buying scratching posts, little bird and mouse toys, and chewy treats.  ay yiyi!
 i am usually totally against indoor animals{for us} because of my clean 'issues', 
but he is so sweet and has slowly crept into our hearts with his crazy motormouth and snuggly self.
the kids adore him, too, if you couldn't tell.  :)

my morning coffee's called survival, people.

while shopping at walmart{ACK!} the other day, i found myself being drug over to the lego section...again.
i tried and tried to fight it, but there's no stopping it now.
lego mania has officially begun.

another random fact about me:
i like to change things in my house a lot.  just little things, but change, nevertheless.
it makes me happy!
i  managed to squeeze in a quick curtain change in the bathroom on saturday.
light and wispy it is!  i picked up a pair of curtains from ikea about 8 months ago, so they were due to be hung.  
$4.99 makes my bathroom a whole lot brighter!
{not that you can tell from this grainy pic} 


last but not least, the biggest news of all..........
our hill of Calvary is growing!
i cannot wait to post more pics of this soon.
what's better than a free, fun, teachable project?



what's random in your life lately?
did you notice my new weird profile picture?
i want you to know that i really, really am glad to have you here!  :)
you make me smile, encourage me daily, and i love ya!

 i'm off to sample the pretzels that my girls just made.  literally...they just made them.
they even took {lots of} pictures all by themselves.  future bloggers?   i think so!
"train up a child in the way he should go..."  just kidding!
 btw, this whole sharing the kitchen thing is killing me!
and so is the constant obsession with baking breadish type foods.


blessings to you all.


Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

 bits of splendor monday

Saturday, March 24, 2012

:::it's a beautiful day:::

i'm sitting here at our computer desk inside our bedroom closet.
it houses the computer and all of it's weirdo cords, tons of my husbands books,
and most importantly, it is my secret dust stash.
the bi-fold doors hide all of this nicely.  :)

the house is totally quiet, and the birds are chirping outside my bedroom window.
i am feeling full.  like my cup runneth over full.
i'm savoring it, because as we mommas know, it doesn't happen everyday, even though it probably should.
my sweet husband drug my butt out of bed early this morning.
like, he literally had to pry me out of bed.  for real.
he and i  agreed that we need to get out and start running again.
last year, i found the couch to 5K running program online and completed it!  then i quit running.
i love running.  {so, why did i quit?  good question.}
it is like a happy pill for me, and i love it even more when my husband comes with me.
i may or may not have huffed and puffed up several hills, and been majorly out of breath, and had serious itching problems on the way home, but we did it.  and together!  why was i itching?
day one. DONE! yay! 
he promised, through all of my moaning and groaning this morning, that i would feel great and thank him later. he was right.
thanks, sweetie!

he and i  haven't been able to spend very much time together, alone, lately.
between work, kids, church and visitation, i have been pouting a little about not being able to see him.
one thing is for sure, though, if he can't be home, there's no other thing that i would rather have him doing than serving the Lord and encouraging others.
he is so good with people.  he has a servants heart and i admire that about him.  he loves deeply and people can see that, i think.
we just miss him a lot, too.

Shared Photo 

don't you love our professional running shoes?
i took this picture last year, and those tennies he's wearing are literally from 1996.  no joke.
mine are thrifted pumas and they hurt my toes.
we are quite the pair to behold!
he has since been given a pair of reebok zigs.
something we would never buy because they are so spendy, but yay! for free brand new shoes!
i am petitioning for a new pair.  got any suggestions?

while you think on the shoe question, i have a delicioso recipe to share with you!
can you just hear dora singing, "yum, yum, yum, DELICIOSO!"
you're welcome. i love having dora in my head, too.

>>>--->black bean/sweet potato chili<---<<<

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>you will need<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 small sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, sliced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped (optional)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 15 ounce can black beans
  • 1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes or tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne (or to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

i omitted the cayenne{WHOA! hot!} and added a bag of frozen corn, just for kicks!
i also doubled the recipe for my growing tribe.  :)


Sautee onions and garlic in olive oil for a minute or two, then add sweet potatoes, carrots and bell pepper until onions are soft, about 5-6 minutes.
Reduce heat to medium low, and add remaining ingredients, stirring to combine well.
Simmer, partially covered and stirring occasionally, for 20-25 minutes, until flavors have mingled and vegetables are cooked.
Makes 5 servings.
and then!!!  just to mess with my head{and gut}, because i'm trying to stay away from breads and such things, my daughter came up with the brilliant idea to make cornbread.  SWOON!   
i love cornbread.

i didn't want to hurt her feelings, so i let her make it.
and then i ate it.
THREE pieces. oy.
it was so, so, so good.
find the recipe here.
it's not healthy.  :)


as much as i try to fight to keep 'my space' in the kitchen, i know i need to let the girls cook and bake, too.
they are really good at it, and i need to let go of some of that control.
it's hard, though!
they are growing up...sigh.

i hope you make this, because you are going to love it!

oh, and isn't this great?

"It is of the LORD's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.
 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.
 The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him."
Lamentations 3:22-24

have a wonderful weekend, sweet friends!


linking up with Becky again!
feed my family friday 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

our {happy day} Easter garden

last week, a sweet little birdie invited me{and you} 
to join her in a mission to bring a little bit of happy into our everyday lives. 
 she assured us that it would bring a spring to our step, and a smile to our face.
she was right.
on Tuesday, with the family{including my husband...YAY!} in tow, 
we strapped on our seat belts and took a ride to a local nursery to fulfill 

let's stroll through the greenhouses, shall we?

but i think you'll enjoy it anyway. :)

this was my favorite!  i am so drawn to delicate leaves and draping vines.
but at $35.00, it stayed right there.  :)




you see, we were on another mission, too.
i read about a wonderful Easter tradition here that totally sparked my interest.
i knew that it would be super fun for the kids, and it ended up blessing me more than i could have imagined!
an Easter garden.
a visual parable of the event that forever changed our fate as lost and hopeless sinners.
a representation of the darkness that did not prevail, for the Light did come!
Jesus conquered death, paying our sin debt, that we might spend eternity with Him.
but we must choose to put our complete faith and trust in Him.

He loves us that much!


Easter is going to look a bit different at our house this year.
no bunnies, no candy, no eggs....
:::i mean, we always emphasized the True Meaning, but i think it was lacking because of these extras.:::
just Jesus, His brutal death, burial, and the
glorious empty tomb that followed, assuring us that indeed,
we want the true meaning of this day to permeate in our hearts
and help us to reflect on the Sacrifice that was given.
 the greatest gift of all...eternal life through Jesus.
no distractions.
just Jesus.

we are totally not against any of the above mentioned traditions.
we just did them last year!
 we just know that for us,  this is the right thing to do. :)

and so our journey began, to seek out the perfect rock for the tomb.
we headed over to the road that we used to live on because it has the best rocks, of course!
it is also a continual reminder to our family that God always has our best interests at heart.
on this road resides the farm that God blessed us with a couple of years ago,
but found necessary to take away.
52 glorious acres with a spring, an original 1800's log home, and the perfect valley setting.
our dream, but not His plan.


i prayed that God would reveal the best rock for this little project,
and in typical form, He answered.
we had lots to choose from.
but there was one perfect stone.


i think i'll let the pictures tell the rest of this story...







o, death, where is thy sting?

o, grave, where is thy victory?


so there you have it.
our Easter garden.
this was hands down, the most fun and meaningful project we have ever done!
on Palm Sunday, we'll line the path to the tomb with candles,
for Jesus, our Light, is coming!
we will begin the journey and light a torch each day leading up to Good Friday, when all went dark.
on Friday, we will wrap a small clothespin{Jesus} in white cloth,
and prepare the 'body' with scented essential oil for burial.
the stone will be rolled over the tomb where His body resides.


and then we wait!

"He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay."
Matthew 28:6 

thank you SO much to alicia and megan for their amazing inspiration in this project.
i love how this little 'ol blog adventure has brought so many wonderful and encouraging people into my life.
it is truly a blessing!

i hope you are having a blessed day!