Saturday, January 30, 2010

Good News!

I was so happy to receive some good news yesterday. My mom had surgery a week ago to remove a cyst on her kidney. It was cancerous, so they took out part of her kidney to test it. Thank the Lord Almighty – the cancer was ONLY in the cyst, so she is cancer-free now. We are so happy, and I am so thankful!

Love you, Mom!

Encouragement from a Four Year Old

Life has been pretty discouraging lately. Each day is definitely carrying "enough trouble of its own" as the Bible puts it. However, yesterday morning, the Lord blessed me through my four year old son. Shortly after I woke up, he greeted me and said (with water-slicked hair), "I goed potty, tried to make my bed, got dressed, and did my hair and teeth". I smiled a big smile and gave him a hug and kiss. After he ate his breakfast, he asked, "What's my morning chore?" while I was still struggling to get the other kids upstairs to get their morning routines done. I told my four year old he could get the vacuum out and start vacuuming the Family Room for me. His response... "Okay!", and he went right to the closet to get out the vacuum. After he did his share of vacuuming, he got out his math and writing and did them both – without complaint. Truly, he blessed me tremendously. He did everything well and with a good attitude. It was one less thing I had to worry about! I appreciated this blessing from the Lord!

When you’re down and out, keep your eyes open. You may just get encouragement from a four year old. :-)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

19 Weeks and Counting


I am now 19 weeks pregnant. I can’t believe it! Want to guess if it is a boy or a girl? We have never found out the gender, but we are considering doing it this time (which would happen soon!) – just for something different and to add a little excitement to our lives right now. I’ll keep you posted.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Like Mother, Like Daughter

IMG_4143 Over the past handful of months, my daughter has really started to enjoy drinking tea with me. She has collected a handful of various tea cups already through multiple venues. It is a joy for me to share tea time with her, drinking our tea and spending time together.

Just today, I was thinking about how it is such a blessing to me when my children follow in my footsteps – when they want to be with me, show interest in the things I like, and exhibit the traits I am attempting to train in them. I realized that our Father in heaven appreciates the same thing. It blesses Him for us to want to be with Him, to show interest in the things He likes, and to exhibit the traits He is attempting to train in us.

Parenthood is definitely one of the hardest things I have ever “done”. I am thankful that God teaches us about Himself through it. My prayer is that I will bless my Father’s heart just as my children bless mine.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Chili with Chicken and Beans

Here's what you've all been waiting for... the chicken chili recipe that goes with the cornbread!!

Chili with Chicken and Beans

courtesy of Martha Stewart!

Serves 6
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 teaspoons whole cumin seed
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped (about 3 cups) (I used one large)
  • 5 garlic cloves, roughly chopped (I used about 3 cloves)
  • 1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 boneless and skinless chicken breasts (about 1 3/4 pounds), cut into 1-inch cubes (I used 1 large, whole, boneless, skinless chicken breast)
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • One 28-ounce can chopped tomatoes with their juice
  • One 4-ounce can green chilies, finely chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups homemade or low-sodium canned chicken stock, skimmed of fat
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 4 cups canned kidney beans, drained and rinsed (I used half and added 1.5 to 2 cups cooked rice)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 ounces (1/4 cup) low-fat sour cream, for garnish (optional)
  • Fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish (optional)


1. In a large, heavy-bottom pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil and cumin seeds over medium heat until the cumin is lightly toasted and aromatic, about 1 minute. Add onion, garlic, and bell pepper, and reduce heat to medium-low; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft and lightly golden, about 10 minutes.
2. Raise heat to medium, and add the chicken, chili powder, oregano, and bay leaf to pot. Cook, stirring frequently, until chicken is seared on the outside and coated thoroughly with spices, about 10 minutes. Add tomatoes and green chiles, and stir to combine. Cook 5 minutes. Add stock, salt, and beans; season with black pepper, and stir to combine.
3. Cover; simmer. Stir contents, then replace lid to partially cover pot. Reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until chili is thickened and chicken is tender, stirring occasionally, about 1 1/2 hours.
4. Divide chili among six bowls; garnish with sour cream and cilantro leaves, if desired. Serve immediately.

Friday, January 15, 2010


Lately, I have really been motivated to get my house spic-and-span. I am always trying to refine, simplify, and make my house look better. It is a constant challenge, but I try my best. With this pregnancy, I had a rough first trimester and had a big lack of motivation! I am now in my second trimester, feeling a *little* better, and am anxious to get things done! I have been writing things down on my "To Do" list, hoping to check off something monumental each day or so and see progress.

shinny sink

Yesterday I decided to "shine my sink" as Fly Lady would put it. I did this per Fly Lady's instructions A LONG TIME AGO and decided it was time to do it again. I didn't remember her exact instructions, but remembered the gist of it. I put the stoppers in both sides of the sink. Then I put a thin layer of bleach in each side and filled them to the brim with hot water. I let the sinks soak for 15 minutes before wiping them down completely. While they were soaking, I cleared off the counter and the window sill above the sink. I used the bleach water to clear counterclean those surfaces, too. When all was said and done, YES! my sink was so much cleaner, and I felt so good! My sink was clean. My counter and sill were clean and fairly bare. It was like a breath of fresh air!

A while later, my daughter and I tackled her room - another item on my list! We filled a laundry basket about half full with all of the out-of-place items that were under her bed and on her dresser and other surfaces. I told her we would get rid of as many little things as we could and then organize the rest. This was not an easy task! You know, especially if you have girls, that they can collect a lot of little things! Of course, they get attached to some of these things too! However, I will say that my daughter was verybasket of cast aways good at saying, "Yes, let's throw that out" and even wanted to show Daddy her plastic grocery bag with her castaways. After much ado, my daughter's room looked much better, and now I just have to see how long it takes before it goes astray again. :-)

I hope this encourages you to make a list of some things you are really itching to finish and check some of them off. It does make you feel so good!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Bit by Bit

I am taking this quote from one of my favorite blogs, Femina . I hope it helps you if you are in need.

The great thing with unhappy times is to take them bit by bit, hour by hour, like an illness. It is seldom the present, the exact present, that is unbearable.

Remember one is given strength to bear what happens to one, but not the 100 and 1 different things that might happen.

C.S. Lewis, Letter to An American Lady

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Golden Sweet Cornbread

Tonight I made cornbread to go along with our chili. I have searched high and low for a good cornbread recipe. Most of the recipes I have tried are usually very dry. This one is moist, yet still somewhat crumbly, and sweet. Everyone loved it, and I'm sure you will too! Give it a try! Maybe I will post the chicken chili recipe soon, too. If you leave a comment with interest in it, I might get to it sooner. ;-)

Golden Sweet Cornbread

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
2/3 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 egg
1 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Spray or lightly grease a 9 inch round cake pan.
In a large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt and baking powder. Stir in egg, milk and vegetable oil until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.
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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Beauty Sleep

Recently my daughter REALLY needed a nap. She was not feeling good and had that tired, wound-up energy. Of course, she is one of the masters at fighting sleep! Knowing that, I knew it would take a bit to relax her. I told her to go up to my bedroom and just lie down for 15 minutes with my sleep mask on. I would set the alarm and get her when it went off. Well, sure enough, 15 minutes later, my daughter was not responding to the alarm downstairs, so I thought I would go check on her. There I found her, happily asleep, curled up, wearing my new "Beauty Sleep" sleep mask that I had gotten for Christmas. It was so cute and quite the sight! It reminded me of how much we really need our "Beauty Sleep" - physically, yes, but also spiritually. We can struggle, strive, and worry about the daily cares and worries of life, but God does not desire this for us. It does not produce any beauty in our spirits. I see it in my own life constantly and am continually working on resting in Him. It is easy for me to worry and fret rather than rest easily in God. I guess I just need to put my "Beauty Sleep" mask on! ~Smile~

This has been one of my favorite verses over the years...

Isaiah 30:15 - "In returning and rest you shall be saved; In quietness and confidence shall be your strength."

May you be granted some "Beauty Sleep" in the Lord! May you rest in Him and have quietness in your soul!