Tuesday, March 27, 2012

{ March- 9 months}

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{ stuck on repeat}

How is it the moment I get the mounds of laundry Folded and put away there are four more mounds to do? I'm still trying to figure that one out.

If you sometimes, like me, feel like you ARE the washing machine in an endless cycle of clean, rinse, spin and repeat, you can understand my plight. Day in and day out, it sometimes can begin to feel like that movie GROUNDHOG DAY. {great movie by the way}. Getting in a routine is a good thing, and I like it, except when that routine has some bad things in it.
Lately I've found my patience level to be low. Every small thing upsetting me...tracked in mud, a spill on the floor, fighting over a toy, a dirty floor after I JUST SWEPT!!! I know when the kids are grown these will probably be things that I miss, but it's hard to see that in those moments.

I've been trying to teach myslef to be more dilligent in prayer each day. It's something I've never been good at...and as a youth I never liked praying in a large group, feeling like I was stumbling over my words, worried too much about sounding right to everyone else, but God. I've gotten over those things, and am able to pray easily in a large group as I don't worry about how I am praying but that I am concentrated on the Lord as I am speaking to him..but I still need to be more dillegence in each day coming before him throughout the day.

Even more, I've been understanding more the importance of prayer. How VITAL it is to my relationship with him. Been meditating on Hebrews 5:7, and seeing how important it was for JESUS to pray to God, to thier relationship. I'm taking on the challange to each morning after reading His word to spend a solid half hour in prayer. Praying scripture, praying for things I want to change in my heart, life, family, church, neighborhood and world. { I'm using THIS as a starting point}...and my hope is that I will develop good habits in prayer and that my prayer life would flourish as I talk with the Lord, praise him, seek wisdom and understanding.

And through prayer I hope that it will trickle down to dealing with life each day. The following I'm sure describes a day we have all had:

"Imagine yourself in your kitchen trying to make dinner for a group of little kids who are tired and should have eaten a half hour ago. Imagine that things are going wrong beyond that — maybe you are out of something you assumed you had, children are fussing with one another, and maybe your littlest is still at the age where they come stand on your feet and pull on your pant leg. Bonus points if you are wearing maternity pants and this little person is actually capable of pulling your pants down. You are hot, you are tired, and you are sick of it.

This is no time for a gospel presentation. There isn’t time. There isn’t anyone to lead the discussion around the felt board, because you are still scrambling to figure out dinner. This isn’t a time for a gospel presentation because it is a time for gospel application. This is a time to take the grace that God has extended to you, and feed your children with it. Apply what you believe about God’s mercy and kindness and long suffering towards us, and pour it out to them — in a form they can believe in. Unrest like this is just like a baby crying for a bottle — only what they need is spiritual milk. They need you to feed them, not with a lecture, but with application."-{Rachel Jankovic , Motherhood is Application}

I so often find myslef feeling defeated. The boys have worn me down to my core, and I just don't have the energy to muster up trying to help them see the gospel and God's grace in that moment...but like Rachel says, it is the PERFECT time to pull up my boot straps, get over myself and apply what God has graciously shown me, what he has taught me over the years.
I like how she puts it " ...feed them, not with a lecture, but with application."

And cue in prayer. By praying for those oppurtunities and wisdom to use those times to apply what God has taught me to teach my boys I hope I can better take advantage of those moments.
So pray for me and I will pray for you all, my sweet blog friends {and real life friends} as we work through life here on earth, doing the best we can to love and serve our Savior.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Happy St. Patty's

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St. Pattys meal.

We had planned a St. Patricks Day Party on Friday night, since Justin was headed east with some other guys from church to help clean up from the tornado's that went through here a few weeks ago.
However, since our house is currently undergoing some repairs, our handyman was not done painting by Friday afternoon, so we postponed the party to Sunday.
And it was great. Below is the party aftermath.
St pats

the menu:
soft pretzels with beer cheese dip { made by my friend Lindsey}
baked kielbasa and kraut {made by me, recipe below}
colcannon {made by my friend Allison. Recipe HERE}
Irish soda bread { also made by Allison. Recipe HERE }
Guinness cake {made by me, recipe below}

It was a great meal, all of the food was YUM...and all thoroughly enjoyed.

the baked kielbasa was SO easy, here is the recipe.

Baked Kielbasa and Kraut

2 lbs. kielbasa
2 lbs. sour kraut
one large onion finely sliced
1/8 c. dijon
1/4 teas. allspice.
3/4 cup chicken broth

preheat oven 350.

cut kielbasa into 1/2 inch rounds. Rinse sauerkraut and drain. Cook kielbasa in large heavy skillet over medium heat. mix and cook until sausage is lightly browned. {I did mine in two batches to cook more thoroughly. transfer to plate covered with paper towels.
In same skillet, sauté onion and then stir in sauerkraut , broth, mustard, and allspice. Then add your kielbasa.
Transfer it all to a backing dish and lightly cover with foil.
Cook at 350 for about 20-25 minutes.
Let sit 5 mins. before serving.


Guinness cake

Guiness Cake
recipe: {via smitten kitchen}

This recipe was originally intended to make a layer cake of 3 8-inch rounds. Upon many reviewers’ suggestions, I halved it and it fit perfectly in a bundt pan. The halved amount is below, and the icing replaced with a simple ganache.

1 cup stout (such as Guinness)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-process)
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream
6 ounces good semisweet chocolate chips
6 tablespoons heavy cream
3/4 teaspoon instant coffee granules

Cake prep:
Preheat oven to 350�F. Butter or spray a bundt pan well; make sure you get in all of the nooks and crannies. (Some people even go so far as to brush the inside of their bundt pans with melted butter–you cannot be too careful!). Bring 1 cup stout and 1 cup butter to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.

Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and 3/4 teaspoon salt in large bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat eggs and sour cream in another large bowl to blend. Add stout-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and beat just to combine. Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed. Using rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Transfer cake to rack; cool completely in the pan, then turn cake out onto rack for drizzling ganache.*

Ganache:
For the ganache, melt the chocolate, heavy cream, and coffee in the top of a double boiler over simmering water until smooth and warm, stirring occasionally. Drizzle over the top of cooled cake.

Definitely doing a St. Patty's feast again next year. Justin has requested Shepard's pie already!

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

{my father-in-law}

Grandpas office
{November 2011. Justin, our boys, and my Father-in-law, John}

Today my Father-in-law begins his first round {of 12} of Chemo.
He was diagnosed with Stage three cancer February 15, 2012. He recently started a blog to keep people updated as well as reflecting on this trial...and other things in life.
I've known Justin's family since August of 2007. I will never forget the first time meeting them, and that I was forced to go against my will {even as my parents tried to coax me with the mention that they had TWO sons my age} but had a wonderful time...and I think at least my parents and I knew this was the beginning of something good. And it was.



If you get a chance, check out his blog HERE.
He is a wise man, who loves the LORD and I am thankful to know him.

in the meantime, here is a snippet:

"Every human being is afflicted with a far more dread disease than cancer. All of us are sinners by nature and thus by practice. We all, because of sin, justly deserve the eternal wrath of God against us. Most people in the world do not feel that they are in any real danger. They do not see themselves as particularly sinful and most certainly do not fear God's anger against them. The good news about Jesus is only good news to those who know that they are afflicted with the disease, sin and God's just wrath against us for our sins, which Jesus came to heal."