Tuesday, January 31, 2012

We Heart Macaroni And Cheese

I've been on the prowl for a macaroni and cheese recipe for awhile now.
Does that make me sound cool and spy-like?

Random side story:
One of my Christmas presents from my parents was a pair of Isotoner gloves because I'm a genius
and lost one of them last winter.
I had them on in the van while I was taking the girls to the bus stop one morning.
I handed Gianna something, and she said, 
Oh, momma!  You have spy gloves on!  You make me nervous!
You make us laugh all the time.  Your smooth dance moves and made-up songs make it hard to

Monday, January 23, 2012

To My Parents

Espy and Gianna are leaving that mostly everything we do is adorable stage and becoming little people - with their own distinct personalities.  I often find myself drowning in that world of diapers and potty training and cooking and cleaning - basically just making sure everyone's fed and groomed.  No worries - that's still going on, but Espy and Gianna are throwing something new into the mix.

Now that we have an almost eight-year old and a five-year old, Bill and I are suddenly in a whole

Friday, January 20, 2012

The Juicy Details

Photo Source
Our juicer is an ikon Multi-Speed Juice Fountain from Breville.
Love it.

There are lots of parts to clean, but it's manageable if you clean it right away.  Because I'm slightly obsessive, I wash it right after Bill juices. 

Our breakfast varies depending on what produce we have on hand.
This morning, Bill used:

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Juice Juice Everywhere

Joe Cross
There's never a lack of entertainment in our house because:

1.  We have four children under the age of seven.
2.  We have two dogs.
3.  Bill lives here.
4.  Our friends are funny.
5. We have Netflix.

Should you ever come to our home and find Bill relaxing,

Monday, January 16, 2012

Make This Tonight

Photo by: Joyful Momma
I found this recipe on Pinterest and couldn't wait to make it.
Our oldest is a picky eater - always has been.  
As soon as I put the dish on the table, Espy scrunched up her nose and was about to utter her infamous I don't like it before I gave her the don't even think about it face.

We loved it, and it's extremely rare that all six of us enjoy the same meal so a keeper it is.
Here is the recipe courtesy of Joyful Momma if you want to try it out:

Chicken Enchiladas with Green Chili Sour Cream Sauce
10 soft taco shells
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup sour cream
1 (4 oz) can diced green chilli

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and grease a 9x13 pan.
Mix chicken and 1 cup cheese.
Roll up in tortillas and place in pan.
In a sauce pan - melt butter, stir in flour and cook 1 minute.
Add broth and whisk until smooth.
Heat over medium heat until thick and bubbly.
Stir in sour cream and chilies.
Do not bring to boil, you don't want curdled sour cream.
Pour over enchiladas and top with remaining cheese.
Bake 22 min and then under high broil for 3 minutes to brown the cheese.

Tips and Suggestions
* add a can of drained Rotel Tomatoes to the chicken mixture
* add a cup of salsa to the chicken mixture
* add cumin and a 4 oz can of diced jalapenos to the chicken mixture
* add pinto beans or black beans to the chicken mixture

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Light

IMG_Holy Land_0170
Photo by: Jelle Drok
I've been surrounded by great friends, and it's been awesome.

They're fantastic because they've:
brought coffees when sleep and sanity were dissipating
made sure my mind hasn't been lost in the sea of little sicknesses
given the girls rides home when getting out of the house was nearly impossible
checked to make sure all of the girls have survived a mom who's still learning patience

The list goes on and on,
and I'm humbled.

I've been equally impressed with the honest conversations we've been having lately,
 real thoughts on:
unexpected jealousies
 difficulties in motherhood
real, true relationships vs the illusion of friendship
huge life changes
when the truth in love hurts
God moments
life in marriage
taking emotional risks, and how that plays out uniquely in each of our lives

I'm just now seeing the light at the end of this tunnel of funkiness that I've 
created for myself.  Little sleep along with my own depravity provide a great opportunity for self-reflection.  We're all a messed up bunch trying to love each other the way that He loves us, and I'm happy to be a part of it.  My hope is to reciprocate the friendship these girls have shown me the last couple of weeks.  My desire is that this love will also extend beyond my own comfort zone to those who need it the most.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Miss Attitude

Here comes rain again
Photo by: Junichiro Aoyama
Oh hey there, Sassy!
How are you doing?

Oh, you know - just lacking in sleep and patience as of late.

It's amazing how quickly my personality changes when things don't go my way,
especially when:
one child is sick for several, long days
another child gets sick after that
I haven't been out of the house for what seems like an eternity
I haven't been to the gym in even longer 
things have been busy, and I haven't had any time with my favorite
my attitude and heart are ridiculous, and it makes me even more grumpy
said grumpiness makes me extra mean to said favorite

Again, my selfishness amazes me.

Despite how awful I've been lately, I still have:
a husband who continually walks by my side
children who want to play with me and freely share their love and hugs
friends who check up on me and want to spend time together
a God who loves me unconditionally and perfectly

Get it together!
Stop obsessing with self.
Turn this focus outward.
Love other people.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Maileen's Journey - January 5

Thanksgiving 2011
Sweet friends!  Thank you for faithfully praying for my cousin Maileen.
I know it's been awhile since our last update, but He still hears those prayers!
On Christmas morning I looked into the mirror, and I had seedling eyebrow hair growing in. New Year's Day, I was trying to remove my eyeliner and discovered
what I was trying to remove were new eyelashes.

Today, Jan 5th, I looked at my blood results.  Not only was all normal, but my tumor markers (which need to be between 0-31.00) were at 14.72 - much lower then a month ago (Dec 1st at 19.24).  Without the main chemo drug in my system (Maileen is not on chemo at the moment) 
and keeping my body's terrain healthy by what I eat and do, my tumor markers have
continued to stay low in a very good way.

On Dec 28th Marissa also got her one month extension even after being delayed two times since we applied for the extension...and that day God let it snow...so we went sledding that day...it's been an encouraging start to the year.

Praying all of you have had encouraging moments to ending 2011 and starting 2012.

God is very good.  He hears the prayers of those who love and claim Him to be Lord.  This journey constantly reminds me of how God has created us to pray for one another, to support and encourage one another and to help us draw closer to Him and build our faith...We are all so very grateful for each of you...I am praying my liver clears up by my next CTs at the end of the month.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

These Are Not New Year's Resolutions

Photo Source
I don't make New Year's Resolutions.
I'm not a huge fan of setting goals, commitments, objectives,
or anything like that when January 1st rolls around
(which is weird because I'm sometimes OCD).

Call me a realist (or maybe even a pessimist?),
but when it come to NYRs - I refuse.
Thanks, but no thanks.

I think part of it might be my Type A personality
(a temperament marked by excessive competitiveness and ambition, an obsession with accomplishing tasks quickly, little time for self-reflection, and a strong need to control situations).

By the way, you wouldn't think I was such a Type A if you saw our house right now -
but that's a subject for another time.

I know myself too well.  At the hint of failure, I'm done.
If I miss one step of the process, I'm out.
If I even sniff doubt in the air, I'm through.
If things don't happen just so in this specified amount of time,
it's obvious that it's not going to get done so why even bother?

It really is a terrible way to view things, isn't it?
I continually pray that He can use my personality for Him,
and that I don't use it as a device to torture my friends and family.

Despite my desire not to voice big plans for 2012,
I still have thoughts on what this year could hold: 

discovering new recipes
bettering my mind
blogging consistently 
getting in shape 
strengthening my relationship with God 
becoming the person (neighbor, wife, mother, friend) that He wants me to be 

We'll see how these intentions pan out.  Until then - thank goodness for a God who still loves me when I fail miserably at my non-resolutions, and for the grace and strength He gives me to reach some of those pseudo-goals.

Here's to anticipating what this New Year holds for all of us!