Monday, May 27, 2013

Thank You

Photo Source
Our debt to the heroic men and valiant women in the service of our country can never be repaid.  They have earned our undying gratitude.  American will never forget their sacrifices.
President Harry S. Truman

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Only One Doesn't Like It

My friend gave me this recipe a few years ago (Thanks, Lisa!).  I always have to ask her to send it to me when I want to make it because I can't seem to remember where I "saved" it.
Now I'll know where to find it.

Isabella is not a fan of this meal, but she pushed through last night and managed to
eat her dinner so she could have her dessert.  Good girl.

One out of six sounds like good odds to me - so this recipe's a keeper for our family:

Monday, May 13, 2013

Miss Mommy*

November 2010
December 2012
My mom is amazing.
Proof: here and here.
Not only that, Bill's mom is fantastic as well.
I have awesome mentors.

In addition to savvy advisers, God has surrounded me with other moms to walk with on this journey.  Some have older children, others are in the same boat as me, and still others have recently boarded this roller coaster ride known as motherhood.

Bill is ridiculously good in his role as husband, father, and best friend - however he has no idea what it's like to be a mom.  I don't fault him for that.

However, that void is filled with friends who I can reach out to in a heartbeat who have the right
words, hugs, smiles, tears, prayers,
or a combination of all of the above to help me realize:
I'm not in this alone.

Their reassurance, encouragement, empathy, and love keep me going when I'm sometimes at my wit's end.  They are amazing and beautiful inside and out, and I'm thankful for each and every one.

Happy Mother's Day to all the Miss Mommies*.
You are a gift to your children.
You are a gift to me.

Dear Evangeline,
You have recently decided to call me Miss Mommy.  Perhaps you hear the children I take care of call me Miss Grace?  At any rate, it's kind of cute and I'm kind of a fan - unless you make it a permanent thing. Don't do that - it would make me sad.
Love you forever, 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

To My Girls

May 2013
So a friend and I were having a conversation on Facebook.  You will probably have one of these one day - that along with a whole array of social media at your fingertips.  That makes my head spin slightly, but we'll come to that road when we get to it.

You need to know how I feel about you - all the time, but that might get lost in the hustle and bustle of our everyday.  I hope that you do know how I feel, though - how much your dad and I love you - more importantly, how much God loves you.

That is what is so amazing about the Gospel. Amazing! That is what I want my focus to be - that is what I want our girls to learn from us. It seems more often than not, that the church places a huge amount of emphasis on purity in the sexual area. I want the girls to know that God calls us to be pure in all aspects of our lives - physically, mentally, spiritually. Those who know me know how much I enjoy my husband. I want our girls to recognize that. I don't want them to idolize sex (our culture does a great job of that on its own). At the same time, I don't want them to be terrified of it. I want them to love their husband(s) as much if not more than their mom loves their dad (and vice versa). As a mother of these sweet, precious girls - I'm fighting fiercely for their self-confidence & their self-esteem. I want them to celebrate how God made them inside and out - how amazing and wonderful that there is no one else that is like them. There never has been, and there never will be. They don't have to measure up to that which our culture demands. God thinks they're fantastic just the way they are. I want them to know that nothing they ever do (or don't do) will change how much their God loves them - the same goes with me and their dad. We will fail them in that area because we are imperfect, but God never will. I want them to embrace that their self-worth is not wrapped up in a list of dos and don'ts. As a lover of lists myself, I can so easily get caught up in what I'm "supposed" to be doing and not doing. However, I want our focus to be the amazing love of Jesus Christ and showing that love to others. (...Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’... -Matthew 22:37-39)

I love you so very much - really, it's a ridiculous amount.  You might not think that when I'm mad or upset or when I start cleaning like crazy because the house is a mess, but I do.

I will love you forever - no matter what.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

It's "Make for Other People" Kind of Good

I am not a fantastic cook at all.  In fact, I don't know what Bill and I ate during the early years of our marriage.  Seriously - did I ever cook in the kitchen of our first apartment?  (Possibly a handful of times.)  I suppose I've grown up just a little bit because I do like to cook for our family now.

This chicken is amazing times 49.8 - probably more than that.  Everyone in our family loves it - every. single. one. - and that's an amazing thing with eaters that are sometimes picky.

I think The Pioneer Woman is phenomenal, and I have several of her recipes in my cooking repertoire - if you will.  This one is from one her friends, and it's easy AND scrumptious.  It's one of our favorite things to have for dinner, and it's one of our go-to entrees when we bring meals to people.

Herb Roasted Whole Chicken
(adapted from The Pioneer Woman's recipe)
3-4lb whole chicken
something to stuff inside the chicken
(I typically use a granny smith apple, an onion, garlic, and a lemon - all coarsely chopped.)
2-3 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1-2 tablespoons of your choice of herbs
(I use whatever we have on hand - but sage, rosemary, and thyme are amazing.)
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
Place herbs into a bowl.
Add the salt, pepper, and oil - and mix well.
Stuff the aromatics (apple, onion, etc.) into the chicken.
Pat the whole chicken dry with a clean cloth or paper towel
to help form a nice crust on your chicken.
Rub the chicken down with your herb mixture.
Bake at 450 for an hour or until the chicken is golden brown and has developed a crust.

Carve and enjoy the amazingness you just created.
(This is great served with a salad or a vegetable dish & rolls or cornbread.)
The leftovers are equally scrumptious.
As a bonus to your momma's heart (if your'e a momma) - your little might exclaim,
as she eats her dinner like our Evangeline did tonight.