Monday, August 19, 2013

Amazingness in a Bowl (A Recipe)

Our friends had a sweet baby girl last week, and I'm super jealous that my husband has gotten to see her twice already!  Since some of our girls aren't feeling 100% - so instead of sharing our germs, Bill brought over this dinner to them yesterday.

I've been craving something light and fresh (and different), and I found this recipe online.  Lindsey approved, and I thought it was delicious - not too heavy, just the right amount of sweetness, and filling enough to have as a meal.  It was the first time I had made this dressing so I'm thankful it turned out as tasty as it sounded.  I had it for dinner last night, and I plan on having it for lunch today:

adapted from
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons canned mandarin juice
2 teaspoons soy sauce
4 teaspoons sesame oil
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
(I triple this recipe.)
romaine lettuce, torn in pi├Ęces
4 cooked boneless skinless chicken breasts (shredded or chopped)
2 cups dry chow mein noodles
1/3 cup toasted slivered almonds or 1/3 cup chopped peanuts
(I like to use these honey roasted almonds - they're delicious.)
canned mandarin oranges (drained, reserve 2 teaspoons juice for the dressing)

Mix all dressing ingredients until well combined - refrigerate for a minimum of one hour.
In a large bowl combine the lettuce with chicken, dry noodles, and almonds/peanuts.
Mix to combine.
Pour on the dressing.
Toss to combine.
Top with  mandarine oranges.
Serve immediately.
(I store the lettuce, chicken, mandarin oranges, and dressing in separate containers
in the refrigerator to make assembling single servings easier.)

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

While We Wait

Maileen & Peter
There are lots of views regarding social media, smartphones, and the like.  There are also thoughtful debates on the technology & the medical advances we have available to us in our society - and how we use them.  Today, I'm a huge fan - of ALL of it.

Today - our family is in Virginia - but our family can also be found in:
North Carolina
New Jersey
The Philippines
I could go on and on and on.

Today - Maileen had brain surgery in Georgia.  Her husband and children are in Honduras.  Her family and friends are many, and wherever they are - they are supporting her tremendously.

Today - I am thankful that my cousin's husband in Honduras can tell us via Facebook that my cousin in Georgia is done with surgery and doing fine.

Today - I am thankful that I can wake up, check my phone, and read an encouraging message from Maileen asking me to rest well so we can face today with joy and praise.

Today - I am thankful for the ability to text those that I love and to ask them to please pray for my cousin, her surgery, and her recovery.

Today - I am thankful that I can check my laptop for updates from our family.

Today - I am thankful for all the talented doctors & staff who will be with Maileen and use all of their medical knowledge and technological abilities to help her rid her body of this nasty disease.

Maileen is the older sister Sarah & I never knew we needed, but God sure did.
She's the oldest granddaughter of the family, and we all look up to her.
She's an amazing wife, mother, and friend.
Those who know her (personally and even online) can attest to that.

She's loud, and she's joyful.
She's always ready with a smile or a laugh.
She's honest - sometimes brutally.
And, she's in love with Jesus.

Thanks so much for praying for her.
And for all of us.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Maileen's Journey - August 8

Dec 2012
So many thanks to all of you who have been faithfully praying for my cousin Maileen.
Would you mind praying with us again?

I am scheduled for brain surgery August 13th to remove the tumor on the lower left is active. I am praying for shrinking or diminished tumor(s) and I would rather not go through surgery, to be honest. Our God hears our prayers. If I go through the surgery, pray for Dr.V and his surgical team (rest, clear minds, wise decisions, blessed skills as individuals and as a team) and for me (healing and healing well). Due to not having visas for the children, please pray with me for my wonderful husband Peter as he takes care of Marissa and our foster son 'Baby J' (about 3 months old) ---strength, help, love and emotional stability and rest. Thank you for your prayers...we are deeply moved by your involvement in our lives...may our Lord bless you and grant you deep joys and moving peace.

Looks like my body (neck down) is one year cancer clear to the month...Praise God...HE Is FAITHFUL...and Generously Full of to get my head tumor clear too...Praying it will be...Thanks for praying with us these coming months...traveling...praying for Peter and our kids, doctors' appts.  Friday, Monday night (MRI) maybe surgery Tuesday morning...still praying not needing's a lot to ask for shrunken tumors...or even gone...but if surgery than praying for that operation's nice to have God's angels helping us to do God's will.
Sol   Maileen   Joel   Lucy
Dec 2012
Maileen is now stateside awaiting possible surgery this coming Tuesday.  Thank you for praying for Maileen, for Peter who is home in Honduras with Marissa and Baby J, for my uncle and aunt (Sol & Lucy if you're a detailed person like I am), and for the rest of our family.
We are all thankful for you.
Maileen   Marissa   Peter
Dec 2012

Thursday, August 1, 2013

My Other Mom

I have mentioned before that I'm surrounded by awesome women - it's amazing.

One of these ladies has a birthday today, and we wish we were there to celebrate with her.  Judy is Bill's mom, my other mom, and the girls' NeNe.
She is gorgeous inside and out, and I'm not just saying that.  How does one get more and more beautiful as she gets older?  I don't know, but she does a great job of it.

To say that I'm intimidated by her awesomeness is not even the half of it.  The first time Bill invited me over to their house for dinner, I was a nervous wreck.  I will never forget walking into their living room and seeing her sitting on the couch - beautiful (as always) and as sweet as can be.

I was (and am) a huge fan of hers (and her son - clearly).  She's been nothing but supportive as
Bill & I became friends, dated, got married, and started our family.  She's been involved in our girls' lives from the moment they were born - either by supporting us in the delivery room or watching little ones while we went to the hospital.  The girls love her like crazy and cherish the time
they get to spend with her.
I'm crazy blessed that all of our parents get along - I know that's a rarity these days.  It might even be slightly weird - but it's true.  Not only do they get along, but they really love (and like!) each other.  It makes my heart full when we're all together.
Judy's an incredible cook and as crafty as they come.  Not only that, she has a heart of gold - and the love flows for Tommy/PaPa, her children, and all of her grandchildren.  If we love you, then Judy loves you.  If you've had the pleasure of ever meeting her in person - I know that you've felt welcomed & loved right from the start.
  Happy Birthday - we love you!

Dear Judy,
Thank you for being awesome.
Thank you for loving God and loving us.
Thank you for raising a son who is an amazing friend & husband and a fantastic father to four girls.
Thank you for your generosity.
Thank you for coming to visit us when our schedule doesn't allow us to visit you & PaPa more.
Thank you for cooking and baking for us without complaint - everything is always amazing!
Thank you for loving me all the time.
I know where your son gets his patient heart.
I love you & I hope you have a fantastic birthday - you certainly deserve it.
Love you forever - your brown daughter,

*For more on how much I love you: one, two, three, and four.*