Saturday, February 27, 2010

Snow Day!

Here in the Northeast we just got a whole bunch of snow dumped on us.  Lots of snow equals no school for the kiddos!  Being stuck at home in the middle of winter can get a bit boring, but NOT on a snow day!!!!  Before the kids woke up I was already planning our morning so we could get outside and play as soon as possible.  I could hardly wait to point out the white world outside our window.  I just love seeing their reactions when they get their first glimpse of the winter wonderland.  Their childlike wonder is precious!  I can still hear Kyle's cute little 4 year old boy voice saying "Wow, mom, we got a bunch of snow!" 

After breakfast and some clean-up around the house, we were able to make it outside shortly before 10 a.m.  Of course, I put them right to work... So glad my kids are finally getting useful for something {wink}.

But don't worry, we still had plenty of time to go sledding with the neighbors. 

The snow was up to their knees so getting back up the hill was no easy task!

Caleb has been sledding before with just our family and loved it, 
however, with 7 additional neighborhood kids participating 
he was just a little too intimidated 
so he watched from his perch on the bench.
Yes, I was there too, but I didn't do any sledding. 
Between the fact that though there were 10 kids there were only 4 sleds, 
and my complete lack of snowgear, 
it just didn't make it possible for me to sled, 
but you can bet I've been sledding with my kids already this season.
This picture was an oops, but I had to post it anyway.  
Without any kind of photo editing, her eyes really are this beautiful!

Coloring With The Kids Just Got A Lot More Fun!

I love to sit down and color with my kids.  It's one of those great activities that keep the kids happy, fairly quiet, and entertained. Plus, it gives me a bit of a break since I'm not having to chase them all over my house or worry about picking up a huge mess after we are done. Not to mention the fact that coloring with my little ones is just special.  And I certainly can't beat the conversation!  I don't know if there is much funnier in life than conversation with a 5 year old and a 4 year old, with a 19 month old nodding his head here and there for emphasis...Just writing about it makes me smile!

Up until now I have colored with them in one of their kids coloring books, but recently I received an e-mail newsletter that advertised free coloring pages for mom.  Curious, I followed the link and was very pleased with what I found: many beautiful adult geared coloring pages of things such as flowers, birds, scenery, and more. 

Megan and I got a chance to color yesterday afternoon while the boys were napping.  Megan was just as tickled as could be to have me sit down with her, and she was just as proud of the things that I colored as she was of her own. Of course she insisted they all get hung on the fridge.  *smile*  My 'Miss Megs' is just the sweetest little girl ever!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

God IS in Control-->Let Him be!

Lately I've spent a lot of time thinking about how good habits can quickly begin to consume our thoughts and pull our trust away from our heavenly father.

As a liver transplant recipient I take medications that purposely lower my immune system in order to keep my body from attacking this 'foreign object' that I cannot live without.   Because of my lower immune system, viruses and bacteria are a real threat.  I was given a liver transplant handbook with all these things that I need to do to avoid getting sick:  don't garden for the first year, don't drink water unless it is treated with chlorine, avoid large crowds, don't be around people who are sick, disinfect shopping carts, always carry hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes, wash your hands 50 thousand times a day, etc, etc, etc...So a few months after my transplant I go to the grocery store and have the sinking realization halfway through my trip that I forgot to disinfect my shopping cart.  Of course everyone knows that shopping carts are one of the most germy things you can possibly touch.  Oh now I've done it, I thought, I'm probably going to contract some horrible illness like the common cold and I'll be dead in a week because I didn't do what I was supposed to do...  I had been trusting in myself for my life and health rather than trusting in God.  My fears which drive my actions and reactions in this area are something I am working through.  Yes, the statistics that the doctors gave for survival after transplant are scary to think about, but I have to remember that my God is in control of my life, not me and my sanitizing or some dooming statistic.

 The verse in Matthew 6 comes to mind about not being anxious for how is worry going to even add a second to our lives. I think we are all guilty sometimes of controlling things out of an anxious heart like dieting, exercise, cleanliness (ie. disinfecting and killing germs)  as if our life and health depends upon everything we do. These things are all good things, but in the end, the Lord is in control. He has a marvelous plan for us, and He knows what illnesses we will experience, and when we will be born and when we will die. Yes, It is important to take care of our 'temple' by eating healthy, staying fit and having good hygiene, but not to the extent that we are trusting in these things for our health and life instead of God.  Our lives our in his hands!  Praise God, for only he is worthy to have such control!

Colossians 1:17b In Him all things consist.

Romans 11:36 For from him and through him and to him are all things!  To him be the glory forever! Amen.

Psalm 139:13-18a  For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place.  When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body.  All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.  How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!  How vast is the some of them, they would outnumber the grains of the sand. 

Jeremiah 29:11  For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give  you hope and a future.

Proverbs 19:21  Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails.

Matthew 6:27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

Psalm 20:7 Some trust in chariots and some in horses,  but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.

Proverbs 3:5-6  Trust in the LORD with all your heart  and lean not on your own understanding;  in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Waste Not, Want Not--> Using Leftovers

Cooking for my family is something I enjoy. . . mostly.  I'm not an adventurous cook.  I tend to make the same trusted meals using the same favorite recipes, many of which have been passed down from my own mom.   My dilemma comes with the leftovers.  Though my husband is a hard-worker and good provider, we are still on a pretty tight budget and I don't feel we have the kind of money that allows us to just throw away leftover food (not that I never throw anything away, I just try to not to do it too much).   I am happy to have leftovers for dinner the next evening, however my husband is not.  My challenge is to find ways to use the leftover food that makes it seem like it is a fresh meal.

In our 7.5 years of marriage I have found quite a few recipes that work great for this.    With chicken I make several different chicken casseroles, chicken enchiladas, chicken and dumplings or chicken soup.  With Ham I make Ham cheddar & broccoli sandwich ring, cheesy ham and potato casserole, ham and cheese omelets, ham and potato soup, or pinto beans (which I don't make often since my husband doesn't care for those).  With beef or venison I make beef stew or soup and depending on how much is leftover I might make pulled bbq.  Hamburgers or meatloaf work great to grind up and use in pasta dishes or Stromboli.

I do like to make one dish dinners.  However when I make them I try to make just enough for our family without leaving much leftover.  Since my husband doesn't like the leftovers I know he won't help in eating them and I do not enjoy eating the same leftover meal for lunch every day for an entire week.  I have done that on occassion to avoid throwing something out, but I really don't prefer it.

Tonight for dinner we are having a delicious leftover meal. . . I attempted to make my own lemon-pepper chicken marinade yesterday.  And while the chicken tasted fine, it was rather blah probably due to the two ingredients that I had to leave out since I didn't have them on hand.  There were two pieces of chicken that did not get eaten so this morning I threw it in the crockpot with some veggies and spices and by tonight we shall have a nice yummy chicken vegetable soup ready to eat!

P.S. I'd love to hear how you use up your leftovers. Feel free to leave a comment with a recipe or a link.