Monthly Archives: June 2011

Crunchy Garlic Chicken

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Are you finding a trend? Original recipe, tweaked, kid-friendly…

2 tbs butter/marg. melted
2 tbs milk
1 tbs chopped chives or parsley (I use parsley flakes)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic pwd
2 cups cornflakes cereal= 1 cup crushed (I pre-crush and store in pantries)
3 tbs chopped fresh parsley
1/2 tsp paprika
6 boneless, skinless chx breast halves (1 3/4lbs) (I pre-cube and refrigerate after baking an entire bag)
2 tbs butter/margarine, melted

(original receipt found on page 291 of the Betty Crocker’s Cookbook- The BIG RED Cookbook)

My tweaked version:

If serving/not freezing: Heat oven to 425′. Grease an 8x8ish glass casserole dish
Melt butter, stir in seasonings, add cereal, then add cubed/chopped chx, mix everything! If you mixed in a separate bowl (which I recommend so the stuff slopped up the sides doesn’t burn and look gross when you’re serving it), scoop everything into your casserole dish and freeze for later or bake for 20-30 min. (from freezer double baking time).

Love this meal! The tweaked version was an accident: I didn’t read the recipe close enough when making it for the second time and added everything together before I remembered they were supposed to be in separate dished and i should be doing a coating method. Couldn’t go back so I baked it like it was and everyone ate it up and for my preschooler and toddler it ended up being easier than trying to cut up their meat for them after served.

Comment and let me know if you try this recipe or if you have a “tweaked” favorite recipe of your own!

Birthdays: To Be Suprised or Not To Be Suprised?

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Sopping wet hair. Barely dressed for school. Ushered into the dinning room to eat a wholesome breakfast of adorable smiley face birthday cake accompanied by gifts wrapped in smiley face paper. Ugg! Camera snapping shots of the unprepared, make-upless high schooler during this ‘party’. That evening, after a birthday full of school, she is greeted at home by her high school boyfriend, and a few girl friends for yet another surprise birthday party complete with Veggie Tale gift wrap and cake to be followed by a long-awaited trip to the 1st football game of the year.

When I was growing up, I never knew what kind of cake I was going to have for my birthday, what thoughtful gift my family had picked out for me based on random conversations before that day, or on some years, if and when there would be a celebration. My mom, especially, LOVED surprising me!

Years down the road that same Veggie Tale love’n girl has children of her own with the love of her life who grew up in a state miles away and in a totally different family (duh, other wise gross!). We are learning to melt and mold one another’s family traditions and make some new ones of our own for our beautifully growing family.

Birthdays…?

Our eldest has just turned 3. As a youth pastoring family we skillfully planned her arrival to come in the middle of the annual mega summer camp, Super Summer AR. bahahaha Poor girl. Out of necessity, one of our yearly traditions has been to travel to see daddy at camp for Father’s Day and then again for Maggie’s birthday. We eat cupcakes in the cafeteria with our students and the past couple years we also celebrate with a dear family of friends who live in the same town the camp is hosted. The second part of her birthday tradition has been to have a party on the 4th of July weekend so family is able to be off work and able to come celebrate with us.

The past 2 years I’ve snuck around, according to my family custom, trying to hide cupcakes, cakes, decorations, gifts, and simple plans from our birthday girl (not hard seeing as she was only 1 and 2 years old). This years I went out on a limb and let my quickly maturing 3-year-old help make and decorate her own birthday cupcakes as well as point-blank ask her what ‘kind’ of party she’d like to have. She often helps me in the kitchen but icing in a new-found skill of hers. She has also changed her mind once over the past month but we have settled on…maybe you guessed it- Veggie Tales. YEP; Train up a child!

I haven’t decided which tradition we’ll stick with in years to come but both have their pros and cons. Whacha think?

 Now, pics of the process, of course! More of the VT party to come in a future post

just a few of our creations

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What are your family customs you adhere to (maybe without even knowing it)? Do share; I love sifting through advise!
I avoided the endless Jesus jukes that where oh so readily available in this but those are welcome, too ;o)

Happy Father’s Day 2011!

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3 year old Magdalene Reese‘s heart belongs to her daddy!

1 and 1/2 year old Isabella Ruth ‘hearts’ her dad!

(“cheeeez”)

Almost 6 month old, Benjamin Ryan‘s daddy is glad he’s a boy!

The #1 Daddy and the 3 luckest kids on our visit to Super Summer AR on Father’s Day 2011!

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Get to know Matt Daddy and love him like we do @ http://www.mattrothacher.com/! Great Stuff!!!

Ultimate FAIL

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Photo Credit

This week has been tough! As many of you may already know, my husband, my sanity, my confidant, my literal other half has been gone to Super Summer AR for the past 8 days and will finally be home tomorrow afternoon. It’s times like these…ugg, you’re squeeeeezed, that reveal your true self oozes out. No energy to “pull it together” or even fake it.

Several conversations with my best friends this ooze fest have led me to post my ultimate fail!

Some conversation included a discussion about all the amazing blogs by Christian women I’ve been reading as well as the bible study I’m in at my church. Awe: The inspiration. The goals. The challenges. The utter disappointment in myself, as a wife, mom, and manager of my home.

Another set of conversations included major venting! Confessions rolled out of my mouth: “I can’t do this anymore! I cried, no, blubbered in my childs room before trying to make my way down stairs to appear unshaken in the eyes of my in-laws. I ignored the crying baby. I snatched up my daughter. I am not engaged with my children. I yell at my children to stop yelling. I lost a piece to my camera that makes it work. I let my kids watch way more than 2 hours a day of tv this week. I just want to hide in my pantry eating cookies. (true story) I love them and know God has chosen me to be their ‘primary care giver’ but I just don’t want to today. I ate an entire box of oatmeal cream pies. I am out of Dr Pepper because I’ve been drinking way more than I should, especially while nursing. I spanked my child and told her we don’t hit. My child (3) used the old-school phrase “none ya!” and I am the one she got it from. I can’t find peace. I want to bottle what she has and bring her amazingness into my home. How does ______ do it?!?”

There it was. The very things I have been using to try to be who God wants me to be dug deeper into Satan’s lie- She has it all together. I was comparing myself to someone else. Wither the comparison is to exalt or belittle, it’s wrong. Where another women is in her walk with Christ should have no barring on my relationship with Christ. My friend gently reminded me that no one has it all together and they just aren’t sharing those rough I-wanna-hide-in-the-pantry-eatting-all-the-cookies-in-peace days.

Though I have confessed this list of faults I want to you know that my ULTIMATE FAIL has been leading people, you, to believe I have it all together. Do you ever secretly desire to be that women that people ask, “GIRL, how DO you do it?” I do. I hide all kinds of faults and failures because of this pride built up inside me. I never again want to feel that desire to lead people to believe I have it all together.

Because I don’t!

That’s just it- GOD does it. Any and Every positive thing about my life is by the grace of God.

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Cor. 12:9

Sorry for leading any of you to believe I have it all figured out! I’m sorry if you ever ask yourself, “How does she do it?!?” New commitment to exposing my weaknesses! Lets be real with one another.

“Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in my weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For When I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Cor. 12:9-10

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I am worn out!
I suffer a thorn!
I am undisciplined!

As I am writing this:

I keep flinching every time my stinky dog bangs against the siding on the front porch thinking…I don’t know what, is coming to get me.

I am eating my 3-year-olds birthday cookies with a tub of frosting. -Sorry Nanna!

Where are you on this journey of needing peer approval? Your’s may not be the generic, “how does she do it”. Do you struggle in with specific aspects of how someone else is pulling something off better? Leave a comment so that we may “boast all the more gladly about [our] weakness[es], so that Christ’s power may rest on [us]” and so we may encourage one another!

(In)courage

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girl colorized by sisterlisa, on Pix-O-Sphere“>

““Where two or more get together in My name I’m there too,” promised Jesus.

And I don’t think cyberspace is excluded.” - incourage.me

One of the blog sites I love to ready almost daily is incourage. Today, their post was How can we pray for you? Amazing! As Christian’s in blogging communities, shouldn’t we be offering this opportunity more often?!? Thank you women of incourage for challenging me today as well as giving me the chance to seek partnership in praying for my thorns!

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Many of you already know how you can be praying for me and my family this week but just incase you don’t, this is our request at the moment:

This week my husband and I are struggling through making 2 out of what God has made one. No, we are not getting divorce! My hubby is a youth pastor and is away at summer camp for a little over a week leaving me in my failed attempt at being a single parent. I do have great loving support and help but it’s just not the same as having your literal other half there for that steady routine and irreplaceable hugs at the end of the day.
My 3 babes are all under 3, the oldest will be 3 Wednesday during camp, the next is almost 1.5 year old, and the youngest is 5 month old. At this age they almost all require, desire 1 on 1 time (at least at some point during the day). We made an hour and 1/2 trip today to see him for Father’s Day and will again for Maggie’s birthday. TOUGH all the way around!
I’m assuming most of you reading this totally understand what kinds of stresses come with this situation and know how to pray for me (probably better than I do myself).
Thanks for this opportunity to share this request and in advance for lifting me and my family up to The Father on Father’s Day!

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Leave your prayer request as a comment. Before you do, please take a moment to read, pray for, and respond to the prayer request before yours. Let’s love on each other, friends.

Crumbs in Our Bed

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Chitter chatter from to cradle and crib down the hall wakes me,
I’d like to say with a smile on my face but instead,
with a grumpy spirit.
Morning snuggles, diaper changes,
turn on the antenna powered tv, super why entertains my child with lessons on letters while I run down stairs,
pop a couple frozen waffles in the toaster along with a poptart,
grab sippy cups 1/2 full of milk, then head back upstairs
to find the toddler is yanking at the baby safety gate and the baby is chill’n in the middle of the king size bed
only to be greeted moments later by the preschooler all sleepy-eyed and full of grins to see that the tv is on.

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Yep, this is a habit we’ve avoided for YEARS. Our bed is our bed but his morning Our Bed is full of Smiles, cartoons, and crumbs!

My husband is a youth pastor. We started our married life joyfully chasing after students for Jesus. As we’ve grown our family of 2 up to 5 in the past 3 years we are still attempting the chase but it seems to have become this triathlon rather than our former well oiled machine whose pace was perfectly in sync. As an irreplaceable, crazy 5-some we are butterfly’n it across the lake, 3 kids in floaties attached to our wastes, looping back to retrace the route around the correct bogies. We then jump’n from the water onto our double seater bike with a baby trailer and seat attached busting through barricades make of hay-bails getting dirtier and more roughed up as the journey continues only to muster up all our strength for the 3-legged-potatoe sack-race, baby harnesses in-toe, toward the goal with our skinned hearts, browsed egos, and wore down bodies, minds, and souls.

If anyone reading has mastered this “help-mate” thing as an involved youth pastor’s wife while being an active mommy at the same time as maintaining her home, let me in on the secret!

I haven’t trained for this kind of feet. I don’t even know where to seek out this kind of training. But I believe, with all that is in me, I wouldn’t continue to have these desires {to help serve alongside my husband in ministry, raise my children wholeheartedly, and maintain a home of order and peace all for the glory of God} if that wasn’t what The One was calling me to do. I’m a work in progress daily remembering- all I have is through His blessing and all I am lacking is coming in His timing. Change me oh Lord!

So, for today while I can’t be right beside my creative hubs at Super Summer AR chasing after students for Jesus, I will attempt to maintain peace and order in my home while loving my babes wholeheartedly, even if that means Our Bed is full of Smiles, cartoons, and crumbs for today!

*leave a thought in the way of comments, inboxes, or tweets!

Central Shoes

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Looking for a practical way to make a difference internationally?
TOMS is a great organization who provided 1 pair of shoes to someone overseas in need of shoes for every pair of shoes you purchase (min. $44.00+shipping). So, running (hehe) with their idea, my amazing hubs decided he wanted in on the action of impacting people groups in 3rd world nations. Although the phenomenon of TOMS does provided an overwhelming amount of shoes overseas they are not a Christian based organization and therefore their goal is to simply prolong impoverished people’s lives by bettering thier daily lives with shoes. As a Christ follower I am called to make disciples therefore I don’t feel right about prolong someones earthly life without sharing the eternal life changing message of Jesus Christ.
Central Shoes are the most basic tennis shoes we could find (yes, you may recognise them from your local Wal-Mart or Target stores). We are purchasing them and then giving them to those who donate $40.00 to this cause. ~$1o.00 will go toward the cost of the shoes and then the other$30 goes directly to an organization called Soles for Jesus. With $30.00 they can provide 15 pairs of shoes AND share Jesus with everyone who gets a pair!!!
If you haven’t done the math yet, that’s 1 pair for you and 15 for children in Africa PLUS Jesus!

Just a simple way to make an impact! Comment or inbox me for more details about getting a pair.

Amazing Opportunity!

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I have really been enjoying writing (when I get the moments to share) here on my little slice of the net. I am also encouraged to see YOU out there actually reading stuff. God has opened this venue to places I never thought I’d be invited.

In fall 2011, I’m being given the opportunity to be a contributing blogger on http://homemakerschallenge.com/. This is exciting yet overwhelming… I’m still learning to blog. I am currently reading, reading, reading! Reading popular blogs, topical blogs, new blogs, blogs about writing blogs and just chat’n it up with others who know what they’re doing. Hopefully the quality and consistency of my writing will rise to a higher standard before fall arrives. (side note- I am open to suggestions, resources, and advise- wrapped in love of course!)

I’d also like your help in post topics! She is asking that contributes write practical, inspiring, and/or encouraging articles to help challenge homemakers. What areas would you like to hear about. I’m all about learning, researching, and growing in areas with you! I don’t know where this road will lead (if anywhere) but it sure is a pretty journey so far!

Leave a comment, email me, find me on Facebook or twitter and sound off!
THANKS! Jules

 

Photo Credit

Baked Ziti and Green Beans

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These 2 recipes were given to me when our Amazing church family provided an abundance of scrumdiddlyumptious meals after having my 3rd c-section this past January! The ziti takes a while but is WELL worth the time, makes 2 batches at a time, and freezes/reheats great! The green beans are quick and delicious! Both have become staples in our house!!!

*Baked Ziti

1 lb lean ground beef
2 tbl onion pwd
3 tbl garlic pwd
1 jar (28 oz) meatless spag. sauce
1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes undrained (I used a 10 oz can with green peppers)
1 can (12 oz) tomato paste
3/4 cut water
2 tbl parsley
1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp basil
1-1/2 tsp oregano
1 lb uncooked ziti noodles
1 carton (15 oz) reduced -fat ricotta cheese
2 cups (8 oz) shredded part skim mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup egg substitute (I used 1 large egg)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Brown beef with onions and garlic then stir in spag sauce, tomatoes, tom. paste, water, parsley, Worcestershire sauce, basil, and oregano. Cover and simmer for 3 hours stirring occasionally. Cook pasta according to box then drain. Combine cheeses, egg, salt, and pepper in a bowl. In 2 greased baking dishes, layer meat sauce, pasta, and cheese evenly until gone. (I just mixed all together in a huge bowl until evenly coated and divided evenly in the dishes. Cover 1 for freezing and refrigerate or bake the other right then) Bake 1 hr @ 350′ or until heated through. Makes 2 casseroles (~6 servings each).

**Green Beans

1 large ‘family size’ can of green beans (your desired cut)
1 cup sugar (more or less as desired)
1 tsp Tony’s original seasoning

Cook on stove top until boiling slightly while stirring or nuke in microwave until heated well then stir well.

BONUS!

My kids chow down with no fuss!

*Ziti via Melting Pot pg 65 via Ms Terri Tucker
**Green Beans via Nicole Harrod

Do you have any fav dishes you’d like to share? Comment to share or leave a link!