Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Lasagna

Both Noah and I enjoy to cook, so I can't believe that I have never learned to make a lasagna.  Although it takes a bit of time, it is worth it!  I made mine in 2 separate dishes so that I could pop one in the freezer!  I had to share this delicious recipe!  I wish that I had taken a picture of it to show, but I hope that you enjoy it as much as we did!

Lasagna Recipe



2 Jars of Ragu Spaghetti Sauce (Garden Combination is yummy)
1 onion finely chopped
2 lbs. of ground chuck

Brown meat and onion. Drain. Add Ragu and simer for about 20-30 minutes



Mix Together:
1 ½ C small curd cottage cheese (I use low-fat)
2 eggs beaten
¾ C Parmesan Cheese
1t salt (I don’t use this much, if any)
½ t Black Pepper


3C Mozzarella Cheese (Do not add to above mixture)


Boil Lasagna Noodles – about 10 (I use wheat or multi grain)
Spray 13X9 Casserole Dish with Pam.
Put first layer of noodles side by side on the bottom of the dish.
Top with 1/3 of cheese mixture, meat/sauce mixture, and sprinkle with Mozzarella Cheese.
Repeat 2 more times. Top off with the remainder of the Mozzarella Cheese.
Bake at 350 for 1 – 1 ½ hours. (covered for 1 hour)


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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Difficult Parenting

My little man is learning that he can go against us.  It used to be fun for him to obey, but now, he is testing out his power.  Instructing Walt is one of the most difficult things that I have ever had to do.  I am praying that God continues to mold me into being a better parent each day so that through his good days and ones full of sin, Walt can see me glorify God through my response to his behavior.  Noah is steady as a stream, but sometimes my angry can flare up faster than a forest fire.  Over the past five years God has done lots of work in my heart so that I communicate my frustrations more effectively instead of just getting mad.  Now, I am praying that God will allow me to communicate better to Walt his sin calmly so that he can make a rational choice, and if he makes the wrong one, he understands what his punishment will be.  Yet, at the same time, I have learned something VERY wise from my neighbor, which I have been pondering over the last week.  Sometimes Walt is being a kid and in his innocence doesn't understand that he is disobeying, and sometimes he does know it and chooses to do wrong to test out his limitations.  So basically in the five seconds following the act I have to make a decision on which of the two it was and how I will respond to it!  This is overwhelming!  Please pray that I have good discernment!  This stage has arrived before I realize it, and it reminds me of my need for Jesus. 
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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

My Favorite Food

I am not joking when I say that salad is my favorite food.  Don't envision rabbit food that only has lettuce and carrots.  My salads vary depending on what is in the fridge, but they always have protein (grilled chicken, taco meat, or black beans), cheese (cheddar or mozzarella), vegetable (corn, black olives, bell pepper, tomatoes, onions, carrots, broccoli, AND whatever else I may have in the fridge to mix in.  I don't pick just one!  I use all of them!), dressing (ranch mixed with a dab of water so that it evenly spreads throughout my salad, something crunchy (usually baked tostitos crumbled up), and salsa to top it off!  And lately I have really enjoyed eating my salads out of a small mixing bowl we have!  It just mixes together better without making a mess.  Yumm!  I love a good salad!  

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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Coolest Cousins Ever!

Walt enjoyed watching his cousins perform at their VBS concert to show parents what they had learned!




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Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to an amazing husband and father!  He celebrated by carrying Walt around on his back! You can't tell in the picture, but Walt is patting Noah's head while saying "sweet Daddy".  He had to learn that after pulling hair so often!
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Thursday, June 16, 2011

To Make your Day!

Some days pass and I forget to thank God for my sweet Walt, but these pictures are a sweet reminder of God's mercy in my life.  A week (not exaggerating) after I said goodbye to Magdalena, I realized I would be saying hello to her little sibling soon.  I don't know why God chose this path for me, because with my human mind I would not recommend being pregnant so quickly after a loss, but that was God's plan for me.  There was worry, grief, love, and excitement all boiling over with pregnancy hormones.  Now, as I look in his eyes, give him hugs, play airplane, dry his tears, and so much more, I can see God's promises before me.  Walt was an unexpected gift that offered not just Noah and me, but our entire family hope.  God has not left us nor forsaken us.  God doesn't comfort all of us in the same way, but this is the way he has chosen to work in our lives.
Walt giving Mommy kisses




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Cheesy Barbecue Casserole

Noah and I are finally working through a Betty Crocker cookbook that we received as a wedding gift.  I made Cheesy Barbecue Casserole thinking that Walt would enjoy it, but I made the mistake of using whatever noodles I had in the cabinet.  Walt didn't enjoy this recipe made with egg noodles!  (I had accidentally bought wheat egg noodles instead of thin Asian noodles for the orange teriaki recipe when I went grocery shopping.  I needed a way to use them.)  However, he did pick out all of the meat and eat it, so I am going to have to try to make it again the correct way!  Noah and I enjoyed eating!  All of the prep work for the casserole can be done in advance, kept in the fridge, and cooked when it is time to eat!
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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Eyebrows

My Dad's way of getting my attention has been an eyebrow raise, which means "watch out!".  It was a warning that I was about to be in trouble, but there came a point when I was in college where it was hard not to laugh a bit.  He still gives me his eyebrow raise, but now it is usually in good humor.  Although my eyebrows are better shaped due to waxing them, I have found myself doing the same thing to Walt!  As he enters into a territory of trouble, I raise my eyebrows and say "I don't think that is a wise decision.".  He doesn't understand the long sentence yet, but he does understand the eyebrow raise!  I hope that he doesn't catch on too soon and find it humorous!  I like that there can be a silent warning before I have to say something.
Walt will probably find himself doing the same thing one day because just like his big sis, he expresses himself with his eyebrows.  It is so cute!  Though sometimes when he gives certain expressions, it is heart wrenching because Magdalena used to give the same ones.
For years now, Noah and I have put off making photo albums and DVDs of our Magdalena memories, but lately we have been determined to do it.  I have been staring at those sweet little Magdalena eyes as I crop pictures and create albums, and this little memory came to my mind.
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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Wuthering Heights


While in high school I read Wuthering Heights for the first time.   The plot caused me to finish the book before its due date.  Since then I have read it multiple times, and each time I read it through "new eyes" with my life experiences affecting my understanding of the book.  It is still one of my all time favorites that I would recommend to everyone!  If Magdalena had been a boy, I would have been stubborn about using the name Edgar, a character from the book and a family name.  Noah was thankful not to have to deal with it because that is not one of his favorite names.  I still can't convince him to consider it as a possibility!  My mom had named one of her dogs Edgar, so he always associated the name with the dog.  

Edgar is one of the few kind characters in the book because everyone is so selfish that they are driven to wild actions that cause others to suffer.  Although there are strange situations and mean characters in the book it ends peacefully.  It offers a hopeful situation to people who were forced into a life a misery from their ancestors.  

This book can be downloaded FOR FREE on your Kindle, or I found it here online.  
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Orange Teriyaki Beef with Noodles

Noah is beginning to cook a little bit, and we found this simple Orange Teriyaki Beef with Noodles to practice a bit.  Walt and I arrived home to a cooked dinner!  It is easy, healthy, and yummy!

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Week 20 - Hope

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Through Nancy Guthrie's teachings, including this week's reading, I have been really searching through Christian hope and what it means to have it.  This hope has been after me, and I am slowly getting it.  God is breaking me to see his truth so that I can rest in Him as he completes his perfect will for my life.  "Hope: the expectation of a favorable future under God's direction".  Because of how daily we use the word "hope", this past year has been to apply the true meaning of hope to my life.  When all of what I had "hoped" for on this earth begins to fade from my reach, I am now convicted that my "true hopes and dreams can only be fulfilled in God" (pg. 154).  I will not watch Magdalena grow up, but my God has not forsaken me, and this life is but a second to the time that I will have in eternity with both of them.  My hope is secure in Jesus life, death, and resurrection.  "Biblical hope is based on what God has said, not on what we can see."  With my human eyes I can not see the big picture.  I can only trust God, and honestly, I am only able to do this because I constantly beg of his mercies to allow me to trust him more deeply. It is a daily giving myself to him.
Abraham, Sarah, Noah, and Abel did not see what God's plan was for them, but they continually trusted.  I am most amazed at Abel because I want to cling to my children.  So often I want to place my hope in the temporary things of this world when God's blessings are most obvious when we let go and find our hope in Him. 

"When you choose to hold on to the hope of salvation - Jesus himself - it is as if you drive a stake into the solid ground of God's Word and hold on for dear life.  Then, when the wind of adversity or doubt or persecution comes your way, you can hold steady without falling." (pg. 155)

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Strawberry Pie

This was what my dad wanted as a birthday cake, and it is one of our family's favorite desserts!
Strawberry Pie - Grandmom's Recipe
1 Cup of sugar
3T of flour
1/2 package of jello (small box)
1 Cup of water
Strawberries

Mix together dry ingredients.  Add Water.  Cook on stovetop until it gets thick.
Bake pie crust.  Let cool.  Add sliced strawberries to crust.  Pour thickened mixture into pie crust over strawberries.  Let set in fridge.  Add cool whip.  Enjoy
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Monday, June 13, 2011

weekend fun

What an exciting weekend it has been for all of us!  Walt got a surprise invitation to go on an adventure to Hobby Lobby with Mimi on Saturday, and he ended up spending the night!  Mimi and Papa are taking the grandkids on a trip this summer, so they are trying to get him adjusted to sleeping with them.  Here is is living the high life in a big bed!

We celebrate Lori, Jennifer, and my Dad's birthday within a month of each other.  Because everyone has been so busy we did it all in one big celebration where everyone had their favorite foods!  The kids had fun playing while we all ate and talked outside.  Happy Birthday Family!

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Sunday, June 12, 2011

New Flowers

Since the tornado came through the cemetery Magdalena's flowers were in bad shape.  Thanks to Mimi and Papa Magdalena has new beautiful flowers!
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Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Waiting Here for You

Since Magdalena's death I have thought about heaven more than ever.  It is constantly on my mind because I know that only in heaven will be us as God had planned for us to truly be.  Our pain in this world reminds us that God can only satisfy what we truly want and need.  This song always gets me choked up and gives me a freedom to praise God in a big way.  I try to use big words but sometimes all I need to say is "Hallelujah!" to truly express how I feel.  Because of the Cross we can praise God intimately.


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Week 19 - Meaning in the Cross

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"Let (the Cross) saturate your soul, let it penetrate your spirit, let it subdue your faculties, let it take the reins of all of your powers and guide you thither it will.  Let the Redeemer, he whose hands were pierced for you, sway the scepter of your spirit and rule over you this day, and world without end." - Charles Spurgeon

Before Christ's life on earth we could not approach the throne of God, but because of the Cross, we are cleansed of our sins and can personally go before God.  What keeps us from drawing near to the Cross where we can lay down our troubles, fears, and disappointments?  How often do I wear a cross as jewlry without stopping to thank God for the hope that his has given me through his sacrifice? God gave us his son to pay off our debts caused by our sins so that we may belong to God.  Belonging to God means that all we do should glorify Him, not ourselves.  Eeek!  How often do I do things for my own selfish gain? 

"There is no greater freedom than in belonging to God and no greater satisfaction than honoring God with your body." - Nancy Guthrie

The Cross does not only signify Christ's death but his resurrection through which we are given hope.  Through God's power Christ was raised and seated next to God.  
Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

Not only should I be praying that my entire life is centered around the cross, but I also need to intercede for those who are rejecting the cross so that they may turn their hear towards it.  Prayer can be difficult knowing how many times we have failed God that day, but that is exactly why we should go to the God.  Because of the cross we can lay down all of our failures at his feet.  May this bring us to our knees and worship our amazing God.
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Monday, June 06, 2011

Happenings

Walt loves to be around older kids, and the ones in the neighborhood are SO patient with Walt, including him while keeping him out of danger.  I am always there, but he looks up to them so much!  On Memorial Day we had a big pool for the big kids and a little pool for the smaller ones.  Walt wouldn't stay in the small pool for long because he considered himself part of the big kid group!  



Look at this shag of a hairdo!  Walt's cute face kept me from seeing how bad his hair was getting.  We finally went for a real hair cut. 

Walt had to check out Kristin before he allowed her to cut his hair!  With raisins in hand, he did a FABULOUS job of sitting still the entire time. 
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Friday, June 03, 2011

Magdalena's Place

Not too long ago I was finally able to go see Magdalena's grave, and just upon entering the place I was overwhelmed with the destruction of the trees.  It is a blessing that so many were still standing that I took this picture with my phone.  Her flowers were damaged from the tornado, but I was really surprised to see them there at all.  Magdalena's Mimi will make her a gorgeous new arrangement.  I hope that one day we can put a memorial bench out there to sit, read, and be still.  
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Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Ice Cream Fun!

While at Mimi and Papa's house, Walt learned the word ice cream!  He completely understood where we were going as we headed to Maggie Moos for a treat.  I love family time!  And thanks to Groupon we enjoyed ourselves for a very low price!  Then, we walked around the shopping mall where Walt saw a hat that he thought was "cute" (I am sure that I must say that word a lot when I shop!), so I put one on too and we smiled for Daddy!  



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The Importance of Being Earnest

One of my first downloads onto my Kindle was the play The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde.  After looking at many Kindle covers, Noah and I decided that we liked best the one designed after this play.  I knew that I could not pose as someone who has read it when the truth is that I had never heard of it prior despite the fact that there is a movie based on the play starring Reese Witherspoon and Colin Firth.  I paid 89 cents, but it was definitely worth more.  After laughing throughout the reading, I watched a few of the movie trailers where I laughed even more.  It is a light-hearted play about two men making up friends so that they will have an excuse to go to a different area where they are able to have fun with their made-up names.  However, it comes to haunt them when they find true love using their false name, Earnest, and their loves say that they knew they would always love someone by that name.  I definitely recommend this quick read.  Although I have never seen the movie, it would be interesting to watch Reese Witherspoon attempt a British accent while Colin Firth is sure to give an amazing performance.

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