Learning to serve the Lord and my family one day at a time.

Learning to serve the Lord and my family one day at a time.


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Meal Plan Monday on Tuesday

I'm so excited to have my parents visiting us from Texas this week. We will be eating out more and at David's parents for a few meals as well.

Baked BBQ chicken, veggies, mashed potatoes from the freezer. These potatoes were not very good and slightly watery. I'm wondering if they were not fully cooled when I froze them and ice crystals formed.

Spaghetti sauce from the freezer with whole wheat noodles, veggies and fresh bread

Vegetarian night -Pinto beans and cornbread with veggies

Chicken tortilla soup

Dinner at David's parents

Grill out at Stone Mountain Park with my parents and David's parents

Lunch at Boll Weevil after church
Dinner - Homemade pizza

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Freezer Cooking this week

I tried to do a one hour freezer cooking session on Monday night. It ended up taking nearly two hours to get everything done and I had to put off making spaghetti sauce until Tuesday morning.
I nearly started a kitchen fire after leaving this towel near a hot burner. 

Here's what I got done

  • Two meat and potato casseroles (one for dinner and one for the freezer)
  • Five freezer bags of mashed potatoes
  • Five onions chopped and frozen
  • Seven bags of spaghetti sauce with meat
  • French Toast Casserole for breakfast on Tuesday morning. I made this the night before and got up an hour early, popped it in the oven and went back to bed while it cooked for an hour. It's a great use for stale bread. 

David's favorite - Meat and potato casserole

Friday, June 24, 2011

Pancake Syrup

From Allrecipes.com


  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon maple flavored extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. In a saucepan, combine the white sugar, brown sugar and water. Bring to a boil, and cook for about 3 minutes. Stir in the maple extract and vanilla, and remove form the heat. Let cool, and serve at room temperature. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Be aware that it may crystallize a little if the container is not completely airtight.

Crockpot Yogurt

Several months ago I started making my own yogurt. We usually go through at least one large container of plain yogurt a week which costs about $2 a carton. I can make my own for less than $2 and it makes about two yogurt containers worth or 64 ounces. For simplicity sake, let's say it comes out to about $1 dollar per 32 ounces. It doesn't save much money but it's simple to make and there's just something very satisfying about making your own yogurt. It's one of those foods I always assumed you had to buy until I tried to make my own.
It is not as thick as store bought yogurt. I tried straining it with a cheese cloth and made a huge mess without much success at making it thicker. The more yogurt that's in the fridge, the more we eat, especially with all the yummy summer fruit coming into season. I love to make smoothies for breakfast using yogurt as well.

Here's the original recipe  I used and a quick summary of how I make my yogurt. While there is little labor involved it is a long process so plan accordingly. The total process takes 13.5 hours. I like to start mine around four or five in the afternoon, so it will be ready by the morning. I think it's okay if it sits covered for more than eight hours.

Crock Pot Yogurt

  • Pour 8 cups of whole milk into crockpot
  • Cook on low for 3 hours
  • After three hours unplug the crockpot and allow to sit for 2.5 hours
  • After 2.5 hours whisk in 1/2 plain yogurt as a starter culture. I always use store bought for this, I think the bacteria is stronger in it, but homemade from your last batch may work as well.
  • Cover the crockpot with a towel and allow to sit for 8 hours. 
  • Decant into smaller containers and refrigerate. 

Monday, June 20, 2011

19 Weeks and Counting

Many people have been asking for belly pictures so here's one from yesterday at 19 weeks and 2 days pregnant. I'm going to the midwife on Friday and will have an ultrasound to check on baby's growth and find out if it's a boy or a girl!

I've been getting kicks and movement since around 14 weeks. They were just flutters at first but they have gotten much stronger and more regular now. I generally feel the baby a couple times of day.

What a blessing and joy to have a little life growing inside of me!

Meal Plan Monday

I'm so thankful to have my handsome husband back from his two week away rotation. He was so sweet to come home over the weekend so it didn't feel quite as long as two weeks but I sure missed him! 

Meat and potato casserole, steamed veggies

Spaghetti with whole wheat noodles, homemade garlic bread and steamed veggies (I know that's two carbs but I just love garlic bread with spaghetti!)

Going away dinner for a couple from church

David has a bible study dinner so I will probably make pancakes or eat leftovers

Homemade pizza

Lunch - Quesadillas, fruit
Dinner - Marinated chicken from the freezer, sweet potatoes, steamed veggies 

Lunch - Spinach Oven Omelet (without meat), fruit 
Dinner - Tacos  

Check out more menu planning inspiration at Organizing Junkie

Sunday, June 19, 2011

5x7 Folded Card

I Love Daddy Father's Day 5x7 folded card
Send special Valentine's Day cards from Shutterfly this year.
View the entire collection of cards.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Prayer of Faith

Our Sunday school class and Wednesday night small group has been studying the book of James over the past several months. We concluded last night with chapter 5, verses 13-20. A father in his late thirties in our church is dying of brain cancer and we began bible study with an update on his condition. In light of his failing body we began reading this text. 

13Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. 14Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. 17Elijah was a man  with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. 18 Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.

 19My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, 20let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.

Is anyone among you suffering or cheerful or sick? Let him bring it in praise and prayer before the Lord. When our lives are going well, our depraved hearts often do not see a need for salvation or the Lord. We pat ourselves on the back for a job well done. When things don't go our way, friends die, jobs are lost and lives fall apart, we turn and shout in anger to God without praise or supplication as we are directed to do. In all things give praise. 

Psalm 7:17  I will give to the LORD the thanks due to his righteousness,and I will sing praise to the name of the LORD, the Most High.

James continues on to say that if anyone is suffering let the elders come and pray over him. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick and the Lord will raise him up.

Woah, back up. Save the one who is sick and raise him up? Does this mean that if we pray hard and long enough with enough fervor God will always heal the sick? Should we be having "heal-a-thons"?

At first glance I couldn't comprehend this passage. We always pray if it is God's will for Him to heal. The bible is God's infallible word and does not lie. Yet clearly many Godly men have succumbed to disease even after the elders have prayed over them. If this passage was talking strictly about physical healing, a good supply of oil and elders and we'd never die! While Christ raised Lazarus from the dead once, Lazarus eventually went to be with the Lord. 

James never actually says will "heal him". He write "will save the one who is sick and the Lord will raise him up." God will save us and raise us up from our sin and depravity, not simply from our physical woes. God does heal people in miraculous ways, but more importantly, He is the Great Physician who heals the great wound of sin in our hearts. We will be raised up and united with Him after death. The wounds of our heart are deeper and make us sicker than any cancer ever could. Praise God He heals not only our earthly bodies but our souls as well.   

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Good Reads for Summer

I currently (soon to change!) have plenty of free time and one reason I set a goal of reading two books a month is to give me something to do with all that free time and not squander my time away on mindless things. With David busy at school many nights or studying I've found having hobbies and activities is a must.

Here's an update on my reading

The Husband Coached Childbirth - Robert Bradley, MD
The Hollow - Agatha Christie

Babywise - Ezzo & Bucknam, MD

Current Reads
Bible study
   No Other Gospel - Ruvolo
   Shepherding a Child's Heart- Tripp

To finish for June
Natural Childbirth, The Bradley Way- Rosegg

Books on my reading list
King's Cross - Keller
Infidel- Ali 
Freakonomics - Levitt and Dubner
Catch 22 - Heller
Three Cups of Tea - Mortenson
Alexander Peterson Trilogy

Friday, June 10, 2011

Saving Money on Meat

Along withproduce, meat is the most expensive thing in my grocery cart. David exercises nearly everyday and needs more protein than the average man his size (although most American eat too much protein which your body turns into fat). I need 80-100 grams everyday while growing this baby but most days, meat has not been agreeing with my stomach or taste buds so I've been forced to turn to vegetarian and dairy sources.

Kroger often has 10 pound bags of chicken legs and thighs for 69 cents a pound. It comes in a giant bag like this-

I take out the chicken thighs and process them several different ways. I baked a few and pulled the meat off for chicken salad. I also marinated a few and the rest I tray froze like this. I usually wait until the next day to pull them off the tray and stick them into a freezer bag. This way I have a bag of individually frozen thighs and I can pull out as many or few as I need at a time. 

I got nine pieces (thigh and leg together as one piece) of meat for $6.90 and I can stretch one thigh and leg into enough meat for both of us at dinner. This comes out to only 38 cents a servings (that's per person). Boneless breasts are generally 50 cents or more per serving. David doesn't love picking the meat off the bone but I love that it's cheap frugal!

Don't forget to visit Life as Mom for more Frugal Friday ideas. 

Thursday, June 9, 2011


I just realized I never published this because I was trying to upload pictures from my camera and my USB cable appears to be broken. I just ordered a card reader but here's the post along with a few photos from my camera.

Our church is blessed with a beautiful lake property about 45 from our home. Two weekends ago we packed up the tent and Lilly and headed out to the lake for a day and camping, swimming and hiking. The water was a bit cold for swimming but we got in anyways, although I didn't last for more than ten minutes.

We had the entire place to ourselves and it is always so incredibly refreshing to be surrounded by God's glorious creation. Sometimes living in city and living our day to day lives, we forget the astounding beauty of the earth that our Creator has given to us. It's a wonderful reflection on the beauty of the Lord and his abounding goodness and love. His creation points us towards Him.
Lat time I visited Yosemite, I remember being simply stunned by how great our God is that he would create such a natural beauty that is beyond words.

"The heavens proclaim his righteousness, and all the people see his glory."
Psalm 97:6

Yes I'm still here

I've been quite the slacker of a blogger the last few weeks. David's computer crashed during his finals and he takes all his notes using One Note software. He spent finals week working on my computer so I didn't have much of a chance then to write. 

Then, the AC/DC plug on my laptop broken off and my battery quickly died a day later leaving us without a computer until my new power cord came in. I can't believe my little iBook G4 is still working. My parents bought it in 2005 when I started college! Just goes to show what great products Mac makes. I'm hoping this one will last until David graduates from dental school next May and I can purchase a new Mac desktop to do video and photo editing on. With baby coming, I know I will be taking lots more video and pictures and I would like to learn Photoshop at some point as well. 

It's been a bit hectic around here. David's brother John was married last weekend to a wonderful sweet girl named Beth. We had most of David's family and two groomsmen staying in our rather small house for the weekend. I'd post pictures but my USB cable for my camera doesn't seem to be working and I just ordered a SD card reader to use instead. So, pictures will have to wait, but it was a beautiful, perfectly orchestrated wedding and everyone had a great time. 

Lots more posts in the coming weeks!