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.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Carseat Cover

Well, it's after midnight and after an hour of tossing and turning I decided to get out of bed. Pregnancy insomnia, it's my last few weeks of not having to wake to nurse a newborn yet I'm up anyways. Oh the irony. I can't wait to meet our sweet girl in a few weeks (or tomorrow who knows at this point?) I'm 37 weeks and 5 days.
I found this carseat cover via a friend's pin on Pinterest last weekend and decided it would be a fun project. I'm all about killing time these days! I currently don't have a sewing machine so I tackled this project with a little hand sewing. It's not quite as professional looking as it I had done it with a machine and I wish it had velco instead of snaps but I still love it. The best part? It was totally free to make! I already had the blanket, snaps and ribbon laying around the house.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Meal Plan Monday

I actually got around to planing our meals on Monday this week! It's the end of the month, ie we are low on food and I've spent the grocery money so it took me a bit longer to plan this week's menu but I managed to create a weeks worth of dinners without eating chicken every night!

Enchilada Rice- I didn't get around to making this last week and we don't have any ground beef so it will be vegetarian enchilada rice.

Panera Bread Tomato Soup- this was also on last week's menu but I didn't make it. The great thing about meal planning is you can be both prepared and flexible! 

Spaghetti- this is quickly becoming my Wednesday night staple as I get home at 5:30 and have to leave for bible study at 6:45 leaving little time to cook. I just pull the sauce from the freezer a few days before and defrost in the fridge. All I have to do is boil water for the pasta, heat the sauce and dinner is ready. 

Oven roasted chicken with okra and couscous

Meatballs from the freezer, veggies and oven fries

David is taking the first part of the dental licensing exam on Saturday which will be followed by a class party with lots of yummy food! I'm working on our Halloween costume to wear to the party.

Brinner, I keep trying to cook on Sunday evening but never seem to have the energy to do so. Plus evening church starts at 6:30 meaning we have to eat very early or very late. Post dinner pancakes or breakfast tacos is becoming the trend since I can whip them up quickly after church.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Meal Plan Monday on Tuesday

I actually did check the sales, get recipes, menu plan and go grocery shopping yesterday but didn't have a chance to type this up on Monday. I'm determined to become a better cook and break out of my boring food rut. I found several new recipes that we are going to try this week.

Monday  Cattle Drive Chili. The recipe calls for 3 tablespoon chili powder but she suggested using only 2. I thought it needed more heat and more tomatoes. We like our chili somewhat spicy with lots of tomatoes. This is rather thick with little broth, I also added more water. I've yet to find a chili recipe that we absolutely love, so if you have a great one, please send it my way! I have a feeling we are going to be eating lots of soup this winter.

Tuesday Potatoes and meatballs, veggies. Meatballs are from the freezer. 

Wednesday Homemade spaghetti sauce from the freezer with whole wheat noodles. 

Thursday Chicken Queso Soup, veggies

Friday Italian turkey sausage, baked potatoes and veggies. 

Saturday Enchilada Rice

Sunday Panera Bread Style Tomato Soup

Spicy Hop 'n Johns

I didn't discover Hop 'n Johns until I got married and they are a super easy, frugal and healthy meal that also freezes well. The only downside of this recipe is the fact that you have to have a leftover ham hock or bone to make it with. While spiral sliced isn't the only way to buy ham, it's certainly the easiest and tastiest in my opinion. Spiral sliced ham is rather expensive but in January I buy several on clearance, cut them up into more manageable portions and freeze them. 

Spicy Hop 'n Johns (from my mother in law)2 cups (1 bag or 1 lbs) dried black eyed peas (soaked overnight or boil 2 min then soak 1 hour)*
ham hock
2c chopped tomatoes
1 c chopped celery
1 c chopped onion
1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons chili powder
8 cups water 1/4 t basil
1 bay leaf
1 c brown rice
Add all ingredient to peas except rice. Simmer 1.25 hours or until peas are tender. Remove ham from bone. Add rice simmer till rice is tender apx 45 min.

* Be sure to drain all beans after soaking, it makes them less gassy, easier to digest and who wants to cook beans in the now dirty water they were soaking in?

Friday, October 14, 2011

Good Reads for September

I'm not doing the best job of keeping track of what I've been reading so I had to sit and think for a few minutes about last month's books. 

Bringing Up Girls by James Dobson. This came out last year and is a must read for every parent of girls. Some parts were very encouraging about the unique way God created our daughters differently from boys, the powerful relationship parents, especially fathers, have with their daughters. Other chapters I found somewhat distressful and even scary as he recounted statistics about the plight of modern girls. Kind of made me want to lock up our daughter until she's 25 honestly. Praise the Lord we are not alone as we raise our children and it is not in our own strength. God's grace (and his guidance) is sufficient! 

The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth by Henci Goer. Fantastic book for all pregnant woman explaining all the different medical procedures and practices used in obstetrics and midwifery. She is slanted towards natural childbirth which she gladly admits to but each subject is covered in a relatively non biased way with the pros and cons summarized with supporting medical literature. There are over one hundred pages of references. 

Subjects include cesareans * ultrasound * gestational diabetes * breech babies * inducing labor * IVs * electronic fetal monitoring * ruptured membranes * epidurals * episiotomies * vaginal birth after a cesarean * midwives and obstetricians * alternative birthing methods * choosing a birth location * drugs and delivery * elective induction * professional labor support * and much more 

I've already finished two books for October and have a huge stack of library books to get through. I normally only check out one or two at a time but I put ten books on hold and they are coming in quicker than I can read them. I will have lots of time nursing baby girl over the next year to enjoy new books. 

Georgia Baby Shower

 Me with the hostesses, Shannon, Julia and Renee 

Last Saturday three of my sweet friends from bible study blessed me with a baby shower. It was a beautiful shower with yummy food and great fellowship. David's sisters and mom were able to make it down for the shower as well.
 Denesha had her baby boy six days later! 
What was left of the delicious food
My favorite part was when everyone read off bible verses of God's promises for strength and safety and His great love for His children. These will be wonderful verses to meditate on during labor.

 Renee's daughter Allie with my niece Lizzie

Psalm 139:13 - "For you formed my inward parts, you knitted me together in my mother's womb." It's amazing to think of how the Lord is already shaping our daughter into his child and loves her even before she is born! 

Isaiah 43:1 "Fear not, for I have redeemed you, I have called you by name, you are mine."

Deuteronomy 31:6 "Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread... for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you."

 Adorable bow holder Denesha made with my nursery fabric
Three Ensley sisters, my brother in law's wife and my mother in law

Thursday, October 6, 2011


David and I wanted to get away one last time before we become a family of three and took a weekend trip to Asheville, North Carolina a few weeks ago. Tickets for the Biltmore house were cheaper in September than October and I saved $30 by ordering tickets online. Friends all said the audio tour was well worth the extra cost and I'm so glad I went for it. The house tour is self guided and the information in the tour booklet is sparse.
We drove up Saturday morning, stopping at Starbucks in Asheville for a pumpkin latte that was heavenly and worth every penny. We spent about three hours touring the house in the morning and returned to our car for sandwiches. In the afternoon we returned to the house to take pictures of the exterior and explore the beautiful gardens. The morning haze had burned off and the view of the Blue Ridge Mountains was spectacular.
We headed over the the new Antler Village where a large collection of Tiffany lamps was on display. They were simply stunning and it was such a treat to see the vast touring collection. I was getting pretty tired from all the walking and my poor choice of shoes but I buckled down and figured we're only here once and I wanted to enjoy everything. We then toured the winery and bought several bottles of wine to enjoy after I'm no longer pregnant!
Hickory Nut Falls 
We headed back to our hotel which I had booked on Priceline and got ready for dinner. I need to write a whole entry on how to bid for hotels but for now here's a short article from Clark Howard. I saved fifty percent on our hotel, it had a super comfy bed plus breakfast and just happened to be about five minutes from the gate to the estate. We had a delicious steak dinner in Asheville and returned to the hotel to catch the end of the Texas game.
Lake Lure
On Sunday we ate breakfast at our hotel and drove about an hour to Chimney Rock State Park. I knew the elevator was closed but was told you could take a short hike up to the rock instead. By a short hike what they really meant was a vast series of staircases. I got my workout in that day! It was a cloudy fall day but the view from the top was still beautiful, especially after all those stairs we climbed to get there! We also took a "real" hike to Hickory Nut Falls which was sadly just a trickle at this time of year.  
We then headed to a apple orchard in Hendersonville to pick apples and enjoy the cool fall weather. We picked half a bushel of Mutsu and Golden Delicious apples and bought a pumpkin for the front porch as well. After dinner in Hendersonville, we headed home. It was a whirlwind trip but I am so glad we were able to get away before life gets just a bit crazier next month!