Jun 25, 2012

The beast

There's an animal lurking around our home. It's not like the 20 in. corn snake found in my brother & sister-in-laws family room last week. No, this is much, much scarier than that. And, it rears its ugly head at a moments notice. There's no rhyme or reason... it's just untrained. And it's ferocious. Even without lungs, it is harming people ... sometimes daily. 

It's my tongue.

I'm working on memorizing Ephesians 4:29 "Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear."

Building up? Giving grace? Not even close.

Last night, mindlessly, I said something to The Hubby that was just rude, unkind, and completely untrue about him. I called him a name... and I was joking... but it was just unnecessary. My man knows me well enough to know I was joking, but it was another nail hole in his fence. (Ever heard that story... when you hurt someone it's like you put a nail in their fence... and though you may apologize and ask for forgiveness... and the nail comes out... the hole in the fence remains for a while. I like to think that eventually Jesus comes by with His wood putty and fills in the hole... but its rarely immediate.)

I love My Hubby. He's the man of my dreams. But what I said to him was a low blow.

When I started working on this verse I was thinking gossip. What I realized after last night's exchange is that it's not what I'm saying behind people's backs that's hurting them-- gossip isn't really my thing. It's the coarseness with which I'm saying things to people ... as I look them in the eye.


So, why am I telling you? #1) Beware if you're near me. This thing is ugly! It comes out at the most random of moments and it will chew you up and spit you out in nothing flat. Ask My Hubby! On second thought, don't. Please. I don't want to relive it, or have him relive it, ever again. #2) Call me out on this, people! This is not right. Shoot the beast! Kill the beast!

With all this said, I'm adding a few more verses to my "soon to be memorized" list:
"May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth if I do not remember you..." -Psalm 137:6
"When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise." -Proverbs 10:19
"He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from calamity." -Proverbs 21:23

And the most painful, but most important ones as I attempt to kill this beast...
"If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless." -James 1:26 (My testimony is at stake! I refuse to waste all that God has done in my life!)
... and James 3:1-12. Ouch. Ouch. Ouch.

So there you have it. Guns are blazin'. Kill the beast.

Jun 19, 2012

Our current reality

We have a really good gig right now. My gracious MIL & FIL opened their home to allow the four of us to move in while we hover between old life and new life. (By move in, I mean utilize 2 of 4 bedrooms, an entire playroom and most every inch of closet space in the house.)

About a week before we moved in, they started on a dream they had when they purchased this home... an awesome, gigantic family room addition.

Here's what it looked like about 3 weeks ago...

Last week, The Girl and I spent a few days in Lafayette, as she had a very important event.... "Pretty Princess Dance Camp." Before we left, The Hubby & FIL started dismantling the wall between the kitchen and the dining room portion of the addition.

Here's what it looked like when we left...

And this is our current reality...

There is no denying that this is going to be one SWEET hang out when all is said and done. However, there are some minor pains along the way. Namely... well... see that plastic wall in the photo above?

Check out what's on the other side of it...
That would be the oven and cook top. :)

Now, in God's sovereignty, this is all going down in the peak of grilling season. And, FIL loves himself some grillin'. I also happen to be very fond of my crock pot, so that's great. And, MIL woke up yesterday and remembered she has an electric skillet. SCORE! So, we're inconvenienced... for a 2nd week.... and all a little edgy when there isn't marked advancement at the end of a days work... but we're not going hungry.

And, we're starting to see the beginnings of many family holidays come to light in one, special room...

Jun 18, 2012

Crockpot Enchilada Casserole

3 Tbsp diced green chili's
1/2 C mild salsa
1/4 C chopped green onion
1/4 C chopped fresh cilantro
15 oz can- black beans, drained
11 oz can- yellow corn, with red and green bell peppers, drained
10 oz can- enchilada sauce
2 large eggs
1 box Jiffy corn muffin mix
1 1/2 C shredded Mexican four-cheese blend

1. Stir together chilies & next 6 ingredients in a lightly greased 4 qt. slow cooker. Cover and cook on low 3 hours.
2. Whisk 2 eggs in a medium bowl, stir in muffin mix. Spoon batter over bean mixture in slow cooker. Cover and cook on low 1 hour or until cornbread is done.
3. Sprinkle cheese over cornbread. Increase heat to high; cover and cook 5 minutes or until cheese melts. Spoon into shallow bowls. Garnish with sour cream, chopped fresh cilantro, if desired.

Layered Southwestern Salad

3 C torn lettuce
15 oz can- kidney beans, rinsed & drained
15 oz can- black beans, rinsed & drained
12 oz. can- no salt added corn, drained
1/4 C chopped red onion
1 C nonfat or low-fat sour cream
1/4 C chopped fresh cilantro
2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1 Tbsp lime juice
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 C shredded low-fat cheddar cheese

Place lettuce in the bottom of a large, shallow clear glass bowl or baking dish. Add the following layers in the order listed: beans, corn and onion. Set aside.
In a small bowl, stir together sour cream, cilantro, vinegar, lime, salt and pepper. Spread evenly over top of salad. Sprinkle with cheese. Cover and chill for 1 to 24 hours.
Stir and mix well just prior to serving.

Jun 10, 2012

940 Saturdays

Friday night in my most-recent Readers Digest, I read this:

940: The number of Saturdays between the day your child is born and the time he or she turns 18. The phrase might serve as a reminder to cherish the time you have with your child and use it wisely.
-From No Regrets Parenting by Harley Rotbart, MD

Wow. Only 940? That doesn't seem like many!

When we got pregnant with The Boy, The Hubby started a Saturday morning tradition with The Girl in which the two of them went on a doughnut expedition. Each Saturday, they'd wake up and ditch me to go and find the most wonderful of puffy, filled, iced confections. Not only did I get an hour or so to myself, but they got their much needed one-on-one time and most of the time they remembered to bring me one, too ;) In the end it was a win for all parties involved.

Now, it's a family affair. Most Saturdays, no matter what city we're in, we get up, get dressed, and let the hunt begin.

I did some math after reading this statistic (don't worry, I used a calculator) and discovered that we only have 732 Saturdays left with The Girl. WHAT? How is that even possible? In four short years we've whittled away more than 200! (Hold in the tears. Hold in the tears. Hold in the tears.)

Immediately, I was convicted (once again) of my selfishness. Just that morning, The Hubby had been invited by my FIL to go play a round of golf. SELFISHLY, I wanted to cross my arms, stop my foot and say, "I've been here with these yahoos all week... the three of us REALLY need you here... for our sanity... and you want to go be away from us for 4.5 hours of swinging a stick with your Dad?"

And then it hit me.

"... with your Dad."

You see, the thing is, even though they've already had their 940 Saturdays, I had the opportunity to allow them both #941 or #1265, or #1560. It wasn't about "leaving us." It was about time away, not working, to unwind, exercise, laugh and talk ... with his Dad.

So ... what are you doing with the 940 "Saturdays" you've got with your kids? Are you making memories? Are you doing chores as a family? Are you realizing there are only 52/year? (Lets not get all legalistic here, your "Saturday" might very well be Thursday, or Monday, or whatever day works into your family schedule!)

The point is will your son or daughter one day want to come back to your home and continue to have that special one-on-one time? Will they crave the warm feeling in their heart when they think of the fun, silly, spontaneous, ritual, SACRED things you did together at least once a week? Will they want to build those moments into their family life someday?

I hope so... for both your kids and mine.

Peanut Butter-Banana Oatmeal Squares

Odds are good you already have everything you need to make this for breakfast tomorrow ;)

1 1/2 C quick cooking oats
1/4 C packed light brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon

Add in:
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 C milk
1 egg
1 mashed banana
1/4 C peanut butter

Bake at 350* for 20 min. in a greased 8 x 8 pan.

Onion-Butter Corn Packets

1/3 C butter, softened
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 ears of corn, husked, silks removed
2 Tbsp onion soup mix
4 Tbs chopped fresh dill

1. Preheat grill to medium-high (350-400*F). In a small bowl combine butter and garlic. Spread evenly on corn.

2. Cut 4 (6 x 18 in) sheets of heavy duty foil. Place 1 ear of born in the center of each sheet. Sprinkle evenly with soup mix and dill. Place one ice cube next to each ear of corn. Fold foil over corn;l crimp edges to seal, leaving room for expansion.

3. Place wrapped corn on the grill. Grill, covered, 15 minutes or until tender, turning halfway through grilling. Carefully remove corn from foil, and serve.

Serves 4.

Easy to stuff Manicotti

1 pkg (8 oz) manicotti shells
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 C chopped onion
1 jar (26 oz) spaghetti sauce
14 pieces string cheese
1 1/2 C (6 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese

Cook manicotti according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the spaghetti sauce. Spread half of the meat sauce into a greased 9 x 13 in. baking dish. Drain manicotti; stuff each shell with a piece of string cheese. Place over meat sauce; top with remaining sauce. Cover and bake at 350* for 25-30 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle with mozzarella.