Friday, March 27, 2009

Good thoughts....

So these last few days I've felt like a less than good mom. I actually cried about it on my way to work this morning. (ya...motherhood has made me surprisingly emotional!) Silly things like....talking on the phone with a friend for an hour on Wednesday night when Owen was just walking around the house doing nothing...and I really should have been playing with him. And then...again, being on the phone figuring some insurance/billing stuff out yesterday while I let Owen wander around the back yard (I was out there with him...but I wasn't really there)....and just being preoccupied with life...and dishes, and cooking and running around doing stuff that I want to do, instead of just sitting on the floor and playing with my he really WANTS me to do How many times do I tell myself...that these days don't last? That someday it won't be me he WANTS to play with....someday he'll just tolerate me...sure, I think he'll always love me...but we just get this teeny-tiny window of time where our kids want US. And I've been blowing it. I stumbled on this blog this morning...and especially related to this post. Thank goodness that Jesus covers it for us...thank goodness that each day I wake up I have another chance to do it better...and thank goodness that God gave me this kid...with the gorgeous smile and amazing spirit to remind myself how far I am from being anything good apart from the grace of God. Moms....go read this if you have time....I think you'll be blessed!

Really Moist Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Ok, so my co-worker's sister is starting chemotherapy for breast cancer, so I wanted to bring her in something yummy and comforting to recover on. I have a really good banana bread recipe, but it calls for buttermilk and I didn't have any on hand and REALLY REALLY didn't feel like running out to the store for what seemed like the 10th time this week just for buttermilk. So I seriously googled "really good banana bread" and this is the first site that popped up! My mom would be so proud that I'm perusing home schooling websites! (sorry mom, I'm still not gonna homeschool Owen! Its just not my thing!) :-) Ok....this banana bread was AWESOME. And the chocolate chips (I actually used chocolate chunks because that's what I had on hand) ...whoa baby. It was good. It might, MIGHT be replacing my old recipe. Just be aware that the bread is SUPER moist....but everyone at work RAVED about it (and someone asked me if I would start baking things in exchange for money! Hmmm...something to think about!) Anyways...give it a try. You won't be dissapointed!

3 c. sugar 3 eggs 1/2 tsp. vanilla 3 c. bananas, or more (I use 5-6 bananas) 2 tsp. soda 1 1/2 tsp. salt 3 1/2 c. flour 1/3 c. water 1 c. oil 1 tsp. cinnamon 1 c. chocolate chips (we do chocolate chips instead of nuts) I mixed the wet ingredients first, combined the flour, soda, salt separately. Add dry to wet. Stirred in chocolate chips last. Makes 2 large loaves of bread. Put in 2 greased and floured loaf pans and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour. (definitely err on the side of more time...its so moist anyways...I did maybe a little more than an hour)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Ok, so I've gotten really lazy about posting our menu's. Thanks to those of you who have said you have missed it :-) I've still been cooking...not as much...and not as many new things, but I thought I'd post what I'm trying this week, even though its mid week already!

Monday: Met a friend for dinner (Josh had a meeting...I get really lazy about cooking when he can't join us)
Tuesday: Pizza King (blech, but the boys love it)
Wednesday: Crockpot Chicken and Noodles. We will see how this comes out! I basically stole the ingredients from Tina's Chicken and Dumplings and instead of making dumplings, I'm just going to serve it with egg noodles. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it works! So...I have a whole chicken to cut up when I get home...and I'll probably make some mashed potatoes.
Thursday: Pioneer Woman's Beef Enchilada's, rice and beans
Friday: Owen and I are on our own again....we might go to Chic Fila to play :-)
Saturday: Cookout at Caleb and Heather's
Sunday: Grilled Pork Tenderloin, some kind of potatoes (maybe cheesy) and a veggie!

Some yummy things that I've made recently are: homemade meatballs for spaghetti, and chocolate chip banana bread. I'll get the recipes up here shortly! :-)

Edited to Add: Ok everyone....first of all the chicken and noodles turned out awesome. I seriously followed Tina's recipe for her chicken and dumplings...except I just stuck everything in the crockpot for the day. I de-boned the chicken when I got home, made some egg noddles (not from scratch!)...threw it all together in a pot on the stove...and voila. It was good. The only thing I will do differently next time I make this is add LESS wasn't brothy enough. I had PLENTY of stock, but I was thinking I would have too much, so I over compensated on the noodles.
Pioneer Woman's enchiladas were FANTASTIC. So good and worth the extra effort of making your own sauce, frying the tortillas and and coating them in the enchilada sauce! YUM! Of course Josh will have nothing to do with black olives or green onion, so I omitted these....still really, really good. You gotta try it!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Just a few pictures

"Kiss me, I'm Irish"! (and seriously cute!)

Eating chips and salsa at a Mexican Restaurant in Brownsburg....yum!

This is Owen's new thing...pulling his toy up to the door and light switches!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy....St. Patricks Day?

Ok, so we really don't celebrate St. Patrick's Day. (Can you see me at a club drinking green beer? Right. I didn't think so) But we did get Owen a cute shirt that says "Kiss Me, I'm Irish". (this would be a good place to insert a picture of him in his shirt. I don't have one yet. I'll take one tonight) Also, we aren't Irish. Josh has claimed for a long, long time that he has Irish roots. When we were visiting with his family a couple of weeks ago, they were quick to point out that this was incorrect. Ha :-) So.... I guess just because a person has red hair, it doesn't make them Irish. Sorry babe! I'm pretty sure both sides of our families are from the hills of Kentucky :-) ha ha! Just kidding! We love our families and are grateful for our heritage....

Anyways. Not a whole lot of new stuff going on in our lives. Owen is still cute, fun and getting even closer to turning two. We see evidence of this every the form of throwing himself on the floor when he's mad and hasn't gotten what he wanted, and in the very sad (but probably sinful and manipulative) way he turns down his lip and cries his little heart out when he is reprimanded! I'm determined to discipline well and be as consistent as possible. So good. And the whining. Ohhhhh...the whining. Why wasn't I prepared for all of the whining? I've heard it stops around age five. Wonderful.

Ok. Mostly our days with Owen are lots of fun and not focused around discipline! Really. I promise! Here are some fun things he is doing:

- saying "yah" instead of yes (it may not be good English, but it IS cute) :-)
- Climbing in and out of his highchair himself
- "reading" books to himself (its so cute. He really sits with a book and jabbers while turning the pages!)
- counting (right now he is leaving out number one, but counting, two-three and then if we keep going, he knows that six comes after five! how random is that!?)
- enjoying outside time ....looking for airplanes in the sky, clapping the annoying geese away from our house, and just generally running around our yard like a crazy man!
- pulling a toy he can stand on up to the light switches and turning them off and on (good times)
- taking himself to "brush" his teeth
- jumping, running, kicking a ball and shooting a ball seem to be his favorite things to do. He is all boy. Its amazing to me these characteristics just come out!

I just love this kid more every day. I'm excited for the warmer weather and the opportunities to be outside with him. He's going to have a great summer. And I seriously already can't wait for soccer season. I know we are going to have another great year and Owen is going to love going to the games!

Just have to end with a quick plug for our church...Pastor Vroegop did an excellent sermon this Sunday on "Revealing Christ in a Recession". It Powerful. Lets just say I have stuff to work on. If you get the chance...go over and take a listen.
(this link should take you right to the sermon download....if not, its pretty easy to find it on the website which its under "sermons"). :-)

That's it for soon!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


God is constantly and consistently bringing me back to a place of gratitude and appreciation for what He has done in my life. Just today in conversations around me I find myself being so overwhelmed for God's grace and protection in my life. Because its good for the soul, I wanted to make a short list of things I'm particularly thankful for. :-)

- My health. I take it for granted. I have SMALL things that give me rheumatoid arthritis, a thyroid that doesn't function well, a vocal chord that doesn't work. I do NOT have Cancer. Or anything that that debilitates me. Thank you God for this blessing.

- The health of my family. Owen hardly ever gets sick. I worried that I would pass on my legacy of ear infections to him...and my biggest fear in being unable to breastfeed past four months was that he would be an unhealthy child. He's had runny noses and the occasional cold, but I've only taken him to the Dr. to be seen for something other than a well child check up four times in his two year lifespan. That is pretty remarkable to me. Josh is incredibly healthy. Thank you God for this blessing.

- We can pay all of our bills every month and don't live in mountains of debt. Thank you God for providing for us! Thank you for allowing Josh to do something he loves (teaching) but unfortunately doesn't pay a spectacular salary, thank you for letting me stay home part time and thank you for giving us additional resources for this to all work out! We are blessed! Help us to be generous!

- For friends that make our lives so very full and rich. For friends that feel welcome in our home and sit around our dining room table sharing their lives with us until 2:00 AM! Thank you Jesus! Our lives are blessed with people that walk alongside us and encourage us daily!

-For a church that preaches and teaches the very heart of the gospel of Jesus Christ. For a community of believers that practices accountability, discipline and restoration among its people. Thank you Lord.

-For my time at Grace College. Not only did I have a great time and create friendships that are still a huge part of my life today...I look back and know that God used those four years of my life to study the bible and learn about Jesus in a way I would have never had the opportunity to do so outside of Grace. My views of Christianity, religion, and LIFE are reformed because of how God led me to study the scriptures. Thank you Father!

-For everyday that I get out of bed and am given a new day to live! I'm grateful! May I never forget that every breath that I take is given to me from my Creator...Thank you God for the chance to experience life. May I live well!

Have you heard this new song by Lincoln Brewster? Its called "Power of Your Name". Its message is profound so I wanted to share the lyrics:

Surely children weren't made for the streets
And fathers were not made to leave
Surely this isn't how it should be
Let Your Kingdom come

Surely nations were not made for war
Or the broken meant to be ignored
Surely this just can't be what You saw
Let Your Kingdom come
Here in my heart

I will live
To carry Your compassion
To love a world that's broken
To be Your hands and feet
I will give
With the life that I've been given
And go beyond religion
To see the world be changed
By the power of Your name

Surely life wasn't made to regret
And the lost were not made to forget
Surely faith without action is dead
Let Your Kingdom come
Lord break this heart

Your name
Is a shelter for the hurting
Jesus Your name
Is a refuge for the weak
Only Your name
Can redeem the undeserving
Jesus Your name
Holds everything I need

Isn't this the very heart of the gospel? To "go beyond religion" and "love a world that's broken". Shew. So much to think about. So many days I feel incredibly selfish. I want new clothes. I want my hair done. I want stuff for the house. I want a nap! When will I really understand that all this stuff is fleeting and it really doesn't make my life full? This is my prayer...that my eyes will constantly be opened to what really matters..."to carry your compassion, to love a world that's broken". Most days doing things God's way makes sense and I want to live my life that way, but other days are harder and I want to throw in the towel and do it MY way! I don't like pain...I don't like hard stuff...I want it EASY! :-) Mark 9:24 I do believe, Lord: help my unbelief!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Just for the record:

-Owen can count to three (now catching him when he actually WANTS to do this is the trick. But I've heard him do this on three separate accounts now, so I know he can do it!)

- He has two new words that come to mind. "House" and last night he shocked us all with "shark" after reading a book with Aunt Rachel on...well..."sharks" :-) Just random, I know. But I like to keep track of these new words as they appear in his vocabulary.

- I'm starting to appreciate the fact that I now have a toddler that can mostly communicate with me. He is getting really good at asking us for what he wants. Mostly...juice. I figured this out when we didn't have any in the house over the weekend. I'm not a HUGE juice giver, but I probably let him have about sippy cup full a day (plus I found a brand at Marsh that carries a apple juice that is NOT made from concentrate...SCORE!)and basically Friday-Monday I was only offering him milk or water. He wasn't pleased. "JUICE MOMMA, JUICE"! :-) Ok. I picked some up at the grocery store yesterday.

- I have nursery duty at church this month and they just so happened to stick me in Owen's room. At first I didn't think it was a great idea because he was confused about me being there and freaked out whenever I went to help another kid...but it turned out OKAY (not great, just OKAY)he eventually forgot about me (mostly) and just went about his business so I got to see him interact with other kids. It was really cute. He is definitely Mr. Sensitivity...just kind of shyly watched the "rough and tough" kids, played on the slide and was super good at helping clean kid even arranged the books on the bookshelf in a neat row. Yikes. I wonder where he gets that....probably Josh!? (NOT!) Anyways. It was fun to watch him play and interact with others somewhat independently from me.

- God has been reminding me once again how incredibly blessed I am to have Owen...and to have a healthy Owen. :-) On a playdate with another mommy friend to Chic Fila we met a mother who was here from Nashville, Tennessee...she had her one month old baby boy in the Payton Manning Children's Hospital (St. Vincents) because he was born with a diaphragmatic hernia....(apparently Indiana is one of the seven states that has the breathing machine that will help repair this in an infant...go Indiana!)...her ONE MONTH OLD BABY. I can't even imagine. She was very positive and optimistic....I told her I'd keep her family in my prayers. Shew. So sad. Thankfully it sounds as though he will recover well and really be just fine. Still scary! Yesterday I met a friend at Riley Hospital (right across the street from my office)...and I now literally have to prepare myself emotionally before I even walk in that place because I always end up feeling overwhelmed by all of the sick kiddos....and yesterday I saw a blond headed little boy about Owen's age being pulled in a wagon with an IV in his arm and I seriously couldn't even get a grip on myself to stop from crying. I had to turn around and walk away. Seriously. Where does this emotion come from? I have no idea...but I feel like every sick kid I MY kid! So...THANK YOU JESUS for another day that my sweet baby boy is healthy! I WON'T take this for granted!

So much to be grateful many good days to look forward to. We may not do many 'exciting' things right now (no extravagant vacations, pizza and a movie on Friday night, and Chili's being our big dinning out experience) BUT I love our life and am blessed by the warmth of friendships and the love of a wonderful family.

Anyways...yay for March being here. Flip flop and capri weather is just around the corner, Owen will turn TWO next month (how did that happen? I REALLY have NO idea) and before we even know it we'll be into the summer. Josh is taking his LAST graduate class this summer!!!! (I can't even TELL you how exciting this is!) and we're hoping to drive down to Florida to spend a few days with the Sharbaugh Family and take Owen to the beach. So excited :-)

Thats it for now...Happy First week of March! I hear its supposed to be 60 degrees this weekend!

Sunday, March 1, 2009


I took a week of from cooking last week....we just had a lot going on so I didn't take the time to try anything new or do anything fancy. Josh and Owen ate an old time favorite...poppyseed chicken...on Monday and then we were gone for dinner until Thursday when I threw together some chicken tortilla soup. We had friends over on Saturday night and I did try annieseats White Chicken was YUM. Josh loved definitely had the spicy hot factor goin' on. I'm going to try a few new things this week. Here goes!

Monday: Chicken Parmesan, bread and salad
Tuesday: Out
Wednesday: Crockpot Rigatoni
Thursday: Spicy Shredded Pork with tortillas, salsa and black beans
Friday: Pizza
Saturday: TBD
Sunday: Leftovers or Roast

Edited to Add: The parmesan chicken was excellent. It called for panko breadcrumbs for the breading and I browned them in olive oil until they were golden brown...yum. I brought the leftovers in for co-workers and they raved about it. Definitely a thumbs up on this one!