Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Indefinite, Nervous, and Uncertain

Merriam-Webster defines the word uncertain as follows, indefinite; not reliable; not know beyond a doubt.

This is how I am feeling.  For quite some time I have been uncertain about events that are happening around me.  I am not certain how I feel about them.  I am not certain that I want to do anything about them.

Nervous: marked by strength of thought, feeling or style.

Maybe this describes me better.  Maybe I am uncertain AND nervous.  That kind of combination is a recipe for a very odd situation.  Perhaps awkward even.  How do you deal with this kind of situation?  Well, I tend to avoid.

Avoid: to keep away from; to depart or withdraw from.

This is how I deal with it.  Well, how I like to deal with it...by just avoiding it.  After talking to my husband and hearing a very convicting sermon by our pastor, I am learning that avoidance is perhaps not the best plan of attack.

A week or so ago our pastor did a sermon on The Roadblocks to a Flourishing Life.  One of the points that he made was that we should not be avoiding cross-like experiences, using Luke 4:1-12 as a reference point. 
This is the point of Jesus' life where he was in the desert being tempted by Satan.  We are so used to instant gratification in this day and age with all the cell phones, text messages, im's, and emails.  If that isn't bad enough we have credit cards, loans, and store credits.  We are constantly bombarded with information on the radio, tv and internet.  But what if any of this interferes with your life flourishing in God?  What if this is a roadblock for you in living your life for God?  What if being constantly bombarded is hindering your happiness?

So what does avoidance have to do with my nervousness?  Well, by being nervous I avoid.  By avoiding I am preventing myself from flourishing in God.  I am standing in my own way!  I have a visual image of me, standing in front of me.  And just as if in a mirror, if I step left, I step left and right, right.  If I try and go forward, I make myself stand still, or move back.  I need to let it go.  I need to let God do HIS thing, and allow myself to flourish.

Monday, May 24, 2010


In the last week I have started doing a couple of things. 
Thing 1:  I started writing a journal.  I have been struggling internally with a situation and I am desperately trying to figure out what I am to do, what is Godly and how to do it.  Since my weekend at Women of Faith I have been reading a book by Lisa Welchel, Friendship for Grown-ups.  As I am reading the book I am sitting there thinking, "Was she sitting here watching me over the last few months?"  So, as I read that book I am learning from her experiences and God is softening my heart.  I know that God can heal my brokeness, but I have to allow Him to do so. 

Thing 2:  I started writing!  Not just the journal.  This is something that I have loved to do but never found the time.  With Butterfly and Bee being older and keeping Bubby occupied I have a few minutes here and there and am finally able to do it!  I love it.  Developing characters, writing the plots, expanding on the characters life.  It is so much fun!  Now nothing will ever come of my writings but at least it gives me a portable hobby.  I can take a pen and pad of paper pretty much where ever I go.  :)

Have you written a journal?  How did it make you feel?  Did you somehow feel lighter by just getting the words out?

For me, the journal I have been writing is very therapeutic.  I am able to work through things much easier.  I feel less anxious.  Any time I feel overwhelmed, anxious, depressed, happy, sad, angry, etc I can write it down.  Many times the things I write turn into prayers.  Prayers to help myself understand my circumstances.  Prayers for others. 

What do you to pass the time?  What is your favorite outlet?  Favorite hobby?  Do you have as much time as you would like to enjoy this hobby?

Monday, May 17, 2010

I may have alluded to this in the past but just for the record...I cloth diaper.  :)

I LOVE cloth diapering.  I CD'd Bee when she was a baby and I am now CDing Bubby. 

Here is a quick run down of some different kinds of diapers that are out there.

Prefolds - also commonly used as a burp cloth
Contours - like a fitted without the elastic
Fitteds - diaper shaped with elastic at back and legs, usually has snaps/velcro
Covers - a waterproof barrier that goes over the fitted/prefold/contour diaper.
Pockets - a waterproof diaper that has a pocket where an insert (prefold that is folded in thrids or microfiber insert) is placed to absorb waste.
All in Ones/Twos (AIO/AI2) - a waterproof diaper that has the insert sewn into it.  Once it is soiled it is changed just like a regular diaper.

This is just a short list with a minimal description of the diapers.

Many of my mommy friends also cloth diaper their kids.  It is a great little community.  If we have a problem with our dipes (stains, stinkies, what have you) we can all chat about what has worked for us and what hasn't.  We can discuss what brands we like, what styles of dipes we are using and the new fads. 

I am a fitted and cover lover.  :)  I love how they work.  Unfortunately, Bubby just outgrew all the fitteds/covers we have.  So I am in the process of selling those to get more in the next size up.  He is growing so much faster than the girls.  Bee didn't ever need anything bigger than what we have now...and Bubby is already needing more at 9 months.  :D

I also love pocket diapers.  They are great for leaving with the sitter, nursery worker, or Dad.  They are just like putting on a sposie diaper but instead of tossing it in the trash you toss it in the wash. 

There are many ways to wash your dipes.  Some use soap nuts, other use regular detergent, yet others use dye free perfume free detergents, and still others use things like Rockin' Green, Crunchy Clean or the like.  I have used several of these methods but my favorite thus far is the Rockin' Green.  They have FABULOUS scents and several different formulas.

I am currently using their classic formula.  I love it.  It has taken all of those microfiber stinkies away.  My son, who has sensitive skin, does NOT react to this detergent!  I AM AMAZED.  You can take a look at a previous post to see what I have done with Rockin' Green.  Today, I soaked my kids' lovies in Rockin' Green and this is what came out of the CLEAN blankets! 

You can already see the yuck coming out of the blankets..and the water was still filling the tub.

This last pic is right before I tossed them in the washing machine to get clean, clean, clean. 
Gross, huh?!

I am now using up what is left of my regular detergent and switching ALL of our laundry over to Rockin' Green.  I am very impressed with this product.

At any rate, these are my two cents on cloth diapers.  If you have any questions, post them and I will do my best to answer them.  :)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Granola Bars

You asked and will receive!  :)  Here is the granola bar recipe that I got a from a friend of mine (Thanks Stacie!).  They are fantastic!  You can make them however you want them.  Really healthy with nuts and berries or you can make them a little indulgent with chocolate.  :)

I typically use the whole wheat flour.  I like how it tastes.  Also I use half corn syrup and half honey.  I have used a trail mix blend I picked up from Target and that worked out GREAT.  I have also added chocolate chips and nuts and nuts and dried berries.  SOOO good.  :)  My hubby likes to take these with him for after he gets done mountain biking.  


Granola Bars
(make a 9x13 pan)
(also, I have the healthier version of an ingredient next to the basic ingredient on some items, just wanted to give you a heads up so you don't use both!)

Mix together:

4 1/2 cups old fashion oats
1 cup white flour or 3/4 cup whole wheat
1/3 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup light corn syrup or honey
10 tablespoons melted margarine or melted butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup of any add ins such as chocolate chips, cranberries and almonds, coconut, walnuts...etc...I like doing a half cup chocolate chips and peanut butter chips

Mix all ingredients together...make sure it is mixed VERY well. Pour into a greased 9x13, press bars into pan with greased hands then bake at 325 degrees for 18 minutes. Immediately after you take them out of the oven, take a flat spatula and press the granola bars into the pan, this makes them hold together well. Cut into bars after cooling for 10 minutes.

Sewing, sewing, sewing...

I am so excited.  I am finally sewing something for myself.  I have 3 dresses on deck for myself (and a TON of fabric).  I also have 3 dresses for each of the girls as well...man that is 9 dresses.  I hope to have them all done by the time we go back to Minnesota in the end of June.  We will be there for a couple of weeks and at that time of year you need light clothing so you don't die of the heat and humidity.  Oy!  Here are the patterns and fabric's that I am going to be using.  I can't WAIT to show you all the finished product.  With my hubby being gone late a couple nights a week this gives me a GREAT opportunity to work on these projects.  :)

As of right now I have both of these dresses cut out and waiting to get sewn.  I am going to cut out a third dress today and then have a sewing marathon.  :)

I am doing the long dress (well a rendition of it) on the first pattern and the dress pictured on the second dress.  The third dress is going to be the shorter dress on the second pattern.  I am so excited!  I better get to it!  :D

Monday, May 10, 2010

Pink Champagne Cupcakes

Oh so delicious!  I made these for the first time on Saturday night and OH...MY...GOODNESS!  They are so good.  They can be a pale pink or a beautiful bright pink (depending on how much food coloring you add) and they are divine.  My kids have eaten all of their food since I made these cute little cupcakes.

I found the recipe while surfing around the Betty Crocker website.  Here is the link.  I will also post it below so that you can have it right on my blog (and just in case BC decides to get rid of the recipe at some point).

Champagne Cupcakes
1box Betty Crocker® SuperMoist® white cake mix
1 1/4cups champagne
1/3cup vegetable oil
3egg whites
4to 5 drops red food coloring 
Champagne Frosting
1/2cup butter or margarine, softened
4cups powdered sugar
1/4cup champagne
1teaspoon vanilla
4to 5 drops red food coloring

Pink decorator sugar crystals

Edible pink pearls

Print these coupons...

About Concordance™

1.Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pan). Place paper baking cup in each of 24 regular-size muffin cups.
2.In large bowl, combine dry cake mix and champagne. Add oil, eggs and food color. Beat with electric mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups.
3.Bake 17 to 22 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pan to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.
4.In medium bowl, beat frosting ingredients with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Frost cupcakes. Sprinkle with pink sugar and pearls. 

Friday, May 7, 2010

New Recipes!

I have been trying out various recipes as of late.  I have been watching more Rachel Ray (just the 30 Minute Meals) and being a touch adventurous.  For us adventurous is having something more than just meat, potatoes and corn.  My hubby is a farm boy so that is what he likes best.  Now don't get me wrong, I love a good hearty meal like that but I also like things to be a little more fun.  Insert recipe here...lol.

Here is one of our new favorites.  The odds are if you are a friend of mine of Facebook you will have seen me rave about this one.  :)  This is going to become a staple in our house from now on.  (Don't worry Shari, you don't have to throw a pinch of salf over your shoulder.)  ;)

Mini Greek Turkey Burgers w/ Cucumber Sauce

1 loaf of French bread (sliced into six buns)

8 oz fat free plain Greek yogurt (I used 12oz)... See More
1/4 c finely chopped cucumber (I seeded it and used half of a large cucumber)
1/4 t dried dill weed
1/4 t lemon juice
dash salt
dash pepper

1lb lean ground turkey
2 small garlic cloves (I grate mine into the meat)
1/4 c finely chopped red onion
1/4 c finely chopped flat leaf parsley
1 t EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)

1 block reduced fat feta cheese (I used crumbled feta and it worked just fine too)

6 lettuce leaves

Mix first set of ingredients together and refridgerate while you make the burgers.

Mix all burger ingredients together and mold into 12 patties.

On six of the patties place the cheese and then place the other six burgers on top of the cheese'd burgers and seal well.

Heat up some EVOO in a 12 inch skillet. Add patties. Cook 5 min on each side and then another 3 min on each side to get the color on the burgers.

Cut bread into buns. Put 1 T of the cucumber sauce on each bun and then one piece of lettuce. Then place a burger on top.

Serve with extra sauce.
Here is what my version looked like:

The next recipe that we had tried recently is also from Rachel Ray.  :)  (Can you sense a theme here?)
This came right from the Food Network site. 

Florentine Mac and Cheese and Roast Chicken Sausage Meatballs


  • Salt
  • 1 pound cavatappi corkscrew shaped hallow pasta
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground chicken
  • Black pepper
  • 2 to 3 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves stripped and finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 3 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Parmigiano Reggiano, divided
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup bread crumbs, plus more, if needed*
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 boxes, 10 ounces, chopped frozen spinach
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg, eyeball it


Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Place a large pot of water on to boil for pasta. When it comes to a boil, salt it and add the pasta to cook to al dente. Strain pasta reserving 1 cup cooking liquid.
While the water is coming to a boil, in a large mixing bowl combine the chicken, salt and pepper, rosemary, fennel seeds, garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano - a rounded handful, egg and bread crumbs. *If the mixture seems too wet, add a handful of bread crumbs and mix together.
Form 8 large round balls, about 3 to 4-inches. Coat balls in a couple of tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil and lightly grease a baking sheet with 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil. Arrange balls on the baking sheet and roast 17 to 18 minutes until juices run clear.
Defrost spinach in microwave 8 to 10 minutes on "defrost" setting depending on the microwave. Place the boxes in a shallow dish to catch any run off.
While the meatballs roast, in a medium sauce pot over medium heat, melt butter, whisk in flour, cook 1 minute then whisk in stock and milk, season with salt, pepper and nutmeg and thicken 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in the remaining 1 cup grated Parmigiano and reduce heat on lowest setting.
Wring spinach completely dry in clean kitchen towel then separate as you add it to the sauce. Also add the reserved 1 cup pasta cooking liquid.
Toss pasta with the spinach-white sauce and adjust seasonings.
Serve Florentine Mac-n-Cheese with 2 meatballs per person along side.

I found these meatballs to be a bit large so I only did one per person.  :)

Here is what my version looked like all plated up.  :)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Canary and The Hooker

As promised I am going to elaborate on being a canary and a hooker.  :)

This weekend two of our speakers were Andy Andrews and Nicole Johnson (she did some AMAZING dramas for us).

We will start with Andy Andrews.  He is a very...lively person.  He was so much fun to watch you couldn't help but be riveted to what he was saying.  He was all around the stage, up and down the stairs, down in the audience...just everywhere.  So much fun to watch.  At any rate, he was discussing different personality types.  The Puppy Dog, The Canary, The Goldfish and The Kitty Cat.  Here is a quick break down of what those types mean.  The Puppy Dog: you are looking for positive feedback.  Such as, "You did a GREAT job on that project", "Thanks for making dinner honey!", etc.  The Canary: All the canary wants is for you to want to sit down and listen to them for a bit...insert me waving hand wildly.  The Goldfish:  They are do-ers.   They want to do and fix everything for everyone.  The Kitty Cat: They love touch.  A hug, or a hand on the arm/leg, etc. 
Understanding who you are and who your spouse or friends are will help you to understand and relate to one another.  I know that I am a canary.  I also know that my hubby is a Puppy Dog.  The better you understand who you are, the better you can understand how to relate to other people and who THEY are.

Nicole Johnson.  What can I say.  She is a woman who knows how to do powerful drama.  The one that I remember struck a cord with me.  She came out all dressed up like Captain Hook.  She used this symbol to alert us to our behavior.  When we "hook" people, whether it be our friends, our spouses, or even our kids. 
You would do this for me if you loved me...
That is a very common phrase for people who hook others.  When you are being hooked it feels like there is a contingency on your relationship.  The person being hooked feels trapped.  I know I have done my share of "hooking" but I also know that God can help me to change that and make me a better person.  So I am laying my hook down and giving it to God.  Will you do the same?

I cannot tell you the inspiration and memories that I have from this weekend.  I feel energized again.  I feel like I am a mom with a mission now.  To be a better mom and wife, to be a better sister and daughter.  

Monday, May 3, 2010

Women of Faith

What a fantastic weekend!  My mom, mother in law and sister came in from Minnesota and Wisconsin to share the experience with me.  We had a fabulous time listening to speakers, rockin' out to some music and having an overall fantastic time together.

Friday morning was the beginning of the conference.  We listened to Patsy Clairmont and Andy Andrews during the day.  What a fabulous way to start it off.  With Patsy's vivaciousness and Andy's entertaining antics we had at great day.  After the day sessions we got settled in our hotel and went to Ted's Montana Grill for dinner.  Let me tell you, those bison burgers are purely AMAZING!  I will definitely be going back there.  Then we had our evening session.  Lisa Welchel and we had a WONDERFUL concert with Mandisa (former American Idol contestant).

The next morning we started it off bright and early and ready for the day.  We stopped by Starbucks for breakfast and had one of my best friends join us for the day.  We heard Sandi Patty, Marilynn Meberg, Anita Renfroe, and fabulous drama by Nicole Johnson.  We also had the opportunity to hear Steven Curtis Chapman and his wife Mary Beth.  It was, as her husband said, her world premiere in speaking.  She told us she had three thing she said she would never do, homeschool, adopt, or speak in public.  And now that she is speaking in public she will be homeschooling her adoptive children.  :)  She spoke about how God has used the tragedy in their lives to help others.  She was a VERY moving speaker.  I hope that she continues to speak as I would love to hear her again.

One of the things I took away from this weekend was on friendships.  Lisa Welchel spoke on how to choose the right friends, how to be a good friend and what a healthy relationship looks like.  It spoke to me on many different levels.

I cannot tell you how amazing it was to have all of these fabulous speakers in one venue.  To have the opportunity to grow closer to God and my family.  This is a weekend that I will never forget.  I thank my family so much for coming and sharing this event with me.

Oh and I also learned that I am a canary and a "hooker".  ;)  More on those later!

Here are a few pictures of what our weekend was like: