Sunday, December 5, 2010

Blessed to Be a Blessing: To Haiti, With Love...




I have so thoroughly enjoyed watching our girls grow from 5lb 4 oz peanuts into almost 20 lb. super babies! They are adorable. They maneuver their way all over the blankets I lay out on the ground every morning and coo and sing and even have this funny high pitched, shrill, at times ear piercing scream they let out. I love it. Truly.

What I love even more is the opportunities our babies have provided us to bless others. I have desired nothing more than for our girls to grow up loving Jesus and loving others. In part, this blog is about that journey. That journey of blessing others because He has blessed us.

I can't wait to teach my girls' these spiritual truths and to see them living it out. In the meantime, I am using anything else I can to be a blessing.

Babies grow fast. Seriously fast. Like so fast, that I put them in two different outfits a day just so I don't feel guilty that they grew too fast to where something we'd been given for them.

I have not had to buy one stitch of clothing for them... well, just some socks. But not a dress, pajamas, pants, nothing. And at one point I felt embarrassed by the array of dresses all lined up in our closet. But we have two, which means, we truly need twice as many clothes, and we have been crazy thankful for my mom and my friend Charity who has donated most of the clothes to us.

I have kept some of the clothes, mostly twin sets that we have for the next mommy of twin girls that we can gladly pass down all the clothes too, and we always set aside a bag of clothes for Alan's cousin who has 5 kids and the baby is just 2 months behind our girls.

Well, we are getting ready to leave for the states and it was time to clean out the closets. While I am absolutely in shock over the amount of clothes no longer able to fit the chubby bums of Amelia and Stells I am so incredibly grateful for the overabundance we have and who we are going to bless with all the girls clothes.

To Haiti, With Love! We are sending them to Haiti, and will likely continue to do so as the girls' grow on. It is an honor to send our clothes to little babies who so desperately need clothes.

As I am cleaning out their closets, I have quickly realized that we don't have really any clothes beyond the size they are now. We have a few things, but not much.

We would be so grateful for anyone wanting to send us some baby clothes in the following sizes:
6-9 months
9 months
9-12 months
6-12 months

Please know, unless specified that you would like them back, they will likely make their way to Haiti once our girls have grown out of them!



   “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
   “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Matthew 25:37-40


This is just some of the clothes we are sending to Haiti with love


Leave me a comment if you are interested!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Save a Life in HAITI

“Once our eyes are opened, we can’t pretend we don’t know what to do.  God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows what we know, and hold us responsible to act.”

Proverbs 24:12



Right now, as I type, many are being infected with Cholera, and many more are dying in Haiti. Following the deadly earthquake in January It was just a matter of time before an outbreak like this occurred. It spreads in areas with untreated sewage, contaminated water, and people living in close proximity. It also spreads amongst those ill or malnourished. That’s what the reports online say. “ill or malnourished.” Does that strike a cord within you? Probably not. It doesn’t really with me and I live on the same island and visit with the “ill and malnourished,” that they describe.


How about this instead… As I type these words, and as many Americans are busy checking the internet for the best deals at Target, Best buy or where ever else we think we can get the cheapest gifts for our kids and loved ones, thousands of helpless children who had no choice as to where they would be born or spend their days on this earth are faced with the sinking reality that their only meal for the day (if you could call it a meal) is eating dirt. Dirt cookies. Dirt infested with parasites and other sickness. Dirt that locals mix with oil bake on top of their tin roofs in the sweltering heat to provide the swollen malnourished bellies of their children some relief from the pains that must torment them. My eyes are filled with tears at the thought of these children begging for something to eat, crying out in their pain. In their agony. They have no rice, they have not a vegetable, or a piece of fruit. They have dirt.  Dirt that is killing them.


Infected water that is killing them. They bathe in water filled with waste. Think of the smell, think of the stench that must fill their nostrils. What do you think they feel? What must be going through their minds? Are they cursing God? Are they crying out to Him for help? Do they think everyone must live like this? Have they heard of America?

Do you know how Cholera takes a life? Immediately a person (or child or baby... think of yours) falls ill with diarhea. Violent diarhea. Fever. Vomiting. They lose GALLONS of fluids in a day. They become dehydrated. Their heart rate falls. Lack of potassium causes cardiac arrhythmias and sudden death.

Now go look in the eyes of your child and imagine that terribly horrific reality as if it were for them… do they still need the PS3 or the new Ipad or latest cell phone or could we instead spare some of the gobs of Christmas money we as Americans shell out each year on crap to save the life of a man, like our husbands, or a woman like our mothers or sisters, or a child like our own children. The ones we would live or die for? The ones we spent countless hours comforting, rocking, feeding, drying tears and celebrating all their milestones with. 

Do you know how much of that Christmas money you would need to spare to save a life from the deadly Cholera outbreak?  12¢. 12 lousy cents. Does that even seem right to you or fare? People are dying over 12 freaking cents. 

Here’s what would save their lives: a mixture of salt, sugar, and clean water. And it costs 12¢.

You could save his life.



Or her life.


Or her life.



What if it were these girls who needed you? 




12 ¢.

That. Is. All. It. Takes. 

A matter of life and death over 12 cents. It’s not right and it’s not fair. But you and I are called to this. As human beings we are called to this and as followers of Jesus we are called to this, and rightfully so, will be judged for how we respond.

“Once our eyes are opened, we can’t pretend we don’t know what to do.  God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows what we know, and hold us responsible to act.”
Proverbs 24:12

We will be held responsible.

Please please, I am begging you to save a life and donate now.

So, how do you do it?

Several ways- text GOHAITI to 85944 and you will be making a $10 donation. Enough for 80 treatments!

Send a check to G.O. Ministries, Inc. and mail it to:
11501 Plantside Dr.
Suite 14
Louisville, KY 40299
In the memo write “Haiti/Cholera”

For more posts on Haiti visit here, & here. Also, if you look in the archives of our blog in January and february you can read about the many things G.O. did to save lives after the earthquake.  

HOW WILL YOU RESPOND?

Friday, November 26, 2010

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Princesses


My Aunt Debbie got the girls these adorable princess onesies which we finally were able to put the girls in today! My mom and I thought it would be so much fun to do a mini photo shoot with the girls all dressed up. I love that most of the photos came out like this one below. 

Our life is far from perfect and this is a great reminder of the beauty of that chaos!



fussy. pukey. sleepy. 


We did get some cute ones too!


Stella Natalia


Amelia Grayce

Friday, September 17, 2010

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Say What????


Ok, so nevermind the weird crossed-eyedness of the picture...

Do you see it?

My baby Amelia cut her first tooth yesterday!

Soon she'll be babbling away and then next thing you know she'll be walking down the aisle... ok, I exaggerate a little!!

But they do indeed grow up right before our very eyes.

PS- Keep your eyes peeled for my next recipe post! Want to know what to do with all of that leftover Spicy Mexican Chicken? Throw it in the crock-pot and make Mexican Taco (With-or-Without-Beer) Soup!

back in the saddle...

Today we are back in the saddle of sleep training! We decided to wait a month longer that what we initially had expected and though that meant another sleep deprived month I am so glad we waited.

Our girls are now taking in 24-26 ounces in a 24 hour period (which was one of the pre-requisites for training) and they are doing a little better with their reflux.

Today we are stretching the girls to eating every 4 hours. We awoke and ate at 6:30am and they won't eat again until 10:30am, 2:30pm and then their final feeding at 6:30pm. During the night we will let them go as long as they can and when they naturally wake up we'll feed them as much as they want.

This takes about 4 weeks to get them to sleep through the night!

Goals for week 1: Get babies to eat on a 4 hour schedule eating 4 times a day: 6:30am, 10:30am, 2:30pm, and 6:30pm.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

the Great Menu Exchange: Saturday and Sunday's Recipes

To learn more about the Great Menu Exchange click HERE!

My Menu:
Monday: BBQ Chicken Pizza
Tuesday: Orange Wine Pork Chops- Crock Pot Style
Wednesday: Southern Chicken Broccoli Casserole
Thursday: Grandma's Triple Meat Spaghetti Sauce
Friday: Spicy Veggie Beef Soup
Saturday: Pulled Pork Sandwiches a la Crock Pot
Sunday: Spicy Mexican Chicken Tacos

**All of these recipes will be added to the "recipe" tab on my blog! Enjoy!!


Saturday's Recipe: Pulled Pork (or chicken or hamburger meat) Sandwiches a la Crock Pot

Shopping List:
3-4 lb. pork shoulder roast
1 large red onion
1/2 bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce
sliced provolone cheese
Buns or rolls

Make it: 

1. Turn on crock pot to Low. Chop onion and place in the bottom of the crock pot
2. Salt and pepper your pork and add it on top of the onion
3. Cover with a lid and let slow cook for 5 hours
4. When the meat starts to fall apart when you touch it with a fork add your BBQ Sauce & let cook for 30 minutes more
5. Serve meat on sandwich rolls and top with more BBQ sauce, provolone cheese, and onions!

Sunday's Recipe: Spicy Mexican Chicken Tacos

Shopping List:
1 bag of frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 small can of Herdez green sauce*
1 small can of Herdez red sauce* Make sure you look for the medium and not the hot or it will be really really hot! if you can't find medium substitute for a jar of medium salsa
Chicken Taco Fixins! (tortillas, black beans, cheddar cheese, sour cream, cilantro, limes, rice, onions, tomatoes)

Make it: 

1. Turn on crock pot to Low. Add bag of frozen chicken to the crock pot and top with the red and green salsa. 
2. Cover with lid and cook until the chicken shreds (about 4-5 hours)
3. make tacos with all your favorite ingredients!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

the Great Menu Exchange: Friday's Recipe- Spicy Veggie Beef Soup

To learn more about the Great Menu Exchange click HERE!

My Menu:
Monday: BBQ Chicken Pizza
Tuesday: Orange Wine Pork Chops- Crock Pot Style
Wednesday: Southern Chicken Broccoli Casserole
Thursday: Grandma's Triple Meat Spaghetti Sauce
Friday: Spicy Veggie Beef Soup
Saturday: Pulled Pork Sandwiches a la Crock Pot
Sunday: Spicy Mexican Chicken Tacos

**All of these recipes will be added to the "recipe" tab on my blog! Enjoy!!


Friday's Recipe: Spicy Veggie Beef Soup

Shopping List:
2 quarts of Tomato Juice or V8
16 oz of frozen mixed veggies (or you can use fresh- carrots, canned corn, onion)
2 Beef Bouillon cubes
3 potatoes cubed
2 lbs. of cubed beef stew meat
1 tsp. of dried parsley
1/2 tsp. of oregano
1/2 tsp. dried basil
salt and pepper to taste
2 tsp. of your favorite hot sauce
1 packet of onion soup mix
1 tsp. worshestire sauce

Make it: 

1. Salt and pepper the stew meat and brown in a skillet.
2. Add all ingredients in a large stock pot and cook on medium heat until it comes to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and cook for 3-4 hours. Taste often and adjust seasonings as necessary!

The Great Menu Exchange: Thursday's Recipe- Grandma's Triple Meat Spaghetti!

I am racing against the clock to get my recipes up to participate in the Great Menu Exchange. Only 2 days to go and 4 recipes left to post! To learn more about the Great Menu Exchange click HERE!
Oh spaghetti, I heart thee. Especially my grandma's spaghetti. When I lived in Vegas, before my grandparents moved away to CO, it was tradition to get together on Christmas Eve and Christmas. My grandma would make the most amazing spaghetti filled with hearty meats (sausage, ribs, steak) and chicken for our Christmas Eve dinner. This is a slight variation on that sauce.


This will make a lot so go ahead and invite some friends over, make a big salad, some toasty garlic bread, grab a big bottle of your favorite wine and enjoy some delicious spaghetti!


My Menu:
Monday: BBQ Chicken Pizza
Tuesday: Orange Wine Pork Chops- Crock Pot Style
Wednesday: Southern Chicken Broccoli Casserole
Thursday: Grandma's Triple Meat Spaghetti Sauce
Friday: Spicy Veggie Beef Soup
Saturday: Pulled Pork Sandwiches a la Crock Pot
Sunday: Spicy Mexican Chicken Tacos

**All of these recipes will be added to the "recipe" tab on my blog! Enjoy!!


Thursday's Recipe: Grandma's Triple Meat Spaghetti Sauce

Shopping List:
3-4 tablespoons of extra virgen olive oil
1 package of Italian sausage )your choice of mild, sweet, or hot- I like a mixture of sweet and hot!)
5-10 cloves of garlic
1 white onion
1 1/2 tsp. of ground oregano
2 tsp. of Italian seasoning
2 bay leaves
3 big cans of tomato puree (16 oz.)
2 tbslp. of sugar
1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese
2 chicken breasts- par boiled
1/2 lb. lean ground beef- browned and drained

Make it: 

1. In a large skillet cook sausage on low in a few tblsp. of oil for 1 hour or until the sausage is cooked through & browned on all sides. Do not remove from it's casing. Par boil the chicken breasts in a separate pan and set aside to cool. Brown the hamburger meat in a separate skillet and drain. Set aside. 
2. Chop up your onion & garlic super duper fine. Remove sausage from skillet and using the same pan with left over grease, sweat the onion and garlic in pan for about 5-10 minutes or until the onion is translucent.
3. Add oregano, italian seasoning, and sugar and salt and pepper to the skillet and let cook for a minute on low to coat the onion and garlic.
4. In a large sauce pan dump in the cans of tomato puree or sauce (do not use paste) add the onion-spice-garlic mixture and add the sausage and hamburger meat. Shred the chicken and add chicken to the pan as well. 
5. Add the parmesan cheese & bay leaves
6. Let cook on low for about an hour and then taste- you will need to add more seasoning to achieve your desired taste. I usually add about another 2 tablespoons of all the seasonings but do this slowly. If it is too sweet, add salt and if it is too salty add sugar. Pretty soon you will achieve perfection! Continue to let cook on simmer for about 3 more hours. (remove bay leaves before serving)
7. Cook up a big pot of spaghetti noodles, make a big green salad and enjoy!

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Great Menu Exchange: Wednesday's Recipe- Southern Broccoli & Chicken Casserole!

I have only 3 days left to get all my recipes up on my blog and get them submitted to participate in the Great Menu Exchange, so without further ado, I give you Wednesday's recipe!

I am not a huge casserole person.

I am from the West Coast. Land of smoothies and greens. But this casserole is AMAZING, and with today's recipe you get 2 recipes for 1!

To learn more about the Great Menu Exchange click HERE!


My Menu:
Monday: BBQ Chicken Pizza
Tuesday: Orange Wine Pork Chops- Crock Pot Style
Wednesday: Southern Chicken Broccoli Casserole
Thursday: Grandma's Triple Meat Spaghetti Sauce
Friday: Spicy Veggie Beef Soup
Saturday: Pulled Pork Sandwiches a la Crock Pot
Sunday: Spicy Mexican Chicken Tacos

**All of these recipes will be added to the "recipe" tab on my blog! Enjoy!!


Wednesday's Recipe: Southern Chicken Broccoli Casserole
Shopping List:
3 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
Enriched white rice (1 cup for each person)
1 can of cream of mushroom soup
1 can of cream of chicken soup
All the left over sour cream in your fridge (or 1/2 a cup)
1 garlic clove or 1 tsp. of garlic paste
2 tblsp. of olive oil
4-5 tblsp. of canola oil
sprinkle of oregano, parsley, and garlic salt
1 large head of broccoli
Cheddar cheese to top
Salt and pepper to taste

Make it: Rice
I am amazed at the number of people who do not know how to make rice. I was one of these unfortunate souls. So today I give you a lesson on how to cook perfectly not-stuck-together-mushy rice. You will thank me. I promise. 

1. Measure out your rice and place in a fine strainer. 1 Cup per person you are serving. Rinse the rice really good. Once you think you've rinsed it good- rinse it some more. You want to remove the starch so it doesn't stick together or get mushy. 

2. Measure out 1.5 cups of water per person you are serving and put in a pot and bring to a boil. Add a lot of salt. Don't worry you basically can't add to much. Take a peeled garlic clove and give it a good whack with the flat side of your chopping knife and place in the water as well. Or you can cheat (like me) and add 1 tsp. of garlic paste. 
3. Once your water is boiling add all the rice. This is important so pay attention to this part! You only want about 1.5- 2 inches of water covering the rice. Remove as much water as you need to to achieve this. Here is the other equally important part. DO NOT STIR THE RICE. Seriously. Put down your wooden spoon. I promise you will be sorry and end up reaching for the box of Uncle Bens if you stir. 
4. Once the rice has come back up to a boil turn the heat down to medium and leave UNCOVERED and cook until ALL the water evaporates. You can tell the water has evaporated by two ways- the first way is you hear crackling- do not be alarmed and DO NOT STIR! The second way is you can take a big metal spoon and stick it in the rice down to the bottom of the pan. If you feel water continue to let it all dry up. (The rice will stir be hard. That is ok!! DO NOT ADD MORE WATER!)
5. Once the water has evaporated turn your heat down to the very lowest possible heat without turning your stove off. Drizzle the rice with a few tablespoons of Canola oil... Now go ahead and stir your rice! You'll want to make sure the rice is coated with the oil. Pile the rice in a big heaping oil coated mound in the middle of the pan and put the lid on the rice. (You may notice there is some rice stuck to the bottom of the pan. Don't worry- soak the pan for a few hours in water and it will come right off)
6. Let cook (the oil actually steams the rice) for a minimum of 15 minutes. At this point you can remove the lid to taste the rice. (do not remove the lid before this point) The rice should be nice and fluffy and not all slimy or stuck together. If it still is a bit hard (depending on the quantity you are cooking) continue to let it cook with the lid on. It will eventually reach perfection!! **If you added a garlic clove you'll need to remove it! 
7. Once the rice is done set aside.

Make it: Chicken
1. Cut up your raw chicken into bite sized pieces.
2. Heat up 2 tblsp of olive oil in a skillet and add chicken pieces.
3. Add garlic salt, salt, pepper, oregano, and parsley and cook chicken until it is done and brown. Taste and add more seasoning if necessary. 
4. While Chicken is cooking, cut your broccoli into pieces and add to a pot of salted boiling water. Cook until al dente.
5. In a large bowl add cream of chicken soup, cream of mushroom soup and sour cream.  Add your cooked chicken and steam broccoli to the bowl and give it a good stir until everything is coated. It should be very saucy!

Make it: putting it all together

1. In a 9 x 13 clear baking dish make a thick layer of rice. Next add the chicken-broccoli-sauce mixture and top with cheddar cheese. 
2. Bake in the oven on 350 degrees until the cheese is golden brown and the casserole is bubbly!! Yummy!

*Rice recipe courtesy of Sandra Brotzman
*Casserole recipe courtesy of Mama Leatherman

Be. Inspired. An Abiding Mom




My friend Missy sent this to me on mother's day before I had met my girls. Before I really understood what being a mom is all about. One big part is Trust. Trust in the Lord that He made and created little Amelia and Stella and He has good things planned for them. When I feel out of control to trust that the Lord is always in control. As their mom I sometimes want to be this perfect image of what I think a mom looks like... especially all of those super moms out there in blogger world. It is refreshing to read  study this and know that I can simply trust in the Lord and He will meet my needs and the needs of our family.


Blessings to you this week!

**this chart came from www.abidingmom.blogspot.com. Check her out for more inspiration!




Super Mom
Abiding Mom
Does
Tries to impress others
Pleases the Lord (Eph. 5:10,Proverbs 29:25)
Is controlled by an agenda(curriculum, schedule, etc)
Is controlled by the Holy Spirit: (Gal. 5:22-26) (Uses curriculum & schedules as tools for orderliness so she's more free to follow the spirit)
Her self worth is found in her accomplishments (clean house, perfect kids, the perfect bulletin boards, etc.)
Her self worth is found in an accurate view of who she is in Christ Jesus (Eph 2:10)
Her peace is found in the “perfect” environment
Her peace is found in Jesus in the midst of any storm (Is 26:3)
She is discouraged by failure
Failure reminds her that God's strength is made perfect in weakness (2 Cor. 12:9-10)
She expects perfection from herself and others
She practices grace with herself and others (Eph 4:32)
She teaches her kids to be good
She teaches her kids to be Godly (Proverbs 22:6)
She is frustrated with her lack of spiritual fruit
She abides in Christ and bears much fruit (John 15:5)
She does things with her children
She builds a relationship with her children (Deut 6:6-7)
Her perspective is based on what is seen
Her perspective is based on what is unseen (Col 3:2)
She chooses quantity of activities
She chooses the most excellent Way (I Cor 13)