29 September 2011

Some Thursday Cookin'

Thursday is probably my favorite day to cook. And when I say "cook," I mean drag out a bunch of ingredients and try something new. Or maybe something new for lunch, for snack, for supper.... Today is one of those days. So I thought I'd share a new salad recipe I had for lunch today. This one came from the Kroger home mailer, but I tweaked it a little to my liking. It includes beans, asparagus, and olive oil - so it'll make you feel healthy while you're eating it. It also includes lots of onions. Red onions. Green onions. I can sense the excitement growing. And the need for a breath mint. So enjoy!

Tuna Salad with White Beans and Asparagus

1 can of water-packed tuna
1 cup of lightly steamed asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 can of white beans, rinsed well and drained
1/4 cup of red onion
2 T olive oil
1-2 T fresh lime juice
1/4 t garlic powder
1 T minced chives
dash of paprika
salt and pepper to taste

Toss all ingredients together.

And for an afternoon snack, you could try these:

Chewy Granola with Butterscotch and Chocolate

It's easy to find a basic recipe on Food Network or All Recipes. Just make sure it includes this:

Health food at its finest.

And now it's time to go pick up the kiddos from school. They're bringing home two of their best buddies so they can look for bugs. That's right. Bugs. Roly-poly's for the buddy's Roly-poly Playground, to be exact. Apparently, we have the house around which you can find lots and lots of bugs. Just what I wanted to be known for. The house with lots of bugs. I think Daniel told the buddy that we have bugs everywhere - or as Daniel would say "EVERYWHERE!" (insert dramatic hand motions). So off I go for an exciting afternoon of bug hunting! :)

19 September 2011

My Boys

It's been a little while since my boys have made an appearance here, so I thought it was time to relay the happenings of their busy little lives. Since Thomas started second grade and Daniel entered kindergarten, their schedules have amped up a bit, but they love their school-time activities. It seems there is always something to look forward to at school, whether it be Daniel's lunch-outside-if-you-behave; Johnny Appleseed Day; watching an HCS soccer game with daddy (where the neighbor's free-roaming chickens are the main attraction for my kids); or even just after-care. Which my children beg to go to every single day. As in, they want to know why I picked them up so early when I arrive at 3:00. And, this morning, Daniel was excited that tomorrow is Tuesday, the day he gets to stay in aftercare. I feel that maybe I should be slightly offended....

ANYWAYS, they've also started AWANAs at church and Thomas begins piano lessons this afternoon - his daddy will be teaching him. So, yes, they are quite busy these days. Even in the afternoons after school, they go to their room together to play with legos, or they play outside with our favorite neighbors' boys.

And when do I get to spend time with them? Well, that is what was starting to worry me a little. They are becoming more independent, thankfully; and they are wanting to follow mommy around less and less, which is probably a good sign. So now, Thomas and I go out to breakfast one Saturday a month, and Daniel and I go out to breakfast on another Saturday. They get so excited over choosing where to eat and having Mommy's undivided attention. And I love it, too. It is nice to talk to each boy one-on-one. I definitely hear more funny stories that way!

This is Daniel REALLY enjoying his doughnut at Krispy Kreme. I have to tell you that no outing with Daniel is complete without a song and dance number. He made sure I was entertained!

Thomas had found a coupon for a bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit at Biscuitville. He brought me the coupon a month ago, and made sure I put it in my purse. It was, of course, expired by his Saturday for breakfast. But I love the fact that he wanted to use a coupon! :)

And here's a few pictures from Daniel's 5th birthday, as well.

So there's a little update on the boys. Can you tell I'm proud of them?

15 September 2011

Willing to Simply Be?

At different times, a certain feeling may tug at our thoughts, causing us to become aware of a certain restlessness or, even, uneasiness. It's the feeling that causes you to wonder,
Is there Something else to be done?
Is This what is best?
More, maybe?

Sometimes, I think, God may work through these thoughts to lead us to something better within His will. But, often, I think, it may simply be discontentment nagging at us.

I read a piece of godly wisdom this week - words that the Lord used to reaffirm and encourage me. Maybe someone else will find this thought encouraging and truthful as well.

(Taken from The Shaping of a Christian Family, by Elisabeth Elliot, p. 88)

"...Is this really what God wants for Christian families? If there were the willingness to be content with less money, fewer activities which eat into the budget and take the family away from home, fewer possessions; if there were the willingness to 'be content with such things as you have,' would we not sooner find the truth of God's Word, 'A man's real life in no way depends upon the number of his possessions' (Luke 12:15 PHILIPS)? The willingness to be and to have just what God wants us to be and to have, nothing more, nothing less, and nothing else, would set our hearts at rest, and we would discover that the simpler the life the greater the peace."

It never ceases to amaze me how the Lord gives us just what we need when we need it - in this case, He provided a paragraph!

06 September 2011

A Reminder

Even after ten years, I still feel uneasy and sad every time I see the images of smoke, ashes, and brave men trudging into the burning towers in lower Manhattan. Who can forget where they were, who they were with, and what they thought and felt when they saw the live images of the Twin Towers? And for many of us, those thoughts and feelings were just a drop in a bucket compared to what too many had to experience.

I have dreaded explaining those images to my boys. But last week, my oldest son asked me if those planes had really flown into a building. So that commenced a very short explanation on my part that, yes, that had really happened a few years before you were born. And that's a big reason why we have "army guys" overseas fighting the bad guys.

But, he wanted to know, if the bad guys were flying the planes, then that means they died, too?

Yes. But they hated America and Americans, and they knew they could kill many people that way. And then he said very seriously, as only a seven-year old can, "That's weird. That they hated Americans so much that they would die."

At that point, he moved on to something else (for which I was glad), but what he had said continued to overshadow my thoughts. They hated so much, that they would die. That really is what it boils down to. Hate.

As a Christian, I know that if hate - which is evil - is strong, then Love - which is God-given - is stronger. Christ tells us that those who truly love will give their lives for a friend. For me, this truth always has brought to mind the Ultimate Sacrifice - the picture of Christ dying for us. Although many have died for someone else - the firefighters and policemen of New York did just that - the truth is, we don't actually have to die to give our lives for others.

You see, I'm thankful for people like our friends, the Coats Family, who have given up a comfortable life in the States so they can minister to children in a much less comfortable place.

I'm thankful for my own mother who gave up a decent-paying job so she could raise my sister and me at home.

I'm thankful for the men and women and their families who are willing to serve our country because of their love for its people and the way of life it offers.

I'm thankful for the teachers I had in Christian school and in Bible college who laid aside monetary gain and worldly prestige so they could invest much in the lives of their students.

I'm thankful for my husband, who I often see lay aside his "wants" and what little leisure time he has so he can give to his family.

So, yes, this week I was reminded of the kind of men who would sacrifice their lives on the altar of hate. But even more, I am reminded of the many who lay down their "rights," their lives, so they can make someone else's life better. These people are the kind that love enough that they are willing to ...be uncomfortable... give more than they get... be tired and disappointed... or even die. But they still give. It is people such as these who exemplify what is great in our country.