Wednesday, April 30, 2008

An Awe-ful Mystery

Luke is crying right now. I'm trying to ignore it but it's so hard. I think I commented not long ago that he's kind of regressed back into the crying stage. It's 10:20 PM!!!! Granted tonight he did get to bed late (about 9:20PM) because it was a church night. He's been back there mumbling and playing but the moment he starts to really get sleepy he starts screaming. He will be asleep in no time though. I just have to endure hearing him cry! I hate it! :(

So, to the real reason for this post. ...

Today I began reading chapter 4 of The Holiness of God by RC Sproul. The chapter begins talking about a familiar Bible story that we've all heard of: Jesus calming the storm. Here is the scripture just to refresh your memory.

Mark 4:35-41 ~ On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side.” Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!”

So, we see here of course the Jesus tells the disciples that they need to cross over to the other side. Jesus had just finished teaching to the crowds on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. This large lake was known to be unpredictable but it didn't really worry the disciples because they we're fisherman. So, they set out for the other side. Some time after they set sail, a 'great windstorm arose'. No doubt that these fishermen disciples sprang into action trying to fight against the
We see next that Jesus is sound asleep on a pillow in the midst of this violent storm. Many people find this part of the story interesting. The Son of God is sleeping through the storm. But I would like you to note that this in particular is not really one of the spectacular parts of this story. As Sproul points out in chapter 4, he has been on planes and experienced frightening drops in altitude or fierce storms while sitting next to men who were sleeping like babies. Some people can just sleep through anything. We all know that Jesus was not surprised by the storm, which allowed him (I'm sure) to sleep well during it, but that is not the most amazing part of the story, not even close!
So, while Jesus is snoozing away, the disciples come to Him and ask, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?”. More of an accusation than a question, don't you think?
There is no proof that Jesus responded to the disciples. Instead, He spoke to the wind, He spoke to the waves. He plainly speaks to the storm. Jesus, God in the flesh, commands the storm to 'be still' and it does. Now, that is amazing. Something not human, without reason, heard the voice of it's Creator and obeyed the command. Wow. I could go on.. but I really want to note some other things before this gets too long.
Next, we see that even though the sea is calm and tranquil the disciples are still in a tizzy. The Bible says that they 'feared exceedingly'. We have a calm sea, not a ripple in sight and they we're more afraid now than when they we're in the midst of the storm. They ask each other, in fear, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!” They are basically asking 'what kind of man is this?' They had never encountered such a man. In Sproul's words:

"They we're in the presence of the holy."

They feared because they we're witnessing a holy God calm a storm. In chapter 3, Sproul attempts to define the word 'holy' and even admits that it really is difficult. God is holy. We tend to want to add holy to God's list of attributes. For example, God is a loving God; He is pure; He is just; He is holy; He is merciful. But holy encompasses all that He is. He loves with a holy love. His justice is holy justice. His mercy is holy mercy. He is holy. He is separate from all others. He is the One True Holy God. It is such a mystery and I'm enjoying every minute of learning more about the holy God who has called me to Himself. The more I learn, the more I feel I will never learn! I can't wait to meet Him but I also can't imagine even being in the presence of such a God. What will I do with myself?! I am so unworthy.

"Hence the dread and amazement with which, as Scripture uniformly relates, holy men were struck and overwhelmed whenever they beheld the presence of God.... Men are never duly touched and impressed with a conviction of their insignificance until they have contrasted themselves with the majesty of God." John Calvin

Monday, April 28, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

Menu for this week:

Chicken Enchilada Bake, Salad

Potato and Onion Frittata, Sauteed Green Beans

Pumpkin Spice Pancakes, Fruit Salad with vanilla yogurt

Taco Salad (made w/ ground turkey), Tex-Mex Beans

Friday is dinner with my family. My dad's birthday is Friday and R's is Monday so we're grilling out steaks at my parents house! YUM! Then Saturday night is another birthday dinner! Sunday, the church is having a covered dish dinner for R as well. He just thinks he's so special! I'm making this pie for my dad! He LOVES German Chocolate cake, so I thought this would be something a little different but still in the same family!

I'm kind of making up the Chicken Enchilada's. It's not really a recipe. I'm picking up a roast chicken, some enchilada sauce, green chilies, shredded cheese and using the leftover flour tortillas. I figure all you have to do is shred the chicken, mix in some cheese and chilies/salsa. Then, roll the chicken up in the tortillas, pour over the sauce, add more cheese and bake! Sounds easy... right? I've never attempted a frittata either, so we will see how this recipe goes. R loves eggs so I think it will be a hit for him. I found an extra can of pumpkin in my cabinet left over from the holiday season so I'm gonna make pumpkin pancakes. Sounds yummy, huh? I mean I know it's not really a 'spring' meal idea but that's what is so great about canned pumpkin! And I don't have to buy anything but the fruit for this meal! Very inexpensive!

I must confess that last week I did buy frozen meatballs instead of making my own. I forgot to thaw out my ground turkey before I left for the pregnancy center so on my way home I stopped by Publix and got a bag of frozen meatballs. No harm though, because I'm going to use the ground turkey for our taco salads! :) They turned out really well though! My recipe (enough for us): Mix- 1 can healthy request cream of mushroom soup, 1/2 can milk, 1/2 T dried onion flakes, salt and pepper. Throw in half a small bag of meatballs and cook for recommended time, stirring frequently. Serve over egg noodles or mashed potatoes. They we're so good! Just watch the salt because those canned soups contain a lot unless you get the healthier versions. Mine really turned out too salty and I even used the low sodium version.. so it was more my fault! One day I'm going to quit using those canned soups and make my own but I haven't ventured there yet!

So, for breakfast:
Pancakes (I'll make extra from Wed. night to freeze for the rest of the week)
Scrambled Eggs & Toast
Fruit, as always.. I'm shopping today so I'm not sure what looks good or is on sale!

Sandwiches: PB, Grilled Cheese, Ham
And I still have some Lean Cuisine's left over from last week!

Luke- Raisins, yogurt, fruit, teddy grahams, cheerios
Me- Yogurt, fruit, popcorn, granola bars
R- Usually doesn't snack.. hmm, maybe that's why he's so skinny!
We also have cookies left over from this weekend! The recipe is on my previous post!

Check out more menu ideas and recipes over at OrgJunkie!

Friday, April 25, 2008

List of my thoughts! (and a recipe)

So, what's been going on?? I've been staying busy the past few days! Here is a little list of thoughts from the past week.. this will be random but hey, that's how I'm feeling today! :)

  1. The weather has been SOOO nice, so Luke and I have been spending most mornings outside. We even went for a short walk one day before playing. I love watching him play outside because he loves it so much. I am dreading when the humidity hits, which won't be long! Daddy will have to spend more time with him outside then. :)
  2. This week was a volunteer week at the pregnancy center. We have a Walk for Life tomorrow! I'm excited to see the turnout!
  3. My son has food texture issues. I know this is why he refuses to eat so many different things (although we have made progress). Last night when he tried mashed potatoes, he loved the flavor and ate several bites. Well, he took one BIG bite and began to gag. That big blob of mushy mashed potatoes was just too much for him. Yeah, you know what comes next.. he threw up every bite of potatoes he ate. Dinner was then over. About thirty minutes later he did have a piece of toast, grapes and strawberries. He just can't handle some things. BTW, the potatoes were awesome despite this whole story! I had some for lunch today!
  4. I am attempting to grow my nails back out. I use to be a nail technician, so I know the key to pretty nails! It's easy, take care of them! When I do that, I do have pretty nails. Since Luke came along I have just gotten lazy though. So, last night I took the time to file, buff and polish my nails. I forgot to do one of the most important parts though, rub cuticle oil in before bed! I need to just set the oil on my night stand (I don't think it would be wise to put it under my pillow, like my chapstick!) so I will remember to use it!
  5. We're going out to dinner tonight with some really good friends of ours. I can't wait!! We don't get to see each other often so tonight is a special treat! And they are expecting their first child! So, it's fun to talk to them and share stories! She is about 7 weeks behind me!
  6. This book is so good! I am loving it and it is going perfectly with my study through Isaiah! Thanks to Xandra for recommending it and thanks to my hubby for already owning it! :)
  7. If any of you happened to read the last 3 comments on my 100th Post entry, the last one is from my husband to my mom. They have a crazy, weird relationship where they both pick at each other. I just wanted to clarify so that no one thought 'whoever that was' was being mean. It's all in fun! :)
  8. I made some YUMMY cookies today! I'd been craving oatmeal raisin cookies so I decided to do a little experiment and make my own recipe. I did use a base recipe but changed around a few things. I've already had 3 today! Here is the recipe:

Loaded Oatmeal Cookies
(5 dozen)

1 c butter, softened
1 c packed light brown sugar
1/2 c white sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 c AP flour
1/2 c whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 cups rolled oats
1 c dried cranberries
1 c semi-sweet chocolate chips

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a large bowl, cream together butter, brown sugar and white sugar. Add eggs and vanilla and mix until smooth. Sift together the flours, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Stir the flour mixture slowly into the creamed butter mixture. Stir in oats, cranberries, and chocolate chips. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes until light and golden. Cool for 2 minutes before removing from cookie sheet. Store in an airtight container after completely cooled.

** Of course you could add raisins instead of cranberries and you could add nuts (I would say maybe a half cup) as well. You could also use all white flour. I just try to add in a little whole wheat when I can. You do not have to refrigerate the cookie dough. I just think refrigerated dough makes prettier cookies! Refrigerating the dough helps to avoid really flat cookies. They took about 10 minutes in my oven. Be careful to not over bake unless you like hard, crisp cookies. At 10 minutes mine were lightly golden and still somewhat soft in the middle. They set up perfectly after the 2 minutes of cooling on the cookie sheet.

Now, I'm going to post this recipe over at Leah's Recipe Exchange. If you haven't checked out the recipes there you should! Have a great weekend!

Monday, April 21, 2008

My 100th Post - 100 Things About Me!

Happy 100th Post Day to me!

I started this whole fabulous blog back in September of 2007. Why, you ask? Well, I'm not really sure. I enjoyed reading blogs (and still do!) and so I thought this would be a good way to journal my life. I've never been the type to keep a written journal but for some reason this is just easier for me. Who knows why, but it is. One of my main reasons is of course, to keep records of what Luke (and future children) are doing. I'll be able to look back and read things about what they were doing at a certain parts of their lives. The blog also helps keep me organized, but ONLY with my menu planning.. don't even ask me about the rest of my organizational skills because there aren't any! And lastly, I love to blog about my Savior and my walk with Him! I kind of randomly post things, whatever may be on my mind, or in my heart for that day. One day may be all about Luke, one day may be a good recipe I found and one day may be about something I've learned in my quiet time. I hope those that stop by enjoy it though!
My first post is actually one of my favorite posts and I hope that some of you that have never read it will go back and do so. It's basically my written testimony. It really is the key to who I am at this moment and who I will forever be. Praise God for calling me to His Son! Click here to read it.
Now, as I have seen around the bloggy world, I'm suppose to post 100 things about me for my 100th post. So, I've been making a list... hopefully it won't be too boring for you. :) Here they are:

  1. My name is Crystal (ok, this is a shameless gimmy, but 100 things are hard to come up with).
  2. I'm 26 years old, born October 22, 1981.
  3. I've been married to my best friend for 3 1/2 years.
  4. We will celebrate our 4th wedding anniversary on October 16th of this year!
  5. Our wedding day was just how I imagined! It was a beautiful day!
  6. We went to Savannah, GA for our honeymoon and stayed in a cute little carriage house. I hope we can go back soon!
  7. My husband is an amazing man! I am so blessed! (On the blog, he is referred to as R)
  8. I have one, sweet little boy named Luke.
  9. Luke is 22 months old.
  10. He was born June 5, 2006, weighing in at 8 lbs and 8 oz and 20.5 inches long!
  11. I labored almost 12 hours but when I started to push his heart rate began to drop and wouldn't recover, therefore resulting in a c-section.
  12. He was worth every minute of it.
  13. I am a stay at home mom.
  14. I'm 21 weeks pregnant.
  15. My due date is August 29, 2008.
  16. I'm praying for a successful VBAC.
  17. Before I quit work in April of 2006, I was a nail technician and esthetician.
  18. I love being a wife and a mother and devoting my life solely to the work God has called me to do.
  19. I know I would be disobedient to God if I worked outside the home.
  20. I started going to church with my family when I was about 8 years old.
  21. I was 'dunked' at the ages of 10 and 16 but wasn't truly converted until I was 20.
  22. God saved me at home one night, in my bed, alone.
  23. I haven't been the same since that day. Jesus forever changed me.
  24. I am deeply burdened by those who profess Christianity but do not have a supernaturally changed life.
  25. I believe that some of today's 'modern' attempts at sharing the gospel is the very cause of the false assurance that so many trust in.
  26. I believe in the sufficiency of God in salvation. He does not need our help. He will do the work as long as we are faithful to share His truth.
  27. I believe that we should follow Jesus' example at sharing the gospel.
  28. I am pro life.
  29. I volunteer at a pregnancy resource center a few times a month.
  30. Volunteer pregnancy counseling is a way for me to purposefully share my faith.
  31. I love grocery shopping at Publix.
  32. Publix is a thirty minute drive from my house.
  33. Any decent restaurant or grocery store is a thirty minute drive from my house.
  34. I do not like Walmart but occasionally shop there.
  35. I sleep with chap stick under my pillow.
  36. I love Propel Fitness water- the lemon flavor.
  37. I love Diet Coke but have only had three since I have been pregnant. And yes, I do remember each and every one of those three.. they were wonderful.
  38. I'm reading through the book of Isaiah.
  39. I love Subway Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki subs with: lettuce, tomato, pickles, jalapenos, black olives and salt and pepper. YUM.
  40. My parents have been married for 28 years.
  41. I have one younger sister.
  42. She is in China, serving as a missionary.
  43. I am SOOO excited that she will be home in June.
  44. I am very proud of my sister.
  45. When we moved a year ago, I gave away the first pet that was really mine. He was a dog (half Pomeranian/half shi tzu), named Toby and I often wonder how he is doing.
  46. My favorite colors are pink and orange.
  47. My favorite musicians are Natalie Grant and Shawn McDonald.
  48. I am afraid of whales.. they freak me out. They are just too big.
  49. I am disorganized.
  50. My closet is always a mess.
  51. I like to scrapbook but rarely find/make time to do it.
  52. I love sitting next to my hubby on the couch!
  53. I love to bake.
  54. I rarely do dishes after supper.
  55. I always do dishes after breakfast.
  56. I am thrilled that baby #2 is going to be a boy!
  57. His name will be Elijah Chandler.
  58. We'll call him Eli.
  59. It's bothered me that some seem disappointed that it's a boy and not a girl.
  60. I am a night owl.
  61. I sometimes wish that I was more outgoing.
  62. I have to remind myself to be comfy with my own personality.
  63. I love taking naps but usually feel awful after I take one.
  64. I have never understood driving at hour to go out to eat, just for the food or the restaurant.
  65. I love ice cream.
  66. I imagined that my house would be spotless once I became a stay at home mom.
  67. My house is rarely spotless or even close to being spotless.
  68. I have learned that laundry and dishes can wait but my son growing up will not.
  69. I have groceries in the kitchen that need to be put away.
  70. I do not have a green thumb.
  71. I don't even have a brown thumb, it's more like BLACK.
  72. I don't mind though because digging in the dirt is not my cup of tea.
  73. My husband is an associate pastor/youth minister.
  74. We live in the parsonage.
  75. I love that he works right next door.
  76. I am not looking forward to this HOT summer.
  77. I will be keeping my pregnant self inside in the AC most of the time, I'm sure.
  78. I have lived in the south my whole life.
  79. I am a huge Crimson Tide fan.
  80. I reluctantly bought a maternity bathing suit last week.
  81. I have decided that I don't care what people think about my huge belly this summer, I'm going swimming!
  82. I do not own a brush; I only use picks/wide combs for my hair.
  83. My hair is straight as a board.
  84. My favorite Bath and Body scent for all seasons is Cotton Blossom.
  85. I love Mango Mandarin for summer.
  86. Suave Natural Oatmeal lotion is a must for me after every shower.
  87. I have never been out of the country and don't really have a desire to.
  88. I teach 10-12 grade girls in Sunday School.
  89. I truly love studying and teaching God's Word.
  90. Vinegar and baking soda are my household cleaners of choice. They are cheap and safe.
  91. I'm having a hard time thinking of 10 last things to say!
  92. I hate scary movies.
  93. We (R & I) haven't seen an R rated movie (besides The Passion) in probably 6 years. We made a commitment when we started dating to stay away from them.
  94. R's words right before he proposed we're, "Ok, let me do this before I throw up."
  95. It was very romantic.
  96. Seriously, he asked me in the middle of a garden, with balloons and roses and rose petals all around. It was sweet! And he was very nervous! :)
  97. My first car was a 1996 black 2-door Saturn.
  98. My least favorite chore is cleaning the bath tub.
  99. I do not have a most favorite chore. I actually dislike them all.
  100. I am going to put up the groceries as soon as I click 'Publish Post".

Well, there you have it. I wish I had a reward for those of you who actually made it through all 100! I included some links to some of my favorite posts in there too. Now, it's time go get busy! Have a great afternoon!

Menu Plan Monday

I'm trying a new recipe this week: Turkey Meatballs, it's a recipe from AllRecipes but I'm doing a modified version, since the version on the site serves 24!!! I'm also not using the crockpot since I'm making the meatballs myself and not using frozen ones. The recipe also says to serve with buttered noodles but we're just going to do mashed potatoes. We're doing grilled chicken also but I'm not sure if I want to do BBQ or marinate it some way. I'm not sure what order I'm gonna do them in. Even when I do put them in a certain order, I always change it up! Visit OrgJunkie to check out more menus!

Turkey Meatballs with Gravy, Mashed Potatoes, Sauteed Zucchini and Onions

Grilled Chicken, Fresh Corn (on the grill), Salad

Roast Turkey Subs, Coleslaw

Mexican Tortilla Pie, Mexican Rice

Baked (Homemade) Chicken Fingers, Mac and Cheese, Fruit Salad

- Oatmeal Blueberry Muffins (I didn't make any last week), Cereal, Fruit (oranges, bananas, pears, pineapple and strawberries)

Lunches- Leftovers, Lean Cuisine's for me (they are on sale this week), sandwiches, frozen veggies

Snacks- Fruit (for all), goldfish/yogurt/raisins (Luke), 100 cal packs of chips-a-hoy, granola bars

The Honeyed Pork Chops from last week we're pretty good. They we're dry, but that was more my fault. The recipe says to cook them (boneless) for an hour! I cooked them about 40 minutes and mine we're bone-in. Thirty minutes probably would have been perfect. I've also figured out that with pork, the longer you can marinate, the better. So these would have probably been better if marinated in the honey sauce for a few hours. The sauce had a really good flavor and would really be good for marinating chicken! I will probably keep the marinade on hand for chicken next time!

Guess what?? Tomorrow is my 100th POST! Check back here to read my 100 Things About Me post. I know you're on the edge of your seat... ;)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

God's Goodness and other ramblings....

God is so good. In all of His power and sovereignty, we can be sure of that... He is good. He takes life, He gives life, He heals, He even allows bad things to happen... but He is good.
R and I are testaments to His goodness toward His children. Do bad things happen? Of course. But God has been so faithful to us. He answers our prayers, even in the smallest of things. I never want to take those for granted. He provides. He is my Provider. He is my portion forever. I cannot go into specifics on how He has in the past and in the present but He has. He will not fail me and I can trust in that.

And oh how it hurts that I am not always faithful to Him. I do not deserve His goodness.

I am so thankful for His goodness and faithfulness to me.

Psalm 104:1 ~ "Bless the LORD, O my soul! O LORD my God, You are very great:
You are clothed with honor and majesty"


Now, for some Luke and Eli news....

Here lately Luke has taken some big steps where eating is concerned. I think I've mentioned that he now eats PB sandwiches. Peanut butter may not seem like a big deal but it is to me because he doesn't eat much meat. Last night I decided to try raw carrot sticks. I cut up baby carrots into thing 'matchsticks' (which was kind of a pain) but he ate them! I gave them to him plain but when he saw me dipping mine into my dressing he had to have some too! He had some for lunch today too. Tonight for dinner we had the honeyed pork chops, which were ok (more about that on Monday), potatoes and broccoli (instead of green beans). I kind of changed up my veggies for tonight. Instead of having mashed potatoes, I just cut up potatoes & onions and tossed them in a little olive oil and salt & pepper and cooked them, covered, in the microwave. My mom does them this way sometimes and they are really good. I also steamed some broccoli, ok.. I put one of those steam fresh bags of broccoli in microwave.. same difference though, right? Anyways, I added a little butter and some lemon pepper seasoning to them. Well guess who ate all of their broccoli AND potatoes?? Luke! I can't tell you when the last time he ate broccoli was. He actually had two helpings! And he normally will not eat any kind of potato unless it's in the form of a french fry or tater tot! He wasn't all about the pork chop though. So, in just two days he has tried and eaten three things that he normally doesn't eat! (and they were all 3 healthy!)

In other Luke news, he can now identify 2 shapes: stars and circles. He will sometimes get triangle right. Actually today at lunch he was 'drawing' circles in his ranch dressing while saying 'circle'. What a smart boy! He can do almost all of his puzzles by himself and he can do his shape sorter perfectly. He is also pointing out red and orange things, but he doesn't always get them right when you ask him. It's almost like if he notices that it is orange, he will tell you.. but if you ask him, it throws him off. I try not to push this kind of stuff on him because I believe that kids learn best when playing and just during daily life.

In not so exciting news, I think he is regressing in his sleep. For the past two weeks he has cried a lot after he is put to bed. I think there have only been maybe three nights in the past two weeks where he has gone to sleep without a whimper. I confess, I have rocked him to sleep several times. I know some people don't necessarily agree with the 'cry it out' method but it really did work with Luke when he was younger. I firmly believe that a child (my child) needs to learn to sleep on their own. But when he started crying this time he had a cold so I just started rocking. Well, now that he feels better, he knows exactly what he's doing. So tonight, I rocked him for a while but I finally just had to lay down the law. Luckily, he cried for only about 5 minutes. Now he's sound asleep.

My other little guy, Eli, has been making himself known as well. His little movements are getting stronger. He also doesn't like for me to eat big meals. I guess that's good for me. It's very different than Luke though. I ate tons with Luke, but I just can't this time. I've got to start working on getting things ready for him. I don't want to wait until the last minute! I will be 21 weeks tomorrow and even though that's only a tad bit over half way, I know it will be here before I know it! I can't wait to meet this little guy!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

See that cute button in my side bar??

I just wanted to tell you about the new little sidebar button I have. Rachel at Fun and Funky Blog Design is offering a chance to win a free Blogger makeover! Winners will be picked on her launch party, April 21st. Go here to check it out! You might just win.. or I might just win! ;)

Monday, April 14, 2008

Just a day in the life of...

We've had a pretty normal day around here. Luke and I both slept in because we got in late last night. We had an AWESOME speaker at church. His name is Sean Reece from Heart Cry Missionary Society. Wow, I just loved hearing him. He and his family will be moving to Zambia, Africa hopefully by this time next year. He definitely has a heart for missions and desires for God to be glorified! It was such an encouragement to hear him speak. It's such a blessing to hear from someone who has the same sound biblical doctrine. We also got to see some really good friends of ours too that we don't get to see often. It was just a very encouraging night! Please keep the Reece family in your prayers. Sean will be traveling in May to do some ground work for a few weeks and then the whole family will be moving in about a year. Also pray for the Lozi people that they will be preaching and teaching God's word to.

Today Luke and I have lounged. We have just been under the weather for the past few days. Luke ran a fever last week but by Thursday he was fever free. We were both still coughing though and he also has a runny nose. By Friday R was all stuffy and headachey too. It's just one of those things that doesn't warrant a Dr's visit but can make you feel kind of cruddy! I'll just be glad when we feel better and it gets warmer out! Luke and I both need to get out of this house!

We did do some fun things though. I always try to make our days a little exciting by doing some type of activity, especially if we can't get outside! Here is the artwork Luke did today:

And now, a cute Luke story: Tonight, R and I had baked potatoes with out BBQ sandwiches. So I decided to fix Luke some 'french fries'. I just slice a potato and toss in a little olive oil and salt and bake them. He was SOO excited about his french fries. I pulled them out of the oven and he immediately started wanting them. I explained that he had to wait a while so that they could cool off. So, I'm finishing up supper and I hear something like this.. "mumble, mumble, mumble... Amen". He did it twice before I was able to really respond. It was hilarious! In his little sweet mind he thought.. 'Maybe if I go ahead and pray over them, Mommy will let me eat them', because he knows we always pray before we eat! It was the sweetest thing! I took the opportunity to use it as a 'teachable moment' and explained to him who we pray to. When I told him we pray to God to thank Him for our food, he started saying 'Boat, Boat, Boat.' At first I didn't understand, but then it dawned on me that just this week we had gone over the story of Noah! So, I responded with, "Yes, God told Noah to build a boat."

And Luke said, "Big boat!"

Wow. What a precious moment for me to see that my sweet little boy, at 22 months, is learning God's Word!

Oh Lord, let me teach him to know who You are...

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Menu Monday!

I have been CRAVING a BBQ sandwich with pickles! Luckily, I found a Boston Butt on sale this weekend and cooked it in the crockpot today (Sunday) R and I had a sandwich when we got home from church (well, he had 3!!) and it was SOO good. I honestly can not tell you how yummy it was. I'm sure it's more of a pregnancy thing than a great sandwich thing though. I am so glad that we have tons left so that I can eat it tomorrow and probably some Tuesday too! It was sooo easy. I rubbed the meat down with a blend of spices: garlic, onion, salt, black pepper and a little red pepper. I put it in the crock pot and cooked it on high for about three and a half hours. Then before church I turned it down to low. When we got home I shredded it and mixed it with almost a whole bottle of BBQ sauce. It hit the spot! :) We have so much though that I may actually freeze some, if it lasts! There is a link to the Honeyed Pork Chops recipe below. I have never tried it but I have heard that it's good. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Menu for the week:

Monday: BBQ Shredded Pork Sandwiches (Crockpot), Baked Potatoes, Salad

Tuesday: Shrimp Alfredo, Steamed Broccoli (This is what I planned but as I type it, shrimp Alfredo sounds disgusting to me.. so this may change!)

Wednesday- Tuna Melts, Carrot Sticks w/ Ranch Dressing

Thursday- Honeyed Pork Chops, Green Beans, Mashed Potatoes

Friday- Four Cheese Ravioli, Salad, Garlic Bread
As always, the days may change. I may flip flop them according to how I feel! I have been doing great with our food budget though since I've started my menus back up! And now that I'm 'planning' snacks, I actually do even better with our money! Instead of buying tons of stuff to snack on, I buy a few things and nothing goes wasted. (And we are eating a lot better too.)
Breakfast- Oatmeal, Oatmeal Blueberry Muffins, Cereal, Fruit (this week I got: apples, bananas, grapes, a cantaloupe, pears and plums... although the plums are already gone!)
Lunch- Leftovers, Sandwiches, Fruit
Snack- Raisins, yogurt and goldfish for Luke; Yogurt, baby carrots and granola bars for me... oh and Black Cherry Frozen Yogurt, can't forget that!... and fruit of course.
I, of course, don't limit ourselves strictly to this. I just don't want whoever might be out there reading this to think that I'm strict about what we eat. It's not like Luke can't have raisins with his lunch.. or can't have one of my granola bars for a snack! I just like to have it laid out there because it helps me! I mean he had oatmeal for lunch one day because that's what he wanted! I was just glad that he actually ate a decent amount of it! I'm seriously not that uptight about it. I am what you would call a 'list maker' ... it is my therapy. So, I list it out, whatever it may be.. because it's just what I do! I may never look at the list again.. and if it's a "To Do" list, many things may never get done.. but at least I made a list for it.
Well, that's something about me that you may not have known!
Now, I must go make a list before I go to bed! :)

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Heavy Heart and Healing Words

Over the past few days, I have had a heavy heart for some of those that I love.. friends and family. I have been broken and burdened over so many, so deeply. They are often on my heart but sometimes I just seem to feel that burden greater. I think these are times when the Holy Spirit prompts us to be in great prayer for those we know who are lost. I fear that there may be some of you who read this who just close this out. 'Ahh.. another post about God.' I pray that you will hang in with this one. R helped me with it and I truly feel that the Holy Spirit is in this. (It's long, I know.. but worth it)

Satan has deceived them and filled them full of lies. My prayer has been that the Holy Spirit would remove the blinders that he, the father of all lies (John 8:44), has placed over their eyes and the eyes of their heart. Oh that the glorious truth of the Holy God would be revealed to them.

Not, only does Satan deceive, but our very own heart can be deceptive. It is sinful and wicked.
Jeremiah 17:9 ~ “ The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?
What I'm saying here is that so many of those who I love believe a lie. They believe that they are in right standing with God, yet they are not. I think that the reason for this is that they are holding on to false assurances in regard to their eternity.
The Bible says....
Matthew 7:16-20 ~ "You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them."
I want you to understand that I am not being 'judgemental' in the way that most would use the term. In fact most who accuse Christians of being judgemental do not fully understand what the Word of God even says about the subject. I am simply assessing their lifestyle, their fruit (as mentioned above). Is this not what Nathan did with King David? I long for them to be reconciled and restored unto God through confession and repentance (Gal. 6:1).

Instead of going how we feel or even what we believe why don't we use the Scripture to help us see if we are in fact in right standing with God. Is that important to you, that you be in right standing with God? If so, please stick with me through this. I am praying for you.

If God's Word is absolute truth, then why not use it as our assurance. I might add that these that I love dearly do profess to believe in God's Word and would profess to know Christ as well. But I want to also note that even the demons believe and tremble (James 2:19 ~ You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble!). I just wanted to add that because some may believe that I'm talking about those who are openly, publicly living in complete rebellion. While in actuality they are living in rebellion against God, they don't see it as such. It is not as obvious as some, but the gravity of the outcome of their lifestyle is the same. Don't take my word for it, take His.

1 John is an amazing book to read concerning our relationship with Christ. I often share it with those who I have shared the gospel with at the pregnancy center. It offers us many 'tests' to look at concerning our Christianity. And in fact, does the Bible not say to 'examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith (2 Corin. 13:5)"? 1 John 5:13 gives us the reason why John actually wrote this book. He says: "These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God." So let's take a look at a few of these verses.

1 John 1:6 "If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth."
A true Christian will walk in His light. Does your life contradict scripture? Or does it line up with scripture?

1 John 1:8-10 ~ " If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us."
A true Christian will be broken over his sin and will be lead to confession. Does your sin grieve you? Does it move you to repentance? The Bible says in Matthew 5:4, "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted." Do you mourn over your sin or does it even bother you at all?

1 John 2:3-5 ~ "Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him."
A true Christian strives to keep (perfect tense, meaning continually) God's commandments. Are God's commandments a burden to keep? In Matthew 11:3o, Jesus says that his "yoke is easy' and his 'burden is light'. A true Christian will desire to keep all of God's law and it will break their heart when they fail.

1 John 2:6 ~ "He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked."
A true Christian strives to walk like Christ, like our heavenly Father. Are we mimicking Christ in our daily lives? Or do we just like to mimic Him at Church... or around the Christians that we know?

1 John 2:9-11 ~ "He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now. He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes."
Who are your friends? Is is a common occurrence in your life to discuss the things of God? Does the Word of God just flow freely from your mouth. Is He present in your conversations? Matthew 12:43b says, "For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks." A true Christian cannot talk enough about their Savior and Lord. It's impossible to keep silent about Him.

1 John 2:15-17 ~ "Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever."
Do you love the things of this world? And no, I do not mean creation. What kind of music do you listen to, what kind of movies do you watch, what kind of television shows do you watch? Most of every kind of secular entertainment is disgraceful to God. Does that bother you, or do you just let it slide? What you watch, listen to and do are exactly what you love. As a child of God we should be watching, listening to and doing things that glorify God.. the Bible says that when we receive Christ, we become new creatures in Him (2 Corin. 5:17). Is that true of you?

1 John 2:19 ~ "They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us."
Are you continuing in the faith, have you continued in the faith? It is scary to me to hear someone who professes Christianity but then also talks about a huge 'break' from church/Christian lifestyle in their past. God promises to continue the work that He starts in us. He doesn't start it.. then stop it for a few years.. then start it again.. and so on. God would be an unfit Father if he just left us to stay in our sin. Now, we won't be perfect, of course. But we will daily strive to follow Him. A true Christian will not stay in rebellion. Have you ever said, "You don't have to go to church to be a Christian." While that statement is true, church attendance is evidence of salvation. Christians want to fellowship with other believers. The Bible also tells us to not forsake the assembling of ourselves together (Heb. 10:25). Or maybe your church attendance is slack... "I'll go when it fits my schedule". How can one person miss church and it not really bother them much and then another miss and it destroy them? Simple: One is saved, the other lost.

1 John 2:22-23 ~ "Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also."
A true Christian embraces all of God and His law. Do you or have you created a god to suit your own beliefs. I believe this to be very true of many I know. The god they 'serve' is not the God of the Bible! The God of the Bible doesn't overlook sin. He is holy and righteous. Many people want to make Jesus Savior, so that He will save them from eternal hell. But they don't want to make Him Lord. He cannot be one without the other. He is both and He must be both in your life. Dr. Adrian Rogers said it this way, "If Jesus is not Lord of all, He is not Lord at all."

1 John 2:29 ~ "If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him."
A true Christian practices righteousness. Does this statement reflect your lifestyle? We are called to be set apart, to live holy and righteous lives. Seriously think about these things. Is your life pure? Is it holy? Do you life differently, drastically differently, than the world.. or do you just blend in? Part of living righteously is hungering for His Word. Do you hunger to be in His word? Do you desire to hear from Him? Or is a pretty email with scripture or a one paragraph devotion enough for you? A child of God will love His word.

1 John 3:3 ~ "And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure."
A true believer hopes and longs for the day of Christs return. Oh, let it be soon. A true Christian will purify himself daily in hope of His return. Are you busy with His work? Or are you just busy? There is a huge difference in the actions of those waiting on Christ's return than those who aren't.

I know that there is a lot of information in these verses and in the near future I plan on posting individually about each verse in more depth. For those of us who do have that 'hope of Him', I pray that these verses are an encouragement to you. These can be very key verses in sharing your faith. And for those who do not have that hope my prayer, as I said above, is that the Holy Spirit will reveal the truth. I often pray:

Lord, remove the blinders from their eyes. Reveal the truth of your Son. Reveal the truth of your Holy Word. Reveal to them the sin that keeps them from knowing You. Do a work in their life like only You can. I pray, Lord, for their soul to be saved. And in all things I give You glory!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

A late menu

I was too late to post for Menu Plan Monday. I think the big U/S threw me off. I do have a menu to share. I've got a new recipe for a pork chop marinade that was really good. I'll post it at the bottom.

Monday- R and I ate a late lunch after the sonogram and then just had a light supper, sort of. I say 'sort of' because we both ate kind of odd things! R had a salad (which he asked me to make.. Him- "Hey, why don't you make one of those really good salads." Me- "You mean the one with cheese, bacon bits, croutons and ranch dressing." Him- "Yep that's it." I just thought that was funny.. it's a salad!) and popcorn. I had a bowl of frosted flakes, a blueberry waffle and a fried egg. At least it was all breakfast food....

Tuesday- Marinated Baked Pork Chops, Roasted Asparagus, and Rice (the wild and long grain kind) Note- the link is to a video of how I make my asparagus! Easy and YUM!

Wednesday- Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup... I'll probably have a salad instead of soup.

Thursday- Chicken Quesadillas, Corn

Friday- Eggplant Parmesan, salad

Sat and Sunday- Who knows, I didn't plan that far!! :)

Breakfasts- I got a great deal on Cheerios. They had them BuyOneGetOneFree at Publix and then had a coupon for .75 cents off! So, I got 2 boxes of Cheerios for $2.74! I was proud, cereal prices are CRAZY! I got a box of regular and a box of the new fruity kind, which Luke LOVES! So: cereal, egg and cheese sandwiches (for R), oatmeal and fruit ~ bananas, apples, oranges and cantaloupe this week.

Lunch- Leftovers and sandwiches. I had a tomato and cheese sandwich today and it was SO good!

Snacks- Fruit, granola bars, Goldfish/Teddy Grahams/Raisins for Luke

Marinade for Pork Chops

1 T soy sauce
1 T Vegetable oil
1 T Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp lemon juice
2 T brown sugar
2 T ketchup

I got this recipe from Allrecipes. The only thing I changed was that I didn't use as much oil. This marinade is really more like a BBQ sauce. I let the pork chops marinate for about 30 minutes in the sauce. I reserved half of the sauce and then baked them for 20 minutes, covered at 350. I turned them over after the 20 minutes and spooned the other half of the sauce on top. I then baked them, uncovered for another 15 minutes. The recipe on the website says it's enough sauce for 6 chops but I only cooked enough for us 3 and the amt of sauce was perfect. So, I think that it would need to be doubled for 6. It would be yummy on the grill!

Monday, April 7, 2008

The verdict is in...

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Well, we are having a sweet baby BOY! I am thrilled!!! I had no expectations whatsoever so it really was a surprise to me! Everything looked great on the sonogram. He was measuring perfectly, there was perfect amount of fluid, perfect organs, etc! What a blessing!
And it is without a doubt a boy. R and I both saw 'it' before we were even told! He was just wiggling around in there. I made sure to drink lots of OJ before the appointment so he would have enough sugar to get him moving! When she attempted to get a face shot, he kept putting his little hands up! Finally we did get to see a little outline of his face and we even saw his mouth moving! It is just such an amazing thing! He had his feet crossed and at the moment he is breech, but at only 19 wks, 3 days, he still has plenty of time to turn!
I am so excited that Luke will have a little brother! I just know that he will be a great big brother (after he gets use to the idea of having a new person in the house!).
We have been discussing names for the past few weeks and (of course) we came up with a boy name pretty easily. Maybe that should have been a sign! Even as of last night we still couldn't decide on a girl name. I am a planner when it comes to this kind of thing so I want a name for the baby the moment we know the gender! So, his name will be Elijah Chandler, Eli for short.
I just want to add that if God chose to only give us boys for however many more children we decide to have, I'd be thrilled. A baby is a miracle and a precious gift from God, no matter what the gender! :) I could not be happier!

Psalm 139:13-16 ~ For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Wonderful Words on a Wonderful Wednesday!

Ok, so the title of this post is corny! But.. whatever!
I love, love Shawn McDonald. Read the words.. and then hear him sing them. I'm all about acoustic guitar and his lyrics are beautiful! Now, that's some good stuff!

All I Need

As I sit here and think
About all that You've done
About how You gave me
Your one and only Son
And I'm trying to fathom
All that You are, but so far, Lord
You're so beyond me
I fall down in reverence
And I fall down in fear
And I'm asking You, Lord, won't You please draw near
Won't You open my eyes
So that I can see
The way that You are working in me
All I need is Your love
To come and fill this heart of mine
My heart is a desert that has gone dry
And I need Your love to carry me bye, bye, bye, bye, bye
To carry me bye, bye, bye, bye, bye
To carry me bye
And I lay down my life
And I put it before You
All that I am is in Your hands
And I'm not going to question, why You're so faithful
Why that You give me the blessing that You have
Let the glory be known, let the glory be shown
Lift You up unto the throne
You are my God, You are my King
To You I give, I give You everything
All that I need is Your love, my God