Saturday, February 27, 2010

Shrade: 15 months!

Here is an update on my precious Shrade at 15 months. I can't believe how our child is developing. It has been so fun for me to watch our baby grow from birth.

Says: ball, car, bird, bath, yeah, book (he doesn't exactly say the whole word, but he's got the gist)
Points to: head, ears, eyes mouth, feet, tummy, toes

He can point to things in books and loves to explore and discover with his toys. He is always carrying something in his hand that you cannot take from him.

He can clap his hands and just discovered how to put his hands behind his head. Sometimes he drops things behind his head (like his milk bottle when he's done).
Signs: more and all done (during meal time)
Understands: eat (walks to high chair), book (grabs a book from the box), snack (points to the cabinet with the snacks)

He can feed himself with his fingers and can play by himself for an hour. Shrade now has 14 teeth! Wow!

He just started walking in January and is very stable on his feet. This allows us to go to fun places like the park. He really loves the slide. We also just bought his first pair of shoes to wear outside! Excuse the crying picture. He just got up from a nap and didn't want to wear the hat. I thought he looked cute though!

We continue to go to library story time and of course, leaving after the play time is a bit rough. Shrade has shown us some of his "sinful" nature as he gets upset easily and will have a few tantrums with loud crying and body arching. Starting discipline and training at this age is so important to us. Thank goodness he usually has a good report from the nursery.

Shrade continues to have a great nap and night sleeping schedule. He rarely cries going to sleep or waking up which is such a blessing.

I think the best times we have with Shrade is when we sing to him and play fun games like hide and seek. Nothing is so precious as hearing the laughter from your baby and seeing their excited face.

Friday, February 26, 2010

God's Nuggets: Being a witness for Christ

Lately, I have been really wrestling in how I can be a witness for Christ. I have several friends close to me that are unbelievers and it grieves my heart. I don't know how to reach them. I'm discouraged because when I invite them to church they have an excuse. Sometimes I think that if they just come to church, then they will hear about God better than I can tell them. But what if they don't want to come to church?

I've been listening to a Mercy Me CD as I drive around town and one song has really touched my heart and given me encouragement- Shine On. Here are the lyrics:

If we're to be the light That shines for all of man Then how can we light the way If we don't go to them I believe to know God's heart Is to meet them where they are Won't you shine on Won't you shine on You can shine on Shine on In all that's said and done And everything you do Just let your life glorify The one who shines on you I believe we worship Christ When we show the world His light

Watch it on YouTube, click here

I know that as I live my life I can be a light to everyone around me. I need to trust God to help me be His witness.

What about you? How are you a light?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Recipe of the Week: Black Bean Sweet Potato Soup

Here's my big pot.

Here's where I divide it up for freezing. I freeze these containers, then take out and let thaw slightly. Pop out of container and put in a big freezer bag. On eating day, just take out a block (these are about 3 cups) and let thaw and then heat on the stove.

I had a bit extra so I just made a few servings for Shrade. Easy! Just freeze, then take pan out of freezer, let thaw a little bit, pop out and put in freezer bags. On eating day, just take out and let thaw in the refrigerator. Heat and eat!

This is a recipe I got from Fix It and Enjoy It by Phyllis Pellman Good.

1 T olive oil
1 medium onion chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 medium sized raw sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 T chili powder
1 16oz jar salsa
1 cup water
2 15oz can black beans, drained
sour cream

In large saucepan, saute onion and garlic in oil for 4 min. Stir in sweet potatoes, chili powder, salsa and water. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat and cook 12-15 min. or until potatoes are fork tender. Add beans, cook 3 more minutes. Garnish with sour cream and cilantro.

I made a double recipe for this one.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Taste the World by Hospitality Haven

I just wanted to direct you today to a wonderful blog that you will thoroughly enjoy. Alison lives in Victoria, Canada with her husband Peter. I met her through one of my many blog searches. I found her to be very personable in responding to my posts on her blog. She is always creating fabulous meals at home and sharing these recipes on her blog. I have made several recipes and my husband raves about them!

Alison is starting a wonderful new blog series to introduce us to foods around the world. Please join her on this journey. Bookmark her blog and travel with her to many lands through food. You will not be disappointed.

Taste the World by Alison at Hospitality Haven

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Gratituesday: Blog Friends

This last year I started stumbling onto some AMAZING blogs. I recently started my blog at the end of 2008 to share about my son. I never really knew there were so many fun, encouraging and beautiful blogs out there. One of my friends shared a link on Facebook for Laura's free preschool ebook on Heavenly Homemakers. I clicked on it and the rest is history. From there I have found so many blogs and also friends. I love connecting with people around the world through the internet. Now that I'm a stay at home mom I don't have social interaction as often as I did when I was working. Finding my blog friends has filled that void and introduced me to so many things like cooking, friendship, relationships, spiritual growth and more. Thanks for being my friends. I really do click on a lot of blogs and love to read your posts.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

God's love has a Valentine right in the middle of it!

For God so loVed the world
That He gAve
His onLy
That whoever
Believes In Him
Shall Not perish,
But have Eternal life. (John 3:16)

Happy Valentine’s Day! God loves you!

Friday, February 12, 2010

God's Nuggets: Lent

Hi friends- Wow, I can't believe Easter is coming in a few short weeks. So, I have heard of Lent before, but never actually studied it. From what I've heard from others they usually give something up. It's also a time to prepare for Easter. My friend, Tina, shared a Lent study with me from World Vision. I just started digging into it.

This quote from the intro really helped explain what Lent is about:

“During Lent, Christians are encouraged to focus their energy on three disciplines: prayer, fasting and almsgiving (sharing our gifts with the poor). The extra time spent praying during Lent can lead us closer to God. During Lent we are encouraged to focus our prayer on the places in our lives and in our world that need improvement. Our fasting isn’t about denying ourselves as a sort of punishment, and it isn’t even about food. We fast from television, food, video games, computers, and other simple everyday indulgences so we can literally hunger for God. Our fasting also puts us in touch with those whose hunger is never filled because they live in poverty. Finally, our praying and fasting lead us to action.”
—Tony Alonso, Return to the Lord: Praying and Living Lent

I really want to get closer to God and some things are keeping me from my focus. I'm really going to pray about what God wants me to sacrifice during this time of Lent. I can't wait to see what God has in store for me this season.

What about you? Do you observe Lent and how? Or if you don't why not? I would like to hear your thoughts.

Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, Feb 17.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

February Freezer Cooking Day Recipes

Here are the recipes that I was going to make for February Freezer Cooking Daze. I actually didn't have a chance to make all of the recipes yet. But here they are for you!

Lentil Soup
In a big pot
*Saute one onion, chopped in 1/4 c. olive oil
*1 carrot, grated
*1 cup lentils, sorted and rinsed
* 5 cups water
*1/4 tsp oregano
Cook till softened, about 25 min

*1 can diced tomatoes or dice your own fresh tomatoes
*1 Tablespoon salt (yes!)

Let boil a little longer.
Best if made the night before. :)

Make double and freeze for future.

Parsley Parmesan Chicken- click on this link and scroll down (so yummy!)

Baked Salmon with Mustard Crumb Crust- from 30 day freezer gourmet (I am only going to type for 1 recipe)
2 T. balsamic vinegar
2 T brown sugar
1.5 tsp dry mustard
2 T Dijon mustard
1/3 c oil
2/3 c seasoned breadcrumbs
4 7 oz Salmon fillet

Assembly Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place vinegar, sugar and both mustards in small bowl and mix well. Whisk in oil until well blended. Spoon 1-2 T sauce over each fillet, covering completely. Press breadcrumbs onto fish. Bake salmon until cooked through about 18 min.

Freezing Directions:
Cool completely. Transfer fillets to freezer wrap or foil, wrap tightly without mashing and place in rigid freezer container. Seal, label and freeze.

Serving Directions:
To thaw, unwrap frozen salmon and place in a single layer on a tray. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and leave in refrigerator until completely thawed. To reheat, place salmon in a microwave safe plate, heat on high 2 min. Test the temp and continue heating on high for 1 min intervals until hot.

Orange Garlic Chicken- crockpot meal (from Fix it and Forget it 5 ingredient favorites)
6 boneless skinless bone in chicken breast halves
1.5 tsp dry thyme
6 cloves garlic minced
1 cup orange juice concentrate
2 T balsamic vinegar

Rub thyme and garlic over chicken. Place in slow cooker. Mix orange juice concentrate and vinegar together. Stir in any leftover thyme and garlic. Spoon over chicken. Cover and cook on low 5-6 hours until chicken is tender.

Serve with potatoes. Yum!

Have fun cooking!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

I'm Booking It in 2010 (February)

So this is what I read in January:
*I started reading through the Bible and I'm on track. Right now I'm in Leviticus.
*I finished Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian
*I read one of the Amish books by Wanda Brunstetter
*I'm currently still going through A Woman's Heart by Beth Moore

This is what I plan to read in February:
*Reading through the Bible (ongoing)
*A Woman's Heart- Bible study (ongoing)
*Starting the Rocky Mountain Legacy Honor's Pledge by Kristen Heitzmann (it's a re-read)
*Loving Your Spouse through Prayer by Cheri Fuller
*Finishing Fairy Tale Weddings by Debbie Macomber
*Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah
*So Long Insecurity by Beth Moore (new book!) Also, there is a great discussion group that will start up on Beth's blog this week: Living Proof Ministries
*The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffinegger

I tend to overextend myself and read too many books at a time, but I love it!

What about you?

Monday, February 8, 2010

Monday Non-mayhem: Declutter time!

Hi everyone- So I will do short posts so I can still blog, but not feel overwhelmed! Flylady's habit for the month of February is to declutter 15 min per day. What a difference that will make. Be sure to check out her website for some tips and tricks. If you sign up on Flylady's website you will get some great emails that will inspire you.

So what are your tricks for decluttering?

Friday, February 5, 2010

God's Nuggets: The Cross in the desert

I am learning so much in my Bible study (A Woman's Heart), but this really stood out to me today. When God instructed the Israelites to camp around the tabernacle in the desert, He designed it in such a way that if looking at it from above it looked like a cross. Take a look at this picture (scroll down to the bottom): The Camp of Israel from Numbers 2. So, I have studied the Bible for many years, but I have never heard this. How awesome! Thank you, Lord, for always showing Who You are in something so simple as the set up of a camp of people.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Ultimate Recipe Swap: Pizza Pockets

So I found a fun and creative way to have pizza pockets without all the junk! Laura, at Heavenly Homemakers, has made pizza fun for adults and kids.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Gratituesday: Christian Freedom

Recently I started reading a magazine put out by Voice of the Martyrs. I am on my knees praying for these persecuted Christians everyday. I have such a GOOD life and these people are being beaten and killed even by their own family members for being a Christian. We are SO blessed here in America to buy and read the Bible out loud wherever we are without persecution. We can openly worship in churches without fear of the government attacking us. I am so grateful for my Christian freedom (I don't use the word religious, because being a Christian to me means relationship with Christ). I just finished the February issue of VOM and I am broken for these Christians who suffer for Christ. If you are interested in obtaining this magazine for free go to:

Monday, February 1, 2010

Monday Non-mayhem: Taking a break

Hi everyone- I'm really sorry, but I'm going to take a little break from blogging this next month. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading and connecting with new friends in the blog world. I have found some awesome blogs and I have tried my hand at creating my own unique way of sharing in the blog world. Lately, though, I have spent a lot of time working on my blog more than other things in my life. So, I'm going to take a little break. That doesn't mean I won't blog at all. I will most likely give a recipe of the week and my God's nuggets post. I want to make sure my priorities are straight. Also, I do want to update on my Eat From the Pantry challenge I did in January, but it will have to wait. I'm also Booking It this year and will give an update later this month as well.

Blessings, Shonda

PS. Of course, somehow this week I have a full schedule for my blog, but I will be slacking up a bit more, I think!!!