Monday, March 31, 2008

What's Cooking Tonight?

Pot Roast with Creamy Mushroom Sauce
1 boneless beef chuck roast
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
1 can cream of mushroom soup

Place roast in crock-pot, pour onion soup mix on top of roast and then top with mushroom soup.
Cook 6-8 hours on low.

Ok, I know, I am a total nerd for blogging about what we are having for dinner tonight.  But I really feel I need to share this ultra-easy recipe with you especially if you are like me and constantly looking for simple recipes that are on the healthy side and can be enjoyed by a family of any size.  This recipe uses 3 ingredients and is delicious!  Because of our busy schedule, I try to use my crock-pot as much as possible so dinner, or at least the main dish, is ready when we get home.  This is a dish that we use on a regular basis and is enjoyed by the entire family, although lately Emily's been commenting that she's tired of roast...maybe I need to find a few more recipes as easy as this and put them into the rotation!  

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Happy Birthday Abby!

I can hardly believe my baby girl is now a 2 year old!  Where has the time gone?  Abigail Elizabeth was named shortly after we found out she was a girl.  Abigail means joy of the father and Elizabeth means consecrated to God.  

I remember the day I took the home pregnancy test.  I was so afraid to give Jason the news.  I just knew it would stress him out.  Money was tight at the time and another child was not something we had decided upon.  However, God's plans are not our own.  (Can I get an amen?)  Instead of stress, Jason reacted with laughter and for several days would call me because he had just laughed out loud at work at the thought of us having another baby.  His laughter was true joy and Abigail would be the perfect name.

From the time I felt her move, I knew she would be a handful.  She was the most active of the three babies.  Immediately following her birth, one of the nurses in the nursery commented that she had never seen one of the newborns move as much as Abigail.  Well, I'm hear to tell you, she is a handful, but she is a joyous handful.  

Abigail absolutely loves life, loves people, loves her family and loves to play.  She loves to dance and sing, she loves to read books, and she loves to be the center of attention.  She is always on the go as she has been since the day the Lord formed her.  I know without a doubt that He has wonderful plans for her life.  We have been blessed beyond measure and she truly fills our life with joy and wonder.

Happy birthday, sweet girl.  We love you so much! 

Very special visitors who couldn't wait to meet you!

6 months old

1 year old

18 months old

2 years old

A time to plant...

Yesterday, we planted some tomato seeds for our garden.  All three of my kids love to eat tomatoes.  But the most exciting part of the activity was that we planted Veggie Tale seeds!  So cute!  We'll soon see how green our thumbs are...

The disclaimer on the package goes something like this: 
It's alright to eat vegetables that don't talk.

Our little journalist has decided to chart the progress.  Yesterday's entries marked the planting of the seeds and how many each person planted and what type of tomato (large or small).  

Friday, March 28, 2008

Some pics from our Texas trip:

Feeling Grateful

We are back home safe and sound. It's nice to be home and yet it's sad that home is still so far away. I've read some of my previous blog postings and I sound so pitiful, but the emotions were true then and are still very real. Although our adjustment here is getting better, the sadness of who we left behind still remains.

Now, moving along to the subject of this post. We are feeling so grateful for many things:
  • grateful for family
  • grateful for friends
  • grateful for our Heritage family
  • grateful to Grandpa for making our trip to Texas possible
  • grateful to Natalie and Robert and Grandma for being the best hosts
  • grateful for TEX-MEX! (you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone...believe me!)
  • grateful for chocolate cake (from Abby who turned 2 while in Texas)
  • grateful for sleepovers (from Emily & Ben)
  • grateful for awesome weather (it's currently 28 degrees and snowing here)
  • grateful to Chelsea for watching over our house and pets
And, most of all, we are feeling grateful to the Lord who longs to give us blessings that are good and perfect. James 1:17 (NLT) states "Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow." We serve a God who never changes but calls us to change to be like Him, a god who freely gives us good and perfect things. We are grateful for the people He has placed in our lives that are a part of our journey to be like Him.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

There's just something about being in Texas...

We are having a ball! We've been in Texas for 8 days now and I'm already dreading the countdown to our departure back to Ohio (or "up in Ohio" as Ben calls it...not that we don't want to go back to Ohio, we just want to stay here longer!) It's like we never left and yet at the same time, it feels like we've missed so much. Someone asked us today what's been the hardest in our move and there's no doubt the answer is that we miss our family and friends terribly. I believe 100% that family doesn't have to be blood, and it's been so great to see ALL our family here on this visit.

Our trek to Texas started off a little rough... Our flight was to leave Cleveland at 8:40 p.m. We arrived at the airport at 6:30, all organized and ready to depart. I was so proud of my organization and our time of leisure we would have to feed the kids and be ready to pre-board that plane to Texas. As we are approaching the gate, I notice the sign must not be functioning properly as it is flashing "Departure to Dallas"....10:20. I quickly asked the ladies at the desk if that was correct and let them know that surely it couldn't be... and I was right, it was not correct as our plane left Cleveland at 11:10 p.m.!

Ok, now put yourself in our shoes for a minute... We've been at the airport since 6:30, so excited to leave for Texas, with three kids in tow and who knows how many carry-on bags full of entertainment and snacks for the three-hour flight. However, I have to say that the kids did a fantastic job during our wait. I think Mommy and Daddy were the ones that were anxious by the time we boarded that plane. The kids were asleep before we even taxied to the runway. Our heads hit the pillows at 2:00 in the morning and we slept good!
There's just something about being in Texas....

I will write more when we are back in Ohio and post pictures. In the meantime, know that we are so glad to be here; good friends, good food, perfect weather. There's just something about being in Texas...

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

You Go Girl!

Emily has been taking Tae Kwon Do this year two days a week after school.  Her joining was prompted by her parents and it took some time for her to decide that she might like it.  Her sticking with it has been prompted by us as well, as there have been many days that she didn't want to go, but always enjoyed it once she was there.

Yesterday, she took her first test.  The parents were invited to watch.  Up to this point, Jason and I had not really seen what they were doing in class because we work during that time.  So, not really knowing what to expect on testing day, we were blown away!  Emily can count to 20 in Korean.  All the commands from her instructor were given in Korean and she knew exactly what to do.  For the past months, she's been practicing her form and technique and then she was able to put them into action as you will see in the video.  She was so nervous about testing day...we've never seen her this nervous about anything!

Unfortunately, Jason was in a meeting, so I promised to film it.  I'm so glad I did.  She was so cute because every time she did a new move in her form, she would look at me.  She wanted to make sure I saw all that she was doing and didn't miss a thing.

The video will speak for itself but let me just tell you...little Emily was walking alot taller yesterday when we finished testing...and she left with a yellow belt!  

To say we are so proud is a major understatement.  
Congrats Em!

Before you play the video, scroll to the bottom of the page 
and pause the music player.

Sorry for the cheesy's what came to mind!

Faith - it's not just for George Michael anymore

From Jason:
Recently I was listening to an author on the radio who shared his story of lost faith. Basically, because he couldn't unravel the mystery of why bad things happen to good people, he decided that God isn't who he says he is in the Bible and opted for a more palatable, mystical universal consciousness who basically set things in motion and then kept his hands off.

This really got me thinking about the nature of faith. I mean, what is faith? Why are we pressed to have faith? I think the author, a professor at a university, has fallen for a classic argument. In fact it's the argument that led to the first sin. The argument that states:
  • I should be able to know and understand everything that God knows and understands.
  • If I cannot know or understand something, God is at fault.
Thinking that we can be like God and know the things that God knows is the height of arrogance. In Job 38 (NLT), God answers Job after Job spends chapter after chapter asking why so many bad things have happened to him:

1 Then the Lord answered Job from the whirlwind:

 2 “Who is this that questions my wisdom
      with such ignorant words?
3 Brace yourself like a man,
      because I have some questions for you,
      and you must answer them.

 4 “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?
      Tell me, if you know so much.
5 Who determined its dimensions
      and stretched out the surveying line?
6 What supports its foundations,
      and who laid its cornerstone
7 as the morning stars sang together
      and all the angels
 shouted for joy?

Job didn't understand God's plan and is basically told, "Who do you think you are?" How can we possibly think that in our finite minds we can grasp God's plans and motivations? Yet, the author I heard has lost his faith because he doesn't understand why there is suffering. Take a look at Job's response in Chapter 40 (NASB):

1Then the LORD said to Job, 
2"Will the faultfinder contend with the Almighty?
         Let him who reproves God answer it."

 3Then Job answered the LORD and said, 
4"Behold, I am insignificant; what can I reply to You?
         I lay my hand on my mouth. 
5"Once I have spoken, and I will not answer;
         Even twice, and I will add nothing more."

Job proudly proclaims, "Er...nevermind." I wonder what that author's response will be when he stands before God. 

Look, true faith is not easy nor is it blind. I believe God wants us to study, question and do everything we can to understand Him. He doesn't want legions of mindless robots following Him. Rather, I think God wants followers who are willing to question everything and put their beliefs to the test with the understanding that we are finite and God is infinite and we will never understand everything He does or everything that happens around us, but we can do our best to try.

Monday, March 10, 2008

In the beginning...

In the beginning, it started as a spark of interest, but now I have to admit that I have a new addiction.  I have become addicted to the world of blogging.  I love reading other people's blogs and you know the funny thing?  Most of these people that I'm reading about, I don't even know. Does that make me nosy?  Maybe. Some are entertaining, some are funny, some are inspiring, some are heart wrenching and some stories, just tragic.  However, some of the blogs that I've found have given me the opportunity to pray for new and different things.   

Daily, I read a blog that is the story of a modern day miracle in progress.  I won't give all the details as I definitely will not do the story justice, but I will give you the website.  But, please be forewarned, in the beginning, it will be a quick read and interest for you,  but the danger of addiction for you will be very real! (  

So, I thought maybe I would try this new thing called blogging myself.  I'll use this blog to combine my ponderings with family updates and antics.  So, to begin, we got 20 inches of snow this weekend over the course of just 2 days.  It was crazy!  The sun came out yesterday and we took the opportunity to get out and play in the snow.  The kids had a ball digging tunnels through the snow.  Poor little Abby couldn't move, so what else is there to do when you can't move in snow but eat the snow, right?  Enjoy the pics and welcome to our blogging world!