Friday, June 13, 2014

Quick Steak Dinner - Celebrating 1 year in the new house!!

June 12 - one year into living on the homestead. still not sure what to call it but we know a sign will soon say "Established June 12, 2013"

After having been married for 9 years and being blessed with 3 children there are certain things you just do a certain way. You have to figure these things out or you get lost in the mayhem. We have found our way to do a yummy steak dinner! We like to do this for a weekend dinner or to celebrate something special, like 1 year in our new house!

We figure this dinner costs around $12 for all of us.  Or you can go to a steak house for the whole family and spend $40-$50 easy. Even if you go to a cheap place like a family buffet where their is steak you still pay around $30.

Grilling is so nice because we split the jobs and are not walking into each other in the kitchen, although on certain days that is enjoyable. :)

Prep is so easy for this Steak and Potato dinner.

Steak Marinade:
a 1" chunk of fresh ginger, minced
1 or 2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 bunch green onions, chopped
Worcestershire sauce, just squirt a bunch in there
Olive oil, a couple glubs
a couple drops of hot sauce (or more if you want)
Italian dressing, around 1/8th of a cup (or just omit it, I just had a bit left in the bottle so I threw it in)
Salt and Pepper

Today I started a little after 4 p.m. and thankfully I had most of everything prepped before finding the horror of parenthood: my 2 year old standing in her own poop on her bedroom carpet, which then took me a good 20-30 minutes to clean up. Aren't you glad I didn't add those Pictures?

I also didn't get any shots of the chopping. oh well, that's boring anyway.

Salt and pepper the steak after you turn it in the marinate a couple time. I recommend letting it marinate on the counter for a bit. So you start dinner around 4:30, perhaps hubby gets home to grill around 5-5:30, that works. Send it out with him to grill it. If you don't want to grill sear it in a super hot pan then turn the heat down to simmer on low and cook slowly until it is to your preferred doneness.

Somewhere, someone once thought "If I cut the potato in half perhaps it would take half the time to bake it." Wow, they were so smart. Unless you really need to have that whole potato feel this is a great way to cut back on energy whether your oven is electric or propane or natural gas or some strange alternative energy.

Quick Baked Potato 
or you can call it "Half Baked Potato" LOL
Oven to 425 degrees
Wash however many potatoes you want
Cut them in half
Coat in oil and however much salt you want 
(less oil is best, careful in the hot oven with that oil and please use a cookie sheet with edges.)
30 minutes or whenever your feel like it.. turn them over and get them crispy if you want.

Then get that broccoli in the steamer (or just throw it in a pan with a little water in it.)
Butter and salt after they are steamed

Then serve it all up with whatever sauces you want. 
My hubby lovingly ranched my taters right after this pic. 

Don't forget the iced tea

2 big iced tea bags
Hot water
sweetener of choice
Put tea bags in pitcher
fill with super hot tap water
add sweetener
Let sit to steep
When ready to serve
fill glass with ice
Pour tea over ice

And be grateful with such a vast array a variety in the world God has given us to enjoy!

Monday, June 9, 2014

The First Half of 2014

New House! New Baby! New camera! Lots of changes and growth! This is only from my camera. There are more on my phone, but these are the best quality.

Thanks to Jesus for:
Wood stoves

Two years with Ayla

Daddy's arms

Baby chicks


Legos with Daddy

Mothers Day


a beautiful view of His artwork

Cute and smart girl

Happy boy with sweet chickens


Teeth grins

Almost walker

Fun boy


Silly girl


Fruit trees - let them live!


Farmer Jake



Growing egg givers

Monday, July 30, 2012

July 2012 - the blessings continue...

This last month we spent a lot of time at Grandma Nancy's. Jake's work schedule has been a tricky adjustment for all of us, but it is good for us to get used to it.  We have been spoiled for the 4 years he has worked at home.

When brother isn't busy building something, playing super heroes or watching tv he is smothering his sister with affection (or aggression) and mommy is learning that 4 year olds do not learn self control naturally. Any self-control training tips?  We talk VERY often of "Think before you do" and "treat others how you want to be treated" There are days I just do the "no touching sister" rule because he is just too full of energy to slow down and take care. We are starting preschool in a couple of weeks so I should have some "first day of school" pictures up and maybe a post or two about our curriculum throughout the year.

We are so happy to have such an adorable baby girl.  She is a gem and keeps us all on our toes!  She is full of so much energy and excitement for life.  She is crawling everywhere at 6 1/2 months. Just last night I saw her inspecting for the first time.. where to pull herself up to.  We have a few good spots for her to cruise around on when the time comes. She has been reaching for low drawer handles and I can tell she is discovering how to get around on her own, but just needs a little more muscle and stability.  Brother is learning to keep his small toys in his room and mommy is learning to clean the floors more to get the dog hair up!

I am taking on the challenge this school year of really sacrificing my time for my children. Each child takes a mom a little further down the path of self sacrifice and selflessness. We either embrace it and let it change us for the good or we fight it, harming the whole family.  I am thankful for each of them.  It is comforting to look back and see God at work.  Each day I must not take lightly the fight I face.  Life is hard, lets not deceive ourselves to think that it will be easy.  I need to accept it and keep a positive perspective of the toil and work ahead. If I wake up unprepared for the gauntlet ahead I am miserable throughout the day. We are mere ants in God's plan, but we have important jobs to do each day.  It's all about perspective!  

Having fun at Grandma Nancy's!

Out at the park with Grandma W for a beautiful evening picnic. :)

Happy school preparations to everyone!!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Being at Peace

Are you in the middle of a difficult relationship struggle?  Thankfully I am not, but we all have ongoing concerns toward at least a few people in our life.  Those people who have hurt you in the past or you are not sure if they think rightly of you. These people can be difficult to love or to be around due to that awkward lack of understanding. 

Want to know a really great way to get your mind on board biblicaly toward others?  Pray I Corinthian 13:4-7 for them. Speaking from personal experience this has helped me many times to keep my mind in the right place. I have written an example of a prayer that is based on the passage.

Copy this down, add more scripture to it if you like, and put the person's name in the blanks. Print it and pray it often or whenever the person comes to mind.  By doing this you are making a choice of 1) Forgiveness 2) Grace 3) Reconciliation and Peace 4) God's glory and not your own. 

Lord Jesus, help me to be patient toward __________.  May my words and actions be kind toward him/her. Please make me content with __________. May I not be jealous toward __________ and their possessions or who they are. Make my behavior toward __________ modest, humble, and appropriate.  When I want to boast in myself or make my ways seem better or more important give me a selfless mind and heart help me put __________ before myself.  Savior, who has been merciful to me, let me not become angered because "...the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God." (James 1:20) Lord, help me to forget the ways __________has hurt me in the past and to rejoice in what is right and true in __________'s life.  Lord, help me to bear with __________, because we are all sinners in need of grace.  May I have the strength to trust and hope for good in __________, giving them the benefit of the doubt knowing that you are in the business of restoring __________ and my relationship.  If it is possible, as much as depends on me, help me to live live peaceably with __________. (Romans 12:18) With your grace and mercy I know you will give me what I need to endure life with__________ knowing that in the end you will be glorified.  "Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, But to Your name give glory, Because of Your mercy, Because of Your truth." (Psalm 115:1) Amen.

I am hopeful that this will help bring peace to your heart toward the difficult relationships in your life.  Forgiveness is SO important!!!! 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Motherhood is a Mission Trip

Can I bring you on a journey with me? I hope some of you moms can relate because lately I have sure felt like an odd ball in my thoughts and life!

I am an adventurer at heart, and a wanderer.  I like change and new things, too much.  When it was time to choose between missions, a job, school or settling down for marriage 8 years ago God gave me a clear answer.  He brought my husband at a timely manner to my life and took away a vocation that I was sure would be there for the rest of my life.  Settling?  "Ugh" was my first reaction and honestly, at times, still is. The marriage part is awesome. The man God brought to me is my best friend, leader, and many strengths to my weaknesses.  God not only gave me a husband to build a family with, but God gave me a husband that does not travel well.  (We could have gone to mission school together. Marriage does not need to ground you to one place.) But that wasn't the good plan. :)

The little girl in me dreamed of being a wife and mommy.  I used to have dreams of  fun adventures with a little 2 year old boy of my own, but parenting has not been everything I dreamed it would be and I have learned that raising a family abroad would not be roses either.

Motherhood is my mission trip. What do mission trips do?  They stretch us outside of our comfort zones, they cause us to think outside of ourselves, and they mold us into a new perspective on life while communicating the gospel to others. Well, motherhood sure is all those things for me and I suspect that if I begin to think of it as an adventure and a spiritual goal rather than a duty it will be much more fulfilling. 

Here are some obstacles on my journey of motherhood that have taught me a little about being still, steadfast, and waiting on the Lord's timing, being thankful.

Finances - See, something I've learned is that you need money to live. "Thank you, Captain Obvious", right? In what reality can you just vacation all the time without working? Finances have been a means to ground me and settle me.  They also have shown me how imperative it is for us to depend on God all the time financially, not just in the hard times.

Depression - What I don't intend to communicate is that being settled equals depression, this is not true.  What I am saying is that sometimes, when our comfort is challenged depression is a likely trial that will creep its way in unnoticed.  Down deep you begin to harbor a bitterness toward God and the way He has orchestrated your life events.  Each season of life is a gift and my expectations should not dictate my feelings toward the outcome. Praise God for that!  It's important to see depression for what it is... an attempt to make you feel as if you failed or are defeated. Reality is that, In Christ we are able to see victory.  God's victories are all around us, even in us as believers of Christ.

Opposing views - There will always be the critic or opposing views and personalities that will say that you are wrong in your struggle.  That you should not be dealing with this if you are a Christian.  Not only that, but there's the same lesson for me vise versa.  I should not expect the same things of others because their struggles are completely different. And accusing someone of something makes us just like THE Accuser... you know who that is, right? This is a very important thing to remember in motherhood....

Motherhood - The Biggy and the reason for this post.  Nothing else in my life has made me feel more tied down to a particular place.  Not only that, but also the fact of being alone. Children are such a blessing, but can be so much work and sometimes you have no help! Sometimes I get together with other moms in order to make sure I don't go loony for lack of social interaction, not just the children. (selfish maybe? LOL) Motherhood is a lonely mission and it is training my co-dependence issues. I have to consider what God has given me to use for His glory, without depending or tapping into any other person's abilities, often times, not even my husband when he is working or tied up for days.

Comparison - The above brings me along to this obstacle of comparison.  I do it with other moms and I do it a lot.  Envy is a sneaky bugger and when you are interested in being a  friend you will find things that friend has that you want. Something that I have struggled with lately is watching friends and family go on mission trips or vacation away from their everyday lives.  I have not had a vacation in a long time and its hard for me. Getting away from the norm is something I feel like I need.  Apparently what I really need is to just sit and be still, calm, and rest in Christ, making Him my vacation.

I am thankful for each obstacle, for what it is, and for what God is using it for in his plan of glory. 

May Christ be the center, wherever you are!