Monday, November 28, 2011

What's For Dinner

I have a crock pot of goodness brewing in the kitchen.  I CAN'T WAIT.  Dinner may come early tonight for this hungry chick.

I threw together Gina's Crock Pot Chicken Taco Chili.  It smells amazing and I eat this stuff til I hurt.  Its my favorite and it's incredible over her Chipotle Cilantro Lime Rice.  Here's the pics and the links to her website. 


Chicken Chili:
Cilantro Lime Rice (I use brown rice and it's just as nummy!):
 Thank you Gina for making eating healthy taste SOOO good!!!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Brennan's Ipod Photography

Brennan has an Ipod Touch that he received for his birthday from all our family. He asked for a new song on his playlist so I hooked up the ipod and all his pictures uploaded to my computer. Here's what he's been up to:

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope you all have a day full of gluttony planned!  Wait...that came out wrong.

Enjoy your family, eat a reasonable breakfast, and enjoy a sensible lunch/dinner with your family!

I personally decided to start my day off with a chocolate protein shake.  My mom just happened to leave a package of Starbucks instant coffees in my pantry.  On a whim, I blended half a packet into my shake.  HEAVEN!  Not kidding, simply delicious!

Jared and I are thankful for our precious family. 

Yesterday we found out that our Tanner has severe scoliosis.  The little guy has been having a lot of back and neck pain over the last couple months.  We kept thinking it was growing pains or possibly the need for a quality mattress (he currently sleeps on a futon).  He woke up yesterday with a kink in his neck and was crying due to the pain.  I took him into the chiropractor for the first time.  She immediately was asking me all kinds of questions about our family history.  I keep struggling with how in the world I could have missed this.  His back looks like a "S".  We are doing a whole lot of research and working towards treatment for him.  Poor Tan man.

Jared has started the Christmas gift spreadsheet.  He does it every year and the kids and I love it.  The gifts start appearing and they are all numbered.  No one but Dad knows which number belongs to which kid.  Having such a large family I really appreciate all the thought and time he puts into this.  He does the shopping, the gift wrapping, and then brings home the presents to put under the tree.  So much easier than me trying to get things when the kids are with me 100% of the time.

Tonight our tree goes up.  It's been a tradition for several years now.  As soon as Thanksgiving dinner is cleaned up we start pulling out decorations.  It's so fun because after Christmas each year I buy new decorations at great discounts and then put them away.  I love getting them out and using them for the first time.  We all have extra excitement to decorate our new home.

There is so much to be thankful for.  God is good all the time, all the time God is good.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Duggars #20

I have been stewing about this for a few days and wanted to write a blog defending Michelle's right to her choice.  I'm beginning to hate that word, choice.  Abortion activists beat us over the head with it proclaiming women must maintain the right to kill their children because it's their choice to do what they will with their bodies.  Why aren't these same activists defending Michelle Duggar?  Why doesn't she have the right to do what she wishes with her body?  Does our society only shout out their support when the choice includes the death of a child?  Needless to say this infuriates me!! 

I am part of a homeschool group on Facebook and a mom posted this as her take and I felt she did a great job and I totally agree.  Here is Anne Marie Cottle Reese's take on the topic.  Thanks Anne! :

With all of this talk of the Duggars being pregnant again I have noticed a lot of (I assume because they imply) Christian people commenting on the different news stories that are on the internet and speaking of responsibility. I have heard this from other christian friends before talking about what stopped them from having more kids and I guess I don't get it. Why do people consider her/them irresponsible? I know that people say the high risk thing because of her age and health problem during the last pregnancy, but isn't it more responsible to trust and stay committed to the vow you made to God? Why would He set them up for failure? I guess it troubles me when I hear so many people suggesting that they need to control the amount of kids they have because they are being more responsible. I really wonder how many people go to God with which birth control option to use before using it. Now I am not saying that everyone needs to go and have a bunch of kids or that taking away the ability to have more children is wrong, I am just curious if people actually go to God and feel pressed by Him to take those steps because I know several people who took steps to remove the ability and have been regretful. Actually, the majority (if not all) of the christian women I know who have had this procedure have said they wish they could afford to reverse it and that startles me. For me, God said to trust Him with it and we use natural family planning and I am so glad He guided me, otherwise Julia would not be sleeping peacefully next to me :) I understand that we all have our reasons and especially our fears for making the decisions we make and then I consider people like the Duggars and people like Tim Tebow's mom who was told she needed to abort Tim because he wasn't alive and it might be dangerous for her health to continue the pregnancy. What would happen if we just said no to the world and totally surrendered to God's care? I consider Michelle Duggar and Tim Tebow's mom courageous for going against what the world says and sticking by what God has told them. I wonder how many of us let our fears get in the way of what amazing things God has for us. It is not necessarily 20 children for all of us or to abort or not, but sometimes it is as simple as not being afraid of standing up for Christ in public or giving up TV or certain music that distracts your heart. I have struggled with this for a long time because I have personally regressed due to fear. I used to be right up front basically ministering to anyone and everyone who would listen. I had no problem getting in front of a crowd and letting God have control of my tongue, but then fear started seeping in and I let it. I know how Peter felt when he was backed into that corner and denied Jesus. Inside he was terrified for his life on earth because that was the only thing he could see, but when reality struck he was devastated that he didn't boldly proclaim his Christ Jesus!! The reason I equate this and the Duggar's having a 20th baby is because it really is difficult to be an outsider in this world and totally trust that God knows what He is doing like they have done. They blindly said, "God, we leave it up to you." and God has taken wonderful care of them and blessed so many others through them. Even Peter who had been with Jesus minutes before denying him couldn't handle the pressure of being an outsider. The thing is, I know that all of us are brave and many of us struggle as we homeschool our children each and every day all the while the world tells us that our kids will be "messed up" from it. Even many christian people have looked at me like I was some kind of alien for homeschooling. I tried to quit, but God encouraged me and led me back to homeschooling every time. We all know what it is like to be in Michelle Duggar's shoes, but is there another area that God is pressing you about? For me, I have fought God and even told Him "no" when I should have been standing up for Him. I have even hid behind the homeschooling excuse to avoid other areas He would have me. He gave me certain gifts and I have a choice to either use them for Him or waste my time. We are teaching a new generation and they are watching as we say yes and no to God. Obviously, a lot is on my mind and heart and I am calling on my wonderful sisters in Christ to talk to me about these things. Maybe it was the sermon this morning or it was all the controversy surrounding the Duggars, but I have just been near tears thinking about how far from God so many people are that they don't even get the point of the Duggars having so many. I bet there are many times they wish they weren't considered a circus act and the horrible things weren't said about them, but it is not them choosing the amount of kids they are choosing to have complete faith in God's plan. I am genuinely curious about how others think and I can't wait to hear all of your thoughts and I want to thank you ahead of time for taking the time to read this :)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

A Few Things I'm Thankful For

Inglehoffer Sweet Hot Mustard.  This stuff is what great lunches are made of.  I LOVE IT.  I like to have turkey sandwiches smothered in it, I even like to dip steak in it.  They sell it at Wal-Mart and I buy it two at a time.  It's cheap, it's delicious and I don't mind eating healthy when this is my condiment.  It's the bomb diggity.
I have always been a fan of Pike's Place from  Starbucks.  I went in to get my bag o' beans and the clerk demanded suggested that I try the Thanksgiving blend.  I am sold!  It's delicious.  I love coffee and I am typically a one maybe two cup a day person.  I could drink this stuff all day.  It beckons me.
Land O Lakes fat free half and half.  I made the mistake of getting regular half and half and using it in my coffee.  Never again will skim milk be enough for these taste buds.  So what's a girl who wants to fit into her clothes to do?  I thought I'd give it a try and I'm smitten.  It's really yummy and creamy.  Only 20 calories per serving, no fat, and still tastes better that skim milk.  In fact I could drink it.  It's num num num.

This glorious image is that of my pantry.  You read that right.  That is a pantry in my house.  Why did the single woman who built this home decide that a 8x13 foot pantry was a necessity?  The only reason I can come up with is God knew in just a couple years our family would be moving in and this would be amazing for a family with 5 kids (4 boys!).  Our kitchen is on the smallish side.  We were in such a hurry to find a house when I first walked in I thought the kitchen would be a deal breaker.  It's beautiful, it's just not what I pictured for a family of 7.  Then I wandered back into this and with my mouth agape said, "Uh, Jared!  You have to see this!"  We feel so incredibly blessed.
Jared and I have had our bed for 7 years now.  We have both been struggling with back and neck issues.  I struggled with the idea of replacing our mattresses.  It's just so stinking expensive.  After some research I decided to give one of these a try.  I found a family on Craigslist that purchased one and ended up buying a new mattress instead so I got this new for $60!  It's lovely.  I haven't woken up with a sore back since we got it.  It feels like my bed is hugging me.  The kids all have found the "smooshy" bed and are begging for one of their own.  I highly highly recommend.  This particular one is sold at Sams.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Trying To Blog! I Think I Can I Think I Can...

-While hanging out in Charming Charlies today I dumped half a Scooters coffee in my large leather Coach bag (said bag was purchased at an antique mall for $15).  All of my belongings were swimming in a vat of Caramelicious.  Soo, I did what every sane person would do.  I threw my leather bag in the wash.  Good news!  It looks like new and it didn't ruin it. 

-I need ideas for over the couch!  I have two huge walls that are bare.  I can't figure out what to put there.  I have a mirror in the entry way (a partially shared wall to the left of the couch) so a large mirror is too much mirror.  Any ideas?  I thought about having the kids do some abstract "art" in black and white on canvas from Hobby Lobby.  Ideas welcome!

-I baked my first large wedding cake this last week.  It was 4 tiers and had two large sheet cakes that had to weigh 10 lbs each, not kidding. 

 Plus a Rock Chalk Jayhawk groom's cake.  This one was my fav!   Milk chocolate cake with cream cheese icing.  YUMBA!

I'm not in love with my pics of the main cake since I took them with my camera phone and the lighting was awful...but I'll let you see it anyway :)
We are still plugging away at making 112th St home.  I am super eager to put up Christmas decorations.  We feel ridiculously blessed.  We absolutely love where God has planted us. 

We are so thankful to our church family.  It is not lost on us that everything we have comes from your generosity.  Sunday we were surprised by a gift and brunch for Pastor's appreciation.  Cindy and I both received beautiful bouquets and we were so blessed by your love and appreciation for us all. 
Thank You!  You are loved!!
-The Altics