Archives for June 2011

Crunchy Garlic Chicken

Are you finding a trend? Original recipe, tweaked, kid-friendly...

2 tbs butter/marg. melted
2 tbs milk
1 tbs chopped chives or parsley (I use parsley flakes)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic pwd
2 cups cornflakes cereal= 1 cup crushed (I pre-crush and store in pantries)
3 tbs chopped fresh parsley
1/2 tsp paprika
6 boneless, skinless chx breast halves (1 3/4lbs) (I pre-cube and refrigerate after baking an entire bag)
2 tbs butter/margarine, melted

(original receipt found on page 291 of the Betty Crocker's Cookbook- The BIG RED Cookbook)

My tweaked version:

If serving/not freezing: Heat oven to 425'. Grease an 8x8ish glass casserole dish
Melt butter, stir in seasonings, add cereal, then add cubed/chopped chx, mix everything! If you mixed in a separate bowl (which I recommend so the stuff slopped up the sides doesn't burn and look gross when you're serving it), scoop everything into your casserole dish and freeze for later or bake for 20-30 min. (from freezer double baking time).

Love this meal! The tweaked version was an accident: I didn't read the recipe close enough when making it for the second time and added everything together before I remembered they were supposed to be in separate dished and i should be doing a coating method. Couldn't go back so I baked it like it was and everyone ate it up and for my preschooler and toddler it ended up being easier than trying to cut up their meat for them after served.

Comment and let me know if you try this recipe or if you have a "tweaked" favorite recipe of your own!

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Birthdays: To Be Surprised or Not To Be Surprised?

Sopping wet hair. Barely dressed for school. Ushered into the dinning room to eat a wholesome breakfast of adorable smiley face birthday cake accompanied by gifts wrapped in smiley face paper. Ugg! Camera snapping shots of the unprepared, make-upless high schooler during this 'party'. That evening, after a birthday full of school, she is greeted at home by her high school boyfriend, and a few girl friends for yet another surprise birthday party complete with Veggie Tale gift wrap and cake to be followed by a long-awaited trip to the 1st football game of the year.

When I was growing up, I never knew what kind of cake I was going to have for my birthday, what thoughtful gift my family had picked out for me based on random conversations before that day, or on some years, if and when there would be a celebration. My mom, especially, LOVED surprising me!

Years down the road that same Veggie Tale love'n girl has children of her own with the love of her life who grew up in a state miles away and in a totally different family (duh, other wise gross!). We are learning to melt and mold one another's family traditions and make some new ones of our own for our beautifully growing family.


Our eldest has just turned 3. As a youth pastoring family we skillfully planned her arrival to come in the middle of the annual mega summer camp, Super Summer AR. bahahaha Poor girl. Out of necessity, one of our yearly traditions has been to travel to see daddy at camp for Father's Day and then again for Maggie's birthday. We eat cupcakes in the cafeteria with our students and the past couple years we also celebrate with a dear family of friends who live in the same town the camp is hosted. The second part of her birthday tradition has been to have a party on the 4th of July weekend so family is able to be off work and able to come celebrate with us.

The past 2 years I've snuck around, according to my family custom, trying to hide cupcakes, cakes, decorations, gifts, and simple plans from our birthday girl (not hard seeing as she was only 1 and 2 years old). This years I went out on a limb and let my quickly maturing 3-year-old help make and decorate her own birthday cupcakes as well as point-blank ask her what 'kind' of party she'd like to have. She often helps me in the kitchen but icing in a new-found skill of hers. She has also changed her mind once over the past month but we have settled on...maybe you guessed it- Veggie Tales. YEP; Train up a child!

I haven't decided which tradition we'll stick with in years to come but both have their pros and cons. Whacha think?

 Now, pics of the process, of course! More of the VT party to come in a future post

just a few of our creations


What are your family customs you adhere to (maybe without even knowing it)? Do share; I love sifting through advise!
I avoided the endless Jesus jukes that where oh so readily available in this but those are welcome, too ;o)

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Happy Father’s Day 2011!

3 year old Magdalene Reese's heart belongs to her daddy!

1 and 1/2 year old Isabella Ruth 'hearts' her dad!


Almost 6 month old, Benjamin Ryan's daddy is glad he's a boy!

The #1 Daddy and the 3 luckest kids on our visit to Super Summer AR on Father's Day 2011!


Get to know Matt Daddy and love him like we do @! Great Stuff!!!

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Ultimate FAIL

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This week has been tough! As many of you may already know, my husband, my sanity, my confidant, my literal other half, has been gone to Super Summer AR for the past 8 days and will finally be home tomorrow afternoon. It's times like these...ugg, when you're squeeeeezed, that your true self oozes out. No energy to "pull it together" or even fake it.

Several conversations with my best friends during this weeks ooze-fest have led me to post my ultimate fail!

Some conversation included a discussion about all the amazing blogs by Christian women I've been reading as well as the bible study I'm in at my church. Awe: The inspiration. The goals. The challenges. The utter disappointment in myself, as a wife, mom, and manager of my home.

Another set of conversations included major venting! Confessions rolled out of my mouth:

"I can't do this anymore! I cried, no, blubbered in my childs room before trying to make my way down stairs to appear unshaken in the eyes of my in-laws. I ignored the crying baby. I snatched up my daughter. I am not engaged with my children. I yell at my children to stop yelling. I lost a piece to my camera that makes it work. I let my kids watch way more than 2 hours a day of TV this week. I just want to hide in my pantry eating cookies. (true story) I love my babes and know God has chosen me to be their 'primary care giver' but I just don't want to today. I ate an entire box of oatmeal cream pies. I am out of Dr Pepper because I've been drinking way more than I should, especially while nursing. I spanked my child and told her we don't hit. My child (3) used the old-school phrase "none ya!" and I am the one she got it from. I can't find peace."

All the while the taunting thoughts, "I want to bottle what she has and bring her amazingness into my home. How does ______ do it?!?"

There it was. The very things I have been using to try to be who God wants me to be dug me deeper into Satan's lie- She has it all together. I was comparing myself to someone else. Wither the comparison is to exalt or belittle, it's wrong. Where another women is in her walk with Christ should have no barring on my relationship with Christ. My friend gently reminded me that "no one has it all together and they just aren't sharing those rough I-wanna-hide-in-the-pantry-eatting-all-the-cookies-in-peace days."

Though I have confessed this list of faults I want to you know that my ULTIMATE FAIL has been leading people, you, to believe I have it all together. Do you ever secretly desire to be that women that people ask, "GIRL, how DO you do it?" I do. I hide all kinds of faults and failures because of this pride built up inside me. I never again want to feel that desire to lead people to believe I have it all together.

Because I don't!

That's just it- GOD does it. Any and Every positive thing about my life is by the grace of God, not because I'm anywhere close to put together.

"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." 2 Cor. 12:9

Sorry for leading any of you to believe I have it all figured out! I'm sorry if you ever ask yourself, "How does she do it?!?" New commitment: to exposing my weaknesses! Lets be real with one another.

"Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in my weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For When I am weak, then I am strong." 2 Cor. 12:9-10

I am worn out!
I suffer a thorn!
I am undisciplined!

As I am writing this:

I keep flinching every time my stinky dog bangs against the siding on the front porch thinking...I don't know what, is coming to get me. I am fearful.

I am eating my 3-year-olds birthday cookies with a tub of frosting. -Sorry Nanna! Undisciplined.

Where are you on this journey of needing peer approval? Yours may not be the generic, "how does she do it". Do you struggle in with specific aspects of how someone else is pulling something off better?

Leave a comment so that we may "boast all the more gladly about [our] weakness[es], so that Christ's power may rest on [us]" and so we may encourage one another!

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girl colorized by sisterlisa, on Pix-O-Sphere">

"“Where two or more get together in My name I’m there too,” promised Jesus.

And I don’t think cyberspace is excluded." -

One of the blog sites I love to ready almost daily is incourage. Today, their post was How can we pray for you? Amazing! As Christian's in blogging communities, shouldn't we be offering this opportunity more often?!? Thank you women of incourage for challenging me today as well as giving me the chance to seek partnership in praying for my thorns!


Many of you already know how you can be praying for me and my family this week but just incase you don't, this is our request at the moment:

This week my husband and I are struggling through making 2 out of what God has made one. No, we are not getting divorce! My hubby is a youth pastor and is away at summer camp for a little over a week leaving me in my failed attempt at being a single parent. I do have great loving support and help but it’s just not the same as having your literal other half there for that steady routine and irreplaceable hugs at the end of the day.
My 3 babes are all under 3, the oldest will be 3 Wednesday during camp, the next is almost 1.5 year old, and the youngest is 5 month old. At this age they almost all require, desire 1 on 1 time (at least at some point during the day). We made an hour and 1/2 trip today to see him for Father's Day and will again for Maggie's birthday. TOUGH all the way around!
I’m assuming most of you reading this totally understand what kinds of stresses come with this situation and know how to pray for me (probably better than I do myself).
Thanks for this opportunity to share this request and in advance for lifting me and my family up to The Father on Father’s Day!


Leave your prayer request as a comment. Before you do, please take a moment to read, pray for, and respond to the prayer request before yours. Let’s love on each other, friends.

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