Friday, February 28, 2014

Chicken Tacos

We made this recipe tonight and it was delicious. We served chips and nacho cheese with them. There are so many things you can add to it to make it your own.  Have fun with it!

Ingredients:
2-3 boneless chicken breast thawed
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
flour tortillas
1 can of Rotel
shredded cheddar cheese
taco sauce for added flavor if prefered.

How to prepare:
Begin by cutting chicken breasts into slices and then cubing each slice. Heat olive oil in frying pan over medium heat. Add chicken into pan slowly as to not splatter the hot oil. Cook chicken till slightly brown in color, stirring occasionally. Mix salt, pepper, chili powder and cumin together in a small bowl. Sprinkle seasoning onto chicken and stir. Slowly add in the Rotel. ( I used only about half of the can.) Stir and let cook for another 2-5 minutes. Make sure chicken is cooked thoroughly. Spoon chicken into warmed tortillas, top with cheese and a little dash of taco sauce. Enjoy!



Posts to come.....please come back to visit soon!

Our Story

I was 19yrs old when we started dating, he had just turned 21 that May. Our first time hanging out together he took me four wheeling with his best friend, twin cousins and another friend. We had a blast! It was about a month later that he sent me a beautiful bouquet of flowers to my job with a card asking me to be his girlfriend. That was  in June 2001 and little did I know that saying "Yes!" would lead me to our happily ever after.

We became engaged in February of 2003 and were married on what would have been my grandmother's birthday in April 2004.  Yes, we are rapidly approaching our 10th wedding anniversary! Where has time gone?!?

It was the summer of 2003 that I became very ill. I was experiencing severe abdominal pain and nausea the resulted in my boss driving me to the ER from work. The ER doctor ran several tests which all came back normal. They sent me home with pain medications and said to return if things changed. Two days later I was back in the ER where a CT scan was done and more test. The doctor who came in said they could not find anything wrong, all the test results were normal, but that the only other thing that could be causing the problem was endometriosis. That word alone immediately brought me to tears and I knew then that things were about to be very different.

It was 5 days later that I had my first laproscopy to see what was going on. The results came back that I indeed had endometriosis. The doctor removed as much as he could and he recommended that I after my recovery I start 6 months of an injection call Lupron to put my body into menopause to hopefully help aid in my fertility until we were ready to have kids.
Those 6 months were awful! The monthly shot was painful and the side effects hit me like a freight train. The night sweats, hot flashes and the mood swings were enough to make me crazy not to mention my fiance'.

After the 6 months were over, I started to feel normal again for a short time before the pain started again. The doctor recommended birth control to relieve the symptoms. I had no relief. So we did another 3 months of Lupron. The pain returned again. We tried another birth control with no relief so the doctor put me back on Lupron yet again for another 3 months. Yet again the pain returned. We were now newly married, we had moved out of state so my husband could take a new job and we were struggling as a young couple just starting out. The doctor recommended we start trying to have kids right away. He said he could not guarantee that I would be able to have kids and that time was against us. We agreed it was not the right time to start our family.

Fast forward a few months, we had just moved back to our hometown. We were getting settled in and we decide it was time to start our family. We tried for 6 months and it became very obvious that there was a problem. I decided to seek another opinion and so I saw another doctor. After looking over my medical history he agreed that it was best to do another laproscopy to see what was going on.

I remember that day very clearly. I woke up from surgery to see my husband and my mom sitting in the recovery room with me. They had clearly been crying and no one would look at me directly. They were both avoiding the obvious question I wanted an answer to. Let's wait for the doctor to come talk to you is all my mom kept saying. It was then that I knew that my greatest fear had become my reality. I was not going to be able to have a child. The doctor came in and confirmed what I had already figured out.

I wish I could say I was devastated, but after the last 2yrs of being poked and prodded I was actually relieved. I now knew that we could figure out our next step. It was a few days later that the reality set in and I remember laying in bed sobbing. I did the only thing I knew to do and that was pray. I prayed every night asking the Lord to help me thru this. I prayed he would help me understand why he had choose this for me. I prayed to help my husband thru this and even asked if I should let him go, not because I didn't love him, but because I did and I did not want him to ever resent me for not being able to give him a child. I prayed, asked and pleaded with my Heavenly Father to give me the opportunity to have just one child. I promised that if he blessed us with just one child and allowed me to have the experience of carrying a child that if I was still sick after that than I would do whatever I needed to do even if that meant having a hysterectomy.

It was February of 2006 and I was having problems with my lower back. I went to my chiropractor and it was his nurse who asked me if I could be pregnant. She asked me this with great hesitation because they knew our situation. I shrugged it off and said that would be wonderful. It was not like we were not trying, but Lord knows that it was not possible. She encouraged me to take a pregnancy test that night. They were sending me for an MRI in two days and I was going to have to test anyways. I laughed about it, but picked up a test on the way home. My husband and I laughed that we should take up stock in pregnancy test because of how many we had taken since we started trying for a baby.

After supper that night I took the test. I remember screaming for my husband to come look at the test because I could not believe my eyes. We were pregnant!!!!! We were pregnant with the help of nothing, no fertility drugs and without IVF which we had been encouraged to consider. It had been just 4 months since we were told we would never conceive naturally, but we were pregnant and I knew the Lord had answered my prayers.

On October 9th, 2006 at 9:45am we welcomed a bouncing baby boy into the world. He was the most precious 7lb 12oz little bundle of love I had ever held in my arms. We were in heaven.

That first year went by fast. We were preparing for our son's 1st birthday when I again felt that crippling pain in my abdomen out of the blue one day. I could not believe it was happening. I ended up in the ER yet again. This time they did an ultrasound, The technician kept look at this large mass on the screen. He left and came back with another technician all the while whispering to themselves. I finally spoke up and asked them to tell  me what that was on the screen. He assured me it was not cancer. The ER doctor walked in and explained that I had a very large ruptured cyst and was bleeding internally. I saw my OB a few days later. It was just a few days after our son's first birthday when we scheduled with my doctor to have a hysterectomy. I was only 25yrs old.

I am blessed to be married to an amazing man who did not hesitate to agree that this was our next step. I knew it was the Lord asking me to fulfill my promise to Him because he had answered our prayers. I have never looked back and we have never regretted our decision.

Growing up I always wanted a large family, 4 to 6 kids. My hubby on the other hand always teased me that I would be lucky if I got 2 kids out of him. Even now it amazes me that the Lord sent me this man because He knew what my path was already and He wanted me to be with a man that would travel this path with me and love me no matter what.

I never imagined my journey to motherhood would turn out the way it did, but I would go thru it all over again to have our son. He is amazing! To those of you out there struggling with infertility NEVER GIVE UP! Pray without ceasing. Most importantly, always remember that you are not alone. My prayers are with you.

Contentment

I have several devotionals throughout our house. I have them in different places because I find it helps me to keep my focus in the Lord's word each day. I have a calendar devotional on my built in desk in our kitchen. I have had this calendar for many, many years now. I love that it is not year specific so that each years I can use it all over again. The calendar is from Focus on the Family and it is called renewing the heart Spiritual Refreshment for Each New Day.

Today's message was regarding "contentment" and it really hit home for me. In today's society we are constantly being told that they are not good enough.

I have been a stay at home mom now for just over 5yrs and it has taken a long time to feel that I was accepted by friends and even family for this role. I have had many people who could not believe that I would give up my corporate job that I had worked so hard at for 6yrs, a job that paid well and had great benefits. How would we survive on just one income? It was just not possible in this day and age. We were crazy! Why would I just want to be a mom?!?

Maybe we were crazy, but we did it and we have made it work. I have NEVER felt more content in my life than I did about the 3rd year in to being a stay at home mom. The first year was all about worrying we would make it. The second year was all about the shock that we survived the first year and were heading into another year. It wasn't until the third year that my husband and I looked at each other and realized "We've got this!" It was a great feeling! I think it also helped that around that third year I realized I finally had been able to stop explaining myself and our decisions

Thru the last 5yrs of this journey we have thrived as a family, we have planted roots in a home we bought 2yrs ago. We moved to a small town, we started attending a new church that welcomed us with open arms. Our son has made friends and I could not imagine our life any other way.

Our choices have not always been popular with those around us. They just couldn't understand many of the choice we were making from me staying home to raise our son to moving to a small town, to my husband not only changing jobs after 8yrs, but changing careers completely. They could not understand how we could buy a house and brand new van all in a year and a half time frame and all on one income. We made it all work because we wanted to make it work and we trusted that God would help guide us thru it all. He did! He never let us falter in following the path we felt he was calling us to take. He did not always say YES to us when we wanted him to, but none the less he always showed us something better was in his plans. Knowing we were following his path has allowed for me to have great contentment. Because we have learn to trust Him.....For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."  ~Jeremiah 29:11.

I often hear my friends or family complain about this and that. They're house isn't big enough, their car is good enough, their husband is lazy, their wife is nagging and it goes on and on and on. I always listen and try to point out the positive often with continued complaints. I have had friends say to me that they are envious of our life. I always tell them the same thing. There is nothing to envy. We have our problems, we don't always agree. We struggle financially. The only difference is that we choose to be content in whatever situation we are in and most importantly to be grateful to the Lord. We praise him when things are good and we praise him even more when things are bad. Because we have a WONDERFUL life even when times are tough.

Today I challenge you to find more contentment in your day!

A contented woman has a healthy, balanced view of God that enhances her value in the church and in society. She isn't perfect, but her deep relationship with God has transformed her pain and personality. In the freedom of His love, she has discovered her uniqueness and is eager to follow His direction for living in this worlds.
~Dr. Deborah Newman, Then God Created Woman

  So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.  ~Colossians 2: 6-7

Saturday, February 22, 2014

May I borrow some butter?

It was late afternoon when there was a knock at the door. It was that time of the day where the big kids are home from school, snack time is over, shoes are on and my daycare parents start arriving to pick up their little ones. It is always the busiest part of the day other than lunch time and sometimes I find myself feeling completely exhausted yet overjoyed that the day is coming to a close. One of my parents was sitting on the couch while we once again tried to convince her sweet, blue eyed, two year old little girl that it was time to leave while her 8 month old little sister was fussing and squirming to get out of her car seat.

We were discussing the girls day when someone arrived on our front porch. The dog started barking excitedly, the kids were running to the window to peak out at our visitor who choose to knock on the door instead of just walk right in. A sure sign that this visitor was most likely someone we did not know or someone who is not comfortable enough just walking into our home like our close friends and family who visit us often do. I hurried to the door out of fear that the dog or the kids may frighten away our guest.

I opened the door to see a man and a woman standing there. Their clothes were worn and given the temperature outside their coats where not enough to keep them warm. The woman I recognized as our neighbor who other than a brief hello I did not know well. The man was someone I had not seen before, but my husband and I had noticed that for several weeks now they had company so I was not surprised. The man smiled a gentle smile and with a voice that sounded slightly embarrassed asked if I had some butter they could buy.

Our neighbors often walk the few blocks over to the gas station in town (we do not have a grocery store) and I had seem them pass in that direction a short while ago. I assumed this meant that the gas station was out of butter. I at first wasn't sure I had heard him correctly. I wasn't expecting that to be the reason for their visit. I returned his smile and said of course and headed to the fridge to grab two sticks of butter. I handed them to him asking if that would be enough as he dug thru the change in his hand. I assured him he did not need to pay me, after all that is what neighbors are for. He smiled, almost a smile of relief  as much as of thanks and they walked away.

I closed the door and turned around to see 5 little faces looking at me asking me what our visitors wanted. They all gave me a look of confusion when I said "butter". I looked over at my daycare parent wrangling her oldest into her coat and we just exchanged smiles.

In that moment a wave of gratitude swept over my heart. I was grateful for all the I had in front of me. I was grateful that our neighbors felt comfortable enough to come to our door and I was grateful I was able to share with them what they needed. It was a humbling reminder that I needed that day. It was a lesson is loving thy neighbor that I was able to show my children. It never ceases to amaze me when and how God chooses to remind me of his love and how I can share His love with others.

1 John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.




 

Saturday, February 15, 2014

The Knot

Today I had a "me" day.  I took off and headed out of town for a while to shop and just have a day where I could do whatever I wanted without having to worry about anyone else. I headed to a town about 35 miles away. They have a wonderful old downtown area called "the bricks" named for the cobble stone that still paves the streets. It was a beautiful day today, so I walked along the sidewalks window shopping. I visited some antique shops filled with all kinds of hidden treasures. I found some things in the western shop. My favorite shop to visit though was the Christian bookstore/gift shop they have there called The Solid Rock. I ended up with several purchases from there. A new devotional for our son along with a great character quality book geared towards boys. I bought a cookbook that is filled with old Amish family recipes. My favorite purchase however is a beautiful sterling silver necklace I bought called "The Knot". It is so simple yet stunning and it has a wonderful message with it that I wanted to share. This message is something that stopped me in my tracks when I read it and had me thinking to myself "Okay Lord, I hear you. I know I struggle and I thank you for always showing me grace and mercy during those moments." You see I am a worrier by nature. I can't help myself! I worry about anything and everything. I drive myself crazy! I love what this necklace symbolizes and will now have a reminder that all my worries, anxieties and doubts need to be left at His feet because He will take care of them.

Here is the message......

The Knot
Please remind me, Lord, each day, whenever one may come my way, to give each troubling "knot" to You, to untangle and undo. When life is "knot" what I expect, when I can "knot" and so neglect the steps of faith that I can take, help untie the "knots" I make.  The could, the would, the should have "knots", Lord, You know there are a lot, my stomach "knots", I get tongue tied; Lord, please be my strength and guide. So dear Lord, please take apart all the "knots" that hold my heart; You and I both understand that all my "knots" are in Your hands.