Sunday, June 24, 2012

Josie's Cheez-It Meatloaf

In my family Cheez-its are a big deal. They are a daily snack. Kids, parents, dog all love them. So, when I was making meat loaf this week I decided it might be a fun idea to use the Cheez-its in the meatloaf. I made two huge loaves and they were gone in minutes. I am pretty sure my dad ate half a loaf himself. He's a big guy and he had worked all day. He said it was really good. Please note that I don't always use exact measurements when cooking so feel free to add a bit and or leave out something/substitute to better suit your family. I cook and bake by taste. I'm all about recipe adjustments. I used ground turkey because I prefer it, but you can use regular ground beef as well. I also cooked for 8 so you can easily do a half recipe if you are not feeding an army like I am. Or make one and freeze one. I served it with mashed potatoes and corn because my kids love to mix those together. Enjoy!

~4 eggs beaten
~one small box of Cheez-its (I used the original flavor but if you are feeling experimental feel free to try a different flavor and let me know how it goes. Smash into crumbs.
~1 cup milk
~1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
~1/2 cup Cheddar (you can use a full cup Parm but Seth loves Cheddar)
~1 cup onion (I think I used a bit less- that's a lot of onion for some people)
~2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
~2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
~2 teaspoons garlic salt (because in my family everything has to have garlic)
~3 pounds of ground turkey
~2 cups ketchup
~ 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/2 cup sugar (to taste)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a very large bowl mix everything except the ketchup, sugars and Worcestershire sauce.
Put the meat mix into two loaf pans.

In a separate bowl combine ketchup, sugar and Worcestershire, Mix to taste. (some may like it less sweet than others) Spread over loaves.

Bake at 350 for an hour.


Monday, March 26, 2012

How I Do "It"

People often say to me, "I don't know how you do it." I think about that statement often. Mostly because I'm honestly not sure how I do "it" or what exactly what "it" is. I guess "it" is just our life. I think the most difficult aspect to "our life" is choices. I've come to realize that Seth and I are consistently making very difficult choices. Prayerfully. Years ago, these choices were excruciatingly difficult for me even after prayer.
 Raising and supporting 3, 4 and now 5 kids with a husband in school full time seemed impossible to me most days. I would wake up with panic attacks trying to figure out how I could manage it. Where would the finances come from? How would my kids adjust? How could I keep up with housework?

God started speaking to me pretty clearly after Rowan was born that certain things would have to fall away during this season of life. I made a list of priorities: God, my husband, my children and family, my church family, my students. This was it. I tried to focus on these ministries in my life. The ministry of wife, mother, daughter, servant, worshiper, teacher. This may have created a situation where friendships became difficult to maintain and sometimes it has felt lonely, but God has and a constant and faithful friend to me. Seth and I are moving into a season now that has the potential to be even more scary for me. In fact, I think it may be downright crazy. I also believe it is an important part of our growing and strong testimony to God's amazing love and faithfulness. I'm looking forward to see what miracles God has planned down this path. I know the beauty is in the journey, the bumps, the messy muddy parts too. This is what I know. I know that I can't do it. But, I also know who can and my faith rests in Him.

Let all that I am praise the LORD; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name. Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me. Psalm 103:1-2

A lazy Saturday afternoon around the table.

I recently found a few Easter gifts that I forgot to put in the Easter baskets in my closet. Oops! So since the weather wasn't great afternoon I decided to give them out after the kids cleaned their rooms. They were glow in the dark art sets and they had hours of fun running in and out of the bathroom to see their masterpieces light up. Did I tell you these were buy one get one free and I had coupons? ;) Money well spent!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Coming Out of The Dark

I haven't written a blog in so long. I was getting concerned about a few followers I had reading but...I need to write; it is therapeutic for me. The last month has been amazing to say the least. I had our sweet baby Owen on January 11th. He is such a sweet little soul. We had just started to get into a routine when he started to get sick. I believe Rowan picked something at the doctor at a routine check and passed it to Owen, who got very sick, very fast. It is difficult for me to let myself really think about how sick he actually was. There was a moment when my dear friend came over and we had to talk about forgiveness if we lost him. There was 48 hours that were very, very scary.

I am so, so thankful that he is now home and doing so well. He has grown so much and is already showing his strength. I feel so blessed that he came home with us. I know that not all babies do. An illness like that right when you are born is very serious. We can't express our gratitude for the prayers for his healing. God's love has literally poured over our family. Meals, gifts, cards, prayers and well wishes. It has been honestly amazing. Seth and I have cried with joy over the amazing people God has placed in our lives. We are so humbled by the love. As we start to get back into our routine I can look back and see that we have been carried by this love and support. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

On a trip back to the hospital God spoke to me very clearly. He placed on my heart that the amazing story God has woven for my family isn't mine alone, it is my children's testimony as well. God's plans for Ryan, Orion, Ruby, Rowan and Owen are good ones. One day they all will have a serious, moving testimony of God. The very thought of it brings me to tears. My prayer is that as a family we shower the love we have felt in this time on others. I want my children to choose to be a blessing like so many have chosen to be to us.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

House Rules

I read something posted by John Piper this week that really got me thinking. He gave this quote:

"The greatest lack in the religion of children is generally a sufficient sense of sin. Robert Murray M'Cheyene."

This confronted not only my parenting, but also my parents parenting. It also gave me an overwhelming sense that our society in general would do well to reflect on this. Not really even just about our parenting but in how we act and treat each other overall. A few years ago, Seth and I decided to make some "House Rules" for our family. This was something that we felt was good not only for the kids but for us as well. We posted on our refrigerator as well is in the family devotional area upstairs. Many we took from the Duggar Family website. I have to say that reviewing them with my kids this week along with the quote above really had me reflecting on my own heart.

We can't raise our kids into loving adults who care without showing them their sin. We can't be the people we truly want to be until we search our own hearts about our sin. How we treat our family, neighbors, coworkers.
If you don't have some family rules and house guidelines I challenge you to sit down and make some. If you have them I challenge them to review them. I feel at the core of my being that the only way the world will change is when our houses and families change. We can't expect the standard to be different outside our homes if it isn't already in our homes. I'm praying that my children take these to heart as I do and that it continues to grow us more like Christ.


 Always use soft words, even when you don’t feel well.
 Always display kind actions and joyful attitudes, even if you have been mistreated. Have the right response by quickly forgiving others in your heart even before they ask.
 Always be enthusiastic and look for opportunities to praise others' character.
 Always deflect praise and be grateful to God and others for the ways they have benefited your life.
 Always use manners and be respectful of others and their belongings.
 Always do what is right, even when others may not, or when no one is looking.
 Thank God for how He made you, for what He has given you and everything He allows you to go through. (Romans 8:28)
 Don’t mock or put others down. Develop compassion and pray for others.
 Never argue, complain, or blame. Quickly admit when you have done wrong and ask for forgiveness (even if you were only 10% at fault). Don't wait till you’re caught. Be sure your sins will find you out. He who covers his sin will not prosper, but he that confesses and forsakes it shall find mercy.
 Have a tough accountability/prayer partner to daily share your heart with and to keep you in line (your parents, spouse). The power of sin is in secrecy.
 Be attentive and look for ways to serve others with sincere motives and no thought of self-gain.
 Think pure thoughts (Philippians 4:8, Romans 13:14).
 Always give a good report of others. Don't gossip! Never tale-bear unless physical harm will come to someone. (Use Matthew 18.)
 Never raise a hand to hit.
 Never raise a foot to kick.
 Never raise an object to throw.
 Never raise a voice to yell.
 Never raise an eye to scowl.
 Use one toy/activity at a time. Share!
 Do your best to keep your surroundings neat, clean and organized.
 Never let the sun go down on your wrath. (Don’t go to bed angry or guilty)
 Amendment J.O.Y. -Put Jesus first, others second, yourself last.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Our favorite special after school treat :)

My kids LOVE when I make these chocolate chip scones. They are great for anytime of the day. Awesome with milk or coffee (for the adults)! This basic recipe can be adjusted to add lots of different things. Apples, cinnamon and even cheese!

Makes 12

1 3/4 cups flour (I usually use wheat flour to make it a bit more healthy)
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter cut into small pieces
1/3 cup milk (I always use a splash more than this)
1/4 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cups chocolate chips

Bake at 400F on a jelly roll pan lined with parchment paper.
Make into 2 inch balls 2 inches apart and flatten lightly.
Bake for 10-15 minutes, until golden brown.
Store in airtight container.

So easy and yummy!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Can I really do all things?

I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
Philippians 4:13

It is written on the wall in my kitchen. One of my favorite verses from the bible. One of my "life verses". I say it to myself all the time. When you are a Christian in the midst of a challenge it can become a mantra of faith. When I ran a 5k a few years ago I think I might have said it at least a thousand times. This morning I've been thinking of what it REALLY means. How can I deeply apply it to my life in every doubting moment.

I can do all things even when I think I can't. Heck, even when I "know" I can't. All those things that we see as a mountian we could never climb or get around much less move out of our way. But what does this verse really mean?

It means,

we can even when we feel stupid or unqualified.
we can when we feel scared and ashamed.
we can when we don't feel brave enough.
we can when we feel sick, tired and weak.
we can when we don't think we look the part.
we can when we feel like we have messed everything up.
we can when we don't feel important enough for the task.
we can when we don't feel we have enough talent or skill.
we can when we feel 100 other people would do the job better.
we can when all logical and earthly reasoning would point to failure.

We can do all things because God is. His spirit that dwells within us has a power that can. The greatest strength. The deepest joy. Unending hope. Greatest wisdom. Healing. When we are called to do something that we can't imagine we could possible do we often say "Why me, God?" God's answer to me has always been "Why not you?" The bible is full of men and women that God chose not by list of qualifications but by faithfulness and williness to be used for God's glory and purposes on earth. This verse means that even when we feel the job, task, problem is impossible God sees an oppurtunity to show us all things are possible when we rely on his strength and not our own. His power, wisdom, grace might and mercy.

I've been in a situation recently that requires this strength to do things I can't imagine. I'm trusting God completely. Believing in him, I can.

"God can do anything, you know-far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it... by working within us. His Spirit deeply and gently within us." ~Ephesians 3:20 The Message