Sunday, January 29, 2012

Resolution Status

The first month of 2012 has come and is almost gone. Is it just me, or has it just flown by at lightning speed? In order to keep myself accountable to my goals for the year, I'm going to do monthly status posts. So here we go!

1. Read 4 books
I've started a book. It wouldn't usually count, but due to it's incredible length I'm going to let it count. I'm not reading every page of it, but I'm investing very much time in it. If you're wondering what book I'm talking about you'll have to wait... because it's a surprise! In a couple of weeks I'll be at liberty to share. 

2. Read Karyn Henley's Day by Day Bible
I'm happy to tell you that I've read every day! I keep it on my dresser and I read as I blow dry my hair. I'm absolutely loving it! Because I blow dry my hair every single day.... I read every single day. 

3. Run for 30 minutes without stopping
I've started the C25K program, and was successful the first couple of weeks of working to my goal. I'm embarrassed to tell you I got a little to lazy and then I got sick... I let that hold me back. I'm back on track now though and working to my goal. 

4. Write a note of encouragement every month
Check.... always feels good to encourage someone!

5. Cook 3 new dishes
I cooked new dishes! 
- Pioneer Woman's Black Eye Pea Dip
- Souther Living's Ratatouille
- Rachael Ray's short ribs  
- Family Meals' cherry turnovers 
-  Skinny Salisbury Steak
- Hellman's Parmesan Chicken
Pioneer Woman's Pot Roast

(OK... so I got this goal down!)

6. Say a prayer of just thanksgiving, every week. 
Sadly, I did not complete this goal. I will talk about this below. 

7. Pray for the requests in the church bulletin. 
This was another one that I didn't complete. I've decided to work in 5 minutes of prayer time into my daily "getting ready" routine. I usually get on my computer after my shower, before I do my hair and makeup. Instead, I will take 5 minutes to pray. I will divide the bulletin requests into 4 sections. Monday-Thursday I will pray for bulletin requests, and on Friday I'll say my prayer of thanks. 

Joy: I've focused this month on having more positive facebook status. Just doing that one little thing has really brought more joy to me. I go to facebook to relieve some frustration and find myself instead writing a verse or something that cheers me up. 

I think I'm off to a great start this year!  

Friday, January 27, 2012


I absolutely love the movie Rudy? Please tell me you've seen it..... I thought it was an American classic. Apparently it isn't because my husband hadn't seen it before he met me and I forced him to sit through it with me.

I like almost every sports movie... but Rudy is my favorite of it's kind.

Set in the 1960's and 70's... it tells the tale of a boy who sets out to accomplish his life long dream of playing football for the University of Notre Dame. His whole life he is told he'll never be able to do it. He was told by his teachers, by his brothers, and by his dad. The only person who ever believed in him was his best friend. Rudy didn't make good grades (due to being dyslexic), he was short, weighed 160 pounds- it seems like he has nothing going for him, but it's his heart that helps him achieve.

One of the things that I love about this movie is that it teaches the principle my daddy has always taught me.

It never hurts to ask. It never hurts to introduce yourself and let them know you're interested. 

I watched Rudy this weekend, and I haven't watched it in a while. There was a scene that really stuck out to me.

Let me set you up for it: It's Rudy's last year... he's worked SO hard to even get into the school, much less the football team. It's the last game of his senior year and he's not on the list to dress for the game. His family has never believed that he was on the team because they couldn't see him come on the field. He was never allowed to dress. So he quit the team. Now.... watch this clip!


My favorite part is when he says, "You're going to walk out of here with a degree from the University of Notre Dame, in this lifetime you don't have to prove anything to anyone".... or he says something like that.

Wow. It's so powerful.

Here is what I took away-- Don't quit on your dreams. Do the best you can, recognize your achievements and be proud of them. 

If you haven't ever seen Rudy, you should. You're guaranteed to fill a tissue, feel empowered, and witness one of the greatest inspirational stories of time.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

every little thing you do

I learned a lot in college but, no doubt, I think I've learned my greatest lesson yet in the last few months.

"So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God."
               1 Corinthians 10:31, New Living Translation 

It might feel like there is no point to what I'm doing... but it matters to God. He wants to see me shine through it and bring Him glory. So I will continue to praise Him and be thankful under all circumstances. For this world is not my home, we're all just passing through. Let's make the best of it, shall we?

If you haven't heard "Do Everything" by Steven Curtis Chapman.... you need to hear it. Chapman is a wonderful Christian artist who has stood firm through toughest of toughest times. His son ran into his little girl with his car on accident just a couple of years ago. Despite the sorrow, he's continued to find ways to bring God glory. Watch this video. It'll play the song and show the words. Take it all in.

Then pray that the Lord will give you the strength to bring Him glory in ALL things- even the little jobs that seem like they don't matter.

Click here to watch "Do Everything" by Steven Curtis Chapman

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Rachel Ray's Short Ribs in Red Sauce with Rigatoni

 I'd like to introduce you to my new friend, the dutch oven. I'd been waiting and waiting to get a fabulous (and very expensive) Le Creuset one, but I decided I'd be waiting forever. So  I went to Khol's and picked up a much more practically priced Food Network dutch oven. I LOVE it! That evening when I was watching the Rachel Ray talk show I'd recorded, I saw her make this wonderful dish in her dutch oven.... so of course.... I printed the recipe  and couldn't wait to make it!

Begin by chopping 2 carrots and 2 stalks of celery. Slice into skinny strips and then chop into small pieces. 

Next slice 4 or 5 cloves of garlic and 1 large onion. Slice onion by slicing in half lengthwise, chop off ends, make thin slices, then chop! 

And because you've got your knife out and your in the chopping spirit, chop up some parsley for later! 

Next make an herb bundle with fresh parsley, sage, and thyme. Wrap it with butcher's twine. 

Now take 8-10 bone-in, beef, short ribs. Dry them with paper towels. Because as Julia Child says, "If you don't drrry the meat, it won't brooown properly"!

Heat 4 tablespoons of EV olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat. 

Brown the ribs in batches. You're not cooking them through... just searing the sides. NOTE: you are using olive oil on higher heat... it WILL pop everywhere. Don't be scared of it... it WILL pop on you... it doesn't hurt! Or maybe I'm just used to it?? Anyways... prepare for your stove to get messy... and don't wear that fancy silk shirt. Also.... bits of meat will stick to the bottom of the pan.... that's just fine! 

Once the meat is browned, add your veggies, garlic, 2 bay leaves, and plenty of salt and pepper. Cook for about 5 or 6 minutes to get them nice and tender. 

Now add 1/4th cup of tomato paste. Stir around and cook for about 1 minute. 

Next add 2 cups of red or white wine. Let it simmer and reduce by half. 

Next add 1 big can of diced tomatoes with 3 cups of beef stock. 

Now add the ribs and your herb bundle. 

 Flip the herb bundle upside down and try to really stick it in there. Cover with the lid and place in a 325 degree oven for 2 and a half hours. 

Meanwhile, take some Romano cheese... 

And grate it! Mix it with the parsley you chopped earlier. Cover and keep in the fridge until ready to serve. 

OK... time to pull it out! YUM-O! 

Now, discard the herb bundle (it's done its job) and remove the ribs to a plate. Fish around and pull out the bay leaves as well. Just let the sauce simmer up as you cook your rigatoni pasta. (This is also a great time to put some very crusty artisan bread in the oven) 

Mix the cooked and drained pasta with 3 tablespoons of butter that has been cut into small pieces. 

Remove the beef from the bones (it's better if you can chop it up too) and add to the pasta along with 2/3 of the sauce. Serve the remaining sauce in a bowl at the table for guests to pass around with the cheese! 


This was definitely a wonderful meal. It's like an Italian version of the American pot roast. This was my first Rachel Ray meal to make and I was not disappointed. The husband was also quite pleased... and declared it nap time right after we ate it!

For the recipe click here: Short Ribs in Red Sauce with Rigatoni

Sunday, January 1, 2012

too awesome to comprehend!

Today I began reading my Day By Day Kid's Bible and of course it starts off with the very beginning.

"To begin with, God made the earth and space. The earth had no shape. There was nothing on it. It was dark. But God's spirit floated above the water."

That little bit alone always leaves me with so many questions. How did God make space? Where is Heaven in relation to it? So the earth started out as a mass of water?

As humans we have such a curious nature. If we look back, curiosity was first provoked by the Devil  himself when he tempted Eve with the forbidden fruit. So does that make it bad to be curious? No, I don't think so. I can however find the danger when we find ourselves so curious about God.

Think about it. When we are curious about God, we seek reason and understanding. The fact is.... it's hard to find reason and understand about our Heavenly Father. God is much too powerful for humans too comprehend. We can't find answers that fulfill our curiosity. God said, "Let there be light", and there was light! There isn't much reasoning behind that. When I look at all of the people who lack faith in God, because they can't understand how He could create the earth, it makes me see danger in being so curious.

You know when your a kid... and your parents told you to do something... and you didn't understand why... and they said, "because I said so"....

I think that's how God works sometimes. I can't really understand how God made the earth.... but God said He did. I just have to believe that there is a being so powerful that he made light by saying, "let there be light".... there is no explanation on how it happened. It just happened because He said so.

"Jesus loves me this I know
  For the Bible tells me so"

All the truths we know about the God, His Son, and the Holy Spirit, we know because the Bible tells us so. It is so completely opposite to how our culture works. Culture says we need reason and understanding... but I can't seem to understand my God.

No doubt.... if my faith on God was based on the fulfillment of my curiosity... I'd have no faith! So I think it's important to sometimes put our curiosity to rest and instead fill our minds with awe for God's great splendor. We can feel God if we allow His presence into our lives and that helps our assurance.  (Of course once again... there isn't much logic to that!)

We serve a POWERFUL God who is too awesome to comprehend. Enough said!