Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Levi's Room

I am now 36 1/2 weeks pregnant which means our sweet boy will be here soon!!!

His room has been a work in progress for months, but I can finally say that we are just about finished!  My Hero did a fantastic job on all the special touches in his room...especially the planking and the gutter bookshelves!  The work wouldn't have been possible without our skilled brother-in-law and friend.  Thank you, thank you!!! 

Idea for the bookshelves found here

I love looking down the hall and seeing a little boy's room AND our little girl's room...we are so blessed!!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Counting Gifts...Summer Edition

This month marks a year since I finished reading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp and began counting my gifts.  While I have not been as consistent with writing down my gifts on a daily basis as I had hoped, over the year I have become more aware of the ways God reveals Himself.  My mind is more in-tune with His Presence in my life, both in the joyful times as well as the trials.  And these past 365 days have been smattered with unexpected trials unlike I've experienced before.  However, I believe now more than ever that God works out everything according to his perfect plan and that my purpose is to bring Him glory, no matter what.  This doesn't mean that I won't experience pain, but it just determines how I handle that pain.  I choose to .........

I recently read this following devotion by Sarah Young in Jesus Calling...

"Thankfulness opens the door to My Presence.  ...Thankfulness is built on a substructure of trust.  When thankful words stick in your throat, you need to check up on your foundation of trust.  When thankfulness flows freely frmo you heart and lips, let your gratitude draw you closer to Me.  I want you to learn the art of giving thanks in all circumstances.  See how many times you can thank Me daily; this will awaken your awareness to a multitude of blessings.  It will also cushion the impact of trials when they come against you.  Practice My Presence by practicing the discipline of thankfulness."

Last year, our annual beach trip delivered more gifts than I could .  This year's beach trip was no different.  How blessed we are to have an uninterrupted week with family surrounded by the beauty of the ocean - God's display of his power, magnificence, and magnitude.

Friday, June 1, 2012

May, June, July, and August Meals!

(See the "Dinner Recipes" tab above for more information on this post!)

Life is about to get very busy here in about 6 weeks (give or take!).  :-)  I've been gathering ideas for healthy meals that I plan to make over the next few months.  I've also started my search for freezer meals so I can begin to make some meals ahead of time.
Here are our recipes to try for May, June, July, and August!!

Turkey Sloppy Janes (from a Whole Foods publication, not sure which one)
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
3 TB no-salt-added tomato paste
1 cup grated carrots (from 1 large carrot)
3/4 ground turkey breast
1 (15 oz) can no-salt-added tomato sauce
4 tsp balsamic vinegar
5 tsp yellow mustard

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add onion and pepper and cook until starting to stick and lightly brown, stirring frequently, 4 to 5 minutes.  Stir in tomato paste, carrots and 2 TB water and cook 2 minutes longer or until carrots are tender, stirring occasionally and scraping any browned bits from the surface of the pan.  Add turkey and cook 3 minutes or until turkey is no longer pink, stirring to break it up as it cooks.  Stir in tomato sauce, vinegar, mustard and 1/2 cup water and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 15 minutes to blend flavors.  Serves 4.

Garden Fresh Pasta with Tomato-Basil Sauce (recipe from vendor at Amelia Island Farmer's Market)
1 lb linguine, uncooked (I plan to use spinach)
4 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 15 oz. can Italian-flavor tomato sauce
2 tbsp. chopped fresh basil
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp. vegetable oil (I plan to use olive oil)
1 lb. fresh asparagus cut 1-inch (about 2 cups)
1 medium zucchini or yellow squash, halved and thinly sliced
1 medium red bell pepper, cut in 1/2-inch pieces
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Prepare pasta according to directions; drain.  In a large saucepan, combine tomatoes, tomato sauce, basil and black pepper; mix well and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer 20 minutes.  Remove cover and cook, stirring occasionally, 15 to 20 minutes longer, or until slightly thickened.  In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat.  Add asparagus, zucchini, and bell pepper.  Stir-fry until vegetables are tender.  Combine pasta with vegetable mixture and toss well.  Spoon tomato sauce over pasta and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.  Serves 6.

Linguine and Spinach Pesto (recipe from vendor at Amelia Island Farmer's Market)
1 lb. linguine, uncooked (I plan to use spinach)
1 10-oz package frozen spinach, thawed, well drained
2 tbsp. vegetable oil (I plan to use olive oil)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp. chopped parsley
2 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. dried basil
2 tbsp. butter
1/3 cup water
4 oz. crumbled feta cheese
Prepare pasta according to directions; drain.  In blender or food processor, combine spinach, oil, Parmesan cheese, parsley, garlic, salt, and basil.  Blend at medium speed or process until finely chopped.  Melt butter in water.  With blender or processor running, gradually pour in melted butter mixture until blended.  Toss with pasta.  Sprinkle feta on top and serve.  Serves 8.

Strawberry Spinach Salad (from my friend, Rachel)
8 cups fresh spinach leaves (or 2 bags of spring mix salad)
1 pint fresh strawberries, sliced
1 can (11-ozs) mandarin oranges, drained
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/4 cup sliced no-salt-added almonds
Thickly-grated Pamesan cheese
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp. poppy seeds
1 1/2 tsp. finely chopped red onion
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp. paprika
Combine all the salad ingredients in a bowl. In a jar with a tight fitting lid combine the dressing ingredients; shake well.  Drizzle over salad and serve immediately.

Freezer Meals
Cilantro Lime Chicken with Black Beans and Corn
Divine Chicken
Slow-Cooked Beef Fajitas (will use chicken instead)
Teriyaki Chicken
Savory Chicken
Healthy Mama BBQ Chicken
Crock-Pot Chicken Enchilada Soup