Sunday, April 29, 2007

Monday Menu Plan

We had a very nice weekend. We took a short trip to a resort with a water park and enjoyed our time away as a family! Our kids spent about ten hours in two days at the water park and loved every minute of it. I (yes me) even went down this huge slide. My kids are still talking about the look on my face when I came shooting out of the tube into the pool.
This week I am planning to grill several times. The weather is so great everyone just wants to be outside. Tonight we grilled smoked brats and enjoyed the 80 degrees.
Here is my menu plan for the week:
Monday: Grilled barbecue chicken, red potatoes, asparagus & corn
Tuesday: Taco Salad
Wednesday: Chicken Salad Sandwiches with fresh fruit
Thursday: Grilled chicken over fettuccine alfredo with salad and garlic bread
Friday: Grilled Hamburgers with teriyaki sauce and pineapple, salad and chips
I posted here a few recipes from last weeks menu.
For more great menu ideas visit Laura at I'm an Organizing Junkie

Saturday, April 28, 2007

The Internet Cafe

Today (Sunday) I am over at CWO's Internet Cafe. I am asking a question I addressed here a few months back, but please get dressed and go to church and worship our Lord and Savior first today, than I hope to see you back here or over there later. Blessings on your Sunday.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Thankful for Friends

"A friend," someone wrote, "is one who knows the song in your heart - and can sing it back to you when you've forgotten the words." (quote from Alice Gray)

There is no better gift in all the world than a dear friend who knows you well and loves you still! Acquaintances come and go, but true friendship is like a pathway through a fragrant summer garden. Whether they resemble dearly loved rosebushes, with blooms that seem to grow more lovely with the passing years or a bright new flower that lifts its face to the sun and has arrived with a new season of life, friends are the most delightful garden. How soothing to linger through a long afternoon, to talk and laugh, dream and maybe share a tear or two. It is a garden where pretenses are set aside and we can just be who we are.

I am thankful for a dearly loved rosebush who has been there for years. She is a sweet fragrance and has graced my life for more than a decade. She is now officially a blogger and I am so thankful that even though many miles distance our old familiar walks and talks, she is only a click away from me hearing her heart and smelling the sweet fragrance of her life. Go and visit her at Traveling Light.

For more "Thankful" posts visit Iris at Sting My Heart


On Monday several of you requested two recipes. Here they are:

I made these last night and my kids loved them.

Slow Cooker Italian Shredded Beef Hoagies

-Boneless Roast, trimmed of fat (the recipe called for an arm roast)
-2 medium onions sliced into four sections
-1 can (14.5oz) Italian-seasoned diced tomatoes, undrained
-1/4 cup tomato paste

-Hoagie Buns
-2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Place onions at the bottom of slow cooker. Place beef on onions. In small bowl, mix diced tomatoes and tomato paste; pour over beef. (I usually will put some Italian Seasonings in mixture or you could just use a small jar of spaghetti sauce)

Cover; cook on low heat for 8 to 10 hours.

Remove beef from cooker; place on cutting board. Use 2 forks to shred. Return shredded beef to cooker. Spoon beef onto each bun and top with cheese. (I microwave sandwich for about 25 seconds to melt cheese)

Layered Chicken-Black Bean Enchiladas
(This recipe is super easy if you have your chicken already cooked.
Just open a few cans, layer, and bake. It is great for a crowd!)

-2 cups chopped or shredded cooked boneless skinless chicken breast
-2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
-1 can (15 oz.) black beans, drained, rinsed
-1 can (4.5 oz.) chopped green chiles, undrained
-1 can (10 oz.) enchilada sauce
-8 corn tortillas
-1 1/2 cups shredded colby-monterey jack cheese blend
1 cup sour cream

Heat over to 375 degrees. Spray glass baking dish with cooking spray. In bowl, mix chicken, cilantro, black beans and chiles.

Spread 2 tablespoons of the enchilada sauce in bottom of baking dish. Place 4 tortillas over sauce, overlapping as necessary. Spoon half of the chicken mixture over tortillas; sprinkle with 1/2 cup of the cheese. Spoon half of the remaining enchilada sauce and half of the sour cream randomly over the cheese. Repeat with remaining tortillas, chicken mixture, 1/2 cup cheese, the enchilada sauce and sour cream. (sour cream could be eliminated)

Cover with foil. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until hot. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake uncovered 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Let stand before serving. (Optional - top with sour cream)
taken from Betty Crocker-Easy Recipes

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Wordless Wednesday - A moment in time

* edited to add a requested close up of the butterfly

For more Wordless Wednesday go here or here

I have left a comment to explain what is taking place in this photo

Monday, April 23, 2007

In "Other" Words

"Busyness is not a spiritual gift."
~ Lisa Harper ~
Tonight after dinner I was headed outside with three of my children for a walk. For the past week, I have been walking in the evenings for exercise and enjoying the nice weather. I was excited to get out tonight and make my way through our neighborhood.
I was standing in the street waiting for my daughter to get her scooter and fastening the buckle to a wiggly two year old in the stroller. My six year old had come racing down the driveway on his bike explaining something about the brakes when I heard the sound of a baby crying. I heard one of my neighbors calling across the street to my next door neighbor who I hadn't noticed sitting on her front porch with her new baby. She asked how she was doing and I heard my neighbor reply, "oh, just ok, my baby is really fussy and we aren't getting much sleep." They chatted for a few minutes when the neighbor who had been doing the inquiring shouted, "you know what that is like don't you Chris?" For a very small second I thought just answer the question, "yes" and be on your way down the street to enjoy the walk. After all I told myself, "you deserve this time alone with your own children and you have been looking forward to this walk all day and don't mess up your routine now," but before I could finish the thought, I heard the nudging of the Holy Spirit to go over and see how she was doing.
I walked up to her yard and asked if I could hold her seven week old son. She explained all about his fussiness, her lack of sleep (I could see it in her eyes) and her own post pregnancy health concerns. I remembered how difficult those early weeks and even months can be when you have a little one who doesn't sleep. For the next hour I stood outside and held her little one. He fussed for awhile, I talked and cooed with him. I patted his back and rubbed his tummy trying to bring some relief. My own children realized mom was no longer going for her walk and had headed off to join some kids in a game of baseball.
Soon the baby's dad who had been visiting with another neighbor came over and we all stood and talked while the little guy finally settled down and was fast asleep in my arms. He was even snoring. I continued to hold the baby while mom and dad were able to enjoy a moment. I stood and listened as they talked about how difficult the days and nights had been and how their three year old was handling the new addition to their family. I was no longer concerned about my own agenda, but truly grateful that for a moment my own busyness (or maybe my own plans might be a better word) had not interfered with an opportunity to share the Love of God through my available arms.
You see my neighbors know my husband is a Pastor. We know they don't go to church anywhere. We don't want to preach at them, but we do want to show the Love of God by how we live our lives. At the moment, I was hoping the other neighbor would stay and visit with her, but she didn't. Busyness is not a spiritual gift. In fact, often times (moms especially) run from here to there all in the name of "good" things and how many truly "good" things are they missing out on because they are just too busy? My home has been my "busyness" measuring stick for many years now. It usually speaks to whether or not I am too busy. Of course, there are always seasons when things get a bit crazy, but that is not where we want to live.
Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you Psalm 63:3
For more In "other" Words visit Christine at Fruit In Season

Monday Menu Plan

Here is my menu plan for the week. It was 80 degrees on Saturday, so we were outside grilling. I am hoping to get outside this week and do some more.

Monday: Maple and Mustard-Glazed Grilled Chicken with red potatoes and green salad

Tuesday: Layered Chicken-Black Bean Enchiladas

Wednesday: Slow Cooker Italian Shredded Beef Hoagies

Thursday: Raspberry Glazed Grilled Chicken with asparagus, corn and red potatoes with a honey-mustard glaze

Friday: Tex Mex Chicken Salad

Recipe for Maple and Mustard-Glazed Grilled Chicken

3/4 cup maple-flavored syrup
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives (optional)

Cook chicken on the grill for about 15 minutes over medium heat; turn chicken, cover and cook 20 to 40 minutes longer turning occasionally and brushing 2 or 3 times with glaze until juice of chicken is clear when thickest piece is cut. Heat remaining mustard mixture to boiling; boil 1 minute. Serve sauce with chicken

For more great menu ideas visit Laura at I'm an Organized Junkie

Your Manners Matter - part 3
Here and here I shared how I use meal preparation and meal time to teach my children etiquette. I explained that the foundation of all etiquette is kindness, which expresses itself by consideration for the people around you. Knowing proper etiquette makes you feel comfortable so that you can reach out to others and make them feel important. If you are concerned about making a mistake or appearing to be foolish, then your thoughts are consumed with yourself. However, when you know how to properly conduct yourself in the presence of others, then you are free to focus on them.
We have taught our kids some simple table conduct. Of course, elaborate instructions or rules are available for every state of a guest's dinner experience in any etiquette book, but following strict rules is not our goal. We are hoping to help them learn how to properly conduct themselves so that they may be a blessing to others.
We have a little one who drops food on the floor and and another who is still learning not to use his fingers for everything. We encourage lots of conversation. We want our meal times to be a time in which we connect with one another and a chance to hear the hearts of our children. Here are some simple etiquette rules made simple for our home:
-Wait for mom (or the hostess)to be seated before beginning to eat
-Put your napkin on your lap
-We encourage the kids not to comment about the food. We have explained that kindness does not embarrass the hostess who may not always know what we like or dislike.
-If you are served something that you do not eat or like, we have explained to just leave it on your plate and eat around it.
-When serving family-style (all the food on the table), pass the food to the person on your right. Hold the dish for the person while they serve their plate. They should then hold it for the next person and so on until it returns to you.
-If I am serving from the kitchen (stove), I will sometimes have one of my kids help me and again everyone waits until each person has been
-Eat with your mouth closed and do not talk with your mouth full.
-If you must leave the table for an important reason, ask to be excused.
-When our kids have finished eating we have them take their plates to the sink. We have taught them to place their silverware in their plate. Even if some food remains on their plate, laying the utensils together and at an angle lets the hostess know you are finished with your meal.
-Of course, there are times when food is passed across the table especially on taco and tostada night. On occasion we have a carpet picnic in which the meal is put on a blanket in the family room and we eat as if we were outside having a picnic.
Most importantly enjoy your family meal time together! This time is given to us each and every day. Treasure it!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Friday's Thoughts... Our Mother Shoulders

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. James 1:5-6
Oh, for more of the wisdom of Solomon, we cry, looking at the responsibilities placed on our mother shoulders and then at our limitations! How can we lead our children in straight paths when we ourselves have walked such a crooked road?
But God whose strength is made perfect in our weakness can use our very mistakes to show us a better way. Even Solomon himself uttered this prayer: "Now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties...So give your servant a discerning heart." (1 Kings 3:7,9)
God honored Solomon's prayer, and in Ephesians 1:17 we are told that we today will be given "the spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that (we) may know him better." To every believing Christian the Holy Spirit is promised, the Spirit who will lead us into all truth.
A Mother's Prayer
Father in heaven, make me wise,
So that my gaze may never meet
A question in my children's eyes.
God keep me always kind and sweet.
And patient too, before their need;
Let each vexation know its place,
Let gentleness be all my creed,
Let laughter live upon my face!
A mother's day is very long
There are so many things to do!
But never let me lose my song
Before the hardest day is through.
Margaret E. Sangster

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

God loves to decorate

I sat down this afternoon to begin work on next week's lesson for our Tuesday Morning Ladies Bible Study. We are currently in the middle of a study titled, "Steadfast Love - Finding self-worth through God's truth." We are on Lesson 9, "Love Changes Me". On the first page of this week's lesson the author shares this quote:

"God loves to decorate. God has to decorate. Let him live long enough in a heart, and that heart will begin to change. Portraits of hurt will be replaced by landscapes of grace. Walls of anger will be demolished and shaky foundations restored. God can no more leave a life unchanged than a mother can leave her child's tear untouched." (taken from Just Like Jesus by Max Lucado)

God's been redecorating around here for a long time and just when I get to thinking I like what He has done, it's time to rearrange some furniture, tear down a wall or two and freshen things up with a coat of paint. But just as I would wipe my child's tear away with my own hands because of my great love for them, God's love does and will continue to transform my life.

being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Phil. 1:6 (ESV)

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Wordless Wednesday - Looking Back

For more Wordless Wednesday visit here

Internet Cafe

Do you ever arrive at a special event only to wish you could slip behind a curtain and change your clothes? In many social settings the message is very clear. To be accepted, you must be clothed according to the “standard”...whatever that is. Join me over at CWO's Internet Cafe as we look at "The Dressing Room".

Monday, April 16, 2007

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: Chicken Packets, potatoes and corn (Prepare Chicken for freezer)

Tuesday: Cheese Enchiladas, rice and beans

Wednesday: Sloppy Joes (one of my kids just love these) & pasta salad

Thursday: Lasagna and salad (Make an extra lasagna for the freezer)

Friday: Pizza

Saturday: Chicken Fettuccini Alfredo and salad

It's Monday and we are finally getting some nice weather again. I am ready to change my menu planner from roasts, soups and stews to grilled chicken, shish ka bobs on the barbecue and salads. I sat this morning and reorganized my planner moving some of my soup recipes to the back of the book and inserting some new marinades for the grill to the front. I also moved my cookbooks around so that the ones that are specific to spring and summer cooking are ready to go.
The boys are in the middle of spring soccer season and baseball practice is starting. Our evenings are beginning to be busy again with running kids here and there, so this is a great time to plan ahead so that we don't end up eating too much fast food. A little preparation goes along way. Here are a few things that I have used in the past and have served me well:

  • Cook and chop up (I will also shred some for enchiladas) several pounds of boneless skinless chicken breasts. I then freeze in 3-4 cup quantities for quick meal preparation.
  • Prepare several freezer meals such as lasagna, tamale pie and other casseroles that freeze nicely. For the next two weeks, I plan to cook "double" on two days in order to build my stock of freezer meals.
  • Utilize your crockpot!! There are so many great recipes for crockpots from very simple barbecue chicken to roasts.
  • Make a menu plan. I make the plan for the week based on what I have on my calendar. Our goal for most nights is to gather at the table, but if I didn't have a plan I am afraid we would miss many opportunities for this important time together. Having a plan as always served me well.

I will finish my post on "Manners Matter" next week. Have a great Monday!

For more menu plans visit Laura at Organized Junkie

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Happy Birthday Kelsey!

What has happened? Twelve years has gone by so quickly. The day you were born will be forever etched in my mind. You were the most wonderful baby (and I am not exaggerating). Your toddler years, like most toddlers, were busy and filled with me wondering what happened to the sweet and content little baby I had just held. I love this picture of you at fifteen months in your tiny night gown and slippers. We had just arrived home from a summer camp, I had given you a bath and we were all ready for bed at like four in the afternoon. I couldn't help after a long hot week but snap a picture of you with your sun kissed cheeks.
Finally, as a preschooler your hair began to grow and stayed as a cute brunette bob for years. Elementary school has been full of growth. Your passion for gymnastics and your accomplishments in theatre ballet have helped develop your confidence to perform in front of other people. But it is your love and passion for Jesus that blesses me most.
I love to go in your room and find all the little notes you have left or see the many crafty projects you are creating. You love to read to me what you have written in your journal. I have noticed the extra time you are starting to take in the bathroom. It is a sign of things to come, but most days (weather permitting) you are outside on your bike, roller blading or just exploring with friends.

You have been my adventurous one at times, always curious and yet a very pleasant little girl. Others would not know this about you, but there is a very shy side to you. You are beginning to change into a warm, caring and lovely young lady. April 12th, your golden birthday! I pray that you will continue to love to talk, sip warm tea, and never stop wanting to just be with your mom. Kelsey, I pray that you continue to grow in character, strength and wisdom as a young woman of God. You bring our family great joy and with an older sister and three younger brothers, you hold your position well. (wink) Enjoy your tamales tonight, lots of birthday cake and thank you for waking up this morning with the best smile ever.

I love you so much!
Twelve Years Old ~ April 12, 2007

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Wordless Wednesday - Our Easter

For more Wordless Wednesday go here

In "Other" Words

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
Hebrews 4:12
I love the description that the writer of Hebrews paints for us. I think of the surgeon's knife cutting away at my inner most parts, exposing my heart and dividing (or imparting) that which is truth from everything else and removing that which will bring destruction so that I may be changed for God's glory. Using the Life Journal as a tool for daily reading of God's word imparts truth into my life directly. Each time I sit down to read, I ask the question, "How will I be different today because of what I have just read?" 1 Tim. 4:7 says, "Discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness". It is God's word (ancient words) that makes this quote so powerful!
"Ancient Words, ever true
Changing me and changing you
We have come with open hearts
O let the ancient words impart."
~ Lynn DeShazo~
For more In "Other" Words go here

It's never too late to say thank you...

I am a little behind with this but it is never too late to say thank you to others for their kind words. Over the past couple of weeks several of my favorite blogs gave me one of these.

Since someone else already beat me to giving each of them this award, I will just say "thank you" again to each of you by sending it back to you and share a bit why each of these blogs bless me and cause me to think.

Cyndi at One Day More challenges me to dig deeper. She encourages me almost daily in the word of God through her posts. She is a powerful writer and definitely causes me to think about my relationship with God.

Susanne at Living to tell the Story is a beautiful Godly woman. Her posts at Faith Lifts are inspiring and full of God's truths. It is her comments at my own blog that often times has caused me to think. She is such an encourager and finds the good in all things.

Kelly at A Spacious Place was one of the first blogs I began to read regularly and hopefully will never stop! We walk in similar paths. I have found her love for mentoring the young women God has placed in her life as well as her love for her husband and children refreshing. She is truly a woman after God's heart.

Deidre at For Such A Time as This is a buried treasure. If you have never read her blog, go now. She is a beautiful writer who expresses what God is doing in her life so powerfully! Her posts not only cause me to think but they inspire me!

Tammy at Family Doin's is brand new to me too! But thank you Tammy for your kind words. She has been leaving such nice comments, but it was reading this post that not only made me think, but made me thankful that I am not the only one at times feeling a bit awkward.

Go read and enjoy!

Monday, April 09, 2007

Monday Menu Plan

Monday: Egg Salad Sandwiches and chips

Tuesday: Ham & Bean Soup with cornbread

Wednesday: Spaghetti & garlic bread

Thursday: Birthday Dinner *It will be mexican her favorite* Cake & Ice Cream

Friday: Teriyaki Burgers, salad, & chips

Saturday: Taco Salad

Your Manners Matter - Part 2
Last week, I shared that the foundation of all etiquette is kindness. Here are three simple ways I have used my preparation of a meal to teach proper etiquette as a host/hostees to my children. I started when my oldest daughter was young. It has never been rigid, but something that fits in with our lifestyle and family.

  1. Setting your table - The simplest part of your preparation is to provide your guests with the tools they need to comfortably dine with you. (Remember proper etiquette has to do with others) Whether you are having guests for supper or not, setting the table or placing the table utensils at appropriate locations provides an inviting atmosphere to all who are coming to your table. At a very early age your children can begin setting the table. This is a great time to talk about serving others and preparing a place for them to come and feel special. I have one of my children help me each evening not only with the setting of the table but also depending on their age, I talk about ways we can make others feel welcome including our family members. For example, if Daddy has a special glass encourage your child to look for it and place it at his place. Even If I am serving from the stove, utensils, cups and other items can be neatly placed on the table.
  2. Simply Prepare - Simply preparing things ahead of time and planning can free us to be more attentive to others. This is a skill that will make things much smoother when hosting others. Allowing your children to participate in some of the preparations provides the opportunity for them to see what is required in serving others. Talk to your children about how we can ask the Lord to teach us other ways that we can honor our family and guests. With my children, I will walk through all the things that are needed at the table or the serving area so that we can remain at the table during the meal and enjoy our time together.
  3. Prepare to lavishly love - The obligation for following the rules of etiquette belongs to those who serve as host and hostess. In the dominion of our own homes we have the awesome privilege and Biblical mandate to represent Jesus Christ to those who walk through our doors. If your children are very young and the thought of entertaining guests just does not seem realistic, (which for many years, I was in this place ) first begin with your own family. By having one of your children work with you in the kitchen, you are teaching him/her to be the host/hostess. Next, start by inviting grandparents or other friends or family members who understand the season you are in with young children. Often times there is not enough seating at the table in our homes for those we may chose to invite, but we can still teach our children about showing kindness to those who have come to our home even if it means they are sitting in the living room or other designated places. Start simple and small, maybe just invite someone for dessert. Our home provides the perfect environment for practicing hospitality. We just need to give our children the opportunity to practice it.

Practice hospitality to one another (those of the household of faith). [Be hospitable, be a lover of strangers, with brotherly affection for the unknown guests, the foreigners, the poor, and all others who come your way who are of Christ's body.] And [in each instance] do it ungrudgingly (cordially and graciously, without complaining but as representing Him).

1 Peter 4:9 (AB)

This by no means is an exhaustive list. But please remember, the most important thing in teaching our children manners or etiquette is to teach people are more important than protocol.

Next week I will share some of the specific areas concerning proper table conduct that we have found useful with our children and have provided for enjoyment while we are at the table.

For more great menu plans go to I'm an Organizing Junkie

Friday, April 06, 2007

God's Work on My Behalf

this was taken from the Gospel Primer for Christians, prose version which has been a part of my daily quiet time with the Lord this week.

"However, what I could not do, God did (Rom 5:6) - and in doing it, He did it all, sending His own Son into the world to die on the cross for my sins, (Rom 8:3) thereby showing me unfathomable love. (Rom 5)
God loved me so much that He was willing to suffer the loss of His Son, (John 3:16) and even more amazingly, He was willing to allow His Son to suffer the loss of Him at the cross. (Mark 15:34)
Jesus loved me so much that He was willing to lay down His life for me. No one could ever love me more or better than Jesus. (John 15:13)
On the third day after Jesus' death, God raised Him from the dead, thereby announcing that His death was completely sufficient to atone for every sin that I have or will commit throughout my lifetime. (Acts 13)
God then exalted Christ to His own right hand,(Eph. 1) where Christ now reigns from on high, granting salvation and forgiveness to all who call on Him by faith. (Acts 5:31)

"For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh" Romans 8:3 (ESV)
Have a blessed Easter Celebration!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

CWO - The Internet Cafe

Join me today for my first contribution to The Internet Cafe as I share of Christ's redeeming work in my life titled "No greater love..."

I give thanks to you...

I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart,
and I will glorify your name forever.
Psalm 86:12

Taken from Gospel Primer, Poetic Version
But wonders of wonders,
so great to behold,
My God chose to save me
with method so bold.
What I could not render,
God fully has done,
And doing, He rendered it
all through His Son.
He sent Christ to die
on the cross for my sin
To suffer my anguish
my pardon to win.
Amazing it is, when I
stop to regard,
That God would consent
to an anguish so hard,
Surrend'ring His Son
unto mayhem and death,
To torturous writhing
'til His final breath.
'Why does God forsake Me?'
alone Jesus cried;
Yet God left Him hanging
until He had died.
That Jesus was willing
His life to lay down,
Be scourged and insulted
and wear thorny crown
For one such as I
who had spited God so,
Amazes and blesses
and makes me to know
That greater a love
is no man than He,
Who laid down His life
for a sinner like me.
For more Thankful Thursday posts go here

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

In Other Words

“At the heart of the story stands the cross of Christ
where evil did its worst and met its match.”
When I read this quote my first thought was "without the cross, there is no story." In John 19:30, Jesus spoke the words, "It is finished". The cross is the finished work. Nothing can stand up against it.
In our ladies bible study on Tuesday morning, we have been writing down three scriptures every week which show "who I am in Christ". As I prepared the three to bring this morning, I found these three verses so fitting for today and this week:
  • Healed by the stripes of JESUS He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. 1 Peter 2:24
  • Kept by God and the evil one does not touch me We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the one who was born of God keeps him safe, and the evil one cannot harm him. 1 John 5:18
  • Delivered from the power of darkness and translated into God's kingdom For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves Colossians 1:13

For more "In Other Words" visit Sting My Heart.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Menu Plan Monday

When life keeps our family from gathering at the table for several days in a row, I usually have a longing for us to be together. This evening was one of those times. Due to the busyness of this past week or so we hadn't been able to eat together as a family for several days. Even though my plans tonight were very simple and included leftovers, I went ahead and set the table. Too often in our weariness, especially when our children are young, we fail to sit together quietly and enjoy our meal together. I had explained in this post some of the reasons and the purpose for my meal planning.

Another purpose for meal planning is the teaching of etiquette. But it may not be what you think. I am not looking for my children to become "proper" or be able to walk into a five star restaurant and act like an adult.
But as I mentioned here, our table is one of the best places to teach our children important biblical principles. The place we start from is "Your Manners Matter". Colossians 4:5-6 says,

Conduct yourselves wisely toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. (ESV)

The foundation of all etiquette is kindness, which expresses itself by consideration for the people around you. Knowing proper etiquette makes you feel comfortable so that you can reach out to others and make them feel important. If you are concerned about making a mistake or appearing to be foolish, then your thoughts are consumed with yourself. However, when you know how to properly conduct yourself in the presence of others, then you are free to focus on them.

Next week, I'll share how I have taken these principles and put them into practice everyday with my own family.

Here is what I am planning to serve my family this week:
Monday: Busy Day Beef Stew with Sourdough rolls
Tuesday: Taco Soup
Wednesday: (Cooking Day for my kids - they will make the menu Mon. evening)
Thursday: Swiss Chicken Bake and salad
Friday: Swiss Potato Soup
Saturday: Lasagna, salad and garlic bread
Easter Sunday Dinner

A few weeks ago a few of you asked about the recipe for Chicken Packets. This is one of my kids favorite meals. Several years ago I had tried the "once- a- month cooking" idea in order to save time. This is the only recipe that has lasted since those days.

3-4 cups cooked, chopped chicken
1 package cream cheese, softened
4 tablespoons milk
2 or 3 packages refrigerated crescent rolls*

(the original recipe called for chopped chives and salt to taste)

Mix chicken, cream cheese, and milk in a bowl. Unroll crescent rolls. Each tube will contain 4 rectangles of dough with a diagonal perforation. Press dough along each perforation so the rectangle halves will not separate. Place about 1/4 cup of chicken mixture into the center of each rectangle. Fold dough over the filling and pinch the edges to seal tightly. Place packets on a baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown. They are even good cold the next day.

*two rolls make eight packets. If I have extra chicken mixture, it makes a great chicken salad or sandwich too.

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