Month: March 2016

Crock-pot Chicken Burritos

I’ve been MIA since Good Friday, spending some time with my family. The Bearded Man commented last night that I was slipping on my blog. Sorry about that 🙂 If you haven’t noticed yet, I love my Crock-Pot! I utilize it a few times a week to make my life a lot easier. This recipe is one of our “go to’s” and one of the Bearded Man’s favorite meals! I love that it’s cheap, and makes a ton. I buy big bags of rice at Costco, we love rice; it’s inexpensive and delicious when cooked right.

I ordered a new Crock-Pot last week as an early anniversary present to myself, and this was the perfect recipe to break it in!!

Crock-pot Chicken Burritos  

2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 cups chicken broth

1 cup uncooked rice(not instant)

1 can rotel, drained

1 can black beans(rinsed and drained)

1 can corn, drained

3 teaspoons chili powder

3 teaspoons onion powder

2 teaspoons garlic powder

2 teaspoons cumin

1 teaspoon kosher salt 

Pepper to taste
Combine all the the ingredients in a sprayed, 5 quart slow cooker and stir. Cook on low for about 6 hours. Remove chicken and shred. Add chicken back to slow cooker and fluff the rice. Serve on tortilla shells with cheese and sour cream. 

Umm, so it’s hard to get a good picture of a burrito, but isn’t that crock-pot beautiful??

  
Recipe adapted from: http://www.number-2-pencil.com/2014/10/01/slow-cooker-chicken-burrito-bowl/

Photo and wording are my own.

If you enjoyed this recipe, please share!

Advertisements

Why are you weeping?

I’ve been in Church my whole life. I’m no theologian, but I love when I read the same story I’ve read many times before, and God gives me a fresh perspective, or a new insight to take away from the story. 
As I read and meditated on the Easter story this week, one part really stood out to me. When Mary Magdalene stood at the tomb crying, because she didn’t know where Jesus’ body had been taken, Jesus was already there. Already well aware of her anguish, He asked, “Woman, why are you weeping?”  

The past few years have been a roller coaster of emotions in my life. Bad news. Illness in families. Sin tearing families apart. We talk about “sin in the World” as if it’s exclusive to the World. What hits the hardest is when sin tears into the lives of those you’ve read scripture with. We’re forgiven, yes, but the consequences remain. 

I’m going to be open about a big struggle…a sin…of mine.

Fear. 

As Christians, sometimes we like to pat ourselves on the back for not committing the obvious sins, like adultery, lying,stealing…

What about those secret sins? Pride, anger, laziness, gluttony, fear…

Those “secret” sins might not wreck our lives in one weekend, but over a lifetime, they slowly corrode at our souls. 

When I catch wind of bad news, my heart breaks for those families. And then fear sets in. Satan likes to put fear into my mind, and I let him do it. It will stop me in my tracks and take my breath away. 

“When is my turn coming?” 

“What if sin wrecks my family?”

“What if illness affects my household?”

“What if I can’t trust anyone?”

“What if we lose everything?”…

And then I forget, that Jesus is already here, well aware of my anguish. “Woman, why are you weeping?” 

Why am I?

Because I’ve let the lies of Satan choke out the promises of God. I’ve let fear give me irrational doubts towards this wonderful Husband God blessed me with. I’ve let fear make me believe that everyone has an angle, and nobody does anything out of pure love. I’ve let the fears of what may or may not happen tomorrow, steal the joy of today. I forget that He’s already there today and tomorrow, for you, for me.

He’s already at that Doctors appointment you dread going to, because you fear what they’ll say. 

He’s already at the kitchen table as you go to pay bills tonight, and fear that there’s just not enough to make ends meet. 

He’s already at the altar, as you give in to a lifelong struggle with sin, and give it all to Him. 

He’s already there. 

Does trusting and believing always keep the bad stuff from happening?

Nope. 

But knowing that He’s already there, that I don’t have to face troubles alone and allow fear to ruin my life…He is truly amazing. He loves us so. He sacrificed His life on the cross so many years ago, so that we wouldn’t have to carry the burden of fear. So that we don’t have to live in bondage to the “secret” sins we hide, because pride tells us we’ll look like “bad” Christians if we seek help. So that we can tell Satan where to take his lies. 

Can you do me a favor? Please pray for me, as I deal with this lifelong struggle of fear and worry. When you see me acting in fear, remind me that He’s already in my tomorrow. Please know that when I post anything, it’s not because I think I’ve “arrived.” We won’t be there as long as we live in earthly bodies. 

I’ve always loved the part of the Easter story where Mary Magdalene finally realized that she was talking to Jesus. I love that she of all people got to see Him first. This week more so than ever. I would’ve loved to have seen her face at the realization that as she stood there weeping for Him, He was already there. 

1 John 4:18, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.” 

With small children in the house, quiet moments with Jesus can be hard to come by. I was blessed with one of those sweet times this morning before the sun came up.

 It’s looking to be an overcast and dreary day, but I was able to catch some pink in there!  

I hope you have a blessed Good Friday, reflecting on all that Jesus is. If you haven’t yet given Him your burden of sin, or don’t have a Church home, I’d love to talk to you! 

The highlight of my week.

Two years ago, when God laid it on my heart to Homeschool, I was a basket case. I was afraid of what people would think. I was afraid my kids wouldn’t learn to socialize properly(because socializing is the most important thing in the whole wide world….*cough*) I wasn’t sure what to do or where to start. Other than a few Negative Nancy’s, it’s been amazing. I prayed for a Homeschooling Group, and God provided. 

Let me tell you about the highlight of each week for me. Homeschool Group. Now if you’re imagining us decking ourselves out in denim jumpers and reciting the ABC’s, then you’ve got it all wrong. We have a blast. Our kids go off and play together for hours, while we Moms drink coffee and talk. It’s a safe place, where we each get to share our hearts and not be afraid of the “mom judgement.” We are unpretentious and we keep it real. 

Today we got together for our first annual Easter Egg Hunt. My kids weren’t getting along as we tried to get out the door, and I was yelling, “Ya’ll better quit actin’ up or we aren’t goin’ anywhere!” I’m full of it though. I knew we were going. I act like it’s for the kids, but it’s for my sanity too. 

We were blessed with a beautiful day to hunt Easter Eggs! 

  
  
  
    
   
We brought some used books and did a book exchange, so the kids could go home with fresh reading material!   

After lunch, we went back outside, because the weather was just amazing. 

These two little cuties don’t know it yet, but their Mothers have arranged a marriage between them 😉    

 So there you have it. Homeschoolers do have friends and social lives. I don’t own any denim jumpers, but I do have a pair of yoga pants for every occasion. Pick yourself up off the floor. I can’t thank God enough for this special group of ladies and their children. If you’re thinking of Homeschooling, but aren’t sure where to start, I’d be happy to help! I’ll be debunking some Homeschooling and “socialization” myths over the course of my blogging journey!

30 Minute Dinner Rolls

As I’ve mentioned before, we love bread for dinner, but I’m not all about the kneading and prep work. This recipe has been a huge lifesaver, because it’s fast and freezer friendly. It’s nice having dough balls in the freezer to set out whenever dinner rolls are on the meal plan. These are great for Easter and Thanksgiving! The week before Thanksgiving, I mixed, assembled, and froze, then baked at my Mom’s house at the last minute. Someone commented that they were glad that I brought my Mother in Laws dinner rolls, which is a huge compliment, because she Is the bread lady in town! I have to admit, it was nice to say that they were mine 😉 I also shape larger ones for sandwich buns!   
-4 Tablespoons yeast 

-3 1/2 cups warm water(115-120 degrees)

-1 cup oil

-1/2 cup honey 

-3 eggs, lightly beaten 

-few pinches of ginger to condition dough 

-1 tablespoon salt 

-10 1/2 to 12 cups flour 
Add yeast, water, honey and oil to a bowl and stir together. Let mixture rest for 15 minutes. Add eggs, salt, ginger,and 10 1/2 cups flour, and knead for 5 minutes. Add more flour as needed until dough is no longer sticky. 

Immediately shape into egg size rolls.*Place on a greased baking sheet and bake at 425 for 8-10 minutes. Brush with melted butter. 

To freeze:Place freshly shaped rolls onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Freeze until solid, then put in a freezer bag to store. 

On baking day, remove from freezer, place onto greased pan and let rise for 2 hours. I put mine in the oven or microwave with a glass bowl of hot water to make sure the air is warm enough. 

Bake at 425 for 8-10 minutes 

*For sandwich buns, shape into larger rolls, mine are usually about twice the size of an egg. On baking day, let rise as stated above, brush with an egg white mixed with 1 teaspoon water, and cut an “X” shape on top with kitchen scissors. Sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds, and bake at 425 for 11-13 minutes. Brush with melted butter. Let cool slightly before cutting for sandwiches.

  
Recipe from http://moneysavingmom.com/2013/11/30-minute-rolls.html

Photos and wording my own. 

Crockpot Sloppy Joes 

Sloppy Joes go with childhood like chocolate milk and bubble baths. Most kids love them. I think maybe once in our marriage, I’ve picked up one of those cans of sloppy joe sauce that rhymes with “sandwich.” Meh. They are so much better homemade, and I’ll skip the corn syrup in my sandwich, thank you very much. I use half meat/half lentils, to give the kids some extra fiber. They don’t even notice that they’re in there. If the thought of lentils in your sandwich creeps you out, then just use all meat!
Crock Pot Sloppy Joes

-1 pound ground turkey or ground beef

-2 cups cooked lentils, or another pound meat.

-1 1/2 cups natural ketchup 

-1/3 cup brown sugar 

-1/4 cup mustard 

-1/4 cup apple cider vinegar 

-1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce 

– 1 tsp salt 

-1/2 teaspoon onion powder 

-1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 

-1/4 teaspoon paprika 

-1/4 teaspoon pepper 

Brown the meat. Add the meat, lentils, and remaining ingredients to your crock pot. Cook on low for 3-6 hours. 

These are so good! We had ours on homemade sandwich buns(recipe coming tomorrow) and a side of spicy pickles. Our cucumbers went crazy over the summer…The Bearded Man must’ve canned pickles a few times a week…and now we’re the weird couple with a laundry room full of pickles. 

  
Recipe adapted from, http://www.humoroushomemaking.com/crock-pot-sloppy-joes

You’ve gotta check out Stacy’s blog, and her Periscopes! She’s a Homeschooling Mom from Virginia, so I’m a little biased 🙂 

Picture and wording my own. 

Losing the Martyr Mom Mentality 

I’ve done it. You’ve done it.

There are articles and sitcoms devoted to it. 

We Moms like to play the “woe is me” card from time to time. I call it, the “Martyr Mom Mentality.” 

For me, it starts early in the morning; “Poor me, the kids got up before I got my coffee…I really need coffee, because they woke me up a lot last night.” 

“I just cleaned this house last night, now look at it!” 

“I’m tired of changing diapers.”

And then when the Bearded Man gets home, I really like to put on the theatrics. 

“You wouldn’t believe what went on here today!”

“I don’t get any time alone.”

“I have to do everything myself.”

“I’m so tired.”

I’m proud to be a Stay at Home Mom, but I like to complain sometimes. Actually, our culture seems to enjoy complaining about motherhood. How did we get here? Do we think we’re above taking care of our kids? I know there are bad days, and I’m not trying to downplay that. But when did we get the mindset that taking care of our kids, in a warm cozy home, should earn us a metal? 

This has been heavy on my heart, because I had a huge reality check last week. My good friend, Stephanie was over and we were talking about child rearing. I made a comment about messes, and she shared with me how her mindset had changed over the years. You see, 11 years ago, Stephanie lost her beautiful 5 year old daughter, Mattie, to Meningitis. Her story is heartbreaking and amazing. She gently reminded me that waking up to a quiet home, isn’t the bliss that Moms dream of. When we talked last week, what really struck me, is how fast it could all be over. We talk about having “18 years” with our kids, when in reality, we aren’t promised that. We are blessed…so incredibly blessed and privileged to raise these little ones. It must break God’s heart when we complain and act like we’re “imprisoned” by caring for our families. One day, sooner than we think, it could all be over. Those little bedrooms will empty. 

How sad that we are wasting precious time feeling sorry for ourselves. Do our little ones pick up on it? That we feel like Martyrs simply for caring for them? Does it break the woman’s heart who has lost a child too early? Who struggles with infertility? 

Stephanie, I don’t know if you realize the impact you had on me last week, but I am so grateful. That very night, I was tempted to complain about a pile of books my kids left in the living room. Instead I decided to be grateful to have little ones in my home to read books. The Bearded Man and I realized that there are people out there praying to have messes like ours. 

We are put on this Earth to work and serve in one way or another. How blessed I am that God allowed me to serve by being a Mother. 

This job isn’t glamorous, but I’m not above it. 

It’s not easy, but it’s worth it. 

Target can wait.

Coffee with friends can wait. 

The phone can wait. 

These babies aren’t promised to us forever.

I’m not a Martyr for being tired, or missing out on social gatherings to care for a sick child.

I’m not a Martyr for cleaning the kitchen or folding piles and piles of laundry.

I’m not a Martyr for changing diapers, or staying up at night to soothe a fussy baby. My own flesh and blood. 

Don’t feel sorry for me. 

Don’t let me feel sorry for myself. 

Don’t let me act like Martyr.

Pray for me. 

Pray that I can, as Stephanie said, “Stop, take a breather, say a prayer, and thank the Lord for my chaos.”

Psalm 127:3

Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from Him.

I’m gong to take a take breath and thank God for another morning like this one…   

   

Cream Cheese Chicken Chili 

Just when the meteorologists had said that winter was over, and we had all settled in to warm sunny days…last weekend happened. It was cold with rain and snow. Boooooo. The bright side, was that I got to hold on to soup season a little longer! I got this recipe from my friend, Christine. Whenever I go to her house, she and her husband serve up all kinds of yummy food, and they don’t judge me for grazing all evening. Hi, Chris and Christine! I love that everything is in the crockpot in less than 10 minutes. Great to throw in on a busy morning, and come home to an amazing smelling house! 

  
Cream Cheese Chicken Chili 

-2 boneless skinless chicken breasts

-1 can rotel, un-drained 

-1 can corn, un-drained 

-1 can black beans, rinsed and drained 

-2 cups chicken broth 

-1 package ranch seasoning mix

-1 tablespoon chili powder 

-1 teaspoon cumin 

-1 teaspoon garlic powder 

-1 teaspoon onion powder 

-1 block cream cheese (8 ounces)

-Add all ingredients to the crock pot, placing cream cheese on top. Cook on low 6-8 hours. Before serving, take out chicken and shred. Add back in to the crockpot and stir everything until cream cheese is smooth and combined. 

-Serve with sour cream, chips, shredded cheese or rice!