Author: ssours86

When God Asks Me to Wait. 

A few years ago, the Bearded Man designated a spot in the backyard as a wild flower patch for the kids and me. While we watched him sprinkle the seeds, he warned that they wouldn’t be up that season, but the next. He went on to say, “These aren’t going to grow in Shandi’s time, you have to be patient.” Um yea, I have quite the reputation of not wanting to wait on anything. 

I’ve struggled with this my whole life. Some of the dumbest things I’ve done, revolved around taking the instant gratification over waiting for what God had in store. 

I’m in a season of waiting right now. There are several things we are praying for as a family. I have a terrible tendency of giving God suggestions and helpful hints on how my life should go, and the timeline He should do it in. You might be laughing, because you do the same thing, or you might be aghast because that is so prideful of me. 

I know it is. What in the world makes me think that I know better than the God who created me? He already has my days numbered and goes before me, and yet I get antsy when he’s not taking my “helpful suggestions.” 

I’ve had the Lauren Daigle song, “Trust in You”, playing over and over in our house, because the words are exactly my hearts cry right now. 

I’m tired, I’m emotional, and I’m getting discouraged. I’ve been a Believer most of my life, and yet I still struggle in trusting God to handle the most delicate parts of my life. 

My health. 

My finances.

My future.

My kids…

Sure, I talk big to others about trusting God. Talk is so cheap. When anxiety starts taking over, and fear grips my heart to the point where my family can see terror in my eyes…that’s when I know deep down that I’m not fully trusting God. 

It hurts to lay out my failures, but how my unbelief must hurt Him so much more. 

I admit, the day my Husband planted the wildflowers and said it would take a whole year, I thought, “Puh! What’s the point if we can’t enjoy them this year?” 

Ugh, I really don’t like to wait. 

But once they came up, they came up beautifully. My kids and I have gotten so much enjoyment over the past few summers from those flowers. I’ve had memories of flower picking with my kids and mason jars full of beautiful bouquets thanks to waiting for them to come up. 

I found this little beauty waiting for me this morning, despite the frosts and cold nights we’ve had this week.

I wish this post was about how I’ve arrived and overcome this issue. 

Not even close.

Prayers are so greatly appreciated as I struggle in this hard season of waiting. If you struggle in this area, I’d love to pray for you as well! 

“But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”

Isaiah 40:31 

Why I moped around today.

Why I moped around today.

When I started blogging, I decided that I’d never write out of obligation, just for the sake of posting every day. I don’t want this blog to be full of “fluff.” This summer was great, but left me a little worn down and with not much to say…Until…

Well, I turn 30 tomorrow, and I have a lot to say about it. 

Now, to all of you in your 40’s, 50’s and beyond, 30 is laughable. But today, I’m not laughing. 

Nor was I was this morning, when I spent a lot of time moping around. I’m so ashamed…

The Bearded Man finally called me out on it. He’ll be 40 in February, so he has little sympathy for my plight. He asked what was stressing me out so much, and it was hard to pinpoint exactly what it was. I shared that a lot of it was knowing that my “prime” is over. My prime childbearing years are coming to an end in 5-10 years. I’ll never look as good as I did “back then”, and frankly I didn’t even look that good back then. 😂  Can I have a do over?

 Don’t even get me started on the rapid slowing of my metabolism, and the collection of extra weight in the wrong places. I shared with my healthcare provider recently, that losing weight is so stinkin’ hard compared to 5-10 years ago. She gave me a knowing nod. When I shared my anxieties with The Bearded Man, he quickly replied in his southern accent, “Babe, just cuz ya turn 30, doesn’t mean ya gotta let yourself go!” He’s so right. He loves me no matter what, but I don’t have to let myself go. I’ll just have to walk a little more. Cut back on portions. Be more vigilant with the anti-aging products. Please tell that’s all I need to do…😊

I think my anxieties are stemming from feeling like it’s all “downhill” from here. I’m getting older. My kids are growing up way too fast. We haven’t built our dream house yet. We aren’t debt free yet. I haven’t done this or that…

But then, God gently started reminding me of all that I have accomplished with His grace and mercy. 

I’ve had the privilege of walking with God most of my life. He’s never abandoned me, even when I pushed Him away. He’s kept His loving hand on my life, even when I’ve struggled with fear and unbelief. Amazing love. 


I’ve been married to the love of my life for almost 10 years. We’ve surpassed the national average on how long most marriages last. We have our problems, but I can honestly say, marriage is getting better everyday. He loves me unconditionally and has never threatened to leave. I would’ve left me a long time ago. My heart still flutters a little when his truck pulls in the driveway in the evenings. There’s nothing like curling up with him at the end of a hard day. 

I’ve been blessed with 3 beautiful children on this Earth and 1 in heaven. Many women at my age are still questioning whether they will ever get to be Mother’s. My children make me crazy and bring me so much joy and happiness. I became a Mom at 22, and it was the best day of my life. 


There’s no doubt in my mind, that God made me a to be a Mother. We ordered Chinese tonight, and ate it outside to soak up the beautiful weather. These kiddos are so precious, and I can’t imagine life without them. 


I don’t have a brag worthy career, or a big pay-check, but I get to be both their Mother and their Educator. That is such a privilege, and I don’t take it lightly. Homeschooling is hard, and the paycheck stinks, but I am so incredibly blessed to be able to do it. 


I don’t have the body of my dreams, and it’s not likely I will anytime soon, but I’m healthy. I can take care of my kids, clean the house, go for walks, even run a little (just don’t make me), and I’m just fine. Praise God for good health, because not everyone has that in their lives. 

We may not have built our dream home, but we own a home. That in itself is a huge blessing and accomplishment. It keeps us safe and warm, and is full of laughter and too many toys. I wouldn’t have it any other way. 

We aren’t debt free yet, partly to our bad choices and partly to circumstances beyond our control, but we are working towards it together. We have a common goal in mind, and don’t fight about money. We just don’t have any. 😎

I haven’t traveled as many places as I imagined I would, but I have built a life I don’t feel like I need a vacation from. Sure, we enjoy the occasional weekend trip, but my life isn’t a constant state of waiting to “get away from it all.” 

We have friends and family that love and support us. I don’t surround myself with a slew of people, but have built quality relationships. 

By posting all of this, I’m not trying to humble-brag, but genuinely give God the glory for what He  has allowed in my 30 years. I know with His grace and mercy, my future doesn’t have to go “downhill” but as Tim McGraw once sang, “My next 30 years will be the best years of my life!”

That will be in your head all evening now. You’re welcome. 

Here’s to turning 30! 

Zucchini “Crab” Cakes with a freezer option! 

Zucchini “Crab” Cakes with a freezer option! 

It’s that time of year again! I am busy in the kitchen putting produce from our garden in the freezer or canning to store in the basement. Saturday, the Bearded Man helped me can 55 half pints of pizza sauce. I also woke up to this outlandish amount of zucchini.

Over the past couple weeks, we’ve had zucchini banana bread, cheesy zucchini garlic bread, zucchini pasta, zucchini chicken stir fry….it goes on and on..:but this recipe for “crab” cakes is by far our favorite! We have about 80 of them in the freezer so far, with plans to make more! It’s so nice to pull out a bag on busy nights for a fast and CHEAP dinner! They are filling enough to serve as the main dish, which allows us to go meatless more often. 
Zucchini “Crab” Cakes

-1 egg beaten 

-2 tablespoons melted butter 

-1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning 

-2 tablespoons dried minced onion*

-1 cup Italian style bread crumbs 

-2 1/2 cups shredded zucchini 

In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together until combined. Use a heavy duty spoon or your hands. Mixture will look like this:


Shape mixture into patties. You can either fry immediately or place onto parchment lined baking sheets and freeze**


To fry; Heat oil in a large skillet and fry over medium heat until both sides are browned. Drain on a plate lined with paper towels. 


Alternately, you can bake in a 400 degree oven for 12-15 minutes on each side. 


We had ours with corn and crockpot Cowboy Beans, yum!

*You can also use freshly chopped onions. My family doesn’t like the taste of fresh onions in their food, so I stick with the dried stuff. 😊

**Freeze on parchment paper in a jelly roll pan until they are frozen solid. Then transfer to a freezer bag. You don’t need to thaw before frying, just be very careful when placing in the oil! 

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God answered my question. 

God answered my question. 

“Many are the plans in a person’s heart,
but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”Proverbs 19:21 
As many of you know, we bought a small house in 2006 when the housing market was booming and prices were through the roof. We bought with the intent to fix it up and resell before we had children. 

And then Keira was born. And then a second baby. Then a third. 

Now we haven’t just sat back waiting for God to stick a for sale sign in the yard. 

We’ve worked our tails off trying to get things looking nice. Every couple years we discuss putting it on the market. I even had a Realtor here last week. With every step we take, we hit a brick wall and God has shut the door. It’s either been a financial issue, something major that needs fixing, the market value being too low that year, trying to figure out how to take such a huge loss on the house. We know we will never get back what we paid for the house, and it’s been a hard pill to swallow. 

Last week was one of the worst weeks of my life. Something went wrong everyday. The list of things the Realtor gave us to do was overwhelming, and the starting price she put on the house left a lot to be desired on our parts. 

On Tuesday, I checked on my son while he was taking a nap, and knew right away something wasn’t right. His body was crooked and he had a strange fixed gaze. He didn’t move or blink when I waved my hands in front of his face. I was terrified. After what seemed to be hours on the ambulance and at the hospital, Elijah woke up and reached for me. It turns out, he had a febrile seizure, and may never have one again. It shook me up though.


I won’t go into every detail of what happened the rest of the week, but I was ready for it to be over. 


I sat in Church yesterday listening to Pastor Mike’s sermon on people who were struggling with their circumstances, just like I was. 

I was thinking over everything that happened last week, and I was so thankful that my son was still alive, and that we had a home to live in. But part of me was still struggling with issues that needed to be resolved and with the fact God had shut another door on us. Pastor Mike encouraged us to ask God questions, so that’s what I did. And He answered last night, just not how I had hoped. 

We had a hectic afternoon, and had to face some things that needed to be dealt with from a few days ago. God worked in both mine and my Husband’s hearts, and told us we needed to show grace in the situation. 

I never want to use this blog to feign perfection and spirituality, so I’m just gonna be honest. Showing grace isn’t one of my strong points. I’m sorry to say that the world and my lack of surrendering my hurts to God, has left me rough around the edges. I don’t get sad, I get angry. I put up walls. I hold back a lot, but goodness I’m glad nobody can see my thoughts. 
While I packed the Bearded Man’s lunch, and thought over the craziness of the last week, God firmly answered my question from that morning. 

In the almost 10 years we’ve lived here, I haven’t led a single person to Christ. Sure, I’ve invited people to Church, or baked cookies for neighbors a few times. My heart wasn’t really in it though. I’ve been going through the motions. I haven’t had a burden for the souls of my neighborhood that I should. I’m not talking about walking around with a Bible and knocking on doors. I’m talking about getting to know my neighbors, helping to meet their needs, showing them the love of Christ, and praying for them each and everyday. I get numb to the knowledge that Hell is real, and that so many people are teetering on the edge of spending eternity there. I forget that not everyone is living in a safe home full of love like we are. I walk around with the knowledge of Christ, but keep it to myself. 

So He answered my question. 

Why would He send us somewhere else, when our work here isn’t even remotely finished

I was hit with the realization, that life isn’t about where I want to live, or us getting a bigger house. None of that matters when we look at it from an eternal perspective. 

I discussed everything with my Husband and he wholeheartedly agreed. We came to the conclusion that for now, we will bloom where we are planted. When things get tight, we’ll remember that God’s plan is so much bigger than the one we have for ourselves. We’ll teach our kids that when things get hard, you don’t pick up and move, you stay and work it out. No matter where we go, we’re still who we are. A bigger house, a new neighborhood, a new Church or moving to a new state, doesn’t change that. A change of scenery doesn’t change our issues, because we are still the same prideful creatures in need of a Savior wherever we go. The issues resurface, just in a different zip code. The only thing that can change our hearts is Christ. And He can do that right where we are. 

My tendency to hole myself up in my home and forget about what’s going on around me, is something I can ask God to help me with here and now. Not later, when I feel like my circumstances are better. 

So for those of you who ask when we’ll sell this or build a new house…I really don’t know. 

For now, He has made it obvious it’s not the time, and we are surrendering our plans to God. 

I’m so thankful that God has blessed me with a talented Husband that has built shelving in every nook and cranny in order to make this house functional. I’ll have to trust God that if He blesses us with more children, we’ll find the room in this little house to make it work. I have peace in knowing that when the door opens to leave, I won’t have to pry it open myself, but God will open it widely for us. And when we do leave, it can be with a clear conscience, that we wholeheartedly finished what God put us here to do. 

DIY Sidewalk Chalk Paint

DIY Sidewalk Chalk Paint

One of the fun things about being a Homeschool family, is that we are always looking for new ways to learn and review what we’ve learned. The boys are still none the wiser, but Keira has caught on. We’ll be mid activity, and she’ll say, “We’re learning, aren’t we?”
Bahaha. I came across this awesome activity on Instagram, and we decided to try it right away. One of my favorite things about our home, is our large back patio. It’s the perfect spot for sidewalk chalk, so I knew sidewalk chalk paint would be awesome too! 

You will need: 

-1 cup cornstarch 

-1 cup water 

-food coloring 

-muffin tin 

-paint brushes 

Whisk the cornstarch and water in a glass bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds, and whisk again until smooth. 


Ladle mixture into a muffin tin. We were able to fill up 9 holes. 

Add food coloring to each hole. 

We had fun with this, and it was great review for mixing colors. 


Aren’t those colors beautiful? 

Paint on a sidewalk, driveway or patio. 


The kids loved this, and I may have even painted a little 😁

That face 💜

We had some old medicine droppers, and the kids had fun making the paint “rain” on the patio. 


The paint came off easily by spraying the patio down with a hose! 

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Crock-Pot Fajitas 

Confession time: I made this recipe a week and a half ago, and am just now posting. I’m not sorry 🙂 You see, I’ve had a secret obsession that has consumed my thoughts and every minute of my “spare time” the past couple weeks. 

“Dear Mr. Knightley.” 

I started the book a couple months ago, and just read here and there when I got the chance. Somewhere halfway in, I got hooked. I just had to find out who the true identity of Mr. Knightley was, and if my hunch was right. I finished yesterday, and thought life would continue as normal…

Except for I just started reading “The Shoemaker’s Wife” 

Ugh, I remember now why I avoid starting books. I struggle with moderation and balance. 

Anyway…

Here’s an awesome recipe for Crock-Pot Fajitas! Everything goes in the Crock-Pot in about 10 minutes and you’re done! 


Crock-Pot Fajitas

-1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, thinly sliced 

-2 green peppers, sliced 

-1 onion, sliced 

-1 tablespoon olive oil 

-2 tablespoons lime juice 

-2 tablespoons fajita seasoning 

Spray your slow cooker with cooking spray, and place sliced chicken in the bottom. Drizzle olive oil and lime juice on top. Sprinkle with fajita seasoning.


If you’re local, you’ll know exactly where this seasoning came from! You can’t beat 80 cents a bottle for spices! 


Place peppers and onions on top of chicken. 


Cook on low for 6-7 hours. 

Stir and serve on tortillas with rice! 

The kids are tucked into bed and I’m off to read “The Shoemaker’s Wife” 

What are you reading right now? Do you binge read until it’s finished? 

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How to make Homemade Funnel Cakes 

There are certain things that I associate with summer, that have just become a right of passage during these short 3 months. Swimming, watching Dirty Dancing, camping, making S’mores and funnel cakes! 
When the Bearded Man and I were dating, we used to split funnel cakes at the Fair. Back then, I was still putting on airs, and acting like I couldn’t eat half a pizza at once. So yea, we’d split food, and I’d act all full, and then go home and raid the fridge. Now that he’s stuck with me for life, I’m not sharing my funnel cake with anybody. 

Since we have a large-ish family now, I’d have a conniption if we had to pay 5 dollars a pop for funnel cakes. It’s just not happening. Thankfully they are very fast and easy to make at home! This was the perfect end to a fun weekend! 

Homemade Funnel Cakes 

-2 eggs

-1 1/2 cups milk

-3 Tablespoons sugar 

-2 cups all-purpose flour 

-1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 

-1/2 teaspoon salt 

Vegetable oil

Powdered sugar 

Strawberries 

Fill a large round frying pan with vegetable oil, making the oil about 2 inches deep. Turn heat to medium, and allow oil to heat to 360 degrees. 

Whisk eggs, milk and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add flour, baking powder and salt, and whisk until combined. 

Measure 1/2 cup of batter into a funnel, covering the hole of the funnel with your finger. 

Place your funnel over the hot oil and remove your finger. As batter runs into the oil, make a circle with designs in the middle, connecting everything together. I had fun with this part!

Fry about 1-2 minutes, or until golden brown. Using tongs, carefully flip and fry for 1 more minute. 

Drain on a plate lined with paper towels and continue with the rest of the batter. 

Sprinkle powdered sugar and strawberries over the funnel cakes. 


Serve! 

This was one happy little redhead! 


Due to the messiness of the sugar, I don’t recommend eating these while wearing a black sundress. Not that I would know or have experience in that area….

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Recipe credit: http://www.handletheheat.com/homemade-funnel-cakes/

Photos and wording my own.