Thursday, March 18, 2010

Living in my season

There is nearly not a day that goes by when one of my girlfriends reminds me (Or I remind her ) that this is only for a season. ((One of my very best friends has a newborn. You know how much she needs to hear that! :))) When I was breastfeeding every 2 hours weather the sun was up or not, I really cherished these words knowing that this would not last forever. I would sleep again...someday.

Its a comfort in bad times. That trials and tribulations in this life will pass and a new season will rise in its place.

I live in Ohio, so we have seasons galore. I love each and every one of them. We are now headed into the lovely days of spring. New buds are poking through the soil and the air is warm enough for the kids to start whining that they don't want to wear a jacket. I love the season of new growth and limitless possibilities.

So why do I not feel that way in my everyday life? I am so quick to tell myself that it is only for a season, but am I really living in my season?

When my babies are small and I am physically and mentally worn to the bone, am I cherishing the season as well? Living in the season means realizing that this time of wanting to be held all the time will pass. In the blink of an eye. Being replaced by a squirming, talking toddler that I wish would just let me hold them again.

My toddler crying out to play just one more game or one more book when I have a sink full of dishes is only for a season as well. Soon there will be shut bedroom doors and refusal to talk. How I will wish that I read Green Eggs and Ham again or I passed the land of the sugar fairies for the hundredth time.

I have really been convicted the last couple weeks of living in my season and not just enduring it. Enjoying where my kids are NOW but also knowing that these challenges will pass. Its a hard thing to do when the phone is ringing, a little diva is crying and my toddler is pounding on his tool bench....and my nerves.

Dear Lord, Please help me to live in my season and not just endure it to the next. Help me to see the joy in each new moment, even the tough ones!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Works for me Wednesday: Celebrating St. Patricks Day!

I always try to make each month special for my kids. This includes decorating, doing fun crafts and activities and of course cooking! I thought I would share some "Irish" recipes to make today really seem like St. Patricks Day!!!

Shepherd's Pie

1 1/3 cups instant mashed potato buds
1/2/3 cup milk
2 Tbs butter
1 tsp salt, divided
1 lb ground beef
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 jar, 12 ounces beef gravy
1 package (10 ounces) frozen mixed veggies, thawed and drained
3/4 cups grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat broiler. Prepare 4 servings of mashed potatoes according to package directions using milk, butter and 1/2 tsp of salt.

While mashed potatoes are cooking, brown meat in medium broiler proof skillet over medium high heat, stirring to separate meat. Drain drippings. Sprinkle meat with remaining 1/2 tsp salt and pepper. Add gravy and veggies. Mix well. Cook over medium-low heat 5 minutes or until hot.

Spoon prepared potatoes around outside edge of skillet, leaving 3-inch circle in center. Sprinkle cheese evenly over potatoes. Broil 4 to 5 inches from heat source 3 minutes or until cheese is golden brown and meat mixture is bubbly.

Shamrock Smoothies

1 ripe banana, peeled and cut into chunks
1 cup ice cubes
3/4 cup apple juice
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp orange extract
2 or 3 drops green food coloring

Place banana, ice cubes, apple juice, yogurt, extracts and food coloring in blender or food processor. Blend until smooth and frothy. Pour into glasses and garnish with mints or cookies.

For more great WFMW ideas check out We are That Family!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Menu Plan Monday- last cold day recipes

I have to say that I am ready to break out the outside grill, butter up some corn on the cob and start eating from our garden! So I have decided to use these last weeks of cold to bake and crock pot! You guys know that I love simple and easy and the Lemon Herb chicken recipe could not be any more simple. Happy Eating Y'all!!!

Monday: Lemon herb grilled chicken (Recipe @ bottom) over rice, grilled asparagus, salad

Tuesday: Crock Pot Pork Chops , butter noodles, broccoli

Wednesday: Shepherd Pie with Shamrock smoothies for dessert (Recipe posted on Wednesday)

Thursday: Baked ziti, salad, garlic bread

Friday: Pizza Night!

Saturday: Marinated brisket sandwich's, mac and cheese, green beans

Sunday: Leftover Buffet- If its in the fridge, you can eat it but mama's not cookin!

Lemon Herb Grilled Chicken

1 3/4 cups Swanson® Chicken Stock
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon dried basil leaves, crushed
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves, crushed
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 chicken breast halves, skin removed

Stir the stock, lemon juice, basil, thyme and black pepper in a small bowl.

Lightly oil the grill rack and heat the grill to medium. Grill the chicken for 35 minutes or until it's cooked through, turning the chicken over halfway through cooking and brushing often with the stock mixture. Discard the remaining stock mixture.