Monday, August 25, 2014

Asian Flair

Last week I mentioned another super easy crockpot dish - 
this one is Asian Inspired
though I am sure that it could win over the most serious American Diet Fan.

Ginger-Garlic Beef

2-3 lb Beef Roast
minced ginger
minced garlic
1/2 c beef broth
1/2 c soy sauce

Place ingredients in crockpot - 
Cook low overnight.
Shred in the morning.
Ready for Sunday afternoon!

This week's menu:
Sunday:  Slow Cooker Pesto Chicken
Monday: Balsamic Marinated Pork with Peach Salsa
Tuesday:  Grilled Chicken with Pineapple-Avocado Salsa
Wednesday:  Salmon
Thursday:  Italian Burgers and Garden Gazpacho
Friday:  Cajun Chicken Breasts
Saturday: Italian-Almond Baked Chicken

Thursday, August 21, 2014


I can't let anniversary week go by without being thankful for my husband and marriage.

I wondered if he would ever come.
I wondered if he even existed.
You know - the man of the wish list ...
the wish list that made no sense and seemed impossible.
military - ooh, a man in uniform,
handy man/mechanic,
in the ministry,
blue eyes (I wouldn't trade the brown ones that I got instead),
short hair,
taller than me (not too hard),
sense of humor (sarcasm anyone?),
no facial hair,
able to carry me over the threshold,
helpless romantic

I wondered if I would be the "old maid teacher" - at the young age of 26 :)

He did come - in God's perfect timing.

I am thankful for 12 years of marriage - 
deployments (3 biggies),
homecomings (3 biggies),
tests (too many to count),
projects (a bunch),
papers (grammar review anyone?),
east (NY and NC),
west (WA),
north (NY and WA),
south (NC).

First Introduction 

 First Date 

Will You? Yes!  

I do! Me, too. 

Twelve Years

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Not Your Heart

Proverbs 28:26 
He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: 
but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.

You've heard it,
seen it on t-shirts,
maybe even said it.
"Follow Your Heart."

Dangerous and unwise words.

My heart is wicked and full of sinful lusts.
My heart wants pleasure, the easy way ...

It is foolish to rule your life based on feelings.

The one who is wise walks in the fear of the Lord.
The way may not be easy.
But it is the path of deliverance.

Follow God's plan, not the feelings of your heart.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A Divided Celebration

Since our 12th Anniversary fell on a Sunday - 
and a busy Sunday at that - 
we divided our celebration between Saturday and Monday.

Both days started with a sleep-in ... woo-hoo 8:00!
Followed by a workout.
Followed by Bible reading.

Saturday we went to Charlotte's farmer's market,
and Chipotle for dinner.

Monday we went to the Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens
and PFChangs for dinner.

Relaxing Days - enjoying each other and thanking God for each year, each experience, and growth shared.

Pictures taken at the Gardens - we are a little disheveled because it was a VERY HOT day!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Dessert? or Breakfast?

Yesterday we had a church dinner.
So much yummy food.
I contributed garlic ginger beef,
veggie fried "rice" (quinoa),
sweet brown rolls made with cashew butter,
fruit salad,

There was a little leftover
and when hubby heard the ingredients
he promptly dubbed it "breakfast."

Breakfast or dessert ...
it is good and relatively healthy.

Peach Blueberry Crisp

4 large peaches, sliced
1 pint blueberries
1 1/2 c almond flour
1 c chopped pecans
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 c coconut oil, melted
1/4 c honey

Layer peaches and blueberries in pie plate.
Combine other ingredients and crumble over fruit.
Bake 45-50 min.  
If topping browns too quickly, cover loosely with foil.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Coming Back

On this thankful Thursday,
I am thankful that our "kids" are coming back.
School starts again next week,
and they will all be with us on Sunday.

I am thankful at the end of the semester
thankful to see the start again.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

A True Friend

Proverbs 28:23 
He that rebuketh a man afterwards shall find more favour 
than he that flattereth with the tongue.

This verse has really captured my attention for the past two weeks.
It seems contrary to my experience,
and yet I know that God's Word is true.

Does it not seem that often a rebuke causes division,
lost friendships,
more hurt?


I thought of two possibilities.
Perhaps the favour is later - the reward of God.
Perhaps the favour is in the eyes of others looking for
"iron sharpening iron" - 
someone who is not afraid of men's (or women's) faces.

Regardless of whether or not I can understand it,
it is true;
and you and I need to rebuke sin when it is necessary.

 a promise of favour ... afterwards.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Ooh, Fungus!

It seems odd to me,
but my hubby likes mushrooms.
Fungus - really?

I do cook with mushrooms occasionally, but not as often as he might like.
Last week, an e-meal came up that included bacon-mushroom balls.
The idea was a meatball with bacon and mushrooms sauteed in diced tomatoes.
I couldn't skip it knowing how hubby would enjoy it,
but ...
I could tweak it.

Gourmet hamburgers anyone?

I took a pound of ground beef.
Added crumbles of 5 cooked pieces of bacon.
Added 8 oz of finely diced mushrooms.
Added desired seasonings - I used Worcestershire sauce and Italian Seasoning.
Mixed together.
Shaped into 4 patties.

I don't like mushrooms,
but these burgers were phenomenal.
Steakhouse quality, I guarantee.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Don't Heat Up the House

It has actually been a fairly mild summer in NC.
We have had our bursts of heat,
but all in all - the breaks have kept it tolerable.
We do make an effort to save on cooling costs - 
one - the AC does not run between 7:30 am and 3:00 pm.
two - we try to grill as much as possible.

We have enjoyed the sweet corn immensely this year.
I pick up 4-8 ears on my shopping trip and we enjoy it once or twice until the next week.
In order to keep the house cool ... we grill it with our meat.
The other perk is that it is already buttered and doesn't make a mess at the table.

Take the husked corn.
Place on aluminum foil.
Dot with butter.
Season with garlic salt and Parmesan cheese (or your choice of spices)
Wrap tightly so butter won't ooze out.
Throw on grill.
Heat 12 minutes turning once halfway through.

I know - some of you have to cook so much meat that there is no room for grilled corn,
but for this family of 2 - it is a great option.

This week's menu:
Sunday:  Grilled Chicken and Corn / Fruit Salad
Monday: Tilapia, rice, and green salad
Tuesday: Chicken Kabobs and Rice
Wednesday: Taco Salad
Thursday: Breakfast for Dinner (Pancakes - I think)
Friday: Sausage Pasta
Saturday: Steakhouse Meatloaf

Saturday, August 9, 2014


I am a snacker ... a grazer ... a muncher ...
probably the biggest reason that I have to workout so much
and that I struggle with fluctuating weight.

I have changed my snacks greatly ...
more fruit, crackers, cheese ...
hopefully stuff with some nutritional value.
Less chips, candy, ...

While perusing a magazine this morning,
I saw a code for a free "Graze" box.
Healthy snacks.
I have no idea how big or small it will be,
but they did allow me to opt out of anything that had gluten, or dairy, or spicy ...

Would you like a free box.
Sign up using this code and get a free box - 
they will require a credit card for your "next" box - 
but if you are like me, you will opt out by that point.
They said that opt out was available online which is another plus.

If three people sign up with my code ...
I get another free box :)

Thursday, August 7, 2014


I am just about finished with an autobiography.
It is a story about a woman who lived her life from age 11 in an "Iron Lung."
She was struck with polio in 1948 and lived until 2009.
I picked up the book because the author lived just down the street from where I sit.
She died just 7 months after we arrived in NC.
I pass her house each day on my walk.

The book has reminded me to be thankful for life
and for the automatic things that a healthy body does without one thought from me.
It also reminds me to enjoy each day that I have.

I am thankful for a body that is "fearfully and wonderfully made."
I am thankful for sustaining breath.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014


Isaiah 32:17-18
 And the work of righteousness shall be peace; 
and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.
 And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, 
and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places;

Thinking on this verse currently.
While speaking of the millennial kingdom,
I believe that the principal can apply today.

Practice righteous living ...
Get peace and quietness.

Who doesn't want a tranquil existence?
Follow God's plan and not your own.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Small Changes

I told you that I was looking for a different color for my garden table.
Something fun and bright.
I ended up with fun, bright ... and totally different from my norm.

Citrus Green anyone?

There was a small change made to the porch as well.
I wonder if any of my nieces and nephews can compare last Tuesday's porch picture
to this Tuesday's picture and find the difference.

Last Week

This Week

Maybe you saw it right away.

* The post caps were changed *
The small wood ones from Lowes warped and started to split -
now we have larger plastic ones -
unfortunately they are darker than the deck floor,
but at least they will protect the posts.

Monday, August 4, 2014

In the Kitchen

It is tomato time.
I am enjoying tomatoes at every meal and as a snack.

Alone, broiled, in salad ...
 Soon I will be canning them.

What crop are you enjoying right now?

This week's menu:
Sunday: Ginger Garlic Beef Roast
Monday: BBQ Pork Chops
Tuesday: Beef and Rice Casserole
Wednesday: Orange Chicken Salad
Thursday: Mushroom Bacon Balls
Friday:  Kabobs
Saturday:  Steakhouse Meatloaf