Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I can't believe he is 4 years old

IMG_2508 copyConnor turned 4 on Sunday.  I cannot believe he is that old. I found out I was pregnant with him shortly after we moved here.  It was such a sweet surprise as we were fully expecting it to take awhile after our years of infertility before Cole.  I cannot imagine our family without Connor. All three boys have their unique personalities, but with Caleb and Cole having similarities, Connor tends to be the most different from his brothers.  I used to say he was my quiet one, but he has proved me wrong on that one in the last several months.  While his brothers prefer to be outside and constantly moving, Connor would be perfectly content staying inside all day.  His perfect day would probably be playing on the computer or watching TV all day, but that is not allowed and is often the source of whining from this little guy.

Connor's favorite thing to do these days is try to read.  Cole is reading and Connor wants to so bad.  I am working with him on it, but he gets so frustrated when he doesn't get it so we are taking it slow. 

We had a big birthday lunch for him Sunday.  I asked him what he wanted and after he made sure there was going to be cake of some sort, he said "Sow-wood (salad) with some 'matoes and carwots."  He cracks me up!  Moms, don't be too jealous, he doesn't always eat his veggies.

I took this picture of him Sunday in a brief moment that I got him to look up from his Leapster.  He got 2 new games for his birthday from us and his friend and was beyond excited to play them.  Of course, on a normal day, he is either not allowed to play or it's severely limited, so it was a major bonus to him that he pretty much had unlimited play time for his birthday.

I love you, Connor James! You will always be the best Valentine present I ever received! I can hardly wait to see what this year holds.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Who will be Jesus to them today?

As I was driving home this evening from a quick trip to Walmart that ended a very long day, I heard a caller on K-LOVE say "Who will be Jesus to them today?" To be honest, I didn't hear what they were previously talking about or why she called in.  She shared a simple story of how she made a passing comment to a stranger which turned into a conversation.  It turns out this stranger was new in her town, had moved there 3 months ago, and had met no one.  The new acquaintance was so grateful for a possible new friend.  The caller went on to say how we never know how what we say or do will affect someone and ended the call by saying "Who will be Jesus to them today?"

I've not been able to get this phrase out of my mind. I realized after hearing this that I didn't even make eye contact with anyone during my shopping trip.  I am certain I didn't show Jesus to my children most of the day.  I was short with my husband. I am guilty, as many of us are, of writing this day off as "just one of those days."  But what if there was someone who needed to see Jesus today and I simply wasn't in the mood.  How selfish of me!

So, how do I be Jesus to those around me?  What does that even mean?  I started searching some scriptures and came to many that share who Jesus is, but this passage in Philippians 2 really sticks out to me in answering my questions.  I love how The Message paraphrases verses 14-16,

Do everything readily and cheerfully�no bickering, no second-guessing
allowed! Go out into the world uncorrupted, a breath of fresh air in
this squalid and polluted society. Provide people with a glimpse of
good living and of the living God.
Carry the light-giving Message into
the night so I'll have good cause to be proud of you on the day that
Christ returns. You'll be living proof that I didn't go to all this
work for nothing.

For those of us who are familiar with this verse know it as the "do everything without complaining" passage.  Yes, I was guilty of complaining today, but I think there is more to these words.  If we truly did everything cheerfully, without complaint, uncorrupted, we wouldn't allow our witness to be ruined by "bad days."  We would be "breath of fresh air" and "provide people with a glimpse of the living God."

It's hard for me to imagine that Jesus walked in this world for 33 years without ever allowing His circumstances compromise who He was.  Yet, I truly believe He didn't.  We know Jesus got mad, we know He needed time alone, and we KNOW He had bad things happen.  But we also know He never stopped loving people. I have to stop letting my circumstances of the moment control who I am.  Because who I am in Christ doesn't change.  I simply allow my witness to be hidden and even hurt at times. 

So, who am I?  I am a follower of Christ.  I am child of God. I am a friend of Jesus. I am a daughter and a princess.  I am free. I am loved.  I am called to be an imitator of Christ.  How many people do I come into contact on a regular basis have no idea they can be these things too?

I CAN show a glimpse of Jesus by simply remembering who I am and remembering who He is.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Mini Meatloaves were a BIG hit last night

Mini meatloavesIt's not often that I can say everyone in my house cleaned their plates, but last night's dinner was a big hit.  I made mini meatloaves (or 'big meatballs" as Cole called them).  As usual, I looked at a few recipes and then started cooking without writing down what I did.  Since these were received so warmly, I decided I better try to remember what I did so I could make these again one day.  So here goes...

Mini Meatloaves

1 egg

1 cup milk

2/3 cup oats (old fashioned or quick ones work)

1 cup grated Cheddar Jack cheese (use whatever cheese you have on hand here)

1 carrot, grated (I used my micro plainer for so it was very fine)

1/2 onion, finely diced or grated

1 garlic clove, minced

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef


1 cup ketchup

1 tbsp yellow mustard

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 tsp Worcestershire

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp lemon juice

Preheat your oven to 350 F.  Lightly grease or spray a muffin pan.

In a large mixing bowl, lightly beat your egg.  Then, pour in the oats, milk, cheese, carrots, garlic, salt, and pepper.  Mix together and let sit for 5-10 minutes so the oats soak up some of the liquid. Next add in the ground beef.  You're going to have get your hands in there and mix it up really good. Once it's all mixed together, form the meat into 12 balls and put them into your muffin pan.  They should fill the muffin cups.  Put them in preheated oven for 30 minutes.

While the meatloaves are cooking, mix together your glaze.  Stir ketchup, mustard, brown sugar, Worcestershire, onion powder, and lemon juice.  Once your meat has cooked for 30 minutes, spoon some glaze on each loaf.  Then, return to the oven for 15 more minutes.

Inspired by this recipe, Mini Meatloves, at

Please keep in mind I rarely measure anything unless I am baking, so I don't think you can really mess these up.  I made Mashed Potatoes and Maple Dill Carrots (this is the best carrot recipe ever) with them.  I tried something new with the potatoes too.  A few weeks ago, I made Pioneer Woman's Creamy Mashed Potatoes and they are scrumptious, but I wanted to lighten it up a little. I used Greek yogurt instead of cream cheese, lowfat milk instead of cream, and a little less butter.  They were so yummy!

Greek yogurt is a new friend to me. It's a great substitute for sour cream or cream cheese in recipes.  I can't seem to find it at our local grocery store.  I get it at Natural Grocers in Amarillo, which is my new favorite store as we are trying to eat organic and natural (basically no chemicals).

For dessert, the boys had plain yogurt with blueberries and honey.  They love this! I like it because it's healthy, cheap, and easy.