Beef and Barley Stew

1 ½ lb. Stew Meat (browned)
1 Med Onion (browned)
3 Large Carrots
1 cup Pear Barley
1 Celery Heart with leaves and 1 stalk celery
2 Red Potatoes Peeled
1 Cup Frozen Green Beans
1 Tsp Oregano
1 Tsp Parsley
1 Tsp Thyme
2 Small (15 oz) Cans Tomato Sauce
4 Cups Water
2 Beef Bullion Cubes
1 Can Low Sodium Beef Broth

Brown the meat and onions. Season the raw meat with using half the seasonings.
Throw browned meat and all the other ingredients in crock pot on low for 4-5 hrs. Cook on high for another two hours or until veggies and meat are tender. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a slice of whole wheat artisan bread.
Good source of protein and fiber!



I cleaned out my fridge. And that's really all there is to say about that.



So I usually get to do my blogging when the kids are in bed.  It is always fun to discover that not only were you tired and having a brain freeze and can't spell anything in your post, but you also forgot to use spell check.  So my apologies to those who suffer through those late night posts, I do go back and correct them once I realize what I have done.  I know I have some writers who read my blog.  So... this one is for you...SORRY I butcher the English Language!


Memorial Weekend

So this past weekend the guys have been hunting and the gals have all been hanging out.  Every year my husband and his dad, grandpa, uncle and the brother and cousins-in-law go varmint hunting.  Yep, I said varmint, like the old bugs bunny cartoons.  Anyway, the gals don't usually all hang out, but this year we did and it was really fun.  We would meet up for lunch or dinner and all eat and Great Grandma's and visit. 
 I got some good video of everyone singing (my 11 mo. old is also joining in).  It is so precious to me to see this great heritage.  Here is a Ministry Family who has produced Ministry Families, who have also produced Ministry Families and they are all together singing hymns.  It just kind of makes you think, 'man, it is all worth it to see this'.  I'm so grateful that my kids are part of this family heritage.  
And Great Grandma sitting there in the middle just singing away like she is the only one in the room.  After all these years, still loving the Lord.  
After our days at Grandma Dar's my sister-in -law Noelle, has been coming to our house for a few nights to stay with me and my boys.  Usually when she comes to WA to visit she stays with her parents so we don't get to have her here, but this time she got to spend some time here.  What fun it was to have her! Hopefully, my kids didn't scare her away.  She was kind enough to watch them while I did the bulletin for church and they were being a little difficult (Sunday is our toughest day of the week!)  They get loud and mommy gets cranky, it's a real fun time!  Ok Ok, I'm difficult too.  But thanks to Noelle the bulletin was finished and mommy had a minute to get her attitude in check before church ;0)  Which was good, because after church the clan came back to my house for lunch.  We threw together a pasta salad with ingredients on hand and everyone seemed to just love it!  I think most of us had thirds ;0)

Here is the Salad:
16 oz. Fun Shaped Pasta
1 Roma Tomato
1/2 Cucumber (with skin on) 
1 can Garbanzo Beans
1/2 can Black Olives (cut in thirds)
1/3 c. Asparagus (cut thin on the diagonal)
1/2 Red Pepper
1/3 c. Sheep's Feta
1 tbsp Italian Seasoning
2 tsp Lemon Juice
~Drizzle with Olive Oil and Balsamic vinegar to lightly coat add more vinegar to taste.
~Salt and Pepper to taste.


The House

So we have picked up a few pieces of furniture and have been trying to incorporate the old with the new and have it look somewhat cohesive. I have been cohorting with friends over the phone and e-mailing pictures asking advice and what not. So here is what it looks like to date. I stopped in a local shop and asked some advice and they told me to just keep adding layers, so here is layer 2? or maybe just 1-1/2 . The biggest challenge has been finding a place for everything since we got rid of all our storage pieces. We still have a few things stacked on the floor, but most of it seems to be finding a new home slowly. I'm posting these mostly for Nome so she doesn't have to get 15 e-mails from me with pics asking what she thinks ;0)

Kitchen: Just realized I have my broken pizza stone in the picture, oops.

Grandma's Secretary Desk:

The Kid Corner:

The TV:
Window Seating:


Loved it so much!

So I was Blog surfing and found this video. I just loved the crafting and music together as well as the mood of the music. I don't love all the lyrics...it is such a cool video I just had to share...


Quote of the Week!

To live content with small means;
to seek elegance rather than luxury,
and refinement rather than fashion;
to be worthy, not respectable,
and wealthy, not rich;
to study hard,
think quietly,
talk gently,
act frankly;
to listen to stars and birds,
to babes and sages,
with open heart;
to bear all cheerfully,
do all bravely,
await occasions,
hurry never.
In a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious,
grow up through the common.
This is to be my symphony.
William Henry Channing


Truly a blessing...

So this morning in Sunday School we were talking about Memorials and people got the opportunity to share their testimonies (memorials) of when they were saved.  What a blessing!  So fun to hear from so many people in our church who I admire, and then to hear about their life and how God used little seeds planted over YEARS to draw them to Himself.  What a loving and patient God.  I was truly blessed by this weeks Sunday School.  And no one got into icky details of their sin before they found God.  It was all focused on Him and just a really uplifting time. 


Just about fashion...

I get the opportunity to see alot of teens in the area.  I really love the artistic ways they are expressing themselves with clothing.  Really, if you cant wear it at 16 then your out of luck!
But some people can wear the strangest things and look like they are just expressing themselves and another person can wear a mainstream trend and look like a complete fashion victim.  Why is this?  Today I was in a "nicer side of town"  and saw a lady in a nice sweater with cute tweed capris and heels.  In theory this would work on someone.  I have seen it look amazing on some people, not sure if it is still a really current trend, but anyway, it can be cute.  This woman just looked disheveled and all wrong.  The ensemble screamed GETTO!  I felt so bad for her.  She was pretty, of normal weight, but her feet were sliding out the toes of her shoes and her pants were wrinkled and the sweater was nice, but it just didn't seem fresh.  i figured she just must work in the area.  But then she had a killer bag!  Next in line there was another lady wearing cream snake skin flats, with grey leggings, grey above the knee Jersey dress and a light grey sweater.  Just a simple outfit, but she looked like she came off the runway.  Such a cute outfit I wanted a picture to take home so I could study it.  So I began thinking (I was waiting in line while my friend was in play-land with my boys, that is why I had all this time to think).
Why is it not what you wear as much as how you wear it and how can I keep from looking like the first woman or any other fashion  victim and look more like the second lady, effortlessly simple elegant.  And the terror how do I come off?  Like the tired disheveled carcass that I feel like almost every day? 



"When things go wrong,
Don't go there too!"



I am on a new mission to learn about Godly Self-Esteem.  It is every where now.  Think of yourself, do something for you and you owe it to yourself, have a good self image and LOVE YOURSELF.  I know you should have a good self image, but how far is too far.  Is today's LOVE yourself philosophy even Biblical at all?  I thought I was to put others first.  And how as a mom can you keep from letting yourself go and at the same time put yourself last.  Luckily, I seem to be among the masses of moms trying to find the correct balance, but in doing so I had to look and say wait!  The encouraged emphasis on taking time for myself seems to be all about self.  Is this nothing more than humanism?  And the need to purchase something nice so I feel better about my self image, materilism?  Where is the balance?  How can I live as a Godly woman and still take time to present myself with care, and love who God made me to be.  How thin should I really be?  How "maintenance" is "high-maintenance"?  How how much is vanity and how much is self preservation?
So far on my journey not many answers just questions.  But I am on a mission now to find the answer to which I think is nothing more than BALANCE, but how much?


Submission or Not Submission THAT is the Question...

Submission is not being in agreement.  Submission is doing what another wishes in spite of your will to do something else.  Then doing it with the right attitude.   
So I know the whole uprising of people who freak out about women submitting to their husbands, but we as Christians are to submit to one another anyway right? So who cares. But for the sake of argument I just want to talk about submission to my fellow brother in Christ who I happen to live with, is that going to be a crime? Now that we settled that....

I have this theory on the wife's role that keeps growing and mutating to various depths and it is very awing to me.  So part of the curse is that the wife would want to be over her husband?  Of course most women have accomplished that.  But when you think about submission you think about this small women in an apron (probably a cute vintage one...) ...anyway, this woman is being forced to do things against her will and does them with out thinking or having a mind of her own.  What a weak person, we think.   But really when you think of the phrase "behind every great man is a great woman"  What does that mean?  What is that woman doing? Having no opinion in life? Hen pecking him to death?  The more I learn about submission, the more I see that God not only gave us ladies the specific purpose of being a help meet (that great woman behind the great man) but he gave us tons of POWER by doing do.  Yes we have POWER!  More than we know or want!  Think about it, hen peck and nag your hubby to death.  You have just stripped him of his self-worth.  You are now the contentious woman behind the shell of a man.  Yep, your in control, so if he has no spine, you better take credit.  I think I get to be that blunt, because I spent countless hours our first few years of marriage "training" my hubby.  Much of which was at the encouragement of other Christian wives!   Let your husband walk all over you and everyone, never telling him your opinion or being the iron that sharpens him, wow, you helped create a control freak.  Countless times I have seen women truly be a help meet to their husband.  Helping them to fulfill their calling in life. I have seen women dress their husbands because you dress for the job you want not the job you have.  Left to himself the poor man might have got a demotion, not because he is an idiot with out a woman, but because he is focused on the one thing at hand, learning his craft.  God knew this and gave the poor man a help meet to make sure the little things didn't fall through the cracks.  Did God give him a slave?  NO!  Did God give him a commander, NOPE.  A mom, well yes but her job is pretty much done, it is not time for a new model.  I get so frustrated with commercials these days.  The man is the stupidest person in the whole family.  Good thing his wife and kids are there or the poor man wouldn't know how to use a paper towel.  
So the submission thing, I have it pretty easy, Micah does not really ask for alot of things.  Although today, I decided that I should do something his way just because he asked.  Now before you think I am a martyr I should say. I was upset about the result (not about doing it, but about the possible side effect).  So looking back I realize my attitude should have been better to actually call it submission.  I know I feel much better when he has a submissive attitude in doing things for me, it feels more like he is doing them out of love.  So this got me thinking about some other recent decisions I have made to do things around the house.  I decided one should be a priority because I know it is important to him.  He has never asked me to do it (he knows his place j/k), but that is what I have come to love most about my hubby.  Much like my Creator, I find more hints at things he would like or that please him, not a demand to fulfill a request I am not ready for.  And if I have the heart to just see that and do it, I am not really asked to do it, it just happens.  So doing something without being asked, is that submission or agreement? Well, I don't know.  I still hate doing the chore, but I know Micah likes it so much when it is done and it makes his life easier.  Since he is out winning the bread, maybe it is about me making his life easier?  
What a correlation.  Ruin people's idea of submission and ruin their idea of God.  If submission was mindless obedience, wouldn't that just make God a terrible tyrant?  BUT if submission is actually showing love by doing something that pleases the other without being asked.  Well, that paints the picture of a loving and patient God who gently cares for us to grow closer to Him.  Now of course there are times that something needs to be said, but really God has never come at me with judgement, but a still small voice.  Sometimes that voice is so right that my guilt makes me feel just wretched, but God just loves me as I am and little by little is growing me by letting me know what pleases Him.


That's my boy!

Hudson has this way of reasoning things out that cracks me up!
ME:  "Hudson, no playing in the mud.  You have school today..."
HIM: "Ok.  I'm not.  I'm just making mud."



Ok Ok from the high demand of the one person that might read my blog.  I am going to link the Greek Week Recipes when my hubby has a minute to show me how ;0)

One of THOSE days..

Today was another one of THOSE days...we have been having them all week.  The kiddos are super, super cute doing things that I have to just tell everyone about.  Then the next minute it is like war broke out.  They are growing again and when they grow they get smarter and their will gets stronger.   The oldest thinks he know more than mom and dad and he is not always wrong. He has caught me a few times recently.  I thought this was supposed to happen around the age of 8?!?!  Now I'm dreading the age of 8!  He has picked up some "smart mouthing"  from some kids at school and I can't believe the daring attitude he has now.  I nearly fell off my chair last night when he said to Micah "You DONT KNOW DAD!" or something to that effect.  On the flip side, when he says it he realizes by the look of shock on our face that it is unacceptable and he repents of it right away.  In fact, he has been really having a sensitive heart about all sorts of things. Really, coming and telling me something he did and then apologizing for it.  I LOVE that!  Training him to understand for himself what is right and wrong-that is the goal! So I love this new tender heart I see.  But when war happens it really does.  And boy did we have a war today!
Bad parenting?  Too strict?  Not strict enough?  I just hate this kind of week. 
 I end up not enjoying the cute things they do as much because I am feeling so wretched for the bad stuff. Wondering did I do the right thing, or knowing that I was lazy and let too much slide.  
No one's parents are perfect.  As you get older you realize some faults in your parents, most are small and you just try to learn from them.  Occasionally, one might see a battle that needs picking.  But after a day like today, and realizing the pressure of last minute parenting decisions and having to do them for 18 years.  I say if our parents want to run through the streets naked, eating chocolate covered whatever on a stick, while playing a banjo.  Then let them!  They have earned the right to have some eccentricities!  And I plan on stacking them up if I ever succeed that far!
Sorry for the rant.  Just one of THOSE days...



So I have decided that it might be cheaper to grocery shop by cuisine.  Last week we found this to be the case as we had Mexican all week, Burrito Bowls, Enchilada Lasagna, Nachos and Tortilla Soup.  This week GREEK WEEK!   I'm so excited to try a cuisine I have never made before! Last night we had Beef and Feta Orazo with flatbread and then made Feta Flatbread Pizzas for an appetizer and of course we had to kick off our greek week with Baklava!   And I am being kind of absurd about it too.  You know randomly shouting GREEK WEEK!  Micah was not acting excited, so I told him if he was not into it I could just skip all the work and make him boxed mac and cheese.  He joined in the excitement and seems to genuinely be loving GREEK WEEK!!!  He even ate tomatoes tonight on my Greek 7 Layer Dip.  I have no idea what we are eating tomorrow.  But if I can't think of anything... "that's ok, I make Lamb".