Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tenderest Pork Chops

As a kid you would have had to wrestle me to force me to eat pork chops! But, in recent years I've come to love, love, love!pork chops!
Part of the reason I don't like pork chops is because I think that when you grill or bake them they always end just a little tough. For at least four years I've only prepared my pork chops in the slow cooker. The results are always super tender, moist and amazingly delicious pork chops!
Here it is ready to cook
Here's the recipe:
4 American Cut Pork Chops
1 Tablespoon Paprika
1 Tablespoon Minced Garlic
1 Tablespoon Onion Powder
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
1 Cup Water
1 Chicken bullion Cube
Salt & Pepper to taste

Monday, January 30, 2012

Disposable Relationships

I've recently had a conversation with my dad that got me to thinking.
I've always enjoyed an exceptionally close relationship with my brother and sisters. The only side-effect of those great relationships is that most other people in our lives have tended to be disposable. (I don't mean to offend any of my friends by saying this.)
My siblings and I tend to lose touch with anyone with whom we no longer have daily contact.
In some ways this is a good thing. We never get so attached to our friends, and this means that we'd hardly ever get hurt when we lose friends. However, being only slightly invested in our relationships makes us pretty awful friends!
Lately, I fallen under conviction for this.
"A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity." -Proverbs 17:17

In the future I would like to be the friend in this verse! I'm committing to loving my friends at all times! I want to be available at times. Just for fun times or in the darkest of times!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Better Boxed Mac & Cheese

I absolutely despise boxed Mac & Cheese!
I've been trying just about everything to improve on the simple staple. I love having it around, because, let's face it, I have small children, it's cheap and easy too! However, I must admit that I feel as if I'm committing child abuse every time I prepare it for my kids, and not just because of the nutritional value information on the back of the box!
I've tried a lot of different methods for preparation, but the latest I've tried I found to be a really cool alternative!
I prepared the noodles as ordinary.
When I added the cheese flavoring to the pot, I didn't add any milk or butter. Instead, I used about 2 tablespoons of Mayonnaise. Then I added in one slice of velveeta. (I know the nutritional value just keeps getting better.)
It tasted really creamy. I liked the effect and my hubby gave it 2 thumbs up!

Homemade Hairspray! (Bonus Make-Up Sealer!)

I've read plenty about making homemade, citrus hairspray in my "curly hair research." I've put off trying this, because I've found a spray that's water-soluble and can hold up in a hurricane...Rave, believe it or not!
Now, I have a little secret to share. When I finish my hair each morning I spritz the hairspray all over my head including on my face. I've read online that this makes a great make-up sealant. I've been doing this for around a week or two and I'm very happy with the results!
When I decided yesterday to make homemade hairspray the poor recipe had to hold up to two expectations, poor thing!
I'll share the recipe with you now:
1 Orange
2 Cups of Water
Sugar (Optional it increases the hold)
1/4 Cup Alcohol (OPTIONAL!!!) This is a preservative!
5 drops Lavender Essential Oil (OPTIONAL)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Yummy Burger Seasoning

I adapted this from a recipe I found on AllRecipes.Com:
I needed to come up with a meal that was quick, delicious and could feed numerous people with a low cost. I decided to make gourmet sliders. I made the buns myself, but I wasn’t happy with the results. They tasted fine, but they were more like a biscuit than a bun, so, I won’t bore you with those details. 
However, the burger themselves tasted awesome, and smelled even better! I’m one of those nutty people who think that a food can only taste good if my whole house smells good while making it!
I mixed one pound of ground beef with about a quarter cup bread crumbs, one egg, one packet dry gravy mix, one packet French onion soup mix, and one packet dry Italian dressing mix. The result was scrumptiously yummy burgers. Instead of topping them with American cheese I topped them with a shredded Italian cheese blend. 
Hope you get a chance to try them, and you enjoy them as much as we did.
I don’t have a photo, because we ate them before I decided to blog about them, sorry!

Superbowl 2012

If you're from Central Indiana like me, then you're probably still licking your wounds over the 2-14 season we endured this year. I know that when most Colts fans discovered that the Superbowl would be held in Indianapolis in 2012 we held a secret wish that we would watch our beloved team win a home Championship!
However, that dream has died. Fortunately, the city is still so excited for all the Super activities that have been planned!
If you're in the area, here's a link for you to check out that will give you more information:
Super Bowl 2012
I'm pretty sure that my husband is going to have to zipline over the Superbowl Village! I mean, how often do you get the opportunity to fly across a crowded city street.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

My God is So BIG!

Lately my 3 year old has been determined to teach the song, My God is So Big to my 1 year old. It's so cute to hear her sing it and her sister yell, "BIG!" at all the right spots in the song. But, I must admit that I am starting to realize what an awesome, doctrinal truth that song holds.
Today just think about the fact that you serve a God who is BIG! He's strong & mighty, and there isn't anything He can't accomplish! He created this complex universe! We never have anything to fear. We never have any reason to fret! Because, My God is So BIG!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A Letter to Mr. Irsay

"I think the situation is if he's back and he's healthy, I see him coming back and playing here," Irsay said just before the start of Thursday night's game. "I think the hope is that his health is in the position where he could return again. That remains uncertain and that's something that's first and foremost on my mind."
-To read the complete article quoted above click here.

Dear Mr. Irsay,
I can respect the position in which you currently find yourself. But, I feel the need to tell you the position of Central Indiana. Perhaps, I should begin by acquainting you with your fan base. (Though I'm surprised you haven't realized this since your move here in the 80's.) \
Indiana fans are fiercely loyal. How else can you explain the love affair this state has had with Bobby Knight? You see, he was their coach, and they love him still today.
We're not big fans of change, this is why we had to be dragged into Daylight Savings Time, and some of us, myself included, are still kicking and screaming about it. We as a people tend to believe the old adage, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!" I'm not implying that a 2-14 record isn't in need of fixing, just that some aspects your team, "ain't broke." To name a few: Reggie Wayne, Jeff Saturday, Pat McAfee, Dallas Clark, and Peyton Manning.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Queen of Baby Gadgets: SippiGrip

Our oldest daughter has definitely inherited her mother's clumsiness, and with said clumsiness has come many dropped sippy cups! At first it was so frustrating, but then we purchased BooGinHead Sippigrips. They cost less than $6 at a local baby store. (Our girls wwouldn't take them, but you can buy matching pacistraps too.)
This is a product that I give a thousand thumbs up. If you sew you could probably make a similar product very easily. It's simply a strap, one end straps with velcro to the high chair, stroller, car seat or whatever, and the other straps around the cup itself. (It has a grippy material on the back side which helps it to hold to the cup.)
I now own three of them. I keep one in the diaper bag, one on the high chair and one in a drawer for when I'm washing one of the others.
Great product and totally worth the price!

Superior Customer Service!

Me sporting the carrier and
backpack at the Pumpkin Patch! 
I've been intending to blog about my ErgoBaby Carrier as it is the best of my baby gadgets! (I was actually saving it for later because I wanted to build up to it!) I'll save the details for that post, but, as I've already stated, out of my many baby gadgets the Ergo tops them all. It is my absolute favorite gadget! It's convenient, comfortable, and at least I think, it's much prettier than other baby carriers!
I've bought a few accessories for my baby carrier the backpack and the front pouch. I've loved both of these products at a level equivalent to the carrier itself (and yes, I know, when I love something I really love it!)
Anyway, to the purpose of this post:
Today at around 1 pm the shoulder strap to my front pouch was involved in a tragic accident and was broken! This of course was a great tragedy!
Big Girl on Daddy's Back at
Turkey Run State Park
I went on to the ErgoBaby site hoping it would be listed as an item available for purchase, but alas it was not. So I emailed the company at around 2:30 or 3pm. At around 5:15 I received an email from their customer service asking for my address, and before 6:30 I received an email letting me know my package had been shipped! Isn't that great customer service? You don't see that very often in this age of online shopping and mega chains.

Updated 1/26/12:
I should note that this post was written on a Friday and I received my replacement strap in the mail on Monday. Not only that from the shipment tracking information it seemed that the package came from Hawaii!!! How awesome is that?!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Strong Hold

"The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him." -Nahum 1:7

This verse was my grandma's life verse. My grandma not only loved this verse, she clung to it, completely believing the truth that it holds. I can assure you that in her eighty-seven years on this earth my grandma experienced plenty a "day of trouble."
My grandparents during WWII
I'm thankful for the lovely example the Lord provided me in my grandma. My grandmother suffered a stroke when I was young, but made a wonderful recovery. She wasn't quite the same and wasn't able to do nearly as much, but she was able to live a fairly normal life for many years. But, when I was sixteen or seventeen she suffered another stroke. She ended up in a nursing home and over the course of a few years would have many "mini-strokes." Most of the time she was my normal, sweet spirited, fun grandma. There were times, after a "mini-stroke" when she would become a little incoherent and I'll admit, it was a little frightening to me. She didn't really know what was happening around her, but I remember her calling out to the Lord!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Why Wait?

In June I wrote a post called, "His Way." In it I talked about a time in my life in which I was in a holding pattern. I've been thinking about that a little bit more lately.
I read something today in which waiting on the Lord was presented as a bad thing, laziness, in fact. The truth is that if we don't wait for the Lord before we act we can cause huge damage to our lives and the lives of others.
In the post I'd written in June I talked about how God had me in a position where I knew my life could not move forward. I knew that I was heading no where. To tell the truth most of my friends were starting to seriously date and meet those men who would become their husbands. I was a little lonely, and I wanted to enjoy the happiness that they were. I would never have admitted it at the time, but there you go, the truth at last.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

To Every Action…

…there is an equal and opposite reaction.
We’ve heard it many times haven’t we? We had to learn it in school. We know it to be true. We see it in nature and the world in general.
So, the question I’m asking you what is your reaction to the grace of God?
We’ve all been the recipients of unspeakable and unimaginable grace, and yet, we do not all have an equal reaction to it. Some “accept” this gift of grace, but take it for granted, they live their life as if they’d never been given something so wonderful and precious. They live how they want to live. They claim the name of Christ, but lack sincerity.
There are those that openly reject this gift. They don’t see it’s worth and deny that could have any. They are angry toward the gift & the giver for the presumption that He would deem them in need of such grace.
There are few that realize the precious gem that the grace truly is. They react with an equal reaction: Complete surrender!
The only equal reaction to God’s love and the sacrifice of His Son is to give your life completely to Him. To lay aside YOUR plan for your life and to gladly accept HIS leadership of it!