This is one of our families favorite dishes. I love that I have gotten to share it with you and can't wait to share more! Remember to make adjustments as needed to meet the needs of your families flavor palette.
I hope you enjoyed the instructional video! To print out the recipe, click the "print" button below.
Let me share a little back story with you all. I have been praying for quite some time that God would send me an older wise mentor, a woman after his own heart that I could just sit under, learn from and listen to for hours.
A few weeks ago a woman came to visit our little church. My husband and I went up and introduced ourselves and got to know her a bit. She was a widow to a former pastor. They had planted a church in the same state we were living in many years ago. She is now remarried and has her own little quilt and fabric shop she runs out of a cute little shed on her property.
Let me tell you this woman radiates Christ's joy like no one I have encountered before. I think I could just stare at her all day (awkwardly of course because why wouldn't it be?) and watch Christ's light shine through her as she speaks and interacts with others. I think I probably have kept her too long after church a time or two just to feel that joy. I want that. Don't get me wrong, I know Christ has given me His joy, I feel it, I love it. But, there was something so much deeper with her joy, so much time and experience with the Lord that had caused this joy. It was a kind of joy that makes you want to rush home and just sit in God's presence so He can continue to slap you in the face with more Jesus joy. In the most awesome way of course. Just being around this woman the few times I had and for the few minutes, I had made me crave God in such a way. I think I finally understand letting His light shine through us. I thought I understood it. But, no, I did not. People don't see me and say "Man, I need to run home and be with Jesus, I have got to get me some of that joy He is throwin out". Let's be honest with ourselves, do people say that about you?
Last week, my husband preached a sermon on leading people to Christ and being in the belly of the whale at times (there was a bit more to it than that but that was the point). After the service, my husband and I chatted with her again (because who in their right mind wouldn't want to talk to this woman radiating Jesus joy). She was telling us about a time when she was in the belly of a whale herself after her husband died and how she was in such a dark place she did not lead one soul to Christ during that time.
She said this to us with such conviction and heartache, I wanted to hug her. (I'm not a hugger, at all). Guys, I don't know if I have felt that convicted in a long time. I know it's not our job to get people to accept Christ, that is their choice. But, who in the world have I been a light to outside of my kiddos and church people? Who has said "I want that Jesus you have" to me in the last three years? Why am I not doing what He has called me to do?
Matthew 28:19 (HCSB)
"19 Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,"
John 13:34-35 (HCSB)
34 “I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you must also love one another. 35 By this, all people will know that you are My disciples if you have love for one another.”
Am I loving people like Christ loves me?
I'm going to go all end times on you because its real and its coming. We need to have some urgency. People need to see and experience God's love. I need to stop being afraid to tell people about my incredible God I serve and so do you.
Let's get serious about this.
Photo Credit: picjumbo.com
If I haven't mentioned it before, Amazon is one of my favorite places to shop. Mainly because I don't have to leave the house and get stuff in two days. Then there is the fact they have everything.
Today is Prime Day which means they have some insanely good deals! I thought I would post some of my favorite book deals for you. I'll try to update through out the day as things go on sale.
P.S. You better hurry and snatch them because they only have a limited amount of items they are selling.
Lighting Deal $29.99 Hardcover
Lighting Deal $30.99 Hardcover
Lighting Deal $29.99 Hardcover
Reading is one of my favorite hobbies. I kinda slowed down on it for a while, but all I was reading was non fiction books. Good ones, they just take me quite a bit longer to absorb the information in them. This month I discovered they genre dystopian. I know, I am way behind on that band wagon. I didn't realize this was a genre. Its what books like Hunger Games and Divergent fall into.
In case you need a definition:
"Dystopia: A futuristic, imagined universe in which oppressive societal control and the illusion of a perfect society are maintained through corporate, bureaucratic, technological, moral, or totalitarian control. Dystopias, through an exaggerated worst-case scenario, make a criticism about a current trend, societal norm, or political system." According to readwritethink.org
Any who, I didn't realize this was a genre until I received The Choosing by Rachelle Dekker for free when I cashed in some of my Tyndale House Reward points. Her father, Ted Dekker has been a long time favorite author of mine. I will say her writing did not disappoint!
The story is set around a society that has a choosing ceremony for young women. These women get to attend one ceremony and if they are chosen as a wife then they get to stay in society. If they are not chosen they are sent to the out skirts to silently serve the city. There is a ton of twists involved in the story and Rachelle does a great job at not making the story line predictable.
After devouring that book, I checked out the second book in the series called The Calling.
This one I read in just a couple of days! Which is saying quite a bit considering I have three kids five and under. I might have not gotten much sleep those nights, but it was so worth it! To my disappointment the third book in the series does not come out until fall. Whomp whomp.
I decided to find more dystopian books. Upon searching Goodreads I found the Out of Time Series by Nadine Brandes. My library carried the first book in the series called A Time to Die. The title seems a bit, well, harsh. Once you read the book though it makes complete sense. This book is based on a world that had a huge war in the past. There was then a wall built around the center of the entire world. Parven (the main character) lives on the east side. That side they have developed technology that can accurately tell you when you will die. You must always have your clock on you to show anyone who asks. If you don't have it or have smashed it you get sent across the wall. Holy cow. This book was incredible. I would say better then Hunger Games. Which is saying alot because I loved Hunger Games.
_Sadly, my library did not have the second book in this series A Time to Speak. Luckily, if they do not have a book they will borrow it from a library that does have it. The second book was even better then the first.
Some how I continue to strike out. The third book in this series won't be out until this fall too. Oh well, I'm going to have a great fall. The above links are to the paper versions of the books. Here are the kindle versions if you want to read any of them today:
The Choosing by Rachelle Dekker
The Calling by Rachelle Dekker
A Time to Die by Nadine Brandes
A Time to Speak by Nadine Brandes
A Time to Die and A Time to Speak are only $5.99 on the kindle! Way worth it! I am hoping when the third books come out I can purchase them in a set.
I am also making my way through For the Children's Sake by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay. A wonderful read. I received it with our My Father's World kindergarten curriculum. Do you have any tips on how to take notes on non fiction books? My mind tends to wonder and I have to reread pages several times. It's not that the book is bad because there is so much good info. I just don't have a great method for really taking in all the good info. Any help would be appreciated.
I'll try to take some actual pictures of the books next time. You know like all in a stack, all fancy and stuff. Or, real life photos of them scattered around the house and me trying to find where my kids put them because they were trying to help clean.
What have you been reading this month?
A few posts ago I wrote about a vintage camper we had bought and planned on fixing up. Well, we started to get into it and it was an absolute mess. Walls were rotted out, plumbing was shot, roof falling, you name it. Plus, since it was an old hunting camper there were lots of critters that had lived and currently living in it. Don't ask me how we found this out!
After much debate, we tore the whole thing down. Then we decided to build our own camper. (see above photo) We had great plans. It was going to be slightly a tiny home, slightly camper. It was going great. Then my husband got a new week job (he is a bi-vocational pastor), that was going to require more time out of his day and less time on our homemade tiny home/camper.
It now sits in our backyard waiting to be torn down and reuse the wood for a bigger chicken coop. Our hens are complaining about needing more room...
The trailer will remain a trailer. To be honest, we only paid $500 for the camper. Now having a trailer for that price is pretty good if you have checked the price of trailers lately.
The problem was we still wanted a camper. I know get a tent. Trust me the five of us have done plenty of tent camping. And as much fun as that was with a baby, we wanted a camper. Our vacations are camping. We love it.
Long story even longer. We searched the good ol trusty craigslist for a few days and stumbled on the above beauty. Guys, I kid you not this thing (minus a few soft spots in the floor) is in excellent condition. We got such an incredible deal on this thing. It blows my mind. We will be fixing this one up over the non-camping season. Just painting and making it feel more home-y. Stay tuned for those updates!
God knows what rests our souls. I think He enjoys blessing us at times with things to help us rest.
We were able to take it out the week we got it.
And we hiked.
And splashed in streams.
And loved every minute of it.
I encourage you to find something that takes you out of your normal routine of things. Something that refreshes you and your family's souls.
I would highly suggest camping.
Because it is AWESOME.
"I will boast only in the Lord; let all who are helpless take heart. Come, let us tell of the Lord's greatness; let us exalt His name together. I prayed to the Lord, and He answered me. He freed me from all my fears." Psalm 34:2-4
A couple of weeks ago our little family went out of state on a vacation. We stayed in a yurt in Arkansas and then made our way up to Memphis.
It was in Memphis we saw God move.
Now, I personally have been stuck in a 'where are you God' 'You've got to give me something' phase with Him for a bit. Have you been there? It's tough...
Needless to say, He showed off over and over this weekend. Let me tell you about it.
Since we were in Memphis, of course, we had to go eat some BBQ. I literally spent all afternoon researching the top BBQ joints in Memphis, ratings and reviews and location to where we were. Because if we are going to eat Memphis BBQ it's going to be some of the best. Am I right? I finally decided on a place only 23 minutes from where we were staying. We packed the kids up in the car and began our drive. A couple minutes in I switched the joint I was wanting to eat at to one that was about 45 minutes away in Germantown, I think was the name. (It had better reviews and apparently an amazing homemade banana pudding for dessert)
On the way there, after we got off the highway, our vehicle started acting funny. The right tire was making some super crazy grinding noise. When we came to a red light it seemed to get worse. At one point it felt like the whole right wheel just locked up on us for a split second.
We arrived at the BBQ joint hole in the wall place. Now let me tell you, this BBQ sandwich I got was about the size of my face. It was absolutely incredible. Not to mention that banana pudding. Holy Cow! That made me want to slap my mama! (which was the slogan for it ha).
The kiddos and I scarfed our food down with no worries about the vehicle while my husband thought about how we were going to get back the entire dinner. After that amazing BBQ, we hopped into the car. Just pulling out of the parking lot was a nightmare. The wheel was grinding on something, then there was a loud pop and it was working fine. We drove onto the road through a few stop lights again and one we barely stopped. A Walgreens was right next to us so we pulled in there hoping that we would be able to stop the vehicle or even turn it. Guys, it was bad. Let me also say we were a mile from getting onto the highway.
My anxiety was almost through the roof, as was my husbands. I immediately called roadside assistance. Thank you, Allstate. The first towing place they sent me to were two hours out of town! Mind you it was probably 8:30 at night, the kiddos bedtime. Ya... I passed on that tow truck and they sent me to another tow truck company who was only an hour out. I took it. While we were waiting, we called literally every friend and family member we knew that might know someone in Memphis. The tow truck could not hold all five of us to take us back to the tow place. I was trying so hard to find numbers to Taxi companies in town, even went into Walgreens and asked with no luck. I'm resorting (and freaking out) about having to stay at Walgreens with the kids for who knows how long. My husband was on the phone with every rental car place possible to see if they would bring one to us. Nothing. We were freaking out. The kids could tell and they began crying, well more like a screaming cry. They were tired and confused.
Then God began to move.
Whoo! I don't sing Gospel but if I did...
The tow truck guy called me to let me know he was a few minutes out and where we wanted the vehicle taken. I had no idea, there were no mechanics open that late. He then proceeded to tell me there was a mechanic back at the towing shop if we wanted to take it back there. It was a family owned business so they lived in the building. Yes, please. I said. What mechanic is working this late?
Now to figure out what the screaming/crying kids and I are going to do. I called my sister-in-law (thank you Ami) and after a bit, she asked if we had ever tried Uber. Nope, we hadn't. I quickly got off the phone with her and downloaded the Uber app. Had to sign up for an account. Which was making me a bit more frustrated but I just didn't know what else to do at this point. The tow truck guy had arrived and I just pictured the kids and I waiting around in Walgreens with three car seats for an hour. I was all set up on the app and had no idea what I was doing. I clicked the only blinking button that said set your location. Six minutes. A van arrived in six minutes. I kid you not. I wanted to laugh and cry at the same time.
We piled into the van and the driver followed the tow truck to a little town called Olive Branch in Mississippi. We were telling the driver how grateful we were for him getting us there so quickly and we had never even heard of Uber until then. The kind driver gave us a $20 coupon code and we got the ride for free because it was our first time. Bring on more laughing and crying and praising.
By this time it is close to 10pm. Way past the kids bed time. We walk into the front office and take a seat. My husband goes back to the mechanic and looks at the car. Did I mention the family lives there? They had a living room right off the office. I glance over and there are two little kids heads that poke out. One exactly the age of our oldest the other the age of our second oldest. They both walk over and ask if our kids want to play. And they do.
More laughing and crying and praising (in my head, I didn't want to freak the lady up front out any more than I had).
While my husband is in the back the mechanic tells him a bolt fell out of some vital part of the vehicle and rammed itself into the rim. The caliper I think? Anyway, the brake thing was dangling by one more bolt that was just about to fall out. Had we made it one more mile to the highway, I'm certain it could have been a very very very bad accident.
Side story: When we left the restaurant, I was begging God to get us home safely. Begging. And then we had to pull into the Walgreens parking lot. I was so frustrated, but now I know why we only made it to Walgreens. Do you ever get frustrated in the heat of the moment at God for not answering your prayers exactly how you think they should be answered?
The mechanic told my husband he didn't have one of the bolts to fix it, but could get them in the morning. The tow truck guy happens to walk in on this conversation and told them he might have one on the truck. When he came back it was the wrong one. Dang. Hang on, he said. He went back to his truck and came back to the shop with none other than the exact bolt that was needed.
More silent laughing, crying and praising.
Now, we were freaking out a bit about the bill because we only had enough for the trip in our account. Our emergency fund is not directly linked to our account. That will change. We were calling his parents and my parents to see if they had extra in their account we could borrow and pay them back as soon as we got home. Theirs were in separate accounts. Panic rises. We knew this was going to be quite the bill. A mechanic is working at 10 o'clock at night! He brings out the bill and we are prepared to negotiate or leave the car if we have to until we can get the money transferred.
That was all he charged us. If I could make a gif of myself doing the mind blown action, I would. But, I don't know how. We saw God move so much that night. First through changing my mind last minute about which BBQ place to eat at. Then, literally stopping the car in Walgreens, finding a tow truck relatively close, using my sis-in-law to suggest Uber, Uber showing up in minutes to haul a family of five, the driver giving us a free ride, a mechanic working that late, kids my kiddos age living at the tow place for them to play with and the driver finding the exact bolt we needed. Then that bill comes, and there were no more words. No more praises we could give him to express our joy in Him. Silence with blown minds is what we offered up to Him that night. I imagine Him chuckling with a contagious joy, like a little kid, when our minds became so overwhelmed with what He had done for us.
I'm still here,
just look for me.
I see you, God. I'm going to hold your hand even tighter so I do not slip.
"Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand." Psalm 37:24
It can be so difficult to not see God in our everyday lives. It can also be easy for us to drift away from Him when we don't feel that His presence is close. Had God not of orchestrated all of this, it would have been ok. Because my God is good and His presence never leaves us.
"Be strong and courageous; don't be terrified or afraid of them. For it is the Lord your God who goes with you; He will not leave you or forsake you." Deuteronomy 31:6
He can be so quiet sometimes days, weeks, even years. But, when He shows off, it will be mind blowing, a loss for words, present.
My God is so good,
you'll want to slap your mama.
I think my holiday break is over.
I'll start blogging again.
Life has been so crazy lately. Ah, who am I kidding, it's been slow and simple. My favorite.
This winter weather has been amazing. We are able to get outside most days of the week. We finally finished our chicken coop for our one chicken to live. She won't be wondering the yard pooping on everything now. It's like she knew we were trying to capture her to be put in a coop. I'm sure we all looked quite comical chasing her around. She is a quick little booger.
I am currently obsessed with iced coffee or frappe whatever you call it. Let me share with you this amazing recipe.
It makes enough for one giant glass or two small glasses. I personally don't like to share all this deliciousness so I double it if the hubs wants some.
Stay tuned, I have my favorite fried chicken recipe to share later this week.
A fun fact about me, I love to make resolutions.
Now, whether I follow through with them or not is another thing. That is neither here nor there.
I bought a brand spanking new Passion Planner to plan out my year and goals. They have an undated planner that starts the week on a Monday that I ended up deciding on. Another fun fact about me. I love planners. I have been "researching" planners for the year 2016 since last August. Yep. Don't judge. This one seemed perfect for breaking down my goals for this year in a very organized fashion. Last week I started using it and am already in love.
Last year I was kinda in a funk and didn't make any goals for myself. I thrive off of making goals for myself. Literally. If I don't make goals for myself you will probably find me on the couch binge watching Netflix while piles of laundry and dishes accumulate then doing the bare minimum to survive. Every. Single. Day. No exaggeration. Ask my husband.
Goals for 2016
I am sure there will be more as time goes. For now, this is what I want for my year.
Our little family has adopted a saying for this year.
-How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.-
Seems silly. But, there have been countless times of high stress and being overwhelmed that this little saying helps.
What are some resolutions you have made this year?
The books I have linked from Amazon are affiliated links.
I don't know how many of you have found your place of rest. You know that place you can go and recharge yourself. That place your soul just speaks to and feels like it's as close to home as we can get on this side of Heaven. That is where I have been. We have been, our little family. That is why it has been so quiet here. We were out resting our souls.
Camping is a rest for our souls. No particular place. Just somewhere with trees. It's somewhere we can connect our souls with our Father on a whole different level then when we are home and have a million "things to do".
It was just us out there the weekend we went. We let the kids run and explore. Warning them of the potential wild boars and crocodiles they could run into. (Seriously). A boar ran across our path at one point. He would have been good eaten.
They found so many critters and the biggest daddy long legs I have ever seen. (Some critters might have been injured due to a three-year-old handling them).
It was a wet and muddy week.
It was perfect.
Now that we are home, I have some yummy recipes to share with you! Hopefully, some you could use during your Thanksgiving dinner.
I'll end with this not so restful picture of my hubby and daughter way to close to the edge for my liking.
What do you do to rest?
Ello! Won't you join me in linking up over at Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers today?
I thought it might be fun to link up this week. Maybe every week. It might keep me a bit more accountable with my schooling time. We put a pause on Math this week, mainly because she further than where I wanted her to be at right now. And, because it is so nice out we focused more on nature studies this week.
We found a bunch of shells in our crawl space this past week. Since this wasn't an ocean previously, we determined that the old owners might have had a hermit crab farm. Then ate them.
Speaking of nature study, we did add this lovely handbook to our curriculum.
It is a wonderful resource! You can purchase it HERE. (affiliate link)
Princess was also curious about spiders this week. We googled pictures of them (I tried not to barf) and researched them in our nature handbook. Then the hubs made spiders with them.
I had copy work planned for handwriting this week. But then I found signs hanging on the bathroom doors. I suppose Princess got tired of her brother making the bathroom stink. Ha!
Translation: This is the girls bathroom. No boys can come.
Handwriting done. Right? We did work on spacing words later on in the week.
And most days there is usually a battle between an ice princess, power rangers, ninja turtles and the transformers saving things from the sharks. I almost always am the pink ranger.
How was your week?
Hey there! Thanks for dropping by. Contrary to the name, I do not live in a hobbit hole, I just adore them. I am a homeschooling mama of three that loves to cook and follow whatever path pops in front of me. Won't you join me on this adventure?