"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved." Ephesians 1:3-6

Monday, January 26, 2015

Project 52:December 14-20

This Sunday evening we celebrated Christmas a little early because we were going to be gone for Christmas.  We celebrated with Grandpa Bill and the kids opened a few things from Grandma and Tank as well.

Declan got a big dinosaur---he was SO happy! I was sad I didn't get his initial reaction on my camera when he opened it.  But the look on his face here shows his excitement!


Monday was Jackson's birthday so we all went to an indoor trampoline place.  The kids had a lot of fun!

The boys helping me unload the dishwasher:)
On Wednesday evening there was a children's singing program at Grace Covenant.  The kids sang three songs alone and there were other songs the congregations joined in to sing.  The kids did a great job!
Declan really got into singing "Go Tell it on the Mountain" and was pointing!

All three of them were running around singing "Let it Go"

Whenever we go to a certain park in the neighborhood we pass this bar.  They always want to stop and play.  Many times the answer is no...but today they could play! I had to rake the rocks in with my feet a bit so the twins could reach!

Friday at 10pm we left the house and went to the airport to fly on a red eye flight to Michigan!!!

Mimi and Papa had no idea we were coming!!!

Saturday evening we went to the Ayotte side Christmas party.  Many of the family members have not met my three youngest children, so it was fun to take them there and see everyone again. More pictures of the week in Michigan to come in a separate post!

Freezer Cooking: Chicken and Black Bean Burritos

I've been making these for a couple years now.  They are easy, yummy, and convenient. 
It's nice to have something in the freezer to pull out and eat for lunch rather than snacking on chocolate all day as I sometimes like to do:)  And now with more mouths to feed and those bellies eating more, there isn't always left overs for Daddy to take to work.
Ingredients: (alter as desired)
Tortilla shells
Shredded chicken
black beans
cooked Spanish rice (I make brown rice and add in spices)
olive oil/butter/cooking spray
1. Cook and shred chicken
2. Cook rice
3. Mix all ingredients together (except cheese)
4. Top each tortilla shell with a spoonful of mixture
5. Top with cheese

6. Heat oil in skillet
7. Wrap burritos and brown each side in the skillet. 
*I put the open part down in the pan first to seal shut.  While that side is in pan (only about 30 seconds) I spray the top side with cooking spray and then flip to brown both sides.

If you are planning to keep them in the freezer for a while, or want them easy and ready to go for on-the-go lunches, I wrap in aluminum foil.  This last batch  made is the first time I haven't wrapped them in foil because next week Brent starts working from home five days a week! I'm hoping they come out of the ziplock bag ok and aren't all stuck together.

To cook, you can put in microwave or oven at 325 degrees for 25 minutes (from frozen) then add salsa and sour cream.  Without added salsa, I think they are a bit dry.

Friday, January 23, 2015

My Mommy Minute: December 16

{this entire post has been sitting in draft.  I was hoping to add more links and then well....Christmas came and went.  but I wasn't just going to delete! There are some great reads. Read Rachel's post if it's the only one you read, because it's a great read for any time of year.}

Hi friend,
Oh boy, this is a busy time of year! We've had birthday celebrations, suffered hardships, welcomed visitors, hosted parties, attended events, shopped, crafted, decorated, and are plugging our way through advent. All while my husband is working a lot of overtime, so that means mama works over time too:)  I haven't posted a MMM in a while because I had one drafted but I guess it was never saved and I lost the links:(   As was reading posts recently they were all about Christmas and the chaotic time it can be.  So this post is all links related to the holiday season.

It's easy to lose sight of the cross and too easy to look inward and forget that this season, or any other season, for that matter, isn't about us.  God is so good.  All the time.  He is the divine creator and sustainer of all things and He is so merciful, isn't He? So, so kind to such an undeserving person like me.  I take so much for granted and I am thankful He is causing me to slow down at times and see that. Even Christmas is something taken for granted.  Something we know so well and we fail to see the wonder.  It doesn't lose it's wonder--we just fail to see it. This is the season we get to celebrate our Savior's birth! There could be no Good Friday or Easter Sunday without first having Christmas.  Just pondering in our hearts the miracle of Christmas and the majesty of the Jesus should produce joy, praise, and worship! 

I pray you are encouraged this Christmas season. Encouraged that our Redeemer has come and taken on flesh for us.  He has humbled Himself so low and was born in "the hay" as my three year old says. He was born in flesh.  Yet sinless.  Sinless for us, because we could not do that.  But God, in His mercy and goodness bridges the gap of our sin that separates us from Him by sending Jesus.  Baby Jesus. Born in a manger.  For me and for you.  I pray you would know the redeeming love of Jesus Christ this Christmas. 

Joy to the Whirled by Rachel Jankovic at Femina

What to Expect and Christmas by Nicole Whitacre at GirlTalk

Dear Lydia and Asa by Amanda at Oh Amanda
10 Ways We Can Remember to be Christians this Christmas by Kevin DeYoung at Gospel Coalition

Recipe: Mexican Mac n Cheese

No pictures, but I wanted to share a recipe! It's not a crockpot or freezer meal, but it IS a one pot dish which I also love.

It came from a website that had a great tutorial and directions.  I followed them almost exact--I did not add the jalepeno and used a variety of the cheeses I had on hand.

The Mexican Macaroni and Cheese is a great meatless dish that was a hit for the whole family.


Project 52: December 7-13

Colt is learning to drink from a bottle.  He turns one this week, so he moves to whole milk! It's been funny watching him get the hang of the bottle.
I had a special time with Declan at the library this week.  He wore this batman cape all day and I saw no reason to make him take it off for the library:)  He found Fox In Socks by Dr. Suess and was so thrilled because Daddy reads that book to the kids before bed almost every night.  He is so animated while reading it and since it is a book full of tongue twisters it's quite entertaining.  Declan was so excited and he wanted me to take a picture to show daddy the book he found!
On the 10th, Colt turned ONE! More details of this in a separate post (which hopefully I can get posted before he turns two! ha)
Eating a birthday breakfast at Joe's Farm Grill
The second Wednesday of the month I take the kids to a "messy play" group. It's a free activity at a local church and the kids seem to like it! It's a bunch of sensory activities and the kids get very messy but it's nice to have no clean up at home:)

playing in "snow"
Colt loves to play too!
Colt had his favorite for lunch--avocado! But he was still a bit traumatized from burning his hand on his candle last week that as soon as he saw the candle he cried:(
Elliana loves the tricycle.  Only problem is that she cannot pedal it.  Colt can't walk on his own, but loves to push things.....so they were a perfect pair! This was so cute to watch them work together at getting around the house.  Colt would get so frustrated because he would push her right into the wall or couches because she can't quite steer either.
I send the kids out to the car when the garage door is closed.  It is nice to be able to do that.  They usually always climb in their seats and some of them can even buckle themselves.  Well, this evening when I sent them out I came out after and this is what I found! I cracked up laughing! I had to take a picture, then proceeded to tell that we don't get in the front seats! hah.  Coming out to this scene was just so funny.
Celebrating Tank's birthday!!
Movies are better when there is a fort to sit in!
This week we painted with shaving cream because the kids loved the messy play "snow" painting.  My kitchen table smelled like shaving cream for a few days afterward!