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Saturday, February 19, 2011


Sorry- these guys are not up for adoption!
I have debated for the past month to post this or not.  I am still unsure about it but decided to go ahead and post to try and get over some of my insecurities about the topic.  Long story short- David and I will be exploring adoption soon!  Now here's the long story:

Back in September 2009, our pastor began a series all about adoption.  This series looked at adoption in a variety of ways.  Several examples of adoption were given and David and I decided then to sponsor a child through Compassion.  This was the extent we were willing to go to at the time in regards to adoption. 
Fast forward a bit to January 2010 when our pastor announced our partnership with a children's home in Haiti and the possibility of an upcoming mission trip.  Once information came out about this trip, I debated back and forth about going.  I had decided not to go on the trip, (you will see where I am going with this story in a bit) but felt very unsettled about my decision.  I prayed about it and still felt unsettled but was sticking to my guns about not going.  A little later we had a cookout for our community group in our backyard.  During the cookout, Haiti came up and the possibility of going was brought to my attention.  I said a prayer in my backyard that night and decided I needed to go to Haiti.  I almost felt an instant relief when I changed my mind!
In July 2010, I went to Haiti.  This is a trip I will never forget and something that I feel makes an impact on my daily life.  I saw things that I never knew existed!  Now, I went into Haiti knowing adoption from Haiti was not an option since their minimum age requirement is 35.  That didn't change the fact that my heart ached for all of the children there who were orphans or deserved so much more out of life.  When I returned, I discussed with David the idea of adoption.  We kind of put it on the back burner as a possibility.
Several months later I revisited the idea through prayer and looking at it financially.  I decided that it wasn't the best decision for our family.  Again though, I had a very unsettled feeling about it (see, I got that's how it links to the Haiti situation).  At that point I figured I would give it up to God and just file it away as something not for our family.
A little over a month ago, I had a child placed in my classroom who is in foster care.  This brought the idea back to my mind and I brought it up with David again.  Of course, David is such a laid back person and is open to just about anything I am willing to consider.  Again, I decided it wasn't a good idea for us.
Almost a month ago, we were told about a little girl locally who might need a new home.  We were at church when I had this conversation and it was before the service.  I said I would think about it, knowing in my mind that we had decided it wasn't for our family.  Boy did God have something else in store!  Through our pastor's sermon, (which was about shalom or peace) I realized that most of the reasons behind our decision were for selfish reasons.  Most of my reasons revolved around money (which is there, but being spent in other ways currently) and the fact that I really don't like change.  I realized that I am too comfortable with my current lifestyle and I shouldn't be.  After the service, I decided I was interested.
We found out a little over a week ago that adopting this little girl is very unlikely at this time due to the entire circumstance.  While I was initially sad, I realized that this is a God thing!  Much like the cookout in our backyard, I needed a situation to show me the reason why I felt unsettled about adoption. 

Now, David and I are really going into this blindly.  We have family members and friends who have gone through the adoption process who I am sure I will bug between now and the end of the process.  While I am a major planner, I am trying not to over plan this entire situation.  I know God is in control and that there is a child out there for our family.  For the time being, we are planning to begin the process with DSS and go from there.  Now, we know there isn't a guarantee that we will get a child placed in our home through DSS, but it is a starting point for us.

I have been asked by several people so far about our reasons behind adoption.  Yes, I know we have two healthy wonderful boys and there really isn't a valid reason why we couldn't have more children.  We decided after Jonas, however, that we were done having biological children.  This is a decision I still stand firm by.  My personal reason for adoption is to give a child a home who might not have a home otherwise.  We are not seeking out an infant for several reasons.  For now, we are hoping for a child between 1-5.  For my own selfish reasons, I really want a little girl (this house NEEDS some pink). 

Again, I know God already has our child picked out and has seen this entire situation from the beginning to the end.  I am thrilled to see what he has in store for our family! 

South of the Border Chicken Soup

Sorry no picture, it wasn't really pretty once I remembered to take a picture, but it sure was yummy!

  • 1 tsp. canola oil
  • 1/2 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 4 cups 99% fat free chicken broth
  • 14 1/2 oz. canned diced tomatoes
  • 10 oz. frozen corn kernels
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed
  • 1 cup salsa
  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan.  Add chicken and cook until browned.  Remove chicken from saucepan and keep warm.
  2. Add the onion and garlic to the pan.  Cook until tender.  Stir in cumin and cook 1 minute.  Add broth, tomatoes corn, beans and salsa; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.  Return the chicken to the pan and heat through.  Serve with cheese and tortilla chips.
Makes 10 (1 cup) servings  

Cheese Enchiladas

-8 oz. low fat cream cheese
-7 oz. fat free shredded cheddar cheese
-1 cup salsa
-6 flour tortillas (I used whole wheat)
-sour cream (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Beat cream cheese and 1 cup cheddar cheese together.  Spread on tortillas.
  3. Place tortillas seam side down in a greased pan.
  4. Cover with remaining cheese and salsa.
  5. Bake covered for 20 minutes. 

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Beefy Corn and Black Bean Chili

1 pound ground beef, browned (I used 1/2 pound to cut back a bit)
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 can corn
1 can black beans; rinsed
1 can beef broth
1 can tomato sauce

Place all ingredients in your crock pot and cook on low for 6-8 hours. 

Makes 5 (1 cup) servings

Smothered Steak

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 (4-ounce) cubed steaks
3/4 cup beef broth
2 teaspoons canola oil
Cooking spray
3/4 cup thinly sliced onion

1.  Combine first 3 ingredients.  Dredge steak in flour mixture, shaking off excess.  Reserve excess flour mixture.  Combine reserved flour mixture and broth in a 1-cup glass measure, stirring with a small whisk; set aside.
2.  Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add steak to pan.  Cook 3 minutes on each side or until brown.  Remove from pan.
3.  Coat pan with cooking spray.  Add onion to pan; saute 5 minutes or until tender.  Stir in broth mixture, scraping pan to loosen browned bits.  Return steak to pan.  Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 7 minutes or until gravy thickens and steak is tender.  Serve sauce over steak.

Makes 4 servings

Chicken Scaloppini

4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 large egg white
2 teaspoons water
1/2 cup Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs
2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1.  Place each chicken breast half between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap; pound to 1/2-inch thickness using a meat mallet or small heavy skillet.
2.  Combine egg white and water in a shallow dish, stirring with a whisk.  Place breadcrumbs in another shallow dish.  Dip each chicken breast half in egg mixture; dredge in breadcrumbs.
3.  Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add half of chicken to pan.  Cook 3 minutes on each side until golden brown.  Transfer to a plate; cover and keep warm.  Repeat procedure with remaining oil and chicken.
4.  Add broth and lemon juice to pan, stirring to loosen browned bits.  Cook, uncovered, over high heat 2 to 3 minutes or until reduced to 1/3 cup.  Drizzle sauce over chicken.

Makes 4 servings

Egg Mugs

Denver Omelette in a mug!
AKA...the best breakfast in a flash, ever!  I regularly get e-mails from Hungry Girl and thought these sounded totally gross at first.  I got brave one weekend and tried them out.  They are my new favorite thing to make for breakfast before work.  They are super quick to make and easy to clean up after as well.  I don't think I will make scrambled eggs or an omelette the old fashioned way again!  David and I tried two different recipes and loved them both.  If you are interested, head on over to the website and do a search for egg mugs.  A list of past e-mails with recipes will come up! 
Egg McMuggin'

Beef Steak in Mushroom Gravy

6 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 teaspoon dried onion flakes
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
4 (4 oz.) cubed steaks
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup jar sliced mushrooms (drained)- I didn't use these
1 3/4 cups beef broth

1.  In a small bowl, combine flour, onion flakes, and parsley flakes.  Coat steaks on both sides with flour mixture.
2.  In a large skillet, sprayed with butter flavored cooking spray, cook steaks for 3 minutes on each side, until browned.
3.  In a large bowl, combine mushroom soup, mushrooms, beef broth, and remaining flour mixture.  Pour soup mixture evenly over steaks.
4.  Bring mixture to a boil, evenly spoon gravy over steaks.

Makes 4 servings.