Sunday, December 26, 2010

Being Content With Where You Are

(Our honeymoon, San Diego Zoo, 2008)
     "You are here". And how is "here" going for you? Are you happy with it? Do you want to be somewhere else? It's hard to answer because in many ways we are content, and in many ways we want a change. For example, are we content with where we live, or do we nit-pick every little thing we don't like,,,it's too small, it's too far from work, this room isn't the right color, my kitchen is too small. Or are we thankful that God's provided a home for us, to protect us, and in a country where we are given so much freedom? 
     I'm currently doing a study on being cultivating contentment and being the godly woman God desires. The book starts off with Edna's secret formula: Don't Compete, Don't Complain, Don't Compare. Women, do we not do this, even if it's with good intentions? What are some ways you Compete? "She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness." Proverbs 31: 26 How about Complaining? How much fun is it to be around someone that complains or just isn't very encouraging? Complaining can be in little things: I'm tired, we don't have money, the house is a mess, she's an overachiever. "Whiners neither enjoy nor give joy, But grace-filled people are reputable, sought after, and deeply loved." Patsy Clairmont. And, finally, we ladies like to Compare. We compare outfits, purses, home decor, our children(if you have any) and maybe even how involved we are in church.  Goldilocks was searching for something that was "just right" We'll constantly be searching too unless we find our fulfillment in God. Ask God today to show you how to be content and happy with what He has given you.

I hope that you had a Merry Christmas. It wasn't a white one for us but we did get to spend some wonderful time with family. 


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Random Blog from My Random Life

Beautiful quiet snowflakes are falling in the still of the night. Only the second snow of the year! I get to wake up tomorrow morning and see if God's creation is covered with whiteness. Cheery Christmas music is playing  in my house despite the Grinch stealing my Christmas tree! Ok,,, so,,, I didn't get it up this year. I'm the Grinch right? Luckily some decorations are up and the presents will be wrapped tonight.

And! I'm going to do a 90 day challenge to read through the Bible. I found this link through a blogger friend and it's being hosted by blog site Meditations of His Love. MOHL Bible Blast! It goes from Jan 1 to March 31. It will be a challenge but it will be worth it. Are there any other brave souls out there that want to join me?

Also, I want to share some more recipes, since I've missed my second Food Friday in a row!!

 Crunchy Granola
3 c. Old fashion rolled oats
1/2 c. Sliced almonds
1/2 c. Wheat germ
1/4 c. Oat bran
1/4 c. Wheat flour
2 tsp Ground cinnamon
4 Tbsp. Brown sugar
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 c. Unsweetened apple juice
4 Tbsp. Honey, warmed
1 Tbsp. Vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. Canola or almond oil

Preheat oven to 300. Butter a baking sheet. Mix the first 8 ingredients together in a large bowl. Whisk the apple juice, honey, vanilla and oil together in a small bowl. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and toss well to mix. Spread granola on prepared baking sheet and bake about 45 minutes, stirring well every 15 minutes until it's a shade browner than it started and dry to the touch. (Make sure the oats are crispy) cool on the baking sheet. Mix in your choice of dried fruit after it cools. Raisins, currants, or dried cranberries are good. Cut larger fruit into small bits before adding. Store in an air tight container. Makes 6 cups.

Dog Treats
2 c. whole wheat flour
1/4 c. corn meal
1/4 c. wheat germ
1/8 c. milk
1/8 c. water
1 egg
1/4 c. broth
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp parsley flakes
1 Tbsp. soft margarine

Heat oven to 375. In a medium size bowl combine dry ingredients. In small bowl whisk wet ingredients. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Stir and add garlic, parsley and softened margarine.
Flour countertop and roll to approximately 1/4 inch. Sprinkle cinnamon over top if desired.
 Either use a bone shaped cookie cutter or use plastic knife to cut into squares. Mine measure approx. 1/2".
 Spread out on cookie sheet and bake 20 minutes or until golden brown, and crispy.
This yielded 100 squares for me and the dogs love them!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Lord is Good

(Ruger and Peyton playing in our first snow(yesterday!))
 (Peyton runs so fast!)
 (Ruger loves eating snow!)

     The Lord is good. It's easy to say this on a day when the sun is shining and everything seems to be going your way. It's so much harder to believe this when bad things happen. Things we don't understand. It's hard to say the Lord is good and His way is best when a loved one dies. For my cousin's short life of 25 years she filled it with loving and helping others. And it is a great comfort knowing she will be teaching little children in heaven now, just like she wished to do here on earth.
      So many times in our lives we ask "Why, God, why?" He knows why, and we just have to trust in Him and have faith.  How easy is it for all of us to take one another for granted? Love one another! One of the most important things in life: Love. God loves us and wants us to love one another. Spend time with those you care about and reach out to those who need a friend. I hope that people can see the love of Christ through my life.
     How are you doing today? Does life have you down? Busyness? Distractions? Sorrow? Turn it over to the Lord, trust Him, thank Him for all your blessings and know that you aren't alone in this life. You have many friends and family that love you, and you've got a friend in Christ.

Love, Erin

A poem I wrote in high school:

Under the Red Maple Tree
No one is here to hear my cries, to dry my tears, to mend my soul.
I look out at the red and yellow trees in the distance and wish you were here by my side.
Shivering, I long to feel the warmth of your body as you cuddle me in your arms.
Your love radiated like an old wood stove burning bright.
The sun is quickly setting as I sit on the old wood swing beneath the red Maple tree, where we sat so many times before just talking about life, love and little things.
Your spot on the swing is empty.
A stiff fall gust of wind causes me to pull your warm jacket even tighter about myself.
I wish you were here to watch the leaves fall from the trees.
You always loved to see the squirrels scurry about gathering nuts.
Sitting on our swing brings me back to a time when things were sweet, simple and serene.
I quietly ponder, in these last hours of the day, how I will live without you by my side.
Your smile could light up my day like the sun lights up the sky.
I miss you so much!
You are my sister, and you no longer are here to sit by me on our swing under the red Maple tree.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Food Friday!!

I'm going to try to bring back my food Fridays that I started on my old blog. Every Friday I will post the yummy recipes I made that week, and I'll post the titles of some recipes that I'd like to try in the coming week. I have to confess... I love recipes. I have a million cookbooks, a million recipes copied from cookbooks from the library and a million on index cards. Although cooking the same things over and over is easy(and they are our favorite recipes) I want to try new recipes. Switch things up. :D And, I love my husband, he isn't picky and he will tell me the truth about a recipe. So, here are some great ones that I used this week.

Crunchy Oven French Toast 
This french toast is delicious! Orange juice gives it just a touch of citrus flavor and wheat germ gives is a wonderful crunch! I topped mine with pure maple syrup. SO GOOD!
1 Tbsp margarine
3 Tbsp wheat germ
1/4 c orange juice
1 Tbsp honey
3 egg whites
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
6 slices bread
2 Tbsp wheat germ

Preheat oven to 450. Heat margarine in jelly roll pan, 15 1/2 x 10 1/2 x 1", in oven until melted; spread evenly in a pan. Sprinkle 3 Tbsp wheat germ evenly over margarine. Beat orange juice, honey, egg whites, vanilla extract, and cinnamon with hand beater until foamy. Dip bread into egg mixture; place in pan. Drizzle remaining egg mixture over bread. Sprinkle 2 Tbsp wheat germ evenly over bread. Bake about 10 minutes or until bottoms are golden brown. Turn and bake 6 to 8 minutes longer or until bottoms are golden brown.

 Photo from
Taco Seasoning
8 tsp dried minced onion
2 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp cornstarch
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
In a small bowl, combine all ingredients. Store in an airtight container in a cool dry place for up to 1 year.
Yield: 6 tablespoons.  

"Fried" Onion Rings
These onion rings are as good as fried! And my healthier. They are nice and light and crispy. 

2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c. seasoned dried bread crumbs
2 eggs 
2 large onions, sliced 1/4 inch thick and separated into double rings

1. Preheat oven to 400. Spray a nonstick baking sheet with nonstick spray. Mix the flour and salt on a small plate. Put the bread crumbs in a small bowl. Put the eggs(beat with fork) in a small bowl.
2. Coat each double onion ring on both sides with the flour mixture, shake off excess; dip into the eggs, then into the crumbs. (I swirled the onion ring around in the bowl, flipped it over and swirled some more.) Transfer to the baking sheet; spray with nonstick spray(don't overdo it).
3. Bake until browned on bottom, 10 minutes. Turn and bake until browned. about 5-10 minutes.

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