Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Potato-Bean Soup

For Mrs. Pear...

Potato-Bean Soup
1.5 C dried navy or great northern beans
6 C water
1 tsp salt
1 garlic clove smashed
1 bay leaf

2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1.5 C diced white onion
3 ribs celery, diced
2 C sliced carrots
(about) 6 small to medium sized potatoes, scrubbed and cut into bite-sized pieces
2 tsp. dried rosemary
1.5 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. salt
4 C chicken broth (you can also use vegetable broth)
1.5 tsp parsley flakes

Place beans in large skillet or stock pot and cover with at least 2 inches of water OR use quick soak method. Quick Soak Method: Place beans in large skillet or stockpot. Cover by at least two inches of water. Bring beans and water to a boil. Turn off heat, cover and let sit for approximately 90 minutes. The results of quick soak aren't always consistent, but I've never had a problem with it. I've heard older, drier beans don't respond well to quick soaking...

In a large soup pot, place soaked beans and 6 C cold water, smashed garlic clove, salt and bay leaf. Cook approximately 30-45 minutes or until beans are tender. Strain beans, reserving bean liquid. Remove bay leaf and garlic clove.

In same large soup pot, heat olive oil. Place onions and celery in oil and saute until they become soft. Add rosemary, black pepper and salt to pot and stir. Add carrots and potatoes to pot and stir. Then, add chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Cook until vegetables are tender 20-30 minutes. Add beans and 1 C of reserved bean broth. Bring to a simmer and cook about 15 minutes. Add parsley flakes just before serving. Adjust seasonings to taste. Enjoy!

Ten on Tuesdays--Genesis and Exodus

Thanks to Ann for hosting Ten on Tuesdays!

I'm doing the Bible in 90 Days Challenge and thought I would post 10 things I've discovered/remembered while reading. I'm not all the way through Exodus yet, but we'll give this a whirl!

1. The lights God placed in the universe serve these purposes:
--As signs
--For seasons
--For days
--For years Gen 1:14
2. Refusing to call sin sin, not taking ownership of sin creates even more sin. The blame game never leads to redemption--just more complicating sins. Gen. 3:12-13
3. It isn't until Gen 4:26 that any mention is made of people calling on the name of the Lord.
4. Both Enoch and Noah are described as "walking with God." Enoch was just "not;" Noah was given a floating home to escape the evil of the world. Gen. 5:24, Gen 6:9
5. I wonder how long it took for Noah to collect all those animals?! Gen. 6:22
6. The genealogy of Nimrod was:
Even the best parenting and most spiritually devoted family can produce wicked offspring. It's all a matter of the individual heart. Gen 10:8
7. Abraham called upon the name of the Lord A LOT! Gen.12:8, 13:4, 13:18, 21:33 as some examples
8. In the picture of Christ we get with Abraham and Isaac on Mt. Moriah, three things were necessary for the sacrifice: Fire, Wood and a Lamb. Those same things were needed for Christ's sacrifice: Fire of the Holy Spirit, Wood of the Cross, Lamb of God. Gen 22:7
9. Isaac provides a wonderful example of a husband interceding on behalf of his wife. Gen 25:21
10. Esau's descendants (his 12 tribes) developed kings and kingdoms long before Israel did. Gen. 36:31

Okay, I have WAAAY more than 10 things in my notes. I could probably list 100 things that I've noticed or things I want to go back and study! Isn't God's Word wonderfully rich and vibrant?!?!

Thanks, Lord, for opening my heart to Your Word. Amen.

The Bible In 90 Days Challenge

Technically, I should have my nose buried in my Bible, completing my reading assignment for the day. But, I'm having trouble winding down, so here I am sharing the challenge with all of you!

I started the challenge last Thursday, and by our next meeting, I need to have completed Genesis and Exodus. So far, my biggest struggle has been the manner in which I need to read to be able to complete the assignments. I'm a speed reader by nature, so it isn't the amount of reading. If this were any other book, I would probably be well ahead of schedule, devouring pages lickety-split. But, I'm forever spoiled. We attend Calvary Chapel and we've been taught chapter by chapter, verse by verse, inducting hundreds and hundreds of verses each year. We welcome rabbit trails and extensive researching of meanings and translations. It suits me to a "T." I'm a detail person. I remember birthdays and anniversaries and unusual spellings and intricate directions. But, this study requires a very different approach. It's a "big picture" study and I've always struggled with the big picture.

Don't get me wrong--I get the very basic concepts of the Bible and God's message to us. But, I find myself getting caught up in the details of each colorful story. It's hard to glance over them and not stop to study them through! I know there is purpose in this approach, though, and I am excited to see what God will be showing me as I study the Bible as a whole.

Thank You, Lord, for this study and for this new way of reading and understanding Your Word. Please grant me understanding, wisdom and clarity of how You are speaking to me at this time in my life. Bless my study times and continue to provide that time for me as You see fit. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Morning Five

I love the idea of Making Your Home A Haven, so I'll join in this week and list the five things I'd like to turn into a morning routine:

1. Shower-- I know that should be a given, but if the boy wakes before me, it's sometimes pushed to the afternoon or even after hubs gets home from work. I want to be showered, dressed and looking (fairly) good when he gets home from a hard day's work. Not dirty, tired and bewildered!
2. Bible--I'm in a new study call the "Bible in 90 Days Challenge" and the reading assignments are massive. I want to spend more time reading in the morning and less time trying to cram it all in before bed.
3. Meal Prep--In the past it has always worked so well to prep both lunch and supper as much as possible right after breakfast is over. It's a hedge against the day, allowing our meals to be prepared quickly and easily.
4. Laundry--This is the bane of my existence right now! It has been for the last two years. The only method that has worked consistently for me is to wash whatever is dirty every. single. morning. Then, put it away after lunch or dinner. So, I want to go back to that method and just do the laundry every morning.
5. Listen--We are blessed to have wonderful, local, Christian radio broadcasting sound teaching 24/7. I've noticed that when I tune in as I do my morning chores, I tend to spend less time thinking about and worrying over the little things and more time thinking on the things of God--a much better way to spend the day!

Lord, thanks for this tangible way to help me organize the beginning of my day and bring order to our home. Bless this home and all who wander through. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Menu Plan Monday 3/23

We've been "off plan" the last couple weeks, trying to use up some things from the freezer as well as deal with some curve balls thrown our way. Time spent off plan has shown me how very much indeed we need to have a written, strict plan! We definitely over-spend our "out-to-eat" budget category when we a) have no plan and b) let ourselves get too busy and tired to incorporate healthful cooking into our day.

So, here's the plan for the next four weeks. This month, I've added breakfasts and lunches as well. Having those planned as well helps make our day flow better.

Saturdays: Cereal and donuts (a tradition!)
Sundays: 3/22-French Toast, 3/29-Pancakes, 4/5-Eggs and Toast, 4/12-Out of Town
Mondays: Oatmeal, Yogurt, Fruit
Tuesdays: Cereal, Toast, Fruit Cups
Wednesdays: Breakfast bake, Fruit
Thursdays: Eggs, Toast, Fruit
Fridays: Oatmeal, Yogurt, Fruit

Saturdays: 3/21-Leftovers, 3/28-Frozen Pizza, 4/4-Out to Eat, 4/11-Out of Town
Sundays: Lunch With Church Friends
Mondays: Grilled Cheese, Fresh Veggies, Fruit
Tuesdays: PBJ, Fresh Veggies, Fruit
Wednesdays: Out to Eat
Thursdays: Hot Dogs, Fresh Veggies, Fruit, Cheese
Fridays: Leftovers

Saturdays: Grill Night Side Dish: Baked Potatoes/Oven Steak Fries, Salad
3/21 Pork Chops
3/28 Chicken
4/4 Steak
4/11 Out of Town

Sundays: Soup/Salad/Sandwich
3/22 Big Sandwich, Veggies
3/29 Pasta Fagioli, Salad, Bread
4/5 Potato-Bean Soup, Cornbread
4/12 Easter

Mondays: Italian Side Dish: Salad/Peas and Bread
3/23 Spaghetti and Meatballs
3/30 Ravioli
4/6 Spaghetti Bake
4/13 Out of Town

Tuesdays: Mexican Side Dish: Corn
3/24 Tacos, Corn Cakes
3/31 Cheesy Chicken and Rice Casserole
4/7 Steak Quesadillas, Chips and Salsa
4/14 Tacos

Wednesdays: Leftovers/Clean Out The Fridge!

Thursdays: Misc/To Eat
3/26 Pot Roast, Mashed Potatoes, Mixed Veggies
4/2 Out
4/9 Pork Roast, Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Lima Beans
4/16 Out

Fridays: Meatless/Fish
3/27 Eggs, Toast, Fruit
4/3 Grilled Cheese/PBJ, Fruit, Veggies
4/10 Fish Sticks/Salmon, Mac N Cheese, Veggies
4/17 Spaghetti, Peas, Bread

And just to make you feel better--we don't plan this way because we are super organized and highly motivated people. We plan this way for a couple of reasons:
A) We aren't, in fact, super organized and we need the written, black and white plan to motivate us.
B) We have a lot of little people demanding our time and energy. A plan helps us take care of them better.
C) A plan concerning meals helps us communicate better. All we need to do is look at the chart on the fridge to see what our plan is.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Still Here...

The last two posts here have been written by my pilgrimming husband--thanks, hubs! I'm still here and have lots to write...just no time to write it down! Thanks to all who faithfully read anyway. Be back soon!

Friday, March 13, 2009

"I am the Lord...."

22 Moses returned to the LORD and said, "O Lord, why have you brought trouble upon this people? Is this why you sent me? 23 Ever since I went to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has brought trouble upon this people, and you have not rescued your people at all."

1 Then the LORD said to Moses, "Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh: Because of my mighty hand he will let them go; because of my mighty hand he will drive them out of his country."
2 God also said to Moses, "I am the LORD. 3 I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob as God Almighty, but by my name the LORD I did not make myself known to them. 4 I also established my covenant with them to give them the land of Canaan, where they lived as aliens. 5 Moreover, I have heard the groaning of the Israelites, whom the Egyptians are enslaving, and I have remembered my covenant.

6 "Therefore, say to the Israelites: 'I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. 7 I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. 8 And I will bring you to the land I swore with uplifted hand to give to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob. I will give it to you as a possession. I am the LORD.' " Exodus 5:22-6:1-8.

Moses had just approached Pharoah and asked him to release the Israelites from their labor so they could leave Egypt and go worship. In response, Pharoah scoffed at Moses’ request and reasoned that the Israelites were being too idle in their work. So rather than release them from their work, he increased its difficulty, and required them to gather their own straw to make bricks.

While the Israelites were scattered by the Egyptians to gather stubble, the Israelite officers, who were appointed over the people, were beaten because the people could not meet their daily quota of bricks.

So the Officers went before Pharoah to discuss the matter, but were met with hostility, and were warned to fulfill their quota of bricks.

On their way out from their meeting with Pharoah, they met Moses and Aaron and basically blamed them for bringing trouble on the people.

After being rebuked, Moses questions his calling and expresses his doubts about God’s plan. Things were not going the way he thought they should. Apparently, he thought Pharoah was going to let the people go because God had sent him to ask Pharoah to do just that. Instead, Pharoah made the Israelites suffer.

Many of us have been there—you set out to do what you believe the Lord has called you to do, only to be disillusioned because things didn’t turn out the way you had envisioned. It is at that point that we tend to sulk and question God’s ability.

But as Moses found out, the point of going to Pharoah was not so he could accomplish a great work for the Lord; it was so the Lord could be revealed. The Lord wanted Moses to know that He (God) is the Lord, that He is compassionate, and that He remembers His promises and intends to keep them. The Lord wanted Moses to know that it would be by His mighty hand that the people would be delivered.

Are you facing disappointment? Have you been disillusioned? Do you question God’s ability to work in your situation? The Lord is God. He is compassionate and remembers His promises. He wants you to see what He will do—not by might, nor by power, but by His Spirit (Zech 4:6). Humble yourself before the Lord, and He will lift you up (1 Peter 5:5-7).