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Archive for August 6th, 2008

I LOVE anything that tastes good and is quick and easy.  Tonight, we’re eating tuna wraps (I love wraps.  Tonight we’re just using flour tortillias, but I also like the green spinach tortillias when we make wraps.)

Drain 1 can of your favorite kind of tuna.

Empty the can into a bowl.

Add 2 generous plops of mayo (about 1/2 cup or a little less depending on how much mayo you like.)

Sprinkle pepper around on the tuna, (about 1/8 of a teaspoon)

Add either finely chopped onions, OR onion powder (about 1/8 of a teaspoon)

Mix it all up and put it on your tortillas. (If you prefer, you can chill it in the fridge first and then put it on your tortillias.)

This one takes LESS than 5 minutes!

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Ok, so here are 10 things about me that most people (even people who think they know me well) don’t know.

#1 I like to build things.  Desks, book cases, etc.  I put together all of my furniture myself and I built Grace’s swingset solo.

#2 I’m very shy around new people until I feel comfortable with them.

#3 I can change my own windshield wipers!

#4 When I was 12, I decided that I would be the first female President of the United States. (It’s not a goal I’m working towards, but can you tell I’m a little bit strong willed?  🙂 )

#5 I LOVE everything about Christmas.

#6 I know 99% of all Christmas songs by heart.  I can sing them and/or play them for you on the piano.

#7 I once stayed up for 36 hours straight.

#8 If somebody tells me I can’t do something…….well, let’s just say I find a way to get it done.

#9 I do not like to be around people who consistently choose to have a negative attitude or outlook on life.

#10 I could eat Turkey, Mashed Potatoes, Stuffing, and Green Bean Casserole EVERY day for lunch ALL YEAR LONG and STILL enjoy every bite of  it on Thanksgiving day!

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As Grace and I were eating our Taco Bell tonight……I was thinking that it will be so nice for me to have more time to cook and bake for our meals once I quit working and am able to be an “official” Piano Teacher.  I like eating out once in awhile, but I confess, like most Americans, Grace and I eat out more than we need to (another great way to save $$$ Beth, …..eat at home more often!)  We do spend a lot of time in the kitchen on the weekends, and we eat several home cooked meals a week, it’s just that especially lately, it’s much easier for us to eat out than it is for me to work, teach piano, pick up Grace, go home, cook, clean up the kitchen, run the dishwasher, do laundry and clean the house.  I’d much rather grab something quick on the way home and head outside to play with Grace. 🙂

Here are some of my favorite kitchen tips and timesavers.

#1 When baking chicken: Cover the pan with foil, bake your chicken, then roll up the foil and toss it away instead having to soak and scrub the chicken goo off of the pan. (This is my very favorite kitchen trick!)

#2 Save old banannas, put them in the freezer and use them to make bananna muffins. (Yum!) Or bananna bread, if you prefer it.

#3 Here’s a tip to make any kind of breakfast muffin even better.  Mix cinnamon and sugar together in a coffee cup.  Put your muffin batter in the muffin pans and then sprinkle the tops with the cinnamon and sugar mix before putting them in the oven.  (I use this on almost any muffin I make and it adds just the right touch.)

#4 When making chocolate chip cookies, MELT the butter and add it to the mixture.  I’d never done this before, but I had a recipe that said to melt it first………the best chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever made.  I mentioned this to a friend and she said she always melts her butter for chocolate chip cookies.  They are YUMMY!

#5 Cut pancakes with a pizza cutter.

#6 Have a pair of dedicated “Kitchen Scissors” and use them to cut pizza, green pepper, green onions, celery, etc.

#7 When you buy ground hamburger meat, seperate it into 1lb portions, wrap with plastic wrap and foil.  That way, you don’t have to thaw it out and seperate what you need from it.  Better yet, make your raw hamburger into hamburger patties, freeze and then put in freezer bags.  This way, if you’re making hamburgers, they are ready to go.  If you need to brown the meat, it thaws and browns much faster because it’s in smaller chunks.

#8 Make holiday cookie dough (sugar cookies, gingerbread, etc) ahead of time, wrap in plastic wrap and foil, and freeze it until you’re ready to bake it if you don’t have time to mix from scratch and bake it all in the same day. 

#9 Cut bacon strips in half (across) before frying them to make them more manageable and to help them fry more evenly.  (I hate burnt bacon, and pieces of chewy fat in my bacon, so to get them just right, I cut the strips in half.)

#10 Add a pinch of salt to the water before boiling corn, peas, broccoli, and  carrots to give them a great flavor without having to add any butter to them.

#11 Boil the water BEFORE putting pasta in to cook.  If you put the pasta in the water and bring it to a boil, the pasta ends up mushier. 

#12 Make your own syrup by boiling 1 cup of water and while it’s boiling, stir in 1/2 cup of  white sugar, let it dilute while stirring, and add 1/2 cup and stir in 3 more times (a total of 2 cups of sugar)  Add maple flavoring and you have your very own home made syrup!

#13 If you run out of brown sugar, make your own by mixing white sugar with molasses.

#14 If what you’re making is to salty, add a liittle bit of sugar.  If it’s too sugary, add a little bit of salt.

#15 Add chocolate chips to your bananna bread. (delicious!)

Feel free to add your favorite tips to this list!

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When you look at other people, what do you think?  Do you accept them for who they are?  Do you look at them and see their faults?  This is a tough subject.  How can we look at other people and accept them and love them for who they are?  It’s so hard to do. 

God commands us to love people no matter who they are or what they’ve done.  We run into people all the time who do not measure up to our standard.  Maybe it’s a person who’s been on drugs.  Maybe it’s a person who’s been divorced.  Maybe it’s a single mom.  Maybe it’s a person who has stopped trusting God.  I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not up to ME to judge other people.  My duty is to pray for them, and to show them Christ’s love.  We do not know all of the details of another person’s life.  We don’t know exactly what happened or why it happened. We all make poor choices at times, and none of us are any better than the other in God’s eyes. Sometimes people make a  poor choice that has life long effects.  Sometimes people make poor choices and we don’t know about it because the consequences for their choices are not as obvious as the consequences for other people’s choices.  The real question here to ask ourselves is how do I measure up to God’s standards, not how do other people measure up to my  standards. 

What is your first thought when you see a single mom?  What is your first reaction when you see a single mom come to your church?  I’m very blessed that I have many people in my life who are supportive of Grace and I, however I’ve run into a few people in the last two years who were always putting me down because I’m a single mom.  They found numerous things to judge me for.  They didn’t like my parenting style.  They didn’t like it that I’m not currently married.  They didn’t like it that I’m not looking for a husband.  They didn’t like it that Grace isn’t potty trained yet……and the list goes on and on.  Very petty things in my mind (and things that are really none of anyone else’s business.) 

I learned a long time ago that just because things are “different” than what I like or the way that I would do it, does NOT mean they are “wrong.” 

So, how do you stop judging people and loving them as God would love them?  Well, it doesn’t happen over night, but here are a few things that I’ve learned in this area:

  • Pray for them…..ask God to give you His love for them. (That’s really hard to do sometimes.)
  • Get to KNOW them.  A lot of times, we don’t like a person because we don’t KNOW them.
  • Try to be a blessing to them.  When you bless other people, it blesses you too.
  • Remember that they are accountable to God for their actions, not to you.
  • Just because it’s “different” doesn’t mean it’s “wrong”……is it “wrong” that I’m not married?  No, I don’t think so.  I would rather be a single mom with a peaceful life and a very happy little girl than be married to someone who is verbally, mentally, physically, and sexually abusive…..now that is wrong.
  • When you find yourself judging someone or not liking them, take a look at your attitude.  My philosopy is that if I don’t like a person, it’s not their problem, it’s MY  problem and I need to adjust my attitude about that person.

There are people all around us who are going through trials.  People who have been through worse things than we have been through.  People who are hurting and have no hope.  Don’t judge them……..love them.

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