Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Chiles Rellenos Eggrolls

This is the recipe for the delicious Mexican eggrolls I love to make! When I found large cans (20 whole green chiles each) for a dollar at a local grocery store, I snatched up thirty of them just so I could make these. They really are easy.

The filling:
Brown 1 lb. ground beef, 1 med. onion and a clove of garlic. Drain. Add 1/2 t. salt, 1/2 t. ground cumin and 1/4 t. oregano. Add 2 c. shredded cheddar cheese.

Lay out a eggroll wrapper. Lay a whole green chile opened up on the eggroll wrapper. Top with some of the ground beef mixture and wrap eggroll style. Fry in a little oil until golden brown on all sides or deep fry. Serve with salsa and sour cream.

I'm Not Kidding

Ford actually got me a megaphone for a Christmas present. Not this exact one, but a megaphone nonetheless. Our kids are not excited. We, on the other hand, much enjoy tormenting them. What fun I'll have waking them up for school after Christmas break. Of course, they will have the option of using their alarms to get up here on time, but when the don't.....mwhaha!

Merry Christmas!

We've been enjoying Candace and Michael here for the last couple of weeks. Ford's business was so swamped (which is a huge and unusual blessing this time of year) he needed help and since Michael's work was slow, they came down to stay with us for a while. Now Priscilla is home from college too. All of the adults in the house have been going to work at 8am, leaving the four younger kids and I home during the day. Then at night, everyone is home together. It has been the perfect balance between peace & quiet and fun.

This morning we had our own immediate family's Christmas with gifts from Ford and I and the much anticipated stockings. The rest of today will be spent loading up the presents, packing overnight clothes and cooking food to take to Grandma & Grandpa's, which is just next door. My sister, Lori, and her family will meet us over there for a grand total of twenty people!

Our tradition is that each family basically prepares a whole meal for Christmas Eve and we add it all together buffet style. Mom and Lori usually make more traditional Christmas dinner type foods, while I choose the ethnic variety. This year my contribution is shredded pork tacos, chiles rellanos eggrolls, mexican rice and black bean & corn salsa. Yum! We dress up and have a nice dinner together with loads of desserts that Grandma makes. We have a dirty santa present exchange and a sort-of-talent show. Then we ALL spend the night. We wake up, open presents from the person who drew our name and spend the rest of the day lounging in our pajamas, playing games and eating leftovers. We usually stay until the next evening.

Needless to say, it's most everyone's favorite twenty-four hours of the year!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Our God is an Awesome God...

...that line can sound so cliche, can't it? Awesome. It's still a great word. My little dictionary that sits here by the computer says awe is a mixed emotion of reverence, dread and wonder. I would say fear instead of dread, but basically awe is the right word.

Today I read the first chapter (well, the first half of the first chapter) in John Piper's Desiring God.

I'll be honest. I just don't care for Christian books. I absolutely love my Bible. I read it regularly, study it in depth, teach from it, underline freely, write notes in the margins and just plain delight in it. But Christian books on theology...uh, I think I need to go clean out my refrigerator. I won't go into any reasons for my aversions here because I don't want to follow that rabbit trail right now.

I stumbled across this title while reading over at Dewey's Treehouse and saw that this book was available online. My girls have ordered some of Piper's books and I knew he was a popular author so I thought I'd check it out. I printed the first chapter and settled down with my cup of coffee before I woke the kids up. I read this excerpt and felt like it did a good job of summing up something I feel like God has been trying to show me this year. Not that I have been through any major trauma this year, but if it can apply to bigger situations, why not smaller ones?

"When God looks at a painful or wicked event through his narrow lens, he sees the tragedy or the sin for what it is in itself and he is angered and grieved....

But when God looks at a painful or wicked event through his wide angle lens, he sees the tragedy or the sin in relation to everything leading up to it and everything flowing out from it. He sees it in all the connections and effects that form a pattern or mosaic stretching into eternity. This mosaic in all its parts-good and evil-brings him delight."

So often, all we see things through is the narrow lens. We rightly feel grief and anger. But that is so often where we stop. We don't move on from there. Oh, maybe we decide to take the big step and "forgive" because we know it's wrong to harbor anger and bitterness in our hearts. Scripture is painfully clear about that. So we say, "I forgive you" but it doesn't always prevent us from only seeing through the narrow lens.

Much of my prayers this year have been, "Lord, help me to see through Your eyes" or "Help me to love so-and-so like you do". Over and over again I have prayed for His viewpoint. Talk about God not giving us a stone when we ask for bread! I feel like I have received freshly ground, whole wheat, delicious, nutritious, satisfying bread this year. Sometimes the results of these prayers have been almost instantly miraculous and other times more gradual, but after looking back a bit, effective nonetheless.

I have seen one thing for sure. Love and grace triumph over punishment and self-righteous judgment. Occasionally, I see a glimpse of His Glory and even just that glimpse, that tip of the iceberg, feels so overwhelming it makes me wonder how I will be able to bear more.


I'm still so amazed that the majority of my children have such blond hair. I thought it was funny one evening when all I saw was this peeping out from the side of the couch and I had to wonder which girl it was. It was Kezzi napping on the couch.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Silly Boys

I was going through my camera, deleting pictures to make room for more when I came across these nutty poses.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

I saw this quiz on Becks Bounty and thought I'd give it a try.

An Elf

Like one of Santa's right-hand helpers, you're dedicated and devoted. From their pointy shoes to their pointy ears, the elves, and people like you, are the man in red's secret to success. Do you really think one person can make all those toys, harness the reindeer, wrap all those gifts, and get around the world in one night?

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Manipulating with a Magnadoodle

I found this on Ford's night stand while I was getting ready for bed one night, right after I told Annalise that it was too late for me to read to her. Needless to say, I caved and read to her.

All Seven Together

Everyone was here together for Annalise's baptism. From left to right: Candace (21), Abel(12), Kezzi (18), Annalise (8), Priscilla (19), Hope (16) and Luke (14).

You can click on the pictures to enlarge them.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Moving Forward

Cindy at Dominion Family wrote this post in November. I am in the first steps of a stage she is already familiar with. I'm am happy to find the joy in this time of life and to see that God is just as faithful now as He was when I leaned on Him for all of the little kid issues. This quote reflects what I am seeing happen in our home.

"On the flip side, when the children start flying away it happens just as fast. The seismic shift in family life can leave gaping holes. But when the dust is settled, something amazing usually takes place. Everyone moves up a notch. Maturity levels rise. Relationships change and blossom. A child who was content to be under the radar is suddenly a leader. I have seen this happen over and over again but it is always a source of surprise and encouragement to me."

I am seeing one example of this in Hope right now. She has really been blossoming. It was hard at first to see her go from one of four girls getting ready for bed each night, all in the same bathroom, crowded around one mirror, laughing and talking happily to having large quantities of time alone. But what magnificent things she is doing with that free time! The songs she is composing and singing are truly wonderful!! Her dad just gave her his violin last night and now she is experimenting with that. And she wants a guitar for Christmas. It's amazing to see sorrow turned to joy.

Without the big girls around, it's been easier to see how strong and capable Luke has grown. This morning he went and got the Christmas tree out of the storage building, carried it in by himself and assembled the whole thing with a little help from Abel and Annalise, who both insisted on joining in the fun. I didn't have to do a thing. He has also grown very valuable in Ford's business, taking over the production of one of his most important materials.

With Luke gone working many afternoons, Abel and Annalise have spent a lot more time together and that has been good too.

Everyone really is moving up a notch and adjusting to all of the changes.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

A Poem by Priscilla

I stole this from Priscilla's facebook page, with permission....
A poem I wrote inspired by the story of Eustace in The Dawn Treader; a story which illustrates God's faithfulness to inflict beautiful, cleansing pain on His children.

The Undragoning

I lay e’er long on a bed of comfort
My rough parched self displays no shame.
My jewels, naught such, may taunt yea hurt,
But I turn my head and refuse the pain.
My mind as a wheel spins tales of such
That throne me higher than a King.
'Tis treason, plain and clear, but search
The kingdom wide and you’ll find none true.
Yet amidst the mutiny the ruler rules
And in spite of the rebellion a servant will hear.
The King steps down and with His claws
He pierces deep a gaping tear.
He searches through stubborn scales until
Against smooth skin I feel His paws.
A cry escapes my lips as I
Again feel shame form blessed strength.