Women of Faith

I went to the Women of Faith conference with Ans this past weekend and God taught me more than I could even express. Just so much that I will always cherish and I hope that others will see changed in me. I wanted to blog about it but it was so hard to really put into words all God spoke to me about but I have to say that in the season of life I am in...I have a certain passion to know God more and I can't get enough of learning about new characteristics of this person who is so important in who I am and yet so beyond me and so bigger than me that I can't grasp or fathom the idea that He would even consider me... that the Creator of the Universe calls me His child. How many times we have heard that truth yet over looked it because maybe it doesn't mean much to be called a child of anyone let alone God. Some of us can't understand that, it seams to objective or obtuse... but I realised for my heart I just never fully understood WHAT that really looked like until I became a parent myself, and even still... because I am so flawed, it's beyond what I could even know.

Stephen Curtis Chapman spoke of his daughter that he lost in a tragic accident and how he has been longing for the day when he will see her again and hold her again. How he will celebrate he day that they are united again in Heaven...it made me think of my own little girl and how I care so much about her, I think of her and I smile and I laugh at her little quirks even the ones that I know are her fallen nature, her little bouts of anger when she doesn't get her way or how she pops open the cereal bag in the grocery aisle (ok ok JUST like me) and thinks nothing of munching as she walks, how he can love Lilly one minute and poke her with the umbrella the next, how she laughs and what she looks like when she is sleeping.

It hit me for the first time in all my almost 28 yrs. that being a child of God means, in a lot of ways, He looks at me the same way I look at her. He cherishes my quirks and my flaws and my silly habits and my fits of rage when I don't get my way. He longs to tuck me in at night and brush my hair from my eyes and pray protection over me. He hurts when I hurt and He wants a good life for me. He celebrates with me over my little victories and discoveries. He loves the sound of my voice and could pick me out of a crowd. And just like that father who has to be away from His child for a little while, no matter how painful it may be, His heart is breaking for the day He will be with her again...He is longing for and waiting for the day when He can hold her again and wipe her tears and dance with her. He looks on us and thinks that we are lovely, us daughters of the King, and He will not tire or grow weary in His pursuit of our hearts.

This truth changes who I am and who I will be.


14 weeks

14 week Development

Well we made it to the second trimest and everyone is doing great. My little lemon is cooking away. Everything I read on the size of the baby says they are the length of a lemon and weighs 1 1/2 once! My brother asked me a week ago "How are you rocking the belly already?" would have made my normal fragile ego of having a flat stomach cringe but happily I said "well I AM about to be in my second trimester I think it's okay to have a little belly by now, I was starting to worry the baby wasn't growing!" He was stunned that I was that far along. Time flies for sure and it's hard to remember in baby days just how long it's been since that first phone call to say, guess what..... but here we are, a little belly is starting to show and I am anxious (not too much mind you) for a much bigger bump to have to stretch this really cute sweater I want over it!

Actually shopping has been an easy habit NO obsession to curb for a bit considering my soon to be growing waistline. I did get an urge before a morning workout the other day to see if I could still squeeze into my jeans, and to my surprise they all fit great! (that won't be there for long)

On the other end of things is my excitement to feel the baby move and people ask me all the time "do you have any ideas of what it could be?" I think boy. Bry doesn't think anything yet, he won't until they announce it on Sept 18th and then he'll say "I knew that all along" lol. But I have a few hints to it being a boy

1.no growth in my hips only a little in the belly, with Kehnley I was like baby got even more back, as if that was possible!

2. breakouts, I haven't had them in like 6 years and now I get them all the time!

3. craving for soda...probably 6 years since that too come to think of it, not since my redbull days in college

4.UN emotional, I am not dead inside or anything but with Kehnley I cried ALL the time! not with this one

5.I want Mexican food all the time...I don't know if that's for a girl, a boy, or a little gringo :)

I am sure there are more clues to come, but we will see. Not to mention the several dreams I have had about a boy from the first one that lead me to believe I was pregnant. BUT if it's a girl, we will be so thrilled and I will for sure know first hand that no matter what you are having every pregnancy is different AND we are just asking God for a healthy baby. This certainly won't be the last if its up to us.

So here is the belly at 14 weeks....see, there's a little bump there!! Donna and I both thought I was starting to REALLY show after the Port A trip, turns out it was just a swollen puffy belly from all the sea air because the next morning it was gone! Now here I am a few weeks later, grow baby grow!


Our little baby,

I am praying for you and your little hands to do great and mighty things, your little mind to know and see truth that will enlighten us all, your feet to go places and touch lives that we never dreamed of, and your little heart to experience the Magesty of Christ in such an awesome way that we are forever changed by watching you become who He made you to be. I am praying for you to have dreams of the Beautiful one holding you safe and close while my arms can't hold you and to be whisphering songs in your ears until I can do to the same, and for His face to be a light in your eyes until the day I can see you. I love you so much.


The Proudest Day in a Man's Life!

**Updated with Pictures!
We pulled up from church today and Bryson broke out in cheers and screams, enough so to put a face of shock on our child lol. You would have thought Publishers Clearing House had come to us with a bundle of balloons and an over sized check, but no no, something even better...there it was, the greatest sight to this man's eyes, a sign that read:


Here is Bry's acceptance speech.

The funny thing is we had JUST gotten the neighborhood news letter and commented on the cover because it was a picture of last months yard of the month. Bry was saying how badly he wanted to be on that little blue pamphlet cover lol. So I thought when we pulled up it was a big joke! Like someone was playing a trick on him! But no, oh man it's like an addiction now, he's not going to stop at just one... I wish they could have picked us in the start of summer when all my flowers looks pretty and blooming, but Bry claims that just gives us something to shoot for next time, it's already begun! Here is the proud master mower standing by his sign, Kehnley got in on the action too!



My comp went flop when Kehnloey dropped some water on it "saw-wee" she said over and over :) Soo.. I am still waiting on the Geek Squad to get my harddrive off my comp and share pics with you of Port A, belly, and some pretty funy pics of my potty training pro :)

Lets see if me and Kehnley can go light a fire under the Geek Squad...who can resist two gals in "tink tails"


Some Southern Favorites!

**Updated with Usher Family "fried" Okra & Squash

This is hands down THE best AND easiest Banana Pudding I have EVER made/had!

Aunt Lynn's Banana Pudding
1 lg. box of instant vanilla pudding
1/2 c. non-dairy creamer (powder)
1 can Eagle Brand Condensed milk
3 c. milk
8 oz. cool whip
Vanilla Wafers
3-4 Bananas (cut bite size)

mix all but cool whip for 2 minutes. Layer wafers, bananas, mix (repeat until all the mix is used). Top with cool whip.
YUM! Kehnley calls this banana cake

Bry's fav. Green Beans
(for a boy who used to hate all things green)
Fresh green beans
2 tsp butter
bread crumbs
Season Salt
salt and pepper

Wash and snap ends off green beans (*you can all buy the steam fresh bag OR frozen long cut green beans) Steam them in a steamer, if you don't have a steamer you can use a little bit of olive oil in a pan and cook cover on low-med heat until tender yet with a snap. Remove from steamer OR pan and place in a serving dish, add butter, salt and pepper, Season Salt, and handful of bread crumbs. Mix well, the bread crumbs will lightly coat the green beans and you will see these babies eaten up just as fast as they were made!


A child who licks the cream cheese off a bagel LOVES this!!
Chicken Spaghetti
3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (or you can use a whole chicken de-boned) I like only white meat in mine
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 tbs. Tony's Creole Seasoning
1/2 Chopped Onion (*optional when I am preggers not going in there!)
Spaghetti noodles
1 lb. Velveeta cheese (don't accidentally put 2 when you are making the recipe for the first time and make all your friends sick except Ronnie who gobbled all of it up)

1 can of cream of mushroom soup AND 1 can of cream of celery
*OR you can sub both of those for Golden Mushroom and have a little more kick to your dish

Boil Chicken until cooked remove from pot and cut into small pieces
Boil Spaghetti in broth left from chicken.
Melt Velveeta with soup in microwave.
Mix all ingredients together with chicken and spaghetti. Can serve right away OR put in a baking dish and bake @ 450 with a little cheese on top until slightly browned)

Come to think of it I haven't made this in a while, maybe sometime this weekend...

Usher Family "fried" Okra & Squash
(Great Grandma Usher's fried okra is the best!)
frozen or fresh cut okra (thawed)
2 -3 yellow squash chopped into cubes
1/2 med onion chopped
wheat flour (*optional)

In a mixing bowl toss together the veggies an onions, add enough cornmeal and(*optional- just a dash or two of flour) mix with your hands to get it all coated.
Heat olive oil in the skillet but not to where it's smoky, add veggie mix and cover to cook.
Cook on med/high stirring occasionally. Sometimes if it's a big batch I will add it in two parts. Cook until the okra/squash/onion mix is getting crispy and browned like "fried" okra would be. If you need to add more cornmeal, I just add by the handful as it's cooking and toss to make sure it's got everything covered almost. While it's cooking I add the salt and pepper.
Once finished remove from skillet and place on a plate with paper towns to soak up the oil. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy! Hope your house is smelling like my great grandma's right now :)


I have a picky eater!

SO my neighbor inspired me to share some of Kehnley's fav. recipes. She's a SUPER picky eater, hates veggies, LOVES hot dog wieners and mac and cheese...lets just say she only gets those things on a regular basis from the grandparents houses. SO, my mission... to make food she will eat that's actually good for her, something BRY will eat...AND something easy enough I can make in a day. Oh yeah!!! AND it would be nice if it was on a budget too!

PS. This is also a new feature for my friends that live far away asking me for recipes and Nate in particular following his dreams in Nashville, maybe this can give you some mealtime ideas :) AND you wont have to scribble ingredients down over the phone!

Two nights ago I made Turkey White Bean Chili and THESE "Muffins" as she favorably calls them.

Thank Kristen Webster for this one!!

Broccoli Cheddar Muffins
4 large eggs
1/2 c. melted butter
1 1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1 10oz frozen bag of chopped broccoli cooked and drained
1/2 c. green onion chopped (*optional)
8 oz. Jiffy corn muffin mix (blue box)
Beat the eggs in mixer until light in color. Add Butter & cheese & mix on low. Add muffin mix, broc. & *onion- mix on low speed another minute. Pour into greased muffin pan.
Cook 375 for15-20 minutes And watch as your child eats broccoli with a smile! :)
This one is for all my Tech-ies who KNOW what a huge pot this makes! Wouldn't have been a great Lubbock winter night without it! Thanks Gabby :)
Taco Soup
1 lb ground beef
1 can kernel corn
1 can homony (golden)
1 can black beans
2 cans pinto beans
1 can rotel
1 can diced tomatoes
1 pkg. taco seasonings
1 jar (yes the whole jar) of your fav salsa
Brown meat in the pot and add taco seasoning once meat is cooked and drained. Add in tomatoes, salsa, rotel and the rest of the cans. Salt and pepper to taste.
Let simmer until beans are cooked through and soup is bubbling.
Serve with cheese, Fritos or tortilla chips, avocados or sour cream!
YUM... makes a LOT!
Cranberry Rice Bars
3 tbs. butter
1 bad of mini marshmallows
1 box of Kashi Go Lean OR any other multi-grain cluster cereal'
1 1/4 cups dried cranberries OR cherries (sometimes we use cherries)
Melt butter in saucepan over low heat. Add marshmallows and cook, stirring occasionally 4-5 minutes until melted and smooth. Remove from heat.
Stir in cereal and 1 cup dried cranberries until well coated
Press mixture into 13x9 in baking dish coated with cooking spray. Chop remaining 1/4 c.dried cranberries and sprinkle on to.
Let stand 10-15 minutes. Cut and enjoy!!
Makes 24 bars.
It's a fun alternative to rice crispies!
Those are just three for today. There's more to come!! Oh look at the time, Good night!!