Rice Rice Baby!

So I have been using rice in a lot of our dishes at home and trying to find ways to spice up the plain ol' rice scene as a side item. We make Chicken and Rice in our house a lot...my brother was the first to make it when we were little.... you know the recipe:

4 boneless skinless chicken breast thawed
*1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 c. of water
1/4 c. uncooked rice
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp pepper
-spray glass baking dish with Pam
-mix soup, rice, water and spices
-pour into pan
-top with chicken
-sprinkle with additional paprika and pepper

Bake covered 45 min.

*can use cream of chicken instead if you have that

Ok, so that dish is a fam fav here BUT I have started buying Uncle Ben's instant Brown Rice...

it's SO good, and fast and easy, all a mom's biggest dinner deal breakers BUT sometimes it gets a little old! So I made up and looked up some ways to SPICE UP my rice. Here are some ways I found:

Greek Rice

cook your rice package as directed
add a handful of feta cheese
4-5 chipped cherry tomatoes
a handful of fresh chopped parsley
mix it all together! Easy right?! you won't believe how good it is

Mexican Rice

cook your rice package as directed
1 can of corn (drained)
1 can of black beans (drained)
*optional i can of rotel OR 3 tbs of salsa
cook beans and corn- for fast you can heat in the microwave
mix all together and get your grub on!

This is a really good side with Avocado Salad:

Avocado Salad

1 sliced avocado
1-2 sliced Roma tomatoes
1 c. shredded lettus
lemon juice to taste OR I like to use 1 tbs Newman's Lemon Italian dressing
So good!
salt and pepper to taste

Citrus Rice

1 pkg of chicken brown rice
1 tbs orange zest
2 tbs orange juice
1 tsp lemon zest
-when you open the pouch to cook rice in microwave add the zests and the juice
THEN cook
-stir in 3 tbs of chopped fresh basil

Cheesy Vegetable Rice

1 scallion chopped
1 garlic clove finely chopped
juice from two lemons
lemon zest
3 tbs of butter/olive oil mix (smart balance butter)
*steam fresh bag of broccoli
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese
rice cooked to package directions
-in a saucepan heat first 5 ingredients
-cook broccoli to package directions
-add rice, broccoli, and lemon oil mix, and cheese- salt and pepper to taste
Mix together and serve!
*can change up the veggi if you want to add something else

Sarah's Rice

cook rice in package as directed
in a saucepan with butter heat contents of Gumbo Veggi Mix (in freezer section)- includes okra, corn, peppers and onions
Mix rice with cooked veggies and grub it

Ok, now off to look at some more baby smiles! i just cant get enough!! I can't have a blog without a pic.... St. Patty Fun!

IMG_0548 IMG_0555

Wordless Wedesday: Can you guess what shared interest made these two strangers instant BF's?


Happy Love Day!

Please enjoy this super cheesy love-y dove-y slide show of OUR Love Day!
(hope yours was just as pink and purpley!)

Top 5 fav Love Day moments:
(in no particular order)
5. Bry and I going to see Wonderland
4. Getting to make the dining room look like pink hearts just threw up everywhere
3. Watching Kehnley's face as she searched the house guided by a red ribbon for dollar gift items (thank you Target)
2. Eating the best homemade lasagna I've had in a long time: via Aunt Becky! (gotta get that recipe)
1. Opening all the goodies my honey bought me and spending the night with the ppl I love the most...
Extra one? Of course, making valentines for all the kiddos in the neighborhood and delivering them door to door with Kehnley, and mostly... hearing her say " happy love day" for the next ten days AFTER Valentines day :)


You had me at butter...

Enticed once again by Paula Deen, with a way of her wand (her stick o butter) and the magic words (HOWDY ya'll!) We have succumbed to her spell of good grub that's not to nice to the backside! But it was too de-lish to pass up. A few months ago Missy gave me a recipe for some yum-o cinnamon rolls. Paula kicked it into buttery overdrive by adding a layer of butter and sugar to the pan before putting the rolls in.... what resulted was amazing!
It didn't take too long to recreate the recipe, sorry no low fat version here, just go for an extra mile run and you'll be covered!

Paula's Cinnamon Rolls


Get the recipe here

Kehnley added her own special touch, and these cinnamon rolls quickly became cinnamon cakes!
Enjoy!! (I know we did, it's always nice to have a sweet splurge!)



Aunt Becky's Lasagna

1/2 lb. groundmeat
16 oz. cottage cheese
Lasagne Noodles
8 oz. Mosserella Cheese
1 medium size Ragu spaghetti sauce

Cook noodles and brown meat, add Ragu, season well and simmer 20 min. In large pan put layer of meat sauce, noodles, cottage cheese, another layer of noodles rest of meatsauce and put mozarella cheese on top. Bake for 25 minutes @ 350.

(*I put the noodles on bottom to help it hold together better when I scoop it out of the pan, just spray some Pam olive oil in the bottom of the pan first)

A little extra love for Jen, I know you are a fan of the pasta like myself :) and you can totally make this healthier for you with a little Barilla wheat pasta and low fat versions of cheese. I make my own sauce and add some fresh oregano and parsley and basil, BUT this will give Cody a run for his plate and make you look like the rock star cook you are :) All you need is a pan and start layering!! (I know it takes a LITTLE longer than a skillet sensation throw it on the stove and heat for ten minutes... BUT it's a Sat. meal for you)


Layla Grace's legacy...

As my own beauties are sleeping soundly in their beds I can't help but think about what Layla Grace's sisters are doing and if they are sleeping well tonight, if her mom and dad are sleeping soundly in their beds... or are they up like they have been night after night for the past two years. If you don't know about Layla Grace or the story of this precious family who lost their child a few days ago visit this site and read their amazing story.

Jen and I attended the funeral this weekend, it was one of the most humbling experience of my life and God has done things in my heart from this brief encounter that I never thought possible. I will forever look at my life differently, look at my children differently, and look at each day given differently. It's not that I have never experienced loss, because I have, or that I have never known anyone else to loose a loved one-especially a child, because I have known that too... but to see a family SO entrusted to the Lords will, SO giving of their story to heal and encourage others in the midst of their pain, SO strong in their testimony that "what we have is not our own, we rejoice in our suffering that it might glorify the Father" to SEE a family live that out... I have never seen that in action like I have through the Marsh family.

We can say we trust God, we can even go through some seaming tough moments and come out giving Him credit...but to the degree that they have Lost and remained faithful, it's only reminiscent of Job to me. He lost his whole family, all his children his friends, his wife, his health... and he STILL said "Lord you are the one and only true God, I will follow you..."
As a mother of my own darling two year old, I can say all day that I would be okay if I had to bury her that knowing she was in heaven would give me all the comfort I need and that I understand when the scriptures say "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. " James 1:17 the trust of that gives me peace... but staying on the safe side of the waters edge and doing in the midst of a storm are two totally different things.

When I said it was a life changing moment for me let me explain.... Layla's dad talked about an analogy of life and humanity being the shore of a beach covered as far as the eye can see of ppl along the waters edge. Everyone is given tools; shovels....buckets...rakes...different tools, some will try and dig the biggest mound of sand with their tools to show off until someone else builds one bigger or the water inevitably washes it away, others will take the time to craft a beautiful work of art for the onlookers to enjoy, some will offer their tools to those around them working diligently, some will lie on the beach tools tossed and soak up the sun... enjoy a good book, live in the moment of the day.... he said that in the midst of all that all he can see is the sight of what he believes Layla would be doing: running down the beach little legs pitter pattering the sand and splashing at the rolling tide laughing and smiling and touching as many ppl she passes as she can, helping ppl along the way, enjoying her day in the sun and soaking up the moment to celebrate the time God gave her where she is. He challenged me to think about what kind of person I have been...how have I been spending my days in the sun? How do I want to be remembered by the ppl scattered where the water meets the sand...

Some days what I do or don't do feels really small and insignificant in light of the big picture and especially in light of what I think others might be doing with their days. As we know it's not God's desire that we compare ourselves to anyone but Himself...but I am seeing SO clearly now that God delights in me, in my job that HE gave me, and I only have today. I don't want to have to go through my own heartbreaking moment to get that lesson. I want to learn it now, through the lives God has let touch me and live differently. The next time someone asks that all too popular and loaded question "why does God let bad things happen to good people?" I believe it's because He hopes they will respond like the Marsh family: honor Him, trust His will, and share their lives that others my find hope themselves....
There are children all over the world who are making their journey to the throne of God, but for some reason THIS little girl is the one God used to touch lives and change hearts and I know she's being honored by the Lord and His angels for it.

God still asks me this question... are you willing to entrust them to me? (like I have entrusted them to you?)



Planned on loading all my pics from February and editing all the ones that I love best
Planned on taking "Month Day' pics of Sadie on her ACTUAL month day & having a mini photo shoot
Planned on working out for and hour three times this week
Planned on cooking some new meals and having a little fun in the kitchen with Kehnley
Planned on serving some sweet friends who need
Planned on play dates probably 4 different times
Planned on going to the park across town to let Kiki play
Planned on keeping my milk supply going strong so I'd have plenty reserved
Planned on spending some much needed quality time with my husband

But when your whole family including your newborn gets a virus that has them throwing up every meal, and diarrhea for a week, when you are the mom and you get food poisoning and then get what they have which feels like you've been hit by a bus, I guess that's why they call it a stomach FLU, there is nothing that you can really think about except pray and pray that your little ones will be able to keep food down because you see the red rings around their eyes and you look at their sad faces and know they feel as terrible as you but can't say they do. Nothing else really matters: not even the 15th load of laundry you've done to try and sterilize from the sickness everyone has, or the fact that you've not slept but 2 hrs at nap time (praise the Lord) because you've been feeding your new baby every hour to keep her from throwing up. The ache in your back from working out too hard too early and feeling your spine numb from where the epidural was given you 4 weeks ago because you've been lifting more than you should doesn't matter either...you may not have eaten at all today yet because you were too busy trying to make sure your children were taken care of and your hands were clean and all that to say this is STILL nothing compared to the hardships that so many other people are facing and the trials that people we know are having to deal with. a wise friend reminded me that hopefully all this will be over in a week and things will seem somewhat normal again... I think of those that aren't as lucky to say that. their trials won't be over in a week, or even months and I am convicted for even thinking about all the silly things we want to do in a day and all the worries we have that are pretty small in comparison.

God today be with those families that are in a trial and are struggling to just get through the next 24 hrs. You have given me a small glimpse into what that kind of existence would look like... trying to get through the next 24 hrs, or the next meal time. Provide for their needs, provide for our needs, but most of all be glorified in all the earth.