Lately

Wholly cats and dogs, I haven’t posted anything for an extremely long period of time. For those of you who don’t follow me on Facebook you may be out of the loop. (Though I hardly post there either…) here is a mini-“Christmas letter” version of the past few months. July: This past July – I was focused on my CNA classes every Saturday which ran from 7:30-a.m. until 3:30 p.m. which made for VERY long days listening to a power point presentation in a freezing cold classroom. The bonus though was that I got to wear scrubs! Kwas busy with Gymnastics once each week, and Jason was busy with traveling to New Ulm for work. August: First week of August was clinicals for the CNA class, and commencement, which brought a smile to my face. My sights are now set on my online chemistry class which begins the last week of this month. At the end of the month K graduated Tots 1 at gymnastics and is now in the Tots 2 class .The focus now is on doing hand stands on her own (not climbing up the wall) and backwards somersaults. Jason and I took a motorcycle trip up to Madeline Island with Rick & Nicole. It was so much fun, and I can’t wait to go again next year! Jason was busy with traveling again to New Ulm, Winona, and North Dakota! šŸ˜¦ September: Our family kicked off this month going camping to Savanna Portage State Park. It was gorgeous, and we had a HUGE group campsite virtually on a lake all to ourselves. Taking Chemistry online is a bit of “fun” and by “fun” I mean at times I wish I was in the real classroom vs. trying to figure it all out on my own, but my sister Missy has been helping me when I’ve needed it. Speaking of my sister, we [the siblings] threw her a surprise 40th birthday party which was super fun! Jason, Jeremiah and I competed in the Rugged Maniac mud run which was pretty hard considering pretty much the entire race was ran upthe ski hills! (notice I said UP). Our friend Lisa is living with us. She is moving back to Arizona at the end of October and needed a place to stay in the interim. Finally we’ve put the spare bedroom downstairs, and the downstairs bathroom to good use! (and its a blessing to be able to help a friend out). *~* That’s all for now. If I think of anything else I’ll add to it, or make a separate post!

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Ruth

Lessons from Ruth

I’ve gained a lot of perspective from reading through the book of Ruth. The story doesn’t give a lot of background on how close Ruth & Naomi were before the deaths of their husbands, but instead of moving back home to live with her [Ruth’s] family she stayed with Naomi to help her out.

The theme of a strong sense of family and loyalty is played out here, and I’m also pleasantlyĀ surprisedĀ to see that Boaz also was willing to help his family out. Good works in Gods eyes are rewarded. Ruth sacrificed and stayed with Naomi, and in turn she was blessed to have a new husband in Boaz.

Judges

One stand out story to me is of Samson.

Growing up I wasn’t super familiar with a lot of the bible stories that many get in Sunday school because I never went to Sunday school. Rather I went to “big church” with my folks which truthfully a lot of times I spaced out and wasn’t really paying attention (until I got older).

So the first time I ever heard of the story of Samson was from my daughters “Read & Share” Bible.

THIS is LITERALLY what it says about Samson.

First off. It shows a super nice picture of Samson:

I love here how it shows these cute little bunnies,
Ā like YAY Samson…Ā never mindĀ all the Fox you tied up and terrorized,Ā 
just to set a field on fire…..
Ā 

So imagine my [HUGE]Ā surpriseĀ this week to find out that Samson is actually a HUGE jerk! I mean – ok I definitely don’t want my preschooler learning about the REAL Samson quite yet, but I can’t believe how terrible he is. Actually I kind of can’t believe how much killing is actually going on in Judges (and Joshua). I am really wrestling with this… I realize the Lord wanted to purge evil away from theĀ Israelites, but this is not the God i’m accustomed to in the NewĀ Testament. [obviously] I’ll have to keep reading!

Joshua

Lessons from Joshua

How often do I just ask God to help me with the small stuff, but not realizing that BIG things are God sized issues too? Joshua asked God to make the sun stand still. I’m pretty sure if I just casually asked, “God, please make the sun stand still” it would never happen.

Part of the reason is that my faith small. Am I really trusting that God will provide for the BIG things too?

Over the past few years I put some HUGE requests before the Lord. One was that my brother would find a wonderful woman, and be happy, as well as sell his house. BOTH of which happened.

The other was that my cousin Sara & her husband Joel could have a baby which was very very difficult for them, and THAT happened too. Over the course of the next weeks I’ll look internally and see what else I’ve been holding out from my Father – because He is in the business of doing BIG things!

QUICK AND CREAMY MAC ā€˜N CHEESE

Today was the first day it really felt like fall. Ā I started out the evening with a glass of wine, in cozy clothes on my deck. I came in, started a nice fire in the fireplace (which does not really warm up the house- its just nice ambiance)ā€¦. and with temps in the mid 60s I felt like a nice fall dish!

16 oz medium shells (I used whole wheat)
1 pkg frozen squash thawedĀ (here is where the fall dish & added nutrition comes to play)
1 can (12oz) evaporated milk
2 cups shredded six cheese Italian cheese blend
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt

Cook pasta (duh) Save 1/4 pasta water.

Prepare Sauce:
ForĀ sauce, place squash into saucepan and gradually add milk, whisking constantly using a whisk. Cook over med high heat for 3-4 minutes or until mixture begins to simmer. Reduce heat to medium. Add cheese; cook 3-4 minutes or until cheese is melted and mixture returns toĀ a simmerĀ – whisking constantly. AddĀ nutmeg, salt and reserved cooking water. Add to pasta and stir to coat.

Serve and sprinkle with additional nutmeg if desired.

Sorry about the half eaten bowl, but it was so delish i couldnā€™t resist!

Verdict: umā€¦. YUM!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ā 

SKILLET RICE & BEANS

Ā new favorite from Vegetarian & More!Ā (By Linda Rosensweig)

Ā 

Ā 
Tonights meal had significantly more flavor to it! It was Skillet Rie & Beans! I loveĀ recipesĀ that only call for 5 ingredientsā€¦ especially if one of them is water! I was a little nervous after last nights meal which was fine, and Iā€™d try again, but this had a LOT more flavorā€¦
1 can (16oz) Black Beans, rinsed & drained
2 10 oz cans of Rotel Mexican style tomatoes (see picture) ā€“ I bought mine at cub in the italian aisle.
2 cups Mixed Vegetables (corn, peas, green beans, lima beans)
1/2 cup salsa (Ortega medium)
2 cups brown rice (instant)
In a pot, or nonstick skillet combine the beans, tomatoes (with juice), vegetables and salsa. Add 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil.
Meanwhile microwave the instant brown rice in a microwave safe container. ā€“ if you followed the recipe out of the book it had you putting the rice in the mixture, but iā€™m a time saver kind of gal. 7 minutes in the microwave, and iā€™ve got dinner on the table! WOOT!!!!
Combine, and bonĀ appetite!
It was SUPER great. Iā€™d make this Super cheap ā€“ super amazing dinner again, and it packed in 18 grams ofĀ protein.

BOW TIES WITH PESTO & BEANS

Iā€™m on a 10 day adventure of trying a vegetarian diet! Ever since I watched Forks over Knives, and read the Omnivores Dilema Iā€™ve pretty much wanted to become Vegan, or at least get my meat from a very reliable source, (e.g. Fish that I caught from a lake ā€¦ or ACTUAL free range Chickens that Iā€™ve butchered.)
Last Christmas my Mother-In-Law got me this book, because she knew I was interested in
Ā Vegetarian cooking!
So today I finally cooked something from it! I will try to blog, and maybe even start taking quality photos once and a whileā€¦ my co-worker Mole was interested, and I told her Iā€™d blog about itā€¦ so here I go. A food blog! Bare with me. Iā€™m used to blogging about a pre-schooler!
Bow Ties with Pesto & Beans
12 oz Bow-tie pasta
1 onion chopped
1 red bell pepper, cut into short strips
1 can (14oz) cannellini beans rinsed and drained
1/3 cup prepared pesto
Cook the pasta. Drain and reserve 1/2 cup of cooking liquid.
Coat a large non-stick pan with cooking spray or about 1T of EVOO, and warm over medium-heat for 1 minute. Add the pepper and onion. Season with salt & pepper. Cook about 4-5 minutes or until tender and set aside in a large serving dish.
Add the beans
Pesto & reserved cooking liquid/water
Add the pasta
and toss!
Finished with an ice cold class of Almond Milk!
Verdict:
A little light on the sauce- I maybe would add a tiny bit more pestoā€¦