Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Simply Creamy Chicken Crescents

1 tube Pillsbury crescent rolls
1 8-oz. package cream cheese at room temperature
2 T. butter, melted
1 T. chopped chives
2 green onions, minced and sauted until softened
2 cooked chicken breasts, shredded
1/4 c. crushed croutons

Mix cream cheese, 1 T of the butter, chives, onions and chicken together. Set aside. Unroll crescents and separate into 4 rectangles and pinch perforations firmly to seal. I make the squares a bit thinner with a rolling pin. Spoon 1/4 of chicken mixture to top of crescent square. Pull up four corners of dough to top center of chicken mixture. Twist and seal edges. Brush tops with remaining butter and sprinkle with crouton crumbs. Place on greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
I like to serve this with chicken/broccoli flavored Rice-a-Roni and California mix frozen veggies.

Monday, March 29, 2010

It's Great to Be Home!

Well, sisters, it's great to be back online! My router decided to quit working, so I was without a computer for over a week! My inbox was crazy full! Also, last week, I went to SW Missouri for a visit and enjoyed spending time with my mother and one of my best friends from college. Today's the day to get everything unpacked and put away. Thankfully, the kids are still on Spring Break for the rest of this week! I'll be continuing my book study tomorrow. Have a blessed day!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Simply Meatloaf ~ 3 Ways


Meatloaf Base
1 1/2 lb. lean hamburger (the leaner the better)
1/2 c. quick-cook oatmeal
1/2 c. minced onion
2 eggs
2/3 c. milk
salt and pepper to taste
1 c. shredded cheese of choice

American style ~ Cheddar
Italian style ~ Italian cheese blend
Mexican style ~ Mexican cheese blend


I usually saute the onion a little butter. Beat eggs into the milk. Add in hamburger, onions, oats, seasonings, and cheese of choice. Combine, but mix lightly ~ if mixed too much, the loaves get too dense. Spray a 9x13 Pyrex with cooking spray. Form mixture into 8 individual loaves. Spoon desired topping over and bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes.

American style ~ (Mix together 2/3 c. ketchup, 1/2 c. brown sugar, 1 1/2 t mustard)
Italian style ~ Favorite jarred spaghetti sauce
Mexican style ~ Picante sauce or queso

For American style, I usually serve mac-n-cheese and green beans to complete the meal.
For Italian style, tri-colored or regular rotini would be a great side with the remaining spaghetti sauce. A salad would round things out.
For Mexican style, Mexican-flavored rice and mixed vegetables would add great color.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Where Am I?

Hello, sisters! I've not posted lately because our computer was down for a while. Right now, I'm writing on my mother's laptop while visiting her for the week. I'll be back to regular posting next Monday. Have a blessed week!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Simply Baked Pasta


1/2 -3/4 package ziti or penne pasta
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1 c. ricotta cheese
1 egg, beaten
1 T. chives
1/2 c. shredded Parmesan
1 c. mozzarella


Preheat oven to 350. Cook pasta according to package directions. Mix ricotta with egg and add in chives. Spray a 9x13 Pyrex with cooking spray. Layer pasta, spaghetti sauce, ricotta mixture, Parmesan and mozzarella. Continue until used up. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Serve with salad and garlic toast.

Hey, girls, I've recently discovered fresh mozzarella and I love it! You can usually find it in the specialty cheeses section at the grocery store. It's round, and even comes in little pearl-like balls. It sometimes comes packed in water. It's a little pricey, but SO worth it! The taste is SO much better than the typical rubbery stuff that's pre-shredded. Give it a try!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Simply Ham and Swiss Stromboli


1 tube Pillsbury French Loaf bread
1 package Virginia brand ham
1/2 c. shredded Swiss cheese
4 green onions, minced
6 slices bacon, cooked and chopped


Preheat oven to 350. Unroll bread. Cover with ham slices. Layer on cheese, onions and bacon. Re-roll loaf. Place seam-side down on baking sheet. Make 5-6 diagonal slashes across loaf, width-wise. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden. I like to serve this with chips and a fruit salad.

For a twist, use turkey and colby-jack, or roast beef and cheddar. You could make it "club style" using all three meats and cheeses.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Out of the Boat ~ A Model for Grace

Webster's Dictionary defines "grace" as "beauty or charm of form, composition, movement, or expression" in its first definition. The second definition states that grace is "an attractive quality, feature, manner, etc." The third definition adds "a sense of what is right and proper, decency, thoughtfulness toward others". It isn't until the fourth definition that "good will, favor" are mentioned.

God's idea of grace, however, is this: "Taking all that Christ was and is ~ his mercy and love, his righteousness and holiness, his power and intelligence, his creativity and wisdom ~ and focuses all of it for the benefit of an undeserving person." In other words, "unmerited favor". Mrs. Clarkson writes, "His serving us in generous love through a loving, humble relationship introduces us to the essence of his personality. His grace changes our lives and is the foundation for our learning to give grace to others in our relationships."

In chapter one of Mrs. Clarkson's book, The Ministry of Motherhood, she begins with the story of Simon Peter. After Jesus resurrected and met with his disciples, He left them alone for a little while. Although he knew that Jesus was alive and had forgiven him for denying him, Peter still returned to his old life of fishing. Peter, James and John had fished all night but hadn't caught a thing. Dejected, Peter drew up the net, ready to call it a day. But then, he heard a voice call from the shore, "Have you caught anything?" "No!" Peter replied. "Then cast your nets on the other side!" the man on the shore suggested. Even though Peter was doubtful, he obeyed. It wasn't until the net became full of fish that he looked toward the shore. John was the first to recognize his Lord, but Peter jumped out of the boat and swam toward the shore to his Master.

Was Jesus standing there, irritated and ready to reprimand his chosen disciple for quitting so soon? Of course not! Instead, He had prepared breakfast for his friends. Jesus was always patient, encouraging, loving and forgiving with His disciples.

From the very beginning, Jesus called his disciples to a life apart from the crowd. He had a great purpose and plan for their lives as his representative that would preach the gospel to every person. He gave the gift of Himself, and then asked them to pass along that gift to the rest of the world, drawing from His strength and grace, not by their own power.

That's what we as mothers can take this lesson of grace to heart. "Like Jesus, we are to draw out own children to a life apart from the rest of the crowd. Each of us is designed by God to whisper his words to the hearts of our children so they will feel the call of God in their own lives to become "fishers of men." Like Peter, our children will never be perfect, and they need their mom to extend them the gift of constant love, grace, and forgiveness. We can't do it in our own strength. The only way we can do this is to rely continually on the grace of our own relationship with the Lord.

Giving the gift of grace is a two-part process. First, we need to help our children receive grace. This is by extending grace to them and by teaching them about God's grace through salvation. Secondly, we must train our children to give grace to others in turn. We can do this by our teaching and example.

"Jesus summed up this two-part process when he was asked to name the greatest commandment. He said we are first to love the Lord God with all our hearts (receiving grace), and then we are to love our neighbors as ourselves (giving grace)."

Mrs. Clarkson shares that we are to "try to be mindful that, to God, relationships are always a top priority." She tries to think of ways to model the redemptive grace and love of Jesus and influences them to extend that grace to others through their actions and attitudes.

Extending grace to my children ~ I like that thought! Like Jesus, I need to be more encouraging and forgiving to my kiddos. I can't do it in my own strength, though. Extending true grace can only come from my own relationship with Jesus!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

My Ministry ~ Motherhood!

As Christians, we all desire to have a close, true relationship with our Savior. Along with spending time in the Word and going into my prayer closet, I read certain blogs that challenge me spiritually and remind me of God's goodness and grace. I don't know about you, sisters, but whenever I hear a beautiful worship song about God's power and His Truth, or read Scripture about God's infinite mercy and love, I weep with joy!

It hasn't always been that way for me, though. I didn't really "fall in love with the Lord" until 6 years ago. As I've stated in a previous post, I grew up in a Christian home. When Sunday morning rolled around, the only option was Sunday School and morning worship services. I loved the Bible stories as a young girl and always strove to memorize my verse for the week. Then the early teen years came along, filled with angst and emotion! I was always trying to fit in, but going to church became sheer torture, because a certain girls' clique was intent to make my life miserable. Needless to say, I didn't get much out church from age 13-16 until we attended another. However, by then, I had the Christian "thing" down.

Yes, I was a Christian, but I never knew "how" to be one. I could talk the talk with the best of them, but my walk was sadly lacking. My growing up years were managed by a list of rules that I had to follow to be a good Christian ~ "Don't drink, smoke, dance, wear pants, have sex, or go to movies." I knew I supposed to read my Bible, but how? How did one "study" the Bible? It was at least 10 years ago that I learned how to pray ~ praise, adoration, thanksgiving, intercession, and supplication.

Then it happened! I gave birth to my daughter, and suddenly, I became responsible to lead her to the faith! Now I am the blessed mother of three, and I want my children to have an "unwavering, internal moral and spiritual compass that will help them weather today's storms and tomorrow's and will guide them for the rest of their lives." They will "need the authentic strength that comes from the true foundation of a biblical world view and a proper understanding of the real Christ who is worthy of their worship. The also need to see what real faith looks like when lived day in, day out, so they will have a pattern to follow."

God has entrusted the hubs and I with three precious little souls to minister to, as well as influence for His kingdom. Spiritual and emotional maturity won't just happen to my children simply because I wish it to be so. It won't happen just because I show an example of being good. "Effective spiritual, emotional, and social training in the lives of my children would have to be both intentional and planned." This is where discipling comes into play.

Jesus spent 3 1/2 years teaching and training (mostly) unlearned men to carry on His work. When Jesus died, they were fearful and were in hiding. Even after He resurrected, the disciples went fishing, forgetting all that the Lord had taught them. It wasn't until after the Great Commission and Pentecost that they were filled with the Holy Spirit and were bold in their faith. Acts 4:13 says, "Now when they {the Sadducees} saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marveled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus." Acts 17:6 refers Christians as "These that have turned the world upside down."

That's my desire for my kids. I want them to take hold of the faith and never let go. I want them to carry on the work. I want them to have boldness and be willing to turn the world upside down for Christ. I want Christ to be real in their lives and hearts. I want them to have that abundant, wonderful life in Jesus. And what do I want to give to my children that God's so freely given to me? Grace, love, a sense of purpose, and faith in Him.

Mrs. Clarkson's model for motherhood ministry is GIFTS:
1. Gift of Grace ~ "We model grace by extending it to our children but also by insisting that they learn to extend it to others."
2. Gift of Inspiration ~ "The desire and ability to view all of life in the light of God's sovereignty and purpose."
3. Gift of Faith ~ "This gift is given by teaching the faith and by modeling what it means to live in faith, trusting God for our needs."
4. Gift of Training ~ "It's not just telling children how to live, not just modeling right behavior, but repeating these lessons with patience and perseverance until they become part of their lives."
5. Gift of Service ~ "The desire and ability to minister God's grace and truth to others."

Tomorrow I will be posting about the gift of grace.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

This & That

I haven't prepared a post for today ~ I've been researching and planning ahead for next fall's curriculum for my youngest. She'll begin K-4, and is she ever excited! I'll be writing about the "ministry of motherhood" tomorrow.