When I don't measure up to much in this life
I'm a treasure in the arms of Christ

(music starts at 1:44)

new recipes, part 1.

5 recipes down, 20 to go (#14)!

Crockpot Chicken Parmesan

Chicken parmesan is definitely one of my top comfort foods, and this crockpot version was just as easy and good as the oven method that I usually use. This year, unlike last year, I'm primarily interested in quick recipes that don't involve a lot of work when I get home, especially when I'm having company for dinner - and this one is definitely going on the list!

Chicken Pesto Panini

I'm pretty sure that any time you put something between focaccia and grill it its going to be amazing. This was no exception.

Parsnip Gratin

Good, though I'd like to try parsnips cooked another way, maybe roasted instead. I'm not sure I really know what they taste like.

Baked Sweet Potato Fries (adapted)

Good, really good. I adapted the recipe a bit - I didn't have any coriander, so I left that out. And I used some frozen sweet poatoes I had in the fridge, which made the pieces a bit more soggy to work with. Still really good.

Tortellini Corn Chowder

This recipe calls for low-fat cheese tortellini, which I couldn't find. So I know that definitely affects the nutritional information, but the fat count is pretty low to begin with. This soup was pretty good, and I think I would make it again, but it was a little lacking in flavor. I used dried basil instead of fresh - maybe that would have made enough of a difference. Still, I like thicker soups, and this definitely fits the bill.


I use Tumblr to keep track of anything I want to save - recipes, project ideas, organizational tips.

I added the link to my sidebar.

Just in case you're interested in what I find interesting. :-)



Its overwhelming, isn't it? Every time I see the photos and videos of the immense destruction, or read the stories, I feel nearly paralyzed.

There are so many relief efforts, so many people trying desperately to get in there to provide all kinds of help. I can hardly begin to imagine that madness and mayhem that must exist there.

Yet even in the midst of all this, there is hope.

My friend Robbie is part of a FEMA team that has been working to find and free trapped survivors for the last week. And as I read the stories and watch the videos of those rescues, I'm overwhelmed in a different way.

Because those are lives that he's helping to save. Me, I walk around in my safe little world, praying that by the grace of God I might make a difference even in a small way, and Robbie and his team are literally making a life-or-death difference. And even though it feels way to cheesy to say this out loud, I'm so proud of him and overcome by the work that he's doing that, and the sacrifices he's making, that my eyes tear up.

And still, there's an even greater to reason to hope. The only Hope of the world.

Who was not taken off guard by Haiti's earthquake, even as we were. Who is solid and constant, trustworthy and true, never-changing and forever-lasting. Who stays even when others have fallen away. And who loves the people of Haiti so much that he made the greatest possible sacrifice to save them.

He alone always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

And he alone can bring beauty from ashes.

saturday update.

I always get so much more done on the weekends than I do during the week. At least in terms of projects around the house.

I'm still working on my new jewelry holder - its just taking a while to get it primed and painted.

I finished the chalkboard tags and love the way they look on the baskets in my living room bookcase. Best of all, I already had everything I needed, so I didn't spend any money.

The wood box is mostly sanded, but you can still see some of the old stain color coming through, so I need to go over a bit more. The process is much quicker with my electric sander, but I'm not looking forward to cleaning up the sawdust again.

I also spray painted two wooden letters I already had, to add as decorations for my bookshelves (I cleaned out a ton of books and now have some empty space to fill).

So...progress made. I'm getting there!

something beautiful.


It's Saturday, and I have almost no plans for today, so I'm working on a bunch of projects. Maybe posting the list will keep me accountable to actually finishing them.
  • A new jewelry holder, similar to the one I made several years ago
  • Chalkboard tags for the baskets in my living room
  • Sanding down a wood box I bought at a thrift store (I've never tried staining anything and would like to try it on this piece)
  • Some small decorations I'm adding to my living room shelves
And, I'm getting to use several of the new stuff my dad bought me for Christmas - sawhorses and an electric palm sander, both of which are making these jobs much easier. I'll report back in the next couple days with what I've accomplished.

your hands.

I love the simple comfort of these lyrics:

When my world is shaking
Heaven stands
When my heart is breaking
I never leave Your hands

And the hope of these:

When You walked upon the Earth
You healed the broken, lost, and hurt
I know You hate to see me cry
One day You will set all things right
Yea, one day You will set all things right

21 in 2010...updated.

I'm making a change to the list I originally posted a couple of days ago.

I've thought about signing up with the National Marrow Donor registry for years, but when I looked into the procress tonight, I discovered that I'm not eligible. According to the medical guidelines, the steel rods placed in my back for scoliosis when I was 13 can place me at an increased risk for health problems if I were to donate.

So, I'm replacing goal #21 with one I wish I would have added to the list to begin with:
  1. Read through all of the Chronicles of Narnia.

photo clip frame/plaque.

This project (I'm not really sure what to call it) is somewhat inspired by this burlap photo art at Shanty2Chic, and another project that I remember seeing but must not have saved.

I found these plaques several months ago at a thrift store and bought them because I just knew I could find something to do with them. Sometime.

So here's the first project:

At one of Katie's baby showers when she was pregnant with Jake, she got a card with this poem on it. She loved it (and probably teared up when she read it, both because its really sweet and because she teared up at anything when she was pregnant). I had forgotten about it until last year, when I was helping her clean out a closet in preparation for a move (which basically means I kept throwing things in the trash and reminding her that now was not the time to look through old photo albums).

She wanted to keep the card, but I borrowed it so I could copy the words, then slipped it back in the box. I had a few ideas for using it last year, but nothing really panned out. But I love it on this plaque!

This is what it says:


Someday, he'll be a big-time movie star
or a fifth-grade English teacher.

Someday, he'll marry, have a few kids.
Maybe not.

Someday, he'll change the world as we know it,
or maybe he'll travel,
send postcards from China, phone you from Paris.

Someday, he's going to be a big, strong man
able to carry you in his arms.

One day, he'll have his own hopes and dreams,
not knowing that once upon a quiet time,
you closed your eyes and made a wish
to one day have him in your life.

To make this, I spray painted the plaque a solid black, then decoupaged (using Modge Podge) the red scrapbook paper on to it (the paper came with the star cut-outs). I printed out the poem and decoupaged that on, then add a coat of Modge Podge on top of everything.

Katie loves stars, and I just happened to have several small metal ones laying around. I spray painted one of them black and decoupaged paper on to each section of the star.

To attach the bulldog clip, I drilled a small pilot hole, then added the screw and washer by hand (the only screw head I had was too big). I used a tip my dad taught me (that his dad taught him) - if you coat a screw with bar soap before screwing it in, it tends to grip better, and you run less chance of the wood splitting.

Then I printed out a black and white photo of Katie and Jake (one of my favorites) and added it to the clip.

(finished product at Katie's house)

She teared up when she opened the gift on Christmas morning, so I consider that a success!

Update: I'm linking this to DIY Day at A Soft Place to Land, Get Your Craft On at Today's Creative Blog, and the Power of Paint Party at Domestically Speaking.

21 in 2010.

I've been thinking about my 2010 goals, and am finally ready to post them. I'm not sure why, but it was a lot harder to come up with this year's list than last year's.
  1. Win my family's Biggest Loser competition (starts January 6 and runs for 16 weeks).
  2. Run a 5K.
  3. Take Dakota to the beach.
  4. Clean out the garage.
  5. Try 5 new fruits or vegetables.
  6. Refinish the living room dresser.
  7. Walk the Norfolk Botanical Gardens.
  8. Organize the hall closet.
  9. Grow something.
  10. Visit another continent.
  11. Read through the New Testament.
  12. See a Grand Illumination.
  13. For one month, watch only one hour of TV each week.
  14. Try 25 new recipes.
  15. Read 3 non-fiction books.
  16. Become a Court Appointed Special Advocate.
  17. Blog every day for a month.
  18. Give 5 specific, unexpected, anonymous gifts (guess I won't be blogging about this one!)
  19. Go skydiving.
  20. Take a picture a day for a month.
  21. Join the National Marrow Donor registry.
I've changed goal #21.