Monday, 10 March 2014

A Day in the Life

Since my life has changed dramitically since moving here I thought I'd give you an average play by play of my day.

8am-9:30 Wake up and walk the dog. Make Mike a sandwich for lunch and me a sandwich for dinner. Pack the lunchbox for Mike to take to work. Bible and devotional reading. Check email

9:30am Mike leaves for work and I shower

10am Dishes/ prep for lunch and dinner/Laundry

11am Eat lunch

11:30-12:30 Get dressed/Bible reading/ writing time

12:30 Walk the dog

12:50-1:20 Finish anything that didn't get done earler/ relax

1:20-1:50 Walk to work

2:20-9:45 Teach English classes. Involves copious amounts of Rock Paper Scissors. I have younger kids in the afternoon the older ones in the evening. My students range from 6-15 years old. We recently switched from a games heavy to a study heavy system so I also reject multiple requests for games in a 40 minute period. Between my classes I eat the sandwich/pickles/chips/yogurt combo I packed. I also have 40 students to call once a month and do telephone teaching. On Wednesdays work is finished around 6:30pm. Mike and I use this time to go to dinner together and go to Costco once a month. Otherdays, Mike finishes at 6pm.

9:45- 10:15 Walk home

10:15-11:30 Watch TV with Mike and head to bed

What does your day look like?

Monday, 20 January 2014

Meal Planning Monday

We went to Costco this weekend. Despite the membership fee and the transportation costs to get there I think it will either
 A. still save us money
 B. allow us a choice wider variety and higher quality foods for approximately the same amount we were spending elsewhere

We stocked up mostly on meats and cheese. Here's what we plan on having the next two weeks.

Monday  Lunch: Sausages and Peppers
               Dinner: Turkey and Cheese Sandwiches
               Lunch: Shrimp and Fried Potatoes
              Dinner: Sandwiches

Tuesday  Lunch: Hamburger Steaks
                Dinner: Pork with Ramen or Sandwiches
               Lunch: Pork with Veggies
               Dinner: Sandwiches

Wednesday  Lunch: Beef Tacos
                    Dinner: Chicken Stuffed Peppers
                    Lunch: Duck and Hashbrowns or Duck Gumbo
                    Dinner: Tuna Cakes with Fried Rice

Thursday Lunch: Duck with Twice Baked potatoes
                Dinner: Frozen Pork Chops with ??
                Lunch: Cordon Bleu Style Chicken with Veggies
                Dinner: Sandwiches

Friday    Lunch: Breakfast
              Dinner: Sandwiches or Brats
              Lunch: Breakfast
              Dinner: Sandwiches or Leftovers

Saturday Lunch: Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes
              Dinner: Out or leftovers

Sunday: Lunch: Sandwiches
              Dinner: Chicken Wings


Saturday, 4 January 2014

2014 Word

A couple of years ago I participated in the trend of picking a word that I want to define my upcoming year. That year, I picked "love".

For some reason, the next couple of years picking a word slipped my mind.

I want to revive the trend again this year.

I've given it much thought and I've chosen to take a directive, voiced by a former co-worker, that I believe to be a message from God.

He said, "Be bold."

When he first said it to me, I was instantly puzzled and understanding at the same time.

I knew I needed to be braver, to speak out more.

At my next job, I was blessed to attend company Bible studies. There I learned more of what it meant to live for God, without inhabitation.

Still, I hold back.

My hubby and I have had a lot of  alone time together.
He's noticed that I don't fully embrace myself. That I hold back, shy away. And being a good husband, he's tried to encourage me to let loose.

So, my word to focus on this year is BOLD.

According to

not hesitating or fearful in the face of actual or possible danger or rebuff; courageous and daring: a bold hero.
not hesitating to break the rules of propriety; forward; impudent: He apologized for being so bold as to speak to the emperor.
necessitating courage and daring; challenging: a bold adventure.
beyond the usual limits of conventional thought or action; imaginative: Einstein was a bold mathematician. a difficult problem needing a bold answer.

I want to be bold for God. To have no fear of obeying or speaking out about him.
I don't want to hesitate to share my thoughts, feelings, ideas
I want to be courageous, daring.

I will be BOLD!!

Thursday, 26 December 2013

If I Only Had an Oven...

We watched The Wizard of Oz on Christmas Eve and the song "If I Only Had  a Brain" got me to thinking about what I would have baked had I an oven this Christmas season.

So I thought I'd take a moment to round up some drool worthy recipes I saw on the web this year.

I would have made these cuties from Not Martha for My Dec 1st Christmas party:

How-To: Tiny Gingerbread House for your Mug from Not Martha - still a fan favorite! Love this one! :)
The weeks before Christmas I would bake up a storm making Hot Chocolate Sandwich Cookies from I heart eating

Hot Chocolate Sandwich Cookies
Along with these turtle thumbprints from Handle the Heat

turtle thumbprint cookies
And these chocolate peppermint babies from Bakerella

choc peppermint cookies
These coconut macaroon cupcakes for work:

Coconut Macaroon Cupcake -  Devil’s food cake with dark chocolate chips, coconut cream filling, topped with coconut cream cheese frosting and a coconut macaroon.
I would have made these Strawberry and Chocolate French Toast Rollups for breakfast Christmas Morning:

French Toast Roll-Ups
Cheddar Bacon Beer Bread from Texanerin to go with dinner:

100% Whole Grain Cheddar Bacon Beer Bread |

What was your favorite holiday treat this season?

Monday, 23 December 2013

Week 2:

Here is our menu for the upcoming week. It will probably be tweaked here and there, due to the upcoming holidays. I know we are going to a western style buffet Christmas day but as for New Year's I'm not sure of any food related plans yet:

Tuesday- Bacon, Eggs and Pancakes
Friday-Pork Chops with Rosemary Bacon Potato Hash (prep Saturday's chicken)
Saturday-Broccoli Carrot Chicken Ramen
Monday-Pork Chop with Bacon Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Tuesday-Chicken and Dumplings
Wednesday- Vegetarian Chili

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Homemade Chicken Stock

I made my own chicken stock for the first time. I made the stock on Monday night, froze it and used it Friday at lunchtime to make Duck Gumbo (link to follow!). The chicken I boiled to make the stock was used for tacos in Tuesday's lunch.

Makes 3 cups of stock. I made so little because we are very limited on storage containers and storage space. This recipe adjusts easily. You need to make sure you have enough water to keep the chicken covered throughout the cooking process.


1/2 lb chicken
1 onion, cut in half
2 stalks celery (including leaves), cut in half
1 Carrot cut in half
sprinkle of s&p (optional)
bay leaf (optional)

I had just over half a pound of skin on drumsticks so that is what I used. If you aren't using a whole chicken, I recommend using dark meat as it tends to be more flavorful. If you use more chicken adjust the veggies accordingly.

Bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer, covered, for 3 hours. If you use more chicken and it isn't cooked at this point, simmer until the chicken is done.

Be sure to discard the veggies and the bay leaf if you used on. I didn't actually use the bay leaf when I made the stock but used it when I made the gumbo. However, I saw several recipes called for the bay leaf in the stock.

Friday, 20 December 2013

My Daughter

Somewhere along the way, I developed the idea that I was less.

Less than beautiful.
Less than capable.
Less than desirable.
Less than.

I don't know exactly when the thoughts began to occur or where exactly they stem from. What I do know is that they were and are there.

I began to imagine that people only saw my acne scarred face, my greasy hair.
I began to imagine that when I walked, my movements were disgusting and awkward and that my running posture was nothing if not highly laughable.
I began to think that my speaking voice was annoyingly high pitched and my singing voice like nails on a chalkboard.
I began to think that I wasn't capable of successful completing everyday tasks, much less complicated endeavors.
I began to think that my needs, thoughts and  feelings didn't matter. That they imposed to much on others.

If I think about it I can try to pinpoint certain phrases I've heard, from people near and dear, and from people, who for one moment had more impact than they will ever realize. Maybe there were phrases I heard once in jest, and magnified in my head. Maybe there were phrases repeated to me-whether in jest or not.

Regardless, I began to try to change my body, my movements.
I began to feel less important than those around me and began to minimize the discomfort I thought I was causing others.

My speaking voice grew quieter and quieter. Some days it is barely audible and my husband frustratedly asks me to repeat myself.

My singing voice grew dim, a mere echo of the joy I used to  (harmoniously or not) release into the world.

My walk grew more stiff. My body stiffened, trying to stifle any movements that would cause laughter or disdain. My posture suffered and my eyes grew accustomed to the view of my feet.

I let others take over tasks for me, believing that I couldn't do them properly myself, or that I would take to long to complete them.

I began to refuse drink and food when offered, internally reasoning that to agree would be to much of a inconvenience for my host. When sharing food, I always chose the smallest pieces, thinking that someone else deserved the bigger portions.

 When being treated to dinner, I agonized over choosing the least expensive meal I would enjoy.

Only with my truest and dearest friends could I be my whole, genuine self. And even then, I struggled to come out of the shell I had become.

Today, it all changes. For sometime, I have been struggling (with the support of my husband) to overcome these beliefs. To be a strong woman, not just under the guise of one.

Today, at a church gathering I was prompted to pray and ask God how he sees me.And so I prayed.

And as always, God answered with the perfect response.

My daughter, echoed in my head

My daughter, my daughter, my daughter reverberated through out my body, and to the deepest parts of my soul.

I am His daughter.
He created me.
I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
I am beautiful and worthy, because of Him. Because of the blood shed by the only one who is the Holy One.

I have a place to stand, with all of God's other children. I can freely stand among them.


I am that me that He has made.