Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Peanut Butter Vanilla Protein Shake

I've been enjoying this protein shake for breakfast and as an awesome post-workout snack almost every day for the last 2 months.  Its easy to make, portable, and keeps me full for hours.  I admit that when I first saw shake recipes using cottage cheese, I was skeptical.  Now, I'm a huge fan!  It creates a thick, creamy texture that's more like a milk shake than a smoothie. 

1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 scoop vanilla protein powder (I use Designer Whey)
1/2 frozen banana
1/4 cup 2% cottage cheese
1 tbsp PB2
1/4 tsp cinnamon
3 ice cubes

Add contents to blender and blend until smooth.  Sprinkle with more cinnamon if desired.

227 calories, 5.2 g fat, 28 g protein, 11.5 g sugar

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Easter Treats

I had so much fun making these little babies for Marianne's preschool Easter party.  They were super easy to make. 
Spray muffin tins very well with Baker's Joy (I tested one with regular spray and it was hard to remove from the pan- but Baker's Joy worked like a charm)  Cut Pillsbury slice and bake sugar cookies into 14 slices.  Press into bottom of cups and slightly up the sides.  Bake for 10 minutes at 350.  Cool completely before removing from pans.  To remove, run a sharp knife gently around each cookie cup.

Mix store bought white icing with green coloring to the desired shade.  I added quite a few drops to get a medium green.  Pipe the icing into cups and around the rim of the cookie cup using an icing bag with tip.  You could also use a plastic zip lock bag with a small piece of the corner cut off.  Place a peep on one side with her little eggs (speckled jelly beans) on the other. 

I hope you enjoy making these as much as I did!  Happy Easter!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Quiet Time

I've always tried to set early morning appointments with God and keep them just like I'd keep an appointment to see a doctor or get my hair cut.  I have to admit that at times, I fail.  I let the alarm snooze so many times that I'm rushing to get the girls out the door in the morning.  On weekends, I figure I'll sleep in and catch up with God later in the day.  You know how that goes.  It's helpful to remember this isn't just any appointment...its a meeting with the creator and ruler of our universe.  He is there even if I'm not!  Its the most important part of my day.

During the school year, my quiet time is easy because I have a plan.  My BSF homework and praying for my group, family, and friends fills that time quickly.  But during the summer I struggle.  I do so much better when I am in a weekly bible study that provides a plan.  I've been a little anxious about going thirsty for His word this summer when BSF ends.  I recently attended a seminar on Personal Quiet Time and thought it was so helpful.  Now I have a plan for summer and I'm so excited to share it with you!

First, lets start with a super practical tip- get a basket and have it waiting in whatever place you like to meet with God.  Mine is the dining room table.  Fill the basket with everything you will need so you aren't running around the house at 5:30 am looking for everything.  A Bible, notebook, prayer requests, pens, highlighters, etc.  After the seminar, I added notecards and stamps to my basket.  I'm constantly thinking of notes that I want to send sweet people who have touched me in some way but never get around to it.  Now, when they come to mind during prayer, I can immediately write a quick note. 

Pick a chapter of the Bible to study.  We are studying Matthew in BSF but I just added Psalms for my personal study.  Every day I am reading 1 Psalm.  Most of them are short so its perfect for a supplement to my BSF study.  During the summer I'll read 2-3 a day.

Ok- moving on to the method.  There are 3 steps: Read, Reflect, Respond.

Grab your coffee and start with prayer.  Always pray for God to remove distractions and allow you to focus on Him and His Word and reveal whatever He wants to teach you that day.

1. Read- Read the passage slowly 1-2 times.  Write down key words, phrases, and words describing God and His character.

2. Reflect- Ask God to help you answer the following questions.  What does this passage teach about God's character?  What does the passage teach about His people (you and me)?
Write down your answers and any other thoughts about the passage. 

3. Respond- How can you take action and apply what the passage has taught you?  Write a prayer about what is on your heart after studying the passage.  Pray the words of the passage back to God.  Tell Him how you plan to apply His word that day.

I hope this has been helpful to you!  Please let me know if you learned anything new or if you have any questions!  I'm so thankful that I was able to attend the seminar and hope you are also blessed by this method!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Thursday, April 3, 2014


As Easter approaches, I hear Jesus' voice reminding me day by day, minute by minute, that I am  redeemed.  Purchased.  Set free. 
Set free from the sin that weighs me down.  From the ugly parts of my life that I don't want people to see.  My selfishness.  My fear.  My lack of compassion.  My impatience.  My flesh.

Jesus came to this world with one mission- to save us from death.  To bring His people into the Kingdom of Heaven.  To bring me into His Kingdom.
All along I've had this "Superman" mentality of Jesus.  On a mission to save His people. 
Driven.  Strong.  Supernatural.  Heroic.  Powerful.  Miraculous.
But in Matthew 26, I see Jesus in a whole new way.  I see the fullness of His humanity.  His sorrow.  His pain.  His loneliness.  His flesh.

Facing betrayal and death on a cross, Jesus cried out to His Father.  Begging for mercy, He fell with His face to the ground and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me.  Yet not as I will, but as you will." 
Overwhelmed with sorry, He prayed again, "My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done." 
Blood dripped from Jesus' pores.
My Jesus.  Crying in the garden.  Sweating blood.  Facing death on a cross- for me. 
And you. 
Ultimately submitting to His Father's will and crucifying His own. 
He paid it all.  He gave it all for me.  All to Him I owe.
I've been set free.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Pancakes and Pajamas

We celebrated Rose's 5th birthday with a sweet little Pancakes and Pajamas party.  It was our first party where she made the guest list- and parents dropped the girls off.  She invited all of the girls in her class and a few other besties.
 All of the girls came in their pajamas.  We started by reading Curious George Makes Pancakes.  By the end of the story, Chef Clark had all of the pancakes ready and the girls were hungry!  They loved cutting shapes with cookie cutters and decorating them with sprinkles, berries, and mini chocolate chips. The variety of syrups were quite delicious.  We also served bacon and cut fruit served in mini champagne cups that the girls loved.  It felt so fancy and girly.
 After their breakfast, the school teacher in me came out and I sent the girls in groups to little "centers" :) They made cereal necklaces, decorated door hangers with princess stickers, and stenciled personalized pillow cases. 

 A Hello Kitty variation of pin the tail on the donkey was a hit! 

 Rose and Mae Mae sleep with their special pillowcases every night. 
It was such a fun party.  Sometimes the simplest parties are the best!  Thanks to Clark for cooking the pancakes and my mom and mother in law for helping with the activities! 
Rose- you are the sweetest and most precious 5 year old I have ever known.  Your maturity blows me away.  You are very insightful and you keep me organized! If I need to remember something, all I have to do it remind you and I'm covered :) You love your family, doing artwork, school, writing, church, and God.  You are a smart girl.  We love you so very much, sweet baby. 

Round 3

After over 3 years since my last blog post, I am considering getting back in the saddle.  I am horrible at documenting family events and know one day I will be so happy to have a blog to remember years past.  Here's to motivation and being dedicated to preserving our memories on the web!