Tuesday, January 29, 2008

How to tell if my husband is stressed and preoccupied.

Well, he doesn't get his hair cut even if he really needs it, he doesn't even mention the fact that American Idol is on tonight, and I can plan dates like this...
"Trey, we have a sitter coming this Sunday night so we can get out and catch up."
"Great."
"I thought we'd grab dinner, have a glass of wine and talk, and then I thought we could go see a movie."
"Uh huh."
"I've been really wanting to see 27 Dresses. It looks really cute."
"Yeah, that's fine."
"So, Sunday night will work?"
"Uh huh."

I have just officially planned a date night with my husband to go see a totally girly movie the evening of the Super Bowl and he didn't bat an eye.

He's not exactly what you would call "tightly wound". In fact, he could be the most laid back guy I know (except when it comes to packing) so, when he feels under the gun, I become a little momma bear. I'm asking you to pray for him.

He's got a huge grant application due and the pressure is mounting.
It's for $1,000,000...

...and would pay for the development of a sports complex in West Dallas. Mercy Street introduced Little League into the community three years ago and the response has been amazing. Dads come out to watch their sons play and the kids learn about hard work, being a part of a team, and what it means to win and lose with grace.

It is our favorite thing to do on Friday nights because, for the first time, we really see the entire community come together to play or cheer or both. Often, kids would stay all night in their uniforms to watch their brothers and sisters or friends play even after their game was long over. Every once in a while, a team would be short a player and the stands would be full of kids with hands raised yelling, "I'll play! I'll play!"

We met new children and their families and many baseball players joined Mercy Street last fall as they introduced the first season of soccer.

Unbelievably, the Dallas Housing Authority has given Mercy Street the rights to develop 20 acres in West Dallas for a sports complex that would host these sports and more. It will create a gathering place for families on Friday nights and Saturday mornings that is hard to duplicate.

Because he knows what it could mean for the community, he's stressed. He's up late, up early, rewriting the presentation, editing the presentation, praying, and taking care of all the other responsibilities that come with being the father of four, wait, six.

I made him meatloaf, mashed potato casserole, and green beans hoping to at least love him with food. We're praying for him, for his presentation to the powers that be, and resting in the One true power who holds all things in His righteous right hand. The One who knows what we need long before we even ask.

I didn't really plan a date the night of the Super Bowl but, on a scale of 1-10, how wrong would it be to use his stress to my advantage and ask him for a new washer/dryer?

Just checking.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Tag You're What? Round 2

Ok, so, my friend Abbie tagged me so here goes nothing...

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN BLOGGING?
I started blogging in August 2007 because Emily made me do it. It goes back to the difficulty I have saying "no" which may have also contributed to the fact that I had four children in five years.

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO START A BLOG AND WHO ARE YOUR MENTORS?

Wow! I'd love to say I was inspired by someone besides Emily just so she can't use it against me somehow but I barely knew what a blog was before she introduced me to this, my internet crack.
Since I started blogging, I've really fallen in love with the people on my favorite blog list. Some I've known for years and some I've just gotten to know through blogging; I read them daily and love living vicariously through them.

ARE YOU TRYING TO MAKE MONEY ON-LINE OR JUST DOING IT FOR FUN?
What the...?!? You can make money? Real money or just kind that has to be spent with Artie in the Curio Shoppe like on Webkinz? Why didn't anyone tell me? I gotta go...

WHAT THREE (3) THINGS DO YOU LOVE ABOUT BEING ONLINE?
1. I can shop in stores that don't have shopping carts.
2. I can read about lives different than my own.
3. It's incredibly encouraging to hear from people that are praying for us or doing ministry like ours.

WHAT THREE THINGS DO YOU STRUGGLE WITH ON-LINE?

1. I can shop in stores that don't have shopping carts. :)
2. I can get caught up online and forget that I have LOTS of other things I need to be doing like cleaning my house or picking up my children from school.
3. Worrying that I won't have anything to write about. That doesn't last very long, especially when scenes like this happen almost daily.

Mmmm...carrots! So yummy and healthy!


Oh, forget it, you're only young once...

Friday, January 25, 2008

Uh Oh.

There are a few things I really fear. Some of them may be totally irrational but I fear them all the same.

1. Having one of these roaches touch me. They are so hideous I may not be able to keep this picture on here for very long. They can grow to the size of a baby's shoe and fly. Sometimes they fly at you and try to knock the can of Raid right out of your hand. FACT - If roaches were the size of humans, they could run 90 miles an hour.

(After receiving thousands of email requests, I have removed the hideous picture of the grossest bug in the world. I do these things for you so that you can enjoy your blog time without having to look at that insect nastiness.)

2. Missing trash day two times in a row and being totally overrun by our own filth. I think this fear started when we had three children in diapers and the smell from the garage was like dragon's breath.

3. My vacuum cleaner breaking. If you've read any of my other posts, you'll understand why this would be a horrible tragedy. I may have a housefull but I don't like dirt. This is really just an addendum to #2.

4. Going to have my hair done and accidentally getting a mullet. I don't have great hair but it could be worse. The Kentucky Waterfall, Business in the front/party in the back, A little front porch, a lotta back deck. Need I go on?

5. Finding out that my husband had ever auditioned to be a contestant on American Gladiators. I assume you don't need any further explanation.

Last night, one of these things happened.
Guess which one.
Here, I'll give you a hint: It wasn't 1-4.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Beauty of the Body

As I wrote a few posts ago, our family has grown by two. My husband announced with great pride this very morning that we had in fact beaten his sister, Emily, in the unspoken race to six children. Will the competition ever stop?

The boys now living with us are a delight and a miracle. I don't use that word lightly and in this circumstance, it is not an exaggeration.

CPS has been in and out of their lives for a very long time and the last response was that they were old enough to take care of themselves. The fact that they were having to take care of themselves was why, in essence, CPS was called in the first place.
I'd love to say that the prospect of the boys living with us for an indefinite amount of time was something I had thought long and hard about, prayed about, and come to on my own. I think the Lord knew that given any time to mull over it, all earthly reason would have taken over and I would have talked myself out of the whole thing. Instead, it was a crisis and, in crisis, you don't think about logistics, budgets, carpool, and homework, you just want to get the kids out of the chaos: to be fed, to rest, and to feel secure for a while.

Already, I have been amazed at the friends who have come alongside and cared for our family by way of groceries, gift cards, notes, phone calls, cash for groceries, and King Ranch Chicken. Is there a better way to show someone you love them than King Ranch Chicken? Everyone has been so generous that I have to admit I've thought about saying we needed a 42" flat screen and this dress from Anthropologie's spring line to really minister to these boys. Oh, I kid.

Seriously, I can't tell you how encouraging it is, how affirming, how beautiful, to see the Body of Christ come alongside and participate in this ministry that given the chance, we probably would have found an excuse not to take on. We have walked into the unknown but have the blessed assurance that we are not walking alone.
Thank you, Lord, that you are the lamp unto our feet and the light unto our path, no matter where You may lead.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

When you're in first grade at my daughter's school and you have a birthday, especially if it falls over Christmas break, you get to bring cookies, cupcakes, or a pig on a spit in to share with the class.
Olivia's birthday doesn't seem to end.
Apparently, we had not done all the celebrating possible so I promised to make sugar cookies. I felt like Martha Stewart making these and I have to say, I was VERY proud of the outcome. I am not Martha Stewarty at all and have decided I will be the kind of mom who makes all the other moms feel great about themselves.
"I'm so sorry I forgot little Johnny's shoes today for Bible Study."
"Oh, don't worry, the Hill's never have shoes on."
Yes, I'm a giver.
Today, however, I stepped out of my comfort zone and decorated some pretty little cookies.


I even made blue frosting for the boys.


The fact that I photographed them should tell you how rare it truly is.

One step forward.

About halfway through the day, I get this email from my daughter's teacher.

...Olivia really needs a coat at school. We do have them run around outside some if it is not raining and she is freezing...She stands at the window huddled up like a sad puppy...

It was 33 degrees outside. Um, did you see the cookies?

Two steps back.

Ok, let's look on the bright side. Our official pictures from the White House came back today. There's a great one of the entire family with the President and First Lady.
My eyes are closed.
Seriously.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Ugly.

Remember Fern?
Remember she's in heat?
That has been big fun all by itself without the stream of suitors we've had come to our door.
With flowers, chocolates, and always marking our bushes, they come to call on our beautiful purebred lab.
This is our most persistent bachelor.


I think he's a pitbulldoodleiuaua. He could be the worst looking dog I've ever seen so we call him Ugly, and he kind of answers to it. Trey has been waking up in a cold sweat fearful that this dog will taint his precious lab's line.
I reminded him that Fern was a stray so we really can't be sure about her bloodline at all.
I think he's got the rose colored glasses on again.
Seriously, the very last last last thing we need is puppies. Especially the spawn of Ugly who has mange and fleas and obviously not the means to care for his own offspring.
This morning, I was talking to a friend on the phone and I looked out the back window to see Ugly trying to do the horizontal mambo with Fern. He had broken into our backyard in a last ditch effort to get past second base. I screamed, threw down the phone and ran out to break it up. Can't you just feel the drama? My friend on the other end of the phone thought I was being murdered.
Nope. Just trying to preserve the chastity of my dog.

A minute ago, Ugly came back. You gotta be crazy to mess with papa bear.


Speaking of crazy, we have two boys living with us now. Their momma and daddy are having some issues and they needed a break from the drama for a while. By the grace of God, they really are the greatest kids. They have incredible joy despite what has surrounded them for so long. I have no idea what to do with teenagers. Mindy made sure I knew I couldn't send lunchables with them to school or they might get beat up. I'll keep you posted on how it's going. Please pray for them, their parents, and for us.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Over the bridge


I've posted a bunch about where we live, why we live here and the incredible children that have become a part of our family. Not technically, but in all the other ways that count to Trey and I. Emily wrote a funny post yesterday about what it sounds like to be on the other end of the phone with me when school lets out. You can read about that here.
Since she told you what it sounds like, I thought I'd give you a little peek at what it looks like.

These houses are just around the corner from us. Despite the size, they are full of families; often several generations. A couple of weeks ago, their neighbor's house burned and three were killed. They couldn't get out of the burglar bars or the locks on the doors that required a key to get both in or out. The fire department took 38 minutes to respond.


This house looks like a Highland Park Estate compared to the one our old babysitter lived in. She is a brilliant girl with a sincere love for the Lord. She got into college on an academic scholarship but had to leave after her first semester to come home and take care of her little sister who was being sexually abused by their dad.


All day long, there are school age children walking around the neighborhood. Skipping school is just a stepping stone until they finally drop out.



Another common sight. The "Po Po" keep pretty busy.


Snapped this one parked up at the high school. It was in the teacher's lot. I'm pretty sure this is not an official McDonald's vehicle. If it is, Ronald is apparently a big fan of 22" wheels, a huge symbol of status in the inner city. I might have to put some on my station wagon.



There are signs of despair on every corner. There are little victories that keep reminding us there is a Father who vows to not bring us harm but to give us each a future and a hope.
Thank you, Lord, that these promises are yes and amen in Christ Jesus.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

With a side of poetic justice

You know my husband brought home hamsters, right?
Sunday morning I woke up to this conversation between my husband and Tee, our 8 year old.
It just made me smile ear to ear.
"Daddy! Daddy! Now that we have two hamsters! We'll be able to have little baby hamsters! Whoohoo!
"Um...well...ahem...son...no, you see, both the hamsters are girls."
"So?"
"Well, ahem, Tee, you need a boy and a girl to make babies."
"Why?"
"You know what, let's you and I sit down and talk about this after church."
I was smiling because I knew the Cowboys were playing at 3:30 and what was rushing through my husband's mind was, 'How can I have "the talk" with my son and still make it in time for kickoff?'
Being the wordsmith that he is, he was able to get 'er done and he and Tee sludged through the Cowboy defeat like old compadres.
One, just a little wiser than he was the day before.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Because I don't scrapbook.


I can't go to bed without telling you that Graham , our kindergartner started reading tonight. At the encouragement of his older brother and sister, he picked up a few Bob books and slowly sounded out the words. Once he got through the first, we couldn't get him to stop.
Mit and Jig, Mat and Sam, Cat and Spartacus (just seeing if you're paying attention).
Sakes alive we're proud of that kid.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

D. I. V. O. R. C. E.

It seems like just a couple of years ago, Trey and I could have long, detailed conversations about anything in the presence of our children because whenever we came to a word too mature for their ears, we could just spell it.
I spelled this one tonight and 1/2 of our offspring immediately knew there was a storm on the horizon. The other clueless half just continued to play with the hamsters.
Trey and Olivia had just...What was that?
Did you just say HAMSTER.S.
But what about the dog you just took in?
and
what about the other four pets you already have?
and
what about the rule: nothing else living in your home that poops?
and
what about the seventeen billion neighborhood kids that come over everyday that you have to feed and practice spelling words and clean up after?

Olivia had a birthday and that girl loves her some furry animals.
Daddy took one look in these eyes and lost all sense of reason.



My gift is not interior design but I'm pretty sure this is not the "pop of color" my friends are talking about.


One of them is already trying to gnaw her way out.



Lord, thank you for hamsters, and dogs, and bearded dragons, and cats, and husbands who love their daughters so much they sometimes forget about the no p.o.o.p. rule.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Name that Dog. Conclusion

When Trey and I were pregnant with our first child, we determined not to share our names with anyone until after the baby was born. Our philosophy was, no matter how beautiful and perfect we thought the name was, if we shared it before the child was born, someone would put the kibosh on it.

"Oh, my brother had a friend named (*insert favorite name*), and he's in prison for murder."
or
"I dated a girl named (**)in college." Total slut."
or
"I was totally bullied by a kid named (**) in the 4th grade. The therapy should only last a couple more years."

or my favorite and one that we still hear regularly from our pediatrician about our fourth child's name.
"Love it! That's my dog's name. I know where you can get some great personalized bowls."

We decided it was better to just walk out of the delivery room holding that precious little newborn who's breath smells like sugar and say, we're calling her (________)! All anyone can do is ooh and ahh and say how beautiful she is despite her old fashioned and possibly awkward name.

We were staunch about this. Staunch. Until now. We needed help and you answered the call. Thank you, friends! Your input was incredibly helpful! I loved your ideas about the dog's name! The ideas about the Diet Coke, not as much.

There was one name that I loved the moment I read it. I knew it was perfect and, although it took some convincing for the rest of my family, we now have a name for our beautiful new dog.

Thank you waitingonyou2 for the winning name.

Introducing Fern. Isn't she great?


Please don't comment and tell me it's the worst name ever because you knew a girl named Fern in junior high who ate glue and smelled like socks. It's her name and we love her.
We woke up this morning to another little surprise.
Fern's in heat.
Now whatcha got?

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Name that Dog.

The other day we had a stray dog show up at our door. You can read about that here. Well, it seems that this little stray will indeed become a bonafide, official part of our family. I've said before that we don't need another dog. For that matter, we don't need anything else living in our home that poops. We have four children, a dog, a cat, and a bearded dragon.

Oh but cards are so stacked against me in this case.
Why? you may ask.
She's a Labrador Retriever. What that means is that my husband has fallen madly in love with her. I heard him whisper to her the other day. "Yeah, you're a real dog." When he looks at her, his glasses couldn't be rosier. Nevermind the fact that she sheds and weighs more than me. I shed very little. Nevermind the fact that she's getting up on the furniture and my side of the bed. AND, nevermind that we already have a dog, Scout, who doesn't shed, doesn't outweigh me, and knows not to get on my pillow.

Unfortunately, Scout's a labradoodle so she looks like this.
Bless her heart, she can't help it.



New dog looks like this.



Well, not exactly, but she might as well. Trey is smitten. Last night, he actually said, "I love that dog." I think Scout started to cry.

It's not as if I've never brought a stray home. I have. You can read how well that went here.

So that leaves me with a new dog and no name.

Scout was named for the heroine in To Kill a Mockingbird.
I just finished Peace Like a River so I thought Swede would be great. My neighbor, Mindy said it sounds too much like weed. Because of where we live, we can't name her anything that sounds too much like drugs. Needless to say, that was followed by a little conversation about all the other names we couldn't use. Mocaine, Deroin, Frack, and Bethamphetamine. Those are out.

So, here's my dilemma, and therefore my Rocks in My Dryer, "Backwards Works for Me Wednesday." What in the world do we name this dog?
Our newest family member.
The apple of my husband's dog-snobby eye?

If you don't want to answer that you can tell me, in 100 words or less, why I should stop drinking Diet Coke.
I'd prefer your two cents on the former.

My sister in law Emily, asked if I'd gotten the photo of the Labrador from Dog Porn.
Yes. Yes I did.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Found



Found. Beautiful black lab in West Dallas. She is sweet and friendly but was initially hesitant to be welcomed into our home. She was very hungry when she arrived and warmed up after she got something to eat. She is gentle but has possibly been abused or severely neglected because she's skiddish, especially around men. She responds really well to positive attention and encouragement. It's obvious that she belongs to someone, although no one seems to be looking for her. Labs are incredibly smart and loyal by nature and perfect in a family. In a home with unconditional love and purposeful discipline, the possibilities of this girl would be limitless.

This describes a stray dog that showed up on my front porch yesterday. It would also describe about 90% of the kids we come across in West Dallas. I know the differences between children and dogs goes back to the purposing of their creation before the beginning of time. One was spoken into existence, created to be ruled over by man and the other was sculpted by the Creator's hands, to be an image bearer of the Lord himself.

Are we, in our inner cites, forgetting that marvelous distinction? Are we creating a generation of stray children?
If not, why do they keep showing up on my doorstep?

Friday, January 4, 2008

You are my Sunshine!

Happy Birthday O!



I love you sweet baby girl and can't believe you're another year older. To me you are still crawling around in your yellow footie pajamas with your blond chickadee hair sticking up all over the place and your diaper crinkling whenever you'd plop on your bottom. Time is rushing by far too quickly.
Your tender heart is a blessing to your family and you are a delight and a priceless gift!
I love you!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

...and what also works for me.

Yesterday, I posted about a great prayer journal for Rocks in My Dryer's Works for me Wednesday.
Well, I've got a little something else that has been workin' for me all week; slightly ill children.
Now, let me just say, before I go any further, that I am so thankful for their health and I would never wish illness upon my children. Ever.
It's just that we've been down with the best case scenario of colds all week and it's been pretty sweet. It's the kind of cold where all they want to do is lay on the couch and snuggle. They'll watch Elf over and over if I'll sit there with them, which I'm totally willing to do.
On a side note, I must confess my secret (well, not any more) crush on Will Ferrell, and Conan O'Brien for that matter. Trey feels completely confident and not threatened even a little by this. I love the security he has in both his manliness and his ability to tell a joke. It might have something to do with the fact that he looks like this...


...and his heart is even more beautiful. I mean manly, and strong, and rugged. Fearless and rugged.
My sickies prefer it if I don't get out of my bathrobe all day to deliver their third helping of chicken soup and Sprite. Instead, their request is to "stay in your p.j.s just like me". All day.
I've even had to lay down with them in the afternoons a couple of days and take a nap with them just to help them feel better. Rest can be the best medicine you know. I'm a giver.
This is not my personality. Not at all. I love to get out and go, go, go. I love to use the week after New Years to catch up on all of my errand running, cleaning, and seeing friends.
This week, I've learned something else I love. Staying home all day and just hanging out. Reading books and watching movies with no schedule. The neighborhood kids have still come every day and had dinner with us most nights. We've had Wii tournaments and cooking lessons.
Quincy and Dion can bake the fire out of a pan of brownies.
It has for once in a long time truly felt like a vacation at home. I wish my kids had felt better but we've made the most of it.
Now, I must go. They're obviously out of the woods because there's a fight raging upstairs. Apparently, Olivia wants to erase Porky, the Mii, because he's "ugly" but Tee has become attached and can't bear to think of Porky being sent to cyber-never, never land. So glad to see my degree in Breaking up Childhood Squabbles is definitely not being wasted.

Thank you Lord, that although our physical rest may be brief, you offer, through your Son, a peace that passes understanding.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Works for Me Wednesday!




Ok, this is my veryfirstever time to participate in Rocks in My Dryer's Works for Me Wednesday! I'm so excited!
In light of the New Year and all the possibilities it holds, I thought I'd share with you a prayer journal my friend Kathryn gave to me. You can find it here .
It says "Prayers Asked" on one side and then you can turn the entire book over to the other side which says "Prayers Answered".
I'm not a great 'keeper of the journal' but this has been just perfect for me.
I looked through mine last night and was reminded of all the different things I'd prayed for throughout the year and how they had been answered. I tend to forget the moment the trial is over, but to have it written down this way was a great source of encouragement.
One of my very favorite gifts!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Chocolate Italian Birthday Cake

Chocolate Italian Birthday Cake

OH MY GOODNESS THIS IS YUMMY DELICIOUS!!!

Seriously!

Cake Ingredients:

5 large eggs, separated
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
2 cups sugar
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
2/3 cup finely chopped pecans
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Garnish: pecan halves

Frosting Ingredients:

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 (16-ounce) package powdered sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/4 cup buttermilk
2/3 cup finely chopped pecans

For cake, beat egg whites at high speed with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form; set aside.

Beat butter and shortening until creamy; gradually add sugar, beating well. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition.

Combine flour, cocoa, and baking soda; add to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed until blended after each addition. Stir in coconut, chopped pecans, and vanilla. Fold in egg whites. Pour batter into 3 greased and floured 8-inch round cake pans.

Bake at 325° for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes. Remove cake layers to wire racks, and cool completely.

For frosting, beat first 4 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy.

Combine powdered sugar and cocoa; gradually add to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with powdered sugar mixture. Beat at low speed until blended after each addition. Stir in pecans.

Spread Chocolate-Cream Cheese Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake. Get a month pass to the Y and enjoy!


Melt in Your Mouth Biscuits

Melt in Your Mouth Biscuits

1 package Grands Southern Style biscuits (8)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
Italian seasoning

Preheat oven according to directions on the biscuit can. Maybe not the best way to start off a recipe but hang with me. Mix mayonnaise and Parmesan cheese together and sprinkle with Italian seasoning.

Flatten biscuits on a cookie sheet and spread with a nice dollop of mayo/Parmesan mixture. Bake according to directions on the biscuits. They will melt in your mouth. Melt. In. Your. Mouth.

Spinach Salad with Creamy Vinaigrette Dressing

Spinach Salad with Creamy Vinaigrette Dressing

3 10oz. packages baby spinach
4 eggs, hard-boiled
8 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 cup fresh parmesan, grated coursely
Sliced mushrooms, optional

Creamy Vinaigrette Dressing

1 Cup vegetable oil
5 T. white wine vinegar
4 T. Sour Cream
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 T. sugar
2 tsp. fresh parsley, chopped
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1/2 tsp. black pepper cracked

Mix dressing ingredients at least six hours before serving. Refrigerate until ready to use.Assemble salad ingredients in order with spinach on bottom and Parmesan on top. Ladle dressing on top. You can also toss the salad before serving which is what I did 'cause I'm crazy that way.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

This recipe serves four, I doubled it for six and had just enough.

2 pounds peeled sweet potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
Cooking spray
1/4 cup packed brown sugar, divided
1 bacon slice, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 400°.

Arrange potato slices in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons sugar; arrange bacon on top. Bake at 400° for 30 minutes. Turn potatoes over; bake an additional 30 minutes or until tender. Keep warm.


Pecan Crusted Pork Tender with Red Onion Marmalade

Pecan Crusted Pork Tender with Red Onion Marmalade

This recipe serves four normal adults. I doubled it for six. Perfect perfection.

1 medium red onion, sliced and separated into rings (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger
1 pound pork tenderloin
1/2 cup all-purpose flour, divided
1/3 cup ground pecans
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
4 teaspoons finely chopped pecans, toasted

Preheat oven to 400°.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and 2 tablespoons sugar; cook 6 minutes or until onion is tender and lightly browned, stirring frequently. Stir in water, vinegar, and ginger; bring to a boil. Cook 3 minutes, and remove from heat.

Trim fat from pork, and cut crosswise into 8 pieces. Place each piece between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap, and flatten to 1/2-inch thickness using a meat mallet or rolling pin.

Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup. Place 1/4 cup flour in a shallow dish. Combine 1/4 cup flour, ground pecans, and pepper in a separate shallow dish. Dredge pork in flour, shaking off excess. Dip pork in egg whites; dredge in pecan mixture, coating both sides.

Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Arrange pork in pan in a single layer. Cook 3 minutes on each side or until browned. Top pork with onion mixture; sprinkle with chopped pecans.

Die of yummilation.

Easy but Delicious Puff Pastry Appetizer

Easy but Delicious Puff Pastry Appetizer

1 Package Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry

Honey Mustard

4oz. Prosciutto

1-ish Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese

Preheat oven as directed on the puff pastry package. Spread each thawed puff pastry on cookie sheet and spread with honey mustard. Place 1/2 of prosciutto over mustard and sprinkle 1/2 cup of cheese over that. Repeat on second puff pastry. Roll up and bake that baby for about 15 minutes or until browned and flaky.

Slice crossways into pinwheels. YUM!

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Happy New Year!

Each New Year's Day, I repeat the same pattern of events. I wake up early, run 3 miles, eat a healthy breakfast and I determine to spend time each day with the Lord for it is from Him I know I will find strength, perseverance, forgiveness, and wisdom. I journal, I pray, and I then I peter. Around March, I get caught up in the business of life and children, my own and the neighborhood's, and the ministry the Lord has given us here. My time with the Father wains.
I know better. But my actions speak louder.

In light of the knowledge of my inconsistency, this is my prayer for the New Year. I love the way the Puritans prayed...

O, my Saviour,
Thank you from the depths of my being
for your wondrous grace and love
in bearing my sin in your own body on the tree.
May your cross be to me
as the tree that sweetens my bitter Marahs,
as the rod that blossoms with life and beauty,
as the brazen serpent that calls forth the look of faith.
By your cross crucify my every sin;
Use it to increase my intimacy with yourself;
Make it to the ground of all my comfort,
the liveliness of all my duties,
the sum of all your gospel promises,
the comfort of all my afflictions,
the vigour of my love, thankfulness, graces,
the very essence of my religion.
And by it give me that rest without rest,
the rest of ceaseless praise.

And forgive me for lying about the running thing and the healthy breakfast.

About Me

Sometimes, we are given ministries we would not have asked for in a thousand years. This blog is all about mine. I am a stay at home mother of four and my husband runs an inner city ministry in Dallas. Last year, we were blessed to have two teenage boys from the community move in with us. We live in the community, the ghetto, the hood, the place you most likely avoid when driving through our fair city. We love it. Seriously, love it.

Email Me
tmthill@yahoo.com


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