Friday, March 30, 2007

Happy Friday, Happy Birthday and Chicken Oregano

I was typing this up for something else, and I thought I'd share it with fellow cooking bloggers. I'm always looking for quick and easy meals that we both enjoy. I hope you like it. This one's perfect for busy nights.

Also ("yes, also") ... Happy Birthday, Kari Plevan! OOWWEE!!

Chicken Oregano
Source: Holly Clegg’s Trim & Terrific Freezer Friendly Meals

Makes 4-6 servings

1 ½ pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 onion, chopped
½ teaspoon minced garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon dried oregano leaves
1 (16-ounce) can whole tomatoes, crushed, with their juices
½ pound mushrooms sliced
¼ cup dry red wine, optional

In a large non-stick skillet coated with non-stick cooking spray, brown the chicken on both sides over medium heat, about 5 minutes in all, cooking in batches if necessary. Add the onion and garlic and cook 5 minutes more, until the vegetables are tender. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and oregano. Add the tomatoes, mushrooms, and wine. Cover and cook over low heat about 25-30 minutes, or until the chicken is tender. If the sauce gets too thick, add a little water.

To Prepare and Eat Now:
Serve with angel hair pasta.

To Freeze:
Cool to the room temperature, wrap, label, and freeze. Recommended freezing time: up to 3 months.

To Prepare After Freezing:
Remove from freezer to defrost. Reheat in non-stick skillet or over low heat until thoroughly heated. Serve with pasta.

Per serving: 2 grams of fat and 171 calories

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Mystery Solved!

After grading English for a few hours straight, I decided to take a quick blog break.

Good thing. Thanks to the fellow seminarians, Phillip and Cami Bethancourt (great blog), I can proudly go home and tell Dustin the mystery is solved. We kept seeing these billboards everywhere with letters to Bluebell. Dustin and I were intrigued... Blue Bell in Kentucky! Could it be true?
Cami explains the mysterious billboards here. Glad we weren't the only Texans who were curious what was up with one Mr. Sam Schramm.

I don't know Cami well, but she's friends with Travis and the Peeks and that's something special in my book. She finally solved the mystery this past week. Thanks, Cami.

I found her blog through my cousin's who MIGHT be up and kickin' again. It's a good one too. Stop by.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Southern Seminary: A Dangerous Place

Thanks to a friend of ours from church, Rich Clark, I found this link. I kind of feel like my whole life is how he described this life here at seminary. Same idea with DBU campus, same idea in my comfortable childhood; it is dangerous. Piper offers some helpful warnings.

What's up with the Butts

As our Feminine Appeal study came to an end, my ladies' book study group at church started discussing what we would do next. We finally landed on The Discipline of Grace, by one of my favorite authors, Jerry Bridges. I have also read The Gospel for Real Life and Transforming Grace and both of them were must-haves. I'm excited about this one. Here's a blurb about it that one of our leaders of the study e-mailed us (not sure where she got it - the back of the book? Challies?):

"We know we need grace. Without it we'd never come to Christ in the first place. But being a Christian is more than just coming to Christ. It's about growing and becoming more like Jesus. It's about pursing holiness. The pursuit of holiness is hard work, and that's were we turn from grace to discipline. Grace is every bit as important for growing as a Christian as it is for becoming a Christian in the first place. Grace is at the heart of the gospel, and without a clear understanding of the gospel and grace we can easily slip into a performance based lifestyle that bears little resemblance to what the gospel has to offer us. The Discipline Of Grace offers a clear and thorough explanation of the gospel and what it means to the believer, and how the same grace that brings us to faith in Christ also disciplines us in Christ, and how we learn to discipline ourselves in the areas of commitment, convictions, choices, watchfulness, and adversity. The Discipline Of Grace is highly recommended reading for anyone struggling to overcome the world in Christ. "

In other news, my kids at school earned their 3rd Marble Jar party last Friday. I have come to have the following conviction about rewards and parties in education: "Make them work hard to earn their parties, don't give them away like candy... but when you have one, do it up right!"

This one was our favorite thus far: Movies, picnic on a perfect day, The "Huh" game, Human Knot, Blob Tag, a guest speaker on missions, etc. It was a blast. They also had library time to research for their paper. All in all, it was a really special day with my students. We loved it.

Dustin's doing well. He came home from OT the other day so excited about what he had learned about Isaiah. Wow. It makes me so happy to hear him just overflowing with what he learns about Scripture. We're really in the dark about what God would have him do in the future, but he has growing passions and is waiting on the Lord to guide. Pray for us as we begin already to contemplate what is beyond seminary. He's loving March Madness and writing papers in between viewing bits and pieces of games with friends (no TV here). I have a really nasty sinus infection (I'm sure you wanted to know) and he ordered me to rest. Rest, I did. I have taken about 4 naps today. Whew. They drugged me up at the doctor's this morning.

We had a great visit with my parents last weekend. My dad just turned 50 on the 13th. Our friend Laura had a birthday on Wednesday, my new friend Stacie has a birthday tomorrow, Kari next week and I think Betsy had one earlier this month. If I am forgetting anyone, forgive me. Happy birthday, all.

Just a few more weeks until Spring Break. We are looking forward to it. And I think you are updated and I should go fold laundry.

Friday, March 16, 2007

ABC's of God

I've been meaning to share this forever now. One of... no, I take that back, THE BEST curriculum I have found for Scripture memory for my kids at school is ABC's of God, by Jill Nelson of Desiring God Ministries. My students are finally on Z. I had them memorize the attribute and corresponding verse each week. Some of the parents even got on board. They could do any previous verses and attributes for one bonus point each, which was plenty of motivation to keep them memorized. Some kids are found making 120's on their Bible tests. :) The point is... it's so encouraging to see the kids learn these attributes.

You can find all of the attributes here. I want my own kids to know these one day. I want to keep them memorized. From A to Z, studying the attributes of God and seeing my kids at school learn these (and our weekly discussions on them) has been one of the highlights of this year. Moms, teachers, everyone - learn and enjoy these (but please give credit where it is due... or buy the curriculum).

Here's Z, just to whet your appetite.

Zealous - God does everything with determination and strength for His name's sake.
Isaiah 42:13
The LORD will march out like a mighty man, like a warrior he will stir up his zeal; with a shout he will raise the battle cry and will triumph over his enemies.

One of my favorites is M. Go look it up and see for yourself.

Quick - a link to share

This is an oldie, but a goodie on needs vs. wants. A must read. Makes me think. It doesn't take long to read, so go read it and comment here about what you think.

All smiles :)

Thursday, March 15, 2007

smorgasbord of updates =)

Hello from the 'Ville.

My absence from Blogworld can only be explained by the fact that it ranks kind of low on the list of priorities these days. The update begins with the simple fact that life is busy. Busy, but good. We are enjoying this season of life, full as it is. Between company, church involvement, being a new teacher and the crazy amount of hours that demands, seminary, work, sleep, exercise (not nearly enough), and just making time for the really important things like spending time together or morning fights, it's been FULL. That's the word that keeps popping into my head, because BUSY sounds so negative. I'd rather say full I guess. We lead a FULL life these days, but so does everyone else.

On the seminary front, Dustin is really enjoying his classes. After much prayer and consideration and the answer becoming crystal clear, he decided to drop philosophy. Taking 9 hours and working is a lot more doable than taking 12 hours and working, especially when each class has over 1,000 pages of reading, papers, tests and articles to critique. I seriously don't know how these guys do it. I can drive up to our apartment complex at any hour of the night, on any night of the week, and see numerous lights on and know perfectly well that some young seminarian is behind that wall reading with a cup of coffee at his side. :) Dustin's no different. He's been working diligently to stay up on reading - whew, it's a lot. Cutting the class load has already helped tremendously. We'd rather stay an extra semester and him really learn and be affected by his studies than be swamped and frustrated. Pray for endurance.

On the home front, we're excited that my parents come in town tonight. They'll be here through Monday and it should be a sweet time. We still need to get some pictures up for friends/fam of the apartment and recent pics (with the Bebees). Hopefully soon. :) We've so enjoyed the home and we're thankful for each cabinet and closet and the little things like counterspace we might have taken for granted had we not started at Fuller. Although I have so much to learn, the Lord has been kind to grow in me a love for homemaking. This is a very unique season, so being a homemaker looks a little different than it will one day (some nights are sandwiches, frozen pizzas, Jimmy John's or pancakes), but dear friends remind me that is just a season. When my heart longs to be home more, I am also reminded that that is a good thing and exactly how God designed it. However, this is a way to get Dustin through school and be his helpmate in that way and home is still priority over work, but it is good to learn to be flexible and learn more about the heart of the issues not just the sterotypes of what I think it means to fulfill God's role. Dustin's so encouraging.

At school, things are coming to a close. This is the first week of the last quarter. 8 weeks and 1 more day to go. I spent basically the whole weekend, minus church on Sunday morning getting caught up on last quarter's grading, organizing EVERYTHING, and getting ahead on this next and last quarter. Whew. Talk about Spring Cleaning. I always say that God is trying to teach me something because my 2 best friends, Dustin and Erin, are the 2 most organized people (Kristy Riedl being a close third) I know and I enter a profession (both teaching and being a wife and one day a mother) where every single person is called to be organized whether they are or not. I've been teaching for well over a year now and it truly does get easier. Give first year teachers a hug though because it is tough. Tough, but good. I love my kids so much. I have a million stories I could share with you about this year. Hopefully good training for motherhood one day, knowing that you have to work hard, discipline, pour out, love on whiny people, laugh, plan, pray... although I consider motherhood much more difficult labor than teaching. I'm guessing anyway. And there's no complaining here because summer is on the way. I pray for wisdom in how to use the summer. Dustin will be taking Hebrew one month. We'll do a little vacation, Lord willing, but other than that... I'm not sure what it will hold. More time with Dustin. More time at home. Resting. Some days at school working on lessons and files and getting ready for next year. Reading. Cooking. Wedding scrapbook. Helping paint the church nursery. Bringing snacks to Kari at her work. Working out more. Piano. Jogging around Cherokee Park. I'm just thankful it's almost here. And maybe I'll blog a little bit more.

To those of you who I haven't talked to in awhile, I miss you. Know that. Laura, you're so good about staying in touch. Teresa, still owe you an e-mail. Aunt Katy, it's cool that you read our blogs. I could go on. But I'll spare you. :P

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


Thanks to our fun TX friends, Michael (connoisseur of all things java-related) and Julie Stone of, we are enjoying our new favorite kitchen toy. This was one of our wedding presents, but the first one we had was somehow broken and wouldn't stay on. We were lazy and waited forever to finally mail it in and bought a little Mr. Coffee thing in the meantime. We moved and finally decided to get on the ball. Our Bodum friends kindly replaced the broken one with the upgraded timer version. If you've never seen one of these, they work with a vacuum brewing system and it's fun to watch. Anyway... it's our new toy and we love it. Sucks up the water through the tube and spits out tasty, HOT coffee. Thanks so much, Stones!

The Bebees are in town!! It's been a blast hanging out with them (and the Plevans) and staying up until crazy hours. They're coming to seminary in the fall and Ryan's like a kid at Christmas as he learns more about the school and anticipates his time here. We're so excited that they will be moving to Louisville. Both Ryan and Sarah were some of my dearest camp friends, so it's a real treat to see these friendships continue and to look forward to living in the same town. (Pictures to come)

Gotta jet. That's the update for now.