Thursday, April 28, 2011

{ embrace the camera : 4.28 }

Today for ETC I'm going to post a few older pictures of me with my favorite little man, Ryan Joseph. He was born on February 3rd... he is three months old today! He is growing up way too quickly for my liking. He weighed 8lbs, 2oz and was 21 1/2 inches when he was born... now he weighs a little over 10lbs and is 24 1/2 inches. You can read his birth story here; a great, natural, drug free delivery! Anyway, his favorite activities include eating [ha!], snuggling with mama, rocking, taking baths, chewing on anything and everything, being worn in the Moby wrap, smiling and tummy time. I love him oh so very much!

 [ryan's birth day]

 [sleeping with mama]

 [during our 5 day stay at children's hospital for jaundice; 2am feeding and snuggle time... bad quality phone photo, but oh, how I treasured those 30 minutes every three hours I was allowed to hold him...]

 [going for a walk in the moby wrap]

 [dinner time!]

 [last bath in the sink... he outgrew it quickly!]


[easter sunday]

Okay, so maybe I went a little overboard with the photos... but I just can't help it. :] He is my little love!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Ryan's First Easter

 [family photo]

 [happy baby!]

 [my two favorite guys ever... my handsome husband and my adorable son!]

 [four generations]

[grandpa and ryan sharing some giggles]

[ryan and i enjoying the outdoors]


On Friday I couldn't find the words because my heart was heavy and I felt like no words could describe the depth of the gift I had been given.

Today I cannot find the words because my heart is so full of joy and if I were to say anything, it probably wouldn't even make any sense! Today gives me SO much hope.

Come awake, my friends; Christ is risen from the dead! Happy Resurrection Sunday!! 

[mute the music at the bottom of my blog first]

Friday, April 22, 2011

{ good friday }

I've been trying to come up with the right words for most of the day today. I've had this page open for hours. No words are coming to mind; no words are big enough to accurately describe how utterly grateful I am for what this day represents. My heart is heavy; I did not, I do not, deserve this gift.

"He was pierced for our transgressions
And crushed for our sins
The punishment that brought us peace was upon Him
And by His wounds, by His wounds we are healed

We are healed by Your sacrifice
And the life that You gave
We are healed for You paid the price
By Your grace we are saved
We are saved

He was pierced for our transgressions
He was crushed for our sins
The punishment that brought us peace was upon Him
And by His wounds, by His wounds we are healed
And by His wounds, by His wounds

What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus..."

Missing Africa...

I've really been missing Africa lately. A lot. I miss the culture. I miss the people, especially the friends I made. I miss the laid-back way of life. I miss the value people hold on relationships with each other. I miss the chai. I miss the food. I miss doing ministry there.

I miss how seriously they take God, sin, and the gospel.

Here in the US, life is "easy" compared to life in most other countries. For the most part, we have what we need [and want]... or could pretty easily get it.

clean water.
a solid structure to live in.
a job.
a car.

And not to mention all the "extras" that the average American thinks is a necessity.

With all of our basic needs seemingly taken care of without much effort, it's easy to "forget" about God and depend on him for our every breath.

I'm reminded of this today as I reflect on our time in Kenya. Life in general was just more difficult. Most things didn't come as easily. I woke up most days with the feeling of dependency on Christ to make it through the day.

I miss it.

Am I brave enough to ask the Lord to take away whatever He needs to in order to make me truly depend on him?

 [mike and jake during a mission trip in meru]

 [having a good time in meru]

 [village traffic]

 [mama peris' baby]

 [me and mary]

 [the market]

[the girls]

 [the whole crew]

[me, 17 weeks pregnant]

 [jake and joseph]



Thursday, April 21, 2011

Orange Chicken and Fried Rice

Doesn't it look delicious?

I made this for dinner last night; it was my second time making it, and it was definitely better the second time. Maybe it will get better and better each time! It's good the next day, too... I'm so eating leftovers for lunch today. :]

So here's the recipe; this is the recipe I followed the first time. I almost always follow a recipe the first time I make something, and then make adjustments the following times. Play around with it and figure out the changes that you'll like!


1/3 cup oil
1 onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
ginger [I love using fresh ginger]
peas and carrots [frozen ones are okay, but I usually cook raw veggies]
4 eggs, beaten
4 cups of cold, cooked rice [I cook my rice the day before we plan to eat this]
soy sauce
green onions, chopped [I like a lot!]

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a skillet. Add onions and cook until fragrant. Add ginger, garlic and green onions. Add veggies; cook until defrosted or softened, but still crisp. Transfer contents to bowl.

Return pan to heat; add 2 tablespoons of oil. Add eggs; season with salt and pepper. Stir eggs until almost set. Transfer eggs to same bowl with veggies.

Return pan to heat; add remaining oil. Add rice to pan and break up clumps. Stir fry to coat with oil. Let rice cook undisturbed for 2 minutes until slightly crispy. stiry again. Add veggies and egg mixture, and heat through.



  • 2lbs chicken, cut into small chunks
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • oil, for frying
Orange sauce: 
  • 1 1/3 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice [I usually add more, because I like the orange flavor]
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar [you can find this in the condiments aisle in any grocery store]
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest, grated
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger [again, freshly grated ginger here is the best!]
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons green onion, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes [I usually add more]
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup water
Combine flour, salt and pepper. Dip chicken in beaten egg and dredge in flour. Fry chicken in oil until completely cooked. 

Combine water, lemon juice, orange juice, rice vinegar and soy sauce in sauce pan. Stir in brown sugar, orange zest ginger, garlic and green onions. Boil. 

Combine cornstarch and water, mix. Pour into sauce; heat to thicken. Pour over breaded/fried chicken. 

If you're like me and have a husband, baby, and a house to tend to (among other things)... it CAN be kind of a time consuming recipe [time consuming = anything more than half an hour, lol]... so I usually start the day before [by cooking the rice; it's better when it is a day old] and then the morning of the meal, by scrambling the eggs, cooking the veggies, preparing the sauce, cutting the chicken... then all that is left to do when it's time to eat is to dredge/fry the chicken, heat the sauce, fry the rice and add the [already cooked] eggs and veggies. That saves a lot of time! 

{ embrace the camera : 4.21 ]

I found this neat link up through a friend who found it through another fellow blogger. I thought it would be fun to  try to do this regularly! Emily from andersonfamilycrew encourages us as moms/wives to make sure that we are in the photos with our kids, friends, surroundings and in our day to day life. It's pretty easy to snap a bunch of pictures of the little ones, but how often are the photographers IN the photograph? Like my friend said, I know that when my kid[s] look back on the photos, they won't care if I'm still in my PJ's or have greasy hair... they're just care that I was "there!"

So, every week, we are encouraged to post a picture. Or two. Or three. Making sure that we are also part of the photo.

I think I'm going to start off this new venture with a few [old] pictures of my favorite person... the husband. :]

 [wedding day: march 1st, 2oo8]

 [gettin' dirty; after a day of 4 wheeling in the U.P. of michigan]

 [snowmobiling with our rad helmets in south dakota]

 [on the lake in south dakota]

[family reunion at the dells in wisconsin]

*sigh* I love hims. :]

Friday, April 8, 2011

[ 9 weeks ]

Ryan is 9 weeks old!

2 month stats: 
Weight: 10lbs
Length: 24"

...and NO JAUNDICE! Yay!!