Thursday, May 31, 2012

Scripture Memory~ June 1

Accountability is good for me. It seems to have helped my menu planning to be accountable to post my meals on my blog, so I thought I would do the same thing with my scripture memory goals as well.

Two friends of mine Lacie and Danielle from VA posted about their scripture memory goals and I jumped  on board with their challenge!

The basic idea is to just memorize 2 verses a month. One on the 1st of each month and one on the 15th of each month. I have loved it because it's a reasonable goal (not too many verses) and yet such a wonderful way to refresh my heart and mind with the truth of God's word.

I try to stay accountable to a few friends to pick new verses, but I am not too hard on myself (or them) about having every single word memorized. My goal is to meditate and think on the scripture at least 1x a day or more if I am able. I write my verse on a note card and put it by my sink where I hand wash my dishes.

WHEN I have consistently remembered to pick a new verse and write it down, I am always glad that I did  as it helps to renew my mind and tuck truth away!

I suppose that's why I'm posting here 1. to keep myself accountable 2. hopefully to encourage others by God's word 3. to challenge others to be hiding God's word in their heart as well.

Hope you'll join me!

So here's my verse for June 1:

Galatians 2:20

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

She said. She said.

Well, I use to just do "Maddy says"  - but Rose has been talking so much lately and saying the funniest things, that I had to share some of what each of our quirky girls are saying! These have been documented over the last month or two. I'm so glad to have some time to sit down and share them! I sure don't want to forget a single one of them as they grow out of these silly stages so quickly ;)

Rose Says: 
* If she spills something or wipes her nose on MY shirt, she says, "oh Boy! Mess!"
* I handed her a pear to eat and she poked her finger into a brown spot(which squirted juice everywhere) and she said, "oh poop!"
* She likes to give a commentary on things that go around her, "that hot", "that cold", "that manny(Maddy) shoe"
* One day we were walking up the steps to our front door after being out for the morning, and Rose walked right up to our neighbors door (very near to ours because it's like a duplex) and she started knocking on the door saying, "Broadie! Broadie!" Broadie is our neighbor's dog. haha!
*When Maddy does something that looks fun she said, "et tu?" which  means, "me too?"
* If she wakes up and Tim has already gone, she'll say, " I wan dada"
* When She see's Tim for the first time after a long day, she will hug him and say, "I miss you!" She says it in this sweet little voice that always makes Tim and I giggle :)

* One day, she woke up from her nap before Maddy(that usually doesn't happen!) But she was so wanting to play with Maddy that she snuck into our room where Maddy was sleeping on our bed and yelled 3x "Ake up Manny!(Wake up Maddy!) -somehow Maddy didn't wake up!

Maddy Says: 
* When I told her that I was heading out to go spend some time with my friends, she said, "I have an idea(with her pointer finger up) -you can go see your friends for 1 min, then you can come right back here to me!"
* "Mom, I'm drinkey - can I have some water?"
* One night for evening prayers she said to God, "Thank you for mom and dad and ME - and I wold love it if you would make a rainbow again!"
* After I had royally burnt some popcorn, she said, "When I get big and look like a grown up, I will never make popcorn black -I will make it white and yummy!"
* While she was sitting on the potty looking at the bath tub she said (with a horrified look on her face), "The other last day I peed in the bath and I didn't jump out, I stayed in there and then swimmed
 around in it!"
* She still calls McDonalds, "Old Mcdonalds" and I almost never correct her because I love it so much :)
* We put on some temporary tattoos and she kept calling them "tutu's" - it was so sweet.
* When I showed her a picture of Tim and I on our wedding day she said, "Oh mom (with a gasp) you look like a Princess! When I get to be a grown up like you, can I wear a white dress and marry Daddy and he can wear a black coat?"

~~~We've had about a week of 65 degree, sunny weather here in Aberdeen and took full advantage of being outdoors soaking up the sun! But now we're back to the high 40's low 50's again. Trying to just be thankful that we got some sun and putting jackets back on to get out to the park. 

Menu Plan Monday~ May 28/12

Monday~  Baked Chicken, salad

Tuesday~  Chicken Burrito Bowl

Wednesday~ Grilled Chicken Cobb Salad

Thursday~ Baby Spinach Omelette and fruit

Friday~  Homemade Pizza - Tim's going to try a new dough recipe from a friend that sits for almost 24 hours before you kneed it! I'll pass it on when I get it :)

Last week's New Recipe Review:

Bruschetta Chicken -Tim 9/10, Julie 9.5/10, Ease to make 9/10 - this was so easy and packed with flavor. I made my own sun dried tomato dressing that I marinated the chicken in and then we used on our salad. What a light and tasty meal! I didn't feel like I was dieting at all :) We are definitely doing this one again!

Stuffed Pepper Soup - Tim 10/10, Julie 9/10, Ease to make 8/10. This was a light and flavourful soup. It simmers for about 30 min, so I feel like the pepper, onions, tomatoes, and garlic flavors really melded together well. So tasty and low fat too :)

Coconut Chicken Salad - Tim 7/10,  Julie 7/10, Ease to make 7/10 - I like the idea of coconut chicken over salad with honey mustard dressing, but I didn't particularly like this coconut chicken recipe. I like the one I have made in the past. As well, the honey mustard was a vinaigrette and I just didn't love the taste - too acidic or something. So I don't think we'll make this exact recipe again. I think I'll use my other chicken recipe and search for a good honey mustard dressing recipe.

For more great recipe ideas go to, orgjunkie

Monday, May 21, 2012

Menu Plan Monday~ May 21/12 + Recipe Review

Well, getting back into the swing of things after vacation with family has been a little tough at points, but good. We are feeling settled back into life and thankful for the wonderful community around us that gives us so much support and the strength to make it until we can(Lord wiling) be with family for the holidays.

Update on Weight Loss Goal- I made a goal last week to get back on track with weight loss by counting the calories of everything I put in my mouth (and stay within limits) for 14 days straight and work out 5x per week (Jillian MIchael's) to prove to myself again that it works if I am strict with myself.
*I have done well with exercising - 5x this past week and I have tracked my calories every day. But I have gone a bit over my limits several days. It's kind of frustrating, but a helpful reminder of calorie counts etc.
*I am remembering how careful I have to be in planning and choosing low calorie, filling, nutritious meals/snacks so I don't waste calories or feel hungry. So the first week was a really good step towards getting back on track, but not exactly what I had hoped. I am going to extend my goal another week and start my tracking again from today and try not to go over my allotted limit of calories! Phew - why is this so hard?! ANY tips that you have found helpful for you would be greatly appreciated :)

Here's my meal plan with a couple of repeats that we didn't get to because of left overs and social gatherings.

Monday~ Spicy Chicken Quesadillas (372 calories a serving) , homemade salsa

Tuesday~ Coconut Chicken Salad with Warm Honey Mustard Vinaigrette (397 calories)

Wednesday~ Grilled Bruschetta Chicken (200 calories), and salad
* I couldn't find "sun dried tomato dressing" here, so I am making my own from this recipe.

Thursday~ Stuffed Pepper Soup (261 calories for 1 1/3 cups soup and 1/2 cup rice if desired)  

Friday~ Chicken Asparagus and Red Roasted Peppers (190 calories per serving without rice)

You can find more great recipe ideas at  orgjunkie

Review of Last Week's New Recipes: 
* Light Chicken Salad - Yum! Tim-9/10, Julie- 9/10, Ease to make- 8/10. We ate it on croissants the first day and then over salad greens the next and added carrots, cucumbers and celery to it. So tasty and light!
* Turkey Meatball Sandwiches - Tim- 6/10, Julie 7/10, Ease to make- 8/10. I think this one is probably just a preference thing. Tim prefers beef meatballs and I just didn't love the sauce-maybe it was the cloves. But I did really like the taste of the meatballs themselves!
* Homemade Pizza -Tim- 10/10, Julie 9/10, Ease to make- 6/10 -this is mainly because the whole process took 3 hours. But oh wow! It was worth it. Tim actually took this one on and I was very impressed! He said it might become an every saturday thing - um, that would be awesome! The dough recipe itself was simple and SO tasty!  I would highly recommend it! I don't have a kitchen aid mixer with a dough hook here, but I do have a hand mixer with two attachable little dough hooks and it worked fine! As well, we couldn't find a pizza stone, so we just used a good rectangle cookie sheet and it worked great :) I also used this homemade sauce recipe which we really liked on the pizza.

Here are a few pics!
We are some lucky girls!

Oh yum! The problem for me of course was not eating too much! Next time I  am making a
BIG SALAD to go along with it :)

Monday, May 14, 2012

#005 You Might Live in Scotland If...

   ... in May, the temperature reaches 55 F (13 C) and you rush out to the Sea with your kids, blanket, and picnic lunch! It a only been in the 40's here-bleh. So we have learned that when the sun is shining and the temperature makes a jump, you had better get out and enjoy it because it might only last a few hours!

We had a wonderful time at the beach to say the least :) The girls started all bundled up, but as it warmed up and they ran around, they ditched their coats and their shoes and had such a blast exploring along the beach front! We love to soak up that sunshine whenever it come out here!

MPM, Calorie Counts, and Weight Loss

We have had such a wonderful 3 weeks with Tim's family. Everyone left at the end of last week and I'll admit that it was so hard to say good bye. It made me all of the sudden miss the rest of our family and our friends in the States. I have spent some time meditating on all of the GOOD things that God has blessed me with: a husband who loves us 3 gals, wonderful family and friends all over the world, 2 healthy and happy girls, a lovely flat, a strong Christian community here in Scotland, good food to eat etc. etc. It reminded me of the verse I memorized earlier this year (I Timothy 6:8)
But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.
We spent the weekend as just a family of 4 and really did enjoy our time together. I had a wonderful Mother's Day and was reminded to take that special day as another opportunity to savour the joys of motherhood instead of a day that I feel as if everything should be done for me ;) Thanks Suzanne for this blog post  that was wonderful reminder!

My Weight Loss Journey: I'm trying to get back to counting calories and working out hard core now that family is gone (read vacation is over :) I have about 30 more pounds to lose to be at a healthy weight and I want to get to it! So I spent extra time this week finding recipes that are light and writing in the calorie amount to help myself in planning.

*GOAL: I have just a mini goal for myself along these weight loss lines to make sure I get started right. I use Livestrong, my plate to track my calories. My goal is to track everything I eat and stay within my limits for 2 weeks straight (not a day missed, not a meal or a night gone by without tracking) and workout 5x a week (30 min of Jillian Michael Trouble Spots) to see what my results will be if I am VERY consistent. I don't want to start with a weight goal because I feel like that can fluctuate, but I need to start with what I know works - tracking calories and exercising. So here it goes!

Monday~  Spicy Chicken Quesadillas (371 calories). homemade salsa

Tuesday~ Light Chicken Salad Croissant Sandwiches (250 calories) and fresh veggies. I got reduced fat croissants and am using them instead of wheat bread which the recipe calls for for a little fun change. * I'll be adding grapes to mine :)

Wednesday~ Grilled Bruschetta Chicken (200 calories) and salad
* I am substituting Newman's own Italian dressing  for the KRAFT Sun-Dried Tomato dressing

Thursday~  Turkey Meatball Sandwiches (355 calories a sub), grilled broccoli
 *Thanks to my friend Andrea for the recipe. This will be my first time trying it! I'm copying the recipe she wrote out for me below:

Turkey Meatballs

1 lb ground turkey
minced onion (to taste)
parsley (to taste)
1 egg
salt (to taste)
pepper (to taste)
1/4 tsp. marjoram *I'm substituting thyme or basil here because I couldn't find Marjoram
1/3 cup dried bread crumbs
Combine ingredients and form into golf ball size (or slightly smaller) meatballs.

2 15-oz cans tomato sauce
minced onion (to taste)
dash curry powder
dash ground cloves
Mix sauce ingredients in a large pan.  Put meatballs into pan and cook covered on medium heat about 20 minutes, or until meatballs are cooked through.  

Friday~ Homemade Veggie Pizza(200 calories for a 3 oz slice of pizza), salad
* Tim found the Dough recipe that we are going to try :)

Hope you have a great week!
 Do you have any tasty and light recipes for me?
I would love to try some new ones!

Find more great recipes at orgjunkie

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake

Tim's parents went to Inverness while they were here and had some amazing sticky toffee pudding cake and asked me to try to make it for them before they left. So I searched the web with Tim's mom looking at the pictures and the recipes to try to find one similar to what they had with high ratings.
I found this recipe and tried it. It's traditionally a British dish, so I was glad to give it a try :)

Everyone said it was amazing. I was so glad. To be honest, I was a little nervous about trying to replicate a certain recipe that a restaurant had made. But it was so sticky and yummy! And everyone approved.

It's a little crazy, because you finely chop dates and then boil them in water until it becomes kind of a thick stew. Then you take it off the heat and add 2t of baking soda. This is where it gets fun and feels a little like a science experiment - which I LOVE! It gets all bubbly and frothy; then you need to let it cool and mix it into the cake batter alternately with the flour.

It makes the cake itself taste like a mix of a spice cake and a gingerbread cookie. It didn't taste like dates at all to me! And then you drizzle the homemade hot caramel toffee over it and enjoy! Yum :)

* I used honey instead of corn syrup and I think you could do a dollop of vanilla ice-cream instead of whipping cream. We didn't do either and it was still really good, but very rich.

I'm telling you, you need to try this!

Monday, May 07, 2012

Menu Plan and family pics!

What an absolutely wonderful time we have been having with family around! Tim's sister joined his parents this past weekend, so it's like a party around here :0)

Tim and I are sleeping in the same room as the girls - so that's been interesting! We found out that Rose wakes up several times a night with 2 sharp scream/cries and then flops around a bit before she falls back asleep- weird!

But, we're totally loving the time with everyone and Maddy and Rose are enjoying all of the extra snuggles, kisses, presents, and CANDY!

Everyone heads out Thursday morning to spend a few days in London before flying out. We're so going to miss them!

Our meals for this week:

Monday- Mexican Baked Chicken - I'm basically following this recipe, but putting lime instead of lemon and cumin, cayenne, and oregano instead of thyme. We'll see how it goes :)
Tuesday - Fajitas, guacamole - we never got to it last week!
Wednesday- Grilled chicken over salad
Thursday- Sour Cream Noodle Bake
Friday- White Chicken Chili, bread

Find more recipes at Orgjunkie

Here's a few pics of our time with family :)

Feeding Poppee a bottle! We got the pleasure of celebrating his birthday here in Scotland last week!

Walking to church

The girls like to be wherever Nana and Poppee are!

Suz at her first castle!

Tim, his dad and his sister

The girls in their new outfits from Auntie Suzanne :)