Monday, October 24, 2011

Roasted Vegetable Lasagna

We had a recipe/meal plan idea exchange at a Mom's group that I go to and this was one of the recipes that I decided to try...a little reluctantly, I should add! However, it turned out really great so I thought I would share it.

  • Cut up a whole bunch of veggies. I used 1 lg sweet potato, 1 medium white potato, 3 carrots, 1 onion, and 1 cup of diced green pepper (from my freezer stash). You could also use beets, squash, zucchini, etc. (Carrots I cut quite small)
  • Toss with oil and cook on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet at 400 for 20-30 min. I found that the carrots took the longest to cook so it would be best to separate them from the others. I had 2 cookie sheets full of veggies.
  • I mixed the veggies with 1 can of 4 cheese pasta sauce and put in the fridge for the next day (I have to cook in stages these days)
  • Cook your lasagna noodles according to pkg directions.
  • Mix 1 container of cottage cheese (I like the lasagna style) or ricotta, 1 egg, and a bunch of cheese.
  • Layer in a 9x13 pan: Cooked noodles, Cheese mixture, Vegetable mixture, noodles, cheese, vegetables, noodles, vegetable
  • Cook in the oven at 350 for 30-40 min. Then top with some more cheese and bake another 10 or so minutes.
I was really surprised at how much I liked it considering that there is no meat, and veggies that I would have formerly thought very strange to be in a lasagna!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Welcome Theodore Arthur to the world!

Well our beautiful baby boy finally decided to make an appearance into this world on Saturday July 30th at 1:46 pm during a thunder and lightning storm!

4 Days overdue!

 Theodore Arthur
8 lbs 6 oz
20 in. long

It's a boy!

We're all very happy!

Chubby little newborn cheeks!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

40 Weeks and 2 Days!

So I've made it to the overdue club! But I'm trying to wait patiently for my new little baby!

Yesterday I thought that Rebekah and I could try to Dance the baby out. So we put on the soundtrack from "The Sting" (Scott Joplin Rag tunes) and bounced around....maybe we'll try again??

She always makes this silly face when she sees the camera!

40 Weeks 2 days!

Monday, July 4, 2011

3 weeks Left!

Just about 3 weeks left until my due date! We've been really enjoying our summer. The weather has been perfect - for me! Nice and cool. We've had a few hot days in July, but so far things have been very comfortable. I am so thankful! It is nice to see the sun every now and then, though :-)

Here is our pumpkin on her little swing.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Back Again! :S

I am so bad at being consistent with my blog writing! But I'll make another attempt at posting. We've had a pretty busy but exciting month! I wanted to add more pictures, but my camera is not cooperating! I did manage to get a few added though :-)

We had this little boy and his parents over a few weekends ago.
This picture is probably the best one that we got of them because they are both so busy! 
They just move and talk non-stop! 
But they had so much fun playing with each other. 
And we had so much fun watching them play!


And this little one is still growing! This was taken at our 20 week ultrasound.
I'm now at 33 and a half weeks! So just under 7 weeks left. 
I'm feeling really well, Dr. appointments have all been good, there is a lot to be thankful for.

And this is a fruit tart that I made a few days ago! yumm.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Journey to Contentment - Part 3

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God
that at the proper time He may exalt you,
casting all your anxieties upon Him,
because He cares for you.
1 Peter 5:6-7

Offering a Humble Heart Before God

This point takes us further along Linda Dillow's book to the chapter called "Worry is like a Rocking Chair". (I didn't go in order of chapters for my acrostic) She hits the nail right on the head with that title! Worrying "will give you something to do, but it won't get you anywhere"! That's so true.

There are certain things that never really worry me. I know God will provide financially. I never worry about not having clothes on my back or a roof over my head. God has placed so many wonderful people in our lives that always seem to be right there when you need them. We have seen God work in these ways over and over again.

But then again, there are other things that can sometimes really get to me. When I first started reading this chapter, it was miscarriage. 

When I found out that we were expecting again I was *delighted!* So happy and excited. So thankful that God would give us another child! And then the sickness began and my spirits began to sink. (I found with both of my pregnancies that this was a very low time for me.) And then worry hit me like a dark cloud. Every time I thought of being pregnant I felt discouraged and afraid. I couldn't fulfill my daily tasks. Even doing laundry and cooking for my family was really hard! 

The reading in the chapter started to make me think about and wonder why I was so fearful and angry. I realized that it was because I knew that it wasn't just the wicked who lost their babies. It was the children of God too. I started thinking of other things that worried me like rape, murder, car accidents, etc. God allows these things to happen to His children!! I heard about a missionary whose orphanage was broken in to. Her husband was killed, she was raped! God why would you allow that!? They were serving you in a foreign land, sacrificing comforts for your name's sake and you would let this happen? I was angry! If I wouldn't let things like that happen to my children, then why would God let them happen to His?

And then I read "Humble yourselves, therefore, under the might hand of God". Let me quote from Dillow. She says it well.
"Many of us have memorized 1 Peter 5:7 and tucked it away to be pulled out whenever we have a problem. Too often, though, in applying the wonderful part about "casting all your cares" we forget the first part about "humbling ourselves under the sovereign, mighty hand of God." Not only are the two verses one thought, they are one sentence! They must be read together and applied together. 
What does it mean to humble ourselves before the mighty hand of God? Humility means to have total trust in God alone. It is the surrender of our total being -- intellect, emotion, will, plans, and judgments. It is relinquishing everything. For me, humbling myself involves yielding to God as the Blessed Controller of whatever situation or person is causing me anxiety."
 Somewhere along the line, I made a mistake about God's character. He is the Blessed Controller. His thoughts are higher than my thoughts. His ways are higher than my ways (Is. 55:9). He can see the whole of creation from beginning to end whereas I can only see one little tiny part. God doesn't just forget about us little specks of dust on this earth (although he has every right to!). He hasn't just forgotten the Moms and Dads who have gone through the terrible loss of a baby. He hasn't just forgotten about that missionary. He has planned everything for a purpose, for His Glory, for our good.

And even though I will never understand it this side of heaven, I just know that I need to humble my heart and trust Him, for he cares for me.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

My Journey to Contentment - Part 2C

This will be my final post on the topic of "Considering the Cup/Portion that God has given you". To see the previous part click here.

I began in part 2 speaking about how God has given everyone a beautiful and unique cup. Even Jesus Christ had a cup while he was on this earth. Luke 22:42 shows us our dear Lord and Saviour in Prayer before his Father. He knew the cup that the Father had given him. To die on the cross for the sins of His people. And so he prayed, "Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me." This cup was a very difficult one to bear! We certainly can't blame Him for asking this of His Father. But what he says next shows the ultimate example of submission and for our purposes, contentment. "Nevertheless, not my will, but yours be done."

Dillow points out that what Christ was essentially doing was taking His cup and holding it up to the Father and saying "I accept this cup Father. I know it will be difficult and painful to bear, but I know that Your will and Your plans are perfect and I will follow them for Your glory!"

Is that what I was doing with the cup that God had given me? With the portion of Motherhood? Unfortunately, No. I took a sip of my portion and I spat it out! I took my cup and I smashed it! I didn't want it. Take the cup, God! I'll go find my own cup. Meanwhile, I would be miserable and discontented.

I prayed and asked for the Lord to forgive me for not accepting the cup and portion that He had given to me. I realized that I wasn't thinking about His Glory. I was thinking about my own. I was thinking about my own comforts and pleasures. I was being selfish. 1 John 1:9: "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness". Thank you Lord for that!

The lesson wasn't over though. The Lord still needed to show me in a way that I would never forget! That very same evening I went into my pumpkin's room to check on her and I found her laying perfectly still with her eyes wide open. I stood there for what seemed like hours waiting for her to move or breathe or cry or anything that would tell me that she was still alive! As I waited there I cried out to God in my mind, "I just  learned to accept this cup today and you are going to take it away from me!" Just then, she closed her eyes and turned her head. She was alive!

I left the room very shaken up. My legs were weak, my heart was pounding, I started crying and had to sit down. It was like a slap in the face - one that I deserved!

Of course this scenario of going into the room and wondering if she was still alive had happened many times before and many times since. I'm sure every parent knows of it! But this time, God really seemed to draw out those few seconds!

After this, I wrote in my journal:
I needed that Lord. Thank You. Both for your justice and your mercy. I am learning to accept this cup and portion that you have given! Help me with this! So that I may bring glory and honour to you.
 I am still learning. And God is still helping me. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

My Journey to Contentment - Part 2 B

Hello again everyone!

I do want to send out a warm welcome to those visiting from The Growing Stam Family!
For those of you just joining, this is a series that I recently started about contentment. You can find the introductory post here.

Part 2 was getting a bit long so I thought I would split it up into two days! (I had a lot of other work to get done yesterday!) To read the first part click here.

So I left off yesterday with the knowledge that I was definitely *not* content, but yet I couldn't figure out why! I did an exercise from Linda Dillow's book Calm My Anxious Heart to see if I was focusing on the negatives too much, but the problem was that I couldn't even think of any negatives! So why was I not content!?!

I was puzzled over this for a long time. To give you some history, my little girl was probably around 4 or 5 months old at this time and we had already been through some struggles. Breastfeeding was really difficult, painful, and uncomfortable for the first 5 weeks and after that I still struggled with milk supply. And she was not a very happy baby! I don't know for sure if it was colic, hunger (from my seemingly 1% milk), Or if it was just because her Mama wasn't happy! But either way, it was difficult for me to deal with. And I struggled a lot. I knew that I was supposed to be enjoying these days with my newborn/young infant, (That's what everybody says!) but I sure was having a hard time doing that!

One day while at a church event the reason for my discontentment came to a head. It was a picnic. It was sunny and warm and everyone was happy and enjoying themselves, eating their food, going swimming, playing games. Everyone, that is, except for me! I had a baby on my lap trying to shove food into my face as fast as possible before she started crying...again! Then I was inside feeding her under a hot breastfeeding cover, and then when I was hoping she would go to sleep....nope! Wide awake. And not willing to go to anyone else! I felt so angry on the inside but just tried to smile and not let anyone know my heart. Because that would make me weak and I did not want that, of course!

When my husband and I had a chance to talk alone I just blurted it all out! I said it all!
"I am not enjoying myself. I never get to enjoy myself anymore. I am always looking after the baby and not doing anything else fun. I hate being a mom! I don't know why I ever wanted to be one in the first place!"

You know how sometimes you are thinking something for so long that it just begins to seem OK, but when you actually say it out loud - hear it with your own ears in the presence of someone else - you realize just how sinful you are. (A lot of my sinful thinking has been exposed in this way since I got married!)

Peter just looked at me with shock and neither of us said another word for a little while. He didn't need to say anything because at that moment I realized crystal clear where my discontentment came from...

Wow, this story is much longer than I thought it would be! This was a pretty significant moment in my life, So I suppose that is why!
To be Continued...

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

My Journey to Contentement - Part 2

Today I am going to share with you the first major step on my journey to contentment. If you missed my introduction to this series, be sure to read it here.

Considering the Cup/Portion that God has Given You

 Last week I asked you to join me back here today with a cup of coffee or tea. That was partly because there is just something nice about having a warm drink in your hand as you sit down to read or have a chat with a friend, but that wasn't my only reason. In the first chapter of Linda Dillow's book Calm My Anxious Heart, she sets forth a very useful and eye-opening analogy - "The Teacup Analogy". 

Take a look at your cup. What does it look like? Is it a dainty and fragile tea cup? Or is it a strong earthenware mug that's been dropped a million times but yet has never broken? What size is it? How does your cup compare with your personality? Maybe you're holding the strong and sturdy mug, but feeling more like the fragile one! Either way, it is God who has assigned you with that special and unique cup. He did this at the very beginning of your life - "For you formed my inward parts, you knitted me together in my mother's womb" Psalm 139: 13.
Now think about what is in your cup. God has given that too! This is your portion. It includes your "physical and emotional being, [your] abilities, circumstances, roles, and relationships". All of these things have been assigned by God to you because that is what he sees as best.

The cup I have today is a pretty cup that I received from my Secret Sister at the Mom's group I attend. It has the word "March" (my birth month) in golden letters and a beautiful image of Lily of the Valley. I like the cup. And I like what is in it (Coffee!). And I can look at my life right now and think the same thing, but that wasn't always the way I felt!

When I found out I was pregnant with our first I was, of course, ecstatic, overjoyed, delighted, etc! I couldn't wait to be a mom and have a little baby and it was going to be so wonderful and joyful. Everyday I would wake up with a new-found purpose -- because I would be a Mom! I'm sure most new mothers can attest to this feeling. I think it mostly happens, though, if you haven't been around newborns that much prior to having one yourself!

When we met our little pumpkin for the first time, it was a joyful occasion! I still remember the shock that I felt that there was actually a baby inside me all that time. I guess it never really clued in before! She opened her eyes and looked up at me. Wow. You can't get any more amazing than that!

There was an exercise in the book where you had to make a list of all of the positives and negatives in your life and then decide which list you focused on more. If you focus on the negative list, well then that's why you are discontented. I did this exercise and I couldn't really think of any negatives! I saw so many wonderful things! I thought to myself, 'Well, I should be content. Look at all of the blessings! I have a husband, house, and baby. We have food to eat, clothes to where! How can I complain about anything?' But yet, I didn't feel that way *at all*! I was puzzled by this for a long time. I knew that I wasn't content. That was very clear. But I just couldn't figure out why! 


To be continued!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

My Journey to Contentment

I have been meaning for a long time to begin a series about contentment. Not that this is an area that I have excelled in (despite my blog name!) but rather, I strive toward it and in faith say that I am a Contented Mama!

Our church has a Ladies fellowship group that meets once per month. I have found this to be such a blessing and encouragement to my Christian walk and have grown so much in the discussion of Godly topics and sharing of experiences. We just finished reading through and discussing the book Calm My Anxious Heart: a Woman's guide to finding contentment by Linda Dillow.

It was through the reading of this book that I first thought of my blog name! And also more importantly it was through reading this book that I began to realize my desperate need to strive for contentment and how I may go about that.

The following is an acrostic poem that I wrote as a summary of the book and I intend to cover one letter per week in my series on contentment. So join me here next Tuesday with a cup of coffee/tea and an open heart. May the Lord Bless you and keep you until then!

Contentment is…

Considering the cup/portion that God has given you

Offering a humble heart before God

Not allowing greed to consume your heart

Thanking God for the joys and the trials

Erasing negative thoughts and words

Never Complaining

Taking time to pray when your mind would rather worry

Making God’s purposes your purposes

Ever focussing on Eternity

Noticing the blessings God has given you

Trusting in God’s providence and sovereignty

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Hello Everyone!

Again, I'm showing myself to be quite infrequent!

I keep hoping that the coming of spring will give me a bit more energy and inspiration, and I wouldn't say that I've totally given up hope yet, but sickness has been getting in the way a bit!

I had a really bad sinus cold for about 3 weeks that just drained all of the energy out of me. I always find that I'm playing catch up for a couple of weeks after a down-and-out bout like that! But then we got the stomach flu! (Which it seems *everyone* is getting!) I was probably only sick for about 12 hours but then I was so weak and tired from not being able to eat or drink anything that it's taken me a whole other day (with a nap!) to recover...

So I'm still in catch-up mode!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

My Pumpkin will be 1!

I just want to say that I miss writing!!

My mind has been elsewhere though. For starts with my almost 1 year old baby girl!! I can't believe she is almost 1! Time sure does fly by. Oh and also with my baby in the womb. He/she has just started making some "feel-able" least I think that it's the 90% sure. 17 weeks on Monday...almost half way there.

And then there's my dear old husband....Gotta say, I like the guy. <3

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Book Giveaway at Mountain Home Quilts!

I really enjoy reading the posts at Mountain Home Quilts.

The author writes about so many interesting things! Sewing, Quilting, Preserving, Recipes, etc. And I think that is great! I am in awe of this ladies preserving! Wow! She does everything! I appreciate her tips and I'm sure you will too once you start searching through her blog. :-)

The book She's giving away is called:
"Country Wisdom and Know How - 
Everything you need to know to live off the land"

Can't get any better with a title like that!

The giveaway is only until 8pm PST tonight!!!

So if you haven't joined in on this yet, you better get over there!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Pray For Sudan

Let's not forget to be praying for the situation in Sudan this week.

They are undergoing a referendum this week to determine whether the South of Sudan will become an independent nation from the North. (Official results will not be known until Mid-February.)
Of course there are a lot of things that make this difficult:
  1. The North is mostly Muslim and the South is a mix of Christian and Animism. Religious tensions galore.
  2. There is oil in the South, but the North owns the pipelines. Money tensions galore.
  3. If the two areas separate, borders will have to be decided. Possibility of Guerrilla warfare.
  4. The North doesn't really think that the South will be able to operate without them. This leaves the threat of more war in this country. Something it doesn't need.
But more than just the political tensions, let's remember the Christians who are in North Sudan. The North, being mostly Muslim has put into practice Sharia law, which equals harsh persecution for Christians and especially for new Christian converts. The separation of the South may cause the Muslims to put this into practice even more.

Please Pray:
(Note: These prayer requests have been copied from
  1. For their physical protection and deliverance
  2. That God would give them the right words and that they would fearlessly make Christ known
  3. That they will see God's grace as sufficient and God's power perfected in their weakness
  4. That they would love Christ's appearing all the more
  5. That they will rejoice in sharing the sufferings of Jesus so that they will rejoice even more when Christ is revealed
  6. That they will endure
  7. That they will choose ill-treatment and the reproach of Christ, not pleasures of sin
  8. That they will love Christ far more than life itself
  9.  That they will live the joy of the Lord before their persecutors
  10. That they will love their enemies  

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Contented Papa - My Man

Today I want to showcase someone who is very special to me.
This is the Contented Papa – Peter. 

There is a lot to say about this man. First of all he is a Christian man. He loves the Lord with all his heart, soul, mind, and strength. He seeks to serve and glorify God with everything that he does. He leads our family in bible reading and prayer everyday. He thinks about how he might better lead our family. 
I am so thankful for this.

He works hard and he works smart. He takes his work seriously and he does it with vigor and zeal. He is energetic and motivated. He runs his own business and therefore has to manage his time well. He is learning this skill. It is hard to know how much time to spend with the family and how much time to spend with work. But he is growing and adjusting as he needs to and I am very proud of him!

Peter is intelligent. I remember the first time we walked through a woodland trail.
It was just down the road from the university I was attending and 
we were just getting to know each other. 
As we walked he pointed out latin scientific names of plants, ferns, and wild flowers! Perhaps only a biology major (such as myself) could find that to be not only impressive, but also very romantic! He continues to impress me with his knowledge and understanding and also with his love of learning. 
He inspires me to learn more and love to learn more.

He is not lazy. I don’t think there is a lazy bone in that man’s body! 
He jumps out of bed in the morning ready to take on the day! 
If he is not marking or tutoring he is working on some project in the house, 
running an errand or spending time with his daughter or with me.

Which leads to my next point, he is an Amazing Daddy. 
In his daughter’s eyes, he is the superhero Daddy who can do everything! 
He is fast, tall, strong, talented and funny. 
He has a big grrrowwl that makes her giggle. 
He has strong arms that throw her high into the air. 
He plays beautiful music on the recorder that makes her smile and dance. 
He is the #1 man in that girl’s life. 

And He’s also the #1 man in this girl’s life. 
I love him, honour him, respect him, and cherish him. 
He is my lover and my best friend. He is ready steady all the time. 
He doesn’t waver up and down like I often do. 
He is very consistent and stable. 
He is the kind of man that I can depend on. 

I love you!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Tasty Tuesday - Cheesy Tuna Tortilla Melts

Today I would like to share a recipe that we recently enjoyed in our home. (I found the recipe in a coupon book for Carnation Milk.) Of course, you do need to like tuna and not everyone does!
But if you are a fish fan, this is really quite delicious.

4 Large flour tortillas

2 cans flaked tuna, drained
3/4 cups salsa
1/2 cup grated cheese

3 Tbsp oil
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped (Or garlic powder)
1 tsp Chili powder
1 tsp paprika (optional)
1 Tbsp Flour
1 Can Fat free Evap Milk
1/4 cup grated cheese

1. Preheat oven 350 F

2. Prepare filling: Combine Tuna, salsa, and cheese in a bowl. Scoop 1/4 of mixture into each of the 4 tortillas. Fold top and bottom of tortilla over filling and roll up. Place seam side down in a baking dish.

3. Prepare Sauce: Heat oil in a large saucepan on medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook until tender.
Add chili powder, paprika, and flour. Cook 3 min. stirring often.
Add evap. Milk, bring to boil, lower heat and cook until thickened. 3-5 min.

4. Pour sauce over tortillas in baking dish. Sprinkle with cheese.

5. Bake in preheated oven, 20-25 min.

I served the tortillas with a Raspberry Spinach salad.
The dressing was made with about 1 tbsp of Homemade Raspberry/Blackberry jam (A tip from my sister-in-law!), some canola oil and some white vinegar. I then thawed some raspberries from the freezer and topped it all off with pumpkin seeds and sliced almonds. It was quite yummy!

I will also add that this was the first meal that I've actually enjoyed eating in about 2 months! ;-)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Contented Mama is Back!

Today I am feeling much better than I did 6 weeks ago. That is because today, I am 12 weeks pregnant and therefore almost at the end of the 1st trimester! Yes, in case you haven't heard, we are expecting our second baby! He/she is due to arrive sometime around July 25, 2011.

This has brought so much joy! We are very excited and happy to have another little one on the way. Of course we're a little nervous and sometimes feel a bit overwhelmed by the idea, too. I remember those first days with a newborn baby very well. And trying to imagine them with a 17 1/2 month old there in the picture makes me a little dizzy! But we are trying to trust the Lord to get us through all trials of life - the joys and the sorrows.

And he does take us through life one day at a time. The last couple of months have been just exhausting. I've been very tired all the time and find it difficult to complete the basic things each day (which is why I've had to give up internet/blogging time). I've been feeling sick a lot too. Especially because of Baby Food...ewwww. There is sometime about liquefied vegetables and meat that just makes my stomach turn! And food in general has been overall less appetizing and less desirable.

But somehow, the day comes to an end and a new day is given. And the next thing you know a new season of life has come with new joys and new sorrows....

And I am learning that times like this are perfect opportunities to prayerfully sit and watch God carry me through yet again.

"This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. 
It is of the LORD's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. 
They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness." 
Lamentation 3:21-23