My Family

My Family

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Scalloped potatoes

Merry Christmas!! We are currently taking a break from our bible study during Christmas holidays. It's the third year in a row my little family is having Christmas at our house. Our Christmas menu today will include brown sugar and pineapple ham, scalloped potatoes, green bean cassarole, and biscuits (from last night's Popeye's run). And don't forget dessert!

I was looking for a scalloped potato recipe similar to the one my husband's family cooks (since he loves it) online, but was not able to find it. Then I remembered I had written it down last year after his mom emailed it to me! So I thought I would share it. I boiled the potatoes tonight so I can throw it together tomorrow after church. I'm not sure if the whole cassarole can be prepared the day ahead because the crackers may get mushy. 

Homemade scalloped potatoes
8 red potatoes, washed and peeled
1 sleeve Saltine crackers, crushed
Salt and Pepper
Evaporated milk (at least 12 oz)
10 slices cheese

Preheat oven to 365*F. 
Slice potatoes to 1/2" thick and boil approximately 15-20 minutes, or until done. Make sure not to over boil them.
Butter bottom of a 13"x9" pan.  Put the crushed crackers on the bottom. Put a layer of cooked potato slices on top of the crackers. Add a little salt and pepper, then a layer of the sliced cheese. 

Continue with potatoes, salt/pepper, and cheese. Once finished layering, add evaporated milk to cover the bottom of the pan. 

Put in the oven for ~15-20 minutes. You want the cheese bubbly and starting to turn brown on top. Not burnt! Enjoy :)

**Note: because the kids and I are driving to Louisiana tomorrow, I didn't want to make a lot of food, though hubby will appreciate any leftovers while we are gone. I used a foil 9"x9" pan. So I only used 3/4 sleeve of crackers. And my daughter ate a slice of cheese, so I added shredded on top. A glass pan helps you see how much evaporated milk you used. I used 12 oz today. If you use a bigger pan, you may need more.
 Boil the potatoes until done. Just don't let them get mushy.

Put the crushed crackers first, then begin layering the potatoes, salt/pepper, and cheese.

Once finished layers (top with cheese), add evaporated milk to cover the bottom. 



Bake ~20 minutes, watch for cheese to begin to brown but not burn.

 The blueberry cake I made for breakfast and dessert!


Friday, December 19, 2014

Psalm 22

Psalm 22 seems to be a whirlwind which can be related maybe to a battle scene. At first the battle starts, and the fighter calls out to God saying "Where are you?" As he is getting closed in by the enemy  who are mocking him, the Lord is not far off. As he is victorious, he proclaims God's name and praises him. As the battle ends, the fighter promises that all generations will bow before the Lord for He allowed the fighter to overcome the evildoers. 

This battle can be any battle we are struggling with in life. It can be relate to a person's battle with their addiction, a person's battle in divorce/custody, a battle with a disease, a battle in poverty. At the times when they are lowest, they need to know God is there to help them out. If we know someone in a situation, we can help show the "light at the end of the tunnel" but helping them see God is there for them. What are some ways you can help? It is Christmas time, let us remember to give. 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Psalm 21

Psalm 21 offers thanks to God for having stood by the king. Verse 8 says "For the king trusts in the Lord, stands firm through the love of the Most High."

Another reason to give thanks this season, and one we must remember and continue to teach, is thanking God for the birth of Jesus. For many families, holidays can bring a bit of sadness if family members are no longer with us. I have a coworker who lost her husband to cancer the day before Thanksgivng this year, so this will be her first Christmas without him. He was a man who knew God, who trusted in God's will. So we know he is with God now, and that is only possible because of Jesus. So even though we may be saddened by our losses, we must also celebrate the goodness of Jesus's birth (and death) brings to us: we get to spend eternity with God! 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Psalm 19

Psalm 19:6-7 it [the sun] comes forth like a bridegroom from his chamber, and like an athlete joyfully runs its course. From one end of the heavens it comes forth; its course runs through to the other; nothing escapes its heat. 

I don't think I have ever read a more beautiful description of the rising and setting of the sun. This is another reminder of how magnificent the earth is and the sun's journey in our daytime is another wonder God has bestowed upon us. Makes me want to go camping just so I can watch it rise and fall. Because at home, we find so many things to keep our minded occupied that I miss this experience happening. When we go camping, all those "necessary" things fall quiet and we get to be one with God and nature. Unless we rent a cabin, it will be a little while before we get to go because it has gotten too cold to sleep on the air mattress on the ground for this pregnant mama! 😊

Monday, December 15, 2014

Psalm18

Psalm 18:25 You, Lord, give light to my lamp. My God brightens the darkness about me.

Psalm 18 was lengthy and full of encouraging words of God saving the psalmist from his enemies. This one verse stuck with me. In times of trouble, God is our light. When we are lost, he will brighten the darkness so we can find our way. I heard a woman on the radio the other day talking about how her daughter had gotten lost when they were in the woods, and the daughter continued to sing a song she heard earlier on KLove and eventually found her way out of the woods, some 10 hours later. I know this isn't always the outcome of stories we hear, but it is encouraging. God is with us. 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Psalm 17

Psalm 17:8 Keep me as the apple of your eye; keep me in the shadow of your wings from the violence of the wicked.

 Many times I have heard parents say their children are the "Apple of their eye," and here we see the psalmist asking God to keep him as such. God made us in his image, and this verse is a reminder that we are his children and we want him to protect us young birds (children) keep hidden under their parents wings. And he will. He is the shepherd who will leave his 99 sheep just to find the one, because we are all special and all loved.

I pray daily for God's protection for myself, my family, and the world. 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Psalm 15

Psalm 15 shows us who will not be allowed in God's tent. It shows us how we should act: speak truth, do not slander, do no harm, keep your promises, don't make money off of someone's unfortune. Some of these are similar to our commandments from God. 

There are several ways in the bible it is written how we should act, yet there are so many people who continue to stumble. I am one of those people. As I have been taught, however, we are human and sin is too easy. Being righteous for God take work, and thank goodness for forgiveness and grace. It's so easy to fall into pits with people you are around daily. We, I, need to consciously work on doing these acts daily. Otherwise, how am I to lead others to God if I can not show it through my own actions.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Psałm 14

Psalm 14:2 The Lord looks down from heaven upon the human race, to see if even one is wise, if even one seeks God.

Have you ever sat and wondered what God must think when He sees our world? Is He embarrassed? Mad? Sad? I just pray what when He looks down and is ready to give up, that he will be as generous as he was with Lot and if he finds even 10 people worth saving, he will not destroy us. 

Can we fix it? Maybe not, but we can always try. We need to stop allowing people to take God out of our schools and our country. We need to elect political people who actually will stand up for what is right (although most are wolves in sheeps clothing). We need to teach our children what it's like to be a good Christian and pray they will follow God and spread the word. We must trust that God will prevail.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Psalm 13

Psalm 13:6 I trust In your faithfulness. Grant my heart joy in your help, that I may sing of the Lord, "How good our God has been to me."

At the beginning of this psalm, the author is fearful again that God is not listening as the enemy tries to strike him. But the last vers sums up what we need to hear: we need to trust in God. He will guide us as he sees fit when he sees fit. Two of my three (well four) pregnancies were not planned. I don't like saying they eye an accident, because there was a bigger plan at hand. Regardless, I am putting my faith in God once again with this pregnancy, as I will have two under two. It will be an interesting journey, but as long as I know God is In the drivers's seat, I am ok.

I will share our Christmas card and family photo we took yesterday. 


Friday, December 5, 2014

Psalm 12

Psalm 12 speaks of God cutting off all deceitful tongues, especially of those who are boastful and say 'no one can lord over us.' While I agree that the boastful tongue is evil, I wonder how many times our words are taken the wrong way by others and we are made to look boastful as Christaians. Or even just w put anything we have said. Or how many times have we taken what someone else said, without further explainaniton, and ran with it making false accusations. 

I recently came across an article about Joel Olsteen's wife and some things she said at a sermon at her church. When I first heard the video, I was appalled. What right does she think she has to say we need to enjoy ourselves, and God will be happy with that? It wasn't until later articles came out where she better explained what she meant that I understood her message. I'm not a follower of Joel Olsteen, but when you are a highly respected religious person on tv, it is a lot easier to be taken out of context. 

So next time we rush to judgement over what someone said, maybe we should take a second and do a little more research before we throw the spikes at them. 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Psalm 11

Psalm 11:4b-5 God's eyes keep careful watch; they test all peoples. The Lord tests the good and the bad...

We all face challenges in life. I don't know if they are all tests from God, but everyone has a part in life where they have to make a decision. God gave us the knowledge to choose between good and evil, right from wrong. It us up to us to make that decision. Have you ever looked back at your life at the decisions you made and wondered "what if I chose the other path?" I used to. My life would be so different if I had studied harder in college and ignored that boy and gotten into pharmacy school. I never would have had a broken engagement, shame of moving back home, never would have met my current husband and had my two beautiful children. I stopped wondering once my first was born. Because I knew the path I chose, though full of heartache, was the one I was supposed to be on. 

God is always watching our choices. Let's continue to pray that we make good ones. 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Psalm 10

I couldn't pick one verse over the other today without needing one before and behind it. How many times I have watched the news and thought this very same thing. "Lord where are you? How could you let this happen?" We do have so many wicked people on this earth who sometimes seem to prosper, but we forget this is not our home: God will have his judgement! 

Instead of being angry after a natural disaster, we need to step up and help those in need. Instead of being angry after a homicide, rape, dispicable crime on television, w need to do out part to make sure there is a Boys and Girls Club in our neighborhood. Or a shelter the families in hiding can turn to. And we need to show them how NOT to be angry with God for not being there, but how He is there through us. Feel sad about the children on tv who need food or medicine overseas? Donate. Even better, donate locally. Do you know how many children here in our own country need our help? 

This Christmas, and hopefully everyone from now on, our elf's first job with us will be to remind my children to be generous. He has shown up with a sack like Santa's and wants the kids to give their toys they no longer need to those who do need them. It will be a big job for a 4 year old to understand, but I am hoping I can instill in her generosity so she can show God to others. He is there, always. 

Psalm 9

Psalm 9:11 Those who honor your name trust in you; you never forsake those who seek you. Lord.

We have a bible study at work, and are currently on Mark 6. This Psalm verse reminded me or Mark 6:5-6, where Jesus retuned to his hometown and his own people rebuked him. He was not able to perform miracles because of their lack of faith and He was amazed by it. Jesus said to the hemorrhagic woman in Mark, "Your faith healed you," but his own people had no faith so there could be no healing. 

Jesus never forsake those who seemed him out. And neither will God. We must continue to seek him and honor his name. It is written throughout the bible. 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Psalm 8

Psalm 8:4 When I see your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and stars that you set in place-"

Sometimes I forget to be thankful for the place God has given us to stay while awaiting Heaven. There is a spot on my drive home from work, as I'm going pick up the kids, where I am driving down a big hill, and I can see out a good ways all around me. The view catches my breath, and I given thanks to God's good works then. Sometimes when there is a beautiful sunrise, I will remember to give thanks. Bout quite often in the hustle and bustle of a workday, I will not even notice the scenery as I am driving to work. I won't even pay attention to the blooming trees, or the changing of colors depending on the season. I rarely go outside and  look at the stars unless I am purposefully driving in the dark. 

I need to be more mindful to stop and enjoy what a view God has given us. I'm sure I'm not alone.