still here.

Hola, friends!

We’re still here.

We’ve had a sick boy all week, and he’s still not back to himself yet. It’s tough when your kiddo is sick. I feel so helpless. We’ve had a long and tiring week, and we’re preparing to gear up for another one.

I’m ready to have my little mess makin’, booger pickin’, dish washin’, ball playin’ boy back.

If you get a chance, please say a little prayer for him πŸ™‚

Have a blessed Monday πŸ™‚

i’m not a teenager anymore (and God’s goodness)

Whew!

Have you ever done this…. you go to put something back in the freezer and your freezer is too packed so you just shove it in there, and then slam the door, full knowing that the next time you open your freezer door, the item you shoved in will fall out? Am I the only one? I do this all the time. I guess I just hope Ben will be the next one to open the door so then he’ll have to put it back in.Β 
Thoughtfulness. A key component to a healthy marriage.
Anyway, I did this tonight. Mostly because I’m feeling lazy, and partly because I’m tired. Do you know why I’m tired?Β 
Because I’m not a teenager anymore.
Yep. I’m old. I thought I was still really youngish and cool and hip and all those good things, but alas, I’m an old lady now.
This past weekend, we took our youth group, full of teenagers, to a weekend retreat called Resurrection. My 9 o’clock bedtime would not fly with them. Do you remember when it was cool to stay up all night? Yea, I do too. But then I had a baby. And suddenly, staying up all night is my worst fear.Β 
So, I stayed up entirely too late, and ate entirely too much food. In short, I’m entirely too tired, and my skinny jeans won’t button entirely. Okay, okay. They haven’t buttoned entirely in a loooong time.
But, we had such an amazing time! Resurrection is a youth rally/revival held in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. There were thousands of teens there to worship the Lord this weekend. Talk about awesome!

There was lots of good preaching and great praise and worship music. But what was most incredible to me was the enthusiasm and excitement from the kids. It’s so cool to see a bunch of kids pumped about Jesus. I wish I had been more like that at as a teenager. It makes me excited to see what God has in store for our youth group and this generation as a whole. Β 
This revival really touched my heart. I am so blessed. Seriously, so incredibly, amazingly blessed. And God provides for me beyond what I need. So I wonder, how much am I giving Him? Not nearly enough, that’s for sure.Β 
What if God worked for me only as much as I worked for Him?
Hmm……
Have a blessed Tuesday πŸ™‚

(Warning: The following is yet another video for your viewing pleasure. Two videos in two weeks. Yikes. Watch out, y’all. I’m getting really technical).

Sometimes, I get realllllly sleepy at night.

And sometimes, I realllllly want to go to bed at a decent hour.

But sometimes, this little boy does this:

Please note, his name is not “PARK”. He managed to rip off the “E” and the “R”. And I, in my infinite laziness, have not gotten around to putting them back up. Β Also, I videoed this with the webcam (I know, I’m so 1999), and for some reason everything is backwards. It’s driving me nuts. And lastly, his messy room, is actually pretty clean compared to what it usually looks like. Is it bad that I now pick up all the toys around the house and then just sling them in to his room? I don’t really bother picking it up anymore. Besides, it’s about time he started cleaning his own room and earning his keep πŸ˜‰

Have a blessed Wednesday πŸ™‚

enchilada casserole.

A while back, my sweet mamaw gave me a cookbook she had bought at a church fundraiser. It was one of those loosely binded cookbooks, compiled with recipes from all the church ladies, aka, the best and only cookbooks you should ever buy. EVER. I’ve got several church cookbooks, and I’ve got several fancy brand name cookbooks. And I always go back to my old cheap church cookbooks every time.

The only downfall to the church cookbooks is that they rarely have any pictures, and I’m a visual person. In fact, I usually don’t try new recipes unless I’ve eaten it before or there is a picture with the recipe. I’m a weenie when it comes to trying new things, so unless I’ve got a reference to go by, I chicken out.

However, one night while I was pregnant, I had an unbelievable craving for enchiladas. That was weird for me, considering I’ve never ate an enchilada before. Have you ever done that? Had a craving for a food you’ve never ate before? Oh, it happens to me quite often.

Anyway, I was really, really needing an enchilada. Like bad. I was getting mad. Ben was getting scared. I was 8 months pregnant. I was like a scavenger, tearing our house apart looking for anything that resembled an enchilada. Luck would have it that I stumbled upon a can of red enchilada sauce in my pantry. I have no idea why I had red enchilada sauce. I think the good Lord planted that enchilada sauce in my cabinets because He knew I was either going to eat an enchilada or kill Ben.

Our internet was down at the time, so I started flipping through my cookbooks looking for an enchilada recipe. I stumbled upon a recipe for ‘enchilada casserole’ in the Oak Forest Church cookbook. I didn’t have all the ingredients, but I could improvise. And so I did.

And 23 minutes later, I was certain that I had tasted a little bit of hispanic heaven. It was good. Not too spicy, but just enough flavor to give it a kick. And you could eat it plain, or eat it with chips. I was happy. My baby was happy. The world was good again.

Since then, I’ve made this casserole many times. Sometimes, I leave out the tortillas and make it a dip, too. It’s a good comfort food. I’ve ran across this recipe a couple of different places on the internet now, so I’m not sure who to give the credit to. It’s one of those ‘who came up with it first’ type of recipes. Since I found it in the Oak Forest Church cookbook, I’ll give the credit to those ladies.

Here’s the recipe:

Enchilada Casserole

1 pkg. ground beef (1-2 pounds)
1 pkg. taco seasoning (I recommend low sodium because the dish can get salty)
1 pkg. corn tortillas
1 can corn
1 can black beans
1 can red enchilada sauce (I use low sodium here, too, if I can find it)
3/4 cup water (or whatever the taco seasoning calls for)
2 cups cheese (I use mozzarella and Mexican blend)
1/2 onion, diced
1 can tomato sauce (14-16 oz.)
2 tbsp. ranch dressing mix

Preheatcha oven to 350 degrees. First, add your beef and onion to a skillet and brown the beef over medium heat. Drain the grease and return the beef/onion to the skillet. Next, add the taco seasoning and water to the beef, just as if you were making tacos. Leave this over medium heat until the taco seasoning thickens. Meanwhile, add the enchilada sauce and the tomato sauce to a pot over medium heat. Then, drain and rinse the corn and beans and add it to the beef, as well as the ranch dressing mix. Let it simmer for a couple of minutes.

Next, begin to layer the casserole. In a sprayed 9×13 inch baking dish, add a layer of corn tortillas to the bottom (I usually add about 3). Then, spread half of your meat/bean/corn mixture on top of the tortillas. Then add half of your tomato/enchilada sauce mix on top of the meat. Top this layer with 1 cup of cheese. And then, repeat the steps, finishing the top with the last cup of cheese.

Don’t judge this by the picture. It’s not a pretty dish. It looks sloppy and yucky, but in this case, looks are very deceiving. You could add or alter this recipe in any way that you like. As I said earlier, I sometimes omit the corn tortillas and use this as a dip. I also usually add a bit of diced fresh cilantro when I have it. It’s versatile dish, y’all!

Have a blessed Tuesday πŸ™‚

it ain’t even that serious.

I started student teaching 2 weeks ago. It’s been wonderful and I feel completely at peace with my decision to quit my old job and pursue a new career. I’m happy, and I feel like this is where God wants me.

But…….. it has been a bit of an adjustment going back to work. I forgot how challenging it can be to work full time and have a baby. I’ve struggled with this balance since I became a mom. After I come home from work, its a mad dash to play, eat, bathe, and get to bed at a decent hour. We wake up and do it all again the next day. By mid-week, we’ve got no clean underwear and the kitchen sink looks dangerous.

I don’t usually get overwhelmed, but I’ve been a tad overwhelmed the past couple of weeks. The other night, as I was rushing to get in bed by 9:52 p.m, my favorite motto popped in my mind: it ain’t even that serious.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been telling Ben (who gets easily overwhelmed) that ‘it ain’t even that serious’. In college, he would get all worked up about a project. With his jobs, he would get easily stressed. I would always give him a little pep talk, telling him that all these little things we worry and stress about are just that: little things. In the big scheme of things, most of these things we stress about are Β so trivial and pointless. And then I’d end with my favorite quote, “IT AIN’T EVEN THAT SERIOUS”.

Apparently he has listened very well to my pep talks, as he’s now the one who stays cool and calm, and I’m the one having breathing problems when I look at our pile of dirty laundry. So today, I’ve had to take a dose of my own medicine and remind myself that it ain’t even that serious. The laundry isn’t going to get up and run away, and the dishes aren’t going anywhere either. I’m off today, and it actually looks like a good day to ride tractors and play hide and seek. Every once in a while, it’s important to remind yourself of what matters most.

Have a blessed Monday πŸ™‚

thankful thursday: my hometown

I am from a small town in the Appalachian mountains. It’s a quiet place, with 3 small restaurants, a couple of gas stations, a few small businesses, and a Dollar General store. It’s the kind of place where better put a bra on before you go to the store because you’re bound to know everyone in there.

I love my hometown.

But I didn’t always feel this way.

In fact, I hated it for a few good years. When I was in my later high school years, I wanted to get out of this old place. I wanted bigger and better things that I thought this town couldn’t give me. I grew tired of seeing the same people. I wanted a change. I got bored here, and thought that I couldn’t live the kind of life I wanted here.

During college, I took an internship for my dream job. The job took me six hours from home for the summer. The job was near D.C., so I was excited for a big change in an exciting city. Surely I could do bigger and better things there.

At the end of my internship, I came back to my hometown on my knees. As exciting as the city had been, I realized it was no place for me. The big city is good for some people, just as a small town is good for others. To each their own, I say.

My hometown may not sound like much to most people, but it is to me. It’s a small, tight-knit community that makes the residents seem more like extended family than just your neighbors. I like that. You can find half of the town at the high school ballgames on any given night. And most likely, they’ll be sitting in the same spots every game. And you can always bet your bottom dollar that Teddy’s will be packed on Sundays after church, but you’ll always somehow magically find a seat. And, like clockwork on Saturday mornings, the old timers fill the gas stations to talk about sports and farming.

It’s so funny how my priorities have changed. I used to think I couldn’t live the kind of life I wanted here in my hometown. And now, I really don’t think I could live the life I want anywhere else. All I want now is to live a simple, happy life surrounded by the people that I love. I crave a slow paced life, so I can take in every second of God’s blessings. I like going to Teddy’s (a good ole’ restaurant in town) and talking to so many people I know that I barely finish my food. And I like going to ballgames and looking through the crowd seeing generations of families who have sat in the same spot on the bleachers for years. And I like walking in the gas stations on Saturday mornings, and having the old-timers ask me if PB is feeling better.

It’s easy to look down on small towners. I found this to be so true when I moved away that summer. I became accustomed to the blank stares when I talked about my hometown. It’s easy to think we’re small minded. And it’s probably easy to think we are less worldly or cultured than most folks.

But I’m okay with that. Although I don’t think it’s true, I also know I can’t change stereotypes. At this point in my life, I’m happy be to called small minded or less worldly or cultured. If that means that my son can grow up in a place where I’m not afraid to let him play outside by himself, then call me small minded every day. After all, it’s not those types of things that are most important in this life anyway.

So today is Thursday, and I’m thankful for my sweet little hometown. I’m thankful for the loving, caring community that I’m proud to be a part of. It’s so much a part of who I am, and what I want from life. Although most people probably don’t see it this way, I think I’m blessed beyond belief to be here. I think Ben’s agrees. It only took one time for him to pee off of our back porch to realize how lucky we are.

Have a blessed Thursday πŸ™‚

knewlywifed’s accent vlog

//www.youtube.com/get_player

Ben and I did an accent vlog.

With a web cam.

Yea. I know.

Booyah.

Annnnnd, I finally figured out how to upload a video to the internet. Yes, you read that correctly. I am 25 and just now figured out how to upload video to the internet.

Cutting edge of technology, people.

Here are the words we were saying:


Aunt, Route, Wash, Oil, Theater, Iron, Salmon, Caramel, Fire, Water, Sure, Data, Ruin, Crayon, Toilet, New Orleans, Pecan, Both, Again, Probably, Spitting image, Alabama, Lawyer, Coupon, Mayonnaise, Syrup, Pajamas, Caught


My blogging bud Lindsay did this, and I thought it was neat to hear how others talked. Thanks for the motivation, Linds!


What about you guys? Do you have an accent? Do you look as attractive as I do at 9:50 p.m. at night (read that with a good amount of sarcasm, please)?


If you shop with a ‘buggy’ throw ya hands up in the air and wave em’ around like ya jus don’t caaaaair.


Holla.


Have a blessed Tuesday πŸ™‚