This Abundant Life

This Abundant Life
"I came that they may have life and have it abundantly." - John 10:10

Saturday, December 12, 2009

FREE Nursing Covers...Very Cool!

My Friends, Jenn and Cara told me about this great promotion.

Check out Udder Covers (I know; ridiculous name).

Pick out your nursing cover and use "Christmas" as your discount code when you checkout.

You pay about 8.95 for shipping.

There are different colors to choose from. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Eatable Bread!

Months ago, my husband agreed to buy me the very lovely Bosch Mixer so that I can be on my way to making inexpensive, healthy, whole wheat bread (among many other things).

Well, I've used it a lot! But, the making of bread has become a sad, sad affair. It's not a hard job...But I have NO knack for it! I just don't know what the dough is supposed to look like! And, what the dough looks and feels like is the ONLY thing that matters!!!

Anyway, my friend, Cara, walked me through the whole process the first time and my family enjoyed delicious, nutritious bread!

Then I tried it myself. Let's just say I have thrown away many loaves. But, Last week, I am happy to announce that I made two loaves of eatable bread! In fact, I would go so far as to say that they actually taste GOOD.

Very, very, exciting!

Now, I have no idea what the next try will leave me with...but I'm hopeful! And, It's fun to give Gwendolyn bread made with olive oil and honey! Although, It doesn't seem to be her favorite :(.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Okay, now I'm excited! I just looked at Passionate Homemaking's updated Crock Pot Carnival and there are a TON of recipes! I love it!

I love when something else does the work for me and I have time to move my furniture around or spray-paint a garage sale shelf or learn how to use my sewing machine...Oh, I mean, have more time to play with my baby...that's what I meant to say.

I don't know how my mom did it...She just spent all day, everyday, playing with and taking care of the seven of us. I never saw her spray-paint ONE shelf!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Roast & Mushroom Sauce in the Crock Pot

My mom made this one, often, when I was growing up.

It's Easy, quick to prepare and very tasty!

The original Recipe calls for a can of condensed cream of mushroom soup and an envelope of dry onion soup mix.

As I've been reading my labels a little closer, lately, I have been wanting to find tasty alternatives to products with ingredients such as vegetable oil, modified food starch, monosodium glutamate (MSG), high fructose corn syrup, etc. Although I spend more time in my kitchen these days, it is still a place where I am not at all creative...I just get on the Internet and copy other people's ideas and recipes.

Enjoy your Roast!

Roast & Mushroom Sauce in the Crock Pot

1 (2 to 2 1/2lb.) boneless beef chuck roast
-we have, many times, used a sirloin roast and often a much bigger one (for leftovers!)
3 garlic cloves (or garlic powder) - more if you like! Salt Pepper
Condensed Creamed Soup Substitute (Recipe from Passionate Homemaking)
-I cut the milk almost in half, and used the full amount of soup made from this recipe
-OR use a can of condensed cream of mushroom soup
6 potatoes (or how ever many can fit in your crock pot!), cut into chunky pieces
-my sister uses sweet potatoes and it's really yummy, too!
4 large carrots (again, more if you want), cut into chunky pieces
1 onion (cut into chunky pieces
  • Place veggies in first - as many as will fit under the roast and still allow the Lid to close (so the juices will run down over them)
  • Place the roast in the crock pot and rub with garlic
  • SPrinkle a light layer of Salt and Pepper on to the roast
  • Place any remaining veggies around and on top of the roast
  • Pour the Mushroom Soup over the top and spread around a little
  • Cook on LOW for 6-8 hrs or until Roast is tender
Serve with whole wheat noodles or dinner rolls!

Monday, November 09, 2009

Costco Crock Pot COUPON!

Going along with the "Crock Pot" Theme...I wanted to mention, though I'm sure you could figure this out on your own, that Costco has a coupon starting on November 11th, for $10 OFF the 6 qt. crock pot. At my Costco (for the "cash and carry" price), that makes it only $30!

It's a really good deal. I wound up having to break down and get one last month (I'll take my receipt in and get the $10 off). I broke the lid to my old one and, ridiculously enough, you can't even get a replacement. I even checked 4 different times at my local crock pots.

I guess the Lord decided that I should have a nice, bigger, newer one! And, now for $10 less!

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Crockpot Carnival

Hey Everyone, Lindsay (at Passionatehomemaking) is doing a Nourishing Crock Pot Carnival...and I am joining in on the fun. I figured I would pass the word. I mean, you know what they say..."A Crock pot's a girl's best friend"...or was that Diamonds...or chocolate?

Anyway, this particular "Carnival" is focused on Crock Pot dishes with more of a "less processed" and"Whole Foods" identity (less additives and preservatives, no genetically modified ingredients, preparing food that is closer to it's original state, etc.)

For instance, If I wind up posting a recipe I have that originally calls for a packet of Lipton's Onion Soup and a can of Campbell's cream of Mushroom Soup...I would look for substitutions that did not include the Modified Food Starch or High Fructose Corn Syrup...and so on.

I bring this up to say...You can still use the recipes even if this sort of thing isn't "your bag" at the moment. Just substitute in your old favorites and ENJOY! I'm hoping to get some really great recipes...I need all the help I can get!

Check out Passionate Homemaking's original Blog Post HERE.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Wanting to be the "Lovely" Me

What do you do in the moment of complete frustrations? I have, for far too long, completely given into the aggression inside of me at the sight of my inconvenient and aggravating circumstance.

Lately, I have had many opportunities, as identified by ME, to react out of emotion and in a selfish manner. I am sad to say that most every time I have, indeed, gone ahead and allowed my "feeling" to free itself, therefore reacting in an unloving and ungodly way.

Surprisingly, this has failed to make me feel "happy" or "vindicated". I would have thought that doing what I WANT would render much better results.

Ah, but how quickly I forget that I am a slave to Righteousness and am bound to what is Good and wonderful and have been completely freed from the hopelessness of my sin, through the gift of GRACE from my Perfect SAVIOR.

Why WOULD my continued unruly and unlovely behavior make me feel anything but Crummy?!

That gentle voice I hear as I know full well that I have two choices in how I act, is the voice of the Spirit of the Lord. And HE LOVES ME.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Ta DA! (Bibs...again)

I found a GREAT BIB!! I just love taking her bib off and not having the food be all over her clothes. It's really long and really is waterproof and sturdy. I just wipe it off (and only on occasion ;)

It's $10 (totally annoying price...but totally worth it). When my husband gets excited about a purchase I made...I know it's a good one! He would prefer we just all just sit in an empty house with large T.V.s...we could keep the baby naked, therefore not having to worry about stained clothes!

I got this one at Babies R Us (Bumpkins Junior Bib). They always have those "15% off one item coupons!


It's fun to watch Gwendolyn practicing her table manner. She's just so expressive and proud of absolutely everything she does.

Her development is so interesting to me. I've been finding that her growing and learning represents, to me, my own "growth". Although, I must say, she takes her stumbling in better stride than I!

And, like Gwendolyn, I sometimes wind up taking some steps backward. But the Lord, has promised to "complete the work he has begun in me". Praise The LORD!

Friday, October 30, 2009


(Kyra and her Beautiful Family)

My friend, Kyra, is such an inspiration to me. When I get the chance to see her living out life, I am always put into a place where I just want to know and enjoy the Lord more.
Just the other day, I was enjoying a book study of Susan Hunt's The True Woman, with some of the wonderful women in my life. In this book, Hunt references J.I. Packer defining Doxology as "the passion to turn everything into worship and so to glorify God by all one's words and deeds."
I, immediately, thought of Kyra Goffeney. She does this, and I want to be JUST LIKE HER!
I loved her blog post about contentedness and focus on Jesus. It's always so interesting to me to hear her talk about her life as "chaotic". I don't know why...I mean OF COURSE it's chaotic! She has 2 and a half-year-old (almost) triplets, for Pete's Sake!!! And yet, every time I'm with her, I feel at rest.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Family Fun Day

I've been a little jealous when I've read about my friends visiting their near-by farms and berry-picking or veggie-picking. I thought, "I WANT TO GO!!"

So, last week, my husband took our family and it was SO wonderful. The farm was an hour away and we didn't pick any vegetables...and I'm pretty sure you almost can't grow berries in HOT Tucson, but we spent most of the time in the pumpkin patch and had a BLAST! It felt so good to be outside and alone, with each other!

Our little grump (a.k.a. Gwendolyn) complained the whole way there, instead of resting, but she enjoyed being carried by us (her favorite thing) and actually passed out on the way home (VERY rarely happens).

Oh, and the ERGO...BEST purchase EVER!!! Very comfortable and easy to use...even with little chunky ones.

YEAH for the Lord's creation...and for the leisure time to enjoy it!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Oh MY!

The saddest thing just happened...

I was doing dishes (dreaded of all responsibilities) and I was about to wash a particular glass that had been sitting with the remains of a Green Smoothie for a couple of days. I picked up the glass and realized that it had a crack in it.

I kid you not, the very first thought I had was, "Oh, good! Now I don't have to clean it!"

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

My Sister (in-law)

Okay, so, seriously, every time I throw a party or talk to a friend or deal with my one-year old, I am immediately trying to think - "What would Stephanie do?"

Stephanie is my Sister-in-law. She is married to my big brother. My big brother, Tim, is gorgeous and brilliant. He's the kind of guy who men want to be like and women want to be with ;). His goal was (and IS, currently) to succeed in ALL areas of life.

The FIRST area in which he succeeded was to find a wife who was not only BEAUTIFUL (exotic, sexy) but also TOUGH (fiery) and CRAZY-AWESOME (more FUN than you can ever know what to do with).

This Girl is STEPHANIE. She is beautiful...but that's not even what I'm here to talk about. She IS crazy...the good kind of crazy that every woman wants to be like...not only for her man, but also for herself. But, again, that's not what this post is about.

The thing that impresses me most about her is that she has the kind of home that I want. When you walk into her home you just feel RIGHT. Not only do you feel comfortable sitting on her couch, but you ALSO feel comfortable enough to make her couch YOUR OWN.

Not only are you comfortable in her kitchen...but you also easily come to believe that her kitchen IS YOUR OWN.

You feel neither stifled nor nervous. You feel relaxed and like you could be a better person just by being a part of her family.

If you think it's because her home is PERFECT, you are wrong. At Any given time of day, you can witness a two year old hurling his spaghetti-o's at you and a four-month old growling with the intensity of a toddler.

When you walk in the door to their home you don't think, "WOW. It's perfect. I better be take my shoes off and be really careful about what I help myself to."

You think, "WOW...I hope I can get them to let me stay for the evening!"

Don't get me wrong...they DO have a really nice, big home with many beautiful things...but, honestly, that's not what you notice. You just feel comfortable.

I know my brother will be embarrassed by this...but I remember a time when he yelled from the other side of the bathroom door, while I was trying to pee, and said, "Jenn, is there toilet paper and soap in there???"

As I let out an assuring "Yup", I couldn't help but smile. That's the thing...EVERYONE runs out of toilet paper and soap and just hopes it's not when someone is noticing. The difference is in how you react to this phenomenon. I mean, someone like me feels nervous about that possibility and hopes that people don't soon find out that it's possible for me to run out of these things.

Someone like Stephanie says, "Dude, get the girl some toilet paper and soap!" and goes about her business of running a home that represents the equivalent of one big breath of fresh air!

Thursday, October 01, 2009


It's good to have friends! A couple of weeks ago, our friends, the Kelleys, had to come to Tucson for the funeral of a dear cousin. We enjoyed spending time with them, though, and feel so blessed that we got to have them at our home, even in such sad circumstances.

The Williams Family, also our wonderful friends, were able to join us for dinner and a fun night of conversation about homemade bread, where to find vegetables without pesticides, and how none of it really matters unless we are enjoying our families and glorifying the Lord in our caring for them! Well, that's what the mommies talked about...I have No idea what the guys were discussing...but it couldn't have been as interesting as that!!

Jean and Aaron have a beautiful baby girl named Therese (Reese)! It's really Jean
who got all the good pictures while they were here...but here are a couple of mine.

Clair Williams was HILARIOUS and she and Gwen really have a special friendship (I just think they genuinely LIKE each other). Little Therese just slept the whole time!

It's really Jean who got all the good pictures while they were here...but here are a couple of mine.

Kelley Family

Cara and Clair (baby #2 on the way!)

Clair amused us with her cookie-eating

The girls played together the whole time

Gwendolyn was shocked by the dinner conversation

Thank you for coming to our home!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Happy Birthday to...ME!

Have I ever told you that my husband's love language is GIFTS? Well, it is. I think he doesn't like that I tell people that...and I think he doesn't really believe that it's true. But, it IS TRUE!!!

So, every holiday, this wonderful man goes out and buys everything I've ever said that I like (especially if they sell it at Costco). I'm actually making him return half the stuff he bought this year...oh, don't worry...I've already figured out what OTHER things I want in place of some of them!

Anyway, I love him - not only for the gifts but also because he is so very cute...and such a caring man who desires to give me all there is to give...not just the presents, but also all the things that
come from having a husband who Loves the Lord with all his heart and Loves his family more than himself. Thank you, honey, for being with me on this ridiculous roller-coaster ride that is our Sanctification!!

We had an awesome time on Saturday night. We decided to go out alone and take advantage of a "date night", but when we got to the restaurant, our good friends, Kurtis and Lara were there. It was a wonderful and welcome treat! Thanks for partying with us, you guys! Then, Bic took me to Flemings (an up-scale restaurant in Tucson) for Martini's and Dessert! It was great fun!!!

Hey, check out the picture contrast from my birthday, last year
(one day before the birth our our little Gwendolyn)!

Yeah, It looks like I had a few too many lobsters that night!!

Yeah, and my baby was less than 6.5lbs!
(She made up for it in FURY!)