Rhythms of Life

As each moment passes, each day, each week…. the weeks turn into months and the months into another year. I realize that life keeps marching on, some days pass quickly and others I just want to push fast forward, the next day I am looking for the pause button but through it all life keeps moving. Each day has a rhythm of its own, sometimes fast, sometimes slow but those rhythms flow together to make the song my life is playing.

I realize I want to make the most of these days, the kids are growing quickly and yet seem to last forever in that stage in which we are struggling. There are days when I wish for a circle of moms to give evening awards….. “good job for you, you made 3 meals today;, “mom of the day for realizing your child’s snow boots are 3 sizes too small”; “wife of the moment, you were actually ready for bed the same time he was”; “teacher of the week, you got 2 pages of math finished”; “lady of the day, you got out of bed and made it through the day”…… that circle of friends that realizes and appreciates what an effort something was and rejoices with you in the large and small victories of the day. A circle of friends to encourage and spur on to another day, another step toward living with intention, cherishing each moment, loving always and speaking with grace and kindness. 

I love to read and I have read many encouraging books. In fact, its a rare moment I am not in the middle of at least one “mama, encouraging, wife, parent” style book….. {currently I am reading Life Management for Busy Women by Elizabeth George and Rhythms of Rest by Shelly Miller and The Life Giving Home by Sally Clarkson} But there are a couple books I will re-read each year. Pursue the Intentional Life by Jean Fleming is one of them. It’s one I like to read this time of year as we begin another calendar year and remind myself of the need to live with intention, regardless of the season of life I am in. Jean Fleming is an author I have read many times over the last 12 years, her “A Mother’s Heart” book being one of the first books on mothering I ever read and another one I have read numerous times.

To start out this year, I have decided I’d like to read through this book with some of you. Perhaps its a book that sounds interesting to you. Maybe you just need some accountability to be building God’s Word and good truths into your life, maybe you need a circle around you to encourage you on a daily basis….. this is for you. Because it is the easiest format for many people, I have created a small group, a private forum on Facebook for this group. I have quite a variety of ideas of what we could do in this group and while I am still meshing some things together in my brain, this is something I have been mulling over for awhile already, I decided I just need to start somewhere and see what may come together. 

My plan is to post daily, Monday through Friday, a short something on each chapter in the book. Conveniently there are 31 chapters, however, in order to give some room to catch up and with the weekends, we will take a little longer to go through the book. I have a Bible reading to go with each chapter with the intention of being in the Word on a daily basis as well as gleaning truth and encouragement from the words of this book, Pursue the Intentional Life. My plan right now is to start Monday, January 9th.  In addition, I hope to use this space as a place for us to encourage each other, get ideas for struggles in our daily life, bring some joy to each day and accountability to build habits into our lives. I hope to read through some other good books through the year, as well as e a place for habit building in the areas of menu planning, exercise or other areas the habits need built up in.

If you are interested in joining us, go HERE and request to join the group. You can also email me at jen@claffs.com for more information. And if you would like to join in and aren’t on Facebook often, you can download an app for Facebook that is just for groups, you do need a Facebook account but then you can access just our group from this app and not the rest of Facebook if that is something that works better for you.  Access Google Play store HERE or the iTunes store HERE, it’s a free app on both!

You will need to purchase this book that we will be reading through, but trust me, it is well worth the money and is a wonderful read! Click here for the best Amazon price currently, plus it’s my affiliate link, so I get a little tiny kickback though your price won’t change!  {Oh and look, look….. it’s available in an audio format too if this is an easier way for you to read!}  Once you are in the group, I will make sure you have the daily Bible reading plan that you can download or print and of course, there will be the daily posted encouragement and thoughts for each day.

I’ll be using the #rhythmsoflife and #rhythmsoflifemama hashtags in other social media venues and blog posts, if you would like to use as well you may!

So…. who’s in? 😉

 

Comfort Chicken {A Recipe}

This is one of our favorite casseroles. I actually don’t make many casserole dishes, but this has won a place on our dinner rotation. The recipe evolved from a clipping I found in a “Cooking for Two” magazine I read soon after getting married. Of course, making dinners sized for just the two of us was a challenge for me after growing up in a large family and then coupling that with the fact I had been eating vegetarian for a number of years, I always on the lookout for recipes I could make and would turn out well. I think I first made this recipe for a Valentine’s Day dinner and it was a hit. Over time I have tweaked the recipe to make it more family friendly and here is the result. I have made it several times for company and it is always a hit. The leftovers warm up nicely for lunch the next day but I have never tried freezing this. I usually serve with rice on the side to help soak up the sauce, a green salad and perhaps some homemade bread.

 

Comfort Chicken
Serves 6
A chicken based casserole with bacon, mushrooms and broccoli in a creamy sauce topped with cheese
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
30 min
Prep Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 2-3 chicken breasts;
  2. 1# bacon;
  3. 8-10 ounces mushrooms, sliced;
  4. 1# broccoli, trimmed to your liking;
  5. 2-3 cups grated mozzarella cheese
  6. Sauce; (for a 9x13 pan, adjust for other sizes accordingly)
  7. 1 cup mayonnaise
  8. 1/3 cup Dijon mustard
  9. 1/2 cup honey
  10. 1 tsp garlic powder
  11. 1 tsp onion powder
  12. salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Cook the bacon and set aside {I have made with less than 1# and it works fine, but since bacon is so yummy and the kids love finding servings with bacon, I usually try and do a full pound buy you can certainly do less!};
  2. Cut the chicken into large chunks - perhaps 2-3" size, slightly larger than bite size but this makes it way easier to serve kid portions without having to cut up a chicken breast after the fact;
  3. In the same pan with the bacon drippings, lightly sear the chicken pieces, turning once and then placing the chicken in your pan;
  4. In the same pan, add your sliced mushrooms and lightly sauté and then add to pan with chicken;
  5. Add the chopped broccoli to the pan {I have used both fresh and frozen and they work equally well, though I usually cut down from the size so if using frozen you might need to slightly thaw in that same pan you've been using!};
  6. Add the bacon to the dish {I usually break up into smaller bite size pieces, but anything from large slices to more bacon crumbles works fine};
  7. Mix up the sauce and combine well, add to dish and gently stir to coat all meat and veggies;
  8. Top with mozzarella cheese {I use at least 3 cups, but heavy cheese is preferred around here, you can certainly do 1-2 cups and have a nice dish};
  9. Bake 350 degrees until chicken is cooked through and cheese is bubbly and brown;
Notes
  1. I often serve with rice to help soak up the sauce as well as a green salad and bread.
  2. I have also made this in a large cast iron pan, combining the pan I cook the bacon, etc in with the baking pan, making it a wonderful "one pot wonder", however a 12" pan will just barely serve our family so I use the 9x13 when we are including friends or I want leftovers.
CLAFF'S http://www.claffs.com/

The Alexapure Filter {A long-over due review & incredible sale}

alexapureOH MY! I just saw this sale come across my email and I almost wished I hadn’t bought my Alexapure a few months back!
 
I absolutely love my Alexapure filter, after months (maybe years!) of running to the grocery store to refill water jugs or replacing old jugs with new water jugs, we received one for our anniversary – best.gift.ever 😉 I truly do not miss visiting frequently with the ladies at the grocery store (who kindly asked ‘no water today’ for weeks after!) – I end up grocery shopping often enough just to keep food in the house 😉
Anyhow – our tap water is technically ok to drink, it’s on a city water system. However, it tastes awful. So, getting a filter has been on my wish list for years.
The Alexapure sits on our counter, the kids water cups nearby and I fill it up around twice a day. Usually, after cleaning up the kitchen in the evening, I make sure I empty out the reservoir filling the coffee pot, water pitcher or water bottles and then fill up the upper reservoir to filter. Typically, it take a 2-3 hours for the upper to completely filter down into the lower reservoir. Then sometime during the day, depending on our water usage, I will top off the upper reservoir and let it filter through. The upper and lower reservoirs hold approximately 2.5 gallons of water each which works out fine, even for our large family. I have filled several gallon jugs I leave in the pantry for the occasional time when I need a lot of water at one time (filling a soup pot, replacing my kombucha water or making a large pot of rice or pasta…..) Then that evening or next morning, I will refill my jug and put back away without draining the entire drinking water supply just before dinner 😉
 
The water filtered out of the Alexapure tastes wonderful, clean and pure. Even my rather particular and taste sensitive husband agrees it is wonderful. And after several months of using it, I cannot hardly stand the taste of our tap water anymore. Plus, knowing that our main beverage around here is water, I know I am supporting my kids bodies well using good water and not water that may have been compromised in some sort.
 
Another added benefit to this filter is its portability. Since it doesn’t permanently install, we can easily take it with us for overnight camping trips, long road trips or when we move. If we were ever faced with a natural disaster such as a wildfire or weather concern and we needed to leave, I could easily put the filter in the car and fill it up with water from anywhere and have fresh and safe water for my family to drink.
 
So seriously, if you have been contemplating a water filter for your family….. THIS IS THE WEEK TO DO IT!!!!!
Now thru November 18 – any Alexapure filter will come with an additional filter – an $97 value FOR FREE! The filter system already comes with one, so this will give you two…. having 2 in the reservoir will speed up the filter time as well as extend the life of both filters (typical lifespan of a filter is 5000 gallons)
 
Click this link below and head to the Alexapure sale page – Sale is NOW thru November 18, 2016

You can also click the below link to find the Alexapure information page for additional information on the product!

webslide_ap_pro_04

Kids & Crunches

posted in: Fit2B, homeschool, thoughts | 0

kids-crunchesI always so feel guilty doing something “just for me”. That chocolate bar sneaking into the cart hoping the kids don’t see. That half hour taken for a bath and good book. Quietly slipping out of the house to take a walk or go to the grocery store alone. Sticking in a DVD for the kids just so I can have a few minutes of quiet…..

I know, I know…. it’s important as moms to take care of ourselves, to take those moments we can to regroup and relax and to make our own health as important as our focus on our family, but it still brings that occasional feeling of guilt.

Of course, when I make health changes for myself, I often try to make them for the whole family when it is feasible. Over the last few years as I have learned about the importance of our core and how pregnancy often leaves some resulting core issues that need to be addressed and healed, I have been on this path to healing and strengthening my own core.  As I have educated myself and learned more and more in the fitness world I have realized like many areas of healthy living, things are ever changing. As we continue to learn about the body and its incredible design we learn new and better ways to treat, heal, support and strengthen the body. One of these areas is in the idea that sit ups and crunches will strengthen the core effectively and are safe for everyone. This just is not true.

Read these thoughts……

When Crunches Make Your Pooch Worse

“Abs” without Crunches

How to have a Stronger, More Flat Stomach

Why Crunches Don’t Work

How Sit-ups Hurt Veterans with Diastasis Recti

Researching Diastasis Recti and Tummy Safe Gym Routines (excellent printable here)

6 Fitness Guidelines for Everyone

The Personal Trainers Guide to Diastasis

{Please do read through those links…. I am not going to reiterate what was explained so well by those experts above, but rather continue my thoughts based on my understanding of those articles!}

Now, I know most of those articles were aimed at the mom crowd and healing an existing diastasis or weak core but here’s my concern…..

It is said that “Form Follows Function”

If this is true, and I do think it is, then this concept that sit-ups and crunches are an effective way to strengthen a growing core and to build a strong core in our children as they grow needs to be addressed!

If doing crunches and sit-ups is not beneficial to me, {as a mom, who has had 8 pregnancies, carried 6 to term and vaginally delivered all of them and has since healed an 8+ wide diastasis after my youngest!} then are having my growing children doing sit-ups and crunches really beneficial for them? For my boys, they love to test each others strengths and be strong. You will often find them wrestling each other, racing in the yard, challenging each other – “look what I can do, can you do this?”. They are pretty typical boys 😉
And for my girls, while they may not roughhouse around like the boys, I still want them to be physically fit and to grow and strengthen their sweet bodies as they grow and I want them to go into their own childbearing years in a good and strong place, knowledgeable about their bodies and its capabilities.

And so, as they are getting older and exposed to more of the ‘mainstream fitness’, I struggle when I see them doing those crunch moves that are so common in children’s exercises. I have discussed this with my older boys and explained much of what I have expressed above. And thanks to the wonderful resources at Fit2B, (read this article and watch the video at the end), the boys and I have put together a few “better options” for them to do when others around do sit-ups and crunches. Ideally, they would rotate through a couple of these during those times and continue to strengthen their cores, just in a safer manner for their long term health and growth.

See, here’s the thing, doing a few crunches and sit-ups here and there as an 8 or 10 year old probably isn’t going to cause any long term damage or concern. However, continuing to do these in high quantities as they are older, into their young adult years, they could be setting themselves up for some concerning issues.

And so, we should be training them from the start to do exercises that will be beneficial long term, that will effectively strengthen their core and set them up for strong bodies and a healthy core down the road!

And so, here are the exercises, along with some examples…. forgive us that they are not always in perfect form…. they are still learning and working on it! But, I share this with you in hopes that you might be encouraged to research this topic and be comfortable with alternatives to the mainstream options and as we can teach others, one by one, we can strengthen those around us as well.

Planks – As explained in the photos, you can vary the height of your plank and challenge your strength and switch from on the front to the side and add in the various leg lift options

With planks, someone with a weak core would need to use caution, however, with my boys knowing they are at a point of growing and strengthening, I think this is a good option.

Mountain Climbers– this is one the boys like cause they can do them “so fast”, but if you are intentional about your alignment and actively engaging your core with each interchange, they will be more effective than just “running in place” 😉

Knee Wipers – these are also a nice way to stretch and get some good core work in at the same time. Again, actively engage the core and breathe well as you switch from side to side

Shoulder Bridge – this is one the boys have learned through wrestling, and while it may not be a good one for a damaged or weak core, as long as the core is engaged well during the entire bridge, I am ok with the boys doing this one, especially as it especially works the core well as you extend the leg.

Click any photo below to enlarge!

 

plank-2

 

plank-1

 

 

side-planks-4side-planks-3side-planks-5

mountain-climbersknee-wipers-1shoulder-bridge-1shoulder-bridge-2

So, I encourage you to consider this and perhaps encourage those kids in your life to be more intentional about strengthening their core with some alternatives to those “old fashioned” crunches and sit-ups. What are some other exercises that you could add to this list?

 

{Hey parents, do you have kids in public arenas and would like to share this information with their coaches and teachers? Please feel free to share this post with them and you may also find this printable for teachers and instructors specifically helpful as well!}

A Fit2B Sale

posted in: Fit2B, homeschool, Reviews, Sales & giveaways | 0
fit2b-anniversary-social-media
 
You all know how much I love Fit2B and their workouts and Beth’s heart for encouraging and strengthening women by providing awareness, education and healing helps for diastasis.

{Oh, you don’t know how much I appreciate Fit2B, check out this post from last year 😉 }

{No idea what a diastasis is? Check out THIS LINK – seriously, I so wish I had known this much sooner than I did!}

 

Anyway, Fit2B offers a great wholesome online family workout site, with a huge list of workouts, everything ranging from easy to hard, from aerobic to relaxing and everything in between. There is truly something for every level of need and desire. While their workout access membership plans and their variety in e-courses is incredibly affordable and economically priced to begin with, each year there are a couple sales that pop up….. TODAY IS ONE OF THOSE DAYS!
{Today being Monday, October 3rd, 2016….}

FOR TODAY ONLY – To celebrate the 6th anniversary of Fit2B –

Get 1 year of Fit2B for $89
No Startup Fee for monthly memberships
NEW Premium Package for $109 (reg $159) – Find out more about the this new package here – it’s incredible!

No discount codes needed.

You can CLICK HERE to access the membership and products page to see all the details!

 

PLUS – For the rest of October, take 20% off all ecourses and tangible products!

 
{Oh, if you have never tried the tummy crème or other “on your skin” line….. they are fabulous!}
 

 

 

Fit2B Anniversary leader board

Lifestyle Learning

_Think Outside the Classroom_

It’s a little book with a pretty aqua and cream cover. A short read, only 56 pages long. But, as you read it, prepare to be encouraged, strengthened and renewed in your homeschooling vision and direction. Think cover 1

I don’t know that I read anything new to my brain personally, {however, if you follow a strict “school classroom at home” format, you may be greatly challenged by some new concepts!} but I was so encouraged as I read through the book one evening because as Kelly shared her family’s approach to their home-school, I found myself agreeing. Those truths I knew in my brain and heart Kelly was able to articulate in writing. Those dreams and goals I have for my children, those ‘end results’ I desire to have in our own home-school, Kelly and her family were using and achieving. 

Kelly Crawford is a lady I greatly admire and consider one who is worthy of offering advice, truth and encouragement into my life. Though I have never met her in person, her blog posts and the life she lives has shown me that she is a mama ahead of me on a similar journey, a mama of many children, a mama who has “graduated” several of them and so I know the words she speaks come from not only Godly wisdom but practical life experiences too.  Her other book “When Motherhood Feels Too Hard” is one I keep near and have read through often over the last few years.

A Lifestyle of Learning(1)

I would encourage any homeschooling mama to pick up a copy of this book and read it through. The concept of “Lifestyle of Learning” is so key, I believe, to a quality education. That concept that we are teaching our children to not just recite facts and figures back to us but rather teaching them how to learn, how to find answers to their questions, how to think and how to articulate clearly their own thoughts. Kelly includes in this book not only a concept and style of learning, but practical ways to implement this in your own home.

 

“With life-learning, there is no start of finish, no taking off, no being behind….. just a constant readiness to learn something else.” ~ Kelly Crawford

 

This short phrase sums up so well this book “Think Outside the Classroom”, a desire to teach our children to learn, to view each day and each moment as an opportunity to learn and grow. A lifestyle, that once mastered in the childhood years will carry on throughout their lives, well preparing them for their lives ahead.

highest goal -3
For this print and other encouraging quotes and verse on learning, visit our shop page!

 

 

{I did receive a copy of this book to read and review, however all thoughts and the review above are my own!}

{Affiliate links used, thanks for your support!}

 

Save

Save

Who is your ‘everyone’?

everyone1

 

As I read this verse a couple weeks ago, I was struck by the words in these few sentences. “Christ in you, the hope of glory” is the overarching theme, this is bottom line, Christ is in us and we have the hope of heaven and glory with Him.

And then I was struck by the “everyone” that is repeated 3 times….. “warning everyone & teaching everyone” – this pretty much sums up the life of a homeschooling mama 😉 Most days if I am not actually teaching the kids something at any given moment, it seems that I am disciplining, training or reminding of rules or manners…. and yep, “everyone”, all 6 kids, going from one to the next all. day. long. From keeping the bigger boys on track to complete tasks, school and chores, to spending time teaching the kids and making progress there, to training them in words, actions and attitudes. It never ends.

And yet, keep reading….. what’s the goal dear mama? “to present everyone mature in Christ”. Honestly, this is my bottom line goal with my kids. Yes, schooling and learning is important. It is good that they know to flush the toilet and wash their hands, they need to be motivated to complete tasks and take pride in their work. But at the end of the day it’s growing these little souls into strong, deeply rooted and mature in Christ and that their hearts and souls belong to Him.

It seems to be an overwhelming task. But I love how the verses close out….. it’s with HIS energy that HE powerfully works in me. Yes, we toil and yes, we struggle but He gives us the strength to complete the task He has set before us. In His energy and His power He chooses to work through our lives to reach their little lives.

As I read this and saw my children in “my everyone”, they are my focus and task in this season of my life, but perhaps you are in a different season. Maybe your “everyone” is different from mine. It doesn’t change the fact that God desires for His energy and His power to work within you, to reach those in your sphere for Him, to show His glory and truth to those around us.

Who is your everyone? How can you be encouraged today by these words?

Perspective {10 years after a miscarriage}

Perspective

Perspective…… so much of what we see depends on the perspective we have. We may not see the big picture of all that is happening around since. “You cannot see the forest for the trees in the way” or “Hindsight is 20/20”, pithy little sayings reminding us that our view of life is limited.

 

I remember my second pregnancy quite well. It lasted just 10 weeks. Exactly 10 years ago today. And when it ended in a miscarriage, one Tuesday afternoon in the doctors office there were many different emotions playing through my brain and body that day. Driving home that day with my 10 month old firstborn in his carseat and a small specimen container holding the remains of our baby, I was sad and yet at peace, the miscarriage happened in the best possible scenario; my husband was with us, able to drive me to the doctors office, everything happened quickly and completely with no complications. We were given the option of keeping the baby and we able to bury him in a special spot. This provided good closure and completeness to his short life. As we drove home, we talked about the fact we both were both fairly sure the baby would have been a boy and choose to treat him as such. I asked if we could name him, without realizing it at the time, this was a big part of the healing process and allows us to treat this child as that…. one of our children. All of our kids know who he is and that they have a brother in heaven. 

As we talked about it, a song came on the radio. It was a popular one at the time, “Great is our God” by Chris Tomlin. As we listened to the song play, Kieran asked if we could find a name that meant “great is our God”. Once home I started searching through names, I found one, Gedaliah, that meant “God is great” and so that was his name. 

While we mourned the loss of this baby, God in His grace gave us another just a short time later and we welcomed our second-born 11 months later. When the kids ask about Gedaliah and how old he would be, it’s hard to comprehend that had he lived we wouldn’t have our Colm. God knew who we needed and He is working His good for His glory in our lives and each of our children.MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Gedaliah’s short life has given me a great appreciation for the sanctity of life. Seeing his small body, just forming, yet with head, arms, legs, belly and even the start of fingers and toes able to be seen, I was given a glimpse of the hand of God as it forms each little person. And it has given me an empathy I can share with other moms who experience a miscarriage, it’s a hard process to go through, yet I am thankful for the growth and strength that comes from it.

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. (Psalm 139:12-16 ESV)

And perspective; Gedaliah’s life gives my life perspective….. it’s a reminder that heaven is real and I can look forward to the day when we are able to see him again….. it’s a reminder that life is precious, each and every life….. it is a reminder that our God is great and greatly to be praised, that He holds each detail of our lives in His hands….. that little life accomplished much in my life and I am thankful today to have experienced it and be able to share him with others.

great is our God

This photo above was taken from near the spot where we buried Gedaliah, a peaceful piece of ground with a pretty view as a reminder to us of the greatness of our God.

Have you experienced a miscarriage? Tell me about your little one and what you learned through their life in the comments below.

 

Shredded Chicken Burritos {A Recipe}

posted in: Crockpot, homeschool, Recipe, thoughts | 0

Shredded Chicken BurritosShredded chicken in the crock-pot is super easy-peasy. A wonderful meal for quick, on the run or hot days.

I usually put a couple chicken breasts in the crock-pot, frozen or thawed, just allow a bit longer if they are frozen 😉 For the sake of reference; I typically use 2-3 breasts, totaling 2-21/2# and, more often than not, start them frozen. The chicken is shred-able in around 8 hours, though with the added salsa it will not dry out if you put it in early and leave all day. If I have chicken thawed or am only doing a smaller amount, I don’t put into crock-pot till noon time and it is done by dinner.

Once they are completely cooked, use a fork and shred the meat. I find that the bit of juices left usually work into the chicken as I shred it but if you would rather you can certainly drain off first.

Once the chicken is shredded you can then you in burritos, tacos, burrito bowls or a chicken salad. It will save in the fridge 5-7 days or you can freeze for later as well.

Burrito 1

I also often make chicken this way for soups and chili as well….. you’ll find a simple shredded chicken is rather versatile 😉

Use the meat for tacos, burrito bowls, enchiladas….. or whatever you think of!

Here’s the recipe!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shredded Chicken Burritos
Serves 8
A simple chicken burrito recipe, easily adapted to tacos, enchiladas, burrito bowls or salads as well
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 2-4 chicken breast (1-3# approx total)
  2. 1-2 cups salsa
  3. 1-2 cups black beans (or a 14 oz can)
  4. 1/2 cup diced green chilies (or a 4 oz can)
  5. 2-4 TB chili powder, depending on how spicy you like!
  6. 1 TB cumin (less for for mild)
  7. Salt to taste (try it, you might not need any!)
  8. 1 TB garlic powder and onion powder (OR you can add a couple cloves of fresh garlic and a chopped onion to your chicken while it's cooking)
  9. 12 Burrito size tortillas
  10. 2 cups shredded cheese
  11. 1/4 cup olive or coconut oil for frying
  12. Optional toppings: Sour cream, avocado, additional salsa or cheese or green chili sauce
Instructions
  1. Place in crock pot, 2-4 chicken breasts (1 1/2 - 3 # of meat approx)
  2. Pour 1 cup salsa over top, if using fresh garlic and onion - add in as well
  3. Place lid on crockpot and cook on low till chicken shreds easily with a fork.
  4. {The more meat, the longer it will take, frozen will take longer than fresh or thawed, you can also cook on high if needed for those days when you didn't get dinner in as early as you planned! Just for reference sake, I usually do around 2# of chicken frozen, and it shreds easily by 8 hours of cook time, if it's thawed it will shred easily in 5-6 hours.}
  5. Leftover chicken can be saved for another meal!
Once chicken is shredded, add
  1. Black beans and green chilies and mix well.
  2. Add all seasonings and combine.
  3. Spoon chicken mix into tortilla, add a small bit of cheese and wrap burrito.
  4. Place burritos into hot oil and fry on medium heat till outside is crispy.
  5. Repeat for as many burritos as you are making and serve hot with desired toppings.
  6. Leftover burritos can be re-warmed in oven on 300 degrees till warmed through.
Notes
  1. These make a quick and simple lunch or dinner. Or for a more complete dinner meal, serve with rice, green salad or a mexican bean salad on the side.
  2. You can also adapt this to tacos, burrito bowls or enchiladas; just use the shredded chicken and serve as you like!
CLAFF'S http://www.claffs.com/

Having a Martha Home the Mary Way {Book review}

posted in: thoughts | 0

life-giving SM(1)

“Who is woman? She is the redeemed life-giver, enlivened by the love of Christ and is continuously renewed by Him as she nurtures others.” ~ Barbara K. Mouser

As a woman, a wife, a mother the desire to make a home beautiful and peaceful, to have a tidy space and organized areas is common. To have calm and clean is often an ultimate goal of the homemaker. In this book, Having a Martha Home the Mary Way” by Sarah Mae you are given a desire and achievable steps to reach for this goal. Sarah walks you through not only the nitty-gritty of housecleaning and breaking down the house into bite-size chunks but also walk you through the heart of the homemaking and the God-given desire for this clean space and how in serving those around us we are serving God. That concept of either having a “fun and peaceful mom” or the “clean and tidy” house has gone by the wayside as you realize that having that Mary heart of sitting at the feet of Jesus and enjoying the moment given can be merged with the Martha hands of having a clean home and dinner on the table. This book in a nut-shell is the “hearts and hands” of homemaking, it’s “31 days to a clean house and a satisfied soul”.

All women are life-givers; God made us that way. Life-giving, in its most basic sense, is raising life above the level of mere existence. We give physically and spiritually, in many forms. We also give life intellectually, socially, and artistically. We as women have been blessed with the very nature of life-giving! At its core, life-giving is all about love-loving others with what God has given us……. {Sarah Mae}

And for those of you who tend to be more a Mary than a Martha, this book will encourage you – not discourage you in your homemaking skills, it’s coming from a lady who doesn’t like to clean and in the midst of her own homemaking journey has found that middle of the road that works for her. And as you read and walk through the book you will be enabled to find your own path of what works for you.

For me personally, I was encouraged that I was on the right path with my every-present challenge of balancing all the spinning tops of life. That keeping the house clean, dishes washed, laundry dealt with and raising my children well, schooling them & loving them and being the wife and mother I am called to be. It’s not a matter of perfection, but allowing yourself to grow and change and influence your sphere of home, husband, children and chaos.

This job
This job

One new habit I have gleaned from the book is her “6 things list”….. it gave me a fresh perspective on my daily planning and a way to tweak my days and plans to better serve me and my family. (It’s in Day 5 ;-))

“You can give life to your home by making it warm and inviting, fresh and invigorating! You can give life to your home by making sure there are clean dishes to eat off of and clear spaces to walk in and organized papers that are easy to find when you need them. You can give life to your home by filling it with loving, true and good words! You can give life to your home by building up the souls in your care and the souls that enter it. You home can be a place where weary bones rest and burdens are lifted and laughter ripples through every room. All of these things make a home….. you are a creator of beauty and peace and safe spaces…. You are a homemaker.” {Sarah Mae}

I would encourage you if you struggle with finding balance in your home and are discouraged by the constant clutter and chaos of your space, this book is a great read. It’s divided into 31 days so you can take a chapter a day and work through it quickly as this is a great time of year for Spring Cleaning. Or you can go at your own pace and take a chapter every few days. It would also make a great challenge to do with a few friends to help keep you motivated and moving in finding your balance of clean and happy.

And if you are interested, there is challenge STARTING TODAY, APRIL 4th, as a large group of ladies work through the book, encouraging and helping each other through the process…… find details here on Sarah’s blog!

You can click the box below to order.

There is also a companion journal to go with the book, you can find it here:

 

{There are affiliate links in this post, I appreciate your support of this site when you click through these links to order! I was given a free copy of this book- thanks Tyndale Momentum and Sarah Mae! – to review and share my thoughts with you, however, all thoughts are my own and I do recommend this book wholeheartedly!}
1 2 3 4 8