24 August 2016

Taco Seasoning

I love making tacos for my family, mainly because all my kids eat taco meat pretty well. And finding something all my kids eat without complaining is a legit miracle. [the other thing they all eat happily is pizza. of course.]

Here's my secret weapon. I'm so sorry you don't have easy access to this lil gem.

I got this black pepper in Uganda, and I use a little bit at a time, to save it. I know spices don't keep all that long, but whatever. I don't like the flavor of our black pepper, but this stuff is delicious. I have searched quite a bit and cannot find a way to buy more, which makes me really sad. I'm sure there's other good stuff, but I want thiiiiiis stuff.


See my fancy photos like the professional bloggers? Those black dots on the carpet aren't bugs; they're Legos. #imsofancy

Anyway, I like this mixture because it's not too spicy for the kids, but not too bland for me. I use almost 2 pounds of ground beef for our tacos because there are 6 people in my family, and my kids pound back tacos, so yeah. I use:

2T chili powder (slightly heaping tablespoons)
1T cumin (also slightly heaping)
1t salt
1/2t onion powder
1/2t garlic powder
1/3t ground black pepper (magic)

and I mix it all in a separate bowl. I am NOT saying this will change your life, unless maybe you're sick and tired of paying for tacos mix, bc this is much cheaper than buying premade seasoning. It's also a lot less salty, and I like to taste more flavors besides salt when I eat food. I also like to make use of HEB's bulk spices, to only keep what I need, and therefore keep my spices fresh. Also they're WAAAY cheaper than buying bottles. WAY.

Anyway, I've been typing this during dinner, so I should probably go. I'm going to post some pictures of things I'm hoping to sell at various craft fairs this fall tomorrow, and maybe (someday) I can actually update you on how life is going.

07 July 2016

Praying is Not Enough

Yes, we MUST be praying. Must. God is more powerful than hate or fear. As I struggle to find a way to sleep tonight, I having been praying the whole time. I'm sure you have been too. We must be praying.

But God doesn't ask us to stay in our houses and pray, the end. We are the body. We must act as Jesus would act. We must speak the words the Spirit gives. We cannot remain in our cloisters. The world NEEDS Jesus, right this moment.

My foremothers (and fathers, but I'm a mother) accomplished amazing things through Christ. And of course they were empowered, grounded, envisioned through prayer. The way was made for them by the Almighty. He went before and guarded from behind. But they did not just pray. They prayed and spoke. They prayed and wrote. They prayed and marched. They prayed and served. And went. And fed. And clothed. And healed. And mothered. And died, in Jesus' name.

Corrie ten Boom prayed. And she organized, hid, fed, clothed, and rescued. And when she was caught, she prayed, and preached, and comforted, and encouraged, and evangelized.

Please don't close yourself off to what God might want to do through you. People are dying. We MUST pray, and we MUST act.


Praying is Not Enough

Yes, we MUST be praying. Must. God is more powerful than hate or fear. As I struggle to find a way to sleep tonight, I having been praying the whole time. I'm sure you have been too. We must be praying.

But God doesn't ask us to stay in our houses and pray, the end. We are the body. We must act as Jesus would act. We must speak the words the Spirit gives. We cannot remain in our cloisters. The world NEEDS Jesus, right this moment.

My foremothers (and fathers, but I'm a mother) accomplished amazing things through Christ. And of course they were empowered, grounded, envisioned through prayer. The way was made for them by the Almighty. He went before and guarded from behind. But they did not just pray. They prayed and spoke. They prayed and wrote. They prayed and marched. They prayed and served. And went. And fed. And clothed. And healed. And mothered. And died, in Jesus' name.

Corrie ten Boom prayed. And she organized, hid, fed, clothed, and rescued. And when she was caught, she prayed, and preached, and comforted, and encouraged, and evangelized.

Please don't close yourself off to what God might want to do through you. People are dying. We MUST pray, and we MUST act.


05 July 2016

Naptime Thoughts

Hopefully this Friday I'll get a chance to sit down and give you guys a bigger update. For now, it's naptime, and I had to share this thought with you (as any mom of several kids might think):

I was made for so much more than folding piles and piles and piles of laundry. But I was also made for folding laundry (because my current calling requires it).

Now I'll get back to using some (incredibly rare) quiet time to fold yet another load and a half of laundry.

25 May 2016

My Stephen

We were laying in bed tonight (keeping each other awake with rambletalk), and I was just so struck by how wonderful it is to have a husband who's willing to brainstorm with me about what we feed our kids. It matters to him, not just because he cares that our kids get nourishment, but also because he's the one who feeds them breakfast every morning. He's also the one who gets up with them every morning, and takes them potty every morning, and brushes their teeth every morning (and most nights). And lest that sound like nbd, please remember we have four kids. So two potty trips, two diaper changes, four mouths to brush, and four children in varying states of willingness to eat what he prepares all by himself.

Wee babes on honeymoon
Feeding these kids is almost always a thankless struggle. I'm very thankful our daughters don't have some of the eating problems that can come from food scarcity; they definitely have the normal little kid problems of "I'd rather survive on the minimum amount of calories to keep me alive so I can spend the maximum amount of time playing. Also what you're serving me isn't pizza so it's just not any good. Sorry not sorry. Also I'm so incredibly thirsty or I need a fork immediately oh wait no I need a spoon or where, where is the ketchup I obviously need for my lettuce."

Stephen and Ezra matching, generally being precious. Spring 2014.
[my mantra lately has been there are four of you and one of me. I can only do one thing at a time. I will put your request on the to-do list. You're welcome.] If I'm making life sound hard right now, well, it is. It's a LOT of output every day, with many tasks that don't intrinsically bring me joy. There are so many beautiful and special moments I have with my kids, but there are currently more times I have to dig deep into my place of abiding with God to have any hope of handling whatever is going down well. When they play together, or play well with me, it is sweeter than any other thing in life, but there's also plenty of grabbing and yelling and tantrums and selfishness and little people being just unabashedly sinful. It is draining to train four little people in empathy and love and, you know, how to live in a family. But, praise God! I don't have to do it alone, or even just with God.

My precious boys vs my sad camera phone, late August 2014
Stephen isn't a showy person. He doesn't plan exciting dates or write me love notes very often (though he did write me several songs about ten years ago). He doesn't habitually praise me in front of people (at least while I'm there). He doesn't buy me big gifts or do any extravagant things. Sometimes I wish he did, when I want to do irresponsibly-fun things I'd regret later, but I know that what I really prefer is his continual devotion to me and our family.

If our hands are full, you should see our hearts! And my head; I'm craaazy absent-minded these days.
I know he's really tired. But he doesn't sleep in. Ever. And he gets home straight from work, helps feed the kids (and often tackles the post-dinner kitchen), is the main put-to-bedder (I also have a role in the bedtime routine, but it's much smaller), and then goes back in to work making calls to raise support. To provide for us. He really does lay his life down for me. And I'd much rather have his help than for him to be telling people how amazing I am for doing everything myself, know what I mean? I am so utterly blessed to have this man as my life partner. I love my Stephen.