Waiting…that’s the name of the game here lately.
We’re (I’m) waiting kind of impatiently for this little baby to get here. I have a little while until my due date, but am close enough to know that if he decided to make his appearance now everything will likely be fine. It’s hard to wait, it’s hard to ride it out.
But I know this baby will come in his time and in God’s time. He can’t be rushed and shouldn’t be. So we wait.
I am doing okay and am thankful to have been fairly comfortable until the last couple of days. I’ve had a terrible cold this weekend and that is probably compounding the whole discomfort thing too. I hope that I am well by the time the baby comes as I don’t want to give him anything and don’t want to be dealing with a cold while adjusting to life with a newborn. Another good reason to keep waiting.
We are mostly ready for the homebirth, I say mostly because I’m sure we’re forgetting something. I’m much more laid back about getting things in order this time than I was last time. So I’m pretty sure that I’m forgetting something. I have all the essentials ready and in line so if there’s something missing we probably won’t know it until we think we might need it.
Here is a recent picture. The boys keep asking how big I think he’ll be. I have no idea to be honest. I don’t think I’m much bigger or small than I was with the other boys, so we’ll see. Kerry is much better at guessing than I am when it comes to baby weights. He’s been within an ounce or two with each of our boys, I haven’t asked him yet where he thinks this one will fall.

New Recipe Monday — Chicken Fried Steak

Each year we buy half a beef and I’m never quite sure what to do with the minute/cube steaks we get. I’ve never been a big fan of them and I’ve had a hard time finding a recipe for chicken fried steak that our family likes. I tried this one last week and it was a huge hit with all of us!



  1. Pound the steaks to about 1/4-inch thickness (My cube steaks come pre-tenderized so I skipped this). Place 2 cups of flour in a shallow bowl. Stir together the baking powder, baking soda, pepper, and salt in a separate shallow bowl; stir in the buttermilk, egg, Tabasco Sauce, and garlic. Dredge each steak first in the flour, then in the batter, and again in the flour. Pat the flour onto the surface of each steak so they are completely coated with dry flour.
  2. Heat the shortening in a deep skillet. Fry the steaks until evenly golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Place fried steaks on a plate with paper towels to drain. Drain the fat from the skillet, reserving 1/4 cup of the liquid and as much of the solid remnants as possible.
  3. Return the skillet to medium-low heat with the reserved oil. Whisk the remaining flour into the oil. Scrape the bottom of the pan with a spatula to release solids into the gravy. Stir in the milk, raise the heat to medium, and bring the gravy to a simmer, cook until thick, 6 to 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon the gravy over the steaks to serve.

After I had cooked the steaks, I put them on a cooling rack on a cookie sheet in a low (170 degree) oven to let the steaks drain, so they wouldn’t be greasy and to keep them warm. The batter made more than enough for the steaks we had, I cooked 8 of them using this and probably could have made 3-4 more using these ingredients. Like I said, this was a great recipe and our family loved it. I served it with a side of mashed potatoes and broccoli (we’re out of corn…) I also think this would be a great chicken fried steak to serve alongside eggs and hashbrowns.



37 weeks — Whew!

I am 37 weeks this week and I’m delighted! I wasn’t sure I’d ever see this late in a pregnancy again and I’m thankful to be here. But I’ll tell you…I am oh so tired. I am feeling it this week for sure.
I was a little heavier to begin with this time than I have been for my last two full term pregnancies. Mostly because I ate my way through grief after losing Lily rather than working out like I did with Knox. So I’m sure that’s part of the reason I’m feeling so cumbersome these days.
Since I’m officially full term this week, I’ve been working on getting some birth supplies together and getting everything ready. I have a list of things I want to get done, they aren’t necessarily have to kinds of things but I’ll rest a little easier if I can get them done now rather than after the baby is born. So I try to chip away at one or two things a day in addition to schooling and the regular everyday stuff needed to keep our household up and running.
Today my project was getting birth supplies ready. We are planning another homebirth and last time by this point in my pregnancy I’d had everything ready for weeks. Last weekend I thought “Hmmm….I guess I should probably get some stuff together.” So I gathered our birth linens and supplies and put them in the crib. I tried to label everything so that in case things happen quickly again, it’s as easy for everyone as possible. I hope to be able to clean my carpets yet (please don’t ask why…it’s something I do before every baby is born and always have) this week and to take inventory of the meals I already have in the freezer for when the baby comes.
So now I guess I wait. I have other stuff to work on, but most days I’ll get halfway through a project and then just sit and stare at it for a while because I run out of steam. We’re all getting pretty excited around here about seeing and holding the new baby. But I think we have a few weeks for sure to wait until he gets here. So we’ll just keep plugging along and getting ready bit by bit.

What do you see?

When you see someone out an about do you really see them? It’s so easy to just categorize someone as “my nurse” or “the waitress” or even “the neighbor”. But do we really know what’s going on with them? Do we see them as God’s creation and that they have value or do we just see them for what they can do for us?

It’s so easy to get focused on everything else we have going on in our own lives that we forget to see those around us for who they are. We forget that they have lives too, we just see the in their “roll” in our lives. For example, the lady who waits on you at the grocery store, you see her as what she does not who she is. She may be dealing with a dying mother or sick child at home. We don’t see the “baggage” that others have. We’re too focused on carrying our own. When you ask someone how they are, do you take the time to really listen to what they’re saying? I know people who when asked that question respond with “do you really want to know or are you just asking to be nice?” Most of the time we’re just asking right? We don’t really want to know, we don’t want to get dirty. We don’t want the details, because then we have to care. It’s easier to just keep going on doing our own thing rather than stop and help someone else do theirs.

Many Christians would like to say they care for others; they’d like to say that they want to help others and that they love others like Jesus loves them. But do we really? The majority of Christians would rather just throw money or another program at the problems they see around them. They don’t want to actually help with their hands, it’s too personal, it’s too real. So how do we fix it? How do we as Christians make people feel valued and let them know they’re worth our time?

First I would say, we have to stop seeing others for what they can do or are doing for us. That involves stopping and looking around us. Look at the person in front of us in the eye. I mean seriously. Really look at them. See them as another human being not just the server, the bank teller, the teacher or the student.

When we talk to the person in front of us we have to listen to them. We have to want to hear them and then we have to be willing to respond to what they’re saying. And not just “um hmm” or “oh that’s nice”. Sometimes we won’t know what to say, but just listening to what they’re telling us is important. I’ve been trying to take time to hear what those serving me are saying with their words, their facial expressions and their actions. On occasion I don’t say anything more to the person other than “thank you” but when I say it, I say it with sincerity and while making eye contact. To be totally honest this last week, it caught a couple of people off guard. The lady who waited on me at the grocery store the other day looked completely shocked when I looked her in the eye and said “thank you”, like no one had ever done it before.

What a difference it makes when we see others for who they really are! It makes a difference to them and to us. We gain a little perspective. We remember that life isn’t all about me me me. Showing God’s love to others should be our priority. Our focus should be outward rather than inward and on ourselves.

I would encourage you this week to purpose to make those around you feel important. When you’re rushing through the drive through or heading to the bank. Stop. Ask the person helping you how they are and really listen to what they have to say. Show them that you care. You might be the only one who does today. Pray for them as you leave. You may not know what their baggage is, but you can pray for them. Pray that they will be blessed today, pray that their load will be lightened. Thank God for them and their willingness to serve you. (Even if they didn’t do it with a smile). I promise it will change how you see others. It will change your perspective. Ask God to teach you how to really see people as He sees them. Set out to be used by God.

New Recipe Monday — Refried beans, a makeover

A few weeks ago I was searching for a homemade refried beans recipe that I could make for our family. I came across this recipe and was fairly pleased with the results, while they were missing the fat of traditional refried beans, they also lacked a little flavor for my part.
This last week I made a slightly different recipe that I got from a woman at church. It’s not without the fat, but they were easy to make and have tasted so much better than the first batch. Here is the revised recipe… (unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of measurements because she didn’t give me any and it’s kind of a “taste” thing anyway).
4 cups dry pinto beans, cover with water and soak overnight in crockpot. In the morning…
Make sure beans are still covered with water, just enough to cover…you can add more if needed throughout the day (I didn’t drain mine, but I suppose you could and then add fresh water to cover).
Add some lard (yes lard, I have some on hand as I use it for a few things when I’m baking). I added a square that was equivalent to about 1/2 – 3/4 cup.
I added salt, about 3-4 tablespoons worth. To be honest I didn’t measure it, I made a little pile in my hand about the size of a quarter and dumped 4 of those in.
Then I added some garlic powder, about 1 tablespoon and some onion powder about 1 tablespoon. And cooked on low all day. I used garlic powder because I didn’t have fresh garlic and onion powder because I was in a bit of a hurry that morning and didn’t have time to cut one up.
I stirred the beans every so often and would taste to make sure it tasted okay. I didn’t add anything save for a bit of salt during the day.
When the beans were done, I didn’t drain any of the water because the last batch I made was a little too dry when I froze it. I just mashed up the beans with a hand masher (think old potato masher) until it was the consistency I liked. I like to have some partial beans in my refried beans, so I didn’t mash them in to oblivion.
Overall, I like this recipe so much better! Yes, it has the fat the other recipe was lacking, but it has the flavor too. Much more traditional flavor and you could add less salt although I think it could be a little bland then. This is going to be my “go to” recipe from now on.