Saturday, January 23, 2010

When your World Crumbles...

If your world crumbled before you, what would you expect? That's what the people of Haiti are wondering right now. Their world has fallen, their government is literally in shambles, their jails are empty because the walls fell in, and yet last night on the telethon Hope for Haiti Now I watched a woman pulled from the wreckage of her home 6 days after the earthquake hit and she was singing. The woman was singing and praising God! I was in tears within mil-seconds.

What they are going through is devastating, I can't even imagine the pain and suffering, the fear and bewilderment that the Haitian people are going through. Every time the world goes through something heart wrenching it makes the world come together and show our true colors. Who are we if we don't help? As a Christian it makes me incredibly happy to see the people who drop their lives and their families to go and help in countries that aren't their own, for people they've never met, they risk their lives because humanity demands it of us. To help those that are less fortunate and cannot help themselves. We all are essentially selfish creatures but when times get tough we all seem to tap into the other half of our selves, our better selves, we dig deep even in times of recession and we find money to send to people who have nothing!

As horrible as the tragic events of the earthquake are I can be GLAD and REJOICE in the fact that God has called upon his servants to be there for those that are less fortunate. I can be GLAD and REJOICE that He is there in Haiti with them holding them up and loving them especially in the times of fear and pain. I can be GLAD and REJOICE that He can make beautiful, awesome and radical events happen in the midst of tragedy, that He can turn it all around. He is the only one who can make something horrifying and paint it into a beautiful picture of people helping people.

If you haven't given yet, there are a multitude of organizations, the Red Cross or the Hope for Haiti Now organization, your local church is also probably accepting specific donations for the small country of Haiti. Show your love with any donation possible.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Beef and Pork Chili with Beans

This recipe was awesome! I love spicy and yummy dishes and this was a perfect blend. The chili has a good kick to it without being overwhelming! We ate two dinners the same week and still had enough to freeze for dinner down the road.

Ingredients: Serves 10-12
4 tbsp olive oil
2 large onions, diced
2 large red bell peppers, diced
kosher salt
2-4 jalapenos, seeded and minced
6 garlic cloves, minces
1 1/2lbs ground pork
1 1/2lbs ground beef
3 tbsp ground Chile powder
2 tbsp ground cumin
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp salt
1 tsp cayenne pepper
12 oz beer
Two 28oz tomatoes with juice
2 cups beef broth
Two 15 oz kidney beans, drained
sour cream, garnish
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced for garnish

Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in large skillet over med heat. Add the onions and bell peppers and sprinkling of salt, and saute until the vegetables are tender 8-10mins. Add the jalapenos and garlic and saute for 2 more mins;remove from the heat and set aside.

Heat the remaining 2tbsp olive oil in large pot over med-high heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the ground pork and beef, and saute until browned, 10-15 mins. Add the Chile powder, cumin, oregano, salt and cayenne. Reduce the heat, and cook, stirring for about 6 mins, until the spices form a thick paste on the meat. Add the beer, and cook, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan, for 2-3 mins, until slightly reduced. Add the reserved onion-pepper mix to the pot, then the tomatoes and beef broth with beans and simmer for 30mins to an hour.

Ladle the hot chili into bowls; top with sour cream and scallions and serve.

This recipe was found from my Down Home with the Neely's Cookbook.

Friday, January 8, 2010


At my apartment community they host Bingo once a month; there is no buy in; and the prizes are gift baskets. So far since we've lived here I have one three times out of the three times that I have gone with my mom. How funny is that. I think I should take myself to Vegas and see if I could win some serious money.... I never would because I probably wouldn't win but it just funny to think about.

Also I can now start substitute teaching out here at the local school district. It took a month to get into their system but now that I am in I just have to wait for jobs. I call in everyday hoping their are jobs that I can fill. But nothing yet. I'm only trying to work like one or two days a week to earn extra money for the extras in life, like presents, vacations and maybe a new car in a year or two. I hope everyone has a great weekend. I will post my yummy chili recipe later. It was fabulous with a really good kick to it.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Avatar Day Date!

Avatar was AMAZING! My darling husband took the day off after his dentist appointment yesterday so we were able to have a day date. We decided to go and see Avatar in the IMAX and 3D. It was so cool. I wasn't so sure I would like the movie but it was perfect mix of action and romance. I was hooked. Plus 3D is amazing. I really enjoyed being able to do a day date too because there were only like 40 people in the movie theater.
I can totally understand why the movies grossed like $1 Billion dollars. It was awesome and I would love to be a Navi because they are cool, and I really want glow in the dark freckles too! Super fun movie, a must go movie!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

One of my Monthly Goals

Quicken, oh Quicken, my how you suck. I bought it, I tried it, and I hated it all within about two hours! So I returned it. I'm very sad, but I figured since our money management has been working for us up to this point why change it if I don't love the software. That's counter-productive.

I was fairly sad when I realized it wasn't that easy and it would be more work to use it than what I have in place currently. Plus why spend more money on the software when I could save it for Isabella's birthday! But at least I bought it at Cost Co so it didn't matter that I had it opened. They return everything!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Meal Plan Monday!

I love to cook and sometimes being on a Diet can be tedious with eating the same thing all the time. So that's why I'm trying to think of this as healthy eating with real food. Which means I have to watch portions and include the dreaded veggies wherever I can put them. Last night I ate all of my veggies that were in my serving of Chicken Pot Pie. I was very proud.

Mon: Chicken Au Gratin with Salad and leftover biscuits
Tues: Leftover Chicken Pot Pie
Wed: Chili with cornbread
Thurs: Salmon burgers w/ sweet potato fries
Fri: Leftover Chili and cornbread
Sat: Veggie pizza w/ salad
Sun: Fried Rice and egg rolls

Lunch is the norm; sandwiches, apples, yogurt, string cheese and chips

Breakfast is cereal and granola bars

Dessert is Adam eating the rest of the tin of butter cookies that is leftover from Christmas.

My Church Family

I was so proud of my church family over the weekend. Sometimes my Church gets alot of flack for its size and different objections to how it is run. I've learned to look past that because alot of the people who have oppositions and issues with it don't come regularly to see how awesome and fantastic the services are, how much energy and love is placed into the ministries, and how much people learn and grow in love for God and many other things.

But before the weekend our pastor informed the church family (that is the actual members) that the church had a shortfall at the last service of the year for tithe and due to the recession they had been clinging tightly to the budget all year and due to the low weekend service attendance they didn't make their normal tithe income. They were facing coming into the New Year with a deficit. So our pastor asked everyone to pray about the possibility to help close that gap that was created.

The outcome of the letter was astounding! The church family donated over and above what was needed by about 2.5 times! The church and more importantly the members do so much for the community its always amazing to see how they are willing to give even when money is tight to continue to help others. It put a smile in my heart and more importantly I think it put a smile on Gods face to see radical generosity from the church family!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Happy New Year! January 2010

I can't believe it's the New Year and a New Decade! My husband and I were talking and if you think about it at the close of this decade I will be 35 years old. That's crazy! But I don't want to focus on the long term right now, just the short term this month!

I restarted my focus on getting healthier and eating better yesterday morning. Counting those points, its time consuming but it will all be worth it! I made yummy red beans and rice last night for dinner with cheese biscuits. It was so yummy and surprisingly light in points. Basically just sausage and beans are the only calories included the rest is seasoning and vegetables. I really want to focus and keep maintaining a healthy life for Adam, Isabella and myself.

I want to make sure I go to the community gym three times a week. I need to sweat, exercise makes me happy, after the fact! Never while I'm actually doing it.

Save some more money for Bella's first b-day next month. I can't wait to have her first party it will be so much fun. Start planning for it and get the invitations out by the 23rd. That will give everyone 2 weeks to respond.

Start using my new budget software. Adam and I are going to Cost Co today to pick up Quicken! I've wanted it for like a year and I am just know going to buy it. Hopefully it will work well and it will help us track our savings more.

Start Isabella's official college fund. Were talking to a financial advisor next week about a 529 plan.

Lots of little things hopefully it will all go well. I hope everyone has time and energy to accomplish their goals for the month and the year! Start small and work up to the bigger picture!