Monday, April 25, 2011

You're sending us where?

You're sending us to Phoenix? In Arizona? Really? Do you realize I'm pregnant and it gets hotter than 100 degrees most summer days? Oh boy... bring it on CFA!

Andrew got a phone call from corporate today and he found out that we are headed to Phoenix (Queen Creek to be exact). His first day in the store will be May 16, and he will work until the end of July, at which time a new owner/operator will take over. In other words, Andrew is "babysitting" the store while the upcoming operator goes through training at corporate.

At this point, we are excited! I definitely think we'll be able to come up with some fun adventures. We've already agreed a trip to the Grand Canyon is a must... and if we make it over to Las Vegas, well that's okay too (I don't think we'd even know what to do with ourselves in Vegas). Haha!

According to the PCA directory, there are a few churches we can visit while we're there, and I was pleased to discover there are Whole Foods, Trader Joes, and a really neat farmer's market in the city too. Next on the search list is a doctor for me and a golf course for Andrew. :)

We're still planning on driving home this weekend since we have two weeks of down time. Although I have a business trip to NC during the time at home and Andrew will probably have to spend a few days at corporate, we can't wait to be home with friends and family.

Ok well I'm off to do some bathing suit shopping... Lima Bean is certainly growing, but that's not gonna stop me from frequenting the pool!

Photo courtesy of Andrew Jones

In her shoes.


Andrew and I were invited to the Sackett's house for Easter lunch. We had a delightful time, and didn't leave until dinner time. We will certainly miss them!

The lovely table setting

A traditional cake the Sackett's have each Easter

Delicious tea with our cake

The Sackett girls
I hope you all had a blessed Easter.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Valley of Vision.

Crucifixion and Resurrection

I marvel that thou shouldst become incarnate,
be crucified, dead, and buried.
The sepulchre calls forth my adoring wonder,
for it is empty and thou art risen;
the four-fold gospel attests it,
the living witnesses prove it,
my heart's experience knows it.
Give me to die with thee that I may rise to new life,
for I wish to be as dead and buried
to sin, to selfishness, to the world;
that I might not hear the voice of the charmer,
and might be delivered from his lusts.
O Lord, there is much ill about me - crucify it,
much flesh within me - mortify it.
Purge me from selfishness,
the fear of man, the love of approbation,
the shame of being thought old-fashioned,
the desire to be cultivated or modern.
Let me reckon my old life dead
because of crucifixion,
and never feed it as a living thing.
Grant me to stand with my dying Saviour,
to be content to be rejected
to be willing to take up unpopular truths,
and to hold fast despised teachings until death.
Help me to be resolute and Christ-contained.
Never let me wander from the path of obedience
to thy will.
Strengthen me for the battles ahead.
Give me courage for all the trials,
and grace for all the joys.
Help me to be a holy, happy person,
free from every wrong desire,
from everything contrary to thy mind.
Grant me more and more of the resurrection life:
may it rule me,
may I walk in its power,
and be strengthened through its influence."

May we always live with thankfulness in our hearts for the selfless love our Savior exemplified through his death and resurrection. Let us rejoice that we are robed with the righteousness of Christ and walk in the newness of life.

Happy Easter!

Abiding in the Word.

1 Corinthians 13:13

"So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love."

Thursday, April 21, 2011

So Long Cheyenne.

That's right. We're leaving Cheyenne... next weekend.

May 1st we're loading up my good 'ol car, Lyla, and heading South. Goodness gracious time sure does fly by!

CFA officially selected an owner/operator for the Frontier Mall CFA here in Cheyenne, so Andrew is no longer needed. We found out in February that Andrew's last day will be Saturday, April 30th.

It seems a little bittersweet to be leaving. We've enjoyed our time here. We had many adventures out in the wild west and established some friendships that I hope will be life long. And not to mention we now have Lima Bean on the way... as Andrew's dad says... we have the cold weather to thank for that! We won't, however, miss the wind. So long windy Cheyenne. Thanks for all the memories.

What's next on the Jones' Journey? Who knows! Right now we just wait.

Unless we hear something between now and May 1st, our plan is to drive back home to GA and move in with our parents. We will hang out at home until Andrew finds out what his next assignment will be (I'm not opposed to a little down time at home with family and friends!!). We will likely continue to do exactly what we have been doing here in Cheyenne somewhere else in the lovely USA. With this in mind, please pray that we are assigned a good (and maybe adventurous) destination!

Any questions or thoughts? Please direct those towards CFA corporate, as Andrew and I are seemingly clueless. If you hear anything, let us know. :)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Lima Bean Update.


Today I had my monthly doctor visit to see how Lima Bean is doing, and all went well! We heard the heartbeat again... 160 bpm.  I am in the middle of my 15th week, so almost 4 months! My next doctor's appointment will be big, because I'll be half way AND we will find out the sex of the baby :)

In an effort to keep you all abreast on what's happening with my pregnancy, I've created a list that I will update as time goes on.

How far along? 4 months/16 weeks (minus 3 days).

Total weight gain/loss? Gained 8 lbs.

Maternity clothes? A few prego shirts and a belly band (as of today!).

Stretch marks? Nope.

Sleep? Sleep really well... I love it, actually. I still sleep on my tummy and I relish every moment of it.

Best moment last month? Going home and celebrating with family.

Movement? Not yet.

Food cravings? I like refreshing foods... like apples, strawberries, tomatoes, and lots of goat milk (I don't do any cow dairy for those who didn't know). I also love waffle fries at CFA. As of this week, however, I've committed myself to NO MORE fries.

Gender? Who knows!

Labor signs? Nope.

Belly button in/out?
 Kinda in and kinda out.

What I miss: Red wine and sushi.

What I am looking forward to:
 Next month's appointment - Boy or girl??

Most recent baby purchase: Gro-Via cloth diapers - yes, we are going to do cloth diapers! Check out the diapers here. I plan on writing a post on the pros/cons to cloth diapers and why we chose the cloth diaper route.

 I have to keep my pants unbuttoned all of the time as of this past weekend (does this count as a milestone?).

Lastly, I thought I'd leave you with a somewhat blurry, not so great photo of what Lima Bean is doing in my tummy. I must say I don't particularly care to take photos of myself, but I thought it might be nice for you all to see my progress. I'll try a little harder to get a side view next time.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Abiding in the Word.

Jeremiah 9:23-24

"Thus says the LORD: 'Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the LORD.'"

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Happy Late 1st Day of Spring.

Did anyone else experiment with an egg on the first day of spring? :)

Bolognese Sauce.

aka meat sauce.

I've discovered that many people don't make homemade spaghetti sauce. There is clearly nothing wrong with this, but having grown up eating homemade sauce, I just assumed everyone did the same.

Spaghetti sauce is so easy to make, and by making it at home, you're guaranteed to know what exactly is going in to the sauce. I thought I'd share a recipe with you all that I grew up eating.

There are many variations to spaghetti sauce... with or without meat, with or without vegetables, with or without wine or beef stock, etc.

For this recipe, you can add or subtract whatever you like. I generally like to throw in whatever vegetables I have on hand - it's a great way to use up aging veggies, plus you get an added vegetable in your diet. My favorite vegetable in sauce is mushrooms, but I didn't have any at the time of making this particular batch. Instead, I had a zucchini and carrot on hand, so I used those.

Also keep in mind that you can use any type of ground meat you like. Traditionally, meat sauce is a combo of ground beef and pork.  Today, I'm using ground bison, because Andrew and I have enjoyed eating it out here in Cheyenne... it's a lean red meat but still full of flavor.

So let's begin. First off get your ingredients: tomato sauce, diced tomatoes (with or without seasonings), tomato paste, 1 pound of ground meat of your choice, and any vegetables you'd like to include.

Start by browning up the meat on medium-high heat.

Add in a medium sized diced onion.

While the meat browns, prepare your vegetables.  I like to use a cheese grater for my carrot and zucchini.

*Note: if you are using a ground meat that requires you to drain off the fat once it is browned, be sure to do that before going any further.

Next step is to season your meat with salt and pepper. A fine dusting of both will do.

Once the meat is browned and seasoned and your veggies are prepped, add in the vegetables.

Allow the veggies to cook down for a minute on medium heat. Then add in your paste, sauce, and diced tomatoes.

*Note: if you can find tomato paste in a tube, I recommend that because you won't use as much (just a couple of tablespoons will do in my opinion). I couldn't find a tube of tomato paste, so I used half a can of paste and it was still a little much. In this case, if you over do it on the paste, I suggest adding in a little water.

The last thing you need to do before you let the sauce simmer away is add in about a 1/2 to a whole tablespoon of Italian seasoning (if you don't have Italian seasoning, just add in equal parts of basil, rosemary, and thyme).

Once everything is blended nicely, set your stove to low heat and allow the sauce to simmer for at least 25-30 minutes. Be sure to check on the sauce from time to time and make sure it isn't burning on the bottom.

*Note: spaghetti sauce is even better the next day once the spices can soak into sauce. Try making the sauce a day in advance and reheating it right before serving.

Before serving, I like to add in a fistful of fresh herbs that I have on hand - generally basil or parsley.

Then the sauce is ready to serve!

I like to top the sauce with a cheese like parmesan. 

Bolognese Sauce 

*Sauce can vary according to what ground meat and veggies you have on hand. This recipe reflects this post. 

1 lb. ground meat
1 medium sized onion, diced
1 medium sized carrot, grated
1 small zucchini, grated
1-3 garlic cloves, minced
3 tbsp. tomato paste
1 can tomato sauce
1 can diced tomatoes
1/2-1 tbsp Italian seasoning
1/4. cup freshly diced basil or parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
Grated cheese to top

Brown ground meat on medium-high heat. Add in diced onion. Drain meat if needed. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in prepared vegetables. Let veggies sweat for a couple of minutes. Add in tomato paste and blend. Pour in tomato sauce and diced tomatoes. Last but not least, sprinkle in the Italian seasoning. On low heat, allow sauce to simmer for 25-30 minutes. Right before serving, stir in fresh herbs. Top with cheese, if desired.

If you have a small family like Andrew and me, and you don't use up even half of the sauce in one meal, store the remaining sauce in the fridge for up to one week or freeze for up to 2 months. 

*Variations: Ground meat - beef, chicken, turkey, sausage, or a combo of beef and pork. 
Vegetables - mushrooms, spinach, squash, carrots, celery, broccoli, bell peppers, etc. 
Stir in a cup of red wine or beef stock for more depth in the sauce. 
Vodka sauce - stir in 1 cup vodka and simmer until sauce reduces and alcohol cooks out. Pour in 1/4 c. room temperature whipping cream or half/half and a handful of grated cheese.

Enjoy your homemade sauce!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Whirlwind two weeks.

Whew it has been a busy two weeks! First a visit home with a business trip mixed in, then back to Cheyenne for a visit from girlfriends. Andrew and I have had a blast with all of the hustle and bustle.

I'll blog about the time with our girlfriends this week, but for now, here's a little preview :)

In order of appearance: Allie, Amanda, Ruthie, Lima Bean and me, Andrew, and Sarah.

More to come lata.

Abiding in the Word.

Philemon 18

"If he has wronged you at all, or owes you anything, charge that to my account."