Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Abiding in the Word.

"So that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life."

Titus 3:7

I apologize for the delay in blogging. The last few days have been a little busy. And I must say, the next week or two will likely be the same. I'm not sure how long Firecracker is going to cooperate. I had my routine check-up today, and things appear to be progressing pretty steadily. Of course, there's no way to predict when she will make her appearance, it could be another 2 weeks. Nevertheless, please bear with me if I don't post on time!

Here are just a few photos from the last week.

I spy Ellie...

It was a boot and tutu type of day.

I spy Lima Bean.

Static, anyone?

Lima Bean has been working on her puzzle. Check out the little video below.

Lima Bean figured out how to take pictures of herself on my phone. Enjoy the slideshow of her silly faces.

Yes this is real. No I am not smuggling something under my shirt. Firecracker is giving me a run for my money to say the least!

Puzzle time.

More playground time.

Have a great week!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Not of this World.

Sadly, my grandmother passed away last night. Although sad, I rejoice knowing that my "Gran" is pain free and walking, glorified, in the presence of our Savior. She was a wonderful lady and will certainly be missed.

At one point while Gran was in the hospital (and not even totally responsive), she started reciting Psalm 23 under her breath. How comforting to know that she could find rest in her Shepherd. She is a testimony to me. I pray that I will always find my rest and comfort in the Lord, my Shepherd.

"The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul. 
He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil; 
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever."

Psalm 23

It breaks my heart that I cannot fly South to be with my family. Nevertheless, I will be celebrating her precious life and reminiscing about all of the great memories I had with her during my childhood from afar.

For those who are interested in reading about how cool my grandmother was, please follow this link to her obituary. 

"But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep (in death), that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep."

1 Thessalonians 4:12-14

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Abiding in the Word.

"Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will bring justice to the nations."

Isaiah 42:1

April is here! Have you all completed your taxes?  Time's a tickin. :)

Andrew completed his first official week of work for his new store. Unfortunately it wasn't as productive of a week as he had hoped because the hiring space he is supposed to have is not available yet. He has pushed through with a good attitude, and has still been proactive. He's had a few interviews in the cafe of the Whole Foods behind his store, as well as Starbucks. He has come home smelling very coffee-like and I don't mind a bit! 

Sadly, my grandmother is not doing well. On Wednesday of last week, she was moved to Tranquility Hospice. Since then, she has been given pretty significant doses of morphine to help relieve her pain. She is still conscious... yesterday, I was told that she would look at people and squeeze their hands. It saddens me that I am unable to travel back to GA to see her one last time and to be with family. I am comforted, however, knowing that soon Gran's body will be whole again and she will be praising our awesome King in heaven. Plus, I will see her again one day. So it's just farewell for now... not forever. If you think of our family this week, please lift up a prayer for my grandmother and family - for peace and comfort.

I go to the doctor on Tuesday for an ultrasound and my 36-week appointment. I'm excited to have an ultrasound! The last time I saw little Firecracker was at 19 weeks, so I think I'm due a little peak.

Have a wonderful week friends!

 Lima Bean loves her Daddy. Here they are watching March Madness.

She also loooooves her pups. 

Lima Bean was playing with the dogs, but sadly they lost interest so she was stuck in a blanket alone. 

She didn't seem to mind too much. :)

Last week was when Lima Bean started to swing "by herself" (aka we didn't hold her hand the whole time). She loves swinging a lot. 

Here she is holding her new doll that she got in her Easter basket. She has definitely turned in to a doll fan. Before Firecracker comes, I'd like to get her some doll goodies like a feeding set of sorts so she can play "house" (as I called it growing up) while I take care of the babe.

Here I am at 35ish weeks. Please excuse the horrible photo, but I thought a little bump update might be nice. It looks as if I've dropped. That's a little concerning, because April is a very busy month for us and we need all the time we can get before Firecracker makes her appearance!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Spinach Artichoke Dip.

This is a very easy appetizer that is definitely a crowd pleaser. This was a recipe that I originally got from my Aunt Kathy. I have thoroughly enjoyed having it, as I whip it up and take it to Bible study or a party when I can't come up with another idea.

I don't actually have the recipe with me in our delightful apartment, so this is going off of memory. Here's hoping I don't steer you all in the wrong direction! :)

Start off by preheating your oven to 350*. Then, put one can of drained artichokes in your food processor. 

Add some sauteed spinach. The original recipe I have doesn't actually call for spinach, but I think it's a nice addition. I generally always have frozen spinach on hand, so I cook it long enough to thaw, then drain it. I'd say I end up with about a 1/2 cup of spinach.

Next, add one cup of grated (or in my case, shredded) parmesan cheese.

Then add one cup of mayonnaise. Trust me, it's good. Don't be scared of it.

Now add a good helping of black pepper (I like to add a small pinch of cayenne too... just because I can). 

And since I add the spinach, I also add a small pinch of nutmeg. It adds just a little extra depth of flavor. (I've heard that when cooking with spinach, nutmeg is always a good addition).

Next is the juice of half a lemon (or a whole one if the lemon isn't very juicy). 

Now turn that food processor on and let it whirl. (I typically pulse it a few times at first to get the processing started).

You will know it's ready to go once all of the ingredients are blended and you have no chunks. 

Pour the mixture into a baking dish. Don't worry about greasing the dish because the mayonnaise will have enough oil to keep it from sticking.

Spread the mixture evenly in the dish and bake until golden brown on top and bubbly around the sides, around 25-30 minutes.

I realized I forgot an "after" shot! Just envision a round baking dish with a nice, bubbly, lightly browned dip. Let the dip sit for 10-15 minutes to let everything set.

Serve the dip with an assortment of goodies: tortilla chips, pita chips, or crackers and sliced veggies.


And just because I can't help it....

Oh that Lima Bean melts my heart!