Monthly Archives: June 2010

Asian Pork Burgers & Yummy Cookies!

I’m not a huge pork fan, Ryan is, so I was pleasantly surprised when I loved these burgers! The recipe is from “Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade Fast Fix Family Favorites”…

Asian Pork Burgers

1 ½ pounds of ground pork
3 scallions (green onions), finely chopped
2 Tbsp. stir-fry seasoning mix
2 Tbsp. sesame seeds
1 tsp. sesame oil

Combine ground pork, scallions, seasoning mix, sesame seeds, and sesame oil. Mix thoroughly. Form into 4 patties slightly larger than buns. Place patties on hot, oiled grill. Cook for 4-5 minutes per side until the meat is approximately 160 degrees. Served hot on toasted buns with lettuce, onion, and dressing of your choice.

The cookbook suggested a wasabi aioli to go on the pork burgers. We didn’t it ourselves (I’m afraid of Wasabi), but I’ve included it here in case someone wants to try it:

Wasabi Aioli

One cup mayo
¼ cup lemon juice
2 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 ½ tsp. of premade wasabi

My co-worker makes the BEST chocolate chip oatmeal cookies. I finally got the recipe and thought I’d share the love by passing it on to you all:

Jill’s Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Preheat oven to 375 (350 for lower altitudes).

Cream together: 1 cup of butter, 1 cup of sugar, 1 cup of brown sugar.

Add: 2 eggs and 1 tsp. vanilla

Mix together: 2 cups of flour, 2.5 cups of oatmeal (preferably rolled, not quick oats), ½ tsp. salt, 1 tsp. baking powder, and 1 tsp. baking soda.

Add: 2 ¼ cups of chocolate chips and 1 ½ cups of chopped nuts (any kind).

Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet. Make golf-ball sized cookies, two inches apart. Bake 8-9 minutes (10 minutes for lower altitudes).

Renovating Our Bathroom

We decided to renovate our guest bathroom while Ryan was unemployed. We had a lot of fun doing the tiling work together and I was proud of myself for using the tile saw by myself! Ryan is so skilled at doing home improvement projects, I’m lucky that he allows me to work beside him!

The bathroom used to have a bathtub, but we decided to put in a shower instead.

Mother’s Day at the Zoo

Sorry this is a bit out of order, but I forgot we had these photos! We went to the Denver Zoo for Mother’s Day 2010. Even though this was my second Mother’s Day, it felt like my first one as last year I was a zombie on that day! In May of 2009, Evan was getting ready for his second surgery, we were majorally sleep deprived, and the days blurred together on the calendar.

All I remember from last year is that Ryan got up with Evan both nights that weekend and let me get some extra sleep. It was amazing and what I had asked for, but definitely not festive and we didn’t take any photos. So I’ll probably look back at this one as my first official Mother’s Day.

The weather was perfect for a trip to the zoo. And Evan tried ice cream for the first time!

Bouncy Bouncy…

Lately, I’ve been trying to get Evan on video doing several things…bouncing in his exosaucer, crawling, walking along the couch or table. But the silly little boy stops what he’s doing the second he notices a camera! Tonight we were lucky to get him bouncing. Hope all the action doesn’t cause any seizures as you watch!

Am I Willing to Challenge My Perspective?

God has been challenging Ryan and I lately regarding hope. After seven months of job searching with no viable job prospects in sight, unemployment benefits possibly coming to an end, and continued ups and downs regarding Evan’s growth issues and genetic tests, maintaining hope has been tough. We don’t see even glimpses of our circumstances changing anytime soon. Difficult circumstances can really cause both hope and faith to take a beating. And we’re coming to realize that it is not something we can fully generate ourselves or “will” into being, but rather something that God instills in us as we make the choice to continue to trust Him….I believe, help my unbelief! Part of what God asks those of us who believe in Him to do is to walk through suffering how Jesus did. That’s not easy. Jesus did not complain, did not get bitter, and He kept His eyes on the larger purpose, believing that what He currently went through would be more than worth it in the end…and what He went through was so much worse than anything we could go through! Scripture even calls us to “rejoice in our sufferings.”

Romans 5:3-5 says, “And we rejoice in the
hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but
we also rejoice in our sufferings, because
we know that suffering produces perseverance;
perseverance, character; and character,
hope. And hope does not disappoint us,
because God has poured out his love into
our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has
given us.

Or how the Message puts it: “There’s more to
come: We continue to shout our praise even
when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because
we know how troubles can develop passionate
patience in us, and how that patience in turn
forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping
us alert for whatever God will do next. In
alert expectancy such as this, we’re never
left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary
—we can’t round up enough containers to hold
everything God generously pours into our lives
through the Holy Spirit!”

Most days I’m not “rejoicing in my sufferings” and wish I didn’t have to have more perseverance and character developed in me! Many days I’d rather focus on the difficulties we’re going through, and moan and groan about them, rather than look for glimpses of what God may be doing in our lives and in the lives of those around us. As I step back, I wonder, what do my comments and my perspective about this season in life reveal to others? Am I consumed with worry, fear, and resentment or does it show that I trust in God? What happened to being grateful to Jesus for all that He’s done for us, most importantly dying for our sins and making a relationship with God possible? Without this, life would truly be void of hope. When did I become so near-sighted? So focused on the here and now rather than having a future-oriented perspective?

The other day, after a particularly difficult day, I called my Mom for encouragement. She listened, empathized, and then said something that stuck with me. She said, “I’m just glad you and Ryan have found a home church in Denver. It’s important to continue to have your perspective challenged, especially during rough times.” At the time, it wasn’t something I was thanking God for. Although Ryan and I had been searching for a church up in Denver forever, the fact that we had finally found one although great, did not seem to be something to praise God about, in particular, right now in the midst of what’s been going on. But as I sat and thought about it, my Mom was right.

It is so easy to get caught up in your own life, your own little drama, and forget that God has a bigger plan and purpose….and be reminded that there are also millions of people in the world that are way worse off than we are. How many of us stop engaging in activities (such as attending church, digging into Scripture, connecting with encouraging but truth-speaking friends and family) that would rightly challenge our self-focused perspective when we’re going through hard times? Sometimes it feels better, in the moment, to wallow in self-pity rather than seek out truth that reminds us that it’s not all about us! My Mom is right, it’s essential, especially now, to get in the Word both at home and through a truth-preaching church to prevent a self-focused, pity-party mentality from taking over our lives!

Will we have bad days, definitely, but the more we focus on the bigger story, a greater purpose, and reminded that we really aren’t that bad off, things don’t seem that bad. Since my Mom’s comment, I’ve been much more aware of what I’m filling my mind and heart with and how that impacts my outlook and level of hope.

Blessed Be Your Name—Matt & Beth Redman

Blessed be your name
In the land that is plentiful
Where your streams of abundance flow
Blessed be your name

And blessed be your name
When I’m found in the desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness
Blessed be your name

Every blessing You pour out I’ll turn back to praise
And when the darkness closes in, Lord, still I will say:
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be your glorious name

And blessed be your name
When the sun’s shining down on me
When the world’s “all as it should be”
Blessed be your name

And blessed be your name
On the road marked with suffering
Though there’s pain in the offering
Blessed be your name

Every blessing you pour out I’ll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in Lord still I will say:
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be your glorious name

You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will chose to say:
Blessed be your name.

Great Quotes

“Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass…
it’s about learning how to dance in the rain.”

“Hope is the ability to hear the music of the future
and the courage to dance to it today.”