Thursday, June 30, 2011

Chicken Tortilla Soup

This is a hit with my family...even Colton, my picky eater, loves it as long as I omit the "spicy stuff".  Hope you and yours love it too!


2-3 whole boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 packet of McCormick's fajita seasoning
1 cup of taco sauce
1 can of Rotel diced tomatoes with chilies, mild (juice included)
6 cups chicken broth
2 cans of corn, drained
2 cans of seasoned black beans, drained
2 cans of cream of chicken soup
1 tsp. each: cumin, chili powder, salt, onion powder, cilantro, paprika, and garlic powder
1 bay leaf

Optional Ingredients (aka: things I would like to included but my family will not eat!)

1/4 cup each (diced and sauteed):  red and green bell peppers,  and onion
1 can of diced tomatoes (juice included)


4 soft flour tortillas
Mexican blend shredded cheese


Boil your chicken until cooked through, drain then shred.
Combine all ingredients listed above, including cooked chicken.
Make sure everything is mixed well.
Heat until right before boiling, then turn down heat and let it simmer for at least an hour.

While your soup is simmering, cut the flour tortillas into strips and fry over medium heat with a little butter until barely brown and crisp around the edges.

Top each bowl with a few tortilla strips and a generous sprinkle of shredded cheese. Enjoy!


*You can make this soup as hearty as you would like by adding more chicken, corn, and/or black beans.

*You can make this soup as spicy as you would like by replacing the fajita seasoning, Rotel tomatoes, and/or taco sauce with "hot" instead of "mild" ingredients.

*The seasonings listed are the minimum measurements, feel free to add as much as your taste buds crave!

Monday, June 27, 2011


I'm trying to jazz up and personalize my blog, so please bear with me. 

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Curse you, Stomach Virus!

For the last two days I've been sicker than a dog.

Sicker than a baby with reflux problems.

Sicker than my son when he gets co-hearsed by his big sister to get on one of those fair rides.

Sicker than a cat with a hairball.

Sicker than a person getting ready to have a colonoscopy who has to drink 4 of those awful lemon-lime carbonated drinks to "clean them out", as the sweet doctor likes to put it.

You get the picture. Other than a run to the local fast food joint to pick up supper for everyone else because the smell of anything made me sicker than a...(see list above), I have been on my couch, in my bed, or in the bathroom for two days and two nights.

But (so far) today I feel wonderful, and despite the fact that my home needs a good clean-up and the laundry is backed up and the linens need to be changed, I took a much needed walk! And it felt great.

So, I would just like to say HELLO WORLD! Momma's back in working order!

Until tomorrow, when the soreness sets in from that speed-walking aerobic work-out I just did.

I may have over-done it. Oops.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Servant's Heart

My son, JD, has a servant's heart! I could just shout it from the roof tops! Thank you, Lord!

Trust me when I say it is NOTHING I have done. I don't have any amazing parenting strategy that taught him that quality. The truth is I don't have a clue how it happened. I've come to realize that it's just one of his spiritual gifts. (By the way, if you've never read the book, The Five Love Languages, I recommend you do! It's how I first recognized that "Acts of Service" was JD's love language.) I think God just instilled a spirit of service in JD and it's how he best shows love to others, and receives love as well.

I also think JD is a "fixer". I think most men are. If I'm sad about something, he wants to know what he can do for me. If he senses that I'm aggravated, he will find something that needs to be done and start working on it. If there is something that I'm struggling with, he is the first one to jump in and try to help. He knows that by helping me in some way, he's going to be able to make me feel better. I remember JD's preschool teacher sent home a note on his progress report that read something like this, "JD's is always willing to help. He is my second set of hands in the classroom. If something needs to be done, he is willing to do it." He's been this way all of his life and I am so thankful!

Maybe you also have a child who is naturally in tune to the needs of others and wants to help. Maybe you don't. The good news is, that's OK. Your kiddo has their own gifts and talents that I bet you can already recognize. The other good news is that you can teach and nurture service to others in your children. They don't have to be born with a tendency to serve in order to grow into a person/persons with a servant's heart.

As I look back over the short time that Jesus was in ministry, actively calling people to accept him as Christ and pursue a deeper relationship with the Father, Christ's way of showing love was first to serve. If someone was hungry, he fed them. If someone was physically ill, he healed them. If someone was ashamed and rejected, he comforted them and spent time with them. Jesus served people.

In Christ's wisdom and love for people, he knew that the way to tender someone's heart and to get them to listen to what you have to say, you must first show a willingness to serve that person's needs. I am reading a book by Sally Clarkson, entitled The Ministry of Motherhood. Mrs. Clarkson says that if our children are to willing be lead by us, and if they are to willingly accept our counsel and advice, they must first know that we are attentive to their needs and are willing to serve them. Kind of like the old saying, "You catch more bees with honey, than you do vinegar."

By observing Christ we also know that a person who is willing to serve is an excellent leader because they are willing to make decisions that are in the best interest of others and not themselves. I learned this lesson in the work place as a young woman when I was waiting tables as Cracker Barrel. The best manager I've ever had was a man named George Brown. There wasn't anything that he would ask me to do that he wasn't willing to do himself. I respected him so much that I transferred stores two different times in order to work under him. He was a great manager because of his concern for everyone around him, employees and customers alike.

See, if we raise our sons to have hearts willing to serve, that won't make them doormats or pushovers as the world would have them to believe. No! The fruits of service are respect and admiration and love! A godly man with a a servant's heart will rightfully inherit a wife who trusts him to make the hard decisions because she knows that his intentions are not selfish, but his intentions are to do what is in the best interest of her. A man with a servant's heart will have children who respect him and accept his advice because they will know that he wants good things for them...and is not looking out for himself first. A father who has a servant's heart will be adored by his daughters because they know what it feels like to be the first priority in a man's life and so that is the standard that they will compare every relationship to.

And by first serving his family, he then inherits the God-given position of leader of his home. He will become the most respected, most loved, most adored person in the household. Not because he demanded it, but because he puts his family first and they all know it, and love and admire him for it. He will be their HERO...and isn't that what every little boy and every grown man wants, to be someone's hero?

My dad was this kind of man to his family and to this day he is my of them anyways.

My husband, Jeff, is my hero also. Everything he does everyday of his life, every drop of sweat from his brow, every ache and pain, every decision he makes is for the benefit of me and our kids. And because he serves us...he leads us.

But ultimately, my hero is Christ. He served me in such a way that no other person has ever done. Christ knew that in order for me to receive forgiveness that a sacrifice had to be made, and he willingly made it with his blood.

So because Christ served me...He leads me.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Day 1-The "O" Word

No people. I am not talking about octopus or origami or oral surgery or organism or Oprah. And neither I'm I referring to *that* word so get your minds out of the gutter!

I am talking about OBEDIENCE.

Now, I feel I must tell you up front that we don't have those kind of problems in my home. No ma'am, no way! I have 4 completely compliant, agreeable, and obedient children. Yes ma'am, I do! Not a behavior problem one under this roof, I swear on the tree outside that I hate and wish would come crashing down! So hope everything works out for ya in the obedience department, good luck, have a nice day.

OK...I lied. I mean I bold-faced lied. Obedience is a topic that gets discussed a lot in this house because we seem not to see very much of it! And I'm just going to assume for the sake of making me feel better that you have the same problem. If you don't, then humor me!

I once heard a very smart parent say that the way a person obeys his parents as a child is the same way he will obey God as a adult. I have to be honest, that's kind of a scary thought. But what I am figuring out is that teaching my kids obedience is less about asserting my authority over them and breaking their spirits until they become like little robots, and more about issues of the heart.

I want my kids to know that I am their biggest fan, I want all good things for them, I would never bring harm to them intentionally. I want them to know that God has crazy-amazing things in store for their lives and those things can only happen if they are obedient to Him. And I tell them all the time that the first step to obedience is to obey your parents.

Last week in Sunday School we learned about the Battle of Jericho. The city of Jericho had a HUGE wall all the way around it like a fort. It was 25 ft. tall and 20 ft. thick! Holy Cow...that was a big 'ol fort. The Israelite Army (God's people) were given specific instructions on how they were to overtake the city of Jericho, which was unpenitratable! Here were the ridiculous instructions:

Day 1: March silently one time around the walls of Jericho, then go back to your camp.
Day 2: March silently one time around the walls of Jericho, then go back to your camp.
Day 3: March silently one time around the walls of Jericho, then go back to your camp.
Day 4: March silently one time around the walls of Jericho, then go back to your camp.
Day 5: March silently one time around the walls of Jericho, then go back to your camp.
Day 6: March silently one time around the walls of Jericho, then go back to your camp.
Day 7: March six times around the walls of Jericho blowing your horns the entire time, then on
the seventh time blow your horns and shout to the Lord.

Then the walls collapsed and the army overtook the city of Jericho.

Ya know what I realized, nothing the Israelite army did had anything to do with the walls of Jericho collapsing. God could have taken down those walls anytime and anyway he chose. But he wanted to know that His people were going to obey Him, that no matter how ridiculous the instructions were, whether they understood the instructions or not, and no matter how many times He asked them to do the same thing over and over again...He wanted to know that they were going to obey Him. And because they did obey him to the letter...they got the privilege of seeing a mighty miracle happen that day. A miracle that only the Lord himself could perform! The walls of Jericho, 25 feet high and 20 feet thick could not keep God out!

I like to think that the walls imploded and not an Israelite was injured in the rubble. I like to think that it happened within the blink of an eye, I like to think that there were people using the bathroom inside Jericho who didn't even have time to pull their gowns down!

I want my little ones to witness miracles and wonders in their lifetime, but the bible makes it clear they must learn obedience to their parents first in order to experience the blessings that come through obedience to God.

I play this obedience game with my kids sometimes where I will ask them to do something totally silly and pointless. The other day JD was sitting in the front seat and I told him to take off his shoes and socks. And he did. Then I told him to roll down the window. And he did. Then I told him to stick his feet out the window. He hesitated and kept asking me why and I never answered his questions. Even though he was totally embarrassed to be driving down the road with his feet hanging out like a bunch of red-necks, he did it. And I told him I was really proud of him! But I want him to get to a point that he obeys quickly without hesitation or questions. Because that's how I want him to obey God. Now the obedience game has to come with some rules. Your kids have to know that you would never ask them to do anything illegal, immoral, or anything that would harm them or someone else. Those are YOUR rules that you must abide by and they have to trust you! But the rules that they have to abide by are that they MUST obey what they are told to do, quickly, joyfully, and without questions.

So go ahead, stick a goofy pair of sunglasses in your purse and tell your daughter to walk into a convenient store with them on. Or tell your preschooler to shout "yippee" in the middle of Walmart as loud as she can! Or have your son stick his feet out the's a game and it's all in good fun, but they will get the picture. You want them to obey you so that they can then learn to obey God.