Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Massachusetts. Prayer.

Elisha and I just got home from 5 days on the North Shore of Massachusetts.
We visited my good friends Dawn and Lisa. The coast is just beautiful, the trees blazing with color, and the company was wonderful! I thought I'd share a few of my pictures...

Massachsetts is a simply pleasant state. I was very impressed.

We went into Boston on our last day there. Such a beautiful city. These pictures are from the Boston Public Garden.

It was a great time, but I am so happy to be back with my hubby :). Longest time we've been apart since we've been married!


Next, I am going to beg all of you reading this who are praying people to pray for my best friend.

Pray for restoration in her marriage. Pray for strength and peace. And most of all, pray for protection from the evil one in every area of life. Pray for renewal.

We are begging God to move.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Till We're 99 1/2

Today was a breath of fresh air.

As fourth-graders, we were amazed to find our dads were owners of the same sort of business and we both had pet dogs named Maggie. As sixth-graders, we shared notes and giggles through every class and gave our "crushes" code names of sodas. As eighth-graders, we dealt with some deeper issues like disagreements and misunderstandings, came through it stronger, and promised to call each other up when we were 99 1/2 years old. Throughout high school we played tennis together, learned French together, studied at each others' houses, laughed through field trips, and no matter what, were just ourselves together. In twelfth grade, we looked reality in the face as it took the shape of a child and adoption- and what this meant for life. We looked back on memories made and hugged each other jubilantly at graduation. We did it! Best friends through school and an unspoken bond promising friendship for the future.

As 21-year-olds, we share a cup of coffee and talk about life- one as a mom and wife, the other as a college senior contemplating life careers. She is still so dear to me. A few hours with her makes me feel safe and secure, just because our friendship is.

This is my Leah K. Till we're 99 1/2.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Tae-bo, Chili and Cold Weather

My husband is a huge tae-bo fan. He has at least a dozen videos/DVDs of Billy Blanks himself, teaching and leading the martial arts/dance combo with high-octane music and energy.

One day this week when we both had woken up early and Elisha was still asleep, he convinved me to try one of the videos with him. I loved it! I continued onto Day 2 and today, Day 3, trying three different work-outs. It is intense. Close to the hardest workout I've ever done. But I enjoy it. I feel newly motivated to get back to my pre-baby self.

Yesterday the turn of the weather inspired me to throw together my Black Bean n Pumpkin Chili. I've already had one request for the recipe (shout out to Julie!), so I thought I would post it here :). It is a delicious body-warmer that will fill you up and delight your tastebuds!

Black Bean 'n' Pumpkin Chili Recipe
Photo by: Taste of Home

Prep: 20 min.
Cook: 4 hours

1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium sweet yellow pepper, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups chicken broth
2 cans (15 ounces each) black beans, rinsed and drained
2-1/2 cups cubed cooked turkey
1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
2 teaspoons chili powder
1-1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt

In a large skillet, saute the onion, yellow pepper and garlic in oil until tender. Transfer to a 5-qt. slow cooker; stir in the remaining ingredients.
Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours or until heated through. Yield: 10 servings (2-1/2 quarts).

This can also be prepared in just a regular pot instead of slow cooker if you are short on time. It will go together quickly and simmer wonderfully on the stove until you are ready to eat.


Today the temperature was a balmy 40 degrees. It's only October! When did winter decide it was time to move in? I much prefer the warmer weather.. or at least that of fall! We are learning to bundle Elisha up and make sure he stays warm. I'm excited for the holidays to come with him, though! Also, it looks like his cousin and aunt and uncle will be around this winter- they're moving home from Kansas City, Missouri. How great! We have missed them a lot- my brother-in-law and his wife.

Tonight is Mexican Lasagna with Chicken, Corn and Black Beans. I love cooking out of Taste of Home magazines~ endless inspiration and healthy and delicious meals.

Be blessed today!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Homemade bread is a special treat.

I've recently recovered my mom's bread machine from storage. With my already-inherent love for cooking, how exciting the possibilities are now before me with this new toy in my kitchen!

So far I've only made bread twice, but today's recipe was much better than the first! I'm not sure what made it fall in the center (anybody have any ideas?), but the first bite melted in my mouth, if bread can do that. (I believe homemade bread can).

Multigrain Bread Recipe

Serves/Makes: 1.5 lb. loaf

1 1/3 cup water
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups bread flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup rolled oats, toasted
3 tablespoons dry milk powder
3 tablespoons cornmeal
3 tablespoons toasted wheat germ
2 teaspoons active dry yeast


Place all ingredients in bread machine pan and process on basic or whole wheat cycle.

The flours in this recipe will vary in water absorption and so you may need to add more flour or water to get the right consistency. Let your machine knead for 5-6 minutes before adding any additional water or flour.


On another note, as the days get crisper and the leaves begin to turn color, I am realizing how fast my little boy is growing. He's learning so much every day! I am also savoring the moments I have with him while we are nursing. I don't think I am going to make it to a whole year, because my milk supply just does not seem sufficient to help him grow and gain accordingly. I have the goal set for myself to make it to six months- which is only a little over a month away! I'm already starting to dread not being able to feed him.. so I may stick it out a little longer. How I love those moments where we can cuddle and be so close~ and I can just adore and love on my beautiful baby boy. I think my love for him grows every day. God created this parenthood thing to be so beautifully rewarding. I am so thankful!

My hubby is at class again this evening, which makes for a long day at home! Tuesdays and Thursdays are my days off work, which also happen to be the weeknights that Tim has class. I try to get a lot accomplished, but often I have to be satisfied with what I do get done. Elisha is a full-time job :).

I feel so very blessed at this season in life. God is so good. I cannot praise Him enough. I will live to glorify my King.

Here are a few pictures of Mr. Cutestuff himself:

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Blessings from Above

I know five pregnant ladies. Four due in May, one in March. Amazing! Since being pregnant, I am just so intrigued and mesmerized by pregnant women. How incredibly strong they are! What a miracle it is that God has created our bodies to foster a human being's life!

I am visiting my grandparents with Elisha in Chambersburg today. I drove down Letterkenny Road for what may be one of the last times! They are planning to sell their home and move into a retirement community. So naturally, Grandma and Grandpa are sorting through the attic and basement and everything in between. Today at lunch, Grandma oh-so-casually brought up something she had for me that brought tears to my eyes.

"When your mother was in physical therapy at Cherry Tree in Hanover, they brought in crafts for the patients to paint. One of the times the project was a shelf, and after she painted it and brought it home, she said to me, 'I want you to give this to my first grandchild.'"

It was painted in the fall of 2000- two years before Mom went to be with the Lord. It is blue. Can you imagine? Can you imagine how blessed I feel by this gift from my mother- who knew to paint it blue for my son nine years before he was born because God placed it in her heart to do so?

Don't we serve an awesome God?

Here's another highlight from our day with Grandma :)