Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thankfulness

I love my husband so much!  It has been hard this past week to see him so overly stressed with finishing up this semester in school.  He has a LOT of group projects, papers to write, and exams to focus on.  His boss also told him he has plenty to do there, and to "make sure you kissed your wife good because you may not be seeing her for awhile."  If you think about it, would you mind lifting him up in prayer?

Thank you so much!  If you haven't gotten a chance yet, check out our pictures from Thanksgiving week on facebook.  It was a fun week with friends, family, and extended! :)

Jon and I are really thankful.....
-God and His unfailing love and faithfulness
-God allowing us to be saved and know Him personally
-God's provision: in our marriage and lives around us
-His Word
-Family: their help, love, and support
-Friends: their accountability and time
-Marriage: commitment and relationship
-Provision: God always provides us with our needs
-Answers to prayer
-The blessings God has poured out on us

We are hoping everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and was able to spend time with family and friends!!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Encouragement for all Eve's

*Note: Jon was totally honest with me with this subject.  He is a wonderful husband!  And I thank him for his honesty!  I also want you to know that I had no idea where I was taking this post when I first starting writing it out. :)

Last week I was reading books to help me become a better wife.  Now, I'm not saying you have to read books to become a better wife.  I was just reading them to learn more about Jon (men in general), so I can be able to understand where Jon is coming from as a man.  While reading these books, it constantly reminded me of all the different things that make men who they are, so while reading I asked Jon to see where he fit in all the different categories.  
Obviously, one of the sections was about how guys are visual people.  I talked about it with Jon to get a better understanding of what it meant for him.  It got me thinking though, how did man get this visual side to them?  Was it given to them from the beginning or after the fall of man?  Was it at one point not a sinful act or thought?  

So of course I went to the beginning for my search.  I dropped my literature and went straight to the Truth!

"Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground."  
So God created man in his own image, 
in the image of God he created him; 
male and female he created them.  

God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.  Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground."  Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it.  They will be yours for food.  And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground--everything that has the breath of life in it--I give every green plant for food."  And it was so......Now the LORD God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed.  And the LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground--trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food.....

(After Adam names all the animals.)

"But for Adam no suitable helper was found.  So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man's ribs and closed up the place with flesh.  Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.  
The man said, 
"This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; 
she shall be called woman for she was taken out of man."

For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.  The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame."
Genesis  1:26-2:25 (skipping a few parts)


I thought it was interesting how God mentions that everything in the garden was good and it was pleasing to the eye.  When God creates a woman, Adam (the man) is sleeping.  So when he wakes up he sees a woman.  Visually, guys can only imagine what Adam saw that day! :)  Can you imagine what Eve looked like that day?  The first woman ever created, and sinless.  They were both naked and felt no shame.  But I also thought it was interesting how Scripture mentions they became man and wife, and then it mentioning them being naked.  They were naked that whole time, but they didn't become "one flesh" until AFTER becoming man and wife.
God shows us a great example from the very beginning.

I don't know about you, but I know I have made many mistakes in my past, and even today!
There were probably days I wore something that wasn't God-honoring.  I know there are days where I'm acting like Eve when she took the fruit from the forbidden tree (Genesis 2:15, 3:6).  Or days where I'm not honoring my husband the way I should.  But this is an encouragement to all you ladies out there.  Scripture says that after the fall God took man OUT of that wonderful, perfect garden.  But God doesn't plan on keeping us here.  Someday He will come.  On that day I can't wait to see my Father!  The one who loves me enough even after all I have done and all the things I'll do until then.

I know I can rest knowing I am in peace, in Him.



Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Yummy, Chicken Parmesan

While sitting here eating my craving for this week (BBQ chips), I've decided to share with all of you my latest favorite recipe!  My hubby ate it and it filled him up where he didn't have to eat another helping!!!  Yeah for leftovers!! :)
I love this dish, because you can really change it up with different side dishes to go along with it.  If you have any other ideas, let me know!
Oh, by the way, I know you heard that I had a craving.  Just to keep things clear...I'm not expecting a little Kaisand anytime soon!

I got this yummy recipe from a Des Moines magazine that I found at my parent's house.

Ingredients:
1/4 c Italian seasoning and dry bread crumbs (mixed together)
1/4 c Grated Parmesan Cheese
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
(I only had three, but I cut them up to about the size of a chicken finger.)
1/4 c Mayo
1/2 c Traditional pasta sauce
1/2 c Shredded Mozzarella Cheese (I didn't measure this out.  I just took small handfuls to layer the chicken.)

Directions:
1. Combine bread and crumbs mixture with Parmesan cheese in a dish.
2. Put chicken in a baking pan and preheat the oven to 425*
3. Coat mayo on chicken.  (The recipe said to put the chicken in a ziploc bag to coat the chicken with the mayo, but I like to do it cheap style.  I just took a spoon and coated the tops of the chicken with mayo.)
4. Put on crumb mixture. (I just layered it on the top of the chicken.  It tasted just fine, plus it was faster.)
5. Bake for 20 minutes (make sure chicken is cooked).
6. Evenly top chicken with pasta sauce, then mozzarella cheese
7. Bake additional 3 minutes or so (until cheese is done).

I put chicken on top of noodles and pasta sauce.  I also served it with green beans and hash browns.
They say you can serve it with noodles or rice.  Jon and I are more pasta people.
It was really yummy!!!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

WANTED: Deep Connections

How do you find deep relationships with people you are just starting to meet?

The reason I bring this subject up is because while living in Ames, Jon and I are working on becoming plugged in.  It has become pretty difficult really.  It's hard to meet new people in a group setting.  We try to be real with them, but sometimes it takes a LOT of work just to be yourself.  Why does that have to be?
Why do some people make it so uncomfortable to be yourself?  Or why can't everyone get loose and enjoy each other's company?  What are some things you can do to "relax the heated room" and not feel the odd one out?

Jon and I have come up with some ideas.  Let me know if you can think of any other ideas, or have suggestions of your own.
1. Get together not for a certain reason all the time.  Get together to just socialize, play games, etc.  It helps keep things less stiff.
2. Encourage people to open up.  Open up yourself.  Be vulnerable.
3. If it's a larger group of people split off to smaller groups.
4. For awhile, try to sit next to the same person.  Each week motivate yourself to get to know him/her.
5. Find the person/few people you most relate with.
6. In the bigger group setting, try to be close to your spouse (if it is necessary).  Your spouse will always back you up. :)
7. Pray before going.  Pray as a couple.
8. Pray all week about it during your quiet time with God.
9. Think of a few things to talk about before going.
10. Know that no matter what, God loves you and your spouse does too! :)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Oh wow--October!

Can't believe it's already November.  But I love this time of year....wearing sweat shirts, colorful leaves, yummy food, and family gatherings for the holidays!  It's the beginning of a new month, so it's time to update everyone on how the last month went for us!  It was a busy month filled with everything on the weekends!


The first weekend was so nice.  Jon and I went to Johnston to stay at my parent's house for the weekend.  Saturday morning we celebrated Evelyn's 2nd birthday.  That evening Jon and I left for Josh & Leah's wedding.  It was so nice to visit with people we haven't seen for awhile.  It was a beautiful, God-honoring wedding!  On Sunday we went to my childhood church in Altoona for a reunion.  After the reunion, we went to a coffee shop to play games with some of my friends.  I don't get to seem them too often!  That night Jon went back to Ames, while I stayed in Johnston.  
Britney turned 19 on Monday, October 4th.  She didn't know that she was also going to be getting engaged.  It was fun to see how surprised she was, and I'm so happy for her!  I remember those joyful, giddy days! :)  That night I spent the night at her house just like old times.  It was nice to have some girl time!  Tuesday mom took me back to Ames and helped me pick out some pictures at Hobby Lobby to hang up on our white, boring walls.  


                                           Taken before going to Josh & Leah's Wedding


                                             The new, engaged couple!! :)


I can't remember what was going on, but Jon and I went back to Johnston the following weekend.  Saturday we went on our first date night as a married couple!!  We went to Ruby Tuesday's for dinner and then out to Gray's Lake.  Neither of us has gotten the chance to enjoy it out there yet, so it was fun to do it together!  The bridge was beautiful at night.  On Sunday we drove back in time to our Ames small group, because I was in charge of bringing treats.  It was an interesting night, something I can post about at a later time.


                                              My sweet, funny husband.  Notice the sign.


                                        God gave us a beautiful sunset to enjoy.


                                            I just love the colors on the bridge!


The next weekend we went back to Johnston, because it was my grandma's birthday and Britney was going shopping for her wedding dress!  Saturday we went to a couple shops and she had me help her with her photography assignment.  (By the way, she picked one!  It definitely has Britney written all over it!)  Sunday, after church, we went to back to my parent's house.  We enjoyed the company of the Ulrickson's and Mariam and Asri.  During the kid's nap time we played some games and had a wonderful time filled with much laughter! :)  Before dinner time, we went to go see my grandma.  We ate dinner with her, and Jon and I helped entertain the kids.  She was really happy to see everyone!  She also enjoyed holding baby Frank, her great grandson.

                                            The Family, minus Liz and her clan

Wednesday's I'm starting to go down to Ankeny and help Melissa out.  October 20th was my first time going "officially."  It was cute to see Sam (5 yr old) play with Max (2 yr old) football for an hour.  They would take turns running around the house and kicking the football, while the other one waited holding the football up in place for the kicker.

    Here is Sam showing Max how to hold the football so he can come to kick it.


The next weekend we went to the annual Harvest Party down in Essex, Iowa!  Jon's friend's from college (Crown in Minnesota) get together every year to hang out and play games.  It was a lot of fun!  It was wonderful to get to know his friends.  We played football and telepictionary.  
Sunday we drove back in time for me to make it to my sister in law's (Elizabeth Flug) baby shower at JEFC.


The last weekend in October we came down to make it to our friend, Ryan Wilson's birthday party.  Sunday we went to JEFC church service, and then went to lunch with family and friends at Texas Roadhouse.  Yumm!  Back at my parent's house Jon and I helped my parents go through their storage space.  I had a lot of things to go through!  I need to become better at just giving things away.  Too many memories attached to items!  During the sorting my dad and Jon took a break to work on Jon's accounting homework.  He had an accounting test on Tuesday, November 2nd.  So he really wanted to make sure he understood the material.  


That was our "Oh wow--October!"  Filled with lots of fun!!! :)
Looking forward to Thanksgiving!!!  We have so many things to be thankful for this year!
Blessings,
The Kaisands