Thursday, November 29, 2012

Playing Chicken

This yummy chicken strip recipe is taken from Parenting magazine issue 270 (Dec/Jan 2013).  There are eight recipes total, but tonight I tried the All-American recipe.

Ingredients for All-American Chicken Strips:
Chicken breasts cut into strips (or chicken tenders would work)

Egg lightly beaten
Bread Crumbs
Chopped cooked bacon
Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Dipping Sauce (they recommended blue cheese dressing, but I'm doing ranch or BBQ sauce)

1.  Cook bacon; preheat oven to 400*
2. Cut chicken into strips
3. Spray pan (didn't mention this but I did it for easier clean up)
4. Beat egg; dip chicken in egg then cover with flour, place in pan
5. Cover chicken: bread crumbs, chopped bacon, and shredded cheese
6. Bake at 400 for 20 mins. (or until chicken is done)

*I served with leftover Alfredo pasta (from Cheesecake Factory) and fresh cooked broccoli, but obviously do whatever you want. :)

Things that change with a baby....

Two months of changes:
  • Use alarm clock to check length of feedings and not to wake you up.
  • Prepare to have outings take "that much" longer.
  • Lean over to cuddle with hubby and realize he has already left for work.
  • (added later) Husbands call their wives Mommy, and Husbands are called Daddy
  • Touch cold zipper and think you have spit up on you.
  • More poop, more smiles.

  • Perspectives change: dirty diapers a good thing because it means a healthy baby

  • Realizing the amount of junk you eat, because it goes to the baby also
  • Clothes are hardly ever clean and once you get the chance to do a load--she wets or blowouts on more!
  • You get delighted to hear a burp, especially when it finally comes out after one of those middle of the night feedings.
  • Your free-time becomes getting another snack or meal, changing a load of laundry, taking a shower, or updating your grocery list and meal plan.
  • Watching TV/Netflix, checking up on Facebook, or watching a movie takes the place of human interaction or adult conversation.
  • You start using baby language with your spouse.
  • The love of you child, the excitement of how she is growing forces you to: take numerous photos, want someone to see it it to, and thankful when your spouse is home to see it too. :)
  • The dirty dishes piled up are not chores necessarily.  They are accomplishments.  They show you were able to take the time to cook that day.

after hubby washed dishes back when I was pregnant
so not really work with this statement,
but pics help make posts more fun
  • A new game: see how well you can throw a dirty diaper and have it get close to the garbage can you were aiming at.
  • An evening book you used to read before bed is now covered with diapers, wipes, kleenex, and water for those midnight feedings.
  • Not necessarily for all parents but at least for us: bedtime becomes around 10-midnight.  However we go to bed sooner.  The parents are ready to rest before the baby.  Surprise!  The baby is a night owl.  Must have gotten the hint even while inside Mommy!
In her bassinet next to Mommy in bed

We love you Ellie.  We are so thankful for the many blessings and changes you have brought into our lives.  Some day it will be fun to look back at this list.

one month

8 weeks

Monday, November 19, 2012

In Awe of My Savior

Remember this post?  Well, Jon and I had a wonderful weekend of hanging out together after being apart for four days.  It was nice to catch up and I know he appreciated company at the apartment.  On Sunday we attended our church here in Cedar Rapids.

When we got there Ellie was content and I was thinking she would probably fall asleep during the service.  However it was too close to her next "feeding time" so she was set on eating before falling back asleep, so I had to miss out on the worship part of the service.  Bummer.  Our church always does one song at the end of the service, so I was looking forward to it.

After a wonderful sermon we were led in the last song of the service.  And with tears held in my eyes I lifted my hands to praise my Savior.  Because after that longing of wanting to worship my King that morning, we were led in a song that was so dear to my heart this week.

As I sang these words, I thanked my Lord.  He led me in a song that I needed.  He knew if I were to have one song that morning to bring praise and worship to him-  it was that one.  The one song I wrote a blog post about!  The one song that led me in praise already before during this time of my life.

And as my selfish self sat there holding my Ellie, I had to stand and lift my hands up in praise.  My God loves me, even when I'm selfish.  Even when I want things my way.  Our God IS the healer.  Through all my wants and needs.  He still shows me He loves me.  And someday I can thank Him for His grace and tell my daughter all about it.

Water You turned into wine
Open the eyes of the blind
There's no one like You
None like You
Into the darkness You shining
Out of the ashes we rise
There's no one like You
None like You

Our God is greater, our God is stronger
God You are higher than any other
Our God is Healer, awesome and power
Our God, Our God... 

Into the darkness you shining
Out of the ashes we Rise
There's no One like You
None like You.

Our God is greater, our God is stronger
God You are higher than any other
Our God is Healer, awesome and power
Our God, Our God... 
Our God is greater, our God is stronger
God You are higher than any other
Our God is Healer, awesome and power
Our God, Our God... 
[ Lyrics from: ]
And if Our God is for us, then who could ever stop us
And if our God is with us, then what can stand against?
And if Our God is for us, then who could ever stop us
And if our God is with us, then what can stand against?
What can stand against?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

New Blog Title

Why did I change my blog title?

Well the best way to explain is to go back to when I first started my blog.

Jon and I just got married.  I wanted to blog about our life.  We were about an hour away from family and friends.  I figured people might want to know how our newlywed life was going.

Believe me.  I still feel like we are newlyweds (in a good way).  I still get excited when Jon comes home from work.  I delight in the fact he wants to be with me where ever he goes.  Some times he calls me when he has to work Friday afternoons to see if I could just come and give him company! :)  I love him to pieces.

Aside from the blog being helpful for friends and family to check up on our life, I also thought hoped Jon would give his input and make a few blog posts of his own!  Who was I kidding?  My hubby loves receiving encouraging notes from me, but when it comes to him writing....he would rather sleep, eat, or do anything but that!  So "Kaisand Korner" was more of "Mary's thoughts and opinions on how married life was going."  It didn't really fit.

So, for the last couple weeks I've been trying to think of a new name.  Something unique but not lengthy.  While at church on Sunday we sang Amazing Grace/My Chains are Gone.  The lyrics are so moving.  And they totally fit with my thoughts and testimony...and my walk with God.

"Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)"

Amazing grace
How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now I'm found
Was blind, but now I see
'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear
And grace my fears relieved
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed
My chains are gone
I've been set free
My God, my Savior has ransomed me
And like a flood His mercy rains
Unending love, Amazing grace

The Lord has promised good to me
His word my hope secures
He will my shield and portion be
As long as life endures

My chains are gone
I've been set free
My God, my Savior has ransomed me
And like a flood His mercy rains
Unending love, Amazing grace

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow
The sun forbear to shine
But God, Who called me here below
Will be forever mine
Will be forever mine
You are forever mine

Aww, I could sing that song FOREVER.  It really is good.  We are set free thanks to our Savior!  His mercy rains....never ending.  Hallelujah!
And that's where I came upon the new blog name.
Set Free
Because the things holding me far away from Jesus and His love has been broken.  I am set free.  
It's catchy, don't you think?

His amazing love has set me free.  Set all of us free.  And that's why I am able to blog.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Our God is Healer

my mind wonders constantly.  you cant be diagnosed with it or anything.  how can you really know for sure.  i had a teacher study me pretty deeply, and after a couple years she sat my parents and I down (i was an adult at the time) and said "i cant know for sure but i think mary has ADD."

really?  that makes a lot of sense really.

i dont organize sermon notes very well but i do fill them out...otherwise i will forget what the pastor said.  obviously not intentionally.  i always thought i was just totally stupid.  that one student in the class that forgot everything the teacher said.  why was it coming so easy to everyone else?  why did everyone get better grades than me and i know i had studied a lot longer and harder than them.  something must be wrong with me...or i am seriously stupid.  my brain cant handle that much info apparently.  tests are AWFUL.  no matter what i do i would struggle.

that teacher that helped "diagnose" me helped me so much with stuff.  that "class" completely changed my life.  she gave me the encouragement i needed to succeed.  she showed me different ways of doing things.  i was able to memorize nine sentences in a row with out help.  i was capable of drawing a figure "8" on the chalk board stating the direction while she gave me multiple step equations, and i solved them.  sometimes i gave her the answer before she knew what it was.  she smiled and said you know more than you think.

maybe sometimes it was just me thinking i was stupid and incapable.  maybe i just needed someone to tell me 'you can do this.'  even though i had some in the past tell me i was okay i never was encouraged and showed how i was capable.  i never saw the solution.  i never solved anything before some one else.  playing around the world in school trying to "beat" the other classmate was a nightmare for me.  but now, now i think i might beat them a couple times.

i was stupid because i allowed myself to dwell in it.  i felt crushed because i couldnt face anyone about it.  i pleaded for God to help me.  i asked him why he had allowed this to happen to me.  why would he want someone to suffer in stupidity?

He wants me to suffer to allow His healing hands to magnify.  He wants my life to reflect His glory.  He wants my injured heart to rejoice in His perfection.  He wanted me to plea for His mercy and salvation.  He wanted me to see my need for His grace.  He wanted me to know for sure that I was worth nothing with out Him.

our God is the healer.  everlasting perfection.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Ellie::One Month

Everything from me passing out three times to middle of night feedings to lots of diapers to blow outs to the first baby is a month old now.  I'm actually okay with that.  Thought it might be hard dealing with her getting older, however she hasn't "grown" a whole lot and I feel a tons better compared to her first week.  I can actually enjoy her more now that I'm not dealing with the aftermath of bringing her into this crazy world.

We love her to death.  She gave us her first smile so BOTH of us could see it.  :)  
It's been a blessing to watch my husband become a father and see how much he adores her.

And how much she adores him. :)

But there are just a few things you don't like little one.

1. Getting your clothes changed.

2. Sometimes you are not a fan of getting a bath, but I think that's because you feel cold.  You like being warm and swaddled.

first bath at home

first bath at home with new bath tub from Grandma!

first bath at Grandma and Grandpa's house

3. If you wake up from a good long nap, you cry until you get a good chance to know you are with your Mommy.  You just want to eat!

4. You fall asleep really well, but sometimes you fight it for some reason.  And usually the pacifier does the trick.  Daddy and I call it the snooze bar in the morning. :)

5. Getting buckled in your car seat...not so fun.  However once the car gets moving you do just fine.  You usually fall asleep or stay wide-eyed in the car.

*I'm having a hard time coming up with things you don't like.  You are so adorable and you are such a good baby.  Only five things a newborn doesn't like and that's all is pretty amazing!  You don't have colic and you go with the flow pretty much.  

You have a family that loves you to pieces.

only 9 days old!
We love you so much!!