Chicken Taco Casserole

Today I'm taking the lazy way out with my Monday recipe. I'm sending y'all over to Six Sisters' Stuff for a delicious dish I made this past week. The whole family ate this dinner up and we enjoyed the leftovers for lunch the next day! I'm sure you will enjoy it, too!


Jonah 3-4

I'm joining the lovely ladies of SheReadsTruth as we finish out Jonah this week.

People are beautiful.

Through different means lately, the Lord has been opening my eyes to the beauty and uniqueness of people. And that all people are made in His image.

Living in such a sin sick world, filled with great evil and atrocities, it has become easy for me to see the negative and ugliness in (some) people. Even become callused to them. Callused to their need for Jesus.

After studying Jonah 3-4, it's pretty safe to say that Jonah was callused to the Ninevites. They were some of the most awful people in the world and why on earth would God show mercy and grace to them?! It just didn't make sense!

It doesn't appear that Jonah's heart ever changed toward the people of Ninevah, either. Sure, he obeyed God and gave the message God wanted him to give to the Ninevites. But then he camped outside the city, waiting, in pride and anger, for God to cast down His judgement on the people of Ninevah.

How often do we do we mimick the mindset Jonah had toward the Ninevites?! We see the evil of others, the sin in their life, and see no reason God should ever bestow His grace and mercy to them. Living life as a Christian, it can be easy to fall into complacency, legalism & a judgmental attitude. But that is NOT what Jesus brings to the world!

Jesus brings love, hope, freedom! And as His child, it is my job (just like it was Jonah's job) to point people to Jesus, not point out their faults. Because let's face it, I have a mess of imperfections I need to work on long before I call anybody else out.

So, who can I love like Jesus today? Who can you love like Jesus today?

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Thankful Thursday Week 13

Welcome back for another week of Thankful Thursday with my lovely co-hosts Katie, Mia & Carly! We hope you'll join in with us this week as we focus on gratitude in the big and small!

{Thursday, March 20} It was the first day of Spring and it was sunny and warm outside! While the kids played outside, I looked through a new magazine.

{Friday, March 21} We headed out on our first family camping trip!

{Saturday, March 22} I don't think I took a single picture this day! We made it home from our camping trip, completely exhausted, so spent the afternoon recouping before heading to my parents for a fun family dinner with aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents!

{Sunday, March 23} We went out with Mia and Dustin for a fun date night. As you know by now, they are moving to the beach, so these date nights are even more precious to us!

{Monday, March 24} This cutie lost his second bottom tooth! And then, at our family dinner, Papa paid him $1 to tickle his feet for 5 minutes. Gross and a ripoff is what I say! Collin obviously thought otherwise. :)

{Tuesday, March 25} We snuggled up for a family movie night watching Frozen (along with the rest of America, I'm sure) Can you find my movie watching spot?

 {Wednesday, March 26} I love her little voice and the songs she sings all.the.time.

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Sweet & Sour Chicken

I threw out the teaser last week that I'd have an incredible recipe for you this week...and the time has come! If you follow me on Pinterest, you may have seen this pinned a few weeks ago. It's Sweet & Sour Chicken and it.is.delicious! Robert took one bite and seriously said "This is better than P.F. Changs!". Now, I don't know if I would say that, but it was so, so good. You need to make it this week and let me know what you think!

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Don't forget to enter the Lilly Pulitzer giveaway! Time is almost up!


Jonah 1 & 2

Happy Friday! I'm joining the wonderful SheReadsTruth community again this week to discuss Jonah 1-2

Jonah 1 opens and gets right to the point. Jonah ran from God. God specifically commanded Jonah to do something, but Jonah didn't want to do it, so He literally ran as far away from God as possible. {We do that, too, don't we? If we don't like something God tells us, we brush it off as something He didn't really say or something we misinterpretted. But, deep in our hearts, we know that isn't true.}

As I studied Jonah 1: 3, 6, I saw Jonah on a ship, in the midst of a horrible storm, running from God. And yet, the sailors came to him, hoping His God would have some kind of answer to their problem. They were looking for a savior to save them from the storm. What they didn't realize was that Jonah could point them to the Savior of their lives.

Seeing the interaction between Jonah and the captain of the ship reminded me that people, believers and non-believers, are always watching us, weighing our actions to see if we are living what we say we believe. As children of God, 2 Corinthians 5:17 says "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold the new has come."

This made me stop and ask myself do others see Jesus in me? In my actions? Even when life doesn't make sense and/or I do not want to obey God's command. Am I giving Him control over my life and allowing Him to make me new? 

Sometimes, like Jonah, I don't obey God. And just like God did to Jonah{Jonah 2:3}, He disciplines me.  But, as children of God, when we are disciplined by God, it is because He loves us so very much. Similar to the love a parent has for their child when they have to discipline them for a particular action.

Maybe, like Jonah, you are running from God. Or you have run from God, but you don't want to run anymore. Yet, you feel so far from Him. Jonah 2:7 reminds us that although we may forget Him, He never forgets us. Psalm 139:17,18 says "How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you." He wants nothing more than for us to be reconciled to Him. Let's stop running from Him and instead run to Him. He's ready and waiting with open arms!


Thankful Thursday Week 12

Happy Thursday! We had an awesome turn out last week for Thankful Thursday...THANK YOU! Katie, Mia, Carly & I hope you'll join us this week, too!

{Thursday, March 13} Collin was trained in canoe safety at swim class and he was the captain of the canoe. Pretty exciting stuff! :)

{Friday, March 14} Another exciting day for Collin...his first t-ball practice! He did good and it was fun watching him on a team. I'm looking forward to his season!

{Saturday, March 15} I took my sweet neighbor to lunch at a cute tea house in town. She had a ball! And I did, too! When I dropped her off at home, she told me how nice it was to go out somewhere with someone. :) This was a delicious piece of Italian Cream Cake I ate.

{Sunday, March 16} I have no pictures from this day because it was a gross, cold, rainy day outside. So after church & lunch, I snuggled up in bed with Emma and took a nice afternoon nap. It was awesome!

{Monday, March 17} Dancing with the Stars premiered!! And I was able to convince Robert to watch it with me after the kiddos were in bed. :) Go, Candace, go!!

{Tuesday, March 18} Tuesday brought the kickoff of a giveaway I'm co-hosting with some lovely bloggers. I just love the blogging community and am thankful for be a part of it!

{Wednesday, March 19} This past weekend I got a new iPad and I'm loving it! You may remember this has been on my wishlist for awhile and it finally happened. Eek! :)

There's a quick look into some of the things I'm thankful for this week. I'd love t see what you're thankful for, too!

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Lilly Pulitzer giveaway!!!

I am SO excited to be partnering with Maegen at The Modern Tulip, along with some other fabulous ladies (some I know, some I don't yet know but look forward to knowing!), to offer you a Lilly Pulitzer giveaway valued over $150! Check out the details below on what you can win, how to enter & go show all the ladies involved in the giveaway some love! I hope you win!! :)

These goodies, valued at over $150, could be in your beach bag this Summer! Simply enter the rafflecopter below. Obviously the more you enter, the better your chances. And don't forget to come back and "tweet" each day to rack up in entries :) 

And show some love to the ladies who made this giveaway possible! Each of these woman have a beautiful heart and wanted to share in giving you the best of the best!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Monday ramblings

It's been a weekend filled with computer frustrations, so I don't have my normal Monday post ready to go. (Actually, my weekend was really good, there were just computer frustrations, too) But come back next week for an incredible dish I made recently that the whole family scarfed down. Robert even told me it was better than a very popular restaurant! (Have I intrigued you yet?!)

You'll want to stop by tomorrow, too, to find out how you can enter a Lilly Pulitzer giveaway I'm co-hosting with some other fabulous ladies!

Do y'all watch Dancing with the Stars? It premiers tonight & I'm so excited!! I'm definitely cheering for DJ (Candace Cameron Bure), followed closely by Winnie Cooper (Danica McKellar). Remember when I won a trip to see Dancing with the Stars in LA?! Read about it herehereherehere & here!

Finally, you know how much I love the SheReadsTruth community, so I'll leave you with the verse of the week to simmer on & mull over. I've loved connecting with you & digging into the Word each Friday! Thank you for all the support, love & kind words y'all have given me on that each week!

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Psalm 38

I'm so excited to be linking up with the wonderful SheReadsTruth community for this week's SheSharesTruth. We're focusing on Psalm 38, so lets dig right in.



As I studied this passage, I came across 7 truths I thought might challenge us and encourage us.

{one} Sin isolates us from God (v 1,2,3)  God is perfect. That is a word we use lightly in today's culture. The 'perfect haircut'. The 'perfect job'. The 'perfect house'. The 'perfect spouse'. But if you consider the meaning of the word perfect, being entirely without fault or defect, we quickly understand that only God can completely embrace that truth. Because He is perfect, He can have no part of sin. When we sin, we isolate ourselves from God.

{two} Sin weighs us down (v 4-8) The burden of sin is heavy! It weighs down our minds and even weighs down our bodies. We may be able to hide our sins from others, but in the quiet of the night, our sin screams at us and weigh us down.

{three} Sin isolates us from others (v 11) There is a misconception in the world that our sin only affects us. But any of us who have watched loved ones walk down the wrong path, or if we ourselves have walked down the wrong path, we know for certain our sin and our choices greatly affect others. Often leading to isolation.

{four} The world hates us (v 12, 16, 19, 20) As followers of Christ, we are enemies with the world. Not in the sense that we shouldn't love, share the gospel with and disciple those in the world who turn to Christ. But for this time, Satan rules the world and we are at war with him, thus making us hated by those in the world who are not following Christ.

{five} He never leaves us (v 9,15,21) Even when we turn away from God, sin against Him, He never leaves us. If He feels far away, He's not the one who has moved.

{six} Confession restores our relationship with Him (v 18) God desires relationship with us, intimate personal relationship with us. And He is faithful to forgive our sins when we confess them and turn to Him. He welcomes us with open arms back into relationship with Him.

{seven} He will fight our battles (v 13,14, 22) Because Jesus died on the cross and rose from the grave three days later, He has victory over all!! And the battles we face each day, as children of God, are His to fight and claim victory over.

What are your thoughts on the passage?

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Thankful Thursday Week 11

It's Thursday and time for another installment of Thankful Thurday! My co-hosts Mia @ MakeMeUpMia, Katie @ Katie Elizabeth, Carly @ Carly Blogs Here & I hope you'll grab the image below and link up with us as you share what you're thankful for this week!

{Thursday, March 6} A long time ago I told you how enthralled Collin and Emma are by the song He's Alive sung by David Phelps. Well, he actually came to a local church and we were able to go to the concert. Although he didn't sing that song, we thoroughly enjoyed the concert. His voice is ah-mazing!

{Friday, March 7} Neighbor came for a visit...always thankful for that! :)
I'm also thankful my hubby and friends get along so well. They took this jewel while I took a little potty break. {You take my phone, I share your pic. Lesson learned. :)}

{Saturday, March 8} Robert and I enjoyed a date night in after the kids went to bed watching Gravity.

{Sunday, March 9} I have no idea why I didn't take a picture this day, but we enjoyed playing outside in the afternoon. It was a beautiful day, cool, but beautiful!

{Monday, March 10} It was perfect outside!! We played outside of the whole day! I'm so excited for spring and summer days just like this!

{Tuesday, March 11} I'm so thankful for this sweet bear of Collin's. He's had it since he was 4 months old and sleeps with it every night. Honestly, I hope he never outgrows it. :)

{Wednesday, March 12} I was so tired yesterday, so during nap time I laid down too and finished Sparkly Green Earrings. {I'll post about how much I loved this book another time.} Collin was so sweet! He rested with me and as I laid down and closed my eyes, he went and got his blanket, covered me up & sat next to me reading his books while I rested. Such a sweetie!

There's a recap of what I'm thankful for this week! I'd love to see what you're thankful for...link up with us below.

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Women's Study Bible

I recently had the chance to check out a new Study Bible for women (thank you B&H Publishing!)...and give two of my girlfriends their own copy!

I love that there are Bible apps available that enable us to carry the Bible with us anywhere, but there is something so intimate about sitting down with the Word of God actually in your hands, with pages to turn. I will never, ever give up my Bible in lieu of an app. (That being said, I do frequently use my Bible app. I'm not anti Bible apps.:))

A good study Bible is crucial for me when I sit down to study His Word. I enjoy digging deeper into the Word and love the ability to cross reference Scripture. I wanted to share with you some of the things I really enjoyed about the new Study Bible for Women, in case you're wanting to purchase a study Bible.

The Bible itself was beautiful, with a rich sky blue & burgundy leather on the outside.

Once you open the pages, you find it full of great study tools, written by women, for women!

One thing I love to learn about is the context of when a book was written, who wrote the book, the time period it was written in, etc. I love the way this Bible displays a timeline at the introduction of each book. It also provides answers to great introduction questions and an outline of the book.

While you don't have to have a study Bible to dig deeper into the Word, I have found it to be incredibly beneficial in my walk with the Lord. If you are on the hunt for a good study Bible, I think this could be the perfect fit for you!

Thank you B&H Publishing for allowing me to bless two of my girlfriends with their own copy of The Study Bible for Women!

*I was given two copies of the new Study Bible for Women to review and giveaway. However, my opinions of the Bible are my own.

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Slow cooker Cabbage Rolls

My mom made a delish dish on a cold night last week that I loved so much I just had to share with y'all. Technically, I didn't make it, but it was too good not to share! We paired it with some yummy Rhode's rolls.

Slow Cooker Cabbage Rolls
1 large head cabbage
1 can tomato sauce (8oz)
3/4 cup minute rice
1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
1/2 cup crushed saltines (about 15 crackers)
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 ounce onion soup mix
1 1/2 pounds lean ground meat
1 can V8 juice (48 oz)
Salt, to taste
Grated Parmesan cheese, optional
1. Cook cabbage in boiling water just until leaves fall off head. Set aside 12 large leaves for rolls; drain well. (refrigerate remaining cabbage for another use) Cut out the thick vein from the bottom of each reserved leaf, making a V-shaped cut; set aside
2. In a large bowl, combine the tomato sauce, rice, bell pepper, cracker crumbs, eggs & soup mix. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well.
3. Place about 1/3 cup meat mixture on each cabbage leaf; overlap cut ends of leaf. Fold in sides, beginning with the cut end. Roll up completely to enclose filling. Secure toothpicks if desired.
4. Put cabbage rolls in a slow cooker. Pour V8 juice over rolls. Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours. Just before serving, sprinkle with salt and cheese, if desired.
I hope you enjoy them as much as we did!
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Psalm 130-Wait for Him

I am so excited to join the She Reads Truth community every Friday during Lent as we gather together, study specific Scriptures each week and share what the Lord is teaching us! I hope you'll join in too!!

Wait. Waiting. It's not something we're too accustomed to in our culture. We want the biggest, the best and we want it right now

But there is tremendous value in waiting. It teaches us patience. It teaches us self-control and self-discipline. It teaches us to live in the moment.
Psalm 130: 5-6 says "I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning."
Often times, we find ourselves waiting in His presence when life is hard, when things don't make sense, when we're ‘watching for the morning’. The nights, dry spells, wearisome seasons can be so very long. We may be struggling financially, relationally, to have children, to have a spouse, to have friends. Our long nights and trying seasons can look very different from each other’s. But, we have the same promise.   Morning always comes. The Lord always comes.


There is sweet refreshment and strengthening when we sit before the Lord, waiting. He longs for us to wait in His presence. Linger...just a little longer with Him in His word, in His presence. Patiently listen to His voice. Letting His promises and His word sink deep into our soul until we are convinced we have no other hope than Him.

Whatever your burden is today, whatever your night looks like, causing you to long for morning, lean close into Him. Wait with Him. Wait for Him. Sit in His presence and let Him speak to you today. Let Him love you. Let Him show you His faithfulness. Let Him redeem you and your cares to Him. He will not let you down!
What are your thoughts on the passage? Do you find it difficult to wait on Him?

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Thankful Thursday Week 10

The weeks are just flying by! Time for another installment of Thankful Thursday. Are y'all enjoying these posts? I know I tend to be grateful for the same things, so I apologize for being so repetitive, but this mindset really is helping me maintain an attitude of gratitude during the mundane tasks. :)

I so hope you'll join my co-hosts Katie, Mia, Carly and I this week as we give thanks in everything!

{Thursday, February 27} Collin had his first teeth cleaning. He did great and walked away with no cavities! Yay!

{Friday, February 28} This girl cracks me up! She wanted to take pictures after she woke up from her nap. This is what we got.

{Saturday, March 1} I enjoyed a great morning with the girls celebrating Angela's birthday! We devoured a delicious brunch, then enjoyed a manicure.

{Sunday, March 2} Ridiculous winter weather couldn't stop me from spending time in the Word.
{Monday, March 3} This little turkey got ahold of my phone and started snapping pics of himself. Love finding those little surprises.

{Tuesday, March 4} If you follow me on Instagram, you saw that we have a new tent...in my living room...with the couch moved out. (Don't worry, all is now back in order. :)) I'm really looking forward to creating family memories with this crazy tent...outside, of course.

{Wednesday, March 5} I was gifted a Starbucks card and I'm putting it to good use.

There's a recap of my week and some of the things I'm grateful for this week. I hope you'll link up with us and share what you're thankful for, too!

**One quick thing, if you've been around here for very long, you know I enjoy linking up on Fridays for Five on Friday posts. During the Lent season, however, I'll be joining with She Reads Truth every Friday and sharing on select passages of Scripture, sharing what the Lord is teaching me, sharing from my heart. I'm excited to dig into the Word and share with you and hope you'll dig in, too, and talk with me about the passage. Tomorrow will be Psalm 130, so if you have a minute, read through it and come back tomorrow and share your thoughts with me.

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Leibster Award

Sweet Bailley @ Lew Party of 2 nominated me for the Leibster Award. Back in December I was tagged for the Sunshine Award, which is pretty similar to this award. I'll be cheating and using some of the same things. :) 

In this award, you'll find 11 random facts about myself, 11 questions from Bailley & 11 questions for the blogs I tag. Here we go!

{11 random facts}

1. Hair grosses me out. Not all hair. Specifically if you're staying at a hotel and find hair in the shower...or your bed. Totally, completely grosses me out and I cannot relax the rest of the time I'm there. Weird, I know.

2. I broke my middle finger swinging from a rope swing into the Rio Grande river with Robert...and I didn't even cry. I was trying my best to be tough and impress him. If that happened today, no doubt I'd cry.

3. I had an emergency appendectomy when I was 12 years old...followed by another major surgery 2 weeks later. The Drs said it was a miracle I lived.

4. I have to sleep with a sound machine on ocean waves. Can't sleep without it. I even travel with it.

5. I have only lived without a dog during the years I was at college.

6. I graduated college in 3 years with my degree in Psychology.

7. Vacuuming is oddly relaxing for me.

8. I LOVE coffee. That's probably not a random, unknown fact about me. But if I'm feeling stressed, just enjoying a cup of coffee helps me relax.

9. I only have one sibling, a younger brother.

10. I received my one & only(to date, at least) speeding ticket ON my 17th birthday. Yeah, the cop was NOT so nice. Who gives you a ticket ON your birthday?! LAME!

11. I'm a sucker for Hallmark movies. Yes, the cheesy, predictable Hallmark movies.

{11 questions for me}

1. What is your favorite TV series?
Right now, it's Parenthood! I LOVE that show.

2. Where did you go on your honeymoon?
We went to Playa del Carmen, Mexico. That's my absolute favorite vacation thus far in our life together.

3. What is your favorite blog post you've written?
Last June Robert and I celebrate 7 years of marriage. I wrote a post on some of the things I've learned during those 7 years of marriage.

4. What food could you not live without?
Does coffee count as a food?! It's the one thing I have EVERY day. If it doesn't count, probably chocolate.

5. Fill in the blank: I am most happy when...
My hubby and kids are happy and I'm able to sit down for a minute and just soak up time with them.

6. What is your perfect date night?
Hmm, good question. There isn't one thing, per say, that would make a perfect date night. Being with my hubby, completely focused on each other, is the perfect date night for me.

7. What is a beauty product you cannot live without?
Mascara. Without it, I always look tired and my eyes don't stand out. With it, I look awake and alert...even if I'm not. :)

8. What is your favorite memory from growing up?
Daddy-daughter dates. There is one in particular, it may have been our first one actually, that stands out. It was just my dad and I for a few hours. We had lunch at McDonald's and then went to a local store and he let me pick out a new outfit. I felt like such a princess having my daddy's undivided attention that day and being spoiled like I was. (He's still an awesome daddy and spoils me every chance he gets. :))

9. What is one blog you check daily?
Erin at Blue Eyed Bride. There are lots of others I check daily, too.

10. Beach or the Mountains?
I'm a beach girl, hands down! However, since being with my hubby, I have come to greatly appreciate the beauty of the mountains.

11. What movie did you last see? Your thoughts?
I had a chance to see Son of God before it was released. I really enjoyed it. It left me wanting to dig into the Word and deepen my relationship with Him all the more.

{11 questions from me}
1. What do you love about blogging?
2. What does a typical day look like for you?
3. Do you have any "guilty pleasure" TV shows?
4. If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
5. What's the most important thing I should know about you?
6. What's one place you have to visit in your lifetime?
7. Do you have any summer vacation destinations you visit yearly?
8. Do you prefer the ocean or mountains?
9. What's your favorite flower?
10. If you could do anything without fear of failure, what would it be?
11. Do you get up early or stay up late?

I nominate:
Jessi @ Jessi's Design
Taylor @ Tattered to Taylored
Veronica @ Vero Says
Carly @ Carly Blogs Here
Carrington @ Momma Fussell
Erin @ Bells Will Be Ringing
Holly @ Everyday Boldness

Thanks for reading along! I look forward to learning more about you! :)

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