Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter

He is Risen! As I contemplated Christ's sacrifice for us over the last few days, I began to feel the familiar shame over my sins. Each year at Easter, I get very emotional about the sacrifice that Christ made for us and the part I play in his sufferings. Sometimes I am so sad and so ashamed, I have difficulty celebrating because of what Christ went through for us! In our church bulletin today there was a quote from St. Augustine which I wanted to share. I need to keep this in mind whenever I begin to feel those familiar pangs. Its ok to be sorry for our contribution to the cross, but we need to keep our hope in the Glory of Easter!

"The death of the Lord our God should not be a cause of shame for us; rather, it should be our greatest hope, our greatest glory. In taking upon Himself the death that He found in us, He most faithfully promised to give us life in Him, such as we cannot have of ourselves. He loved us so much that, sinless Himself, He suffered for us sinners the punishment we deserved for our sins. How then can He fail to give us the reward we deserve for our righteousness, for He is the source of righteousness? How can He, whose promises are true, fail to reward the saints when He bore the punishment of sinners, though without sin Himself? Brethren, let us then fearlessly acknowledge, and even openly proclaim, that Christ was crucified for us; let us confess it, not in fear but in joy, not in shame but in glory."

I'll leave you with a few pictures from the Easter egg hunt and our walk at the park this weekend :)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Where is Spring?

This cold weather seems interminable! I am still making soups, which I thought I would have been done with those a month ago! So, I'm posting a delicious soup recipe that I recently made for those chilly Spring days!

Chicken Tortilla Soup - serves 6ish

2 quarts chicken stock
2 cups cooked/cubed chicken
1 28oz can diced tomatoes
1 can black beans
1 diced yellow pepper
1 diced onion
3 cloves garlic -minced
1 T chili powder
1 t cumin
1 T oregano
black pepper
hot peppers if desired

Saute onions and garlic until onions are transparent, add yellow pepper and saute for a few minutes. Combine rest of ingredients and simmer for 10 minutes. Garnish with shredded cheese, crushed tortilla chips.

I love this recipe because I just use whatever I have on hand - easy to mix and match, its quick too! You can add cilantro, a jar of salsa, hot peppers or cayenne pepper to your desired heat, use avocado or sour cream as garnishes as well. :)


Monday, April 11, 2011

Busy Busy Busy!

So I know its been a long time. I've thought a lot about sitting down to write an update, but then suddenly its on the bottom of the list and it never happens. We have been busy keeping our house (semi)clean while its on the market. The basement has been finished, I am planning Andrea and Joe's engagement party, we went out of town to Chicago last weekend, etc! Needless to say, this update is going to be all over the place.

So, first of all, the house: It has been on the market for about 5 weeks now. We have had 2 showings. The feedback for the first was very positive, they just wished we had carpet down in the basement. However, they have to sell their house first before they buy. The other showing has not given any feed back yet, but they had just come this past Wednesday. The bad news is, another house went on the market in our neighborhood, so that makes 5 others right by us that are for sale. We'll see. If it doesn't sell, we are ok with that. We would love to have a large yard so that the kids could go out an play, but it isn't a requirement, and we could be quite happy here for a while!

Andrea and Joe's engagement party is coming along. It is scheduled for May 1st. I finally got the invites out. We are having it at a coffee shop in downtown Grand Rapids. It should be really cute! I have been getting a lot of help from my mom and my sisters, thank goodness. This party planning business is a lot of work! :)

Now onto what you really want to hear about: Brogan! He has 3 teeth right now, 1 is coming through as I write this, and 1 more is just sitting there waiting to come in. He is balancing by himself, can walk with 1 hand assistance and every once in awhile will try to take a step. He can crawl up and down the stairs with one of us standing there. About 7 weeks ago he got his first official haircut and he definitely needs another one!

It has been amazing to watch him grow. I can't believe in less than 2 months he'll be a year old. He is now understanding some words and following a few simple commands. His favorite is when I tell him to "shake the ball!" and he'll do it! :) I hope to get some more pictures as the weather continues to improve and I will post them here. Have a great day!