Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Grilled Pork Nachos with Jalapeño Watermelon read that right!  Watermelon on nachos! 
This isn't just any watermelon though.
This is jalapeño spiced watermelon!

This creation started out as Grilled Pork Tacos from the summer 2019 edition of Magnolia Journal.  I mean anything from Magnolia has to good, right?!

And boy were they good!  The *easy* overnight marinade gives the pork great Asian flavor and grilling the meat gives it the classic summer twist I'm looking for this time of year.  But then top it with the spiced watermelon and I'm talking about *magic in your mouth*!

Here's how to make it:


1 cup teriyaki sauce
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 1- to 11/2-lb. pork tenderloin
2 cups shredded red cabbage
1/2 cup red onion slivers
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 cups chopped watermelon
1 fresh jalapeño chile pepper, seeded and finely chopped (be sure to wash hands well after handling)
2 to 4 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
Salt and pepper
8 5- or 6-inch corn tortillas, warmed
   or tortilla chips and shredded Mexican cheese for nachos


Combine teriyaki sauce, brown sugar, and garlic in a large resealable plastic bag.  Add pork tenderloin; seal bag.  Turn bag to coat pork with marinade.  Place in a shallow dish.  Marinate in the refrigerator overnight.

Prepare grill for indirect heat.  Place pork on grill rack over indirect medium-high heat.  Grill, covered, about 40 minutes or until 145°F.  Remove from grill.  Cover and let rest 5 minutes.  Cut meat into bite-size strips or cubes.

Toss together cabbage, onion, and vinegar in a medium bowl.  In another bowl, toss together watermelon, jalapeño, cilantro, and salt and pepper to taste.

Tacos: Fill tortillas with pork, cabbage mixture, and watermelon relish.


Nachos: Spread tortilla chips on plate, sprinkle with Mexican cheese and pieces of pork.  Microwave for 1 minute.  Then top with Homemade Black Bean and Corn Salsa (recipe coming), cabbage mixture, and watermelon relish.

These are amazing the day of and even better the day after!

Enjoy :)

Friday, March 1, 2019


The reality of life is it's not always sunshine and rainbows.  Life is just not perfect this side of Heaven.

One year ago today, my husband lost his father and I lost a best friend.

He was content.  He was simple.  He was caring.  He loved to watch and talk about sports.  He would visit us from Montana twice a year for two weeks at a time.  He would tag-along wherever I went simply to be involved in our lives.  He would nap when the boys napped.  He would sneak candy and real Coke when he thought no one was looking.  When he was away, he would call regularly just to check in.  He was slow which caused me slow down...

His favorite restaurants remind me of him.  His favorite foods remind me of him.  His favorite sports teams remind me of him.  And, as funny as it may be, making my bed reminds me of him. If he did it every day, surely I can too! #goals

Scars of Testimony

Later last year, we lost our dog, Unkas, as well.  We all worked through the emotions of these two holes in our lives.  I remember thinking "What will God do with these empty place of loss?"  Recently, it came to me...He will heal the wound with His love leaving a scar of hope that I can hold on to, remember, and share.  Hope of refreshing, replenishing, reviving, and renewing.  If He did it for me once, He will be faithful to do it again and again.

In remembering his father this week, my husband wrote this:

"Thursday will be one year since I was waiting on Kyle to start the member guest and I got the call from my brother, what a difficult time - without Colby being there with me, I would not have made it through those first couple days.  But now, I wanted to give praise to God.  It’s as if God said a week after Unkas died, “Son, I love you! You have mourned and hurt enough believe what you said you believed when you accepted me as your savior, I am your comforter, I will protect you and heaven is perfect and your dad and your dog are here enjoying themselves, they miss you and someday when is time you will be with them here!

God has delivered me for now from the pain of mourning.  He has also delivered me from other things He knew weren't good in my life and through His Spirit, he has softened a heart that used to be so hard only Colby and CJ were allowed.

Thank you God for your Grace, I don’t deserve your blessings but accept them with open arms."

I'm reminded of the song, Overcome by Jeremy Camp referencing Revelation 12:11.  It says, "We will overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony, everyone overcome."  Share the words of your testimony, show the scars from your wounds.  You never know who it may help.  Don't let the pain you went through be wasted.  Use it to help someone else as Christ helps us figure out this life we have here on earth.

See you on the other side, Richard!

Grandpa and CJ

Grandpa and Colby

Grandpa and Noah

Grandpa and Cooper

For instance, we know that when these bodies of ours are taken down like tents and folded away, they will be replaced by resurrection bodies in heaven—God-made, not handmade—and we’ll never have to relocate our “tents” again. Sometimes we can hardly wait to move—and so we cry out in frustration. Compared to what’s coming, living conditions around here seem like a stopover in an unfurnished shack, and we’re tired of it! We’ve been given a glimpse of the real thing, our true home, our resurrection bodies! The Spirit of God whets our appetite by giving us a taste of what’s ahead. He puts a little of heaven in our hearts so that we’ll never settle for less.
2 Corinthians 5:1-5 (MSG)

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (NIV)

Sunday, February 17, 2019


A couple weeks ago after receiving an abnormal skin biopsy, I went back to the dermatologist to have the surrounding area removed to ensure "it" was all gone.  I knew I was getting stitches that day but didn't realize the care and discomfort it would cause me.  Having a bandage on sensitive skin for two weeks was not fun.  I was so excited to have the stitches removed on Valentine's Day just in time for a few fun nights out with my love and friends.  We also squeezed in a day at Hollywood Studios with the boys.  Maybe the roller coasters were not such a great idea...

You can imagine my dread and discouragement when I felt something *pop* in the middle of the night.  Yep, the wound had opened.  I {cringe} as I type this and literally almost passed out from nausea when I surveyed the raw wound in the daylight.  (I'll spare you the gory details.)  I was so <mad>.  After calling the doctor, I sort of reeled in the disappointment all day until the Lord revealed something to me that evening.

During a time of worship, He said...

Man tries to heal wounds with temporary fixes such as "stitches".  But God allows open wounds so He can lay His seeds on fresh soil and heal the wounds His way.  "Trust My ways," He said.  The opening of a wound makes us nauseous and uneasy so we must trust in Him to support and sustain us.  Open wounds make us uncomfortable so we take comfort in Him.  When I don't want to or can't get up, He holds me up and comforts me in rest.  We have to look at our wounds and not turn away, so when He heals us, we remember where we were before.  And when He has healed us, we can reflect back and look how far He has brought us.

He allows our scars so that they can be testimonies to others of what He has done.
"Don't hide them," He said.  "Show them.  Talk about them.  Talk about Me."

So, I ask myself and let me ask you, too...

What wounds do I need to let Him open and heal His way?  What scars of mine have a story, a testimony, of Him to be told?  How could those testimonies help others?

By allowing Him to touch our wounds, we can be healed.

the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by His wounds we are healed.
Isaiah 53:5b

"He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross,
so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness;
by his wounds you have been healed.
1 Peter 2:24

PS - Wear sunscreen! ;)

Sunday, December 9, 2018

God's Right Hand Man

My boys love to watch Bibleman.  I had never heard of this animated series until Noah's K4 teacher gifted him a DVD for Christmas last year.  My little superheros love watching Bibleman and his friends fight evil with God's Word.  I think the truths are sinking in because the other day Cooper (3) was playing and randomly came up to me in the kitchen and said "mom, I need you to sell me your birthright".  He must have remembered it from hearing the story of Jacob and Esau! haha

One day, I overheard the show quoting Isaiah 41:10...

So do not fear, for I am with you;
    do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

The words "my righteous right hand" kept ringing over and over in my head.  I thought to myself Jesus is seated at the right hand of God the Father.  I couldn't let that thought go so I decided to dive a little deeper and here is what I found...

Jesus was...

John 1:1-5, 9-14
The Word Became Flesh
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God — children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

~ Jesus was with God in the beginning.

~ Jesus came down and made his dwelling among us.

Isaiah 48:13a
My own hand laid the foundations of the earth,
    and my right hand spread out the heavens;

~ Jesus spread out the heavens.

Jesus is...

Exodus 15:6
Your right hand, Lord,
    was majestic in power.
Your right hand, Lord,
    shattered the enemy.

~ Jesus is powerful and victorious!

Psalm 17:7
Show me the wonders of your great love,
    you who save by your right hand
    those who take refuge in you from their foes.

~ Jesus saves!

Psalm 18:35
You make your saving help my shield,
    and your right hand sustains me;
    your help has made me great.

~ Jesus sustains!

Psalm 16:11
You make known to me the path of life;
    you will fill me with joy in your presence,
    with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

~ Jesus fills us with eternal pleasures!

Psalm 63:8
My soul clings to you;
    your right hand upholds me.

~ Jesus upholds those who cling to Him!

Psalm 110:1 & Acts 2:34
For David did not ascend to heaven, and yet he said,
“‘The Lord (God) said to my Lord (Jesus):
    “Sit at my right hand...

Romans 8:34
Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.

Hebrews 1:3

The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.

~ Jesus is seated at God's right hand.

In closing, this is my prayer from Ephesians 1:17-23 for anyone who reads this post.

I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.  I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.

Jesus was, is, and will forever be
God's right hand man!

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

The Hiding Place

Can I just tell you a little about this book and how I stumbled across it?

This year in BSF we studied the book of Romans which is a letter from Paul to the Romans about righteousness (and for me love).  He explains the depth of our human unrighteousness and the astounding love God has for ALL people.  Out of this great love, God graciously gifts righteousness through Jesus Christ to all who believe.  Through His righteousness alone is the only way.  We cannot do anything to earn righteousness (or right-standing with God) on our own.  The righteousness He bestows upon us is simply a gift given for truly believing in who Jesus is and what He did on the cross.  It is given to anyone who calls on His name.

John 3:16                Romans 10:9

One of the homework questions took me back to my favorite quote...

“This is what the past is for! Every experience God gives us, every person He puts in our lives is the perfect preparation for the future that only He can see.”

Now, I've never known who said it, who wrote it, or where it even came from.  I can't even tell you when I first found the quote or where I was in my life at the time but I knew it impacted me somewhere deep within and wanted to remember it.  Nor did I ever research the answer to those questions until recently.   All these years later, answering a question on my BSF homework, led me to find out.

It was written by Corrie ten Boom in her book, The Hiding Place.
(thank you, Google! 😉)

Well, now I had to buy this book and find time to read it.

Not only was I captivated by Corrie's story of how God was in every detail, how Jesus impacted her family and those she met, and how the Holy Spirit led her family every step of the way but I also highlighted several more quotes to hold on to.  I've listed them below so I can refer back to them easily.  Maybe they hold significance for you, too.  I'd love to hear from you if they do.


"That was Father's secret:  not that he overlooked the differences in people; that he didn't know they were there."

"Childhood scenes rushed back at me out of the night, strangely close and urgent.  Today I know that such memories are the key not to the past, but to the future.  I know that the experiences of our lives, when we let God use them, become the mysterious and perfect preparation for the work He will give us to do."

"Father sat down on the edge of the narrow bed.  'Corrie,' he began gently, 'when you and I go to Amsterdam - when do I give you your ticket?'  I sniffed a few times, considering this.  'Why, just before we get on the train.'  'Exactly.  And our wise Father in heaven knows when we're going to need things, too.  Don't run out ahead of Him, Corrie.  When the time comes that some of us will have to die, you will look into your heart and find the strength you need - just in time."

"...yearning to say something, to heal something.  Wanting to love her better."

"Happiness isn't something that depends on our surroundings, Corrie.  It's something we make inside ourselves."

"Dear Jesus, I thank You that we must come with empty hands.  I thank You that You have done all - all - on the cross, and that all we need in life or death is to be sure of this."

"Perhaps only when human effort had done its best and failed, would God's power alone be free to work."

"The Bible lay at home on its shelf, but much of it was stored in his heart."

"And so I discovered that it is not on our forgiveness any more than on our goodness that the world's healing hinges, but on His.  When He tells us to love our enemies, He gives, along with the command, the love itself."

I mean WOW...I have nothing left to say.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Insights from a Kid's Meal

Chick-fil-A, you have done it again.  Wow'd me with the surprise in my 2 year old's kid's meal.  Today's 4-count nugget meal with fries and a white milk included Curious George Discovers the Stars.  A perfect pre-nap read which would end up impacting me way more than I had imagined.

*excuse me while I sneak back into my son's room to get the book so I can share some things with you!*

*whew, he stayed asleep!*

So, the book starts off with George in the country stargazing and trying to figure out how many stars were in the sky.  Obviously, he realizes this is a big undertaking and won't be able to finish counting all the stars before his nights in the country come to an end.  He decides he will have to continue his efforts when he returns to the city.  However, when he tries to look for the stars at night in the city from the rooftop, he couldn't see any stars at all.  The man says to him, "It's tough to count stars in the big, bright city...It's like trying to count stars during the daytime.  They're up there, but we can't see them."  George is distraught until the power in the city goes out.  George looks up and because the city was dark with all the electrical lights were out, he could see the sky full of stars again!

He determines the number of stars and calls them each by name. Psalm 147:4

Here is where it me...this was an awesome reminder that when God's gifts get brighter than He is in our life, we loose sight of His true, natural light around us.  It's a caution to me not to put more emphasis on the gift than Gift-Giver.

When we have the things of this world in their right place in our hearts and minds, we can see how bright He can be in our life.  Maybe some of the things around us on which we have turned up the brightness need to be dimmed in order to see Him more clearly.

But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul. Deuteronomy 4:29

What in your life is shining brighter than He is causing you to miss Him in the midst of His gifts?

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

St. Patrick's Day Muffins

I found this recipe in a magazine around Halloween and was reminded of the bright green color as we celebrate St. Patrick's Day.  I made them back in October but didn't get a chance to post them so here they make their debut!

Not only do they match the color of the holiday, but I consider them healthy using a banana for some sweetness and half whole wheat instead of all white flour.  Can you guess where the green color comes from?

Nope, it's not food coloring or anything artificial...


Don't tell your kids and they'll never know! ;)

Here is how to make them:

St. Patrick's Day Muffins

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 cup canola oil
3/4 cup milk
6 oz (6 cups packed) fresh baby spinach
1 large banana
2 teaspoons vanilla

Heat oven to 350 degrees and coat 16 muffin cups with cooking spray.  In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.  In a blender, puree the oil, milk, and spinach until smooth, then blend in banana and vanilla.  Fold the liquid mixture into the dry ingredients.  Fill each prepared muffin cup 2/3 full.  Bake muffins until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 15-18 minutes.

May the Lord bless you
and keep you;
May He make His face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
May the Lord turn His face toward you
and give you peace.
Numbers 6:24-26
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