Breaded Pork Chops Recipe

Friday, May 29, 2009

I have gathered quite a few quick and easy recipes over the years, so I thought I'd start sharing them. Tonight we had breaded pork chops. These chops are so crispy and brown on the outside, but juicy and tender on the inside. Very tasty! They're great with any kind of side (we tend to have a boxed noodle mix and a green salad with it). These are a hit with Matt, who asks for them quite often. It definitely can be doubled or halved to suit your family's needs.

Breaded Pork Chops

boneless pork chops
seasoned bread crumbs
grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whip up needed eggs and milk in one bowl (2 tbs. of milk per egg). In another bowl, mix together bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Dip pork chops in the egg, making sure to cover the entire surface. Dip into bread crumbs/cheese mixture, covering completely. Place into baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes, flip them over, and then bake for another 30 minutes. Cook until juices run clear.

Next time we have these, I'll try and remember to take a photo of it to add to this post. :)

Working Things Out

I hate to use this blog as a venting post, but it seems to work for me for the time being. I just need to get some things off my chest.

It's no secret that I've been dealing with depression. I have for a long time. I'm usually fine, for the most part, but once in awhile I'll have a "freak-out" - kind of like what I had the other night. I let my thoughts and feelings over-run me and it gets me into trouble. It's really starting to effect all aspects of my life - my marriage, my parenting, and my Walk. Matt, who's seen me at my worst, helped put it in a Biblical light last night as we were getting ready to fall asleep.

(To my brothers and sisters - if I'm wrong on something, please let me know.) The heart is the root of all sin (Jeremiah 17:9). You can commit murder in your heart (Matthew 21-22) and commit adultery in your heart (Matthew 27-28), therefore anything that comes from the heart that isn't of the Holy Spirit is evil. We shouldn't rely on feelings and emotions because they come from our wicked, sinful hearts. Instead, we should keep our minds captive to God and His Word (2 Corinthians 10:5) so we don't give the Devil a chance to try and throw us from the path of righteousness (Ephesians 4:27). I'm allowing myself to be thrown from the path by letting my mind wander in the heart's territory. I rely too heavily on my emotions, which only bring doubt and condemnation to my life. Therefore, I am sinning.

Why am I telling you all this? My thoughts and feelings torment me and can send me into a violent downward spiral. I very rarely have peace. I need your prayers and I need to be held accountable so I can make the needed changes. I'm tired of being unhappy. I'm tired of shoving the crazy back deep inside, hoping and praying that it won't rear it's ugly head again anytime soon. Please pray for me as I deal with with this sin so it stops running my life and ruining my relationships. I'm really struggling with this and I can't go it alone. I just want to be a good wife, mother, and Servant.

What's Wrong With Me???

Thursday, May 28, 2009

It's late and I can't sleep. My thoughts are whirling around in my head so much that it's making me anxious. All I can think about is all the STUFF I need to do or agreed to do and I'm close to hyperventilating. Bible studies that are near impossible because of Robby's sleep schedule, outreach for VBS that I have no clue what I'm doing - even though I've been told over and over again, photos for Family Camp and VBS that I may not have a camera for because I still need to send it in to get fixed and might not be fixed in time, affording and pushing the dying car to make it to Family Camp, the thought of teaching young one's for Children's Church is frightening, and I'm just...worn. And I feel so alone. I get myself into these situations before I realize what I've done and then I either do a horrible job or I let people down. I need to learn to just say no and mind my own.

Excuse my venting. I just want some peace so I can sleep. My brain is going a million miles an hour and I just want it to stop so I can have some solace. What's wrong with me? Why do I do this to myself? What does God want from me?

I am so very tired of the chaos that goes on in my head.

[Edit] I apologize for this post. I get stupid when I'm tired.

Sesame Street Time

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

You don't disturb him when his show is on.

Dad & Kathy's Visit

Monday, May 25, 2009

I love it when my folks visit us! I'm always a little iffy about it beforehand - usually because we usually end up seeing them RIGHT after we get back from vacations, but it's always worth the time we have with them every time they're here. Boy do they love their grandson!

They came in to town on last Thursday night and we "talked" them into staying an extra day and leaving on Sunday morning. We mostly just sat around, talked, and watched Robby (as I was stuck here without a vehicle and there wasn't enough space in their truck for Robby and I), but we also introduced them to the Wii, which was a lot of fun! They really enjoyed bowling with us, especially. Aside from going out to eat at various restaurants (Cafe Rio in Twin is over-rated and over-priced, by the way), we also got the chance to take Robby swimming for the first time at the pool at their hotel - twice! The first night, he wasn't too sure about the whole thing, but the second night, he was kicking and splashing and having a blast! On the last night, we played our usual game of Man Bites Dog - a definite favorite with them - and then had to say goodbye.

It's always sad to see them go, but we always have a really great time with them while they're here. They're the only family that truly accept us for us and respect us as parents, so it's always refreshing to not have the stress of trying to appear perfect. I really hope they come to visit us again soon, but luckily, we're going to try our best to make it up to visit them in October. Should be interesting with a 1-year-old son and a 1-month-old nephew in the house!

Ten Months Old

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Robby the ten month old. I can't believe we're only two months away from his first birthday. He's looking less and less like a baby and more and more like a little boy. He's full of affection and energy and loves nothing more than to explore the world with you. He's a super fast crawler and has even started cruising a bit. He eats anything and everything, despite his two tiny teeth, he doesn't require or want pureed food anymore. His favorites are (real) oatmeal, bananas, cubed chicken, yogurt, and meatballs. He doesn't really like any jarred baby food anymore, but really likes anything I've cooked for us. And although I know I'm not supposed to allow it until he's a year, he's an ice cream-eating fool. The more, the merrier! The only side effects he has are sugar rushes and crashes after. He just wants to go everywhere and see everything! He's so much fun!

Oh, and I could of swore he said "duck" when we were on vacation at Mom and Dad's. Mom bought him a set of rubber ducks, so I told him, "These are ducks. Duck." At first, he just said, "duh duh", but then after I repeated it again, he said "duh ck duck". Take it for what it is.

Update: Rental Car

Sunday, May 17, 2009

We returned the rental car without any issues, thankfully. The girl was very nice and understanding about the whole situation. She informed us that all their damaged cars are sent to Boise for corporate to evaluate. She also told us that more often than not, if the damage is minimal (as it is in this situation), they usually just let it slide and just fix the issue themselves. If the car was not drivable or totaled, we would have a problem. So, we should be hearing from them in a week or so if we'll have to pay for repairs. Otherwise, we won't hear from them at all. Cher raised a very good point when I called and updated her - we're their customers and they probably want to keep it that way, so we might have that weight behind us in this situation. We did everything right, we weren't at fault, and were very honest about it all. It's not a guarantee, but here's praying! Please be praying also!

Home Again, Home Again

We got home last night around 9:30pm and boy were we pooped! The trip home seemed to take much longer, partially because we kept getting lost or side-tracked with stops. By the time we got lost for the third time, we all had a meltdown. It was ugly. Finally, we got back on track and things settled down. We just wanted to go home! When we finally did get home, we pretty much all crashed. Much to Matt and I's dismay, despite going to bed late, Robby still decided to wake us at 6:30am. I wanted to cry I was so tired. I got up and fed Robby his cereal, but then Matt was nice enough to stay up with him and let me sleep a little more. I ended up sleeping until 10:30am! Now I just feel dazed. Robby's a mess; I think he misses everyone's attention. Needless to say, we didn't make it to church this morning. I'm dreading tomorrow, as it will be back to life as usual for us. Matt will have to go back to work and so will I. We're thankful for the time we got to spend with family, though, and the time we got to spend away from home and life in general. I just hate transitioning into it, again!

I can't believe I forgot - probably because Dad was reading over my shoulder as I wrapped up the last post! While we were with the family, Nate, my oldest brother-in-law, was waiting on a call from Lockheed Martin concerning an internship. On Friday morning, he finally got the call (since Mom and Dad let him stay home to be with us). He got it! He got the internship! When he gets to college, Lockheed will pay him $13/hr. every summer and will have a job opportunity open to him when he graduates! Talk about a chance of a lifetime! We're so, so proud of him!

Well, it's back to the usual routine, unfortunately. Luckily, the week will be broken up by Dad and Kathy visiting on Wednesday or Thursday. Should be fun! We haven't seen them since last October, so I'm sure they'll be thrilled to see the changes in Robby over the months. Boy has he changed since then! Oh, and I'll make sure to update on the car. We haven't returned it as of yet, but I'll post the results of the incident as soon as I can. Here's praying.

Here's some photos of our trip of everyone:

Also, please view my Flickr Photostream for more:

Denver Trip: Days 5-8

Friday, May 15, 2009

Day 5 was uneventful, too, but Matt, Robby, and I went and "kidnapped" Nate from school (when he was done) and took him out for Orange Julius as a treat. Other that, we sat around and did nothing.

Day 6, however, we spent the day at the Denver Zoo. It's been a really long time since I was at a decent sized zoo, so I was actually really looking forward to it! We stayed there for quite awhile, looking at all the animals and snapping a total of 290 photos along the way. We stopped for lunch at the cars mid-day and then continued on until it was time to go pick up Nate and Sarah from school. Upon arriving back to our cars, exhausted, we were shocked to discover that someone had backed into our rental car and took off without so much as an apology or anything. Thankfully, I still had my camera strapped around my neck, so I took photos to use as evidence as Matt and everyone tried to figure out what to do. Unfortunately, the incident happened on private property and the police wouldn't of been able to do anything about it. When we got back to Mom and Dad's we called our insurance company to report it, only to find that our insurance wasn't going to cover any of the damages and we would have to foot the bill. I'm trying to remain faithful and trust that God's Glory will be shone through this situation and that He will be merciful and provide the funds needed to pay for the repairs. Here's praying.

Today, Nate and Sarah took the day off from school and we went to our favorite store, The Wizard's Chest. I ended up talking Dad into buying Imaginiff, a fun board game we have at home. I thought it would be a good game for the family to play before we have to leave tomorrow. Yeah, we leave tomorrow. It stinks, but it had to end sometime, you know. It's been a pretty good visit and we look forward to our next visit with everyone. My next post will be from "wonderful" Twinky Falls. Yay.

[Edit] Imaginiff was a big hit!

Denver Trip: Day 4

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Day 4 was fairly uneventful. We ate breakfast with the family, let Robby take his morning nap, and then Matt, Robby, and I all went out just to get out of the house for a bit. We ended up going to a really neat children's second-hand store called Kid to Kid, where we found Robby a pair of really cute sandals and an Elmo DVD. After wandering around the store for awhile, we continued our tradition of going out to lunch to our favorite Colorado restaurant, Chipotle. Mmm. I really wish we had one of those back home! After that, we went to a nice area that contained Aurora's library, city center, police station, and museum to do some shutterbugging. We spent quite awhile there, letting Robby enjoy the view from his stroller and playing in the grass while we took photos. After that, we took a quick trip to Target for a few things and then came home.

That evening after dinner, we started up a game of Man Bites Dog, a hilarious card game where you have to make up headlines. It's always a huge hit with whoever we play with and we've played with Matt's folks before, but Grandma Jeanne had never played before. Let's just say it got increasingly louder and wilder as the game progressed. The game reached it's pinnacle when Dad laid down his hand that read "Dog Dumps Again" - crude toilet humor, but the laughter that ensued carried on for a good 15-20 minutes until we were almost in tears. The funniest part was just how amused Dad was over his own play - his face was bright purple! I really hope we get to play again, soon!

Today has been good so far. We're going to try and go to the park to let all the kids play and then go and pick up poor Nate, who's been stuck doing a ridiculous amount of homework while we've been here, so we can spend a little time alone with him. He deserves our undivided attention. Until tomorrow!

Denver Trip: Day 2 & 3

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Okay, so I missed a day, but really it wasn't that exciting and probably would have been summed up in only a couple of sentences. Sunday was spent sitting around, mostly. Matt, Robby, and I took a quick trip to Target to get a few things, including a couple of frames for Mother's Day gifts. Mom really liked her gift and they were nice enough to get me a few things as well (two picture frames and a cookbook). Other than that, we just sat around and talked.

Monday, we spent most of the morning helping Mom get the house put together in preparation for Grandma Jeanne. Poor Mom was stressing pretty bad, so Matt and I were trying our best to help her clean and keep the kids in check. Luckily, when Grandma showed up, things calmed down a bit. Grandma Jeanne is a real character! She's wild and fun, yet completely down to earth. She's one of the most interesting people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. Robby loves her, too. He thinks she's very entertaining. I love it when Robby gets to meet new family. It's incredibly special.

I'm not sure what's in store for today, but I think Matt, Robby, and I are going to find a park to hang out and shutterbug at sometime today. Other than that, we're just sitting around and talking...again. Oh well. Better than being in Twin Falls, right? Until then...

Denver Trip: Day 1

Sunday, May 10, 2009

So, I thought I'd do this a little differently this time, since I have a decent working laptop and internet access this time - a day-by-day, blow-by-blow account of our vacation! You're excited. I can tell.

Day one. Well, the day prior to day one (day zero?) we picked up our rental car. We almost weren't able to go on this trip because of a little mix up with the rental! They didn't explain to us and we didn't know that we needed an actual credit card to rent a vehicle and we have is a debit card. I was forced to call my mama, who's saved me more times than I'd care to admit. She was more than willing to help us out and we were able to get our car. Oh, our car! It's beautiful! I know it's nothing special to anyone else, but to us - wow! They handed us the keys to an '08 Chevy Impala and when we set eyes upon this thing, we were floored. We were almost embarrassed about how flashy it was and were tempted to go ask for something else. I know you're probably thinking, "It's just an Impala, Jenn..." but compared to the heap of junk we have to drive, this thing might as well be a brand new Mustang or something! And such a smooth, comfortable ride with plenty of space and XM Radio to boot! I think we both could agree that the trip down was one of the more enjoyable trips to Denver, aside from our Amtrak trip.

Day one we drove...and drove and drove and drove. We were planning on getting out the door at 3am, but Matt accidentally turned off his alarm rather than snooze the alarm, so we ended up sleeping in an extra hour! Thankfully, we needed that extra hour, though, so we got out the door around 4:30am. Most of the morning was spent listening to Wretched Radio and having theological discussions as Robby slept. In Green River, Wyoming, we decided to stop off and have some lunch and let Robby burn some energy. We found a lovely park with a big gazebo and lots of grass. We ended up staying there for a good hour, taking our time to eat, play, and take some photos. We didn't rush at all and just took our time while gassing up by wandering the truck stops, letting Robby look at everything. We always ended up at a Pilot stations, so they all had the same Pooh Bear toys that he would get really excited about and then proceed to "chat" with for a while. We would have bought him one, but they were $20! We'll just have to swing by and "visit" them on the way home. We ended up at Mom and Dad's around 5:30pm, so we didn't make bad time, even though we dottled a lot.

Robby did fantastic and spent most of his time playing with toys, singing along to the radio, and snoozing. We had a couple meltdowns, but I just think he was done with being in his seat - which I can't blame him! He loved stopping and looking around, though, and definitely loved the park. As soon as we let him loose at our destination, he quickly took off and was crawling everywhere and was into everything - just like at home! He had no issues with being picked up by random people or by the dogs running away from him in terror. I was worried about him sleeping that night because he'd be in his playpen on the floor, but he didn't make a fuss and went right down. He woke up a couple of times during the night, confused about where he was, but I soothed him, tucked him back in, and he went right back to sleep. He awoke bright and chipper the next morning and was so excited to see both Matt and I sleeping next to him.

So, onto day two. I don't know what we have in store for today, but I know that Matt and I have to go out and get our Mother's Day gifts for Mom and Grandma Jeanne taken care of (a family photo of us, framed). I'm sure it'll be wonderful, though! It always is! Until then.

Mother's Day

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

I know Mother's Day isn't until Sunday, but we'll be gone on vacation then, so I thought I'd write now.

It hit me as I was standing at our kitchen sink, washing a sippy cup - I finally get to celebrate Mother's Day. Five sad years of watching the holiday come and go and I finally get to be part of it. No, not because of gifts or recognition. Just the fact of what it means. I am someone's mommy when I never thought I'd ever get the opportunity.

Motherhood has surprised me in many ways, so far; mostly the tolerance and love I have towards our little guy. He has pushed me to my absolute limits at times, but by the Good Grace of God, I am able to get through it and be better for it. I always knew I would love my children, but actually experiencing that love is far beyond anything I could imagine. Just the simple act of crawling over to me and laying his little head against my chest with a giant smile on his face instantly humbles my heart and brings joy to my soul. How fortunate and blessed I truly am to be a mom! I couldn't of found a better, more fulfilling occupation than that of a parent. I thank the Lord every day for my sweet Robby D.!

I also want to wish a wonderful Mother's Day to all the mom's in my life and to all the women who are just as blessed as myself to be someone's mommy!

"Whenever a woman is in labor she has pain, because her hour has come; but when she gives birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy that a child has been born into the world." - John 16:21


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

I guess if I have the time to redo my layout that means that I have time to post and update.

Where to start...hrm...well, we're going on vacation to visit our Colorado family on Saturday. We're really looking forward to it, since a great-grandma Robby's never met will be visiting there, too. We've rented a car, so it'll be nice to not worry about car issues for once. We'll be there from the 9th-16th. Fun! I can't wait to back in gorgeous Colorado once more.

I was approached once more about helping teach Sunday school, so this time I agreed. We'll be teaching on June 7th and 21st. I must admit - the thought of teaching young ones about something I just barely know myself is a bit unnerving. I'm excited about the opportunity, though. I look forward to learning more about "the basics" of my faith. It's amazing the directions that the Lord is pulling me in. I would have never thought of teaching Sunday school, before! Please pray for our guidance and peace as we explore this new path of spiritual growth.

We're still having a lot of fun with our photography. Matt is growing and learning in leaps in bounds and has continued to astound me with his shots. He especially loves experimenting with our new super macro lens and has started using my polarized filter here and there. We've gained much attention amongst our congregation. Just recently, we were approached and asked to be the photographers for our church's Family Camp coming up in June. They even offered to pay for half our stay - which isn't cheap, considering we'll need a room. Should be fun! I've also gotten requests to do artsy photos for a Christmas gift and family photos from a couple of other families from our church. I've only dreamed of this before! It's not the attention I'm after - I'm just thrilled that I have more opportunities to grow and learn in the art.

As for Mr. Robby - wow. He's grown increasingly more mobile and agile over the past few weeks! He can crawl, change positions, and sit up with no issues, now. I'm so proud of him and continue to be amazed by him. I've been trying to teach him the name of things and he seems to try and say it (i.e. ball is "ba"). His favorite word, of course, is "dada" and will look in places where Matt can be found calling to him ("Dada! Dada!"). He also gave me "five" when told, today - it was so cute! And his dancing cracks me up. He just has so much personality for such a little guy! Aside from his half-a-tooth that makes him cranky sometimes, he's an absolute joy.

I think that's everything for now. I'll more than likely have trip photos to share when we get home, as usual. Stay tuned!

Updated Layout

Yeah, I did it again. What else is new? =)