Drew Update

Thursday, February 25, 2010

This doctor's visit was absolutely horrid. Forgive the snarky attitude to come. Hold on to something - it's ventin' time.

So far, I've gone 34 weeks without complication or issue or any hint at either, but then I met a new doctor that I had never had before at this office. As soon as I walked in and had my blood pressure taken (which was the lowest it's been the whole time), the nurse informed me that I needed to discuss with the doctor about my weekly stress tests. Huh? News to me! When confronting the doctor about it, I was informed that it was "suggested" since I have a history of chronic hypertension and a high BMI. Okay. Agreed, but is is truly necessary since my blood pressure has stayed low? She didn't really give me a clear-cut answer and instead went into a long, drawn-out lecture about the danger of high blood pressure while pregnant. I understand the risks, but again - my blood pressure's been LOW. She then measured my belly and informed me that it was getting bigger steadily (duh), but that might mean that either the baby is big or I have extra fluid. My ultrasound next week will determine exactly what the case may be, but if Drew is deemed "big", they will have to take him early, but in order to determine how early, they'll have to do an amniocentesis. Again, this is all according to a doctor I have never seen before - other than she took out my staples when I had Robby. That's our history. She then had the gall to ask me if I was planning on having my tubes tied during this c-section - because "a lot of people want to stop at two after two c-sections". Well, hon - I'm not a lot of people and I don't quite want to make that hard decision right here and now, thank you. And considering I was told I can safely have up to four c-sections by another doctor I do trust, I'm definitely not making that decision with you. Then, she tells me, "You need to behave yourself for the next few weeks. Take it easy. Make your husband vacuum and cook." Right. I laughed, "For one, I have a 19-month-old at home. Two, I already do as little as possible because I'm tired and uncomfortable. Three, my husband works all day at a strenuous job and already does more for me than he needs to." "Well," she says, "I'll tell you what I tell all my other patients - you can either do bedrest at home or bedrest at the hospital." Okay? How does that change anything?

So, next week I have to go back for what she described as a "really long visit". I'll have my regular checkup plus and ultrasound PLUS a stress test. Thankfully, I'll be seeing another doctor. Hopefully someone who can give me a better answer as to what the heck is going on. I definitely want a second opinion, considering this came completely out of left field. My venting's done, now.

I covet your prayers - both for the safety and well-being of our baby and for my attitude and stress level. I don't know how on Earth they expect me to keep my blood pressure down after telling me all this, but it's all in God's hands, now. His will be done.

Don't Forget To Laugh

Baked Rigatoni with Meat Sauce Recipe

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Pretty snazzy name for a recipe I came up with on the fly, huh? This is going off the basic concept of my chicken and broccoli alfredo recipe, but with different ingredients. Did you catch that? It's the same, but different. *grin*

Baked Rigatoni with Meat Sauce

1lb. ground beef
1 16oz. package rigatoni
1-2 jar(s) spaghetti sauce (depends on how "saucy" you want it - we found ours to be on the dry side with 1 jar)
garlic powder to taste
shredded mozzarella to taste
grated parmesan cheese to taste

1. Crumble and cook ground beef until browned. Season with garlic powder.

2. Cook rigatoni according to package's directions. Strain.

3. Combine together ground beef, rigatoni, and sauce. Place in greased casserole dish. Cover with cheeses.

4. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until cheese is bubbling.

Ultimate Chicken Fingers Recipe

Monday, February 22, 2010

Sometimes I'll get semi-adventurous and try a recipe from the back of a box. Some of them have been absolute duds, while others become instant favorites. These chicken fingers are definite favorites in this house and straight off a Bisquick box. Super easy and super tasty, they go great in a wrap with lettuce, shredded cheese, and ranch or just by themselves with BBQ sauce.

Ultimate Chicken Fingers

2/3 cup Original Bisquick® mix
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt or Garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
3 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch strips
1 egg, slightly beaten
3 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

1. Heat oven to 450ºF. Line cookie sheet with foil; spray with cooking spray.
2. Mix Bisquick mix, cheese, salt and paprika in 1-gallon resealable plastic food-storage bag. Dip half the chicken strips into egg; place in bag of Bisquick mixture. Seal bag; shake to coat. Place chicken on cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining chicken. Drizzle butter over chicken.
3. Bake 12 to 14 minutes, turning after 6 minutes with pancake turner, until no longer pink in center.

New Dining Set

Since our little family is becoming not-so-little anymore and our old table can only be described as "ancient", we decided to use some of our tax refund to buy a new dining set. We came across this cute, simple set on sale at Shopko. Matt once again put his powered screwdriver I got him for Christmas to work, put it together for us, and voila! Nice, new table and chairs! It's kind of small, but it works perfect for our small apartment. The stable chairs that aren't being held together via cable ties is definitely a plus, too.

This is only the second piece of furniture we've been able to buy new. Everything else we own has either been from a thrift store or been given to us second-hand. It really makes us appreciate the new things we're able to get, so we love our new table!

Daily Walk or Daily Stumble?

I'm not the most consistent or motivated person in the world. If you've been following this blog for long, you already know that. I get lazy, distracted, and bored very easily. I'm ashamed to admit that, but I do know that there's many people out there like myself. Yes, chores like dishes and scrubbing the bathroom will always wait for you, but when it comes to my daily walk as a Christian, and, in turn, a mom and wife, that's when things get a little dicey.

I am sure of my salvation. I don't question that by any means. I also fully understand that we're saved by grace alone, not works, but I have witnessed firsthand the power of daily prayer and study of the word. At first, when I started to read my bible every day, it was more of a chore than a joy, I'll admit. Sadly, my heart wasn't in it. I saw it as no different than any of my other chores - just another part of my morning routine. Something I HAD to do to "prove" I was a Christian and to get my "super-spiritual" husband off my back. The problem was I had the completely wrong perspective on bible reading. Matt has an excellent analogy on this. Where he got it from, I can't remember, but it's effective:

Imagine you had written 66 love letters to your spouse or loved one. You put your all into these letters, making sure to include every detail you wanted to convey to your beloved. Later, you find out that your beloved hasn't read even one letter - they haven't even opened the envelopes! You ask them why and they make many excuses, such as "I got busy", "I was too tired", or "I had something better to do". Wouldn't you be incredibly hurt? Heartbroken? Perhaps even angry? And rightly so!

What if the Author of those letters was also the One who gave you life and breath when He didn't have to? Who sacrificed His only son for all your sins? Who calls you to repentance so you could be saved? God created His bible for His beloved - believers who are saved by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible is 66 books, inspired by God Himself, written by 40 men, over a span of 1,500 years...and we treat it as nothing more than a chore. A hindrance. Part of the facade of the hypocritical Christian. God is perfectly justified in His frustration with us!

This was the realization I have come to just recently. I've been saved for over two years and I'm just NOW realizing the true importance of the word. I took bible reading and study at face-value and just "went through the motions", but quickly found excuses not to even do that. Shame on me! I've faced my convictions head-on with nothing but repentance. So far over the past couple of weeks, I've managed to keep up on my reading on a daily basis with the right heart, but I do admit that I spent last week stumbling and it was noticeable. I'm not claiming that there's any magical cure for our sinful nature - nothing will change the fact that we're sinners from the womb. Only the power of God's grace can save us from being condemned by that sin, but I do notice a definite difference in my attitude, perspective, and daily walk when I'm in the word and when I'm not - especially with my job as a mother and a wife.

Last week, Robby was sick. He was cranky and miserable and tending to him proved to be more difficult because I was tired and uncomfortable because, well - I'm pregnant. I read my bible every day except for one. The first part of the week, when Rob first became sick, I was able to be compassionate, patient, and selfless towards my son's needs, but as the week drug on, my heart became distracted and my reading turned shorter and less enthusiastic. It was as if my eyes were reading, but my brain had checked-out. Each day, I became more distracted and less Christ-like. It all came to an ugly head on Friday, when I didn't read at all. I stopped conversing with God, both through His word and through prayer and I was a monster! I was selfish, lazy, temperamental, irrational, careless, and heartless towards both my son and my husband needlessly. As trying as my week was, I sure wasn't trying at all to imitate Christ to help the situation. In short, it ended up being a miserable week for all of us - especially poor Robby. He was just a sick little boy, not understanding why he didn't feel well and why Mama was flying off the handle at him. Again, shame on me! To my boys - I beg your forgiveness. Thankfully, the promise of time spent with my boys lightened my spirits on Friday evening and I was able to regroup over the weekend.

There is a big difference in my attitude and behavior when I'm diligently and heartily reading God's word every day. I'm able to look at life's everyday trials through God's holy eyes instead of my own sinful ones. I'm able to stay calm, controlled, understanding, compassionate, patient, loving, and, overall, pleasant towards my husband, son, and others. I am by no means perfect. I don't claim to be, but that shows even more the power of God working in my daily life; convicting me, teaching me, and shaping me through His Holy Spirit to be more like His son, Jesus Christ. Any good you see in me is ONLY because of God. I know what I'm capable of on my own and it's never anything I'd consider to be anywhere near "good". I desire to be, firstly, a better servant to Him and a better wife and mother to my boys. That can only be achieved through prayer and reading and following of the word on a daily basis.

We are nothing more than weak, sinful, empty vessels on our own. No one knows that better than myself. I pray that God fills me with His righteousness and holiness through His Spirit and His word until the day He calls me Home. May I always focus and be motivated to glorify Him in all I do and say. I pray the same for you and I hope my meager words have motivated and encouraged you in your daily walk.
"So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." - 1 Corinthians 10:31

Bread Machine Dinner Rolls Recipe

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Lately, I've been getting a little more adventurous and started experimenting with my bread machine (yes, this is considered "adventurous" for me). I thought dinner rolls would be a safe start, so I started with a simple recipe from my bread machine's owner's manual. Hours later, I ended up with tasteless rolls and a very sour disposition. So, the hunt for a better dinner roll was on. Scouring the internet, I came across a simple recipe on Betty Crocker's website. I decided to try it - I mean, butter is in the dough AND is brushed on after they're baked. What more could you really want? If you're like me, butter is definitely a must when it comes to rolls, so of course, that's what appealed to me about this recipe. Still took me almost three hours to make these, but I felt they were worth it. I think my boys would agree. Together with a crockpot roast and veggies - mmm! I may explore other recipes out there (feel free to share yours if you'd like), but for now, I'll pass along this one.

Bread Machine Dinner Rolls

1 cup water*
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
1 egg*
3 1/4 cups Gold Medal® Better for Bread™ flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons bread machine or active dry yeast
Butter or margarine, melted, if desired

*My bread machine always calls for "baby bottle temperature" water and room temperature eggs. Make sure to check with your bread machine's manual for specifics like this. To bring an egg to room temperature, put it in a bowl of warm (not hot) water for 15 minutes.

1. Measure carefully, placing all ingredients except melted butter in bread machine pan in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select Dough/Manual cycle. Do not use delay cycle.

2. Remove dough from pan, using lightly floured hands. Cover and let rest 10 minutes on lightly floured surface.

3. Grease large cookie sheet with shortening. Divide dough into 15 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball. Place 2 inches apart on cookie sheet. Cover and let rise in warm place 30 to 40 minutes or until double. (Dough is ready if indentation remains when touched.)

4. Heat oven to 375°F. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Brush tops with melted butter. Serve warm, or cool on wire rack.

Tip: If you like rolls that are golden brown on top but have soft sides, place the rolls close together on the cookie sheet so they will rise and bake together.

Blogger Followers

A special note to my Blogger Followers -

I just realized that if I'm on your blogroll or you're "following" me, you'll have to change the name of this blog. You won't need to change the link, but the title is incorrect. This is JUST for Blogger Followers.

If you have absolutely no clue what I'm talking about, chances are you don't need to make the change.

Thanks for playing along!

Name Change

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Since I've grown in the Lord more and more since the creation of this blog (along with the unexpected addition of Andrew come April, hence throwing a wrench into my "first-time mom" status), I've decided to change the name of this blog to "Chronicles of the Christian Mom". Just so I don't lose any one, I'll spare you the URL change, so you don't have to change your links; that includes my faithful email subscribers. Also, I've tweaked my layout just a bit to go along with my new theme. Change is good once in awhile!

Exalted Worship

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Matt put together this short video highlighting a Puritan prayer along with a beautiful hymn called "Stricken Smitten and Afflicted". Both come from a great album called "Exalted Worship". We purchased it sometime before Christmas and we absolutely love it. The prayers are so humbling and the hymns are perfectly God-glorifying.

You can find "Exalted Worship" at Wretched Radio's website.

If you're viewing this on Facebook, click on "View Original Post" to view the video.

Parents: Imitate Christ

Monday, February 8, 2010

“Take care what you do in front of your child. It is a true proverb, ‘He who sins before a child, sins double.’ Strive rather to be a living epistle of Christ, such as your families can read, and that plainly too. Be an example of reverence for the Word of God, reverence in prayer, reverence for means of grace, reverence for the Lord’s day. Be an example in words, in temper, in diligence, in temperance, in faith, in charity, in kindness, in humility.

“Do not think your children will practice what they do not see you do. You are their model picture – and they will copy what you are. Your reasoning and your lecturing, your wise commands and your good advice – all this they may not understand, but they can understand your life!”
~ J.C. Ryle
The Upper Room, “The Duties of Parents”, [Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1970], 312.

Toy Net

Friday, February 5, 2010

Since I searched all over for a toy net that either didn't exist or was overpriced, I decided to attempt crocheting one on my own. It's not perfect, but it serves it's purpose and I finally found something to use my horrid Red Heart yarn on. Quite simple to make, very thick and secure, and, as you can see, fits quite a few toys. If you're interested in my pattern, email me.

Big Boy!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Look who has a toddler bed! He's very excited about his "big boy bed". We're going to attempt it for naptime only until he understands the "rules" of his new-found freedom. We may have to find some taller siderails.

Body Parts

These are some of the body parts Robby knows. The only ones I forgot were his feet. Not a bad start for only 18 months, I'd say! Matt's been trying to teach him the "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes" song, hence the shoulder attempt.

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Love Never Fails

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

I heard this song on the radio for the first time tonight and was struck by it. I admit, initially I thought of Matt and our seventh wedding anniversary coming up on Valentine's Day and I was flooded with "warm fuzzies". I'm sure I'm no different from anyone else - we're all guilty of getting caught up in flowers, chocolates, and cards for our special someones. But do we ever really think about the love of God? Or the love we Christians need to be showing one another? That kind of love has absolutely nothing to do with candy hearts and romance. That love is pure and one of a kind. Roses will die, relationships can fade, but the love of Jesus Christ will endure forever.
"Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends." 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

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God Saves Bad People

Monday, February 1, 2010

I've been pondering the "sewer out of which God rescued" me, lately...