Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Butternut Squash Casserole

Ever since I brought this recipe home from college it has become a staple at our Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. Everyone in my family loves it - they even make it when I'm not there.

1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed
1/2 C mayonaisse
1/2 C finely chopped onion
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp sugar
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 C crushed Ritz crackers (I usually end up using more to cover the entire dish)
2 T grated Parmesan cheese
1 T melted butter (maybe more depending on how many crackers you use)

Place squash in a saucepan and cover with water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and let simmer for about 20 minutes...until it is tender. Drain, place in a large bowl, and mash. In another bowl combine the mayo, onion, egg, sugar, and salt and pepper. Add to squash and mix well. Put in a greased baking dish (size will depend on how much squash you have). Combine the crackers, butter, and cheese. Sprinkle on top of the casserole. Bake, uncovered, at 350 for 30-40 minutes.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Guest Post: A Prayerful Birth

Without going into too much detail about birth, I wanted to share the most beautiful piece of the experience with you.
I asked God to help me renew my trust in Him and friendship with Him by sharing this birth with Him. I wanted to share the fears, the embarrassments, the suffering, the joy -  the whole thing. To make sure this actually happened, I asked my husband to help me pray during labor and birth.
Birth is intense so we kept it simple. Inhale, exhale, "one, Jesus I trust in you, " inhale, exhale, "two, Jesus I trust in you,"… inhale, exhale, "ten, Jesus  I trust in you." We prayed like this every five minutes or so for about 8 hours, sometimes silently, sometimes my husband prayed aloud for me. And during transition when I turned to him and said "I'm scared" he held my hand, locked eyes with me, and prayed aloud.                          
I can't remember any of the words he said but I can't imagine a more wonderful or husbandly thing.
And here's our little girl. 8lbs 3oz 21in. Big sister thinks she's awesome.
God Bless,

Friday, December 16, 2011

7 Quick Takes Friday (Vol. 31)

7 quick takes sm1 7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 156)

This entire quick takes will be dedicated to Joseph and all his cuteness :)

1) Joseph turned 5 months old last Saturday. That fat cat isn't looking so fat anymore...

2) I noticed Joseph's first tooth coming in Wednesday. He's been teething pretty bad lately and I have a feeling he's going to get a lot of teeth in a short amount of time. When I look at his bottom gums the teeth seem to be pushing up a lot. I guess it's a good thing since Joseph likes to eat so much.

3) Because he's teething, Joseph has been particularly fond of munching on paper. From wrapping paper... ads that come in the mail (until I realized the ink was coming off on Joseph's hands and face)....
...Joseph doesn't care. It all tastes the same to him :)

4) And maybe he's not sleeping well at night because he's teething. Or maybe not. I'm looking forward to "sleep training" him after the holidays.

5) Joseph can now hold himself in a crawling position without falling down - but he can't go anywhere yet. After about 30 seconds to a minute he gets frustrated and starts crying. He does, however, rock himself back and forth in an attempt to go somewhere.

6) Joseph loves hanging out with other kids/babies. He especially loves going to mom's group. Here are a couple cute picture from our last meet up.
Is it love?
Joseph and John entertain one another

7) Joseph is just waking up (it's 10:15am). Hey - at least I get some consolation prize for it taking 2.5 hours to get him back to sleep in the middle of the night.

Friday, December 9, 2011

7 Quick Takes Friday (Vol. 30)

7 quick takes sm1 7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 154)

1) I am so happy Christmas music is back on the radio. Christmas music always puts me in a good mood, so to have a radio station that plays only (good) Christmas music - like our local Christian music station - is pure heaven.

2) Joseph has pulled our Christmas tree over twice so far (don't worry it's only a 4-foot fake tree).The first time was my fault - I let him play with the branches because it was something new and different. I didn't think he'd actually pull the thing over. The second time he scooched his way over to the tree without me even knowing it! I guess I'm going to have to keep a better eye on him now that he can get places.

3) I witnessed a pretty scary wreck yesterday. This guy tried to exit too late and ran into the cement barrier. His car flipped and spun. And omgosh - my heart sank when I saw it. I was glad he didn't hit the car he tried to cut off and thankful we were far enough behind him that Joseph and I weren't involved, but wow. It made me much more aware of ALL the drivers on the road the rest of the day. As far as I know the guy was ok. I stopped and waited for the police to arrive and told them what I saw, and before I left they had the guy out of the car and he was walking (not very well, but he was conscious and at least able to walk). Witnessing something like that really makes you think about how quickly things can change in life.

4) I've recently become a bit of a Snapfish addict. I've made several things on there with pictures from this year, and I'm so excited about it. I think this will be the first year we get our Christmas cards out by mid-December. And I'm super excited about the photo book I'm making. I'm starting to realize there may be other websites that would be better for making a yearly scrapbook, but I'm too far along with this one to switch. But, I'll probably check out other options for next year's scrapbook.

5) PS - If Snapfish ever sends you an email saying they're going to close your account because you haven't ordered anything for one year don't believe them. They said that to me last spring. I didn't order anything until recently. Obviously, they didn't close my account.

6) Joseph loves eating, but I'm worried rice cereal upsets his stomach. We gave him rice cereal for about a week up to Thanksgiving, but when we were in Tennessee he woke up at night screaming/crying and we couldn't figure out why. When we stopped giving him the rice cereal he stopped. Granted, I *also* started trying to give him more time to nurse (trying not to be impatient - which was difficult since I wasn't used to nursing on a couch at night). But it seemed the rice cereal may have had something to do with it, so we took him off it for two weeks and tried it again on Wednesday. He scarfed the rice cereal down which doesn't surprise me because he LOVES eating. We're going to give it to him every other day for a week or two and see how he does. Hopefully he does ok so we can start adding in other foods in a few weeks.

7) This past Monday Will, Joseph and I joined over 2,000 people outside Germantown Reproductive Health Services to pray and protest. Monday marked 1-year since Leroy Carhart came to Maryland and started performing late-term abortions. Joseph and I regularly attend the Monday morning prayer and protests, but we wanted to get more people out for this sad anniversary. The goal of the regular Monday morning crew was to get 1,000 people out. We were blown away when we doubled that goal! Here's a good article with some great pictures from Monday morning. The one thing the article doesn't say, however, is that there were two mothers who came to have an abortion that morning and decided not to go through with it. Praise God!
One last note - when I walked past the 720 crosses I was a lot more emotional than I thought I would be. Of course I thought about the 720 babies who were killed, but I also thought about the 720 mothers who now have to deal with the emotional implications of abortion. Let us continue to pray for the conversion of Leroy Carhart, for all the babies who were never even given a chance at life and for the mothers who will forever carry the scars of abortion.