Saturday, April 27, 2013

Honey Glazed Chicken Stirfry

We love stirfry.

In the first couple of years of our marriage I made a lot of stirfry. It's just too easy! Usually I would just use teriyaki sauce as seasoning. But then I found this Honey Glazed Chicken Stirfry recipe in a cookbook to add a little variety while still keeping it easy and yummy!


12 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breasts
2 Tbs Honey
2 Tbs Vinegar
2 Tbs Orange Juice
4 tsp Soy Sauce
1 1/2 tsp Cornstarch
2 Tbs Cooking Oil
4 C cut-up veggies (i.e. broccoli, peppers, onion. I also added egg at the very end)
2 C cooked brown rice


1. Cut chicken into bite-sized strips/cubes and set aside.
2. For sauce, stir together honey, vinegar, orange juice, soy sauce, and cornstarch.
3. Pour oil into a large skillet and heat over med-high heat. Add veggies, cook and stir until crisp-tender. Remove the veggies.
4. Add chicken to skillet and cook until no longer pink.
5. Push the chicken to the sides and add sauce to the center of the skillet. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly.
6. Return veggies to skillet and cook until heated through.
(7. To add eggs, push everything to the side and scramble the eggs in one side of the skillet until cooked through. Then mix in).

Add this super easy bread and you have an easy, yummy, and fairly balanced meal!

By the way, I've been doing pretty good with keeping a menu plan so I decided to share it under my "Food Journal" tab with as many links as possible. Browse if you're needing ideas!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Weight Loss Update

Monday, April 22, was my deadline for reaching my weight-loss goal: Within 5lbs of pre-baby weight.

Praise God Almighty, I was one pound away from the weight I was the day I found out I was pregnant with Marie!

That is a total of 34lbs in 6 months.

I'm very excited about that victory, but also a little frustrated at myself because I know I could have hit that weight and even lower if I hadn't been slacking so much in the last few weeks. It really is completely the grace of God that got me where I am. I have to daily... no, moment by moment, deny myself and be filled with the Holy Spirit.

I fail... a lot.

My next goal is to reach the weight I was on our wedding day by Kempton's first birthday (August 7). That is only 5-6 pounds away! I would truly appreciate prayer to have continuous victory over my struggle with the sin of overeating/emotional-eating/careless-eating.

Now for what you all really want... (unedited) pictures! I'll tell you, this is hard for me! I have desperately avoided the camera for almost 5 years. Please be kind.

The day before Kempton was born...
204 lbs
On Kempton's 2 month birthday and shortly before the weight loss began...
175 lbs
I started the weight loss count at 175 pounds because that is when it stopped coming off without effort. And that's how much I weighed when God really got ahold of my struggles.

Here is a middle-of-the-process pic...
159 lbs
Aaaand currently...

141-143 lbs
How did I do it? Well, I didn't. God did. But if you're wanting specifics, I counted calories, added lifting heavy weights to my workouts, and listened to the Holy Spirit. Check out this post for more.

I've also had lots of support from amazing family and friends. Thank you!!

Look for the final update in August!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Planting Onions

This year we used these...

Specifically -
Yellow Spanish
Redwing Red
Walla Walla

We planted over 200 onions! For the most part, we did 4 onions per square foot, about an inch deep.

The first set we planted on April 3rd and finished them up on April 13th.

We obviously love onions :)

I'll let ya know how they turn out in a few months!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Weeknight Lasagna Toss

I will never claim to be a photographer.

But I do claim to be gifted at pleasing my hungry man.

Weeknight Lasagna Toss is one of the ways I do just that.

We don't do much cheese in this house because Derek hates it. No allergies or intolerance to it, just pure hatred. So this dish is perfect! And super easy.

Weeknight Lasagna Toss

- 1 lb ground beef/turkey
- 2 cups chopped green peppers (we do red and green peppers, and onions of course!)
- 3 cloves finely chopped garlic
- 1 jar (26oz) spaghetti sauce (we usually use Hunt's Zesty and Spicy)
- 1/4 cup zesty italian dressing
- Oven-ready lasagna noodles
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese (optional)

1. Brown meat in large saucepan on medium heat. Drain.
2. Add the peppers, garlic, spaghetti sauce, italian dressing, and 1 2/3 cup water.
3. Bring to boil.
4. Stir in 12 oven-ready lasagna noodles broken in quarters.
5. Reduce heat to med-low and cover.
6. Cook, stirring occasionally, until noodles are tender.
7. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and let stand til cheese is melted (This step does not happen here, but I definitely dump on some parmesan cheese on my serving!)

Make sure to make the best homemade breadsticks known to man for scooping up excess sauce!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Living my Passion

Recently, I've taken a liking to cooking. (Today alone I made buffalo chicken grilled cheese, beef stew, rosemary bread, and monster cookies - all homemade!)

I've been more diligent with homeschooling.

I have a very organized garden.

I have a home-management notebook in the works (more on this another time).

I even have plans for some major de-cluttering! (Much more on this also very soon).

Liking to cook and wanting to de-clutter are the two biggest shocks to everyone who knows me, including myself. The past few weeks I've been trying to figure out what happened to me.

At first I was thinking it must be Pinterest. So many motivational ideas! But in the past, gobs of ideas like that would stress me out.

Maybe I'm just maturing? Hopefully I am, but what brought on this almost sudden maturity?

So I thought back to when I started to enjoy this domestic life to the full, and it hit me that when I stopped stressing about making money (through jewelry or babysitting) and finally allowed myself to live my passion (wife and mom), I began to simply enjoy life more.

I love my job.

I chatted with my mom about this some the other day. She said a few years ago she decided to stop stressing about all sorts of other things and focus on her passion - teaching string and piano. I can tell you that I have seen a marked improvement in her overall everyday mood! I actually used to think she didn't like teaching all that much, but the last couple of years I noticed that she was enjoying it. And even more amazing than that... she has been significantly more successful now that she focuses on what God gave her a passion for. I noticed these things before she said anything to me about dropping other forms of income to focus on teaching.

My sister-in-law has a very similar story that I think she should share on her blog ;)

I am passionate about being home with my kids, homeschooling them, and making sure the house is spiffed and dinner is ready when the love of my life walks in the door. I am passionate about utilizing what God has blessed us with (our house, our yard, our money) the very best way possible - which is often very different for different people!

Other things I was doing - like jewelry - I enjoyed. And maybe someday I can pursue that again. But being a full-time wife and mom is the passion God has given me right now and I plan to live it to the full.

I babysat for over a year and when we decided that I shouldn't babysit anymore, I was concerned about the loss of income. Ever since I quit babysitting and put aside jewelry, we have been more blessed financially than we had been our whole marriage.

I think God is happy with me living the passion He gave me.

Are you living your passion? What's cluttering up your life, preventing you from living fully?

Linking up HERE as I am eternally grateful to be living my passion!

Fun with Shadows

Marie randomly picked this book from the library last week...

Find it on Amazon
It's about a little king who was not very brave. He had ten tall soldiers and a little boy named Peter to protect him. Every different room the king entered, he saw a new and scarier "monster" which were actually his shadows. He left soldiers in each room to keep watch for the "monsters." In the end, the little boy named Peter figured out that the king was seeing his shadow and they all laughed. Peter was so brave, he was promoted to a real soldier. And the king was never scared of his shadow again.

Time to play!

Marie has had a fascination with shadows for a long time. So I was excited about this book. After reading it, we went outside on the trampoline and made our own monsters with our shadows. Followed, of course, by trying to jump on each others' shadows.

Jack did not understand shadows while we were out on the trampoline, but over the last few days he's definitely gotten it. He gets very excited when he sees his! I love getting to watch my babies learn.

Time for school!

I just came across this activity recently...

Find a bunch of these at THIS site.
Match the picture with its shadow. Jack is amazingly good at these!

The sun is finally shining around these parts so go play with your shadows! Most mornings the last week has involved a Jack shadow monster...

Linking up HERE.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Spring is here!

It has been gorgeous this week! Which means...

A. Very little housework was accomplished
B. The garden is in full swing!

My amazing man spent his last couple of days of spring break working very hard on the Jacobs Family Garden:

This year has been my most organized year, which is a very good thing given the fact that our garden is approximately 1,100 square feet! I keep running out of seeds.

So far we have planted...
  • Yellow Onions
  • Green Onions
  • Red Onions
  • Peas
  • Strawberries
  • Potatoes
  • Spinach

Next up...
  • More Onions
  • More Potatoes
  • Blueberries
  • Grapes
  • Raspberries 
Marie is very excited about her first garden! (She is not big on getting her hands dirty, though!) She has a strawberry plant in her garden so far. I asked her what else she wanted to plant and she said peas because she remembers eating them without cooking them last summer. But given the fact that there is a 25 foot row of peas right next to her little corner, I suggested flowers, and she loves the idea! So as of right now, that is the plan. Any flower suggestions?

What are you planting? 

Monday, April 1, 2013

Resurrection Day Celebration 2013

We love hosting Easter at our home!

The kids get along so well and have so much fun. And, well, so do the rest of us!

We read the poem for the resurrection eggs and the kids listened so well. Marie was not happy that she got the empty egg though... I probably should have thought that through.

Kempton and his great Uncle Dann were twins.

Natalie and Kempton are gonna be great pals, just like their big sibs!

Derek worked so hard on our yard and made this Swedish fire log. It was a huge hit!

This year I managed to take some good pics so check out Facebook for many many more! :)

We are so blessed with our house and the opportunity to minister to others by opening it up! There is so much joy in it!

Hope you all had a blessed Resurrection Day!

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