Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Wise women I know...

     My mom recently sent me this chain email for a scripture exchange, that required you to not just send back your favorite scripture verse in return, but be responsible for sending it to 10 other people and making sure they send it to 10 other people, and what starts out as sharing something fun with someone else turns into waaayyy to much responsibility for one email. Regardless, I loved the idea of having other people share their favorite scripture verses with me. I think it's nice to get some verses that maybe didn't stand out to me before, or that I'd never studied, and also I think it's nice to share the ones that are special to you with the people you care about.
    So what I did was ask a couple of wise women I know what their favorite verse of scripture was. Some of them couldn't narrow it down to just one, but then again, neither could I. I asked women of all different ages, denominations, marital status, different  idiosyncrasies, and passions... I loved the responses I got! I got such comforting, powerful, and compassionate words of scripture to read. I felt my Father's love for me through these words, and knowing each of these women I could definitely see each persons individual personalities in their choices!
        My contributors included a mom of two, newly wed, student, grandmother and some great friends. I'm LDS but even though I chose three verses, they are all out of the Bible. Some of the scripture is out of the Bible, some out of the Book of Mormon, some is specific to Catholicism but what's so great is that the commonality is Love. God's love for us, the Savior's love for us, the love between a man and a woman, and woman and child. I'm sharing the King James version because that is what I read, but I encourage you to look each of these up in whatever version of scripture you study and relish it. Let them make your day a little better! I hope you'll enjoy reading these verses either for the first or fiftieth time! I'll start with my favorites and go from there. Peace and Love, Layne

For this child I prayed; and the Lord hath given me my petition which I asked of him. 1 Samuel 1:27

Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men: Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart. 2 Corinthians 3:2-3

Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. Matthew 11:29

And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fail. Helaman 5:12

But behold, I, Jacob, would speak unto you that are pure in heart. Look unto God with firmness of mind, and pray unto him with exceeding faith, and he will console you in your afflictions, and he will plead your cause, and send down justice upon those who seek your destruction. Jacob 3:1

Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee withersoever thou goest. Joshua 1:9

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Jeremiah 29:11

Strength and honor are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. Proverbs 31:25

Sarah got up so that they could pray together and ask God for his protection. Then Tobias prayed: God of our ancestors, you are worthy of praise. May your name be honored forever and ever by all your creatures in heaven and on earth. You created Adam and gave him his wife Eve to be his helper and support. They became the parents of the whole human race. You said, It is not good for man to live alone. I will make a suitable helper for him. Lord, I have chosen Sarah because it is right, not because I lusted for her. Please be merciful to us and grant that we may grow old together. Tobit :5-7

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Psalms 27:1

And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction, yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers: And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, when ye turn to the left. Isaiah 30: 20-21

Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore. Psalms 16:11

In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil. Proverbs 3:6-7

That is, that I may be comforted together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me. Romans 1:12

Behold ye among the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvelously: for I will work a work in your days, which ye will not believe, though it be told you. Habakkuk 1:5

Let nothing be done through strife or vain glory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Philippians 2:3

Till he fill thy mouth with laughing, and thy lips with rejoicing. Job 8:21

We love him, because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19

Saturday, September 15, 2012

updates from my kitchen...

       If you've known me a while, or have been following my blog from the beginning, then you know that for about a year before I got pregnant with Noah I was a vegetarian. It all started when we moved into an apartment right up the road from a chicken thing I knew the chicken trucks were stalking me all over the state no matter where I was...there they would be, white feathers flying in the air all around my car. Then I did a little too much research regarding chicken meat and factories, and that was it. No chicken for this lady. Not too long after that it turned into no meat at all....I was insanely healthy during this period of time, and in great shape!! But when I got pregnant with Noah it was like flipping a switch and I instantly needed a bacon cheeseburger... so, whattayagonnado?! During my pregnancy and ever since had Noah, I've been a carnivore again. (I still couldn't bring myself to eat Tyson chicken products,however, they are HORRIBLE regarding steroids and ethical treatment of the animals.) 
        Well, two weeks ago I was getting my cardio on at the local Gold's gym in the Cardio Cinema room and they had a documentary call Forks over Knives was all about the benefits of a vegetarian diet. I was sold. I'm an easy sell. Although, I didn't quit eating meat again immediately, I pretty much resolved myself to it right then. {GRAPHIC DETAIL WARNING} Earlier this week I grabbed two hard boiled eggs to eat for a quick breakfast, cracked one open, sprinkled my salt...took a bite and then thought about what it was I was actually biting into, and I almost puked right in the middle of my kitchen....and that was that. No more meat for this chick! I'm not a bleeding heart that thinks it is wrong to eat animals. I actually think that true hunting is a very organic and natural thing. But I do take issue with injecting a bunch of steroids and chemicals into animals to make the pieces of meat swollen and over sized so that they can charge more for it. I take issue with chickens being inhumanely raised and held before they're killed. There is nothing appetizing about a chicken be so full of steroids that it can't even support it's own weight to stand up. Or, having birds (chickens and turkeys) beaks removed so they don't accidentally peck each other to death from being squeezed  together and over-packed into such small cages where they don't even have room to move. These things I am bothered by, and these things are not natural to me. It's also very psychological for me, I've learned too much and thought too much about it and I can't eat the meat anymore without having mental images of flesh and muscle tissue running through my brain. 
      Luckily I have a ton of vegetarian foods and meals handy from a few years back, and I'm loving finding new recipes and foods to experiment with on Pinterest! Here is an awesome recipe I found that was, no lie, pot-licking good!!

Yummy Pea and Asparagus Risotto

This recipe is for Golden Mushroom, Pea and Asparagus Risotto...the recipe is here ...and it's actually vegan, too! I don't like mushrooms so I left them out, but the rest was soooo good, and easy to make! I ate most of it out of the pot before it even made it to a plate!
I also have been using a new food that I'd never eaten before until this month...spaghetti squash!! My Paw Paw does Weight Watchers and when he made spaghetti for Sunday dinner a few weeks ago he cooked one to eat his meat sauce over as an alternative to wasting carbs and calories on spaghetti noodles. Y'all, it was SO good! So, I went right out this Monday and bought two of my own to cook!

I cooked the right one first, and it made 3 large servings!

I didn't want to get too fancy with my first try, so I stuck to what I knew I liked and planned on cooking one of the squash to eat with some spaghetti sauce on top. There are a couple of options on how to cook the squash. You are really supposed to puncture it and bake it in the oven in a little bit of water, but I microwaved mine which seemed just as effective. I sliced it longitudinally, removed the pulp, wrapped each half in saran wrap, and put it in a dish and microwaved it for about 13 minutes. Then after it cooled enough to handle I scraped the meat out of it. I poured about 1/2 cup of spaghetti sauce on it right out of the jar, some salt and pepper and then topped it with a Quorn herb chikin cutlet. The Quorn products are my favorite faux meat options, they seriously taste just like the real thing. I think they're better than Morning Star by case you were wondering!

my meal

While I was cooking all of this Noah was "helping" by going through all of the cabinets that we didn't child-lock her out of, and making a mess. 

my foot is on the paper plate, because I can get into the paper plate cabinet, and they are fun to throw like frisbees...
As a side note...
She's super talkative these days. Some of her favorite words are: 

"Bubba"- this is what she calls Momo, and she exclaims it every time she sees or hears him
"Uh-Oh"- she really just thinks this is fun to say, she doesn't use it appropriately all the time, and often she will purposely do something wrong in order to get the opportunity to say it. Like dropping things on purpose for me to pick up....this is not my favorite game.
"Mama"- Her daddy is definitely the one who gets the most smiles and laughs from her, but when she is tired, or sick, or wants to snuggle she cries out for me...and that melts my heart! I get more quality hugs and nuzzles than anyone else!
"More" and "All Done"- So, we taught her these two so that we could distinguish why she was fussing in her high chair...was she fussing for more food, or because she wanted to get down? Well let me tell you, that 99% of the time she wants more food, and now all we hear, everywhere, very loudly is "MOOOORREEE!!!!"
"Please"- We have begun working on manners words due to the overuse of the demand for "more". I didn't want my little angel in public screaming and demanding MOOOORRRE if there wasn't a "please" following it! What's absolutely precious about this is that she can't make the "pl" sound yet so it's the most heart warming "puuuhhh". In fact, I think the number one phrase in our house these days is "Moooore, puuuhh!" How can you say no to that??
"Paw Paw"- This is my grandfather, her great-grandfather, and by far one of her favorite people. I also think it's fun for her to say!

Oh hey mom, nope I'm not doing annnyytthhiinng mischievous!! (shout out to Dee Dee for the big bow)

in her Gamecock bloomers and bow, requesting the camera from me...

Anyway, that's what my kitchen is like these days! It's a combination of my vegetarian cooking laboratory and Noah's play room. I can't wait to get her a little kitchen of her own, maybe Santa will bring her one! I'm making sure that she is always eating healthy, too. Most nights she'll share my dinner with me. This Monday she ate asparagus, and Tuesday she had feta cheese and spinach leaves on home made (not by me) wheat bread. She's an awesome eater! Heck, she eats better than her daddy!! If any of you are interested in learning more about a vegetarian diet, and lifestyle I highly suggest Forks over Knives, also I'm always looking to swap good recipes and products! I hope you are all enjoying your weekend, Peace and Love, Layne

Monday, September 3, 2012

Noah's First Birthday Party

This past Saturday, with family and friends, we celebrated our little caterpillar turning one!! Here are some snap shots of the invitations, decorations, and all of the fun that the event entailed! We had such an amazing time, and Noah did, too! Enjoy these shots- they've perfectly captured what will be great memories for years to come!! Thanks to all who made it such a great day for our family! Peace and Love, Layne

The invite...

the cake (or cupcakes, and smash cake)

our birthday girl!

Noah not so sure about Uncle Clayton...

....or Uncle Chan

great friends....Aunt Brandi and Aunt Caitrin!

Anna and me!

before the party, I was worried I bit off more than I could chew with the paint project...

the kids did hand prints to make caterpillars...

getting painted

it took lots of help from willing friends to paint the hands of 1 and 2 year olds!

the projects ended up ADORABLE! It was such a fun treat to send kids home with!
we had good food inspired by what the Hungry Caterpillar ate: watermelon, strawberries, cupcakes, sandwiches 

Noah enjoyed the balloons with her Paw Paw

sidewalk chalk and can't go wrong!
Noah's cousins did a great job leading the Happy Birthday song!

blowing out the candle!

Noah and her Dee Dee after the smash cake!
help from Aunt Brandi and Britain on her new transportation courtesy of Uncle Clayton!

she ran around the whole party- she was our social butterfly!

Have you ever tried to take a family pic with 6 kids under the age of 5 ?

a shot of my hanging caterpillar on the back porch!