Sunday, January 23, 2011

Bacon Water Chestnut Rolls

A few weeks ago when the Oregon Ducks played in the national championships, I made these for my husband to bring to his football party. They were a big hit, so I thought I'd share the recipe. I found it on but made a few changes. I also like to make my own chili sauce rather than buying it, so the recipe for that is below too. Enjoy!

Bacon Water Chestnut Rolls

2 (8 oz) can water chestnuts, whole
1 pound sliced bacon, cut in half
1/2 cup mayo
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup tomato-based chili sauce (recipe below)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Wrap each water chestnut with a piece of bacon. Poke with a toothpick to hold together & place the rolls seam-side down in a 9x13 inch baking dish.

3. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until bacon is crisp & cooked through. Drain off the grease.

4. In a small bowl, stir together the mayo, brown sugar, & chili sauce; pour over the bacon-chestnut rolls. Return to the oven & bake for another 25-30 minutes.

To make homemade chili sauce:
Stir 1/2 cup tomato sauce, 2 tbs brown sugar, 1 tbs vinegar, and 1/8 tsp allspice together in a mixing bowl until thoroughly blended.

This post is linked up to: Tuesdays At The Table

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

What Every Mom Needs

I really enjoy reading. I wish I had more time for it, but I fit it in as best I can. Lately, usually it's been while snuggling with my precious baby girl. She's a great cuddler.

Last week, I started reading the book, What Every Mom Needs: Meet Your Nine Basic Needs (and Be a Better Mom). It's written by Elisa Morgan & Carol Kuykendall, of MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers). What an encouragement it's been to me. I've read it before (when I had just one child), but it's even more relevant to me now, I think.

Here's what it says on the inside cover:

"Being the mother of a young child is a tough job, but now you can find help and understanding. Elisa Morgan & Carol Kuykendall of MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) International point the way to relief & fulfillment in the midst of motherhood's hectic pace. After more than 20 years of research & experience with moms, MOPS has identified your nine basic needs as a mother: significance, identity, growth, intimacy, instruction, help, recreation, perspective, and hope. The authors show how meeting those needs will not only make you more content - it'll make you a better mom. "

I've found myself agreeing with so many of the examples of daily life mentioned in the book, saying "Yep, that's me... that describes our day". And it's great when a book puts into words exactly how you feel. It's comforting. It's validating. It reminds you that you're human, along with everyone else. That you're not out there on your own planet somewhere. It's so easy to forget that you're not alone when you spend your day taking care of little ones, with little adult interaction.

Although I couldn't be happier with how God has blessed our family with 4 wonderful children... I mean, this is the life I've always wanted, right?... I have to say it's tough just getting through each day. Having 3 under 2 years old is hard work! Trying to be there for each one of my children is difficult. I feel like there's not enough of me to go around. When 2 kids are crying (for completely different reasons) & you're right in the middle of making dinner or something, you just can't physically be there for everyone. And that's something that's hard for me. I want to be there for my children.

Time seems to be just flying by & I just want to slow it down so I can really enjoy my children. I mean REALLY enjoy them. Some days are better than others, but there are times that I'm so exhausted that I wish I could just take the rest of the day off & sleep (or read)... (or finish my cold breakfast that's still sitting on the table). Yet there are precious children to feed, diapers to change, bills to pay, library books due (yesterday), a phone call to make, & laundry taking over the laundry room. None of those things can be ignored.

No, taking the day off just isn't an option. This is a season of my life where I have a lot of little ones depending on me each day. I just pray God will help me to have a good attitude & give me the strength I need each day to be the kind of mom He wants me to be & that I will have the energy to do some fun things with them too each day rather than "just get through the day". I'm sure when I look back on this time, it'll mostly be a blurr, but I hope there are some sweet memories that stand out as well.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A New Year

It's been a while since I've written anything on my blog. And you know, I'm starting to miss it. So you might hear more from me in the days to come. Or you might not. We're running on a day-by-day basis around here, so anything could happen! lol

I love a fresh new year. So many possibilities. New ways of doing things. A chance to recommit to what matters most & re-prioritize. Of course, this can be done any time of year. But a new year makes me want to organize. declutter. simplify.

Although, this new year, I'm not doing a whole lot of that right now. My baby girl was born just one month ago, and my days right now are filled with caring for her while trying to keep up with her 3 big brothers. So we've been enjoying lots of family time at home... well, at least it's enjoyable when someone's not crying.

With 3 little ones that are 2 & under, there is lots of crying, I'm afraid. They seem to take turns, although sometimes they don't wait to take turns & everyone's crying at once! That's the hardest thing for this mama. Bring on the diapers, the extra mess, toys everywhere... I can handle that. It's the crying that wears me out. But I am trying to enjoy the season we're in as best I can as I know they won't be little forever. I'm so thankful for my family.

So most things for us have been very simplified. Simple routines. Simple meals. We rarely go anywhere, except for church. It's hard to pack up all the kids & their stuff... it's easier to just stay home! But I'm slowly feeling up to adding more things back in. Like this blog. And we started back up with school this week for my 9-yr old. Oh, and I'm missing my friends!

I have to say it felt good to pack up all the maternity clothes. I'm soooo done with those, ready to pass them on. But my closet is seeming awfully bare as I've been in maternity clothes for pretty much 3 years straight. So I think I'll be venturing out soon to see what I can find. By myself. Well, just me and the baby girl.

Oh, and here are some pictures of my little sweetie. Can you tell I'm enjoying PINK for a change?

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