Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Maple Teriyaki Grilled Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup apple juice
3 Tbsp soy sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp onion, chopped

Mix together maple syrup, apple juice, soy sauce, garlic and onion.  Pour over chicken and marinate in refrigerator 2-3 hours.  (I only marinated mine for about 30 mins. and it was good but I'm sure the longer the better!)  Grill chicken over med-hi heat.  Serve over rice.

I took my marinade and poured it into a saucepan and boiled it for about 5-10 mins and added a little cornstarch to thicken slightly.  Then I topped the rice with the chicken and poured the sauce over the top.  Yum! 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Photo Walk

Currently, we only have one car.  My husband works minimum 10 hour days Monday through Thursday so there's a lot of hours in the week when Olivia and I are at home.  It is quite a challenge to keep her busy and entertained!  Being an only child, she depends on me to be her playmate.  So, I try to come up with fun activities that are also educational.

Recently I had the idea to go on a "photo walk".  Olivia loves to take pictures, especially of animals, so I thought it would be a nice way to get outside, move around and learn a little while having fun.  I allowed her to hang the camera around her neck and take all the photos on her own.  Very exciting.  :)

She really enjoyed pointing out the pretty flowers and trees.  It gave me lots of teaching opportunities when she would see birds nests, rocks, and other little pieces of nature.  I even warned her of the dangers of smoking when we came across some cigarette butts.  :)

What a fun age she is at right now.  So inquisitive and still full of wonder at God's creation.  I love my girl. <3

How Does It Go Sooo Fast?

My baby starts kindergarten in 2 weeks!  Oh my heart, how in the world did the time go so quickly?  I remember just dreaming about holding a precious baby girl and here she is, about to go to school!  The first night I brought her little sleepless self home from the hospital, I held her and cried because I knew she would grow up!

I feel like its crunch time…teaching her this and that.  I'm scurrying to make sure she's academically ready.  Not too worried about that...more worried about her heart!  She's just got the sweetest spirit and doesn't quite understand that not everyone is going to treat her like their best friend.  I'm trying to give her pointers, don’t play with the mean kids!  lol  Find a friend that is kind and BE the kind friend to others!  Tell your teacher if someone hurts you and even more importantly, tell MOMMY if someone hurts you!  How do I go from being full time mommy, 24/7, to sending her off to the care of another for 35 hours a week?  Maybe this is just the natural progression of life, mommy has to learn to let go a little here and there.  Whatever it is…I don’t like it!  ;)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

This is my Calling...

I wanted to share this link because I really enjoyed it and thought someone else might as well. 
You know, I am far from being a perfect parent.  I get frustrated, I desire time away, I even lose my temper with my little girl from time to time.  But, at the end of the day...I would not take anything for this life of parenthood.  Living for God is not that we are perfect in flesh and never make mistakes!  We are only human!  Serving Him is that we strive to do well and please Him.  And when we fall (because we most definitely will) we get down on our knees and repent to God and our children and then we try harder.  I am so thankful for the gift that God has given me.

Friday, July 22, 2011

My Old Kentucky Home

This past weekend my husband and I were blessed to have the opportunity to get out of town for a night.  My parents offered to babysit and since Olivia adores spending the night with them, we jumped at the chance for some “couple time”.  

 At my husband’s company picnic on July 4th, he and another co-worker won the cornhole tournament and the prize for each was a gift certificate to My Old Kentucky Dinner Train for 2!  I had wanted to do this for years but due to the costs, we never made it.  So, that was a wonderful surprise!  The dinner train is in Bardstown, KY which is about an hour from where we live.  Also in Bardstown is The Stephen Foster Story, an outdoor drama which I had also been interested in attending.  The two together would make a perfect little getaway!  

Everything was so beautiful!  The drama was amazing and being outdoors under the stars made it that much more magical.  The dinner train was gorgeous and the food and service was outstanding.  It was certainly a time of refreshing for us as a couple to be able to enjoy each other’s company and our activities.  At the end of our time, I was excited to get back to our daughter but I was also a little sad that it ended so quickly. 
I believe it is so important for couples to spend “alone” time together, without our children.  Children are blessings and I love being a mommy but we must take time to nourish our relationship with our spouse.  It can be difficult on an everyday basis so I would encourage everyone that can, to find a way to take time out for your husband.  Whether it’s a regular date night (oh, how I long for that!) or the occasional weekend getaway or even a nice extended vacation.  I am so thankful for my husband and when we take time out for each other, it only strengthens our feelings for one another.  I am also thankful for my parents for being our babysitters and giving us the chance to get away on our own!  

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Will I Ever Learn?

“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6

This is a scripture passage that I have memorized and replayed in my head many times over the years…yet HOW do I so often forget to apply it to my life?  It’s ridiculous, really.  I can so quickly go from being calm and collected and proclaiming God’s hand on my life to being overcome with fret and worry about a situation that arises.  Only last night, I felt like all was lost, my situation was too impossible.  Impossible for who?  Impossible for me?  Yeah, maybe.  Impossible for God?  Not at all!  Yet I had to go through a total onslaught of desperate emotions instead of trusting in the Lord from the get-go.  It’s not as if He’s never answered a prayer, it isn’t like He doesn’t see us in our need and know this mom’s heart.  He is ever-present and He loves His children!  And He loves “our” children even more than we love them!  If He lays a heavy burden on our heart for our kids in a particular area, He didn’t do it to tease us!  It’s time to say, “yes” to God and allow peace and trust to overtake our hearts.  I’m praising Him in advance for how He WILL work out this situation and I’ll be testifying on here about it later!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

First Blog Post

My Heart…
Everything has a beginning and this is it for Looking Well to the Ways.   I will start with the basics about myself and what my hope is for my blog.  My name is Melissa and at 28 years old, I have been married over 11 years.  Yep, I married my first “real” boyfriend when I was 17!  Despite ups and downs, we’re still crazy about each other and I can’t imagine life without him!  I’m convinced that it wouldn’t be nearly as fun!  Our daughter is five and a half and is our pride and joy.  Truly a blessing and truly trying at times!  J  I am currently a stay at home mama but I have been a home-based child care provider during most of the years since I gave birth to Olivia.  A few years ago I stumbled upon a wonderful blog, Passionate Homemaking and then realized what a high calling it is to be a homemaker.  I had always had an intense desire to be that woman but I didn’t realize how many others felt the same way!  The blog really opened up a new world to me where I could get advice, become inspired and be encouraged.  At the time I discovered Passionate Homemaking I was providing child care, my daughter was only three and there were days that I just wanted to sit down and cry.  But these blogs kept me going on those days when I felt completely inadequate to do this job that the Lord had blessed me with.  My hope and prayer is that my blog can do that for someone else.  I want to encourage and lift up other wives and mothers.  I will journal my thoughts and feelings about my life and interests, loving my family, living for God, and serving others.  I plan to include thoughts on mothering, cooking, frugal living, educating through experience, hospitality, ministry, intentional living, crafts, holidays and celebrations and general homemaking tips and tricks that I’ve learned as a young wife and mama.  The name of the blog, Looking Well to the Ways is a reference to Proverbs 31:27, “She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.”  This esteemed woman sets the standard high but I desire to be as much like her as possible.  It’s a daily struggle but it’s what I strive for.  Join me on this journey and we shall where it takes us!