Honey BBQ baked chicken tenders

You just can’t beat fresh honey! Check out this LIVESTRONG article about the benefits of local raw honey:

https://www.livestrong.com/article/266247-benefits-of-local-raw-honey/

It’s great for so many purposes but we especially love it in recipes! These baked chicken tenders turned out great….full of flavor and just delicious!

http://honey.com/recipe/honey-bbq-baked-chicken-tenders

The National Honey Board has a terrific website with information and several recipes! http://honey.com/

A perfect side dish with BBQ chicken is potato salad. This recipe is a little time consuming but it is worth it! You’ll have plenty of leftovers for a couple days to enjoy or share with a friend.

https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/mama-s-potato-salad

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Bean Cake!

It starts with this

Add a few ingredients to make this

Bake and Serve!!

The result is a very moist chocolate cake/brownie that has no flour but high in protein. My daughter loves it with ice cream and cool whip topping!

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/149550/garbanzo-bean-chocolate-cake-gluten-free/

When it rains

It pours, right?  I consider myself a very optimistic person but once in awhile you just need life to give you a break.  Over the past several months our family has went through many things that had the potential to leave you feeling discouraged and hopeless.  But thankfully, on most days, our heads were up and we knew things were going to get better.  The good Lord shows up and shows off when you need Him the most!  He promises to always provide for His children.

My husband recently began a new job and has been working hard to learn all his new duties and responsibilities.  A new job always requires alot of patience, effort and in his case, now a lot of travel.  Our beautiful mountain state is full of wildlife and unfortunately two new company cars (one a total loss) have met them close up.  Rental cars to the rescue!  We sold both our vehicles recently.  We shared one truck for awhile.  We dealt with used salesmen for a couple months.  And then finally found a newer truck with low miles in our budget.  Hopefully we are done with all the car hopping for awhile!

We started our new homeschool year in the fall.  And shortly afterwards, my 8th grade girl started her 2 year process of orthodontic treatments.

We had several family emergencies, health issues and long days at the hospitals.  A couple times, we had multiple family members either in the ER, in a hospital room or in surgery.  The photo above is from the surgical unit waiting room on a very quiet Sunday morning.  Of course you can’t be two places at one time so we weren’t able to attend church each week on a regular basis.  During this same time, my husband had surgery and then physical therapy and was off work for 6 weeks.  As with any surgery and time away from your job, it comes with much paperwork, phone calls and dealing with insurance companies.  He was able to return to work the week before Christmas.

We saved and planned for our 25th wedding anniversary trip to Ontario for several months.  Literally, the day before we were scheduled to leave, we had a family emergency and cancelled all plans; our reservations, tickets, etc.  After a couple months we were finally able to get away for a few days for some relaxation and alone family time.

During these rough months, it seemed we would never get back to “normal”.  Sometimes we take the little things for granted each day.  Despite everything that was going on, it was my goal and daily struggle to try my best to maintain some type of normalcy for my daughter.  Our days were anything but normal and everything was just a mess.  I don’t believe in sheltering our kids from the world but I strongly believe that kids shouldn’t carry adult burdens.  I tried to continue her 4h activities, weekly youth group, horseback riding, being with friends, playing games together, etc.  Looking back, it only added more stress to attempt some of these things but it also helped to sneak in some fun activities when possible.  And yes, we made our best effort to keep up with school work which was quite a challenge in itself.  8th grade is a very important year in my opinion, as we finish up middle school classes and prepare for high school in the fall.

These are only a few things that come to mind or that I want to share right now but you get the idea.  Life isn’t perfect, that’s for sure, but sometimes it all hits home at the same time.  Some days you just question, “what else can go wrong”, or “what else is going to happen”?  I only share these thoughts to give God the glory and share how He is there for us when we need Him.  Or, he sends the right people that cares for us and provides encouragement when we need it the most.  You will always remember the friends or family that helped when times were rough.

As with any trial, we always come out better than before.  We learn valuable life lessons during the rough times that we may never have learned otherwise.  And for that reason alone, we should be grateful.  Our perception changes as we look at things differently.  We can either become bitter or better.  We can find the good in bad situations if we just take the time to look for it.

I’m so thankful…

that my husband didn’t get injured in his car accidents.

we had the resources to pay for braces, hospital bills, a newer vehicle, etc.

our family members are doing better physically.

my husband is recovering very well from his surgery.

And I’m most thankful that God taught us more about compassion, forgiveness, grace and mercy during this time.  Our faith has increased and we are moving forward!  The last couple weeks have been very “normal” for us and it feels great to settle back into a routine once again.  I once heard someone say that you are in one of three positions right now;  either just came out of a storm, in a storm now or getting ready to be in a storm soon.  May our faith lead us and prepare us for what lies ahead.  And may we have compassion to help others as they go through the storms, particularly the ones that we have experienced ourselves.

If you are starting a new job, facing health scares, big decisions, car accidents, disappointments, family problems, financial issues…. put your faith in God to help you.  He promises to be there!

2 Cor 1:3-4

…the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulations that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble..

1 Peter 5:7

Casting all your cares upon him; for he cares for you.

Psalm 29:11

The Lord will give strength unto his people; the Lord will bless his people with peace.

Isaiah 40:31

But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary and they shall walk and not faint.

Holidays!

It’s a cold and snowy January day….perfect for sharing a few holiday recipes! Last month we enjoyed a fun evening with our Auto Zone family at the company Christmas party. We always look forward to this celebration each year! It’s a great time to catch up, relax and just spend a few hours together during the busy holiday season. Due to Adam’s job change, we didn’t host the party this year like normal but we were happy to be invited!

Meat and cheese boards are so fun to put together! Be creative and make it appealing! The basics include meat and cheese, pickles, olives, crackers, dried fruit, garnishes and nuts. It can be as simple or as elaborate as you want. Just make sure to use different shapes, sizes and textures on the tray. Another idea is to use sweet and salty items for a completely different type of board.

Speaking of sweet items… we can’t forget desserts! These white chocolate peanut butter balls from Taste of Home are always a favorite each year! They are so simple and quick to mix up.

The recipe can be easily doubled or tripled depending on the amount you need to serve. https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/peanut-butter-snowballs

Luke

As we finish our monthly morning Bible study this week, I wanted to share a few things and encourage you to read and study the Gospel of Luke.

The Lord took men of varying personalities and abilities, inspired them by the Holy Spirit, and produced four separate accounts (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) of the life of Christ that would appeal to all kinds of people. We are able to see His character from four different viewpoints. Together they represent a composite picture of the Son of God. Probably the richest portrait is that given to us by Luke, the beloved physician.

Luke’s design for this record was to describe Him as a humble servant and the only perfect human being. Luke devoted a great deal of time to Jesus’ ministry to women and children, to the poor, to the underprivileged, and to the despised Samaritans. He pictured the Lord Christ as the perfect man ministering to imperfect humanity. Luke also gave much attention to the subject of prayer, recording in nine places the fact that Jesus prayed.

Luke’s Gospel may be divided into four main sections:

1. The Coming of the Son of Man
2. The Preparation of the Son of Man
3. The Ministry of the Son of Man
4. The Victory of the Son of Man

I have mentioned before the invaluable resources from the Time Warp Wife, Darlene Schacht. In November 2016 she wrote a very thorough and practical online Bible study of the book of Luke. This website includes a free study guide, questions and answers, free printables and her thoughts on each chapter throughout the book.

I highly recommend using this website for more information:    The Book of Luke

Luke 23:43 NIV

Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

Big Soft Ginger Cookies

This is a great holiday cookie recipe from Taste of Home! My friend hosted a Christmas ornament and painting party recently. She’s so creative and generous….lots of crafts, prizes, a hot chocolate bar and yummy treats filled the room!

I was searching for something special to take to the party when I ran across these ginger cookies.

Easy to make ✔️ Delicious ✔️ Soft ✔️

https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/big-soft-ginger-cookies/amp

Baked Apple Cider Donuts

This recipe is a perfect fall breakfast treat! The donuts are so soft, moist and full of flavor! It’s a little time consuming but the recipe makes 15-16 donuts so you have plenty to share with a friend and breakfast for your family for a couple mornings. Add a cup of yogurt or fresh fruit and it’s a quick grab and go meal. Bonus~ your house smells amazing!

http://www.sprinklesomesugar.com/baked-apple-cider-donuts/