Monday, May 30, 2011

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Nearly Wordless Wednesday: Springtime at the Herzog's

Top of the bookcase spruced up for spring/summer

I made new pillow covers to lighten things up

Added spring-y flowers to the arrangement

My newest crochet project

Does anyone know the name of this bush? I love it.

Monday, May 23, 2011


I was getting really tired of winter cooking and my menus had become pretty boring. Spring was just the jumpstart I needed back into the kitchen. I love the variety of fresh ingredients coming into the stores this time of year. I bought some delicious blueberries today!

Here's what the Herzogs are eating this week:

Monday: Sweet Potato Burritos (This is actually left-overs from Sunday lunch.) Such an awesome flavor combination.
Tuesday: Broccoli Quiche with green beans and a salad
Wednesday: Bible Study (We eat there. I'm bringing this cake to celebrate the babies that have been born in our group this year. I might leave out the almond extract and make lemon curd for filling. This cake is super moist and tastes like something special from the bakery.)
Thursday: Sausage Primavera and a salad
Friday: Hot dogs and Hamburgers, corn on the cob, baked beans (I'm going to try making them in the slow cooker), coleslaw
Saturday: Baby Back Ribs, coleslaw, baked beans (Yum, my mouth is watering just thinking about this.)
Sunday: new recipe-Porcupine Meatballs and roasted cauliflower

I probably won't be posting my menus every week, but I thought this week was especially yummy. I love trying and sharing new recipes. :)

Three more hits already this spring/summer:
Unbelievable Chicken
California Grilled Veggie Sandwich with homemade Focaccia Bread
Hawaiian Turkey Burgers

What are your favorite recipes this time of year?

Monday, May 16, 2011

An Awakening

Last summer, I read a book called Gospel Powered Parenting. It was an impulse purchase, added to my Amazon cart to make the $25 free-shipping mark. I mentioned it last year on here because it was rocking my all too complacent world.

That was just the first voice in a series calling me to a gospel-centered life.

Gradually, I'm beginning to understand how good the Good News really is.

All my life I've been a part of the church. I knew that I needed to believe in God and accept Jesus' sacrifice for me, and I did. I loved God. He was a really awesome Dad who provided for me and worked all things for my good.

I would never have said it out loud, because in my head I knew it wasn't supposed to be true, but I lived on the assumption that I didn't sin, therefore I wasn't a sinner. The problem is a non-sinner doesn't need a savior.

Then, I read a book called Spiritual Depression: It's Causes and It's Cures. (I highly recommend it, with the caveat that it isn't beach reading.) I see myself in every chapter, but the key insight I've found in that book is the idea that sin is not so much the actions as it is rejecting God.


I began to see my ignoring the Holy Spirits nudges as sin. When He was calling me to get off the computer and into His word. When He prompted me to forgive rather than hold on to bitterness against Brad when I knew I was "right." When He showed me that I was being harsh with my children. Quick rabbit trail: one of the most convicting things I've ever read was this quote from Amy Carmichael, "If a sudden jar can cause me to speak an impatient, unloving word then I know nothing of Calvary love. For a cupful of sweet water cannot spill even one drop of bitter water, however suddenly jolted."

And those were just a few things that happened over and over. Countless times throughout my day I ignore the Holy Spirit and do what feels good to my pride.

Oh, Lord. I am a sinner!

It wasn't until I understood (finally!) my need for a Savior that I really understood the world's need for a Savior.

At the same time that I read Spiritual Depression, I also read Radical, and I began to get excited about the kind of fruitful life I could be leading.

My first priority is the ministry I'm already leading, Mothers of Preschoolers. What an opportunity to reach out to unsaved women! We've totally missed the mark. I've totally missed the mark in my pursuit of the details of making the meetings happen. I've been praying and talking to the other women on my team since February. My prayer is that God would ignite in them the same passion. Would you join me in that prayer?

How is your life different from the world around you because of the gospel?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Lenten fast

But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where theives do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is there will your heart be also.
The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to one and despise the other.
Matthew 6:19-23a
I've been feeling great conviction lately about how much time I spend in front of the computer. A good chunk of my morning is spent reading what others have to say, both those I know (Facebook) and those I don't (blogs.)
I'm not denouncing them. I love them. But, I love them a little too much.
I cannot serve two masters.
My time in the morning is better spent reading God's words rather than man's.
With that in mind, I am fasting from the computer this lenten season. I do have a couple exceptions:
-I will be checking email, but only 3 times a day (A significant decrease, believe it or not.)
-I will be using the computer for MOPS work, but only for what is absolutely necessary.
-I have found Scripture Typer incredibly helpful in memorizing passages of scripture and will use this season to memorize even more.
I'm telling you all this for only one reason: I don't want you to think something is wrong and tempt me into getting back online. Hopefully, you will see this and then forget about it. I won't be moping about during this time, either. In fact, I anticipate that my joy and energy will increase as I spend time with the Father. (Matthew 6:16-18)
I've had several people in my family, including my husband, ask me to begin blogging more frequently. After this fast, I may be able to focus my attentions better in that way, but don't expect anything until May. :)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Making cookies

As I prepared to make Diane's Cherry Cookies today, I remembered this story from a year ago.

So, we were going to have a party this weekend, but nobody can come so we've cancelled. (That's okay; I was starting to stress a little bit about it.) But, I didn't know we were going to cancel this morning when I made a large batch of Cranberry Orange Chex Mix.*

Catie and Nick are eager to "help," so we pull up their stools and I try to think of things they could do without hurting themselves or making me crazy. When I pull out the cereal, Catie remembers helping me make Cherry Cookies for Christmas and starts crunching them. (The recipe for Cherry Cookies includes crushed rice chex.)

"No, no, Catie," I say. "We don't crunch the cereal for this recipe."

"Oh," she replies and sneaks in one more crunch.

I give her another, sterner warning and she resists the urge to crunch again.

I turn around to get the butter out of the microwave, and I hear her say in her Mommy voice, "You want me to get some more cereal so you can crunch it? Okay, I'll get you some more."

Her "Inner Mommy" is so much nicer than me sometimes.

Can you believe that was almost a year ago? Catie has graduated since then. She now uses if/then statements to let us know how she would like us to act.

"If I eat all of my dinner, then you will give me a special treat."

"When this show is over then you will let me pick another one."

And my new favorite, in the middle of a crowded theater in full voice, "Okay, here's my deal: when this is all done then it will be over."

Nick has his fair share of funny things to say too. A couple weeks ago our DVD player gave out, and with the price of Bluerays now it didn't make sense to buy another DVD player.

This thing is amazing. We now have Netflix that streams movies directly from the internet. Knowing how slow youtube videos can be, I have been very pleasantly surprised by the quality, but every once in a while it will stop while it buffers. During one such time, Nick turned to me and said, "It's having trouble. It needs to listen and obey."

I love having 4 year-olds!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Snow fun

Yesterday the twins were off school and Brad was off work so we headed out to enjoy the snow. We were out the door at 8:15, but after eating breakfast at Spudnut's, trying to put air in our tires at a faulty air machine that ate our three quarters, and going to three stores for snow boots for Nick and sleds, we made it out to White Bluffs Elementary School for some sledding on their big (but not too big) hill.

After a ride down with the parents, both of the kids decided to try it alone. Nick thought it was great! When Catie got to the bottom, she said, "I'm tired and I'm cold. Let's go home." I think she was more scared than anything because she enjoyed more rides down the hill as long as Mommy or Daddy went with her.

The twins favorite part was when Brad or I went down on our bellies with the kids riding our backs. But, when Brad turned a little too much and both of them came tumbling off into the snow the fun was over. We made a few snow angels then headed home. Which was probably good anyway, considering that it was only 11 degrees outside.

I took some really bad pictures with Brad's iPhone while we were sledding that don't really show anything. Here are some shots of the kids that I took with my good camera when we got home.