Saturday, April 7, 2012

Oh Happy Day

This girl is happy to report that spring break has officially begun! Horray! I've already started a list of things I want to accomplish over the break, but the list is going to wait until Monday. I am going to relax this weekend and spend some good quality time with my husband and our dog. That's right, we got a dog. I'm not sure that I ever thought I would own a dog, but low and behold here we are. We are now the owners of a lab/shepard mix dog that we rescued from the Humane Society in Lynchburg. His name is Tucker and he is five years old. He really is the perfect first (for me) dog. I am not a fan of the drooling/barking/jumping type dog and Tucker does none of the above, so we've been pretty compatible so far. It's been a fun two weeks getting to know him and spending time together. Currently, his only downfall is that he super stubborn when it comes to going to bed, in other words, he refuses to unless it's on his time. I just don't get it...I'd love for someone to tell me I have to go to bed every night. I personally am a fan of sleep. Perhaps he will learn over time...

Since it's been a while, I am going to wrap up the past few weeks in a picture tour.

This is Tucker...taken on the day we got him.
Last weekend we did a lot of yard work and spruced up our porch.
I also worked on a little repainting project. This is our little porch you can see it was quite rusty.

A few coats of spray paint and it's good as new!

I made this really easy chicken dish that could be a great prepare ahead meal. Recipe below.

This is blurry because I took it on my iPad, but it is my precious husband and Tucker both asleep. Too cute.

Here is the above chicken recipe. It is directly from Real Simple. It was so good and I didn't change a thing (other than I just made three pieces of chicken instead of four).

Serves 4

Hands-On Time: 15m
Total Time: 1hr 15m


6 tablespoons olive oil

2 lemons, 1 thinly sliced, 1 juiced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3/4 pound trimmed green beans

8 small red potatoes, quartered

4 chicken breasts (bones left in, with skin, about 3 1/4 pounds)


1.Preheat oven to 450°F. Coat a large baking dish or cast-iron skillet with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Arrange the lemon slices in a single layer in the bottom of the dish or skillet.

2.In a large bowl, combine the remaining oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper; add the green beans and toss to coat. Using a slotted spoon or tongs, remove the green beans and arrange them on top of the lemon slices. Add the potatoes to the same olive-oil mixture and toss to coat. Using a slotted spoon or tongs, arrange the potatoes along the inside edge of the dish or skillet on top of the green beans. Place the chicken in the same bowl with the olive-oil mixture and coat thoroughly. Place the chicken, skin-side up, in the dish or skillet. Pour any of the remaining olive-oil mixture over the chicken.

3.Roast for 50 minutes. Remove the chicken from the dish or skillet. Place the beans and potatoes back in oven for 10 minutes more or until the potatoes are tender. Place a chicken breast on each of 4 serving plates; divide the green beans and potatoes equally. Serve warm.
It was delicious and takes very little prep time. The rest of the time is spent in the oven!
Tonight I felt I got a gift...the gift of time. I have felt like lately I'm just rushing through my days and just getting done what needs to get done. Cooking has been a chore rather than something I am doing because I love it. Tonight I knew that I had nothing to get done, nowhere I had to be, and nothing to wake up early for tomorrow. It was awesome. I just took my time cooking and cleaning up the kitchen. I really enjoyed being in there making our meal tonight.
I am so excited for this weekend. I LOVE Easter. It's my favorite holiday (after Thanksgiving). I am looking forward to our church service which is always so beautiful. Then, we're heading to my home to see my family. I just love the feeling of new life and beauty that this week and weekend brings. Tonight I read these verses from Phillipians 1: "...because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." A few things stand out to me in these two verses, 1. "partnership in the gospel", I love thinking of how I am a partner with Christ and with others in bringing the gospel to those around me, 2. "he who began a good work in you will carry it through", wow. Even though I fail often, and sometimes can't see that good work, it is there because I have been created to do a good work. I have the author and Creator of life seeing it through. That's awesome. How privileged we are to celebrate the cross and the One who died so that we may have a good work in us so that we may partner in continuing to share Him with others.
Well, I am headed to bed. I really want to contact the Apple support people but I suppose since it's close to 1am that they aren't "open". My itunes software is sending me over the edge by not updating which is causing a slew of problems. Oh well. Tomorrow we're getting up and going to the Farmer's Market! I'm excited for this new little addition to our town!
Happy Easter!