Saturday, February 18, 2012


What answer do you expect when you ask someone, "How are you doing?" Do you really want to know the answer to your question, or are you asking out of social obligation? If they reply with more than one word, do you suddenly become uncomfortable? Or, are you disappointed or frustrated when you only get a one word answer?

What answer do you give when someone asks you the question? Do you reply with "Fine", "Ok", "Alright", or is your response honest and a little more descriptive than a simple "Fine"?

It bugs me when someone obviously isn't fine, but says that they are. I typically don't ask how you are or what's going on in your life if I don't want to know, but I am guilty of asking at times that don't allow for adequate time to respond in an honest manner. And I am totally guilty of answering a quick "fine" or "good" in response to someone's question, but get frustrated when that's all I get from someone else. I think I do it because I feel like sometimes people only ask out of social obligation. At other times it just feels plain awkward to give a genuine, honest response (probably because that isn't the 'norm').

Why do we do these things? Do we not have time to stop and listen (or talk - depending on which side you're on)? Are we really so busy that we don't have time for people? Or is it just strange and awkward to talk about what's actually going on in our lives? It is easier to say, "Fine," than to be transparent?

Last Sunday our Pastor talked about authenticity and the importance of it in the body of Christ. When we give the answer of 'fine', we're pretty much not doing anything to build a relationship with another member of 'the body'. Authenticity is one of those things that we could all stand to work on a little (or a lot) - mostly because we aren't that great at it on a consistent basis. We don't always accept people for who they are. Society has this habit of wanting people to fit some mold and sometimes, the church does the same thing. But the truth is, God designed us to be uniquely different. As the body of Christ, shouldn't we embrace those differences and build on individual strengths?

An authentic life is a transparent life. Transparency can leave you feeling vulnerable - naked - but the truth is, you're pretty naked before God already. He knows that you don't have it all together. I am finding that it's liberating to admit I don't have it all together (which requires my being a little more transparent when asked questions that I'm so tempted to just give a one-word response to). Relationships grow and the body of Christ is strengthened through authenticity.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Chicken and Gnocchi Soup

Gnocchi: delicious little dumplins typically made from potato (although they don't takes like potato)

I didn't take a picture this time...this is one I found that looks alot like my soup.

Chicken and Gnocchi Soup
1 to 1 1/2 C of cooked, diced chicken breasts (NOTE: I used actual chicken breasts - boiled them and then sauteed them with McCormick's Rotisserie Chicken seasoning. You could use Tyson's Diced Chicken Breasts from the frozen food section - that would make it super easy, but I would suggest boiling it to unfreeze it before you add it to the soup.

4 TBS (1/2 stick) butter
1 tsp EVOO
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves of garlic
4 TBS flour
1 quart half and half (or if you forgot to look at the recipe before you went shopping you can use a pint of half and half and a pint of buttermilk - super healthy!)

Put EVOO and butter in pan - melt. Add garlic, celery and onions. Saute until onions are translucent. Add flour. Stir for a minute or so. Add half and half (or whatever you decide to use).

There are 2 types. I used the one found in the pasta aisle. There is also a frozen kind, but I was told this was better. Just cook it according to package directions. It took 4-5 minutes. You basically cook it until it floats.

28 oz - chicken broth
1 cup shredded carrots (I used matchstick carrots from the store because I HATE shredding carrots)
1 cup fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp parsley

Add carrots and chicken to the base you created. After it thickens, add chicken broth. Wait for it to thicken again, then add spices, spinach and gnocchi.

Let it simmer until spinach it wilted and thoroughly mixed in soup.

Serve with parmesan cheese. YUM!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Hey, It's Ok

I am linking up with Airing My Dirty Laundry, One Sock at a Time. The object is to list things to be okay about. I have been a blog slacker lately, so I needed something fun to get me rolling again.

To be sad about Whitney Houston passing away

To think that Kelly Clarkson's hair looked a LOT less stupid at The Grammy's than it did at the Superbowl (it was a mess)

That I arrange my day so that I can watch Ellen

That I LOVE having guests (or boarders - as my hubby calls them. Seriously, who's coming next?)

That I am growing to detest Facebook - stop posting every five seconds. Your life is NOT that interesting!

for me to HATE to go to the grocery store

to be SUPER excited that I found THIS cast iron wok at the 2nd hand store for $4.50:

Monday, February 13, 2012


So, this weekend Ronnie's mom and dad came to visit. I LOVE HAVING GUESTS! Who's coming next?

They arrived on Friday evening, Ronnie made Shrimp Fried Rice and it snowed. You know, I never really bought the story about Debbie's snow boots, but, I too, am now a believer. It snowed and snowed and snowed some more. Typical weather for NE Ohio in February, however, we have been lacking winter precipitation and temperatures. Not. This. Weekend. (Thanks Debbie!) For those of you who don't know the reputation of said boots:  legends says that her boots make it snow.


I went to Blake's on Friday with the intention of bringing cupcakes home. Didn't happen. Why? Because they were O.U.T. at 3PM! WHAT???!!!! No cupcakes? So, I ordered a dozen for Saturday and we had lunch and cupcakes!

I don't know why their faces look red - could be the light from the window. It was a happy day!

Does that face look like it deserves a cupcake? No? I didn't think so either (but we still gave him one).

Saturday Debbie and I went to Hollo's Papercraft Store. It was snowing like crazy, but we had a mission (and a truck with 4-wheel drive). It was my first visit, but Holy Paper, Batman! They have hand-made paper, any size and color of envelope you could possibly need, scrapbook stuff, gift wrap stuff, any side craft bag or cellophane bag you could want, cardstock by the pound, art was CRAZY!

After lunch we went West Point Market, dropped the boys off at the mall and went to Hobby Lobby and Archiver's. I got a lot of ideas for projects I may sell on Etsy. (oh yea - since I'm a blog slacker I haven't told you that my Etsy shop is up and running - I am going to try to be better)

Saturday evening we had dinner at The Rail. So yummy!

I made cranberry-orange scones with orange butter for breakfast on Sunday and we ate lunch at First Watch. We napped, at Poppyseed Chicken Casserole for dinner and watch The Grammy's. They left this morning and are back in Illinois as I type this - not quite home, but back in The Land of Lincoln and I already miss them!

I'm not gonna lie. I miss family and friends. I am getting used to living in Ohio and I have friends here, but I still miss Illinois. Little things remind me of certain people. My reaction depends on how emotional I am that day. Some days I cry. Some days I smile. I was so grateful to have a "little taste of home" this weekend.

So, who's coming next?


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