Monthly Archives: January 2012

Marriage Talk. With a 2 year old and a 5 year old. (And the importance of family dinner.)

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Sitting around the kitchen table tonight during dinner, we had the following conversation:

Dad: “So, honey, you sent me some emails about our budget today – what was it again?”

Mom: “Yeah – we’re almost at the paying-off-the-car point. It’s good!” (I stop to take a look at my  girls desperately trying to avoid eating their dinner.) “Wow, we have some gorgeous girls. We are totally gonna be in trouble when they get older.

You know, this will be our family’s financial future:

*We’ll pay off the car in a few months.
*We’ll (finally!) get our school loans paid off in about 5 years or so.
*Then the girls will be older, and we’ll probably wanna put them in some sort of private school.
*So I’ll go back to work to pay for it.
*Then Chloe will wanna get married. It will cost $10,000. Then we’ll pay it off and Kami will wanna get marr–“

Dad: “Hold up! These girls are NOT getting married! Kami?”

Kami: (who, with her Snow White dress on, has been rapidly consuming applesauce, even though she didn’t touch her dinner…but if I didn’t give it to her, she wouldn’t have had anything remotely healthy all day, so I caved. She got the applesauce…and without looking up she says,) “Hmmm?”

Dad: “Are you getting married?”

Kami: “No! I not get married! I just gonna be Snow White.”

Dad: “Good. That’s my girl. Chloe?”

Chloe: (who at this point has finished her applesauce – also without finishing her dinner, but she managed to get through 2 bites without gagging up the tomatoes, shrimp, and spinach, so she deserved 2 cups of homemade applesauce. It was a valliant effort. She is now dancing around the kitchen and has made it to the hallway. She pokes her head back into the kitchen.) “Yes?”

Dad: “Chloe, are you gonna get married?”

Chloe: “Yes!” (She gives herself a hug and twirls around in a circle so her princess skirt twirls around in the air with her. With a wistful look in her eyes she says,) “Absolutely I am gonna get married!”

Dad: “Oh really? Who are you going to marry?”

Chloe: “Logan.” (Boy at church. One of the only boys her age at church.)

Dad: “You’re gonna marry Logan?”

Chloe: “Yes I AM! I am going to married him. So then I can kiss him.” (exact quote there…)

Kami: “hee-hee-hee” (another exact quote there…)

(Chloe then comes back to the table to attempt to find more applesauce in her bowl…)

Dad: “Yes, only when you marry him, then you can kiss him. But you also have to wash his stinky smelly socks.”

Chloe: “Ewwwww! His socks?!”

Mom: “Yes, and you have to cook for him.”

Dad: “Do you know how to cook?”

Chloe: ‘Yes! COOKIES!” (which, she does.)

Dad: “You have to cook more than just cookies. You have to cook him a casserole. Do you know how to cook casseroles?”

Chloe: “I can make a pancake casserole.”

Dad: “Pancake casserole? That makes me wanna vomit.”

Chloe: “VOMIT? Daddy, you’re so silly!”

Dad: “Well, that’s not enough. So you can’t marry him yet. And you definitely may NOT kiss him.”

1 hour later: Chloe is watching Jamie Oliver cooking videos on my iPhone.

(Cue: Jaws theme music.)

Logan, watch out.

:)

– Even if it has been a rough day, and even if all you have is a frozen pizza or takeout from the neighborhood Chinese place….have dinner with your kids around your kitchen table – without the TV on. It’s always worth it. Always. :)

I’ve always wanted to give God a gift…

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…He’s given me so many. So many, I’m trying to count 1,000 of them just in this year.

How can I give Him something?

Sunday morning, I was holding a gift. A precious growing gift, deep inside of me.

A treasure in my earthen vessel.

A baby in our family is deeply loved, a treasure. Even when we haven’t seen him yet.

But some complications came about over the weekend.

Sanctity of life” has a new meaning for us.

I was afflicted. Emotionally, spiritually.

Physically, knowing every pain of each contraction brought me closer to my baby…who I had been so excited to see, but desperately did not want to see yet. I clung to every hope that something I could do would stop what was happening. And I clung to every hope that something I had done was not the cause of what was happening.

But my God loves me immensely. And He loves our baby. He calmed my Spirit with Job’s words.

“The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.”

So I was not crushed. But I am devastated.

It’s amazing how your heart grows with love as a baby does in the womb. Doubling, tripling by the hour.

I waited through the long rainy days, and the dark quiet nights. Wondering why God would want this treasure now. Why He would take it. I was carrying, in my body, the most final of all. I was carrying death. How is that a treasure? Who would want that.

…always carrying in your body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.”

Wait.

Death?

The death of Jesus saves me from eternal death. That death put my baby in a sweet, perfect place – a place I suddenly have an insatiable desire to learn more about.

“For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.”

This is the essence of the greatest Gift. The gift of the Gospel.

Life.

Because of Jesus’ death, I am alive. My baby is alive. And the life of Jesus can be manifested in me. ME.

That is my treasure. A gift from God so wonderful I can’t even imagine it at times. He lost his child. I lost mine.

I would have never chosen to lose mine. For anyone. He gave His. Willingly. For everyone.

The treasure I have, the death of God’s child for me, is a gift from God to me.

And through this light momentary affliction, my God is preparing for me something so wonderful in eternity, nothing can be compared to it.

Why do I share this? This such painful, private trial. Why wouldn’t I? I surely talk about my other 2 little ones.

And because I’ve always wanted to give God a gift.

“so that as this grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.”

My dear tiny one,

You were formed from love. You were so desperately wanted by the few who knew of your sweet existence. And so many won’t even know of you until now, but their love for you will be genuine. We did everything we could to keep you here, because we believe. We believe that life begins at Week 1, Day 1, Minute 1. You were already a part of our family. We had almost 2 months to think of you, pray for you, and nurture you. I wouldn’t trade those wonderful, precious few days for anything.

You came into the world, in a clean, peaceful world full of candlelight and beautiful notes of music. Notes of hope that our God is indeed in control. Words of thanksgiving for what that God has given us. We really do have 10,000 reasons to bless the Lord. You are yet another one to add to our list.

And you’re the first one from our family to be able to tell our God thank you. In person.

And you gave me a gift. You grew my heart even bigger. I can love more now because of you.

And one day, soon, he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence.

That’s my gift for today. That today, just maybe, as this story of God’s gentle grace and love to me extends to more and more people, someone will be able to see the Gospel. The gift of Christ. So that they may give thanks and glory to my God.

That’s my gift for God, from God.

II Corinthians 4

Just a few photos for a friend…

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So, this is totally why I haven’t been in my kitchen much this week…my friend up the road had a sweet little baby.

So, actually I was in my kitchen much. Just cooking for her.

Jealous?

Have a baby, I’ll probably cook for you, too.

(Hey, ask my girls – I will make a party out of anything!) :)

So I got a little carried away with this 50 year old fabric of my grandmother’s…

I just love watching a Mother with a newborn. The love is so real…even though she’s only known her face for mere days.

Mama havin’ a talk with daddy…baby’s happy knowing the ones who love her most are so close.

What do you get when you send Charlie Brown to Mexico?

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You get a no-bake Pina Colada Cheesecake in December.

Duh.

We had some good friends over the week after Christmas, and decided to pull off a Mexican night…with our Christmas decorations. It worked. I think. :)

This was such an easy recipe – no bake cheesecake also means – no crack cheesecake. :) Thanks to my Pampered Chef recipe files, this recipe graced our holiday table – maybe it can make an appearance on yours too! (Although – if you wait until the 5th of May, I wouldn’t be offended.)

For the crust, you’ll need:

1 cup loosely packed sweetened flaked coconut

10 creme-filled vanilla sandwich cookies

2 tbsp butter, melted


Crush up those cookies and mix them with the melted butter and coconut.

Press them into the springform pan, then stick it in the fridge while you work on the filling.
(I used a torte pan, but I think a springform one would work much better.)

Then for the filling, you’ll want to combine a 1/4 cup of sugar with 2 8 oz. packages of cream cheese. You can use your hand mixer…or come over and borrow my new KitchenAid. :)

Cream those two ingredients together until they’re nice and smooth.

Meanwhile, zest a couple of limes, until you get a Tbsp of zest.


Add to it a quarter cup of lime juice (I juiced the fresh limes I had just zested.), and 1 tsp of unflavored gelatin. Let them sit for about 3 minutes, then microwave it on high for 20-30 seconds – just until the gelatin is dissolved.

Put a 1/2 cup of thawed frozen pina colada drink mix into your bowl.


Add an 8 oz container of pina colada yogurt. (If you can’t find that flavor, coconut or lime would work.)

Add in your gelatin mixture, and you’ll notice your cheesecake filling getting thicker pretty quickly.

So go ahead and pour that filling over your crust. (Pull that crust out of the fridge first…it might be awkward if you don’t.)

Refrigerate your cheesecake for 2 hours or overnight. This is a great time to get your table ready. ;)

I sliced up some kiwis and strawberries, and whipped up some heavy cream. Any fruits you really like would work, though – Mangoes might be especially yummy!

Layer your fruits on the top of your cheesecake, and that’s it – you’re all done!

New Year’s Resolution #1 – Utilize my Freezer More

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Happy 2012 everyone!

I had a great year blogging (well, really it was a great 2 months of blogging – at the end of the year.) – so I’m excited to share the following results with you!

Because of your support, comments, and pageviews, this is what WordPress.com had to say about KimzKitchen:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 84,000 times in 2011. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 4 days for that many people to see it.

Thanks for making me so successful!  (And hopefully, this blog will get even better!) I have a lot of exciting things coming up this year – but I’ll spend more time on that later.  For now though, I thought I’d share a book review I just did for one of my new favorite sites – Goodreads.com.

Happy cooking – and Happy New Year!

Dont Panic - Dinner's in the Freezer: Great-Tasting Meals You Can Make AheadDont Panic – Dinner’s in the Freezer: Great-Tasting Meals You Can Make Ahead by Susie Martinez

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

With a lot of things coming up this year, I’m hoping to take advantage of my freezer. One book that’s been a great help to me is “Don’t Panic! Dinner’s in the Freezer!” I have a feeling that the price of the book is going to easily earn itself back with the fact that dinner will only be minutes away – hopefully we won’t make as many stops to Chik Fil A this way during the week. (Jamie Oliver will be happy with that, right?)

This is a fantastic collection of recipes that are ideal for cooking in bulk and freezing. Instructions include not only recipes such as Kansas City Hot Wings, Classic Crumb Cake, Spinach Lasagna, Chile con Carne, and Creamy Lemon Cheesecake; but the recipes are already set up to include the amount of ingredients for the recipe x2, x4, x6, etc. No more calculators (or mind bending processes) required!

I really like the opening chapter with the several methods of packaging and freezing the goods, Cooking day suggestions (like how to keep baked goods moist even after freezing), and shopping suggestions, including what things to buy at the Big Warehouse stores and what things not to buy there.

This could really be a great textbook for freezer cooking – the recipes are simple, and delicious, and designed for the freezer.

Highly recommended if this is something you want to invest time into!

View all my reviews