Tuesday, December 5, 2017


Delicious recipe mash-up! We all loved the flavors of this roasted one-tray wonder. Two thumbs up from all of the kids!

Savory Roasted Sweet Potato Plus 
(bonus: one tray meal)
(double bonus: Whole30 approved!)
adapted from this recipe
my recipe makes an extra large panfull, enough for two dinners for our family

Make the spice mixture:
*2 tsp sage
*2 tsp onion powder or minced onion
*2 tsp cinnamon
*1 tsp thyme
*1 tsp rosemary
*1 tsp pepper (more or less to taste)
* 1/2 tsp allspice or cloves
* 1/2 tsp nutmeg

Layer the following on a large roasting pan:
* 5 large sweet potatoes, washed and sliced thin
* 24 oz bag of fresh Brussel sprouts, cut in half
* 12-24 oz sausage, cut into small pieces (I used Kielbasa)

Douse with olive oil and sprinkle with 3/4 of the spice mixture. Stir together (using my hands is my preferred method).

Roast at 400 degrees for around 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix together the following:
*4 apples, chopped into bite size pieces
*generous handfuls of craisins and chopped pecans, more or less to taste
*~2 tablespoons of melted coconut oil
*the rest of the spice mixture

Once the sweet potatoes are soft, put the apple mixture on top of the potato mixture and roast for 8-10 more minutes.

And then enjoy!
Let me know what you think if you make it!

Wednesday, November 29, 2017


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Whole30 Meat & Onion Slow Cooker Chili
adapted from this recipe

I actually made this twice during our month of Whole30; we liked it that much. Don’t skimp on the onions—trust me!—they are what make it so delicious. This recipe makes an almost overflowing crockpot.

Fill the crock-pot with the following:
~5 lbs ground beef and/or ground turkey, pre-cooked (fill the crockpot half full)
2 massive onions (Costco size) or 4 reg onions, chopped
2 green peppers, chopped
heaping spoonful of minced garlic
56 oz diced tomatoes
~32 oz tomato sauce
add additional water or tomato juice to desired thickness
optional: add chopped spinach or kale in the last 20-30 min of cooking for a veggie boost

Spice mixture:
6-8 T chili powder
2 T paprika
6 t cumin
4 t parsley flakes
2 t oregano
2 t pepper
salt to taste


Here are a few more Whole30 favorite recipes:

(Can you tell I love slow cooker recipes? It's just the easiest way for me to make dinner with 5 little ones....throw it in the crockpot in the morning and it's ready by dinnertime!)

Monday, November 27, 2017


Six years ago, Bryce and I started on a journey. We randomly picked a foster agency and not even a Christian one at that . . . I think we just saw a billboard? I can't even remember that far back . . . let's just say there wasn't a lot of research involved. We just jumped in. We took licensing classes while pregnant with our first bio son. Our first short-term respite placement came maybe about a year later. But our first, and current, long-term placements didn't come until three years later and after another bio son.

The foster-to-adopt process is a long and winding journey (as are most adoption journeys). We are five and a half years into this. Thirty months ago our little man came. And we still don't know what the outcome will be.

On the other end of the spectrum, we have friends who just adopted a little man after only three months with him. Such a quick and beautiful journey to a son adopted into a forever family!

All that to say: if you've ever felt the nudge in your heart (Holy Spirit nudges quite possibly?) to foster (or foster-to-adopt or adopt or Safe Families host), then start making it happen today. In a way, tomorrow is too late. A child needs you today. You never know how long it may take to get through all of the training and the licensing, how long for your story to finally connect with theirs.

Our oldest foster daughter? She was born around the time we started working on our foster license. That just blows my mind. Four years later, her little life landed in our living room. At just the right time.

There is never a great time to jump in. Your schedule is not going to clear enough. You're not going to be perfectly financially ready. Your bio children won't seem up to the challenge like you hope they will be. Your house might not be as big as you wish it could be. But, we're talking about children here. They don't need your life to be all perfectly ready (and God doesn't need that either in order to use you). They just want a family, a safe place to call home. A child can't wait for you to get your life arranged just right or wait for you to think about it for a couple of months or years. Homes & families are needed today.

I read this the other day: "The life he lives, he lives to God" (Romans 6:10). This daily life you're living, that God gave to you: are you actually, literally living it to God? What might a life lived to God look like? Maybe it looks like just a little step.

I bet by the time you get through all that foster training and then waiting for the state to license you and then waiting for a placement, you'll be ready to go. And I bet God will have just the right child(ren) waiting for you.