Saturday, September 29, 2012

Egg & Zucchini Bake

Bryce and I loved this recipe! It's a yummy one! Great for an easy dinner.

Egg & Zucchini Bake
(adapted from Eat Well, Live Well)

4-5 cups zucchini, thinly sliced
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped, or 1 tablespoon dried
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
2-3 tomatoes, chopped
3-4 eggs, well beaten
10 ounces (2.5 cups) mozzarella cheese, shredded
10 ounces spicy sausage, cooked

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Saute zucchini and onion in olive oil until tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in seasonings; continue to cook for 1 minute. Add tomatoes and sausage.

In a large bowl, combine eggs and cheese. Stir in vegetable mixture.

Bake in a greased pie pan for 18-20 minutes or until knife inserted into center comes out clean. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Cut into wedges to serve.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Galations 5 Break Down

Galatians 5:4-8---Break Down
Scripture in Bold
My thoughts following....

You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.
You're a Christian and you love Jesus. And yet you're still trying to measure up. Still working so hard in your own strength, "doing" via the law instead of "being" via grace. It's not only impossible but the striving alienates, separates you from Jesus Christ. You have fallen away from the Grace that originally rescued.
But by faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope.
We are saved by faith and also, by faith, we await the culmination of our salvation: a heart completely made new, a new body, at home with Jesus. It is by faith you await the righteousness you are ever-so-eager to attain. Simply by faith. Not by works. Not by lots of trying. Not by rules and standards. In addition, you are enabled by the Spirit to wait. Not through your own power. Not with grumbling or laziness. But with eager expectation because your hope is sure to come.
For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.
Circumcision is the pinnacle description of a law-abiding, Jewish male. To the Christian today, circumcision may be compared to anything we hold up as the pinnacle of Christ-following: missions trips, serving the poor, church attendance, devotion time, etc. In Jesus, these actions in and of themselves, compelled by a commitment to the "law," no longer contain value. Instead, Paul says those who are in Christ Jesus must be filled with faith and express that faith in a life of love, out of which will naturally flow service to the poor, commitment to the Church, time spent with Jesus, etc. Same actions but done in love, not in "law."
You were running a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth?
You commit to following Jesus; you start running the Christian race. And then it happens. The Devil cuts in, the master of sneaky and smart lies. Believe it or not, it's completely possible to be running the race well and then suddenly to realize the lies have crept into your mind. The truth has subtly been replaced with lies and you are no longer running a good race.

That kind of persuasion does not come from the One Who calls you.
Jesus is the true Caller. The lies may say otherwise but His truth will never lead you to return to the law, to be law-following instead of Christ-following. Be persuaded to follow Jesus; cling to His truth, primarily found in and never conflicting with Scripture.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

My First Little Girl

Imagine two scenarios with me:

A young mother with three children, ages 4, 2 and 6 months. Alone, homeless, scared, and embarrassed to seek out help from family. Needing help but nowhere to turn.

A young missionary family living in Indonesia. Monthly support provides a decent home with plenty of food & necessary provisions. Their aim: to serve the local people and to live a life of love among them, doing what they can to reach out and point to Jesus.

If we were that Indonesian family and Jesus brought that young mother to our door and she needed us to watch the 2-year-old for a few weeks while she could start a new job and get back up on her feet and we had the resources to help her, we would say "Yes! That's what we're here for!"

In truth, I expect the Indonesian missionaries to open their home in such a way and in that situation. And then I ask myself: why is it any different here in Indiana? Do I have the resources, space, time, love, concern, and mission in life? Why do I expect such "sacrifice" and action from the Indonesian missionaries?

This comparison has been burning in my mind and heart over the past few weeks.

And then Jesus said, "You're not off the hook, Jana. I'm bringing 'mission' right to your door right here in Indiana."

Enter C*, a real-life mother here in our city, homeless and with three children. Enter G*, her super cute 2-year-old daughter. Enter us, a typical midwest family with busy lives. Enter Safe Families, a ministry that connects the local Church with local hurting families with nowhere to turn.

G came to live with us for a week. My first little girl.

Justus and G playing together on the kitchen floor.

I was quite suddenly thrown into the very-busy life of a mother with two children needing constant care and attention. She was so precious--lots of little conversations, potty-training, fish crackers, trying to figure out what she liked to eat, needing comfort when she missed her mommy. Suddenly she was with us (found out Sunday, picked her up on Monday) and suddenly she was taken away (expected her to be with us for at least a month, but she was unexpectedly able to return to her mother after only a week). Such a small "inconvenience" and such an immense blessing to our family.

Justus loved having G. They would snuggle and play together.
Such a priviledge to be her surrogate mother and to love on her for a week.
Such a pleasure to serve her mother in this way.
Such a time of strengthing for our marriage to serve together (an unexpected & wonderful side-effect).
Such a small and simple way to express Jesus' love to a hurting family.

Click HERE to read more about Safe Families. It's not for the "super families" among us. We're just trying to live the Jesus-life in our city, loving the poor, the fatherless, the needy. Perhaps a ministry like this is your door to service, or maybe Jesus is starting to nudge your heart toward another aspect of the sacrifical/inconvenient/serving "missionary" life.

If you ask me about it, I might be living vicariously as an Indonesian missionary these days. My second little boy arrives in just a few hours.

*Full-names withheld to protect their identity.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Odyssey - here I come!

Yes, I'm excited. I'm joining an online book club. We're reading through classic literature chronologically. One book a month--not too daunting.

I'm joining this blogger and hundreds of other women.

And this is the version of The Odyssey that I'm currently reading. It really is easily understandable. Believe it or not.

Do you want to join me? :-)

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Over half a year . . .

Highlights of month number seven for Mr. JD! Time just keeps moving right along.

  • Justus is a pro at army crawling. And he can move fast when he sees something he wants. Like an electrical cord. Or the dog's tail. Or the shoestring on Mom's tennis shoes while she's trying to work out (that happened Saturday morning . . . Dad to the rescue). Also, the necks of all of his onesies are stretched out because of his crazy crawling.
  • He loves to hit/pat all surfaces, especially when he army crawls onto something new, like the rugs in the foyer or the floor in the laundry room. Also Daddy's guitar case and the wooden coffee table are favorite patting surfaces. We say that he's practicing his drum skills, of course.
  • Just in the last few days the amount of "babbling" has seriously increased. The inflections are so cute--like he's really trying to say something to me.
  • I love it when JD chases "sun spots" in the late afternoon. Wonderful sun comes in our library windows and he loves to go from sunspot to sunspot on the carpet--patting and watching the shadows. Shadows are another favorite of his. Bryce and I will make finger-animals or move our feet to make shadows on the wall and he just stares!
  • Yesterday, Bryce started pretend sneezing and JD just laughed and laughed. It's their new "thing." And it's adorable (both of them).
  • It doesn't happen too often yet, but lately JD started laughing on his own, and not in response to tickling. That just amazed me when it first happened and something made him giggle. Love it!
  • At his 6.5 month doctor appointment, Justus was in the 90th percentile for height and the 50th for weight. The doctor said that I can't feed him too much--this boy burns calories all day long.
  • Speaking of feeding, we started solids a little late, just because of all the summer traveling. But he jumped right in! JD currently loves to eat: cereal, peaches, pears, bananas, avocados, sweet potatoes, and peas. Yesterday we added carrotts and that's the first food he didn't like and wouldn't eat. We'll keep trying. I'm buying fresh, cooking the items that need it (mashing and feeding plain those that don't), pureeing and then freezing in ice cubes. It works great so far.
  • Hair is getting longer and darker. No curls yet. Definitely in 6 mo clothes but not for long, they're getting tight. Thighs are pretty chubby but still on the long&lean side.
  • Naps come and go. We're trying to switch to 2 per day instead of 3, but I think he's also in the middle of teething, which sometimes ruins that plan and a third nap is needed. I'm learning to be flexible and let the day happen as it will. (To an extent, I still like a schedule!)

I never mean to post this many pictures, but I just can't help myself. It gives such a good, visual picture of the past month.

He likes to watch us in the front seat, craning his neck to look at us.

Justus loves to pull the board books off of the shelf.
Yes, he pulled himself up there. Really wanted to suck on the buckles on the guitar case.

Um. Yum? Does that table taste good?

This is where the Langebartels family hangs out these days.

He's playing with the camera cord while I take a picture. Working on that fine motor control.

The half-sit. JD does this a lot these days.

Just hanging out with Parson. I think these two are going to be pals.
Airplane with Mama!
Just had to include one sad-face picture. Pitiful, JD.

This picture was pretty popular on Facebook. Exploring!

And more exploring.
JD likes looking at lights. Bryce was enjoying them, too.