Yellow and Blue makes Green

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Anyone remember that old Ziploc baggies commercial?  They are so simple to close even a kid can do it. There was a yellow side of the seal and a blue side.  When it is closed, the seal is green. Hence, yellow and blue makes green. I should have re-watched that commercial before my attempt to seal a Ziploc.

I had gone on a bike ride.  (Before you compliment me on taking time to exercise, I must confess it was my first time on my bike in months.  I hope to keep it up this time.) I was chatting with a friend on the phone using my Bluetooth.  I washed up and decided this was a good time to try my new marinade recipe.

I pulled out all of the ingredients and filled the blender. 4 cups of water, 4 ounces of feta cheese, crumbled, 2 Tablespoons of dried oregano, 2 1/2 teaspoons of kosher salt and 2 teaspoons of cracked black pepper went into the blender. I muted my friend and began to blend. It was a putrid shade of green (from the oregano). I unmuted the phone and placed the 2 pounds of skinless boneless chicken thighs in the giant Ziploc bag. I then began to pour the marinade in the bag.

What happened next is still a blur. I stopped pouring for some reason and released the Ziploc bag. The bag immediately rolled to it’s side pouring out green goop on my counter. (Here’s the brilliant part.) I grabbed the bag, ran my fingers over the seal (not checking for the yellow and blue makes green) and moved it out of the goo and set it down on another part of my counter.  Guess what? It did the same thing over there. Now I had two puddles of green stuff on my counter top and the second puddle was dripping into my drawer of cooking utensils.  Ugh! Good thing my fingers were too wet to mute my phone. It kept me from releasing a barrage of unacceptable words into the situation.

I grabbed a rectangular storage container from my shelf and put the Ziploc, now properly sealed, into it. I used way too many paper towels to clean up the marinade. I left the drawer open to dry better. I carefully opened the Ziploc to pour the final bit of marinade into the bag. Success.

We cooked the chicken the next day.  The recipe says to let it chill 8 hours or overnight. We loved it.  Great flavor.  Fabulous.  Here is a picture of the recipe, which also had been attacked by the green goo marinade.

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Yes, the powdery stuff is oregano. The recipe suggests squeezing lemon juice and drizzling olive oil on top of the chicken. I didn’t do that. Your call. Anyway, I hope you get a chance to try this. It has amazing flavor. Please remember to put your Ziploc in a container first and that all so important step of ‘yellow and blue makes green.’

Dream Big!

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3 Schools 3 Weeks

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I am tired!  The back-to-school routine takes at least a month to get on top of in our home.  My kids attend 3 different schools.  Which means 3 drop offs, 3 pickups, 3 back-to-school nights, 3 PTAs, 3 everything……  It’s a bit crazy.  It’s really only been 11 days (12 for my high schooler) due to Labor Day and starting mid-week.  However, I am slowly coming out of the fog.

For moms who have children in school, be kind to yourself.  You have until June before the schedule changes again so take time easing into this new one.  Find a new route to drop off the kids.  Spend time cleaning our a drawer (it feels great when you toss stuff). Take a moment to sip a cup of tea (iced-tea if you live in the Southern California heat wave). Breathe in deeply. You will find a new normal.  It just takes time.

Remember that your kids need time to adjust too. The eye rolling may not fully stop after they settle into school but it will lessen. Waking up exhausted every day will cease once they too figure out how to manage their new schedules. It’s a season of grace. Grace extended to your kids and yourself.

Once we get back in the swing of things, how about we all set a new goal?  Your kids are learning new things, why not you?  Sort of a back-to-school resolution.  I’m still making new recipes weekly, which was my New Year’s resolution.  Now that I see new pockets of space in my life, I would love to add something to improve myself. Exercise is something I need to add (don’t we all?). I take yoga.  Love it!  I miss biking so will return to it once the temperature drops below 80 degrees at 7 a.m. Maybe you want to take a class – cake decorating, cooking Thai food, Bible study, underwater basket weaving.  Whatever brings you joy. Let’s make a goal to learn or add something to bring more delight into our new normal.  You are already in the midst of change, so you are allowed to throw something of your own in the mix.

Please reply with a comment on what you plan to add to your already crazy routine. You are worth it.  Besides, life is always going to busy, crazy, and changing.  Put something of yourself in the mix.

Dream Big!

Death and Life

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I intentionally switched the phrase so no one would think this was a physical life and death situation.  The truth is, our choices each day are a matter of death and life.

Last week our pastor spoke about those daily choices.  Every decision you make is a choice for life (obedience to God) or death (sin or disobedience to God).  Those choices don’t determine your salvation.  Your salvation is secured once you accept Jesus as your personal Savior and ask Him to guide you in life.  However, how much you live for Him is your choice.

I found how many times I chose death every day.  I was typing a text to a friend to complain about another friend and I stopped in the middle when I realized I was choosing death.  I deleted the text and didn’t send it.  I ran into someone who hurt me deeply and internally I began a dialogue of hate towards her – death choice.  I redirected my thoughts to ask for help to forgive her.  I opened my mouth to say unedifying things and I stopped. However, I didn’t spend the week feeling like a failure or beating myself up.  In fact, I applauded myself for seeing behavior that needed to be changed and changing it.  Plus, I had many successes as well.

I prayed with a friend who was hurting – life.  I shared my true feelings with a friend who comforted me – life.  I spent time with God in His Word – the Bible – life. I hugged my kids and told them how loved they are by me and God – life. I saw a stranger who looked sad and prayed for them – life. I encouraged a friend through a text – life. I chose life a lot more than death.

My goal this week is to keep the scales balancing on the life side.  This isn’t a place we arrive at.  Choosing life over death is a daily, momentary decision.  Each day we make the choice over and over.  Again, this isn’t about your salvation, this is about how you are living your life to the glory of God.

For my friends who aren’t in a personal relationship with God, I encourage you to look at behaviors in your life that build you up and those that tear at your soul.  Those are you life and death choices.  We all need to decide every moment if we are going to add or take from those around us.  I chose to add.  I am confident you will too.

Dream Big!