Saturday, December 29, 2012

Homemade Chili Seasoning

Josh and I love chili, and I'm always playing with spices and seasonings. Here is a "recipe" for my most recent mix. I don't use all of this for 1 batch of chili - just use as much as you like!

1/2 cup chili powder
1/8 cup ground cumin
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon sea salt

1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon 
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Mix, and enjoy! 

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Christmas Tradition #5

3 years ago, after my grandfather passed away, my family started a new tradition - the white envelope.

Somewhere in sermon preparations, my father found the most touching story about a father who hated the materialism of the Christmas season. For Christmas one year, his wife purchased sports uniforms for an inner city sports team - she didn't tell anyone what she had done in honor of her husband until Christmas morning. After all the other presents were opened, the children finally noticed a white envelope that had been tucked into the tree branches. Upon opening the envelope, the wife's letter explained her husband's Christmas gift that year was the gift of sports uniforms to local children. Blessing someone in their community quickly became a holiday tradition.

Over the past 3 years, my parents have kept this tradition going in honor of my grandfather. This year, Josh and I started our own white envelope gift. It was a special time praying and discussing where God would have us give this holiday season. Buying grocery and gas gift cards for an under-privileged family in our church was definitely the highlight of my holiday season. I'm already looking forward to next year.

What do you do during the holidays to remember the real reason for the season?

Friday, December 21, 2012

Christmas Tradition #4

One tradition Josh and I started last year is "praying through our Christmas cards". Basically we keep all the Christmas cards we receive in a bundle on our dinner table. Then at dinner each night throughout the year, we pick one card and pray for them.

Last year was our first year doing this, but I loved it. It is a great reminder of our family throughout the year and encouraged us to stay in contact with family and friends so we knew what to pray for.

What do you do with your Christmas cards each year?

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas Tradition #3

My very favorite Gillespie Christmas tradition is the opening of the first gift. Each year they wrap up baby Jesus from the manger set and before they open any other gifts, they unwrap the true gift.

As a new family, we have been wrapping up Jesus from this miniature manger scene. (We might have to upgrade to a larger Jesus as the kids get bigger and more likely to swallow Jesus.)

How does your family incorporate baby Jesus into your Christmas? 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christmas Traditions #2

One of my favorite Bezanson family traditions is sitting around the tree, drinking egg nog and putting together our new Lego sets. Even today, in our 20s and 30s we still receive a Lego set from my dad in
our stockings.

I don't know where this tradition came from, but Josh and I have incorporated it into our Christmas since we were married.

Last year I got a Harry Potter Lego key chain. This year josh is getting a Halo 3 set - can't wait!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas Tradition #1

I'm a lover of tradition just for tradition sake. I simply love rituals and looking forward to special things around the holidays. One really special thing about getting married is joining your families' traditions.

One of Josh's family's traditions that I love is that before opening presents on Christmas morning, they recite Luke 2 as a family. This year, I've been memorizing the passage so I can participate. Join us - King James Version only! :)

Luke 2

King James Version (KJV)
And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.
(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

My New Hobby

...has become removing stains. Something I have to admit, that I'm not very good at. I have a hard time "sticking with it" and really doing a thorough job. Until now, my family didn't really create too many stains, just a little spot of pasta sauce now and again. Ella, like all babies, is a pro at stealing her mommy's heart and staining her clothes.

What is your favorite stain-fighting cleaning agent in your home? I'd love to know your experienced mom tricks. So far, I've been using OxiClean Max Force Gel Stick - and as you can see from the pictures below - it removed my worse stain yet. (By the time I could get the onesie off her, there was  a bright gold ring all the way around the pant line!)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

2 Corinthians 12:9

"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."

I read this verse during my devotions the other day and it gave me great hope to know that in my personal weaknesses, struggles, and failures Jesus is going to walk beside me and through His great power, guide my Ella.

Adjusting to motherhood has been challenging - but so rewarding. These last 2 weeks I've been learning how to function on very little sleep, figuring out Ella's needs and how to meet them, and most importantly, balancing how to be a mom AND a wife.

Although this has been an adjustment, I'm much more worried about the years to come.

When Ella has a crush on the "Justin Beiber" of her time, and she fights to put up a poster of him; when she wants to start wearing make up or have a boyfriend; when she faces peer pressure to do drugs or cheat on a test. I'm not sure how I'll handle those situations. I believe raising her based on scriptural wisdom and giving her a firm foundation in the Lord will guide her through life. I'm just so grateful that in my significant failings are a mother, Christ is going to work through me and give me the tools necessary to raise children that love Him with all their heart.

Monday, December 10, 2012

My First Christmas

Ella was all decked out last night for her first "social event" at church. We forgot to get pictures of her out, but here are a few of her rocking her "My First Christmas" onesie from Grandma B!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Waking up is hard to do

One of my favorite times with Ella is when I'm waking her up to eat. She definitely takes after her father in this capacity - getting them up is like raising the dead. Ella definitely has Josh beat in the "cuteness category" however. 

Here is a video of one wake up!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Smart Girl

I love seeing my wonderful hubby loving on our daughter. I always knew he would be a wonderful father, that is part of the reason I married him. It is a strange new love I have for him, and I wouldn't change it for anything.

My wonderful man sits with our daughter after the 9:30 feeding every night so that I can get into bed and get some sleep before the first night feeding. He desire to help and sacrifice touches me. I couldn't ask for anyone better, and I'm glad I never have to.

My little girl has got it right with her shirt

Monday, December 3, 2012

Psalms 92

My mom receives a daily email with a verse and Bible study for the day. She forwarded on the email to me from November 22 - Ella's birth day. As I wasn't checking email in the hospital, I didn't receive her message until we were home and adjusting to our new (wonderful) life.

I love how God knows exactly what encouragement we need, even before we are discouraged. It is amazing how the same scripture will touch you in different ways at various points in your life.

The verse focused on in the November 22 email was from Psalms 92 and it said "It is good to give thanks to the declare Your loving kindness in the morning and Your faithfulness by night." I read this beautiful piece of scripture after a very long night and an exhausting morning - and I'm grateful for the reminder to celebrate those times, and always cherish my blessing of Ella. 

As my friend said to me yesterday, "The nights are long, but the years are quick." With the Lord's strength, I will praise Him in the mornings and the late night hours as I watch my Ella grow.   

What scripture touches your heart and encourages you as a mom?