Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Family Favorite Recipe

Here is a recipe we obtained from a friend. It is delicious and we get comments on how tasty it is every time
we serve it! It is so, so easy and if you like chicken, you should like this recipe!

The recipe is called Parmesan Chicken. (Not to be confused with chicken parmesan):)

****Note: For our family of ten we double this recipe and use half oil and half butter, rather than all of one****

1 cup butter (or olive oil or combination of both)
2 slices whole wheat bread
Parsley (all spices to taste)
Garlic salt or plain garlic powder
Italian seasoning
1 cup parmesan cheese
4 lbs of chicken breast cut-up  into med.-small pieces depending on your preference (To further simplify, use chicken strips/tenders)

Melt butter in microwave or in oven in a baking pan.
Blend other ingredients, except the paprika, in a food processor.
Place chicken  in baking pan into melted butter. It should look like a lot of liquid, but crumbs will soak it up!
Cover chicken and oil with crumb /spice mixture and push crumbs down into oil with fork or spoon so it won't get dried out as it cooks. Sprinkle over top with paprika.

We serve this with rice or egg noodles and a large green salad, possibly some fresh fruit, and my daughter Kelsey's homemade bread sticks.


Monday, April 26, 2010

Spring Fever

Spring has a way of slowly stealing in upon us  as we shake off the chill and stiffness of winter. Each and every season has it's special charm and specific excitements to look forward to. Spring though, seems to call us outdoors to smell the fresh breezes and floral bouquets as bulbs begin to peep over the once frozen earth as if freed from their winter coffin. The trees all reach out their  arms to the sky as they green-up, alive with color and fragrance, as delicate blossoms shyly begin to open up to the sky. The stately trees, once bent over and lifeless looking, seem to come alive and  glorify God in Heaven for His shining down upon them with His warm, glowing sunshine. There is something about Spring that truly awakens us from slumber to step out into the outdoor beauty and walk in the garden and make new plans for growing a bounty of God given food. The spring gives us a renewed energy and desire to clean and open windows to allow the breezes to send our curtains to dancing!Our God is so good to give us seasons and reminders of His goodness!

I have already planted spinach and lettuce and have watched as it has come up and begun to grow. I can't wait to taste the delicate fresh and flavorful greens in my first fresh homegrown salad. There is no better way than to grow your own vegetables and fruit. It certainly isn't easy, but oh, the satisfaction that comes when we are able to harvest and enjoy the fresh taste of homegrown food. We get to enjoy the benefits of the sunshine and vitamin D as we work in the outdoors air, and then there is the exercise from hoeing and working the soil. after that we get to decide where to grow which vegtables, to watch as they grow, we grow in faith as we trust God for the harvest, and finally, as I already said, to eat the fruit of our labors! It is tastier and healthier to boot!!

I hope I can learn new ways to improve our family garden and to grow more food each year. I pray we can all learn to be more self sufficient in this area. Praise God for the abilities He gives to us to do so!

Enjoy the season. Plant a garden and reap the joys of eating healthy, homegrown food. At least you know what is in/on it!!:)

O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.

O fear the LORD, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him.
The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing.
Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD.
What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good?

Psalm 34:8-12

In Christ,

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Big Day

Well, it has happened. Joshua is now off to a new adventure and chapter in his life. No one could possibly have prepared me for the flood of emotions and  feelings I had after he left.

He will only be gone for 7-8 weeks for a Christian film making internship, yet it feels like he has gone for ever! I must be a first class, #1 wimp but all I can do is think about all the memories of his growing up. He was my "pumpkin", "sunshine", little guy... and now I turned around and he is 18 years old! I have a huge lump in my throat and stomach. There is no other way to describe this feeling of tearing away that is taking place. I know he'll be back and it is probably a blessing that he hasn't gone for 2-4 years! I get a "breaking-in" sort-of. God knows what we all need, He is amazingly GOOD!
One thing for sure, I will be in constant prayer for our precious #1 son! He was a boy and he now is a man. WOW! Hard to fathom. The time just goes TOO quickly. 

I can't even begin to imagine what it will be like when each one of our children gets to the point in their lives when they get married. Thankfully I am not there yet with any of them, but it probably isn't THAT far away! One step at a time! Even though we expect, and hope such good things for them, it doesn't change the fact that they are growing up and moving out into the world, away from us!!!  Obviously, our goal is to bring them to a place in their lives where they don't need us any more, where they can go on in the strength of the Lord, without us, their parents. It still is an adjustment time for everyone involved. I admit, it hasn't been easy. I am so thankful, and we all need to be, for the time, and wonderful blessings, gifts, joys that God provides. I am so thankful for the fact that our Awesome, Amazing, Wonderful God saw fit to entrust these sweet children to us to raise up and train. What a blessing beyond description. We must leave them in God's hands knowing He will take care of them. Joshua may be gone for a time, but he will be back, at least for a while, and there are the others, his siblings, here who need to be loved  and cared for also. (Seven still to go/grow!)

Each step is a learning for us and them! Time is fleeting, they grow up quickly,  we must enjoy  them and make  lasting memories while they are still in our home. Then our children  can take those memories with them to carry  in their hearts. That is my hope and prayer anyway...Hopefully, and even more importantly, they will take the word of God hidden in there hearts, as we have taught them to.  All the effort and sacrifice will be so worth it  to see them walking in the ways of God and fearing Him.

For those reading, and if you are a parent, please listen. Enjoy every moment with your God-given blessings. Cherish every day! The hardships will be there, frustrations, and disappointments  will present themselves, but the joys and successes will FAR outweight them all!!!! I am sure you know that, but this Mom needs to be reminded sometimes!:)

Although I am so totally happy and overjoyed at this opportunity for Joshua to grow and learn, I'll miss him! It is a process of letting him go and it is heartbreaking, gut-wrenching, HARD!!!!! This is a time of growing my faith, I guess too. I don't think any mom/parent will ever be ready when the time comes. It will come differently to each of us, but the same process takes place. Letting go. Awful,UGH!!!! Not fun!

I praise God for His gracious, merciful ways in which He takes us so gently by the hand and leads us through each new phase of life. I pray He will also lead our Josh, and yet, I know He will! Our God is beyond Good, He is so AMAZING!!!  He has all of our precious ones in the palm of His hands and they are so safe there. No fears or worries. There will be pain, yes, difficulty, yes. But  thankfully, God is right there with  us, taking us all through!

Again: Enjoy each day and blessing, because before you know it our young adults are gone and starting out their own new lives. You will never feel ready, but it there comes a time for all of us to go through this passage, and His grace is sufficient. Hang on to Jesus. It is precisely these times in our lives that definitely keeps us on our knees! I am weak, but HE is strong!

Love in Christ,

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Our Firstborn Son is Graduating

Things have been a bit of a whirlwind lately in our home. I have been reminiscing and thinking a lot. Our first-born son is a home school graduate this year. He would have been going through the graduation ceremony on the 23rd. Since we purchased his cap and gown, sent out invitations, put together his photo board, and other such things, he was accepted to intern with a Christian filmmaker. He will be leaving on the 20th to Texas! This is a dream come true for him!! Of course Josh didn't want to miss this opportunity, and he also didn't want to miss his graduation, yet the timing was such that he would have to. He decided, in a very mature way, that the internship is MUCH more important than a mere ceremony. SO, as a mom, I have struggled with this a bit. I too, think his choice a right and wise one, yet I saw the ceremony as important to me as well, maybe too much so. But I have also realized, and been reminded by wonderful Godly friends, that he will be doing what he feels called to and learning, and a ceremony isn't what is so important at all, in the long run. How silly to even worry or feel any kind of sadness! Of course, I am so happy for him and can't wait to see what God will teach him through this really great experience. I praise God for allowing Joshua to be able to go, learn, and make new friends, as well as to mature in ways only this very time will allow.
I want to say how proud we are of Joshua Daniel Hoppman. He is such a joy to our whole family. He is talented, funny, dedicated, kind, encouraging, sweet, hard working, well...he is just so special and we hope that God will use him greatly to make a difference in some way, great or small, by God's enabling grace and empowering. I want to let him know how much we love him and that we will be praying unceasingly, while he is gone on this wonderful adventure.
This is such a rewarding time and yet a time of letting go for me. I know I am riding the roller coaster of emotions about this. It is so exciting and yet I do feel a little sad because he is growing up. He is a young man now and his course is set, his sails are up, and I hope and pray for God's protective and guiding hand always taking him safely through the waters of this life.
OK, I may be sentimental, but it is because lots of hard work, and lots of failures even, have brought him thus far. I thank God for His unending faithfulness, mercy, grace and love through it all.
May Joshua always listen to the voice of His Great and Amazing God, His Savior and Lord, as he navigates the rough and the calm seas. Joshua, we love you! God is watching over you!
We look forward to the many other opportunities and ways God will direct your paths. Trust Him son! Your whole family is cheering you on!!!
To anyone reading: God is good and He never fails. Don't ever give up!!! He watches over us and our precious children.
Love in Christ,