We will remain confident in the Lord's direction for our lives....

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Flag Football - Game 1

Dylan had his first flag football game on Saturday morning.  The little guys had only one practice before the game..... it showed.  The other team was huge.  There is now way they were 6-8 years old.  With that said, Dylan had a great time playing.  He played quarterback and loved it.  He had a few pitches and threw a few times.  The passes were picked off by the giants.  Oh well, they lost horribly, but you wouldn't know it from Dylan's stories of the game.




1/2 c butter, melted
1 c sugar or sucant
1/4 c cocoa powder
1 egg
1 t vanilla
3/4 c whole wheat flour
1/2 c chocolate chips
Stir together butter, sugar, and cocoa powder.  Mix in egg and vanilla.  Stir in flour and mix until combined.  Fold in chocolate chips.  Pour in a 8x8 greased baking dish.  Bake at 350 degrees for at least 20 minutes.

These were a winner.  My pickiest loved them with some homemade strawberry sorbet.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Trust in the Lord???? Seriously????

I admit it.  I'm kind of an after-the-fact girl.  I sit and wonder and worry about how things are going to work out.  I may say I know God has it under control, but deep down (sadly) I still question his abilities.  I know, I know - an area that is under construction.

Well just this week I received a couple of revelations of how God has had his hands on us.  Its as if he was leaning down from heaven whispering in my ear - "I told you so" (in the sweetest, Fatherly way possible of course).  

Moving out to California was not the easiest thing I have ever had to do.  I am a small town, conservative Texas girl.  What ever will I do in the land of craziness???  Well, we are living smack dab in the middle of probably the most conservative area in SoCal.  Its really great.  Other than being too far from TX, I'm digging living here.  Anyways, I have two quick examples of how God has shown me He is with us.

1.  Dylan is in a public school.  It's one of the best in the area.  He had a really hard time adjusting, but is doing great.  When we moved out here last June we had no idea about teachers.  We didn't put in a teacher request.  All we could do was pray (and worry) for the best.  Well, I have learned over the last few months, that is exactly what he got - the BEST.  Mrs. Owen and Mrs. Moore are fantastic teachers.  They have nurtured Dylan to help him overcome his problems and helped him to grow and learn intellectually.  Most importantly though, I have discovered that they are both believers in Jesus.  Can you believe it?  Out of like seven 1st grade classes - we have been blessed as parents to know Dylan's teachers love Jesus.  How great is that???

2.  Since we moved in June, and of course school hadn't started yet, we didn't know anybody.  I mean not a soul did we really meet until Dylan started school.  We went to the pool almost everyday to pass a couple of hours.  Well, there was a really sweet woman there named Ms. Sue doing laps every morning.  Dylan, being the friendly guy he is, struck up a conversation with Ms. Sue.  From then on she was his pool buddy.  He would patiently wait for her to finish her laps and then she would take the time to play with him.  They would chat and play water games together.  The summer progressed and she would talk about her nephew and niece that she wanted Dylan to meet.  Well, school started and the early day pool visits stopped, so we never saw Ms. Sue again - until last night.  Dylan had Open House at school.  As we were leaving, I saw a woman in front of us walking and asked Dylan - "Is that Ms. Sue?"  Sure enough it was.  I couldn't believe it!!!  She gave Dylan a big hug and a big smile.  Crazy enough - Ms. Sue is the aunt of some friends we go to church with - and Dylan totally knows her nephews and nieces.  

These are just simple examples of God's hand on our family.  It has been fun to reflect back and see him working.  My prayer is that I will begin to just expect and trust Him to work all things out for good.  I hope this is encouraging to you and you take the time to reflect on the ways God has worked in your life.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight."  Proverbs 3:5-6

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day

(compliments of the resident photographer MOM)

I just want to share a verse -

"For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities - his eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse."  Romans 1:20 (NIV)

Our precious Father is so wonderful to allow us to experience Him even in this beautiful Earth he allows us to live on.  Just look outside or reflect back on places you have visited and ponder the beauty in creation and nature that was formed just by God's spoken word.  

Happy Earth Day!  

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Its Tuesday..... and I have a couple recipes to share in a moment.

The Aldrich family is alive and well here in sunny Southern California.  

Garth is working, working, working.  He leaves in the morning before the rest of the house is up and isn't home most days until at least 6:30 pm.  He has duty this weekend and then is gone the next week for an exercise.  We are feeling a bit "daddy/hubby" deprived, but try our best to understand.  Please pray for him and his job.  And more important than that - pray he will not worry about tomorrow or 5 yrs from now or 10 yrs, etc.  He is robbed of his joy for today worrying about if things will be alright tomorrow.  We love him and appreciate his hard work and dedication for us and to us.  We love you Garth!!

Our Dylan is a busy little guy.  He is doing great in 1st grade.  He is working on money in math and continues to excel in his reading and writing (such a shocker).  He has his Open House at school this Thursday.  We are looking forward to attending and seeing some of his work.  There will be a project displayed of the kids writing from the first day of school and one from recently.  I have been told by his teacher/friend that Dylan's is the best one.  I'm sure the difference will be amazing.  He has started weekly practice for a little choir at church for Memorial Day weekend.  The kids will sing a few "God and country" songs for the services.  He wanted to do it and Garth and I figure he needs to know a couple of these songs to further emphasize our "We love our God and our Country" influences.  Dylan told his teacher that he  enjoyed the choir because he likes to be a star on stage.  (I will not even try to expound on that statement.)  He also begins flag football practice tomorrow.  He is on the Vikings team.  We got him some football cleats over the weekend.  He is beside himself to get out on that field and play him some football.  (Too bad he is 7 and only 50 lbs.  God put some meat on those little bones.)  I'll post pictures and video when I have it.

Jaydon, Jaydon, Jaydon.  He is our little lovable firecracker.  What a character this one is!!  He is all about Star Wars, monster trucks, motorcycles, superheroes, and Nacho Libre.  He loves playing with friends, going to the park and having a good, cold popsicle.  Lately he has really been into the Bibleman DVD's.  These movies are so corny they are almost painful to watch, but the boys love them and they have a good message.  So Jaydon goes around saying - Jesus is my rock, my shield, my salvation.  It is pretty funny.  Especially because he normally says it when he is displeased with you.  

Now to some recipes - 

Santa Fe Rice Pilaf with Chicken

2T olive oil
1 small onion, chopped fine
1 c uncooked brown rice
2 1/2 c hot broth - I used vegetable 
1 t cumin
1/2 t oregano
1 can green chilies
shredded cooked chicken

Heat olive oil in sauce pan and saute onion until soft.  Add in the uncooked rice and stir fry for 2-3 minutes until rice is nicely coated and turns a golden brown.  Add spices and stir to coat.  Slowly stir in broth.  Add green chilies and chicken.  Bring to a boil.  Cover and reduce heat to low.  Simmer about 45 minutes until liquid is absorbed and rice is soft.

We really enjoyed this meal.  You can change the ingredients to your liking - use bell peppers instead of chilies, add different spices.  Use what works for you and your family.  Also, wait and make this when you have leftover chicken.  I made this with my leftovers from the agave lime chicken.  It is a great way to use those leftovers in the fridge.

Sloppy Joes

1 lb. ground beef
1 onion, finely chopped
1 bell pepper, finely chopped - I have used both red and green
1 c ketchup
1 T mustard
1 T apple cider vinegar
1 T maple syrup

Brown beef with onion and peppers.  Add the following ingredients until heated through.

This is so easy and a healthy alternative to the sloppy joe mixes at the grocery store.  I serve it on my homemade wheat bread with cheese grilled in our panini press.  Make some sweet potato fries/chips and a salad and serve with some watermelon and you have a fun meal for a hot summer day.

We hope this finds you and yours well.

Many blessings.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Prayer Request

I have a quick prayer request.  I have been approached about being a table leader for the MOPS program at our church.  I know it doesn't seem that major, but I want to make the right decision.  It basically means I would head up a table of about 8 women at a bimonthly meeting.  The meetings are fun - brunch, mixers, games, crafts, speakers, and discussion (where I come in).  Anyways, I don't want to miss an opportunity to serve or be used by God, but at the same time, this is not something I would normally do.  I tend to steer clear of those tasks involving anything leader-like.  Please pray I will make the right decision.  If this is where God wants to use me then pray I take the brave step up.  Or if God wants me somewhere else, please pray I will know the answer is no and wait patiently for another opportunity. Thanks for your prayers.

Taste Test Tuesday

I have been trying out a lot of new recipes lately.  Some we like, others come up a bit lacking.  My desire is to begin sharing more recipes that we enjoy on a regular basis.  I plan on having a post called Taste Test Tuesday every Tuesday to share our findings and also allow you a chance to share any new recipe you have tried and enjoy.  

So to the first of hopefully many Taste Test Tuesday entries - 

Agave Lime Chicken

(compliments of Elana's Pantry)

1 whole chicken
1-3 T olive oil
1 T sea salt
3 limes
2 onions
1 head garlic, crushed
dash cumin
dash chili powder

Place chicken in 9x13 baking dish breast side down.  Drizzle with olive oil and agave nectar, then sprinkle with salt, cumin, and chili powder.  Stuff one lime in the cavity of the bird.  Cut other 2 limes and place around in the pan.  Cut the onions in half (leaving on skin) and place in pan around chicken.  Scatter the garlic on the chicken.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 min. until the skin starts to brown.  Remove the chicken and flip over.  Put back in the oven at 450 degrees for 15-25 minutes.  Carve and serve with pan juices.

We had this chicken for our Passover Seder and it was delicious.  It is so easy to prepare - not many ingredients and pop it in the oven.  I like those meals.  Serve it up with some brown rice and a big salad and you've got a wonderful dinner - in a snap and easy to clean up.  My taste testers loved it.  Garth and Mr. Picky both ate it up.

Granola Bars

(compliments of Kitchen Stewardship)

4 1/2 c rolled oats
1 c whole wheat flour
1 t baking soda
1 t vanilla
1 c butter, softened
1 c honey

Add ins - 1 c mini chocolate chips, 1 c walnuts, dried fruit, flax seeds - the options are endless - use what you like

Lightly butter (I used coconut oil) a 9x13 pan.  Combine all ingredients except your add ins.  Beat the mixture hard.  Stir in add ins.  Press mixture into pan - really push it in there so the bars stick together.  Bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool for 10 minutes before cutting.  Allow to cool completely and remove from pan for storage.  These can be kept on the counter or in the refrigerator or even the freezer.  

These make a great snack or alternative to a sugary dessert.  They are very easy to make and have to be healthier than the granola bars we buy at the store.  Dylan didn't much like them, but he's also not a big chocolate eater.  I thought they tasted good and Garth has used them to take to work for breakfast and snacks through the day.  When I make them again I plan or using 1/2 c homemade peanut butter in place of half of the butter.  I'll let you know how that turns out.

I hope you enjoy the recipes.  Most of you guys don't have time to play in your kitchen, but give these a try when you have time.  Let me know what you think about these two recipes if you give them a go.  Now it is your turn.  Have you made something new lately that you really enjoy and would like to share.  I would love to give it a try.

Many blessings!!!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter

Garth and Jaydon are napping and Dylan is building on his new Lego set, so I have a few minutes to say - "Happy Easter!!"  We hope your day has been a very blessed one.

Last night, we did have our Seder dinner.  It was fun and very special.  It can be a bit trying to do something like that with a 2 year old, but it was still a blessing.  We hope to become comfortable enough with the ceremony to be able to share it with our friends and family sometime soon.

This morning we went to church and enjoyed a morning of celebration - but why not, Jesus is risen.  The worship was fantastic and joyous and the sermon was very direct but loving.  The gist - there is only ONE way to the Father and that is Jesus - our risen Saviour.  (Have I mentioned that Jesus is Risen. ) :)  

After church we joined some friends for lunch at the park.  Everyone enjoyed the beautiful day, playing soccer, basketball, or riding bikes.  It was a wonderful way to spend and Easter afternoon.

We pray you had a blessed day too.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Friday

I just wanted to pop in and wish all our friends and family a very blessed Good Friday and Easter weekend.  We wish we were closer to spend this very special time with you - so know that you are missed.  It is exciting to know that because of the events we reflect upon today allows those of us that believe in Jesus Christ to be together forever and ever.  Glory to His Name!!

I hope you have spent some time today remembering the sacrifice that was made for each and every one from the beginning to the end.  God sent his only son, Jesus, to this old earth to be beaten, tormented and finally hanged on a cross - bearing all our sins.  He did that for you and me!!!  I am humbled today as I think on these things.  What a perfect and amazing LOVE!

We have been going through our Holy Week reading guide each day.  What a week!!  I have received fresh wisdom and learned so much.  We serve a great and mighty God who yet has a servant's and most loving heart.  Jesus didn't want to go to the cross, but knew he was sent to fulfill God's plan.  The flesh is very weak.  Thankfully, God sent the Holy Spirit to be our Comforter until the return of Christ.  Because I am in Christ, He is in me.  I could go on and on.  
So far I have been most impressed by the prayer that Jesus prays in John 17.  It says he looked to heaven and began praying.  He prayed first for his disciples, but then he prays for those to come.  I get chills just thinking about Jesus praying for me.  It is found in verse 20-26:

"I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.  And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one:  I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.  Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.  O righteous Father!  The world has not know You, but I have know You; and these have known that You sent Me.  And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them."

Have a blessed Good Friday!!  Much love from our family to yours.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Weekend update

I just wanted to post an Aldrich update.

We finished up Spring Break.  Saturday we went to Starbuck's for breakfast.  For some reason it was on Dylan's "things to do list".  The boys enjoyed a yummy doughnut and Garth and I had our usual mochas.  It was a beautiful morning so we sat outside and took in the sunshine for a bit.  After breakfast we went downtown to the weekly Farmer's Market.  It was so much fun.  I can't wait to visit again.  There were people there with fresh honey, fruit, veggies, and nu
ts.  Others had fresh flowers and plants for sale.  The best part was almost every booth had samples so we had the sweetest strawberries, delicious freshly squeezed oj, fresh walnuts, smoked salmon, raw cheese, and our first blood red orange.  We all had a good time and of course had to pick up some delicious organic kettle corn.  That was a hit with the boys.  That night we met the Moore's for some yogurt at the infamous Yogurt Island and then hit the hay!!!  By the way, we spent the entire day in the Jeep.  (I had to get the ol' Expo an oil change.)  It was great fun to dart around in the Jeep for the day.

Sunday we went to church to enjoy a wonderful Palm Sunday service.  I LOVE Palm Sunday - the excitement and expectancy!!!  The service was a bit different, but absolutely glorious.  It was basically a total worship service - beautiful worship songs, communion, explanation of the purpose of our celebration, and ending with baptisms.  You couldn't have asked for a more special way to share a Palm Sunday service.  We had lunch with some friends at Rosa's and then headed to San Diego with our tour guides - the Moore's.  We rode a trolley from a Fashion Village (come back in June Nissy, I found us a shopping spot) to downtown San Diego.  We went right down by Petco Stadium and then walked around downtown.  We found lots of neat looking restaurants to try and found a new mall to try out soon.  It was a great way to end Spring Break.

Dylan started back to school yesterday.  We were all a bit blah.  I hated to have to get back into the routine of things.  I can't believe in only 10 weeks I will have a second grader.  It will go by fast I know.  We signed Dylan up for flag football through the Boy's and Girl's club.  The season doesn't actually start for a couple of weeks, but assessments were yesterday.  Dylan had a great time.  The little guy loves football - LOVES IT.  I hope he has a fun time playing and if he really does love it, then I pray he gets some meat on those bones so he can really play in the future.  I will post pictures and video as we compile it.

I also wanted to share a reading outline we received at church for this week.  I know I am a couple of days behind in posting, but it is quick reading and you can catch up.  Garth and I have enjoyed sharing this time together in the Bible before we go to bed.  I hope you will share in the reading leading up to Easter.

Matthew 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-11; Luke 19:28-44; John 12:12-19

Matthew 21:12-19; Mark 11:12-19; Luke 19:45-46; John 12:20-50

Matthew 21:20-26:2; Mark 11:20-14:2; Luke 19:47-21:38

Matthew 26:3-16; Mark 14:3-11; Luke 22:1-6; John 12:2-8

Matthew 26:17-46; Mark 14:12-42; Luke 22:7-46; John 13:1-18:1

Matthew 26:47-27:61; Mark 14:43-15:47; Luke 22:47-23:56; John 18:2-19:42

Matthew 27:62-66

Matthew 28:1-15; Mark 16:1-18; Luke 24:1-49; John 20:1-23

We are planning a Seder meal for one day this week.  We shared in one together a couple of years ago and we really want to do it again.  It is like a tradition Jewish Seder meal, but with a Christian spin on things.  It can be a really special time.  We hope to someday be able to share it with our friends and family.  If we do actually get in accomplished I will share pictures and how things went.

Well, enjoy this wonderful week.  I know I am.  I am really enjoying the anticipation leading up to Easter - more than normal.  God is so good and we have much reason to celebrate.  


Have a most blessed week. 

By the way - Am I blessed or what?  I just had to share these cute pictures from our Starbuck's breakfast!!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Sweet Potato Shepherds Pie

I made this last night and Garth and I both liked it.  I left out the artichokes.  I'm not a big fan of those.  If you like sweet potatoes I think, you will like this dish.  If you make it, let me know what you think!!!

At WAR...

With food, that is.  About six weeks ago I decided I needed to change my diet.  As you know I have battled RA for almost 10 years.  I can't believe I was blessed with a new shoulder 7 years ago.  Where does the time go?  I look back and it seems as though my life is one big blur. 

 Anyways, I'm getting off track.  I am taking baby steps to living a healthier lifestyle.  I have read and done lots of research that suggests that a change in diet can calm the inflammation and reduce damage.  I am taking lots of medication and always looking for a way to control this nemesis in a more natural way. I am praying about it and asking for direction to make good, healthy choices for my family and myself
.  I am trying to avoid white flour, sugar, and any processed foods.  We are not perfect, but I am doing what I can as I learn more info.  I make what I can.  For instance, I now make my own bread, salad dressings, salsa, and peanut butter.  I also try to buy organic produce when I can.  I limit the things in cans or boxes to necessities.  I also look for alternatives to refined sugar.  Garth also bought me a Vita-mix.  That is a whole new world.  I drink a "green smoothie" for breakfast.  (More on that in later posts).  I am not trying to lose weight, but I have lost about 10 lbs.  

I thought this change would be hard, but it is actually fun.  I love cooking with all the fresh veggies and the smell of fresh baked bread in my house.  I have learned a lot from other's websites who have also gone to a more natural lifestyle.  It really is just a return to a couple of generations back.  Plant your garden and then cook what you grow or raise.  Well, I'm not raising anything nor do I have a garden, but I am trying to make sure the things we do eat are nourishing to our body.  

I have said all that to say that I will try to post things that I find of interest to me.  My bro-in-law requested some recipes, so I will post the ones Garth and I enjoy.  This is just info.  You can take it or leave it, but it is always food for thought.  For instance, get you some flax seeds DAD!!  Those are easy to incorporate into your diet.

I'm looking forward to sharing my adventures to a new and healthier ME!!!

Too long....

It has been far too long since I last posted a blog.  I really need to do a better job at this.  I'm sure many of you would agree.

We are enjoying our last few days of Spring Break.  Dylan had two weeks off and I am actually dreading having to get back into the routine of things.  We have had family and friends visit, a trip to the San Diego Zoo, and lots of fun at the parks.

To start our Spring Break, we had a quick visit from the Noble family.  Garth and I go way back with these two.  We actually met at their wedding for those who didn't know that fun bit of information.  Their visit was short, but so fun.  They had their two older children - Hannah and Josiah - with them.  Dylan loved having their company.  We ruined them with some Rock Band tunes, but everyone had a great time.  I wish the visit could have been longer.  The Noble family is very special to us and we wish we could see them more often.  Till next time dear friends.....

As soon as they left, Dylan was ready to be entertained.  By Tuesday he was running a fever and it lasted until Wednesday night.  Lots of prayers went up for him and Jaydon both because Grammy, Granddad, Blake and Nissy were coming to town on Thursday.  Thankfully, Jaydon never got sick.  Praise Jesus!!!

My family arrived on Thursday and were able to stay until Tuesday.  Friday we went to the zoo.  It was a very tiring day, but I must say I really enjoyed watching the boys enjoy the animals and watching my parents and Blake and Nissy enjoy time with the boys.  Dylan was reading the signs and telling us about the animals and Jaydon was running around the zoo really loving anything in the water.  (I think I need to take the boy to an aquarium.)  Saturday we headed up to Iddywild.  It is a cute little mountain town about an hour away.  We enjoyed some lunch out on the patio in the warm sun.  We headed back down so the boys could play some tennis.  The next couple of days were kind of just hang out days.  The boys enjoyed playing with Puppy and Dylan had fun playing Wii with Uncle Blake.  It was great having them all here and I sorely miss them now.    Thanks for taking the time to come out guys!!!  We love and miss you all.  

These next couple of days we have spent with some friends.  I took the boys miniature golfing, to the park, and off to play tennis on Wednesday.  On Thursday we met up with the same family to go to another park and decorate cookies and have an easter egg hunt.  (I think my friend wins Mom of the Year).  Thanks to the Moore's for the entertainment the last couple of days.

Today I had a fun doctor's appointment and the boys got to play with some buddies.  I only had to get stuck three times this time to get the IV started (compared to eight last time - that's an improvement).   Dylan has read me a book and is playing Rock Band now and Jaydon is taking a nap.

Hopefully we will come up with something fun to finish out the break.  If we do, I'll be sure and let you know.