Thursday, September 30, 2010

Chicken Pot Pie

Hello Friends and Fellow Overwhelmed Mamas,

I have just put supper in the oven to bake and thought I would share one of my favorite recipes with you.  It's called Easy Chicken Pot Pie, and if you have a rotisserie chicken, a can opener and a refrigerator, you can make this for your family tonight!  Here it is:

  • 1 can cream of potato soup (I use cream of whatever-I-have-in-the-pantry, and it always still tastes good)
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 can mixed vegetables
  • 2 cups chicken, cooked and cubed (I use more than this for a deep-dish pot pie)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning (sometimes I don't have this on hand, so I just skip it)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 refrigerated pie crusts
Mix up everything except for the pie shells.  Put one pie shell in a pie plate, and then add the chicken mixture.  Top with the second pie shell and bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes (slit the top crust to let the steam escape).  Easy-peasy-shampoo-squeezy!

It tastes like Grandma made it!  Toss a salad and add some crusty bread and supper is done, with about 10 minutes of preparation.

You can thank Vickie Margene, one of my favorite high school teachers, for this lovely concoction.  When Justin and I were engaged, one of my high school friends hosted a wedding shower and everyone brought a recipe on a recipe card.  Then the hostess put them all in a cookbook for me.  What a sweet (and useful) keepsake!  I'm still thankful for it, fifteen years later.  My sister was a junior in college at the time and here's her recipe card:

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Hmmm...a tell-all blog entry about a desperate housewife's obsession?  This should be good and juicy, right?  Well it obsession is lip balm.  There!  It's finally out in the open, and I feel so much freer for having told you all.  Yes, I love lip balm.  I stash it in secret spots where ever I go.  Right now I have some beside my bed, in the dash of the minivan, in the bathroom, in my purse, in the kitchen and on the porch.  Just kidding about on the porch, that would just be weird.  Who needs lip balm on the porch?  Well, maybe if it was cold and windy outside, I could see leaving some on the porch just in case.  I'll leave some there tomorrow.

I hate, hate for my lips to be chapped.  They are often chapped because I am a compulsive lip-chewer.  There...another dark secret come to light.  Quite the confessional today, eh?  I also tend to rub my face and twist my hair into a bun when I am stressed.  But I don't bite my nails.  Only weirdos do that.

I also obsess about cardigan sweaters.  I am wearing one right now.  I wore one particular sweater so often that my friend Stephanie named it Greenie and asked about it when I didn't have it on.  Where's Greenie?  Why aren't you wearing it?  Did you have a fight?  Cardigans are like Snuggies as far as I'm concerned, only a bit more fashion-forward.  Especially the really long ones that look like knitted trench coats.  I used to have one like that, but it had permanent bumps at the hips that made me look like I was carrying a coat hanger in my jeans.  I'm not looking to draw more attention to my hip region.  Anyway, you can wear cardigans year round.  They make cute little short-sleeved ones for the summer.  I have one in green which has a hole in the collar but of course I still wear it because I just pretend like it's not there.  In my world, that cardigan is still perfect.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Beware the little foxes

Hmmm...that title sounds kind of creepy, doesn't it?  It actually comes from the Bible, which doesn't make it any less creepy, really. 

"Catch the foxes for us,
the little foxes that spoil the vineyards,
for our vineyards are in blossom." 

- Song of Solomon 2:15

I ate lunch with a friend yesterday, and she asked how Justin and I were doing, relationally.  Church planting is a stressful undertaking, and sometimes that stress can bleed into and damage marriages.  I told her, honestly, that at times our relationship felt more like a business partnership than a marriage.  Our conversations center on Grace Church, how to handle the children's ministry, what kind of results he was having in the search for a bigger meeting place, how to make people feel more included, when to go to a morning worship service.  Now, planting a church is a good and noble endeavor, right?  And church planting will necessarily be on our minds and enter into our conversation.  But when it becomes all consuming, it can turn into an idol; something that has to go right in our lives, or our lives are not worth living.

Sometimes little foxes sneak into our vineyards, our marriages, and if we do not catch them, they will ruin the harvest, nibbling on the vines while they are still in bloom.  They can be hobbies that take us away from our spouses more often than is healthy.  They can be relationships with understanding friends which become more important to us than our relationship with our husband or wife.  They are usually unnoticeable at first, harmless in appearance.

Life is busy right now.  My husband and I are at a place in our marriage where we could easily shift into leading parallel lives, working and living side by side without ever taking the time to really look at each other, encourage each other, enjoy each other as we should.  Marriage is a good gift from God, but it cannot be taken for granted.  Good marriages require vigilance, sacrifice, and sometimes watching more Pride and Prejudice or ESPN than one would think humanly possible.  Get interested in what interests your spouse.  Husbands, look for ways to love your wife - maybe even ask her how you can best love her.  Wives, the Bible reminds us to respect our husbands; ask God (and your spouse) how best to do so.

Monday, September 27, 2010


Tonight Justin is at a CEO meet and greet sponsored by the Spartanburg Chamber of Commerce.  I guess he is CEO of our church plant and that's how he got the invite.  To celebrate supper with minimal preparation, the kids and I dined upon such choice delicacies as chicken nuggets, roast beef sandwich, Very Cherry fruit cocktail (once you've gone very cherry you can never go back to plain jane fruit cocktail), and Cheetos.  I do not even feel guilty about it.

If, tragically, the father of my children was to depart this earth, I feel sure that said children would never eat anything from the fresh produce department again.  A father who insists upon a balanced meal is a blessing from God, as much so as a mother who consistently insures that there is clean underwear in their little drawers when they dress every day.  We complement each other nicely as parents, I think.

Well, enough about the delights of processed cheese powder.  I just wanted to let you know that I am still alive and kicking.  I have been running, though I would need to run about three hours more than I do daily to offset cheetos and fruit cocktail.  My strategy when I am returning to running is to run/walk six minute intervals.  I start walking 4 minutes, running 2.  Any person, regardless of what shape they are in, can probably run for 2 minutes:  this is my thinking.  Then, every day, I shift the balance towards running 10 seconds longer and walking 10 seconds less.  Right now I am running 3:15 and walking 2:45.  This means at some point I only gave myself a five second shift.  It probably was a bad day.  I figure something is better than nothing.

Today I was about 40 minutes in and I'd been running in a light drizzle when suddenly, the bottom fell out.  The dog (my running companion) would bolt for a bush to hide under, let me jog by, and cower until the leash tightened up again and she was forced to bolt for the next bush.  I was concerned that my Ipod was getting too wet, so I took it off and tried to stuff it in my pants, arm band and all.  Once in my pants, it kept threatening to slide down one leg and fly out in front of my shoe, so I held it under my shirt for the rest of the way home.  I will pause here for a moment while you enjoy that mental, clutching my abdomen with one hand, and with the other, jerking on the leash to get the dog out of the bush.  In the pouring rain.  With cars flying past me, sending up nasty road water spray.  Well, the good news in all of this is that the Ipod survived and I ran faster and longer than I have in quite some time!  In fact, I ran all the way home, a good 20 minutes.  The bad news is that I am throwing the Ipod arm band away after its journey into my trousers, and I hate my dog.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Down with Quinoa

Yes, that's right, I said quinoa.  It's pronounced keen-wah, and it is the most protein-ific of all the whole grains you could possibly eat.  How do I know that?  Because it says so on the box, right under the words "If you really cared about your children, you would feed this to them every night!"  OK It doesn't really say that, but you know they are thinking it.

My blog info says that I have guilt about feeding my kids Reese Puffs for breakfast.  Reese Puffs, for those of you who don't know, is a breakfast cereal that ranks 7th in the top 10 worst cereal to give your kids for breakfast.  Tenth in the list is Cinnamon Toast Crunch, another Kendrick Family favorite.  At least we don't eat #1, the dreaded Cocoa Puffs.  Still, I try to combat the effects of all that sugar with some quinoa at supper.  And spinach.  Ummm...I'm getting hungry just thinking about it.

No one on this continent even knew what quinoa was 30 years ago, except for the descendants of the ancient Inca indians in South America.  Now they are trying to force their quinoa agenda on their northern brethren.  What's next, temple-building?  Maybe they are just sick of eating it, and they know we feel guilty about all of our high-fructose corn syrup issues, so they figured they could pass it off on us.  Either way, be on your guard.  Do your patriotic duty and eat more refined carbs.  Or you may find yourself chanting to the sun and trying to hide all of your gold from the conquistadors.  Don't say I didn't warn you!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Way We Spend our Days

I have to admit, I was a little embarrassed by my post yesterday when I read it today.  But I'm a big believer in transparency, so I'm not deleting it.  My feelings, though maybe steered by PMS and the beginnings of a cold, were nonetheless real, and I'm probably not the only woman who has ever felt this way.  BUT I will also note that a post like that is a wake up call that I am spending too much time thinking about my shortcomings and not enough time with my Father God who meets me in my weakness.

When you feel down on yourself, look up!  Remember that fear and anxiety are problems that God can solve.  Even disorganization and unrealistic time-maps are no match for him.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Time management

I spent a good portion of my day today defining my life goals and trying to create a time-map in which I achieve said goals.  I'm not sure how it went, but I can tell you that on Google Calendars I have lots and lots of blue boxes with event titles like CLEAN UP SUPPER; VOLUNTEER; HELP KIDS WITH HOMEWORK.  Hmmm.  There are no empty boxes, which means if you call me and you are not on the time-map (and believe me, there is no room for phone calls on my time-map), you have completely wrecked my day. 

The reason I created the time-map is that each day, the minutes turn into hours and then it's 10:30 and I'm wondering, "What did I do all day? It exhausted me, whatever it was."  We are entering year #3 of being a stay-at-home mom with no stay-at-home kids, and reality has set in.  I am no closer to being organized.  I have read many more books about organization and time management than I had this time two years ago, but that is about it.  I feel like, in order to validate being at home for approximately 6.5 hours every day with minimal interruptions, the house should be respectable, I should be running some sort of profitable home-based business, and clothes should be neatly folded and in drawers.  Is that too much to ask?  I don't even know; all I know is I'm not there. And the guilt...I don't even know what drawer to put the guilt in.