Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Spicy Asian Noodles ala Nicole

Spicy Asian Noodles ala Nicole

2 TBS sesame oil
1 TBS fresh grated ginger
5 cloves of garlic
2 1/2 chicken breasts
4 green onions, chopped
3-4 carrots, thinly julienned
1 zuchini, thinly julienned
1/2 Napa cabbage, thinly chopped
handful of cilantro, chopped
3 TBS. soy sauce
2 TBS rice vinegar
2 TBS hoisin or oyster sauce
1-2 tsp of Sriracha
1 pkg. of thin rice sticks
handful of chopped peanuts

optional: add snow peas, water chestnuts, bean sprouts

Cook rice sticks according to directions. Drain and set aside.
Heat 1 TBS of sesame oil; add chicken. Cover and cook until done, flipping several times til browned. Romove and set aside.
In same pan, add rest of oil, onions, garlic, ginger. Stir and add veggies. Cook til done. Dash with soy sauce.
In a large separate bowl, stir together soy sauce, rice vinegar, hoisin or oyster sauce, Sriracha, and peanuts. Slice chicken breasts and add to sauce mix. Add noodles and cooked veggies. Toss together and serve.

This is a combination of three recipes I had. It is gluten free and delicious! I would recommend getting most of the ingredients from an Asian market. But use your own discretion as to the freshness of the produce. I would also like to say that this is one of those recipes I don't use exact measurements. I like to do most things to taste. So feel free to make your own adjustments. Enjoy!!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

O Lord, Let Me Not Be Merely Decorative!

Today I've found myself joking about a topic, on which I am a bit sore.
For those who know our family and have spent any amount of time with us recently (you know who you are), you'll know that we are soon to be a home of, not five, but eleven!
The Hoods are a dear family (that you've seen before) and we have treasured the times that we have fellowshipped with them over the past few years. As we start this new season it has been interesting to look back and see how the Lord has prepared us for this time; each of us in the Marques family have grown just be preparing for them to live with us. I love the familiarity we have with them and the joy that we have in our relationship!
Well, in addition to all of this we have much on our "To-Do" lists! Over the last few months there has been so much organizing, packing, purging, and cleaning in the house

(Why do we have so many bottles of nasal spray?? And how did all that stuff get in the wardrobe?? Who left all of these half done projects in the sewing room??
Oh, right...it was probably me).

At any rate, it's brought out each of our industrious sides in a new way--and particularly, it's shown me two things (that I will share here):
First, it's shown me my lazy side (Oh, yes, there is such a thing!).
Not the lay-on-the-couch-reading-an-Anthro-catalogue, but rather the sort that says,
"How did I end up sorting buttons when I started off organizing the closet??" and, "Why did it take me so long to clear out this room??"
These frequent sights of my many shortcomings have served as a push for me to strive for diligence and structure to my hopelessly helter-skelter mind (I like to call it creativity)!

Secondly, this time has shown me the quiet help of a cheerfully, willing spirit.
A few weeks ago a nameless sister (Yes, she will go completely nameless during this post--only I and the rest of my family will know the answer!) went to my Mom, let her know that she had completely cleared her schedule, and wanted to know how she could help my Mom check of her to-do list. At first this slightly baffled me. I thought it was assumed that we would all help with the checking off of lists? Wasn't that why we were all working?
What I didn't realize was the greater help that a cheerfully, willing spirit brings.
It was so much more helpful for my nameless sister to let my Mom know that she had dedicated the final few weeks to helping with the transition, that if she had simply assumed that my Mom knew it already. It's the same as when you tell or show a member of your family that you love them. Hopefully, they should already know that without you having to tell them verbally, but it reinforces it and magnifies the love that you have for them. Since we're into similes, this is the same as our love for the Lord; naturally He knows that we-His children-love Him, but that doesn't and shouldn't stop us from showing Him. The knowledge that someone knows that we love them shouldn't hinder our reminding them and reinforcing that love.
Tonight my prayer is that I will not merely accessorize or decorate our family; I want to be a diligent and cheerful worker, who isn't lazy, and who does everything as unto the Lord! Not the one cutting out little trinkets all day, but someone who is industrious and brings the joy of the Lord to those whom she meets. By His grace I will be refined day by day (however painful that may feel like sometimes!).

These are two more reasons that I am grateful for the Hoods sharing our home. These a re a few of the sweet lessons that I've learned as a result of them coming, and I'm so looking forward to the future and what the Lord will do with our families as we join together!


Dear Nameless Sister (you know who you are),

I'm very sorry that you must remain nameless.
Reason: I wanted to post this tonight and as I am typing this,
I'm pretty sure you're sleeping.
So, for the sake of your beauty rest, and in the interest of preserving your privacy,
you will be nameless (for this post at least).
I'm still grateful for the example you have shown me of cheerful willingness,
this act of hiding your identity entirely and only reflects my desire to sustain
our good relationship through the night.
We can talk in the morning.

Sweet dreams!


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Rainy Days...

Rainy Days

The day is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
The vine still clings to the moldering wall,
But at every gust the dead leaves fall,
And the day is dark and dreary.

My life is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
My thoughts still cling to the moldering Past,
But the hopes of youth fall thick in the blast
And the days are dark and dreary.

Be still, sad heart! and cease repining;
Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;
Thy fate is the common fate of all,
Into each life some rain must fall,
Some days must be dark and dreary.

-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Monday, November 1, 2010

To Be A Pilgrim

"These all [Abel, Abraham, Sarah, Enoch etc...] died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth.
For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland.
If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is,
they desire a better country,
that is, a heavenly one.
Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God,
for he has prepared for them a city."

this "Pilgrim" mentality-if you will- is something that I've been pondering on lately.
Is "a heavenly country" what I desire?
Or am I too caught up in the cares (both good and bad) of this life?
It's so easy for me to keep my head down and wind myself up in the day to day details, the ever important "need of the moment"! This passage has been an inspiring reminder to me that this life is not all that there is, and that there is such an unimaginable city already prepared. That is part of what makes death truly a gain.
Now, don't get me wrong, I love the blessings and pleasures here! The joys of family and the fellowship of believers is such a dear and sweet thing to me!
However, I do find myself in need of reminders that this is not all there is.

There are some more thoughts I have on this, but they will have to keep for now--
at least until I can get them better organized!


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