Monthly Archives: September 2013

Really Brief

Hey everyone! I just wanted to let you know that we haven’t fallen off the face of the earth, but have been up to our eyeballs in homework, work, choir retreats… just lots of stuff keeping us busy and away from the blogging sphere. Things do slow down some for me (Jessi) this week, so I’ll be probably doing a bunch of postings by the end of the week. So stay tuned and we’ll have some stuff up for you to read soon.

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Give Me a Break!

“The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.  The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.  The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all…” Psalm 34:17-19

So… what happens when you accidentally run over a median?  Brake issues!  We’re having to take the car to the shop on Tuesday because our driver’s side front brake is grinding badly.  Guy didn’t see one of those medians that is as tall as a sidewalk curb (it was night and they aren’t painted very well) and ran over it when the folks were here.  We were jostled quite a bit, lost a hubcap, and were praying that nothing was damaged.  However…  we found out that both brake pads in the front were gone, so had to have them replaced.  The rotors and brakes themselves are fine, and the back ones are okay, but that will need to be replaced here in the next few months.

Class-wise, things seem to be going along pretty well for us so far.  We’re deep in the throes of studies.  Guy’s into his Bible classes, while Jessi’s struggling her way through philosophers.

I keep having more opportunities to serve in music pop up, but I’ve reached my commitment level, I think.  I joined the Sanctuary choir at church, but have decided to drop one of the choirs at school due to time constraints.

We are considering starting a second blog, one where we can write about important topics, things we’re learning about in both seminary and private study.  If we decide to start a second blog, we will let you know where.  We intend to keep this blog going as usual, devoting this one to our seminary experiences and the weekly updates.  And Jessi’s recipes!

Prayer Requests:

*  The car.  That whatever is wrong can be diagnosed and fixed, and that we can start focusing on car maintenance bit by bit.

*  Classes.  Retention of materials, ability to comprehend, good grades, and that we can keep up with reading/reports/papers.

*  Personal growth.  God is revealing and refining us in a huge way right now.  Pray that we will approach these changes with humble hearts and willing attitudes.

*  The holidays.  Christmas is a short 4 months away, and we really want to be able to come home for a visit.  Please be in prayer that we can have the finances, time off, etc. necessary to make this happen.

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From the Kitchen – Jessi’s Medal-Worthy Chili and Homemade Flour Tortillas

Okay, okay.  I know what you’re thinking: chili – in summer?!  Well, why not?  Nobody thinks twice about a chili cheese coney in summer, and the first part of that stomach bomb is – you guessed it – chili!

Now, I know we’re now Texans, but we haven’t quite gotten our taste buds acclimated to the likes of all things hot and spicy yet, but that doesn’t mean this couldn’t be tweaked for those of you who crave the spice.  For us, well, the reaction to Texas’ definition of spicy makes us think of fire: as in, we’re racing to find water to put it out!  So here’s my version of Midwest gringo chili for your delectation and delight.

Jessi's Medal-Worthy Chili

Jessi’s Medal-Worthy Chili


Don't that make you want some????

Don’t that make you want some????

Jessi’s Medal-Worthy Chili

1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef (I also sometimes make this with ground turkey – you can’t tell the difference)

2 cups chopped onion (2 large)

1 cup chopped green sweet pepper (1 large)

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 15-ounce can pinto beans, rinsed and drained

1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained

2 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes, undrained

1 15-ounce can tomato sauce

1 cup water

2 tablespoons chili powder

1 teaspoon dried basil, crushed

1 package McCormick chili seasoning (we prefer the mild, but use whichever you like)

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Shredded cheddar cheese (optional)

Dairy sour cream (optional)

*  In a heavy-bottomed skillet, cook the ground beef until done, being sure to break it into small pieces.  Drain fat, if needed.  Dump the meat into a large Crock Pot, and then saute the chopped onion, green pepper, and garlic until tender.  Add this to the Crock Pot as well.  Add the rest of the ingredients except the cheese and the sour cream to the Crock Pot.  Stir well.  Set the Crock Pot on low for 4 hours.  Serve with shredded cheese and sour cream.  Homemade flour tortillas really finish this off well!  See the recipe to follow!

Balls of tortilla dough

Balls of tortilla dough

A cooking tortilla

A cooking tortilla

Tortilla stack to go, please!

Tortilla stack to go, please!

Homemade Flour Tortillas

3 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup Crisco or other shortening

1 cup hot water

* Mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Cut in the Crisco until crumbly.  Shape into walnut-sized balls.  Roll out each ball with a rolling pin until very thin – don’t worry about the shapes!  Cook in a heated skillet until starting to brown in patches, and flip and cook until the same.  Enjoy!

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