InstantPot Review: Be brave and get one

This Mama bought herself a new toy recently after reading many posts, recipes, and pins about how incredible the InstantPot was! I have a friend who has one, and she uses it regularly and has nothing but great things to say about it!  I spotted them in the stores and looked at them several times. But I kept changing my mind last minute because it was a good chunk of change to drop on a new kitchen appliance.

I browsed Amazon and other shops looking at reviews and prices. Over and over people loved it once they actually took it out of the box and used it. Many people admitted to having one but they stay untouched because they were afraid to use them! They do cook under a very high amount of pressure and that can be scary but I have used a pressure canner before and didn’t blow up anything.  I felt confident I could do it.

You see, I am one of those moms who rarely buys things for herself, because child one needs this or child 4 would like new those. The holidays are coming up. Debt needs paying off. Savings is a good thing, Amy. Excuse after excuse would flood my mind when I’d get close to making my mind up. I already have several crockpots and those are life changing to a busy family, why change up things now?

You get the picture, so buying it was a bit of an inward struggle to say Yes to the InstantPot. Finally, the kids and I went shopping and I had made my mind up that today was the day! I was gonna buy me an InstantPot. We get to the store. Sold out. OK, not meant to be. Fast forward to the next several times I am at the store. Sold out every single time! A few more weeks go by and my oldest daughter and I go check out the kitchen appliance aisle. They have one on the shelf! I knew it was gonna be mine. We loaded that bad boy into our cart and proceeded to get our groceries and went home for the fun to begin!

My daughter and I opened the box and put the pot, lid, and accessories out on the table. I read the entire user manual to familiarize myself and read many more posts on getting started. You can check out and follow my Pinterest board to find them and lots of recipes! Next we did the initial “water only” test run. I was a teensy bit scared of hot water squirting all over my kitchen and me, but I was brave and hit the button and stood back! After a few minutes I heard a bubbling, boiling sound and a stream of steam came out of the top! Nothing exploded! No ill effects! It came to pressure, and the “steaming”  begun inside my pot on the lovely water I was preparing. 2 minutes. 1 minute. Beep beep beep and my water was done! We did it! I used my pot for the first time and my confidence was boosted! I think I can rock this thing.

The next obstacle I needed to face was releasing the pressure inside so I could open the lid. QR NR. What in the world? QR is a “quick release” for when your kids are super hungry and cannot wait another few minutes before they die of starvation. You know, they haven’t eaten for three whole hours!  All joking aside,  the quick release is for most all foods besides red meat or larger cuts of meat, think Thanksgiving turkey breast! NR is “natural release” and the pot will cool down naturally and the pin on the top back of the lid will fall in about 10-15 minutes depending on how full the pot is. Each recipe should state which method of release to use or use a cheat sheet.

Finally with oven-mitted hand and my face way back from the pot, I barely tapped the pressure release handle to the side and steam came streaming up with a hiss! I did stop many times because it was a little frightening at first but the more I tapped, the more steam released and I got the hang of it. With a smile and happy heart, I grabbed the handle and turned it and it beeped to unlock the lid and my water test was complete! Hallelujah!

For dinner that night, I made perfect rice that we all loved!  Rice sounds simple enough right? It is one of the foods that has a very fine line of raw or burnt to the pan. Maybe that is just me? The pot has a Rice setting but I rebelled. This setting cooks for 10 minutes but I used the manual setting for 3 minutes. I love this site, they have great recipes and tips! Rice that easily scoops and wasn’t burnt onto the bottom!

[recipe title=”Rice the Right Way” servings=”4″ time=”15-20 mins” difficulty=”Easy”]

1 cup Jasmine rice, rinsed in fine mesh strainer

1 cup water

1 tsp chicken bullion flavoring

1 tsp coconut, olive oil, butter of your choice (optional)

Place your rinsed rice, water, and flavoring (oil) into your InstantPot and give a good stir to get it all incorporated. Close the lid and twist to lock. Listen for the tune. Push the Manual button and using the -/+ buttons, change to 3 minutes and you are done! You don’t even have to push a start button.

This recipe easily doubles or triples!



Since perfecting the rice, I have added frozen cubed chicken breasts or canned chicken breasts for a fast hot lunch or dinner. We have enjoyed white chicken chili a few times, turkey breasts, roast beef, pasta, and my youngest daughters favorite, macaroni and cheese using the Slow Cook setting. Easy, delicious, and fast! What more can a mom ask for? I challenge you to be brave, and get an InstantPot. You can pick up the same one I have here at Amazon.  By buying from Amazon using this link I will get a small percentage at no extra cost to you, which will help offset the cost of hosting this website.


Where to Find Comfort in Times of Confusion

Only a very few people knew that we are actually trying to have another baby. I am in my late thirties and hubby in his early forties, and realize that our kids are getting older and if we wanted to expand, now was our time to try. We placed our trust in the Lord and waited. Mid August 2016 we found out we were expecting. September 6th we found out the baby had stopped developing. Total confusion and disbelief set in. How? Why? This can’t be happening to us!

Someone shortly after said, oh you might not have meant to be pregnant but it’s still sad you lost the baby. That hit a raw spot in my heart. We did desire to be pregnant. We did want to expand our family. Even with already having four children living on one income and times being tight, our hearts desired to love and care for another. We knew God was bigger than our paycheck and knew that He would provide accordingly. We had faith in Him then, and still have faith in Him now. No matter what our future brings we know that He can be trusted and that He has good in store for us. We are being renewed day by day and wait expectedly for what His will is.

Today, March 15, marks the six month anniversary of my miscarriage. Looking back over the past six month after losing the baby, life seems very surreal. It sometimes seems like it never really happened, almost like a really bad nightmare and other times it hits me hard. I was pregnant. I was carrying a baby for several months. I did lose a baby. A sweet baby the Lord had blessed our family with. A baby that was very much loved and wanted by us all.

Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. ” (2 Corinthians 4:1)

I would be about 38 weeks if I were still pregnant. Nathan, our 16 year old, was born at 38 weeks and the others between 38-39 weeks, so realistically we could have a newborn any day now. Sigh. But God had different plans for our family. Instead of him/her coming home with us, the Lord decided to bring him/her home to heaven. I know our baby is waiting on us with Jesus now, that doesn’t take the pain away totally, but it does give me hope!

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;  persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” (2 Corinthians 4: 8-9)  We are overcoming this only by His grace and mercy.

All things work together for our good! All circumstances, whether pleasurable or not, all heartaches, all highest of high moments, and the lowest of the low.  All things are for our benefit! Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

We are dependent creatures, who we are set apart for good works, and are being molded and shaped by the mighty work of God from the inside out. Once we plant this firmly in our hearts and minds we can have peace with whatever life brings our way and be comforted by our creator.. This life, this world, these struggles that we are faced with aren’t about us and making much of us, it’s about making much of Jesus.  We are to be focused on bringing glory and praise to the one who created us and loved us enough to die in our place on the cross at Calvary.

From the loss of my Dad two months after having my youngest daughter, heartache of all shapes and sizes, to my sweet husband working out of town alot and being a busy mom of four.  To moving hours away from all family and friends for my husbands job change, to a double cancer diagnosis in a close family member (currently in remission praise the Lord), to a miscarriage and all other life in between.

All very real joys and struggles that I personally have had to deal with over the past eight years or so. But no matter where I found myself, the Lord was near and had goodness in store of me.  He is also near all those who call on His name, anytime, day or night. Sickness or in health. There is comfort in knowing that truth. Call on the One who cares in your time of need. If I can pray for you, please contact me and it will be my pleasure to pray for you.

2 Corinthians 1:3-5, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.”

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29 days that changed my life for the better

August 18th we found out we were expecting our fifth child. What a joy and shock to learn that God has blessed our family once again. That’s truly how we felt, overjoyed because we know many families that have endured for months, if not years, through fertility issues. At times I felt very unworthy and not qualified to have another child but a dear friend reminded me that those thoughts are lies from the enemy of our souls that comes to confuse and steal our joy. We were hopeful though, to see how God was going to work in our lives as we went from a family of six, to a family of seven.

Many times over the next few weeks I was reminded just how good God is and just how He has everything taken care of. He wants nothing more that his children to seek Him in all circumstances and rely solely on Him. I was reminded that we must keep our eyes on Him and on things above and not on the things around us or the situations that we are placed in. Colossians 3:2 says “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” I was reminded to pray even more for all of my children and plead to the God of heaven for His hand of favor to be upon them. The ones here and the one growing inside of me.  I was trying to remember to be thankful every single day that I had with them. Even if it wasn’t the best of days and I was at my wits end over a decision one of them had made or the latest bad attitude I was faced with by my beautiful twelve year old.

September 6th our world as we knew it came crashing down when we found out that our sweet baby didn’t have a heartbeat. He/she was already gone on to be with the Lord. We would not be bringing home a baby come spring. We would not experience all of the ups and downs of pregnancy. The thrill of learning the gender and choosing a perfect name was taken away. The excitement of shopping for tiny little clothes and diapers were fading away before they really began.

That was one of the lowest of the low points in my life, next to losing my Daddy seven years ago. I hated the feelings I was feeling. I hated the thoughts that I had. I was so scared and didn’t know where to turn to for help. Many times I prayed but didn’t really know what to say, I just called out His name. Jesus. Jesus. It brought comfort and peace. I told a friend that I was holding on to hope as best as I could but at times I left it slipping away. She reminded me that there is ALWAYS hope in Jesus.

21 Yet this I call to mind
    and therefore I have hope:

22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
    for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.
24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
    therefore I will wait for him.

25 The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him,
    to the one who seeks him;

Lamentations 3:21-25 spoke right to my hurting heart. I was reminded that my hope was in Him and Him alone. Nothing of this world could soothe or help me and the hurt I experienced. Only the maker of my soul could ease the hurt and calm the fears inside.

Psalm 94:19 reads, When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul. Jesus was my comfort, my sympathy, my relief, my help, my support, and my encouragement. He can be yours too, just reach out to Him. Call on his perfect and precious name.  Jehovah Shammah, He is our ever present Lord God. He never left my side and never will.

Twenty-nine short days we had you with us sweet baby Liberty. We love you and will never forget you or the impact your life made on our lives.



Day that changed it all


All six of us were so excited for this appointment and to see our sweet baby and possibly hear his/her heartbeat. It was a beautiful sunny day in September. The kids and I had worked on school work and chores that morning like any other day. Tommy went to work. I cooked rice and broccoli for lunch, I was trying to eat more vegetables even though I didn’t have much of an appetite.

I met Tommy at the doctors office that afternoon. I was nervous excited because this was the first time I had met this doctor and I was so excited to see the new baby. Tommy was too, his smile told me. We chatted and laughed while we waited for the doctor to come in.

He came into the room and we went over some history and I answered some questions. He stepped out to get the ultrasound machine and the nurse. When he returned with it, he set it up so I couldn’t see the screen, just the back of it.

He studied the screen for minutes it seemed and didn’t say a word. He finally commented something about “it being blurry, very blurry.”  The nurse agreed and he clicked more buttons. I remember it taking much longer than when Dr. Baker did my other early ultrasounds. I felt in my gut that something was wrong. He wasn’t talking, he wasn’t moving the machine so that I could see my baby. He was moving the wand around and around. To the left, to the right. Tilting it this way.

Still silence. It was awful. My heart sank and began breaking. I cried out to God. I wanted to cry out to Him aloud. But it wouldn’t happen. Please God. Please I begged. God help me.

He finally spoke after what seemed like an eternity. He said something like, there is something in your uterus but I cannot find a heartbeat. Something in my uterus. Never once acknowledged there was a baby that my God had blessed us with. My sweet sweet baby that I loved so very much. My baby that I so desperately wanted. He was in shock I guess just like we were and his words were few and not very comforting or kind at all.  He suggested I go for a second opinion ultrasound at the hospital. But by that time it was 4:45 and the hospital radiology department was closed for the day. I said I’d go to a nearby town for one. I wanted to know what was wrong.

The doctor and nurse left the room and the tears began to flow down my face. My heart just shattered into a million zillion pieces because I knew that something was terribly wrong and my baby was not ok. I cried and cried and held my husband. I couldn’t breathe and it hurt so bad. God help me. Not my baby. Not our baby. Oh God.

We finally left the room to see the doctor on the hallway. He suggested we call the next day for the second ultrasound. Like here, ball is in your court, have a good day. I was crying. I asked if we could go to the next town over and they said yes and handed us a paper with an ultrasound order on it. I asked if there was a number on it on who we needed to call, where we needed to go, etc but the nurse just got on the internet and wrote the phone number on a post it and handed it to my husband. Didn’t offer to help by calling for us. Very cold. They acted as if I had a scrape on my knee or a common simple cold. My baby has died and they couldn’t care less. The sweet receptionist noticed what was going on and came over and gave me a hug and whispered some encouragement in my ear.

We went out to the van and Tommy called the hospital and they could only do an ultrasound if it was an emergency and the doctor called them. He went back in and they again didn’t offer to call and say it was an emergency. They just took the paper and said they would call in the morning.

Tommy offered to drive home since we had both cars at the office but I didn’t want to deal with going back at some point to get the second car so I drove home. I cried and prayed the fifteen minute drive home. I turned on the radio and a song came on that I had never heard.

“I know you’re good
But this don’t feel good right now
And I know you think
Of things I could never think about
It’s hard to count it all joy
Distracted by the noise
Just trying to make sense
Of all your promises
Sometimes I gotta stop
Remember that you’re God
And I am not

Thy will be done
Thy will be done
Thy will be done
Like a child on my knees all that comes to me is
Thy will be done
Thy will be done
Thy will”

It has been three weeks since we found out that the baby didn’t make it. Seems unreal at times yet feels so very real knowing our baby will not be coming home with us next spring.