Saturday, April 26, 2014

Seared Tilapia with Watermelon Salsa

Seared Tilapia with Watermelon Salsa

Last week when we were shopping at Whole Foods they were handing out samples of a seared halibut with watermelon salsa.  Jeremy and I both loved it so I decided to recreate the dish at home with some tilapia that I needed to use up.  This dish is light and refreshing, just the way a summer dinner should be. 

-4 Tbsp olive oil
-4 fillets tilapia
-salt and pepper

Watermelon Salsa
-2 c watermelon, diced
-1/8 c lime juice
-1 Tbsp honey or sugar
-1/4 tsp salt
-1 jalapeno, seeded and finely diced
-1/4 red onion, diced
-any combination of the following herbs; cilantro, mint, and/ or basil

At least 2 hours before dinner assemble salsa; Whisk together lime juice, honey or sugar and salt.  Toss with remaining ingredients.  Chill at least 2 hours prior to serving.

Season fish on both sides with salt and pepper.  Heat 2 Tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add fish (I can cook 3 fillets at a time in my pan, cook however many at a time you can fit without them overlapping) and cook until the top is just barely still raw (2-4 minutes), flip and cook on the second side until the fish is cooked through and flakes easily (about 2 minutes).  Repeat with remaining oil and tilapia fillets.  Spoon salsa on top of fish and serve immediately.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Spinach Pie

I made this Spinach Pie for a simple vegetarian dinner (but it would be a great side dish to any meat).  It was quick, easy, and delicious.  I left out the eggs and the egg wash because I made it for my mom who doesn't eat eggs, but if that wasn't a concern I'd add those in next time.  I also switched out the cottage cheese with feta and was very happy with that decision.

Friday, April 11, 2014

46 weeks

Here is what is going on with Eli this week according to;

Your baby probably enjoys looking at books and leafing through the pages, though she won't always turn them one by one. Indulge in great picture books, like Anno's Journey, by the great Japanese artist Mitsumasa Anno, Tamara Hoban's Is It Red? Is It Yellow? Is It Blue?, which introduces primary colors through photos of everyday objects, and The Snowman, by Raymond Briggs, a full-color cartoon book about a snowman who comes to life. Or stick with sturdy and inexpensive board books that can stand up to small fingers.

To add variety to your baby's reading time and to find out what appeals to her the most, try your local library or the kids' section at a family-friendly bookstore.

Your baby has probably been wrestling with bouts of separation anxiety during the last several months. This is natural: She loves and depends on you, so she's distressed when you leave.

To ease departures, make them short and sweet. Be matter-of-fact when you leave your child at daycare or with a babysitter at home, and don't prolong the agony with extended goodbyes. Your baby's tears will subside soon after you're out of sight.

You can help your baby feel more independent by not hovering over her all the time. Of course, she still needs to know that you're around and dependable. So if she toddles to another room, wait a couple of minutes before following. If you go to another area of the house, call to her when you're in the next room — but don't come running every time she squawks.

Poor 2nd child!  I blogged every week the whole first year of Noah's life and this is my first Eli blog in 2 months. 

Eli is doing great though!

I think I've pretty much switched to solely calling him Eli and almost never calling him Elisha. 

He has been walking for about 2 weeks (since he was 10 months old) and can walk around the whole house on his own.  Now we're working on getting used to walking in shoes and not just barefoot.

He loves to clap his hands and does it all the time.  Within the last couple of weeks he's just been learning how to wave hi and bye to people.

I just finally transitioned him out of sleeping in a sleep sack this week and am now giving him a blanket.  We also lowered his crib to the lowest notch, because I think it was somewhere around this age when Noah figured out how to hurl himself out of the crib.  We also child proofed all of our cabinets, which is something that I had never done with Noah, but it has made my days dramatically easier since I'm not spending 98% of my day policing cabinets now.

He now has his 2 bottom center teeth and 2 top center teeth, plus has an additional one on the top just starting to break through the skin.

Eli has hardly ever been left with anyone other than me, Jeremy, or his mom, but we are slowly getting him used to it.  A few months ago, he wasn't making it through a whole church service and they would call me to pick him up from the nursery after about 15-20 minutes because he was still sobbing.  Now he makes it the entire service, but still gets pretty sad when I drop him off, and pick him up.

Despite the drawbacks of having less blogs and alone time with me from being the 2nd child I think he is getting a lot of benefits (for him anyway).  I didn't let Noah eat any food with added butter, oil, salt, sugar, or fried food until well after his 1st birthday (I think).  I pretty much already feed Eli just about anything that I'm eating which has included desserts, chips, french fries, meat, nd lots of other delicacies that Noah wasn't experiencing at this age.  I also never let Noah watch tv before he was 2 (I think), but since Noah currently watches a few shows a day, as soon as Eli is old enough to notice and care then I will let him watch with his brother.

In reading Noah's 46 week blog I'm reminded of how much he loved to read at this age... Eli, not so much.  I can't get him to sit still for a whole book, and usually he just tries to grab books out of my hand.  In fact, when I'm reading a book to Noah, Eli will come from across the room just to try to take the book from us.  On his own though, he is frequently known to pull all of the books off the bookshelf and sit amidst a pile of books flipping through them, he just doesn't want us reading them to him.

But while Eli doesn't have the same love for books that Noah did at this age he does have a love for balls that Noah didn't.  He loves to catch, throw, and roll balls.  We'll see if this carries over into athleticism in later years.

He has developed a bit of an attitude and will throw mini fits/ tantrums when we take away something that he wants.  Fortunately he is easily distracted.

He says mama and dadda, dadda way more than mama.  He also says Noah, but hasn't showed any interest in some of the other common words yet.

One of his favorite things to do is to lay on any couch, bed, or set of pillows and just flop and roll around.  He grins and growls the whole time.  He also loves being held upside down, going for walks, playing peek-a-boo, watching bubbles, and going to grandma's.

This little boy is so happy and full of personality.  He is independent... when I see other kids his age hover by their moms in social settings he is always on the move, curious and exploring.  He is stubborn tenacious, and will continue to go back to the same forbidden action time and time again without giving up.  These traits of curiosity and tenacity are also strongly exhibited in his brother, and while they can be frustrating in small children I think they are great qualities for adults, so we are doing our best not to stifle them out of him but to attempt to direct them in a constructive manner.

Here was Noah at 46 weeks.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

He Told Me Who I Am


Recently, I had a powerful interaction with God, one in which He told me who I am, and after which I will never be the same.  Until now, I've been unsure as to when or how or with whom to share this information, but now I feel like it's the time to start sharing and inviting others into this journey.   I'm inviting you into the depths of my heart as I receive, process, and step into my "calling".

I would love to say that this started with an overly spiritual experience... that I had been fasting, and seeking, and praying, or just spending some time completely resting in my oneness with the Father, aware of His presence... but that's not how it went down. That's just like God, to show up when we least expect it and rock our world, turning it upside down. To give us profound, life changing experiences in the seemingly ordinary and mundane moments so that we don't think the experience was a result of our doing, our efforts in seeking Him, or our spiritual performance for Him. But I digress...

So it went down one ordinary day. I was standing over my dryer, folding and stuffing cloth diapers, in a simple state of peace, rest, and contentment. Maybe singing/ worshiping a little as I worked, but nothing overly focused, intentional or purposeful. And then God spoke to me. He told me that I am a Pastor.

"WHAT?!?" Was my reaction. This was not something even remotely on my radar.

I've always had theology to back up women in roles of leadership. In layman's terms I've always believed that at the Fall, woman was put subject under man, but at the Cross, creation was restored to its' initial intention... becoming and fulfilling the curse. Therefore I've always supported women as leaders and pastors... as long as it was some other woman somewhere else... but never really felt the desire for myself to be in an official place of leadership over a body, especially a body that contained men.

So to say this pastor thing caught me off guard would be an understatement.

But then He gave me a new definition of pastor. In Western culture, I think we tend to think of a pastor as someone who is over a church body and stands up in front of lots of people and preaches every Sunday. So God showed me that a pastor is a shepherd who is in charge of a flock. A pastor gathers his flock, knows his flock, is aware of their needs, provides/ meets their needs and cares for them.

Given this new picture of who/ what a pastor is, I was starting to be much more comfortable with this idea. I think those are all things that I naturally (or by supernatural gifting) effortlessly do well as I go about life. They are things that I am passionate about. God showed me that I'm already unofficially serving in this role... I gather groups of families, moms, women etc. together all of the time. I take the time to know these people and care for them.

There is something so profoundly intimate about hearing from my Creator who He created me to be. Nothing else in my entire life has ever felt so true and real to my heart. It was almost like a whole new awakening. Like all of those times in the Old (or New) Testament when God showed up and revealed Himself to someone and changed their name, because that encounter with Him was so profound that the person would no longer be the same... the old name would no longer suffice... the person had a new identity and purpose (ex/ Abram/ Abraham, Sarai/ Sarah, Jacob/ Israel, Saul/ Paul and so many more!). This was definitely that type of experience for me.

I'm still processing through this new information with my Maker. I'm still asking for clarity and know that He will give it to me one step at a time, in His perfect timing as I walk by faith each step of the way. So join me on this journey as I share how He leads and guides me. And may this be an inspiration to you that He has created YOU for a specific purpose and wants to show that to you as well.


Thursday, April 3, 2014

Felt Crown and Owl Mask

I made this felt owl mask and felt crown for a special little girl's birthday.  I've really been enjoying whipping up some super quick projects with felt lately.  I used this template (minus the eyelashes) for the owl, and this template for the crown.