Wednesday, March 30, 2011


One afternoon last week I had finished up my run and was walking back home, contemplating an "assignment" from the previous day's Bible study. The assignment had been to take a nature walk and pick up seven items that teach me something about God, especially as it applies to the God of hope who is continually creating and recreating His world and the people who occupy it. (This speaking specifically to the area of change in our lives). The weather had been quite nasty and I had neglected to do the assignment when it was given. As I walked along that afternoon, I began to think about what it was I would have picked up if I had done the assignment and why. The first thing that came to my mind were "poppers" (oak galls) and the simple pleasure I get watching Eileigh enjoy stepping on them- and let's be honest here, the delight I have crunching one under my own foot. As I was thinking to myself that it's too bad it's March and impossible to find one, lo and behold: a popper lay right in my path. This is the same path I walk every time I head home. I haven't seen one in months. I gleefully picked it up and carefully began to carry it home to Eileigh, silently sending a thank You Heavenward when I heard it. Deep in my spirit, so gently, so lovingly. "Jenae, you take pleasure in such a small thing. How much more do I take pleasure in you, child of Mine?" That fragile little ball was a gift- not just given for a brief moment of happiness but to remind me that my loving Father delights in me: His creation and His child. Revelation 4:11 (King James translation) "Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created." Have you delighted in His tender love lately? Have you let Him delight in you?

Wordless Wednesday

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Grilled Shrimp with Cilantro Dipping Sauce

Eager for a taste of summer and with a literal bunch of cilantro begging to be utilized, we fired up the ol' Traeger for a quick and fabulous grilled shrimp dinner. This was super easy to throw together and I added some homemade hummus and baked up the last of the soaked tortillas I had made previously (recipe still to come) for a light meal.

Grilled Shrimp with Cilantro Dipping Sauce

2 Tbsp. minced fresh cilantro
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. minced fresh chives (I used green onion tops)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 lb. uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 c. fresh cilantro leaves
1 c. mayonnaise
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded
1 garlic clove, peeled
1 Tbsp. white vinegar
1 tsp. sugar
Dash of cayenne pepper (I omitted because I was afraid it would be too spicy for Eileigh- next time I will definitely add some for a nice little kick)

In large plastic bag combine cilantro, oil, chives and garlic. Add shrimp, seal and turn to coat. Refrigerate 1 hour.
In blender combine sauce ingredients, process until blended. Chill until serving.
Thread shrimp onto 6 metal skewers or soaked wooden skewers. Grill, covered, over medium heat 2-3 minutes each side until shrimp turn pink. Serve with sauce. Serves two adults and one shrimp-loving 3 year old.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Three & One in One (Party, that is...)

I have recently had my aversion to planning elaborate birthday parties diagnosed and the outlook does not look good. There is little treatment that can be done as I am being noncompliant toward any attempt aimed at improving birthday-party-inspired-creativity. I feel I have come to terms with the demise of this vital area of mothering and am instead going to continue to embrace the rather bare-bones approach of candles/sweets/food/friends... and maybe a stop at the Dollar Tree for some light decor if I feel up to it... this may or may not make it into the yearly prep. My sister, on the other hand, is the most amazing Birthday Party Planner- even down to those small details which seamlessly knit everything together. She has ideas for years to come. I start to get an idea and have to quickly throw it out before it grows into anything dangerous. Like a Theme. Don't misunderstand me, I LOVE attending birthday parties with a Theme. I adore every little detail as I stand in awe at the creativity these incredible women bless others with. But I have come to recognize my limits (at least I'm starting to... in this glaringly obvious area of childhood birthday neglect). I'm too afraid of pouring time and energy into something that I don't really care about- and something I'm convinced my kids don't care about either. Sometimes I wish I cared more about it. But I really don't. I just want to celebrate the two best gifts God has given to us with the ones I love the most. To me it's just that simple. It's the details that get in the way of that simplicity. And I'm afraid that if I focus on the details I'm going to miss all the truly "good" stuff. I think I'm alarmingly close to seeing beauty in the simplicity of effort and focus on the things- and ones- who matter most to me. Please still invite me to your magnificent parties. This humble one needs to drink in the beauty of your creativity. It might even get me to head over to Dollar Tree again next year.

Selah gave "Moosie" a big squeeze (Eileigh named him)

Matching sister shirts from Aunt Mindi

Eileigh loved her new dollie dress- handmade by Great-Grandma T.

All four of the cousins on the T. side (these are the afore-mentioned lucky recipients of fabulous birthday parties)

Birthday girl- Big One

Birthday girl- Big Three (and being silly)

Eileigh knows what's coming... Selah's not so sure...