Saturday, April 21, 2012

Prayer Flowers

I came across these "prayer sticks" on Pinterest and I knew they would be a great way to teach Addison that we have the amazing privilege of praying for others.  She LOVES picking a flower before breakfast, lunch, and dinner and then praying for the chosen person.  It is so cute because she holds the flower close to her while hugging and kissing the person.  I hope this simple activity will be the building block that fosters a life-long desire to interceed on another's behalf.

So, so simple and inexpensive to make!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Naming Our Son

"A good name is more desirable than great riches."
-Proverbs 22:1

Naming your child is a great honor, but also a decision not to be taken lightly.  I've been dreaming of what I would one day name my children since I was a young girl.  I used to keep a notebook that I'd fill with my list of favorite boy and girl names (some of which changed from week to week, other names remained in the books year after year).  While our daughter is not named Elizabeth or Victoria and we are not naming our son Josiah or Camden, writing and thinking about those names taught me that choosing your child's name has great significance and requires much thought.

My Hero and I chose Addison's name because we love it.  We like that it is fairly unique and we imagined a happy, joyful Addison as we dreamed of the little girl we couldn't wait to meet.  Her middle name is a family name on both sides.  She fits her name perfectly!

Choosing our son's name was not quite as easy.  As most parents, we wanted a strong name for our son that not only fit an adventurous, energetic little boy, but also a well-respected grown man.  In addition, I had a few guidelines as we chose his name....I wanted it to be a two syllable name, be easy to spell, somewhat unique, and a name that could not be shortened into a nickname.  After much thought, we have chosen to name our son Levi.  Levi Andrew to be exact.

profile picture at 26 weeks

After reading this verse in Malachi concerning God's covenant with Levi, we were 100% certain that Levi is the perfect name for our son.  Here is our prayer for our Levi...

"And you will know that I have sent you this admonition so that my covenant with Levi may continue," says the Lord Almighty. "My covenant was with him, a covenant of life and peace, and I gave them to him; this called for reverence and he revered me and stood in awe of my name. True instruction was in his mouth and nothing false was found on his lips. He walked with me in peace and uprightness, and turned many from sin."
-Malachi 2:4-6


And Andrew?  To be honest, we just like the way Levi + Andrew sound next to one another.  It is not a family name on either side, and I never even considered it in the past.  But we love it and think it is perfect.  

We are getting SO excited about meeting our little guy!  He is constantly moving inside of me and I feel such a bond with him already.  I cannot, cannot believe that I'm already in my 3rd trimester!  We have a lot to do before he gets here, and I love being pregnant, so I'm not rushing his entrance.  He will be here soon!  What a blessing he is!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

April Dinner Recipes

It's April already and I'm back with some new recipes!  Enjoy!!

(To read more about this post, go to the new "Dinner Recipes" tab.)

Our Top Dinner Ideas:
1. Chili-Rubbed Tilapia
2.Chicken Tetrazzini
3. Quick Zucchini Parmesan*
4. Chicken Tortilla Soup*
5. Spicy Chicken Tacos
6. Roasted Chicken Lasagna with Ricotta and Spinach*
7. Pork Tenderloin Southern Style
8. Honey Sauced Chicken (in crock pot)
9. Quinoa Burgers
10. Roasted Tomato Basil Soup
11. Veggie burgers (Publix Greenwise brand)
12.Honey Lime Tilapia
13. Tuscan Vegetable Soup
*See recipe below

Trying these new recipes in April (and I will add them to the list if we like them!):

-Hearty Black Bean Quesadillas (add chopped red and green peppers)
-Foil-Pack Chicken and Artichoke Dinner
-Broccoli and Cheddar Quiche with a Brown Rice Crust
-Cheesy Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole
-Black bean burgers (Flying Biscuit's "Love Cakes")
-Baked Ranch Chicken Strips


Quick Zucchini Parmesan (recipe from my aunt, not sure of original source)
2 tsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
4 medium roma tomatoes
1/4 tsp. salt
2 medium zucchini
1/4 tsp basil
1/4 tsp oregano
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup Italian breadcrumbs
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
cooked brown rice or whole wheat pasta

1. In a 9" skillet, heat oil, add onion and saute until golden.  Add garlic.
2. Stir in tomatoes and salt, cook 2 minutes.  Wash zucchini and tip off and discard ends.  Cut lengthwise into 1/4 inch slices.
3. In a small bowl, combine basil and oregano and 2 tablespoons Parmesan.  Sprinkle cheese mixture over zucchini and pat firmly onto zucchini.
4. Remove 1/2 of tomato mixture from skillet.  Arrange zucchini slices in skillet.  Spoon removed 1/2 of tomatoes over slices.
5. In a bowl, combine bread crumbs, remaining Parmesan, and mozzarella.  Sprinkle over zucchini.  Cover tightly and simmer 8-10 minutes.  Uncover and broil until cheese browns.  Serve with pasta or rice. 

Our Favorite Chicken Tortilla Soup (not sure of original source)
3 large chicken breasts
8 cups of water
4 chicken bouillon cubes
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T olive oil
1 (16oz) can Mexican-style stewed tomatoes
1 small package frozen corn
1 1/2 tsp. black pepper
3 medium zucchini, sliced and diced
3 yellow squash, sliced and diced
2 large carrots (or about 2 handfuls of small ones (sliced)
1 can mild rotel
3 tsp. cumin
3 tsp. garlic powder
Boil 8 cups of water and cook chicken in water for broth  Remove chicken (shred or cut into bite-sized pieces) and add bouillon cubes to broth.  Saute onion and garlic in olive oil.  Add veggies, sauteed mixture, and all other ingredients.  Boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes.  (**Can also be put in crock pot and cooked on high until vegetables are soft.)

Serve with chips, cheese, avocado, and sour cream.

Roasted Chicken Lasagna with Ricotta and Spinach (my variation from a Taste of Homerecipe)
1 cup light (or fat free) ricotta cheese
1 cup low-fat (or fat free) cottage cheese
1/2 pkg. (5oz) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 egg
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
10 uncooked whole wheat lasagna noodles
1 small fully cooked rotisserie chicken, skinned and chopped into bite-sized pieces (about 3 1/2 cups chopped)
1 T olive oil
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 6oz. can tomato paste
1 1/2 cups water
1 medium zucchini, chopped
2 small yellow squash, chopped
2 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 cup crumbled light feta cheese
8 ozs. shredded light mozzarella cheese
2 T chopped fresh parsley

In a medium bowl, combine ricotta, cottage cheese, spinach, egg, oregano, and black pepper.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Prepare lasagna noodles according to package directions.  Drain.  Rinse with cold water and drain again.  Set aside.

Saute onion and garlic in 1 T olive oil until onion is tender.  Stir in tomato paste, water, zucchini, squash, salt, oregano, and pepper.  Simmer, covered, 30 minutes.

Spray a 9" x 13" baking pan with cooking spray.  To assemble lasagna, spoon 1 cup sauce over bottom of pan.  Arrange 3-4 lasagna noodles over sauce.  Top noodles with another cup of sauce followed by 1/3 chicken, 1/3 feta, and 1/3 mozzarella.  Arrange 3-4 more noodles over top, followed by 1 cup sauce, 1/3 chicken, all of the ricotta/spinach mixture, 1/3 feta, and 1/3 mozzarella.  If you have enough sauce left over, repeat layering with remaining noodles, sauce, chicken, feta, and mozzarella.  Sprinkle parsley over top.

Cover loosely with foil and bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes.  Remove foil and bake for 5 more minutes.  Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.