Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Awesome Salmon Recipe

As I made my meal plan for the week, I was growing weary of the same ol' recipes that I cook every couple of weeks. So I took a trip over to and found this great recipe for salmon that Andy and I enjoyed tonight. The salmon was a little pricey (about $12 for two (big)fillets) compared to the chicken that I buy in bulk, but it was worth it as a special treat.

Pan-Seared Salmon with Pineapple-Jalapeno Relish

2 cups chopped pineapple
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1/4 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons sugar
1 finely chopped seeded jalapeno pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
cooking spray
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 (6 ounce) salmon fillets

Combine first 6 ingredients in a medium bowl; stir in 1/4 teaspoon of salt

Heat a large nonstick skillet of medium high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Combine remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt, chili powder, and black pepper, stirring well; sprinkle evenly over fish. Add fish to pan, skin side up; cook 4 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness. Serve with pineapple mixture on top.

I served this with a little pasta and a green salad. Andy said, "How am I supposed to eat a salad when after that!" He really liked it. Let me know if you try it!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Caedmon's Understanding of Easter

This morning Caedmon and I were out running some errands and from the backseat of our car he begins reminiscing of Easter. I thought you may find it amusing to see how a two year old sees Easter.

Comments from Caedmon (2 1/2 years old):

  • "Hey Mom, you remember when Jesus was on the cross and he was naked silly?" (okay, a little explanation here is needed...first of all, he must have seen a picture of Jesus on the cross with just a loin cloth because I never emphasized the fact that He was likely hung naked. Second, whenever Caedmon gets out of the bathtub we tell him that HE is naked silly, which he loves and he runs around the house and dances while I chase him with his pajamas. He doesn't grasp the concept that it sounds irreverent to refer to Jesus as naked silly.)

  • "Soldiers are bad guys. Jesus hit the soldiers." (Me: "The soldiers were the bad guys, but Jesus didn't hit them.")

  • My favorite: "Hey Mom, you remember when Jesus died on the cross and then He came back and nobody fight Him anymore?"

Yeah, I remember that one, Caedmon! And that's a pretty great understanding of Easter if you ask me! He died, He came back, and He is victorious!

Monday, April 27, 2009


Yesterday Andy continued week 3 of our current message series, "My Upside Down Life". He talked about getting our finances grounded and living lives of contentment and generosity instead of greed.

The part of his sermon that spoke to me the most was when he said if I live with greed, I will destroy my life. He elaborated more on that idea by saying when there is greed in our hearts we don't receive the blessings God gives us. The blessings just deflect right off of us. God gives us a home and food and family and...but we can never truly enjoy them or be thankful for them because we are always wanting more.

Conversely, when we have contentment we realize afresh each day the blessings God has given us and we get to enjoy them over and over again. I can wake up and think, "Wow, I get to be married to Andy Wood! I get to be Caedmon's mom! I get to live in beautiful, sunny California!" There are so many things in my life that I can be thankful for if I learn to live with contentment.

A discipline that I have done on and off is keeping a journal of things I am thankful for. Each morning I will write down 1-3 things for which I am thankful. This exercise is most helpful for me when I'm feeling a lack of contentment or frustration with someone or something in my life. God has given me so many blessings and I will enjoy them all the more if I remember to say "THANK YOU!"

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Disney Land

We had the awesome experience of taking Caedmon to Disney Land for the first time last Wednesday! I wish you could have seen the excitement and anticipation in his eyes as we experienced our time there. He had a blast! It made it even more fun that the Santos family was with us. We were all down in LA for a conference and decided to go a day early to have an extra special family day! Enjoy the pictures!
Jungle Cruise...Andy looks a little more confident than Caedmon!

Making music at Tarzan's treehouse

Climbing on Winnie the Pooh's honey pots

So silly

Mommy & Caedmon on the Winnie the Pooh train

Waiting in line for the Dumbo ride
(a favorite of both Lily & Caedmon)

The Carousel
(Lily wasn't too sure about getting on that big horse!)

Caedmon and Lily taking a breather on Mickey's couch

YEA! The one we couldn't wait to see!

We waited for nearly 2 HOURS to see these princesses,
so please enjoy every picture!!

The one and only, Cinderella

Sleeping Beauty

Snow White


On our way to "It's a Small World"

This picture is posted purely for the enjoyment of my brother!
This was Caedmon's first experience peeing in the woods on the long road trip back to San Jose. I was about to take him, but Andy stopped me and insisted that this was a monumental moment and Caedmon needed to experience this with his dad. Caedmon's been asking to pee outside ever since!

Monday, April 20, 2009


Today Caedmon and I went to the pool for the first time this year. In a word...phenomenal. I would like that to be how I spend every morning for the rest of the spring/summer! (Not going to happen, but we can wish!) Caedmon was so entertained just playing with a few toys on the steps and occasionally "swimming" around the pool with me. The pool at our apartments is heated so the water is perfectly comfortable and there is not a cloud in our bright blue sky today. Couldn't have asked for a better morning!

One thing that added to the enjoyment was having my friend, Amanda, and her two kiddos there. I have found that motherhood can be so isolating. It is easy to get into my own routines with my own family and never interact with others except for the rushed conversations at church on Sundays. So recently I have made it a point to invite others to go with me where ever I'm going. I try to limit my "errand-running" to one or two mornings a week so that Caedmon and I can do something fun together on the other days. So whether we are going to the playground, the museum, the library, or the pool, I try to invite a friend. Today, I actually invited 6 friends and only one was able to make it, so you gotta be persistent. If it ends up being just me and Caedmon, we still have a great time doing something fun. But if we get to enjoy the company of friends, then Caedmon gets to have some playmates and I get to have an adult conversation (albeit punctuated by frequent interruptions).

Sometimes I would honestly rather just be by myself. Like this morning, I got some bad news and I would have been content moping around alone. But being with Amanda and playing with all of our kids lifted my spirits. Often when we find ourselves wanting to isolate, that is the time we are most in need of reaching out! So treat yourself to something fun...and invite someone to enjoy it with you!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Children's Museum

I love San Jose's Children's Discovery Museum! We recently purchased a membership so we can take Caedmon any time without additional cost. Because of this, we go all the time! We normally only stay for an hour and a half or so in the morning because I don't want to mess up his nap time (I treasure naptime!). But we always have a great time. I don't think he could ever get bored with it because there are so many different things to do. And it's something fun and active to do on a rainy or chilly day. Below are a few pics of Caedmon having a blast exploring and just being a kid!

Sand table with my mom

Fireman Caedmon

This is an actual firetruck that the kids can play on.
They also have an ambulance, old carriage, and an old Model T.

Caedmon's Favorite: Water Play!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Taxes are not my friend

I just finished my about waiting until the last minute! I am REALLY hoping that I didn't make any major mistakes. I'm a little paranoid because I tried to do them myself for the first time this year using TurboTax. The thing that freaks me out is that TurboTax wouldn't let me submit my federal tax return through efile because it said "the original tax return was amended"?! No idea.

So, I'm really hoping that some IRS guy doesn't show up on my doorstep to take me to jail! I'm having images of a front-page story in the Mercury entitled, "Pastor's Wife Involved in Tax Scandal." Surely there's some kind of protection clause for those of us who sincerely tried our best but are just ignorant when it comes to taxes!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Happy Easter!

Highlights from Easter:
  • Caedmon's excitement as he looked for eggs around our living room right after he woke up
  • a bag of Ghirardelli chocolates (dark chocolate with mint filling) to greet me at the breakfast table
  • beautiful weather
  • new clothes (Is it vain that one thing I love about Easter is buying a new outfit?)
  • 284 people in attendance at South Bay Church
  • 60+ amazing volunteers who served joyfully with all their hearts
  • a new set design to usher in a new series (My Upside Down Life)
  • watching my husband preach with the passion of a 19 year old but the skill and wisdom of someone far beyond his years
  • 12 people indicating first time decisions to follow Christ
  • 12 more people indicating that they are considering following Christ
  • having the HOPE that Jesus is alive and one day I will be with Him forever!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Hunt

South Bay hosted our first ever Easter egg hunt today at the park behind our meeting facility. Last night Andy and I babysat for the Santos girls, Lily and Cailyn. So, in preparation for todays events, Andy and I took Caedmon and the girls out to a field last night and did a few trial runs on the basics of Easter egg hunting. We explained the necessity of moving quickly and not stopping to look in each of the eggs until after all of the eggs had been collected. We were grooming them to be Champion Easter Egg Hunters!

Well, today was a huge success and everyone seemed to have a great time. There was no way to count how many people were there, but definitely hundreds and hundreds...perhaps over a thousand? No idea. It was definitely a little chaotic, but that kinda added to the party atmosphere. We had balloons, face painting, bubbles, pictures with the Easter bunny, prizes, refreshments, music...and it was all FREE to the community! It was fantastic.

In addition to all of that, we prepared 10,000 Easter eggs for the kiddos. You know how many Caedmon got? None!

We divided the age groups 0-3 and 4 and up. We made it very clear that no adults were allowed to enter the older kids field, but unfortunately did not make that clear about the little kids field. So, even before Filipe said 'Go!' (he was actually yelling, "Wait, wait, don't go yet!") mobs of parents CARRYING their children ran out on the field and got overflowing baskets of eggs! I'm not bitter. I'm just saying...

The entire hunt lasted about 2 minutes and I was left standing there with two very confused little boys. (Caedmon's buddy, Gavin, didn't get any eggs either!) They seemed confused, while Gavin's mom and I felt like we were going to cry! But no worries, I knew that we had kept a box full of eggs behind the table in case some kids didn't get any. (I just never thought my kid would be the one who didn't get any! I mean, what about all that practice?!) So the kids were happy and everything worked out just fine!

Juliane, aka Vova, we three of her many grandchildren
This is Filipe's mom and Lily and Cailyn's grandma, but Caedmon claims her also!
Caedmon with Madison and Livy.
Those girls are amazing at keeping up with him! My little babysitters!

My friend, Vivian, with he sweet son Gavin.

Gavin's saying, "Hey, who took all the eggs?"

Caedmon got a shark...but that's not him in the pic

Three of the precious ladies in my small group!
We probably had close to 80 volunteers today!

You can click on this picture to enlarge it and get a better look at the crowd.
I think this event definitely gave our church a positive image in the eyes of our community!