Tuesday, August 21

Food entry...

This is my first "food" entry. Its a bit random, but this is a collection of things, just to keep it interesting!

So when when Jeff and I got married, naturally I registered for a panini press. After the first seven months, I used it once to make a quesadilla. We decided to return it, or rather Jeff decided so that we could get cash back from BB&B. Well it's now a year later and guess what I just bought... a panini press!

I've been a panini-making fanatic! Here's a recipe that Jeff really liked- despite it being meatless, and i LOVED!

Eggplant Panini withPesto
1 large eggplant,about 12-14 oz
kosher salt to taste
olive oil spray
12 oz french bread(or baguette), cut into 4 pieces
4 slices part skimmozzarella cheese (I used whatever was on sale)
2 tbsp pesto (just store bought for simplicity)
8 thin sliced tomato
1/4 onion cut (I added this to the original recipe)

Slice the eggplantinto 1/4-inch thick slices. Place the eggplant slices on a paper towel andseason with salt; set aside about 30 minutes. This will help draw some of themoisture out of the eggplant. Pat the eggplant dry with paper towels. Preheatpanini grill. Lightly spritz eggplant with olive oil, season with salt andpepper. When the grill is hot, grill eggplant about 4 minutes. Set aside.

Slice the bread openand place 3 slices of grilled eggplant, 1 slice of mozzarella, 1/2 tablespoonof pesto, 2 slices of tomatoes, and a few slivers of onion on each sandwich. Close and lightly spraythe top of the bread with oil. 

Place on a paninipress and close until the cheese melts and the bread is toasted. Cut in halfdiagonally and eat immediately.

Saturday, August 4

A cup of cheer...

These days, my life has been consumed with coaching cheerleading at Hilton Head High School (and Middle School). We just returned from UCA cheer camp in Myrtle beach. It was a fun week, but definitely trying, to say the least. I've never been so aware of how broken and lost high school girls (and boys) are. Despite my experiences working with this age of girls, with coach cheerleading in Ohio and doing Young Life there, and actually being a girl in high school myself just a few years ago, this past week really gave me a different perspective.

There was so much insecurity, attention seeking, and genuine heartache during our 5 days at cheer camp. All of these emotions manifested in different and unique ways but they all shared a common root, which is sin. The things that went down, the issues that arose, were nothing but a visual representation of sin in the world. I wish I could go into more detail about specific incidents, but to protect these girls stories and experiences, I don't feel like I can or should. But please trust me when I say that these poor girls learning to deal and cope with so much in todays world, they are trying to discover who they are or want to be, and more times than not... it's devastating to watch.

My eyes have been opened to the idea of spiritual warfare. I find it odd that this is the week when the Lord revealed this to me like never before. I believe that rather than teaching me when I am surrounding by community, fellowship, and prayer... he waited until I was isolated, so that I could really get a clear view of how real this war we are fighting in is.

I know this seems super dark and deep, and that's not really my intention. I've just been blown away by this realization. I also have a deeper and more developed passion, more than EVER, for youth ministry. I am continually in awe of how blessed I am that the Lord has chosen me to do His work. He trusted me enough to send me to cheer camp with 47 girls from HHI, although I didn't feel equipped or worthy.

There is such an enormous need for youth ministries. But please hear this....  when I say youth ministry, I don't mean churches or people pressing values, morals, legalities, and laws onto these kids. These girls don't need anyone else to judge them and tell them who they are supposed to be, they get that all day everyday from the media, their friends, and families. All they need is the truth and love of Jesus. They need leaders in their life who will love and support them exactly as they are, and help guide them to truth, despite their faults, struggles, and wacky methods of discovering themselves. 

Now on a different note.... despite the hard, weird, awkward, sad, and disheartening moments....
JV Squad: Camp Champs for Cheer, Camp Champs for Dance, 1st place home pom dance, & 5 All-Americans
Varsity Squad: 1st place home fight song dance, 2nd place cheer, 2nd place dance, Camp Leadership award (voted by other teams), Superior squad award, 6 All-Americans, 2 seniors nominated for UCA staff.

All of the Seahawk cheerleaders (JV and Varsity) with their trophies and awards! 

Our 11 All-American Cheerleaders! 

My JV competition team. So proud of them!