Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Joy Dare - 3 Gifts in the Kitchen

Today's Joy Dare is to find 3 Gifts in the Kitchen.

Considering how much I love my kitchen and being in it, this one's a breeze and a perfect opportunity for a photo post! I couldn't stop at three...

Over-ripe bulk bananas on sale at the grocery store. In just a couple days they'll be transformed into tasty morsels of baked delight!

The knives my dad made for me. Hand-crafted blades and handles, made with love and sharpened every time he comes to visit!

Fruit. So simple, so healthy and so beautiful. I think a colorful fruit bowl is my favorite decorative addition for my kitchen. (And did you notice that rockin' tile behind it?!)

Breaking into a fresh coconut. A first for us!
The coconut water...

The first impressions... She's a foodie in the making, always noticing the first tastes and the (in her words) ending taste. Two thumbs up from her, she'd like to try it in tea.

First impression? Not so hot. She spit her mouthful back in the cup, much to her sister's dismay.
Examining the freshly-opened meat.

Dragon fruit!

Dessert! Dragon fruit (kind of like kiwi), Star fruit (kind of like an Asian pear), and fresh coconut. A delightful adventure in texture and new flavor!

Another treasure I keep in my kitchen. Somewhat faded by time, I think of the special flower-giver and maker when I look at them.
It's small, but I can feed a lot of people because of the love that has gone into it.
P.S. That jar of pre-made pasta sauce? I'm also counting it and the pasta beside it as gifts - they allowed me time to surf the net in my quest to capture the Aurora "on film."

Can you find three gifts in your kitchen? I'd love to hear what they are!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Ready? Set! Here I go! 31 Day Challenge, Day 1

My blog has felt somewhat lackluster to me lately and I don't like it. So when I stumbled across Allume's website and blog I was excited. I found it just in time to join this challenge. Coincidence? I don't believe in coincidence.

This will indeed be a challenge for me, but I'm willing and ready so here we go!

Today's Challenge: Write five nondescript sentences. Look at them again and re-write them to show not tell what was happening. Go over them again and pump them full of interesting and descriptive words to really drive your point home! 

I invite your gentle feedback. I want to hear what you have to say, but go easy. I'm a tender soul. 

1. I am thankful that spring is near.
2. I don't have much planned today.
3. I want to grow as a writer.
4. My dog is sleeping on the floor.
5. I have a dramatic child.

1. As I sip my coffee from the comfort of my recliner, the sight of a clear blue sky, melting snow, an earlier sunrise, and songbirds in the trees fills my soul with joy.

2. My wide-open schedule allows me the freedom to fully commit my time to God today.

3. While I've always expressed myself best through writing, I do not claim to write well and desire to improve.

4. From the floor by my feet I see the indicative twitching and hear the stifled barks. He's chasing deer in his dreams.

5. "Is she okay?!" inquired the concerned passer-by who had stopped on our country road, turned off his music and rolled his windows down after hearing the wails of a child whose sister hadn't agreed with her plan.

Pump Up:
1. As the aroma of freshly ground beans fills the air and steam rises from my favorite mug, I am filled with joy a little earlier each morning as I behold the beauty of a clear blue sky, melting snow and songbirds flitting in the branches against the backdrop of a beautiful sunrise.

2. A quick glance at my abnormally blank calendar page told me all I needed to know. Considering a variety of potential options, I chose to commit it all to the glory of my Creator.

3. Reflecting on my writing, I quickly realized my desire to improve on content, style and skill.

4. I see the twitching and hear the muffled barks. The curled up tail-wagging bundle of love is chasing deer in his dreams.

5. Upon hearing the blood-curdling screams and seeing the child lying prone on the trampoline, he skidded to a halt, turned off his radio and rolled down his windows. "Is she okay?!" he yelled across the farmyard. "She's just mad," the sister replied, and he drove away shaking his head.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Help! I can't find my SuperMom Cape!

Some days it seems I'm a little thick in the head, slow to learn.

I love sewing. I love a clean, uncluttered house. I love my children. And I want my children to learn to love the things I love - because if we didn't have them to share the world with them, why did we have them?

But teaching them is more difficult than doing it for them.

Yet infinitely more rewarding.

I know that if I invest some time and energy now in teaching them how to properly clean a home or to sew a straight seam or to square up a quilt they will have skills they will find useful their entire lives. But it requires being intentional and focused and patient.

Qualities that I possess to a degree, but that I am provided daily opportunities to practice. Because the doctor didn't present me with a SuperMom cape when he delivered my babies, and I was not born perfect.

But I love The One who is. And He loves me. And He is endlessly patient. He is the Teacher who understands me better than I understand myself, who gently provides me with countless opportunities and varied situations in which to practice the lesson of the day.

Who knew that while teaching my children how to sort and fold laundry and scrub a toilet, the teacher would become the student? How often in my quest to find the bottom of the laundry basket or the floor in a child's room have I really only succeeded in proving just how imperfect I am?

Sometimes I succeed with my timing - recognize my need to refocus before it's too late, catch the tiles before they all come crashing down.

Sometimes I don't.

I fall to my knees - sometimes literally, sometimes figuratively. I sneak away for a moment to regroup, to pray, to remember my priority is to love my children and the rest doesn't matter. We do forgiveness in this family. We do grace. We do humility. I apologize and ask.

And then God places me exactly where he wants me - teaching Sunday School, filling in last-minute for a friend with a sick child.

Today's lesson?

"We seek forgiveness with God's help."

But we have to ask for that help before we can receive.

Conviction and affirmation rolled up neatly together in a one-hour ball of energetic and eager ears.

Think God doesn't have a sense of humor? Think again...

We put our hope in the Lord. He is our help and our shield. ~Psalm 33:20

Friday, March 2, 2012

Joy Dare - 3 Gifts Green

Today's Joy Dare was to find three gifts green. 

My first thoughts included Green? It's been snowing again. Anything that may have been peeking through has been buried again, and It's Pay Day... a job I love and Kelly's job are both great contenders...

All that is true, but I wanted to post here so I needed to find something I could take pictures of, so here goes...

A not-so-pretty but very tasty smoothie recipe. Green because of spinach. Yes, I just said spinach. It also contains pineapple, strawberries, banana, honey, coconut oil and lemon. YUM. A friend shared the recipe... a good gift indeed.

An old metal... not quite sure what the proper name for it is... bucket? Bin? Left behind by the acreage's previous owners, it sits right where they left it filled with gardening paraphernalia. Time and weather have left it bearing a slight green tinge and I love its antique look. Goal for this summer - find a way to incorporate it into a flower bed or something. Maybe use it as a planter...?? Got suggestions? I'd love to hear them!

Green eyes that love combined with a motor that revs up easily and a desire to cuddle anytime anywhere, she is always ready to soothe.

Did you find three green gifts today? What are they?