Friday, August 31, 2012

The "Middles"

Sometime last spring these two became known as the "Middles" I think their mom came up with the nickname and the reason was simple, they are children number two and three....the "middle" of four children.We love having all our grandchildren over but with school for Missy Miss and Little Red being so little, these were the two that spent the most time with us the last several months. Most of the time it would be just for the day but occasionally they would also spend the night  In the above picture they came over for the day and ran errands with me...this was the shopping attire...you can't see it well, but there is a baby doll in the carrier....Little Miss is a mommy in training.

Summer is almost over and schedules are about to change. I called mommy and opened up an invitation to all the grands to spend the night with grandma....as expected the "Middles" took me up on the offer. Usually the day with grandma would be a day accompanying me on errands,  but today they were no plans it was just going to be a hang out day...the best kind of days! We had lunch outside, peanut butter and Nutella and then took advantage of the continued warm weather and had a water ballon fight. You can find bags of water ballons at the Dollar Tree.  *Note, if you are going to do this, fill the ballons ahead of time because it is time consuming*  We had such fun, I loved the screams of delight when a ballon would burst and get them all wet....and of course grandma was a favorite target. *note aim at the feet* They got soaked and had a blast

We spent the rest of the afternoon inside. There was Legos in one corner and Barbies in another, each one lost in play. they stayed through supper then it was time for mommy to pick them up...sad to see them go. things are getting ready to change, Big Guy getting ready to start school next week, so I won't be seeing the "Middles" as much as before,  but there is a new duo on the horizon that may be filling the gap.

I can't wait

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Remembering My Life is Not My Own

"Your life no longer belongs to you. Your story is no longer just your story. You have been welcomed into the kingdom of another, and your life is part of the plan and purposes of that kingdom. Don't allow yourself to think that you are in the center of your universe. Remember, you have been chosen to live for the glory of another, and when you do, you will reach levels of personal contentment and joy that are not possible any other way"

From..A Shelter in the Storm by Paul David Tripp

I read this yesterday and have been thinking about what that really means ever since. This is not a new truth but one I need to be constantly be reminded of because it is so easy to be caught up in the day to day stuff of life and forget that it's not all about me...I'll be honest I frequently think it's all about me. I may not say that out loud but will convey that with my actions and attitudes. I need to remember...I am one of his chosen, to be used as he chooses for his plans and purposes.

"I have been chosen to live for the glory of another" My life is not about me, but a vehicle that God is using for his plans and purposes to bring glory to himself. So when things get messy or don't go as planned or seem absolutely out of control, I need to have that kingdom mentality...remembering God has a plan and a purpose for every situation.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Summer Salad

I thought I would share one of our favorite summer salads. I know, I know, it's late in the season, summer is almost over...sigh...but this recipe can be made and enjoyed any time of the year. It's also a great portable dish if you ever need to take a meal to a friend.

Garden Chicken Salad
1 1/2 cups cubed cooked chicken
1 cup fresh sugar snap peas, trimmed
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1 yellow pepper, seeded and diced
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
3 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 (15 ounce) can whole beets, drained and quartered
2 tablespoons crumbled reduced fat goat cheese (I use regular)

1. Combine the chicken, sugar-snap peas, tomatoes, bell pepper, chives, 2 tsp vinegar, 2 tsp oil and the salt in a large bowl
2.Toss the beets with the remaining 1 tablespoon vinegar and teaspoon oil in a medium bowl.
3. Arrange the chicken mixture on a large platter; surround with beets and sprinkle with cheese.
Serves 4

This is a Weight Watchers recipe, but I never tell anyone. It's tasty, stores well and gets better the longer it marinates. Now when I make it, I mix all the veggies and chicken together, including the beets. I whisk the oil, wine vinegar and salt together and pour over veggies and chicken. I sprinkle the goats cheese on individually as I serve. When I take this as a meal to someone, I keep the components separate (veggies, chicken, cheese) and let them mix in the chicken, and sprinkle on their own cheese (as the mixture sits it will turn the edges of the chicken and cheese pink)

                       Hope you decide to give this a try, I promise you won't be disappointed.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Had an opportunity to unplug last week and enjoy those near and dear to my heart.  The one thing I had missed so terribly while we were in California was my grandchildren so this was a nice way to reconnect. Electronics were to be kept to a minimum (that rule had to be initiated after several people were playing individual games on their respective electronic devices) so instead of playing Angry Birds or some other computer game, we played cards. Instead of surfing the net, we swam in the lake, and instead of checking FB, we fished.

Little Red took a couple of naps on the air mattress while floating in the water

Daddy and his "middles" fishing

It was forty seven steps from the dock to the house, you tried to make every trip count 

Fishing was a popular pastime

Because youngest son will be headed back to school soon, and we weren't sure when we would all be together again, we decided to take our annual family photo. Taking photos with little ones can be a challenge. I can't remember a year when someone wasn't crying or not looking at the camera. Our family photos seem to be pretty reflective of our lives...not perfect. Thankful this morning for the grace that is available in our so imperfect lives.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

A Week In Pictures

Last few photos from Monterey...we left Friday and are now back home. Because my husband was working much of the trip, there was lots of time alone, I had some concerns about that before we left, what would I do with myself all day? I had brought books to read, and I had my computer, so there was plenty to keep me occupied. Our room was equipped with a coffepot, hot plate and small fridge so I was able to do breakfast and lunch without having to go out. Mornings were spent reading while sipping coffee and munching on bread that I crisped in a skillet. By noon the weather generally cleared (lots of fog) and I would venture out and explore the area. Favorite destinations were Big Sur and Point Lobos State Reserve.

I was encouraged by friends before I left, to use this time to be quiet before the Lord. You would think it would be easy being away from every day distractions but it was really hard. I don't do quiet well, that being said, I needed the quiet, I needed to take a good look at what I was doing, look at things that needed to change. The job has been the subject of much discussion in our home the last several weeks and being away from it for awhile has been good...I needed the distance. We have decided I will continue with it but on a much limited basis. It was one of the things that has been adding a lot of noise to my life. When praying for direction there was no big lightening bolt moment, but more of a...you already know what you are supposed to do whisper. Family, friends...invest in what I have already given you...invest in what will have lasting value. Nice to be gone, nice to be back 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Looking Beyond

China Beach, Point Lobos State Reserve

"The beauty of the created world was never meant to be the beauty that would fill the eyes of our hearts. It was never meant to be the beauty to which we would look for satisfaction and peace. It was never meant to be the beauty that we would give ourselves to search for, live for, cry for and die for. No, the physical glories of this created world are meant to be sign glories. The amazing beauty that surrounds us every day was designed to be sign beauty. All of the beautiful things that we see, touch, taste and hear every day were designed to be signs that would point to the ultimate beauty that can be found only in the One who created them.
 So when you are looking at the beauty that surrounds you in the physical world that is your present home, require yourself to look beyond the signs to the stunning beauty of God to whom each sign points. Only his beauty can give you hope, strength and peace. Only his beauty can give you life."
taken from...A Shelter in the time of Storm by Paul David Tripp... page 46

I found this an interesting read this morning as I have just been so struck with the beauty of Monterey and Big Sur. It was God's little reminder that yes, his creation is beautiful but it is only his beauty that can truly satisfy

Big Sur, California

Monday, August 6, 2012

Beauty That Points To A Creator

I have been overwhelmed with the beauty of this area, it is spectacular. My time away has been good and it has been fruitful...but more on that at a later time. For now I thought I would share some of the beauty I have been able to enjoy...it's beauty that points to a creator

When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him.....Psalm8:4

Friday, August 3, 2012

On Hearing And Responding

I was walking along a footpath, when I heard the snap of a twig in the brush. I stopped for a moment and looked to see if anything was there, but all I saw was brush. I heard another snap, so I decided to get my camera ready, just in case something was there...within a minute she popped out.

Had it not been quiet I would never had heard that twig snap, had I not taken my camera out I would have missed the shot. Made me think a little...is the "noise" in my life making it hard for me to hear (perhaps some decluttering needed) and when I do hear am I responding? Just something I had to ask myself this morning and all because God put a deer in my path today.