Thursday, July 31, 2008

Use SOAP Daily

I just watched this 45-minute video of Wayne Cordeiro, senior pastor of New Hope Church in Hawaii, on the importance of daily bible reading and it's value for enabling us to glean wisdom from the "raw, unedited accounts of the lives of people through the anals of time."

You should go grab yourself a snack and something to drink - put the phone on silent and settle in to watch it. His perspective and presentation is interesting - I don't think you'll fidget.

Bottom Line: He suggests bringing 4 things to our daily "quiet time." Our bible, of course, a pen, a reading plan, and a journal. In your journal, jot down the following:

S - scripture verse that speaks to you
O - observation about the scripture
A - application for your life
P - prayer of thanksgiving or confession regarding what you've just learned

I'm always "doing" some bible study that someone else has authored. They're wonderful and keep me in my bible on a pretty regular basis, but I'm going to give this style of bible reading a try.

I'll let you know how it goes, but meanwhile, watch the video for yourself and see what you think.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Pleasant Interruptions

It's been 10 days since I've posted anything! Sometimes I just don't have anything to say... I still don't, but I do have pictures. I always have those. Someday I'll have really good, clear, DSLR pics. But for now, I have these.

I was doing my bible study out on the patio. The one open is Beth Moore's, Daniel; while Kelly Minter's, No Other Gods, is on deck. I looked up and noticed a glint of mischief in Zeila's eye (okay, since she's so far away - it was more in her posture than in her eye). See her out there in the yard... look above my water bottle, to the right. There she is!

And here she comes... looking for trouble!

And there they go (she and trouble)!

"C'mon, let's play!"

"I said, C'mon, Bruiser, let's play!"


"Oh, alright. But I'm not really in the mood."

"What's up with you... where's your spunk today?"

(BTW, doesn't she have a long, pretty neck? Sometimes we call her in Hepburn! And, now that I think about it, her eyes remind us of Barbara Eden...! Yeah, we think she's pretty.)

"Where'd she go? Do you see her? Don't tell her I'm still out here - I'm just not in the mood to play right now. It's too hot..."

Stay tuned for more canine adventures. It's my life.

Now, back to Daniel...

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Any Good Reads Lately?

Hey! Here's something... go to this blog to see how you can win (5 chances) 14 books. Trish at Hey Lady! Whatcha Readin' is hosting the giveaway for Hachette Book Group USA. There's romance, fiction, non-fiction, thriller, memoirs...

Maybe not all of the selections will suit you - just take what you don't desire to read to your local book exchange for something else!

Go check it out... and happy reading!

Peanut Butter Balls

I discovered these marvelous little treats on Miz Booshay's blog. They're tasty and they're healthy. Here's how I made them (I diverted a little from MB's recipe):

1 1/2 cups peanut butter *
1 cup powdered milk
1 cup honey

2 tbsp flax meal
4 tbsp Oatmeal
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (okay, this puts a strain on their healthful virtue, but who cares!)

Mix this up. Roll into balls (these are about the size of golf balls).
Place on a cookie sheet or platter and put in the refrigerator.
When they are cold and set, place them in a zip lock baggie and enjoy for days to come!

* I used a full tub (which is about a cup and a half) of natural peanut butter that I get at my grocer's deli. I like it so much better than the jarred-type brands of peanut butter. Here's why... ingredients of the natural peanut butter: fresh ground roasted peanuts. That's it.
The "other" kinds of peanut butter: peanuts, sugar (no wonder they're so sweet), fully hydrogenated vegetable oil, molasses, salt. Blechhh...

Give them a try!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Three Months in Heaven

It was three months ago today that dad went to heaven. Sometimes it seems like just yesterday; other times it feels like it's been longer than that. Maybe because the months leading up to it were so emotionally charged. I don't know.

The notion that he won't be coming back is still perplexing. It has not fully settled in my heart or my head, yet. And it still seems odd to me that our lives can change so severely and quickly, yet time keeps ticking... life keeps happening. Some events seem worthy of time standing still for a while. Saying goodbye to your dad, and not knowing how long it will be before you join him, is one of those events.

I had a dream about him recently. In my dream I was taking a walk down my street. My street is very, very long and I planned to take a walk all the way to the corner. All of a sudden, dad came up beside me and asked if he could walk with me. I was surprised because I expected him to be too weak. I asked him if he thought he could go that far and he said, "Oh yeah, I'm fine!" He put his arm around me and we walked and talked. That's all I remember about the details, but what stands out was how comforted I was by his company. It was comforting to "see" him healthy and energetic, comforting to "feel" his embrace, and comforting to "chat" with him.
I miss dad... I'll miss dad till my feet no longer walk the earth.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

A quote I read today and like...

God gives us the spiritual gifts He wants us to have;
He puts us in the places He wants us to serve;
and He gives the blessings He wants us to enjoy.
-Warren Wiersbe

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Sunday, Family Day

After church, we went out to breakfast. When we got back home Trey and Cory went in the pool. Zoe had so much fun running around, barking at them.

It didn't take long for her to get soaked - she tried to catch the splashes in her mouth. They were just petting her... not pulling her in!

She got especially vocal when they went under water. That pretty little thing from the Independence Day post, now looks like a drowned rat!

We had some cake to celebrate grandma's birthday, which was last Saturday.

...and Grandpa has a joyful smile.

We also watched dad's memorial service on dvd because grandma and grandpa were not well enough to make the trip down our way the day of it. They appreciated being able to see it. Mom later said that seeing it again made her feel a bit melancholy. I agreed - some parts of it warmed my heart, other parts made me choke up a bit. I guess that's to be expected.

We headed home at about 3:30 and hit some serious rain! The kind that makes you slow your speed to about 40 mph on the interstate! It was coming down in buckets... but we got home safely, having had a really wonderful weekend!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

What's for Dinner?

Black Beans and Rice!

Okay... so here's what you do:

While you have the black beans (4 cans) heating in a sauce pan, saute an onion, 6 cloves of garlic and a full bunch of cilantro in a bit of butter or olive oil.

Then add it to the black beans.

Transfer the black beans concoction to a 13 x 9 inch pan and sprinkle with monterey jack cheese. Cover with aluminum foil and back at 325 for 30 minutes.

Serve with brown rice and provide a spread of tomato, avocado, chips, more cheese, salsa and sour cream. Yummm. We had a tossed salad, too, that mom and Aunt Mega made.

Alana chopping cilantro and laughing at me for taking so many pictures of food!

I've wanted to try this recipe for some time. I discovered it in this bible study (yes, bible study and recipes... good combination!),but didn't bother at home, as Joe is not a black beans and rice kinda guy. So, I took advantage of the opportunity to try it while away... and it was pretty good. It seemed to be a hit in Crystal River; everyone went back for seconds.

A Day on the River

Beautiful day for a boatride!

Instead of canoing or floating down the Rainbow River, we opted to take the little john-boat out on "the river" of Crystal River. Alana was a good captain.

The weather was perfect!

We meandered around the canals for a bit. Exploring the interesting sights. We saw big turtles sunning themselves on logs and anhingas drying their wings in the sun. Of course, I didn't get any good shots of those, so you'll just have to trust me on that.

Then anchored in Gator Hole where there's a pretty spring.

We floated and snorkeled for a few hours. It was relaxing and refreshing!

Then docked at Crackers for lunch.

Alana waiting for lunch to come.

It was a pretty spot.

We had fun... and got too much sun!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Independence Day!

We had a full, fun day. We started by having breakfast with grandma (mom, Aunt Mega, Uncle John, Alana, Rob and me). Afterward, Alana and I went in search of flowers to plant around grandma and grandpa's house. She wanted geraniums and impatiens. The impatiens were easy to find, but we went to three different nurseries in search of geraniums and no one had them. Hmpf. Why not? They're surely not uncommon. Hmmm.

Anyway, we visited with grandma and grandpa for a while, then got busy planting. We set seven impatiens plants and two rose bushes in their resting places in the front of the house and in back below the living room window (easily viewable from inside). Grandma and grandpa loved it and were so appreciative.

Later, we sat on Alana's patio munching on snacks and sipping on mudslides.

Zoe joined us, too. She's such a cutie-pie!

Mom and Aunt Mega enjoying the outdoors (Rob and Alana's patio).

Before the boys set off their fireworks in the driveway, we girls all climbed into Alana's big king-sized bed and watched a chick-flick (while the darling boys occassionally set off firecrackers outside our window making us jump out of our skins!).

I caught Alana brushing her teeth and she struck a pose!

Tomorrow we're gonna take the boat out on the river - relax in the sunshine!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Holiday Weekend

Whatcha gonna do? Go to a party - host a party - have a picnic - find a fireworks display - none of the above?

I'm leaving Joe with the dogs, who will be nervous and twitchy (the dogs, not Joe) from all the kabooming going on in the neighborhood; poor babies. But he'll pamper and coddle them and make them feel secure. I'll also leave him with a batch of Miz Booshay's Peanutbutter Balls*, sans the coconut because Joe would reason... why take up room with coconut when you could add more chocolate?

Mom and I are heading up to Crystal River for a fun visit with grandma, Aunt Mega, and Alana. Sure, all the "boys" will be there, too, but you know how we girls can be...we'll be off doing girl-stuff. After we hug-them-hello, we'll barely see them till we hug-them-goodbye (the boys, that is).

One thing I know we're definitely doing while we're up there, is visit beautiful Rainbow River in Rainbow Springs State Park.

We'll either travel the river like this:

Or like this (look at that amazingly clear water!):

Either way, I'm looking forward to it!!

Hope your weekend is awesome - stay safe!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
* Miz Booshay sez...

"Here is how I made them;

1 cup peanut butter
1 cup powdered milk
3/4 cup honey

2 Tbsp flax meal
3 Tbsp Oatmeal
2 Tbsp Coconut
3 Tbsp Mini Chocolate Chips

Mix this up.Roll it into balls.
Place on cookie sheet and put in the refrigerator.
When they are cold and set, place then in a zip lock baggie.

They make a quick yummy snack filled with protein and fiber."

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Flowers in the Field Burst Forth with Blooming

I saw this on Kristiina's Flickr yesterday and added it as one of my favorites. I love it.

Today, I've been listening to a little praise music to lift my spirits (works everytime...perspective). When Something About My Praise by Vicki Yoh'e came on, I immediately thought of this photograph.

You can read the lyrics below, or click on the link to hear it.

Something About My Praise

The flowers in the field burst forth with blooming
And the wind seems to whisper - He's alive
Even the trees lift their branches
High to the heavens above
In perfect harmony with the creator of the world

But there's just something about my praise he loves
There's just something about the way I speak his name, Jesus
Although hosannas and hallelujahs
Are sung to Him by the angels above
Something about my praise
There's just something about my praise

The Lord has been so real to me
He's given me a special kind of love
And I have more to thank my Father for
Than all the angels in heaven above
For I've been for a cleansing in that crimson stream of love
And that makes my praise just a little something special
To the Father above and just because I'm his child

There's just something about my praise He loves ...

Praise be to his glorious name forever;
may the whole earth be filled with his glory. Ps. 72:19

K cookin

I received an email from my son-in-law yesterday morning. The subject line said "K cookin."

When I opened it, here's what it said,

"Here is your daughter cooking. . .and taking pictures. . . . . .

It never stops"

He had attached this picture, taken with his phone.

How cute is that?

Does this mean we can expect a new post to the "Kristiina's Kitchen" blog?!

About Me

My photo
I'm a wife, mom, and grandma living in rural Vermont. I spend 40 hours of my week working outside my home and away from my garden, but am nevertheless passionate about healthy eating and sustainable living. By sourcing nutrient-dense food from local farms and avoiding processed foods, we are realizing how our over health is being impacted for the better. I’m excited to have you join me as I share what we’re learning and invite you to offer your insights in the comments. “…giving thanks in all circumstances…” 1 Thess 5:16-18