Monday, January 21, 2013

January Joy Dare week 3

Counting on...

Day 15
a gift worn, a gift shared
1225) worn...the Bible I have had since I was in primary school...used daily with my kids
1226) shared.... dinner prepared by hubby and our eldest

Day 16
1227) sweet baby nephew sharing our first school morning of the new year...

a delight to us all!
1228) thankful for co operation and diligence from the kids on the first day back at it

Day 17
a gift bringing laughter, prayer, quiet
1229) birthday gift from my sweet farm sister,
a month later but so worth the wait for a wonderful surprise today that made me laugh
1230) prayer....time with my three each morning giving thanks
1231) quiet...some down time after school 

Day 18
gifts from His word
1232) hope
1233) truth
1234) peace
despite any circumstances we may find ourselves in

Day 19
gifts that might never have been
1235) our youngest trying out a hip hop class and loving it
1236) wonderful gift of a term's lessons for him
1237) new friendships

Day 20
1238) a little needed solitude 

Day 21
1239) brisk morning walk before school
1240) my youngest playing beautifully with his baby cousin....shrieks of laughter
1241) veg from my neighbour's garden

Monday, January 14, 2013

January Joy Dare week 2

Counting my blessings...

Day 8
Dusky light, lovely shadow...
1208) outdoors at dusk enjoying good food and good company on a perfect windless summer evening
1209) lovely shadow cast by a tree, my daughter and I resting in it's shade with our books this afternoon

Day 9
1210) new and good possibilities that lie ahead
1211) wise words by Sally Clarkson, ministering to me in my unique situation...
"There is grace for each mom to conduct her own symphony, so to speak, with her family, circumstances and children in mind....
There is great freedom to live your family story within your own personality, history, and imprint, as long as we are holding His hand, reading His word and living by faith!"

Day 10
a gift sour, sweet, just right
1212) sour and sweet.....
goodbyes, I don't like them at all ever.....
 hugging our girl as she went off on a 4 day youth camp.....
sweet to see her excitement...
thankful to know she arrived safely!
1213) just right....blessed by hubby and our eldest making dinner tonight, them banning me from the kitchen and doing all the cleaning up too

Day 11
1214) a gift yellow....more sunflowers blooming in the garden, love their brightness
1215) getting outdoors for a walk with friends and family this morning

Day 12
something above, below, beside me
1216) above... a glorious summer sky today
1217) below.... soil prepared by hubby for seeds just waiting to be planted
1218) nephew falling asleep beside me tonight,
 sweet baby noises and soft breath....
blessed to have him in my life

Day 13
3 things about myself I am grateful for
1219) NOTHING can separate me from His love
1220) creation is a delight to me and a constant reminder of how great God is
1221) that I am a wife, a mom, a daughter, a sister and an aunt
1222) thankful that my daughter is home....
happy, excited and safe and sound from camp

Day 14
 startling grace of God
1223) I should not be startled by His grace but I am.... His answered prayers for my precious girl in a way far greater than ever imagined

1224) thankful for a wonderful morning walk enjoyed with family and friends

Monday, January 7, 2013

January Joy Dare

I pondered over continuing to count my gifts / blessings in 2013 and I realised that I must....
 It is necessary, very necessary. On days when life is difficult, this counting of His blessings makes me see and trust in His goodness despite what may be going on around me....

Day 1
1192) gift heard...good news for my daughter

Day 2

1193) gift outside...time spent with extended family on a beautiful day at my dad's place
1194) gift inside.... inside my heart, hope for the year ahead
1195) on a plate... delicious left overs at dinner time
1196) hubby getting a new long sleeve T at no charge from a local shop as it was no longer on their system :)

Day 3
1197) a friend sacrificing time to give us personal fitness training
1198) time spent connecting with my daughter
1199) enjoying a DVD that my Mum sent as a gift .... whole family laughing hard

Day 4
1200) gift new .... free organic fertiliser from the local nursery just when my garden needed it
1201) hubby making his home-made pizzas tonight, 
relaxed evening playing board games with the kids and friends

Day 5
something you're making, seeing
1202) making... memories with my family
1203) seeing...growth in character in my children

Day 6
1204) gift in my fridge... left overs from tonight's dinner that will make another meal and veg from the garden
1205) in my heart... faith overcoming fear
1206) walk on a windy beach, waves crashing, gulls diving, kites flying, family around me

Day 7
1207)  grace from people you love...grace from my family when I fall short

Friday, January 4, 2013

Slow Living Month 12

December is a month we always look forward to. 
School holidays, hubby on annual leave, summer and Christmas.
 Time to unwind after a busy year. 
Much to be enjoyed!


With warmer weather this month, we have been enjoying various salads, often adding fresh pickings from the garden. 
Fresh juices have been on the menu and I have had fun trying different combinations. One of my favourites has been pineapple and carrot with a touch of ginger and loads of ice. 
Due to the abundance of not so baby marrows/courgettes from the garden, we have found tasty ways to use them...

 ...a crust less quiche using marrow and baby tomatoes from the garden, topped with feta and fresh rosemary and my daughter made a chocolate marrow cake.....
delicious served with whipped cream!


With more time on my hands I was able to enjoy preparing a little more this month....
 curried green beans,
 pickled beetroot,
 grilled courgette  preserved in olive oil, 

 lemon curd, basil pesto and the usual onion marmalade .


Once again, cardboard boxes have been re- used for packaging orders.


I started using my citrus cleaner but am not too fond of the smell so will not make more.
 Aphids attacked my cabbages  and I managed to combat them with a simple vinegar spray.


The garden has been a continual source of delight to me.

 The granadilla vine is heavy with fruit and I look forward to seeing the fruits ripen.
 Red and green cabbages are forming firm heads, broccoli and beans, peppers and various types of chili are flourishing. Green peppadews are forming on the little bush and I look forward to pickling them once they have turned red. Strawberries are sending out runners, bright red beetroot are hiding just under the soil.  Marrows/ courgettes have done particularly well. My tomatoes have taken a beating from the wind but they are still producing fruit daily. Corn stands tall with first cobs forming. I cannot wait for the first watermelons. Gooseberries popping up everywhere. Butternut and pumpkins sending out runners. The gem squash has produced one little squash so far.
We have enjoyed eating red and green cabbages, green peppers, celery, lettuce, herbs, green beans, marrows, tomatoes and just a few strawberries.


With more time on my hands....

 I enjoyed using empty tuna cans and turning them into beautiful candle holders...

...lovely inexpensive gifts!

After a weekend visit to my Dad and his wife, I came home with bags of bits and bobs to keep my daughter and I going for a while....

...these colourful bits and pieces have been strung together to make toys for their parrots. 
It's such fun as there is no right or wrong way to create them,
 just lots of imagination!

My daughter mosaicked a mirror for her room...

and had plenty of work before Christmas....

creating beautiful edible art at Sweetarts. 
Some of the miniatures on this cake, such as the tiered cake and the burgers are her handiwork,

as well as these cute teddy bear faces!

At his last technology class, my youngest made a wooden Christmas tree decoration with its own little flashing lights. He finished it off  at home with a coat of paint and it really looked great as the little lights flashed on and off.


My gardening books were consulted over and over again.


The teens spent a morning at Cavendish selling Red Socks, Peace Pops and Christmas wrapping paper to raise funds for the Chaeli Campaign. 


Holidays have been good.
 Time spent with family and friends. 
A friend's teen son spent time staying with us while on holiday here. 
My daughter and I enjoyed the alpacas at my Dad.

Picnics , braais , movie nights, games evenings and more.
 My mom in law and I both celebrated our birthdays in December.
  Christmas was wonderful and New Year's Eve lots of fun too!

Thanks again Christine for the opportunity to link up with Slow Living in 2012.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Holiday Mini Swap pack sent to USA

After the wonderful surprise pack from the USA had arrived in December, we put together a pack to return to the family that had sent one to us. I am hoping that by now they have received it....
the post office assured me it would arrive by Christmas but this is South Africa :)
(Since posting this morning, I have had contact with the Green family and was thrilled to hear that our postal system was right on time, and the package was delivered to their home on Christmas eve!)

In the pack we included the following:
Christmas card, three bead angels and two felt decorations, all hand made by my daughter
Wooden elf tree decoration
Christmas paper serviettes
Reindeer chocolates
Christmas tree lollipops
Christmas wreath kit to make up

It was great fun to put together the mini swap and we look forward to more mini swaps in the year ahead. 

Culture Swapper

Joy Dare December week 3 and beyond

The year seems to have flown by....
Not such an easy one but I am thankful for God's hand which has kept us.
 I am thankful for blessings great and small each day.
 Gifts from above....

Day 18
gifts miraculous...
1168) His peace that passes all understanding when the world doesn't make sense
1169) His saving grace

Day 19
1170) house full with visiting teens from far, lots of laughter and fun

Day 20
1171) impromptu coffee, mince pies and games with neighbours this evening
1172) hubby on holiday from today

Day 21
1173) commission in the form of credit at a book store...
kids choosing numerous books and me not have having to pay a cent
1174) a refreshing swim in the neighbour's pool as ours is not ready yet

Day 22
1175) talking to my mum today, her birthday, sad not to see her but glad to be able to talk to her
1176) wonder and excitement on their faces (as big as they are) as we put up the Christmas tree tonight, carols playing and everything looking beautiful
1177) my older sister calling, good to catch up

Day 23
1178) eating from the garden today

Day 24
1179) more wonder and excitement....
 Christmas eve night drive with the kids to view lights in the neighbourhood

Day 25
1180) sharing the wonders of Christ's birth again with our children this morning
1181) wonderful day celebrating Christmas at hubby's parents

Day 27

1182) a basket of freshly picked veg and flowers from the garden to add to my Mom in law's birthday gift
1183) her delightful laughter heard as hubby and our teen daughter spend time together

Day 28
1184) visiting my Dad and his wife for the weekend with my daughter,
 unplanned but welcomed whole heartedly and with love

Day 29
1185) Hope found only in Him
1186) much needed laughter

Day 30
1187) His perfect timing

Day 31
1188) thankful for forgiveness....bringing new life to relationships
1189)  thankful for the year that taught each of us much.... though it was tough
1190) thankful for my sisters and our conversations today
1191) thankful to have family and friends celebrating new year with us tonight