Friday, May 24, 2013

Five Minute Friday : View

View...outside there is no view right now, the mist has rolled in, dark, like it did this week. Thick and heavy, brightness disappearing. I know the sun will rise in the morning and burn the mist away. I know that He too is greater than this dark and present mist and He is able. Able to conquer, more able than I think right now. Able to make that mist go and able to make the sun shine brighter again. His view is bigger and better than what I see now. I need to focus on His view and not what it looks like right now. His view of the bigger picture and the future. His plan is better than what is seen right now and that is what counts. I need to rest in His peace and anticipate the brighter day.

Five Minute Friday

"Unscripted, unedited, real" Lisa- Jo Baker
Write for five minutes on the given topic, link up at Lisa- Jo's blog  and encourage the person who linked up before you. Have fun!

May's mercy despite madness...

Yes, May has been mad but there have been moments of blessing and mercy.
 I choose to continue being thankful to God ....

Day 7
3 gifts about my home
1488) my kids about the house all day, us learning together, growing together and sharing together
1489) our awesome neighbourhood, just today, delicious dinner made with ingredients contributed by 3 households and shared among 3 households
1490) our garden, quietly lying outside in the shade and reading aloud to my youngest
1491) a call from an up country friend today that made a big difference, His timing for sure
1492) His protection over my mom in law as intruders entered her home in the dark of night, thankful she was unharmed

Day 8
1493) hubby bringing home pods of coffee he was given and the loan of my dear neighbour's machine so we can enjoy the coffee 
1494) a cute teapot made just for me 
1495) call from my farm sister

Day 9
1496) mother's day treat of Le Fish spa treatment
1497) dinner by hubby when my neck was incredibly painful

Day 10
1498) a gift outside...a friend popping by unexpectedly and enjoying the sunshine with me
1499) inside...happy teens cooking the evening meal and chattering away
1500) upside youngest boy caring for me even though he is sick, warming a bean bag to ease my painful neck

Day 11
3 gifts about my parents
1501) such a blessing to have a long chat with my mum this morning, encouraged by her always
1502) my dad's sense of humour, always makes me laugh
1503) hubby's parents, good to see them today and celebrate my father in law's birthday

Day 12
3 gifts held in hand today
1504) hugs from my 3
1505) my favourite chocolate from my eldest boy
1506) pain killers sent by a friend that  finally worked for my neck

Day 13
1507) gift found in my mum.... a call and prayers from all the staff at her work as soon as she heard my daughter had been hurt, comforting to know she was praying
1508) seeing the care and concern my boys showed for their sister who needed sutures in her foot

After this day, it became a blur....
days were difficult, challenges of their own and more unbelievable storms to come... 
as I write now I reminisce and count the joys despite the heart breaking challenges

1509) coffee and overdue catch up with a dear friend
1510) my youngest feeling stronger each day as medication kicked in and cleared infections
1511) the doctor confirming that my eldest seemed to just have a virus and not the return of glandular fever
1512) treated to take outs for lunch by a sweet friend
1513) a beautiful gift that arrived late from my daughter in celebration of Mother's Day
1514) long and fast beach walk on a beautiful day, clearing the head somewhat

1515) gift found in little people: laughs and giggles with my nephew, 
him sleeping peacefully next to me, his sweet kisses and cute conversation
1516) my sweet girl treating me to coffee and cake 
1517) good sound advice
1518) connecting with each member of my far away family during a difficult time
1519)  tight hugs from my eldest as my body shook with sorrow
1520) gifts of laughter: hearty laughs with my precious three
1521) hubby's hugs
1522) naps when I could not not any more after almost sleepless nights
1523) celebrating a dear friend's birthday and her delight in the gift I made her
1524) catching up with a friend from long ago
1525) my sweetpea writing her first ever exam and feeling confident
1526) gift in a plate: treated to take out dinner by my brother
1527) gifts in community: dear friends who have checked up and encouraged me daily
1528) gift sweet: my ever sensitive youngest, knowing just when his mom could do with a hug
1529) my daughter recovered well, stitches out today
1530) enough coins dug out of my purse to treat the kids to cinnamon doughnuts this morning
1531) hubby making dinner tonight, a blessing for me to have a night off at the end of this week
1532) knowing that despite it all....But God......

Friday, May 17, 2013

Five Minute Friday : Song

Yes, I made it to Friday and I am writing real and brave...

Song...when the song is gone its not easy...."so I'm never gonna dance again
the way I danced with you"...yes mistakes have been made, "guilty feet have got no rhythm".  The song is gone. I cant find my song right now. 
The song of the ocean calls and the bird song. I didn't hear them today.
 Perhaps tomorrow will be a better day. Birdsong reminding me that He sees each sparrow and cares for them ..... not one is forgotten by Him. 
I have forgotten my song, I will find it again, I know I will or perhaps its time to dance to a new song. A simple song, a life long song. 

Five Minute Friday

"Unscripted, unedited, real" Lisa- Jo Baker
Write for five minutes on the given topic, link up at Lisa- Jo's blog  and encourage the person who linked up before you. Have fun!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Five Minute Friday : Comfort

Memories of home and my mum, my mum always brings me comfort. Missing her today and everyday. Her smile, her voice, her prayers and encouragement always comforting. She is just too far away. Miss her tea drinking and her delicious omelettes that she "has to make" when she visits.
Comfort in my sisters homes, comforted by memories of the life we had growing up together and things from our childhood home. Comfortable with them, home from home
Comfort here and now, my hubby's hugs , his hand holding mine. Comfort when the kids pile onto our bed for a chat. Comfort eating food that was regular food when we grew up. Comfort when my kids are all safely at home after a night out. Comfort when we have one on one time together. Comfortable together.

Five Minute Friday

"Unscripted, unedited, real" Lisa- Jo Baker
Write for five minutes on the given topic, link up at Lisa- Jo's blog  and encourage the person who linked up before you. Have fun!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Counting Joys

Thankful for blessings..

Day 30
a gift given, made, sacrificed
1473) given...a glorious autumn day
1474) made last month on sales, so a little something extra in my deliveries today and hubby making a braai tonight (no cooking for me)
1475) dear friend sacrificing her cleaning lady and sending her over to do my windows

Day 1
gifts tasted
1476) sweetness of a day off in the middle of the week
1477) delicious soup made by my neighbour and shared with me
1478) fresh seaside air on yet another glorious autumn day .....

.... crazy dog and kids running wild and free

Day 2
1479) a gift magazine subscription gifted by my sister arriving each month
1480) a brisk morning walk with my friend on a chilly morning
1481) gift of laughter as a family as we enjoyed a comedy together tonight

Day 3
1482) delicious warm left overs for lunch on this chilly day
1483) winning a book prize today

Day 4
1484) spending the day in my pjs but still getting much done
1485) my neighbour giving us meat that she was not going to cook, fed us well and enough left over for hubby's lunches too

Day 5
a gift in a smile
1486) smiles all round as hubby's Dutch relatives visited today, beautiful day shared together

Day 6
gift found in Christ
1487) forgiveness... precious gift and precious conversations 

Friday, May 3, 2013

Five Minute Friday : Brave

Brave: showing courage and being fearless. Not something I always am, but thankful that I know He watches over me and mine and always has. He says He will be with me wherever I go. He commands me to be courageous and not to be terrified or discouraged. I take comfort in this.
As a mom, bravery is so necessary...bravery when my 9 month old needed the  hospital at 2 am on a Monday morning, ending up in high care for 10 days. Bravery when they told me my little girl may have cancer aged just 5. Bravery when we left our beloved home country for a new and strange land, bravery while living there. Bravery coming home again with no jobs cars or home. Bravery when hubby was retrenched...more than once.
Yes, sometimes bravery is just taking the next small step and trusting He is with me.

Five Minute Friday

"Unscripted, unedited, real" Lisa Jo Baker
Write for five minutes on the given topic, link up at Lisa's blog and encourage the person who linked up before you. Have fun!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Slow Living Month 4

I stand amazed that we are already at the end of month 4. A beautiful month of leaves turning to reds and yellows, then leaving a carpet of brown crispiness below and stark naked branches that reach into brilliant clear blue skies above....
beautiful weather this time of year in our part of the world.


Nourishing my family changed a lot over this month and food has been something I have not even wanted to think about on some days. The month began with hubby eliminating all forms of carbohydrates or starchy food in the hopes of gaining better blood sugar control. After seeing the specialist and dietitian it changed all over again...some evenings I have 3 books open and food being prepared right along all the kitchen counter tops. Dinner, tomorrows breakfast , snacks and lunch! I am slowly getting into the rhythm of this new way of prepping and measuring all that is eaten. 
We have been enjoying salads at lunch times and avocados are in season. I could eat them every day! I found a "green relish" recipe and have made this a few times over the month. I cube avo with cucumber and green apples, add some spring onions and a dash of lemon juice and chili. Voilà, a perfect lunch!

As we are back in the swing of the new school term, doubling up on dinner is always good for those days that are a little too crazy to think about dinner.
When we ran out of dog food I searched on-line for home made dog food recipes. I didn't stick to a particular recipe, but figured out what would be ok and what would not. I have made several large batches to last a few days at a time. Our doggy now enjoys a mix of home cooked and store bought food and it is great to know that he eats a good and varied diet. 
I tried a new hot garlic and chili sauce which is really hot but really good too! Great on a sandwich or added to the pot.

Not much here that is new, still recycling. 

Nothing new.

This month I planted marigolds, leeks, red cabbage, broccoli, peas, poppies, lettuce, onions.
The garden is very green at the moment with green chillies, peppers, leeks and lemons and more.

I harvested the very last beans, some tomatoes, granadillas, first sweet-peas, spinach, chillies, lettuce, herbs and peppedews.
I was given some Trinidad scorpion and yellow moruga chillies. Apparently these are some of the hottest varieties! I have saved the seeds and hope to grow my own.
My neighbour and I collected a bakkie load of mulch from a local school as they were giving it away and the garden has benefited from a good composting and a thick layer of mulch.

I have had these little cacti on my windowsill for months and eventually got to planting them out into the pot that once had pretty petunias in it. The stones had been collected by my sister and her family when they lived in a seaside village a good number of years ago. I am hoping they will do well in their new home on the sunny step outside my bedroom.

I had enormous fun making a fishnet black scarf edged with silver strands . It forms a ruffle as one knits and though time consuming, the end result is feminine and will add to any winter outfit. My friend was thrilled with her birthday gift.

My youngest created a beautiful wooden plate holder at his technology class and my daughter held her monthly craft class. The girls made mother's day gifts so no telling yet :)

Most of my reading and research has centred around diabetes this month. 
I am grateful for the magazine subscription my sister gifted me with...
A welcome relaxing read.
My youngest and I have been enjoying reading true tales of game rangers in the Kruger National Park.
We are focusing on anatomy and physiology during school and have been enjoying learning about our amazing bodies. Much of which I have forgotten since my long ago nursing days!

Our youngest graduated from his year long service as a Chaeli Campaign Ambassador. It was wonderful to hear of all the work done by these youngsters over the last year. Each graduate spoke about what they had learned over the year as well as their individual fund raising events to benefit a charity of their choice.
The children and I have started a 90 day brain gym challenge. This programme offers a significant improvement in concentration, memory retention and recall and the ability to stay focused for long periods of time. It has been fun getting our brains fit and doing the challenging exercises.
My daughter and I attended a baristers course at the church where we learned how to make espresso based beverages. Great to learn something new, and in exchange we will each do a minimum of four shifts at the church coffee shop.
The younger two kids and I had the wonderful pleasure of visiting a young girl who was in hospital on her 13th birthday. She had been in hospital for 3 weeks already and far from home and friends on this special day. We surprised her with gifts, birthday cake and a balloon. It brought such pleasure to bless a stranger and hopefully brighten her day a little.

The weather has been perfect, no wind and beautiful warm days.
 Beach walks have been enjoyed.
It was wonderful to see my cousin who was visiting from England and have a braai with extended family. 
My daughter and I visited her art school's market and tertiary expo for visual art and design students. We enjoyed browsing the market and the vibrant atmosphere.  
So many birthdays were celebrated with friends and family this month.
 I had the greatest time at our neighbour's 9th birthday party as the adults got a turn in the bubble balls too!

 Frightening yet hilarious at the same time!
(And yes, that is me, collapsed in the ball and laughing so much I could not get up!)

We celebrated my sweet nephew's second birthday. We  have been delighted with his speech that is coming on so beautifully and is so cute!
Such a joy to have him in our lives!

Thank you Christine for the great opportunity to link up and share again. 

Slow Living 2013 - Month by Month

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Around the garden

First lemon,

plenty of green granadillas and a few almost ready,

green peppers galore,

first peas,

lots to look forward to with the pepperdews,

leeks doing well,

lettuce and rocket enjoyed often,

chillies everywhere....loving the garden!