Monday, February 18, 2013

Giving thanks in all things..

The week flew by but blessings were counted...

Day 12 - 18
1287) kindness from my neighbour when I wasn't feeling well ...
an ice cold soda, some herbal tea and gift of exfoliator for hands which she knows I love
1288) His grace and strength when mine feels depleted
1289) a friend popping in for coffee and a chat
1290) sweet surprises on Valentine's day from my mom in law
1291) a delicious dinner on Valentine's shared with neighbours and friends
1292) thankful for the neighbour who came to catch the snake in my garden
1293) leftovers that made another meal
1294) thankful that nothing else was stolen and no one harmed when thieves stole our gate motor AGAIN last night
1295) grace extended to me by hubby when I was grumpy
1296) good school week with the kids
1297) first magazine arriving for a subscription that is a wonderful year long gift from my sister
1298) relaxing evening braai with friends, just what was needed this evening
1299) restoration of a friendship
1300) celebrating our God-daughter's birthday
1301) friends lifting kids today

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

February Joy Dare

Day 5
1273) time spent with my precious baby nephew
1274) my teens returning home safely after an evening out with friends

Day 6
1275) gift found outside...ripe granadillas hiding between the flowers each day
1276) long overdue catch up with a friend
1277) conversations that revealed necessary truths

Day 7
1278) invitation to dinner at friends...a great evening catching up and a "no cook" night for me

Day 8
1279) miraculously answered prayers for a young boy knocked off his bike by a truck

Day 9
1280) unexpected grace...hubby mucking in and making dinner again when my neck was really sore tonight
1281) beautiful soaking rain most of the day today

Day 10
1282) discovering a new nursery with my neighbour today, and then getting into my garden
1283) a call from my farm sister

Day 11
gifts in working
1284) thankful for my little business that brings in bits and pieces here and there
1285) thankful to be working with my children each day
1286) thankful to catch up with my mum over the phone

Friday, February 8, 2013

Slow Living Month 1

It is great to link up with Christine of Slow Living Essentials again in 2013. 
I love being able to reflect back on what we have done on a monthly basis and learn from others who join in too. So here is January's reflection....

Our January garden produced an abundance of marrows which needed to be used creatively so the family wouldn't get bored of seeing them on their plates!

Cheesy marrow muffins were a hit and a variety of quiches with added marrow were devoured. One evening I got away with marrow in a chicken quiche and a side salad with marrow & baby tomatoes from the garden with mango and a spiced up dressing.

My daughter and I made pots of cabbage, tomato, celery and marrow health soup. A healthy alternative to bread at lunch time.
We enjoyed red cabbage, green pepper, chili and celery (all from the garden) combined with carrots and mango....really good compared to the usual coleslaw. 
Hubby made home-made pizzas and our daughter made tortillas which we filled with mince and spinach, tomatoes, marrows (again), green pepper and chili from the garden. Low GI muffins were enjoyed and our eldest son made delicious bread with sun-dried tomatoes and fresh herbs. 

Meals were doubled by adding extra veg and then frozen or dished into portions to send to work with hubby for a healthy lunch option. My garden produced more green beans than ever and these were blanched and frozen for later use. I tried my hand at pickled chillies...we loved them and they were added to many a meal or sandwich.

A rusty old washing rack that has seen better days was taken apart and used in the garden for squash that needed to climb somewhere. 
Hubby spent time repairing our outside table and benches which have taken a beating from the summer sun.
As usual I have tried to reduce the use of the oven to save on electricity and when it is used, I make sure to bake alongside whatever is being cooked for dinner.

A friend and I visited Soil for Life and got a tip from one of their gardeners...

It called for a visit to the beach and the making of seaweed tea for our veg gardens. A far more cost effective option than products sold at the nursery! I had the perfect container, an old bin with a lid. It was filled with water and chopped up seaweed. My garden now gets a weekly dose of seaweed tea. 

Eaten from the garden: marrows, beans, red onions, tomatoes, strawberries, chillies, cabbage (red and green), celery, green peppers, spinach, broccoli, beetroot, herbs, first granadillas and gooseberries.
Planted: beets, peas and more beans

My daughter and I enjoyed beading these simple serviette rings for a friend.

Hubby spent much of his leave making beautiful bookshelves from wood he had stored in the garage. My youngest and I tried our hand at paper making using old newspapers. We added mustard seeds to the mix and will "plant" the paper for fun to see if the seeds germinate.

As school started up again, much of my reading has been school related. 

The kids and I have been enjoying our exercise group most mornings of the week before school. We either do a 24 workout, circuit or a brisk walk. 
Our little nephew/cousin spent a good deal of time with us as his mum needed to return to work and his nanny didn't return after the new year. 
My daughter held her monthly craft class and taught the younger girls to make felt elephants. She has also started teaching Sunday School.
Our youngest attended his monthly Chaeli Campaign meeting. 

We enjoyed a wonderful day at my dad's home early in the month. My uncle and aunt, cousin and family and my brother and his little family enjoyed a splendid meal together. The children enjoyed the alpacas and huskies and it was great to see the extended family.

We enjoyed getting out into nature...

forest and beach walks....

Our neighbour put on a wonderful celebratory dinner for the neighbourhood, where we celebrated the good in each of lives.
Summer swimming, braais and impromptu games evenings and a few birthdays were celebrated too. 
School began half way through the month and routines have been taking a bit of getting used to after the wonderfully long summer holidays.

Thank you Christine for hosting this again in 2013!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Joy dare, last of January and counting on...

Giving thanks in all things...

Day 22
1242) despite being really sick when he wrote year end exams,
 thankful for news of our son's great results today
1243) thankful for friends and family who share our joy

Day 23
1244) sweet baby here again... bringing joy to our day
1245) oldest son making delicious dinner for us again

Day 24
1246) celebrating a dear friend's birthday... laughter and fun with the girls
1247) hubby and I treated to a wonderful dinner out by his colleague 

Day 25
a grace borrowed and a grace found
1248) borrowed....the washing machine that does the job well for our family of 5
1249) grace found.... grace from my family when I'm feeling stretched

Day 26
a gift before dawn, at noon, after dark
1250) before dawn....a good night's sleep
1251) at of my daughter and a sweet new friend who spent the weekend here
1252) after dark... enjoying friends Mexican birthday bash, good to get out for the evening

Day 27
3 gifts in the kitchen
1253) freshly picked veg from our garden
1254) hubby helping prepare tonight's meal
1255) my sweet girl washing up after the meal

Day 28
 graces found in friends
1256) friends who are always there for me no matter what
1257) friends who share in the joys and the low moments
1258) my eldest preparing a delicious Thai green curry tonight

Day 29
a soft word, a sight seen
1259) soft words...words that brought forgiveness and restoration
1260) sight seen....the waves rushing onto the shore as we walked on the beach this evening

Day 30
old things seen new
1261) thankful that my past is the past and that by His grace my future was made different

Day 31
a gift on paper
1262) words of encouragement read today


Day 1 
1263) hubby sorting dinner tonight
1264) aubergines, a gift from a friend's garden
1265) unexpectedly being asked to help friends tonight at their Moroccan dinner evening,
an evening of fun

Day 2
1266) rest from the routine and busyness of school days
1267) hubby preparing a wonderful meal for the family again tonight

Day 3
1268) enjoying mom and daughter time today
1269) lovely chat with my farm sister 

Day 4
1270) of those wonderfully productive days
1271) a tasty vegetarian meal made with produce two friends' gardens and my own
1272) listening to my teens chattering and laughing together, 
blessed that they are not just siblings but friends too!