August 21, 2021
I love Sunday afternoons. Coming home full from a Spirit-filled morning at church, cleaning out the leftovers in the refrigerator for lunch, and then spending the rest of the afternoon unplanned and truly resting, is a treat. Right now, I am sipping on peppermint tea with a big smile on my face because it was a beautiful birthday week. We started my special day out to breakfast at First Watch for Eggs Benedict and then headed to The Gaylord Opryland Resort and Conference Center for the afternoon. It was the most breathtaking hotel I have ever seen, complete with waterfalls all inside a 9-acre airy garden atrium. After we walked the entire resort, we came home and had a delicious dinner and of course, cake and presents.
Also, today my family and I celebrated our Tennessee anniversary. We journeyed here two years ago by faith to our sweet spot in the south. When we hit the Welcome to Tennessee sign we heard God say, “Enter through the King’s gate.” Actually, we didn’t know what that meant until we arrived at our first Airbnb on 100 Kingsgate dr. We proceeded to stay at four different Airbnb’s surrounding the Franklin area. God was up to something.
Eventually, we landed in our beautiful home in October of 2020. I had asked God for a white house with a black door and white hydrangeas all around. When we went to check out this rental, we fell in love…but no hydrangeas. Our landlord proceeded to tell us that the bushes out front had died during the year it sat vacant so they were going to be pulling them out. Oh, and his wife had a truck full of white hydrangeas she was going to put in their place. Come on! God is so good and He loves us to ask specifically for things. Don’t you love to delight your children?
Books I am Reading:
If you have been with me for a while, you know I am an avid reader. Don’t you just love Audible? There is nothing like a story being read to you. As a child, my dad used to tell the greatest stories in the evenings with all of us gathered around him on the floor in the dark. He always placed us in the stories so from a young age I got to live out wild adventures. That desire has never changed. I still love a good adventure to get caught up in. Right now I am enJOYing Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy. The movie is one of my favorites so it has been fun to plunge into the depths of my favorite characters and get a little back story. Usually, I read the book first. Tsk Tsk. I know.
For the children, I have to say I was quite impressed with a thin little book called The Army Inside You: A Children’s Guide to the Microbiome by Lindsey Garvin. If you are at all interested in teaching your children about the importance of healthy eating and a healthy gut biome, this little book did a fantastic job of convincing my children without me having to harp on them to eat their veggies. They loved learning about the war inside their gut of good vs. bad bacteria. It will help children understand the impact of their food choices (mom and dad too). The pictures were adorable and Lindsey did a great job taking a difficult subject and keeping it fun, informative, and relevant.
Quotes, I am Pondering:
“We are in a season of standing on HIs Word-It is His mercy, not my effort, that will make a way for His desire.”—Shawn Bolz
“It’s not about knowing how but about knowing Him.”—Donna Tadych
Product I am enJOYing:
I have really been enJOYing my Anchor Hocking Heritage Hill Glass 1 Gallon Storage Jars this summer. They are the perfect size to display your homemade goodies, dry goods like popcorn, sugar, or flour, and even homemade laundry detergent in the laundry room. Not only do they look beautiful in the refrigerator or on the counter, but they make a beautiful presentation at any food gathering. Our church meets in our small groups on Sunday mornings on the last Sunday of the month and I always bring my Homemade Granola or Zesty Fruit Salad to share for breakfast.
What we are Eating:
There are lots of new recipes to check out on the blog. August being my birthday month, I have of course made a few of my favorite things: Flank Steak Gyros (pronounced “YEER-oh,” without the hard “g”), Picnic Potato Salad (never any leftovers), and of course my favorite Birthday Carrot Cake. Now I realize I already have shared with you my Hit-the-Spot-Healthy Spiced Carrot Cake. This is not that cake. Birthday Carrot Cake is reserved for one day of the year when I indulge in real cream cheese frosting made with powdered sugar. Hey, life is not about deprivation. Treats are a JOYful part of life that we can anticipate with celebration!
How we are Playing:
This week my two youngest came to me bored. For some reason, my list of chores didn’t seem to satisfy them. So, I handed them a few nature and arts and craft books to peruse. Immediately they began gathering materials to make Giant Bubbles with a homemade Bubble Wand. We had everything in the house to prepare the bubble solution and the wand was simply made with sticks, kitchen twine, and a washer. Make sure you check out this post and see how amazing these bubbles were then make them yourself with your own family. Yes, even mom had fun creating giant bubbles!
Ways we Can Love:
Just like my family served me on my birthday, it doesn’t take much to show you love someone. For example, each of my children had uninterrupted time with me on my birthday so they could express their love to me in their own unique way. Nathan got up early to make me tea. Micah went with me to the local farm to purchase tomatoes for our dinner. Abby created coupons for homemade spa treatments and made me the cutest ceramic whale. Shanna baked and decorated my cake. Caleb gave me money to go out to lunch with my hubby. Ashley treated me to a new hairstyle, prepared dinner with Troy, and watched Far From the Madding Crowd with me.
Each child expressed their love language and gave me that special one-on-one time together. Many times children act out because they are just looking for attention. When we can set aside at least 10 minutes a day, uninterrupted, without anyone else, doing exactly what the child wants, you fill their love tanks and create a sense of love and belonging that they need. I know my love tank was filled on my birthday.
I finally did a homeschooling post: The JOY of Learning at Home. You all have been asking so one afternoon I sat down to answer a few of your questions and put down all the resources I could remember that we have enJOYed using as a family. Now that I laid the foundation with that post, I am looking forward to writing on more specific topics. It will be filed in Holistic Lifestyle under the heading of Train Up A Child.
That’s it for this Well-Seasoned Sunday. I would love your response, what things you are interested in knowing, and what lights you up… let’s keep the conversation going!