Friday, January 10, 2014

Day 10: A Gift Sour, a Gift Sweet, & a Gift Just Right...

1.  A gift sour...lime juice!  It is my favorite ingredient in my homemade salsa (and by adding it and a little cilantro to  the store-bought variety freshens it up in an instant!)

2.  A gift sweet...egg nog!  We are in the process of finishing our last carton of Southern Comfort Spiced Vanilla (which I may, or may not have gotten a little hoarder-happy with this Christmas season).  Truth be told, itight even be a little too sweet, but we only have it this time of year, in very small quantities, and I recently discovered that it pairs deliciously well with almond milk!

3.  Just right...ratatouille!  I tried a recipe for it for the first time this week and loved it!  I was amazed to find that, in spite of its contents of eggplant, summer squash, red bell pepper, mushrooms and zucchini, even the kids loved it!  (Not to mention it is super-healthy!

Day 9: A gift held, passed by, sat with...

1.  Held...the hands of those I love best.  We hold hands when we pray.  Each time we cross the street.  To stay together in a crowded room.  When cuddling at bedtime, and even, on-occasion, in the car.  I treasure the feeling of my children's small, soft hands encompassed by my own, as well as the strength and toughness of Jason's hand.

2.  Passed by...the new overpass construction at Villa Maria and 2818.  I guess technically we passed UNDER it.  I drive that route almost every day, so we've watched the progress on this overpass since it was just a dozer moving piles of dirt around last summer.  It was such a cool surprise  a couple of days ago when they had added the big, cement overpass, literally overnight.  The kids and I loved seeing it together and thinking about the evolution of the project that we had watched together, from the ground up.

3.  Sat with...Jason's mom and Grandmother and Jason  for lunch today. The three of them eat together every Thursday, but I'm usually at Community Bible Study on Thursdays, so I can never join them.  Today, since the kids started back to school (after a nearly three-week Christmas break!) and since CBS won't start back for another week, I was feeling lonely, so I crashed their lunch date snd was so thankful for the company and conversation.  (And they graciously welcomed me)

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Day 8: Three Gifts Dusky Light, Surprising Reflection, Lovely Shadow

1.  Dusky Light....the good morning/goodbye kiss Jason gives me before daybreak each weekday before he slips off to the gym before heading in to work. I absolutely love that he does this, even though I'm often (ok, more like ALMOST ALWAYS) still asleep (5:45 is early!).

2.  Surprising own face in the mirror..more fine lines and freckles just keep on coming. Some mornings I feel positively ancient.  And yet, I can still vividly remember the feeling of being a child, convinced I would NEVER grow up and that the sands of time seemed to pass So. Very. Slowly.

3.  Lovely shadow...a bird soaring high overhead with wings outstretched.  Completely unconcerned with the goings-on below.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Day 7: Three Graces from Someone You Love...

1.  I stayed longer than I had said I would at a meeting away from home last night. Instead of a guilt trip, I arrived home to find Jason's lunch for today already packed, and the covers on my side of the bed turned down (especially sweet, considering I had left the house with laundry covering the bed.

2.  I recently asked an acquaintance of the past year and a half for her address "to mail a Christmas card, only to discover that she doesn't celebrate Christmas due to her religious beliefs. She was extremely kind in the way she responded to me, and extended grace to me in what could  have been an awkward situation and I love her all the more for it!

3.  My mother constantly offers to watch my children so I dont have to drag them to the gym with me, or to go on errands with me and sit with N&E in the car, so I can run in and out.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Day 6: Something in my bag, in my fridge, in my heart...

1.  In my bag...finger nail clippers. Why is it that I never notice how badly my children's nails need clipping until we are out in public? No matter...I finally invested in a purse set of clippers, so I can "clip" it in the bud as soon as I notice their nails need some attention.

2.  In my fridge...lots of healthy foods! Jason and I have genuinely been trying to eat healthier, and have recently decided we want our kids to do the same.  Our fridge is stocked full of fruits and veggies (which I pre-wash and place "party-style" on a tray for easy snacking accessibility.  Tonight, I made ratatouille--complete with egg plant, mushrooms, squash, zucchini, and bell peppers (the left overs of which are also in the fridge...and the kids loved it)!  I feel blessed to live in a part of the world where I have so many affordable and healthy options!

3.  " I know that Jesus is well and alive today.  He makes His home IN MY HEART. Never more will I be all alone since He promised me that we never would part." ("Blue Skies and a Rainbows")

Day 5: Something You're Making, Reading, Seeing...

1.  Making...a quilt for Eli's bed, using all homespun plaids. I can't wait to see the finished product!

2.  Reading...Francine Rivers "Lineage of Grace" series, currently"Tamar", which is excellent!

3. own breath!'s cold outside!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Day 4: A gift old, new, blue

1.  Old...vintage suitcases and children's books. I collect both, and often mix them together (with a little mod podge).  They each hold something whimsical and mysterious within them and both make me smile.
2.  New... "The steadfast love of The Lord never ceases. His mercies never come to an end.  They are NEW EVERY MORNING! Great is thy faithfulness. 'The Lord is my portion', says my soul, 'therefore I will hope in Him".
3.  Blue...blueberries! I don't think I ever tried fresh blueberries when I was growing up. However, I have recently discovered them and consider myself a new and enthusiastic convert!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Day 3: Three Graces Overheard

1.  My children singing along to Christian radio in the cake seat of our car a I drive. They're favorite song right now is Mandisa's "Overcomer", which I also love. I'm often amazed to hear my just-turned-six year-old song literally every word to every song that plays, and it melts my heart each and every time.

2.  "Oh, good, Angela's here! My kids will be so happy that her kids will be here for them to play with."  Overheard today upon entering the gym. So thankful that my kids are welcomed/assets to the nursery play group, as opposed to being dreaded bullies.

3.  Jason, snoring in bed beside me.  This sound is the result of a hard, but honest day's work to provide for our family. It also indicates that he is peaceful and deep in sleep, resting the body that  has performed so many physically draining actions  throughout thr course of this day ;and countless others).

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Day 2: A gift inside, outside, and on a plate

1.  A gift inside...central heating! It was SO cold outside today (you know we Texans can't handle temperatures below 65 degrees without a parka!). Each time I went outside today I was thankful for the warmth of the house I was blessed to return to.

2.  A gift outside... Sweet neighbors! After a few days of being cooped up indoors, I let the kids play outside (in the aforementioned cold) with our neighbors down the street. They had so much fun playing together, and came home happy, tired, and well-exercised, I'm sure.  It is such a gift to live on a street with sweet families who look out for each other!  (And yes, to enjoy a little quiet inside when the kids are outside!)

3.  A gift on a plate...tonight--Freebirds nachos!  Enjoyed with good friends, which made it taste that much better.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Day 1: Three Gifts Heard

1.  "I heard an old,old story--how a Savior came from glory. How He gave His life on Calvary, to save a wretch like me. I heard about His groaning, of His precious blood's atoning.  Then I repented of my sins and gained the victory.  I heard about a mansion He has built for me in Glory, and heard about the streets of gold, beside the crystal sea. About the angels singing, and the old redemption story. And some sweet day I'll sing up there the song of victory.  Oh victory in Jesus, my savior, forever. He sought me and bought me with His redeeming blood. He loved me ere I knew Him and all my love is due Him. He plunged me to victory, beneath the cleansing flood.  ("Victory in Jesus" by Eugene Bartlett, 1939).

2.  "It's a girl!/It's a boy!" Both times were magical and overwhelmingly wonderful.

3. The sounds of my children playing peacefully together  (especially when they are in "pretend-mode". It blesses me every, single time.