Praying For...Cole, our oldest grandson...that he will make good choices and find joy, peace, safety, and charity during his childhood...also that more people will stop hurting and exploiting children, let them feel the compassion towards them that they wish they had felt as children.
Pondering His Word...“A miracle is an extraordinary event caused by the power of God. Miracles are an important element in the work of Jesus Christ. They include healings, restoring the dead to life, and resurrection. Miracles are a part of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Faith is necessary in order for miracles to be manifested” (Guide to the Scriptures, 165). "For if there be no faith among the children of men God can do no miracle among them; wherefore, he showed not himself until after their faith." Ether 12:12 For a very long time, I wondered if Katie died because I didn't have the faith to make her live or because I ignored a prompting to drive her that day. Perhaps this is true, perhaps not. Also for years, I've cried and wondered why we didn't get a miracle and get to keep our Katie with us. Why did everyone seemingly get a miracle? Why was this sweet girl taken from our family and cause so much heart ache in the wake? Lately, God is opening my eyes to so many miracles in my life. A week before Christmas, S was driving his friends home from their annual Christmas party at 11:00 pm. After they were all out of the car and he was on his way home, a semi cut him off. He swerved and hit ice. When the car came to a stop, it looked like this. He walked away with only some stiff muscles. This is a miracle. The insurance company keeps asking if he is OK. I didn't know why until I saw the pictures. Needless to say, I am grateful S is safe and sound. We loved seeing him at Christmas.
Bibliophilia...Sent Cole Physics Lab in the Home and Think Fun Math Dice Jr. I hope he has fun with them. Wrote to Nancy Turner this week, who wrote a series set in Old Tucson that were popular with my grandmother, mother, aunts, daughter, and I. Having a bit of writing experience myself, I know how nice it is to hear positive reviews from readers.
Cucina Fresca...I was raised eating lots of Mexican food. Thankfully, it is an easy cuisine to fit into my allergy regime. Most recently, I made:
3/4 c water
1 small white onion, pureed
1 jalapeño, diced less seeds (omit or use less for a less spicy dish)
1/4 cauliflower cut in pieces
1/4 c minced cilantro
1 7-ounce can diced green chilies
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and fresh black pepper
Saute onions, garlic and jalapeño pepper in water over lowest heat in small sauce pan until very soft and beginning to turn golden. In a separate small sauce pan boil cauliflower until it is very soft, drain. Puree all in blender and return to saucepan. Simmer until desired consistency is obtained.
1 bunch spinach or kale or collards or chard or other greens, de-stemmed and minced
1/2 onion, pureed
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
salt, pepper, cayenne
Saute onions and mushrooms in water over lowest heat in a small saucepan until very soft and beginning to turn golden. Add greens, steaming with the water clinging to the leaves until wilted. Squeeze out excess water.
Soften 6-8 corn tortillas ( I make you own to avoid GMO corn with Gold Mine Masa) until quite pliable. Place a portion of greens down center and roll. Put one or two on each plate seam side down. Ladle a bit of verde sauce over top. Garnish with cilantro and a couple slices avocado. Serve with mashed seasoned pintos and spicy brown rice on the side. Serve immediately.
Dr. Ginger, Medicine Woman...I think I see light at the end of this tunnel. Cold is gone. Pain from separated pelvis 99% gone. Flu mostly gone. Energy coming back. Yesterday I learned that Sandra Bullock and I are the same age. If she can look good and be healthy at 50, why can't I? Like God told me, I just need to keep doing what He told me to do and stop worrying about it. I'll be OK for as long as I need to be OK. I'm so grateful that these maladies occurred during the down season. However, I never plan to get on a riding lawn mower again. A separated pelvis is worse than childbirth. Well...maybe not worse...
Garden Gate...my indoor garden is growing at a snail's pace. I think I planted it too densely. So I'll harvest most of the greens at the teen stage for some Enchiladas Verdes and let the rest mature to full size--hopefully at a better speed. Perhaps another reason for their slow growth is temperature. Greens like it cool. We keep the house pretty warm, so I'm going to start some moringa, malibar spinach, and tree collards. These are perennial greens in the climate where we hope to settle. It's wonderful that I can experiment this way, during a time when it isn't imperative I grow my own. If producing my own food ever becomes a necessity, I'll likely have made all the errors and failures. haha
Sound of Music...with my returning energy and lack of pain/illness, I hope to resume playing my violin and piano.
Pen and Brush...this week may just find me working at my art and writing again. Laying around is getting monotonous.
Teaching Little Children...the new year is traditionally the new year in Primary as well. Unlike the public schools, our new Sunday school year begins in January. I'm so happy to report that my class is staying with me til the end of my mission. I love these little people. But we did get a new lesson manual, Choose The Right A. As usual, we began the lesson with our talking pillow. It's a little lavender pillow that we use like a talking stick. The one in possession of it gets to tell something good about their week before tossing it to the next person. The children have all learned to be respectful of the one speaking, which has translated into being good listeners during the lesson. The lavender calms them down a bit. After sitting still for so long, the children need a bit of calming. Lavender is magic. We had the best lesson. We read scriptures: Matthew 5:6, 3 Nephi 12:6, and Doctrine and Covenants 58:27. I told them that choosing the right meant being good because they wanted to be good. That such behavior would fill them with the Holy Ghost and a desire to serve others with love. Then I told a story of two little boys, James and John. James was in first grade and John in second. Each day when they walked in from school, their mother provided a snack. Sometimes it was celery with peanut butter and raisins, sometimes it was carrots and cucumbers with hummus, sometimes it was homemade tortillas with sliced avocado and salsa, sometimes it was homemade bread with strawberry jam, sometimes it was warm blueberry muffins, and if they were really lucky it was homemade hot from the oven snickerdoodles. The boy's school bus stop was right in front of their house. On this day, Mother had left a large cookie for each of them with a note to come out in the yard and play when they were done. While James came right inside after the bus left them off, John stayed outside for a couple minutes to speak with his friend Max. James gobbled up is sweet cinnamon cookie but wanted more. He spied his brother's cookie. Even though he knew it wasn't right, he gobbled up John's cookie. Then he went outside. As he entered the house, John smelled cinnamon. When he went to get his snack, there was no cookie for him. He thought his mother forgot him and became very sad. He went to the back yard looking forlorn. James sat in the sandbox with his little brother and sister, holding his tummy and frowning. Two large cookies made for a big belly ache. Two large sins, stealing a cookie and pretending it didn't happen (which was really lying), made for a big heart ache. Mother saw her boys weren't as happy as they should have been and called them to her. What is the problem here? Mommy, you forgot to leave me a snack and I'm hungry. (Here I asked the children what James should do to fix the sins. They suggested that he say he's sorry and go to his room. I told them they were very smart children, because that's exactly what happened.) Looking at James, she said. 'I didn't forget but left a cookie for each of you on the table. What happened to John's cookie?' 'I ate it. My tummy hurts and so does my heart. I'm sorry I was greedy John.' 'Thank you for telling the truth James. That was brave. Do you think you should be in trouble for your poor choices?' 'Yes, I think I'll go to my room until dinner. Maybe laying down will help my tummy stop hurting.' 'That is a good idea; while you are in your room, you should pray that Heavenly Father will help your heart feel better. Then you can read quietly.' 'But Mother, I still don't have a snack.' 'I happen to have another cookie that I can give you.' 'OK!' After the story, we worked on a coloring project. I talked about how many choices didn't matter. It didn't matter what color they chose, but it did matter if the were truth tellers. We conversed more along these lines for awhile. Next we played our version of The Bee game, where the children act out what it means to be kind, reverent, brave, etc. Then we looked at and talked about some pictures of Jesus with little children. We talked about how Jesus lights the way to find happiness and about how everything we need to know on how to be happy is found in the scriptures. Then it was time for our lesson to end. I love these little people. They have come a long way in their social and behavioral skills as well as their knowledge of the gospel.