Praying For...Sweet Sammy, a delightful seven-year-old girl. This year we are reading the Book of Mormon together in preparation for her baptism. More than a thousand miles apart, our 'together' reading takes the form of encouragement rather than actual time. Still, we do what we can. Last week on face time, she took me to her room and sang Primary songs to me. For Christmas, I sent her a CD with this year's Primary songs. She demonstrated her progress, singing the songs with confidence. I pray that she can continue to be encouraged by her parents and teachers...that she can avoid evil people of the world and enjoy a peaceful childhood...that she is cherished instead of chastised by the adults around her...that she is happy, healthy, safe, and gains a testimony of Jesus Christ. I pray for children around the world that they each find someone to advocate for them in this way even if it only a little. Children should feel safe and cared for. Also...that people everywhere will put aside revenge and anger in favor of peace and unity. Let us look on the intrinsic value of our neighbors. Who is my neighbor?
Bibliophilia...sent the grandchild of the week, Sammy, Understood Betsy, Selections From the '100 Best' Children's Stories from China, Vol.1, and a Kumon Subtraction book. Understood Betsy is quite possibly my favorite children's book. I love how the adults on the farm treat the little girl as someone competent and capable. I've been reading a very nice series, The Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter. They are a fun read with no smut and not bad mystery.
Cucina Fresca...I love greens. As a little girl, greens weren't part of my diet unless you count canned spinach and mushy broccoli. Yikes! I never paid greens any attention until after drinking green smoothies. Although I love green smoothies and will drink them the rest of my life, there had to be a way to make greens delicious without disguising them with fruit or smothering them in fat like 99% of all greens recipes I've read. Yes, there is. Try this and be amazed. Put 1/2 an onion (diced), 1 roma tomato (diced), 3-4 large shitake mushrooms (sliced), 1/4 t sea salt, and dash cayenne or red pepper flakes in a medium sauce pan. Cook over lowest heat, covered, for one hour or until onion is golden and tomato is reduced. Stir in l lb. chopped kale, collards, cabbage, minced broccoli, or other greens, zest and juice of 1/4 lemon, and 1-2 T water into the onion. Turn up the heat to medium and cook for 5-10 minutes until tender but not soggy. Adjust seasonings. Serve with nearly any bean, potato, or grain dish, but it is especially good as a sort of warm pesto sauce over brown rice rotini. Done as this Pasta e Verdure, it serves two. Get creative, adding other spices, herbs, and aromatics for new flavors: celery, carrot, garlic, ginger, turmeric, cumin, parsley, basil, cilantro, etc.
Garden Gate...I got my tree collard cutting in the mail and planted it in my attic green house. It is sprouting little leaves. Hurray. I also planted morninga seeds but it's too early to tell if I will be successful there. Also, noting yet with the turmeric I planted. Parsly, basil, cilantro, garlic, ginger, and bok choi are growing great.
Movement...I absolutely love the results of foam rolling. My injury is still giving me a bit of trouble. However, without atrophied, tight muscles contributing, I feel awesome. The injury is only a bit naggy in the very spot the cartilage separated from the bone. Not too bad, when only a few weeks ago I could barely walk across the room. Still you won't find me on a tractor again any time soon.
Teaching Little Children...I love my class. No, really...I love each of them as if they were my own grandchildren. I think that's what it takes to be a good teacher, that and daily time in the scriptures as well as good lesson prep. I want these little people to feel like big people in my class. I want them to feel that their opinions and ideas matter and that they are important to me. I want them to feel safe the way I wanted to feel safe as a little child...or as I want to feel as a grandma. I want to see the light in their eyes that sometimes shows, when they feel these things. It is so rewarding to see the light.