Food Hugs

There is a particular kind of hug that you receive when you serve a delicious meal or snack. It is an embrace that occurs around your leg, usually the left. Sometimes the right, but either way, it is an appreciation of a scrumptious taste.

Tatum makes it very clear when she likes what I serve her. She gives me a big FOOD HUG. She never takes for granted what she receives. She shows gratitude for the work involved, the aesthetics, and the taste. I love that about her!

The fried egg is always a favorite. I try to make it so the “juice” oozes out.

Doug has been enjoying my creations lately as well. It’s been SOOOO MUCH FUN to spoil them with what I attempt to make in the kitchen.

Sometimes it’s just a lettuce wrapped in hamburger and avocado, or roast beef roll-ups with hummus. Maybe it’s a Spanish rice concoction made with riced cauliflower.

Gotta make it pretty and colorful because we eat with our eyes.

I attempted a shrimp stir fry with cauliflower mash, turkey bacon and sweet potato chips for garnish. It was a hit!

Whatever I make, they are both so kind in giving me appreciation with a big food hug. The goal has been to make healthy food taste delectable. So far so good.

They eat it all up, and that is the biggest compliment I could receive.
I love you guys!

She’s on a journey with the cross

Tatum wanted to carry this around today.

It’s been in her room since she was born, but she read it today and noticed it had many verses on it (Jer. 29:11) that we have memorized. She said, “Mommy, this cross is my big brother today. I’ll take good care of it.”

And she did.

It sat close by while she played with her Legos.

It was a day where she did need to be reminded of the incredible journey she is on. I had to remind her that it’s not all about “her” in this world, but it’s about who she can love MORE; who can she smile at today? Let’s keep our eyes focused upward and outward. Then, and only then, can we look inward to see where we can more be fully known.

It took root, because in the car, she discussed with me how if you do reject God, He’ll be there waiting for you. She reminded me that He never leaves us even when we mess up. I think she was reminded of her evening prior where she had a few mis-steps if you know what I mean. Holding this cross this morning, gave her comfort and reminded her of HIS love. The WHOLE drive to school was her discussion with me about HIS love, His forgiveness, and HIS sacrifice. Spoken like a mature Christian and she’s only 6. Just WOW.

I love your heart, Tater Tot.

The journey continues

My honey bought me a bike for my birthday. This is no ordinary street bike, friends. No, this is a deluxe disc-braked-Specialized Purple machine!

Doug decided to get one for himself too. Now we match in coolness. (Well, almost!) One of us is much cooler. (You can be the judge of who, but he’s wearing shades.)

Tot was ready with her new helmet. Pink of course.

We decided to take the path behind our house, and you won’t believe the discoveries.

This path goes through Scottsdale and near our new home. What a gem!
The celebration just couldn’t end.

We felt the blessing from God with this path. It was symbolic of our journey together as a family. It’s winding, green and beautiful. We’ll hit some rough patches, and have an itch or two, but we’ll end up at this beautiful lake every time.

And we’ll keep reminding each other of the blessings.

The journey is what counts. The destination is icing on the cake.

Desert Botanical Garden FIELD TRIP

Tot’s Kinder class went to the beautiful DBG, and I decided to join as a chaperone. I love seeing what she is learning, and also I love to see how Tatum soaks it in.

I took her friend Selah in my car, and both of them were so silly in the back seat. I think it was fun for Tatum to have a buddy to talk to back there.

We headed in and our field guide, Scott, assembled the kids to go over some of the “listening well” rules.

They all got a magnifying glass to look closely for any critter or plant to analyze. He went over the 5 senses, and thank goodness, we didn’t cover the “taste” sense. We don’t need to be sampling cactus flowers or rosemary bushes. Maybe put it on a pizza, and we’ll taste away!

At one point, they had to find something to share with each other. Tatum found little beans on the ground and discussed this with her classmates. Fascinating!

Charlotte and Tatum had a hug moment in front of this beautiful tree from South Africa.

On the way out we passed these cacti growing on the ground. I never realized the many kinds there are!

The old man cactus. Fuzzy as all get out.

And this cactus is growing out of another. Pretty amazing.

The flowers are delicious for our cactus friends.

Thank you Mr. Scott for your help!

We had a great time.

Proud of Tatum: 3rd Qtr Kinder

I just wrote a blog about the importance of character. However, I am proud of Tatum’s report card. This is not about the grades, but about the effort I have seen come from her heart. She wants to learn for the sake of learning. She also sees that working hard pays off. Having character means also having discipline in life and one of those disciplines is a good work ethic.

Great work sweet girl.

Who are we raising?

I am saddened by the news of late that uncovered a college admission scandal. Wealthy parents were caught buying their kid entrance into a college with bribes and cheating. ALL for them to feel good about their own images and to be able to say, “My kid goes to XYZ school. Isn’t that amazing?” Wow. Just so sad. The consequences of this are not just that it’s wrong but that the message they are sending their kid is that whatever it takes, get ahead in life. Sell your soul if you have to. Character doesn’t matter. What does matter is what you look like on the outside and what others think about you!? Such a lie from the pit of hell.

Jesus asks what good it is for a man to gain the whole world but lose his soul, (Matt 16:26) To gain the whole world is to receive all the world has to offer—money, fame, pleasure, power, prestige, etc. To lose one’s soul is to die without a right relationship with Christ and spend an eternity in the lake of fire. Moreover, how can you live with integrity and a clean heart knowing you have cheated your way through life? Is this peace? Who have you hurt along the way? So many issues here that I cannot even comprehend all that is wrong with the world.

HOWEVER, they know not what they do so don’t point fingers. We are all sinners, yes. SO we must love the world and be lights to the world. Let’s show them how a RIGHT relationship with Jesus leads to peace everlasting and fulfillment that FAR surpasses fame, fortune and fancy. That is all fleeting and will only lead to need of more and more. Never fulfilled.

This leads me to raising Tatum. Tatum, integrity is doing the right thing when NO ONE is watching. God always sees your heart, your motives, and your actions. So live for HIM. Live with this perspective. Live with loving HIM, loving OTHERS, and then loving yourself (to thine own self be true). If you do this, you’ll live OUT a life of love. It’s automatic. Being mindful of what Christ did for you on the cross leads to a life of gratitude and GIVING. Not “take take take and how many we can step on to get the world’s definition of success.”

Let’s raise the next generation to be more motivated by character than by image. Where your heart is, there is your treasure.