“The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed; those who help others are helped.” Proverbs 11:25 The Message
I was shocked to hear the new of the passing of my son’s t-ball coach. He was young, healthy and had a sudden heart failure after a workout. He left a beautiful wife and 5 children, the youngest of which is only 6.
So we gathered to celebrate the life of a great coach, a wonderful man in our community who has a wonderful family and who gave of his time and energy to young people through sports for over 15 years. He played ball for 30 years and coached over 800 kids throughout those years….the most overqualified t-ball coach there could have been:) My son played along side the coach’s son and he had a ball (pun intended). The coach was kind, encouraging and supportive to my son during this time in which my husband is deployed. At our closing party, he made special remarks about each player that were so funny, correct and insightful into each little guy. And he also talked about my husband’s service…there was not a dry eye at the park. “Who cries at a baseball party” is what he said. But that is how touching his heart was, so sincere, so genuine and without effort.
He will be missed by those closest to him, but even those of us who just knew him these few months, he made an everlasting impact. God bless his family!
“I am leaving you with a gift – peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” John 14:27 NLT
Well, I have to say that I am troubled. It was a good day in all ways….spoke to my wonderful husband, the kids made items to send, got a lot accomplished before school begins, taking online language classes, etc. I would summarize it as a good day…………well, at least until several other moms asked me to take care of their kids soon. What? What happened to being supportive and helpful? What about my spouse being deployed screams, “yes, please add to my load”. Seriously? So yes, I need the gift of peace for my mind and heart from God because it is obvious to me that the world is not giving it!!!
Okay, so why do other parents do this to us…..at soccer games, the “snack mom” delivered some fruit roll-ups. Most are pretty gross when you think of what’s in them. There are a few I like that have little sugar, real fruit and no corn syrup at all, but those are rare to find.
I saw this recipe in one of my magazines and thought I’d try it. It’s very easy to prepare, but just takes a long time in the oven on the low setting to dehydrate.
The kids loved them! And I was the “coolest mom ever” as my son put it.
- 2 cups berries (1 cup
strawberries, 1 cup blueberries)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Directions as in magazine:
- Puree berries, sugar, and lemon juice. Cook in a saucepan over medium heat until thick, 30 to 35 minutes.
Strain through a fine sieve onto a baking sheet lined with a nonstick baking mat; tilt to distribute. (Use a pan that isn’t warped to prevent pooling.) Bake at 170 degrees until dehydrated, 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Let cool for 10 minutes. Cut into eight 4 1/2-by-5 1/2-inch rectangles. Roll in parchment. store at room temperature for up to 1 month — or 2 seconds, depending on your kids’ appetites.
Just an FYI, I did not strain with a sieve because I like to taste the seediness of the real berries. And I just put directly on a baking sheet. I ended up leaving in the oven much longer to dehydrate, about 4 hours at 170. Maybe, that’s just my oven though.
So after seeing this recipe in my Whole Living magazine, I thought I had to try it. I found some ripening avocados in my fridge so made the plunge to have my very sensitive and appreciative pallet for chocolate be affected by avocados! Yes, I said it, made it and lived to tell about it.
I made chocolate pudding with avocados! Lord have mercy. My kids were the taste testers because there is no one more brutally honest when it comes to food than these two. They would give Tom Colicchio (from Top Chef) a run for his pastry.
- 3 avocados
- 6 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup raw honey
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Sea salt
- Puree avocados, cocoa powder, honey, and vanilla in a food processor until smooth. Sprinkle pudding with salt before serving.
Well, it was a hit surprisingly! But I have to tell that I did add a secret ingredient…………….some sprinkes from Trader Joe’s Sugar Chocolate Coffee Bean Grinder! The best.
As someone who has lived by a beach (both Atlantic and Pacific) for almost 6 years now, I often don’t get it…..the need to pack various items, be in the heat, apply gross sunscreen, sit in sand, swim in salt water infested with jellyfish and sharks….all in the name of summer (or any season) fun! What?
Don’t get me wrong. I love looking at the beach, smelling the beach (well, sometimes) and walking on a boardwalk, but I don’t enjoy being immersed in either sand or water. But I am married to a swimmer, interested surfer and basically someone who LOVES the beach. So I try to get him his “beach” time as often as I can. My kids inherited his qualities in that aspect too….they get in the water, no matter the temperature, weather or environment. For example….Christmas Day – at the beach and in the water. They are crazy! They tolerate the sand in pants, crowds and heat all for the love of large bodies of water.
So I do what any good wife and mother would do….give them their beach time and complain to anyone who stands still long enough!
But on a recent family day at the beach, I think I may have softened up a bit and possibly changed my mind just a little. I was playing with my daughter with her sand toys (which constantly keep sand in my car at all times) and watching my husband and son play a game of catch. I was messing with my very low-grade camera and captured what I thought to be a nice photo. I’ve looked at this photo more often than others and feel that my sentiments may be changing! In this picture and at this time, I can honestly say “I love the beach”.