Thursday, June 30, 2011


I get excited every time I open the refrigerator door and notice the special treat waiting on the shelf. 

My honey and I drove out to a beautiful blueberry farm early Monday morning. I love it out there. Just a short 20 minute drive from our suburban neighborhood, it is like entering another world. It was peaceful at first, as we walked down the well worn trail, white buckets in hand. The dew sparkled on the leaves, the birds were singing, and the sun was still low in the sky. The bushes were covered in blue, sweet, beautiful berries.

We picked the berries in silence. Talking seemed wrong somehow, there in the quiet morning with the sun’s gentle rays peeking through the branches.  Only the soft thump was heard as berries hit the bottom of the bucket when handfuls were dropped in. 

Soon more people began arriving. There were families and people of all ages, ready to enjoy their time together, picking little blue gifts from God. Being in the country, the sound traveled easily and I couldn’t help but smile as I heard the chatter of all the distant conversations. So many various sweet voices all at once and I wondered if that is how God hears prayer. I heard the laughter of children and remembered bringing our own children to this place when they were much younger.

(Two years ago my oldest daughter, little Tyler and I visited this farm also. She shared about it here. The photos of that precious little guy make me smile every time.)

Ninety minutes later our buckets were full and the sun was higher in the sky. We could definitely feel the humidity and heat of the summer day settling in and we headed for home.

Apple crisp is the dessert of choice in our family. It is made often, especially during the cold winter months, usually enjoyed fresh out of the oven with vanilla ice cream. I love how it makes the house smell like apples and cinnamon.

It seemed perfectly logical to try the recipe with blueberries and it didn’t disappoint. My favorite way to eat blueberries is plain or mixed with yogurt, however if you want a wonderful dessert, I highly recommend this. Below is the recipe I used.

Blueberry Crisp
(Adapted from the Betty Crocker's Cookbook)

3 1/2 cups of blueberries
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup oats
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/3 cup softened butter

Heat oven to 375. Place berries in 8 x 8 x 2 pan (pie pan works also). Mix remaining ingredients thoroughly. Sprinkle over berries. Bake 30 minutes or until fruit is bubbling and topping is a golden brown. Serve with ice cream if desired.

Note: I have made this with apples only (use 4 cups of thinly sliced apples), or just blueberries. I have also made it with half berries and half apples. All are very good. Many times I double the recipe and make in a 9 x 13 pan.

I’m so thankful for those silly little berries. I love that God blesses us with something so healthy and yet so delicious. I’m thankful I’ll have fresh picked berries for the holiday weekend. But mostly, I’m thankful for the little slice of time spent picking berries with my honey.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Finding words

My arms were full as I juggled too many grocery bags at once. It was my attempt at not having to make too many return trips to the car in the Texas heat. It was then, while fiddling for my keys when I looked down and noticed them. And I smiled.

That was his intention. He does things like that. He planted flowers to surprise me.

I have known my husband thirty-four years and quite honestly, I can’t think of a single hurtful or negative thing he has ever said to me. He is hardworking, honest, generous, wise, and loving. He is so many good things. He has a sweet and gentle spirit about him, and he doesn’t feel the need to fill silence with words. My husband is organized and disciplined and pretty much all the things I’m not.

A simple “thank you” seems so inadequate when I thank God for this sweet man in my life. A man who is sad when I’m sad, who loves to spend time with me, who will work out twice so I won’t have to go alone. He is someone who compliments and encourages and who truly believes I can do anything if I try. He fills my life with so much love and makes me feel safe.

But it’s the little things he does that mean so much. The impromptu slow dance in the kitchen in our pajamas, the excitement in his voice when he shares of a Bible study he listened to while jogging, the appreciation of pretty much every little thing I do. I love how his eyes tear up when he talks about his children and grandchildren and how he fills our home with beautiful creations made by his own hands. A labor of love.

What most touches my heart is the comfort of his hand as he rests it on my arm at the end of the day, right before I drift off to sleep. I feel the warmth settle in as he keeps it there for a few minutes, and I know that I am being silently prayed for during that time.

My throat still tightens when I try to find the words. Thankfully, God knows my heart and “thank you” is enough. 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Watermelon Mojitos

One of my daughters had a party last weekend and casually mentioned that she made a new drink that was a big hit. I didn’t even need a picture. Just hearing about it made me want one. I have blown many a diet that way.

The yummy drink is a watermelon mojito, although I feel a need to explain about my iPad and how it keeps changing words! I type “mojito”, it changes it to “monitor”.  I change it again, it changes it back. Three tries before I won! Then we (the iPad and I) had the same tiff over another word. Just know that if something I write doesn’t make sense or is misspelled, it most certainly could couldn’t be me.

I don’t know if you have heard, but it’s a bit hot here in Texas these days. Very hot. So when she described this refreshing drink with watermelon, mint and lime, I was ready. And rum! It’s in there too, but it doesn’t have to be if you don’t want.

Here you go! (From

    Slushy Watermelon Mojitos
    serves 8 (serving size 3/4 cup)

    6 cups cubed seeded watermelon
    1 cup sparkling water, chilled
    3/4 cup white rum
    1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
    1 (6-ounce) can frozen limeade concentrate, undiluted
    Mint sprigs (optional)
    Lime slices (optional)

Arrange watermelon in a single layer on a baking sheet. Freeze 2 hours or until completely frozen.
Combine frozen watermelon, sparkling water, rum, mint, and limeade in a blender and process until  smooth. Garnish with mint sprigs and lime slices if desired. Serve immediately.

You may want to add extra water if you like the consistency to be thinner.

Please overlook that I used a wine glass. We’ll just pretend it’s a mojito glass.

I can see why this was a hit and I no longer feel left out. A little thing yet so delicious! Thanks L, for the recipe.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A cowboy came to dinner and stole my heart

I heard the doorbell ring and I hurried to get the door.  This little guy was standing there.

(I didn’t actually have a camera in my hand at that moment. This was taken shortly after.)

I love it when my family gets together. (Especially when the whole group is there. Missed you L, B & A!) My favorite part is sitting back and taking it all in. Listening to the different conversations. Having them in the house. Safe and happy.

While in the kitchen hurrying to get the last of the food on the table, I heard his little voice calling out from the dining room. “Nana, can you sit by me?”

“Oh yes!” I quickly answered. “I would love that.”

“Don’t sit here,” he announced to everyone in a most serious voice. “That’s where Nana is sitting, okay?”

I peeked around the corner and saw his sweet face lit up with a big smile and sparkling eyes, as if it were Christmas. That little four year old’s heart was as happy as could be simply because I would be sitting next to him. (Sigh) Can one touch a heart any deeper? I think not.

I hope he knows that the feeling is mutual. Oh my sweet Tyler. Please don’t grow up too quickly.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Soaking Up This Time

"So this is what it's like", I thought to myself one day last week. I was sitting behind the wheel of my daughter's nifty minivan while waiting for the red light to change.  In their car seats and looking just plain adorable, were my two grandchildren (one year old Allie and four year old Tyler).

My daughter and I swapped cars for the day. It was easier that way. I only have one car seat and those of you who can imagine installing child car seats in the 100+ heat of summer will understand. Mommy had an appointment and Tyler had swim lessons so Nana jumped in to help.

I always wanted a mini van while my children were growing up. Unfortunately it wasn't in the budget at the time but still I was convinced that my three little ones would never whine, complain or pick on their siblings if only we had one. Ha! I have to laugh at myself now that I know better.

"I'm four"' Tyler told the ladies as we approached the sign-in table. They smiled as they checked his name off and a few minutes later we were following his swim instructors to their designated area in the pool. Allie and I sat on the side and watched as the young "swimmers" took their turn in the water.  I was amazed that those little ones could so effortlessly pull themselves out of the water and sit on the pool's edge. Without steps or a ladder, I am sure I would not be able to get out!

Tyler spotted me and waved, flashing his sweet smile. Oh. My. Heart. I could barely stand all that adorableness. I continued to watch as he listened intently, his short red curls slicked back and nodding as the instructor showed him how to move his arms. Wasn't he just born yesterday? Memories came flooding back of my own children who not that long ago (or so it seems) were learning how to swim. Goodness!

Hoping no one else could see that I was way too emotional, I began to look around (kind of like I do at Hallmark when reading cards). I noticed many other mommies busy on their phones or talking amongst themselves. I'm sure they appreciated the small break in their busy days. Still, I so hoped they appreciate this time in their lives and how incredibly cute their kiddos were in the pool. I wanted to remind them to just savor this time. Before they know it, their little ones will be grown. I'm sure they hear that all the time, I know I did. But it's just so true!

I loved watching Tyler in his little class and I loved playing super hero with him after lunch (we made a pool with his building blocks and Batman was the lifeguard). I loved every minute with him and Allie. And, I loved finally getting to drive a minivan!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Worth remembering

The years seem to be zipping by so quickly! Reflecting back on my life, of course I remember the incredible highs and (thankfully few) challenging lows. What is most precious to me however, are the small yet so sweet "in between" moments in life. The "I don't want to forget this" kind of moments. Except I do! I forget.

My life is pretty ordinary yet God blesses me daily with moments that make me tear up and whisper a simple "thank you" to Him.  So, I have decided to join the blog world. This is my attempt at documenting those small yet significant moments in my life that mean so much. The little things. Because as the saying goes, many times we look back and realize they were indeed the big things. And I don't want to forget.