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Monday, March 18, 2013
Thursday, March 14, 2013
|Nom, nom, good!|
My family loves Sushi! We don't count Mr E.J. (pronounced "Eej", that nickname was inspired by the pout of Ebenezer "Scrooge", as in Mr. Scrooge) our five year old son! He doesn't eat much of anything. Last year, I created a simple way of making sushi without all the rolling.
We use raw Atlantic Salmon as our fish. I buy only sushi grade at Whole Foods Market. I plan for 1/4 pound per person-which comes to a reasonable amount of about $12 total. I have the fish monger dice the salmon for me. Before I serve it I pour low-sodium Soy Sauce over the fish as an added germ killer. I buy pickled ginger for about $1.75 at the sushi section there and they provide free wasabi,Teriyaki and Soy sauce. We like to use brown rice (I buy this cooked at the sushi counter or make this depending on time and if we are eating there)and just throw the fish, ginger, avocado and teriyaki all in a bowl. Done.
This day we bought Seaweed wrappers to make hand rolls (sans the bowl). I picked up a Persian cucumber to add something to my sister's roll because she doesn't eat meat or fish. You can store the soy sauce covered fish for up to one day in the fridge, it's freshest and safest the day of.
This is a delicious and inexpensive way to enjoy what can be a luxurious meal!
I'd love to learn your Piece of Cake adaptations for recipes? Please Leave your creative ideas in the comments below.
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Patrick and I prayed for "doors to be closed" as I he sought new employment. I wanted the next career move he made to be one that he would have longevity and personal fulfillment in. Boy did those doors close! I knew something grand was on the horizon and "kept the faith". After five months of ambiguity, the right door flung open!
I'm happy to announce ( I didn't think I would ever say this 6 mo ago) that I am officially a military wife!!!!
Yes, my husband joined the Air Force National Guard last month! We are very excited. He will train this summer and will be eligible for a job right here in our home town. When I first met him 16 years ago he wanted to join with his cousin. I discouraged him because I didn't want to be a military spouse ( I'm an Army brat). I've come full circle and have fully embraced this (hence my swanky new cap pictured). This is going to be a great lifestyle for our family. He will not be deployed and his day job has great hours. The benefits are amazing in the Air Force, ie. bonuses for a second language, college degree and even paid marriage retreats.
Our family is so happy!
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
|Dawn in Idyllwild on 3/3 ( Doesn't the sky look like the ocean?)|
Hello beloved, if you haven't read the first two parts you may want to before reading further.
I previously mentioned that the Lord brought me to Idyllwild last week to minister to the women in attendance. He blessed me for my obedience in a triumphant way!
On Sunday morning March 3, I set my alarm for 6:00 am. I wanted to experience what I conjectured would be a stellar sunrise. While the other 18 women were still sleeping, I grabbed a mug of hot tea and a big blanket and moved with urgency to find the perfect view point by 6:12 am! I had my Iphone set to videotape the emerging orange glow of the sun. I was so focused at the event on my left as 6:12 am arrived. What happened next blew my socks off!
In my periphery I see something startling to my right. I say "Oh, my gosh"! Is that a..., Oh, my gosh, that's not a plane! That's a shooting star! I was literally standing at the crux of night and day and witnessed a magnificent gift! The star glistened downward and left a lingering banner of silver glitter in the sky. I felt so privileged to have been there, alone. It was a meeting with the Creator of Heaven and Earth- and the Sun I was so intent on viewing. It's as if the Lord was telling me "You came here to see something magnificent, but I'm gonna give you something even better"!
The women and I enjoyed our last Bible study soon after. The verse in focus was Ephesians 3:20; Now all glory to God, who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we ask or think. I shared my testimony with my fellow yogis; they were so thrilled for me. I exclaimed how the sky "looked like glitter"! They all laughed because after only knowing me 48 hours I clearly struck them as a "glittery" person. They nicknamed me "Glitter" thereafter.
|My gift:a shooting star during sunrise|
During our last yoga practice that morning I had another Holy Yoga encounter. The last pose in a yoga flow class is Shavasana; this is a Sanskrit word meaning corpse. The idea is you lie flat and cool down for about five minutes. It's a time to rest and receive the blessing of your effort (or the Holy Spirit). During this Shavasana; the song "Beautifully Made" by Leah Smith was playing (you must You Tube it immediately following this entry!). I had never heard it and its lyrics moved me to purifying gentle tears. Within seconds I began to sob like I hadn't all weekend. Remember the movie "Ghost"? I had a Whoopie Goldberg moment! For the first time in my life, I actually felt the love of Jesus- like a hug! First the shooting start and now this; I was so overwhelmed by His grace and love I couldn't help but cry tears of thankfulness.
I hope to be back in Idyllwild very soon! I implore you all to lean in to that still small voice of the Lord. He wants to reward His children!!!
Friday, March 8, 2013
|A piece of art in this "Dwell home" where I stayed|
When I arrived at this mansion in the sky where a group of 19 women would stay two days, I noticed someone had just arrived as well. I was so grateful to not be the only one late! She and I entered together and joined the second half of the first yoga session. The waterworks started again! I was so shocked to be where I was in that moment. I am invigorated by the yoga, the music, the glass floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking such majesty. To be in the communion of women who shared my passion was so moving.
The theme of the weekend was purification. That is: your core, motives, mind and purpose. We touched on physical detoxing as well, and enjoyed the nourishment of organic, gluten-free vegetarian cuisine by a personal chef.
|Risotto-filled sweet bell pepper with avocado/tarragon wedge salad|
She explained that when I saw her in the parking lot she had already went to the house and was leaving! Her fears and troubles had so burdened her, she couldn't face them. When she saw that the ladies were in session she thought "now's my chance"! I pulled up behind her blocking her in. That's why I was supposed to be late.
I saw similar stories unveiled during my time there. Onion layers being peeled back and deep wounds beginning to heal. I believe I was sent there to encourage and lift up these women. This was confirmed by the little "year book like" notebook we all received. Ladies could write notes to their "sisters" all weekend that could affirm them when they left. Each entry explained that I had brought brightness to the retreat. My favorite notation was "You are salt and light in this bland world". This resounded with me because I love food!
The Lord is "a Rewarder of those who seek Him" (this was the last verse of the song during my initial yoga session that touched me because over the last 13 years I have been told by 3 separate women to "seek" Him and I would be rewarded).
What happened next blew my mind...
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
|I pulled over to snap a shot on my way up the mountain.|
During the Christmas season my regular yoga class at a free clinic was on hiatus. I found myself at a new studio and was amazed at how many people were crowding into this class on New Year's Eve. Clearly, the demand for yoga is great. I have been going consistently for 6 months now and have had immense results from just one day a week for one hour. My body is toning and the stress relief is tremendous!
Whenever I've practiced I've felt so connected- not only to my body; but to the One who created it. It bothers me that many Christians are missing the blessing I have come to know because of misinformation. Fundamentally, who created breath? Who fashioned our bodies to bend and stretch? I feel the most connected to my mind, body, and soul when I am in my favorite yoga pose "Sun (aka Son :) Salutation"!
|The view I saw this weekend from my bed!|
Unfortunately, I contracted the dreaded Flu last month and later pneumonia! It was horrifying, my breath was so short I couldn't talk. I spent all that week in bed. In the following days I had trouble sleeping and went online. It occurred to me that although I had never heard of "Christian Yoga"; I wanted to Google it. Turns out, it sprouted at Saddle Back Church (Rick Warrens' of The Purpose Driven Life book). There are studios all over Orange County by minitries called Holy Yoga and Yaweh Yoga!
I was stunned and excited and began to learn more. I checked the event list and noticed there was a Yoga retreat in Idyllywild, CA I could drive to. I was enthralled! With ideas of opening my own studio- coupled with having felt I could take my yoga practice to a new level by integrating worship music, Scripture... . I really, really, wanted to go! With only one day notice (and a getaway planned with Patrick) I knew he would be wary.
I went to bed last Thursday not sure if I would attend hours later. During my deep slumber I felt a warmness and energy infuse my body and a glimpse of the retreat, it jolted me awake at 3:33 am and I knew with 100% certainty that I HAD to go.
I texted the retreat coordinator around 9 am. My hubby said "I didn't even say it was O.K". I said "I know, but I must go". Go I did
Friday, February 8, 2013
|Tia at the mall after the ladies with curling irons recruited her.|
I continued that "Baby Jesus was put in Mary's tummy supernaturally- sort of like magic".
"Was I put in your tummy like that"?, my daughter asked.
"Not exactly", I slowly uttered.
"So, Mommy and Daddy both have parts that fit together and can make a baby".
"Oh, sort of like animals", she replied.
And that was the end of that conversation that night.
Just last week week we continued with this conservation. My daughter will be eight years-old next month and we are noticing signs of early puberty emerging. This is on the heels of a devastating loss for her. Her carnival fish of 40 months just died! It was heartbreaking for me as well because I was its main caretaker and fed it every morning and night. My sometimes-wise 15 year-old brother recommended we wait until Friday after school to tell her about "Guppy's" death (to avoid interfering with school). We checked into a hotel so she would have a nice experience to take her mind off of it- it really helped!
|My daughter's first and only pet-Guppy (very missed)|
"What's that"? she asked expectedly.
"Every month your body, called your uterus will make a lining of blood to prepare for a baby, and if no baby grows the blood will come out your vagina (we always use proper anatomical terms with our kids). "It's not a bad thing when this happens."
The birds and bees (and Baby Jesus) are best if incorporated in a string of continual conversations. There is no need for a "sit-down" discussion-that can be really unnerving for both the listener and speaker. I will say- the car is a fantastic place to converse because you don't have that awkward eye contact.
Ongoing talks will definitely alleviate anxiety in your changing child , my daughter was so excited to know that she is "becoming a woman" she spread the news to grandma at her next visit.