Morning Blueberry Smoothie

Blueberry/Banana Smoothie

Ingredients:

1/3 cup frozen blueberries

1 ripe banana

1/2 cup almond milk

1/2 cup water (or more for thinner smoothie)

1-2 scoops whey vanilla protein powder mix

1/4 cup whole, raw almonds

Blend everything together until smooth. Pour into a frosty glass that you’ve had in your freezer. Enjoy with a straw !

BUT-make sure you have the lid on the blender BEFORE your daughter hits the “on” switch….somebody help this girl!!!!!!!!!

Blender Accident

A MOST delicious dessert-Dreamy Cake Dip

Cake Dip on Cinnamon Stick

Dreamy Cake Dip

I promise you will love me for this one. Your kids will love me. Your aunt Bertha or great niece Priscilla will thank me. I stumbled along this gem while shopping at the Krogè the other day. You know how the sample ladies stand and try to convince you to not only try their products but to buy them, too. Let’s call her “Fannie”-she had me hook, line, and sinker! I did adjust her recipe to make it better, ‘whippier’, and an alternative for the gluten sensitive.

 

Here’s the ingredients:

8 oz. whipping cream

1/4 cup powdered sugar (or to taste-I actually like less)

1 cup Greek vanilla yogurt

1/4 cup almond milk

1/2 box dry cake mix with sprinkles (Gluten-Free for those who are sensitive to gluten)

Cake Dip 1 cup whipping cream

Add powdered sugar and whipping cream into a mixer (or a bowl and hand mix). Crank mixer up to high and let it whip it (and let it nay nay-er-nevermind)……BUT do NOT over beat your whipping cream. Just a few minutes to create a soft peak.

 

 

 

Cake Dip 1 cup Greek vanilla yogurt

 

Then, add the yogurt to your whipped cream and mix just until blended. You can get your kids to help you with this-BTW. They love the sprinkles at the end, and the magic of watching liquid turn into whipped cream. This is definitely a finger-friendly (NOTE:I did not say ‘figure friendly’), kid-friendly dessert. They will be proud of themselves!

 

 

 

 

cake dip 14 cup almond milk

You then mix in the almond milk……………

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cake Dip white cake mixGluten Free Cake mix

 

 

 

 

 

This is the BEST part-add in 1/2 box of cake mix with sprinkles already built in! A party in a box-right?!?!? (You could also get really creative with this part. You could go crazy, actually. Imagine what you could do with chocolate cake mix or carrot cake mix!!!! OH MY-THE POSSIBILITIES!!!!!) Just mix until blended.

 

Cake Dig Finished in bowl

 

 

I promise you will make this so many times. I wish I could say it’s somewhat decent for you because of the yogurt and almond milk, but it really is not. Sooooo much sugar! I suggest you use fresh fruit to dip with it, or cinnamon graham sticks, or just a spoon and the bowl and a secret closet you can escape into………….

Teachable Tuesday: Do you ever have a poopie day?

Scooping ManureWell, I do-LITERALLY. Really-everyday. I muck stalls for 4 horses and clean the cat litter for 2 cats. We now live next to the family farm-but the farmhouse where we used to live sat a top what once was a cattle farm for probably 100+ years, so when it rained, water leaked ever so rapidly into our farmhouse cellar/basement/portal to the Abyss, and left behind the most beautiful smell known to the nasal breezeway. This water was mixed with all number of sediment from the old cattle farm which was full of, well, dung. Fecal matter. Caw Caw. Doodie. Poo. Poo. OH Yes-the soil that is great for my garden was not so great when it would leak into the cellar. Our trees and shrubbery were strangely the largest I’ve seen anywhere this side of the Mississippi. And the boxwoods were (still are!) as  big as a 1 story building (I’m NOT kidding-note the normal sized chair next to said boxwood). Boxwood as big as a house

And many a day, our dog rolled in some raccoon poop and then daughter #1 let him into the already fragrant house. Would I be mad? Yes! Was I ready to throw in the towel? Yes! (Mind you-it was usually by 9:30 a.m.) Was I grateful I lived in that farmhouse? You know, I did not give it that thought in ‘the moment’.  Oh-it was always something: one Labor Day holiday weekend, the water pumps decided to stop working and we were without water for 4 days, our ‘Abyss-ment’ leaked poop water, and I had to fill our tub with water from my aunt’s pool just to use to flush the toilets……the cat litter box was conveniently located next to our bedroom which also meant we got to walk through a trail of cat litter remnants just about every trip to the bathroom, and the closets were no bigger than your smallest cabinets, and on and on……

Isn’t it easy to make a ‘list’ of all the things that go wrong in our day and that are wrong with our life? It seems that the bad things just stick out like a paint smudge or a missing tooth. It seems that we many times just gloss over the really significant, wonderful things that are the real blessings in life.

I am grateful that I live in a country where we can call the plumber and they can come rather quickly. I am grateful to have a roof over my head. I am grateful I have a nose that can even smell and I am grateful that three of my favorite people shared those little spaces with me everyday. The good book tells us to “Give thanks IN ALL things/circumstances”(1 Thess. 5:18). It doesn’t necessarily mean you give thanks FOR the “THING”. I don’t think you give thanks for cancer! I don’t think you give thanks for divorce. I don’t even think you give thanks for aches and pains that come plague us many a day. BUT-we can give thanks IN the thing-whatever it is. We can set our hearts to be grateful or un-grateful. We can set our minds to think on the blessings behind the pain. We can remember, too, that Romans 8:28 promises that the good Lord will work out all those circumstances for good.

So-I have had to repent for my not so nice attitudes many a day and realize I am blessed to even be able to scoop poop – whether it is from a 2,000 lb. animal or a little 8 lb. feline. I am blessed to even have had a house (which had a million dollar view BTW). So-girls-you don’t have to always give thanks FOR the thing, just practice giving thanks IN the thing. And see how your mind and spirit look up and how your heart will open to the better, not the bitter.

The Trees……….

Tree by gardenI guess you might think with a title like that, I would write about changing fall leaves or dormant trees or seedlings or various arboristic (is that a word?) philosophies. Actually, I want to share with you a little about how trees come into my whole life philosophy-which stems (no pun intended) to my parenting, my marriage, my health, and everything in between. It has nothing to do with the root systems or the xylem and phloem of trees…(I just like to use those words in a sentence whenever I can because they are exceptionally cool words).

In the garden of Eden, God planted two special trees-one represented life and the other represented death. Sometimes the words in scripture are so subtle and if you are reading too fast, you will totally miss an important point. “In the middle of the garden were the tree of life (self-explanatory) and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (represents death).” How do I know the tree of the knowledge of good and evil represents death? If you read a little further, God tells the man, “You are free to eat from ANY tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.” (vs.16-17) Side note: not sure Adam told his wife the good details here (imagine that? a man forgetting to tell his woman the details?????!!!!!!! )Palm trees at Lowes Hotel

Now, why would God do this? I have pondered the whole “Why God gave man choices” query for a while. The best, reasonable explanation I can come up with is that He has the ability to never-I mean NEVER- choose evil (AKA the wrong, unholy, unrepresentative of His good nature and character) while we needed a way to show Him whether we really care to follow Him, thus showing our true devotion. Enter in: CHOICES!!!!CD Party view out window

Aren’t you so glad you are not a robot! God giving us the ability to choose anything and everything is one of the greatest gifts He could give His creation. The extra bonus is that He told us what the consequence of making the wrong choice would be: DEATH! Seriously?!?!? How wonderful is it that He gave the answer to the test! No-He is not an elusive, changing unseen force with a death wish for us-HE GAVE US THE ANSWER!!!!!!

Imagine if all of your decisions in life had a concrete answer:

Do not buy this car because it will be a lemon.

Do not marry that man because He will end up swindling your paycheck on his gambling addiction.

Do not buy that house because the roof leaks and the basement has mold.

Do not eat the fruit from that tree because if you do, you will surely die………………

Dang! And we think God is the bad guy.

C’mon girls. How wonderful was it that God told us in plain, easy to understand language what would happen. And we did the very thing that has resulted in deadly consequences over and over and over and over……………

I want to be a girl who makes LIFE GIVING choices. I know I will fail. I know I will not always make the best or even right choice. But I am glad I have made THE one choice that covers over all my bad choices forever. There are two verses that are eternally linked that I want you to ponder: Deuteronomy 30:19 and John 14:6. Try even memorizing them as one verse.

I place before you Life and Death, Blessing and Curse. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live…….Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Dogwood Flower

It may sound harsh, but it comes from The Word. Jesus said He is The Word-so they are His words. He said Choose Life. We are so surrounded by death choices constantly that I sometimes wonder what life- giving choices even look like.

One reason I have this blog is so that we can journey together in this constant battle of making life-giving decisions. It is sometimes messy. It is often times confusing. It is ALWAYS harder than it seems. But, in the end-WE GET LIFE!!!!!!!! Isn’t that hard-wired into us as humans? Survival? Doesn’t survival mean life? Let’s explore what this concept of “Survival of the Fittest” really looks like. Choosing life isn’t for the faint of heart or the weak of faith. Choosing life is for the strong. Choosing life only makes you stronger. Please do not add anything to the simplicity of what making Life-Giving choices looks like. If we boil down our choices to the simple question “Does this bring life or does this bring death?” then what turns would our life make? What bonuses would we get out of those decisions? Better health? Better relationships? Peace of mind? This can really go so many places. But, for now, hear my heart and know that I am dedicated to Helping the Girl who strives to live LIFE and LIFE to the full.Farm Tree in Snow

Cheetah Pants

Recently I went to visit my dear friends in Beaver Dam, KY-Ohio County. Home of Bluegrass and Bill Monroe-father of Bluegrass. I had the honor and privilege to play at their family night function at their church. It was such a great night-with some delicious food, sweet fellowship, and a great time performing with my dad. The best was getting to do the old Patsy Cline standard “Crazy”. I played several selections from “Hearing Winter” and we finished the night with a Christmas medley sing-a-long. It was a blast. And the best part was chatting with a sweet, single mom and her daughter. She was so grateful that I pointed out that Christmas began with a crises pregnancy. What a blessing to see her so proud of her little girl. The best is my friend’s little girl, Lauren, wearing her diva outfit!Lauren in her Cheetah Pants Somebody help that cute little girl!