Tag Archive | Food

Recreation

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All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. – Anonymous 1659

It’s easy to tackle the todo list for me. I have to be purposeful about play. That’s how I am wired.

This past weekend, we were invited to attend a Christian camp in Scotts Valley at Redwood Glen.

We enjoyed fun, food and fellowship with three local churches: Pleasure Point, Hilltop and The Gathering.

Play is natural for children.  Here’s my daughter resting after skateboarding with her friend Heather.

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Here’s my son playing basketball with some friends.  His favorite pastime.

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We are blessed to work at Mount Hermon and Mission Springs where there are many activities to chose from. Here are some recent outings.

Also, I love the Santa Cruz mountains and ocean. There is so much natural beauty and fun things to do. Here are just a couple of things we enjoy.

There are so many fun things to do as a family, couple or individually.  Again, I need to be purposeful about play, because it’s easy for me to work at the office and then come home to chores, errands, homework help,  etc.

How about you? How do you enjoy recreation?

Blessings,  Rebecca

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Our Daily Bread

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This week, I wanted to share with you a personal story about hardship in parenting and God’s miraculous provision.

Blessings, Rebecca

On a warm summer Sunday, Randy and I strolled outside of church. I hummed my favorite hymn under my breath I Surrender All. I inhaled fresh salt air from the nearby Pacific Ocean.

My mind wandered as we walked to pick up our children from Sunday school. Dread overtook me, because I remembered we were down to only $2.35 in our bank account ensuing my job loss.

After 15 years of working at a high-tech equipment manufacturer, my Director called me into his office, and opened a manila folder on his desk,“Rebecca, I am sorry, but we are moving your managerial position and department to Israel.”

What do you mean move my job and department to Israel? I expected to retire with the same company like my father did from the grocery industry and step-mother did from the copy business.

How am I going to tell Randy? After all, we decided one of us would be our stay-at-home parent, and now we have no income. I arrived home early that day, “Hun, I was laid-off today.”

Randy was crushed by the news, but encouraged me that everything would be fine. We decided to surrender everything to the Lord; our occupations, finances, health, material possessions, children, etc. We knelt and prayed for God to guide our paths, because we  believed when He closes one door He opens another.

During this difficult season, I leaned on the following bible verse:

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord,

“plans to prosper you and not to harm you,

plans to give you hope and a future.”  – Jeremiah 29:11

Our kids jumped off the play structure, ran and gave me a big hug, “Hi Mom!” We turned and headed for our car. I ran my hands through Austin’s thick hair. “How was your class today?” He reached for my hand, “Good, we learned about Jesus.”

The two of them then scampered off to climb a close-by tree.

Along the way, our friends, Barry and Rina, greeted us,  “Good morning guys! How’s it going?”

Rina wrapped her arms around me, and kissed me on both cheeks as is customary in her country of Chile. Barry told us they planned to walk their dog, Snoopy, at the beach.

Our discussion wound down, we said our goodbyes, and went our separate ways.

Later that evening, I received an unexpected phone call from Barry, “Can we bring you dinner tomorrow night?”

I accepted his gracious offer. Hmmm, they’ve never spontaneously brought us a meal before. We’ve always gone out for dinner.

The next evening, Barry and Rina pulled into our driveway with their minivan. He jumped out, and popped open the rear hatch, “Hey, Randy, I need some help out here!”

Rina sauntered in carrying a rack of BBQ pork spare ribs accompanied by homemade corn bread and a crisp green salad. The feast permeated our home with a rich aroma.

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I turned around and my jaw dropped. They carried in milk, eggs, cheese, bread, butter, meat, coffee, fruit and vegetables. The bounty kept coming. I chuckled to myself. Earlier, I’d recited the O’l Mother Hubbard poem, because our cupboards were empty. How did they know?

I looked at my countertops once bare now brimming with delicacies. I felt like I held a dual-edge sword in my hands; one edge for immeasurable blessings, and the other humility. I’d always been financially independent, and now found myself in a position of need.

During our meal together, we shared with them our hardship of lack of food, the possibility of losing our home and health insurance.

Barry looked me in the eyes, “We wanted to stock your refrigerator and cupboards with essentials.”

Wow, talk about perfect timing! I was amazed at how God stirred Barry and Rina’s hearts to deliver a miraculous provision that day. I was reminded of the following bible verse:

 “So don’t worry at all about having enough food and clothing…But your heavenly Father already knows perfectly well that you need them and He will give them to you if you give Him first place in your life and live as He wants you to.” – Matthew 6:31-33)

Most, if not all, of us at some time will experience hardship. Is there a time in your life where God blessed you? I’d love to hear about it! Please share with us…

Guest blog by Vera Miller

I am super excited for this week’s guest blog as it is our first one on cooking with children. Vera Miller is a talented woman who will share her kitchen expertise with us. Please welcome Vera!

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Easy ways to teach your kids about cooking

One of the most important life skills children can develop these days (and a life skill that is sadly going on taught more often than not these days) is how to cook.

In year’s past, most every child was going to be taught at least the rudimentary basics of cooking before being turned loose upon the world. Children would know how to make themselves a sandwich, make themselves a quick meal, and how to pick healthy food options – but today that’s not always the case.

Mother and daughter prepare meal

Mother and daughter prepare meal

Here are a couple of tips and tricks to help you get your child excited about cooking!

Keep things simple and keep things light

The last thing that you were ever going to want to do when teaching your child how to cook or hooping to get them excited about cooking, is throw them first into a recipe that is way over their head.
The temptation is going to be there, to want to teach them how to bake the bread that your grandma used to make, or the spaghetti sauce that your grandfather taught you how to cook when you were much older than your children, but stay as far away from complex recipes as possible and really try to simplify things.
Obviously, you want to tailor the “cooking lesson plans” for your children to their skills level, their aptitude, their interest, and their abilities, but a great rule of thumb is to keep things light, keep things fun, and keep things super simple when just starting out

Take them to a farm or a farmer’s market

To really get children excited about cooking you’ll want to take them to the places where their food is grown and where their food is sourced – and there’s no better way to do exactly that than by taking them to a farm or a farmer’s market!
Most local farmers are always going to be excited about teaching children about their way of life and their lifelong passion, and a farmer’s market is always a hustling and bustling center of a local commerce that’s more a community social than an outdoor grocery store.
Children are likely to get hooked the second that they visit one of these locations, especially if you’re there every single step of the way telling them about how you’ll transform those ingredients through the power of cooking when you get home – and then you actually show them how to do it!

Take some cooking classes together
Some folks happen to be born with the “teaching gene” and find passing on knowledge a lot more effortless than others, and there’s nothing wrong with admitting that someone else may be able to simplify things for your child when it comes to cooking – especially if you attend those cooking classes with your kids!
This can make for a fantastic bonding experience and it will inevitably create those lifelong memories that mean so much to everyone involved.

Start off with their favorite dishes
You will always have an easier time teaching your child how to cook and how to really think about the art and science of transforming raw ingredients into a finished dish when you help them cook their favorite dishes.
Children these days have just about every distraction imaginable in their face all the time. You’re going to be competing for their attention like crazy, and one of the best ways to capture that attention and hold it permanently is to teach them how to cook their favorite foods for themselves!

Vera Miller is an avid food enthusiast who loves everything about cooking and especially using modern tech in cooking that can make even a novice cook look like an expert chef. She occasionally shares her opinion about the latest and craziest kitchen gadgets on the Kitchen Expert blog