VBS

This year’s VBS is now history.

What took weeks to plan and prepare for – was over in the blink of an eye.

We had drama.

11061979_10152874338071423_7271705925682164061_nAnd laughter.

And suspense.

And lots and lots of trench coats.

11665577_10152874339901423_3384670670926188579_nAnd we had music.

And silly games – both inside and out – because of course we had rain.

11693955_10152876094836423_6241233042329684299_nWe did crafts.

And got snacks from a crazy snack lady person.

And had an absolutely incredible group of volunteers – including some amazing teenage helpers and actors.

But most importantly –

11403497_10152876096531423_6818735480113891379_nWe had lots of precious children who heard about the One True God.

And that made every detail worth it.

60 Years and Counting

We celebrated my husband’s parents 60th wedding anniversary last weekend.

60 years.

6 decades.

Over 21,900 days.

11050248_1616701751910393_6783018300061372876_n1955.

A lifetime ago.

A different world.

In a  church filled with roses, a commitment was made.

11400985_1616701748577060_1119620288064640903_nTo love, honor and cherish.

In sickness and in health.

Four kids.

20 grandchildren.

Thousands of meals.

Making a home wherever the Air Force sent them.

Times of joy and laughter.

Seasons of sorry and tears.

11647376_861161067310951_532967394_nStill together.

A promise kept.

Two lives became one.

They didn’t just fall in love, they stayed in love.

Kale Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

kale saladWe love kale.

Love, love, love, love it!

Not only is it a super food – packed with a whole slew of vitamins and minerals, it also tastes good.

I tried to grow my own kale last year, but  I planted it too late. It struggled all season, barely giving me enough kale to make myself a salad once a week.

So this year I planted early and abundantly. Four different varieties – just in case one didn’t work I would have a back-up.

And they all came up! All four varieties – Russian red, Blue Curled Scotch, Dwarf Siberian and my favorite – Scarlet Kale (cause it’s so pretty!)

We have kale by the dishpan full!

Kale for lunch. Kale for supper. Kale to share.

And kale to make this delicious salad frequently! Which is a very happy thing – since I absolutely adore it!

You need four basic components –

Kale – any variety, washed and torn into bite-sized pieces and placed in a serving bowl. If it’s not baby kale, you might want to pull out the tough stalk and ribs.

Add some fruit for sweetness.  Strawberries are our go-to favorite, but blueberries, raspberries and even dried cranberries are yummy. Put in as much or as little as you want – no judgement here!

Then throw on something for a crunch factor – like roasted nuts, or sunflower seeds. Personally I like to toast some slivered almonds with a little butter in my cast iron skillet, then sprinkle with a touch of salt when they are golden brown and delicious!

And finally – toss the entire salad with this yummy poppy seed dressing. (Which can be made in advance and kept in the fridge.)

Poppy Seed Dressing

1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup sugar (5 teaspoons Truvia)
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
2 teaspoons dried minced onion
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Place all the ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid and shake.

Refrigerate.

Boom! That’s it! So easy and so yummy!

Just pour that goodness right over those healthy leafy greens and enjoy!

Dropping Details

New ImageVBS is less than a month away and this VBS director is up to her eyebrows in plans.

Have you ever had so many details floating around in your brain that some just slip out? Kind of like filling one’s bucket too full and trying to carry it?

Some details are humorous – like sitting down at the table for a meal and realizing you forgot the silver ware.

Or worse – being so into drama rewrites that you forgot to make supper.

This week a wonderfully patient friend and her daughter went VBS shopping with Angel Girl and I.

And by “went shopping with us” I mean she drove us to the big city and picked up the details I kept dropping.

Our list was massive – everything from rubber ducks and hula hoops to scrapbook paper and  brass paper fasteners. By mid afternoon we would walk into a store and I would look at her and say, “What exactly are we getting here?”

Then we spent 10 minutes finding a certain kind of paper only to stare at it blankly because I couldn’t remember why we needed it. Two stores later it came to me. Too late.

We only forgot our teenager daughters twice. Good thing they have cell phones and lots of patience.

Oh – and a good sense of humor because I might have embarrassed them when I started dancing in the aisle at the party store.

Or when I sang along with the background music.

At one point I asked my very patient friend what it meant that I knew every word to the oldies songs playing, expected her to say I must be getting old. Instead she replied without missing a beat, “That you have a good memory.”

Bahahahahah!

Surprises

Life is full of surprises.

Some of them good.

Like having two of your kids surprise you with a visit.

Bringing flowers.

Filling the house with laughter and conversation and fun.

And surprise birthday parties for sweet friends at church.

11146493_10152775272351423_2927726358448763586_nSharing memories, laughter, tears.

Singing. Hugging. Crying.

Praying for healing.

Such sweet times.

Other surprises are not so fun.

Like waking up on Sunday morning – after 3 inches of rain overnight – to a flooded basement and realizing that all the dirt work and the new gutters didn’t work.

Then getting more rain and more flooding.

And there are the surprises I’m not so sure about –

Like the box of orphan kitties Buddy brought home.

New ImageThey sure are cute – in a very loud and needy way.

Their constant cry for love and attention is breaking this momma’s heart.

Meow. Meow. Meow.

Did you know there are thousands of different ways a kitty can get himself in trouble – especially without a mother? It’s a wonder any of them make it to adulthood.

But they are so adorable.

I actually sat down and held one. More than once.

Yep. Life is full of surprises.