Boost your brain

The next few weeks as we go into lockdown, let’s take this opportunity to rest and work on family connections. Here are two books that will certainly help those long days. They encourage creativity and laughter and your brain gets a workout.

The Very Best one-minute mysteries & brain teasers {Book Review}

The Very Best One-Minute Mysteries and Brain Teasers is a collection of 80 fun mysteries that will test the players’ brains as they search for the answers to the winding word mysteries and perplexing picture puzzles. Every puzzle only needs one minute to read; then it’s up to you to solve. These mysteries may be enjoyed in a group or individually.  The clues in the back of the book would assist the player in sniffing out the answer.

What are One-Minutes Mysteries?

These short interactive mysteries are usually played in a group as an interactive game. You might know them as lateral thinking puzzles, or situation puzzles. Each puzzle describes an unusual scenario, and your job is to figure out what is going on. Although the puzzles may seem open-ended, the goal is to figure out the most satisfying answer, the one that suddenly appears when the lightbulb goes off in your head and you say, “Aha” (In other words, you’re looking for a solution that matches the one in the back of the book.) Each mystery takes less than a minute to read, and then you can take your time and enjoy the investigation process.

How Do I Solve Them?

These puzzles don’t generally provide you with enough information to find the solution, but you can fill in the gaps by asking yes-or-no questions. You’ll need one other person in order to enjoy the puzzles to the fullest, and the more people, the better! Choose one person to be the case master. This person reads a puzzle aloud and privately consults the answer in the back of the book. All other (or other one) players are the detectives. They take turns posing questions to the case master, who can respond by saying yes or no or something like “That doesn’t matter” or “Rephrase your question”. The case master provides clues from the back of the book as needed. The game is won when someone figures out the key to the solution.

Author: Sandy Silverthorne & John Warner. Publisher: Christian Art Publishers

The very Best one minute Mysteries is available from www.cumbooks.co.za for R120.

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Brain Snacks: Good-For-Your Soul Puzzles and Activities {Book Review}

Mind Delights & Brain Snacks is a collection of engaging activities to keep minds happy and healthy. Filled with perplexing puzzles, daunting dot-to-dots, and misleading mazes – all designed to give anyone’s cognitive skills an extra-special challenge. Mixed in between all the challenges are creative illustrations, beautiful pages to color in, and inspiring Scripture verses to replenish the spirit.

These puzzles and activities will help you unwind and relax, dwell on positive and uplifting thoughts, and sharpen important cognitive skills. Pull out those colouring pencils and make the most of your “me time” with this unique activity book.

Here are 5 benefits of colouring in for adults:

  • Lowers Stress and Anxiety levels
  • Helps you to focus on the present
  • Unplugging from technology promotes creation over consumption
  • You don’t have to be an artist to be creative
  • Perfect me-time activity

Author: Mary Eakin. Publisher: Christian Art Publishers

Available from www.cumbooks.co.za for R129 each

*This review is in collaboration with Cum Books

The Chat… Birds, Bees and Destinies {Book Review}

Talking to our kids about sex should not just be one awkward conversation we gear ourselves up for. Rather we need to see it as an amazing opportunity to build into the lives of our kids and equip them for the future.

Talking to our children about sex is not easy for many of us. Even though the process of talking about sexuality starts at a very young age as we incorporate the “proper” names for genitals during bath time, taking the step to sit your child down to have ‘the chat’ can be a daunting time. Resources like these are great at helping us as parents to start the conversation and can be used as a tool in our ongoing dialogue around sexuality. The author Christy wrote this book for children aged 6-9. In her experience this is the best window of opportunity to have ‘the chat’.

What I loved about this book:

  • Beautiful illustrations. Love the diversity represented
  • 10 GREAT tips for parents/caregivers
  • Great questions to encourage conversation with your child
  • It explains the actual mechanics of sex in a beautiful way
  • Technical terms are laid out in the back of the book

The Chat: Birds, Bees and Destinies is a book about where babies come from and how they got there. Tackling topics like love, sex, conception and birth. This book celebrates the wonder and purpose of life. Complete with Glossary and Tips for Parents and Caregivers, this book is a great tool to help you and your child navigate sexuality in a healthy, life-giving way.

Also available in Afrikaans: Bytjies, Blommetjies en Kosbare Lewens. Price: Between R120-R150

Author: Christy Herselman. Illustrator: Cristy Zinn. Publisher: Struik Christian Media

*This review is in collaboration with Struik Christian Media

Own Your Everyday {Book Review}

Author: Jordan Lee Dooley. Waterbrook Publishers

Does it ever seem like you still have to find your purpose or that you’re stuck with “unfigured-out dreams”? Do you feel the pressure to prove yourself or worry about what others will think?
 
You are not the only one.
 
From accidentally starting a small business instead of using her college degree, to embarrassing herself onstage in front of thousands, to wasting time worrying about what others think or say, Jordan Lee Dooley knows exactly how that feels—and she’s learned some important lessons about living a purposeful life along the way.
 
An influential millennial widely recognized for her tagline turned international movement, “Your Brokenness is Welcome Here,” Jordan has become a go-to source that women around the world look to for inspiration in their faith, work, relationships, and everyday life.

Described as ‘An empowering girlfriend’s guide to a purpose-driven life‘ This book had my attention from the very first sentence where Jordan introduces herself as a recovering perfectionist, with a chronic need to achieve. Jordan is truthful, vulnerable, real, practical and relatable. It’s an easy read but packed with powerful thoughts and statements; challenging mindsets and ideas.

For me personally, I knew this year had to be different. Thus calling it my year of GRACE. It’s been a journey of truly accepting that gift and then allowing it to empower me to live boldly and passionately AS WELL as free and light. I felt God inviting me into His unforced rhythms of Grace. Into a place where I could pursue all my passions, goals, dreams and His purposes for me but minus the striving and perfection. Own Your Everyday confirmed so much for me and highlighted some areas where I was operating from negative mindsets and the pressure to perform. This was a great book to start the year off. I highly recommend it.

In this book Jordan equips you to:

  • tackle obstacles such as disappointment, perfectionism, comparison, and distraction
  • remove labels and break out of the box of expectations
  •  identify and eliminate excuses and unnecessary stress about an unknown future
  • overcome the lie that you can’t live your God-given purpose until you reach a certain goal or milestone

Own Your Everyday is available from www.cumbooks.co.za for R250.

Teaching your children to PRAY

What an incredible privilege to know I can go to my Father with anything. Whether I’m worried, stressed, overwhelmed, happy, asking for forgiveness or simply needing to hear Him say ‘I love you’ and enjoy His presence – I can do that at any time through prayer. Naturally, I want that for my children too. I want them to have the same confidence that they can speak to God all the time and about anything. Prayer is a spiritual discipline and helping your child develop a daily prayer life is one of the greatest gifts a parent can give.

Children are great natural learners and they learn best through imitation but sometimes we need to be more intentional about teaching our children how to pray. Make it a priority to teach your children to pray confidently.

Here are some practical ways:

  1. Pray for your children to have a desire for Prayer.
  2. Model prayer; Share testimonies with them of God answering your prayers.
  3. Pray with them; Before bed time. When you drop them off at school.
  4. Encourage them to pray for situations and people; especially if they show concern.
  5. Make prayer spontaneous, natural and comfortable; this will encourage them to pray whenever and wherever. Teaching them that prayer is about a relationship with a loving God.
  6. Read books that will encourage prayer.

We recently received this beautiful Book and it soon became a favourite in our home, here’s why:

A Child’s Book of Prayers {Review}

A Child’s Book of prayers is a beautifully illustrated collection of prayers that will encourage children to simply talk to God.

It combines prayers of praise and thanksgiving. The prayers are arranged by theme and an index is included at the back for easy reference. Some prayers may be used by parents praying for their children, while others can be shared with children or prayed by older children to themselves.

Why we loved this book:

  • Beautiful illustrations.
  • Easy enough for young readers to read independently.
  • This is a great book as part of a bed-time routine or morning devotions.
  • Some very good questions were asked as I read some of the prayers; encourages discussion.
  • It teaches children how to pray for themselves and others.
  • It encourages children that prayer is simply talking to God.

Author: Sally Ann Wright. Illustrator: Honor Ayres. Christian Art Publishers

A Child’s Book of Prayers is available from www.cumbooks.co.za for R169. Also available in Afrikaans.

Lane Family Update

Hello from the dusty building site also known as Pleasant Places! We are still in the thick of building and renovations but the good news is, we are almost done!

January started off with a bang (literally) as they knocked down the wall between our kitchen and lounge and we started with a huge renovation project.  Somehow in the midst of letting go of old spaces, walls, cupboards and our very old antique fireplace, I was letting go of old mindsets and ideas. What a freeing (but difficult) experience. 

We also have 3 kiddies at school now and I’m not going to lie, it’s been a rude awakening… This is next level parenting and I wasn’t ready for it.

Ethan started Grade 2 with huge enthusiasm and I’m happy to say he still feels that way. He is writing and reading with ease and he is eager to learn and grow. We have only been to the lost property once, and I forgot about library day once, so all in all a successful first few weeks. It’s not how to start but how you finish right?

Bethany is one happy chappy, loves her friends, loves her teacher and loves art and drama, she also loves the fact that she now has her own stationary bag which includes a scissor and already she has chopped off one of her braids and cut a hole in her new PE shirt.  But hey, those things add character and if anyone can pull off that look and still look cute, it’s Bethy.  In such a short time, she is reading sight words, doing homework and flourishing in her new environment. It makes my mommy heart so so happy. 

Carter starting school for the first time has been the biggest adjustment.  He didn’t separate easily and cried every day for 2 weeks, but today was a huge success as we had our first morning without tears.  I am so grateful because I was buying unhealthy amounts of suckers and it was just not sustainable.   But in the short time that he has been there he is singing songs, saying memory verses and talking non stop about his new friends…. It’s a relief and I’m excited to experience all his firsts at school.. birthday rings, sports days and concerts. 

Evan is enjoying more quiet moments with me and It’s really a special time together as I haven’t had much time alone with him, never mind teaching him the important things like colours and animal sounds.  We were recently invited by friends to Magaliespark and while we were playing at the water park he pointed to the statue of an Elephant, shouted Horse and then loudly said “MOOOOOOOO” I knew then that we had some work to do. 

That’s it from me, for now…. 

I love documenting our family’s adventures; the good, the bad and the funny 🙂 Thank you for following along!

A Journey to Christ-likeness

10 I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.
12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press ontoward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:10-14

It’s so freeing to know that I can lay hold of something that Christ has already done; He has set me up for success. I did not save myself through my own efforts; all I did was allow Jesus to take hold of me by believing in Him and putting my hope in Him.

The day Jesus died on the cross, he did not just die for my sins to be forgiven….

He

  • Absorbed the wrath of God
  • Showed obedience
  • Showed us how to love others
  • Abolished the law
  • Became the ransom for many
  • Died for the forgiveness of sins
  • Brings us to faith
  • Makes us holy
  • Came to bring physical healing
  • Reconciles us to God
  • Sets us free from sin
  • Enables us to live for God
  • Shows us how to live by faith
  • Gives marriage deeper meaning
  • Gives me a passion for good works
  • Makes us followers of Christ
  • Frees us from the fear of death
  • Came to destroy hostility between races
  • Gives us real joy

That’s awesome! That’s huge! The day Jesus died on the cross He laid hold of all those things for me!

He also laid hold of me!

The day I put my faith in Jesus, I became His and I don’t just say “Oh thanks for dying for me, now I feel good about myself” NO! The day God pulled me from the miry clay, He set my feet on a rock. On a new path, a new road. I now have destiny, purpose and a mission to walk in all the things that Jesus has done.

To “lay hold” means to apprehend or seize after a pursuit. It’s chasing and grabbing and keeping in a firm grip so that you can’t get away. So what Paul is saying is that Jesus chased him down, seized him, and put him on a new path. Once Jesus puts us on this path, we have a mission, a purpose. That purpose is ultimately to bring Him Glory. You can’t bring Him Glory if you don’t know him. So we spend this life getting to know Jesus and then, to make Him known to all.

Becoming like Jesus is a life long process. It takes years for kids to grown to maturity. I can’t expect more from my 7-year-old son, Ethan, than what a 7-year-old can do, just like I can’t put a T-Bone steak in front of my baby and expect him to eat it. In our journey of Christ-likeness, He gives us some ways to stay on track. This is to keep us from being ineffective or unfruitful.

Thinking back to my first 10km race; I had been training for months and felt ready to tackle it, expecting to finish under an hour. But on the day, I felt completely overwhelmed at the distance. I remember seeing the first sign that said 3km and shortly after a water station. I remember stopping, drinking my water and then saying to myself. “Now all you need to do is get to the next water point.” I started running again knowing I only had to make it to the next water point and before I knew it, the 6km marker was there….and I kept doing that till I finished the race with a big smile on my face.

Here are some water points to get you through the race to maturity. These points will help you be more effective on your journey.

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.  2 Peter 1:5-9

Faith

This is the foundation, God’s gift to us. He has laid hold of us, we believe in Him. He has done all the work.

Goodness

This is becoming more like Jesus. Acting like Him. Being Christlike.

Knowledge

Knowledge through the word of God. God’s word will make us knowledgeable on how to know Jesus better.

Self-Control

The only way to have self-control is to allow the Holy Spirit to guide us…to be led by Him.

Perseverance

This is the ability to endure hardships and distress. It helps keep us following Jesus even in trials.

Godliness

Being aware of Jesus in EVERY aspect of your life brings Godliness.

Mutual affection

Christ accepts everyone, so can we.

Love

Self-sacrificing love, just like Jesus.

3 Things that can Hinder your Maturity.

These 3 are what I’ve found in my life to be a hindrance.

Trials, Pain, Suffering

John Piper says: God’s glory shines more brightly when he satisfies us in times of loss than when he provides for us in times of plenty”

The way you respond to pain, trials and suffering can literally stop you in your tracks and keep you from growing. Trials, whatever they are, reveal the real you. It shows you what you truly believe. it strips you of all the idealistic ways and leaves you in a vulnerable place. Yet, we are to rejoice in our trials.

For 5 years of my life, I was consumed by the pain of infertility, to the point where I couldn’t worship God. It stood in the way of my relationship with God and with people and I refused to give it up. I believed a lie that if I held on to it, that somehow I could “make” God do what I wanted Him to do. How immature. One morning during worship, I felt God say, “If you never have a child, will I be enough for you? Am I really your great reward?”

It took me about 3 months to surrender and I remember the day where I said – “You are enough for me! You are the only one I need.” WOW! The freedom that came on that day! Did I still cry about not having a baby? Was it still a painful time? YES! But it was no longer keeping me from worshipping God and I was now using it to draw closer to God.

Comparison

When you spend your life comparing yourself to others, you won’t have time to grow.

We are all different. We have different gifts and talents. Don’t compare. Comparing yourself will stunt your growth, waste your time and make you unhappy. Be bold and be who God has made you to be. Whatever gifts God has given you, use them to lay hold of people for His Kingdom.

Live a God-glorifying life.

Fear

Our comfort and security in life can quickly become the most important thing to us, so much so that we refuse to trust God.

I always think of the Israelites and the Promised Land. Their safety and security were more important. What a waste. In my own life, I’ve allowed fear to keep me from possessing all that God has for me. It’s on e of my daily struggles and God is always reminding me of His promises.

The fear of not having enough, the fear of rejection, the fear of bad news, fear of death, fear of the future…. You overcome fear by declaring the word of God. Fear is the enemy and the word of God the sword. Use it. It’s the only way. Don’t allow fear to paralyse you from being obedient to God.

God expects maturity from us, we Glorify Him when we become more and more like His Son Jesus.

In this race, in this journey to Christ-likeness, you are not left alone. God says I will never leave you nor forsake you. He also gives us the gift of the Holy Spirit to empower us to do all these things. At the same time, he puts us in community, in His body so that we can mutually encourage each other in this journey. Jesus paved the way for us. He has done it all, now walk in it.

*First published on http://www.cupoffaith.co.za on 15 January 2020

Delicious Back to School Lunchboxes

GLAD Hamper Giveaway!

GLAD is constantly looking for ways to make our lives easier, while keeping our food fresh, for longer.

When it comes to children, we know that any and all tips and tricks are vital to help make a parent’s life easier – especially when it comes to school lunches. Below are some great tips from GLAD to give you an extra hand.

For Back to School lunchbox inspiration, look to your leftover ingredients and food to create delicious lunches. A wholesome lunch helps each family member maintain focus and energy levels for the day. When preparing dinner, look at which of the ingredients could be used for lunch the next day – it’s all about a mindset change. Using your leftovers for lunch will save you money and reduce waste.

Below are some suggestions for delicious lunches using your leftovers:

  • Slice leftover meat and make delicious sandwiches.
  • Use last night’s stir-fry with some hummus, tzatziki or guacamole (made from leftover avocado) in pita.
  • Leftovers from a braai are great to fill up a lunchbox. Simply seal each piece separately in GLAD Wrap or even a GLAD Sandwich bag.
  • A tasty lunch can be made with leftover meatballs, chicken breasts or burger patties on a roll. Combine with lettuce, tomato and cheese and seal well.
  • Leftover fruit is a healthy addition to any lunchbox and is ideally stored in GLAD snack Bags.
  • The extra cheese from last night’s dinner has many uses such as on sandwiches, salads, wraps or pitas.
  • Leftover food can also be used for lunch the next day such as chicken nuggets, parcel into GLAD Sandwich Bags once cooled, to eat the next day.
  • Mix leftover tuna or chicken with mayonnaise and some chopped up celery, carrots, gherkins or spring-onion to create a tasty filling for sandwiches.
  • Use leftover salad ingredients, such as cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes and carrots as accompaniments for the next day – either as a healthy snack or in a sandwich, roll or wrap.
  • GLAD Products have thousands of uses and you will be glad to have them around.
  • Make sure to put them on your shopping list to make back to school a little easier.
  • All GLAD products are made for your convenience with the purpose of keeping your food fresh for longer. GLAD – Saving good food. From going bad.
  • Please visit www.glad.co.za for more information. *content supplied

I am giving away a GLAD Hamper worth R250! Simply comment below with your favourite lunchbox ideas.

*This Competition is open to Johannesburg Residents only. Products are not redeemable for cash. Ends 31 January 2020. See contents of hamper here: https://www.instagram.com/lanes_of_grace/

*Sponsored *Trade exchange

If you are looking for a great lunch box filler, especially for treat days, try my Crunchie recipe here: https://lanesofgrace.co.za/2019/11/05/crispy-golden-oat-crunchies/

Planning for 2020 Giveaway & Planner Review

I hate to admit it, but this year (can you believe it, there are ONLY 18 days left of the year!!) I was THAT mom. The one that forgot to send something for a project, we missed library day more than once and my child showed up at school wearing jeans and a t-shirt while everyone else was dressed in their traditional wear celebrating Heritage day…. Does it make me a bad mom, NO… but It does make me a disorganised mom. With my third child starting school next year I realise that there will be more library days, dress up days and projects to remember. Add work commitments, special projects, interests and social events: it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by it all.

It’s the end of the year and time to make those new year resolutions…so guess what’s mine? Being more intentional with my time, energy and resources and the only way I’m going to be able to do that is to be more organised.

This last year I tried to go paperless and only made use of an electronic calendar on my phone – that was my first mistake. I am a list maker. I was making lists on scraps of paper with every intention to update my electronic calendar and that just never happened. I NEED paper. I need a planner with plenty of space for notes, a place where I can list my priorities for the day, appointments and maybe a motivational quote or two to keep me on track. I’ve partnered with Christian Art Publishers to review some of their 2020 Planners, here are my top 5.

Daily Planner

  • Practical 12 month planner for weekly appointments and meetings.
  • 2020 Year planner
  • An encouraging scripture/quote per week
  • Space for notes and important telephone numbers at the back
  • List of Public Holidays
  • Wire bound

This is a small and compact planner, perfect for your handbag. Enough space for appointments, meetings and important dates.

My School Diary

  • Practical and fun daily planner for young learners
  • Encouraging scriptures/quotes
  • 2020 Calendar
  • List of tricky words and how to use them correctly
  • Goals page
  • A list of multiplication tables

This funky planner will encourage children to walk with God as they navigate school and after school activities. This will be great to teach your children how to plan their day and how to set their own goals for the year.

Hardcover Daily Planner for Woman

  • Year at a glance for 2020 and 2021
  • Month planners for 2020
  • Page a day
  • Space for daily appointments, priorities, notes and prayers
  • Encouraging Scriptures and quotes

Modern times demand more and more from the modern woman. This exquisitely designed planner will keep you organised.

Softcover Daily Planner

  • Year at a glance for 2020 and 2021
  • Month planners for 2020
  • Page a day
  • Space for daily appointments, priorities, notes and prayers
  • Encouraging Scriptures and quotes

A Beautifully designed planner that will make it easy for you to stay organised.

Executive Planner

  • Comprehensive 12 month planner for people with a busy lifestyle
  • Year Planner for 2020 and 2021
  • A scripture guide for encouragement
  • Space to record important dates and contact details
  • Monthly planner and budget page
  • Page a day
  • Encouraging scripture per day

This is a sophisticated and professional planner for a busy and demanding lifestyle. Great to keep you organised while on the go.

There are so many different styles and colours available, so do yourself a favour and head to your nearest CUM BOOKS store or check out http://www.cumbooks.co.za

Which one is your favourite? I’m giving away TWO planners, so comment on my last instagram post for a chance to win!

Cultivating a love for Gardening: My Eco Sprout Growing Kits Review

The love of gardening is a seed

once sown that never dies.

Gertrude Jekyll

To cultivate a love in our children for gardening (or anything really) starts with us. As parents we need to be setting an example to our children. The great thing about cultivating a love for gardening and growing your own food is that children are natural gardeners; They love to play in the dirt, explore their surroundings, being outdoors and creating things. We only need to assist them by giving them the opportunity to do so.

When My Eco Sprout asked me to commit to a sustainable, ethical and organic approach to teaching my children about nature and the benefits of gardening, I jumped at the chance. They kindly gifted us with 3 Growing Kits to get us started. I gave one kit to each of my three older kiddies (7, 6 and 3) and I used it as a quality time activity with each one. The delight on their faces when the first few sprouts shot up was priceless! They did it! It worked! (I am so grateful that it happens within 3 days of planting because they were asking me every 5 minutes if it was ready….ha ha) I was surprised at how responsible and nurturing they were, watering every day and making sure it wasn’t getting too much sun. They were also the first to test taste the tender leaves. Two out of my 4 kiddies are VERY picky eaters and I must be honest, I almost fell over backwards when my 3 year old was willing to taste a leaf from our Beetroot micro green kit. These kits are easy to grow, they include fine motor activities, they are healthy and good for the environment! A win in my book! The Lane family gives it a big GREEN thumbs up!

Whether your garden is in a pot, a windowsill or in a garden bed, children who engage with it will be reaping more benefits that just a harvest of veggies.

Why is gardening so important?

  • Teaches children responsibility
  • Develops communication skills
  • Develops cooperation and sharing skills
  • Provides opportunities for hands-on learning, observation, inquiry and experimentation without unnecessary pressure of succeeding 
  • Builds confidence in a safe environment
  • Offers an opportunity for positive social interactions and quality family time. 
  • Promotes quality outdoor experiences and physical activity.
  • Teaches children to nurture and care for other living things
  • Teaches and develops patience
  • Improves focus, memory and sensory development

What are the benefits of growing your own food?

  • Growing your own food will encourage your child to eat healthier: to love fruits and vegetables. When you can establish a love and appetite for healthy and fresh food, children are more likely to live a healthier adolescent lifestyle. 
  • Do you have a picky eater? Children will be more open to new tastes and different kinds of food when they have a better understanding of where it comes from.
  • Build an understanding of and respect for nature, food and the environment.
  • Teaching them a life skill to pass on to future generations.

So, what are micro-greens?

They are leafy vegetable and herb greens, harvested as tiny shoots. They are densely packed with nutrients, amino acids, minerals, antioxidants and enzymes. Enjoy them raw and in salads, sandwiches and smoothies! They are ready to harvest in 12-21 days. You can grow them indoors and all year round.

Here are the kits we received:

Microgreen Garden

In the box:

  • Growing tray
  • Mist spray bottle
  • Seed
  • Bamboo spade
  • Coco Peat soil disc
  • Cut-out characters
  • Box serves as a backdrop
  • Growing instructions

Super easy to grow and edible! The Wheat Grass will keep on growing for +/- 2 weeks.

Beetroot Microgreen

In the kit:

  • Soil disc
  • Bamboo spade
  • Seed packet
  • Growing instructions

Ready to harvest within 10-21 days.

Green Peas Kit

In the kit:

  •  Soil disc
  • Bamboo spade
  • Seed packet
  • Growing instructions
  • Vermiculite

Ready to harvest within 10-21 days.

GET KIDS GROWING!

For more info on these and other growing kits, please visit www.myecosprout.com and sign up for their monthly newsletter to receive gardening tips and free monthly downloads.

Love & Marriage: Celebrating 16 years

Some lesson’s I’ve learnt along the way

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Today, 16 years ago I said “I Do” to the man of my dreams. Brad and I were so young; I was a 21 year old girl, madly in love with her prince. It was us against the world and nothing could get in our way. I was oblivious to the challenges we would face but I also could not have foreseen what a wonderful adventure and life lay before me. There have been highs and lows but marriage has been a gift to me. Through the good and the bad times we’ve learnt some lessons.

Here are some of those:

1. All You need is love (da da da da daaaaa)

Sounds simple right? We start off with all the right feelings, similar interests, 8 hours of sleep every night, youthfulness and the excitement of new love. Over time that changes and suddenly you have to develop practical ways to communicate your love to each other. And an unconditional love at that! Not I love you IF, or BECAUSE. But, I LOVE YOU! period! When you know you are loved you are secure in your relationship.

We all have a need for love, acceptance and pleasure and it’s good to know and communicate those needs. There are several practical ways to demonstrate love. Here are some of my favourites.

  • Compliment your spouse; sprinkle sincere and genuine compliments into your daily conversations.
  • Be Considerate; open the door, phone when you will be late, don’t leave crumbs on the bed (I’m still working on that one)
  • Show concern; especially on tough days and in stressful situations.
  • Give; Gifts are always a treat to receive but this goes beyond that. Run your partner a bath. Make them a cup of tea. Give plenty of hugs and kisses.

“A successful relationship requires falling in love multiple times

but always with the same person”

2. Laugh often

Make each other laugh – and often. Laughter reduces pain, increases performance, connects people emotionally and improves the flow of oxygen to the heart and brain. Laughter, it’s said, is the best medicine.

Now, it might not be the best medicine for everything but it sure makes you feel better. Share moments of joy and find reasons to laugh.

Over the last 16 years and especially when we were dealing with infertility I am so grateful that Brad kept us laughing with all his silly jokes. If you can’t tell a joke, buy a book of jokes or just make them up…. Knock knock..?

3. Be a Team

“Love is a partnership of two unique people who bring out the very best in each other, and who know that even though they are wonderful as individuals, they are even better together” – Barbara Cage

  • Work together! Allow your team mate to challenge you to be better. Bring perspective.
  • Give each other space to grow and change and celebrate each other often. Allow your partner to bring their gifting and creativity to the table.
  • Make important decisions tougher. Consult each other before making mayor decisions. It brings so much peace and security to a relationship. Both partners need to feel that they are an equal member of the process and that their input matters. Together you can be a powerful force.
  • Give your best to this team, not the leftovers after you have given your best to the rest of the world.
  • Always be honest, don’t lie to each other and don’t keep secrets.
  • Good team players encourage each other. Don’t be his/her biggest critic.
  • Never talk badly about your spouse to others.
  • Forgive quickly.

4. Communicate expectations

You enter marriage with all kinds of expectations. Some verbalised, but most of them not. Your own experiences, culture and upbringing helped create those expectations. But then a day comes where your expectations are not met. Suddenly something as small as who should be cooking become a big issue in your marriage. We need to communicate so that we can better understand and feel comfortable in certain roles in our marriage. Unrealistic expectations lead to disappointment.

5. It’s okay to ask for help

If you are struggling with something in your marriage, asking an outsider, friend or counselor for advice is the best thing you can do. In every day life we all benefit from good advice and often an outsiders perspective is all you need to work through an issue. It can be friends, a professional or your leaders. Getting perspective can also make your good times even better. So seek wisdom from people around you.

6. Make love, not war

Building a satisfying sexual relationship in a marriage is more than technique and positions. It is about learning the right attitudes to keep love alive in the relationship.

Anger, resentment, disappointments, pregnancy, giving birth, breastfeeding, weight gain and other emotions can affect your sheet-time in a big way, so keep communicating your needs to each other. Love, commitment and communication will lead to a fulfilling sex life. It takes more than good sex to build a strong marriage, but it plays a vital role in building a strong marriage.

7. Have a goal/project

Have a goal or a project for you as a couple. Brad and I call these our faith projects. It’s usually something big that require a lot of faith and commitment. It gets you excited about something. You know those date nights where you promise not to talk about work or kids??? Well, talk about your project. Plan a new experience together. Learn a language together. Plan an oversees trip.

8. There is no escape clause

When we got married we vowed to be committed to each other. You have to make a choice to live up to the promise you made to each other. When things get tough and when you don’t “feel” like loving the person, don’t give up! Go back to your vows. Consider what you promised each other and make a daily vow to keep the promises you made on your wedding day. Marriage is about both partners giving everything they’ve got.

Choose to believe that God has an extraordinary plan for your marriage. The most effective way to ensure your marriage is for keeps is to make God the centre.

29/11/03

Jeremiah 29:11 “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 a hope and a future”