Little Moments

Little Moments #367-397…

My favorite is #382.

It’s the Little Things #367
Enjoying lunch out with my honey at a restaurant open on New Year’s Day.

#368
Due to alarm malfunctions at school, I changed my plans and stayed home today which turned out to be a good thing because A got sick and vomited all over.   Messes cleaned up, getting a little food in her. Hopefully she will be better tomorrow.

#369
Eating lunch with all my students on the first day back to school after the break.

One student had a pass to “eat with the teacher”. He asked if he could use it and I reluctantly said yes. (Honestly, I wanted time to myself to get back into the swing of things, but I thought 2 students – alright.) Then a girl asked if she could use her coupon to eat with me. Before you know it 5 students turned in their coupons to eat with me, and of course the coupon included 5 friends. As we started back to the room, there were 2 students left in the cafeteria. I looked at the rest of the class, looked at the students…they hollered from the hallway, “Come on Howie and Sally. We are ALL going to eat lunch with Mrs. Walt today!” And we did.

P.S. Their names are not really Howie and Sally. Those are the names we use in my classroom instead of real names when we need to talk about classroom issues.

Wishing you a Wonderful Wednesday!

#370
My husband: who will eat any leftovers – glad we had them tonight so we could get out the door for church.

#371
The moment you realize your computer mouse has not been taken over by aliens, but rather it is rotated 180 degrees and what should be right is left, what should be down is up. Easy Fix. I got this one.

#372
The teacher across the hall sharing Root Beer floats with my students because they had extra ingredients. Thank you T; the kids loved them.

#373
A wonderful impromptu visit from D and KM.

#374
Rearranging the living room again so the focus is the exercise equipment, not comfy cushy chairs that call my name.

#375
An early dinner in our favorite quaint spot.

#376
When what you cooked doesn’t look real pretty, but it smells and tastes delicious!

#377
Kids so excited about school they begged to come Monday on their day off.

#378
As we were leaving the restaurant, a couple approached us and said, “This place is so busy. We prayed for a seat to open, and you guys got up and cleaned off your table You are an answer to prayer. Thank you!”

#379
The peaceful colors of a winter sunset, especially after a tremendously busy day.

#380
The person who senses that you are feeling overwhelmed and he/she does or says something to make you smile.

#381
Today is Parent-Teacher Conference day which means I got to enjoy driving to work with the sun already up; beautiful rays streaming down through the clouds. I almost stopped to take a picture of the weathered barn nestled in the woods with just a dusting of snow on its roof.

#382
As the students were discussing what they were bringing me for Valentine’s Day, one student loudly proclaims, “I am bringing you a carrot!”

(#383 and #384)  Our Valentine’s Day “Date” is set: taking Abbie to the vet after school today, for an abscessed tooth. I literally pray she does not bite the vet.

On a positive note:
It’s the Little Things #383
Our dog sitter works for our vet. We texted her a picture of Abbie’s tooth last night, and she let us know what appointments were available for this evening.

It’s the Little Things #384
A vet that works evening hours.

#385
Students taking the time to check and bring in valentine treats without red dye for the one child who is allergic.

#386
Opening up Facebook this morning and seeing the sweet faces of friends and their families in photographs. I love watching how your families are growing up, and as grandchildren come along, are getting larger. Keep posting the joy!

#387
Looking over the calendar for the next 5 months and seeing it dotted with activities and appointments you are passionate about.

#388
A refreshing glass of cold water after a long hike on our favorite wooded trail.

#389
A co-worker defending or standing up for you.

#390
Exercising even when your knees don’t feel like it.

#391
Crispy turkey bacon!

#392
At recess, the moment something cold and wet hits your ear, and you are overjoyed it is a raindrop instead of bird poop.

#393
An unexpected apology

#394
When a project turns out exactly like you pictured it in your mind.

#395
Discovering Booker T and the MG’s. If you have a chance today, listen to “My Sweet Potato”.

#396
Waking up to the symphony of rain drops playing their song, announcing that spring is not far behind.

#397
My husband calling me on his way to work to tell me a little thing to post for today.

 

Until Next Time

Rita

 

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Encouragement

10 Ways to Encourage Others…

Just a few days ago it appeared there wasn’t much hope of rescuing the Wild Boar Soccer team and coach trapped in a cave with rising waters.  But July 2 was a day of hope:  the boys and coach had been found alive.  Now the task was to get them out of the cave.  Again, it didn’t seem there was much hope.  This hasn’t been reported, but in my heart I think there must have been a lot of encouragement going on both inside and outside the cave.  Someone was keeping the spirits up of these boys inside the cave, someone was keeping the hope of rescue alive outside the cave.  The world came together and miraculously saved these 12 boys and their coach, and as of the last report everyone, including the rescue team is out of the cave.  Encouragement:  needed in times of despair, needed after the loss of a rescue worker, needed as these boys and coach recover from their horrific experience.

Most of us will never need encouragement in moments like we have seen unfold since June 23rd, but all of us need encouragement at some point in our lives.   How can we be an encourager every day?

  1.  Be a Deborah:  Often times, people need confirmation that the path they are on is indeed God’s path.

    Judges 4:6
    She sent and summoned Barak the son of Abinoam from Kedesh-naphtali and said to him, “Has not the Lord, the God of Israel, commanded you, ‘Go, gather your men at Mount Tabor, taking 10,000 from the people of Naphtali and the people of Zebulun.

  2. Be a Barnabas:  Speak on behalf of someone who needs it.

    Acts 9:26-27
    26 And when he had come to Jerusalem, he attempted to join the disciples. And they were all afraid of him, for they did not believe that he was a disciple. 27 But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles and declared to them how on the road he had seen the Lord, who spoke to him, and how at Damascus he had preached boldly in the name of Jesus.

  3.  Be a Moses:  Come along side and help or teach where you can.

Deuteronomy 3:28
28 But charge Joshua, and encourage and strengthen him, for he shall go over at the head of this people, and he shall put them in possession of the land that you shall see.

Here are 10 more ways we can encourage each other.

  1.  Send a text letting a friend know you think they are doing a great job on a project, at being a mom, etc.
  2. Put an encouraging note in a brief case, lunch bag, on the steering wheel, on a co-worker’s desk.
  3. Call and invite someone to lunch that you haven’t connected with in a while.
  4. Pay a neighbor’s or friend’s looming bill such as a medical bill, or electric bill.
  5. Bake some cookies and write a short note of encouragement.  Put the cookies on a tray or in a container that doesn’t need to be returned.  Don’t forget the recipe.
  6. Tell someone specifically how they inspire you.  I have to give a plug to my son’s girlfriend K.  She is working a project (100 Days of Sole) for her Master’s Degree that I have always wanted to do.  She inspired me to tackle a couple of projects I have been fearful in starting.
  7. Sit with a friend who just needs someone to listen or a hand to hold.
  8. Pass on a book that has inspired you in some way.
  9. Share with someone what you have been specifically praying for them.
  10. Smile and say hello to everyone you see.
  11. (Bonus)  Let the mom with the sobbing child in front of you at the grocery know she is doing a great job, and we all have moments like these.

Until Next Time

Rita

 

Recipes

Pan Seared Tuna Steak Tacos with Mango Salsa…

Looking for a refreshing summer dinner for two:  here it is. You can sear the tuna steaks on the grill outside or in a pan on the stove.  Enjoy

Serves 2 (3 tortillas per serving)

Ingredients:

12 oz. tuna steaks cut into 3/4 inch strips

McCormick Grill Mate Chipotle Garlic Seasoning – to taste

1 T Avocado Oil

6 yellow corn tortilla shells (I use Mission Yellow Extra Thin Corn Tortillas – 24 count)

2 medium ripe mangoes (about 2 cups) – diced

1 seedless or English cucumber (about 1 cup) – diced

1/4 cup red pepper – diced

1/3 cup red onion – diced

1 medium jalapeno – fine chopped (no seeds unless you want some heat)

1/3 cup cilantro – chopped

pepperazzi peppers – chopped

2 limes

Cotija Cheese – crumbled

green cabbage – finely chopped (or used a bagged chopped cabbage mix from the grocery)

Salt and Pepper to taste

 

Prepare the salsa first so the juices and flavors can meld together.

Chop or dice the mangoes, cucumber, red pepper, red onion, jalapeno, cilantro, and pepperazzi peppers.  Combine all the ingredients in a bowl.  Add the juice of 2 limes and salt and pepper to taste.  Set this mixture aside.

Heat 1 T avocado oil over medium heat in a pan.  Pat the tuna steaks dry.  Cut into 3/4 inch strips, each about 4 inches long.  Using the chipotle seasoning, liberally season the tuna.  Place the tuna in a hot pan and sear one side.  This only takes a couple of minutes, so don’t walk away from the stove or grill.  If you are grilling, brush the avocado oil over the tuna strips before placing them on the grill.  I tend to like my tuna well done, but it is your preference as to how rare you would like it.  Turn the tuna strips and sear the other side.

While the tuna is cooking, warm the tortillas in the microwave or place them on the grill.

Once the tuna is seared to your liking, build your taco with tuna, cabbage, mango salsa, and top with crumbled cotija cheese.

I love the heat of the tuna paired with the freshness of the mango salsa.  Because there isn’t any oil, sour cream, or crema on these tacos, each ingredient is distinct and flavorful.

 

Until Next Time,

Rita

 

 

Little Moments

Little Moments #337-366…

It’s the Little Things #337
Owls leaving the ‘nest’:
We have been watching these owlets since they hatched starting the end of September. Every morning I have the camera on and displayed on the whiteboard. The kids have grown attached to the 5 little owlets and are fascinated in how much they have grown the past couple of months. Earlier this week, we watched as they have spread their wings (both literally and figuratively) to learn to fly, knowing that once they master this skill, they will not be coming back to what they have known as their home. We have cheered them on as they hop/fly from the front porch to a branch nearby, and experienced disappointment when we thought they would take off and did not. I think we are winding down on this experience as one of the owls has now left the ‘nest’, and we are down to four. This may be our last weekend for owl viewing until the next clutch. It has been so much fun, and the kids have experienced something they would not normally see (like eating mice and rodents and snakes). 

#338:  Encouragement from the kids to keep going.
My students and I have been walking at least a mile at every recess. Today, my knees were quite painful and swollen. I did 4 laps and told the kids I was not going to do the last lap, but they could go on without me. Eight students all chimed in that they would go slow and “Mrs. Walt, you can’t stop now”. I finished the fifth lap with the students right alongside me. Ice and Advil when I get home.

#339
We just got a 7 foot white pine Christmas tree for free! It is beautiful. H is putting the outdoor lights on it as I type. The front porch will look so festive. One tree outside, 2 artificial trees inside.

#340
What does the fox say…..”Don’t hit me as I cross the road in the middle of the afternoon!” 
It was a beautiful fox. So thankful for God’s creation and opportunities to see it up close and personal.

#341
Listening to God’s prompting to get up at 2:30 a.m. which led to offering prayer and support to a friend.

#342
The bank branch manager who stayed past her scheduled time to explain so many banking things to me. I came home and tried to do what she explained, and it didn’t work. 
The customer service gentleman who stayed on the line to explain so many banking things to me. I tried what he explained to do and voila, SUCCESS!!!!!

#343
One FB post generating so much care, concern, agreement in prayer, and uniting of hearts. Our God is the great physician. Praying for Luke and his family this morning.

#344
Feeling comfortable wearing polka dots and stripes together.

#345
Loving how my students openly support each other when they are struggling.

#346
My precious husband shoveling snow and raking gutters. And the snow just keeps coming.

#347
A snow day…
make calls for mom
decorating the tree and living room
cooking meals for the week
finishing grades
finish the laundry
husband finishing shoveling while the snow is still movable
Abbie watching us both scurry around being busy
Thankful for the time to catch up.

#348
Seat warmers in my jeep.

#349
The compassion of a child…
Student: Mrs. Walt here is your gift. I am so sorry my mom didn’t know chocolate makes your muscles hurt, and she bought this for you. Don’t let the other kids know, or they will take it away from you.
Me: I love the gift and we don’t need to tell your mom I can’t have chocolate. If it is alright with you, may I take this chocolate home and share it with my husband while we sip our favorite evening tea, and I am all snuggled up in my favorite throw?
Student: That sounds like a great plan (two thumbs up), and you used such descriptive language in your sentence. Good job Mrs. Walt.

Second student…Mrs. Walt, I brought you the cookie that had the fewest chocolate chips. I checked each one.

I love my students!

#350
Every time we talk about selling the treadmill: then what would the dog run on?

#351
Unplugging the pencil sharpener and heading home for 2 weeks.

#352
Blue Buffalo on Sale! Websites that offer free shipping!

For the last couple of years we have struggled to get Abbie’s weight up to 60 pounds. She had her check-up on Wednesday, and guess what….she weighs 69 pounds (wait for it…..), and she needs to be put on a diet. What?????

This morning I was checking online pet supply sites to purchase her food, and I found one with the price 66% of what is it in the stores, set up auto delivery, got free shipping and an additional discount. Woo hoo!

#353
Even though the thermometer reads 20 degrees and snow is blowing, the warmth of the sun shining through the car window is divine.

#354
Walking into the kitchen this morning and finding all the serving dishes from yesterday’s cookie trays (church reception) were washed, dried, and neatly stacked. Thanks H.

#355
Figuring out how to get all the devices to ‘talk’ to the server without the help of the customer service person. This was a major accomplishment!
#356
A winter day warm enough to take your car through the car wash to get rid of all the salt and ick, and the doors don’t freeze shut.
#357
“Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you”, and sometimes the shadows are more interesting than the original object.
#358
Yes, I have a standing rib roast for Christmas.I fear I have turned into a foodie or a food snob. We had to use a different butcher since my regular one doesn’t sell bone-in standing rib roast anymore. We ordered our roast last week, 3 ribs, bone-in. When we went to pick it up today, it did not look like the other roasts I have purchased, but the butcher kept repeating it was indeed a standing rib roast. This is the silly part, but I almost started crying because of the roast they were selling me. The butcher kept asking what was wrong, I explained what I wanted, and he told me that I needed to ask for that when I ordered the roast. I said Merry Christmas and that it was my fault, and we got ready to leave. He pulled me aside, pulled out the cuts of meat book and showed me that I did indeed get a standing rib roast, but they had cut off the tips of the ribs to save me money. How do you argue with the guy who wants to save you money during the holiday season.He had no idea that I wanted a rib roast with ALL its bones still intact so it would be beautiful on the table. Lesson learned for next time. I am sure it will still taste delicious.

#359
Celebrating with family.
#360 (Today is a really big thing!)
The Birth of our Savior – Jesus Christ
Heading off to church.
Another day with our son.
Leftovers from Christmas dinner.
#361
Picking up a fresh bouquet of flowers from the grocery for yourself, just because they are pretty.
#362
Finding one more french fry in the bottom of the bag.
#363
The bank teller giving Abbie a bone when we go through the drive through.
#364
Enjoying a movie even though neither one of us knew what was happening.H: Do you know what is going on?
Me: No idea.
#365
After removing one suspect item a day for the past week, we finally found the rotten potato on the top shelf of the refrigerator that didn’t smell very nice.
or…
helping the neighbor across the street ‘rake’ the snow off his gutters.
#366 Happy New Year
The opportunity to start a new year and write a new chapter with my husband, family, and friends.It was my goal to find some little thing in each day of 2016 that was unexpected, warmed my heart, brought a smile to my face, or a positive thought on what would have otherwise been a negative. I hope my little things have encouraged you, made you laugh a little and brought some light into a rather tumultuous 2016.Many people have asked me to continue with the little things into 2017. I was encouraged by a grandparent of one of my students that even if I do not publish everyday, to continue recording the Little Things of Life. She started keeping a journal on her wedding day and has continued writing down one thing each day for the past 40 years.

“Life is made up, not of great sacrifices or duties, but of little things, in which smiles and kindness, and small obligations given habitually, are what preserve the heart and secure comfort.” ~ Humphry Davy

Until Next Time,
Rita