Banana Berry Blast


Isn’t it refreshing to have fruit for dessert?  Just cut up fruit tossed in freshly whipped cream is fun.  Or, make a gelatin salad in a plain dish or in a festive mold! This is how we make “jell-o” at our house.

Sprinkle 4 packets of unflavored gelatin, or your choice of plain gelatin, over 1 cup water and set aside for 5 minutes.  (Each packet is 2 1/2 tsp’s)

Make a pitcher of 100% whole juice (or use homemade juice). We used grape juice in this recipe. Pour 6 cups juice into 9″ X 13″ pan.

Heat gelatin and water on low for about 5 minutes until gelatin is dissolved.

Add gelatin mixture to juice and stir.

Add fruit; 1/2 cup of each, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and one sliced banana.

Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours.

Whip cream and add 2 Tbs honey and 1 tsp vanilla.

Spread over firm gelatin.

It’s a sweet treat that just tastes like fruit, without all the added sugar, artificial colors and artificial flavors!

Experiment with juice flavors and fruits!  Our two favorites are freshly pressed apple juice with bananas and grape juice with berries.

Hint: If you plan to use a mold, decrease the juice to 5 cups so that your salad will hold it’s shape.




Family Governance


For many years we learned from a gifted teacher about correct principles in family governance.  In fact, he is currently working to get his life’s work digitized in order to make it available to anyone interested in having it.  When that happens, I will be the first to send out a link!  His name is James Jones and I feel very blessed to have been influenced by the things he has taught thousands of families.  He helped us a lot through the years and continues to help us, as we have moved into the season of grand-parenthood!

One thing I’d like to pass on to you today, is the idea of three foundational principles of family governance that I believe are absolutely right on the money.  They also go hand in hand with the work of Gary and Joy Lundberg who wrote I Don’t Have To Make Everything All Better, another gem!  They set forth the principles of validation beautifully! So, see what you think, from what you already know, about how these principles harmonize with those principles of validation.

1  Freedom of Choice; We all have the God-given right to make our own choices.  And so we are also responsible for our choices.  As parents, we understand our children’s rights and responsibilities, and we hold ourselves and them to that standard.

2  Personal Integrity; As my dad always said, there are only three teachers and they are 1 example, 2 example and 3 example.  Our children learn from watching what we do, not so much from what we say.  So, if we are lacking in harmony between what we say and what we do, we will find that our children may follow our actions, and not our proclaimed beliefs.

3  Unconditional Love; We love our children in a way that they feel free to live fully, to take risks for growth and to learn from their mistakes without the worry of losing their place in our hearts. It begins with allowing ourselves to learn, to be striving for excellence, but not discouraged that we aren’t perfect!  Accepting our own humanness, we will be able to show them that we accept theirs as well.  This doesn’t mean that we have no expectations for their behavior, but we accept and love them on their journey.

I pray that we will all be patient with ourselves as we continue to learn. and as we grow into the stature of mature and confident parents. There’s a learning curve here for everyone!

How blessed we are to have the privilege!



A Case for Grain


To follow-up on my recent post encouraging you to increase your ability to prepare a wider variety of whole grains, I offer this information.  I hope it will be helpful to you!

First, we are so consumed with wheat in our country, people often wonder what other grains exist.  To answer that question, here is list:

Amaranth, barley, buckwheat, brown rice, corn meal, millet, oats, rye, sorghum, teff, wheats; bulgur (dried cracked wheat), spelt, kamut, hard red, soft white and wild rice.

So, why eat a variety?

I’d suggest two main reasons.  One, that variety keeps things interesting and two, that each grain has a different nutritional make-up.   So by incorporating variety, your family will be getting a wider span of nutrients.

As an example, a cup of teff has 100% of the DV of manganese.

Quinoa has 20% DV of folic acid, magnesium and phosphorus.

Buckwheat is high in copper, barley is high in B1, etc.

You can see that eating a variety of these would give your body a variety of vitamins and minerals. Add to this list beans, legumes and seeds (sesame, flax and chia) and you can easily intensify the nutrient density of your diet. Whereas, depending on one food too heavily encourages dietary imbalance.

A word about gluten.  I don’t believe that everyone would be better off taking wheat out of their diet.  On the other hand, I believe that if gluten is a problem for you, you’ll be much healthier without it.  (I have a lot of experience with this and would be happy to address it further if you’re be interested!)

For the record, which
of these grains don’t contain gluten?

Amaranth, buckwheat, cornmeal, millet, oats, quinoa, rice, sorghum and teff.  That’s a pretty good list!

I’m working on a few recipes combining some of these grains which I will be sharing here soon.

There is a plethora of variety at our fingertips!  And the path of discovery is so much fun!

Be well and have a great weekend!


Glorious Greens!


Thank heaven, there are far more options, when it comes to green, leafy vegetables than iceberg lettuce! Here is an idea that I hope will inspire you to branch out and try something new.

It is amazing how much our bodies need these dark, nutrient rich plants. The last time I made chard with this homemade dressing, I was surprised at how hungry my body was for greens! They were gone in about two minutes.

Steaming big leafy vegetables is very simple and takes almost no time at all. And of course, I hope you’ll find them to be tasty too! Try this dressing on mustard greens or kale or beet greens, or whatever you can find.

Wash and then tear 5-6 chard (or other greens) into 2″ pieces, removing center stems if you want to. (They can be tough to chew, but have that great color, so you can remove them before steaming or keep them and cut them off with your fork if they’re too tough to eat!)

Steam 2-3 minutes, drain and toss with enough vinaigrette to coat leaves (maybe 1/4 of this dressing recipe).

Serve hot!

Use the rest of the dressing on salad or use for a dipping sauce on fresh bread or make more chard tomorrow!


1/2 cup olive oil

1/8 cup balsamic vinegar

1 tsp coconut sugar

1/2 tsp granulated garlic

salt and pepper to taste

Happy eating!

You Were Here


I can imagine his head cocking to one side,

Listening, waiting, then tilting to the other.

Then hop. . . wings spread, flap, extend, force under the current

of winter air, and gone!

Was a little bird on the back step in a fleeting moment?

Did he stop and listen to our space? Was he bright and beautiful?

What kind of bird that small lives here in


I didn’t see him. He was alone, only the

snow recorded his presence.

When I am gone, what footprints will I leave

here?  In the wake of my living,

who will know where I journeyed, what I learned, who I loved, what I discovered?

I see prints everywhere, but the intentional writing,

the on-purpose, ripple-in-the-pond, the prints that

won’t melt with the seasons;

that record I choose to keep. The testament of each

soul is a


Write yours.

Step into the ink

and run!