Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Blackberries, Summer, and Friendship

I've been a Missouri girl for a little over two years. I'll be honest, when my husband first brought up the discussion of moving our family to Missouri and him pastoring at Fellowship Greenwood, my first thought was, "Why fix what isn't broken?" We had a great life in Kansas, a great church, a thriving ministry, and great friends. I was completely happy doing what we were doing, and the thought of leaving everything I knew and loved behind seemed daunting. After seeking the Lord, and praying about the new opportunity that was in front of us, I felt at peace that this was what the Lord wanted for our family. I look back now, humbled at the blessings the Lord has bestowed on Chris and I, our family, and our ministry at Fellowship Greenwood. He has brought some of the sweetest friendships into my life in the past two years, friends that feel like family.

One of these sweet friendships is with Bonnie and Gary (and their sweet dog, Sparky, who the boys adore). They have made me feel like family from the very beginning. Organizing and bringing my family a meal the very first night we moved to Greenwood. Always opening their home to us, over amazing food and great fellowship. When we moved into our home, Gary helped us set up our garden. A couple weeks ago, they had the staff over for a fish fry, and they invited the boys and I to join in on the fun. After our delicious lunch, the staff went back to church, the boys and I stayed and picked fresh blackberries from their garden. Much fun was had by all. As I was gathering our things to take the boys home, Bonnie loaded me up with some frozen fruit slush that she had made. A recipe that was passed down to her from a friend. Max was so excited to give it a try that he asked if he could have some the moment we got home. It was amazingly delicious and so refreshing for summer. I told her that night at church, that I needed the recipe, and she gladly passed it on.

Bonnie texted me last week to let me know that another round of blackberries were ready to pick if I wanted another batch. She even said she had the riding lawnmower ready with a cart attached to give the boys a ride while I picked berries. When we arrived the next morning to pick berries, Gary and Bonnie had donut holes and juice waiting for the boys as well. Simply amazing. The boys had such a fun time. Our morning adventure was all I heard about for the rest of the day. Jack keeps asking, "When can we go to Bonnie's house?"

On the way home from Gary and Bonnie's that day, the boys and I stopped at the grocery store and picked up the ingredients to make a batch of the awesome fruit slush. We had a fun time in the kitchen. This recipe is perfect for little hands that want to help in the kitchen. That night we tried our first batch, and it was a hit. Chris said that this recipe is so good, that everyone needs to know about fruit slush. So, with Bonnie's permission here is the amazing recipe.

Fruit Slush

1- 12 oz. can frozen pink lemonade
1-12 oz. can frozen orange juice
2-12 oz. cans water
1/2 c. sugar

Mix above until sugar dissolves. Add:
1-20 oz. can crushed pineapple (do not drain)
1-16 oz. package frozen strawberries
1 can mandarin oranges (drain)
4-5 (just ripe) bananas, sliced
blackberries (add desired amount)
(and any other fruit you would like to add)

Stir and freeze in quart sized containers. Thaw just until slushy. Enjoy!

I'm so thankful to the Lord for bringing amazing friends into my life so quickly after our move, and so grateful that He has called us to Fellowship Greenwood, they have truly loved us well. I can't imagine life without them. Bonnie is such a good friend to me. She is always encouraging me in my role as mom to my boys. We need to be surrounded by friends that encourage and uplift us. I treasure my time with her. Friendship makes life grand! 

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