Loose Leaf Tea Time.

Monday, October 3, 2016

For the past few months a friend of mine has been hosting an IF table at her home for 5 women.  We eat a beautifully prepared dinner, share how the Lord is working in our lives, ask for prayers, pray and study God's word.  During the final hour of the evening we are all treated to deliciously aromatic and flavorful tea.  Loose leaf and steeped in this pot. Which, out of necessity, I now own. 

Today I ventured into our local tea shop and asked several questions.  I inhaled the fragrance of tea flavors that I never even knew existed!  The labels on the jars now make sense, I understand how they are sorted on the shelves and am confident that all flavors of Rooibos (roy-bos) tea are phenomenal.  

Here are my selections:  Madagascar Vanilla Rooibos, Hot Cinnamon Spice (caffeinated), NuTeaLa (it has actual mini chunks of chocolate in it!), Honeybush Hazelnut, Lavender, Tumeric Ginger, and Very Vanilla.  

The options are endless!  I'm not sure if its proper 'tea protocol' to mix the leaves together to create a new flavor.... but I did.  I mixed Very Vanilla and Lavender.  So delicious.  If I'm making only one cup I use this individual infuser.

Today I did not have any coffee.  I'm hoping to replace my frequent stops at a particular coffee chain with the joy of preparing a delicious pot of tea to share or a cup of tea for myself.  Do you tea?  

This would be a perfect pairing with some new teas.  
What are your favorite flavors?  I must know!

Bringing Blogging Back

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Dear friends,

It's been awhile.  Quite awhile.  I'm not exactly sure why I stopped blogging.  Looking back there are a mix of excuses reasons.  One way I can explain it is this... have you ever waited so long to write a thank you note that you just never write it and hope no one notices? No? Okay -- how about committing in your head (at night, because its always at night) that you are going to 'get healthy' again.... yet upon awakening you rush to get dressed and skip breakfast, or run through the coffee shop and completely vow to start the next day.

It was kind of like that.  But now its time.  Time to bring the blog back.  It may look different -- and sound different.  I'm older, been married longer, we have teenagers, have been blessed with more little ones,  have a small business and love loose leaf tea.  Some things are still the same though.... we homeschool, are in the same house, I absolutely love being a Christ follower, am married to my high school sweetheart and know how to rock my favorite season of clothing -- layers.  August Fields has pushed play, to a new season.

We'll jump right in to where I'm at now.

Our oldest daughter, Gabby, is 15.  This age has been the age I've been waiting for my daughters to hit.  More accurately would be 12ish to 17.  It was a time in my own life where I was completely impressionable.  Like, I could be easily and seriously swayed to completely think that my hair style was ridiculous, or my face was too round.  My identity was in what I looked like and what others thought of me.  And as fickle as ALL people are, imagine your identity being determined by that!  I felt like a different person every day.  It brought a lot of sadness and confusion to my life as well as many really happy moments.  If someone else was pleased with me = happiness.

As a young, Christian mom of two little girls, I prayed fervently that my found identity in Christ would not be shaken.  That God would allow me to be able to explain, teach and model the confidence that I could only long I had as a young girl.

It. Is. So. Freeing.   To know that I am the way I am because the same God that created the intricacies of this world, created me.  To say that I am not 'right' would be to say He is a failure. God does not fail.

Raising our 2 girls and 5 boys under that umbrella of hope lifts a burden no one should ever shoulder.  You are LOVED.

I have found that having older children along with little ones in the house at the same time requires a whole new set of parenting skills that are tweaked and discovered daily!  For several years with only littles, my days were spent tying shoes, cutting up food, buckling in and out of high chairs and carseats, reading to them, wiping faces, changing diapers, nap time... you get it.  NOW..... there is still that PLUS the adult level communication that happens as our children get older.  It truly is fascinating and I love the conversations that happen.  My exhaustion now comes from a mix of physical work AND mental work.  Which, honestly at the end of the day brings a feeling of accomplishment with the desire to want to do even better the next day.

Our youngest little guy is 17 months old.  Being a 38 year old mom with a 17 month old conjures up numerous emotions and my heart swells with gratefulness that are different than when I was 22 years old with one little baby.  I guess I FEEL more.  I really get that each life is so precious and our bodies are fragile. I savor each moment and am going to work on capturing more of them here on a consistant basis.

Christmas Baking Dutch Banket

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

For the past several years two of my friends, Holli and Tara, come over for a morning of baking. We also have a small "favorite things" gift exchange. 

We bake my Grandma Marie's Dutch Banket. (Bon-ket). My Grandma passed into Glory in 1996. She was only 66 years old. Grandma Marie was born in the Netherlands. She was an amazing cook and baker, loved the word 'beautiful' and laughed a lot. Occasionally she would get and give the giggles during prayer for whatever reason..You know when you start to laugh over nothing, but because it's the one time you can't then it gets worse?! We would be holding back full outright laughter (of joy!) by the time 'amen' came....grandpa did not think it was funny. Oh boy...lots of winks then we'd just start passing the food around the table!
We baked 40 sticks of Banket! Banket is a flaky Dutch pastry with an almond filling.

Grandma Marie's Dutch Banket Recipe. I'd love to know if you make this! 
Please tag #augustfieldsbanket on Instagram.

You can watch a bit of our joyful baking day here:

Homeschooling: 3 Ways to Fill Up

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Hello dear friends!  As a homeschooler the beginning of December is a time where I can use a little extra encouragement.  A dose of "you've got this".  I need to fill up on positivity and be reminded that I have never been able to do this on my own.  God sustains me.  When I read the Bible I am reminded of WHO I am and WHY I was created.  Back to the Basics as I like to call it.

I am a child of the living God created in the the Image of God,  
made to glorify and praise the one who created me.

Here are some ways I am filling up:

1.  31 Day Scripture Writing Plan from Sweet Blessings

2.  Scaling back on school.  This is a good time to step back.  Acknowledge all that HAS been accomplished.  Focus on the pages that have been read, tests that have been taken, and words that have been written.  Its okay.  BREATHE.  

3.  Prepare for Christmas with an Advent Focus.

This is the book we are using this year. (affiliate link)

This is our 11th year homeschooling and we continue to absolutely love it!  That doesn't go without saying that we can have our difficult days and as a mom, these are tangible ways to scale back, refocus and remember the "why".  My prayer is for each of you reading this to feel encouraged, loved and refreshed!
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