When Life Throws You Lemons…

Well, we are back in the states…a week earlier than expected. The last few days have been pretty overwhelming, but also an amazing time of thankfulness. On Monday night, Gavin’s little brother, Luke was in a terrible car accident. We got the call on Tuesday morning SA time, and a whirlwind of flight changes and packing began.

Delta was once again completely amazing. Within 10 minutes of receiving the call, they had us on a flight that left a few hours later. We didn’t have time to say our goodbyes…we just ran home, threw everything in a suitcase and headed to the airport. Needless to say, the flight felt endless. We had no idea what we were coming home to- we just knew that the wreck was really bad, he was in intensive care, and he was getting surgery in the morning. Talk about a situation where you can do ABSOLUTELY nothing but trust God. That was a hard thing to do…but we have a BIG and CAPABLE God.

Straight from the airport, we headed to the hospital…seeing Luke was such a relief. It was hard- the pain was so raw, he is really beat up, he has a LONG road ahead of him- but he is alive, and healing.

Because Luke was driving Gavin’s car (we let him borrow it for the summer) we had to go up to a wrecking place near the crash site and release the car to the insurance company. I was NOT prepared for what we saw…but I am SO thankful that we saw it. I can not think of a time where I have been more flooded with thankfulness. The car was completely unrecognizable- a mangled piece of steel and plastic…the engine was in the front seat…all I could do was fall to my knees and thank God for His protection. Luke is hurt…but a miracle happened that night…he is alive, he is healing, and he has the potential to impact so many people. He is an incredible guy, and I know that he will use this big pile of lemons to make the best darn lemonade you’ve ever had.

Today, we are praising Jesus. Luke is out of intensive care, his surgery was successful…he is starting the process of rehab, and he is starting to heal. The scars that he will have will be a constant reminder of God’s protection that night- a visible mark to remind us to be thankful…to remind us that we are here for God’s glory, and that we are called to live EACH day for Him.

Posted on July 30, 2011 by LindsayTarquinio · 0 comments Read More
Adventures Recipes

Ithemba Cupcakery

The end to another SUPER jam-packed week in J’Bay…Whew, I am worn out, but in the best way possible. One more week until we COME BACK TO ATLANTA!!! I am starting the count down until I get to see my family and dear friends. I think that being gone as much as we are helps me to clearly see how much I love the community of people that God has blessed us with. We are so lucky to have wonderful friends in SA…and even more lucky to have wonderful friends in Atlanta. All this to say, I am really excited to land on US soil in exactly 8 days.

But, we have lots more in store for us over the next few days here, and a lot of fun with the kids at Ithemba in store. Recently, we turned Ithemba into a cupcakery, and it was so stinkin’ cute! We pulled out the mixer and baking things and made 70 buttery cupcakes and a HUGE bowl full of buttercream icing. We bought about 20 different types of candies and covered the tables to prepare for the mess!

The kids got to use their fingers to cover the cupcakes in icing, and then a free for all happened as soon as it was candy time. Each kids cupcake was LOADED down with decorations…and their smiles were worth all of the hours of baking!

Posted on July 24, 2011 by LindsayTarquinio · 0 comments Read More
Adventures Recipes

Backyard Fresh Goodness

Our next morning in Bloem was just as great as our first day! We woke up bright and early, and I made some banana oatmeal muffins for breakfast (or I thought that would be breakfast!) After the muffins were finished, Sally came into the kitchen and started planning our REAL breakfast, banana muffins being just a SMALL part of it! We had yogurt, granola, fruit salad, toast, fresh preserved figs and sharp cheddar cheese, muffins…and drumroll please…farm backyard fresh EGGS!!

We went out to the back yard…and headed for a little shed that houses the hot water heater…we ducked inside, and found a BEAUTIFUL pile of freshly laid eggs!

We brought them inside and I gave them to the best egg maker that I know…Gavin! I don’t know what he does, but he has a magical touch when it comes to eggs. Every time he makes them, they are perfectly cooked…and totally delicious!

After another feast of a meal, we left to go to the Bloemfontein Arts Festival. I have a slight obsession with festivals, so I was super happy! We spent the afternoon walking around, watching performances, tasting yummy foods, and buying the WARMEST pair of slippers! We found a little stall that sells hand made Merina Woll products. I was super close to buying the adorable ear muffs…but I decided the cloud like slipper would get more use! I have worn them every chance I get since I bought them.

Around dinner time, we headed back to the house for another big meal…but this time, I got to cook! Sally’s parents spent a few weeks in the States a few years ago…and they tried Fajitas, and of course, they fell in love. SA has nothing close to Mexican food…so I decided to re-create their favorite meal here! We had char-grilled chicken with peppers and onions, guac, sour cream, fire roasted salsa, pico, cheese, sour cream…mexican rice…and my personal favorite- grilled corn with chipotle(ish) garlic butter.

Posted on July 19, 2011 by LindsayTarquinio · 0 comments Read More
Adventures Recipes


Better known around here as Bloemfontein was our next stop. Sally’s family farm is more of a weekend getaway for her family- so after a few days there, we headed about an hour north, to the big city, Bloem, where her family lives full time.

We had a relaxing morning at the farm, loaded up the car, and then headed out. First, we went to Sally’s house to drop our things off, get settled and meet her family. Their house was one of the coziest, warmest homes that I have ever been to. The second that we arrived, I asked her mom if I could move in. I knew I wouldn’t want to leave! The walls are rich wood and there are old cast iron fire places in every room. The kitchen is huge and open with windows that look out to the oasis of a back yard. There is a massive and fully equipped outdoor kitchen, a great sitting area and fire pit, a pool, wooden swings, and lots of wildlife. Sally’s mom had lunch (slow cooked lamb and veggies) ready for us…so we ate, again, and it was just as wonderful as it sounds.

For the rest of the afternoon, we explored around Bloem…and then headed back out for a very special dinner. Sally asked her absolutely adorable (and incredibly youthful) grandma to make a special “real” South African meal for Gavin and I. Not only did she prepare a MASSIVE feast, she decorated the table with a rustic African theme!

Dinner was comfort food at its finest, all with a South African twist. The star for me was definitely the roasted Kudu (a type of deer), but the lamb meatballs and samp (kind of like hominy) were close seconds. She also made pumpkin fritters, cauliflower with white sauce, honey carrots, rice, chicken, and buttery spinach with feta cheese. Needless to say, this meal stuck to the ribs…and it was such a treat!

We felt so welcome and like such a part of Sally’s family. They opened their home to us and welcomed us with open arms….and this was only our first day in Bloem!

Posted on July 17, 2011 by LindsayTarquinio · 0 comments Read More
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