Tuesday, 24 December 2013


God came down as a child, so vulnerable.
Its hard to fathom, this story so memorable.
We can come to understand His love for man.
King of heaven, God with us, that was the plan.
He cried, He bled, heartaches, frustrations.
Just like you, He experienced life's abrasions.
What more can we ask, when He died for our penance.
Through Christ: Peace, joy, eternal life in His presence!


Friday, 20 December 2013

Gingerbread Coffee

Coming in from the cold, I love to have something to warm me up. For the kids it is hot chocolate of course. Homemade is the best! (Mix 1 tb. of cold milk in a mug with 1 tb. of cocoa, and 2 tb. sugar until smooth. Stir in 1 cup hot milk. Easy:) For me... coffee.
I love coffee. Also I love the flavours that each season brings. For the Christmas/winter it's peppermint, chocolate, and gingerbread.
And again trying to not frequent the coffee shops to often, I came up with a gingerbread creamer, concoction.

Its very simple, here it is:
In a small microwavable bowl, mix: 2 tb. cream with 1 tb. sugar, 1/4 tsp. ginger, 1/4 tsp. cinnamon, and a pinch nutmeg. Stir well. Nuke (microwave) for 30 seconds. Then whisk in 3/4 cup of cream. Use a funnel to pour into a small bottle with a good seal. Give it a good shake before each use. Enjoy the warm cozy feeling.

Thursday, 12 December 2013


 I want to write about Christmas cookies and decorations, that seems like the big thing on my mind lately. I actually don't want to deal with even thinking about buying presents and the stress that comes with being able to afford them ( even the small amount we will buy ) I really desire to write about the Savior coming to the earth as a baby to pay the price for all humanities sins. But I so easily get caught up in all that happens around me with this time of year. As a child I had a big problem with getting expectations way too high. I see that in a child of mine now. To be honest I don't think it has changed too much. The realisation of what often really happens with what I hope for has taught me too see how my hopes don't always become a reality. There is this ingrained feeling in me though, that makes me not want to miss out on all the world portrays of what really brings happiness. Its so easy to be side tracked (for me anyways). The part of me that has leaned so much, thanks to my gracious Lord makes me want to have the feelings of being truly faithful to my beliefs. But the selfish, sometimes ignorant part thinks all the world has to offer is so much more fulfilling.
I, with all honesty hate the commercialism of Christmas. I believe if it weren't for all that hoopla (yes I said hoopla) going on around us, it would make it easier to stay focused on the true meaning of Christmas. Lets face it, Satan's job is a lot much easier these days. Most of the world is happy with doing his job.
 So I started thinking about the first Christmas more deeply. The song of the drummer boy came to mind (I know this is not a historical fact) and how all he had was a song to play for the Christ child. The kings came to bring one gift each. All that they had? I don't know. But they gave what they knew as being very precious. What did the shepherds offer? Their presence.
 What can we do, that means more then anything we could give? How about accepting a gift. Presence from the Father. His Son. He is even wrapped...in swaddling cloths.
 God wants us to un-wrap and share this gift. The gift of our time, or presence in others lives in love through Him.
Well with age I have been slowly slowly been enlightened with these truths through the Lords gentle guidance. Of course its usually, like most learning experiences...two steps forward, one step back. But I trust in the Lord that true faith in Him, will bring me closer to Him. And that is the ultimate blessing. Being able to be in Gods presence!

Please don't get me wrong though. I don't believe giving material gifts to show love is wrong. Or that decorating and baking in celebration is a sign of disrespect to the Lord. Its when that is our main focus, to the point of that being all that is reflected in your Christmas.
It all comes down to what your priorities are, what you consider most desirable.
My prayer for this Christmas: to put off my old self, which belongs to my former manner of life and is corrupted through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of my mind and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. (Ephesians 4:22)...through receiving Christ's gift.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Easy Advent Calendar

 Advent started this past Sunday. My family looks forward to this tradition every year. There are the candles. Five in a circle. The scriptures read. Different ones to focus on the Lord Jesus. Singing Christmas carols. Lifting our spirits and our voices in praise to God. A prayer to close. Sometimes something extra, like a craft or treat is fun to do. I wanted to add the advent calendar this year. Something fun for my kids to look forward too. I see the Santa themed chocolate calendar every year, but I just don't like that idea. I've seen so many neat ideas on line. But I really wanted to come up with something that would be thrifty and use what I had on hand. This idea is also very easy.
 I used a frame that had matting. I took the back off and cut to size, a nice piece of card stock and a piece of corrugated cardboard. Put frame back together with card stock on top of cardboard. Get out some more card stock and cut smaller sized rectangles to fit the middle of the frame. Twenty five of them. Punch a hole in the centre top of each. I hand wrote the numbers for each day counting up to the twenty fifth. I found printable activity ideas on line, for something fun each day. And glued them on the back of each card. I used an antique nail to hang the cards in the centre of the frame.

I know its late to start advent just now. But better late then never!

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

To Inspire Cozy Feelings on a Chilly Day...Vermicellisoep met balletjes

 "While I relish our warm months, winter forms our character and brings out our best."
- Tom Allen

- 25 c. temperatures, and/or 40 km winds and/or 4 ft. high snow drifts. (All of which we have experienced this past month) This definitely makes me want to get back in the house and thaw out stay cozy.

Now for inspiring coziness: Vermicellisoep met balletjes (Vermicelli soup with ground meat balls) a yummy traditional Dutch soup.
I like a big pot (mmm... left overs!)
-10 cups of beef soup stock
-1/2 teaspoon of ground mace
-1 cup broken vermicelli or you can use spaghetti noodles
-1 cup ground beef
-1/2 teaspoon each: salt, pepper
-1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
-1 bread kupje (the crusty end of the bread)
-1 egg
-a bit of flour
-2 thinly sliced carrots
-2 stalks chopped celery
Prepare your little meat balls by mixing the meat with the salt, pepper, nutmeg, the kupje crumbled, and the egg. Smoosh it together and make tiny balls a bit bigger than a marble. Roll 'em in a bit of flour.
Get your beef stock boiling, add the mace. Reduce to a light bubbling. Add noodles, then  the meat balls. Dump in the veggies. Taste test. Maybe more salt or pepper or maybe even mace.
This soup has a great unique taste.

Now I'm ready to go out again and shovel a path as I walk the kids to school!
::I am constantly filled with thankfulness to the Lord for the things most of us, feel are necessary but are really blessed privileges. Snow shovels, mittens, boots and scarves, warm home, and warm food. Thank you Father::

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Lunberjack Cake

Here is a good, 'ole fashioned cake, that'll stick to your ribs. Good with a cup of coffee. I know...I tried it.
Preheat oven to350. Grease 9" spring form pan.
Get out a small pot and bring 1 CUP of WATER with your dates to a boil. Once that happens, remove from the heat and stir in 1 TSP of BAKING SODA. Leave to cool.
In the mean time in a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
In a large bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, egg and vanilla. Slowly beat in the date mixture. Incorporate the flour mixture. Then fold in the apple and coconut.
Spread the batter in the pan, evenly.
Bake 45-50 min. The cake may dip, don't worry though. It will be moist and dense.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Am I alone here?

I am almost convinced frugality is a dying art! Frugal...Ew, that sounds so gross! It sounds so much better (to others) if you sound like your being "green" right? I'm "re-purposing" or I'm being "eco-friendly". Whatever. I just wanna say it like it is- cheap! But it gets a little discouraging when you are the only one on the block, who knows maybe a few blocks, that doesn't get everything pre-packaged, or dare I say it...re-uses, to save money.
I understand there is a load of people out there on the net that will agree with me. But I want to see some face to face. I want to look someone in the eye and say I reuse margarine containers, and that person say "SO DO I!!". Am I from another planet because I use hankies? You should see the looks I get.
I guess I just get so frustrated because this generation's culture has been teaching, through the media that whatever is different from what is displayed in the media is not OK. Oh of course there is the misconception that's being shoved at everyone that we need to accept everyones doings or beliefs. But this only means tolerance in ones choice to do what ever "feels right". No, I'm talking about: social status, clothing style, earnings bracket, home and vehicle purchases, hobbies, slang, Face Book friend tally, and hot list merchandise purchases, (etc).
So I am just gonna let it rip, and here I am waving my hankie in the face of the opposition...
I wont buy paper towels - use a rag.
Hello hand-me-downs - Never scarred me as a child.
Bake my own...everything- Way healthier. 
Easy to make laundry detergent- Its actually pretty cool to use homemade laundry detergent!
Re-use backpacks, duo tangs, crayons and pencils, it they are still decent- Its just so obvious to me...why not. (I told my kids to even use the excuse at school that they are just helping the environment:)
Use the second hand store as your go to, first stop before the retail store- Get over the fact that someone else used it. People spend loads of money on antiques, come on, whats the difference?!?BTW you can use the word "vintage" or "retro" you could probably even fit the word "epic" in there some how, when it comes to talking about used things. It sounds so much cooler that way :)
The elastics around fresh veggies- Save them.
Milk bags, and cereal bags- Rinse them.
Used clothing with defects (stains, small holes)- Use for small sewing projects.
Shoe boxes- Storage boxes, also useful in drawers for dividers.
Those pretty little ribbons attached to the inside of a shirt for hanging on store hangers- I snip them out and save for different projects and such.
Cracked or chipped mugs, that make you sad to throw out- Cute little planter.
Expensive canned cream soup- 1/4 cup margarine, melted in pot. Whisk in 1/4 cup flour. Immediately whisk in 1 cup milk, and 2tb. soup base. Simmer until thickened.
Scrap paper- Staple into booklets for the superfluous artist!
Mountains of Laundry- Probably could be whittled down if the clothes that were only actually dirty were in there... kids need supervision when throwing stuff in there. Briefly worn sweatshirts don't necessarily always need a washing.
Reduce shelf at the grocery store has lots of bargains- Think: over ripe bananas for bread, bruised apples for pie, various veggies for stews or soup.
I could go on, and there are so many cool, creative ideas for re-using but I'm just thinking practical here. I just don't see the point in wasting money on things that will not make a difference 5, 10, 20, etc.. years from now. Will I get points for sticking with some expensive name brand? Will I be remembered for being a loyal customer of ________? Will it make a world of difference what I wipe a mess up with or will it change my future if I didn't wash my bed sheets every week? NO! But I am doing my part in saving the world. Just funning with you! No, but this does do your wallet good. And using your noggin and not giving as much $ to the big time merchandisers.
Please don't mistake me for Caroline Ingalls though! I am constantly being persuaded by the cool new things that c o n s t a n t l y come out. (And I don't even have satellite/cable to see all the commercials) And tasty new things at the food businesses. So after I've given into temptation, like with, lets just say...Starbucks (gasp) I know, its a wack of money for a darn latte or scone! I will not allow myself to constantly be swayed and giving into temptation. I will make a knock off. Maybe even better than the snazzy, scrumptious pumpkin scones they have been luring weak scone cravers with- at Starbucks this time of year. And now, I can save some moola, and out do the coffee shop, thank you.
check out the "retro" tin!!

::::::Pumpkin Scones::::::
Preheat oven 425
Stir together:
2 cups flour,  3/4 cup sugar,  1 tb. baking powder,  1/2 t. each: salt, cinnamon, nutmeg,  1/4 t. each cloves, ginger
Cut in 1/4 cup + 2 tb. butter. Using a pastry blender, cut in until there is coarse crumbs.
In a separate bowl, blend 1/2 cup canned pumpkin, 1 egg, and 3 tb. whipping cream.
Stir this into the flour mixture. Use your hands to press it into one form. Not over working the dough though. Shape into a 9x3 inch rectangle. Cut into 3 squares. Then cut each square into a triangle to make 6 scones. Place on prepared baking pan and bake for 15 min.
When they have cooled, spread a glaze over each, made from 1/2 cup of icing sugar and a tablespoon or 2 of milk.
So there Starbucks. I don't need you. But I want you. But now I don't have to.
If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. James 1:5
Some times its hard to make the wise choice in everyday domestic decisions. But all the small wise choices add up. When your outlook is in the right direction, the greater good is more likely to turn out well.
"The master said, 'Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let's celebrate together!' Matt.25-23

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

/ / Pause Button / /

Happy is the person who trusts in You, LORD of Hosts!
Psalm 84:12

Those are natural crevices in the rock, seriously.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

50% off

Found these dried figs at the grocery store. They were 50% off. I've never baked with them before and didn't know what I should do with them. Fifty percent, half price. Because they are only half as good as before? But, they are still useful.
 I've been feeling pretty off lately, 50% off. How did this happen? With a recent big move, I find myself so discontent. I just have to admit that I don't like the change, almost, at all. There are definite blessings and advantages but I just cant see them with all the unfamiliar surroundings. The absence of the familiar (the people, things, and scenery I loved)- crowds out all the advantages. Which I must mention are the most important of this life...ie. more family time.

So I'm allowing this discontentment, to allow me to work at 50%, my mood be at 50%, discernment 50%. I realise I am human and I can feel and react to life's changing situations. And this is not wrong, but I think that when I start to let it control me in such a way, that then I'm not really trusting the Lord. But I must go back to the figs, still being useful at 50%. This situation has been helpful for me, with again seeing how the Lord works things out according to His will, when we trust Him (Rom. 8:28). I have faith that He will take care of me (Phil. 1:6), despite how I fEeL. Ugh if only those FeElInGs wouldn't get in the way of my trust, and faith I know is there in me!  Thank you Lord that you are patient with me (2 Peter 3:9,15).
So this is what was presented to me the day this was all coming to me -
We must take the world as we find it: it is a happiness permitted to very few to choose their company.
-Susanna Wesley
If I steadily allow my feelings to control my mood and such, I am choosing to let myself be half as useful and I'll miss out on all the good that the Lord is doing! I need to be patient, the Lord knows what He is doing.
Fig Spice Cake
1 1/2 cups figs, stems removed
1/2 cup half and half
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. each baking powder, salt
1/2 tsp. each baking soda, cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 10"tube pan. Place figs in sauce pan and cover with water. Simmer for about 5 min. Drain and cool, reserving 1/2 cup of the liquid. Cut the figs into small pieces and set aside. In a bowl, combine the reserved liquid with the cream. In separate bowl sift together the dry ingredients. In a large bowl, cream the the butter and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, add the vanilla. Beat in a third of the flour mixture then the cream mixture, keep alternating until all is combined. Pour into the pan and bake for 50-60 min.
This is a comforting smelling cake. Yummy too.



Thursday, 18 July 2013

Quiet in Gods Presence

Though I have felt stressed to the max lately with all that needs to be done with the upcoming move, I have seen how the Lord has been using this stressful time to have an outcome of growth, already. Also reaffirming what I know to be true. And we haven't yet moved!
:: I reluctantly admit that for me, its hard to be nice when I am overwhelmed and stressed.
::Don't rely on self confidence. Have confidence in the Lord!
::Trials test your faith. When faith withstands those trials, growth is inevitable.
::Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He with make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5,6
This verse keeps coming to me lately.
I come back to again realising how a quiet moment, between just me and God, is what truly brings me relaxation, peace, and clarity. NOTHING beats that. I went for a walk when the sun was getting low. I was confronted with this truth: I need time alone quietly in Gods presence.

Saturday, 6 July 2013

What book is all About Ckicken?

  Hencyclopedia! (groan) The kids told this one and it made me think about this yummy meal I made the other day called  Lemon-Dill Chicken Popover. It was so delicious and not a bad idea to make for a warm summer day. You only use the oven for about 25 min. and you microwave the rest.
  For the popover:
3 tb. butter, melted and divided.
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
6 eggs
1 cup milk

For the filling:
2 cups frozen mix carrots, broccoli florets, cauliflower
1 med. onion, chopped
1 tb. butter
2 cups cubed cooked chicken
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1 med. red pepper, diced
1 tb. lemon juice
1 tsp dill weed
 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Brush the bottom of a deep dish pie plate with 1 tb butter, set aside. In a bowl combine the flour and salt, mix in the eggs, milk and remaining butter until smooth. Pour into prepared pie plate.
Bake at 400 degrees for 20 min. Reduce heat to 350; bake 5-10 min. longer or until golden brow and centre is set.
In a microwave safe bowl, combine veggies, onions, and butter, cover and microwave 5-10 min. Add the remaining ingredients except cheese and microwave another 4 min. Stir in cheese.
Spoon the mixture onto the top of the popover, cut into wedges and serve immediately. (This does reheat well too)

It was so nice to sit on the veranda this evening while we ate. It made me slow down the pace. Taking the time to take the meal outside, I was able to hear the birds chirp, feel the breeze, and I could smell the flowers that are blooming all around. Taking the time to be in the moment and enjoy it, has been difficult lately. You see, my family and I had decided to make a big move, some 3,300 km away in another province. This has brought on a lot of work in preparation with big time purging. To be honest I would definitely call us "pack-rats". And having a house that is much too big for our family of 5 has made it more than easy to fill it up. "You never know when you might need it" - has always been our motto.
And here is another one that I followed with out wanting to admit it:

Found this in the window of a store, last month!

"A bargain is something you can't use at a price you can't resist."  -Franklin P. Jones. That would be the blame of all my books. I had shelves lining every wall in my upstairs hall.  About 3 book shelves as well, with not enough time to read them all. Too many cook books, not enough time to make every meal. Too many clothes with only one body to wear them on. Cd's that I knew I didn't want to listen to. More mugs than I would ever need to drink out of. All this and it doesn't even get to my husbands tool hoarding issues. When we had to face all this clutter it made me think -  O Lord, are you leading us to move, in part, that we would deal with this over crowding of stuff? I keep telling myself - LEARN FROM THIS... We can have a fresh start. I now truly realise that this is an issue, and here is the perfect chance to deal with it. But I can't fool myself. I can foresee that its probably like dropping a bunch of weight. It's not the hardest thing to loose the weight its keeping it off.

Monday, 10 June 2013

Peanut Butter Banana Biscuits (No Sugar Added)

Mash 1 banana. Add:
1/3 cup peanut butter
2 TB. milk
2 TB. honey
1 egg
Stir in: 1 2/3 cup flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
When the dough is combined, roll into balls and press with a fork on a prepared baking sheet.

Bake in preheated oven at 350, for 8 minutes.

Tasty biscuits for a sugar free treat. Yay, no sugar high!
Proverbs 15:1 A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Do You Like rHuBaRb?

 RhUbArB seems like one of those plants that every other person has but doesn't care to do anything with most of the time these days. I say "these days" because I believe it was used more back in the day when people had less and used more of what was easily and cheaply available.
 This is the rhubarb recipe of spring '13 for me. I've made it 3 times already. Well I should be honest about why though. Its so yummy but...First time I made it and forgot to add baking powder, so I ended up with rhubarb slop. Immediately after that failure I attempted a second go and 15 minutes after I put it in the oven...the power goes out! About a couple hours later it comes back on and I finished baking it. It was good but I knew it could be better. It didn't rise completely. So like I said I made it a third time. Third times a charm, they say!

Rhubarb & Strawberry Crumble Cake
for the crumble:
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup fine sugar (icing sugar)
for the cake:
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup + 5 TB. fine sugar
3 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2/3 cup yogurt
2 1/2 cups chopped rhubarb
1/2 cup chopped strawberries

Heat the oven to 350, and call the hydro company to make sure that the power wont be going out, due to "equipment failures" any time in the near future. Grease an 8" round spring form pan. Prepare the crumble by blending the flour and sugar with the butter. Use your fingers to bring the ingredients together to form crumbs. In a bowl mix the 5 TB. of sugar with the rhubarb and strawberries. For the cake, start with the first ingredient listed and beat in each one following, one at a time, until you get to the flour. Then use a spoon to stir the flour in, DON'T FORGET THE BAKING SODA, and salt. Add the yogurt and it should be a thick batter. Scrape the batter into the pan, evenly spread fruit on top of the batter, and top with the crumble. Bake for about 50 min.

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Lilly of the Valley and Poison Ivy

A near by grave yard behind an aged church is so beautiful this time of year. The bushes in behind are abundant in gorgeous smelling Lilly of the Valley. But commingled through out most of it is poison ivy. Its makes me ponder a metaphor. I am drawn to wild flowers (Hello! Free Flowers!) like a moth to a flame. So here I am trying to carefully step around the poison ivy, careful as I pluck the Lilly of the valley out of the mix. How is that not like life? Living, especially an abundant life, makes one want to reach out to the positive/beautiful blessings God has to offer us and we need to stay on guard careful to stay away from the "poisons" of this earth, and what Satan may put in our path. All the while making sure we are making the right decisions along the way as well. Because we also have to fight the ways of the flesh. We can only do this if we: do not conform any longer to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--His good, and perfect will (Romans 12:2). I love metaphors.

Lake found some Canadian Columbine.

Holly found some Lilly of the valley in a poison ivy free spot close to the church.

...grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen. 2 Peter 3:18

Monday, 6 May 2013

/ / Pause Button / /

Slow down and be purposeful in everything you  say, think and do.
Like rushing water, every moment will be gone quickly and there leaves a lasting effect too.

Monday, 29 April 2013

Pounding Pansies

Pansies are my absolute favourite flower. They can leave a lasting impression when you put them face down, and pound them onto a piece of fabric or construction paper. So simple, so beautiful!

The life of mortals is like grass, they flourish like a flower of the field: the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more. But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD'S love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children's children-- Psalm 103:15-17

The idea of something so beautiful being pounded for the purpose of getting a long lasting impression, makes me think about ourselves. The way life can be to an innocent child, or even a grown adult. The things that life seemingly pounds at us, can seem too hard to bear but the end result can, if we let it- leave beautiful, lasting impressions that don't kill us but surprisingly make us grow.

Friday, 26 April 2013

More PIZZA and a new Drive - along Discovery

This was a creation this past week. Its pizza that almost tastes like a cheese burger. Both go great together. Don't get scared off by the pickles, you would be surprised at how good it all goes together.
To start off I used half of my pizza dough recipe.
Brown a pound of ground beef, with half a sliced onion. After that mix in about a 1/2 cup ketchup.
After you have spread the dough out onto a large rectangle pizza pan, spread 1/3 cup of onion chip dip. This could be replaced with onion cream cheese spread. Sprinkle the meat mixture over the dough and dip. Then a mixture of mozzarella and cheddar goes on top. Bake in oven at 425 degrees, for about 15 min. Slice up some dill pickles and sprinkle on the top.

I was excited to see a species of duck I've never seen before. Probably just never had the chance to see them before, but I found out they like small bodies of water and rivers. So these Hooded Merganser's were right at home in the Ottawa River. They eat small fish and other small living creatures in the water. And they were doing just that when I spotted them this past weekend. I was a passenger while my hubby was driving when I spotted the beautiful male and his female. I was interested in finding out what kind of duck they were and also found out that they nest in tree cavities near the water, and their bills are serrated for catching the food they eat, as well as having an extra membrane to cover their eyes for when they dive under water (like a frog).
This makes me think about this quote I read not too long ago..."Familiarity with nature never breeds contempt. The more one learns, the more he expects surprises, and the more he becomes aware of the inscrutable." -Archibald Rutledge