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

Friday, 19 April 2013

Gift Giving - Values Shift

Here is a reminder to myself and any one else that can relate...
Sometimes when your expectations are let down, what does it matter when life's surprises cover the multiple times in between?
There has been many times in the past when it comes to birthdays, Mothers Day, etc. that I had hopes of certain gifts or gestures that really were brought on by what may have been displayed in ads. or movies or heard from others. Expectations get let down, and some how I feel that this represents the love others have for me (probably due to my "love language"). But no one is perfect, life is always up and down, and no one can read my mind! (the - ! - is for me). So I need to take this time of being appreciated by my family and let it soak in and sink into my mind.
I came home from a conference this past Sat. and was surprised with a candle lit dinner for myself along with a dozen roses, each bearing a note stuck into the roses. Each said something sweet about me or to me. I was overwhelmed by the unexpected gesture. I felt so loved and I thought what does it matter if I don't get anything else this upcoming Mothers Day and when I didn't get my wishes fulfilled the past ones, when I know my family loves me everyday and they show it at random times of the year.
You know what, I believe the tradition of spend spend spending $$ on calendar occasions is mostly built up by commercialism anyways. Its nice to receive gifts but hasn't it been taken too far, for most of the holidays?
Its so hard to find anything that would be appropriate these days, because mostly everyone has everything they want!
The most reluctant gift most are willing to give is time.
I challenge myself and you to make that change. Give your time out of love instead of some stores merchandise, and see what happens. 

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Hay! Where is the Spring Weather?

I must admit, I'm getting really anxious for the spring weather and growth. Just this morning it was snowing. Get this- school was even cancelled because of snow and freezing rain on Friday! I know that it will come. I just read this quote "The best thing about the future is that it comes only one day at a time" -Abraham Lincoln. And so I am reminded that though things aren't appearing how I'd like or expect, I can choose to enjoy what the present holds. And the sky that was before me, full of huge clouds and white dusted hay fields were a gift that made me pull over to capture with a content with what you have; for God himself has said, “I will never leave you; never will I forsake you.”Hebrews 13:4-6. The beginning of this verse says...Your conduct must be free from the love of money, and... and makes me think on this blog post I added half a year ago. It was a plan to get out of debt by ceasing unnecessary spending for the period of time until we got debt free. lasted all of a month and a half. Christmas came and then the direction changed. I found it was an incredibly insightful month and a half. I found I became very much more aware of my spending, I still do find I am more careful and selective about what I spend my money on. As well we make the times we do go out to eat (which is very few and far between) more special because it is rare. Therefore truly enjoyed and appreciated by all. Beside the children's few gifts at Christmas time, getting and receiving things is not a regular occurrence. I am happy to say though that we are 75% out of debt since this started, which leaves a small portion for us to reach our goal. So were we too extreme, gungho? Probably, my husband and I are well know to be that way. Or quitters, bailing out? Could be, Its hard to hang in there for 360's! But I do know that balance is the key. Buying a coffee isn't a sin. Letting desires compromise priorities begs to be challenged. So what can I say? For now we are happy with keeping unnecessary spending to a minimum, because I truly do believe being in debt is not OK. Accumulating a mass of stuff is not what life is about, you cant take it with you. Life is about who you are living for and that is what brings true JOY in your life. Jesus, Others, lastly Yourself. Priorities, is when I am taking a step forward not backward, and every single step (choice) in life will do that: forward -or- backward.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Early Spring Time Musings

Lake and his cousin were busy one after noon building crosses. I believe just for fun, but I love it that the cross was on their minds.

Making a Bird Nest:

Violet wanted to make a nest for the birds outside. We have to leave a note for the birds as well, she told me.

As an after thought, I carefully took the nest out by inverting it on top of another bowl and lined the bowl with plastic wrap. So that would be a good idea before you start, to line the bowl with plastic wrap. We were able to get a bunch of thin twigs from an old hydrengia bush. We broke them up into 2-3 inch lengths, line the bowl with them and squirt a bunch of glue all over them, to make our nest. It dried over a couple days and now birdie ready. Gods creation amazes me constantly. All the effort it takes for a make-shift nest, when itie bitie birds make cozy durable ones out of their God given insticts.

The weather is finally getting a bit warmer and less snowy for the kids to be outside more for play.

Birthday cupcakes for less effort than what it looks like.
1 white cake mix
2 oranges, zested and juiced
3 cups of gratted carrots
1 Tbs. cinnamon
canned cream cheese frosting
extra carrot
green candy coated chocolates
Heat oven to 350, line 2 muffin tins. Prepare cake mix as package directs but submitting the juice of 2 oranges for the water. Add the zest from the 2 oranges. Add 3 cups of grated carrots, and cinnamon. Divide batter into tins. Bake 18 min. After muffins are cooled, frost with canned cream cheese frosting. Sprikle with pecans and carrot peels rolled to look like rosets. Place in the middle of each cupcake with a green candy.

We had to take a long drive to the doctors. But I am thankful for the sights we got to take in on the drive, and even the detour, due to the road washing out.

The mountains snowy tops and the dry fields looked just amazing on this overcast day!

This distorted picture almost looks like a painting.

Delapatated barns are still good for something if only pictures.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

/ / Pause Button / /

Deliver us, we pray thee, from the tyranny of trifles. Teach us how to listen to the prompting of thy Spirit, and thus save us from floundering in indecision that wastes time, subtracts from our peace, divides our efficiency, and multiplies our troubles. Amen
-Peter Marshall
Some spiritual math there for you. But this quote made me think about what our group was reading about in bible study yesterday, in Matthew chapter 26. The story of the woman pouring the EXPENSIVE perfume over Jesus. It made me think of how logically the disciples were correct in their thinking but also this woman was bang on in her discernment because she was thinking with her faithful heart. So there, in my opinion proves the point that a following believer of Christ doesn't go strictly by rules (legalism) but continually turns to the Lord for direction and discernment. We obey and follow then because we love Him.