February 25, 2011

Of Cheesecake, Scales, Helping Hands & Little Feet

Life is full of moments.
All strung together to make a life.
How are we spending them?
Are we treasuring them up?

The list grows.
The moments are noticed.
And here I number them.
Unrelated and related all at the same time.

This is our life.
As it happens...

1221. The smell of cheesecake baking in the oven

1222. Scales in time with the metronome

1223. Little girl who asks to wash the dishes!

1224. Snuggles on the couch as she and I both read ~
each with our own book and an impromptu kiss on the cheek

1225. Apology from a child ~ humility

1226. Her *love* of reading

1227. Leaving a room the way I want to find it

1228. Finding the room the way I left it...rare!
(One day I always will...I don't even want to think about it!)

1229. Rubber gloves just her size!

1230. Her little shoes at the door ~
a change from all the many boy's shoes around here!

1231. Bacon sizzling in the pan

1232. BLT's for lunch

1233. Two at the piano

1234. Three soaring eagles (?) so high they just looked like specks

1235. Youngest boy entering the world of Henty

1236. Cheesecake at dinner ~ *just because*

1237. Six voices singing hymns ~ children's mingled with parents'

1238. Doctrine from the children's mouths in prayer

1239. Pink sky at night

1240. Getting the job done...thank you Sweetie! :)

It's easy to count.
It begins with noticing the *little* things.
Noticing the moments.
Entering into them and writing them down.
It's as simple as that.

My journal sits on my counter.
I list as events unfold.
Sometimes many all at once,
and other times in a trickle.

Would you like to begin?
Just grab a pen and a journal,
set them out on the counter,
and list out your blessings.
Find the joy in the moments ~
As they arrive.

"Every good gift and every perfect gift
is from above, and cometh down
from the Father of lights,
with whom is no variableness,
neither shadow of turning."
~ James 1:17 ~

May the LORD help us to
take notice of every *little* thing HE
gives us each and every day!
There really are too many to count!

Many blessings,

February 23, 2011

Apple Tart ~ Yum!

It was Christmas.

I was doing a little baking with my
once-a-year cookbook.

It's one of my favourite Christmas
home inspiration books.

When I tested this recipe,
it was decided that once a year just wouldn't be enough.
So, I copied it out to keep in my recipe box
for easy year-round access.

I also began by baking this tart in a pie dish.
Not too bad, but the tart pan is a
better choice when making tarts.
Just sayin' ~ Who knew? ;-)

So...I went to HomeSense and found the
requisite pans for a good price.
And, yes...pans ~ I bought two!
One of these is just not enough.

Trust me. :)

~ French Apple Tart ~
Adapted from Mary Englebreit's
"Let the Merrymaking Begin ~
Christmas Volume One

Dough for a single crust pie,
rolled out and chilled in the pan.

3 Large Granny Smith Apples ~
peeled, cut in half, cored and sliced thinly.

** Friendly WARNING **
You can use another variety of baking apple ~
BUT...ONLY baking apples will do!
You will have a soggy tart if you don't obey this one simple rule ~
just ask me how I know! :)

1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
1/2 cup Heavy (Whipping) cream, unwhipped
1 Large Egg
1 tsp Vanilla

Icing Sugar ~
for sprinkling just prior to serving...
after it's baked.

Preheat oven to 375* F

Roll dough to fit 9 inch tart pan with removeable bottom.
Place dough in pan and flute the edges.
Chill dough in pan for 30 minutes.

Arrange apple slices in tart in concentric circles,
beginning at the outside and working toward the centre.

Bake tart at this stage for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, whip together
sugar, cream, vanilla and egg with wire whisk.
Pour mixture over the apples and bake 25 or 30 minutes longer
until custard is set.

~ This photo by Calvin...it was his piece! ~

Cool 10 minutes on a wire rack.
Remove sides of pan.
Sprinkle with icing sugar prior to serving.

Serve warm or cooled to 8
(or less) very fortunate people!


February 22, 2011

Sunrise at the Beach

We live near the beach.
We walk along the promenade for exercise.
What a blessing it is!
We do not know how long we will have this privilege.
Our times are in HIS hands.
I trust we do not take it for granted.

One morning in January we were there very early ~
Before the sunrise.
Calvin brought his camera along ~
He captured all these amazing shots!

A big thank you to our budding photographer
for letting me post these pictures!
Love you! xo

February 20, 2011

And the List Continues to Grow

Joys are uncovered.
Treasures mount.
The eyes are opened.
And the list continues to grow.

"Enter into his gates with thanksgiving,
and into his courts with praise:
be thankful unto him and bless his name.
For the LORD is good;
his mercy is everlasting;
and his truth endureth to all generations."
~ Psalm 100:4-5 ~

The challenge was to reach 1000 gifts numbered ~
1000 has come and gone for me.
I continue to count because the
LORD's mercies are new every morning ~
Each day holds its own treasures.
There is joy to be found in the finding.

1201. Correspondence from a teenage
Great-Great Uncle who fought and died in WWI

1202. A stool for Austin's drafting board ~
*Free* to us...thank you Dad!
(I had only just written it on my *to buy* list)!

1203. More things to take to Bibles for Missions

1204. Listening to the composer at work

1205. Patch of distant blue breaking up the grey ~
It's winter and grey is the colour ~ I focus on the blue

1206. Double batch of Hamburger Soup simmering on the stove

1207. Little boy's hair to cut ~ right now! :)

1208. Daddy who takes our little girl on errands
and our boys to hockey

1209. Having learned that sometimes, waiting really is best

1210. Patience in the waiting ~ Grace!

1211. A boy who likes to wear his gifted-to-him jersey before he outgrows it

1212. Boys who help bring in the groceries
and do it with a smile ~ don't you just *love* those dimples? :)

1213. The discovery of a doll buckled in! :)

1214. When friends reach 1000 ~ sharing in the joy of it all!

1215. Towel spread with tools and screws and glue in the kitchen ~
promise of work to be done

1216. The long-ago-wedding-gift glass measuring bowl ~
still in use today

1217. Pure Vanilla Extract

1218. Morning muffins and the joy in their faces when it's not oatmeal

1219. Frozen berries ~ Summer's goodness in Winter

1220. Canadian Springs Water

Numbering my thanks is a habit I began over a year ago.
It has changed the way I look at *everyday* life.
I'm sure it would do the same for you.
Grab a journal and a pen ~
Set them on the counter and just begin!
Joy is everywhere.
Discover and be blessed.

In His Love,

February 17, 2011

What to Do When Life Hurts

Does life sometimes seem thorny?
A little like this tree?

But, if you look closely, you will see a little bird
sitting in her nest ~ safe among the thorns.

Perhaps that is how it is for us?
When life seems to be at its *worst*,
could it be that it is then that we learn
how protected and loved we really are?

Our times are in HIS hands.
HE does all things for our good and HIS glory.
We are sheltered and safe under HIS wings.  In HIS shadow.
We have nothing to fear.

Do we REALLY believe this?
Is it only true when all is going well?
No sickness.  No sorrow.  No trials.

Is our foundation shaken when things don’t go well?
When there is sickness, sorrow and suffering?  Thorns?

Fear and worry choke out joy ~ rob us of our peace.
How precious God’s Word is.
That is where we find TRUTH.

Not in our feelings.
Not in our experiences.  In HIM.
That is where truth and trust and life are found.
Only in HIM.

I must fortify myself in HIS truth.
In HIM I rest.  In HIM I trust.
This HE calls me to.  This HE enables me to do.
By HIS grace alone.

All is to be found in HIM.

If this is not your testimony,
I implore you to run to the Saviour today.
HE is the only One Who is able to set your heart right.
HE is the only Way.

"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life:
no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."
~ John 14:6 ~

In the same book of the Bible,
the Lord Jesus also spoke the following words ~
"All that the Father giveth me shall come to me;
and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out."
~ John 6:37 ~

Feel free to email me if you wish to discuss these things further,
or if you would like us to pray for you.
The LORD is good and gracious.  HE does all things well.
Yes, even when life hurts!

May all of you, kind friends,
know the peace that passes all understanding
as you put your faith in the only ONE worthy of it ~
The LORD Jesus Christ.

In His Love,

February 13, 2011

Let the Sunshine In!

"When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of sorrow shall not overflow.
For I will be with thee, thy trials to bless,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress."

Quoted from the hymn
~ How Firm a Foundation ~

Oh there are times it feels as though they WILL!
But, the LORD promises they will not!

How often we must speak TRUTH to ourselves.
How often I must listen and drink in that TRUTH!

This is not our home ~
We are not to put roots down here.
Sin, sickness and disease are in this old world ~
We must do battle with them.

But, Oh what a blessed thought ~
There is NO sin in Heaven.
None of the effects of sin are there either ~
No sickness, sorrow, or death.

The longer I live,
the more precious Heaven becomes ~
HE becomes more precious!


In the midst of life's trials and troubles.
Thankfulness is something I can do.
When everything *seems* out of control.

Was I ever in control?
No ~ It was an illusion.
God is in complete control ~
Of all things!

I give thanks ~
To the ONE Who deserves All our Thanks.

God is Good ~ ALL the time!

"I will bless the LORD at all times:
his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul shall make her boast in the LORD:
the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.
O magnify the LORD with me,
and let us exalt his name together."

~ Psalm 34:1-3 ~

1176. *Bad* days to drive me to the Saviour ~
How wonderful HE is!

1177. Alternative medicines

1178. *Feeling it* from resuming a
light weight routine ~ progress!

1179. Sunrise in the rearview mirror on
an early morning drive

1180. Three lanes open through the tunnel into the city

1181. Pink wispy clouds in the pale blue sky ~
The Heaven's declare the glory of God

1182. Heat in the van

1183. "Little House" to listen to

1184. Free parking near our destination

1185. Children's Hospital

1186. Time alone with Emma

1187. A kind doctor

1188. First appointment of the day ~ in and out!

1189. Answers to questions...a blessing

1190. The way Emma rescues bugs and TALKS to them
as she sets them free!! SO cute! :)

1191. A husband who took the children out for dinner
when I had a nasty headache

1192. Being tucked into bed by our sweet little girl

1193. More questions and how they drive me to the LORD

1194. Storms of life and knowing in the depth of my
being that God is in complete and Sovereign control

1195. Boys who do a *clear out* of their rooms
without being asked! :)

1196. How kind the children are to me when I feel sick

1197. Protective boys...so sweet!

1198. An evening with my Dad ~
Just Emma and me. :)

1199. Long-ago treasures to explore

1200. A sunny day after many grey ones

**Photos of Sun-evidence taken recently ~
Is it obvious that I was excited? :)

February 11, 2011

The Solid Rock

I have been singing/humming this around the house today.
The LORD Jesus Christ really is everything.
HE is my everything.
No one can possibly replace HIM.
How precious it is to belong to HIM!

Whatever it is you face...
Whatever trials you find yourself in...
Whatever disappointments you have known...
HE alone is Worthy of all your praise and trust.

HE is able to save you utterly
and cast away your sin forever

Come to HIM as you are,
find your ALL in HIM,
and these words will be true for you too!

"All that the Father giveth me shall come to me;
and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out."
~ John 6:37 ~

~ The Solid Rock ~

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus' blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus' name.

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.

When darkness veils His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.

~ Refrain ~

His oath, His covenant, his blood,
Support me in the 'whelming flood;
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my hope and stay.

~ Refrain ~

Edward Mote (1797-1874)

February 9, 2011

Classic Cheesecake ~ Oh Dear Me!

Jennifer Jo is a girl who knows about food.
I have yet to be disappointed by any of her recipes.
When she speaks about food, I listen.
And in this case...I bake.

There was no one coming for dinner.
There was no reason to bake.
We rarely have dessert.
Unless I am craving something...
which does happen now and again.

I wasn't craving Cheesecake.

But, the way it was described and documented,
I couldn't help myself.
The craving seemed to descend upon me.
Out I went to purchase the necessary ingredients.
The next day I baked.

It is an all-day affair.
But well worth the effort.

Well worth it!

I will not repost the recipe.
Instead, I will give you the direct link to the
exact post where the recipe can be found.
Click here to go there.
Thank you Jennifer Jo! :)

February 8, 2011

Good Reads for Boys

Our boys have all enjoyed reading
Piet Prins Novels.

They are set in war time and the post-war era in
the context of a Christian home.
The main characters face challenges and
learn through faith-building situations.
Some of the books have been read more than once by
one of our boys ~
the litmus test of a good book,
wouldn't you agree? :)

To find the link to the ordering page for the "Scout" Series ~ Click Here.

To find the link to the ordering page for the "Shadow" Series ~ Click Here.

February 7, 2011

Variation on a Classic

Have you ever made
Chicken Pot Pie from *scratch*?

Oh. So. Easy.


Oh. So. Good!

Well over a year ago,
I blogged about this recipe.
But I didn't publish the
measurements and instructions here...
I linked to where I orginally found it.

My friend Christa
had posted it on her blog
and I subsequently made it.
Since that time I have altered it
to make it a little simpler (lazy me).

Christa's original
would be the *gourmet* version.
Instructions for the *everyday* version
can be found below.

They are both yummy.

Please do pay Christa
a visit and let her know I sent you.
She is a dear.

~ Chicken Pot Pie ~

1/3 cup Butter
1/3 cup Flour
1/3 cup Onions, chopped
1/2 tsp Sea Salt
1/4 tsp Pepper
1 3/4 cup Chicken Broth
2/3 cup Milk
2 cups Chicken, cooked and cubed
1 cup Peas, frozen
1 cup Carrots,
chopped and steamed to partially cook

Combine flour,
salt and pepper
in small bowl and set aside.

In medium pot heat butter on low to melt.
Add chopped onion and saute until transluscent.

Stir flour mixture into the butter and onions,
cook on medium-low heat stirring constantly
until mixture is smooth and bubbly.

Remove from heat.

Stir in broth and milk with wire whisk.

Return to medium heat
and stir while bringing mixture to a boil.
Stir and boil one minute.

Stir in veggies and chicken.
Pour into a 2 Quart casserole dish.

Cover with a single pie crust
that has steam vents cut into it.

Bake at 450* F oven for
30-35 minutes until golden and bubbling.

Below you will find the pastry recipe I have been using.
It is super duper easy and no-fail.

~ Easy Pastry ~

1 cup Flour (plus a little more for rolling)
1/2 cup Butter
2 to 4 Tbsp cold water
(enough to make dough hold together)

Measure flour into bowl.
Cut in butter until crumbly.

Add water slowly
while tossing the flour mixture with a fork.
As you *toss* the dough will begin to hold together.

When there is enough water in the dough,
it will begin to pull away from the sides of the bowl.
At this point, scrape contents of bowl out onto the counter.

Press the dough together and roll out on a floured surface.
Keep turning the dough over and
re-flour counter so it doesn't stick.

When pastry is a little larger than your dish,
cut slits in the center of it and
gently lift onto your casserole dish.
Settle it into place, fold edges in and crimp it.

Bake as above.

Serve with a crusty loaf and tossed green salad
for a satisfying family meal.
This recipe serves three or four hungry people.


February 6, 2011

"Let Me Count the Ways..."

Austin just completed his
Online English 10 course.

I don't remember having
in Grade Ten English
back in *the* day!

One of the units of study was on Poetry ~
Of course.
He read some of this...

"How do I love thee? Let me count the ways."
~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning ~

It got me to thinking...
What a good theme for a Thankfulness post!

The LORD is
than any human being!

And HIS ways are perfect.
HE does all things well.
We often forget this.

At least, I do...
to my shame.

How many things I take forgranted.
How many things I neglect to thank HIM for!
Oh that I would have a tender heart.
Oh that I would really *see*
all the things HE does for us.

Day after day we have breath.
We have food and shelter.
We have more than we need.

And yet, I can carry around a cold,
unthankful heart.

Lord, please help me truly *see* with eyes
and heart all the ways in which
You show Your never dying love.

In the *small* and *insignificant*...
in the *grand* and *lofty*...
in the *quiet* and *still*...
in the *loud* and *boisterous*...
in E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G.
I give thanks this Monday.

Will you join us?
Joy will be there.

"I will praise thee, O LORD,
with my whole heart;
I will shew forth all thy marvellous works.
I will be glad and rejoice in thee:
I will sing praise to thy name,
O thou most High."

~ Psalm 9:1&2 ~

And so, I continue to count and count and count...
HE is in the midst and HE provides the joy!

1146. An inexpensive date night ~
$50 gift card for dinner (thank you Mom)
and free babysitting (thank you Austin)!

1147. Coming home to peace and quiet ~
the children all asleep

1148. Lazy Saturday mornings

1149. The paper route ~
Week in and week out...
a wonderful job for the boys.

1150. Mild winter day to open up the windows
and let the fresh air in!

1151. Grandma's Recipe
and the precious memories that go with it.

1152. Making them at the request of the children ~
new memories being made

1153. The joy it brings my heart to hear Emma
singing "If You're Happy and You Know It" in the shower! :)

1154. Caramel Corn on a Saturday evening

1155. Fellowship with God's people

1156. Being able to drop in to see Howie's parents
on the way home from church

1157. That we live close enough to music lessons
to be able to walk if need be

1158. That we've been able to make one vehicle
work for us for over 16 years

1159. "Old Betsy" (our van)
has been in our family's service for 9 years

1160. Hope

1161. Trust

1162. A new day

1163. Blogging friends ~
I appreciate each and every one of you!

1164. James 1:5

1165. Sweet treat in the mail ~
A wonderful change from the usual bills and *junk*

1166. A Starbuck's gift card to use

1167. Friends who invite us all for a meal ~
Thank you!

1168. Sourdough starter from that same friend. :)

1169. Super Glue to the rescue...again! ~
I've used up a whole package

1170. The sun and blue skies with puffy white clouds ~
rare for us in the winter months

1171. Pineapples from my Dad ~ Thank you! :)

1172. My servants ~ washer, dryer, dishwasher,
oven, fridge, van, etc...

1173. BCAA Membership to the rescue once again! ~
We are getting our money's worth.

1174. Sermon Audio

1175. Ability to "tune in" to our church service online
(when we are unable to be there in person)
or download sermons *on demand*

Many Blessings,

February 1, 2011

If You See it...Say it!

"If you see it...say it!"

I cannot tell you how many times my husband
has said this to us over the years.
I have no idea where it came from ~
But it is full of truth and love.
That is, as long as what we have to say is something good!
There are also those times when
we ought to say NOTHING at all.

Having cleared that up....

If you notice something nice someone has done,
tell them you appreciate it.
If you are thankful for something,
express it.

Very simple, right?

Let's put it into practice
in our marriages and see what happens!
I'm thinking only good can come of it. :)

"Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt,
that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man."
~ Colossians 4:6 ~