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Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,



Hebrews 12:1







Monday, December 31, 2012

Friday Night Fun

 
 As Mom and Dad spent Friday night at a church function, Jacqueline and I decided to have some fun while they were out.  We made ourselves one of our favorite dinners, watched a chick flick and tried some hairstyles for a party we are going to soon.  We had a lot of fun just hanging out having girl time, and we think that we will make Mom and Dad go out more often.
 
 
 
 
 
 


Almost done...

 



 
Jacqueline also decided to clean our makeup brushes while she was at it.
 
 
 
She said I wasn't holding still enough.

 
Even cleaning the kitchen can be fun if you know how to go about it.
 
 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Catch-up

So... I'm behind in blogging, again. I guess it means that I have a real life and don't spend all my time tied to a computer :0)

  At the end of October our church held a  Reformation Day celebration complete with pie and chili contests, feasting, chit-chatting, a three-legged race and other games , a presetation of some of the more un-known but justly deserving of fame mayters of the Christian faith, and the finally the  no-party-would-be-complete-without-activity: dancing. I'd never danced before, so it was really fun to try.  I am quite positive that I could have danced until dawn if I only had someone to dance with!  One of these days we will have to try that. ( Just in case anybody was wondering Posties Jig is my absolute, all time favorite.) 

 When you get a gaggle of girls together, there is always plenty to talk about!


 
Spectators of the ...

Egg and Spoon race

 
Me and Marta

Decorations

 
Isn't this a gourgous picture?  My friend Corina took all the pictures of the Reformation Day celebrations and was kind enough to let me use them.  If you want to see more of her amazing pictures, you can go to her blog, For His Glory
 
 
 
But, life isn't all parties and visiting.  Besides schoolwork, facinating books that beg to be read, and my job at the library, there are also my projects.  I have been working for most of the year off and on making blankets to take to the local NICU.
 
 

 
 
We have also been making a ton of soap to give as Christmas presents. We decided to make five different kinds, a goat's milk body soap scented with gardena, a peppermint and teatree wake-up bar, a rum and coconut shaving cream, a espresso bar, and a sandlewood bar.  We started making soap a year ago and loved the results. So we have spent the last year trying different recipes, finding the ones we like the best, and getting the process down.  I didn't realize until not that long ago that you can make landry and dish soap! Definatly a project for the new year!
 
 

 
 
So, I think I am caught up, for now that is.  
 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving

 
 
For the beauty of the earth,
For the glory of the skies,


Perseid Meteor Shower at Mono Lake


For the love which from our birth, Over and around us lies, Over and around us lies
Lord of all to thee we raise, This our joyful hymn of praise


For the beauty of the hour, of the day and of the night
Hill and vale,

And tree and flower
Sun and moon and stars of light





( Me and Jacqueline, ages 2& 6)

For the joy of human love
Brother, sister, parent, child
Friends on earth
And friends above
For a gentle thoughts and mild, For a gentle thoughts and mild
Lord of all to thee we raise, This our joyful hymn of praise




Image Detail
For each perfect gift of thine
To our race so freely given
Graces human and divine
Flow'rs of earth and buds of heav'n
Flow'rs of earth and buds of heav'n


Lord of all to thee we raise
This our joyful hymn, our joy ful hymn of praise
This our joyful hymn of praise

 For the Beauty of the Earth- Words by John Rutter

Monday, November 19, 2012

Granola Bars


 

We haved subscribed to this magazine for a year or so.  The recipes are tasty and easy to follow.  The photography is excellent and what we like most is that there isn't any advertising.
 
This issue included a recipe for granola bars.
 
 
 


 
 
 
Toast:
     2 c old fashioned rolled oats
     1/2 c whole raw almonds


Heat:
     2/3 c peanut butter
     1/2 c honey
     1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Combine:
     1 c crispy rice cereal
     1/3 c dried fruit (we used chocolate chips)
     1/2 tsp. table salt


1.  Preheat oven to 350.  Coat an 8-inch pan with nonstick spray; set aside.

A tip we gather from Cooks Country is to save your butter wrappers and use them to coat your pans--it works great.







2.  Toast oats and almonds in the oven on a
baking sheet in a single layer until browned, about 10 minutes.
 
 
 3.  Heat peanut butter, honey, and vanilla in a saucepan over medium heat until peanut butter melts.

4.  Combine cereal, dried fruit and/or chocolate chips, salt,  toasted oats,  almonds and peanut butter in a large bowl until ingredients are coated with the peanut butter mixture.  Press mixture into the prepared pan and let it chill until firm, 10-15 minutes.

 



5.  Cut into bars and wrap in plastic wrap or waxed paper.  Wrapping them individually insures that they won't stick together and they are easy to grab and go.



 
This batch didn't last a week.  Hope you enjoy them as much as we did.











 
 
 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Blackberry Cobbler

I hope you had a good holiday.  Thought I'd share a recipe that we make for events like the Fourth of July.  It is easy to make and tastes great.  We like to serve it while it is still warm with ice cream.



Ingredients:

   1c all-purpose flour                      
   1 1/2c white sugar, divided
   1 tsp baking powder
   1/2 tsp salt
   6Tbsp cold unsalted butter
   1/4c boiling water
   2Tbsp cornstarch
   1/4c cold water
   1Tbsp lemon juice
   4c fresh blackberries, rinsed & drained
         or frozen berries

Directions:
    1.  Preheat oven to 400 degree.   Place a 9" baking dish on a cookie
         sheet-I use a ceramic tart dish.
    2.  In a large bowl, mix flour, 1/2c sugar, baking powder, & salt.
         Cut in butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Stir
         in 1/4c boiling water just until mixture is evenly moist.
    3.  In a large saute pan dissolve the cornstarch in cold water.  Add
         the remaining 1 c sugar, lemon juice & berries.  Bring to a boil.
         Stirring frequently, allow mixture to thicken.  Transfer the
         mixture to the baking dish.
    4.  Drop dough into the dish by the spoonfuls. 
    5.  Bake 25 mins. in the preheated oven-until the dough is golden
         brown.  Allow the cobbler to cool for 5 mins. then serve warm
         with ice cream.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Life with our Kitten




We have now had our kitten for a whole week now!
We had been going back and forth saying "It's a boy!" "It's a girl!" but we finally got to the vet who told us that it is a girl!! (Poor Dad.) Because of that factor the name we had chosen (Stormy) no longer fits.  So instead because she is so small we named her Milli.



We've been kinda worried that she isn't settling in well.
What do you think?.......











video

By Jacqueline

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Insane

That is the word that would best describe us at this moment.


We have brought this......



Stormy & Audrey
(the cat not Audrey)

Into our house.

Yes, we know, you don't have to tell us.

We're insane.

A six week old kitten with our two, grumpy, middle-aged Cats.
( for those of you who don't know Twitchy died in January)

Yup......

We found him in a storm drain in the parking lot of the grocery store.  It took 30 minutes and half a can of wet food before we caught him.

In the last 36 hours he has resided in our home he has already:
*let us pick him up   *pet him
*purred   *begun to play
*gotten stuck behind the piano   *made the acquaintance of the above grumpy cats (did NOT go well)



Of course his meeting with the grumpy cats deserves its own paragraph.  Cecile sniffed him a few times and got her tail as bushy as a bottle brush before she promptly hissed.
Red didn't even have to sniff a few times before she decided that the cat was pure evil.   She hissed and growled her head off.

 By Jacqueline


Friday, February 10, 2012

Defending Jane Austen


Unknown Artist - American Art Artist - Marguerite Pearson - Women Writing A Letter 0s 30x36 Painting
Unknown artist- Woman Writing a Letter


Some people dismiss Jane Austen as a satirist who only made fun of her society.  Others reject her work as romance novels and complain that she gives a starry-eyed view of men, love, and marriage.  Jane Austen may also be disregarded because she doesn't specifically mention God moving and working in her characters.   At a superficial glance, these things are mostly true; but deeper reflection will find that within the pages of Jane Austen's books are many Godly lessons, illustrated by both positive and negative examples.  She weaves these lessons into the plot of her stories in such a believable manner that you come away  both encouraged and challenged.  This is in stark contrast with popular Christian fiction found in today's bookstores where God is talked about excessively but  the actions and dialogue of the characters reveal an un-Biblical worldview. 

In my personal favorite, Sense and Sensibility, the central concept  is the  response to unpleasant circumstance.  Elinor exemplifies  II Corinthians 10:5b, " ... and bringing into captivity every though to the obedience of Christ",  when she responds by keeping her emotions in check, her thoughts captive, and trusting in God when her circumstance seem to forecast complete unhappiness.  In doing this Elinor also spares her mother and sisters a lot of unnecessary anxiety on her behalf.  

While at first Marianne is the antithesis of her sister (Elinor struggles to overcome, Marianne wallows), the sanctification process is evident in her life. By the end of the story she not only sees the necessity of keeping her emotions in check but also succeeds at it.  Marianne comes to have a deeper appreciation and love for Elinor after watching her struggle to do what she knows is right.

In Mansfield Park, there is the idea of perseverance through trial.  Whether the trial is being pursed by a rake who no one else sees as a rake because he has money, being reminded over and over again of the kindness of your uncle in taking you in, or watching the man you love throw his affections away on a worthless woman, Fanny is loyal to principles no matter what and patient to a fault.  Even when her cousin, who she happens to be in love with, wants her to do something that goes against her conscience, she is adamant in her refusals.  Fanny is also amazing about giving people the benefit of the doubt even when they really don't deserve it. 

Not all of Jane Austen's stories are positive examples.  In Northanger Abby, she uses a young and naive Catherine Morland to expound on the foolishness of reading rubbish.  While Austen specifically points out how the reading of some  romantic novels has the potential to fill  young minds such as  Catherine's with ridiculous notions, like the idea that her future father-in-law murdered his wife, the principle is still there.  Catherine read absent mindedly.  She didn't exercise discernment.  She simply took it all in and her character was corrupted. In the end she had to endure a very embarrassing episode to teach her this lesson.

This doesn't mean that Marx, Darwin, or Hitler should never be read. It means that we shouldn't be saturated in it . Reading these authors is beneficial in order to understand the wrong and be able to combat it, but we should be engaged in whatever we read-discerning good and evil.

Jane Austen is one of the best female writers in the English language.  She had amazing insight into human strengths and weaknesses.  To me her stories present a challenge to become better or shine  a gentle light on my weakness so that it is easy to want to change.  Her characters walk beside the reader with an exalting example of how to glorify God through being patient, loyal, persevering through trials, having a proper response to unpleasant circumstances, the evils of reading trash,  treating people kindly no matter what, the list goes on and on.  It all depends on you and where you are at in your walk.   

So, do you like Jane Austen? Why or why not?  If you do, which one of her stories are your favorite and why?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Blow, Blow Thou Winter Wind



DX Winter Snow Screensaver screenshot 1

Blow, Blow Thou Winter Wind~ William Shakespeare


Blow, blow, thou winter wind

Thou art not so unkind

As man's ingratitude;

Thy tooth is not so keen,
Because thou art not seen,
Although thy breath be rude.


Heigh-ho! sing, heigh-ho! unto the green holly:
Most friendship if feigning, most loving mere folly:
Then heigh-ho, the holly!
This life is most jolly.



Freeze, freeze thou bitter sky,
That does not bite so nigh
As benefits forgot:
Though thou the waters warp,
Thy sting is not so sharp
As a friend remembered not.

Heigh-ho! sing, heigh-ho! unto the green holly:
Most friendship if feigning, most loving mere folly:
Then heigh-ho, the holly!
This life is most jolly.