Thursday, 27 June 2013

Summer Craziness

Hello Everybody.

First of all I have to say I am so sorry for sucking so much lately at keeping up with the writing.  Things have been beyond busy in our lives as of late and I think I am just going to have to face it, I probably wont have many opportunities to write and share my heart with all of you for a while. 

Our summer is looking like it will be pretty busy.  We are going to stay with Hubbies Parents for a few weeks to help them build a shop at their new property. Then we will be back home for a bit then out to the lake for a camp we are involved with. Then Hubby needs to be in school taking some classes for about 3 weeks. Then Hubby and I are leaving the kids with my folks and taking a Babymoon in the Bahamas. Then he is back to work.

Thats right!  Did you catch that?

I said Babymoon.    WE ARE HAVING ANOTHER BABY!!!!

I am still pretty early on so your prayers are appreciated.  We are due sometime in early February and we are beyond excited.  

Little A has been praying for months for this to happen. When we told her the news she nearly screamed with joy. She immediately asked to see it and lifted my shirt to stare at my belly. She was sorely disappointed because my belly was so small (thankfully).  "Mom, did the baby already come out?" she asked with a bewildered look on her face.  

Now she goes around telling strangers and will come and ask me or her daddy if she can tell people her special secret.   We had planned on not sharing our news for a while, but with Little A being so excited we had to let the cat out of the bag.   ( It also doesnt help that I am constantly chugging water and trying to have a million little meals to ward off the constant nausea that I am feeling)  

Anyway, this summer is going to be beyond crazy and I sincerely appologize ahead of time for being so scattered and infrequent with my blogging.  (Not that any of you will be any less busy I am sure)

This summer we have decided to use every minute. Last summer we barely spent any time as a family and we are dead set against wasting our time by not being together.  We recognize the importance of family and are setting up some goals and boundaries on our time and how we spend it. 

One of the wonderful things that we are trying to do this summer is to take our kids to every park in the city.  
So far we have played or picnic'd at about 12 of them, there are a lot left to visit. 

We also made a list of all of the things that we want to do together as a family this summer.  We are really good at making lists for the house work that has to be done or all the projects that we have on the go, but we very rarely set out a list of all of the family things that we want to do. 

I am in the process of making a big poster board sign covered in our list of summer fun so that Little A and the E man can put big sun stickers on the things that we have done.   I am also making a giant map of the parks in the city so that we can put stickers on the parks we played at.  That way they get to be involved and can remind us to do all of our fun ideas.  ( I will post a pic once they are finally finished and on the wall) 

Some of our ideas so far are as follows:

Swim at the outdoor pool
Plant flowers
Swim at the Lake
Bike ride to the Ice Cream store
Have a Sunshine Party ( just a fun outdoor party really)
Go to the Family Reunion Picnic
Make a Sand Castle
Go to the Berry Barn and pick berries
Run through the sprinklers
Make Popsicles
Go on a water slide
Have a Family BBQ
Watch the Fireworks
Sleep in a tent (should be an interesting experience with little ones)
Pick Apples at Grandpa's
Walk by the River
Go to the Museum 
Go to the Zoo
Catch Minnows at the lake
Make Pinwheels
Fly the Kites
Paddleboat or Canoe

Anyway thats just a few of them.  

Any great ideas that are on your list for fun this summer, I'd love to hear them? 

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Wise Woman

My mom does this thing lately that makes me crazy.  

She tells me wise things that are opposed to my behaviour or attitudes. 

Isn't that annoying?! ( That was said with sarcasm)

My mom is so wise, understanding and forgiving. She has had so many wonderful and difficult life experiences that she has triumphed with a smile on her face and a firm foundation under foot.

Mom is never shy about offering her words of wisdom but she does it in such a way that she does not offend.  She is careful in choosing her words and does not say them out of pride but out of love.

Over the past 6 months, Mom's correction and guidance has mostly been about how I sound.  The way that I say things can sound short tempered and unkind, especially toward my hubby.  I am aware that my hormones after pregnancy have had a lot to do with it, but it is no excuse.

It is always hard to hear correction.  It is not something that comes easy to me, and I am sure I am not alone in that.

But I have been trying to teach my children and those that I babysit, that we need to listen to wise counsel and to offer wise counsel when someone is not following God's word.

The way of a fool is right in his own eyes,
But he who listens to counsel is wise.
Proverbs 12:15

Thankfully I have many wonderful people in my life that I feel like God has blessed with great wisdom.  They are able to speak into our lives and to offer counsel and guidance where needed, even when we are not asking for it. 

Hubby and I have also come to a place in our lives where we are finally able to see the wisdom in others and actually take their guidance. I really try not to be the kind of person that is stuck in my own way and not open to other points of view, but I think there are times that we all slide back into that teenage way of thinking.  

I have to say, I thank God that I am not always right and that I have made a lot of mistakes and had lots of learning experiences because of them. 

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise—  “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”
 Ephesians 6:1-3

Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good,  and so train the young women to love their husbands and children,  to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. 
Titus 2:3-5

For lack of guidance a nation falls,
    but victory is won through many advisers.

Proverbs 11:14

Listen to advice and accept discipline,
    and at the end you will be counted among the wise.

Proverbs 19:20 

Monday, 17 June 2013

Nana's Flapper Pie

Sorry it has been so long. We have been quite busy this past week and weekend. And it just seems like I never have a moment to myself to think let alone write. 

But here is something tasty to make up for my absence. 

mmmm  so tasty. 

That, my friends is Nana's Flapper Pie. It is my hubbies favourite so I made it for him for Fathers Day.  And since it is too tasty not to share, we shared it with our good friends and I wanted to share it with you. 

So, I realize some of you have probably never heard of Flapper Pie.   I think its a Prairies thing but honestly I have no idea where it came from. 
Basically, its a graham cracker crust topped with vanilla custard and meringue. And apparently, if your like my hubby, its the most wonderful pie in the world and can be devoured in one sitting if left to your own devices.

So without further ado, the best pie in the world.  (measurements and written directions after picture tutorial)

Melt margarine ( I substituted Coconut Oil and it turned out perfectly). 
Add graham crumbs, sugar, and cinnamon to melted margarine.  

Stir until well combined. 

Press into pie plate. ( or stop here and save this as topping for ice cream...seriously it smells and tastes so good, it was all I could do not to quit and grab a bowl.)

Put the prepared shell into the fridge to cool and set. 

Separate 2 eggs. Save the whites for later and blend with vanilla and set aside the yolks in a medium bowl for later. 

 Heat 1 1/2 cups of milk on low in a medium saucepan. 

Mix 1/2 cup cold milk with sugar, salt and corn starch. Pour half of this mixture into heated milk. Set aside the rest. 

Stir heated milk/cornstarch mixture until thickened. 

Now here is the tricky part.   
Take the heated, thickened milk, and add it a little at a time to the blended egg yolks, stirring constantly.  Once combined, mix the milky egg mixture into the remaining cold milk mixture and once it is fully combined pour it back into your saucepan. 

Cook this final mixture for one more minute then poor into your pie crust. 

You can stop here and save the pie to be meringued until right when you need it.  To store the custard pie in the fridge top it with plastic wrap on the custard so that it doesn't get a skin on it. 

Now all thats left is to mix up your meringue of choice ( I prefer a large batch of meringue...I like it piled high)  And bake according to your meringue recipe. 

It will look something like this....

Seriously, it is heavenly.  

Nana's Flapper Pie

1 1/2 Cup Graham crumbs
1/3 Cup Sugar
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/3 Cup Margarine (or Butter or Coconut Oil) 

2 Cups Milk
2 Rounded Tbsp Cornstarch
1/2 Cup Sugar
Pinch Salt
1/2 tsp Vanilla 
2 Eggs Separated

Melt margarine. Add graham crumbs, sugar, and cinnamon to melted margarine.  Stir until well combined then press into pie plate. Put the prepared shell into the fridge to cool and set. 

Separate 2 eggs. Save the whites for later. Blend yolks with vanilla in a medium bowl and set aside for later. 

 Heat 1 1/2 cups of milk on low in a medium saucepan.

Mix 1/2 cup cold milk with sugar, salt and corn starch. Pour half of this mixture into heated milk. Set aside the rest. 

Stir heated milk/cornstarch mixture until thickened.  

Take the heated, thickened milk, and add it a little at a time to the blended egg yolks, stirring constantly.  Once combined, mix the milky egg mixture into the remaining cold milk mixture and once it is fully combined pour it back into your saucepan. 

Cook this final mixture for one more minute then poor into your pie crust. 

Prepare meringue of your choice. Top pie and bake according to meringue recipe. 

The meringue I used is as follows. 

4 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
pinch of salt
1/2 Cup Sugar

Beat whites, salt and cream of tartar with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Beat in sugar until meringue holds stiff peaks. 
Top pie ( be sure to seal the edges)  and bake at 350 F for 15 minutes or until golden. 

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Joy in Naming the Animals

I apologize for the last few posts. My head and my heart have been all over the place and I have been struggling to write.

God has been working some things out for me and in me and I have been unable to put it into words.

The other night a young friend was over so hubby and I could get out and go on a date. When we got home, it was late but I had a wonderful opportunity to chat with J. She has been at university and is home for the summer living with her parents and trying to find work.

Somehow our conversation got onto the topic of being happy where God has us now.  J is trying to decide if she wants to follow her plans to become a doctor  but she is unsure because she hopes to have a family one day and values the necessity for children to be parented by their parents and not a stranger that is getting paid.

We talked about listening to God in the little choices as well as the big. We make thousands of choices every day and we need to choose if we are going to ask God for guidance in those decisions and if we are going to follow his leading or go our own way.   It's so much easier to ask God when it is a big decision, harder to trust him and not second guess maybe, but easier to remember to ask.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Jeremiah 29:11

As we sat there and talked about trusting God, making decisions, and being happy where we are at, God was not just speaking to J, he was using what felt like my verbal diarrhea to speak to me too.  I

remember so clearly the things that were said by her and myself, but most of what came out of my mouth felt like it was not from me.

One of the things that really resonated with me was that I am able to look back on my life up until this point and see Gods hand.  I can see him in all of the little choices and big ones. The things I felt were a mistake or a misfortune. Looking back on my life I can see how God has used things for his good.

When we get to where we are going, when we make it to heaven and see his face. When we have to look back and account for all that we have done, are we going to see missed opportunities and a life that was lived following selfish desires. Or will we be able to see the work of the Holy Spirit in us and the amazing things that He did through us.  

But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand 
slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.
Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat.But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.
2 Peter 3:8-13   

So then, looking at our lives in that way, everything that seems so important, in the grand scheme of things, means very little. The day that seems like is hellish and painful, is only a day and you will forget it so quickly in light of eternity with the Father and the overwhelming joy that comes in His presence.

And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.”  Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name.  So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him.
And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.
 And Adam said:
“This is now bone of my bones
And flesh of my flesh;
She shall be called Woman,
Because she was taken out of Man.”
Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

Genesis 2:18-25

I love this story.  I have a friend that used to say that she hadn't found the right guy yet because she wasn't done naming all the animals.  She really connected with the fact that Adam had to work and wait until there was a partner that was made perfectly for him.  

I see these verses in a different light.  It really reminds me about how we can skim or skip over things that are wonderful. 
Think about Adams experience in the garden with the Lord.   He was in the presence of God  for that time. ( I am elaborating here but just go with me) He sat and watched as the Lord created the creatures, then they were brought to him to name them. He was with God.   Who cares if it was a day or ten thousand years, he was with God and that would not have been a burden for him.  It was a blessing to name those animals. 

Yes, God was trying to find a helper for Adam, but the whole process of it is important.  It is not just about Adam doing all the work so he can be rewarded with Eve, its about all of that time in between too. I am sure that if we were to ask Adam he would have been just as excited (if not more) about the time he spent alone with God naming those animals, as he was with the end result. 

We need to be careful not to fly through the pain, turmoil, and work that we are putting in now. It is not just about the end result. If we are always focused on getting through so that we can get to our reward we will miss out on a lot of opportunities that God has for us and to show His glory through us. 

The best use of our time now, no matter what stage we are at, is to follow God and shine his love, in whatever and through whatever we are going through.  If we follow God and ask for his guidance, we will see his hand when we look back on our lives, and that is a great blessing. 

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Psalm 71

Sorry to not have been posting much this week. My kids have been sick and I have been beyond drained with them not eating, playing or sleeping normally. It has been a long week.

Next week I will also be MIA because I am taking the kids up to stay with my parents for a few days while my Aunt, Sister and Nephew are in town visiting.  We are so excited to get to go and spend some great family time together. It will be so fun, the kids haven't been together since my grandma's funeral and the E man has changed so much it will be fun to see him play with my nephew.

I just wanted to share a Psalm with you today in hopes that it would lift your spirits and my own. That God would speak to you today and this week and that he would shower you in His love. 

In You, O Lord, I put my trust;
Let me never be put to shame.
 Deliver me in Your righteousness, and cause me to escape;
Incline Your ear to me, and save me.
 Be my strong refuge,
To which I may resort continually;
You have given the commandment to save me,
For You are my rock and my fortress.
 Deliver me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked,
Out of the hand of the unrighteous and cruel man.
 For You are my hope, O Lord GOD;
You are my trust from my youth.
 By You I have been upheld from birth;
You are He who took me out of my mother’s womb.
My praise shall be continually of You.
 I have become as a wonder to many,
But You are my strong refuge.
 Let my mouth be filled with Your praise
And with Your glory all the day.
 Do not cast me off in the time of old age;
Do not forsake me when my strength fails.
 For my enemies speak against me;
And those who lie in wait for my life take counsel together,
 Saying, “God has forsaken him;
Pursue and take him, for there is none to deliver him.”
 O God, do not be far from me;
O my God, make haste to help me!
 Let them be confounded and consumed
Who are adversaries of my life;
Let them be covered with reproach and dishonor
Who seek my hurt.
 But I will hope continually,
And will praise You yet more and more.
 My mouth shall tell of Your righteousness
And Your salvation all the day,
For I do not know their limits.
 I will go in the strength of the Lord GOD;
I will make mention of Your righteousness, of Yours only.
 O God, You have taught me from my youth;
And to this day I declare Your wondrous works.
 Now also when I am old and grayheaded,
O God, do not forsake me,
Until I declare Your strength to this generation,
Your power to everyone who is to come.
 Also Your righteousness, O God, is very high,
You who have done great things;
O God, who is like You?
 You, who have shown me great and severe troubles,
Shall revive me again,
And bring me up again from the depths of the earth.
 You shall increase my greatness,
And comfort me on every side.
 Also with the lute I will praise You—
And Your faithfulness, O my God!
To You I will sing with the harp,
O Holy One of Israel.
 My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing to You,
And my soul, which You have redeemed.
 My tongue also shall talk of Your righteousness all the day long;
For they are confounded,
For they are brought to shame
Who seek my hurt.

Psalm 71