Friday, June 25, 2010

Sob sob!!

I can't bake! I just can't! But I do it because I love the smells and the idea that maybe someday something might turn out just the way it's meant to. And my family eat it - probably also hoping that maybe some day, something might turn out the way it's meant to. However, I have friends who have 'the gift of baking'. It's hard not to be jealous. But it's a wonderful thing to be invited over for morning tea! (hint hint girls!!)

Anyway, so this is where I am asking for some tips. Let's have some easy no fail recipes from all you bakers out there! And some hints on what makes things work or not. Maybe you even have pictures.... we could have a baking link party!!

Puuuuuleeeze take pity on this poor baking challenged girl (eeek - a pastors wife who can't bake... - this is indeed a major problem ladies!!!)  c'mon.... give me a hand!!

PS - I will kick start things off - these are NON BAKING!!!! I make these for every birthday party.... let me know if you want the recipe.... ;)  (hehe)

Monday, June 21, 2010

The grass is always greener...

It was a cosy morning here this morning. School work was well underway, the baby was asleep, and I was feeling good. But I suddenly realised it was too quiet. The Dog had stopped whining to come inside. Ugh! One quick check and I saw that he had pulled the gate open. Again. And had gone. Again. The second time in a week.

But I know this canine. He is predictable. So I load the kids in the car and we go around the block to the gate to the farmland which is behind our back fence. A guy yells over to me "Are you looking for your spaniel?" I knew it. I'm good! Sure enough I look across the paddocks and there is The Dog. Right behind our fence. Literally. Except he is on the wrong side of the fence. It's not our side. I yell after him. He doesn't hear (apparently) and runs towards the park. I get in the car and make it to the end of the road before him. I get out of the car and yell "You crank!" He runs toward me with joy and exhuberance, and leaps at me almost knocking me over with his love. He then looks at me accusingly, like it was me that opened the gate and left him alone in the big wide world!!

As I drive home with The Dog riding shotgun, I realise that he and I are much the same. He wanted what was over the fence. Even though he has a good home and many hands ready to rub his round belly he still wasn't satisfied. He wanted to be on the other side of the fence, the side where the grass is greener.... He was anticipating adventure, fun and food.What he had forgotten from - oh FIVE days ago!! - was that over the fence was mud and puddles. He hates being wet and dirty. And he hates being 'lost'. 
I too at times look longingly over the fence. I see fun, adventure and ...uh... fun! But I don't live my life on the other side of the fence. I am on 'this side' - the side my husband calls 'the fun side'. This looking 'over the fence' is what causes discontentment. Wishing that life was something different. Thinking it would be better "if only....." But my friends, THIS is the life that we live. The one that you and I are in right now. Sure there is nothing wrong with moving ahead, making plans, making changes. But what if the things that we are working towards/desiring don't come to fruition? Will we still be content? Will our hearts still be joyful? That's the heart of the matter.

"For I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances." (Phil 4:11). Contentment is not a feeling. It's a learned behaviour. Want to know how? Keep reading Pauls next words. Verse 13 is our secret to contentment. Let's not keep it a secret any longer. Let's spread the word. The grass isn't greener. And we can do all things through Him who gives us strength.

Oh and The Dog? Asleep on the couch in front of the fire. Content - for now.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

What's for dinner?

Have I mentioned how much I love winter? I can't help myself. The log fire, the cosy slippers, quilts on the bed and food. I love food. And even more than I love food, I REALLY love to serve my family with yummy and nutritious meals. I really should have been born in the 1950's because I love nothing better than to be in my apron, with dinner cooking, the house tidy and kids happy when my honey walks in the door. I know - some of you are groaning! My own mother can't believe it... hehe. 
But, it works for us :)

Anyway, I am structured. That's just how it is. So lists delight me and strategies make my day! Of course it should make sense that I have my meals pre-planned. (and written up on a cute menu board!)
If you are of my personality persuasion, you will agree with the benefits of meal organisation. However, I know there are some of you out there who love nothing better than to live life spontaneously. To fly by the seat of your pants! But let me just share with you some reasons why being prepared makes this mama happy. Cause if mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy - right?

I love to have my meals organised early because....

1. It saves money!
Lets face it, times are tough, the kids are hungry and the money bucket is certainly not overflowing in our house, or probably yours either. I go to the grocery store with a list of what I need for my meals that week and that's pretty much what I get. Sure a few more things might make their way into the trolley... but not too many!

2. It saves time.
I generally have my meals made by lunch time. I know exactly what meat needs thawing, what vege to prepare, sauce to make etc, and while my girls are getting on with some independent work, I get on with mine. It's great.... and means I have the afternoon free! (well - free of meal prep anyway...)

3. It saves stress.
I hate chaos. But that is exactly what my house is like at 4:30pm when I have to try to thaw meat and pull a meal together, bath the kids, get the house tidy and try my best to not be grumpy mama. It doesn't usually work.

4. My meals can be more balanced and nutritious.
Why? Because it's pre-planned. As soon as I have the meals for the week organised I see pretty quick if I have overloaded on carbs, carrots or mince (ground beef)!

5. The girls and I can have some fun together
Being organised means that if I have a bread dough rising, the girls can have some fun making their own buns for dinner. They love that and actually so do I.

So there you have it. Call me obsessed, old fashioned or tied to the kitchen (actually I would seriously be tying myself to the kitchen if I had a red kitchen aid mixer!)... or call me happy. Cause that's what I am. I am a wife and a mama and my greatest joy is to serve my family at home. I see it not as a chore or a brainless task - it's the hardest job I have ever done. And it's a huge privilege.
That's all for now friends.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

One more thing

I forgot to mention my other wee project that I had planned to do. When I picked up The Table yesterday, I also picked up two nasty brown spice racks.

Yep, nasty.
So of course in between math and reading this morning I had a quick session with my trusty brush and can of paint.

Here is the end result.

I know - you are wondering "why would she put a spice rack on the wall?"
It's simple. I hate mess. Hate it. So.... this is the way that I deal with the stack of books which end up on the bed, on the floor and which inevitably go 'crash!' in the night.
Cool huh!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Skinny single shot vanilla latte.....

Hello friends,
It's a cool autumnal evening here in New Zealand and I have just got home from a lovely 'date' with my honey at Starbucks. As much as I  adore my kids there is something so nice about being able to just sit and chat... and drink my own coffee. All of it. All to myself - mmmmm!

This past weekend was the Impact Bible Conference. It was a fantastic time of blessing, encouragement and friends. I plan to share more on the conference a little later once I have some time to roll it all round in my mind some more. In the meantime you need to check out this book here. This book was gifted to all the ladies - 'Thank you Impact organisers!'  Lisa Tatlock was the speaker for the ladies seminars and she was fantastic.

So ,today was a great day. After school work I went op shopping! Hurrah! I went with the intention of finding a desk and chair for my bedroom where I can sit and write. I had a budget of $40.... and can you believe I only spent thirty! I found a cane table with a glass top - not something I would normally like..... but it had potential! I found a lovely chair too....

Of course I couldn't leave it like that... so a wee splash of paint and a couple of hours later I had my own writing corner! Yeah!

For any who might be interested, the colour I used is Egg Shell (resene paint) and it's a couple of shades lighter than the egg shell feature wall of my bedroom.
So that's all for today folks. I'll be back soon... but in the meantime don't forget to check out Lisa Tatlocks books....


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

My guy

You will have to bear with me today. I am possibly mushy - more likely thoughtful and thankful. But definately in love.

So there's this guy. He's handsome, funny, thoughful and kind. The kind of guy that will sit through a chick flick and provide the chocolate and tea to enjoy with it. But even more than that. He is brave. He is humble and gracious. He is forgiving and long suffering. He is wise and he loves the Lord more than he loves anything else - his reputation, his pride, his own comfort and ease. And I am absolutley smitten by him. He is also my mentor. I am not as gracious as I need to be. I am not as quick to forgive. But I am reaching for those things because of his example. I am so thankful for this guy - and I am so thankful that the Lord gave me such a great husband who leads me closer to Him, through his own selfless behaviour.

And you know there isn't much that get's this guy worked up.

 Except maybe...


Yep, his side of the bed and his pillow. It makes him just a little bit cross. And it makes me a bit giggly. Oh I love my guy!