Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Counting Blessings

I am so thankful today for a warm home, for warm clothing and for a van that started first piston up, as my dad would say! We are 'achy bones flu-bug' free and The Storyteller had a great speech therepy session. The Dreamer was well prepared for her piano lesson and her teacher was very pleased! The bank machine was operational - for once! Just a bunch of little things that have all added up to another day to be thankful for! The children have their verses ready for AWANA tonight, and though I am really too tired to go out in the cold, I know supper will strengthen me, and God will bless us for making the effort to go! Thanks be to God for His wonderful, simple gifts!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Sew and Sew

Cozy flannel two piece 'sports' jammies for The Storyteller, finished on Saturday.

A nice full cherry covered apron for The Dreamer, with the required 'big bow' at the back and a sweet gathered pocket hiding in the cherries, completed on Sunday!

I love sewing for our children, but I don't have the time or energy to do it as often as I would like. I have not given up, but I have adjusted my expectations! I sew Sunday dresses and special occasion garments, just for fun'dress up' items, and hard to find garments for the children, and it makes my heart sing to know how much they love to wear something made by Mommy.

As a teenager I worked part time at a wonderful Canadian fabric store, part of a nationwide chain of stores. I loved working there - most of the time! I rarely brought home a complete paycheck, since I often had a stack of fabric and notions that I could not pass up! I made most of my own clothes and I sewed constantly. When The Historian and I were married, I had to my credit 11 big boxes of fabric! For about 5 years I made much of our clothing, our simple gift items and our 'parsonage home decor' using the contents of those boxes - and since we were as poor as church mice, it was wonderful to have!

My biggest frustration in working at the fabric store was with a certain group of customers - women in their mid to late 40's in fact! These ladies would come into the store - often with a young teenage daughter in tow and they would proceed to buy 'the list' of items required for a grade 9 home economics class project - usually a gathered apron. Most of these ladies professed a deep love of sewing in their teen years, but hadn't done much sewing 'since we had the kids'.

I do hope my frustration with these ladies was not too evident, but perhaps it was since I've always been rather too transparent. I was so perplexed with these dear ladies because to my mind, they had missed a golden opportunity - to sew for their children! I determined that I would not be 'one of those ladies', that if God blessed me with children, I would sew for them.

May I say that I now know the folly of my youth? I feel terrible for judging those poor mothers so long ago! I was so sure of myself - determined to find a way to sew for my children and not at all understanding the daily demands of parenting. I have sewn for our children - on and off throughout their lives, but it has not been as easy as I thought it would be. My time is not my own, and each day is filled with the tasks of daily living. Children grow so quickly - keeping up with a full wardrobe of purchased clothing is hard - anticipating their growth is nearly impossible! We love hand me downs and thrift stores - if our children had to rely on my sewing for them they would be poorly dressed indeed! Many times my sewing machine has gathered dust for months or been buried under unfinished projects and mending!

I will soon be one of those women in their 40's and I am glad! I have learned so much and come so far - I hope! God has allowed us to go through some deep valleys and we have learned to trust Him more with each trial we have faced. I am glad just to do the bit of sewing and crafting I find time for - and I dream of the day when I can work on a project without quite so many interruptions! In the meantime, I'm still a sew and sew once in a while!

Monday, January 29, 2007

Anti-Procrastination Monday

The problem - boxes of sewing notions piled in our bedroom near my sewing corner! What a mess!

One of the 'banker's boxes' stuffed with notions ready to be sorted and organized!

The Dreamer helped with the labels - good spelling practice!

The finished project - still up on my table waiting to be rolled under the table! My back was not up to bending over the drawers, so this worked out well.

I've been having a terrible time logging in to Blogger for some reason, but I am finally here and able to try to post these pictures.

Last week Mrs. Wilt at The Sparrow's Nest came up with this wonderful way to motivate us to accomplish one thing we have been putting off! I chose to tackle my sewing area since I have been longing to sew, but have been overwhelmed with mending projects and piles of new projects half done and collecting DUST!

Since we moved 2 years ago, my sewing supplies have been living in ziplock bags in white bankers boxes - not the most efficient organization system! They are piled in my 'crafts closet' and really a pain to get in to. My mom and I brainstormed about a better way - we decided that a set of rolling plastic drawers was a cheap and easy method of getting everything I need to sew in one place.

I first re-established my 'mending basket', which looks more like "Mommy's Doll & Stuffed Animal Hospital" according to The Storyteller! I have never had so many casualties at once!

I put the contents of the boxes on our bed and had The Dreamer help me sort and make labels for the contents of the drawers! It was fun and really satisfying! There is room under my sewing table to roll the drawers under when not in use, and the drawers are not overstuffed, so there is room for more notions!

Already, this orderliness has helped my sewing time! I have made pajamas for The Storyteller and an apron for The Dreamer! Next, I am tackling the Mending Basket and after that, I am going to work on our bedroom curtains! I feel better about the appearance of my sewing area since it is also our master bedroom

Thank you Mrs. Wilt for the motivation to tackle this job!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Homemaking Meme

This lovely ABC meme was created by Sallie at A Gracious Home! Thank you Sallie! This was so much fun! Enjoy!

Aprons – Y/N? If Y, what does your favorite look like?

While I have many aprons, I don't have a favourite - they are all well used and I really need to make a new one for each of us!

Baking – Favorite thing to bake
Muffins! My family loves muffins and they are so easy and yummy! Too yummy! Scones and cookies are fun too!

Clothesline – Y/N?
Yes, I have a wonderful outdoor clothesline that my dad made for me and a rod in the laundry room.

Donuts – Have you ever made them?
Yes! For a long time we had the young people from our church dropping by every week for homemade donuts - they were cheap to make and yummy!

Every day – One homemaking thing you do every day
It seems like everything! Wiping counters multiple times per day!

Freezer – Do you have a separate deep freeze?
Yes! We have an upright freezer and a spare fridge with a big freezer!

Garbage Disposal – Y/N?
Yes. We rarely use it! We compost and recycle whatever we can!

Handbook – What is your favorite homemaking resource?
Talking Dirty with The Queen of Clean

Ironing – Love it or hate it? Or hate it but love the results?
I like ironing but it is hard on my body - we have so much because our clothes are mainly cotton and we are not BARBIE DOLL sized people! I have a friend who comes to iron and it helps us both out!

Junk drawer – Y/N? Where is it?
Junk basket - in the laundry room! Whatever I find in pockets goes there and anything not claimed after 30 days will be disposed of at my discretion! I keep ALL money!

Kitchen – Color and decorating scheme
We chose maple cabinets with an opaque creamy stain and pewter wash. We have very little wall space but what there is is painted sage green. Our counter tops are black/ green/gold flecked/ ruby sparkling granite and the floor is a warm red/brown cork. The appliances are black and my windows are topped with a cream and sage toile called 'Rustic Life' by Waverly lined with a sage green check. I love my kitchen but can never keep up with all of the papers piled on my counter tops!

Love – What is your favorite part of homemaking?
Expressing my creativity for the pleasure of my Creator and my family!

Mop – Y/N?
YES! I used to despise a mop, but now I live with liver problems and a lot of hard floors!

Nylons – Wash by hand or in the washing machine?
By hand with Woolite!

Oven – Do you use the window or open the oven to check?
What window? Open it up and look!

Pizza – What do you put on yours?
Ham, parmesean cheese, tomatoes, red peppers and green olives please!

Quiet – What do you do during the day when you get a quiet moment?
Read, sort mail, blog, sort mail, plan menus, sort mail, correct schoolwork, sort mail ....

Recipe card box – Y/N? What does it look like?
An antique 6 drawer mini file cabinet that my husband gave to his mother years ago! Three generations of recipes! I also use a binder for all my full page recipes from great blogs!!!!

Style of house – What style is your house?
1950's rambling ranch - grey siding, black shutters and cement brick - yuck yuck yuck! It is on the 'to change soon' list - I'm hoping to strip the vinyl, restore the wonderful wood and paint it rich tan with cream trim and sage accents.

Tablecloths and napkins – Y/N?
Does a quilt count? I use table runners and a few quilts to make the table special on weekends, but during the week it doubles as our homeschool area and needs to be bare! Last week I left the centerpiece on and a flying pencil broke my last special glass candle cup!

Under the kitchen sink – Organized or toxic wasteland?
Somewhat organized, but needs to be wiped down. Again!

Vacuum – How many times per week?
At least once, sometimes twice, rarely three times but it has happened! We swiffer almost every day! Once I vacuumed 17 times in 5 days but our house was on the market and we had that many showings - we were living at the Tim Horton's across the street waiting for folks to finish looking at our house! I miss my central vac system!

Wash – How many loads of laundry do you do per week?
7 or 8 loads - too many for a family of 4!

X’s – Do you keep a daily list of things to do that you cross off?
Yes - I love to make lists and cross them off!

Yard – Y/N? Who does what?
We hire our yardwork for $25 a week and we have an acre to mow - my husband would do a great job, but the kids will only be young once - we want to do things together and not watch Daddy mow for 5 hours every Saturday! We'd have to invest in a riding mower I think! I do the gardens and hubby does the minor tree trimming - he's a whiz with the trimmers!

Zzz’s – What is your last homemaking task for the day before going to bed?
Making sure the kitchen sink is empty and ready for a new day!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The Land of the Living

We have once again joined the land of the living and I am so very blessed. If you have a ticklish tummy, you might want to skip this post! Or at least scroll down to the end where you'll find my list of things to be thankful for!

We were visited by a very nasty flu bug beginning Friday night with The Storyteller. It was his Half Birthday - 6 1/2 to be exact, and he was given the priveledge of choosing the menu and 1/2 birthday cake flavour for the day. He chose homemade PoGo's or corn dogs as they are called down here and vanilla cake with fluffy white frosting, along with our ususal tray of cut up fruits and veggies and for a special treat - potato chips! Since we are generally used to low fat foods, we initially thought the greasy supper menu was responsible for his 'spit downs'. We were hoping so anyway!

The upset was short lived with him, and as always, despite loosing everything in his tummy and intestinal tract, he was cheerful, energetic and basically himself. After doing laundry until 1:40 am we crawled into bed and had a good night. He was still not feeling quite himself Saturday, so we postponed driving partway to meet my dad and send Grammy home with him.

After scones and fruit cup for breakfast and making a fresh batch of yummy Chicken Noodle Soup, my mom and I left the children with Daddy and spent a couple of hours running errands (so much faster without the children!) and enjoying Hobby Lobby. They had the 'leftovers' of Christmas merchandise on sale for 90% off and were putting out stuff as fast as it was being grabbed from the shelves. I succumbed to the frenzy and bought more 4 more boxes of twinkling lights, 4 gorgeous fall garlands, 12 golden apples and lots of white tissue, as well as an iron coat tree/umbrella stand and yarn for a scarf. It was so fun!

On Sunday when we awakened to snow and found most of the churches in the area had cancelled due to poor driving conditions, we were all blessed to have a day of quiet rest. The children bundled up and played outside for a short time in the snow - The Storyteller played out quickly so we knew he wasn't entirely over his bug. We rested for a while and then all went out again to build a snow fort. We even blew up the snow tubes and had an hour on the hill enjoying great sliding fun - but once again they got tired quickly so we came home and ate the beef stew that had been simmering away all day. We don't get much snow here so we were determined to enjoy it while we could!

As we made it an early night Sunday were praising the Lord with the children, feeling that everyone else had quite possibly escaped the germs. I was congratulating myself on our careful handwashing, diligent Clorox wipes application on all knobs and frequently touched surfaces, fresh cold air room cleansing and thorough laundry boiling.

Hmmm ...

3 am Monday began the journey to the bathroom for me - bucket in hand. The Historian followed shortly - no bucket required. My mom began her journey to the johnny shortly after 8 am and The Dreamer held out until about 11 am. Praise the Lord for 4 bathrooms!

The Storyteller was the only one well enough to be out of bed, and he was delighted to play uninterupted computer games (Adventures in Odyssey) and watch videos, until, as he said, "My brain is turning into oatmeal - I've watched 9 (1/2 hour) videos!" Than he played quietly and read books in his room. We all managed to feed him small meals and snacks throughout the day, but I can't tell you exactly what - not his usual well balanced and colorful variety, to be sure.

This bug seems to hit each one differently - but we have all experienced chills, severe achiness, lower back pain and waves of nausia. The Historian and Grammy had no 'spit downs', but that is all The Dreamer had. The Storyteller and I had difficulties in both directions. I pray that none of your families will have the displeasure of hosting this particular bug! As I was laying in bed this morning, feeling somewhat better and trying to find the courage to make my aching rib muscles move, I was making a mental list of all the things to be thankful for!

Simple Flu Bug Thanksgivings

1. Indoor plumbing. I have never praised the Lord for our 4 bathrooms before the way I have in the last 36 hours. I have always wondered why they put so many toilets in this average sized home - especially when I am cleaning them! I can't image going through this sharing an outhouse!

2. Information. Knowing how to take care of ourselves and keep hydrated, and knowing that there is help just a phone call away. We have a medical reference book that is very very helpful for knowing when to seek medical attention.

3. Central Heating and Hot Water. No stoking the fire or boiling water. We were in turns, hot and cold, and we went through more hot water than we usually do in a week!

4. Sick Days. The Historian will still have a job when he goes back tomorrow!

5. Comfortable Beds. While our bodies were aching from laying around so much and from the affects of the bug, we were far more comfortable in our cuddly beds. I'm thankful for matress protectors too!

6. The Washer and Dryer. We have done so much washing in the last few days - I have a well stocked linen closet but we quickly went through everything! The quilts of course cannot be dried in the dryer and no one had the strength to hang them outside so they are slowly drying inside. It is a blessing to have a good washer and dryer to take care of the bulk of the mess.

7. Videos. A rare treat in our home turned into 'electronic babysitting' while all of the adults were incapacitated! We don't have t.v. so we have a good variety of videos. We knew that the videos that were within The Storytellers reach were suitable for him to enjoy! It was a Veggie Tales Marathon!

8. Sunshine! Blue sky and sunshine - reminding us of God's mercies - new every morning!

There are so many families suffering from really serious illnesses, it almost seems trivial to worry about this short lived flu bug, but as we have just been through it, and are recovering, we have much to be thankful for! I'm not sure my mom will ever come for a visit again - she has had two bad colds and the flu in 3 1/2 week visit - and my dad won't come to get her until she is germ free!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Dire Warnings

I have once again been warned about the varied dangers of blogging - and while I know that it comes from a heart of love and concern, I have decided to continue for now.

It is not that I do not know that we live in a sin sick world. I watch the news (sometimes) and I have studied my Bible. I can see that the hearts of men and women are wicked. I know my own sinful heart - and we have children! If we did not believe in the inherited sin nature of mankind before we had children, we certainly do now! No one taught our children to sin - they did not go to school to learn temper tantrums, willfulness, complaining, selfishness, and anger! They have developed these and honed them to unquestionable skill without any tutoring or instruction!

I love my children and will do anything I am able to to protect them. I know there is a certain risk in publishing pictures on my blog, and I know that there are men and women who have given themselves over to sin who might see these pictures and desire to hurt my family. I know that some have ways of using the little bit of personal information I have disclosed to find my family. I wish we didn't live in a world so full of risks and dangers, but we do.

At the same time, I know my Saviour. Countless times I have made poor, unthinking choices, and incredibly, I have not suffered the concequences as I ought to have. I have enjoyed God's mercy and grace. More than once I have known without a doubt that God has protected me in ways I'll never understand from the ever present dangers I have knowingly and unknowingly walked into.

When we have suffered great losses and faced overwhelming trials, we have known God's everpresent love; we have seen how our difficulties have humbled our spirits, matured our characters, stretched our faith and brought glory to the One we serve each day.

In a world where we are often so disconnected, there is something strongly satisfying about glimpsing the real worlds of my blogging friends. Sharing in this way has allowed me to celebrate the home arts I love so much and to share what I have learned with others in a small way. I have been so very encouraged and challenged!

I may be taking a foolhardy risk, but I cannot dwell in fear. I think I would go mad if I allowed the magnitude of the dangers of this world overtake me - and I certainly would never leave our home. I will do what I know to do to maintain our safety and leave the rest to my Heaven Father. I strive to be in an attitude of prayer as I seek God's direction in this, and I may come to a different conclusion as I yield myself to God's direction in this matter.

The Storyteller is memorizing this wonderful comforting Psalm, and as we have talked over the meaning of each verse, my heart has thrilled once again to the joy of knowing the Good Shepherd cares for my every need. It is humbling to know that the God of the universe takes tender loving care of this stupid willful sheep, but I pray it will always be so!

Psalm 23
A Psalm of David.

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He makes me to lie down in green pastures;

He leads me beside the still waters.

He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness

For His name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil; For You are with me;

Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;

You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life;

And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

Image from All Posters 'Faith'

Saturday, January 13, 2007


Our sweet Dreamer seems so young at 9 to need 'braces' on her teeth, but due to a bite problem and 8 other alignment issues, she has begun the process of 'braces'. This has been a huge adjustment this week for our apple munching, raw veggie loving girl. Our orthodontist claims The Dreamer has the strongest jaw muscle he has ever encountered - and it's no surprise to us! She loves raw carrots, peas, beans, peppers, rutabaga, apples - and all kinds of fruit and veggies! She is a crunchy muncher for sure!
We have had soft foods all week - puddings, vegetable soup, popsicles, pasta and cheese, grilled salmon, soft crust homemade pizza, and everything crunchy cut up in bite sized pieces. She will never give up her crisp apples, and thankfully she doesn't have to, just the way she eats them will be different for the next few months. She has an expander on the roof of her mouth that she doesn't enjoy, but quite honestly we are pleased with her lack of complaining so far! We are proud of her for understanding that it needs to be uncomfortable for a while now so that she can chew properly and have a terrific smile later on! I think she has a pretty special smile right now, but I guess I'm a bit biased!


On Thursday morning my mother (here for a visit and to lend a helping hand) awakened with a really taxing cold and so did The Dreamer! The Storyteller has been sniffling and stuffed up since Tuesday, but this is something different for my favorite girls.
I made a batch of my Vegetable Soup - also known here as 'Crisper Soup' since I tend to make it on the day that I clean out my crisper and whatever needs to be used up ends up in my soup! Even with steaming bowls of soup, Mum and The Dreamer were not feeling much better. By yesterday Mum had no tastebuds to enjoy our homemade pizza supper and she went to bed before the children!

I feel terrible that I didn't take better care of my mum - too many late night Dominos games I guess! Or maybe it was the shock of scoring so very badly at Amtrack ... after teaching us how to play!

We have been pushing to try to get some things accomplished and of course all of our regularly scheduled activities have begun again, so we have been busy! It is so much easier to get out and shop with an extra helper!

So, here we are with a lovely rainy Saturday and no energy to tackle any big projects, but a nice quiet day for rest and recouperation. I am praying that I will stay well, but am fighting a sinus headache. One of the drawbacks of my illness is that I cannot take any pain relievers, so I just have to wait for it to pass!

It's a tomato soup and grilled cheese kind of day - comfort foods for the sick and something warm to ward off the chill for the rest of us!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

A Day Full

We normally have very busy Wednesday's but today was extra busy because we added a shopping trip to the schedule!

I found out that an outlet store near here had one last 'tall activity' table on clearance and all their clearance was 1/2 price. The Dreamer has been wanting an activity table, but she is getting tall for a normal one, so I was excited to find that Pottery Barn Kids sells a tall table. We made a quick trip - on a lovely cold 'blue sky' day for a drive to the outlet mall and it was still there - a bit scratched, yes, but nothing that can't be fixed and for 1/3 of the original price - well, she is one happy Dreamer! My mom is still here and she is a fearless driver - with a lead foot! So we got there quickly and it was just a bit of a crunch to get dinner eaten before AWANA, but we made it!

I also found some wonderful inexpensive embroidered pillow shams that go so well with our duvet cover and bedroom fabrics - slowly I am assembling the 'ingredients' for an all out assault on our bedroom - the last room in the house to be tackled! The fabric is waiting to be made into curtains, pillows, shams and trim for some bath towels! I have silk flowers for a heart shaped wreath for over our bed and the drapery hardware just needs to be put up! I even have a discount store wholecloth cotton quilt in an accent colour to make into a reading pillow and accent pillows, so I have no excuse not to get at this and make our bedroom a warm and inviting haven!

The only things I lack are TIME and ENERGY! Everything is coming together, so I hope to get at it sooner rather than later - the rest of our house will just have to suffer neglect and I'll closet myself in the sewing corner and not come up for air until it is done!

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Post #101

I'm not sure how I let this slip by me, but with my last post I reached 100 posts! When I started in August, I thought I might reach 100 posts by the end of a year, but I never realized how fun and satisfying blogging can be, and the wonderful community of blogging friends one can enjoy! I guess I underestimated! The digital camera purchase has also increased my enjoyment of blogging since I can share photos quickly, and of course, upgrading our computer was a big, big help! I was thinking of trying to get up a bit of a draw or something special to celebrate the auspicious occasion, but alas, it has come and I am unprepared! So much for good intentions!
I would love to have any 'lurkers' just say hello! It is so encouraging to know that you are taking the time to check in once in a while! I appreciate your stopping by!

During my Ladie's Bible Study yesterday we were talking about putting people 'up on a pedistal'. We discussed how we look to others around us and wrongly assume that they 'have it all together'. We can even begin to look to others for the answers to life's questions. That is one difficulty I sometimes have with blogging. I find myself looking and thinking, 'wow, she does this, this, that and the other thing - her home is spotless, beautiful and orderly, her kids are lovely and always well behaved, her walk with the Lord is constant and she has an adoring husband - I want to be like her when I grow up!'.

When I start to feel that way, I know I am taking my eyes of the only true example Who will never fail me - Christ alone. I love learning so many things from the wonderful and gifted women whose blogs I so enjoy! I like having little glimpses into the daily lives of women who are journeying through the Christian life, experiencing the joys of making their homes places of beauty, coping with the ups and downs of parenting, and facing the trials and difficulies we all endure. I don't want to put my blogging friends and the crazy idea I have of their 'near perfect' lives up on a pedistal - that is where Jesus Christ alone belongs in my life! I love it when my Bible Study ladies remind me to fix my eyes on Jesus!

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Hebrews 12:2

Monday, January 8, 2007

Pantry Project

Mission accomplished! I have been working away at a 'pantry project' little by little and now I am pleased to say I have found all of the jars I need to complete the project!

When I started taking my bulk foods out of old plastic containers and storing them in glass pantry jars from Martha Stewart Everyday, I thought it would be a fairly easy job. I made some nice labels on the computer and laminated them for easy wipe downs. I counted the number of jars I thought I would need and estimated the sizes. I made my list and went shopping!

After 'cleaning out' no less than 5 area K-Mart stores of the measly number of jars they had in stock, I began to search in other places. I found jars so simular I couldn't tell the difference at a local antique market, but they were $35 each - ouch! I finally resorted to some slightly different but almost the same $5 Anchor Hocking 'cracker jars' from Meijer and now I am ready to finish the project.

Whew! I love the look of all of my flours, rices, sugars etc. in the clear glass jars and I feel sure there will be less unpleasant surprises on baking day 'oooh dear, I didn't know I was so low on coconut'! I like to shop in bulk when possible, and this is my way of doing a bit for the environment with less packaging, and keeping our food essentials in a more healthful way.

With the extra weight of the glass jars, I am glad we upgraded the quality of the lazy susan in our cupboards to 'heavy duty' since I don't think I'd be able to do this with the flimsy plastic shelves. The only other downside I see is that glass breaks - and I am a bit of a kitchen klutz, but I think it is worth the risk!

January Project #1 Almost Completed

Picture from Martha Stewart Living

Thursday, January 4, 2007

'Keeper' #1

We tried this recipe last night for supper for the first time and it was really easy and very tasty - declared a ‘Keeper’ by all. I made some adjustments to the recipe which I found in my Gooseberry Patch Taste of Autumn cookbook. I like to use fresh herbs from my garden as often as possible, so I made that change and adjusted the method accordingly.

Pork loin was on sale for $2 a pound at Meijer’s this week so that is why I decided to try this one, however when I looked at the label and realized that they had added a 10% solution of chemicals we opted for the natural chemical and hormone free pork loin roast in the meat case which was more than twice the price.

Rosemary Roasted Pork Loin
2 sprigs of rosemary leaves (no stems)
2 teaspoons of mustard seeds
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
1 ½” cube of fresh ginger
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 cloves of garlic
3-4 pound boneless pork loin

Combine oil, garlic, ginger and mustard seed in blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Add rosemary leaves and blend again briefly (pulse). Add salt and pepper and rub mixture over surface of pork loin. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Let stand 15 minutes before slicing.

I served this with my rich tea biscuits and honey, boiled redskin potatoes, and steamed baby carrots with green beans, along with generous helpings of my homemade apple sauce. It was AWANA night, so we had no time for dessert!

I hope you enjoy it as much as we did! Great flavor and very tender - the only draw back was the garlic breath!

Monday, January 1, 2007

Blessed New Year!

We just never know what a new year will hold, and sometimes the uncertainty is met with a glorious expectation of all the good that may come or sometimes fear and dread. Isn't it a blessing that we don't have the ability to 'see' into the future and know the path our days will take - it would be completely overwhelming! God alone, in His great wisdom, keeps the secrets of our New Years journey in His confidence, and gives us strength for each new day as it comes! One day at a time, one moment at a time!

I have not had much time for planning for the new year but I always set some small personal goals to work toward, since I truly believe the old adage 'aim at nothing and you're sure to hit it!'. With The Historian so uncomfortable for the past 10 days, time for planning has been limited, but I am going to get to it - soon! Thankfully, he seems to be seeing some improvement in his pain level, so I pray that this crisis is passing and we will be able to resume a more balanced routine. I especially look forward to more restful nights since his pain is reduced he will presumably be less restless - I pray!

The blessing is that we have a very special visitor with us - my mother! My dad brought her down to help us out during this time. He drove almost 1400 miles in three days in order to bring her to our aid, and we are so appreciative.

I'm not sure if we are ready to begin school again tomorrow, but we will ease ourselves back into routine and try to extend the joy of the Christmas break just as long as possible. W have so much to do tomorrow in the line of phone calls and housekeeping items that have been put off, so our day will be full once again!

May the Lord bless you and your family with great joy in the coming year!