Saturday, June 27, 2009

New pj's

I love these new pajama's. The day after her birthday Rebecca looks at me at bedtime and says 'If only someone had bought me pajama's'. I then noticed that most of her pj's arms came till just below her elbows (ha ha, not quite that bad) but we still went shopping and this is what we picked. Love it... it says 'I totally need my beauty sleep'.

Friday, June 26, 2009


The thing about blogging is that you sometimes cringe afterwards because no one can see your heart, you write a few rather weak words and hope that at best it hints at what you actually mean.

The book I'm currently reading begins by saying 'Superficiality is the curse of our age'.
I would be mortified to know that when I am trying to sound encouraging it comes out superficial!
There is a bumper sticker that says "Don't sweat the small stuff" and I've also heard it said "It's all small stuff"... that is so sad and superficial. We all have highs and lows at different times (so that we can pick each other up) and its unfair to belittle what someone else is going through.

I love that line in 'You've got mail' where Meg Ryan's character has been told not to sweat it, its only business not personal and she says something like "whatever else anything is, it should begin by being personal" - what truth - in humility consider each other better than yourself.

Leo Tolstoy said 'Everybody thinks of changing humanity and nobody thinks of changing himself'

What if we did not respond in kind (because its easy to be casual and disconnected) but raised the bar of genuineness when others give us the whole superficial jig.

Hope all my ramblings made some kind of sense.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Strong One

O God, You are my God, early will I seek You
My soul thirsts for You, my flesh longs for You
In a dry and thirsty land, where there is no water
So I have looked for You in the sanctuary
To see Your power and Your glory
Because Your lovingkindness is better than life
My lips shall praise You.
Thus I will bless You while I live;
I will lift up my hands in Your name.
My soul shall be satisfied...
Ps 63. 1-5a

This is a psalm of David while in the wilderness, and in the first line, the second word for God, in hebrew is El "the strong One" - awesome, just what you want to cry out when you are feeling weak. We live in troubled times and people are pretty pessimistic, and wishing it weren't so won't help anyone, BUT He is a very present help in time of need.

And where the soul goes (it thirsts), the flesh will follow (it longs)... and feels overwhelmed and heavy. And it seems to be a dry and thirsty land - our environment/economy/ circumstances - might be showing lack but God is able!! While He might allow a season of testing, it is NEVER in vain. He does and always will have you at the very centre of His heart and purposes! ("With a little wrath I hid My face from you for a moment; BUT with EVERLASTING (Praise Him) KINDNESS I will have mercy on you" Is54). Lets not look to the land but to the Lord... to see His power and His glory. We need to believe Him and worship Him. Hello... He does His best work in times like this. He is wanting, to show Himself strong for you.

Then David gets his praise on! He is not silent! A great act of faith - to have an intentional, intense time before the throne (the sanctuary). I've found that at times like this, I really go from feeling weary to wonderful (Edit: by that I mean encouraged/strengthened). Nothing seems to have changed yet physically but I know that my God heard me and He is able. We have a loving God, its nuts to think that He is not moved when we cry out before Him. (When He was with his disciples in the boat, the storm did not wake or move Him, but their cry did - He is sensitive to our needs)

David looks, he sings, he lifts hands - he confesses what he knows is true, that he will see His faithfulness, His power, glory, lovingkindness, and be satisfied!!

May God be Huge in your life.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Birthday weekend

Rebecca turned 7 on Saturday. She had a great day. It began with her walking into the Dining room and seeing her cake. Well, it was worth the effort (until midnight with my sister) to see her face!! Then we moved onto pancakes... as princesses need their strength.

She had a few friends over, dressed as princesses. Are princesses suppose to be on trampolines?
We think so.

The princess is liking the presents!

Dad and Ruby...
I often reflect upon Wayne's influence in Rebecca's life. Even though he has a crazy schedule, his imprint is significant. He brings the balance and he has a clarity and perspective about life that is startling at times. I am so grateful for him. His 'yes' is his 'yes' and his 'no' is 'no'. She loves her daddy.

I hope all the fathers had an excellent Fathers Day! May God continue to strengthen you and seal you with the holiness and courage it takes to be a father. May the Word be near you, on your mouth and in your heart.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Pink pain

This seemingly harmless pink alarm clock woke us up at 4ish this morning. Boy, did I freak... it is so LOUD, its not even funny. This is the loudest alarm clock in the world!! It sounded like a fire alarm went off in my head! Painful.

The setting on the alarm clock is broken, so it just goes off when it nears the vicinity of the time set eg 1 to 2 hours before actual time (otherwise it works perfectly well, the time hands work... its those other hands). I've been meaning to throw it out but it seems such a waste as it only actually strikes ALARM into my sleeping heart when Rebecca switches on the button on the back!!! Every now and then she thinks it is quite 'grown up' to wake up to her own alarm even though I've told her that the alarm function... well, it doesn't function. She's so obedient!

So I was having coffee while y'all were still sleeping.
The only truly funny thing was that my husband managed to sleep through it all - men are such strange creatures!

Monday, June 15, 2009


I just had the best weekend, except that I missed my baby on Friday night. She
slept over at grandma's with her cousin and it sounded like loads of fun... who wouldn't... all I heard was movies, home-made pizza, pancakes, painting etc.

Wayne finally convinced me to see the new Terminator movie on Friday night. I had to be coaxed with really good cappuccino's thrown in. I actually enjoyed it. 'Why did the good robot / machine have to die?' I asked Wayne. I got, 'Don't be such a girl' back. Saturday was the usual clean up and on Sunday I relaxed! Really relaxed.

I've heard it said that Busyness is like a drug. I find this to be true, so I decided that regardless of whatever message my mind sent me on Sunday, I would try to do nothing. I always feel guilty when I just lie about. It just doesn't feel right, but as most of you know, you can't always trust your feelings (like when you want another choc chip biscuit, you just know you don't need or when you don't feel like getting out of bed for your quiet time - get up).

So guess what, after church, while Wayne made breakfast, I got back into my pj's and slipped into bed with my book... I have not done that in years... years. After a super lazy day (except for the hour that Rebecca and I spent outside as combat soldiers sending encrypted messages on our walkie-talkies. She climbed our trees and radioed me if our neighbours were 'invading' us or not - don't tell my neighbours) I even had an afternoon nap (I actually slept for a bit) - which I haven't done since I was a student - obviously no one sleeps at night as a student!

What a blessing to take a day of rest. To just enjoy rest, family and the Lord! 'This is what the Lord commanded, tomorrow is to be a day of rest, a holy sabbath to the Lord' Ex 16.23
- did you see the word: commanded!!!

Friday, June 12, 2009

French Toast

My family have really enjoyed the breakfast blogging as they have been having some fine breakfast. This morning was Rebecca's runner up breakfast, after pancakes, so she was pretty delighted. It ranks higher than pancakes in my book, so it's in this week's favourites.

Who doesn't love French toast - it takes you right back to mama's kitchen? You're gonna love it.

Day 5: A classic

4 slices of bread
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon sugar

Place all ingredients, except the bread, into a jug and give it a good whisk. Pour the mixture into a rectangular dish. Add 2 slices of bread at a time (I used wholewheat, but by all means use white if you like. It will give it a richer taste - yum). Soak for a minute and turn. If the bread is difficult to lift after it's soak, use an egg lifter.

Heat 1 teaspoon of butter and 1 teaspoon of oil. Once nice and hot, add bread to the pan and make sure it's nicely cooked and firmed up before turning and cooking the other side (cooks quickly though).

I served one batch with banana, gooseberries and syrup and the other lot with blueberries and mixed berry sauce. So delicious and soft, we couldn't decide which one we liked best!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The mighty bagel

I thought when I began the breakfast thing this week, it would be real easy.
Pick my five favourites and get on with it. But as we draw near to the end... I'm thinking 'Have I really picked my fav's?' - there are so many wonderful things to eat in the morning...

Day 4: Favourite Bagel
This is hardly a recipe, rather a layering process
Make sure you go past a good bakery and get some lovely wholewheat bagels

In a food processor or bowl, (I usually hate washing the processor so I suffer through the manual labour route) use a whisk to blend the following:
1 or so cup of cream cheese
2 tablespoons of milk
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons of finely chopped chives
2 tablespoons of finely chopped parsley

Spread a really thick layer of this cream cheese on the bagel. Next, add a generous wave of smoked salmon. Then give it a squeeze of lemon and a grating of black pepper.
It's wonderful!!! Serve with good coffee. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Date & Bran Muffins

Rebecca is so funny. Since first able to speak, she would from time to time latch onto a word and try to use it in every conceivable sentence... the last one was "likewise"... I did get tired of hearing that word. This week it's "hasty" - absolutely every second sentence out of that child's mouth has the word 'hasty' in it. In honour of that I have picked a grab-and-go breakfast which I love.

Day 3: The eat and run breakfast

I love muffins. If you add some gooseberry jam and a pot of tea then I might sit a while and not eat and run. These are healthy and easy.

Firstly preheat oven to 200 deg C. Place the following in a small bowl, to soften:
3/4 cup loosely packed dates
1/2 cup of boiling water

Sift flours and add balance of dry goods into a bowl:
1 cup nutty wheat flour
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup bran
1 heaped teaspoon baking flour
1 heaped teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup raisins - optional
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon - optional

In a jug, whisk together and add to bowl of dry ingredients:
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1/2 cup oil

Then quickly but lightly mix with a large metal spoon - do NOT overmix. It should still be
lumpy. Fill muffin pans and bake for 18-20 minutes. Cool.

(Options: replace some of the oil with apple puree for a healthier option / replace some of the nutty wheat flour with rye flour / replace some of the oats with more bran)

Makes 12-16 muffins depending on size of pans.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Homemade muesli

Day 2: This is Wayne's favourite and I almost always have a batch in the pantry.

It makes a full jar... this one is almost finished.

Preheat oven to 160 deg C. Measure into a bowl:
3 cups oats
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup coconut
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 - 1 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup sesame seeds

Then add 2 tablespoons vegetable oil and 1/2 cup of apple puree or sauce (I use the apple puree baby food). Mix well. I don't add any sugar, but if you prefer a sweeter muesli, add 1-2 tablespoons of honey to the mixture at this point.

Spread evenly into a large baking tray and bake for 40 minutes till golden (very lightly toasted). Mix often while cooking to get an even colour.

Let cool and add 1 cup dried cranberries (sometimes I use raisins rather or a mixture of
finely chopped dried pears and dried turkish apricots). Store in airtight container.

Delicious served with milk and vanilla yoghurt.

Monday, June 8, 2009

The Full Monty

I've decided to post a couple of my favourite breakfasts this week, cause I really, really like breakfast. Most mornings its just Bran Flakes or Oats, so I'm selecting breakfasts that I have most Saturday mornings. I might follow this idea through to other fav things eg shoes, books, teatime treats... we will see.

Day 1: The Big Breakfast

No need for a recipe for the basics - eggs, bacon, tomatoes, mushrooms & potatoes.
The potatoes are just boiled in their skins (or leftover baked potatoes) cooled, sliced and seasoned. Just quickly in the pan (or oven - a little longer) to give it a crisp coating. It must however, be served with Breakfast Beans, which is the best part of this meal:

1 can Baked Beans - sauce rinsed off
1 tablespoon chutney
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 - 1 clove garlic - optional

Heat for a few minutes on medium heat. Serve.

This is the way to kickstart a weekend!

Sunday, June 7, 2009


It's been a busy couple of days. Firstly we went skiing - it is so beautiful and tranquil this time of year as there is no one about the place (near Clanwilliam). It started cloudy, with lots of coffee and bagels.

Then it cleared and we started skiing and bouncing about on the tube.

Then it was glorious!

Only scenic photographs as I only have video recordings of Wayne and Rebecca on the water.

Rebecca had her musical debut. She was so cute!! This is a relaxed photo after the event of course!

My folks arrived back this week after a holiday overseas... with lots of goodies. Cute tees, leggings, cognac mustard, bags of chestnuts, figs with almonds and other foodie things.

It was my sister's birthday this week and she got great cake from Charly's. Yummy.

How was Friday's storm? My garden was swampish, which Rebecca loved. She took every opportunity to play in the water yesterday. Fortunately it was nice and sunny the remainder of the weekend so I did 5 loads of washing and got it all dry. The problem is that if I turn my head to the left I see a monumental pile of ironing which needs my urgent attention.

Wayne was testing a Bentley this weekend. Yes, a BENTLEY. A real heavyweight! Its actually called a "Continental Flying Spur". Like... who thought that up? Rebecca and I played the part of spoilt P-Diddy types. We were driven around, both seated in the spacious back seat with our earphones and our televisions on. No, we didn't use the cocktail bar.

Hope you had a good one.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Winter planting

I managed to plant a few items yesterday, in-between the rain. I have not planted anything for a while - but my fruit trees and herbs seemed to manage without me (not thrive, but survive at least)

Still alive ... onions


My tomatoes are actually only beginning at the moment - still green?

So with new vigour I planted lots of lettuce, spring onions, leeks, turnips, coriander and a new batch of oregano.

Now its just to keep my bunnies away from my goodies!

Monday, June 1, 2009

My baby

It's that time of year when I contemplate life. Ruby's birthday.

My baby is turning seven in a few weeks... SEVEN!