Thursday, December 29, 2011

A day at the waterpark

Rebecca's idea of the best of days in the summer...

Monday, December 26, 2011

Chocolate chunk biscuits

125g butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 cup plain flour
1 cup bran rich self-raising flour (or normal s/r flour)
1/4 cup coconut
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 slab of dark chocolate

Using a large knife cut the chocolate slab into smallish chunks. Cream butter, sugar and vanilla in a bowl and beat until creamy. Add egg and mix in. Next add the remaining ingredients and stir well with a wooden spoon (I end up using my hand, it works best). Roll mixture into balls (about a tablespoon of dough at a time) and flatten slightly. We also cut out a few Christmas shapes.

Preheat the oven to 190 deg Cel. Bake in the pre-heated oven on lined baking trays for 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on trays.
Optional: You can melt another slab of chocolate and dip half the biscuit in chocolate and let cool.

For double chocolate biscuits, use a slab of white chocolate/white chocolate chips and then dip outside in dark chocolate.
Serve with hot chocolate! Makes about 20 biscuits

These are the biscuits we have been eating during Christmas. Delicious!!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Merry Christmas

A very happy Christmas... may this day be filled with love and much merriment.
And enjoy the Gift... and may Holiness adorn your home.

I made the usual Christmas biscuits but Rebecca made an excellent batch of chocolate cookies that her aunt declared were better than ones she had at a fancy coffee shop earlier in the week.

Many Blessing!!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Morning and Night

I don't see her from my chair in the morning, but I hear her as she tears open the little treat buried in the advent calender... in the evening the candles are lit and the songs are sung, a few minutes of sparkle before bed. How can a baby girl not sleep well after a happy chorus?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Vegetable patch

She picks them early... so that we can have lovely and cool salads in the heat.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Christmas plan

What a wonderful time to reflect on the golden thread that runs through scripture... hundreds of years apart... old and new testaments, different people, with diverse backgrounds all looking toward the One King and His grace, thanking the Father for His redemptive plan.

"For to us a Child is born, to us a Son is given... His name shall be Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."

They followed a miracle star.... the choir of angels sang with gusto... the time came for the birth, and his mother wrapped up her King and laid Him in a manger.

Lives and breathes into our lives today
"God gave us eternal life, and this life is in His Son"
"Now to Him Who by the power that is at work within us, is able to do super-abundantly far over and above all that we (dare) ask or think... to Him be the Glory."

Sunday, December 18, 2011

A Christmas concert

Rebecca was in the church's Christmas production this weekend...

Festive and fun...

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmas carols

Hark the herald angels sing,
Glory to the new-born King!
~ Charles Wesley

"Make a joyful noise unto the Lord" Psalm 100

A full week of singing carols, baking, sharing and practicing for our Christmas concert!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A robe of virtue

"People notice peacemakers because they dress funny. We know how the people who make war dress - in uniforms and medals, or in computers and clipboards, or in absoluteness, severity, greed and cynicism but the peacemaker is dressed in righteousness, justice and faithfulness - dressed for the work that is to be done."

~ Walter Brueggemann

Sunday, December 11, 2011

A necessary respite

Good coffee is so welcome in the midst of Christmas shopping.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Class of 2011

Rebecca had her class over on Saturday for a final celebration before wrapping up the year... and it was messy (the boys were a laugh) but fun.

On Wednesday they were scientists for the day... making rubber balls, quick sand, explosions...
the Instructor kept saying "Please don't put any of the ingredients in your mouth", just in case anyone thought the sodium polyacrylate was sherbet.

Today the holidays began.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


I've always made plain yoghurt, but I tried a batch with flavouring...

Caramel and Banana, who wouldn't love that. It did not last long.

and Strawberry, which has such a fresh fruity flavour.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Joy to the world

... the Lord is come, let earth receive her King.

Every morning Rebecca races to adjust the count-down clock.

Then its off to the tree to turn on the twinkling... she enjoys it regardless of morning, noon or night. Next stop is turning on the Christmas carols and opening the next window of her Advent calender.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Caprese Salad

A simple assembly and you end up with a flavourful, beautiful plate. Ripe tomatoes, soft mozzarella and basil.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Being led out of bitter waters

You feel the rising... the hardness pressing in. Like a sudden storm it emerges and the sarcasm pours out too quickly and like a cloud passing over and blocking the sun so you suddenly feel severed. It's too late... it's been said. You know that the healing of the soul is never as quick as the lightning of the tongue.

"The tongue is... a world of iniquity."

"Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening?"

So with immediate remorse you stumble through the rite of contrition and you consider the Atonement Child... come down to this place, to heal these people before we ever loved Him for it.

There is no remission without sacrifice (Heb 9.22)

"he took it from the altar. And touched my mouth with it". We are always being washed by the Father, healed and lifted out of the mire. Our salvation comes once but our Spirit-wrought transformation continues... with the washing of water by the word.

"by one sacrifice He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified." How can we not love Him to overflow.

It's true that we need to repent quickly and forgive often, us all learning and needing His fortifying power and fresh mercies. Our sorrows would overtake us if He did not give us a way out.

"He sent His Word and He healed them... and calmed the storm so that its waves are still."

And the clouds have moved and the sun has set, and we are glad that we can go out with joy and be led out with peace.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A good read

Our order arrived. Delightful, like an early Christmas present!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Door of hope and life

"There I will give her back (restitution) her vineyards, and will make the Valley of Achor (place of trouble) a door of hope. There she will sing as in the days of her youth..."

~ Hosea 2.15

He is the door... "I am the way, the truth and the life"

Others might drop something into our hearts but no one can fill, truly nourish like Jesus can.
No one else promises to make the Valley of trouble a Place of hope and life. To make the dry bones dance.

May He light your path with truth and fill you with His sustaining life this weekend...

Thursday, November 24, 2011


My favourite girl and I are "trying" to knit a lap blanket together. Sounds simple but we are not seasoned knitters... and normal folks knit in winter but we always seem to get the bug in the springtime.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A letter from Father

"Give them all my dear love and a kiss. Tell them I think of them by day, pray for them by night and find my best comfort in their affection at all times. A year seems very long to wait before I see them, but remind them that while we wait we may all work, so that these hard days need not be wasted.

I know they will remember all I said to them, that they will be loving children to you, will do their duty faithfully, fight their bosom enemies bravely, and conquer themselves beautifully that when I come back to them I may be fonder and prouder than ever of my little women.

Everyone sniffed when they came to that part..."

~ Little Women

A friend of mine is about to give birth to their fourth daughter and she too will have a home full of beautiful little women.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Quiche Lorraine

A wonderfully simple supper from the Lorraine region in France.

Begin by preheating oven to 200 deg cel. Take a roll of shortcrust pastry and line a tart tin, making sure the edges go over a little as it shrinks while baking. Prick bottom a couple of times with a fork and bake blind for about 15 -18 minutes (lined with waxed paper and filled with beans / ceramic beans). Remove paper and beans and bake the pastry shell again for 5 minutes to dry out a bit and colour.

In a pan heat 1 tablespoon oil then add 200g bacon cut into pieces, 1/2 a large onion finely diced and 1/2 a green pepper diced. Cook to soften (the french don't fry and crisp up the bacon).

In a bowl whisk 3 large eggs, 1/2 cup of cream, 3/4 cup of milk, salt and pepper to taste. Add 1 cup of grated Gruyere cheese. Add the bacon mixture to this bowl and gently blend.

Pour the mixture into the pastry shell and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce to 150 degrees and bake for another 10-15 minutes.

Cool slightly before serving with a green salad. Perfect every time.
You can replace the Gruyere for Cheddar and you can replace the milk with cream for a richer taste. Delicious!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The conveying wife

I read these words this morning by Oswald Chambers and was really moved and encouraged at the role a wife can play...

In a letter to Biddy's (his wife) mother, Oswald freely praised his wife: "As for Biddy I love her and I am her husband but I do not believe it is possible to exaggerate what she has been in the way of a Sacrament out here - God conveying His presence through the common elements of an ordinary life."

A common life of habit, service, love is not common in the pedestrian sense at all but a thing of beauty, stability and sacredness. A marriage is a mirror of Christ's love for the church... wives are an influence and a safe haven, a beautiful thing. Only in Him can this grace be lived consistently, "the love of Christ compels us".

St Augustine said that a Sacrament was a 'outward and visible sign of an inward and invisible grace'. May our lives convey this truth.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Drying herbs

Nimble little hands help with the piles of herbs to be chopped and dried. The whole kitchen is beautifully fragrant.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

I think I can Radish

If you don't pick for a few days then you come across a few of these. More like a Beetroot than a Radish. Better keep my eye on them.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Light shining out of darkness

" Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take,
The clouds ye so much dread
are big with mercy, and shall break
In blessings on your head...

His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower "

~William Cowper

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


There is something strangely simple and satisfying about collecting eggs from your own hens each day.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Truth Project

We wrapped up the last session of the 'Truth Project' this week and it was so worth all the rushing to get there every Thursday. Looking at the biblical world view and how it applies to all of life... gazing upon the nature and character of God for this perspective. Wonderfully presented truth with such humility by Dr Tackett.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Touching the head

As we sat reading on the couch, she turned earnest eyes and asked "Will you play with my hair?". We were just about to wrap up and there was, as ever a too long 'to do' list...

How could I not pause and hold this moment? Like collecting water in our hands, these moments drain away if we don't remind ourselves that they matter much.

I loosened her hair-ties and slowly, gently started into her hair with my fingers. She continued reading while I massaged and played and in a minute I was nine myself.

Every afternoon she sat a while on a mat by the tall window that looked out over the front garden. Sometimes I joined her. I lay my head on her lap and she loosened my hair. The sunlight streamed into the room and the floorboards shone. I closed my eyes and she hummed. Her fingers tenderly played along in their own melody and I slipped into sleep. I never considered that her aged hands might ache or that her legs would go numb in that position until I awoke.

"A calm mind and heart are life and health"
~ Proverbs 14

As I stroke Rebecca's hair I remember my great grandmother. My eyes fill as I remember her smell and how I felt. Safe. Loved. Time stood still for a few moments. Touching the head and feeding the heart. I continue slow and rhythmically as I remember. I am so glad she paused and tenderly loved the noise in my life away. I am so glad I paused today.

"The happiest moments of my life have been the few which I have passed at home in the bosom of my family"
~Thomas Jefferson

The small and simple moments will have a lasting impression as they ride through life...

"in quietness and confidence shall be your strength"
~ Isaiah 30

"You never know the significance of the moment you are in until later"
~Tommy Nelson

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Chocolate Cake

A easy and tender-crumbed cake... certain week night's need rounding off with chocolate cake and coffee.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Becca's kinda lunch

This easy, eat with your fingers kinda lunch makes my girl happy.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

the santuary

Arise, shine...
Lift your eyes all around and see.

Your heart shall
swell with joy

To the name of the Lord...
in My favour I have had mercy on you.

To beautify the place of My sanctuary
and I will make the place of My feet glorious.

a joy to many generations...
Isaiah 60

May your dwelling be a sweet place for Him to linger in this weekend... and always.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Bird viewing

There has been much bird life in the garden this spring...

We have been watching the Cape Weaver bird building their nests in our trees over the past few weeks. We have enticed them with some seeds and breadcrumbs in the morning.

Rebecca, the keen observer, sets up herself up to watch, usually from a perfect view of the tree from her bedroom window, but also here on her trampoline, with binoculars and snacks for herself.

Such industrious little birds and what pretty nests!!

Monday, October 31, 2011

A solitary cup

When I found myself alone... it was tea for one.
Add a journal, a pen and a reading book and that is happy company.