Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Winter Beauty

"Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow?" Job 38:22a

Yesterday, I ran outside to take a few pictures because it was just so pretty how the snow/frost was covering everything. :)

Part of the side yard. 

A tree. I know, not very original...:)

One of the flower bushes in the garden.

A bit of green in a white and gray world. :)

Every branch and twig covered.

A little tree by the side of the house. 

"By the breath of God frost is given: and the breadth of the waters is straitened." Job 37:10

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Getting the Laundry Done with a Family of Six

Laundry, it can end up being a dreaded never ending chore, especially if you have large family.  Today, I thought I'd share a few "tips" and ideas that I use to get the laundry done at our house with our family of six. :) 



1. Involve the kids! 

* one thing that our kids LOVE is bringing the laundry down from upstairs. They all sit on the landing downstairs while I will throw the clothes down. They think it's the greatest game and after I throw down one pile, they all help carry the clothes to the laundry room running as fast as they can, and then come back for more. :)

* My two year old especially likes helping me unload the dryer! It's nice for me since she will hand me the clothes to fold and I don't have to bend over, (Trying to bend over to pick things up at 36 weeks pregnant is lots of fun I assure you. lol)

* All the older kids (ages 4, 3, and 2) have their own accessible drawers, and all of them carry their pile of clothes upstairs and put them away after I finish the laundry for the day. They seem to think it lots of fun, - working to help that attitude continue!  I'm not too worried if their drawers are organized or even if the clothes stay folded. Maybe it's laziness on my part, but I will be the first to admit, I can't do it all.  Keeping up with all I have to do with small children overwhelms me at times and I don't want to stress about everything that's not perfect, at least their clothes are clean and put away! :)  

2. Get all the laundry done once a week, and try and finish it all in one day.  Growing up, this is how my Mom did it (and I have seven siblings), it is so freeing to only do it once a week! On the days I don't get it finished the same day, it can feel like it drags on and on, versus the great feeling of accomplishment when I finish it all.  Right now, I have three (once in a while, four) loads of laundry per week with our family of six.  All the children are little, so their clothes don't take up as much bulk as older kids would. All the kids have plenty of clothes, (they have never ran out waiting for the next laundry day) but at the same time they don't have excess either. Actually, I suppose I'm a bit of a  minimalist in some ways :),  I'd be overwhelmed with stuff and constant picking up etc. if I wasn't careful. 

3. Buy some good smelling laundry soap. :) Normally, I will buy the cheapest unscented brand, but
last time I got a different kind and I've been loving it!  It helps motivate me when walk into the laundry room now and it smells so fresh and good.  Plus, I love how the clean clothes smell now! :) I have been thinking about trying to make my own laundry soap as well, my sister-in-law just posted
her recipe for homemade detergent HERE if you want to check it out. :) 

4. Fold the clothes right out of the dryer while they are still warm! Doing this eliminates probably 98% of ironing.  I don't have a lot of time to spend ironing, if I end up buying an outfit for one of the kids that wrinkles very easily, I'll usually donate it right back to the thrift store. 

5. Right now I have just two laundry baskets for dirty clothes, one upstairs and one down. It makes it super easy for me to gather the clothes up on laundry day.  All the kids know when they change into clean clothes, the dirty clothes ones don't go on the floor, they go straight to the laundry basket which they can all access. 

Well, that is all I can think of at the moment, hope some of these "tips" will be of help! :) 


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Humbleness

God is looking for broken men. For men who have judged themselves in the light of the Cross of Christ. God uses people who have come to an end of themselves, and whose trust and confidence is not in themselves but in God. -Unknown

Red Rock Canyon, Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta Canada. One of my favorite stops on our vacation! :)

For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he  that humbleth himself shall be exalted. Luke 14:11

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Indoor Fun: Shaving Cream Car Wash

When it looks like this outside, it's time to try and find indoor activities to help keep the one, two, three, and four year olds who live at my house occupied. :) I searched online and found the following idea:

A shaving cream car wash! :) lol, If the picture is any indication, I'd say the kids were quite excited! 

The first tray (or lid from a plastic tub in this incidence) was the "dirty" tray where the cars got a big squirt of shaving cream. The second tray was filled with warm water to wash the cars off in. 


The kids had a ton of fun with it, and played for a long while.  The mess created was minimal, and clean up afterwards was super easy too, a big plus for me! :)

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Praise to The Lord, the Almighty

  1. Praise ye the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power. Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness. Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp.  Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs. Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals.  Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord.  -Psalm 150

  2. Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation!
    O my soul, praise Him, for He is thy health and salvation!
    All ye who hear, now to His temple draw near;
    Praise Him in glad adoration.
  3. Praise to the Lord, who o’er all things so wondrously reigneth,
    Shelters thee under His wings, yea, so gently sustaineth!
    Hast thou not seen how thy desires e’er have been
    Granted in what He ordaineth?
  4. Praise to the Lord, who doth prosper thy work and defend thee;
    Surely His goodness and mercy here daily attend thee;
    Ponder anew what the Almighty can do,
    If with His love He befriend thee.
  5. Praise to the Lord, who, when tempests their warfare are waging,
    Who, when the elements madly around thee are raging,
    Biddeth them cease, turneth their fury to peace,
    Whirlwinds and waters assuaging.
  6. Praise to the Lord, who, when darkness of sin is abounding,
    Who, when the godless do triumph, all virtue confounding,
    Sheddeth His light, chaseth the horrors of night,
    Saints with His mercy surrounding.
  7. Praise to the Lord, O let all that is in me adore Him!
    All that hath life and breath, come now with praises before Him;
    Let the Amen sound from His people again,
    Gladly for aye we adore Him.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Honey, Garlic, Baked Salmon

  • After my husband went on a fishing trip last June, he brought home a bunch of fresh delicious salmon fillets, among other fish. My freezer is still well stocked.   Believe it or not, I'd never cooked with fresh salmon before, so onto Pinterest I did go to search for recipes. :) I found this one for Honey, Garlic, baked Salmon and gave it a try.  It turned out really good! The only thing I would change next time is to cut slightly back on the honey. Hope you enjoy it too! 

    Honey, Garlic, baked Salmon 

  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 pounds salmon

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil.
  • In a small bowl, stir together honey, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, thyme, salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Place salmon onto the prepared baking sheet. 
  • Spoon the honey mixture over the salmon. Fold the sides of the foil over the salmon, covering completely and sealing the packet closed.
  • Place into oven and bake until cooked through, about 15-20 minutes.
  • Enjoy! :) 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

An October Daybook

Outside my window...It's a absolutely beautiful fall day, bright blue sky, warm sunshine, crunchy fallen leaves on the ground, and a few trees with bright yellow and reddish leaves still hanging on.  Fall work on the farm is still going on, I took Graham his lunch out in one of the fields earlier, and then came home and spent as much time as I could outside with the children before coming in for their nap.  We probably only have a few more days of such nice weather, and I want to take full advantage of it, spending time outdoors before winter weather arrives. 

I am thankful...for my hardworking husband, despite the looong days of a long drawn out harvest, and now fall work, he is not a complainer, and has done an incredible job running things on the farm. 

In the kitchen...Not much is happening in the kitchen at the moment. Earlier, I pan seared a steak, and baked up a pan shortbread for Graham's lunch though. 

I am wearing...A black shirt and jean skirt. At 28 weeks into my pregnancy, I'm well into wearing maternity clothes. I'm excitedly awaiting a box of new maternity skirts, tops and dresses to arrive in the mail soon!  I'm hoping it gets here before we leave for my sister-in-laws wedding coming up in early November (I can use a few new outfits to wear on the trip. :) 

I am creating...humm, I haven't been too creative lately, not much to report here. :)  

I am going... Nowhere at the moment.  I stopped by the store today, so we should be good as far as groceries go for a few days.  Our shopping trip was interesting today, with all four kids, ages four and under, there is never a dull moment. :)  Today, the youngest got a hold of a bottle of syrup and dropped it in one of the aisles, yes it broke, leaving a big puddle of stickiness on the floor.  The worker I told was very kind, but I was left with very sticky hands for the remainder of our time in the store.  I also got asked the now used to question: "Are they [the children] all yours!?!?" Yes, they are, and I love them all dearly. ;) 

I am wondering...the best way to organize all the children's books we've accumulated!  With the two youngest, the books tend to get scattered on the floor a lot.  Totally changing subjects, I am also wondering where all these houseflies in my house are coming from! Ug! 

I am reading...I recently bought a bunch of homeschool, and parenting resource books from a new website I found (here in Canada, yay!)  I have plenty to read, now I just to find a bit of free time to do it in. :)  I did start on one book called: "The Mother At Home" by John S.C. Abbott. The book was first published in 1833, and what I have read thus far has been very good. 

I am hoping...To finish putting up a new clothes rod in my closet and getting the rest of my clothes moved out of a different smaller closet, and then organizing everything better!  Last week, I moved the girls clothing out of our room and also made a big thrift store shopping trip. I was thankful to find almost all I needed for the children's clothing switch to bigger sizes and warmer clothes for fall/winter! Love thrift stores! :) 

I am looking forward to...Having a bonfire with the kids sometime this week, I bought some marshmallows and hotdogs today; it should be fun! 

I am happy...and feeling super accomplished, lol, that I got the floor mopped and the laundry done all in one day yesterday!  Oh the sweet feeling of victory over housework, haha  - for a few minutes anyway. :) 

I am pondering...words from a convincing preaching message I watched during the children's nap time yesterday. It was on the Sermon on the Mount, and after watching, I was left convicted and in awe of God's greatness, mercy, and grace, toward me a sinner. 

One of my favorite things...Snuggling with my baby boy in the morning when he is still sleepy. :) He will be one year old in just a few days; where did the year go?

A few plans for the rest of the week...I have a midwife appt. on Friday, other than that, I don't have anything planned. 

A peek into my day...

Four little children having fun in the leaves! :) 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Trust; Not Fear and Worry

A picture I took while on our vacation a few months ago. I love going to the mountains!! :) 

If we trustwe do not worry.
If we worry, we do not trust.
Faith begins where worry ends,
Worry endswhere faith begins.

-Unknown

"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." 2 Timothy 1:7

"There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love." 1 John 4:18

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Encounter With a Little Bird



A few Sundays ago, we were by our open front door ready to leave for church when Abby (4), and Willy (3), started telling me excitedly about "the little bird outside" I didn't pay a whole lot of attention other then to reply about how neat birds were and "yes, there are lots of birds outside." Well when a few minutes later Abby then tells me that she was "patting the bird" I took more notice. lol :) Looking out on the step, I saw a female Dark Eyed Junco (a kind of sparrow) huddled on the concrete.  I went and picked her up and she just perched on my finger not trying to fly away at all.  It was neat as it's not often one gets to hold a wild bird. :)  Thinking she was possibly stunned from hitting the window, I put her in our garage so our dog could not get her and we left for church. 

The next morning, she was flying around the garage looking fully recovered and when I opened the door she flew out.  It was a neat encounter with one of the little sparrows that God said "...shall not fall on the ground without your Father." (Matthew 10:29) 


Thursday, October 2, 2014

Soft Dinner Rolls

There is something just so good about freshly made bread! It's actually been a long while since I did any real baking, I used to make this roll recipe quite often and thought I'd go ahead and try it again tonight,  as it was always a hit before. :) 

Soft Dinner Rolls

5 Tbsp. yeast
1 c. warm water
1/2 c. sugar
1/4  c. milk powder 
3 eggs
1/2 c. oil
1 tsp. salt
Enough flour to make a soft dough

In a bowl, mix the yeast and warm water together. Add in the sugar, milk powder, eggs, oil, and salt. Mix well.  Stir in enough flour to form a soft dough and knead about ten minutes. Place in a greased bowl and let rise until doubled.  Punch dough down and shape into 20 rolls. Bake at 350 for around 15 minutes, or until done. Enjoy! :) 

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Serve God Where You Are



"Every child of God is where God has place him for some purpose....You have been wishing for another position where you could do something for Jesus: do not wish anything of the kind, but serve Him where you are. If you are sitting at the King's gate there is something for you to do there, and if you were on the queen's throne, there would be something for you to do there; do not ask either to be gatekeeper or queen, but whichever you are, serve God therein.  Brother, are you rich? God has made you a steward, take care that you are a good steward. Brother are you poor? God has thrown you into a position where you will be the better able to give a word of sympathy to poor saints. Are you doing your allotted work? Do you live in a godly family? God has a motive for placing you in so happy a position. Are you in an ungodly house? You are a lamp hung up in a dark place; mind you shine there......Our wisdom is not to desire another place, nor to judge those who are in another position, but each one being redeemed with the precious blood of Jesus, should consecrate himself fully to the Lord, and say, "Lord, what would Thou have me to do, for here I am and by Thy grace I am ready to do it." Forget not then the fact that God in His providence places his servants in positions where He can make use of them..."

-Excerpt taken from: C.H. Spurgeon's Sermons, Metropolitan Tabernacle pulpit. Providence-As Seen in the Book of Esther.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

A moment to Cherish :)

A little while ago, two little barefoot children :) ran to me, both holding bunches of yellow dandelions.  They were so happy and excited as they handed me the flowers they had picked.  It was a sweet moment that almost brought tears to my eyes, but joy to my heart. :) 

I think these two are pretty cute! :):) 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Quick Yummy Caramels

If there is one treat I remember from our large family reunions when growing up, it would be the big pan of soft chewy caramels that one of my aunts always seemed to bring along to share.  Recently, I thought I'd give this microwave caramel recipe a try, and as soon as I ate one, it was like going back to my childhood. :)  


What you’ll need:
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar 
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
Instructions:  
Step 1:  Put the butter in a microwave safe bowl, melt. Add in all the other ingredents and stir. 
Step 2:  Cook on high for 6 minutes. 
Step 3:  Pour into a 8"x8" buttered baking dish.
Step 4:  Make sure you cut into pieces while still warm. 

Saturday, September 20, 2014

The Last Flowers of Summer

While the long winters of Saskatchewan can be beautiful in their own way, with gently falling snowflakes, frost covered tree branches, and sun shinning though sparking icicles hanging from the eves, (mind, this is coming from one who observes winter from the comfort of the warm indoors and not one who must work out in the bitter cold of minus 30 degrees plus. I'm not sure if those who are out in it every day find it pretty or not.) ...but anyway, where was I? Oh yes, winter can also be rather dull and lacking color.  So, this post is all about how I am enjoying the green of the grass, while it is still green, and the last few colorful blooming flowers left over from the summer flower garden.  Behold, are they not lovely?  :) 


Pink

Yellow.


White. 

Just pretty.


Red and orange. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Perspective on Motherhood

Matthew Charles 10 months old. :) 

Our home is filled with toys, has finger prints on everything, and is never quiet. The floors are hard to keep clean and the laundry never ends, but there is always LOVE and LAUGHTER.  In twenty years my children won't remember the messy house with dirty floors.  What they will remember is the LOVE they felt and the TIME we shared together. :) 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

A Birthday Party!

Because Abby's and Willy's birthdays are so close together (William was born exactly one year and two days after Abigail) we usually celebrate their birthdays together. :) This year Abby had been asking for a Hello Kitty cake and a Will wanted a Thomas the train one. A few days ago we had their party! 

I decorated this area with pink and white for Abby. :) 

Abby's cake. :)  My Mother-in-law bought me a "Hello Kitty" face cake pan, and then I baked a separate 9x13 cake and cut out the body from that. It was my first attempt at a cake like this, I had fun making it and I think Abigail liked it. :) 

I had a separate table for Willy with blue streamers. :)

William's Thomas the Train cake! Not only did his cake look amazing, (isn't it cool?!) it tasted delicious too! Maybe it's just me, but I'm used to highly decorated cakes tasting too sweet with too much frosting. Not so with this one, it was a chocolate pound cake (I may have eaten a little to much for breakfast the day after the party lol). :) William's Aunt Lindsey made it for him and I'm pretty sure Willy was happy about it. :) Thank you so much Lindsey! :) 

For the birthday lunch we had chips, macaroni salad, creamed eggs, and homemade subs. I might post the recipe for the subs later. :) 

And I'll leave you with a picture of the birthday buddies. :) Happy Birthday Abby and Will!! 


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A Five Dollar Find

Last week, I was excited to find a pile of Quick Cooking and Taste of Home annual recipe cookbooks. For a long while, these cookbooks have been favorites of mine, due to the layout, yummy easy recipes, and color photos on every page.  I found these books at an unlikely place, a thrift store along the main road in beautiful Banff Alberta. :) 

I enjoy looking at cookbooks, and I can't wait to go through all these new ones! :)

The pictures make me hungry. :) Looking forward to trying some new recipes. 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Most Important Book in All the World

"So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Romans 10:12


"And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."  Romans12:2

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Tortellini Soup

I found this recipe on Pinterest a few weeks ago, the picture looked so good that I right away added the ingredients to my shopping list, and made the soup shortly thereafter.  I was not disappointed! With sausage, cheese filled tortellini, herbs and more, it's super flavourful and yummy! My husband, who is not the biggest soup fan, even said it was really good. :) I had never purchased fresh pasta before, but it's easy to find in the refrigerated section at grocery stores.  I will be making this recipe again for sure! 

Here is what you'll need:

2 Tbsp. Olive oil
1 onion chopped 
5 garlic cloves, crushed
1 lb Italian sausages, cut in pieces, or 1 lb of ground Italian sausage 
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. rosemary
1 tsp. basil
2 cans stewed tomatoes
6 cups chicken broth
1 bag (about 12 oz.) fresh pre-washed spinach, chopped
1 package fresh or frozen tortellini
Parmesan cheese, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Brown onion, garlic, and sausage in olive oil. Drain oil.
  2. Add oregano, rosemary, basil, tomatoes, and chicken broth. 
  3. Add tortellini and spinach, and cover and simmer for about 8-10 minutes. 
  4. Turn off heat and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
  5. Season with salt and pepper.

Enjoy with some crusty garlic bread. Delicious. :)

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Beautiful Psalm 103

Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:

Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;

Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;

Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's.

The Lord executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed.

He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel.

The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.

He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever.

He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.

For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.

As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him.

For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.

As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth.

For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more.

But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children's children;

To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them.

The Lord hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all.

Bless the Lord, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word.

Bless ye the Lord, all ye his hosts; ye ministers of his, that do his pleasure.

Bless the Lord, all his works in all places of his dominion: bless the Lord, O my soul.


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

::Kings Don't Eat Better Then This::


My awesome husband completely surprised me yesterday when he brought home two live lobsters-a rare and special treat- Yesterday night we had an incredible meal. It doesn't get much better then eating delicious sweet lobster dipped in hot butter, yummmm, :) with my favorite man in the whole world (who shared most of his lobster tail with me.  True love is when someone shares their lobster when they like it every bit as much as you do.) :)  Thank you Graham, you're the best. :):):)

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Water Painting= Summer Fun for Little Ones

Here is a quick easy idea to keep the little people in your life occupied; for a least a little while.  :) Water painting! :) All you need is water, paint brushes, and a concrete surface. Here are a few pictures I took yesterday of the kids here having fun with it. Today they had sidewalk chalk, and I'm going to say they spend about the same amount of time with both activities. It really doesn't take a lot to keep little ones happy and creative.

"Painting" away. Abby and Willy are constantly together, -so cute- I get asked a lot if they are twins. :) 

Ready to paint. :)

Little girls, having fun on a warm summer day.