Thursday, January 1, 2015

My Verse For 2015

 I hadn't yet found a verse for 2015 when our pastor was preaching, and  suggested a particular verse that would benefit anyone who made it their own. I realized it's exactly what I need this year. So often I lose sight of the fact that God is in matter what the world around me looks like. I just need to trust that when I call out to him, he WILL answer, and he will do far more than I could ever have imagined. I hope to keep this verse in the forefront of my mind this year as I intercede for those I love.

Jeremiah 33:3 Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Hot Taco Dip Recipe

This is a great dish for a new year's get together. We had it on Christmas Eve, but with my planned changes for the new year, it may be a long time before I make this again!


1 pkg. cream cheese
2 cups (500 ml)cottage cheese
Heat and mix well, and spread in the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish.

Top with:
1/2 pkg of taco seasoning
chopped green pepper
chopped green onion
chopped tomato
chopped black olives
chopped jalapeno peppers

Top with:
salsa (1-2 cups as desired)
grated marble cheese
remaining taco seasoning

Heat in oven for 20 minutes at 350 F.

Stir and serve with tortilla chips. Enjoy!

Hot Taco Dip and Tortilla Chips

Happy New Year!


Monday, December 29, 2014

Reflecting On 2014

Continuing my tradition of looking back over the past year.

 1. What were the highlights or accomplishments of 2013?
  The biggest highlight has been Brian starting back to work at the Royal Oak Inn & Suites, as Maintenance Manager. It feels like we've come full circle, with Brian back working where he was before we moved away.
Another highlight has once again been puppies....lots of puppies...followed by visits to the vet for spay and neuter surgeries! We do love placing puppies with happy families, but it's also a lot of work, and ties us down.
The final highlight of the year was Danica accepting Jesus as her Saviour on November 30th.

   2. What were the major themes of the year?
Change has been the major theme this past year. After a short time at home, Justin went back to Alberta to work with Lorne again, then returned in July to start working at Armwood with Brian. With Brian's job change in August, Justin lost his ride to work in Portage and decided to get his own apartment, once again shrinking our family to five.
September brought another change, when we visited a different church, and made the decision to attend there. 

3. What disappointments or regrets did you experience?

  Last year, concerning regrets,  I stated "we can't go back and change things." While that is true, I can learn from my regrets, and I can commit to a better today and tomorrow. With that thought in mind, I look forward to the changes that 2015 will bring, and pray for the strength to embrace them.

4.  What was missing from the year?

   Much like the previous year, we lacked clear direction, and for me personally, peace. But we are closing out the year with a much clearer vision of God's will for our family, and the accompanying  peace. 

5. What did you learn from the past year?

  In 2013 I was reminded of the importance of being part of a community of faith, but we were still not sure where we fit in. We were  trusting the Lord to show us, and to provide....and he has. It's taken some time to get over the difficulties we had experienced in previous churches, and to be ready to try again, but we've taken that first step, and we're looking forward to what 2015 brings.
Happy new year to all!


Monday, December 22, 2014

He Scattereth the Hoarfrost

 He giveth snow like wool: he scattereth the hoarfrost like ashes.
Psalm 147:16

I don't always enjoy winter, but I do love hoarfost! Even ordinary objects, when covered in white crystals become a beautiful work of created by the hand of God. My husband captured some of this beauty around our yard. 


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Story of the Candy Cane

The candy maker created the cane
As a reminder of the Saviour who came.
He used hard candy to symbolize
The Rock of Ages, Jesus Christ.
He made it white to signify
Christ's purity and sinless life.
He fashioned the candy the shape of a staff,
For the Good Shepherd, who died on our behalf.
A wide stripe represents Christ's blood,
Shed on the cross for the sins of the world.
Then he added three thin stripes
To depict the suffering of Jesus Christ.
The candy cane gives to all
An important message to recall. 
Remember that Jesus is the reason
We celebrate the Christmas season.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A Work In Progress

  I love trees, shrubs and flowers. I also love landscaping. I especially like to draw out plans and decide where everything will go...the pergola here, perennial garden there, and the boardwalk pathway making it's way through the garden. I can picture in my mind exactly how I want it to look, and I can fill a Pinterest page with pictures and ideas pretty quick too! I also enjoy the work that must be done to get everything into place...wheeling the dirt around in the wheel barrow, shoveling, raking, planting. Even moving the pallets around to make the board walk wasn't bad. 
  But then comes the part I'm not so good at. Actually, I'm beyond terrible at maintaining the garden. It's hard to believe I came from parents who planted and cared for a huge perennial garden into their eighties! My parents' garden was one of the most beautiful I've ever seen; plants evenly spaced, always kept weeded, neatly groomed paths.....

  I loved their garden, but clearly I did not inherit their green thumbs...or their desire for perfection! This year we had such a late spring. Of course the weeds always grow faster than the perennials, and often it's hard to tell the difference. Besides the late start, there were other activities and tasks that took priority. Now, here we are nearing the end of August, and what was supposed to be a beautifully landscaped yard has become a crazy, wild jungle, with many unfinished projects!

  I can't help but compare my gardening to my homeschooling. I start out the season with well laid out plans.... Even though we lean more to the unschooling end of the spectrum, I still like to have some idea of what the coming year will look like, and so does the Dept. of Education! So I search through our bookshelves, and video collection, and find resources that I think the kids will be able to use and enjoy. I write out my plans for each child, and the subjects they will cover. I type up a colorful schedule for each one to follow...mostly for computer time to avoid fighting over whose turn it is! And we're all set for September to arrive.

  Some years, we get off to a good start, everyone working away on the program I've devised. But then the enthusiasm wanes, and the plans fizzle out. Other years, like the year we built out house, we didn't even think about school until the end of fall. Some people might suggest that we should perhaps consider sending our kids to public school, where they can get a more structured education; where they will be required to complete whatever course of study is set out for them, and honestly, I've had moments when I wondered if they were right!

  Then I look at my back yard. Yes, It's a bit of a mess; the goldenrod has taken over the perennial garden, and the pallet path is not quite finished...and I realize, it's okay. It's still a work in progress...not quite what I envisioned, but beautiful non the less.

But in one part of the yard, the tomatoes are thriving.......

......and you know what? So are my kids. I have a seven year old who can read and spell better than many adults. I have a twelve year old who reads more books than I can count, and is becoming a very talented cartoonist. And I have a fifteen year old who is a natural leader, enthusiastic in everything he does; whether it's sports, acting, singing, or hanging out with the mentors in his life. I can't take credit for any of my children's talents and skills anymore than I can claim responsibility for the beautiful wild flowers springing up in our yard! Given some space, the resources they require, and the freedom to grow in their own direction, and in their own time, (and in God's) they flourish.

 And I'll let you in on a much as I loved my parents garden, my dream has always been to have a wild garden filled with beautiful prairie flowers and grasses growing freely....each one unique, and beautiful in it's own way.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Where I Am From

I wrote this many years ago, and thought I'd repost it today.

I am from the prairies, from the crocus and the cowslips, and the pussy willows in springtime. I am from walking barefoot on hot sandy roads. I am from swimming in Jackson’s lake, dugouts and swamps in the summer; from climbing trees, and swinging from ropes tied around branches.

I am from skating on ponds, and playing in the snow after dark in the winter; building snow forts and making homemade snow shoes from spruce bows; from sliding down hills with cardboard for a sled.
I am from walking with my brothers around a four mile country block, and walking along the railway tracks collecting shiny stones; from exploring the Collie Hills and old vacant houses.
I am from a one room school house; from playing games in the basement in winter, and playing Johnny Can’t Cross the River and Pump, Pump, Pull Away in the spring and fall. I am from practicing for the Christmas Concert at Arizona Hall, and going to Field day in Austin.

I am from Spruce Woods Park, the Assiniboine River, and the Carberry Desert.

I am from strawberry fields and picking cucumbers; from bouquets of glads for the farmer’s market, and from strolling through Mom and Dad’s garden.

I am from Sunday supper, roast beef and potatoes; and from fiddle diddles and spice cake, and I am from Sunday drives to tour the gardens at Morden, and climbing Mount Nebo in Miami. I am from Manitoba.
I am from putting one foot in front of the other, and what goes around comes around; I am from befriending the friendless and rooting for the underdog. I am from Gerald and Ede Blair.
That's where I am from. Where are you from?
I came across a blog that had a little picture with the words, "Where are you from?" I clicked on it and found that it was based on a poem, and that many people had written their own version, based on their own life. I loved the one I read, so I decided to write my own.