Saturday, July 31, 2010

Purple Haze, Cardigan and Shoes

I love the colour purple and while out shopping one day a few months ago with Jennifer, our second daughter, I came across this lovely yarn and contrasting multi coloured yarn in a large store called The Warehouse.

When I had finished the last knitted garments I set out looking for a pattern to knit a cardy for our grand daughter Evelyn.

I couldn't find anything I wanted so I ended up using basic instructions from an old pattern and adapting what I wanted to do with my design into the pattern.











Because it is acrylic rather than wool it is a light yarn in weight, so there is more quantity in the ball. I had leftovers so then I set out to find and adapt another old pattern to make the little bootee shoes.

The yarn was Knitwise pricewise 
'Hero' - Purple Blossom as the main colour and
'Hero Tones' - Lilac Mist for the contrast.

And the buttons...came from my button container.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Folding a Fitted Sheet

I had ladies homegroup here yesterday and while the last ladies were leaving I was folding up the washing that had been airing on our clothes horse by the fire.
I suddenly noticed that the ladies were looking at me.
"What?" I asked.
"I'm just watching what you are doing", said one lady.
"Me too", said another.
"I'm folding a sheet!" was my reply.
"We know but its a fitted sheet". they both agreed.
These ladies were over 60 years old and I looked at them, "Don't you know how to fold a fitted sheet?" I asked
"No" they both replied and proceeded to share how they bundle them into the cupboard or just put them straight on to the bed.

So I wondered how many other people don't know how to fold a fitted sheet.

I have always looked at it like a flat sheet using the same principles as folding a sheet then just working the gathered edges into it.
Pic 1.


 Pic 2.
Step 1.
Fold in half across the width matching the seams of the gathered corners at both top ends. I push them out from under the top corners so they are even and flat. (a bit like pushing the edges out if you have turned a pillow sli[p inside out; sort of have it sit flat
(first pic)



Have the gathered edges all around the sheet match together and fold them into the middle. (see the second pic)



I can do this just standing but you should try it on a flat surface to learn it.



Pic 3.





Step 2.
Fold in half again, bringing one side over to the other. (This would be like folding the sheet in half lengthwise after the first fold on a flat sheet)
(see third pic)
Pic 4.






  Pic 4 shows the sheet after the second fold with the gathered edges all facing inside so you can no longer see them.

Pic 5




Step 3.
Fold the top edge down one third. Make sure it is the 'thick' end so this is all folded in when the folding is finished. (see pic 5)


Pic 6,



Step 4.
Fold the bottom edge up and over to the top edge
(pic 6)




Pic 7


    Step 5.
    Fold in half.



Pic 8




See not too hard at all!!!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Book Depository

Yesterday in the mail I received three books I had ordered through The Book Depository .
It is a site in the United Kingdom that has most books at a fraction of the price I would normally pay and it is free delivery all around the world.
I got The Hiding Place,Tramp for the Lord and In My Father's House all written by Corrie ten Boom.
I had borrowed the Hiding Place from our Church Library and liked it so much I wanted to keep it for myself as I know I will reread it and lend it out. There are a couple of quotes in her book that I wanted to highlight too. I also wanted the set of the three Corrie wrote about her life, so to speak.


They cost £7.19 each which converted was $NZ15.20. To purchase the book in a shop in New Zealand it would have been $NZ 29.99, so buying them through this site was nearly half price plus the free delivery so saving petrol. It took 9 days from when I ordered on line for them to arrive in my letterbox each individually packed in a bubble wrap packet and I also got a free bookmark.

I will probably get a lot more books through them as I found them a superb site and service.
Now to get reading some more.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Mumsey's Corned Pasta


I have discovered that those in my family left at home don't like cold corned beef. So what do you do with the left over meat as it usually lasts at least one or two days after the first day of serving it.
Last night my poor hubby had a terrible migraine and didn't want to eat much at all so on a night like that we have pasta and he has a cup of soup.
"Aha" I thought, I will use the corned beef in a recipe I saw Jamie Oliver once do with bacon.
This photo might not look as tasty as it was because the batteries were flat in the camera and by the time they were charged up the dish was cold. But the cherubs in our house said it was nice, ate all theirs and I actually enjoyed it cold!!
500 gr penne Pasta
1 onion finely chopped
1 cup shredded corned beef
2 Tbsp Tomato paste
125 mls cream

Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling water to which you have added a couple of drops of oil and about ½ tsp salt.
Don’t use a lot of salt as the corned beef is salted.
While this is cooking lightly fry the chopped onion in about a tsp of butter. When that has softened, add the shredded corned beef and fry until it is “dried” slightly.
Add the tomato past and stir through bring to a hot heat.
Turn off the heat and add the cream and mix thoroughly.
Drain the pasta and then stir through the meat sauce.
Serve hot with sliced avocado as a topping.
This actually tastes nice cold too.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Banana and Coconut Loaf

Do you have bananas that go brown because no-one else seems to want to eat them once they start to change colour. I find a big banana cake doesn’t get eaten here and sometimes I want something a bit different to muffins.
This is a nice loaf with coconut and can be made like a cake with icing or sliced like a loaf.

Banana and Coconut Loaf

2 large eggs
60gr of butter
2/3 cup soft brown sugar
2 large ripe bananas (mashed)
1 ½ cups self raising flour
1/3 cup desiccated coconut.

Topping:
1 cup icing sugar
4 tsp lemon juice
25gr butter
3 Tblsp desiccated coconut

Soften the butter and then beat with the brown sugar until smooth.
Add the eggs and beat again until smooth.
I often add a couple of tablespoons of the measured flour to go in the cake etc, to stop it from curdling.
Beat in the mashed banana until smooth.
Sift over the flour and then fold in with the coconut.
Spoon the mixture into a greased and lined loaf tin and level the surface.
Bake for 40 minutes or until a warm skewer inserted comes out clean at 180ºC.
Turn out onto a rack and leave to cool completely.
Topping:
Blend together the softened butter, lemon juice and enough icing sugar to make a spreadable icing and add the coconut. Spread over loaf.

You can omit the icing and cut the loaf into slices and butter them.
It can also be sliced and toasted after a few days if it has not been eaten and started to get a bit hard.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

I Received a Parcel Today

When I got home from work and lunch with a friend there was a parcel on the door step all the way from Australia. My friend who had visited recently had meant to give it to me when she visited but had left behind, so she thought, but it was in fact in her husbands suitcase.
She sent it to me once she got home and added to it all the New Zealand money pooled together she and her family had left over from their holidays.



It was a beautiful journey with the Footsteps In The Sand poem in the front and plenty of pages for me to journal as I do. All the pages have the picture on the front but in a very light tone so like a background.

And also a lovely Parker pen.

I am building up the plants down the driveway garden and so I am going to use the money to buy two plants as special reminders of our friendship. She knows the garden sop she will also 'see' what I am doing with the gift.









I will be getting the climbing red rose Dublin Bay to grown along the fence.





Also a sweet smelling small bloom camellia - Cinnamon Cindy







I feel so blessed by this friend and our friendship but also that we both know the real love of God and especially in the words of the poem.

Footprints
One night a man had a dream. He dreamed He was walking along the beach with the LORD. Across the sky flashed scenes from His life. For each scene He noticed two sets of footprints in the sand. One belonging to Him and the other to the LORD.

When the last scene of His life flashed before Him, he looked back at the footprints in the sand. He noticed that many times along the path of His life there was only one set of footprints. He also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times of His life.

This really bothered Him and He questioned the LORD about it. LORD you said that once I decided to follow you, you'd walk with me all the way. But I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life there is only one set of footprints. I don't understand why when I needed you most you would leave me.

The LORD replied, my precious, precious child, I Love you and I would never leave you! During your times of trial and suffering when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

In her Shoes - the Movie

Having read the book, In her Shoes, I thought I would get the DVD of the movie out and watch it.
It was an ok sort of a movie and if I hadn't have read the book it would have been good, but I was a bit disappointed.
A whole section of the book was missing from the movie.

In the book, after Maggie is kicked out of Rose's apartment for 'having it off' with Rose's boyfriend, Maggie travels by train and ends up, in Maggie's way, living at a College campus free of charge. There she sleeps in the back of the library where there is a toilet, gets free meals from the cafe and reads old books that are stored in the room she sleeps in. Maggie has struggled with a reading disability, dyslexia, and this is part of Maggie turning a corner in her life.  She also sneaks into poetry lectures and learns the appreciation of poetry. She also is asked by a male to act in a play he has written. She gets a cleaning/carer job for a blind lady she becomes very friendly with, which is where she escapes when finially the guy she 'seduced', when she first got into the Campus, discoveres her and threatens her.
Then, she goes to her grandmother who has been searching on the net for some time to find her two grand-daughters. At first Maggie is very reclusive and hardly talks to her Grandmother as she is half waiting for the moment when her Grandmother, like the rest of the people in Maggie's world, turns her out again.
And this is over a few months.
Rose is establishing her dog walking, personal errand business and her relationship with Simon. In fact there is one section in the book where Rose is trying on Wedding gowns that was very humorous, and even my youngest wanted me to let her know when that bit was on. But it wasn't.

In the movie, Maggie goes straight to her grandmother's, and 'the-learning-appreciation-of poetry' happens when she works in the care unit at a hospital and one of the blind patients asks her to read poetry to him.

Perhaps they wanted to condense the movie but I feel the time at the campus is part of the character of Maggie and omitting it reduces the extremes she will go to, to try to get on in life on her own.
As an extra on the DVD there is a bit about the filming and parts of an interview with Jennifer Weiner, the auther of the book, who has praise for the movie so she must have not thought it was necessary.

I have come to realise that it is better to read a book first and then watch the movie as a stand alone story so as not to be disappointed.

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Hiding Place



I have just finished reading this amazing true story of Corrie Ten Boom. She is an inspiration to all and I have decided to get myself a copy as there are passages I want to re read and quote.

"The Hiding Place is the story of Corrie ten Boom's life as a middle-aged woman in Holland during World War II. She was an active member of the resistance, harboring Jews in her home, the Beje. Her story begins when she is a child, but quickly progresses to her adulthood. The main plot is Corrie's work helping Jews. She took them into her home, usually for a short time, and then helped them find a better hiding place. She supplied them with false papers and ration cards. Corrie worked with a group of Dutch Christians and built a network in Holland to help whoever needed help. Her older sister hid Jews as well, and her brother ran a nursing home and was able to help Corrie.
Unfortunately, the Nazis find out that Corrie is active in the resistance and she, her sister, her father and many others are arrested in a night raid (miraculously, the Jews in her home are hidden so well they aren't found and all but one live through the Occupation). Even though she is elderly, Corrie survives prison and is transported to Ravensbruck, a concentration camp, with her sister Betsie."


The title of the book is the name of the secret place where Jews and others were kept safe 
but also that in Jesus, Corrie and her sister were able to hide from the horrors around them while under arrest.
Their home the Beje, is now open for people to visit and many people have been touched by reading this story. 


I am tired today and as I was changing the sheets on our bed I felt that I just couldn't be bothered and just wanted to curl up but then I thought of what Corrie and millions of others have been through and how much they longed for a bed with clean smooth sheets. I quickly realised the privilege I have and made it.
I don't like reading and hearing about a lot of things on the holocaust but I am reminded that we must keep the horrid memories alive so it is not repeated. But even today there are still events around the world of fellow humans being barbaric to other human beings. And this has to stop. I am thankful for the privilege God has given me of living in a time and country such as here and now.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Plum Tree – Winter

We have a plum tree growing outside the kitchen window. I can see it when I sit and read in a little nook off the kitchen we call the ‘quite room’. Through the season it seems to talk to me and reveal things from God.
It’s winter time and the branches of the plum tree are bare. They are stripped of their leaves and exposed to the elements. All is revealed and nothing is hidden. Even the birds that rest in its branches are no longer protected in amongst the leaves from predators. They are in full view to us all.

This week has been a bit tough for me. Because I made a comment in one of my earlier posts on this blog, I forgot that not all my dear children new of my past. I thought the first three new but I was wrong about our third daughter. Our youngest read the blog and was deeply hurt and angry towards me. I was exposed once again to the elements and I did not like it. Because of the hurt I was feeling I told my son as well so that all my children could know what I had done, before the youngest two were born. I thought if I was going to go through this again I would do it all at once, because it was not nice reliving it all again. This meant that my husband had to go through it all again too. I was afraid as to how he would feel but he was so supportive.
While I was out he talked to our youngest and told her it was not her business what had happened as it was in the past and all is forgiven, we have moved on and have left it in the past so she should too. What strength he showed.

The plum tree looks vulnerable but it is just resting. It is gaining its strength for the new job it will be doing in the spring. So I also felt vulnerable but I rested, in knowing that not only was God in control but that my dear hubby would support and help explain to our children. The strength I gained in letting go and letting others carry me through was what God wanted.

The wintertime is not a time to be afraid but to know that this is the time that God wants you to rest in Him because He knows what great things are in store for our next ‘season’

Friday, July 16, 2010

Self Crusting Quiche

When you have had a big meal with lots of food and lots of people like at Christmas time, you often end up with left overs. For days you seem to eat turkey or ham sandwiches and the vegetables, no one wants, get pushed to the back of the fridge until they start to grow!

What do you do?

These were the left over vegetables from our mid-winter meal, some fresh laid eggs from our new hens, fresh silver beet from the garden and the left over cheese sauce from the meal.

With these I made a version of a recipe my daughters learnt at school, supplementing ingredients with what I had here, but the end result was the same.

Getting confident with this recipe and its basic egg mix, means you can use any combination of vegetables to suit your taste or what you have on hand. It means the fridge gets cleaned out more often and you don't throw a lot of food out.


Cook vegetables (or heat up left overs) in 40gr of butter or some oil.
I use half a chopped onion, 1 or 2 cubed potatoes (about 100gr), pumpkin and/or kumera (sweet Potato). When they are just about soft I add some shredded silver beet (I grow stacks of that.)
I cook this, covered with plastic wrap, in my quiche dish in the microwave for a few minutes then add any left overs, eg peas, carrots, broccoli etc.
Basically you want a selection of vegetables loosely packed in the dish you are using but with room to add the egg mix.
Cover the top with a cup of grated cheese.

Beat together;
3 eggs
1 cup of milk
5 tblsp self raising flour
salt and pepper (I actually use a good shake of herb stock powder)

Pour this over the veges and cheese.
At this stage you could top with slices of tomato or zucchini or anything like that.
I sprinkle a light handful of bread crumbs on top now too, but that is optional.
Cook in the oven at 200ºC for 25 to 30 minutes, until set and golden on top.
You could cook in the microwave for about 10 minutes on high but it doesn't turn golden (but you could then brown the top under the grill.)

Make it in any shaped container you like really.
Absolutely lovely served with a bit of chutney and salad leaves.
You could then freeze some of this for later if you didn't think it would be used up in the next day.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

A Daughters Love

As I wrote in a post below we have a mid winter dinner with most of the family once a year.

Its a time we enjoy and I love to prepare the food and setting for it. We are all together and enjoy each others company for no other reason than because we can. We may play games, catchup on news, or just sit and read but know all those we love are around us.



Today in the mail I received a lovely card from Jennifer and Jason thanking me for the day and the work I put in to make it a memory.




It just made me smile and almost bring a tear just to know how much they enjoy the day too. And also that they took the time to send me the card was a blessing as well.

I am reminded too of how lovely it is to recieve something in the mail that we can hold in our hand.
With the world of electronics, email, text, answerphones, forums, facebook etc and even this blog we tend to forego the writing of cards and letters. Here in New Zealand there is even talk of reducing the home delivery of mail to just the five working days of the week as the volume has dropped so much. It saddens me as I enjoy mail so much.
So what can I do?
I will go and write to some pen-pals who are long over due from hearing from me and post off the parcel to my daughter.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Gingerbread Houses

These are something I make for fun and they vary each time I make them. They are also an art in progress of how best to present them.

Gingerbread:
225 grams flour
125gr chilled butter
¾ cup of sugar
1 egg (+ egg yolk from decoration)
2 ½ tsp mixed spice
½ tsp ginger
1 ½ tsp cocoa

Small egg for egg wash

Decoration:
1 egg white (add the yolk to the ginger bread recipe)
Icing sugar
Lollies for decoration

I make this in a food processor but you could do it by hand.
Combine butter and flour until like breadcrumbs.
Add the cocoa and spices.
Lightly whisk together the sugar and eggs and add this to the flour mixture.
Don’t over work the dough.
Roll out onto baking paper about ¼ cm thick. Cut out house shapes. Keep rolling pin and surfaces dusted with flour so they don’t stick and break when you slide them on to a baking paper lined or greased, baking tray.
Lightly whisk a small egg with a fork and brush over gingerbread pieces before they go into the oven. This gives it a glaze and helps it look more like a house.
Bake at 180ºC for 15 minutes watching so they don’t burn.
Let cool a little on the tray before you transfer them to the cooling rack.

When cold make up icing.
Whisk the egg white for about 10 seconds so it just gets a bit bubbly not creamy.
Add enough icing sugar to make a sticky paste like glue that has a slight “drippy” consistency but not too runny. (the mixture I made for these houses was a bit too runny)
Join pieces and decorate using lollies.

You can make any size gingerbread house or even just shapes for decorating a tree or as gifts.
If you are making bigger pieces you may need to make them slightly thicker up to ½ cm thick.

I have a little set of cutters which is just a rectangle and a side house shape. It came in a kit through the school book club. The side shape is for the house ends (cut 2) and the rectangles are the two roof pieces, the long sides of the house and a base.(cut 5) I tend to flatten the base slightly before it is baked to make it a little bit bigger than the other pieces.


I sometimes just decorate the outside of the house with the icing and fill the house with sweet treats before I put the roof on.

I have made a big house at Christmas but it never got eaten as people just picked the lollies off, which is part of the fun. It was also that there was so much food over the festive season it sort of lost its appeal. This way everyone has their own house and treats and it has become our winter season treat.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Mid Winter

I know it is past the Winter Solstice here in the Southern hemisphere but each year at this time our family celebrates the season. As with the traditional Mid Winter of ancient times its a time in the season when there is a need to brighten the home in the dark of winter and warm the insides with good food.

The 20th June also marks the day we moved into our new home, now 20 years ago. So we have combined the two and make it an annual affair for our family and a time of coming together without the rush and buying of presents or countless activities to attend at Christmas time.

All our family were here except our eldest daughter and her partner who live in Wellington.


I had set the table with winter themes of red, green and white. At Christmas I do a gold theme with angels. We don't decorate the house as we do at Christmas with lights trees, and ornaments, just the dinner table where we sit for the meal.




We had a roast chicken which I stuffed with sage, onion and orange stuffing served with gravy. I roasted potatoes, kumera, parsnips, carrots, onions and pumpkin. There was lightly cooked broccoli and cauliflower florets and cheese sauce to go with it and peas.


We didn't have anything alcoholic to drink just sparkling grapetise in red and white and sparkling appletise. There is fruit juice for those who don't want these like our grandson.





Desert was steamed fruit pudding with brandy sauce and whipped cream and for those who don't like it there was strawberry instant pudding and fruit salad.

 
I also made little gingerbread houses with lollies and there were after dinner mints.

But the best part is just having all the family around for a time of just being the friends that we all are. I do love being a mother at these times and serving a meal while hubby keeps the fire burning and warming the house.

Friday, July 9, 2010

In Her Shoes

In Her Shoes by Jennifer Weiner took awhile to read although it isn't that long. I wasn't overly impressed with this book but it was a good easy read. I see it has come out as a movie and that could be good. I think because I was slow at reading it, was part of the reason it didn't seem good.
Its a nice family saga read I suppose.

She is twenty-eight years old, never held a job for more than three months, and likes to party on somebody else's dime. Maggie Feller has learning disabilities that make her feel inferior to her older sister Rose who breezed through law school and landed a job as junior partner at a prestigious firm. Rose takes Maggie in when she runs out of money but kicks her out when she discovers her boyfriend in bed with her sister.

Maggie goes to Florida to meet the grandmother she has never known and she gradually makes a place for herself in her elderly relative's heart. Rose quits her job and becomes a dog walker, not caring to caring to learn the whereabouts of her sister. When she finds out that Maggie is in Florida with the grandmother she also never met, Rose flies down for an awkward family reunion. It is up to Maggie to find a way to heal past wounds and old injuries.

IN HER SHOES is a funny, poignant and dramatic family saga starring three very different women with different needs and regrets. It is a story about a dysfunctional family and the love that binds them in spite of themselves. Readers will empathize with Maggie because she has the most to overcome but the audience also will feel for Rose and the betrayal that deeply hurt her. Fans will admire the changes she makes in her life because of it. Jennifer Weiner is a talented storyteller who knows how to describe the human condition.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Finally Looking After Myself

I am ‘finally looking after myself’ which is the catch phrase for FLYLADY.


It’s been a month since I posted the first day of the rest of my life and I thought it was good just to take stock of where I am at, and I am pleased to say I am doing well.

I have watched what I eat by having a good wholesome breakfast to start off the day. I only have one or two ‘sweet’ things during the day and have that with a sit down hot cup of something so I know I have had it and enjoy it. I have started to drink a lot more water as I often felt hungry but discovered I was really just thirsty and besides the glass or two of water filled me up.

I also eat at lease two pieces of fruit a day sometimes that is just at breakfast and I have more during the day.

I now go for a walk every two to three days and I am up to 30 minutes a walk. If the weather isn’t too good I have started to do the house work in a sort of rush just to keep the body warmed up and exercised.

And the reward is I have lost 2 kilograms in a month.

I have also had a hair cut and been to the dentist and had two fillings fixed up. One was disintegrating and I had a split in the other. I had 1 week holiday from work just to blob out and it was good and helped me to gain control.

I get on with my Flylady routines and have found I feel in control and not always thinking I am behind and ‘failing’.

I burnt my wrist about a month ago on the chimney of the wood burner. It blistered and was painful. When the blister burst it seemed to be infected. I put antiseptic cream on it and kept it covered with gauze. Hubby kept telling g me to go to the doctors but I put it off thinking it would come right. Then I developed a sore ear and a boil under my arm, all on the same side as the burn.
On Sunday I had prayer for this and the people who prayed noticed that my arm was swollen. It was thought that I had may have had ‘bad blood’.

Acts 3:16
16By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus' name and the faith that comes through him that has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see.

We all claimed healing in the name of Jesus and I waited to see what happened.

Today – four days later – my ear is healed, the boil has gone down, so has the swelling in my arm and the burn is healing with a good scab on it (sorry about the details!!)

God is good

All scripture is from (New International Version)

Sunday, July 4, 2010

“Enoughness”

No it’s not a word but its one the vicar told me today.
Over the last few weeks God has been showing me things not just in my life but what is going on around me too.
With learning I do judge people and in doing so, smother their potential; I was beginning to think what must I do? What is in store? Will I be able?…..

Today in church the vicar preached basically the same sermon in both services.
I had to be at both as I was administering communion. I wondered what God wanted to reveal to me in these sermons. The vicar was saying there was a need to be pushing hard into the kingdom of heaven.

He touched on the verse from 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

9Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders 10nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

I had many years ago commented adultery. I have been set free and forgiven by my husband and all other people, sanctified, justified and cleansed by the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. But sometimes I find myself still striving to be all that I think God wants me to be, in my terms. I wonder if others still think of my past and what I am doing now. Should I be doing these things......

We were invited to go forward to receive anointing for being all God wants us to be.

After the vicar had prayed for me he looked at me and said he didn’t know if it was from God or himself but he felt to tell me to stop striving and that I had enough “enoughness”. He said he didn’t know if it was a word, but I was to know that God was “enoughness” for me. I do not have to worry about anything else – I was enough. He didn’t know how right that word was and that it was from God

All scripture is from (New International Version)

Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Blind Side

I went to the movies the other day with two friends from church. We went to The Blind Side.

The story of Michael Oher, a homeless and traumatized boy who became an All American football player and first round NFL draft pick with the help of a caring woman and her family.

It is a true story and I found I had tears on a few occasions. The realisation that there is potential in every-bodies lives if only they are given the opportunity, is something we can all choose to bring into being or reject.

Leigh Anne Tuohy sees Michael Oher, a homeless African-American youngster from a broken home out in the cold one winter night. He goes to her children's school so she knows a little about him. She takes him home for the night. In time they not only provide him with a loving home, but hire a tutor to help him improve his grades to the point where he would qualify for an NCAA Division I athletic scholarship.

This a great movie with Christian principles and something families could watch together.

For me it cemented attitudes I had to change after going to a workshop on family violence last week. I was challenged not to label people just by their actions or appearances which I think we all so easily do.
When we look at a person who doesn't fit our ideal mould why do we do so and what is it that we are labelling them with?
I know for me this is something I do and so not only block what God sees in them but my attitude confirms their thoughts that I am thinking this and so they feel even more worthless. I also realise that changing this attitude will mean a cost to me. But if God is asking me to step out for Him I know he will provide.

Genesis 50:20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. 21 So then, don't be afraid. I will provide for you and your children." And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.

Philippians 1:6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

I feel this is a journey God is taking me on and I feel challenged but a little uncomfortable.
No I feel very uncomfortable as to what is in store for me next. But I want to grow so I will step out.

All scripture from (New International Version)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Afghans

I have a few recipes for Afghan biscuits but this one I like as it doesn’t have a lot of butter but still tastes good.

125 grams butter
100 grams sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 cup of flour
¼ cup Cocoa
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 ½ cups cornflakes

Cream the butter and the sugar well and then beat in the vanilla.
Sift in and mix well the dry ingredients.
Add the cornflakes and try not to over mix if using a beater or you will crush up all the cornflakes and the mixture will become crumbly and won't stick together well.
Roll into balls, place on a greased oven tray and press down with a fork.
Bake at 170ºC for 15 to 20 minutes.
Cool on the tray for a bit before transferring to a cooling rack.
When cold ice with chocolate icing.

Fruit Salad Muffins.

On a cold winters day it is nice to have something to remind you of the warmer days of summer.
Today I made these muffins from part of a large tin of fruit salad I had opened and ate one while sitting in the warm sun but indoors.
It is another Alison Holst one from her Marvellous Muffins book.

2 cups flour
4 tsp baking powder
½ cup sugar
Pinch of salt
425 gram can of Fruit Salad
75 grams butter
½ cup milk
1 egg

Cinnamon Sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 TBSP brown sugar

Spray, grease or put in muffin cases, into a 12 medium sized muffin tin.
Preheat oven to 200ºC.
Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl.
Melt the butter in the microwave or in a pot.
Drain the fruit salad keeping the juice. Measure ¼ cup and add to the melted butter.
Now the recipe calls for ½ cup of milk but I use the rest of the juice and make it up to ½ cup with milk. In other words you need to be adding ¾ cup of liquid altogether.
Beat in the egg with a fork. If the pieces of fruit are bigger than about 1cm square then cut them in half.
Add these plus the liquids to the dry ingredients and fold in 14 times. It is fine to have traces of unmixed flour showing.
Spoon into muffin tins and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
Bake for 10 -12 minutes