30 August 2013

Why Hello there...





.
Hello hello hello!

It's been a week with it's ups and downs, laughter and tears, prayers being answered, coffee and more coffee, washing piles that have been piled high and silly family antics that bring smiles galore.

Boy, am I thankful for the strength and grace that only God can offer.  His light shines bright, even in the most darkest of situations, and His joy is not reliant on circumstances.  Best of all, in my weakness He is made strong.

"Now may God, the source of hope, fill you with all joy
and peace as you believe, so that you may overflow with
hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13

Looking forward to the weekend!





26 August 2013

Lemon Yoghurt Cake



This cake is one of my favourites - especially when served with a generous dollop of whipped cream or yoghurt on the side.  Perfect timing with lots of lemons around at the moment.

This recipe is from the legend New Zealander, Alison Holst!

Because this cake contains oil rather than butter, it is very easy to mix, either in a food processor, or in a bowl using a whisk or fork. For quick and even cooking, we usually use a ring tin, but if you like you can bake it in a regular 21-centimetre round tin, instead.




Lemon Yoghurt Cake

Cook in a  21cm ring cake:

1½ cups sugar
Rind of 2 lemons
2 large eggs
½ cup canola or other light vegetable oil
½ tsp salt
1 cup yoghurt
2-3 Tbsp lemon juice
1½ cups self-raising flour

Turn oven on to 190°C, or 180°C if using a fan oven.
If you are using a food processor, put the sugar into the (dry) bowl with the metal chopping blade. Peel all the yellow peel from the lemons, using a potato peeler, and add to the bowl. Run the machine until the lemon peel is finely chopped through the sugar.

Add the eggs, oil and salt and process until thick and smooth, then add the yoghurt and lemon juice and blend enough to mix. Use any kind of yoghurt - plain, sweetened or flavoured. (If you use flavoured yoghurt, choose a flavour that will blend with the colour and flavour of the lemon.) Add the flour and process just enough to combine with the rest of the mixture.

To mix by hand: grate all the coloured peel from the lemons into a large bowl. Add the sugar, eggs and oil, then whisk together. Add the salt, yoghurt and lemon juice and mix again. Sift in the flour, then mix gently until just combined.

Pour cake mixture into a non-stick sprayed and floured ring pan (which holds seven cups of water). Bake for 30 minutes, or until the sides start to shrink, the centre springs back when pressed, and a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool for about 10 minutes before turning carefully out onto a rack.

Serve sprinkled with a little icing sugar, and topped with whipped cream or a dash of yoghurt.


For more delicious recipes visit here.
Original recipe source here

22 August 2013

Learning.

It's a shame that people get to a place where they think they no longer need to learn.  To me, learning is as important as living and breathing - learning is a part of growing.

I'm not talking about learning stuff like maths (although that's important - and to be totally honest, I'm learning a lot of stuff while helping my 11 year old with his maths homework) but the sort of things you learn while doing life with those around you.

I learn heaps from my friends, my family, from God and especially from my kids. 

Here are some of the things I've been learning lately...


I've been learning that no matter what age you are, celebrate and be thankful.  Life is a precious gift and getting older is something to celebrate.  I loved celebrating Symon's Dad's 75th birthday last week - there was singing and laughter, great food and stories galore.  That's what living and celebrating life is all about (no moaning and embarrassment about age - that's how it should be!).



Lately, I've been reminded to see life through the wonder filled eyes of a child - I've been learning to celebrate the little things, like losing a tooth for the first time.  After going through all the "firsts" with the other three children, I've been reminded that through little eyes these small things are rather large and important. P.S. This wee one has a goal to collect and store every single tooth she loses. *squirm*



I've also learnt that my stomach isn't very strong when blood and drama (and precious little family friends) are involved.  Go here to find out more!



I've learnt that I need to enjoy the moment AND make sure I capture more snippets of life on video! We recently had our old videos of when the kids were babies put onto DVD.  It has been so precious to watch these over again and also watch our children watching themselves on DVD and all the love and fuss that was made over them as babies.  I realised that as they've grown older I've been a bit slack with videoing them - something I'm going to do a bit more often.
I'm learning not to underestimate these clever kids that we have the privileged of raising.  Our 11 year old blew us away earlier this week with a very cool speech at school.  His scientific explanations and big words even made me feel like I needed to go back to school.  One of his favourite words to use at home at the moment is "Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis" - yep, that's our boy (starting to save for University asap).



I'm learning that love and friendships are precious and need to be nurtured.  These things take effort to grow and thrive.  Taking time out for those I care about is super important.



I'm learning that true forgiveness isn't just about saying the words and pretending everything is okay. True forgiveness is about being able to look someone in the eye and know that things have been worked through and all is good.  Being able to see eye to eye - challenging huh?



Finally, I'm learning that fun doesn't always randomly happen, sometime you have to initiate it... then later you realise that you may just have taken one of your best "awkward family photos".



 What have you been learning lately?


13 August 2013

Ripple W.I.P.



I've got a large list of things in my brain that I'd love to be creating at the moment, yet alas, the only thing I actually have any time for is my current crochet WIP (work in progress) - my fluro ripple blanket.



Thankfully crochet is the type of hobby that you can take anywhere with you and add a few stitches here and there.  This blanket is slow going, but at least it is growing, even if at a snails pace.

Keen to try making your own ripple blanket?  This is the pattern I'm using here, the Cheery Wave Ripple Blanket over at Meet Me at Mikes!




p.s. I had a quick look at my Flickr group "Craft Nerds Going Public" and the recent pictures are so funny you just have to have a look!  Make sure you join in with your pictures of yourself or friends crafting in public!


For more crafty makings go here.

05 August 2013

Still mining for the good stuff...


It was just a week ago that I wrote this post about Mining for Gold... and from that night onwards our family entered into a week of sickness, where to be honest, all thoughts of mining for gold disappeared as we tended to vomiting children and even one adult (me!!). 

After only a few hours sleep last night, instead of looking bright eyed and bushy tailed like the photo above, rather I feel and probably look somewhat like this photo of our dog Boo below:



As a fresh week begins with yet another victim struck down with this horrible bug, I did have a slight snigger as I re-read last week's post, but guess what?  What I said still stands.

Despite the dark days of sickness lately, there is still so much good stuff to be grateful for.  I'm learning that gratefulness and contentment isn't reliant on my circumstances, but on my attitude.

And guess what?  No matter what is going down in your neck of the woods, I bet if you look hard enough, you too will find some gold, even if only tiny fragments.

So here is some of the stuff I'm grateful for:

Crochet - a hobby that also doubles as a way to warm my family (and it's also my stress relief!)...



This amazing family - each child is so different, precious and funny...



Grateful for my six year old's pictures and stories.  This one is a picture of Jesus with orange hair....



Boo in pants... just cause its funny...



This guy just because he keeps me laughing and balances me out in a way that only he could...



Let's not forget the good things...


"Let all that I am praise the Lord, may I never forget the good things He does for me" Psalm 103:2


Joining in with The Grateful Project.

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