Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Mmm Tasty Tuesday - muffins 3 ways

So over the weekend I was thinking about making banana bread when I got back home from our visit.  But then my brain exploded with a fabulous idea.

What if I made my banana bread recipe using pumpkin instead of banana?

I know, I am brilliant.  Or insane.   Only way to decide was to try it.

(  Hubby thought I was going to make banana and pumpkin muffins, he tasted them and said,"I cant taste any banana" )

So here is my favourite Banana Spiced Bread recipe that can be adapted into Pumpkin Spice Bread. After changing it into pumpkin bread I decided to use some yams that I had hanging around and attempted to make it using Yams as well.  It totally worked and is super tasty too.

Each recipe either makes 2 loaves or 24 (and a bit) muffins or a whole whack of mini muffins.

1 cup Butter or Margarine
2 Cups Brown Sugar
3 Cups Mashed Ripe Bananas, Pumpkin, or Yams ( or sweet potato)
4 Eggs
2 1/2 Cups Flour
2 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
~ (for pumpkin and yam bread I also add 1/2 tsp ground Ginger)
 ~1 Cup Chocolate chips or nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350'. Cream Butter and Sugar. Add mashed Banana (or other) and Eggs, Mix well. Mix dry ingredients then add to wet mixture. Mix until well blended but do not over mix.
Pour into 2 lightly greased loaf pans. and bake for 55 mins to 1 hour.
Pour into lightly greased or lined muffin tins.  Bake for 20 mins or until toothpick comes out clean.
Pour into lightly greased mini muffin tins and bake 18-20 mins. 

yam spice muffins oh so yummy...and healthy(ish) 

hubby thought that the pumpkin muffins needed a crumble or something on top.  so i dipped them in butter and cinnamon sugar. his response, " these taste like pumpkin churros, it makes me happy" too funny. 

edges got a little brown but still tasted amazing 

nice and moist 

Monday, 29 October 2012

Love out Loud - deliberate love stage 2

Man that was a whirlwind of a weekend.  

I drove the kids up to visit my parents and to say good bye to my sister. My brother in law just got a new job in a city 5 hours from where they live now, which works out to be about an 8 hour drive for us to visit them now.  I hate to say it but the likely hood that we see them again before Christmas is very small.  It gets harder and harder to travel with infants 
when the snow starts to fall. 

Anyway, I took the kids up, hung out, did some shopping, which is quite difficult to pull off when you have 3 children under the age of 2 with you. It is crazy how hard it is to work around everyones nap times. It was a great weekend of visiting and I am so glad that we got to say goodbye. 

Mr T stayed back and worked on the new house. He was amazing. In the weekend he tiled the kitchen, laid hardwood on the whole main floor, and then tiled 3 bathrooms.  Such a trouper, his poor knees are killing him.  

So with all the love and time spent with family, and away from some, I was reminded about how important it is to say " I love you".  I know the other day I posted about Actions of Love, and showing love through our actions and not just empty words, but there is something to be said about telling someone that you love them. 

It is really nice to hear that you are loved. And of course to actually see the love lived out is sublime. But to never hear it, that someone loves you, I cannot imagine. 

Do you think that if we never told our children out loud, and said the words, " I love you", that they would still know it? 

I think that children need to hear it.  They do need to experience it and see it lived out as well but they do need to hear the words.  Just like they need physical touch to grow and develop properly, I think they need to hear that they are loved.  

Even God the Father spoke from heaven and told Jesus that he was loved.  Matthew 3:17 Matthew 17:5 2 Peter 1:16-18

We need to use our words to tell our loved ones that we love them. And then we need to show them love through our actions and truth.  God teaches us how to love, because his is the best and most pure love there is.  

Real love is:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8

When I was getting married my dad pulled me aside one day and told me, " Love isn't just a bubbly happy feeling, those feelings will go away. There will be times when they come back, but when life gets hard those feelings often vanish. Love is a choice we make everyday. From now on you will have to wake up everyday and choose to love your husband, even when its hard." 

We choose to be committed and  show our love and speak it out. 

This is something I personally have been trying to work on.  And that Mr T and I have started working on together.  

The next stage of our deliberate love, started here and followed up here, will be speaking out our love.   We want to show each other respect and love with our words. 

We often forget to tell each other how attractive they are, or how much we appreciate that they changed the baby, or washed the laundry, went to work today, stayed home with the kids, etc.  There are so many opportunities to tell one another how special they are and we miss them so often. 

I challenge you this week to speak out your love, to your spouse, kids, and anyone else you are feeling the love for.  Let them know it, and let Gods love flow into you to give to them. Blessings. 
This is the American Sign Language Sign for I love you. And my daughters little baby hand holding mine.  

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Our story...

This is a repost, just trying to figure out all the workings of the blog. Be patient with me.

This is the first part of our story.  There is a lot more to it but I will get to it when I have the time to think about those old hurts again.

Aaron and I were married December 22 of 2007. Aaron was in school when we got engaged, and was in school and doing work terms straight for 3 years.  The only time we could actually have a honeymoon was at Christmas of 2007 so we rushed our engagement and had the wedding.  We were only engaged for 2 months.

Everyone thought that I was pregnant.  I was asked all the time.  And even after we were married there were some family friends that whenever we got together would double check to see if my stomach was any larger.  I guess its hard for most people to understand why a 19 year old would marry so young and so quickly.  But I had met the love of my life, why would I want to wait to spend the rest of my life with him.

Anyway, the fall of 2009 we became pregnant. We were so excited. I had wanted to be a mother since I was a child.  When most kids are saying they want to be a ballerina or a firefighter I was saying I wanted to be a great mom.  (a good thing to aspire to, but not the answer most grade 1 teachers are looking for)

I was sick from day one. Not a "hug the toilet all day" kind of sick but the nauseous,"I think I could puke at any moment but nothing ever comes of it" kind of sick. I was having dreams about our little one and I felt an immediate connection to the tiny thing inside me. We told all of our friends and family and were so excited.

Then I had an ultrasound at 10 weeks. They doctor and ultrasound tech. seemed to think I had my dates wrong. The baby was only the size of 8 weeks, and they couldn't see the heartbeat.

That night I started to have heavy bleeding and cramping. Aaron told me that all night I was tossing and turning and groaning in pain. At 5 am I woke up and ran to the bathroom. I was in the most pain I had felt yet.  I lost the baby.

I was heartbroken. And so angry at God for taking the baby away from me.

Within two months I was pregnant again. Then after a few weeks, again, I lost the baby.

Then two months later I was pregnant again. And again after a few weeks, I lost the baby.
I was so angry with God, and I was beating myself up. Wondering what I did to make it happen, what I could have done differently, and why God was punishing me. I felt like it had to have been my fault.

I had so many people try to encourage me or make me feel like it wasn't a big deal. But I felt so attached to each of those babies, I felt the affects they had on my body and dreamed about them and what our future would be with them in it.

Each person deals with loss in a different way. I turned to God in my grief and frustration and anger.  I cried out to him, yelled at him and then turned to his words for comfort.

God met me in my brokenness, my anger, and my disappointment. He doesn't ever leave, so its okay to yell at him, its okay to tell him you are hurt. Its okay to be angry with God, he can take it. He understands what it feels like to have a precious child die.  He gets it, he understands that pain we feel and has felt worse.  He hurts when we hurt.  He is our Father and loves us as much as we love our children and more.

God knows our inmost thoughts, He knows the desires of our hearts. He formed us and has created us in his image, with emotions and feelings.

I hope that you find these verses comforting in whatever you are going through. I will post more of my story as I can find the words.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. 
Romans 15:12-14

As you do not know the path of the wind,
    or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb,
so you cannot understand the work of God,
    the Maker of all things.
Ecclesiastes 11:5 

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Romans 8:28

Have mercy on me, Lord, for I am faint;
heal me, Lord, for my bones are in agony.
My soul is in deep anguish. 
How long, Lord, how long?
Turn, Lord, and deliver me;
same me because of your unfailing love. 
Psalms 6:2-4

I am worn out from my groaning. 
All night long I flood my couch with tears.
My eyes from weak with sorrow;
they fail because of all my foes. 
Away from me, all you who do evil,
for the Lord has heard my weeping/ 
The Lord has heard my cry for mercy;
 the Lord accepts my prayer. 
Psalms 6:6-9

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,     and he will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5,6

Actions of Love

Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
1 John 3:18

Feeling the need to show love today.  Not just with words but with my actions.  

I want to live out the love I have for people. Just like Jesus did.  He never shied away from the sick and hurting, he went to them in there dark places and loved them, forgave them and healed them. 

Jesus was the best at living out love. 

When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.
 As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.”
 Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”
 “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered.
 “Bring them here to me,” he said.  And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people.  They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.

Matthew 14:14-21

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
John 3:16-17

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Child's Prayers

Sorry about the lack of blogging for the last few days,  it has been beyond hectic.

I was thinking today about prayer.

My daughter loves to pray. She will sit and go on and on telling God what she is thankful for. I love to listen to her, it brings such joy and reminds me of all the little things that he has blessed me with.
I mean really, how many of us remember to thank God for our eyes. She does. She often goes through all her body parts saying "And thank you God for eyes, for ears, for toes, for knees, ..."  All are very important and our lives would be very different without them.
Little A normally goes through a long list of people she is thankful for like all of her aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents. Then she lists off some of her favourite things, like her books, her clothing, her toys, her room, her toothbrush.  Really everything that pops into her head while she is praying she says thank you for.

I love that 90% of her prayers to God are things that she is thankful for. She sits there praising him for how wonderful and giving he is.  Then we finish off the prayer by blessing her and praying protection and the blood of Jesus over her and her life, and as the Holy Spirit to be with her.

Isn't it great though that her prayer is all about being thankful.  I want to raise my kids to go against what society is teaching them, what the world is like.  I want to teach them to live with an attitude of thanksgiving.  Teach them to be thankful for what they have and not upset about what others have. I dont want to raise my kids to feel entitled or greedy. I pray that God would bless them in their lives but that they would learn that blessings are from God.

I want to learn from my daughter. She has it right.  She knows that its not about telling God what we want, he already knows and provides for us all our needs.  Its about saying thank you to the loving God that continually showers us with grace, mercy, and blessings.

 People were also bringing babies to Jesus for him to place his hands on them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them.  But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”
Luke 18:15-17

At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.  Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.
Matthew 11:25-26

Blessings to you today, And I pray that God will give you a thankful and childlike heart this week as you search to know him more. 

Monday, 22 October 2012

Do Not Worry

Like I have said before, our life has been pretty hectic and crazy lately.  
It has also been very costly. 

We currently have two mortgages to pay while we try to sell our house ( please pray for us that the right people will come and see and buy soon),  we are renovating our new house( which always has unexpected hiccups that require more money), and hubby has a new job that pays substantially less but will bring him much joy.  

We feel like we have been following God's direction in our lives. It hasn't been easy. There have been a lot of hard times where we questioned if we had done what was right, but we do feel God's hand guiding us.  Its not always smooth sailing when walking the path he has for us.  And even though I know that we are following God I find myself worrying about the future, about finances, and really about almost anything I can possibly worry about. ( My mom always called me a worry wart) 

Anyway, I was reminded today of this teaching of Jesus. I have read this before but it always resonates with my heart and soul every time God brings it back to my attention. It really fits where we are at and it gives me peace.  

I hope that it touches you and brings you comfort and peace. 
God Bless. 

 “Therefore, I say to you, don’t worry about your life, what you’ll eat or what you’ll drink, or about your body, what you’ll wear. Isn’t life more than food and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds in the sky. They don’t sow seed or harvest grain or gather crops into barns. Yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you worth much more than they are?  Who among you by worrying can add a single moment to your life?
 And why do you worry about clothes? Notice how the lilies in the field grow. They don’t wear themselves out with work, and they don’t spin cloth. But I say to you that even Solomon in all of his splendor wasn’t dressed like one of these.  If God dresses grass in the field so beautifully, even though it’s alive today and tomorrow it’s thrown into the furnace, won’t God do much more for you, you people of weak faith?  Therefore, don’t worry and say, ‘What are we going to eat?’ or ‘What are we going to drink?’ or ‘What are we going to wear?’  Gentiles long for all these things. Your heavenly Father knows that you need them.  Instead, desire first and foremost God’s kingdom and God’s righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore, stop worrying about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Matthew 6:25-34 (emphasis added)

A beautiful little one stopping to smell the flowers. 
Did you know that lilies are rare in that when they cross pollinate they do not make flowers like they did before.  When you mix a red lilly with a white lilly you end up with a large amount of possibilities, it could be a white flower with red spots, or red with white spots, or red with white tips, etc.  Most flowers when you mix red and white you get red or white.  Lilies are unique, and come in almost any range of possibilities.  My dad has spent many years "playing" with them and has thousands in his garden, each unique and beautiful.   God is amazing.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Great Physician

Wasn't feeling great this weekend, had the flu, but was thinking about this story a lot.

As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him.  And a woman was there who had been subject to bleedingfor twelve years, but no one could heal her. She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped.
 “Who touched me?” Jesus asked.
When they all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.”
 But Jesus said, “Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.”
 Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed. Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”

Luke 8:42-48

I love this story.  I have always found it amazing and convicting.

There are two parts to this story that really get me.
1) Jesus is amazing. God has given him so much power that even his clothing is covered in it.
2) This woman has so much faith. She believes that just touching his clothes will heal her.

Bleeding meant that she was unclean.  She would have lived her life in shame and avoidance of people.  It said that she was sick for twelve years and no one could heal her.  In other chapters it says that she had spent all she had on doctors.  So before reaching out to touch the cloak of this strange man that was shaking things up in the Jewish faith, she had been living her life ashamed, segregated, sick, and poor. 

She had nothing to loose. She had tried many times to be healed. She had probably been so discouraged with the whole thing, had thought many times that it would never happen, she would never be normal. 

And yet she didn't give up. She had faith that even if she just touched the threads of this amazing mans cloak she could be healed.  

I hate to admit it, but most of the time I don't walk in faith like that.   
I have prayed and asked God for healing for myself and others, but I often find myself struggling to fight off doubt.

I believe that I serve a God that is a healer. That he has the power to heal the sick and raise the dead.
He is Jehovah Rapha or God who heals, the great physician.

Please follow the link to a Great Teacher about the Names of God.

My prayer this week is that God would cast all doubt from our minds and that he would show himself to us as the great healer and physician he is.

God Bless.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

I'm Proud Of You

Do you tell your kids you are proud of them?

I find myself telling Little A that she is amazing a lot lately. She actually tells herself it too. I have noticed that most of the time I tell her she is amazing because of something she has done.  

She jumps and both feet leave the floor. "You're amazing!"
She sings a song all by herself start to finish. "You're amazing!"
She helps clean up or is nice to her brother. "You're amazing!"

Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John.  But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”
 Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented.
 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him.  And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”
Matthew 3:13-17

God gives us a great example of a loving parent when he tells Jesus that he is "well pleased" with him.  God says this to Jesus at a time when he has not yet started his great works.  He hadn't done anything yet.  

He would go one from being baptized to heal the sick, feed the hungry, cast out demons, and give his life for the sinners of the world.  Dont you think that God would be proud of him after all of those things?  I am sure he was, but he shows us that he was proud before anything was done. He was proud of his son, straight up, no works, just him. 

I feel like most of the time I am not showing that I am proud of Little A for just being herself.  Just being the amazing daughter that she is, that God created her to be.  

It is really important to tell our kids that we are proud of them just for being themselves and the wonderful personality traits that God has given them. For the people he made them to be.  

It is much easier to just give praise to our children when they do something great. But as God showed us, its important for them to hear that we are proud of them when they don't do anything. 

If we never take God's example of showing our children we are proud of them for nothing, our kids will seek out our approval of only great things, and when they screw up they will think that our love and praise won't be there anymore.  

I never want Little A to think that my love and praise will go away if she isn't amazing. Because she is amazing just how she was made to be. 

God Bless you today and may he shine love onto your children through you. 

Funny Mr T after winning his Soccer Tourney.  Sometimes Hubbies need to be praised for the little things they do. 

Thank you to Brian Henney for pointing this out to me and showing us how much our kids need to hear they are special. 

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Psalm 148

Psalm 148

Praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord from the heavens;
    praise him in the heights above.Praise him, all his angels;
    praise him, all his heavenly hosts.
Praise him, sun and moon;
    praise him, all you shining stars.
 Praise him, you highest heavens
    and you waters above the skies.
 Let them praise the name of the Lord,
    for at his command they were created,
 and he established them for ever and ever—
    he issued a decree that will never pass away.
 Praise the Lord from the earth,
    you great sea creatures and all ocean depths,
 lightning and hail, snow and clouds,
    stormy winds that do his bidding,
 you mountains and all hills,
    fruit trees and all cedars,
 wild animals and all cattle,
    small creatures and flying birds,
 kings of the earth and all nations,
    you princes and all rulers on earth,
 young men and women,
    old men and children.
 Let them praise the name of the Lord,
    for his name alone is exalted;
    his splendor is above the earth and the heavens.
 And he has raised up for his people a horn,
    the praise of all his faithful servants,
    of Israel, the people close to his heart.
Praise the Lord.

Can you see it?  Do you get a wonderful visual picture of this in your head?I do. I can see it now, all of the heavens, skies, tree, birds, and even the cattle, praising the Lord.  Wouldn't that truly be awesome. I know that I would stand in awe, seeing animals and trees and rocks and fish praising the Lord.  

As a kid I used to love driving with my family to British Colombia, Canada.  We would drive through the mountains and I would sit staring out my window in awe of their enormity. I remember so many times just wishing and praying that they would start crying out to God. That I would get to be in the mountains when the rocks and trees would cry out in worship to him. Can you imagine being there and witnessing that.  Hubby and I drove to Banff a few years ago and I still get that picture in my head, as an adult. And I still hope that if it even was to happen, that I would be there.  

I want to live my life out as praise to the Father. I don't want to waste a moment here on earth, and I am excited to spend eternity in praise and worship to the King.