Wednesday, December 24, 2008

gingerbread house!

Before Christmas, B and I decided to start a new tradition ... building a gingerbread house! :)

How about we skip the building and just eat these instead??

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

on the move!

I received an email yesterday to say that I got my placement! B and I are on the move to a small town a few hours away! I have mixed emotions about this - and consequently, burst into tears a number of times yesterday...a mixture of happy and sad, excited and scared. An answer to prayer though, just in time for Christmas :)

The next big step in our married adventure!

His & Hers

Friday, December 19, 2008

Goodie Bags

Those yummy cookies became these...

...Christmas goodie bags for the ladies who report to B!

yummy smells!

This morning when I walked downstairs for the first time since we've lived here, I could SMELL the baking that I did yesterday!! I was so excited! Usually this place just eats up good smells and leaves us with .... well, I don't know what it leaves us with, but it's not good. Today is was pure deliciousness!

And those smells came from these cookies:

Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies

Vanilla Popcorn
Chewy Sugar Cookies

Candy Cane Snowballs

And of course Oreo Fudge ... but you can't smell fudge the same way that you can smell cookies and popcorn!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

1 year

Monday marked our 1st anniversary. It's hard to believe that we've been married for 1 year already - I'm not sure where the time went!! But I do know that this time last year, while it was raining where we were honeymooning... it was a whole heck warmer that it is right now.

My gift from B will leave me laughing for the rest of my life (we made a rule a few months back that specified exactly how much we could spend on gifts) - so, being very frugal, he gave me the card of the engraving on the DIAMOND in my ring (which until Monday night, I had no idea about ... I had always thought it was strange that he didn't have the band engraved ... but no, he had the diamond engraved instead...sneaky guy, he does love surprises!) He had the jeweller engrave a nickname he had for me from the beginning of our relationship. Now, this nickname is hardly flattering, but then again, it originated with my it must have originally been said in love, right? Every time I look at my ring now, I think of that nickname ... and how a simple walk two and a half years ago changed our lives ... when we "took a chance".

I'm blessed beyond belief.

Friday, December 12, 2008

I can feel it in the air!

-a surprise purchase this past week...

-anxiously waiting my package to come in the mail...

-a new business venture waiting in the wings...

...hang tight! The announcement's coming!

Christmas goodies!

An abundance of information, as far as the eye can see ... from Christmas cookies to household cleaners!

Tip Nut

You can be sure I've spent hours there picking up new recipes, decorating ideas, and ideas for our home! The list is endless :)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

the WONDERFUL internet

Recently I have been completely blessed by some incredible women who love Jesus and want to bring glory to Him through their daily lives ... including, GROCERY SHOPPING and MEAL PLANNING. I have been blown away by their frugalness, and their wealth of ideas and knowledge. As a young bride (going on only 11 months soon!) I have learned SO MUCH in the past few months about feeding and caring for my husband... and, planning for our family, Lord willing, one day. Each week I am excited to see how we can save money ... and how I can help my husband and I save for the down-payment on our future home. It's quite exciting!

So, I want to share some of them with you... enjoy! Be blessed!

Meal Planning 101

A Simple Walk

Biblical Womanhood

A Diary of a Stay at Home Mom

The Finer Things in Life

The Grocery Cart Challenge

A Year of Crockpotting

and last but not least...

$5 Dinners

...what did people do before the internet?? ...and what would I do without it? Some how between "I do" and the first meal I cooked for my new husband, I could suddenly cook ... (my mom can attest to the many problems I had in the kitchen before this!!) I do believe in miracles!! :) And I'm thankful for women like the ones above who I get to travel through life with, via the internet.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

those bite-size pieces

I've been working on those bite-size pieces, and had several melt-downs along the way. But it's coming. Slowly. I was pretty pumped today that I was all caught up, when my crazy prof assigned 4 chapters of reading for Tuesday and an essay for Thursday. Hm. Back to breaking things down into bite-size pieces and figuring out how to get it all done without losing my mind. I'm sure B would appreciate that too.

Thanksgiving a few weekends ago was amazing! I managed to cook my first turkey, and it wasn't as bad as I thought it might be! What an experience! All of the food turned out really well, and I managed to get most of the leftovers frozen or eaten within the next few days after Thanksgiving. yay for getting on top of things.

I also have a brand new nephew. I'm quite excited for now having both a niece and a nephew to spoil. :) And I can't wait to meet my new nephew ... but there's lots to be done between our trip to visit that side of the family and now. Good things come to those who wait, right?

Back to homework and breaking stuff down. It'll come. I can feel it.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

bite-size pieces

A girl in one of my classes commented to me at the beginning of the school year, "it feels like I can't be a good wife and a good student. It's one or the other." Last week, I agreed whole-heartedly with her statement. Dishes were left undone, homework lay strewn across the tables downstairs, meals were a little, shall we say, um, not up to their usual goodness... I was frustrated and not sleeping very well.

That's over. I'm going to be a GREAT wife and a GREAT student. God has called me to this season of my life, and I will learn how to juggle them. One day at a time. Learning to plan my time well, and not wasting it. It'll come.

haha, just kidding. It's more like this:

"Every morning you are handed 24 golden hours. They are one of the few things in this world that you get free of charge. If you had all the money in the world, you couldn't buy an extra hour. What will you do with this priceless treasure?"
--Author Unknown

(a poster that used to be on my grade 7 English teacher's wall... 11 years later, and it still comes to mind!)

some of my new heroes

Meal Planning 101
some tips on how to get started meal planning and some great recipes!

$5 Dinners
ideas for cheap and healthy dinners for a family of 4!

I'm discovering that there's a whole new world out there of housewives who love to cook, plan, organize, and do stuff at home! I love it!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

miles to go before I sleep

Robert Frost's words ran through my mind last night ... "but I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep". ... that in light of the busy week I've had regarding school: 1 presentation + 1 midterm + 2 essays = less sleep, dishes piled up, and many other things feeling out of order. deep breath. I hand in those essays today, and then it's my weekend. Thank you Lord for getting me through this week! Somehow, I will learn to prioritize and plan a little better for next time!! For now, I need to have a shower and get get ready for school.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

more apples

On Sunday evening, B decided we should use my mom's fancy-pants juicer and make some apple juice...(which I have just found out is "no longer available" from their store...I will need to do some searching, I think!)

We made some apple juice, which I've put away for making cider in the winter. mmmm. But I was appalled by the amount of "waste" leftover. So, thinking back to a conversation I had with a friend of the family, I set to work making apple sauce from the remains. We ended up with more sauce than juice! And it is soooo yummy! So I've tucked a bunch of that away too, and will be using it throughout winter. :) I'm so excited! Thank you Lord for our land of plenty ... and teach me not to waste.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

marathon apple pie weekend

My husband is my hero. He chopped enough apples to make over 20 pies this weekend!! ... and we still have many more apples to go! Thanks to this PERFECT Pie Crust recipe, we were able to crank out these babies in record time!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


One of the most annoying parts of university is when it contradicts itself...and it does so ALL OF THE TIME. Today, I find myself writing a paper for a history class. The subject matter fascinates me... however, the paper does not. I kid you not when I say the essay must be written in a VERY specific style, so much so that the prof went to great lengths to create a handout that explains SENTENCE BY SENTENCE what we are to include. WHAT THE HECK HAPPENED TO THINKING CRITICALLY ON THE SUBJECT???? How does formulaic writing help me??? Another class I took said that we are not to use formulas to teach students how to write, but should instead allow them to simply WRITE ... and then edit ... and re-work it. Maybe my prof thinks I won't do any of that... maybe he's just anal. But it's so frustrating for me.

Another contradiction, especially in the education department: we are taught that we are UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES to grade students for their classroom participation/attitude or marks based on group work. Then why the heck in my other education classes am I graded upon my participation and my group projects? And we're talking 15-40% of my mark in some of these classes. Doesn't that scream contradiction?

Feeling very frustated about my history paper.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

dishwasher free

B & I decided to go dishwasher free last Wednesday night. I must admit, I loved being able to cook up a storm and then quickly shove the dirty dishes in the machine... outta sight, outta mind... and then I could enjoy the fruits of my labor without dirty dishes starring me in the face.

We had a number of reasons for doing this:
  1. it was an OLD dishwasher, and consequently, plates come out dirtier than the go in
  2. it was an OLD dishwasher, and we spent more time re-washing dishes than anything else
  3. it was an OLD dishwasher, and it is missing many of the holding thing-a-ma-jigs, which left huge gaps
  4. it was an OLD dishwasher, and our power/water bill is outrageous

I must admit, it does have its good aspects - like I never run out of dishes now, and I think twice before I dirty plates/cutlery, etc because now I know I have to wash them by hand. Plus, B and I get some quality time while we wash/dry dishes together... like the old days with my family :) We'll wait and see what our bill looks like next month... fingers crossed...

But now, I understand why students eat their KD straight from the pot.....

Saturday, September 13, 2008

"it was a good little cart"

I love being a housewife.

One of the things I love about being a housewife is shopping ... searching for deals, finding yummy stuff for us to eat, and people-watching. I love people-watching.

Depending on the time of day that I happen to go shopping depends upon the people I run into. While I was working this summer, I often had to go in the evenings, when I would often run into people like myself who have just spent the day at the office and now just want to get in and out of the store as fast as possible...who wants to really stand in a line-up?? BUT, now that I'm not working, one of my favorite times to shop is before lunch on week-day mornings, when I see little old people and moms with kids... such wonderful people, and wonderful interactions. Little kids rushing around, trying to add stuff to their mother's shopping cart without her noticing until it's too late and it's been paid for already... or little old couples slowly and meticulously working through their lists, often picking up a treat or 2 to spoil someone with (my grampa was famous for this!!)

This past Friday, as I was heading grocery shopping, I saw a little old lady pushing her cart back to the rest of the carts (what is that place called??), so I walked up to her and asked if I could use her cart. She smiled and told me yes ... and then she looked down at the cart ... and back at me and said, in a somewhat wistful manner, "you know, it was a good little cart" she paused for a moment and then again, "I had no troubles with the wheels". I laughed as she said this, agreeing what an important and rare quality in a cart this is. I thanked her and we went our own ways. As I walked away, I had a smile on my face... such a sweet little lady.... and it was indeed "a good little cart".

Sunday, September 7, 2008

a sample of my domesticated side...

This past weekend I was blessed to have a wonderful friend join me for some new adventures in the kitchen! It was a treat for both of us ... as we ended up with some delicious treats to share with our loved ones...

With our apple tree laden with fruit, we decided an apple pie or 2 was in order...

mmm... it smelled so good...and tasted even better!

Brownie Crinkles ... delicious bite-size brownies....

perfectly golden peanut butter cookies. yum.

Some of my other adventures this summer have included learning how to make a few things we usually buy at the store...

home-made waffles with strawberries, icing sugar and ice-cream.

when I discovered how expensive buns could be, I went digging through my recipe books and found a delicious recipe for home-made buns. What a treat it is to have a bread-maker!


This past summer I decided to become more "domesticated" as my brother puts it ... I decided to learn how to can fruits. As a child of the internet-age, I headed online to find some recipes and tips, and I stumbled upon this gem of a website, with the sort of idiot-proof instructions I needed as a beginner and then I waited until peaches were on sale. Unfortunately that happened on the hottest days of the summer, when it was in the mid-30s and our little house was just as hot. I had to wait until 8:30 at night, with all of the windows wide open to begin my experiment...

Here's the final product, just in case you were doubting ... :)

washing the peaches in my wonderful strainer - another fantastic wedding present!

some of my utensils - the funnel was a new purchase just for my experiment!

one of the new, fancy-pants tricks I learned about canning was to boil the peaches for about 45 seconds and then pop them into ice water (see below) ... the skins peeled right off!

I ran out of ice, so I substitued an ice-pak, and it worked pretty good!

watch those peels just slide right off...

I boiled them in a "light syrup"

And here they are! mmm... so delicious....

I read that if the syrup is too heavy, the peaches float, but even with a light syrup, they still I think I just need to fit more peaches into those tiny little jars!!!

Now I can't wait for next year to try some more! I picked up a cherry-pitter, just in time for cherries to head out of the supermarket ... alas, another year will pass... but beware fruit aisle! I'm waiting anxiously!!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

think about such things

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

--Phil. 4:6-8

Every year I try to pick a "theme" verse for my year and then plaster it in a bunch of places to remind me of God's truth. As B and I anticipate what is sure to be a wild and wonderful year, I find myself constantly returning to this verse and finding solace knowing that He holds it all. Lord, fill me with Your peace.

the first week of my last year

I just finished the first week of my LAST year of school! It's hard to believe, but I am in my 4th and final year of university. I'm soaking it all in and enjoying every minute of it (except for standing in line to buy textbooks!!). Where did the time go?

first wheels

I feel totally and utterly blessed :) I have my very first set of wheels!

ooo ... ahhh :)

Sunday, June 29, 2008

sickness & dates

My "sickness" finally has a name... ear infection in BOTH ears, sinusitis and bronchitis. The doc put me on antibiotics...told both B and I to throw out our toothbrushes and to use new ones, making sure to sterilize them after each use and then to toss them out at the end of the week. Fun times.

BUT... all of this sickness meant that my husband and I got to spend the weekend together...nowhere to go and no one to see, because who really wants to hang out with someone contagious after all? :) It's been fun. Caught up on some tv...had some good laughs and won crib too!! It's been like a whole weekend of dates :)

mmm. Back to reality. Tomorrow's Monday.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

6 months - 2 years

This past week was a big week for us - not only did my husband graduate, but we also celebrated 2 anniversaries. The first was our 6-month wedding anniversary. Just 6 months ago, we pledged our lives to one another...that his and my hopes and dreams would blend together and become our hopes and dreams...that we would face this life that God has for us together. What a wonderful adventure!

The 2nd anniversary was our 2 year as a couple. 2 amazing years. I gave him a card with a quote on it by Charles Dickens,

"Imagine one day struck out of your life, and think how different its course would have been. Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns and flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation of the first link on one memorable day."

That day, I couldn't imagine what God had in store for us ... 2 years later, I can't imagine a life without my husband.

one step closer

My husband graduated this past Thursday. He is now one step closer to his dream ... what has become our dream. In only a few short months, he is hoping to join the family business...which means we will be moving. Not far - but not close either. Some days it feels like a new world...and yet, it has the strange sense of "home".

Friday, May 23, 2008


It takes courage
to be crocus-minded.
God, I’d rather wait until June,
Like wise roses,
When the hazards of winter are safely behind,
and I’m expected,
and everything’s ready for roses.
But crocuses?
Highly irregular.
Knifing through hard-frozen ground and snow,
and sticking their necks out,
because they believe in spring
and have something personal
and emphatic to say about it.
God, I am by nature rose-minded.
Even when I have studied the situation here
and know there are wrongs that need righting,
affirmations that need stating,
and know also that my speaking out may offend . . .
for it rocks the boat . . .
Well, I’d rather wait until June.
Maybe later things will work themselves out,
and we won’t have to make an issue of it.
God, forgive,
Wrongs don’t work themselves out.
Injustices and inequities and hurts don’t just dissolve.
Somebody has to stick her neck out,
Somebody who cares enough
to think through
and work through hard ground,
because she believes
and has something personal
and emphatic to say about it.
Me God?
Could it be that there are things that need to be said,
and you want me to say them?
I pray for courage.

-Jo Sorley


I find it hard to concentrate on Fridays, even though I love my job and could spend hours any other day of the week working at it. But Fridays, hm, for some reason.