Sunday, February 15, 2015

Valentines Day

Somehow this year our family got a little caught up in the hype of Valentines Day. We usually don't celebrate it. Other than Rebekah says I used to always make heart shaped grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch. I think because our church had a big Valentines Day family breakfast and were offering babysitting that night, it caused us to do more than we might have otherwise.

I had found some waffle pretzels on clearance and still had a white chocolate Easter bunny in the freezer. So we made dipped pretzels with sprinkles.

We used our electric fondue pot to melt the chocolate in.

These were so good! Unfortunately, only Rebekah and I liked them and ate most of them. Totally not THM!

I thought you'd like to see my deal from the thrift store. I love this covered dish.

Lunch for the kids. Heart shaped grilled cheese sandwiches and candy hearts.
After supper, Larry and I dropped the boys off at the church, (because that was where Rebekah was helping with the babysitting) and we went out for coffee.
And when we got home, Larry had a surprise for me. A beautiful new ring.

It was fun, but I don't mind if we get back to normal next year.

Monday, February 2, 2015

I Made Sauerkraut!... I Think

Today was the day. It was the day I chose transfer my sauerkraut from my big crock to smaller jars. But, let me start at the beginning.

3 and a half weeks ago when my mom was here visiting I felt like it was the perfect time to try to make sauerkraut. Mainly because of the extra hands:)  I have only had sauerkraut once at our neighbours on baked potatoes. Oh my! I just dreamed about it after that and just had to try to make some!

I bought 5 heads of cabbage at Walmart. I think the total cost was $8.50 (at $0.50/lb).  I gathered the tools I had on hand. Which turned out to be a 3 gallon crock, potato masher, mandolin and sharp knives.  Oh ya, and my mom and Rebekah.

My mom and I cut up the cabbage as thin as we could with knives and my little mandolin. Which is more for looks than use.  We worked in batches of 2.5 lbs, because that is how much my mixing bowl would hold and the recipe we were using was;

5 lbs shredded cabbage
2 Tbsp canning salt

So we just made half batches.  Rebekah stirred and worked in the salt until the salt was dissolved and juice was starting to form on the bottom.  Then Rebekah transferred it to the crock and packed it down with the potato masher, which worked really great.  She packed it down until it was covered in it's own juice.  And we repeated this process until all the cabbage was in the crock.

Then I put a plastic lid from a plastic mixing bowl that covered the cabbage on top of it and put 3 quart jars filled with water on top of the lid to keep all of the cabbage under it's liquid.  Then I made sure to wipe around the inside of the crock right down to the liquid to get all the juices off of the sides. My neighbour told me this is where mold could grow.

Now, I didn't really know what to put on top of the crock for a lid. So, I just put on a dinner plate that covered the top. I put the crock in the boys' closet, because it's fairly cool in there. But I didn't realize, especially for the first 4 days, it should be kept quite close to room temperature to get the good bacteria growing.

I read that it should sit for at least 4 weeks, but I noticed the juice colour was getting a little darker and got anxious. So I hauled it downstairs to the dinging room table, because that was as far as I could carry it. It was HEAVY!  Now this is where the "I Think" comes in.  As I said, I have only had sauerkraut once on baked potatoes, with butter, sour ream, green onions and salt and pepper. So, I couldn't really taste what the sauerkraut itself tasted like.  But, Rebekah ate a bowl of the neighbours on it's own and said ours tasted just like theirs, only stronger because I let ours sit a bit longer.

So, I just put it into smaller glass jars to store it in the fridge.  I think I read it will last 6 months in the fridge and I am sure that we will have eaten it all by then.

I had just a little bit of foam as you can see. But I think it looks all right.

Out of 5 heads of cabbage, I got about 6 quarts of sauerkraut.

My pretty mandolin and the potato masher we used.  The sauerkraut was packed down very good using this potato masher.

That chronicles my first attempt at sauerkraut and I'm happy with the results! Please, if any of you make sauerkraut and see something I did wrong, or you have a better way, please tell me. I would be SO happy to hear from you.

God bless!

Every way of a man is right in his own eyes,
But the Lord weighs the hearts.

Proverbs 21:2

This post is linked up to; Thrifty Thursday  Sew Crafty Angel  From the Farm Hop

Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Waters of Baptism

Last Sunday, we were totally blessed to watch our daughter, Rebekah, be baptised.  She had made the decision to be obedient to the call of baptism when they announced the upcoming baptism service in November.  We believe that baptism is a public confession of faith. We use full immersion in water to signify death to our old selves (being put under the water, or the "grave") and coming up into new life in Jesus. He has made us a new creation. Just as Jesus went to the grave after He died for our sins, then He was raised back up to life.  We do not believe baptism offers any salvation, that only comes through faith in Jesus, but we do this as a public declaration that we have believed in Jesus Christ for eternal salvation.

“We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” If we have been united with Him like this in His death, we will certainly also be united with Him in His resurrection.” Romans 6:4-5

Rebekah asked me and our youth pastor to speak on her behalf. That was hard for me. I almost lost it a couple times, but I did manage to keep the tears at bay. Well, only until I looked over at her a short while after she was baptised and she was positively glowing! I started to struggle very hard with the tears then.

My mom was able to come all the way out from Vancouver Island, British Columbia. It was so nice to have her here.

Here are some pictures from the service;

Pastor Matt challenging Rebekah to keep walking with the Lord. Larry helped with the dunking part. (And he was not as successful as me at keeping the tears away:)

I LOVE this picture! Look at how happy Rebekah is.


We all had fun with my mom while she was here too;

It was a great weekend! One that we will always remember.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Our Holidays

I just wanted to share some pictures of how we spent our holidays.  We had so many happenings this Christmas. It was so fun! Our kids put on a play for us with the kids from another family, Rebekah was in choir again and had beautiful performances, Jacob was in the Kid's Program at church.  We were supposed to be singing Christmas Carols and handing out sugar cookies at the elderly care home on Christmas morning, but Ben caught chickenpox from our friends  and, of course, they wouldn't let even some of us go. He was so happy to have chickenpox! Because we were going to get him vaccinated this year and he does not like vaccinations.  He didn't complain once or even scratch once, so luckily, he must have had a mild case. Christmas day was the first day he felt a little better.  We spent Christmas day with just us. It was nice.

We had a HUGE bon fire on New Years Eve. We burnt all the trees Larry had pushed down on our property the first year we moved here.  A couple of families from the neighbourhood stopped by.

The boys in the play they did with their friends.  It was really cool.

First thing Christmas morning. I'm hiding my face. Too early.

Ben bought this pool table for Jacob for Christmas. This year we all had to buy our presents for each other at the thrift store or garage sales with a $10 budget. We all got some pretty amazing gifts and it was fun looking throughout the year for just the right thing.

This is what Larry bought with his Christmas money from his parents. It's some kind of roller thing for going under cars.

On December 27th, Larry's sister and her husband came up for a visit. We were so happy!!! They were the only family we saw over the holidays.

Getting the bon fire going on New Year's.

The holidays are over and we are back into school and trying to get everything back to normal around here. Although, we have one more distraction for the next 4 days, my mom is coming all the way from Vancouver Island, British Columbia for a visit. We couldn't be more excited!

God bless.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Date Night

Larry and I were so blessed this past weekend to actually have a date night.  I won tickets to a Christian Country concert and supper at a local bar.  I know, a Christian country group playing at a bar, but they are on main stream country radio and the local station put on the contest.  Their name is High Valley and their goal is to spread the gospel of Jesus through their music.  Larry and I were happy there was free coffee as we decided years ago not to have any alcohol.  (Just the right decision for us)

The kids and I really enjoy country music and I appreciate High Valley for their clean music with a great message.
Here are a few of their videos;


After they fed us and we enjoyed the concert, we were able to meet the 2 main brothers in the band.  It was lots of fun.

Here are some pictures of our night;

Curtis and Brad Rempel, AKA High Valley

Larry and I.

Monday, November 17, 2014

"Scrap booked" Guest Book

I wanted to share this idea I came up with a few years ago for a scrap booked guest book.  I really wanted to have a guest book, but I thought what a great idea to take a picture of the guests and add it to the page they signed. I wish I actually did scrapbook, but I'm happy with how it looks.  I love how it captures precious memories of visits. I actually had misplaced it when we moved here 2 years ago and just found it in time for my cousin's visit.

This is the first page of the guest book.  It is when my cousin and her family came for a visit 5 years ago.

Me and my mom on one of her visits at the farmer's market.
Of course anyone could make this look nicer than me, but I really like looking through it and thinking of those lovely visits.

This post is linked up to; Hope in Every Season

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Bee's Wax Christmas Ornaments

My cousin Amy brought a crock pot full of bee's wax on her visit last weekend.  We wanted to make a few projects with it.  When I went downstairs to find candle wick to make candles, I found a Christmas chocolate mold instead and I thought to make ornaments with it.

Once the wax was melted, we held a piece of string in place in the mold for the loop, then we ladled in the wax with a plastic spoon.  I guess when you work with bee's wax, you want to use disposable utensils or ones dedicated to bee's wax. It's hard to get off. Once they started to harden around the edges, I placed the mold in the fridge to harden.  The cavities were quite small, so they took about 20 mins to harden.  I'm sure as they cure they will lose the shininess and get a white kind of coating on them like I've seen on other bee's wax items. 

I think they are gorgeous and so old fashioned!  Here are a few of them;

This post is linked up to; Living Well Spending Less; Hope in Every Season; Sew Crafty Angel; The Homesteading Hippy  The Dedicated House