to have Courage....In Family Life, In Spirituality, In Health, In Living Simply

I'm on a journey...... as we all are. Learning, remembering, re-discovering about health, spirituality, relationships, emotions and the mind.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Wedding Cakes

Don't like white cake?  Make it chocolate.  For intimate weddings with a small number of guests, make it a rich baked cheesecake.  Forget the matrimonial cake if you don't like fruit cakes.  Do something that you like and that's memorable.  Fancy cupcakes.  And who said there had to be a cake, anyways????

Amazing Themed Cakes and more cakes and more.  I particularly like the doughnuts, the stack of books, and the stack of pretty pillows.  Talk about individuality!

There are alot of cake decorators around who do it for a hobby, so you might be able to find somebody you know that would love to make a unique cake for your special day.  While paying them for their efforts it might save you some dollars over paying for a professional.

Wedding cakes can be rented, also.  No, not the edible ones, silly.  But you could consider renting a fake cake and then having something unique to serve to all the guests instead of cake.

Again, you decide what you want for your special day.  Tradition is not law. 

How about a James Bond cake?

Question for You:  If you were to get married, or had it to do all over again, what kind of cake would you have?  Or would you break with that tradition?

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Themed Weddings

Themes are often used when it is a favorite idea of at least the bride or the groom.

It could be that she's a cowgirl type personality; grew up on a ranch or loved to ride her horse in the backcountry, or has just dreamed of having a horse one day and wears clothing with pictures of horses, or decorates every wall and room she can with a horse theme.

Or maybe the groom is into medieval chivalry with swords, and armour, and crests on flags. 

Or it could be a love for sunflowers, or songbirds, or waterfalls, or Celtic heritage, or hot-air balloons, picnics, or....its limitless.  But these fascinations can be incorporated into a wedding as a reflection of the heart of the bride or the groom (or both of them). 

I was recalling the blog of a Christian author I follow, Marla, and her obvious love of Scrabble because she even decorated her Christmas tree with Scrabble pieces.  So I got to thinking that a Scrabble fanatic could use that as a wedding theme, and voila......I found this!

  • Select a simple, but cohesive theme. Involve family members and friends where possible.
  • Picking a colour scheme is a simple way to bring all elements of your wedding together cohesively.  Don't overlook the simplicity of that thought.
  • Choose a motif for use on invitations, thank you notes, decorations and cake.....through out the wedding site. This can be anything, such as the above examples.  They could be seasonal, as in an autumn theme, or St. Patrick's.  Whatever best symbolizes the couple.

Bloomex's Weblog 
Stylish Beach Wedding on a Budget
Sweet Sassafras cute hat theme
Stay away from these kinds of themes! 

Question for You:  Have you ever gone to a themed wedding?  What was the theme?  Would you ever do a themed wedding, and if so, what would your theme be?

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Wedding Attire

One of the parts of Little House on the Prairie book series that I remember the most is when Laura is engaged to Almonzo and they have started to plan their wedding.   Laura and her ma were preparing things for the home, and sewing up clothes that Laura was in need of both before and after the wedding.  Almonzo busied himself in building a house.

Almonzo asked Laura how soon it was that she could be ready to wed, as his own ma and sister were going to be arriving from out of town, much sooner than expected so that they could help plan the wedding for Laura and Almonzo.  But he knew that their plans would involve much more money than he was prepared to spend on a One Day Event.

Well, the short story is.....Ma finished sewing up the new black dress for Laura and that's what she got married in.  They quickly put together a wedding with the most important elements in it for themselves, and they became Mr and Mrs without a  load of debt.  Very simple.

The point here is.....the attire and all the paraphernalia really doesn't matter in the end if the goal is to become Mr and Mrs.  That isn't to say that the rest is pointless.  It isn't.  Just don't make it a bigger deal than it really ought to be.

So, here's some ideas and links about wedding attire other than the traditional long white gown and black tux.

*Wear the clothes that feel great. Be comfortable!  A woman doesn't have to wear a gown.  It could be a beautiful pant suit instead.

*Go barefoot or wear heels.  What about red hightop sneakers?  I wore faux snake skin pumps.  Not the most comfortable, but back then I really liked them.

*Wear something to fit a theme.  Time-period costume for medieval, wild west, or Elizabethan.

*Invite your guests to dress for the time-period also and have a Prize for the Best Costume.

*Borrow a wedding dress.  Maybe a siblings, or a parents, or a girlfriends.  Get it tailored to fit if needed.  I wore my mother's wedding dress but had the style changed abit when I had to get the lace all replaced, and made it more to my liking while still keeping most of the original design.

*Pick something to reflect your ethnicity.  Kilts are great for Scotsmen!  (There's my celtic ancestory shining through)

*I know there is a significance to white gowns, but don't feel obligated to where white.  It's your day and your dress, and likely your own hard-earned money spent.  Get what you like and what you feel good in.  Besides, white doesn't look good on everybody.  Cream is still traditional enough if traditional is what you want, without it having to be white.  My mom's dress had yellowed beautifully to a creamy satin so it worked perfect for me since I don't like wearing white.

*Instead of picking just one color for the wedding party (usually in addition to white & black), pick a palette of colors.  A great idea I saw was to go to a paint store and pick up those strips of sample paint colors.  Let the wedding party pick which specific color they individually want from a small selection of palettes you've pre-chosen as a color theme. Everything should still coordinate well with the theme you have chosen and look great in the photos, while you've encouraged individuality amongst those of your wedding party.

*You can allow your wedding party to choose their own style of attire within whatever guidelines you'd like to make, depending on how particular you are.  For example, you could ask your bridesmaids to wear sleeveless evening gowns in jewel tones, or pastel sundresses, or bluejeans with a crisp white blouse and cowboy boots and hats (in brown, or black, or whatever color you choose or don't dictate).

*If you are looking for an economical wedding dress check out formal wear stores, particularly those that sell prom dresses.  Or you can opt to rent a gown.  Or you might be fortunate to find the right look and fit at a consignment store or even a thrift store.  And there's also online auctions.

Best For Bride
My Canadian Wedding
Dresses for Your Body Type
2010 Trends for formal wedding dresses
You Light Up My Life
Guest Attire or this
Wedding Colour Theme
Beach Wedding Attire
Wedding Tropics
Fancy Wedding Attire informative about styles, cultural significance, and even how to tie a tie.

Question for You:  Did you wear something unique for your wedding?

Monday, December 28, 2009

Wedding Services

There are countless places on the web to get wedding ideas from.  Some specialize in gowns, some in catering for the reception, and some will Do It All!  Pick and choose the services, according to what your overall goal of your wedding plans are.  If you are a Do It Yourself-er (DIY) then there's lots of blogs to give great ideas to fit any budget.  The sky is the limit, basically.

If time to plan and organize and book things is very limited but money isn't, then full-service might work best for you.  Many couples today are looking for the personal touch in which they stay fully involved in the process, and are environmentally conscious so they are more likely to DIY, from making handmade invitations and decorations, to prepping their own reception food.

It's all individual.  Make a list of your own priorities, and stick to them. There isn't a right and a wrong way to plan the wedding, unless it isn't a right fit for you.  Get in touch with what your dreams and ideas really are, and make step-by-step plans with your fiance on how to accomplish your goals.  The clearer you are about your goals the easier it will be to get there.

Daily Wedding Planning Tip from Vancouver
It's a Jaime Thing
Bubbly Bride
Canadian Bridal
The Wedding Expert
Dream Weddings on a Budget
Intimate Weddings (one of my faves)
My Canadian Wedding

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Slaying

Dragons, listen up.

You have no place here.

The Lord our God is King.

He'll take you down like smoke and fire

and you won't rise up again.

Yah, you won't rise up again.

Jesus the dragon slayer is here.

written by Maret Johnson

Wedding Ideas

A wedding celebration is the moment when two people seal their lifelong commitment to each other. Since our eldest daughter is planning her wedding for June 2010, I thought it would be fun to do some research on Weddings and all the stuff that surrounds that big event.  I'm blogging about these subjects because I'm having fun searching the web about it, I'd like to share neat ideas I find with Layne kind of like a big brain-storm, and I thought I'd share some posts so I have references for when one of my other girls plans a wedding.


As a little girl and young woman, I always dreamed of getting married and becoming a mom. Those are high callings in life....and that's what I wanted to invest my life into.   I wanted to have a beautiful wedding to commemorate that change in my life, when I publicly stated my commitment and un-dying love to my husband.

It's always  important to be able to differentiate between whether you are doing something because it's in your own heart and you'd love to do it, or whether you do it because its expected of you (and it will hopefully avoid confrontations with others).  And above all,  consider what would give honor to the Lord and to one another.


With our daughters' (6, so far) weddings all ahead of us, I'd like to think that they can have alot more freedom and creativity when planning their own weddings.  As Mom, I don't want to dictate nor expect.  I want to support and brainstorm.   I had my own opportunity to plan my own wedding years ago, and whether or not I took that opportunity to the fullest is beside the point.  It is not my place to dictate or co-erce my children to plan their wedding around my ideas or dreams.  It is my place to come alongside and help my children accomplish that which they dream and desire.  And I know that my children have strong opinions as to what they would or wouldn't like, and I want to respect those and those of their future spouse.


While there are many traditional wedding elements to choose from, it’s not necessary to stick with those well-known options. It's fun to incorporate new elements that reflect the bride and grooms personalities and talents or to incorporate the skills and talents of their beloved family and friends.

More than a decade ago I purchased a book to help the older girls and I learn to do some fanciful hair-dos.  One of the photos in the book had a bride wearing a formal wedding dress while wearing red hightop runners!  It was cute and fun, and likely there was a story behind why she would wear hightops for her wedding.  But this was one of the starting points for us talking about unique things to incorporate into  weddings.  Something to make it personal, and obviously memorable. 

The uniqueness can be expressed in so many different ways, by the attire worn by the wedding party such as casual wear, or jeans.  It could be the 'bouquet' which isn't flowers but pinwheels.  Or traditional vows rewritten with deep personal meaning.  The ceremony can take place at the beach, or in a quaint country church, or the family's backyard.  If food is served it can be a formal sit-down, a bbq, a picnic, or feature a favorite ethnic cuisine.  The ideas are endless. 

I'm planning to write many more posts about weddings in the next few days, and throughout there will be lots of examples and links to how people can and do make their weddings very individual.  Ideas from weekend-long parties in the mountains, to casual beach ceremonies, to masquerades or the wild west themes.  I'll skip the Shrek and Star Trek themes, but basically anything goes when it's based on individual tastes.  After all, God made us all unique, so why would we all want to have the same things as everybody else.....the church, the elegant gown, the candles, etc.

There are usually significant meanings and spiritual connotations behind the traditional elements in a wedding, and we'll touch on the symbolism and see that there can be different or unique ways to incorporate the meaning with a twist.  And of course there are cultural differences in weddings.  Maybe we can touch on that, too. Like incorporating things like a Chinese Tea Ceremony or Jewish Blessings.


Some people just are not comfortable dressing up glamorously.  So, why should their wedding day be something that they are not?   Why start a marriage with a show of who you aren't, just to make it look beautiful and acceptable for others?  That's like wearing a mask, being afraid to let people see who you really are, and not being able to trust them to love and support you no matter what.  Be honest with who you are and what you want.


It's easy to spend thousands or tens of thousands of dollars on that one day.  Put more thought into the plans than money, and make sure to not get consumed by all the wedding preparations.  Keep your relationship with each other as a priority.   The wedding is just one day out of your lifetime.  The relationship you have with each other is to last forever.

Think about what is most important. Is it flowers? The invitations? Food? Music? Focus attention on the things that matter the most.  Photography might be a biggie, as it captures those memories forever.

Don’t worry about how other people think you should do your wedding. A heartfelt ceremony will touch those who love you two the most.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

A 'Teenager' in the House?

Danaka was born 13 years ago today.   While unborn I had been calling her  "Little One".  Was I ever surprised when she weighed 10 lbs 4 ozs!! 

Everette and I never feared having 'teenagers' in our house, although since Layne and Rauchelle were about 3 & 4 yrs old we had a 'friend' who would always say, "Just you wait until you have teenagers!" and he'd proceed in telling us how terrible  and rebellious those teenager years will be.

Lots of people fear 'the teen years' and enter there with fear and trepidation, anticipating rebellion & heart-ache.  I think it's a lot of you-get-what-you-expect.  

We never believed it, never anticipated or expected it, and never experienced it.  Our now-lovely-20+yo  women are wonderful daughters of whom we've grown to love and understand more and more each year.  Although we had some personality struggles here and there, and a stretching in areas of personal ideas, beliefs, responsibilities, etc., I think we had a great time with them as 'teenagers'.

And today we have re-entered the 'teen' years with Danaka's birthday.  That signifies that every 18-24 months now for at least the next 11 years we'll be welcoming another child of ours into the teen years.  To us, they are just 'teen' years because of the name of the digit (ie, thirteen, fourteen, etc.) not to continue in childishness and immaturity.  These are great years to mature and anticipate adulthood, not to postpone maturity and responsibility.  These are exciting years.  I love them!!

Note:   It's weird to think that Everette's and my parents' generation were of the first 'teenagers' the world had.  Dad J was born in 1926, so he was one of the first to become a 'teenager' in idea, although he was never treated as a 'teenager' but went from child right to being an adult.

Here's some history about the origin of the word 'teenager' from

Origin: 1938

In the first part of the twentieth century, we made a startling discovery. There were teenagers among us! Until then, we had thought of people in just two stages: children and adults. And while childhood might have its tender moments, the goal of the child was to grow up as promptly as possible in order to enjoy the opportunities and shoulder the responsibilities of an adult. The girl became the woman, the boy became the man. It was as simple and significant as that.

Or was it? The reforms of the early twentieth century, preventing child labor and mandating education through high school, lengthened the pre-adult years. In earlier times, a person reaching adult size at age thirteen or fourteen was ready to do adult work. Now adult size was achieved as soon as ever, but preparation for adult responsibilities lasted until age eighteen or later. Thus the years ending in -teen became something new and distinctive. Depending on your point of view, these years were either to be savored as the best of times, combining childhood freedom with adult physical maturity, or endured as years of hazard, combining childish irresponsibility with adult urges.

To match our gradual recognition of this new phenomenon, we adopted new terminology. First, in the 1920s, we began to use teenage to speak of clothes and activities, girls and boys, in the latter cases recognizing the teen years but still assigning them to childhood. About two decades later, against the backdrop of depression and war, teenager was born. The exact date has yet to be determined; the word makes a matter-of-fact appearance in a 1941 issue of Reader's Digest, but being derived from long-established teenage, it must have been around at least a few years earlier.

The teenager remade our world. The concept is profoundly democratic by right of chronology: every child, regardless of wealth or merit, can look forward to an age of vigor and independence. And it is subversive: why should any teenager enjoying freedom submit to the authority of adults? With the discovery of this new age, ours has been the century of the teenager ever since. 

Friday, December 25, 2009

Visiting the Sovereign

I grew up in the church, from the first Sunday mom and I got out of the hospital.  (Well, one of my brothers who is 3+ years my senior, thought mom had gone down to the big Dairyland distribution centre not far from our house and picked me up from there!)

Anyways, we were taught to always wear our best clothes to church, and for us girls that always meant we had to wear a pretty dress.  Slacks were not permissible for church attendance, although they were acceptable the rest of the week.

I did this while growing up and living under my parents' roof.   Along with many other things, I did it without agreeing with them but out of what I thought was 'honoring thy father and thy mother'. It turns out it was really out of fear of disobeying my parents.

When I was older, I started to question the reasons why we had to dress up to go to church, and the only reason I recall getting was a bit of an analogy.....something like this.....

If the Queen was coming to town (because we are Canadian, the queen coming to town is a real possibility), we would certainly want to dress up and present ourselves respectfully before her.  We wouldn't just wear our everyday clothes to see her."

(Everette heard the same story in his upbringing, too!)

Anyways, this analogy never made sense in my heart.  I didn't know why, and I don't purport to know exactly why now, either.  But I have a few thoughts.

The Queen is a sovereign.  We don't have relationship with her other than the fact that we are her subjects.  There is no friendship.  We aren't related.  We don't travel in the same circles, and even if we did there would always be protocol that would be required and distance kept.

God is sovereign, also.  But we aren't His subjects.  We are relatives; children of God.  We are His sons and daughters, in relationship with Him.  Nobody should be more comfortable with Him than His children.  Yes, I know He is holy and pure, but He is love, and there is comfort in that love, not fear.

So, I don't get all dressed up before going to visit my parents.  And I don't get dressed up before 'visiting' with God.  I live with Him.  I am in Jesus, and He is in me, and He is also in the Father, and it doesn't matter what I look like or anything....He sees me and loves me any how. 

Another thought.

The Jews wear kippahs or yarmulkes on their heads, as reminders that they are in the presence of God.  Maybe, if our outward appearance mattered, it would be wise for us to do like the Jews; recognizing that He is above us, and always in His presence. Many Jews wear them ALL the time, not just when they are in a tangible place of worship.

That makes more sense to me.  If we needed to dress a particular way before going to see the sovereign, and God is the sovereign, then why wouldn't we be dressing that way all the time since He is everywhere and we are never separated from Him? 

Question for You:   Did you grow up in church with this same argument?  How did you feel about it?

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Filthy Graffiti Across the Word of God?

I was just made aware of this 'True Images' Bible aimed at 13-16 year olds, and I can't say much more than that I am saddened that these are being published (by Zondervan) and that there's a market for them.   I recommend you DO NOT BUY!!

This will enlighten you enough about some of the content.

From the True Images own site,  about the Bible gives no clear indication at all about the boldness and visual imagery excited by the 'In Focus' articles where they talk about oral sex, homosexuality, teen pregnancy, etc.

There's lots of sites that critique all the things 'wrong' with True Images, and another Bible like it called Revolve, (and their male-counterparts). My intention here is not to bash these Bibles.  But as a consumer and a Mom who likes her children to be in the Word, I could have naively purchased this Bible, and then be outraged that these things were in there as if the Bible was intended as a sex-education book for our children. Or worse, purchased them and not known my children were being exposed to this stuff when I thought they were just reading the Bible!!

It is no longer just deciding whether you want a Bible to be leather-bound, hard-cover or soft (or even fuzzy) and in which translation (or would you prefer a paraphrase?), but whether you want God's Word alone (plus maps) or some other person's opinion, too (study notes); whether there's an element of evolutionary thinking thrown in or not; and whether you want sex education or not (because "These issues are out there, and we need to make sure teens have a biblical view of sexuality.  We felt it would be irresponsible not to address some of these specific issues, even oral sex and homosexuality, even for 13-year-old girls...Virtually every 13 to 16-year-old out there is dealing with these issues."....quote of Cameron Conant, Zondervan's public relations manager for Bibles)

Be forewarned.  There's a whole lot more going into these 'bibles' these days besides the Word of God.  Be careful.

And if your daughters got these Bibles as gifts for Christmas, you might rethink letting them read them.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Christmas 'Thing'

To-Do or Not-to-do Christmas.  That is the question.

Well, it's now just 2 days away to Christmas, or if you practice like most Europeans, you've just got 1 day left to celebrations on Christmas Eve.  So, you're going to be doing what you've already planned to do, or planned not-to-do.  But maybe you aren't quite convinced either way, if celebrating or not celebrating is the right thing for you and/or your family. 

Here's what I have to say.

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1)

Question for You:  Are you convicted (not just convinced, but convicted) whether to do or not to do what are commonly accepted celebrations such as Christmas, New Years, birthdays, Easter, etc?

The Bible and Health

 Paul Nison of The Raw Life Health Show has great video blogs to listen to concerning and health, and he approaches health issues from a scriptural basis.

Here he interviews Brad Scott of Wild Branch Ministry, and talk about things like clean and unclean foods, eating after dark, the vision Peter had as recorded in Acts 10.  Give a listen......

Question for You:  Do you think that some foods (ie, shellfish, pork, etc) are still unclean?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

He's Got You Covered

Everette & I took then-baby Laars down to The Lakeland Revival for a week in April 2008.  You know, the one in Florida with the controversial Todd Bentley.  Wow, did we have a great time there, and in some ways our lives will never be the same.  Forever changed.  Forever thankful.

That's were we met Todd White who's got lots of video's posted over at XP Media showing amples of healings on the streets.  And we met and became good friends with Mark & Cathy Kuntz who are on staff with Extreme Prophetic.  Laars was prophesized over (he was 10 mo at that time) and we excitedly await seeing  that prophesy come alive and evident in his life.

Anyways, I believe it was the last day, last meeting we were at before returning to Canada.  After the service I was sitting a few seats in from the aisle holding Laars while Everette stood near the aisle talking with another man.  I was quiet and contemplative, some concerns  circling through my mind.

I saw an unknown man walk up the aisle and glanced over at me as he walked past.  A moment later he was at the end of our aisle and said to me, "He's got you covered."

I said, "Pardon me?"

"He's got you covered.  What ever it is that you need, whatever it is that you are concerned about.....He's got you covered."  And he walked away.

After Everette's conversation was finished and we packed up to leave for the airport, I shared with Everette what the stranger said to me.  I had immediately thought it must be in reference to a big financial concern I had.  I asked the Lord what it was about, and I wasn't aware of any response, just my concern about certain finances.

Over the year + since that time, I often think about that 'word', and wonder if it had another meaning.  The financial concern turned out fine, but I wasn't confident that the 'word' was for just one particular concern.

Last night when I was listening to John Lynch, towards the end of his talk he mentioned that God has us covered, and my heart skipped a beat.  The words seemed to come alive and penetrate my heart even before my mind was quite conscious of what it had heard.  As if this was what was meant by that  Lakeland 'word'.

He has me covered.  On my worst day I am "clean, holy, alive, & forgiven, & new, & beautiful, & acceptable, & complete......."  Listen for all that we are, from John Lynch speaking at about 21 mins into the video. (But listen to the whole video!)

I am covered by the righteousness of God thru Yeshua.  I can never do enough to earn His love, nor can I do too little to stop His love for me.  He just loves me, with an everlasting and fully unadulterated love.  What Yeshua did on the cross was full and complete, needing absolutely nothing added to it.  It is freely given to me.  And I am only able to love Him now because He loved me first and made a way for me to get back to Abba's heart where I am safe.

He's Got Me Covered.

It's a reality.  Now I need to learn to stay there, to live there.  When I'm feeling distant from Abba, its only a feeling.  For the Word says that nothing can separate me from His love.  So I am never away from His love, even if I am not feeling Loved.  But I stand in faith knowing that I am purely loved by Him.  I am clothed in His righteousness.  He covers me like a mother hen covers her chicks and protects them.

He loves me beyond my own comprehension, and......

He's Got Me Covered.

Question for You:   Do you know how to live loved by the Father, or do you struggle (like me) with feelings of obligations & expectations (religion)?

Monday, December 21, 2009

Are We Bluffing? Or Living Loved?

What can I say but "TRUE!"  Listen to John Lynch here:

Question for You:  Do you feel that God loves you unconditionally, really unconditionally, or do you feel that you still need to please Him?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Community Centre

Everette took Gaelyn, Toveli and Maret up to the community centre to see what was happening with their Christmas event.

This is Mariadoss pictured with 3 of our girls.  He is the local priest who comes from India.  A bit hard to understand with his accent.

There was highland dancing, and singing, and music, and 'preaching', and acting, and gift giving. Looks like they had a good time, and the girls came home excited that they had gone.

nienie: The pink wall.

This was just tooooo funny.  I too have found those green spots on the walls, some are swipes that look more like falling stars.  And I'm grossed out, too.  But, my children have never had such a fantastic response.  This is priceless.

PS..... nienie's story is a real tear-jerker, but so heartwarming and full of love, commitment, perseverance, a mother's heart.  It makes any of my own challenges such a piece of cake.  Nienie still continues to heal (more than a year later) from the horrific burns she acquired after a plane crash in which her dh was injured (though not as extensively as her) and the instructor/pilot lost his life.  Don't read it if you don't have a box of kleenex beside you.  You are forwarned.

Question for You:   Do you have an inspirational blog to share?

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Theatre or Community?

I was back visiting at The God Journey last night and was listening to 'Pastor Crap' and 'How Organized Does The Church Have To Be?' podcasts.  I may not always agree, but I find their conversation stimulating, and often convicting.  I need more of Jesus and less religion in my life, that's for sure.

This morning I went over and read 'The Flabby Body of Christ' article.

Man, that article was such a right-on explanation of how we have felt for years.  But this author has credentials (unlike Everette and I!)....he's Stephen W. Simpson, a psychologist, writer and professor at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California.

Question for You:   Do you have a favorite podcast to listen to?

Friday, December 18, 2009

Eighth Night of Chanukkah

We invited the Howell's over to enjoy the evening with us. Beatrix is one of my biggest fans for my challah! And they sincerly enjoy being with the children and the whole family, especially to celebrate or talk about anything Jewish.

Here, everybody watches attentively as Everette lights the candles for the final night of Chanukkah.

Butter....a New Art!

Yes, our daughter Rauchelle is artistic. Sometimes a little bored??? Maybe. This is what she was doing today, in preparation for serving up butter with fresh challah tonight for Shabbat and the final night of Chanukkah.

An edible menorah, without candles.  Fun!

Question for You:  Do you have a unique art-style you'd like to share??

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Sweet Natasha

Natasha, a chef at the Inn where Rauchelle has worked this year, is a bubbly and fun loving Newfie friend. She has spent many Wednesday nights at our house playing Dutch Blitz or Spoons with the family, spoiling me with a yummy dinner a few days after Samuel was born, and making yummy sauce for a cheesecake.

 Rauchelle has spent days hanging out at Natasha's house helping her get her Christmas baking done for her clients, or going shopping.  Today, Natasha took Chelle out on a lunch date at the Dragonfly Cafe and then gad-about before stopping at the Cafe again for dessert and stopping on the way home in St. Peter's to pick out the tree for Natasha and Darrell's house.

It sounds like they had a successful and fun day together, bringing smiles to each other and likely to all those who were blessed to be in their vicinity.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Sixth Night of Chanukkah

Our beachy homemade menorah.

Our neighbours came over for supper and to help us eat No-fry Doughnuts (Danaka did a great job making them)  and play games.



Scott & Claire

Kitchen crew dipping and eating doughnuts

Jennifer, Karen & Rauchelle

Question for You:   What's your favorite boardgame?

The Birthday Party

The Birthday Party

By John & Marlys Hardcastle

WIFE TO HUSBAND: Darling! I have decided to have a big birthday party for you!

HUSBAND: Wonderful!

WIFE: On December 25th.

HUSBAND: That's not my birthday.

WIFE: I know, I know, but we'll just SAY it's your birthday.

HUSBAND: That's your ex-boy friend's birthday!

WIFE: That's okay, I have decided to call it your birthday.

HUSBAND: No, its not okay. Why don't you just pick any day that is NOT your ex-boy friend's birthday? Aren't you interested in what is true? In what is pleasing to me? Even enough to find out my real birth date?

WIFE: Now, now, don't get upset. I have decided that we'll just SAY it is your birthday. I've sent out the invitations and everybody is doing it so that makes it okay.

HUSBAND: It does?

WIFE: Yes, and you wouldn't want me to change the date and inconvenience anyone. I have decided it is okay.

HUSBAND: You've decided. I would be pleased if you would just take my hand and follow me and spend a few moments with me.

WIFE: Later, later. No time now. I have invited ALL the family. My Father and Mother and Uncle Bill and Cousin Betty and Ernie and all the kids and grandkids and, Oh, the children will love it! We'll do it for the children! They deserve it!

HUSBAND: For the children. I see, a day to exalt family...and you call it my birthday. Makes me think you love family more than me.

WIFE: Oh, you'll love it, too, I have decided. And we'll all give gifts to each other.

HUSBAND: This is supposed to be MY birthday? Yet you give gifts to others? Why?

WIFE: And I'll decorate the ribbons and bows and...

HUSBAND: Red? Red is your ex-boyfriend' s favorite color! I like blue and green. Blue skies, blue seas, green grass, trees, birds...

WIFE: Oh, I'm putting up a green tree decorated with gold and silver balls and we'll put gifts under it!

HUSBAND: Like the idolators throughout history....every green tree... That is idolatry.

WIFE: And I'll have to buy gifts and do lots of shopping and...

HUSBAND: the God of Mammon will get his.

WIFE: It will be worth it! I'll decorate and bake cookies and fruitcake and...

HUSBAND: Sounds like you'll be really busy. Come away my beloved and spend a little time with me...a walk by the river, a...

WIFE: Later, darling. I'll be busy, but you'll love it...I've decided. The hustle, the bustle...oh, yes, and I've decided to have a nice baked ham...

HUSBAND: Charred swine's flesh! On what you SAY is my birthday and is not! Who is in charge here? Why do you just do YOUR THING and assume that I will put my stamp of approval on it? If you love me, why do you not DO the things that I say? Why do you not do things MY WAY? You don't even KNOW me! I suppose the next thing you'll do is dress your ex-boyfriend in a red suit and have him drop down the chimney!

WIFE: Uhhhh...

Christmas is celebrated on the same day the pagan Romans celebrated their satanic high day.

Question for You:   Does it matter to you that Christmas is celebrated on a pagan holiday and most of its symbols are based in paganism?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Star of David and a Lily

Question for You:  Did you know that the Star of David symbol was based on the lily native to Israel?

Monday, December 14, 2009

This Little Light of Mine

Sparklers are always a hit with the children.  We had planned to have sparklers lit each night of Chanukkah, but its been so windy we haven't been able to do it until tonight.  The spots on the pics are from the rain drizzling.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Jewish 101

We were invited  to participate in celebrating the third night of Chanukkah with Greg who figures he's one of very few Jews in this part of our country. We were thrilled that he invited us over as we don't even really know him. But he was excited to find out that we know and are respectful of things about Jews because when our daughter Rauchelle was invited to his place one Friday for a bbq and a ceildh (celtic social usually with music with/without dancing) she presented him with a loaf of fresh challah I had baked especially for him. So that birthed an excitement in him to get together with us. Thus, the invite for Chanukkah.

Who's Who?

L to R: Dawn (Greg's girlfriend), Greg (the host), Robin (Dawn's sister)

Rich (aka Richard, dh of Robin)

Ingrid (& dh Gordon, not pictured) knows all about James Harriet, & Danaka and her had a wonderful visit! And beside her is Ken (Dawn's dad).

And Marilyn (Dawn's mom) and Laars, fascinated with the bowl that held a collection of ceramic and wooden dreidels.

Yarmulke vs Kippah

Both words refer to the same object, the yarmulke, er... the kippah you wear on your head. Yarmulke is a Yiddish word. Kippah is Hebrew. Now you know.

Here Gaelyn is quizzing Greg about the thingy on his head. He explains about it symbolizing how Jews try to be mindful and respectful at all times of the presence of God. Wikipedia says:

"Reasons given for wearing a kippah today include:

* Recognition that God is "above" mankind;
* Acceptance of the 613 mitzvot (Torah commandments);
* Identification with the Jewish people;
* Demonstration of the "ministry" of all Jews."

Here Gaelyn gets a chance to try Greg's yarmulke on, and amazingly the colors go with her already busy sweater!

And here's my sunny Everette donning a yarmulke.

Things We Did

Greg told a little Jewish history especially for the children, about the root to the Chanukkah Festival of Lights.  He lit the menorah and recited in Hebrew the blessings  (I love the little I hear of Hebrew) and gave a little 'toast'.

We were treated to latkes that Greg spent the afternoon shredding potatoes to make freshly for us. He served them up with sour cream, apple sauce, and cranberries, along with finger desserts. The latkes were a hit, and the children are asking me to make them at home.

Greg showed the children how to spin the dreidel. (And I learned its pronounced dreydl whereas I've been calling it a drydl.) This is a gambling game played with a square top.  The traditional explanation of this game is that during the time of Antiochus' oppression, those who wanted to study Torah (an illegal activity) would conceal their activity by playing gambling games with a top (a common and legal activity) whenever an official or inspector was within sight. (Judaism 101)

After the children were done gambling away their chocolate coins (Maret got the biggest loot) and they ate too many of them, Mitchell and Rory (Robin & Rich's son) had fun playing with the gold wrappers.

It was such a hit at Greg's that Gaelyn said "When we come back tomorrow....."

But honestly, I think Greg is enjoying his quiet house  with just his 2 cats (and maybe Dawn)!

Question for You:   Do you celebrate Chanukkah, or any of the Feasts of the Lord?