Friday, August 28, 2009

Ah... the satisfaction of going into my garden, picking some vegetables and serving them for dinner.

We are going to have to grow a whole lot more next year, I think. There just wasn't enough for me this time around. We'll know better what we are doing next time, too, since we more or less just threw some seeds out to grow and hoped for the best. Hurray for gardening space!!!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I've recently finished reading That's My Son: How Moms Can Influence Boys to Become Men of Character. The author particularly targets single moms who are trying to raise boys, but the information is good for all of us who have sons... or brothers... or husbands... or do any kind of interacting with the opposite gender. I know it helped me see ways of encouraging my husband to be a man of God as well as giving me insight into the needs of my son.

The book deals more with slightly older boys as opposed to my toddler, so I will be referring back to it in the future, but it does help even now as I try to train and shape a male child. Rick Johnson explains some inherent traits of men as well as offering advice on how we as women can interact with and help our sons in ways they can understand. I appreciated the author's candidness as he talked about certain difficult areas that will have to be faced and addressed when raising sons. One of his major points is that a boy can only learn how to be a MAN from other men - therefore it is vital that we surround our sons with men of godly influence and character.

Certainly it is a great responsibility - a God-given responsibility - and above all he acknowledges that without God's help we can do nothing.

Monday, August 10, 2009


Same old; same old


Monday - Crustless Spinach Quiche

Tuesday - Spanish Rice Bake with Broccoli

Wednesday - Angel Chicken Pasta with Veg.

Thursday - Ham and Cheese Scalloped Potatoes

Friday - Homemade Pizza

Saturday - Spicy Chicken and Sweet Potato Stew

Sunday - Omelets with some kind of homemade quick bread.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

We did it... we bought a car! And our first exciting "Discover Britain" trip was to a place not far from home called The Heights of Abraham. Our adventures are documented in photographs below:

My son - always thrilled to go "bye-bye" and even more so in a car.

Our 7-week old - looking grumpy, but really just about ready to pass out.

Riding in the cable car up the mountain.

The view
At the top (notice castle over my shoulder that we will attempt some other day)
The first thing to tackle - a look-out tower....

...with really, really steep steps.

And a great view

Then a decent into the caves.

Back out in the sunshine and pausing for a family photo.

I've become a BIG fan of baby-wearing.

De Sheng's favorite part

Back at the bottom and wondering when the food is going to show up.

Two sleeping kids and a lovely drive through fields and forest.

Until we came upon Galilee (or so my husband said it resembled).
Lots of "sheeps" (according to De Sheng)

We walked up to the top of where the rock juts out and enjoyed the view, but of course my camera battery died right then. Then it was navigating narrow, windy roads back home again for quick baths, food and bed. It was a beautiful day in Britian enjoying God's creation.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Or, for those who like play-on-words: "Eggs"periment, perhaps.

To this point, we have been buying regular, "barn" eggs that cost ₤1.86 for 18. This is by far the best deal and frankly, we haven't had the money to choose otherwise. Now, with my husband finally getting paid for his work, we have the ability to make a choice. But what to choose??

Organic, Free-Range, Local, Barn, Sustainable, Woodland... all with various shocking price tags. Can the labels be trusted? What do they REALLY mean in practice? What is the healthy choice for my family? If you've read my summary of The Omnivore's Dilemma, then you know this question isn't easily answered.

When we were at the grocery store a couple of days ago, we decided to try a couple different kinds of eggs. We bought a local, free-range version and a store brand, organic free-range. I still had some of the "barn" eggs at home, so the next morning I decided to boil up one of each. I used a sharpie to mark the eggs and boiled them together for 10 minutes. We were rather surprised at the difference when we cut them open, so I had to take a picture. Can you guess which is which (the picture doesn't do justice to reality)?

Obviously the first, pale version is the "barn" eggs while the second and third are free-range and organic respectively. As far as taste goes, the latter two definitely tasted more "eggy" - if that makes sense. We couldn't really tell a difference between them both, though I found them to be a bit more firm in texture compared to the "barn" version. Clearly, by the color I know which was more beneficial nutritiously. We were just amazed at how pale the "barn" eggs were in contrast to the other two.

They say "ignorance is bliss" and I can definitely not eat "barn" eggs blissfully anymore. I don't know which path we'll choose. There are still quite a few options out there that we haven't tried or compared price-wise. I wish we could have our own chickens. Maybe someday...

Egg photo from

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Today is my birthday, and I feel like writing down some things I love - in no particular order:

- Rain, hot chocolate and a good book
- Delicate, little flowers
- My children's laughs
- Listening to my husband explain concepts or stories in the Bible
- The smell of rice cooking
- Family adventures exploring nature or new cities
- Chocolate mint bars
- Seeing my baby wake up with a milk moustache after nursing in the night
- Wearing flip-flops
- Going to church
- Chuckling with my husband over our son's crazy antics

- Sunshine
- Line-drying clothes
- Newsy letters from friends
- Fresh bread from my oven
- Nap time
- Hearing my husband coming in the door from work
- Recognizing a change that God has worked in my heart
- Organization, lists and schedules
- Black beans and rice
- Watching children grasp a new concept

The list could go on and on and on...

God has given me so much in life to just enjoy and I enjoy life much more when I keep my eyes open to all I have to be thankful for.

Picture from