Thursday, July 28, 2011


My little brother is a Dad!
Brayden was born yesterday around noon. 7 pounds, 4 ounces. Healthy and beautiful. {He didn't let his parents sleep a wink last night... Ah, parenthood.}

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

::Beating the Heat::

Our church is more than building. It's another home.
When the heat got really bad last week, mom called and invited us for a church sleepover. The church's central air, and our home's lack thereof, made it a very appealing place to be. So we packed up and went.

It was so fun. We BBQ'd. The kids played Hide and Seek, and took great pleasure in choosing which Sunday School room they would sleep in. We set up beds in the big hall and watched shows on the projector, and woke up refreshed. {Even the dogs joined us in the coolness}.

Our next day offered another opportunity to stay cool: Aunty Sarah's. They live on a river. We swam to keep the heat from getting to us.

{::Connor's first Ferry trip::}

Sunday, July 24, 2011

::Larsen Fame::

Because of ::This Post::, I have been contacted well over 30 times regarding Larsen Truss Systems. One couple actually visited our home. Recently, a man called to chat and then wrote ::This Article:: Funny how rarely I think about the bones of our house. That's Aidan's job, I guess. I am only concerned cleanliness and prettiness of the superficials.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

:: Triple Birthday Beach Party::

{Amanda, ready to pop.}
Three birthdays in one: Aidan, Elijah & Annorah. We booked a campsite and asked everyone to join us at the beach. We swam and ate and lounged all afternoon as more and more people arrived. Eventually, we migrated up to the campsite for dinner and gifts, but were granted only an hour or so before things took an abrupt turn.

{Dad's gift to Aidan: Ready-made Sangria}

{All Elijah wanted for his birthday was Lego. And that's what he got}

The party was literally dampened by the freakish storm that, seemingly, came out of nowhere. In a matter of minutes a wind kicked up and we all scattered. The sky crackled with electricity, and the rain drove down hard. Most of us stuffed ourselves under the dining tent. We had to hold it down so it wouldn't fly away. Others hid under trees. (Isn't that the last place you'd want to be?) A few sat in in their trucks. And the men just kept on grilling.

Needless to say, our "campfire" fizzled, and everyone trickled away home. You can't win 'em all. Annorah didn't notice either way. She princessed her way to bed. (So did her brother.)

That night, the storm raged. At first, the kids slept through it. But when the thunder cracked directly over our heads, even I lost my nerve, and scrambled into the midst of my shaking kids. I piled as many of them on top of me as I could. Their quick little heartbeats gave me something to focus on. Meanwhile, Aidan parked himself outside, shepherding our terrified dogs. Above the wind and rain and thunder we all heard his low voice singing to calm the dogs-- or maybe us; Our God is an awesome God. He reigns from Heaven above. . .

Over the next two days we saw lots of fallen trees, some barely missing tents and vehicles. A ranger told us a woman was struck on the head by a falling branch and taken to hospital. But the fear of the first night faded away in the sun. We had plenty to distract us.

I have to recommend Fitzroy, again, to any of you with little kids. The river wraps around the beach, and winds past some of our favourite campsites. It gets shallow there, flowing over a rock bed. Even Norah can wade across it with care. The boys spend most of their time catching crayfish, by peering into the rocky nooks and crannies.

We have got camp food down to a fine art. Lots of fruits and veggies. (I have collected several of those disposable plastic containers with the wedge-shaped compartments. Those are great for hauling fruits and veggies to the beach.) Homemade sweets are more tasty than store bought, but S'more makings are always a must. And bring lots of things to grill. One of my favourite meals: Grilled haddock on toasted baguette, with sauteed tomatoes:

{These cookies were actually the "birthday cake" from the party-- only I never got the chance to dress them up the way they were supposed to be.}

Friday, July 15, 2011

:: Bruschetta with Garlic Cream::

I improvised a recipe! Every now and then I get it right.

See the full recipe Here:
::Bruschetta with Garlic Cream::

Thursday, July 14, 2011

::Frankincense Prayers::

. . . they offered strange fire before the LORD, contrary to his command. {Leviticus 10}

I want to pray Frankincense Prayers. Frankincense comes from the resin of the Boswellia Tree. It never yields its fragrance until it is burned. Likewise, how often does Scripture remind us that it is through fiery trials that our characters are manifested? At times like that, our prayers take on a profundity and fervency. To God, such prayers give off a deep and lovely fragrance of sincerity. They are no longer mere perfumes.

I don't know about you, but when a man or woman walks by me in a cloud of cloying perfume or cologne, I think; What are they hiding under all that? In Leviticus, two of Aaron's sons offer God a strange fire, and die because of it. Their offering is all show, and is found completely unacceptable. We can offer God strange fires of our own.

Anytime we come to God with a veil over our guilt and our repentance, holding back true sorrow for our sin, we are offering strange fire. Anytime we veer from biblical Truths to counsel other with opinion, or to pander to the cultural status-quo, we are offering unrecognizable incense to our God. He can smell the difference.

God is after our hearts. Find His heart through prayer and study, and pray your Frankincense prayers.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

:: Aidan: 34 Years::

No pictures of the birthday boy. I meant to, but everything moved at a fast pace today. I got up early to make a French toast breakfast.

Gifts: Green coffee beans from ::Equator::, and a "roaster." {Hot air popcorn maker} At Equator, I asked for four varieties of beans. They store super well unroasted, and this way we can sample and see which are our favourites. In the small machine we can only roast a handful of beans at a time. It is a fifteen to twenty minute process that must be supervised. And the machine blows out chaff from the cracked beans. Best for Aidan to do it all day in his office. {Anthony's idea.} All worth it when we tasted our first cup. Mmmmm. There are undertones that are lost when the beans are old. I think we are going to love this new hobby.

This afternoon, the plan was to go out for lunch at ::Our Place::, then picnic by the water, but Aidan had to work. Frustratingly, it turned out he was free to join us just as I was heading home. So I went with the kids and grabbed sandwiches to go.

I took my still spotty-faced kids down to the park, hoping to give them space to run around without coming into contact with other kids. Nice idea. Bad ending. We set up under a willow and soon had big ugly bugs dropping on us from above. Gulls were everywhere! In no time at all, Norah got poop all over her cute dress, and lunch. I thought a rinse in the fountain might do, but the stench of mold and pee(?) changed my mind. . .

Back home, we ate a delicious meal from "Apples for Jam" by Tessa Kiros: Prawn & Tomato Penne. I tweaked it a bit. Then I messed with my ::Rustic Apple Tart:: to produce a ::Strawberry Tart:: instead. 'Tis the season.

A tasty birthday, if not a perfectly executed one. Happy birthday, babe.