Oct 29, 2010

Pumpkin Goodness part 2 and Painting Fun

Yes, I did some site renos! ;)  Thought I'd change it up a bit.  I have this compulsion to change things, well design wise anyway, and I thought I would like to try a new feel for my blog.  I have this annoying problem wherein I LOVE all design styles.  True, there are some I prefer over others but all in all I love all the wonderful ways to decorate a home; modern, country, rustic, simplistic, etc.  I dream of owning a very big old home that I can turn into a bed and breakfast.  This way I can decorate each room in the different styles and my crazy obsession with home design will be satisfied! 

So I hope you enjoy the new look, let me hear you thoughts, positive or constructive.  At least it's a real punch of colour for the time being.... really I'm just biding my time until the holiday season begins.... ;)


On to the pumpkin goodness!  I did promise to make more pumpkiny creations, though I did stray from my original ideas...not that it is a bad thing! ;)

First on the list, pumpkin soup!  OH MY, was this ever tasty!  It was truly my own creation so I can't give you an exact recipe but here's what went into it.

2 cups (or so) of chicken broth (though veggie broth would be good too)
Pumpkin puree (about 4 cups)
Roasted pepper squash
Maple bacon
Sweet onion (cooked in some left over bacon grease...terrible I know...)
Carrots
Peeled Sweet potatoes
Milk (if you want to be really terrible, use cream!)

Cook and puree all the ingredients (except the bacon) and there you go!






Next bit of deliciousness is Chocolate Pumpkin Biscotti with Pumpkin spice drizzle!  I wanted something chocolaty and pumpkiny and had never made biscotti before and thus this recipe was born.  I took a basic biscotti recipe and added the pumpkin, spices and cocoa (removing any ingredients I didn't think would go well with the pumpkin).  They turned out pretty good, not my favourite but they were a hit with my coffee girls!  If you have never made biscotti I recommend you do - it is surprisingly easy and fun to play around with different ingredient combinations.





Well Saturday breakfast came and I wanted something different.  Pumpkin scones were in the oven a short while later!  These were pretty tasty and great with coffee.  I pretty much followed the recipe found here on the Joy of Baking website.  I must say, though, that these were a lot of work and I'm not sure I'm convinced they were worth it... maybe for a special occasion.






Lastly Pumpkin Snap Cookies.  Yes, these are a ginger snap cookie recipe but done with pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice.  These are a great pumpkiny treat, just the right hint of sweetness and pumpkin goodness! 





So folks, there you go, four more pumpkin inspired recipe for your viewing and hopefully, tasting enjoyment!  I hope one thing that is evident in my cooking/baking, that you can take away from all this is, experiment!  Go ahead, try it!  If you think it might work good together then try it!  What's the worse that could happen, through out some batter, have to order in a pizza?  Really it's worth the try - go on, have some fun and let me know how it goes!







As for the painting fun...well it was fun...MESSY FUN!

















Have a great weekend, a fun, experimental, messy weekend!




Oct 26, 2010

Rainy Day Colour



So we did it, we headed out in the rain to find the beauty and colour that has seemed lacking these past few weeks. The leaves have left the trees, the sun has taken a vacation, BUT colour has not!  We packed the girls in the car - which is a great thing as they will usually nap in the car, both of them and for at least an hour or so.  So coffee in hand, good music and rain on the windshield we were off.

We were driving along one of the main roads out of town, a paved highway surrounded by woods and swamp, where all the trees stand naked and void of their summer beauty, when I noticed the 'field' of red among them. 












Turning down a road we have not yet traveled, we discovered this most perfect scene, perfect for the purpose of our trip that day. 


 Talk about colour! (The spotting on the picture is from the rain drops on the windshield - I wasn't kidding it was a real rainy gloomy day)








Being encouraged by the whimsically painted gate I braved the weather and got out of the car to take the photos after that.  Though now I think I may be coming down with something, it is all worth it to show you, my readers, the colour that is all around....even on a gloomy fall day!  *achoo*




Next stop an old church and it's rod iron gate - I may have to come back here some dryer day to see what else there is to see, you gotta love old churches!















Of cource after all the lovely and colourful man-made objects, nature would not be out done and gave me these images to share with you all.






































Spying this amazingly red mail box I couldn't help but take a picture.  Imagine how happy you'd be every time you went to get your mail! 






I thought that one was the coolest, until I found THIS mail box......

















A country side road.  This would be a nice lane way....*sigh*.....











Another quaint old church, such care in the details....ornate windows, pebbled walkway, lovely gingerbread.....just beautiful!










































So there you have it, colour in the everyday - even the rainy ones!  There is something wonderful about a cool rainy day.  Though traditionally I would have stayed indoors, snuggled under a blanket or baking yummy things to eat, (which I have been doing too and plan on sharing MORE pumpkin goodness with you all very soon) it was a nice change to get out and take a look at the world around me, though next time I think I will bring an umbrella....











Oct 24, 2010

Colour Hunting


I know the last post was a SOL post...hey never looked at the initials for the Spectrum of Light series...fitting, SOL – (pronouncing it ‘soul’) as that finding colour in the everyday renews your soul! Anyways...I’m posting again to remind and refresh you and myself!

Here in Ontario it is getting gloomy and I have a confession to make. I was sitting here with my family and my husband suggested we do one of our all time favourite activates – going for a drive in the country. To this I replied “It’s all gloomy and blah out, what’s the point, there’s nothing to see, the leaves are all gone!”

To which my hubby says, “This coming from the woman who’s trying to show people colour in the everyday, hmmm, isn’t that the point? Especially this time of year?”

To which I hang my head in shame, “You’re right.”

So we are off, on a mission, a mission to find the colour and wonder around us on a blah, cold autumn day. So I leave you with some pics from the last few weeks and I hope to return home with more from today. Happy colour hunting!








































Oct 21, 2010

Window Views






Views from various windows in my house.  If I can find colour and beauty out my windows (Note: our house is sandwiched between two houses - quite seriously) I'm sure you can find some out yours...take a look!


































“I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in!" 
Malichi 3:10b (NLT)







Oct 19, 2010

For when I am weak, then I am strong

I read through the last half of 2 Corinthians this morning and it was this passage near the end the stuck out at me;

Three times I (Paul) pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But He said to me,  "My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong2 Corinthians 12:8-10 (Emphasis mine)

 It is true.  At times not easy to understand and at times most difficult to believe but it is true.  Currently I am not facing any trials (of major consequence) but many of you are or may be and I felt lead to share this scripture with you.

When we are brought low, traversing through various hardships and struggles it is here when we need our Lord the most.  When Christ says, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness." He means it!  It is His grace we need to live, truly live, daily.  His power is made perfect in weakness, in our weakness, because it is then that we often allow Him to infiltrate into ours lives and therefore truly giving Him power over us.

When things are going well we often feel we can do it on our own, that we are "doing alright" and that we are moving forward.  It is no more true at that time then it is when we are struggling.  When Paul says, "Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me." he is telling us that weaknesses is not the shamefull thing we have come to believe it is.  That 'weakness' he is speaking of is the ability to see or the recognition that, we need to put ourselves aside and realize we are nothing without Christ.  Then we must let Him strengthen us, with God glorifying, God honouring, strength.

It is hard, when placed in the middle of terrible things, in hardships that reach into your soul and threaten to tear you apart to say "I am content" but it is what we need to do.  God is calling us to great things but not of us.  We must lower ourselves, our pride, our humanism, our so called 'needs' and look to the all fulfilling God to build us up (in Him) and strengthen us (in Him).

For when I am weak, then I am strong.

It is when I am weak that I will then turn to God.  It is when I am brought low, so low that there is no where else to turn but up, that I see the face of my God.  It is then when I turn to Him that I am renewed and given strength far greater then I could ever have imagined. 

Paul asked the Lord three times to take his burden from him and the Lord said, in effect, No.  Not many of us would willingly or joyfully suffer but it is how we come to know that we are weak and that He is strong, by suffering, exposing our weakness and relying on His strength to truly fulfill us.

Trials are how we are refined, made pure and how we come to truly know our God.  It is rarely easy or painless but always necessary and needed.

I pray these words, the Lords not mine, bring some comfort to any who are struggling right now.  Being weak in ourselves brings glory to our God and that is what will give you true strength!

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  Philippians 4:13

Oct 18, 2010

Preschool and Pretty Pictures

I took Olivia to her first week of Preschool last week. 



Trust me she was excited about going - it's having her picture taken that she hates!  Maybe it's because she's had a small band of paparazzi following her from day one - (think first baby for us, first grandchild on both sides and two aunts who can't wait to have kids of their own)  She was very happy and has settled in quite quickly.  All I can get out of her so far is that she has new friends, named... "New Friends", they have bouncy balls to play with and that she does not participate in "Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes".  HA!  But this will be good for her.  It will help her with her gross motor delays and her social anxiety with her peers.  It's for three mornings a week which gives more some one-on-one time with Catherine and my baby likes that!  So we'll try this for now and see where it leads, or I really mean where He leads.

In the mean time, Olivia has hit the "Let me help!" stage, which is super cute....but.....this is what happens when preschoolers "help"....





We have had some very beautiful weekends lately, though the leaves are fading, the trees are becoming more bare, there is still much beauty to enjoy!




















I just love some of these shots but you wait, I have some great pics to share with you all for our Spectrum of Light series!  Oh boy, do I ever...colour is everywhere and I am having so much fun finding it to share with you all!

I've been doing some Christmas shopping - only two months and one week!  I'm so happy!  I love the holidays and part of the reason I can enjoy them so is that I shop all year.  This way it's easier on the budget and I'm not running around last minute picking up random things for the people on my list.  I like to take my time and find just the right thing.  The thing that says, "Hey this made me think of you and I thought you'd like it!" not, "I ran out of time and got you this do-hickey that was on clearance."  (I apologize if this is how you shop but it's just not for me!) Anyways, enough about that...for now...there will be plenty of time for Christmas ramblings later! ;)

For many of you, you might be annoyed that I have brought up Christmas before Halloween.  Well truth is that my family and I do not partake in the Halloween festivities.  Now for any of my readers who are not of the Christian faith I want you to know that I in no way am condemning you for celebrating this event, I do not expect you to have the same thoughts as me or understand my reasoning the way I see it.  (So Jennie, no pics of the girls in costume...at least not until they get their box of dress up clothes for Christmas!)  As for my fellow Christian readers I am not asking you to think like me either but if you are interested you can check out these links for a better understanding of why I feel the way I do.  First from Christian Answers a little article and secondly a video (or you can read the words printed underneath the video) from Pastor John Piper.  That's all I have to say on the topic for today, I'm not here to debate this issue but to answer and show you how God works in my life.  Feel free to contact me if you would like to talk more. :)


So summer is way gone, the fall is here and moving by too quickly.  My mom's pool where Catherine took her first swim waaay back in May is closed for the winter and it's time to dig out the winter coats. 





I leave you now with some pretty pictures of colour, life and the beauty that is all around us.  Have a most blessed day!


















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