2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,800 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 47 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

making the leap!

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When I switched from blogger to WordPress I did so thinking that I would stay indefinitely.

I love WordPress but felt like I was missing so many of the neat extras that I have decided to make the switch from .com to self hosted.  ( last time I promise!)

You can still follow us on pinterest catch up on all our tweets over on  twitter or become a fan of our Facebook page.

Looking forward to seeing you soon at our new home !

 

Paper or Plastic or both?

Book Nook Bookshop in Newburgh, Indiana.
(Photo by Will Steward)Never in a million years did I think I would actually have an “update” to a post I had written back in July of 2012 I cheekily titledPaper or Plastic **the back story**I’m sorry, this might offend but there is just something about picking up a dogged eared book and getting so totally lost in its pages that when the story is done you are itching for more.
My love for books has been something that my parents nurtured and cultivated my entire life. I remember staring up at bookshelves overflowing with paperbacks, hardcovers and stacks upon stacks of magazines.
Boring books with no pictures.
Books filled with strange pictures.
Small books, large books.
Books that smelled musty and brand new books that creaked when you opened them.
*happy sigh*
Maybe that explains the ferocious appetite I have…

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There and back again??

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How is it possible that I can emerge myself in His word, Write notes on three different chapters.
Highlight and underline what stood out to me.
Sometimes double underline.

Scribble notes in the margin.

Then turn around and forget I was ever in the book?

Seriously.
I just don’t get it .
I’m an avid reader.

I can pick up a book.
Any book.
I can read it cover to cover a dozens of times over and like a conversation a string of “what happens” next will flood my memory.
So much so I can flip past sections because that particular part bothered me or bored me. Continue reading

Winds of change

There’s a saying in our parts.
If you don’t like the weather wait 5 minutes.
It will change.
Spring time in Alberta is a fickle creature.
One minute the warm sun is shining and the next it’s over cast and snowing.
In the course of a week we can go from -30 with the wind chill to +14.
I wish I was kidding.
If you were to take a peak in my front closet You would find our winter boots lined up next to our sneakers.
Spring jackets hung up in between parka. It’s seriously that ridiculous. Continue reading

A lot can happen in a hallway

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“When God closes one door he opens another”

what happens when you find yourself waiting in the hallway?
One door closed and the other yet to be opened?

What then?

Well….you take one step at a time and put your trust in him.

That’s what.

So simple yet something that has taken months to finally sink in.

we have found ourselves in a “growing season in our walk” .  God is stretching our faith and tested us in areas we didn’t even realize needing tending.

It’s almost like a “reset”‘or a “‘do over” but what started out as unintentional has switched to completely intentional on our part and here we are “in the hallway” patiently waiting for God to intervene on our behalf.

It wasn’t always like this.

We lived our lives in the comfort behind “one door” and now we are moving towards another.

We weren’t living the life that he had designed or wanted for us. But with closed off ears which sadly, we  never even noticed.

From June until the end of November 2013 our family learned first hand what it was like to have daddy work out-of-town.
At first it looked like an amazing blessing.
A change in careers, change in site and a raise.
His shift was 10 & 4 so he worked 12 hour shifts for 10 days straight and was home for 4.
Really if you count travel time he was really home for 2 days.
Off early his last day of work he would drive 4 1/2 hours home one way.
When the weather changed and the roads started to get bad he would take an overcrowded bus home which wouldn’t get him into the city until after 11:00pm.
When he was home we would do our best to squeeze in 10 days of family time into 2 but it was hard.

We hardly went to church and it felt like all we were really doing was preparing him for another 10 days out-of-town.

I would pretended that it was like a normal 9-5 job but nighttime was an entirely different entity.

The kids missed their dad and I missed having my best friend lying in the bed beside me.

The youngest took to sleeping in my room night after night “because mommy was afraid of the dark”.
I found her snoring strangely soothing.

Summer came and went while we both worked and tried to get as much family time in as we could.
Summer quickly disappeared into fall leaving us both feeling exhausted and disconnected.
I have many girlfriends and this is how they spend their married lives.
Some fair well, others not so much.
I’m still confused why anyone would intentionally sign up for a part time marriage plus being a single mom the other part of the time.

The money is extremely good but it’s not the life we pictured having.

For ourselves or for our kids.

By the middle of September we had planned a week-long family vacation to sunny California where we were going to go to Disneyland, play at the beach and enjoy the sunshine.

A chance to reconnect, to laugh and to play.
The day before we left his job ended which throws an entirely different curve ball when you are about to embark on a vacation.

He was home for good this time.

Normally when you’re working with big oil the site shuts down for Christmas so we had already planned that he would start the courses needed for him to become an NCSO safety officers.
With a little shuffling he was able to finish the course just after the new year.

We are morphing into the family we believe God designed for us to be.

More connected to each other and to him.
To follow after him one step at a time, trusting him for our needs every day.

To be authentic in our faith walk so that people will know that we are followers of Jesus and “not a fan”.

And we want to show our kids too.

We have added a nightly meal time devotional which felt weird at first but it’s getting easier.

Because the middle two kids can read we get them to help and they seem to genuinely enjoy the conversation.

I enjoy hearing their answers and am not missing any tales of Lego characters or who got a “yellow” at school.

We just added a weekly board game night which if you know my hubby at all this is almost close to pulling out teeth.

Perhaps he doesn’t appreciate my mad skills playing candy-land?
Whatever the case  the kids love it.

I would have to say that real change started after my hubby and I attended a bible study at church called  not a fan “ by Kyle idleman

This is the first study in a long time that crawled under our skin and kick started our faith into a place neither one of us had been in a long time.

Our quiet time with God has increased and we are becoming more aware of changes that we need to make to draw into a deeper and closer relationship with him.

We are tithers even when it was sporadic but we never gave it a second thought if we were putting the money where he wanted us to.

We just put it our envelope in the plate and pass it to the next person sitting in the pew beside us.

But when your intentional about listening to God and putting the money where he wants it to go change happen. Even if you can’t see it at first.

We are stepping out in faith in areas of our lives that has surprised a few of our closest friends but that’s ok.

It surprised me too.

Trusting isn’t always easy but that’s something he’s working the kinks out of too.

We have changed our prayers and are believing God for an amazing work opportunity here in the city.
We are believing he will be able to stay home.
No more traveling for work.
And we took it a step further.
One of my husbands dreams has been to open his own company so we took a leap of faith and opened one believing he will get hired on as a private contractor and his business will be off and running.

We have had a lot of encouragement along the way but there have been those who believe they are a “voice of reason” and have been more discouraging than encouraging.

Who’s to say where this will end up. Where we will be at the end of this year? Or even a year from now?

That’s the funny part when you’re a follower. We are going to say things and do things that will seem foolish.
We are going to believe things that are controversial and against what the world says.

I have already lost friends over comments that made on Facebook because my views and opinions are different from theirs. I’m okay with that.

We will follow where He leads even if the door isn’t quite open yet.

For now we wait in the hallway.

Enjoying Him and each other.
Exactly where I am supposed to be.

Why?

A friend slips off of an icy roof while working on a 35 foot house crashing into a brick retaining wall.
fracturing his tibia and his Fibia plus bones in his ankle.
Laceration on his elbow requiring stitches plus a swollen diaphragm and Lung.
Not at all how he expected his Saturday to play out.

Another friend’s husband had a heart attack. 100% blockage in his left ventricle requiring emergency surgery to place an shunt.
He’s home now resting comfortably in hospital.
I’m sure she never in a million Years saw that coming.

All while we scurry about taking the kids to swimming lessons and birthday parties.
Munching quietly on kernels of buttery popcorn the action on the screen Lulls us into entertainment bliss.

Two different people.
Two different events thousands of miles apart.
The same day.

Both serving a reminder to me.
One that has been bouncing around my brain for days.

Life is short and we never know what’s around the next corner.
We put off using the fancy dishes and burning the nice candles.
We waste our time worrying about people and places and things that aren’t worth worrying about.
We bury our noses into electronic babysitters frittering away time instead of watching the sun set in the evening sky.
The moon rise and we hardly even notice.
We miss feeling the crispness in the air kids our cheeks and we fight the while the silence that tries to envelops us.

Why is that?

How to make 13 spice chicken noodle soup

I posted a picture last night on my own personal Facebook page of a bowl of homemade chicken noodle soup.
A couple of friends wanted me to share the recipe so here it is:

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Seriously there’s 13 spices in this chicken rub but don’t let that deter you from trying this recipe.

What you will end up with is the most tender chicken you have ever had simmered with flavour and my family loves it.

Now depending on the size of the bird you get this recipe make an excellent left-over meal.

The first night we enjoyed the roasted chicken with a side of spinach and strawberry salad.

to make the 13 spice chicken rub
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp basil
1 tsp rosemary
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp mustard powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp powdered chicken broth
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp celery seed
1/4 tsp parsley
1/8 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

I did not create this recipe because if I did I probably would’ve omitted the cayenne pepper fearing that little bit would make the soup too hot!
(Silly I know!)
Normally I double or triple this recipe depending on the size of the chicken.

I can’t give proper credit to whoever created this recipe but it’s sure is good!

We had some leftover chicken so I had already planned on making a batch of homemade chicken noodle soup.

When you were roasting chicken it’s important to make sure that you keep all of the drippings and bones because you can use that for the soups chicken broth for flavour. I scraped the side of my roasting pan and put all of it in the fridge over night.
Make sure to scrape off the extra fat!

Simmer the chicken carcass in a pot with about 10 cups of water for about an hour hour and a half.
Scoop out all of the bones make sure that you keep all of the yummy pieces of chicken meat in the pot.

add this to the broth to make the soup

1/2 package Small noodles (for a healthier option use whole wheat)
2 stalks of celery chopped
2 carrots coined
1/2 medium onion chopped

Will you can use any combination of vegetables you want and you can substitute rice for noodle.
I’m just not a fan of chicken rice soup.

Simmer the soup until the vegetables are soft and the noodles are cooked as you like.

Do you make homemade soup?
what is your favorite homemade soup?