I’m Not Frozen Yet

It was a foggy day that we arrived in Canada.   The town is very small where are at and the nearest big city is Winnipeg – 3 hours away.  I always marvel at how people landed in such desolate places. What drew them to this particular area? Why did they stay? The ones that we know here are all from Iceland originally so I guess Canada wasn’t any colder than where they came from! (I actually just looked at the weather for Reykjavik, Iceland (30°F) and Winnipeg, Manitoba (21°F).  Canada is colder?  Who would have thought?) Fishing was also an important part of life for the first immigrants. Here are some huts on the frozen lake that are used for ice fishing.   Getting…

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North to Canada

We have arrived…. in Canada. Only 5 days till my oldest son gets married! The next few days we will be doing some preparing for the rest of my family who are to arrive on Thursday and taking care of a few decorations that I still need to do for the rehearsal dinner. We made a few stops along the drive here to the Great White North (Canada). The first was Colorado Springs.  We arrived in Colorado Springs, Colorado on Friday afternoon after driving through the night. We made a stop at the Air Force Academy where we met up with a friend who is a cadet in training there at the Academy.   This is the chapel at the Air Force Academy, the most…

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A Simple Valentine’s Day Tablescape

♥ I interrupt our regular India trip reports to bring you a simple, inexpensive Valentine’s Day tablescape. ♥   I cut a long piece of butcher paper (you can buy a large roll at one of the bulk warehouses) and just painted red x’s and o’s all over it.   A tribute to India at Serenity’s place. (carved elephant she brought home as a souvenir)   For the first time in 27 years of marriage we had rib-eye steak. Honestly, I don’t know if I’ve ever bought any kind of steak before. Ninety-nine per cent of our meat consumption is elk that we have hunted. It was a big treat and as one of the kids said, our meal was cheaper (even with it being…

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India Trip – Part IV

She’s coming home! Two weeks and a few days since we sent Serenity off to India where she learned to eat Indian style (with her hands), was able to see wild monkeys running freely in the village, meet the natives and love on the little children.   I have many pictures to share. Some are not the best quality but I love them just the same.   First time to have coconut milk straight from the coconut. Afterwards, you scoop out the meat.     Visiting a very old temple one day where she actually saw someone offering a sacrifice. We are so very thankful to this man and his wife who so willingly allowed Serenity to accompany them everywhere. Thank you!   The Indian…

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India Trip Part III

If you all could hear the pure happiness in my daughter’s voice as she tells me about her days in India, you would know why I am just so happy that she had the opportunity to make this trip. As moms, we desire for our children to have good experiences, to make special memories and to get a broader vision of why we are here on earth. To realize that America has been undeniably blessed but because we have not known hardship for the most part, we have become soft and ungrateful.   Serenity was only in India for a few days before she realized those things. They live a simple life in India. They are poor – but they are happy and thankful for…

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India Trip Part II

I’m delighted to be able to give you an update on Serenity. Friday night she left for India and after 30 hours of travel time, she arrived in Hyderabad. You can read about her journey here. After her arrival in India she spent a few days in Hyderabad where she went to a Exhibition. The Exhibition is put on annually and is located on a large parcel of land with hundreds of individual stalls. And it looks like she got herself another ice cream! The young lady she is standing with is her host’s daughter. Chinese food in Hyderabad. Here’s a short video of the congested, busy traffic. After being in Hyderabad for a few days, Serenity and most all of those in the above…

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Making a Breakfast Plan

Well thanks, ladies for your input on some of the challenges you face in homemaking. I have plenty of challenges, too.  I think they are always present. Just when you think you’ve got it down, there comes a new phase of life and then you have to rethink your ways of doing things. I think one of my dreads is breakfast and wouldn’t you know it(!) – it’s my husband’s favorite meal of the day! He can skip almost any other meal, but don’t miss making him breakfast. Even some of my boys says it’s their favorite meal. What’s a mother to do in this situation? 🙂 Since we married 27 years ago, it has always been a practice of mine to make a hot…

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Half-Way Across the World – India!

My girl is off…. flying half-way across the world to India. This has been in the planning for 9 months and it’s hard to believe it has now happened.   She made the 13 hour flight to Dubai, United Arab Emirates and I was delighted to hear she was seated next to a lady with a small child. After a layover in Dubai she completed her trip and arrived in Hyderabed, India. 30 hours of travel time altogether.   She’ll be experiencing India first-hand, meeting the people, living in their homes, eating their foods. I don’t know yet what sights she’ll see but it will all be a unique and interesting experience. I’ve learned four things so far. their toilet is typically a hole in…

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Why I Want to Declutter This Year

It’s January 23 already? How quickly this month has flown by! Serenity leaves this Friday on a special 2 week trip. She’s flying to India  where she will meet up with some family friends who will be with her until it’s time to return back to the States. She’s excited and at the same time a little bit nervous about going.   Seth’s wedding is only 34 days away which means I have to get a mother-of-the-groom outfit which causes me no end of grief! And I have to get something for my hubby and daughter to wear. Oh dear! These are the kinds of things that stress me!   I have so many things I want to get started on around here. Organizational projects…

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How to Host Your Own Bruschetta Bar Party

Well this new year started off with a bang and I’m needing a breather already! Unfortunately, I’ve been down the last few days with a fever/cold. It was a powerful bug going around but I guess I need to focus on building up my immune system because not everyone caught it. Lots of fun times were shared with this lovely group of young people this last week and we enjoyed hosting them.   So I wanted to tell you all about the Bruschetta Bar that we put together for our Christmas Eve meal. It was a lot of fun to do and I think a lot of the impressiveness of the meal was due to how it was set up – entirely due to my…

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Sharing the Gospel Boldly

Sorry to be missing once again from my blog but it has been yet another very busy week. We are currently in the high country on our annual ski trip that we take. Today is a relaxing day for me as I decided not to go skiing. It’s been two years since I’ve went (last year I had vertigo and couldn’t make it) and my leg muscles were letting me know it. It’s such a fun sport though. Here is the large group that went this year (missing some). We kind of dominated the mountain. 🙂   One of the things that makes us stand out so much is all us girls wearing skirts. Invariably we have people ask “What’s with the skirts?” Yesterday, I…

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Our Merry Christmas Weekend Wrap-up

I still am talking about Christmas 2016. Bear with me as I’m a little late getting to this. We started a new tradition this year of having a crokinole tournament. We  actually did it 2 years ago at Christmas but this year I made it an official tradition. It’s a great game for everyone – a game that’s more well-known in Canada than here in the US. It’s a good game for the older ones as well as the young people and one where you can be indoors when it’s quite chilly outside. I wanted to have a little trophy to give the winners (you play as a team), so I cut a piece of wood, stained it and then modge podged a piece of…

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Make 2017 Your Best Year Ever

Happy New Year! It’s quite shocking to think how quickly 2016 went by, but here we are – January 3, 2017. What will we do with this year? How will we make it count? Are we making the most important thing the most important thing? Is this the year we can finally lay aside all our grudges and differences and just choose to be happy? Instead of focusing on what others are doing wrong, could we change our viewpoint and look for the good in each other? Life is too short to dwell in the mollygrubs. It’s easy for us ladies to let our emotions rule us and especially as we get older I think we feel it more. I know my nerves can’t handle…

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A Merry Christmas with Family

Hello friends, how was your Christmas? We had a great time with family. It was quite busy with there being 33 of us here. For the weekend, Serenity put together a hot drink station using my Hoosier cabinet. I love this piece of furniture! Chalkboard signs are so fun. My oldest son, Seth arrived home from Canada on Friday night. The kids excitedly ran outside to greet him that night when he drove in. He drove 30 hours with only 6 hours sleep to make it here by Friday night. Christmas Eve it started snowing and I was outside grilling… for about an hour! Family started to arrive…after awhile. Some got stuck on our road. Too much moisture made our road muddy and in some…

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Decorating Cookies for Christmas

Only 3 more days till Christmas! More family is arriving today (my mom and dad came Sunday) and so lots of little details are getting finished. Mom and my girls helped decorate cookies yesterday. I was glad for their help because decorating cookies can be rather long and tedious.   Please excuse that stray arm on the left. It really does below to somebody. haha   This year it’s Christmas with my side of the family, which I usually host, so I’m doing the planning. I’ve asked each family to bring 1 dozen cookies for Christmas Eve. Christmas Eve supper is going to be a Bruschetta bar. I’m really excited about it and hope it’s as fun as it sounds! Pinterest has some amazing inspiration…

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Making Progress on the Cabin (VRBO)

Just a quick update on the VRBO. My parents arrived last night so we’ll be busy doing all the last minute preparations that have to be done. The cabin will be livable but not complete finished when everyone is here. But it’s lookin’ good! The bathroom wall is now up. The bathroom wall behind the tub looks so pretty but unfortunately that will be covered once the tub sides go in. A loft that can be used for storage. Windows and doors are some of the big things that need to be done this week. And that’s the update for now.

I’m getting excited. Christmas is almost here and family will be arriving next week. My son, Seth will be home and he’ll be staying until his wedding in February. So many things to look forward to.   Lots of planning still to do. Thirty-five people staying here. We’d better get that cabin completed! I’m brainstorming ideas for activities we can do with the family. We started a tradition two years ago of playing the game crokinole but I want to add a prize to it. At first I thought I’d get a trophy that would be given to the winner every time we have Christmas together (which is every other year) but now I’m mulling over making a little sign. I’ll keep you updated on…

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A Super Easy, Delicious Dessert for the Holidays

Today I have the most simple candy/dessert recipe you could hope for and it tastes so delicious. Perfect for the holidays, peppermint bark consists of only 3 ingredients. No need to ever buy it at the store again when you see how simple it is. Here’s the recipe. Peppermint Bark 12 oz. of high-quality white chocolate chips or dark chocolate chips 5 regular sized candy canes, crushed up 1/2 teaspoon of peppermint extract 1. Break the peppermint candy into small pieces. (rolling pins work great for this) Melt the chocolate over low heat, stirring often. Once the chocolate has melted, add the peppermint extract and stir. 2. line a cookie sheet with wax paper or parchment paper and pour the melted chocolate onto it. Spread…

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A Castle Keeper Winter Party

What a wonderful evening the Castle Keeper girls hosted this past Friday. The girls planned everything and did a perfectly lovely job.   We even did it in the pergola. We had a giant tarp that went over the top, shade cover on all sides and then covered with plastic. But then we needed heat inside and so we added the two wood burning stoves that we use when we go hunting. It worked! It was about 40°F outside but inside it was not bad at all. Some of the tables had a little more cold to deal with than others but overall I think everyone thought it was just fine. Whew! We weren’t sure how it was going to work out but I’m excited…

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How to Lose Your Insecurities

Complexes and insecurities. They seem to rule so many of us and young people feel it the most. Name-brand clothing, new clothing, the latest hairstyles, glasses, anything that’s deemed “cool” are all things we feel we need if we don’t want to feel inadequate. But if we could only realize that these things are only a very small part of what makes up a person. Those things have no lasting value and fade so quickly from people’s memories, beside the pressure of always keeping it up, putting us in a never-ending cycle of trying to become acceptable to others, popular or admired. Each and every one of us has a unique position that only we can fill. I Corinthians 12 talks about the different parts of the body…

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