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Sunday, 27 December 2009

My Web Wanderings (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Thursday, 24 December 2009

A Two Year Old's View of Christmas

I did say I wasn't going to do any more posts this year but I just had this conversation about Christmas with Little Girl which made me smile so I thought I'd post it:

Me: Tomorrow is Christmas Day - what do we do on Christmas Day?
LG: We eat Christmas cake.
Me: Yes, and what else do we do?
LG: We eat little Christmas cakes. [Christmas pudding]
Me: Yes, we eat Christmas pudding. What else do we do?
LG: We eat goose.
Me: Yes.
LG: We eat dinner.
Me: Yes, we eat Christmas dinner.
LG: We eat goose and Christmas dinner.
Me: That's right, we have goose for Christmas dinner. And we give...
LG:...thanks to Him and pray.
Me: Yes, we always give thanks to God don't we. Do we do anything else?
LG: We eat pineapple. [drink pineapple juice]
Me: Pineapple? Oh yes - we're going to have pineapple juice at breakfast time. And what do we give?
LG: We give presents to Daddy!

Christmas Card 2009

This will be my last post of the year (apart from a possible auto post from Diigo if I boomark anything) so I thought I'd close with a copy of the front of our Christmas card this year along with the text from the inside cover.

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Romans 6:20-23

And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
John 1:14

That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned
John 3:15-18a

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Annual Newsletter 2009

As we come to the end of the year, I thought it would be nice to share our (slightly modified for being online) annual newsletter:

Sinner Saved Family News
Our most exciting news this year is that in May we bought a house. We are two miles away from where we lived previously and we now have the benefit of a garden for Little Girl to play in. The house needs a lot of (mostly cosmetic) work done to it but it is nice to no longer be at the mercy of a landlord both in terms of what is done to the house and whether we are allowed to stay. Our new village is well provided for as it has all the amenities we had in our old village within five minutes (adults) walk plus additional shops and (to Little Girl's great delight) a part time library.

Hubby continues with his gardening work and Susan looks after Little Girl at home.

Last year Little Girl learned to walk; this year she has learned to talk and is quite a chatterbox when not pretending to be shy. She retains her love of books and requests to go to the library almost every day.

Little Girl enjoys reading, drawing, painting, going for walks and pretending to be Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Postman Pat and whoever else she thinks of. Horses frequently pass our house which always provides plenty of excitement as do the weekly bin lorries.

Little Girl is a great helper and she loves to cook and clean (either real or pretend) although sneaky sampling tends to be the most popular part of cooking. She also enjoys helping Daddy outside in the garden although this "help" usually involves picking flowers while Daddy does all the work.

Monday, 21 December 2009

Whoops a Daisy (slightly not using freezer stash)

Although I was supposed to be not buying meat at the moment due to my rather excessive stock of it I managed to buy a 2kg (4 1/2 lb) leg of lamb on Friday. It was reduced to £3.50/kg because it was going out of date on Saturday and that is a very good price for lamb (plus I didn't have any lamb in my stash) so I figured it was worth it. I cooked it overnight in the slow cooker so we could have it for lunch and then I made stock from the bones (also in the slow cooker) some of which I used for the spaghetti bolognaise I had already planned to make with some mince and liver from the freezer. We ended up with five meals worth of spaghetti bolognaise in the freezer (i.e. 5 x 2.5 portions) and a huge heap of lamb to use up before Christmas so this week's plan features a lot of lamb:

Mon: Ham and lentil soup from the freezer.
Tues: Lamb and spinach risotto.
Wed: Lamb, mashed potato (with parsnip in) and veg.
Thurs: Lamb pasta.
Fri: Christmas Dinner: Salmon and cream cheese parcels. Goose, sausages wrapped in bacon, carrots, sprouts, peas, potatoes roasted in the goose fat. Christmas pudding.
Sat: Same as Friday.
Sun: Freezer meal.

From the freezer stash this will use the goose and the sausages in bacon (both of which we specifically bought for Christmas obviously) and probably some frozen veg depending on what fresh veg we pick up. Other than the usual rotation of home made bread and fruit loaf, we shouldn't be adding anything to the freezer this week which will be good.

Friday, 18 December 2009


This is what we had yesterday:

Then today there was even more. It's still less than two inches but you never know - it might be all we get this winter. Little Girl was so excited this morning she wanted breakfast straight away so she could go and play in the snow. She was planning to make "scrambled egg on toast, pancakes and porridge" but since we already had baked porridge from yesterday we went for that.

Apparently she is "digging like a man". (I think she means digging like the workmen who are replacing the water pipes in our street.)

Monday, 14 December 2009

A Funny Old Week

Last week my husband had extra work on Monday and Tuesday which meant he finished his Monday shift at 0200hrs on Tuesday and then started his Tuesday shift at 1000hrs. So that he could sleep in on Tuesday and Wednesday morning, he slept in Little Girl's room when he got home and when I went to bed I took her to sleep with me. Unfortunately the first night she took ages to go to sleep and then by the time she got sleep I couldn't sleep so I ended up with only three hours sleep that night.

By Thursday we were all pretty much recovered from all the sleep disturbance but we didn't have water on those two days so we tried to go out in the mornings to minimise the time at home without water. (I say "tried" because we were unsuccessful on Thursday due to the car having a flat battery but we managed to jump start it on Friday.)

Between sleep disturbance, going out and not having water my menu plan got thrown out the window a bit although I did manage to use everything which needed to be used and make a nice big batch of lentils and rice. On Saturday I did manage to bake bread, fruit loaf and muffins most of which I somehow managed to jam into the freezer and amazingly despite the lack of water I managed to keep up with the washing.

Since everything has been so busy recently and the freezer is still somehow overflowing (despite the fact I've only spent £20 on food this month most of which was milk, eggs and fruit) I've decided to make this week a freezer meal week instead of doing "proper" cooking and a menu plan.

Monday, 7 December 2009

Menu Plan Monday (Operation "Use Freezer Stash" #2)

Mon: Chicken, potato, cabbage and squash.
Tues: Cheesy pasta and veg.
Wed: Veg casserole with lentils & rice and fresh salsa.
Thurs: Chicken, potato, cabbage and carrot.
Fri: Meatloaf, potato, carrot plus other veg as yet undetermined.
Sat: Same as Wed.
Sun: Freezer meal.

From the freezer stash this uses one chicken, 1/2lb mince some frozen veg and three freezer meals (Wed, Fri and Sun) but probably creates two or three 1/2lb portions of lentils and rice depending on the size of the soup.

For more details, you can click to view my paper menu plan:

NB. The start of the week is changed from Thursday because when we had a veg box delivery it was on Wednesdays so I used to plan Thursday to Wednesday.

Feel free to leave comments or ask questions.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

My Web Wanderings (weekly)

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Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Faith and Pop Culture by Christianity Today

I received this study guide through the Thomas Nelson Book review blogger program. Although it is designed to be used as a study guide for a small group, it is perfectly readable independently. I was very interested to see what it had to say about how Christians engage in popular culture. In addition to the obvious subjects such as films, TV and books, the book also looks at the Christian response to sport, entertainment, the place of violence in entertainment, our entertainment based culture and the place of Christians within the entertainment industry.

I found this book very useful and interesting as it challenged my views in a number of areas and made me think about certain issues I had not particularly thought through. Each section started with a question to address (e.g. "Must all entertainment Christians enjoy be "family friendly"?) followed by Bible references, an introduction to the issue and then an essay putting forth a particular Christian viewpoint.

After this there was a study to work through which led the reader (or small group) through the issue in a way which made them think about the issue with reference to the Bible without dictating answers. Although I did not always agree with the views which expressed, the clear aim was to help people look at issues from a Biblical perspective and it certainly helped me to do this and has made me more open minded about certain issues.

Although it is meant for a small group study I would certainly recommend it to anyone who wants to think through these issues from a Biblical perspective.

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