Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Time To Bake and Make

Dear Friend,

Today I did more Christmas baking - with the help of my friend Rachel; we made: Chocolate 5-Minute Fudge, and my family's Chocolate Truffles.
Jeremie and I got our Christmas tree and decorated it all prettily. It's slightly "charlie-brownish" but then again, we're not spending Christmas in Alberta anyway.
I am just happy that we were able to get a tree for my first Christmas as a married person anyway.

My mother and father have a tradition where every year they buy a new ornament together; I decided that I would like to follow this tradition as well! Jeremie and I bought that little knitted stocking as our first ornament together. The reason we picked it is was the only one we could agree on. *laugh*

I adore my nativity set, it's by the "Willow Tree" company, and I have been able to collect it over several Christmas' and birthdays as gifts. The only thing I'm missing now is the stable.

Christmas is coming quickly upon us, and I'm thrilled. If I don't post before Christmas, Merry Christmas to all of you, and God Bless in the coming year.

~ Jenny

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Moroccan Chicken and My Relaxed Weekend

I have officially fallen in love with my crock-pot. It makes meals so much simpler, and I have not come across a bad crock pot recipe yet!
I took out a bunch of books from the Library on slow-cooker recipes, and have now tried recipes from 2 out of 3 books, and they've both been awesome.
A few nights ago I tried "Moroccan Chicken" it was flavourful, easy and went wonderfully with some hot couscous!

I've been asked to supply the recipe, so here it is! :

Moroccan Chicken:

  • 1 Tbs. Oil
  • 1 Onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 Garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 Carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground Turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp. ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground Ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. ground Black Pepper
  • 1 large can of Chickpeas, drained
  • 12 oz. Sweet Potatoes, cut into cubes
  • 2 c. Chicken stock
  • Finely grated rind of 1 Lemon
  • 1 Tbs. lemon juice
  • 8 Chicken thighs, skinned

Heat oil in large saucepan, add the Onion and garlic; cook for 5 min, stirring occasionally until beginning to turn golden brown.

Stir in Carrots, Salt, Turmeric, Cinnamon, Ginger and Pepper. Add the Chickpeas, Sweet Potato, Stock and Lemon rind. Bring just to boil and transfer to slow-cooker.

Arrange the Chicken on top of the veggies, pushing them gently into the liquid.

Cover and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours. Stir in Lemon juice just before serving.

I then just served it with some couscous and it was a lovely meal! Also, a great leftover; re-heated it almost tasted better!

I am very excited! Jeremie and I have our tickets to go back to Ontario for Christmas! We'll be down for about 2 weeks - a nice long visit, perfect for visiting all of our relatives and friends.

The house finally stopped smelling of paint, and I'm hoping today I can get my painting re-hung on the wall. I also dug through my photo's and I'm putting out more photo's of my family. I have hung a few on my fridge and I'm going to use up some of my many, unused frames and hang some nice ones on the walls.

I have also finished my Christmas shopping! YAY! All finished and it's not even December yet! My mother would be proud. :) I even started Christmas baking.
I had some girlfriends over to help, and we made "Butterscotch Confetti" , a wonderful Christmas recipe from my Mother. It freezes beautifully and keeps well until that busy December season.

My Husband, however, found out that he quite liked Butterscotch confetti, and now I need to make another pan! But I can't really point fingers, as I'm just as guilty....They just taste SO good!

Today is a relaxing Saturday. No plans this weekend, just hanging out and vegetating. Jeremie took me out for Breakfast this morning to our local Mennonite restaurant: "Country Cousins." It was a nice treat.

I just took this photo - Jeremie is trying to watch his Ottawa Senators (hockey) play, a rare treat out here in Alberta. Normally we just get local games. Notice the intense attention he's paying to the game. Lol, he loves his Hockey.

Have a good weekend, and God Bless!

~ Jenny

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Painting Day!

Well, it's November. Cold winds and snow have already visited my small town, giving warnings to the freezing winter that is starting to settle around us.
I decided this would be a good time to paint my little apartment; we're in a sub-level apartment, and I knew that once winter was here - I'd go squirrely with all the white, bare walls. I painted my living room and half the hallway a bright not-quite-neon green. I absolutely love it, getting a tinted primer really made the difference.

My kitchen I wanted bright and cheery, so I got yellow. In truth I wanted it more golden, but I'm still happy with the result.
My dining room and other half of the hallway is a rich Burgundy. I can't wait to see our Christmas tree against it in just a few weeks!
I wish I had taken a photo of the "painting crew" that showed up at my house. It had started with the youth pastor at my church offering to help me paint. (which is awesome, considering he used to be a professional house painter!) He then enlisted the help of another young man, whose wife I am good friends with.
Lance, the youth pastor helped me buy the right paint and primer as well as the proper amount - he said he and Paki (the other young man) would be by at 8:30 am to start painting.
Sure enough, they showed up at 8:30 on the dot and got right down to business helping me move furniture and clean the walls.
Jeremie, unfortunately had to work that day and missed out on the painting adventure.
A few hours into the painting, Lance got a phone call from the Pastor, who offered to help as well.
Now I had three people painting my house! Lance wouldn't even let me paint, he said they "got it covered."
A few hours later I got a knock on my door, happily I invited another mutual friend of all of ours, James, who had heard I was painting my house, and as he "wasn't doing anything" decided to come over and help as well!
I had four men painting my house - my only job was coffee runs and making "man-wiches" for them at lunch.
None of them would accept any payment, instead they all agreed they'd like a hot curry dinner instead, at some point....So! I told them that I would be happy to feed them dinner next week.
They painted and put all the furniture back in the time period between 8:30am to 5:30pm.
It was absolutely amazing! I love my apartment so much now, and Jeremie really liked how it turned out as well.

Today I did my grocery shopping and took care of Jeremie who is suffering from either food poising or the stomach flu. He's been so sick and has no energy, as he was up almost all of last night. I made him some chicken noodle soup and bought him the proper drugs, as well as easily digested food like applesauce.
Oh! Speaking of dinner I should check my soup!
God Bless,
~ Jenny

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween Everyone!

While Jeremie and I didn't celebrate too large this year, we still put out our pumpkin and I had some chip bags nearby, in case we had any little visitors.
Even if we don't get any, I'm sure Jeremie will appreciate the extra snack of Doritos in his lunch for the next few...months. *It was a BIG box.*

The last few weeks have been more than busy! Last week I was down in Ontario visiting my family. It was wonderful being able to cuddle my little nephew and go out for a "girls day" with my mom and sister again.
The week before that I was flat on my back with a horrible cold/flu. It really hit me like a ton of bricks. I had a scratchy throat for the morning and afternoon, but by the evening I could hardly talk.
The next day was so horrible that Jeremie stayed home from work to take care of me and drive me to the hospital - I thought I was coming down with either strep or laryngitis, both of which I'd want the antibiotic for as soon as possible.
It took a good week to get over, but many Popsicles and orange juices later, I was myself again.
Today I woke up feeling good and refreshed. I decided that I wanted to try making a pie.
My Father's an awesome pie-maker and for years I was his 'right hand man' making pastry and fillings from scratch.
So I decided on an Apple Pie Recipe that I found on . It seemed simple and had awesome reviews.
My big dilemma came when I had to peel the apples - anyone who knows me knows that I am not very handy with a peeler. But, I do own a "Rotato" , an electric potato peeler. Apparently it works on Apples too! *laugh* It didn't core the apples for me, but I was happy enough just getting them peeled!

So I cut up my apples and started on my pastry. It went well enough, no little catches and the pastry felt right. I remembered all the little tips my dad showed me and sure enough I had a bottom crust!

Now the Recipe I used asked for a "lattice top" on my pastry. I knew what it looked like but had never actually done it myself. I went first, to my "Joy Of Cooking" and sure enough, there was a written description of how to do it....unfortunately it really didn't make any sense to me.
Being the resourceful Librarian I'm supposed to be, I went to my next best source.


Sure enough, after a quick search on "Lattice top pastry" I came across this video the chef explained clearly what he was doing and filmed it step-by-step. Perfect!
Clearly he had good instructions, because I was able to finish my pastry top, and feel pretty good about how my first attempt looked!

It really does look much more complicated than it really is. The trick is to keep the bottom crust edges long enough to tuck up and over the edges of your strips. But not too long that it's too bulky. *which mine was, but meh, it's yummy crust, who cares if it's thick?*
About 15 minutes at 425' and 45 minutes at 350 later I came out with this!

I was very happy with it - and so was my husband! ;) It turned out better then I thought it would, and now I know better how to make my crusts for next time.
I'll be posting the recipe later for anyone who's interested!

Have a Happy Halloween!

~ Jenny

Friday, October 10, 2008

Happy Thanksgivings!

Happy Thanksgiving from Canada!
Today starts off my busy Thanksgiving season - I'll be heading off to Edmonton with Jeremie to visit my sister-in-law and her husband.
We'll be down from Friday to next Monday, a good length of time I think, not too short but not too long either.
Because of the long drive, Jeremie and I decided I would go to school with him, and from there leave straight to Edmonton, effectively cutting almost an hour of driving.
He's in the middle of a welding test and I'm hanging out in the library - which I must say is very nice. Much better then my old college's library!
This morning, it was -5 and the weather has called for flurries this afternoon and evening. The high today is only 2 degrees!
I know I'm more north then Ontario, but getting snow already?!
In Ontario it would at least hold off until mid to late November.
I have already pulled out all the winter gear such as our coats, hats and mitts.
Our landlord said that someone would be coming around soon to re-do all the windows in our apartment. I am really looking forward to that - this week we had a wind storm and I could hear it howling through and around our kitchen window.
Jeremie has told me that he's woken up to a small snowdrift sitting on the windowsill through last winter.
On the plus side, heat is included in our rent, so if we need to crank it up, at least it's not on our dime.
Well I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and for you Canadians, I hope you have a good Thanksgiving!
God Bless,
~ Jenny

Monday, October 6, 2008

They Call Me Mellow Yellow

I can't believe it's happening already! In fact, here in Alberta it's almost finished! The trees have all turned bright yellow (some orange - no red :( ) And most of the leaves have fallen. My entire backyard was covered with leaves.
We have some young boys (ages 6 & 7) living in the apartment beside us, today they were out "raking" the leaves and, as they explained to me, making an Igloo out of leaves.

I wanted to go help, but groceries had to be bought! So I wished them good luck with their igloo building and went on my way.

Last week was beautiful weather, warm 20's and 25's. I would drag out one of our large blankets and all the pillows I could carry, and Jeremie, my friend Amy and myself would sprawl out in the backyard reading, talking and in Jeremie's case, attempting to study.
My new floor pillow's really came in handy! ;) We would spend a few hours watching yellow leaves fall off their branches and the little boys would come and visit, telling us all about how their day at school went.
I would have my sketchbook out ~ I'm currently working on some "Art Noveau" style poster art that was so popular during the 60's, coloured simply with bright markers.

Today, though beautifully sunny out, had a nip in the air. Winter is creeping up, and all the locals can feel it. To me however, it was a perfect "airing out" day, all the windows got flung open, I washed all the bedsheets, including the duvet cover while the duvet itself was airing out on the line. *laugh* I'm really looking forward to crawling back into bed with all my fresh smelling sheets!

It's amazing that Thanksgiving is next weekend! It's even more amazing that it was exactly a year ago I came down to visit Jeremie and meet some of his family, never thinking in a million years that I'd be living there!
Time can fly so fast sometimes.
But you know what they say: "Time flies like an arrow.....fruit flies like a banana" (*laugh* well my dad would appreciate that one, even if I can hear you rolling your eyes from here. ;) )

But I Thanksgiving will be spent in Edmonton with some of my family-in-law. I'm really looking forward to it and the awesome food I know that's in store for me. (even though no one can beat my mom's stuffing or my dad's pumpkin pie)

I work with a young Korean boy who suffers from Asperger's syndrome, he's seven years old and adorable.
Jaisa mostly just seems like a hyperactive child, but loves to play and has a passion for cars - he can hardly speak English yet he can ramble off every car make and type perfectly.
I basically am just there to play with him and speak to him in English.
His mother, Sunyi, is a lovely woman who can speak passable English, but always talks to Jaisa in Korean due to convenience.
We've become good friends and she's offered to teach me how to make some traditional Korean meals.
...I hope she knows what she's getting into, I'm horrible at making rice. I burn it all the time, even so far as to ruin one of my mothers pots. (sorry mum) Even at home Jeremie makes the rice! If she can just teach me to make rice without burning it, I'll call it a smashing success!

So that's where I am! In the middle of Fall and surrounded by piles of leaf "igloos"

God Bless you and yours!
~ Jenny

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Badly Timed Projects.

I generally tend to do this - start projects at the worst time possible! I decided a few weeks ago I would make use of my wonderfully large window sills by getting some plants. Herbs would be nice, I thought.
I found out however, that practically no one has any plant or planting projects in October.
But, after making some changes to my plans I found that I could still start some plants from seeds, and I was able to find (three hardware stores later) some clay pots at a second hand store!
My friend Amy, who is up for the week from Ontario helped me paint the pots with acrylic paints found at our local dollar store.

Because of my off-season project I was able to get 5 for a dollar seed packets.
Two herbs and some flowers.
I also started my "floor pillow" project. I was able to find a couple good pillows and some great on sale material! The total for the fabric only came to 18.00 and change ~ I was very happy! The pillows themselves are pretty nice, but I really wanted my own fabric that I could take off and clean if need be. One is a cotton Indian paisley, the other a golden light upholstery fabric.
I'll hopefully be sewing them next week.
I love the smell of incense, if it's the right type. There's a funky little store in a town about half and hour away from me. Amy and I went on a day trip and ran into that store, where I bought 6 sticks of assorted scents. I got Egyptian musk, sandalwood, jasmine and a few others.
So! Thats where I've been so far!
God Bless,
~ Jenny

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Keeping up!

My sister told me today that she's sad I haven't been blogging regularly. I guess I feel like I need to make my blogs fancy and complicated, but she just wants to know whats going on in my everyday life!
So I am going to try my best to post, even though they're not as pretty as I would like them to be!
So what has been happening lately:

I had my sister-in-law and her husband come down for a few days. It was so much fun, they're a great couple!

I also went to the Ladies Bible Study kickoff potluck. It was lots of fun, full of chatting and great food. I'll be attending the bible study led by the pastors wife, who is a lovely woman.
We meet every Thursday and the third Thursday of every months is spent doing community work, like making a meal and dropping it off to families in the community who we know could use the food.

This weekend will be a busy one too! My friend Amy will be down for a week and we plan on taking a day trip to the Edmonton Mall and just catching up in general.
Today I received a wonderful gift in the mail - my sister sent me a "sister necklace" - it's a beautiful silver sparrow, courtesy of "Jeweled Blossoms"

A card was included along with this poem:

Song Of My Heart

"Quietly humming along

like a sweet sparrow's song

the song of my Heart.

Every moment of every day

while she is away

I look to the sky and wonder why

it should ever be this way

I close my eyes and make a wish

exhale softly and let my thoughts adrift

to sail across the warm breeze

carrying to you a wish from my lips."

It was so sweet! My sister is so wonderful to me!

I'm also working on maybe painting the apartment - I'm thinking of some Indian boho colours. Like yellow golds and rich plumbs.
I'm also taking on a sewing project, I realized with my family over that if we have more then three people in the house we have no where to seat them! So I'm making some big "floor" pillows.

Nice cushy ones that people can sit comfortably on. I realized that it'll be cheaper to buy a big pillow at WalMart and re-cover them with material of my choice, rather then buy the batting for the pillows.

I was so excited! I was invited by a girl friend to an Organics party, everything from cleaners to candles but unfortunately it got moved to Sunday - the day I'm taking Amy to Edmonton, so I'm missing out on that. But I think she and I will still hang out Saturday and just go out for coffee.

She's a new stay at home mom, and she tells me she gets bored sometimes, so I think I'll start hanging out with her more. (her little one is absolutely adorable too!)

So that's what I've been up to lately! Lol!

God Bless!

~ Jenny

Sunday, August 31, 2008

J'ai froid! (I'm cold!)

Amazing how the weather can swing from such heat to such cold! It's only a high of 7 degrees Celsius today! It was rainy, cold and windy! Jeremie and I went to church and came home to some nice hot home-made chicken noodle soup. It turned out pretty well, I think it needed more chicken flavouring, but it was still pretty good. I made a lot so it would serve as some lunches for Jeremie. He starts his final session of schooling on Tuesday, just 2 months and he's a full Red Seal Welder!
The apartment was chilly so we broke out the nice warm blankets, including the super warm comfy one my mother knitted me a few years ago!

I just started taking "lessons" on the jamba! It's a standing hand-drum like the bongo's....sorta. It's alot of fun and the young guy teaching me is one the worship team at church - he's a bachelor at the moment and agreed to exchange lessons for home cooked meals.
It works out well, he'll come over to our place for a lesson, stay for dinner then the three of us head out to college and careers at the church.
It's not that difficult, just takes practice. I was able to borrow this jamba to practice on, and Jeremie and I have been having a good time playing together. He'll start on his guitar and I join in!

I just finished my first week of training at the Library! I did get the job as a casual, the ladies there are wonderful! And I had a fairly interesting conversation, I was viewing the schedules and I noticed that the Library was open on Sunday, but only from 2-5.
"Oh good!" I said casually. "That leaves time for me to go to church and get here in time."
Susan, the woman interviewing me smiled. "Well as it turns out, all the women working here are Christians, so we all need Sunday mornings."

My jaw almost dropped - I had never worked anywhere where all the employees are Christians. The women all go to different local churches, but its still wonderful working in such an environment.
The weather looks like it'll be staying cool - between 7-18 degrees all this week. But I'm sure it'll be a good week.

God Bless,
~ Jenny

Monday, August 25, 2008

Mail Surprises!

I was picking up my mail at the local post office when I noticed I had a parcel stub - going over to the counter I was happily handed a mid-sized bubble envelope.
It was addressed to me, and so I assumed it was more of my families little gifts.
I was surprised when I saw that it was from Illinois! I stood there and thought for a moment: Who do I know from Illinois? Somebody from my DH's side of the family?? No...
Finally I remembered my mother's good friend Bren, who she had gone to visit during their road trip this summer.
Quickly I trotted home and tore into the parcel. My smile was huge as I read Bren's kind card and unfolded her lovely gifts.
A hand-quilted table runner:
And a beautifully made vintage apron: It's yellow terry (I believe) and has an embroidered honey-brown and gold honeycomb design.

It's absolutely beautiful Bren, Thank you VERY much. What a wonderful gift! I know that both will be well used. :)

Today is a busy day - Jeremie had a long weekend this week and it spoiled me, having him home all day for three days, but today it's back to the real world!
I need to make my menu plan and do the grocery shopping for the week. I also am looking forward to my interview later on today with the local Public Library.
It's just casual, but that works perfectly for me. At first they offered if I'd be interested in a 2-3 year contract, which would include running the staff, planning the programs and helping start-up the volunteer center.
A job I would have loved, but I had to admit that I doubted Jeremie and I would be here past Spring. So, I turned down that offer, but they countered with a casual circulation work.
I really hope it works out - it would be a huge blessing to have some income coming in while Jeremie is in school for the next two months. God's timing is perfect!

Jeremie and I are constantly meeting new people through our Church, we met two other young couples and Jeremie hit it off immediately with one of the young men there who helps lead worship. Jeremie is pretty musically inclined himself and is a pretty good guitarist. We were talking about instruments and I have never been able to play them myself - but on Sunday during worship one of the young men was playing a bongo, after being introduced and chatting for a while I asked if it was difficult and if it would be possible for me to play it as well.

He shrugged and couldn't think of a reason why not, he said that I just needed to start playing around with one - apparently one doesn't really need lessons to be taught how to play.
He (Jared) suggested that Jeremie and I come over one evening this week and we could all play together. He'd show me the basics and he and Jeremie could play on some guitars.
I thought that was kind of him, and Jeremie thinks it could be pretty fun too. So we accepted but no date has been set yet, as the woman who is interviewing me this afternoon asked (if everything went well) if I could start training immediately.

So between interviews, possibly training, college and careers group as well as visiting and the car being in the garage - things have been keeping me jumping.
It's nice though and I am enjoying getting to know more of this community.

~ Jenny

Monday, August 18, 2008

Our Weekend

Jeremie and I had a good weekend, the weather continued to be scorching. Even today the high is 34 degrees Celsius.
I'd be lying if I didn't say that I am worried for Jeremie today, working in that hot shop where the temperature will be above 40 degrees.
I told him to come home at noon to hopefully catch a cold shower and cool down a bit.

We went to go see a movie and Jeremie happily spent his boot and tool allowance and invested in a new pair of work boots and a big red Mastercraft toolbox.
My big buy was a number "4" for the front of our door. Our poor friends kept getting confused about what apartment we were, as none of them seem to be numbered.

Right now I'm a "stay-at-home" wife, and enjoying it. However I had been praying that the Lord would point me in some direction so I could do more service work to Him.
Having only been here 3 months and still fairly new to the church, I don't know anyone that well; it also doesn't help that it's summer and the church family is scattered all over with vacations and trips.
But an opportunity did arise! I was driving my way into the next town to pick up my library books and drove past the church - I noticed that some of the youth as well as the Pastor and Youth Pastor were doing a "clean-up" of the church grounds. Mowing, weeding, raking etc.
I pulled over thinking: "Okay God, I've been asking for opportunity and here is some right in front of me...I'd be foolish to drive by it."
I turned around and pulled into the church parking lot - after a quick introduction of myself I volunteered to help and was quickly pulling weeds chatting with the youth Pastor.
He told me about the great College and Careers group at the church and invited Jeremie and I out to it, which we will be going to this Tuesday.
I also got to meet his wife, who after weeding, invited me to go Raspberry picking with her at a local farm.
She's a great woman, and we chatted easily for an hour or so until noon when we were to meet all the other helpers at a local restaurant for a "Thank you" lunch.

It was so wonderful being able to put everything else aside and just serve like that. I had no idea that the majority of my day would be spent talking and laughing with more of Christ's family and getting to know more of the community around me.

It's amazing how much you can learn by just pulling weeds.

This week so far the only thing we have planned is going grocery shopping on Monday and hitting the gym and pool for a few hours.
Hopefully we'll be able to get together with another couple and get a good game of Bocce Ball going too!

God Bless!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Tuesday Morning Round-Up

Hello! Sorry for my lack of posts, but things have been quite busy here at my little home.

The weather has been swinging back and forth like crazy! We had half a week of sweltering heat (32' C) then half a week where the high is only 19'C.
That duvet is so nice in the cool mornings - we keep the windows open all day, it helps air-circulation in our sub level apartment and keeps it nice and cool on the hot days.

Jeremie and I bought a great game this week: "The Farming Game"

It's a square board with different months posted around the board, a full year is once around the board. The game starts with you having inherited 20 acres of land from Grandpa and you want to farm it full-time, but unfortunately you can't afford it and so, also have a part-time job in town.
The point of the game is to have enough money to quit your town job and farm full time.
But you start off with only five-thousand dollars and another five-thousand in debt that you owe to the bank. You can choose to buy and harvest, grain, hay, fruits and beef. There also comes along options to buy a tractor or a harvester.
The game is looooog though! It can take you up to 7 years (7 times around the board) to make enough to quit your town-job (250, 000$) and if you call an audit too soon and don't have that much, you automatically lose.
Jeremie and I are addicted to this game - it's been living on my kitchen table set up like this for the past 3 days.
And I know my mom and especially my dad would love this game. And no you can't buy it. ;) I almost didn't mention it in this blog because I know you two will be tempted to buy it and try it.
I can probably bring it down in October when I visit...maybe ;) .
So! That's been a lot of fun - even though Jeremie /always/ wins. I seem to accumulate too much debt trying to boost my harvest income while he gets out of debt as soon as possible and wins in the long run.
Even in games he's good with his money - - what a wonderful husband!!

I've also started my Christmas gifts. As a family we try to make gifts, especially when money is tight. I have received some lovely home-made gifts over the years, and I love making them for other people too.
I started this one only a few days ago:
I am almost done the frame for it - and I while I'm not sure who it's for yet, I couldn't say anyway. It's very difficult being secretive in a blog when your whole family reads it, isn't it?? ^.^
I love the design and I know the person I'm thinking of giving it to, will love it as well.

I've started reading a very interesting book: "Under The Overpass: A Journey of Faith on the Streets Of America" ~ Mike Yankoski
It's a non-fiction book Mike wrote about his choice to live, willingly, as a homeless man. "He needed to know if his faith in God was real -if he could actually be the Christian he said he was apart from the comforts he'd always known." ~ Excerpt from back of book.
I've only just started it, but it seems very good so far - encouraging and challenging, but we'll see how it goes!

God Bless!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

New Old Things

I love sewing - that being said I'm still just learning and more "fooling around" and having fun then really stressing over my skill level.
I prefer to do "subversive" sewing, rather than getting a pattern and paying for the fabric. Subversive sewing is just making something from something else. You'd be amazed what you can make out of second hand store clothing.
And not just women's clothing either! I have a top-pattern made from men's dress pants of all things - that I think would be neat! ^.^

In the picture above I had a pair of hole-y pants but I didn't want to throw them out just yet.
So I went to the local 2nd hand store and asked to buy their reject clothing (as I planned on just cutting it up and using the fabric) the lady gave me a garbage bag full of clothing that didn't quite make the cut - and refused to let me pay for it.
I shlepped it all home, washed the clothes and ripped open the inside seam of both legs of my jeans - giving me a flat piece of fabric to work with.
I then cut the fabric into patches and different shapes and sewed it right onto the front of the jeans using fun bright red and lime green threads.

I now love those jeans more then ever! :D

I also started making little plushies or toys, I suppose you would call them.
I found a book: "Cute Dolls" ~ Aranzi Aronzo
And loved the simple, adorable patterns. After making a few of his dolls - I started to see other little toys and could figure out how to make them from sight.

A few of my favourites are:

My little Onigiri plushies - I even have a little nori (seaweed) sewn on!
(onigiri is a rice ball snack common in Japan)

My little bunny
super soft from the flannel/polar fleece remnants I found.

My little Pocket Ninja
(I saw these at a popular toy store in the city and was shocked at the
$27.00 price tag. I decided to make my own ^^)

Today I was feeling rather creative as well, so I re-made some of my old t-shirts. I wasn't wearing them anyway so I might as well make them fun to wear again!

Sorry it's dark! I made some "iron-on transfers" and ironed them on! Nothing could be simpler. The first shirt I re-made was with this graphic. It's two lemons and one (with the medical hat and stethoscope) is yelling "Rescue! Rescue!" and the other lemon is in obvious distress.
Get the joke yet?? .....Lemon-Aid.. Ba dum ching! ....yeah corny I know. ^^

This one is onigiri again with different facial expressions. I wish I could tell you what the Japanese symbols mean - but I can't. Lol, I have no idea!

So that's what I've been working on today!
Now I guess I should work on some supper eh?

God Bless!

~ Jenny

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Wonderful Surprise!

I walked to the post office to collect our mail, enjoying the nice sunny day - which got even better when I picked up a parcel sent to me from my mother.
I knew it was coming, but I had no idea what was in it! As I was walking I thought that maybe I should wait for Jeremie to be home before I opened it . . .but I was too impatient.
Eagerly I walked home and as soon as I could I ripped it open.
What a lovely surprise! Inside was a card from my mother, as well as a set of serving spoons, a magnetic pin holder and four beautiful place mats that she had found in Pennsylvania, and thought would look good with my dish set.

This really is such a handy package to get! Mom knew I hadn't any serving spoons yet, or place mats. Both I was looking for. And only last week I was in the local fabric store and contemplating getting a magnetic pincushion, I put it down though because it was 20.00$ and I didn't need it that badly!

Thank you so much mom and dad! I love the gifts very much!

I made buns and a loaf of bread today. The buns are for dinner tonight, and we needed bread in the house for Jeremie's lunches. Although lately I've been blessed enough to have him home for lunch, which is much more fun then eating alone, and I know he likes to relax at home before getting back to the sweltering work shop.

My mom taught me a great trick for separating the sticky dough into buns. I always had trouble pulling the dough away from the lump and trying to slice it away. But watching my mom, I learned that the easiest way, was to use scissors. It's cleaner, quicker and much easier then using a knife.

I've been writing letters to friends as well. I've always loved writing and I enjoy sending off letters or cards to my friends; and I know they enjoy receiving them. I wrote two last night and plan on writing more.
I have a love for stationary and own tons of different papers and card - and I really should start using them up I think.

Well it's about time to start that roast.

God Bless!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

Yup. time to get the menu all planned out - which I did with the help of The Complete Canadian Living Cookbook!
  • Easy Roast Beef with Onion Gravy, fresh buns and boiled potatoes


  • Bistro Meat Loaf with mixed veggies


  • Crispy Baked Chicken with a garden salad


  • Fettuccine Alfredo with garlic bread


  • Whatever we happen to have time for! :)


  • Roast Chicken Dijonnaise with mashed potatoes and beans.

Today was a big clean day - I find my mondays generally are. But I got done everything I wanted to - my vacumming, dusting, bathroom and bedroom are all done, and my laundry is all caught up! YAY!
Tonight Jeremie and I'll will be heading into town to do some grocery shopping for the week. He likes to come with me and push the cart. He said his father always pushed the grocery cart for his mother when he was a boy - so he likes to help me that way too!
And I am not arguing, not after he sees the looong grocery list we have!

There's a new baby in the house, and no, it's not a baby.
Last Saturday we finally replaced the 5 year old computer, with a new faster model.

I know enough about computers but not too much ~ All I know is that it has the newest, fastest graphics card available right now and tons of memory. This is a huge factor because both Jeremie and I like to play computer games, and the old computer would just shut down when it got overloaded.
So I have a very happy hubby right now.
I'm pretty excited too - because we got an HP Pavilion we also got an all-in-one printer, scanner, photocopier deal.

That means I can start scanning in some of my drawings again and printing off photo's of my family, and lots of Henry! (my little nephew - he's a superstar in our family ;) )

It's nice having a quick computer again that doesn't lag or take forever to upload one photo.
I am very thankful for it.

God Bless!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Dear Friend

A few days ago I had a wonderful visit with my Aunt Cheryl and cousin Laurel - they drove two hours just to come for an afternoon visit! I'm blessed with so many wonderful people!
They stayed for the afternoon and I took them to our favourite Mennonite restaurant, "Country Cousins" which they enjoyed immensely.
The best part of this restaurant easily is the Peanut Butter Pie - - It is sooo good and addictive! Since hubs couldn't be there, I bought one of the pies to take home. Just as I thought it was well received, and made a great snack to take to work the next day.

The weather here has been wonderful lately. After such a cold few weeks the warm sunshine feels so nice and Jeremie and I have been going for walks around the park.
I even made him stop so we could play in the park a bit - one forgets how much fun a simple swing set can be...especially when you get to be pushed!

Today I'm pretty excited - I get to go on a tour of where Jeremie works. He's a welder in a large manufacturing factory, and never having seen welding or any type of metal construction, I am excited to see what it's really like.
I'll head over in a few hours when he's on break so he can give me the grand tour himself.

I'm a little tired today, but that makes sense as I hardly got any sleep last night. I woke up abruptly at 1:30 in the morning - I could smell food, or more like something toasting or burning.
Of course I got up right away and went to the kitchen, sniffing all the way.
But no, the oven was cool, as were the elements. I unplugged the toaster and the breadmaker and still couldn't identify what that food-smell was.
I did notice though that the smell lessened as I went into the family room.
We never figured it out, but we assume it was the apartment above us, as our bedroom was the smelliest room.
I just turned up the fan and opened the window more and soon was able to get back to sleep.
....I think Jeremie might've stirred once during the whole ordeal. He's a heavy sleeper!

I'm looking forward to this weekend a lot - due to some technical difficulties during the Batman movie that we saw last week, everyone in the theater was given a free-pass movie ticket. So we're thinking of going into Calgary and catching another movie.
Not sure which one though . . hmm.

I've been re-reading my mushy Janette Oke books. I'm in the middle of "A Gown Of Spanish Lace" - they're cheesy and predictable, but I think every woman needs a mushy romance every so often. I like that Janette Oke is Christian, so I don't need to worry about content. I can just sit down with some iced tea and just float away on my romantic cloud. It's so unrealistic, but thats probably why I like it.
After I finish this book, I better read something with a bit more "meat" on it...hmm...I have so many books. (I had to unpack over 7 large boxes just full of books when I moved here!) As a Librarian it's a hard temptation to resist!
I think the next on my list will probably be "Memoirs Of A Geisha" by Arthur Golden.
Well I better get going,
God Bless!