Monday, November 30, 2009

Making Applesauce

I can't turn away free apples, so the kids and I worked hard on Monday and made (and canned) 26 quarts! This was my first attempt at canning solo and it went very well. Success to me means all jars sealed which they did. Now we can enjoy this yummy treat all year long!

Here's the step-by-step process from the day.

Step 1: Quarter apples and cook them until soft.

Step 2: Pour cooked apples into a food strainer (we used the Roma...a gift from my parents for Christmas this year).

Step 3: Process apples through the strainer. This removes the seeds, core, skin, etc. from the apples and purees the sauce to be smooth.

Step 4: Scoop the applesauce into jars.

Step 5: Place jars in canner and boil for 15 minutes.

Step 6: Let jars cool for 12-24 hours and they SHOULD all seal!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

In the Footsteps of Paul

As the title suggests, this book is a pictorial trip through all the major regions covered by the Apostle Paul’s New Testament journeys. Photographed by Ken Duncan, author and photographer of Where Jesus Walked and The Passion, it boasts stunning photographs of absolutely breathtaking subject matter. Many of the pages have Scripture passages that refer to the specific area in which the picture was taken as well. The divisions of the book, appropriately entitled The Making of a Man, The Mission of a Man and The Destiny of a Man, clearly categories Paul’s life and work during his journeys.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and will most definitely keep it for future reference. Not only is it inspirational to be able to tie visual detail to many of the familiar stories surrounding Paul’s life, but the quality of the photography is wonderful and serves as a different form of inspiration to someone, such as myself, who is pursuing that passion as well. It is not often that I take time to note the foreword of a book, but the one written here by John MacArthur is a beautiful introduction the treasury contained in this book. While a few of the pictures seemed a bit out of place, all in all the pictures – laced with appropriate Scripture passages – serve as a vivid medium to help understand and better visualize the very steps Paul may have taken during his journeys. I would definitely recommend this book highly to anyone.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Raena Truth

Raena Truth Henson was born this morning! We praise the Lord with Joseph and Kristi for her safe arrival.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Take Your Best Shot by Austin Gutwein

Note: This book review was done as part of the Thomas Nelson Book Review Bloggers program. For more information on this program, please click the widget at the side of my blog.

Austin Gutwein tells the story of how he began “Hoops of Hope” to help relieve AIDS victims in Africa. He explains how his dream and vision began, and how he brought it all to fruition, something that many thought a 9-year-old boy could never do. The book also explains more of what is happening in Africa to AIDS victims and what World Vision is doing to help the situation.

This book is one that can be easily read in one sitting or read over a period of time. It is designed for junior higher specifically in mind, but is appropriate for any age. There are several specific African children highlighted in the book and their specific situations are explained, which helps put things into perspective compared to our American culture. Each chapter also ends with a portion of Scripture to read and some questions to meditate on, which is helpful to make the book more impactful. Whether you are looking for a motivating story to inspire you to do something great or for just an encouraging story, showing what God can do, this is a great book!

Young Musician's Festival

On Saturday Sarah participated in her second Young Musician's Festival. She played two pieces, both of which had duets with them. She wanted me to play them with her which was lots of fun! I love the expression on her typical! ;-)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Disney on Ice

On Friday night we got to see Disney on Ice! This was the second one we have seen (the first was in South Carolina) and we were not disappointed. All of the skaters/actors did a wonderful job.

Our favorite was the first scene...Cars. They had actual cars driving on the ice...very cool.

Then they presented several songs from Little Mermaid.

Next was the Lion King.

Then the last presentation was of Tinkerbell.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Oregon Coast - Part 2

On Friday the first thing we did after breakfast was start driving down to Tillamook. We toured the factory and saw how they made their famous cheese. Then we got to sample some cheese and some ice cream. The kids were quite envious of this part of our trip!

Then we drove back up past Cannon Beach (where we stayed Thursday night) and on up to Astoria. This fishing town (at least in days past!) is on the river and we stayed underneath the 4+ mile bridge that connects Washington and Oregon.

We took a trolley ride up and down the river in Astoria and got a great little personal tour from an old man on the train. It was definitely the highlight of our time in Astoria!

Check out all of the sea lions on the piers! There were so many sea lions and apparently Astoria is one of their favorite places to be in the winter because of the great salmon available to them there. Also, if you have been searching for God's will, we found it...;-) (Check out the name of the black/yellow ship in the background.)

And here is one of the Coast Guard ships stationed in Astoria.

We had a great time on the Oregon coast and highly recommend it to anybody! This time of year it was so quiet, with not many tourists around at all. I would imagine that it's much busier in the summer (not to mention more expensive!).

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Oregon Coast Trip - Part 1

The first night of our trip we spent in Cannon Beach, Oregon. The weather forecast was calling for "hurricane-like conditions" including high winds and tons of rain. We had several windows of time where we could get out and not get soaked, though, and even saw the sunshine a few times! Because of the high winds, the waves were amazing the entire time. These pictures were taken on our way from Cannon Beach to Tillamook on Friday.

This was the view from the hotel room on Thursday night and Friday morning...I-N-C-R-E-D-I-B-L-E!! It was dark when we arrived on Thursday, so we couldn't see the ocean, but we heard the crashing waves all night long. Imagine our delight when we looked out the window Friday morning and could actually SEE what we were hearing! It wasn't raining for about 10 minutes, so we both went out and walked along the beach, snapping some pictures along the way.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Okay, I'll Admit It...I Turned 30!

My incredible husband surprised me with a birthday getaway to the Oregon Coast this past weekend. I think he was just trying to make me forget about the fact that I was turning the big 3-0, but whatever the reason, it was amazing. My favorite part was just the time I had my husband all to myself! We left Thursday around noon and got home Saturday evening. I will be putting up pictures and blog entries about our trip this week. If you are looking for an amazing vacation spot, we highly recommend the Oregon coast. The beauty and solitude are well worth the drive.

Instead of a birthday cake this year, I wanted hot and fresh Krispy Kreme doughnuts! Mmmm....

The kids loved them, too. We had a little birthday party when we got home Saturday evening. 8 seconds in the microwave made the doughnuts nice and hot again!

On Thursday Garth took me to Black Angus Steakhouse for my birthday dinner. By the way, they have the best steak we have ever tasted. I enjoyed filet mignon, fried zucchini, salad, and mashed potatoes. Then we took some cheesecake with us to eat when we got to the coast that night ('cause we sure couldn't eat another bite at the restaurant!).

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Recent Pics

Mostly for those who live outside of our state, I wanted to share some recent pictures Garth took of our two youngest. Benjamin decided to be Boba Fett (from Star Wars) and made himself a jet pack and was out protecting the land...

Rachel's just a sweetie with a big personality. You cannot always tell what is going on inside that head, but trust me...there is ALWAYS something happening in there!