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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Crooked Paths Made Straight


I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight:

Isaiah 45:2

Every year at Christmas when we journey northward into the snow and ice, I ask for prayer for travel mercies and of course, I pray myself. God has never failed us yet.

Look at the first photo. To the left of the snapshot you see the road is being widened. The road widening project goes on for hours and hours of our drive. Unfortunately the road widening is needed because the traffic has increased so much over the past several decades.

The highway is being widened on both sides in some places.

Here we are about an hour and some minutes north into our journey. We are in Chilliwack; farming country.
Several hours into our journey we start our climb into the mountains. You will see how cold it has been by the icicles down the side of the mountain to the left. Even though we are high up in the mountains, the transport trucks are still dwarfed by the mountains above us.

You can see the fresh snow falling in the photo below. Fortunately for us, it stayed off the highway.Here we are at what we call the Summit, the very highest point of the Coquihalla Highway. We are making a pit stop to use the toilet facilities.

I take a photo outside of my window to show how high the snow is piled...

and we carry on with our journey.

Caffeine helps to keep the driver alert.

Arriving into Merritt, just one hour south of our destination.

As we approach Kamloops, our destination, we see the smoke of the local pulp mill. It looks frozen in space.
The city of Kamloops always looks lovely in the night when all the city lights are sparkling.

Have a look at the short video clip below as we drive into the city.

These are a few snapshots of our drive back to home.
The sun was shining for part of our journey. You can see what a lovely afternoon it was!

This is cattle country under a bit of snow.

At one point of our journey I captured what I thought was the moon. It looks very dark in the sky but this was only a small part of the sky to my right. I thought this snapshot was absolutely stunning.
Here we are for another pit stop at the Summit.

Here we are on the highway just past Hope and on our way to Chilliwack.

Watch my short movie as we enter Chilliwack, another hour and some minutes from home.

I end my tour here as I got too tired to take photos of the entry into Vancouver.
I leave you with one photo from our trip at this time last year so you can see just how different and heavy the winter was in 2008. I truly believe in the power of prayer to make the crooked (and hard paths, both literal and figurative) straight in life.



Friday, December 25, 2009

Cooking Turkey with No Oven?

Have you ever cooked a turkey with no oven in a small apartment with little countertop space? lol. Sounds like fun, eh?

This Christmas was my 3rd time trying it and I'm starting to get the hang of it. I used this roasting pot that sits on the counter top and plugs into an electrical outlet.

Here are close ups of the bird, stuffed with bread stuffing and ready to be cooked.

I roasted this small bird for 5 hours and it was delicious. It fed 3 men and 3 women with no problem and there were plenty of leftovers for snacking and for making turkey soup the next day. The soup was delicious too.

I didn't get a photo of the cooked bird. My my niece was getting very tired by 2:00 p.m. which is the time when she is usually napping. I barely had time to get the bird cooked, feed her and the others and get her home by 3:00 p.m. so she could nap and have another dinner, lol.

How was your turkey this year?


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Peace on Earth, Goodwill to Men


"GLORY TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST
AND ON EARTH PEACE, GOODWILL,
TOWARD MEN." LUKE 2:14
Luke 7-14

7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

MAY EACH OF YOU HAVE
A BLESSED CHRISTMAS DAY
AND MAY GOD GRANT YOU THE PEACE
THAT PASSES ALL UNDERSTANDING.



Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Santa Was in the Mood for Singing


I ran into Santa when running errands the other day.

He was in a singing mood.

Seems like his arthritis is kicking in as I could hear the creaky noise as he swayed back and forth to the music.

Nonetheless, he is such a reliable old man, always there whenever Christmas rolls around. I wanted you to enjoy his singing and captured it on video...but I couldn't upload them before I left for my Christmas visit with family. As I left, Santa told me to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas as he is going to be rather busy over the next while.

"HO, HO, HO, Merry Christmas!"

Monday, December 21, 2009

Recipes for Christmas


When I was a young girl my mother would make something called dream bars. They were delicious. She got the recipe from the back of a Robin Hood Flour bag. I could not find the recipe any longer in the Robin Hood recipe archives on line but I have inherited the back of the flour bag with the recipe printed on it. I made several batches of these bars this week. One for eating and two for taking to Christmas eve and Christmas Day gatherings.

I have to admit that my version is not as tasty as my mother's. Mom was such a wonderful cook. I find that my base is not as melt in your mouth as her version was but it is still very good, I must hasten to add, lol. My guess is that mom used more butter than called for as she had an intuitive sense for what made a recipe better and she was well known for her fabulous cakes, pies and other goodies.

The other recipe I've provided here is for a type of yeast bread. I like this recipe because it is made in one bowl and doesn't seem to require as much rising time as other breads. I always look for easy recipes whenever I decide to cook or bake.

The bread recipe is from a cookbook entitled "Talk About Good!" which was published by the Junior League of Lafayette, Inc. in Louisiana (copyright 1969). I picked it up in a bookstore as I like the old timey recipes. I found the bread quite delicious in my taste test. It is slightly sweet and I think it will be a delicious addition to the Christmas dinner.  I'm sharing both recipes here as I think you will like them. Let me know if you try them yourself. Happy Baking!

Dream Bars  
Base:
1 1/2 cups of flour
1/4 cup icing sugar
1/2 cup soft butter

Measure flour into bowl. Add icing sugar and stir well to blend. Blend in butter with fingertips until mixture is mealy. Pat firmly into bottom of lightly greased 7" x 11" oblong pan. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 8 minutes. Remove from oven.

Topping:

2 eggs
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup coconut
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Beat eggs well. Then add brown sugar and beat until well mixed. Stir in coconut, walnuts and vanilla. Spread mixture evenly over partially baked base.

Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30 minutes or until golden. Cut into bars when cool.


One Bowl Bread


2/3 cup lukewarm water
1 pkg. active dry yeast
1 1/2 cup water or milk
1/2 cup cooking oil
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup sugar
4 to 5 cups flour

Dissolve yeast in a large bowl with water and let stand for 10 to 15 minutes. Add water or milk, cooking oil, salt, baking power and sugar. Stir until dissolved. Then add 1/2 cup flour at a time, stirring until a soft dough is formed and all the flour is blended. Stir dough with hands from side to center for about 3 minutes. Let rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes.

Slightly grease a 14 x 10 inch baking pan. Oil hands and pinch enough dough to make rolls or loaves kneading slightly with hands. Let rise again, approximately 45 minutes and place in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes. Grease top of rolls or loaves and continue cooking in 250 degree oven 30 minutes until bread is done.

Enjoy!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas in Kericho


My friend Pastor Jonah of the Missions of Hope has been very busy leading up to Christmas.

This past week there was ministry to the children, hospital patients and prisoners, giving out food and drinks to those that cannot afford such things. It really warms my heart.

Here are a few photos

At the Rehabilitation Centre School.

At the hospital.
At the prison.
This weekend his church is having it's annual gathering to celebrate the birth of Christ with Christmas pageantry and music. Then early in the week he will be in leadership meetings before getting to celebrate Christmas with the villagers and his family. I am hoping they get to have a community gathering to share some food and give clothing to some of the neediest children and orphans. I wish I was there to celebrate this part with them as the needs of orphans and widows is very close to my heart.

Wishing you the joys of the season and much love and peace.



Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmas for IDPs in Kenya


Hi friends, my friend Pastor Jonah and other leaders are visiting the Internally Displaced Peoples (IDPs) this week in Kenya. They are trying to show love and provide some food to the people before Christmas. They have been doing what they can for the IDPs throughout the year whenever they can. At this time of seasonal cheer and loving others, let us try to keep our hearts open to those in need around the globe. Please read on. I'm sure your heart will be as touched as mine is. Blessings.

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We are going to visit the internally displaced people this week. God willing, we are gathering food from the villages and towns to feed these people who are living in makeshift camps.

These folks are living in deplorable conditions and need our help. We do hope to distribute what we got, and hope the government will come and help them somehow.

These are trying moments for our country, and we do hope to make some changes in their lives.

Please pray for these people. If you can, give to help these people. Otherwise many blessings over the blessed Christmas season. Pastor Jonah
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If you can help at all, please go here


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