Saturday, March 31, 2012

Women of the Bible.

I've been enjoying Bible Gateway's short character studies on Bible Women. Today's devotional was on Bernice, from Acts 25 and 26.

Although there are only a total of six verses in the scriptures that actually refer to Bernice, there is plenty said in a few words about the life of this ungodly woman.

The name "Bernice" is expressive of "a good and happy victory". Left me wondering if this Bernice was aptly named, at all.

She was the oldest daughter of King Herod Agrippa, described in Acts 12 as one "who vexed the church". Clearly in her childhood, a strong hatred of the first christians must have been instilled by her father.

She had several marriages, one of which was to her Uncle Herod. When he passed away, she became her brother Agrippa's constant consort. Tiring of him, she married Polemon, King of Cilicia and was mistress to many, before ultimately returning to intimacy with Agrippa.

Ugh. Not exactly the girl-next-door type of figure. In fact, if I ever met someone like Bernice in my life, I would most certainly cast her aside with disdain. (Shame on me.)

But not Paul. What did he do?

He appealed to Bernice's heart in the presence of Agrippa, declaring what God had done for his soul. Her brother listened, and his conclusion to Paul, “Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.” I wonder what thoughts entertained Bernice's mind as she heard her brother's response to the message of salvation? Was she silently convicted of her evil and shame? Did she consider the One who had died for her wicked acts?

The scriptures are silent on Bernice's end, but I'm pretty certain, despite the meaning of her name, she met with a sad and unhappy defeat.

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Friday, March 30, 2012

Thursday. March 29th.

And... off we go.
Embarking on our journey.
The 10:30 Ferry. Horseshoe Bay to Nanaimo.

Supposed to be Spring Break here.
But it felt like the dead of Winter out on the ferry's open deck.


Back inside. Warm and cozy. And flashing happy smiles of anticipation.

Food certainly helps pass the time.
She's her mother's daughter, for sure.

Me and hubster. Love him.

Finally, finally, finally.
We meet our little puppy.
I'd say two somebodys are pretty thrilled.

Must admit, she is kinda cute. Very soft and fluffy. And cuddly.
Woof. My name is Bella.

What's not to love?
Well, I could tell ya a few things a'ready.
Um, yeah.
But she is kinda cute. And like I said, fluffy.
And cuddly.

Second part of the trek.
Back on the ferry.

This puppy ain't gonna lack in the Attention Department.
For now, anyways.

Brand new surroundings for her. Brand new adventure for us.

Let the games begin. Aargh. Did I just say that??!!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Food Favorites.

Been a while since I blogged about food. For those of you who really know me, this is unusual. I, the Lady of the Larder, who gallantly lives by the golden rule, "Open mouth, insert food." Food is my life.

This week of Spring Break seems to be delivering lots of free time. Free time to clean out closets and bring about the demise of dustmites regaling in the hidden corners of my domain. Um, nope. Not me. Instead, I'm using the free time to dig out recipes, fill my kitchen with the aroma of home-baked goodness, and load up my freezer with delightful little treats.

Here's a little of the deliciousness that has emerged from my oven so far. Recipes included. Just in case you be askin'.


3 cups flour
2/3 cups sugar
5 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup butter
1 egg
1 1/4 cups whipping cream
3 whole vanilla beans
3 cups icing sugar
1/4 cup milk

To make the scones, split two vanilla beans, scrape out the seeds and stir into cream. Mix flour, sugar and baking powder. Cut butter into pats and blend into flour mixutre until it resembles fine crumbs. Add egg and vanilla cream to crumbs and blend until just mixed. Knead gently on floured surface, and roll into rectangle, about 1/2-inch thick. Cut into 12 squares, then cut each square in half, to form small triangles. Bake at 350F for 18-20 minutes. Allow to cool. For the icing, blend milk and seeds from one vanilla bean. Add to icing sugar, and dip scones to coat.

TIPS: Use cold butter. I sometimes even set the crumb mix into the fridge for an hour, so it's good and chilled. And don't overmix the dough. The heat from your hands will soften the butter crumbs too much. Guaranteed... flakiness and fatness, all in the one bite.

(just for the kiddies)

1 cup salted butter
1 cup white sugar
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
2 and 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups M&Ms (minis are best)

Beat butter with sugars until well blended. Add vanilla and eggs. Gradually beat in flour and baking soda. Stir in M&Ms. Using a mini scoop, place dough on stoneware approximately two inches apart. Bake at 375F for 9-10 minutes, until lightly golden.

TIPS: Stoneware produces perfectly crispy cookies with soft, chewy insides. They won't look done when you remove them from the oven, but don't overbake them. And you'll need to sample at least six.

Well, then, I'm off to do some more baking this afternoon. As much as I can cram into a couple of days. Because, later this week, it seems I'm doomed to forfeit my personal freedom. This Thursday brings a surprising event. That will, no doubt, change my life forever.

If you know me at all, you just won't believe what I'll be blogging about then. You really won't.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Life Lately.

It's official. Spring Break has begun. Finally.
And to celebrate, Miss Kayleigh cooked up some crepes for breakfast on Saturday morning.
Cutest little chef ever. And her crepes were delicious, too.

Then we were off and running.
Helping some recent newlyweds move.
Into their brand, spanking new condo.

Sunday, some out-of-town guests arrived.
We crammed three days.
Metrotown. Train ride. Ikea. Coqo Centre. Aquarium. Metrotown again.
All the little monkeys survived.
I think they were just thrilled to be together.
I was delighted to spend time with one of my favorite people.
Wish she lived closer.

We even managed to squeeze in a Science Experiment.
Rendering squeals of delight.
And a big mess on the deck.
Which was promptly cleaned up by the man of the house. Thanks, Dad.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Chantant. Et Dansant.

Having some fun with the Karaoke machine.
And the neighbourhood besties.
Dans la chambre francais.