Friday, December 27, 2013

Day Two.

Highlight of the day was meeting several locals who seemed genuinely grateful to receive the John 3:16 Bible text. Praying that they will seek the One who offers them everlasting life.

Lowlight of the day was being charged by a dog. Totally took me by surprise when he darted out from some cars parked in the driveway of a home about to receive a Seedsowers package. I managed to quickly back up to safety, merely a foot from the end of his chain, while he snarled and barked sheer terror at me. Phew. Was a whole lot more cautious of parked cars and dogs after that.

We finished distribution in our local area, so set out for the foothills, about a half hour drive from the inner city of Yuma. The weather is glorious here, perfectly blue skies, and warm sunshine. It's a barren place though. Dry, arid and rocky earth. Amazing that anything at all could take root and sprout, but the cacti I've seen reach about seven feet tall, and the orange trees grow in abundance.

I took multiple photos today with the Canon but am unable to upload them onto my iPad, so no colourful proof of the day's events. :(

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Day One.

Walkers and Stuffers. That s pretty much the only job opportunities around here. But both positions come with the best in staff morale and the most rewarding pay.

Pay is food. Home-cooked deliciousness, served with a smile. And a smile now known as the Jonas Miller Special. Before setting off this morning, we were encouraged to make sure we "jonasized" when delivering our packages. More on that later. ;)

Here's a few pics of our group taken this afternoon. Sin Kayleigh. She was a Walker with us this morning, but stayed at the Centre to be a Stuffer after lunch.

A short stop at the local Taco Bell. The Gabster... downing some Churros.

Sharing photos, learning some Spanish vocab, and adding some new friends on Facebook.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Day. Yuma.

Its a different feeling waking up Christmas morning to the fan blowing in your room, and realizing you spent the night covered with only a sheet. Balmy temperatures here, in sunny Arizona.

A pancake breakfast with all the fixings, catching up with family, and being amused by he dog and the children made up most of our day. Then, turkey dinner was served at the Center, where we dined with the 80 or so others who arrived late afternoon, eager and ready for the days ahead. Met up with some old friends and made some new ones too. Got some shirts folded and ready to join us for tomorrow's early start...

... and I'm off to bed. Zzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Air Bud.

Well... we're off to Yuma at last. On our third and final flight of the day, in a puddle-jumper at that, so plenty of drops and droning. But we have a cute little Air Bud on board with us, so who's complaining?

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

En Route.

Cute passenger sitting next to me at SFO. Love her.

And I'm basking in the sun's rays streaming through the windows, having forgotten the delirious warmth they radiate. Aaah.

Next stop, Los Angeles. And some very special people to join us there.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Seasonal Treats.

I think I've finally conquered my quest for the perfect Pumpkin Scone recipe. This isn't your typical old-country flour and buttermilk production. It's a richer, crumblier, sweeter type. Dipped in maple icing. Hence making it fattening-ier, too. But who's counting calories, anyway.

The original recipe called for pecans, but I omitted them. I know I'm a bit of a nut, but tend to be wary of all those poor people with their nut allergies. A glance at the ingredients, though, and you'll know I didn't take the gluten-free, dairy-free folks into consideration!

Pumpkin Scones
2 cups flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold butter 
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup pumpkin
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 cup icing sugar
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

1. Cut butter into flour and sugar until it resembles fine crumbs.
2. Stir in ginger, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
3. Stir pumpkin and vanilla into cream and blend well.
4. Add cream mix to flour mix and stir intil the dough just holds together.
5. Turn onto floured surface and roll into 8x12 rectangle.
6. Cut into 12 squares, then 24 triangles.
7. Bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes.
8. Warm maple syrup in the microwave before blending into icing sugar to make the glaze.
9. Dip the top of each cooled scone.
10. Enjoy!

Here's another little sweet treat concocted for the kids who come to our Christmas Program tonight. Edible Rice Krispie presents. And would you believe it, these are nut-free, gluten-free and dairy-free. Just loaded with sugar, but we're not counting calories, right?!

Friday, November 15, 2013

It's Christmas time... in the City.

The first sure sign that the Christmas season is here... Starbucks Peppermint Mocha.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Remembrance Day. And Freedom.

On Friday at school we had Remembrance Day Chapel. Time to reflect on those who fought, and those who fell, and those who still fight for our freedom. Freedom to live in this vast continent of ours, where peace for the most part reigns. Where we understand nothing of the daily hardship and survival that is war.

I have read stories of many who have endured the horrors of war, both at home and on the battlefront. Heroes, who risked their lives to rescue the oppressed. Heroes who returned, emotionally and physically scarred. And heroes, who became the fallen comrades.

I have met a mere few who served and survived. These are our Veterans, and we revere them for their courage and contribution to our freedom.

Until seven years ago, I had never personally known any who had fought and fallen. Now there is always one face that comes to mind every Remembrance Day.

Scott J Procopio.

I first knew him as a youngster, vacationing with his family in Florida. He was a cute little guy back then, with an impish grin and sparkling brown eyes that usually meant he was up to no good. That grin became a broad smile when, just as I was least expecting it, he'd gone and pushed me into the deep end of the pool. And then I couldn't bring myself to scold him when he smirked at me with those dreamy eyes of his. Oh he was a charmer.

I remember receiving the news of the tragedy that took him in Iraq. Roadside bomb. He was 20 years old. Shock. Disbelief. Tears. A soldier, with whom I had a personal connection, had fallen.

Death, when it hits so close to home, has a stark solemnity about it. I am truly humbled and grateful for those who have served and sacrificed for my earthly freedom. Today, the eleventh day of the eleventh month, at the eleventh hour... I paused for a minute of silence.

And I also thanked God for the One who sacrificed His life for my eternal freedom. The Lord Jesus, the Son of God, became a man and died on a cross for me, so that I could have freedom from the bondage of sin. He is my Saviour. Is He yours?

Friday, November 1, 2013

Halloween Madness.

Halloween has crept around again. There's been much ado from two girlies in our house about what to wear, and how to wear it. They've been planning, and putting on, and posing for weeks now. 

The final consensus deemed Number One would dress up like a Nerd. Left-over get-up recycled from an evening at Camp this summer. Nice to see she's being frugal, for a change. Number Two decided she'd go dressed as a Clown. An apt fit with her B-type personality.

Unfortunately we had to make a last-minute costume change. The Clown, suddenly stricken with a nasty stomach flu, was forced to become the Patient.

So she had to miss out on trick 'r treating this year, and instead sat with her puke bucket by the front door, watching all the costume-clad youngsters coming for their treats. She's such a good Patient, though.

The Nerd excitedly joined her neighbourhood friends for some local trick 'r treating.

She returned with a stash, and happily divied it all up to share with her fallen comrade.

I loved seeing the all the costume creativity this year. There definitely seemed to be more deviation from the ghastly and ghoulish to the cute and creative. Some of the variety showed at my own door, and some I viewed on Facebook. But I have to say that I think this one was by far the most entertaining for me this year.

It, let's just say... dethroned them all!

His costume was one I saw on Facebook. I think if he'd showed at my door, it definitely would have been the first time I'd be challenged to throw chocolate down the toilet!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Fall Days.

The days of Fall are flying by, but I've managed to snap a few mini-moments.

Raking up the leaves and rolling around in them still provides plenty of fun for these two pre-teens.

Girlies loved having the "Big Sister" come from PEI for a visit. For five days she showered them with undivided attention and endless patience. And gifts galore.
Now they're going through withdrawal.

Got to see lots of this little darling over the Thanksgiving weekend. She's growing up fast.
Love her... and her lively little personality!

Been cooking up lots of soups... the comfort food that is Fall. Stole this one from the Pioneer Woman... stole her photo too. Cauliflower soup. Go on her site and make a pot.
You'll thank me for sharing.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Miss Her.

Too many miles separate us. So does the time difference and her bed schedule.

Oh how I wish you lived closer, Miss Beautiful Blue Eyes.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Candy Pizza.

When you live in our house, having a sweet tooth is a part of the DNA, so candy pizza should really come as no surprise.

Miss Lannie had fun preparing (and eating) this lovely concoction.

Busy little fingers adding some "green peppers" and "pepperoni".

Chocolate chip "olives" complete the deal.

Very proud of her handiwork. Eh... me too. Proud.

Friday, September 13, 2013

The Tree of Life.

Been reading about the "overcomers" in Revelation. Translated the "ones who conquer", in the ESV. In the first letter, to Ephesus, the promise to the overcomer, "... I will give to eat of the tree of life which is in the midst of the paradise of God."

Genesis 2:9 has the first mention of the tree of life. It was centrally located in the garden of Eden, and would likely have been one of the trees from which Adam and Eve freely took and ate. Its fruit may even have been part of their daily diet, as we know from Genesis 3:22 that it gave them a special quality of life (... they take of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever). Revelation 22 tells us that this tree also has the ability to bear 12 different kinds of fruit, with a fresh bounty very month! Could you imagine? Daily food from the tree of life, daily communion with the Creator... life for man in the Garden of Eden was perfection.

Then sin came. One act of disobedience by Adam brought immediate separation between God and mankind. That tree of life, once so accessible, was now out of reach. Protected by heavenly beings. Guarded with a flaming sword.

So how, then, can this tree of life be promised again in Revelation?

It is reserved for the overcomers. For those who have obeyed the word of God. Turned from their sin and trusted the One who died for them. And, against all evil, have committed to live for Christ. In total devotion to Him.

This tree of life is located in heaven, in the centre of God's paradise. Laden with a dozen types of fruit, ripe and ready for those who are faithful to Him.

I want to be that overcomer.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

You're Invited!

We all like to receive invitations, don't we... to a baby shower, a wedding, a birthday party. All of those invitations, however, mandate the purchase and contribution of a gift. Or sometimes cash.

Here is a personal invitation you won't want to miss! Come hear a message about a Saviour who can change your life! Nothing to pay, nothing to bring... eternal life is the free gift of God for you!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

School's Back.

Summer livin' was sure good this year, and I loved havin' my kiddies home with me. But today this shouts out my sentiments, exactly.


Monday, September 2, 2013

My Thoughts. My Life.

Do you ever surf on Pinterest? Definitely a place where you can unknowingly waste endless hours of time. Uh-huh. And um, yeah... I admit to spending a little more than my fair share of summer vacation, eh... pinteresting.

Wanted to share this, though. Browsing the latest pins last week, I came across...

A modern-day phrase, with a catching choice of words, obviously written with the intention of inspiring you to assume the power of positive thinking.

Scrolling on, a few pages later, I came across a direct quote from the Bible (NCV).

Interestingly enough, the two immediately drew an amazing parallel. I paused briefly when I read the initial pin, then casually passed over it. But the challenge from Proverbs 4:23 stopped me in my tracks. One, the words of a mere man. The other, the inspired word of God.

Only a fool will choose to ignore what God has to say.

My thoughts. How've they been? Hmm. Have I been careful and guarded with my thinking? In those quiet moments are my thoughts clean and pure? Or do I harbour bitterness? Anger? Because God says all this will affect my behaviour.

The wicked man thinks with pride in his heart, and has absolutely no room in his thoughts for God (Psalm 10:4) But the devoted christian will mirror Philippians 4:8, "...whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report... think on these things."

Friday, August 23, 2013


Yesterday was date day with Miss Lannie. We dined at the latest and greatest in frozen yogurt hang-outs. Where you pour and scoop your own concoction. Then they weigh, and you pay.

I love this girl. Love our bonding times together. Glad we make the time to talk. Catch up. Share. Solve all the world's problems. ;) Of course, there's usually a little counselling-from-mama thrown into the conversation at some point, too!

She's growing up. Have to pinch myself sometimes when I realize just how much, and how fast. At the beginning of summer she was a mere ONE inch shorter than me in height. I haven't succumbed to the end-of-summer measurement yet, and I'm not sure if I even want to keep you posted on that!

She's much smarter than I was at her age, although I've yet to admit that to her. Actually, it's probably a good idea to hold off on that piece of information. Until it becomes obvious, at least. Which might just be sooner than I think.

She can be impatient. Notions that spring into her little head demand to be accomplished without delay. Well, I guess on that one, the apple doesn't fall very far from the tree.

She's analytical. Always wanting to know more than she should. Questioning all the whys and the wherefores. Which makes her quite confident when it comes to drawing her own conclusions.

She's funny. Sarcastic for the most part, but I guess the majority relate to that type of humour. She drops random lines out of no-where that crack me up. She's pretty up on the latest slang, and will remind me it's bestie not friend, nice ride not nice car. And peace out, definitely not cheerio.

She's stubborn. Same apple same tree, unfortunately, although I'd take the liberty of saying I'm the softer Gala type and she's the Granny Smith. When she was a toddler, I read and re-read Dobson on "The Strong-Willed Child". Probably worried and fretted more than I should have, but you can never correct or rein-in too much. That stubborn streak will always be a part of her personality, yet it's different from a few years ago. Maybe a little more cultivated. Oh, she's still opinionated, yes, but she's learning to listen, and respect the choices of others. Just don't count on her always agreeing with you!

She has a big heart. Loves little people. It delights me to watch her being so kind and gentle with them. Definitely a lot of inbred maternal instincts going on there.

She talks a lot about growing up. As in... learning to drive, where she'll go when she graduates, what she'll do eventually. Like all 12-year-olds, she can't get there fast enough. I know the teen years will come and go far too quickly, so I just want to savour my moments with her. Enjoy her being the blessing that she is. Watch her grow. Help her make wise choices.

Pray for her every single day. And entrust the rest to the Lord, to work His will in her life.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Water Crazies.

It's been hot. Tres chaud. No complainin' from moi, though. And since the kids were not permitted to file complaints either, they had to become creative with ways to stay cool.

The kind neighbours loaned us their pool. A kiddie one. From several years ago. Dug out from the deep recesses of their garden shed, and hauled up-street to our backyard. Filled with a little bit of eau froide... and five little girlies had so much fun in that thing!

They came up with some funky hair and water tricks.

One quick demonstration... and they were all into it.
 My two even proved their sisterly amour with their synchronized heart-shaped design.

While Miss Bella stayed cool sans the water antics, watching from the sidelines in the shade.
Chiot mignon.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Deck Breakfast.

Possibly the only time I ever really eat breakfast. During the summer. What I mean by breakfast, of course, is from-scratch, cooked-up, sit-down-and-eat-it type of dining. As opposed to grabbing a bar with my coffee on the run, and flying out the door to work.

So here's the evidence. First meal of the day. On the backyard patio. Which would it be for you? The traditional waffle with strawberries and cream, or one loaded with bananas and caramel?


Friday, August 16, 2013

Birthday Babe!

Oh the excitement of celebrating your first birthday milestone! We love you, beautiful baby girl!

Some sweet little faces at the birthday party.

 And these aunties had so much fun playing with all the little people...
...and playing with all their toys too!!)

Monday, August 12, 2013

Adieu to you, PEI.

As Chaucer so adequately penned... "all good things must come to an end." And so the last of the goodbyes were inevitable. But we had the best of company to make them as happy as possible.

Fun times and ice cream with Cristy.
Not sure she enjoyed having two little sisters as much as they both enjoyed having a big one!

Food with friends always tastes better.

Alana... sounding praises with one of her favorite people.
Looking forward to some more of these melodies soon!

1 Day. 3 Provinces.

Since we needed an excuse to cross the Confederation Bridge, and both New Brunswick and Nova Scotia were within feasible driving distance, we decided to pay them a quick visit.

Spending the major part of our day in our rented air-conditioned van turned out to be a good choice. On our stop for lunch in Moncton we exited our vehicle and were mauled by the blasting heat. Temperature highs that day registered 37 degrees Celsius. Wow.

The Confederation Bridge. Spanning the icy waters of the Northumberland Strait between PEI and New Brunswick. No ice visible this time of year, but apparently plenty of ice floes float down this stretch in the winter season. Hard to visualize on such a steaming hot day!

Takes a precise 9-minutes-and-11-seconds to cross, province to province. Accurately measured on an accompanying i-Device by a traveling youngster.

Our dapper chauffeur for the day.

Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick. Highest tide in the world, reaching 49 feet. And at low tide, you can descend a long flight of stairs to walk on the rocky ocean floor. Which we did.

Venturing into the ocean proved to be a muddy challenge.

Which had to be experienced by the two most daring in our group. Yuck.

On to Nova Scotia, and a quick stop at the Visitors Centre to pose by the Peggy's Cove replica.

Where we also found Daddie a rather dashing tam'o'shanter... with some lovely hair extensions.

Nope. We didn't buy it. Decided that he looked much better in the kilt.