11 July 2012
My sister is an artist. Her artwork is beautiful, wholesome, and truly delightful. Each piece tells a story, a story of adventure, joy, faithfulness, discovery, friendship, work, love, childhood, etc.
Last week, I had the great pleasure of setting up her online portfolio…
And now you can easily enjoy a closer look at her illustrations and sketchbook!
It has been such a blessing to watch her cultivate this gift, and develop an amazing God-given talent… but the best part is how she seeks to honor the Lord through the work of her hands.
You can visit her online portfolio at BreezyTulip.com!
10 July 2012
Years ago, Mum would make cookies from the recipe on the back of Toll House’s Chocolate Chip bag. We would spread the dough out in a pan, and lick the leftover dough from spoons while waiting for the oven to do its masterful work.
After the cookie had cooled (okay, rarely did we wait that long), we would cut it into squares. What fond memories I have of sitting with my sister, napkins in hand, eating warm, melty chocolate chip cookies!
Having been gluten-free for over two years and dairy-free for several months now, those favorite food-related childhood memories still linger in the back of my mind.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Squares
GLUTEN-Free, GRAIN-Free, DAIRY-Free
2 ½ cups almond flour (we use Honeyville)
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
⅓ cup coconut oil, melted
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons coconut sugar (we use Madhava)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup Enjoy Life (dairy-free) chocolate chips
In a bowl, combine dry ingredients. In a second bowl, combine wet ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until thoroughly combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
Place dough on parchment paper atop a baking sheet or stone. Form dough with your hands into a circle or square.
Bake at 350°F for about 20 minutes, until golden brown. Let the large cookie cool for about 10-15 minutes (great time to practice patience!) and cut into squares.
7 June 2012
As we sat eating supper at the dinner table, something down the table caught my attention.
I looked over to see this vase of daisies. As I watched, one wilted flower was mournfully dropping its head. From lack of water it was exhausted and had started to let go of life.
The stem was not deep enough in the vase to reach the water which had been quickly drank by the dozen daisies. The pathetic, now bent stem looked rather mournful with its head hanging low.
I quickly took some water and filled the vase back up to the rim, hoping to keep that sad end from meeting any of the others.
Little did I expect the next morning…
…to find a certain little flower holding its head up high. Bent though its little neck was, the daisy’s cheerful yellow face was now turned to the sun once again. The water had refreshed the life of the sad flower, giving it all the more strength and resolve to stand strong.
This little incident reminded me of a couple verses that are very dear to me – verses that remind us to:
– Seek to be transformed in the renewing our minds in God’s Word
– Discern and pursue the will of God, what is good, acceptable, and perfect
– To be refreshed in Christ – through His Word, prayer, edification of believers, etc.
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of
your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God,
what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
“Refresh my heart in Christ.”
Turn your face to the Son and be refreshed.
5 June 2012
On a beautiful, warm evening last month I had the opportunity to photograph this dear family. As the sun set low in the sky, it filled the landscape with golden light.
It is precious to see these five together – they love each other very much and it’s contagious.
(Thank you for letting me photograph your sweet family – I can hardly wait to see you all together again!)
25 May 2012
Have you ever had one of those chocolate oranges that you crack and eat in orange-slice-shape pieces? Image that flavor, only in a cake-brownie. Delicious! This is a wonderful gluten-free/grain-free/dairy-free dish to share with guests – they won’t even notice the difference.
And, as if it couldn’t get any better, it’s healthy…
Chocolate Orange Torte
GLUTEN-Free | GRAIN-Free | DAIRY-Free
1/2 cup blanched almond flour (we use Honeyville)
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (we use Enjoy Life‘s dairy-free chips)
5 drops orange essential oil (we use Young Living because it is pure and safe to ingest) or 1/2 teaspoon of orange extract
In a bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients. In another bowl, combine the dry ingredients except the chocolate chips. Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until well combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.
Poor batter into a well-oiled 10-inch spring-form pan. Bake at 350°F for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool.
This is our version of Elana’s Double Chocolate Orange Torte.
24 May 2012
This is Juliet. You might remember her from this post over a year ago.
She is a very good little friend of ours who is teaching us sign language (she’s still learning to speak in full sentences). Just last evening she was so happy that I learned the sign for “flower”, as she pointed at a flower and signed the word. She even congratulated me by giving me a hug and pat on the back when I correctly guessed what she was signing.
There’s nothing like her little girl squeals. Especially when it comes to asking her if she likes strawberries.
In the photo above, the breeze through the open window blew a small tuft of hair up. She, Breezy, and I had just been looking out the window to see what we could find.
“Praise the Lord!
Praise God in His sanctuary;
Praise Him in His mighty heavens!
Praise Him for His mighty deeds;
Praise Him according to His excellent greatness!”
20 February 2012
…you know someone put him there.”
This is a handmade turtle. Breezy created it using reference photos of Painted turtles, foil, paper maché, gesso, and acrylic paint.
The main purpose of the turtle was to be a prop for a talk Dad gave at work, focusing on the sovereignty of God and His Providential hand. “If you see a turtle on a fencepost, you know someone put him there”, was the concluding remark as he placed the handmade turtle on a fencepost.
Now we get to have Mr. Turtle stick around longer than any of our previous wild “pet” turtles who needed to find new homes… he currently sits atop one of our bookshelves. (And, as much as I like turtles, when I forget he’s up there – or find him somewhere else – he takes me by surprise.)
25 January 2012
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice!”
We’re looking forward to rearranging the art, pictures, and handiwork on our walls to make room for some of our latest embroideries.
6 January 2012
A new year. A new slate. A fresh start.
As I pondered these things, I skimmed over my “growing journal” which contains prayers, Scripture, thoughts, questions, quotes, words on character, etc. that I had recorded over the past year.
Nearly every sentence I read surprised me. For example:
“How often do we lose heart, fear man, worry about the outcome of the current/upcoming circumstances? God is sovereign. We must not fear, but stand firm and see the salvation of the Lord. He will fight for us. We need not rattle on, but instead be silent and wait on the Lord — fearing Him all the while. [Inspired by Exodus 14]”
Humorously, it seems strange that I would be surprised since I did write them all. So, what surprised me? It was the realization that a new year does not mean “a new slate.”
The calendar year has changed, but we still have a foundation to work from.
Every area where we grew, reformed, changed, learned, etc. are still there for our benefit. They don’t get thrown out and forgotten when we flip to a new page on the calendar, each lesson needing to be learned over again. But rather we are able to take higher steps from that groundwork that has been done in the past twelve-plus months.
Isn’t the Lord gracious to give us that groundwork? To learn from the past, be sanctified in the present, and reform in the future?
Let us not forget from where we came or where we’re going.
Hello, 2012! (And thank You, Lord, for foundations to work from!)