Wednesday, March 30, 2011

News: Grants and Vrouekeur

I was recently contacted by Vroue Keur (local Afrikaans magazine) who wrote an article on how we lost our daughter Savannah and through that started up an organization iKhaya LikaBaba – home for orphaned and abandoned babies.  Her comment to us was that many of us go through challenges and tradegies but its what we do with them that make a difference.  So I have included a scanned version of the story.(for those of you who don’t understand Afrikaans you can read the original story I wrote here.  I hope that this will be an encouragement to many of you who read this. We all face hardships but He walks alongside us and sometimes carries us as we let go and let Him help us through whatever it is we are going through.  Nothing is too big or too small.  Nothing is too big for our God and yet He is interested in every detail of our lives

To read the article, click on the image and you can zoom in.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Reaching Out: Open Doors

After seeing a post by  about writing to missionaries, I did a search on the web and found an amazing organisation called Open Doors.  They help people who are Christians in countries where the gospel is forbidden or where Christians are persecuted for their beliefs.  

We also discovered that you can order a lovely game(free) which they have produced which allows you to explore and discover more about these countries and the individuals who live there, It includes a fun game with dice and miniature airplanes to fly around the world, some "did you know" questions and of course lots of funny moments.  Some of the cards suggest you pray for the nation as you play; others give you websites to go to to find out more, and even who you should write to.

All I had to do was email them and they included lots of fun activities to do with the children including information that guides children in how to write letters to persecuted Christians or children who have lost parents due to persecution.
Jesus Freaks: Martyrs: Stories of Those Who Stood for Jesus: The Ultimate Jesus FreaksJesus Freaks, Volume 2: Stories of Revolutionaries Who Changed Their World - Fearing God, Not Man

The fact that we are currently reading Jesus Freaks 1 and 2 (I have to be honest I don't like the titles of these books but in reality they are really very sincere short stories of martyrs past and present who have given up everything for the sake of the gospel) has made this a really meaningful activity.  Initially it can be quite challenging and alarming to read some of these stories (and of course one needs to be sensitive to the ages of your children) but we have found that it has really challenged us as a family.

Though this is part of our bible study, we included a little map work and geography (typical homeschoolers) and the children are encouraged to find the countries on our world map and we are all learning so much.  It makes our challenges in life look rather insignificant and unimportant.  We plan to start writing this week and look forward to reaching out and making a difference in the lives of others.

If you have any ideas of reaching out to missionaries or know of any missionary organisations that encourage letter writing as a way of supporting them, why not post it.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Out and About: Muizenberg Beach

Well we woke up to a glorious summer's day, and who can resist the beach?  In fact since we moved to the Cape we spend almost every day at the beach - surfing, walking at sunset, going on picnics with friends, Nippers (lots of that) and treasure hunts for shells  .  We are so greatful for this season.  We are surrounded by such beauty that it takes our breath away.

So off we went to Muizenberg, after attempting to feed our children who were too excited to eat , to "catch some surf". 
 We were joined by some great friends and of course like any good surfers there was a "debate" about the waves.
 Not that I was privy to these serious conversations as I am just the mom and a rather fearful-of-sharks-and-anything-else-lurking-in-the-water type of mom. In fact with the black flag waving a warning there was no way I was going anywhere near the water unless like Peter, I would be walking on it.

Our children love it, and they are quickly becoming surf addicts.

Ruthie is still practising the run up to the waves but give her a year or two and she'll be in there with the rest of them.

Of course while they were busy in the waves, Mom and Dad got some time to share some special moments.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Cooking up a Storm : Muesli Rusk Recipes

My husband is one of those men who forgets everything and everyone around him once he gets busy with his work.  He even forgets to eat breakfast but I have finally worked out the solution - RUSKS!  Coffee and a bowl of rusks placed strategically on the desk in the morning will guarantee that he will have eat something in the morning. If I didn't cook for him and remind him to eat, he wouldn't.  How is it possible to forget to eat? I love cooking.  I love eating - oh that food should cease to exist - forget spicey curries, melt in your mouth chocolates, freshly baked scones with jam and cream ... ok so now I am getting seriously sidetracked.(Note to self: investigate phenomenon and determine whether possible to duplicate).

This recipe comes from Annette Human's cookbook. 

 Here's the What
700g muesli
700g butter/margerine
500g sugar
750ml buttermilk
4 eggs
1,5kg self-raising flower
40g baking powder
7ml salt
[Just a couple of notes on the ingredients 
*I find muesli pretty expensive unless you make your own.  A really yummy alternative is to use granola instead. 
*  Also we never have self raising flour in our house, I always make my own using regular flour and adding 2 tsp of baking powder to every cup of regular flour.  Just don't forget to put the baking powder that is in the recipe (which has happened to me loads of times). 
*  For locals I don't use buttermilk but use 'maas' instead.  Again its a lot cheaper and tastes great!]

Here's the How

Heat the butter/margerine and sugar until melted. Remove from the stove. Beat together the buttermilk and eggs and stir the buttermilk mixture into the sugar mix.

Sift together the self-raising flour, the baking powder and salt. Add the muesli and mix. Add this to the sugar mixture and combine well.

Spoon the dough into greased containers. Bake the rusk loaves for about 30 minutes at 180 degrees celsius and then for about 40 minutes at 160 degrees celsius until golden brown and done.

Leave to cool in the tins for a few minutes, then turn them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Cut each loaf into rusk-sized portions. Dry out overnight in a cool oven with the oven door slightly ajar.

Make sure you have lots of storage space because it makes about 10 doz rusks.