Welcome to my little corner of bloggy land. Here you will find a glimpse into our everyday lives as we are truly happy in the service of the King!

30 June, 2011

Livin' by Faith

"Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." -Mathew 6:25-34

I have always loved these verses.  This month I quoted them to myself a lot!  At the beginning of the month, we had no idea how we would have enough money for food, rent, bills, etc.  Now that it's the end of the month I look back and can't believe how much God has provided for us.  We haven't starved, our bills are paid, and we actually are better off now then we were at the beginning of the month!

He even provided some "wants."  Ever since Abby was born we have been using an old bookcase to keep her clothes in.  We didn't have a dresser and could never seem to find one that fit in our budget.  At the beginning of the month a lady from the church told us she wanted to buy Abby a dresser.  Last week she arrived at our house and dropped this off.  Isn't God amazing!

Abby has almost grown out of her church shoes and she needed some gumboots for outside during the winter.  Yesterday I went to a friend's house and just mentioned that I needed to go and look for some shoes for Abby.  She went into her daughter's room and came back with all these shoes that her daughter has outgrown!

Another want for my husband and I was to be able to go to a preaching conference at the beginning of July in Wellington (3 hours from here).  Last Sunday night someone came to my husband and offered to pay for the petrol for us to go!  The pastor of the church in Wellington has even offered to let us stay in their spare bedroom. We are both looking forward to this little break and to hear some great preaching by Bro. Doug Fisher (from California) and Bro. Robert Bakss (from Australia).

God has been so faithful to provide for us.  We are truly blessed.

26 June, 2011

Anyone for cake?

Abby's first Birthday cake (while we were in America)

Who doesn't like to eat cake?  Who isn't interested in saving money?  Over the last couple of months our incoming finances have severely lessened.  We still have enough to live on, we haven't gone hungry or anything, but I've had to find some creative ways to use what we have.  Now I know cake is definately something that is not on the have list, but it's nice to have a treat once and awhile and my husband does like to have baking to take his for lunch.  Here are some cake and cake-related recipes I've found lately.  Eggs are quite expensive here ($3.00 for a dozen small eggs) so I'm always on the lookout for recipes for baked goods that have no eggs in them.  Neither of these cakes call for eggs.

White Cake (used for Silvana's Birthday cake and Bus Ministry Birthday cake)
3 1/4 cups flour
2 1/4 cups sugar
3 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 cups sour milk
3/4 cup margarine, butter, or shortening (I use margarine)
3/4 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

Put all ingredients into a bowl in order.  Mix by hand with a wooden spoon for 2 - 3 minutes.  Pour into greased 9x13 cake tin.  Bake for 45 - 50 minutes at 350.

Chocolate Cake (this is the cake pictured above)
1 2/3 cups flour
1 cup sugar (brown or granulated)
1/4 cup baking cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon white vinegar (I used cider vinegar and that worked fine too)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla (if I'm out of vanilla I just omit this and the cake still tastes delicious)

Mix flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt with fork in ungreased square pan. Stir in remaining ingredients.  Bake 35 - 40 minutes at 350.
*If you want to make a cake to tip out of the pan and decorate, just mix the dry ingredients in a bowl and then add the wet ingredients.  Then pour batter into a greased and floured cake pan.

This next recipe was an exciting find.  My husband loves carrot cake with cream cheese icing.  Cream cheese can cost anywhere from $3 - $5 for a block so we rarely buy it.  While looking on-line one day I found this recipe for Mock Cream Cheese Icing.  I was a bit skeptical, but I had all the ingredients on hand and gave it a go.  We were so shocked with the results.  It actually taste like cream cheese icing!  As a bonus, it is also dairy free.

Mock Cream Cheese Icing
1/4 cup margarine
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon white vinegar (again I used cider vinegar)
2 Tablespoons water
2 cups icing sugar (powdered sugar)

Combine all ingredients.  Mix until smooth.

There you go, now you can save money and eat your cake while doing it!

24 June, 2011

Big Bus Blowout 12

This past Sunday was our annual Big Bus Blowout.  What is that?  I’m glad you asked!  This is the anniversary of our church’s bus ministry.  We always have a Birthday party at church this day and try to get as many children to church on the buses as we can.  We do something different each year, but here is what we did this year.

We started out the day with donuts and juice for breakfast on the bus.

Here are some of the children waiting for church to start.

During the main church service we had a choir made up of all the 5 – 7 year old boys and girls.  They sang the books of the New Testament.  They all did so well.  Their Sunday School teachers have been working very hard with them on this and all that work paid off.

One of the highlights of the year is the awards.  Each year we choose a child who has been faithful to church and has a good attitude while they are in church.  Here is this year’s winner. 

After church the bus that had the most children won a Birthday cake.  Our bus won!  The cake was YUMMY!

On the way home we sang songs and played games. 
This year the children were so well behaved.  Sure they weren’t perfect, but they impressed me.

On Saturday I had the privilege of visiting with two of the teen girls from church.  At one of the houses we went to we started to talk to a young girl and her brother that usually come.  They were starting to get really excited about coming.  While we were talking their Mum walked around the corner of the house.  “Oh,” she said, “I think we are all coming tomorrow.”  On Sunday morning we took the bus around and sure enough, Mum, Dad, and all 5 children were ready to hop on the bus to come to church! 

Saturday afternoon we went door-knocking to see if we could find any new children to come with us.  We went to one house and met a Dad and his son.  We asked if the young boy would like to come and he hesitantly said yes.  On Sunday morning we went around and he was ready and waiting for us!

We ran two buses on Sunday.  A bus (our bus) had 66 riders and B bus had 48 riders!

My husband is planning on going to visit the family that came as well as the parents of some of the new riders.  Please pray that he’ll have a chance to witness to them.

Praise the Lord for a great day!

17 June, 2011

Baby shower

No!  It wasn't for me! 

Last night I had the privilege of hosting a baby shower/Birthday party for my friend, Silvana.  We had so much fun.   

First, some things about Silvana.  Silvana is my scrapbooking buddy.  We get together once a month and work on our scrapbooks.  She's finished 2 (almost 3) so far and I'm still on my first!

Silvana has twin boys that are almost 3 years old.  She is expecting another boy at the end of July.  She is also an awesome cook (we were all talking about that last night) and so much fun to be around.

Silvana and her husband are from Brazil.  They were both saved there and after they got married they came to live in New Zealand.  There are actually quite a few Brazilians in New Zealand.  Silvana and her husband get together with a large group of Brazilians each Friday evening and have a Bible study.

Alright, now it's time for photos.

The cake

Some of the decorations

The Birthday girl!

The guests

We had a jungle theme because that is how they've decorated the new baby's bedroom.  Here are the games we played: (I'm always looking for ideas so maybe these will help someone else)

1. Name the baby
I had a list of animals and you had to write down what the babies are called.  For instance . . .

Cat . . . kitten
Pig . . . piglet
frog . . . tadpole (get the idea?)

2.  What's in the bag
I put 11 baby items into a bag.  Each lady had 15 seconds to put their hand in and feel around in the bag (no peeking).  They then had to list on paper what they thought the items were.  The winner got 6 right.  It's actually harder than you think!

We had so much yummy food and great fellowship together!  Happy Birthday, Silvana!  I hope this new baby arrives soon!

14 June, 2011

A walk in the park

Thank you to those of you who prayed for our friends. We found out this morning that their power came back on last night. It was a relief to know that they had heat!

Last night was our monthly ladies' prayer meeting. We had a good time of fellowship and prayer. We've also started secret sisters. Can't wait to get going on that!

Today, Abby had her 15 month check-up. All is well with her. She weighs 11.4 kilos and is 78 centimeters long. After her appointment Daddy took us to the park! She had so much fun walking around and looking at the flowers and ducks. After a long walk we went to let her play on the playground. It's so cute to watch her walking everywhere and climbing on the playground toys. Here are some photos from today.

Walking up the hill . . .

There's so much to see!

Smile pretty for Grandma!

Going into the tunnel . . .

Coming out of the tunnel . . .
Finally, the playground!

Have you been to the park lately?

13 June, 2011

Prayer Request

Please be in prayer for our friends the Quilty family. This is a family that used to attend our church. They recently moved away to Christchurch. There was a major earthquake there a few months ago and they moved down to help with the recovery and rebuilding of the city. Well, today there were many aftershocks in Christchurch and two quite severe earthquakes. One was 5.5 and the other was 6.0. We have been in contact with them and they are all safe. Praise the Lord! Most of the city is without power and water. We are in the middle of winter here and tonight the temperature is supposed to be down to freezing. Please realize that without power there is no heating. Most of the homes that had fireplaces can't use them because they have been damaged in the earthquakes.

Thank you for your prayers.