Wednesday, January 28, 2009

My children are bananas.

And I am rather tired.
It should have been a peaceful night, sleeping to the sound of freezing rain. For some reason, it stirred the latent madness of my young children. At 2.30am, I found I had a bed buddy - Noah. I discovered that he was there when he rolled over and whacked me in the face. Hmph. Pack him off to bed. Next up is Abigail, a couple of minutes later, stumbling down the hall to the bathroom. Everyone back in bed, just drifting off to sleep, when Noah comes out of his bed again, looking for a party, apparently. More firm this time, "Back to bed!". A couple minutes later, Anna, doing her best to seriously creep me out. I hear the door open; I know it's Anna by the intermittent whimpering. I expect her to patter to the bathroom, but no - she just stands in the doorway to my room, shivering. "You okay, darling?" "I need the bathroom." "You need some help?" "No." Ooookaaaay... "Are you going to go to the bathroom, then?" "Oh, yeah!"
Finally, after getting up one more time to shut the light off, everyone is in bed and quiet again.
In what seems like a couple more minutes, the alarm clock sounds (at 5am), a protracted tussle ensues, and I am shovelling snow at 7am.
I don't know, man. Toby better get himself home soon. I think they should do these India visits in the spring...

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A reading plan

So, after picking up on Jess' grand idea, I've listed some of the books that I plan on tackling this year. I'm already reading Heaven and Marriage to a Difficult Man (highly recommend both), and we're working through When Sinners... in our church care groups. Toby and I are also reading through Worldliness, since it's what the singles group that'll be meeting here is reading. I know, though, that there are excellent titles I've not included. So, I call upon ye all - suggestions? Something glaringly obvious that you're embarassed I missed? Some secret gem you've uncovered? Please, enlighten the group!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Puritan Shenanigans

I'm currently reading Marriage to a Difficult Man: The Uncommon Union of Jonathan & Sarah Edwards, by Elisabeth Dodds. It's definitely worth working into your year's reading list, though you won't find it in the 'self-help section', as the kind Barnes & Noble tried to direct me. Have a look on Amazon or Vision Forum instead.
One amusing point I have to share:
"One church record of June 1725, repoted: 'Some evil-minded persons placed a sturgeon of about 8 ft in length on the pulpit floor where it lay undiscovered until the Lord's Day following...which occasioned them to perform their exercise in the orchard.'"
Neat trick. I'm rather impressed at the fishing capabilities of our Puritan ancestors - most of my family wouldn't even consider wasting an 8ft sturgeon!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

An update

Received an update from Toby this morning...

"Well, our first clinic is complete, and what a great, hard day. We drove to a village and saw maybe 400-500 people. Most had simple ailments requiring only pain releif or vitamins, but shows what they can't get that we take for granted. The men and women all line up separately, the men in drab clothes, the women in bright and varied saris. Lots of beautiful children, mainly pre-schoolers cos there was school today. I helped with crowd control (lots of pushing and shoving to get to be seen first - esp the ladies) and directing people traffic from nurse station to drs. The drs are awesome, doing a v professional job in conditions totally different to what they're used too (today, we were all in a small marquee). Pray for tomorrow - we can greatly improve the people flow and see more people or quicker with some improved logisitics -right up my street - pray I'd be wise and humble in making suggestions."

Looks like we have our marching orders!
Another update: the ballet recital dresses are finished! The girls have a ballet recital next week, and I offered to help make the costumes. "Help make" became "make all". 6 in total. It worked out very well, though, having finished them all this morning. I learned a new trick in the making, too - flat felled seams. A great trick for making something reversable. I also had the opportunity to try out my new serger/overlocker, which was very exciting. I forsee many overlocked projects in the future...
Will post pictures soon...

Friday, January 23, 2009

Safe arrivals

Well, Toby and the team have arrived safely in Varanasi. Getting through customs was a breeze apparently, and only one case was lost (a personal case), so do pray that it reaches it's owner.
Teams will be preparing for clinics this afternoon, splitting up into two teams to serve more people, so pray for the team, many of whom don't know each other well, as well as the people they're ministering to.
It was great to hear that Toby arrived safely, and reminded me of Anna's prayer for him before he left, "God, please keep Daddy safe when he goes to the toilet so that he doesn't fall off the plane." Good to know the Lord answered that one...

Thursday, January 22, 2009

What happens at the Gayners'... supposed to stay at the Gayners'. However, this must be shared. Zoanna and Paul are some of the best people I know, and their willingness to be transparent is an example to me. Sometimes, though, they're downright funny. Zoanna gives an excellent portrayal of our evening last night, but my favorite part was during the discussion of children's books. Mitzy has a great love of Laura Numeroff's "If You Give a Pig a Pancake" and others, so Zoanna came up with her own: "If You Give a Wife a Credit Card". Giggle, giggle. Paul shakes his head, "Now that's a real tear-jerker." Guffaw, guffaw.
Maybe you just had to be there...

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Bon voyage, my love

Well, today was the day I finally sent him India. Toby's now on a plane with 14 other noble souls, bound for Varanasi, to minister and provide medical care for 10 days (though they'll be travelling 2 days each way). It was sad to watch him go - lots of tears and leaky noses, but I'm confident that God's got big plans for him there, and for us, here.
Finally, I'm getting around to sharing some of the Christmas-gift-making that was going on. First was the felt pencil rolls for the girls from this lady's book. Very successful, I think. And I know the photo's upside-down, but, well, you get the idea.
The girls (the older ones, that is) also received a pair of leg warmers each, which were dutifully worn for about 5 minutes before the slouchiness freaked them out. So, it looks like I'll be making more that dont' slouch... Some of the other making-type projects include a long sleeve regency dress that was meant to be for Abi. However, she's going through a growth spurt. This means that by the time I finished it, it was too short in the arms. So now it's Anna's. And I can assure you, the "bonnet" (as Abi calls it) was not my idea! I've also posted off a pair of black fingerless mittens to my Mom. They're perfect for delivering mail (which is what she does, fortunately), as her hands freeze without gloves, but gloves hamper the mail-delivering process. They do make for an interesting dropping-mail-in-slushy-road exercise. I tried them out a little - wouldn't want to send my mom something sub-standard - and found them so warm and snuggly that I'll soon be making a pair for myself.

Now, a little reminder to pray for Toby while he's away and for me and the kids, while we're here. And he's not. Roll on Jan 31!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Food face

Or should that be s'mores face?
I have encountered many excellent recipes from other blogs, and I am ashamed that I have not yet shared some of mine. So, without further ado, I bring you...
Chicken and Bacon Oven Pilau
This is the meal you make for pretty much anyone (who eats meat). It's only five ingredients, takes a few minutes to put together, and everyone fights over the last mouthfuls (at least in this house they do). And honest-to-goodnes, I found it in a magazine. Don't tell.

You need:
2 onions, chopped
2 chicken breasts, in 1 in cubes
200g/8oz bacon, chopped
300g/10oz rice
330-350g tomato pasta sauce

Preheat the oven to 190c/375F.

Heat about 3tbsp olive oil and a knob of butter in a pot or oven-proof casserole. Add the onions and bacon and fry for about 6 min or until lightly colored. Add chicken and fry for another couple minutes until chicken is browned.

Stir in rice and cook for 1 min until all the rice is glistening and coated. Pour in sauce and 1 pint of boiling water. Season, stir well and bring to a boil. Cover tightly and transfer to the oven for 30-35 min until the rice is tender, the liquid absorbed and the chicken cooked. Yum yum!

If you're looking for a good wine to go with, sorry. I don't do that...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


My mom is a geocache-r. For the uninformed, that means they go tramping around random spots on the globe, looking for stuff that other people left behind. While for most that means "trash-picker", the stuff that's being left behind isn't trash (well, most of it isn't). The last couple of times Mom visited, we went along with her. It's actually kind of cool - we found a little Woody doll whose aim was to visit all 50 states (he's made 6 so far, I think).
Mom had one weird experience, though. One of the 'travel bugs' she found (the ones that are supposed to visit x number of places) was actually a vial containing some of the remains of a man. Apparently, this man's life goal was to "spend the night with" as many women as possible (good to have goals...), but didn't really get to go far with it as he died rather young. So, a "friend" (apparently) decided that he would help by hiding his mate's ashes in a vial in the woods and asking geocachers to keep the ashes for a night before moving them on. There's a whole lot of weirdness in this world, folks.

For those interested in the world of geocache-ing, find out about it here. Just be prepared to start climbing trees and poking under fallen logs for small plastic containers, and being inordinately excited when you find something.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Clean much?

So the kids are doing some puzzles and have reached the end to find they're missing a piece or two. The ever-helpful Mommy says, "Try looking under the bookshelf", since things are forever rolling or being kicked/posted under. The broom comes out, makes a couple of passes, and out come a veritable treasure trove of items - long lost toys, puzzle pieces (I knew it), and all sorts. The kids all got so excited at the "new" stuff they found, they went "fishing" (as it is now called) underneath all the other bookcases. Below is a mere sampling of the stuff we unearthed - including the library book I had sworn I'd taken back ages ago!

Also, notice the "Welcome Baby" card. Folks, Ellie is 8 months old. That thing has been languishing in the bowels of our bookshelves for almost 8 months. Very grim.

Surely I am not the only one who is so lax in regards to under-furniture hygene. Has anyone else ever found something bizarre/unspeakable/very exciting under their furtniture? A little encouragement, please!
A few more Christmas-y photos...

Miss Eleanor, cute as ever

Noah, super-rocker

This guitar is too funny - my 2-year-old can now do covers of B-52s, the Police, not to mention the theme tune to Shrek. Complete with 'wang' bar, no less.

Friday, January 2, 2009


I love looking at the this website/blog for clever ideas or marvel at another's creativity, but honestly, some things were never meant to be...