Thursday, November 26, 2009

Pilgrim Hill

This place was built
by the Lord of the Hill
For the relief and security 
of Pilgrims

Our friends the Baehrs are beginning a hospitality ministry in the Huon Valley called Pilgrim Hill. You can read a little more about it on Mikey Lynch's Christian Reflections blog.

A couple of weeks ago we had the pleasure of going up to Pilgrim Hill for a picnic. There are no buildings on the hill as yet, but it is a wonderful place to spend a sunny afternoon in good company.

Dave and Elnathan enjoyed father and son time. Elnathan looks very Australian in this hat, but it is actually a South African hat we bought at Stellenbosch last year!

Later in the afternoon we went for a walk up the hill. We thought Elnathan might sleep, but his eyes were wide open!


Then we enjoyed sitting together and having a family picture taken. This is one of my favourite family pictures so far!

An outdoorsy kinda guy

Elnathan loves to be outside. When he is grumpy indoors, his mood is often transformed when he is placed on a blanket on the grass. He is much happier having tummy time or lying on his back outdoors than he is indoors, and is not as insistent upon being sat up to look at everything! He is quite happy to try to grab at some grass and stuff it in his mouth. We think a few seeds may have been ingested in the process, but that is OK.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Dave's new car

On the weekend Dave purchased a new car, a 2006 model Mazda 6.

It was an exciting day, and the weather was perfect for a first drive! It felt unreal to have such a nice car all of our very own!

It is certainly an upgrade from our very reliable but less than exciting 1994 Ford Laser.

If anyone is in the market for one of these, I recommend buying ours - I would have stayed with it but my very patient husband had waited long enough for his newer car!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Moroccan Red Lentil Soup

I'm excited to be able to participate in the Passionate Homemaking Crockpot Carnival! We enjoy this Moroccan Red Lentil soup at our house. Dave is not generally a great fan of soup, but this one is a winner with him. It is filling and very nutritious, full of cheap protein!

2 tbs olive oil
2 large onions
2 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground tumeric
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
7 cups vegetable stock
1 can (about 20 ounces or 440 grams, it doesn't really matter) crushed tomatoes
2 cups dried red lentils, washed and rinsed
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Juice of 1 lemon
3 tbs fresh parsley (or another fresh herb)
1 tbs chopped fresh cilantro (again, substituting is fine)

Heat the olive oil in a large pan and cook onions until tender, add garlic and spices (except pepper flakes). Place with hot stock, tomatoes and lentils in the slow cooker. Cook for 4 - 5 hours on high, or 8 to 10 hours on low, until the lentils are tender.

Add the final four ingredients and cook on high for 10 minutes.

Eat! Yum, yum -  and some left over to freeze!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Home Based Education

I have been thinking about creating a new blog about education for a couple of months now. I've gone backwards and forwards as to whether or not this was a good idea. Thinking about Elnathan's future education is important to me right now. I want to use some of the "extra" time I have to be thinking about how to create a positive learning environment for him here at home. I hope that this new blog will not only be a useful way to document that journey for our purposes, but will also be a help to others who are on the same path. I believe that nearly all  parents are concerned about the education of their children, so this is not just for those of us who are hoping to homeschool. I hope that it will be of use also to every parent who wants to create a home that is a place of joyful learning! As well as posting about our journey, I'm planning to ask people with experience in home education to write for me or to be interviewed.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Bay Christian Church sermons

I've been wanting to share our church's sermon archive with you for a while. We attend Bay Christian Church which is just 5 minutes drive from our home. We have particularly benefited from two recent talks, "A prayer for experience" and "Kingdom prayer". These are both available on the Bible talks page. The sermon "A prayer for experience" focuses on the need to experience God's love. Last week we found the sermon "Whose Kingdom - Mine or Yours" thought provoking, and we discussed the need to stand guard against all kinds of greed. Dave will be preaching on the parable of the good Samaritan tomorrow, and we've been working hard to prepare!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Watering with Daddy

I've finally cleared my iPhoto sufficiently to be able to use it at a reasonable pace! To celebrate, I am posting these cute pics of Elnathan and Dave watering the garden.

We are loving our garden right now. We have planted beans, corn, zucchini, tomatoes, and lots more! These pictures were taken last month and it is amazing to see how much things have grown even since that time. On warm days, the little plants seem to grow before our eyes!

Dave looks forward to getting home from work to greet his wife, greet his baby, and thirdly head straight out to the garden!

Elnathan also seems to enjoy the outdoors. In the last couple of days I've placed him in his rocker in the shade of the cabbages, and he sits there contentedly while I work. Pulling off bits of cabbage leaf and trying to eat them is a favourite occupation!

When it comes to photo storage, do any of you know of a good program that can be downloaded for free? If so, I'd love to hear your recommendations. My iPhoto is quite limited, and I'd love a program that stores many photos and allows you to edit them (for example, removing red eye).