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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Grandma Walker's Chocolate Oatmeal Cake

1 3/4 C Boiling Water
1 C Uncooked Oatmeal
1 C Brown Sugar
1 C White Sugar
1/2 C Butter or Margarine
2 Eggs

1 3/4 C Flour
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
1 Tbsp Cocoa
2 C Chocolate Chips
3/4 C Walnuts, Chopped

Pour boiling water over oatmeal and let stand 10 minutes.
In the meantime, mix flour, baking soda, salt and cocoa.
After 10 minutes, add sugar and butter to oats. Stir until butter melts. Add eggs. Add dry ingredients. Beat 2 minutes. Stir in 1 C chocolate chips. Pour into greased and floured 9x13 pan. Sprinkle rest of chips and walnuts (optional) on top. Bake at 350 F (180 C) for 40 minutes. No need to frost.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Brandon's Birthday

We were on holiday on the South Coast with the Koks for Brandon's birthday. It's hard to believe that my little boy is already 11 years old! Brad has tried to convince him that he is not allowed to be double digits, so he just keeps turning 9, but it doesn't seem to fly with Brand. I'm sure in no time flat he'll be taller than me, as he already comes up to my nose.

We went to Scottborgh beach so the kids could use the boogie boards, and we could soak in some sun and enjoy our friends. Zoe was a bit wary of the jelly fish and sharks ;) but we laughed it off and said not to worry.

The kids were having a blast! All except 2 yr old Ezra that is.... He was still struggling a bit with the waves. Brandon, Zoe, Sarah, Marissa, Nina & Mya were all really enjoying themselves until along came the blue bottles and Brandon and Marissa were stung. Marissa's sting was around 2 inches long near her underarm. Brandon's blue bottle wrapped itself around and around Brandon's leg. Boy did it hurt. They were instantly ready to leave the beach. Zoe even declared that she told us we shouldn't have come! At least Ezra was now happy to play in the sand. ;) Uncle Dion suggested ice cream and that was a temporary distraction. After cleaning up from the ice cream we decided to leave the beach and head back to the house. Brandon was convinced that if he would be okay if he could just play his Nintendo DS Lite for a distraction. :)

On the way to the car Uncle Dion had another great plan for distraction! Everyone got a couple of rides on the Waterslide! The kids were thrilled and by now I think the pain of the blue bottle stings were wearing off, and everyone was in good humour again.


We headed back to the house, gave the "babies" naps, swam and played, and the Koks were off to visit some friends.

Brad went to the shop to buy a chocolate cake mix and vanilla icing, so I made a cake, added some Peanut Butter to the icing for the PB King, and decorated it with my Easter M&M's - a precious commodity in Mom's eyes!

Brandon's choice for dinner was going to be Lasagna, but we saw a Spur while we were out for the day and he opted for Spur so that it would be easier on Mom than making Lasagna in a holiday kitchen with no dishwasher. (Thanks, Brandon!) So off to Spur for dinner and ice cream for the bday boy! He enjoyed a few bites of his ice cream and decided to turn it into a Fanta Orange float.

All in all it was a good day, in spite of those blue bottles. Happy Birthday, Brandon! We love you!

Jess' Enchiladas

Jess made this recipe for us last night. YUM! Here is Jess' blog page -

2 Cups Chicken, cooked & shredded
1 Cup Cream Cheese
8 Tortilla Shells
1 Cup Salsa
1 Cup Sour Cream
2 Cups Shredded Cheese

Combine Chicken and Cream Cheese. Divide amongst 8 tortilla shells and roll into tubes. Grease 9x13 pan and lay tortillas side by side to fill pan. Top with mixture of Salsa and Sour Cream. Cook at 350 F (180 C) for 20 minutes. Top with cheese and bake until melted, about 10 minutes more.

Peanut Butter Sheet Cake

1 C Butter or Margarine
1/4 C Peanut Butter
1 C Hot Water
Combine and bring to boil. Pour over:

2 C Flour
2 C Sugar
1 tsp Baking Soda
Mix Well. Add:

1/2 C Buttermilk
2 Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla.
Mix Well. Pour into a greased jelly roll pan and bake for 20 - 25 min at 350 F (180 C).

For Icing:
Melt in pan on stove:
1/2 C butter or margarine
1/3 C Buttermilk
1/4 C Peanut Butter
Bring to boil and add
1 lb. (450 g) Icing Sugar.
Mix well and add
1 tsp Vanilla.

Ice while still hot.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Book Review - Sounds Like One I Gotta Read!

Tender Mercy for a Mother's Soul: Inspiration to Renew Your Spirit, by Angela Thomas Guffey

"A mother’s drive to care for her children and family – physically, mentally & spiritually is so strong and all encompassing that she often neglects to safeguard a bare minimum of time to nurture her own soul. In this book, Angela Guffey gently reminds mothers, through insights that are heart warming and funny one moment and serious the next, that motherhood requires more time invested in personal, spiritual growth, not less. But between teething and tantrums, schedules and schoolwork, what mother has the time?
Make time. It’s not a selfish act. On the contrary, it’s selfless. 'Soul care is about replacing what has been given out,' says Guffey.'Commit that, above all things, even above the precious gifts of husband and children…Jesus will come first.' She urges mothers to 'do whatever it takes' to keep their spiritual health sound."

To order in SA, go to Loot!

Thursday, April 8, 2010


My head is swimming in thoughts! Things are quickly getting busy and I rarely finish a thought before another one takes over. In fact, I had a pretty hard time finishing that last sentence! ;)

We are in the midst of school holidays in SA, and school starts again next week. We returned from SMASH last Saturday and have been pretty busy since.... Easter, Heidi at the Children's Theatre, went to The Meat Company for dinner with Jess Case as she leaves to go back to the US soon :( and then watched The Blindside at her house, had a visit from my friend Marianne and her kids (one of my best friends that previously lived in South Africa and immigrated to Switzerland about 1 1/2 years ago), had a planning meeting for Sunday School, Children's Choir, and Senior Youth, and went to Moyo to celebrate Mike & Fran VanBruggen's 20th Wedding Anniversary. And imagine - I told someone that this was going to be a quiet week!

Tomorrow afternoon I am babysitting Marianne's 4 kiddies ranging from age 2 to 8. Saturday we have a birthday party to go to. Sunday it's church, a going away party for Jess, and church again.... Whew!

Monday we are headed to the South Coast with Marianne's family for a much needed family break with friends. We will be there together until Thursday morning when they return to Johannesburg. We will stay one more night, and then Friday we move on to Northdene for Word of Life Orientation with Grace Baptist Church. I will be doing my first orientation, training them to use the Olympians program while my husband teaches the Student program. I am excited at this new opportunity!

Speaking of new opportunities, upon our return home I will be teaching Sunday School and starting a children's choir. I am in the midst of planning Sunday School curriculum for preschool through Grade 6 and looking for songs to start with the children's choir.

Brandon & Marissa will have auditions for The Fiddler on the Roof at the end of April. I will be working with the other moms once a week to help organize this.

And all this shared, I can see the hand of God in preparing me for all of these changes, and I am looking forward to seeing how He provides strength for this journey. Just running the race!!

Sunday, April 4, 2010


In Pastor Paul's introduction to his message this morning he made a statement that has stuck with me all day....

"Yesterday's blessings are not good enough for today."

Immediately my heart jumped and said "AMEN!" and I have been contemplating it since then!

I don't feel ready yet to put all of my thoughts into words, but I know that I need to trust God each day for new blessings, and to keep my eyes open and recognize them when they come!

So often I look back to our beginning days in the ministry and recall how God has blessed us through the years, but sometimes I get so BUSY here and now in the ministry that I miss spending time in awe and wonder of the blessings He continues to give!

God meets our needs. He loves me. HE LOVES ME!!!!

Just as a small example, I have been praying about the possibility of getting a guitar for Brandon. He so desires to learn so that he can play. He picked the guitar so that he could play and sing praises to God at the same time. I have been trying to figure out a way to get a guitar that we could afford, as well as figure out what kind is a good guitar to start with, etc. I wasn't sure how we were going to be able to afford one, but felt like the time was right for him to start. I even prayed that God would somehow provide, but continued to make my own plans, not really believing, I guess.

Then I met Pastor Dan, and he plays the guitar and I started asking him what kind to get and where to shop.... I was making plans to buy a guitar for Brandon's birthday. Then Pastor Dan approached my husband with the offer to GIVE Brandon his old guitar! It's the guitar that Pastor Dan learned on, and is just sitting at his parents house in Durban. And it just "happens" ;) that we are driving through Durban (7 hrs away) next week. Wow. WOW!

I know it may not seem like much, but it was such a blessing to me! A reminder that God not only meets our needs, but cares about our desires. He cares about my children's desires.... My Abba Father is going to continue to take care of me. And I am going to keep running this race with abandon and drawing closer to Him for strength. I long to spend more time in His presence and experience His peace.