Thursday, 17 January 2019

Good morning!

Boots has had a busy morning!


Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:22-23

Sunday, 13 January 2019

Wonder - RJ Palacio - Book Review

WonderWonder by R.J. Palacio
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I didn't enjoy this book at first. I didn't like the style of writing. I found the characters annoying and somehow distant. I actually felt the deepest character was Via. I realise it *ought* to be Auggie, but it was Via that touched my heart the most, for some reason.

However, by about halfway in, I was totally invested in the story.

The final few chapters and the ending are very moving, but maybe a little rushed, in the sense that everything was pretty much nicely tied up in a lovely neat bow, all the issues 'resolved', and then it ended.

I sound a bit negative, but I think that is because my husband and daughter had raved about how it was the best book they'd ever read that maybe I expected too much and so I am basically wondering why I didn't find it quite as wonderful.

It is a good story and very heart warming, and I am glad it had a happy ending; and I'm glad I read it.

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Thursday, 10 January 2019

It was a happy Tuesday

Yesterday one of my best friends from childhood was over visiting.  She moved to New Zealand quite a few years ago and it was just lovely to catch up with her.

She's staying at her mum's which is over in the next village, and it's quite a pleasant walk from our house.  Because it was such a lovely morning we decided to walk over and meet her half-way.

I love this series of pictures because the girls start off fairly serious and then it descends into a bit of silliness.  😍💕







Monday, 7 January 2019

Happy Homemaker Monday [7th January 2019]

Visit more HHM posts at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom

The Weather:

It is so mild at the moment - it's 8°C.  It was  very foggy this morning, now it's just soggy. Drizzle, drizzle and more drizzle.

Right now I am:

Watching football (soccer) with Hubs - Wolves vs Liverpool (Liverpool is Hubs' team)

Thinking:

About some jobs I need to do before I make tea (evening meal), about some homeschool stuff I need to sort out for the girls.

On my reading pile:

I've just finished Tom Wright's 'Simply Good News', my next two books will be Wonder by RJ Palacio and A Searching Heart by Janette Oke.

On my tv:

We've just finished Salvation on Netflix, which finished on a bit of a cliffhanger and they haven't picked up Season 3 - so I may never find out!!  The girls and I have just started watching Desperate Housewives from the beginning - they loved it!

Favourite Blog post this week:

I've been blogging for some time, from around 2005, and had a blog before this one.  So it's been fun revisiting old blogs.  Quite a few of my favourite haunts have stopped blogging now, but two of my faves have carried on.

Sandra - who runs this Happy Homemaker Monday link-up. I loved her recent post: Makes Me Feel Like I'm in Idaho (because her posts are always so beautiful and uplifting and because I have snow envy - I so want it to snow!!)

and Rebecca over at Emerube - her posts are always so much fun - WI Bucket List #39

On the menu for this week:

Monday - Mackerel, chips (fries) and mixed vegetables (trying to eat more oily fish due to low vitamin D)
Tuesday - Tuna and salami pasta
Wednesday - Southern fried chicken
Thursday - Shopping day - not planned next week's yet (my meal plans run Thurs to Wedss)

On my to do list:

Laundry -  reds wash next, I've washed all my blankets today
Homeschooling - planning work for the girls
Cleaning - bedroom, hall, stairs, bathroom and kitchen floors

Looking around the house:

Living room looks so bare since the Christmas decorations came down.  But it is clean.  I bottomed it yesterday.  Rest of the house needs some TLC.

From the camera:

Mmmm, bread!


On my prayer list:

For my hubby's hand, arm and shoulder - he has pain and numbness in his hand and has a hospital appointment this week for it.
My mum's migraines.
For my girls - various things.

Devotional:

"With God...the first and most important point was not to understand him but to trust him. The idea that you might begin by looking this God up and down, giving him a cool appraisal, and then, if you understood him and approved of him, you might respond to him, is to deny that he is God at all. If he is God, our primary role is not to analyse him but to worship him; it is not for *us* to figure *him* out but to let *him* figure *us* out. Yes, I know: this sounds like a leap into the unknown. But the alternative is a sure route to idolatry, making a god in our own image." - Tom Wright, Simply Good News.

Prayer Starter:

Father, help me to honour your name, to love you and to love people.  Protect me and my family and bless our home. Amen.

Sunday, 6 January 2019

Simply Good News - Tom Wright - Book Review

Simply Good News: Why the Gospel Is News and What Makes It GoodSimply Good News: Why the Gospel Is News and What Makes It Good by N.T. Wright
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Simply Good News is a great book. Tom Wright has a very clear and easy way of explaining his viewpoint.

I ummed and ahhed about whether to give the book 4 stars or 5 stars. My only complaint would be is that it doesn't go deep enough, but then these books of Wright are specifically aimed at a more accessible format. Rule of thumb, if he is 'Tom Wright' the book is less academic/theological than books written under the name NT Wright.

Anyway, I've gone for 4 stars because it just didn't seem enough, I felt a little dissatisfied - like only getting the starter and not the main course.

My favourite chapter though was the last chapter, where he demonstrates by working backwards through the Lord's Prayer, how we have got our understanding of the Good News backwards. That really made me think and I would like to ponder that further.

Fave quote: 'With God...the first and most important point was not to understand him but to trust him. The idea that you might begin by looking this God up and down, giving him a cool appraisal, and then, if you understood him and approved of him, you might respond to him, is to deny that he is God at all. If he is God, our primary role is not to analyse him but to worship him; it is not for us to figure him out but to let him figure us out. Yes, I know: this sounds like a leap into the unknown. But the alternative is a sure route to idolatry, making a god in our own image.'

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Making God in our own image

"With God...the first and most important point was not to understand him but to trust him. The idea that you might begin by looking this God up and down, giving him a cool appraisal, and then, if you understood him and approved of him, you might respond to him, is to deny that he is God at all. If he is God, our primary role is not to analyse him but to worship him; it is not for *us* to figure *him* out but to let *him* figure *us* out. Yes, I know: this sounds like a leap into the unknown. But the alternative is a sure route to idolatry, making a god in our own image." - Tom Wright, Simply Good News.

Spanish-ish Chicken

Yesterday evening I made Spanish Chicken...except it was a little different to regular Spanish chicken because I used Italian salami in it rather than chorizo.  So I call it Spanish-ish chicken.

You can do this all in one pot and just cook it in the oven, but I pre-fried a number of the ingredients because I started to make it a little late and needed it to be done quicker.

I apologise that some of the instructions are vague, I kind of 'wing-it' when I'm cooking...which is why I have a bad relationship with my smoke alarm I think! 😂

Ingredients
(amount depends on the size of your family and how much you like each ingredient - I told you I was going to be vague!)

Potatoes
Chicken (I used mini chicken breast strips)
Salami (usually chorizo...but I didn't have any)
Plum tomatoes
Onions
Peppers ('bell peppers' - I put half yellow, half red in)
plus whatever other veg you like (I put in some carrots, some spinach, and some mushrooms)
Chicken stock
Garlic - have it as garlicky as you like, I just put in one clove.
Paprika
Pepper
a little salt
Oregano

Method
*there is always method in my madness*

You'll need a large casserole dish.


Chop the potatoes fairly small, then par-boil like you would if you were going to do roast potatoes.  I did mine for 15 minutes (which is longer than a par-boil) because I love potatoes fluffy and almost falling apart.

Pre-heat oven (and casserole dish with oil) to 220C if you are in a rush for it all to brown, otherwise 180-200C is fine.

Drain potatoes and pop in oven for 10 mins - sprinkled with paprika and oregano, and pepper and salt to taste.

Chop up your veggies.

Pre-fry the onions, peppers and any other 'harder' veg for about 5 mins.  Then sprinkle with paprika and oregano, and put them with the potatoes in the oven.


While they are cooking in the oven, fry the chicken for about 10 minutes until it is almost cooked right through (as I said you can do all this in the oven but it takes a lot longer), add the chorizo (or in my case salami) for a minute or two.



Then add the plum tomatoes, mushrooms (if you are having them) and around 200 mls of chicken stock to the pan and cook for about 5 minutes.


Here's what my potatoes and veg look like by now:


Then add the chicken and chorizo (salami haha) in it's sauce into the casserole dish and sprinkle with paprika and oregano.


If you want to, you can add something like spinach.


Cook together until it is bubbling and everything is nicely browned...but not for too long if you have spinach, otherwise it will go like tiny shrivelled bits of algae 😱!  Don't let it dry out either.


It was SO YUMMY!