Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Yay for saving money!!

We had overnight visitors!! I love having company stay at our house and making them breakfast and all that fun stuff. Our friends came for one night and they were so much fun to have! The next day, they talked us into coming with them to an auction and a round of golf by the ocean. It was a little chilly but great fun!

(Above) All our balls are lined up to tee off! (I tried to remember everything that my friend Annette taught me during our golf lesson and was glad she couldn't see me! I had my "moments")
(Below) David shows us how it's done on the putting green.

Laura was so cute when she golfed! Her brother (in the white jacket) was visiting them from his home in South Africa. He was great fun to have as well.

So, after that we went to the auction and had a marvelous time! I now LOVE auctions! I could hardly believe the prices that things were going for! Unbelievable! 

So....are you ready for this!? Here are our lovely bargains that I am so excited about (well, mostly the last one, I guess).

First, David got this set of golf clubs for £10 ($14)! These are especially for when my dad comes to visit. :)  

Second, we bid on this wide screen, Panasonic TV and got it for £20 ($29)! This is for watching movies on. It's kind of weird, but over here you have to buy a TV license in order to watch television! I think that's dumb. Anyway, we don't miss it and I think my time is spent far wiser with us NOT having it in the house. (sorry about my little TV rant there! Back to the auction!..)

And last, but not least, we found this adorable pram (baby stroller) that was in great condition. The brand is Mamas & Papas and I was curious. So I looked up their website and was SHOCKED to find that their prams sell for up to £600!!! 
We got it for...*drumroll*....£5 ($7)!!!! 
It can interchange between the older kid seat (above) and the Moses basket (below). Can't you just imagine a cute little baby all snuggled down inside! 
Anyway, I feel so blessed by the Lord. He provides for all our needs and even for a few of our unnecessary wants too! And He even picked out a great color for the pram! I love it!
Praise the Lord!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Baking (or attempting to!)

Okay! I love reading all these beautiful blogs about food, like my cousin Erica's cooking blog! So I thought I would attempt to do a lovely post about making bread! It didn't exactly go like I hoped but the end product was good, so that is really what matters.

So, first you mix up your ingredients according to the recipe. I was just waiting for the yeast to activate in the water so I thought I would take some pictures of the ingredients, all artsy and posed (like a cooking show). However, I only have two ingredients clearly showing...not so clever!

Meanwhile, the yeast was really going to town! Okay, need to focus a little more I guess.

Here is the messy (but fun!) part...kneading the dough! Notice my rings carefully set aside in the background! I thought that dough plastered to the side of my wedding diamond might not be so cool.

Then, you let it rise and carefully cover it with a beautiful towel that your mother embroidered for your hope chest (or any towel that you might happen to have...but I am sure it won't work as well). 

Okay...I thought I learned this lesson already!

After punching it down twice, form the dough into loaves and let it rise again. Notice how my loaves are all lopsided and one side is bigger than the other? I am happy to say that it doesn't affect the taste.

And THEN!!!...bake it in the oven and fill the house with THE MOST glorious smell ever! Yum! is the recipe:
(from Elaine Nissley's kitchen in Lancaster, PA)

4 cups  milk
4 tsp.  salt
4 T   butter
4 T   honey
1 T   yeast
1/4 cup   warm water
9-10 cups   flour 
(I use 3 cups whole wheat and the rest white)

Mix together and let rise twice before forming into loaves. Bake at 350-375 for 30 minutes. Enjoy!!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Newspaper picture

I hesitate to post this because I think it is a terrible picture of me but since both Matt and Mindy requested it, here you go. This was taken at the Bake Sale booth that I had.

That is Judith standing beside me. She is a sweet girl who sings in the choir that David directs at the church. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

My first craft sale!

Since I am not working yet, I thought it would be fun to take up some crafty projects. I joined the library in Derry and found some really fun books on sewing and crocheting and so the crafting began. 

I wasn't too serious about it all until I found out that Fahan Presbyterian Church was having a bake sale the Saturday before Easter and were offering me a booth if I wanted to sell some craft items. It was two weeks before the sale when I found out, so I went into "crazy mode" with making stuff! 

I stuck a few of my hats on and actually sold a couple! (I was completely shocked and had to hold myself back from apologizing for them since I am such a beginner!)
I really fell in love with the hot pink set though! 

I also tried my hand at dish cloths, which is pretty hard to make any profit from, mostly because I am still so slow at making them! I think I figured that I ended up making around 50 pence per hour! Not so great but I had fun, so that counts as something I suppose. 

And last, but not least, I tried making these "Easter Blessing Baskets" which I filled with scones and chocolate chip cookies. They ended up selling the best of all, which I was very happy about. 
So that was my first craft fair and I really enjoyed it. I even found out that my picture was on the front of the Health section of the paper the next day! A HUGE full page picture. (kinda scary!) 

Monday, April 20, 2009

Camping trip: Part 2

After hiking up to the top of the ridge (see previous post) we hiked down to the bottom and did a little exploring. We found this cozy little cottage that looked so inviting! I think it is either for fishermen or sheep herders to stay in when they are there. 

As we were hiking along, we suddenly spotted this mysterious-looking cave that seemed to say, "EXPLORE ME!!" I thought that there must be treasure in there! 

Sure enough! Look at that...the man I love! Now that's a treasure! :)

David brought along his coffee making paraphernalia and made a first-class cup of coffee, while I munched on chips and salsa. It was the most unique picnic spot I have ever experienced! 

These next two pictures are especially for my dad. He requested some shots of David with his new fishing rod, so here they are! It was a nice fishing spot, even if he didn't catch anything. 

Oh well! It's hard to be bummed out when it is so lovely everywhere you look.

So that was the end of that camping trip! 
We praise the Lord for the gifts that He gives us and these beautiful days to enjoy! 

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Camping trip

We are enjoying a little Easter break this week and next and so decided to try some camping! We headed out to the northern most tip of Ireland, a little town called Ballycastle. It was so beautiful that I think David probably got tired of me constantly telling him that it was. I just couldn't get over the gorgeous scenery all around me though! I took two video shots to give you a bit of an idea so you know what I am talking about. 

Here is our cozy campsite! 

One of my favorite parts of camping is how food seems to taste SOOOoooo good! David even brought his French press coffee sacrifices in that department! At the time of this picture, it was storming like crazy outside and raining cats and dogs. It just made it all the more exciting!

At the top of this picture, you can see an island in the distance...that is actually Scotland! It seemed so close. Someday David says he will take me there.  The first video is a shot from the top of this hill (it was very windy so the sound is pretty bad!).

Isn't God's creation spectacular?! Wow!

Friday, April 03, 2009

Beautiful days!

The days had turned cold again for a spell but now it almost seems as if summer has come! It was so warm yesterday (60 degrees F!) that I took a walk without my coat on for the very first time this year! It felt glorious!! However, they all warn me that in Ireland, it is extremely unpredictable and it could feel like the dead of winter again next week! So I am enjoying these days while they are here. 

I have had some pictures compiling up that are somewhat random but will give you a good idea of what we have been up to the past few weeks. So here we go...

Last Sunday we took a walk on the beach in County Donegal after worshiping with the Killult Christian Fellowship (wonderful people!). It was so windy that the sand was blowing in my eyes and ears! But what a gorgeous place!

More signs of spring are found in the hedges lining every field as they clothe themselves in brilliant yellow. 

I meet some wonderfully friendly creatures on my walks up our lane. 

This is Molly and she is my buddy and faithfully follows me on most of my walks. 

And the chickens! They give us yummy fresh eggs every week, bless their souls! (Wait, chickens don't have souls, do they?) Anyway, we are grateful to my wonderful in-laws for so generously sharing in their weekly harvest!

And last of all, a tribute to THE BIKE. (*moment of silence*)
A few weeks ago, David decided that it was time to sell his Honda Fireblade sports bike. So now it's gone and the shed looks very empty...sort of sad and lonely actually. He was very brave about it, even though he still can't help his gaze from following any and every bike that we pass on the road. It was an amazing bike and served him well for seven years. 
DISCLAIMER: I had nothing to do with him choosing to sell this bike! I even encouraged him to really think about whether he should sell it. (Although, deep down I am thankful that he did because of all the horror stories you hear about bike accidents.) Anyway, just felt the need to make that clear! :)