Friday, July 29, 2011

You've Been Married How Long?

I love our Life Group.  We've become friends.
In our church we have Life Groups, where people come to share,
discuss scriptures, pray for each other and have fun.
We all love celebrating birthdays, babies, anniversaries.
You name it...
You can count on us to make it happen.

This past week our Life Group met for an outside BBQ.
The rain trickled down and soon we were gathered inside around the table.
Can you see who that is sitting at the head of the table?
They are the leaders of our Life Group!
Yes, they appear to be serious...as they command our attention.
They mean business!

Until...
the group started singing, Happy Anniversary!
And guess what,  they chimed in also, not realizing we were singing to them.
Do you see the twinkle in their eyes?

 Then Elmer reminisced about his version of when he first laid eyes on Judy...
"Roller skating in Lynden".
They shared about their honeymoon,
their getaway plan,
the  happy times in their lives.
 the difficult times in their lives,
and from there they continued to share about,
Faith, Family, Friends, Food and Farming...
We all know that these thing are dear to them.

Those "two" are celebrating 40 years of marriage.
In a world where marriage is not taken serious anymore,
it's truly an honor to celebrate this special occasion with them.
This was another perfect occasion to celebrate with our Life Group.
Judy and I have been friends since Gr.8 in high school.
The mystery remains untold, why we were not at each others weddings.

You two have left a legacy for many family and friends.
We  wish you many more happy years together as you roll along.
We know by your laughter and smiles that you have enjoyed life together.

"There is no Box made by God nor us,
but that the sides can be flattened out and the top blown off,
to make a dance floor on which to celebrate life."

Congratulations Judy & Elmer!


Friday, July 22, 2011

Here' s My Secret!

I'm sure this pie will wet your appetites.
Just dig right in and be my guests.
I've kept some of you wondering what was the secret to a fail proof pie crust?
We just finished celebrating Pie Night at our home with my European Guests.
Somehow our family has not transferred those pie making skills to the Germans.
 
 Just mentioning the word, PIE.....
It didn't take long and 25 family members made their way around the Island
in search of fresh raspberry pie, apple perishky, and raspberry ripple ice-cream cake.

I posted a few weeks ago...about my frustration with keeping the pie crust from shrinking.
Run over to MGGC and you will find my secret.
Others of you will walk away saying,
I could of told you that....
But then why has no one told me that over the past 40 years?


Monday, July 18, 2011

She Keeps Me Smiling!

We finally arrived in Vancouver...
Trying to manever the big farm truck ladened with our bikes becomes a special challenge in itself.
By the time we parked it underground...
we left it there.

It's much easier being chauffeured by a taxi then trying to park the big farm truck.

Until...
we are riding along...
and suddenly the window opens,
and I hear this wild shrill whistle...

I glanced aside to see what the commotion was all about.
Well, that farmer man of mine spotted his daughter walking along the street,
as we neared the restaurant which was to be our meeting place.

The cab driver stopped and asked what was wrong.
"Oh, nothing...I just see my daughter walking down the street." he says excitedly
The driver asks, "Where are you from?"
"Chilliwack...."
that word defines us very quickly.
He's always been proud of his kids no matter where they are.

This morning as we enjoyed our breakfast together,
the waitress brings over a Zippy Cup to my table setting and she's smiling at me.
The waitress  played along and said, that my daughter had ordered this special for me.
 In my house you will notice that I have a collection of Zippy Cups.
Somehow there's a special connection between those Zippy cups and it keeps us smiling.


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

It's Summer Time, Regardless

" Mom, can you keep the kids?"
I'm sure that there are other's identifying with those words over the summer days?

I love how he eagerly props himself up on the chair,
his little bare feet draped around the stool.
He's already unwrapped the foil from the margarine.
What's next?

He's obviously done this before with a bit of extra help.
Participaction is part of his philosophy.
We agreed quite quickly that baking cookies was on the list.
I finally figured it out, that if I put the bowl in the sink...
it would not go flying off the counter.
 What better way then to teach them to grease their hands and the pans.

 It schmeckts so gut!!!
I love watching him lick that spoon.
I can tell that someone has taught him how to play 
pat a cake...all sorts, sizes and shapes.
They are a keeper and what kid wouldn't love that kind of cooking?

How can you tell it's summer time?
The best part was jumping on the tramp with the timer outside
while the cookies were baking inside.
Trust those kids...they have all the steps figured out to baking.
There's no time to waste in their minds.
It's called "Whacky Time at Oma's!"
Whether it's raining or sunny, it's still called Summer Time.




Friday, July 8, 2011

True Menno's Confess About Shrinking!

Tonight we are making pies at LEPP's FARMS!
They provide weekly cooking classes varying in many different cuisines. 
LEPP Farms is one of our sponsors who donates their proceeds to a local hospital charity.
But tonight we're on.....
Would you believe that we all get nervous about demonstrating in front of others?

So today...I hastily made my way through baking several different pie doughs.
One of our favorites is, Pie by the Yard...
Another one is Traditional Apple Pie!
We all have our favorite recipes and they vary slightly.
Some use Tender Flaky  and others use Crisco.
Some use butter, margarine or lard...
Is there a right recipe or a right method to our madness?
Some of us do it the way our mother's taught us.
Some choose the method of our Home Economics Teachers.
Some just eye ball it and call it rustic.
 ~~~~~~~
I must confess I never had success baking a single crusted pie...
It always shrank...and I would get so discouraged,
so I chose by default to make double crusted pies.

But today...I was filled with revenge...why could others have success, but not me?
After all, this is the time to make single crusted pies filled with strawberries and raspberries.

I finally found a solution,  and  I will continue to make single crusted pie shells that do not shrink.
GUARANTEED!
Stay tuned on our MGCC blog in the weeks to come...
and I'll share my new success tip...
As you can see, the edges are nice and high and very little shrinkage.
I look forward to sharing my tips tonight with our class.
They will smile, and we'll all smile...
BUT IT WORKS!

We should of invited the Royal Couple to partake in our class tonight.
Maybe they would of considered coming to sunny BC!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Amsterdam ~ Metro Mania!

We learned that there are two ways to visit the city..
Canal or Hop On ~ Hop Off Bus!
Everyone needs a canal ride...so we did just that.


As you can see it was pouring rain...so that was the perfect pick.

In the distance we heard the words Anne Frank House and the steeple of the Westerkerk,
one of the first protestant churches in Amsterdam.
Those words caught my attention. Definitely that was one museum on my list.
Days later the women folk took a stroll out to her house.
By now we were familiar with Leidestratt, then you can turn left on Prinsengracht.
Keep walking....and guess what...no line-ups. 
We took the tour of the ever famous Anne Frank House.
The canal house at 163 Prinsengracht was the temporary hiding place of Jewish girl Anne Frank and her family (and four others) during the World War II Nazi occupation of Amsterdam. 
Here, visitors can see the secret annex where she wrote her world-famous diary.
After our tour...we stopped and looked out the windows, sat down in the coffee shop,
and took some time to reflect how many of our mothers' made similar challenging adjustments.

We rode past the NEMO Museum, filled with Science and Technology.

I wanted to see a For Sale Sign on this little vessel.
I wanted to purchase an authentic Dutch Canal Boat and have a picnic..in the rain?

The evidence of scrap metal along the canal's water edge.
Way too many BIKES if you ask me.

The AMSTEL Hotel, the place for celebrities.
Even though I'm part of a team that published a book, somehow...the budget did not fit.


This little house boat with all the flowers was my favorite.  
I did not see a For Sale Sign.
Would it not be fun to just wander through and have a cup of coffee?

Floated past the Rijk Museum, Diamond Museum, and the Van Gogh Museum.
You need more than time to cover all these places....

Until it was time for the HOP ON HOP OFF BUS!
The bus stops at eighteen different stations giving you a tour of the city highlights.
So we jumped on...and enjoyed the ride until....
It STOPPED!
We sat...and waited...everyone got off..
We waited longer...it was a long walk to our hotel.
Then the bus driver came and asked us what we were doing?
He told us it was Quitting Time...Had we not read our pamplets?
Little did we understand his dialect nor his instructions.

The Farmer folks are asking,
"HOW WE GO HOME???"
"Take number 5 bus...it always takes you back home."
Number 5 bus comes sailing by and does not stop...
The bus driver hollers at us...
"You need to walk to the bus station...."

Meanwhile the women folk had spotted another way of transportation.
We knew how to get back home,  an old beat up Mercedes Taxi.

I'm sure you are all wondering about the red light district.
That's how far we got...it appears to be a red light from an outside heater.
Looks like a chicken brooder to me.

There's always something happening on the streets.

How can you tell we're in Holland?
I'm thinking I forgot to purchase a pair,
after all, no one wants to know how many pairs of shoes I had.

So, it doesn't matter how you see Amsterdam,
where ever you turn there is nothing but excitement and action.
Wait till you hear about our coffee shop experience.





Monday, July 4, 2011

Amsterdam ~ Bike City

Yes, he felt a warm welcome to Amsterdam when we entered the docking station.
What else can a farmer say when he gets close to his cows?
A big smile, because he knew there were some farm tours planned.

It didn't take long for us to figure out that we had no priority over their bikes.
I think we were all knocked down, several times, and soon formed a human chain hoping for protection.
It's an absolute risk trying to cross 6 tracks of metro, car, and on-coming bike paths all tied together.
Brains Travel on Bikes?
We have no clue about biking in Canada!

Bikes were all over the streets, tied to posts, trees, cars, waterways, boats..
You name it...Bikes were stored in multi level car garages...
How could you ever identify your bike?
 
Parking a car in Amsterdam cost about 4 euros an hour...
now we know why they ride bikes.
No fitness programs needed in Holland.
Some rode up to 10 km to work, some more and others less.
As you can see, young and old, no helmets, they just whizzed past us,
sitting, standing, sleeping, side-saddling or whatever worked.
One was so daring as to strap his cello on to his bike and cart.
This seemed like the norm....
As you can see, I was a bit taken back by all the baskets they carried.
They became part of the fashion statement in Amsterdam.
Which basket do you think I liked the most?
I think I have a new project for my bike.
Whether walking or shopping or cycling, fashion seems to be a big statement in Amsterdam.
High boots, leggings, colorful shoes, pointy shoes..running shoes,red pants, patterned leggings,
It didn't matter what you wore, whether upside down or right side up.
I loved the exciting life of the downtown culture in Amsterdam.
Next I'll take you for a tour down the canal....right past Anne Frank's Home.

Join me and let's begin to ride our bikes!!