Monthly Archives: February 2011

The outdoors…

   For many, the beginning of March issues in spring, but it is not so here in Quebec. Crocuses and daffodils are still a long way off! The outdoors is as snowy as ever, and we are enjoying it! Here are just a few pictures of our snow activities…

Rolling a ball Putting on the hat Facial features

The finished snowman  William skiing skiers

   We lack pictures of some of our other skiing excursions, including one with some friends, as well as of an afternoon’s skating on Howard pond in Sherbrooke. Though spring will be welcomed when it arrives, we are making the most of the rest of winter!  I Thessalonians 5:18 says, “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”  We are thankful for what the Lord has given us right now and will rejoice in it!

Homeschooling opportunities

   Homeschooling families often have a somewhat different curriculum and schedule from many “ordinary” schools. A primary difference is the innate flexibility for adding abnormal “classes” at a moment’s notice. If a situation arises in which students may learn something new and useful, other things are sometimes dropped in order to allow for an additional class. This past week offered us many such learning opportunities, one of which stood out as more unusual from most. Mommy needed to go out for groceries, but when she tried to start the van, she discovered that a light had been left on all night so that the battery did not have enough charge to turn over the motor. Thankfully, Daddy had not yet left with the car to get to work, so bookwork (which had already begun) was dropped and everyone grabbed their coats and dashed outdoors for an extra-curricular activity! Some of us had watched the procedure of jump-starting a vehicle several times before, but for others this was a new experience.

  We learned where to connect the jumper cables. Daddy instructed us that we are always to start by putting the cables on the dead battery first and then to connect the live one. We also learned that if the black terminal is not accessible, the black wire can be connected to some other part of the frame of the vehicle.

Let's go look! connecting the cables

Connected at both ends…

connected at this end connected at that end

And it’s starting up!

And it is starting up!

   We thank the Lord for the freedom we have to learn at home. There are so many things we would miss if it weren’t for this privilege. Obviously, the most important of these things is not that we can learn how to jump-start a vehicle. The relationships developed here are invaluable, and since we can’t get away from them and simply find new friends if the others don’t turn out to be our preference, we learn not just to get along, but to enjoy working together. I thank the Lord for our family!

   “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.”  Psalm 133:1

A rival for Tim Hortons… maybe not…

   Baking can be a very enjoyable activity.  I find particular pleasure in cooking up new inventions or creating variations on previous experiments.  Almost a year ago, I took it upon myself to concoct a rival for Tim Hortons doughnuts.  Needless to say, the experiment was a failure in that I didn’t succeed at my overly ambitious endeavour!  However, I was not discouraged by this as, in the eyes (or perhaps better said, mouths) of my brothers, it was far from a fiasco.  Therefore, it was with renewed enthusiasm that I recently undertook to perfect my recipe.  And to a certain degree, I was successful!  These doughnuts were far lighter than the last batch, though they are still lacking something of Tim Hortons’ excellence.  My brothers simply tell me that I will have to make the attempt again someday, and of course, they would be delighted to voluteer their tasting services!

   For those readers who have never tried making doughnuts, here’s an overview of how it is done:

   1. Mix up the dough and let it rise.  Doughnut dough is much like a fairly standard bread dough only a bit sweeter.  The first time I did it, I used both yeast and baking powder.  The second time, I used only yeast and altered a couple other ingredients (ie. using water instead of milk).

   2. While the dough is rising, heat some oil to 375 degrees Farenheit.  Have fun trying to keep it steadily at that temperature!  If it is too hot, the doughnuts risk burning (or the oil could catch fire – we have done this before, though not while making doughnuts).  If the oil isn’t hot enough, the doughnuts will tend to fall after coming out.

   3. Roll out the dough to about 2 cm think (a little less than an inch).

   4. Using either a doughnut cutter or two sizes of round cookie cutter, cut out the doughnuts.

   5. A few at a time, carefully slide the doughnuts/doughnut holes into the hot oil, flipping them when one side is done.  (Be careful – the oil is very hot and fingers don’t benefit from it as I unintentionally discovered!)  It only takes a couple minutes for them to cook.  Generally, a golden brown colour indicates that they are ready to come out and be placed on paper towels to dry and cool.  Evidently, if the dough is chocolate, the doneness discerning is more challenging.

   6. All that is left now is to eat them, unless, of course, you want to have them frosted as my brothers tend to prefer.

   Here are just a few pictures…

cooking the doughnuts cooking the doughnuts 

doughnuts doughnuts doughnut holes

   As I’ve pondered doughnut making, I’ve wondered if there were some spiritual analogy to it.  (Other than that we should be “holy.”)  The oil in which the doughnuts are cooked is very hot, but if it were not for that heat, these tasty treats would not turn out the way they do.  A lower temperature might seem “gentler,” but that would cause the doughnuts to come out soggy and flat – hardly edible.  Similarly in our lives, God sometimes sends hot situations, not to burn us, but to render us fit for His use.  These situation might be ones we would naturally try to avoid, but God intends them for our good.  He knows exactly what it takes to eradicate flaws and produce Christlikeness.  May we learn to embrace what He sends!

Mint Chocolate Chip Snow Cream!

With lots and lots of fresh snow and a temporary soaring of the temperatures to a balmy 11 C (52 F) – a record high for this date – the weather was perfect for Snow Cream!  Quick to make and very tasty!  David voted for mint chocolate chip (his favourite flavour!) – so that’s what Evelyn made.  Yummmm!  Thank you, Evelyn!


Lots of fresh snow!    Dishing up the snow cream

Friends and Fellowship

Recently, we have had several great times of fellowship.  Monday, the 31st, we had the opportunity of having some friends who are missionaries to Quebec into our home and had a good time of music and fellowship with them.

Music with the Adams Music and fellowship

Sunday, we were graced with the privilege of visiting the Taylor family at their farm.  We were greatly blessed by their warm hospitality and the time of fellowship.  And the food was delicious!  Smile  In the afternoon, we were also blessed by the arrival of the Garfats and, much to our surprise and delight, James Staddon, who was visiting the Garfats.

Playing together Music with the Taylors More Music Fellowship Taking pictures

Here are some pictures of the scenery.  On the way there, we passed a snow plow that apparently was getting too ambitious, and decided to clear the ditch.

Sunrise icicles A Beautiful Farm Look where you're going!

Several of the guys decided to climb one of the silos and got a view from the top.  It would have been a lot nicer if it had been a clear day.

What are they taking pictures of? There are two ways of getting there... A photographer's perch

In the evening Mr. Taylor, accompanied by Daddy, went to pull a smaller snowplow out of a ditch with Mr. Taylor’s tractor, so the rest of us did some sliding.

Sliding1 Sliding2 Sliding3

The evening of Monday, February 7th, we were honoured to have the Garfats and James Staddon for supper.  We had a wonderful visit and were very blessed by the time together!

Musical team Talking together

1 John 1:7
“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.”