Friday, July 30, 2010
The branch to pinch is on the top left side of photo A.
You can use your fingernails or clippers and just snip it close to the main vine.
In this photo and the next you can see where the branch was trimmed off.
To recap, with visuals, we are trimming the leafy branch in photo E, and NOT the blossom and fruit filled vine shown in photograph F. It isn't necessary to trim them all. Just make sure you have the lower branches trimmed and some of the larger upper ones as well.
This is a tip I gathered from one of the head gardener's at Joe's in South Bellingham. He said that this was how to do it over here on the West side to get yourself some nice red maters.
PS. Another tomato tip from me: Crush up your egg shells and sprinkle them around your tomatoes to put calcium back in the soil and keep the tomato blossom rot away.
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Due to the nature of the 3 I am omitting names unless I hear specifically that they would like names attached.
One dear friend has just today lost a baby for the second time in a matter of months. She isn't currently at home as the family was on vacation. Please lift her aching heart to our gracious heavenly father and pray he would continue to provide the comfort only he can bring.
Another dear friend thought she may be expecting and went from shock, to acceptance, to complete joy and elation only to discover it was a polyp or cyst about to burst. Her heart was broken at the realization. Pray for God to come in and speak to her weeping heart. God we ask you to speak to that unrealized desire for another baby. Help her find Joy today.
Still another friend (actually two separate friends this week) confided of marriage problems. For one it was hearts that had grown cold from being unattended and a complete disconnect of the two lives. The other is hurting from harsh words and unloving actions and I think feels like a doormat in some ways. God we know you are the author of miracles and sometime in marriage we feel like that is what it will take to love the person we once called soul mate, again. Connect these two marriages in ways that will bring you glory and be a testimony of your goodness and faithfulness to us in times of discouragement and despair.
All of these friends are Christians and love the Lord. All are trying to rely on God for answers and directions and yet each one finds themselves in a different and difficult season of life.
We can't always offer the right words or solutions to pain and problems, but we can be on our knees for them filling in the gap.
A praise report I wanted to share from a personal note was that we (my family) were blessed by two separate angels who brought gifts of food and necessities in the last two days. God is so good and faithful and to him even toilet paper matters. You may laugh but it's true. Thank you for hearing and responding my two friends. You know who you are. You blessed me immensely and gave me an opportunity to be a cheerful and gracious receiver. And even more than the physical needs being met your words spoke encouragement to my heart about how this grew your family in ways you don't anticipate when your in the thick of it. You shared things I hadn't considered so... Thanks for letting me call you friend.
Don't forget to pray for your two couples today. Don't know what this means? Check the last Prayer Warriors blog, and make time to be on your knees each day.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
In the middle of our crazy summer days, lets encourage each other to not let go of the prayer time we all so desperately need with our Abba father.
Stephanie is undergoing her chemo and has lost a lot of her hair. At the same time this is a huge praise report. Her faith in God is abundantly evident in her blog updates. She is walking hand in hand with her savior and her hope is solidly in him. Let's keep her in our prayers. Her blog should be linked to mine if you would like to read and get updates not to mention be inspired by her walk of faith.
Cyrus - The update I have on him is that the tumor in his brain is the type with fingers which some of you may know is not good. He too is rock solid in his faith and trust of his Lord. His wife Joni is struggling. She is battling fear, anxiety, and probably some depressions with that. This can be a terrifying and completely uncontrollable feeling while you are experiencing it and it can quickly get out of hand and cause serious physical side effects. Let's pray that God would be her refuge and her strong tower. A place where she can run and find shelter from this storm.
Brian - My brother is still battling an infection and the anti-biotics don't seem to be kicking it. He is on his third round and is having some pretty scary side effects. This feels incredibly discouraging I can imagine as he has been really feeling the hand of God in his life. The spirit of doubt is a crafty one and weasels its' way in where ever it can. Lord we rebuke this spirit in his life and ask you to remove it and cast it back to the pit forever. Give him confidence in you as his Lord and Savior and ever present help in time of need. Help him to continue to minister to those around him in the ways only he can.
Mark - My Main Man Mark is still on the hunt for a job. We have a couple of local tips. One in particular that we are very excited to pursue. Please pray with us for God's timing in this and his provision.
Our family - We will be having our nephew come to stay with us for a little over 2 weeks in August. It will be a difficult time for all involved and yet we have no doubt this is of the Lord. We are going to be helping him out in a difficult time of his young life. Pray for God's orchestration on each and every detail of each and every day. Pray for softening of hearts and a miraculous work of the Holy Spirit. We are anticipating seeing God work in some really incredible ways with this one. This request partially piggy backs with the job one as I feel it would be a much better thing if Mark were able to be here during the visit. In fact, I feel like that is part of the reason for the timing of the layoff. The mysteries of God's perfect timing never cease to amaze me.
Praise Reports -
Gavin is getting baptized! We have never felt right about pushing our kids in this. We have waited until each one felt ready and this young man is ready.
Tristan continues to have opportunities to be a living sacrifice, something he really learned about in Mexico.
A dear friend has turned a hard heart over to the Lord to be truly molded by his love and grace. The path may be narrow but the mercies are abundant and at the end of the day, God is GOOD!
The youth pastor is starting to feel better. The cough is lingering but decreasing.
Terin and Payton have been "working" doing jobs for people and selling vegetables around the neighborhood to help our family out while Mark is without his job. What a blessing they have been to us.
Something I would like to encourage you to do is be praying for your friends and their marriages. The enemy seems to be working overtime on the destruction of this sacred union. Stand up with me and say "NO MORE!" I am tired and angry at seeing friends fall victim to the sleazy plans of the enemy. Pick 2 couples for each day of the week and whether they are experiencing troubles right now or not, pray for them faithfully on the particular weekday. If God gives you a specific verse for them, shoot em a text or an email to let them know you have been holding them up. I guarantee if we all did this, we would begin to see changes. I know I would love that kind of prayer.
We serve a big God who sees everything and wants to hear it all from you, so take some time out of your busy summer days and talk to Him.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
The snap peas hardly have a chance to get fat without an eager hand snatching them off for a little sweet snack.
If you have any gardening questions, post them to the comment section and I will try to help.
Monday, July 26, 2010
One of my favorite things to do in the kitchen is combine creativity with frugality. I hate wasting anything. This dish is not only authentic, it can make good use of leftovers. Pinching pennies in the kitchen does not have to be bland. In fact, I take it as a personal challenge to create the opposite. The filling for these enchiladas is negotiable if you will. Let me explain what I mean. If you have a whole chicken that you have boiled and de-boned just to make enchiladas, great! You can fill them with the chicken alone. Or if you are like me and want/need to make your meat stretch to more than just one meal, grab your left over rice (white or brown) and exchange it for part of the chicken. When you season it all the same way, it really just adds a different texture. You can also use navy beans or pinto beans in the same way. The real defining taste sensation in this dish is the sauce. Oh man, it makes you feel like your are somewhere south of the border eating to die for authentic Mexican cuisine. This recipe is relatively inexpensive to make and if you have the meat already cooked, prep time isn't too bad.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Saturday, July 17, 2010
One way to stay united is through the common bond of prayer. We can stand united before the Holy God we serve in praise and thanks giving offering up our petitions to the one who wholly desires to see us live in unity.
A couple of praise reports are -
The youth leader went in to the dr. last week and found out his cough was viral. The prayer is that his weekend on Sucia Island allowed some restful play to continue healing him not making it worse.
Brian (my brother) is experiencing the amazing opporutnity to speak into lives of dear friends the way so many spoke into his and Jens for the last 12+ years. God has physically touched his body and given him some new freedoms from his meds. and has spiritually woken him up to a whole new level of living. Amen! I would ask us to keep praying for God's direction and continued health for him. His attitude has blessed soooooo many people. I pray God would dump blessings back onto he and his wife (my dear sister in law) Jen and their 3 girls.
As I requested prayer only last night for Mark's job loss, already today God has blessed us in ways only he could orchestrate. He does have the very best in mind for each of us. Thank you Lord for caring for our needs.
A friend is requesting prayer on behalf of her dear friend who is in the midst of an extremely difficult time. She has neck cancer. The treatment involves putting her into a face mask and bolting this to a table to ensure she doesn't move. Then zapping it with radiation which is causing her neck to be red and ooze. Her throat is dry and peeling and is so painful. Even eating liquid food is painful. She has to maintain her weight for the face mask to fit properly or they will have to put a feeding tube in. Her spirit remains good. Even as I write this to share with you I am inspired. I can only pray my spirit would be good. God cover this woman with your healing mercies. Shower down your spirit on her so she feels your presence each day. Be the very air she breathes in and out Lord God. We know you care for the lily's of the field and have the grains of sand numbered and the stars named and that you care for us soo much more. Allow her to feel this love to it's fullest extent.
Heidi - A 40 year old woman is experiencing some nerve tingling in her hands and is in the searching phase of trying to solve this mystery. They have done MRI's and recently a spinal tap to see if it is MS. Let's keep her in our prayers. I am all too familar with the "mystery" illness. It can be so discouraging and frustrating. Heavenly father give the Dr. wisdom as they look at her results and may the find it is nothing more than stress and anxiety or things of this nature that she can begin to work through and hand over to you one at a time. I pray that the physical symptoms would subside in Jesus name and she would experience life to the fullest extent in you her Rock and Redeemer.
Let's keep on keepin on together. Please let me know if you have a request we can share and pray for together and watch the list grow
As you read over the prayer answers and new requests, pray with confidence in the God we serve knowing that he hears our prayers and answers each and every one, not always how we might hope but always with what He knows is best.
A great answer to prayer that the little guys tubes in ears procedure went very well.
Another amazing answer to a personal request - We had company coming for 5 days and hadn't gotten paid yet and didn't really have a ton of food to feed everyone. The night they arrived we were blessed with a huge gift of food including hamburger, chicken, steaks, cereal, and many other things. It allowed us to divide it up and share it, feed our guests and have leftovers. God still divides the loaves and fishes to feed the hungry. He truly knows the need before we even ask but, boy does he delight in us asking anyway.
A recent update on Cyrus tells us that his tumor is a stage 3 for sure and is not encapsulated but is the finger type of cancer. He and his wife are requesting prayer for wisdom to know how to procede with their options. Lord give them the wisdom of Solomon and allow them to move forward confidently without any doubts or fears.
A young mother on vacation in S. California went to the Dr. for a suspected ear infection and got antibiotics. Two days later she didn't wake up. She is currently in a coma and they are suspecting meningitis. Her children went to the grandparents and the husband flew from Bellingham down to be there. Pray for a miracle!
Mark (my Mark) got laid off today. They don't have the work or the money right now to keep all of the employees and they have been consistently laying off. His number came up today. Pray for wisdom and direction as we seek God's will for our future. He has some options but they are not local.
Sunday, July 11, 2010
I have updates from previous prayer requests as well as a few new one's.
Update - Cyrus had his second brain surgery a few weeks back. It was much more painful afterwards than the first one. Recently they visited with the doctors only to find out that the tumor is much more aggressive than previously thought. They are calling it stage 3 cancer. What a scary thing to hear. Let's continue to lift up this family. Lord we ask that you wrap your arms of protection so tightly around Jonie that fear has no room to take up residence. We join with the others who are praying for a healing touch from your hand for Cyrus. We know that this cancer is being considered terminal by the doctors but we believe that the God who made Cyrus is in complete control of his very life and has a perfect plan and will for it. Lord we pray for a miraculous work in his body so that people will see and join in praising your name. We pray for financial provision, emotional comfort and spiritual strength for this family.
Update - Stephanie, the young mother of 3 with breast cancer, has begun her chemo. Let's continue to bring her before the Lord for healing. Let's pray against discouragement and depression and ask the Lord to be her constant strong tower.
God we ask you to enable Damie(her husband) to accomplish more than his time or energy would normally allow. Give him abundant faith to be a physical as well as spiritual covering for his wife and family during this trail.
New prayer requests:
- Mark hurt his back this weekend and is in a lot of pain and having difficulty moving around too much. He does go to work tomorrow. Let's just pray for a good night sleep and for no long term problems with this.
- Justin (the youth pastor and Mexico trip team leader) has been sick since they got back and is having a hard time shaking it. He heads in to see the Dr. tomorrow.
- Stacy's little guy, Micah has tubes put in his ears tomorrow morning. Let's pray that it all goes as routinely as it should.
- A friend of ours, Ron, fell this last week and is trying to recover and his MS is seeming to get worse and he is loosing more feeling in his legs. He has an amazing attitude and trusts God completely with his life. If you spend any amount of time talking with them you would see this immediately. He is truly a living testimony to God. I would pray that God would just bless him in a really special way.
- Theresa and Roy need a buyer for their house and God's direction for their future. We pray believing that God will provide and knowing he has something just around the corner.
- Finally, let's continue to pray for all of the team that went to Mexico, that what they saw God do in their lives and the lives of others doesn't stop just because they came back home. I ask Lord that it would be only the beginning for them. Pray that God would continue to ignite the fire for serving others and giving of themselves. I also want us to pray that it becomes contagious to those around them.
Thank you Lord that we can come to you knowing you delight in hearing your children cry out to you. Thank you that you answer with your perfect will for our lives.
Friday, July 9, 2010
Bridget and her family, and Beau came to our house for a little late night partying. The kids had a ball lighting off bottle rockets and sparklers. They were at least last years leftovers but it was what the budget could afford this year. We had some snacks and a bonfire and got to hear some of the highlights for Bridget and Tristan. The theme seemed to be the kids. I was pleasantly surprised to here that for Tristan those kiddos had found their way straight to his heart especially a little guy named Augustine. He even mentioned the "A" word again (adoption). It was very emotional for him to leave his new friends. He found that his language studies paid off. He was able to communicate fairly well, especially with the kids. He is ready to get back to studying it too. The work projects went well. They accomplished a lot for them. They were able to clean out the drain ditch installed last year, build a sidewalk for a new house being added for more orphans, and clean the house up. He came home with a desire to become a bigger giver. He realized how a simple gift given from the heart can be everything to the receiver.
Thursday, July 8, 2010
1/2 c. margarine or butter, softened
1 c. sugar
1 c. milk
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 c. flour
1 T baking powder
1 tsp. salt
3 1/2 c. fresh berries
Beat the margarine and egg till fluffy, add in the sugar. Mix milk and vanilla and add alternately with the dry ingredients. Spread in a 13 x 9 and pour the fresh berries evenly over the top and lightly press into the batter. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes.
Icing - mix the ingredients together well
1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 T. margarine
2 T. milk
Cool for 5 mins. then drizzle with the glaze.
Picture to follow as soon as I can keep the raspberries from disappearing.
The first pickin of the year is usually just a pick and eat type of pickin. It takes until at least the second or third before I start freezing or making multi-flavored jams with them. And no summer would be complete without a fresh Raspberry cake or two. Check out this recipe that you can make with either blackberries or raspberries. Our favorite is with the raspberries. We did try blueberries for all you blueberry lovers. It looses some of its' appeal. If you havn't done it yet, grab your boxes and head out before they are all gone or the rain hits. One more thing, a tip for all you berrry pickers. If you get stains on your clothes like we usually do, boiling water does the trick. Just pour it from the inside of the garment to force the berry out.
Friday, July 2, 2010
1/2 c (1 stick) butter
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup flour
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Put the chocolate and butter in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for 30 seconds, stir the chocolate. If it isn't smooth microwave it again till smooth and melted.
In a seperate bowl, beat the eggs with a fork until thick and add sugar.
Add chocolate mixture and mix thoroughly.
Add the vanilla, flour, and salt. Stir in chocolate chips
We baked them in silicon baking cups.
Bake at 350 for 30 mins. Yields 12
- He actually is enjoying this new authentic cuisine that I would die to be eating.
- He is following our house rule, in a foreign country, without us present, all by himself, of not complaining about the food you are served. (which means we might have done something right in this crazy game called parenting?)
- Pray for the team's health. Several of them are experiencing allergy issues. They have been drinking lots of water and taking all their vitamin C's
- Pray that today their work time efforts are multiplied. They had a desire to work hard and get a lot done to bless these people.
- Pray that the final day of VBS yields a lasting harvest and lifetime memories for our youth.
- Finally, pray that God would bring them home safely to us.