Monday, August 31, 2009

Pain au Chocolat

So, you know I've been trying to bake my way through my Wooden Spoon Cookbook? Patrick doggy-eared this recipe a couple of weeks ago. You use Brioche dough to make Pain au Chocolat...which is basically chocolate bread. It was a little different of a technique. You have to let it rise in the fridge for 6-8 hours, or overnight. When I took it out of the fridge, it hadn't risen at all....oh dear. I decided to go with it anyway and see how it turned out. After the second rising, once again it barely rose. By this time I had already shaped the dough and put the chocolate safely inside, so I figured, if it doesn't rise, we can scoop all of the chocolate out!

Once I put them in the oven, they gloriously started to rise! The house smelled wonderful! (I love the smell of baked goods in the oven.) The recipe said to eat while we did!
We loved it and this will definitely be going in my recipe box. My weakness is definitely carbs...bread, potatoes, noodles and rice! But, add chocolate to that mix and I just couldn't resist! When Brenna tasted it, she closed her eyes and said "MMMMM".

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Gimenez Family Life

Patrick has put a lot of work into our family blog tonight. He searched through several templates, added new gadgets, and put some music on, too. I think he saw my new blog look and decided it was time for him to update too! (Always competitive!) I'm so proud of my sweetie. He really loves our family. God was so gracious when He let me marry Patrick.
Here's the link:
Gimenez Family Life
Also, Josh posted a pretty thought provoking poll on his blog. This would be a good dinner time conversation for your family. We've all come up with different answers.
Here's his sight, the poll is on the right
Through My Eyes As A Missionary Kid

Have a great Sunday tomorrow!

Back-To-School Family Fun Night

This Friday Night's Family Fun Night was a lot of Fun. I surprised my Family with a Back to School theme. First I prepared a scrumptious dinner in a brown paper bag. I bought the usual lunch goodies for our "sack lunch" The sacks were loaded down! Of course, I included a note from their Momma. I made name cards to go where each "student" would sit and put their lunch sack by their name. Then, I called them into school with a bell.

I welcomed all of my "students" to Learning is Fun Academy. (That is actually our school name. When we started homeschooling 5 years ago I read in a book about creative homeschooling that said you should pick a school name. Josh picked Learning is Fun Academy. It has stuck ever since) I soon realized that I had some students with behavior problems! :o) (Yes, Patrick was one of my students!)

I had a picture ready for them to color. The girls did very well. The boys on the other hand....they made kids with blue hair and basketballs for their heads. I guess I should award them for their creativity.

Then, we had our dinner...I mean lunch. JEB had been talking about Little Debbies Cosmic Brownies. I was so excited when I found them at the store.

Of course Silas had to help Daddy complete some of his papers. We had a maze, a word search, and a Spelling Bee. I have some very good spellers!

Then, they had to look at a full pencil box for 10 seconds. I hid it and they had to try to remember everything in the case. We finished the night with Heads Up 7-UP. Remember that one? It used to be one of my favorites when I was little.

My "students" were awarded with highlighters, special pens, and pencil sharpeners. Hmm, what a coincidence we actually needed those school supplies! I think we all enjoyed our Back to School Night. It definitely put us in the school mood! We're still waiting on our ACE school books to arrive. I don't think we'll make our start date of August 31st! But, when they do come, we're ready to start our 2009-2010 Learning is Fun Academy School Year!

Friday, August 28, 2009

La Garderie

Wednesday was my night in La Garderie (The Nursery) at church. Silas is the only baby in the church right now, so I love my time giving him attention and just playing with him. I realized that he has a favorite toy in the nursery. He loves the Little Tykes Piano. He plays and plays it, turns it around and plays it some more. Josh informed me that from the Sunday School room you can hear it. Whoops.

At home he likes to play our keyboard, too. He loves to pull himself up to it (It's on a stand) and press the keys. Just like all my other babies, he sits in my lap for part of my practice time on the piano. He loves to hit the keys (usually the ones I need :o) and play along with me. We have still been practicing our instruments as a family. Patrick and I are still working on the guitar (I have a small travel guitar for is so cute!) Josh is playing the mandolin, Beth the Banjo, and Brenna the Violin. It's tricky all of us playing together. Sometimes it feels like we're all on a different song! We almost have 2 songs ready to play in church. ("Unclouded Day" and "Are you Washed in the Blood of the Lamb") It's coming along! We love to sing and play music for the Lord. I'm so thankful He says to "Make a Joyful Noise!"

Thursday, August 27, 2009

I'm Special

Patrick set the table for dinner, and he set it with the special plate....Guess who was Special?? ME! Yipee! I love to set the special plate out for someone. It usually happens about twice a month. There have been many times I was tempted to set it out for myself :o)! Patrick set it out for me and announced that I've been working hard taking good care of my family, so I deserved the plate tonight. Thanks, Sweetie. How "Special"
The special plate started May 2008 on the "Five Smiles" post.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Bean Picking

A few days ago our landlord came by and showed me something and said "feve" That isn't a word in my french vocabulary, yet, but I realized when he held up a yellow bean that "feve" means beans. He told us he has plenty in his garden if we would like to pick some. I said "Sure!"

Brenna was standing by me and was so excited to go and pick some beans. As we picked she was remembering the time Mam-maw took her to Aunt Nema's to pick beans. She said she could pick beans everyday she loves it so much. I just smiled as I remembered my bean picking experiences. In the summers, when we would go visit Mam-maw and Pap-paw, we would help them in the garden to prepare for the Farmer's Market. I don't think I was a very good picker. I always seemed to have the fewest beans and Pap-paw would show me where I sort of made a mess of the plant. "Overturned it" We would work for some of the morning, then Mam-maw would bring us lunch and we would eat in the backyard. Those were the best sandwiches, sweet tea, with fresh tomatoes. MMMM! I can still hear Pap-paw giving his "Whew" sound and acting silly. Then, he would always look out of the corner of his eye to see if I was watching. If I was, he might sing the Beans, Beans the Vegetable Fruit song, or Ting Tang Watta Watta Bing Bang. Then, if there was picking left (there always seemed to be) we would get back to work. I loved the Friday afternoons when my Aunt Robin would come and "rescue" us. We'd have to hurry inside and shower, then it would be a night on the town! I used to think it was such hard work picking vegetables. But, I would love to go back once more and "overturn" Pap-paw plants, let him show me how to do it right, have Mam-maw's amazing lunch and see Pap-paw make me giggle. I had a good time telling Brenna about my Bean Picking Experiences. She picked plenty of beans for us, then we went inside and cooked them to have with our dinner.

Brenna asked if I could please not cook her portion. She'd much rather eat raw beans. Is that healthy? I think the rest of the day I'll probably have "Beans, Beans, Vegetable Fruit" stuck in my head!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Once again, I feel the Lord shaping and molding me...He's still working on me!
His mercies are truly new every morning and I'm so thankful He gives me what I need.
The other evening Beth was doing her morning chore of washing the breakfast dishes. I've taught her how would be a good way to get them completed...fill the sink with sudsy water, fill it with dishes, and start washing away! But, she prefers to grab them one at a time and scrub them down with a scrub brush, then wash with the cloth. Anyway, I explained to her in a frustrated voice that she needed to wash them the way I have taught her. It would save so much of her time and she could be doing other things. To say the least, I wasn't very sweet. I'm sure I'm the only mother that has had those moments of frustration :o) (I know, I know, I should've been thankful she was doing her chores!)
The next day during my Bible time I read this verse:

Proverbs 16:21
and the sweetness of the lips increaseth learning.

Wow! That was a truth I sure needed to hear! In my frustration and haste I didn't truly teach my daughter anything except "Oh, Dear, Mom's frustrated again!"
As the school year begins, this is the verse I want to meditate on. I want it to be my personal "theme" for the school year. Sweetness of my lips. I notice when I speak sweetly and lovingly my children's hearts are inclined to hear what I'm saying, and to do it too! It's a far cry from what our flesh tells us will "teach our child."
Lord, Help me control my tongue! I want to be a teacher to my children. Not just a teacher of Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic, but a teacher of all things they need to live their lives to serve You...even dishes!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Red Ribbons, Nacho Cheese, and Competition

For this Friday Night's Family Fun Night I made a fun game that's sort of like a Scavenger Hunt. First, I hid 15 red ribbons in our yard. I tied some to branches and put one on the clothesline. I then divided them into teams, Patrick and Beth vs Josh and Brenna. They had to stay together and run outside and find a ribbon. When they brought in the ribbon they had to pick from a pile of 10 activities. Each activity had a point value. Once they completed what was on the paper, they had to run and get another ribbon and complete another activity. The first team to get 5 ribbons and activities done received a bonus 50 points.
Here's the list of activities with their point values:
100 points- Build a lego car with 4 wheels
100 points- find a song in the French hymnbook and sing the first verse together (in French)
75 points- Run around the house 2 times while holding hands
75 points- Bring me 5 different things that start with the letter "B"
75 points-Hop on your right foot 20 times, then hop on your left foot 20 times
75 points-Swallow a spoonful of babyfood peas (Yuck!)
50 points- Fit all of Silas's shapes into the shapes bucket
50 points-Sing "Happy Birthday to You" 3 times
50 points-Look up in the dictionary the french word for marshmellow
50 points-Find 3 books with Goofy in them

It was a VERY close race. It came down to the final seconds of Patrick and Beth finding 3 Goofy books and Josh and Brenna fitting the shapes into the bucket! They had fun and laughed and I had a great time wathcing them compete.

Here is Josh and Brenna hopping on one foot! Brenna got the giggles, of course.

We had Nachos for dinner which was Brenna's idea. Nachos is such a fun snack/junk food! For our dessert I made my Apple Pie. I hadn't made an Apple Pie since we've moved to Canada!
I'm excited about next week's Family Fun Night. I'm already planning it. I would tell you what it is, but it's a surprise! One hint....everyone is preparing for this...Back __ ______!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Fromage au Fudge

The other day, a friend of mine from church wanted to show me a fruit and vegetable store that has great deals. After we came out with bags full of marked down goodies, I saw a Fromagerie, which is a cheese shop. I had to go in! Since we've been in Quebec we've enjoyed sampling specialty cheeses. We've tried Camembert, Brie, and several differerent goat cheeses, to name a few. In the Fromagerie I saw this dark brick of cheese. I couldn't figure out what it could be, so my friend asked the shopkeeper. It was "Fromage au Fudge". Basically Chocolate Cheese! At first I thought, oh that's gross! But when she offered for us to sample it, I think I fell in love!! I knew I HAD to buy some so my family could sample it. At first their reaction was just like mine. Yuck, that sounds gross! But, when they tried it they thought it was amazing, too!
It's sweet, but not as sweet as fudge. It doesn't have the almost grainyness that fudge has. It was smooth and creamy and just plain wonderful. I think it's my new favorite food! Come to Quebec and I'll take you to the Fromagerie and I'll buy you your very own brick of Fromage au Fudge!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Silas's New Carseat

Silas had started to really outgrow his carrier/carseat. We decided to do a little yard saling to look for some winter items we need and a carseat for him. We were able to find a nice carseat with a good price! When we got home Patrick took it completely apart and scrubbed it from top to bottom. He threw the cover in the washer and hung it out to dry on the clothesline. When we put Silas in his new carseat, he was very excited. He began to kick and laugh. Of course, all 5 of us were there watching to see his reaction. I think he likes facing forward.
I do have to admit. It was a little bit of a hard step for me. When Sunday morning came, I told Patrick I changed my mind and wanted to keep Silas in his carrier a little longer. Patrick's back was turned, but I'm positive he rolled his eyes. You can sense things like that, you know. Each step of growing up is so exciting in a mother's eyes, but it can also be a little heart breaking, too. Each new step is a step towards independance and not needing Mommy quite as much. I know, I know, he's still a baby. I'm just realizing how time goes by quickly. Life is truly like a vapor. It seems like we were just promoting Josh out of his carrier! I'm trying to remember to "redeem the time" and enjoy every moment that God gives me with my children.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

So, What do you think?

My Sis, Taylin, inspired me with her new blog layout. So, I decided to try something new. What do you think? At first, half of my gadgets were missing! So, I've been trying to get everything back on, with a few new things, too! I updated a couple of pictures. I also have a sitemeter at the very bottom to see how many visits I am having on my blog. I also have a "followers" list. Mom, will you be the first? :o)
Hope you enjoy the new colors...I had to stay with pink!

Monday, August 17, 2009

10 things

My sister Taylin posted a thought provoking question on her blog Katchin' Up With the Klincks: Funky Nightmares

Her queston was "If I could only grab 10 things out of my house what would they be?"

This was hard. I began thinking of so many things I would like to grab. I wrote down a bunch, but here are my 10:

Of course after my husband and children were out safely, I would grab

#1 My Bible. Taylin is so right. There's nothing like your own Bible. Sometimes I will try to find a certain verse and I can remember it being at a certain spot on a certain page (you know, on the right hand corner almost to the bottom? or something like that)

#2 My kids photo albums. They each have a photo album with pictures and memorabilia and letters I have written to them since I was expecting them.

#3 My Diamond. Right now it's hidden inside a ziplock. I'm going to get it put back in my ring someday, but until then, I'd have to grab it! I love the diamond, but I love even more what it stands for.

#4 Our Computer. We have so many pictures on here and addresses for our prayer much information! I hope Patrick is still backing it up regularly!

#5 My Strawberry Shortcake Blanket. Actually this is Taylin's blanket, but when I was in high school I started sleeping with it and I've claimed it. It was made by my Mam-maw and it's very comforting. When I am sick, I need this blanket, when I have a good cry, I need this blanket, even when I was in labor, I needed this blanket! I guess it's time to grow up now.(It's actually underneath my pillow on my bed right now. That's where it goes, you know)

#6 The basket weaved by my Grandma. It's on our end table in the Living Room holding all of our US coins. Grandma is so talented. If you'd see this basket you'd be so shocked a person weaved it. It's gorgeous!

#7 My kids quilts (I guess that's actually 4 things) that I made for them.

#8 My sewing Machine.

#9 My Camera. If I'm grabbing only 10 things, then I'd need to take pictures of why this is all happening! :o)

#10 My pearls. Patrick bought me my set of black pearls about 3 years ago. During our 15 years of marriage we didn't always have a ton of money. Sometimes it was pretty hard. At times we were truly praying for our daily bread. Patrick's always wanted to be able to buy me things. He's wanted to buy me things I don't necessarily need, but he wants to give them to me because he loves me. I've always wanted black pearls. When we surrendered to the mission field we had to sell our house. We were excited for becoming missionaries on the foreign field, but we loved our house. We had just finished decorating it just like we wanted it. When we sold it, the Lord let us make a little bit of money. That's when Patrick bought me the pearls. He told me that night that he's always wanted to shower me with gifts. I realized that night that although I loved the pearls so much, he had showed me his love through our marriage a million ways without having to buy me expensive gifts.

So, that's what I would grab...what about you?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

A Slimey Family Fun Night

We had another great time for our family fun night on Friday. We decided to do a couple of "crafty" things. Patrick found 2 things for us to do on the internet. First, we made slime. It was gooey and gross, but the kids loved it!

We all made different colors using food coloring.

Here's the website:
Now, we have baby food jars lined up full of slime. I knew I'd find a use for those jars!

Then, we made coffee filter flowers.

On Thursday, Patrick dyed the coffee filters and dried them for us to have on Friday. It was really an easy craft, but we loved it! The flowers turned out very beautiful!

We all concentrated very hard to get our flowers "just right"

Then, for our Friday night dessert I made Banana Cream Pie. Denise sent me the recipe. It was my first time to make meringue. Next time, I would double it and make a mountain of meringue! Now, we're brainstorming for next week. Brenna's vote is to have Nachos, but not sure what fun thing to do...maybe family games. Any ideas? I'd love to hear them!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Peanut Butter Batter Bread

Okay, so I know a bunch of my posts are about food...I like food! I even thought of creating a food blog devoted to all of my culinary efforts. My sister even helped me think of the perfect name! But, I decided to keep everything right here on one blog. I'm really enjoying keeping up with my blog. I've always wanted to have a journal, but never seemed to keep it I have one! Anyway, back to my Peanut Butter Batter Bread... When I first got married Mom bought me this cookbook "The Wooden Spoon Bread Book" by Marilyn M. Moore. It has so many bread recipes and thoughts about each one. I told Mom I'd really like to make every recipe in the book. I'm no where near that goal, but I've made about 20 of the recipes over the past years. Patrick asked if I would try the Peanut Butter Batter Bread. She labels this recipe "For peanut butter lovers only". So, we tried it!
It went along nicely with some fresh pears, cheddar cheese and Lady Grey Tea (my new favorite). By itself, the bread was okay. I made a cream cheese/honey spread and put it on each slice. That made the bread Marvelous! Beautiful day for teatime!

Friday, August 14, 2009

The Special Plate

Patrick was the recipient of our "Special Plate" yesterday. For those that don't know, I made this plate a couple of years ago and if you do something extra special throughout the day, then you might get to use the plate at dinner. They don't get it if they hint about what they've done or ask to get the special plate. It's really more for the kiddos, but Patrick was special yesterday! (Actually, he's special everyday) He finished ALL of the laundry. Here's one load hanging out to dry. We saw the bottom of both hampers and I didn't touch a thread of it. Thanks, Babe! You're so wonderful! (and special :o)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A great time with the Hambys and the Nyes

We were so excited when the Hambys called and said the Nyes would be in their town. The Hamby's are missionaries to Trois Rivieres which is just about an hour and half from us. They are with Macedonia, too, and are the directors for Canada. We have enjoyed seeing them, some, while we've lived here and have determined we are definitely going to get together more often! The Nyes are the field directors for the West Indies. Brother Nye and Sister Dee have been such a blessing to our family. Brother Nye is the one that had the boat that Patrick helped. They took the boat from Jacksonvile, Florida to St. Lucia and were gone for a month. He had a big impact on Patrick and we both began thinking about missions more seriously. So, the Hambys invited us for dinner Saturday night. We had so much fun and laughed and talked. I enjoyed their fellowship so much. Then, on Monday Bro. Jason took the Nyes to Quebec City to the Citadel, so we tagged along. We were able to see the changing of the guard (which was really interesting!) and a tour of the base. Josh has been excited to spend some time with Joshua, Noah, and Luke Hamby.

Here we are in front of the beautiful Chateau Frontenac. How gorgeous!

Here's Silas getting plenty of attention.

On Saturday night they asked if I would make dessert. I made a sugar-free pie for Bro. Nye, then I looked up a peanut butter cookie recipe (Bro. Nye loves peanut butter) I found this recipe on

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies III - All Recipes The cookies were so good! They tasted a lot like a Nutter Butter. They have an amazing cream in the middle....we'll be making these again!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The View From My Window

Summer is so beautiful here in Quebec. I have a gorgeous view from my kitchen window. But, from what I've heard, that view is about to drastically change. I thought I'd post a few pictures along the way of my view. That got me thinking about "my view" from my kitchen window. I was reading this morning in Proverbs. (Proverbs 7: 2 Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye.) Patrick and I talked this morning about exactly what does "the apple of thine eye" mean? The apple refers to the center of your eye...the pupil. I need to keep my eyes fixed on the Lord and living for Him. There's another verse that says "Keep me Jesus as the apple of thine eye" (The Sommerdorf's sing a song with this in it, and I love it!) It's sometimes easy to lose focus. My view gets obscured and I think about all the things I need to accomplish, stuff I want to do, places I want to go.......I, I, I. My view, my eyes, need to be focused on the Lord and doing his will. The really cool part about that, is when we do the Lord's will and what is pleasing to Him, He gives us joy unspeakable, peace that passes understanding, and so many blessings. That's what I want! Jesus, Keep my eyes fixed on you!