Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Lead Kindly Light

I saw this on Facebook today and was so touched I wanted to share it. 
God Bless the children. 

 
Twas' 11 days before Christmas, around 9:38
when 20 beautiful children stormed through heaven's gate.
their smiles were contagious, their laughter filled the air.
they could hardly believe all the beauty they saw there.
they were filled with such joy, they didn't know what to say.
they remembered nothing of what had happened earlier that day.
"where are we?" asked a little girl, as quiet as a mouse.
"this is heaven." declared a small boy. 
"we're spending Christmas at God's house."
when what to their wondering eyes did appear,
but Jesus, their savior, the children gathered near.
He looked at them and smiled, and they smiled just the same.
then He opened His arms and He called them by name.
and in that moment was joy, that only heaven can bring
those children all flew into the arms of their King
and as they lingered in the warmth of His embrace,
one small girl turned and looked at Jesus' face.
and as if He could read all the questions she had
He gently whispered to her, "I'll take care of mom and dad."
then He looked down on earth, the world far below
He saw all of the hurt, the sorrow, and woe
then He closed His eyes and He outstretched His hand,
"Let My power and presence re-enter this land!"
"may this country be delivered from the hands of fools"
"I'm taking back my nation. I'm taking back my schools!"
then He and the children stood up without a sound.
"come now my children, let me show you around."
excitement filled the space, some skipped and some ran.
all displaying enthusiasm that only a small child can.
and i heard Him proclaim as He walked out of sight,
"in the midst of this darkness, I AM STILL THE LIGHT."

Written by Cameo Smith, Mt. Wolf, PA
Lead, kindly Light, amid the encircling gloom, lead Thou me on!
The night is dark, and I am far from home; lead Thou me on!
Keep Thou my feet; 
I do not ask to see the distant scene; 
one step enough for me.

I was not ever thus, nor prayed that 
Thou shouldst lead me on;
I loved to choose and see my path; 
but now lead Thou me on!
I loved the garish day, and, spite of fears,
Pride ruled my will. 
Remember not past years!

So long Thy power hath blest me, 
sure it still will lead me on.
O’er moor and fen, o’er crag and torrent, till the night is gone,
And with the morn those angel faces smile, which I
Have loved long since, and lost awhile!

Meantime, along the narrow rugged path, thyself hast trod,
Lead, Savior, lead me home in childlike faith, home to my God.
To rest forever after earthly strife
In the calm light of everlasting life.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Chinese Steamed Buns

As you well know the Cyclist and I love dim sum. Whether its at Pike Place Market or British Columbia we are willing to make a road trip for the best Chinese food. I can be sort of adventurous at a good dim sum restaurant but my meal is never complete until I have had Hum Bao! Apparently better known as Baozi or Char Siu Bao, it's a steamed bread bun filled with a sweet pork filling. Delightful.

For years we have thought about getting a rice steamer but never have. Well this Christmas I found one under the tree from my man. It's great for rice and has a nice little steamer basket to slip on top so adding a few vegis in the last few minutes is a great bonus.

But the biggest selling point for the Cyclist was the possibility of making our very own Hum Bao. I have yet to take the time to make a real Chinese pork filling but what we have tried has been awesome! The day after Christmas we filled them with some pre-made pulled pork we found at Grocery Outlet and the day after that we filled them with pizza fixings (this was the Cyclist favorite and the kids deep fried theirs. ~Beaner claims everything is better deep fried). You can be as creative as you want... I do plan on putting some time in and making the real thing but I keep thinking of other things I can try like... Apple, Peach or Cherry Pie Filling.

Until then I will give you the recipe for the dough and how to shape the bun.

I searched the internet and found several recipes for making steamed buns and finally chose to use this one from All Recipes . com courtesy of Michelle Che

Chinese Pork Buns (Char Siu Bao or Baozi)

  • 6 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon baking powderLink
  • 2 tablespoons shortening

Directions

  1. Dissolve 1/4 cup sugar in 1 3/4 cups warm water, and then add the yeast. Let stand for 10 minutes, or until mixture is frothy. Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl. Stir in 2 tablespoons shortening and the yeast mixture; mix well.
  2. Knead the dough until smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a greased bowl, and cover it with a sheet of cling wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm place for about 2 hours, or until it has tripled in bulk.
  3. Remove the dough from the bowl, and knead it on a lightly floured surface until it is smooth and elastic. Roll the dough into a long roll, and divide it into 24 pieces. Flatten each piece with the palm of the hand to form a thin circle. The center of the circle should be thicker than the edge. Place one portion of the pork filling in the center of each dough circle. Wrap the dough to enclose the filling. Pinch edges to form the bun. Let the buns stand for 10 minutes.
  4. Steam buns for 12 minutes. Serve.

The shaping is a little tricky so once again I sought direction from the Internet... You tube... the best source for anything "how to"... this one is good starting at minute 4:55. She gives good step by step directions for folding the dough. The rest is her directions for making the filling.

Have fun with this!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Important Documentation

Blue Sky
It's still there
(after an extensive game of hiding)
and I feel great hope that it will return again!
Blue sky

I Heart Teenagers!

What do you get when you add 10 years to the craziness of toddlers?

A house full of big eaters, laughter, friends, homework, high emotion, highschool and middleschool, loud music, facebook, texting, people who find ways to make almost anything fun, intelligent conversation, more laughing, a few tears...
And so much joy you think you might explode.
Today I'm thankful for my teenagers (one almost)
AND their friends!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Do you love to clean?

I don't. I love a clean house but the process of getting it there, not so much.

I'm also kind of a cleaning slob. If I wore an article of clothing to clean in, there is a good chance said clothing will have a bleach spot somewhere. Yes. I have sweatshirts, t-shirts, jeans and sweats all sporting white and/or miscolored spots enhancing their look. (Also, anything I have ever painted in: total history)

Today I had my first experience in Green Cleaning. Somewhere in my travels on the information superhighway I ran into a blog by the Green Cleaning Coach Leslie Reichert. She also has a book called The Joy of Green Cleaning that I got for just a few dollars on Kindle.

With just a little lemon juice, vinegar and Borax I got rid of the grime and pink mildew that seem to appear in my bathroom the day after I clean. And... even though I (of course) got some on my shirt, it washed right out!
Check out her blog and cough up a few bucks for the book, it's worth it. Who knows I might actually remove all cleaning chemicals from my house!

And, it might just prove to be the saving grace for my wardrobe!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentines Day



Shopping for a Delicious Valentine Dinner
with my boy.

Sunday Naps

With Church at 9am, one of our favorite Sunday family activities is an afternoon nap!