Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Our Year in Review

The year 2008 has been a banner year for us, so much has happened. We could not have even imagined all that God had in store for us - and yet:

This is the Lord's doing:
it is marvellous in our eyes."
Psalm 118:23

In 2008:

1. January: Corbyn started college
2. April: God led us to our present Manitoba farm, we put in an offer.
3. May: Corbyn's high school Graduation and Carsyn's Baptism.
4. April - July: We listed & sold our Saskatchewan acreage, land & organic farm operation.
5. June: We realized God was blessing us yet again with "Justin Other Klassen".
6. June: Started MB. cattle ranch with purchase of cattle & equipment at the auction of MB. farm vendor.
7. April - August: Many friends blessed us through prayer & practical support through our move to MB.
8. August: Ken's folks celebrated their 50th Anniversary in which we were blessed to take part & more Blessed to receive such an heritage!
9. August: THE move to Manitoba
- getting us totally out of debt.
- The fulfillment of a lifelong dream/vision/conviction.
- Living off investment income - financial freedom for Ken to work from home
- rebuilding a farming operation along with our sons
10. September: purchase of a needed "new to us" 1999 Suburban to accomodate our growing family - a perfect vehicle, God's provision in God's perfect timing.
11. September: My sister, Vonda, went to be with Jesus - to her eternal joy!
12. September - December: - academic studies continue to progress well with Dad & Mom both involved in our students lives
13. October - November: MB. orchard is prepared & cherry trees ordered for May 2009.
14. November: MB. Woodlot venture started with purchase of chainsaw and beginning logging & cutting of deadwood, then diseased wood & finally sustainable forestry (removing viable lumber to allow for increased growth of young saplings).
15. December: Completion of first woodlot management course offered through MB Forestry.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Another Discount Coupon for CBD

Passing along another 10% discount coupon code just in case you have some needs or wishes to fill at ChristianBook.com. Use this code 289652 when you check out.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

This is GOOD!

Remember eating snow?

How about "Snow Ice Cream"?

Just before Christmas I came across this rather unique (to me) recipe to make "Snow Ice Cream" - it came highly recommended ... so when our SK Christmas company arrived I enlisted the ladies (Thanks Karen & Janique) to help me make the dessert that we'd serve along with our lasagna supper!

The "experiment" turned out GREAT!

A tasty treat.

A fun activity.

An interesting concept.

A delightful dessert to finish off our supper ...

Snow Ice Cream

1 quart whipping cream or half 'n' half cream
1 tsp. vanilla, or 2 tsp if using imitation vanilla
1- 1 1/2 c. liquid honey
6 quarts fresh, clean, fluffy snow

Mix the cream, vanilla and liquid honey well. Then add the snow, folding in 2 cups at a time until thick like the consistency of ice cream.(At this point, we decided that a quick mix with an electric beater might make the finished product even smoother as we did have a few "chunks" of snow - but using a beater is, as of yet, an untried step).

Serve and enjoy! Add toppings if/as desired - of course, at this house, I had to serve it with cherry topping ... we try cherries with everything at least once! Smile! - this is a keeper!

Maybe I'll make it again & add a picture ... this first time, it disappeared before I even thought of a picture. Check back here to "see" how it delicious snow ice cream can look...

Try it sometime this winter. Add some varieties - I'm sure those could be many!

Note: I tweeked the original recipe to make it a healthier version, using honey instead of 2 cups white sugar - and that worked too! PTL!

Monday, December 22, 2008

One Solitary Life

Born in an obscure village, He was the child of a peasant woman.

He worked in a carpenter shop until He was thirty years old

and then for three years He travelled around the country stopping long enough to talk and listen to people and help where He could.

He never wrote a book.

He never had a hit record.

He never went to college.

He never ran for public office.

He never had a family or owned a house.

He never did any of the things that usually accompany greatness.

He had no credentials on Himself,

... But when He was only 33 years old the tide of public opinion turned against Him and His friends all rejected Him.

When He was arrested, very few wanted anything to do with Him. After the trial, He was executed by the State along with admitted thieves.

Only because a generous friend offered his own cemetary plot was there any place to bury Him.

This all happened nineteen centuries ago ... and yet today,

HE is the leading figure of the human race



All the Armies that have ever marched,
All the Navies that have ever set sail,
All the Rulers that have ever ruled,
All the kings that have ever lived on this earth ...


have not affected the life of man on this earth like this


Christmas Cards

How do you display your collection of Christmas cards each year?

This is how we keep your greetings within sight ... posted on a large wall using Funtak, starting in the shape of a cross reminding us of the reason Jesus came to earth as a Babe - with the ultimate purpose of dying on the cross to take the punishment for our sins. Providing us with ALL with the glorious hope of restored fellowship with the Father in Heaven.

Notice how perfectly my new cross nativity fits as the center focus of our card display?

Once the cross is complete, we radiate more cards out from the center of the cross depicting rays of the star that proclaimed the birth of a King to the whole world.

For those of you who have sent a card, you also make it onto our rotation prayer list throughout the month of January as we continue to enjoy those cards during our daily prayer time.

Thank you for blessing our lives!

A Traditional Treat

Peppernuts have become a tasty treat that my family requests each year. Though not the healthiest, the spices are certainly beneficial - I have tried tweeking the recipe using whole wheat flour & honey, but alas the end result is just not quite the same.

Besides enjoying these nuggets ourselves, they make excellent gifts! I like to mix up a batch for my Dad who enjoys them. My nephew requested a batch for his gift ... and this year I've used them to fill centerpieces on my festive tables. Brayden has added his creative touch...

There are literally books filled with various recipes & versions. Here's the recipe we use for this traditional German/Scandinavian/Danish treat:


2 cups white sugar
2 cups Roger's syrup
1 lb. butter
1 tsp. ground anise
1 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cardamom
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. black pepper

Boil this mixture for two full minnutes. Then cool slightly and add:
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp. baking powder
9 cups unbleached flour

Roll into finger thick "logs". Place on a cookie sheet covered with wax paper and freeze the logs. Once frozen, use a sharp knife to slice logs into "coins". Place on pans (yup, this takes a while) and bake @ 350 degrees for 7 minutes until lightly browned on the bottoms. As the peppernuts cool they will harden. Store in a large glass jar ... and watch them disappear!

With the cooling and the freezing involved in this recipe it can take "all day" or sometimes I even leave logs in the freezer to slice and bake at a later time ... breaking up the seemingly "tedious" task.

It is a Christmas activity that everyone can enjoy together ... of course, as they help they "nibble", but that's part of the fun!

Yup, I'm needing new oven mitts ... maybe they're all wrapped up?? Smile!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Fun Again

Winter temps have kept our guys mostly indoors, but today they were out there packing the powder once again.

Ah-h such a sight blesses my heart!

A Week of Praises!

Please praise God with us!

This week, with it's frigid temperatures, we've spent two full days on the road - going to appointments that really needed to happen.

Praise God we're back home safe 'n' sound ... Praise God we have a wonderful warm home ... Praise God ...

Monday, three appointments for Mom & Baby: one, an untrasound in Neepawa, to determine for certain that we're having only one Baby this time. Yup, we're having A Baby, a modest one who would not reveal any secrets. For now, Baby is named "Justin Other" Klassen. All indications were of a strong healthy baby growing and developing WELL! Praise to the LORD!

Manitoba regulations are such that they do not reveal Baby's gender anyway, I thought that was kind of "interesting" - so unless Baby reveals something obviously it is not something they discuss. Another anomally about Manitoba ultrasound - it is very difficult to get such a test done - few machines, fewer technicians - something that needs updating here ... thus the need for us to travel to Neepawa for this.
The technician was excellent though, it was a pleasure to be diagnosed by her.

A second apointment that day took us an hour south to Brandon, it was with the Mid-wives. This time we met Lauri-Rose and Sabrina. We get to meet each of the mid-wives at least once because it's not certain which one will be on call when Baby decides to arrive.

This appointment too was a great encouragement to us. My BP was great as was everything else... and with only 5 weeks to go I'm still in their care with no need yet to even consider transfer of care to a Doctor ?! ... Another Praise to our God!

A final appointment that day was a tour of the Brandon Hospital: WOW! It was so good to have that tour! Our tour leader was my "primary" mid-wife, Clare, who led us right from entry into the "right" door at emergency & directions to Ken where to park, through to the maternity ward/private room where we can stay in luxury for the duration of our time. I have to say, this hospital is so new & bright & cheery it is really like going for a night out - except that it will be a "working vacation", due to the "labor" involved!

Ken can room in with Baby & I. Dad's are provided with a comfy reclining chair for just that purpose (ok, not exactly like a bed in a hotel room, but ...). It is a private room with a special space for all the Baby "equipment" needed for the birth & a huge adjoining bathroom/tub room. New Dad's get a free pizza and Mom's can have whatever is provided in a little kitchen specially for them - or bring your own food.
Basically you can "move in", bring whatever you like: books, music, clothing, etc.

In the past, I've come home the same day as delivery (with the last two deliveries anyway), but this time I'm thinking we'll stay at least 24 hours after Baby arrives because they need to see Baby & I again after those first 24 hours. Since Baby is coming in the middle of winter, we feel it would be wiser & cheaper to just stay the course there in their posh palace, then we'll travel home to join the rest of the boys before traveling back for another "visit" when Baby is three days old.

It was great to figure out where we're going to need to go BEFORE we needed to know that, the day of Baby's arrival. The hour long drive may well be long enough - hopefully not too long ... it's in God's capable hands.

Finally on Wednesday, with the weather being a little warmer for this trip, we had to travel to Winnipeg to see Carsyn's Pediatric Endocronologist & Diabetes Educator team. That was a pressing issue already too after a difficult time making the necessary connections here in Manitoba ... well, it was VERY encouraging to finally have everything in place and meet with the Doctor & Team here. They were so very helpful...Praise God!

We had a very pleasant & positive initial visit with promise of a great relationship ensuing, helping us to live with and manage this chronic disease with even more precision than we have in the past. Such is the nature of this disease, there is always room for improvement. So again, we were very encouraged to have another great "appointment" - in hindsight, perhaps this is one reason for our HUGE move to another province ... it is God's provision in meeting our "need". We have a new beginning here in Manitoba, PRAISE GOD!

Another praise we have is that our "new to us" Suburban proved capable when challenged in cold temperature driving - it heats well and there were no problems.

Excellent gas prices are reason for praise...that's a reprieve we can all enjoy!

Last, but certainly not least, we're so thankful that our household of young men are capable & able to manage on their own at times like these when Ken & I need to be taking care of other business away from home. God has this all planned so very perfectly, we just couldn't ask for better. We give Him all the praise for orchestrating our lives to perfection!

We are so-o-o-o BLESSED already and He just keeps on blessing!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Mark's WorkWearhouse $10 Gift Card

You can use this gift card until December 24th to pick-up a gift for a special person in your life. Go here to print it off your printer.

Read the fine print, but check out the store specials ... you just may be able to pick up something for almost no cash out of pocket - at least it's worth a try if you're driving by! Smile!

I love to share a good deal with you!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Bath Salts Giveaway

The Bryant Family is giving away a gift of Bath Salt ... so,

Use this link to enter their giveaway contest. Hurry it ends on December 15th.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Birthday Blessings

There were many blessings yesterday, but I'll just mention this one crafted by Carsyn ... it's it exquisite?

Crafting Joy & Gift Ideas

Crafts that give joy in the making and extend to the joy of giving.

At eight years of age, Timothy is now enjoying Christmas crafting using our scrollsaw. His first nativity:

And here he's making some stars that he "dreamed up" all on his own ... simple stars etched with the words of "Joy" or "Love" (he's already wrapped them & I missed a picture):

The words on the stars are etched using a wood burning/pyrography tool - another tool we recommend as a great crafting tool. Lee Valley sells a great one. It gets hot so do use caution & supervision.

The scrollsaw has definitely been one of the most worthwhile investments we've made(thanks Uncle Barry):
- it is a relatively safe saw due to the slow speeds with which it can be used though supervision is recommended when children are young and inexperienced with using it. We would recommend getting a variable speed saw. A good warranty like Canadian Tire offers on their MasterCraft brand is a good thing to have also - Canadian Tire also regularly offers deep discounts, watch for those...

- through the years it has positively paid for itself as our young men have made many gifts using the scrollsaw and in addition to that they have made items that they have sold. Professional looking, unique gifts - to the glory of God!

If you have young men or young ladies in your home who love to be crafty - we would recommend buying a good quality scrollsaw as a gift that will keep on giving ... gifts and hours of productive enjoyment. Who knows where it may lead them - or you!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Heads Up - 10% Off at CBD

Tis the Season for discounts...

For those of you who like to shop at Christianbook.com here is a coupon code to use until midnight, Thursday, December 11th - good for 10% off an order of $50 or more.

Click on
Web Specials
. Beside the "Search" click on the drop down next to "Keywords", click on CBD Stock# and enter code # 289305, add it to your order to get the 10% discount. It will appear as WW08OFFER1 on your order later once you begin check-out.

It's been a while since I've heard of one of these offers from CBD - and they used to be quite frequent.

Check your wishlist. Hurry offer ends soon!

Pass it on.

Monday, December 8, 2008

A Collection?

... of Nativities

To be honest, I've never considered myself a collector, but in all honesty again I'll have to admit I have a collection now ... thanks to a great friend I've left back in SK. who has a collection of more than 50 nativity sets of her own!

I know my favorites are the ones crafted by our own dear sons - and each year they come up with a new style ... or two ... or three. No, I don't tire of them, they'll always be special to me - probably gaining in their degree of sentimentality as the years go by. Indulge me in this, I've never considered myself to be sentimental this much before, but I guess time changes perspectives...?

These popsicle stick nativities made nice little gifts for teachers, family, missionary children, & friends a number of years back - doubling as an excellent craft idea that we enjoyed doing together. And ... having an entrepreneurial mindset, I've even sold some "kits" with instructions in the intervening years so that other children could enjoy them as well.

Here are the criteria that I find myself using to add to my collection (aside from what our sons make):

1. - price is a factor - I greatly enjoy finding a nativity at a garage sale, in a thrift store or in a post-Christmas sale. I always enjoy a good bargin, but to add to my collection makes it extra special.

2. - a splurge could be a consideration if it is a truly unique nativity.

3. - Unique is also one of my criteria.

Putting up nativities is an activity I enjoy also - along with my sons, but especially Brayden who is my budding creative interior decorator. This year, in a new home, it is an additional joy to find new placement for each set.

Would you like to join us as we browse our own Festival of the Nativity?

A new addition, a splurge from Christianbook.com, but now no longer available - this one uniquely tells the whole story of Christmas. Someday my boys may craft something like this out of wood ... ?

The last two can be played with:

Our tiniest nativity glows in the dark. It is plastic so I like to place it in the bedroom where the little guys are so they can see Baby Jesus with His mother & father when they are falling asleep. It adds a nice festive touch to their room:

Tip: Micheal's Craft Store, Peavy Mart and TSC stores here in Manitoba all carry great quality rubber animals. These are a great size to make additions to some nativity sets. My sheep for my porcelain set in the first picture went missing so I replaced it with one from Micheal's - I bought it using a 50% off coupon... and the donkey in the play set was a special request by one of our twins one year - bought at Peavy Mart on a deep after Christmas discount of course.

Those are a few of our nativities. For a complete tour, I invite you to our home - we'll add features like music, food & fellowship ... just be sure to call ahead to make your reservation. We'd love to have you!

In another post I'll have more wood art nativities that our boys have crafted - and are crafting ... watch for it.

To God be ALL glory!

Decorating is Celebrating

This year decorating in a new home has been a lot of fun for every one. Here are a few pics of what we've done:

One of my favorite "pieces" - this is our Christmas table centerpiece - a candle in a hurricane vase set in a metal dish, set-off on a hand stitched needlepoint that boldly states on
"This is the Lord's doing ... it is marvelous in our eyes." Psalm 118:23
It is very special because both items were parting gifts from dear friends when we moved away from SK to MB. Thanks Gloria & OMC friends.

The verse is God's Word echoing in our hearts perfectly ... even the color of the fabric swatch matches so perfectly in our home. Adding the pine wreath and our own local pinecones that Brayden collected & opened in the oven just add a festive touch to an already poignant reminder of the love of friends! Thanks everyone for being a blessing in our home this season!

The dining & living room windows draped with pine garland and "decorated" with red & silver bell shaped gift boxes & their lids = simple elegance!

My walls are adorned with five of these tiny cedar nativity ornaments, each a different style - a set that marked the start of my boy's voyage into making wooden nativities that began three years ago. They are so delightful I choose to hang them on my walls in strategic places (notice on the dining wall above) rather than having them "lost" on the tree.

A huge highlight this year is the beginning of a new tradition ... having a real tree, harvested from out of our very own bush. How special is that? Here it is getting all decorated in celebration of the best birthday of them all - the Birthday of our King, Jesus Christ.

We are so loved by our Father in Heaven, that He sent His Son, His Only Son to this earth to be born as a babe like you & I. Then live a sinless life like none of us could do - only to take the punishment for all of our sins, my sins so that we - you & I and everyone - could be restored to fellowship with The Father and regain the privilege of living in Heaven with Him one day! Wow!

In a nutshell, that is why we celebrate Jesus' Birthday! He is truly the best Gift ever given!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Higher Power

Canada is in a political state of crisis.

You are needed to call upon the name of the Lord on behalf of our beloved country.

Romans 13:1b & 2 states:
"For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.

Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation."

This is a precious promise in times like these. The challenge is before us to call upon the Highest Power, our Father God in Heaven, to intervene on behalf of Prime Minister Stephen Harper & our Conservative Government.

Democracy is at stake!

Let us as Christians "assist" rather than resist.

Our greatest effort can be expended on our knees before The "Higher Power"

... and whenever we're reminded of the dire circumstances being played out in government offices let's lift our heart's cry to The Lord of Heaven & earth.

To God be All Glory both now & forever!