Showing posts from June, 2011

Genderless school?

Not sure if you saw this in the local newspaper, but it is a really sad story - a genderless pre-school in Sweden where children are not refer to as him or her but rather "friend", where no child is channel into any particular role, where all "stereotypes" are removed . . . they can be anything they want.   God created us to be different, to have different roles, to see the world differently, to have different emotions . . . is anything wrong with that . . . we should, and must embrace this differences.  Why are some people within society so afraid of the differences between boys and girls?  We should be proud of our unique strengths rather than be ashamed of them. AT THE Egalia preschool in Stockholm, gendered pronouns are out. Staff avoid using words such as ''him'' or ''her'' and address the 33 children as ''friends'' rather than girls and boys.
From the colour and placement of toys to the choice of books, every…

Art Wednesday: Carl Warner

Take a look at this picture, take a really close look - how was it created?

It is FOOD, hard to beleive -  Foodscapes!!

Carl Warner (born 1962-  ) 
Born: Liverpool, United Kingdom

I hope the following works of art help you if you have that fussy child who won't eat their dinner.  Here are some amazing ideas!!  At the end of these creations I will share with you how Carl Warner creates them, its very clever indeed.  I liked his work so much I have bought his book "Food landscapes" - which lists all the foods used in each photo and how they were created!

Sardines!! Just imagine the smell You will never look at red cabbage quite the same way. Complete with carrot stalactites, a pea pod boat,  and sealife made of exotic fruits, cauliflower and broccoli. Any left over bread? Anyone for chocolate! Salmons are used creates the sea Carl Warner setting up one of his "Foodscapes"
The process usually starts with Warner drawing a sketch of the foodscape, then the set is created, and…

Cooking and sewing

Here are a few recipes I made last week that I was impressed with.  I like to try a new recipe or 2 during the week otherwise I find I make the same old things every night.  Russian Black Bread: link
A delicious dark rye bread, not to heavy with that lovely taste of caraway seed.  However this recipe is designed for a bread-maker and had a lot of liquid to flour - I use a KitchenAid and as a result had to add approximately 1 1/2 cups of extra flour as it was just too sticky.  It really was guess work by looking at the texture of the dough - but well worth having a go.  I plan to make more of this bread - that's my loaf in the picture above!

(picture from the Mennonite Girls Can Cook blog)
Honey Glazed Chicken: link
This was very easy to make and so yummy.  I didn't use the barbeque, cooked the chicken legs in the oven.  Probably lacked the extra smoky smell from the barbeque - but just as nice.  As it is winter here, I had this with roasted brussel sprouts (tossed in honey and duk…

Social engineering

Mothers in Australia are returning to work quicker than ever before after the birth of their children.
Mothers are no longer staying home until their youngest child starts school at the age of 5, they are returning much sooner. Even though most would say it has to do with money, much of this has been engineered by governments believing that this is “best” for the country and the economy. And they have successful in convincing the women of Australia that it is good.
One of the first changes that has “encouraged” mothers to return to work came about by the conservative government of Prime Minster Howard (yes, a conservative government). His administration introduced the childcare rebate in 2006 (reducing the overall cost of childcare) and by 2008 (the end of his government) 52% of mothers were turning to work long before their child turned 5 (compared to 40% in 2001-yes, still high).  As the childcare rebate reduced fees, more women returned to work — in 2006 the rebate reduced…

Psalm 69:5

We may be able to hide our sinners from those around us BUT we cannot hide our sins from God.  

O God, thou knowest my foolishness; and my sins are not hid from thee.   Psalm 69:5 

We cannot hide from God No matter how hard we try; For He knows all we think and do-- We can't escape His eye.  -  by Cindy Hess Kasper -

. . . ye have sinned against the LORD:  and be sure your sin will find you out.   Numbers 32:23

If we confessoursins, he isfaithfulandjusttoforgiveus our sins, and to cleanseusfromallunrighteousness. 1John 1:9
Mothers -
don't ever forget the permanence of your imprint. The kids may seem ungrateful, they may act irresponsible, they may even ignore your reminders and forget your advice.
But believe this -  they cannot erase your influence.
~ Charles R. Swindoll ~

The trip to the newsagency

I went looking for a 21st card at the local newsagency on the weekend. I wanted something girly and feminine that was also tasteful.  My newsagency has a large range, so the range wasn’t the problem it was the pictures on the front of the cards.  For both males and females, most 21st cards had a picture of champagne glasses, bottle of bubbly or a 21st key—none of these were suitable (and I found none that I even remotely liked).  I wasn’t impressed with the toilet jokes either.  And those cards that would have been considered “more girly” had pictures of skimpy dresses, shoes or handbags—but not what I would call feminine or even pretty.  I then looked at none 21st cards and found some beautiful ones with flowers—but—as a woman who has received many “flower” cards, I thought my niece was too young to start receiving cards with flowers (she will receive many in the future) so I left the store empty handed.
I was very disappointed indeed.  I will have one more look and if I …

Art Wednesday: Thomas Girtin

Jedburgh Abbey from the river, 1798-99
Artist: Thomas Girtin (1775-1802)
Born: London
Watercolorist - who played a key role in establishing watercolour as a reputable art form

This is the sad tale of Thomas Girtin who died at the tender age of 27 reportedly from asthma and quickly forgotten in the art world.  While Girtin was forgotten, his close friend and rival - William Turner went on to become one of Britain's greatest painters.   However, together they revolutionized the watercolour.  When Turner heard of the death of his friend he is reported to have remark, "Had Tom Girtin lived I should have starved". The fact was, Turner always believed that Girtin was the far better painter.
Even though traditionally taught, Girtin wanted his emotions to come through into the painting so he abandoned his training and painting with his heart and soul. Thereby introduced the romantic style in English landscape painting.  And you can clearly see that passion and emotion in all of h…


Which herb or spice do you use the most? 
Mine would have to be cinnamon (followed closely by cumin and paprika [smoky]).  When cooking with cinnamon, the aroma spreads through the house and it smells delicious — its my favourite.   
I use  cinnamon in many things — and not only in cakes, biscuits and breads but also in many of my savoury dishes.  When added to a savoury dish it adds a depth and warmth, in particular when cooking with mince. Even my Bolognese sauce gets a large dose of cinnamon, along with meat balls and our favourite beef casserole.  If you haven’t used cinnamon in savoury dishes before and want to give it a go, start with a small amount and see how you like it.  I now add a tablespoon (or more) as I love the taste so much.   Often I combine cinnamon with all spice and nutmeg (and even with cumin)—this is quite common for Moroccan meals that I make.   Most recipes don’t list cinnamon, I just add it anyway!!   I’ve never ruined a dish by adding cinnamon—we…

Our menfolk and healthy eating

I have written many blog stories about mums and women in general so I thought it was time to write about dads and men. One issue caught my attention - men's diets.
As I mentioned the other day, we have a obesity problem in Australia and as keepers of the home, we are responsible for the food our families eat (in particular the main meals). So when I read the following statistics it really got me thinking about the food I provide to my DH and to my family: Over half (54%) did not usually consume sufficient serves of fruit.More than 9 in 10 (92%) did not consume sufficient serves of vegetables.Fewer than 1 in 20 (5%) usually consumed sufficient fruit and vegetables.So it isn’t surprising to find that 26% of our males are obese, 42% are overweight and only 31% are normal week.  
These stats show how important to keep our men healthy and to try and keep them away from all those bad foods.  My DH has a particular liking to chips and lollies and even though I don’t buy them, he buys his ow…

Recipe books and other random things

Are you like me and have piles of recipes that you have cut out of magazines or printed?  I have been building a collection for many years and most I have never used. So over the last few weekends I went through all the magazines I had, cut out those recipes that I would make, tossed out the magazines and them sorted through the pile of recipes.
Most recipes that I had been collecting also went into the bin.  What I was left with were those I wouldmake. I bought an art book and made myself a recipe book (see below).  Nothing complicated - the front is for savory recipes and the back is for sweet.  I even managed to decorate the front page!! Being a spiral book, it will be easy to use in the kitchen when I am cooking.
For those recipes that I use from the net, I will print and place into my book.  The number of times I find a really great recipe and then forget where I found it can be so annoying, this way I will have a copy of it. 

~oOo~ I have been playing around with craft ideas and t…

Encourage one another

We have a Christian duty to encourage one another. Many a time a word of praise or thanks or appreciation or cheer has kept a man (or woman) on his (her) feet. Blessed is the man (or woman) who speaks such a word.
~ William Barclay ~
(I added the word woman for all us women who read this)

Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, 
but also for the interests of others.  Philippians 2:4 (NKJV)

At what age . . . . do you?

What age have you or would you allow your child to: Catch a bus alone?Walk to the shops alone?Stay overnight at a friend’s homes?Alone in the house while you go out?Go to a party?Go shopping with friends and buy their own clothing?Decide when it’s their bedtime, what to watch on TV etc.. One Queensland mother is now on 12 months' probation for allowing her daughter, 12, and a friend (aged 11) to wander around the Brisbane annual Exhibition not in the company of adults (even though the parents were also there).  Is 12 too young to go off unsupervised in an entertainment precinct? Personally I think so, but I don't think punishing the mother is the right way to go.
In a  recent online survey by the Raising Children Network regarding these very issues, this is what parents thought: Most parents believed that by the age of 12 children should be able to decide, by themselves, what to wear. (perhaps this explains the clothing we are seeing pre-teen girls wear)Broad agreement also ex…