Sunday, April 20, 2014

Sourdough Hot Cross Buns....Regular and Chocolate type

Sourdough Hot Cross Buns-

250g sourdough starter
1 tsp dried yeast
100g panella/rapadura
250mls milk
100g softened butter
600g spelt flour
200g mixture of sultana and currants (or chocolate chips if you prefer and 1 tbs of cocoa)
100mls water
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp Celtic sea/pink Himalayan salt

(Cross and glaze ingredients further down the page)
Mix all ingredients together, except for the salt.
Autolyse  for a  period of 50 minutes.
Add the salt and mix again, then turn out on to a lightly floured bench to knead until you get a lovely smooth ball of dough.
Pop the dough back into the bowl, plastic bag over the top and leave to prove.
Do a  couple of proves and folds over the next few hours.
Then tip out onto lightly floured surface again and divide into portions size you prefer (We made about 30)
Roll into balls, or simply divide to get a more square shape.
Pop them on a greased baking tray, cover and leave for another prove.
The dough is ready to be baked, when you press it in and it lightly springs back.
Crosses -make crosses from 1/4 cup of plain flour and 2 tbs of water.
Put into a piping bag. I use two pieces of paper sticky taped into a funnel shape.
Add more or less to suit. The thicker it is the harder it is to put on as in the picture on the left.

Bake for about 15 mins on 200 degrees
The glaze is what makes Hot Cross buns in my opinion.
Have ready to paint on as soon as you get them out of the oven.

1/2 cup of sugar of your choice (white, xylitol, panella)
1 tsp all spice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon of water.
Mix and add more or less again to taste.
Paint on to buns as soon as they come out of the oven.

Divide among your crew but make sure you have some aside for you self as they disappear fast.
Most of us  like ours with butter but they are a couple who love them just as they are!!

Blessings to you and your homes,

Alleluia - Christ Has Risen!!

"Alleluia, Alleluia,Alleluia"

Dear Friends,
Today we celebrate the reason we are Christians: The Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ after his dying on the Cross for our Sins.

All Lent we have looked forward to the day we can celebrate this day and although we seem to be continuing some Lenten sacrifices, the cold season is upon us, we will spend the day joyfully giving thanks for the great love of Jesus Our Saviour.

May the love and peace of our risen Lord be with you and your families today and always.

I will be back with our many celebrations over the last days of Holy Week over the next few days.
Our life has been too full living them to document :) But I hope to remedy that soon.

Jesus is risen!
He is risen indeed!

May this declaration
resound not only in these walls
but touch the lives
of all we meet
and forever be
the truth of which we speak.
Your love,
once sown within a garden,
tended for your own people,
neglected and rejected,
now spreads its sweet perfume
in this place
and wherever it is shown.

Jesus is risen!

He is risen indeed!

Blessings to you and your homes,

Friday, April 18, 2014

"Pockets Full of Love"............This Year's Lenten Countdown

We are entering the final countdown on our Lenten Journey, faster than I ever thought possible,  and still I have not been able to share our "Pockets full of Love Countdown."

Our countdown this year was really a very simple project that seemed to reflect on the theme of Love that we had carried over form St Valentine's Day.

I wanted to have hearts as a theme and expand on the fact that it was Jesus' love for us that really gave us this opportunity of redemption.
So I painted some A4 paper with shades of purple as that is the Liturgical colour and then cut them into heart shapes.
Of course we needed a token to move along the countdown to actually 'count down the days' and some years ago I had made a small felt lamb for another Easter countdown.

So again using the Lamb of God as our movable token we have a visible reminder of Jesus as a sacrifice in our place.
Next I thought we needed something to show our love and thus we have our little hearts that we put inside our pockets for every good deed, sacrifice and prayers through out the day.
Oh yes I did say a pocket didn't I!
Yes, so when I cut out the heart shapes I made sure I had two for every day of the countdown. Then I cut the top one off and stuck it to the back one.
I originally stapled them together but wasn't happy with the result so then I glued around the edges of every one.
For the little love tokens- I used a heart shape hole punch and cut out a heap with that and...............
put them in a basket ready to be used.
Then I simply threaded the hearts together and hung them on the wall where we wanted them.
Which is right near our dinner table and so very obvious to all throughout the day.
The final step was to number the hearts and write any significant days on like the Sundays and Holy Days.
Now the countdown can begin!!!

At the time of writing this post which is late Maundy Thursday evening we have managed to actually fill our all pockets with much love (emptying our basket) and ahead of time too. 
In fact we have been finished for at least a week now which is a great achievement for us.

Blessings to you and your homes,

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Passion of Our Lord Videos to share

I have been looking for animated version of the Passion of our Lord for these last days leading up to Easter.
I have found these ones that our children can watch.
Still some are more powerful than others so please check before showing your own children.
Here is my list so far-
Animated Passion

Passion of the Christ Animated section 

We are the Reason -Avalon The animated Passion of the Cross

Jesus Life Story (funny animation)
The Life of Christ (animated another version)

Beginners Bible for Kids Easter Part
Blessings to you and your homes,

Monday, April 14, 2014

Palm Sunday 2014 (with some videos)

The last candle has been lit on our Lenten Log countdown although I am the first to admit that we have not been diligent in lighting them throughout this Lenten season.
Our Crown of Thorns has been empty for about two weeks now and our "Pockets of Love" Calender has had all the hearts placed within as well.

Sometimes I think we just have too much actual "LENT" to participate in the rituals we have developed that help us remember what the season is about that we 'live it in reality' enough.

We have truly had many reasons to be thankful this Lent for the opportunity to be apart of this penitential season and much prayer and sacrifice has been made by many.

However as we enter into this last part of the journey of Holy Week I am praying that we can take a step backwards and just reflect on the life of Jesus and what his sacrifice means to each of us personally.

We are preparing our Crack me Eggs, Painting Eggs (similar to this), Colouring pictures and reading through our Lenten Book Basket  (especially Amon's Adventure) all the while planning for the celebrations to come.
The Seder Meal is one we have participated in for many years now and one I really love which requires some planning and Autumn who will be home for her Uni break has especially asked to help prepare the Trifle for sweets.

I have a few last minute gifts to make for the Easter Baskets and probably will need some helpers for that one.

So I can see that our week will be a full one.
Hopefully full of love for one another and realising how blessed we are, not only in our day to day living but in the hope of the Resurrection of our Lord as the basis of our lives.

I thought I would share our love of  this song from the Donut Man and how appropriate for this Palm Sunday

Here are a few youtube videos of Palm Sunday for you to enjoy:
This one is very powerful story of real understanding
This one is various reenactments of the Entry into Jerusalem  (suddenly loud music at the end)
An animated version for little ones
and here also is a 10th century Homily on Palm Sunday

"Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Sion, shout for joy, O daughter of Jerusalem: BEHOLD THY KING will come to thee, the just and saviour: he is poor, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass. And I will destroy the chariot out of Ephraim, and the horse out of Jerusalem, and the bow for war shall be broken: and he shall speak peace to the Gentiles, and his power shall be from sea to sea, and from the rivers even to the end of the earth." Zacharias 9:9-10

Have a most Blessed Holy Week with your families
Blessings to you and your homes,

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Autumn Outdoor Play Space .......a story

We are finally getting some beautiful Autumn weather where it is so lovely to spend a lot of time outside during the day.
I can see we will taking our books out a lot more over the next few weeks before it gets too cold and we huddle up beside the fire instead.
Over the hot Summer the children were not playing outside as much and such were not using the valuable outdoors to encourage their imaginations as much and the out door equipment was being ignored and children were not as creative in their play.
Only over the last few days have I noticed the children starting to be more outgoing and be more creative in their outdoor play again.
Today I made the children a little stepping log area for them to use in the play space we have around the swing set that Stephen made last year.

It was realtively easy to set up and the children have loved using it again and again.
In fact I had to walk around for simply ages holding Trahaearn's hand so he could do it too
What I did notice was that when I made the space for this activity that the children were more keen to come and play more in that area.

So I started to tidy up a bit around the area and placing things together again that would normally be there.
Things like our homemade sea saw - a plank on a rolled over stump.
The slide - again a plank we made years ago on top of another stump
The Tyre swing that is always here became part of the game again
In fact I started thinking that it just isn't about sending the children outside to play, even when we provide them with lot so of imaginative play props.
I need to keep the area attractive and tidy so they feel the joy of coming and participating in the play opportunities that can be experienced there.
I also think my being outside with them helping and being there is always an incentive for them to spend more time they they would normally.
I honestly enjoy the outdoors so much but often get caught up by the indoor activities that await my pleasure
It is a pleasure not only for the children but for me also to look outside, to be outside and to see the value in playing with the natural environment we have here.
That does not mean it can not be manufactured to provide more interest for the children at all.

I have plans to paint those little stumps to look like red mushrooms any day now!!
Won't they like so cute then and imagine the possibilities that can be thought up then!
I enjoyed just sitting on the swing and watching them at their play, responding when they called out to me to 'watch' while they accomplished one activity after another.
Of course after that I was inspired to just fix up the table and chairs that we spent so much time around during the Spring and as it so happened we had lunch out side as well
This I think is a natural response to creating a lovely environment for everyone to enjoy, either playing or just spending time reading and relaxing
Our swing set has had the opportunity to become a cubby house and other games played up on the platform
I tell you Myffwyn has spent so much time going around and around this play space and is quite excited about the possibility of a 'fairy ring'

The sand pit which has mostly been used as a volcano has suddenly become a construction site again with the trucks and excavator being hard at work.
Here is a view across from the house.............
Some of our other areas for play.
The hammock often has one or two or even more people in it and not just for a little nap.
The fairy bower in the background and play garden are all in this little area too
And from another view.
You can see that all these little things do not actually take up a lot of space in a back garden
See the children on the fence at the back they are watching a meat ant nest.
I am sure we will be spending more time out here in the coming days and I will be creating some little handmade Easter gifts here as well.
I think outdoor lighting helps to create a more intimate area to enjoy
Needless to say if you leave a trailer of wood around the younger children will climb it and make a game out of it.
And climbing the fence is always better than going through the gate!!

So there you have our little activity of creating a play space this time of year that will enable us to enjoy this beautiful Autumn weather.

Blessings to you and your homes,
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