Pretzels and Mustard

Kirsten loves mustards of various kinds. She is also an excellent pretzel maker. One of her gifts was two mustards.
So the other day she blessed us with fresh-baked pretzels and mustards to put on them. Yummy!!!

Kirsten's Pretzels - Soft Ones

Did you know that pretzels came from monks? As early as 610AD at a monastery somewhere in Southern France or Northern Italy, monks used scraps of dough and formed them into strips to represent a child's arms folded in prayer. The three empty holes represented the Christian Trinity. The monks offered the warm, doughy bribe to children who had memorized their Bible verses and prayers. The monks called it a Pretiola, Latin for little reward. From there, the pretzel transformed into the Italian word, Brachiola, which means little arms. (Read more about pretzels at
(This is a fun recipe to make with kids who love to knead dough and get messy!)

3 1/2 - 5 cups white flour
1 Tablespoon white sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tablespoon yeast (regular or fast-acting)
1 1/2 cups water
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil

1 cup water
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. coarse salt

In large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, sugar, salt and yeast with wooden spoon until well mixed.
Heat water to 120 - 130 farenheit. Add warm water and oil to flour mixture.
Mix well. Add in remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until dough is soft, leaves side of bowl and is easy to handle.
On a floured surface put dough out. Knead about 5 minutes, adding more flour to surface as needed to keep dough from sticking.
Cover with a cloth or dish towel, let rest 10 minutes.
Move oven rack to middle of oven. Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly grease baking sheet. In shallow bowl stir 1 cup water and baking soda to make pretzel "wash".
Divide dough into 16 pieces. Roll out each peice into 24 inch rope. Dip hands in pretael wash to make rolling dough easier. Make pretzel shape. Just before baking, brush on pretzel wash and sprinkle with salt. Bake in oven 15 - 20 minutes.

New Year 2013

Rest and Wait. Watchwords for this year 2013.

Psalm 27:14 says Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!

This new year finds us in the midst of a trial that is a steep learning curve of resting in the Lord, staying silent and letting Him fight the battle.

Psalm 27:8 You have said, "Seek my face."
My heart says to you, "Your face, Lord, do I seek."

And we rest. And we wait. And we know our Father has designed all things for good.

Steve Green's song, "Rest" is a theme song that plays often in my head.

Rest the Lord is near
Refuse to fear
Enjoy his love

Trust, His mighty power
Fills every hour
Of all your days

There is no need
For needless worry
With such a Savior
You have no cause to ever

Doubt His perfect word
Still reassures
In any trial

Rest the Lord is there
Lift up your prayer
For He is strong

Trust, He'll bring release
And perfect peace
Will calm your mind

There is no need
For needless worry
With such a Savior
You have no cause to ever

Doubt His perfect word
Still reassures
In any trial

Call Him, if you grow frightened
Call Him, with loving care
He'll lift the burden and you'll

Rest the Lord is near
Refuse to fear
Enjoy His love

Trust His mighty power
Fills every hour
Of all your days

Rest the Lord is near
Refuse to fear
Enjoy His love

Boat Trip December 2012

Merry Christmas 2012

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from us in the Philippines!

We rejoice at this time of year, remembering our Saviour's love for each of us to

come to earth as a baby, live, die and rise again so we can obtain eternal life in Him.

---The biggest event this year was losing Jerard. He went to be with Jesus May 18, 2012.

Prayer and Praise

---Our adoption of James should be completed in 2013.

---Mikayla will be starting college the fall of 2013.

---We will furlough in the USA for a year starting summer of 2013.

---We look forward to connecting with family and friends while in the USA.

---pray for our adoption to be finalized in a timely manner

---pray for our family as we face and deal with various issues

---pray for our kids as we transition from Philippine life to USA life

---pray for Mikayla as she prepares to enter college

frosting cookies with friends

White Christmas party with friends

celebrating the holiday with friends

Prisoner of Hope

I've been reading through Zechariah and Revelations recently.

This verse in Zechariah 9:12 really jumped out at me when I dove tail it into all the verses in the new testament that admonish us to keep on pressing on, to run the race, to endure hardship....

Return to your stronghold, O prisoners of hope; today I declare that I will restore to you double.

Each of us are prisoners of hope. As I trust my Heavenly Dad, resting in His leading and watchcare, even when the path makes no sense; I know I am His; He holds me. He never leaves me, and He knows my name.

I love reading about other women who've suffered so much; Corrie Ten Boom, Gracia Burnham, Lilias Trotter.....
truly, our trials here on earth really are just "light and momentary" compared to the joy of seeing my Saviour face to face!
And as Corrie says, "no pit is so deep that God is not deeper still"

2 Corinthians 4:16-18
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight
of glory beyond all comparison, 18 as we look not to the
things that are seen but to the things that are unseen.
For the things that are seen are transient, but the things
that are unseen are eternal.