Monday, March 28, 2011

Ladies in Waiting

That's how we feel right now, the girls and I.
Pregnant with promise and possibility, a new life just waiting to burst forth....fully expectant.
Yet...we are waiting.
As with each of my babies, there comes a point where you feel like you can't go on any longer.
Though it may feel that way, the appointed day has not arrived.

In most physical labor and deliveries, the phase called transition is the toughest. This is the time frame immediately proceeding the birth.
In my own experience, with my final three deliveries...this phase was extremely intense and a switch was triggered in me that all but caused me to lose my mind...ask my husband...he has some pretty wild stories to tell!

Our family has been walking out a very long and drawn out transition as we move from one province to another.
It hasn't looked anything like we had thought and has taken far longer than we had hoped or anticipated.
At times this transition is a lot of work, it has been lonely, it has been frustrating and even painful.
The intensity has caused me on more than one occasion
to wonder if I could really continue .

Sitting here tonight, it might appear there is no end in sight, yet there is a calm assurance within, that tells me our time is coming.

I have learned so many truths throughout this waiting time.
I have seen the Faithfullness of my God who has led and carried me every step of the way.
I have seen His incredible favor on my children.
When Mark and I have questioned our path and cried out in desperation for clarity...He showed us immediately and with crystal clear certainty that the decisions we have made to this point have indeed been wise ones.

The girls and I have learned valuable lessons.
Not the least of which is just how strong, and how capable we are, especially when we work together.
We have learned to care for one another and to have girly fun together.
We have also learned that though we are very capable on our own....we LIKE having the men in our lives. We appreciate their help whether or not we need it and we love their company.
We miss them, need them and want them in our lives.
Those are lessons I want the girls to remember as they become young women.
They are strong and capable and they don't need a man to simply to take care of them...but to value the men that God gives them and to enjoy having them in their lives.

As I have watched God's Faithfullness to both His written Word and our prayers, I am at peace.
I know that:
as quickly as He has rewarded the obedience of my youngest child and her heart to give away some bikes, with more money than she would have asked had she put a price tag on them.
As extravagantly as He has answered the prayer of my second youngest when she asked for more than 10 people to come through yesterday's open house... and 30 came.
As He has done heart surgery on my younger son and literally created a new young man seemingly over night and as much as I see God's tremendous favor on my eldest as he walks alongside my son into manhood and his own path in life.
As I see Divine connections for my husband while he prepares the way for myself and the girls...
in all of this, I am reminded of the greatness of my God and of the wonderful plans He has in store for me too.

I am at peace knowing that it can all change suddenly, the waiting will come to an end and this transition will birth a beautiful new life.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Irish Stew

This Irish Stew is what I am making to celebrate St. Patrick's Day tomorrow. I found the recipe last year and it is absolutely incredible! If you are looking for a great recipe to celebrate with or...just a wonderful stew for any time at all....this is it!

Of Course I had to change it....but only slightly. In my world, Irish Stew must have a greeen Veggie so I also added peas near the end of the cooking process. I think I'd also thicken the broth like a traditional stew in the future. (after the Veggies are added and cooked, bring the broth to a boil mixing in flour and water that has been well shaken/stirred)
Last year, I made Irish Soda Bread to serve with the is basically like a giant biscuit....very tasty as well.

This year, I found scone mixes in the
Byward Market in Ottawa, made by "Maureen's Little Irish Cottage"...and could not resist.
The flavor I chose to go with our stew is "Me Mum's Herb and Garlic".
I'll let you know how they turn out and add pictures tomorrow.

I do wish you could read the instructions, they were written as if spoken by a true Irish lass...complete with blessing the scone as you cut it to let out the fairies...just incase

Irish Beef Stew Recipe


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/4 pounds well-marbled chuck beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch pieces (NOT extra-lean)
  • 6 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 cups beef stock or canned beef broth
  • I cup of Guinness beer
  • 1 cup of fine red wine
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
  • 3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 7 cups)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cups 1/2-inch pieces peeled carrots
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


1 Heat olive oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Lightly salt the beef pieces. Working in batches if necessary, add the beef (do not crowd the pan, or the meat will steam and not brown) and cook, without stirring, until nicely browned on one side, then use tongs to turn the pieces over. Continue to cook in this manner until all sides are browned, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 1 minute. Add beef stock, Guinness, red wine, tomato paste, sugar, thyme, Worcestershire sauce and bay leaves. Stir to combine. Bring mixture to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, then cover and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

2 While the meat and stock is simmering, melt butter in another large pot over medium heat. Add potatoes, onion and carrots. Sauté vegetables until golden, about 20 minutes. Set aside until the beef stew in step one has simmered for one hour.

3 Add vegetables to beef stew. Simmer uncovered until vegetables and beef are very tender, about 40 minutes. Discard bay leaves. Tilt pan and spoon off fat. Transfer stew to serving bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with parsley and serve. (Can be prepared up to 2 days ahead. Cool slightly. Refrigerate uncovered until cold, then cover and refrigerate. Bring to simmer before serving.)

Serves 4 to 6.