Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Ben A'an and Baby Shower

Ben A'an was the first "hill" that we climbed in Scotland back in October 2007.

Here's a picture from the top in the Autumn. A beautiful, but somewhat hazy day.

Two weekends ago we hosted a young man who was traveling on an overseas study program. While he was here, we decided he needed to climb a hill to truly experience the beauty of Scotland. Here's the same view in the spring. The snow really brought out the peaks in the distance and made for a breathtaking view.

Here's a photo of all of us at the top. Thanks for coming to stay Reuben! We were glad for the opportunity to see the beauty of God's creation!

Don't judge me for using walking poles. These things seriously save my knees and toes on the steep ascent and descent. After we climbed Ben A'an the first time, my knees and toes were killing me after so much jarring on the way down. I LOVE my walking poles!!

The spooky forest and trail. Actually it's not spooky at all, but the trees do make an eerie sound when the wind knocks them together.

A photo of Tristan after he walked through the freezing, melted snow stream. Maybe someday we'll have a post on here about all of the times he's done that! It all started with a dare...
On the drive back we stopped at this frozen over lake to take a few pictures. You can see all the rocks on the ice. We had lots of fun trying to break the ice with rocks. (Not all of the rocks are ours. We got the idea from the little kids who we saw doing it.)

This past weekend the ladies from our church through a baby shower for my friend Emma and her second baby boy, Finlay. I was so excited to try my hand a doing a nappy (the British word for diaper) cake. I think my first attempt turned out well. I used this tutorial video which was extremely helpful.

Me and Finlay at the shower. He is impossibly sweet!

Sunday, 28 February 2010

The Best Pudding Ever!!!

I’ll give you a definition first: The word ‘pudding’ in Scotland can be a reference to a dessert. Pudding is what you have after your main course or the last part of your meal. It can also mean a custard type dessert. You just have to listen for the context, but more often then not, it just means dessert.

Sticky Toffee Pudding is a dessert Leslie and I had just a few short weeks after arriving in Scotland. Let’s just say my life would never be the same! It is simply fantastic. The moist cake is delightful, the toffee sauce rich and the cream brings it all together.

I have been guilty of gluttony on more than one occasion with this dessert. One instance, our good friends David and Emma, once had some at their house. Leslie and Emma did not want any (don’t know what they were thinking that day), so David and I were a lotted two massive portions, things were going well. Well David had a few bites and decided he wasn’t going to finish his portion. Well, couldn’t let the piece go to waste now could I? So in addition to my own, I graciously finished David’s as well! They still give me a hard time about this, as you would expect great friends to do!

It is not a difficult dessert to make either, as long as you remember all the ingredients :) I made this for the first time in January. I was up early on Sunday morning to make it, so that we could have it at a dinner that afternoon. I put the cake ingredients together, stuck it into the oven and about ten minutes later realized I never put the eggs into the batter!!!! Oh, I about died. I had to wake Leslie up and say please get started on the batter, I have to go to the store to get some ingredients that we no longer have. Well, it all worked out in the end and it was a lovely Sticky Toffee Pudding. From the consumers of the pudding, I was told: I needed some more “practice” at it and should make it again soon! So I guess it turned out well!

The recipe I used was from the website Recipe Zaar, it was called Undy Arms Sticky Toffee Pudding. You can read about it a little more on that sight. There are three basic elements to a great Sticky Toffee Pudding! The cake, the toffee sauce and the cream (which is optional but you would be a Silly Sillerton not to have the cream with it. And this is just regular single or double cream, you can used whipped but you would be wrong).

If you have ever read the novel The Shack then you have read a reference to this dessert. In the book, the author believes this would be the dessert of choice by Jesus. In his research WM. Paul Young must have asked What Would Jesus Make? And he came up with Sticky Toffee Pudding. The excerpt is:
“Mack to Jesus: "You don't really have to eat, do you?" he asked, as he began to ladle something into his bowl that resembled a thin seafood soup, with squid and fish and other delicacies. "We don't have to do anything," Papa stated rather strongly. "Then why do you eat?" Mack inquired. "To be with you, honey. You need to eat, so what better excuse to be together." "Anyway, we all like to cook," added Jesus. "And I enjoy food- a lot. Nothing like a little shaomai, ugali, nipla, or kori bananje to make your taste buds.”happy. Follow that with some sticky toffee pudding or a tiramisu and hot tear. Yum! It doesn't get any better than that."

Take it for what it is worth...I’ll I am saying is it is a fantastic dessert.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

A Fun Find!

Saturday, Tristan and I decided to take a quick trip out to the village of Doune. Doune is located just a few miles from Stirling. We'd been out to visit Doune Castle before. (You may recognize Doune Castle from this movie.) But, we'd never been through the town, and we always enjoy looking through the little shops in villages around Scotland. So, we parked and started out in the Kilmadock Information and Heritage Center. We ended up spending most of our time in that place because of these little beauties....

Really Old Postcards!!! Most of them are of places that we've visited in Scotland. This is how we know they are really old...
The dates range from 1904 to 1965 and a couple of them have half-penny stamps on them.
We love finding unique things like this! Our plan is to mount them in frames to put on the wall, but we would like for those frames to be double-sided so that you can see the back of the postcard with out taking it out of the frame. We'll see how that goes... something we'll try for when we move back to the States.

It was fun trying to decipher the writing. Here's our favorite...In case you have a hard time reading it... "Everything okay. Dorothy not dead yet. Still going strong. Weather fair. Colin and Dorothy." The "Dorothy not dead yet" part makes me laugh every time I read it.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Burn's Supper 2010

Once again we were able to participate in a Robert Burns Supper at the end of January. We thought that it would go by without a church get together, but as this will be our last Burn's Night with the Stirling Congregation, a family in the church took on hosting and organizing it. This event is quite possibly our favorite with our Stirling church family.

Please enjoy the pictures... we'll let them tell the story of the night.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Who due u spel dat?

Okay, so I have no authority to correct someone else’s spelling and grammar, coming from a guy who one day was convinced “stew” was spelled “stu” (among other words that I am choosing to block out right now) .... but it is always fun to see these mistakes on signs and notices. I saw these misspellings and other mistakes from a MSN UK page. I had to share! So hope you enjoy.

Yes, someone fluent in English might be able to help

Sorry but “friut” from the Penny Pincher does not count as one of your five a day

I have heard of "Do Not Climb" and "Do Not Cling" but what is "Do Not Clinb?"

I guess in one sense they got this one right, if you don’t tighten the security on your car, it will be loose to thieves.

Yikes....this one could use with a nice prepositional phrase to make it wholesome

Two possibilities: 1) They have misapplied the apostrophe and should read - Ladies’ or 2) They have misspelled “Laddies” AND misapplied the apostrophe. What do you think? This could cause some serious confusion!

I spell “tomatoes” you spell “tomatos” (These are supposed to be pictures from the UK, this one from the region of Kent in England. But I am having a hard time believing this one is in the UK. Look at all those SUVs in the background. I am sorry but you rarely see that many gathered in a group like that. If it is in the UK then something dodgy is happening, are we sure those are tomato plants)

At least something is right...the spelling this time! Poor illiterate souls who get hit by the double decker bus just because they followed the arrow!

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Welly Boots

Wellington Boots, or more commonly referred to as Welly Boots, are pretty much a traditional Scottish footwear. They are an important part of the culture and an especially practical item of clothing for the Scottish climate. To prove to you that they are such an important part of the culture, I am going to share with you one of my (Tristan's) new favorite Scottish songs. Just learned about this song this past month!

You can listen to a Primary 4 (7-8 year olds) class sing part of the song by clicking here and pressing the blue play button, warning it is pathetic but sweet! Enjoy and may your life be a little more enriched and cultured by your new knowledge of Welly Boots!

The Welly Boot Song by George McEwan
If it wisnae fir yer wellies where wid ye be?
You'd be in the hospital or infirmary,
For you wid ha'e a does o' the flu or even pleurisy
If you didnae ha'e your feet in your wellies.

Oh, wellies they are wonderful. Oh, wellies they are swell.
For they keep oot the watter and they keep in the smell
And when your sitting in a room you can always tell
When somebody takes aff his wellies.


And when your oot walkin' in the country wi' a bird
And you're strolling over fields just like a farmer's herd
When someone shouts, 'Keep off the grass!' and you think, 'How absurd!'
Then SQUELCH! You find why farmers a' wear wellies.


There's fishermen and firemen, there's framers an' a'
Men oot diggin ditches and workin' in the snaw.
This country it wid grind tae a halt and no' a thing wid graw
If it wisnae for the workers in their wellies.


Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Greenacres is the place to be...

Our new(est) home is located on Greenacre Place, and when we first moved in I was always singing that song that I only know the first few words too. I annoyed even myself! Here are a few pictures of the inside of our flat. We have found it to be a very comfy, cozy place! We feel very blessed to have such a wonderful place at a great price (the least expensive of all our previous residences)!

Let's take a tour shall we?

Here's the view as you walk in... loads of doors.

Take a left to enter the bathroom. Probably isn't totally proper to take a pic of your bathroom. :)

Our bedroom is first on the right.

The second left is our kitchen and dining table.

Directly down the hall is our second bedroom/storage area. It is always the same temperature as outside and always in a constant state of disarray. Obviously, I was quite reluctant to post a photo of this room, but I couldn't neglect to show you my favorite thing in the entire house... the dryer!! Yes, it isn't as big as most dryers in the States, and yes, the hose is hanging out the window, but I love it!! Now our house isn't constantly covered in wet clothes!

Second right is our living room. We love the size; it comfortably accommodates our Thursday night Bible studies. It was awkward to take a picture of, so I put 3 on here. But, you do get the "whole picture" so to speak! :)

And the front door.... the end.