Saturday, 24 April 2021

Friday, 12 February 2021

in my world ~ february






outside my window

The day is still fresh and the grass wet with dew...

I am rejoicing in the coolness of the morning, and hoping that the hot weather we have been melting through lately, will soon be gone.

in my cup

why, hot coffee of course.

around the house

How strange it has been to come home after being away so long...

Thankfully, slotting back into family life wasn't as challenging as I anticipated it being.

reading

Let Me Be a Woman by Elisabeth Elliot.  

This beautiful little book, written as a letter to her daughter who was preparing for marriage at the time, is so pertinent to the season I find myself in...

listening to

I discovered the composer and pianist, George Winston, and have had his albums playing on repeat while wedding planning.

watching

Season 11 of Counting On.  I love watching this family do life.

from the kitchen

  With Mom being so busy with sewing my wedding dress, I am trying to be more present in the kitchen while having little ones help me.

We have been enjoying so many meals from the garden...

creating

With the wedding a mere seven weeks away, my mom, sisters and I are pretty busy these days.

Mom and Nancy are sewing my dress, while the younger girls and I tackle projects like fabric napkins, little boxes and place settings.

 in the garden

I spent almost five months away from home, working as a sous chef in the next town (and that is where I met my fiance), so the garden became solely Mom's.  

Lately, Beth has taken an interest in gardening, which makes my heart so happy.

I have been pottering about sowing seeds here, weeding there, and keeping the garden watered.  I eagerly anticipate being able to work in my own garden someday soon...

out and about

Saturday saw the two of us taking a little road trip and exploring a nearby town...

hoping

 To pick up my camera more regularly as well as write more often on my blog.

one of my favourite things

Going for long walks along gravel roads and through the orchards with my love.

thankful for

My wonderfully creative family and a community of Believers who are helping us prepare for our special day.

quiet moments

Not too many of those at the moment.  The days are filled with daily household tasks, wedding planning and time spent with the people I love most in the world.

thinking of 

How quickly life can change...

One day you are a single young woman, trusting the Lord to bring His best along at the right time, and the next you are swept up in a beautiful love story written with care and precision by the Father.
 
~
A blessed Saturday to you, sweet friends!
Thank you for stopping in...  How wonderful it is to be writing here again!
 
With much love,
Kelly-Anne

Sunday, 17 January 2021

this sweet new season♥

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above...

~ James 1:17 

 Hello dear friends...a blessed 2021 to each of you... ♥

I have missed my little corner of the web and each of you dear readers.

During my unexpected hiatus from the land of blogging, the Lord brought about something truly remarkable...

This special man walked into my life towards the end of last year and took me completely by surprise by being the one the Lord had set apart for me...

 We became engaged on December 12th after a two week courtship, and now we are planning our wedding for the beginning of April.

Our story is unique and a beautiful testimony to the Lords faithfulness...

I anticipate being able to stop in and share it with you soon...  ♥

With much love,

Kelly-Anne

Wednesday, 10 June 2020

in my world ~ june

^My sweet new kitten, Tabitha ♥

^After four weeks, Oscar is still unwilling to accept the new addition to our family.  Sigh.



~ outside my window ~
It is pouring with rain...after a few unusually warm days, cold weather is predicted for the next while, and I am beyond thrilled.
I do so love cosy weather!

 ~ in my cup ~
Strong hot coffee, of course.  {{smiles}}

~ around the house ~
 As usual, we have several projects on the go. 
Mom is sewing pyjamas and leggings for everyone, Nancy is creating a play kitchen and fridge for the children from cardboard boxes, and the rest of us are trying to recover and reorganise ourselves after a big reshuffle of the bedrooms on Sunday!

~ reading ~
I am currently reading an Amish book called, A Sister's Hope by Wanda Brunstetter, but I can't  say I am enjoying it very much...  
I am still anxiously awaiting the arrival of the books which I ordered at the beginning of May, including another one by Miss Read!

~ listening to ~
At the moment I am listening to a lot of hymns sung by Chris Rice...  I find my heart uplifted by the words of truth in the old hymns.
Great is Thy Faithfulness is one I am clinging to at the moment.

~ watching ~
We just finished a series called Living with the Amish.  In this six episode series, six British teenagers are invited to spend six weeks staying with various Amish and Mennonite families between Pennsylvania and Ohio.  
It was lovely to get a peak into the lives of the Amish and we found ourselves inspired in our quest for a simpler, quieter life.  

~ from the kitchen ~
I continue to do most of the cooking.  Lately I have been cooking a lot of double meals to free up a few of my afternoons.  However, cooking double for a large family means I need to quadruple a recipe!  {{smiles}}

~ creating ~
With so much filling each day, I am not finding time to be creative, but I have enjoyed teaching "my" children (in case you didn't know, I am an au pair and teach sewing to the children I help with) some patchwork and applique lately, which they have loved.

~ in the garden ~
 With Winter just around the corner, my garden has been slowing down, and only salad greens, a few herbs and peas are growing well.  Most of my brassicas were annihilated by caterpillars, but thankfully there are still a few plants intact...  Otherwise, the sweet potatoes and beetroot are growing steadily.

~ out and about ~
Now that we have moved to level 3 of lockdown, restriction of movement has been lifted slightly, which means we can walk at any time of the day.
We have enjoyed meeting friends in the forest and at the dam for a walk and hope to get some cycling in too!

~ hoping ~
With a few seasons in life drawing to a close and new possibilities on the horizon, I am hoping that things will become clear soon.  Patience is definitely not one of my virtues.

~ one of my favourite things ~
Having my sweet kitty, Tabitha, sleep on my bed each night.  I love waking up to find her still fast asleep next to me the next morning.  ♥

~ thankful for ~
Being able to go for a long, refreshing walk on the beach on the weekend.
It was really quite cold and windy, but it didn't bother us in the least.  It felt wonderful to feel the sand beneath our feet and breathe in the fresh ocean air after nine weeks of not being allowed on our beautiful beaches.

~ quiet moments ~
Not too many of those...I find myself enjoying the strangest times of peace such as when I am in the car driving down the road to work, or when I get up to make coffee for Mom and I each morning.

~ for the love of words ~
Each morning I love reading Spurgeon's morning devotional.
This was yesterday's reading...
"The deeper our troubles, the louder our thanks to God, who has led us through all, and preserved us until now. Our griefs cannot mar the melody of our praise, we reckon them to be the bass part of our life's song, "He hath done great things for us, whereof we are glad."

~ thinking of ~
June 7th marked the 3 year anniversary of the fire which destroyed our home...
It is amazing to look back upon something so terrible, and see how the Lord's hand rested upon us and how He has provided for us...  
We have seen miracle after miracle over the past few years, and now trust Him for another one...
If you think of it, please pray for our family as we face another difficult situation...
Pray for guidance, pray for provision, and pray that we would remain strong.

~
Happy June, dear friends!
Now that we are halfway through the year of 2020, what have the first six months of this year taught you?

For me, I have realised how fleeting life on earth truly is, and how vitally important it is to keep an eternal perspective...
I have also learnt that my trust needs to be in Christ alone, and that we cannot look to man for provision.
The Lord continues to work in my life and draw me closer to Himself, and I am thankful for His patience and grace.

~
Thank you for stopping by, sweet friends. 
Your visits brighten my day!
 ♥

With much love,
Kelly-Anne

Sunday, 7 June 2020

in which we celebrate a birthday

 Morning lovely readers and blessings to you on this beautiful new day...
It has certainly been awhile since I last shared something here.
Life in a big family is usually a whirlwind of activity, but throw in a few new pets and a job which keeps me on my toes, and time for blogging seems to be quite rare these days.

June began with Rebekah's birthday....
This lovely young lady is now eleven years old...

 
 
^It was wonderful to do a quick photo shoot in the forest and capture a few pictures of our birthday girl.

 We are so thankful for the easing of some lockdown restrictions which means we can now walk at any time of the day...  
 To celebrate Rebekah's special day, we thought it would be lovely to go for a walk in the forest and let the little ones do a scavenger hunt before having a quiet picnic lunch together.
Afterwards we came home for tea and cake.


We chose a woodland theme for the picnic and cake which seemed fitting seeing as we chose to celebrate with a simple picnic in the forest... 

 

How wonderful it is to be part of a big family...even a simple picnic in the forest feels like a party.

The day before I baked a chocolate cake which I cut, stacked and iced to look like a log.
Nancy created the sweetest woodland creatures from icing to decorate the cake with.
She also added bunting and little roses...

 
 .
 ^I love this little hedgehog!

 
 ^Oh, and isn't this wee owl the sweetest?


We had such a lovely day celebrating Rebekah's life and made some wonderful memories...  
I love that the simplest of celebrations really are the sweetest.

~
May the week ahead be blessed!

Monday, 18 May 2020

counting my blessings

Hello lovely friends...
How was your week?
Mine felt extremely long indeed - by Wednesday I was convinced that it should already be Friday!  {{smiles}} 
It didn't help that my phone died a sudden and sad death when it fell out my pocket, plop! right into a tub of water, which meant I had to scurry about organizing a new one...
Or that poor Nancy had her wisdom teeth removed this week, meaning we are a currently a man down...
I am realising just how much she does to keep the wheel turning each day.
On top of all this, we went and added a rabbit, a guinea pig and a kitten to our family...
And for some reason, kitty thinks it is great fun waking me an hour earlier each morning, so I have been functioning on very little sleep the past couple days.

But amidst all the craziness of these unprecedented times and the daily struggles we face, it is wonderful to know how deeply our Saviour cares and that He is walking close beside us...
Nothing happens without His knowledge, and He promises to give us fresh grace and strength for each day...

I have have so much to be thankful for, and I know that there is joy to be found in each season of life, if we will but stop and notice...

I thought I would share a list of twelve little things I am thankful for right now...I always find it lifts my heart to count my blessings. ♥


♥ glorious Autumn weather, roses blooming, and the musical trill of the birds in the trees...

♥ being able to purchase an almost-new phone from a friend.

 ♥ cuddling up with Village Diary (by Miss Read) each evening, and imaging myself an inhabitant of Fairacre...


♥ harvesting new peas and baby spinach from the garden for our salads.

♥ early morning walks with my mom, little siblings and Timmy (our dog) before I go off to work.

♥ playing in crinkly piles of Autumn leaves with the children in my "other family" (I work as an au pair).


♥ kitty snuggles (yes, even in the middle of the night) with Tabitha.

♥ late night chats with my sister.

♥ making homemade pizza with my sisters whilst singing along to beautiful Praise music.



♥ laughter around the table and homemade delicious milk tart (a South African thing).

 ♥ discussing garden plans with my mom and coming home one afternoon to find Mom had been to the second-hand store,and had laid hold of various treasures to use as planters and decor for the garden.

♥ treating myself to two novels by Lynn Austin and excitedly anticipating their arrival in the mail.

~
May the joy of the Lord be our strength in the week ahead!

What are you thankful for today?

Blessings,
Kelly-Anne

Wednesday, 13 May 2020

Introducing♥Tabitha

After almost year of hoping and dreaming...
I brought this sweet eight week old kitten home from the animal shelter yesterday.  ♥

 

Meet Tabitha, named after the character from Beatrix Potter's stories.♥


She has loads of spunk and energy, and a truly enormous purr for such a tiny bundle of fur...

 She has stolen our hearts ♥

I hope all my lovely readers are well and enjoying a beautiful week!

Blessings,
Kelly-Anne

Thursday, 7 May 2020

Orange, Almond & Polenta Cake


Hello dear friends and happy Thursday!
I hope that you have had a lovely week thus far...♥

Now that I am back at work, life is busier than ever, which means I don't have a lot of time for blogging...
Today the children and I spent the morning sewing felt hand puppets which we will finish off tomorrow.
I feel so thankful to be able to resume a somewhat normal way of life, and I am purposing to cherish each moment, and take things slower.

Apart from au pairing, I have been weeding and tidying the garden, and planting more spinach, lettuce and beetroot seeds.
We are also getting a delivery of manure today which I will add to our compost heap.
Stay tuned for a garden update coming soon!

And now, here is the recipe for the orange, almond and polenta cake I promised to share...
This cake is absolutely delicious served with fresh whipped cream and a cup of tea...it is also gluten-free♥  {{smiles}}



ORANGE, ALMOND AND POLENTA CAKE
 
100ml fresh orange juice
25ml sugar
5-6cm rosemary twig with leaves
150g butter
150g castor sugar
3 large eggs
5ml baking powder
Pinch salt
5ml finely grated orange rind
175g almond flour
75g polenta

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius.
Grease a 20cm cake tin. 
Heat the orange juice and sugar over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved. 
Remove from the heat, add rosemary twig and allow to infuse for five minutes. 
Remove the twig from the syrup. 
Set aside the syrup, you will need to reheat it and pour it over the cake later on. 
Beat the butter and castor sugar until creamy and add the eggs gradually while beating on a high speed, until light and fluffy. 
Use a mixing spoon to mix the baking powder, salt, orange rind, almond flour and polenta into the creamed mixture. 
Spoon the soft dough into the greased cake tin and level the surface. 
Bake for 50-60 minutes, until golden and done.
Remove from the oven, prick the hot cake and pour the hot orange syrup over the cake. 
Allow to cool before cutting.
Serve with cream.



Thank you so much for stopping by, dear friends. ♥

Blessings,
Kelly-Anne

Sunday, 3 May 2020

in my world ~ may

 
 
^ Pictures from Caleb's fourth birthday party last week

 outside my window ~
  After a few warm days, I awoke to the sound of softly falling rain, and a misty world outside my window.
My garden is smiling with all the lovely water it is receiving.

in my cup ~
Black rooibos tea.

around the house ~
Our home is a haven and a place of peace in these troubling times...
Whenever I have to run to the store for groceries, I always feel so thankful to come home to a loving family and a cosy house.

reading ~ 
I have just started The Chronicles of Fairacre by Miss Read...so far I am enjoying the stories of life in the country and the little village school. 

 listening to ~
I have been listening to a lot of music by The Gaither Vocal Band and David Phelps.  
I find their music so uplifting and encouraging.

watching ~
 We just finished watching season 7 of When Calls the Heart, and The Chosen, a beautiful series depicting the life of Jesus...
Season 1 sees the calling of the first disciples and Jesus' first miracles...
We were so blessed by each episode, and I cannot recommend this series highly enough...
You can watch the trailer here.

from the kitchen ~
I have been spending hours in the kitchen trying out new recipes and adding the best ones to our collection... 

creating ~
 It has become mandatory to wear a face mask when leaving the house, so I spent the better part of two days measuring, cutting and sewing face masks for each member of the family.
I am quite pleased with how they turned out.
I also spent a day sewing a matching apron for Caleb and his teddy, which I gave to Caleb for his birthday.

in the garden ~
My little garden is growing steadily; the peas are flowering, the sweet potatoes are sending out new runners, the spinach is producing prolifically, and little radish, lettuce and kale seedlings are popping up all over.

out and about ~
Lockdown restrictions have been lifted ever so slightly, and we are now allowed to exercise in our neighbourhood between 6am and 9am each day...
Oh, it feels so good to breathe in the crisp autumn air and enjoy a brisk walk again!

one of  my favourite things ~
Sitting outside in the garden with my mom, sipping a cup of coffee and chatting about various plans and ideas.

thankful for
Being able to go back to work tomorrow...
Because I am an au pair in a doctor's family, I have been given a permit to work during this next level of lockdown.
I am so looking forward to seeing the children again and getting back into a bit of a routine.

dreaming of ~
This lockdown ending and being able go for a walk along the beach again or go on a roadtrip.

hoping ~
To spend more time pottering about in my garden.
We had a busy week or two preparing for Caleb's birthday...there were gifts to make and a little party to plan, so I didn't get a chance to work in my garden at all.

quiet moments ~
Beth and I took a stroll around the block this morning; there was a slight lull in the rain and all was quiet and beautiful outside.

for the love of words ~
Every morning I read online from Spurgeon's Morning and Evening devotional.
This is an excerpt from today's reading...
"Expect trouble then, but despond not on account of it, for God is with thee to help and to strengthen thee.  He hath said, "I will be with thee in trouble; I will deliver thee and honour thee."
I am so thankful for the peace we have in Christ.

~
Well, dear friends...  
I pray that the month of May would be a blessed and peaceful one amidst the turmoil and strife in the world.
I pray that you will find your strength and hope in Christ alone, and look to Him for wisdom and guidance.

I would also like to welcome sweet new readers...what a blessing it is to meet like-minded people in the lovely world of blogging!

With love,
Kelly-Anne