Do not judge and you will not be judged.
Forgive and you will be forgiven.
Give and it will be given to you.
Luke 6: 37-38

24 December 2011

Butternut squash and nut roast?

Steven and I decided that Imogen (who is a vegetarian) would have a nut roast this Christmas..and I thought I would cook it! However, those of you who know me will not be surprised to hear that I left it a bit late. Two days ago I tried to cheat and get one from M&S but to no avail, they did not have any left! Not taking no for an answer, I bought all the ingredients in Tesco and last night I was scouring the Internet to find an easy recipe! 
However, I had to deal with an emergency so I was in no mood to bake it then and feeling emotionally exhausted. 
Today has been great, we've just come  back from a convivial Christingle service in Hixon church. I am still humming Come and Join the celebration. I have found a perfect recipe. Click here to see it on the web! However as Imo does not like onions or garlic, I will have to make some slight we shall see! Below is the recipe adapted for children or fussy teenagers!
450g/1 lb peeled, deseeded butternut squash, cut into cubes
225g/8 oz raw, chopped hazelnuts, almonds, pistachios and brazil nuts
Provencal herbs
salt and pepper 
Put the butternut to roast for half an hour at gas mark 7/ 220 C. When the squash has finished roasting, mix all the ingredients together, then press the mixture into a lined 2 lb loaf tin. Bake for 60 mins at gas 190 C. Imogen has looked at it and cut a little sample and all is good. 
Have a blessed Christmas and may the Lord bless you in abundance. 
Yours in Christ.

22 December 2011

The wardens' evening ....december 2012

A few photos taken at Phil and Paola's home for the warden's buffet.

We had a great time in amazing company...
Pic 1...Elaine and Liz
Pic 2...Alan and Pat
Pic 3...John and Lesley
Pic 4....Phil, Elaine, Paola, Stuart and Steven

Lots more people were around, still at times I feel that taking photographs can be intruding I've already mentioned...
Thanks from all of us to Philip and Paola
God bless you all 

20 December 2011

Kiss me under the mistletoe!

6 Christmas myths demystified

Myth 1: Christmas is the most important date on the Christian calendar.
For all the cards sent and trees decorated — to say nothing of all the Nativity scenes displayed, this is not true. Easter, the day on which Christians believe Christ rose from the dead, has more significance than does Dec. 25. Christ’s resurrection means not just that He conquered death, nor is it proof of Jesus’s divinity to his followers; it holds out the promise of salvation for all who believe in him.
Myth 2: Jesus was born on December 25.
No one knows the date on which Jesus was born and there is no record of any date being set apart to mark his birth during the first 300 years of the history of the church. It was not until the 4th century that Christians started to celebrate the birth of Christ on December 25 in an attempt to Christianise the pagan celebration of the birthday of the sun.
Myth 3: Jesus was born in a stable, surrounded by cattle.
The fact that Jesus was laid in a manger — an animal’s feeding trough — has led many to assume that he must have been born in a stable in the midst of cattle. However, the Bible does not mention a stable and it certainly doesn’t refer to the presence of animals. The precise setting in which Jesus was born and spent his earliest hours and days is not described.
Myth 4 : Three Eastern kings followed a star to Jesus’s birthplace.
The visitors from the East are nowhere described as kings in the Bible and, although it is fair to assume that they were men of some standing, their precise social status is unknown. The tradition that there were three Magi or ‘wise men’ is based on the fact that they presented three gifts to Jesus — gold, frankincense and myrrh.
Myth 5 : It was by chance that Jesus was born in Bethlehem because Mary and Joseph just happened to be staying there at the time.
The location of Jesus’s birth was far from accidental. Some 700 years before his birth, the prophet Micah declared that the promised Christ would be born in the insignificant town of Bethlehem.
Myth 6 : The biblical account of the birth of Jesus is a lovely story for children at this time of year, but it doesn’t make any difference to me.
The birth of Jesus makes a profound difference to all of us, whether young or old. Without Jesus, we are cut off from God and none of us is good enough to make it to heaven on our own. The Bible says that Jesus Christ is the only person who can bring us to God, because he is both God and man. He knows what it is like to be human, and he also has the divine power that is needed to bring us back to God.
If Jesus had never been born as a baby in Bethlehem, there would be no hope for any of us. But as a result of his birth, and through his subsequent death and resurrection, he has opened up for us a way back to God. Jesus himself said: ‘I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in me should not abide in darkness’ (John 12.46).
Source : Norman Wells on the following website and the Washington post

3 December 2011

Christmas fair

Our Christmas fair was held in Hixon memorial hall. There was a huge variety of stalls, old and new, i.e. dolls, craft, quilt, toiletries, cakes, home-made jams and marmalade, jewellery,  books, knit craft for Macmillan cancer research...and more. 

It started at 10 a.m. and finished after 4 p.m. It was well attended and everyone left holding lots of presents. There were refreshments and delicious mini minced pies. There was the opportunity to win a Christmas Hamper and five dinner dates.
The next event is Carols at the Inn, Sunday 18th December at 7:30 p.m. 

Have a blessed evening. Your sister in Christ. N.

6 November 2011

An old man, his son and missing bodies!

An old Italian man lived alone in New Jersey. He wanted to plant a tomato garden, but it was difficult work, as the ground had become extremely hard. His only son, Vincent, who used to help him, was now in prison. The old man wrote a letter to his son and described his predicament: Dear Vincent, I am feeling pretty sad, because it looks like I won't be able to plant my tomato garden this year. I'm just getting too damn old to be digging up the garden plot. I know you would be happy to dig the plot for me, like in the old days. If you were here my troubles would be over. Love, Papa
A few days later he received a letter from his son. Dear Pop, Don't dig up that garden. That's where the bodies are buried. Love, Vincent

6 a.m. the next morning, FBI agents and local police arrived and dug up the entire area looking for, but without finding any bodies. Finally, they apologized profusely to the old man and left.
Later in the day the old man received another letter from his son.

Dear Pop, Go ahead and plant the tomatoes now. That's the best I could do under the circumstances. Love you, Vincent
I hope you enjoyed this piece of 'humour' that my friend Mandy sent me some time ago.
Have a blessed week.

3 November 2011

A Victoria Sponge with a twist!

Tonight, Imo asked me to bake another cake (I baked one yesterday), first I refused as it was getting late but she insisted so here is the recipe I used for this Victoria Sponge with a twist. Click on the words Victoria Sponge to go on the website.

150g softened butter or marg (not low fat spread)
150g caster sugar
3 eggs
150g self raising flour
Tip: You can make smaller amounts (or larger!) by using 50g of flour, sugar and butter for every egg you use. So, for example, you can reduce the quantity by using 2 eggs and 100g of the other ingredients.
Set the oven at 180 C /Gas 4
Rub some butter around the insides of the two sandwich tins, and line the bases with circles of greaseproof paper.
Beat together the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl until mixture is pale and creamy.
Add the eggs to the mixture, one at a time and stir until smooth.
Add flour and mix gently into the mixture.
Pour half of the cake mixture into each sandwich tin and smooth it level.
Place the tins in the oven for 20 to 25 min's
The cakes are done when they are well-risen and golden brown and feel springy in the middle.
Turn them out onto a wire rack to cool. Remove greaseproof paper.
I made a few changes, first I peeled and cored two small apples then sliced them and put them on the greaseproof paper. I also melted 50 g of dark chocolate in the microwave and incorporated the mixture at the end! So I only used 100g flour. Also I did not have self raising flour, I used plain flour and added baking powder. Everybody had a taste of it even the boss! It is yammy! 
Have you been baking lately? What is your favorite desert?

2 November 2011

Barn dance?

I've just come back from our PCC at Hixon; ideas and suggestions were forthcoming for next year fundraising events and our secretary said: 'what about a barn dance!' I thought that it was an excellent idea. I remembered the last time I went to one, it was fun even though I did not know many of the people there. What amazed me was the feeling of friendliness.. families and single people were mixing and dancing and joy was there. There was a genuine commitment to one another. So this could be a good idea! What do you think? Would you go to a barn dance yourself? Any suggestions?
Blessings to all. Your sister in Christ. N

In my inbox!

1 November 2011

Talking about family, Chennai and Napoleon!

We've just come back from spending a week caravaning in Heacham in Norfolk where we visited my father-in-law Laurie. We were pleased to see that he is keeping well even if his breathing is difficult. 
On Sunday, we went to the Methodist church (Heacham) as Steven was invited by Mike and Kim to preach there.
During the service Imogen talked about her charity Chennai Challenge and her trip in India for a few minutes and also thanked everybody for their support. We then stayed for a chat over a cup of coffee.

At the beginning of the week, we took dad bird-watching with us. He stayed in the RSPB coffee shop at Titchwell. Imogen kept him company after taking a walk to the sea (about 1 mile). We saw our favorite waders, i.e. avocet, sandpiper, golden plover (photo below)...

On Monday, we went to Kings Lynn to the Orange shop to sort out his mobile, it failed to charge. While the boss and his dad were discussing the problem, Imo and I went round the shops. 
There were some sales but nothing exciting so we came back half an hour later only to find them still talking through.

Eventually, they told us that dad would get a new phone on the following day and we had to be home from 9 to 1 pm. Guess what, they brought the new phone at 12:50! 

That evening, Imogen asked if we wanted to watch a dvd at dad's and she chose Napoleon Dynamite. I don't know if you have seen that film. Here is the review I found in IMdb: A listless and alienated teenager decides to help his new friend win the class presidency in their small western high school, while he must deal with his bizarre family life back home. To cut a story short, dad watched the film but the boss did not...I realised that I watched it before but it had not made a big impression on me then..
Imogen was not allowed to choose any more films for the rest of the week!
Blessings to all. N.

20 October 2011

Hixon Harvest Supper 2011

We had so much fun at the Harvest supper. Ger, Jo, Mandy, and I went to the village hall fairly early in the afternoon to see if we had everything we needed. The only thing missing were the forks, I suppose they have their role! When Jenny, Joy and Thelma came, we started a debate on the 'best way to cook the baked potatoes'. The views were shared. Do you prick them with a fork (what I usually do!) or do you slice them in the middle? Do you pre-bake them? This was fun..and before you say..we do go out! Later on we went back home and came back just for 6ish pm. Everything went smoothly, our friends brought lovely apple cakes, superb salads, thick slices of ham and turkey so we knew that we would have plenty to eat! Praise the Lord!

While the guests were sitting down and got talking, the music group were having a bit of a practice, Anna-Greta and Ingrid were singing, Chris on the guitar, mum Helga on the keyboard, and John on the mandoline. Thelma was giving the last tickets for the raffle. After Steven said grace, everybody went to queue and help themselves for food. I was told that there had not been a harvest supper in Hixon for ten years. This was an amazing opportunity to have fellowship and fun. After a bit of rehearsal, the members of the music group went to sit down and soon, you could feel the love coming from a relaxed and friendly atmosphere over diner. 
Later on, when Anna-Greta and Ingrid started to sing everybody stopped talking. Appreciation was read on every face. 

The quiz designed by Nigel was rather challenging, raising people's interest and competitivity. There were prices for the winner and the 'loser'! At this point, Ger was telling me that in days bygone, men used to go and play quiz often and even if they' d lose, they would win a pint of beer or two so they were very positive about participating!

16 September 2011

Harvest supper, Hixon Village Hall, 24/09 at 7:30

Next saturday, we are holding a Harvest Supper on Saturday the 24th of September at 7:30 p.m. in the village Hall. It should be great fun as there will be some singing, courtesy of Anna-Greta and Ingrid, a quiz devised by Tim, a raffle,  viewing of the vicar's Crazy Act 2, some hot food and much more. See you there. Blessings. N

5 September 2011

Live at peace with everyone!

We must pursue peace and purity to finish the Christian race: Stay on course (12:14)!

The course entails the two great commandments. Pursuing “peace with all men” is the second commandment, to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Matt. 22:39). To pursue “the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord” is the first commandment, to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind” (Matt. 22:37). Jesus links these two themes (in reverse order) in the Sermon on the Mount: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” (Matt. 5:8, 9).

The link between pursuing peace and sanctification shows that we must not pursue peace at any cost. As Paul puts it (Rom. 12:18), “If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.” His words imply the reality of living in this fallen world, that sometimes it is not possible to be at peace with everyone. Sometimes the other person clings to bitterness and hatred, and you can’t do anything more than you’ve done to be reconciled. At other times, to make peace would require compromising obedience to God, either morally or doctrinally. You can’t sacrifice personal holiness or commitment to God’s truth for the sake of peace. But, whenever you can do so without compromise, the race set before us includes pursuing both peace with others and purity before God.
More teaching here or copy and paste this link

3 September 2011

Mid-trent Churches events for September

Saturday 3rd September 2011
All Saints, Sandon Church picnic -Church Car Park from 15.00 - 18.00. In a marquee - please bring your own food and drink
Sunday 11th September
Walk - St. Peter's, Hixon Church Car Park at 14.00 and returning for light refreshments £5 donation
16th to 20th September
Harvest Flower Festival - All Saints Milwich. See compass for details of events or ring Elaine on 01889-505414
Saturday 24th September
St Peter's Harvest Supper - Hixon Memorial Hall at 19.30 - more later
Sunday 25th September
St Peter's Harvest Festival - Including a special thanksgiving for the 20th anniversary of the luncheon club 09.30

This Sunday is also a Back to Church Sunday. Let me explain. If you used to go to church but for some reason, you stopped, why don't you go again, come as you are. You are very welcome in any church. Blessings N.

10 August 2011

Only 2 days left before Imogen flies to Chennai...

Today, we took Imogen to town as she wanted to buy the last bits for her trip to Chennai, some cereals bar , travellers cheques, antibacterial gel, cup a soups, etc.. Steven went to change one front tyre but was told that the other front tyre was not good enough so he had to buy two new tyres..still it had to be done as soon we will have to drive from Staffordshire to Hyeres. 
Back home, I explored the very interesting Chennai challenge blog written by members of Team A who left for Chennai a week ago! 

Mumbai was not the only newly named Indian city in 1996. 
In August of that same year, the city of Madras, located in the state of Tamil Nadu, had its name changed to Chennai.

Both the names Chennai and Madras date back to 1639. In that year, the Raja of Chandragiri, (a suburb in South India), allowed the British East India Company to build a fort near the town of Madraspattinam. 
At the same time, the local people built another town close to the site of the fort. This town was named Chennappatnam, after the father of one of the early rulers. Later, both the fort and the town grew together but the British shortened their colony's name to Madras while the Indians changed theirs to Chennai.

The name Madras (shortened from Madraspattinam) also has links to the Portuguese who were present in the area as early as the 1500s.

Madras is a much older name than Chennai. Despite that fact, the city was still renamed Chennai because it is in the language of the area’s original inhabitants and Madras was seen as being a Portuguese name and/or was associated with the former British colony.

9 August 2011

Do you need an excuse to take a break?

Lately, I have been doing so many admin jobs i.e. sorting out various finance paperwork, which is awfully boring but necessary..and trying to squeeze housework such as a bit of ironing ! So when my friend Susan sent me the following pic, it gave me an excuse for a break! Thanks Susan!

How do you know when it is time to "hang up the car keys"?
I say when your dog has this look on his face!

A picture is worth a thousand words!

6 August 2011

Some information on the Dolomites

Image result for dolomites

Camille has gone there for a month, as an au-pair, she is discovering a beautiful place. She has already gone walking at an altitude of 1324 m and did not complain! 

So where are the Dolomites? Dolomites is the name of the mountain range situ
ated in the south of the Alps, between the Adige and Piave rivers and between the Val Pusteria and the Belluno valleys and spread out in the Italian Provinces Bolzano (South-Tyrol), Trento, Belluno, Udine and Pordenone.

The term Dolomite is a gesture to their discoverer, the Marquis D̩odat Gratet de Dolomieu (1750 Р1801). He took some rock samples during his trip to our mountains in 1788, analysed them and was the first to announce their chemical composition (double calcium carbonate and magnesium).
Badia, 1,324m

The quiet village of Badia is situated at the foot of the Sasso Santa Croce (Sas dla Crusc in Ladin language), the mountain that is tinged red when the sun sets. Badia is known for its beautiful nature walks and sunny, easy ski slopes.
Have a blessed week-end.Yours in Christ. N.

4 August 2011

To be an au pair or not?

Last week, when we were in France, my oldest daughter told me some news: ' I have to tell you something!'
'I haven't talked to you about it before!
I am registered to be an au pair and a family has invited me, err, it's in Italy..'
I was not too surprised because one evening I found  on my computer screen a page on 'the world of au pairs' minutes after she 'borrowed' my PC. True, nothing had been mentioned!
So she found out more details but could not make her mind up! The children in her care were 2 and 5 y.old, and somehow  I could not help mentioning ' nappies'. That evening when she had to ring and confirm, we were out in a  Maroccan restaurant in Niort. It fizzled out.
Back from France, another family was interested and this time, everything is running smoothly. So, Camille is packing up, I am ironing and we are discussing bits and pieces.
What about you? Have you ever hired an au-pair? Have you been an au-pair? Let me know what you think about  it. Yours in Christ

14 July 2011

Human contact

Sometimes I do wonder to what extent this could be true. Already you hear that parents hardly see their children, as these are kidnapped by their social network. 
This could explain why some parents resist going on Facebook or Twitter for fear of becoming addicted. Still, do the test, if you can keep away from FB or twitter ...etc, for a minimum of 1 week, I reckon that you are safe! What do you think?

Wireless, of course!

After having dug to a depth of 10 feet last year, Australian scientists found traces of copper wire dating back 200 years and came to the conclusion that their ancestors already had a telephone network more than 150 years ago.

Not to be outdone by the Aussies, in the weeks that followed, an American archaeologist dug to a depth of 20 feet and, shortly after, a story was published in the New York Times: "American archaeologists, finding traces of 250-year-old copper wire, have concluded that their ancestors already had an advanced high-tech communications network 50 years earlier than the Australians".

One week later, the Council in Manchester, reported the following:

"After digging as deep as 30 feet in Rochdale, Jack Smith, a self-taught archaeologist, reported that he had found 'absolutely nothing'. Jack has therefore concluded that 250 years ago, Lancashire had already gone wireless."

Just makes you proud to be British!


26 May 2011

Love and organisation.

Sometimes it is pretty hard to juggle with all the things you have to do during the day and spend quality time with your family. If you work full-time the word 'organisation' crosses your mind. The girls and I spent a day in Manchester. We looked for a prom dress for Imogen (GCSE), we ate Tapas, looked at handbags for Cami and relaxed at my friend Dominique's, enjoying a natter over a strong French cup of coffee. 
When our grown-up children go far away for different reasons, it is harder to give them advice or show them our love. Unless you are one of those giants portrayed by Roald Dahl, your arms are not long enough to hug them! I find it difficult to phone my GP for a repeat prescription, and impossible to write letters at a regular interval. I end up feeling pretty guilty and my heart is crying! By now, you must have realised that I miss Camille pretty badly and I can't wait for her to return from Italy. 
Some time ago, I heard from a French cousin I haven't seen for 30 years. Such a phone 'reunion' calls for celebration and I am looking forward for us to meet her and her family.
Tomorrow evening, we are off to Norfolk to spend a week with dad. It will be strange to be in the caravan again! Steven has installed a shower in the 'girls' bathroom and Imogen is over the moon. I have suddenly understood that little things matter somehow! 
Blessings to all my blogger friends. Yours in Jesus-Christ. Nicky.

20 May 2011

Friday night humour

One colleague sent us an email full of exam blunders!

At the end of a very good but tiring day, I quickly glanced at the first ones. Tonight I thought some of them would cheer you up too.
Bros and sis in Christ,  have a blessed evening. N.



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