CHOCOLATE, PEANUT BUTTER, BANANA ICE CREAM

I made this ice cream for my honey for Valentines Day, because he is so sweet to me.  It was really yummy too.

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Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/8 cups raw sugar
  • 3 cups thickened cream
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 bananas
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence

Method

Using a stick blender mix the milk with the raw sugar and the cocoa powder until the sugar has dissolved.  Stir in the thickened cream and vanilla essence  .

Set up the ice cream maker and turn it on, pour the mixture into the freezer bowl, and let mix until thickened, about 20 to 25 minutes.

While ice cream is churning mash the bananas and set aside and soften peanut butter in the microwave or over low heat in a saucepan.

When the ice cream has 5 minutes to go, pour the peanut butter and mashed banana into the mixture and let it churn for another 5 minutes.

If you can stop yourself from eating it straight away, put the ice cream into a container and place in the freezer for 1/2 an hour or so before consuming.  If you can’t wait, eat it straight away, we usually do.

ENJOY!!!

 

 

I’VE HAD A “SOURDOUGH” WEEK

Before Christmas I had been making sourdough bread and we were really enjoying it and then I put my starter in the fridge to keep it alive during all the Christmas preparations.  When I got it out I forgot to feed it and it went off, really off, I was wondering what the BAD smell was and you guessed it, it was my starter. So off to the chooks (chickens) it went, I was attached to it, but not that much.

About 2 weeks ago I started another one and it has been bubbling away merrily.  As I was going about my business around the blogosphere I came across a sour dough pasta post and I thought I just had to give it a go.

I started my starter by using equal amounts of flour and water daily for a week before using it.  After a week you should see clear signs of fermentation.

I’ve made some bread with it using whole wheat flour (ground it myself) but it wasn’t quite right, so I will try again adding a bit more white flour.

I haven’t really made pasta before so I was thrilled that I could use my starter.

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My starter

Anyway I found a pasta recipe, tweaked it to suit and it was great.  I did need to make the noodles thicker than normal but they tasted great and were nice with the bacon and vegetable sauce I made to go with them.

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Here’s the recipe, give it a go if you have time and don’t worry that they may not look store bought – that isn’t the point.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sourdough starter
  • 3 cups flour
  • 4 eggs
  • pinch salt

Place your flour in your mixing bowl and add starter, eggs and salt, and mix until it comes together to form a ball.

Allow the dough to sit (covered) for a few hours or overnight (I left mine overnight).

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When you are ready to make your pasta just put the dough onto a floured surface and knead a little until smooth.  Roll out as thin as you can and slice into whatever size noodle you like.

Your noodles are ready to cook now or you can dry them out on the counter.

Keep an eye on these noodles as you are boiling them as they will boil over if you aren’t careful (learnt that one from experience).

This amount of noodles served our family of 3 adults and 2 children quite nicely.

Then after the noodles turned out so well I thought I’d give pizza a go to take for our beach day last week.

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Sausage pizza made with our own sausages.

This was yummy even though we ate it cold and it was great reheated the next day for lunch.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of starter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (and a little for brushing)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 cups flour (maybe a little more if needed for the right consistency)

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl until it comes together to form a ball.  If the mixture is too dry add more starter and if too wet add more flour.

All the dough to rest for 30 minutes or more and when you are ready to make your pizzas roll the mixture out on a floured surface until the desired shape and thickness.

I got four pizzas out of this amount, two to eat straight away and two to freeze for another day.

TERRIS CAMERA 2 367I did rectangle ones and they fitted nicely on my baking trays.

Now you are only going to partly bake this base for about 6 minutes. Once done remove them from the oven and brush them with olive oil.  Then top with your favourite toppings and bake until browned and cheese is melted.

They were delicious and I now have two in the freezer when I want a quick easy meal. I am going to try and bake some more this week and get a few more in the freezer.

To get my starter up again I feed it with a cup of flour and a cup of water daily.

If you haven’t tried sour dough before I hope this gives you the encouragement you need to just give it a go.

Now I’m off to make sourdough pancakes for breakfast.

Happy cooking!!!

 

WHY ARE WE NEVER HAPPY

I am sitting here exhausted after a particularly hot day and trying really hard not to complain about the heat.  I promised my husband I wouldn’t.  The heat is good for our vegetables you see, and as he says, it’s that time of the year – get on with it.

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He is right about that, I just need to live with it, accept it and move on.

So as I am sitting here trying not to complain my thoughts have turned to the fact that we complain about a lot of things.

Do I complain about the things that I cannot change, things that just are the way they are and the way God meant for them to be?

In our corner of Australia us farmers are known for our complaining, especially when it comes to the weather.  We complain when it hot, and then we get a lovely cool change and then complain it’s cold. We get life refreshing rain and then we complain it’s too wet, you can see the pattern developing.

There are certain things that we cannot change in our lives and here are a few of them…

  • Parents
  • Physical features
  • Gender
  • Siblings
  • Birth order
  • Ethnicity

These are the things that God has given to us, they are the things in our life that say who we are and where we have been, they are part of our blue print and just need to be accepted.

So this being the case why do we so often complain about them. Why do we complain about what God created us to be or where he has placed us in life.  I know myself that I have often whinged about my height, if only I could be another couple inches taller – life would be good.

Really!!!! probably not.

We need to stop whinging (complaining) and get on with life. Take hold of all that God has for us and be happy.  We should love the hot days and revel in the cool days. We should accept the way God created us and move on.

We have so much to be thankful for, especially in the Western World, let us turn our hearts to those who don’t have what we do.

Let us turn our thoughts of complaint to thoughts of prayer for those less fortunate than ourselves.

Let’s be happy, and choose not to be complainers.

Philippians 4:11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

 

This post is linked up here…

Woman to Woman Word Filled Wednesday

GOOD MORNING MONDAYS #17

Hi everyone, welcome back to another Good Morning Mondays Link Up. Is anyone else surprised about how quickly the weeks go???

Our eldest daughter and her family have been away now for 5 1/2 weeks.  They have been through Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and across to the Northern Territory.  At the moment they are in Darwin and are looking at starting on their homeward journey today.  We are so looking forward to seeing them all again and to see how much our beautiful granddaughters have grown and whether their father has shaved off his beard or not :-).

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This week I have been bottling tomatoes and baking with my sour dough.  We have done school and music practice and housework.  It finally got hot on Friday so we took the children to the beach in the afternoon.

We go to the beach at Port Fairy.  This is a lovely little town on the coast that becomes the tourist capital during our summer holidays. We like to go once the schools go back and there is usually only a few people on the beach.

It is just lovely, but I don’t think I’ve ever felt the water warm enough to go swimming.  It’s not like the water on the Gold Coast or North Queensland it is straight off the South Pole.  Of course the kids love it, because I don’t think they feel the cold.

TERRIS CAMERA 2 416Here are the boys enjoying the waves with their boogie boards.

TERRIS CAMERA 2 426There were heaps of shells on the beach this time, I’m not sure why, but they are really pretty. We grabbed a big bag to bring home.  No 2 son has been busy making necklaces for his older sister.  I think it’s great the way they already have holes in them for string to go through.

After their swim we went and got hot chips to go with our pizza and headed to the play ground to have some tea and a play on the equipment.

TERRIS CAMERA 2 435Here they all are getting ready to have tea.  They weren’t really hungry though because I think they swallowed a heap of sea water.

TERRIS CAMERA 2 436After tea they finally wore themselves out on the play ground equipment.

We drove home quite tired but very satisfied after having a lovely afternoon out.  We were surprised at how warm it still was when we got home, so I think summer has finally arrived.

The past few mornings I have been getting up before everyone else and I must say that it is great to look at the posts that you have linked up before everyone is up and everything is quiet.

Thanks again to everyone who takes the time to link up.  I know I have said it before but it really is a blessing to me to read your posts and to get to know you all.

So onto our link up.

Our top three posts this week were…

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January – Out With The Old by The Farmers Wife at Growing In His Grace
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Christians and Civil Disobedience by Alli at Awedbody

thmb54cf7ff3b2d84 I’m Wearing Down by Sharon Sharing God

My personal favourite…

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What we didn’t know before Sabrina by Cheryl from Treasures from a Shoebox

What a wonderful story of love, acceptance and fitting into a forever family.

If you didn’t get a chance to read these posts take time and pop over you will be blessed.

Well done everyone for being featured and I can’t wait to see what you have for us this week.

This week I have a catering function – sounds grand doesn’t it.  I cook for our local Gideon Branch Dinner Meeting once a month.  It isn’t a huge affair, only about 10 people but we have it in our Church hall and it is a great opportunity for the children to learn how to serve and help clear up.  This week will be cold meats and salad and I think Lemon Sago and some slicey thing to have with coffee.

Then the rest of the week will be spent doing school and music and we are meant to have a sewing get together with my friend so hopefully all is well and that can go ahead.  I’m not mentioning it to the children just yet.

I pray that you all have a great, productive, God focused week and that you see His handiwork in you and your families lives.

Blessings to you all.


DON’T MENTION THE “F” WORD

Now before you all go “how could she say that”  I actually me the -word FAT (not the other one).  DON’T MENTION THE WORD FAT, or chubby or well covered or whatever word you can think of that means overweight to our children.

We have been discussing our need to loose weight and get fitter lately and I have realised that we have been speaking about this around our No 2 daughter who is 9.

No 1 son, who works incredibly hard shearing has decided he wants to get fitter and lose some weight which is good for him to do. We have been talking about cutting out our carbs and cutting back on our sugar intake to help us along this journey.

We have been discussing this at the tea table and we have forgotten that our younger children have been listening.

We haven’t said that the younger ones need to do the same and we don’t believe they do, although I think we could all benefit from exercise and healthy eating, but definitely not for them in the weight loss arena.

I have now noticed No 2 daughter not wanting to eat bread and wanting to have more salads, now this is good but I am concerned about her underlying motivation.  She is only 9 and has no need to loose weight and they get plenty of exercise riding their bikes and running around outside.

I think we need to be careful how we talk around our children, “fat” should never be a word that we use to describe them or even our babies.

I was a chubby baby, a chubby toddler and you guessed it a chubby child.  I never seemed to loose the baby fat that I was born with. Now this is me, some people are born to be skinny and some aren’t.

Both my husband and myself come from families that carry extra weight.  It is a genetic trait – although this shouldn’t be an excuse.  So it goes to say that our children could possibly have the same genetics and will have to be aware of this at some stage in their lives. By feeding them healthy food and getting them to go out and run around is giving them good grounding for later in life.

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I got my share of bullying at school because of my weight (although they didn’t call it bullying then) and children can be really mean. My mum was always on my back too about what I ate and about how much I ate and I don’t think she realised what damage she was doing.

I know that she didn’t mean the words to harm me but in the long run they did.  I grew up feeling that I wasn’t good enough and that I had to always work on how I looked.

As I have grown up I have realised that I am good at lots of things, but it still comes back to bite me about my body shape and I sometimes still feel insecure about it.

I don’t want our daughter to have the wrong idea about her body.  I want her to love herself and what God has given her.  I don’t want her to head into her adult life with baggage that just isn’t necessary, but I also want her to realise that her body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and she needs to be aware of what she feeds that body and how she looks after it.

1 Corinthians 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

Psalm 139:14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.

So we are going to try to lose weight and get fitter and healthier but we are going to be careful when and how we discuss it.

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If you want to see a great weight loss journey, pop over to Sunny Patch Cottage and see how Angie is going.  She is amazing and a great inspiration to me.

 

This post is linked up here…

Woman to Woman Word Filled Wednesday

VEGETABLE PLANTING PART 6

It’s time for another Vegetable Planting Update and I have taken a heap of photos so you can get a good idea of how everything is going.

The weather the past couple of weeks has been absolutely wonderfully cool.  This is great for us who don’t like the hot weather, but it is not great for growing tomatoes and other certain vegetables.

The tomatoes are really slow this year and there is some fruit but not much.  The zucchinis are slow too and we are starting to pick some every few days but I am still waiting for the glut to can with my tomatoes or just by themselves for our winter pantry.  Zucchinis are a great filler for soups and stews.  By the time we are in winter and I am bombarding you with soup and stew recipes you in the Northern Hemisphere will be celebrating summer and BBQs and salads.  Sigh, I will probably still bombard you anyway.

My husband has just finished mounding up on either side of our raised beds and you can see by the picture below that the potatoes are going great.  We are so excited about them, as we haven’t been able to grow them with much success before, so to see how they are going is wonderful.  We have started digging some as we need them and there are some really big ones.

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The mounds are getting quite high now which is great for weeding and watering.

The zucchini bushes should really be twice their size but as long as they produce it doesn’t really matter.  We have been picking them quite small and they are lovely cooked on the BBQ, and are my husbands favourite.

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The Roma tomatoes seem to be doing better than the Grosse Lisse ones, as you can see there is some fruit below, but it is still quite small and green, but I think summer is coming, albeit late.  We are going to have a week in the low 30’s starting on Friday (91F) so this continual warmth will really help.

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My husband has done a great job with the corn and it is looking good.  He has been trying to get on top of the weeds and is almost there.  Unfortunately the weeds keep growing, possibly better and quicker than the vegetables.  There is some difference in height but you can just see the corn at the back coming into flower.

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The first year we moved here (4 years ago) we planted some fruit trees, but it was very wet where we planted them and only a few survived.  Below is one of our pear trees with fruit.  We should have really waited to see what the lay of the land was before planting them but at least some have survived.

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I took these pictures on Sunday afternoon and you can see how dark the sky is and it did drizzle a bit and was quite cold and windy.

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Below are some of the fruits of our labour, potatoes and zucchinis.DSC_0754Well that’s another update, I hope when I do the next one I can show you boxes of tomatoes and corn.

What’s growing in your vegetable patch at the moment or what are you thinking of planting once winter has passed???

Blessings.

 

CROCK POT LASAGNE

We were going to be out all afternoon at friends so I decided to put something in the slow cooker (or crock pot) so that it would be ready when we got home.

I came up with lasagne and it tasted really good and was actually nicer than the ones I bake in the oven.  I will definitely be doing this one again.

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Ingredients:

  • Bolognaise sauce
  • White sauce (Bechemal)
  • Feta cheese
  • Asian greens
  • Lasagne sheets (I used dried ones)

I made up a bolognaise sauce using beef mince.  I fried this up with some onion and capsicum.  I always add Soy Sauce and Worcestershire sauce to my bolognaise, along with a pinch of salt and a couple tablespoons of beef stock. Then I added some tomato sauce.  I normally add canned tomatoes but I have run out so sauce had to do.

Whilst the bolognaise was cooking I made an easy white sauce wtih milk and plain flour and whisked it until it thickened.

I left the bolgonaise sauce quite runny as I didn’t want it to dry out too much in the crock pot.

In the crock pot I put bolognaise sauce, then white sauce, then lasagne sheets.  I repeated this until I added the final layer of lasagne sheets and then topped the whole thing with white sauce.

I didn’t put white sauce on the bottom as I thought this would burn.

I also scattered pieces of feta cheese and asian greens throughout all the layers.

I cooked it on low all day (approx 8 hours) and it was beautiful when we had it for tea.

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ENJOY!!!

GOOD MORNING MONDAYS #16

Good morning everyone, how was your week and how are things going?  Are you achieving all that you have planned?

We have had a good week with a trip to Melbourne on Tuesday for my husband to see a bone specialist.  This is a long story and I might write about it one day, maybe when we see a positive outcome.

After seeing the specialist we went to the Queen Victoria Markets. We really enjoy going there.  There are heaps of different stalls from clothing, shoes, make up, belts, hand bags, really anything that you can get at the shops but slightly cheaper.

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Here they are looking at all the eggs for sale.
No 1 son collects belt buckles and no 2 son got his first leather belt and buckle.  No 2 daughter got a lovely stainless steel bangle with her name on it.

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Here are some of the deli goods that we drool over.
After looking at the stalls we head over to the fruit and vegetable sections and then into the small goods.  This area would have to be my husbands favourite as he loves looking at all the smoked meat and fish.  He looks so that he can get ideas for us and how we can handle our meat at home and different things we can do with it.

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Here they all are – my gang.
 I really like the butchery section, they sell anything from fish through to goat.  I love looking at all the different cuts of meat.

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Here are No 1 son and No 2 daughter having a bite to eat.
After that we headed into the cafe for a bite for lunch and a cuppa, a bit of a refresh and renewing before we head out on our way home.

On the way home we went via Geelong and looked around the beach area and went for a drive around before heading to Hogs Breath for tea.  This is our most favourite treat and although we only go once or twice a year we all look forward to it.

As we were driving around we found this concrete couch so I just had to stop and get the children so I could take a photo.  It looks comfortable but I don’t think it was.DSC_0746[1]

The rest of the week was spent schooling and doing our general run of the mill jobs.  We were going to have a sewing day with friends but my friend was sick so we stayed home.  We did have some friends for tea on Friday night which was nice.

We started music lessons yesterday so our Saturdays have changed again, but it was nice to get started on lessons and back into it.

The new turkeys are settling in well and are roaming around the yard during the day and even up onto the back verandah, which I must admit is better than the piglets.  We have had our piglets looking through the glass on the back door.

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Here are the turkeys looking for bugs

This week coming will involve school and sewing and gardening. Our Tuesday night bible study on Revelation is starting this week and we all look forward to it.  We might go and pick blackberries and it looks like being warm this weekend so we might make it to the beach.

What have you been doing, I would love to hear about it.

Now onto our link up…

Our top three posts this week were…

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Christian Women and Bullying by The Farmers Wife at Growing in His Gracethmb54c66fd3aa776

I Pledge Allegiance…To What? by Alli at Awed Bodythmb54c87f268cd4b

What’s the Issue With Wearing Leggings? by Jo at Stop…have a chat

and my personal favourite…

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Meeting our Heaven-Bound Baby by Janis at Heart-filled Moments

These are all great thought provoking posts that make us think, which is good.  If you didn’t get a chance to have a look then click on the title to pop over.

Thank you again to each and every one of you who takes the time to link up.  I’ll say it again – I really enjoy reading all your posts and I am being challenged and I am learning so much.

My encouragement for you this week is to look at how you deal with disappointments and challenges,  and how we teach our children to handle it.  That is how I have been challenged this week.

May you all be blessed this week as you teach, work and love your family.


HOW TO HELP YOUR CHILDREN DEAL WITH DISAPPOINTMENT

Today was going to be our first sewing day for my daughter with her friend.  No 2 son was going to come along as well and play with his mates around the same age while we spent time with the girls sewing.

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Now things happen and it just so worked out that my friend was not well and had to go to the Doctors.

She was so disappointed and felt she was letting us down, but things happen and life doesn’t always go the way we want.

When I told our children, there were tears and downcast mouths and slumped shoulders and I am sure my friend had the same with her children. They are always so excited and happy to get together and they just get on so well.

Life is tough and disappointments come, but how can we help our children deal with this, accept it and move on.  I know that even I have issues when I am disappointed when things don’t go exactly to my plan.

It was easy today to say to the children, I have to go to the post office so whilst we are there we will go to the park for a play.  This helped somewhat to ease their disappointment, but I don’t believe I should have to find an alternative every time something changes.

I want our children to learn to deal with difficulties and disappointments without expecting us or others to give them something else.  I want them to understand that life is tough and the only one they can rely on is God.  He never lets them down or leaves them.

People will let us down (even if they can’t help it and don’t mean too) and even us as parents let our children down, none of us are perfect, but let us remember to always find comfort in the One who is perfect.

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Hebrews 13:5-6 Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you”, so that we confidently say, “The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What will man do to me?”

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.

 

 

GLOXINIA AND MARRIAGE

My husband was given a Gloxinia plant by a gentleman at our church over 12 years ago.

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When it first arrived at our home I potted it up into the pot it is in now.  It has moved house with us 3 times and has lived on our window sills through the years.  It now resides on my kitchen window sill.  I haven’t dared to touch it again and put it into another pot in case I kill it.

This is the type of plant that grows beautifully during the spring and summer and then dies off to nothing during the winter.  We often think she has finished but low and behold up she grows again, year after year.

I don’t do anything with this plant, it is my husbands.  Now to set the record straight he is not an indoor plant type of person, this is his only one.

He waters it and tends it and calls it sweet names.  It is his Gloxy and his little sweetie.  He puts his used tea bags on the soil beneath her in the pot because he says she likes this and it helps her grow. He also puts sugar onto her soil to help sweeten her up and I really think it does.

When we first got her, she would have maybe one or two blooms, but over the years of his expert care she has given us more and more blooms each year.

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Now you can see she has two blooms open and there are maybe 5 more to come.  She has really blossomed under my husbands loving hand.

She (Gloxy) reminds me of our marriage.  As I washed my dishes today and cleaned down my sink I looked at her and thought the she is just getting better with age and so is our marriage.

Each passing year of our lives our marriage and union just gets better and better.  We are both blooming under each others loving hand.  We love each other more now than ever and want to spend as much time together as we can.  We love working together on our projects and if it isn’t something that we are both into we always support each other and give encouragement.

We add a little sugar to each others lives and it really sweetens us up.  This sugar is tenderness, caring and just plain old fashioned love.

There are also times when we die back a bit, due to harsh words from tired mouths, but in forgiveness and repentance we bloom again.

May your marriage be blessed as you live together and bloom and grow.

PS:  This post is printed with my husbands permission.