Christmas, cookies, endless gifts, family, food, Friday's Favourites, holidays, Home, Island Life, winter

Pre-Christmas Blessing List

Hi there and a warm welcome to Friday’s Fav 5! My last two blessing lists were hampered by computer woes but it’s all good now and I’m typing on a lovely new laptop. Just in time to document all the Christmas happenings!

I’m linking up with Susanne, our lovely hostess of Friday’s Fave 5, at Living To Tell The Story.

It’s been a busy few weeks in this “most wonderful time of the year”.

1. A Birthday Celebration

Robbie’s birthday is always the start of the Christmas festivities at our house. I remember well the day he was born –  35 years ago! Roger was far away in Massachusetts, writing his second year exams in the MDiv program at Gordon Conwell Seminary. When he heard his second little boy had arrived sooner than expected, he got permission from his professors to skip the rest of his exams, jumped in the car, drove 12 hours straight to PEI and surprised both of us at the hospital. I burst into tears when I saw him. What a sweet time!

Robbie’s watercolor birthday card

Happy Birthday Robbie!! You’re a wonderful son, brother, husband and dad. We’re so proud of you!

2. Christmas Concerts

Kids Church Christmas Concert

I’ve always loved watching my own five children in their concerts and now it’s just as fun watching our grand-children. Isn’t this the best thing about being a grandparent? I get to do the things I loved most all over again! (but with a little more sleep 😉 )

Josie’s best friend, Hazel, on her left and her cousin, Lucy, on her right – showing the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Isaiah took his part very seriously.

but he had a little smile for Mummy, who was stage right.

Oscar’s Nursery school concert – he’s the little blondie on the far left.

Isn’t he spiffy with his blazer, bow tie and pocket square?

He sang his songs and did the actions perfectly!

At Josie’s school concert, the kindergarten class portrayed the Nativity scene from the Bible, while the Grade 1 class joined them singing “Away in the Manger”. Josie (whose class is short on boys) played the role of Joseph. The two boys in the class were determined to be the Wise Men. (Can’t blame them! 🙂 )

They also sang a fun version of the Reindeer Hokey Pokey. I think Josie likes the stage – the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree!

Wish I could have popped over to the UK to see this sweet little concert.

Kinsey played one of the innkeepers in Bethlehem.

She played her part perfectly! Such a cute song!! (And love those British accents! ❤ )

3. A new bird sighting

The red-bellied woodpecker. Very elusive.

I could only get its picture through the kitchen window. Every time I opened the door, it flew off. But I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I can sneak up on it yet!

4. Christmas Food!

Christmas cookies are always on the holiday menu. Some peanut butter balls too. Gumdrop cake and plum pudding are generally gifted to us (yum!) Also seafood chowder for Christmas Eve. And a large chicken (no turkey please), with all the trimmings, for Christmas Day.

5. James, our youngest son, and his wife, Nora, are both nurses and are on duty this Christmas. So we started a new tradition – the pre-Christmas family get-together. Something entirely new and oh so fun ~  glo-bowling!

The older grands had a great time!

And the babies stayed happy!

We finished the night off at James and Nora’s cosy house – lots of good food, visiting and laughter! I forgot to take pictures though 😦

6. Here’s a bonus for this week’s blessing list – and hot off the press as these girls just arrived this morning! A new addition to our little place on Polly Hill.

Our good friend Peter delivered the new arrivals. He’s featured in another Friday Blessing list found here

The girls saying hello to Roger!

They came decked out in Christmas finery for their initial photo op! Thanks Peter! (He knows me well 🙂 )

They made it into the pen without any trouble and seem to be settling in fine.

We’ve had cattle before, but never sheep.

It’s a whole new blogging oops –  I mean farming venture! 😉

Thanks for joining me this week!

From all our family to each of you – a very wonderful Christmastime and many blessings in 2018!

with love,

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birthdays, books, cookies, endless gifts, family, Friday's Favourites, Island Life

December 1st Blessing List


Hi there! Mr Squirrel and I want to give you a very warm welcome to Friday’s blessing list! He’s a very good-looking little chap and posed nicely for his picture. I think he deserves to be the featured photo on this week’s Friday’s Favourites!

And here’s another extra – taken just this morning. The sun came up in a blaze of golden glory. I grabbed my camera, ran outside, (yes in my pjs!) and captured the magic seconds before the sun disappeared behind the clouds.

Such beauty in nature! And it happens every day – what a gift! I’m counting it along with these:

1. Wonder

I’ve had a movie gift card tucked away in my purse since last Christmas and I finally used it this week. Sarah and I, along with some friends, saw the movie Wonder. It’s based on the book by R. J. Palacio. It’s a heart-warming movie, with a beautiful message of kindness and friendship. It has its comic moments too. It’s one of the best movies I’ve seen in years.  And now I really want to re-read the book.


2. Audio-books

I love listening to audio-books when I’m doing household chores. I discovered this series a few years ago and  listen to it every year. Dr Chrissi Hart (who has a lovely English accent) reads every single book in the Narnia tales. And does an awesome job! And on top of that? It’s free! Check it out here

3. Baking

Baking is one of the household chores I do as I listen to audiobooks. But I love to bake so I’m not sure I’d classify it as a chore. 🙂 I recently tried a new recipe for Ginger Crinkles – a favourite cookie around here. I’ve tried lots of recipes but this is one of the best – Jamie Deen’s Old-fashioned Ginger Crinkles  Spicy, chewy and so good! Just in time for Christmas baking. Do you bake for Christmas? What are your family’s favourites?

4. Grand-daughter time

Josie got off the school-bus at our house for the very first time last week. What fun! We had a snack and then played a game. I bought this Memory game at the Missions store. After I explained the rules, she proceeded to win the game hands down!  Smart little cookie! and pretty too. Here she is with John, all dressed up for a Father-Daughter Princess Ball in aid of A21.

A proud daddy and an excited little girl!

They had such fun!

5. 1st Birthday

Cian, our youngest grandchild, and the fourth of the 2016 babies, turned one year old yesterday!

I had fun creating this watercolour birthday card for him!


Happy birthday sweetheart!! Wish we were with you to celebrate your special day! ❤


So glad you joined me this week! Thanks for coming by!

Many blessings,

with love,

For more Friday Blessing lists, visit Susanne at Living To Tell The Story
cookies, Recipes

Jumbo cookies

I remember these cookies from the bakery in the little town where I grew up. You could buy them, two for a nickel.

My mom always made baked goodies for our family, but somehow, these bakery cookies seemed like a special treat. Just to walk into that little shop, with the fragrance of freshly-baked bread, and the rows and rows of cookies, squares, cupcakes and pies lined up temptingly beneath the glass counter, was a delight.

And then, to choose! Oh my. How to spend that precious nickel, probably earned by gathering empty pop bottles in ditches and returning them to the grocery store, two for a penny.

I never spent my nickel on squares or even a cupcake, as pretty as they were –  I always wanted cookies. But there were so many delectable kinds to choose! Gingersnaps, with sugary, crackling tops, competed with sugar cookies with a big fat raisin in the centre. And then there were molasses tuffies, sour cream cookies, oatmeal raisin and chocolate chip cookies. But my mother made all these kinds at home – delicious, no doubt, but not so rare a treat.

However, she never baked Jumbo Cookies. Jumbo cookies lived up to their title – they were so big! I’m sure that was part of their irresistible draw. They were delicious too, chock-full of sweet raisins and a melt in your mouth texture.

I don’t recall any impatient bakery shop workers – although, I wonder, now, what they thought of the little girl standing so long in front of that counter. It was no quick process. I can still remember the sticky feel of the nickel gripped tightly in my hand and the almost dance as I shifted from one foot to another, gazing at all those delectable goodies.

Such a delicious dilemma – but I almost, always, made the same decision – “Two Jumbo cookies, please”.

When the choosing was all over, and the baker slid them into the little brown paper bag, I handed over my nickel and headed out the door. And, oh,  that first sweet moment when I opened the bag and took a deep whiff of that fresh-baked, sugary fragrance. And the first bite? Well, I was in cookie heaven.

It was many years before I finally found a recipe that came close to that memory. It wasn’t in any book or online either. I found it in the recipe box of a lady in her eighties, well- known for her wonderful baking.

Jumbo Cookies

2 cups small raisins simmered with 1 cup water until the water is dried up. Let cool.

1 cup shortening
2 cups white sugar
3 eggs

Add raisins

Blend 4 cups flour, 1 tsp soda, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp allspice

Add to creamed mixture

Roll out, cut in circles ( the bakers from the bakery shop used a cookie cutter with scalloped edges and I’m still looking for one!) and bake. My elderly friend didn’t put an oven temperature on the recipes card but I baked them at 350F for 12 min. Keep an eye on them though, as they can brown too quickly. They should be quite light on top and light brown on the bottom when they are baked. Cool on wire racks.

I made my cookies average-sized. Probably my childhood self would be quite disappointed with me.

After all, they are JUMBO cookies. 🙂