Friday, February 28, 2014

Seedless Blackberry Jam

Here's another one of the jams we made forever ago that I never got around to posting. Ed doesn't like seedy jams (neither jams with seeds nor jams of disrepute), so I made some seedless blackberry jam using this recipe. It took a little more work than usual (to get the seeds out), but it came out really well.

seedless blackberry jam

seedless blackberry jam

The consistency was similar to apple butter, but a bit thicker. It's good on toast or with peanut butter in a sandwich.

seedless blackberry jam

Here's the label:

Would definitely make this one again!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Cabled Coffee/Mug Sleeve

I can now check off #3 on my list of knitting goals. I knitted a cabled coffee sleeve, or mug sleeve. Cabling is actually pretty easy, but it looks like it could be difficult. This was also my first attempt at knitting buttonholes.

I used a pattern called Pumpkin Spice (available for download on the right sidebar here). Once I got to the buttonholes, whatever I did didn't look right, so I found this video on YouTube. The girl in the video actually knits the very same pattern, so you can see how to do it and follow along. She has the most helpful knitting videos I've found so far.

For the green one, I used a cotton yarn and followed the pattern exactly. Then I noticed that it was kind of a tight fit or didn't fit on some mugs. I checked other people's comments on Ravelry and found that they also had the same issue, so they did an extra cable or two to lengthen it. So, on the orange one, I added an extra cable. The orange one is acrylic yarn, so it's also a bit stretchier than the green one. They're kind of like two sizes, so hopefully with the two buttonholes on each and two lengths, they'll fit almost any cup or mug.

I gave these to my coffee-addicted BFF (Alexis) for Christmas, so I'm thinking they'll get a lot of use!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Romania Mission Trip, Part 2

We had some fun with some teens and H2H staff at a park in Bucharest (I believe it was Herăstrău Park) one afternoon.

View of Casa Presei Libere (The House of the Free Press) from Lake Herăstrău
We also had the privilege of witnessing the baptism of one of the young women from H2H’s transition program. The transition program helps young adults to transition from orphanage life to independent adult life by providing a temporary place for them to live, training in life skills, and opportunities for job training, with a biblical focus.

She read her favorite Bible passage before she was baptized
It was nice to see how big of a celebration it was. Lots of people came, and the celebration after the baptism ceremony included food, cake, and flowers and gifts for our new sister in Christ. We should do this more in the U.S. It helps to show how special and important it is to identify with Christ in His death and resurrection. It is something we should rejoice over and celebrate!

Toward the end of the trip, we took a day to do a little sightseeing. First, we stopped at Romblast glass factory. We bought some handmade "friendship balls" to bring back as souvenirs for family. These were traditionally made by Old World glass blowers at the end of their shift and given to family and friends to hang in windows as a token of friendship and good luck. There were many sizes and colors to choose from.

"Friendship balls"

The main sightseeing attraction was near Sinaia at Peleș Castle, in the Carpathian Mountains. The weather was perfect and the scenery was beautiful. This was the royal residence beginning with King Carol I. It is now a museum. The team took a guided tour of the ground floor. If you go to this web site, you can take a virtual tour.


Street vendors selling souvenirs and handmade items lined the path near the castle.
Just a short walk from Peleș Castle is Sinaia Monastery, which was founded in the late 1600s and still houses Eastern Orthodox monks. Jim gave us a quick tour, discussing some of the practices of the Eastern Orthodox church.
Sinaia Monastery
The bell tower
Biserica Mare (The Great Church), built in 1846
We really enjoyed getting to see how God is working through H2H in Romania, and we'd love to go back some time. It was clear to us that God is using H2H's ministry to meet spiritual, emotional, and physical needs of many orphans in Romania. H2H staff and team members are the only people who regularly spend time with, pray for, and otherwise minister to many of these babies, children, teens, and young adults. Will you join us in praying for H2H and the kids they minister to?