Free Diaper Deal

Baby Bellhop is an on-line store specializing in cloth diapers and cloth diaper accessories. Based in Victoria, BC., they support Canadian families with their cloth diapering needs. Modern cloth is hip, fun and easy! They carry a wide range of cloth diapers in super cute patterns and colors, including all-in-ones, pocket diapers, one-size diapers, fitteds, prefolds and cloth diaper covers.

Baby Bellhop has a really great offer to celebrate their launch. When you spend $25 at their online store, they will include a FREE one-size diaper in your order. What a great deal! Maybe you're new to cloth diapering, or there's a diaper you've had your eye on but haven't tried yet. Either way, this is too good to pass up! Check out the details here: http://www.babybellhop.com/FreeDiaperDeal.html
This Canadian only offer expires November 20.

If you're new to cloth diapering, or feeling overwhelmed about where to start, the website offers plenty of information as well. The cloth diapering world is pretty overwhelming to a newcomer. Baby Bellhop is committed to support you as you navigate your way through it. Check out the Why Cloth? section as well as the Cloth 101 guide for all kinds of information. If you live in the Victoria area, you can attend one of their FREE cloth diapering workshops. You may also to call them or drop them an e-mail anytime with questions or concerns you may have.


Our Vacation

And now, the moment you all have been waiting for...
If you're still there...
We went away for a few days at the end of September to Sherkston Shores (hooray for off-season rates!) It was really windy on Friday and Saturday, which made the waves on the beach pretty high. C-note didn't seem to mind the wind this time, since he loved playing in the sand so much. Coat on, hood up, and bare feet was the norm for him all weekend. All he wanted to do was play on that beach...which was conveniently close to our trailer. We watched beautiful sunsets from our deck. The boardwalk staircase was a few steps from our place. It couldn't be more perfect! We didn't get to swim because it wasn't quite warm enough, but I don't think any of us minded too much. As we were packing up on Monday morning, I was missing the place already. I didn't want to leave! As we climbed the stairs after a last goodbye to the shore, the rain, which had held off all weekend despite the "predictions," started to fall. We sure felt blessed to have good weather in such an unpredictable season! We had a pretty quiet ride home. It must have been all that fresh air.
Thanks for letting me borrow your camera, Mom! I was pretty upset I had forgotten mine. I wouldn't have all these lovely photos otherwise! We loved "vacationing" with you and Dad too...let's do it again next year! :)


Seven Months

Just as I was about to post this, I noticed a little tooth poking through on his bottom jaw. I will miss the gummy smiles! He touches things with his index finger and he's working on the pincer grasp. He rocks back and forth on his arms and knees, but still gets around by squirming, mostly backwards or in circles. This photo was taken the last weekend in September when we took our vacation. I'll post that next!


Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are often mislabeled as "Yams." You won't often find real yams here in North America. See the differences here. If it's smooth with a creamy orange colour and can fit in your hand, it's a sweet potato!

What you need

Two large sweet potatoes
1 onion
olive oil

What to do

Peel and cube potatoes and onions. Put into a 9x13 baking dish. Drizzle with oil, sprinkle with thyme (or your herb of choice) and salt. Toss to coat evenly. Roast in a 400 degree oven for approximately 20 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking time. You want some good carmelization as it really brings out the flavour.
At this point you can serve as is, but sometimes I dump them into a bowl, add a scoop of butter and mash with a potato masher.


Music Monday - Share the Well

It is Sunday morning in Lucknow, India. Two young sisters huddle near a well, each clutching an empty clay cup. There on the dusty ground they wait, thirsty, as morning gives way to the heat of late afternoon. Throughout the day, hundreds approach the well to fill their pots as the two children watch, holding their cups. Soon it becomes dark and still they are waiting…waiting for someone to share the well.

Folk-rock group Caedmon's Call has always had a heart for corners of the world such as this. Throughout their incredible twelve-year history, they've focused much of their ministry toward global causes, working to benefit such aid-giving organizations as Compassion International and India's Peace Gospel Ministries since the mid-nineties. In years past, band members have traveled to Bolivia, Ecuador, and Haiti, where they witnessed faith behind the eyes of poverty-stricken people and were changed.

Today, the group has followed this calling beyond their musical borders too, creating Share the Well, a culturally-influenced album they began while traveling to India, Ecuador, and Brazil in spring 2004.

In early 2003, lead vocalist Cliff Young met leaders from Dalit Freedom Network, a ministry to the severely demoralized Indian population called Dalits (meaning "oppressed"). Through their conversation, he discovered staggering facts about the Dalit people that he shared with the rest of the band. Victims of the caste system, Dalits are deemed the lowest class in India, referred to as the "untouchables," by their lack of worthiness. Stripped of their most basic human rights, they are forced into extreme poverty, treated as animals---tortured, beaten, and removed of their dignity, with no real hope of ever rising beyond their circumstances. Staggeringly, the 250 million Dalits in India exceeds the entire US population.

Soon after that meeting, Caedmon's Call began planning for a recording that infuses multi-cultural sounds and stories. With the help of Compassion and Dalit Freedom Network, they scheduled trips to meet the Dalits and others whose plights inspired them. The band also decided to title their project Share the Well when they learned that Dalits (many whom they met while traveling through rural India,) are not permitted to drink from wells unless an upper caste person draws the water for them. Many Dalits wait all day and are never given a drink. For the band, this reality came as a metaphor to those thirsting for hope and a savior. The title track's lyrics echo the group's resulting vision for the album:

Share the well, share with your brother
Share the well my friend
It takes a deeper well to love one another
Share the well my friend.

While journeying to some of the most deprived parts of India, Ecuador and Brazil, Caedmon's Call awoke to even more harsh realities. They encountered people living next to vast sewage dumps. They performed songs and puppet shows for village children, most who lived in huts with dirt floors. They met eager musicians who traveled for as long as three days in trains, standing up the entire trip, to come play for the band.

"We recorded their music every place from a remote village in the middle of India to a room above a restaurant in Ecuador," remembers drummer Todd Bragg. "We would hear musicians that came to play their songs for us and in the process we would hear their stories."

Share the Well came from the band's personal desire to impact other cultures, but spreading awareness to their audience is another goal. A nationwide fall tour reunites the band with musicians from India, Brazil, and Ecuador, who will climb aboard tour buses along with the band. Fans will not only enjoy an unprecedented concert of ethnically-rich music, they'll hear personal accounts of life in a third-world country. And hopefully, they'll be inspired to get involved.

I have favorite artists, and favorite songs, but this is by far my favorite album. The songs make me laugh, weep, they make me want to dance, sing, worship. This is a definite recommend for anyone, as the variety of sounds and honest messages will appeal to most tastes. Listen to samples of the album here. Volcanoland, Wings of the Morning, and the title track can also be found on YouTube. But go buy the album, you won't be disappointed! :)

The track that always moves me most on the album is "All I Need," a simple folk song about the strong faith of a poor Ecuadorian woman. She feels the presence and peace of God despite her circumstances.

Tiny plot of land
Corn stored up in piles
Years it doesn't rain
They just stay hungry for a while
No fatted calf to kill
She made a feast of cuy and corn
She said, "Who else knew my name
Before the day that I was born?
Jesus is all I need
Jesus is all I need."


Bronte Creek

This Labour Day we went to Bronte Creek Provincial Park. We had a free pass that expired on that day, so we couldn't let it slip by! C-note was very excited about having a picnic. I don't think he's experienced one yet. Except for a truck picnic, but that doesn't really compare to sitting on a blanket out in the open air! Even the usual fare is much more tasty outside.They have a hobby type farm on the property with different kinds of animals in various small barns. We saw a few rabbits, peacocks, goats and cows. And a very large hog. It's too bad it was so late in the season, otherwise we would have seen the some babies, I think!

There were plenty of trails for hiking and strolling. We got some good exercise that day. Wonderful views to take in, too.

The drive home...

Cauliflower Cheddar Soup


1 tbsp oil
1 head of cauliflower, chopped
2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 litre chicken stock
2 cups shredded old cheddar cheese
salt and pepper


Heat oil in soup pot and sautee onions until translucent. Add potato and continue cook for an additional minute. Add cauliflower and chicken stock, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, until vegetables are very tender. Blend with an immersion blender until smooth. Stir in cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper. If the soup is too thick, add some milk until it's your preferred consistency.
Serve with crusty bread.

Chocolate Truffle Tart


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
3 tbsp sugar
1/3 cup cold butter
1/3 cup 35% whipping cream

1 2/3 cups 35% whipping cream
2 eggs
8 ounces (250 grams) dark chocolate, chopped
2 tsp vanilla

  • Crust: Mix dry ingredients together and cut butter into mixture until it resembles fine crumbs. Stir in whipping cream until dough clumps together. Transfer to a 10-inch tart pan and press the dough evenly on the bottom and up the sides. Prick all over with a fork; refrigerate for 15 minutes or until chilled.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake tart shell for about 25 minutes or until firm. Let cool in pan on a rack for 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile make filling. In a saucepan, heat whipping cream over medium heat just until steaming; remove from heat. In a heatproof bowl, whisk eggs to blend. Gradually whisk in about half the cream in a thin stream; whisk egg mixture back into pan. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes (do not boil.) Remove from heat; stir in chocolate and vanilla until smooth. Pour into tart shell. Chill until set, about 2 hours.
  • Variations: Chocolate Cinnamon: Add 3/4 tsp cinnamon to the cream on the stove. For the Adventurous: Add 1/4 tsp ancho chili powder or 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper with cinnamon.


Saying Goodbye

Have you ever had to say goodbye to someone, not knowing if you'll ever see them again? On Tuesday after a quick goodbye lunch, we had to do this. It happened so quickly there was no time for tears. Stu and I sat there, kind of stunned, I think, afterwards. I wondered why the bard said "Parting is such sweet sorrow." Why sweet?

Maybe because the times we did have were good. Perhaps because it isn't really final.

Goodbye, dear friends. And thanks for listening to my struggles when I needed someone to talk to, A.
Here's one for the guys! ;)