29 December 2007

Christmas catch up

I've been bad and neglected my blog the past few days, however I did post 4 times on Christmas Eve! Well I'm back on this blog now, however I did post the following on ruth's kitchen experiments:

This year, Rob and I celebrated our first Christmas as a married couple and had fun cooking our own Christmas dinner.

For starters we had crispy duck with Chinese pancakes, hoi sin sauce and spring onions.

And for our main course we made Turkey, Ginger Glazed Gammon, Stuffing and roast potatoes, carrots and parsnips and had cocktail sausages and Yorkshire pudding along with it all.

I even made doggie treats for Stewie
What a fantastic feed! We had a great day!

We also spent Christmas evening at my parent's house playing on my sister's Wii. On boxing day Rob was working and i headed up to my parent's with Stewie to have another Christmas dinner. The following day Rob and I headed up with his 2 brothers to Donegal to see his Dad and almost Step mum, while Stewie spent the night with my Mum and Dad. We had yet another Christmas dinner in Donegal, swapped more presents, played beetle and did a mini pub quiz. We stayed overnight and spent the day, went out for dinner in the evening to a local pub and headed back home, picking up Stewie on the way.

Now today has been relaxing, Rob has lit the fire, I cooked lunch from leftover turkey and ham, made some Baked Alaska and am now updating my blog while watching the West Wing with Rob. Tonight I'll be heading out to see some old school friends for Chinese and a catchup with them too!

24 December 2007

12 days of Christmas mash up

loving this

HT to Marko

Twas the night before Christmas

HT to xkcd

Christmas Eve

I had tried my hardest to be organised and tried to get a few last minute things yesterday meaning that today could be a relaxing sort of day. The result yesterday being queues in Tesco as soon as it had opened:

However a couple of things popped into my head last night as I was making my second batch of mince pies and so I'm out today to hunt down these bits and pieces, as well as deliver a mince pie to each of the leader's of a youth or children's organisation, as well as get last minute things sorted for the Christmas Eve service, as well as prepare some food for tomorrow as well as write family christmas cards (the only ones i'm doing this year) and so on so forth.

Just before I head out I'm wrapping up the mince pies.

justaddeggs is gone....

and is now called ruth's kitchen experiments

It's still the same url but under a new name.

23 December 2007

The true meaning of Christmas

I love Charlie Brown, i grew up reading the books of comic strips and watching the cartoons, so seeing this little video just makes me smile!

22 December 2007

Christmas Par-tay!

Around September I met up with the youth fellowship leaders and committee (made up of a group of the teenagers) and the idea of a weekend away for a Christmas party was a suggestion. This didn't work out and the compromise was an all-nighter at the church, which happened last night. There were a dozen of us altogether, a lot of people who were excited about it ended up deciding not to come because they were tired... and I suppose most people are at this time of year, but we had a fantastic time.

We had the time to get our youth room repainted, which had been negotiated with the church committee around late September.

And we also played in the "snow" (HT to Tim Schmoyer for the idea). About a month or so ago i was phoning around local schools and calling up business men and women from the church asking for any shredded paper they could spare. I had it all stored and bought a load of sellotape and packing tape from the local "Around a Pound" shop.
At first I gathered everyone together and announced that the game was a giant jigsaw to find the shredded £50 note... they looked somewhat bored at this idea so I explained that we were actually going to make a mountain out of the stuff and make Human Snowballs by covering a member of each team in the tape (sticky side out). Was so much fun... here's the photos:

After all that we ended up tossing it in the air and having a "Snowball fight".

It took ages to clean up but we even had fun doing that.

Then after all the high activity we had some food, swapped secret santa presents and got comfortable watching christmas movies.

A great night, extremely memorable!

19 December 2007

Loosing control....

I've been writing this post the past few days, making edits, adding, deleting, changing etc etc. and now I have finally decided to post it

Recently, what with all the events, services and so on to prepare for in the church, I've been noticing more of how I just don't seem to want to give up jobs to other people. I've often felt a little annoyed (not just in work related things) when I feel like I'm left on my own to do things that could be done between a few people. However when it comes to sharing out the jobs and spreading the load a bit I often worry that something won't be done right or the way I'd like it done. Logically I know sharing the tasks will make my life easier as I'll not have as much to worry or stress about, but there's something in me that I'm slowly discovering about how I need to feel in control.

Last Saturday was the Christmas Babysitting day we hold for parents to leave their kids with us at church for some fun, games, crafts, food and a movie so they can do some Christmas shopping or just have some time to themselves. I had designed posters, publicised it round schools and the church, organised booking forms, planned the programme, went shopping for all the food, watched the video to be sure it suited all the ages we were looking after, made examples of the crafts, and so on so on. The day before I made a note of what all I had to get done before it started, getting the food bought was one of the most urgent things, and planned to get them all done after helping at the Mother's and Toddler's Party in the morning. I was starting to panic slightly during the party thinking about all that was still to be done, and then one of the volunteers for the babysitting day came in to help at the party and asked if she could do anything for Saturday. Initially I thought I would be fine and get it all done myself, but then remembered my panic and the feeling in my stomach a few seconds earlier then asked if she could sort out the food. I told her to buy cocktail sausages, sausage rolls, chicken nuggets, squash, crisps etc to feed 40-50, and as soon as I did I felt so much better, despite also thinking it might not be the right stuff.... silly really, i mean how wrong can you go with the list I gave her.

The following day I arrived at the church, still with lots of bits and pieces to sort out. The food had all been sitting waiting for me, ready to get it cooked and , well it wasn't what I would have bought exactly but it was perfect! And it was all plenty of food to feed everybody.

I'm slowly but surely learning to delegate and ask for help when I need it, instead of putting extra pressure on myself. It makes me think about Proverbs 3:5 -
"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding"

So often I try to do things by myself and too often I turn to God for help last, again I'm slowly learning to ask for help and to trust in God for the strength, wisdom, courage, resources and so much more to get through whatever I'm faced with. After all "With God all things are possible."

Personality test

HT to Marko

He took the test and posted the results on his blog and got me interested in seeing what mine would be like.

Only took about 5 minutes, have a go.

Click to view my Personality Profile page

17 December 2007

Faith.... the dog

Was amazed at this... firstly cos it's strange to see a dog this way and secondly cos there's so much to learn from this dog.

16 December 2007

2 million kids infected every year....

So cute....

It's actually very funny for me at the minute because there was a kid at our Christmas Babysitting day asking if Rob gives me cooties lol.

14 December 2007


Last Saturday night I was in our local shop getting a loaf and went to the counter to pay. Whilst getting my change out I was shocked at what greeted me.... boxes of Cadbury's cream eggs.

Already?!?!?!?!?! We haven't even got christmas over yet and people are already thinking of Easter? Why is there such a rush to move on to the holiday after the next? Mind you I've always wondered if cream eggs are so popular why aren't they sold all year round? Maybe this is a move towards it? After all they are kind of selling the eggs all year round in the form of a bar (aka the "Cadbury Dairy Milk with Creme Egg").

This brings me back to thinking about our Gift/Nativity service in church last Sunday where in my talk I mentioned the idea of celebrating Christmas all year and not just in December, the same being true of Easter I suppose: remembering and celebrating the gift of Jesus all year and not just briefly in a church service on Christmas day. something I'll be working on anyways.

13 December 2007

Food blog help

i've decided to change my food blog name from "just add eggs" to something else because it's getting a lot of hits from searches related to eggs in cooking and I really don't use eggs a lot. So I need some inspiration to come up with a new name for the blog. Any ideas or suggestions are very very VERY welcome! I have a couple of ideas and suggestions but welcome others to help come up with a great name.

Please help and post a suggestion!

My blog is worth...

My blog is worth $5,080.86.
How much is your blog worth?

Yeo! How come I ain't seeing any of it? lol

Monthly review 4

Last month I asked if anyone was interested in seeing these stats, and based on the 2 comments I got I think i'll keep it up.
So here are some of the stats (obtained via Google Analytics) from the last month (13th November-12th December 07) concerning this blog with last months numbers in brackets:

1. There have been 588 (414) visits.
a) 311 (248) of those have come via referring sites
b) 214 (141) of those visits are direct traffic
c) 63 (25) of those visits are from search engines

2. Searches that have brought people to this site are:
ruthebabes - 9 times
ruth e babes - 5 times
banbridge babes - 4 times
portadown babes - 4 times
babes at school - 2 times
cheese cross - 2 times
"children's address" "advent"
"mark goody"
"richard avery" "presbyterian
according to guinness world records, what is the fastest time a 12"pizza has been eaten
american top gear
banbridge chanelle
catch them keep them marry
cheese cross for charity
crane family belfast
crane heron difference
donard bebo
e cooking
el salvador and coke or coca-cola or "coca cola'
gift +paper +"children's address"
harry potter blog follow up
i wonder will this end up on ruth e babes blog?
johnny vegas america
johnny vegas christianity
jonny vegas christianity
lemons or limes sink
majorca cycling holiday banbridge
newtownabbey bebo
outlet banbridge, ice rink
personal questions for blogs
recipe for bannoffee roulade
ruth e.
ruth little northern ireland
shine through vegas
why do lemons float
why do lemons float and limes sink
ytube banbridge
zach hunter video clip
zach hunter, blog

There have been fewer "babes" searches, whether that's to do with me removing the "babes" from "ruthebabes" in the blog title or just fewer people are looking for babes I really don't know

3. 446 (383) visits came from the UK
87 (19) visits came from the USA
15 visits came from India
13 (3) visits came from Ireland
6 visits came from Germany
4 (1) visits came from Spain
3 (2) visits came from Canada
2 visits came from Australia
1 visit came from Indonesia
1 (1) visit came from Egypt
1 (1) visit came from New Zealand
1 (1) visit came from Norway
1 visit came from Argentina
1 visit cam from Brazil
1 visit came from Italy
1 visit came from Sweden
1 visit came from Vietnam
1 (1) visit came from Romania
1 (1) visit came from France
1 visit came from Malta

Are there any other stats people are interested in that I can add to these monthly site stats posts?

12 December 2007

It's getting dafter punk

Another youtube take on Daft Punk's "Harder Better Faster Stronger"

Don't think I like it as much as the other youtube version but still very impressed with it.

11 December 2007

Iona Institute's latest poll

The Iona Institute have taken a poll to reveal the levels of religious knowledge among the general population of Northern Ireland, showing that results are lower than the poll conducted in the south earlier this year.

A few of the stats include:
  • 42% knowing how many gospels there are (52% of Catholics, 36% of Protestants)
  • 60% knew the name of the first book in the Bible (54% of Catholics, 68% of Protestants)
  • 83% knew where Jesus was born (84% of Catholics, 83% of Protestants)

There were lots of other questions asked. To see all the results have a look here

HT to William Crawley

09 December 2007

Time management

I have learnt loads over the last couple of years about how to manage my time better, especially with a job like mine when you have to be flexible, work crazy hours and keep a check on how many hours you're actually working. However I made a mistake when I said to a GB leader "if you're in need of another leader to stay at the sleep over just let me know" and didn't actually look at my calendar to see what else I had on.

So on Friday I ended up helping out at the GB Christmas sleep over party where there were about 40-50 girls, we did crafts, had some chips, did a secret santa, had a fashion show (the girls were split into teams and had to make dresses out of Christmas wrapping paper - some incredibly creative dresses were made!), sang carols, watched movies, drank hot chocolate and eventually everything was quiet at 4am and we were all up and away home again by 8.30am. Not a lot of sleep, and on a hard wood floor: I'm actually yawning thinking about it.

Saturday I met with some of the young people at church to spend the afternoon cooking food to serve that evening for the church elders. We made 3 shepherds pies, a huge pot of bolognese with spaghetti, some thai green chicken curry with rice and 2 crispy chicken bakes along with side salad and coleslaw, then dessert was meringue, fresh fruit salad, cream and ice cream followed by a cup of tea or coffee and a quality street or two. It was an incredible day, we had loads of fun shopping for the food, cooking, serving, eating and even cleaning up afterwards. A fantastic bonding experience not just for the young people but also for the elders in our church. However I got home about 10.30pm and was absolutely knackered.

This morning was our Christmas family service with lots of the children involved in doing various things for it, which was all rather stressful but when there are fantastic youth and children's leaders involved in the planning and preparing there's no doubt it will all come together in the end: and it did. It was a great service, but again made me feel extremely tired.

Tonight is youth group where I'll be playing guitar to lead praise but tomorrow I'll be sound asleep..... at least I planned that in my time management!

06 December 2007

Cheese cross for sale

Mom 2 my 6 pack posted a hilarious ebay listing a while ago for some pokemon cards. And now My Semblance of Sanity has put up an ebay auction for a cheese cross for charity. It's all a bit random selling a piece of cheese that's burnt into the shape of a cross, you can also just donate some money via her blog, but it will be interesting to see how much this sells for.

05 December 2007

Children today

Newsround have released the stats from a survey they conducted to celebrate their 35th year about childhood and how children today view their community, society, family and themselves.

1 in 4 don't count their fathers as immediate family
74% like school
62% feel their parents worry about them too much
Most want to play outside – not on their computer
a third want to help the environment
...and they think Britain is a great place to live

Very interesting read for anyone as it seems to destroy some of the myths and ideas people have about how children view all these things.

HT to the youthworkblog

04 December 2007

That Christmas feeling

On Monday I met up with my Mum to go shopping for my Christmas present from Mum and Dad and have now a gorgeous new outfit waiting for Christmas day. The day was great fun, firstly because I got to spend time with my Mum but also because I was starting to feel in the "Christmassy" mood. Looking at lovely Christmas decorations, all the new gifts in shops, the food in the supermarkets, the window displays and much more. Also Mum and Dad have their tree and other decorations up already, as well as a few of our neighbours, so the idea that Christmas is coming was at the forefront of my mind.

Later that night I went to get our shopping in for the week and ended up having a nosy at some of the gift sets they had, which led to me buying a few of the things.... I had picked 4 items then noticed they were all in a 3 for 2 offer and then spotted a couple of things that I like and seeing as I "needed" (this is what Rob would call "Women's logic") two more items to get the 3 for 2, I went ahead an bought them and they've been very useful. I bought a couple of little jars with crushed rock salt and crushed peppercorns, that now sit beside the cooker for use while cooking.

Yesterday was our Luncheon group's Christmas dinner. Lunch is served every other Tuesday for some of the pensioners in our church who also bring friends along too. We usually have about 12-16 but Christmas dinner is a more popular event and yesterday we had 31. I'm not sure if it's more popular than the regular meetings because it's a full Christmas dinner for £5 or because we have had special guests each year in the form of the choir from Donard School (for special needs children). They're a fantastic choir, they all sing with such enthusiasm and get dressed up and create art to display as well, it's a fantastic show! They sang some fantastic Christmas songs and changed some words to give us some new ones e.g. The Twelve Days of Christmas had 6 mince pies, 5 jingle bells, 4 (I've forgotten this one), 3 wise men, 2 sparkling angels and a shoebox wrapped in a bow!

And as a little extra for the kids we had another special guest come and give presents to each of them.

I love this school and these children. Anytime I visit there is such a warm welcome and a great feeling of family. What's also great about Donard is usually I learn a lot more from them than they learn from me and am usually humbled quite a bit.

As Santa arrived yesterday after the children had sung, he stepped in the room and their faces all lit up with excitement, some jumped up and down on the floor, others were screaming with happiness. One boy (in the photo above) ran up to Santa looked at him and wrapped his arms around him giving him a tight hug. After Santa had left I was talking to some of the children and one girl came up to me showing me the little selection pack she had just received from Santa saying, "I really wasn't expecting any of this" and hugged the chocolates. They have such appreciation for even the smallest of things and it's reminded me to be thankful for even the smallest of gifts, the air i breathe, a pillow to rest my head on, a warm coat to wear, food to eat, and much more.

So with the kids singing, Santa visiting and the Christmas dinner I'm feeling very Christmassy now, but not so much that I'm playing Christmas music in the car yet... might just get sick of it if I start too soon. Yet as i look forward to all that will be happening in the celebrations of Christmas that I (and many others) will really appreciate the greatest gift of all and remember the birth of Jesus.

03 December 2007

Thou shalt not borrow

The title of this post is the title of the story (below) that I've discussed with a couple of groups of young people and was curious to know what some of my blog readers thought about it too.

Rachel volunteers her time at a nursing home. She began serving to get community service hours for school but continued to do it because she enjoys it so much. She has become friends with a number of the residents, but is particularly close to a woman named Agnes. Agnes was nearly 98 years old when Rachel first met her. They've spent lots of time together and when she visits Agnes she reads the Bible to her.

Agnes has nearly died 3 times. All 3 times her busy business man son rushes to be there, but doesn't show up any other time. He has even complained to the nurses for getting him out of work for "no reason."

Agnes told Rachel that when her time comes that she is to keep the Bible for herself.

Agnes passed away in her sleep one night and Rachel found out the next day when she came to visit. She went to Agnes' room and cried. A nurse came in and told her that Agnes' son was on his way and had insisted that "nothing was to be touched" in her room.

Rachel picked up the Bible that Agnes wanted her to have then remembered the son's request. The nurse smiled and said, "If I'm not here I didn't see anything." and walked out of the room.

1. Does the Bible belong to Rachel?
2. What should Rachel do?
3. What's the right thing to do?

Would love some other thoughts on this so please add a comment below.

the first year out

This is a fascinating photo essay from The New York times about a man who was wrongly convicted of raping and murdering as a teenager, at the age of 16 went to prison and served almost 16 years of his prison sentence before DNA tests proved him innocent. You really should take some time to watch this.

Another HT to Marko

American Top Gear - kind of

Just too funny.
HT to Marko

02 December 2007

I am woman, hear me roar!

Yesterday Rob noticed that our downstairs toilet was leaking a little, we said we'd keep an eye on it and hope it could wait until Monday to get sorted when it's easier to get a plumber. However today when I came home from work/church we noticed that instead of just leaking it was dripping now. We decided to call our home insurance company to see if this would be classed as an emergency and if they would cover the cost of getting a plumber out. They weren't able to get anybody off their contact list of 24 hour plumbers so they told us to get someone to look at it and send the receipt to them. Rob headed off for the gym leaving me to call round people from Bannside who might know a plumber who could come out and have a look. One of the people I called gave me a few instructions over the phone from what he thought it might be. So I went off, got some tools and set to work and it's fixed!!!!!! I feel so proud of myself now.