Weddings, birthdays and decks, oh my!

Did I miss me?  I certainly did!

I realized suddenly tonite while wondering what to do with myself while Guillermo was cutting grass.. that I’ve really missed blogging.. and I need it, for therapy.   For memory.. posterity.. and to put in to writing what is on my heart.  But since it’s mildly public, and what’s on my heart isn’t all for public consumption….. i keep some of that in.. or leave it in drafts.

We have our kitchen garden planted.. but so far no produce, other than lettuce.. in the meantime I bought a couple of Costco bags of zucchini and made 4 loaves of Zuke bread which have been devoured.  The tomatoes are growing and show a lot of promise, as do the new Zuke blossoms, and cucumbers looking for a place to climb.

The last month has been very busy Chez Prince William.

Our patio, deck and driveway are complete! Our favourite addition of all right now, has to be the Perogy, Pergatory, .. PERGOLA!!!  We’ve actually taken to calling the space… Pergalatory… I had one of my super cute great nieces over for a visit the other day, and ask me.. “Aunt Amy, what’s a deck?  What’s a patio?”  so i tried to explain both.  I didn’t use any of the above P words.. that would have been just too confusing.  LOL!

Everyone who visits expresses the same as we feel.. “Wow! that is a SOLID deck!”  and really we do love it.  the space is awesome.

We’ve been able to use the backyard space so much already, it’s been so wonderful to finally be able to host family get togethers.  2 birthday parties so far;  a very impromptu celebration for my sister from Vancouver who was visiting, following a great dinner at a local winery (Honsberger Estates for the plug!)

The best part of the weekend, was being able to spend time with my 4 sisters.  It happens so rarely now that we’re all able to be together in the same timezone, that these times are cherished.


The following weekend we hosted Bill’s dear mom’s 90th birthday.

We had over 35 people here for the birthday celebration. The prevailing commentary  of the evening was how wonderful it was to all get together as extended family to celebrate a birthday instead of a funeral… How true is that!

I’m so pleased that so many people honoured this wonderful woman with close to 120 birthday cards, flowers, chocolate and well wishes over the course of a couple of weeks.

My gorgeous niece (inside and out) who is only 10 yrs younger than I was married last month to her prince… we were able to help with the flowers, and have an incredible time celebrating their union.   We are so very pleased for her, and thankful for a wonderful day. Pictured below, 3 of my 4 sisters, 2 with their grandsons.  Dancing, a gorgeous bride, umbrella buddies, and My prince & I in formal attire.

We’ve had weekend guests twice, and many others for bbq’s and impromptu dinners or lunches over the last month.

It’s been so wonderful to be able to practice and stretch the gift of hospitality.  I used to stress so much more, if the house was clean enough, the menu, and dusting every edge.. toilets sparkling… no clutter.. we’re learning to let go of that (a little), and just be.  it really IS a practice.  We’re excited to stretch more, and are both looking for others we can invite in (or outside) to bless.  Keep your shoes on.. just chill.. be comfortable here.

We had a guest visit that we’re just getting to know..  as she came in the house, she let out a really long sigh.. I asked her what was wrong, she said.. ‘nothing.. nothing at all..  i just feel i can actually relax here.. and just let go’   That was the BIGGEST compliment..and true measure of what we’re trying to achieve.. a haven, a place of rest and reprieve.

Not a castle or a show home.. but a place of comfort.  A haven.  Where we can serve and bless others.  Having that confirmation was huge.  I pray we can keep that always in mind and in the forefront.. to be that place where people can come and find rest.

Work has been very busy, and has definitely had it’s share of deep waters and challenges lately.  At the same time, our Pastor has been teaching through different Psalms, which has been so incredibly timely for me personally during a time of a lot of challenge, fear, disappointment, some anger, and at times a total lack of understanding of why things are allowed to happen in this world.

I was convicted as well that I have not been reading my bible lately, so 4 days ago, decided to read through the Psalms via my Youversion phone app. (here is my accountability!  i’ll check in and tell you how I’m doing…)  I found a Plan that has me reading through the entire book of Psalms in 31 days.  I have chosen to have the Bible app read aloud  to me, while i read slowly along, so I’m engaging both my eyes and ears, and not rushing through.. hopefully to penetrate the Word more into this feeble brain.  Each day I’m also choosing one portion that sticks out to me, and making a photo with it, posting to Instagram.  So far I’m 4 for 4…

Guillermo and I are also trying to be more focussed on what we want/should/feel called to do ministry wise.  Is what we’re doing working?  Where is there need? Where is our passion?

I had this most amazing 80+ yr old lady from our church, who suffers from quite a bit of back pain and general old age say to me the other day… “Amy, the Lord has impressed on my heart that I’m just not doing enough for him..”

I was silenced.

this is a woman who serves so much already, with joy and behind the scenes without accolades.. I was humbled to tears.

We were speaking with other leadership this week, about signs of growth in the church.. and one significant way is when we see/hear people looking for ways to serve.  How awesome it was to hear this woman on her way to 90 still looking for ways to serve over and above.. not out of guilt, or duty.. but out of her incredible love for the Lord.  I want to be her when I grow up.  

In the last couple of weeks, we’ve so enjoyed our new outdoor space, each morning of the past weekend I have been able to take leisurely breakfasts on the deck, and even worked one afternoon and another morning from home here in this fabulous new outdoor space.

We’ve been BBQ’ing all our dinners.. burgers, steak, cedar planked salmon, lemon garlic chicken, shrimp.. potatoes, bbq veg..  it’s been so wonderful.   Grilling food is my favourite, we’re still learning, we never knew how before, but thanks to the internet and our handy Weber Grill app.. we’re learning and having fun together, and making our guests be our guinea pigs.

Moving Bill and Amy’s kitchen outdoors has been fabulous, and we’ll gladly take it for the next 8 weeks of summer before we move back inside.







Published by billandamyskitchen

Bill (Guillermo 'cause he likes pretending he knows Spanish) and I (Amy) have been married since Sept 2005. We live in Southern Ontario, Canada - Niagara Peninsula in fact, smack dab between 2 of the Great Lakes. We love God, our family, our church family, and making each other laugh. (ergo the profile pic, he decided to make our photographer laugh by throwing a leg up on me just before the shutter clicked, which made ME laugh) When we married, I told Bill: "I don't know how to cook" but he had faith in me. So 15 years later, I'm still learning, and having fun. I've never (in my whole life) cooked a whole bird, chicken, turkey or otherwise. I've never roasted a beef, other than in a crockpot on low for 8 hrs. I like trying to find healthy & easy recipes and then I rarely follow them. I don't enjoy recipes that take hours or intricate steps. I have a special fondness for the Podleski sisters, writers/creators of the Looney Spoons, Crazy Plates and Yum/Yummer cookbooks. In 2018 we suddenly decided to rip our small house apart from stem to stern, moving out for 4.5 months while the house was demolished inside and out, and then rebuilt with an addition. If you go back in the archives to July-Dec 2018 you can follow that story. It's made our house open and so much more conducive to entertaining, small groups and large. It's given us the kitchen I've dreamed of to create and learn in. We feel incredibly blessed to be able to write about our journey, our faith in God and some fun recipes along the way. Thanks for joining us.

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  1. What a lovely post. I finally got to it tonight while enjoying a lovely evening on our patio. Great pictures.

    I agree with the woman who sighed. It’s how we have always felt when we come to your home: Ahhhh. So comfortable. And now I know you are really enjoying your home more now, too, which makes me even happier. Love you! Jude

    On Mon., Jul. 15, 2019, 4:56 p.m. billandamyskitchen, wrote:

    > billandamyskitchen posted: “Did I miss me? I certainly did! I realized > suddenly tonite while wondering what to do with myself while Guillermo was > cutting grass.. that I’ve really missed blogging.. and I need it, for > therapy. For memory.. posterity.. and to put in to writing what” >


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