Sunday, April 10, 2016

Home and Hearth

"Home is the one place in all this world where hearts are sure of each other.  It is the place of confidence.  It is the place where we tear off that mask of guarded and suspicious coldness which the world forces us to wear in self-defense, and where we pour out the unreserved communications of full and confiding hearts.  It is the spot where expressions of tenderness gush out without any sensation of awkwardness and without any dread of ridicule."
-          Frederick W. Robertson  
 
"Every house where love abides
And friendship is a guest,
Is surely home, and home sweet home
For there the heart can rest."
-          Henry Van Dyke 
 
Home -
It takes a heap o’ livin’ in a house t’ make it home,
A heap o’ sun an’ shadder, an’ ye sometimes have t’ roam
Afore ye really ’preciate the things ye lef’ behind,
An’ hunger fer ’em somehow, with ’em allus on yer mind.
It don’t make any differunce how rich ye get t’ be,
How much yer chairs an’ tables cost, how great yer luxury;
It ain’t home t’ ye, though it be the palace of a king,
Until somehow yer soul is sort o’ wrapped round everything.

Home ain’t a place that gold can buy or get up in a minute;
Afore it’s home there’s got t’ be a heap o’ livin’ in it;
Within the walls there’s got t’ be some babies born, and then
Right there ye’ve got t’ bring ‘em up t’ women good, an’ men;
And gradjerly, as time goes on, ye find ye wouldn’t part
With anything they ever used—they’ve grown into yer heart:
The old high chairs, the playthings, too, the little shoes they wore
Ye hoard; an’ if ye could ye’d keep the thumbmarks on the door.

Ye’ve got t’ weep t’ make it home, ye’ve got t’ sit an’ sigh
An’ watch beside a loved one’s bed, an’ know that Death is nigh;
An’ in the stillness o’ the night t’ see Death’s angel come,
An’ close the eyes o’ her that smiled, an’ leave her sweet voice dumb.
Fer these are scenes that grip the heart, an’ when yer tears are dried,
Ye find the home is dearer than it was, an’ sanctified;
An’ tuggin’ at ye always are the pleasant memories
O’ her that was an’ is no more—ye can’t escape from these.

Ye’ve got t’ sing an’ dance fer years, ye’ve got t’ romp an’ play,
An’ learn t’ love the things ye have by usin’ ’em each day;
Even the roses ’round the porch must blossom year by year
Afore they ’come a part o’ ye, suggestin’ someone dear
Who used t’ love ’em long ago, an’ trained ’em jes’ t’ run
The way they do, so’s they would get the early mornin’ sun;
Ye’ve got t’ love each brick an’ stone from cellar up t’ dome:
It takes a heap o’ livin’ in a house t’ make it home
- Edgar Albert Guest

(artist- Myles Birket Foster)
Blessings to you and your homes,
 
Linked to Here

Monday, April 4, 2016

The Revolving Door

Do you ever feel like you are continuously going around one of those revolving doors, seeing where you want to make your getaway but constantly missing the exit only to go around again?
That seems like our life at the moment!

Life is full. Life is exciting. We never have a dull moment in our home.
Our home is constantly alive with not only our children and their lives but the friends that come over and spend time, often overnight or a day or two.
The day to day busyness is topped off with extra events that seem to constantly follow one another.
We have so many things happening in our lives with various members of the family that it just seems a blur some days.
One day I will write about how I believe it is so much easier with  a whole bunch of little kids than a heap or even a few older kids 
Of course we have been leading up to the great feast of Easter and we have many traditions and preparations for this time of year as well as the feast days prior to this (so many blog posts to share....sigh)
Naturally at this time see more Liturgical play with the children and this was so funny to see as the little ones had a combination of both the Latin Mass and the Novus Ordo Mass. We attend both and so the children were mixing it up
We actually went on a bush walk together for the first time in ages and I loved that the little ones were able to walk the whole 2 hours without being picked up and carried at all.
I have been busy myself researching Herbal Remedies and implementing various medications in our Home. I have just enrolled in Vintage Remedies - Botanical Medicine Course and I have plans to enroll in another Herbal Course as well.
I have great and exciting plans for using both these and some of my other skills in developing a home based business.
One of the major factors in my lack of time has been that Vellvin is doing her Deb ball in just under two weeks and as well as that Saxon is partnering a friend of Vellvin's.
So there have been many weekends of dance practise and the  making of her dress, of which I am only partially through.

These are just a sprinkling ow what has been going on in our lives but a taste of what life is like in our revolving door  journey at the moment.
I hope you are living each moment of your own lives to the fullest even if they reflect our own!

Blessings to you and your homes,
 

Saturday, March 19, 2016

St Patrick Celebration 2016

 Favourite Feast Days are important don't you think?
St Patrick is a special day in our home and we love to celebrate with food, books and activities.
I love to set up  with our various bits and pieces for our Feast Days
Everyone loves pancakes right?
So what could be better on St Patrick's Day than green tinted  pancakes in a shamrock shape?
 After breakfast we set up the table for our learning for the day.
 I usually set out the books we are going to read for the day along with any printed out work, craft activities and painting.
When we set up for Feast Day I usually sit up one end and the children work around the table and work while I read them the books.
 As usual  I had the various colouring pages ready to go and we love to keep them as records of what we covered.
 My little workers !
Our collection of St Patrick books for the day.
 The Leprechaun  cake has been a bit of a tradition for a while now and the little kids are especially keen each year to be the first ones to taste it. 
The fruit rainbow for lunch was gone in a flash along with the Leprechaun cake. So a little healthy along with a little sweety was a good mix. We totally forgot the shamrock cheesy muffins for lunch too so we had them the next day.
 So how does that look for a lunch?
 After lunch the younger ones wanted to do a 'play' and Trahaearn was the first to get dressed up and start work on his 'shoe business'
 So here are our little  play actors before the play.
 Our Soaked Irish Soda Bread is always a huge hit -sadly only one piece each
After Dinner which naturally is Irish Stew (recipe in this post) we had the Chocolate THM Muffins with Mint Frosting for sweets before starting to  watch Darby O'Gill before bed.

May the Strength of God pilot us. 
May the Power of God preserve us.
May the Wisdom of God instruct us.
May the Hand of God protect us.
May the Way of God direct us.
May the Shield of God defend us.
May the Host of God guard us.
Against the snares of the evil ones.
Against temptations of the world 

May Christ be with us!
May Christ be before us!
May Christ be in us,
Christ be over all!
May Thy Salvation, Lord,
Always be ours,
This day, O Lord, and evermore. Amen.


Blessings to you and your homes
 

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Healthy Sparkling Fruit Drink -aka Home Made Soft Drink


Summer has been long and hot here and we try to keep ourselves not only hydrated by full of probiotic drinks as part of our health routine. Since buying A Year on the Farm by Sally Wise I have really enjoyed making this beautiful and special occasion 'fizzy drink' for our family.
It is another beautiful fermented drink that we have enjoyed this Summer  along with  Homemade Fermented Lemonade, Kefir and Kombucha.
We enjoy these drinks on a regular basis throughout the day.

Healthy Sparkling Fruit Drink (soft drink)

Makes 4.5 litres, approximately
875g fresh or frozen fruit (such as raspberries)
875g sugar
1 lemon, chopped
18 cups cold water
200ml white vinegar

Place all in a food-safe bucket, mix well, then place a tea towel over the top and leave to stand at room temperature for 48 hours.

Strain through a fine  nylon kitchen sieve and pour into PET bottles and seal immediately

The sparkling drink will be ready in 2 weeks.  Open carefully – it’s best to refrigerate it before opening.

Blessings to you and your homes,
 

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Fruit Chutney Recipe

We were gifted with some extra vegetables and fruit lately and I wanted to use them before they went bad so as I was thinking what could I make with the items I had on had and it came to me in a flash and I remembered..........CHUTNEY!
Thus today being one of those afternoons that I love being in the kitchen making all those items for my family that bring me such pleasure I just had to share this recipe with you.

I haven't made Chutney in a long time. Probably because I love it sooooooo much.
This one is so fruity and rich and full of wonderful fragrances as you not only cook it but as you use it to spice up any of your favourite meals that you would normally use sauce or bought Chutney for.

So here is the recipe I made up that really suits our family's taste-
1 kg onion chopped
1 kg pear chopped
2 kg apples cored and chopped (you can save the cores to make Apple Cider Vinegar)
800 g  tomato hopped
1 tbs grated fresh ginger
1 Tbs mustard seeds ( I have used allspice too when I had no mustard
1/2 tsp Celtic sea salt
1 1/4 tsp whole cardamon
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp chili
1 tsp whole cloves
1 tsp whole pepper
1 1/2 cups sultanas
1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
1 cup sugar (or sugar substitute)

Place everything into a pot and bring to the boil.
Simmer gentle until soft
Place in a blender and give a quick whizz
Put into glass jars and serve with your favourite foods.

ENJOY!

Blessings to you and your homes,
 

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Lent and Easter Books

Today I remembered I haven't posted any of our Easter books this year.
We keep them in a box or basket in the lounge room and read through them during Lent and the Easter Season.
Some of them are more loved than others and are read often but we have read them all over the years and I just wanted to share our love of these books with you 

Amon’s Adventure -  Arnold Adventures
The Easter Story – Brian Wildsmith
A Tale for Easter – Tasha Tudor
The Story of the Rabbit Children -  Sibylle von Olfers
The Story of the Butterfly Children - Sibylle von Olfers
The Story of the Easter Robin -  Dandi Daley MacKall
Rechenka’s Eggs -  Patricia Polacco
The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes by Dubose Heyward
The Tale of Peter Rabbit – Beatrix Potter
The Velveteen Rabbit - Margery Williams
The Bird’s Gift (A Ukrainian Easter Story) – retold by Eric. A. Kimmel
The Easter Rabbit’s Parade – Lois Lenski
The Giving Tree – Shel Silversten
The Tale of Three Trees – retold by Angela Elwell Hunt
The Very First Easter – Paul Maier
Little Rose of Sharon – Nan Gurky
The Jesus Garden (An Easter Legend) – Antoinette Bosco
Easter Eggs for Anya – Virginia Kroll
On That Easter Morning – Mary Joslin
Bright Easter Day – Julie Steigmeyer
A Child’s Easter – Patricia A Pingry
The Story of the Cross – (The Stations for the Cross for Children) – Mary Joslin
Benjamin’s Box – Melody Carlson
Children’s Stations of the Cross – Susan Brindle, Joan Bell, Miriam Lademan
The Legend of the Easter Egg – Lori Walburg
The First Easter Bunny – Frrich Lewandowski
The Story of Easter – Aileen Fisher
My First Story of Easter – Tim Dowley
The Story of Easter - A Little Golden Book
My First Story of Easter – Tim Dowley
The Story of Easter - A Little Golden Book
The Stations of the Cross - Fr. Lovasik
My Path to Heaven: A Young Person's Guide to the Faith - Geoffrey Bliss
Petook - Caryll Houselander
The Donkey and the Golden Light- John Speirs
The Caterpillar That Came to Church: A Story of the Eucharist - Irene H. Hooker and Susan Andrews Brindle
The Most Beautiful Thing in the World- by Gerald T. Brennan and Susan Andrews Brindle
The Butterfly That Found Her Way Home - Miriam Andrews Lademan and Susan Andrews Brindle
The Fish in the Fountain- Susan Andrews Brindle and Miriam Andrews Lademan
The Little Creatures' Crusade - Susan Andrews Brindle and Miriam Andrews Lademan

Blessings to you and your homes,
  

Friday, February 19, 2016

Celebration of Ember Days

This year as part of our Lenten preparations our family is attempting to participate in the ancient practice of Ember Days.

This has been a bit of a challenge for the children especially, so soon after Ash Wednesday.
Even though they are not required  until they are 14, by The Church, we have always encouraged out children to participate fully in the fasting and abstinence when we as a family participate.
We feel that we have many opportunities to Feast during our Liturgical journey that it is only ritght we should try to participate in the 'leaner' and 'harder' times as well.

After all how can we appreciate the feasts without the fasts?
Which makes this very appropriate-
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8:
 All things have their season, and in their times all things pass under heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted.
A time to kill, and a time to heal. A time to destroy, and a time to build.
A time to weep, and a time to laugh. A time to mourn, and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones, and a time to gather. A time to embrace, and a time to be far from embraces.
A time to get, and a time to lose. A time to keep, and a time to cast away.
A time to rend, and a time to sew. A time to keep silence, and a time to speak.
A time of love, and a time of hatred. A time of war, and a time of peace.

Here is a little information I have put together from various sources (sorry I can't remember where as I had done this quite some time ago) 
Also I have not included the seasonal aspects of Ember Days as here in the Southern Hemisphere they are all 'back the front' 

The Ember days, which fall on a Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday of the same week, occur in conjunction with the four natural seasons of the year.

The term “Ember Days” is derived from the Latin term Quatuor Tempora, which literally means “four times.” There are four sets of Ember Days each calendar year; three days each – Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. Ember Days fall at the start of a new season and they are ordered as days of fast and abstinence. The significance of the days of the week are that Wednesday was the day Christ was betrayed, Friday was the day He was crucified, and Saturday was the day He was entombed.

According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, the purpose of Ember Days, “besides the general one intended by all prayer and fasting, was to thank God for the gifts of nature, to teach men to make use of them in moderation, and to assist the needy.”

These times are spent fasting and partially abstaining (voluntary since the new Code of Canon Law) in penance and with the intentions of thanking God for the gifts He gives us in nature and beseeching Him for the discipline to use them in moderation. The fasts, known as "Jejunia quatuor temporum," or "the fast of the four seasons," are rooted in Old Testament practices of fasting four times a year:

The Ember Days are celebrated with fasting (no food between meals) and half-abstinence, meaning that meat is allowed at one meal per day. (If you observe the traditional Friday abstinence from meat, then you would observe complete abstinence on an Ember Friday.)

Ember Days are days favored for priestly ordinations, prayer for priests, first Communions, almsgiving and other penitential and charitable acts, and prayer for the souls in Purgatory. Note that medieval lore says that during Embertides, the souls in Purgatory are allowed to appear visibly to those on earth who pray for them.


Blessings to you and your homes,
 

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

A Mother's Love is True Love

A Mother's Love is True Love

A mother's love is a wonderful love packaged from heaven with special care.
A mother's love is like no other love in which you can compare.
A mother's love is purified by Angels and flows directly from her soul.
A mother's love is justified by God and by his hands he created the mold.
This mould that was shaped and fashioned by God has endured the test of time.
This mould that was taped and recorded by women rang out like a heavenly chime.
A mother's love is unconditional, and from her heart this can be told.
A mother's love is nutritional; it is the fruit that feeds our soul.
A mother's love 'IS' true love, and from her heart she cannot lie.
A mother's love is eternal, the kind that wont' ever die.
A mother's love is the tie that binds, and her bond can never be broken.
A mother's love is branded in our hearts, even when her words aren't spoken...

Author- unknown

Blessings to you and your homes
 

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Shrovetide this year....2016

It's that time of year again-LENT.
Where we slowly count down the days to Easter and through that journey we hopefully prepare our hearts for this wondrous celebration.
For us in our family traditions we generally start on Monday with what we call our own "Mardi Gras" Celebrations. Autumn helped Trahaearn and Arwen to create some paper chains to hang up as decorations this year. Something we haven;t done in a long time.
It certainly kept them busy for a good while, which was especially needed for our rambunctious boy.
After reading through my prepared printouts  and colouring some pages the children decided to make there own masks.
You have to admire the creativity of children. This was a totally impromptu event so the masks wer made with some manilla folders and creative drawing on them.
Rogan was especially happy with his dragon mask
That evening I started our preparations for our them of Lent.
This year it being The Year of Mercy I had seen somewhere this idea of Mercy and I have incorporated this as the main focus for us this Lent. Along with some other prayerful endevours.
I also created the small poster with an invitation for us to give our hearts on the Lenten journey.
It is also our tradition to hide the Alleluia until Easter and to not say in at all in our house hold.
Next day is Shrove Tuesday and this is a big feasting time for us. Also known as Fat Tuesday we certainly took advantage of the offerings of the day.
Again we read form myh prepared notes and coloured in then the children remembered this old book and I read that as well, just for the fun of it.
What is the point of making a great dough if you can't have an opportunity to test taste?
Dinner is always bacon and eggs with pancakes for us
I like to have the crown of thorns ready for Ash Wednesday so Rogan and I stayed up and I made this crown from salt dough while we watched Colonial house together.
Then it is on the table ready for the good deeds, sacrifices and prayers to be started in the morning
Ash Wednesday always involves Mass and the receiving of ashes. Thsi day it was an early Mass for us, which actually prepared our day quite well.
Of course we got out our Lenten Log in preparation for night time candle lighting countdown and we had some more prepared reading and colouring to place in our Liturgical notebooks.
We started on Amon's Adventures as well during our Lunch Time Read aloud time.
We also collect our Palm Crosses from Last year and burn them up in our own little ceremony.
Then we use our Countdowns to count the days up until Easter.
This is one we made last year and loved so we are reusing it again this year.
This one we printed off thanks to the sharing of Pondered in My Heart and we are using little feet to walk the path to  Easter.

May your journey through Lent be a productive and joyful Journey this year.
Blessings to you and your homes,
 

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