Tuesday, September 9, 2014

This Year's Spring Seasons Displays

As the year cycles on, faster than I can believe, we are certainly enjoying the Spring season that has come around again. 
We have seen lots of new life in the animals around us, not only our own but also in the countryside as well.

The  flowers are blossoming all over and it is such a joy to enjoy the beauty of  God's creation each and every day as we are spending more and more time outdoors.
In our family circle that means it is also an opportunity to continue celebrating Spring inside our home and thus it is time to change our seasonal display areas too.
Mrs Thaw has arrived to usher in Spring and help King Winter on his way back to the Winter castle, and the root children are gradually being replaced by the flower children.
As I enjoy creating new additions to the seasons tableau  I had decided to make a Spring Flower Fairy using one of my peg dolls I had painted earlier in the year and not done anything with as yet.
The obvious first step to me was to paint on some spring flowers and some hair,
then place her with the Spring postcard and candle and she could stay a Spring Lady, but.........
if I add some felt wings and a flower bonnet  you now have a Spring Flower Fairy!!!
Isn't she pretty??
Next put  all the daily Seasonal things together that we use and you have one area complete.
Phase two is to add all our other seasonal bits n pieces to our other seasonal area and we are ready to celebrate the beauty of this season.

Obviously as the season moves on we tend to change and add or subtract from the display to suit our needs and desires, however I must say that I truly love being able to create and have the beauty of this display in our home.

Blessings to you and your homes,

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

It's Ridiculous Really!!

It is ridiculous!!
I can't believe I let it happen.......again!!
The ridiculousness of it started working on me causing me to second guess and worry about the fact that I hadn't done what I said I would.

Perhaps you have never done it but I know I have done it before and I should have see the signs,before it got so embedded in my thinking.
It happens when I am passionate about some thing and truly feel that I am meant to do a task or to share these 'noble thoughts' with others.

But then because  I live and love an everyday life, that life steps in and changes my priorities. Even though my passion is still there God has asked me to use that passion in other ways for the time being. So even though I still feel that passion it isn't appropriate to follow the original course of action I had planned on.

So what caused such a stir in my heart that I let it take hold?
Really, I hesitate to share it because it really isn't that big a deal. It is a minor event in the grand scheme of my life and yours too.
Yes a little event in my life that you had probably not even remembered I said it. However I let it be a big deal for me when I know it is not an earth shattering event that will change the course of history.

I let it change history though because I let what others think, yep, that's you guys at the moment, or rather what I perceived others would think,  dictate my own actions.

I can't believe I actually wrote that!

I rarely allow others expectations to guide my actions and in fact can often deliberately choose to not follow 'standard' ways of acceptable behaviour or actions.
In fact I know my beloved can remember this as one of my most endearing qualities, memorable qualities from our days at school even.

I believe it is important to know where each of us stands on issues of importance and be prepared to take a stand regardless of what others think of us.
A quote I often say to our children -
"Right is right even when no one else is doing it.
Wrong is wrong even when everyone else is doing it"

We have to make sure that we are not affected by others perceived thoughts and thus allow those thoughts to change how we do things, how we react and how we live our lives.

I sadly let this happen, in a small way, that changed my behaviour in a way I feel is ridiculous  now.

But it has also allowed me the privilege of reflecting on my own response to this and then choosing to look at how important this is in my own life and strengthening my resolve in not letting others or how I perceive others think and/or act to affect my own choices and actions in this- MY LIFE.

What was the event in my life that caused this reflection?
Such a minor one really.
I felt compelled to write a series  of posts (and still do) about being a Queen of My Castle. I feel this is an important role for women of our generation to be encouraged in our roles as Keepers of the Heart- Homemakers.
As part of that series I had several life events that I wanted and still do want to share.
I said I would share Part 2 very soon and had every intention of doing that.

I did however know this was a 'thinking post' as I call them and my life at the moment had not allowed me to have what I know, for me to be, proper thinking room.
Fair enough!
That's life!

What I did then though was not!
I allowed the thought that your my readers would expect that post and therefor that was all I could write on.
Ridiculous! Again yes!

First off  I mostly write to encourage and share about our life as an everyday family living in that 'non exciting world of actual real life' that most of us inhabit. I do like to share how we take the joy of everyday and build memories together, because that is how we live our life.
I let my perceived ideas or opthers thoughts take this from me and I felt I could not write anything else till I had written this post.

Until I started to think about it and then I could see that I hadn't shared the joys of what we had been doing in our lives and saw how long it was between posts.
Because I allowed this to happen I let the joy I have in sharing those ideas here be stolen away, I allowed not following my heart because I didn't want you (others) to say " she didn't do what she said she would."

Such a trivial event and yet it can if let go cause great distress.
I know not to let it happen again.
Not here in my corner of bloggyland and not in my 'everyday' life either.

I know I need to be strong. To stay focused on what is important to me and to  life my life to the fullest!
So I would ask how about YOU?

"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.
What hath man more of his labour?
I have seen the trouble, which God hath given the sons of men to be exercised in it.
 He hath made all things good in their time, and hath delivered the world to their consideration, so that man cannot find out the work which God hath made from the beginning to the end.
And I have known that there was no better thing than to rejoice, and to do well in this life.

For every man that eateth and drinketh, and seeth good of his labour, this is the gift of God."
Ecclesiastes 3: 1-13

Blessings to you and your homes,

Sunday, August 31, 2014

An Elegant Picnic: Tasha Tudor Style

Our Tasha Tudor day this year consisted of a lovely Elegant outdoor picnic with our  lovely tea cups.
Unlike last year when we hosted our Doll Fair we have had such a busy time lately that I didn't feel we could have such an elaborate event.
Hence our more sedate celebration of Tasha Tudor Day.

It was fairly late in the day when we actually got around to having this little ceremony and so the sun was setting.
However it did provide a beautiful backdrop for our Elegant picnic.
The children who were home and I carried our quilt, teacups and teapots.
We also took out some of my most special Tasha Tudor books and I wanted to read as we sipped tea, or coffee in my case :)
Our basket of Chocolate Sultana Sourdough 'fun buns'  was late in arriving as they were  in the oven cooking. So when we were ready to eat them they were hot and yummy and quickly disappeared.
As for any table decoration or as it were an Elegant picnic you need to have some flowers.
I thought a vase might be in order but the younger ones picked them and put them in  a basket which as it turns out was better as we had a few moments of near spills. So the vase would probably tipped over as well.
I like the basket of flowers better anyway!!
I was only able to read from a few of the shorter picture books as we started to run out of day light and the younger ones were getting restless.
A is for Annabelle, Five Senses,  Pumpkin Moonshine, were the ones we managed before the wild ones ran off and the light faded.
It was lovely having our tea party outdoors and have the children listen.
These two girls are looking so like each other now too.
Moran just had to put flowers in her hair out of the basket.
She is such a fashion designer with a lot of flair!
Me I totally LOVE tea cups and really enjoyed having special crockery outside.
I will be doing this again with any children who are interested........perhaps Rogan.
The other children had a look at some of the books although Myffy and Moran have just started reading The Hobbit and just had to bring  that book along too.
Laying down on a blanket outside to read with a cuppa......life is so good.
Drinking Tea!!!
More please???
Earlier in the day I had a lovely time in the kitchen, which I think is a very Tasha activity.
I made this Sourdough Fruit Cobbler, sourdough bread (stage one) the Chocolate 'fun buns,' muffins, buttermilk and strained my Greek yogurt.
It really was the day for picnics as the younger children wanted to have a picnic lunch as well and took their lunch outside with a table cloth.

Was this a memorable celebration of all the things I associate with Tasha Tudor and therefore want to celebrate and emulate in my life?

I do think it was and frankly I so loved the Elegant Picnic I know I will be doing this again.

Happy Tasha Tudor Day!!

Blessings to you and your homes,

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Tasha Tudor Day 2014

Tasha Tudor Day - It has snuck up on me this year!!
It always conflicts with our oldest son and his birthday but now he lives away from home and we can not actually celebrate his birthday on the day, I feel free to have my own 'Tasha Day.'

What that means at this stage I am not sure but I am slanting towards a quiet day or evening, with the emphasis on a pretty Tea Time, some craft and a book to read in front of the fire.
I may finally do a make over for our Sparrow Post if I feel inspired too.

Here are some ways we have celebrated in the past -
Last year  2013 we had a Doll's Fair, it was such a fun day and here is the planning stage we usually go through first
Gardening in 2012
Reflections on what this day means to me in 2011
Quotes that remind me of Tasha in 2011
The elaborate Tea Time we had in 2010 and plans we had for this year as well
The books I have collected and my thoughts in 2009
Our Version of  'Sparrow Post'  in 2009

I am looking forward to seeing what everyone else shares this year too!

Blessings to you and your homes,

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Home-made Detangler and leave in Conditioner!!

If you look on the internet for a recipe for detangler you  will find many recipes that are simply commercial conditioner watered down.
As we don't use conditioner like that  normally the whole idea of using it for a detangler was foreign to me.
So I kept looking, let me tell you it took a while, for various herbs and other ingredients that had properties that would be good for a detangler that I was happy to use on my family.
I also wanted to use this as a leave in conditioner for myself and the older girls too.

I have curlyish hair that goes frizzy if I don't do something about it. In my journey to non commercial solutions I have been using Argan Oil that I use daily after wetting my hair, 1-2 squirts and rub through the ends to stop the frizzy.

This is quite an expensive little bottle though. You especially have to look out for  products that only have a part of Argan oil and then add other ingredients. I only use the pure oil. So as part of my detangler  I had to have a  hair product that I can use to help my frizziness.

Through my research I have come up with this mixture below that we are finding works on the most tangled hair, not that we ever get hair like that :)
Of course  we do! We have a head or two of thick wavy hair that it is fantastic on and for our Sensory Defensive girl it is a lifesaver.

Enough rambling about the goodness of this and now to the recipe!

This is a two step process but relatively easy, really it is.... trust me!!

First off you need to make your Marshmallow Root Liquid-
You need:
1.5 cups of water
3 tablespoons  of marshmallow root
Boil the water and then add the root.
Reduce heat and simmer for 20 30- mins
Cool and strain through a cloth

Next  step:
Pour your marshmallow root liquid into a spray bottle
Then add,
2 tsp of Apricot Oil
2 tsp of Aloe Vera
1 tsp of Glycerin
10 drops of rosemary essential oil
10 drops of lavender essential oil
10 drops of sweet orange essential oil

Shake, Spray and brush!!!

Oh yes you could put a really cool label like I did on your bottle! Yes I know not very professional, but hey, I was in a hurry to use it for my girls. Just keeping it real here!
I am sure you could easily make one that is far more professional using a picture making programme. Maybe one day I will do that too.

To fill the bottle above I doubled the recipe and then added  a bit of extra water to fill the bottle.
Just give it a little shake before use as it may settle a bit.

If you do end up using this please let me know what you think.

Blessings to you and your homes,

Monday, August 11, 2014

Queen Of My Castle Series - Part 3: Living what I Preach!!

I know what you are thinking!!
After my post, ummm, yes it was ten days ago where I said I would post part 2 of my series and now you see a title for Part 3 and don't remember Part 2, and you are saying "Hey, what gives?"
Well that would be because I haven't worked on part 2 yet!!
And the reason I haven't worked on Part 2 is - I have been busy actually living Part 3.

Part 3 is where I live that life I am accountable for and be the wife, mother and homemaker I claim to be.

Since posting that post days ago our family has continued to live it's life in our ordinary way, which as I see it is anything but ordinary because it is uniquely ours.
It is never the same again, because life moves on whether we want it to or not and it does not wait for us to be ready! 
It is up to us to create memories and live our lives with true love, compassion and produce fruit that is everlasting.
In our ordinariness we have driven 10 hours in one day to take Autumn back to her College studies after being home for over a month, only to discover once home again that some of the children have become infected with some sort of cold/flu virus again this Winter.
This of course requires attention and love from me, of which I am only too happy to provide.
This however means prioritizing all other activities for the day or days as it happens to be and giving the best of my self and time to those I love and care for most.
Again living what I preach to those who matter most.
This involved making some soothing cough syrup and mixing up a version of Thieves Oil for sick little people to add to our increasing supply of Winter Cold/Flue Fighting Arsenal.

As being sick causes little people to need lots of attention and care (they tend to be grumpy, like all of us do) we found that a lot of the 'normal' activities got left out in exchange for................
Sitting in front of a warm fire as we snuggle down against the freezing cold outside and warm our hearts and bodies together........
While I read aloud from this family favourite.
In fact I have not read it aloud to the younger ones really and they have been enjoying it as much as we did the first time when they were little, and so they don't really remember it!
As the children listen they have been occupying their hands as well so we have had a little knitting and crocheting thing happening with some of them
 Or playing with other toys that encourage creative play as we listen together to the book.
Some things don't wait because we have sick ones and these need to be dealt with by those who are able at the time. Part of the lessons we can learn while sick- to give our time (to do someone else's chores) as well as our love, are life lessons that can build character and virtue. A skill that is essential all our lives.
Each day well, someone or two, will  collect all the eggs, there are  not so many in winter but still some and we frankly we need to work out which of our hens is not laying and give them the .........well you know what I mean!
As some people tend to be woken in the night and then have trouble getting back to sleep I made up a little 'sleepy dust' to try to help with this problem. I'm still waiting for those who have been using it to give me a review on whether it works well.
 I am a big believer in sunshine and fresh air in helping get over illness and so as the children have become a little better I have encouraged them to get out of their PJ's and outside to gather some of this 'free medicine'
Naturally this involves  playing around with the wildlife they find, this time snails and then obviously relocate them to their own improved  home.
This time they were given some 'free food' - Goji berries. Obviously these were the health conscious kind of snails! Sadly I don't think they were used to such a rich diet and succumbed from said diet to a shorter life span.
I have been making my own almond milk  on a much more regular basis and have been thinking about our, being society's, diet and the buy it all V's make your own options.
As part of this thinking I have been reflecting on a quote form the series of 'Victorian Farm' we have been watching that seems as relevant today as it was back then. (thinking of maybe reflecting more in a post)
 This is the almond meal left over after extracting the almond milk. I have dried it out in the dehydrator and we use it for making almond flour recipes. I have also kept the moist version in the fridge and used that but as we don't always bake I wanted to dry it out so it kept better.
I was happy with the result of my dehydrating experiment and both versions baked up well too.
 he other thing that has kept us busy at the moment is that two of Rogan's rabbits have had Kits, with another due any day now.
This is his first lot of baby bunnies and we are all learning on the job so to speak.
I must say that they are incredibly cute and he is hoping to sell them on his/our Facebook page very soon now as they are nearly ready to let go.
Our older children are planning a movie day with some other homeschooling friends and so the little girls with a couple of our younger boys thrown in will be having a Spa/Fairy day while they are out. I do have a little pirate theme for the boys that I am sure they will like, but Fairy Food will always be acceptable to boys too.

I have a few things planned but as yet nothing organised so I need to get on with this as we only have two days left before the big event.
Hopefully the little girls will think they are Fairy Princesses after this little afternoon.

After a long week or so of illness and other events in our lives I am hoping this new week will bring a more settled routine to our lives (although I'm not counting on it , smile)

Whether it does or not I will still continue to play my part in our 'family circle' as I said in my Part 1 post
"Living my life with Faith and Love.
Being the Queen of My Castle!
Valuing my vocation of Wife and Mother.
Protecting  and nurturing those I love.
Being who God called me to be and luxuriating in this great gift of life that I have been called to live."

Because that is my life and I am blessed to live it!

Blessings to you and your homes,
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