Sunday, January 31, 2016

Feast Days - St Agnes and Our Lady of Altagracia and a little planning too ☺

January is such an interesting time for us.
WE have the 12 Days of Christmas and are still in the Christmas Season liturgically BUT as it is Summer here and School Holidays our family is technically 'on Holiday'.
However the children rarely truly love the unstructured time for long  and itch to get back to 'normality'.

I however am torn as it is often the time I plan our structure for our new year of learning and even with the best of intentions I end up taking longer to do this than expected. I also love the fact that there is lots of wiggle room and a relaxing time for us all.

This year as I worked (still rushing around madly on the last day- we are starting back tomorrow) I decided with my husband that we would return to the old way of learning this year.
Our old year consisted of year round learning and having 4 weeks on 1 week off. This worked really well for us for many years until the children started interacting with more traditional school based friends and loving the idea of 'school holidays.'

The other thing we find difficult is celebrating liturgical feast days during holidays and on weekends.
So our January Feast Days often get left out.
This year we actually managed to celebrate the Feast of both St Agnes, who is one of Vellvin's Confirmation saints, and Our Lady of Altagracia. When we were expecting Arwen I desperately wanted her to be born on this day as I love the story told in A gift of Gracias- The Legend of Altagracia clearly she was born a few days later but still I love  the warmth and love of the story.
As part of my planning this year I had wanted to have all  my note, ideas and colouring pages, crafts and cooking ideas printed out and in plastic sleeves ready to just pull out and use, to reuse each year.
With the help of Vellvin I have manages so far to get up to the end of February. It really is a mammoth task and I think I will go to plan B and try to get a month at a time done.
We had a recipe we have wanted to try for a long time which was a Grain free/Gluten Free Orange cake. Let me just say it is one of the most lovely moist and sweet yet tangy cakes ever.
To compliment this we made home made ice cream from frozen oranges and milk and cream.
We read about Our Lady, coloured pictures and ate some good food. This is what constitutes a great feast day in our home.
In the evening we celebrated St Agnes with a cake and Vellvin blowing out her Baptism candle. We sing a song to this each celebration of the anniversary of a child's Baptism-
'May God Bless you this Day
May God Bless you we Pray
Live for Jesus dear........
May you serve him always'
Once again we read about the life of St Agnes and her living her Faith as God asked her to.

Now as we are on the eve of a new month (already) and our new Learning Year I pray you have a most blessed Sunday.

Blessings to you and your homes,
 

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

A Peek into our days Lately.

Well here we are a couple of weeks into the new year and already we seem to be moving a a pace much faster than I am entirely comfortable with.
I guess it does not help that we have had one heck of a time with children being sick and Stephen recovering from a hernia operation (prior to Christmas). The children have been overwhelmed with a strain of cough that seems almost impossible to shake.
We have had two of the boys with pneumonia one of whom had a few days in hospital with it. Arwen and Myffwyn still have the cough badly and I just really can't get rid of it even with all tried and trusted my remedies.
 We have had a busy time with raising our first lot of incubated chickens.
They were introduced to the rest of the flock a week ago and seem to be settling in nicely. We really are happy with our first attempt at this and Rogan especially put in a lot of hard work with them.
On the homestead front we lost a couple of our meat rabbits and Rogan lost both of his brand new Mini Lop's he had just bought. This was a devastating time for him to get through.

We have also just hatched some tiny little Quail who are so cute!!
 We are hoping that Daisy will actually hatch the eggs she is sitting on. She has a collection of both pure breed Welsh Harlequin and some Petite Saxony(which she is) cross Welsh Harlequin eggs she has been protecting. The geese tend to think they are fair game.
Christmas brought some wonderful gifts to our family. Stephen officially received his ride on mower (bought second hand a couple of months ago) and I was very fortunate enough to receive this Pressure Canner I have been eyeing off for some time.
Sadly with things as they have been I have not had a chance to use it.
 Oh bonus score this was too. Stephen was hoping to make some cheese with me before his return to work but again no go. So I guess this can be used as a Science project with the children this coming year.
 During the Christmas break the children played a few board games and this was the cutest thing ever. Corbyn was teaching Trahaearn to play Hobbit Monopoly and he actually stayed to play for a long period of time.
I have managed to do a few food related fun things outside the regular activities.
I dried my first lot of peaches in a very long time as well as some almonds after soaking (activating) them.
I made this great Sourdough Soaked and Dried Cereal. This is very popular with everyone, except the one person I wanted to eat it - Arwen.
I am having awful trouble getting her to eat much of anything and breakfast is especially hard. Any ideas would be welcome
Sprouted and dried rye all ready to be ground into flour for baking.
Oh yummy summer drink. Can I just say this is the loveliest berry flavoured sparkling drink ever.
Yes it is a homemade 'fizzy, fermented drink' that you will have so many people lining up for more.
We are all out and so I guess it's time to make some more.
Did I hear you mention cake? Of course I did. There is always plenty of cake to eat whether for a special occasion or just for a nibble. This one is a soaked sourdough spice cake, and it's good for you too.
 I just love the little $2 paint with water books you can buy. There never seems to be an age limit on them and the older kids are just as keen to have a go at these. They are perfect for a quick 'I need something to calm the kids' with.
 Of course it wouldn't be our family if we did not have a tea party somewhere in here.
This is a beautiful little doll tea set that we gave the children for a 12 Days of Christmas present. It is in constant use with the various dolls and teddies that live around here. 
Though each day brings it's own joys and challenges I am thankful for all my loved ones and being able to minister to them.
May your days be filled with peace, joy and contentment.

Blessings to you and your homes,
 

Monday, January 4, 2016

Happy New Year 2016


Another year is here and life turns again.
May I wish you and your families all peace joy and happiness for this year.
Last year, 2015, was a year of constant upheavals for us a family.
We had many changes in our lives that gave us opportunities for growth as individuals and as a family.

We are looking forward to lots of new and exciting things in this coming year.
Hopefully I will be better at recording our life journey here on this little space.

Blessings to you and your homes,
 

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Life Advice

I loved this when I saw it a while ago and wanted to share:

Wise Advice from a Farmer's Wife-
Whenever you return a borrowed pie pan, make sure it's got a warm pie in it.
Invite lots of folks to supper. You can always add more water to the soup.
There's no such thing as woman's work on a farm. There's just work.
Make home a happy place for the children. Everybody returns to their happy place.
Always keep a small light on in the kitchen window at night.
If your man gets his truck stuck in the field, don't go in after him. Throw him a rope and pull him out with the tractor.
Keep the kerosene lamp away from the the milk cow's leg.
It's a whole lot easier to get breakfast from a chicken than a pig.
Always pat the chickens when you take their eggs.
It's easy to clean an empty house, but hard to live in one.
All children spill milk. Learn to smile and wipe it up.
Homemade's always better'n store bought.
A tongue's like a knife. The sharper it is the deeper it cuts.
A good neighbor always knows when to visit and when to leave.
A city dog wants to run out the door, but a country dog stays on the porch 'cause he's not fenced-in.
Always light birthday candles from the middle outward.
Nothin' gets the frustrations out better'n splittn' wood.
The longer dress hem, the more trusting the husband.
Enjoy doing your children's laundry. Some day they'll be gone.
You'll never catch a runnin' chicken but if you throw seed around the back door you'll have a skillet full by supper.
Biscuits brown better with a little butter brushed on 'em.
Check your shoelaces before runnin' to help somebody.
Visit old people who can't get out. Some day you'll be one.
The softer you talk, the closer folks'll listen.
The colder the outhouse, the warmer the bed.

Blessings to you and your homes,
 

Thursday, November 26, 2015

It's the week before Advent!

It's Coming! It's coming!
No not Christmas, although our Geese are getting fat :)

It is the final week before the start of Advent and it is indeed a preparation week for us. Which really is  quite a statement as Advent is all about preparing our Hearts and Minds for the coming of our Lord, both in the Celebration of Christmas and for His coming again.

So this week we have been preparing by making our Puddings last Sunday - Stir Up Sunday.
We also mixed up our cake recipe and I have been baking them at 2 per day, that's all this little oven will do at a time, how I miss my wood stove at Christmas especially!

I have been making last minute lists of food, cooking ingredients and craft materials to purchase and to have on hand ready for said crafts.
Thankfully when Vellvin and I had made our giant countdown calendar we had already printed out our colouring activities and put them in a folder all ready to use.

We also have Saxon's birthday on Friday to plan and of course he needs gifts and a cake too. This day will also entail us driving to Sydney to pick up both our Uni girls to come home for the year and the return trip home.

Naturally we have everyday activities and extra things thrown into the mix as life could not be plan sailing if we tried these days.

I wanted to have all our St Nicholas gifts organised so I also went shopping on Monday to organise that.
In my plans I also had hopes of getting all our Christmas gift shopping completed before the start of Advent so we could focus on the beauty and traditions of this season......I'm not completely sure this is going to happen yet.

Anyway our week is busy, the sick people are getting better and we are very, very excited as we move forward to the last days of pre-Advent.

Blessings to you and your homes,
 

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Hello again and a Christmas Fair Party

Hello again!!
Well I can't believe it is almost Advent again. It has certainly been a sporadic year for blogging here on my little blog.
I have not real reason except the fact our lives have been very full with  complications and lots of twists and turns during the year that have required micro managing and thus full attention.

Anyway as we come up to the last week of Ordinary time before Advent we had Stephen's annual work Christmas Party.
They younger children have been looking forward to it for months since they found out that there would be a merry-go-round and a bouncy castle.
I was trying not to let them get too excited as I wasn't sure what would actually be there.

However today I can say our children came away from a beautiful day. It was everything they wanted it to be and I was thrilled with that for them.
There were two bouncy castles and a merry-go-round that the children spent soooooo much time on
 The little ones have never been on a ride like this before and just loved it. Going around and around constantly. Thankfully there were not so many children that they had to wait to often at all.
The huge slide was popular too with a fair bit of running and then......
sliding to be done!!
Daddy was pretty good at keeping everyone happy and showing where all the cool free things were.
 Naturally at a 'fair like' environment you need to have a clown.
Now, not many of our children are really into clowns and I was a little worried about Arwen and Trahaearn, but they were fine with watching Mr Jellybean perform his magic tricks and fun.........from a distance and wrapped around my leg :)
 However this did not stop them from getting some of that animal balloon action that was happening.
After all who can resist a balloon poodle or a
 Darth Vader sword.
One of the other fun things I lined up with the children for was the face painting.
I was very surprised at the fact that some of our more 'sensory challenged' children were so much improved since a couple of years ago.
 What girl can resist a unicorn
 Or a tiara
 Naturally our young son had to be a pirate
 and who else would get a spider all over his face.
After waiting all that time I decided I would have some of the fun too.
Stephen had to remark, with a huge grin on his face, that I was the only adult with face paint on but hey that's what I like to do! 
Oh yea!!
Did I mention there were free on tap 'slushies,' fresh squeezed orange and lemon juice, popcorn and ice cream of your choice.
I asked one of the children to bring me back an ice cream while I waited in the face painting line with the others, as I had seen them with cones and they brought back this totally delicious ice cream Sunday
  As was this one!! Ummm yes I may have had more than one. But not as many as some others I could mention.
 Naturally at a work Christmas Party the children get presents.
Trahaearn even went by himself to get  his and each of the children were certainly gifted by a wonderful wrapped present, a stuffed wombat or kangaroo and  a book or set of  cards and a bag of fairy floss too.
We have had so many wonderful steps forward with our special Moran this year and are so proud of her accomplishments and how she is developing.
 As the whole day was actually based at  the Narrandera Fisheries Centre  we had a look at the static displays here of native fish and watched a very informative DVD of what they do.
The touching of the turtles was an experience they all enjoyed.
Just look at the size of the Murray Cod- it is huge but can grow to be larger than this
We looked at the other fish and one of the interesting things noted was because they are inland river fish the water is not clear like when you visit Sea Aquariums.
Then a car ride home where some of us fell asleep after a very exciting day.

All in all it was an excellent day for the children and we are very appreciative to Kelly and all and any others who helped her put this together. 

Blessings to you and your homes,
 

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