After we finished butchering our bull calf (18 months old – not a baby calf) it was lovely to get a beef roast out of the freezer and put it in the slow cooker.
I think when we are busy during the day our slow cookers can be our best friend and it is so great to be able to put something in it in the morning and be eating it for tea with very little fuss.
So I grabbed my roast and browned it in the smallest frypan I could find – why?? I’m not sure!!! It worked any way.
While it was browning I chopped up some onion and some carrots and put them into the cooker with some water.
I did my carrots pretty big because it was going to be on all day. After the beef was browned I placed it on top of the vegetables and sprinkled it with salt and some dried chives.I cooked it on high for 4 hours which was at about lunch time and then I turned it onto low for the rest of the afternoon. By tea time it was beautiful. Here it is on a plate with the carrots. I served it up with some cabbage and it was just delicious.
PS: This slow cooker was my parents and they had it for years and it is my favourite and works well. None of the newer ones I have bought or been given work as well as this one, unfortunately it isn’t quite big enough at times.
My mother-in-law generously gave us some Christmas fabric earlier this last month and it was enough to make a dress or skirt for our No 2 daughter.
I had in mind what I wanted to make and thought that I would join a skirt pattern with a pinafore pattern for the top.
So I washed the fabric and went to find the pattern pieces and guess what, the skirt pattern was missing. It was only one piece and I couldn’t find it anywhere.
Oh well, I still wanted to make it the same way so I sort of measured my daughters waist and added on a bit for ease and then cut out the skirt how I remembered it to be. It is a circular skirt pattern cut on the fold. It is a really nice pattern and so easy.
I then cut out the pinafore pattern and lifted the neckline on the front and dropped the back for the opening. I must admit I was really pleased that it all worked out so well.
The top fitted the skirt and I left the back seam open for buttons. My daughter found three pretty old gold buttons to use as well.
I bound the neck seam with bias tape and then added a curved sort of flutter sleeve.
Some mistakes I made was that the armholes are a bit low, so she needs to wear a little t shirt underneath the dress, but you can’t really notice it. I did cut the neck line a little large so next time I will bring it in a bit.
I found some nice white ribbon with gold hearts on it and sewed this over the waist seam to break up the fabric a bit.
No 2 daughter was thrilled with the dress, which made me so happy and it was lovely to see her wearing it on Christmas day.
Unfortunately after washing the dress the gold print on the ribbon came off, so I will need to replace it. I’m going to get a plain gold ribbon this time so that nothing can wash off :-).
I’ve been wanting to do a Vegetable Gardening Update for a couple of weeks now, and I had taken photos about 3 weeks ago, but what with Christmas and end of year preparations I just haven’t gotten to it.
Yesterday we were all out there and my husband had our ipad and I said “just take some photos of the vegetable patch while we are here”. He shook his head and said “no, we can’t, there are too many weeds”.
I let it go and went on with my day, determined to get onto it as soon as I could – the weeding that is.
But I’ve been thinking about those weeds and how it relates to us and our life.
Do we keep people out of our life because of the weeds??? Do we try hard to not show our weeds to those around us??? Do we just rip the weeds out with no care for the roots of other plants around them???
Now let’s equate these weeds to the imperfections in our lives.
It is so easy to write on this blog about how wonderful our life is and how we get on so well. No don’t get me wrong our life is wonderful and my relationship with my husband is fantastic, but hang on we aren’t perfect.
We are still sinners and sometimes that old Adam rises up and takes over. There are arguments, tears and sadness, and this is the truth, even though they are less than when we were first married, they are still there. I don’t want to hide this fact that we are imperfect people, that we have great big dirty weeds in our lives, I want to show these weeds and then show how God helps us pull the weeds up so that we stay rooted to Him.
If it wasn’t for Jesus in our lives we wouldn’t be together now. He is the glue that holds us together, only He has blessed us so much and made our relationship get better and better.
He has shown us that forgiveness is the key in any relationship. When we have our arguments or issues, they may upset us but we always come back and say sorry and forgive each other and that is when we move on. We give up on holding a grudge and turn our hearts back to each other and to God.
Weeds are always going to be there, they are always something we are going to have to pull up and get rid of. Let us make sure that when we do pull them up our roots are firmly secure in Gods foundation.
2 Timothy 2:19 But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.”
Wow we made it through the Christmas week to another Monday. We had a great Christmas with 17 here for lunch (dinner) on Christmas Day. Our beautiful No 1 daughter and son-in-law and their children came late on Christmas Eve and it was wonderful to spend time with them.
The celebrations started with our Christmas Eve service at church with the children doing the Nativity play. They did a great job and I believe that it really reminds them about Jesus being the reason we celebrate Christmas.
We had my husbands parents and some of his aunts and an uncle for lunch on Christmas Day. They are an interesting bunch all with their own personalities and they bring colour to every gathering, so it was a great day.
We smoked some of our pork and beef, I bought a ham (this is a tradition and my children would be very upset if I didn’t), everyone bought salads and sweets and it was a great mix.
I must thank my No 1 daughter for all her help, without her and our younger daughter it would have been a big job. I started to feel ill on Christmas Eve and had a sore throat and temperature during Christmas Day so I wasn’t quite feeling my usual bubbly, energetic self (!!??). So my daughters really filled the gap for me. Thank you No 1 and No 2 daughters xxxxx.
Here are some photos of the family at present opening time:
Here are the presents. We don’t have a tree but we place the presents around and under a nativity set.
Here is our No 1 granddaughter wearing her new sunglasses, and her dad and little sister in the background.
No 1 son and I bought my husband a 4 string banjo, he was shocked and thrilled.
Here is dad and granddad with No 1 granddaughter and No 2 son.
No 2 daughter was just thrilled with her tenor ukulele and has been playing it on and off ever since. She has been wanting one for months, and I get such pleasure to see everyone so thrilled with their gifts.
All in all it was a wonderful time of family and giving, caring and sharing.
I’m now looking forward to some of the people from church coming out for tea on New Years Eve. We usually get the older couples out and they have tea and enjoy some fellowship and are home well before midnight. We have some younger couples as well and that helps keep the party moving along!!!
How was your Christmas???? What are your plans for the New Year celebrations????
I am looking forward to a few days to relax, tidy up, finish a few UFO’s and plan and prepare for our schooling for next year. I don’t believe in New Years Resolutions but I make plans and endeavour to carry them out, my main aim is I want to be more organised this coming year (I can hear No 1 daughter chuckling from here)…
Now on to the next Good Morning Monday.
Our top three posts were:
Why Santa doesn’t come to our house by Growing in His Grace
Book Musing Mondays No 4 by Mary Hill
The Art of Homemaking Mondays Link Up No 32 by Jes at Strangers and Pilgrims.
My favourite for the week was:
Max & Makeya will be home for Christmas by Homespun Devotions.
Thank you ladies for linking up and to everyone else who took the time during this busy Christmas period. Once again I must tell you how blessed I feel with this.
So with the New Year fast approaching I am still feeling convicted to remind myself that the caring and sharing that we have celebrated during Christmas is something Jesus wants us to do all year. Let’s try to continue to look to others to help them in their time of need and if we can’t do anything physically we can always pray.
Love and blessings from our family to yours.
Ok let’s get the link up started, please link up any posts that relate to God and christian living – especially encouraging or challenging posts, also recipes, crafts, gardening or homesteading as you call it in America and just plain old country living here in Australia.
Well Christmas is over and the New Year is fast approaching. Everything that has been will not be gone or forgotten, but it is in the past, the future is coming and it is almost like starting anew.
Lamentations 3:22-23 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
On January 1st I am looking forward to starting reading the Bible in a Year with Soul Survival and I am looking forward to committing myself to this.
In Australia our schools are on holidays from mid December until the end of January so all our outside commitments like music lessons are on hold for 6 weeks. I try and start our schooling earlier than the schools do so that I can have a bit of leeway through the year, sometimes things happen and you need to take time off.
This is a nice period of rest, finishing up some projects that I didn’t get done. It’s also a time of planning for the coming year.
As I’ve said I don’t like New Years Resolutions – you seem to make a promise which lasts about a week and then they fall away. This year I want to make plans, and steps to complete these plans. I want to be more organised, more dedicated to the children’s schooling.
I want to be more caring of my family. I want to create a more warm and comfortable home, adding the little touches that make things special.
I want to weave and spin and knit gifts for the year, I want to make better meals and get back into making my own sourdough bread.
I want to get healthier and fitter and work this into all our lives.
But most of all I want to make sure that I am listening to God and allowing Him to lead and guide me – as I interact with my husband and my family – as I school our children – as I take care of our home.
I want to spend more time in prayer for others and I want to teach my children to pray for others.
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
What a great scripture this is in 2 Corinthians, if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation. That’s me, that’s you – we are a new creation.
I sort of feel the New Year is like this, there is something there for me that says I am starting again, that I have the opportunity to try harder to work better. What a wonderful opportunity we have as Christians.
How do you face the New Year – does it represent new beginning to you???
From our family to yours – may you be blessed as 2014 becomes the past and 2015 becomes the present, remembering that we are new creations in Christ Jesus holding onto Isaiah 40:31.
Isaiah 40:31 But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
To me these are the top 10 things that we remember, celebrate, and enjoy at Christmas.
1. JESUS, JESUS, JESUS
– To me Jesus is the MAIN reason that we celebrate Christmas. If it wasn’t for Jesus we wouldn’t have Christmas at all. He is the reason…
– To be with my family at this time of the year is so special, especially now with a daughter married and living 2 hours away.
– This year our No 1 son has some friends coming for lunch on Christmas Day. I think this is great that he has such a lovely relationship with them, and we hope they feel part of the family.
– We should be caring about others whether family or friends. We like to make sure that there is no one at church with no where to go. We should open our homes (If we can) to those around us who need love and care at this time of the year.
– Sharing and caring go hand in hand. We have been so blessed in our lives, with where we live and what we can grow for ourselves. If we keep it for just us we have missed the point. Sharing it with others blesses us as much as it blesses the receiver.
– Let us not forget those that have nothing. There are so many families suffering from low income or no income. There are people out there who have no where to live or live in poverty. Maybe we could donate money, time, food to people in need.
– We must love each other, not hold grudges and not need to get more out of a relationship than what we give. Let us at this time of the year (and all year) forget the hurts and forgive and turn that into love.
8. JUST BEING TOGETHER
– Let us just be together. We don’t need to buy expensive gifts to celebrate, just being together and loving one another is enough of a gift.
– I enjoy just sitting and chatting with our visitors and finding out what has been happening in their lives. Some of our guests coming, we only see once a year, so there is lots to catch up on.
– This isn’t important either, but it seems to be what we do. I have been making slices and special things for a week now and freezing them. I enjoy this side of it and consider it part of the blessing that we can give to people.
It’s been 10 weeks since I started the Good Morning Mondays Link Up and I have learnt so much, both spiritually and physically. I am enjoying this link up and want to thank you all for taking the time to do so.
There has been some tragedies in Australia this past week and it has touched the hearts of thousands of people – me included. Sometimes I just sit in shock at what happens in our society and I am thankful that God is in control.
We have had a good week at home, and I think we achieved heaps. We finished processing the bull on Friday night and it is safely in the freezers, which are at bursting point. I think we have at least 700 sausages in the freezer, all different flavours. (If you want to know more about this go to Butchery 101). We have another big pig to butcher but he will just have to wait until we’ve eaten some meat to make room for him.
We took the children to the local towns Christmas Market, for a BBQ and chat with the locals. It was a nice evening and it is always good to catch up with those we don’t see often.
I had an optomertrist appointment this week and need to upgrade my glasses, so I am getting a new pair. It is hard to pick new glasses by yourself and my No 2 daughter thought they all looked great. So selfies were taken and sent to my husband and No 1 daughter from my phone for their opinion and approval. I hope I got the right ones???
Now onto the link up. As I said before thank you to all who linked up. I am not quite through reading them all so I apologise for not getting to it and will endeavour to do so shortly.
Our top three posts this week were…
Christian when convenient from Sweet Water and Bitter
Dishes for Jesus from Growing in His Grace
Home Birth and Free Printables from Rahab to Riches
Thank you ladies for sharing with us and congratulations to Miranda and family from Rahab to Riches on the birth of their daughter and sister.
I am really being convicted lately about turning our eyes from ourselves and looking around us to see who needs help or encouragement.
With Christmas fast approaching I want to encourage you all to remember Jesus as the reason why we celebrate and I pray that you all will have a wonderful time with family and friends.
May you all be Blessed this Christmas and I look forward to hearing all about it.
So let’s get the link up started, please link up any posts that relate to God and christian living – especially encouraging or challenging posts, also recipes, crafts, gardening or homesteading as you call it in America and just plain old country living here in Australia.
PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE don’t tell your children stuff that isn’t true.
If they ask a question, then answer it as truthfully as you can. Sometimes we can’t tell them the answer to their questions due to the fact that they just are too young to know, then I will tell our children, “when you are older then you can know the answer to that one”.
We have particular family members that when we visit they are always telling our children “tall” stories. These “tall” stories sound quite truthful and could be the truth but they aren’t. So we leave there and our children are talking about all that they have done and seen and we have to say that it wasn’t true.
Then we have to try and explain to them why they told them these things, and that is always the hardest thing. Our children then feel let down and disappointed, and no matter how we want to look at it lying is always lying.
Children are naturally curious, they have an inbuilt desire to know everything that is going on around them. Now I’m not saying we have to tell them everything, but the questions that we can answer, we should do so honestly.
Sometimes I just have to honestly say that I don’t know why something is the way it is. Or the question I got this morning on “where did God come from” are just things I don’t know and tell them that.
Our children will respect us if we are honest about our knowledge or lack of knowledge, I don’t think they will respect us or trust us if we continue to tell them “tall” stories all the time.
Children are just like sponges, soaking up everything around them, don’t let them soak up dirty water, let them soak up life giving water.
Proverbs 12:22 Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who act faithfully are his delight.
Proverbs 12:19 Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue is but for a moment.
When No 2 son was a baby he had terrible eczema, his face was a bleeding, weeping mess and it took a couple of years for us to get it under control, now his cheeks are just lovely and smooth. He still gets rashes but we seem to be able to manage them better.
Now there were a lot of people feeling sorry for him and they were constantly saying “oh the poor little fellow”, and so on and our reply was always “there is nothing poor about him”.
You see it’s not that we didn’t feel sorry for him, we did, but we didn’t want him growing up thinking that he had something wrong with him, something that made him feel poor.
We didn’t want him developing a “POOR ME” complex. We wanted him to grow up accepting the things that he had to go through and to remember to turn to God in all these things.
As most of us know, life isn’t always fair and the sooner we accept this the sooner we can grow and develop and live.
If we continue to look at “poor old me” instead of looking at others and helping them, we will probably find that our problems, attitudes and health will deteriorate.
We have a friend who is always looking at her own problems, rarely does she see what others are going through. She seems to be getting sicker and growing older very quickly. I feel if she had a “can do” attitude instead of a “poor me” one her life would be a whole lot brighter
Now no 2 son still shouldn’t eat certain things and I will say to him that something or other (especially chocolate and dairy) will make him itch. Sometimes he eats it and comes back to me and points at his rash and I say “well you decided to eat it, so get used to it”.
Now I’m sorry if some think this is tough, but I’m not sorry for making him move on from his problems. Either he eats it or he doesn’t but if he chooses to eat something that affects him, then that’s his problem.
So I think we should turn our eyes to Jesus, forget about “poor me”, basically look up and live in the Grace and Mercy bestowed upon us.
Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.