GOOD MORNING MONDAYS #31

Hey there, welcome to another Good Morning Mondays. I hope you all had a great week and are ready for another one.

I was blessed to be able to stay home most of the week with only one trip to the Dentist with my husband and our usual music lessons on Saturday and Church on Sunday.

The local eisteddfod is in two weeks time so the count down is on. The children are getting excited and really enjoy it but it does involve some nerves on the day.

Our No 2 daughter is going skiing this year so we went to Aldi this week and got her ski gear. She is all set up now and is very excited about it. She didn’t know she was going until we went to get her gear. I think this may be all we hear about for the next 12 weeks but thankfully she has a birthday and other events before then to keep her mind off it.

Our older two children have been going skiing each year for about 7 years now and our son-in-law’s sister has offered to take our daughter with her. This is such a lovely offer and we feel quite comfortable with her going and her sister and brother will be there for her as well.

This is a good learning curve for our youngest as he isn’t going. He was a bit disappointed but that’s okay, his time will come.  We will have a good week with him with just the three of us.

I managed to preserve some more apple juice this past week but I didn’t get to can any more mince (ground beef), hopefully this week.

I don’t have any family pictures this week but I wanted to share this one with you.jothamThis is Jotham, he is the son of our good friends. He was 12 months old in February and has just gotten his new glasses. I thought he looked so cute and he is such a blessing. His mum and sister are the ones we have sewing days with so we get to see Jotham a little bit.

Thank you to everyone who linked up this past week. I have had some computer issues so I apologise if you didn’t get my comments.

Okay our top three posts were….

thmb554f4fe6801c3The 1950’s style and modesty by Jo at Stop…have a chat

thmb554f85008ff92To Those Who Are Barren…on Mothers Day by Cheryl at Homespun Devotionsthmb55503f093a4ec

God’s superabounding Niagara Falls grace… by Beth at Beth Willis Miller’s Blog

and my personal favourite…

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Blog Authors Finally Meet by Chris at So Much At Home

Thank you again to everyone for linking up. They are all great posts and I would love to feature every one, but it is just not possible.

This week is a bit busier for me, we have our Bible Study on Tuesday night and a sewing afternoon on Thursday.

Our youngest granddaughter is turning one and she is being dedicated on Sunday at their church and then they are having a bit of a party afterwards. This will be fun, so you will get bombarded with photos next week :-).

Mr H has his first chemotherapy session on Tuesday and I ask that you keep him and his wife in your prayers.  He had another port put in last week and it is giving him a bit of pain.

I hope and pray that you all have a great week wherever you are.

Blessings to you all dear friends xxxx


CHOCOLATE APRICOT CAKE

Now you might not think that chocolate and apricot would go together in a cake but this was just delicious and easy.

DSC_1364[1]Ingredients

  • 3 cups Self Raising Flour
  • 2 cups Raw Sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Cocoa Powder
  • 1 x 375 gram packet chocolate melts
  • pinch Salt
  • bottled apricots
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

Mix dry ingredients, add chocolate melts.

I opened a bottled of home preserved ones so it probably equaled approximately 750 ml.

Add apricots and juice and olive oil. Mix this together and then add enough of the 2 cups of water to make a nice moist mixture.

Spoon into greased and lined tin and bake for about 30 mins in a moderate oven.

This cake was delicious and moist and didn’t need icing, but you could ice it with chocolate icing.

 

You may find me linked up at some of these great blogs

WHY AM I SO SOPPY???

Our oldest daughter says that I am soppy and mushy and well, I just can’t help it.

I am 47 years old and married to the best man ever, I have 4 children here and 2 babies waiting in Heaven, 2 granddaughters and another grandchild on the way.

I never thought that I would ever get married, let alone have children and grandchildren.  I never thought that there would be the perfect man for me, but I have been so blessed.

We have had some terribly tough years and those when we were first married were the hardest, but we stayed true to each other and with God we battled our way through them and now, well boy it’s great.

My husband and I have been through the loss of two babies, one miscarriage and one stillbirth, and that alone has softened our hearts.

You may think that I am mushy but he is much worse, but I just love that about him. I love that the loss of our children has meant as much to him as to me and that he was able to share his pain with me. Through this time we have grown so much closer.

We have a grown son who is a delight and I am still privileged to homeschool two more children for at least another 10 years. I really thought I would be an empty nester and if God didn’t have his way I would have been.

Now none of our children or ourselves are perfect – we are so far from it that you can only see perfection through strongly adjusted binoculars, and those binoculars are held by Jesus through which God sees us.14476534727_7e0a744eca_q

He has blessed us abundantly, not with wealth or ready money, but with each other and the means to help others.

That’s what life is all about, God, family and others, not about riches of gold or a big bank balance.

So if all of the above makes me soppy and mushy, well so be it.

I apologise to all of you who have to read my soppy posts and and I’m sorry oldest daughter but I will continue to write great things about you and your wonderful family, your father and siblings because in Jesus’ eyes and mine you are all just perfect.

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No 2 son with No 1 granddaughter

 

You may find me linked up at some of these great blogs

MY BEEF ENCHILADAS

What goes together better than mince, tomatoes and cheese?? These three ingredients are almost a staple here and we are blessed to have our own beef most of the time.DSC_1320

I was looking for something for tea the other night and enchiladas came to mind.  I actually have this “need” to make things from scratch, so I made the flat bread for this meal.  Sometimes this “need” is good, sometimes not.

The flat breads weren’t hard to make, but it did take a bit of time and I took my daughters advice and kept them warm so they wouldn’t crack.
DSC_1319I opened a jar of canned mince (ground beef) and a jar of tomatoes.  I put some tomatoes on the base of my casserole dish and then saved some for the top.

To assemble I just placed some mince on the flat bread and then rolled it up and placed it upside down in a casserole dish with the tomato on the bottom.  I continued this until all the flat breads and mince was all used up.

I then poured over some more tomatoes and then covered the top with grated cheese. I baked this in a moderate oven until all the cheese was brown – about 45 minutes.

Served with a fresh salad and some home made tzatziki this was a most delicious meal.

PS. My canned beef has already been cooked up with onion and seasonings.

WHY DO I DO IT?

I don’t know about you but there are so many things I do that I shouldn’t.

There are things I say without thinking and things that I do that hurt others and myself.

Why am I like this.

Romans 7:19-24  For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do–this I keep on doing.  Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.  So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members.  What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death.

This scripture says it all, I do these things because of sin living in me, I am a wretched woman.

But I have hope because…

Galatians 1:3-5  Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ,  who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father,  to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ gave himself for us, for you and for me. He came to rescue us from the sin within us and the evil around us.

Sometimes this is so hard to fathom, that He would do this for me, the wretched woman that I am.

But he did and now with Jesus we are no longer wretched, but we are redeemed by the blood of the lamb.

I’ve been redeemed
by the blood of the Lamb.
I’ve been redeemed
by the blood of the Lamb,
I’ve been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb,
saved and sanctified I am.
All my sins are washed away,
I’ve been redeemed.

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GOOD MORNING MONDAYS #30

Hey there, welcome to another Good Morning Mondays. Another week, another lot of activities has passed and we have a new week and new beginnings happening.

I enjoy the beginning of the new week almost as much as I look forward to the weekend.  I look forward to planning what I am going to achieve and the school I am going to get done.  Sometimes I don’t achieve anything I want to, but that’s okay, life isn’t about things but about people.

This past week we had our Revelation Bible Study on Tuesday night. This was a good night and we enjoy getting into God’s word and studying and discussing scriptures.

I bottled some apple juice this week and this was the first time I have done this. We wanted to see what it was like and we were really pleased with the results.  We had it with our Mothers Day lunch mixed with lemonade and it was delicious.  I also managed to can some ground meat which will be great for the colder months.

We had a sewing afternoon this week and because my husband was already there doing some work we went to our friends house for lunch and enjoyed a lovely meal together before getting into sewing. The girls’ quilts are coming along nicely and we might even finish sewing them next time. Then we have to snip them and put them in the dryer to fluff them up.

Here are the girls at their sewing machines, they get on so well and it is a pleasure to see them have such a lovely relationship.

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Saturday morning the children had their music lessons and my   husband had to work, so I took them in, did some shopping and came home.

Here they are sitting at their teachers piano. They had just finished playing their duet and as soon as they finished they both turned to her to see what she thought. Their playing is coming along really well.
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I hope you all had a lovely Mothers Day yesterday.  Here are the cards our youngest two made me, they were so lovely and the stickers were just so cute.  The inside of the cards were filled with words of love.  I am definitely going to keep these in a special place.

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The weather has been quite cold and damp this past week and here is our front yard below. I really enjoy this season and I just love the way the grass greens up and everything looks fresh and damp.

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It isn’t easy for my husband though when he has to work out in the cold so I make sure that the wood stove is going all the time to keep the house warm and inviting when he comes home.

Once again I am sorry, but I didn’t get all the posts read this week. I want to thank you all for linking up and for those of you who comment. I am blessed by the friendships that we are developing and I am always interested in what you are doing and how you live.

So our top three posts this week were…

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A Well-Planned Pantry by Jayne at Adventures at Tiny Toadstool Cottagethmb55460f133eb00Today at the Cottage…Living and Loving This Life a Little at a Time by Laura at Harvest Lane Cottage

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The Waiting, the Wedding, and the Wonder of His Mercy–Trusting Him When Prayer Goes Unanswered by Rebekah at Ready to be Offered

I don’t want to pick a favourite when I haven’t read them all but this post below was really good.thmb55475ca91b6f9Preparing for the Teen Years by Gwen at An Island Family by Grace

If you haven’t gotten to read these posts, pop over if you get the time and you will surely be blessed.

I’ve got a quieter week this week and I am looking forward to being home.  Tuesday night we are selling some sheep so I will probably go with my husband to deliver them to the sale yards.

Then we might go and visit our friends Mr and Mrs H.  Mr H had an unfavourable report this past week and again I ask for your prayers for him and his family. He has more cancer spots on his liver and his lymph nodes. He has an amazing attitude and we are so blessed to be able to share this journey with him and his family.

I hope you all have a great week and you are enjoying each moment with your family.

Blessings xxxx


A SOFT ANSWER

Proverbs 15:1 A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

I think that I need to have this scripture tattooed on the inside of my eyelids so that I see it all the time.

I don’t know about you but I NEED to see it all the time.

Raising children can be a war zone and dealing with attitudes can be hard work.  I am constantly reminding our younger ones to follow instructions and work dilligently and complete their school work.

Sometimes they just don’t get it and yes it is frustrating.

That is why I need to remember this scripture.

I tend to be harsh with my younger children when they don’t listen and when I have to constantly remind them to listen.  The more they don’t listen the louder I get, and the louder I get the more stubborn and hurt and angry they get.

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I think you get the picture and it isn’t pretty, anger and frustration is never pretty and it isn’t the way we should be.

So how can I change???

When I started looking there were plenty of scriptures to help me.

Romans 12:2  Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Psalm 50:14 And call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.

Maybe, just maybe if I surrender my days to God, I am sure, no, I know that God will deliver me from my harshness and frustration.

Here is my prayer for the morning…

Lord, please help me to surrender my days to you. Please give me a gentle and quiet spirit. Please help me to stay calm and remember to think about what I say and how I say it before I do.

All this I ask in Jesus name.  Amen

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GOOD MORNING MONDAYS #29

Hey there, welcome to another Good Morning Mondays. It is great to be back and I am looking forward to seeing what you have to link up this week.

I actually got all the posts read before Sunday this week and I enjoyed them all.

What have I been up to this past week you ask?? (well maybe not, but I will tell).

Yay I got my mending done, that was until Friday when I brought in some washing and noticed a couple of buttons missing, but my husband now has work pants without holes. I have a couple pairs of my sons jeans to mend but I want to see if they fit him still before I make the effort. If not I will use them for patches, or rework them into a skirt for my daughter.

Piano practice is still in full swing and there are only 4 lessons left until the Eisteddfod, and they are both coming along nicely.

We had Mr H and his wife for tea on Thursday night. They were on their way back from having more scans and it was lovely that they could stop in and join us. They don’t have any results yet and are waiting for the specialist to return to work after his wife had a baby.

Mr H could really give us insight into how he feels about eternal life and the fact that he could be there before he planned. It was wonderful to hear him talk to our children about how God has a plan and how he doesn’t fear death and that God has him and all of us in His hands.

Saturday we went to the Lake Goldsmith Steam Rally. This rally is held twice a year and we try to get to both but usually one is all we can manage. If you are a steam buff or love old stuff, this is the place for you.  It is noisy and smelly and sometimes muddy but it is a great time for all.

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This is one of the motors and it actually puffed real smoke rings, they were amazing, but I couldn’t get a photo of them, sorry.

They have a pond and the Geelong Model Boat Club bring handmade powered boats to run on the water and they give children the opportunity to have a go. Of course our younger two were there and were thrilled to be old enough to try.

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I just enjoy sitting and watching everything going on around me, but my favourite would have to be the old milking displays and the separators and butter churns.

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Here is a display of old accordians, there were button, piano and concertinas, and if you hung around long enough they would play them for you.

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A good time was had by all.

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Our Sunday morning bible study has started again and it was nice to get this going and get back into some corporate study.

Now onto our linkup.

Our top three this week were….

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When Your Husband Won’t Pray With You by The Farmer’s Wife at Growing In His Grace
thmb553e3f1743a75The Jesus Code: “Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord?” + Linkup by Donna at Soul Survival

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Cleanliness by Jennifer at Homesteading on Grace

and my favourite…thmb553dfbd68c2dfA God Like You by Candace Jo at Hope in the Healing

I especially enjoyed the clip of the marines singing “These are the Days of Elijah” – amazing.

Thank you all for linking up and I appreciate every one of you and the fact that you take the time to link up blesses me abundantly.

We have bible study this Tuesday night, this is our Revelation study that has been on hold over Easter. We are looking forward to it.

We are having a sewing get together this week on Thursday afternoon, which will be great. We haven’t had one for quite a few weeks due to other commitments so it will be wonderful to catch up again with our friends.

Mothers day is on this Sunday so I think we will have my husbands parents to lunch so that we can honour her motherhood.

What have you got on this week?

I hope that you all have a great week and that God blesses you as you live your life committed to Him.

Blessings to you all.

 


MY HOME – MY HAVEN

How do you feel about your home. It is just a place that needs to be cleaned and where you sleep at night.  Or is it your haven, your sanctuary away from a busy and noisy world.

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One of my favourite sayings is..

A house is built of brick and stone, a home is built on love alone.

Our home is built of brick but the inside is full of love.

Our home still needs cleaning and the clothes still need washing. There is ironing, and dusting and vacuuming, mopping and sweeping. There are beds to make and pillows to fluff, oh and the toilets need cleaning. The spiders find our home a great place to live so there are always webs to wipe down and dirty fingerprints to wipe off the walls.

Our home is just a normal place, with books in bookcases and accordians on show (maybe this isn’t normal).

Music flows from our home as our children practice their piano and sometimes it is sweet and sometimes not.

Sometimes you will hear raised voices – sorry we aren’t perfect, and then sometimes you will hear the soft voices of repentence and forgiveness.

If you are here for a meal you will hear the words of thanksgiving to our Heavenly Father who provides all our needs.

Hopefully, most of all you will know when you step into our home that this is where love abides. Love for each other and for those we care for.

Psalm 26:8 O LORD, I love the habitation of your house and the place where your glory dwells.

Ephesians 3:17 Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.

FIRE RENEWS

Fire can be scary and very dangerous. It can destroy bush land, pastures and homes within minutes.

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Fire can also be used to renew bush area and here in Australia (in our part anyway) the Country Fire Brigade burns off parts of our bush each year to control vegetation.  When this isn’t done the vegetation gets out of control and if a fire starts it can be uncontrollable and do heaps more damage.

When the bush is burnt it is a bleak scene, but it doesn’t take long for the bush to rejuvenate. New shoots start to appear and they are vibrant and green.

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You can see the scars of the fire for years after but eventually the evidence passes away under the new growth that appears.

So fires can be good, fires can keep us warm, fires can cook our food, and fires that refine are the best.

God talks about refining fires in His word.

Isaiah 48:10  Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tried you in the furnace of affliction.

In October 2009 our daughter was birthed into the arms of Jesus at 26 weeks gestation. I never thought this would ever happen to us, we’ve had friends go through the same thing but it wasn’t ever going to be us.

All of a sudden, our daughter stopped kicking and nothing I could do would make her start. It seemed that everything went into limbo mode that very moment when the doctor said she wasn’t moving.

We had to travel from our local town to the hospital where I was going to give birth and again there was no movement, no heartbeat, she was gone.

Well if that wasn’t a fire of affliction I don’t know what is. It hurt bad, and it was so hard to explain to the older children why. We still don’t know why, we never sent her beautiful body away to be checked out. We had already had 4 healthy children and it was just one of those things.

But through this fire God brought hope and love and comfort.  I have had c-sections for all of our children and let’s just say the whole process at times hasn’t been enjoyable. This time is was a fantastic experience. The nurses, the doctors and all involved were absolutely fantastic. I had nurses help me that had seen me through that last 2 births and there was a certain amount of comerarderie that I never expected to feel.

They cared for my husband and I with such love. The nurse who was on the night we went in stayed behind to pick out clothes for our little one and then brought them to us the next morning.

So through this fire of affliction we gained so much, we felt so much and we learnt so much. God never left us for one moment of that time, he carried us through with His wonderful love and grace.

I can’t really talk about this time without shedding tears, and I am crying now as I write this, but that’s okay, rain like fire can renew too.

The pain does diminish but never really goes away, like a bush fire there is always evidence in our lives of our pain, but new growth begins and God renews us with His love.

God gave us a great gift through this period, the gift of grief. We now understand what it is to grieve and we understand that grief comes in different forms and everyone grieves differently and that also is okay. There are no rule books for grief.

If you are going through a loss you may not view your grief as a gift, and I didn’t for a long time but this grief has helped us have compassion when others are going through tough times. It has given us a heart to help people whenever we can.

We can’t watch sad movies anymore and I much prefer a comedy to a drama.  Little House On The Prairie is definitely out of bounds.

God hasn’t blessed us with any more children and I have come to a place where that is alright. He has blessed us with grandchildren so we see new life every time we see them.

We are also comforted to know that our little girl is already with our Saviour and we know that this separation will not last forever and we will spend eternity with her.

If you are going through God’s refining fire at the moment, be assured you aren’t going through it alone, God is always with you, and He has given you His word and the Holy Spirit to give comfort as well.

1 Peter 1:7 so that the tested genuineness of your faith – more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire – may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.