He is Risen, He is Risen Indeed.  A Blessed Easter to you all…

Hi there and welcome back to Darling Downs Diaries and our weekly Good Morning Mondays Link up.

It is so lovely to get together each week and share our thoughts and I so appreciate each one of you and feel so blessed and encouraged by your lovely comments.

It has been a busy week dealing with all the produce that God has blessed us with.  We have been wanting to set up a roadside stall for ages and we finally did it this week.DSC_2383[1]We live on a very busy major road and we are blessed with a very wide nature strip with a good gravel base. This enables cars to pull in right off the road and turn around without any worry of being hit. We sold corn and tomatoes and we have now put some apples out there as well.

The good thing with our farm is that there is never any waste. If we don’t eat it, preserve it or sell it we give it to the pigs and they get fatter eating it. What a blessing.

I canned corn this week and have been able to get around 30 jars done. I also preserved some tomatoes, and dried some as well. We grew some little yellow pear tomatoes and some little red ones and I have cut them in half and dehydrated them. (FYI make sure you read the instruction booklet before laying all the tomatoes out and finding that you should have put them up the other way 🙂 )DSC_2392I am really enjoying my Excalibur dehydrator, it works really well and it goes most days. 

I put the little dried tomatoes in olive oil with garlic and rosemary. I am looking forward to tasting them in a couple of months. They look so pretty in the jar and so colourful.DSC_2393You might remember me mentioning a couple of weeks ago about our neighbour who had a stroke. She is still in hospital and has been taken off all medication and life support. She is still managing to eat a little and talks somewhat which is a blessing for her family.

We had eight of her grandchildren here for a day this week while their mum spent time with their nana. They are such lovely, hardworking children and we were happy to be able to have them. The children (including our two) picked all our tomatoes and it was great to see them working so well together.

We had some old neighbours visit us for an hour or so this week and it was wonderful to catch up with them as we haven’t seen them for a couple of years.

We went to Ballarat on Saturday morning to pick up our Rainbow Trout. The Fish Hatchery was set up to re-stock the local lake after a big drought.

One of our trout in the bag.

It is all run by volunteers and they do an amazing job. They bag the fish up and then oxygenate the water so that they can travel distances without dying. We now have 80 happy trout in our aquaponics system and we are enjoying just watching them swim around.

Our No 1 son has been away working and he is now home for a week, so it has been just wonderful catching up with him.

He is going to be spending quite a bit of time away over the next six months so we are having to adjust to that emotionally.  It is so bittersweet when our children grow up, we are blessed to see them turn into adults but it also means that the dynamics change around the home. We are happy to know that he is working with lovely Christian people who’s standards are so similar to ours.

Well that’s another week for us, I hope yours has been good too.

Okay onto our link up…

Our top three posts this week were….thmb56ef6ab0db72f

Oatmeal Breakfast Bites by Mindie at The (mis) Adventures of a “Born Again” Farm Girl


John 3:16 For God So Loved… by Karen at Switchbacksthmb56eef0c014b8a

30 Day Spring Cleaning Printable by Emily at Morning Motivated Mom

Thank you everyone for stopping by and linking up. I look forward to  catching up with you all again this week.

What’s happening in your corner of the world????

I will still be working on putting away fruit and vegetables this week and getting ready to butcher our pigs and a steer.

Our son-in-law, daughter and family will be down later in the week to help us do the butchering so I am going to try and organise some meals early in the week so that is one less job to do while we make sausages.

Saturday night we have a family fun night to attend, this is in conjunction with my husbands Fatherhood course and should be interesting. Each family has to put on an item so we will be working on that this week as well.

If you can, we would appreciate your prayers for our neighbour and her family as they face the next few days. Please pray for God’s comforting and peaceful presence for them as they face the loss of their Mum and grandmother.

May you be blessed and feel God’s presence in your daily lives.

Numbers 6:24-26 “The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.”

Blessings to you all dear friends xxxx

You will find me linked up at some of these great blogs.


Hey everyone, welcome back to another weekly Good Morning Mondays Link Up and what a week it has been.

It started last Sunday with our trip to the Port Fairy Folk Festival. I mentioned last week that my husband was asked to join a group playing his accordion.  Our younger two children joined him, no 2 son on his harmonica and no 2 daughter on her little accordion. They had a great time and everyone was really encouraging.

My husband and our no 2 son doing their thing!!!

I can play the accordion as well but I am not an ear player and I need music. This group goes from one song to the next, they are amazing.

Down on the farm it has been busy with one of our sows having 8 little piglets. They are so cute and it is amazing how they know what to do the minute they are born. We still have one sow to go and we will really have heaps of pigs then. I think we already have heaps!!!
DSC_2356Our oldest lot will be going into sausages and bacon after Easter when we have a big kill up. I know this doesn’t sound too great but it keeps us in meat for months and months. We are so blessed to be able to do this for ourselves.

The vegetable patch is going really well and I managed to get some corn done this week. I blanched it first and then I cut it off the cob. DSC_2366Some I dehydrated as you can see below and some I canned.DSC_2367I found I still have quite a few jars of corn left from last year, so that has all been brought inside to be used first. I have an outside pantry and an inside one and I tend to forget about the stuff outside. My husband is in the process of re-working a shipping container to make me a bigger storehouse for all our produce. We will be able to store potatoes and hang up our curing meat. It will be a few months before it is finished but the thought processes are working overtime at the moment.

We were also blessed with a bag of pears and I have been waiting for them to ripen. Finally they were ready on Saturday so I peeled them and cut them up and bottled them with cinnamon sticks, a little raw sugar and some red wine – I suppose my version of drunken pears. Hopefully this will give them some more flavour.

We have had some warmer weather this week and then it turned cold, wet and windy. We had a big gum tree branch fall on our bird aviary  narrowly missing our shed and hot house. What a blessing it didn’t fall on the shed, that would have been terrible. The roosters that were in there got a bit of a fright but they were not hurt.

DSC_2374My husband and no 2 son spent Saturday afternoon cleaning it all up. I suppose we get some firewood out of the tree for next year, which is another blessing. The only heating we have is a wood stove so firewood is very important.

I have a feeling that our warmer weather has passed and we are definitely in Autumn. Hopefully there are a few sunny days left to finish off the tomatoes. This year has been our best tomato year since we moved here nearly 6 years ago, so a new record has been set.

I didn’t achieve much school this past week, only piano, violin and processing fruit and vegetables. We have our Easter break and 2 weeks holiday coming up for school children so we will probably work through that if I can get on top of the corn this week.

I love homeschooling, there is so much children can learn and do without the confines of a school room. I understand it is not for everyone and that is okay, but it suits us really well.

We had our last piano lesson for the term on Saturday morning but I don’t think that means that we get to sleep in next week. We are off to Ballarat to a trout hatchery to get some Rainbow Trout for our aquaponics. This is an expansion for us and we are also looking forward to eating them as well.

That’s about all for me but I thought I would show you a picture of our little grandson who is about 6 months old now. He is so delightful, just like his older sisters.
DSC_2350Okay, into our link up…

Our top three posts this week were…thmb56e5888a7e1afAn Amish Market – A Collection of Four Novellas – Review by Laura at Harvest Lane Cottagethmb56e5ecf0d35a8Bookcases Going Green for Spring by Patti at Old Things Newthmb56e62d9f0d4e2Leftover Mashed Potatoes into Potato Cakes by Tammy at Taylor-Made Homestead

Thanks to everyone for taking the time to pop over and link up, you are all such a blessing to me.
This coming week is going to be filled with more preserving. I need to get the corn done and I think we are going to pick it all as it is just about all ready.
Monday night my husband is starting a Fatherhood course from Good to Great and he is very excited about this. It goes for 10 weeks and covers heaps of different topics, so it should be good for him and all of us.
A proviso for the course is that he takes the children away camping for a weekend and then he is to take me away as well. The children are really looking forward to this and our son-in-law, daughter and family are going to come and granny sit me for the weekend.
That won’t be happening for a few weeks yet, we have Easter to get though, a big butchering session the next week, wow the next couple of months are quite busy.
What have you all been up to??

May you be blessed and feel God’s presence in your daily lives.

Numbers 6:24-26 “The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.”

Blessings to you all dear friends xxxx

You will find me linked up at some of these great blogs.




  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 2 cups self raising flour
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 500 grams chocolate chips
  • 2 eggs – lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 2 1/2 cups milk

Mix dry ingredients and then add wet and mix until combined.


Place mixture into a lined tin and bake in a moderate oven (180 degrees C) for approximately 30 minutes.DSC_1983


PS: This was a big slice and the ingredients can easily be halved to make it smaller.

You will find me linked up at some of these great blogs.



Here we are again, another Good Morning Mondays. Welcome back and it is so good to hear from you all each week.

We have been having some very warm and humid weather this past week. We have had some rain and that is what makes it humid, rain and warm weather. I grew up in Brisbane which is very humid and I must say I don’t miss it, so I haven’t been really excited with our weather this past week.

I am trying not to complain tooooo much as the warm weather is so very necessary for our tomatoes to ripen. They are still coming off slowly and I have stewed up one pot and they are ready to process in the bottles, so hopefully there will be another pot full early next week.

We have really been enjoying our corn with nearly every meal and I didn’t get any preserved this week but I will have to get going this coming week. It is so delicious fresh off the cob smothered in butter, not very clean eating but very enjoyable.

I dehydrated the skins and seeds of the tomatoes that I stewed up and it will be a great addition to our soups and stews. I am still dehydrating grated zucchini and I now have quite a few bottles and packets of it for the winter months.

We had our violin lessons on Wednesday afternoon and the children are progressing very well. The parents of the young man who teaches them are good friends and it is lovely to catch up with them weekly, when it is usually not for months.

We are expanding our aquaponics system and my husband has been busy getting it organised and put together. Below is a picture of a new system he is putting in where the plants sit in these tubes and the water flows through the roots. We hope to eventually grow strawberries in this system. DSC_2329

Our tomatoes in the hot house are growing really well and look very healthy.DSC_2328My husband has built extra supports for them and we are getting a handful of tomatoes of these bushes each week.  We are hoping that they will keep us in fruit through the winter months.

Our piano lessons were on Friday night this week instead of Saturday, so we went to town on Friday, did a bit of shopping and had lessons and came home. Saturday morning our No 1 son and I went shopping in Warrnambool. We had a lovely time together and I enjoy our adult relationship and all the talking that we do.

Saturday we had some friends children come to stay for a few hours. Their grandmother has had a stroke and their mum wanted to go and visit her.  They are lovely children and my husband and younger children did a great job in the morning looking after them. There are 8 of them ranging in ages from 2 to 19, so it wasn’t a hard job.

If you can please pray for the recovery of their grandmother Mrs S, and for her future direction, it would be much appreciated.

Our son-in-law and daughter and their children came for tea on Saturday night and to stay for one night.  We were given a 4 berth caravan, which is such a blessing and they were the first to stay in it.

On Sunday they went to the Port Fairy Folk Festival to join some other Christians in spreading the gospel with music and puppetry. The Folk Festival is on every year and people come from all over. There are street buskers and a few free concerts but the main concerts have been booked out for months.

Last year we found a group of accordion players called the Rubber Bands and they asked us to join them. My husband can play his accordion by ear (eg: doesn’t need music) but I’m not that good, I need music. So I went along and enjoyed the music and spent some time with our grandchildren and their parents.

Okay onto our link up….

Our top three posts this week were…

thmb56dd3d9be5e87Preparing for a Christ-Centred Easter by Gwen at An Island Family By Gracethmb56dd18123a81aVintage Tea Party by Elizabeth at The Daisy Fields
thmb56ddbc13b6febCorny the Acorn by Sharon at Sharon Sharing God

Thank you everyone, I hope you enjoy the link up and I appreciate it that you stop by each week.

What’s happening this coming week, well of course it is school and the children are really enjoying the Bible Road Trip program that we are doing. We don’t always get each week finished in a week, but that’s okay because I don’t want to rush them or their memory verses.

We have our Bible Study on Tuesday night which will be great. We didn’t make it last time, so we are really looking forward to this one. Wednesday again is violin lessons and then it is just the usual stuff.

I really need to start on the corn and I want to put a load through the dehydrator first to see how it goes and then I will hopefully can some.

What have you all been up to??

May you be blessed and feel God’s presence in your daily lives.

Numbers 6:24-26 “The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.”

Blessings to you all dear friends xxxx

You will find me linked up at some of these great blogs.


Hey there everyone, it is so good to welcome you all back to another Good Morning Mondays Link Up.

How was your week?? Did you achieve all that you had on your lists???

Well what did we get up to I hear you ask???

My husband went to Melbourne on Sunday afternoon for the Gideon’s Bible Blitz and the reports are that between all involved they managed to hand out 20,000 scriptures in two days.  My husband always comes home with interesting stories and although he found this year harder it was well worthwhile going.  Thank you to those of you who prayed for this event, the seeds are now sown and we can continue to pray that the seeds have fallen onto good soil.

Matthew 13:8 Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop–a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.

We all missed him while he was away and it was so good when he got home. He was tired though so we didn’t make it to our Tuesday night study this week, but that was okay, we will get there next time.

Wednesday we decided to have a day together and it was warm enough to take the children to the beach before their violin lessons.

They had a great time splashing around even though the tide was out and there weren’t any waves. Then we went for lunch and then headed for lessons. They are now practising their long bows on the violin and will continue with this until next Wednesday.


I have been busy dehydrating zucchini and I almost have enough tomatoes to do a batch to bottle. We have been enjoying fresh corn as well. It is so delicious and a wonderful addition to our meals. The cobs are nice and big and I am going to start preserving some this coming week.

DSC_2318As you can see below the corn crop is rather large so hopefully it doesn’t all ripen at once.DSC_2311I had some excess cucumbers so I decided to make pickled cucumbers. They were really easy and taste quite good. We opened a bottle to make sure they tasted okay. Next time I will be a bit lighter on the peppercorns, but they are still good. Pickled cucumbers is one of my husbands favourite food, and I really like making the things he enjoys.DSC_2327While my husband was away it was our job to keep an eye on our pigs. Two of our sows are just about ready to give birth and we have been making sure they are okay. You can see from the picture of them below that they are starting to get really big in the belly. DSC_2316So we had lots of trips up the fire break to the corner of the paddock to make sure they were all right. The children love riding their bikes up there and they also love getting the trucks to toot their horns, it always makes me smile when I hear them.

Friday night we went out for tea as a family as we had to go to town. This is something we haven’t done for ages and we had a lovely time. On the way home we stopped in to see Mr and Mrs H and caught up with all their news.

Saturday was the usual music lessons and grocery shopping, we also stopped in and visited my husband’s parents for a short time and had a cuppa with them.

Saturday afternoon some friends visited us and we had a lovely time catching up with all that they have been doing. Even though these friends only live 15 kms away we rarely see them, it has probably been at least 6 months. They have three children and theirs and ours had a lovely time playing together for a couple of hours.

Sunday we went to a friends church near Warrnambool and then caught up with some other homeschooling families for lunch. There was a family visiting from Perth that we met at our conference, so it was good to catch up with them again.

What a blessing to be able to get together with our friends, the ones we see a lot and the ones we don’t.

Well that was our week, so onto our link up…

Our top three posts this week were…thmb56d3320917a94A Thrifty Week At Harvest Lane Cottage #55 by Laura at Harvest Lane Cottagethmb56d2b82da9f04Love For Violets by Daniela at My Little Old Worldthmb56d42e1867e4c5 Steps to Happy Homemaking by Tracy at Our Simple Homestead

Thank you again to all of you for taking the time to link up, I hope you were blessed.

What’s on your agenda this week????

I am going to concentrate on preserving and drying our corn and apples this week. I will probably also continue drying zucchini and I may even make some more pickles.

We will focus on piano, violin and Bible this week and if there is time for more we will do it. I need to focus on the preserving but we don’t want to stop schooling totally.

Violin lessons will be on Wednesday afternoon and that will probably be the only time I go out during the week. Music again next weekend and church of course.

My husband has heaps of work on and a few jobs in the queue. This is such a blessing because this is usually our quiet time of the year. He hopes to finish one job on Monday and move onto another one by Tuesday but we will see.

We are still milking daily and I hope when our next cow calves I can get back into making cheese. I haven’t made any since I broke my leg and we have given away all of the newer cheeses. The only ones left are about 12 months old and they will be very strong and only to be opened at own risk :-).

Well that’s my news for the week, I look forward to hearing from you all.

May you be blessed and feel God’s presence in your daily lives.

Numbers 6:24-26 “The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.”

Blessings to you all dear friends xxxx

You will find me linked up at some of these great blogs.


These buns are quick, easy and delicious either hot or cold, iced or un-iced.DSC_1977


  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon yeast
  • 1/2 cup sugar or honey
  • 1 tablespoon bread improver
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sultanas/mixed fruit/chopped dry fruit
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 500 ml warm water

Mix dry ingredients and add fruit. Add wet ingredients and then mix until mixture forms into a dough.

Place dough on floured surface and need until smooth.

Here is a picture of the dough on my bench.

Pull off bits of dough and roll into balls and place into either greased or lined tin.

Here the rolls are ready to rise.

Leave the rolls to rise until almost double in size.

Rolls risen and ready to bake.

Place rolls into moderate oven (180 degrees C) and bake for approximately 30 minutes.

When done rolls will sound hollow when tapped.


PS I always take mine out and turn into tea towel and cover until cool.

PPS These can be iced or served plain, whatever you prefer.

PPPS This recipe can be used for plain savoury rolls as well.