HOW WE CARE FOR OUR CHICKENS

We have over 20 chickens and about 18 ducks on our farm.  Most of our chickens we purchased from a breeder near Sydney in NSW (about 14 hours drive from here).  He travels around in a truck with mesh sides and sells chickens from there to here and back again.

His chickens are really well looked after and we haven’t had any problems with the ones we have purchased.  They are a White Leghorn/New Hampshire Cross, so they are white in colour.  They aren’t very exciting looking being quite plain but they lay a nice large white egg.

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We have been trying to breed our own chickens and as I have stated before we have a friend who incubates them for us her being called the “chook whisperer”.  My husband has made an incubator out of an old fridge and just needs a new thermostat now to get it working properly.

We keep our chickens in a big pen with laying boxes on one side and roosting bars in the other.  They are totally enclosed all round and on top with mesh.

Chickens in enclosed pen
Chickens in enclosed pen, this is where they spend the night.

We feed them a mixture of wheat and layers pellets each day and they are locked up until after lunch and then let out to forage around the farm.  We let them out after lunch because they lay most of their eggs by 2 pm and it saves the children scrounging around the hay stack looking for eggs.

We have 6 hens and a rooster locked up separately from the others to use in our incubator when we get it going.  These chickens get all the appropriate scraps from the kitchen and also wheat and layers pellets as well.

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Hens locked up to get their eggs pure so that we can incubate them.

Eventually we will have a mobile chook house down the paddock following the sheep and cattle around and will only keep our breeders in the enclosed pen.  Hopefully this is something we can get up and running next year.

Any way that’s  how our chickens live, I think they have a pretty good life here at Darling Downs.

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This post is linked up here…

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DO WE DRESS TO IMPRESS??

We were at a wedding a couple of weeks ago and a couple of our friends were there.

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They both looked lovely and I told them that.  One was wearing a shorter type of dress with stockings (not immodestly short) and the other a longer style, more trendy dress with fancy leggings.

Now I hate stockings, and I love wearing leggings under my skirts but my husband wouldn’t be happy with me wearing them out to a wedding so I had sandles on – it was a warm day.

Whilst chatting to the two ladies we got into a conversation regarding clothing.  The one wearing leggings said she hoped they looked okay and the one wearing stockings said her husband didn’t like leggings and she wasn’t to wear them, and so she didn’t!

Now this lady has only been married about 10 years and was older when this happened, she would now be over 50.  She has worked all her life as a teacher so I had presumed she was an independent type of woman.

Well I must admit I was impressed.  Here was what I considered a modern independent women submitting willingly to her husband. Wow I had found a soul mate regarding this matter.  She wanted to dress to impress her husband, and wouldn’t wear something he didn’t like.

We went onto the reception and then went home and it was on my mind most of the night and the following days.  I really felt I needed to say something to her on the matter, it stuck in my memory so strongly.

The next Sunday when I saw her at church I commented to her on how impressed I was that she did this.  She was quite matter of fact about it and stated that you needed to listen to your husband on these matters.

Ephesians 5:22-24 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.  Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.

This really encouraged me to make sure that I was dressing to impress my husband and not myself or anyone else.

I know that my husband likes me to wear floral fabrics.  Now this isn’t always possible but if I can, that is what I do.  He doesn’t like me to wear denim out so I have stopped that.  My husband likes me to wear skirts and not pants and I have become so used to that, I don’t think I could go back.

I love my husband and want to make sure that I am submitting to him as he submits to Christ.

I just want to encourage you to make sure that your husband is happy with how you dress, it isn’t the issue whether it’s skirts or pants or florals or stripes.  The issue is he is always the one you need to impress, not anyone else.

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PS:  I am not perfect that’s for sure and I still struggle at times with this so please don’t think I have it all sorted.  I write this to encourage myself mostly.

 

GOOD MORNING MONDAYS LINK PARTY #2

Welcome to the 2nd link party.  I was so blessed by all of you who linked up, and for your comments, so thank you very much for taking the time.  I am really looking forward to hearing from you again this week.

We have had a nice weekend, what with piano lessons for the 2 younger children early Saturday morning (who needs a sleep in???) and some groceries and then home for a bit of a rest before doing some more work.

We had a fellowship luncheon after church on Sunday and the church invited another congregation for lunch as part of the “Lutherans Longest Lunch”.  Seems funny to add a name to something so that we have an excuse to get together with other Christians.

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I feel this should be part of who we are.  We really enjoy getting people out for a meal and getting to know them.  Maybe it will give us an opportunity to pray for them or for them to pray for us. It is a great way to make friends as well.

We had a phone call from my brother on Sunday afternoon and we have been invited to Canberra for my 13 year old nephews baptism and confirmation.

So we are off on Friday morning for the 10 hour drive (we only do this for special occasions) and will spend a couple days with them before heading home.

So I now only have 4 days to fit in everything I wanted to achieve this week, but that’s ok, I’ll get done what I can.  Being there for family is far more important than any cleaning or schooling I have to do.  We can probably do a road trip homeschool excusion!!

I hope you have a great week and that the Lord leads and guides you and I encourage you to get together with other Christians and fellowship.

Let’s get the party started….


GLEAN FROM YOUR PARENTS

My Father passed away a little over 4 years ago and Mum went just under a year later.  Dads death was a bit of a shock as it was mum who was in hospital at the time.

Our family was just getting ready to head up to visit them (we live in Victoria and they lived in Brisbane – 1800 kilometres apart and we used to visit once a year in August) and I had rung dad on the Monday to say we would be there around lunch time on the Tuesday to pick him up and then take him to the hospital to see mum.

Dad answered the phone but was unable to speak to me.  I rang a couple of times but it was the same each time.  I rang my brother who lives in Canberra and he thought it probably had something to do with his hearing.  Dad had hearing problems since he was 25 and had worn hearing aids from that time.  I wasn’t convinced that this was the issue but as a friend was going to be there an hour or so later to take him to see mum we weren’t too concerned.

We left to travel to my friends house where we would stay the night before getting on a plane and flying up to visit (this town was 2.5 hours away).  On the way my brother rang and said that dad had a stroke and was now in Hospital.  This was why he couldn’t talk to me when I rang.

There wasn’t much we could do, we couldn’t get new flights so we decided that we would keep our plans the same and leave early the next morning as arranged.

My brother rang again at 4 am the next morning to state that dad had a cerebral hemorrhage and wasn’t going to live too much longer. His family left Canberra (800 kilometres from Brisbane) and flew up early the Tuesday morning and arrived at about 9 am.  They managed to see dad before he passed away (he was unconscious though).  We got on our flight and arrived in Brisbane at 11am.  My brother rang me just as we got off the flight to say that dad has just passed away.

The next week or so was quite hectic what with organising the funeral and seeing to mum who was still in hospital.  We spent quite a bit of time trying to organise a place for Mum as we didn’t think her capable of living alone.

To cut a long story short, mum came home after a couple of weeks and then lived at home until 2 weeks before her death the following year in July.

Once again we were coming up to see her and were told that she would only live 2 weeks.  So the waiting started and we put off our flights home.  Mum lived for just over 2 weeks and it was a pleasure (for want of a better word) to spend one on one time with her at the pallative care unit in the hospital.

My point in telling you all this is that I encourage you to talk to your parents and glean from them the history of your family and their upbringing.  There have been things that I have wanted to know, things that I never thought of before but now there is no one to tell me.

My brother and I were adopted as Mum had a hysterectomy when she was in her 20s, or so we thought, but we found documents that said she was in her late 30s.  Now this isn’t a big issue but it does make me wonder what other stuff we might one day think of and can’t get answers for.

Mum was an only child and dad was the youngest of 3.  Dads siblings have all passed away and because they were in their 40’s before they adopted us, all our cousins are in their 60’s and I don’t even know half their names.

Maybe you could help your parents or grandparents or just encourage them to write down their past, maybe just a bit of a history about their childhood.  I would love to be able to tell our youngest 2 about dad and mums schooling and what they ate for lunch etc, or what it was like to grow up in the pre-war years and then what it was like during and after the war.

Sometimes we can learn and grow so much from what happened in the past that it is a pity not to have a history of it.

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Have you got a history of your parents/grandparents lives??? Have you thought about doing this??

This post is linked up here…

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SPAGHETTI MEATBALLS WITH FETA

This is a really nice meal that everybody will enjoy.

Ingredients

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Meatballs:

  • 1kg beef mince
  • 1  1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp beef stock
  • feta

Sauce

  • canned tomatoes
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 tin sliced champignons
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • 1 tsp beef stock
  • soy sauce – splash
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 tblsp olive oil
  • 1 tblsp garlic

Method

Meatballs:  Mix mince, rolled oats, salt, beef stock and eggs together.  Then place a bit of mince in your hand and put a small piece of feta into the middle of the ball and close it over so you can’t see the feta.

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Meatball mixture
Feta in the middle of meatball
Feta in the middle of meatball

Brown the meatballs and then set aside.

Browned meatballs
Browned meatballs

Sauce:  Fry up onion in olive oil until translucent,  add garlic, champignons, tomatoes, beef stock, soy sauce, tomato paste.  Bring to the boil and add the meatballs and simmer until they are cooked. (approximately 20 mins)

Cook spaghetti and drain.  Place spaghetti into a bowl and add meatballs and sauce.

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 Notes:

  • I use my own  homemade feta, but any feta would do.
  • I really like using French Onion Soup Mix with my beef, but I didn’t have any.  I would use this in the meatballs instead of the beef stock.
  • I used my own preserved tomatoes, and they worked really well.
  • I made my meatballs early and put them into the fridge to set for an hour or so.

ENJOY!

DO WE NEED TO GO OVERSEAS TO BE A MISSIONARY?

Do we need to go overseas to a third world country to be a missionary?  Is it really possible to mission to those around us every day???

I have great respect for those who answer Gods calling and head overseas to be missionaries.  Most times they have very little money, many children and no close family around them. They do an amazing job for the Lord.

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But not all of us are called to go overseas like this, but we are called to be missionaries where we are living, to those around us everyday.

I don’t always believe this means to preach the word of God all the time to people.  Sometimes we may only be preparing the soil that God is going to get someone else to sow.  We need to be ready and willing and able to do what God asks of us wherever we are.

Preparing the soil for planting
Preparing the soil for planting

Maybe God just wants us to have a happy outgoing nature, maybe people will be drawn by the joy we have from being a redeemed child of God.  Maybe they will notice our lack of worry over things that would normally destroy those who don’t know the Lord.

These attitudes can often be shown to people without opening the Bible in front of them.  Now if you are called to open the Bible then I suggest you do so and that you ask the Holy Spirit to have sent someone before you to prepare the ground.

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I find the best way to be missionaries to the people around us is to just be who we are, to be real and share our life and journey with them.  Show people how we deal with difficult issues and situations in our lives – this is a great witness.

I remember we used to go to a particular restaurant in our local town.  It was a great place to take the family and we used to go there on a Sunday after worship with other families from church.  The owner asked me one day why I was always happy.  I must admit I did ask him if he really wanted to know and when he said yes I stated that it was because God loved me and had sent his son to save me. Now he didn’t take the conversation anywhere else and just took our lunch order, but maybe he went home and thought about this, maybe God had someone else to come after me to speak into his heart about Him, I don’t know.  I just know that if you feel the need to spread the word of God, you just do it.

Equip your children to be mini missionaries within the realms of your family.  Teach them to show people love and respect, teach them to care for the needy.

No 2 daughter and son
No 2 daughter and son

Maybe God is calling you to make meals for the sick and needy or help someone around their house because they are incapacitated. What a blessing for us to be able to do this and what an opportunity to show Gods love to these people.  To show them that we care by being happy and cheerful givers.  Also we don’t know what doors this will open and when God will give us an opportunity to speak His word into their lives.

God may also be calling you to financially support the overseas missionaries or just be there for their families at home.  Maybe you can let your children be grandchildren to a couple who’s family is ministering overseas.

So wherever you are in your life, class yourself as a missionary and spread the word of God however He calls you to, whether it be to go overseas or remain where you are.

Hebrews 13: 20-21  Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working is us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

 How do you and your family mission where you are?

 

This post is linked up here…

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PLUM PUDDINGS…

I have just finished making Plum Puddings in our Fowlers Preserving Unit, which I think is very similar to the water bath method.

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These are great to have in the pantry, just make a bit of custard and hey presto there’s dessert.

Ingredients:

  • 9 cups mixed fruit or

6 cups of mixed fruit and 1  1/2 cups chopped dates and 1  1/2 cups chopped raisins

  • 2 cups orange juice
  • 1 cup sugar (I use raw)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 250 grams butter
  • 2 tsps bicarbonate of soda
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup rum
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 2 cups SR flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 2 cans pineapple pieces (optional)

Place the mixed fruit (dates and raisins) orange juice, sugars, salt and butter into a large saucepan.  Heat gently until butter has melted, bring to the boil and simmer for approximately 8 minutes.  Remove from heat and add bicarbonate of soda.

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Melting the butter and bringing the mixture to the boil.
Allow mixture to become cold before adding eggs, rum, sifted flours and spices, mix well.

All mixed together ready to put into jars.
All mixed together ready to put into jars.

Grease the bottles well with butter.

No 2 daughter greased them well
No 2 daughter greased them well

I used 5 no 31 Fowlers Bottles, because they are easy to warm up and slide the pudding out, and I don’t have enough of the proper pudding ones.

Clean rim on bottles and add rings, fill bottles to 3/4 full, leaving a couple of inches at top for pudding to expand.

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Bottles ready with rings and No 2 son
Place on lids and clips (I always use 2 clips per bottle) and put into preserving unit.

Ready in preserver
Ready in preserver

Processing times:

Royal Electric preserver: Process on Hold Boil for 2 hours and 30 minutes

Year Rounder preserver: Process for 2 hours and 30 minutes.

Stove-top preserver: Bring temperature up to boiling (100 degrees C) which should take between 45 – 60 minutes, maintain at this temperature for 2 hours.

When processing finished:

Leave clips on bottles for a further 12 – 18 hours before removing. Store bottles in a cool, dark place.

FURTHER NOTES:

  • I don’t usually add the rum as I never seem to have any on hand. They still taste good though.
  • Always cover the bottles with cold water to start.
  • I don’t use the proper Fowlers Pudding bottles, as I don’t have enough and they aren’t big enough.
  • To remove the pudding from the jar, place the bottle in a jug of hot water or remove ring, clips and lid and place in microwave for approx. 1 min to heat.  Place butter knife down the sides to loosen the pudding and slide out.  (mostly this works and you can cut them into rounds, but sometimes you just have to scoop them out of the jars – they still taste the same though)

ENJOY!!!

JUST A QUICK NOTE TO MAKE THESE PUDDINGS EASIER TO GET OUT.  A GOOD FRIEND OF MINE TRIED THIS THE OTHER DAY AND USED BAKING PAPER (GREASE PROOF PAPER) ON THE INSIDE BEFORE FILLING THE JAR.

SO GREASE THE BOTTLE FIRST, PLACE THE PAPER AROUND THE INSIDE OF THE BOTTLE AND FILL WITH PUDDING MIXTURE AS NORMAL. THE PUDDING WILL SLIDE OUT A LOT EASIER.

THANK YOU SHARON FOR YOUR GREAT IDEA.

 

 

This post is linked up here…

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and here…

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OUR FAVOURITE HYMN…

To God Be the Glory

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This hymn would have to be our all time favourite.  It says it all doesn’t it.  God has done great things for us and sacrificed His Son for us, that even the vilest of us who believe still see redemption.

What more could we ask for.  We have a God who loves us so much, despite the way we behave or our attitudes.  He is the only one who sees the real us and he still loves us.

When we had the funeral for our still born daughter this was the first hymn we sang, what more could we sing but this.  It was a precious moment for us.

This hymn was written by Fanny Crosby around about 1872.  Fanny Crosby had a very interesting life and I would recommend to any of you who are interested to have a look here to read about it.  My research pointed out that this hymn was not well received when it was first written, or in modern day terms it didn’t take off.  I really can’t understand this.

I enjoy modern choruses with the best of them but I love the older style hymns the most.  They have such meaning, and every word seems to counts.

Maybe as a homeschooling lesson we could grab our hymnals and look through the good old hymns and teach them to our children. Help them to understand the older style of writing and to appreciate them.

So if we wake every morning and say

“To God be the glory, great things He has Done”

it will be the best start to our days yet!!

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So what are your favourite hymns, is there one that is particularly special to you for some reason??

 

This post is linked up here…

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HELP! WE HAVE A 6 YEAR OLD BOY..

Just a preamble to this post:

I love my children and they are really fantastic, but they are very normal children.  This post is about our No 2 son who is 6.  He is actually a really great kid, he is loving and caring and never cuts short the hugs or kisses.  So here goes….

No 2 daughter and son
No 2 daughter and son

HOMESCHOOLING UPDATE:

I must admit I am struggling at the moment with schooling.  Our no 2 son is giving me a run for my money and is really trying my patience (which isn’t my greatest gifting at the best of times).

It is probably because he is such a goer.  He runs everywhere and just wants to get outside to his tadpoles and the likes. He scratches, and sings, and hums and so on before even looking at his books.  He can ask a variety of questions (all in a very short period of time) that don’t relate to any schooling he is looking at.

Some of these questions are:

  • What’s for lunch mum (this is usually asked about 1/2 an hour after breakfast);
  • Mum did hell create sickness (this was this mornings – I had to be careful how I answered this);
  • Are we going to town today;
  • When will Dad be home;

and so on and so on, you can see a pattern here!!!

He can sit over a maths lesson for over an hour (I’m actually being very generous here!!!)

I am sure he is not unusual in homeschooling circles but he is challenging.  I am encouraging him in his reading and trying to explain how the world will open up to him once his reading improves, and he says that he understands this – but the outdoors just call him.

He loves playing the piano and is very good at it too, so practice for that isn’t too big an issue.  He can even sit still during the 1/2 hour of his lesson (much to his teachers amazement).

His older brother was the same but my memory doesn’t go back far enough to remind me how I dealt with it.

Don’t get me wrong, he is fantastic outside and helps his father a great deal.  His sister and him get in the cows for milking, he brings in our wood, he will take rubbish away for me without complaint.  He just can’t settle down and concentrate on his school work.

If anyone can give me any ideas on getting one very active boy to sit still and concentrate – I would be very grateful.

 

CHOCOLATE RASPBERRY MUFFINS

These are the quickest, easiest muffins you could make.  Just get a bowl and mixing spoon, no need to drag out the mixer, just get in and stir.

Chocolate Raspberry Muffin
Chocolate Raspberry Muffin

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of self raising flour
  • 2 cups sugar (I use raw)
  • 6 tblsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp vinegar
  • 10 tblsp olive oil
  • 2 cups raspberries (I use frozen)

Mix dry ingredients, add remaining ingredients and mix.  Bake at 180 degrees for 25 mins or until skewer inserted comes out clean.

PS: You can ice these with chocolate icing if you like but I find they are moist and sweet enough.

PPS:  This recipe makes just on 2 dozen muffins.

ENJOY!!

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