GOOD MORNING MONDAYS LINK PARTY #1

Good Morning, I hope you all had a fantastic weekend and are ready to start Monday off with a bang.
I had a great weekend with our No 1 daughter and family visiting.  It was great to see them and also to see our 2 beautiful granddaughters who are growing up so quickly.
Grandad with the girls
Grandad with the girls
Grandchildren are just the best blessing in our lives and I thank God for them and pray for them daily and for the ones to come.
Welcome to the first Good Morning Mondays Link Party.  I am looking forward to seeing all your posts and look forward to sharing your journey in life.
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.
May your week be filled with God’s presence and love.
Right let’s get started.


THE GRASS IS ALWAYS GREENER….AND MAYBE MORE ABUNDANT….

The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence and maybe more abundant….

grass

This saying is very true of stock both sheep and cattle.  Our cattle and sheep are always poking their heads through the fences to get to the greener and more abundant pasture on the other side.

We practice rotational grazing, and my husband has already locked up a paddock to cut for hay.  Well, we have a great time when we move the stock through this paddock to the next one as they want to stay where the grass is abundant.  It can take quite a while to get them moved with a lot of arm waving and noise.

This saying is very true for us as well.  We seem to be always looking over the proverbial fence at our neighbours and friends and comparing ourselves to them.  Their lives always seem to look more greener and abundant.

Now I must say that I am very content with my lot in life.  I love being home and teaching our children.  I love where we live and I am blessed with the fact that my husband can work shorter hours to be with us a bit more.  We don’t have an abundance of money but we manage to pay our bills and we are happy.  This contentment has been a long time coming with lots of life lessons to get there.

This said I still seem to look over the fence at what others have.  It seems my contentment is not enough to stop the looking.

I learnt a valuable lesson the other day.  I caught up with a friend that I hadn’t seen for quite a while.  She shared how her life was going and what had been happening for them.  I was quite taken back with what she told me.  I thought that their life seem to be quite easy going, finances being abundant, but I was wrong.  I realised that by looking over my fence at their life and comparing us I had missed out on the reality of what was happening.

On their side of the fence they were struggling to make ends meet and my friend was now working full time away from her home and family.

I need to not judge what colour the grass is or how thick and lush it seems to be because sometimes it seems better when it really isn’t.

I don’t always need to look at others and think what they have is better than what we have.  I need to turn my eyes to Jesus and crave Him in my life over anything else.

It says in Hebrews 13:5 Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you”.

It is stating here to keep our lives free from the love of money and be content with what we have.  To me this also means to stop thinking that others have more than us or are better than us and be content with what God has given us.  It means to not think we need to earn more money so that we can buy more things to keep us happy. Things do not bring the happiness and joy that a loving Father can bring.

grass greener

I really smiled when I saw this picture and thought this is so true as well.  Let us stop looking and start watering our own lives with the Word of God and watch it start greening and thickening up.

We don’t need stuff and money to keep us happy?  We don’t need to compare or strive to be like others.  God says He will never leave us nor forsake us, that is all we need.

This post is linked here…

Christian Mommy Blogger

 

 

 

 

APRICOT CRUMB CAKE

This is one of my most favourite cakes and it is so easy to make, I hope you like it.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup shortening (I use olive oil)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup milk soured with a bit of vinegar
  • apricot halves

Sour the milk with vinegar and let sit.  Mix together the flour, salt, brown sugar and shortening into crumbs.  Save 1 cup of crumbs for top.

Add cinnamon to rest of the crumbs and mix.  Add vanilla, soda and sour milk.  Mix.

Place into greased and lined tin and place apricot halves on top of cake mixture.  Place crumb over apricots and bake in moderate oven for 25 – 30 minutes.

I double this mixture and it makes a nice large cake.

You can really put any fruit on top or if you wanted you could mix it together with the cake mixture, you can also make the cake and use no fruit.  I have used stewed apples and plums.

ENJOY!!

Crumb cake with icing sugar sprinkled on top
Crumb cake with icing sugar sprinkled on top

This post is linked up here…

WeekendBloggyReading

and here…

Motivation-Monday-linkyscript-237x300

 

and here…

SweetTeaSocial300x200

MOMENTS IN TIME

Do you have moments in your life that you wish you could erase???

clock

I do!!!  There have been times when I immediately wished I could take the words or actions back.  Other times it is years later that moments come back to me and I really cringe.

Sometimes I wonder whether I need to go to that person and apologise for something I’ve said or done and sometimes I do.

Why do these moments come back to our memory when we at least expect them or want them too?

I believe these moments are challenging and encouraging us in our journey with God, and also our journey of repentance as well.

If we put aside our cringing feelings we might see how what we said or did has affected others.  Most times these things have not been said or done out of spite.  On my part I put it down to true thoughtlessness, with my mouth working before my brain. This is something I constantly have to work on.

Sometimes I find the memory of these moments encouraging as I know that it was something that I did in my past and I wouldn’t do that now, maybe they show growth and maturity!!

It would be great if we could just press a button and erase these moments in time, but that would be the easy way out and often growth and maturity doesn’t come easy, and I don’t want to inhibit God and our journey together.  I don’t want to inhibit His lessons in my life. (although at the time it isn’t enjoyable)

I pray that God will continue to bring these moments in time back to my memory for whatever reasons He has.  I pray that He continues to work in my life and continues to guide me in my journey of growth and maturity.

bible

How have your moments in time helped you???

GOOD MORNING SUNSHINE

SUN RISINGGood morning, morning, hello sunshine, wake up sleepy head….

Are you a morning person??? Well I’m not and never have been.  I love that extra few minutes in bed and really struggle to get up early and get going.

My brain doesn’t seem to really kick into gear until about 9 am and my eyes don’t focus properly for about an hour after I rise.

I have struggled with getting up early since I was a young person.  I would rather have had a late night than an early morning.  My brother was one of those people who could get up at 5 am and study for his exams.  I would set the alarm but just sleep through it.

In my second job we worked flexi-time.  That meant that you could start work anywhere between 7.30 and 9.30 am and could finish from 4 pm onwards.  If you wanted a day off you could work extra hours until you had enough time saved up.  I am sure you can imagine that I wasn’t one to start at 7.30 am and it was rare that I got extra days off.

I struggled somewhat through the night when our babies were little, but somehow I managed to get through it.

Now that our children are getting older I see similarities between them and me.  I especially notice how our younger children react in the morning.

No 2 son wakes up extremely well, he used to be out of bed first and be playing with his lego way before we would be up.  He sleeps a bit longer now but is still quite chirpy and happy in the morning – not like me at all.  He is more like his father who believes that the early morning is the best time of the day.  I think it is the best time of the day to sleep in!!!

No 2 daughter unfortunately is just like me in the morning.  She loves to read at night to get to sleep, and sometimes sleep takes a while to come.  When this happens she struggles to get out of bed in the morning.  Most mornings she isn’t really chirpy and happy.

This has really opened my eyes to how I am in the morning.  I am now aware that I can be grumpy and irritable.  I have been trying to get to bed earlier and be more cheerful in the morning to show her that this is a better way to be.

Proverbs 31 is an amazing chapter in scripture and I am sure we all try to emulate this excellent wife, but I definitely struggle with verse 15.  She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens.

How do I rise while it is still night (dark) and organise breakfast for everyone?  How do I find an enthusiasm for getting going in the morning???  How do I show my younger daughter how to do it if I can’t do it myself???

I have a choice.  I can choose to get up and be grumpy or I can choose to get up and be happy and cheerful.  I need to choose the latter.  I’m going to pray each night for God to give me a good restful sleep and ask Him to help me get up and get going.

I want us all to start the day with a good attitude and be enthusiastic in all that we do.  I want to endeavor to do all to His Glory and not my own fleshly desires.

How do you wake up in the morning??  Do you struggle or are you one of the ones who are naturally cheerful??  What do you do to get up and get going???  Any ideas will be gratefully received???

 

This post is linked up here…

motivation-monday-6 hosts

 

THE NEW ARRIVALS

We are all very excited to have two new arrivals on Darling Downs Farm.  Our Highland Cow “Mildred” had a little bull calf early last week.  I’m not sure what name the children are going to give to him but I’m sure none of us will be able to remember it!!

Mildred and her calf
Mildred and her calf

I’m sorry about the quality of the photo but she wouldn’t let me get close enough to take a decent one.

The second new arrival came early this morning.  Our jersey milking cow had a heifer calf.  Again no name but will keep you all updated.

Jersey cow and her calf
Jersey cow and her calf

This cow at least allowed me to get pretty close for a photo but was still quite wary of me.

We have already been milking our Friesian cow since she calved a couple of months ago. I have been making cheese a few times a week, with the rest of the milk going to our piglets.  But now that we are going to double our volume my husband will separate some so that I can make butter from the cream.

 

 

 

 

PICTORAL UPDATE

I thought I would upload some photos of our small farm to give you an idea of where we live.

Our home, we are really blessed.
Our home, we are really blessed.

We are very blessed to have a lovely home.  We have grass planted around our home that is green all summer if we water it.  We have a bore so water is no issue, another blessing.

Cubby that dad built
Cubby that dad built

This is the cubby house that dad built the younger two last year.  It is great and in the summer when the tree has leaves you can’t see the cubby at all and they can hide away.  They want their dad to build them a bridge to another tree but we aren’t sure Health and Safety would be ok with this.

Ducks
Ducks

We started with about 6 Appleyard ducklings and 2 Mallards and then some friends gave us some other ducks.  I’m not quite sure what they all are but there is some Runner Duck in them.  We have 19 ducks at the moment.  I wanted to butcher some to eat but they all hang out together and seem to talk to each other so I am hesitant to break up the family.

Chickens
Chickens

Some of our chickens that love getting out and roaming around the paddocks.  The white chickens are a White Leghorn x New Hampshire breed.  The black ones are ones from eggs that we gave my friend to incubate for us.  She is definitely the chook whisperer and gets almost 90% each time.  At the moment we get nearly 2 dozen eggs a day and are nearly ready to sell them out the front of the house.

terri camera oct 2014 1280 No 2 son in front of the windmill that his older brother and father put in the front yard.

This is just a small snap shot into our lives and where we live, we really enjoy it here and every morning we wake up here is a blessing.

 

EMPATHY – WHAT DOES IT REALLY MEAN

The Oxford Dictionary describes it as:

The ability to understand and share the feelings of another.

I often pray for empathy because sometimes I struggle to understand totally the feelings people have when they are experiencing difficult situations.  We can probably understand their pain on a certain level but unless we have, or are going through the same thing can we really?

We have a close friend with cancer.  He had an operation on his bowel and then chemotherapy and then an operation to remove a tumor from his lung.  He went a very short time before another spot showed up.  He is back on chemo again and is waiting for the results.

Now we have had feelings of shock and sadness during this period, but we don’t really know what it is truly like to face our own mortality in such a way.

Four years ago we were expecting our fifth child.  This was our 3rd child after a ten year break.  We were thrilled, even my fifth c-section didn’t put me off.

Everything was going great until 26 weeks and our baby passed away.  It was one of those situations that always happens to someone else and now it was happening to us.  Now I can truly understand how other people feel who have lost a child.

Going through this loss has really helped me develop a greater empathy with people.  It has given me a passion to help people however I can and has made me sensitive to their needs.

I’m not saying that I want to go through difficult situations so that I can have the ability to understand the feelings of others, but I do pray for deeper empathy and understanding for people who are.  We as a family want to be able to support others through their difficulties.

Empathy will help us help them in any way we can whether food, friendship and always prayer.

What situations have you been through that have enabled you to empathize with others, and how has this led you to help them??

casserole

PS:  Just the other day I was talking to the wife of our friend that I mentioned above with cancer.  We were discussing their future and what would happen when the results that came through weren’t good.

She stated that they have really had to look at who they put their trust in.  They acknowledge that God is in control and He is leading and guiding the situation.  They understand that even if the prognosis isn’t good He is still in control.

They believe that they have a life to be lived and every day extra is a blessing and they will keep on keeping on until they can’t.

We really admire them.  It is easy to say “God is in control” when things in your life are going good, but to be able to say it when things are bad is the ultimate.

I still can’t truly grasp the depth of what they are facing, but their faith is encouraging my faith and their trust in God is encouraging mine.  Our relationship is deepening and we are now really good friends.  We pray that God will keep him with us for a long time but know that if he is not to conquer this cancer then he will be in Heaven with the Lord and that should be our greatest desire.

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not on our own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.  Proverbs 3:5 – 6

 

TUNA SPAGHETTI QUICHE

 

Tuna Spaghetti Quiche
Tuna Spaghetti Quiche

We had this for tea last night and it was absolutely delicious and very filling.

Ingredients

  • 1 can tuna – drained
  • 1 package spaghetti
  • 1 can creamed corn
  • 2 onions
  • 3 grated carrots
  • 3 sticks celery sliced
  • 2 dozen eggs
  • 300 ml cream
  • grated cheese or feta
  • 1 packet of chicken soup mix (or chicken stock)

I wanted quite a big quiche so you could halve the ingredients for a normal size quiche.

Method

Cook the spaghetti and drain.  Fry off the onions, celery and grated carrot.  Whisk the eggs and add the cream and mix.  Mix all the ingredients together and pour into a greased casserole dish . (Mine is 35 cm x 26 cm).

Place grated cheese on top or crumble feta over the top.  Bake for approx 50 mins in 180 degree oven.

Slice and serve with salad.

IMG_0181[1]PS: you could use bacon instead of tuna or salmon if you like.

This post is linked up here…

Weekend Bloggy Reading

 

WHAT TO DO WITH LEFTOVER SOAP BITS

What do you do with leftover bits of soap??? I usually throw them away but I was given a good idea from a friend of mine. Take those left over bits of soap and place them in a large jar and fill up with hot water. Leave this soap soak for a couple of weeks and then stir regularly to dissolve. You can even chop or grate the soap before adding to the water. When dissolved (after a couple of weeks) use this liquid in your washing machine.

My friend uses it on their work clothes. Once you have used most of it top it up again with hot water and add more soap as it comes along.

PS: one thing to watch if using on good clothes is that you don’t get bits of soap that hasn’t dissolved on your clothes. You may want to pour it through a fine sieve into your washing machine.

what's happening on Darling Downs