MOMENTS IN TIME

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

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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.

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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.

NO 1 SON

Today I want to tell you about our No 1 son.  He is 19 years old now and he is a wonderful young man.

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They say that young ladies should look at how a prospective husband treats his mother before they make their decision.  If this was the case my son would be the best choice.

He is loving, caring, considerate and generous both with his time and his money.  He is always willing to help me around the house and actually got a bit miffed at me the other day for mopping the floor for him because he said it was his job.

He hasn’t always been easy to deal with and had a difficult period before he turned 13.  When we  have talked about some situations that occurred he actually said that those weren’t his finest moments!!! God is so gracious and merciful.

I used to be concerned about how he would turn out but somehow I knew deep down that God would lead him in the right direction, and now I marvel at the truth of that.  We kept on with his training and discipline and education at home.  We kept him away from bad influences and we kept together as a family so that we could walk through situations with him, explaining, teaching and correcting as we went.

Now he is an adult and we still lead him and give him advice, but we step back now and let him make his own decisions, always being there for him when he needs us, and he has stepped up being there for us as well.

He works as a shearer now and is employed around the district by numerous landholders.  We are so pleased with how he handles himself in the wool sheds when he works and (because he is young) how he takes the ribbing that comes with the trade.

I will really miss him when he gets married and moves to a home of his own.  I pray that God will give him a Godly wife whom we can love and welcome into our family.  I also pray that we will allow him to leave and cleave so that his wife becomes the most important person in his life.

For now he is still here at home growing, learning and striving to be the best person and shearer he can be.

To God be the glory great things he hath done.

A wise son makes a father glad,  but a foolish man despises his mother.  Proverbs 15:20

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SHEARING FACTS

A shearer is a man that shears the fleece off a sheep.  We live in a grazing area which is predominately sheep and the sheep we have here need to be shorn at least once a year.  It is still a strenuous job and is tough. like the men who have to do it.  There aren’t too many young men who want to take up this occupation because of the work involved.

 

HAVE WE PRESENT DAY MOTHERS GOT IT SO BAD???

On Sunday we attended an anniversary of my husband’s first school.  It was a one teacher country school half way between their home and town.

There were many people there from around the area and a lot of people attended who had moved away as well.  So it was nice to catch up with some of the people I knew from when we lived on the family farm when we were first married some 25 years ago.

There was one person that I caught up with that left me with a lot of food for thought.  She is actually the mother of one of my dearest friends.   Her name is Mrs T and she is about 86 years old.

Apart from just catching up on our family and how our grandchildren are going she actually shared with me about her life as a young wife and mother so many years ago.  She gave me an insight into what life was like before we had power and all the mod cons that we do now.

When they were first married they lived in a one room hut, which still stands today.  They had no electricity and she milked 10 cows by hand every day.  She had 4 children under 5 and by the time she had the 5th child she was milking 20 cows per day.

She made all her own butter, soap and candles. She sewed all her children’s clothes on a treadle sewing machine.  She had a huge vegetable garden and heaps of fruit trees.  She preserved around 300 bottles of fruit per year and also vegetables.

sewing machine

When the children were little she had a girl helping her with daily chores and with the children.  I would suggest this would have been a great support to her, as her husband was busy with the farm and wouldn’t have had time for inside work.

I asked her whether all this work, with little help bothered her and she said no.  Her opinion was that that was how it was and you just got on with it.  Wow and I complain when the floor gets dirty and I have to plug in the vacuum cleaner!!!

They built a timber home when the children were little and eventually bricked this home.

I remember her vegetable garden at this home and the large amount of fruit trees and it always astounded me.  She also had an amazing garden of trees, shrubs and flowers, you could tell that she really enjoyed gardening.

I jokingly asked her when she slept when her children were little and her daughter replied “not much”.  It’s no wonder she is struggling with her health with all the hard work she did years ago.

So how hard is it for us modern mums really????  We have power and running water and toilets that flush.  I know that I have a supportive husband and children who also help around the house and with outside chores.

I wasn’t actually looking forward to going, but it turned out to be a great afternoon.  Not only did I catch up with some old friends but I got an insight into what life could have been like for me had I been born some 80 years ago.

It has made me realise that I should stop complaining about the little things and be grateful for all the mod cons and gadgets that I have that make my life easier and chores quicker.  I am also grateful for the children I have that help me out and collect the fire wood and hang up washing.

My experience today makes me want to get up in the morning and be a hardworking wife and mother, to strive to make our house a home.  It makes me want to be diligent in my housework and in teaching my children.

There is so much we can learn from the older generation and their wisdom on being wives, mothers and keepers at home.

It makes me want to rise up before the grayheaded and be thankful for her wisdom to a present day mum.

I am truly blessed.

You shall rise up before the grayheaded and honour the aged, and you shall revere your God. I am the LORD.  Leviticus 19:32

She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.  Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also , and he praises her.  Proverbs 31:27-28

How have you been challenged in your life and homemaking by the older generation??

PS.  The candles that Mrs T made were made with tallow or animal fat, not bees wax.  I found this fascinating…

This post is linked up here…

The Art of Homemaking Mondays Buttonand here

250-Titus-2-Tuesday-ButtonHolley-Gerth-Button-250x250

IT’S VEGETABLE PLANTING TIME PART 1

It’s vegetable planting time in our place of the world.  Spring came on the 1st September and the weather has really warmed up quickly.

We don’t usually plant tomatoes here until after the Melbourne Cup Race on the 1st Tuesday in November because we can still get frosts, but this year we are trying something different.

We planted 60 tomato plants today and plan to put them under plastic.

The paddock that we are planting these vegetables in was sown with peas  last year and after we harvested them we left it for the winter. In late winter we moved the pigs into the paddock and let them eat the grass and work over the root matter, which then fertilizes and aerates.  Graeme then ploughed the whole paddock with the tractor.

Pigs digging
Pigs digging

He then prepared the bed by rotary hoeing it and making raised beds, so that we can get a deeper top soil.  We then found drench drums and placed them between every second tomato plant and filled them with water.

No 2 daughter filling the drums
No 2 daughter filling the drums

We will run hothouse plastic over the top and make a sort of poly tunnel which is held up by the drench drums.  The theory is that the water will heat up in the drums during the day and then at night when the temperature drops the drums cool off a lot slower than the atmosphere does thus stopping a freeze happening around the drum (It is a cold framing idea that my husband found on u tube).

After they planted the tomatoes they planted about 40 kg of white potatoes.  My husband once again prepared the bed and raised it.  He then spread sheep manure down it and rotary hoed it in, then the children planted the potatoes – two rows per bed.  Finally everything was watered in.

Graeme spreading sheep manure on the potato bed
Graeme spreading sheep manure on the potato bed
Planting potatoes
Planting potatoes

This is just the beginning of our plantings.  In a month, once the chance of frosts has gone we will plant another 300 tomatoes.  At the moment we planted Grosse Lisse tomatoes but we will probably put in some Romas as well.  Next week we will finish planting the potatoes, another 10 kg of whites and then 50 kg of reds.  We haven’t really grown potatoes before with much success so we thought we’d give it another try this year.

We will also be planting zucchinis, corn, pumpkins, cucumbers, beetroot and carrots in another week or so.

I will keep you updated with more photos and information as we go.

What are you planting at this time of the year in your place in the world???

what's happening on Darling Downs