3107074367_391e79c639_qWell Christmas is almost here and the countdown is on.

How do you celebrate the birth of our Saviour??

This is how it looks at our house….

Each year we like to catch up with some friends who only live 12 kms away.  We see them through the year but we are all busy and don’t seem to get together as much any more, but we do make a point of having a BBQ before Christmas.  So on Monday night we will fire up the BBQ and cook some home made sausages and have a lovely evening of fellowship with our friends.

The few days before Christmas really involve wrapping presents, some cooking, cleaning the house and basically making sure everything is in order for our family and to arrive.

Everyone is bringing food to share this year, so I don’t have as much to do, but we will be cooking a pig on the spit for the day.  We may do this a day or so earlier to make it easier

This year our family are arriving on Christmas Day so that leaves Christmas Eve free for us as a family.  We go to church for the Children’s Christmas Service which our younger two are involved in. No 2 daughter is the Star carrier and No 1 son is an angel (hmm).

After that we go to McDonalds for ice-creams and coffee and then we drive around town looking at the Christmas lights.  Then off home we go to finish off whatever is left to do and hopefully watch “Its a Wonderful Life”.

This is my most favourite movie and we watch it once a year at Christmas time, either the night before or on Boxing Day it just depends on how tired we are.

Christmas morning we get up (not too early) and open presents, have a bite to eat and then get ready for our family to arrive.  We are fairly laid back and I like to have everything done so that we can enjoy each other and not fuss about like mad rabbits.

This year we have my husbands extended family of Aunts and Uncles coming and I think our No 1 son may have a couple of friends coming.  Our No 1 daughter, husband and their children will be coming on Christmas day as well. The more the merrier in my books, it is just a great time to get together and catch up on what’s been happening and share our lives with others.


We will probably eat too much (as usual) and then laze about for the afternoon talking and playing with our grandchildren.

Boxing day we will sleep in, eat left overs, enjoy our family again and relax.

We will spend time, though this period, remembering Jesus as the reason we celebrate Christmas, that is the most important thing we can do.11527743594_7104454622_q

How does Christmas look in your house???


Well the time had finally come to butcher one of our bulls and a couple of pigs.

Now we have a friend who normally helps us cut them up and he has all the butchery equipment, but unfortunately (only for us) he had to go away with the family, so we had to do it ourselves.

Now we butcher a steer/bull calf at least twice a year, you would think that we would remember how it’s done – yeh right!!!  It always almost takes us the whole process before we get the hang of it as we don’t do it often enough.

My husband and No 1 son killed and hung up the beast last Saturday evening, when it was cooler.  He was a big bull, about 18 months old. Once he was dead they hung him on the jib crane on the tractor so they could skin him.

My son is an expert at skinning and between him and my husband they did a great job.  After they’ve skun the bull they lay out the skin and drop the inards onto it so that it’s easier to cart away. They then cut the bull into 4 pieces – 2 front and 2 back halves.  It then gets hung in the cool room that we hired.

This is the same way that they do the pigs.

Here is my husband finishing off skinning the first pig.
We did another pig as well the same way.  We skin our pigs because we mince most of the meat and make sausages or just keep it plain mince.  We will be putting a pig on the spit for Christmas dinner and we leave the skin on then, for lovely crackling.

Here’s some of the sausages, these ones are curry.
The hired mincer
We hired a mincer from the local equipment hire place in town as we only have a really small mincer and it would have taken ages to get it all done.  We first minced all the pork and then I added seasoning etc to the mince and we let it sit overnight.  We did curry and sultana sausages, apple and orange liquor sausages, italian herbs and port sausages, and plain ones as well.

Here is the labelled buckets full of mince in the cool room.  We then got it out the next day and mixed it all together and put it through the mincer again and then made it into sausages.

I must admit I am really happy with the sausages, and was really enjoying making them especially when I got the hang of tying them..


Here is 2 halves of beef and the back end of a pig hanging in the cool room.


Here is my wonderful husband getting ready to bone out the back quarter of beef.

We found a You tube clip that showed us how to bone out the back quarter and we followed that as we did it.  My husband did a great job of this and we now have a freezer full of beef steak, mince and roasts.

I also have 3 big bags of fat in the freezer ready to render to make soap again in the new year.

It is so wonderful to have this meat again as our freezer was getting quite empty.  This should see us through the summer months – hopefully, I suppose it will depend on how many visitors we have.

We are so thankful that we are able to grow and butcher our own meat, and we thank God for this, He has really blessed us.

How do you butcher your meat, do you do it yourselves???




This slice is definitely a Christmas time favourite – probably anytime favourite.



  • 250 grams butter
  • 1 1/2 cups condensed milk
  • 2 tblsp golden syrup
  • 500 grams licorice allsorts
  • 2 x 200 gram packets Marie biscuits


Chop licorice allsorts into half and crush biscuits finely.  Mix together.

Place butter, condensed milk and golden syrup into a saucepan and heat and stir until the butter is melted.

Pour butter mixture into biscuit mixture and stir until mixture is well combined.

Place into a grease proof paper lined tin and smooth top.  Place in fridge until set.


Ice with chocolate icing.




These little delights should satisfy both your chocolate and peanut butter desires.  They are crunchy and just delicious.



  • 1 x 320 gram box Cheerios
  • 4 heaped tblsp peanut butter
  • 4 heaped tblsp chocolate spread
  • 250 grams butter
  • 1 1/2 tins condensed milk


Place in a saucepan the peanut butter, chocolate spread, butter and condensed milk, heat until butter is melted.

Pour mixture over the cheerios and mix until all combined.

Drop teaspoonfuls onto grease proof paper lined trays, and either place in fridge or freezer until set.


This recipe made about 90 individual bites.


PS:  I froze mine and they were just delicious straight from the freezer.





I was in town the other morning with the children, doing some quick shopping to get some Christmas gifts ready.  What with a few relatives coming on Christmas day I want to make something special for them.  I know that they won’t expect anything, but I love to give.

Unfortunately this time of the year is always quite tight money wise, which is normally ok, but this morning it did get to me.

So I was in our local christian bookshop picking up some books and puzzles that I’d had put away for No 2 sons birthday (this week) and some Christmas gifts when it added up to more than what I expected, but then doesn’t it always!!!

I was a bit shocked I must admit at how much I had put away and was beginning to feel quite down about it.  I was mentally doing our budget when the lady at the counter, whom I know very well said that she had some bad news.

Now I immediately thought of her, but it was that a gentleman at church had passed away yesterday and was away from home and his family when it happened.

This really put my money problems (or lack of) into perspective.

Now if I really wanted to take the time and put my small problems into perspecitve more I could just look at the post linked up about Taylor McGinnis and the troubles she has been having (praise God for all he is doing there).  Or I could just think about the man on the news who ran over his 9 month old baby boy with a fork lift and how he must be feeling about that and the fact that his son died.

Wow lets really think about our problems and actually take the time to look around us and see how others are faring.  There is so much pain and suffering in this world, how bad is ours really.  And then if our pain and suffering is great let us remember who to turn to for strength and peace.

John 16:33 These things I have spoken to you, that in me you might have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

I know that the man at church that passed away was a Christian and that he is now in his heavenly home, but I feel terrible for his wife and children and I pray that God will bless them and give them peace during this time.

I don’t know about the man on the news who ran over his son, I don’t know if he is a Christian but I pray that he will find some comfort during this awful period in his families life and that others will support them and come together to comfort them, without judging.

Thank you Lord for pulling me up and putting my problems into perspective, thank you that my problems are something you can handle in an instant and all I need to do is turn them over to you.


This post is linked up here…

Thought Provoking Thursday





Boy, sometimes I am so surprised how life can change and how fast it happens.

I’m sitting there and the next thing I know our children are grown and getting married and then we are grandparents, when it seems that it was only yesterday that we were training them to use the toilet.

Our beautiful oldest granddaughter

I really don’t know where the last 25 odd years have gone, and sometimes I don’t remember much about them either.

I don’t remember washing my firstborns nappies too much, but I know that I must have.  Disposables weren’t really that popular back then.

I don’t remember much about No 2 Sons early years, and I need to look back on some photos to see how cute he was.

Now I know that in the last 25 years we have fitted a heap in .  We have moved house 6 times in that period.  (I’m happy to stay put now).

We have changed and grown, we’ve been in debt and out of debt and God has blessed us with more children than originally planned. We have tried numerous business ventures, some have taken off, some have failed.

My husband and I have seen eye to eye and have fought too.  Now we have come to a place where we are so together it makes me want to cry.

My wonderful husband
In all the past 25 odd years we have definitely seen a pattern, even though I can’t remember all the situations, I know that God has been guiding us.  His hand has never left us and you can see definite paths where we have strayed and then He has brought us back to Himself.

He led us to homeschool and to give our family planning over to Him. He has aligned us with some beautiful families to help us on our journey and He has helped us through times when we thought our hearts were broken for ever.

I sit here now with tears in my eyes as I remember the really hard times, the times when I thought it was all over.  The times when there was no encouragement from anyone with what we were doing, when the only encouragement we had was from each other.

I thank God for his continual hand on our lives, I thank Him for the good and the bad, because without any of it we wouldn’t be the people, the couple, the family we are now.

Isaiah 41:13  For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.


This post is linked up here…

Thought Provoking Thursday


Well another week has gone by and Christmas is fast approaching.  I enjoy this season, the getting together of family and friends to celebrate the birth of our Saviour.  I enjoy the children’s service on Christmas Eve where the children become part of the reason for this season.

Welcome to another Good Morning Mondays.  Last week was very productive in my world.  I started writing daily lists and found that this has helped me get everything done.  I cleaned out my outside pantry and moved around some freezers.  I did some baking, had a couple of get togethers with family friends, and made some more presents.

Our fish arrived and are in their tank, hopefully growing quickly.  It is really fascinating to watch them and we are really enjoying this side of it.

My men butchered a steer last night and it is hanging in the cool room that we hired.  We will cut it up later in the week along with 3 pigs.  This will keep us in meet for a few months.

The weather is warming up which is great for the vegetables and they are growing really quickly now.  I am looking forward to zucchinis this year and making zucchini pasta, yum.

What have you guys been up to?? Are you keeping everything under control as Christmas is coming.  Take a breath, have a cuppa and relax for some time each day, if only a few minutes, and while relaxing take the time to fellowship with our Saviour.

Now onto the link up.  I want to thank everyone who has been praying for Taylor McGinnis and I want to encourage everyone to read her story and keep on praying.

Click on her picture below to read her story.


I was also touched by another story, this one I found on another link up and again I would encourage everyone to read about this family and pray for them and all they are facing on a daily basis.


Now our top three link ups were..

thmb5485135d3f299Blessed to be a Homemaker from So Much at Home

thmb5484e6da91eab Don’t Judge a book from Taylor Made Ranch


 Hidden Under Her Heart Book Review from Tidbits of Experience

Thank you to these ladies for sharing their hearts and to everyone else who linked up.

So let’s get the link up started, 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.


It’s a busy time of the year here, as usual, what with hay making, selling lambs, vegetable planting and maintenance of the same. It’s all happening.

We needed to sell our lambs before Christmas as this allows us to carry our ewes and cattle through the summer and doesn’t put too much pressure on our pastures.  God really blessed us with our lamb prices this year.

It is wonderful to see how our farm is developing from when we first bought it 4 years ago.

Here’s how our hay making happens…

First of all my husband and son cut the crops and then let them sit for about a week to 10 days and then when its dry enough they rake it and then bale it straight away.

This year they cut out the front of our property against the road. We have quite a wide nature strip so they decided to cut it and bale it. This hay isn’t good enough for feed but will be great for bedding in our feedlot during the winter.

We also cut and baled the wheat crop and also the oats, wheat and clover crop (this all sown together).

My father-in-law is on the tractor and my husband is on the sledge at the back of the baler.
The tractor and baler drives over the raked hay and feeds it into the baler which sends out little square bales. (I don’t know why they call them little squares when they are actually rectangle in shape).


My husband then takes the bales as they come out and stacks them on the sledge.IMG_0510[1]


IMG_0512[1] IMG_0513[1]

Then when there are 10 bales on the sledge my husband pushes a lever which releases the stack.IMG_0520[1]This is what the stack looks like when it comes off the sledge.  We have 18 stacks like this on the nature strip in front of our house, and we are getting lots of comments about our Christmas Trees, we have thought about putting a solar light on the top of them!!!  We also got 28 stacks from our crops, this will be used for feed.

When my husband has time he will cart these stacks in using the forks on the back of our Ford 4100 tractor and stack them together in the paddock near the house.

We are also having power put on to our workshop and our wool shed.  So my husband hired a digger to put in the trenches.


Here are the men folk digging and below are pictures of the trenches.  The trenches need to be 60 cm deep to meet regulations.


The electrician will lay the power cables in these trenches.


The aquaponics system is going well, but the fish haven’t arrived yet, hopefully early next week.  Some of the strawberry plants have died back but all have new shoots.  We are adding a seaweed extract to the system until the fish arrive and mature a bit.

My husband and children are going out and picking the grubs off our grapevines and feeding them to the fish.


Here they are, the fish just love the grubs and so does my little boy.

Well that’s all for now, I will post more on the aquaponics system when the fish arrive.

How’s things going on your farm/homestead at the moment???




Welcome back to another Good Morning Mondays.  What’s been happening in your life this past week??

I have made biscuits and soap and helped my husband around the farm. Making soap and doing some baking was something I really wanted to mark off my list this week.

No 2 daughter and no 2 son got their results from the piano exams they did and they both got A’s or Honors.  This is great and they are both thrilled with the results and their certificates.

No 2 daughter got three firsts at the local show for her baking and No 1 son did very well with his shearing, placing 2nd in the intermediate group and getting Best Local Shearer.  Here he is with his ribbons


This coming week I want to start on some Christmas gifts and I am excited about this.  I have been blessed by some of the posts that I have found about home made gifts, so thank you everyone.

So our top three posts last week were…

thmb547ba283391f8Conformity – Or Not from Tiny Toadstool Cottage

thmb547bb80eae0b0The Party’s Over: the handwriting on the wall from Soul Survival

thmb547c4522bf0eaThe Art of Home-Making Mondays LINK UP

My personal favourite is….


Please pray for Taylor McGinnis from So Much At Home

I want to encourage everyone to pop over and have a read about what Taylor is going through and take the time to pray for her and her family.  Thank you to Chris for sharing this with us and giving us the opportunity to pray for Taylor.

This really is the season to be flat out and hectic, trying to get everything finished before Christmas.  I know that I am starting to feel the pressure building, but I am trying to keep it down.  I want to encourage you all to stay calm and not get caught up in all the pressure and stress around us.

I want to remember to love those around me, care for those who have no one or are sick.  We should increase our prayer time and remember those who come to mind in our prayers.

I want to thank everyone who linked up and also to everyone who looked at the other posts.  I cannot express how this makes me feel, how happy and joyful I am that we are able to encourage each other in our daily struggles and joys.

So let’s get the link up started, 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.


Tomorrow is our local show and I have been wanting to put baking entries in for a couple of years, but it has never worked out, No 1 daughter has done it and did quite well.  Now it’s my turn.

So after breakfast this morning I got started with my first entry – a sponge cake.  Now I never have any trouble with making a sponge they turn out light and fluffy.

So guess what, this one didn’t.  It was light I suppose and fluffy but it wasn’t quite right.  I turned it out of the tin and wrapped it in my linen tea towel and left it too cool.  When I came back to it the middle had sunk a bit – oh well it’ll be alright!!!

Then I started on my chocolate cake, this is the same recipe my daughter used and you can see it here.

This is such an easy recipe, just mix dry, add wet and stir, and it never fails, but I had forgotten that it does tend to split on top, which it did.

By this stage I was getting quite stressed about the whole thing, I wanted to do well – who wouldn’t.

Now I could blame my oven, the door doesn’t quite shut properly, I could blame my ingredients, I am sure they are plenty of things I could blame.

Maybe I was trying too hard to impress the local judges and get that little card that said “First Place”.

So by the time I had taken the chocolate cake out of the oven I decided that I didn’t need the stress and I wasn’t going to enter anything.

I decided that I didn’t want to be judged by my naked entries (they can’t be iced to hide any cracks), I suppose I just don’t want to be judged at all, especially in our local small (500 people) town.

No 2 daughter who is 9 1/2 is making some things for the under 12 section.  Her chocolate muffins are in the oven, then there will be scones and maybe a fruit cake.  I am noticing in her also that she is getting slightly stressed at them being perfect.

I am telling her that its okay, they look great, just do your best and I am trying to not stress her out.

This makes me think about our eternal judgement day when we stand before our Lord and account for all that we have done and been.

We won’t have any icing over us to cover up our cracks then either, they will be open for all to see.  Boy if I think hard about that I get really stressed out, that is far bigger an event than the baking section at our local show.

2 Corinthians 5:10  For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.

Romans 2:16 on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus.

But hang on, I am saved by Grace through the Faith that I have in God.  Jesus died on the cross that I might be saved and live with him forever.  He was the last sacrifice, now God sees me through Jesus, he has iced over all my cracks, phew, what a relief.

This doesn’t mean that I can be a wild child and do what I want, but because of what Jesus has done for me I want to do for Him all that I can.


No 2 daughter entered 3 sections and came first in all 3. She was thrilled and so were her father and me.


God has really blessed us.

This post is linked up here…

Thought Provoking Thursday

Fellowship Fridays

Weekend Bloggy Reading