Monday, February 23, 2015

Praise God From Whom ALL Blessings Flow

What an evening!! What a cascade of events!!

Yesterday was Harvest Thanksgiving at all our congregations. Our little family has been so blessed with the harvest from our orchard that we did not plant and the grape vine that we did not tend, we really do feel like we have come to the promised land in so many ways. That and our veggie patch that we planted has kept us well supplied.  This was our opportunity to formally give thanks to God for the wonderful and great blessings here.

So I brought along a platter of my grapes, thinking I would be giving them away. What I didn't know was that here they give all the produce from Harvest Thanksgiving to the pastor's family! I came with my small offering and ended up with 50 fold back!

Massive zucchinis
So today was a preserving day. The kids and I spent the afternoon making "Harvest Jam" - grapes (from Thanksgiving), apples and figs (from our own trees) and making Tomato and Zucchini chutney.

After all that it was time for a break, so we went out to feed the sheep and Mum's horse. It looked like a storm was coming so we decided to head into the paddock and up the hill to check it out.

Have I mentioned our property is over 130 years old? We have plans to do some archeology at the old school site, which we think we have found through looking at the topography in the old school area. We have had a few minor finds in our walks, like a glass drink bottle from a cordial company that closed in the mid 1950's, or a piece of coloured, patterned glass that may have been in a window above a main door. But today Tank made a major find.

Our archeological finds.
Tank found an uncovered brown coloured glass bottle in amongst some old bits of flat tin. Tiger gave it a bit of a clean with his hands and found a date "1925". So right up front we dated our find. A wee bit of hand digging and lifting a few bits of the tin and we discovered an old tin pot and then an old cast iron cooking pot. We also found a number of tins stacked inside each other, and so we think that this was one of the old house rubbish tips that we have been looking for.

At which point Christian arrived home...and the storm did too. We quickly bundled the kids out of the paddock (away from a bucking horse) and into the house. Then managed to get the clothes off the line just as the first big drops started.
The "pool"
It was a great downpour. We walked around our verandah as we cooled down from the day. The paddocks were all misted from the rain, our down pipes were overflowing and when we got to the back of the house we discovered the area we are about to pave was flooding. 

What a blessing! We had heard about this kind of downfall from my brother, but now we got the chance to see it and work out what we could do to mitigate it before we pave our back area!

Our back door.
There was much fun for the kids building dams to save the unpacked boxes of books in the garage, building dams to redirect the water into the veggie patch and away from the laundry door...digging trenches. We were all thoroughly drenched, so the kids had a play in their "pool" area thats a part of a large contour drain to stop the flooding.

All topped off with a dinner off the land. What a fantastic day!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

2014's Review

Harvest 2014 - The storm clouds were rolling in so we
headed off down our road to watch the headers.
Yep, I know, we are now in February of 2015. But the last few months have been so incredibly hectic that any thought of a review of our year was simply out of the question!

So what were we up to last year. Well you could trawl through our posts of 2014...but never the less here are our highlights.

So many good photos...we saw the header enter the paddock
and then put his comb down...and shortly after passing us the
first time another header came into the same paddock...
a rare treat!
Our year began with preparations for the birth of our delightful baby, Skipper. The kids and I spent much time going through each room and culling the excess. Simplifying is such a beautiful thing. But it was a slow process, with my growing belly causing significant tiredness and getting in the road of too much bending.

My pregnancy was punctuated by regular contractions that concerned my doctor. And then our little Skipper decided to start labour before our set caesarean date. He was born 3 weeks premature, but only 8 hours before he was intended. The poor little man spent a week in the special care nursery, and then we struggled to breast feed for 2 and a half months. But our struggle has proved to be just a blink, with time since then flying past.

Christian bought me a much longed for camera this year. I have enjoyed honing my photography skills, although with that comes the need to delete a whole heap of unnecessary photos. It's a great hobby to have with kids, they are constantly coming up with new things to photograph and I think even Christian has enjoyed taking photos this year too.

Our last Sunday in Toowoomba...Enoch's Confirmation.
After this we went to Lunch and then began our drive to
And then Christian was given the call to Burrumbuttock Parish when we were 2 months into our feeding struggle. It came at an interesting time. My parents had retired from Wagga (2 hours from Burrumbuttock), and would be moving to Inverell (4 hours from Toowoomba, but 11 hours from Burrumbuttock) and at the same time my youngest brother was just about to put his Burrumbuttock house and 13 acres on the market. We had to visit...and of course then we were in love with the place!
Christmas on the front verandah

We took our holidays to Tasmania for a friends wedding and had an amazing time travelling around and exploring. So much history! We made a wonderful journal of our time there.

Saying goodbye to Toowoomba was hard in some ways and easier in others. We made some wonderful friends in the homeschooling community there and we all miss them.

Since arriving in Burrumbuttock I have sewn curtains for 8 windows, planted a veggie patch, preserved fruit from our orchard, and made a good dent on the many renovations we have to do to the 130 year old house. Christian has really enjoyed taking up woodwork again, with making another set of large shelves for our growing library, repairing gaps in the floors, making a sign for our property, a cabinet for Tank and a treasure chest the Man. There is still much to be done, but we are pretty much enjoying each bit as it comes. This year holds much change for our property "Stoneleigh".

Birthday fun

Bonnet by Tiger and Mama.

Happy 10th Birthday to Princess! All she really wanted...has wanted for some time...was a bonnet. The kind worn by Laura Ingalls Wilder of "Little House on the Prairie" fame, or Mandie from her favourite adventure girl books (by Lois Gladys Leopard). Then of course there is her love of Jane Austin, Anne of Green Gables and all things old much like her mother. And yes, we had to make one for Joybug so they could be beautiful girls together. I truly enjoy indulging her

And for a fantastic lunch we had a homemade lunch...home made buns (thanks Sal), homemade mayonnaise (thanks to Mrs. Patmore - our Thermomix), and homegrown tomato and cucumber. Delicious! 
Clearly we are in our element! The veggie garden is growing great, as is the orchard. We are inundated with cucumbers, zucchini, plums, grapes and soon tomatoes. We are preserving, preserving, preserving. The kids are loving the idea that we are saving up for the winter, just like we have read about in the "Little House" books.