That thing called Love... and other thoughts

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Already these photos are vastly outdated.  The world has since turned a beautiful green and no longer do we crunch through dry grass to tend to the chickens, instead all around is the beginning of a lush pasture, promising nourishment to the many animals that rely on it!  Days of rain have filled our dams to the top and provided wonderful moisture to the thirsty earth.  All around the farmers' crops are beginning to grow and what once were brown fields are now vibrant greens. 

Winter has come to Sunnyside.  Days of woodfires, soups and blanket wrapped story-times!  Combined with muddy puddles, growing gardens and plenty of animals to keep us busy.  We were late starting the fire this year with such a warm autumn, but I am proving my fire lighting expertise now (ha ha - Dave says I use too many firelighters, but at least the fire is going!!)  The warmer weather also gave our winter veges a great start and soon we will be harvesting the first tastes of these greens we enjoy! Today I picked the last pumpkin left on the vine as long as possible.  What is left of the frost bitten vine will become food for the fast-growing piglets when I get the chance to clean out that garden.

Our newest little kiddos are finally feeling like part of the family.  I'm sure it's normal when you take on partially grown children, but at first we really felt at a loss with how to introduce them to people. It almost felt like we needed to clarify that they were not our bio children, yet whenever we did that people were so lavish with their praise of us that we were quite embarrassed.  The weekend before last we took a family day and surprised the children with a trip to trampoline park in the city!  While there a lady asked if Miss Toddler was my daughter and it was the first time I confidently said "yes", without feeling I needed to explain. That was a big milestone for me.  

Homeschool is continuing to chug along.  I am so thankful for children who are diligent with getting most of their work completed if I am busy.  I am still trying to find balance with everything, but no longer feel like I am drowning in all the responsibilities I have.  Most days everyone is achieving  their educational goals and as long as I've spent a couple of hours a week doing planning (usually on Saturday nights), the weeks go fairly smoothly.    I am finding that the best time for uninterrupted reading aloud to the twins is at nighttime once the little ones are asleep. (Mr. Preschool will sit still for most of a story, but will give his opinion and Miss Toddler doesn't sit still for longer than 0.04 seconds!)   So after family devotions, the twins and I curl up, all three of us, on Jud's bottom bunk and enjoy our stories.  Zai and Ellie always listen as well. Which makes for a very nice way to end the evening.  

Dave and I were discussing what we would like to do if money was no object.  I told him that I would like to be doing exactly what I am doing now.  I feel so blessed to be able to be at home with these six (six!!) precious children.  Love is really beginning to grow for these new little ones!  I am blessed to live here on this little farm with all it's many critter, to have a wonderful husband that I don't deserve, great friends who are more like family & a church that supports us and loves us all!

I've been missing writing here.  I was fairly bursting with the need to write tonight.  I have so much more to record, but time is beckoning me to bed, with the knowledge that tomorrow will be another busy day!  I'm just thankful to get a little time!  

Goodnight friends!

Ours & Theirs....Combined

Thursday, May 12, 2016

One of our favourite movies to currently watch is 'Your, Mine and Ours'.  While the content is rather silly & the characters are more than over the top, the main theme is the joining of two families and that we can relate to so much right about now.

I seemed to have dropped out of the internet world and truthfully some of  these photos are well out of date (those chicks have already been promoted to the hen house & we have just hatched brand new chicks to take their place).  You see, we finally got our permanent foster placement. Two needy, hurting, loud, boisterous, precious little children have joined our family.

I'm not sure what else to write about it except that its been hard, its been wonderful, its been loud & its been crazy busy - all these rolled up into one with a million emotions attached.

And our little farm continues to tick along.  The milk cow has been all but neglected, but she is ready to go out to the bull anytime (as soon as Dave gets a free second). Her calf is growing beautifully & he has the most amazing coat - the boys have already marked it for their bedroom once he is butchered, which means I am going to have to find someone who can change a calf skin into a rug (?taxidermist?).  As you can see I have no idea about these things.  :)

The new lot of old ewes are here & have been shorn, ready for lambing to begin in July!  Last years lambs are growing big and we are talking about selling the wethers.  Unfortunately we had quite a large loss this summer due to them eating an immature summer weed which causes swelling, blindness & ultimately death. This was very disappointing as last year's drop was only average in size.

 The summer garden was just wonderful this year with the abundance of produce we grew!  I did very little canning though & know I will regret that once the little bit I did manage to do is used up. I did freeze tomatoes knowing that I can then make them into sauce as I have time ( & truthfully, the combinations of an extremely inquisitive toddler & boiling water scares me at the moment).  I still have beetroot to pick & then pickle - as time permits. I have been experimenting roasting it for our weekly roast dinner & it is just delicious that way!  The chillies are still coming strong - possibly 9 bushes of chillies is too many for our family! And now our winter veg are just beginning to appear from the earthy depth and the gardening cycle continues! 

And once again duty calls so I must close here.  Homeschooling is in session today & with our inspection due in August (or earlier as our inspector is very proactive), I am trying to not get too overwhelmed in writing a stage five learning program ( & if you have written one I'd LOVE any advice)!  And even the fact that I have a child who will be in Stage Five next year seems crazy (they just insist on growing up soooo... quickly)!   ;) 

Have a wonderful day friends!


Monday, February 22, 2016




Summer continues to fly swiftly by with all it's warmth and beauty.  Our gardens continue to produce prolifically & we are just abundantly blessed by the bounty given to us.  Our corn reached up to the heavens & since Miss Ellie is 5'3" & is standing on the garden bed, you get an idea of the height of it in the first photo. This was taken a few weeks ago & we have since harvested all the corn & frozen some of it.  I wondered what the frozen corn would be like, but we tried some the other night & it was very sweet & tasty.  I told Dave that at the rate we are eating it, we will have to plant three times that amount of corn next year.  We've never had garden fresh corn before & we are using it far more often than I predicted.

School is back into the swing of things & it is lovely to get into routine again.  I do struggle with juggling it & the ripening gardens as I attempt to can some of the produce though.  I am freezing far more than I should be.  This is fine now, but at butchering time when I am wanting every spare inch of my freezer space, I am going to be regretting my laziness. 

We journeyed to Ikea in late January to get school desks for our newly painted ( & with a new ceiling) school room. Ikea opened a shop in Canberra in November last year,  So far we have only gone twice (ummm... yes, that is rather often for people who live this far away).  We do love Ikea! As for the schoolroom, it is awaiting carpet & in the meantime these humbling 70's tiles that I am EAGER to cover are still very dominant.  The carpet will come hopefully by the end of the year.  
On our first trip we purchased desks for all the children.  We got them to put their own desk together.  Dave & I helped the twins, but Zai & Ellie did their own completely independently (well, with a few questions answered if needed).  In the photo is Jud & myself working out how to construct this thing from the diagrams they give.  I always wonder why Ikea can't include words in their instructions.  I know that it makes them able to be used for many countries, but it would be easier when you are trying to work out which piece is what.   Jud & I did put the top on back to front (we fixed it when we realised our mistake), but otherwise we worked it out.  Ellie was the only one who did it without any mistakes ( oh & Dave, but that doesn't count as putting things together is his thing). It seems Ellie is our practical child!

I grew calendula for the first time this year & I am drying it on my kitchen bench. It's intended use is calendula oil as  I've heard it has fantastic health properties. I do love the calendula plant as well.  It is always covered in blossoms & just makes you smile every time you walk past it. 

Zai & Ellie have begun Textile studies as part of their Technology subject  this year.   I am enjoying pulling out my old sewing machine & introducing them to it's proper use.  They have made a basic pillow so far (which I knew they would both do easily as they have both had instruction in sewing previously).  Ellie decided to 'dress up' with fabric so scare her Daddy when he arrived home from work.  I'm not sure how 'scared' he was, but I am thankful he has such a strong back as she jumped right on him.  With the twins added as well, it was quite a weight!

And so I must conclude as our washing machine has just beeped & I'm sure I have a little boy who I must remind to focus back on his maths :)
Have a wonderful week friends

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