My Tasty White Christmas Recipe

Thursday, December 18, 2014

One of my favourite traditions at Christmas time is the making & baking of delicious food for my family to enjoy.  There are many recipes I save just for this special time of year. We always enjoy our Christmas baking.... I will admit this year, though, that I am going to need to increase the quantities.  Everything is almost gone and we only made them last week (the children are all having a growth spurt at the moment).
  
Eli - my cooking helper :)


I also enjoy sharing one special Christmas recipe here on my little piece of blog world for you all.   Over the past few years I've shared :

* In 2010 I shared with you Our Wedding Chocolate Fudge (which we now make just at Christmas time)

* In 2011 I shared Our Traditional Fruit Cake

* In 2012 it was my yummy Icecream Christmas Pudding recipe

* In 2013 I shared our Triple Layer Chocolate Ball recipe


For 2014 I have chosen to share a really quick & easy recipe.... one that my children can make on their own now they are old enough.  
This  time I chose White Christmas.

*******


White Christmas:


INGREDIENTS: 
250g copha;
3 cups rice bubbles;
1 1/2 cups coconut;
1 cup milk powder;
1 cup pure icing sugar;
3/4 cup sultanas;
1/4 cup dried pineapple;

METHOD:
1. Melt copha in a saucepan.
2. Mix all other ingredients in a bowl.
3. Mix in melted copha.
4. Press into tray ( I line mine with baking paper).
5. Refrigerate.  When firm cut into pieces & enjoy!

*******


I hope you have a wonderful time as you celebrate the birth of Our Saviour this Christmas season!

What is your favourite Christmas recipe?

Blessings

SchoolhouseTeachers.com ( Review)

Tuesday, December 16, 2014


The search for curriculum can be a tiresome task.  Sure, it's great fun, but too often we homeschooling mothers end up confused & overwhelmed as we sift through the numerous options to try & find the very best for our children.  I am a self-described 'curriculum junkie'.  I love curriculum, but there is so much variety on the Internet that I am often unsure as to what to choose.  I have recently been given a Yearly Membership to SchoolhouseTeachers.com.  This is an online homeschooling website from the homeschooling  specialists at The Old Schoolhouse Magazine.  It is jam-packed full of curriculum, advice & help for every member of the homeschooling family. 


SchoolhouseTeachers.com is a unique website designed to support, guide & teach homeschooling students of every age & ability . From Shakespeare to Videomaking, Sewing to Economics, every possible learning area appears to be represented in the long list of lessons available.  The curriculum is original, relevant & up to date. It is well written to meet numerous academic learning levels.  There is even a section for ESL and Special Needs students.

SchoolhouseTeachers.com is broken up into classes. Each class provides tuition in a different subject area.   Some classes provide a full year of content, some a full semester & others are to be used as supplementary material.  These classes are easy to use for both the parent and the student. All classes are taught by professionals in their field of expertise.  Interaction between student & teacher is encouraged.


An example of some of the lower level classes available.

The classes are written to cater to specific learning stages. Whether your student is in  Pre-K, K, Elementary, Middle School or High School, there are different subject options available to them. Many of the lessons encompass multiple stages which makes it easy for siblings to learn together. There is even a specific section for Families/Parents which includes lessons for the whole family.

SchoolhouseTeachers.com Review

A unique aspect of SchoolhouseTeachers.com is the Schoolhouse Dailies section.  This section contains a large variety of lessons designed to be completed each school day.  Some are to be completed by date, others are in a gradual form that builds upon previous lessons and others are topical with the parent choosing what they would like their student to learn.  All dailies are very short lessons designed  to keep the student interested without being overwhelming. There is even a ditch the desk section which promotes hands-on learning.

SchoolhouseTeachers.com Review

We previously reviewed SchoolhouseTeachers.com in 2012. While I found the variety of content to be excellent then, I was very surprised at the quantity of content now available.  When I first logged into this website, I was overwhelmed with the choices available to me.  However, after watching the site tour video it all began to make sense. I downloaded the Master Course Checklist and then chose the topics that I wished to specifically look at. After doing this it was easy for me to navigate my way around the program and look at these specific lessons under these topics ( &  the many others that piqued my interest).

While I had a thorough look at the more 'academic' topics,  I personally enjoyed the lessons on Homesteading, Everyday Organisation & the Joy in the Morning devotional especially designed for busy homeshooling mothers. My children were more interested in the Everyday Games, This day in History (they loved  looking  up our birthdays) & for one particular son who's developing an interest: Simply Shakespeare.  While we didn't have time to complete more than one or two lessons in each section, I certainly intend to utilise this resource in the future.



SchoolhouseTeachers.com is a  comprehensive educational resource for homeschooling families. It is possible to utilise it for the majority of a student's learning program. The membership also contains many extra resources to encourage & equip you as you take on this important role. SchoolhouseTeachers.com makes homeschooling your children easy.


SchoolhouseTeachers.com Review

Crew Disclaimer

Sunday Psalms

Sunday, December 14, 2014


Praise be to the Lord,
for He has heard my cry for mercy.
The Lord is my strength and my shield;
my heart trusts in Him, and He helps me.

Psalm 28:6-7a

A Farmyard Funny!!!

Friday, December 12, 2014

I knew the lambs had been into the hen house.
  It was the mess that gave them away.  Things knocked over & every single morsel of the food gone.  Those naughty poddy lambs go anywhere for a bit of food.

But what intrigued me that evening was how the top of the large waterer was missing....and I couldn't find it anywhere.

I locked up the chickens after giving them more food & thought I'd have another look the next morning ( they have another waterer).  The fading light could hide something like that.

Early the next morning I went searching.  I looked & looked but to no avail.  Somehow the waterer had vanished.

It all made sense when the children came running up from a bike ride & asked me to come:


It seems this lamb had been a little too inquisitive.

But how she had ended up in the middle of a paddock a good distance away is anyone's guess??!!??


We promptly removed her stylish 'hat'.
And she followed us home!

I think this one even tops Bessy's little difficulty!  
I'm still laughing 3 days later....

Have a wonderful weekend!

The Milking Diaries - Part 2 (Jubilant)

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

This is the continuation of my first experiences milking our jersey house cow Bessy.  I hope by journaling my experience you can learn from it & maybe not make all of the mistakes I made.
Part 1 can be found HERE


With the inbuilt confidence that we optimists are born with, I eagerly awaited the birth of Bessy's first calf. Finally, after what seemed like months of noticing every single change in her udder, we knew she was in labour.  The next morning sadness hovered over the farm as the still calf lay where it had been born - never having taken a breath.


Just look at that udder -ow!  This was just before she went into labour.
 I was worried, because I'd planned to let the calf take the colostrum & not attempt milking for a couple of weeks....but we had a lactating cow with a leaking udder and no calf to ease her distress.
  
I did what any newbie would do...I put her into a shed with a gate across the front to keep her in, tied her up & tied up one leg as I remembered my grandparents doing with their milking cow & did my best to milk her through the small gaps the gate allowed me to reach through.  

Unfortunately this was a cow who was not used to her leg being tied.  She was not really used to any type of restraining & she was not in a happy mood.  She kicked & kicked & kicked trying to free that leg.  This made it far too hazardous for me to milk her.  There was no way I was going to succeed while trying to dodge the hoof that was quite obviously too loosely tied (knots are not my forte).  
Finally, after much struggling, she got her leg free.  At last she was happy to stand there &  munch on her grain.  She finally allowed me to take some of the milk out of her bulging udder.  Tentatively at first, for fear of receiving a hoof to my arm, I massaged each teat as I'd read about & much to my delight was rewarded with thick colostrum.  It seemed like hours, although I'm sure it was just minutes, and my arms began to ache & my body, unused to the crouching position needed for such a small breed of cow, was cramping and still I persisted until I could at least see a visible difference.  And that was it for that first day... we had to go & find a calf & quickly because throwing the colostrum away was such a waste! 




When Bessy was again mooing in pain the next morning, and the adopted calf was still crying for his birth mother, I realised that I would again have to attempt to milk Bessy.  This time, being wise, I didn't even try to tie up her foot, but did much the same as I'd done the day before.  Thankfully she was compliant & allowed me to ease her pain.  I, however, was feeling these new muscles needed for milking.  While I have always played the piano so my fingers were not too sore, my wrists felt as if they were on fire, my arms were aching & my legs were cramping even after just a short time of milking.  However, as I've said before, I do tend to be a mite bull-headed and a little pain wasn't going to stop me...


That evening, as we'd had not visible signs of the calf drinking, I thought I'd better attempt it all again.  As I went to bring her in, I realised that she was perfectly calm where she was & so I thought back to the legends of my Great-grandmother who used to milk her cows in the paddock.  Knowing I have inherited her love for animals, & knowing that Bessy was my baby & knows me well, I thought I would attempt it.  Carefully, slowly I leaned down & much to my delight she held still while I milked her right there in the paddock where she ate.  Jubilantly I bragged to Dave that evening about my prowess....


  Part three coming soon....

(Sorry...if I don't take a break this will be much too long for a blog post).


My little garden bug!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Our shade house garden is flourishing & just that little bit of green & growth brings joy to my heart.   One of my favourite times of day is when I  turn on the grey water pump & water my tomatoes. It is never a chore (although it does not have the nicest aroma) - I may have even been known to talk to my tomatoes while I water (but don't tell...).  I am amazed how having that little bit of shade keeps the ground moist & stops the plants from withering on the blistering hot days we are known to have around here.  I'm just wondering how many shadehouses I can have??!!?? (or more like it - how many plants I could support on the grey water from the house?)  


I have a little garden bug that loves to help me with the gardening chores.  His proper name goes perfectly with the suffix -bug & so he's often referred to that way!  
(this is Jud)


All 25 tomato plants are growing well.  Every time I check on them they seem to have grown again & we're seeing lots of flowers.  If you follow me on Instagram you know that we've even picked our first ripe tomato!


After lamenting to Dave about the strawberries that died last year he suggested that I grow a row of strawberries at the back of the shadehouse.  I cheated & purchased 'advanced' strawberries - which means we've also had our first ripe strawberry!




What a blessing green, growing plants are.  I love gardening & even though I may never have my huge, dream garden I am thankful that this year we can have even a small one!

How is your garden growing?

Have a wonderful day friends
Blessings

Sunday Psalms

Sunday, November 30, 2014


The Lord watches over you-
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all harm-
He will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over you coming and going
both now & forevermore.

Psalm 121:5-8
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