Wednesday, 20 December 2017

The Beauty of Snow

A couple of weeks ago the Lord brought us snow.  How good He is to bring such lovely things for us to enjoy.  I woke up to the sound of excited little children peering out the windows, exclaiming that "It's snowing!!"

The snow didn't become very deep, but how pretty the sprinkling of white dust looked on all the green plants and grass on the ground.

We spent the day snuggling up by the fire, watching the large, pretty snowflakes fall.  And later on, the children went outside to have a snowball fight with Daddy.

Many people here have been telling us not to expect much snowfall.  But the snow that came reminded me of how the Lord is in control of all things, and how good He is to send good gifts to His children.

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

An Eventful Week

Last week was a very eventful week.  I fell ill for a couple of days, with unexplained pain that kept me in bed all day.  But I was well taken care of by my children and my dear husband.  And I treated my symptoms naturally and soon returned to good health--so thankful to the Lord.

The middle of the week was quite emotional, and then towards the end of the week, three of our chickens became very ill, and we thought they would die.  All they would do is stand around, hunched over with their feathers puffed up.  One of the chickens couldn't even see, apparently, as she was unable to figure out where the water dish was.  They even stopped eating.  Again, I treated them, and two of them were eating the very next day.  The third also soon began eating again, and today, the chickens are mostly completely better, with the third chicken even regaining her sight.  We even got some eggs from our healthy chickens on the Lord's Day.  How grateful we are for the Lord's goodness and mercy to us, even in these seemingly small things.

Also, during the week we had quite a scare when my husband's car suddenly caught on fire.  Thankfully it was parked and he was not in it, and no one was hurt.  I am so very grateful he is okay.  I hug him a little tighter each day and thank the Lord again for His protection.

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Happy Thanksgiving 2017

A very blessed Thanksgiving, dear readers.  I hope you have a wonderful day in special thanks to our Lord for His goodness.  We will be celebrating Thanksgiving across the pond, just like we used to.

Husband even took us to a farm to get a lovely organic, free range turkey.  We all got to meet the turkeys, who were quite noisy.  The girls had pretty, inquisitive eyes, but the males, everyone thought were quite ugly.  I thought they still looked grand with their big feathers all puffed out.  Unfortunately, I didn't bring my camera, so we will just have to remember the flock of black turkeys in our mind's eye.  But they looked much like this:  (this is a male)

Now we must get on to food preparation.  Have a blessed day!

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Green and Chickens

We have been in full swing with school lessons, feeling the chill of the new autumn air.  The week before last, the chill just swept in, shocking us a bit with the sudden cold weather.  To my pleasant surprise, the outdoors remains mostly green.  The grass is still as green as ever, not the drab, dead brown of our previous desert home.  The leaves began turning awhile ago: beautiful shades of gold and red, but many of the trees are bare now, except for the bright green moss that grows on many trees.  I am enjoying our new home.

A few weeks ago, Husband took us on a trip to get chickens.  He built a remarkable chicken coop out of old scraps of wood, furniture, and other materials.  He even made it so that our chickens can free range all over our whole garden, eating lots of bugs and vegetation.  With every opportunity he gets, he looks for ways to improve on their diet and their environment.  Because of their age and the cold weather, the hens are not yet laying, but hopefully they will be soon.  Each of our children has named a chicken.  The little hens often follow us around the garden and like it better when we are outside with them.

Husband has also ordered a lovely turkey straight from a farm, for we will be celebrating Thanksgiving here, as we would in America.  We have invited a few people to join our family, so we may have an even fuller house again.  There is much to do to prepare, though I have already planned most of the dishes we will serve.  I've been able to order a big roasting pan for the turkey and a pie pan for pumpkin pie.  A thoughtful neighbor even stopped by with a homegrown pumpkin for us a few days ago, which we will use for homemade pumpkin puree.  I love homemade baked goods with pumpkin in them--pumpkin muffins, pumpkin pie, pumpkin cookies...

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Rainy Days

Last week was quite a sunny week.  We hardly had any rain.  The wet ground finally had a chance to dry out a bit, and there was less mud to go around.  But the past few days have brought more rain and wet to us again.  I suppose that is why it is so green here (smiles).   Over the weekend, the cold weather came in suddenly, making us quite aware that winter is on its way.

Sometimes, in the late afternoon and early evening, the sun looks so amazing.  We have seen it in the sky as a huge ball of fire--but the sun is so bright and fire-y that it looks almost red.  I took some photos, but they don't do it justice.

Over the weekend I made my first blackberry and apple crumble at my husband's request.  He took one bite and started with his Mmm-Mmmmmm!'s, and exclaimed that is was so very good.  And yesterday was a very busy day, and dinner was late, but thankfully delicious.  I made a new recipe of a "potato" soup, but it really doesn't have any potatoes in it.  Instead it is made with cauliflower and radishes, and everyone loved it.

I am thankful to the Lord to have a big old farmhouse to be sheltered in from the elements.  We don't get too cold, but sometimes I have to send one child to find another child amongst the many rooms.  Our neighbours have told us that our house must be around four hundred years old.  This makes our house quite interesting, and I wish I could find out more about the history of it.  There are many doors in our home that have been closed off and are no longer usable.  There are many old locks with old keys to go along with them.

There is the sound of little pitter-patter feet.   Little Ones are waiting for their school lessons, so I must attend to my motherly duties.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Autumn Beaches

This week my husband took us to the beach for a treat.  He even booked part of a day off of work to take us there.  Where we used to live, there were no beaches, so our children had never been to see the ocean or experienced the sandy sea shore.

It was lovely--since it was quite cool, there were no nearly naked people on the shore.  We even went with our coats on (but eventually took them off as we got warmer).  There were several people walking up and down the beach, many with dogs.  One friendly pooch, which I can only describe as cute, short, and chubby, ran up to us for a pet.  The owners said she was a French Bulldog.

The children eventually waded in the water, abandoning socks and shoes, rolling up trousers and leggings a bit.  Some collected shells for decorations at home.  My husband and I sat back on the rocks for a while and watched our children playing.

After a time on the beach, we went walking for awhile up on the dunes.  They were really pretty and fun to go on.  My husband had to help us up some very steep areas.  He had lots of fun running down a very steep hill, which several of the children followed him down.  The rest of us took an easier route, as we were hoping not to fall straight down (smiles).

Today there is much to do to catch up.  Laundry, as usual, as well as teaching all of the little ones their lessons.  For dinner, we will have cheesy sausage balls, homemade macaroni and cheese, and green beans.  Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Mother's Apron

Mother needs another apron.  I had a few at our old house, but I got rid of some when we moved because they were getting ragged and old.  I had even won of those aprons in a giveaway several years ago.  That apron was very long, with a lovely cream ruffle at the bottom.  The children called it my "pregnancy apron" because it is the only apron that was big enough to accommodate my growing belly when I was with child.  However, it had gotten a bit of an odor that wouldn't come out in the washing, so I got rid of that one.  I packed another apron in our crate.  It is somewhat pretty with floral and pink, but it's just a bit silly as it says, "Queen of the Kitchen".

My great aunt had sewn me a lovely apron that had a bit of ruffles.  It had a pocket on the front where I would stick little things like notes from the children that they would give me when I was going about housework.  It was golden yellow with a tiny floral print, and accents of red.  When we moved, I accidentally left it behind hanging up on our kitchen, as if waiting for me to put it on in preparation for the next meal.  My great aunt had also sewn aprons for each of the girls.  Thankfully most of those were brought over, but we may have left one or two behind.

An apron is like a housewife's uniform.  I automatically put it on whenever I cook, as it keeps the splatters and stains off of my clothes.  The little children would love to snuggle up and hide under Mother's Apron. Especially when they were shy, it provided a little place for them to peek out from.  I like to have at least two aprons so that when one gets dirty, I can have it in the wash and wear my other apron.

So hopefully sometime soon I will be able to get another apron or two.  I have seen one or two in the superstores here, but they are not very pretty.  If I had a sewing machine, fabric, time, and know-how, I would make one myself (smiles).

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Down to the River

Yesterday we went for a walk just outside of our village.  It was a very nice, sunny day.  Through the mud we trekked, until we came out to the green, green hills.  Everywhere we looked were green hills.  There were flocks of sheep, and a herd of bulls that was making quite a bit of noise.  We travelled along the steep hillsides, carefully stepping along the ridges.

There were beautiful trees with turning leaves, and leaves fallen to the ground.  We heard many different kinds of birds.  It is pheasant season also, and often when we are driving about, we see pheasants running across the road, making their very unique and somewhat startling noise.  Along our walk, we came upon two sheep and a lamb, wandering around by themselves.  The threesome had not had their tails docked for some reason.  Did you know that lambs are born with long tails, but farmers cut them short?  I'm sorry that I took no pictures yesterday of our mini excursion.

We walked all the way down to a river nearby us.  It was running fast.  All around the river were pretty trees with yellow-turning leaves, and moss growing all over the trunks and branches.  It was peaceful to hear the running water, and I wish we could have stayed longer, but I had to get home to prepare dinner.

Today I will try to catch up on the laundry from over the weekend (along with many other things). The dryer takes so long to dry one load--over three hours.  But at least we have one (smiles).  Our guests have come and gone, and I am behind after the weekend and Monday.  For dinner we will have lovely meatloaf with some fried mushrooms, and perhaps some homemade bread.  I am very tired today, not having slept well, but the day must go on (smiles).

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Unpacking and Settling in

Last week was a very busy week.  At the beginning of the week, we had a large crate of our belongings from America delivered.  It arrived on a semi-truck (what they call lorries here), and the driver called my husband to let him know that he couldn't find our house.  Our house is down a little road that wasn't obvious to the truck driver.  We went out to find out where he was parked, and I showed him where our house was.  First, the driver tried backing down the small road towards our house.  I stood there with some of the children, covering my eyes, because I was afraid he was going to run into something on the small road in between houses.  Upon realising he couldn't back down all the way to our house, he pulled his huge truck back up the road and decided he would unload the large crate at the top of the hill and pull it down to our property.

All of the children were out now and watched as he began to lift the large crate and pallet onto the pallet jack.  It all looked so unsteady that I turned away, not wanting to watch.  All of this was happening on top of a hill, and the crate was slanting downwards...all of a sudden there was a large "crash", and I looked back to find that our huge crate had fallen over, off of the lorry, with the majority of the boxes that were inside now fallen into the road.  We all gasped, and I was thankful that none of the children were nearby when the boxes came tumbling down.  When we had prepared our crate back in America, we had secured it with straps, but apparently somewhere along its journey, the straps had been taken off and were never replaced, which caused the instability.  I approached the driver and asked if he would like us to just start carrying boxes down to our house.  He did, but they were quite heavy, so some of the children worked together to carry boxes down the road.  Thankfully, shortly after this, my dear husband came home on his lunch break to help us with our predicament, and he helped us get all of our 26 boxes into the house.

The next couple of days were spent unpacking and putting things away in the house.  Thankfully, my husband had gotten enough bookshelves to contain the many books we brought with us.  We also now have our clothes for the cold weather, as we had been getting cold here without them!

A storm hit here over the weekend, which made it very cloudy, rainy, and windy here.  This made for a great time of snuggling in on Saturday to play games, have Bible study, and watch Little House on the Prairie together as a family.  We have also had some beautiful sunsets.  We also went apple picking last week, as our neighbours have several apple trees and invite us to come and pick their apples.  We have already made applesauce and apple cider, and we have plans to make apple butter, apple tarts, apple crisp, and perhaps some apple pie.  My husband and the children have peeled and cut up much of the apples and put them in the freezer for later.  I also need to make some berry preserves with the blackberries we have picked--they grow wild here all over.  Cherished of God is making homemade candied fruit for the fruit cake she is making for Christmas.  We've never made a fruit cake before, but she wants to try it since we are now in our new home, and it's a tradition here.

Our school books arrived in our crate, so I have to get busy planning everyone's school assignments, and I have to get back to teaching, along with of course getting ready for our many guests coming soon (smiles).

Friday, 13 October 2017

Company's Coming

Thank you for your inquiries into my health--I am thankfully feeling much better today--just a little bit tired still, and I have a slight headache.  I will be easing back into homemaking tasks today as much as I am able.

In a couple of weeks' time, we will have a full house (well, fuller than just our normal family, *smiles*) of some people from church, and some of my husband's family.  They will come for the afternoon, and then for supper, and my husband's family will spend the night.  My husband made all these plans on his own (smiles).  I am not used to having much company around the house, or entertaining lots of people, as I grew up in a household that hardly had any guests.  For the past several years, I was also not in a position to be able to cook meals for other people besides our family.  I am also a very shy person, and I thrive on quiet and routine.  Being around lots of people wipes me out.

But nevertheless, the guests are coming, and my husband wants me to practice hospitality, which of course I know is important.  So I will prepare myself mentally as much as I can, and strive to plan meals that will feed a large crowd and pray for the Lord to help me.  Maybe I am a bit silly, but this is just not something I am used to--especially with just having immigrated to a different country and having never met these people before (smiles).

The girls and I love to pick fresh flowers to decorate our home.  I'm glad there are still flowers out this time of year!

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Spoiled Housewife

I am feeling a bit spoiled today. I am sitting in bed, listening to the beautiful chirping of birds outside my bedroom window.  I can see white sheep spread across the distant hills and the ocean beyond.  I hear cows mooing also, and the bleating of sheep.  Every once in a while I hear dogs barking.  The furry kitty has come to spend time with me on the bed.

I am recovering from what must be food poisoning.  Yesterday I fell ill and spent the whole day in bed (when I was not in the "toilet").  My eldest brought me water, kefir, crackers, broth, and finally some breakfast when I thought I could stomach it.  I was exhausted the whole day.  Today I am feeling much better.  Yesterday my dear husband got off of work a bit early to come home to check on me and also make dinner.  Not every wife has a husband such as this.  I am extremely blessed.  Today he insisted on getting off work early to be home with me and our children.  He has also offered to make dinner again.  He will make his lovely chicken mushroom tagetelli (not sure of the spelling on that one).  Yesterday he spoiled us with lamb chops.

The girls also got the laundry almost caught up yesterday.  We had been surviving with a tiny little washer that my husband used when he lived alone.  This was not sufficient for our somewhat large family.  So he bought us a new washer and a dryer also, as the drying cupboard did not get our loads of laundry dry for days, and we ran out of space for hanging things *smiles*

I am so very happy to be feeling on the mend today, and can't wait until I feel much better so I can be up and about going about my homemaking duties.

Linked to: Classical Homemaking link up

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Coming Autumn

Autumn has arrived here, by the calendar and by the weather.  Where we used to live, it was often still quite hot at this time of year.  But here, the weather has crisped up, and the leaves are starting to turn colors.  It is wonderful to enjoy the fall weather.  There is a lot of rain here though.  I am very thankful for our wood burners and that my husband gets fires going on very chilly mornings before he goes to work.

Some of the neighboring houses have lovely ivy growing on them.  This ivy was a bright red a few days ago, but now most of the leaves have fallen off.

I just adore the stone buildings that have so much character.

A cloudy, rainy, but beautiful day here

Monday, 2 October 2017

A New Start

Just like we have recently started our lives anew, I am starting some writings anew here to collect memories and thoughts.

Today is a glorious new day. Thank you, Lord, for giving it to us.  As I write, our eldest and some of the other children are in the next room practicing Christmas carols for when we will carol to our village at Christmas time.  Cherished of God has made different parts for everyone to learn to sing in harmony.

I must get busy with my day, having not even eaten breakfast.  There is much to do, as we have been away for most of the past two days.  Laundry is high on the list, with our tiny little washer.