It has been so long since my last post! Life happened and I suppose I have been too busy to write about it. It's springtime and the sun is shining, so I think there is no better time for a fresh start, is there?
This morning my darling girl and I headed off to the farmers markets.
We enjoyed orange juice slushie's and perfectly divine cinnamon brioche, we then left with a car full of fresh fruit and vegetables and so many strawberries! I bought a tray with 20 punnets of beautiful sweet ripe berries for only $20.00, and the farmer also let me have a 4kg box of seconds for $10.00...
On the way home we stopped in at a Spring Fair being held at one of the churches in town, where I picked up this pottery crock for $4.00 at the "Trash and Treasure"
It is perfect for my sourdough loaves!
My afternoon was spent dealing with all the strawberries! Setting aside 4 punnets for supper tomorrow, I hulled them all and filled sandwich bags for the freezer. It is a great way to keep them on hand for smoothies, baking or desserts..
Then it was on to the jam!
After sorting, and chopping all of the seconds, this..
There are seven more, but the jars aren't as pretty so they are not in the picture!!
I braided and hung the spring garlic too, so lets just say my home is very "fragrant"
We had a fantastic time, just being together and enjoying each others company. It was such a reminder of all the beautiful and wonderful things I have been blessed with as a wife and mother, and I am so very grateful for them all...
Card games at night by the campfire.
A husband who gets up at 4.30am in the dark to start a roaring fire and make a cooked breakfast so the children and I would be warm ( the nights and early mornings were FREEZING!)
Teenage boys who don't consider themselves too big or too cool to participate in games and Easter egg hunts with their little sisters, who are fantastic leaders and are always offering to help..
That we live in such a beautiful country with gorgeous animals that visited our campsite daily. ( Except maybe the moth, I kid you not it was the size of a bird and possibly could have carried off a small child...maybe...)
I am grateful that my family didn't make a fuss when we realised I have no experience cooking on a fire and though I had high hopes and was very enthusiastic, the only successful meals I produced were a chicken stew and a salad. We will not mention the cremated potatoes or the bread incident again...
Cuddles in the cold, by the fire...
This precious ray of sunshine, Who never fails to brighten our day!
Our gentle little sweetheart looking after everyone..
That at least one of them has the good sense to stay on the ground and keep their mother company. ( who happens to be terrified of heights)
And last but not least, I am grateful that after 18years my husband is still the love of my life and my very best friend...
I hope you all had a wonderful and truly blessed Easter...
We all spent a lovely day today in the garden, Autumn is underway and the weather is turning cooler. It's time to prepare the garden and vegie beds for our winter crops.
We pulled out the last of the rainbow chard, celery and basil. we also pulled up all the tomato plants saving the green tomatoes that wont ripen now, I think I'll make green tomato chutney!
Such a good helper weeding!
Collecting the green tomatoes before daddy pulls up the plants..
Turning over this bed with manure and compost, in a few weeks we will put broccoli here!
A little artistic inspiration from the outdoors!
Pat hard at work planting out the calendula seedlings we propagated along the sideway fence..
I cant wait to see them in a month or two!
Keeping it all neat and tidy...
Our raspberries are an Autumn fruiting variety, we cant wait to eat them!
So many pumpkins! They should last us through winter. I love this time of year, the leaves will be turning very soon, and we can look forward to cosy afternoons with knitting or a book, evenings of family card or board games in snuggly pyjamas, hot water bottles in the beds and old fashioned, comforting home cooking...
After baking hundreds of scones yesterday, the ladies of the Country Women's Association Queanbeyan branch provided Devonshire teas at the local school fete, where they were celebrating their 150th birthday.
We worked so hard I am exhausted!
After several days of rain the weather was perfect for the day...
Mrs Evans looking ever so lovely, and Mrs Hamilton and Mrs Raine looking just as lovely working hard to serve so many scones it was ridiculous!
Someone I cannot forget to mention is my darling biggest boy, who volunteered his day to help us.
He was such a help, and worked so hard clearing and cleaning tables, refilling sugar bowls and milk jugs also lifting and carrying equipment.
We are so pleased, we raised a lot of money for C.W.A and were able to offer a generous donation to the school...
I have always woken the children at 6.00am and served breakfast at about 6.30am on weekday mornings, which gave the children 1/2 an hour to dress, take care of teeth, hair etc and do their bedrooms. They would move on to the morning duties after breakfast before leaving for the school buses.
Now that we are in winter it is still quite dark and very cold at 6.00am, everyone was moving ALOT slower than usual, barely making it to the table fully dressed let alone having finished what is expected of them!
And so I have changed the morning routine and there has been significant improvement. I now serve breakfast at 7.00am giving them an hour to get into the swing of things, kitchen is closed at 7.20am and they have 25mins to pack bags and do morning duties before they have to go out to the bus, I will also help girls with their hair during this time if they need it.
The mornings are much calmer now!
It also has made it easier for me to prepare and set out the lunches and cook the breakfast, that extra 1/2 an hour makes quite a difference!
Sandwiches ready for lunchboxes
I have been trying a few different things for breakfast lately, other than the usual egg and baked beans on toast or grilled tomato and bacon on toast with fresh, tinned or stewed fruit (It depends on the day) and a bowl of porridge or Weet-bix. I do recommend a big hot breakfast for children especially in the cooler months, I think its lovely to have them head out for the day all warm and rugged up with nice full bellies!
Warm sultana and bran muffins with butter and strawberries
Both of these are served with a mug of hot chocolate!
Hot bread, butter and quince jelly with oranges.
I know that these breakfasts are not as filling as the usual things, but they are definitely morale boosters, and easier to prepare on those busier or hurried mornings. I just pack a bigger morning tea!