Thursday, February 23, 2012

Deck be Gone

Our old deck is roting away
This weekend hopefully we are getting our new (secondhand) deck, to replace the old non-treated wood deck. Can't wait for a safe place for kids to play and and a new place for some pots (more plants).  Also have started on the chicken run. But have found some hidden surprises, bit old wood dug into the ground, concret blocks. So it's slowing our progress cleaning those out. Also slow progress in filling up the raised garden bed with soil.
Sometimes I would love to hire a gardener or a handyman to help get it done faster.
Because the weather is lovely will be out in the garden tonight. So dinner will be cold cuts of meat with salads. A roast veggie salad and a garden fresh salad.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Pinata's and Presents

It's been a time of Birthday's
5 in total, so have been busy making and baking.
First was a dear lady birthday and I made the following for her
An Ice cream container covered with scrapbook paper I found in my craft box.

Baked these cinnamon biscuits with raspberry icing to fill the ice cream container.

And all ready to go with a homemade card my DD10 made.
Next was 3 male family friends, so made them gingerbread biscuits in the shapes of cars, trucks and tractors. Wrapped in Birthday seivettes, tried with a bow and a homemade card. No photo's as we were short for time and forgot.
Lastly have to share what DS12 made for DS7 birthday yesterday.
Little Big Planet Pinata
A pinata for his birthday party, which he shared with this cousins. DS7 is a big fan of the play station game Little Big Planet, so he loved it. It didn't cost much to make, newspaper, toilet paper, glue and paint. Oh and a free balloon :)
Going to be busy in the next couple of weeks with a new challenge getting our garden sorted and buliding a new (secondhand wood) deck, can't wait to share those changes with you.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


What is growing abundantly in our garden at the moment
 We have been blessed with a wonderful harvest of tomatoes. Are more are growing. Mainly used for sandwiches at the moment. But would also like to make pasta sauce, and tomato relish.
These are large tomatoes too, one slice fills a slice of bread. Tasty too :)
A series of 1940's books I'm reading
Some new books added to my bookcase. Having a wonderful time reading. And with our tomato harvest, the 'Facts for the Kitchen Front' is proving very interesting.
Stuffed raw tomatoes looks like an interesting recipe to try.
  • Halved medium-sized tomatoes
  • oil, vinegar
  • Few scraps of fish or meat (finely minced) if liked
  • Finely minced onion or chopped spring onion
  • Chopped parsley or sprigs of watercress
  • Cooked rice
Prepare the cooked rice by mixing it with a little minced onion, and dressing it with a little oil and vinegar. Season well.
If you have a few teaspoons of minced cooked meat or fish, these can be added as well.
Then halve the tomatoes, remove a little of the pulp with a teaspoon, adding it to the rice. Then pile up the tomato cups with the prepared filling, and dust over with finely chopped parsley.
Serve with a green salad.
I'm thinking of giving that a go for dinner tonight.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Yay Children on the Mend

Hopefully tomorrow they will be well enough to go to school. I'm hoping no one else gets sick for a while, I need to catch up with myself. Thankfully we have a beautiful garden to go into and relax in for little breaks from the children. Soon I will share a garden blessing with you.
But this was a little update for now.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Sick Kids can be so Expensive

Yep blown the budget with medicine, ice cream and jelly. DS12, DD10, and DS6 have been having a very difficult time with the chicken pox.
We have tried honey, baking soda, oats as cheap alternatives but they have not helped the same as the more costly Pinetarsol, and Calamine Lotion. We have been going through a bottle a day of them both since the poor three started getting the pox. Also have Zyrtec tablets which is helping too, and Panadol, eye drops and all the goodies of lemonade, ice cream and jelly.
But "This to shall pass"
And when it does I will be back on board saving us money to have our budget looking better again.

One thing we have 6 eggs from our dear 'Momma' hen now and I haven't had the heart or time to bake while looking after our dear children. Maybe dinner tonight will be eggs :) scrabbled eggs would be perfect for all of us.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Chicken Pox times 3

Yep now my dear  3 other children have chicken pox's. Poor DS6 this is his second time having them. And I was enjoying kid free times of getting into the garden. But now I'm nurse, making jelly and applying calamine lotion. But this to shall pass :)
I did get some time in the garden yesterday, and with my mum's help we have been preparing a garden for turning back to grass. It's by our deck, which sadly was not made with the right wood (it's rotten and breaking) and to get that replaced we need to remove the garden. But the soil will be put to good use in our new raised garden.
Our dear chickens have been most helpful with the going through the soil for us. Just lovely to watch a happy chicken scratching and catching bugs.
well back to nursing the dear children.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Our Own Eggs for Breakfast, and Work has Begun on New Garden Bed

Dear 'Momma' Hen is keeping us well supplied with eggs

That today we were able to have Scrambled Eggs, and bacon on toast for breakfast. So good, and look at the beautiful colour of those scrambled eggs.
 Hopefully we will not need to buy any eggs while our hen is laying. And for $6 for 12 of the cheapest free range eggs, that is a saving at the moment. I have alot of food still for them (including 10kg of scratch and lay that I got for $7) that will get us through the month of February no problem.
Now after a hardy meal we got started on building our new raised garden bed for behind the garage.
Before we moved in this is the space from our kitchen back to behind our garage. It has a lovely grapefruit tree, and a handy clothesline, but not much else.

Today looking back into the same area we have a worm farm that is going really well, Shadow our dear bunny and now a new garden bed that's in the works.
(please excuse the hose, the kids had just used it to wash the car)
I'm so excited about this new addition to that space. Means we will be planting our colourful Swiss Chard there. And it only cost $80 for this new garden bed :)
Will show you the finish garden when we are done.

Dinner tonight is including some of our garden free veggies - yellow courgettes and Roma tomatoes. We are having steak and pasta, (the pasta has a vegetable sauce).

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Family Celebration of 14 years

The date night with dear hubby was awesome :) We had $12 curry combo and a sweet little place with beautiful atmosphere. It was mainly just hubby and I in the restaurant. Sadly we missed the free coffee due to time, but great news we can do it another time. But we did go watch a free movie.
"The Descendants" was an awesome movie for us both. Had us laughing, crying and all round good feeling movie, if you can handle the occasional swearing. We were house parents for a girls home (did it for about 4-5 years total) so could relate to the daughters in the movie. We loved the views of Hawaii. So we came out of the theatre like 2 teens chatting away, at 11pm at night.
The next day we were very tired, but did make the effort to have a special dinner with the children to celebrate 14 years.

Made a family favorite Jamie Oliver's roast lamb dinner. Having the leftovers tonight for dinner, as a soup. Even making the meal is fun and special, and the gravy is soooooo yummy.
Ingredients for the roast lamb. The lamb was in our freezer but was defrosted the day before.

The rosemary is fresh from our garden. The vegetables make a trivet for the lamb to go on. But they are not wasted.

Ingrediants for make the roast vegetables.

Boiling them before roasting really helps to have them cooked just right.

Ingrediants for making the gravy.

The Lamb is cooked and now taken off the vegetable trivet and set aside to rest.

Look at those yummy juices, this is going to be used to make the gravy.

straining through a sieve to get the best bits yum.

Yummy roast veggies almost done.

Dinner time, with a cup of sparkling grape juice.
We all had a great time together, love family time.
Now it's all on with back to school time.