Friday, July 22, 2022

This week, a book study and a finish...

 This was a warmer week than we've had of late, perfect days of winter sunshine with temperatures that are what we experience in a 'normal' tropical winter - nights around 15c and days of 26c (60f - 79f).

I love the cooler months because it's easy to make sourdough. In our very hot and humid mid-spring to mid-autumn weather the yeasts in the sour dough starter simply die. So for now, I'm definitely enjoying a few months of real home-baked sour dough!

I usually make the sour dough loaves from white unbleached flour on the weekends when hubby is home...

...and gather fresh greens from the garden, make some quick pickled onions, boil some eggs, and bring it all together for a lovely open sandwich lunch eaten out in the garden.

On weekdays I grind my own grain for flour, and bake a regular loaf of bread with added flax seeds and sunflower kernels.

Since buying the grain mill a few months ago, I have noticed a big change in our digestive issues. No longer do we suffer from IBS, because our bodies are thriving on bread made from freshly ground whole grains. It's been such a game changer in our home and we praise God for discovering a better way to make bread.

It's definitely getting harder to source the whole wheat grains, but I have found a place that sells local grain from the Atherton Tablelands (about 3 hours north of us) and we're using that now.

On Tuesday I had Cully May and Rafaella for the day. The girls wanted to grow some flowers in their own back yard so we began our morning browsing the seedlings at Bunnings. They chose the Strawberry Blonde Marigolds and a ceramic pot each. They only have a small backyard in a rental home so all plants must be in pots.

The girls took turns filling their pots, then added the marigolds, and after I carried the heavy pots out into the sunshine they watered them (along with my own plants) ready to take home later that day.

They had also chosen a miniature rose and a green ceramic pot for mummy (Blossom) so I helped pot it for them as even though they wore garden gloves the little thorns made the girls hesitant to do it alone. 

My granddaughters LOVE fresh cucumbers, so I grow a lot of them! They chose one each to cut from the vine, to serve with lunch...


I had made pizza dough early in the morning after hubby left for work, so when lunchtime rolled around the girls were excited to roll out their own pizza bases and top them. 

Children add a lot of excitement to simple meal making, don't you think? If you ever get bored with cooking, invite a child or two to help. My girls have the best time creating on the kitchen benchtop.

Once baked, I chopped some cucumber and placed them beside the hot pizzas. Both girls devoured the cucumbers first, and then enjoyed the 'fruit of their labour' - the pizzas.

Our homeschool nature and cooking lessons for the day were done, and now it was time for language arts, with a touch of music. Blossom teaches this subject using a curriculum I had used with her and older brother during our own homeschooling years. 

The book for this lesson was Lentil, and what a wonderful book it was! The boy in the book is named Lentil and he has the worst singing voice, but his harmonica skills save the day during a huge welcome home parade for the town's leading citizen.

 I bought two harmonicas at the beginning of the year knowing at some point we'd be using this story as a launch pad for many lessons. The girls asked me to film them playing their harmonicas, so I did, and if you'd like to watch (and listen) for 15 seconds just click on the YouTube video below...

Our next lesson was arithmetic and we focused on addition using a floor puzzle I'd found at the op shop recently. To finish the day I went through some spelling with Cully May while Rafaella played nearby. 

This Nana was pretty tired after her wonderful day with the children so after packing up and dropping the girls back home with their flower pots and Blossom's rose, I sat and finished my second crochet blanket this winter (using the Cosy Stripe pattern from Attic 24)

I have since given it to Charlie, who loves it, and now all three of Blossom's children have their own crochet blankets from Nana. 

Naturally with a bit of winter still remaining I went hunting through the remainder of my yarn stash and began a new blanket, using the Sweet Pea pattern from Attic 24 (I had previously made this blanket for Rafaella)...

....but then decided I did not like the pattern as much as the Hydrangea pattern I'd used for Cully May's blanket earlier this winter. So I unravelled it, and started over to make another Hydrangea Stripe blanket (also by Attic 24).

The same colours will be used in this new blanket as in the one I unravelled, just in different order. I realised how much I liked beginning a blanket in green, and the Pistachio DK yarn is one of my favourite colours. The second colour is Boysenberry, another favourite. 

What have you done this week? 

When I asked you to share about your day a couple of weeks ago, you each inspired me so much! Those glimpses into your life, as I suppose the glimpses into mine, create for us a virtual kitchen table where we learn about each other. I sat with my cuppa and read all your comments, twice! I feel very privileged that you would take the time to share a peek into your life with me and those many thousands who read each blog post. 

In this Covid era, when many of us don't go out unless we need to, there's a chance that lonely days will come along every now and then. I know this because I have felt it myself at times (even though I'm an introvert who happily stays home), so for those of you who are naturally more social than I it must be very difficult to be bound to home day after day when you want to step out with friends. 

This is why I ask "how's your day?" I genuinely wonder how you are managing, what you're doing around home or in the garden, whether you're well or in need of prayer, what simple things are bringing you joy?


I shall begin the book study of Emilie Barnes "Simple Secrets to a Beautiful Home" next week, and hope you'll enjoy the journey. There's no need to buy the book (unless you want it) as I'll be focusing on the theme of each chapter and how it can inspire us today within our homes. 

I'll also have a free pattern to share with you, something which ties in to chapter one and which you can stitch as you ponder what we're studying. I pray it blesses you. 

May the Lord surround you with His presence in the days ahead and draw you hearts to all that is good, holy, kind, and joyful. 

bless you heaps,

Sign up HERE to my free newsletter so you don't miss any blog posts, freebies or news!


Joanne said...

Hi Jennifer,

There is still a lot of Australia north of Townsville I discovered after searching Atherson. I'm learning here as well :)
A house keeping tip to all :)
Check your toilet brush brush when cleaning. Our toiltet bowl brush brush broke off and disappeared down in the toilet ! Luckily it didn't go further in to the plumbing through the house. My handy man husband was able to find it by removing the toilet from the floor and going in the other side. Happily we have two toilets :) All is well !

Your Winter meals look like what we enjoy in the Summer :)
Great job posting that youtube video ! Link worked !

Have a great weekend !
hugs, take caaare,

Anorina @SameliasMum said...

I do love reading your posts and seeing what you've been up to. We may live in the same country, but temperature-wise, it's a world away.

I love that you spend time with your grandies potting plants to take home and making pizza. My kids used to love doing these exact same things when they visited with my mum (it'll be a year next week that she passed away and I miss her very much).

Enjoy your lovely cooler weather and your crochet time this weekend :)

Lesley Gilbert said...

I do read all your posts but I know it's been a long while since I commented. It's been a pleasure to see all the photo's of Cully May & Rafaella over the past few years, watching them grow up into 2 adorable little girls. And loved seeing them 'trying' to play the harmonica's - they must give you so much enjoyment when they come around to 'keep you company' haha. Sending ((hugs)) to you all on this sunny day :)

Farm Quilter said...

The girls are getting so very big!! They do grow so fast! I'm sure they will cherish the times with you as special days of memories when they grow older. You are all blessed that you live so close and that you get to be such a large part of their childhood! I love reading about your life, all that you accomplish as you go through your days. I keep dreaming of driving around the coast of Australia, but I think it will remain a dream. So I will continue to enjoy a peek at your little corner of Australia.

Bobbie said...

Hi Jennifer,
I so enjoy your posts and look forward to all that you have to tell us. My husband and I are not living a very simple life right now as we are doing a lot of traveling even to Europe where we never have been. We’re vaccinated and bolstered and decided that as we are in our senior years (I can’t believe I’m 69) that if we didn’t go now we never would. But when I’m home simple is always better forme. This past week was spent teaching Bible school at out church. It’s always fun but exhausting being with te kids. I’m looking forward to your book study as Emily Barnes was one of my favorite authors when I was raising our daughter. I even got to see and meet her once when she came to talk at a church in my city. I have read all her books and felt so sad when she succumbed to the cancer that she had fought for years. Thanks again for all your wonderful posts and home encouragement. I love it!

Anonymous said...

Thank you Jennifer, what a lovely blog. I enjoyed the girls playing and so well! I have had a friend over from England x3 weeks. We met in Israel many years ago and worked together as Midwives. We had a few days in our converted 22 year old converted mini bus now camper van which is Marks project and coming along nicely! XMary-Lou

Lin said...

What a lovely day! The pizza's look delicious. The finished blanket is beautiful - there are such lovely colours in that range of yarn. xx

Nancy in IN said...

In middle USA, Indiana, it is still hot. I don't do too much outside unless it is in the shade. I am trying to get place mats done for granddaughter and her hubby to take when we go to Virginia next week. I knit hats for kids. I have two patterns going all the time. I knit when we travel; hubby is driving and I am trying to stay awake.
I have gotten three small cucumbers so far. The tomatoes are still very green. September is usually when I get tomatoes.
Have a safe day.

FlourishingPalms said...

I always enjoy reading your blog posts because your life is so different from mine. Grandchildren (girls!) nearby so you can teach and share with them, a backyard garden, and crocheting. All such good stuff. I especially appreciate your comment about changes to your system since grinding your own flour. Wow! That's a revelation that makes me wonder if "it works" for everyone. I wouldn't like going to the effort and investment to learn it doesn't change a thing. But, I'm glad you did! What a nice, good-eating bonus for your body.

terricheney said...

I'll look forward to this book study. I read Emilie Barnes books years ago and had recently decided I wanted to read her work once again.
It is summer here. The grands will go back to school in a week. That leaves me with all of August and it's time to 'enjoy' summer while it's still with us. I've made out a list of 31 days of simple summer pleasures to indulge in all through the next month. In the meantime, I'll finish out July with work, work, work.

Ondrea said...

The girls always look so happy . Such a lovely day filled with creativity and education. My boys love cucumbers too. Must be popular with children. A beautiful blanket. Any wonder you were tired lol.

Tammy said...

Dearest Jennifer ,
So lovely to read your post this morning. Looking forward to the new book study and pattern. We had a thunder and lightening storm last evening. And we got a lot of rain. Which we are happy o have as we were in drought status for a while. The herbs and tomatoes and lettuce or enjoying the benefits of the rain for sure. My daughter goes back to work teaching the first week of August teachers report. Will miss her each day as we have enjoyed our summer break immensely. I watched the video of the girls and their harmonica's. How adorable they are. They are so blessed to have you so active in their lives. Have a blessed coming week.

Allie said...

What a blessing you are to Blossom and the girls - taking a day for some playful homeschooling, and enjoying them so much! I can tell they love their Nana too. So amazing to me to see your 'winter' with short sleeved shirts on the girls.....and things still growing in the garden!
My daily, weekly routine has been months interrupted, how I long for a peaceful day not spent reacting to urgencies. The visiting nurses have closed the case, and I found a series of books mum can read (large print) so things are calming down. But now we're ramping up again for John's wedding, and I have to find something to wear, which is seemingly impossible, lol. We all need new clothes. Except hubby - he'll be wearing the suit he got married in, lol!!!!
Thanks dear heart for a peaceful moment out of my day, reading about yours. Your pictures and descriptions do my heart good and give me rest. Love you so very much!!!!

Anonymous said...

I, like so many of the others commenting, enjoy each of your posts. Watching you grands growing is a treat. It sounds as though you have all recovered from COVID so thank the Lord for that. I just wanted to say that I’m certain you will love Emily Barnes book. She has blessed many of us here in SoCal, for many years. Living nearby, I’ve been blessed to hear her speak many times. I’ve always come away with nuggets to keep and apply. God bless you and your precious family.

Susan said...

What a lovely day! You can't beat flowers and cooking and children all together. I can't believe how grown the girls seem now. It's happening too fast! LOL I'm so glad you have found a way to eliminate some health problems ... what a blessing! I'm doing okay, starting the last round of chemo next week. I had an MRI today on my brain to make sure nothing has spread there, and a PET last month to see what areas of concern there are now (not too much, and the chemo should finish it off), so by October, I hope to be pretty much normal life again.

Right now, I read and eat mostly, visit with friends who come, and look at the flowers my son has growing for me, inside and outside. They are uplifting. It's been a long battle, but your posts have cheered me on many a day, and I'm thankful for the blessing of you.