Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Taking The Stress Out Of Meal Times

Can anyone relate when I say that sometimes meal times with a large family can feel more like 'feeding time at the zoo' then it does a nice quiet family meal time?!

Kids up and down getting water, getting knives and forks etc and the whole process of getting ready for dinner taking about half an hour with mum wanting to pull out her hair before the meal even begins?! Well honestly, that's what was beginning to happen around here and far out, it just wasn't pleasant! So I knew that I had to change things up and get back to a simple system that actually works. Meal time rosters don't work for us, and I was wanting something that would foster 'co-operation' and working together as a team. Something that would hopefully lessen the 'but I set the table last night' response that I'm sure most of us have heard!

Enter the 'Dinner Servery' ... 

... this is not my original idea! I 'borrowed' it from a very good friend of mine who also has a large family and has one set up in her home! I knew that it would work so well for us, so I came home from time at her house and immediately set one up in our kitchen! Let me tell you, for something so simple, it's just made things so much easier and calmer at dinner time!

I also love that it gave me a reason to visit the op-shops again (does anyone really need a reason though!) so that I could find some glass jugs for our water. I already owned the one with the orange flowers, but I picked up the two clear ones for just $3.00 each. Now the kids just grab the jugs, fill them with water, and carry them to the table, along with everything else that's on the dinner servery!

Underneath the dinner servery is the cupboard for all of our plates and bowls etc. We have trivets permanently down the centre of our dining table with place mats out as well, so once everything is brought over from the servery, and the food is on the trivets, we grab our plates and sit down to our meal! Everyone does it all together and it's very quick and very enjoyable!

As the dishes get done (either by us or the kids), we need to make sure that we 're-stock' the servery with enough cutlery for the family, fill the napkin holder ($1.50 at op-shop), sometimes top up the salt and pepper, and wash and put the jugs back for the next meal. 

This really isn't anything fancy, and it's certainly nothing that's been expensive, but I would really recommend it to you if you are finding meals times a bit of a stress as well! 
Honestly, feeding the hungry hoard here has just gotten so much easier! 

Have a great week!

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

A DVD Review - God of Wonders

Our family enjoys integrating educational DVD's into our homeschooling days from time to time, and one of our absolute favourites is God of Wonders. It is absolutely incredible

What I love about this DVD the most is that it truly does foster a sense of 'wonder' of our amazing God! Bible verses are used along side beautiful images, interesting facts and lovely narration so that we can see how the Bible lines up with the stunning creation that God has made. There is absolutely no way that this DVD supports or provides evidence for evolution; it's all about glorifying our amazing God, His power, authority, wisdom and creativity.

It's a DVD that's really enjoyable for all ages, whether child or adult. I can see it also leading into further 'topic studies' for science curriculum or nature studies.

There are 18 topics covered and it has a running length of 85 minutes. 

Topics Covered ... 

  1. Introduction
  2. God of Power
  3. Thunderstorms
  4. Sun/Stars
  5. Universe
  6. E=mc2
  7. God of Wisdom
  8. Snow Crystals
  9. DNA
  10. Seeds
  11. Flowering Plants
  12. Sea Creatures
  13. Birds 
  14. Hummingbirds
  15. Butterflies
  16. Mankind
  17. God of Justice
  18. God of Love
I would highly recommend this DVD to anyone. It's approach is very informative, but also very compassionate and therefor would make a great gift for anyone who might be confused or believing of evolution. I would rate this DVD 

If you're wanting to purchase this for your family or friends you can here, here and here!

Also, if you know any other DVD's that we could watch, please be sure to let me know, I'm always on the look out for anything that can teach my children about our marvelous God!! 

Have a beautiful week!

Monday, 2 November 2015

Herb Stand

As I've shared with you all in my post about My Personal Goals, I am wanting to learn more about natural living, healthy eating, gardening etc. Over this past weekend, I was able to set up a herb stand that I am very excited about. My son and I did it together on Saturday night, which made it even nicer! 

At our local produce there were herb seeds for sale that were $4.30 a packet, I thought that was way over-priced so I held off, and I'm glad I did. I searched in the dollar store and found herb seeds there for only $1.69 a packet! ... much better! So I grabbed all the ones that I knew I'd use in our kitchen (and hopefully teas and medicines etc), and brought them home pretty excited to get it started! Such simple things in life!

While in Toowoomba a couple of weeks ago, I planned ahead by purchasing some small terracotta pot plants from Bunnings for only $1 each! The cost of the same pot-plants where we live are over triple the price! So, naturally, I stocked up! (my husband plans on using some for making more of his amazing projects too!) A couple of $3.00 bags of potting mix later and I have some herbs planted, waiting to sprout! I'm so thankful that I was able to do this little project cheaply! I was going to wait to purchase some already established single herb plants from the next local markets, but I'm impatient. Sigh. Even though I have to wait for the seeds to germinate anyway! Oh well! 

My parents gave this gardening stand to us a couple of Christmases ago, I'm happy to have it set up with herbs!

I remembered I had two vintage drawers that I thought would add some nice character to the shelf! 
The stand is set up underneath our outdoor patio area, so that it's nice and close to the kitchen! I find that if I have herbs close I see them regularly which reminds me to not only use them, but water and fertilize them as well! I love sending my kids out to pick the herbs I need to add to cooking, it is a really good experience for them! 

Everything that slows us down and forces patience, everything that sets us back into the slow circles of nature, is a help. Gardening is an instrument of grace.
May Sarton

When the flower blooms, the bees come uninvited.

I'm very excited to be growing Peppermint and Lemon Balm, I've not grown either of these before. I think they would both be nice in a tea? 

I'm looking forward to seeing all the little sprouts popping up out of the soil in time! 
Next, I hope to plant up more flowering plants; maybe lavender, some bulbs, some roses ... and anything else that's pretty really! I was watching Sarah, Plain and Tall the other day with my girls, and Sarah was hanging lavender up in their home to dry it ... I hope to do the same! 

Pinterest has been overloading my mind with all these gardening ideas that I am really keen to begin! As we are renting, I'm trying to set up things in pots so that we can take them all with us when we leave. I've been smitten with the 'hidden gardens'  that I put into the search bar on pinterest. Wouldn't it be lovely to be able to create a little hidden spot, bursting with beautiful flowers, sweet smells and lots of birds, butterflies and bumble bees! 

Little things seem nothing, but they give peace, like those meadow flowers which individually seem odorless but all together perfume the air. 
Georges Bernanos

Well, I hope you're all having a wonderful week! I'll be sure to show you photos of the herbs as they sprout and then recipes using them! 

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