Wednesday, January 11, 2012


We are growing Pumpkins at the moment. We have several different types small ones, big ones and some in between. I'm hoping we get lots because pumpkins are one of veggies that sort well, most of the time. However in hoping that we get lots, I actually don't have that many uses for them. My family are not real fans of Baked Pumpkin, they will eat some pumpkin soup. Although there is a limit to how much pumpkin soup you can eat. I have recently discovered pumpkin and Feta Risotto which I love. I also enjoy a roast pumpkin salad. So I'm on a mission to find pumpkin recipes that my family will enjoy. I don't want it to be a vegetable that my just endures but one they actually enjoy and ask for. So I would love to hear your favorite recipes.

Thanks Christina

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Joy of the Home - Not Just a Mother

My blog title "The Joy of the Home" may give readers the impression that I am always joyful at home. I'm very sorry to say that I am not. I have grown up in a world that has given girls so many double messages. One being that women have rights and freedom to choose their path in life.... as long as that path includes working. For as long as I can remember growing up people asked the same question over and over, "What do yo want to be when you grow up/leave school?". I don't know that my answer was ever a wife and mother. I knew that I wanted to be married and have children at some point, but I never really saw that as an occupation.

During my last year of high school I remember one time when our home room teacher actually asked us this question, wanting us to share with the class, our hopes and goals for the future after we left. There was lots of different answers, someone want to be a vet, another a farmer, a teacher, a doctor, and so on. All was going well until one of my classmates answered that she wanted to be a MOTHER! "A MOTHER!" Well our female teacher was most unimpressed with that answer. She belittled the female student, saying that was not a real goal and she could be so much more than that. At the time I don't think that I thought too much about it, but it really was a message that speaks of our social belief, that women shouldn't settle for being "just" a mother.

So my jounery began to make a career for myself. I studied my Bachelor in Perfroming Art and then went on to the next step of studying teaching... During that time I met my husband to be, we married, and our first child was conceieved three month after that. I had known I wanted to be a mother, but I had this impression that once she was born I would put her in care a few hours a day while I continued study.... But when she arrived the thought of putting her in care was out of my mind... there was no way I could do that.

It was then that my thought processes began and I started questioning, why do I have to be more than a mother? What is wrong with me "just" being a wife and mother?. Interestly enough anyone that is a wife and mother knows that there really is no "Just". When your a mother you actually take on so many roles, comforter, teacher, cook, cleaner, nurse, taxi, and much much more! To actually give this new role justice it takes a lot of time and energy. The role is extremely difficult, but amazingly rewarding. However there was still this darkness hanging over my head when people would ask me what I did. It didn't take me long to realise that it was my mind set that needed changing, I wasn't going to be able to change society but I could change me.

Since that time I have been on a journey to find the Joy in being at home. I am not always the best at it and I clearly have my struggles, but it is a journey. I had and am having to retrain myself. I have spent all this time in school "Learning" but never really being taught how to run a home, how to tend a garden to feed my family, how to cook nutritious meals that will benefit my family three times a day, how to disciple myself to put several loads of washing on the line, bring it in, and fold it. As well as read to my children lots, and play with them, listen to what they care about , and the list goes on and on.

So this blog in part is about that journey for me. Learning to find the joy in doing the mundane tasks over and over, and what I like to call "sucking the joy out of everything" experience every last drop and savoring it. Experience this role as much as I can, while I can.

I hope you too are on the same journey of learning to suck the joy out of every moment you get. You never know when it will end.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Busy Mum.

In keeping with my last blog about eating your own harvest, I thought today would be a great day to do a few things in the garden. SO with the helps of some of my children I have added a corn field to the garden. We LOVE corn in our house and while we have some already growing in the garden, we have never had enough. So I went a head and put 2 metre square patch of the them in. Oh I can't wait to be harvesting those!

I can't speak for you, but in our yard there always seems to be lots of little or big jobs that need doing and may have been on the list of jobs for a while. One of those jobs was creating a new garden bed around the side of the balcony. So I can now half check that one off my list. The job is half done, but it's an exciting half. What is done is now planted with about 100 mixed lettuce seeds. Hopefully most of them will take and turn into plants for us.

Oh the excitement of the expectation of what might come.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Eating your own Harvest!

One of my families main goals for 2012 is try to grow 50% of our the organic food we eat. There really is nothing like serving a meal to your family when you know that you all had a part in putting that food on the plate.

Now 50% for a family of 8 is a lot of produce and we are not fully expecting to be able to do that right away, maybe not even this year, but we are working towards that goal. There are things that we will never be able to produce like rice, wheat, or of course things that don't grow in our climate. In saying that our goal is the try and change our eating habits, so we eat less of what we can't grow and more of what we can grow, when we can grow it.

We are starting a new habit in our house at the moment, were the children, my husband or myself, take a bowl, bucket, basket into the yard in the morning and see what is growing and ready to pick. Then we take it inside and start to plan what we can make for the days meals. The children are loving it, as am I. Today for example we found that our chickens had laid 16 eggs! (We have twenty chickens). Which was Great! So the children and I started planning what can we make with those eggs. My children always want boiled eggs, but I managed to convince them to try something else. We were given a leg of ham for Christmas, so decided to make a double recipe quiche with ham and other veggies that we found growing in the garden, such as silver beet, onions, purple dragon carrots, and add some corn from the freezer.

Then they found some butter beans and I had broccoli in the freezer, so we make and butter bean and broccoli salad, which is always a favourite in our house. It went down a treat! Everyone was satisfied and so were our spirits knowing that most of that food was grown or given to us. What a feeling!

Now not everyday can be like this. Tomorrow there will be no butter beans because they were all picked today, but there will be beetroots, and the tomatoes are starting to grow and even a few are ripening, the corn is growing so fast, and soon we will be eating that.

Also with all this harvesting go on, we must remember to aim for planting at least one thing a day, so that in months to come there will be other things in the garden ready to harvest.

What an exciting journey we are on. I totally love that idea of getting more and more away from the supermarket. If only I didn't need to buy toilet paper. Oh well, maybe if I order that online and get it delivered I can skip that stop on shopping day.

Happy Gardening, and I would love to hear your food or gardening goals.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Thanksgiving ~ New Years!

I don't know about you but Christmas and New Years are a depressing time of the year for me. While there is some joy in it all, I do suffer from feelings of being less than.

New years has traditionally been a time of reflecting over that year that has been, and what you have done with it. Then making a resolution to do better, take on a new challenge, a new goal for the year to come. For me, I am more inclined to think about all the mistakes I have made and the faults that I have. How bad I have been, How I have not done this right, how I wrecked that, how I haven't cared for my family well enough, and so on. So no wonder I feel depressed spending all that time thinking about basically how crap I am.

So today, is New Years day, and I am feeling down. However I am thinking that it might be time to start a new tradition.

All this time I have been focusing on me. Kind of self involved, don't you think. So in my pondering today I thought the best way to get your eyes off yourself, and on the Jesus and The Father is to think about what you are thankful for. So I have decided to start a new tradition for our family and that is the celebrate thanksgiving day on New Years day. Hold a special meal, special not fancy. Where we each take time to share what we are thankful for during the year that has passed and pray together as a family asking for help, guidance, and vision for the year to come.

In the spirit of New Years Resolutions, mine is to spend more time, playing, loving, reading and enjoying time with my children and Husband. Also asking the question, "Am I over involving myself in things that I shouldn't be?", "Am I taking away from what my calling is, by doing ..."

I pray that you have a blessed New Year and it is all you wish it to be.