Day 31/31 - A moment taken, a lifetime preserved

Friday, October 31, 2014

It's hard to believe that I've finally completed this challenge of blogging for 31 days straight.  There have been late nights when I've sat down trying to pull thoughts together into a coherent pattern to suffice my determination to not have this challenge half completed.  Sometimes the words didn't come & I relied on my ever-ready supply of photos to make up a post.  However, I have thoroughly loved blogging throughout this past month about the little things that make up our life here on this patch of soil we call home.  It is the very reason I blog, yet sometimes I get so overwhelmed with trying to make the perfect blog post that I forget to include those moments.   I want to remember when Zai moved into men's size clothing, when Eli's new budgie perched on his shoulder for the first time & that moment when I looked at Ellie & no longer saw the little girl, but instead saw the woman she will become.  These moments are fleeting, yet captured here.  A preserved memory.  This is the very reason Dave encourages my blogging.  It has taken this challenge to renew my enjoyment of blogging & remember why I continue to tap away at this keyboard, preserving our online journal.  Thank you for sharing this past 31 days with me.  It's been fun!!

Have a lovely day friends

For the rest of the 31 day blogging challenge please visit HERE

Day 30/31 - Dig-In Discipleship Bible Studies (Review)

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Teaching your children to study the Bible will be beneficial to them throughout their whole life.  I know I am very thankful for parents that taught us to look to God's Word in every circumstance.  Recently we were blessed to receive two Dig - In Discipleship Bible studies  written especially for children 10 - 12 years in age by Australian author Penny Reeve.  Since we have two children in that age group & I teach a Sunday School class of  girls of that age, we were delighted to try them out! We received Pastures, Paths & Parties (which is based on Psalm 23) & True Identity (based on Colossians 3:12-17).

Image Source

The Dig-In Discipleship studies are designed for the age when the children are beginning to ask questions for themselves.  They are starting to form their own opinions &  will often double check things independently.  This is a critical age for them to really begin to form a love for Scripture & how it relates to their life.  The Dig - In Discipleship study assists in this.  Each study is designed  to cater for both individual or group use and are easily able to be modified for many situations.  My husband used the Pastures, Paths & Parties with his Sunday School class which is actually a little older than this particular age group, but it worked well.  Each Study book contains smaller studies.  These are then divided into sections with each containing  relevant activities & games, Scripture study, related questions, prayers, Scriptures to memorise & progress checks.  Throughout the study the child is encouraged to look up various Scripture passages themselves & then think about the meaning & how they can be applied to their life. The activities are designed to show how these passages are relevant to children of their age in their stage of life.

The Dig-In Discipleship studies are easy for both the single user & the group leader to use.  They make studying Scripture fun. I particularly like the way they continually come back to the Scriptures throughout  the whole study.  As both a parent & a Sunday School teacher I find this is integral for good studies. The activities were easy to execute & were adaptable if materials weren't available (or the teacher wasn't particularly organised that morning)...  The studies were able to be completed in a suitable amount of time & weren't arduous for the child.  Overall we are really enjoying the Dig- In Discipleship studies we have received & we feel that they are an asset to our children' spiritual growth.

One of my Sunday School class members....

There are six studies in the Dig-In Discipleship Study series:  
* Follow the Leader
* Battle Gear
* Pastures, Paths & Parties
* True Identity
* Good Advice
* Pray This Way (to be released very soon)

These are available from  Christian Education Publications for $5.06 each or from Penny's website for $5.95 each. 

For more of my daily October posts please visit HERE

Day 29/31 - Around the Farm

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Some of my favourite photos from a quick walk around the farm the other week!  

Have a wonderful day

 For more posts please visit HERE

Day 28/31 - Seed Starting: an interesting observation

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

For the past couple of years I've attempted to start my own seeds rather than purchase partially grown seedlings.  This has been met with varying successes, but as with any gardening endeavours it's about being thankful for your successes & learning from your mistakes.  I've often wondered why I can't have the large seedlings I so long for even after ensuring the seedlings have sufficient growing time & the care that is recommended.  

I realised a couple of years ago that it is smarter to utilise our house windows 'greenhouse' type abilities when growing seedlings rather than keep them outside in the colder temperatures ( they were protected from the frost).  This meant that come August our windows are lined with seed post. This gave me much more success with the quantity of successful seed starts I got, but I was still puzzled as to why mine were on the smaller side when it came time to transplant them.  I always purchased quality seed starting mix to plant them in & kept their soil moist.  I also used peat pots which were recommended to me as they break down quickly & therefore I didn't need to disturb the roots when replanting the seedling.

This year, however, I didn't purchase enough peat pots to satisfy my requirements so I found some older black plastic pots to use for the remaining seeds.  While I had good success with the seeds sprouting, to my surprise the plants in these black pots quickly surpassed their peat pot equals in size.  Each of these trays holds the same variety of tomato started at exactly the same time from the same packet of seeds.  The growth in the black pots was so large that I had troubles photographing the Amish Paste tomato seedlings.  (Sorry if the colours are strange, I had been playing with my camera & quickly snapped these without thinking.)

We can only surmise that the black plastic warms the soil promoting more prolific growth.  Needless to say, next year we are forgoing the peat pots & will use black plastic pots instead.  It will be very interesting to see the outcomes for other plants as we only used them for the tomatoes!

So what gardening tips have you found work for you?  I'd love to hear of any successes you've had!

Have a wonderful day

 For more posts please visit HERE

Day 27/31 - Our summer garden experiment

Monday, October 27, 2014

After two dismal years of summer gardening we've decided to attempt to garden differently over this coming summer.  Our blistering hot summers tend to wilt all but the hardiest plants.  Our dry climate means that to successfully grow a garden a lot of water is required.  As we don't have enough water in dams to provide adequately for a proper sized garden, we decided that at least we'd plant a smallish garden  in the hopes of garden fresh tomatoes & a few other veges.

This shadehouse came with the property & last summer we removed it from it's original (terrible) position & tucked it up out of the way.  As we were talking about summer gardening & the challenges it brings here, we thought of this shadehouse & how we could utilise it to meet our needs.  Sadly it was in terrible disrepair, but today the children & I decided to clean it up.  We removed old vines attached to it.  We braved countless spiders & enormous spiderwebs!  We removed the shadecloth from each end & the posts which were unattached ( there is one attached one left & I'm not sure if I can remove it  as it looks to be supporting ~ I'll get Dave to check it when he has a chance).  Finally the shade house was ready, except that the ground was covered in a very small amount of soil before it hit hard rock- like ground that is typical of an ironbark ridge ~ obviously not great gardening soil.

Attempting to get a photo of myself covered in dirt!

So we took the ute up to the shearing shed &  shovelled the composted manure that still lay there from the original owners shedded sheep operation. Shovelful by shovelful we loaded the ute with this beautiful soil.  It ended up being a terrible day for it at the wind came in strong gusts & caused us to get covered in the dirt (I'm fairly sure I'll wake up a foot taller tomorrow after all the compost I ingested today)!  Finally we had enough to fill the garden adequately for the plants I had raised from seed (which we then planted).  

The job is not complete, although we are very happy with the progress so far.  A watering system is being added (negotiations about the best type are currently under way)!  We are also going to fence this to keep any livestock that may escape into the houseyard out (I've lost too many plants to lambs or cows already).  
If this is successful we will then look at building portable shade houses for the other gardens in future years.

Meanwhile I also have a few other things to plant in the other gardens which I'm hoping will survive our summer regardless - my 'small garden' is now definitely a little larger than originally planned!  

I hope you have a wonderful gardening season this year!

 For more posts please visit HERE

Day 26/31 - Sunday Psalms

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Sing to the Lord a new song;
sing to the Lord, all the earth.

Sing to the Lord, praise His name;
proclaim His salvation day after day.

Psalm 96:1-2

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Day 25/31 - A garden visit

Saturday, October 25, 2014

It's been almost 12 months since we visited the Digger's Club St Erth Garden, but I still remember vividly the beauty & peacefulness of our visit.  I've been hoping to post about it ever since. While we were in Melbourne last November we took the opportunity of a free afternoon to journey through some of Victoria's prettiest country.  As we were close to this garden & since both myself & the children (who have all grown about a foot since then) all had free entry we decided to have a quick look.  We ended up staying until closing time enjoying the green, lush, beauty that is everywhere!  It was one of the highlights of our long weekend away. 

I was so thankful to find that even the professional gardeners have to cover their vegetable patches in bird netting.  I am not alone in this! I found their combinations of plants very interesting & am entirely jealous of their average rainfall which is over double our own.  Even revisiting the photos (which are not the best quality & I apologise ~ it was before I received my new DSLR camera, but after my old one broke) brings a peacefulness.  I would love to revisit this beautiful part of God's Creation & am looking forward to one day visiting one of her sister gardens.

Have a lovely day friends!

 For more posts please visit HERE
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