Showing posts from 2018

Home Made

So the other thing that I've been working on and really, really enjoying this year is doing more around home, mostly in regards to cooking and growing food. We get a box from Birdsong Market Garden just outside Toowoomba each week to ten days. It's chock-full of biodynamic vegetables which taste like they're meant to (the CORN - oh my goodness, the CORN!!) and have the nutrients that they're meant to! 

Being a big 'seasonal box', it meant that I have had one or two items in it that I wouldn't normally choose or haven't even heard of. Instead of this being a problem, I've actually enjoyed the challenge of using up the unknown vegetable. I've cooked things and made things that I never would have done previously and I've learned a lot!

First up this year was jam. OK, so not all that healthy. But when the fruit is free and arrives in boxfuls, you make jam. Or in our case, you make marmalade.

The other thing I've made was sauerkraut. I have prob…

Equine Therapy

It's been soooo long since I've posted here......I promise this time I have a decent excuse! Technology is driving me bonkers. It's really not a good year for laptops and phones this year.
The good news is that I've still been taking photographs to blog about, so I can get them posted and blogged about now that our technology woes are sorted.
This photograph is of a new resident on our lovely acre here! She's a young Australian stock horse on loan from friends and we are loving having her here. Nature Girl was given the honour of naming her, thanks to our friend, who had previously referred to her as "Silver Mare". After many weeks of deliberation, she announced the chosen name for our very first equine friend: Britt (short for Brittney).

Despite initial grunty references to 'that thing in the yard', Mr Man (12), has become a huge fan of our horse and enjoys riding her bareback. When asked to nominate a skill to learn as part of home school, he …

Just Call Me Susie-Home-Maker

I've been really busy lately! More so than usual - and busy doing life-giving, home-y things, which is nice.

Sourdough starter started a few weeks ago, but I went away camping for a few days with a friend and four of my children...........the starter got over-fermented and ended up mouldy, so I had to chuck it out. Then it got cold. I got busy. So the starter hasn't started again. But the rye flour is here ready to go! Yoke Mardewi's Sourdough book is so inspirational and practical. I'm so glad I asked for and received it one Mother's Day.

There's nothing better than slicing and toasting a fresh piece of sourdough bread. Now, I know you may be wondering how the flip I get time to make my own jolly bread, let alone sit down and eat it? I often wonder myself, actually. The trick to it is that sourdough needs lots of time to rise and become ready to bake. So there's lots of leaving it to rise, kneading for a few minutes then leaving it again. I find it quite c…

Biblical Womanhood

The very day after I post about womanhood, Kelly Needham posts her talk on Biblical Womanhood recently in Jamaica.


What is womanhood?

Well, it's been a while and I've been doing some very deep thinking and praying about my own version of the disastrous Queensland Government's 'Strategy for Women'.

Here's my version, as promised.

Strategy for Women The hallmark of womanhood is endurance. Women can withstand more emotional and mental trauma than men. We are strong in the long haul of challenges. We endure. We see things through when there's no hope and things are bleak.

Women are nurturers. It is biological and innate. If we can't have babies, then we nurture something else: pets, plants, nieces/nephews, friends' children or friends themselves. To deny this fact is to deny biology. Women care. We give life and nurture life.

Women do NOT need to become men to be 'empowered'. Our empowerment comes from meekness and as previously mentioned, endurance. We are quietly strong and do not need to do what men do to be complete. We are enough.

Women in Queensland literally bring new life to…

Women in Queensland

I happened to pick up a glossy copy of the Queensland Government's 'Strategy for Women 2016-2021' at my local library the other day, knowing it'd be good for a laugh - or a cry.

Flipping through the pages that had no-doubt cost the tax-payer a lot, I wasn't surprised to see the usual lines and half-truths about women, men and our society.

So here's my rebuttal to this glib and smarmy document that has a few myths and lies in amongst the admittedly admirable noble ideas of aiming for the empowerment, safety and appreciation of Queensland women.

1. Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says in her message ".....there is still much work to be done as we move towards a society where gender equality truly exists."

Um, no. Much work has been done in the past (giving women the right to vote, allowing women to be paid the same amount as men for doing exactly the same job, etc). We're now in a place where men are suffering too, and often worse than women. Male suicide…

Brendan Malone - Church and State Summit 2018

Brendan Malone instantly caught my interest because he has five children. Us families with more than 2.5 children need to stick together, haha! Second of all, he is the media representative for Focus on the Family in New Zealand. I love Focus on the Family and all they do, so I was immediately interested!

Now, Brendan spoke a lot over the summit and his talk on euthanasia I found very difficult to listen to. It was quite harrowing. However, first I'd like to write about his first topic and work through them chronologically.

First up, Mr Malone talked about EFFECTIVISM. It's not a 'real' word and I have a little wiggly red line underneath it as I sit here typing in my Blogger dashboard! Basically, Mr Malone's point was that we need to be an 'effectivist' rather than an 'activist' - ie. put our energy into activities that will be effective and not waste our precious time. So, be effective. Think about what you do and what you're putting your energy …

Opening Night at Church and State Summit

John Anderson, former Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the National Party was the first speaker at Church and State Summit for 2018 - and my favourite speaker at the summit.

Shamefully, I realised that I'd put him in the 'gentleman' basket, but hadn't realised how intelligent and eloquent he is. Duh - he was Deputy PM, of course he's gotta be intelligent!

"Politicians are a mirror image of the society that puts them there." - John Anderson
Mr Anderson talked about the similarities between the fight William Wilberforce and his team had when they fought to abolish slavery. Lord Melbourne (speaking to Wilberforce in parliament) was the first to utter the nonsense of 'church and state should be separate'. Needless to say, the movie 'Amazing Grace' (the story of William Wilberforce and team to abolish slavery) and a biography of William Wilberforce have been added to my reading list for 2018!

So, the history of those wanting to keep morality out…

Church and State Summit 2018

Last weekend, I attended this conference. There were many great speakers there, including former Deputy Prime Minister John Anderson - all with the same message for Christians in Australia regarding politics:

If you believe and enjoy freedom of speech, religion and the right to conduct your life as you see fit in this Judeo-Christian culture, alarm bells are ringing.

It's time to do something about the ridiculousness in our political situation.

All speakers had the same things to say:

1. Sign up for newsletters from Australian Christian Lobby, Australian Family Association, Right to Life, Cherish Life, Emily's Voice and any other Christian newsletter or informative newsletter you can find so you know what is happening. I would also add to that the Friday Fax by Austin Ruse from C-FAM in the US who keeps an eye on the United Nations. What they're doing in the UN is truly terrifying.

2. Join a political party. You choose one. Do some research on their policies and JO…

Samosas a la 'thrown-together'

So I took a risk today and bung together a rather slap-shod version of samosas. Have you ever had a samosa? They're a deliciously hot filled pastry, usually with vegetables and/or meat. The pastry is triangular in shape and two or three of them will give you a pretty decent feed.

I had a few decent veggies in the fridge, thanks to the amazing crew at Birdsong Market Garden. Plus, of course, puff pastry! I chopped up six stalks and leaves of chard (silverbeet), a small capsicum, five stalks of spring onions and a grated carrot. I chucked in some salt, pepper, tumeric and a curry blend to the veggies, left them overnight in the fridge.

Sparkles and I cut up the puff pastry sheets into four squares, put a spoon of the veggie mix in the middle and folded them over, sealing the edges with a fork. Sparkles brushed them with milk while I put the rest of the mix into filo pastry for the freezer for a quick meal another day!

Thirty minutes at 180C and we had some pockets of hot spicy veggi…

Peer Tutoring

In a blog I read a few years ago, a rather angry mum tore strips off mothers of big families because "they use older children for babysitting" among other untrue and misunderstood things. It was a petty rant, really. The one comment that stuck with me was the complaint that mums of big families use older children for babysitting.

I'm a mother of seven amazing children and I am a qualified primary school teacher. I'm going to let you in on a little secret: children working with children in different age groups is very good for them! Now, I know what you're saying: "Maya, the blogger that had a go at big families was having a go at mothers using older children to babysit younger children, not in regards to school!"

As part of my teacher training, it was suggested to us that having older children come into the classroom and help younger ones learn to read was a brilliant concept. I totally agree! But why? Why is having older children help younger children so…

Dear PT

Dear PT,

I used to think that people who went around dressed in exercise clothes were big show-offs. Like this:

After relenting and engaging you, dear PT, to help me manage my anxiety and depression, I see it differently.

When I see someone wearing fitness clothes, I want to cheer them on or pat them on the back! I know that no matter what they look like, they have decided to do something positive and healthy. I know how hard it is to motivate yourself to do something besides occasionally go for a walk....and so now I see enthusiasm, health, dedication and positivity when I see that fitness gear.

This time last year, I was post-natal and wondering how I could recover from birth and more importantly, relieve my anxiety/depression levels. I didn't look like I needed to lose weight, but I felt yuck.

We started to meet and I was feeling a bit awkward. However, after our first training session, I felt amazing. Sore, tired....but amazing! I found that I wanted to do little sessions on my own…

Home School - The First Week

Our first week of home schooling has flown by.....and I have to get on here and tell you all about it because it's so jolly fantastic that I feel like I'm going to burst if I don't get it out and tell you!

This year, instead of doing DE (Distance Education), we are registering with the HEU (Home Education Unit) and I am writing our learning program. I have had an absolute blast writing the children's learning plans for this year. It hasn't been easy - no way! I've had to work hard and concentrate and give up sleep. But overall, I feel very satisfied with what I've put together.

A week in, it appears to be working!
So when thinking about writing the plan, I thought about life and the priorities in life for our family. In my head, I compiled a list of things, in order or priority:

1. Knowing Jesus Christ, God and the Bible. Prayer and Christian life. 2. Living out those principles - fruits of the spirit (Galatians 5:22), etc. 3. English and Mathematics 4. Mu…

A Conversation with Dr Mark Robinson MP

So yesterday on Vision Radio, Robbo and Becki were discussing politics with Dr Mark Robinson, the State MP for Cleveland - now Oodgeroo - electorate. Dr Robinson is a Christian who is not afraid to stand up for Christian values in our state parliament. It's desperately needed with the current political and social climate in Australia which is getting further and further away from Australian Christian heritage and what has made our country the fantastic place that it is. He's also a father-of-seven which clearly means he's a great person, too!

Dr Robinson was taking questions from listeners, so I took the opportunity to ask him about something I have been noticing amongst my friends and family in regard to politics. How does one person or one family engage with politics and their political representatives to make sure that their voices are heard?

Many of my friends, particularly busy mums like me find it difficult to know what to do to to engage with their political represent…

Horses and Home Schooling

Horses and a home school get-together were two very much enjoyed activities the other day. My sweet Nature Girl (7 next week) is an avid horse-lover - no idea where she gets that from, of course - and it was great to finally get her on a horse to enjoy a real ride. She's sat on a horse previously and we had a very in-depth conversation about whether it was actually a 'ride' considering the horse took one step while she sat bareback aside the horse.
To get to our destination for the morning, we took a little scenic tour around near Pittsworth which doubled the time it took to drive there. It was very quiet in the car with only two of my girls....I was a bit worried they were asleep!
We finally arrived and they had their first ride.
Interestingly, Nature Girl was the first to ride, even though Little Leader volunteered to go first. Little Leader said "Yep! I'll go first!", put her helmet on and walked with me around beside the pony - but then she realised just how…