Saturday, December 29, 2012

A Days Work

Fantastic weather here today, for getting things done. Low 20's and overcast. Happy me!

The Boys (hubby, Nj & Timothy) are digging in the garden to help get the last of our seedlings in. We're waaay behind as gardening plans fell apart a month or so ago. We've been harvesting tomatoes as of this week and still have silverbeet and spinach on the go from winter. Zucchini have been in a couple of weeks and an additional 6 tomato plants went in about the same time - they were about 30cm high already when they went in. Today we'll be adding lettuce, capsicum, pumpkin (take 2!), parsley (take 2 too), spring onions, basil... and... ah yes, cucumbers.

Melinda and I are busy in the kitchen (I'm having a quick cuppa break while I'm typing). She's currently pulling all the meat of a roast chicken and will then turn it into chicken and corn soup. I've done the dishes, am getting pasta whipped up for lunch and am about to create a mango satay chicken recipe to go in the crockpot for tonight's dinner.

Other kitchen plans for today include making up a couple of Tuna Bakes for the fridge, straining and freezing lamb broth, sorting the fridges to make the menu plan for the next few days. And of course, a few more loads of dishes!

Once the digging is done, I'll go help with the planting of the seedlings and then hubby and I will spend the remainder of the afternoon using the motorised trimmer on all the path edges. Kids will be cleaning out the chook house and freshening the nesting boxes with more hay.

If I've time this evening, I'm going to try and catch up on blog reading from the last month or so. If not tonight, tomorrow arvo :-)


Saturday, December 1, 2012

Works every time!

Sometime back, I posted on my personal FB page a rhetorical question about why when you are gone all day, the house looks like a bomb has hit it when you return. It turns out I'm not the only one to experience this and others were keen to know the answer if I ever found out. It was one of those questions we never expected to have an answer to.

But I have found the answer!

and it works every time :o)

and yeah, I was probably 'over thinking' to come to this point but hey, now that the problem has been solved, maybe it's not 'over thinking', any more???

I'll give you my 'over thinking' process first - much of this happens when I'm washing dishes. I do a LOT of dishes.

-This chaos when we come home from a holiday, doesn't happen. We walk into a spotless house and even when we unload the car, there's not that much craziness.
-When we're gone all day, lots of prep is done for the going out. Packing lunch boxes, nappy bags, shopping lists, things to be returned to another family, fuel in the car, pump up the tyres, wash the fruit, feed the animals... and so on.
-Because of this, much of the usual stuff doesn't get done.
-Neither does the 'when we come home we need....' stuff get done.
-Result... we come back to a house with important stuff not done and unload a car load of stuff into a house that's not ready for it and it takes a couple of days to catch up and recover.

The solution?

Make the 'Margin' bigger.
Get ready to go out for the day, earlier.

Yup, that's it.

Now, when we're to be gone for the day... we spend the day before preparing.

Here's the list of key things to get done THE DAY BEFORE
-Clean the bathroom and toilet
-Clean the kitchen and benches to spotless
-Empty all bins and replace liners
-Prepare a meal to come home to
-Prepare a breakfast for the day you're out... that won't need many dishes. I like zucchini slice. Can be served in napkin and if needed, in the car as we go.
-Have all clothes-washing, washed and drying (or dry, folded and away if you can pull that off!)
-Dining table cleared and wiped down
-As much surface stuff AWAY... as though someone else will be using your house while you're gone. I like to grab a box or basket and gather up all those little things that are in the wrong place. Sort them into the rooms they need to go to, on my now sparkling dining table. Then get the team together and get it put away!
-Floors swept / vacuumed
-Pack anything you can that needs to go with you

Bonus points if you get the next days clothes out for everyone so that there's no "I can't find...s" on the day you'll be gone!

Then on the day you're out... you only have to do the last minute things... make beds, feed animals, get dressed and GO!

Problem solved.

and yes, you CAN do it.

and the more people in your house, the more important it is that you do, do it.

Unless you want growing chaos on your return, of course :o)

(okay, in finding that link above, I've just realised I have a whole bunch of organising posts that never got 'published' so keep an eye out for those!)

... and if you want to keep up with our every day happenings, 'Like' the House of Bogwitz Facebook page.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

It's easier to update our busy life on Facebook than on the blog... so FB is where it happens and the blog when I have time to sit and think before posting! Which is not often with new baby Michael in the house!

Find me on Facebook :-)

and one day soon I'll make some time to put a FB button on the blog!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Sanity on the wall

on the wall - literally... a good thing, not bad LOL

My new FLYLADY calendar arrived last week after not using one from the start of this year. It was a mistake to not continue on! I'd been using a smaller calendar. A very nice one. But smaller. Too small, it turns out. Much easier when you can see what's going on in life, from a few metres away vs needing to be within 1 metre. It wasn't getting used and we have not been as organised as we would like to have been.

Problem Solved!

A bonus with the Flylady calendar is that it is a 17month calendar - allowing plenty of overlap time... useful for those that are slack in re-ordering or for those that like to plan out the next year in advance. A bit of both for me this time!

Our colour coding is: Blue for Family; Yellow for Kids i.e. Piano, Boys Brigade, Girl's Brigade, Co-Op etc; Green is for Church activities and Pink for other appointments.

I also like the big spaces to plot it out as the day happens. Something in the morning goes at the top of the space. Evening at the bottom. Something all day, goes all over the space and so on.

I won't be making the mistake of trying a different calendar again!!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

French Onion Soup Mix

The end result!

We have 2 recipes I love to use dehydrated french onion soup mix in... and I recently read the back of the package and as expected, it's full of nasties. Even just 621 and 635 are enough to make me change something. Do some serious research on what you're putting into your body with these numbers. 635 in particular changes children's behaviour around here, so I'm sure it changes mine too!... and from the diets most kids have these days, it's something many are consuming multiple times a week :-(  It's toxic. It's not legal in some countries yet our  government still allows it here. YOU don't have to allow it though. It's not something God ever meant for us to have in our bodies. Junk in, Junk out.

Sooo.... I made up a HUGE batch of French Onion Soup, with 4kgs of onions. I also used about a table spoon of Celtic Sea Salt in it. I kept the liquid low by using already concentrated beef broth & stock (and thus reducing time needed in the dehydrator), and, at the end of the process I have a 1.3L container filled with home made 'powdered' French Onion Soup mix to use as I normally would the toxic packets. It took about 48hours-ish to dehydrate the 'thick French Onion Soup Slop'

I like to do French Onion Lamb Chops in the slow cooker... 2kg or more of cheap lamb chops with French onion soup mix sprinkled over them. About 2tb for the first 2kg and then 3tsp for each extra kilo of chops. Some like to add in some tomato passata with theirs. I prefer it without. Cook on low for 'about that long' (sorry I can't be more specific - I'd say 8 hours-ish?)

The other main recipe I'll be using this mix for is Apricot Chicken. 1.6-2kg chicken thighs, 2 tins Apricot Nectar, 4tb french onion soup mix, 1/2 cup dried apricots or a 400g-ish tin of pie apricots, and one sliced onion. That's the recipe I start with... now I also add in about 800g-1kg of carrots peeled and sliced, and also 2 cups of green beans. Again, probably about 8 hours on low in the slow cooker?

And yes, I have large slow cookers / crock pots... 6L!

Crunchy on the dehydrator tray

Broken pieces ready to 'powder' in the food processor

A Lazy Sunday Arvo

A rarity. These days, anyway.

Birthday breakfast (Melinda is 10 today), Church fellowship, birthday lunch, nap, a chance to sit and breathe. Needed. So very much needed.

Listening to The Olympics Opening Ceremony in the background (hubby watching over a week late)

The relaxing scent of a Lemongrass Zest candle (a treat to myself from Dusk on our Friday night shopping trip)

Pondering the days and weeks ahead. The clock ticking FAST. Faster than I'd like. 5 weeks out from due date.

A chest freezer bought but yet to arrive - this week hopefully?? Had thought it would be here by now. Then some cooking to do.

Much spending has been happening around here actually. Rather Nutty. I usually say to Pete "Money In, Money Out". This last month it has felt more like Money Out, Money In, Money Out and Money Out Again. A Tandem Pram. A new baby car seat. Car air conditioning. Car servicing. Sports Doctor Appointments, MRI for Pete's knee, Doona Covers for the boys.

Much illness has been here too... Gastro for all except Charlotte (Her avoiding it was a very specific answer to prayer - Thank You God!)... Followed on by a dose of flu for most of us. The rest escaped with barely any... maybe 24 hours... I 'scored' about 3 days. Gone now.

Looking ahead for quiet days and weeks.

Oh, and I had a birthday in there too.
37 blessed years.
Mid family gastro - aah the timing.
NEVER regret a year being added to your life. Don't complain, even in jest about the approach of old age - be it another whole life time away or where you are right now. Too many have passed on that would delight in more years. More years with loved ones. Don't wish your years to stop adding up.
I was blessed with some lovely surprises... but I'll show and tell about them, in another post :-)

A funny from Timothy to close on... had his usual call out from the loo this morning "I need someone to wipe my bottom!!!" to which he got the now standard answer of "Yes! You can do it". I also tacked on at the end "You're 4 years old!!" to which he replied, rather indignant "I'm NOT 4 years old, I'm 4!!"
Such fun as little ones gain understanding of the ins and outs of speech.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Home Ed Tracking

BEFORE Pete damaged his knee, I was well on the way to working out our new home ed tracking... in fact, that's what I spent many hours of the time they were at camp, doing! Inspired by The Paper Maid I was working on the system that I want to have up and running ASAP. To avoid as many academic bumps as possible with the arrival of our next blessing in early September

Aside from printing out the first page in a 'not quite complete' format I hadn't gotten around to completing the last subject column needed or printing out a final copy and binding it with a binder I have on loan.

So with today not having to take Pete to work and the older 2 being at holiday club, I took the time to finish it off and here it is...

I cut down a 'manilla' folder for the front and back covers

and inside, one page does 4 weeks for one child

I now have everything scheduled from now till the end of the year. Next steps are to do all photocopying and book binding that I need to do, to go with it. Our nephews are about to join us for the next few days so I might not be able to get to that till after the weekend... or maybe they'll all be so busy playing together that I will have the time??

Too Busy!

This year's Father/Son camp, the weekend before last, was a roaring success... until about half an hour before lunch. Less than 2 hours before returning home Pete injured his knee in a game of soccer and hasn't been able to walk since!
Thankfully due to another couple of dad's car-pooling, there was a spare driver available to get our car load of boys back home - very blessed!

The impact on life has been HUGE - look after your knees!

Because Pete can't walk without crutches, there is next to nothing he CAN do. A bit of ironing sitting down or feeding Charlotte but that's about it. Everything he needs to do for himself takes 2-3 times longer. He needs to spend 45 minutes a day doing exercises for his leg.

I have been doing most of his driving. An extra 10 hours of driving a week. Plus taking him to physio appointments. Plus a few hours extra of home tasks that he does. Other tasks are just not getting done because my time won't stretch any further and he can't do them. And what *I* can do with a 7mo baby belly is limited too! There is much to be done by way of moving furniture, heavy furniture, before bubs arrives. That just has to wait at the moment while we HOPE he'll be fully functioning way before our time for that is up!

Today is the first day I haven't driven him to work because he's driven himself. He may not be able to walk but is now ready to drive. The problem is his leg gives way any time it needs to be straight - driving doesn't need this and after a couple of days of doing test drives around the block with sudden braking thrown in to really test it, he headed off this morning BY HIMSELF - yes, I asked him to call me once he safely arrived!!

Even today I think sanity might be returning, not having spent the hour taking him. If he continues being okay to drive to work and back, life will be much better even though still crazy. I'll still need to do our milk collection - crutches and a 10L bucket of milk, anyone? and also Boys Brigade, Girl's Brigade & Piano and a wide variety of extra home tasks... but at the moment, I'll take whatever I can!

This too shall pass - and I am sooo looking forward to when that time shall be.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

A Few of My Favourite things (2)

We've had Tap-Tap for years now. I umm'd and aah'd over it for some time... from memory it was $39 which 8 plus years ago felt like a HUGE amount on a simple toy. Figures that make you CRINGE, stay in your mind for years LOL I've since come to realise it's one of the BEST value things we've bought if you work out the hours use it's had! Ah ha! I see it's another item that has come down in price! Not by loads but every few dollars counts, right?

Every now and then I've been tempted to add another set so 2 children can play at once but I think part of the great vaule is that it IS one child only. The child is learning and loving to play by themselves. Siblings are great in some activities and it's wonderful to have company but it's equally important - for both their development and a mother's sanity, that they learn to enjoy activities by themselves too!

The suggested age range is 4-7 years... our experience has been about 2.5-8 years and after about 8, the kids still like showing the younger ones some ideas of what pictures to create.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A moment in time

At about 2.10pm today, this is what was happening here while I was throwing dinner together...
Enjoying time and a book together

Nj wanted afternoon tea so he's making banana pikelets

Timothy and his crocodile face

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

BBQ Chicken & Bacon Pizza


Our delicious lunch today - Pizza with a crispy spelt and coconut oil base topped with tomato paste, small amount of BBQ sauce, BBQ roasted chicken, mushroom, pineapple, cheese and bacon.

Recipe for the base:
Mix together 2 tsp dry yeast, 1.25c spelt flour, 1tsp sugar, 1/2tsp celtic sea salt, 1.5tb coconut oil
Add 1/3 cup very warm water (just cool enough to hold a finger in for 10 seconds)
Mix well and leave to rise
Roll out to the size of your pizza tray - I just used a large slice tray.
Use extra flour as needed to aid with rolling.
This recipe is very thin!
Allow to rise again on tray OR do as I did and top as is!

I added about 1.5 cups diced chicken, 1/2 cup bacon strips, 4 good sized mushrooms, 2tb tomato paste, 2tsp bbq sauce, 2 rings of pineapple (chopped) and cheese as needed. Next time I might add a sprinkling of herbs.
Chicken down the bottom so as not to dry out and bacon on top so it gets cooked well.

Very popular and fed 1 adult, 2 primary kids, a 4yo and a baby. NO leftovers... so when making for the family I'll double it up!


Monday, June 18, 2012

A Few of My Favourite Things... (1)

We've been home-schooling since 'the beginning'. This is the 5th year. I wanted one of these pencil sharpeners for a couple of years before I got one and even then I resisted because of the cost - $50 at the time! It's come down a little since then, but still not cheap.

I ended up getting it with birthday money from my mother-in-law... Now, after a few years use, I have NO regrets! Birthday money is great for things like that... items you'd love to have but seem extravagant. NOW though, I'd quite happily buy it from the home ed budget because I've gotten so much great use out of it and it will last for many more years to come.

What have you 'splashed out on' for home schooling and are now so glad you did? Anything that seemed like a good idea at the time and you now really regret?

PS I *think*/*hope* I have removed the word verification from my blog... can someone let me know please? They are getting harder and harder to read! If spam becomes an issue I'd rather just mod all comments than make you fry your brains figuring them out!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Poached eggs

(FYI... life has been super busy and this post has been sitting here for almost a week, 3/4 complete! The family has disappeared for a couple of hours so I am determined to finish it off!!)

I've only ever tried poaching an egg once before this last week, and it didn't go so well. It was more like scramble-poached egg. Not the desired result!
So when a friend on FB showed her perfectly poached eggs, I had to ask HOW??? I did what she said and ...

Ta Daa!!
One perfectly poached egg! (The only things missing are the smoked salmon which is now on the shopping list and some baby spinach leaves, which are now growing in the garden)

What to do?

Bring water to the boil (I found about 3 inches worked well) add a generous splash of vinegar (1-2tb?) Make sure it comes to the boil again, swirl to get a whirlpool effect then crack the egg into the middle of it, quite close to the surface of the water. Wait about 2.5-3 minutes then remove with a slotted spoon, or as I did, with my Tupperware whisk. The yolk remains runny... just try it a couple of times to work out the timing for what YOU would personally call 'a perfect egg texture'. Enjoy!


Monday, June 11, 2012

Days 7-8

Yes, I stopped at day 7!! But the day after is always good to know about too I reckon :)

Day 7
Pretty much the same. Generally just feeling really good. If/when I do this again, I think it would be better/easier to do it with someone else IRL or online. Much better, yes.

Day 8
Total of 3.2kg down... assuming it's fluid though possibly some real weight in there too as calorie intake was not high. I'll check again at the end of another week and see what's happened with it.
I had a couple of glasses of milk to start my day - I'm liking the 'not feeling feral' in the mornings so I think I'll keep with that.
Biggest thing I've noticed is that my stomach has shrunk so I'm feeling full waaay sooner than ever before in my memory. I'm eating smaller meals than the kids and feeling great... so I think I'll keep with that too!

Breakfast ended up being 2 glasses of milk and a hash brown... that was it!
Lunch: Good ol' tomato soup and a slice of vegemite toast
Dinner tonight: Ravioli bake that I made a couple of night's ago, and some salad. VERY much looking forward to it!


Sunday, June 10, 2012

Days 4-6

Whoa! Life has been busy - I should never think that I'll just get up and post here in the morning... I don't think it'll ever happen!

Day 4 ~ Thursday
Pretty easy again and meals for others were not getting to me so much. Over 2kg lost and  my ankles have much less of an indent from the tops of my socks, at the end of the day!

Day 5 ~ Friday
The same as Thursday mostly? I didn't need to cook meals today - just reheating leftovers for the kids lunches and heating up a meal I made on Thursday for the family dinner so that probably made the day quite bearable food-wise

Day 6 ~ Saturday
Started rudely with a MAJOR leg cramp in the wee hours of the morning. I then stayed up for about an hour till I was more certain it wasn't going to re-cramp once I fell asleep again. Back in bed just after 5am for a couple more hours sleep. Over 3kg lost now!! Ankles looking much better though still room for improvement. I'd say there's still at least 2kg fluid in the legs that could go. Food wise fine - I even managed to make Pete a favourite of mine - poached egg on muffin with cheese & tomato - just because a friend told me how she successfully poached eggs and I REALLY wanted to give it a go while it was still fresh in my mind!
I've had a small amount of Celtic Sea Salt 3 times today, to help ward off the cramps... just a small dip of the finger tip. A very strong salty flavour but not enough to be horrid.

Over these last few days, drinking quantities have remained consistent in both water and milk. I'm wondering how much fluid might come back once I stop the full time milk??
Energy levels have been normal still, which is great.
One great thing I have noticed is that I no longer feel YUCK in the mornings - woo hoo! While pregnant I don't feel great first thing, feel like I REALLY need to eat something so I do. I feel GREAT while I'm eating and then about 30min later I'm feeling horrid again. This is probably about 5 days a week. So far with the milk, I haven't experienced this once! I might feel a little off and have my morning milk but after that, nothing goes downhill - it's great! My stomach obviously likes the ease of digesting the raw milk!

Almost at the end hey! Am looking forward to Monday, and also to just doing the week's meal planning on Sunday night!!


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Today's Lunch

Might just  be the best ever cauliflower cheese bake I've ever made!

before baking

Smells amazing, kids are all loving it... think I'll add it as a regular to the winter lunch menu. I don't know what made me think of doing it as a meal - till now it's always accompanied a main meal, like a roast dinner. Successful enough today for it to be a regular lunch meal on it's own.

Today's sauce was made with a spelt flour roux but next time I think I'll try it with almond flour, to keep it grain free and hopefully that will work out just as well

(I waaaant soommmmmmmmeeee!)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Day 3

Rather boring on the milk end (thankfully!)... still drinking the same amounts of milk / water. Still serving up foods I'd like to be eating - though possibly the 'craving' for it is a little less? Though I did start a list of meals today that crossed my mind, to make for next week when I'm eating again. Haha - maybe that helped lessen the cravings?

Energy levels fine - today a no nap day and I'm feeling good.

Almost half way through now. 4 days to go... seems like a long 4 days ahead still though!

Oh - and most importantly, I'm only getting up for the loo once a night... I was rather afraid it would be more often. It's not the getting up that bothers me so much as I go back to sleep pretty easily... it's the house being so cold at about 10 degrees!! Yeah, I'm a wuss :-)

On a totally different note, a friend popped over this afternoon for a lovely couple of hours. Best part of my day!


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Day 2

That's 2 of 7 days down - will I make the 7?? I seriously wonder! The preparing of foods for others is NASTY!! Think I should have put us all on the milk cure at the same time! I can't think of any boring enough food to feed everyone on, that I wouldn't want at the moment!

Drank about the same milk & water as yesterday - same total volume but about 150ml less water and milk instead.
Energy levels are fine... I'm getting up at my usual 5.30am and holding out till 9.30/10pm at night. Today I had a nap but yesterday not - but that's normal life for me anyway!
I did have a couple of small, mostly painless leg cramps last night. I usually get them late pregnancy anyway and they're usually a whole lot more painful than these. I have found that increasing my milk intake in the past has reduced the cramping, so we will see what happens this time!

Results I'm seeing so far... fluid retention seems to be decreasing... I'm 1.3kg less today which would have to be all fluid. I carry too much fluid in my more recent pregnancy's and there's more fluid I can afford to lose. So yes, I'm drinking about 4L a day and losing fluid!

What results can one expect from doing this? Seems the results can be quite varied. This article expands on what is available from a Milk Only diet. Of course, raw milk in your diet on a regular basis is sooo good for you anyway. God knew what he was on about when He spoke of a land of milk and honey being a good thing! It sure wouldn't have been pasteurised milk!!

What I'm hoping for... I'm doing it as a general detox and improvement of the gut (the most important part of our immune system)... along with the hope of reduced edema (fluid retention)... reducing the possibility of developing gestational diabetes (I've never had it but keep getting told that the older I am, the higher the risk) and I'll be following my milk week up with a low grain diet for the remainder of the pregnancy to help with this. I'll also take any of the 'beauty treatment' effects I can get! haha!


Monday, June 4, 2012

Day 1

I have almost survived Day 1 of The Milk Cure. Minutes from now I will be in bed and that counts it as DONE!

Has it been hard? yes and no.
Milk was easy to drink of course, nothing tastes so good as a glass of raw milk! The hardest thing I had to fight was habits. This is not like a diet where you can 'cheat' with a little bit of something and then spend extra minutes exercising to make up for it... this works because ALL I'm having is the raw milk. I cooked 3 dinners tonight... one for today, another for later in the week and then a spinach & ricotta lasagne because the cheese we close to use-by. It's in the freezer for next week, when I am eating again. I don't think I could bear serving it up and not eating even a little bit! So today I couldn't take a bit of golden crunchy cheese off the top or even taste the best looking scrambled eggs I ever made, for the kids lunches and I certainly couldn't indulge in a slice of the most perfect looking spelt loaf I'd made in a while and enjoy it with butter *sigh*. I should keep a wish list of foods I want to eat next week LOL

How much did I drink? Surprisingly little. I'm wondering if it might increase in the next few days. I drank milk when I was hungry and drank water when I was thirsty. That meant 6ooml for breakfast-ish, 600ml for lunch-ish, 300ml late afternoon and 600ml for dinner-ish. I say ish because I spread it out, drinking slowly till I'm full and not hungry again.

Biggest surprise today - was how THIRSTY I was... once I was fully satisfied with milk each time, I was THIRSTY!!
Milk total today was 2100ml and water was about 1750ml... I struggle to drink that much water anyway and no way in this COLD weather we're having with the arrival of winter. Odd!

Hardest thing... the after dinner habit of something sweet to nibble on once kids were in bed and dishes done. I seriously debated with myself for at least 5 minutes as to whether I would ditch the idea of The Milk Cure in exchange for something sweet!! I didn't give in thankfully.

And so tomorrow will be another day... day 2


Sunday, June 3, 2012

Pocket Money

 Someone asked about pocket money on good ol' Facebook and my answer was so long and detailed I thought I'd share it with you here, too. Over the last few years I keep hearing friends asking 'what to do, what to do?' about it and even I was asking for a while... this is what we've developed and I LOVE it.

(direct copy/paste of my FB answer):

Yes for pocket money – better they learn spending mistakes with small amounts of money

What for – we have 3 categories they get a designated amount for. Spend. Save. Give.

Over the last 20months, the older 2 (now 8.5 and almost 10) have been given $2.50 each week. $1 for spend, $1 for save and 50c for give. Timothy has had 50c = 20c 20c & 10c... only because others were getting pocket money. Before this there was no pocket money happening in any decent way because I couldn’t find/figure out a system that matched with our values of hard work, family participation, long-term wise money management.

Spend is what they can spend when they want to, pretty much on what they want to. If they want a larger amount of spending money, they can save up their spend category. We give them the heads up of big event they may want to save their spending for. Sometimes on a big spending occasion... like a family holiday, we might give an extra $5 or $10 ‘just because’ we can. They also love to use their ‘Spending money’ for buying gifts for people.

Save – gets banked every time it adds up to $10. They have their own accounts and this money is for long term savings. Car, house etc. We’ve passed on our ‘cash only for getting a car’ value, and they’re excited to be saving towards these things. It is not able to be withdrawn for other purposes and this is not negotiable. Sometimes they choose to put birthday money in the bank too. Same rules apply.

Give – they can give to offering etc as desired. During children’s talk in church there is an offering box and the money put in here supports 1-2 sponsored children.  Sometimes they like to give extra from their spending money to this or to other giving opportunities... fellowship offering at church (a once a month offering  to be used for people who come to the church for financial help), red shield appeal and so on.

They do not earn this money (spend/save/give). Most importantly, I don’t want them to ever think they’re doing anyone a favour by doing the household jobs they are expected to do because they are a part of this family. This list is LONG. Washing washed, hung, folded, away, vacuuming, bed stripping, new linen on, cat feeding, collecting the mail, kitchen bin & recycling daily, big bins to and from street weekly, vegetable preparation for meals, setting table, clearing table, dishes away, groceries in from the car – and more! These are just a part of normal life. I refuse to be a part of them ever thinking that doing these things is anything more than real life. Secondly... Pete and I do all these types of things and don’t get paid!!

If they want extra money or we want extra jobs done... they get paid for extra jobs. Jobs that fit in this category are jobs that it might be reasonable or normal for others to pay for anyway... Gardening jobs like edges, raking etc and eventually lawn mowing will be added in here, car washing, window washing and so on. A figure will be named for the job i.e. $3 to trim the edge of the nature strip, reduced to $2 if I have to point out bits not done. Sometimes a bonus... Nj was offered $2 for cleaning out the chook shed this week. He did such a great job in work and attitude (was meant to shovel out everything on the floor... did that PLUS cleaned out the nesting boxes then set up new nesting boxes AND shovelled up the pathway to the chook house that was covered with an inch of revolting chook sludge) that we upped it to $4 to bless him for his blessing! It’s times like that, that I can see the way we handle jobs around here IS training good hard workers! (Nj’s biggest weakness has been that he’s easily distracted from any job and he has severely lacked in diligence and excellence in what he does) Extra jobs might come up once a month, on average, at the moment.

We are about to increase pocket money to $5 per week for M & Nj and put Timothy on $2.50
Increasing because they ‘get’ the system and it works for all, and I want to increase the things they are responsible for buying.

And there you have it – the “House of Bogwitz Ethos & Practice of Pocket Money”. Can you tell we’ve had a few years to think it over???? (over think it even??) (minus all the ‘oops, I forgot to mention’ bits, that I’ll think of later)

Friday, June 1, 2012

and stop ???

Doing the maths here and it looks like I only have enough milk for 5 days :o(

So... after actually starting this morning, it looks like I'll have 3 more normal food days and then start with the milk on Monday. It means that when I finish the 5 days, the next lot of milk will be ready for collection and I'll be able to continue and do at least 7 days straight.
but better than only figuring it out a day or two from now?
(and starting was heaps better than I thought it might be... I don't usually start my day with milk! I might from now on though)


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Great Milk Experiment

You might have picked up while reading here, that we drink raw organic milk - milk the way God intended it to be. Not pasteurised. Much much MUCH healthier than the dead white stuff most people drink, that more and more are developing an intolerance to...

So on that note, I am always interested in different things that can be done with such a wonderful God-given resource and this blog entry about The Milk Cure peaked my interest... you're best to read it there as I could never explain it so well unless I completely stole her blog post! And then if you're still interested/intrigued/fascinated, read on to the links she has in the post. And if you don't read on, don't make judgement of what you've chosen not to know about!

Our fortnight's milk arrives tomorrow, so I'll start my 7-10 days of milk on Friday. To start with, I just want to get through one day. One day with no other food will be painful in itself because of habits and because of ME being the one to prepare food for all others in the house!

Okay, that just settled it... I had been debating with myself... tomorrow night's dinner is Fish n Chips for sure! No chance after that for at least 7 days!


Monday, May 28, 2012

Of Mother's Day

A great church service in the morning, easy lunch at home, blessed with lots of cards and crafts from the enthusiastic children. I can't even remember what was had for dinner... it would have been easy and might even have been fish & chips (we have the best EVER fish & chip shop, nearby)

My all time favourite for afternoon tea - lemon meringue cheesecake... I LOVE anything with a really strong lemon taste. We went out with one of my friends and her 2 children, for quite an enjoyable afternoon tea. The ice cream on the plate was an accident... I'm pretty sure it was meant to go on my friend's sticky date pudding which arrived with none, even though it had been requested. They then did make sure she got some too, but it was rather odd having ice cream with cheesecake... to me anyway!

And that, was my Mother's Day. Lovely.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Speed of life!

Could life get any faster??? a possibly dangerous question - I suspect the answer is 'yes' but I sooo don't want to know about it... so let's pretend I never pondered the possibility, okay?

Where have I been? right here, full speed ahead. So much I could have been blogging about but was busy doing it instead with pretty much no breaks in between... let me try and fill you in!

The oldest news first (and MOST exciting)... is that God has blessed us with another baby, so now I am a mama of 5 precious children to raise in the ways of God. WOW! We're due in September with only about 16 weeks to go... I think. I am shocking at keeping track! Is it a surprise? Not really - we have figured out how these things work ;) Was it planned? Not really... no calendars, thermometers and charting. Just God, how He made us and our faith in Him and in His perfection. We kept it to ourselves and a few close friends a while - to enjoy it fully before thoughtless people could make rude comments. Yes, some people do that. They value 'things' more than children and fail to understand our trust in God's leading. I guess it's hard to understand what one doesn't have and experience, oneself... very sad...

Next news... Pete is working again... in a temporary position. Monday this week marks the start of his 3rd week. If they like him enough in an unknown period, they'll make him permanent, if he likes it too of course!
14 weeks of unemployment wasn't necessarily 'fun' but it sure was full of amazing blessings. Our church community is AMAZING. Beyond amazing actually. I just love being part of a church community that comes together to support each other in the way ours does. So blessed. So encouraged.
Though Pete's now being paid, we're living the next couple of months (assuming he keeps working through that time) as though he's not. Keeping the budget mostly nice and tight and building up the emergency fund again.... 'just in case'.

With Pete back at work, I'm busier. He's not here to help juggle life. At the same time I can get more done because he's NOT here. A weird combination, that. Not sure how it works, but it's just the way it it. I guess there's so much more to think about but with him gone, there is more head space available in a day. On days I want the car, I drop him off at a bus stop a couple of KM's away and pick him up from the same area at the other end of the day. If he's getting the bus, he's gone from about 6.55 till about 6pm. If he has the car it's about 7.20 till 5-5.10pm. Not too bad. Still family dinners. He's still here for all the evening activities we seem to have happening.

Homeschooling... is MUCH easier to do with Pete gone. Don't know why, just that it is!

Melinda - who has been wearing glasses for about 3 years now - I think - and patching for most of that time... is now patch free for at least the next 3 months. Glasses still but patch free. She's pretty pleased about that. So am I... nice to not have to be reminding her! Her appointment with her optometrist was this last week and because Pete was working again it was me that took her, and the rest of the kids. I did miss having Pete here and available to do the trip.

The clock is ticking and to bed I must head. I will attempt to come back and update tomorrow on Mother's Day, a family birthday, our home ed co-op plans and 'The Great Milk Experiment'. No promises about tomorrow though, okay? If not tomorrow - it will be soon (That IS a promise!)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Our Prayer Sticks

This has been the best thing we have done to encourage our family to take time to pray together and also the best way we've found to remember many other people to pray for. It's an idea that has already been 'borrowed' a few times so feel free to borrow the idea and make it your own! I got it from this blog and she got it from somewhere on Pinterest and I didn't bother tracking it back from there!

The tin is just a washed baked bean tin, lined inside and out with pretty scrapbooking paper. I finally found tongue depressors for the sticks (instead of icypole sticks that are all too easy to find) via Ebay - there's 50 in our tin but I got a box of 100 so we may add more.

Each stick has written on it someone or something to pray for. Missionaries, friends, family, neighbours both known and unknown. Church elders and deacons, our pastors. A baby for a few someones, red tape to be sped up for another, and so on.

After dinner or after lunch and sometimes both and possibly breakfast soon too, each person takes a stick and we go around the table taking it in turns to pray. Just one or two sentences of prayer for the person/people/family/area of concern on the stick. Timothy (4yo) copies a prayer after me and then says the whole prayer by himself. Everyone else picks their own words.

Once a stick has been used it gets bundled up with the other used ones and tied up with a rubber band till all sticks are 'used' and then we loosen them all and start again. This makes sure we pray for all the people etc and no one gets left out before we repeat.

We're praying
As a family
Daily - or more!
The kids love it and ask for it.
Blessings all around

Give it a go - and remember to keep it simple!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Happy Birthday!

2 Special birthdays in our house today - Timothy is now 4 and Charlotte has turned 1!

I've made these cupcakes for Timothy to share at playgroup - more photo's to come later but Pete has taken the camera to playgroup so I can't get the other pics yet :o)

We had pancakes for breakfast - as requested by the birthday boy. A normal lunch of salad sandwiches will be had before afternoon naps and then Timothy's daily request and Charlotte's much enjoyed Fish & Chips for dinner - must say I am looking forward to that myself LOL

We have a special gathering planned for Saturday, to celebrate (surviving) Charlotte's first year and because of the shared birthday, it's also for Timothy... we probably wouldn't have done a party for him this year, otherwise!


Sunday, April 29, 2012

Timothy, Timothy

A typical Timothy photo pose... at least this time though, he wasn't pulling at the bottom of his eyes whilst announcing "I got blood in here"!!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Dutch Apple Baby - The Bogwitz Way

Our New Amazing Breakfast Dish - Thanks to Jen for putting me onto this!

Today I made it like this:

3 Medium Royal Gala Apples, peeled and sliced to 5mm (Jen's recipe asked for Granny Smith's which I might use in the future, but Royal Gala's are what I had available today)
2tb Rapadura Sugar (use brown sugar if you don't have this - brown sugar is what Jen's recipe asked for)
1tsp Cinnamon OR Mixed Spice (I used Cinnamon today, will try the other next time)
4Tb Butter
4 Large Eggs
1/2c Plain Wholemeal Spelt Flour (Jen's recipe just asked for 'plain flour')
1 Heaped Tb sour cream (Jen's recipe asked for cream, not sour cream)
1/4c Milk

  1. Pre-heat oven to 210 degrees
  2. Melt butter in pan with an oven safe handle (I used a cast iron casserole dish)
  3. Add sugar, spice and apple slices
  4. Saute until the apple slices are nicely softened and the sugar mixture is bubbling
  5. While the apple is cooking, Mix in a bowl with a whisk: Eggs, Flour, Cream, Milk - until smooth
  6. While the mixture in the pan is still hot, pour the eggy mixture over the top.
  7. Place the pan in the oven with plenty of room to the rack above.
  8. It will be ready in 15-20minutes and is done when the top can be pressed lightly as you would for testing a cake, then springs back into place

Mine didn't puff up as much as Jen's does, only about 1cm here, but the edges did curl in nicely as it deflated. I imagine if I did my eggy mix in the blender, it would puff up more.

  • If you mill your own flour, add an extra Tb of flour as your flour is so much more aerated than packaged flour meaning there is less flour in your 1/2 cup than 1/2 cup packaged flour.
  • I imagine this would work great with coconut flour or almond flour, making it grain free as needed - I'll try it one day to find out for sure!  

Cooking  the Apples

Whisking up the egg mixture

Poured over and about to go in the oven

Straight out of the oven

A couple of minutes later, deflated with a slight curl at the edges


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Anzac Day ~ April 25th

We've been enjoying this series of short video's with the kids by way of learning more about what ANZAC day means


Saturday, April 21, 2012

Meals for the Weekend

 Planning out the meals always helps keep some sort of sanity here, even on the weekends, so I'm taking a few minutes now to get us sorted.

Do your meals change on the weekends, or do you cook the same type of things? Pancakes only ever show up on our weekend menus

Yesterday when Nathaniel and I de-iced the chest freezer, we found quite a few raspberries so today we'll be having raspberry pancakes with cream...for lunch now instead of breakfast, as originally thought. YUM!

Saturday Breakfast - Get your own, eggs on the side by request
Saturday Lunch - Raspberry Pancakes
Saturday Dinner - Apricot chicken
Sunday Breakfast - Bogwitz McMuffins
Sunday Lunch - At mum's
Sunday Dinner - At a friend's

A pretty easy Sunday hey! Not often that happens! I still want to get the crockpot on overnight tonight with a beef casserole... need to make sure one is free - I have chicken broth happening in one at the moment and apricot chicken will be in the other for the day.


Friday, April 20, 2012

Winding Up The Week

Typing in the quiet of the house while I wait for everyone to stir - yesterday was a BIG day, so I have placed no expectation of having everyone up and on the go by 7am as is the usual around here.

My highlights of this week
  • 3 great 'bookwork' days in a row; Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday
  • A friend coming for lunch on Wednesday afternoon
  • Thursday's road trip leaving soon after 6.30am to do shopping at the SPC outlet in Ballarat, spend delightful time with a friend, pick up 100kg of spelt grain from her house, sus out the town of Creswick, spend another lovely hour with another friend and then hit the road to get back to Melbourne for dinner/piano/boys brigade

And today, we'll wind up the week with a 'mostly student free day' and make sure the house is pulled back together for the weekend. Washing to be washed and folded, a chest freezer that needs defrosting, read aloud George's Marvellous Medicine while the kids are folding washing, get vacuuming and mopping done and help Pete where needed as he has a job interview this afternoon! I need to find homes for the SPC shopping and make a wonderful dinner - Tonight I'll be making the drool worthy Bolognese Risotto, can't wait!

It will be a full day but a 'pottering' kind of day ~ my idea of home-makers bliss.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Feeling like The Three Bears

You know the part of the story where the bears come back from the walk and find the house 'not as it should be'? Well that's what we felt like on arrival to the house we stayed in on holidays. We were an hour later getting there than we'd planned, which turned out to be a good thing.

All was good in getting there, found the address just fine and did our usual thing on arriving somewhere new, and got the kids to stay in the car while Pete and I get an idea of what we're all walking into. It makes the unloading of the car a whole lot less messy when we already know where to direct different bags etc. Thankfully it's our practice, because THIS time... it was obvious once walking in, that others were STAYING there! Large black men's dress shoes were near the front door as though having been walked out of. There were multiple sleeping bags & pillows set up but not made. Beer bottles and pizza boxes over the bench. Lap tops and mobiles scattered around. No one answering to our call, we then went upstairs to see if there was more 'stuff' or even people upstairs. NOW WAY was I going up by myself so I tagged along behind Pete! Thankfully there was no sign of life upstairs but by now we were obviously asking ourselves 'what do we do?!'

We had been told others were staying there the night before but also that they would be leaving the Island in the early morning so we had NO thought that this might happen.
We rang the people whose house it was (they were holidaying in Queensland while were were housesitting for them) and got no answer. We told the kids what was going on and let them know they'd need to stay put while we got it sorted out.

Only a couple of minutes after that, a couple of vehicles rolled up and a handful of interesting looking people rolled out - rather surprised to see us in the now open house. It turns out that they were the ones staying the night before but they hadn't realised anyone else was coming down and thought they'd delay their departure. They'd been at the beach so then showered and packed up and in another 45minutes the house was ours (so glad we've trained our kids to be patient!). I suspect (as NOTHING had been packed up and post event traffic off the Island was horrible) that they'd been planning on adding another night.

Ah well - all was good in the end and we had a wonderful holiday!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Back to the Books

I wasn't sure how I'd go today, back to real life, after 2 VERY relaxing week's holiday (still more holiday posts to come). Happily I'm up and raring to go. Up and wide awake before my 5.45 alarm too - something to be said about getting to bed early enough!

The children have been well warned that I'm running a tight ship... tighter than in the past, even. For 2 reasons. One, an ongoing one, is that I want us to get more done. And 2, this week in particular, is busy. It seems that our monthly activity, fortnightly activity and 3 random activities have all fallen in the same week that we start back with our 5 weekly term time activities - eeeekk!

Other than that, I'm really excited to be getting back to our book work today. I love it happening, and being a part of it and the kids love doing it. We all love those moments as 'lightbulbs' go off. Great weeks ahead!

We're starting with a diligence reward today. My kids are great helpers. They have been trained in a lot of different tasks and pretty happily help out. Their major fail is diligence. Keeping at it even if something fun catches their eye, moving on to the next task when finished vs playing with something and getting their jobs done at a reasonable pace so we can move onto the next thing, together. So from today, there is a small treat at lunch time for everyone that gets through their morning tasks diligently. No reminders, timely and with a great attitude. I surprise-awarded one yesterday to Nj who did a surprisingly great job yesterday morning... so today they will have faith that the reward exists.

Do you know, some tell me my kids don't need to learn household chores till they're older. Doing a load of washing or cleaning a bathroom isn't that hard to learn. Well yes, if that's all a child learned when doing household chores from a young age then  it could possibly wait. But attitudes? Attitudes are a heart issue and if not trained when young, the default will typically be... not good. Ungodly.

I have friends that struggle with keeping house because they weren't trained in it in their youth. It's not the skills in cleaning a bathroom that they most lack; it's the heart training that comes along with learning to clean a bathroom, mow a lawn, put out the rubbish, vacuum well, help prepare dinner etc. If a child's life is mostly about what they want to do, they don't learn the Christ-like calling we are all given, to serve. To put self last. To put others first. That is an attitude that is best taught when young and sooo much harder to learn as an adult. It's not their fault their parents didn't train them when young but now as adults it's a battle that they are forced to fight and could have been do with so much less pain and consequences on self  and on others, if it had been done 20+ years ago.

And now, I'm off to make hubby lunch and the family breakfast. Have a great day all - filled with blessings!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Churchill Island Pics

Our day on Churchill Island Heritage Farm started out with Highland Cows and Clydesdale Horses but continued into much more.

We went with Pete's mum & stepfather which the kids were thrilled about. We'd been thinking of the wildlife park but they suggested Churchill Island which turned out to be a perfect way to spend the day.

We enjoyed a lovely stroll around the grounds, finding many interesting things... the kitchen garden, animal nursery and the original well. It was perfect weather, barely a breeze, warm not hot and just enough sunshine. We stopped for a picnic lunch at a table by the ferrets cage - they've been introduced to the island in recent years to help keep the rabbit population under control. Very cute to look at but apparently they bite so I won't be getting one any time soon!

Here are some of my favourite things from our day

This one room cottage was home to a family of 5!

Standing at one end inside the cottage, facing the kitchen end. Behind the door is the inside woodpile

The butter churn was one of the many cool things we found inside the 'half cellar'

This was MOST fascinating... a collapsible high chair with wheels!!

If you're ever down Phillip Island way (Victoria, Australia), then I highly recommend a visit to the Heritage Farm!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

It's just dawned on me

Jumping up and down on the inside here... it's just dawned on me, as our holiday draws to a close, that we haven't spent all the holiday money and I suspect there will be enough left for the desired tin of paint!!

Anyone want to come paint with me?!

or borrow the kids so this doesn't happen?

It's not just the kids who are funny...

 Yesterday we went and visited Churchill Island Heritage Farm and as we were driving in, we saw Highland Cows grazing by the road... both all cuddly looking and mean looking at the same time - those horns!!

This is a male Highland Cow; the females seemed to be even more hairy and had bigger horns!

 Pete looks further ahead and says "Hey Kids, there's some traditional cows"

My reply: "Honey, they're not cows,  they're Clydesdales..."

Much hilarity followed through the day because of this!
 (admittedly once I said it , we got a bit closer and Pete could tell they were NOT cows but hey, it was FUNNY AS at the time, and Pete's a good sport)

And just in case you haven't seen the two...
This is a Clydesdale Horse

and this is a Jersey Cow

and this is Pete apologising for his error *chuckle*

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Saved by the tin

About 6 weeks ago I was looking ahead at a 2 week holiday in April on Phillip Island. In the school holidays. Meaning at last we'd be here when the 'extra' fun things were open... like mini golf and pony rides. I had been looking forward to letting the kids do these things, since we last visited the Island, out of school holidays about 18 months ago.

Six weeks ago I remembered the things we'd been looking forward to doing and realised the impact of Pete not being employed.

NO fun money. Period.

Thankfully the holiday itself was a 'gift' of sorts - house/pet sitting for a family we churched with a number of years ago who have moved to the Island since. So the holiday was all go and I was wondering how much more I could squeeze out of the grocery budget in the coming weeks to put some dollars aside for a couple of fun things while we were away.

God then reminded me of the tin...

Soon after our last visit to Phillip Island 18 months ago, I started collecting all $2 coins and putting them in a sealed money box/tin with the idea of using the savings for Pete and I when we finally got a weekend 'kid free'. This happened last November and the tin happily produced nearly $500 in $2 coins after 12 months of saving them. Dinners out, a new vacuum cleaner and a fun weekend came from that tin. Very happy.

Right away I started saving again, from mid November till now and this time both $1 & $2 coins.

In only 4.5 months there was plenty in there for 2 weeks of sensibly spread out fun. So far that's been Amaze'nThings and Grumpy's Mini Golf, with the Wildlife Park, Pony Rides and Go Karts ahead!

The next money box is already at home, ready to once again be saving all our gold coins for 'whatever next' and the best bit is, we don't even notice the absence of the money from the usual cash flow!

Love it!