A big week...

 Just popping in for a quick post as this past week was really full and I simply had no time for anything other than family, homemaking, gardening, cooking and friends - and really, isn't that a good thing? I think so. 

On Monday I did a lot of cooking, cleaning, washing, visiting a friend who has just moved to town, and preparing homeschool lessons for Cully May and Rafaella because on Tuesday they came to spend the day with me.

Our educational focus this week was nature study, Heidi, arts and crafts. As always the girls requested my pancakes and they were devoured quickly. I made sour dough pancakes this time (and I also made sour dough scones)...

My craft cupboard is full of surprises for them to try, and this time they chose to paint a mermaid, and some fridge magnets, as a gift for Mummy (Blossom)...

Whilst painting the girls watched the 1937 Shirley Temple movie, "Heidi". Now, I wasn't sure they'd actually enjoy an old black and white movie, but they did. The character of Heidi was very engaging indeed, so they happily painted away, taking in the story and often stopping just to watch.

Of course we always, always, have dress ups when visiting Nana! Some days they are princesses, some days artists, but this week they were ballerinas.

And nothing looks as good with a ballerina tutu than gum boots, especially when out and about in the garden dancing, running or watering the plants...

They simply love being outdoors here, especially when the clouds cover the sun and shield their young bodies.

But being outdoors was also part of our homeschool adventures as my yard has many cocoons and the girls were eager to hunt for some. We found six cocoons in various places, mostly in the bottle brush trees, but the most exciting one was a case moth caterpillar pulling his cocoon up onto my husband's gardening stool. How blessed we were that God provided this opportunity to see in real life just what we were learning about through a book.

I had prepared some colouring pages of a cocoon, a caterpillar and a butterfly, but we also discussed how to recognise an insect and the three parts of an insect. Cully May is 5 1/2 now so she absorbs information, inhales it actually, and could tell her mummy and daddy everything she'd learned later that afternoon. 

The girls picked a bunch of blooms from various plants in the garden and took them home for mummy to smell. They especially love the scent of the Marraya flowers (also known as Orange Jasmine or Mock Orange), but another favourite was an old Pink Passion rose.

They also decorated their cubby house (wendy house) with coloured chalks, and I have to say they did a beautiful makeover! 

After a bubble bath and dinner, I drove them home and how wonderful to hear that Blossom had taken some time that day to stop and rest. Charlie David is teething badly and lack of sleep for both him and Bloss has taken a toll. 

On Wednesday I got into the garden and filled some of the raised beds with fresh soil, removed or pruned back overgrown plants, planted out some more rocket (arugula) and then re-potted about 15 of my 45 indoor plants. 

I decided to add some more to the bathroom as they get a lot of humidity and light in there, though no direct sunlight...

Once my garden and plant work was complete I washed the four pair of gardening gloves, ready for another day of yard work.

Thursday was a lovely break as I spent the morning at Rosie's with Sheryl and Shirley, feasting on banana cakes and quiche, cups of tea in the prettiest china, and then hand stitching as we chatted and laughed - oh my, we laughed so much! A good day indeed.

Friday was housework in the morning then off to buy the groceries. I also stocked up on produce for the next round of dehydrating, so at the moment there's corn kernels and celery drying out in that wonderful machine. Once they finish I'll do more carrots.

I had a number of people ask what I do with the dehydrated carrots. They will be used for soups, stews, curries and casseroles in the future. Pantry preparedness is very important due to these times we are living in. Food scarcity has hit most countries, some areas far worse than others, and with the exorbitant increase in fuel costs we will see a continuing rise in the cost of food due to the transport needed to carry food from one part of the country to the other. In my own area of the country, due to the climate, we can't grow many things other than tropical fruits, so we are reliant on the southern states for almost all of our fresh produce...and that means our produce travels far by trucks, as that's how Australia is fed. Without long haul trucking we would have a hard time feeding this nation.

Christian friends...if you read Matthew 24, Luke 21, Mark 13, the book of Daniel 7-12, and all of Revelation, you will recognise the signs of end times that Jesus gave us. Preparing to face famine, war and persecution is where our family are right now and have been for a number of years. 

If you're after more ways to prepare your pantry, as well as ideas for ways to make use of what you already have, or items you can perhaps barter for, pop over HERE to Annabel's blog. Every Friday she has a wealth of inspiration, ideas and common sense to share.

Okay, that's it for today. We need to head out to the Sunday markets for pineapples, bananas and whatever else we can use. 

God bless you always, and may He lead you along this rocky path of life with more grace and mercy and provision than you could imagine. Pray for the Ukraine, pray for Russia. They both need prayer. 

I shall leave you today with Cully's favourite photo taken on Tuesday. She's a God-gifted bright light in our lives all the time, and a child who loves God and prays for everyone.