Friday, September 28, 2012

Grateful for the chance

This week my Grateful post is simple....I am grateful for the chance to be a Mum. Everyday since I have been a Mum I have been so grateful for being so blessed. These past two weeks though as I've watched my Muddy Baby Boy go from 'baby' to 'little boy' in the blink of an eye I am extra grateful for having the chance to be a Mum to a Handsome Muddy Boy, as well as 3 gorgeous Muddy Girls.
Each day he challenges me in different ways to the Muddy Girls at the same age, whether it's climbing whatever he can, trying to run before he walks or just trying to change his nappy. Each Day he gives me a different set of clothes to hang on the line, rather than just shades of girl. Each day he makes me feel very blessed for the chance to be his Mum.
I can 100% honestly say that it would not have mattered to me if he had been born a girl, as long as he arrived safe and healthy I considered myself lucky. When he arrived I was a little in shock (I had all the girls baby clothes ready to go again) and each day I see him grow and change I am so grateful that he is mine to love and care for and that I have the chance to be his Mum.

Linking up with Maxabella over at Village Voices for 52 Weeks of Grateful. What are you Grateful for this week?

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Dancing Handicap?

The Muddy Kids and I spend A LOT of time in the car going here, there and everywhere and most often it's the place where we listen to music the most, getting our groove on as we cruise along. What I've realised lately though is that while we get pretty inventive with our dancing and facial expressions, it's all above the hips. When it comes to using our legs and feet to dance around the house to music, their movement is a bit limited. We've never really practiced our dancing outside of the car. It's all been constrained in car seats, with head, arm and shoulder movement.
So this week with school holidays we've been burning off some energy playing musical statues, and all the effort goes into the face, arms and shoulders, they're a little lost to even keep time with their feet! I think I've already given them a dancing handicap, or maybe they've just genetically inherited it from Muddy Hubby?
Do your kids get their groove on with the whole body, or do they limit it to above the hips like mine?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Lamb Tailing

Once our Ewes have had baby Lambs it's time to tail those Lambs, give them an ear mark, vaccinate them and backline them to help prevent flies. It's generally a job for about 3-4 people (depending on the number of lambs in the mob), but with the Muddy Kids and I we had an extra large workforce to help get the job done.
The Muddy Girl's first job was to put the rings on ready for Pa to tail them. They were also pretty good at overseeing and telling me just which one they wanted to put in the lamb marking cradle next. Then at the end they had time for some cuddles with the lambs. 
It's this sort of thing that I love about farming, we can go to work with Muddy Hubby, spend some time together, help the Muddy Kids get to learn the Family Business and best of all we're outside and using up the energy for a good night's sleep!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Foxy Loxy

For almost 10 years we have had chooks here at home, they have lived quite happily in the chook yard. Before us there was gap with no chooks, but prior to that there was always chooks around when Muddy Hubby was growing up, and never was there cause for alarm. Until Saturday night.

My beautiful flock of chooks (and one Rooster) had a little visitor. Foxy Loxy came calling and on Sunday morning when we went to check on the chooks, there was only 1 chook left, much to my dismay, the Muddy Kids distress and Muddy Hubby's frustration. One lonely Rhode Island White, the sole survivor. Until this morning.

Muddy Hubby went to check on his Fox Proofing efforts and found one lonely little Wyandotte wandering outside, unable to get back in. Somehow she had escaped Foxy Loxy, and she was quickly caught and placed back in the re-foxproofed chook yard. So now we have 2 chooks.

I am not expecting any more to miraculously reappear, I have been bringing the ducks back inside at night to ensure their safety, while we bait for foxes and ensure the safety of the yards. Fingers crossed Foxy Loxy won't bother us again, at least for a little while, as we get over our shock and grieve the loss of our 1 Rooster and 6 Hens.

Sometimes living on a farm is hard on the emotions I can tell you!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Families Are Special

Once a term my Muddy Organiser's Class hold a Liturgy at school. Each term they have a different theme and the service is designed around the theme. Each member of the class has a role to play in the liturgy, whether it's reading a line from a prayer, talking about the offerings they are bringing forward or to carry forward the offerings. They project the words for hymns and songs up onto a screen so the class and everyone in church can sign along. It is quite simply heart warming to watch.
My Muddy Organiser has a tendency towards shyness, she struggles to make eye contact and say hello, yet after only 6 weeks at school in term one she spoke into the microphone in a packed church for her line of 'My name is Chloe'. Now in term 3 she is speaking long sentences into the microphone, sitting still through the service (and weekend services if we go), singing the hymns and songs and showing us just how much she has grown, learnt and changed in 3 short terms. It just never ceases to amaze me. With one term left of Kindergarten I have no doubt she'll continue to warm my heart and make me all teary with just how much she's grown up.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Crazy Poultry Lady

With the farewell of the pigs came the introduction of some new poultry for our Chook Yard. Our sole remaining Hen Mrs Wishy Washy and our sole Rooster Bucko were looking a little lonely  so we found them some friends. 7 new hens of various breeds to brighten up the chook yard and help fill my egg holders in the fridge.
It was definitely a family effort to move them into their new home, they were all patted and held to help get them familiar with us. My Muddy Puzzler needs a few more lessons on holding as her hold is more of a strangle. The new chooks were keen on the Sock Protectors mistaking the strawberry pattern for real strawberries and having a peck. And a nice surprise when we took one out of it's box - a egg freshly laid!
For those that are interested we now have 2 Silkies, 2 Gold Laced Wyandottes, 2 Rhode Island Whites, 1 Ancona, 1 Isa Brown and 1 Astralorp Rooster.
They are a hit with the Muddy Kids, they check the eggs several times a day, help spread fresh hay in the roost and feed them at night, all a nice start to doing chores and helping out, a win for everyone really.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Family Business

I find this time of year hard when it comes to farming. It's kind of like make or break time, no rain and we're looking at a small or non-existent harvest, too much rain and it gets them a little water logged, a cold snap with a frost and the crops might get frosted. It's this time of year that Muddy Hubby's favourite saying is 'Just an inch of rain would be right'. We haven't had that inch, and for some of our paddocks that's not a good thing. The wheat is struggling to stick it's head up above the weeds which are prolific because the wheat was dry-sown. Other paddocks are doing better, sticking their heads up waiting for rain to help them fill.
On the other hand our Chickpeas are loving it, they hate water, especially if it rains too much they don't cope and disease starts to set in. At the moment though the conditions are just right for them, they are podding and they have flowers on them. A little bit of rain wouldn't hurt them to help them fill their pods, and give us some nice chickpeas to sell, but they're still looking good.
The Muddy Kids love crop checking, learning the family business from the start, looking for flowers and pods on the chickpeas and seeing whether or not the wheat has started sticking up it's head getting ready to fill it with grain. Our Muddy Organiser practices her counting skills by starting to count the number of grain sheaths on the wheat head. It was a lovely Sunday morning, warm weather, sunshine and family time.

Monday, September 17, 2012

I ate them and I liked it....

After all the trouble the pigs gave us I was a little sad to say goodbye to them. The morning we had to send them to the abattoir I was dressed and ready for work when Muddy Hubby said he needed a hand, so like any good wife I whacked on my farm boots and headed down to the yards. After almost an hour of trying to hunt them up the race and failing we had resorted to running them into the drenching race and Muddy Hubby lifting each one individually onto the crate on the back of the ute.
In my head this was a good idea, in reality it was a nightmare. I will never ever forget the blood-curdling squeal these pigs gave off as Muddy Hubby caught each one and slowly inch by inch lifted them up (we had been feeding them up well, so they were no light weights). I was useless (happy to admit it), I tried to get Leopard's foot unstuck when it got stuck but each time he turned his head to me I'd squeal and pull my hand away, terrified of having him bite my hand off (you'll remember I had nightmares about these pigs so that didn't help the situation). Eventually they were safely ensconced on the back of the ute and the Muddy Kids came and said their goodbyes.
This week they've been returned to us......packaged in boxes! Well, the pork has been, the ham and bacon should be arriving by the end of the week. So what to do with this much pork landing in your kitchen......Roast Pork of course, followed with a serve of Sweet and Sour Pork Stir Fry (Recipe Below). I am cracking out the recipe books to diversify my pork cooking - any suggestions welcome!

500g Pork fillet chopped into bite-size pieces
3 teaspoons soy sauce
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons tomato sauce
1/3 cup vinegar
1 tablespoon cornflour
3 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 cup fresh pineapple, chopped (I used tinned)
1 red capsicum, chopped (I used green because that's what was in the fridge)
1 large onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped

Place the pork in a non-metallic bowl, add soy sauce and toss through so all the pork pieces are coated, set aside.

In a medium saucepan over low to medium heat, whisk together the sugar, tomato sauce, vinegar and cornflour and allow to simmer.

Meanwhile bring a Wok or large non-stick frying pan to a high heat, then add 2 teaspoons of oil. Swirl the oil around so the bottom is coated. Toss the pineapple, capsicum and onion and stir-fry for about 4 mins until they begin to caramelise. Add the warm sauce and remove from the wok and set aside.

Add another teaspoon of oil to the wok and then the pork and cook until the pork is browned and just cooked through (about 8 mins).

Add the sauce and vegetables, allow to come to a simmer then remove from the heat and serve immediately with rice.

This is a recipe from Kidspot, and they know their stuff as this was a huge hit with the Muddy Kids, barely a spoonful left in their bowls.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Left, Left, Left, Right, Left

For the last few weeks when the house goes quiet my ears prick up (as any mum's do really) and I listen hard, what I've been hearing though isn't the sounds of mischief, it's the sound of my Muddy Organiser organising her Muddy Sisters into line ready to march. Then starts the call 'Left, Left, Left, Right, Left' as she instructs them to keep their hands at their sides, fists clenched before setting off around the house.
It's that time of year for the interschools sports trophy and one major part of this is the big march all the schools do down the main street of the town it's being held in. There is even a separate trophy awarded to the school with the best marching (not kidding).
The teachers and principal at school have had them practicing for weeks (yes weeks), they have the drum going and you hear the call of 'Left, Right, Left, Right', 'Lift those feet', 'Keep your arms straight' as they march around the streets that border the school. It's serious stuff this marching (who knew! Cynical me didn't). My Muddy Organiser was so very proud this week to put on her poorly ironed sports uniform, white sneakers and school socks and head off to the march. For her it was all about the march and not so much about the sports and games.
The best bit though was her enthusiasm, she arrived back with just as much as when she left, she tried her best, had a great day and is already practicing her marching for next year, as much as I'm informing her that she'll run out of march by next year if she keeps it up, she just keeps going. I have no doubt that by the time the rest of the Muddy Kids start school they'll have the marching down pat thanks to their big sister!

And just so you know, they won the Marching Trophy!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Wet Weather Morning Tea

Muddy Hubby, for as long as I've known him, has this thing about 'when it rains, you cook up morning tea', his preference is scones, mine is not to cook at all because I'm too busy doing the rest of the household chores. However occasionally I do like to indulge him and I get a hankering for some fun in the kitchen, and when it rained this week I was working, so the next day the Muddy Kids and I cooked up pikelets, an oldie, but a goodie.
The Muddy Kids had a blast watching them bubble up and then be flipped over before being put on the plate to be slathered in honey or jam and quickly devoured! None of them would sit down to eat them, they were quickly stuffing them in their mouths while trying to reach for their next one, to make sure they got their quota. Unfortunately for Muddy Hubby he wasn't home, so I made a nice batch of Rocky Road for him to enjoy in his tucker box this week.
What's your favourite morning tea when it rains? Do your kids love pikelets as much as mine?