Small luxuries

One of the things I love about being at home is being able to take the time out of my day to give myself or the boys small luxuries.  Things that are seemingly really simple but seem completly luxurious if tweaked a little!  

Now that I'm out doing more ministry with church, training, helping run various groups and some study these 'home' days are such a treat to my soul and I cherish them even more.  

For instance one of my favourite foods as a little girl was two minute noodles.  Now as an adult I still LOVE packet noodles, except sadly the ones from the shops are high in fat, highly refined and contain all sorts of colours, flavours and preservatives which as a general rule I try to minimise in our diet.  So I have mastered my own noodle dish that quite frankly, craps all over the shop bought ones and is cheap, quick and completly delicious.  

Most weeks I make chicken broth out of left over bones and veggies so this is the bulk of the liquid.  

Then I add.....
Sesame oil
Soy sauce
Fish sauce
Brown sugar 
Rice noodles
Chicken broth

From my garden I then grab.....
Fresh Lemon grass
Asian basil
Spring onion
Meat - chicken/left over roast is great too! 

I pop the kettle on and whilst that's boiling I quickly fry up a finely chopped chilli and garlic from the garden in the sesame oil, then add in a couple of ladels of stock, the lemongrass and season to taste with a glurp of soy, some fish sauce the juice of a lemon and a teaspoon of brown sugar to balance.

Quickly soak the rice noodles in the boiling water and when ready transfer the softened noodles into the broth.  Add the roughly shredded greens or what ever veg you want, and the left over meat to warm it through.  Serve and sprinkle the fresh herbs/spring onion on top!  It's 10min quick meal that feels luxurious, is nourishing and delicious! 

Another thing I love to do at this time of year is to lay the boys pj's out in front of the fire while they are in the bath so they can get dressed in warm snuggly pj's.  I quite enjoy this too! ;) 

A ritual I really cherish is to take the time out of my day to actually sit in my favourite chair with a hot cuppa and a book and read a chapter or two or in the garden enjoying the sunshine and the birds.  

We are a generation that has gotten used to doing things on the run, eating on the run, coffee in the car on the run, and jamming as many things into a small time frame as we can.  Stopping is a simple but necessary luxury, sitting, contemplating.  It's what recharges our batteries ready for the next round! 

Too often we spend time rushing, focusing on the completion of tasks, the list of things we have to get done.  Often there is no need to rush as much as we do.  We rush because our mind is rushed and flustered, but by doing things purposefully, mindfully and taking time to find the luxury within the activities of our day....this can help calm the mind and soul.  I don't know about you but I'm much more efficient when I'm calm and methodical! 


whats happening.

School holidays are here - I feel so relaxed at the possibilities!  I'm so looking forward to spending time with friends, hanging out, chatting over a cuppa.  It's amazing how fast the term passes.

We spent some time in the back garden on the weekend and laid straw, did some tidying up, some light pruning, sweeping etc.  It was lovely to catch up a bit.

We found a local guy who sells straw at $5/bale.  So Grant bought a tailor load.  We have done the back beds, our front yard is still a dumping ground and we need to shift some soil to build up the bed where we put in the lattice a couple of months ago.  Dear old Grant likes to have several jobs on the go at once!  But seeing as it is planting time, we need to spend some time filling in the gaps, planting screen covers etc.  I can use cuttings for some which is always great!

My herb/greens beds are still going crazy and have just had a fresh flourish of growth with the rain and cooler weather.  It's amazing how much we can fit into even this small space and how much pleasure it gives me every time I go out and pick some fresh herbs/greens for a meal.  Next time I could plant one less spinach like leafy green....though my family are tolerating it better! 

I can't believe I'm still harvesting chillies! 

I tried my hand at making a hot chilli sauce a couple of weeks ago.  Whoa it it hot!  Grant slathers it on things.  

Today we are having a restful home day.  Movies, lazing about, and resting.  Catching up from the term that was.

Grant and I are still waiting to hear on the finances from the couple who are interested in the shop.  They are still interested, and they are trying to source loans with a good interest rate, the rate they could get they were not happy with.  I have no idea if that means they will still buy it if they cant lock in a loan with a lower rate or not.  It all sounds positive, but we will see.  She has gone back to China this month to try some different tactics for borrowing money over there.

In the mean time, we wait.  Trying to get on with our lives as if nothing is different.  Reminding ourselves to trust in the plan God has for our lives and that no matter what happens we will work it out.  We have been told they will have a definite answer for us in May, either way.  Not long now.  

I started my period of discernment yesterday. (POD) I went to the bible collage, met with the principal and attended a workshop.  It was great.  Really great.  I battled with the idea of going back to study, weather or not I am suited to a life in a formal ministry capacity or just simply helping out in church as I am now.  If I should study theology, and at what level, if giving up nursing really is what God has called me to do. (it is, but its not easy to walk away from)  I'm not sure if I am or not, but I feel so peaceful to be on this journey now.  It feels totally right to be exploring these questions in a formal capacity.  I feel like I have found a little peice of myself once again, like another little peice of my soul has re-awakened, I enjoy learning and being challenged in regards to learning/education.  This week I remembered this, and it's been all kinds of awesome.  


Music in the kitchen!

I have not been blogging much (clearly) over the last couple of weeks.  The fact is life has not felt simple.  With illness, antibiotics, gastro, head colds plus a trip to visit our friends on their station 8hrs drive away over Easter.  It has not been all bad, there has been some really lovely times too - it has just been busy.  Such is family life! 

We are coming up to school holidays here and my heart is singing!  I have been exploring fun things for the boys to do in the garden during the holidays.  I want to build a weaving hut with them, explore garden projects and we have veggies to plant and still need to lay that straw!  Where does the time go?

Today has been a beautiful day.  Nothing even remotely unusual about it, just one of those days where my heart is at peace.  The morning was crisp and the day slowly warmed up until we had beautiful clear blue skies.  A sign autumn is well and truly here.  The days are growing shorter, the nights cooler.  We have been lighting the wood fire and its lovely to wake up to a warm, cozy house. 

My garden is looking replenished and green.  The soil is damp, plants are growing with the warm sunny days and the rain scattered about. 

Today I cooked, did washing and enjoyed the sunshine while I hung it out.  The boys played outside, we read too many books to count.  We chatted and cuddled, I spent the boys nap hand sewing a doll in the lounge with the sheer curtains blowing slightly from the breeze coming through the open windows. 

I had to nip to our post office this afternoon to post a couple of dolls and on the way home we were listening to music in the car.  When we pulled up at the house Angus was upset the music had to get turned off.  So I brought the boys little CD player into the kitchen and put on some music - nothing of theirs.  It was my music.  Acoustic, slightly folksy music.  We danced together in the kitchen, amongst soup simmering on the stove, dishes in the sink and mail spilling off the table and my heart filled with joy.  These are the moments I remember why I'm at home, why I gave up my career.  These are the moments where everything aligns to make the ordinary extra-ordinary and magical.     

When did I stop playing my music and dancing around the kitchen?  When did I turn into a serious grown up?  When did I lose my sense of fun?  I guess the pressures and responsibilities of parenthood, owning a business and PND take their toll. 

I have developed some lovely friendships with some young adults in our church, they are reminding me of this sense of fun.  Its still there, buried within.  Bit by bit, days like today, the simple act of moving music back into our kitchen.....together these simple pleasures renew that part of my soul.  Much to my families delight.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!


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