Sunday, June 30, 2013

Spicy Peanut Chicken

This slowcooker dish is a personal favourite, and was a hit at our church luncheon yesterday. Whilst the name says "spicy" I was told it was quite delicious by those (older people) who don't like spicy dishes, and not really considered spicy. I personally think that if I was making it for hubby and me, or others who like spicy stuff, I would add 1 tablespoon of Thai red curry paste. From memory, we have added just a dash more to our plates before serving to spice it up for just us.

This is an adapted dish from my favourite slow cooker book: The Healthy Slow Cooker by Judith Finlayson

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 onions
I love the colour in this dish, it's unusual to have such
bright colours coming from the slow cooker!
2 carrots
4 celery stalks
4 cloves of garlic (minced)
1 tablespoon minced ginger root 
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 cup chicken stock
12 chicken thighs

Mix together separately:
3 tablespoons peanut butter
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons Thai red curry paste
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 teaspoon of corn flour

2 cups green peas 
1 red capsicum

There's two ways to do this dish...

The not much time way:
Throw all the first lot of ingredients into the slow cooker on low for at least 5 hours. Then add the sauce, and put the slow cooker on high for at least 1/2 an hour. Just before you are ready to serve add the peas and capsicum. Serve with rice, and garnish with coriander. Yum!

The other way:
Step 1
Firstly, fry up the onions, carrots and celery in the oil. When soft, add the garlic, ginger, and peppercorns and stir for a minute. Then add the chicken stock (although it is just as flavourful if you add water). Line the bottom of your slow cooker with the chicken and cover with the softened veggie mix.

This can then be put in the fridge and left overnight. (Which is what we did)

Step 2
Turn slow cooker on high for 2 hours, then add the peanut sauce, and continue to cook on high for an hour. 

Step 3
Finally add the capsicum and peas, and serve after 10 minutes or so. Garnish with coriander and serve with rice.

Worship With Kids


"Mum, take a picture of us. We're angels!" said Tank, just before communion today.

Today I did just that, to remind me that the perspective of children is SO very different to that of adults. They were not naughty children, unable to sit still. They were in God's house, the best place to be, so chill out! 

Jesus says: "Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children you will never enter the kingdom of heaven."(Matthew 18:3) So what does that look like?

I think I need to start by taking church services a little less seriously. If God is truly our Father, then like my earthly Dad, He must prefer seeing me enjoy myself. The first answer in the Westminster Shorter Catechism is: "The chief purpose of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever." Enjoy being in your Father's house! It's as close as you are getting to Home whilst you are here on earth!

I think it also means that we need to work out ways that our children can be a part of worship. And allow them to be children too. 

Most of the time, I am the parent with the youngest children in the Church, I say "I" because hubby is too busy to share. Regularly, but hopefully this will change, mine are the only children in Church. I don't agree with the philosophy of taking my children out of the service to the "cry room" because they need food, or are frustrating me with their wriggles. I don't even like to send my kids to Sunday School if it takes place during the service time! 

This is because my philosophy is that children are a part of the Church, and should be included in the life and worship of the church, not segregated. Also, I believe we can learn a lot from children in worship (and we should since Jesus commands us to have faith like them). And finally, children learn a lot from being actively involved in worship...they are listening!

So how do I try to do this?


* We have snacks and water in church. Church time is about the time of their normal morning tea time at home and I don't think it's sensible to make them wait it out. Besides, the first church services held were centred around a meal! 


* I have a "Church Bag". This bag holds a number of toys and tricks that keep our children's hands occupied. Currently it contains: fuzzy wire, beads, threading toys, some magnetic animals that can have their heads and tails changed, and some mini pegs. In the past a favourite has been paper clips. I have thought about rubber bands, but then...you can just see them flying up into the sanctuary area and causing no end of disruption :) In the past I have also included musical instruments for playing during songs (making their joyful noise) but it can be difficult to rescue these before the prayers start.


* We sit at the front. Even during holidays, we sit up the front. This means the children can see what's going on and therefore they seem focused. It means there are no other children around to help in distracting my children (they need no help). And it means I can sit on the floor and focus on my children during the sermon. They feel that Mama is playing with them and seem more willing to play the whispering game.


* And we try to play Church aerobics. We try to stand when everyone else stands, etc. This way they are not sitting the entire time. And occasionally, like today, I make fun with my older children by singing in an operatic voice.


What is the point of me doing all this? To show my children the Church, the Bride of Christ, and allow them to be a part of it, since they too love Jesus and are therefore part of the body of Christ.


But seriously, it goes against the grain that so many people, some parents included, think that children shouldn't be in Church because then the parents and others don't hear the sermon. But even on the super difficult days (yes they do happen), I'm still hearing even when I don't feel like I am. Besides this, if hearing the sermon is so important, which it is, then get a copy for later listening and enjoy it whilst you drive around town or do the dishes! If you can't get your pastor's sermon recorded then ask him for a recommended sermon podcast. I listen to podcasts whilst hanging out the washing.


Here in the Divine Service God gives us forgiveness, His Word and His body and blood. This is life giving stuff! Why deny our children? They can teach us a fair bit about worship!

Jesus LOVES children. He loves their enthusiasm, He loves their joy, He loves their creativity, He loves the way they think outside the box, and He loves their trust and faith in Him. In Matthew 19:14 Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven."  


Enjoy your children during Church. Pray for them. Let distractions be for God's work, not the devil's. Pray for the parents you hear with grumpy children, instead of giving dark looks or making comments. Even better, offer support! 


When Tank was a wee bit older than 18 months we attended the Queensland Synod Sunday service at Buderim. It was a fantastic service, brilliant children's address and President Mike Semmler preached. He was getting rather energetic with his preaching as he preached about the mustard seed being like our sin, needing to die. And like a good preacher/politician he then went on to give the same point in a number of ways. Tank started to call out at the top of his voice: " Die! Die! Die!!" Hubby wanted to crawl under his seat, yep we were at the front. Pastor Mike then went on to outline how we are to grow to be more like Jesus. This time Tank called out: "Gwow! Gwow! Gwow!"


Children are listening at church, even when we think they are too small. And every time we have them in Church with us they are learning more about the Church and about Jesus. I pray that they are learning that the Church loves them, as well as the fact that Jesus loves them. 

Matthew 11:25 Jesus declared, " I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children."








Saturday, June 29, 2013

Beautiful Veins...

I don't remember many pick up lines...who would? They tend to be a bit corny! But the one was memorable!

Christian pursued me...relentlessly. I was not dreadfully keen to marry a doctor, and therefore not keen to go out with one. However, working in Christian's favour was my difficulty to say no and "hurt" his feelings. I just couldn't "make up" an excuse to not spend time with him, other than my lack of desire to marry a doctor. Otherwise he had great credentials: devoted to Jesus, studying theology in his "spare time", dedicated student, hardworking, great pianist and a voice that finally did the liturgy justice (I couldn't stop giggling the first time I heard him sing it!). He also plays the organ...which would be a negative considering I haven't liked the organ since I was a baby (would cry whenever I heard the organ play!).



I remember on one of our first dates Christian took my hand and said:

"You've got beautiful veins."

This was said with real sincerity, and meaning. So much so that I would look at my hands for weeks after, shake my head and smile..."beautiful veins".

What a line! Quite possibly my thinking about him changed there.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Broken Tank

January 3rd AD 2010, the morning after.
Tank was just on 6 months old when he broke both his legs on January 2nd 2010! The left leg was broken at the femur, and his right tibia fractured just above his ankle.

We had left our life behind in Adelaide and were on our journey north to start our new life here in Toowoomba, Queensland. We stopped for what was meant to be one night at Orange, NSW. We knew there was a Lutheran church here, and after checking out a less than satisfactory caravan park, we decided to ask the Lutheran pastor if we could set up our camper at the church.

It was nearing 7pm when we starting setting up the camper. As soon as the walls were up and the beds out, I put Tank on our bed and started dinner preparations. Tank, who has just started crawling, crawled behind a suitcase on the bed and I relaxed because he couldn't fall down onto the floor. Suddenly I heard crying, and my initial thought was "How odd! Ours are the only children here." Then I realised that Christian hadn't yet secured the tent and that was our Tank screaming. All in split seconds of course.
Okay, so The Man is cute, but this is as close as we got
to taking a picture of the exact spot. It's just under that bed.

I ran outside calling Christian. There was Tank flat on the ground, and all First Aid training when out the window as I picked him up. We were camped on bitumen, however, just where Tank's head fell there was a large tuft of grass. This was surely God's grace to us.

I tried to put Tank to the breast, but he just screamed. I wanted to drive straight to the hospital, but Christian wanted to bring the unfed children. So we called the pastor, who drove me and sat with me in the hospital. Again, this was God's grace to us.
Daddy playing with the children at our Orange camp spot.
On arrival the lady before me told the Triage Nurse that her baby had fallen off the couch. Tank was still crying, and I leaned forward and said: "My 6 month old has just fallen 1.5 metres onto bitumen." I was immediately ushered inside, the other lady had to wait.

X-rays were taken, and then MANY questions were asked. The only evidence of the accident was a slight graze on his right leg. But really, who were we? Why were we camping? Could our story be verified? I was so grateful the pastor had remained with me.
The only physical evidence of the accident.

The orthopaedic surgeon came around, and brought the bad news. Tank had broken his LEFT leg and due to a possible head injury we would have to stay in hospital overnight for observations.

The treatment options for the break were: 1. Traction for two weeks, that's both legs in the air (No thanks!) 2: Full body cast, nipple to toes (NO thanks!) or 3: Do nothing. If we could keep him from crawling around, and be careful when touching his leg we would be okay. Oh and he could have some Pain Stop medication now, and as required to keep him out of pain. This treatment was also God's grace to us, either of the first two options would have been very stressful for a very active boy, and delayed our arrival in Toowoomba.

After a restless night in hospital, and then a good night sleep back at our spot, we decided to move on to Inverell, NSW. We camped on my parent's property, Geebung Flat. At the end of the week (Friday) we took Tank for review X-rays. I happily went in on my own, leaving Christian to contend with the children in the waiting room. X-ray taking over, I observed another fellow come in to look at the x-rays, and look at me and then back again. So I did my naive doctors wife thing, and walked over to ask how it looked.

Too cute, swimming in the creek.
Tank's Great Granny, Irene Campbell. Already his leg is
healing, with just the faint scars showing.
















Now the barrage of questions came: Where do you live? "um...we are of no fixed abode as we are moving." Where are you from? "Adelaide, moving to Toowoomba." Why are you here? "We are camping at my parent's block." By now I was anxious! The tone was NOT friendly! Do you have the report from the x-rays in Orange? "My husband is a GP, he would know about the report." Who do you know here? Ah now here is a question I know the answer to. "The Wiedemanns" and then realising that perhaps that might not be enough I mentioned every other family member in town (it is my family hometown)! Where is your husband? "He's in the waiting room with our other children"

Finally, I came to my senses. "What seems to be the problem?"

"You mentioned only one leg was broken, but we have TWO broken legs showing on the x-ray!"

I burst into tears! I had noticed that he cried when I touched his other leg, but two broken legs!?

Sleeping peacefully.
Bathing at Geebung Flat
















Christian was brought to the x-ray room. He was horrified. How could this have been missed!? The orthopaedic surgeon hadn't read the report, he had just looked at the one leg on the x-ray! Christian insisted that we see another orthopaedic surgeon that day, but the nearest one was in Armidale over a hundred kilometres away! We tried to get a hold of the doctor, but when a return call didn't come we headed to Armidale on spec. I guess Christian thought he would use his GP status to get someone to see him.

We got within 20 kilometres of Armidale when our mobile finally had coverage and we received a call. All was good, we could wait until Monday.

February 21st...and this was not the first stand!
On Monday, Tank crawled around at our feet whilst the doctor explained that the fractures did not require any further treatment. It was okay for him to crawl and do whatever he felt comfortable doing, as unlike an adult who pushes themselves, a child will not move to cause themselves pain.

It appears that Tank fell on his feet when he fell from our camper. Then his head fell on the tuft of grass. We are so grateful that his injuries were SO quickly healed. We praise God for tough grass that grows in unlikely places. It is no coincidence that this grass was in just the right place...it was God!


Slowcooker Pea and Ham Soup (with veggies)

Tank approved, and asked for bread
to mop it up
Important Ingredients
Ham hock - a big one is what we use (or two small)
500g split peas (I used a 7Litre pot, so use less split peas for a smaller pot!)
1/3 250g Phili Cream Cheese

Today's Optional Ingredients
Onion (really good for flavour)
Parsnip
Turnip
Sweet Potato
handful of lentils

Other Optional Ingredients
Carrots
Potato
Zucchini
Celery
Anything else I missed?

Method:
Clearly one of Christian's favourites,
he loves the meaty chucks of goodness!
Cut off the "skin" and excess fat on the ham hock
Veggies only need to fit in, they don't need to be chopped up
Cover with water

* Use slow (number 1) setting if you won't be back for 8 hours or so
* Use "fast" (number 2) setting if you plan to need the soup in three to four hours
* Cook on the stove top if you need it in 2 hours.

* When you are nearly ready to eat, carefully pull out the ham hock.

* Wizz up the soup and clump of cream cheese with a stab/bar mixer (I bought mine for $20 at Big W because my expensive ones keep breaking)

* Then cut up ham hock, removing excess fat and grizzle. Put these pieces back in the wizzed up soup.

Serve with yummy, buttered, mini loaves of bread that have spent 5 minutes in the oven.



Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Chicken And The Egg

I drove to Brisbane today, and as they do on occasion the kids were talking about a variety of theological topics. Somehow, as it can happen in kid talk, the topic turned to chooks.

So to throw a spanner in the works I asked:

"Which came first, the chicken or the egg?"

Princess: "The egg!"

Tiger: "The chook"

Princess: "The egg!"

Tiger: "The chook! Because on the 5th day God created birds not eggs, therefore the chook came first"

Daddy: "I thought the animals were created on the 6th day."

Tiger: "Yes, but the birds were on the 5th and a chook is a bird"

Princess: "And the the sea creatures were made on the 5th day too!"

Tank: "And then God said: 'Why did the chook cross the road?'"

Love you Tank! You make me laugh!

Well done Tiger for solving such a complex riddle (and teaching your Daddy about creation!).

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Brand New Tank!

Hours old
Tank was born on the morning of the 20th of June AD 2009. The first words he heard were his father speaking his name: Thomas Alexander.

It was a turbulent time in our little family. Eight weeks earlier we packed up our belongings and books in Laidley, Queensland, where Christian had been vicar for nine months. We holidayed in our campervan and slowly journeyed our way back to Adelaide.

We arrived in Adelaide five weeks before Tank was to be born. Much had changed at the Sem in our absence, and it was a struggle to settle back in again, particularly knowing we were going to be packing up again in six months after Christian's ordination.

Tiger loving his little brother.
Up until our return to Adelaide, I had only seen our obstetrician once. But he came on the recommendation of a very dear friend, and he turned out to be our best obstetrician yet (okay, our GP/Obstetrican was the best but we couldn't keep going back to Cooma to have our babies). We did a lot of correspondence with this doctor, and decided for the first time to have an elective caesarean.

We left our home at around 5:50am that cold June morning, rugged up, and bag in hand. Our children were still asleep, as was Granny. It was an exciting, slow walk two city blocks down the road to Calvary North Adelaide. We had walked past this hospital so very many times in our walks around North Adelaide, now finally I was going to be a patient. I always enjoyed the statue of Mary they had praying in the back garden (now there's an admission coming from a Presbyterian raised pastors kid!).

Playing dress ups.
I had made some very specific requests for this surgery, and here I had a doctor who took me seriously and ensured that they happened. He was God's great ministry to me. I am so very grateful for his care.

Request One: Minimal people present in the operating theatre. This stemmed from The Man's birth when we had what felt like 20 people in the room. This time, only those needed were present.

Request Two: My physical privacy respected as much as is possible. This also came from The Man's birth, where I was left uncovered on the operating table for a number of minutes. The doctor was amazing about this request. Nurses were sensitive to my desire, although I never mentioned it, so they must have actually been briefed!
The Man was and still is very loving to his baby brother.

Request Three: Catheter put in by a female nurse without the men present. Okay, now this is being fussy, I admit. I figured that it would mean the obstetrician might occupy himself with something else or go to my head, but no, he took his assistant and they both left the room. Only the anaesthetist was left, but he was at my head.

Request Four: No Morphine. This was for the anaesthetist, and he was brilliant too. He gave me a "heavy" drug that had to be "spread" manually throughout my body. So this meant that I was tipped down (feet first) and then back (head first) on the table. It was a weird experience. The nurse began to giggle, a lot!  Tank was kicking wildly at me being turned upside down, and it was a funny sight!

Our last days at Sem.
Request Five: That the curtain be lowered and my head lifted to see my beautiful baby. I have asked this at nearly every birth, this was the first and only time it happened. It was wonderful!

Request Six: That my baby stay with me unless this was not medically possible. Wow! They made this happen! Tank was weighed in recovery, they had to bring the scales down especially. When taking me to my room they even broke hospital rules and allowed me to hold Tank in the bed with me. The rules state baby must be moved in a wheely bassinet, never carried and most certainly not in the arms of a drugged up mother!

Princess with Tank.
And I couldn't put my beautiful Tank down. He was such a delight! Christian and I sang to him our baptism song. Christian rang the children, Tiger was at German School, and Princess and The Man were with Granny. As requested, Princess answered the phone.

"We have had a boy!"

"Oh" (disappointed Princess).

"Your new brother is named Thomas!"

"WOW!" Princess got really excited! 

His first visitor was his brother Tiger, who held him with great delight, but the rest of the children were too sick to visit at first. This was followed by his Godparents, who we had chosen before he was born, but asked them on this visit. His godfather still thinks Tank is named after him (he is a godly man, and whilst it wasn't intentional, we love the association)

Tank on his Baptism Day
Feeding Tank wasn't easy. Mostly the trouble was that he wasn't putting on the "desired" weight. This would be the third of my babies that had this "trouble". So for six weeks we "topped him up" on bottle breast milk, and he eventually got the hang of how to put on weight for the nurses. Truly, I think my babies come out puffed up on water, and lose this water quickly to go back to what they should have been. The trouble was he wasn't gaining to "their" standards...but he was gaining.

Our Tank has been, and is a wonderful blessing to us. Lately, he walks around and says that he can see Jesus "in real life"! Today at dinner he got out a Bible and started reading: "Jesus loves me, Jesus loves everyone". We pray that he will always seek Jesus, and be known as "The Believer" who in John 20:28 said: "My Lord and my God!"

Tank's baptism day cake.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Making The Wild West

I made The Wild West because I wanted to make a movie.

Making The Wild West was quite hard. It took me about two or three weeks make it. First I wrote the script and Mummy helped me edit the script and type it up. Then I had to work out who else could help us fill in the character roles. Finally, we filmed this on Friday and over the weekend I have worked on it and edited it to make it look cool. I used a programme that comes with Apple called iMovie.

Written by Tiger

Mummy Note: Something is wrong with my camera, thus the crackling noise that it is making. And if someone can tell me how to fix the wind on the microphone that would also be great!

Family Devotions

We have family devotions every night. Luther gives some great guidelines for morning and evening prayer, and considering since we've been married we've both been Lutheran, you'd think we would have always followed said guidelines.

Not so!

We started "Family Prayers" (as my family has been calling it for generations) when Tiger was tiny. It can be awkward to start up, learning to pray together as a couple, and teaching the little ones to stop and listen. But hardest of all is making the time...daily...no matter what!

My grandfather, Donald Campbell used to say: "No Bible, No breakfast!"

How that used to work when my Dad and his sisters were little, waking up starving for food, truly I can't imagine! It would nigh on impossible in our house.

When we were kids we had Family Prayers before school. Most mums who send their children to school will say that the mornings are a rush to get everyone dressed, lunches made, breakfast eaten and then off to school on time. To that routine my folks added Family Prayers. I remember many stressed out mornings, but mostly I remember that we were regularly not on time for school. What it taught me was that my parents firmly believed that Family Prayers, time with God as a family, was more important that anything else, including christian school. Great lesson that!

In our family, we started our Family Prayers in the evening, as our bedtime routine for Tiger. It started out with reading the Bible and praying together. Then teaching our children to pray as they were learning to talk, simple prayers like: "Dear Jesus, thank you for Daddy, Amen." 

I think learning to talk to their Heavenly Father at the same time as they learn to talk to their earthly Daddy has given them great confidence in prayer. Many adults think they need special, religious words to talk to God our Father. But really, I don't know anyone who talks to their earthly Dad in formal speak: "My dearest Father, would you be pleased to grace us with your presence at the dinner table?" Prayer is one of those times where we are to be like children. Children just blurt it out and tell their loving Daddy all they have to say, troubles, needs, dreams and ideas. No special words or complete proper, grammatically correct sentences required.

Around the time that Tiger turned two we added The Lord's Prayer to the end of our Family Prayers time because Tiger started saying it of his own accord. He had picked it up in our Sunday services at the Lutheran Church, so we figured it was time to teach it, and reinforce it.

Since then we have also included music in our Family Prayers, because the children started it. For us this means singing and percussion instruments, and now guitars. We now start with the Invocation [In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit], and close with a blessing. After this we put a hand on each child's head and bless them [Jesus bless you] and they do the same to us. Joybug was able to bless her siblings, parents and grandparents long before she could talk. My not-Lutheran father has now included this into our family tradition of praying together when we part.

Since becoming a pastor, Christian also has us learning Luther's Small Catechism. Bit by bit, of course. So far we have learnt the Ten Commandments and responses in song, and we are onto learning about the Creed.

My Grandfather had it right. Teaching our children the faith is more important than anything else we do. It's not a part time, when-we-get-around-to-it, when-it's-not-a-struggle, task. This is the reason for our weekly "come Hell or high-water" attendance at church. Not only do we want to be with God's people (and the angels)  in worship, but we want our children to know that the number 1, most important thing there is in this life is our relationship with God our Father, through Jesus Christ.

Who's In Charge?

Tonight we went to the Boys Brigade parade, which is basically an evening service.

The pastor who gave the sermon showed a picture on the screen of a dog about to catch a ball, and asked the question:

"Who's in charge?"

One of the other kids said: "God is!"

To which the pastor replied: "Well, we'll always take that as an answer!" ''

The pastor then showed picture of a horse and rider. "Who's in charge?"
Joybug trusts Daddy on the trusty LCA office wall.

"The rider" (hopefully)

A fighter jet, "Who's in Charge?"

"The pilot"

Then finally he showed a picture of our world from outer space. Again he asked the question:

"Who's in charge?"

Before anyone else could answer Joybug, only just 2, yelled out:

"God!....God!"

I love the faith of our children. They have so much to teach us!


Thursday, June 13, 2013

Surf's Up Dudes!

I heard the water running the other day whilst I was entertaining a visitor.

Now all five of the children were quiet, except for the water running, and I was tired (still recovering from being crook) and just did not want to go on the hunt to find my water waster...

But the water had run for nearly too long, and who wants to clean up that much water!

I found Tank, in the bath with the boogie board surfing.

Yes, I called my visitor to have a look.

It's good to laugh with our children! They need someone to delight in them, to magnify their joy (joy shared becomes more joyful), and some days I need a good laugh to help wake me up and lighten my load.

Thanks surfer Tank!


Crosscountry 2013

Today we went to Brisbane to do crosscountry with our school. There were lots of other people there. The races had names. The first one was called "Emus", and the second one was called "Kangaroos" and the third one was called "Kookaburras".

I was in the Emu's race. The race was for Preps and year 1. It was 800 metres. Tank was with me too, and he got a ribbon. The others got really muddy because they had to go through puddles, and crawl in one.

I won a bronze medal because I came third. I was so fast.

Told by The Man

Mummy's Note: We are enrolled to Homeschool through Faith Christian School of Distance Education. This means that I don't have the responsibility for reporting to the Queensland Home Education Unit, and it also means that I have a wonderful teacher come to our home once a term to encourage me and our children in our homeschooling journey (and keep us accountable).

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Chicken and Cashew Masala...5 mins to prepare

For my brother, Buddy, and a good friend from Physie.

Slow cooking is great! Easy! Quick! and tasty!!

This is today's creation. According to The Man it is: "The best, most delicious lunch ever!" But then he is my enthusiastic, 6 year old boy.

Ingredients:

8 Chicken thighs, (I always check them over, cut off the easy to cut off bits of fat and feel for bone.)
1 or 2 Onions
4 or more Carrots
1 head of broccoli
2 or more zucchini
Pataks Cashew Masala simmer sauce (500g)
About a mug of lentils
About a mug and a half of water
Half a can of coconut milk

I have a Borner V Slicer. This is how I can prepare it so quickly. This brand is cost effective and long lasting. My last one lasted me 7 years, and I only had to buy a new one because the hand guard thing died. Oh and don't use it without a hand guard.

So, after checking over the chicken, put it in the bottom of the slow cooker (throw was the case this morning), then "julienne" all the vegies (dice might be an option if you don't have the slicer). Throw all the rest of the ingredients in. Stir so that the lentils are covered.

Set slow cooker on number 2 (fast) setting if you need it in 3 or 4 hours. Set it on number 1 (slow) setting if you are off for the day. Make sure the lid is on and then forget it.

If you open your slow cooker lid, it slows down the cooking time by half an hour as you have let the heat out. When you are ready to eat, give it a stir and the meat will start to fall apart. You can break it up with a spoon or serve as is.

Serve with a dollop of greek yoghurt if some is at hand. You could also serve with rice.

I did the preparation of this meal in 5 minutes because it is a Sunday, and we need to have our Sunday meal as soon as we get home. Sunday's are always an incredible rush for us...and today was no different, in fact Christian said we had to leave for church 10 minutes earlier. It is always so nice to come home to the smell of a hot meal, and knowing there is nothing to do but set the table. I also like to have left overs for Sunday evening or Monday lunch so that I reduce my overall preparation time in the kitchen.

I like to ensure that my family is getting their proper amount of vegies, thus the excessive amount of vegies. The lentils add bulk, instead of adding potato or rice. It's the lentils that needed the water. You could cook rice in the slow cooker in this dish, just remember if you add a cup of rice, you add two of water (plus a half a cup or so for dehydration).

If I had time...I would cut the chicken up and brown it, and I would brown the onions too. This needs to be done in a separate pan if you have a crock pot (I have a metal pot in mine - best buy yet!).

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

My Guinea Pig Report

I like to hold Pinky, he is really pretty.
Guinea Pigs come from South America. They are easily scared and can die if they get too scared. They have eyes on the sides of their heads, like lots of other animals. They have a pointy nose that people could sometimes think is the mouth.

It is a member of the rodent family. They have whiskers, like cats and dogs. They have fur all over them to keep them warm. They have really flappy ears, and scratchy claws. They have four claws on their front paws and on the back paws they have three. They have really sharp and long teeth, there are two at the bottom and two at the top.

This Fuzzy, she has a mohawk.
Babies. When they are born they are very small. Guinea pig babies are born without hair.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Rabbits and The Foxes

The three foxes wanted to eat the rabbits but they couldn't fit in the rabbit tunnels because they were small holes. The rabbits slept in the hay. There were so many tunnels because they had so many cousins. The rabbits loved the place. Their old place was only small, but this place was even bigger. In this place they have only one tiny baby. They like their little baby. Every single rabbit hunts for insects, the babies, the adults and even the kids. The foxes liked rabbits, and the rabbits were safe because they dug big and small tunnels.

Told and Illustrated by The Man

Birth of the Saviour

In the breeze the flowers dance,
The grass glistens in the sun,
The flowers sing their beautiful songs
And the trees clap their hands.
The bulbs show their beautiful flowers
And sing with glory,
And the fruits ripen,
Because the Saviour is born.

Written by Princess



Mummy's Notes:

Princess wrote this last week when I asked her if she had done everything on her school list. She says it's a poem. It's a beautiful child giving praise to God our Father. We are delighted!

Happy 2nd Birthday Joybug!

Joybug with her mechanical ladybug.
Joybug had a fall today. Tiger brought her inside, and as she was bleeding in her mouth we assumed that was the sum of the damage. Cold washer applied, but not ice pack as they have all disappeared at present.

She cried way past normal for this sort of injury (normal being just a minute or two past the application of cold washer and icepack). But after half an hour of whimpering and crying she fell asleep. It was after all sleep time, but she didn't want lunch.

She woke up at 3pm and she was not a joyful Joybug. Finally I noticed that she was crying in pain when I touched her left arm. We woke up Daddy, and he looked and looked. Eventually, we decided that an x-ray was required for proper diagnosis, but it was now 3:40pm.

So what do you do to avoid a 5 hour wait in emergency? You call the surgery. Yeah, okay, so it just happens to be Christian's other work, but he didn't pull rank to get an appointment. He got the appointment at 4:40pm. So Christian took her for x-rays before this appointment, whilst I took off for another appointment with the three oldest children.
Two birthdays three days apart.

Diagnosis: Greenstick fracture of clavicle, otherwise known as broken collarbone.

Treatment: Do nothing...but no climbing or falling, and we need to be careful when picking her up, and some pain relief at night as required. God is good...it's only a broken bone!

So as of today, the only person in the family who has avoided x-rays is Princess! God is good, she is so healthy! The two people in the family without a known broken bone: Christian and Princess!

And as of today we have four broken bones for children 2 and under! Tank's teeth story can be read here, and we will post the other broken bones soon.

Look at that floor! Photo by near 4yo Tank (as a guess)
So yesterday was Joybug's birthday. Happy Birthday Joybug!

On her second birthday I was super sick. I had only managed 2 hours sleep the night before, and the children had slept perfectly! So I didn't feel very much like celebrating anything, and intended a day with the children on the couch. My Beloved Christian, who was still recovering from feeling crook on Sunday, stayed at home from GP work to ensure I stayed in bed. So blessed with such a wonderful husband. Even more special, he cleaned up the house to perfection! So glad a photo was taken to show the proof!