Tuesday, October 30, 2012

House Pictures

It is taking me so long to get pictures of our new house on my blog! I'm having troubles figuring out where to put everything inside, so I thought I would post some pictures from outside.
I took a couple of pictures today of the front of the house and our long driveway. You can see how much snow we have, which isn't much. You can also see the other side of the valley in the background of the 2 following pictures.  Again, this house used to be a duplex, that is why there are 2 front doors.  We hope to build a big entry on the front of the house with a wide veranda.  For now, we are so grateful to God for this house and property and we will just wait for His timing on the addition.

I love our long driveway.

There wasn't anything set up for our donkeys and chickens. So Larry and the kids quickly put together a barnyard for them.  When we first moved in, we just closed the gate on the driveway and let the donkeys roam in our fenced yard.  Larry and Ben moved the insulated chicken coop (shed) from one side of our yard to the other. They moved it next to a little wooden structure, that we are using for the donkeys.

Becky has helped Larry put up 2 fences now. She is a pro directing Larry to the right spot and in using the post pounder.

The fence goes down into the valley a little for the donkeys. I'm sad that they don't run anymore. Maybe next year Larry will make their area bigger.  I don't know if you can see Jacob in the picture below. He is laying down with the baby donkeys.  Look at the next picture and you will see.

Jacob stayed like that for a long time. I think all of them were sleeping, until Larry started his chainsaw right next to them!

The next picture is just another picture of the valley that is part of our property and also the other side.

The valley is to the east of us, so we have beautiful sunrises. Just look the next picture.  God is so good to us!

Lamentations 3:22-24
New King James Version (NKJV)
     (Through) the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
 They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“Therefore I hope in Him!”

Friday, October 26, 2012

Making Butter - With a Mixer

 This week whipping cream was on sale at our grocery store, something that rarely happens, and so I thought I would make some butter to have on hand for the upcoming holidays. Butter goes on sale here occasionally for $3/lb and I just bought whipping cream for $1.94/litre.  I used 1.5 litres and I ended up with 1 1/3 lbs of butter and 1 full quart of butter milk. I use the buttermilk in place of milk in my bread recipe. So, I guess the savings aren't wildly wonderful, but, there was a little savings and it only takes about 20 mins to make butter with your mixer. Here's how I do it;

First, I pour the whipping cream into my mixer. I have a Bosch and love it. I have had a Kitchen Aid, but for a serious baker, it just couldn't hold up.  In the picture below, the cream is just at the thick cream stage.

After the whipped cream stage, the cream starts to break down again. You can see in the picture below that there is a lot of liquid.

About the 10 minute mark, the buttermilk really starts to separate and the butter starts to form into small clumps.  Then all of a sudden, you have 2 things in your mixer, which is the buttermilk and the butter.

At this point, I strain the buttermilk into my quart jar. Then I start squishing the butter against the side of the mixing bowl with a wooden spoon to get out the rest of the liquid. I also add about 2 tsp of salt to the butter, which will get worked in as you squeeze the buttermilk out of the butter.  I run cold water over the butter to help rinse the liquid off.

When I have as much of the liquid out as I can, I form the butter into smaller serving sizes.  For this I use my Pampered Chef dry/liquid measuring cup. I set it at 1/2 cup and squish the butter in, then I push it out onto plastic wrap, wrap it up and freeze it.  We only use butter on special occasions as it is just out of our budget to use everyday. So, 1/2 cup is a great size for a treat. When they are frozen, I put them all into a ziploc bag in the freezer.

I was able to get four 1/2 cup portions and one 2/3 cup portion and a quart of buttermilk for $3.  It's a good thing to keep in mind if you happen to find whipping cream on clearance.  Butter is easy and so yummy to make!

This post is linked up to Homestead Revival Barn Hop  Share it One More Time

Monday, October 15, 2012

Recent Acitivies

Since we moved in we have had some other events that I wanted to share. 
First, I was sad to leave my pumpkin patch this year as it was the best one I have ever had. And I have to admit, when Larry told me we probably didn't have time to take any pumpkins with us, that was the only time I almost cried during our move. Although there were other stressful and scary times, I knew God was in control and I didn't need to worry. So I would just think in my head. "And yet I will praise thee O Lord".  So when the thought of not having any of the pumpkins I worked SO hard to grow for so long came, yes, I did almost cry. BUT, I didn't. God is good.  When Larry got back from what he was doing and we only had about 1 hour to be off our property, he told me to start loading pumpkins in the trailer. So Rebekah and I loaded, until we couldn't fit any more in it. I had to leave over half of them there, but I was happy I had some.
When we got them to the new house, the question was, "What do we do with them now?" We decided to take them to a local famers' market. Larry had to drive, because they were VERY heavy and he thought I could loose control and flip.  When we got to the market, I got out to ask the lady where to park, and I could see a man was talking to Larry. The lady went somewhere else, so I went over to Larry and he told me the fruit guy from BC wanted to buy all of our pumpkins! And he did, every last one of them. We didn't even have to unload them or pay for a space. While we were in town, looking for big boxes for him to take them in his trailer, he unloaded them and when we got back with a couple of boxes, he paid me and we left.
In the picture below are most of the pumpkins. I did take some out because the trailer was so over weight.

Then, last week, Ben turned 9.  I felt so bad because I hadn't seen a calendar in a couple of weeks and didn't even know what day it was. So, I was able to unpack a few balloons and streamers to decorate with. I made cupcakes too. And I am so happy that Ben is easy to please. He asked for pajamas, a book and a chocolate bar. So I got him pajamas, a few chocolate bars, a children's adventure story book and one of my copies of Farmer Boy. He was very pleased.
Ben with his birthday presents. He is wearing the pajamas.

On October 10th, we woke up to snow falling. It stayed on the ground for 2 days, then the temperatures got warm again.

And finally, I was settled enough to make bread again. Larry had been buying bread from the store and a friend had given us a few loaves of her awesome homemade bread, but everyone was thrilled to have bread right out of the oven again.

That is what has been going on here, other than unpacking of course.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Finally... The Move

Well, I don't really even know where to pick up, other than where I left off... God is good! He orchestrated this move so great for us.  We were able to buy a 53' trailer from an auction to use to move, my mom came to help for 2 weeks, and we would not have been able to get half of what we got done with out her.  We were able to move in to our new place 1 week early, because it was empty and the financing had all gone through.
The trailer pulled up to our old house getting loaded up.
My mom taking a break to go for a ride with Ben on his dune buggy.

I love the picture below. It is of my whole family sleeping in the family room of our old house on our last night there. We wanted the upper floor completely cleaned out, so we moved the mattresses downstairs. It's funny because that is where we all slept the first night we moved in 6 1/2 years ago.
God really had his hand in this move. We sold privately within 2 weeks and bought privately. We found out that the bank was going to pull out of our deal to buy our new house at the last minute because it looked "fishy". We were all using the same lawyer, because we thought it would be easier and the banks don't like private sales. But our mortgage broker, whom we have known for over 20 years, went to bat for us and got the bank to stick to the deal! Praise the Lord! 
Here are some interior pictures of our new house. I'll post some of the outside and more of the inside once it is somewhat set up.

Me, in our kitchen. It is so much bigger than it looks.
Our family room
The dining room - don't you love the mattress? I don't, but I do love the hard wood floors.

Thank you for taking time to peek at our new place.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!

We have so much to be thankful for this year. We are getting settled in our new house and I really love it! God has blessed us with a beautiful home.
I hope to post pictures really soon and tell of God's goodness to us in how He kept working things out for us, even at times when we didn't know it.

I just want to leave you with the words of our very own government from 55 years ago when they changed our Thanksgiving day to October.

On Thursday, January 31, 1957, the Canadian Parliament proclaimed:
“A Day of General Thanksgiving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed – to be observed on the 2nd Monday in October.”
I pray that we as a nation would hold these words close to our hearts and turn our hearts back to God who is so good to us.