Here we are in May already! The months fly by very fast. This first picture is Miss Joy driving her car. We use that crate to take Bibles to church–it keeps them off the floor of the van! She loaded herself into it when it was empty, along with a bear and several books, and pretended to drive. See her hands on the “wheel?”
It is time to finish the salve we started in early March. We had started three jars, and I got one finished just before Easter. Until meeting up with a friend in Timaru at Easter Conference, I didn’t have enough beeswax to finish, so now I need to do the other two jars. The first step is to strain the herbs out of the olive oil. Then, I weighed the oil, and for every ounce of oil, I added a Tablespoon of beeswax bits and the oil from one Vitamin E capsule. Then, I heat it all just enough to melt the wax, and pour it into small jars. The younger children (and a few of the older ones) love to eat the empty Vitamin E capsules! I opened about 50 that day, with such a big batch of oil, and they were all gone before the boys got home from work.
Also, a few days before Easter, Mr. Imagination brought up three baby turkeys! Because a hawk has been destroying all the turkey nests, these are the only ones we got this year. We kept them in the house for about two weeks; while we were gone a neighbor came in a few times a day to check on them. Now, we’ve gotten them acclimated to being outside in a small cage that we move around on our lawn. They got a lot of love the first week!
The day we drove over the mountains to Timaru was a gorgeous morning! It’s impossible to capture all we see with a camera, but here’s a tiny glimpse.
We harvested most of our pumpkins a couple of weeks ago. This is about 100 of them! On the far left you can see our biggest, a Hubbard. One end was rotting, so I cooked it immediately. It took a lot of work to get inside it. I had to use a cleaver and bang that with a piece of wood to finally crack the hard shell open. After I cleaned out the rotten bits and the seeds, I tried to weigh it. Both halves overloaded my 5 kg scale! I’m guessing it may have been about 13 kg, or 26-28 pounds. It was delicious, too! Very sweet. One of the gray ones was also almost that weight. It didn’t look quite so big, but had a smaller seed cavity. It was also very sweet. If any of my friends here in New Zealand want seeds, I saved all of them. The long brown one to the right is actually a zucchini. I hand pollinated it so the seeds would be what I wanted, and then watched it swell through the summer. It took only about three weeks to reach that size! I haven’t opened it up yet, because I’m making sure the seeds are totally mature. Anyone who wants zucchini seeds can have a few of them, too! I hope they are viable, anyway!
This is Elijah with his favorite toddler.
One morning right after we got off Daylight Savings, the girls were both up early enough to “help” take the cows back down to pasture.
At one point we had too many zucchinis, so I told the younger ones to cut them up. We cooked them a bit and fed them to the cows. The children had fun, and the cows had a feast!
Miss Joy loves to cut paper. She was delighted when Esther gave her an old phone book to cut.
The little girls set themselves up on Esther and Miss Joy’s bed one evening, with lots of pillows, soft toys, and books. They had great fun reading.