The little birds...

If you watch little birds you will see they are busy and happy! Using whatever they can find they create the most gorgeous little nest.
I would be the little bird with some glittery thread in her nest!
We can be like this. Happily working away with the things that are available to us to create a beautiful and happy home.
All the while with a little song in our heart.

Banner by Free Pretty Things for You.

Sunday, 20 November 2016

The Vicky Challenge. Being industrious.

This challenge was much easier than I imagined to stick to! I thought it would be a long year to write down our savings every week but it is an easy habit now. It has opened my eyes even further to the value of all our work. The Vicky Challenge considers the dollar value of what you do which is very interesting to find out. This is over and above all the other benefits of building up your home and a happy household.

This week I wrote in my savings book:
Making all work lunches $100.
Chloe cutting my hair and the whole month of DIY beauty series $240
The bucket of honey that we were given $20
I cleaned the car inside and out $45
Total $405

The pictures in this post are just various things I have made this year. 

I continually notice how hard working you all are! You are industrious! I love and admire that so much! I was brought up that hard work was a good thing. Mum and Dad still work very hard. Teaching your children to be hard workers is such an important thing.  This is what helps the generations to come and the work you do now impacts the family far more than you know!

Another thing I notice is how most of us put fairly low values on things which in fact in the retail world would be worth much much more. I am very guilty of this too. But I was reading Proverbs 31 and I noticed something...

"She is a hard worker, strong and industrious.
She knows the value of everything she makes...." (Prov 31. 17 and 18)

It turns out what we are doing here is just what the Proverbs woman did! Knowing the value of things means we can charge accordingly if we are selling our goods. It also means when we are giving gifts we should feel we have given a valuable gift and be proud of that! When we make things we are adding that value to our household.  The Proverbs woman is not underpricing herself. She knows the value of everything she makes!

Then we get to the verse "she is generous to the poor and needy"
Well, all your hard work not only looks after your family but often enables you to give to others!  This is like Vicky and her massive vegetable garden and all the work she puts into it then gives generously to others who need some food. Or the enormous work Patsy puts into her pantry and this has enabled her now to be feeding clean up crews after the hurricane in their local area.

Hard work is very rewarding. Being industrious is a wonderful thing! When I read what many of you have done in a week I am amazed! There is so much industry!
Industrious means diligent, hard working, steady, persistent and many other wonderful things.
Of these diligent is one I love. Diligence and watchfulness! There is a lot in scripture about all of these things. I love those words. Prudent is another that is worth studying.

The Proverbs woman is "always busy and looks after her families needs. "

In society today you can get a lot of flak about much of this. In many circles you would be brave to admit you love to look after your family, your children, your husband and such basic things as these!
I shared how when the girls were young I endlessly had bad advice directed at me to put myself first and not the kids. I was always told the kids would grow up and then what would I have? I shared that here in a post called "Your time."

Knowing the value of what you make and do means you can count it in your income and feel confident in your financial contributions as well! Also you know what your goods are worth if you are selling, trading or giving this is important. It is not a bad thing to know their retail value at all! It is very handy too that we have many ways to check the value of our goods as apart from stores we have online sources and it is fairly easy to have a check around.
When you know the worth of something you tend to value it more. It can inspire you to take up new things or expand what you are doing.
Many times during this challenge I was floored to find the value of things. Early on I had made several dozen muffins and I found out at the shops they were worth over $200.  This then happened with sausage rolls and much of my cooking. I never had realised how much baking had added so much value to the household. It was an eye opener!

Jes has a beautiful series on this called "The Blessings of Old Fashioned Work" It is wonderful!
Reading this does me good as I need a motivator to finish painting my house before December!
This is also a study for me as I am starting to think on my plans for next year.

One of the hardest workers I ever knew is Laine. If you need encouraging and uplifting reading go to her articles. They can be found here at Laines Letters. If you have never read any of these read just one and you will see! 

How did your Vicky challenge go last week or how did you save money? I should ask how were you industrious?

Have a great new week!

And in case anyone missed this news on Friday KELSEY IS HAVING A BABY!   👶


  1. Dear Annabel,
    Your pictures are beautiful as always!!
    I am so excited for the end of the year to see what people have added up as yearly savings. I didn't participate, but I have been eagerly reading what everyone else has saved.
    We had a lot of yard expense this year that I knew was coming and we are old (LOL), so no one cares how much we save. We have always bought on sale, with coupons, or when specials came up, so I have never really tracked it.
    Our CPW group has done an awesome job of saving, working hard, and doing beautiful home made projects this year. I feel blessed by all of you.
    I do hope Bluey is continuing to heal, that Cookie's husband is doing better, and that Patti's brother Billy is getting some help. Prayers will continue.
    With love and hugs,

    1. Dear Glenda,
      You have achieved a lot this year especially with your new garden. I know it will give you a lot of produce in the future and you are set up well because of it. So that was excellent!
      Thank you to your messages to everyone! I hope this week is going well for you! I am trying to finish off lots of jobs that have just a bit to go then they will be done! With love

  2. Hi Annabel and Bluebird friends,

    I had a very industrious week right up until Friday. On Friday I had a small spot checked and it was decided the skin specialist would remove it Saturday. The spot was removed from my upper inner right leg.

    With the removal of plaster board on the walls the house and floors were covered in plaster dust. On Sunday morning I ran the mop over the floor to remove it and managed to split the stitches at the same time. Back for more stitches and a smack off the Dr, followed by orders to sit down and do nothing.

    Today I made one of the Christmas puddings and this is currently steaming away on the bench of our veranda kitchen.
    I have found that by keeping an account of my household activities and savings that I feel a sense of achievement. Bluey has been a bit down in the dumps that he has been doing nothing and I have had to do more. He felt it was his fault that my stitches burst. Bless him. I decided to write down everything I saw him doing and I added a dollar value. When I showed him he was much happier with himself. Thank you Annabel for giving me a way to lift this good mans spirit.

    This week has seen a lot of baking using up fruit that was starting to go off. There have been left overs re thought into new meals and building materials have been repurposed rather than thrown out. Apple peels were put through the dehydrator and will be used in Jes' recipes once I have enough. I wrote down $405 in my savings this week.

    Kelsey's new is simply wonderful. We will soon have your new Grandchild and Kelsy's bub to add to our growing family of baby bluebirds. How precious!

    Life is good.

    1. Jane,
      Thanks for sharing with us what you did for Bluey. I just did that for my husband and it certainly went a long way to cheer him up too. Take good care of that surgical site on your leg. Blessings. Cookie

    2. Dear Jane, Oh no that wasn't good having to get re stitched! Ok it is tempting to do more than we should when recovering... which is kind of ironic as you are the same as Bluey in this! Naughty!
      Well some things are a double edged sword. A good man wants to provide and be doing and earning etc and that makes it hard for him to rest. That was a great idea to show him how much he has intact achieved and how important it is. It is good for us all to consider that as we all have high and low times and good and bad weeks. Its the averages that count.
      I love your outdoor kitchen and the use of that to cook your puddings. We are working on improving our outdoor cooking area. This is a big help in summer plus the back up plan if the power is out etc.
      Well done on the savings and saving the apple peels! I have lemon skin drying also for Jes' recipes.
      I hope this is a good week and your stitches are now healing nicely! With love

  3. Annabel, thanks so much for your post and the link to Jes' series on work. Inspiring stuff!

    1. Dear Debby, I think that is such a good series. I go to that blog often. It is really like aBible study to do and read. Have a good week Debby! Love

  4. Gorgeous post Annabel. A great week here, mainly saving in groceries and Christmassy things. My daughter has her last school exam for the year today, so then we are on to all the fun and festive stuff. I have a stash of all kinds of crafty gear and fabrics, so I'm hoping for some Mum + Daughter time before she's too much more grown up! As you know, I've been placing a value on what I do in the home for many years now, so I know for sure, that each and every week, the financial value of my efforts, are at least equal to what I would earn in a full time job outside of the home. Most weeks, it's double or triple that. And after all, we only earn, to spend and make our lives better, don't we? So why now find ways to stay home and do the same. Congratulations to Kelsey and Mr Kelsey! Wonderful news! Mimi xxx

    1. Dear Mimi,
      The last exam is always a reason to celebrate. And the girls were always tired by this time of year and after all of the assignments and exams etc. Now you can have down time!
      The dollar value in the home per week of all the creating, cooking, recycling, vintage finds and so on is mind blowing. Your recent vintage finds, clothes finds and updates and gift making etc all has been beautiful. You have given me a lot of inspiration!
      Thank you for so much encouragement! With lots of love


  5. Hi Annabel!!

    Well, I am delighted with Kelsey and her husband's news!! This blessing couldn't go to nicer people!!

    With so many babies coming along, my husband says he now knows why the site is called 'the bluebirds are nesting'!

    Your post, Annabel, is truly beautiful - a photographic record of a set of lovely work!! Yes, homeliness is the key!! Thank you!!

    A bit of outdoor industry went on here last week. To pay someone (if they would do it!!) would be too costly! A variety of bush weeds and sought-after nettles (and more) were dealt with! We value having grassed areas, so put significant, marathon efforts into breaking weed cycles by hand! There is one area that I love to see the cleared effect of from a window! One day, we intend to put up a really old-fashioned clothesline there (I mean one that you prop up in the centre with a bit of timber, or a stick!) Some of the greenery is being used as shade for atop a shed. Other weeds were burnt to ash - good for the ground! So, we've been feathering the outdoors, in a sense!

    I just love Kelsey and her husband's news!! Mmmmm, it's something wonderful to contemplate while weeding privet and cobblers pegs and .....!

    With very warm regards,
    Rachel Holt

    1. P.S. How's Andy's eye?

    2. Dear Rachel,
      That is so cute yes the Bluebirds are really nesting! Kelsey's baby can be the official baby Bluebird in the nest!
      Andy's eye is ok. It looks dreadful. The specialist said to tell people he was in a brawl with a gang of bikies. He said no one wants to say they were injured by a bird. True. lol However it is ok and no serious damage or vision issues. So he was lucky!
      The clothes line you mention.... that is what I have asked for from Andy for my birthday! I will send you photos of what I have in mind. He says yes and so my ugly rusty clothes line will go and this will e heaps better and nicer!
      Have a great week Rachel! With love

  6. Thank you for this post, Annabel, and the links too. We need reminding how important work at home is! I am excited to tally the savings up once the year is through. My husband and I have saved a great deal, especially with painting the house together mostly on week-ends. That savings is huge, as is yours from all the painting you are doing!

    What great news that Kelsey is having a baby! Congrats!!! Love, Teresa

    1. Dear Teresa,
      Well done on painting your house. I was thinking it is not just the money saved by doing it yourself either. On top of that you have increased the value of your house! And on top of that probably preserved woodwork and repair as well! This is all a big achievement! I guess I would add how much I love the house too and how it looks which is another thing!
      To work out the savings I googled "average price to have house painted" in our city. Then subtracted costs. It looks like we saved about $23,000 according to this method. Can you believe that?
      This alone means we both had big years! With love

  7. Annabel it is really amazing when you find out the prices of things that you make - often I have problems coming to grips with them.

    My week was based on our move to the Queen size bed - I had to buy new sheets and mattress protectors. Over all I saved a whopping $632- there. The two sets of sheets alone were a savings of $301- each. I also got free delivery too which was a massive savings as well.

    Yesterday I popped into Big W, I was after a slow cooker for our daughter for Christmas. They were not on sale but the lass who served me at the check out shared the family and friends discount with me that was on yesterday (I must look into this) and she gave me 10% off.

    My husband mowed our yard then also did our elderly neighbour's place. Wouldn't have a clue how much it costs to get a yard mown but the neighbour's isn't an easy yard to mow so would cost extra.
    (The mowing is only being done until she decides what she is doing with the place.

    The hard prune that my husband gave the weed trees in the neighbour's yard has let sunlight into the fruit trees - for the first time since we have been here we can actually see mangos on the trees. Hopefully we will get some before the bats, possums and birds get to them.

    My friend is in love with the cleaning liquid and is not only making her own but sharing how great it is with others.

    I must share a comment that came my way on Saturday - I popped over to the Island to do the huge ALDI shop (I never shop on a Saturday). As I was paying for my trolley load (and it was full) the lady on the check out said that she couldn't believe how much I had for $240-. She told me that she had done her grocery shop the day before and spent $210- and didn't have anywhere near as much as I did. Obviously she doesn't shop at ALDI.

    I am glad to read that all of those on the sick list are on the improve. How is Andy's eye?


    1. Dear Lynette, I hope your mangoes ripen and you get them too! That would be wonderful!
      You did so well with the bed linen? I have to find out from you if the sheets were from a store or online store? This sounds very good.
      I would guess the mowing is more expensive than you think. I have heard people paying so much. Andy trims our hedge and it is not big or anything but it is over $100 just for that.
      You have converted your friend to the cleaner! That shows what a good fight that was for you to make her!
      The free Coles magazine just now has quite a few Mango recipes... I thought I should mention that.
      Andy's eye is ok and no serious damage he just looks like he has been in a really bad fight! It was a fright though!
      Lynette I am the same with Aldi. I had a huge loaded up trolly. In Coles or Woolworths it would be HUNDREDS. I had very good lamb roast, pork roast, bacon, heaps of veggies, two christmas gifts and just so much stuff it took me ages to load the car and unpack it all. It has kept us going and going. Amazing. I just save up to go to Aldi now the difference is so dramatic.
      Have a good week! With love

  8. Annabel,
    This is a post after my own heart. I have always had the rule that everyone contributes to the household down to the youngest member that isn't an infant of course! Being industrious is a good quality to have and the provisions we add to the household, larder or bank accounts comes from our own industriousness and blessings bestowed upon us. I have been in awe of all of the ladies here and how amazing they are with getting things done and saving. I enjoy hanging clothes on the line and ironing(LOL) to me these are comforting chores. Although I could never be a Proverbs 31 woman because I just fall short I appreciate her worth.
    Now my week was devoted to helping others that need me so our savings fall mostly on Rick's shoulders this week. He fixed and painted an ATV $400, repaired a broken battery charger $40, saved $21 on gas using rewards, I cashed out for $50 in Kmart gift cards from swagbucks which will be Coty's gift, 2 dozen eggs $4, $40 we saved with coupons and we have started burning wood. I hope everyone has a prudent and diligent week!

    1. Dear Vicky,
      I like your rule. I really think when everyone is contributing they also feel important and part of things. And they learn skills all along. Important!
      Now I look back I am so glad to realise how industrious my Grandparents were. From what I know of them so where their parents. Very hard workers. Nan and Mum even sitting down resting they still would be working on some project.
      You are a Proverbs woman! It is a whole picture not everything is done on everyday. And there are seasons for things too.
      Your savings and Ricks were excellent! He has some interesting jobs that he has come in. It all adds up so well.
      It must have cooled down there a lot now you have the fire going. The opposite here!
      Have a very good week this week! With love

  9. Somehow I missed that news! Congratulations to Kelsey and her husband! How exciting!

    One of the many things I did this week was to pressure cook two turkeys that I bought on sale for .59 cents a pound. After getting the meat off the bone and straining the broth, I canned the turkey meat (7 quarts, plus a little extra that I just put into the fridge). I've got about of gallon of broth left that I'm going to parcel out into quarts today and freeze.

    1. Dear Jenn,
      Those turkeys at that price are like a dream come true for me. Turkey here is around $10 a kilo (2.2 lbs is a kilo) On sale and usually after Christmas I sometimes get them for around $4 a kilo. So $2 ish a pound. Then I go crazy. It is my favourite meat. I would also be making broth and using it all up! Wonderful! I am so glad you got such a good bargain.
      Here we have chicken pies as a good meal to freeze so I just use turkey and make pies this is good for using up left overs. I really hope I get some this year! You have me thinking about it! Have a good week! With love

  10. Dear Annabel,
    I always enjoy seeing the gifts you've made and their presentation. It's very inspiring. For us, not spending was actually saving. The only things purchased this week were the few things that were done for nest feathering. The lemon peel is now sufficiently dry to make some infused oil for lip balm and lotion bars. I know how much these two things will be appreciated by those in my family who have allergies and are gluten free. It's so difficult and expensive for them to find these products. 5 quarts of chicken bone broth were canned for a savings of $25, 5 containers of glitter on sale for 99 cents each for a savings of $15 dollars, the savings on the lemons was $4.50, did my own pedicure $60, homemade card sent for a family birthday, $5. I put $109.50 in my book. I still wrestle with how to cost out all meals eaten at home. I think that's about it for me. Blessings. Cookie

    1. Dear Cookie, Please take photos and tell us how the lip balm and lotion bars go as I would love to know. They sound beautiful and great for gifts.
      The broth sounds wonderful and as far as Im concerned you can never have too much glitter! Well done on the savings! You are right just not spending is saving. I like no spend days which I achieve more if I just stay home! With love

  11. Annabel, this is such an encouraging and inspiring post! All your pictures are so beautiful, oh my, they inspire me so. You definitely have a talent for presentation. Here in the U.S. we will be celebrating our Thanksgiving holiday this week and then it will be time to get in the full swing of the Christmas holiday. I'll be wrapping and prettying up all the gifts I've been working on this year getting them ready for gift giving. Thank you for your pretty presentation ideas!

    1. Dear Patsy, Have a vey happy Thanksgiving! I know your present supply will be looking pretty good!
      I am always on the look out for presentation ideas. Soaps were challenging I found. I have started some wrapping. The tree goes up in about a week! With love

  12. Hi Annabel, in the USA 1 liter/ quart of raw local honey is worth $18 and that is only if you go pick it up from the beekeeper. If you by it in a store it is worth much more.

    1. Thank you! It is amazingly expensive and such a handy thing to have. Especially pure honey like this! Thanks so much! xxx

  13. Such a happy post! I have to laugh, because just yesterday I had a batch of rolls that I was planning to take to the church ladies' meeting fail to rise properly. Time was very short and I was so tempted to just run by the grocery on the way and buy some rolls, but I pulled out my one-hour(-ish) roll recipe and made not only enough for the church but also some extras for the freezer. I pulled out the flour two hours before the meeting was scheduled to begin and managed to bake, tidy up, and drive into town on time! Whew! That's a few dollars saved!
    Blessings, Leigh

    1. Dear Leigh,
      The rolls sound wonderful! The smell of fresh bread! They would have been popular I am sure plus you got some for at home. Good idea! Many thanks Leigh! Love

  14. Dear Annabel,
    Such a lovely post.You are very industrious! You bring such
    beauty to your home and the blogging world. It is always so encouraging to read your blog.
    Good news My brother Billy phone is back on! He was able to walk one block to Circle K to get milk. His back is slowly feeling
    better thank you for the many prayers for him. He was also taking medicine for a diffrent problem and his labs say he is healed(insert happy dance) they will have him take it one
    more month to be sure. Thank you again to all the prayer
    warriors. Connie I have contacted several organizations and feel like I will find someone to help him. Someone even left
    corn flakes and some canned food for him. God is so good!

    Kellsy such wonderful news I am so happy for you!
    I pray everyone has a wonderful week.We celebrated Thanksgiving with our friends on Sunday. My daughter and I will cook our turkey on Thursday.We got it for 49 cents a pound so it will make a lovely frugal feast.
    With Much love,

    1. Dear Patti, Thank you so much!
      I am so glad you heard from your brother! I am glad his phone is back on he needs that. I am glad he is doing better and that you contacted some organisations to see if any will help him. I hope they do. I also hope the new President will make things much better for veterans as he is promising. They should be looked after well in my opinion. I am really glad to hear this! We will keep praying!
      You got a great deal on the Turkey too! Have a very happy Thanksgiving! Thank you for the update also... with love

  15. Annabel, when you were told "when your kids grow up what will you have?" You can now say with pride and gratefulness that you were the main one to instill godly values, take care of them and their needs, raise them to be good and godly women, fulfill your godly duty, and making lasting memories of love and care. That's what you have--golden treasures. You have the love, admiration, and respect of your daughters, and you have a great relationship. I know all those blessings far outweigh any short-lived monetary gain. I know it's hard to stand up for what you know to be the right thing when you are young and there is so much pressure to take the short-sighted route. I really admire you.

    1. Dear Joy, Thank you. I had this said to me a lot! Since then I have worked out that the best thing to do is live fully and do our best in the seasons we are in and the next one will take care of itself!
      I think there would be 10x more pressure now on young women than I had too. I know Lucy gets it as people think she is mad to want to look after her own baby! It sounds incredible but its true! I keep telling her enjoy every bit and every stage and she is.
      Now I get to do it again with Grandchildren! Thank you so much for your kind words! Love

  16. Dear Annabel and Bluebirders,

    Such happy news for Kelsey and her husband! Hope you are keeping well and have a good pregnancy Kelsey. Xo

    We have had near a week break away on holiday. Have not been very industrious! :-)

    Actually, do find it becomes a different type of being industrious when we go away. It is a planning and ideas kind of industrious! Still, there are good buys to be found even (or especially) on holidays. More time to look out for things and not so harried or rushed. It is always a good time to re focus some goals. I have a much clearer head. ;-)

    Loved reading about everyones news and comments.

    Love, Kaye xoxo

    1. Dear Kaye,
      I am so glad you had a nice break! That is good for you. I love to look round, op shop, and think! Like you a break gives me time to plan and re assess. I come home with so many ideas! It is really good.
      I need to have some kind of break at the end of the year and think about my plans for next year! Some time to reflect! First I better finish up all my projects!
      Hope you have a lovely week Kaye, with love

  17. Dear Annabel and ladies,
    Thank you so much for all of your congratulations, well wishes, and prayers! We are overjoyed!
    Annabel this is such an excellent post. Your other post about our time has been heavy on my heart lately. I need to go back and read it again.
    I was not industrious around the house this week I am afraid. A bit of cooking and a bit of laundry is about all I managed, but my husband has been wonderful.
    Friday (before I found out that I am pregnant) I shot a rattlesnake on the back porch! That was my first encounter with one! The dog alerted me with her growling and when I looked out the window my eyes just about jumped out of my head. It was a very unnerving sight to say the least. Anyway, he's gone now. I felt just a little like a pioneer woman.
    I hope everyone has an excellent week! Thursday is Thanksgiving in the US and that is when we are planning to make our Big Announcement :) Baby blue birds- Jane, I love it!
    With lots of love and thanks, Kelsey

    1. Dear Kelsey,
      Everyone is so happy for you! Best news ever! You are having the baby Bluebird and have done plenty of nesting!
      I can't believe you had a rattlesnake! To me they re out of the movies like cowboy movies! I hate snakes and these seem the worst of all. And pythons which scare me half to death also. At the farm we have Tiger snakes. They are deadly. So I guess we are used to those but rattlesnakes still sound worse! I am glad you have a dog that will let you know a snake is around. You will need that when you have a toddler!
      Happy Thanksgiving for Thursday! I think this means we know about your news before many others! I think your announcement is going to cause a lot of excitement and happiness! That is wonderful! With love

  18. Loved your post about hard work! I truly believe that hard work can change your life! It may not change some of your circumstances, but it has the ability to change you attitude about your circumstances! You become more self-reliant.
    This week I sent out the baby quilt to Hawaii, made an oversized lap quilt for Christmas for granddaughter in Houston and started on next lap quilt for granddaughter here in town. None of my quilts have had any OOP costs!
    I made up 20 peanut butter/Apple/granola wraps for snacks. Also made up 18 ranch/turkey/cheese wraps and 2 pepperoni wraps all out of bits of leftovers for lunches! Doing this emptied little containers in fridge and kept a partial Apple from going bad! Plus, it saved the cost of take out lunches or snacks!
    I pressure canned 16 pints of beans- 8 black, 8 white all at one time using my second canner rack! It's amazing how often we incorporate beans into our meals when I don't have to buy them in canned form from the store or spend half a day soaking and rinsing and cooking our dry beans first!! Saves time and money!!
    Speaking of money, I got $59 in checks in the mail this week for rebates and surveys I participated in! Immediately deposited this and used it to pay some medical bills!
    We ate some freezer meals this week and were able to take dinner over to some friends. It's so wonderful to have a stocked pantry so we can do this at the last minute when a need arises without going to the store!!
    Sold an Iowa pallet wall hanging to a repeat customer and shipped that out. Made another Ohio pallet hanging and shipped that out as Christmas present for son-in-law. Again, the cost was only our time as we had the free pallets already disassembled at home!
    We sold an extra car that we had within 12 hours on Craigslist so our insurance and gas costs will go way down!
    Canned 8 pints of teriyaki sauce.
    Donated another 2 big trash bags of clothes to Goodwill.
    Am donating a lap quilt to a friend's sister whose husband has MERSA and e-coli that has swept through his body including his brain. My friend has a quilt I made her when her husband had his liver/kidney transplant and wanted to pay me for a quilt for her sister now. As it happens, I had a beautiful lap quilt already made that was waiting in my drawer for someone to give it to because the quilt had not previously "told" me who it should belong to. Now I know why and who it was waiting for! I won't let my friend pay for it because it was a labor of love!

    Definitely feel like we have been blessed abundantly this week!

    1. Dear Gardenpat, Thank you! I was thinking of you hen I wrote this post! You are one who does so much and in many areas too from quilts to gardening and selling crafts. The verse about knowing the value of your work etc is very much like you and selling your reclaimed wood projects for some extra money. It is just fantastic!
      And again you had a great week! Your quilt for your friends sister is so kind and I know she will love it! Well done! Thank you for sharing your week! With love

  19. Dear Annabel- I must have missed hearing about Andy's poor eye , I do hope it heals well.Thanks again for all your continuing encouragement to us all.
    kelsey-wonderful news ! so pleased for you and hubby x
    Gardenpat- you are a very generous kind soul x
    The last few days have been full with my little grandsons special 5 yr old birthday today.I had a special dinner for him last night and his smile was wide as could be and he appreciated the little details .That was all the thanks I needed.My siblings birthday today too and an unexpected funeral .It has been a full on few days. Other stuff has gone by the wayside for now.
    With love Maria xx

    1. Dear Maria,
      I know you made your Grandsons birthday so special! He sounds like a child who takes it all in and things mean a lot to him. At five he will not forget what you did for him either. I love that you had a special dinner in his honour!
      I am sorry about you having a funeral. It sounds like you had a very big week. Which is actually on top of the earthquake last week and another one I think yesterday or the day before (but not so big) but sill must take a toll on everyone.
      I hope this week is easier! With love

  20. It was a lovely post to read Annabel and I agree with all the others about your presentation of gifts being superb. Funny Kelsey talked of shooting a rattlesnake (you brave Girl!) , today I went and tried out two guns. We are overrun with foxes and rabbits. The man in the gun shop was particularly helpful and pleasant and listened to what I wanted and once I have the gun safe dynabolted to the floor the job begins. I had an awful experience with a fox this week in with my girls. one hen dead and the rest traumatised so badly. The foxes of course are vermin, introduced species and they are also taking our native creatures as well. The worst part is, it didn't consume any of the chook, just killed her and pulled feathers from a few more.
    I have not been overly keen for Christmas here this year but have put some effort in as it's only a matter of weeks away now. Hope the rest of your week is lovely. Fi xx

    1. Hi Fi,
      So sorry about your girls.:( We put up a hot fence that they use for cattle around the girls pen. You use wire and a hot box after the predators get socked a few times they stay away. You can get them at the feed store. Probably also on amazon. They walk you how to do it on You Tube. My friend in SC also had good luck
      with the hot fence and her girls.
      No more foxes have got in after the hot box fence. It is just a piece of wire that has an electric current.
      Very easy to set up.
      Hope this helps,

    2. Fi I agree with Patti. We had issues with dingoes and our girls in the NT. Hot tape connected to a battery operated electric pulse fence was the best thing. We had two small children who both eventually got zapped by the fence. They only did this once and learnt their lesson. However if you can shoot them do it. One less breeding feral animal is a blessing.

    3. Dear Fiona,
      Oh no. I am worried about the chooks as foxes are relentless. They are sneaky! No eggs probably while they are so upset either.
      I hope you don't lose anymore I feel fond of your chickens knowing how you rescued them and got them to this point where they are healthy and happy!
      Patti and Janes suggestions are great... setting up a perimeter that way could work! Good luck! With love

    4. thank you Patti and Jane. I'm getting two guns and will dispatch them when possible. My chickens are still laying which says a lot about their general state of happiness I think. Every day I've had eggs from all of them, and the last couple even the one that was held down and scuffed up a bit laid. That surprised me. Organising gun license as we speak but takes time. They have such a lovely run, it's the size of a typical suburban back yard, has a dam and gum trees and rocks and hills and a big tank stand that they run under if hawks go over and of course their shed. So it's all somewhat spoilt now. But I will get the buggers! They are destroying our native animals too. And I will ping the indian mynah's as well. My dad used to be onto this. I got a cage from the council to trap them but they were too smart, that is what the second gun is for. I love animals with a passion, but these ones are vermin and don't belong here. They are actually predicting that our beautiful Kookaburras and Magpies will die out in the next 20-30 years. Not if I can help it!!!! Fi xx

  21. Hi Annabel and Bluebirders,
    Firstly, Congratulations to Kelsey and her husband - such wonderful news for you both and your families.

    What a wonderful post. There are many people here that I thought about as I read the post.

    I love the way you've packaged your gifts. The love that has gone into making each gift is so evident in the way you have presented them. There will certainly be some very happy people at Christmas.

    I admire all the work that has been achieved this week and the savings made. It will be such an eye-opener when the final tallies in the Vicky Challenge are revealed.
    Enjoy your week,

    1. Dear Janine,
      Thank you so much! Having seen your photos of all your being and Christmas gifts I know you are a hard worker. I knew that already though!
      There is a lot of joy in being productive! It is happy.
      Thank you re the packaging. I am always looking for ways to present things. Cellophane bags are one of the best things ever as they give a crispy shop like result. Another thing I get now is little boxes with clear lids or windows. They have them in cheap shops. Even small sewn or knitted items look fabulous in these although they are meant for cooking. So helpful! Have a good week Janine! Love

  22. Congratulations to Kelsey and her husband! This is such exciting news!

    Annabel, I hope Andy's eye is getting better, I didn't know that he had injured it.

    My husband and I are getting ourselves more into a routine with it being just the two of us more often than three of us. Youngest daughter only comes home from college every other weekend and we are expecting her to come even less frequently next school year as her boyfriend is moving to the town where she goes to college and they are going to cohabitate. I'm not pleased about this and I've spoken with her about it, but in the end, it is her life and her choice and as long as she is happy and stays committed to her education, then that's all I can ask.

    Thanksgiving will soon be here and then Christmas is not far behind it. I have to put a rush on to finish gifts that need to be mailed. I have begun to quilt a topper for my oldest daughter for Christmas that I bought at an auction, but if I don't get a move on, it won't be finished in time!

    I hope everyone has a wonderful week!



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