Thursday, October 8, 2015

The second Shift

Sometimes I fantasize about going out between the hours of 2:30-7pm

Umm Really....

I feel so blessed to have been a stay at home mum for many years.

Now I feel blessed to have been able to find part time school hours employment the past few years.

But sometimes I feel I miss that whole other day that's contained within each day.

Like a Whole 5 hours!

Occasionally, very occasionally I get to experience it...

and its WONDERFUL!

Seriously the things one can do! Oh my, am I missing out!

I had a chance a month or so ago to be out alone in the afternoon on my way to setting up a dinner and I got to see a sunset. A gorgeous sunset, watching people out walking, exercising. People are actually out?! and not at home!  A cleansing feeling to the end of day. Gee it was nice.
{why does my house have to be downhill, with no views, facing mainly walls?}

Once on my birthday we started with breakfast at a cafe, sight seeing, walking, city cat, musuems, lunch, walking, shopping, art gallery, dinner, movie. That day felt like it went FOREVER. Didn't have to cut it short by 2pm to start to head home for school pick up.

This holidays I got another glimpse of that feeling when heading to the beach at 2pm. Relaxing, swimming, meeting with family. Then slowly thinking about heading back doing our thing.
Watching the sunset as we drive.

It's surely a blessing to have routine. To have a wonderful home to head home to. To be able to rest from school and work. To have afternoon tea and to start homework. To have baths and to eat dinner and read books and head to bed.

But sometimes that routine feels like it equals a part time job. Which it does.
A job that's been going for 15 years.

Sometimes I dream of doing things and going places between 2 -7pm

One Day I'll get my second shift.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

FHE Lesson {Aim for the Best}

I love making lessons from The Friend magazine.  
This lesson inspired from  Aim for The Best Aug 2015 Friend Magazine

Opening Song: Choose the Right Way #160

Opening Prayer : Child

Other Song Suggestions:
Dare to do Right #158
Stand for the Right #159
Kindness begins with Me #145
I'm Trying to be like Jesus #78


Every Day we have decisions to make.

what media we consume,
how we talk to others,
what we do with our time,
how we act,
how we dress.

Some things are good, some things are better and some things are BEST.
Even if something isn't bad for us, it can still be a distraction or not the best choice we could make.

What are some examples of Good Choices and some even BETTER choices?

playing computer games, watching tv when we should be doing our homework
Smiling and saying hi to someone when perhaps you should stop and help them
Loving our brothers and sisters vs loving them and being kind and serving them
Read a book each night or read a book AND your scriptures

We can ask ourselves:
Will this decision bring me closer to Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father?

Use the bullseye in the Friend Magazine:
Aim for the Best!

Make your own larger one out of cardboard and paper.
Use mini rice bags (or other soft objects) to throw at a bullseye (laying flat on the ground)
See how close you can get to the target.

Reiterate the point that landing anywhere on the bullseye is GOOD, but the best (highest points) is when you get the middle. We want to make the BEST decisions in life that will lead to our happiness.

What are the BEST decisions you have made in your life?
{I'm sure you will get lots of funny answers}

Getting baptised
Being kind and helpful
Listening well in school and being obedient
A time you shared well
A time you were part of a service project
Making home a harmonious place
Scripture reading
Keeping a journal
Choosing good media
Helping grandparents or other elderly people

Parents can say:
Going to university/other educational courses
Getting married
Going to the temple
Going on a mission
Times of Service
Keeping the Sabbath day holy

I like this idea via pinterest  about making a bullseye and cardboard arrows that have goals on them. Move the arrows closer to the centre as children reach their goal. Could use this for daily prayers, scripture, behaviour etc.

Closing Song: I will be Valiant #162

Closing Prayer: Child

Circles? Lollies, Candy, Cookies, Biscuits. Add a ring of icing/food colouring.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Ekka 2015

The Ekka. Pure Carney Goodness.

 ^^ The Mr taking one for the team. I don't do rides. esp upside down ones.
One very sad daughter who was too short to ride this with her sister. They had a pact.

^^ My adrenaline girls. Third from top. Love their rides.

^^Strawberry Cones. A must. I had to share.

 ^^ Kids cant get enough of this one. It has become a must. The guy looks at me strange why am I photographing so many children... I said four of them are mine.. he looked shocked.

^^  The dog, the dog. #2 was better.

^^ Monster Trucks and flipping motorbikes and fireworks are always a joy
 ^^ Thanks Brisbane. You rock.
Another year's EKKA done and dusted.
Thanks to the grandma's and parents and kids money boxes to fund a day at the show.
(Cause you need a GO FUND ME these days to afford it!)
We braved the Ekka on the public holiday as it was literally the only day we were available to go. When I explained that maybe we couldn't go this year I was met with death stares. What doth you say? Not going to the Ekka is incomprehensible. So now I have had my first experience of Ekka Wednesday and I will tell you - NEVER AGAIN! We missed out on too much stuff (ie the free stuff) because lines were just way too long. The crowd was too much, felt like spent the whole day pushing an ocean of people around. Luckily my kids are all grown now and it wasn't too terrible (ie didn't lose anyone) but also wasn't the most enjoyable. I went the next day for work and not a crowd in sight, easy to look at everything (so note - go the day AFTER the public holiday)
Lucky me got TWO Days in a row at the EKKA. I can die a happy woman.
A woman with two dagwood dogs
(the second one was way better. I've got a thing about batter to dog ratio...)

Monday, August 24, 2015

Clover 2015

Routine trip to the park ended all nostalgic.

Isn't the weather just beautiful.

I love that feeling of NOT being HOT or NOT being COLD.


We took our kite to the park to fly. Wasn't too much wind.

Then as we were leaving  me and one child saw the patches of clover.

Clover! It is SPRING already!

Then we remember clover chains. {It's been a year?!}

As the others all left for home we stayed behind for extra 30 mins.

and I thought how many years of clover chain making do I have left.

Hopefully many more.


2008 Clover

2011 Clover

2012 Clover

2013 Clover

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Sydney - Time out for Women 2015

The last time I was in a plane and off for a weekend was - you guessed it -
 the last Time Out for Women (see HERE! ) two years ago -so sad. My friends and I lamented why does it take something like this to make us take a girls weekend? I've never had a girls weekend but these 3 trips to Sydney for TOFW have been amazing. More girls weekends - STAT!

We had real trouble finding affordable accommodation (apparently the Bledisloe cup and Netball championships and wrestling were also on) and were once again going to have to be at the mercy of my friends friends to put us up. Last minute blessing we found a super quaint B&B right near the Olympic Stadium where we were headed. Kevin the caretaker was so awesome to us. He fitted in an extra bed in our room and because we had to leave super early and come home late he showed us where all the food was and to help ourselves. It all felt a bit too quaint and a bit downtown abbeyish for these girls who don't get out much ;) it was such a lovely place to stay. I totally recommend Darcy's Hotel in Homebush, if your looking for somewhere to stay. http://darcyshotel.com.au/

Sorry my pictures are dark. We were only at the house late at night or early morning :)

Time Out for Women - see  http://www.tofw.com/

My favourite part of Time out for women is the spirit.
There is an amazing spirit that follows 2000 LDS women in one room. It almost can't be described.
It's fun, its kind, it's comradery , it's running into old friends, it's like you know everyone there.
It's plain beautiful and amazing. If only it went longer than 8 hours.

Each year I usually give a bit of an overview but I didn't take many notes this year.
The speakers were different this time from the previous two times.

Elaine Dalton:
You are stronger than you think
Arise to the calling that is yours. Lord asked many to arise (eg Man in Bethseda, Man with withered hand, Paul on road to Damascus). It is time to arise and be the person you are prepared to be.

Atonement is enabling power. Not just redeeming power.
IT covers weaknesses, sickness, unhappiness.

Return to virtue is always possible regardless of mistakes or what has happened.
Virtue leads you to the temple where you are endowed with more power.

** and I totally wanted Elaine's dress. HOT! I love taking fashion tips from the over 60 set :)

Sandra Turley:
Beautiful amazing singing! I had never heard of her before, but she was sooo good!
She performed in Les Miserables on Broadway.
Likened the songs from Phantom of the Opera to that of Heavenly Father - think of Me.
There will never be a day I don't think of you.
Sandra spoke of infertility and adoption and heartache and trials. She plead for an Abrahamic experience that didn't pan out as such.

Heidi Swinton:
started with the parable of the 10 virgins. They had lamp and oil. Oil can't be shared. Key about the oil is that is produces light. This is like the light within us. It might not matter what the oil is eg service to others, being kind, responding to callings, looking after our families, doing hard things.
but the oil gets the light growing. Service brings us light, fills our vessel so we can in turn be a light/lamp to others. Sometimes good things bring light but difficulties and trials can also bring oil.  We must fill our vessels/our oil so we can BE A LIGHT.

Heidi was the biographer of Pres Monsons biography. Shared her unexpected story about how he rang her up (very funny). She was blessed with power that made her days longer, work quicker, think clearer as she was on a mission with her husband at the same time.

She spoke of value. When she was busy with callings and serving others and being a good church member she felt she gave value and was a good daughter of God. A terrible accident (a fall down some stairs) left her with injuries that had her bed bound for many weeks. At first she felt terrible for having to have people help her, dependant and reliant on others, and she unable to do anything. She spoke of our value. Our value is not tied to what we do. We still have value even when we can do nothing. Lord loves you for you, not for what you do.

Lisa King:
Lisa was our lovely first time Australian presenter! There wasn't a dry eye in the place as Lisa spoke. Very moving.Lisa was recently awarded mother of the year for Tasmania.
It's OK to have questions. It's easy to have faith when things are easy But faith is really for when things aren't easy. Everyone needs to know they are loved. Even without having a trial.
Don't wait for hard times to care for people.

David Archuleta:
Even though I knew he was from American Idol I hadn't actually heard him sing before.
Be willing to say God I can't do this. Be willing to hand it over to him. Admit our weaknesses.
Take courage, show weakness, be vulnerable to the Lord.
Don't be afraid of who you are. Both weaknesses and STRENGTHS

Brad Wilcox:
If you can laugh at it you can live with it.
When does life even out? Life is more like a wave. I want smooth and straight.
His wife a nurse said nooo... ITS BAD when you have a straight line!!
Ups and downs in life mean we are alive, we are participating.
A sense of humour is an important thing. Helps keeps things in perspective.
Humour is a gift, a skill. Something you need to develop not necessarily something you are born with. There is difference in light mindedness and light heartedness. Many scriptures mention happiness, joy, laughter.

Sheri Dew:
Questions are good. Questions lead to peace, progress, revelation and will lead you down the path.
All questions have answers. Rules don't constrain us they give us maximum freedom. People who keep covenants have greater access to higher power.

Ask for angels to help you.

Are you willing to engage in a wrestle with the Lord? Many scripture stories involve a wrestle with the Lord. How much effort are we willing to put in to find answers? A spiritual Wrestle.

God will do amazing things IN us and THROUGH US

Because my friends are awesome and knew some cast members in Les Mis, we got to go see a show.
I've not seen Les Mis before so it was a wonderful end to our day (esp since Sandra Sang the Songs at TOFW aswell! So much Les Mis that day!) I'm not a big theatre goer but it was nice to be able to go.

Our weekend was packed so tight we didn't really have any time for sight seeing. One restaurant my friend wanted to see was Ground of Alexandria. It was so cool. I would recommend a visit there if you are in Sydney. There was even a pony and pig there! IT was like 4 restaurants and markets and shops joined by LOTS of hanging plants and outdoor eating. Fun

A just because I rarely fly and my companions so nicely gave me window seats. I'm such a kid and love to look out the window down below. I took lots of photos to show my kids as they have never been in a plane. Seriously people will think I don't get out much. I'm a bit special.

I'm so thankful to my poor friend who had to navigate crazy Sydney traffic. Who got us everywhere alive, in one piece, on time. Who found us food, amazing tickets, hotel and car. I really wouldn't leave my house without her organisation. Mwah! kisses!

We had little sleep over our weekend but holidays aren't for sleeping.
That's what you do when you come home!

Friday, July 31, 2015

Rainbow / Colour Party

With a 9 and 6 year old - its been easy to recycle and turn upsidedown decorations ;)
Miss N asked for rainbows and bright colours and a piñata and pass the parcel.
{after changing her mind on a lalaloopsy party .. phew!}

I love a good theme so fleshed it out a bit, to help me with games and craft ideas.

The big colourful birthday party details.


On arrival we had bubble blowing, drawing with chalk on concrete while waiting all guests to arrive

Rock Painting:

I purchased a 15kg bag of river rocks from Bunnings.
Everything else was left over from the Art Party

Hot dog Rock by Miss G
Love older kids who take charge of party activities.
Miss G gave everyone Rainbows, icecreams, cherries, suns. $6 Face Crayons from Riot.

Spray Bottle Painting:
The Kids LOVED this activity. It was hard for everyone to wait their turn as I only had 4 waterbottles for 15 kids. I filled a waterspray bottle with a big squirt of acrylic paint and half filled with water. I bought a cheap white double bed sheet and hung it over the fence for them to spray. It's so addictive to spray colour out! I wanted to not share too! Will do this activity again!


Our first store bought piñata. I didn't have time to make one. The week he was in our house Miss N fell in love with him and didn't want to break him at first. But that didn't last. There may have been screams of smash him smash him. Kids love piñata's in my experience. The anticipation is palatable.
I have to buy a replacement for a room decoration. We got used to the little fella :)


Balloon Stands:

A lovely friend lent me these concrete and pvc pipe stands. Very handy and versatile!
For balloon towers blow up balloons and tie together in bunches of four (tie two balloons together, then tie two pairs together - no string just the balloon ends) then you just push each bunch onto and around the pipe. Keep adding bunches until pipe is covered. Easy to dismantle. Every kid wanted to take balloons home, so each got a bunch.

Rainbow Cake:

I'm no baker so I have to steer my kids to easy made cakes when perusing the internets :) This was a quick easy cake made from one round cake - my favourite types! I love it when a cake works.
Pinterest Food ideas :

Wafers dipped in chocolate dipped in 100's and 1000's. Easy and colourful. We also served marshmallows with choc and an M&M on top. Potato Chips and Freddo frogs and nuggets.
Miss N's favourite food.

 And I let the Birthday Shirts Here out early to wear for her colourful birthday.
Yay! And all my parties are done for the year!
I can't believe I said no parties this year. Kids really do love it. A bit of a stress but worth it.  I only wish we could invited all our friends and family. I'm thinking I'm going to have to start having school friends, family, church friends multiple parties!! The past couple years my kids have had school friends/class by default but I've been so sad that we didn't have everyone else. Next Time!

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