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Monday, January 31, 2011

Free

My favourite freebies of this week: These gorgeous old kids chairs, yet big enough for an adult to sit on
and a satin skirt. About 5 boxes of things have entered my house this week. Oh Oh....


On friday a lady I've never met or seen before was at my front door.

She had a plastic bag in her hands with something wrapped up inside.

She asked my daughter to speak to mummy.

She says hi and wonders if I might like what she had in her bag.


I'm sure I was looking at her a little weirdly,
(Look around lady... I have enough junk in this house, I don't need more!)

To be fair where we live is full of interesting people. We have the very rich, the very poor, immigrants and drug addicts - One night we had a lady at our door for an hour giving us a story about how she was here for Cancer treatment from far away and how her purse was stolen and how the hotel at the top of our street now had to kick her out because she had no money etc. My lovely husband with all his Bishop training set out to help her (without handing over money) when she realised we could find her food and a place to stay but NO money she left on the guise of going next door to bum a cigarette off our neighbours and simply vanished into thin air.


So the lady hands me over a jewellery stand that looks like this and says I don't want any money for it

ummmmm Okay....

She then proceeds to say that she was cleaning out her house, has no daughters, no need for much jewellery and wonders if my daughters and I would like it.

I have never seen this lady in my life so I had to embarrassingly ask where she lived.

Turns out in some government apartment complex at the top of my street.

Ahhhhh, so you've seen and heard my girls running around I say.

Yes she says.

(who could miss them/not hear them I think)

I thanked her for kindly thinking of us and she was gone.



And so yet again I am taught

YOU NEVER KNOW WHO'S WATCHING....

Am I a good example? Am I treating my fellow beings with love and respect?

Am I a goodly woman personified?



And yet another piece of furniture I did not buy has entered my house. I sometimes wonder at why this happens to me. Do I look like I need other peoples cast offs? Yet sometimes I praise the Lord above for all those that give me things for free as they are, at times, much  needed blessings.

It's about finding a balance in being a reciever of other peoples things. Someone else has thought of me! Someone else has also thought I am an easy place to off load stuff to so they don't have to take it elsewhere. I have received beautiful pieces and furniture. I have also received rubbish. I wonder why do I attract this? (and can I please attract more awesomer stuff?? Not to be ungrateful or anything ;)

But in the day to day turn of the world I can be happy to be a receiver.

I can keep or throw away. I can be happy in the knowledge the Lord has blessed me to be a recipient of almost anything I have ever needed. I have tried to stay away from a consumer lifestyle where people and the environment are hurt by our whim purchases. I rarely ask for these things yet they make their way to me by both friend and stranger.

I have been blessed. And for that. I am Grateful.



Now I really need a rug and some fabric napkins/serviettes.... anyone?

Friday, January 28, 2011

From the Archives Friday

I'm posting this one today because a friend who is moving countries gave me her ironing board (amongst 3 big bags of other stuff. It's like Christmas here) The ironing board featured below broke a good 6 months + ago. I obviously don't iron very often. In fact I Iron like, never unless its for something really important. Now I will have no excuse. I luckily (or unluckily) have ALOT of Expat friends and I seem to inherit ALOT of stuff every few months.

This post was originally posted March 2009



AT the local store last week on the far wall was one IRONING BOARD leaning against the wall for sale.. in my defense I will say its cover was very bright - multicoloured swirls ~



Miss 2 Years old says...


Mum. Mum.


Surfboard!!


I say "No darling, Ironing Board."

NO! NOT!


IT SURFBOARD!!


Me laughing.. Ok darling.. It Surfboard...


So there you have it.. even my 2 year old knows that I don't Iron...It's true I can't remember the last time I Ironed.. probably when the MR had a job interview or something..For crafting/quilting purposes I sometimes Iron on the Kitchen bench with a towel..... But the board never comes out....I have my excuses..


My crazy always under my feet kids would have ended up in emergency with burns, no room to have a board set up, an old iron which would probably leave more marks than iron out the wrinkles, and of course No Ironing means I have more time for Blogging ;)



Maybe I will get the Ironing Board out and let the kids have a surf on it... Yes.. I am off to find it now and take some photos :) I will be right back.






Thursday, January 27, 2011

Australia Day


Maybe because school only started two days before hand, or maybe I'd kinda forgotten about it but I had NOTHING planned for Australia day this year. That's just plain sacrilege!


So after a leisurely morning we:

Cleaned the house, mowed the lawn

Decorated faces and found patriotic clothes to wear


Went for a swim in the neighbours pool. Gotta love neighbours with a pool.

Made lamingtons and taught the missionaries how to (they are from england and africa)
it's an important skill to learn you know! Recipe here (but I cheated a little and bought a plain sponge cake to start)


Ate Lamb and apricot sausages and Kangaroo Steak !!
(How patriotic to eat the national animal on your national day )

Went to an awesome meat filled BBQ thrown by my sister

Burnt four packets of sparklers to end the day (no fireworks due to flooding here :(

Did you know if you burn a sparkler from the middle you get two burns? So fun!
And I love how sparklers look like dandylions....
And you will get a sore thumb from using a lighter to light four packets of sparklers...


Then end.

I was so tired I couldn't even blog it yesterday.

I won't talk about how certain girls wouldn't make the lamingtons, but wanted to eat them, certain baby who thought the  10 min nap in the car was bedtime then proceeded to scream for the next two hours all through our sparklers and destroying our fun, a kid that fell out of the car (while parked) and hit her head, kids that refuse to eat BBQ ( most of my girls) etc etc.

We'll just focus on the positive hey?

Cause thats what being an Australian is all about.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

So delicious I want to eat you

Deliciousness in the waning afternoon light streaming through the window.




Oh we had fun last week while her sisters were away at sleepovers.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Back to School Traditions


Last night we held our annual  Back to School Dinner.

The theme for this year chosen by the girls:

LOVE ONE ANOTHER

(Yeah a bit cheesy and overdone, but cute nonetheless)

I love it when they get in the spirit of decorating and place setting (I can never guarentee that they will) They painted hearts, set the table, picked flowers, made posters and cooked the dessert. 

We set the table with fabric hearts and this printable and our fancy glasses. They got out their birthday crowns to finish the effect.


Menu
Roast Lamb
Baked Potatoes, carrots, onions
peas and corn

sparkling Lemon lime and bitters

Apple and Pear Crumble with Vanilla Bean Icecream


After dessert we headed into the lounge for each girl to receive a Father's Blessing from The Mr.  Such a nice, spiritual, cleansing way to start the school year. Then they all tucked themselves into bed because they 'needed their rest' for school the next day. One laid her uniform at the end of the bed and slept in her new socks so she would be ready to put her new school shoes on as soon as she woke!

Our little dinner party set the scene for the following morn. Ahh crisp new uniforms how I love thee.





















Let's get the new year finally started. Back to order and routine.

I loved the holidays and will miss them. But its also nice to go back.

Friday, January 21, 2011

From the Archives Friday - Barefoot Beauty

Today's Post comes from  March 2008

I'm happy to say she is much better at wearing shoes now. No more going 3 months barefoot. She still has many pairs and goes through many pairs and still often takes her shoes off at school.

Funnily enough I currently have a 1 1/2 year old who loves to put shoes on and brings me shoes a million times a day wanting me to put them on her. Most are too small and she gets angry if I don't help her. Its driving me insane (I've had to hide most of her shoes) but even then she swaps shoes 50 times a day. This post made me laugh that I was once upon a time upset at a daughter of mine who wouldnt wear shoes... mwah ha hahah... kids...


“I am as tough as a pig in winter!” My 4 year old daughters defiant reply to my pleading of her wearing clothes. I looked at her dumbfounded. “Where did you learn that?” I asked. “From you” it seemed almost accusing. She was still wearing summer clothes in winter and I wanted her to wear more and a pair of shoes when we went to a restaurant that night.



From those of you who know Kipper we had been reading the book earlier in the week. All the other animals had clothes on, but not the pig. She had asked why and I said he must be tough. Oh how our words come back to haunt us!


This was just another excuse in the pile I have already heard.


She wont wear shoes because they are too…. Tight, ichy, scratchy, sweaty, rub, cause blisters, small, big, the soles are too hard and don't bend and the list goes on. I think at one time she actually went a month or more without wearing shoes… I had just given up.

She has the same excuses for most clothes, especially shirts. We can have no frills, bows poke your back, zips hurt, patches or embroidered pictures are itchy on the inside, particular fabrics at scratchy and it can't be too tight or she can't breathe – goodbye to collars and turtle necks in winter. Pants are too tight, too hot, jeans are a definate NO NO as the zip sticks in your stomach. So all year around she wears basic cotton t shirts and skirts, but usually op shop cotton mu mu ugly dresses. Not much imagination in that wardrobe.


When you have a child who wont conform to the ‘norm’ even in the mild area of ‘clothes wearing’ it can be embarrassing for the parent. The comments on walking her older sister to school with no shoes on in the inner city area which we live – oh my! NO shoes in the rain! Oh dear. Watch out for broken glass - it is so dangerous you know! No shoes during (some of) winter – What type of parent are you? Basically one that has given up after a year of fighting every where we have to go.


There are handme down shoes from siblings, cousins, friends that are lovingly worn or admired for a day or two. There was special shoe shopping with mummy with promises of I will wear these – only to be thrown to the side a couple of weeks later. Ballet shoes, sandals, joggers, thongs, crocs, the list goes on and the pile of shoes in her room grows.

The discarded thrown aside shoe pile is almost as big as the clothes I don’t wear pile.

The thing I find most amusing is that all this ‘shoe syndrome’ comes from the child in the family who most adored shoes as a toddler. She tottered around in her aunties 5 inch heels with no trouble. Stomped around in daddies heavy shoes, Shoes were always being moved around by her and she was always trying on other children’s shoes often upsetting them. Maybe she got it all out of her system then and now has no need or desire to wear shoes again.

The only headway (or should that be footway) that we have made is that she moderately enjoyed the crocs and has worn them the most out the 50 pairs of shoes she has. There was also some success when a new teacher at the Day care said she HAD to wear shoes. She wont listen to her mother for over a year but the second a new teacher tells her she has to … She listens! That’s enough to make a parent cry. But it was a moderate success in my pitiful Shoe dilemma. So I am happy to announce that my daughter now wears shoes 2 days a week.


Next up… getting her to wear more clothes!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Skillz

Imagine I am here swimming in that pool and jumping on that bed. 
And that I'm over here watching this.

That's what I would have been blogging about but due to the floods both these places are closed.

Here is what I did do tonight instead:


Have you heard of Steff And Gills Skills?

No? Well you should follow them.

"Guys only like Girls who have Great Skillz!! We are taking on a New Skill Each Week, we will let you know what they are, Just contact us if you want to come along. We will Rate and Video Tape and let you know what we liked or disliked."

And because Gill is my sister I'm gonna crash as many of these activities as I can.

After soap carving, and manual flood relief cleanup, rocking the wii,  rockclimbing was the go.

And we all know I'm a professional rock climber now.

So I showed my skillz.

What's next?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Dreams



I'm going to start a dream diary.

I have so many dreams. But I always forget them!


I've found the more I'm woken in the night, the more I dream.

You must dream at certain times in a sleep cycle and if you're continually going in and out you have more dreams? Or just the ability to remember them?

I'm usually woken 1-2 times a night. When N was teething or sick she was waking sometimes 5 times a night. And I would lie in bed thinking about the dream I was just woken from.

Sometimes I felt tired just from all the dreams I was having.



I watched an interesting show about dreams the other day.

Why we have them, why they are needed, what they tell us.

The guy said 'dreams tell alot more than people think.'  He was able to predict what would happen to some people just by reading the dream diaries they were asked to keep. He said dreams really do reflect more about your life than just being random thoughts.

I get all excited lying in bed in the dark thinking over my dreams and how I'm gonna tell the Mr in the morning about this or that dream.

Of course in the morning I remember the lying there thinking about not being able to tell the MR

But then I don't remember the dream!!

So I'm getting a book. And writing them down.

Start complining all the different versions I have of that 'repetitive doing things over and over' dreams I have.

Here are just a few dreams I've compiled in the last 2 weeks. These are just the ones I remember in the morning. I KNOW I have more, but can't remember (cause I haven't put that dream diary next to my bed yet)

Last night  I was on a boat.  On a course going around and around. I'd left a bag of clothes behind at a beach and wanted them back.

Last night we were staying in/had moved to  a new town. I had gone out with the girls are now we were randomly driving everywhere, nearly every street because we had forgotten where our house was! We figured out the 'direction' in which we thought our house was and had to drive around and around trying to find it.

Last night I ws at a new years celebration. We rode our bike there and had a mattress with us for some reason. We left the bike and mattress at the top of the hill (I suppose where you're meant to leave them) went down to a place that had a big slide type thing and you ahd to slide down and grab a piza as you slid by. At the end of the night we went back to our bikes to find that it and the mattress had been stolen. we were very mad.

Dreamt I had to make an important call to a kindy to ensure my daughter had enrollment. I was trying to send a text that contained a bunch of info. I kept repeatedly typing things in on the text and things kept going wrong. Not right letter, the text wouldnt send, scrolling thru constantly (think I  have phone issues since I dont even have a mobile?) Repeatedly moving my fingers on the screen madly hoping to get a text through. What a silly dream!

I had another phone dream. (I must get myself a phone obviously!) I just couldnt work the thing. Very repetitive.


Here's to dreams. Hopefully some good ones.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Flood Relief Appeal

There are so many great flood relief ideas going on at the moment.
I'm amazed at the ingenuity of everyone.

Now, my personal, amazing go to photographer is holding an auction too.

Go here to  Zanabelle Photography Facebook page to be in the running to win.....

... a $360 Portrait Package. You SO WANT THIS!



All you have to do is donate $5 to the Premier's Flood Relief Appeal.

You can enter as many times as you like

So go donate to an important cause and cross your fingers to win.

Actually no don't. (the cross your fingers part, not the donating part)  Cause I wanna win ......



Look at all these examples of why you want to win.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Take that with a grain of sand



Dear Mother,  (most lovely grandmother whom the children love)


Thank you very much for your wonderful christmas present that contained sand.

SAND!

When the neighbour saw the mess that is my front deck and front door she said

"I think your mother had some malicious intent behind this gift."

MALICIOUS INTENT! (of course not, surely?)


I have sand in my couch, sand in my bed, sand crunching under my feet as I walk the entire length of the house. Sand in the bath tub, sand in the yard, sand spilling out of clothes.

How can one little bag of sand spread so far?

Each day as I partake in my new nightly ritual of flicking all sand grains out of my bed... (which by the way I have NO IDEA how they get there - yes the kids to go on my bed, and yes I change Miss N's clothes there but no one hops in the sheets... how how does it burrow under 3 layers? I shudder to think of their beds *shakes*) ... I think of payback


For my memory is long.

I will remember Miss N the exact age you learnt how to throw sand. A recently learned talent that she is eager to share and thinks is HILARIOUS.

You won't be laughing when I gift your children sand related parphernalia.

The children who decide that every craft must be sprinkled with glue and sand then show off their masterpeices excitedly flinging sand in every direction.

No I won't forget.

The children who bury themselves and play and who sit on my furniture with pockets full of sand.

I won't forget.

And then when your time for payback has come (I'm willing to wait it out)

You'll be saying 'I think my mum had malicious intent behind these gifts.'

For it will be true.


The tiny small irritating things..... the sand that is. The children will be adorable as always.

Which is why Grandma buys you things she thinks you'll love.


much love,

Your joyously happy daughter

who constantly has a broom in her hand.



*To be fair to lovely grandma. The two gifts she gave are the most played with in the house. The 'had to have it or I'll die' gifts have barely been touched.

Friday, January 14, 2011

More Flood Talk

More Flood Talk


Definatetly Flood talk here. News 24/7 coming from this little cafe. Pretty amazing really.
See the 3-4 different spots for each channel's news readers?
I was surprised they could be talking so well from such small spaces with lots of people staring at them.


My suburb was on a flood list of suburbs that were going to flood.

I've never had so many phone calls in one day.

It feels so nice to be so loved!

The emails/facebook messages from overseas friends are heartwarming. So nice to know the global village cares about us.

Little us down the bottom of the globe.

I even got a message from a friends aunt (whom I met once years ago) who lives in America.

That was just the sweetest thing.



We hunkered down. We watched the news for days straight. We started living on our food storage (more to see if we could do it than anything really). We didn't go out.

Except for a brief walk to see the river from the cliffs. Even then I felt so guilty. Talk about Rubbernecking.

I was rocking the powdered milk (got making that down pat now) I wanted to bake bread but I often have negligable results so have made pizza's for four days straight ( and no one is sick of them yet) I was dreaming about what would constitute good food storage (I'm thinking Milo is the most perfect food storage item. It comes in it's own storage container, you can use it to jazz up powdered milk, if all else fails and you run out of food you can eat it straight from the can, isnt it 'meant to be full of iron and minerals'?) I was lamenting that a goal of mine for this year (another one!) was to learn how to bake wholewheat ground bread. How useful is that NOW? I seriously just asked a friend last week, who makes good bread from scratch (grinding the grain and all) to teach me sometime this year!!

If our electricity was to go out we were getting the firewood ready to have the fireplace going for light.

Yep we were living like it was the end of the world (which it is like for some)

That night The Mr came home from (yet another) meeting and said 'so if you happen to see photographic evidence I may or may not have eaten KFC tonight...'

I was like KFC? KFC IS OPEN???

That's it. No Food storage food tomorrow night. You're buying me KFC!
(PS I never got the KFC)

So on about the fourth day I decided to ride the bike to a local shop. I was shocked and surprised to see all the cafes full of beautiful people laughing and chatting and eating lots of food. The grocery store was full of food ( I promptly bought some softdrink and twix pods and grain waves!!) plus milk and bread.

There was a whole 'nother' world out there. Ha ha ha.

Well hey I was trying to abide by the info 'don't travel unless absolutely necessary' we were told.

I'm a good girl like that.


I've never found 'doing nothing' so exhausting.

I've been so tired. Tired from staying indoors and watching tv all day. Cartoons for the kids. News. Harry Potter a Thon for Miss A. Tired from cabin fever with these kids. Tired from the stress of it all (and nothing bad has even happened to me. I really feel for those whose lives have been greatly impacted)

Today the Mr will be at the church for about 17 hours. He is tired from co ordinating.

He has been gone every day and night till about 10pm.

Tired from constantly talking on the phone, organizing and charting everything on a whiteboard.

We aren't even doing the 'hard labour' yet it is tiring.

I can't even imagine how hard it is going to be to get everything done.

Kudos to all those that are out there doing the manual labour.

I think the whole of Queensland is going to be 'tired' in the coming weeks.



This whole tragedy is such a great teaching moment.

I hope we learn.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Floods


Floods . Heartbreaking Terrible Floods.

I watch too much of the news coverage. Often it makes the fear worse. I keep telling myself to not watch so much of the news. It's the same stuff on constant repeat. We don't watch news usually (I'm a firm believer of the news media not being a very good thing for daily consumption) but in a tradegy it's so hard to turn away. In an effort to want updates, to have knowledge the tv has been on for days.

We are lucky. Very lucky. We live very close to the river yet there hasn't been a drop of water on our street/s. Not even a puddle. Nothing in our daily life has had to change much yet. We luckily didn't lose power either.


So far the biggest impact on our life is having to stay indoors with the kids. Trying to stick to the plea from government to stay home and out of harms way and out of the way of rescuers.


It's been terrible devastation for many families. We hope in the coming weeks we will be able to help someone.
To Assist in the cleanup.


I've felt so blessed to feel so calm.


We checked weeks ago  and knew our house was not in a flood zone. We were calm and assured that we would be fine days before anything even happened. Three days before I went to the shop to buy some water, oats, powdered milk, flour.  We've been able to avoid panic buying and just be at home with our little family. We had our evacuation suitcases packed. Our 72 hour kits and hygiene kits out. We've been eating our food storage. (Brown Sugar Pizza been a speciality around here)

When ye are prepared ye have no reason to fear.

(though it won't last long, so hopefully food will be able to get through in the coming weeks or we will be in trouble. Atleast the meager food storage we have will all be eaten and we will be able to start afresh :)


I've felt calm and secure and I knew we would be ok. It's hard to describe because in the midst of this terrible tragedy I've felt guilty that I felt so calm and at peace. I started to judge myself as uncaring, emotionless and that it was rude to feel so good when others feel so bad.


But I'm learning to be grateful for the Spirit and the calming influence we can receive in our lives.


Of course its easy to feel this way when you are in no immediate danger.

I do  believe it was luck that we were spared. I'm no better a person to be spared than any of my friends whose houses have been flooded ~ but in our sparing it can pave the way for us to help others: either monetarily, by sharing our resources, by hard work. My husband has been able to be out each day and late each night at meetings working on ways to help others.

It's a big job ahead of our city. Weeks and even months or years in recovery.

I hope that we can all have the blessed sweet assurance that we will be fine. We will recover.

Even if it takes time.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The view


I've seen alot of this view lately.

I did have one new years resolution this year (see I lied!)

Not to nurse Miss N in the middle of the night anymore.

Daytime feeds finished a couple months ago. This was our one last wall of defiance.

The rocking chair was moved in her room to make way for the christmas tree in the lounge.

= Perfect timing.

I have never sat in it so much as I have these last 10 days. It's racking up the rocking mileage.

Once upon a time I had a baby that slept through the night from 3 - 7 months old.

Then she got teeth.

And sick.

And like a revolving door round and round I went.

I trialled contolled crying a few times only to have her fall out of routine once again.

I would just give up and give in

=  never getting a full nights sleep since. Waking up to 1-3 times a night was normal round here.

I decided New Year was a perfect time as any to start once again. This time I would offer her a waterbottle (which the first few nights made her as mad as anything) then I would sit with her in my lap in the rocking chair. 

Well things have improved alot but we haven't reached the 100% sleeping through the night. I have heard her wake and put herself back to sleep so that is good. The downside was for several days she thought 4am ish was a perfect time to wake up (she could not be put back) and she was HUNGRY. So while she's eating breakfast I'm watching tv.

You wanna know whats on at 4:30 am.  Baywatch! that's what. Old original episodes.

That and I have been catching up with all my american morning news shows. The early show and Today.


At first I was so proud of my efforts regarding this and thought Yay! my body is mine again!

Take that body stealing babies. 6 years + of my life devoted to feeding babies.

Then it hit me like a tonne of bricks I may never nurse another child again.

and then I cried.




Even though I would chastise myself for being such a pushover I've thought: she gave up her dummy at one (well because I was her dummy, she didnt need it) she's never had a bottle and most probably never will. So even though these last 6 months were a challenge in weening - I think I've done it the best way. Only one and a half and she has no other 'dependents'

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I'll be the one in White


Excuse the grainy night time photo plus it was pretty hot and sweaty. Miss N was sick in bed so she missed out.



The Mr thinks of the best Family Home Evening Lessons.

Many of the lessons found over at my Family Home Evening Blog were thought up by him.

I should give him more credit over there I suppose.


As we have a baptism coming up for A,  last night he quickly told everyone to don their white clothes.

Each girl had out their blessing dress, we have one baptism dress, one flower girl dress, I wore my wedding dress he wore his temple clothes. So much fun. I'm glad that we don't have a family heirloom dress and that each girl has their own. I would love to have a wedding photo like these here.

all our blessing dresses - well I only have a part of mine  (but its in better condition that the girls ones!)


We had the poem My Three White Dresses up on the big screen to read from

A fun photo shoot ensued.

Girls tried on my wedding dress.



Wandered around with the veil on. Ooohhh and Ahhhing at themselves. Primping and Posing

Best fun they've had in a little while I think.

To dream of the future and see themselves grown. To glimpse into that far off time.

I hope they get the dream life I have.

We all know its not the wedding day itself. But how one lives the rest of the time after the important day.

 Hopefully a worthy goal that will set the scene for a blissful life.



Go here for some joyous wedding prose. It touched my heart deeply. I now want to read that book.


* I may or may not have had to breathe in to fit my wedding dress. But hey I was just happy that I could still zip it up after 12 years. Regardless of whether it was TIGHT or not....

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Birthday

  
Once upon a time it was our birthday weekend.

You know we share everything here.

I've become to really enjoy having our birthdays together. We mix and take, share and give. I can have a little of his birthday he can have a little of mine. Cake on this day or that day, dinner out on his - yet I think of it as mine.

It's become to represent our marriage to me. Two people, separate yet entwined.  A little time for myself yet thinking of him in the next breath. A time to be pampered and spoilt yet an opportunity to give at the same time.

I was telling someone at church it was my birthday and they were like "No.. isn't it (The Mr's) birthday?" I explained that we are a day apart. Then they said "OH! You two are JUST MEANT TO BE!"  lol lol.

We started our Birthday Weekend with a girls night for me and a boys movie night for him.

Separate parties :)

Except all 6 of his friends couldn't make it and then he got the car bogged on the way to the movies and had to miss the session and he came home all sad looking. Poor thing. So he had to look after all the kids at my girls night instead. Everyone now..... nawwwwwwwww


The only photo of girls night. No faces to protect our identities :)


What happens at girsl night stays at girls night. Last year I really enjoyed my girls night on the back deck chatting till the late hours. Why mess with a good idea. So I decided to do the same this year. I think I'll continue this tradition on too. The friday night nearest my birthday invite a few girlies over. Just to sit and chat and eat chocolate. So much fun, so easy, pretty stress free.

The next day I woke with huge headache, sore throat, and sick :( 

but one has gots to party on. Its our birthday weekend after all.


Our afternoon date started with The Mr saying

ooooo  I'll even be able to open the car door for you.

Because each of us usally has a little one to buckle into a seat on opposite sides of the car he doesn't often get to do this and he likes to do it. It is so sweet when we are able to go out and he opens the car door.

Walking hand in hand around town reminds me about my blog post about what I think was our last two dates (sad that we only went on two last year!)

He shares with me his new found ephiphany on popcorn.

It shouldn't be called popcorn and movies. As usually the kids have eaten all the popcorn long before the movie starts. Popcorn and Ad's it should be called he states. I'm sure he'll do a blog post about it

Well this time we had the extra large large popcorn so for the first time ever (and no kids to munch it all) the popcorn made it far past the ads and previews. So there goes that theory....

I had a terrible headache and sore throat so afterwards that we didn't end up eating dinner out (plus I was full from all that popcorn - I am the cheapest date ever really. - another reason why he loves me so.) We have never been to a Max Brenners so we just perused the shop and menu. Just looking at all that chocolate was enough for us. IT made me smile just to look at it.

My first 3D movie and I've deemed them no good. I'm a fidgeter and find it hard to sit still in upright position. I tuck my legs under me, I swap sides etc. I put my legs over the Mr's lap, I lean, I move. (Am I the most annoying person ever? I also talk lots and ask questions in movies ~ and I had lots of questions for him in TRON)  I'm a snuggler too so while all leant over the MR every time I put my head on his shoulder my 3D glasses went skew. MOST ANNOYING. Thats it.. 3D is not conducive to the way I sprawl out everywhere and constantly move around. The MR finds 3D annoying with his glasses. The only reason we went 3D was it wasnt available in 2D nearly anywhere. So please movie theatres take my advice... I want 2D back thankyouverymuch.

My birthday dawns and goes downhill fast. Lucky I stole The Mr's birthday.

He leaves home 6:45 am. We don't see him most of the day. Miss N gets a fever and gets really sick and grumpy. The day is full of messy house, sick kid, no presents and no love shown me from my older girls. I knew the Mr would be home for one hour in total. (He told people 'I must leave for an hour to go home to cook the dinner I promised my wife for her birthday' ... nawww) I couldn't wait to put all the kids in bed and sit and read a book or go on the computer.

But he comes home cooks a delish meal. Gives his regrets for not attending the meeting and stays home with us. The older girls and I sit and do pedicures with our feet in the footspa. We sit and chat and paint (with Miss N painting half the floor that made for an emergency freakout on how to get nailpolish off the floor) The girls deliver me a small chocolate turkish delight on a plate to enjoy while my feet soak.

What started as a terrible day ended perfectly.

And this is why everyone should have a birthday weekend.

Never let the party stop.




No cake this year.
Homemade Strawberry Cheesecake Icecream made by a friend for my birthday.
The Mr didn't even get any or any candles. Well there's always next year.

Friday, January 7, 2011

From the Archives Friday

I've been doing this blogging thing for three years now! wow 

I don't very often read through past posts and I forget about what I wrote about. When I do I get a bit of a chuckle. So this year on Fridays I'm going to share From the Archives Friday. I'm sure as we go we'll uncover some craziness and  it'll give a recap for any new readers here.

 
The No Junk Mail Sign A made has finally fallen off and gone. I've been getting junk mail again for about two months now and while at first I loved it again, I'm  remembering how good it was NOT TO GET IT.


So maybe a resolution for this week is to make another one.
If I'm going Simple this year ~ I DON'T NEED IT.

Heres the original post. The post is from February 2008 ~  No Junk Mail Here

***



In a bid to support my daughter I am currently going -

- without junk mail!


Yes, hard I know! I LOVE JUNKMAIL.


A decided that too many trees are wasted in making junk mail, and that we needed a NO JUNK MAIL sign. Daddy and her made this a project and produced, printed and laminated their own homemade sign.

Now I have previously thought about doing this (after I watched a Greeny episode of Oprah that told of all the waste junk mail produces) but there were just a few catalogues I didn't want to give up! Being in the city we receive a LOT of junk mail... sometimes I wish I could make a sign that says " NO Junk Mail { except for X and X and X } I don't really need the cars guide, 2 of the local magazine wannabees, liquor mart, most restaurants, massage, hair, 2 men and a truck removalists, etc etc but I want the Target, Big W, KMart and Myer....

So we have been junk mail free for 3 weeks now... and I can say .... IT feels GREAT!

Nothing to throw in the bin (and with all this rain, most of the junk mail is a sopping mess) nothing to think about buying and I don't know that I am missing any great sales! And A feels good every day she checks the box and says YES! No junk mail!

Here are some guilty facts for you all!!


(excuse that they are American, I'm sure Australia has the same issues)


*Each year, 100 million trees are used to produce junk mail

*250,000 homes could be heated with one day's supply of junk mail

*Americans receive 4 million tons of junk mail every year - equivalent of deforesting the entire Rocky Mountain National Park every four months

*Americans pay $370 million annually to dispose of junk mail that doesn’t get reycled

*Americans throw away 44% of bulk mail unopened, yet still spend 8 months per lifetime opening junk mail

*The book 50 Simple Things You Can Do To Save The Earth listed stopping unwanted junk mail as its number 2 recommendation.

*out of 5.6 million tons of mailings generated each year, 4.3 million are thrown in the garbage; 340,000 garbage trucks are needed to haul away all the junk mail that doesn't quite make it to the recycling bin.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Mothering and School Books

I'm free from consumer guilt, mother guilt, whatever reason it is that forces us to cover our kids school books


I'm a bad mother.

On my facebook I've had a bunch of different friends lamenting about having to cover their children's school books for the coming school year. The comments were about what to use what not to use, where is the cheapest contact etc, whether they enjoyed it or not etc etc.

I thought it hasn't even entered my head. I'm terrible aren't I?

Then I gave my advice.

Two years ago I freed myself.

I can't remember why... but I probably didn't have the money to afford covering stuff, or I didn't have the time (having a little baby) or I just didn't want to do my head in covering 50 books, but whatever the reason I didn't cover those books.

We used a nikko pen to write their names on everything and that was it!

Freeing I tell you.

And you know what? Those books came back perfectly fine.

These days the teachers keep the books on shelves away from the kids - to be handed out when needed.

Most of their school work is worksheets glued into those big scrapbooks. At the end of the year there were only one or two books I wanted to keep for memories and prosterity sakes (usually story writing or good copy book or journal book)

THE REST GOES IN THE BIN AT THE END OF THE YEAR ANYWAY!


I've kinda felt guilty these first two years - Good mothers cover their kids book no?

But this year I've freed myself from the guilt.

Why did I buy into this cultural expectation anyway? (Or consumer guilt from shops)

Why did I think it made me a better/good mother if I did it. Why was it another thing I just HAD TO DO? What does covering books have to do with my abilities?

I've saved money, time and frustration. And the books are fine without it.


So if this type of thing gets your blood pressure rising - don't do it.


Release yourself.


I did and I feel great.

I suppose this could be one of my ways to have a little more 'Simplicity' in my life.




If and when the girls care about what their books look like - They can cover them themselves.

Oddly enough I used to cover my own books and my siblings books when I was over 12 or so.

I enjoyed it back then!!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Kid's New Year Party


I feel like New Year's was sooooo  long ago that this post is almost redundant.

Who wants New Years Ideas now?  Not I. But I will for next year. So why not.


For the first time I decided to host a kids New Year Party.

I mean - well I have a bunch of kids. They aren't going to go away anytime soon.

So I thought I would try my hand at a kids focused New Year Party and if it went well I might be tempted to do it again in the coming  years.

Of course we invited some adults we like too :)

(A  party of course is a crazy idea because we have a small yard, no nintendoes or playstations or no trampoline or pool or anything fun to do outside.)

So all up we had 12 kids.


The morning of New Years we decided that we MUST have a pinata. It's like a party MUST HAVE in this house. I usually do the balloon and glue type and knew that we had no time for that.  So we recycled a kitchen sink toy Christmas box and covered it with paper. The girls decorated as they wished and then we filled with left over shredded paper and balloons and some lollies.


That box would never have broken if the lid hadn't popped open (and the children thought that was as good as done and went crazy) otherwise I would have sticky taped it shut again)

We played The Chocolate Game

We had lots of sparklers, poppers and glowsticks.

Then we walked up to the 8:30pm early fireworks.


Possibly the worst firework photo you'll see but I was wrangly a crazy one year old
who was adamant that she wanted to run in every direction away from our group



All in all I felt it was a crazy chaotic loud evening but everyone swears it was fun and enjoyable.


As long as  I get to sleep in the next day (which I didn't)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Belly Busting Summer






















Summer has (finally) briefly shown itself.

Not that I minded previously.

I don't live in a currently flooded area (I feel so sad for those who are) so I was happy with the rain falling, staying home doing nothing, being able to bake without sweating to death, reading books and actually sleeping with a doona on in the middle of SUMMER! crazy! I very much enjoyed the cooler wet weather.

But on the Mr's last day of holidays we got wet.

Filling all the left over balloons from our New Years Party.

We had a water bomb fight with lots of giggles and nervous "dont get me's"

The best game of all?

Belly Busting.

Putting a balloon between themselves and Daddy and then Pushing until that things pops.

Everyone had to have a go.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Simplicity is the Word.


Last year I changed my mind on resolutions and ended up doing  the one word thing.


I kinda enjoyed it so I think I'll continue in that vein.

As I was listening to this talk ~  I knew immediately that it would be my new word for the year.
(Go read it. seriously. Who doens't love Elder Uchtdorf. Every single one of his talks are amazing.)



As soon as he said

Simplicity is the Ultimate sophistication


I knew it was my word.


It made me really excited actually. I am looking forward to simplifying things. Oh this word could mean so much.


It could mean to really let go and just be.


Or it could mean Get back to the basics. Simplify the house.  Peel of my layers and find the 'real me'.  Go back to older, simpler pursuits (and get off the computer). Read my scriptures as opposed to everything else. Forget keeping up with the 'Jones's. Eat more simply. Get straight to the point more often and less fluffing around. Take time to smell the roses. And the list goes on and on.


I have one example of this that came to my mind.


While The Mr was a YSA bishop we spent much time socialising with YSA, having several over each week for dinner and at our house.


Three years later we were thrust back to the family ward and realised we had no friends. We had spent so much time with the YSA our available time to nurture relationships with other people was diminished.


I like to have people over. I like to feed people. It was sooo easy to feed YSA. Add one young adult to dinner? No problem. Just divide up whatever I was making anyway.

I was lamenting to my mother that I wanted to have people/families over but I just couldn't afford to feed them. I could afford to have people over once a month  or maybe or every 2 weeks.


She smartly said "The people aren't there for you to feed them - they are there because they are happy that someone has invited them over. Your friendship is more important."


So that year I started inviting people over weekly with the anouncement of:  I am just making spaghetti/fried rice/ baked potatoes/soup/ insert simple meal here  ~  would you like to come over?


Basic. Nothing fancy. Smaller portions for all.




This has shown me that living simply sometimes ALLOWS you to do more.


When we are busy we can sometimes achieve less.
I had people over monthly but by living simply I could have people over weekly.



Last year I had the year off. A baby I said. 2 little ones at home. A year to sit and be.


This year I want to continue on with that theme but achieve a little more.



to be  Simply Abundant.


Join me on my journey?

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