Friday, October 31, 2008

Over the month of November I will be presenting to you 12 Christmas themed arts/crafts/activities/decorations and the like. If it goes well and I have more ideas, I will continue in December as well... we all know Christmas is only 55 days away!! I have 2 weddings, engagment party, 5 family birthdays and many more things -my calendar for November is packed!! If I didn't start in October I would never be ready for the First of December when the festivities start.

See you tomorrow with the First Day of Christmas my true love gave to me....

Just rollin' Just Ridin'

Me and Miss G have hit the streets!! Thanks to generous donations from the MR's Aunty and Mother. Nothing beats FREE!! A bike and a babyseat!! The wind blowin in our hair.. We are loving it... shame about the hot weather ;)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Wordfull Wednesday - Election topics

This weeks topic for Wordfull Wednesday at Chocolate on my Cranium is based on the US election topics of interest, we had to choose one of the following:

Abortion,Economy,Education,Immigration, Marriage (just between one man and one woman or should gays be allowed to marry?),War (Iraq, Afghanistan, or war in general)

Nice topics hey??? NOT! Phew.. a little heavy for this blog but I have chosen one of the most controversial to talk about ;)

Ethically I am opposed to abortion, but I also uphold a womans right to choose...however quoting from this article I read tonight "A woman's choice for her own body does not include the right to deprive a baby life"

Does this make me a fence sitter??

My mother was 4 months pregnant with me when she was in a serious car accident. My father died (even though his injuries were minor, my mother being in worse shape) and my mother hospitalised with back injuries. My mother had spinal and hip surgery while they pushed the womb to the side. She was told to have an abortion as I would probably have been disabled due to the lack of oxygen I had many times during her recovery. She chose not to. And I am here today. (and theres nothing wrong with me :) *twitch twitch* (maybe this explains my behaviours :) Given my personal brush with abortion I would have to say I am pro-life :)

What a cute baby I was.

When I was having my second child, there were some cysts on her brain that came up on the ultrasound... Being ushered into the genetists office was one of the scariest moments of my life, that it was a marker of Down Syndrome. While I was crying, they said that the other two markers were not present, so it was very unlikely, and that did it matter to me, would I have an abortion? I said no I wouldn't and they said well then this test doesnt matter and we will work with you what may happen. It can be hard to be strong, and in my case nothing came of it, but I surprised myself in my resolve.

Whether a country chooses to make abortion legal or illegal I think there are many other factors that impact on the womans choice. If people want an abortion they will find a way legal or not.

The factors that I think make a large impact are these:

Society embracing family values more. As people are shown that family is more important than money or work they might value life more.

The cost of living is high in Australia so many people might put off having kids or have abortions as they may fall pregnant at a time they feel is not convienient. Knowing that you can live and raise a family by being frugal and careful with money is important to be taught to people. I live in an expensive city/suburb on a very low income and have 3 children. It can be done.

Work places embracing family life. Many people work insane hours so a pregancy might not be in their favour. When the work place respects families, and the hours necessary to put into them, people will value life/pregancy more. My husband is asked what he does after work. He says he has 3 small daughters he needs to spend time with. His previous employer would always ask him to work nights, visit extra clients until well in the evening, he always had to decline as his time with his family (and that of being a bishop at the time) was important to him. When work is child friendly (ie more jobs during school hours, time off to be with sick children, daycare available at place of work, so you can visit child during the day etc etc) then changes will occur.

More high profile for adoption versus abortion. Having friends who would like to adopt some children, I can see the agony they experience in so desperately wanting a child, while millions of pregancies around the world are being terminated. To them this is another hit in the heart. They could provide a loving home for a child who is being terminated through abortion.

More stability through promoting marriage. Those people who are in a loving committed relationship may feel more prepared to provide a child a loving home and family. When people don't have that they may doubt there abilty to provide for a child.

Many abortions may happen as parents know the child has a severe disability. If we wish parents to be strong to deal with these difficulties then society needs to embrace disabilities - that differences in people make as a better society. That if we can care for the weak and vulnerable we are better people. That amazing parents who look after high needs children 24/7 need assistance. They need money to pay for expensive health care, helpers so they can rest and have some personal time. Marriage counselling to help those whose marriages come under stress from spending so much time caring for a disabled child. Someone to help them for as long and as much as they need. Friends to offer a helping hand, babysitting etc. We need to not shy away from those who are different who need our help.

Of course the church I attend promotes abstinance from sex before marriage. If this were followed more closely the need for abortion would decrease.

Thanks for following my wordfull wednesday. These points are obviously hard to achieve in our society, but there is no harm in trying. And of course there are genuine reasons for abortion some times, so please keep that in mind if you have had to face that in your life, I mean no offence.

**I picked up the Ensign Magazine fresh out of the post box 10 hours after I wrote this post and found this talk by Elder Russell M Nelson who says it oh so more elegantly than me, even covering some similar points

Monday, October 27, 2008

The only Halloween post you'll get from me..

We made these bats after a recommendation from an expat Canadian mum at school. She got the idea from a kids magazine from Canada.

Cut egg cartoon along 3 egg spaces. Cut a U shape into the 2 end pieces on 3 sides. Paint Black. Attach string. Stick on googly eyes. Hang and Admire your handy work.

I could justify this craft (we don't celebrate Halloween) because every night during spring/summer/autumn fruit bats in their 100's fly over our house. We made the egg carton bats and then sat outside looking at the real bats. I tried to get a photo but it is tricky at dusk with them flying past. This must be a problem many people have as there were few photos on the net even. It is more beautiful than this, but this photo is all I found.

Now on to my Halloween anxiety.

Halloween is not really celebrated in Australia. A few people do have parties as an excuse to dress up, but the general public do not. We know a lot about Halloween because of all the american tv shows on tv here. The shops might put up a little advertising maybe the week of halloween but there is no decorating or anything. The only time Australians decorate their houses is Christmas.

However after looking at all the awesome halloween/autumn crafts and decorating ideas on Tip Junkie and The Crafty Crow I was so jealous.. I want to do that stuff too!! Just gorgeous Autumn colours and some great house decorating ideas... BUT....

First problem: It isn't autumn here - said decorating items could be hard to find, though I could do homemade ones. There are no coloured leaves, acorns, pumpkin patches, etc.

Second problem: I grew up in a family ethically opposed to Halloween..and so did my husband. My mother would gasp in horror that LDS/Christians in America actually celebrated Halloween and couldn't believe they would even print halloween ideas in The Friend magazine from church. Halloween is the worship of the devil/evil spirits etc

So I did what any normal person would do.. I googled "Can Christians celebrate Halloween?"

If anyone is interested about 90% of the articles I read said no... click Here, here, here, here, and go google some more if you are intersted....So I had nothing to back me up in a discussion with the husband if we would allow our kids to participate in such activities :(

I found one good article here that said it was the Irish immigrants that bought Halloween to the US ( I was clinging on this one link as my paternal grandfathers family were Irish and immigrated to Australia - so I am 1/8 Irish??? - That means I can celebrate Irish traditions right??) the day itself did not grow out of evil practices. It grew out of the rituals of Celts celebrating a new year, and out of Medieval prayer rituals of Europeans.

If I lived in the US or another country that celebrated Halloween - I would be there with bells on.. who doesnt want free candy? But for now this bat is my token halloween gesture to blog land...

Thin Challenge - Unplug Your Kids

Last Weeks theme over at was "Thin". I was so behind this week that we did our challenge Monday morning before school :)

Brainstorming with the girls last week, they came up with - "Paper is thin - let's make something out of paper - Origami!!" My girls love origami as we have had many Japanese exchange students live with us who have taught them. On Sunday we recieved Nana a Japanese girl into our family - and you guessed it.. she gave the girls some Origami Paper!!

But this is the idea that I had mind.. It's a bit of a s-t-r-e-t-c-h for it to be counted as thin.. but hey I'm going with it.

Jelly Playdough!!

I have made playdough many times over my 7 years as a mum. But not until I got a blog have I ever heard of Kool Aid Playdough or Jello Playdough... Now we don't have Kool Aid in Australia.. but we do have jelly.. so I have been wanting to try this for a while (* note Jello is Jelly in Australia and what you call Jelly in th US is called Jam here.. still following, got it?)

Jello/Jelly Playdough Recipe from Family Corner

1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
1 cup water
1 tablespoon oil
2 teaspoons Cream of Tartar
1 (3-1/2 oz.) package "unsweetened" Jell-O

Mix all ingredients together and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until consistency of mashed potatoes. Let cool and knead with floured hands until dry.

Mix ingredients on Stove top

The Mixture was very "thin" to start with

But we kept stirring and stirring and soon it was thick

Our strawbery ball of playdough

Then it became "thin" again!

It doesn't smell as good as I had hoped it would, but that might be due to the fact that I used the 45 cent homebrand jelly and the colour wasnt as bright as the girls wanted so we added a little red food colouring.

This weeks theme:TBA

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Wherefore, I am in your midst, and I am the good shepherd, and the stone of Israel. He that buildeth upon this rock shall never fail ~ D&C 50:44

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Friday, October 24, 2008

On my table

Caramel Banana Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting :)

I was thinking of taking this cake to Book Club to share but I don't think it is going to make it that far - I love cream cheese frosting :)

The book this month was "A little Princess" by Frances Hodgson Burnett and I loved it... I have only seen the movie and that was a long time ago. The book was great.

Here are some questions I thought up for us to discuss tonight - hope they aren't spoilers.

Do you love your parents as much as Sara? share examples, Do you identify or not with her love for them

Do you have any bad school experiences like Sara's or any teachers that may have been like Miss Minchpin?

Discuss friendship : Sara's best friends were Becky and Ermengard and in a way Lottie. Do you have friends like this? Sara was probably a better friend to them - What can we learn from Sara's example of friendship, giving, kindness, loyalty?

Has a received Kindness (Like the Large Boy giving Sara at sixpenny) changed your life as Sara's was? She didnt spend the money but from that moment on she thought/felt differently

Has a miracle happened in your life like Sara's neighbours being the ones who were looking for her?

Have you had a time of trial/endurance (like sara) and how did your faith/determination get you through?

Do you have a special angel (Like Ram Dass is to Sara) in your life? Ram Dass made the attic very special for Sara and cared for her, got her clothes and food. How can we be like Ram Dass?

What can we learn from the ending, that things may not be as they seem - Miss Minchpin treated sara very differently when she was rich then when she was poor. Also it seemed all was lost with the diamond business which then turned around.. how can we not judge situations or people? How can we have hope?

have a good weekend

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Advice needed - Bathroom

Now I like to believe my house is pretty neat.. I mean I spend most my day "tidying up" after the kids... I wash dishes, mop, vaccuum... but I am ready to admit that I am terrible at deep cleaning. Frumpy's comments about I am not the type of mum to stay home and scrub the corners totally agreeded with me.. I look at my corners and lament..but oh well, I am not going to sit there scrubbing them..

I think the thing I am worst at cleaning is the shower.. I do it.. but I am not good at it... How do you all do it??

Just this week I cleaned in two ways that I thought were funny, so I am going to share them :)

I never know how people scrub showers and the grout in the middle.. without getting water is a humid climate here so the mould grows in no time.. so you have to clean the shower often. Don't your clothes get wet?

Well this week I decided to shower while I scrubbed the grout with a toothbrush.. I got a less toxic cleaner and went to it.. I was in the shower for ages!! My husband laughed but I can't think of another way to do it - how do you wash the stuff off afterwards while you're clothed and got shoes on?

Then today I cleaned the other bathroom in high heels!! Yes I am serious... I thought I want to scrub and rinse the shower but I dont want my feet to get wet, or burnt by the bleach... so I give you...

fancy cleaning lady :)

So while I laughed to myself I thought I have got to post this cause surely there has to be easier ways to clean the shower :) Previously I just squirted bleach or domestos everywhere and just rinsed it off using the shower head but I don't think that is cutting it...

hence my new ways - I know you all want to copy it:)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Who needs a TV?

Last week our washing machine died. It was making a horrible grinding sound for a few months now... it finally gave up. I did not know for two days.. I had a mound of washing.. and the lights wouldn't even turn on... She was truly dead. So shopping for new machine, delivery the next day, rain the day after that... 5 days later I have A LOT OF WASHING!!

We decided to buy a front loader as our laundry is a cupboard - space saving and better for the environment etc.. many benefits... but there was one benefit I missed -

It can be substituted for a TV

Our girls find it so much fun to sit in front of it and watch the clothes go round! They actually sat there for 20 mins on Saturday and this morning again!! We made some jokes that if we washed a shirt that had a cartoon character on it we might see it float by!!

One more reason to buy a front loader!

4th, 4th, 4th Tag

I was tagged by the gorgeous holly to do a photo tag.. You open the 4th folder in my pictures then post the 4th photo in that folder. This was hard as I have 100's of folders;)and one of the first photos that came up was ken's grandmas coffin going into the ground! dear me)

but 2007 was my 4th folder then I decided to do the 4th folder again which was April (I put my pics all under months) then this was the 4th photo
Bahhwwwaaaaaa!! One of my best friends Alisha who has moved to London.... cry cry sob sob..this was the last time I saw her! Just before they caught the plane

This was a fun tag and I was having a great time looking at old photo's

I tag anyone who wants to : you know who you are my 5 readers :)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Wax Challenge - Unplug Your Kids

Last weeks theme at Unplug Your Kids was Wax. Remember the previous Smooth challenge? I wanted to make stained glass windows but didn't have any WAX paper... so this theme was for me!! I went out and bought some WAX paper straight away so we could correct last weeks challenge!!

Take Wax paper (Shiny side up - learn from our mistakes ;) and grate wax crayons onto paper. We didn't have any wax crayons - (or I couldn't find them) so we used Oil Pastels/crayons and they worked great!!

Fold Shiny sides together and Iron (note* it melts very quickly!! You do not need a hot iron.. in fact I turned mine off after burning a piece and it worked great with a warm iron turned off)

Enjoy your Artwork - these turned out great and Wax paper is my new best friend.. You can melt anything between the paper - dried flowers, glitter etc (*edit a few people have tried leaves and they are too thick and it doesn't work - so maybe stick to glitter and crayon)

Miss 7's Christmas piece she thought out very carefully which colours she wanted.

This weeks Challenge - Thin

Muffin Tin Monday - Not just for kids!

The theme this week for Muffin Tin Monday was Halloween/Autumn/Harvest. Since it isn't Autumn where I live and we don't really celebrate Halloween in Australia I couldn't just go and buy themed snacks.

I came across these two good recipes and decided I would make Pumpkin Pie and Baked Apples from scratch as *gasp* canned pumpkin is not available in Australia

So I cooked up these delicious desserts

Now around the same time the kids went off for a long walk to the river with the neighbours - oh what to do?? They were gone 4 hours...
Eat it myself of course!! Well to be fair I did share a little with my husband and 2 year old!

The end!
Muffin Tins can be for adults too can't they??

Sunday, October 19, 2008


Now, we will compare the word unto a seed. Now, if ye give place, that a seed may be planted in your heart, behold, if it be a true seed, or a good seed, if ye do not cast it out by your unbelief, that ye will resist the Spirit of the Lord, behold, it will begin to swell within your breasts; and when you feel these swelling motions, you will begin to say within yourselves - It must needs be that this is a good seed, or that the word is good, for it beginneth to enlighten my understanding, yea it beginneth to be delicious to me ~ Alma 32:28

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Shadow Shot

Go to Hey Harriet if you want to be part of the Shadow Shot Gallery
Let go of your mental rubbish, release, renew, relax
It's garbage day!!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Tuesdays with Morrie - the overview

Well I said in the last post I would write down some of the Morrie's insights from Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom. For those who don't know the book, Morrie was Mitch's professor at College. In his later years Morrie developed ALS which is a slow degenerative disease. Firstly your legs stop, then you are in a wheelchair, then bedridden until your body finally gives up.

Now this post is coming from someone who has known very few people to die. My family are all alive - some grandparents even- so it might be easy for me to say - Well we need to learn from Death.. all well and good until it looks you in the face. So those who are struggling with these concepts or have had someone close to them pass away and are still hurting please don't think these comments are to hurt you.

It's horrible to watch your body slowly wilt away to nothing, but its wonderful because of all the time I get to say goodbye.

Have you found someone to share your life with? Are you giving to your community? Are you at peace with yourself? Are you trying to be as human as you can be? Dying is only one thing to be unhappy over - living unhappily is something else!

Our culture doesn't encourage you to think about such things [death,sickness] until you are about to die. We're so wrapped up in egotistical things - career, family, money, mortgages, cars, we don't get in the habit of stepping back looking at our lives. Is this all? Is this what I want? Is something missing?

Everyone knows they are going to die, but nobody believes it. If we did, we would do things differently. There is a better approach : Know you are going to die, and be prepared for it at anytime. That way you can be more involved in your life while you're living.

Once you learn how to die, you learn how to live

There is no foundation, no secure ground upon people may stand if it isn't the Family. If you don't have support and love and caring and concern you get from a family you don't have much at all. Love is supremely important. Love each other or Perish.

As you grow you learn more. Ageing is not just decay, it's growth. It's more than the negative that you're going to die - It's the positive that you understand you're going to die and that you live a better life because of it.

The truth is a part of me is every age. I'm a 3 year old, a 5 year old, 37 year old, 55 year old. I am every age up to my own. How could I be envious of the young? When I have been there myself.

Money is not a substitute for tenderness and power is not a substitute for tenderness. I can tell you as I sit here dying, when you need it the most, niether money nor power will give you the feeling you're looking for no matter how much of it you have.

People gobble up the something new. New car, property, latest toy. People are so hungry for love that they accept substitutes. They're embracing material things and expecting a sort of hug in return, but it never works. You can't substitute material things for love or tenderness.

In the beginning of life when we are infants we need others to survive. At the end of life, when you get like me, you need others to survive. But here's the secret: in between we need others as well.

It's natural to die, the fact that we make such a hallabaloo over it is because we don't see ourselves as part of nature. We think because we are human we are something above nature. We're not. Everything born dies. As long as we can love each other; and remember the feeling of love we had, we can die without ever going away. All the love you created is still there. All the memories are still there. You live on in the hearts of everyone you touched and nurtured.

Death ends a life, not a relationship.

Now this is a long post!! Easy when it isn't my words:) Now this was for me more than anyone else, but I hope you got something out of it.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Wordfull Wednesday - My Worst Fear

The topic this week for Wordfull Wednesday by Chocolate on my Cranium is My worst fear. At first I couldn't really think of anything as I don't really have any paralyzing fears.

I mean bugs and spiders and snakes are icky...and I ain't gonna pick any up anytime soon... but I'm not deathly afraid of them. I am a little scared of heights but musn't be too much as I thouroughly enjoyed a Hot air balloon flight I took last Christmas. Go to my travelblog to see the photos and details I am scared when my children who are wiggly, iquisitive and daring look over high ledges.. that gives me the heeby geebies and I am know to hold on to the backs of their shirt/pants often which they hate. Scared of heights? Tick that one off

I was scared of the dark as a child and don't particularly like being in the middle of nowhere in the dark but for day to day living and in my home I am not scared. Before I had kids when I was single, driving my car home late at night - I really did not like driving down dark isolated roads.... just waiting for a UFO or crazy ax murdered to come and get me :) that is one thing that still creeps me out big time, but it is very rare these days for me to be driving places like that alone.

So after listing all my quasi-fears :) I would say my biggest fear would be dying.

Myself, my husband or my kids. The few times they have been really sick or the few times they were lost.. my throat and breath siezes up and I think that I could not bear life without them. This topic is a good one as this week I have been reading "Tuesdays with Morrie" by Mitch Albom. This has opened my eyes and feelings towards being able to deal with death. Morrie mentions often that our society is not used to dealing with this - that we often go around acting like death will never happen. But it does and can. When we admit to the reality of death - then we can live. The book is full of many great pearls of wisdom - I might have to blog about is seperately!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Smooth Challenge - Unplug your kids

This weeks challenge at Unplug Your Kids was SMOOTH

I am not sure if our craft can be counted as smooth so this morning we made healthy SMOOTHIES for Breakfast - YUM!

I have lots of photos of the girls making them - cutting banana's etc, but they weren't that good quality - so here are a few of them enjoying the SMOOTHIES

We made stained glass windows for the craft component. The girls had been watching Vegetales: An Easter Carol and there is an extras feature that shows you how to make stained glass windows with wax paper, crayon shavings and an iron. We thought it would make a good "smooth" challenge

BUT ... we didn't have wax paper :( So we attempted the other version which is placing pieces of tissue paper on contact. Contact is smooth isnt it? Well this is our smooth entry anyway - Now this craft is all over the net, but we had never done it before - contact is hard to find when it isn't the beginning of the school year!

Notice the "church window" shape - the girls asked for?

This weeks Challenge: WAX

Sunday, October 12, 2008


And now behold I give unto you a commandment, that when ye are assembled together ye shall instruct and edify eachother, that ye may know how to act and direct my church, how to act upon the points of my law and commandments which I have given ~ D&C 43:8

Yesterday at Saturday Conference Session a friend (whom I got to know through my husband being her Bishop in the YSA ward) handed me a book. She had printed out the entire proceedings of general conference and had it bound into a book (we don't usually get the Ensign until the end of the month in Australia) She said she had made two and that she wanted me to have her other one! She thought that since I had the children with me (who werent being particularly reverent) that the book might help me as I could read along while listening and juggling kids.

It was a wonderful gesture and made my day - someone was thinking of me.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

The first Mangoes

Daddy bought home our first mango for the upcoming season!! The girls were so excited. We all shared one mango - hard for this family of fruit loving girls. They can't wait for Christmas when they can have mangoes for breakfast.

Can you tell they loved their special treat for the week?
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