Thursday, September 30, 2010

Spray Paint

I got this idea from A's class at school. They had an 'art gallery' showing of their works on the last day of school term. They have been learning about water, ocean, the water cycle etc. Many of their paintings used the 'spray' technique for that watery look.

I've seen it all around the web, and have wanted to do it for a while. Don't know why I was putting it off. Lack of spray bottles? I wanted to buy empty fresh ones (But kept forgetting). However, in a let's do craft non prepared moment,  I just ended up using an empty window cleaner bottle. Easy.

We placed about a cup of water with a squirt of acrylic paint, shook and spray. We cleaned it out between each colour. We all shared the one sprayer. If you have four bottles, even better, but I made do with one and so can you! lol

The girls really wanted red. I personally think it looks like a crime scene, no?

Red Red dripping everywhere.

It didn't take long for me to say okay let's move on to different colours. Looks like a murder here.

Don't know why we hadn't done it before.

This type of painting uses such little paint. Seriously One squirt of each colour.

Four blobs for painting a box and a sheet, and several squares of paper and we kept ourselves...


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Foam Bath

This post from filth wizardry had me amazed. She must win for best bathroom craft :) I love that her kids are using scissors in the bath!! Dangerous yes, but it appeals to the rebel in me. Add learning spelling and maths in the bath? good idea!

The day I read that post I just happened to have some craft foam! I've never bought it before and saw 5 sheets in a bag for $2 and snapped some up.

So these 5 sheets of foam kept the girls and the neighbour busy for 2 hours after I showed them what the girls over at Filth Wizardry did. Imagination is limitless with this idea. I had 3 older girls cutting and G was telling them things she wanted and was helping place the pieces. N made them all angry by pulling down what they were sticking up, so she got booted out of the bathroom real quick.

We've kept some of the pieces but a few have been tossed away. Too many small bits.

For a few hours entertainment the price was a bargain.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Paint a box

Holidays are Here.
I give you a list of activites we did the wile away our time. Yesterday's Post included :)

We bought a shed and it came in this box.

We have a few ideas for this box.

Trace around our bodies and make cutouts
Make it into an 'aquarium' and fill it with paper animals
Walls for a cubby
Glue stuff over it.

But first of all we paint it. Like Full on Body Painting it.

This was my bath afterwards.  Eewww.....

The reasons for the foam pieces will be in the next post

This was Miss N's first time painting.

After reading this post at The Artful Parent , I realised that we often put our little one to the side during art (because we don't want THAT MUCH A MESS)  So this time I made sure she was included. She loved it if you can't tell. She was a bit wary of the paint to start with, slowly dipping her fingers in. Didn't take too long to turn herself into a work of art.

the reason why kids paints are non toxic

A and G loved that it was so slippery. They spent easily 20 mins 'skating' around on the cardboard. They had a few slips onto their bottoms and laughed their heads off. It's like ice skating they pronouced several times.


Messy? Yes. But worth it.

If you haven't happened to buy a large appliance or the like in a box lately try some stores.
I know bunnings has a wall of boxes you can take from for free.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Slip n Slide

I saw some Slip 'n' Slide's at Toyworld.
I was going to buy one.
Then thought we could make our own with a  roll of plastic we have.

Sadly though it has been raining nearly everyday.
One afternoon we had a brief parting of the clouds.

We just needed something to keep our plastic down.
Dinner knives work well in case you're interested.
So with our lovely silverware keeping the plastic flat.

Off we went.

It has been many years since I've done something like this

The kids looked liked they were having so much fun I wanted to try.

Ummm if you didn't know : it hurts

So here is the one and only photo of me doing it.

Instead I just sat in the sudsy goodness with my legs up.

The girls decided that slipping along on your tummy and going THROUGH Mum's legs was sooo much better.

I have never heard N laugh so much in her life. She smiles 24/7 but the kid rarely laughs. She's got a nervous type giggle that sounds like she is almost crying. But this time she was full on laughing.

It was so joyous to see her slippy sliding everywhere on all fours. She was cacking herself so bad.

Non stop laughter, like this was the most hilarious thing she had ever done/seen.

Sadly our little incline wasn't enough to get any serious speed. The girls laid out about 15 metres of plastic but they only made it about 5 metres along each time.

Note for next time. You don't need that much plastic!!!


The thing that made me most happy? When a 10 year old friend from a few blocks away stopped by our house a few days later. We had the plastic hanging up 'drying' out (and to let the grass renew itself :) We told her all about it. She said ' Whats a Slip and slide?' We described it 'sliding on your tummy or bottom with water and soap. She literally looked at us amazed and said she had never heard of such a thing. I invited her to do it with us next time.

It reminded me that while I feel I sometimes fail as a parent. I know I get it right on occasions!

I was also reminded yet again. When I sit and DO NOTHING my girls love it. And really, there will only be so many years left where they can slide under my legs. I realised that they are almost too big. If I had waited any longer, I would never have found out this joy. They are growing before my eyes and pretty soon wont want to slip and slide with me.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Let It Shine

And look at that grey hair on the top of my head!! yikes! 

You must listen to this song while reading this post. I'm addicted to it.

I often focus too much on what I can't do.

At the end of each day I think of how I failed or what I didn't accomplish.

A's church teacher rang this week to ask what her talents were.

She needed 5 things to share in the class.

I had to think hard. Like REALLY HARD

I told the teacher that talents are fairly rare in this house

We aren't good at  well.....anything really.

Of course we discussed/covered our failings by talking about things that might not necessarily be measureable or actual  physical talents.

Talents of all fields, kinds, visible or invisible.

We came up with the five things eventually. It might have included climbing on the roof and casting spells (which we didn't think would be suitable for church :) always eager to get ready every morning. A people person as she constantly NEEDS other people around her.

Today was a crazy day yet very fulfilling. Why I am amazed at something that that I have already blogged about -  I don't know why.  I'm sitting in the cool spring weather, covered in suds with kids sliding between my legs and it came to me.

This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine.

We had a man from the country stay with us last night. He was far from home with nowhere to go. He couldn't leave (not allowed to travel alone on a bus! after procedure) couldn't stay alone in hotel (same reason) Red Cross Hostel's were booked. Somehow he found his way to us.  I let him stay in our house and drove him to the bus the next day. I fed him dinner, gave him  a bedroom and sheets. He gave us treats and let my girls use his cane. He showed them how to use it like a gun :)  He talked and was like a grandpa to them. Is this a talent? Not being afraid to share ones house and home?

Today I attempted to make CakePop's . I've wanted to try for like 2 years. I finally bought some Lollypop sticks.  They were pretty fail. It's harder than it looks to make a nice, clean, neat looking one. I was sad. I wanted pretty things to take to a bookclub tomorrow night. However I will try again. Next time they will look better than this time. Is this a talent?  Making mildly ugly treats and be willing to try again?

My house is total mess. Cake pop mess, toy mess, a nappy that got wet from water and exploded so I have those moisture jelly granules EVERYWHERE in the bathroom. A freezer that won't shut, sheets, mattresses, pillows everywhere (from relocating my three girls so Country man could stay in their room) wet swimmers and mud strewn everywhere. But I had the most amazing afternoon slip and sliding with bubbles everywhere. I've never heard my baby laugh so much in her life. Our neighbour came to chat across the fence. Is this a talent? To realise sudsy squealing muddy fun is more important than housework?

While sitting in above mentioned mess while cooking dinner an emotionally, mentally and possible spiritually challenged person came calling at my house. A totally harmless person, but difficult to deal with nonetheless. My baby was very wary. Manic laugher and nonsensical conversation - she could tell something was up with this person. However as I dealt with her, and was able to get her out of her one tracked idea she had brewing something she said did speak to me. I apologised for my hugely messy house, naked children, burning dinner and she said so calmly and softely, it pierced my heart "Oh don't be ashamed" Is this a talent? To not be ashamed when you are embarrassed? When people may see what you try to hide behind closed doors?

The above song has been stuck in my head all day.

this little light of mine, Im gonna let it shine,
this little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine
... let it shine, let it shine, let it shine

I fail every day.

Every day has good and bad.

I'm going to try and  focus on when I let my light shine. And to make it shine more often than not.

let it shine, let it shine, let it shine

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Potter Clothes from around the house

Yet another thing that didn't come with that parenting book attached to the baby (you didn't get one either?)

Being  able to assemble fancy dress outfits in minutes.

Looks like I'm learning.

A Harry Potter costume an hour before the school disco.

Dad's Tie, Mum's vest, Little Sisters White shirt, Mum's Cardigan, Metal Chopstick from Korea, Black Face Crayon = Hogwarts Uniform

Theme? Dancing with the Stars.

Apparently Harry Potter counts.

He's in his own league at our house.

I tried to tell her Harry isn't a person. Pffttt yeah right.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Lovely Librarian? or should I say Lonely Librarian?

Meet your new Librarians

I had my first experience of dread during an interview for a new calling at church.
(which we know that all good LDS should never have ;)

I had a split second waver of "Are you serious?"

I've been a Early Morning Seminary Teacher ,  A bishops wife at 25,  In a Relief Society Presidency (while husband was bishop of another ward) Stake Activities in amongst lower key Ward Missionary, Newsletter Editor, Visiting Teaching coordinator.

But nothing has made me shake in my boots as much as:

Meetinghouse Librarian.

Holy Moly.

Proabably because there are still 5 more months left before Miss N starts Nursery. This calling would be totally fine if my husband wasn't in the bishopric. With other callings like seminary he was able to support me. But since I pretty much only see him on the stand and he is gone (to me) from 6:30am till 3pm ish each sunday, I can't expect too much of him)

So there will also be a mini librarian assistant. One to destroy what I am trying to tame.

As was evidenced of when she open and shut the swing door twenty million times, whacked the photocopier tray up and down, swiped a shelf of its contents, tipped over the bin, cried repeatedly to be let out, Sucked on pens and scissors, opened the draws and tried to get hold of whiteboard markers, glue, stickytape. While looking around at Little Miss Tornado, the previous librarian who was training me said 'I seriously doubt you'll be able to do this'

I wanted to burst into tears.

I also thought that in my 30 years of church attendance I have NEVER seen a ward librarian with young children. Always a first time I suppose?

I'm sure they figured since I often lose my kids, and rarely know where they are when I AM ACTIVELY LOOKING FOR THEM.... that If I am stuck in the library it won't matter. Maybe the kids will now know atleast WHERE I WILL BE. So there's no excuse for them to run off (yer right)

So when you are worried about something what do you do?
You call your mother of course. Who will give it to you straight.

Oh 'this girl' being the Librarian IS EASY. Any simpleton can DO IT. You'll be fine. Though I will say it is a very LONELY calling!! (lol - wonder who I am like??)

So the whining, scared, question asking, why me??, grumbling person was put to rest with that comment.

The question should be what do I need to learn from this?

I've been pondering

I spent one of the most lonliest sundays EVER. Stuck in the library with only the few who pass by with a nod or a wave. This is good for me. Remember this post?
So I need some practice in solitude.

It's been a while since I've used some well defined organisation skills
So organizing the library and paperwork and ordering I will.

My kids like to think they rule the church and can roam anywhere they want
So I can train my kids to turn up to the library and wait for me (lol)

I can provide the ward and new members with ALL the materials they will need for a happy life :)

And lastly, Can I go shopping for a new wardrobe? pretty pretty please?

So I can channel my 'hot librarian look' (rofl)

There's gotta be some positives..right??

*wanders off to find some faux black rimmed glasses*

Monday, September 20, 2010

Monday Night Tradition

Monday Night is a special night, It's the night we go out all fancy.

Sometimes when you have young kids (esp a whole destroying tribe of them) the niceties get forgotten.

I always wanted to be a person who used the fine china and nice cups regularly.

Then I realise the crystal only comes out at Christmas and birthdays.

I've also never really had a 'set night' for nicer dinners.

I mean I cook great EVERY NIGHT!! (well not everynight, but a fancy dinner could be any night of the week)

But as with most things, They don't stick until the MR decides it.

Does anyone else hate that?
I can suggest ideas, prod , dream up  - changes, holidays, family traditions but
nothing is ever as good as when you are both on the same page!

I love it when The Mr comes up with ideas regarding our family.
IT means they WILL happen.

So Monday night has be newly christened "Fancy Dinner Night'

This means flowers, tablecloth, properly set table, dessert, fancy drink

The girls are in charge of table decorations and dessert. So far they have been doing really well, and are still keen. I am really surprised that they will also eat Meat and vegetable this way (who would have thunk it?)

We go straight from our dinner into Family Home Evening. It's the perfect lead up. Its more adult this way. We have been discussing deeper and they are asking more questions.

We've been doing it a month now and I love it.

I hope it stays for a long time.

As we sat around the table one of the girls reached out and grabbed hands. We all followed. My heart melted when they wanted to hold hands around the table while we prayed and talked about our day.

I ♥ Family Traditions

And hopefully I am going to love the lemon Cheesecake the girls made for us tonight.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.
 Who hath ears to hear, let him hear. ~ Matthew 13:43
These very tall sunflowers have been making me happy all week. A good buy from the markets.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Foody Friday

I love jelly.

So I thought I would love this slice.

It was ok.(I'll stick with jelly and icecream)

But the kids LOVED IT.

Very Good Instruction on how to make it found Here

So easy the kids could make it.

I found the idea from here  and so much 'stained glass jelly' photo goodness here too

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I thought I said Never, Time to eat my words

Pretty sure that I said we would never have any pets.


I hate animals. And already have 4 to clean up after.

So why do I have two baby chickens living in my house?

It's because I said 'maybe' when asked if we could bring the school's hatching egg chickens home.
I said maybe we would grab some for Grandma or for the neighbour who both keep chickens, as they are FREE

So why the next day do I greet my daughter after school who is squeeling:

We get to take chickens home.
They have to come home TODAY.
The chickens go back to the farm at 6pm
I have a box to put them in.
We have to GO NOW and pick some
Before they are all gone... HURRY...

So suddenly with 2 mins notice we are proud parents of two baby chicks. (oh help me please)

Meet Midnight and Snow.

I think they almost froze to death the first night when we realised (the next morning)  the Ikea lamp we were heating them under was a safety bulb and was emitting NO HEAT.

We borrowed a lamp from a neighbour and set them up in their little home we fashioned out of a broken guinea pig cage we picked up off the side of the road.

They are now 3 weeks old and lost their feathers. They have survived the extra squeezing 'love' that cute baby chicks get from the girls, neighbours, show and tell, random kids. They are sturdy and strong and growing.

I just spent half an hour chasing the little yellow one around the back yard, trying to get it back in the cage. I will die if left out ( we have several cats who come thru our yard, not to mention possums. big chickens etc)

Fast little thing it is.

Which reminds me why I hate don't like animals.

Off to the neighbours they go as soon as they are big enough.

What little chicks do you know get a vase of flowers to 'brighten up their room' ~ Lucky things.

Note they are no longer in the house and I am happy that the smell is gone and that they are now outside in nature in their cage :) They might be growing on me. I even hid them for our rent inspection. I check on them everynight before bed. It has taught the girls a 'little' responsibility, but this has reminded me (though I already knew - The mother ends up looking after the animals)

What animal shall we torture next? Guinea Pig?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Code Talk

So I'm pretty proud of myself.

I've been wanting to make a blog button for this blog for ages.

I used this tutorial.

I was putting it off because I didn't have photobucket account.

Yesterday I thought, I am going to SIT HERE until it is done.

So half a day later. I present. My blog button  (see side bar)

Now I know how to do them I can whip one up in minutes. However at first I had four fails.

When The Mr came home I was so excited.


I made a blog button using CODE!!

He laughed at me because that's what he does for work every day.

I told him he better watch out or I'll be doing his job soon.

Not likely.

Anyway. Now I know you all desperately want to add this button to your blog, don't you?

Look to the right column. There it is. Copy and Paste the code below it onto your blog under Design then,  Add an element,  then  Html/java script. It's easy.

You know one day when I am a famous blogger... you can say I was one of her first readers :)

Now I wasted time learning how, anyone want me to make one for their blog???

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


I'm loud.

Once I was in the hallway at church also known as the 'hallway class'  or  'baby 101'
as that is where I spend 70% of my time at church.

You know, out there with the other few families in the same boat.

Got chatting

Got talking excitedly (that happens to me daily)

Forgot church was on in the chapel.

Usher came out and told me to stop talking and be quiet.

ummmm Embarrassment.

I think I've almost forgotten that this years New Years word resolution was Refined

I've got four months left to make something of myself.

I often take hold of myself and say - at the next social whatever (mothers group, bookclub, wedding, outing etc) I am NOT GOING TO TALK.  I am going to let OTHER people lead the conversations. I am going to ask short questions of the OTHER PERSON to get them talking. I will TRY MY HARDEST NOT to talk over people (near impossible for me)

Why oh why am I like this? I don't mean to be rude, I just have so much I am busting to say (hence title of this blog) I read so much and have so many tidbits to share. I retain so much in this brain of mine, nearly ANY TOPIC people talk about I have: read about, know about or heard someone else have. I JUST HAVE TO SHARE!!!

I am going to have to go on a silence pilgrimage, limit myself from talking so much. (ha not really) but I will try my best to restrain myself from sharing everything I know. Shall that be a goal for this week? month? rest of my life? *sigh*

I was chatting with a friend on the way home from conference. We were talking about a lady we both admired. I said "yeah I went to their house for dinner when I was first married. All I could think about was how lovely, kind, softly spoken, generous, caring this mother of 5 children was. At 20 years old I thought I WANT TO BE JUST LIKE HER!!

However I said to my friend, as much as I thought about it. IT WASN'T GOING TO HAPPEN.


Hopefully The Lord has a purpose for me. Loud me. I am they way I am for a reason.

Yes I will try to reign myself in. Yes I will try to improve myself.
Yes I will try (very hard) not to talk over people.

However I know he will work with me.

As I am.

**On the plus side I've heard that much of weight loss is from fidgeting/Incidental movement

so all that talking with my arms and whole body is useful for something :)

At the time I was pondering all this I was reading Eat Pray Love. I have given the book back, so I can't quote it, but when I got to the section about this same topic (she talks too much) I almost gasped! It was the answer. The same answer I was coming to. I smiled so much through that part! And it made me so happy that I'm not the only one like this.

Monday, September 13, 2010


The realisation hit me like a ton of bricks

I'm a sci fi nerd

Just putting it out there.

I was at the library and a magazine caught my notice.

It had  articles about Star Trek voyager and Twilight

So I borrowed it.

While reading I thought I've seen or enjoy nearly every movie/show etc in this magazine.

*da da da dum *

Oh no... I'm I sci fi nerd....

who reads Sci Fi Now

I've borrowed several over the last few months.

So I totally blame The Mr right.

Go back 11 years and its our Honeymoon.

It rained like crazy most of the week.  We were staying in little cozy places (not big hotel) so subsequently our rooms had video players (ekk! how old!!) So we were staying in a coastal beach town and headed off to a video store. Show your license, say where you are staying and voila ~ you can borrow a movie.

So we did.

Along with some Star Trek Voyager episodes.

I had Never in my entire life watched a star trek episode.

So it was all down hill from there really.

The Mr had me. Captured. Married to him.

Time to start the Sci Fi  torture.

mwah ha ha ha

Last night The Mr totally busted me laying on the bed reading Sci Fi Now.
Every man's dream right?

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Family Week - Just the two of us

You can’t always get what want.

As a youth I never wanted kids, I wanted to be the breadwinner, I didn’t understand why the man got to go out and work when I was just as capable. I am much older and wiser now and have been so for quite some time. I did plan to wait for a while after getting married before having children. However, here I am, five years later, childless and with a husband that has been out of work for nearly 3 years.

I have almost lost hope of having kids, and that saddens me. I’ve moved through the clucky demanding stage into indifference. But I always remember in this moment that with God nothing is impossible, if we but reach and take His hand.

I have no doubt that as I live the commandments and strive towards being Christlike that I will have the opportunity to be a parent. I want it now, when I’m honest about it and not suppressing my pain. But I know that for what ever reason Heavenly Father is giving my husband and I what we need to grow and learn and be prepared to be the best parents we can be. I count that a real privilege, Gosh the kids in store for me must be real terrors or really special.

I must add that not all my time is spent moping and being pained about my childless state and the illness that leaves me this way. My husband and I are learning to be a partnership and setting our house in order so that when the time is right we will be ready and not hesitate. We also have fun from time to time too :)

The proclamation to the family is particularly sweet to me because it takes into account everyone – it doesn’t compromise on the position of family but recognises that not every one is the same and nor should they be expected to be.

So you can’t always get what you want, but you get what you need.

When someone cares, song of the heart
You can’t always get what you want, rolling stones
Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation, proclamation to the world.
D&C 93:43

Q is a guest blogger who is currently moving her blog from blogspot to her own .mac domain. Further details will be available on thisgirllovestotalk in the coming months for those who are interested in following her exploits.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Family Week - Big Families and starting your own

Families are Forever

I have something really special. I have a family that will last forever.

My idea of what a family is has changed as I have gotten older. I come from a family of seven children: 5 girls and 2 boys. I never really thought we had a big family until people would say so! I loved having so many siblings. It was just normal. Everywhere I went I had a friend to talk to. I shared a room with more than one sibling for half my life, shared clothes, shared talents, and shared dreams. I don’t remember ever feeling lonely.

Here is my big family in the year 2000.

I loved the idea of having a big family of my own one day. I was sure I wanted to have five or six children. That was until I met my wonderful husband, Josh. He brought with him a little perspective. He was from a family of two children. Two! That was mind boggling to me. Like, who did you play with? Who did you stand around the piano and sing with? Who was in your family band? Who were the students when you played schools? How could you have a game of stuck in the mud? These were my questions, of course stemming from my own experiences. I couldn’t understand how a small family was even possible.

My siblings and I with Josh on our wedding day.

Then I realised, both are wonderful. Plus, I’m the woman! I’d be the one who’d have to give birth to these children and then love and care for them (for the most part). It was an epiphany - There are all different types of families. It didn’t HAVE to have a big family; it just had to be a happy family. And I am thrilled to have a family of my own in whatever shape or size it becomes. As long as it is forever.

Because of the blessing of a temple marriage, Josh and I will be together forever. I am 22 weeks pregnant with our first child, and this wonderful little baby boy that is growing inside of me will be the first of our children who also has the honour of spending forever in our family. I am excited for the new challenges and happy moments that are to come. I don’t know how many siblings will follow him, I just know that we will do EVERYTHING in our power to make sure they are the happiest little people in the world.

With parents this wonderful, how could they not be happy :)

Today's Family Post was by Katrina. She blogs over at Love at its Finest . I knew Katrina would be perfect to tell us about big families, and starting her own. I was lucky enough to know these two from my husband being their YSA ward Bishop. There is just something about being surrounded by young people and young adults in love that made me so happy during that time.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Family Week - Adding another one

When I was a little girl, I had big dreams.
My dream looked a lot like the Anne of Green Gables books.

I dreamt of being married to a wonderful man (he was tall and had dark hair in my dream), and living in a cute little blue cottage in the country or near the seaside. My garden would be full of beautiful flowers and lusch green grass. And playing in that lovely garden would be 2 sweet girls, dressed in summer dresses, their curly hair floating in the laughter-filled breeze. In another dream I wanted lots of children – like 8!-, but still I pictured myself in the garden playing with all my delightfully well-behaved, sweet children.

I really did dream that. I wrote it in my beehive journal when I was 13.

The long and short of it is: I always dreamt of being a mother.
Nothing excited me more than imagining myself with children surrounding me in my own home.

Fast forward 11 years and my wonderful (slightly-shorter-than-me-red-haired) man and I were expecting our first child. Unfortunately, we weren’t living in a picturesque cottage beside the seaside, rather renting a 70’s-style unit in the innercity; but we were deliriously happy nonetheless.

“And what would you like it be?” people would ask. Somewhere in those 11 years part of my desires had changed. Not sure where or how. “A boy!!” I replied excitedly. I genuinely wanted a boy first. I got my wish and 15 months after Lachlan’s birth we were pregnant again. Again, my wish was for a boy. I imagined 2 little boys tottering around together, exploring, building and being best buddies. My wish came true again. Another little boy (who is totally different in every way except his appearance from the first) joined our family. They are indeed best buddies and I love watching their friendship blossom.

It’s 3 years later and here I sit pregnant again. It’s been 6 weeks since I was lying on the ultrasound bed waiting impatiently for the announcement of baby #3’s sex. There were 3 boys in the room all vying for it to be a girl, while I was hoping for a boy. The boys got their wish!

I love my boys to bits. They are delicious! They are affectionate to their mother, a mixture of rough-and-tumble and sensitivity, without many uncontrollable tantrums. Another boy, while I understand that his personality and nature would have been quite different again from the other 2, I envisioned would fit very nicely into our family. We have a million boys’ toys. We have space-bags full of blue clothes. They could have been the 3 stoogers going to stake dances together and we would have spent our Saturdays watching them all play various sports.

I’ve had quite some time to get used to the idea that I will be having a girl and quite honestly the shopping and making of pretty pink things has got me quite excited. At first I thought a lot about how strange it will be to have a girl in the house and wondered how she will fit in. ‘I don’t want a girl’. ‘Think of all those teenage hormones.’ ‘The poor girl will never be allowed out on her date thanks to her protective father’. ‘Little girls throw the worst tantrums.’ Ok, so I generalize and most of it probably isn’t true and let’s face it: boys have their own problems too.

But at the end of the day it doesn’t really matter whether our unborn babe is a boy or girl. She may not have been in my ‘ideal dream’ 6 weeks ago, but she still completes my dream perfectly. I will still be a mother surrounded my children, raising them in a home filled with love.

And that is what family means to me. Family is being surrounded by those you love and whom love you back. Family is my dream come true. Small children who delight in the simple things.

Sure, family life is not 100% rosy all the time. There are difficult times. There are disagreements, arguments, people pulling you in all different directions wanting a piece of you, whinging and whining, too many things to do in too little hours etc. etc. Every day is different. The family dynamics can be rather varying depending on who got out of bed on what side that morning.

But family makes the heart sing. My children, despite all their faults (and whinging) complete my dream and baby girl will just make that dream sweeter.

So our family is going to change in 3 months’ time. We’ll go back to: dozens of nappies lying around the house everywhere, sleep deprivation, the ensuing bad-tempered parents, the huge bag that one has to cart around everywhere the newborn goes, the displaced siblings and endless washing of tiny clothes covered in puke.

But there’s also the peace of holding a beautiful newborn, the gummy smiles, the giggles, the tiny clothes, watching a baby discover something for the first time, the gorgeous gurgling, the JOY a baby brings.

Ahh, family life with young children is full-on rollercoaster ride. But we’re excited to see what’s around the next bend as our family grows and develops.

Here’s to the pink!

Today's family post was by Beverley from Just Me  I grew up with Bev so have known her for a long time. I love it when people younger than me are all grown up and have families of their own, yet I can still see them as when they were little :)

The Proclamation of the Family

My post over at Chocolate on my Cranium  will be up today! (USA time though... so got to wait!) The posts this month over there are all in celebration of the 15th anniversary of The Proclamation of the Family.  This week you can also participate in a Photo Essay  post describing the The Proclamation. Heres mine.

We, the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator's plan for the eternal destiny of His children.

All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.

In the premortal realm, spirit sons and daughters knew and worshiped God as their Eternal Father and accepted His plan by which His children could obtain a physical body and gain earthly experience to progress toward perfection and ultimately realize his or her divine destiny as an heir of eternal life. The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave. Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally.

The first commandment that God gave to Adam and Eve pertained to their potential for parenthood as husband and wife. We declare that God's commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force. We further declare that God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife. We declare the means by which mortal life is created to be divinely appointed. We affirm the sanctity of life and of its importance in God's eternal plan.

Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. "Children are an heritage of the Lord" (Psalms 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, to teach them to love and serve one another, to observe the commandments of God and to be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations.

The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities. By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation. Extended families should lend support when needed.

We warn that individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God. Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets.

We call upon responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.

This proclamation was read by President Gordon B. Hinckley as part of his message at the General Relief Society Meeting held September 23, 1995, in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Photo credits: Zanabelle Photography and MRB Photography

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Family Week - Doin it alone

Family = Me + Three

Firstly, many thanks to This Girl Loves To Talk for asking me to be a guest blogger on her awesome blog....Yay!

My view on families has always been a rather traditional one – My parents are still together, and when we were growing up Dad worked a lot and Mum worked part time, but they always seemed to be around. I don’t remember coming home from school and mum not being there, or wishing that she was. Although I loved the idea of working and getting an education, I wanted a family of my own more than I wanted a career - so I married before I was 21 and was pregnant with my first child in just 6 months....

Eight & half years and three children later, I am divorced and living with my parents along with Grandma, my brother and until recently another brother and his girlfriend.....ugh – not exactly fitting to my somewhat picket fenced ideals! :/ It’s been two years since the divorce – (six months of that was a complete emotional write off!) and I am nearly finished my second year of a part time Bachelor of Commerce degree, still with my parents but moving into our own place at the end of the year....finally!! 

In our particular family, the children’s father is interstate and does not have a lot of contact with them. In some ways, honestly, it’s a blessing, but on the flipside the kids are missing out on him and the distance between them is growing especially with my oldest son and the youngest who doesn’t really know him at all. I see the older one watching families together when we go out, and he tells me how much he misses having a “Dad” around. I miss that too. However, I am SUPER blessed to have an awesome Dad and three awesome brothers as quality male role models in their lives. As challenging as our living situation has been, and the sacrifices that had to be made (for all involved), I think the children and I have benefited immensely from it (and perhaps Mum and Dad too, but maybe it’s too soon to ask them! *wink*)

I freely admit that I am finding the burden of a single parent hard – the responsibility of being the sole provider is terrifying, I haven’t had a proper job since I got married – and I am just a little freaked out! I often feel like I am stumbling my way through the baffling everyday parenting and disciplinary decisions – wracked with guilt and convinced that I am just not doing it right and my kids are going to be emotionally scarred for life! I am, more often than not, aware of everything that I am NOT as a single mum....which can get quite depressing if I dwell on it too much, so I don’t (well mostly – I definitely have my moments!!). Instead I aim to focus on how much I love them, knowing that I am doing the best that I can and that in the long run they will be ok!

This period has definitely redefined what “family” is to me, now the role of uncles, aunts, grandparents, great grandparents and close friends is a central one instead of peripheral – just because we don’t have a “Dad” around does not mean we are incomplete by any means. I am very happy with our little unit.....

Me, three.....and the rest.

This is family week and I chose Tash from Suigeneris Speaks  because I think she is one amazing woman who has had a bunch load of trials yet still comes out on top! She was being very kind in the above description of what she has been through.  A great mum with a great family.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Family - How to keep it strong when parted.

We are a family like many others. Little kids + grown ups.

As a family we whole heartedly-give-you-a-kidney like each other. I think a lot of family's love each other, but like - can be another story. When one of us is absent (usually the Papa) we feel the loss. What do we do?

We cry a bit. We mope a bit. We acknowledge our sadness, then we make a paper chain.

One link foreach day, we number the links and victoriously tear another link off witheach passing day. We celebrate with each passing day, week, month. This little exercise of making a paper chain helps us keep the hope up there floating above us.

In the last 4 and a bit years we've been separated by work related travel for more than 18 months, bits here and there, some times for many months at a time. Yes friends this is an emotional way to live, the highs are high and the lows inflict the most painful of pain on the tender chambers of our hearts. Perhaps it would be easier to disconnect from one another to makelife less painful? You know I've thought about it. But the truth is we need eachother, like plants need water. Not in a needy co-dependant way but in a "I think you're the best thing ever" sort of way.

We *choose* to stay connected. Believe me when I say it is a choice though, it's human to try to protect ones heart from the inevitable loneliness and terrible pain that comes with separation. Psychological studies have shown that when there is an impending separation spouses will often argue over trivial things in a bid to emotionally distance themselves from each other therefore making said separation less hurty.* So in a nutshell there's no way around the sad parts you just have to go through it and know there is something better on the other side.

Ok, now let's get practical. How do we keep the love boat afloat when parted?

We keep busy for a start, pray for each other, exchange pictures and photos, call each other,email, send awesomely decorated with rainbows and love hearts care packages,we skype and when we can have family prayer via skype too. All these things combined help us to stay connected as a couple and family. For the children keeping the Papa in mind involves talking about him, planning things we want to do together when he gets back, buying loads of goodies for those spangly care packages, remembering fun and tender times together, phrases he says and games he plays. There have been a number of times the kids have asked me to save a particular meal for the papa that I've just served up so he can enjoy it upon his return. I promise a remake but appreciate that they are thinking about him and how he loves good food. We're blessed with exceptionally sweet kids. With our baby who's 2 years old I play a game called "does daddy" which involves me asking questions like"does daddy drive the car?" "does daddy pick you up?" "does daddy feed you dinner?" "does daddy give you cuddles" "does daddy do the laundry?" and soon. This is a game I'm pretty sure I invented one day when I was worried she would forget all the things he does and how he fits into our family.

We're in the middle of a 7 month separation and even though baby and Papa was best buddies before for me this game is like insurance on their relationship. When we're together we cherish time and try our best to make memories. We like road trips, reading together, going to the beach, eating out, cruising the book store, getting an ice cream and more. This past summer/autumn we would pack the kids bikes into the car on sunny Saturday afternoons and take them to ride through the shady trees down by the lake. During the colder months we would snuggle on the couch watching cartoons, bewitched, old movies or football (if the papa has control of the remote!)

Our little family has to come first, our base needs to be solid and fortified. We build a sure foundation with scripture reading and prayer and the rest is frosting. We say 'I love you' A LOT. We hug A LOT, we work together, cook together, play together, cry together, celebrate together and listen to each other.

Wait I see a pattern.

We do stuff together.

Reunion is all the sweeter because we like each other and we try hard to make our lives together as good as can be all the time.  Just keep on trying.

*psychologists don't actually use the word "hurty"

Today's Post is by Hello Lucky Holly. She's opened her private blog especially for us this week. I chose Holly to talk about 'Family - when we are apart ' as I knew she would have a lot of knowledge and advice in this area. She's an amazing strong woman looking after 3 gorgeous girls, often on her own!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Family Week

The love of a family is life's greatest blessing

I am guest blogging over at Chocolate on my Cranium this month for the celebration of the 15th anniversary of The Proclamation of the Family. You'll find me over there on September 9.

In celebration that someone wanted me to guest blog (!!) I decided that I wanted to devote a week to blog posts about The Family. I also thought that I wanted to have some guest bloggers over here on my blog too. When I sat and thought about a few of my friends, I realised that I have many friends whose family are different to mine.  A family is what you have right now, right in front of you.

So I've asked a few of my friends to blog about their family. Their version of what family is to them. Their version of what they face. Families come in all shapes and sizes.

And that's what makes Family so wonderful.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Fathers are Awesome

Fathers are awesome

Being a father is not at all like being a mother, but I cook, I clean, I read to the kids, I play their games and put them to bed just as their mother does, so I can see where the mistake is made.

Being a father is not at all like being a brother or a cousin, but I climb on the roof, I ride my bike with them, we fly kites in the park and I terrify other kids who want to pick on them, just as a brother or cousin would do, so I can see where the mistake is made.

A father is a hero to his children. Their games are always about when daddy come home and saves the day. I’m always able to reach that toy stuck up high, or undo some lid or open some box. I’m the go-to-guy for that stuff and that makes me the hero, and everyone needs a hero.

 A father is a genius to his children. I know all the right answers to everything. I know the way to some strange place where the children have never been and I never get lost. I know the names of people and places, and every song on the radio or about each television show. I’m the one who has all the answers to the very strangest questions.

A father can fix anything. I am Mr Fixit around here and know nothing is truly broken when it can be repaired with sticky tape, glue, paper clips, half a roll of aluminium foil and a generous lump of hot wax. Along with fixing is building, the new bike, the train set, the kite, the shed or anything with instructions.
“Wait til daddy comes home”..... cause I can fix anything.

“So what I told you was true, from a certain point of view.”
– Obi-wan Kenobi, Star Wars Episode IV: Return of the Jedi.

When I was a child these were the very things my dad meant to me. I’ve learnt that a father is more than just a person who hangs out with mum or who goes and returns from work each day. My father taught me that dads are useful, they know stuff and they can do stuff. He taught me to care about the world around me and showed me how to put things in perspective. He worked hard and thus encouraged the same. He set goals and planned events and presided over our family.

I heard once that nowhere is higher than on dads shoulders. The hardest thing about being a dad is living up to the expectation of my children, but being a father is awesome.

Here’s some fun dad thoughts. Dad or Bust

Todays Post was bought to you by The Mr. 
He is to be found blogging Randomly over at Random Thoughts
He is the father of four girls and husband to a wonderful wife - ME!
He is also known to climb roofs, fix anything, personal I.T. man.
Will serve anyone at anytime and is often found out doing these things.
We love it the most when he comes home to us.

Allround Hero.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Tagging Along

I'm so excited

♥ I'm totally in love ♥

I'm in lurve with my tag along bike trailer

Its awesome.

Well given, I haven't ridden up any hills yet (I dont think I will ever be able to)

and I had a very sore buttocks after the first  few rides


Its so much fun!!

Cruisin' with my line of girlies behind me (or in front)

and lots of people stare at us. and smile. and giggle. and wave.

Miss G likes to yell out hello hello and wave to them like she's the queen.

She's also taken to barking like a dog while in there. She's very convincing.
Has lots of chats with all the puppy's we meet along our way.

There are about 3 parents who have trailers at school. It's like we're a bikie gang. First day I turned up one of them examined and compared my trailer. Checking it out. He also noticed I hadn't pumped the tires.. (dah - no wonder that first ride was hard! )  He pumped them up for me and tightened some bolts. So we chat each day over our bikes leaning against the wall.

Yeah I'm cool like that.

Miss N loves to ride in it. When at home she spends half the day crawling back to the trailer to sit in it for fun. She jumps and smiles sitting there - I think baby talk for - take me for another ride!!

Miss G also took a lovely series of about 100 photos of the trip home one day. This photo made me think - yep need to keep riding. Lots and lots of riding might improve me. Just keep riding.. Just keep riding..

Kids perspective  - really puts it into perspective ;) Poor things...

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