Thursday, July 28, 2011

TOFW - The long version

My cute friend Sole rang me back in March to ask if I would like to go to Sydney with her and attend
Time out for Women.

First instinct is this - that would be lovely but in no way would it be possible.

Cost, kids,schedules, time off etc.

I thought it so kind an offer, but just not possible for me. THE END.

Then a few weeks later I was reading this post over at Crazyland. She had asked several people and could not find anyone to go to Womens Conference with her in Utah. So I left an angry comment...

Tell all those people they just DONT KNOW HOW LUCKY THEY ARE to have womens conference on offer to them!! How dare they not go and attend with you!!! And a sleep over one?? AWESOME!! TOFW is coming to Australia for the first time ever and its 1000 km away from where I live. You all just DONT KNOW HOW LUCKY YOU HAVE IT.

Then I sat thinking that I need to put my money where my mouth it. Surely it would be possible for me to work out a way to get there. Surely I could participate in a First. Surely this is important to me.

And you know what? All things are indeed possible.

{Especially when you have a super awesome friend to arrange it all for you.}

Even when I said several times when it looked like things would not work out....

I just knew you would not be able to get the time off work to look after the kids
I just knew we would get sick and prevent me going
I just knew our ride to the airport would not work out
I just knew....

Nothing, because all worked out in the end!

I have so many pages of messy handwritten notes. I'm finding it hard to organise them in a way that would be readable here.  So sorry if these make no sense. Indulge me in my ramblings.

Laurel Christensen

"Well aren't you just the most cheerful pessimist ever"
I laughed at this point in her talk because I felt an instant pierce to the heart - THAT describes me perfectly! I'm happy and cheery and talky all the day long but boy I love negative things too!

Widow's Mite Principle. Even if your faith is small, if it is all you have - IT IS ENOUGH.

Don't be the one thing standing in your way

God has high expectations for us; therefore we can have high expectations of God.

Beware the temptation to retreat from a good thing {fear}

Often we have more faith in outcomes than faith in Jesus

Ask for bread be given a stone principle.
Often we are too scared to ask of God because we might not want what we are given. If I just don't ask I wont be dissapointed in God. Therefore I think I have a good relationship with God.  However this self protection actually weakens faith. Choose to ask God.

Hillary Weeks

We have the eternities to know our children as adults, but only precious few years to know them as children.
Oh how this spoke to me. I've blogged about learning to love my children as adults because frankly we will spend more of our time with them that way. But I love how she put the positive, time ticking slant on it. I must enjoy them now.

The divinity that shapes our ends comes from within ourselves

BE KIND - Everyone you meet is enduring something difficult.

Visualise outcomes as an extension of your prayers

Virginia H Pearce

Mothers should accept you unconditionally, help others to become what they need to become
You can be a mother to many

Think of a way you want to become and find mothers to help YOU

Good mothers are stable and anchored

I don't need to be recognized {praise of man} I just need to be USEFUL

None of us are entitled to a life without pain.

Brad Wilcox

A version of the whole talk can be found here

It's not what Jesus saves us from... But what is he saving us for?

Grace isn't the light at the end of the tunnel, it is the light that surrounds us.

God is more concern with the offerer than the offering

Those who say there are too many things that Mormons have to do don't understand Grace and Atonement.

Jesus doesnt 'make up the difference' HE makes ALL the difference

On the last day there is no Him or me, but ONLY WE.

'..After All that we can do'
{nearly his whole talk was a dissection of that scripture - I'll never look at it the same again}

Sheri Dew

Sometimes we act as if we are going to stay here {on earth} We can't We arn't We wont.

More interested in the long hereafter not the brief present - Satan knows he has but a short time.

We have to have roots, otherwise it won't take much to uproot us

We ALL have influence and we are ALL influenced.
So choose wisely where we are looking and who we are listening too.

Be aware that most of the world is an illusion. How much of the world we live in is fake?
We were shown another version of this Dove Ad which had quotes along with it
 (which I cant find) and Sheri said
We can never say I'm not as cute as her! She's NOT even as Cute as her!
The world is full of distraction, illusion, falsities which will attempt to take us offtrack

My claim to fame? Sheri Dew asked for a Pen to sign peoples books and I totally said
"I HAVE A PEN!" Afterwards we were acting all fan girl 'Sheri Dew touched MY PEN'
{totally joking I hope you know} but it was fun to fan our faces and pretend to be all fangirl like.
Yeah we're totally crazy.

^ Look closely. That's MY PEN in her hand :)

Normally I have a personal 'NO approaching famous-ish LDS speakers' rule
{I really don't like to bother them and feel sorry for people who have to shake a million hands and hug people they don't know from a bar of soap - yick.} but Sole talked me into some walk bys and photos :) We even got a hug from Laurel Christensen and she Sheri Dew. I suppose since TOFW was a paid event as opposed to Free we paid them to put up with hugs and sobs from us, so thats how I justified Sole twisting my arm to go up the front and have a few brief interactions even though I felt completely rediculous doing so. She was making fun of my not wanting to.

Time Out for women was a great event and uplifting and I hope they come back again next year.
I'm so glad I got to participate in the very first one to Australia.

Monday, July 25, 2011

I should be sent to Time Out more often...

Leaving Sydney. Do I look relaxed? I have my darling friend Sole to thank. Without her booking my tickets, arranging a place to stay and rides everywhere I would NEVER have gone on my own. As loud as I am, I'm actually a shy retiring type person who's nervous about these types of things.

I went to Sydney for three days. I had an amazing time!

Did you know it was the first time I had ever left my kids with The Mr overnight? I know, right! Poor Guy. I've just never had anywhere to go alone for an extended time. Plus I always prefer to bring The Mr with me whenever I go away. So the super dad he is, he did great. Better parent than I he is. But talk about 10 long years in the making. I went away on my own for three days!! wahooooo.

The main reason for this trip to Sydney was to attend Time Out For Women

So after my first flight in 5 years, arriving in the pouring horrid rain, driving in the horrid rain (thankgoodness I wasnt actually driving. I was crossing my fingers my young driver would be a good one. And boy was she a Sydney driving machine! We would have died if it was I driving) we arrived to the family we were staying with who met us with warm milo's and delish homemade indian food. I kid you not, I stayed with the best family in the whole of Sydney.

So the next day was TOFW.

At first I was sitting there thinking  'hhmm...  I have been to Local and Free women's conferences that are just as good as this. I *hope* this gets better. Some people who've had to lay out airfare and hotel and taxi have paid hundreds and hundreds of dollars to come for this. (seriously I am such a anxious worrier, I was worrying about everyone else....)

As the day progressed and the feelings swelled I was glad I came.

(dear TOFW take note that one day is not enough. I was just getting into it when it was time to finish. Or atleast keep going well into the night. 4pm is way to early to finish. 8pm sounds more reasonable I see it goes for 2 days in the USA!)

'Choose to become' wasn't just found in the speakers

It was found In

:: Meeting with friends new and old

:: Seeing people  I havent seen in over 7 years and picking up conversations like it was only yesterday we last saw eachother

:: Everywhere I look seeing someone I knew by face if not name

:: Having people I have never met drive me places

:: Staying with the kindest family (whom I didn't know before hand)

::Snuggling in bed with said family after TOFW laughing our heads off talking

::Having a super excited american lady who we'd never met pay for our lunch

:: Just the buzz from being in the same place as 2000 other LDS women

:: Being able to sit and enjoy every meal for three days and not have to share my food

:: To sleep through the night for three days

:: Spend time laughing and talking with friends

:: To catch my first plane in 5 years!

And by the copious pages of notes I've written obviously I got something out of the speakers and was touched by the spirit of inspiration. I might share some insights in another post.

Here's hoping I can choose to become.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Relief does come

did you miss me?
I've been fighting the germs in our house for about 20 days. Someone gets sick then 5 days later the next one gets sick. They are sick for 3 days then 4 days later the next one is sick. My hands are raw from antibacterial gel, bleach and glen20. But I finally lost my battle and succumbed to the sickness. Mum's are supposed to be immune arent they? I haven't caught any of my kids germs in about 6 years. I was going strong!!

Last week the Mr was in jail.
Solitary Confinement.

And by the end of the week I was wishing I was there!

Please I'll swap places with you. Jail sounds wonderful about now.

Ok so he was working there, not in, in jail.
But it is a new jail and he was the only one in the whole place - doing I.T stuff.

Usually we don't mind when Daddy is away. Shhh don't tell, but we slow down our schedule, we eat what we want and watch movies in bed.

But last week was just horrible.

We had sickness, we had messiness, we had unwilling disobedient children.
I lost my cool a million times.
So on the weekend I was so happy to have him back.

So nice to have another set of hands for calm peaceful meals.
To watch them quietly play blocks and trains with their dad.
To  see the joy on their faces when daddy danced with them.

We needed intervention Thursday night from killing eachother - an emergency phonecall had to be placed to Daddy. He helped us calm down and talked down some girls and gave the reprimands they just don't listen to from me.

Later that night at 10:30pm I texted (see I'm getting good with the phone :)

Brief Sanity reigns as I drift off to sleep
- everyone and everything finally in it's place
 and know that I love you and you're the only thing that missing.

So despite illness from 2 of us I had a great weekend!

First Stop French Festival

Patriotism and Brie Baguette

Then onto father in law's 65th birthday party. Apart from a sick child we had a wonderful time.

With rock and roll music and jazz band the kids couldnt help but dance.

I think this is the one of the first times G and N have danced with their dad in public.

She's still saying days later "Did you know Daddy is such a good dancer?"

ie he will throw you over his shoulders, pull you through his legs, twirl you around, chuck you up and catch you - while all mummy will do is shimmer and shake and hold your hand - noone wanted to dance with me..

.and the reason I convinced The Mr to get up was to dance WITH ME! As I couldn't remember the last time we danced together... and it didn't happen... I tell you, having all daughters in love with their dad can be a bad thing! Talk about competition! You owe me a dance MR!

Dear Father in law, Can you please have another awesome birthday party with bands and dancing so I can have another go minus sick child and husband hogging children who won't share.
thankyouverymuch Love your favourite daughter in law xx

The weekend was just what I needed.

And now I'm getting better from the sickies, next weekend is just what I need too.

Did I tell you I'm going to Sydney to Time Out for Women?

And somehow this one day event has turned into a four day trip!

I can't wait.

Friday, July 15, 2011


More sewing with K.

Now, not a lesson persay, but more a child led

'I wanna sew some gloves....'

So I have no tutorial or the like for you.

Basically it started with an outline of her hands on some polar fleece materal and she wanted to sew some gloves. I think after we cut it out she realised how hard it would be to sew around all those fingers, so I suggested how about mittens?

So with a basic trace of her hand and thumb she was able, with a little help, to sew the curved lines of some mittens

(she needed me near by to remind her to sew slowly and to stop and lift the foot and shift the direction of the mitten to obtain the curve shape)

Once she was done though I thought this was a simple sewing exercise I could share with those who also want to teach their children to sew.

Except now all her sisters and friends at school want a pair :/

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Cousin Love

As my almost 8 year old nephew had his 2 year old cousin wrapped around his little finger I reflected on the nature of cousins.

It reminded me of the bond my now 8 year old had with her cousin who was 6 years older when she was born. That boy would carry her everywhere. They just loved eachother so much. When she got to be about 4 years old we would remind him that perhaps she didn't need carrying and babying so much. But he didn't care. She was his favourite little cousin.

When my girls were born they were the only girl cousins in the family except for one older girl. They were always surrounded by boy cousins. And they LOVED IT! While they are young I just adore this cousin bond, its so precious and can be fleeting (because how many of us grown adults still look at our cousins with starry eyes? Not I!)

Sibling bonds are strong and fierce. You love eachother but often hate eachother too.
Friend bonds are important, they have your back, but you aren't necessarily in love with them
There's just something about a cousin bond that I love so much.

When G was around 3 or 4 she was most indignant that her cousin X would not marry her!
"He says he won't marry me!!"
 Of course we reply, he is your cousin. You can't marry him, but you can be best friends forever.

There is a sweet little age when things seem so simple. Even though it weirds us out as adults (ewww!) I think that first love often belongs to a cousin.
To that someone who isn't your immediate family, whom you admire and love so much you think you want to marry them. Someone who is around often enough to love, but not so often you that you hate. The someone to look up to, the someone to run amuck with at long boring family functions, the someone who cares because they know you are family.

I'm grateful that my girls were able to experience that feeling and that they have lovely cousins who look out for them. They honestly have loved each of their seven boy cousins, with a special attachment to the ones the same age or older than them.

It's a first love of the heart. 

Monday, July 11, 2011

5th Birthday Party

Whenever holding a party outside its normal to obsess over the fact of if it will rain or not.

I checked the weather every day for 2 weeks leading up to the party and was so happy it wasn't going to rain. I thought with my obsessive list checking I had everything under control.

Except I didn't think it was going to be windy and freezing cold.

I was desperately trying to get tablecloths and pretty decorations to stay down.

The Mr, myself, my sister and our international student were all braving the wind trying to stop everything from blowing away. I was so mad and sad! I'd had this table decoration/party idea in my mind for months! Nothing was going to plan. We had to sticky tape everything down. Miss K even sticky taped down all the makeup sponges she was going to use for the facepainting booth.

But as we found out it didn't matter. What 5 year old cares about matching table decore? They don't care that the hard to find expensive red and white striped popcorn boxes kept blowing away. Or that you had plans to peg little packets of fairy floss on string all around the place. They don't care that you thoughtfully tried to match several elements to come up with a carnival themed party.

Best investment of the party?  A $6 balloon arch we made inspired by this one at Design Mom. The kids pulled it around and chased it for hours. And that is proof of all you need.
Kids joy of simple things.

Keep it simple people.

My favourite thing?

These Photo Booth Props ! So much fun. Cheap and Simple entertainment. Mine are still in perfect condition packed away neatly, so if anyone wants to borrow them, feel free to ask!
(There's about 20 or so) it'll make any party fun!

I also had a birthday cake fail. Here's the real one we saw in a cake book and thought would be oh so simple. Why did I not realise that it is impossible to ice muffins neatly all the way around. Mine were super messy!
But I also made this simple cake that I just love the look of. I love all the tiny bunting cakes that are everywhere on the net. Super cute and super simple.

What was Miss G's favourite part of the day?

Even with our police scare last month we had to stand by a promise. For years G has wanted to climb on the roof with her sister. One day The Mr randomly blurted out "You can't go on the roof until you are atleast 5 years old" And she has always remembered that little piece of information and for months reminded us that "when I'm five, I'm allowed to go on the roof!!"

and being the good parents we are... (well the Mr) she got her wish.

can't reneg on a years long promise now can we?

Sitting up on the roof with her dad at sunset - a perfect ending to a perfect birthday.

** The beautiful photo's above, courtesy of Zanabelle Photography .
Need a photographer? You need Zanabelle!

Friday, July 8, 2011


1. Sewn Confetti strands 2. Water bottles 3. Pinata
4. Photobooth props 5. Birthday Shirt 6. Photobooth Props
7. Cake Pops 8. Tiny Cake Bunting 9. Fairy Floss Loot Bags

I so do not like party stress. I really don't like it when at a party you spend all your time running around before during and after like a crazy chicken and do not get to enjoy, talk or just take a few minutes.

The party's over and you never got to interact with anyone.

Every time I do a party/gathering I swear the next time I'm gonna employ someone/find a friend to help out/find a neighbourhood teen to be a servant or something!

And every time I never do.


But one thing I do enjoy about parties is the little details I can do well before the day.
OH they make my heart sing!

To accomplish things slowly and surely without rush, makes me think that if I don't get to enjoy the actual party, I can enjoy something before hand.

I usually have a week/two week plan before Parties.

I like to make pinata's about a week before. I make bunting or decorations 5 days before. I bake the cake and freeze it (un-iced) 3 days before. That leaves the last day or night before for food prep.

I'm never stressed before a party, just during. Heres to preparation making it a little easier.

*I think I've found a new addiction. Using a 2 cm circle paper punch I punched out a bunch of circles then put them through the sewing machine. Voila - paper confetti strands. IT was so RELAXING and FUN. I want to make a bunch more! Very very cheap decoration idea and they look really cute!

*For the pinata this time I invested in a large 18 inch balloon from the party shop. This makes the pinata a lot bigger than using a regular balloon and it has a lot more impact. Worth the $1.60! Pinata's were $35 in the party store, I made mine for about $5.

*Free Printable Photo booth props from OH Happy Day  and thanks to Aunty Gilly for printing and cutting them all out. They look amazing and I can't wait to get some wacky photos.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


A sunny warm yet windy cool Winters Day.

Also the first day were we haven't had anything planned.

I actually thought we might not get to any of the crafts/ideas I listed for things to do on the holidays.

The kids have been totally fantastic at making their own fun so far this holidays.

But we didn't have anything to do so I thought we would make bubble foam makers.
(idea  sourced from Betz White)

These are EASY PEASY and lots of fun.

Take some plastic water bottles

Cut off the bottom

Find an old towel or facecloth and cut a square bigger than the bottom of the bottle

Using a rubber band (or string if like us you DONT HAVE ANY RUBBER BANDS)
secure the towel to the bottom of the bottle.

Dip bottle into a mix of detergent and water in a bowl


(remind small children to breath in first before they put their lips to bottle, otherwise they will get a mouthful of soapy foam)

Super foamy snakes everywhere

Monday, July 4, 2011


Last week we passed 1000 posts!!

Looks like I DO HAVE A LOT TO SAY!

I started this blog thinking the only people who would be reading were myself and my family.
Even I thought I would have run out of things to say by now!

To celebrate I really wanted to have a giveaway.

I wracked my brain thinking of something that people would want, that wouldn't be too heavy to send in the post.

I thought I should compile a few of my favourite things...
then I remembered I don't have any favourite things
The stress to pick a favourite DVD or chocolate bar or designer apron or purfume or shampoo was too much

I could compile some kids craft stuff..
but we make most of our stuff out of rubbish recyclables and tape and sticks

I could buy a gift card to the only store around here to shop at
(My mantra is ... If it can't be found at the Target.. It won't be bought) 
but then thought that was pretty lame

I thought I would scroll Etsy shops looking for the perfect vintage looking hairclip or earrings, or a cool word art poster, or, or, then I realised I've never bought anything online ever and don't really know how... and it wouldn't get here in time for this announcement..

I thought I could make something to giveaway
but thought even though I am a jack of all trades/crafts I am not really proficient in any of them to make something good enough to give to someone else...

hmmmm... I've been bummed about it all week

So this is a terribly anticlimatic post about how I WOULD HAVE HAD A GIVEAWAY...
If I could just think of something to, well.. give away.

There was no one product that seemed to define this space.

Is it a craft blog, a sewing blog, a mama's musing blog, a snarky parenting blog, a LDS mormon mummy blog?

I have no idea what it is people. Therefore I have no idea what to giveaway.

A big mess of everything that comprimises my life is what this blog is.

So thank you to all that come here to hear my ramblings.

You truly do make my day. And make it all worthwhile.

Especially like on Sunday when a reader visiting from Sydney gave me the greatest compliment I've heard in a while. *waves* Thanks Caroline!

So to all of you who may have read all 1000 posts...

Consider yourself *hugged* and *patted on the back*  - my gift to you.

Along with my words.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

6th month simplicity update

I've made this bread easily 10 times in the last month.
Turns any simple meal (soup, slowcooker stew) into one worth sharing.

I bet you thought I forgot.

Well I did.

But I'm only two days late.

Soooooo I'm thinking I should almost give up my new years resolution
Each month is going impossibly fast to me! I honestly can't believe another month has gone by.

But I did do something. I did stand by my thoughts/resolve to have more people over.  In the first week of last month I must have entertained atleast 5 different groups of people alone! We had many people over this past month and I loved it! Pride certainly does stop me from having people over and IT IS best just to swallow it and serve what I have with love. A fully set table with table cloth makes all the difference. A simple meal IS the perfect one to share.

The only physical simplifing we did was simplify our study/craft/baby room.
We simplified it all right - it had to dissapear to make room for our student

(who by the way has turned out to by wonderfully awesome and I can't believe I was worried. It's like riding a bike people!! Easy to get back on even after a long break. I was surprised at how easily I fell back into the old routine of including someone else, taking them sightseeing, speaking engrish (I sometime even continue to  speak that way to native australians and they look at me like I'm crazy) having dinner time conversations . Alice is perfect in every way :)

There are still a few more items that need to find homes but I think we did well at squeezing 7!! people into this house. Always a good reason to find ways to simplify things!

I read some books this month too. The Hunger Games Triology which a friend lent. I enjoyed spending some time reading and getting into a series of books.

As half the year is past I'm going to have to get serious I think

parts of my life I need to get better at

Less talking
Simplify so I can get the kids and I out in the mornings with no raised voices
Set out better guidelines to get the children to help out more in the house
Get up before the kids and read scriptures and 'centre myself for the day'
Keep a gratitude journal
Continue to ride or walk to school

Hopefully I do better this month.  xx

Friday, July 1, 2011

The case for free adult entry prices

I always wanted to be a parent who joined in.

(except parks. I don't like to play at the park...)

But I'm finding out it's costing me a lot extra to partake in torture.

Like Iceskating the other day. There were many mums sitting, reading in the stands.

Now I know I am a young mum and many women are alot older than me.
Perhaps the fear of a broken hip is too much or the lack of energy or their tweens dont really need them out there...

Now if I were an adult going iceskating as a date or with friends (which I have done )
I would expect to pay entry.

NOW as a mother of four children I take exception at having to pay twice as much entry as the kids when it is obvious I am not going for my own enjoyment.

No this is not a date. This is not hanging out with friends.

This is basically torture.

This is having little monkeys hang off me, nearly topple me, fight over who gets to hold my hand, beg to go around and around, carry me, hold me, a chaos of legs going in all directions.

Why should I pay so much more?

I should be half price! Kids entry should cost more than parent entry. Same with when you go to any of the 'worlds' - seaworld movieworld dreamworld. It's a tad unfair for me to pay $60 when I am not going to go on any rides for me, or look at any displays I want to see...

So maybe those mums on the sidelines had it right. They get to save their $17 entry.

And spend it on hot chocolate at the cafe.

While I nurse blisters and bruises.

But it was fun to whizz around once everyone worked out how to stay upright. Thank goodness for the little ice plow to keep G up. She was doing the splits all over the place and could barely lift her feet with the boots on. IT was hilarious, but very tiring. After rounds of trying to keep her up I begged for a thing to hold her up. PLEASE.

But I wouldn't have it any other way. I need to join in to keep me fun. Keep me upbeat.

Otherwise I would just fall over and never get up.
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