Blessings and New Year Resolutions

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To be honest I was not sorry to see the end of 2014.  It was harder for me than I like years to be.  I felt there were too many moments of stress and sadness intermingled with the happy.  Lots of those times when I just closed my bedroom door and cried and prayed.  I was glad to leave that behind.  I didn’t really have the energy for making resolutions as the year drew to a close, either, and was struggling with the fact that I’m not really living my life intentionally.  So many days I felt like I was just struggling to get through today.

I decided at the close of last year just to choose a word to carry through this year with me, and I even struggled to come up with one word.  Should my word be MORE?  More joy, more laughter, more organisation, more time with family and with Jesus?  Should my word be LESS?  I’d like less angst, less turmoil, less tears etc, but thats so negative, and I can’t control whether those things happen…I decided I’d just leave it.

Then we had 800km to travel on New Years Day and one of the many songs that played in the car that day was Laura Story’s ‘Blessings’.

‘Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

As this chorus played I just felt like this is to be my word.  I can also look at these lyrics and see that last year was also a year of blessings because I know that with every trial and tear God was there too, and if I’m honest it’s in those times that I have felt His presence the most.  That’s when I’ve needed Him most and thats where I’ve found Him.

I have no idea what this year holds.  I would love for there to be an abundance of joy and peace and sunshine, but I also know that sometimes Blessings come in disguise, and they’re an important part of life too.

Thankfulness

The weeks are rushing by way to fast. It’s already October. In other words, it’s nearly the end of the year. Wow.
I was gently reminded by my favourite elder sister that it’s been eight weeks since I posted here and that I neeeed to update.
A lot has been going on here. Some things have been difficult and draining and hard to cope with, others have been lovely and joyous.  As always I don’t know where to start when I’ve been absent for so long so I thought I’d make a random list of things I’m thankful for at the moment.

  • A new oven! After having our other oven blow up on us over a month ago, we are glad to have a new (even nicer) one! We are thankful for our convection microwave which has been a life saver over the past month or so but cooking in the new oven is like a dream.  It has a light that works and the fan comes on at only the requested times and it’s quiet and has a digital thermostat so is very very accurate, and it has three shelves and and and as a result we have far too many home baked goodies in our house and I can almost feel myself gaining pounds…I will have to jog consistently next week!
  • Also new–a rangehood. Our range has been out of action since we moved here over three years ago, so when we went oven shopping we picked up a Robinhood. The fact that it’s a robinhood also makes me happy, as Sam’s grandparents founded the Robinhood company, and even though his grandparents have now passed away and the company is no longer in the family and Robinhood is not even Australian made anymore, I somehow feel loyal buying this brand.
  • School holidays. I did not achieve many of the things on my holiday to do list, but we had a lovely break. I love to be able to go to town in the morning if we so decide, rather than waiting til school is over, then having to wait til the toddler wakes up. We can just go! I did some sewing, the children did some painting, collecting snails and arranging homes for them, as you do! We made playdough, and did more cooking together than we usually have time to do, and the children played Lego in their pyjamas til lunchtime. I do like holidays.
  • A cream coloured kitchen.  The cool thing about that is the fact that my kitchen is not bright green anymore…that’s one thing that occupied a few days during the holidays and it was well worth it!  I love the way it feels so fresh and I probably didn’t even realise how much I disliked the green until it was gone.
  • Sunshine. There are so many things that are wonderful about sunshine and some of the main ones that I appreciate are — warmth, and the end of bitter cold winter, getting the washing dry on the same day that it is washed, the children being able to enjoy the outdoors, green grass and spring blossoms.
  • Good health.  We had our healthiest southern winter yet (apart from Daniel’s little episode which I’m not counting in the general family sickness category) which was such a blessing but then Spring arrived and Sam and the kids came down a couple of times with colds and temps, and after a fortnight of sick family recently, I again have a strong appreciation for good health!

And because a blog post is not a blog post without a photo, here I am as I write it.  🙂

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I still remember how to do this!

edited candlesHey there people!  You thought I’d gone for a nice trip to the moon, didn’t you?  Wrong!  I’ve been here all along.  I was going to give all sorts of reasons for not blogging lately, but then I thought I’ll just let you know some of what I’ve been doing instead of blogging, and then you’ll get the run down on what I’ve been up to and I’ll kind of be making my excuses at the same time. Ha!

  • homeschooling — we’re loving Sonlight, reading together and seeing how much amazing progress is being made when we spend a couple of concentrated hours on learning in the mornings.  We’ve just started term three, and I think we’re actually getting the hang of it now, yay!  It’s gone pretty well all year, but I felt especially refreshed after our recent two weeks off, which we spent here at home, and we’ve been back at school for a fortnight now and I reckon this has been our best couple of weeks yet.  I got a few activities sorted for the boys during the holidays, and it has made a massive difference making sure they are focussed in the mornings, while I’m busy helping Amelia.
  • making pasta from scratch — yummy and fun, but it takes a little time!  We love pasta here, but I am becoming increasingly uncomfortable about feeding the family all this white pasta from the pantry, but some of the family are reluctant to switch to wholemeal so I feel better about making my own here at home.  Even though it still has way too much white flour in it, at least it has the added benefit of free range eggs too.
  • knitting — I’ve made a vest for each of the boys and have loved creating and actually finishing some projects.  I’m keen to knit one for Amelia now, nothing like a vest to keep the core warm on these chilly days!
  • jogging — still keeping up with the plan I set at the beginning of the year.  I was getting up at six and heading out but as the weather got colder I was finding it harder and harder to get out of bed and actually started to DREAD the alarm going off because I had to go out into the cold. It made so much sense when Sam said “why don’t you go at seven?” And then I wished I had thought of that.  It has made all the difference.  Still cold, I have come home with icicles in my hair on more than one occasion, but all in all a lot better.  I felt like a local when last week our garbage man commented that I was running alone and that I didn’t have a trail of neighbourhood dogs keeping me company! (Yes, this town still has men running along behind the truck manually lifting the bins onto the back, welcome to hicksville my friends.)
  • cooking and cleaning for church — after an eighteen month long maternity break we’re back on the roster at church this year.  It only comes up once a month, and this is our weekend, but I find it a very busy week when we’re on, and that once per month seems to rock around very quickly!  We’re glad to be doing our bit though.
  • reading blogs — it’s so much easier to sit down and read a post than to write one.  I’ve discovered a couple of style blogs recently which have inspired me to make the most of my current wardrobe and to get more creative, and also tips on what to look for when shopping to ensure that new purchases are going to coordinate with current items. So much common sense, more ideas I wish I’d thought of, but inspiring to read!  It has also come at a good time, as I have been recreating my style and trying to realise that yes my body has changed since becoming a mum, and that’s not all bad, but to dress to suit my figure as it is now, not try to squeeze into clothes that once looked good on me, and then wonder why I feel frumpy…(And while I’m here on the topic of blogs I’ll apologise to my friends for a lack of comments on your blogs recently, I got myself all muddled and confused when google reader stopped and I lost all my fave blogs for a while, but I’m hoping I’ve got it all sorted again now.)

Well, that’s a little from our life lately.  What have YOU been up to?

This Week…

This week has been a good one.  We had a very busy month in April — lots of busyness at home, slight renovations inside, and a new roof on the house outside, as well as Sam’s parents staying here to help with said roof, for the duration of the project, which ended up being eighteen days.  With all the busyness,  it has taken me a few weeks to get back into the swing of everything, but this week I feel like we’re getting back to normality a bit.

We started off the week harvesting our vegetables.  We only planted potatoes, corn and tomatoes this year.  The whole garden came to a sudden end with the arrival of the frosts, so we picked what was left.  We didn’t have much success with the tomatoes, and the corn was doing really well, but went a bit tough when it was hit by the frosts.  We were however very happy with our potato harvest!  We planted 3 kilos of seed potatoes and harvested a whole 85 kilos of potatoes!  Neither of us particularly enjoy gardening but it certainly feels worthwhile when it works!

Other highlights of our week include:

  • the exciting news that my mum and sister and little niece are coming to stay in only two weeks
  • a coffee and cheeseburger at maccas with friends
  • sale at jeanswest
  • listing items for sale on ebay for the first time
  • coffee at the Lott as a family today

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Thank you all for your comments!  I have to say I was pretty shocked to see that so many of you have taken an interest in coming over here for a lil visit, but it makes it all the more interesting and fun for me!

Hello world!

Welcome to my blog!  Here I’ll be sharing snippets from our family life, including funny anecdotes from the children, recipes, craft projects, day to day happenings, and photos*.

My sister suggested I begin my blogging life with this meme, and seeing as I don’t have any other ideas on how to get this thing rolling, I thought I’d give it a whirl.

Twelve random things about me.  More a list of favourites, really.

ONE  One of my favourite things to do is shop on-line.  This could easily be taken the wrong way.  I’m not addicted to on-line shopping and very rarely do I buy something that we have not budgeted for.  When I need something and I buy it on-line, I enjoy the experience.  I think it’s fun.

TWO  One of my favourite things to own is a dishwasher.  Because of it I am here, not in the kitchen scrubbing dishes.

THREE  One of my favourite things to wear is a scarf.  I’m just discovering the joys of scarves and love that adding a scarf can change the feel of an outfit completely, plus it’s getting rather cool here as winter is drawing closer, and I’ve found that even a scarf made of light-weight fabric can make a big thermal difference.

FOUR  Some of my favourite things to cook are slices.  I love how simple they are to make, and you don’t need to roll them and get messy like you do with many biscuits, and there are so many yummy recipes to try.

FIVE  One of my favourite places to be at the moment is in front of the fire.

SIX  One of my favourite places to visit is a local foodstore, bakery and cafe — The Lott.

SEVEN  One of my favourite things to eat is chocolate.  Plain cadbury milk chocolate.

EIGHT  One of my favourite times of the day is the evening.  Often after dinner my husband will play the piano and the children dance (usually just run around the loungeroom crazy), and then they go to bed and it is quiet.  So nice.

NINE  One of my favourite household chores (are you allowed to call them a chore when they are favourite?) is hanging washing out on a sunny day.

TEN  Some of my favourite people to be with are my family.  Immediate right here and extended far away.

ELEVEN  One of my favourite things to look forward to is our daughter’s fifth birthday coming up in a couple of weeks.  We usually have fairly quiet birthdays, and seeing as we’re so far from family, birthdays so far have been just us.  We’re having a small gathering for Amelia this year.  Afternoon tea with two families.  She is so excited, and I’m having a ball planning the food and decorations.

TWELVE  One of my favourite things to think about at the moment is homeschool curriculum.  We’re planning to begin home schooling next year, and at the moment I’m feeling excited more than daunted.

 *These will be shared privately and will be password protected, so if you would like to see them, please get in touch with me, and I’ll share the password.