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Monday, February 28, 2011

I am an idiot (though I'm sure we've already established that)

Not what I looked like saturday night asleep on the couch by 8pm


A regret from the weekend.

A few weeks ago I received an invitation to a friends wedding reception.

We had a few other commitments but mused on whether we would go.

Except over time I pretty much talked myself out of it.


I had the time wrong. In my head I thought it was later than it was. I thought I can't drive an hour + to get there. Weddings always take long to get started and then I'll be driving home late at night down the mountain. I'm too old and too tired to be able to do that and still function tomorrow with my kids.

I thought my car wouldn't make it up the mountain. I didn't want to be stuck late at night with my kids on side of a dark and lonely road (yeah I'm a big baby)

Even though kids were invited I sooooo did not want to take my kids. What is the point of going to a night of dancing if all I would be able to do is chase my crazy kids around. I neglected finding babysitters and was relying on good ol' grandma (who turns out has a life and was out! how dare she ;)

Even though we were in the same social circle 10+ years ago we really hadn't seen eachother much over that time. Recently we've reconnected via facebook and our blogs and met up. We comment to eachother daily but  I wondered if I was *really* a friend of hers, or if she was just being kind in inviting me. I doubted my place in attending. I doubted my meaning to her and sadly her meaning to me.

So late Saturday afternoon when I had a feeling to look over the invite I was shocked to see I had both the time and location wrong!! I felt giddy and excited  and I decided that we were going to go.

When was the last time The Mr and I got to dance the night away? 1999? How many chances to I get to spend the night dancing in a quaint hall in the country? I'd be crazy if I miss this opportunity.

The Mr thought I was crazy when he walked in the door tired from work with my excitedly rambling away about how we were leaving now. How to organise everyone home, everyone dressed up, find some babysitters, find a plate of food to take, pick up a present on the way, and still be two hours late to said function.

Needless to say we didn't make it.

I was sad.

I spent the time thinking about how we talk ourselves out of things. How we let our fears and concerns sometimes rob us of great experiences. Too late? too far? too tired? are we really friends? too busy? My stupidness meant I missed out on a great night, time alone with The Mr, the ability to catch up with wonderful friends, to celebrate a wedding between two deserving people


I fell asleep that night on the couch while the girls watched Home Alone 2 on tv.

And I thought, how sad is my life.

I am an idiot.



Dear Tash. If you are reading this ( I hope NOT. You should be on your honeymoon.) I'm sorry I allowed my fears and weakness to prevent me from attending. If anyone deserves joy and happiness after many trials it is you and Michael. I hope you had a most wonderful day and rest of your lives together xx

Friday, February 25, 2011

No longer a pioneer woman virgin - Foody Friday

 


















would you like a pumpkin? These street urchins are selling them.




The last couple of week have been all about food! I'm in love.

Well I have a love hate relationship with cooking.

I like to do it. I don't like the price of food. Hence I can rarely afford to cook/bake what I want.
I love to do it. I don't like to clean up afterwards. Hence I come and go with cooking.
(except for dinners. I cook dinner every single night of the week.)


This morning The Mr picked the first ready pumpkin from our garden. I'm making pumpkin soup as I type this. I hope it tastes good. Well atleast we know it is FRESH and has no pesticides on it.


I am also developing an addiction to photographing food. The kids are frightened to touch any food until after I photograph it :) 'Don't touch that. I havent taken a photo yet' is often heard to come out my mouth.


This week was also my first time finally making a recipe from Pioneer Woman . You know her? I love her blog too. I want to visit her ranch and eat solid country food all day long (made by someone other than me ofcourse!) Her photos and reciepes look devine. I was excited to finally make something of hers. Cinnamon Rolls and oh how I want to make this sandwhich


 cinnamon rolls before icing.....we ate them too quick for an after photo.

My recipes have also been based on our twice a month Wholesale Market run.

Nothing like finding ways to use up 20 lemons. Recipe here







Or plums so sour beyond belief I didn't think we could do anything with them. Recipe Here



Or ways to use up avocado and carrots (stealthy like ;) Recipe Here



Thanks for another great week. Have a wonderful food induced weekend xx

Thursday, February 24, 2011

I'm gonna get dressed, for success

Muu Muu evidence. In my defense I had just been swimming....


Its been 4 months...

4 months since WHAT you say.

Four months since decided to wear a dress everyday

Well to be truthful I've been wearing a dress or skirt about 5/6 days a week.

Now I don't think I've noticed too much of a change in my behaviour - I still talk like crazy with my hands, I can never sit still - always fidgeting and bouncing, I still eat and talk at the same time (ewww I know) and I still sit unlady like (only at home in front of my poor family) BUT

the one change I have noticed is that I am a little less Schlumpy.....

Like if I'm going to wear a dress I atleast put on some earrings. Or mascara. Sometimes both.

Cause just to put on a dress is sacrilege. (Ok Ok I've done that too)

Not to mention that one of my dresses is basically a muu muu.

And I've been known to get around town in it.



However I think it has made me feel better about myself and help me throw my lady like wiles around a bit more. And that would make it worth it.

It was totally worth it today when The Mr said just as he was heading out to work early

'I really like that you're wearing a dress. Even when you're not going anywhere today'

And he didn't even know that this post was scheduled for today!


Though that could be because sometimes when he leaves for work super early, and comes home late at night he finds me still in my ratty PJ's. I swear he must think that I never get dressed. Of course I do. He just misses it sometimes :)



Now its easy to wear a dress everyday in summer. I don't think I could make it through winter though.

Unless I bought lots of awesome tights and boots to go with the skirts and dresses.


Time to Pay Up Mr....

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Family Work

One of our many 'Monday night fancy dinner nights'


Oh how I am inspired.

Thank you for all your comments here and over on facebook.

Family work is such an important thing!

A reader sent me this link to a wonderful article on Family work from BYU Magazine.

Much of it resonated with me. You MUST read it!


Now my girls, do work (a little) and I believe we keep a fairly neat house. It was more the lack of enthusiasm they have for it that upsets me. I have a pretty positive outlook on life and it bothers me to no end when my girls are very negative. Their lack of desire and respect for me and our house is what I want changed. I want them to be helpful and the ones to instigate it.

This morning I read yet another great post about all this (see we are all on the same tangent at the same time!)

Another epiphany came to me. I commented there that once upon a time I too used to sit my little on next to me to cook, wash, help fold. Then I had more kids. Then somehow, somewhere along the line it became easier to do everything for everyone and there was less inclusion of little ones in my daily chores. TV became more of a babysitter to give me reprieve during food preparation time, sweeping/mopping time and general cleaning. School came along and gave me grumpy tired afternoon children so I do most chores when they are NOT here.


Last year the older girls were incharge of cooking dinner for us once a week each. For a couple of months my eldest could cook a simple dinner almost without any help from me. It was fantastic. However as their enthusiasm for it waned, so did my enforcing. And here we are a year later and I believe they have regressed in their knowledge. We will have to start from the beginning all over again. A skill not practiced is easily lost.

The positiveness of all this is I can see improvement.
I can see the changes.
I can see them maturing just a teeny bit.


Some other areas I am seeing changes in, is allowing them a little more freedom. They are now required to walk home from school once a week. They walk with 3 other friends. This added responsibility and sending them on a few errands alone is increasing their maturity, responsibility and their self belief. I never knew parenting tweens would be so hard and scarey!! It didn't seem like such a problem when I was growing up with my parents!!


The other area is eating. Through our 'Monday night fancy dinner restaurant nights' (named by them) I have seen such an improvement on the types of food they are willing to eat! Over last 5 months of doing this they have eaten foods I would never thought they would. Asparagus, grilled zucchini, onion, ratatouille, roast meats and vegetables, tuna and the list goes on. Funny how a bit of responsibility (setting the table fancy) a bit on inclusion, and a bit of expectations (we expect that you try new things on fancy dinner like a restaurant nights) goes a long way! And of course the promise of special desserts and bubbly apple cider does the trick nicely!

I was chuffed beyond belief when my eldest daughter came home from school on valentines day saying that her friend really wants to come to our house for dinner because K told her all about how we having a fancy heart shaped dinner that night. Her friends were jealous and are all asking to come over!! I was also so pleased in us when I read a statistic somewhere that less than 20% of families eat dinner together regularly. It is such an important thing and predictor of eliminating future (bad) behaviours in children!


So any more thoughts from you all? I am finding this topic so interesting!


While I fear I am making so many mistakes in my parenting and that my children will be blaming me forever more (heck who doesnt blame their parents :) I know the best thing is to take one step at a time. Always trying to better yourself, your home and your systems one day at a time. That's all we can do. And it is enough! The best we can do is to always keep our eyes open for how we can improve ourselves. Then hopefully we shall never be stuck in an unending rut!


now go read that article :)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Life is one big Chore sometimes

Doing jobs in pairs. Why they fought over who has the baby as their helper, I have no idea why :)


A lazy mother is one who does everything for her children


I have been thinking about kids and chores for weeks.

Slowly upon slowly over the last few months we have been expecting more of our children and EVER SO SLOWLY we are getting there.

There used to be tears, wailing and gnashing of teeth over the dishes. (and all they have to do is help stack the dishwasher, or wash the plastics) Like some nights would be major meltdown central with unbelievable crying and whining and physically throwing their bodies around. Now after months of (not quite) gritting and bearing my teeth they are finally helping without so much crying/fighting us.

However that is about the extent of their help. Sometime they help get the back yard into order, they sometimes will spray and wipe down walls, tables, bench etc but it isn't good enough.

I knew I needed a chore list/chart and to pray for the help to see it through. To be blessed with the energy to make help little ones ACTUALLY CARRY IT OUT. As parents we all know it is EASIER to do things by ourselves. But alas that teaches NOONE ANYTHING.


I was shocked back into action when chatting with another mum. We were lamenting our unhelpful children. I joked about the wailing that goes on with dish washing. She looked at me like 'you actually make your kids wash dishes?' She told me that she would Never let her kids help with the dishes. It would take too long and they would never do it right'  She also told me at another time that she would never let her kids get breakfast for themselves because 'they would make a mess and might spill the milk.

Now these aren't young children. These are a almost 10 and 8 year olds.

Don't get me wrong,  she is a lovely lady and acquaintance. Her kids are great. But her answer was just what I needed to hear. I'm a firm believer of answers to my questions/prayers coming in the form of other people.

The thought once angain hit me with so much force. YOU DO NOT WANT TO BE LIKE THAT. You remove so much power from your childrens hands already.You are  not teaching or empowering or instilling the pride of hard work into anyone. By doing all the work myself it's a wasted opportunity of learning.

She sadly said to me ' unlike you, as a working mum I don't have the time/priveledge of being able to get my kids to help me'. In a way that is heartbreaking, because the exact person who deserves help is her.

It is true, I do have more time than her to clean up our messes. Her comments were able to remind me that I am a stay at home mum for a reason. I choose this, therefore I need to step up and let my years of being home with kids equal something. That I have the ability to invest much time into my children and that I want them to be wonderful contributing members of society who know how to function WITHOUT ME.

I've been reading in several places about chores lately. I find that the universe often muses on the same topics I do at the same time. It's amazing how answers just come. In the comments I came across good reviews about this book The Parenting Breakthrough by Merrilee Boyack

It lists things that children of certain ages should be able to do and how to teach and instill these things into them.  I really would like to buy it.

Here is an online version of part of the list of things children of certain ages *should* be able to accomplish. It  is so good to see a list and what we need to work on. I realise there is much that my 10 year old does not know how to do. Oh how this is a kick in the pants to hurry up and teach this child what she needs to know to cope in the big wide world. I've printed out THE LIST and put it up in a place I can look at often. Have I taught my children what they need to know? Have we accomplished most of what is on the list?

I've also read about 10 years old (or another family was 8)  being the magic 'age' when you became responsible for laundry or the more bigger jobs in the home. When you mastered it, you were no responsible to teach it to younger siblings. Siblings being put into pairs and responsible to 'help eachother' do folding, laundry, kitchen, lounge, bedrooms.

So starting this week my girls are doing laundry in pairs, before they go to school. Funny enough the older two were fighting over who got paired with the baby (even though I pointed out that perhaps she 'wouldn't acutally be that helpful )



I know that if its not started young enough, it will never happen. A nice chore/job list that is an expectation of being part of this family while assisting them to be able to do these things with skill later in life.

I want to do this without having to do endless chores on saturday. I grew up in a house where we were able to lounge around all saturday and watch cartoons, have fun and I admit we didn't help our parents very much - which is why I am not surprised when MY kids act the way they do - they inherited it from me. Whist I want my children to do chores and work hard, I also don't want to become a house of forced labour. I want it to be a natural ebb and flow of living in this house daily, not a 5 hour+ boot camp on Saturdays to 'fix our weekly mess'


So heres to cleaning and teaching my kids. For that was the reason they were gifted to me for this short time known as mortal life.


Have I been a good teacher so far? The question I must ask myself everyday.



What are your chore tips for getting kids to help out?


Some online inspiration

Family Work


I need a job chart

Job Balls

Cleaning Realities for young children

Chore Sticks

and THAT list again!


as a funny side note I've found that watching the TV show "How clean is your house" with my older girls really opened their eyes as to WHY housework was important. I would point and say ' that is what happens when you never sweep/vacuum/clean the toilet etc. The show is often so gross they were horrified and I've been able to use it as an example since. If you don't help out, we'll end up like those people on "how clean is your house'. I've found my girls to be more helpful since they started watching that show!! lol

Monday, February 21, 2011

Mermaid Status Reached



Well I think I made it!      reminder here....


I badly need a haircut. Too many split ends creeping up.

And I totally look too much like my mother in this photo :D


I believe this might be the year of the haircut.

My plan is to have a cut around every two months
( I know I know.. thats normal for some people, but I get  a hair cut once a year or every two years)



The plan is to  get shorter and shorter each time.

Can you recommend some do's/cuts/styles for my journey to short?



I'm digging this chicks hair. And boy do I wish I could sing like her!




and I also love her sleek styles  here and here. If only I had some cool bohemian vibe about me.


Here's to hair  and the loosing of it.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

8 is Great

The birthday is well gone but I thought I would share some of our 8 is Great birthday ideas.

For about the last 3 years the birthdays in our house go like this.

Child wakes up (usually early) we head out to the dining room where something like this is waiting:



I love our tradition because having the candles (we have as many candles as your age) and choose your own breakfast (90% of the time they choose iced donuts) often steers the child away from thinking just about presents. There is just something soothing/wonderful about candlelight.  Often they don't open their present for quite a while after and one time I had to remind one of my girls that they ACTUALLY had presents to open. I've found this makes the start to a birthday very enjoyable. I'm very glad they love it too.

The original inspiration for our birthday traditions came from Uncommon Grace and Soulemama


Every year I wonder if the children are getting too old for number shirts. Miss A reminded me weeks ago about making sure she has her number 8 shirt. I'm happy to know it isn't too daggy yet. Maybe I'll have to make the Mr one for his 40th next year ;) She didn't bother with her crown this year so maybe they HAVE outgrown that one.  Having the shirt and crown as part of 'the gifts' also cuts down on present buying, they look forward to them (there must be something about repetitive constancy that works well for kids) and they usually go to those presents first. It is the only day of the year when I let my girls wear something other than their uniform to school. I'm always sursprised when they wear it with such pride all day long.

she really wanted sunglasses and binoculars for her birthday. I love easy to please children.

This time the number was stuck on with fusible webbing, the material was very thin so I put a layer of white felt under it. I then machine stitched and handstitched around it.


As 8 is a special age in our church I wanted to do something a bit more special than 'have a donut for breakfast'. So the day before I made these biscuits and hid them. Eight 8's for her special day. Recipe and instructions found over at SugarDoodle .




















They also made great 'party favours' to give her friends who came over for an afternoon tea party.

As I had so much food to prepare for her baptism I chose not to make a class cake for school. Instead I purchased everyone an IcyPole from the school tuckshop. The teacher said this was good as many kids have allergies these days anyway. Easy and Cheap for me and the tuckshop delivered them to the classroom for me!

Each year I also give the kids the option to stay home from school for their birthday. So far they have NEVER taken me up on this. They always want to go to school to be with their friends. This year was the first time someone teetered on the edge. She wanted to stay home and have a special outing, yet she wanted to go to school. In the end she went to school but we fetched them all and Grandma took out all the cousins for lunch at SIZZLERS. Every kids dream! (well my kids love sizzlers..) She was so excited to tell her friends she was 'leaving school to have lunch out'.

We also didn't make a cake either! I was just too pooped. But she was more than happy with her pink iced cake from Woolworths that she shared with a couple of friends who came over after school.


What a day. It ended most excitedly with The Mr returning from a week long business trip just in time to eat pizza and watch Dr Who. When she found out he was going to miss her birthday (the morning part of it) she was most upset. He said I will be home at the end of the day but she said  but you'll miss the best most important parts!!


And that makes my heart swell.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Did love abound on valentines?

French Heart Meringues with strawberries and cream and Rolo Icecream and conversation heart - thats how I said I love You


I have a love hate relationship with Valentines day.


I don't want to buy into hype. I don't want to have to NEED a day to remind us to love. I don't want to pay high prices for flowers. I want random expressions of love throughout the year. I DONT want cliches. I DO want to use the day to REMIND the girls to LOVE us and eachother. I DO want to think Romantical thoughts since I am truly blessed with many loving relationships in my life. I DO want to do awesome valentines kids crafts.


I think of this post by a florist who mentioned “There’s a lot of pressure on Valentine’s Day,” he says. “People sometimes buy flowers and send them to themselves because they don’t want to be the only one at work who doesn’t receive them. There’s a bit of a competitive edge in the office"

( I am not opposed to buying your own flowers - I DO IT ALL THE TIME) but to have to do it to look good in the office? I don't think we need more Pressure in our lives. Why do we do this to ourselves?


BUT I can't go past a heart. I love hearts. I've got a collection of heart shaped photos - leaves, rocks, dirt, shadows. You know you've got an issue when your kids point out a heart shaped 'oil stain' in the school car park to you saying look mum.. its a heart!

I love almost everything about Valentines yet The Mr and I rarely exchange gifts or flowers. I dont think we have EVER been on a valentines date or out to eat.


This year (after our quiet anniversary) I decided that I was going to surprise The Mr by meeting him for lunch in the city. I was going to send an email to him a couple hours before lunch and say  Meet me at _____ for lunch,  I'll be wearing red..... (rawrrrr) Monday is my only day with just Miss N. I thought if I got a babysitter for a few hours, I could meet the Mr, have some lunch and have a look around the city. So I sat on this thought for a day or two when in passing he mentioned that he wouldnt be working at his office on monday, that he would be at another worksite. BOOOO! I thought it hilarious actually and told him of my plans. ITs the thought that counts right? I told him. Think of me while you sit alone and eat your dinner leftovers for lunch :)


We have some velvet fake roses that I got for The Mr to give the kids a few years back. I still have them and he handed them out again yesterday. I love a daddy giving valentines to his daughters. However we had a discussion whether this is a good thing or no. I thought 'are we setting them up for heart/love failure'? I mean how many people actually get things on Valentines?? (that arent married, or even if they are?)  When no one shows them the same affections will they be dissapointed? I'd like to go with the thought that well, they'll still have their Dad even if they have no other significant male in their lives (an idea(the no significan male thing) I'd like to keep till their over 20 anyway :)


Showing love through food is always something I enjoy and like to do. I mean we have to eat anyways right? So might as well make a dinner party out of it. Valentines also nicely clashed with our weekly 'Fancy Dinner Night' so the girls set the table and got out the stemmed glasses.


The funny thing is that The MR usually goes to work very early on a Monday so he can be back home at 5pm. The girls set the table and were helpful. By 5:30 they were pouring themselves glasses of sparkling apple cider and drinking them at the table... by 5:45 they were starting to get very upset that their Dad wasn't home. WHERE IS HE?? They kept asking. Usually we just check with Daddy online and ask what time can we expect him home, except yesterday he wasnt at his desk and I didnt want to ring him in front of his client. By 6:15 one of my daughters took matters into her own hands and rang his mobile to ask him "WHEN ARE YOU COMING HOME"


It was so funny. I wasn't bothered but the girls were acting like they had been stood up! The tables done, drinks poured, dinner waiting, dessert being assembled and NO DAD!! It was so cute it made my heart melt. So know this. Never leave four girls waiting on you!


To be fair he was stuck in traffic in a taxi (ouch! that meter ticking over) behind a truck and taxi collision that was slowing traffic down considerably. It wasn't his fault we got stood up :)


So eventually we got our dinner, (though I didnt manage the 'heart shaped' lasagne the girls ordered. Just plain square.) minus most of the sparkling apple. We got time together and they even got to watch a DR Who episode (their latest love)



A Perfect day of love and misses.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Star Trek Girl



This song has been played alot since The Mr purchased it off itunes. (OH yes he did)


So darling on this day I say

I'll be your Star Trek girl

I'll be your be your best friend

I'll be your secret keeper

I'll be yours forever.


You'll be my captain and I'll be your Number One.

Even though I'm no trekkie I think I can confidently tell my Vulcans from my Borgs , my Piccards from my Janeways and my Kirks and well we do have a daughter named after 7of9

*runs off to buy a red Star Trek suit for Valentines*

Hearts



SO I'm not very good at blogging about holiday stuff in advance.

I've seen several valentines ideas I've wanted to do especially this one but have not got around to them (ahh birthdays and wedding anniversaries getting in the way)

We did however do this one. Except me telling you know is kinda moot.
These babies take 24 hours to 'dry out' ... however there is always next year right?

So as conversation hearts can be kinda hard to come by here we made our own!
Minus the conversation part. We were going to write words on them with food colouring but just didn't get around to it!

I found the recipe here at Make Monthly.

It's basically water, icing sugar, geletin, corn syrup
(I googled and found that golden syrup or honey can be used as a substitute as corn syrup is hard to find here - I've had my bottle for months.. I never use it :)



It was kinda fun and the little kids kept thinking we were making playdough.



So we made enough for the girls to take to school and share out with all those they love.
(ie the whole class)



The girls have put in an order for lasagne, heart shaped bread and heart meringues for fancy dinner night tonight xx

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Baptism Day



What I have learnt today:


Most 'white' baked foods actually are yellow.

When hosting a baptism/party/special function arrange for someone other than YOURSELF or your family to do the clean up/food service. This means you will actually BE ABLE to talk to people.

Don't provide a totally 'sweets/dessert' table. It will make you long for savoury food. Thanks to my aunty who bought the egg and lettuce sandwiches that were gobbled up.

Have a designated photographer other than yourself. I missed mine very much! And now have no good photos (pretty please can I have a new camera :) and no photos of 90% of the people that came. No extended family photo, no cousin photo and no friends photo.

Put your one year old in the nursery/toy room with a babysitter to prevent yourself from missing/not being able to hear almost the entire service.

Check your husbands bag. 99% of the time he can be trusted to pack his own things, but this one time he may forget a second white shirt and have to continue to wear the wet one for the rest of the day.


*Notes taken by yours truly for future reference.*



However, these are entirely adult preoccupations and don't really matter.

The birthday girl in question had:

the best birthday ever yesterday.
was so happy to share her baptism day with her bestie school and neighbourhood friends
so trusting her dad being the one to baptise her well
loving her new scriptures and journal
happy to eat sweets no matter how they look
had tears in her eyes when her grandma presented her with her special homemade baptism dress


Now I will leave you with photo goodness of her special day instead.







It was a blessed day. And we are so blessed to have you in our family xx

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Kindness begins with me

A random act of Kindness I recieve often

The topic for Wordful Wednesday over at Chocolate on my Cranium this week is:

Random Acts of Kindness.

I HAD to contribute because just TODAY I had one!

Someone who had heard of the Inspiration I wanted for my daughters baptism refreshments rang me to see if they could drop something off tomorrow to be a part of it. This person is not coming to the baptism yet thought of me and my desires! She's also offering platters and cake stands.

At first I told her how sweet, but not to bother. I didn't want to put her out (she lives over an hour away) She doesn't need to be baking half the night for me. I felt guitly because I hadn't even thought to invite her to the baptism in the first place!  But the thought came

'you need to receive with kindness'

So I did and thanked her profusely for thinking of me. She told me that she had so many people help her for her daughters baptism she has always wanted to 'pass it on'


I have had many random acts of kindess shown me.

Last year while shopping with a tiny newborn in a sling a man saw me struggling to bend to the depths of my trolley whilst stopping the baby from wobbling about. He offered to put my groceries up on the checkout. I politely declined his offer to help saying I was fine, but thank you anyway.

I promise not even a few weeks later THE EXACT SAME THING HAPPENED. (Maybe my baby looked like it was in danger?) I knew I was being taught something. To received service humbly. This time another man offered if he could put my groceries up for me and this time I said YES. Thank you!

I often like to think I am invincible lady who can do anything.  Receiving help can be hard sometimes. We often don't want to put people out or appear weak to other people.

I've had an ephiphany about all this.

I really do believe it is important that we accept help from others. It is of the utmost importance to receive help from strangers. IF we do not accept service from people we don't know the affect it could have on the world in general. IF people willingly accept help from others the feeling one gets from helping people is amazing. That person will know that feeling is GOOD. It is WORTHWHILE to help people. When we politely decline we have no idea how we are impacting that persons ability to offer help again. The world needs more people helping and looking out for one another. So often people hurry about with their heads down not looking to peoples needs around them. IF we can help ONE PERSON seem like they are making a small difference in the world it was WORTH IT to allow them to serve you.


We have been the recipient of many a 'pixie drop', 'knock and run'  type leaving goodies at the door (possibly because we live close to the church ;) I remember I had a status on facebook saying "Enjoying the most delicious random cookies that were dropped off at my door anonymously last night ... for breakfast"  An acquaintance couldn't believe I was eating something that I didnt know where it came from!  I said "oh its part of our church. Its a regular thing".  They wanted to know more about this church that leaves random cookies at your door :) Oh how I love being a recipient of that type of 'random act of kindness'

When my husband was YSA bishop I came home one day to a house  FULL of the Relief Society sisters cleaning my entire house to prepare it for a rent inspection. I was pregnant at the time and they had asked my husband what type of service they could do for me. I was horrified that he hadn't told me of this upcoming service. My house was mess. I was embarrassed. But it really ended up being so sweet. Many hands do make light work. It IS fun to work along side a team of others.


The sweetest act that often has my heart in my mouth is when my grandmother or mother try to slip me money descreetly. I love to try to attempt to give they money back to my grandmother. I slip it back to her and she gives it back. I tell her I don't need it, I only need her love and she tells me to 'humour an old lady and to please use it to buy   _______'  (usually a need I have at the time) Whilst it is true that money can't buy love I am amazed at the amount of times in our life that we have been the recipients of money. A female acquaintance payed for my groceries one time when we were losing our business. An elderly man gave us an evelope of money for christmas. My family always manage to be giving me money for something.

I feel so passionately about random acts of kindness. It reminds me that I need to do more.  One thing that I do enjoy about Facebook is the ability to see people's needs easier. They often state that they need something, or they state they are missing out on something, or they are sad, or they could do with babysitters etc. It really helps someone like me who is not so intuitive to be able to say "I CAN HELP YOU WITH THAT"

Its a sad thing when I am contemplating developing a talent of 'accepting help humbly from others' If only that was most of the worlds problem! To be humble enough to open their hearts to allowing other people in!

May we all have opportunities to extend and receive random acts of service xx

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Will you ever...

Oh we're Happy... so Happy :)


Today I was on the phone to my mum going on about my budget woes.

She said to me

Are you EVER going to be Happy?


I was shocked because I believe I am known as a really happy person.

I once told a group of school mums I was worried about Anxiety that ran in our family. They said "IF YOU are  an anxious person then we are certifiably crazy and popping pills to send us to la la land"

I took it as a compliment (or was it a backhanded 'you're too relaxed' passive agressive statement?)


I told her .. well I only ever complain to ... YOU!

I'm still thinking of it hours later... am I not happy? Am I a complainer? Annoying?


Surely my only downside is too much talking.
So I need to stop. But I don't know how. The stuff just spews forth.

 
To be fair to my mum I believe she was asking:

Are you ever going to be happy ...enough so I will be relieved of my mothering instincts of having to provide for you. For both her and my grandmother have been able to give me and the kids things we have needed when I have not been able to.  She was also questioning for me 'will things ever go your way? There's always something that happens to upset the apple cart.'


I'd like to believe for a couple who have suffered years of student living, underemployment, unemployment, the loss of a business, back to underemployment we are doing incredibly well. It is only through  hard work  that we are in zero debt,  with substantial house deposit savings.


Am I happy?

I hope so.

I don't have much to be unhappy about.

Monday, February 7, 2011

A realistic Anniversary















I'll carry you if you carry me. Then we know we'll always be.



I read a statistic in a parenting magazine that said 80% of people don't celebrate their wedding anniversary after the first year.


I was kinda shocked, I mean we always celebrate ours.


But then I thought maybe the responders were meaning the 'type' of celebration. A casual comment  of  "Happy Anniversary" and a kiss might not cut it as 'celebrating' to most people.


Some years, we go all out - weekend away or dinner at 5 star restaurant and other years we sit at home with takeout, go on a walk etc.


Does one celebration represent more than the other?


In our hearts when we don't get a big declaration (read expensive) show of love is it dissapointing?


This year for a variety of reasons we knew it wouldn't be a big declaration day. (we were already meant to have celebrated it staying at a hotel and seeing wicked (which hasn't happened yet 'cause of the flood), we are on a strict budget at the moment trying to get back on track and saving for things important to us, a daughter who is having some emotional upheavals (driving us crazy) who needed some (ALOT) of one on one care, no babysitters, a need to pick up things and organise other daughters baptism for this coming week and the list goes on)


So there were no gifts and no going out.


But what did I get?


As I am normally rising around 4:30 am with my one year old who has finally learnt to sleep through the night but arises VERY EARLY starving raving hungry and must be fed as soon as her eyes open, I was laying on the couch in a coma when The Mr comes out dragging all the pillows and bedding.


I ask:  What are you doing?


Well since its our anniversary I'm coming out to talk and snuggle with you.


Oh how sweet, I think my heart pit pattered.



We then spent nearly the rest of the day apart, or swimming/feeding/covered in our four crazy kids


That night after their bedtime he shares a small block of white chocolate (which he knows I like) and some softdrink with me. And then I realise I did nothing for him. As I do most holidays.


I never know what to buy the man! Guys are impossible to buy for. Esp ones who are computer nerds where anything they might like costs hundreds of dollars. There are only so many socks, ties, cherry ripes one can receive in a lifetime no? What are your suggestions people??


So even though I was sad that  I didn't get to go out, I didn't recieve gifts of jewels or flowers, I didn't get any time out from my parenting duties, that my day was dominated by other important things.


I realised that I've grown up. (or become more of a martyr)


That instead of thinking about ME, perhaps life does get in the way sometimes. Sometimes there are bigger things than me. Sometimes I need to think more about HIM and what can I gift him with. Sometimes we need to think outside the 'money buys love (gifts) box'. Will my life still be fine and happy IF I was to get NOTHING at all?


That sometimes a sleepy eyed person dragging all the bedding out to the lounge is the greatest gift you can ever receive.



Perhaps I've become someone who perhaps doesn't celebrate her wedding anniversary.


But we can celebrate the important things.



And....There's always next year ;)

and Valentines is not to far away ;)

Friday, February 4, 2011

Daily Grind


Sometimes I feel I have the worst memory. I wish I could remember how I felt at certain times and what was said. I feel young yet I know I'm getting older. Funny how life creeps up on us.

It feels like yesterday I was married yet it feels like a lifetime ago too.

Kinda like having a baby.

Like it's just always 'been'

I wish I could remember every high and every low of the last twelve years. But for me they (sadly) seemed to have morphed into the blur known as life. My life. My happy life.

I really wish I could remember where I read it (probably the Ensign) but I read an article that said a happy marriage is not found in the high achievements in life (or living through the lows) but it is to be found in the daily living. We spend most of our lives in the daily grind. I do believe *if* we can find happiness within this, work towards this, with eachother ~ you should have it made.

So heres to the daily grind.

And I'm glad I have someone to share it with who 'gets' me.



A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person
~ Mignon Mclaughlin



Thursday, February 3, 2011

Servants

Just an old picture that makes me laugh


Tonight after dinner the girls + neighbour asked if they could be servants and scrub the floor.

Whhaaaat? sure thing.

So on hands and knees with white socks on they scrubbed.

After 5 mins
Ohhhh my hands and ankles are ACHING!

After I gave them a bit of advice
Well what do you expect? We're only SERVANTS!

This is so much fun we should do it EVERY DAY! (oh yes please)

Maybe one day on our holidays when we have a day off we should spend the WHOLE DAY CLEANING.

Can you pay us for our work? (ummm no)  Come on just 5 cents! ( I paid up)

Stop working mum. We're the servants.


They seriously scrubbed my loungeroom and hall and wiped down the walls.

Now why aren't they this eager when I ask them usually?

When its THEIR idea everything goes so much more smoothly..

hmmmm now how to plant these ideas.... subliminal messages during their sleep?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

X 12

The girls found this photo of us and placed it in our ensuite.  I smile everytime I look at it.


Our Wedding Anniversary is this week. (so expect a lot of gag inducing posts)

Can I hope for some silk, linen or pearl ? ( The Traditional and Modern gifts for your 12th anniversary)
Though if we did that sort of thing (which we don't really) what the heck would I buy him??

A true story:

I was telling a group "Why do people say the first year of marriage is hard? I loved it. Was Easy. Breezy." 

Until the Mr pipes up with


For you perhaps



Ba Da Bing Ba Da Boom


Ouch

To be fair he only said that once. Several years after we were married .. and I think he was joking... I think....


I was talking to a friend last week who also  married young to a man older than her. I said our poor husbands. What were they thinking? Taking immature delicate things like us and making us wives! Crazy. Did they really know what they were getting into?

(maybe its a reflection on their mental status ;)

But now 12 years later I'm still an immature delicate thing so maybe he was right in his thinking.


He must have loved me.


And I think he has come to love me more as time goes by. 

X 12 atleast.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

More White Coming up


Yesterday we held a little "baptism photo shoot" to get a photo for invitations for the upcoming event.

My advice to anyone with a kid getting baptised: Take photos BEFORE the day.

When Miss K was baptised we went to take photos of her and her dress two days beforehand and I was so glad. The day is so full of looking after visitors, housecleaning, making sure all 6 members of our family look presentable, getting to the church on time, family, friends, food preparation etc it was so hard to take photos (well as many photos as I wanted to). For once the dress is wet - it will be a while before you can photograph it again.

I'll be doing the same once we get Miss A's dress. Makes for a much less stressful day.
 (she borrowed her sisters' for the invitation photos)

My mother apologises to me  that she is sorry there is no baptism photo of me in my white dress. Only an after photo in a regular dress. She said she was so stressed on the day she forgot to take a photo!


Miss A has had her discussions and lessons with the missionaries and is excited about her choice.

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