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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Red carpet Simplicity

You may notice the cushions have finally come down after three months on top of the bookshelf.
Kids are treatly them kindly so far...



I can't believe I'm going to say it again....

someone stop the year moving please!

IT'S THE LAST DAY OF THE MONTH .....
ONCE AGAIN AND I HAVE DONE NOTHING TOWARDS MY NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTION

YEAH I SUCK.


I honestly can't believe it. I swear I was typing that sentence from last month only a few days ago!!


But perhaps, as I have done nothing, it truly has been a month of simplicity??
(hey I'll try anything to justify ;)


I have one example for this month. And while I'm sad it required the purchasing of something (I am trying really hard to limit my purchasing - I have not bought anything (but those boots) since Christmas!! yay me!!

But this example showed me to have joy in small things.

While the girls were at school I went with my mum and we got a rug from Ikea.  G made her sisters close their eyes before they walked in. The look of joy on their faces when they saw that we would have ONE piece of carpet in the whole house was so heartwarming.

They literally squealed with delight, pulled off their shoes and rolled around on the carpet. They rubbed their cheeks along it, talking about how soft and warm it was. How this will make prayer time so much more comfy on the knees. How lovely it will be to lie there in front of the tv. These girls delight in the simplist of things. They could just not believe it!

I think I almost cried.

I love how in this cold weather it has bought us together a little.
Games of Uno, reading of books, wrestling, playing on this 1mx2m piece of Red Joy.


One other area I'm am trying hard to simplify in is - walking to school. It becomes so easy to jump in the car to drop the kids off on my way to another errand, why walk? I have only two days where I am not off somewhere else, so I am trying to be vigilant to make sure we ATLEAST walk or bike on those two days. I hope to increase it, but reality is if I'm off grocery shopping or mothers group why walk then come home and just hop back in the car.  Because it's better for us, better for the environment, and mostly to use less petrol and save us some money! I must keep reminding myself that it is very important.


Due to some budget constraints I have fallen off the wagon with inviting people over to eat at our house. I am planning to change that this month. I'm starting off with a bang by having over ALL the youth from church on the FIRST day of the month tomorrow by having a fireplace with marshmallows and milo for all. Hopefully I'll be able to follow through with having over a growing list of people I've been meaning to have over... even if all I have to share is some pumpkin soup.


Well only half the year is gone. I've still got 6 months to keep on my simplicity mantra.
I'll keep telling myself that anyway.. plenty of time ... right?????

Monday, May 30, 2011

When I don't want to


I was listening to a guy give a talk at church ( a couple of months ago, and its strange that I still remember since my kids are CRAZY in church  and I don't really get to hear much)

He said that he loved camping as a child. And even though his father did not like camping he always made the time to take him. He further explained that his father was in the War and this cured him of enjoying camping situations ever again.

Tears literally sprang to my eyes. What a kind father.

A parent who has sacrificed far more than I ever have. What an amazing man it was, that though he probably had to endure such terrible hardships that he literally never wanted to be in a similar situation again. Yet he did. Because he loved his child and was interested in the things his child was.

I thought of the things that I don't like to do with my children.


I don't like board games
I don't like going to the park
I hate it when K dreams up fantastical ideas she wants me to reproduce
I loathe constant hyperactive silly giggling that my girls have down pat

My list could go on and on ;)

I've been using Mummy nights to help me let go of these. I have fallen a bit off track with mummy night the last few weeks, but am determined to get back on the horse. Each of the four girls has ONE night assigned to them to stay up and spend half an hour doing something of their choice with me.

I've found I  actually enjoy playing Trouble or Scrabble against only ONE child. Fast and quick and no fights. Taking an evening walk in the dark with a torch to spy possums is very relaxing with only One child in tow. The joy on their faces when they realise it is 'their night' is irreplaceable. Having a little one ask 'when is my night going to be here' is heartwarming.


So when I am faced with "I DON'T WANT TO" I will think of that Father.

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Case for Marriage


Note: Not all marriages are perfect, and not all cohabiting is imperfect. 
Don't take offense. This is just the data - which is from the USA but still applicable here.


While curled into my favourite spot on the Mr's shoulders/chest/armpit I whispered:

Thanks for making me safe.
Thank you for making this marriage the safest place for me to be.

Over the weekend I was able to go to a talk/discussion held by Professor Hawkins. He was in Australia to talk at the Australian Family Association National Conference (which I didn't know about till after and really wish I had gone to) I really enjoyed the short presentation I got to attend  and it was very eye opening due to the fact, of what we think might be good for us as a society, is often very far from the truth. There is shock amongst even the academic circles about the importance of successful marriages. Professor Hawkins is employed by State Governments in USA to help them find ways to help create safe harmonious marriages. To help  enact laws and programs that will bring marriage back.


He was able to show us the overwhelming evidence that marriage is indeed the best thing for society.



Often people may think that marriage is old fashioned and a way for men to have power over women. That society often thinks women have more power when cohabiting, or by not being married. That people often think 'why should cohabiting affect anyone, when it is just two adults choosing what they want to do?" People state that surely 'living together before marriage' would strengthen marriages and help you choose 'the right one'. He was able to show us that in actualily marriage is the safest place for a woman to be, and for families and society and cohabiting can be detrimental to happy safe society.


We found out that:

:: Cohabiting increases your risk of eventual divorce (62% will divorce)

:: 75% of children born to cohabiting parents will see them divorce as opposed to only 40% of children who's parents married

:: 40% of people who cohabit have children - so it is NOT just something that is about 2 adults 'choosing' how to live 'their' life

:: Serial Cohabitors significantly decrease their chances for obtaining a successful marriage

:: Instead of strenthening marriages (because you 'got to test the water first') Cohabiting increases divorce risks from 50 - 150%


Cohabiting relationships have increased negative communication, conflict, substantial increase in violence and a huge increase in Child Abuse. Child abuse is rapidly increasing due to the prevalance of cohabitation in the USA. Dr Hawkins stated that it is almost criminal to live in a cohabiting relationship if the partner is not related to the child. Number one child abuse instigators are always 'the mothers live-in boyfriend'. These relationships have overall less satisfaction and less commitment.


Society will often tell us that cohabiting allows women to hold power - to be free to choose to stay or leave. It has been found that in defacto or living together arrangements it is the least committed person that actually holds the power, which is usually the man. People in marriages often view their relationship as more 'equal' than cohabitors. Infact marriage is not a 'hitting license' or repression that it is actually a PROTECTION. That people (women) more often put up with unacceptable behaviour in cohabiting relationships is amazing since they could 'technically leave at any time' Cohabiting does the opposite of what people think. It is usually of greater depth and entanglement that you might first perceive - " I'm just moving in with my boyfriend, or a guy I only met a few months ago" is not as simple as it seems.


2/3 of cohabitors are sliders - since they are no longer on the dating market (because they live with someone) they eventually say 'oh ok' and will marry their live in partner, even if perhaps they shouldn't. There has been studies on Sliding Versus Deciding- The core idea is that people often slide through important transitions in relationships, such as starting to live together, rather than deciding what they are doing and what it means.


Sometimes I feel old fashioned. Sometimes I have no 'data' or proof as to why I live the way I do and why I will expect my children to do the same. Belief can be hard to define the reasons WHY. Sometimes we can feel so different from those around us in society. Sometimes I even question 'does it all really matter? Let people live the way they want to live - its their choice!!' I even agreed with those facebook status's a while back going around about the state of marriage:

Larry King is getting his 8th divorce, Elizabeth Taylor is possibly getting married for a 9th time, Britney Spears had a 55 hour marriage, Jesse James and Tiger Woods, while married, were having sex with EVERYONE and people say marriage is good?


However as stated people may not see the harm that can come their way from society's more lax views on cohabitation. It is our responsibility to share this information. To make people really weigh their choices before making them. To help young girls see that in the end 'it may not be that romantic to move in with a guy they've only known a short while'. That safety for women and children is more often found in a stable marriage. That society may depend on us to make a return to marriage.


The stablising effects may be necessary.



For extra reading try 21 reasons why marriage matters : Studies find married people have better health, less depression, less suicide, higher income, higher education, a 50% lower infant mortality rate,longer life expectancy,lower rates of injury, illness and disability, lower rates of child delinquency.




*For those who may question data collection I personally asked Professor Hawkins the question of where were these statistics collected from? Not just from religious organisations whom revere marriage? I was answered that ALOT of money is spent by governments, universities AND religions to collect data on marriage and that the data is collected from very wide and varied sources.

Also the negative affects of cohabiting are decreased when a couple move in after they get engaged.




Thursday, May 26, 2011

Dont touch me



I've always had super good health. We were never sick as children.

However, when you don't - even a little slump makes you feel terrible.

This week I've been dealing with mouth full of ulcers

I can tell you, those children just KNOW how to bump, jostle, touch, kiss, headbutt me in the perfect place to cause me extreme pain!

A mother is never truly alone or untouched.

touch touch touch poke poke poke hug hug hug pull pull pull

ARRRRGGGGG

I'm so grumpy because it all hurts and I feel terrible to say to the kids

LEAVE ME ALONE


We have very tactile children who love to be touching, kissing, jumping, holding me, at all times.

I feel so henpecked, normally its fine but add a  little ill health into the mix and I'm ready to expload! All the constant touching makes me want to shake it off and just go GAH! ah to never be touched! such a strange thing for someone like me to be wishing for!! (I know exactly where the children get their tactile need for touch from - ME!)

I've also had some kidney/kidney stone pain and let me tell you.. its as bad as childbirth

And I've done that four times without painkillers

and I DONT WANT TO EVER have to do it again thankyouverymuch

so that pain I have in my side today... you can leave now thanks

add in waiting to get my wisdom teeth removed and I am one sooky baby!


Now I don't need any help, or any babysitting, or anyone to feel sorry for me, but I was just reflecting on motherhood being a lifetime role. It's never over, even when you don't feel in the best frame of mind. You just have to look for different ways to parent. Instead of jumping all over me, lets sit quietly and snuggle gently. Lets show our love for eachother in a way that does not require touching me.

PLEASE treat your mother gently.

or else she will be really grumpy.

yours sincerly

MUM.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

It's been a while since I had a date night...


Every time the poor Mr has to talk in front of our congregation at church I say:

Now... don't embarrass me!

Some how that filter between his brain and his mouth often mulfunctions.


But this time it worked in my favour for once.

While announcing a special meeting coming up he incorrectly announced it for a Friday Night.

When correct that it was actually on Sunday night he said outloud to 250+ people

'Well now I can take my wife out for a date on friday night .... darling?'


ummm ok? thanks for the invitation :)

I asked what did you say that for and he said he was gonna say after "did I just say that outloud?"

see? = filter mulfunction.



So the poor man was struck down with "man flu' and forgot about his declaration of love till Friday.

Friday morning he says 'well I better take you on a date since I told hundreds of people I would.'

Can you find a babysitter?

lol.


A lovely neighbour came to my rescue (I look after her ONE child quite often. So in fair exchange she offered to have my FOUR children for a couple of hours :)

Except when the time came Miss N who happily skipped over there with her sisters DID NOT want to stay. That child is my clingy one! She would not have a bar of staying there with her sisters once she figured out that I would not be staying also.

So like good parents we are we bought her along and left her asleep in the car!

Now now before you call child services on us we were very lucky to go to a place where we could park our car right next to the varandah of the restaurant were we ended up sitting. A perfect solution to our 'small' problem. Baby asleep in car, Us parents on a date 'alone' with car immediately in our sights! win win for everyone! Plus we didn't stay long, just stopped for a hot chocolate and some cake.

And here is where I recommend where we went.

Went took a drive to Mt Gravatt Lookout and I thought it was better view than Mt Cootha.

So while Mt Cootha has the undisputed name as the Lookout of Brisbane I kinda peferred this smaller, closer to the city one. Perfect.

Had some hot chocolate and cake and headed home again.

Short and sweet but lovely to get out regardless. It's been about 4 months since our last date!

Hopefully the Mr will ask me out again via Sacrament meeting announcements :)

Oh, and I love you darling, filterless and all ♥

Monday, May 23, 2011

Bike Rack!


Lately our time has been taken up with creating one of these.

A bike rack! Actually we made two.


Hallelujah.


For some reason several of our bikes don't have stands. This means a garage/yard full of bikes, trikes, scooters, bike trailer, you name it with wheels, EVERYWHERE.

And it drives me us bonkers! I was almost ready to give it all away and insist my children sit in front of the tv everyday instead! Bikes be gone!! What do people with really large families do?


We have several building works happening in our street. That means there are a couple of skips out on the curb full to the brim of wood and interesting bits and pieces. The idea came to us that perhaps if we found the right amount of wood we could build a bike rack to solve our problems.


We were able to make the entire bike rack for free! Which added to solving our bike problem cause nothing is better than free! Did not spend one cent on this. We had some left over house paint samples in the shed courtesy of Karyn! Did you know that all respectable bike racks are PINK? Just ask Miss G. She insisted it be painted pink and even tried the line  'my teacher said bike racks are pink'


When the girls were sitting around squatting pulling nails out of the wood and then hammering the nails straight again so we could reuse them I felt like we were out of a recent documentary we watched about a suburb in India that Recycles the highest percentage of things in the world. I was really pleased that we were able to take used nailed wood and turn it into something useful.
.

Who knew this would keep them busy in the afternoon for days!! It might have taken four days (slowly in spurts) to make the first one but the MR knocked up the second in a hour or so Saturday afternoon. I'm thinking more wood working projects to keep the kids out of my hair! (but only when The MR is home to do all the work ;)


We googled some bike rack plan ideas and found a couple here at wood workers workshop that gave us a starting guide/idea of what to do.

We liked the look of this style.

We added nails to hang our helmets off.


Painting their creation.

Hopefully this will help us keep our garage and yard more clutter free *fingers crossed*

Friday, May 20, 2011

This week


It's been so long since I blogged I've almost forgotten how!

I had those previous posts all done awaiting posting.

I'm finding it increasingly hard to get to the computer and I've got writers block!

Me!! The girl who never shuts up, has nothing to say??!!

My early rising, terrible sleeping baby had me tired so no late night blogging
My kids think they all get 'a go' on the computer now, so someone is always on it.
The Mr's laptop died so now he thinks he get to use MY computer
Nothing interesting has been happening
My brain is fried

And that is my explanation! Hopefully I'll be back on track next week!

What we have been doing

::  The Mr fashioned an awesome bike rack for our bikes! (the garage is rejoicing in its cleanliness - what DO people with a large family do with all the bikes, trikes, scooters, prams etc - it drives me barmy. We have so much STUFF sitting around in the way in our tiny back yard) pic's to come!

:: Visits to the dentist and me worrying about getting my wisdom teeth out! yikes

:: Went to the museum, art gallery and state library for our Tuesday afternoon activity. The best joy was watching the girls squeal when they spotted daddy from far away as they ran along the bridge to meet him after work and spending time rolling down steep hills.

:: Shopping, Babysitting, Wholesale Fruit and Vegetable run

:: Trying new recipes with said copious amounts of fruit and veg (except the kids ate ALL the mandarines in ONE DAY! grrrr)

:: Super excited by two men that told me they read and enjoy my blog. I seriously thought no men other than The Mr and my brother read. For some reason that made me very happy (I suppose I assume the stuff I blog about doesn't really interest the opposite sex.)

:: A New pair of flat winter boots! (last season no cheap flat boots were to be found. Seriously what mum is going to go around sporting boots with  high heelson a daily basis! I'll kill myself chasing after the kids. My sister told me about some really cheap boots and I got me some (which *almost* fit in my I don't spend more than $10 on any item for myself, the kids or the house)

:: Looking forward to a quick cheap date with the Mr tonight. Where shall we go???


See you Next week with tales of what we did over the weekend - hopefully including date night, a trip to the Greek Festival and Bike Rack Awesomeness.

We are all still getting used to our haircuts. The amount of hair left on our friends living room floor was shocking. It looked like a huge hairy dead animal. I really need to do a haircutting course - with four girls hair is gonna be an issue here. Shame I can't give them #2 with the clippers like I do to daddy :)

Have a good weekend.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Hair


Hideous before and Afters. *shudder*


I'm still deciding on if I love my new hair or no.

I've had several positives comments, but you know, sometimes people just tell you you look great when you don't. A lot of people have been telling me it's made me look a lot younger. I wasn't sold thinking its making me look like an older person *trying* to look younger?

Maybe I'm picky or maybe I just don't know how to style properly because I've had very few haircuts that I loved. I blame the thin yet copious amounts of hair that floof weirdly when layers are cut. I can braid, french roll, plait etc other peoples hair with the best of them, but when it comes to styling, blowdrying, curling, straightening my own hair I have no idea what I'm doing.

but hey I'll work it.

Work it, Own it. Love it.

What I do love is that it looks like I've dyed my hair when in fact I have not done so in 5 or so years. All the sunbleached dried bits were just cut off. What I do love is all those dried and split ends are gone! What I do love is that the lady who cut it did so for a box of chocolates and cut ALL of our hair at the same time (the poor thing was working for 3 hours!) What I do love is its a wet and shake type style AND looks cute in a pony (the most important things to a mother no?)

so maybe I do love it?

Just gotta get used to the reflection staring back at me.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Parking


I posted this last week, and somehow blogger deleted it?? I thought I would add this post after the last one about being cold. It was written a month ago and forgot to post it. Funny the difference a month makes!


Oh the sunset sunshine on my face.


How you make my heart sing!


The heat of summer is gone so the gift of sun kisses is much more loved.


Because we live downhill hidden by tightly packed houses, windows facing east, I miss the sunset nearly everyday. About half as often I lament. Especially when I step out of the kitchen and catch the end tails of an awesome colourful sunset. Here I am holed up in a mousemaze when I could be watching a soul filling sunset!! Arg!


It seems every few months I drag the kids up the hill to eat dinner. And every few months I love it. And question myself WHY don't I do this atleast weekly?


A container of pasta and  some play. Perfect.


Pretty obvious no?


I also seems to happen when The Mr is away on business.  Coincidence?


Maybe since no one is going to especially appreciate dinner I feel its best to relax a little. Maybe its not bothering about any one else's schedule but our own. Play, bath and bed maybe so I can get a little quiet time because the mess is not made at home? Whatever it is, its nice to take some time out to go Parking. That week we went to a different park each evening. SO MUCH FUN.



except if we were to do it now, have to bring soup and a jacket! So it looks like it'll be a couple more months till I get around to it again (re last post)


See you in the SPRING!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

It's started...


It's starting already...  (go click the link, even if it's just to see a CUTE winter baby)

That crazy 'must have everyone in the house and in bed warm' by 6pm feeling, I can't seem to shake when the weather cools down.

I'm lucky I don't live in a country where the sun sets at 3pm in winter!

I'm feeling it and it's only May. Last year when I blogged about it, it was July!!

Perhaps it is a good thing to spend a part of the year slowing down, tuckled in (my word I use at the kids every night - A cross between Tuck in and Snuggle), lazing around our one piece of carpet, reading books.

This winter I *really* want to make better use of our fireplace. I just don't know how people do it everynight though. I'm never gonna have enough kindling! I also need to figure out a way to radiate heat instead of having it sucked up and out the chimney. Obviously open fireplaces are pretty much useless. They just look good! But are really just a gaping hole in your house that lets cold air in!


So I will make the most of this nesting feeling. I feel the need to fill our nights with less computer and TV and find ways to Tuckle with the girls in the loungeroom.  A family writing club like Soulemama posted about? Games nights? (shudder) More reading? Music practice? (the younger girls have gone to sleep this week listening to K practice the flute) I just want some quiet enjoyable family down time (why do kids have to be so irritable and grumpy at night yet want to fight sleep and do stuff?) Perhaps just some chatting and laying in the dark will suffice. Games of charades, or Uno might be good.


Winter I will rejoice in you this year. As I freeze my little bootie off in this uninsulated, feel a breeze coming from somewhere at all times (windows? Through the floor? Under doors? Gaping hole Fireplace? All of the above?) warmer outside than it is inside House, I will rejoice in Winter.

And TUCKLE down.

I'm in for the long haul.



Plus its an added bonus when the darkness tricks the girls into going to bed earlier :)


You'd think I live in arctic conditions or something. I AM grateful that I live in Australia where the winter days are SUNNY and WARM if you can find a piece of sunlight to curl up in.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Happy Mothers Day


Preparing my mothers day breakfast of fruit salad and toast


Blogger was not kind to me on Sunday and Monday (when I wanted to post a cute little mothers day video) I almost feel like Mothers day was so long ago that this is pointless but hey oh well. So you'll have to imagine a cute video of G singing 'happy mothers day, happy mothers day, happy mothers day' over and over again and with me with my early morning croaky man voice (when don't I have early morning croaky man voice? - I'll go with Husky? Sultry? Low and sexy? ha ha ha hah)

In the car on the way home from visiting Grandma's for mothers day the girls were asking Daddy. Who do you like best, Your mum or Mum's mum? (he likes both but loves his mum a little more because well she is his mum) This lead to a discussion on loving yet not (always) liking people and liking yet not loving some people. this lead to

Do you like mum or do you love her?
Then someone yells out
I like mcdonalds.

So there you go. They like Mcdonalds and they like me (hopefully)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

armchair

perhaps taking countless frivolous self portraits will be my achievement?


I got a bunch of design magazines out of the library this week.

Why is it that I love interior design (once upon a time many moons ago I was going to study it at university) yet my own house is horrible, and I don't exhibit one ounce of creative flair in my own home?

Why is it that I love photography (It too was a potential thing to study at university) yet I don't own a nice camera or have the desire to want to photograph other people for a job ( performance anxiety - I couldn't stand the rejection/tenseness over people not liking their photos)


Why is it that I have read nearly every travel memoir book in our entire local library, love national geographic/stories about other countries,  constantly dream of far flung places yet have only ever been to the United States (and Taiwan very briefly) and am not planning any trips away any time soon?

It has come to my attention that I am one of THOSE people

You know,  those armchair people.

Think they know it all from a distance yet never put themselves out there to achieve it.

I don't know why this is.

I know I have the brains and ability to work hard to make dreams come true, but I don't.

Maybe all of my energies at the moment are focused to the "proper care and feeding of children (and Mr)" yet most days I feel I fail at even that. Maybe I'm a tad too comfortable in my easy little bubble here. Maybe I feel bound by my lack of personal income. Maybe I've put everyone else before me.

Maybe I just need to invest in a comfortable Laz -E- boy


So I can be even better at it.



I about died when I read an article in the home/design magazine about a guy whose job it is to travel the world securing interesting pieces for a homewares store. Example someone comes in asking about Turkish glass chandeliers and its HIS JOB to travel there and browse around to find things for customers. *Um raises hand* Can I have his job PLEASE??

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Mine


Most mornings I lay in dazed stupor on the couch balancing a cup of water and a bowl of weetbix.

Add a snuggled up as tight as she can get baby with an open mouth like a baby bird waiting for her cereal.

At 4am.


This new little routine only started a couple of months ago. But boy was I getting SICK OF IT.

I shouldda realised it was coming soon. All my other girls did the same around this age. And continue for a year or two.

Early Rising Bah!

Sweet little N doesn't talk much yet. She yabbers on though with lots of uh uh oh oh - demands like we're meant to know what she's talking about. She can say Mum, No, Mine, Plane.

On one cool dark morning while constantly trying to snuggle into a soft part of me she looked into my eyes and placed a hand on my cheek and said "MINE"

Lucky for her.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Answers like Light.



I've never had an answer to a prayer

Now I'm not saying I haven't seen Gods hand in my life.

For THAT I have seen. On many occasions.

I remember the day my prayer about not having prayers answered was answered.

I was sitting in a bus on a church sites tour touring through upstate new york and other areas.

The Mr was off chatting with a bunch of guys in the back row.

I'm just sitting in my chair resting..

..eavesdropping on the conversation of the ladies in front of me.
Well not purposely but you know...

In their discussion one lady from Alaska piped up that she didn't believe she had ever had an answer to a prayer of hers, yet her husband seemed like he always did.

My ears pricked up. I have rarely heard anyone in my church say something like this. People always seem to talk.all.the.time about how prayers are heard and answered left, right and centre. Another person who felt like I DID!

Then she said I've thought alot about it and realised that perhaps God knows I don't need direct answers to prayers. He knows I am happy to be led, to have answers come through other people, to just let myself be open to the paths that come before me. I feel blessed as I realise it is like the path is being paved infront of me.

My answer. On a bus. In amish country. While eavesdropping.

She and her bus buddy continued on. I can't remember now all that was said, or even if what I wrote above is now 100% correct. Time has fuzzed my memory. But I remember well that a deep seated prayer of mine was answered by a lady from Alaska in a bus.

Since Elder Bednar's Talk at Conference I've been thinking on this memory. While my prayer WAS answered and I've not had to struggle too much more with this topic since that day in July 2005, Elder Bednar's talk rang so true to me. It was the icing on my revelation cake. The comparing of how light works. This talk is everyone's answer on how revelation can work in our lives.

There are other ways and means to receive answers. We are not all the same.

And you know what? To add irony to this story.

The week of hearing that talk I was with the girls at a park as it was getting dark. We hopped in the car and it wouldn't start. I was worried about closing time and when the parks gates would be shut. I don't have a mobile so was starting to think about the long walk with four kids to find a public phone.

I said a little prayer... 'please God. Please let the car start.'

And whadda ya know?

That baby purred instantly into life.




I promise that if you have ever struggled with revelation/answers to prayers, that this talk contains answers for those who may struggle as I do. Go read it now!
The Spirit of Revelation - By David A Bednar

Monday, May 2, 2011

Camp Stories

A beautiful sunrise finally greeted us on the last morning.




Sit right back and I'll tell a tale, a tale of a fateful trip......


Just kidding.


So do you want the romanticised version or the horribly negative version?

Combination of both maybe?

We camped under Mt Maroon which the girls imagined played was an active volcano

Our kids have been asking all year when are we going camping again after absolutely loving last years trip to Elanda Point  Even though it rains ALOT at Easter and is possibly one of the worst times of the year to camp, because we did so last year the girls now think this is some sort of tradition.

It's easter. We camp at a Easter. (since when? I say)


Because the Mr is so brave - Camp we did.

and we had a wonderful time.

(except for that baby that loves to wake up at 3:55am everyday, who was sick and coughed half the night and crawled around the tent like a lost crazy person but was a different kid during the day, and the older girls who weren't the least bit helpful when it came to setting up a tent in the rain. and for the crazy amount of noise we make - sorry other campers - I don't know how many times we told the kids to BE QUIET and for the large amount of time the girls spent in the porta loos - those loos are VERY interesting ya know!  Add in the fact I forgot a can opener and a bucket to wash dishes/hands in! grrrrr and we had to eat boring food cause I didn't want to bring meat/food to be cooked and it rained and was cold)



We left with a packed overfilled car and trailer with sunny skies and hopeful dreams.

Dreams that were shattered as we madly tried to set up camp in the rain.

We must have looked comical enough with our HUGE (15mx10m) tarp falling all around us and us yelling begging for the girls to hold up their parts of the tarp that a Bikie looking guy and his wife felt the need to come over and help us. I've found many times that its the tougher/rougher looking people that are often there to lend a hand

(one time our car broke down on a hill stopping traffic. Fancy looking people didn't do a thing, but a car full of ocker aussie blokes in stubbies and thongs whipped out a huge chain out of their boot and tied it to our car and dragged us up the hill out of the way and like angels were gone seconds later)

Admist complaining and grumbling from the kids we managed to get everything set up. The girls and I put the tent up and were pretty proud that it was livable. (except when a little river of water started to head towards it, the tent was slightly down hill! But the Mr saved the day and diverted the river!)



We chose this campsite  after last years upset of camping at a place that didn't allow fires, fires had to be A MUST for this years camp. We also had to have a river/lake etc to explore.  Flanagan Reserve had several of the things we required ( bush camping - not marked places, able to get to with regular car and a trailer, toilets, fires allowed, river, not too far from home etc.)

We really enjoyed it, the only downside is that the reserve is between two lots of private property. The camp might sound large being on 12 hectares but was hemmed in by barbed wire from the farms. This severely limited how far you could follow the creek, go bushwalking etc so we felt it was a little restrictive in this manner. Next time we'll be looking for an even larger area campsite.

the perfect marshmallow stick found by G and borrowed by me.

I was surprised at how well behaved the girls were around fire. Sure they made and lit their own fires, poked at it, roasted marshmallows and made expoding experiments  (milo tin with water and fruit inside. Daddy put the milo lid on and told the girls to watch it explode. Was the funniest thing when it went POP and fruit came flying out making thudding sounds as it fell onto the ground) but they were so careful and mature about fire safety. I'd like to think its because of our practice with our fireplace at home and all the times we play with safely with candles. I hope I have taught them proper respect for such a force.

The only near burning was from this girl and her LOVE of sparklers

We achieved an animal count (always important) of kookaburra's, a (small) snake, wallabies, cows, spiders, ants, and several other birds. It was funny when we had a little spider that like to hang out on our fire pit. G exclaimed "I didn't know there were spiders in camping!!' to which we laughed. Though the place seemed to have no animals that crawl around at night scaring the crap out of you for which I was grateful. I heard no weird night time noises or animals trying to steal food.

We also even saw a rainbow.

A camping trip with the right amount of rain to make us feel tough!
But thank goodness the sun came out.
Spending the first day freezing cold in the rain was enough to almost make me cry.



On the last day to keep them busy while we packed up Daddy made a ropes course for them. They thought this was very fun. Thank goodness for someone with skills as I have none! I can't even make a good fire!





Some of the perfect camping moments that I must dwell on to avoid all the negative ones to ensure that I will one day find the energy to take the kids camping again. (It might take me atleast a few months to muster up the physical and mental requirements for camping with kids)

K looking up at all the stars in the sky exclaimed "There are just no words that can describe this"

The older girls sitting by the fire for hours chatting and poking the fire

G awake in the early housrs of the morning laying snuggled tight next to Daddy. Using her little press light to make silhoutte finger shadows on the walls of the tent.

Nice people helping us set our campsite up in the rain

Spotting wallabies jumping along in the sunrise glow

Rushing sound of the wind at night (it was high up, the tent wasn't shaking at all)

G toasting hundreds of marshmallows

Kids in bed early and The Mr and I sitting by the fire alone keeping warm on a cold night. Talking and staring at the fire. A blissful feeling.

K and her Bear Gryll's experiments. We HAVE learnt some things from that show. We were able to catch water using a method of his!

The kids making instant friends to play with



thank goodness for The Mr. Without him there would be no awesomely packed trailer. No huge tarp to protect us from the rain. No chopped firewood. No fire. No children carried on shoulders. In short there would be No camping. What a hero!



Yay for home and being clean. They spent 90% of the time this dirty. If only the river hadn't been freezing cold they might have been cleaner (they did attempt to swim brrrrrr)


I can still smell smoke. I had to wash my hair 4 times to get the smell out.

But it ws dirty fun!!


Then end xx


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