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Showing posts from June, 2008

Sleep-Over

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Yesterday morning Son#1 rang and asked if we would like to have The Most Adorable Granddaughter overnight. Would we! Of course we would! We've been waiting for this moment since the day she was born!

We've raised five sons: how hard can one little girl be to care for?!?! Unlike our boys, she's not that fussed on sleeping. Yesterday we had to take Son#2 to the airport, an hour's drive away. We expected that The Most Adorable Granddaughter would fall asleep in the car. She did - five minutes from our destination!

At the airport she quickly grew bored and her uncles took it in turns taking her for walks. Then it was time to come back home and she chattered most of the way and decided it was time to eat the food she'd refused earlier. And no more sleeps thank you very much, I've had my quota for today!

By tea time we had one very tired and out-of-sorts little girl. A quick wash in front of the fire, into her pyjamas, and bed for her. She was asleep in a very short ti…

On Eagles' Wings

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It seems that barely a heartbeat passes from the moment we first know of a child's existence to the time we nudge them out of the proverbial nest.

We train, feed, clothe, teach, admonish, and prepare our children for the time when they must leave the nest and fly on their own.

The time of preparation flies as we find ourselves bogged down midst nappies, mountains of laundry, car pooling, sports games, school meetings, homework, cooking (always cooking) and housework. At the time we think it will never end. But it does. And sooner than we expect or are ready for.

On the day our eldest son left home DH and I felt as if we were going through 'the motions'. It was as if we were going to a funeral that we didn't want to attend but knew we had to. It was probably one of the most difficult days that we had faced together as parents and as a couple. But I learnt that day that God doesn't give you the grace you need until the time comes. When we finally dropped him off and dr…

Peasant Bread

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This is one of those honest loaves of bread that can make a simple meal memorable. It's thick and crusty with a rich sweet flavour that particularly complements homemade soup and chunky pasta.

I made it last night to go with pasta with pumpkin sauce. It would have been wonderful if only the bread had been ready on time! It took double the time to rise and almost double the time to bake! Someone had let the fire almost go out and the house was like a freezer. Not exactly the best conditions for making bread!

This recipe makes two large loaves (usually larger than my photo shows) and is a good make-by-hand bread. I use a plastic dish pan (the type that's used for washing dishes when camping) to mix and knead and rise the dough in (a no-mess approach to making bread). There is only one rising time. At first I thought this was an error and let it rise a second time but when I eventually made the bread as per the recipe I discovered that it doesn't need that second rising time a…

Please, Pretty Please

DIL#1 and The Most Adorable Granddaugher in the World flew into New Zealand just after midnight this morning. They were expected home around 4.00 am. I'm trying not to get my hopes up but I really, really, r-e-a-l-l-y want to see them again. Soon. Today if possible. Is that too much to ask?

Introducing the Family Part 3: Son#3

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Son#2 was 3 years and 2 months old when his younger brother entered the world (exactly double the gap between my first two sons). For a while it was uncertain whether Son#3 would be born alive and well but he was and we gave him a name that meant 'gift of the Lord'. Although he had a VSD ('hole-in-the-heart') it caused him little trouble and eventually closed when he was in his early teens. He did give us some scary moments with early bouts of croup and bronchitis but came though unscathed.

Son#3 became a Christian when about five years old and was instrumental in leading his younger brother to the Lord! He was baptised at fourteen and has been involved in church ministry as a sound technician, computer technician and junior youth leader. He has firm convictions and views many issues as either black or white. It hasn't always made him popular (as when he suggested that a Ball was not an appropriate activity for a church youth group) but I'm proud of him for bei…

A Spiritual Giant

My MIL is an incredible woman. She has raised eight amazing children and was only prevented from having the dozen she wanted by the possibility that another pregnancy would leave her blind. Now widowed and in her eighties she enjoys twelve grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

She is really an amazing lady.

She’s also short.

Very short. I’m 157 cm (almost 5’2”) and I tower over her. In our family the boys used grandma as a milestone on the way to manhood. When they passed her they would each breath a sigh of relief. It was as if they felt that they could now leave childhood behind as they were well on the way to becoming men (and not too-short men either). I guess when you’re from a family of short people, being able to say you’re taller than someone is an accomplishment.

Over the years we would hear “I’m finally taller than grandma” from each of our sons and there would be celebration. Alas for the baby in the family. When he finally shot past grandma I heard him announce one day, “…

That's Gratitude For You

I sent a text message to Son#4 telling him to wait at school with his younger brother and that I'd pick them up as soon as I got off work. I thought I was doing them a favour because it was raining and the weather prediction was that it would deteriorate even more before the day was done.

When I got to school did they say "We really appreciate that you went out of your way to pick us up so that we wouldn't get wet and cold"? No. What they did say was: "We could have been home twenty minutes earlier if we'd walked." And because I'm obviously lacking in the brain cell department, they made sure to repeat it just to make sure I understood.

Of course, had they walked home and ended up all wet and cold and miserable they most likely would have asked "Why didn't you pick us up?"

I don't expect thanks. I don't even expect gratitude. But I do wish they'd not complain so loudly!

When It Rains ...

... it hails. Well it can do. Especially in NZ when the weather turns cold and nasty as it did today. We had hail. Not a lot but enough to let us know that it was going to be pretty miserable outside.

This was one thing I had trouble getting my head around when we moved from Australia. There we had hailstorms in summer when it was hot and humid; here we have them when the temperature drops. Usually quite quickly. Brrr!

I tried to tell myself that I could be excused for not walking today but then the sky cleared for a few moments and I decided to make the most of my small 'window of opportunity'. I donned jacket and hat and gloves, put a lead on Kielsie (our beautiful gold and white Border Collie) and took off for a walk.

Last week I bought myself a new jacket because I am so tired of always being miserable in the cold. This jacket is water-proof and wind-proof and sooooo warm and cosy. It has a hood and a high collar and today when I tucked my chin inside the collar I could almos…

A Challenge

For those that have never read the Bible through in its entirety, or who stick to the same ol' passages, I'd like to issue a challenge to you that you set yourself a goal to read the whole Bible. Not in a day or a week or perhaps even a year but in a time period that you decide is manageable.

It's not as daunting as it seems. By reading a Psalm each on Saturday and Sunday (spreading Psalm 119 over a few weekends) and 10 chapters from the Old Testament and 3-4 from the New Testament each week, the entire Bible can be read in just 18 months. By increasing the number of chapters from the OT to 12 a week, the entire Bible can be read plus Psalms repeated in the same time period.

If this still seems like a lot, then try 9 chapters from the OT, 2-3 from the NT, and 2 Psalms per week to read the entire Bible in 2 years; or 5 chapters from the OT and 2 from the NT per week over 3 years (that's only one chapter each day).

How you choose the order in which to read is up to you. I&#…

Weighty Matters

I jumped on the bathroom scales this morning and, horror of horrors, the weight is creeping back on again. This has been an ongoing problem for me since I left my teens behind. Producing five babies hasn't helped either.

No matter how desperately I wish to be like my sister who managed to inherit the genes for skinniness from my dad's side and the genes for thin thighs from my mother's whilst I somehow ended up with the defective genes from both sides (and I'm older than she is: I should have got first choice of the good genes!), I'm still Jules and I struggle with my weight.

Daily.

I only have to look at chocolate cake and I pile the weight on! Those kilos so desperately want to stay close, but they are not my friends!

It’s been said that beauty begins on the inside but I don't feel beautiful when the weight keeps going up and up. I've been slim, and I know what I prefer, and it ain't where I am right now.

Several years ago I was doing a research paper and …

Love and Romance

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I'm always fascinated with other couples' stories of how they met. My own story isn't particularly unusual but it is our story and consequently is special to us.

DH and I met when I was in my last year at secondary school. I was just 17 years old; he was 23. I’d just broken up with a boy I’d dated for over 2 years and I was heart-sore and disillusioned with men and life (yes, at 17!). I’d made the decision to finish school then do my nursing before getting involved again.

But things changed.

I met DH at a church youth group camp that I didn’t attend! DH had gone for the weekend, but I’d just gone along for a few hours on the Saturday afternoon as I’d had too much study to go for the whole weekend. I’ll never know how I found the courage to go up and introduce myself to the shy young man I’d noticed off to the side (perhaps I’d sensed his gentle and caring spirit), for in those days I was even shier that I am now, but I'm not sorry that I made the effort!

DH was doing his …

School's Out

Son#2 and Son#3 have finished exams and arrived home yesterday along with the lovely girl Son#2 is courting. Son#3 has three weeks holiday but Son#2 has just one week before flying down south for four months for the last part of his degree - gaining experience in cytogenetics in a large hospital laboratory. His lovely girlfriend will go home (up north) when he leaves.

It's lovely having them home again. I want to make the most of this time because I know it will go quickly and I'll miss them when they're gone. But they've been home less than 24 hours and I seem to have spent most of that time in the kitchen!

I need to go grocery shopping today before we run out of food. I'd forgotten how much 5 males could eat in one sitting! And I'm going to have to do some laundry. I'm sure they've saved their dirty washing for weeks just for mum to do (no, actually they're not that bad and they'll probably end up doing it themselves but I have to have something…

Bored, Bored, Bored

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I'm bored with my hair. I'm tired of the same styles, usually a Dutch braid or a cinnamon bun. My fringe, which a week ago I liked, I now detest. Thoughts of cutting and an-up-to-date style are enticing. I'm female - I want to look attractive; I want to be fashionable instead of feeling so 'not with it'; I want ... I don't know what I want.

I've always loved long hair. As a child my mother kept it short and it wasn't until my teens that I started to grow it. For years my mother tried to get me to cut my hair - all to no avail. I think she thought when I had children I would cut it but I stubbornly held on to it.

I feel more 'me' with long hair. But at times I also feel dowdy and old-fashioned and extremely fashion challenged.

There are several things that keep me from cutting:

1. I'm so close to my goal of 36" that I might as well wait and see what that feels like before doing anything drastic;

2. I know that I'll probably end up regret…

The Quilt Room

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I started quilting over 16 years ago and haven't stopped since. Other crafts that I used to enjoy - knitting, cross-stitch, long-stitch - have virtually fallen by the way. Patchwork-and-quilting has become my craft passion.

It's actually a rather strange passion for a girl who grew up not wanting to sew and who didn't do that well at sewing at school. But one day in early 1991 I walked past a quilt shop and fell in love with a sampler quilt on display. I signed up for the class and immediately discovered a new love.

Since then I've made many quilts (I've now lost count of just how many). Recently I wrote some instructions on many aspects of quilting. Just leave me a comment if you would like a copy.

Here are a few of my favourite quilts:

Sampler Quilt. My first quilt. There are mistakes but I'm still rather fond of it. Hand pieced and hand quilted:



Scrappy Basket Quilt. This started out as a Block-of-the-Month quilt when we moved to NZ to give me something to do wh…

Don't Get Dressed in the Dark

or in a dimly-lit room (or when your mind's on something else). Mid-morning at work today I looked down at my over-the-knee socks and realised one was black and the other navy blue. Arrgh, how could this have happened! It wouldn't have been so bad had I been wearing one of my ankle-length skirts but today I'd worn a just-below-the-knee skirt and it was quite obvious.

Still, in the general scheme of things it's no big deal. I often go home covered in paint, sand, gloop, slime, snot, and other unmentionables, that mismatched socks are not exactly the end of the world. In fact, if I have a doctor's appointment after work or must go into town, then you can almost guarantee that I will be covered with the worst that the children can dish out.

Still in future, I'll check my socks before leaving the house!

Why Is It?

I can tramp (hike) all day without a shoelace coming undone but when I walk around the block I’m tripping over my shoelaces?

When I’ve just washed the floors someone spills something sticky and messy all over them?

My hair always looks fantastic down on the days I absolutely must wear it up?

When I want a cake to rise it doesn't, but when I want it to sink it rises high enough to rival Mt Everest?

Pizza and Pancakes

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I made pizza for tea tonight: yummy pizza with mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, Edam cheese (only because there was some already grated and begging to be used), mushrooms, pineapple and chicken bacon. DH used up the onions the other night otherwise we would've had onions on our pizza too.

While it was cooking I mixed up some pancake batter. I didn't read the recipe correctly (have I already mentioned that I'm the world's worst cook?) and it turned out all lumpy. For a brief micro-second I considered leaving it lumpy but then decided it wasn't worth it. If someone chomped down on a big lump of flour in their pancake they wouldn't be too happy. I threw it in the blender which dealt with all the lumps. I've never had pancake batter so smooth before!

It wasn't until I'd popped it in the refrigerator to chill that I realised what I'd done. Pizza and Pancakes. Pizza and Pancakes. Pizza and Pancakes. What a combination! I'll have to go for an ex…

Missing Them Both

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DIL#1 and The Most Adorable Granddaugher In The World are in Australia at the moment and I'm missing them dreadfully. They've been gone for almost two weeks now and won't be back home until midnight Wednesday next week.

That's (rapidly counting on fingers) 8 sleeps away (9 if we count Wednesday night). How can I last that long before seeing them again?

Son#1 is coming for tea. I think he misses his girls more than I do!

In His Hand

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In His Hand are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills is His also.
The sea is His, and He made it: and His Hands formed the dry land.

Psalm 95:4-5



In The Kitchen Again

The temperature's dropping and when that happens we want nothing more than a good hot meal. I've put chicken and vegetables in the oven and I'm toying with the idea of making a dessert. Anything to ward off those winter chills.

I don't know if it's my generation or just me, but when I was growing up, wearing aprons was definitely not cool. I can remember my mother having a drawer full of aprons but I can't remember her ever wearing one. For years I didn't wear one either until I discovered that they really do protect your clothes. Now I can make my favourite Double Choc Muffins and not have to worry about getting chocolate mix all over me!

A few weeks ago I made some aprons from a pattern I found here. I made them reversible which meant no hems to worry about. I probably should have adjusted the pattern since it allowed for 1" hems on the sides and lower edge, but I was feeling lazy - and they turned out okay so it obviously wasn't that critical. The…

The Sensible One

As I was washing the dishes last night with Son#4 I noticed a rather unusual bruise by his mouth that was almost a perfect circle apart from the fact that it intersected with his mouth. As a former nurse I immediately began thinking of rare haemorrhagic disorders that affect children.

Calm down, Jules! When I did I decided to question him.

Me: "How did you get that bruise on your face?"

Son#4: "What bruise?"

Me: "You have a bruise next to your mouth. It's almost a perfect circle."

Son#4 goes off to investigate. Returns a few moments later: "Dunno."

Me: "You must have some idea. It looks as if you got hit with a ball or something round. Can you think of anything that might've hit you in the face in the past day or two?"

Son#4: "No."

Me: "What about Friday night? Did you get hit while playing hockey?"

Son#4: "No."

Me: "Well, yesterday while practising hockey moves with your brother: did he hit you?"

S…

Progress Pics

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It's just over 2 years since I started growing my hair out again and I've decided it's time for another progress photo. I'm not happy with the ones DH took today but I'll post one anyway (does my hair really look like that?) and hopefully I'll get a better one soon (read: "One that I think looks a lot more flattering even if it isn't true to life").

June 2006:


May 2007:


June 2008:


When I see the photos all in a row like this I wonder why I'm bothering to grow my hair again. Despite loving long hair, I think the first photo looks the best. I don't like my waves or the way my hair refuses to lie flat in the last one. Grrr! We're never happy are we!

However lighting and time can make a difference. The following photo was taken several hours after the one above and indoors and looks far better (at least in my opinion):



Quite a difference wouldn't you say?

By the way, the skirt is one I made recently after learning how to draft a 4-, 5-, 6- an…

In the Kitchen

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I finally got around to making DIL's Gorgeous Mud Cake today. A little while ago I picked up a nifty trick to use when making cakes to prevent half the cake sticking to the pan. Using a springform pan (the ones where the base can be removed) lay a sheet of baking paper over the base before adding the side.


When the side is snapped closed, the paper will be drum-tight. I grease the sides of the pan before placing over the paper but it doesn't really matter when you do this step.


Add the batter (DIL's Gorgeous Mud Cake is a really runny mix) and carefully place into the oven.


When the tin is removed, cool for the specified amount of time, then gently run a knife around the inside of the tin, release the side and remove. Slide the base out from under the paper and there you have it: one cake perfectly whole.



Oh and by-the-way, the cakes were delicious!

Reluctant Blogger

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Despite the proliferation of posts since I started this blog, I’m a reluctant blogger. I come to blogging quite late considering I’ve kept a daily journal since I was 12 years old when my sister gave me a diary for Christmas. It’s a habit I got into and can’t break even though I have drawers full of journals that will never get read (unless I get into gear and finish editing the novel I’m working on and find a publisher – then perhaps someone somewhere will be interested in all the nitty gritty details of my life but I doubt it).

I wondered how I’d find the time or inclination to blog monthly let alone weekly or daily. My life is rather average and I really thought that I’d have nothing worth writing about. But I seem to have taken to blogging with a vengeance.

I decided to blog after talking to a Canadian lady in our church. She told me that she used her blog to keep in touch with family and friends back home in Canada. I have family and friends overseas and a son about to go off down…

Introducing the Family Part 2: Son#2

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Just 19 short months after his brother entered the world Son#2 arrived on the scene. In looks and temperament they are totally different. Whereas Son#1 has dark hair and dark eyes, my looks and temperament (poor child!), Son#2 has dark blonde hair, blue eyes, his dad’s looks and easy-going nature, but my passion for good books and good music.

At six he gave his life to the Lord and was baptised at eleven years of age. At school he was not afraid to stand up for his faith, refusing to study a film that he considered unsuitable (it was and instead he chose Chariots of Fire, did all the work himself, and received top marks!), and questioning his teachers on many aspects of evolution that he disagreed with (he also refused to sit the exam on evolution despite needing a good science mark to get into University). For many years now he has served in music ministry: singing or playing the piano. One of the things I have really missed since he left home over three years ago has been sitting an…

A Glimpse of God's Handiwork

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I live in a beautiful country. I'm not a native of this country and I sorely miss my own country at times, but I can appreciate the beauty of this place that God has created. I hope you enjoy some of the images that I share of this beautiful place (and for LOTR fans I'm sure you'll appreciate anew the awesome scenery that was the backdrop to the film).






Almost Tropical

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I can't believe it's almost half-way through June and we're still enjoying lovely weather. Some days have been cold, but not many. The night temps are definitely dropping, but overall even I can't complain about the temperature (and believe me, when it gets cold, I let you know how miserable I'm feeling - this Aussie girl has never acclimatised to New Zealand's colder winters). Today's temp is a mild 16 degrees Celsius, which equates to 60.8 degrees Fahrenheit (according to my trusty online converter).

We've had a dry Autumn and now Winter is promising much of the same. Sadly, this means that the powers-that-be are concerned about the possibility of an energy crisis since something like 50% of our power comes from hydroelectricity. From Sunday there will be a nation-wide campaign to reduce electricity consumption.

Consumers are already feeling the effects of rising petrol prices and rising grocery prices (especially milk, butter and cheese) and now we…

Up, Up, Up

Petrol has gone up yet again. It seems to rise almost weekly. In the last two years the cost of fuel has just about doubled. Now at the pump we can expect to pay about NZ$2.12/litre. Let's see if I can do the maths here: that's equivalent to $9.65/gallon or $8.03/US gallon. Put that way, it's scary!

Of course that's NZ dollars. In US dollars that's $7.25/gallon or $6.04/US gallon. And that's still scary!

Just Answer the Question, Please

Why does DH do this? When I ask him if I'm fat he replies "You're beautiful. I love you."

Ditto for "Does my hair look silly?" or "Do you think I'm weird looking?"or “Does this dress make me look like the back of a bus?”

Why can't he just answer truthfully?

I'll tell you why.

If he said, "Yes, you're fat" he'd have to deal with one upset wife and life wouldn't be too comfortable for him for a few days.

If he said, "No, you're not fat" I'd accuse him of not telling the truth and life wouldn't be too comfortable for me for a few days.

So he resorts to his stock answer:

"You're beautiful. I love you."

I love you too, honey!

Eating Humble Pie

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An online friend asked me if I was going to share my needlecraft ‘talents’ with the online world - and I might one day but today I’m going to eat humble pie and share one of my failures with you.

For years I’ve wanted to make a patchwork vest and finally last Saturday I got the chance to sit down and do just that. It was a disaster! The vest actually went together quite easily but the colours were all wrong. DH said it looked as if I'd made it out of sheets (I didn't); Son#1 said it looked as if it had been made for "Little House on the Prairie"; and Sons#4 & 5 didn't even attempt to hide their smirks (now you know why I love the men in my house so much).

Oh well, I had fun doing it, and I can cut the vest up to make
oven mitts, or
Christmas stockings, or
a baby's bib, or
cushions, or
bags.

And just to prove I can make some clothes that I’m not ashamed to wear, here’s a photo of a vest I made just a month or so ago (I also made a matching wraparound skirt but t…

Introducing Another Family Member

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I guess I'm not a huge animal lover. Over the years our family has had a number of cats who seem to survive a little while before either running away or dying or getting shot at by the neighbours' son. Our first dog had to be put down after it attacked our eldest son (at the time still a baby) and it was years before we were willing to have another dog. That one, Calico or Co for short, was killed during a family outing to the beach when some young people were driving an old bomb of a car too fast down the beach. One of our sons was holding on to our dog's leash, but wasn't strong enough to hold onto a dog wanting to go, and Co took off and was hit by the car. As devastating as that once we were just thankful that it was a dog that was killed and not a child (which could have so easily happened on the beach). Hopefully it made those young people stop and think.

At present we have a gold and white Border Collie named Kielsie. She also loves Bob the Bird (we have to hide …

Mud, Mud, Glorious Mud ...

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... Cake that is. Several months ago my DIL#1 surprised me with a gorgeous Mud Cake that she had made using ingredients in my pantry (and I thought my pantry was virtually empty). All she bought were the strawberries.

This week our Bible Study group is meeting at our house and I think I'll make DIL's mud cake. And because I'm feeling extra nice, I'm going to share the recipe with you.

This is a fail-proof Mud Cake. I am the world's worst cook. I forgot to read the small print before getting married and having kids because if I'd realised that I was meant to cook for that many people every night of the week, I think I would've stayed single (thankfully DH doesn't mind taking a turn in the kitchen).

DIL’s Glorious Mud Cake (Please note that metric measurements are used).
Into a food processor place:
2 tsp vanilla essence
½ cup oil
1 cup milk
1 cup strong coffee (use 1 heaped tsp of instant coffee to 1 cup of water or use the 'real' stuff)

Sift together:
2 …

It Ain't Oz

Last night on the news we were watching NZ soldiers doing the haka (traditional Maori dance) for America's First Lady. The commentator (American) was tongue-in-cheek with some of her comments, but DH and I had to laugh when she compared the haka to the Emu's mating dance!

Sorry, honey, but Emus are native to Oz (Australia) not New Zealand! That comment is going to get a lot of Kiwis (New Zealanders) upset! If there's one thing a Kiwi hates, it's being mistaken for an Aussie. When they go overseas and people assume they're from Australia their feathers get ruffled to say the least!

Of course I think it's quite funny that those in the Northern Hemisphere have the mistaken idea that NZ is a little island off the coast of Australia and consequently part of Australia. It makes up for all those times I've had offensive things said to be simply because I'm an Aussie.

Kiwis can handle losing the soccer/netball/rugby World Cup as long as they don't lose to Aust…

Introducing the Family Part 1: Son#1

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Twenty-three years ago DH and I were blessed with our first son (hereafter known as Son#1). You can read books on parenthood but nothing really prepares you for the moment they place that precious bundle in your arms for the very first time. I read once that the first child is always an experiment, and I'm thankful to say that this experiment at least didn't turn out too badly! He's given us moments of concern but there have also been many, many moments of joy.

As parents the most exciting moment was when he gave his heart to the Lord. He had not yet started school and I 'doubted' his decision until the Lord dealt with me! He was baptised at around thirteen years of age, and now he and his wife belong to our church where he is a member of the sound team.

After completing school, Son#1 went on to complete a Diploma in Video and Electronic Media Production. It was during his Intermediate and Secondary School years that he discovered an interest in sound, lighting and …

Quote of the Week

#1:If your desire to be slim is greater than your desire for food,
then you'll probably be slim.
But if your desire for food is greater than your desire to be slim,
forget about being slim!


#2: I asked my sons if they would like to go to the circus. Fourth son replied: "Why, when we already live in a circus?"

I must remember to buy more bananas.

Feeling Pretty

I feel pretty. Not unusual you say? Wrong! I rarely have feel-good days and today everything seemed to conspire against this being one of those rare days.

Firstly, I'm battling a head cold. My eyes feel heavy and one side of my face feels tighter than the other side. I have a cold: I should look awful.

Secondly, I decided to wear my black skirt and grey coat today but decided that I needed a splash of colour so I added my rose pink top. It's a lovely colour but not one that best complements my skin tones.

Thirdly, I trimmed my fringe (bangs) a few days ago and it's a little too short. I have a love-hate relationship with my fringe and these last few days it's been more hate than anything.

Lastly I wore a fabric headband in my hair. I like fabric headbands - and this one was quite pretty - black with a scattering of sequins - but they don't seem to like me. I don't know what it is but I have so much trouble getting them to look good in my hair. Perhaps it's my f…

Suffer the Little Children

Suffer the little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Mark 10:14b KJV

Sometimes our experience in church isn't so much to suffer the little children to come to Jesus, but to actually suffer from other people's children! Perhaps I'm getting old (after all I am a grandmother albeit a rather young grandmother) but I'm finding that my worship experience is not enhanced by children kicking the back of my seat, talking loudly to their peers, running their toy cars up and down the seat, or playing with their cell phones.

I wonder if as Christian parents are we 'suffering' the little children to come to Christ or are we more like the disciples in the above passage and turning them away?

Before anyone gets upset and says that Christians would never do that, stop and think for a moment about some of the practices we have in church regarding our young children. It seems to me that many churches are more interested in keeping the …

This is The Day Which The Lord Hath Made

This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24

Today is Sunday, the day when we meet with other Christians and worship the Lord. Of course, all we do should be worship, but we as Christians often fall short. If we really lived the way we should then we would glorify God with our lives all the time. But we're human and we sin and we let Him down again and again. Yet He still loves us.

Sundays haven't always been quiet and restful times in our home. When the children were younger it was often difficult to get them all ready and out the door in time. Now when they all come home it's still difficult but for different reasons: several like to sleep in and we only have one bathroom in the house because the other one is s-l-o-w-l-y undergoing renovation.

A Mountaintop Experience is an article I wrote a number of years ago after a worship experience. Photos of both mountains are in my sidebar. Every time I look at them I am reminded again of…

Hair Care

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Okay, you might be wondering why I'm including haircare in my blog. This is my blog and I'll cry if I want to. No, this is my blog and I'm a long-haired gal and it's part of 'me'. If you're not interested there are other posts to read (but I can't promise that they'll be as interesting or exciting as this one)!

There's a lot more to caring for long hair than our shorter-haired counterparts realise. This is a quick run-down of my current routine.

I do what I call a 'full wash' once a week - usually on Saturday. The night before I wash I oil my hair with a mix of oils. At the moment that mix includes coconut, olive, almond, apricot and avocado. Usually I wouldn't mix so many oils but the avocado was an experiment and I have a whole bottle of apricot oil to use up because my hair didn't like it. I would usually just use coconut, olive and almond. By applying oils the night before washing it doesn't matter if they make my hair a l…

Joyful Spectators

Almost every week for the last I-don't-know-how-many-years we have watched at least one son play some form of sport. Over the years we've watched baseball games, hockey games, basketball games, badminton games, soccer games, and touch-rugby games. I cannot begin to imagine how many games we've watched (perhaps that explains why I never - and I mean NEVER - watch sport on television). Some years we've had 3 or 4 sons playing sport and sometimes they've played more than one sport each in the same season.

At the moment it's hockey. Outside. At night. In winter.

If the game is later in the evening or if it's particularly cold, DH will offer to let me stay home and he'll go but last night he was flat on his back and I got to do the honours. Wisely I took his warm hunting jacket, but it was still freezing! For a whole hour I got to sit outside and watch my son run around a hockey field. Toward the end of the game it started raining. Not a heavy rain but more a …

Tea or Pain Relief?

I got up early this morning and offered to make DH a cuppa tea. At the same time I happened to mention that I had a bit of a headache. "Take something for it," he suggested. That from the same man who has been flat on his back in pain for the last three days due to what laymen call a 'slipped disc'. He's taken no pain killers at all, and after the first 24 hours hasn't even allowed me to rub Voltaren Gel on his back. He apparently wants to feel the pain so that he'll know when it improves!

Generally, he's a good patient. He doesn't complain or think he's dying, but he does get frustrated when he can't do the things he wants. He's discovered the joys (or is it agonies?) of daytime television. There's not much you can do when you're forced to lie flat on your back. Definitely a new experience for him and I suspect one he won't be wanting to repeat in a hurry!