Showing posts from December, 2014

Family Favourites

Some things remain family favourites. Like my potato salad with sour cream and bacon ... and taking the kayaks to the beach and enjoying time together and laughing at the antics of The Most Adorable Granddaughters. Today we got to enjoy all these things.


Our beautiful girl is now eight!!!!!!!!

(No I'm not 88 - just not photogenic.)
Happy Birthday to The Most Adorable Granddaughter#1!

Book Launch

I'm still waiting for the official photos from the launch of my latest two books, To Await the Dream and The Scent of Rain. In the mean time, these will have to suffice ...

Good Tidings

Two hundred years ago the first Christian - and the first Christmas - service was held on New Zealand soil. The message preached by Samuel Marsden, remains as true today as it was then:

And the angel said unto them,
Fear not: for, behold,
I bring you good tidings of great joy,
which shall be to all people.

"When I had done preaching," said Marsden, "[Ruatara, a local chief] informed them what I had been talking about. In this manner the Gospel has been introduced into New Zealand, and I fervently pray that the glory of it may never depart from its inhabitants, till time shall be no more." (Cited by Keith Newman in Bible and Treaty: Missionaries among the Maori - A new perspective.)

Christmas continues to be celebrated in New Zealand, but not often according to the first service or with the same intent that marked Samuel Marsden's preaching that day. But, whether we like it or not, the story of Christmas is still one of great joy.

Not because of the gifts ...

or the…

Love Story

We can blame Jane ... or we can blame Charlotte ... but someone has to take the blame!

"My first aim will be to clean down (do you comprehend the full force of the expression?)—to clean down Moor House from chamber to cellar; my next to rub it up with bees-wax, oil, and an indefinite number of cloths, till it glitters again; my third, to arrange every chair, table, bed, carpet, with mathematical precision; afterwards I shall go near to ruin you in coals and peat to keep up good fires in every room; and lastly, the two days preceding that on which your sisters are expected will be devoted by Hannah and me to such a beating of eggs, sorting of currants, grating of spices, compounding of Christmas cakes, chopping up of materials for mince-pies, and solemnising of other culinary rites, as words can convey but an inadequate notion of to the uninitiated like you.  My purpose, in short, is to have all things in an absolutely perfect state of readiness for Diana and Mary before next Thur…

Stille Nacht Heilige Nacht

Silent Night! Holy Night!
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon godly tender pair.
Holy infant with curly hair,
Sleep in heavenly peace,
Sleep in heavenly peace.

Joseph gingerly opened his front door and stepped out onto the snow-encrusted step. Wrapping his scarf more securely around his neck he tugged at the door until he heard it close behind him and stepped over the broken tiles lying nearby. Absently he remembered that he had planned on cleaning up the jagged pottery pieces before going out. Perhaps when he returned: if he had time.

He patted his right-hand pocket and sighed with relief when he was greeted with the rustle of paper. He must hurry if he was to accomplish his errand in time. For the hundredth time, he wondered if he was doing the right thing. What if his friend Franz laughed at him? It was such a private thing for him to share. Was it worth it?

Silent Night! Holy Night!
Son of God, love's pure light
Radiant beams from thy holy face,
With the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus, L…

Book Review

John Massam, former editor of Challenge Weekly had this to say about To Await the Dream:

"What an amazing book.

From the first page it grabbed my attention and held it to the end.

The story line was clear, simple and tantalising and brought me to tears more than once.

The design and presentation were excellent. I liked the cover, blank pages between chapters and the presentation of letters.

The short pithy sections and the gradual unveiling of the story held my attention. It was presented so that the whole story seemed credible, real and believable and as it unfolded you realised that it had a genuine historical basis. It was from the past but felt up to date.

It presented the real life dilemmas that are experienced in families, society, and the church, and addressed them in their starkness and yet in a compassionate way. It highlighted the desire to do what was right, regardless of personal cost and demonstrated the importance and significance of a real personal faith. I…

Traditional Puddings

I find it hard to give up some of the traditions that DH and I began as a newly wedded couple. And one of those traditions was making Christmas puddings. Year after year, we have performed this task which has become more enjoyable (and complex) as the family has grown.

With busy lives, and family with busy lives, and not all local, I've wondered in recent years if making the Christmas pudding was going to be one tradition we were going to have to drop. With everything happening this year (this week!), I began to think this might be THE YEAR it had to go.

I was saddened by the thought.

But - either because they love making Christmas puddings or love their mother (or love seeing the mess their kids can make in my kitchen/house) those that were local graciously allowed me to experience at least one more year of making Christmas puddings.

And when I look at the photos, I really, really, really hope there will be many more years left when we engage in this tradition together (and there…