Thursday, July 30, 2009


I was really blessed this morning as I did a bit of blog-searching - coming across two little 'gems' with wonderful words of wisdom to bless your day and change your attitudes right on the spot. Check out Karen L's blog and Gayle's too.

This little list was on Karen's blog this morning - about having an attitude of gratitude. Thanks Karen, I was really inspired as I read through this list - being thankful is such a great thing to have in life - it can change your mood, your day and those of the lives and people around you. So put into practice a few of these little treasures.

20 Little Attitudes of Gratitude

1. Mind your manners. Say please, thank you and excuse me.

2. Smile when you see your family. Turn your frown upside down.

3. Pick up after yourself.

4. Notice when others do kind things for you, show gratitude by action or words.

5. Say I love you before going to bed.6.Give hugs daily.

7. Don’t worry about tomorrow. Focus on what you are happy about today.

8. Create gratitude journals to keep track of daily blessings.

9. Show thankfulness for even the little things others do for you.

10. Leave love notes in unexpected places like lunch boxes and under pillows.

11. Encourage someone with a compliment.

12. Verbalize what you are grateful for when you feel like complaining about life.

13. Keep a basket of small slips of paper on the table. Write notes of thankfulness during the week and read them to each other during a family meal.

14. Remember to thank God for blessings each day.

15. Surprise your family (or friends) with little gifts or treats to show you thought of them.

16. No grumbling about minor annoyances around the house.

17. Do special things to cherish time with your family. You never know what tomorrow will bring.

18. Reflect on happy memories regularly. Make inspiration boards of special times.

19. Help someone out without them having to ask you. Watch for someone in need.

20. When you are doing household chores, be grateful you have a home to clean.

10 Things I'm thankful for today:

1. Being at home today
2. That my house is still clean from our inspection on Tuesday
3. A great night's sleep (no waking children for once, yay!)
4. A lovely chat with a friend last night
5. That my husband loves his new job
6. Talking about the Holy Spirit openly at work yesterday - how awesome is that!
7. A cup of coffee in a pretty, tall mug
8. The Word of God and how God leads us to treasures He has just for us!
9. That the munchkins are sitting quietly watching a movie (or were 5 mins ago)
10. My family, with all our strengths and flaws

Monday, July 27, 2009

New Do... and a wedding...

I spent a lovely relaxing 3 hours at the hairdressers on Friday. They had a special of 3 services for $99 so I took advantage and had a style cut, colour and foils... I only ever get colour/foils when they're on special, so it was nice to have a little indulgence. I like my hair long (so does DH), and want to grow it longer, so I have kept most of my length and just had it re-styled and a fringe cut again. I went with a chocolate brown colour mixed with a bit of red, and red foils. The foils aren't as noticeable as I had hoped, but they look good in the sun particularly! I will have to take some pics in the sun, but here's some I took the other night at my friend's wedding (yes I took them of myself, lol!)... (actually, you can't really even see the foils at all here - it was night-time!)

We went to the wedding of a good friend of mine from highschool - Roxy and Robin. They have been together for 7 years and finally tied the knot at The Spit beach near SeaWorld, where they first met. It was a little windy, but was still a lovely service. Here's a few snaps.

Walking down the 'aisle' with her Dad. What bride wouldn't wear pluggers on the beach!?

Exchanging rings... (they were clever and put ribbons on them just in case they dropped in the sand!)
The kiss - how cute is this dip!!
Mr and Mrs Coleman!!
And a little speech at the reception...

Roxane was a beautiful bride in a gorgeous vintage-style dress. It was so nice to share this special day with her and Robin - we have been friends for 15 years!!

I also got to have a little chat with her younger sister, Jacqui who loves my nappies and wants some. She's just started her own small business making stone casts of baby's hands and feet, much like the businesses Twinkly Toes or Lasting Impressions... except as she tells me, she's cheaper! AND she also does kitty or puppy friends paw casts too - so cute! So if you're looking at getting some casts of your little one as keepsakes, and you're in the Gold Coast/Brisbane area, search her on FaceBook (Lil' Sunshine) and book an appt. Tell her I sent you too!

5 more days..... I'm not counting much huh??

5 things I'm thankful for today:
1. iTunes and listening to worship music
2. Orange chocolate (thanks Marion)
3. My SOF girls
4. God's grace
5. That we have mad-cleaned the house for our inspection tomorrow! Yay, love having a clean house - pity it won't last long :(

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Creating.... well sorta...

My sewing room and all it entails is currently in storage, crammed into our study, along with all the toys and furniture from the play room. We are in-limbo of having work done to re-waterproof downstairs - we have new walls and new paint-job, and now just waiting for the floor guy to come (was supposed to last Thurs but haven't heard from him, ggrrr)... so my stuff is in-accessible... but I'm starting to have withdrawals.... admittedly, I don't actually do a lot of crafting as I work 4 of 7 days, but I think not being 'able' to, I want to!!

So anyway, in the absense of my sewing/scrapping stuff, I have been creating in the kitchen.

My mate from work had his 19th birthday on Monday and he asked me to make him a police car cake (he wants to be a cop eventually)... and so on Sunday evening I embarked on the challenge to make a police car cake, which I thought would be much easier than it actually was. There was not many police car cakes that I could replicate from the Net, so I went about designing it myself. Ended up using a square cake and a bar cake and cutting and adding bits from both cakes together to make a shape that I think looked pretty good for a car (commodore style)...

I used cream cheese icing, because its apparently whiter than buttercream, and the Qld Police cars are mostly white. I had a pretty cool idea too, to add pics of my mate to the front seat, then thought it would be pretty funny if I added pics of myself and the other girls from work in the backseat of the car - like he's arrested us and taking us to the station!

Don't look *too* closely, but it turned out pretty good I think.

He loved it, and so did the other girls from work. The actual *cake* wasn't too crash hot, and I need to work on some yummier ones - maybe mud cake or something for next time?

Over at SOF, the girls are all participating in a Restoring our Womanhood study at the moment. Its VERY timely for me too, with becoming a SAHM - what I believe God has called me to be for this season of my life - again in a few weeks.

Its a huge challenge to me about being the woman God has called me to be. First, His daughter: spending time with Him and reading His Word - a two-way relationship. This is something that needs a little work... Second, as a wife: serving, honouring, respecting my husband as head of our home. Loving him and showing him that love - and speaking his love language a bit more too. And thirdly, as a mother: spending quality time with all my kids, helping Jaidyn with his schooling, leading them in the ways of God, praying with and for them...

That's enough personal challenges to keep a girl busy for a while, don't you think? And something that I will need DAILY help with - from God of course. I know that He will get me through these things... and it won't be all on Day One, in fact, it will take many many years, and I'll always be growing in these areas, but I have recognised that what these things are now is not what I or God wants them to be, not the PRIORITY they need to be. And so I will come to the cross each day, and ask for my God to get me through and teach me and help me to learn and change.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Knew there was something else....

... I was going to post about...

We took the kids to the Abbey Medieval Festival. We hadn't ever been before, and had lots of fun. Admittedly, its probably better for children a little older than Eli and Lani (Jaidyn loved it!), as there were times when they were a little unsettled - probably mostly from having to sit in the pram... but it was good regardless!

Here's some pics!

Checking out the chainmail - its heavy!
A very cool tree lady on stilts who was walking around...
One of the medieval encampments out on the field...
My handsome big guy...
Jaidyn and Eli patting the goats at the gypsy settling...
Nuns in authentic attire...
My boys posing with some serious knights armour!
The boys in particular loved the sword-fighting tournaments. Muscle, brawn and metal - what else could a boy need?? Greg watched in awe and a bit of envy too I think... he took sword-fighting lessons a little while ago and loved it, and would still be doing it if it wasn't so expensive... so he was in his element...

They had a few small fights throughout the day, and a big tournament at the end of all the knights, fighting for their ladies' love! Greg sat in the sun with the zoom lens on, loving every minute of it...
All the knights' swords lined up for battle...
Knights in action!
A noble knight taking a bow to his opponent...
Jaidyn in his shining armour (and later Grandad made him a sword too!)It was a very exhausting day for little knights... he's asleep with his helmet on! Too cute!
And if you're wondering where Lani was, yes she was with us, she just chucked a wobbly each time I tried to take a pic of her - so the only one I have, she is screaming at me!
We decided that if we go again (maybe not next year but year after?), we'll all dress up in costume!! Fun!!


I have officially resigned and will be a full-time SAHM in about 4 weeks time.. Woot!!

Have had two days this week to practice this SAHM mum thing with 2 toddlers!! And eek, its going to be tough! My two are at a 'wonderful' stage (mostly the 3 year old one) where they just pick and fight and argue with each other all day - its very draining!!

Yesterday was tough! We don't have access to our playroom (and most of the toys) right now, and it was cold and windy outside and so it was a loooong day inside together! There's only so much movie-watching and duplo building they want to do! We did cook some choc-chip cookies together too though. They enjoyed that. I think cooking will definitely be on the program once or twice a week.

Today was better (so far!)... we went to the shops for about an hour, which wasn't pleasant by all means (they hate being in the pram), but we managed. Then I took them to the park for a run. We maade min pizzas for lunch and now they are asleep, yes! I don't know how I'll handle the days when they don't sleep anymore - I NEED this time!!

Anyway, I'll be needing lots of things to do with them. When our playroom is all fixed (needed new waterproofing so new floors and walls and paint-job - nice!) we'll have all our things back at least. Trainset, dolls, doll house, play kitchen and access to the scrapbooking and painting too. I think I'll try and use some of my ideas from daycare to use at home - different ways of painting, like with fly swats, spray bottles, outside etc, just to shake things up a bit... and we can have playdough on hand all the time... and I think I might be giving my Kids Craft Weekly emails and book a little more of a work-out!!

In all that difficulty, I still really think its the right thing to do. And particularly for Jaidyn. I was able to give him time and help with his homework yesterday afternoon, and this is great. He hasn't been so good at keeping up with his homework each afternoon when he goes home with our friends, so we'll try and do it after dinner with him I think - until I finish work at least...

We've been busy working on (well nagging Jai to work on) his science project on dragonflies and ants. He didn't do a great deal of work on it in school last term when he was supposed to, so his teacher gave him the holidays to do it too... this was a little hard though as he wasn't home a lot, as I was working so he spent a few days/nights here and there at his grandparent's, so not a lot of time to work on it at home. But, we got it finished, got the pictures put in etc, and handed in! Yes!! He did most of it himself, I just helped to put the pictures in the right place and search for them a little on google images. Found out some interesting facts about dragonflies and ants along the way too...

Eli has his first b'day party tomorrow - well, of someone who isn't our friend! He's going to a McDonald's party for his friend from kindy, and he's excited! Fun!

We have starting doing family devotions each night before bed. Yeah, pretty slack that we haven't done previously, but we are now. It's been pretty good so far. Well, Eli and Lani don't really listen, but we'll get there. Its the seed we're planting, and they participate in praying together so that's good enough!

I have been requested by my mate at work to make him a police car cake for his b'day on Monday, so guess what I'm doing Sunday night? Should be fun! When I'm a 'lady of leisure' as one of my bosses said (yeah sure, you try having a 2 & 3 yr old at home - its NOT leisure by any means!! Ha!).. I plan to try out some of my cupcake recipes and cake recipes too and get a bit of a group of 'good' cakes for me to make for b'day cakes etc... I am going to make my friend a 2-tier cake for her baby shower in Sept, so that will probably be my first 'more elegant' cake... I am keep to try lots of different ways of doing things, and who knows if I might be able to get a little money on the side from selling specialty cakes too... we'll see!!

Anyway, need a coffee, and to do something more productive (read: housework) while the monkeys are asleep...

Ciao xx

P.S. I'm not doing too badly at this updating thing huh?? ;)
P.P.S. Will need to get some pics happening too huh.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Big girl bed :(

Now that Lani is two, and definitely not a baby anymore, we thought we'd get around to buying her a new bed.

Greg picked up the last parts today and assembled it.... I picked out a doona cover today, and now she has almost all she needs for her new big bed!!

Here's a picture I took just before... she's gone to sleep no problem, let's pray it lasts all night!

I am actually looking forward to finishing the decorating of her room, now that all the furniture 'matches'... (she used to have a Nemo toddler bed which REALLY didn't go with the butterfly canvases and white/green curtains!)
It was a little tricky to find a doona set that went well with the green and pink butterfly canvases and the green gingham in the curtains. I found this one, which I think will work pretty well.
I plan to give the curtains a good wash first, and then I think I'll add a few more strips of fabric or ribbon to tie in the purple, pink and yellow better too... then a few photos around her room, a 'LANI' for one of those walls above her bed and hopefully in a little while we'll get rid of the change table (that you can't see in this pic) and I'll get her one of those open box bookshelves (Ikea Expedit style) to put in its place. I've seen a pic of one in a mag that looked lovely with bright coloured boxes and some baskets too in it to hold things.... so I think I might do that - when the time and finances come available!!
Well, that's all tonight!
P.S. Things still in progress with my resignation, but I've pretty much done it! Feels awesome!

Monday, July 06, 2009

Get Real Baby...

Well, its about time I did a "Get Real Baby" challenge care of the awesome Lusi Austin.

Well, actually, I'm not doing her exact challenge for this week, but I AM getting real, and that's what its all about, right??

So, REALLY, right now, I am NOT a superMum. I am NOT really coping with my too-busy life right now, and I have some HUGE decisions to make in the next few weeks.

Really, my house looks like a bomb hit. There are clothes half-folded all over the lounge. There are dishes in the kitchen (and that's after we've already done a load of dishes tonight). My toilet and bathroom need a clean. The boys sheets haven't been changed in too long.
And that's pretty normal.

Really, I don't spend enough quality time with my kids.

Really, I NEED to spend some more time with my eldest who's really struggling at school atm.

Really, I don't spend anywhere near enough time with my Creator. I want to though.

So REALLY, there's LOTS going through my head right now. Over the last couple of weeks, I've felt the Lord talking to me about what He's called me to. I don't think He's really called me to be stressed out, messy and angry... do you?

I'm reading a really inspiring book right now that the gorgeous Lusi gave me (thanks mate!). It's called 'The Most Important Place on Earth - what a Christian Home looks like, and how to build one"... and God's been using it to speak to me. There are LOT of things that SHOULD be in my 'Christian' home that just aren't. In fact, it probably doesn't look or feel like a Christian home if you popped in. AND I DON'T WANT IT TO BE THAT WAY. So yeah, God's been speaking to me about what's REALLY important...? And its my family. He's called me to be His child, first of all. He's called me to be a wife and a mother. And all the other things should come AFTER that.

I am very blessed that I don't HAVE to work for us to live. We don't have a mortgage, and quite frankly, we'd rather not and not be under financial strain. We'd rather live, than only live/work to pay off a home loan. We know that God will provide us with that when and where its in His Timing. Greg has started his new job today and has a nice pay-rise, so we'd be quite comfortable for me to be at home... so it's REALLY go me thinking.... and thinking... and thinking.... and praying.... but I need to do a bit more of that...

After visiting with Lusi, I know God used being in her home, with her family to speak to me about this too... her home is beautiful, loving, her family are God-fearing. Mine isn't so much. Now, I'm not comparing myself to her, in a woe-is-me way or anything, but in a 'maybe it doesn't have to be like this' way. Its all good.

And now, I've also just read part of Psalm 128 on Lusi's blog too, which says "your wife will be like a fruitful vine planted within your house"... and boy does that say something. I'm not being fruitful in my house at all right now. 'Happy wife, happy home?'.... 'stressed out wife, stressed out home', is more like it...

So yeah, getting real here. And in reading over this, it seems quite obvious what I should do hey. But its a pretty huge decision, so I'm going to sit and pray on it a bit more. But the desire is there.

There are a few things I'm worried about though. One being that I really struggle being home with Eli and Lani. They are really full-on. I guess taking them to kindy is the easy way out though. So yeah, that's one thing I need to tackle head on. I guess, really, its about being determined to be a good Mum. To actually DO things with them, take them out... stay OFF the computer.

I'm also a little scared of talking to my boss.... but that's the non-confrontational side of me. I hate confrontation. Just gotta suck it up hey!

I was thinking of asking to drop my days, but more and more, I think I want to stop altogether. Maybe that's not the wisest 'career' move... but who really cares about my career when I only get a few precious years with my babies, and they'll be in school.... I can work then, right??

Anyway, enough ramble. I'm just writing all the things that are going through my head really.

But being real.

Yeah, real.

Well, that's my heart right now anyway.

Please uphold me in your prayers if you're the praying type. It's a huge thing for me. And our family.

Signing out... N xx

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Another cake...

Greg starts a new job on Monday. We've been waiting 5 (or 6?) long weeks until he was offered the job, so yesterday was a special day with Greg's last day as a contact centre consultant. Next week he's moving up the ranks a little, and across the departments to work in City Waste. He will be a field officer setting up and maintaining a new system of industrial recycling bins for apartment complexes. I'm sure he'll do a great job, and it seems to be a great mix of what he's learnt both as a retail manager and a contact centre consultant with Council. So proud of my man.
And so seeing as though I was home yesterday with Lani sick, I decided to bake him a cake. He's been saying for a few weeks now I could make him a bin cake... and so I did! I don't think he really expected me to, but it was fun, and quick and easy too.

So here it is... a recycling bin, complete with Brisbane City logo and milk bottles and coke bottles!
Eli wanted to make Daddy a red cake, so we also tried out a red velvet cupcake recipe... not too bad, but nowhere near as good as my vanilla cupcakes! The cream-cheese icing is good though!!
We even had a candle and Greg made up his own rendition of Happy Birthday: "Happy new job to meeeeee!!!!!"
And the traditional cutting of the cake... not sure if this is how it's traditionally done though, and Lani looks a little shocked by Daddy's technique!
Having his cake and eating it too!! Yum!! So much icing on the lid there!
The inside of the cake... I made 2 bar cakes, cut them in half and stacked them on top of each other...

But a piece is very hard to fit in one's mouth!!
Happy Saturday! What have you been doing today? We've been up to our church this morning as we're finally moving back into out building after repairs from the Nov 08 storms have *finally* been finished... its very exciting to be going back 'home'... last night we had a 1/2 night of prayer and I went up to the church for about 2.5 hours. Was great to really seek God's words for our church and where he wants us to go next.
We've also been clearing downstairs, as we're having tradies in to do OUR repairs after the storm from last year too.... well some parts... we need a new flooring downstairs as there's a pipe that's broken through the cement floor - BAD reno job of whoever did it!! So new lino, which means clearing out all the things in the playroom, and my sewing room (that one's a big job!) Am thinking its a good opportunity to re-design things and decorate a little down there!! I sort of just plonked things in last time, might finally get some curtains for my room and put some pics up on the wall or something too...
We're off to friends for a BBQ dinner soon. Nice. Life seems to be a little 'back to normal' again... we've been a little hermit-ty lately and I love being with friends and family, so I'm happy!
Hope you have a great rest of your weekend.