Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Baking, riding bikes... just loving being at home!

I am really enjoying being a SAHM this week, and getting into a good routine regarding housework etc. There's still a lot I need to get in place, but its starting to get rolling, and the house is being 'maintained' pretty well now, to that if we have visitors I don't feel horribly embarrased about the state of my home!

This week we have enjoyed a playdate with one of my besties Sarah and her little man on Monday. Sarah is 6 weeks away from having twins - how exciting! I haven't seen her in so long either, hopefully we can make it a little more often now that I'm home (although soon she'll have her hands busy with twin newborns!)...

Yesterday we did a bit of this.... baking choc/strawberry swirl cupcakes:
(Eli wanted chocolate, Lani wanted pink, so we did both and swirled them together, YUM!)
And a bit of this... riding bikes and trikes (changed over often) under the house:

And also a bit of this... Lani's favourite thing to do - jumping!!

In other news, Greg and I celebrated our 5 year wedding anniversary last Friday. We would have *liked* to have been celebrating in New Zealand, but our potential babysitters (the in-laws) were galavanting around Scotland... so we might just do it next year!!
Greg took the day off work (the joy of being able to choose his own hours, yay!) - and the monkeys were in kindy, so we had a hot date!! We went to the movies to see 'The Ugly Truth' and then had Hogs Breathe for lunch - YUM!! I forgot to take my camera to lunch though...
Then we had a rematch of Risk (coz I beat him the first time, ha) and a cheese/bickies platter after the kids were in bed. On Sunday we went for our tradition of buffet breakfast up at Mt Cootha (where Greg proposed)... we just LOVE going up there - child-less of course, although it would be nice to take them up there some time too...
Here's a couple of snaps we took 'up top'...

Love you so much honey!!

The joy of being a SAHM will see me going on a school excursion with Jaidyn tomorrow to a local environmental educational centre. I used to LOVE going one when I was in school, so I'm looking forward to being able to support Jai in his schooling and hopefully I won't be an embarrasing Mumma - too much!

Bye for now xx

Today I'm thankful for:

1. Not really losing too much money by stopping work - which REALLY makes it worth it!
2. Rest time... ahh bweet bliss
3. A mostly tidy home (just don't look too closely, ha!)
4. That our flooring will be FINISHED this time tomorrow, and we will be able to set up downstairs again - yay my craft room back!!!
5. Godly women. Love you all xx

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

August so far, in pictures...

Was just looking over my pics from the last couple of weeks (I am taking many more now that I'm *home*, yay!). And I thought I would get some up here, just 'in review' kinda thing...

Most are from around the house, playing and spending time together...

Jaidyn, up a tree in the backyard... he loves it.

And striking a pose...

Eli having a ball at the playground...

Proud Mummy moment - Eli writing his name - at only 3!!

Making playdough cakes and blowing out the candles...

Lani NOT going to bed! Cheeky (but beautiful) girl...

Eli being cute...
And my time...

Washing and folding...

Dishes (and lots of them at times!)...

Baking some gorgeous black and white cupcakes for a special Ladies Pamper Night at church... and spending time with my friend Kerryanne at said Pamper Night (except thre's no more photos coz my battery died right at the start of the evening!)

And a spot of sewing (I found my patterns and some fabrics!)...

I made this journal cover from Janelle Wind's Thelma's Day Out pattern. Its for a friend for her birthday this weekend. I really like how it turned out, just don't look too closely! I'm going to make a few of these - they will make lovely gifts. I was thinking I might even try and modify one to fit my Bible, what a pretty cover that would be.

Anyway, that's about it. This post has taken me AGES to get right! (blogger is not liking uploading photos for me at the moment...ggrrrrr...)
We have our Brisbane Show holiday today. Greg's currently out playing golf, the kids are happily playing outside (for a few moments at a time between yelling at each other) and we're off to a friends for a BBQ lunch soon, so I better get out of my PJs and get organised!
Hope you're having a lovely day...

N xx

5 things I'm thankful for today:
1. A day off to spend with family (even if they are currently driving me nuts)
2. That I got my sewing finished, yay!
3. Coffee (Eli thought it good to wake up at 5am, so I'm tired already!)
4. Times Tables on CD
5. The Word of God - refreshing and renewing each day.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

He pampers my soul...

Our church is having a Ladies Pamper Night tonight, and I've been asked to share a testimony on how I feel 'pampered' by God. I had some great God time last night, and this is what I'm going to share tonight:


There are many ways in which my God pampers me, making me feel loved, cherished and special. I know that He loves me so much, and wants me to sit in His beautiful presence and feel like a Princess. Tonight I will share 3 ways with you.

1. His People...
I feel very blessed by the people that God has brought into my life – people from all places (many here in this room) - and many that I would not have met without the Lord’s leading and perfect timing and ‘divine appointments’. He has brought me many beautiful strong Christian friendships with women of all ages –and He uses these friendships to strengthen me and speak to me in times of need. It might be a phone call, an email, a simple encouragement or even a spiritual rebuke. But God uses the people around me to refresh my soul, to give me rest, to encourage me, and this makes me feel very loved and very blessed. He looks after me by the people He puts around me.

2. His Word...
The Word of God is truly a pampering in itself. God reveals Himself to me slowly and beautifully through His Word. He shows me that He knows the deepest desires of my hearts, that He knows when I’m hurting (and reminds me that He has felt this too), that He knows the temptations that might be plaguing me at any given time… and He guides me in His ways, gently and lovingly. He also uses His Word to unlock the promises He has for me – promises to prosper me with a hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11), promises that He will never leave or forsake me (Deut 31:6); promises that I have been set free (John 8:36), promises that He will never give me more temptation than I can bear (1 Cor 10:13), promises that I do not need to worry about my life because He has it in His hands (Matt 6:25-34). These (and the hundreds more that are in His Word) nourish my soul, give me strength and help me to face every day.

3. His Rest...
As a mother of three young, boisterous and energetic children, one of my biggest pampers from God is being able to Rest in Him. He knows when I’m weary, He knows when I need some sustenance and He gives it to me if I seek Him with my whole heart. He calls me gently to come and give Him my burdens (Matthew 11:28-30) Sometimes it might be a feeling of peace that washes over me, sometimes He whispers a sweet reminder of His love for me, and at other times he speaks directly to my heart about something I’m facing. It’s amazing how different a day of mine can pan out if I give Him some time each day – time to just stop and listen. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not perfect at this or anything, in fact, only in the last few weeks have I REALLY heard God talking to me in that still small voice. And He has shown me glimpses of His plans for me, He has given me overwhelming rest at times (sometimes almost instant even) and He has refreshed my soul and given me energy to face the rest of my day.

And so I encourage you all to give your whole hearts to Jesus every day, so that you don’t miss out on the pampering He has just for You. I think we can all too easily just miss it. We get caught up in our day to day events – work, the kids, housework, cooking - as a woman the list goes on and on… but don’t be too busy for Jesus. He has so many treasures in store for you and me. He wants to shower you with His Love and His gifts and His presence. So stop, just for a few moments even, and give that time to Him. And you will be pampered. For we are His Princesses and He wants to treat us like royalty!

And I want to end with this excerpt from the book 'His Princess: Love Letters from Your King' by Sheri Rose Shepherd.

My Princess - Hear My Voice
I am always here for you. I'm never too busy to talk to you, My beloved. If you will turn off the things around you that drown out My voice, you will begin to hear Me in your spirit. When you don't know where to go, you will hear Me give you divine direction. When you are in need of a friend, you will hear Me whisper "I am here". When you need comfort, you will hear Me call to you, "Come to me." Don't let the voice of your own uncertainties distract you from My still, small voice. Quiet your spirit, and know that I am your Heavenly Father and you are My precious daughter - and I love when you listen to Me.
Love, your King and the Voice of Heaven.
John 10:27 - My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

An ending, some happy snaps and a pig...

I finished up at work yesterday, and it was a bit of a bittersweet day. I was very excited to be finishing work and starting my new (again) role as SAHM but I will miss all the kids and staff too.

I had a great day though.

My gorgeous Assistant Elizabeth made me a cute piggy cakewhich we all oohed and ahhed over and then devoured... poor piggy....

Me and Liz... this girl rocks. She's so much fun and so great with the kids. I'll miss this smiling face and beautiful character.

My piggy cake... (which ones the pig huh? Knew you were thinking it...)

The girls (and boy!) bought me some lovely gifts too - a pretty bookmark, a perpetual calendar with verses for Mums on it, a cute packet of buttons and a voucher for Spotlight - they know me well! And beautiful words in a card too. I have loved working with these fabulous people - learnt so much about myself and each other too, grown in God together, shared parts of ourselves, even cried together - and of course many many laughs too. I have learnt so much about being a teacher, working with children, and being a Christian, and feel very blessed for this great opportunity I've had to work in a Christian childcare centre. They aren't getting rid of me totally though, and I'll be in and out doing relief work.

Here's me and my beautiful boss, Glenda. Amazing boss.
Me and Suzie, who I job-shared with for a while last. This woman has a beautiful passion for God and for His children.

Miss Nita and I - have loved sharing stories with Nita and learning about her home in the Phillipines. Passionate sould too, this one.
Telesia and I - funny girl, lots of fun.
Kerryanne is taking my place as Group Leader. Yes, we look alike.. and have had many of the kids calling Miss KA, Miss Natalie! Ha! I haven't worked a lot with Kerryanne but we've come to realise we have a lot in common and I'm sure its just the start of a beautiful friendship - I hope so at least.
And there are a few that I didn't get to take a pic with - Chloe and Teresa who are overseas right now; Mr Reece, Fiona and our chaplain Mel who has been such a blessing to me.
I even took pics with most of my kids... and had to take some with my *real* kids too!

Ahh, I'll miss being 'Miss Natalie' but I know that this is where God wants for this season, and I know that I'm going to thrive as 'Mum'...

God bless! xx

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Crafty goodness...

In my frustration that I can't actually CREATE anything, what is a girl to do but search and drool and bookmark for later creative time...

Found One Pretty Thing linked from Lusi's blog this morning, and OMGolly gosh, there are SO MANY gorgeous things to make there... its like a whole LIBRARY of tutorials...

So here's just a few I'd like to try...

this *gorgeous* gypsy button bracelet from Creative Kismet

And this other button bracelet too, also from Creative Kismet

Ooh and this one is equally nice... or even a little nicer, I like the leather... and the beads... from Hope Studios

And also this sweet little cupcake purse from Paper and String

That's gonna give my button collection a good run hey - think I might have to rally some friends and make button bracelets together - who wants to come?? Sounds like a great girly evening to me!

Can't. Wait. To. Have. My. Craft. Room. Back. !!!

N xx


Have done a little redecorating around my blog, hopefully making it a nicer place to visit :)

I've had a nice two days as SAHM, and think I'm going to do an OK job of this!
I just need to remember to take some pics of our days, to share and to keep as reminders... Maybe I'll even scrap a mini-book or something with activity ideas or something... not a bad idea.

On Thursday we had a couple of things to get at the shops first, so we went straight after dropping Jai to school - yes we were organised! The monkeys were well-bahaved, thankfully!

Then we went for a play at the park to wear them out. Eli and Lani both climb so high on the climbing walls - above my head! Its a little scary, but I know they are both great climbers, so *hopefully* won't fall - I'll just stand below them in case though! Next time we go to the park I'll take some snaps.

After rest-time, it was home to lunch and a little play - or did they watch a movie? - and rest time. I even got out my sewing machine during rest time and had a little sew (finishing off some nappies) while listening to my worship music and stopping a little to read some of the Word. Glorious!! I love the monkeys to death, but I do LOVE rest time!!

They wake up not long before Jaidyn comes home. Greg was also home pretty early, so I worked on homework with Jaidyn while Greg took the monkeys outside to burn some more energy on the trampoline and swings. Homework with Jai always seems to be a struggle, esp as Thurs is currently the only afternoon we get a good chunk of time to go through it - and of course he's left most of it till then *sigh*. It always seems to end in tears of some sort. He just doesn't seem to get that I'm trying to *help* him by explaining things out properly. Definitely one thing about being a SAHM that will be good - getting into a DAILY homework routine that's manageable for both of us! Jai has been struggling quite a bit with his times tables lately. Well actually, he's never really learnt them - and that's partly my fault too for not being diligent to go through them with him each day. He's been getting barely any right on his tests recently, and so we really nutted out the 8x last week (of course the hardest ones!) and I showed him a way to work them out. He seemed to understand them, and got 4 right on his test, which was really good coz it was an improvement! He was happy when we were going through them at home, and appeared confident too. Which is a great lot more than he was the week before! And so come this week - the 9x - I knew he'd do better again. I showed him an easier way to remember the 9x (on your hands... remember?) and he seemed to get it (although I'm not sure what the teacher would think with him holding his two hands up in front of his face for the test, lol)... his Nan also sent a Times Tables CD that she bought him in London last week. Its great! Jai and I spent some of Thurs evening dancing around the loungeroom calling out our 9x tables to the music, and making up different dance moves for each answer. I think at first he spend more time laughing at his goofy mum's rap moves than actually learning his times tables ,but by the time he was in the bath, he could throw me a few answers - x2, x3, x4, x5, x8, x10...! So we'll definitely be using this CD with all of them, as we'll need to go back over all the earlier ones that he doesn't really know at all... AND he got 7 on his test yesterday!! Woohoo! So proud of my boy!

Yesterday I took the risk and did a small grocery shop with the littlies. We are flat broke this week, but I managed to keep the weekly shop to under half our normal budget, so we'll get by. We'll eat. I know God looks after us and provides us all our needs. In fact, its quite liberating to menu plan with little sometimes, and actually doing it! Makes you wonder what you actually spend more on? Well, I'll have to get use to a little tighter budgeting as I won't be working anymore. Life is good though.

The little ones were really good at the shops again, praise God! They can really be a handful if they want, so its fully God with us when they are well-behaved! We came home and made some playdough together and they amused themselves with that (and some buttons and paper-clips) for a little while so Mumma could hang out washing and all those domestic things. Then chicken nuggets for lunch and bed! I just pottered around this rest time, read some Word again, played with the minimal fabric I have upstairs, but not enough to really DO anything with,, ggrrrrrr...

I am feeling really blessed by getting into His Word each day. Its been ages since I've actually done it consistently, but its not that hard right now - well on the days I've been home anyway. God's really placing the desire in my heart to just get into it and see what He has in store for me.

I've been keeping up with the 'Restoring our Womanhood' devotions each week on the SOF blog. Its really helping to keep things in perspective, and to seek God for my answers to the weekly questions, and what He wants me to do. I still have to make a journal and actually get into a habit of writing it all down, but I'm still there reading and thinking and praying about it.

Anyway, Saturday is running away before my eyes, so we should probably do something (get that husband of mine out of bed for starters!).

Hope you have a blessed weekend.

10 things I'm thankful for today:
1. The Word - I'm reading the Psalms right now, good stuff!
2. Jai's new times table CD - gonna really help!
3. Weekends. Love that I can just do nothing if I want to...
4. That my sis is coming to church with us tomorrow night, that ROCKS!
5. Kids Craft Weekly - gonna save me being a SAHM - lots of crafty goodness
6. Lusi's gorgeous blog and all her encouraging words.
7. My gorgeous kids - even if they're fighting much of the time *sigh*
8. Worship music
9. Crafty blogs/sites - love em! Just found 'one pretty thing' today - see sidebar... yummm!
10. beautiful wintery weather today - gotta get outside and do something!!