Monday, 29 July 2013

and then there were two teenagers in the house!


This kid turned thirteen yesterday. 

It blows my mind to think that he has already reached these teenage years... wasn't it was only yesterday that we welcomed our tiniest baby three weeks early?
 He is and always has been the most darling boy... full of love and cuddles with the most beautiful smile. Eager to please and considerate of everyone around him.
A non-conformist. He see things differently and does them in his own unique way. 
A born leader.
He is and always has been our gentle adventurer. 
The next Bear Grills or Huckleberry Finn
Never seen without a slingshot, air rifle or bow and arrow in hand he is always moving... running... hunting.... living life to the full.
 He dotes on the baby and is the first to greet him every morning... watching his sleeping brother till he wakes 
so he can be the first to hold him. 

Alex you are so aware of being the eldest son, it is a joy to watch to you lead and encourage your brothers... you know your example is one that will be followed by those younger and although you get it wrong at times and lose your patience you always come back to make it right. 

Our prayer for you is that you will seek the Lord... put Him first.. and love Him with all your heart.
Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, "I find no pleasure in them"-- Ecclesiastes 12:1


In honour of this adventure seeking, adrenalin junkie we held an action packed party... SAS style.

capture the flag... complete with paintball guns! whoop whoop!


direct hit!

the younger brothers and cousins waited so patiently for their turn

what party would be complete without a cake made by your older sister to top it all off.

check out the camo icing!!

~ Happy Birthday Alex ~


{footnote - thanks Aunty Alice for the photos... being the super ultra organised mother that I am 
I forgot to charge the camera!} 

Friday, 26 July 2013

friday night fabulousness

We had the most fabulous Friday night. A last minute nighttime adventure to our neighbouring city. 
Complete with fish and chips on the beach in the dark and the requisite game of lava on the ground. 
Perfect. Fun. and best of all - cheap as chips!
All boxes ticked.

(complete with McDonalds ice-cream on the trip home)

Awesome way to end the school holidays.
We will all be very sad to return to the normal routine come Monday.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

embrace the camera

One of my very favourite bloggers and fellow mama of six has this wonderful initiative on her blog. Choosing to be intentional  about taking weekly pictures of yourself with your kids.

I am so bad at this... always making sure that I look  just so before I get on the other side of the lens - This usually results in me not being in very many pictures. 

How sad though that in the years to come... my kids will look back of all these multitude of photos and not see me doing life with them, I want them to remember these fun, crazy days and be a part of those memories.

So. Starting today I am turning that camera around. Who's with me?


(click on this picture to go check out the anderson crew)

Monday, 22 July 2013

~ this week ~

1. Making: Cupcakes... kinda proud of my first effort!

2. Feet up... perfect holiday pastime

3. Hard working boys... cleaning out dads shed

4. Nothing like flowers from my man

5. Brother love*

Joining in with the Beetleshack for the weekly stills collection


(*again... terrible grainy photo but I would rather look back on a record of our weeks than be worried about quality of photos and people's opinions of them and have nothing)

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

A fragrant obsession

  I am mildly obsessed with flowers.
If I don't have any in the house it all feels a bit bare.
a bit sad.

The very best thing about winter is my daphne bush.
Beautiful fragrant flowers fill my home with an intoxicating fragrance that no 
summer flower can ever replicate.

 In a word



Tuesday, 16 July 2013

six months

half a year has flown by. 
still loving every minute of this ride with our teddy bear...
and feeling so blessed.

we are sitting all by ourselves... still not crawling despite my earlier predictions and for this I am so very very grateful!
on a less wonderful note... we are waking up at least twice a night and struggling to sleep during the day argghh! I am loving our ergo baby carrier and that it is holidays so he has lots of siblings eager to help settle him.

still smiley... still happy and still the most scrumptious baby in all the world.
(nope... not the least bit biased around here)

Happy six month birthday my darling boy

 love this expression!

~ this week ~

1. It's been a wet and stormy week... perfect for fires and hot chocolates

2. Surrounding myself in happy yellowness and bringing sunshine inside *

3. Playing peek-a-boo in the mirror... rainy day fun

4. Cousins all the way from Taiwan! Pizza and movie night.. Yah!

5. Winter warmness... complete with thrifted woolens**

6. I've been sick... this is the worst!

Joining in with the Beetleshack for the weekly stills collection

*I was lucky enough to win this giveaway over at Mend and Make New and this candlestick is what I chose.  Thank you Jamie Kay!
** apologies to all my Instagram followers who are seeing some of these photos for a second time and for the grainy awful photos... still battling away on my phone camera for the time being.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

~ this week ~

               1. Freezing frosty mornings and glorious sunny days... 

               2. Favourites in the nursery (Cowboy gifts by Tiny Eyes and 
                    Mend and Make New) and bunny night light 
               3. Coffee dates in the office

               4. Beautiful fragrant violets 

               5. Our abundant lime tree

               6. Guess who is sitting now!

Joining in with The BeetleShack for the weekly stills collection


Sunday, 7 July 2013

Violet May

a word that stirs huge emotion.
I always felt sad whenever I heard it... grateful that I had never had to experience it for myself but achy for those that had.

We had called time on our baby having days and I was so relieved that despite a few 'heart in mouth' moments in the early weeks of some of my pregnancies we had never  had to deal with the pain of losing any of our babies.

2010 was a very painful year for us in so many many ways. A year of loss. Financial, emotional and material loss. We lost our home....our business... our lifestyle... our confidence.  

And we lost our baby.

A baby we were not expecting but delighted in just the same. A baby we thought would take our minds off the trauma of the past two years and the trauma we knew was still coming.

I had returned to full time work for the first time in 13 years out of necessity and while it was extremely difficult balancing my priorities it was a great time of learning and growing. I hated being away from my children and not being there when they were sick and sad but it made me extremely grateful for the many years I had been privileged to be with them all day every day.

Five months into my job I unexpectedly fell pregnant. And got very very sick. Sicker than I had ever been with any of my babies before. I put it down to working full time and my heavier stress load and tried to soldier on. It didn't work. I was forced to give up my job  and for the next three months I could barely move. Scans were done to rule out twins and everything was deemed fine.
 I breathed a sigh of relief and moved into my next trimester with a happy heart.

My four month checkup came around and I remember the morning so clearly. I woke feeling fantastic and rejoicing that the worst was over and ecstatic that we would hear a teeny weeny heartbeat today. My 4 year old and I went out for coffee and fluffy and talked excitedly about seeing the midwife and hearing our baby... and off we went to that much anticipated appointment. 

Except there was no heartbeat. Nothing but the sound of my own heart and an eerily quiet womb.

My heart stopped. 

I prayed and begged and prayed that miraculously we would hear the sound we had longed for. Our midwife tried again and again but there was silence.
We arranged to meet at the hospital later that day and it was the longest day of my life.
We were heartbroken when the ultrasound revealed that our baby had passed away a couple of weeks earlier. Our unexpected, darling, cherished baby was safe in the arms of Jesus and I rejoiced knowing I would see her again one day but my arms ached literally knowing I would never feel her dear wee body this side of heaven.

We named our baby Violet May 

I never knew the pain of losing a baby from a miscarriage could be so utterly devastating. I had imagined it would be hard but I never would have believed just how hard... 

I learnt so much from those early weeks of grieving. I became completely dependent on my Saviour.. I knew that He had a purpose in this even though I had no idea what it could be. His ways are perfect even when we can't make sense of them. His love is infinite and overwhelming in it's goodness. 
I learnt that I could praise Him in this storm.
That I would not drown... or be left to tread water... His hand would constantly uphold me and I would be ok.

Hard lessons.
Painful lessons.
But... vitally important lessons.

It took another 6 months before we were told it was safe to try for another baby if we wanted to - we had subsequently  found out that the reason we had lost her was because I had suffered from a partial molar pregnancy - she would never have made it full term. 
{This condition is considered a pre-cancerous which meant over the next six months I had to have constant blood tests to check my hormone levels and make sure I was safe}
We prayed a lot about whether we should try again and sought His wisdom and guidance. We eventually decided that we would and were so happy when a year to the day of that last positive test ~ another test revealed new life once again.

This wee baby went to Jesus at only 7 weeks.
Five months later another dear babe at 8 weeks.

Such pain... such grief... but throughout it all... such dependence on our Saviour,  that His ways are perfect. Again we trusted in His sovereign will in our lives and in the lives of our dear children.

I am so thankful for this chapter in our lives... a time of growth and maturing in our faith... a strengthening and cementing of our marriage... a teaching and growing time for our children who were deeply affected  throughout this journey... and an opportunity to learn just how precious and fragile life is. 
Not one day should ever be taken for granted.

My daily source of inspiration and wisdom over this period came in the form of a book I was gifted by a dear friend. Ann Voscamp taught me so much  about contentment, about grace, about happiness regardless of circumstance, about Gratitude.
Choosing to daily fill my heart with ALL that He freely gives and to live Fully.
 This verse became my mantra.

'Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything with prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your heart and your minds in Christ Jesus..... For I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content'
Philippians 4:6-7 and 11

I found this prayer I wrote after our third baby passed away;

Hold me today Father in your everlasting arms, calm the aching grief of my heart as I once again hand over a tiny babe into Your arms.
Help me Father to redeem my time wisely and to hold to what is truly valuable in life.
Thank you for this heartbreaking but vital reminder to cherish my beautiful family, to hold this precious life as a fragile bubble and to remain thankful of every moment. To slow down.
Cradle my babes in Your arms Jesus until I can hold them myself.
Thank you for teaching me, holding me and for loving me with unconditional love.
In Your name.


Monday, 1 July 2013

~ this week ~

Weekly Stills

          1. Life is Beautiful - a wonderful reminder when days are tough

          2. Sad baby - a day of babywearing and loads of smoochy cuddles

          3. A years worth of meat from our own cow. Love our {partial} self-sufficient life

          4. A welcome parcel in my mailbox from the lovely folk over at Bliss in a teacup

          5. Our mantel with my favourite shoe collection

          6. Love Kindness. Walk Humbly

Joining in with the lovely Em from the Beetleshack for the weekly stills collection