Friday, 29 November 2013


For our advent calendar this year we gave the kids more opportunity to serve each other and their community. We desperately want their hearts to embrace the true meaning of this beautiful season.

They all take a turn opening an envelope which contain a small treat, a joke and an activity we can enjoy as a famiy.
Here are some of the activities included this year...  we brainstormed ideas and Google helped us out with the rest!! 

Read the Christmas story
Bake for the local firestation as a way of saying thank you for their amazing service
Make cookies and take them to our neighbours
Have a slumber party beside the Christmas tree as a family
Watch a Christmas movie
Have a dinner with each of the grandparents with the (kids making it and serving them)
Take a gift and put it under the tree at Kmart
Make and decorate gingerbread men to give away
Pick up a takeaway hot chocolate and drive around the Christmas lights
Go op-shopping for kids to buy Christmas presents for their siblings (thanks Dee!)
Do something lovely for a family member
Do something lovely for a non family member
Dress up for dinner
Have a fish and chip dinner at the beach
Make and give Christmas cards for teachers and Sunday School teachers
Write a love note for all your siblings to go in their stockings
Visit Birdwoods (our favourite old fashioned lolly shop)
Make popcorn and watch Home Alone
Make paper snowflakes
Take a walk through the Redwoods together
Have a midnight feast
Make a gift and send it to Tims employer

A mix of serving others and connecting as a family  as we head into the crazy season!

(I have written down what we are doing each day in my diary as well so I am not taken by surprise or forget what's coming up. I also have only filled half the envelopes with activities so I can shuffle those last two weeks as necessary!)

Do you doing anything for Advent?
would love to hear your ideas


Sunday, 17 November 2013


1. Backyard fun... who would have thought that the humble badminton game would provide hours and hours of entertainment.

2. Baby's first swim. A bit of a natural it turns out.

3. Last weekend was party central as our girl turned 15. Wowzers. Teenagers for Africa... family for miles and a party that lasted all weekend. Crazy wonderful chaos.

4. The husband and I celebrated 16 years of wedded bliss by spending nearly a whole week in the gorgeous Queenstown. A rejuvenating.. wonderful.. blissful week. (more on this to follow as soon as I find a spare moment)

5. The bliss of that week was rewarded with an awfully sick baby on our return home. Nothing, and I mean nothing got done while he snuggled and recovered.

Hope your week has been beautiful
I promise to be back asap to bore you with loads of photos from our trip away!


Joining in with the Beetleshack for the stills collection

Friday, 8 November 2013


November first marked our sixteenth wedding anniversary. Sixteen years of lots of ups and many downs... huge amounts of laughter and loads of tears.

Marriage is hard work. I dont think its just us. 
Two selfish sinners trying to live together, raise kids together and do life together with all it's hardships and surprises - both good and bad -  can be rough going.

I read a perfectly timed article recently titled 'marriage is not for me' and you know what... It really isnt.
Its not about me at all.
Its about my husband. 
Its not a place where we can get away with asking "what's in it for me?" but more... "what can I give?"
Its about making his happiness more important than my own - and that is something I don't do so well. 
I like things to be just the way I like them... I am happy when all my little ducks are lined up in a row -  the house is tidy and clean, my love tank is filled to the brim, money is in the bank, stress is at minimum and everyone around me is happy. 
The thing is, funnily enough, none of those things happen very often. As soon as the house is tidy.. someone messes it UP! As soon as there is finally some money in the bank... someone outgrows their shoes or clothes or eats all the food or dares to hurt themselves and we have a doctors visit to pay for. Stress is pretty much part of life everyday when there are seven other souls to take care of and our happiness is something each of us are individually responsible for. 
I can't force those I love to be happy and the thing is there is always someone who will be annoying, words spoken that shouldn't be and grumpiness that rears its ugly head. 
These are all daily occurrences and their presence should not dictate how I treat my husband.

But oh boy they do.

I had to swallow a bitter pill this week when I asked Tim to be honest with me about how he was really feeling. And to his credit (and my shame) he was. We have drifted apart this year... a combination of long work hours, a new baby and the demands of a big family have meant my focus was on everything but him. 
A precious friend who tragically lost her husband when she was a young mama has always reminded me that our children are here because of our marriage not the other way round. Our spouse NEEDS to be our priority regardless of the busyness of life and family and I confess I had forgotten that wise advice. Tim was struggling to stay connected and that reality broke my heart. 
I sure was glad for the opportunity to get away for five whole days this past week and have much needed time to talk, reconnect and most importantly listen.

I resolve, with Gods help, to make my husband my priority, my speech kinder and my heart softer and I pray that the next sixteen years will be even sweeter.