Wednesday, June 30, 2010

may*day...may*day...I am going down.

It is three days in for the school holidays.
I don't know if I am going to make it to the end.

Even though I have made a plan, prepared myself and given the kids a pep talk about 'holiday happenings' there have been a few surprises I was not prepared for and I just don't know how many more days of this I can take.

My original plan was to exercise early to help me feel more motivated, emotionally uplifted and energetic to deal with my days with 7 kids. I even announced on my facebook 'after an early morning gym class I am ready for the school holidays...bring it on!'.


I am here to tell you...be careful what you ask for...oh! so careful...
The kids must have seen it because guess what...they are bringing it on!!!!

Here are some of the random happenings over the past three days:

2 kids pooed their pants
3 more kids wet their pants
1 child decided to play with poo in her nappy...3 times
(are you sensing a theme yet?)
that same child had her turn on my computer and wiped poo all over my computer desk...

let's take a breath and breathe deeply here shall we....

now to continue....

a child decided to let air out of the bike tires
I had to pump them back up.

someone set fire to a loaf of bread sitting on my cooktop....
therefore filling our house with smoke.

(cue me getting extremely frustrated with having to air out the whole house when I had decided to put the heater on and the house had just become warm. It is freezing cold and I was freaking out because the smoke alarm did not go off when we have a deep layer of smoke in our house. Yet it decides to go off everytime we use the toaster ???? let's take some more deep breaths shall we....).

husband working all day and night late for three days.
did I mention my husband has been working...
and not around to help me out...oh! wait I told you that already!

kids and I dropped off the movies we hired ... at the wrong movie shop.
we did not realise until we received a phone call... just when I had the kids ready for bed.

I have also dealt with many disputes, cries for help, physical encounters, left overs, tears, tantrums, washing, dishes, pouting, nashing of teeth and quite a few performances that would be worthy of an academy award.


So now that I am down low in the trenches, the only place I can go is UP!

Let's just hope I am not in the trenches until the end of the holidays....

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

laundry love

Today I put a stereo in my laundry.
Why?

See below:



I spend a lot of time in my laundry.
On average I have four loads a day.
Seriously.
When I decide to wash the beds,
or the towels it becomes much more.

So having music in my laundry:
Made me H.a.p.p.y!

Now I can dance while I iron, 
wash and fold.


You know I really don't like having so much laundry to do...but, I find if my life is getting stressful, if I am feeling like I am way out of my comfort zone with different things I am involved with...I go do the laundry...it is something that I am familiar with and it relaxes me. 

I feel like I am home within my home!


Now with loud music, I may never come out!


Should have done it years ago.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

school holiday plan

The school holiday are here.
We have 2 weeks to hang out and to have fun.

I normally make up a plan to keep us busy. I find it better to be prepared and to keep the kids occupied than to leave them to their own imagination each day. If I have some structured things to do they are happier and there are less fights. I try to plan some days out and days at home.

We decided that these school holidays we want to:

Make journals
Go to the movies
Visit playgrounds
Have a reading plan
Play schools
Do craft
Have friends over
Play board games
Have a treasure hunt
Bake cookies
Play sports at the local oval
Star night on the trampoline
Picnic lunch out
Play dress ups
Have a dance competition
Family bike ride
Plant out the veggie garden

I really try to limit the amount of televison watching, computer time, Wii playing and DS playing. I find the boys get very angry after spending too much time playing these games and a short amount of time on these activities works so much better. I try to keep those moments for when I need them to be playing them.

I am so looking forward to spending a little time gardening. I love working out in the garden and getting the kids to help me. I find it relaxing digging, planting and watering the garden. I also find the kids love having me out in the backyard so they can yell out 'watch me MUM' every 2 minutes and that I am right there to watch them on the small little achievements that they make.


Here to a good holiday with lots of joy, mess and fun!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Picnik fun

Recently I have been letting the kids have fun on Picnik
We just use the free version and the kids think it is Awesome!
Here is a sample below of Chelsea's work:


I then took a couple of pictures of Liberty trying to apply some of my lipstick.
Turned out super cute:


Such concentration for such a little girl.
She actually did a pretty good job.
Enjoy xx

Thursday, June 24, 2010

when a child dies...changing my perspective

This week has been a difficult week.
I have been stretched to the limit.
The kids have been fighting, the finances have been tight and I have been mega-tired.

I placed everything I could into the 'too hard basket' and left it all until the last minute.
I have been flying by the seat of my pants every day to survive.
I have been hoping that the things I am doing are going to be enough to hold everyone together and to keep the family running.

At moments I felt lost and alone.
I just couldn't see clearly the changes we needed to make as a family and within myself to create better unity and 'ellisium' in our home.

Then something happened that changed my perspective.
A friend of mine had her new born baby die.

Her baby was a beautiful, gorgeous, precious angel of a baby girl.
I had the wonderful opportunity of holding her for a short time.

Her sweet little face, gorgeous lips and darling little spirit were priceless.

I was so overjoyed for my friend who had struggled to become pregnant, who struggled throughout the pregnancy and finally was blessed with a healthy baby girl to welcome to her family.

I was so proud of the challenges she had overcome, the emotions she had faced and my heart was bursting with joy to see her dream come true.

I was shocked to hear several days later that this cherub has passed away at home.
I thought of the struggle she now had to face and tears filled my eyes.

Recovering from birth, changing hormones, crazy emotions, your milk coming in, afterbirth pains and sleep deprevation are enough to send any mother over the edge at the best of times. But dealing with the grief of losing a child...it is surely too much to carry at such a time.

It is something foreign to me and my heart breaks to imagine how women deal and face with these sorrows. I know many women face this daily and I have had several friends deal with such a loss.

As I have watched them in their grief I have been touched to see an inner strength come that they and I surely did not know they had. Somehow they held themselves together to make decisions, supported other family members and even found time to work on healing themselves. To me these women are super-women who have truly entered the valley of the shadow of death, stayed longer than expected and risen out of that valley to be stronger, kinder and more compassionate towards others.

It is also wonderful to see family, friends and even strangers support women during these times. The outpouring of kindness and sensitivity is inspiring and uplifting.

As I pondered my own life and my so called 'crappy' week, my thoughts and perspective immediately changed. I began to see clearly just how blessed I am.

Sure my kids drive my crazy, sure my house is a mess some days, sure I struggle with my emotions and challenges of raising kids. But...I get to hug them, talk to them and treasure them for a little while longer while we journey on our time here on earth together.

It was a huge wake up call for me to remember to appreciate those little moments.
You know the ones that you would not trade for anything....

  • those moments when your kids give you a hug
  • when they plant a sloppy wet kiss on your cheek
  • when a new baby wraps her hand around your finger
  • when your baby looks at you, really looks at you for the first time
  • when you see your child accomplish something for the first time all by themselves
  • when your kids are asleep at night and they look like angels
  • the first time they call you mum and
  • when they run to greet you at the door when you have only been gone a short time.
So I will take my crap week and be happy that I get to share it with my children and be thankful that I get to hug them tonight and love them as long as they are with me.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

we have to get out of this place...the beach

Sometimes we just have to get out of our house.

I can tell things are just not going to work out if we hang around home all day.

It turns into a wasted day and everyone ends up grumpy.

So we pile all the kids in the bus, pack some lunch sometimes and always take a large drink container.

Then we set off for an adventure. Sometimes we know where we are going and sometimes we don't.

For this adventure we decided to follow some friends advice and go explore Wynnun.

We had a great time. Found some great playgrounds, which I will post pictures of another time.

We decided to splurge and get some chips and potato cakes.
Man are chips more expensive then I remember!

But we had a great time, soaking up the sun, catching a great view and hanging out together.

So worth it!





Tuesday, June 22, 2010

liahona...what can I say???

Liahona has been asking and asking to use the camera.
So I let her.
These are some of the pictures I found.
This girl is hilarious!

10 reasons for being kind

One of our family principles is to be kind.

It is displayed on our chart in our lounge room. To see the chart we made click HERE
We had such fun making it!

We sure have needed it as a reminder around here lately.
Everyone is fighting for themselves and there needs to be a refocus on kindness.

I think my kids have learned how to be kind to themselves - meaning they know what makes them happy and how to get what they want. They sure are not afraid to ask us or others for it!

What they need a refocus on is being kind to others.
A reminder that others means family members too.

For me this means I need to be setting the example and showing kindness to everyone around the house too. How can I ask them to step up if I am not doing it...sometimes I hate it when this happens. I have to slow down and really put a lot more effort into watching what I am saying and doing. But I find the rewards of doing this worth it.

Photo from Random acts of kindness

I found a great blog: Random acts of kindness and here are some of the reasons that they wrote about for being kind. I want to pass these onto my kids:

1. Being kind feels good. Doing something for someone else really does make us feel good. Make someone smile and you'll feel better for having done so.

2. God smiles on kindness. Most leaders of religions were kind and encouraged their followers to be likewise.

3. Kindness broadens our perspective. In order to be kind, we have to pay attention to what is happening around us. As we notice more things and help others, we get a glimpse of other ways of looking at things.

4. Kindness softens our heart. When we look for kind deeds, beauty, and the opportunity for kindness, we'll find that we are more compassionate and more tolerant. As we practice empathy, it opens our heart to others.

5. Kindness brightens our world. When we are kind to people, it makes them happy. The more people who experience kindness from us, the more happy people will be in our lives. When those around us are happier, our world becomes a brighter, lighter place to live.

6. Kindness helps people feel respected and less alone. By recognizing someone's need for help and acting on it in a compassionate manner, it makes the recipient feel valued. It also makes the giver feel better about themselves and more connected.

7. Kindness makes people want to be around us. One of the most common responses to kindness is gratitude. People appreciate what we've done for them. Our kindness is very attractive, so they want to be around us and actually seek us out.

8. Kindness bears wonderful fruit. Kindness begets kindness, openness, health and reduces the effects of stress on our bodies and our hearts.

9. Kindness begets kindness. When you are kind to others, the impact of your action doesn't stop there. Many times the recipient of your kindness and others who see or hear about your kindness are inspired to be kinder. The ripples of kindness are truly endless.

10. Your kids will learn from your example. When you are kind to friends and acquaintances, your kids will be more likely to be kind as well.

This list is a great preparation for the school holidays that are coming up where we will be in each others faces all the time. This is when the real test of kindness will happen for them and for me!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Weekend bike riding

I love it when the sun is out and the kids are happy.
One of the times when all the kids are happy is when they are riding their bikes.

They love to go out riding with Dad.
I love it when he takes them out too, because then I get some time-out to myself.

I am the only family member who does not have a bike. Right now it is good because I get to stay home and catch up on things, but lately I am seeing that I am missing out on so much fun. I think I see what my next birthday present or Christmas present will be! The little kids keep telling me to go to the shops to buy a bike. They want me to join in too so I am touched by that and need to do something about it.

So here we go introducing the kids with their bikes:

Sam with 'Dino Thunder'

Harmony the 'Speedracer'

The real way Harmony wants to ride her bike

Nathan on 'Power rider'
(who I am trying to convince to get a BMX but is so not interested,
what is up with this boy! maybe I should just get myself a BMX.)


Eli on 'Dino Thunder Racer'

Chelsea on 'Pink Bandit'

Liberty in the bike trailer with a packed lunch!


Liahona on the 'spokey dokey' bike


All the family out the front ready for a bike ride.
What a man is all I have to say!!!!

(Matt did need a few quiet moments to himself after this bike ride to calm down and I was happy to give it to him. Hee! Hee! Go Dad!)

Saturday, June 19, 2010

comfort food - peach and cinnamon cobbler

When I go food shopping I see lots of cooking magazines.
Recently I decided to purchase some and try some recipes.
One of our best so far has been this recipe.
It was originally a Apricot and Gingerbread Cobbler but I did not have all of the ingredients so I changed it to a Peach and Cinnamon Cobbler.

Here are the ingredients:

825g can of peach slices in natural juice, drained
(I added another half of a can because we have large numbers in our family)
2 tablespoons clear honey
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup self-raising flour
1/3 cup plain flour
2 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon cinnamon sugar
100 cold butter, chopped
1 egg
1/3 cup of milk
cream or vanilla ice-cream to serve


Cooking instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees fan forced oven. Grease a shallow 1-litre (4 cup) rectangular ovenproof dish. Combine peach, honey, zest and vanilla in a large bowl.


2. Sift combined flours into a large bowl. Stir in sugar, cinnamon and cinnamon sugar. Using fingers, rub in butter to make coarse crumbs. Make a well at centre. Whisk egg and milk in a small jug; pour into flour mixture. Using a round-bladed knife, mix lightly until combined.


3. Place spoonfuls of dumpling mixture over fruit in prepared dish. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden and puffed. Serve at once with ice-cream or cream


We found this recipe yummy and so easy.
Great for the budget and it was all gone by the end of the night!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Does my butt look big with this bus?

Raising a large family has it's challenges.
One of them is finding the right transport.

When I first started out having children, I always envisioned I would have lots of kids.
I went over things in my mind, planned for the future and tried to be prepared for things to come.

I have been blessed that I have been able to have a large family but I never imagined, pictured or planned what sort of car I would drive.

We started out with a Station wagon, moved up to a Tarago and have finally settled on a Commuter bus. At first I felt a little teary about this option.

It is not the nicest looking car, it has a larger turning circle and I just can't get into some shopping centre's because the roof is so high. I am happy to say that I can fit into the drive through at the local McDonald's though, to get everyone a 50c cone when we need one!

I remember when I first got the bus and I was feeling a little self conscious, and maybe just a little bit embarrassed, about driving it that I had a wonderful experience.

I looked in my rear view mirror to see how the kids were coping with this change of cars we had made and I was surprised to see that they were loving it! They had their window's open, hair blowing every where and pure delight was on their faces because they had room, they had space, they were sitting up high and it was almost like riding a ride at the showgrounds.

I have found 'the bus' great for our family. We can fit bikes in, lots of shopping in, camping stuff in, beach stuff in and anything we need for fun adventures.


One of the funny things about me driving this bus is the reaction from others.
When I pull up somewhere, lets say at a playground where lots of other kids are playing. It is as if the whole playground goes silent...it stops...parents included, to see what sort of tragedy is about to happen.

This is when I start to smile to myself...

The sliding door opens, normally loudly...and all my kids start to tumble out.
I see the other kids on the playground looking scared and I know they are thinking...'it's a gang of kids coming to get us'. Now my kids are not perfect but they are kind!

Then I see parents counting my kids and it is so fun to see them start to shake their head, like I have committed some crime bringing all these children into the world, and then their mouths drop when they get to the end. Yep! there really is seven!

Then when all the kids are out of the bus. It is my turn.
This is the funniest part.

When I get out of the bus and make my way around to the other side of the car, to normally close the sliding door because the last person out has of course forgotten to close it, people stare at me. It is like they are in shock!

After they have stared for a while they then look me up and down, I mean, totally look me up and down. Especially women!

They start forming a judgement in their mind and begin to wonder about this spectacle and they always seem to look at my butt. I get so tempted to give them a big flash of my butt just so they can have a closer look - with clothes on of course!

They love to see if I am overweight (which of course I am in my own small way) and it is as if they are saying to themselves...no way are all those kids hers, she doesn't look like a woman who should have 7 kids.

So off I go to play with my kids and after spending a little time at the playground, I sit and wait.

Why? because I know that these other mother's there can't stand it, they have to know.

Sure enough I will either see a mother asking one of my kids or have one of them come over to me to ask: 'Are those really all your kids?"
'Yes, they are." I always reply
and then comes the next statement.
"No, you don't look like you have seven kids."

My next question to them is: 'What is someone with seven kids supposed to look like?"

Now I understand that people are just fascinated, in shock and intrigued with the fact that I have seven kids. I have days where I am in shock about it too! I am happy to answer questions and tell them that yes, I did plan to have all these children (all except the twins, we did not expect to have twins) and yes we do have a television!

I know I am not alone in having a large family, there are so many combined large families today and there are plenty of other women who desire to have lots of kids too. Most comments from people are kind and on the days I get unkind comments I try not to let it get to me.

I am used to driving my bus now, I love it, and I am used to talking to people about our family.

For now though it really has come down to me asking myself when I go out...
....does my butt look big with this bus?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

kitchen makeover

I have been thinking about how much time I spend in my kitchen.
I would say I spend at least 4-5 hours each day in my kitchen.
I spend a lot of time in my kitchen.

Especially since the price of everything has been going up.
I am finding myself doing more cooking and baking.
I also order fruit and vegetables and chop them up. I place them in separate bags in the freezer so they are not wasted or go off in the fridge.

This is taking up a lot more of my time and I am needing more space to store ingredients that I previously did not use very much.

I now have more supplies of yeast, grains, flours and chocolate chips!

I have been purchasing more cooking books and recently acquired 'The Thrifty Kitchen' by Suzanne and Kate Gibbs (who are the daughter and granddaughter of Margaret Fulton) to help me 'establish sensible and economic habits' for food.

I enjoyed reading it and found it helpful to know what I really should have in my kitchen cupboards. Don't know if I will make all the recipes, some of them are just not my thing, but I liked it.

Whilst I was pondering over the changes I need to make in relation to my cooking, I also decided to spend a little time making over my kitchen area. I don't have enough cupboard space in my kitchen, I am after all feeding 9 several times a day, and purchased this kitchen buffet off ebay. I love it and use it to store all my flour and grains. It is close to the kitchen and makes me feel like I am a serious cook!



I change it around every so often with things that I like.
So then I have enjoyable items to look at whilst I am slaving away in the kitchen.

I am still working on other areas of my kitchen and am ready to paint a few more walls to start decorating them to suit our needs. I love a change in scenery.

Now if I can only get these kids to stop eating so much...

Monday, June 14, 2010

skirt confession

Warning! This post contains the most unattractive photo's of Matt and I you will ever see.
Proceed at your own risk!
 
Today I walked into my walk in robe determined to have a clean out.
I am on one of my purging missions - determined to rid this house of clutter - once again.
Some how my racks have become full with clothes and it seems like I am not wearing too many of them. Maybe it has something to do with all the baking I have been doing lately. Hmmmm....chocolate brownies...ooops! distracted.

Anyway, time for a clean out!

Well, I decided to tackle the skirts first.
Bad choice.

I am sure I have mentioned this before but I love to op-shop.
After checking out my skirts...I think I have been op-shopping a little too much.

As I pondered this thought I looked at all my skirts hanging up.
I looked at all the skirt hangers lined up and into my mind flashed memories of buying more and more skirt hangers whenever I went shopping. Hmmm...this is starting to feel wrong!

I then decided to do a count.
Another bad choice.

I was shocked to discover that I own 31 skirts.
Yep, 31 skirts.
That is one for every day of the month - even those longer months!
See reaction below:


No Way! Shock! Horrror!

Now I know what you are thinking: Why on earth do you have 31 skirts?

Well, here goes.
Here is my attempt at justifying:
1. I like wearing skirts
2. They hide my chubby thighs
3. I go to lots of meetings and I always wear a skirt
4. Most of these skirts only cost me $3 or $4
5. I change my clothes all the time, like 2 or 3 times a day (don't ask)
6. I do wear all of these skirts
and 7. I am asking myself the same question???? Why???

So after realising I have way too many skirts and that my husband is going to freak out when I tell him (I  know Matt gaining this knowledge will affect my future shopping and time-out opportunities at the op-shop, but I believe in being honest and I am dying to see his reaction!!!) I have decided to hand a bunch back to the op-shop and let's just say that my wardrobe clean out finished for today.

See Matt's reaction below:


No Way! Shock! Horror!

So now I am feeling a little too scared to tackle the shoes because I love them even more than skirts!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

summer or holiday to do list

The list making has begun for the holidays.
When I get it finished I will post it for you.
I think I am exhausted already sorting this out!

After doing some searching for ideas I came across this blog called 'eighteen 25' and I loved this idea.
For instructions on how to make it click Here
I love the idea of making it fun and that the kids can check off the activities we do.
Need to see if I can find some stuff around the house to make it with.

school holidays...what to do?

The school holidays are coming up and this time I am determined to be prepared.
If I don't get myself organised now, I will have no hope - nothing will happen.

Spending each day with 7 kids at home can turn into really, really long days if there is nothing for them to do. It turns into a yelling fest with me yelling 1147 times a day:

'Turn that television off"
"Turn that computer off"
"No, you cannot have something else to eat, we just ate"
"Who left the fridge door open?"
"Turn that music down"
"Why is their water all over the floor?"
"Who tipped the Lego out, again!" 
and so on and so on!

So these school holidays I want to do less yelling, notice I did not say NO yelling!
C'mon, we need to realistic here. I will yell about something.

I love hanging out with the kids at home, spending time with them but it has to be organised time or I seem to spend all of my time sorting out disputes. NOT my favourite thing to do.

So here is what I am thinking we need so far:

* Good morning routine - rooms clean (yes, I know I am dreaming here - but I want it to be clean at least once during the whole day - I am determined!), beds made, teeth brushed, hair done!

This is the normal state of one girls bedroom (on a good day I might add) and I think we need to have a Mum spot (for more information about my Mum spot click Here) on cleaning bedrooms, again.


* Morning jobs done - these are the assigned chores we have around our house (more on that another time).

* Free time - to do what they want to do around the house (this is where I let the rules go for them to make mess and explore) - time to create and imagine.

* Reading time - I want everyone (especially the big 4 kids to have several books picked out to read) to do more reading.

* Game time - everyone assigned to be in charge of a game to run for us all to enjoy. As we have 7 kids we just assign someone for every day of the week.

* Planned days out (to the playground or movies etc.) and planned days in (to hangout at home).

* Scheduled eating times - I don't know what it is like in your house but at mine, if I don't set up certain eating times during the holidays, my kids eat all day, spend all day standing in the fridge and after 2 days, I have no food left in the house!


* Good evening routine - family clean up of house from all the adventures - everyone help out (including me - I find the kids are more willing to clean up if they see me pitching in too) and night jobs done so we can be ready to spend a little more relaxed family time before bed.

These are my plans so far for surviving the day.
Now onto the serious fun planning of what we will actually do each day!
Let the adventures begin...

Saturday, June 12, 2010

why blog?

During the week I was chatting with the other mum's when I went to pick the boys up from school.
I was feeling brave so I asked all of them if they had a blog.

I was really surprised by their answers:
'What is a blog?"
"Is that like facebook?"
"Why would I have a blog?"

Well, after these questions I was 'not surprised' to learn that none of them have a blog.
But one comment a mum made has stuck with me:
"A blog sounds like something that I would become addicted to so it is a good thing that I don't have one."

Hmmmmm.......addicted to blogging.
I think I might have mentioned that before, like Here

I have an addictive personality.
I love to throw myself into things.
It is all or nothing with me.

So I try to be careful with what I devote myself to.
I spend a lot of time researching things before I get involved and as a mother of many children I carefully weigh up whether it is worth my time.

I love to write though and to get my feelings out.
Right now I am happy with my new addiction.
It feels right and I am enjoying it.

So here is to being addicted to good things and to being a blog hog!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

professional tickle monster....

I tell you...I have crazy kids.
They all love being tickled.
Not just a couple of them, all of them.
They all lay down and beg me to tickle them.
I can seriously have all 7 kids in a line laughing their heads off as I go crazy being the 'tickle monster'.

 This is a typical senario in our house:

I was doing the housework when I heard muffled voices yell out:
"Mum, come tickle us"
I decided to grab the camera this time.

I go into my bedroom and I can see squirming and giggling coming from under the blanket.
I make some random comments about 'I wonder what is going on in here' etc.
I then ask "what do you want me to do?"

"Tickle us" is the scream in reply.


After some 'gentle' fun wrestling with the blanket and kids, this is who is giggling and waiting patiently for the tickle monster to start tickling.



So let the tickling begin....



Of course I am a professional tickle monster (after having had so much practice) and I know everyone's favourite tickle spots.
I love to hear the kids laughing and cracking up.
My absolute favourite is when they are having so much fun, that they start laughing so hard they have stopped making any noise at all!
I am so going to miss these giggles when they all grow up.

setting spiritual goals

Recently, I had the wonderful opportunity to speak to a group of women about setting goals.
Spriritual goals.

I picked this topic because I had been pondering about what I want to achieve in life, what my priorities are and what my dreams are.

I find that when I set goals, I achieve more.
I think about them, I pray about them and the Lord blesses me with help and revelation so that I can achieve them.

I talked to them about goals or dreams they had when they were younger.
Some women grow up attending church and I asked them to look back and think about what their dream or goal was during that time.

For those like myself, who did not have that opportunity and later started attending church I asked them to think about when they first became members of a church. What was their dream or goal?

I then asked them to reflect back on those dreams and goals and to make a little assessment - to take some time to look at how they had done and to ask themselves the following questions:

Have you achieved those goals?
Did you loose your way for a time?
Have your goals changed?
Has the busyness of life gotten in your way and have you lost focus on the things that matter most?

Part of life is that it changes.
We have different times and seasons and sometimes we forget to set new goals.

I then challenged them to set a new spiritual goal or dream.
To do this I handed out to a card.
I made up cards with the following picture on it.


I picked this picture because I love this picture Saviour.
Our focus needs to be on Him.
He is the example we should follow.


On the back of the card, I asked them to want write 3 things.

1. What is your current spiritual goal or dream?
(I reminded them not to feel pressured to write this down right away, sometimes we need some real pondering time to write our goals).

Set clear, specific goals.
So that you can pray about them and the Lord can know how to bless you to achieve them.

2. What will stop you from achieving this goal?

It is important to look at what will prevent you from getting to where you want to be.

3. What can you do to overcome this challenge?

Setting spiritual goals, just like any goal setting, requires planning and preparation.
With the challenge that is facing you ask yourself:
Is this something that I need help to overcome?
Do I need to involve my family to support me with my challenge?
Is it a matter of prayer?

Do not let let anything stand in the way of you achieving you goals or dreams.
If you need some assistance...ask for it!
Most people would be happy to help.

When we stop ourselves from setting spiritual goals we stop ourselves from coming to Christ.
I love setting spiritual goals and the joy that comes when I have achieved them.
I know that I have not achieved them alone and I am so thankful for the support of my family, friends and a loving Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.




Wednesday, June 9, 2010

stop the clock...my daughter is grown up!

Have you ever had one of those moments when you look at your child and it seems as if they have grown up since you last saw them? 

I had one of those 'grown up' moments recently.

I was cooking in the kitchen and Liahona walked in.
I looked at her and had to do a double take.

'When did you grown up?' I asked her.
I grabbed my camera and took a few pictures to capture the moment.


As you can see, she was a little big shy about all the attention I was giving her.

I love that she is developing her own grown up style of dressing, that she is picking out her own earrings, that she is feeling comfortable and confident within herself and I also especially love that she was a little bit shy about all my compliments.

She was not in her 'I know... I am perfect' type of mood and that made the experience even sweeter.

As she walked away I thought 'Stop the clock...my daughter is growing up'. I know my kids are going to grow and develop and progress and age but it is not easy to see it happening so fast some days.

It is wonderful to see her progressing but my heart strings tug as I know she is not my little girl any more. She is growing up into a little woman and I am so thankful that I get to be her mum and share the journey with her.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

wearing too many hats

Lately life has been busy. Too busy.
I have been distracted by many things.

I heard myself saying to the kids several times this week:
"Look, your just going to have to wait a minute."
"I don't have time to talk to you about that right now."
"I want to help you with that but I just can't."

When I start talking like that to the kids, things need to change.
The change that needs to happen is with me.

I realised (once again) that I am wearing too many hats.
I am so good at taking on new hats that I end up like The Cat in the Hat from Dr. Seuss
You know the story. Here is little cat A, B, C, D..... all the way up to Z.
Yep, I had allowed myself to get to the stage where I felt like I was wearing the whole alphabet.

Drastic action was needed and I decided to give myself a day off.
I took off my hats...no friend hat, no cleaning hat, no gym hat, no blogging hat (man was that one hard to take off for the day) and no chef hat.

I decided to just wear my mummy hat for the day.
At first it was hard but then I felt as if a weight was lifted off my shoulders and it felt like a real relief.
My goal for the day was to just hang out at home with the kids.

I found a comfortable spot outside and just chilled. It was great.
The sun was shining and it was just perfect.



I watched the kids playing and enjoyed watching the chickens peck around the place.
I wore my Ugg boots all day. Love my Ugg boots.



The sky was perfect....can you believe it...gotta love living in Queensland.
This really is a picture of the sky!


Just so you would believe me I took a picture of a tree too.


I sat outside and talked with the kids. Really talked with them.
I listened and loved everything they shared.
They have such cute little ideas and ways of expressing themselves.
It was a wonderful day and I loved just wearing my 'Mummy Hat'.
These are moments I cherish and the distractions that come are not worth my time or effort compared to the love and joy I find in my children.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Twin boys - twinadoes



I found this cute picture at a blog site: A wise woman builds her home.
Her site is: Here




I love this picture because it reminds me so much of Sam and Eli.
Look the same but are different in so many ways.
As the boys get older I see them comforting each other when someone is hurt or upset.
They hug each other and I will often see Sam put his arm around Eli to make sure he is alright.


One of the great words I found on this site is the word - Twinadoe which is pronounced Tornado.


"Twinadoes is the thought that describes the aftermath that is left from these adorable busy little guys once they set their paths and their feet his the floor."

Yes, I have some twinadoes in my house. They are not as destructive as they used to be but they still know how to set their own busy path full of adventure. Lucky they are cute is all I have to say!



Friday, June 4, 2010

chalk drawing

Last week we went to Under 8's day for school. This is a day where the kids get to celebrate being under 8 years of age.
Never heard of such a thing in other states we have lived in. Here they celebrate it every year.
Every other year it has been free to attend. 
This year we had to pay. What the heck is up with that?
Things are already hard enough for families...especially large families!
Well, of course we paid the fee, my kids would freak out if they could not participate.
I don't know what they did with those kids that did not pay...I sure did not see anyone kept out of the activities on the day...one day I will find the time and energy to take a stand on these things. Not this year...maybe next year.

There were kids everywhere and of course I lost one of mine in the first few minutes! I had just given them the 'stay with mummy' talk and of course they didn't listen. All I did was think - now if I was ... where would I go - of course I knew immediately I would find them at the playground. Yep, they were at the playground.

Anyway, one of the activities there was chalk drawing.
I was delighted to see all 4 of the kids I was shuffling around sit down and begin drawing. I was so happy to see Sam and Eli write their names. They have been trying so hard lately to master it and I was very excited with their results.
This is one of those moments when I was so glad I gave them short names!



I love Sam's name - too cute!


Harmony and Liberty produced a combined effort of drawing a large person and had a great time!



The biggest surprise for me was when Sam did the above drawing.
I have been talking to him about drawing a person with a body and he has never done it.
All he does is scribble.
He saved this special drawing for me, to surprise me.
Made my eyes water...thanks Sam.
You are so clever!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

1st birthday tradition

I am always looking for new ideas on traditions to start with our family. It is never to late to start a new tradition or to even find something better to replace an old one. I think traditions are great for the kids (and adults) as it gives them something to rely on, to look forward to and to get excited about.

I thought I would share one we have done from the start with our family.
It is the 1st birthday tradition.
It is simple and easy and has allowed us to capture some great pictures!

When a child turns one in our house we make them their own cake to eat at their birthday party.

So for the party, we (the rest of the family and visitors) all share a nice cake and the one year old gets their own cake to eat all by themselves. They can make as much mess as they like and I normally try to make the cake a little exciting for them with sprinkles or lollies on top.

I have learnt that one year old's really are not that interested in the cake, so I just make a cheap packet mix, and they are only really interested in the icing and decorations. It was great fun when we had to prepare 2 cakes for Sam and Eli.


Sam and Eli about to partake of the 1st birthday cake tradition...they have no idea what they are in for!


Eli was happy with the cake and icing but more interested in his fingers.

Here is Sam after his 1st birthday cake experience. His face says it all!!!

A BIG THANK YOU

It has been a hard thing to start this blog.
I have been a closet writer for years. Pouring out my thoughts and emotions in my journals.
I have always wanted to have a say on topics in a public forum but was too scared to give it a go.
Matt has always encouraged me but I just could not gather the courage within to put myself out there.

Then one night I sat down at the computer and thought 'it is now or never baby....go for it!' and I did.

So I just wanted to say a  BIG 'THANKS' to those who have supported me so far.

To my close friends who have sent me comments to say they love what I write and who keep coming back to read more. Love you xx

To those I have met on the internet who have encouraged me to keep going and who can relate to the challenges I face in raising seven cherubs in today's world. Thanks xx.

A special thanks to all the mummy bloggers over at Aussie Mummy Blogger. Click Here to check it out!

I am feeling more confident within myself and even feeling a little brave!
I hope to cover a lot more topics and hope you will continue to support me as I discover who I am and what I want to be as a writer and mummy blogger.

Thanks so much friends and followers :)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

the EGG did it!

I don't know about you, but when the phone rings and it is the school calling - my heart skips a beat. As soon as I hear the schools name, I have to start calming myself down, so I can listen to what they are trying to tell me.

This time they called me to say that Nathan had a head injury.
I start freaking out immediately, on the inside, and my mind began planning: who the heck am I going to get to babysit the other kids, what do I need to quickly grab and have I already got dinner made.

Well, it turned out to be bad, but not that bad.
Nathan had ran into another boy at sports practice and given himself a large bump on his head.
(He was not to happy that I wanted to take pictures...thanks Nathan!)


When I went into the school with the three little one's in tow, there was great excitement to find out what was wrong with Nathan. As we entered the sick room, I took one look at Nathan and said,
"Nathan, you have an egg on your head."
Liberty looked at me, then at Nathan, then shook her head and said,
"Ooooh! the EGG did it"
Catching on to Liberty's comment, Sam then said,
"No, Nathan ate an egg in his mouth and it went up to the top of his head."


Poor Nathan had to listen to these disagreements for a time before I actually got a chance to find out if he was really O.K It turned out that he just needed some rest and to watch some sport on T.V to feel better...have I mentioned I think this boy is handsome...even with an egg on his head!


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

remember the time...

Today as I was rushing around cleaning up after the kids I was thinking how thankful I am that I don't have large, crazy messes to clean up like I used to...the kids are getting older and showing a little more responsibility, and it is great! I also think Sam and Eli have done enough crazy things to this house to last them a life time.

As I was thinking about this something triggered my memory and my mind went back to three 'mess' experiences which I just happened to have a camera on me for.

1. The time I walked into the bathroom to find Harmony in the below position.


Here she is looking cute and adorable and looking as if she could do no wrong! She has the basin, the mirror and herself all covered in wet soggy play dough....have I mentioned play dough is banned from my house...except for maybe once or twice a year when I do a big cook up of it for the kids to play with - outside!

The reason I remember this experience is because just after finding her and taking a photo, another major disaster happened and I had to run off to take care of that one first (please tell me this happens in your house too!). By the time I got back to the bathroom most of the play dough had gone dry and it took me ages to clean it off everything. There was play dough foot prints, hand prints and mess every where. I really wanted to just hook up a hose and blast the whole place out.

2. The time I walked into my rumpus room to find that Eli and Sam had invaded my food storage cupboard (more on that another time) and emptied packets of spaghetti onto the floor.


Here is only part of the spaghetti disaster. They were very happy about the adventure they were having. I however was not. This is what I have learnt about dry spaghetti. It cannot be vacuumed. It cannot be swept (when on carpet). It has to be picked up...by hand. Never really wanted to learn that lesson but these boys have taught me many lessons I never wanted to learn. Let's just say that I spent a lot of time talking to the spaghetti and the carpet about the behaviour of these two boys...not a happy lady!

3. The day I walked into the kitchen to find Sam and Eli busy cleaning.


Upon further investigation, I discovered that the cleaning was due to a massive Milo spillage. They had opened up a large tin of Milo, stuffed their faces with it and then spilt the contents of the tin all over the floor. The only good thing about this experience was that they were trying to clean up the mess themselves.

In this picture you can see that two of the bottom drawers in my kitchen have handles missing. This is one of the crazy things we had to do to our house because of Sam and Eli. We had to remove the handles because they would use them to climb up on the counter to talk on the phone, take my keys, take the knives, turn the hotplates on, turn the taps on and every other tempting little adventure they could find. When we removed the handles...it all stopped!

Of course I wish I had my camera for when Sam poured a large (everything is in bulk in this house!) pot of honey over his head...on the CARPET!!! or when they poured a large jug of water right onto the carpet or when they ..... the list could go on forever but let's just stick to remembering a few choice memories for today. Sigh! I am thankful things are progressing and the 'messes' around here are getting more manageable.