Friday, July 30, 2010

I Believe She's Amazing Dance

I love this clip.
I love it when people dance.
My girls would have loved being part of this.
I would have loved being part of this.
This is for all the amazing women in my life.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

sunshine award

This week I received a lovely surprise from Mama Butterfly. 
A sunshine award.
I was touched, delighted and tickled pink (as my husband would say).

Mama Butterfly has a wonderful blog. Here is a little about her:

A Farmers Wifey to Mr H, the best hubby in the world, and a Sunny Mummy to Macie who is 5 months old. I consider myself a very lucky lady to be blessed with so much love and friendship. I live on a grain farm in South-West Queensland in a beautiful and cosy cottage with my ever so gorgeous family. Macie and I are both hearing impaired with Macie only just being fitted with her hearing aids at 3 months has been a rough journey but I now look forward to paving a beautiful path for Macie for her future....just like my Mama did for me.

You can check out her blog here at: Here

Now that I have this award there are some conditions that I must abide by to accept the Sunshine Award. I need to share seven random facts about myself and then pass on the award to other inspiring bloggers. 

So here goes.....7 Random Facts about me:

1. I did not get my drivers licence until I was 20.
2. I have a degree in English and History.
3. I served a full-time mission for my church in New Zealand and the Cook Islands.
4. Matt and I only dated for 4 weeks before we got engaged.
5. I am totally scared of big spiders.
6. I love and am slightly addicted to op-shopping.
7. I originally wanted 10 kids but am really happy I stopped at 7.

And now to pass on the are 7 blogs that I love....

Fat Mum Slim 
Clover Lane 
71 Toes 
Bluebird notes 
Laughing with angels 
House of Grace 
The Lettered Cottage 

be sure to check out these blogs and see why I am loving them!

Thanks so much Mama Butterfly.

100 ways to be happy - Number 9. Eat something that makes you happy.

Yes, I am a fairy floss lover.
Total fairy floss lover - my favourite food (can I really call it food?)
I think I can - I will.
I like it on the stick best - right off the machine but will take it anyway I can.

It sure makes me happy - love the way it melts in my mouth.
So glad I only have this a couple of times a year - total sugar fix.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

100 ways to be happy - Number 21. Face your fears. Dreamworld fun

On the weekend we took the kids off to dreamworld to have some fun.

The little ones are a bit older and taller now and I was interested to see how they would go on some of the faster rides. It has been a long time since we have visited dreamworld and our whole family was ready for some serious screaming and fun.

Can I just say that I have the coolest kids ever.
All of my children love fast rides...I was so surprised and delighted at the same time.
They must get it from me because I loooove rides!

I was expecting some tears, some fears and some trauma in our visit.
Instead I got laughter, screaming, yelling, jumping and extreme excitement.

This was one of my favourite rides where we managed to fit all nine of us in.
I took this picture in the dark of Nathan and Liahona - they were freaking out with the loud thunder noises, well mainly Liahona.

One of the highlights for me was going on the Tower of Terror with Chelsea and Liahona.
It is a big ride for a couple of young girls. I was so proud of them.
We had so much fun screaming out heads off way up high and faced our fears together.

A family that faces their fears together stays together????

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Our home is in a state of chaos.
I have decided I want order around here and I want it now!

Unfortunately, to have order I need to have chaos first.

Ever since I went away last weekend I have been in full swing changing rooms around.
Trying to make them function better, to simplify them and to remove clutter.
My body is aching, my head hurts, I am exhausted...but I am loving it!

How did this start???
I woke up one morning and said to myself 'enough is enough' and I just decided.
I love having a house of order and have decided to throw myself into making it happen.

For some weird reason I just have the right mindset for it right now.
So I am going with it and I am happy with the results.

I have used most the things that I already own and have been creative with the different ideas I am doing with them. This way it is not a large expense changing the house around.

  • So far I have totally changed our bedroom around. I added a chest of drawers for storage, created 2 bookshelves for shoes, added a desk that I just happen to find on the side of the road and matched the decor of my room, added a large mirror, cleaned out paperwork and now have our bed facing in a different direction.
  • I also cleaned out our food storage cupboard and moved it into the dining area for easier access whilst cooking, moved the children's toys and homework information into the rumpus room from the dining room, removed the curtains and mirror in the dining room ready for painting the wall and cleaned out my buffet ready for storing more items.
  • I pained a chest of drawers for one of the girls room, got Matt to install a shelf for storage and painted a dolls house to store more items in that match the bedroom walls.
  • I also got Matt to install two shelves in the other girls room so they could decorate it with their favourite items. I cleaned out their cupboard (once again) and added toy boxes to store their shoes etc. in on the bottom of the wardrobe. We had a big clean out of clothes and toys that had piled up under their beds and it is neat and lovely.
  • I have 3 shelves waiting to go into the boys room (poor Matt is working overtime helping me out - thanks sweetheart) to help with storage to make life a little easier for them so I can have more storage space in their cupboards.
  • I  have moved my old bedhead (which is kind of like a bookshelf) into the lounge room to create added shelving behind my desk so I can have more space when working on the computer.
  • I cleaned out the laundry so that I now have more storage space under one of my cupboards to fit 2 washing baskets side by side. Making a lot more room to store the piles of washing.
It has been wonderful to have a clean out.
Exhausting but wonderful.

I am not finished yet and I hope this mindset continues until we have a house of order so that we can have more time,  for having fun!

happiness 7 days a week

I want one of these signs in my house.
To remind us all to be happy.

I don't expect my kids to be happy every moment of the day but I love it when they generally try their best to have a good attitude and see the positive in life. They all do a good job and just need a reminder every so often. I sure need a reminder that it is available every day of the week - I am a realist and often find myself saying - 'well, the reality of this situation is .....' and I am prepared to deal with the circumstances accordingly.

I need a reminder to be happy whilst I am dealing with it...a challenge to be sure!
But, I like a good challenge.

Maybe that is why I have so many children????
It sure is a challenge.

Monday, July 26, 2010

100 ways to be happy - Number 4. Do something you have always enjoyed.

One of the things I have always enjoyed is going to the hairdresser.
I love it. It is a little time out for me to relax and to feel pretty.

I love looking through the books picking out a new style and being creative with my hair.
Lately I have let it grow longer and felt the need for a change.

I have always enjoyed the thrill of cutting my hair short.
It saves me time and I like adding a little spunk to my hair!

So off I went and got the chop...

The first couple of days were a big adjustments but now I am loving it and I was really happy with the variety of colours I found underneath all the blonde.

What are some things that you enjoy doing that make you happy????

Saturday, July 24, 2010

body building...ellis style

Sometimes I just love to sit and watch my kids.
To observe the crazy antics they come up with.
One of the latest activities they are into is building....
with their bodies.

With so many of them to participate and different sizes and shapes of children....
they can have some great fun!

I love to hear them all laughing and screaming.
Sometimes from joy and sometimes from pain!!!

It is lovely to sit back and see the older children put up with some discomfort so that the younger ones can have some fun. 
It touches me when they decide to make this sacrifice themselves.

It shows how much they care about each other.
Moments like these help me feel like all the effort is worth it.

turning sixty

Last weekend I took a trip home to celebrate my Dad turning sixty.
Quite an achievement!
My Dad turning sixty that is...not me taking a trip home!

Although I do have to say it was also quite an achievement for my wonderful husband to take care of all the kids whilst I was gone for the whole weekend - thanks sweetheart.

My Dad and Debbie.

For his birthday one sensational family couple organised all the children to write a birthday message to put together in a book as his birthday present.
The book turned out wonderful and Dad was brought to tears as he read it.

Having a good read.

The handsome fella on the front cover - taken many years ago!

My page from the book.

At my Dad's birthday party I had the opportunity to say a few words.
I wasn't going to speak as my brother spoke, being a good speaker, being the only son and oldest from my Dad's second marriage but I was asked to and I said Yes!
I think I was asked because I am the oldest out of all the children.
Not the wisest but the oldest...ha ha!

Anyway, I had the chance to say thanks to my Dad for the support he has given us over the years, for wanting to be involved in our lives and for the good example he has been to us.

It has not always been a great relationship but family is important to him and that meant I was important too. 
I have never taken the time to say thanks before and felt it was about time!

I guess I am thankful because when my parents got divorced when I was young, my sister and I were blessed.
Both our parents wanted us.
They went to court and both tried to gain custody of us.

At the time we lived with our Dad.
The court decided we should go live with our Mum.
I still remember clearly the day my Dad told me we had to go live with my Mum.
I was sitting in the back of the car, I cried and was very upset.

My Dad could have given up on us, he easily could have stayed out of our lives but he didn't and I am thankful. Things have not always been smooth sailing but, I know he has always been there if I needed him. I did not grow up in his home but I had the chance to see him raise his three children from a distance and get to see what kind of Dad he would have been if we continued living with him.

From what my sister and I have seen, we love the way he has raised his children.
They are motivated, intelligent and caring individuals.
They respect their parents and others.
They are all involved in work that focuses on helping and serving others.
They are confident and loving.

They have been taught by loving parents and it has been great to see them grow older.

I think he is looking pretty good for sixty and I hope that when I get to his age that I am still moving and grooving as much as he is.

Happy Birthday Dad!

P.S - Congratulations goes to you too Debbie for helping him get this far!

Friday, July 23, 2010

100 ways to be happy - Number 70. Feed the ducks

Recently when I was driving around I discovered a new duck pond.
At great place close by to share with the children.

There is something relaxing about strolling around a park, connecting with nature and watching the ducks float by.

We loved the scenery and there was a lot for the kids to explore.

My duck feeding companions.

We loved it so much we came back later with the bigger kids.

Don't know if you have had the chance to get out to a park lately... I would highly recommend it.
I sure enjoyed it!
I even felt happy to be there...

a trip home

I had the wonderful experience of taking a trip home last weekend.
It was for my Dad's sixtieth birthday (more on that later).
I had great plans of everything I wanted to see and soak in.
To let the memories return and linger and enjoy them.
These plans did not happen though as I was only there for around 24 hours - too short.

One of the great views I did get to see was the Blue Lake (in Mount Gambier, my first home).
Thanks to my sister, who I politely forced to drive me around it!

It was an overcast day so the sun was not shinning and glistening off the lake how I love it to look.
Still, I loved it...

What a beauty!
It brings joy to my heart every time I view it.
I miss the lake.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Homemade card happiness

I love handmade notes and cards. They make me smile and make me happy.
It is the extra time, effort and thought that has gone into it that touches me.

I like to keep and treasure them.
I get them out to read every so often.
With a smile on my face and tears running down my cheeks. 

I am loving this homemade sign and photo.
I love the message and how wonderful it is to share happiness.

What is making you happy today???

carnation (condensed) milk mistake

One day recently I went food shopping with Chelsea.
As we were walking down the isle I saw tubes of condensed milk. Yum!
It totally took me back to my childhood when I remember drinking it right from the tube.
I grabbed a tube off the shelf to share my experience with Chelsea.
Not once thinking about what I was doing!

Before I knew it there were 4 tubes shoved in the trolley.
Big mistake on my part!

Of course she wanted to try it herself and needed to have her own tube.
Well, after some negotiating we decided that this was going to be a once off experience.

The things I get myself into sometimes!!!!

So one night we put the little kids to bed and the big four got to stay up to watch a movie and have their tubes of condensed milk to suck on. I thought there was no way they would finish it all but of course they proved me wrong. Thankfully no-one got sick that night...

A close up to show how it is done!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Rebecca Gibney - six secret rules for a happy life.

Every so often I treat myself to a Women's magazine.  Just to see what is going on in the fashion world and what women are thinking on certain topics. This month I decided to get the Australian Women's Weekly.

I have to say - man, have the prices of magazines gone up or what???  almost like buying a book! I guess in a way you are but they have so much advertising in them it drives me crazy...enough of the ranting....

One of the articles I really liked was on Australian actress Rebecca Gibney - who I must say is looking fabulous! In this article she shares her six secret rules for a happy life.

I really love them and they are the culmination of her hard-won life experiences.

1. Kindness costs nothing - She is a strict adherent to the 'random acts of kindness' school of thought. Her Mum always taught her that compassion and kindness were the most important things in life.

2. Respect your elders - Her family are taking a trip to Europe to celebrate her Mum's 75th birthday and it is as much a gesture to thank her for the remarkable job she did in raising her and her five siblings.

3. Embrace your past - You can't go back, you can't fix's taken me to where I am now and that is one of the great things about getting older. You get to a place where you go 'I'm OK with myself now. It does not really matter what anyone thinks, and it is so liberating'.

4. Live for the moment - Rebecca finds herself thinking that she might only year and she doesn't want to waste that time being miserable and horrible and negative. If you go out there thinking I am going to have a great life and life is really good and people are really kind, then it comes back to you.

5. Count your blessings - Lower your expectations and raise your appreciation. Be grateful for what you have and you get more out of life.

6. Nothing is more important than family - At the end of the day family are the only people in the world contractually obliged to celebrate your highs and support you through your lows. I wouldn't be where I am today without my family.

I really enjoyed reading her thoughts and her ideas on happiness. They are simple yet powerful.
They are a great reminder that to be happy you don't need clothes or money or the latest gadgets. Happiness comes with attitude, serving others and your family.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

large family playgrounds

 We love playgrounds.
They bring joy to the kids and joy to me.
The kids love to explore and I love to see them play.
 One of our challenges is finding large family playgrounds.
Some playgrounds are so small that when my kids play on it, they are immediately full.

We love playgrounds like this:

Plenty of space and room enough for all the kids to play and explore.

I love seeing the children challenge themselves on the play equipment.

Even the little ones can give it a go!

Chelsea loves gathering children together to help them have fun!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

toy story 3

In the school holidays we took the kids out to see Toy Story 3.
We have seen the other 2 movies and are big fans of those.
We went into the city to see it and the cinema was packed out with kids.
The movie was full and there was not a spare seat in the house.
We went to see it in 3D and the kids loved it.

Sam decided on that day to take a liking to the girls silver sparkly headband and wore it the entire day. (much to the disgust of the older kids!)

Here they all are looking spunky with their 3D glasses on.
The only downside to the movie was trying to help the younger kids keep their glasses on.

 Bored waiting for the movie to start.

We really enjoyed the movie.
We laughed, we pigged out on treats....
and got caught up in the whole storyline of the movie.
I was really surprised at the end!
I was not ready for the tears that I had to fight off.
If you are an emotional mum like me - take the tissues for the ending.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

chasing happiness

I love this quote. It reminds me to slow down and to let things go. To relax and to enjoy life. To let life happen and be content with things that come my way. To let the happiness naturally find me and to not force it into my life. To be still and to notice the joy that could already be sitting on my shoulder that I haven't stopped to appreciate yet.

raising twins

The other day we were out and we saw some twins.
I said to the boys 'Look...there are some twins'.
I pointed the twins out because they were identical and totally looked the same.
They looked around and had no idea what I was talking about.
It then hit me that they really don't know what the meaning of 'twins' is.

Growing up as twins in a family with a lot of other kids has made life different for these boys.
I have always treated them as individuals, rarely dressed them the same and have not spent much time focusing on the fact that they are twins.

I did not feel the need to.
They have a lovely relationship together, that is naturally special and I did not feel it was necessary to continually point out that they were different compared to the other children.

The boys know that they are around the same size, the same age, look similar and have the same teachers at kindy. They also know that people get them mixed up and are happy to point out who is who. 

But, they also have decided they want their own clothes, shoes and other items they own. If I try to dress Sam in a top he thinks is Eli's, he refuses to wear it. They respect each others items.

As they get older, begin school I know they will have more opportunities for talking about being twins. For now I want them to just enjoy life, to learn about what they are interested and not feel pressured to have the same ideas and thinking on everything.

To me they are two different boys born at the same time and I have always treated them that way. I have always disliked the idea of twins being classed as 'one' when they are two separate people.

My boys have very different personalities. 
I love that they feel they can be themselves and make their own choices about what they love.
With lots of brothers and sisters, they get to have plenty of time away from each other doing activities they are separately interested in. This has been a great blessing in our family.

I look forward to seeing what they want to do apart and what they want to do together in the future.

Monday, July 12, 2010

a positive attitude

It is amazing what a positive attitude can do to your face.
It can take you from looking sweet, lovely and beautiful.....

 to...don't mess with me, I am after you and I don't care!


 love this girl...cracks me up!
Don't know about you but I know which face I prefer....Ha!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

an open heart.

I have been reading 'A Heart Like His' by Virginia H. Pearce.
It is a religious book and encourages readers to open their hearts to others.

I have been thinking about my heart and what sort of friend I am. I don't think I am a very good friend to others. I am always so rushed that I don't stop to listen and I am always so tired I never know what to say. I am a bit of a time freak and have a bad habit of not attending to others because I am so busy and I always think that others are too busy to stop and chat too.

I have been trying to be more aware of my heart, to be more open towards others and to remember that taking the time to listen or help others really isn't going to put me behind in my schedule by that much at the end of the day.

Sometimes around people I keep my heart protected with at 10 foot fence, a padlock and a dead bolt on the door. Around others I have a lovely garden path with an open door for them to enter. I have found that sometimes it is necessary to protect yourself and it is using wisdom to do so. The down side to this is that having a hardened heart also prevents me from feeling love. If you block out one you also block out the other.

The challenge I find is keeping my heart open and being aware of opportunities to share it. I don't think you need to make an extra effort, opportunities are everywhere, and generally people are very kind and open.

Some of the quotes I really enjoyed from the book were:

Open heart creates energy
Closed heart depletes energy

An open heart looks outward
A closed heart looks inward.

It is wonderful to really care about others and to open your heart to them.
I have found that when I do so something magical happens and other people open their closed hearts and both of us feel so much better for doing so.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

back fence excitement

We have had great excitement happening over our back fence.
Noisy....annoying at times... but exciting.
This is where the boys have spent most of the holidays:

Balancing on the fence, taking in as much as they can and enjoying the view.

As you can see they are very happy with this little adventure!

They are loving how close the action is and I can see they are taking in every movement.

So what is happening over the fence? They are digging large tunnels.

Here is a better view. It is going to take months and my boys are as happy as can be about it.
Me...well...I am ready for it to finish but I am so loving seeing the boys talking about it, pointing to things, waving to the workmen, talking to the workmen and raving about all the action.