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????
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!
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.
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!
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!
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
I have a cool washing machine.
It talks to me and I like it.
Considering the amount of time I spend in my laundry, which can get lonely some days, it is nice to have someone talk back once in a while.
As I went to use the washing machine the other day this flashed on the screen:
I stared at it for a little while and thought - you know what - I am going to take your advice.
It was time for me to use the 'Clean Me' cycle in my own life.
I am good at cleaning things out and throwing things away.
I have been working on keeping only our favourite things around the house, the things that really make us happy and keeping rooms simply decorated. I have found this a blessing as I don't have as much to clean up and not as much clutter. Yeah! for no clutter...
I started thinking about this in relation to me.
What are the things that I do that I really don't need in my life and are a distraction to me?
Wow! I didn't know I was wasting so much time...
I find some days that my life is so full of 'good' things to do that it distracts me from the essential things I need to do. I sat down and wrote out a list of the 'essential' things I need to do in my life to keep my house running and that help me to be happy.
As I worked on this list I could see the things that get in my way, that I let stop me from really focusing on my dreams and goals. I then tried to look a little deeper and look at the things I personally do that I need to change and clean out.
Some of the things that I felt were a distraction that I changed or removed were:
twitter - most of the comments that I read from other people did not uplift me or motivate me to be better. I am not into swearing and many comments contained swear words.
my seven cherubs face book page - if people want to read my blog they can check it out here.
farmville - it was taking me away from my family and I achieved all my goals and deleted the whole farm.
facebook - I have stopped posting every day
television - I have stopped watching television at night time and have been getting so much more done.
blogging - I have organised my blog posting to give me more free time with my family
These things are all good things but for me they were not the right things to focus my time on.
Just making changes with these few things has given me so much more time and freedom.
It has allowed me more time to read, to ponder and consider who I want to be and what I want to do.
Who knew my washing machine held so much wisdom?
I wonder what the vacuum cleaner can teach me?????
Loving myself is something that I have always struggled with.
When I looked in the mirror I did not like who I would see.
I was hard on myself, I expected a lot and sometimes expected too much.
As I have grown older I have become more comfortable with who I am.
I still spend time reading and learning about self improvement but I have accepted this is the way I like to do things, the way I look and the way that I think on certain topics.
Over the years I have discovered the importance of having at least one thing you love about yourself.
For those moments when you feel that you are a failure at everything you try to do.
For many years I really couldn't think of anything at all.
Now I am a little older I am also a little kinder to myself.
I can now say that I have several things I love about myself.
(feeling brave today so I am going to share some)
that when I feel something is right - I act on it immediately
that I can share my feelings openly and honestly
that I am good at making up stories for my children
that I am good at throwing things out
that I am good at finding bargains
that I can multitask
that I don't fear public speaking
that I love being a wife and mother
that I have small feet and
that I have nice toes.
I think every woman should have at least one part of her body that she loves.
For me I love my toes.
They are not super beautiful or anything but I like them.
When I look down and see them they make me happy.
Especially when I look down and see them sticking out of a hot, relaxing bubble bath :)
I hope you have something you love about yourself and if you don't ask someone else
what they love about you. Their answer might surprise you!