A Mother Heart Linky Love


One of my passions is mothering. I love talking and writing about it.
It is my full-time work and consumes most of my time and thoughts.

I believe it is a great work to raise children and being a stay at home mum has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. It has been so worth the sacrifices I have needed to make. I also believe in the power of mothers. I feel it is important to strengthen mothers as women.

One of the ways that I am really strengthened as a mother and a woman is by learning, hearing, reading and talking to other mothers about how they raise their children. About the struggles they have and the challenges they face. I love learning from other mothers how they feel about mothering and what little things they do in their homes to be better mothers for themselves and their children.

So today I want to try my first mother, mummy, mommy linky day where you can share what thoughts, tips or ideas you have about being a mother and in turn I could learn a lot more about how to be a great mother.

I have decided to call it 'A Mother Heart' because often as mothers the way that we write is straight from the heart. We share our burdens, our desires, our worries and our deepest sorrows and joys. We need to share them to uplift each other and to know we are not alone.

So today I hope you can join in and link up 'A Mother Heart' post.
It can be an old post, a new post and any type of post that relates to being a mother.

I am looking forward to your thoughts and heart felt words

my blogging space and Aussie Wordless Wednesday

Today I thought I would link up with a Aussie Wordless Wednesday and share some pictures of where I do my blogging. It is where I try to get creative and like to write. Can you tell I love blue???

This is my perfect little desk that I found on the side of the road and I am totally blessed with an super awesome computer my husband ordered for me - so spoilt! I also love these pink flowers which are actually lights that I picked up from Target and...oh! wait this is supposed to be wordless - better stop!

100 ways to be happy - Number 6. Be silly

As a mother I seem to spend a lot of my time being serious. Dealing with bills, meal planning, cooking, cleaning, home organising and sorting out disputes! I generally have more of a serious nature and getting silly is not something I tend to do on a regular basis.

Since having children I have noticed that being silly is an activity that I seem to participate in now on an almost daily basis. I have even found myself enjoying it and looking forward to our fun, crazy adventures! I love that my children are able to draw out a part of my personality that has been buried under worry, stress or busyness. They have also helped me to let go of fears and to relax about what others may think - great gifts I needed to learn.

One of my 'silly' and fun daughters is Harmony. This girl loves to have fun and I love it when she gets in her face pulling mood {which she happened to do recently to a trip to the playground and I happened to have my camera on me} hope it inspires you to want to be a little silly too...

aussie bloggers conference

I am super excited that some awesome ladies at Aussie Mummy Bloggers have decided to create the first ever blogging conference focusing on the mum, parenting and personal blogging communities of Australia.

After being sick of waiting for ‘someone else’ to do it, they decided to created one themselves. It is a day long program aimed at getting bloggers from all over the country together to learn more about blogging, networking and creating great content.

The conference is open to everyone, however the mum, parenting and personal bloggers are our target audience. You don’t need to have an established blog to attend, new bloggers are more than welcome.

I am so looking forward to it next year and super, super excited to be included in the best looking map of Australia I have ever seen....can you spot me??? {hint...I am around the Queensland area}. Don't you just love Veronica hanging out in Tassie all by herself!!!

so if you are a blogger and can make it...
get your ticket and....

mother linky love

One of my passions is mothering.
I love talking and writing about it.

{I guess just by the fact that I have a bunch of kids you would get that idea ~ right?}

I believe it is a great work to raise children and worth the sacrifices we need to make.
I also believe in the power of mothers.

I think we can make a difference {with the way we raise our children in our homes} that will reach out into future families, into communities and make this world a better place to live. I am not talking about big, huge, dramatic events but the small things that we do each day to show love and kindness in our families.

I also love writing and talking about strengthening mothers as women.
Sometimes we forget that we are people too!
That we need to take care of ourselves as well.

I am interested in learning from other mothers how they feel about mothering and what little things they do in their homes to be better mothers for themselves and their children.

So I was thinking of starting a 'mother', mummy, mommy linky day {on a Thursday ~ as by Thursday I am normally worn out from a busy week and need some inspiration!} where you could share what thoughts, tips or ideas you have about being a mother and in turn I could learn a lot more about being a great mother.

Anyone out there interested???

blogging sickness

I don't know if there is such a title as 'blogging sickness' but I am creating it *now* and I think I have a very bad case of it. I don't know how to describe it, how to explain it, or how to fix it.

All I can tell you is that since I started this blog, I have such an urge to write, not just once a week or a couple of times a week but....everyday! Help! 

I have always loved to write and to express myself in this form but now I have all these thoughts and ideas flowing forth and I find myself getting frustrated because just don't have enough time in the day to record it all.

I am finding a real peace of mind and a sense of release as I write and share my thoughts here on my blog. I even told someone the other day that I am a writer...I was shocked when it flew out of my mouth...am I really????

I originally was so excited that even a few of my friends were interested in my words and I have been so touched by the wonderful friends I have made and uplifting comments that you have left for me. Thank you so much.

I think one of the main reasons I love to blog and want to do it every day is because I am having so much fun! I love having a creative space online and I can't believe the skills I am learning with technology and social networks.

Seriously, who knew I could link to other blogs and even to myself. Who knew I could design my own banner and add a facebook page to my site! I still have such a long way to go in blogging terms but for now I am so enjoying being 'sick' and I hope this illness hangs around for a long time!

Anyone else out there with the same sickness???

rejecting perfection

"If I could wish for my life to be perfect,
it would be tempting but I would have to decline,
for life would not longer teach me anything."
Allyson Jones

Lucky for me,
I was blessed to be sent these two cherubs,
who have taught me more than I could ever have imagined.

They taught me that I could love more than one child at the same time,
at the same moment, right from birth and there was room enough in my heart to feel such a deep love.

They helped me learn a protective love, 
right from that first moment I held them,
that shields them from stares, 
from questions and comments. 

They have helped me learn how to function on no sleep,
that I could dig deeper than I thought possible,
that I could be the type of mother they needed me to be,
not who I thought I should be.

These boys have made me cry,
from the pure delight of them,
for the sheer naughtiness of them and
for the great gift they have been to me.

My life could have been perfect in many ways with four children,
and I would have learnt many things....
but, with these boys
I have been able to learn so many skills that I did not want to learn....

and for that I am thankful.

p.s - this is the only photo I have where I think Sam and Eli look identical.
I don't think they are identical, I don't know!

10 things I love

Over at Kidspot they are doing a blogging challenge.
Do you love a blogging challenge??? I do!

This week the challenge is to write:

10 things I love

so here goes:
  • I love receiving and giving flowers...lilies are my fav...
  • I love painting my house different colours, especially bright blue
  • I love dark chocolate, lindt of course
  • I love watching my children dance to loud music around the house
  • I love books and getting more books and reading them in bed
  • I love eating Thai food, especially green chicken curry
  • I love coriander on just about everything, except ice-cream
  • I love being a mum to my seven cherubs and love it when they are all sleeping :)
  • I love being married to my sweetheart who treats me like a princess
  • I love walking on the beach, watching the waves and smelling the salt air

What are some of the things you love???

100 ways to be happy - Number 7. Find serenity

Being calm and relaxed does not come naturally to me.

Once upon a time it might have but now it is a talent that I have to work on and I get the opportunity to develop this talent every day in a house full of many children. Our home is noisy, active and busy.

With seven children under eleven years old things can sure get crazy. Often I find that I am talking to four or five different children at once trying to keep the conversation going and using eye contact to get each child to understand that the word I just said was meant for them and not the other four who are also talking to me! No wonder I feel exhausted at the end of each day!!!

Serenity is the state of being calm, peaceful and untroubled. On a daily basis finding serenity is difficult. There is so much that needs to be done, so much to worry about and I find to have serenity I have to create it for myself. It does not work every day that I can steal away and find a moment..but..when I do - it makes a real difference to my countenance, to my voice and to my attitude.

When the children were younger {I am talking about in the one's and two's age} and we did not have much money to decorate, create or provide opportunities for escaping - I would simply sit by a window and stare outside. I would take in all the surroundings and use that moment to relax me, to connect with nature and to be still.

Everyone should have a place they can go to when the going gets tough. An escape, a place of solitude and peace. A special place of serenity. Some mothers are blessed to have a holiday home, a family member near by or a good friends place to retreat to. If you have been like me at certain times of my life when I had none of those places I would simply go to my bedroom. I would try to keep in clean and neat so I had somewhere in the house to run to when I need to take a few deep breaths and to calm down. With nappies, tantrums and many tears {often from me!} I would run to my room several times a day to refresh. I went to gather thoughts, renew faith and restore happiness.

For me now having serenity is a must. Especially now that my children are getting a little older and conversations are becoming more emotionally draining and complex {I know....listen to me...I don't even have teenagers yet!} and I don't have family near by to run off to, so I have had to create and look for my own place to relax and restore my mind and heart.

For me as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints I am blessed to attend a temple. We have one in just about every state in Australia. They are quiet reverent buildings of peace, joy and contemplation. When things get too hectic around our home I know I can attend the temple and leave feeling uplifted, renewed and full of serenity.

I also know that you can find serenity at home. With chaos surrounding you it is possible to grab a moment and change your thoughts. To clear your mind and to be cheerful.

Cheerfulness keeps up a kind of daylight in the mind, 
filling it with a steady and perpetual serenity 
~Joseph Addison~

harmony writes a play

I really love it when my kids get creative. When they take the time to express themselves through art or another means and I especially love it when they draw. Not being very good at drawing myself I just love it when they show some real talent in that area. I guess it reminds me they are unique and special and are not all made up of a mixture of Matt and me.

Harmony was given an assignment at school to write a play. She took to it immediately and I was so impressed with her effort I had to take pictures and share. Below are some of the drawings from her play. I did not include the words because she sure wrote a lot of them and you would be here forever reading it!

The last page I just love because it says 
'So can you in joy it'.
I sure enjoyed it - you did a wonderful job Harmony.

kids camera snapshots

Do you let your kids use your camera? I am trying to let mine more and more.

Every so often I say 'No'.

It is usually when I have a lot of pictures stored on it {because sometimes it mysteriously gets wiped clean} but... I am trying my best to let them learn more about photography and to capture the beauty they see around them. They are quickly becoming good little photographers and I am feeling the need to do a course of something so I can teach them more!

Chelsea came and found me one evening and asked to take the camera outside. I said 'Yes' and I was delighted to find the pictures she captured of the tree out the front of our house. The rest are different pictures that the kids have taken and a brief snapshot into the antics around our house. Enjoy.

Uncle Tobys healthy lunch box ideas challenge!

We like a good competition in our house.
We also like a good challenge.

So when we were contacted by Uncle Tobys to take on Eamon Sullivan in a lunch box challenge - we were sooooo up to the task. Sure....he is athletic, has muscles and is an Australian sprint swimmer and could thrash us in the pool with his cool strokes and powerful kick.

But, when it comes to lunch boxes - C'mon! we had this in the bag {or maybe the box!}.

Here is the how the excitement began, with a massive box that contained...Ta Da!

Hmmm....what to do and where to start.

Liahona of course wanted the hat - anything to do with clothing or fashion - she loves it!

We then started the fun of trying to work out what we would like to put in our lunch box to make them healthy and what Uncle Tobys products we would love to use. We decided to start with Nathan first. He loves food with an Asian flavour so he of course had to have that as a theme with his food.

Nathan with his lunch box idea.

Here is a closer look. We have carrots that he loves to dip in Hommus, sliced apples, a Le-Snak and an Uncle Tobys fruit break (apple and blackcurrant) and our chicken rice paper rolls that he loves. We have fruit, we have vegetables, grains, dairy and protein. Looks pretty healthy to me!

Here are the ingredients we made for our rice paper rolls. Rice paper, rice stick noodles, cucumbers, lettuce, chicken and Vietnamese dipping sauce. Yum!

To start with the rice paper is cheap and easy to get in the Asian food section at your local Woolies. It is gluten free and they start off very firm and a warning *they can break easy*. To soften them we fill a large bowl (or you could use a plate) with warm water and place one sheet of rice paper in at a time and soak for around 30 seconds. Once soft carefully transfer to a board and add ingredients.

You can add a wide variety of fillings such as pork, seafood, chicken, vegetables so that each person can assemble the roll to their own tastes.

The rice stick noodles we soak in boiling water for a short time, drain and then place in a bowl ready to add to the rice paper. We place a small amount of ingredients on the bottom of the soft rice paper and roll up the bottom edge first so that all the ingredients are covered. Then we fold in each side and roll up to serve. A must with these wraps is: Vietnamese Dipping Sauce for spring rolls. Super easy and yum!

Not a very good picture - but you get the idea of what the finished product looks like!
So how are we going so far - I bet Eamon is starting to get worried!
Next was Chelsea who just loves to eat anything and everything and was super thrilled with the challenge.

Chelsea's jam packed lunch box.

With a closer look we have fruit, yoghurt, salad, tuna wraps, grains and a good balanced diet on show. One of Cheslea's favourite lunch box loves is yoghurt. I give her a small container yoghurt and a small container of sultanas to mix in with her yoghurt {which her friends think it totally gross} and a small container of cereal * in this case Uncle Tobys Honey Oat Crisp to add a little crunch to the top of it. She also loves the Fruit Breaks - strawberry smoothie and a Roll Up - to add a little sweetness to her day!

My kids love tortilla wraps. Chelsea loves tuna mixed with mayonnaise spread on the wrap with salad on top. I place a small amount of the top of the tortilla, fold up the bottom and wrap in both the sides.

This can be wrapped up in baking paper, placed in a container, wrapped in glad wrap, put in a brown paper bag or with a napkin. Any way you wrap it the kids will love it!

Liahona is my fussiest eater for lunch box ideas. She likes to have a full lunch box more for trading items at school than for eating herself {which explains the petite little frame she has}. After a few conversations over this situation she came up with this as her lunch box:

A good selection of healthy items. I think Eamon is in serious trouble here!

With a closer look we have fruit, grains, salad and protein. Liahona loves crackers with hommus, chewy museli bars * especially white chocolate chip * and Fruit Fix bars *apple, strawberry and grape*.

For Liahona's tortilla wrap I spread hommus on the wrap, add some sliced ham and top with salad. I fold up the bottom and wrap in both the sides. Easy and delicious!

Now Harmony is so easy for me with lunch box ideas. She eats just about everything and is happy with whatever goes in her lunch box. She loves fruit and vegetables and devours it all at school. Here is her lunch box idea:

Can you see a wrap theme happening here????

Up close we have yummy strawberries, crackers with cheese, Cheerios, an apple, strawberry and grape Fruit Fix, a roll up and a wrap. Pretty awesome lunch box...so much better than a boring sandwich with an apple! For Harmony's wrap I added chicken with salad and some mayonnaise for taste.

Here came the big challenge. Working out a healthy lunch box idea for Matt. He often rushes out the door early before I am even onto the lunch boxes but when he has a later start we try to put something together for him. Often it is left overs from the night before - Yes - we do have leftovers in our house!

So here is the lunch box idea for Matt:

We have been trying to go with a healthier theme lately for Matt's food but he still loves to slip in a few treats!

Up close Matt has a yummy chicken noodle salad with the super delicious dipping sauce to pour over it, carrots with salsa, fruit, Anzac biscuits made with Uncle Tobys oats {which the whole family loves} and a Chewy Forest Fruits museli bar. Full of flavour and health!

Here are all the Uncle Tobys products that we used to make our lunch box ideas.

So what do you think??? Did we really give Eamon a run for his money???

If you want to check out his version of a healthy lunch box see below: