Monday, December 28, 2009

Today's top 5

1. The house seemed back to normal today.

2. I didn't over eat

3. Finished sewing for Jade, and everything looks great.

4. Jade arrives tomorrow

5 It was great having Michael staying with us for the past few days. I've never watched so many documentaries before. What a pleasant change from the E Channel. He's even coming back next week for a few more days to look after Jade while Justine & I return to work.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas morning at our house

Merry Christmas.

We've already been up and opened some of Major's presents, since he awoke before 6am. So here are a few snapshots taken earlier this morning. Now the little angel is full of a croissant breakfast and tucked up back in bed.

I can't believe they are letting me so close to the presents, all I've heard for ages is "Don't touch Christmas"

If I'm allowed to sit this close, a little touch surely must be in order

Wow, I like this!

See Gran's lovely tree

Now this one's kept way out of reach, I can only see it when they lift me up

Yip, my first Christmas has just been great so far

Notice how tired I'm looking, well it's 7.45am and I have been up for a couple of hours

Yea, more toys to ignore while I practise turning the TV on and off, but thanks anyway folks

Compliments of the Season to one and all

As my grandmother would always say "Compliments of the festive season to you, merry Christmas and Happy New Year"

This month has flown by, and it's officially Christmas Day here in NZ however, I'm not going to bed without saying hi and we love you to all my family who are scattered around Australasia.

We are all ready for Christmas tomorrow (or rather today), it will be a small affair for our household. My youngest son Mike is coming over to join us so there will be my eldest and youngest and one moko (grandchild) and me. (Eldest granddaughter is in NZ, but she is spending Christmas Day with her Nana and Granddad Eagle, we'll see her in a few days time).

Dinner will be a splendid affair with marinated New York style roast beef, rolled roast of pork and of course the staple kiwi meat, roast lamb. These will be served with a selection of salads and kamokamo and extra sweet peas from the garden. Because Justine and I both worked right up to today, we've cheated and bought the salads and desserts.

Dessert consists of strawberry glazed cheesecake, choc cheesecake, lemon meringue pie and white chocolate mudcake.

My guess is we'll snooze in front of a Christmas movie on the telly after that lot!

Today we took Major to have his first Christmas captured on film at Santa's grotto. I don't have the pics yet but the photo above is how his mummy dressed him to meet Santa for the first time. He wasn't afraid either, staring intently at the white beared giant as he bounced contentedly on his knee. It was very cute.

And lastly, lets not forget the reason we celebrate Christmas: the birth of our Saviour Jesus Christ. I have loved reading a few verses each night of the story of Jesus birth.

Luke 2:1-20:

1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.

2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.

18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A good day

1. What a pleasure to witness such a milestone: MAJOR CRAWLED TONIGHT! And real proper crawling too, he was up on all fours as if he has been doing it for ever. It was mischief of course, that provided the motivation needed to get going. He crawled to touch the plastic sheet that goes on the floor under his bath. We of course, immediately moved it further out of reach to make sure he really could crawl, that it wasn't a one off wonder and lo, he did it again. We were so chuffed we kept moving it so he would crawl some more, until he cried from both exhaustion and frustration. But it was very cute. His mother immediately recorded the great event in his Baby Book.

2. My son phoned from Sydney and we had a jolly good chat. I miss my kids, they are so far away.

3. At work I finally nailed my monthly quality coaching session by scoring 100% for tax technical knowledge. I've been busting my gut to achieve this for months and finally got there. Yea, I might not be ready for the scrap heap quite yet.

4. Got out in the garden tonight and sprayed up lots of weeds, it bothers me when our yard looks unkempt so I am grateful to get this done.

5. One of the sisters from our ward phoned tonight to ask about a recipe I gave at our All Things Christmas workshop. It is a good buzz to know that someone was listening and is actually going to make gifts from the kitchen, from the workshop and that in some small way I might have helped, taught or inspired someone.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Todays 5

1. Had fun decorating at my workplace for the big competition that the teams go all out to win. My work looks more like Santa's grotto than the tax department.

2. Fresh asparagus, I love it and I had it for my lunch today.

3. Planning the Christmas menu, we have so many favourites we can't possibly have all our favourites on the menu, so which are the things we don't have often, that we especially look forward to hmmm

4. Poring over my project that I'm making Jade for Christmas, imagining her face when she sees it and hoping that my gifts will help her to understand how important the gospel is to me, and in some small way hoping that they will help to nuture her testimony.

5. Pondering over what I could prepare for a really meaningful Family Home evening lesson since we will actually have the family together on Monday 28th Dec. Yea, this is a rare thing for 2 out of 3 kids and both grandkids to be in the same place at the same time.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Top 5 from the last 4 days

I've been a bit busy the last few days and didn't get a chance to post so I thought I would just round up my best five things from the last four days

1. Went to the final concert at Church College of NZ. The college was built by Labour Missionaries before I was born, it sits nestled close to the temple and amid much discussion and speculation, it has been closed down marking the end of an era. The farewell concert was a wonderful tribute to all that has been achieved over the last 50+ years. I spent a bit of time taking my glasses off and wiping my tears during the concert, it was moving and special.

2. Yesterday I went to a Christmas workshop called Time Out for Women, mixing with lovely sisters, learning lots of great new christmas ideas, trying lots of yum christmas treats and coming home full of inspiration of more things I'm gonna do when I get around tuit

3. Modern Communication technology, I've just been speaking with Luke sorting holiday plans for eldest moko and only granddaughter, sounded like he was just down the road!

4. At Church today I learnt 3 things: well at Sacrament I felt the Spirit - really strongly, it was a special meeting, a special way to wind up testimony sharing for 2009.

At Sunday School I took up a challenge from our teacher to work on something this week that will strengthen the spirituality of our family - I am going to practise using a SMALL VOICE as I often use a big voice which I know isn't great.

In Relief Society I learnt that we should consider the gifts we are giving and realised that some of what I had in mind for my granddaughter, although chosen with a gran's love, are not appropriate because I have placed an unrealistic expectation on myself to have them finished on time. It is inappropriate to choose gifts that cost so much they place a strain on the christmas budget, it is senseless to pick a christmas dinner menu which will have you in the kitchen all day instead of enjoying the day with your family. I'm good at doing all of that, so I am going to try and be more sensible about the choices I make and hopefully be less stressed as a result.

and finally

5. Major's new thing, he had us in fits of laughter tonight while having his bath. He's developed a fascination with lifting his leg up til it touches his forehead and he dedicated his whole bathtime to showing us how good he is at it.

Friday, December 4, 2009

for Dec3rd

1.Justine got really sick today so I got to be of service. I helped by collecting Major from day care, feeding him his dinner, washing the big pile of dishes in the kitchen, drying the big pile of dishes in the kitchen njbhmmmmmmm\

Ha ha this is as far as I got before I fell asleep at the computer the other night, by the time I was finished being of service I was pooped. I even went to bed without dinner because I was too tired to make it.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Day four, the 2nd Dec

1. Last night my stepson, well perhaps not officially stepson, although I am still legally married to his dad, well anyway Tane arrived home from his mission. He's been serving in Sydney South and he's worked really hard. I spoke to him on the phone and he sounds so grown up and so much more refined in his language. His dad says he grown heaps. Well we are proud of him, completing an honourable mission is one of life's BIG milestones.

2. On a completely different note, I love a gripping TV show. Right now I've got one eye on this and one eye on a show called V. Not sure if it's a mini series or a new regular show, but it's got my attention.

3. I'm really greatful to have a job. Everyday I take calls from people who have been made redundant (retrenched), I often see lists with large numbers of staff affected by redundancies. I think the business climate in NZ is still depressed regardless of how much/little growth the government say we are experiencing.

4. Living close to the temple is such a blessing. We have a Stake night every Wednesday and I get to attend regularly, but not tonight because tomorrow I am going with my cousin and her son as he goes through the temple for the first time.

5. My cousin's son has received his Mission call, he is going to the Phillipines next year. It's such a thrill to have family members serve the Lord.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Day 3's top 5

It's really late so these are going to be short and sweet

1. Tonight I purchased a small nativity set, it has a light that's supposed to hang from the roof of the stable and change colour slowly as it gently illuminates the stable. Justine's calling it disco nativity as the light seems to have a minor malfunction or I've connected it wrong, anyway it's flashing and changing colours very speedily. I'm going to disconnect it soon. When Jade comes to stay we are going to make a nativity set. I'm looking forward to that.

2. I bought a pattern to sew a couple of dresses for Jade so I can surprise her when she comes to NZ for her annual holiday. So glad to have a sewing machine.

3. I was well enough to go back to work today and Justine was good enough to give me a lift there so I didn't have to walk (it did mean I got to work at 7.30am and didn't actually start until 9.15am but hey what's one hour 45mins among friends.

4. Got to listen twice to the last chapter of the BOM on my mp3 player since I was so early for work.

5. We are well underway with making Christmas decorations for our pod at work, they are looking good. Best pod will be judged next Monday, if it goes on how long it took to make the decorations we will win. If it goes on how large your decorations are, the pod next to us will win.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Today's top 5

1. I didn't go to work today as I felt quite awful when I woke up this morning, now feeling awful isn't exactly something to be greatful for, but having a day off work, yep I really enjoyed that - well as much as you can enjoy a day of feeling off colour.

2. Dinner is already on the go, so Justine will have 2 less jobs to do when she gets home from work. (That's making dinner for us and making dinner for Major)

3. The first sounds I woke up to this morning were Major's squeals of delight. I love having a baby in the house. Before breakfast he had us laughing as we watched him doing his best to get on all fours as he learns to crawl. I can see that the Christmas decorations on the TV cabinet are not going to be safe for much longer, actually I'm wondering where I can move them too. I reckon he'll be crawling within 2 weeks.

4. Because I was at home today I got to watch a scrapbooking DIY show, now I have a good idea for making a paperdoll embellishment.

5. The biggest, reddest, yummiest looking strawberry, picked from our container garden is sitting on the bench for Major's dessert tonight. There is also zucchini and silverbeet all fresh from our garden boiling away in his veggies. I love harvesting from our garden.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

5 Things I'm Thankful For

I've been reading my friend Misty's blog lately as she has been blogging every day about 5 things she is thankful for. I've enjoyed reading her positive comments, and I reckon I'd like to do the same. So here's my five things I'm grateful for:

1. Went to Church today and one of the speakers was Elder Reti who is not long home from his mission in Sydney South. Now I remembered him coming for dinner to Helen and Dallas's apartment when I was staying with them. Two reasons I remembered him, the colour of his hair and he had connections to Kawhia, it was always feel good material to meet missionaries from NZ while in Sydney.

Anyway, after Sacrament I went to say hi. He was looking at me trying to place me, I could tell. Much to my amazement, when I said Enmore Ward, he said "Now I remember, you spoke about David and Goliath on your last Sunday in the ward".

Now I'm going to take that as a compliment as the only talks I remember from almost 2 years ago, are those that really made an impression on me.

2. The next two are from yesterday, but they still count. Had a great time at our Ward beach camp. We stayed at Waihi beach and had the most fun time doing all the usual things you do at the beach but instead of it being with my family it was with our Ward family. I hope Bishop makes it an annual event.

3. Justine and I went to see New Moon for the second time last night, I liked it better second time around. I'm now the proud owner of a New Moon bucket that the popcorn came in. The wolf scenes in the movie are so much better than my imagination made them when I read the book.

4. Major and I went to visit my first cousin Jocelyn this morning. She is turning 79 next week and Major put on his cutest smiles and goos for her. Lucky he's not crawling yet as she had lots of treasures everywhere that he would love to have dribbled all over if only he could have reached them.

5. I'm greatful for reading your blogs about Thanksgiving. We don't celebrate it in NZ, I think that's a shame, seems to me its a fine tradition. And it seems to bring families together and I like that.

Monday, November 23, 2009

All Things Christmas: Relief Society Workshop

On Saturday just gone, I had the pleasure of conducting my last Relief Society activity. I've been released as 2nd Counselor as I'm moving on to Sunday School, teacher development. Now I'm sad to say goodbye to Relief Society but by the same token I'm really excited to lead the Teach My Gospel course. It's content I'm familiar with from my previous ward where I taught the same course there. I know this course can really make a difference to the teachers and strengthen the ward from its ripple effect. But really I'm just happy to serve wherever I'm needed.

Anyway, I think I finished on a good note, well I had a jolly fine time anyway. And I've had some emails from some of the sisters saying how much they enjoyed our workshop, so yeah, I guess it was good. God is good. Where would I be without the gospel, I don't like to imagine.

Anyway, here are lots of photos from our workshop, the Relief Society room looked a real treat, these photos don't do it justice. Thanks Janferay for helping to set up and for picking up when I ran out of steam.

Thanks Justine for putting up with me fussing and cooking, and cooking and fussing and for not throwing away any of my endless lists and I mean like untold lists, great numbers of lists. I mean the programme list, the breakdown of programme plans, list of things to cook, list of things to make, plan of when to do it, plan of shopping trips, lists of deadlines for completing tasks, lists of ingredients required, list of stores to visit for shopping, lists of craft supplies to assemble, lists of decorations to take, lists of assignments to be given and so on and so on. I just get to the point where if its not on a list I couldn't possibly remember it.

I won't really miss all that list making, but I do swear by the old adage, plan the work and work the plan. Anyway..................

All the goodies on display, click for a better view
The sisters are enthralled

Below is Janferay telling us how she makes Sand Art brownies, layering all the ingredients in a jar just like sand art and adding a label along the lines of add an egg, so much oil and milk, then bake and enjoy

At this workshop the sisters made little nativity sets from terra cotta pots and other stuff, there's a closer view of them on the table in the first pic above. There was also a fancy waterfall card making workshop, and compulsory taste testing from the sweet treats gift basket.

We talked about starting family traditions with advent calendars, filling the pockets with scriptural references of the Saviour's birth, or a treat for that member of the family who had done a good deed. We talked about creating an advent calendar that goes with your missionary out into the field and gets handed down to all the family members to take on their mission, creating bonds of love for family and missionary work. We had a few examples of specially made calendars including this beautiful one here. The one on the right is a 'kitset' ready for sewing.

The Primary board set this elegant Christmas table, check out the pretty mauve favours. I'm going to make some of them for our Christmas table

A totally different approach to a christmas table, this one has little framed photos for place settings and Santa's Polar Express chugging around the track for a table centrepiece

Then there were the gifts from the kitchen, starting with good old Chocky
Fudge sauce

Easy peasy chutney

Green cucumbers and red peppers in this pretty Christmas pickle, at the rate we're eating it in our house we'll be lucky if there's any left by Christmas.

Old Fashioned Lemonade
Never fail uncooked Coconut Ice
Every Christmas basket needs truffles
And these pretty mints which look better than they taste but that's only because I accidently put garden mint essence instead of peppermint essence into them, lol
And so it was, a really busy, fun, busy workshop.

Unexpected side effect: our Christmas decorations are up at home even though its not officially the Christmas month yet because when I got home with everything, it didn't make sense to pack them all away only to have to get them out in a couple of weeks time, so I decorated the house, early, very early for us, but good.

Other unexpected side effect: We have Christmas gifts all prepared and decorated for our Visiting Teaching assignments for December. Early, but good, will definitely take the pressure off what's shaping up to be a very busy December

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Well New Moon's Been and Gone

Well we've been and we've seen and my thoughts are a bit up in the air, no verdict yet which is really strange for me - I rate myself as a decision maker.

We had a great party though. A few of my friends from work and Church and a few of my daughter's friends came over for a bit of a munch before we went to see New Moon. We had chicken and salad rolls and mini spring rolls, then we gorged ourselves on a few fine desserts and watched Twilight for the umpteenth time and YES I still enjoyed it even after this many views.

My favourite part is when Edward crouches to defend Bella at the baseball game when the other vampires turn up, oh and I also like the part where he roars up and orders Bella into the car in Port Angeles when the thugs are eyeing her up. He's confident and protective and it makes me wish I'd known love like that.

For New Moon, well my favourite part was when Jacob took off his shirt the first time and there was that six pack or was it eight? and the rippling biceps. An involuntary woohooo escaped my lips with much more volume than I intended and the whole theatre giggled and tittered.

I noticed no-one screamed, clapped, stamped and cheered at New Moon the way they did at Twilight.

The wolf bits were fascinating, as were the Volturi, but somehow it wasn't quite as mezmerising as Twilight for me. I knew when we left Twilight that I couldn't wait to watch it again, but I found myself thinking this time, 'Well to see the wolf bits again I'd have to watch the slow, agonizing bits of Bella's heartache and they would drag, too long, too sad for me'.

And I was disappointed with myself for thinking that Edward looked a tad pathetic when compared to the muscular wolf boy: white skinny : brown muscles. It wasn't a comparison I'd wanted to make, I felt like it was forced upon me; that definitely never entered my head for Twilight. Noticed also that the post movie discussion was very different to the after Twilight enthrallment.

With Twilight I enjoyed the movie every bit as much as the book, with New Moon perhaps my expectations were a little too high because Twilight was so well done, probably not helped by the time lapse between releases, gives one too much time to gather expectations.

Now I'm not saying I didn't like the movie, I'm saying I'll reserve judgement.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Count down to NEW MOON

ooHH the excitement is mounting, our party is next Thursday and we have 8 friends coming over with their goodies for a shared dinner while we watch our favourite parts from Twilight. We are making desserts to die for, I just can't wait.

And I'm reading New Moon again, just for a quick refresher, AND we have watched lots and lots and lots of interviews of the stars on ENews

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Pictorial Post

We've had Santa's Little Helper at our place recently, we're quite taken with him, see why....
He's such a jolly little fellow
He's really thoughtful.......

full of bright ideas........

and is extremely flexible.....

Repetition mistake that I can't work out how to delete!

Major: 'Just kicking back with my mates'

Major: 'Me 'n Chas, he's my besty, you know BFF and all that stuff '

Major: 'Yeah, Disa's right up there on my list of BFsF too, her mum wants me to marry her when we grow up, but I've got a mission to serve first'

Major: 'It's okay guys I'll only be gone for 2 years then I'll be back, promise. Don't be sad'

Monday, October 26, 2009

Showing off Major's Flash New Gear

Thank you Aunty Shelley and Uncle Luke for all my new clothes. I don't like getting dressed and undressed so I could only show you one set of them. The suit will fit me next year too. I'll be the flashest baby at Church.
I'm gonna have fun strangling myself with my tie
My vest and jacket look good too but Gran couldn't get any good photos with them

Mum reckons I look like a mini business man!
Loves to you all,

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Milestone for Major

Finally after lots and lots and lots of demonstrating how its done............

Major has learnt to wave goodbye!
and it's sooo cute
and we're glad he's learnt cos Disa's been waving to us for near on two months
he first waved this morning when I left for work, then tonight when he went to bed and I just can't wait til I leave for work in the morning to see him wave again, lol

Sunday, October 18, 2009

New Moon Party

Oh the excitement's running high in our house.

There's only 32 (WHAT.... 32!) yes 32 more sleeps until we go to New Moon, the second movie in the Twilight saga.

And being the Twilight zealot that I am, that is something to really look forward to. If I knew how to make proper links I'd put one here - but you can check out my older posts to see my Twilight story if you want.

In fact, its so exciting and anticipated that we have decided to host a New Moon Party. I'll get to paw over all the zillions of pics on the net to choose the most suitable to adorn the front of the invites I'm planning as I type. We'll make our finest desserts oh and a few savouries etc (aka party pies by the Aussies) and we'll all watch Twilight for the umpteenth time and enjoy a shared supper before we head off to New Moon - the next chapter in the adventure of Edward and Bella's great love story.

I just can't remember the last time we hosted a party for something/anything other than a birthday, wedding or funeral.

Thank you Stephanie Meyer for writing this series to appeal to young and old alike. Thanks for bringing a bit of sunshine into an otherwise ordinary day.

Can't wait to hang out with the tweenagers at the movies, to ooh and aah, clap and sigh, stamp my feet and swoon (that's if I can remember how - I'm getting a bit carried away now) anyway to go and loose myself in the saga for an hour or two. Expect more New Moon posts from me.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Photo for Maia

I have just remembered that my great neice, Maia, is staying with her Nan at Wairoa for the holidays. Nan has internet and that means I can finally get to show Maia this scrapbook page I made with a photo of Maia that Aunty Emma sent me. Here you go Maia, this is my special page of YOU.

With lots of love
And here is one made with pics taken when we were stayed in Wairoa in August
Sorry the photos aren't so crash hot, I couldn't find anywhere to take them without the light reflecting off the pics, but anyway you can get the idea. If you click on the photos you can see the full size photo. We wish we were at Wairoa for a holiday too.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Justine's Birthday

Yesterday was Justine's birthday and we had a teeny bit of fun:

and went out for dinner with Chas and Disa and their mums
Click on the photo Di to see a closer view of the finished wall plaques Justine created

Monday, September 28, 2009

Things to Pass the time when YOU have a Sore Back

I have been off work for a week now, after slipping a disc in my lower back. The pain is severe and my movement is quite slow and restricted still. Today the best thing I could think of to take my mind off how miserable I'm feeling was to take these snapshots of our little darling.

Major has also been sick for two weeks but you wouldn't guess it from these shots. You would believe it if you could hear him screaming his head off from about 1am until 4am every morning though.

Enjoying my Bunnykins table and chairs from Uncle Andy and Aunty Marie
Don't be fooled: Totally sick of it now!
Isn't he just the most precious wee soul
You would laugh too if you saw the faces mummy and Gran were making!
Hmm it I just reach out a little, I could do some serious touching here
Just you wait Smokey, when I learn to move in a forward direction, you will be in DANGER