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'