Monday, December 24, 2007

1 Corinthians 13 Christmas

Some Food for Thought!!

If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows,
strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls,
but do not show love to my family,
I'm just another decorator.

If I slave away in the kitchen,
baking dozens of Christmas cookies,
preparing gourmet meals and arranging
a beautifully adorned table at mealtime:
but do not show love to my family,
I'm just another cook.

If I work at a soup kitchen,
carol in the nursing home,
and give all that I have to charity;
but do not show love to my family,
it profits me nothing.

If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels
and crocheted snowflakes,
attend a myriad of holiday parties
and sing in the choir's cantata
but do not focus on Christ,
I have missed the point.

Love stops the cooking to hug the child.
Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the spouse.
Love is kind, though harried and tired.
Love does not envy another's home
that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens.

Love does not yell at the kids to get out of the way,
but is thankful they are there to be in the way.
Love does not give only to those who are able
to give in return; but rejoices in giving
to those who cannot.

Love bears all things,
believes all things,
hopes all things, and endures all things.
Love never fails.

Video games will break,
pearl necklaces will be lost,
golf clubs will rust,
but giving the gift of love will endure.

--Author Unknown

PRE-CHRISTMAS RELAXING!




Amongst all the rush and madness that Christmas has become, we decided to take a few (4) days out to relax at the end of the school term. We have friends who have a bach in Whiritoa and had kindly offered for us to use it if we ever needed to get away from it all.....and we did. We took our kids plus my Brother (J14) and my Brother-in-Law (T15). We had a lovely time as it was wonderfully quiet at the beach. Here are some photos of all that we got up to:



PLAYING AT THE BEACH












CATHEDRAL COVE WALK















ALL PACKED UP, RELAXED AND READY TO GO HOME




Thursday, November 22, 2007

HEALTHY HEALTHY!

Yes we are on a health binge (if there can be such a thing?!?! Oxymoron??)
I am going to the gym x3 a week at....wait for it.....6am in the morning (you do the maths.....that means I have to be up at 5:30am!!!). My trial period is over and now I'm paying good money to go there so I promised my hubby I would be committed to it (that was his condition to forking out his hard earnt cash...fair enough!).I think it'll be worth it...over 10 sessions I lost 6.5cm so that was encouraging. Bring on summer baby!!

The second half of the health binge is to do a detox. We (hubby and I) did the preparation for it over the last few days and today started to add in the herbs. Feeling fine so far........will keep ya posted on the up and coming 10 days.
The detox (The Ultimate Cleanse) requires you to stick to fruit, vege, plain yoghurt, olive oil, herbs and spices. And at that, if possible, most of it should be eaten raw, in a soup or a smoothie and the odd bit of steaming for variety. Not too much of a hassle for me as I'm a grazer and have no objections to eating things raw. Have noticed that a lot more time is required to prepare meals as there's lots of chopping up. I guess I never realised how many 'fillers' I use in our daily diet!
Check it out at the link above, Hubby has done it twice before and has felt refreshed and energised not to mention the fact that ALL food tastes fabulous afterwards.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

FANTASTIC FUN & FRIENDS





Karen and her lovely kids meet up with my little whanau every fortnight for some like-minded fellowship and play. The last time Karen was at our place in the Tron we visited the Hamilton Gardens for some fun in the sun and exploring of all the lovely gardens.
We visited the Japanese, English, Italian and Modernist Gardens and investigated The Sustainable Backyard, Kitchen and Herb Gardens.
We had lunch under the shade of lovely fresh green leafy trees and the kids just loved the exploring. Here are some pics of our afternoon out and about......


















Monday, November 5, 2007

Blue Caterpillars and Pink Rainbows

My darling JK was looking out his 2nd storey window from his bunk bed while waiting for his Mummy to tuck him in. Suddenly I hear him exclaim,
"Look! There are blue caterpillars in the sky!"

I wasn't quite sure what he was referring to but on further investigation I discovered a lovely sunset in motion. With a little more discussion, JK decided that there weren't only blue caterpillars but also pink rainbows. I love the way this little guy's mind works!



Mom's Overture

Here's a light little bit of relief for a Monday!

Remember:
Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly


Friday, October 26, 2007

Snow Trip 2007

In the last weekend of September we spent 3 days down in Taupo with our good friend Glen and Sarah. Glen was our Best Man at our wedding so we go a little way back. We had a wonderful weekend and so enjoyed their hospitality!!
While down there.............

On the first day:

We Ate Crayfish...yum yum...........



Quite an education for JK and G(my sis)! Learning to get as much flesh out of the shell as possible and then having a sample......what a shame they weren't that keen on it.....wink wink GRIN! (more for me!!)

On the Second day:

We headed for the snow (which was nothing short of a military operation!!)....


Note the ash on top of the mountain, there had been an eruption the week before and if you look carefully there is even a molten rock flow.

We dressed up warm and caught a bus to the ski field from the car park.....................




We Tobogganed......




We Ate...............


We fought with snow (note JK hiding behind Glen....he's got the idea!)...................


We rode on the chairlift....................



We viewed the majestic scenery....................



On the Third day:

We soaked ourselves in natural hotpools............



A fabulous weekend, so much great fun and fellowship......let's do it again!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Anticipation..........

Anticipation of what? you may well ask...........
True....I have been silent for over 2 months
LOL! So much for my goal of at least blogging with some regularity.
I'm Back and have lots of blogs to write so watch this space as I sort through photos (which we thought we had lost...all 9Gbs worth....) and share a bit of what we have been up to in our world.
This is the start of my week long BLOGARAMA!!!! (imagine some crazy carnival music)
So please visit once more to find something new, something fresh and something funky.

I Leave you with this pic of LJ......You can't really see it but that top he's wearing says
"NOT MY FAULT".............hmmmmmmmm




Wednesday, October 10, 2007

ALL DONE!



FINALLY!! It is finished.

The colour in LJ's quilt reflect the personality
and nature of our little boy.

He was so sweet when I gave it to him on his
1st birthday,
He lay on it and said "ahhhhhh..."


Now he cuddles under it each night and sometimes
we even catch him
examining the colours and patterns.


Many sweet and peaceful dreams our little LJ.





Wednesday, August 8, 2007

28 Years Ago..........

.................on the 3rd of August I came into this world a few weeks earlier than expected..........
My first language was Dutch as my Mama and Papa had only arrived in NZ 6 months earlier from The Netherlands.
We lived in Auckland in a little street named Onedin Place. Now it just so happens that this is the same street that my friend Jess' husband Javi was bought up in. In fact we were bought up with a few other kids that I still keep a finger on where they are at in life.

I have lived in many places in the upper half of the North Island and now 28 years on I am married to my darling Ken, I have 2 beautiful boys, JK and LJ. I live in Hamilton, 20 -30 minutes away from the rest of my direct family. Life is great and God is good.

On my actual Birth Day my hubby took me out for dinner which was FUN! It took us a large walk around the resturant block in Hamilton to finally make a choice! I have no dislikes (except for BAD QUALITY FOOD) so making a choice is rather difficult. Ken had never tried Thai so we stopped in at the Thai Village Restaurant. We had fun just chatting and enjoying our meal.

I had some lovely texts and emails from my dear friends from NZ and other destinations in world. I just had to SMILE (even though my kids had been sick all week and I had for half the week).

On Sunday my family came to celebrate my birthday. My Mum and one of my sister's organised lunch so that I wouldn't have to do anything. My Mum made me an Apple Tart which is a bit of a family tradition.
My Family gave me cards with special heart warming words.



My Hubby and kids bought me a pair of new sneakers/runners which is FAB as I have a bad back and need good cushioning when out and about on Concrete. The rest of the family put together so that I could buy a watch.........LOL I may actually turn up to something on time!!!
It was lovely just to hang out with them for a few hours over lunch. It's always an interesting mix as I am the eldest and the youngest are twins who are 9 years old. I have a total of 5 siblings. But I do so love having them all around and my kids just love their Oma and Opa, Aunties and Uncles.

So here's photo to finish it of............... Me, my new shoes, JK and my big little brother JJ


Thursday, July 19, 2007

Post Script #2

I've caught Kate's Bug !!!

What possess me to clean and tidy after 7:30pm???

All day I've been feeling highly unmotivated and sluggish.......then hit the evening and KAAAZAAMM!! I'm revitalized and ready to roll!!!

It's dumb really........I should be sitting with my feet up with a hot drink and doing some knitting or other enjoyable activity instead I have sorted out the laundry and the hot water cupboard. Sorted all my 'homeschooling' resources into some semblance of order and HIFFED a large amount of junk and have a bag ready to go to the opp shop. Looking much better might I add....I just need to find a thrifted curtain or large piece of material to hang in front of the shelves in the Laundry.

Soooo.............what shall I do next time I get one of these moments of inspiration????
I think the cupboard under the stairs (aka...dumping ground) and the unused hallway leading from one of our 3 entrances to our house (aka...dumping ground #2). OH and I'ld like to rearrange the kitchen cupboards so things are once again where I expect them to be, not 3 doors down..........
Oh and then there's the..........................................................................

STOP!! No More I say!!!

That's plenty to keep me busy for a while.

Uses For Kiwifruit #1

Now I have the habit of just going a bit crazy at the vege shop.........I would love to go crazy in a garden but we live in a hostel house and they are a bit vege garden unfriendly.
Anywayz....I bought a bag of green Kiwifruit for $2. I just can't leave a bargain, but then we tend to not be able to eat through the amount I buy before it goes off.
So my new rule is...."Thou shalt not let any fresh fruit of vege rot in the bottom of ones pantry or fridge."
FIND A USE FOR IT!

Now eating a bag of kiwifruit would play havoc with ones digestive system as they are rather good as a laxative......so that wasn't an option......

I searched around on the internet for a recipe................and this is what I came up with

Kiwifruit Chutney Recipe

Ingredients
1 kilogram (2.2 pounds) Kiwifruit

2 bananas

3 onions

Zest of 1 lemon

Juice of 3 lemons

1 cup raisins

1 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

3 tablespoons crystallized ginger (I used normal raw ginger root)

2 teaspoons salt

1 cup white vinegar

Instructions
Peel and slice the kiwifruit, chop the onions and bananas. Mix all ingredients in a saucepan and boil gently for about 1 hour until soft and thick. Stir frequently, cool, spoon into sterilized jars and seal.



Yum Yum Yum.............
It's FAB and my new favourite chutney (i'm a bit of a chutney lover!).
Easy, flavoursome and no nasty preservatives, flavour enhancers or colours.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Farewell Our English Friend

Last week we said Goodbye to our friend Ed.
He has been a Gap student here at the hostel where we live for the past year, working as an Assistant Master in exchange for board and opportunity to experience life in NZ!
We will miss having him around as he has definitely become part of the furniture.
Ed is back in the UK now and will start studying to be a PE teacher in September. He assures us that if life goes as he imagines now, he'll be back here when he's finished.
Our boys will miss him as Ed built a special relationship with them both.

You go get 'em Ed! Thanks for be part of life here at HBHS hostel, we look forward to seeing you back in a few years.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Wild Westie Winter Walk

Alliteration is sooo much fun!
It reminds me of one of the many Dr Suess stories my JK likes me to read.
You feel positively tongue-tied after the first half of the book!

ANYWAY..............
It is the school holidays here in NZ. It is a short break between Terms 2 and 3. Two weeks to be precise. AND I, being the wife of a school teacher, am blessed to have my hubby around for 2 weeks. We have been making the most of hanging out as a family. Doing all those little jobs that we both need to be there for etc etc.

Over the weekend we were very impulsive....Yes WITH 2 kids in tow.............
On Saturday we got up and by 8am had decided we would go for a visit to Auckland. So by 10am we were packed and in the car without any upheavals.
We checked out some cars, hubby went to visit his Aunty regarding his trip to Samoa at the end of the year.........oh the benefits of being a High School teacher.............NOOOO I'm not green with envy at all!!!
Anyway, I digress.........I spent a lovely 3 hours with Jess (from Oh My) and her 4 kids. I so enjoy hanging out with them!
Then we popped in and had dinner with my Dad (and my Sister and brother-in-law, who were visiting). We packed the kids back in the car at 7:30pm, blankies and all, and were home at 9pm.

NOW.........You'ld thing that would be it wouldn't ya!!

NO!! On Sunday morning, we chose to head off to Raglan as the weather was beautiful (and the surf was good....much to my hubby's glee) and I felt the need to be out in creation admiring God's handy work. So you may as well say, we did church at the beach.

It was glorious!! JK, LJ and I had fun exploring the beach and rocks while hubby dusted off his body boarding gear and spent 2 hours out in the winter water........brrrrrrrrr

Here are some of my FAV snap shots of the day....................












Wednesday, June 27, 2007

U.F.O's and Other Craftyness

Just in case you're wondering what the UFO stands for..........Unfinished Objects.......... haha if you didn't know....now you do!

Right I thought I might just blog all my works in progress ( some have more progress than others). It has a double purpose..
  1. For me to SEE what I need to acheive before starting ANY other projects!!
  2. To share my little success ( and I promised Jess from OH MY that I would take photos of what I have been up to).
Well here it is.....hmmmm where shall we start!

KNITTING

I knitted my first soaker in the round!!! The i-cord (also a new skill) is a bit thick and the leg cuffs need to be finished (I undid the one I did as it was a BIT small). I also discovered that size M is a bit on the tight side for my LJ. So this one will be given to someone who needs (and uses) them. I love the colour!! A bit girly for my boy but HEY it's underneath. If you want it or would use it.....drop me an email and i'll send it to you. kenzilandlauz AT gmail DOT com




So on that note I've started a size L...in a less girly colour........ Tekapo Wool by Ashford is my FAVOURITE! This one is Storm..........


I am also 1/3 the way through knitting a cardy/jacket for LJ from Tekapo Landscape. It's knitted as a whole piece.....very cool and i'm learning lots of little skills on the way. The colours look a bit wrong on the photo, it's a bit bluer than it looks.


KNITTING RELATED.....BUT MORE LIKE BEADS!

I made my first set of stitch markers for my fabulous friend Jess. I used art beads, celestial crystal cubes and little metal beads. I loved doing these. They are SO classy......well I think so!


SEWING.........BUT ALSO KNITTING RELATED

For my Mum's Birthday I made her a knitting needle Pouch thingee
I chose all NZ fabrics. It is almost finished it just needs 2 buttons and button loops added on the outside to hold it all together. I added French knots to the appliqu├ęd panels on the cover for a bit of depth. I had fabulous fun making it and am quite happy with the result.
Mum loves it which is just what I hoped for.






So there you have it! I've been a busy gal!

And here are 2 photos of SUPPLIES for my future projects.
1) Hemp fabric for fitted nappies 2) More wool for a hat for JK and another soaker and.....







Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Post Script

I should be in bed!!!
I just returned from a MOPS committee meetings and was doing a quick catchup on a few blogging friends.......................................
I just need to say, I am so EXCITED.......our new camera arrived today!!!!!!!!
So you may indeed see some new photos in the next few weeks!!

pps. My little LJ waved for the first time today and said "es" for 'yes' and "bo' for book and there is a yet undescribed sound for JK. WOW! don't they just change sooooo quickly, where has my little bubba gone! But it does so warm my heart to witness these amazing learning curves........I wouldn't miss it for the world.

Nighteee Night

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Comparisons and other such murmurings

I was just pondering today upon the way we, as parents and as a society, seem to be in a constant state of comparing ourselves, our children, our lifestyles, our skills etc etc with others.
I considered the fact that comparing oneself to another can be quite damaging to one's stability as a 'whole person' because whose 'ideals' are we comparing ourselves (or others) to?

I remember reading a portion of Brendan Manning's book "Abba's Child", he explained how our need to compare ourselves to some arbitrary worldly standard (basically being far to worried what everyone else thinks of us) causes us much grieve and insecurity. He goes on to say that if we were only worried about whether we are right in the sight of God and concerned about what he thinks and where we belong than so much of this insecurity will be a thing of the past.

Now there is a point to all this :-) .................
I often have people say to me, "oh your boys look so alike" OR "he's just like his brother". And then I have my own self-talk where i compare my child to someone else's child or some standard that isn't really founded in much. AND then there's the "baby olympics" that goes on amongst friends and acquaintances.........

So as I was pondering these things I went back through some photos and found some "similar age" photos of our boys to see whether they really look alike. This is what I found................. (JK (born 2004) on Left, LJ (born 2006) on Right)


On Their Birth Day




3 Months Old





8 Months Old




And I concede they are similar!!
But I work hard not to fall into the trap of comparing them (not saying that I won't!), they are their own little people with their own God given talents and gifts and personality. And I have been inspired by Rach from Intricate Simplicity to foster my children's interests and provide them opportunities to explore their little groove in life.

I think I might have written this blog for my own benefit :-)
But feel free to join in with my rambling thoughts.

Celebrate the uniqueness in your own life and then in those around you. Together we bring different colour, texture and depth to the painting of life. OH how bland it would be if we were all the same or too similar.