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Busy long weekend. Update, Book reviews, photos.

This weekend was a long weekend, which simply means that it was a public holiday today for the Queens Birthday..like most long weekends in Australia it’s just an excuse to go away and party or in our case relax!

We spent the weekend at our holiday place in St.Leonards and I’ve written lots about that so I won’t bore you again, instead I’m going to tell you how amazing I am that I got so much done this weekend. Its amazing really when I have some baby free time how much I can achieve. I had a stack of penpal letters to reply to so I took those along, seven letters to be truthful and so I got ALL of those written and posted! Yay! that in itself is a job well done, because I hand write all my letters and  they are usually 4 or more pages long.

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Bookclub

Next on my list of “to do” was to finish a book I started back in April it was called “Adams Empire” by Even Green..

Adam's Empire

Mine was a different cover, but this is the one “god reads” has on display..

From Publishers Weekly
The protagonist of this robust and sprawling saga set in the untamed Australia of the first half of this century is a true child of the outback. Orphaned at age nine, at home under the stars, completely unschooled, Adam uses his fists and his wits to rise from poverty to prosperity. He befriends an aborigine, performs dangerous work in the opal mines, falls in love with a sensual half-caste, has a run-in with a murderous policeman, marries a cold and manipulative beauty and finally treks west to carve himself an empire. This striking first novel tells a colorful and entertaining story, vividly evoking a vigorous, multiethnic society and a beautiful, diverse, often dangerous land. Green is a journalist and the author of Alice to Nowhere.

Nine-year old Adam is orphaned when his father is buried during an Australian desert sandstorm. A childhood of roaming the outback with his father’s drilling partner instills in him a fierce determination to have a place of his own. In this fast-paced, gripping saga, the reader follows the hard-working Adam and his mates, Jimmy, the practical aboriginal, and Josef, the impetuous young German immigrant, from the opal mines to the desert. They feint with death in mine disasters, at the hands of Mailey, the revenge-seeking law officer, and in the ravages of flash floods. A more deadly threat for Adam is his beautiful, calculating, near-mad wife, but a seductive half-caste woman lends her own type of danger to all of the men.

Taken from https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/4116936-adam-s-empire

So it had 780 pages and normally that doesn’t phase me but I’ve been so busy it’s taken me almost three months to read it all.. shame on me.. but to be honest I did read other things in between..I loved this book which started in 1919 and went up to I think about 1940’s so a nice long-span of time, and I like that it mentioned places we have been as a family. I enjoyed it but it was time to finish it and move on… I’m giving this one a 4 out of 5 star rating

So I wiped that off by Saturday morning and then, my cousin Lee went to a charity shop to look for bargains because it’s kind of a thing we do whenever we are down there together, and while we were there we heard about a BOOK SALE! at the St. James church. They have two a year one in January and this one in June, and this year I missed the January one because it was star son’s 13th birthday party weekend.

So we went to St.James in Drysdale and spent an hour wandering through endless rows and tables and shelves of books! I love it! I was able to replenish my supply of “Christian books” and I was very pleased about that and I ended up with about 10 books or sets of books for only $8.50! Bargain!

So while I was book shopping I found another book which was “Australian” for my “Read Australian Authors” challenge..

This  book was called “Diamonds and Dust” by Sheryl McCorry

Diamonds and Dust: A Sheryl McCorry Memoir 1

Sheryl McCorry grew up in the outback carrying crocodiles to school for show and tell. When she was 18 her family moved to Broome, and it was the first time she’d ever used a telephone or seen a television.

A year later, only hours after being railroaded into marriage by a fast-talking Yank, Sheryl locked eyes with Bob McCorry, a drover and buffalo shooter. When her marriage ended after only a few months, they began a love affair that would last a lifetime and take them to the Kimberley’s harshest frontiers.

Sheryl became the only woman in a team of stockmen. She soon learned how to run rogue bulls and to outsmart the neighbours in the toughest game of all mustering cattle. The playing field was a million acres of unfenced, unmarked boundaries.

Sheryl went on to become the first woman in the Kimberley to run two million-acre cattle stations, but her life was not without its share of tragedy. Her story is an epic saga of life in one of the toughest and most beautiful terrains in Australia a story of hardship, drought, joy and triumph.

Taken from: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11864222-diamonds-and-dust

This one was much easier to read it’s a true story and therefore fascinating to me a “City Slicker” I loved it and finised reading it this afternoon! I’m giving this a 4 out of 5 star rating.

Another thing on my “to do” list was.. “do some art

I had downloaded the video clips at home while I had the internet connection and so I was able to just watch them from my lap top computer down there, Last week I mentioned about a friend of mine who had gifted me some art classes… you can read about it here: https://kimlhine.wordpress.com/2015/06/01/im-back/

So I wanted to do some of the art classes Carrol had gifted me.. first class I did was from the 2013 version of LifeBook the “Tam Edition” which was “Celebration and Journey

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I forgot to take progress photos! Never mind here she is finished.. the Clouds are things we are grateful for and the flowers are things we want to journey towards.

Next up in the series was “our art guardian” and here’s how she turned out..

More info about Tam’s courses here: http://willowing.ning.com/group/lb2013-tam-edition

I also had downloaded a few of Mindy’s lessons from “Sunday Mornings 2” and So I also got done a double pages spread titled “The Crucifixion” This is the second time in the past three or so weeks I’ve painted on this theme and both times it made me cry. Maybe because I understand the background of the disciples deserting him in his time of need.

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I am so loving this piece!

I am calling it "Mary's tears"

Here is the previous “crucifixion” painting I did- I am calling it “Mary’s tears”

But you know what I am finding annoying? I am doing all these lovely pieces in my art journal! Arghhhh.. I had a Facebook friend ask me “how much for a signed copy”? and I replied “Priceless it’s in my art journal” so now I need to do it again and send it to him! I found this weekend that whatever I was touching was turning out nicely!!

More info about Sunday Mornings 2 here: https://app.ruzuku.com/courses/7987/overview

I also got caught up on my ICAD project…

This week the prompts are

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and you can find out more about this challenge at: http://daisyyellowart.com/vividlife/icad-2015-index

Tam’s and Mindy’s classes are at a cost.. and the ICAD is a free challenge.

Today we got back home and took Star Son’s friend home, we took a friend down to the holiday place to keep him occupied and once we had dropped the friend home, we un packed the car and went to visit my Mother-in-law at her facility, we took Sweetpea with us which is always fun because she’s so tiny and doll-like people just cant help but love her.. the Oldies adore her and she’s happy to perform for them, today’s little game was taking off Star Son’s hat and putting it back on each of us in turn, at one point she dropped the hat and as clear as a bell she said “oh shit!” I guess that means now we will all have to watch what we say!!

I wish she’d say Grandma like that!!

How was your weekend?

T is for… too much fun!

My daughter, Jasmin and I are working on a theme for Squishy’s bedroom, I’d better not say what it is until I find out if it’s a secret or not, but as soon as I can I will share with you.. so she looks up what she wants and then comes to me and says “Mum can “we” do this?” by “we” she means “Me” and that’s ok, because she knows I will take a theme and run with it.. themes I am great at. What I am not great at it spending money on said items because they are “themed” So I have always said “I bet I could do that!” and 9 times outta 10 between the Bloke and I , I have done it.. sometimes I get a little lost and so I call him and he fixes it… we are a good crafty combo.

So today has been an arty day, just like yesterday was an arty day… today I have Squishy, but Amber and Sweetpea have gone away for last night and today, so minus one small person makes such a difference to productivity.

So here’s a sneak peek at what we’ve, (by “we” I mean “me“, Jasmin funds it all, I do the work)  been doing…

So before you think to yourself “Clouds are not supposed to be blue” well, Jasmin is living in a rental and I don’t think they’d let us paint the roof to resemble the sky, so we are keeping the roof white and adding blue clouds…we’re funky like that!!

You can always tell when I’ve been away from my Art Studio too long..

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First this happened… I run out of Gesso!! Oh my!

AND THEN!

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I decided to finish the base coat with white paint and it was dried rock hard in to bottom of the jar…

AND THEN....

I ran out of the blue we were using to make the clouds, so I guess that tells me it’s been too long between painting ,

GET BACK TO THE STUDIO!!

So now I need to go off and make up the letters of his name in the font we want and transfer them to the canvas panels when they dry… Check back again for an update!!

Email newsletters

I am kind of a sucker for those email newsletters, a while back I signed up with sarahmae.com initially because I was going to join the “Sisterhood reading club” and read all the Christian books Sarah had listed, but I didn’t end up doing that because I couldn’t find a few of the books on her list. So I keep getting the emails and finding interesting things to read, but tonights interesting thing moved me to tears.

Sarah was telling us about reading a friends blog post, you can find it here: http://www.sarahjessicafarber.com/?p=78 as I read along I started to cry, (I don’t love the month of April, it makes me cry a LOT, because on the 8th of April my Dad died in 1992. Plus on April 25th is ANZAC day which is when we remember the ones that were lost in the wars, everytime I hear the bugler play “The Last Post” I cry! Because they played it at Dad’s funeral and I miss him so much, Nope I do NOT like April!) I was about the same age when my Dad died, and like Sarah I have few photos and no recording of his voice, my eldest Daughter was 22 months and she adored “Poppa” and he adored her and called her his “Boo” and Amber was only 3 weeks old. They have missed out growing up with him, hearing his laugh and knowing his love and hearing his stories.

This is partly why when my girls discovered they were pregnant I started a journal for the “Jellys” Scarlett is Jelly Baby and Chase is Jelly Bean and I have started one for the Eldest Grand baby that we don’t get to see, who knows one day she might come looking for me and I’ll be able to give her the journal, and she will be able to read that although I wasn’t there with her, I never stopped thinking of her and loving her. Any chance I get to jump into photos with my Grandbabies, I do it.  I hate looking at my photos but I want them to have happy memories when I am no longer here to hold them, so we take candid photos as well as the fancy photos and today we took this photo!

  

Why? Just because I had looked down and we all had our sneakers on and were getting ready to go for a walk, they trusted me, they waited patiently for me to be ready to go.. So we took a photo of our feet, then Miz Scarlett lost one of her cute little pink Nike sneakers somewhere along the way, we back tracked and could not find it anywhere, so now we have one lonely little hot pink Nike.. Which her Mum brought for $1:00 and free postage on Ebay.. Another little story for her journal!! 

So even though you feel like you might be carrying too much weight, or your hair is not right, or your clothes are not right, jump in the photo and make some happy memories to pass onto your children and even more importantly your Grandchildren. I am going to! 

B is for……..

  APRIL-CALENDAR [2015]

A-Z Blogging Challenge….  http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/

B

Babies…

Oh don’t groan!! I know you might be tired of this subject but a “Family” themed blog without my Grand babies would not work!

So let me introduce you to my “Babies” for the letter B… technically it can be argued that at 20 months and 16 months they are NOT babies but toddlers, but they will always be “my Babies” no matter how old they are!

Becoming a Grandma was always going to be exciting but the first one was so unexpected even I was lost for words, a strange occurrence for me.

I received a phone call one July morning in 2013 from a social worker I’d never heard of about a girl I’d heard of in snippets who had just given birth to my “grand child Umm.. err.. WHAT?!! Apparently my then 18-year-old son had become a father! I’d heard the rumors from my middle child and she said A lot of people doubted that he was in fact the father but anyways I’d become a “grandmother” and she asked “How do you feel?” hmmm, on the spot much? So I honestly spoke my mind and told her that if in fact that new-born girl was MY grandchild I would love her unconditionally, and we would like to be a part of her life and get to know her… so months went by and phone calls and messages through Facebook between the mother of my “grandchild” that I’d never laid eyes on, and my middle daughter who knew the girl.

Then in November- the 21st at 11.43 pm 2013 my Sweetpea was born, 6 pounds 13 oz. I was with her at her birth and stayed with her the first night and day of her life Amber was in pretty bad shape, she’d had a hard labour. All focus was on her, what a small sweet bundle of love!

Grand daughter Scarlett

Grand daughter Scarlett

Two weeks later, 5th December 2013 our handsome Brown eyed boy arrived via C-Section, I was with my eldest daughter as they struggled to bring him from her womb, upside down and head wedged under her ribs, she ended up needing forceps as well, he so didn’t want to be born! This boy child weighed in at 8 pound 11 oz, with the juiciest dimples started talking almost immediately, no one had heard of a newborn so vocal, he just didn’t shut up!

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                                                                       Chase John, Mr Have-a-chat!

Then in the January of 2014,  another phone call asking if my Son would like to meet his daughter? of course he would, we had suspicions until that day! My eldest daughter drove J and I to meet this baby, all we knew was her name was “Inara Rose” which is Arabic and means “Illuminating or shining” All three of us were nervous as we sat in the waiting room, the social worker had gone to collect Inara and bring her to the meeting place.  In she walked and uncovered this child and all three of us gasped… Inara was the image of her cousin Scarlett, slightly bigger but the resemblance was there! And she looked like my son!

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Inara Rose the first time we met her!

Suddenly it got very real that we have three Grandbabies.

Sadly things didn’t turn out very happily ever after, and we do not get to see Inara. My Son lost numerous court battles and  a lot of his confidence, the maternal Grandma has custody and we send gifts for birthdays. I hope and pray that some day Inara will want to find her Father’s family and that she will come looking with questions that we have answers to, and I am journalling about her as I journal for the other two babies. I wish we had access to Inara she is so like her Dad… but in the mean time, I send cards and presents and keep our address current so she can come looking for us.

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All three of my “babies” together

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Our Fridge is our Baby Gallery.

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Grandma with Inara Rose.

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Grandma With Scarlett Olivia

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Grandma with Chase John

Yumminess… Paleo Zucchini Chocolate Chip Mini-Muffins.. recipe too.

recipes

Well for a little while I have been considering going onto the “paleo program” not sure why I’ve never made the switch but I am doing the “Daniel Plan” and so I have cut things out of my diet that I have never thought I would ever stop eating… some crept back in but honestly in smaller doses.

I gave up Coffee... me who used to rink 6 or more cups a day! I said  “If I can’t have milk and sugar what’s the point?” so I gave it up like that 10th November 2014.. since then I tried a cappuccino and it was terrible and I forced myself to drink it because my husband brought it but I didn’t enjoy it which means I’ve made the right choice to quit it. For a while I was doing “Chinese red tea” instead, but on 7th December I got really badly sick with Gastro and that put me off the tea so now I have nothing, nada, zip, zilch. I miss the ritual of the “Morning Coffee” but I don’t actually miss the coffee.

Sugar– Since I don’t have coffee or tea anymore, I no longer have sugar, I did bring it back after the detox in smaller doses, I have one small glass of Pepsi each night, it’s my one consolation.

I also gave up dairy…. me who loves cheese, but I recall when I was pregnant with “Star Son” and I have gestational Diabetes, I had to change to Skim milk and low-fat cheese and in fact limit it all together back then it was hard, but this time gave up dairy too! So as usual I fast read everything so that I could start (Yes I am working on “Patience” now!) and I read in correctly that the “Detox” was what I was supposed to do… silly me thought “forever” but no it was for a limited time… then you re-introduce the taken away stuff back in one by one.. but I had not felt so good so I left them out… well all except the dreaded bread!

A few weeks back and I went and did my yearly blood test, I have been feeling really tired and worn out and wondered if I was in need of iron or something, plus she checks on my hormones and whatever else they check, Oh  yeah Glucose, Cholesterol and Blood Sugars and Liver enzymes. I went back for the results wondering what would they say and she was amazed! My blood levels are the lowest they’ve ever been all over the board! 18 months ago when I was last tested, I was told I was just barely in the “normal range” for Cholesterol which shocked me because we eat healthy… apparently not!! She said my Blood Sugar and Cholesterol had never been this low!! Yay me! it convinced me that I am on the right path, as for the tiredness she put that down to “life style” and said “go ahead and take your Nanna naps if you need to”

Gluten has been a learning curve for me.. bread is evil for me (please don’t take what I say to heart this is just MY opinion for MY body) I know full well that when we go away camping or to our holiday place for the weekend, white bread is involved… it’s much easier to buy one loaf of “white bread” and know Star Son and the Bloke will eat it than try to make them eat my “Soy linseed” nutty bread that I use at home… I also know that when that happens I’ll come home and I could have gained as much as two kilos… because White bread had no goodness init and whats more when you eat bread the water is absorbed in to the bread which cling to you..I learnt that from “body trim” So I cut out bread, it’s been hard, much harder than I like to admit and it’s the one thing I struggle with.. and then I discovered “Paleo and Gluten Free” recipes which mean you can have a “type of bread” to use the same way you’d use bread but without the nasties…

One of my favourite websites is “Paleonewbie.com” and I am really enjoying reading what Trina comes up with.

So today I got brave and made one of her recipes…

Paleo Zucchini Chocolate Chip Mini-Muffins

They were delish! and as expected the “Zucchini” in the title put everyone off.. but my husband and I liked them. I am taking them to an art class tomorrow I had already decided that was what I was taking and I emailed the teacher to ask her how many students so I could bake enough and she said “well I am gluten intolerant so I won’t be needing any” so I wrote right back and told her they were Gluten free and Paleo and she was rapt!!

So without further Ado… here is the recipe…

Paleo Zucchini Chocolate Chip Mini-Muffins

Yield: Makes about 40 mini-muffins (I made regular sized ones)

Paleo Zucchini Chocolate Chip Mini-Muffins Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1 tbs ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 eggs, whisked
  • 1/3 cup raw honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup of melted coconut oil
  • 1 cup grated raw zucchini (about 1 medium zucchini)
  • 1/2 cup of dark chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350º F (175 C )
  2. Grate zucchini – blot firmly with paper towels to remove excess moisture
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, first combine dry ingredients (except the chocolate chips)
  4. In a separate small mixing bowl, combine all wet ingredients (except the zucchini)
  5. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients bowl and stir
  6. Finally, fold in both the grated zucchini and dark chocolate chips
  7. Grease a non-stick mini-muffin pan with coconut oil
  8. Fill each muffin well about two-thirds full
  9. Bake 10-12 minutes (oven cooking times may vary)
  10. Cool, remove and enjoy!

Seriously they are good!

16 Ways to be a good Grandmother..

I just read this article and I wanted to be able to keep it and read it again and again so I thought I’d blog about it.. because lets face it.. being a “Good” Grandmother is not just my goal but I aim to be a “GREAT” Grandmother.. so I’m open to suggestions..

http://paradisepraises.com/16-ways-to-be-a-good-grandmother/#comment-4281

A Tribute to Grandmothers, without whom my life would have been greatly impoverished:

We all have grandmother figures whom we look up to. What can we learn from these grandmothers’ examples that will give us greater impact with our own children, grandchildren and other young people in our spheres of influence? My maternal grandmother spoiled us. Not rotten, but we definitely knew we were special. While at home we only ever got blah (i.e. good for you) cereals, Grandma always had our favorites on hand when we arrived for our summer visit, and we were allowed to choose whichever one we wanted on the next shopping trip! Her big four-poster bed was a special place reserved for reading, snuggled in luxury! From her I learned that a good grandmother

  • makes others feel special without spoiling them
  • makes time to read and snuggle
  • shows more love than frustration

How to be an Exceptional Grandmother www.ParadisePraises.comMy paternal Grandma’s impact on my life extends beyond the culinary and sewing arts, in that, while teaching me those things, she also patiently taught me how to feed and dress the soul. We knew our grandparents had a date with the Lord each morning over breakfast, and often we arrived at their door just in time to hear the final Bible reading and listen to them pray through the list of children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Grandma taught me that a good grandmother

  • is joyful in serving her family and is a gracious hostess
  • is meticulous in her responsibilities (Yes, there is a right way to tuck in bedsheets!)
  • delights in simple pleasures and sees God’s object lessons in everyday living
  • actively keeps her mind”stayed on Him”
  • prays for her family regularly

I know that “blood is thicker than water”, but I also know that there may be some reading this who may not be biological mothers, and may feel like you don’t have an influence. You couldn’t be more wrong! Every woman can positively influence those God puts in your path, even if they aren’t any “blood relation”. You may never know the full impact of your example, influence, and love. Grandma Madge was a family friend whose influence made a huge impact on my young life. I still remember her guest room with one end piled to the ceiling with fabric scraps, her fabulous handmade quilts, her special raisin cookies, her gourd water dipper hung by the cool mountain stream a few yards from her house, her flower garden filled with gorgeous hydrangea and bleeding hearts, her concentrated listening to the “important things” a child wanted to share with her, and hearing her prayers for others. From her I learned that a good grandmother

  • has time to listen to the joys and woes of “little people”
  • inspires and cultivates beauty all around her
  • selflessly loves and gives to others, speaking life into them

Grammy is another family friend who has had a grandmother’s influence in my adult life. Grammy has a way of giving straight-talking counsel without stinging, and she knows the secret of encouraging without puffing one up. Though I will never attain to her level of graciousness, hospitality, generosity and pie making excellence, (I do aim to give it my best shot), I have learned from her that a good grandmother

  • holds loosely to this world’s goods
  • knows how to love the unlovely
  • knows how to do the hard things with joy
  • Inspires and motivates others to excellence
  • will stop and pray with you over anything at any time of day or night

Are You a Good Grandmother?

  • What memories or qualities of your Grandmother have made the biggest impact on your life?
  • I never grew up with a Grand Mother, both of mine had died before I was born.
  • What legacy was left to you that you desire to replicate?
  • Well since I never got to meet them, I am making my own traditions for my Grandies as I go.
  • What legacy do you wish to leave behind?
  • I want my grandchildren to be able to look back on their lives and remember all the happy times they spent with Grandma, the Grandma who played on the swings and rode bikes, and danced and baked with them, the grandma that played dress ups and went to kindergarten and school plays, the grandma that was always cheering on at sports days and school concerts. The Grandma that they can always come to with worries and know that I am always on their team!
  • What can you do today to begin being the grandmother you hope to become?
  • Everyday I tell my babies (they are only 15 months old) I love them, all the time, I kiss and hug and I always kiss them good morning and goodnight. We dance around the house, we sing along (OK, I sing and they babble) to all the play school and sesame street songs, and when I am in the kitchen and they want to join me I give them the wooden spoons and a pot or the measuring spoons and cups and let them play.
  • Who has God placed in your life who needs a mother’s or grandmother’s influence?
  • I believe that God doesn’t make mistakes so he gave me two Grandbabies at almost the same time (2 weeks age difference) so that we three can form an enduring love!
  • What will you do to begin making a difference in that young (or younger) person’s life?
  • I think I am already doing that and I know it’s working because my babies are so happy to see Grandma the look of excitement on their faces is immeasurable. When daughter #1 drops of “Squishy” he has no discomfort at her leaving him with me, in fact he’s happy to wave her goodbye!

First piece of art for 2015

I’m away at our holiday place for the weekend, I keep bringing my art supplies with me on the off chance I might do some, today I did..

I copied a Klimt piece he called it “Mother’s love” I call it “Nanna Nap with Sweetpea and Squishy” it needs a lot of work, its amazing how quickly you loose confidence when you don’t do anything. I’m giving up my art studio and quitting painting, but I enjoyed doing this piece so I’ll just draw, at least that way I am still doing something.

I can imagine doing this in Klimt style with the colourful background and in a large scale because I love my Grandbabies and this could be “Our” painting.. i’ll keep working on it.

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Australia Day 2015

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australia_Day

Australia Day is the official national day of Australia. Celebrated annually on 26 January, it marks the anniversary of the 1788 arrival of the First Fleet of British Ships atPort Jackson, New South Wales, and raising of the Flag of Great Britain at that site by Governor Arthur Phillip. In present-day Australia, celebrations reflect the diverse society and landscape of the nation, and are marked by community and family events, reflections on Australian history, official community awards, and citizenship ceremonies welcoming new immigrants into the Australian community.[2]

The meaning and significance of Australia Day has evolved over time. Unofficially, or historically, the date has also been variously named “Anniversary Day”, “Invasion Day”, “Foundation Day”, and “ANA Day”.[3] 26 January 1788 marked the proclamation of British sovereignty over the eastern seaboard of Australia (then known as New Holland).[4] Although it was not known as Australia Day until over a century later, records of celebrations on 26 January date back to 1808, with the first official celebration of the formation of New South Wales held in 1818.[5] On New Years Day 1901, the British colonies of Australia formed a Federation, marking the birth of modern Australia. A national day of unity and celebration was looked for. It was not until 1935 that all Australian states and territories had adopted use of the term “Australia Day” to mark the date, and not until 1994 that the date was consistently marked by a public holiday on that day by all states and territories.[6]

In contemporary Australia, the holiday is marked by the presentation of the Australian of the Year Awards on Australia Day Eve, announcement of the Australia Day Honours list and addresses from the Governor-General and Prime Minister. It is an official public holiday in every state and territory of Australia, unless it falls on a weekend in which case the following Monday becomes a public holiday instead. With community festivals, concerts and citizenship ceremonies, the day is celebrated in large and small communities and cities around the nation. Australia Day has become the biggest annual civic event in Australia..


 

Today is Australia day, whether you like it or hate it or disagree with it, it happens every year. My thoughts are at the start it was an “invasion”  but I think that we need to get over it and move onward and upwards and work together to make Australia an even more amazing country.. OK, I know I am going to get complaints about this subject but I am entitled to MY opinion.. no one has to agree with me.

This year due to the fact that “Star Son” turned 13 and had a combined birthday party with a friend from school, we were unable to go away for the long weekend. Oh well he turns 13 a teenager but once… we have however made it VERY clear that going forward any parties being planned must be held the week before or the week after this weekend!

His was the first party that we have had out of the our house. I am the “Queen of parties” give me a theme I’ll run with it.. I have never until this weekend had a party for the kids out of our house, Number one daughter had one for her 17th at her Dad’s house and that was a bit of a disaster.

So we celebrated “Australia Day” at home this year, The Bloke cooked Roast Lamb, and baked potatoes, pumpkin and broccoli, and then for desert he home-made a pavlova!

 

Day two of 13th birthday celebrations..and assorted drama…

Today was a stupidly busy day.

Today we cleared out a house and cleaned it in preparation to handing in the keys it was a rental house that my number two daughter was sharing. As a parent we need to let our children grow and mature even when our insides are screaming at us “this is not going to end well” and it didn’t end well, it ended horribly and the past two weeks have been stressful and messy and nerve-wracking. Today was a final step in the situation that means this night mare is almost over.

Tomorrow, the carpets are steam cleaned and the windows and the floors washed and then, on Tuesday the keys get handed back… then the waiting begins.. A- will they get the bond back, which my daughter paid she was tricked into that arrangement.. but you can’t tell them when they all know everything and we know nothing. B- They’ve broken their lease which means there is still 6 months left.. they have several options, 1- if the real estate agent can re-lease the house quickly, that will be the greatest thing, 2- they will have to keep paying rent there until the real Estate agent can re rent the house 3- a huge pay out as the rest of the contract… any way you look at it.. its money that my daughter doesn’t have. I REALLY hope a valuable and very expensive lesson has been learnt. We tried NOT to get involved because I think it’s a great learning curve about how the real world works and as “adults” they need to deal with stuff themselves. BUT  the “compulsive liar’s” parents got involved and got nasty and got bossy and my introvert daughter (who is much too much like her Mother, which means we cave in at the first sign of trouble and do whatever people tell us to do) well it got nasty, which meant that either I or The Bloke would have to step in so I “Introvert Mother” let him do it.. he’s a business manager, he knows what to say and when it needs to be said in just the right tone and it worked.. but it’s mean an awful two weeks.

But what this means is now.. I have two daughter and two grandchildren living in the house at once. My house is aptly “Packed to the Rafters” there was a TV show in Australia called that and it was the same scenario, the grown up kids started moving back home one by one.. and everyone laughed and said “it’ll never happen to me!” and guess what… it is HAPPENING to me right now. And while I am enjoying having my daughters here in a safe environment, and spending time with my Grand babies, I am remembering why I was so glad they ALL moved out.. because my daughters are such different personalities and they clash.. there are Ms Bossy boots cleaning freak and then .. Ms Introvert I’ll do whatever you want just don’t have a confrontation with me, and then there’s me, I swing both ways but mostly I was everyone to be happy, and safe and get a long.. is that too much to ask for?

This week I’ve had Ms Bossy boots, Ms Introvert and The Bloke in his first full week back at work Mr Snappy.. and me? well between worrying about the house situation and all these personalities I find myself dissolving in tears at the drop of a feather.. throw into the mix a 10 week old female kitten (our Old Boy doesn’t like her!) and a gold-fish.. it’s a bloody mad house!! So as I’m making my green smoothies, listening the daughters argue about who needs to do what chores, I cry and then as I walk out to the clothes line to hang out a basket full of washing that has NOT one thing of mine I cry.. I’m just a big old ball of sooky lah lah this week…

I was hoping that this weekend would be different Star Son is 13, let’s come together and be a happy bunch, but NO! didn’t happen either…

After the House cleaning and moving and dump runs we packed up and went to a Melbourne Aces baseball match. It was a fun few hours, where I could just sit and soak up the peace and enjoy the game… and then we come home, everyone sniping at each other and the kitten went over the fence into the neighbour’s yard, and she can’t work out how to come home, so we sent Master 13 over the fence along with a ladder he passed “Itty bitty Kitty” back to me, and then we pulled him over and the ladder as well… at 10PM!! I’m exhausted, physically, mentally and most assuredly emotionally.. so I’ll attempt to go to sleep.. Good luck with that.. the last two nights it’s been laying in bed tossing and turning, mind churning until 2.00am!

that is my life as of right now.

The end of another year…goodbye 2014…

 

What a year it’s been! The first half of the year I had my number two daughter and Sweet pea living with us.

The second half of the year I’ve had daughter number one and Squishy living with us.

I love my children and I especially love my Grandchildren, but I miss my art! I am so consumed with babies, and all that they entail that I have not done any art, not much of note, I have so much to do, to finish my “Art Instructors” course and I have just learnt Zentangle so that needs doing, and my penpalling fell off for a little while but happily that is back on track.

In January– We went away camping with long time friends, daughter number one and two grand babies. That was over the “Australia Day” weekend, fun times.

In February, My Husband took me away for a romantic weekend to Brisbane in Queensland, we got a mystery flight so we only found out where we were going a few days before hand, we have been there but we didn’t care it was us flying (I LOVE flying) away to be together. Had a great weekend.

In March– Heralded the Start of “Footy Season” and again I donned my hat as “football tragic mum”

In April– We had an engagement party for one of my nephews and the following weekend we had a roadt trip to Queensland to do some repairs on a friends house. Camping trip loved it.

In May– Nothing special but lots of football matches.

In June– Daughter number two and Sweetpea flew the nest.

In July– I discovered the Lord, we went out for dinner for a friends birthday. Had a date day at the Art Gallery and then lunch

In August– Number one daughter moved home with Squishy, Football Grand-final, we lost by one point!!

In September– My Nephew’s engagement party, great night out.

In October– My Niece had her engagement party, my birthday, Moved Mother-in-law into a nursing home and we went camping.

In November– Still camping for the first whole week.  Zentangle art class, Sweetpea turned one and said farewell to a long time friend. She Who Rambles Salad Challenge

In December– Christmas party at the Nursing home, Squishy turned one, huge birthday party, Christmas and quality time at our holiday place.

November, I started “The Daniel Plan” and to date I have lost 6 kilograms and 12 inches, I am happy about that!

 

Reading all that it’s been a busy year! Speaking of reading

IMG_0300This is the pile of books I finished,  along with the note books full of notes, and the second bible I brought so I could do bible art in it. This one has the two inch wide margins.

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My first piece of Bible art Psalm 139;13 I need to add some colour to it, but I’m scared to ruin it. I since quit that group because it was making me nervous about ruining my beautiful new bible.

IMG_0304This is my “awaiting” to be read pile… sheesh it makes me tired just looking at it, The book about Luther belongs to Pastor Frank, he loans me his personal books, I find that very humbling that he trusts me with his books.

IMG_0306A 90 day devotional study that I want to do, I haven’t booked it in yet, I’m really busy in January. Maybe I’ll pencil it in for April, May and June.

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Two more Studies that I just got in the mail, both have 12 lessons.

IMG_0302This is my Bible study folder, which I do my daily studies in with “The Good Morning Girls” group, I am in a Facebook group called “The Heart of Esther” and have just been made Assistant for the group, so already my “deeper” is working! I have different sections in this folder.. the books that concern Men go in one bit, the Books that concern women go in another and the general books which is most of them go into a separate section. This year Good Morning Girls is introducing a different hing we are going to start colour coordinating the scriptures. Monday 5th January “Good Morning Girls” starts back with the Book of Exodus.

 

                  

 

So I have a feeling my morning study session is going to get a bit longer.. if I do this I haven’t actually decided yet.

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This neat little pile lives by my bed. Each morning and each night, I read the daily devotional in each book and write in my journal. Basically my journal I write in any time, but I always start off with good intentions each morning and do a wrap up of each day before I go to bed, then I know my mind is clear and I am all set for my prayer.

Tonight I am ending the year as I started it, with Sweetpea while her Mum goes out for the night. We did that last year too.. except last year I didn’t feel as tired as I do this year!

Happy New Year to all my friends out there who take time to read my blog, thank- you for reading and I hope you all come back next year for more and I wish you all a very happy 2015!!