Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Post Christmas update

Hi to all who have been patiently waiting for an update. Sorry things around here have been somewhat crazy and finding time to sit down and write has been difficult. If you are checking in for some sewing you will be sadly disappointed as I have not sat down to sew anything in a good long time. This is not a fact that pleases me, but then sometimes you just have to know your limits.
I thought though that I will give you a quick update of what has been happening around here:

* Jouke and I celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary this week. It has been 7 great years and we look forward to many more.

* Tiaan is officially enrolled at the Christian school for pre-kindy. I tossed and turned about homeschooling for a while but in the end realised that it was not something that would be possible for our family. So two days a week he will be going to preschool and the year after he will be a big boy in kindy.

* Last weekend we had 3 inches of rain in a night. It was great, but our back room got a little soggy. We had to pull the, already tattered, carpet up. The floating floor is ordered, now it is just a matter of making sure the water stays out next time.

* Alani has started crawling. She is not on all fours but is doing it commando style. Even so, she has become rather good at getting around and a little expert at opening cupboard doors and unpacking the contents.

* I have started weaning Baby Girl. She was born weighing in at the 90th percentile and has slipped down to the 10th. While she is eating well I just don't think I have enough milk to give her what she needs. I am a little sad that this part is almost over, but if this is what she needs to thrive than so be it. Plus if she will be a happier girl than even better.

That is about what we are up to. I wish everybody a wonderful Christmas. May you come the know the greatest Gift of all - Jesus.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

One of those days

Today has been one of those days. I have fought harder than I was ready for, I cried a little, I was scared, felt sad and is now exhausted.

It started when Jouke and I went to town to do some Christmas shopping. We are not buying big this year and so we only had 3 gifts to buy. Sounds easy, but we left town with only 2 bought and feeling less than friendly toward each other.

Then my dear little baby got a piece of bread stuck in her throat and after a few terrifying moments we decided it best to get her to emergency. She was breathing but the food was stuck and causing her much pain. Thankfully she is now OK, but for a very sore throat. It was just so scary and I am ashamed to say that I froze unsure of what to do. God was good in that Jouke was home and was able to help her. I still feel sick at the thought at what could have been.

The afternoon got better but because Jouke is work evening shifts this week the kids are testing me at bed time. I fought (I know, strong language but this is how it felt) for over 2 hours to get them settled. I got angry and frustrated and I yelled a little too loudly and I am sure they fell asleep thinking that Mamma has lost it tonight. They are all finally asleep.

And now, I am boiling the kettle. I have popped the left overs in the fridge and when my cuppa is made will have a little quite sit down. The kitchen can wait until morning, tonight I am tired.

How has your day been?

Monday, December 15, 2008

I am in love

Have a look at what I found today. My oh my, isn't this just beautiful!!! I found this Etsy shop today and I am very worried that I will loose all my self control and buy just about everything on offer. Belle & Boo also has got at beautiful blog that is well worth a visit.
Once my girls are a little older I want to move them into the same room. I have plans of white furniture with splashes of pink and green and these prints above would complete my dream. Right now buying these would not fit in the budget (I couldn't even squeeze it in or fudge the numbers) but these images make me happy!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Christmas Traditions

Christmas is a time of mixed emotions for me. Never in all the time since I have had memory do I remember a Christmas that has lived up the to hype, hope and expectations. In my little girl days I always remember feeling a little strange about this time because we celebrated differently - no Santa and only small useful gifts - and because in my heart I had come to believe that this day will somehow be different and more magical then any other.

So now that I have my own children I again find myself filled with mixed feelings. On the one hand I want this time to speak of Christ the most amazing gift and of him only. On the other, I love the traditions that surround Christmas, the tree, lights and gifts. The look of delight on my children's faces when they see all the decorations and excitement for the time when we get the eat the candy canes from the tree, is precious.

This time of the year, more than any other, we should be filled with gratitude and awe at the sacrifice of our saviour. To think the King of all kings came to earth as a babe so that we might call him Father! Wow! Let the enormity of that settle in your heart - its huge.

My dilemma is this: how do we teach our children what Christmas is really all about while still building traditions that makes this time special and exciting? I'm not sure and that's why I'm asking.
How do you celebrate Christmas? What things have become tradition in your family? We have not yet settled on anything that feels completely right and I am hoping that your suggestions will give us some ideas that we can borrow.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Molly came to stay

Whilst digging around on the internet trying to find inspiration for Christmas gifts, I stumbled upon this pattern and Molly just had to come for a visit. Now she was intended to be a Christmas gift for Miss A, but I was sprung and she would not let Molly go. Right now she is fast asleep with Molly Monkey tucked securely under her arm.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Summer apples

I've had this material in my stash for a long time and last night thought it time so sew something with it. Sadly my first attempt failed as the dress was miles too big and is now part of my 'to sell' pile. I was rather disappointed though and so very late last night I made another, smaller version with the left over fabric. This one fits much better and Miss A. loves it. Perfect!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

3 things I am loving right now

Everyday there is so much to be grateful for. These are but 3 of the things I am loving right now:
1. Watching things grow. My veggie patch has become a real place of joy and peace and when we 'harvest our crop' there is a real sense of accomplishment.

2. The things my kids say. Today Mr T said to me; "We have to do it everyday, you know." "Do what?", I asked. "Eat ice-cream, everyday." How could I resist?

3. The quiet at the end of the day when the kids are in bed, the kitchen is clean and the television has been turned off. With the days filled with so much noise and busyness, the quiet is a real reward.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Big bib

After much searching I stumbled across one roll of PVC coated fabric at Spotlight. I am so excited, so I got straight into making a large bib/art smock for Miss A. It is super easy (thought the binding is a little time consuming) and just what we need.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Our Bible Study group has got a secret sister program, where we commit to pray for and look after one member of our group for some of the year. The idea is to remain anonymous but through little notes and gifts to let the person know that they are being prayed for. So far I have been rather hopeless at sending little gifts, so I thought it time I get my act together.

I found this tutorial online for a little reversible handbag and I just had to try it. What a lovely simple pattern that worked wonderfully. I am quite pleased with how it turn out and will be sure to be making a few more for gifts.

I also tried my hand a making a stitchery. For some reason I have never made one before and found it quite enjoyable even though it is by no means perfect. The pattern of the little house I found online and the Bible verse I just printed up and traced myself.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


Over the last couple of months I have been really thinking and wondering about abortion. I am troubled, concerned and deeply saddened by the ease with which children's lives are and can be ended legally and easily in Australia. While this is an issue that is close to my heart I do not feel qualified to write about it. By God's mercy I have not been in a situation of abuse or violence nor have I ever had an unwanted pregnancy.

I have, however, had 2 'unplanned' pregnancies. Pregnancies that according to my timetable were to soon and that interfered with my plans and my (perceived) ability to cope. I know the feeling of dread when you realise that a new life has been formed and the responsibilities that come with it. I know the shame wondering how I could let this happen (a thought born out of the mistaken believe that we somehow have power over life and death). I do not for a minute propose that I understand how somebody else with the same news felt, because my situation is different. My husband is loving and supportive, we are healthy and there is a stable income.
What I do know for a fact is that everyone of my children is a blessing. Every time we thought we wouldn't cope, we have. The Lord has cared and provided way beyond our wildest dreams.

I have been reading a very powerful book by Sarah Williams called The Shaming of the Strong: The challenge of an unborn life. It is her story about finding out that the child she was carrying would not live beyond birth. She powerfully tells of the decision to carry the child to term despite major health issues and a tremendous amount of pain. In her final chapter she writes this:

"She was an unexpected treasure. She appeared at first to be the loss of hope and the disruption of all my plans, but through her, God came close to me again, wild and beautiful, good and gracious, strangely familiar but infinately exciting...Cerian was, by the world's definition, a weak thing, but the beauty and completeness of her personhood had nullified the value system to which I had subscribed for so long."
Tonight I do not want to debate about when life begins or point fingers and cast blame - there is enough of that in the world. I simple want to suggest that these unplanned children that we choosing to get rid of, are all unexpected treasures. What if (had I not been convicted otherwise) decided to abort one of my untimely pregnancies? I tear-up at the though of not having known my girls and the richness and joy they bring everyday. It would have been treasures lost.
I have friends who are not able to have children and who are struggling to adopt because there simply are not enough babies placed for adoption as a result of our high rate of abortion. Treasures that are lost that would have been loved and cared for by people like my friends.
I you are reading this, facing an untimely pregnancy, I want to encourage you to seek an alternative to abortion. There are many great websites out there that provided fantastic information that will help you to understand the choice you are facing. I am no expert, I am just a mum who was and continues to be amazed by the gift of my children. When I thought we wouldn't cope Jesus provided hope and continues daily to uphold us by his love and mercy. He cares and loves you and your little one more than you will ever know.
"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness"
2 Corinthians 12:9

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Jet party

Ready for take off!

With the remote control car Pappa bought him. As you can tell he loves it.

We held Tiaan's 4th birthday party on the weekend. What an event! He had about 15 little friends over for a sausage sizzle and some jet cake. There was playing, glow sticks, balloons, eating and a whole lot of laughing. He had so much fun and went to bed exhausted but very happy. Right now they are building birthday cakes in the sandpit and playing party, so it must have been a hit. Sadly I was to busy to take many photo's so these will have to do.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Veggie patch update

The boysenberry bush is flowering. I can't wait...

My dad has always been a gardener. I never understood why as it seemed like hard, dirty work. Well I was right it is hard work but I am starting to love it. My veggie patch is starting to take shape and last night we had our first meal out of the garden - a silver beet and bacon frittata made with eggs from the neighbours. (We have sowed/planted tomatoes, capsicum, lettuce, carrots, beans, beetroot, zucchini, butternut pumpkin, onion, broccoli, sweetcorn, some herbs, boysenberry, strawberries & sliver beet). It is not perfect, there are weeds and a few plants are struggling but I love the feeling that we are claiming a little independence from this commercial world we live in. And I love seeing things grow where once there was nothing. Strangely it has brought us all closer as a family and it has definitely brought us closer to our Creator. For some reason watching tiny seedlings poke their heads through the soil makes me acutely aware of God's love, grace and awesome power.

On a different note, not much sewing has been happening at the moment. The sunshine is drawing us outside. I did however whip up this little skirt for Anja this afternoon. Quick and easy, but she loved it.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


In the craft world I have got two great loves - sewing and scrapbooking. I tend to flick between the two, really getting into the one or the other but never doing them together. I am enjoying sewing at the moment but thought it time to share some of my favourite pages so far. They are by no means perfect or professional but they bring me great joy.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Three things I am loving right now

1. The warm days and cool nights. This time of the year I just want to get outside. The way things smell, watching things grow, children playing on the lawn after dinner - it all reminds me of God's love and mercy.

2. Family. My husband (how I love him!), my children, extended family and all the add on's. These people make me feel loved, connected and so very special.

3. Summer fabrics. Cool cottons with fresh prints. I am inspired to start sewing again.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


My boy will be 4 at the end of this month. Hard to believe. One part of me is glad that he is growing up, but another is just a little sad. Last week I organised the kids clothes. I came across his 000 baby clothes, and while I really should be thinking of getting rid of them I can't, not yet. To me he will always be my baby.

Click to play Tiaan
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
Make a Smilebox slideshow

Thursday, September 25, 2008

God was there

My dear, dear friend Sara is getting married this weekend. She is the last of the Warren girls and to celebrate we organised a weekend away. Before leaving I was a little nervous. Partly it was getting everything ready here at home, partly about leaving Jouke with the kids, partly about having to take Lolly and partly because I wasn't sure how us girls (now women) would get on. The last time we were all together was at my wedding and since then we have all found our life partners and I have had 3 babies.
I needn't have worried. Within minutes it was like old times. Laughing, talking, catching up and sharing some really deep things. The first night we didn't get to bed until about 2am (Note to self: Best avoided with babies who do not understand sleeping in). I haven't had a weekend where God was so present in a very long time. He was part of every conversation and we spend some wonderful time praying together. I came home refreshed. What a blessing to have such wonderful Godly friends!

And to Sara and Ben, I pray that your wedding and the remainder of your marriage will be equally blessed. I hope that you will be able to say "God was there".

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The week that's been

I realise that it has been a while since I last posted. Sorry to those who have been waiting for an update. I wanted to post, but this has been a crazy week. Let me tell you what happened.

1. The biggest event has been that Lolly has been under the weather. So besides not eating she hasn't slept for over a week. No, that is stretching the truth. She sleeps some in the day but keeps us up at night. Last night was a better night and I only had to get up to her 6-7 times. I say better because the previous nights we got on average about 1 1/2 hours sleep. She is getting there though and is looking a whole lot happier. Concerning though, is that she isn't gaining weight and hasn't been for the last 2 months and so the community health nurse is coming on Monday to see if they can figure out what is going on. I will keep you posted.

2. Our two pooches decided it would be fun to break through the back fence and go on an adventure. After much searching and praying we found them over 8 km from home.

3. Miss A has got Tonsillitis. She is taking antibiotics (as much as I hate the stuff) and it on the mend, but her disposition is making the days very long.

4. I have applied for a casual position and have been offered an interview. This is happening tomorrow and has got me a little rattled.

5. One of my old friends is getting married in a week. We are taking her away for a few nights this coming weekend. While I am excited about the prospect of being away just getting ready right now seems bigger than me. Also, I am taking Lolly with me a leaving Jouke with the older two. It sounded good in theory, but we will see if it is going to work in practice.

6. My brother and his wife came down for a visit last weekend. We had a great time with them, but with the serious lack of sleep in this house and the resulting mood, I wonder how much fun they had. Sorry guys!

Anyhow, these things happen. But let me tell you, anyone who thinks that parenthood is always great, not true! It is mostly great, but there are times when I want to stop the world and get off. This week has been it.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Picnic in the Woods

Last Saturday Jouke suggested that we head over to the pine forest near-by for a picnic. I packed some honey sandwiches and fruit and we were off. It was so lovely. We sang ABBA songs on the way there, gathered pine cones and hunted for fairies (they were very illusive). Unfortunately I left the camera at home and so these photos were taken on Jouke's phone. We really should endeavor to do these things more often.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Our local school holds markets every month. My neighbour suggested that I sell some of my things there. So I am having a go and seeing if I can make some money our of my hobby.
The first thing I am making is plastic covered bibs, because it is the one thing that I have not been able to find in the shops. Once you have tried to get pumpkin stains out of a bib once you can see the value in a bib that cannot stain. I do hope they sell well.
Wish me luck!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


One of my friends said the other day that while she was surprised by the love she had for her children, she was even more surprised about the love she held for them as siblings - seeing their love for each other, the bond they share and the things they get up to. How right she is!

Refusing to feed

When Miss A was only 7 months old she weaned herself overnight. Suddenly she didn't want a bar of me, completely refusing feed and biting anytime I got near her. It was painful (physically and emotionally) to say the least, but I had no choice, she became a bottle baby.

So far feeding Baby Girl has been going really well. She was gaining weight and doing all the things she should. However, things have changed. Over the last few weeks she has not put on any weight and now she is plainly refusing to latch. The monkey! It looks like she has taken lessons from her big sister and Mamma is not at all happy about it. Pray with me that she will continue to let me feed her. Weaning before mother and baby are ready is difficult and not something I thought I would have to deal with twice.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Challenged by Deuteronomy to turn the TV off

This term in church and in our small groups we have been looking at Deuteronomy. When I first heard what we would be studying I was a little disappointed - surely there were books of the Bible that would be more relevant, more applicable. How wrong I was! Every chapter has been teaching and changing me. Every study I walk away challenged and stretched. Two things in particular have become very clear to me:

1. Our God is a jealous God who demands and expects obedience.
Again and again it is written: The Lord commanded us to obey all these decrees...(7:24) and again, Love the LORD your God and keep his requirements, his decrees and his commands always (11:1) and again, Obey the LORD you God and follow his commands and decrees that I give you today (27:10). This phrase is repeated over and over and over and it is followed nearly always by this command: You shall have no other gods before me or The LORD our God the LORD is one (6:4) or Serve Him only... do not follow other gods (6:13-14) or It is the LORD your God you must follow, and him you must revere...serve him and hold fast to him (13:14).

While I have known this, read it before, never before has it impacted me quite so. I started to think of all the times I have loved another or something else more than Him. Many, many times!
And then in the middle of the night I was thinking about this world I am raising my children in. My mind flashed back to an episode of Oprah where she talked about god, or a force or a presence or what ever you choose to call it. She talks about spirituality, about finding your centre, about forgiveness and patients. While it all sounds good, never once is God mentioned and when he is he is not the LORD the only, awesome, true God. This realisation made me see how I have let people into my home (by means of the television) preaching and teaching things that are detestable to the Lord. I have become softened and accepting. The Bible talks about people "inciting rebellion against the Lord (13:5)" it states that those people must be purged, stoned and destroyed. How enticed I have been, blinded. Somethings will be changing around here.

2. The Lord's name is holy
Yesterday in church as the Bible was being read, one verse in particular stood out to me:
If you do not carefully follow all the words of this law, which are written in this book, and revere this glorious and awesome name - the LORD your God - the Lord will send fearful plagues on you and your descendants...(28:58-59)
Too often I hear God's name used in detestable ways. It roles of people's tongues, used like another adjective, an acceptable swear word. Again I have become softened, it doesn't cut so deep or sound so harsh anymore. The other day Mr. T used it, testing to see our reactions, confused by the messages he is receiving. Quickly we explained that we do not use God's name like that, that it is sin, before returning our attention to the television where minutes later God's name was again misused. Shame on me!

The list of things I have been learning is far longer. God's standard is high and I fall short, so short. However, thanks to God's grace and mercy Jesus has come and placed me in a right relationship with Him. Because of Him I can be called "child of God". I am overwhelmed that that is even possible!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

I found this tutorial online and I just had to try it. This little dress is made from a men's button shirt that I bought at an op shop. It is really very easy, adding the ruffle to the bottom took longer than making the rest of the dress. What a great way to recycle clothing!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Yesterday I cleaned the house. While that may seem like an everyday kind of comment, this was no everyday kind of clean. Here is some of what I did: cleaned the cupboard under the sink; did the bathroom; mopped; vacuumed; stripped the sheets, washed, dried and made all the beds; washed 6 loads, folded and put them away; cleaned up the back yard; watered the garden; made some custard tart for morning tea; organised the kids toys; dusted. This was all in addition to the everyday tasks of preparing meals, dressing children, bathing & changing. I went to be absolutely exhausted, but as I put on my clean pj's and climbed into my freshly made bed, I as so pleased. A feeling of pure satisfaction.

As you could appreciate not a lot of sewing happened yesterday, but Sunday on our way to church I realised that Miss A. needed something to help her look presentable. I quickly whipped up this headband. It was so easy and the pattern worked beautifully. She looked lovely and was given lots of compliments.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Aliyah's skirt

A friend asked me to sew a skirt for her baby to wear to a wedding this weekend. I hope she likes it!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Happy birthday, Mum!

Mum will not like me telling people, but tomorrow she is turning 50. Sadly, due to many different reasons, we are not able to be with her on her birthday. I so wish it was not so, how I would have loved to have shared this day with her. Instead I thought I would write a little about the things my mother taught me.

1. Girls who sit on the table will never get married. (I proved her wrong, but I can still hear her saying it.)

2. If you lay down when you eat you will grow horns. (Not entirely true, but I now say it to my kids.)

3. That it is worth unpicking and redoing it. It will look better and you will be a lot happier with the end result.

4. That is doesn’t matter so much how far you come in this life as long as you are in a right relationship with Jesus, and make it to heaven.

5. The being a stay-at-home mum is a honourable and God given occupation. Mum never made excuses for being home and raising us 4. She did it well, teaching and training us to love and follow Jesus. Now as adults all her children are in a right relationship with Him.

6. To always have a few dollars hidden in your wallet for those unexpected things in life. Plus it makes for a nice surprise when you happen upon it one day.

7. To keep a home that is open and inviting and to always have space at the table for one more.

8. How to be a good wife. When Jouke and I first got married I struggled to make him the first person I would turn to in a crisis. It was easier to ring mum or to talk to a friend about the things happening in my life, as this is what I was used to. Mum reminded me that that should be Jouke’s role. Mum and Dad have got a wonderful marriage (of 32 years). The love, devotion and support she gives dad everyday has been so powerful.

9. To spend quiet time with God. I don’t remember being told that daily devotionals were important, but I remember “catching” mum reading her Bible many a times.

10. To have dinner at the table with my family as often as possible

11. The rules of tennis

12. Mum is a brilliant seamstress and any bit of ability I have got I owe to her.

13. How to love my children.

14. You don't need a pantry full of food to serve up a great meal. Tinned corn, some leftovers, eggs and green beans is all she needed to feed an army in 15 minutes flat.

15. Many, many countless things. I find myself doing more and more things like you would have. I even sound just like you at times.

Mum, when I think of you I think of Philippians 4:5 that says: Let your gentleness be evident to all. Your gentle spirit draws people to you and provides a safe place for us all. You are a true Proverbs 31 women, ever striving to be more like Jesus. I will forever be thankful that I can call you Mamma. You will always the voice in my head teaching and guiding me as I now seek to raise my little ones to know and follow Jesus. I am so glad that you are their Ouma and I have full confidence that any time they spend with you will be filled with only good things.

Happy birthday mum, have a wonderful day! I love you!