Friday, June 27, 2008

The ritual of my life

Its late and I should be heading of to bed. But I just want to share this thought with you. Lately I have been feeling rather trapped by the routine of my life. I feel guilty even saying this, but the day-to-day demands of being a mother, the nobody-else-can-do-this nature of it, is leaving me a little overwhelmed.

I remember the first night home from the hospital with our little boy. He cried and cried for over 3 hours and nothing would settle him. I looked up at my hubby and we were both fresh out of ideas of what to do. And it was in that moment that I realised that there was no 'out' in motherhood. Nobody was going to come in and get him and only bring him back when he is beautiful and quiet. We were his only parents and we would be for the rest of our lives.

While that is one amazing thing (something that makes me realise the price God payed by sending His Son for my sins) it is also the most terrifying thought. We don't get a second chance at this. This is it.
And when the days are long and I have spent months with these kids without even more than an hour "off" (like that exists in motherhood) I start to get a little resentful that this life, that I want so badly, is mine. That I don't just get to pop to town, go to the movies, buy groceries or anything without careful planning and first checking that the nappy bag is well stocked with nappies, wipes, snacks, drinks, and a packet of crayons. These trips also have to be planned around nap times and on days that the kids are in particularly good moods, sometimes it is best just to stay home and fight the battles in private.
Then on the days that I do get to go out on my own it is usually to the grocery store and I am bound by the 3 hours between breastfeeds, so even they have to be carefully timed.

Please don't misunderstand me, I love my children, I love our life! All I am saying it that I don't think we were created to do this alone. My hubby is possible the best daddy there is. He is involved, helps out, disciplines when necessary and rumbles and plays with the kids. In that respect I am not doing it alone. But the reality is that even when friends or family are able to give us an hour off, sometimes I still feel like I am doing it alone because they are my kids, my responsibility.

But then I remembered that I really am not alone, there is hope. The Lord offers us rest, He offers to carry our load.

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my load is light" Matthew 11:28-30
I have been selfishly wanting a break from these kids, my kids, God's blessings to me. It is however the wrong thing to be hungry for. I should be hungry to God's rest and I should trust that He will provide me with tools and strength I need to raise my children to love and follow Him.
If you tonight are feeling like me, just a little trapped, run down and weary, then know that I am praying for you. May you find God's rest, may He be your safe place and may He wake you in the morning with renewed energy for our task ahead.
God bless!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Ready to learn

Lately Mr. T has really been showing an interest in learning. Why? is one of his favourite questions. He wants to know about the names of things and what they do, where the birds live, how to drive the car and many, many more things. Today I told him that his auntie has a tiny little baby cousin in her tummy (great, great news!!) and he wanted to know how it was going to come out...

So I have decided that it might be time to spend some time everyday doing some more structured things with him. I have dug through the web and have found some amazing sites with free printable activities and downloaded a great little preschool computer program. He is loving it! Today we did a colour by number and some basic writing skills and he was so proud of himself. Not only is he loving realising what he is capable of doing but he is loving spending some one-on-one time with me. I am loving it too!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Cute as pie

This one is for the Oumas and Oupas. Not for any special reason but just to show you how they've grown. They truly are our blessings from the Lord. And for some reason when they are all tucked-up, fast asleep I love them just a little more.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

$4 biscuits

One of my dearest friends is a wonderful wife, mother of 4, homeschooler, brilliant homemaker and an expert at frugal living. I could learn a lot from her.

Last year for my birthday she made me a recipe book! She called it Tempting Tucker for Tough Times. It is a wonderful collection of over 130 recipes to make cooking on a budget easy and tasty. She presented it to me bound in a book complete with a beautiful picture drawn by her then 5 year old as the front cover. As I am sure you could appreciate it has become one of my most treasured possessions.

One of the recipes I use most is her $4 biscuits. For $4 you could make over 120 biscuits and best of all they are easy and can be made with loads of variations to keep things interesting. It is a sure hit at our house. I am sure she wouldn't mind me sharing.

1 cup sugar (I use a little less)
500g margarine or butter
1 can condensed milk
5 cups SF flour

Cream butter and sugar. Add the flour and condensed milk. Mix well. Roll into teaspoon sized balls pressing down slightly with a fork. Bake in a moderate oven for about 10-15 minutes or until golden.

If rolling into balls sounds like hard work you could shape the dough into long rolls , wrap in waxed paper and place into the freezer until firm. Now it is easy to slice them thinly. This way also ensure even sized biscuits.

You can add whatever flavouring you want to this mix, but my favourites are choc chip, sultanas or cocoa and coconut.

I thank you dear friend for always striving to make my load a little lighter! You are a dear sister in Christ.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

What is under your pillow tonight?

When Mr T. was a baby he used to be wrapped really tightly to go to sleep. In fact, he was wrapped until he was about 12 months old and after that he used to take his "bersie" to bed with him. Eventually the wrap was cut into smaller and smaller pieces before, at about 2 1/2, we tried to get him to wean off it. We started suggesting that he take a toy of his liking to bed with him, not to be played with, it had to stay under his pillow.
And so a new habit was formed. Every night he had to choose what would be under his pillow tonight, then it was story, prayers and off to sleep. He is now almost 4 and still the routine stands. What is under his pillow on any given night is dictated by his current favourite thing. For it while it was matchbox cars, then it was motorbikes, trains, planes, pencils, dinosaurs, animals...
Tonight it is his tools. By that I mean a role of insulation tape, a caliper (a tool used by electricians for safety lock-outs) and a pair of toddler scissors. During to day he plays electrician (you can tell because our house has got insulation tape on just about everything), he wants to be just like his Pappa.
I wonder what it will be tomorrow night.

Friday, June 20, 2008

A shirt for me

I don't sew much for me. Sewing for the kids is great for lots of reasons, but I love it because if it doesn't really fit this season it will eventually. Plus I love making something just for them, that no one else has. My mum did the same it is was so special.

However, our budget has forced me to consider making some clothes for me with some of my material stash.
I made this shirt out of some black material that I got for an amazing bargain a few years back. I think there is about 7 or 8 meters and though the fabric is not the best quality this shirt end up costing about $4.

I had some trouble with the collar. The pattern piece for the collar band was too big and I had to resew about 4 times to get it to sit neatly. I love the collar band in pink but it took some time to get it right. I have sewed the same pattern in some cream linen and then a very simple dark denim A-line skirt and now I think I am done sewing purely for need.

I want to have a go at making a girls reversible coat, not because it is needed but I am looking forward to the challenge.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Another rainy day

We have had a full day's rain and it has been lovely. The kind of weather that makes you want to crawl under the covers with a good book. But as all mothers know, with 3 little ones that is just a dream.

Thankfully, my sister has come for a visit and has kept us all entertained. My kids don't do well when they cannot go outside, but with Auntie Heidi here they have had someone to keep them busy. They have read stories, build blocks and trains, drawn pictures and watched a little bit of Colin Buchanan.

This afternoon Miss A. "helped" me do the dishes which resulted in a change of clothes for her as well as her brother and in me needing to mop the floor. I try to encourage helping around the house, but often times the job needs re-doing with possibly more work added. But then I think the long term gain is worth it in the end.

Before I go. When I was unpacking the dishwasher this morning I found this little surprise in my Tupperware cupboard. I am sure that if I didn't get around to opening the cupboard today we would have been frantic tomorrow morning trying to find Miss A's boots. Things like this make me smile...the things little minds can come up with.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A t-shirt for my boy

I have never made a t-shirt before. I don't really know why, but I suppose I always thought that knit material would be to difficult to work with. Well, I've braved it and I am rather surprised. Not at tricky as I thought. This pattern is from Ottobre Design 1/2005. I have even discovered what all the stitches on my machine could be used for. I am loving all the new possibilities!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Just quickly...

Today Mr T. who will be 4 in October, looked up from what he was doing and said, "Mamma, God is good".

Yes He is my darling, yes He is!

Plans for spring

Lately I have been driving my hubby mad with my new big idea.

I'm going to grow a vegetable garden!

Now about the only thing I know about growing anything is that which I learned from my dad. By learning I mean that he did it and I looked on. So I really know very little, if anything, about gardening.

My vision is not necessarily to grow enough vegetables to completely feed our family (though that would be nice), but to grow enough to cut down on some of our food bill. Plus there are plenty of other reasons why - 1. Time spend with the kids outside 2. Digging and learning about how things grow 3. Health benefits 4. Better for the environment (I plan on setting up a compost heap ASAP) 5. Possibly some exercise to help shift that baby weight etc, etc, etc.

This is my plan so far. I hope to built 2 raised garden beds of about 2 x 4m in the back corner of our yard. I envision that it would look something like this picture. I would like to do this sooner rather than later so that I would be able to work some manure and other lovely things into the soil and then give it time to develop and become ready for planting. This also means that I need to get cracking on that compost heap. I also hope to grow most things from seed inside (its cheaper) and transplanting when the plants are of decent size.

Some vegies that I would like to try growing are: tomatoes, capsicum, carrot, spinach, zucchini, lettuce, strawberries (I know, not a vegetable), beans, beetroot and eggplants.

For now I am reading as much as I can on the topic and saving some money to buy all the things we need to get started. If anyone has any ideas or handy tips please let me know as I surely need all the help I can get.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Bed time

Before we had children I always imagined that bedtime with kids would be fun. You know bathing, reading stories, saying prayers and then tucking in for the night after cuddles and kisses.

While it can be a great time, generally at our house bedtime is rather crazy. The kids have usually had enough and are ready to go to bed, yet they insist on procrastinating and drawing the process out at long as possible. We as parents have also had enough by then and are ready for a break and a quiet cup of coffee.

Tonight was no exception. It took boy a good 20 mins to get dressed before he got his 1 min warning (part of his bedtime routine that cannot be missed no matter how late it is) and was then taken to bed. Little Miss usually goes to bed once boy is asleep because when you put them in the room together, awake it inevitably leads to much laughter and little sleep. She usually goes down quite easily but tonight wanted to play a little longer. Baby girl is usually easiest to get to bed. She get one last feed, and is then wrapped and tucked in for the night.

Here she is wearing a sleeping bag I made for her a few months ago. Obviously it is much too big, but I hope that it will see her through the winter. Don't you just love the cherry fabric?

Thursday, June 12, 2008


Obedience, or the lack there of, seems to be an issue that we are struggling with a lot at the moment. It could be because our nearly 4 year old is loving using the words "I don't want to" (with the attitude to match) and because our nearly 2 year old is, well, nearly 2 and all that that brings, but everyday for the last week or 2 it has been a battle. There are two things going on that drive me mad, plainly ignoring what I have just said or doing exactly the opposite (and sometimes both).

When Mr. T was a baby I had the audacity to hope that he will grow up to be perfect and never fight me on any issue. When Miss A. was born I knew that that dream will never come true. And now that I get to hold and cuddle another beautiful little person I am sad to know that she too, will one day tell me "No!" and require discipline and correction.

I have been wondering lately were we have gone wrong. What have we done to make our children so disobedient? Is it that we are slow to discipline? Is it that that our discipline methods are ineffective? Do I not spend enough time with them?

These are tough questions. I am guilty of all of the above. Often I am to lazy/busy/tired for my discipline to be effective. Sometimes I use ineffective methods because they are easier at the time. Daily I spend to much time doing other things instead of sitting down, teaching and getting to know my kids.

But by far my biggest mistake is my own sin, my own disobedience to God. My example is poor. Daily I ignore God, daily I don't seek His will as I should and daily I blatantly disobey and do what I think is best. It is because I am a sinner and have fallen short of His glory. And the sad part is that my beautiful little people are too. They too cannot please God on their own, cannot know Him without Jesus.

So this week as we struggle to get our children to listen and obey I pray that they will one day get to know Jesus. That they will be covered by his blood and grow to be more like Him. I also pray that we as parents will draw close the Jesus' side and be obedient to Him as we raise and teach these little people. I ask for you prayers as we tackle this mammoth task.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Charlotte's dress

I bought this fabric on ebay a little while ago and I have been waiting for my first Ottobre Design magazine to create a little dress for my baby girl. Well, I feel like I have been waiting forever and so to help me be a little more patient I thought I would make a dress for a friend who just had a baby girl. The pattern I copied from another little dress and I lined it with some flannelette that I bought for 0.50c at Spotlight. I still have well over 2m of the apple fabric left so you will be sure to see it again, but at least for now I feel like I am doing something while I wait. I hope she'll like it.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

When God paints

Today has been a very busy day. The day before we go away always is. At times I have wonder if it is worth going away at all because with 3 kids it all can seem a bit much. Plus there is a 9 hour car trip to look forward to...

Anyway, now that the bags are packed and waiting for us to hit the road at the crack of dawn I am getting excited. It really is worth it.

And then to end this crazy day the Lord sends us a painting. Much to Miss A's delight "is pink mamma, look its pink!"

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Bathurst weather

There are very few things that I don't like about Bathurst. I love the old buildings, the wide streets, autumn trees and the village atmosphere. I don't like the weather though. Mostly it is ok, but for some reason when it starts to get cold it also starts to get wet. Today was one of those days. Not really raining, but to cold and miserable to send the kids outside. So we had to come up with some indoor things to keep us all sane.

Little miss and I baked some bread rolls for lunch. She loved kneading the dough and poking her little fingers into it. And she loved eating the raw dough while I was trying to save enough to actually have any left for lunch. While I was kneading the dough Mr T. commented that I looked like I was dancing "like a transformer". Not sure if that is a compliment.

Boy spend his morning punching shapes out of coloured paper. It kept him busy most of the morning and it has kept me busy for the rest of the afternoon finding little bits of paper all through the house.

There is sure to be many more days like these, days that require a lot of imagination and energy.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


I know I said I love Sundays (and I do) but I really love Tuesdays. Where as Sunday is a family day, Tuesday is MY day. The kids go to daycare at Mandy's and I get the day to do some things for me. Don't get me wrong, I love my kids but for sanity's sake I get one day of the week to myself (plus it is not all to myself, I still have baby girl with me).

Often I wonder if we doing the right thing to send the kids to daycare. But then, at the end of the day it is me and hubby who have got to raise these kids and if doing it well means that every so often we need a little time out than so be it. Plus, they love their time at Mandy's and I love being able to do some "normal" things without interuption.

The day usually starts crazy; racing around packing daycare bags, dressing kids, wiping left-over breakfast off faces and making sure I have all the things I need before leaving the house at 8:30. Once the kids are dropped off, I have an hour for a quick browse at Stoplight before Bible study starts. The girls from Bible study are great. They are women who love the Lord and who are seeking to raise their families to love and serve Him. It is fun being able to study with them and also to share a cuppa once the study is over. At the moment we are studying a book called "Guidance and the Voice of God" and it has been real challenge as well as a great comfort.

The rest of the day is usually spend with friends or crafting. Today I had lunch with a friend and then spend some time planning my next project. Here is a glimps of what is to come.

4 o'clock I pick up the kids and it is back to the business of mothering, preparing dinner and getting kids to bed.

The day is usually over too quick. The Lord knows we all need a little time out sometimes...

Monday, June 2, 2008

Boy's vest

This is a little vest I made for my nephew's 1st birthday. In fact this is the second one I made, the first one was big enough to fit my boy so he got that and I tried again.

This time I cut the pattern 2 sizes smaller and made it out of denim instead of polarfleece. I was rather nervous about using contrasting stitching but in the end this is the thing I love most about it. I don't have a picture of him wearing it as it is still a little too big, but he is sure to wear it towards the end of this season.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Lazy Sunday

I love Sundays. Its my turn for a sleep in, hubby is almost always home on Sunday, we go to church on Sunday, Sunday lunch is usually something hearty like a roast or soup (with enough left over so that dinner is taken care of) and for some reason the kids are in better moods on Sundays.

Today was no different. I didn't get up until gone 8, then it was morning "coffees" with the kids, church, and then home to pea and ham soup for lunch. The girls had a lovely big afternoon nap while the boys played in the shed. And then before I knew it it was time for dinner, bath and bed. A good day had!

It all has to start somewhere

For a long time I have thought about starting a blog, but it has been fear of not having anything to say that has kept me from having a go. Well, I can't say that I have overcome my fear but I am having a go anyway. I hope to use this blog to share about our family life, the antics of my children, the fun and frustrations of motherhood, and to share some of the things that I love to create. I beg of you to be forgiving as I am no writer, but I do hope that you will find some joy in the ramblings of our happy little life.