Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Boy Goes to School

It was different with the girls.
I worried about a bunch of little things.
But Zeb is ready. Physically, academically, socially, emotionally, creatively.

So there is no worry on my part.
But there is something... a little bit of jealousy.

Because there is a new lady in his life!
She will get to watch him make friends and be a good friend.
She will get to see him achieve and pass milestones.
Hear his witty, funny comments.
Praise him and teach him and remind him.
And she will see more of his sparkling smile (the one that has always felt like it was given just for me).

Of course I want her to share in all these good things (she is a wonderful teacher!), but I can't help feeling just a little sadness that he is about to branch out from our little nest of Mum and son contentedness!

You will do good and brave and compassionate things, Zeb.
I'm ready for everyone to see.
Go get 'em!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

This One Skill That I Have

I've been sewing for twenty-five years or maybe more.
I love having a creative outlet.
A hobby that gives me joy, and fulfillment and new clothes (not often anymore). It's odd to me to think of it as a skill, since I chose it, pursued it and take joy in it.
Though I have never used it to make money (though the time may come), I have used it to save money. And as a stay-at-home Mum, that is part of my role (I have more time to cook, bake and home-make than a working Mum after all).
For each gift I make, I spend a little less money than I would on a shop bought gift, and much less money than I would on a similar handmade item from the markets. In addition, the receiver gets something unique, lasting and lovely!
I don't think I've ever made the same gift twice (so my creative side is satisfied), and I usually don't use a pattern or tutorial (which isn't helpful for readers want to make the same thing but I hope you can find inspiration nevertheless). So, I've a few things to share that I've made lately, and will add links if the pattern is available.
Today's blog is gifts for adults.
 A casserole carrier!
An unusual gift but perfect for neighbourly friends who bring meals.
This is padded so keeps it warm, and allows you to rest the dish on your lap for the journey.
Travel tags, with a plastic pocket for a details card.
Small personalised embroidered cushion for lovers.
And a couple of soft 'cat statues' for friends of felines.

Monday, January 11, 2016

A Birthday Story

"We have themed Tess' first birthday around stories, for good reason. Story was given to her as her middle name because we loved it, because it is her Nanna's maiden name, and because it has significant meaning to us. 

Tess, as you grow we want you to remember that you are authored by your creator God. He had the vision for you, your unique personality and gifts, before your life even started. He has created you to be the protagonist, the heroine, the learner, and the preacher of your story. You get to decide how it progresses (much like a choose-your-own-adventure)! We pray that you experience passion, compassion, vision, purpose, joy, peace, forgiveness, humility, and bravery in your story. We pray that you will meet and be guided by wonderful people. We pray that you will stay close to your creator and listen for his direction.

Your first name Tess, means to reap or to harvest. And we want you to do this in your story too. Work hard, have patience and then enjoy the good and wonderful gifts you will be given. Make harvest out of all that you see. 

God has blessed our family with a harvest of gold, in you. A happy, social, affectionate, chatty little lady. We can't wait to watch your story unfold."

(These were the words spoken at Tess' first birthday and dedication to God. We held a small and delightful party themed loosely around classic books. Regency decor. Pretty afternoon tea food. Fragrant iced teas. Lemon curd cake. Handmade book invitations. Baby versions of the classics to read. Favourite lullaby (Kooks by Bowie) scripted on the wall. Prayers and a blessing. And a sweet girl in yellow.)

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Make Love Your Goal: Resolutions 2016

Small ways to make love my goal this year: 

Tim: This year we celebrate our fifteenth wedding anniversary. With four kids, much of our time together is spent talking (and doing) practical things. So we are really going to try and go away for a small trip together this year!

Kids: There is no doubt I love them fiercely, but love doesn't translate to kids unless it's loving them their way. In the past year we took a helpful parenting course and to add to that learning I want to read the book "How to really love your child" and: for Elara, research and pray about the right high school for her; for India, try not to say 'later we will' when she asks something of me; for Zeb, make sure we embrace his boyness by enjoying his choice of games, toys and activities even when he is outvoted!; for Tess, to start to learn her personality.

Family: My sister has a big celebration of love coming up this year, so I plan to help practically with the preparation and enjoy the last family wedding!

Church: Previously I have aimed to be honest and open and share wisdom. This year I think I need to listen. To hear people's stories. 

Friends: My goal to write a snailmail letter to each friend this year. 

Book club: I hold a monthly book club in my home. Life is busy and doing the reading requirement is a way to show love to my fellow bookie friends! 

Community: Time to try my hand at Random Acts of Kindness. I will aim for quarterly. 

Environment/world: Expanding my knowledge about ethical clothing choices and working towards a greener and world-happier wardrobe.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Make It Your Goal: Resolutions 2016

Without too much retrospecting here on the blog, 2015 was more challenging than I wished for. In fact, it was a very hard year. And after a very hard year, you tend to think about how you can bounce back, or start anew, or make things better for the next. These thoughts are well supported by loving friends and family who encouraged me to take some ‘me time’ and, in a roundabout way, look after number one. So I sat down and considered my New Year Resolutions (which is my custom. Unlike many others, resolutions really help guide me through the coming year). Lose weight (or the more socially acceptable – exercise and eat healthier)? Embrace every, moment? Spoil myself more? Save money? All good things, but none of these ever sit quite right for me. This year, I can’t move past this song by Gabrielle Aplin (but originally by Frankie Goes to Hollywood):

The power of love
A force from above
Cleaning my soul…
Make love your goal.

Yes. After a tough year where I became stoic in order to battle through.
Where my soft-heart was weighed down with practical burdens.
Where I retreated away from people with a frozen ability to give.

Love must be my goal this year.
The raw and the emotional.
The sacrificial and the compassionate.
The hard-to-give and the free-flowing.

I am completely loved so I must love onward, instead of inwards.

(Next blog post I will unravel some specifics to help me stick to it during the year.)

Friday, January 1, 2016

Singing a New Song 2016

Our New Years Day tradition of a song to set us on our way.
This year it's Coldplay's A Head Full of Dreams.

Leave your broken windows open
And in the light just streams

And you get a head full of dreams
(a head full of dreams)
You can see the change you want to
Be what you want to be

Oh, I think I landed
Where there are miracles at work

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