Friday, December 24, 2010

A Parcel, Christmas Countdown and an Unwell William

Sorry, this post will be a mish-mash of bits and pieces! It's Christmas Eve and although I wanted to blog today I don't want to spend too long on it. ;)

I entered a giveaway on the beautiful Lovely Little Cottage blog a few weeks back, and won! :D My beautiful parcel from Elizabeth arrived this morning. What wonderful timing, the day before Christmas.

Thank you so much Elizabeth. Everything was so beautifully packaged! And the children thoroughly enjoyed threading their candy canes and decorating their angels. Please thank your children for me too for sending them!

We've had an awesome time counting down for Christmas this year. We've had several means of doing this. Our Jesse Tree.

Our felt advent calendar.

We've also been having treasure hunts most nights for wrapped Christmas stories. The children have taken turns. Over the past months I have purchased some little Christmas stories, as well as borrowing some titles from the library. This has provided the children with plenty of Christmas reading material!!

William has really got to know the Christmas story through all this reading. It's been great. He knows tomorrow is Jesus' birthday, he knows what the star on top of our tree symbolises, etc. And we can pull out all these books again next year!

We also try to break up the presents for the children a little, so they're not bombarded on Christmas Day. I want their focus to be on Jesus' birth, not just presents! So we break up the gifts with prayers for those the gifts are from, some singing, meals, and readings. Our Christmas gifts are usually given over 3 days, to give us time to enjoy and appreciate each one.

Today we also cut Christmas Cake number 2. I took so much of our first cake to gatherings, etc. (and we've clearly eaten too much...) that I decided to bake a second one so we had some for today and tomorrow!

And last but not least, we have a sick little boy this week. :( William started coughing last week, and after days of reading all I could get my hands on, I decided we had to get him looked at. To me all his symptoms were very characteristic of whooping cough, which happens to be going around this year. The doctor who examined him declared it to be viral, though gave us a script for antibiotics "just in case". Well. I know my boy, and I have seen viruses in my kids enough times to know this is different. He has the characteristic "whoop", and is coughing to the point of blue face and vomiting. So I got that script filled pronto, and am also dosing him up on some immune boosting probiotics, and lots of cuddles and lots of prayer.

Today, cuddling on the couch with his new little knitted cowboy and tin drum. And towel handy on his lap just in case....

He is responding well. Most nights he is coping better, though still wants to sleep with me and get lots of cuddles. :) I'm watching the other children closely for symptoms, but my reading suggests older children rarely get it to the point of it being diagnosable, just very mild forms. And adults very rarely contract it at all. Praying we all return to good health soon.

Merry Christmas my dear readers, I may not see you until the new year, so I pray you all have a safe and joyful holiday! xxx

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Big City

Last Friday we took off for the Big City, 3 hours south of here. We enjoyed lots of time over the weekend with both Stuart's family and mine, met our new little nephew Ezra, gave and received lots of wonderful gifts, stayed at my Mum's for 2 nights, caught the bus into the city (much to the children's delight!), shopped for the childrens' annual ornament for their own little collection, and visited the "Christmas Windows" at the Myer Centre, the theme of which was The Nutcracker this year.

William received a priceless cross-stitched stocking from Mum - sooooo beautiful - and a tool kit from an Aunt which may get an award for "present of the year" from William. He hasn't stopped tinkering with his tools yet. :) And he loved learning the names of all the gadgets with my brother Michael who is a mechanic!

Praise God for this wonderful time of year, for holidays, and for the precious gift of Jesus.

Now I'm off to wrap some gifts for my children while they are out in town on errands with Stuart!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Some exciting news

Just a very quick post to say.......

I just got the lead role in a musical last night!! It's the role of Marian in "The Music Man" for anyone who may know the show. Our town is putting it on as a community musical next year, with a professional director and vocal coach on board! Auditions were earlier in the week, and Stuart and I both got call backs. He has a principle part too - the funny off-sider friend of the lead actor. :)

I am in shock. Call backs were intense last night. It was just myself and one other (beautiful, amazing and talented) lady who I have admired for years who were called back for Marian. So it was full on. Singing, script reading, character acting, you name it. And all on the stage in front of lots of fellow actors. Eeek!

But the announcement was made at the end of the night - Stuart has been cast as Marcellus and Saminda has been cast as Marian - and we couldn't be happier with the news!!!

Rehearsals start January 17th - so we have a huge amount to learn off by heart by that date. The rehearsal schedule is only 8 weeks, which is very very short - so it will be a busy and challenging 8 weeks. But hooray!! What an opportunity!!! I'm still getting my head around being "the leading lady" - first time for me. :)

Have a wonderful weekend friends!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Family Photo Shoot

We have a very sweet and talented friend who asked me recently if she could practice her photography on us. :) Of course I was thrilled to oblige! She is so clever. And this photo slideshow is the result. Many of these will be framed in the new year I'm sure. :)

I couldn't be happier.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Nice and Easy

Last week I made a hairdressers appointment. I was feeling like a change and told the girl to "take all my hair off". She looked shocked, but proceeded anyway. :) She knows the customer's always right!! We worked at a few styles and came up with something we were both very happy with. Not that she needed to be happy with it...... but you know, I value her knowledgeable opinion!

She put some blonde foils in too - the first time I've ever put permanent colour in my hair! It's fairly short (for me), but I am loving how quick it is to style in the morning, and how lovely and cool it is on my neck. I can wear it straight or curly so it's also pretty versatile. The heat of summer is coming, and I'm ready for it! And as they say, a change is as good as a holiday.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

William and Molly

William and Molly are great pals. Molly seems to be the more tolerant of our two kittens, hence her fondness for our burly William. :)

I caught the two of them the other day, curled up quietly, "resting", as Will explained to me, on the play table.

Of course.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


If you only have 5 minutes to spend on the internet today, spend it reading this true story. You won't be sorry you did. We read it together the night we put up the tree, and it really got us thinking about true sacrifice - important I think, at this time of year!

We are just loving having Stuart home for the holidays. Things got hard, as they always do, in the last week of school. We are breathing together again, enjoying family time, slower times, the tree, the lights, the Christmas planning and nibbles. And today I am having a haircut. :)

Several of my U.S. readers have asked about our Christmas Cake. I must admit this surprised me, I assumed it was an international tradition! I did a little reading, and I believe the traditional of a a fruitcake at Christmas began in the UK, but is also celebrated now in Australia, Japan and the Philippines (and probably some other places). It is basically a rich, moist fruit cake - sometimes iced and decorated, sometimes topped with nuts, sometimes eaten as is. My family recipe originated from my Mum's side - I know Nanna cooked it, maybe her Mum did too? It is made with rum, butter, sugar, golden syrup, eggs, flour, 1 and a half kilos of mixed dried fruit.... and perhaps some other things I can't think of just now. :) It's yummy, that's for sure!! The day it is baking is always wonderful - the smell is divine and it cooks slowly for several hours. I usually just top it with some plastic holly and sometimes dust it with icing sugar.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

We Trimmed the Tree

A Christmas Welcome!

William had the honour of putting the Star on top this year, and boy was he excited about it! Darling boy.

Then we cut the Christmas Cake (happy birthday Jesus!).....

... and enjoyed all the twinkling lights. I love how they reflect in the windows and the tiles. Truly, this annual evening of putting up our tree, complete with Christmas nibbies and Christmas music, stories, exclamations of "oo" and "ah" from the kiddies - it's one of my favourite times of the year. I love our tree!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

9 Whole Years Ago

Memories of my sweet Nanna, the buzz, the excitement of getting ready to go to the church..

... his face when he first saw me walking down the aisle ;), that feeling of "oh my goodness we're married now!"...

... the string quartet, that first dance and thinking "he's mine, all mine.."...

... the exquisite cake, the laughter, family, friends, the quietness of the carriage ride, my little brother in his tie...

... photos by the bay, endless photos, smiling, joy, family together...

... We're Married!

It may have been 9 Whole Years Ago, but I remember it like it was yesterday. :D

Happy Anniversary to my Darling Husband! xx


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