Monday, May 30, 2011

A Gift On A Budget

Jessica was off to a birthday party on Saturday. Now the child in question is one that has EVERYTHING and I mean EVERYTHING. I have never seen so much 'stuff' in all my life! Not even at a Target toy sale. So what do you get a girl like that, plus we had a seriously limited budget this week.

Well my girls believe that presents should be thoughtful and made these days. The made bit is usually by me though. As Hayley likes to cook, tea towel aprons was the winner. I'll do a little more on these tea towel aprons this week. They are cheap, cute & reversible.

I have been a little addicted to these cute little aprons and can't help myself stalking the tea towel section of every store checking out the latest & cutest tea towels. So with a 3 pack of tea towels, basket & a couple of miniature utensils we were set and best of all, we didn't spend over our $15 budget.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Fantastic Fun Fishing

During the Easter break we had the fantastic opportunity to stay at Joan & Lee's unit at Sunshine Beach. While the sunshine was missing for many days it really didn't matter. We had an absolute ball. The fish were biting, waves were rolling and we just had the best time.

Lucy very 'bestest' friend James came to visit us with his mum & little sister for the afternoon and he caught his very first fish. Now that was exciting! It was freezing cold and a massive storm came rolling in but it didn't dampen anyone spirits or enthusiasm.

The best part for me was I got to curl up on the couch with a great book and read away to my little hearts content. Not good for me to be in the rain now is it. Someone has to be at home keeping the home fires burning don't they.

Ashleigh turned 22 that weekend so every one came up for a roast dinner with us. It was just a perfect week.

The bush walks round Noosa heads are amazing. I only went along because on Hastings Street is the very best ice-creamery in the world. It's sorbets and frozen yogurt and is all made fresh on the premises. AMAZING!

Ashleigh & I are heading back to the unit (thank-you again Joan & Lee) for a mother daughter retreat. When I asked Ash to go away with me she's like "weeelllll yyyeeesss, but what's the catch". It's tough being the oldest of six. You don't live at home and are an easy going kid, you can get kinda over looked. But not that weekend. Ash, me and the ice-creamery! You will forgive me if while I'm away that weekend that I could assume that the eagerly anticipated rapture may have occurred because her and I will be in peaceful heaven.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Missionary Photo Take 2!!

Poor boy. He is so off his face with the medication he let me take the photo. He has actually never even had a panadol in his ENTIRE life. Not even as a baby. Hates any medicine so has always just sucked it up. But I had to put the mortar & pestle to work and grind it up & mix it with the custard. Must go, he phoned from downstairs to come down & change his ice pack.


A little while ago a women in our ward gave a talk, I guess, was about procrastination. One of the stories she told was about 'Eating the Frog First'. It really resonated with me and I started applying that to my life and to our life as homeschoolers.

There are certain subjects that Maddie doesn't enjoy, mostly maths and copy work so we sat down together and looked at the schedule, which I might add was set 100% by me as I load the workboxes. More often then not it would be met with certain resistance as she would try to negotiate her way out of doing the work she really didn't want to do.
If she did do the least loved work first she would take FOREVER!

So after watching this clip and explaining the principle behind it , we now swallow the frog first. The kids get it better now as we looked at how they felt during the day when they knew something unpleasant was going to come like it or not. This simple principle has really made a difference to us all. We sat down worked out what OUR frogs were, because each of us was different , then put them on the top of the list. It is amazingly liberating.

Now when I have to do something & I try to fob it off I think."NO SWALLOW THAT FROG".

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Missionary Photo!!

It is 12 more days until the Mission papers are submitted. I took THE 'missionary' photo that goes along with the mission paper and after having taken it silly me goes "would you like to get your eyebrows tidied up and I can take another one?" What sort of a monster mother I'm I . He's like "do you think I need it?" What was I thinking! Clearly having 5 girls has got to me in ways that I could never have expected. He has been jabbed with vaccinations, going in to hospital tomorrow to have his wisdom teeth out, crowns done, medicals, not to mention that he just a really well behaved 18.7year old that hasn't even lost a point for driving and I'm pointing out scraggy eyebrows!!!

This boy has had this mission planned since FOREVER! He then informed me that there could be a little hick-up and that is the First Presidency may be on vacation when his papers hit Salt Lake. This would mean the eagerly anticipated Mission Call (where in the world you are going to serve your 2 year mission) could be delayed. When he was telling me at first all i could hear was delayed & vacation. I reply "who is going on vacation, they can't go on vacation right now, it will have to wait! OH the First Presidency!! Well OK then.

I am so glad that we only have one son, because this comes with just as much anticipation as having a baby. We are blessed to have a son who didn't just wake one day when he was 20 odd and think not much else is happening so I might as well go on a mission. We have one that at exactly 18 years and 8 months to the day he can submit those Mission Paper. He saw the bar had been raised and aim right over the top for it. He is a blessing to our lives.

Monday, May 23, 2011


The reason for my extra computer time is that I have had some sick little people at home just now. Lucy's epilepsy has been less than stable shall we say, Jess has a throat virus & today we have Caitlin, the married daughter here sick as well, being ever so careful not to invoke a seizure as that would mean the chance of a drivers license would be set back about another 2 years. The computer is next to the couch so they are there and I am blogging away happily in between calls of "mum can you get me, and feel my head!"

Recently in our local newspaper they ran an article on how a mother had picked her daughter up from daycare & whilst traveling home the 1 year old had a seizure or febrile convulsion.
The article was so poorly written and so full of dangerous miss information I had to do what I have never done before and write a letter to the editor. This is some of what I wrote.

"I just want to say how disappointing it was to read the story “Mum’s skills save baby”. While the essence of the story about the need for first aid training is important and the scare Mrs ............ must have experienced is very frightening, you have allowed her to perpetuate a dangerous myth about seizures. While the child’s tongue would be “stuck in her mouth” because that is in fact where it is meant to be, it is a myth that that has anything to do with a blocked airway which is what the mother implied in the story. People do NOT swallow their tongues! People reading this could assume that you do in fact have to hold the tongue down so as to not swallow it. This is a dangerous myth that parents of, and people with conditions such as Epilepsy have spent a long time dispelling.

You also generally don’t have to administer CPR to someone having a seizure. The blueness in the face is caused by air being dispelled from the lungs during the actual seizure. You place the person in the recovery position and make sure the person is free from harm and time the seizure. Once it has ended the person usually begins breathing on their own and will more often just go to sleep. Don’t give CPR during the seizure. That is very dangerous and actually quite futile.

I have 2 daughters with epilepsy, one 20 & one 5, I have been doing this for a long time (20 years), have had to call 000 more times than I can count and have had to administer CPR as they have failed to begin breathing at the end of a long seizure. Mrs............ "auto-pilot" as she put it, may have been more dangerous than 000. I’m not sure if it was the way the story was written as both the journalist and the parent are only speaking from this one experience, but I can tell you that it was a very misguided, inaccurate article. I hope you will run another story in the near future to dispel the very dangerous myths and inaccuracies that occurred in this story. I am not inferring as a contradiction to Mrs ............. story but just a story on what you should do and highlight the information from the Ambulance Paramedic.

It has taken years for people to learn that when a person is having a seizure you don't stick a spoon in their mouth or anything similar. I was shocked that this story even made it to the paper and obviously they do not have a fact checker.

Some time ago I wrote an article for an American blog site Or So She Says on Epilepsy Awareness with facts and more information on our story & Epilepsy itself. It is handy to have some knowledge and it has links to other info if your interested.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Fulcher Friday

Well Friday is quite often park afternoon with the Fulcher's. This photograph was taken a little while ago on one of these Friday adventures and I have been dying to use it. Peet Fulcher of Peet Fulcher Photography is like 15 but is developing into an amazing photographer. Spend a few minutes on his blog and just have a look at what this kids can do eg:

He tackles a lot of technical stuff because this is just one of his hobbies at the moment, but boy he is good!! Also now when I pop over to the Fulcher Family blog it makes me want to curl up with Dorothea Mackellar and read Our Country too.
Dorothea Mackellar - is one of Australia's best loved poets and her beautiful lyric poem "Our Country" is just echoed in their way of semi rural Australian life.

I'm so looking forward to getting out on the weekend with my new camera. Don't you just love Australia!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A Family Affair

Happy 90th birthday Grandma! We absolute have been blessed beyond measure to still have her with us for this day. For the last few months of 2010 we found ourselves caring for her more and more in her home. She would ring and say that her lunch hadn't been delivered, I would hear a ding of the microwave, tell her to check the microwave & that I would be straight over. She was confused, afraid and very unwell. After a terrible fall which left her with head injuries and a broken pelvis (in 3 places) she was admitted to hospital. She was in organ failure & absolutely not expected to live. Hospital was where she stayed until the miracle of getting her into a wonderful nursing home so near to us all. As I said previously the three of us were ruled out by the ACAT team to have her live with us which made me really sad, but it's a reality.

My Aunt was home from having her second round of breast cancer surgery. Now does this look like a women with cancer. AMAZING. She isn't so old that she needs to carry her handbag with her everywhere she goes , the yellow strap is in fact her drainage bag that has a drain attached to her breast. She looked so wonderful & my Grandmother was so relieved to have her with us on Sunday as well.

Lucy was having seizures everyday for the previous 3 days. Poor little one. All she could manage was 1 piece of cake and plenty of attention. She did also get to wear her pajamas to church which she proudly informed her 'other' family the Fulchers.

The newly weds had returned from their trip around Australia honeymoon. Now what are the words I'm supposed to use. Matt is a highly esteemed Corporate Lawyer, who attended Oxford. He is all that and so much more. Kirsten is one of my 3 cousins and I love her to bits. Their wedding was amazing and when the photos are in I will be blogging about that. They had Marcus Bell as their photographer & for those of you who don't know, he is now listed as one of the top 10 photographers in the world. Kirst & Matt are now back 'home' in Abu dhabi and we miss them already but not nearly as much as her mum does. Got to love Skype.

I just love having all my babies, yes I said babies even if you're 22 & married, so close to me. That is a real blessing. I must add that it is 16 more days until those mission papers go in, then 1 baby may not be so close!

My mum made the cakes, prepared the platters and did so much again in the food department and as usual making the setting so special. What makes the cooking so special is that my mum was never a baking mum. She was a single,working,just trying to keep 3 kids feed and clothed & educated kind of mum. She recently married a man that she loves very much and now has found the joy and luxury that I have always taken for granted in the kitchen. So two weeks in a row mum has excelled in providing the environment for a perfect family affair.

I had prayed and pleaded with God to take Grandma home to Him because it seemed so cruel to just linger like she was. I love my Grandmother very dearly. But God had other plans, plans that now I see so much more clearly. If she died months ago she would have left a broken family and a family full of disenfranchised grief. This opportunity of working together has given us the chance to begin to heal as a family. The time we have left with her has been so healing for us all and such a blessing. I'm so grateful to our Heavenly Father and His wisdom. I'm also so grateful for my whole family!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Today I went for my routine mammogram and as I had my husband with me we sat in the men's area. Next to my husband was a man, perhaps in his early sixty's that was sent in for a what he thought would be a test and the next thing he was waiting to see the surgeon. He had arrived, on his own, as he had traveled for several hours to get to the Breast Clinic never expecting this outcome.
He seemed alone, afraid, and totally out of his depth in what one could only describe from the surroundings as 'secret woman's business'. For women in the clinic it's full of lovely smiling volunteers, guiding you through every step of the way, but this gentle man had arrived on an alien plant, and was left not sure which way to turn wishing that he had has wife with him.

He said "I thought you had to have 'man boobs' to get this sort of thing"? We didn't even know what to say to this man. I piped up and said well Tom Cruise had it. Not sure that was any consolation to him, but what do you say. Breast cancer is pink & ribbons and teddy bears, not 60 year old men. He said that this will be some story to tell at the pub.

My heart sank for him. I wanted to go back and hold his hand and sit with him during his consultation with the surgeon because bet you anything his wife does all that stuff!

It is rare but possible. I came across this article "Bearded lady who slew a cancer dragon"

For more info if your interested Breast Cancer Network Australia This is the link to male breast cancer. I have learn something new today.

I also looked around the room at all the women in their surgical gowns and I was wondering which one of us will be the 1 in 8. Who's life is going to change forever today. I lost my very best friend to breast cancer, my aunt has just return homed an hour ago after more surgery and will start chemo, radiation and will wake up tomorrow to a new normal. That's how I felt when I was diagnosed with with a life changing illness. Still I feel like the lucky one.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

He Does Hear Our Prayers

You know how at different times in your life you have a song that really resonates with you. Well mine is this one at the moment.

It's really the last verse of this song that has touched me the most.

"Oh what peace we often forfeit,
What needless pain we bear
all because we do not carry
everything to God in prayer"

I'm so full of questions about my health, homeschooling, serving my family & those at Church so as to be serving the Lord.
I've had this on my playlist for ages but the words really just caught me recently and I've felt the difference in the weight of the burden's feel so much lighter. That verse could not have been more true, as I have forfeited a lot of peace unnecessarily.

I love what President Hinckley said while reminding us of D&C 84:88. He said:
Sometimes you pray to the Lord with great earnestness for help, for relief from your struggles. You wonder why your prayers are not answered as you would like them to be. We have all had that experience. But we come to know as the years pass that our Father in Heaven does hear our prayers. His wisdom is greater than ours, and we come to know that He answers our prayers even though the answers at times are difficult to discern.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mother's day 2011

We had the most wonderful Mothers day yesterday. My Grandmother, who we really thought we had lost earlier this year is doing wonderfully. We've had to move her to a Nursing Home which caused us so much heartache. She is a very much loved Mother, Grandmother & Great grandmother. However she reached a point that made it impossible for us to manage her in her villa. The ACAT Assessment team ruled out her coming to live with us as I already have MS and wouldn't have the physical strength to manage day to day with her. Both my mother & Aunt still work (both nurses) so she was still in a hospital waiting a placement in a Nursing home. Other family's we spoke to all said they had been waiting 9-12 months plus to get a place, but only through the Lord we waited less then 9 days. We also got her into the Home of our choice. This has been such a blessing to us. Since she has been there her health has improved amazingly well even to the point that she was able to attend my cousins wedding. This was a miracle! We purchased a wheelchair and as you can see on the back it say's LOL on Board. She is very affectionately referred to as Little Old Lady or LOL for short. (no end of uses for my Silhouette machine)
Well my Grandmother turns 90 this week so another party is planned to celebrate this amazing milestone. In our family history no one has lived to this age. Her mother closest at 84 but 90 is amazing.

The other special thing about our mothers day was that my Aunt was diagnosed with Breast cancer a few days before her daughters wedding. She has had 1 round of surgery and due for more tomorrow. Following this she will start Chemo, radiation etc. We decided as a family to forgo any mothers day gifts and pool the money we would have spent to make a donation to the Jane McGrath Foundation on behalf of my Aunt. She's a crier, so needless to say she was overwhelmed as we all were with the 'specialness' of this Mother Day.

My mother, as usual put on an amazing spread. Mum always goes past the extra mile for table decoration. She had all our Great, Great Grandmothers tablecloths, flowers and wonderful food. After it was over we all wanted to head home for a nap but no my mother was off to work doing the afternoon shift. Her energy amazes me.

As for me, I have been, well coveting really, a new Canon Camera. My husband tried really hard to get the one I wanted but it was just a little out of our financial reach. This was not at all a realistic purchase in my mind anyway, so him just trying was worth more than the camera. However my Uncle, affectionately know to us as the dinosaur doctor with him being a Paleontologist, does have a new Canon 5d ii, in my mind the ultimate in camera ownership. Anyway he also had a very beautiful Canon Powershot pro 1 that he wasn't using now. And would you know he said, "look if you would like it you are more than welcome to it"!!!!!!

WOULD I LIKE IT!!!!! I LOVE IT!!! We went out to their place, and he has never been a man that does anything by halves. This thing had the lot and more in as if I just picked it up from the store myself. I know yesterday was the Sabbath, but I went straight to bed with camera manual and bag in hand. Awesome blessing once again!!

So all in all yesterday was a fantastic day. All my children, their husbands, my mother, Aunt & Uncle and my beautiful Grandmother all together for a most wonderful day. Some times you can just feel that cup running over.