Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Family Friendly Wednesday: Our Date Night ... Finally!

We finally went on a date night! It's been months! My mum very kindly came up for a visit to look after the kids for us (which they were ecstatic about!) and we set off on our date.
It was just so good to have this man all to myself.
You know what I mean. You love your kids but sometimes it's nice to have a conversation that is not interrupted by questions like, "Do you know how to say 'How are you' in Latin?" or "You know that song, like that one that we sung a few months ago ... ?" or "Can we please open up the new packet of toothbrushes because this one is leaving little bits in my mouth?" (What is it with kids and new toothbrushes anyway?! I brought some out shopping the other day and left them on the bathroom counter to open later, and Little Miss P saw them and excitedly exclaimed, "Thank you sooooo much mummy! New Toothbrushes!!" ... I just don't get it!)
And if it's not kids and questions it's phone calls. "Hello I'm calling you about this top of the range ... " No thanks! Or a work phone call or extended family (you know the ones that you love, but they always have the worst timing to call!), or the school or it's texts messages galore!
Not to mention the normal day to day things that must be done, work etc. and pretty soon you're left absolutely craving your man and some time away from responsibility to just enjoy your relationship. Just to have fun, chat, laugh, plan and dream. (also to not cook and clean up after a meal!)
Well, I finally had this time with MR S. It was really really really nice!
When we were dating, and living in a different suburb, our 'dating spot' was a gorgeous old-fashioned drive-in that we would frequent almost weekly. We would enjoy fish and chips and maltezers (you always have to have maltezers!) ... they were lovely days.
Now that we have moved 'out into the sticks', there is not as much choice for date night 'adventures'.
However, this last date night saw us creating a new tradition. We found a new restaurant that we love, and a new chatting spot after we've eaten together where we can enjoy our friendship. It was just so good to remember why I fell in love with this incredible man. I don't know about you, but sometimes with the hum-drum of life we can lose the 'freshness' of our marriage and it can become 'stale' and well ... boring.
We are looking forward to many more nights at these places together, it's just so important to us to make the most of this marriage we share as (Lord willing) it will be our only one. We are realising that after many years of marriage that we can't ever get to a point where we don't take time out for each other. It was a wonderful night and we enjoyed it so much!
What about you? What are some of your date night traditions with your man?
 We have a few exciting days ahead of us! Our Little Miss P turns nine tomorrow (I will not cry!) and on Saturday we are going on a family holiday for a week at the beach! So, I will be taking a break from blogging here for a week or so ... look forward to seeing you when I get back!

Enjoy your beautiful families!

Monday, 9 September 2013

Be Inspired Monday: The Most Delicious Biscuits Ever!

These are the most delicious biscuits ever! Best of all, the dough mixtures can be frozen till needed and you can create any flavour combo your family likes best! Enjoy, and be sure to let me know how much your family liked them!

Here's the recipe, just for you!

Basic Biscuit Dough
  • 250g butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup castor sugar
  • 1 tspn vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 2-2 1/4 cups of plain flour, sifted
  1. mix butter, sugar and vanilla in a bowl with electric mixer, until light and creamy.
  2. add egg and mix until combined.
  3. stir in two cups of flour for a soft dough, or 2 1/4 cups of flour for a firm dough.
  4. add flavourings and shape, as desired.
  5. bake at 180 oC for app. 12-15 mins
Flavour combinations:

Our favourite of all is dark chocolate drops and chopped up pieces of dried apricots. Delicious! We have tried white and dark choc and craisons, which were also very nice! MR S is currently in the kitchen making some 'lemon' ones using the rind and juice of some delicious lemons we received from a lady at church ... so we will see how they go!
I think a white choc and macadamia would be nice too. Or you could place them on a tray and press in a dint to make jam drops (if you're using the 'firmer' dough recipe).
What other combinations could I make?
Oh would you like a picture of them? ...
I would love for them to be on a pretty little plate next to a steaming hot cup of tea, but they just don't last long enough!
Hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

Friday, 6 September 2013

Faith Talk Friday: Another Brilliant Cynthia Heald Bible Study

Well I have just completed another of Cynthia's studies with our little Monday morning Bible study group, and needless to say, it was fabulous! This study taught on the topics of God's Purpose for Himself, for us collectively and for me uniquely. It has been a blessing. Once again Cynthia adds many personal experiences and life lessons, scriptures and quotes, that add such richness and value to the truth that she teaches into the hearts of women.
These are some of my favourite truths that I have learnt through this study:
  • God's choice of me is the basis of my view of myself. If the sovereign, majestic God of the universe lovingly and personally called me to Himself, then I am valuable, precious and loved because of that calling.
  • Gods ways are not our ways, but His ways are always right, always for His glory and always for our good.
  • It is in waiting that we are able to sense God's prompting to do something or just keep waiting.
  • It is enough for me to know that God has called me and that He is continually working everything for His good purposes in my life.
I think that's enough to share, or I'll just keep writing out the whole book! I will say though, that the quotes in this study, particularly by Oswald Chambers, are simply amazing. We all agreed that we could have just stopped and 'delved into' some of these quotes and learnt so much just from them alone!
If you are wanting a challenging, yet refreshing study I highly recommend this study. Very highly recommend it. It is life-giving and God-inspired.

Here is an excerpt about the study taken from Cynthia's website:

Women sometimes wonder, "Who am I? Why am I here?" While society emphasises wealth, success, and the pursuit of pleasure, the truth is that we are created by God in His image, and our fulfilment is found in pursuing His purposes for us. This study will guide you to a better understanding of your identity, God's will, and His intended purpose for you.

Please be sure to let me know if you are working through these studies too, or have done in the past. I would love to hear from you! It's good to join together and encourage each other in the truths we learn!
The next study we are beginning is on the 'Names of God'. I'm a bit excited as this is an area I know I've only just begun to comprehend! God is just so good, so faithful and full of unending love for us.
I hope you're having such a blessed week.

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Family Friendly Wednesday: Hillsong Conference - Healthy Homes (Part One)

I need to apologize for this blog post being a day late. I had it written and ready to go for you all, and clicked 'publish', but didn't realise until now that it didn't actually publish! So sorry about that! Here's the post for yesterday, hope you enjoy! ...


The speakers in the 'Healthy Home' elective at Hillsong Conference this year spoke to us about how we can be more effective in our families in our day to day lives. I thought that I would share some of my notes from this session with you.
The most pertinent point that they made was:

generosity is the key to a healthy home.
Are we generous in our homes with:
our respect?
our trust?
giving praise?
giving our time?
our listening?
our teaching?
We were encouraged to have an excellent generous spirit.

Generosity is not about us.

 A wise man (or woman) devises ways to be generous! How beautiful is that?! We have the opportunity to purposefully plan ways to actively show generosity to those in our own homes to the glory of God.

To live with a readiness to give.
Reminders of simple, yet vital practises were given.
Be an active listener - for someone to be heard is a way of esteeming, respecting and honouring them.
Give eye contact when you speak with family members; this shows that you have a sincere desire to hear the other persons heart.
When you are an effective listener and you give eye contact, you can really hear how that person is thinking and feeling and be more able to guide them.
Generosity flies in the face of self.
As we sew into our families generously, we reap so much more than we can ever imagine.
We need to do whatever we can to show our husbands we love them.
She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.
Prov 31:12
We need to be generous within the house in every area and for everyone within the home.
What a beautiful privilege we have as wives and mothers! To be daily showing (with God's help) generosity to our family members and providing tangible ways for them to know we love them.

What do you think about their advice? Would any of it be helpful to your beautiful family like it has been for mine?


Here's a couple more photo's I made with Instacollage of Conference ... did I mention it was a brilliant time?!


Have a fabulously generous week!
 Part two will follow in the next couple of weeks in Family Friendly Wednesday! Would love to have you stop by.


Monday, 2 September 2013

Be Inspired Monday: Faithbooking


(The three images on this post are from google images, they are not my own images)

I have just been so inspired by faith booking. Have you heard of it? You probably have. I'm a bit slow on the up-take sometimes when it comes to things like this. At our Church ladies night recently there was a beautiful lady named Suzanne Lipp who spoke to us about this wonderful craft. She is a faith booker and is also a consultant. Suzzanne is such a beautiful, softly spoken, gracious lady who is inspiring women to record the stories of their faith. Here is the link to her lovely new blog!
I realised that I do record some of my stories, but not in albums like this. Faith booking uses photographs and stories (two of my favourite combinations!) together to create a beautiful record of God's goodness, faithfulness, power and love in our lives for future generations to enjoy and be encouraged by.
Sue shared how the Israelites, after leaving Egypt and being lead by God through the Red Sea, were asked by God to build an altar of twelve stones as a remembrance of Gods goodness in leading His people out of slavery. Faith booking is our modern day way of creating such altars. We don't need to pile up stones like that anymore, we can create these stunning works of His faithfulness for our loved ones. Written testimonies.
I'm looking forward to creating my own albums soon, hopefully. I'll share them as soon as I've thought about what stories I'd love to share in them! (That may be a while, I have enough projects for now!)
Do you already enjoy faith booking? What are some albums you've created?
If you would like to contact Sue for supplies, or with questions, you can email her here.
Have a fantastic week!
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