Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to you all!
I pray you pause and embrace,
 remember and appreciate,
adore and give thanks to our beautiful
Saviour Jesus Christ this Christmas!

See you next year!

Monday, 27 October 2014

Quick Home Projects

I've been able to find the time to do two quick little projects for our home over the last couple of days. I enjoy being creative in our home; it makes it feel so much more like us. My lovely sister gave me some beautiful bird feathers, and straight away I knew exactly what I wanted to do with them!

I rummaged around and found a white frame that I'd been given by a friend who no longer wanted it, and pulled out my roll of plain old brown paper that we use to cover school books, followed finally by washi tape! Oh washi tape! 

A few minutes later I had cleaned the glass and frame, scrunched up the brown paper and stuck four of the feathers down with the washi tape, and ...

 It sits on an old chair that I have in the lounge room, and I love it! 

Today I went searching op-shops for a shelf or storage system of some kind for the kids toy room/corner. It didn't take long to find something that would be perfect (after a clean!) and it was only five dollars! After a quick six dollar trip to a brilliant local craft shop, three meters of pom pom edging later and a hot glue gun ...

I really like the finished product, it gives a great little pop of colour  
to the room and it's much better than toys just stacked in plastic tubs ... and all for eleven dollars!

It really is so nice to decorate our home and not break the budget!
It's one favourite part of making my house a home!

Friday, 24 October 2014

Gloriously Blessed

I have to tell you all that I am the very excited owner of this amazing book ...

No doubt you know it, and I'm a tad slow on the up-take, but I ordered it early last week from Koorong, and it arrived on Monday this week! It's the perfect book to enjoy perusing at your own pace with a nice hot cup of tea.

Already I've been reminded of such beautiful truths in it's pages; both through the words and the pictures. The author of this lovely piece is Myquillyn Smith, from Nesting Place. To be honest, even though I enjoy looking through decorating/home books quite a bit, I wanted to purchase this book to see what 'all the fuss was about' ... I get it. It's beautiful. 

I'm so glad that I brought the hard cover copy too; it's perfect for the coffee table so it can just be grabbed and enjoyed!

The set of amazing hand made crotchet coasters can be found here and here, in case you're
wanting some for your home!

I love how, on page 51 in the chapter titled 'Giving up on perfect' Myquillyn writes ...

"You don't have to get perfect to have a pretty house. Most of us simply need to see the beauty in the imperfect. Because life is gloriously messy. We can find rest in our less than perfect circumstances when we figure out that no amount of striving can create the perfect life we think we are looking for. True rest comes when we realize that we can't get it from trying extra hard. We find rest when we give up".

Life is gloriously messy?? 

There's always messy here, but gloriously messy is a concept I am new to. 

Looking with fresh eyes around my home at things that I would normally be frustrated at, it was amazing the glorious messes that I found ...

Dirty dishes from times spent laughing and chatting over mealtimes. 

Spilled over school uniforms from children eager to go to their amazing school for the day! 

Piano stool and papers still out from a Son who can't help but tinkle his fingers over its keys every single day, filling our home with wonderful songs.

 Toys left out in the playroom from busy little imaginations and healthy minds creating countless miniature worlds together. (Although I don't think anyone will ever enjoy standing on lego!)

Out of the playroom and on the lounge room floor; evidence of my five year old being his gorgeous boyish self. Little fingers lining up cars; transformer shooting them down - his little world, and I was the audience.

Thongs thrown off feet, complete with bits of grass, leaves, prickles and paper. Signs of tree climbing, bodies soaring high on swings, jumping through the air on the trampoline and siblings playing happily in the sunshine together.

I could get used to this. 

Finding the 'glorious' in all the daily mess. 
It's all proof of a life lived well; the life that God chose to bless me with.
This one life; this one family ... 

And I am gloriously blessed.

(Take me back to the Introduction Page)

(A Write 31 Days Post)

Monday, 20 October 2014

Home Is Beautiful

Tonight I asked my twelve year old son and my ten year old daughter what 'home means to them'. I think that we would all agree that none of our homes are perfect; but home is beautiful. 

Love begins by taking care of the closest ones – the ones at home.
Mother Teresa

A thought crossed my mind today; more of a plea, a hearts desire, a sorrowed sigh. I wish to slow down more. To simplify more. To be more at home where the things that hold eternal value and worth reside. 

The constant push and shove of this world with its 'be more', 'do more', 'own more', 'learn more', 'create more', 'up-grade more', pressure leaves me exhausted. Where's the rest gone? What was so wrong with society when it was slower? When it was richer in relationships? How I find myself longing to slow down even more and focus more on the eternal.

Little Miss P and I read the Bible together this morning, Colossians 3. Verse one reads ... Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.

It's not the structure of the home that matters, but the souls therein. 

It's not the furniture of the home that matters, but the hearts therein. 

It's not the style of the home that matters, but the amount of Christ like love and grace that is lived there. 

I really desire more slow.

More of the eternal in our home. More paying attention to the relationships, to the teaching and laughing. The singing and playing. More moments making simple memories together. 

More of Jesus. 

More of Jesus = Less of the World = Slowing for the Eternal. 

Little Miss P wrote that home to her is ...

  • having fun
  • enjoying each other
  • spending time together
  • giggling and laughing
  • watching movies together (she is only ten after all!)
Be grateful for the home you have, knowing that at this moment, all you have is all you need.

Sarah Ban Breathnach 

It takes hands to build a house, but only hearts can build a home.
Author Unknown 

Mr S wrote that home to him is ...
  • safety
  • fun
  • family
  • love
  • a place to go to 
  • something to look forward to

Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do… but how much love we put in that action.

Mother Teresa 

Every house where love abides

And friendship is a guest,
Is surely home, and home sweet home
For there the heart can rest.
Henry Van Dyke 


Help me keep my eyes on You. I long to slow down this life and focus on the eternal. 
Thank You for the many blessings You've given me so freely. Please use my heart,
my mind, my home, my everything for Your glory. I love You and I thank You that You will
help me to spend my days in the way that matters.

In Your Precious Name I pray, Amen.

(Take me back to the Introduction Page)

(A Write 31 Days Post)

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Our Cats

As I added some photos of our cats, I was surprised by how many photos I actually had of them! This is just a very quick post sharing our beautiful little Kitty's with you. 

Cat lovers will understand the comfort and pleasure a little furry friend or two can provide to a home. The sweetness of their paws and face; the humming of their purr; the softness of their little coats. They bring such delight! 

Our children love them to pieces, and so do MR S and I!

Here they are ... 

Ollie - our ginger older male and
Half Pint - our younger latte coloured male. 

I know it's a lot of photos, and it's really a 'nothing' kind of post, but we just love having cats in our home! I know that God must have made these beautiful sweet creatures to snuggle and love; not just to catch mice! 

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Raised Veggie Garden Part Two

Well, we've had the soil for our two veggie garden beds delivered and we worked together to shovel it all in, ready for planting.

With all of us shovelling, it really didn't take very long at all to fill the beds with the good soil; complete with added mushroom compost.

It is really good to have a veggie garden again; we were all missing our large one that we had at our old house. We're looking forward to the next process now ... planting lots of seasonal veggies (and a tad more decorating by me!)

We mulched the beds with clean hay, then planted the only two plants we have for the time being! A tomato and a chili plant!

 I bought this lovely old fashioned timber chair with a partner for it, for five dollars each. The partner is in the lounge room (it's been restored) and I thought that this one would look beautiful here! It's the older, less repairable of the two, so I don't particularly mind it being out in the weather getting more of a 'natural rustic' appearance! I've seen on Pinterest an older chair than this one with a climbing rose growing all over it; I'm going to do the same, but with the rose being a 'miniature climbing' one and in a pot.

Gardening is such a wonderful family activity and it adds so many blessings to our home. It's so nice knowing that hopefully soon (when we visit our neighbouring towns monthly Saturday markets) we can stock up on very well priced seedlings of our favourite herbs and veggies. We may even purchase some dwarf fruit trees for potting, it's easier to take them with us then if we have to leave our rental!

So, between our two kitties, our little puppy, our six chickens and our home-made, recycled veggie patch, our little town block is feeling even more like a snugly little country farm house for us to call home!

I hope you're enjoying your homes and those you share it with!

(Take me back to the Introduction Page)

(A Write 31 Days Post)

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

My Favourite Quotes on Home and Motherhood

"You create the atmosphere in the home with your attitudes"  - Elisabeth Elliot.

"How I manage my home is a form of worship to Him".

"Unthinkably good things can happen in the home. Ridiculously rich and loving are children who are safe and secure".

"A Christian home should be a place of peace, and there can be no peace where there is no self-denial" - Elisabeth Elliot

"You are as much serving God in looking after your own children, and training them up in God's fear, and minding the house, and making your household a church for God, as you would be if you had been called to lead an army to battle for the Lord of hosts" - C.H. Spurgeon

"I can interact with the members of my family in a constant state of dependence and prayer, asking God to work in me and through me, and resting in the fact that He will accomplish His will in-spite of me".

"Aim high, sweet mama. And when mistakes come, know they are covered by the One who holds all in His hands, and whose mercies are 'new every morning'"! - Sally Clarkson

"A mother can make a veritable heaven of any home, simply by the choice of her words. For a few short years, what she says IS! She shapes reality for the entire family via her tongue" - Renee Ellison

"Nothing can compare in beauty, and wonder, and admirableness, and divinity itself, to the silent work in obscure dwellings of faithful women bringing their children to honor and virtue and piety".    - Henry Ward Beecher

Have a beautiful week!

Monday, 13 October 2014

Books In My Home.

Books. I just love books. My earliest memories of my childhood are filled with the enjoyment of books. Going on a day trip, or a visit to my grandparents I would never fail to pack a book or two or three to pour over while there. Our children now follow the same practise.

There were always books in my bedroom; in drawers, on shelves, under my bed, stacked in piles on the floor. I never went to school without a novel, or poetry book alongside my text books, and a journal and pen in case inspiration struck. 

"Let your bookcases and your shelves be your gardens and your pleasure-grounds. Pluck the fruit that grows therein, gather the roses, the spices, the myrrh.

I'm one of 'those people' who could spend hours perusing a dusty old second hand book shop with the greatest delight and not necessarily have to spend a cent. I'm one of 'those people' who simply cannot resist taking a deep breathe of that lovely smell of well worn pages. I scour bookshelves for much loved classics, and I'm thrilled when I find one for next to nothing.  Having books stacked on my bedside table and in my bedside drawers and cupboard is essential! In short, you could say without a doubt, that I am a book freak; a book worm; a bookaholic - take your pick! 

Needless to say, the love of books and reading is something that I've always wanted to encourage in my home. Having children who enjoy reading is something that I purposefully set out to instill in their hearts. Not by badgering, mind you, but by demonstrating to them my own love of literature; having shelves full of good quality stories to thrill the imagination; encouraging them to have quiet reading time before bed; encouraging them when they complete a book they may have found difficult.

“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.” 
― C.S. Lewis

Recently, we went on a day trip to Koorong bookstore, where we had a fantastic time purchasing quite a lot of books with cash that we'd been saving up for that purpose! It was so much fun! 

The Lauraine Snelling novel I already owned, the other books below are new books to devour!

'Saving Amelie' is a novel that, for some reason, I just couldn't walk away from. It's not normally the kind of novel that I read, but I just really couldn't not buy it. The girl at the service desk said she hadn't read it as it's only new; have any of you read it? How did you find it? I'm very keen to start it after I've finished the Lauraine Snelling one that I'm half way through.

“I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! -- When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.” 
― Jane AustenPride and Prejudice

The novel titled 'Words' is also one that I just couldn't leave on the shelf. I only had to read the first section of the blurb on the back cover to know that I'd be hooked! It reads ... 

"I'd like to keep them in a real box, something pretty, maybe a shoe box covered with flowered wrapping paper. Whenever I wanted, I'd open the box and pick up the papers, reading and feeling the words all at once. Then I could hide the box. But the words are safer in my mind. There, he can't take them".
 It sounds like a word lovers world! Very keen to read it too! 

'The Artist's Daughter - A Memoir', looks very intriguing. It's written by Alexandra Kuykendall, who I've never heard of before and obviously, never read any of her work before. It's so good to find some new authors to get to know! Is anyone familiar with her?

As you may or may not know, I really enjoy 'The Hobbit'; novel and movies. When I saw this book (above) called 'On the Shoulders of Hobbits - the road to virtue with Tolkein and Lewis', I knew that it would be something I would really enjoy. It will no doubt, lead to me wanting to re-read the Hobbit and watch the movies again! On the back it reads, "Rediscover the power of stories and the importance of virtue through this beautiful work". That sounds pretty good to me!

'Love Comes Calling' is also written by a 'new to me' author, Siri Mitchell. It was in the buy one get one free box, so I got it for free when I bought 'The Artist's Daughter'.

Who can pass up 'One Thousand Gifts' by Ann Voskamp? I already own this book on my Kindle, but ever since I've read it, I've been itching to get a hard cover copy of it! I think I'll reread this one last, I want to draw out the anticipation of it as long as I can!

“A good library will never be too neat, or too dusty, because somebody will always be in it, taking books off the shelves and staying up late reading them.” 
― Lemony SnicketHorseradish

Throughout our home, the sight above is quiet normal. A child stretched out on a bed, or curled up in a chair (usually with a kitty), reading away; lost in worlds of adventure! I love it! It is something that makes my heart, and all of our hearts quiet happy! 

“The best moments in reading are when you come across something - a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things - which you had thought special and particular to you. And now, here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out, and taken yours” 

The bookshelf above is only one shelf of two bookshelves stuffed full of books in our boys' room. Mr S especially loves to read, he was keeping a reading log for 2014, but lost track. I'd say he's close to ninety books this year; his nose is always in them and he's always asking if we can visit the local library. 

These are the bookshelves in the kids music room/play room - a lot of these I have purchased either second hand, or they were mine when I was a girl; like the Enid Blyton ones. Oh how I loved 'The Magic Faraway Tree!'. Little Miss P is beginning to really enjoy Enid Blytons works too! 

"You may have tangible wealth untold; Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold. Richer than I you will never be - I had a mother who read to me".
- Strickland Gillian

"The love of learning, the sequestered nooks, and all the sweet serenity of books".
- Henry Wordsworth Longfellow

When it comes to children's Picture Books, I just love them! I find them amazing; but I am fussy unfortunately. I love the ones with not only a great storyline, but also beautiful illustrations! Walker books are my favourite publishers for children's picture books. They publish a beautifully high quality! 

Books make up such an important part of our home; especially when we read aloud together. Currently we're reading 'The Chronicles of Narnia' together, and really enjoying it! A friend of mine told me how she purchased a second older copy of Narnia for the sole purpose of highlighting her favourite quotes and scribbling notes of her lessons etc., all over it. How could I resist that?! I found another copy of Narnia for only twelve dollars for all seven and I'm keen to re-reread it, highlighter in hand! 

With all of these books to read, I think that I'll end up having a few book reviews to do! Would you be interested in a review of any in particular? 

Well, this has been an enjoyable post to share with you all! What are you reading at the moment? Any of these ones? 

In the words of Dorcas Lane, books "are my one weakness".

Have an abundantly blessed week!
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