Saturday, 28 June 2014

Our Perfect Day Fishing

Our perfect day fishing ...

Peaceful. Quiet. Still. Fresh. View. Perfection.

Cool. Squish. Gather. Laugh. Excite. Squirt. Together.

Tiny. Courageous. Pretty. Determined. Sweet. Smiling. Her.

Beautiful. Funny. Explorer. Giggler. Singer. Grinner. She.

Strong. Stable. Intelligent. Sweet. Nature. Discoverer. He.

Cheeky. Fun. Chuckler. Helper. Outdoors. Animals. Him.

Digging. Collecting. Free. Boyhood. Mirror. Treasures.

Serene. Stunning. Shimmer. Glory. Beauty. Calm.

Glory. Clouds. Heaven. Creator. Filled. Awe-struck. Praise.

Unexpected. Precious. Amazing.

First. Proud. Natural. Happy. Adorable.

Squeeze. Clever. Enjoying. Scrumptious.


Can't wait until next time! ...

(Linking up with ... beautiful)

Taking In The Moments

Taking in the moments. That's what I would really like to do more of these school holidays. I have the joy of my four amazing children home and I'm wanting to slow down time. So far, we've enjoyed our traditional end of term night, watching movies and eating pizza. It's our way of loosening up, relaxing and getting into the mind set of enjoying each others company.

On that note, today I wrote down a quick list of some simple activities that I'd like to try and enjoy this holidays with my family ... hopefully, this way, I won't forget. Making memories together is a priority for me, and I know that unless I write things down, I'm likely to not remember all the things that I really want to do!

My 'taking in the moments' list as follows ...

  1. play card and board games
  2. read lots of books
  3. make a teacup bird feeder (or a couple!)
  4. sculpt little clay houses (for the kids to enjoy!)
  5. enjoy around the world dinners
  6. journal about my children
  7. roast marshmallows
  8. photo collage art
  9. chalk photos of kids (great on a rainy day on a garage floor!)
  10. have tea parties
  11. make a kite
  12. star-gazing
  13. light candles around the home
  14. write letters
  15. plant herbs
  16. fire-side dinner with MR S
  17. make home made apple pie
  18. have a lounge room sleepover
  19. read aloud together
  20. balloon painting (if I'm game enough!)
  21. make wood oven pizza
  22. enjoy using the fire pit while drinking hot chocolate
  23. play chin puppets
  24. take lots of photos!
Now all that's left to do is write out a good copy with check boxes and stick it on the fridge!

I apologize that there's no photos on this post, I have none taken as yet. Don't worry, I'll be sure to make up for it in the posts to come!

May God beautifully bless your week!

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Five 'Things' That Make My House A Home

Pre-loved items, I love them. The story they tell, the lives who used them, the memories they stir. It's only been in the last few years that I've really grasped my love of all things vintage. I knew as a teenager that I was drawn to 'old-style' things, but now as an adult I realise that it's a part of who I am. 

While visiting family last week I was given some vintage treasures from my in laws. They are not 'stuff' people, that's just not who they are, and in all honesty I don't think I am either. I just can't resist something that once belonged to people that I love. I've found myself becoming very picky with what I decorate my home with, and vintage, pre-loved, but practical items are most important. We scoured second-hand book shops and op-shops too, where I found some book bargains that I'm excited about!

Making a house a home has always been something that is very important to me. Not for appearance sake, but as a way to create memories, warmth, comfort, peace and love within these walls for the people that I love. 

There are five things that I've discovered, for me, that go along way in making my house a home. If these things are pre-loved, then it's even better!

  1. Photographs and art
  2. Books, books and more books
  3. Candles
  4. Cushions and blankets (especially crotchet or patch work blankets!)
  5. Old furniture

This gorgeous old timber box was my father in laws. It has his name on the top and so I'm hesitating to refurbish it. I do like blue. What do you think? Should I restore it or not? I think it's going to be my second 'family memories box' when my first one's full!

The books to the left are sweet little stories that have old-fashioned values and gorgeous illustrations! My Little Miss P is really enjoying Enid Blyton books, so when we found some at a great price, we grabbed them for her school holiday enjoyment! Hopefully Little Miss J will enjoy them as she gets older too!

My girls love poetry and this hard-cover book was a bargain at only $5.00! It's in beautiful condition and the illustrations are, again, so sweet. We'll be enjoying many winter nights snuggled in our beds reading this together!

Our family loves reading together and I'm looking forward to reading through the 'Little House' series by Laura Ingalls Wilder after we've finished reading the 'Chronicles of Narnia'. I was very happy to find some of the series cheaply to add to the ones we already own. Has anyone read 'All in the blue unclouded weather' by Robin Klein? I've not seen it before and it looks like such a sweet girls story, I'm looking forward to reading it with my daughters!

This volume of Narnia has all seven stories in it, it's also our third copy of the Narnia series. This copy was $12.00 and I'm going to be using it to highlight favourite quotes and scribble notes in, the others are not to be drawn in! It was cheaper to purchase the one volume rather than individual copies, as they were $4 - $5 per book, so that would've made it much more than $12.00 and much more than I was wanting to spend!

The Treasury of Narnia was just irresistible! It's full of Narnia goodness and I really look forward to enjoying this one by firelight! 

Our sweet kitty Ollie enjoys the new perch! I brought two journals that were discounted, honestly, just because I'm addicted to journals! The blue one was a beautiful gift from my brother in law and his girlfriend, very lovely! 

My other brother in law gave me this copy of 'My Utmost For His Highest', the incredible devotional by Oswald Chambers, I now enjoy my quiet times with it and the 'Living Light' devotional that I snapped up for $3.00. 'Christ in Isaiah' looks like a very interesting read.

Does anyone else think that 'if I'm going to need practical storage then it may as well be pretty?'  Well I couldn't pass up the gorgeous red tin from Dad and the long metal ones, they're perfect for holding pens and craft pieces. The candle holders fit my love of birds, my second favourite colour, green, the vintage look and the candle criteria! I look forward to lighting them! The bottles I grabbed as they were only $2.50 each and well, I'll find a practical use for them somewhere!

This teacup and saucer belonged to my husbands Grandmother. She was an incredible woman and Mum gave this set to me as she doesn't want 'stuff', but this is the kind of stuff that I love! I think of Grandma each time I look at it's pretty yellow blooms!

I collect teapots and some teacups and so these have been added to my collection. I don't see this collection as being essential to my home-making, it's just something that I enjoy, especially when my girls and I have tea parties together!

My sister in law took me to a new Costco store that's opened here in Australia ... big mistake! You should see the books there! I snapped up this complete audio CD set of Beatrix Potter stories (below), I thought the girls could listen to them as they go to sleep some nights!

I love learning about writing and these books were bargains! The 'Spiritual Writing' looks particularly good, has anyone read these before?

I went through the phase of having my dinner ware matching, and I have recently started collecting miss-matched vintage pieces, as they're more 'me'. These were gifted to me by my brother in laws girlfriend too ... they are beautiful! I brought the pink flowery one for $1.

I smile when I see our table set with old-fashioned beauty.

It gets so cold here in winter, and my children like to snuggle up as they feel the cold. Little Miss J especially as she's so tiny and thin. I brought this patchwork single bed blanket for only $5.00, it's in perfect condition and very warm!

The photo above is of my gorgeous husband (the cute little one on the right with the cheeky grin!) and his older brother. Mum gave this photo in the frame to me as she said she has plenty of photos of her boys, I'm so grateful to have it! It sits on top of Dads blue timber box.

I saved my favourites till last. These chairs were hand-made by my husbands Grandfather when he first married. They used them in their first family home, that was seventy-five years ago. I've placed them on our front veranda so we can enjoy cuppas out there. I'm really not sure if I want to refurbish these or not, I love them as they are all chipped and showing their history, but I can also see them restored. Help! What's your opinion?!

How do you enjoy decorating your home? Are you true to you and your style? What's important to you in your decorating?

I love these quotes by Edith Shaeffer ...

“I am sure that there is no place in the world where your message would not be enhanced by your making the place (whether tiny or large, a hut or a palace) orderly, artistic and beautiful with some form of creativity, some form of ‘art’ .

“It is true that all men are created in the image of God, but Christians are supposed to be conscious of that fact, and being conscious of it should recognise the importance of living artistically, aesthetically, and creatively, as creative creatures of the Creator. If we have been created in the image of an Artist, then we should look for expressions of artistry, and be sensitive to beauty, responsive to what has been created for us” .

Making my house a home is something that I'll never grow tired of ... will you?

(Linking up with the beautiful Homespun Oasis)

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Our Extended Family Visit

Our visit to family turned out to be a much longer stay than first planned, eleven days instead of six. Our car decided it was going to break down and so we waited for it to be repaired. We really enjoyed the longer opportunity to catch up with our loved ones.

There was so much laughter with the cousins (all nine of them) creating many imaginary games together, and having such a great time! My Father in law had a huge garage sale over two weekends where he sold all the plumbing gear that he'd 'gathered' over forty years (you can probably imagine just how much that was!) and now no longer needs due to retirement. 

We had combined birthday celebration cakes and pressies, and a birthday dinner for my Mother in law with her favourite food for dinner, curry! I cooked dinner one night with one of my brother-in-laws, roast chicken with our own stuffing. We chatted and cleaned and cleared out and worked hard, we drank coffee and peach iced tea and (the men) kept coke in business. Dad claims that the Wolter's are 'aqua-holics', we laugh at him, not with him! It was such a great time!

The photo above was taken by my sweet, beautiful sister in law.
Dad enjoyed reminiscing of years gone by during the garage sale. Each tool that he sold to people, he told them the story of it and it's use, really making them feel valuable and important. I like that about him. Dad has a nickname for me, it's 'Old Girl'. I like that too. 
I really couldn't have been blessed with more amazing in-laws and extended family.

Mum and Dad blessed me with some vintage goodies, some of which I will re-vamp and some I'll keep original. I'm still deciding, I'll show you in another post. We scoured second-hand book shops and op-shops, which was fantastic! We played card games and MR S and Mr S watched the State of Origin with Dad.  We ate ice-creams at a beach front cafe. We visited the beach and watched the sun shimmering on the water, the boats sailing along the calm surface and the birds scuffing in the sand for snacks. Our kids enjoyed the beach playground. On the Friday we went fishing, just the six of us (as no one else wanted to tag along), it was incredible, but that will be another post too!

It was a constant state of busyness, yet still wonderful times to remember.

Mr S and Little Miss J having fun together!

Mr R and Little Miss P laughing and playing!

... admiring the beautiful view!

Visiting the beach is always a bonus part of going down to visit family. Living in a sweet country town far from salt water, we often find ourselves craving sand between our toes and fresh cool sea water.

I think I'm almost back on top of the washing and unpacking, the dreaded reality of holiday returns! Oh well, we're having a garage sale this Saturday (seeing as we're in practice now from Dad's!) and the unpacking has got me in the mood of 'culling' unwanted and un-needed items, so I'm off to a good start! 

I think it'll take a few more days to recover from such a huge long week, but it was worth every minute, I absolutely love my family!

Hope you're having a beautiful time with your families too!

Have a wonderful week!

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Winter Delights

Winter has surely made her icy presence known these last few weeks in our sweet little country town. And with her arrival comes the welcoming of some of my most cherished and favourite pass times. She is, after all, my favourite season. 

Mornings crisp and fresh spent snuggling under bliss of feathery bedding. Mugs of coffee with their steam rising to greet the day. Toes hugged in fluffy slippers ...

... Aaaahhh winter, how I love you!

Image credit
Absorbing words on pages near dancing soothe of fireplace flames. Small souls wrapped in woollies from top to bottom, noses flushed pink. Little caramel kitty curling against body warmth, purring satisfaction. White sheets of foggy mist, lacey dew-dropped webs. Clear blue heavens whipped with fairy floss forms ... 

... winter you're my delight. 

Image credit
Laughing friends making memories around open-aired blazes, voices raised in praising song. Sticks pronged as forks, carrying gooey sweet treat pillows. Kitchen aroma of casseroles, slow cooker bounties and pudding surprises. 

Quiet wake of sweet bird song rising to adore their Maker ... 

... oh winter I pray you stay a while.

(Linking up with the beautiful Homespun Oasis)

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

A Beautiful Song

We are venturing out to visit family for a few days, so I won't be posting for at least until next Wednesday. I'm hoping to come back home with many new post ideas for you! In the meantime, have a beautiful few days, enjoy your family and know that God loves you!

This is the shortest blog post in the history of blog posts! 

Here's a song that I absolutely love, I hope it blesses you as much as it blesses me. It's truly beautiful.

Until next week ...

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Being Real

I got halfway through then I started again. I didn't have a choice. There was just too many good things that I just had to go back to the beginning and start afresh, highlighter in hand.

I've been praying fairly often over the last month that God would take my creativity and use it for His glory. After all it's how He chose to make me. He could have chosen to make me any way He wanted; but He gave me this gift of creativity and I'm just so thankful. I haven't always been thankful though. There's been times of trying to stuff down deep inside who I've been made to be, who I really am. There's been many times that I've spat at the mirror speaking ugly lies right to the very core of my being. "You're just worthless", "You're a fat, ugly, stupid cow", "I hate you".

While praying this morning I found myself asking forgiveness for those words that I spoke over myself months ago and had fully believed. I'm not speaking those anymore, but I still needed to ask for forgiveness. 

For to say that I'm not good enough is to say that God's not good enough. To say that I'm a mistake is to say that God makes mistakes. And God simply doesn't. To say that I don't accept who I've been made to be is to say that I don't accept Gods wise designing of the woman He loves.

It crushed my soul. Those horribly cruel lies. I nearly suffocated in the belief of such rot. Right now though? Right now I'm in the process of 'pulling back the layers suffocating the truth of who you (I) really are (am). This book I'm reading and had to start again, it's called 'A Million Little Ways', by Emily. P. Freeman, and the previous quote is found in it. You've probably already read it, it's been blogged about a lot, but I'm a bit slow on the up-take and have only just started it!

You can purchase this book here.

I want this place to be a place where I'm real. Where I share with you from the truth of who I am. But do you know what? I'm terrified. Terrified of being vulnerable. I know that I've met people face to face who can relate to some things and struggles I've been through, but here? Here in this little, but huge world of the Internet? Here's my hesitation. Here's my procrastination. Here is where I struggle to obey in being real. 

All sorts of questions go through my head while I read this book ...

 "Will they accept me?" 
"Will they learn anything from the jibberish that I attempt to make understandable?"
 "Will they shun me when they know I've experienced depression, many times?" 
"Do they see me as being a try-hard blogger?" 

Yet in all this I know that God has made me creative. He has made me to love to write, to love photography, painting, reading, singing, drawing ... I may develop the talents that He gave me, but I didn't get to choose them for myself. 

Not one of us gets to go and select, as from a grocery store shelf, what our giftings are; He gives what He pleases, what He knows is best, and what pleases Him. He gives us what we can use to give Him glory.

"It's time to rescue our beautiful design from the dark grip of doubt and discouragement. 
It's time to remember the Spirit of power and love and a sound mind who lives within us. 
It's time to live as though we have something to offer. 
It's time to release our authentic selves into the world" 
(A Million Little Ways, page 17)

I find myself praying and thanking God so much now for who He's made me to be. I love being creative, and I truly wouldn't want to be made any other way. I absolutely love my God with all my heart. He amazes me and fills me. 

I'm reading this book afresh with highlighter ready so that I don't miss a thing that God reveals to me. I pray before I read books like this, that the truth that God wants me to learn from it will be so clear. Well, He certainly is showing me very clearly. It's confirming to me what God has been saying through my prayers for the last month.

This space, in all honesty, should have very little to do with me, 
and a great deal to do with God. 

Father God,

I love You so much. I adore Who You are and I thank you for what You've done in my life.
Your blessings to me and my family are so many. I give You all of my creativity. I give You all of who You made me to be and I say thank you. Thank you that even in my imperfection, You still choose to use me. Thank you that You saw fit to give me these talents to glorify Your Name. Help me do this more and more. Help me be real here and in my day-to day life, to live out Your Glory in all that I do. Help me speak truth and love and life. You are everything to me. Take my creativity and use it how ever You will. Lead me and guide me with my writing, my photography, my singing and show me how, when and where I am to use them. You are so beautiful, You are so faithful. I love being Yours. I give You everything. In Jesus' beautiful name,


I hope you have a beautiful week.

Monday, 9 June 2014

His Beauty

As promised, here are my photos that I took with my daughter Little Miss P. 
I used manual focus on these photos. I've only just started to experiment with manual photography, and I'm really enjoying it!

"I like this place and could willingly waste my time in it." - William Shakespeare

And why do you worry about clothes? 
See how the flowers of the field grow.
They do not labour or spin. 
Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his
splendor was dressed like one of these.
- Matthew 6: 28-29

When I consider your heavens, 
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them?

You made them rulers over the works of your hands;
you put everything under their feet:
all flocks and herds,
and the animals of the wild,
the birds in the sky,
and the fish in the sea,
all that swim in the path of the sea.
Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is Your name in all the earth!
Psalm 8: 3-9.

It never ceases to amaze me how every time I take photographs, I'm awakened again and again to the absolute beauty that God has so perfectly created. I end a photo session with such a full heart and such an overwhelming awe of Who God is, the Master Artist. 

Photography encourages my worship of our great God; it insists upon making me thankful; how could I not be for all He has created and done in my life? I love Him so much.

I hope you have a worshipful week, seeing His beauty everywhere.

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