Archive for the ‘family’ Category

What are you giving for Christmas?

December 8, 2012

A camel?

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A friend posted that her 6 year old had a tantrum over the Christmas present he thought he would be getting this year. In the first world we are focused on getting instead of giving, eating instead of fasting, consuming instead of simplifying our lives. How can be change that?

Ann Voskamp has an excellent post here on how to have more grateful kids.  She has some great ideas on how to change the culture from one of wanting to one of giving.

One of the things I have done over the last few years (since my daughter, then aged about 9, asked for a World Vision child sponsorship as her Christmas present) is to give goats, and fish farms, and cataract operations and mosquito nets as presents. Perhaps the cataract operations weren’t such a good idea. I gave them to my husband and he had his own cataract surgery (with complications!) the following year!  It’s fun to try and choose an appropriate present.  MissN was given mosquito nets (the mozzies always bite her!)  My niece usually gets school supplies or sports equipment for third world kids.

Here are some places you can buy the kind of gifts that bless you, bless the recipient of the card and bless the recipient of the goods. You can’t beat that for giving!
Gospel for Asia – a weaving loom, a rickshaw, an outdoor toilet, a camel?
World Vision – soccer balls, a fish farm, a stable full of animals?
Compassion– toothbrushes, veggie seeds?
Tear Australia – tree seedlings, a smokeless stove?
Christian Blind Mission – glasses for children, a wheelchair?

There are a vast range of organisations which you can purchase from.  There are some good ideas here.  And hereKarma Currency enables the recipient to choose where their gift will be donated.  And the wonderful Kiva organisation (just made my 20th loan!) have gift cards, which enable your gift recipients to loan to someone in the third world. And keep on loaning, once their loan has been repaid.

Let’s make giving the essence of Christmas this year.  And giving to the least fortunate, those who haven’t been blessed to have been born into our affluent societies.

It is more blessed to give than to receive.

Jude 2

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20 days to organise and clean my home

August 27, 2012
The Organised Housewife

Can I do it?

My home is pretty clean. Most of the rooms are organised but I do have lots of clutter and my sewing room/office is “dangerous” (to quote my daughter who wrote this piece it).

Sew dangerous.

There is a room at the end of the hallway that no one speaks about.  It hovers, just out of our vision.  We know it’s there, but we dare not acknowledge it.  If we do, who knows what will come out of the darkness?  Inside is a room of strange cloth and twisting threads; inside is a room of creation of the darkest kind.  No one knows what’s inside, no one but the owner.  Even she is afraid.  The creations took on a life of their own, you see, and now there is no controlling.  She keeps professing the ability to go in and tame the demons, but the fact remains – no one has ever succeeded. No one has ever lived. (Nicky Cayless, Dec 2011)

 

My house IS “surface clean” but lots of areas need deep cleaning,  especially as we will be putting it on the market in 2013.  We are planning on downsizing to an apartment in the next year or thereabouts, so I need to get my house as showcase-clean, decluttered and ready to sell.

So.. I (and some of my Flylady pals) will be participating in The Organised Housewife‘s 20 day challenge. It starts next Monday and we have this week to get ready.

Join us?

Jude 2

The best avo dip in the universe

January 2, 2012

I saw Carol Selvarajah make this on SBS at least 15 years ago and wrote down the recipe. It’s MUCH nicer than guacamole, IMNSHO and a great way of getting a lot of healthy foodstuffs into your family.  MissN knows that I will make it on request, ripe avocadoes being available.  I usually have all the other ingredients.  We are growing our own chillies and I look forward to using them.. maybe my next dip.

“Asian type” avocado dip

Whizz together in a food processor (a stick blender works well too)
1 avocado
1/2 granny smith apple, core removed
bunch coriander (cut off roots, use stems)
small brown or white onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled
some ginger – about a half inch square piece or the equivalent (peel it with the back of a teaspoon)
some green chillies (one long green one, seeds removed is a good base to work from)
1/2 cup coconut milk powder
a dollop of tamarind paste (HP sauce is a good substitute)

This is wonderful! We like it with corn chips.

Jude 2

Fijian skies

July 15, 2011



We got back last week from a week at Maqai Beach Eco Resort on Qamea island (east of Taveuni) in Fiji. It was wonderful despite the cold showers (no hot water) and the open boat crossing between the islands in driving rain to get there (no lifejackets!!)  No shoes worn for a week (‘cept reef shoes or fins in the water and I donned my hiking boots for the “jungle walk”), the food was what the amazing ladies in the kitchen cooked (and it was superb – organic vegies from the garden and fish caught that day), snorkelling, crab catching (to feed the baby turtle), lazing, reading, table tennis, bird watching, kava drinking, fun, new friends, hammocking and just being transfixed by the unbelievable beauty of the views… it was heaven.  We were restored.

Click on photos to get a larger view. You can enjoy hundreds of other gorgeous sky photos here.

Jude 2

What she wears, what she wears…

June 17, 2011

Today I am wearing:

green bead earrings bought in South Africa (2002)

green (dark khaki) cardigan bought in Positano (1999)

apple green top bought in Sydney (at my favourite-but-no-more-the-same-shop Von Troska) (2006)

blue jeans bought in Shanghai (at the fake designer centre on East Nanjing Road) (2009)

brown shoes bought in Hong Kong (2009)

My clothes tell of many amazing trips.  We like to travel!

I am so very thankful for the travel opportunities we have had, the places we have been, the memories we share.

Jude 2

Stay at home mum

June 15, 2011

Today I give thanks that I do not have a paid job.  Yes, I miss the sense of achievement.  Yes, I miss the company.  Yes, I miss feeling important and successful and the praise for a job well done and the satisfaction of being good at what I did.

But being available to care for my family, and especially my beautiful daughter, is so much more important to me.

Yes, you can do both… in an ideal world with support networks and super flexible workplace arrangements or your own business.  But it didn’t work for me.

So I am thankful that I do have the privilege of being home with my girl when she is not well.  Many mothers, probably most mothers worldwide, do not have that choice.

Jude 2

Skywatch Friday – a fun Sunday afternoon at McMahon’s Point

October 23, 2009

MissN and I attended a Women’s Event at my church back in March where the men cooked for us gals and shared their recipes.  MissN has been making Simon’s Thai red curry ever since, both with fish and with chicken!  The session finished at 4 and we had 2 hours till evening service at 6 and so decided to go down to McMahon’s Point (I used to catch the ferry to and from McMahon’s Point to Drummoyne when I worked in North Sydney many years ago) and chill. We had fun!
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I love how the clouds in this photo dominate both the bridge and the Opera House! Spot the train crossing the bridge!  We watched the ferries

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and the water taxis

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MissN decided to act like a 3 year old and had fun rolling on the grass.

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and behaving like a kid.  She does that well.

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She isn’t quite grown up yet.  But then neither is her mum.

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I think we will always have fun together.

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You can see more Skywatch Friday posts here.

Redemption

September 17, 2009

For my friend Lesley (who is a bigger Keith fan than I am!)

I thank God for grace and mercy…

Thank YOU, Keith, for sharing your heart.

random answers

May 28, 2009

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I have been procrastinating (my favourite thing to do) about posting. I won a year’s free hosting at Theobloggers but I haven’t got my act together about getting a domain name set up and transferring my photos across.

But I liked the questions Joolz (whose blog I found at Kris’) and had to respond!

Joolz is having a giveaway to celebrate her 150th post. Go and have a look!

# 1 What’s for dinner tonight?
I’m making osso buco and saffron risotto for C.   MissN has to try it (she has never had it before.) I’m not sure what I am making for me. I don’t eat meat.  I had coffee with my church ladies on Tuesday in Cammeray and Rebecca recommended the butcher there, so I got some veal to treat C.  He LOVES osso buco (despite once getting a shard of bone stuck in his throat and needing medical treatment to remove it.  Luckily there was a medical centre right acroos the right from the cafe where we were lunching!)

# 2 What’s your favourite cute animal picture?
See above. Miss Dolce loves water. She will only drink from a running tap and loves lying in the bath. She just fits in the basin. She is a small cat – her legs are pretty short but she weighs 5.3kg!

# 3 Who does the dishes in your house?
I do. But C stacks (or restacks!) the dishwasher. He has superior spatial skills.

# 4 One a personal note, regarding toilet paper – Are you a Scruncher or a Folder… or a Fruncher/Scrolder, he he!
Does anyone need to know the answer to this?

# 5 What jar (brand) of (tomato based) Spaghetti sauce do you use for Spagetti Bol?
I don’t use jars of sauce when I cook. I have only made spag bol once (for C and MissN) in the years since I stopped eating meat (1985..) and I made it the old fashioned way.

# 6 Do your children make their own beds and put out their clothes or do … you?
MissN makes hers when I remind her to. She puts her own clothes away (needs some reminding at times but she is improving). Not sure what you mean by putting clothes out. Out for laundering? She does put hers in the laundry box outside her door.

# 7 Can I have your favourite recipe for a dessert you love?
Coffee and chocolate self-saucing pudding was my first ever blog post!  I make it often.

# 8 My ironing board is permanently set up – do you labour over baskets of ironing or do you fold, put away then iron as you need…. like me?
I tend to iron for an hour or two at a time, with my music blaring, praise and worship usually.

# 9 Do you wear makeup each day or go Phhhffft! Stuff it! How often do you go to the hairdresser?
I wear make up each day. I feel naked without mascara at least(very blonde lashes), and look better with some mineral make up smoothing out my age induced blotches freckles. I usually get my hair cut every 7-8 weeks. I wear it short and grows out of style if I leave it for any longer (needs a cut now!)

# 10 What is your ultimate personal indulgence eg. relaxation/treat
A day in bed with a book and my family bringing me tea/coffee/meals/chocolate on demand.

Hitler’s Daughter

April 2, 2009

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MissN makes her acting debut tomorrow (April 3, 6.30pm at her school, tickets available at the door) , playing Mark, one of the main characters, in the stage adaptation of Jackie French’s novel Hitler’s Daughter.

It’s the Junior (years 7-10) production at her school.  She is also studying drama as one of her electives and loving it.

Consider yourself invited to Hitler’s Daughter!

Break a leg, sweetie.

I’m feeding on the satisfying sweetness that my girl has found herself a niche – something she loves, excels at and can immerse herself in, something that allows her to express herself, gains her recognition with her peers and improves her self esteem.  And of course, as an ex-English teacher, how can I NOT love that she loves Shakespeare and  Oscar Wilde?