Tuesday, December 31, 2013

day out and about...

today we made a trip to fremantle so that steve could go and visit with his idol bon scott (even though this one is made out of metal...) on the fishing boat harbour. we drove around for a while just looking... before bowing to tradition and eating fish and chips on the harbour for lunch.

after lunch we had icecream at baskin robbins... maddie and i shared (so basically she ate most of mine while i begged her for a taste every now and then...) whilst i attempted to convince my gorgeous husband and father-in-law to pose in front of the sign for the restaurant next door, which conveniently happened to read mussel bar. that's what kendall men are made of after all... they pretended to be annoyed about me making them, but i know secretly they loved it.

maddie enjoying "her" icecream

on the way back to the car, maddie hitched a ride on daddy's shoulders - i love watching how happy she is when she is with him, as though nothing else matters. she is so in love with him and that makes me happy.

all the way back home maddie cuddled with her "booshka" from aunty jen, she is obsessed with it and keeps dragging it everywhere and showing everyone. little cutie.

she also exhibited some rather entertaining behaviour when we stopped off at the shopping centre so i could run in and grab a couple of things. i caught her when i jumped back into the car, i can only assume, trying to take selfies on aunty's phone. hilarious. 

... of course no trip to fremantle is complete without paying a visit to my grandparents grave. i love this picture of madeline, it makes me feel blessed to know that because we have been sealed as a family, one day she will get to meet them and enjoy them in the next life. what a beautiful thing to know. 

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

christmas kendall style

christmas day is a million times more fun when there are children involved! i love to see the presents under the tree waiting to be unwrapped, and this year was no exception. little miss was the centre of attention for the last time, as next year she will be sharing the spotlight with her younger sibling... so of course she got spoiled rotten. doug was up late again this year (last year assembling a cozy coupe) assembling a mini ikea kitchen, which maddie ran to, looking ever so excited. i think all the other carefully chosen gifts fell by the wayside as she oohed and aahed over it all morning.

it was such a wonderful blessing to have dougs parents with us again this year, to have them be able to spend time with maddie and with us, and just to feel the spirit of christmas in our home. on christmas eve we read the bible story in luke 2 with madeline before she went to bed and then watched the first presidency devotional, tradition now in our home which you can download here (even if you're not a mormon, it's well worth the watch... it's the real meaning of christmas with some wonderful music and stories).

madeline also got some carefully chosen gifts from aunty jenny (my best friend) a chunky pearl necklace, a beautiful lace and tulle dress, a headband and matching brooch and the cherry on top - a big babushka doll. she adores babushkas (as does her mummy) and she was thrilled to find it in a box with her name on top with scrabble letters. what a lovely thoughtful gift.

i got tickets to the up and coming bastille concert in june (yay! i am very excited, i love their music!) which was especially thoughtful seeing as doug, does not. some perfume, some crabtree and evelyn hand therapy (best hand cream ever - if you've never heard of it go and buy some, walk don't run) some charms for my pandora, and a whole pile of other little odds and ends, i got spoiled as usual by my lovely husband.

we headed out to my brother jared's house in glen forrest in the afternoon for an early dinner (very late lunch?) which was enjoyed by all... it was nice to lounge about, catch up with everyone and to watch maddie loving spending time with her cousins. they have a pool and we took maddie's little bathing suit along so she could have a dip, only to discover that she had decided she was petrified of the pool and sobbed the entire time we were in there, even if doug and i were holding her tightly the entire time. oh dear. let's hope that goes away!

uncle isaac and aunty renee spoiled little miss rotten with something i have wanted my entire life - a little red wagon, so i'm not entirely sure if it's going to be for me or her, but it is supercute!

another christmas has come and gone, the only thing missing was mum and dad. it felt so weird to not have them here with us, but i know that they had a good time, lunch with dougs aunt and uncle (makes me feel so blessed to know that they are with family no matter how far away they are...) and after attempting to skype for almost half an hour, we gave up and decided to try again tomorrow. i hope they know how much they are missed and how much we wish they were here... but their mission is important - and most importantly, we know we will have them back new year 

love you, miss you and merry christmas from all of us

Monday, December 23, 2013

good to go!

image via pinterest

this picture made me laugh a little too hard, so i have been looking for a reason to include it on a blog post... and considering that i had an ultrasound today and they didn't give me any pictures, i thought it was a perfect excuse...

so an update on baby k2... 

when i had my first ultrasound at 19 weeks, i was told that my placenta had attached in a rather unfortunate position - just 3mm from my cervix. this is not good, as if one goes into natural labour with it in this position, as the cervix opens, it traps the placenta behind it, causing it to come first and you would just bleed out. not a good option. (pause here for a side not - is this is the reason so many women died in childbirth years ago? because they didn't know things like this? one would have just gone blindly through pregnancy and into labour having no idea of the challenges ahead and problems that could happen! such a frightening thought, making me grateful yet again, that i live in a world of modern science that can see things before they are a problem and possibly save my life!! i salute you medical practitioners around the world whatever you may do!) there are no magical ways to move the placenta - but i was told that the clinic would do another ultrasound later in my pregnancy (today...) and revisit the options, as if it didn't move i would be forced to have a cesarean to prevent complications. the thought of this was pretty horrifying to me and i really hoped and prayed that things would sort themselves out - even though i was told, that for a natural to be at all possible, it would need to move up to at least 3cm (which can happen as it grows and settles) but considering how low it was it was pretty unlikely.

the good news is... it moved! all by itself. what a clever baby! it's now sitting at a fairly decent 6.3cm and i can rest assured knowing that no one is coming at me with a knife anytime soon. thank goodness. i feel so grateful as a cesarean certainly wasn't on my to-do list. what a wonderful blessing. :) 

babyk2 is coming along nicely, growing well and looking (at this stage) to be about the same size as maddie (yes i know there is still plenty of time for it to get huge! don't remind me!) i am very excited and can't wait to meet it! 

Friday, December 20, 2013

goodie plates

(left point, up to right in rows...)
caramel fudge, chocolate caramel slice, clinker slice
brownies, white chocolate rocky road, chocolate truffles
salted cracker toffee slice, white choc chip and peanut cookies

every year without fail, my lovely mother makes goodie plates for family and friends, people she and dad work with  - and quite often some other randoms that she thinks deserve them. this year she wasn't here to do so, and when doug mentioned he would like to do something nice for the men he works with, i thought about it for a while and then decided that it must be my turn!

so two nights in a row, well into the night i baked and baked and baked and managed to have the trays ready for doug to shuttle to work this morning. done done done. and i was so (maybe a little too) pleased with myself. i truly felt like superwoman and thought how proud my mum would have been that i was keeping the tradition alive!

it was a lot of cutting as well - something i am sure i will perfect if i decide to have another go in years to come, as all mums slices seem to match perfectly, never ever have a cracked top - and sit perfectly on the plates when complete. hmmmm. we'll work on that.

and now... for the recipes! - mainly so i can find them when i want them, but just in case anyone wants to try any of these... they're well worth it!

caramel fudge

125g chopped butter
395g can sweetened condensed milk
2 tbsp golden syrup
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup white choc chips

1. grease and line metal dish (side note, i just buttered the heck out of it, no lining used here - and it still came out okay with a spatula)
2. in a saucepan, stir butter, condensed milk, golden syrup and sugar together over a low heat until simmering (and sugar is melted!) stir constantly for 10 minutes until slightly thickened and golden brown
3. remove from heat, add choc chips and until mixture is smooth and chocolate is completely melted
4. pour into dish and refrigerate until set. slice with a hot knife into small squares.

chocolate caramel slice

1 cup plain flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
125 gms. melted butter

mix altogether and press into greased tin, bake at 160 about 15 minutes.

1 tin condensed milk
2 tablespoons of golden syrup
60 gms butter

melt altogether in a saucepan, pour over base and cook about 20/25 minutes. let it cool completely

chocolate top
125 gms dark chocolate
tablespoon of butter

melt together and pour on top.
chill but not too long only until firm, then cut into squares
tip onto a board and cut from the bottom with sharp knife

clinker slice

180g pkt clinkers
250g pkt malt o' milk biscuits
395g tin sweetened condensed milk
125g butter
250g block milk chocolate

1. crush biscuits and clinkers in a food processor and mix together
2. heat butter and condensed milk in saucepan on low
3. once melted mix with biscuit and clinker mix
4. spread into slice tray and allow to set in fridge
5. once set, melt chocolate and pour over slice - return to fridge to set


200g butter
1/2 cup cocoa
2 cups packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 cup plain flour
2 eggs

1. grease a 20 x 30cm tin, pre-heat oven to 180 deg cel
2. put cocoa and butter in a big saucepan on a very low heat, melt gently and mix together. do not boil
3. add sugar and vanilla, stir very well
4. take off heat, sift in flour, stir it in
5. add eggs, beat in really well
6. spread mixture evenly in tin, bake for 20 - 25 mins

white chocolate rocky road

2 x bags white chocolate melts (i think they were 375g each?)
1 x bag 4 colour pascal marshmallows (cut into pieces)
1 x bag lolly bananas
1 x bag lolly raspberries (cut into pieces)
1 cup desiccated coconut (can be more or less to taste)

melt chocolate melts in low in microwave
add chopped lollies and coconut
stir well to mix
pour into greased lined pan
place in fridge to set

this is totally a make it up as you go recipe, add anything you want (within reason) and it works!

chocolate truffles

1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 pkt (250g) milk arrowroot biscuits
2 cups desiccated coconut

crush biscuits finely in a food processor
add to milk and cocoa and mix well
take teaspoon sized amounts and roll into balls
roll in coconut
place on baking paper in fridge to set

salted cracker toffee slice

1 cup salted butter
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 cups choc chips
premium crackers
unsalted peanuts

preheat oven to 180 deg celcius
line a baking dish (i used a lasagne sized one...) with baking paper then grease the inside of the paper well.
lay a flat layer of crackers on the paper
melt sugar and butter in a saucepan until boiling.
reduce heat and simmer uncovered for about 5 minutes, until it thickens and sugar is dissolved.
pour this mixture over the crackers and spread to coat evenly.
bake for 8-10 mins, until toffee is bubbly
remove pan from oven and allow to sit for 3-5 minutes.
sprinkle choc chips over, allow them to soften and melt and then spread them into an even layer.
sprinkle peanuts over top and top with ground salt to create a sweet salty flavour.
set in fridge then cut into slices.

peanut, white choc chip cookies

125g softened butter
1/4 cup peanut butter (crunchy or smooth doesn't matter...)
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1/2 teaspoon bi-carb soda
1/2 cup unsalted peanuts
1/2 cup white choc chips

1. preheat oven to 180 deg celcius, cover oven trays with baking paper
2. beat butter, peanut butter, sugar and egg in bowl with electric mixer until smooth. stir in flour and soda, then nuts and choc chips
3. roll small balls of mixture and place on trays, flatten slightly with fork
4. bake for 12 minutes, then cool on trays

Saturday, December 14, 2013

oh my gosh, i'm 30!

holy moly... who knew i would actually make it to 30? i think my mother probably hoped i wouldn't during my teenage years, and i probably thought it was ancient when i was that age - especially since my mother had her last baby at 30. that's right folks, that was me - and i'm only on number 2, and i'm not even all the way there yet! but somehow, i've made it, and to be honest, it doesn't feel any different than 29.

my lovely husband spoiled me and took me out to dinner with my best friend and her husband... we went to the olive tree garden restaurant in west perth - yep that's right the restaurant we had out wedding reception at. the food was still amazing, service could not be faulted - and we even were met by the same lady that looked after us that night. such a great place to go - i highly recommend them!

me and the bestie 

amazing dessert - vanilla panacotta - yummmm!

i got totally spoiled in the present stakes from doug as well... a new handbag, i had wanted one for ages and i am thrilled with the choice! so super cool. it's like an ice blue and looks amazing, andddd... an ipad mini. how fun! can't wait to have a play.

it doesn't feel any different... but i am excited for everything that being 30 has in store!

Friday, December 13, 2013

work baby shower

today the lovely girls i work with organised a baby shower for me! we thought it was particularly appropriate (and downright hilarious) that being held in a funeral home that it was on friday the thirteenth. melissa decided it would be an awesome day to have it - being that i'll be 30 tomorrow! scary - but joint celebration!

i got some lovely gifts from all the invocrew, a big as coles/myer voucher, which will be going straight on things for the baby room... a tupperware wipes container (supercool - being that they have a lifetime replacement warranty... score!) a laugh and learn puppy (maddie has the pink version, so i am sure she and baby k will have a great time with their matching puppies), some aussie animals fingerpuppets, doug's favourite - a mini demons football club football from one of the managers and my favourite - a flat white wool teddybear which is absolutely adorable!

it was such a nice afternoon, spending time with such a wonderful bunch of people, i know i am going to miss them when i go.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

the road to bethlehem

on monday night, we went to the seventh day adventist road to to bethlehem for the first time for one of our december family home evenings... one of my friends goes every single year without fail and this time we decided to give it a go with some friends from church - it was amazing! (you can read more about it here - and follow their website ready to go next year!)

basically, the road to bethlehem is exactly what it's called, you book your tickets online (don't worry - it is free, but they have had so much interest the last few years that it's been necessary to allocate tickets to ensure everyone can get through) and show up to your allocated booking time, where you are met at the gate by roman soldiers. you then begin to walk the road to bethlehem - starting with mary being told that she will bear a son, josephs reaction, the three wise men commencing their journey, cesear telling of his desire to "worship" the child, the shepherds being visited by the angels... before entering the bustling marketplace and finally seeing joseph and mary in the stable with their baby and the angels singing their praises.

it was such a wonderful experience and one that really tells of the true meaning of christmas and enables the spirit to be felt strongly by those present. it's basically a live nativity and because of this, the busy, bustling, crazy preparing and present buying that is so easily associated with christmas just fades away.

i think the market place was my favourite part, there were so many children from the church dressed in robes, haggling, shouting, calling and running - it really felt as if one had just jumped back two centuries and fallen into the time of christ. they did such a wonderful job!

the marketplace, with all its bargaining and bustling...

in the final scene prior to exit, mary and joseph are proudly showing off their baby - and what an adorable baby he was! fast asleep and not even stirring even under the bright lights and the choir of angels singing for him. 

and the best bit? we were shuttled to and from the church from a local school carpark, so my pregnant feet didn't even have to walk anywhere haha. i am so totally going every year from now on... what a blessing it was to participate and watch the greatest story ever told.

Monday, December 9, 2013

breen family shots

i got to take photos of this adorable family yesterday! cindy and i went to school together and when she asked me to take photos for her little family i jumped at the chance! her boys are adorable and we had so much fun.

master cooper loved the camera and shone like a little superstar while i took photos of him on his own, but wasn't so keen on sharing the spotlight. what a crackup kid!

"baby" callum was the cutest and kept throwing beautiful smiles at me, though wasn't so keen on sitting still...

and these two? adorable!! i could have taken pictures of them all day. so in love... 

we went out to these gorgeous old buildings in mandurah, which unfortunately i have no idea the name of (if anyone mandurah way recognises them and wants to let me know what they are called, please do...) - which also took a while to find... thank goodness for cindy's lovely and patient husband craig who drove around until we found something we were happy with.

i had a lovely afternoon and only hope they are happy with the results! 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

invocare christmas party 2013

last night we had our work christmas party at the hyatt hotel in perth city. thanks to my amazing sister-in-law niques for my makeup job, mate jo for my hair and asos for the incredible dress (totally worth the gamble of shopping online)... i had an awesome time! the chicks spent a good part of the afternoon hotting me up and i am eternally grateful - as being 7 months preggers at the work christmas party doesn't really make me feel that hot.

here's me and the bun... 30 weeks, 3/4 of the way through!! bigger than i was with maddie, but still good. 

and a shot of our beautiful family - maddie is so cute and was so happy to be having a family shot... she smiled away and giggled with us - for once making it easy.

we had an awesome night, good times, good music and hanging with mates from work. it was a little sad though, as there's only two weeks left before i go on maternity leave, and then susie will be moving to l.a. with her boyfriend in january, so the three of us will be split up very soon. guess it just means we'll have to take advantage of what time we have left together. :)

the co-ord chicks. love these girls to bits! ♥

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

christmas decorations

i love christmas.
so much.
and the bit i love the most, i must confess is the setting up of my multiple nativity sets! i discovered last year - a wonderful gift shop at a centre, not too far from our house (i don't think i should publicly announce where... you'll see why in a minute...) that ever so kindly make their amazing nativity sets half price the day that they reopen after the christmas break. i love it! and that's how i managed to persuade my lovely husband to let me purchase this beautiful jim shore "babushka-esque" nativity set. and the willow tree large nativity set you can see below last year. i was so excited to open them this year, because i had never actually had them out of the box - and especially to put the willow tree in the custom made stable that my ever-patient and long suffering father "whipped up" at mine and mums insistence. i know it was no easy feat and i hope he knows how grateful i am. (i am sure he would have enjoyed it more if he could have heard all the people complimenting it as they came to visit over christmas!)

so... saying that - and showing these two off, i can't wait to see what i am going to score this christmas!

p.s. if you happen to live in perth, send me a message and i'll email you the details! totally worth it, but i highly doubt they'd appreciate me publicly declaring their sale!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

samoan graduation

here are my lovely parents hanging out with dougs cousin apollos in samoa, on his church college graduation day. we could not be any prouder - he came away with dux of the school - and my parents were so happy to be there for it. mum excitedly told me about the lei's that people make for those who receive awards, which as you can see were heaped on him. 

his two younger brothers then joined in the fun for some more photos, although i think the only thing they managed to prove was exactly how short my parents are! sorry mum and dad - but you know it's true!!

mum said she can't get over the way they are treated over there, almost as if they are royalty, being asked to lead every school procession, hand out awards, sit in the front row at every meeting, eat before everyone else... but it's because the missionaries are so important to the people. i am so pleased they are being treated so well, makes missing them that little bit easier. i just hope they don't get too used to it though... i want their heads to fit on the plane when they come home! 

love you both and miss you so much! 

Saturday, November 30, 2013

a night in bethlehem

tonight was our ward christmas party - and wow did they go all out!! the theme was a night in bethlehem and our rec hall was decorated to look like a marketplace, with food stalls all about... we entered through the foyer, and paid our tax (a canned item to go to the donation bins our ward has been filling for the christmas appeal) before receiving a bag of coins to buy our dinner. 

we made our costumes that afternoon along with some friends, the boys were the most fun, queen sheets with a neck hole, a hole each side under the arm to thread a belt through - and a piece of cloth and a tie for their heads. us girls were rocking a robe with a belt and a tied headband - and our little ones had pillow cases with neck and arm holes along with a ribbed piece of fabric tied around their waists. easy! maybe we should just rock on back to biblical times, there'd be a whole less worrying about clothes wouldn't there!!

part of the evening was also a nativity play, complete with songs... the highlight was definitely watching some of our friends play the three wise men. they were amazing!

dinner from the stalls was great - biblical style, being served by all these lovely people. what a wonderful idea and so well done! we had turkish bread, beans, fresh fruit, kebabs, icecream (which i am fairly certain didn't exist in biblical times, but you know, maybe i'm wrong...) and were most definitely full - with coins left over!

as you can see from the pictures, everyone got right into it - there were very few people who weren't dressed up to the theme :) was extremely cool, especially all the jokes being thrown at doug for his beard - with people wondering if he had grown it especially for the night... hilarious

each of the stalls looked amazing, i can only imagine how long it took to set up everything up, but i know it was definitely worth the effort! it really helped everyone to get into the spirit of things and imagine christmas that little bit better.

mum and dad this is just for you! old brother nick from our ward sends his love - and of course he had to be the one running the fruit stall - nobody else is nearly as qualified as him to do so. the fruit was perfect and up to the usual standard we would expect from him, and he even gave us some freebies to take home afterwards. his wife put the whole thing together and deserves all the credit... it was incredible. wish you were here to share it with us!!