Sunday, March 31, 2013

gracie's bday

easter saturday brought us another birthday party - my beautiful niece grace! donna and the kids have recently moved to perth while jared commutes back & forward from kalgoorlie, and we are loving having them all here... we headed up to their house for afternoon tea and an easter egg hunt! maddie got the hang of things pretty quickly, running from place to place, putting the eggs carefully in the little basket that donna had given her. was so cute!

our adorable niece emma kate - always ready with a cheesy smile for the camera! she is such a sweetheart and speaks with an adorable little munchkin-esque voice. love her to pieces.

miss maddie with her haul... i am sure they'll keep her busy for a while. she loves trying to peel the eggs, but gets very bored very quickly and always passes them off to mummy or daddy before too long so we can get the chocolate out for her.

my friend jen gave me a babushka cake tin for my birthday last year so i thought i would take it along and provide some fun for miss grace who got a whole pile of babushka themed gifts for her birthday (we got her a canvas print and fairy lights...) she had a ball decorating them once they finally cooked. so cute! i'll have to remember that for when maddie gets a little bigger...

miss g and the finished result!

donna & jared's house has this adorable cubby house that backs onto the bush. maddie was obsessed and spent ages in there, cooking up a pretend storm... putting things in and out of the oven and just loving it. maybe we will have to look at getting her one of her own in the future. i remember always wanting a tree house - i still think they are pretty much the coolest things ever!!

donna made this awesome cake! it was amazing! tasted so good and looked incredible. it had a chocolate cream layer in the middle and was covered in malteasers. i swear i could have eaten the whole thing on my own... lucky there was so many people there - haha.

i found a lizard in the kitchen and ben decided to adopt him. i don't know if he named him or even kept him for more than 20 minutes, but he was having a good time with it, letting it crawl all over him and then up his neck. ewww. i am so glad i have a little girl.

i treasure photos like this, they'll be gone so soon, for so long, and i am trying to enjoy every inch of these wonderful people before they disappear. best parents i could have possibly ever hoped for.

we had a wonderful afternoon, can't wait for the next catch up. ♥

Saturday, March 30, 2013

charlee turns six!

my beautiful cousin dion invited us to spend the afternoon with them on good friday, for a little family birthday party as miss charlee was turning six! it was such a gorgeous afternoon catching up with her and her sister amber, their children and my aunt and uncle (my dad's brother...) charlee and taylor are the most polite children and were so gorgeous with madeline, dancing around with her and playing games... there is no more wonderful sight in this world than happy children!

dion made the most gorgeous party treats (totally brought me back to my childhood...) including these beautiful treats (above  between the brownies and fairy bread:
1 cup rice bubbles
1 cup cocoa pops
80gms mini m&ms
1 cup white chocolate melts
melt the chocolate, pour over the cereal and put in the patty pans! that's all there is to it - and they are yum!

and that cake! i believe it was one of 4 cakes that were had during the week (yes, we goodlet's still believe in - and most certainly encourage birthday week! a week either side, of course!) dion told me she bought it in a box from a place a friend had told her about - cake to the rescue what an awesome idea! everything is in the box with step by step instructions, and they are not even expensive. plus - the best bit! although it's packet mix, you would never know - because they take incredible! totally looking into this...

i totally couldn't resist taking a picture of the fairy bread though. how freaking cute. no one else would cut them into a heart shape. best. thing. ever.

we had such a lovely afternoon, it was so wonderful to see them and i am eagerly looking forward to our next catch up. just to tide you over though, here's a pic of the cutest little girl i know, she was so excited to be able to do some slam dunks with daddy's help! ♥
oh how i love her...

Thursday, March 28, 2013

work bunny

the people i work with are not so religious - but this year i wanted to share my love for easter and all that it represents - with them in some way that everyone could appreciate. so... i made cupcakes!

i started with the best ever cupcake recipe (not only is it actually called that - but it really is...) and then iced them, before rolling the icing in desiccated coconut that i had mixed with green food colouring... and popped m&m speckled eggs on top to make a little nest.

i had so much fun making them, and hope that they were as much fun to eat. just wanted to share the easter love!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

cuteness overload!!!

every now and then, i feel the need to dump a whole pile of pictures of my maddie on here for you people to ooh and aah over. haha. above here she is having her first meeting with a tub of dip. she loves crackers and when she saw us dipping ours in there, she squawked and pointed until we lifted her up and join in. i must confess with the runny nose and cough she had all week there was no way i was touching it again after she double dipped like a boss. hah!

here she is after church on sunday, still dressed up all pretty - singing popcorn popping with her daddy. so funny, the minute the song is over, she will say "more? more?" until you start again and then make the popping motions with her hands whilst saying bopppp bop bopppp. which of course is her pop pop noise.

she and taytay had a lovely time at family home evening last week... i love that maddie copies peoples facial expressions now - it's so fun to watch and makes the best pictures!

we are blessed with such a wonderful home life and being able to have doug's sister niques to look after maddie while the two of us work full time. she is such a sweet heart and makes sure to send me pictures of maddie during the day so that i don't feel as though i am missing out on too much. she made her a pancake the other day that was bigger than her head - and although she got into it straight away it wasn't long before it was on the floor. i am not a bit surprised!

she also makes yummy lunches. i am the luckiest mummy in the world. i know she's not only being looked after - but i get to watch and be a part of it. x

she also tried on my work shoes this week. they are almost as long as her arm, but looked down right adorable - especially when she started to shuffle through the house in them. flipping clown shoes! funniest thing i've seen all week by far. until she does something else funny of course!

i just can't get enough of this kid!!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

three white dresses

in our church program for young women (ages 12-18) we have a night once a year called new beginnings. my friend bianca is part of the yws program in her ward and they decided to base theirs around the three white dresses in a womans life. what a wonderful idea! bianca asked me if she could borrow mine as her baptism and blessing dresses are still at her parents house in south africa and her wedding dress wasn't completely white. so out they came - along with maddie's blessing dress as mine isn't really in a displayable state, it was so long that i could play in it for years - for so long that i can actually remember doing so! 

a beautiful display was made by the leaders with things about family and the temple and eternal marriage with our dresses set up at one end. each of the girls mothers wrote them a letter remembering their blessing and baptismal days and detailing their hopes and dreams for them and their desire for them to have a temple marriage in the years to come. none of the girls knew what was coming - and as the night went on there were tears of joy as they read their letters and participated in the activities of the evening. it sounds like it would have been the most amazing night and i am totally filing away the ideas for if i am ever called back into young womens!

i found this picture above from ken corbett art (which is available to purchase here) when we were talking about the activity originally and saved it, along with the poem, i have seen the poem before and thought how lovely it would be to give to one of my nieces and my own girls on their baptism day. i am sure maddie's will be here before we know it!

bianca is the best kind of friend. my dresses were returned the next day along with this beauty. the best chocolate there is. yummm.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

bath time

bianca and rob came for dinner last night so bianca could borrow some things for a young womens activity that they have coming up. make sure you check back in, sounds like it is going to be amazing! so... we popped mase and maddie into the bath together once dinner was over. oh my gosh - they were adorable. splashing each other and gabbling away in baby talk... i could have watched them for hours.

all this time they get to spend together... betting start saving for the wedding.
maddie and her little boyfriend...

Sunday, March 17, 2013

just saying...

i saw this on gorgeous little picture on facebook today after church and was blown away by how true it is. there has been a lot of nastiness around me lately that i can't do anything about, other than trying to repay it with love. i hope more than anything that i'll always be able to do that and try to remember two things - one i learnt from my pre-primary teacher "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all" and the other i learned in primary at church - "kindness begins with me!"
i know that being kind to people who aren't, is always the hardest thing to do, so i am trying to remember this everyday. wish me luck!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

clarky getting ready

last night we all went to the temple together - because clark was going through for the first time... all part of the prep to go on his mission in may. i have been asked so many times by people what we do in there, but the best explanation i have seen (and trust me, i couldn't say it nearly this well...)

"as he dedicated the cornerstone of the salt lake temple on april 6, 1853, president brigham young made this observation about the endowment: “your endowment is, to receive all those ordinances in the house of the lord, which are necessary for you, after you have departed this life, to enable you to walk back to the presence of the father, passing the angels who stand as sentinels, … and gain your eternal exaltation in spite of earth and hell.” (in journal of discourses, 2:31.)"
so in other words, we are preparing ourselves for the life to come! 

here is vivienne and clark, looking happy together. it was such a lovely night and i am so glad to have been able to share it with them.

clark and his boys...
kieran, michael, doug and clarko

best place in the world... i am so lucky to have what i have, and know what i know! ♥

Monday, March 11, 2013

twenty months

it's happened again! she's gotten older (and just when i thought it wasn't possible... cuter!) she's 
20 months now and such a crack up. her favourite song is popcorn popping and every time she wants to sing it again we hear a little "poppp poppp" as she opens and closes her little hands like crazy, then does the actions as you sing. then "gen gen!!" (again!) when you finish. she also loves twinkle twinkle and waves her hands in the air while you sing. she still dances to any music you put on, and in the last week has developed a sudden love for hi-5... apparently. she loves to dance with them while the dvd plays in the background.

maddie has 12 full teeth now, with 4 more popping through between them. 16 in total... amazing! i sometimes wonder how on earth they even fit in her tiny mouth, and then i see another one coming out! she finally has enough hair to put into pigtails and i am taking full advantage of that at every possible opportunity. 

she's a smart little cookie and does what she is told... sometimes. she knows where things go, where to get them from, and what most things we tell her mean. everyhouse day when doug tells her to get in the car she runs into the garage and gets into the toy car she got for christmas, closes the door and won't get out. it's so funny. when you say, "time for bed" she whinges and hides her face if you're holding her, or tried to hide if you're not. she has quite a long list of words now, including, "mum, dad, nanna, up, more, jade, teesh, clark, neenee (nikki), here..." she tries so hard to held when you are getting dressed, putting her arms through the holes, holding on to things to step into her pants, putting her feet up for her shoes... she loves to run around the house with a few, never just one, hand bags in her hands. i don't think anyone has ever made me laugh so much in my life. we watched youtube clips with her last week and she laughed so hard at one stage that she had both hands over her mouth giggling and kept slapping her knee. 

having this little girl in my life, is pure bliss.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

wise words

i saw this quote on instagram a few weeks ago and was struck by the power in these two short sentences. if only more people could take them into account and make their lives a little better... i am sure it would make the world a better place ♥

Monday, March 4, 2013

long weekend...

we just had a long weekend and i got to spend it just the way i like... with miss maddie! i thought i would thrown in some snapshots of what we got up to, just because you can never really get enough of her... 

sunday afternoon tay and teesh collected her from nursery and took her out to their car, where they let her honk the horn and jump up and down on the front seat of the car. she was loving every minute of it, and giggling like a crazy... such a crack up! we are so blessed to have people in our lives who love her almost as much as we do...

kieran and clark came over after church and hung out with maddie when she woke up, i plonked her on kierans shoulder like a parrot and she nestled there and watched youtube clips with them and chatted away to them... ahhh kizz. he's going to make such a good dad one day...

at family dinner that night - mads was all systems go on clarks laptop the minute he turned his back. they are learning young these days... maybe she was facebooking mason?

monday morning maddie woke up and called out for me, "mum mum mummmm mum-mum" - there is no better sound in this world. then, when i got her out of bed, she snuggled up to me and went straight back to sleep. i could spend my whole life this way. i swear that's when babies are the cutest - when they are fast asleep. find me any mother that doesn't agree and i'll be impressed.

later that day it was yogurt time and mads was chanelling her inner joker with a giant yogurt smile, right across her face... and spots all over the kitchen floor? much more fun for mummy to clean up i suppose! lucky she's cute... i tell myself that a lot!

aunty hayley dropped by in the afternoon and she and maddie had a play with her lip gloss. or should i say, maddie had a play with her lip gloss, attempting to put it on both herself and hayley! the results were pretty awesome terrible. but so funny... 

let me in - let me in!
oh you're in baby! in our hearts for good!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

good works lesson!

have i done any good in the world today?
have i helped any one in need?
have i cheered up the sad?
or made someone feel glad?
if not i have i have failed indeed.
has anyone's burden been lighter today?
because i was willing to share?
have the sick and the weary been helped on their way?
when they needed my help was i there?

then wake up and do something more
than dream of your mansion above
doing good is a pleasure...
a joy beyond measure,
a blessing of duty and love
-lds hymns 223 (have i done any good?)

today i gave the lesson in relief society... on good works - here's a few highlights!
the majority of the content for the lesson is taken from a talk entitled “forget yourself and serve” by president gordon b hinckley in the july 2006 ensign. if you get a chance – go and read the whole thing, it’s a fabulous talk!

george eliot once said, “what do we live for, if not to make life less difficult for each other?”
president hinckley recalls, “i remember visiting a friend in southern india. this man worked as an accountant in a cement plant. his salary was meager. his house was small; it would fit into the front room of many homes. but his heart was large and overflowing. out of a great love for others that came from his understanding of the gospel of jesus christ, he built a school with his own hands on a piece of ground he bought from his savings. it was a simple, rough building; but studying there were some 400 poor children, each being brought out of the darkness of illiteracy into the light of learning. what this act of love has meant and will mean in their lives is beyond calculation... through this one man’s efforts, there were established five small branches of the church in the rural villages of southern india. the members constructed three or four little buildings, neat and clean. over the door of each was a sign, in both english and tamil, which read, “the church of jesus christ of latter-day saints.” the floors were of concrete and without benches where the people sat together as we met, shared our testimonies, and partook of the sacrament of the lord’s supper. someday, someone will write the story of the church in india. that story will be incomplete unless there is a chapter on my friend who lost himself in the service of others." 
"for many years there was a sign on the wall of a shoe repair shop i patronized. it read, “i complained because i had no shoes until i saw a man who had no feet.” the most effective medicine for the sickness of self-pity is to lose ourselves in the service of others."

step up! put your name forward! be the one to make a difference. i read a quote this year in a book I borrowed from a friend, regarding service… i don’t remember the exact words, but it said something along the lines of, “i often wondered why someone didn’t do anything about it… until one day i realised that that someone had to be me!

let the Church be your dear friend. let it be your great companion. serve wherever you are called to serve. do what you are asked to do. every position you hold will add to your capacity. i have served in many responsibilities in this great organization. every service brought its own reward.
you will serve in many capacities before your lives are complete. some of them may seem small, but there is no small or unimportant calling in this church. every calling is important. every calling is necessary to the advancement of the work. never demean a responsibility in the church.
the church may call upon you to make sacrifice. it may call upon you to give of the very best that you have to offer. there will be no cost in this, because you will discover that it will become an investment that will pay you dividends for as long as you live. the church is the great reservoir of eternal truth. embrace it and hold fast to it. 

how lucky can you be to be a member of the church of jesus christ of latter-day saints! here you find choice and wonderful friends. here you find able and faithful teachers. here you find opportunities for service!

the young womens scripture that represents good works is found in 3 nephi 12:16
therefore let your light so shine before this people, that they may see your good works and glorify your father who is in heaven.

i am so grateful to be a member of this wonderful church and to have had such wonderful examples of service in my life from family and friends. i know the best part of giving a lesson is what we learn ourselves and i have had a renewed desire to look for ways to serve others.

i'm so thankful to have enough to share with others... ♥