Friday, October 31, 2014

happy halloween!

i am not a huge halloween-er. i love that people love it, but i have always thought it was very american. when i was a kid, it was the kind of things you read about in baby-sitters club books, not that actually happened around you. i have to admit, i always fantasized about going trick or treating in the most amazing costume ever. (let's be honest, what australian kid hasn't) but. i was born in australia not america. maybe by the time my kids are older it'll be an actual thing - but at the moment there's not much more than a few random kids in any given neighbourhood.

this year, i decided to do something a little halloween-y... and baked choc chip pumpkin cookies. my friend lisa was recently in perth, back from the u.s. (where she and her husband are living for a few years) and she brought over some canned pumpkin for me. i figured i had better put it to good use, went searching for a recipe on pinterest and found this!

they were really yum... and i dropped some around to the girls i visit teach as well. doing my hallo-good-deed-o. haha. if you're lucky enough to be an aussie that got their hands on some canned pumpkin, give them a go! 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

four years down - mat & jen

i can't believe it has already been 4 years since mat & jen got married! feels like it can't have been that long, but the calendar doesn't lie.

happy linen anniversary guys!

i found this amazing cushion from a girl on , that could be personalised with all your own info. it's so cool, with such a reasonable price (close your eyes jen - $39 shipped within australia) that i wanted to put it on here for everyone to see. it was made really quickly too and i am so stoked with the result! you can order one here!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

choose to be grateful

it's sunday and i am ever so grateful. it is by far my favourite day of the week. getting to go to church and feel the sweet spirit there with my little family, is far better than anything else in life.

i love to see how happy these two are at church... and how excited madeline is everytime we drive there. she sits in the back seat keeping an eye out for moroni on top of the temple and joyfully exclaims, "there he is!" as she sees him. i love that she is growing up with a love for the gospel in her heart - and the chance to know the temple so well, as it's in the back lot of our chapel! how blessed we are.

it's sunday, and i choose to be grateful. 
no matter what.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

gidgegannup show

we had a family fun day today at the gidgegannup show! gidgegannup is a small town about 45 mins from perth, heading towards toodyay. each year they have a small agricultural show, we went last year and decided to go again this time. jen and her mum had a stall for their ma & me shop, which was super cute, they sold lots of their cute handmade things, including 6 pairs of earrings to me!

joseph was happy to be in his car seat and heading off somewhere - and maddie was so excited to know there would be stalls and animals and rides and aunty jen!
she insisted on wearing my sunglasses in the car and chatted away to us all the way there about everything she was going to do. she is so funny!

madeline had a turn on one of the kiddy rides, "the lost temple" which was a big bouncy castle with egyptian style themes throughout and a large inflated slide. unfortunately she didn't work out the slide until their turn was almost up, but she got to go down it twice much to her glee.

she is a huge fan of the emperors new groove, the disney movie about the emperor that gets turned into a llama and his adventures that follow... so she was so excited to see these llamas (um they're actually alpacas maddie...) and watch them sauntering about in their enclosure. they are the cutest animals!

we also took advantage of the free face painting on offer and madeline had her face done as a fairy. we had the most hilarious conversation in the bathroom a few minutes later... "mum i can't go to the toilet, because fairies don't wee." "well what do they do then? how do they get rid of the water they drink? do they fling it off their wings into the garden and it becomes dew in the mornings?" big sigh and no further comments from madeline, she just looked at me like i was stupid as she flushed. oh she's hysterical, a threenager alright.

i love family days, they are the best! ♥

Thursday, October 23, 2014

jayden & leigh got married!

today was one of those days that was just in a word, perfect.

our dear friend leigh got married to her sweetheart in the perth australia temple, and we were invited to be there for the sealing, as well as attend the reception that followed.

jayden and leigh looked so blissfully happy, they are such a perfect fit and i am so so happy that they have found each other. they have known each other for years and years, and were friends long before they started dating, so they've always been perfect together.

doug and i at the temple

leigh's family, the brennans have been friends of our family for as long as i can ever remember. we moved to northam when i was 4, before she was even born, so we have always known each other! she and her sister alexandra (who was one of my bridesmaids when douglas and i were married, almost 9 years ago now..) has always been like the sisters i didn't have. over the years they have borrowed my clothes, my jewellery, come over to have their makeup and hair done... and just been a huge part of my life. i love them (and their whole family!) so very much.

my boys at the reception

reception was at the bluewater grill in applecross, a gorgeous restaurant overlooking the swan river across to the city. it was perfect, the room was set up beautifully, the weather was great (not too hot!) and the food was amazing. we were so impressed with it - and the service offered by the staff. a+

this awesome cake was made by a girl leigh knows here in perth (who is also from brisbane and married a perth boy - there seems to be a lot of this perth/brisbane intermarriaging going on... cause that's what leigh and jayden are too! haha) and was banana and carrot cake layers. oh my gosh. it was incredible. so yum and so perfectly finished.

i had been helping leigh over the phone for the last few weeks to organise some of the wedding preparations, which included making 24 mini vases to be placed on the tables at the reception. each was a small milk bottle, with a page from a vintage book i had wrapped around and secured with double sided tape, then tied off with ribbon. the roses were kindly donated by the garden of a company i happen to be quite close to. i won't say any more than that - but i did ask permission!! promise! the roses were at their end and it's been so hot that they didn't last as well as i would have liked, but they looked nice regardles. 3 on each table... it was a nice touch. we also organised the flowers over the phone and i ordered them from our work florist in subiaco. thank goodness for technology and facetime hey!

i had a chat outside with alex between courses and couldn't resist snapping a few pics of her sweet evie. what a little doll she is. ♥

you can see how much fun these two have just from glancing at pics of them together. i asked if i could snap a few of them to send to mum and dad seeing as they aren't back yet, and they certainly obliged, even if jayden decided to go all crazy on her with the nearest steak knife. haha.

but really, they look as if they belong together.

another cake shot - with that dream view in the background

as always, the time for speeches comes... with memories and lots of laughs. the dads had everyone in fits with some good stories from leigh and jayden's childhood. they've certainly gotten up to some mischief.

and the cake cutting! 

i just loved leighs dress. it was so classic, i am sure it will never go out of style. she just looked amazing and so beautiful. more gorgeous than i have ever seen her look and just so happy. there was no wiping that smile off her face.

at the end of the reception there were a few games, including guess who, with questions about their lives, to see if it was leigh or jayden who did something. we were all given a stick with both their faces to make a guess. some of the questions had the two of them in fits of laughter and us all scratching our heads, where as some were blindingly obvious... one thing is for sure, their children will be absolute daredevils.

it was a day of love and sooooo much laughter. congratulations leigh and jayden, it is truly a pleasure to know you both - and to have shared your day with you.

Monday, October 20, 2014

our boy is eight months

this baby has a killer smile. he obviously doesn't have much to be unhappy about, because we see it most of the day. if he's hungry or tired would be the main reason it disappears for a little while. but it'll always be back with that deep giggle i love so much.

i feel like so much has changed with joseph since we got back from samoa and he's suddenly grown up so very much. he is sitting up unassisted now (he still can't get himself into a sitting position unassisted but can balance and stay up on his own...) and can raise yourself up if someone leaves you propped up on something like a pillow. he's also starting to burp without help sometimes (after all the drama we had with colic for so long, this makes me happier than i could ever explain here...)

this month, j started reaching up for me to pick him up when i held my arms out. this is my favourite thing. nothing makes me happier as a mum than to know that he wants me. if i am gone from the room for too long, he will start to cry and call me "mummmma, mummmm" he still isn't saying any other words, but there is plenty of time for that, madeline talks enough for 6 kids anyway. yes i know what you are thinking, and i am sure she gets it from me.

he will reach for toys that are around him, like the football below (tell you what, that picture made daddy very happy) and is very careful when he picks them up with a look of great concentration. he also will get up ajd rock back and forwards on his hands and knees, but isn't ready to crawl just yet. it can't be far away though. he's fallen onto his face a few times when he's moved his hands, but has recovered quickly with a cuddle or two - or ten. ♥

joseph has his own room now that aunty has moved back to queensland (room tours to come, stay tuned...) and has taken beautifully to sleeping in his cot, probably because there was no room left in his bassinet - he's a tank! he's loving his solids... (not so much in samoa, he spent most of his time with heat rash and teething and i had to clean up a lotttt of puke) and has tried lots of mashed fruit and vegetables as well as some chopped fruit pieces to grab more recently. he loves his rusk sticks too and gnaws down on them. nom nom nom.

he's our baby boy and he's growing up far too quickly, but he is enchanting us and everyone around him as he does.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

sunday lunch at the goodlet's

doug had to work today (as he does every now and then on a sunday with his contract) out towards mum and dads house on great eastern highway, so when church was over, i packed the kids up and drove to jared and donna's house in glen forrest for lunch. doug's crew dropped him on the highway when they were done and i popped out to pick him up. 

jared (this is my eldest brother for those of you playing along at home...) has made the difficult decision to close his self built and owned company dangerous goods engineering in kalgoorlie after there not being enough work out there and will be moving back to perth shortly. he should be so proud though, they have done so well and he is so respected and has such a good name for himself. i am sure it will be only a matter of time before he is offered a good job here in perth.

emma kate and madeline those two crazy girls picked a whole bunch of lemons from the lemon tree in the yard and insisted on making lemonade and selling it at a stand at the end of the driveway. let me set the scene. it's been raining all day, pretty hard for a lot of it. jared and donna's house is at the end of a long cul-de-sac and their property backs on to bushland. there are not that many houses in their street and no one randomly walks up and down it unless they live there. but i give the girls their dues. they sat there for quite some time waiting - and then decided to be resourceful and knock on the neighbours door (a friend of donna's thank goodness) to ask them if they'd like to buy some. they got some chocolates in return for their lemonade... and laura and i did buy one later... luckily they had an honour box though because they'd lost interest by the time we came outside and were off playing together somewhere else, but cam running when they heard us loudly exclaiming just how good the lemonade was.

they even let me snap this super cute shot of them. i love to see them playing together, it makes me really happy to see what good friends they are. especially because emma is 3 years older... it could end badly with some kids, but they love each other to bits and maddie runs after her as fast as her little legs can carry her.

after dinner when we were all sitting and gas bagging, we dragged out the wedding album and found this pearler. me at age 12 (jared is 22 - donna 27) rocking that flower crown like nobody's business. ♥ thank goodness for photographs to assist with memories. i was so excited to be a (junior) bridesmaid for donna. she was so sweet and included me in everything, took me to her dress fittings and always asked me for my opinion. she has been such a joy to have in my life, my first sister and i will be forever grateful to her for loving me so much and so well.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

thermomix tm5 demo

i went to a thermomix demonstration tonight (before you start judging me people, i was told beforehand that there was no obligation to buy!!) and i have to say i was pretty impressed. it was for the new tm5 which has only been released in the last few weeks... and comes complete with a touch screen featuring assisted cooking. get out.

our demonstrator was such a nice girl, answered each and every question without an issue and showed us all the functions and processes really well. first up was some sorbet, then hommus dip, followed by flat pizza bread, then a risotto for main and chocolate custard for dessert. yummmmm.

it is so cool, i'm not going to lie. and if i had a spare $2000 just waiting to be spent, i would probably consider it - so if you do, by all means get one. (but i'm still not) it chops, it blends, it blitzes and it cooks (to a certain extent). i am also well sure that it would easily replace most of the electrical items in my kitchen. the people who created it certainly did a good job and i take my hat off to them. now excuse me while i go back to my kitchen and do everything by hand. haha.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

october 2014 general conference

i love general conference. i love that it is the opportunity to hear the inspired words of living prophets. prophets living on the earth today, who listen when god speaks to them, so we can hear his words and improve ourselves. doug and i sat together with our babes on sunday morning and watched the sunday morning session (how convenient)... and it was great.

i have always had a quote obsession and have watched general conference with my notepad and pen handy... although these days it's my trusty notes apps on my iphone. thank goodness for pinterest and the ability to store my quote obsession and access it easily.

i loved these two quotes from james j hamula and president thomas s monson... they spoke to me and i quickly wrote them down. how true they are, how true is the gospel and how thankful i am for general conference!

Monday, October 13, 2014

southern cross travel insurance

got the best news today! my travel insurance claim i submitted last week has been accepted... and approved! i am so stoked - as i certainly was not looking forward to footing the bill for a new screen on my iphone. thank you southern cross travel insurance.

while on our holiday in samoa i was at doug's uncles house, about to walk out the door, holding joseph in one arm and my phone in the other... he did a bit of a lunge and i used my other arm to steady him - and the iphone took a dive to the floor. goodbye screen. :( there was nothing i could do to prevent it and i was not happy. however, being that there is a) no apple store in samoa and b) not even an authorised repairer/reseller over there, i had absolutely no way to prove it had happened there.

but... hoping for the best, i submitted all the papers they asked for (original invoice for the iphone [thank heavens i always keep everything] travel itinerary, quote from apple for repairs and boarding passes) and waited for a reply. the best news came back. apple stated in their quote that internal damage was possible and would not be apparent until the screen replacement was carried out. but southern cross travel insurance paid for not only repairs, but for the handset to be replaced. legends.

the insurance was a completely reasonable price i thought, $101 for our family of 4 for 14 days, with only a $100 excess for any claims made. the claim was simple to make with easy to read paperwork, the claim was processed quickly and my payment was made to me within just a few days. i highly recommend them and would certainly use them again.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

a visit to the farm

yay! today was made complete by a trip to the farm to see uncle mat & aunty jen. after watching the sunday morning session of general conference this morning, we loaded the kids up and drove to clackline. oh how i love clackline. it's always like coming home, because it is! joseph  took a ride on his daddy's shoulders, the safest place in the world to be as we walked around the place and looked at everything around us.

i am so in love with this shot of baby j. sometimes when i put him down he gets upset and starts to cry because he is such a mummycuddles boy, but not this time... he looked up at me and grinned away, while i snapped a shot of him.

maddie followed uncle mat about in her boots like a little shadow... which he doesn't mind thankfully. it turned out to be worth it though - he picked her up and gave her a ride on his tractor around the paddock, while she gleefully honked the horn over and over. what a fabulous uncle to have!

what can i say? we love the farm. thank goodness we have wonderful people to visit, to keep clackline in our blood until mum and dad return.