Monday, December 29, 2014

landis family photos

today i had the absolute pleasure of taking family photographs for some very close friends. throughout the month of december, the australia perth temple presidency opened the gates to the temple on monday nights, to allow families to visit during their weekly family home evening. this was the last opportunity to do so... and what better place could there be for family photos, than within the beautiful gardens of the temple? 

sometime i look back on photos and feel as though i really manged to capture the personalities of the people in the shots. today was one of those days. it made me so, so happy to go through the shots later and pick which ones i was going to edit.

and the beautiful surroundings made them even better!

this is by far my favourite, just that cheeky little grin - surrounded by the most loving parents. 
just. so. much. love.

and this photo definitely proves that they are one of those couples that are still as in love now as the day they got married. ♥

i am in love with mason's cute little grin. he just makes me happy every time i see him.

i could do photos with rob & bianca over and over, my camera loves their family as much as i do... but i am so glad we had this opportunity to make some beautiful memories in a beautiful place. 

Sunday, December 28, 2014


after christmas at my brothers house and having this trifle loved and admired, i thought i had better share the recipe. i really however, cannot take any credit for it - as it's how my grandmother and mother made them and i just do the same. it's so simple, but so yum.

you will need:
a sponge jam roll
a large tin fruit salad (i used the cocktail one that has grapes)
2 packets jelly
custard powder
600ml cream
flake bar

slice jam roll into slice appox. 20cm thick and lay in base of dish, fill gaps as much as possible.
drain fruit salad and set aside liquid. spread fruit evenly over roll slices.
make jelly according to directions, but use fruit juice as part of the water measurement
pour over fruit and roll and allow to set in fridge.
once set, make custard from powder on stovetop according to directions (i use the foster clarks brand) to make 1 litre.
leave on stove top to cool, stir occasionally to break up, once it's cool enough to touch, pour over jelly and return to fridge until fully set.
whip cream and spread layer over top.
crumble flake on it.

see? it's easy. now go and make one yourself! 

Friday, December 26, 2014

kendall christmas 2014

and so it's all over for another year... i love christmas, so much. i just always lean back the day afterwards and think wow! all that work for one day. thank goodness it is only once a year! haha. i love also that as a member of the church of jesus christ of latter-day saints, that we know what christmas is really about. that christ was the first gift, given by a loving father to save his children. 

i love to give gifts and this year was no exception, i went to a lot of effort to find the perfect gifts for the children - and when it was all laid out i was like - heck! that seems like a lot of gifts, but as they were unwrapped it wasn't that crazy... madeline and joseph loved their gifts. they each had 3 gifts from santa (as well as little things in their stockings) one containing two books, a piece of clothing (maddie's was an anna corononation dress (from frozen) and she was stoked!) and a toy. perfect.

i also always leave one gift unwrapped deliberately... so that there is something to distract them early in the morning, which enables us to have breakfast and the likes before gifts. as you can see in the above pics, madeline's was a my little pony dollhouse i found on gumtree (an australian online buy/sell/swap page) for just $10!! and joseph's a playset that a friend was selling on facebook for $50. score! 

i always purchase things throughout the year, to ensure that when the birthdays and christmas come i am not having to fork out large amounts of money all at once. it has really worked for me too. especially now with children!

doug bought me this beautiful star for my pandora bracelet... amongst other things (he spoils me rotten at christmas time, and i am always unwrapping long after everyone else is done.) and surprised me with two tickets to les miserables, which is showing in perth in just a few weeks! i am beyond thrilled, i love musicals and am so excited to see it again. 

and i did well for him also! i had mum and dad buy a hand carved drum from samoa and have it shipped home with all their items. he was so happy... which made me happy. he had been looking at them over and over during our stay, but hadn't even considered the possibility of purchasing one as we really had no way to get it home. but mum and dad made it happen! they also brought him home some wonderful traditional gifts and a big bush knife haha, which he was thrilled with.

the kids had a play outside with the hose (it was verrrrrrrry hot) while i finished making my food to take to dinner at jared and donna's under the watchful eye (and camera) of their sweet nanna. how wonderful it is to have my parents home - and what a great picture. they really are adorable children.

joseph tearing into his present from aunty renee and uncle isaac, who arrived to spend some quality time with mum and dad... worked well for doug and i who were dying to take a nap, after being up most of the night wrapping gifts for the kids! the things you do for love...

this was by far my favourite gift that arrived at our home, a little matai doll sold at the shop that mums friend owns in samoa. i saw them online and was dying to have one for him, only to find out that she had already spoken to her and gotten the fabric to bring home and make him one. i am in love!

and apparently he is too!

we arrived at jared & donnas house for dinner to see these two little girls running around in matching red dresses, madeline had worn her red christmas dress and emma had to match. so adorable. i remember loving to wear matching clothes to other people at that age too!

i made a christmas trifle... mmm trifle. as much as i would love to have a winter christmas just once, i love that in australia there is sun, swimming, dresses and icecream! apparently there had been a disaster with the trifle donna had made for family lunch (with her side of the family) and everyone started asking me how i had made mine, so recipe to follow in a few days!

my nephew ben and i

cuddles with my sweet babies

and a token selfie with my mini me - laura.

what a wonderful christmas. i am so grateful for such a beautiful family!

madeline was exhausted by the end of the day (joseph was long asleep by this stage) but still insisted on sleeping with her new anna and elsa stuffed dolls (from aunty renee and uncle isaac) and the care bear from us. what a gorgeous picture. ♥

we were sad to not have doug's parents with us this year, but all going well - they'll be living here by next year... fingers crossed!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

'twas the night before christmas

it's christmas eve!! the best night of the year. where tradition flows thick and fast. mum and dad have come down to spend the night with us... and after reading luke 2 (about the birth of the savior) and watching the church nativity video, by the lights of the tree... we put the kids to bed ready for a long day tomorrow. (we also usually watch the first presidency's christmas devotional, but not this year. too many tired people - shall have to watch it in the next few days, it is one of my favourite things at christmas time!) there is no place i would rather be, than with my little family... 

merry christmas to all, and to all a good night!!

(from the nativity video - wise men still seek him!)

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

getting my christmas bake onnn...

last year, mum was away and i stepped up as the "goodie plate maker" in her place. (see linked blog post for recipes) however, there was such raving from the boys at dougs work when he appeared with the plates, that i thought i had better make them again this year. so the baking began and has taken up some what of my time last night and tonight.

my only change this year was to add chocolate rocky road (a packet of chocolate melts, a packet of chopped pink and white pascall marshmallows, a cup of peanuts and two chopped up turkish delight bars) and mars bar slice. yum yum yum. hopefully they will be received just as happily this year. 

clearly it's worth the time it takes and i can see why mum has kept it up all these years. now she's back though... will i? haha. luckily our trays have different things. 

Sunday, December 21, 2014

christmas sunday family photos

christmas sunday (what we refer to the sunday closest to christmas as) was today! i love it! it's our excuse to wear red and green (because let's be honest, any other time of the year you'd just look like a total weirdo) and take a beautiful snap of our family all together.

we snuck out to the temple with a friend as soon as sacrament was over and amazingly enough the kids even co-operated and we got this beautiful shot. so happy with it. :)

and this! what an absolute firecracker of a kid. that smile is amazing. she makes me laugh every day, so much and so often. we truly are blessed to have her in our lives. i think this may actually be my favourite photo of her ever. it just shows every single bit of her huge personality.

joseph was only too happy to smile for us too. (thank goodness my children are photogenic or I'd be one disappointed mother with a camera haha) i am in love with his little reindeer bib, was an absolute perfect purchase for christmas. 

just for good measure, one more pic of our little family. ♥

merry christmas to all our friends and family
with love from the kendalls x

Saturday, December 20, 2014

he's 10 months!

this babe is 10 months old. how does this keep happening? i know we are meant to enjoy them while they are babies... but how can we enjoy this time that is just rushing by at a crazy speed. yikes. oh well. another month, another shot in his corner of our brown couch, looking happy as larry... or is that happy as joseph? he is such a sweet, happy boy.

he loves to crawl around the house, looking at everything and his new thing, playing with the doors. although... he has managed to swing the doors closed once or twice and got himself stuck inside a room with him too close to the door to open it again and get out... that's when i hear his little baby voice calling for his mama to come and get him out! 

earlier this month, you grabbed hold of a table leg and just stood up! no walking yet, but you're definitely wanting to get up and stand with those chubby legs of yours. you also cut three teeth on one day... no wonder we had a little grumpy pants on our hands. not cool.

we love you baby joseph and are so excited to watch you grow and explore!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

the road to bethlehem 2014

on monday we went to the seventh day adventist road to bethlehem for family home evening. each year the sda church in canning vale puts on a walk-through nativity for those wishing to celebrate and remember the true meaning of christmas. we went last year also and it is a wonderful experience... walking the road with guides, visiting the marketplace, the shepherds and the inn - before arriving at the manger to see the baby jesus. 

we went with a big group of friends from our ward and nearby... but when some pulled out at the last minute, we were able to quickly get hold of jared, donna and the kids who had tried unsuccessfully to book. what luck!

the road to bethlehem has become so popular in recent years, that to be able to attend, you need to book prior to arriving, or wait in a line until some of the standby tickets available for each session become available. it is free of charge, but you can book online here. they generally become available around the end of november and the three night it operates are around 15th of december.

and it is so, so worth going! there is so much effort made to ensure that the sets and actors are realistically represented. it's so wonderful to know that a church makes such an effort to keep the true meaning of christmas upheld year after year... free of charge. 

the kings harlots...

a sneaky selfie with my eldest brother

at the inn

my sweet niece emma with the nativity donkey. what a gorgeous picture!

and baby j all rugged up in mel and aitu's stroller, that neither of their girls wanted to stay in haha! very convenient for him. 

as always, hungry jacks for dinner afterwards... as it is directly across the road. winner. definitely one of our family's best christmas traditions... if you haven't been before, make sure you remember for next year! it's 100% worth it.