Monday, August 31, 2015

clark is home!

ladies, he is back! take a number. 

our "little brother" clark arrived back from the philippines olongapo mission on thursday and today we had his homecoming lunch at their house in baldivis. i cannot believe its been more than two years (he had to come home for a few months at the start after ruining his knee so badly that he needed surgery in the mtc) since he left and here he is back with us already.

not much has changed, he's exactly the same, cracking the same bad jokes and messing around... only difference is his "mexican" accent... apparently tagalog for two years will do that to you.

it was honestly like old times, the old crew back together... and we had so. much. fun. good food, good company and lots of laughs... what could possibly be better?

can't wait for our next hang, all is right with the world again

welcome home clarky boy!

Friday, August 28, 2015

kindness doesn't cost a cent

it is an absolute miracle that the house ended up going through... we were at the mercy of centrelink approving my application, which can take up to 33 days, with only 28 days allocated for finance. time was getting short and we were getting stressed... and by some miracle when i called, i spoke to someone who was absolutely lovely. not only did she mark it urgent and send it through, she then followed up the next day to make sure it had, then she called me to keep me updated, as well as asking me where she could send the printed approval. we made it through with even a few days to spare... thank heavens for people who go the extra mile... because we made it!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

we bought a house!

yes. we. did. 

this afternoon (with just a few days to go before the finance deadline) we finally got the call to tell us that the house is all ours. loan is approved! settlement is 17th september and the loan docs are all on their way. but it is ours! so excited, nervous and hesitant all at once. but mostly excited! 

time to get packing i guess!

(on show of course, is doug's new favourite room...)

Saturday, August 22, 2015

bikers against child abuse

we were at the galleria shopping centre today and came across a few motorbikes parked in the kmart mall, so we stopped for madeline to take a better look. her poppy (doug's dad) has long been obsessed with bikes and we knew he would get a kick out of seeing her sitting on one for a picture. little did i know until taking a better look, what they were there for. turns out we were about to learn more about bikers against child abuse which is the most incredible cause. these men take time out of their day to help children feel safe again and to feel like their future will be safer. 

we loved chatting to them and even bought poppy a t-shirt for father's day (thank goodness he doesn't have any idea how to look at my blog haha). go check out their website here and learn some more! 

Thursday, August 20, 2015

18 months old ♥

it's happened again! baby joseph is another month old, and it is now a year and a half since this little one joined the kendall crew. your favourite song is "if your happy and you know it" and if you hear someone in the house singing it, you immediately begin to clap your hands along to the tune and smile that huge smile of yours. you love all the nursery rhymes you hear and always want your mummy and daddy to put on the 'mother goose club' (a channel with a group of children singing nursery rhymes and childrens song) and you would watch it and dance along all day long if we would let you. you love to dance along to music and your newest move is to stand still and stomp with one leg and use the other to dance in a circle. adorable.

you love to (sometimes!) play quietly in your room and read your books and occasionally i'll find you in there quite content and playing all alone. you've learnt what it is to be quiet and if we tell you to shoosh, you'll place your finger at your lips and make the shooooooosh noise. 

your last two teeth (for a while i hope!) have popped through just this week, completing your little set of 16 baby teeth. you have the sweetest toothy little grin and those dimples! to die for. you're still having troubles with your teeth though and you've become very clingy again... to the point that when i try and take you to nursery at church you cry and cry and sob until i have to come back and get you. sigh. attached to mama much?

you love your morning fruit and vegetable juice with mama, so much so, that sometimes when you finish the cup (seriously, he downs those in 20 seconds sometimes!) you'll come running back into the kitchen waving your cup and pointing it at me, waiting for a refill,

you've finally given up breastfeeding, we got down to one feed a day and then finally none, amazingly enough, it was exactly the same time wise that your big sister gave up. how funny!

you still don't talk too much, just a few words and not often.., we spoke to the child health nurse about it today and i mentioned that you understand everything we say, point at what you want and really make yourself known... thankfully she gave me the answer i had hoped for, that she also thinks there isn't anything wrong and you'll speak when you're ready, most probably when your chatterbox sister isn't there to say everything for you! haha. 

we adore you! you are sweet and cuddly and just our little joseph! ♥

Monday, August 17, 2015

be still, my soul

be still, my soul; the lord is on thy side;
with patience bear thy cross of grief or pain.
leave to the lord to order and provide;
in every change he faithful will remain.
be still, my soul: thy best, thy heavenly friend
thru thorny ways, leads to a joyful end.

be still, my soul; thy god doth undertake
to guide the future as he has the past
thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
all now mysterious shall be bright at last.
be still, my soul; the waves and winds still know
his voice who ruled them while he dwelt below.

be still, my soul; the hour is hastening on
when we shall be forever with the lord,
when disappointment, grief and fear are gone,
sorrow forgot, love's purest joys restored.
be still, my soul; when change and tears are past,
all safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

there is so much on my mind right now. so much stress and so much to think about and consider. add to that an email from a close family friend this morning adding some bad news to the table, asking me to pray for someone dear to them. i was only too happy to do so... and took my troubles to the lord. when i arose from my knees, the only thing that entered my mind, was the lyrics to this hymn - be still my soul. i listened to it over and over today and although my heart still aches a little and i'm not completely calm, i know that the lord has heard my prayers and my soul is still. ♥

Thursday, August 13, 2015

laura is seventeen!

this babe is 17 today. 17 years ago she entered the world courtesy of my sister in law and made me an aunty for the first time. and what can i say, i love her to death. she can sing, dance and act and will definitely be going places in the years to come... (i feel it necessary to point this out seeing as she is dressed ready for her school play, shes a moon by the way)

and she is funny, smart, a little crazy (like me) and completely sassy... and i think she's amazing. i'm proud that she's not only my niece, but that she's my friend. 

Sunday, August 9, 2015

the importance of mothers

mother and child, by mary teasdel, oil painting, courtesy of the alice art collection/utah arts council

our relief society lesson today was the sacred callings of fathers and mothers (lesson 15 from the ezra taft benson manual) and i loved it. it is nice to have a reminder of why it's okay to stay home with your children and not be working outside the home all day. of why it's okay to say "i'm a mother" and not feel like you're just a mother... and why your children need you. there are some things i simply can't say better myself... so please, if you will, have a read here. or you can read the bits i liked best below! there's some good ones for everyone even if you're not a member of our church.


10 specific ways we can spend effective time with our children

 [First,] whenever possible, be at the crossroads when your children are either coming or going—when they leave and return from school, when they leave or return from dates, when they bring friends home. Be there at the crossroads whether your children are 6 or 16. …

Second, mothers, take time to be a real friend to your children. Listen to your children, really listen. Talk with them, laugh and joke with them, sing with them, play with them, cry with them, hug them, honestly praise them. Yes, regularly spend one-on-one time with each child. Be a real friend to your children.

Third, take time to read to your children. Starting from the cradle, read to your sons and daughters. … You will plant a love for good literature and a real love for the scriptures if you will read to your children regularly.

Fourth, take time to pray with your children. Family prayers, under the direction of the father, should be held morning and night. Have your children feel of your faith as you call down the blessings of heaven upon them. … Have your children participate in family and personal prayers, and rejoice in their sweet utterances to their Father in Heaven.

Fifth, take time to have a meaningful weekly home evening. Have your children actively involved. Teach them correct principles. Make this one of your family traditions. …

Sixth, take time to be together at mealtimes as often as possible. This is a challenge as the children get older and lives get busier. But happy conversation, sharing of the day’s plans and activities, and special teaching moments occur at mealtime because parents and children work at it.

Seventh, take time daily to read the scriptures together as a family. … Reading the Book of Mormon together as a family will especially bring increased spirituality into your home and will give both parents and children the power to resist temptation and to have the Holy Ghost as their constant companion. I promise you that the Book of Mormon will change the lives of your family.

Eighth, take time to do things as a family. Make family outings and picnics and birthday celebrations and trips special times and memory builders. Whenever possible, attend, as a family, events where one of the family members is involved, such as a school play, a ball game, a talk, a recital. Attend Church meetings together, and sit together as a family when you can. Mothers who help families pray and play together will [help them] stay together and will bless children’s lives forever.

Ninth, mothers, take time to teach your children. Catch the teaching moments at mealtime, in casual settings, or at special sit-down times together, at the foot of the bed at the end of the day, or during an early-morning walk together. … A mother’s love and prayerful concern for her children are the most important ingredients in teaching her own. Teach children gospel principles. Teach them it pays to be good. Teach them there is no safety in sin. Teach them a love for the gospel of Jesus Christ and a testimony of its divinity. Teach your sons and daughters modesty, and teach them to respect manhood and womanhood. Teach your children sexual purity, proper dating standards, temple marriage, missionary service, and the importance of accepting and magnifying Church callings. Teach them a love for work and the value of a good education. Teach them the importance of the right kind of entertainment, including appropriate movies, videos, music, books, and magazines. Discuss the evils of pornography and drugs, and teach them the value of living the clean life. Yes, mothers, teach your children the gospel in your own home, at your own fireside. This is the most effective teaching that your children will ever receive. …

Tenth and finally, mothers, take the time to truly love your little children. A mother’s unqualified love approaches Christlike love. Your teenage children also need that same kind of love and attention. It seems easier for many mothers and fathers to express their love to their children when they are young, but more difficult when they are older. Work at this prayerfully. There need be no generation gap. And the key is love. Our young people need love and attention, not indulgence. They need empathy and understanding, not indifference from mothers and fathers. They need the parents’ time. A mother’s kindly teachings and her love for and confidence in a teenage son or daughter can literally save them from a wicked world.

Friday, August 7, 2015

saying goodbye to a sweet angel

today the bravest people i know said goodbye to their little girl and laid her to rest. there were plenty of sadness and tears, but most of all there was hope. i know that they have no doubt of a day that will come, when they will hold her again. i thank my father in heaven every day for the knowledge that

families are forever ♥

Thursday, August 6, 2015

sister kendall has a birthday

this gorgeous girl is 26 today. she's far away and working hard serving her father in heaven. she has set aside 18 months of her life and has left her family for that time, so that others can be with theirs for eternity. she is my greatest friend in the world and i am so glad she has made such good choices, even though i have missed her every day she's been away and i feel like someone cut my right arm off the day she left... we love you sister kendall and hope you have the most amazing day! xxx

Sunday, August 2, 2015

setita's frozen birthday

we love birthday parties! and today was no exception, as madeline had been invited to a frozen party! she was so excited and i don't blame her, i remember exactly how exciting it was to go to a birthday party as a kid.

there was a face painter, which madeline was so excited about... she is love with having her face painted and sat very still as it was done... she was excited too though, as all the girls at the party had dressed up as elsa from frozen and she was the only anna. she loves to be her because "i have red hair like anna!"

maddie with the face painter

madeline is so in love with myra, every time she sees her she wants to touch her face and cuddle her. someone needs to get this kid a little sister! haha

see what i mean? she is so madly in love with her!

setita with her frozen presents from us 

and with her family ♥

seriously though, the highlight of the day... the amazing cake! seriously. i have never seen anything like it... especially seeing as the girl who made it has apparently never made a fancy cake before. that is some crazy talent right there!

and just for good measure an awesome shot of the birthday princesses younger brother. adorable.

thanks for having us at your party setita, we had an awesome time! xxx