Thursday, March 31, 2016

relief society birthday high tea

after weeks of preparation, begging and borrowing items from ward members, my personal collection and an insane amount from my lovely mother, we finally had our ward relief society birthday activity this evening, a beautiful high tea. oh the effort involved! tablecloths, chair covers, sashes, 52 vintage trios, bunting... and a photobooth. but it was so worth it, because it looked absolutely amazing! 

i had some amazing sisters from the ward give their time to assist in setting up and thankfully they even did little things that mean so much to making it look perfect, like moving all the unused chairs to another room... matching the sashes to ensure they were in a perfect order... and dealing with my never ending ocd to ensure it all looked perfect!

we used a vintage floral sheet that i picked up from an opshop last year for $1 for the photobooth backdrop, which fitted in so perfectly... i was thrilled to finally put it to good use, as i haven't actually even used it on my bed yet haha

each place had a quote about the relief society (printed at the local big w on photo paper) for the sisters to take home, a floral serviette (found at the local $2 store) and a trio for food and drinks

as the sisters arrived, we had them drop their food to the kitchen, so we could mix and match it all - ensuring that each seat had a variety of food available to them without getting up over and over.  we also had a quiz about the history of relief society on each chair (which you can find here!), so that they had something to do until the food came! we were also careful to pass a sign up sheet around the relief society a few weeks in a row prior to the evening to ensure that we didn't end up with all of the same food or too much sweet or savoury.

during the evening, we had the answers to the quiz and awarded a prize to the winner, then we had each sister stand and tell the room their name and one thing about themselves that others might not know. this is one of my favourite things to do... it's amazing the facts about ourselves we can come up with when we are put on the spot. mine was: hi my name is jade and i have been to over 600 funerals. true story. and i know it would definitely be more than that, but that is a safe number to go with. we also awarded a door prize, we had placed a sticker on the bottom of one of the cups and asked the sisters to find it. easy!

and then we had some fun with the photobooth... i've only popped up these two pics, because i don't think it's right to share pics of all the sisters in our ward without their permision, but these peeps with me here count as family, so i know i am safe...

it was such a fun night and a total success... so happy 174th birthday relief society. we love you!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

grace's birthday

today another one of my nieces became a teenager (oh heck that makes me feel old...) miss grace goodlet! her parents (my brother and sister-in-law) invited us all over for dinner and dessert. mmmm cake! grace makes me laugh all the time, she is always on hand with a ridiculous you tube video, a smile and some funny remark. it is a constant joy to be her aunty! happy birthday grace!! ♥

we bought grace a waffle maker, which i had heard her wanting loudly at christmas time, but she hadn't actually been given one. this photo wasn't even staged, she was genuinely that excited by the waffle maker! haha

graces lucky number is 3 and conveniently she ended up with 3 cakes. what a birthday! lucky there was plenty of us to help eat them. donna made a flourless chocolate cake (on the left), mum made a apricot, almond and white chocolate cake (middle) and i made a vegan pumpkin pie. it wasn't bad, but i must admit that i prefer the milk version! (full review and recipe to come sometime in the future...)

grace and i

my brother aaron who is still here visiting from queensland, it's so good to have him here!

and my little boy whose selfie game is already strong at a young age. look at him working the camera ♥

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

a trip to the zoo

today we braved the perth zoo with 7 adults and 8 children... and what a day it was! we were so lucky to have gone when we did, the perth zoo currently has 16 lifesize dinosaurs around the zoo and they are amazing to see! i couldn't even believe how cool they were... and the kids couldn't get enough, especially my dinosaur obsessed joseph.

a life size t-rex on the main lawn

baby felix had the time of his life, snoozing away in his pram and waking up every now and then for a feed... he is such a little doll

joseph and jonas (or j+j as i started referring to them as...) had the best time hanging out together and checking out the wildlife. i am so glad to see that they get along and are enjoying their time together, cousins are a wonderful blessing.

some of the kids outside of the bear enclosure... 

these people make me so happy, i have said it before, but will say it a million times, my parents truly are to very best people i know. i know they are loving having all their children and grandchildren together ♥

and i'll be honest, they really do demonstrate eternal life goals. they have been married for 45 years this year and are still as madly in love as the day they met.

my dad and i... what is life if you don't force your parents to talk a selfie with you every now and then

i think i could say quite safely that everyone's favourite part of the day was riding the vintage perth zoo carousel. it has been there forever... and i even have photos of me riding it as a small child. so seeing maddie on there today loving her life, made me crazy happy!

we love you perth zoo and promise we'll be back sometime soon!

Monday, March 28, 2016

a + k family photos

as you all know, my parents live in clackline, a teeny town, a dot on the map really, 20kms the perth side of northam. they have 10 acres of land, that backs onto 4000 hectares of bushland... and more than anything, their place is just beautiful. i love it, the kids love it... and we just love to be there.

they also have a bright blue couch, that i love... and had always imagined using in the bush to take family photos on. mum told me last week that it was time... the couch was being relocated and that it was now or never. thankfully it coincided with aaron, katja and the kids being here for an easter holiday and i grabbed the chance to take their pics on it.

they have the cutest little family... and it made me so happy to get these shots for them!

so may i present the goodlets of brisbane... ♥

aaron with his boys

katja and jonas (he and our joseph were born just 6 weeks apart, he'll be 2 in a few weeks)

and aaron and katja themselves ♥ another sister in law that i am so grateful for, she has made aaron so happy... and fitted beautifully into our family.

and of course... i could not resist getting one of my babies on the couch before it leaves the premises... look at them! smiles galore!

i really love this one too, katja made up jump in for a shot and although i look terrible with no makeup on, the cropped shot of all of us together is gorgeous! ♥

Sunday, March 27, 2016

easter talk

(picture from
i was asked to speak for the first time in our new ward on easter sunday... (so much pressure!) with a very vague topic of "easter" (way to add to the pressure...) but i think i did okay... i got some good ideas from a talk entitled "this glorious easter morn" given by president gordon b hinckley 20 years ago... give it a read, that man was amazing! what a wonderful easter sunday it was... and how grateful i am for the miracle of the empty tomb ♥
happy easter to you all!
“There was once a bridge which spanned a large river. During most of the day the bridge sat with its length running up and down the river paralleled with the banks, allowing ships to pass through freely on both sides of the bridge. But at certain times each day, a train would come along and the bridge would be turned sideways across the river, allowing a train to cross it.
A switchman sat in a small shack on one side of the river where he operated the controls to turn the bridge and lock it into place as the train crossed. One evening as the switchman was waiting for the last train of the day to come; he looked off into the distance thru the dimming twilight and caught sight of the train lights. He stepped to the control and waited until the train was within a prescribed distance at which time he was to turn the bridge. He turned the bridge into position, but, to his horror, he found the locking control did not work. If the bridge was not securely in position it would wobble back and forth at the ends when the train came onto it, causing the train to jump the track and go crashing into the river. This would be a passenger train with many people aboard. He left the bridge turned across the river, and hurried across the bridge to the other side of the river where there was a lever switch he could hold to operate the lock manually. He would have to hold the lever back firmly as the train crossed. He could hear the rumble of the train now, and he took hold of the lever and leaned backward to apply his weight to it, locking the bridge. He kept applying the pressure to keep the mechanism locked. Many lives depended on this man’s strength.
Then, coming across the bridge from the direction of his control shack, he heard a sound that made his blood run cold. “Daddy, where are you?” His four-year-old son was crossing the bridge to look for him. His first impulse was to cry out to his child, “Run! Run!” But the train was too close; his tiny legs would never make it across the bridge in time. The man almost left his lever to run and snatch up his son and carry him to safety. But he realized that he could not get back to the lever. Either the people on the train or his little son must die. He took a moment to make his decision.
The train sped safely and swiftly on its way, and no one aboard was even aware of the tiny broken body thrown mercilessly into the river by the onrushing train. Nor were they aware of the pitiful figure of the sobbing man, still clinging tightly to the locking lever long after the train had passed. They did not see him walking home more slowly than he had ever walked: to tell his wife how their son had brutally died to save the lives of others."
Now if you comprehend the emotions which went through this man’s heart, you can begin to understand the feelings of our Father in Heaven when He sacrificed His Son to bridge the gap between us and eternal life. Can there be any wonder that He caused the earth to tremble and the skies to darken when His Son died? How does our Heavenly Father feel when we speed along through life without giving a thought to what was done for us through Jesus Christ? When we think of the Atonement do we only think of our Savior’s gift to us? Or do we also think of a loving Father in Heaven, who watched His son die for each of us, so that we could live again.
This is Easter morning. This is the Lord’s day, when we celebrate the greatest victory of all time, the victory over death. Those who hated Jesus thought they had put an end to Him forever when they pierced His hands and feet and side when the cross was raised on Calvary. But this was the Son of God, whose power they could not understand. Through His death came the Resurrection and our own assurance of eternal life. None of us can fully understand the pain He suffered as He prayed in Gethsemane and was then crucified between two thieves.

With unbearable sorrow those who loved Him placed His wounded, lifeless body in the tomb belonging of Joseph of Arimathea. Gone was hope from the lives of His Apostles, whom He had loved and taught. Their Lord and Master had been crucified and His body laid in a sealed tomb. He had taught them of His eventual death and Resurrection, but they had not understood. They must have wept and wondered as the great stone was rolled to seal the burial place.

The Jewish Sabbath passed. Then came a new day, a day that would be the Lord’s day. Grieving Mary Magdalene and the other women came to the tomb. The stone was no longer in place. Curiously they looked inside. To their astonishment the tomb was empty. Distraught, Mary ran to Simon Peter and to the other disciples whom Jesus loved. She cried, “They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him” as found in John chapter 20 verse 2.
They came running, and their fears were confirmed. Jesus no longer lay in the tomb.
“But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre,
“And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.
“And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.
“And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus.
“Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.
“Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.
“Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God” this is found in John chapter 20 verses 11–17.

She who had loved Him so much, she who had been healed by Him, was the first to whom He appeared. There followed others, even, as Paul declared, in 1st Corinthians, up to 500 brethren at one time.
It was then that the Apostles understood what He had tried to teach them. Thomas, felt His wounds, and declared “My Lord and My God”.

There is no one that could doubt the truth of that account. No other event in history has ever been more certainly confirmed. There is the testimony of all who saw and felt and spoke with the risen Lord. He appeared on two continents in two hemispheres and taught the people before His final ascension. Two sacred volumes, two testaments speak of this, the most glorious of all events in all of human history. But these are only accounts, the faithless critics say. To which we are able to reply that beyond these is the witness and the testimony, borne by the power of the Holy Ghost, of the truth of this most remarkable event. Through the centuries untold numbers have paid with the sacrifice of their comforts, their fortunes, even their very lives for the convictions they carried in their hearts that Jesus Christ lives! He is our risen, living Lord.

There also came the ringing testimony of the first Prophet of this dispensation that he saw and was actually spoken to by the Almighty Father and the Risen Son. That vision, glorious beyond all description, became the beginning of this, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. That vision, which as we re-tell and read time and time again, allows our own personal conviction of the gospel to grow within us.

There is nothing more universal than death, and nothing brighter with hope and faith than our assurance of being able to one day gain our own immortality. The sorrow that comes with death, the bereavement that follows the passing of a loved one is only able to be softened by that certainty that the Son of God was raised from the dead, that first Easter morning.

How different would our lives be without this hope of immortality? Life would simply be a journey ending with no assurance of where we go to next.
“O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” (1 Cor. 15:55).
The pain of death is taken away within the peace of eternal life.

Contemplating the wonder of the Atonement which our Saviour willingly suffered on behalf of all mankind, the Prophet Joseph Smith said in Doctrine and Covenants 128 verse 23:
“Let the mountains shout for joy, and all ye valleys cry aloud; and all ye seas and dry lands tell the wonders of your Eternal King! And ye rivers, and brooks, and rills, flow down with gladness. Let the woods and all the trees of the field praise the Lord; and ye solid rocks weep for joy! And let the sun, moon, and the morning stars sing together, and let all the sons of God shout for joy! And let the eternal creations declare his name forever and ever! And again I say, how glorious is the voice we hear from heaven, proclaiming in our ears, glory, and salvation, and honor, and immortality, and eternal life; kingdoms, principalities, and powers!”.

Whenever death takes a loved one, there shines through the sorrow of that hour, the triumphant figure of the Lord Jesus Christ, He, the Son of God, who overcame death for me and for all of you. He is our Redeemer. He gave His life for each of us. He, as King of Kings, stands triumphant above all other kings. He stands above all rulers. He is our only true comfort, when the spirit of a loved one departs from this earth.

Towering above all men who have ever lived is Jesus Christ. In our hours of deepest sorrow we draw hope and peace and certainty from the words of the angel that Easter morning, “He is not here: for he is risen, as he said” (Matt. 28:6). We draw strength from the words of Paul, “As in Adam all die, even so in Christ … all [are] made alive” (1 Cor. 15:22).

I particularly love the words of Hymn 193, I stand all Amazed:
I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me,
Confused at the grace that so fully he proffers me.
I tremble to know that for me he was crucified,
That for me, a sinner, he suffered, he bled and died.
Oh, it is wonderful that he should care for me
Enough to die for me!
Oh, it is wonderful, wonderful to me!

He is our King, our Lord, our Master, the living Christ, who stands on the right hand of His Father. He lives, the living Son of our living God.

As said in the Doctrine and covenants 76: 22-23 “and now after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives! For we saw him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father”

Of this I know for myself, and I bear testimony that he lives, this Easter morning, when we remember the miracle of the empty tomb, in His sacred name, Jesus Christ. Amen.

easter 2016 ♥

oh easter sunday! the day every year when i feel like my entire family and most of my life should be featuring pastels. when you see the pictures above and below (one of the outtakes... haha) i'd say we nailed it. woo.

oh i love that girl. her zest for life is so infectious :)

madeline and joseph were given beautifully wrapped easter eggs after church from their pinkers and were so thrilled with them, in fact, joseph managed to tear his open and start eating it on the way home. he's a determined little thing, that's for sure!

oh those eyes!

dougs parents brought over a pile of different mini eggs and chocolate treats and once we got home from church and had lunch, we had an easter egg hunt in the backyard. the thrilled looks on their little faces made my life. it was so fun!

joseph hunting for eggs.

comparing loot afterwards. oh how i love the two of them. 

i am so grateful as always for the blessing it is to know the true meaning of easter. to know that jesus christ, the son of god and our older brother died, and rose again allowing us the chance to have eternal life. what a blessing it is and how loved we are... to know of a life to come. ♥

Friday, March 25, 2016

a good friday birthday easter hunt

yesterday maddie's little friend georgie from primary had her birthday, so today her mum organised an easter egg hunt birthday party for her (coolest idea ever...)

their family has a huge fun backyard with lots of hiding places and the kids had a ball searching them out in the sunshine.

look! there's one in the tree!

afterwards we had cake, which was one of the coolest ones i have ever seen... georgie's mum had baked a cake, then made a solid chocolate shell in a metal bowl to freeze, then turn over the top and decorate with chocolates. after blowing out the candles on her mini cake, the birthday girl was handed a rolling pin so she could smash the shell and get to the cake which had lollies on top of it, almost like a pinata. so fun to watch.

we had such a fun afternoon... happy birthday georgie! x

Thursday, March 24, 2016

the cutest little bunny

today when i picked miss madeline up from "kindy school" i had the most lovely surprise... as she and her classmates rushed out the door with pink bunny noses and whiskers and cotton wool bunny ears that they made themselves. it was so cute that i honestly almost cried! i swear ever since having kids, the littlest things set me off haha.

she looked so adorable and sweetly offered to share her loot in the little bags they made in class with joseph and i. oh i love her! she made the cutest little bunny! ♥

Sunday, March 20, 2016

baby sam is one

my friend kelly's littlest baby samuel turned one today! so a party was in order... and she decided to have her theme as dr suess's "oh the places you will go!" i was well impressed, she does not do things by halves and the party decorations were epic.

baby sam with his gorgeous gluten free cake. this house is a gluten free zone...

seriously... how good are the decorations?!

the mandin family getting ready to blow sam's candles out

and baby sam loving his bright lit up cake ♥ 

birthday haul along with a copy of "oh the places you will go!" kelly had it set up for every one who attended the party to sign a page... so sam can keep the book and look back on his first birthday.

yummy gluten free cupcakes (seriously who knew there was such a thing... haha) by kelly and iced by a friend of hers

and how cool was this idea, easter egg decorations from kmart, turned upside down with a basket added. perfect! and in the background, pool noodles with paper pompoms stuck to the top. so cool.

sammys signing book

it was an awesome day and this little babe was completely cake covered and partied out by the end of the day. we had the best time watching little sam turn one!