Saturday, April 29, 2017

the fruits of the spirit

we are so blessed in dianella stake to have a relief society presidency who go above and beyond to make sure that the sisters in our stake are able to improve ourselves and to grow spiritually each year.

last year we had a 6 week challenge (increasing faith in jesus christ) that gave us something to read/ listen to from past general conferences and the likes. each of those talks assisted us in increasing our faith and at the end we had a dawn testimony meeting at the stake centre, after visiting in the temple grounds as the sun rose. 

it was such a success that they decided to do another, although only for 4 weeks this time around focusing on the fruits of the spirit found in galatians... and it was just as good! this morning marked the end of the program and we met again in the grounds of the temple, then went off for another testimony meeting. what a wonderful blessing it is to meet with other women who share our faith. who know of the same truths and are willing to share them to improve the lives of others!

we had breakfast afterwards in the hall and it was lovely to just sit back and listen as the women around me visited with each other.

what a wonderful thing the relief society is. there's not a day goes by that i am not grateful for the gospel in my life and those who are on the same path to home. ♥

Friday, April 28, 2017

anzac day parade

madeline's school had their anzac day parade today. she came home earlier in the week, telling me excitedly about how she needed a flower for their class wreath... and about the anzac book that their teacher had read to the class. i know that she's not quite old enough to understand really what war is about,  but then can any of us that haven't experienced it really understand?

she stood still while i pinned these medals to her dress (which i can assure you did not go to school for the parade) for a picture to remember today, and then peppered me with questions about my grandparents as she held their picture. my grandfather, joseph goodlet fought in world war two and those medals belonged to him. war was something he never wanted to speak of and i know it's something that stayed with him long after the war was over... for the rest of his life.

i am so, so grateful for the men and women who gave their lives for our freedom. who saw things that will never be forgotten... and who bravely stood up and left their lives behind, so that we can have what we have today. we are blessed beyond measure.

lest we forget

they shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old
age shall not weary them, or the years condemn
at the going down of the sun, and in the morning
we will remember them
lest we forget

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

family dinner

on sunday we had family dinner at mum and dads out in clackline and were lucky enough to only be missing two people! (my doug who had to work and jared david who couldn't make it) it's so hard to believe that these two crazy kids fell in love all those years ago and all because of that there are now so many of us! 

our original crew...
mum and dad
aaron, isaac, me and jared

who still behave like children... haha

and the end result of those crazy kids, who raised crazy kids, who now have crazy kids of their own. may i present my parents grandkids... i straight up love this pic, it's the best!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

madeline memories ♥


what a blessing it is to raise children in the gospel and to be able to capture memories to look back on on the hard days that will surely come.

when doug and i were in nz for the unveiling of his grandparents headstone in 2012 i insisted we drive to hamilton so i could see the temple my parents had been sealed in, back in 1977. we took madeline into the visitors centre, where she sat and stared... and stared, completely mesmerised by the christus statue they have there. it was so wonderful for us to see her as a baby, being able to recognise the savior.

fast forward 5 years and i had the wonderful opportunity to take her to salt lake city utah, where another, larger, christus stands in the north visitors centre. i asked her to sit down so i could recreate the picture and felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude to know that doug and i are on the right path, which is allowing them to be also. i can't even imagine what it would be like to grow up and not know of the gospel... not to have the light that it has brought to my life... i am so happy that my children have that in their lives!


"he lives, my kind wise heavenly friend, 
he lives and loves me 'til the end. 
oh sweet the joy this sentence gives... 
i know that my redeemer lives!" 

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

malteaser cheesecake

i made this bundle of deliciousness for our family easter dinner on sunday... totally worth the purchase of taste magazine... even though i have since discovered the recipe is available online here.

malteasers are my jam, so when i saw it on the cover, it was a definite must make... it's 3 layers - chocolate brownie base, white chocolate cheesecake centre and a top layer of chocolate ganache, all laced with malteasers. yum yum yum. 

i am pleased to say it turned out... and was a roaring success, especially with my chocoholic sister in law who is visiting from brisbane. i'll definitely be filing away that recipe for future use!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

easter 2017

to me, easter is more than just eggs and a rabbit. it's a time when i remember jesus christ, the prince of peace who died for each of us. i am grateful today and always.

easter is such a wonderful time of the year. it is when we celebrate the resurrection of jesus christ, after he gave his life so that we may live again. each year the church releases a video about easter and as usual this years one did not disappoint... please go and have a look at the prince of peace video available on youtube here.

our day started with an egg hunt and breakfast with dougs parents at our house... 

i love hearing the squeals of laughter as they race around the backyard trying to beat each other to the little coloured eggs. so cute!

cutest kid everrrrrrrr

i'd say they did pretty well!

church was great, with some fantastic talks about easter and musical items. what a blessing it is to be part of such a great church! i feel lucky every single day, but especially at times like this. 

then off to my mums for dinner, where we celebrated not only easter, but this little monkey jonas (my brother aarons little boy) who turned 3 on friday. they arrived yesterday to spend a few weeks with the family over easter, so cupcakes were on the menu at tonights family dinner. 

madeline is besotted with "baby" felix and wanted to carry him everywhere and shower him with kisses. can't blame the girl.. i wanted to as well. he is adorable!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

scripture eggs

for family home evening this week, we got to do something a little different that was super fun and easter related... a friend of mums made her a carton of actual "easter eggs" as in they contained easter scriptures and items related to them inside. we had a great time opening them and reading the scriptures together and explaining how the contents related to the scripture. it really helped our kids, small as they may be, to think about what easter is really about.

i would totally recommend making a set if you have small kids, (or even for big kids and adults!) for a lesson during the easter season... so here are the scriptures and contents for you:

1. matthew 26:15 30 silver pieces
2. 3 nephi 11:11-12 & matthew 26:39 sacrament cup
3. matthew 27:24 small chunk of soap
4. mark 14:29-31, 53, 66-72 mini chicken
5. matthew 27:28-29 red fabric
6. alma 11:42 piece of rope
7. john 19:24 dice
8. matthew 27:51-54 rocks
9. john: 19:39 rosemary stem
10. luke 24:1-10 round white pebble
11. john 20:25-26 nails
12. matthew 27:59 & matthew 28:6 white fabric

Monday, April 10, 2017

general conference april 2017

we watched general conference yesterday, as per tradition in australia. seeing as the are live in the middle of the night for us, we watch them at the same times, only a week later. and due to the wonderful blessings of the internet and downloading, we can watch them in the comfort of our own home, on the cinema screen! woo. 

i spent most of the morning feeling very sad that i couldn't be in utah to watch it, especially seeing as just over a month ago, i was! actually walking around the conference centre, seeing where it all takes place. it was the best... and it just cemented my desire to be there and watch it live one day. ohhhh take me back! i would go back in a heartbeat! pity it costs money...

i so enjoyed president monsons talk that began the conference, in which he asked all members of the church to begin a daily study of the book of mormon if they had no already done so. i know first hand that having a testimony of it's truthfulness is so important and something that will get us through the hardest of times... so hearing him ask yet again just made it all the more important to me.

there were some wonderful talks, how blessed we are to hear the voices of modern day prophets, urging us to stay truth to our faith.

i also loved the talk joy d jones gave, about giving our children something great to imitate. i pray each day as a mother that i will be a good influence to my children and enable them to grow in the gospel and make good decisions as they get older.

i love general conference, it's my most favourite time of the year! ♥

Friday, April 7, 2017

easter cupcakes

a few years ago, i saw easter m&ms on pinterest and i was hooked. i love pastel colours (and m&ms!!) so when i was in the unites states recently, i went looking for them at the grocery store, knowing i had a fairly good chance of finding them, being that easter wasn't too far away.

jackpot! not only did they have them, but they had them in milk and white chocolate... so i snapped them up quick smart and hauled them home to sprinkle them all over easter cupcakes for madelines class today, the last day of school before the easter holidays begin!

ready to go in mums magic cupcake tin... (she has been cooking in this thing for as long as i can remember)

with the best cupcake recipe i've ever come across 

and voila! easter (pastel themed... that counts for easter right?!) cupcakes for little miss's class today. the teachers were stoked (and joked that she was definitely getting an a+), the kids were chuffed and they were delicious!! (joseph and i enjoyed one at lunchtime)

bring on the holidays! i'll let you know how it goes. lol

Thursday, April 6, 2017

the power of prayer

he is the greatest of all. he is the creator and governor of the universe. and yet he will listen to your prayer!

i learned that my heavenly father knew me personally when i was seventeen years old. i always knew i had a father in heaven who loved me and never doubted the truth of the gospel, but it was this day that i truly knew that he cared for me and would help me if i would only ask.

a few weeks after my seventeeth birthday, i left for a year overseas in brazil on student exchange. i struggled. i was homesick, i was angry, i was confused and i was hurting badly. my first few weeks were spent crying often, wishing for home and trying hard to accept that i needed to move ahead with my life.

and then school in a foreign country began. i spoke barely 10 words of portugese, understood nothing and needed to somehow make it from my home to the school on a bus. i had been instructed which buses passed the school and how to ask if i was concerned that i would take the wrong one. so whilst waited at the bus stop i carefully asked the driver, "passa cefet?" to which he nodded, so i got on the bus. 

it turned out the bus did not "passa cefet" and as the minutes passed and we hadn't passed the school, i became worried and began to panic. i couldn't ask anyone for help, i had no idea where i was... and no way to get back home. i didn't even know my host family's address or phone number by heart yet. 

so i prayed. i sat on that hot bus surrounded by people i did not know and begged my heavenly father to help me find my way. to somehow send someone that could help me. and he did. no sooner had i ended my prayer, tears pouring down my face, a gentleman on the bus, a member of the military police who i had not seen board, touched my arm and asked me a question, which of course i could not understand. i kept repeating the name of my school to which he nodded, clearly understanding where i needed to go. 

this wonderful man tapped the driver on the shoulder, had him stop the bus and motioned for me to follow him. we walked half a dozen blocks in the opposite direction, where he flagged down another bus and spoke quickly to the driver, gesturing at me and then pointed to the seat directly behind the driver. i pulled out my purse which was waved away. i boarded the bus and ten or so minutes later, the driver opened the doors, turned to me and pointed at my school.

i knew that day the power of a sincere prayer. i knew that my heavenly father had heard me and sent help, sent me someone that could guide me safely to my destination. to this day i have never forgotten that man. to him this may have been just another day, but to me it meant everything. 


we have been given the power of prayer in our lives specifically to help us find our way and during a wonderful lesson on sunday this memory sprung to my mind as clear as if it were yesterday. there were some wonderful quotes from the lesson (a combination of chapter 6: how mighty a thing is prayer and 7: the whisperings of the spirit from this years relief society/priesthood manual) from president hinckley, especially this one:

- be prayerful my friends, and listen

what a wonderful reminder to not only pray, but to listen! how often do we pray and not wait for an answer? if we had a conversation with someone, would we say what we had to say and just walk away? or do we wait for them to respond? next time we pray and tell heavenly father what is on our minds, may we make the effort to wait and listen to what he has to tell us.

- in the middle of the night, ideas have come into my head which, i think, have been prophetic in their nature
-listen for the whisperings of the spirit in the middle of the night
-i don't know why revelation comes sometimes in the night, but it does

sometimes we need to leave our cares with the lord when we retire to our beds. always be listening, for the answers will come. they may take time and it may be in the middle of the night, but they will come.  how grateful i am for a way to communicate with our heavenly father and to know that he will help me in my time of need ♥

Monday, April 3, 2017

baby isabel is here!

oh my word. i love a fresh baby and i was thrilled to pieces to visit my besties new baby in hospital yesterday. baby isabel charlotte arrived on friday and she is just divine! cute little face, chubby cheeks and very very cuddly.

so darling! cluck cluck! ♥

Sunday, April 2, 2017

gender reveal cake

this weekend i was trusted with the most wonderful (and fun!) secret. my dear friend alexandra sent me a message on friday afternoon asking if i could make her a gender reveal cake. they had been to their ultrasound appointment not long before and had asked the technician to write down what they are having and seal it in an envelope so they had absolutely no idea! she and her husband are currently cooking their third child and wanted to surprise their families (and themselves!) at family dinner this afternoon. 

oh my word. i can honestly say that i have never been this excited in my life to make a cake!!! alex rushed over with the envelope containing the news, which i carefully waited to open until after they had left. oh the pressure! i didn't want my facial expression to give anything away.

i made a four layer cake with coloured cakes, hollowed in the middle two layers to add coloured m&ms... then covered the entire thing with buttercream and multicoloured sprinkles. so fun! the worst bit was delivering the cake last night to alex's husband michael and being interrogated, then getting the same from her brother at church this afternoon. haha. but i did not crack and was thrilled to pieces when i received these pictures not long after...

cause it's a boy! what a wonderful surprise, adding to the two girls they already have. i am so thrilled for them and still can't believe i got to be the secret keeper, what an awesome job!

the girls thrilled to pieces to know that they are getting themselves a baby brother... or are they just excited to be getting cake? i can't tell!

the inside before i added the top. so fun! i seriously wish i could have watched them cut it open!

congrats mike and alex, that's one lucky little boy headed your way!

Saturday, April 1, 2017

a doll for isabel

never, ever again. until the next one of course. baby isabel has arrived and i (stupidly) decided she needed a handmade doll as a "welcome to the earth" present. i have made this pattern once before (see here) and it went pretty well, with no major issues... but this time i wanted to ditch the doll and set fire to the pattern! hopefully she will love it... but i would be lying if i said that a lot of love went into it. more like a lot of cursing and anger haha.

but may i present the yet unnamed doll i finally managed to turn out for miss isabel. please feel free to offer name suggestions in the comments... but mark my words it will be a long time before i attempt another... if ever! augh.