Friday, June 30, 2017

halfway through!

it's the last day of the first half of the year and i am proud to say that my new years resolution is going well... it may be a simple one, but one that has certainly made my life better - to attend the temple at least once a month. this is the second year i've done it and i know the change it's made to my life is a real. i think about the lord more often and make sure i'm doing all i can in my life to be comfortable in the his house.

best resolution i ever made, to be closer to the heavenly father and serve others in his house ♥

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

spinach and ricotta puffs

i love it when a recipe pops up in my facebook news feed that looks delicious and is actually easy!!

clicked on the link thinking they would be hard, but nope, easy as anything, with simple ingredients (puff pastry, egg, frozen spinach, ricotta, cheese + sesame seeds that i added to the top) that you can keep on hand for "emergencies" like that relief society activity that you forgot was tonight, or the birthday party you got invited to, or when someone is just "popping around" haha.

i have made them half a dozen times already and have had nothing but good feedback so will continue. thanks facebook, keep the random good crap in my newsfeed coming! ♥

Saturday, June 24, 2017

relief society movie night

i love love love it when planning pays off. we had our relief society movie night last night and it went so well! no hiccups, all went according to plan - and everyone enjoyed themselves! woo!

our additional meetings committee had decided to have a movie night, watching the disney produced church movie, the other side of heaven, based on the mission of john groberg to the kingdom of tonga in the 1950's. it is such a wonderful movie, may i suggest you watch it if you haven't already?

we had a full candy bar, complete with lollies, popcorn, drinks and dinner (hotdogs!) which was a huge hit, it was great fun watching everyone get into it before the movie started.

one of the lovely men in our ward kindly set up a huuuuuge screen that took up the entire stage in our cultural hall, along with a projector and sound system. apparently he made the screen stand years ago for one of the many parties his kids had. so clever... and how lucky are we to have him on side?

yum, dinner!

before the movie began, we were blessed with a performance from a polynesian dance/ drum group that one of the girls from our ward is in. they were amazing, and certainly set the tone for the evening.

the boys doing their thing

and the girls, featuring our aniwa ♥

they even had members of the crowd come and participate in a final dance. it was great and everyone was really into it.

after all that, people got into the candy bar and settled in to watch the movie. 

we had so much good feedback and i am so pleased with how the evening went. definitely one to file away for a possible repeat! ♥

Thursday, June 22, 2017

cars 3

dreams came true for this little man this evening. cars 3 was finally released in australia today and after months of bugging us to watch the previews and clips on youtube, this cars obsessed little man got to see his idol lightning mcqueen on the big screen. as you can see, he was completely thrilled to bits and was so so happy to be there.

checking out the fun stuff in the theatre lobby

it was a great family night and even though i'm a lot older than 3, i really loved the movie! i thought it had a great moral and was lots of fun for the kids... i'd totally watch it again.

i have to leave you with this quote i saw on facebook this week though, because it made me laugh so hard... does lightning mcqueen have life insurance or car insurance? think about that one for a while...

Monday, June 19, 2017

a modern day "standard of truth"

a friend shared this wonderful declaration from jeffrey r. holland over the weekend, which in the article was referred to as a "modern day standard of truth." i love to read the words of the leaders of our church and to know that they are divinely inspired of god. i read it to the relief society sisters in our ward during opening exercises yesterday and wanted to share it here also. what wonderful words! ♥

“What a terrific time to be alive!
The gospel of Jesus Christ is the most certain, the most secure, the most reliable, and the most rewarding truth on earth and in heaven, in time and in eternity. Nothing—not anything, not anyone, not any influence—will keep this Church from fulfilling its mission and realizing its destiny declared from before the foundation of the world. Ours is that fail-safe, inexorable, indestructible dispensation of the fulness of the gospel. There is no need to be afraid or tentative about the future.
Unlike every other era before us, this dispensation will not experience an institutional apostasy; it will not see a loss of priesthood keys; it will not suffer a cessation of revelation from the voice of Almighty God. Individuals will apostatize or turn a deaf ear to heaven, but never again will the dispensation collectively do so. What a secure thought! What a day in which to live!
If there are some bumps along the way while waiting to see every promise kept and every prophecy fulfilled, so be it. If you haven’t noticed, I am bullish about the latter days. In nothing could I have more faith than I have in God the Eternal Father, in Jesus Christ His Son, in Their redeeming gospel, and in their divinely-guided Church. Believe. Rise up. Be faithful. And make the most of the remarkable day in which we live!”

(the article can be found online here)

Friday, June 16, 2017

pyjama free dress day!

we lovvvvve our school. madeline is having the time of her life and learning so much. best of all, there are so many fun things, fundraisers, special lunch days and awesome themed free dress days! earlier this year, we had a purple haze day for the starlight foundation... and today was wear your pyjamas to school day! she was so excited to go off to school in her pyjamas this morning and wear them for the full day. and the best bit about that for me, was that joseph didn't want to get dressed while madeline was in her pjs, so i took them both to school like that. win! it's so much fun for me to see them (trust me joseph already does too!) love school, knowing how much it excited me at that age. yay for school! ♥

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

easy fhe ideas

family home evening is an evening that we as members of the church of jesus christ of latter-day saints set aside to spend as a family. it's a time when we can instruct during a gospel centred lesson, sing a song, have family scripture study, have family prayer and enjoy a game and treat. in theory. let's be honest, it's hard. and it's especially hard to keep the attention of a 3 year old and an almost 6 year old. so i have been desperately trying to think of easy lessons to keep their attention!

our evening normally goes like this:
opening prayer
opening song
(simple primary song, favourites include i am a child of god, jesus wants me for a sunbeam, give said the little stream, follow the prophet, i love to see the temple...)
good news bad news
(we stole this idea from our friends family. you go through the room, from youngest to oldest and say one good thing that happened during the week and one bad thing. it's pretty hilarious!)
(from our kids illustrated version of the standard works)
closing song
family prayer

but i have finally been able to think up some good ideas for easy kid friendly lessons, all based on my gospel library pictures. i have them in a plastic box, but you can order them in a spiral bound flip book online here. a very good investment!

simple lesson 1:
the first vision.
i showed madeline and joseph various pictures of joseph smith and asked who is this? i then showed the picture of him reading the bible and read them james 1:5 and told them about he wondered which church he should join and how he asked his heavenly father after reading that passage. next picture the first vision, where i read the first vision and told them about how he saw heavenly father and jesus christ. it was a great little lesson and i actually managed to keep their attention the whole time. win!

simple lesson 2: 
prophets speak to our heavenly father
this one was even easier! i found pictures of prophets throughout time. eg. adam, noah, samuel, nephi, moroni, joseph smith... and ended with thomas s monson. i asked the kids who each one was, and i was well impressed with madeline who knew all except for one or two and joseph who knew a lot of them too! i asked the kids what all of them have in common and we decided it was that they were all prophets. i then told them that each of them speak to heavenly father and that is how we can hear his voice and know what he wants us to do. i also mentioned general conference and that's why we need to listen carefully while the speakers speak! simple, easy, effective. 

simple lesson 3:
the brother of jared needed to light his boats
we told the story of the brother of jared (found in ether 3) and how he needed to light his boats to sail across the sea. we have a fountain in our backyard full of round river stones, so i had my husband go and find some stones of similar sizes and bring them in. i told the children about how sometimes we will take our problems to our heavenly father and he won't necessarily give us the answer... he'll ask us to work it out for ourselves and come back to him, so we need to always think for ourselves! i took the stones to the door of the loungeroom and had my husband reach around the door to touch them so they would glow and then threw some glow sticks in with them! he then stepped out from behind the door so they could see him, the same as the brother of jared had the faith to see the lord. bonus points for family participation haha.

these are just three easy ideas i've come up with the last few weeks... there has to be hundreds! but fhe with kids will never be easy, just hang in there! ♥

Saturday, June 10, 2017

emma's gold class party

today my little niece turned 9... and we celebrated in style with a "gold class" party at our place in our theatre room. it was so easy to do, but looked amazing and made the girls feel so, so chic.

decorations were simple, this e (for emma!) that i found at big w and gave to emma as part of her birthday present...

a 3 pack of confetti balloons from our local "cheap shop" for $3, and my kmart light box with a birthday wish for miss emma

on arrival, the girls got to collect their lemonade spider ([for those of you who have never heard of these... are you living under a rock?] which is a scoop of vanilla icecream, then fill to the top with lemonade... gives a kind of tangy milkshake) a bag of popcorn and a little dish of lollies.

half way through our feature, the waiters arrived with spring rolls and wedges with sour cream and sweet chili sauce...

and at the end, we enjoyed this gorgeous (and delicious!) woolworths mini cake in red velvet. these are in my opinion, one of the greatest things woolworths has ever started stocking. one cake cuts into 4 cupcake size servings and they are so good! ($7 for the fancy ones and $3.50 for the less designer options like orange and poppyseed or chocolate) emma was so chuffed to have such a fancy cake, and really it was at zero effort to her mother and i.

maddie and cousin emma

birthday girl enjoying her lit up cake

and making a wish! ♥

i love being an aunty... and especially being able to help with birthday parties. it's so much fun. happy birthday miss emma kate!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

just call me donna hay

tonight was doug's parents 37th wedding anniversary. i decided to invite them for dinner and to cook something fancy, then spent the entire day wondering what on earth i could cook for them! late in the afternoon i remembered a recipe i had seen someone share on facebook last week, donna hays honey mustard chicken and potato bake. quick check of the ingredients and method proved it was a possibility, so off to the supermarket we went. i am no masterchef, but i can certainly read a recipe - and this was fairly easy... and was absolutely delicious!!!! oh my goodness yum. i am so happy i decided to give it a try and will 100% definitely be making it again! 

i had also been planning to make something magical for dessert, until i realised that the recipe i had chosen actually needed to be cooked for quite a long time, and then rest for a while too... so it was on to plan b. we had some bananas, crushed nuts and icecream on hand, all i needed was chocolate sauce... bit of googling found me a simple chocolate sauce recipe (my version was minus the optional kahlua obviously!) and my mini banana splits were perfect! hooray for kitchen experiments and happy anniversary to my beautiful in laws! ♥

Saturday, June 3, 2017

frozen on ice

madeline and i have been to disney on ice everytime it's in perth since she was two years old. so, this year was our fourth time! this year was super exciting for pretty much every little girl on the planet, because this time, they decided to do frozen on ice! frozen is great (although not my personal favourite) and they would be silly passing up doing frozen on ice, wouldn't they!

madeline and i went with aunty dom for a girls night out... and had a blast as usual. the three of us always have a good time, so adding disney into the mix made it even better!

my favourite part of the night was olaf's song "in summer" where he was surrounded by bees, butterflies and flowers, so so cute!

during the intermission we found madeline's friend brooklyn from school, so they had to dance about, do some spinning and sing in the foyer. crack up kids.

elsa and anna dancing up a storm

of course, the highlight for madeline was seeing elsa sing "let it go"... as usual, disney did everything to perfection, you really can't fault any of their shows.

i must admit though, i am much more excited about the shows that they do when they change the theme/ story every 10-15 mins or so. i love being able to watch multiple stories and seeing how they put each one on show. for this reason i am especially looking forward to next years one, which is apparently going to be an anniversary show. hooray! can't wait.

we love you disney on ice! ♥

Thursday, June 1, 2017

temple tuesday

i had the most wonderful opportunity to serve this week... by being in the temple during its maintenance period and assisting with the things that needed to be completed before it reopens. i've never had the chance to be part of the temple cleaning that they do each week so it was so different  for me to be there with barely any one around. those who were, were quietly going about their jobs... and there was still such a strong sense of quiet - and peace. 

i love to see the temple... and go there too! ♥