Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A moment...

I keep trying to get on here to blog 'properly'.

Then I get distracted by Anna smiling, Erin setting out on an 'expedition' in the backyard, baby doll and sketching equipment in tow, boys snuggling down for naps and (just to bring things back to reality) "Muuuuuuum, Rifa (Christopher) just pooed in the bath!"

But here I am for a moment!

had a ball over the weekend when we took a surprise trip to Nanny and Poppy's place. She played the piano, had a tea party on the grass with her cousin, picked nashi fruit and mushrooms and watched the chooks and cats. A week would not have been long enough!

also loved every minute, teaming up with Christopher to stack Nanny's wood for her. Cuddling Nanny and Poppy was his highlight though! He also loved playing with his three big boy cousins, although he got a little over excited when it was just his little girl cousin there. Perhaps because he had to share her with Erin more?

had his first real go of gumboots this weekend and was hilarious as he stomped about trying to get used to the feel of them. Nanny and Poppy's cats were too smart to let him anywhere near them, but he was fascinated with them and everything else.

had developed a bit of a wheezy cough, which makes me suspect a possibility of asthma latter on. I will have to keep an eye on it. She is a happy, smiley baby and a delight to have in the home! Her hair, I suspect, is growing through blond. It is thinning out as she has awful cradle cap and any time some of that comes off it brings about a dozen hairs! She is very, very strong and is laying across my lap holding her head up and looking around as I type.

The house:
remains a work in progress. The reorganise that began in early March is still continuing at a painstakingly slow rate. The everyday takes up 99.99% of the day leaving just 0.01% for extras! Jon has run the wires in the front room and only needs to get some mates to help plaster then we can paint and start using it. Plastering is still at least three weeks away though with other commitments taking up the next few weekends. Re-wiring the house and submitting the plans for the shed are the next big projects. I don't even want to think about them to be honest! Although I miss having a cleaner in every week, I don't think I can justify the cost. I may have someone come in about once a quarter and give the place a big spring clean if it gets on top of me, we will see.

The garden:
is going at about the same rate as the reorganisation of the lounge room. I am S-L-O-W-L-Y digging up the bulbs in the front garden to shift them.


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Saturday, March 28, 2009

Gardening Terms

Oh we're on fire today!

Erin: When the Ponkcost is made it will go on the garden

Yes darling, we will put the compost on the garden

Billy: The bumble bees are drinking nectarines from the lavender plant

Yes sweetheart, the bumble bees are drinking nectar from the lavender plant

I love kid vocabulary!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Chalk that one up for homeschooling

Once a week we go to "Little Learners" at the local school. It's a program for birth- four year olds and we go mainly to get to know other Mums and kids in the community.

Little Learners Teacher (in sugary, I'm-talking-to-little-kids-who-don't-really-get-what-I'm-saying tones): What does D-O-G spell? It spells dog doesn't it!

Erin: Yeah, it also spells God when you put it the other way

I had to bite the inside of my cheek to stop from laughing out loud at the teacher's expression.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

My idea of world travel

My brother is currently traveling the world. If I ever get to do it, this is where I want to go!

A tour of the world's most interesting book shops!

and perhaps the most interesting libraries too!

Blessing for the Lockwood Family

For those who have followed the story of the Lockwood family, I have put out a few prayer requests for them, there's news!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

a poem of longing

there is a place
inside my heart
where I plan
a very special
of joy
for the day
when I don't have to

don't do that
hands to yourself
don't touch your sister
put that down
pick that up
put it away
sit up
sit down
use your fork
stop that noise
not your fingers
not in your mouth
speak up
be quiet


the toilet is not a toy

Happy Birthday Mum!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

What I can hear at my house...

sleepy baby noises from the bassinet behind me
Erin talking and singing herself through her school work
humming of computers
a gentle snore from the boys in their room
birds singing

cars passing outside, oblivious of the oasis they are missing.

Monday, March 23, 2009


I just had to share this smile!

A retreat

I am taking a temporary retreat from this fitness challenge thing. While I believe that I SHOULD be exercising at least 30 minutes a day, the reality at the moment is that I am not doing actual "exercise" at all. I don't sit down much, but nothing you can call a regular work out! Out of the last seven days, I hit my goal of three loads of wood a day a grand total of ONCE. I have fit in being active a few times, a couple of walks and such, but nothing regular. So I am going to have a think on this. Obviously setting goals isn't working for me here, I am not meeting them. While I am not admitting defeat, I am taking a retreat to regroup and work out how to tackle this one effectively. Any helpful hits would be most welcome! Perhaps I just need to remember that I am only human at the moment....... Watch this space, I'll be back - I'm stubborn that way!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

I have MY computer back!

Beloved created a new computer alcove in our bedroom as a temporary fix and set up my computer for me! While this means no more cozy laptop in the armchair moments I now have access to all my stuff for the first time in about a year - including my photos!

My three big kids

My big girl

Nanny's boy!

Sleeping with Daddy

Aren't they adorable?

And I get to do a bit of this again

Now just to find the cable to download the pictures from the camera....

Thursday, March 19, 2009

24 hours in the life of...

7am.. woke up and fed Anna then hit the ground running to get everyone dressed and ready for
Little learners

9am Walked across the road to Little Learners leaving porridge on the dining room floor - but
everyone was dressed! Discussed the last bits of playgroup dissolution and supervised the
kids while they had a ball playing with various activities and toys. Anna slept over my arm.

10:30 took everyone home and removed Billy's wet pants (activities too fun to stop to go to the
toilet!) came out to find Christopher face down on the floor slurping up porridge! Cleaned
everyone up and fed Anna while making phone calls.

11:45 ate lunch, did scripture, had songs and prayers and put boys to bed

1:30 started Erin on schoolwork while I cleaned

1:45 removed very disgusting nappy from Billy and put him in the bath while I cleaned his bed
without waking Christopher. Erin went outside to sketch sheep for her nature journal (we
are studying mammals at the moment). Put Billy back to bed and continued cleaning.

2:30 Printed out some materials for Erin's alphabet books and checked e-mail etc. while I fed
Anna. Got the boys up and changed all the little ones. Put on TV for kids.
Continued cleaning.

3:45 Had our refined afternoon tea of chocolate crackles, peppermint tea and poetry! I love

4:30 went into hyper drive cleaning and tidying. Made little headway :S

5pm Osteopath arrived to fix my back. He made me about three inches taller when he fixed my
neck I'm sure!

6pm Fed Anna who had been abusing Jon for not lactating for at least 15 minutes. Put 4 kids
through the bath and washed Christopher's hair as Billy had tried to "re-pot" him in a pot
plant while nobody was watching. Put Anna back to bed

730 Reheated some leftovers and fed the kids, did the bedtime routine thing. Kids finally got to
bed a little after 8:30 and started tea for Beloved and I (we usually eat as a family, but we
decided to have an extra "date night" because there weren't enough leftovers!).

10pm Ate tea and then dozed off in the arm chair with my plate still on my lap.

10:45 FINALLY convinced myself to wake up. Had a shower and loaded the dishwasher. Put
some porridge in the crockpot for breakfast.

11:30 went to bed

4:30 Fed Anna and finished tidying the kitchen, giving it a thorough clean and caught up on a bit
of ironing.

6:30 took Beloved a coffee and woke him up with a big cuddle and kiss then snuggled for an hour

Know what? I loved every minute of it! Well, maybe not the nappy part, but over all it was a great day!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

fitness goals (and some waffle about allergies and diet!)

It has been an interesting week in the diet of the Guest family! My goal this week was to eat only uncooked fruit and vegetables between meals and I achieved this (yay me!) in spite of the fact that peanut butter seems to be my new best friend since I've had to give chocolate milk the boot! Eliminating dairy from my diet has cleared up Anna's excema so it looks like I'm dairy free for a while. I am also taking wheat and dairy out of Christopher's diet. His excema cleared up with medicated cream but flaired up again within 23 hours of us stopping it. So I am weaning him off the medicated cream more slowly and taking him off dairy and wheat and I will reintroduce the wheat and then dairy slowly and we'll see what happens. All this has made cooking and food a bit more time consuming as I work out how to cook for our new diets (previously, I added cheese to pretty much everything!) and we have had new and exciting things like rice cakes, rice pasta and rice milk. If anyone suddenly develops an allergy to rice or beans we're in trouble!

Generally we do have a very balanced diet - balanced between being good steward of our bodies and keeping GOD as our focus rather than a diet or lifestyle choice. I realise that the health of my body will have an impact on my spirituality, in that by keeping my body healthy will honour God and improve my mental capacity to learn and understand and my physical capacity to minister according to HIS calling. But I have seen too many people make their lifestyle choices their idol. I have read many accounts of God restoring health to those kept in circumstances that SHOULD make them ill if not kill them, and I have known at least four people in the last ten years who had an exceptionally healthy lifestyle that died or are currently gravely ill with cancer. We are not made righteous by what we put in our bodies!

All that being said, this overhaul of our diet IS a good thing and it has given me incentive to make some better choices.

My goal for the next week is to stack 3 wheelbarrow loads of wood every day except Sabbath, nothing like having wood delivered to help get a person active again!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

A new songs and prayers song!

This gave me a giggle and it's scripture too so I can justify forcing my children to sing it and do funny actions to entertain me ;)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

I am a bit of an animal...

No, I am not an evolutionist, nor do I play drums in the muppet's orchestra. Let me explain....

Over the years of growing up around animals, working with animals and even having the ambition of being a zoo keeper for a few years, I learned a few things about animals.

(1) They make themselves big and scary when scared.

When I am scared, I try and look my biggest, scariest, all coping, all on top of things self.

(2) When they are hurt, they hide.

When I am hurting I retreat from everyone, including (perhaps especially) from those who can help me most. Including God.

How many animals have snarled at me or hidden themselves when they were hurt or scared?

How many cowered away from me as I held out a healing hand?

The scars I bear from bites and scratches are a result of pain and fear. Not mine, but theirs.

As I puff myself up to look all powerful, all coping - the perfect SuperMum, Uber-wife, stellar homemaker,
As I slip away to hide my pains, fears, insecurities,

May I remember that HIS scars are a result of HIM reaching out to ME.

May I remember what HE promises about my weaknesses.

May I let HIM help ME.

Tame me Oh Lord, with your gentle touch - because I truly am a bit of an animal.

Tame me with YOUR hand and help me to recognise YOU as the safest place I can be.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Few things in life.....

are not made better by a cute picture of a cat.

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

Do you ever have one of those weeks.....

Where you find your youngest son eating a tub of margarine with your hair brush, you drop about 2 litres of your experemental non-dairy pancake batter on the floor, the cleaner retires, you decide to rearrange the furniture and find all the plaster dust the cleaner missed, your youngest daughter has a reaction to dairy so you can't eat chocolate, milk, cheese, butter - or anything else yummy anymore - because you're breastfeeding, you sleep through every single alarm you set for yourself, your best intentions of getting to bed early result in getting to bed after midnight nearly every night, your back and neck go 'out' to complement your hips and pelvis which never went back 'in', the phone always rings just when you are elbow deep in nappy changing....

I have!

lucky I have a sense of humor!!!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Our Anti-Itch Bath

There comes a time in every family's life when they need an anti-itch bath. Sometimes it is allergies or excema, other times chicken-pox or rashes. This is ours.

All measurements are in the time-honoured non-standard measurements of "handful" "smidge" "a bit" etc.

Place a handful of rolled oats in a face cloth (I'm going to try adding lavender tonight too, 'cause I can)

Fasten with an elastic band

Put a handful of bi-carb soda in a warm bath and a smidge (possibly half a teaspoon?) of coconut oil

Swish it all around then add the itchy child

Use the face cloth with the oats in it to scrub at the itchy bits gently

Monday, March 09, 2009

He's on fire today!

Billy, thinking Christopher was too close to Anna, said in strident tones:
"Christopher, get away from the new baby, I like my new baby, she's a sweetheart!"

Some 'tweaking' needs to happen here.

OK, this isn't working. I set myself some goals again last week and to be honest I got so run off my feet I couldn't even keep track of what I was and was not doing! Sarah the Saint retired meaning I am doing all my own cleaning again (I won't get anyone else in for a while, I want to see how I go now I am not the size of a hippo!) plus we got some new shelves so I am rearranging the house and I have been treating the kids excema and running around to the doctor and then just the usual general 'life' stuff on top of that. BUT I do feel it is important to take care of myself physically, set goals and get myself fit (or at least fitter) before I get pregnant again. So we are scaling back and making this thing fit with the rest of my life.

One goal or habit per week I am going to work on. Simple, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely - SMART!

This week I am going to work on only eating raw fruit and vegetables between meals.

I think he forgot to read his script....

Setting: Erin and Billy are playing "The Good Samaritan" on the trampoline. Erin is playing the robbers, the narrator, the priest, the Levite, AND the Samaritan. Billy is playing the travelling Jew lying beaten on the ground.

Erin:.........and now along comes the Samaritan (that's me) and I stop and I look at you and I decide I will help you. change to a Samaritan style of voice Excuse me, would you like some help?

Billy - laying in a relaxed 'beaten' position: No thanks, I'm fine.

I nearly wet myself laughing

Sunday, March 08, 2009

She's getting better!

I cut out the dairy foods on Thursday night and started applying cocnut oil to Anna's excema every nappy change on Friday night - and it is getting better! the recovery has been amazing. I suspect she may have reacted to me eating dairy as I did the same at her age (over my head though, not all over my face). Unfortunately this means I may be off dairy until she is weaned (somewhere around the 18 month mark if she's like the others) and we need to provide non-dairy options or goat milk options for Anna. I already miss chocolate, brie, icecream, CHOCOLATE MILK! But the sight of her little eyelids raw, red and swollen from the excema and her face cracked and bleeding is enough to make me happy to give it up. Plus, I have been trying to loose weight here. I now want to get some goats but the logistics of this may be interesting - it will need some thinking about. I much prefer goat milk to rice milk though!

Saturday, March 07, 2009


I am fairly new to facebook, and I have to admit, it doesn't grab me that much. It was good for a while, I found out what a few people are doing who I haven't caught up with for ages, but the gloss is wearing off. I tried to be all enthusiastic, even did that 25 random things about me, but it just isn't me. I prefer Blogging, far less interactive. I get to just throw my thoughts into cyberspace without having to worry about 'friends' or someone from The Past wanting to get in touch when I in fact kind of deliberately lost touch in the first place. (yes all you people who thought I was a nice person can gasp in horror now!). Anyway, this clip cracked me up!

Friday, March 06, 2009

Quick update

wore a beenie, gloves and a rain jacket to playgroup yesterday. She's thrilled that cooler weather is here at last and spotted some snow on the mountain yesterday morning too.

Had his first foray into the world of powertools this week and put together some shelves with Daddy. He was VERY proud and thrilled to be a part of something so important.

is still cutting these teeth and has awful excema all over his back. He has some stronger ointment now so we will see how that goes. He's surprisingly happy all things considered.

has developed quite severe excema accross her whole face and starting to creep into her hair :( I was hoping she would keep her pretty dark hair but if this excema takes hold like it seems it will (it seems to be spreading by the hour at the moment) she is going to loose it all and be one unhappy little baby! I have cut out all dairy to see if that will have an effect. Greater love hath no Mummy than to give up chocolate milk, cheese and butter! It will do me good anyway. We have an appointment with the dermatologist in a week and a half to see what can be done.

The house:
is undergoing a big "re-organise" with some new shelves and me feeling pretty fantastic compared to how I felt early January! I am almost on top of the washing with all the ironing done and I just need to fold the stuff I washed today. I keep hitting that pesky wall in the evenings about 9pm. I push through, but I am not as productive as I would like to be. I have been getting to bed on time though and that's made it easier to get up in the morning - marginally!

The garden:
has a plot laid out with old railway sleepers waiting to be filled and become our first vege patch at this house! YAY!


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Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Protect your evening soundscape

That patch of time that we all know and love, just after baths when you're trying to get dinner and the kids are tired and hungry and beloved is (over)due home. If your stress levels are rising stop and listen. Odds are kids are playing/arguing loudly, the baby is fussing, tea is cooking (burning - or is that just me?) and perhaps the TV/stereo is blaring. A change is needed!

Step 1: Turn off the TV and replace it with some nice music. Some hymns or calming classical music is great, but whatever takes your fancy, as long as it is calm. I have a few CDs especially for this time in a handy spot. Pick CDs that aren't going to have loud, upbeat tracks in the middle - lullaby compilations are great. This worked for Saul (a bit anyway) and it is very worth giving it a go.

Step 2: Focus the children. One of my favourites is to get them to get a book each and sit in a chair or on a blanket on the floor. I then set the timer for 15 minutes and they may not move from their spot until the timer goes off. When the timer goes off, they can choose to change books or keep the same one for another 15 minutes. Play dough at the table can be an option depending on tiredness and excitement levels. Wiping down cupboards, rearranging bookshelves, anything they can do independently and without arguing is good. This isn't the time for big training sessions most of the time. To start training at this time is like a concert pianist doing scales during a concert! This is when your training pays off or you see things you need to work on.

Step 3: check your own voice. "Pick that up please" can be a phrase that makes a child a special helper or makes them cry just with a change of tone and volume. We do tend to set the tones for our homes with our voices and I know just how tough this one can be. The only thing that helps for me is prayer! If you need to try a technique used by Susannah Wesley and put your apron over your head and pray!

Oh, and if you get this right every day, call me and I will come over to your house!

For more tips go to:

Monday, March 02, 2009

Climbing back on the Wagon

Last weeks goals and how I did:

Walk to the post office three times this week..........did it
Use my exercise videos three times this week..........only managed twice
Take iron daily.........forgot once
Restrict yummy treats to Wednesday afternoon tea and Sabbath Meals...........I had a Date Night splurge as well, but other than that I did OK - except for the chocolate milk.
Snack only on raw fruit and veg.........there were a few unauthorised sandwiches to be honest!! And chocolate milk
Drink at least 1.5L per day.......I did have a few days where I didn't manage this
Do Kegel Exercises twice a day.............................did it

The major thing hampering my efforts is me not getting to bed until late (or getting to bed and then reading, talking or using the lap top until late!). Being tired makes me hungry and stops me getting up early enough or with enough energy to exercise in the morning. So next weeks goals are:

Walk to the post office three times this week
Use my exercise videos three times this week
Take iron daily
Restrict yummy treats to Wednesday afternoon tea and Sabbath Meals
Snack only on raw fruit and veg
Drink at least 1.5L per day
Do Kegel Exercises twice a day
Bed by 11:30 pm