Tuesday, 29 July 2014

The Day After..

Tulips and balloons from the Bacchus Marsh Florist for our beautiful next door neighbor who's birthday is a day after mine. Happy Birthday Ann!!
A raspberry and chocolate moose cake from Angelo's Bakery on main street was my cake of choice this year! With a cake like this no candles were needed!

And all the way from Rockhampton Claudia and Jess made a pit stop to rest-revive-survive at our house last night. These ladies are road trippin' together from Rocky to Mildura! They were such fun!!
And for me, a beautiful bunch of thank-you flowers from the girls. Along with a box of chocolates the kids no nothing about. Shhh..
So so blessed!
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My Birthday 2014!

The last words spoken by my sweet girl the night before me turning 26 was that she had a surprise for me in the morning. I wondered what it could be. Did she make something or did someone help her pick something special for me. I wondered who and how. But boy was she right about the surprise! 5.55am I woke up wet! Nevaeh had managed to completely wet my bed including me! Ah, the joys of children! Best surprise ever. Showers in the 6th hour of my birthday, completely dressed and breakfast was done by the seventh hour. After breakfast she went into her room to bring out my real suprise. A western water envelope hid inside a hand made card of colors and the number 26. She's such a clever girl. The rest of the morning was spent snuggling cats and listening to the radio.

My birthday 2014 was spent eating, gaming and watching Rio 2.
The kids had been wanting to see how to train your dragon but Birthdays trump what would have been Mum out numbered. Sorry guys! We had an absolute ball enjoying a pop corn fight and dancing in the back row!! A very memorable birthday spent with the two people who mean the most to me in this world. 

Dinner was chinese and again we had fun trying to use chop sticks. Jie gave up soon after he started to get the hang of it while Nevaeh shoveled rice in her mouth with a chop stick in each hand. She then proceeded to stab the chicken and pork with one chop stick to make what looked like chicken skewers. Oh it was hilarious. The people serving and the tables beside us were all having a great time watching her. 
As for gifts and birthday cake there was none. The only gift I wanted was a slow cooker but after pricing them I realized I just didnt want it that badly. I also looked for a home theater system but again not likely to happen anytime soon. Just being thankful for what I have in my life today is special enough. I promised the kids a cake the following day because we all know a birthday is incomplete without a cake!! ..

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Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Nevaeh's BFF!

Nevaeh and Riley are BFF's
They met at Kinder this year.
They are the same age and are going to the same school next year.
Riley makes Nevaeh laugh.
Together they love playing dinosaurs.
Today they watched Shrek while they built an amazing train track.
They ate fairy bread and pretzels for morning tea.
And walked to kinder together.
These two are two peas in a pod.

Nevaeh and Riley

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Call on me..

Yesterday I bought Nevaeh (aged 5) her very own mobile phone!

$4 from The Reject Shop.

In a space of an hour after opening it this is who she had called and why..

A Taxi - To ask why they were taking so long.

Her Father - "Yes Dad! I'm being a good girl"

Aunty Zoe - To ask if the baby was kicking.

Uncle Anthony - To ask about his Guinea pigs and to organise a visit.

Pop (my dad) - To ask who won the footy.

Back Up - For a game her and Jie were playing.

Riley - To ask if he was feeling better and if his medicine was yuck.

Me - To let me know she's running late for tea.

She also at one point asked me to check my phone. I did. "Did you get my message Mum?" She called out.. I asked what it said.. "To Mum, thank you for the lollipop. Your the best Mum ever, love from Nevaeh!" She replied in a robot voice talking really slow. "I got it!" I called. (Two minutes later) "Did you get mine?" "No!" She said.. "Mine said To Nevaeh, I'm glad you liked your lollipop, please put your rubbish in the bin and tell Jie too as well. Lots of love Mum." Read out in my very own robot voice!

She chuckled and did!


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Monday, 21 July 2014

Salad in a Jar!

Everyone has heard of this right?
So why has no-one shared this with me?..

Salad in a jar!

How much of a nuisance is it to daily prepare salads? 
Pulling everything out..
Putting it all away..
My kids don't even eat salad..
If I want salad I'd have to make it then make veggies too..
Such an effort..

Not anymore!

I can now have salad for lunch and dinner if I want to..
All I have to do is add meat..
I can cook for the kids..
Then pull out a salad for me..


After a little researching.. 
I went shopping..

Nevaeh helped me pack the jars..
Three of this..
Four of that..
Six jars full of freshness..

This is the best!

I cannot wait to mung into these..
And maybe if my kids see me eating more salad..
They might join me!

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Sunday, 20 July 2014

13 years later.. Pakenham.

After receiving an invite to my best friends birthday I was excited until I saw where it was going to be held. Pakenham. Leading up to the event I was adamant that I didn't want to go back to a place with so many hurtful childhood memories. I really wanted to be there for her but didn't know how I would handle people and places of my past. That I had left in my past. I thought I had made my mind up early but how could I not go? She's been the most amazing support though all my hard times these past 7 years and as soon as the kids knew Aunty Zoe was having a party there was no question that they were not going to miss that! I eventually gave in when Zo sounded really excited at just the mention that it was a possibility that we would be coming.

We left at around 11.30am on Saturday morning pulling a small suitcase to the train station and with my camera bag on one shoulder. I realized something about myself at that moment. How much I'd HATED the unknown. I used to thrive on not knowing what to expect and enjoyed living without any real clue as to where I would be or what I'd be doing at any given day. So much has changed since those days. I now liked knowing.. I like routine.. I like things planned to the last tiny detail. Before boarding the train I knew I'd changed.

The train journey to Pakenham was long and exhausting. The kids were hyper and excited to see Zo, Saige and Sanjay, Nevaeh had woken up at 7am that morning, got dressed, had her bag (of six packets of biscuits) packed and her shoes on ready to go! Now, 5 hours later, we were well on our way.

The kids doing a silly face Aunty Zoe taught them a few months back.
"Aunty Zoe's silly face"

Zo has bought so much happiness to our family. She has been an amazing friend, have loved my kids from the first time she'd saw them, she's accepted us for who we are and together we have so many precious memories together. After losing contact with her I never thought in a million years that we'd reunite, keep each other strong and our kids would be friends. What an amazing blessing!

Pulling into Pakenham I was nervous. From the train window I saw our old babysitters house. I saw part of the route my brother and I used to walk to school. I shared these things with my kids. The train station, the roads, the racecourse, Dad's old workplace were all still there. The place my brother and I used to get money for crushing cans, the old op shop I used to save my money to buy second hand books to read and the park across from the station was all still there. Changed but familiar. Surprisingly I wasn't nervous anymore. I was remembering only good things. We called a taxi and was soon on our way to Zo's.

The next surprise came when we pulled into the driveway. Where she is staying is right across from a milkbar I used to visit a lot when I was pre-teen and a fish and chip shop Dad used to critisize on being the worst in Pakky. I smiled. There also used to be the video store we used to rent from. Titles like Andre, MIB and Beethoven where rented from this video store and watched for the first time all those years ago.

After spoiling Zo with her gift and while we were getting ready it hit me. This was where Zoe and I first met. Where our friendship started. These memories again made me smile. Without being in Pakenham I wouldn't have met my crazy beautiful best friend. There was that silver lining again..

Everyone needs that someone who brings out the best in them..
I found my moving buddy!
Love you Zo..

Dinner was average, the company was great, it was nice to put a few faces to the names I'd heard so much about. I loved seeing Zoe enjoying her birthday and capturing the special moments..The kids were so well behaved playing in a playground I too once played in only coming back to the tables to ask for money, drop of clothes or to eat.

The next morning Zo craved bacon, eggs and hash browns so we were all spoiled. We parted ways at around 11am to head home. As the kids and I walked to the train station I again got to share with them moments and memories from my childhood. It was quite therapeutic.

The train ride home was again long and exhausting. I had a migraine and we had an hour and half to wait for the connecting train home. Nevaeh fell asleep while Jie got chatting to a lady on her way to visit her sister in Bacchus Marsh who was sitting opposite us. He liked her New Zealand accent. I just had to close my eyes to temporarily stop the throbbing pain. We got there in the end.

Overall the whole trip was great. I'm glad I went and can't wait to see Zo and the kids next weekend for my birthday! We're planning a trip to the movies. I want to see Rio 2. (such a child at heart) We gotta make it happen..

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Friday, 18 July 2014

Flying solo..

 After getting married in 2012 I never thought in a million years that I would be flying solo just six month later. I sometimes wonder why I have Marriage as one of the things I blog about (listed on the side of my blog) because I hardly know what being a wife and having a partnership is like. For me, my husband left and has made the last two years almost unbearable at times. Two months ago I had a breakdown. The constant judgement and negativity got too much for me that I just broke. I knew on the inside that I was an amazing Mum to happy and healthy kids but when you have someone on the side constantly telling you that they can do better, that I have nothing to offer my kids, that everything I do for them is not good enough, that I don't care for them as much as the does and being constantly judged and criticized for even the most simplest of things regularly, you start believing it. I gave my heart to the man I once prayed for. To the man who held my heart and the hearts of my children. What I didn't know was how much hurt this same man could bring on my kids and I, how ashamed I'd feel on the inside being called his wife, how lonely I'd feel although I wore his ring and how helpless I felt seeing our daughter struggle most with the separation.

In September it will be 2 years since I've been on my own. Married but a single parent. Marriage for me has not been picture perfect. Broken vows, broken promises, broken hearts, a broken home, broken words with nothing getting fixed.

Last month I bought a few co-parenting books. I'm getting so much out of the one I am currently reading although it's so hard knowing whats right and doing whats right with someone who is such a negative and disrespectful person. Hoping to get on the same page with our parenting I organised a time for us to meet up without the kids. And can you believe that he actually cancelled it for a game of basketball? His team was apparently in the finals and he couldn't miss it. He then proceeded to turn his phone off for the remainder of the day. I was so angry and frustrated. I try my guts out to accommodate his decision to leave us and live with his Mum. I was giving him all Nevaeh needs (clothes, food, books, toys, car seat etc.) on the weekends our daughter stayed with him. Even money. After the no effort to show up to talk about how together we're going to raise her I realized how easy he has it. How easy I make it for him. How easy everyone makes it for him. He literally does nothing for himself. I was giving him everything needed for Nevaeh, his mother/brothers/step-mum would pick Nevaeh up and drop her off before and after their weekends together. Thank you all if you ever read this. Although you enable Matt to be a selfish slob Nevaeh loves seeing you all and her father. When I told him I was sending her the following fortnight with nothing but the clothes on her back he went off carrying on about how he only had 1 pair of summer PJ's for her. I was astounded. Almost two years and one pair of PJ's? Yet he had the nerve to criticize my parenting every day. Make me feel like a bad mother. Make me feel like I couldn't provide my kids with their needs. I again broke. How dumb was I to believe I was anything less than their sole provider.

I did end up stick to my word and Nevaeh now only takes her favorite Teddy and anything she asks to take or give to Daddy (such as painting etc). I did also get a chance to sit down with him a few weeks later to discuss co-parenting and I gave him one of the books I'd started reading. Whether he has started reading it or not is unknown but after a heated argument a few days ago I said "If you do nothing else with your life, just read the book". Not for me but because he has a daughter looking to him for her needs and wants. I don't want her only memories of her childhood being arguments and negative change overs. I want her to know that she has two people who love her, that she has one heart and two homes. That she doesn't have to pick who she loves more, that she can love us both. I want her to see her Dad going out of HIS way for her, not him relying on his Mum all the time. I want them to spend quality one-on-one time together doing fun things she'll remember years from now and I want him to get more involved in her education and special events. I don't want the awkwardness of being in the same room on her birthdays or graduations. I don't want her to feel like she has to choose who she wants to come more or her heart to ache when he says he will come but cancels last minute as he has done so many times already and she is only 5yo.

As a parent you only want what is best for your children. I worry for Nevaeh. She loves her father so much but thinks she can't love us both. I don't want those feelings to stay. I want her to be able to be a child, to enjoy school and not worry about what is going on at home all the time. I want her to do well and to know that her Mummy and Daddy love her even if they no longer love each other. She deserves to be happy. That is my prayer for her life right now and for at least the next year while her father and I struggle to find a happy medium as parents for her..

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Monday, 14 July 2014

These School Holidays..

These school holidays were full of fun! The kids did lots of exciting things including spending time with friends and family. I enjoyed them being home for the most part and the kids mostly loved playing together whether it be cards, drawing or on the trampoline. Our main event was cancelled due to breaking of family rules resulting in the kids receiving a three day good behavior bond to earn back their much wanted trip to the movies to see How To Train Your Dragon 2. Unfortunately they weren't able to earn the trip back but the holidays ended on a great note. Pop came for a special night of music, movies and loads junk food! The kids soon forgot all about HTTYD2 after also receiving and setting up their brand new worm farm! Best Pop ever?!!

Check out some more of the amazing times we had together these past two weeks in the photos below..
The most played with toys:
Nevaeh's wooden train track.
Connector pens turned into weapons.

The most watched movies:
Home Alone
Cool Runnings

The most played songs:
Love Somebody - Sharmaine
Waves - Mr Probz
Turn Down for What - DJ snake + Lil Jon

The most played Wii Games:
Wii Sports
Dora and Go Diago Go!

The most read book:
Choose your own adventure. (under the sea)

The best dinners:
Parmesan Cheese Chicken Drumsticks (recipe to come)
KFC Family Feast
Family Roast Pop made.

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Thursday, 10 July 2014

Amazing Inspiring Mom/Mum Blog Award

Last month I added a few new awards to the midst of the blogging world. I love blogging about my children, our life together and the blessings God has given us. I also love reading about what God is doing in the lives of others. And these next four ladies are and example of what I most love reading about on my blog roll..

First up Meet Kimberly
Her blog can be found here..
Kimberly is currently a foster parent. As a child who was fostered it's nice to hear what fostering is like from a parent's perspective. I also love her blog because as she shares her heart you can feel her warmth and love for God. Her blog is so well written. Thanks for being you Kimberly and sharing lifes ups and downs with us readers of your blog!

Another beautiful lady I have come to know and love is Rebekah and her beautiful little family. Rebekah is unique amazing and inspiring in a different way. She has been blogging since 2010 about her families adoption journey. I love reading and keeping updated on all God is doing in their lives. It's so beautiful to see them all so happy, especially in their most recent post.. Thanks for sharing your love for your family Rebekah!

Then there is also Amanda whom I have been journeying with for a while. She is inspiring me in a more bloggy way. Everytime I jump on my laptop to check out what everyone is up to Amanda is right there in the midst of it. I used to blog daily, now that I instagram daily I have backed off from blogging and instagram instead. I love that Amanda shares her heart with her beautiful and sometimes breath taking photos and always has something fun to say. I want to be more like that. Thanks Amanda for inspiring me to want more for my blog. Thanks for sharing your life with us and that beautiful smile on your side bar which is always so inviting!! Definately give her blog a follow..

And last but not least meet Theresa. I am very new to her blog. I met Theresa through instagram and have been following her ever since. She has a beautiful family and is always looking at new way to bring people together. On Instagram she does this using a photo challenge and on her blog she has recently done this by creating a link-up. Thanks Theresa for bringing us all together. I have met so many amazing people because of your fabulous memes.. Her blog can be found here..

If your wanting to pass this blog award on to four of the most inspiring Mom/Mum's on your blog roll here is what you will need to do..

How to give this award:
  1. Choose 3 Blogging Mum/Moms who you would like to show your appreciation.
  2. Give a reason why each are worthy of this award.
  3. Thank them.
  4. Tag your special ladies in your post + me (my blog) as creator of this award.
  5. Add a copy of this Award stamp to your post.
  6. Ask that they too pass this this award on to Amazing Mum/Moms whom inspire them.
  7. Give them a copy of these instructions.

Or if you would like to give someone else special a blogging award check out the full list of blog awards by following this link..

Have a blessed day..
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A new journey..

Between the 20th & 27th of July we will be hosting 2 exchange students from Nanjing!!
Stay tuned to meet them right here on our blog..
We're all very excited!!
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Monday, 7 July 2014

Before and After shots of Nevaehs Brand New Pink Owl Bedroom!

These photos were taken right before I started moving
her things out. I had already purachsed some of her owl
things which you can see on her bed. The night before her cot was 
removed from the bare corner in the second photo.

I had planned on doing butterflies and birds but when I 
went shopping owls were everywhere so I had to change themes..

Sheena was coming over at night after her little ones were 
tucked up in bed to help, two nights in a row. She also did a trip
to Bunnings in Melton when we ran out of paint after just two walls.
It took us three coats to get rid of the green we started with. Thanks so much 
Miss Sheena! I couldn't have done it without you!

Three days and three nights to complete her transformation.
She came home and was so excited to see her brand new owl room.
She spent 2 hours in there playing with her new toys, sorting out her 
things and trying on her new clothes. She absolutely loved it.
"Your the best Mum ever!" 

My precious girl laying on her brand new pillow and doona..
Now all that's left to do is to install curtains (or maybe
even blinds) and buy a floor rug (or two).
So glad I could light up her world the way she brightens mine..
I love you Nevaeh!!

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