Sunday, March 31, 2013

Project Life: Week 13 and an insert

Hi everyone :)

Well it’s been a big week and an even bigger weekend!  I’ve just spent a bit of time with Mum over Easter and we had a really awesome time together checking out some of the sights and sounds of Queen St in Auckland.

Here’s an overview of my week:

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My week started off with parcels… some for me and some for Mikayla.  I received my art order for my classroom and I put most of it away before remembering to take a photo but there are some neat things to work with in it!

When I got home from work there was another parcel waiting on the doorstep and even though I hadn’t ordered anything it was a 12 x 12 size box so I got a bit excited… but it was actually for Mikayla… bah humbug!

I’ve been experiencing some major computer problems and even though I thought I’d fixed it earlier this week they seem to be back and it’s not looking too good at the moment :(

Here’s a close up of the start of my week:Left_1

I finally got all of the kids artwork mounted and ready to go on the wall.  I spent quite a bit of time cutting out geckos and turtles using the Cameo and then mounting them onto the ‘cool’ and ‘hot’ art backgrounds and kids painted.  They look really amazing along the wall and the kids are super proud of them.

I had a big tidy up this week too.  The house always gets a bit neglected towards the end of the school term when I’m super busy doing school stuff but since it’s a long term I couldn’t wait for the holidays… there’s only so much disorganisation and clutter I can take so I got Mikayla to help me with the lounge and now it looks great!

We’ve been looking at tessellating patterns for maths and Whaea Charlie got the kids to do some tessellating designs on the letterboxes they’re making and they’re starting to look quite good.

On Friday I went over to Putaruru to pick up Mum’s new ‘friend’ Felicity. Mum scored a great bargain on Trade Me and now she’ll be able to do her dressmaking with a little help from her new friend. It took us a little while to make Felicity the right size because Mum is so little but we got there in the end!

As I mentioned on Friday I was going to give making macaroons a go. Well the first batch, which were lemon flavoured, were a flop… the mix was a bit grainy… they didn’t look so good and they stuck to the tray BUT they did taste good! I made a second batch and worked on the mixture a bit more and what do you know… they turned out perfectly! I stuck them together with some chocolate ganache and they were perfect :) They are definitely a bit tricky and fiddly but oh so worth it when they work.

Here a close up of the end of my week:Right_1

On Saturday Mum and I travelled up to Auckland for the Coronation Street show.  As some of you know, my sisters and I got Mum and Richard tickets to see the show for Christmas but things have obviously changed a lot in that time so Mum asked me to go with her and we had an absolute blast!  Mum and I couldn’t resist getting a photo taken outside the ‘Rovers Return’! 

It was a huge day… we left Tauranga at 8am on Saturday morning and finally pulled up into the driveway again at 1.30am this morning…. but it was really worth it!

Even though the Easter Bunny must have been really tired she was kind enough to leave me a Ferrero Rocher bunny!  As kids we always put out our slippers in the hope that we might get an Easter egg and it worked really well.  I only had my manky old sandals with me but it still did the trick!  Note to self… I only receive Easter eggs at Mum’s so must go back again next year!

I mentioned that there was an insert for this week… it’s all about our trip to Auckland.  Here’s the first half of the day:

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We met up with an old family friend in Manukau.  William and I grew up together and both families lived on farms.  Over the years we’ve kept in touch but haven’t actually seen each other in a long time so it was awesome to catch up… and the box of chocolate macaroons didn’t last too long!

Then Mum went to visit Richard and although it rained a couple of times it was good for her to have some time with him. 

Next we went to a little shopping centre and had Turkish food for lunch.  Thankfully we shared one meal between us because when it arrived it was HUGE. 

Then it was time to head into central Auckland and after finding a carpark we spent quite a lot of time looking around at the sights.  There is no way you’d even catch me going up to the top of the sky tower building and I absolutely could NOT stand on the side like we saw some people doing!

Here’s the second half of the day:Back copy_1

We went down to where the show was being held in the evening and I managed to get a good photo of Mum with the huge poster. 

Then Mum took me to Smith and Caughey’s for a look… boy of boy is it EXPENSIVE!  I did find the chocolate counter though (funny that!) and I bought a few little truffles to bring home.

As we were browsing around shops and side malls I happened to spot a little chocolate shop… isn’t it funny how some things just beckon to you!  Inside were some of the most beautiful chocolates I’ve ever seen… they were like mini works of art.

Mum and I bought some little bunnies for the kids for Easter and then I bought these beauties to bring home:

My chocolates copy

  • Top left – lavender caramel with chocolate coating
  • Top right – Blueberry, vanilla and vodka
  • Bottom left – Chilli & lime
  • Bottom right – Passionfruit and white chocolate

After all the shopping we found a great little pizzeria place and shared a wonderful pizza… it was one of the best I’ve had in ages!

Then it was onto the Coronation Street show… and what a show it was!  It was absolutely hilarious and ‘Ken Barlow’ (William Roache) appeared on stage to a huge amount of clapping.  It really was one of the best shows I’ve ever seen and the actors did a phenomenal performance.  They covered the entire 50 years of the show… and they did it well!

After the show we went back to the car and I’m under strict instructions to tell you that I got changed in the carparking building.  While that in itself isn’t a major thing Mum would like to let you know that I actually got changed beside the car because I couldn’t be bothered to go to the bathroom… in my defence there were only about 6 cars on the whole floor and I was REALLY tired.  We had a bit of a laugh about it and then as we drove out of the car park we noticed the sign that said they had CCTV cameras…  no crimes were committed so hopefully I won’t end up on Police 10!

We finally got home this morning at 1.30am and like I said earlier the Easter bunny had left something for me.  Better still, Mum decided that I needed some pampering which came in the form of a cooked breakfast.  Here’s what I got:

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French toast (made with sour dough bread), banana, bacon and maple syrup… YUMMY!

So as you can see it’s been a big couple of days! 

Thanks so much for visiting and I hope Easter has brought you some good times as well. xx

Saturday, March 30, 2013

One Little Word–an update

Hi everyone :)

Last night I came over to Mum’s and I was showing her my One Little Word album and suddenly realised that I haven’t shown you what I’ve been doing with my word since January… oops! 

It’s definitely time for an update because April is just around the corner!!

title for blog

In February, Ali Edwards prompted us to make a vision board and it was a really great experience.  I’ve made one before but it was completely different from this one.  To be honest I haven’t finished my one for the wall but I have gone through the process of collecting the images that appealed to me and created 6 x 8 vision boards for my album.

Here’s my February intention in detail:

Monthly intention in detail copy_1

I used half of my page to do the details and the other half of my page is a mini board.  While I was collecting the photos for my board I didn’t have a ‘look’ in mind… I literally spent a couple of hours going all over the net and downloading everything that ‘spoke’ to me. 

The interesting thing was that when I was finished and I opened up the folder with all the images there was a real flow and connection between them… loads of white and neutral colours… lots of flowers and lots of organisational and relaxation things.  It’s obviously the way my subconscious is heading me.

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Page 2

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Page 3

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Since I’ve created my vision board I’ve noticed that it’s the white/neutral things in shops that I notice.  I seem very drawn to linen and natural textures.  I’ve lit more candles and tried a few more relaxation techniques.

I have really enjoyed the process of creating a vision board and even though my ‘real’ one isn’t finished yet I can already feel a shift in my life.  This One Little Word project is pretty awesome!

Wishing you all the very best for the Easter break :)

Friday, March 29, 2013

Feel Good Friday

Hi everyone :)

It’s very appropriate that this weeks’ Feel Good Friday is actually on Good Friday.   When I was growing up on the farm we had a lot of family traditions that we observed and Easter always had lots of traditions surrounding it.

Good Friday was our ‘meatless’ day.  We never ate red meat on Good Friday.  Mum actually grew up in a home where every Friday was ‘meatless’.  Unfortunately for her tripe and onions was often on the menu but when her Dad went fishing they had fresh fish instead.  Good Friday for us always meant fish and I can honestly say that I’ve never eaten tripe in my life.

This week at school there have been lots of Easter eggs floating around but in spite of the fact that I really like chocolate I’d rather have fresh eggs any day!

When I was young we had two brown hens… Henny and Penny :) They lived in a little A-frame hen house in the paddock and it was my job to feed them every day.

chicken-house-bottom

Our hens were definitely free range (long before the term became popular!)  I would feed them every night, shut them in their hen house and then collect their eggs and Mum would give me 5 cents per egg.  5 cents sure did seem like a lot of money back in those days!

I’ve always loved eggs… scrambled, poached, stuffed, made into omelettes… pretty much any way.  These days my absolute favourite is eggs benedict but thankfully for my waistline I don’t actually have it that often.

This week I decided that my memories of the humble egg was a pretty good think to ‘feel good’ about.   Here’s what I came up with:week 13 - eggs copy 

I hope you all have a really wonderful Easter weekend and get the chance to unwind and relax with family and friends. 

I’m heading into the kitchen to have a go at making macaroons for the first time… I’ve been waiting for ages to try them out.

In the meantime I’ll leave you with this little piece of Easter goodness:

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Happy Easter xx

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

52 Lists

Hi everyone :)

I thought it was about time to do an update on the 52 Lists projects.  I’m quite enjoying this project and it’s definitely thought provoking at times.  I’m also really pleased that I decided to go for the 6 x 8 size and include it in my One Little Word album.  

Week 6: List the ways in which you can love others

Quite often I think we think that gestures of love have to be BIG things… I know I do at times.  As I was doing this list I realised that it’s often the ‘little things’ that really make me feel loved.

Week 6 copy

Week 7: List the things that make you feel healthy

When Moorea Seal did this one I was pleased to see she included ‘mind, body and soul’ in her lists… it’s a holistic viewpoint that resonates with me.

Week 7 copy

Week 8: List your favourite albums

I’m a fan of country music… but only certain types of country music.  I’ve got quite a good collection of Reba McEntire albums so it’s not surprising that they ended up on my list this week… but there are a few on the list that may just surprise you :)

Week 8 copy

I’m quite enjoying this list making process and there’s just enough creativity in the set up to keep me happy too!

Have a great week everyone xx

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Project Life: Week 12

Hi everyone :)

When I was putting together this weeks pages I realised that my week has been full of lots of ‘little’ events and things.  It’s quite interesting doing a project like this because some weeks seem to hold really significant events while others it’s more a case of it being ‘just another week’… but I’m thinking that it’s those weeks that will be more interesting to look back on one day.

Food seems to appear quite a lot this week too… not sure why LOL  Here’s an overview of my week:Full_1

As most of you know I’m a bit of a D.I.Y. girl and I’m always on the lookout for my next project.  I’ve decided to create a more relaxing bedroom for myself and this week I found the ‘perfect’ duvet for my new colour scheme.

I was also super pleased to find ‘MARMITE’ back on the shelves.  I haven’t even opened the pot up yet but I DO feel comforted knowing that it’s then when I’m ready!

There’s been a little more artwork going on… more mixed media stuff and I’ve got a different kind of canvas on my work table at the moment… hopefully I’ll be able to share that with you next week.

Here’s a better look at the start of my week:Left_1

On Wednesday there was a ‘hop’ on over in Waihi and Tracey went all out getting dressed up… she even went to the hairdresser for a very 1950’s hairstyle.   I was so pleased to see the photos she sent me because quite frankly I think she looks amazing!  Mum had a big hand in getting her outfit ready too :)

Mikayla also got busy making some cupcakes… but these ones were very ‘different’ from the usual variety.  She made them with BACON and MAPLE SYRUP!  There is actually bacon IN the cupcakes along with some maple syrup and then she iced them with maple syrup icing and put crushed up bacon on top…. Ummm no thanks!

I’ve been so busy at school lately that it’s been very rare to find me at home before 6.30 and poor Toby is getting quite over the whole thing.  He’s taken to going down to the bedroom for a puppy nap so that he can hear me as soon as I arrive. 

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I found a super good deal on glass jam jars this week… 12 jars (300 ml size) for $16!   I’m actually more than capable of making jam… and actually I make a pretty good marmalade in spite of the fact that I can’t stand it myself.  These little beauties though are for my craft room and I thought they’d look fab with buttons in them and I’m thrilled with how cool they turned out.  It’s just another step towards being more organised… and if ‘organised’ can be pretty then that’s even better!

Mikayla is getting into the swing of her course again and she took a couple of photos on her phone.  Luckily for me they are nice and big so I can use them in my pages!

Thanks to Krystal I have developed a taste for the food from the Noodle Canteen.  It’s a super quick dinner option when you’re busy and don’t have time to cook and it’s pretty good value for money. 

So that’s been my week… lots of little things but they’re all part of what makes my life what it is… and that’s pretty darn cool!

Have a good week everyone xx

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Friday Feel Good

Hi everyone :)

Sometime during this week I lost a day… I probably left it at school!  This morning I actually got up with my alarm and started the ‘getting ready for school’ routine to find Toby looking at me very strangely!  It would seem that he has an internal calendar and knew that today wasn’t a school day.  At least I realised before I actually turned up at school LOL

I’m not sure what it’s like in your little corner of the world but here in Rotorua the first feel of Autumn is in the air… it’s getting quite nippy in the mornings and last night I actually had a snuggle up with Toby and a thin blanket on the sofa.

We’ve had a really hot summer here… and everyone’s lawns are looking VERY brown.  This week we finally had some rain and I’m hoping that the grass will turn green again soon.

Summer is such a great time for berries… and they’re one of my favourite things about summer so this weeks’ Feel Good Friday is dedicated to the humble raspberry:

week 12 - raspberries copy

I love how red they are… and they’re absolutely stunning on pancakes!  I’ve never grown raspberries before but I do have a rather good supply of blackberries at the moment.  The fruit seems to be slowing down a little which is perfect timing because it’s time for the vines to be cut back next weekend.

I hope you all have a fabulous weekend xx

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Project Life: Week 11

Yes I’m back again… and now I’m all up-to-date with Project Life.  Not only was I behind doing my blogging but I hadn’t actually printed off ANY photos since Week 6 so I had plenty to catch up on.

I came home from the photo lab with a huge stack of photos but they are now all in their album and it’s a REALLY good feeling!

Here’s an overview of Week 11:Full_1

This week Mikayla headed back to polytech for her second year of Fashion Design Technology and Toby thought his throat was cut!  He couldn’t believe that he was getting locked OUT every day… he’s such a drama king!

Meanwhile Whaea Charlie has just done her second week of teaching in Room 4 and she’s doing really well.  In fact she did so well on Monday and Tuesday that I was able to get some of the kids art up on the wall!

Here’s a close up of the start of the week:Left_1

I had a very much needed visit with Nicola (my chiropractor) on Monday and then again on Thursday.  My back is feeling so much better for it and I can go back to weekly visits again.  :)

Novapay decided to make an entrance into my life this week… there are quite a few people at our school affected by them but so far I wasn’t one of them.  They are disputing the time I had off work last year when I hurt my back but thankfully I’m working with a lovely lady at ACC to get it all sorted.

One thing I’ve noticed with Whaea Charlie doing the majority of the lessons is the children who ‘really’ listen on the mat and the ones that only ‘listen’ when she’s looking.  I was talking to my teacher-aide the other day and apparently it’s the same when I’m teaching so I know where the ‘hot spots’ are now… the kids won’t know what struck them!

Did you notice how brown our school fields are in the photo?  It’s been so long since we’ve had any rain but yesterday we got a bit of a teaser… nothing to write home about that’s for sure!  When I woke up this morning though there was a very little drizzle and we’ve had ‘wet stuff’ falling from the sky all day!  It’s not heavy which is good because that would cause just as many problems but it’s enough that hopefully the grass and plants will feel a whole lot happier.

Here’s the second part of the week:Right_1

More school photos!  I’ve been putting in a LOT of hours at school this year… much, much more than normal!  It’s a constant balancing act and I’m really hoping to get the balance better over the next few weeks.

Toby has been very happy to see Mikayla or myself get home each day.  If he could fit more than just his head through the cat door he would!  Mikayla had the funny photo on her phone and it was perfect to include in this weeks pages.

I’ve also had both my Tuesday and Thursday night classes this week to try and catch up a bit and Mouse brought around some gorgeous tiles that she thought I might like to make a mold of… and I did… and they’re stunning!

On Friday morning we had our 8.15 staff admin meeting and once again Peter was asking for a new NZEI rep for the school.  I’ve been getting tired of him asking and although I really didn’t want the job when he offered cake to the person who took it on I watched as my hand went up all by itself… clearly I can be bought!  And even more clearly… I can be bought relatively cheaply!

I’ve also managed to get some more work done on a canvas that I’m working on for the school art auction later this year.  It’s another mixed media piece and this time there’s no photo to worry about so it’s actually quite a neat project to work on.

So that’s been my week… busy as usual but it feels really good to finally be getting on top of everything again!

I hope you’ve all had a wonderful weekend and that next week brings good things to us all xx

Project Life: Week 10

Hi everyone :)

Well my plan is working… I’ve already ticked off a few things and by the end of the day there will be some more things completed.  It’s a LONG list and I’m not going to get everything done but at least I know the direction I’m heading to LOL

Here’s an overview of Week 10:Full_1

We started off the week with Richard’s funeral in Tauranga on Monday.  It was a really beautiful service and was very much a celebration of his life.  He had a pretty interesting life including being a bodyguard in Palestine, moving from England to New Zealand on a big adventure into the unknown, raising 5 children and then 3 grandchildren.  He also had a farm, owned cafes, worked in real estate and in a hospital. 

There were lots of great stories about Richard’s life and I’m pretty sure he would be happy with the eulogy I did for him which covered the last 15 years.  I definitely worked hard to stick to the ‘guidelines’ he gave me!

Here’s the start of my week:Left_1

Richard was always quite particular about having his car clean at all times but unfortunately for me I ran out of time on the weekend to wash mine so Mikayla and I took it through the car wash.  It was a very new experience and I had a few mini ‘panic attacks’ while the machines were going but the end result was brilliant!

On Tuesday we all headed up to Auckland for Richard’s burial and it all went smoothly.  Mum’s cousin (Jeanette) lives not far from where we were heading and Mum was so pleased to see her again.  I’d never met Jeanette before although I do know that she stalks my blog LOL 

Auntie Daphne carried on up North to go home on Tuesday afternoon and her car was working absolutely fine.  I’m so pleased that I got a photo of Mum with each of these lovely ladies.

I took Krystal home after we left Auckland and I was quite pleased to see the end of motorways by the time we got back to Hamilton.

On Wednesday it was straight back to school and mentoring my student teacher.  Although I get observed teaching by various people it’s quite different being the ‘observer’ for a change.  I’m happy to report that Whaea Charlie is doing really well :)

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The first couple of days flew by and I was so busy I didn’t even take any photos but on Thursday night I organised some cupcakes for my class to have while we watched Charlotte’s Web. 

For several years now I’ve been reading Charlotte’s Web and James and the Giant Peach to my classes and I’ve always had to go and hire the movie at the end of the book but Krystal has managed to get me copies of both of those movies… so cool to have them and know that I’ve got them when I need them.

On Saturday Krystal had her housewarming party and it was really good timing.  We all needed to have a bit of joy and laughter after the past few weeks and although there were some tough moments (especially for Mum) we actually had a pretty good afternoon.

I made Krystal some cupcakes and iced them with blue before adding a chocolate fish and blue sugar on top… the kids thought they were pretty neat!

Toby also loved taking Grandma to the Hamilton Dog Park and showing her all around… he even got in the water all by himself!

Krystal made a fantastic ‘pool party’ cake and after cutting away the centre of the cake she filled it up with blue jelly… look at this:cake

Krystal is a wonderful hostess and there were so many delicious things to eat.  She really did think of everything and she made sure everyone had a great time while she looked completely relaxed.  I’d like to take the credit for her being like that but in reality she’s more like my sister in that area because Tracey is definitely the ‘hostess with the mostest!’

Krystal’s new house is perfect for them too… there’s loads of space for everyone… a big backyard that is quite private and of course there’s the pool.  PLUS it’s only a five minute walk to the dog park!  Toby is thrilled :)

Happy Sunday everyone xx

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Project Life: Week 9

Hi everyone :)

I’m feeling really determined that this weekend I’ll catch up on projects.  I’ve got a million things on my desk/table but I’ve got a plan!!!  I’ve made a checklist and I’m working through it… and with each item I check off I’m feeling a little bit more in control of where I’m at :)

As many of you know… ‘life’ is what happens in spite of your plans! My original plans for Week 9 were to get all my ‘stuff’ organised… get my school work all sorted… and get the house organised for when Dad and Jan were arriving. Things definitely did NOT go according to plan!

Sadly, Richard passed away on Wednesday and it ‘knocked the socks off us’.  I still had loads of school work to do and it wasn’t really the ideal time for Dad and Jan to visit for a few days but somehow you get through it all and come out the other side.

Here’s an overview of what Week 9 actually looked like:

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I took Monday off work to be with Mum and Richard and got to spend some time with Krystal and Auntie Daphne as well.   Krystal and I needed a bit of a break from the hospital so we went to a local shopping centre for a ‘look’.

While we were there I spotted some cool pans in a kitchen supply store so I got one for making ‘whoopie cakes’ and another for making macaroons.   I haven’t actually made either of these delicious little goodies before but I’m working on it.

While Krystal was at the hospital she took a couple of photos of Mum and Richard asleep and one of them was really lovely so I’ve included it in my pages for my album but it’s too personal to share here on the blog.  I quite like the photo I used for that first photo spot though :)

Here’s a close up of the start of the week:

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On Monday I noticed the big ‘tow away’ sign in the hospital carpark… and quite frankly I should have left it at that!  I let Auntie Daphne know that her car might get towed away so she handed me over the keys and I went and parked it for her… silly me!  As I went around a corner the ‘EPS’ light came on.  For those of you who don’t know it means Electronic Power Steering and the next minute I couldn’t turn the steering wheel at all!

I quickly turned off the car, turned it back on and away she went… no problem at all!  Then on Wednesday when Auntie Daphne drove her car the exact same thing happened!  Miss Krystal thought it would be funny to send me a text to tell me that I BROKE Auntie’s car…. nope it wasn’t funny at all!  It turned out to be a very expensive and time consuming repair (she didn’t get the car back until Monday afternoon) and I learnt a very valuable lesson… next time Auntie is going to get a ticket I’m going to keep my mouth shut!!  LOL

Meanwhile on Monday night I came back home and went back to school.  The kids were great and we had some good lessons during the week in spite of the fact that some kids think the instructions don’t actually apply to them at all!

Here’s the second half of the week:

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Now when it comes to buying stuff I don’t tend to be impulsive.  I’ve been watching the ‘Shark Navigator Lift Away’ ads for months and really wanted to see one in action.  Then I went to the Home Show I saw a demo… but of course they’re all set up and ready to go.  I wanted to know what ‘real’ people thought of them.  I asked around at school to find that a few of the kids in my class have them and they said… “Mum says it’s great!”  Clearly the Dad’s in my class don’t do the vacuuming!

I finally took the plunge and bought one and guess what… it’s FANTASTIC!  Totally love it and boy does it pick up the dirt and Toby hair!  I had a wonderful time vacuuming with it and for some reason it doesn’t seem to bother Toby like the other one did.  My old one has now found a new home at Krystal’s and she seems quite happy with it.

On Thursday Dad and Jan arrived with their home on wheels.  Toby was pleased to see Granddad again and was beside himself showing Dad all the things that he could do since his last visit… although funnily enough he wasn’t keen to show Granddad what he’s been doing to my duvet inner!

Dad was really busy on Saturday so Toby and I took Jan to visit ‘his’ supermarket and then we went down to the Farmers Market for a bit of lunch.  They had some cake pops there and I definitely want to have a go at making those cute little morsels!

Mikayla also enjoyed having Granddad down for a visit and gave him heaps of cheek for being short!  Somehow it’s ok for a granddaughter to do that but NOT a daughter!  It definitely gave me a good photographic moment to capture though.

So that was Week 9… the year sure is flying past!

I hope you’re all having a good start to your weekend xx

Feel Good Friday

Hi everyone :)

This week I’ve been catching up on my night classes and both the Tuesday and Thursday groups were here.  Apart from catching up with everyone it also gave me a chance to ‘look’ for some things that I had put away in a ‘safe place’. 

While I was looking for things I also came across some of the laces and ribbons I’ve been collecting for various projects and they really were quite beautiful so I thought it would make a good theme for this weeks Friday Feel Good.

The internet really is a wonderful way to loose a bit of time and I really enjoyed searching for this weeks photos.  Here’s my finished layout:

week 11 - vintage lace copy

Over the years, both my girls have enjoyed times when there were allowed to go through Grandma’s baskets of laces, ribbons, buttons and ‘stuff’… and that’s what this weeks layout reminded me of.

Take care, Shell xx

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Project Life: Week 8

Hi everyone :)

Well after three weeks of living on a roller coaster things are starting to settle down into a ‘new kind of normal’.  There is so much that goes on ‘behind the scenes’ that is just too personal to share… but your love, kindness and support has been absolutely wonderful and I want to personally thank all the people who made this step in our lives just a little bit easier for us.

So many people have been asking how Mum is getting on and the answer is… she’s getting up every day… she’s taking it one day at a time… and she’s learning how to live a different kind of life than she expected… and she’s loved.

It was actually really hard going back and trying to catch up on the last three weeks… and to be honest I’ve only finished doing Week 8 today… but I do know that when I look back on these pages I’ll be pleased that I’ve done them.

Here’s an overview of Week 8:full_1

My week started off really well… how could it not when I was able to save a whopping 40c per litre off my petrol!  You really do have to take advantage of special discounts and offers when they become available!

I had a writing course on Monday and it was really good… of course it’s even more work on top of everything else but I know it’s going to benefit my kids and that’s why I do what I do.

Here’s a close up of the start of the week:Left copy_1

Harold was visiting our school and no matter how old the kids get they always love it when Harold turns up.  In our region we also have Bernie and she’s a phenomenal teacher and motivator!

Toby features heavily this week too!  He decided that in spite of our ‘talks’ and ‘discussions’ the call of the duvet inner filling is just too much for him and it MUST be pulled out at every available opportunity!

Luckily for me, Mikayla is quite good at getting photos of my boy when I’m at work and I usually come home to photos of his daily antics!

We’ve been putting a bit of effort into our fitness programme at school and I’m happy to say that the kids are all now actively participating in the programme each day which is great!

I’m sure most dog owners can relate to the dog sitting on the stairs! I’m pretty sure he and Toby must be very close friends because Toby gives me that ‘look’ very regularly!

Here’s the second half of the week:Right copy_1

Of course this was the week that I got the call from Mum to say Richard was not going to be coming home.  It was such a shock to us and completely unexpected because just the night before we thought he was coming home in the morning.

Krystal and I rushed over to Tauranga to be there with Mum and Richard and I feel very blessed to have been able to sit and be with them both during this time.  Krystal took the photo of Grandma and Poppa holding hands while they were sleeping and it’s a really precious photo to all of us.

Krystal and I also spent a little time watching old family videos and it was a really special time.  Krystal was pretty pleased to see herself as a flower girl for her Auntie and Uncle… and I have to admit that it was the first time I’d actually seen the video myself.  

So that was Week 8…  I’ll be back with some more Project Life soon xx

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Feel Good Friday–catching up

Hi everyone :)

Well it’s been a real roller-coaster of emotions, thoughts and feelings over the past couple of weeks.  Two weeks ago (on Friday) I got a phone call from Mum that truly shocked me.  Although Richard was in hospital, we were fully expecting him to come home but sometimes life throws you a huge curve ball and it must have been our turn.

Krystal and I rushed over to be with Mum and Richard and I feel very blessed that we were able to get to her so quickly and spend some quality time with them.  Richard and I have enjoyed sparring with each other over the years and I hadn’t realised how much that meant to me.  In fact his first words to me when I arrived at the hospital were… ‘You thought I was having you on didn’t you!’  And in true form I responded with… ‘Yeah I did a bit.’  We held hands and had a bit of a laugh and it felt good to just be with him and talk.

While Richard was in the hospital I took some photos of the garden that he and Mum have worked on, argued over and shared so my Week 8 layout is dedicated to Richard.

Week 8: Richard’s garden

week 8 - richards garden copy

By the following Friday Richard had passed away and we were planning a funeral.  Thankfully he had already put most of it in place himself and he got everything that he wanted. 

Richard had asked me to do a eulogy for him and he gave me two very strict instructions…

  • I had to put some ‘funny’ stuff in – there was definitely lots of things to choose from!
  • I wasn’t allowed to make him look bad – he told me this with a laugh and I knew exactly what he meant!

I like things to be clear cut… it takes all the guess work out!  Thanks to Richard’s instructions I knew exactly what to put in and exactly what to keep out. 

White roses are just like that too… they remind me of honesty, defining moments and truth… so my layout had to be focused on white roses.

Week 9: Keeping it real

week 9 - white roses copy

I had fully intended on having this post done yesterday but between being at school for well over twelve hours… coming home to lots of phone calls and messages and then feeling really tired it was all a bit much.  I knew that I needed to relax a bit so that I don’t burn out and what better way to do that than by having a bath.

Week 10 – It’s time to relax!

week 10 - baths copy

Thank you to everyone who has sent messages, texts and emails.  Your love and support has been greatly appreciated xx

Saturday, March 2, 2013

A quick update

Hi everyone

Just a quick update to let you know that Richard passed away at 2pm on Wednesday afternoon. 

If there’s one thing I know about Richard, it’s that he didn’t mind being in the limelight and getting a little attention.  He also loved to dress up and be silly… and if he could get Mum to join in that was even better!

When William and Kate got married the pair of them wasted no time getting their ‘outfits’ ready and on the night of the royal wedding they were in fine form. 

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Richard followed my blog through Mum and I’m pretty sure he’d be quite happy to have a small post dedicated just to him. 

Richard’s funeral will be held in Tauranga on Monday followed by the burial in Auckland on Tuesday. 

Thank you to everyone who has left messages, texts, emails and phone calls.  Your love, prayers and thoughts have been a real strength to both Mum and myself over the past week.

Take care xx