A Kiwi Adventure

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Spring is finally here! The weather is starting to fine up and when we woke up this morning we thought it was the perfect day to get out of dodge and do something fun. With a house full of littles who often decide to all break down at the same time, it is good to break from our daily routine from time to time and go on an adventure.

We had heard about the Kiwi Cafe from one of our midwives a few months ago and thought we would go check it out since it’s only about 40 minutes away. It was great fun! We enjoyed the drive listening to music while Ben and I were able to have a conversation the whole way there and back. We each had a nice flat white while the girls drank their babyccino’s and we shared a plate full of treats. There was a playground nearby for burning off all that sugar and a little walk down to the ocean. There is nothing like a good deep breath of salt water breeze to put things right again. Every time we visit little towns like Chester I love how my heart rate slows, the stress shakes off of me and I am able to be in the moment without the distractions of the computer, the phone and the chaos of carting the kids here, there and everywhere. Ah, to live  by the sea!

I am happy and blessed to have such a great bunch of kids and a hubby who loves us! Happy weekend here..I am ready for the week now.

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter, friends! May the joy and peace of the resurrected Christ be yours this Easter Octave! We had a lovely Easter Sunday together as Ben’s shop decided to stay closed for the day. We enjoyed a lovely breakfast before heading off to mass and then returning home to stuff our faces with much anticipated Easter treats. Later in the day we joined my mum and some of my siblings at her house for a great feast of lamb and chicken and all other kinds of goodness including carrot cake with cream cheese frosting.

The girls were very pleased with their lovely new Easter dresses sent by ‘auntie Edel’ and we decided to get them a wagon, something we’ve been wanting to give them since we moved in last year. All in all a wonderful day! I’m still trying to find ways to celebrate Easter in our home, which mostly consists of eating more treats…anyone have other ideas???

Spring!

Today is the official beginning of Spring! The beautiful part is that it really does feel like Spring out there. Ben only had one day off this week and we spent it largely at home, out in the sunshine. He raked up the lawns while the girls played happily and I sat in the sun and knitted. It was glorious to sit outside without shoes on and let my skin feel the sun.

It is nice to go places as a family, but I must say that having our own backyard and place to call home is really making this weather all the better. Happy Spring to you and yours! I think we might celebrate by having a picnic in the backyard this afternoon. If we’re lucky we may even see a fairy in the garden! *The girls new favorite game to play*

Our Little Princess

Our littlest princess turned two yesterday. We decided to hold off on the celebrations until today, so we could make a day of it together. Abigail and Lucy came out of their bedroom this morning to find balloons strung up from their door frame. Sheer delight on their little faces batting them back and forth for several minutes before they decided to come upstairs for breakfast.

Waiting for Abigail, at the table, was her new birthday crown, a sort of temporary handsewn one until I have more time to sew it up properly. 

Our sweet girl has big love for Lucy’s doll, Ruby. This is all fine until Lucy wants to play with her and then it becomes “La grosse chicane” (big fight) so Ben and I decided to invest in what we think will make this baby-doll loving girl very happy. Enter Abbie’s new little friend, June.

We had breakfast, went to mass and spent most of the day at home resting and baking the birthday cake. Ben actually made the cake while I slept off and on for several hours on the couch. My stomach was not quite right from the time I got up this morning and it just knocked me off my feet. Hooray for helpful husbands! We had a great family supper on the BBQ. It really felt like Spring this afternoon with the sun shining into our living room and with the delicious sponge cake with lemon zest and juice. 

Abigail had some help from her big sister blowing out the candles.

With every birthday that passes in our family, I realize more and more that I much prefer small family get togethers where the kids are not overwhelmed with guests and too many sweets. My mum and Brad even stayed on after supper to put the girls to bed and stayed the evening so Ben and I could take some time away together. What a blessing!

Miss Abigail has brought such joy, energy and life to our little family. She is affectionate, daring, goofy and very independant. Every day with her is like a big breath of fresh air…may she have many, many blessed years!! We love you baby girl.

 

home at last

Welcome to our new home! Please forgive these pictures since we are still unpacking and there is stuff eeeeeeeverywhere. When you come up the stairs you will see our living room. This picture was taken from the dining room. The gate to the left of the picture is the top of the stairs.

Never too proud to roll pennies! Go, Ben, go!

Enjoying a little time out in the yard. Abigail has decided to go straight for the flowers and pick them all out. Hmmm. I may have to keep an eye on that one.
Lucy sitting in our rock garden. Nothing has really bloomed here yet other than a few teeny flowers here and there. It has been so rainy/gloomy/gray since we’ve moved in. I’m hoping for better weather soon so we can get out walking.

It has been a very busy time for all of us. Luckily, Ben was able to take a few days off so we could get the majority of everything done. Our entire upstairs (living room, dining room, kitchen) is unpacked. Our rooms are filled with boxes and clothes strewn about the place. I know it will come together a little at a time. I won’t say that it wasn’t stressful to move with toddlers who depend so heavily upon their routine, but I will say that we are home. We are in our home, and it’s starting to feel like it already. The one thing I have found is that I am suddenly always cold! Our apartment was always warm, usually too warm but here…here I am dressing as if it’s January! There is not a stitch of carpet to be found in this house so it will take time to get used to cold floors beneath my feet. I am fighting back by knitting more slippers. I may even knit a whole basket of them for when you come to visit. Now if you don’t mind I think I may go do exactly what miss Abbie did at lunch today. 

Hope you’re still enjoying some Easter feasting and having a blessed week!

Less Is More

Here we are, not even a week into Lent and the days are already getting lighter and slightly warmer. I’m not complaining, in fact I am loving it! but it does make for an interesting Lenten season. Our parish priest hit the nail on the head this weekend when he said during his homily, “we tend to think that when we are unhappy and really struggling that God is most pleased with us” or something to that effect. Yes, Lent is about saying no to ourselves but it is also about saying YES! to something else, something bigger or should I say someONE bigger.
My greatest vices at this point in my life are not alcohol or sweets or shopping. What gets between me and Jesus is the same thing that gets between me and my girls, me and the man I love, me and the laundry. Friends, I gave up Facebook for Lent. Of all the ridiculous things to be obsessed about, I love facebook. Being a stay at home mom who doesn’t have work colleagues, doesn’t have lots of community just yet and whose husband works a whole heck of a lot, it is my way of reaching out and communicating to the world. I doubt seriously that I will ever permanently give up facebook, as we have a lot of family and friends who are spread all over the world and it is a very easy way of keeping in touch with them. It is getting easier but I must say how shocked I was at myself at how many times I felt the inclination to ‘quickly’ check facebook, to hit refresh and see what everyone else in the world is up to. I gave up facebook with the intention of having less and I got so much more this week and so did my family.

I got more prayer.

I got more sleep.

I got to read more stories to the girls.

I got to slowly start potty training Lucy.

I did more loads of laundry than I can count on both hands.

I made more meals from scratch.

I spent more time with Jesus.

I spent more time living in the moment of my own life and not everyone elses. It is almost a relief to not feel the need to ‘check in’ all day long. I was using facebook as homebase and now I am trying like mad to make Jesus my homebase. To make Him the person I turn to when I am fed up with the moment I am in and not feeling like cleaning, parenting, cooking, etc. It has made me sad to see how much I try to escape throughout my day but God is so good and He is working in my heart, let me tell you.
The snow is almost entirely gone here and that means big things for the Andrews girls! It means getting out of the apartment and out onto the deck even if only for a few minutes at a time. I put their boots and coats on and they are in and out for nearly an hour. We also put their cardboard box house out there to play in. Take that super-overpriced Fisher Price houses!
With the house hunting and everything else going on I feel like bursting at the seams I have so much to say.
My lovely husband, Ben turned 30 a few weeks ago now and we celebrated him in a big way. There were lots of people, lotsssss of kids, a few Priest friends, lots of food and cake and lastly a guitar! He has wanted to learn the guitar for several years now but we could never afford to buy him one, let alone pay for lessons. I thought him starting a new decade was worth getting all our close family and friends to get in on it and people were so generous. We had more than enough to get him a guitar, a bag for the guitar, a tuner, some picks and at least 6-7 lessons. Ben works tirelessly and without complaint and he really deserved a good party and a gift that was really something just for him. I love that man!



These two are so cute! Painting together at the table.
Miss Lucy has started cutting her two year molars. Not fun at all. Poor girl has had a low but constant fever for the last few days and seems to have now started a cold to top it all off. I think she may also be having growing pains as she has called out to us in the night complaining of sore arms and legs and asking us to rub them with cream. If you could please say a little prayer for her, I know it will help her little body get through this rough spot. She spent most of the day lying on the couch watching cartoons or fighting with Abigail who seemed to know she wasn’t feeling well and just wouldn’t leave her alone.
Remember when I said I was going to stuff my face with Glazed Pear and Yogurt Cake? Here she is, in all of her glory. It was delicious and I totally plan on making one again sometime soon. It was dessert to start, it became breakfast with a cup of coffee and was snack later in the day with a glass of milk. I love food that is versatile like that 🙂 
We saw three more houses yesterday that were not great. We are going to see another one tomorrow morning that we are really excited about at 10am so please keep us in your prayers!
I hope God is speaking to you this Lent and showing you ways you can grow closer to Him. If you’re finding it difficult, just remember that when we say no to ourselves it leaves more room in our hearts to say yes to someone else who can give us so much more than anything this world has to offer.