Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

And here I am at home by myself. Well Kalyani is here but she is in bed asleep. Anyway its by choice I'm at home. I seem to have gotten Kalyani's tummy bug and so haven't been able to keep much food down all day. I'd much prefer to stay put while Hit goes out to a bbq at friends' place.

So Happy New Year to anyone who is out there blogging and not partying!

Oh I'm trying to update the look of my blog. Not sure if I am going to go with this template permanently. Hmm, have to try it out for a few days!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

The direction of your dreams...

I seem to do a lot of thinking and journalling at this time of year. I spend time reflecting on the year that's gone, the lows and the highs and whether things have happened as I expected them to. 2008 has been a fairly hard year for us- health wise, financially, work and family stuff. Yet I can express thankfulness for the evidence of God's faithfulness throughout this time and that there has been heaps of improvement in some of these areas.

Then I also think and journal about this coming year. I like to keep written records of stuff because I find it interesting looking back over it. What I would like to see happen, what will possibly be highs and lows from the events I do know will be happening in our family, what growth I want to see happen in my own life and changes in day to day living. So I guess my New Year's Resolutions are more an expression of the desires of my heart- what I want my marriage to look like, how I want to grow as a parent, how I want to grow in my relationship with God and the areas of life that are important to focus on rather than a To Do List. Plenty of time to make those in the coming year. Way more fun and inspiring to dream! And to do so knowing that is the power of God that makes all these things possible.

Live your life while you have it. Life is a splendid gift- there is nothing small about it.
Florence Nightingale

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Let me make a mess Mum!

We have been making lots of these lately. Kalyani likes making a block tower as tall as possible with Mum and Dad's help.

Then this is the result- no more tower and blocks all over the floor. Lots of fun! Other activities we have been doing together- cooking biscuits, painting (Kalyani convinced me to let her use my scrapbooking paints), cleaning up toys (though sometimes that ends up being a Mum only activity), reading books and praying.

Wow- only 4 days to holidays and of course Christmas! This year we are meeting up with a few other families from our connect group at church and having lunch together at a park on Christmas day. Looking forward to that! Though first have to get through a very busy couple of days at work. Hit and I will both have a week and a half off work. For me I need to catch up on a lot of the work that won't get done while I am away.

May you and your family have a safe and fun Christmas season!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Great Things About Summer

Picnics and bbqs and being able to get outdoors... And summer fruit of course. Love strawberries!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Finally finished a page!

I know not a great photo of this layout but the point is I actually finished a page. After a month or more of nothing it feels like a huge achievement. The quote at the bottom of the page reads

"If you are quiet, you are not living. You need to be noisy, colourful and lively." Mel Brooks

I think that sums up Kalyani well! Hope you are managing to find some time and energy for yourself at this busy time of year and do something you enjoy.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Doing the Un-Christmas Thing!

I know this flies in the face of tradition but I am becoming more comfortable with having a very un-Christmas Christmas. I think this year the Christmas tree might stay in the cupboard. Hmm- I'm not planning to buy gifts. Well maybe only one or two. Or eat excessively over the Christmas break mainly because I'm not going to buy excessive food. I know that some people are going to think that we are missing out and how sad it is for Kalyani. But I actually want less stress in our lives- who's seen how crazy the shops are already? And I want to be able to focus on what's really important- spending time with people we love. That's what I'm looking forward to!

I really struggle with the whole notion that churches, charities and of course retail stores promote that if a child does not receive a gift or gifts at Christmas that they are impoverished. Hence we all need to help them out by donating gifts. How stupid is that! How many children do you know that need toys for Christmas because they really do have a lack of stuff to play with? Why do we teach people that your life is somehow less meaningful because you don't have a lot of stuff? What about people making the effort to build relationships and spend time with children rather than give them things? Our daughter doesn't have a lot of expensive toys but she sure does know how to play. Even though we can afford to we are choosing not to buy her stuff just because its Christmas.

Urban Bush Walk

Here are some photos from a walk we did around our neighbourhood on Sunday. The hat was Kalyani's choice for the walk. Yep that will protect you from the sun girl! I have been trying to be more consistent with exercising this past month with the idea of developing some long term habits. So this was a family effort at getting some exercise. While this may sound like a great improvement in practice I am only actually walking or bike riding about twice a week. How do people find time to do more?? I know I could get up at 6am and do something. But that's a hard one to find the motivation for. How do you make time for exercise?

The other thing this walk means is that my back has improved to the point that I can actually comfortably do a decent walk. I am seeing another physio who uses the Sarah Key approach to back problems and she has me doing a lot of stretches and strengthening exercises each night. The result is that the unrelenting pain has decreased a lot and I have more movement in my spine. Best of all it has given me direction in dealing with a long term health issue which I felt like there was no hope for improvement for.

This girl loves running and because Mum and Dad don't have as much energy she soon becomes a speck in the distance now days.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Wow- check this out!

Doesn't this guy look hot?  Hit bought this motorbike yesterday.  Its meant to be our second vehicle so I get the use of the car more.  Its also because Hit has been wanting a bike ever since he came to Australia and got his Indian licence transferred directly to an open motorbike licence.   Generally they don't sell bikes this powerful in India.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Bring on the food

Last night we had dinner at a local community multicultural food fair. I tried some Turkish stuffed bread and Filipino banana frittars- very yum! Hit had a meat curry and rice (that's not that different from what he normally eats!). Heaps of people, lots of different food, some interesting cultural acts. We loved the Maori dancing and singing. Kalyani (it makes me laugh) LOVED a Spanish pipe group and kept wanting to stand right next to them and listen. Only thing was I didn't enjoy their music and wanted to stand a lot further away. So Dad got to listen to them too. I reckon its great that such a diverse group of people who normally wouldn't gather together, have the opportunity to.

First Time in a Big Bed

Yep we moved Kalyani from the cot to a bed yesterday. So far she has made the adjustment fairly easily. She got so excited showing Dad when he came home from work.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

How many weeks to Christmas?

I was reminded this morning at MOPS when they had us making Christmas decorations that Christmas is really not that far away. I think I am at a turning point this year (hopefully) in how I look at celebrating this holiday.

We are one of those families that doesn't know 12 months in advance what we are doing at Christmas. We don't have a lot of big family get-togethers to be at because some of our family don't live in the same city and we don't have a tradition of getting together. The plus side of this is that we don't struggle with being in two places at once, trying to please everyone and driving from one place to the other. Christmas is usually quiet and restful! The down side is that every year I actually have to decide what we are going to do- sometimes we join another family, sometimes we visit friends or sometimes we stay home by ourselves. And its easy to feel like we are missing out on something not being a part of an extended family Christmas.

So I am now starting to realise that I can't use my family of origin as an excuse for not having a traditional Christmas. And the "try and ignore its Christmas" approach doesn't work too well either. Its time that we choose what traditions we want to start and continue on for this new family especially with Kalyani growing up with us now. Interesting side note- Christmas was not one of the holidays Hitendra grew up celebrating with his family. They had other special occasions like Diwali. So thinking about what traditions that might include? Definitely not Carols by Candlelight. But stuff like fruit cake and fruit mince pies-yum!

So how is your family celebrating the Christmas holiday this year?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Random pics from this week!

Its amazing what cats put up with! This girl is very affectionate and loves giving the cat a cuddle and patting it any chance she gets. She even tries to tempt the cat to come her way by leaving a trail of food. When that strategy doesn't work Mum makes her clean it up.

We are a one car family at the moment and so the park is one of the few places that is accessible by walking. Bonus that it also provides a lot of fun playing!
Even time for a few tears when things don't go our way.
Down the slide and then back up again whatever way you can. And then down again...
Mum looks longingly at the bench. Oh to sit down and have a rest!
Kalyani decides to use it instead and has fun trying on Mum's hat and posing.
One final climb on anything... Here's the sign to sit on. Meanwhile Mum is half way down the road - come on Kalyani. Why is the life of a two year old all about interruptions?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Serious Play Time

This is what I completed this week which means my back has been improving enough to sit for a while. Yeh! Except now I am home from work with a cold. I think the craziness of the past few months has caught up with me. I love these photos of Kalyani playing in the backyard. She got so absorbed with what she was doing- playing of course! I decided to do it on 1 1/12 layouts because I wanted to try and fit all the photos on one layout.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Lazy morning!

This morning I am still in my pajamas and Kalyani and I are sharing the computer screen. She is lying on the couch watching a Colin Buchanan DVD. I am posting and reading other blogs. Check out the Altogether Too Happy blog for a great post about why scrapbooking matters. It was encouraging reading because I am at point of considering that I might have to cut right back on what I spend on scrapbooking products. Already its a small amount! We are wanting to increase our savings as much as we can. But there's something very enjoyable about getting new products even if there's stuff sitting there that needs using. Anyway its a good reminder for me that scrapbooking is (mostly :) ) about telling stories... It is less important to have a layout that looks impressive!

This layout is along that idea- using up scraps of paper, lace and even some gorgeous metallic looking chocolate wrappers. I had fun layering paint then paper and then another layer of paint.

Hit and I celebrated 8 years of marriage by going away on the weekend for a night at this place. Very relaxing! Oh when are we going to do it again?? It is so great to be able to see how much our relationship has grown over the years and how much more healthy we are in how we relate to one another. Thank you God! We were also blessed to have my beautiful Aunty Julie stay and look after Kalyani. Her first night away from Mum and Dad!

Ok I suppose I better go and get dressed and do some work... Nah!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Doulos Visit

The Doulos ship is in Fremantle Port for 2 weeks on its final Australian tour. It leaves on the 28th October to travel to Asia. So we decided to head down there today to have a look and peruse the hundreds of books they have for sale. Yep- the Doulos is the world's largest floating bookshop and boy did Kalyani have plenty of kids books to look through. We came home with a few.

Oh and having a play at the E-shed markets.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Chocolate Lover!

I shouldn't be surprised but our daughter loves chocolate! We've even caught her recently climbing up on furniture to get into a hidden stash of chocolate. Here she is after eating her first Easter egg earlier this year. My take on the latest sketch up at Triple the Sketch.

Monday, October 20, 2008


1) This amazing girl- fun, expressive, active. She's a whiz on her scooter.

2) Baby Ariyeh been given the all clear with his heart and this being after open heart surgery was thought to be the most likely option. Thankyou God!

3) Getting to chat with my Aunty Kath tonight, phoning all the way from the Philippines. And for DVDS like the Wiggles which keep young girls such as Kalyani occupied while Mum is on the phone. And ... patient husbands.

4) Being able to finish reading a great book, secret mothers business by Joanne Fedler. And going to the library and getting a new lot of books out to read. Yep that's my idea of fun!

5) Being able to listen to Nicole Connor speak in church yesterday on help for modern day desert dwellers. That definitely is an accurate description of this season of my life! Do we have a genie in a bottle view of God or not? Encouraging to hear that there are times when God chooses not to speak and it seems like he has left us and somehow we still choose to have faith in him. Podcast it if you can.

Think Pink

I once belonged to a girls' netball called Think Pink. Hmm- that was a long time ago! Anyway here's my layout for the challenge up on the pagemaps blog in honour of Breast Cancer Awareness month.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Taare Zameen Par

We watched this Bollywood movie on the weekend- Taare Zameen Par Every Child is Special. Aamir Khan's first movie directing and he also plays a role as a substitute teacher who helps a boy who is failing in school because of dyslexia. We thought it was excellent even brought a few tears to the eyes. And not a love story in sight! Though still lots of great songs and a bit of bum shaking, I mean dancing. Got to see it!

What a week it has been! We have been settling back into a different routine after going back to work after a weeks break. No more sleep ins! Health wise, I have been in a lot of pain with my back and I'm not managing my pain levels very well. Its something I get really discouraged with and struggle to pray about it because its been going on for a while without much improvement. Somehow God's using stuff like this to make me stronger. Not sure how! :)

Then big stuff happening in our friends' lives. Congratulations to Judy and Warren on the birth on their new son, Ariyah, born yesterday. Though in an unexpected development he is under observation in a different hospital from his Mum for a possible heart complication. Hoping and praying that this resolves itself quickly guys! And thinking of you and praying for you Dawn and Craigh with all that's happening in your lives. Miss the phone chats, miss your friendship Dawn. Hope to see you soon!

Someone suggested reading Psalm 46 today. So relevant!

God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea...

Friday, October 10, 2008

Bright & Cheery

What to do when I am feeling a bit glum scrap something that cheers me up. This colour combination does just that for me. I had a lot of fun doing it last night while Hit was out helping paint a friend's house. The layout is about my birthday this year which was memorable because I was so sick at the time. But there were a few things that happened including receiving these gorgeous flowers from work that made it special. Oh yeh I used the latest sketch from Pencillines.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

More photos from Dunsborough

Thankfully we got to spend one morning down at one of Dunsborough's gorgeous beaches. Kalyani had a ball. She even went in the water though it was very cold and played for ages. Don't know how she does it!

One of our friends, Kaiwee is over in the Ukraine at the moment on a short term trip with the Riverview Children's Foundation. You can see what they have been up to on their blog. I am looking forward to hearing more from her about what it was like and what she has learnt from it.