Thursday, January 30, 2014

Photo A Day Jan 30

Watch out world...

What are the driving rules Ashlea?
"No bumping.
No crashing.
Watch where you're going."
Hmmm.....how many have we broken already?



Today I am thanking God for:

97.  A loan power chair from school;

98.  A VERY patient optometrist who handled our travelling circus with great grace today - and even gave us all discounts on our glasses;

99.  The wonders of modern medicine.  There's nothing like visiting a friend in hospital to be reminded how many of my family members and friends are alive thanks to the wonders of modern medicine - transplant medicine in particular.




Driving Link:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUn1USZNznA

Psalm 7:17 
I will give thanks to the Lord because of his righteousness; I will sing the praises of the name of the Lord Most High. 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Photo A Day Jan 29

Back to School!!!





Today I am thanking God for:

94.  A smooth first school drop off for the year;

95.  Aaahhhh....the serenity;

96.  A cup of tea with a friend who also proved to be a handy lizard catcher.


And because I know you want to see the real photos...






Psalm 7:17 
I will give thanks to the Lord because of his righteousness; I will sing the praises of the name of the Lord Most High. 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Photo A Day Jan 28

Finally got around to getting Emma's bone age x-ray



Today I am thanking God for:

91.  Emma's co-operation at her x-ray today - she tried to convince me she needed a treat for having a 'big scary x-ray' until we got there and she realised how not big and scary it was and that she didn't have a leg to stand on;

92.  Tolerant staff and families who had no choice but to listen to Singing Angela in the (impressively echo-ey) waiting room, pharmacy, ward etc while we traipsed around and did our last minute hospital business;

93.  Cuddles with my girls.  I can't believe how grown up they are - going into Year 4 and Year 2 tomorrow.  How did that happen???


Psalm 7:17 
I will give thanks to the Lord because of his righteousness; I will sing the praises of the name of the Lord Most High. 

Monday, January 27, 2014

Photo A Day and Thankfulness Jan 27


Faster Mummy!

Today I am thanking God for:

88.  A catch up with friends;

89.  A fun afternoon ice skating with the girls;

90.  A successful first use of the van with the lifter and the wheelchair and the child in a public car park!


Sometimes I am too easily overwhelmed by the 'difficulty factor' in doing things with Ashlea.  I'm so glad we did this today - we all had so much fun - although skating around with a wheelchair for 2 hours is quite a work out and I am now knackered.  On the plus side if you haven't skated in over 15 years having a wheelchair to hold onto is a very good way of not falling down!  I really need to make the effort to do more stuff like this with the girls.  We need these moments of fun together.

Psalm 7:17 
I will give thanks to the Lord because of his righteousness; I will sing the praises of the name of the Lord Most High. 

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Photo A Day Jan 26

Happy 'Straya Day!!

Ashlea has assumed the fireworks position.
Apparently it is possible to block your ears
while holding a furby

Today I am thanking God for:

83.  This great country that we live in with all it's associated freedoms and privileges;

84.  Ashlea's new found love of fireworks displays.  After many years of hysterics she now loves them - as long as she can block her ears;

85.  Friends who share their picnic blankets at the fireworks;

86.  A special boy's first ever successful fireworks viewing;

87.  Ashlea's ability to make us all laugh.  Carolin made a yummy flourless chocolate cake and shared it with us today.  The girls and I were discussing which piece belonged to me and I explained that my piece was the one with the cream on it.  "Just like my butt" pipes up Ashlea.  NO, nothing like the cream we use on your butt Ashlea but thanks for the laugh.

1 Tim 4:4-5 
For everything God created is good, and northing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer 



Saturday, January 25, 2014

Photo A Day Jan 25

Lou fixing our loo


Today I am thanking God for:

80.  Back to school shopping done;

81.  Neighbours who lend you their plungers during toilet emergencies;

82.  Friends who are prepared to come and plunge your toilet.  That's the definition of friendship right there I think.


1 Tim 4:4-5 
For everything God created is good, and northing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer 

Friday, January 24, 2014

Photo A Day Jan 24

It's here!  It's finished!!

Today I am thanking God for:

77.  The lifter in the van and for the Variety and Lions clubs for paying for the majority of it.   At the moment I am still working out the best way to use it seeing as Ashlea's current wheelchair is not suitable for travelling in.  For the moment I have moved her car seat to the back row and we are standing on the lifter with the walker to go up and down (don't panic I'm on there with her and the OT said it was OK!);

78.  Day Camp was a huge, enormous, successful WIN for my girls.  They had so much fun, got to meet new people, try new things (ice skating was a particular favourite), learn about God, and generally have a bigger experience of the world than they usually would.  The camp ended for Emma as it began - with tears - because she was so sad it was over.  We will definitely go again;

79.  A committee meeting.  Yesterday the 'committee' from church whose job it is to support our family met to discuss Project Respite for this year.  Have I mentioned how amazing our church is? Seriously - there is a committee and a plan just for our family (actually there are probably committees and plans for other families too - I just don't know about them).  We have been - and continue to be - so well taken care of by our church family.  I definitely thank God for them!


1 Tim 4:4-5 
For everything God created is good, and northing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Photo A Day Jan 23

I actually took this pic last week
but it's too cute not to share.

Today I am thanking God for:

74.  The chance to go to the movies with Ashlea and see Frozen.  She fell asleep but I loved it;

75.  The spa man again - for replacing my salt cell under warranty - even though technically the warranty ran out last month (they cost $800);

76.  Ashlea's present from Tom arriving with a lovely note telling her she rocks and thanking her for being his greatest fan.

The question is - black and white
or colour???

For those wondering what the present was it was a cute stamp set with stamps of all the characters.

1 Tim 4:4-5 
For everything God created is good, and northing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Photo A Day Jan 22

Cuddles on the couch with Mumma
Do these children even remotely look like they could belong to me???


Today I am thanking God:

71.  That the antibiotics have started to work;

72.  That Ashlea is very good at entertaining herself.  Her new favourite place is the bathroom / laundry.  It has great acoustics so she shuts herself in there and sings, chats and yells to the talking apps on her ipad - and then giggles hysterically at the echo;

73.  A catch up with a friend I haven't seen for at least a year.


1 Tim 4:4-5 
For everything God created is good, and northing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Photo A Day Jan 21

How many minutes between getting in the door and ending up here do you think?


Today I am struggling to feel thankful as I am still sick.  This intestinal plague is of biblical proportions!!!

Today I am thanking God:

68.  That I got a cancellation with my regular doctor (yes I know I probably should have gone before day 8 of the plague but better than not going at all);

69.  For antibiotics to hopefully treat the plague - please pray they work and have no side effects (the packet seems to indicate that the side effects could be similar to the plague symptoms so I'm not too thrilled about taking them);

70.  My comfy couch to lay on - even though I know there is still a lizard in here somewhere.

1 Tim 4:4-5 
For everything God created is good, and northing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer

Monday, January 20, 2014

Photo A Day Jan 20

Camp was so much fun Mum!  Do we have to come home?
Can we go again tomorrow?  PLEASE????


Today I am thanking God for:

64.  A successful first day of camp!  Emma was refusing to go this morning and had a rather impressive hissy fit in the church car park beforehand but she went and she HAD FUN!  They both had a great day and are very excited to go back tomorrow because they will be doing archery.  Mum - it's bows and arrows - just like in Minecraft;

65.  A friend willing to drive out to Smithfield to pick up Ashlea and I after we dropped the van in for it's modifications;

66.  A not too bad first day back at work.  Considering at this point I am so dehydrated I can barely see straight I was actually able to get some work done and feel like I knew what I was doing (we have a new system - not easy to learn when you only work 5 hours a week!).

67.  And lastly I hate to admit it but I am going to have to give thanks for the LIZARDS.  A friend just messaged me to say she saw a whole bunch of lizards on her walk today and it made her think of me and pray for our family.  I am thankful that pesky lizards are part of God's plan.

1 Tim 4:4-5 
For everything God created is good, and northing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer **

** This verse is actually talking about food but it seems it could also be read with lizards in mind don't you think...

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Photo A Day Jan 19

Bags packed ready for camp

Emma and Audrey are off to camp this week.  Day camp only - can you imagine Emma's reaction if I sent her on overnight camp?  I really hope that trying new activities in a new environment will be a positive, confidence boosting experience for them both - particularly for Emma.  At the moment she is refusing to go so we shall see how it all pans out!  It's going to be a busy morning - I have to drop the girls off, then put the van in for modifications, return to work AND I'm still sick.  Did I mention camp starts at 8am - a whole hour before my kids are usually awake in the morning?  Wish us luck!

Today I am thanking God for:

61.  Church, sermons that make you think and people to discuss the big questions of life with;

62.  The satisfaction that comes from killing ants - what were they doing in my bathroom anyway?

63.  The chance to sit in front of the cricket for a couple of hours.

Philippians 4:6 
Do not be anxious about anything, but by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Photo A Day Jan 18

A video today instead of a photo...




Today I am thanking God for:

58.  A response from the Talking Tom people!!!  They sent Ashlea a special message and are going to send her a present in the mail.  HOW EXCITING!!!  The message cryptically says they are sending her a 'Talking Friends inspired gift that can't be bought in the shops'.  Oh please oh please oh please let it be a Foot Tom.  Or a crate of Foot Toms.  Whatever it is Ashlea will be thrilled.  I think I am just as excited as she is!

59.  Air conditioning on a hot day;

60.  Another lizard evicted.  A 'friend' told me not to worry about the lizards as they eat spiders and other nasties.  I told her that if I heard anything that sounded like a lizard eating a spider during the night that I would be on her door step!


Philippians 4:6 
Do not be anxious about anything, but by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.


(Direct link to Tom Video)

Friday, January 17, 2014

Photo A Day Jan 17

The Big Duck!
Talking Tom makers take note - Ashlea now takes Furby
everywhere because the new Tom's just aren't the same....


Today I am thanking God for:

55.  A visit to the big duck with some friends;

56.  A new spa cover lifter thingy.  My whole mission this year is to eliminate LIFTING from my life (as much as possible anyway).  Even the spa cover is on the list of things I refuse to lift anymore.  It got a lifter fitted today and the van gets it's lifter fitted next week;

57.  Chris the Spa Man who came and fitted the lifter thingy which involved draining and moving the spa - not an easy job.  He also tried to fix our car while he was here (our other car has NO FAN at the moment and we need to use it all next week while the van is being modified).  Sadly he wasn't successful but it was very kind of him to go above and beyond his spa duties to try and fix the car too!


Chris the Spa Man


Philippians 4:6 
Do not be anxious about anything, but by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Photo A Day Jan 16

Super Neighbour Child Mia


Today I am thanking God for:

52.  Super Neighbour Kate!  Today we had planned to take the kids to the movies to see Frozen.  It was a great plan except that my tummy is still misbehaving and I ended up abandoning Kate with her children AND two of mine at the movies so I could come home and assume my rightful position on the throne.... ;

53.  Porcelain thrones, toilet paper, flushing pipes and all things sanitation;

54.  Ashlea's first sleep over.  She is very excited.  Mia is spending the night at our house and Ashlea is joining the girls for a camp out in the toy room.  I don't know how much sleep they will all get - Ashlea and her cat choir sing long into the night but moments of inclusion like this warm my heart.





Philippians 4:6 
Do not be anxious about anything, but by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Photo A Day Jan 15

A bit of light summer reading...
Thoroughly recommend this book!


Today I am thanking God for:

49.  Encouraging words from this book (and time to read it today);

50.  Our home care cleaner who comes every Wednesday to clean the bathroom and vacuum the chip crumbs off the floor;

51.  The enjoyment of having a clean house - the whole 5 minutes it lasts.

Philippians 4:6 
Do not be anxious about anything, but by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Photo A Day Jan 14

I love it when they play together.
Ashlea loves playing with 'my girls' as she calls her sisters.

Today I am thanking God for:

46.  My children's screen addictions.  I wasn't feeling so hot this morning but their love of screens meant they could entertain themselves for quite a few hours while I lazed on the lounge;

47.  A nanna nap (see above);

48.    Long sunny evenings to enjoy once the heat has eased off a bit.

Philippians 4:6 
Do not be anxious about anything, but by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Photo A Day Jan 13

Do I look more like my identical twin sister Audrey ...


Or like my big sister Emma?
Or do we just seem alike because there are always
shenanigans afoot when we're together???


Today I need to practise more thankfulness than usual.  We have reached that point in the school holidays where my sanity is starting to unravel.  I haven't had any respite for nearly four weeks and the strain is starting to show.  My only hope in times like this is to cling to God and the truth of the gospel.  Being thankful helps me do that - it helps keep the balance by reminding me of all the many good things God has given me - even when the daily grind seems overwhelming.  And it does seem overwhelming.

Today I am thanking God for:

37.  Good Christian friends who I can openly share my struggles with and who always respond in truth and love;

38.  The prayers of those friends;

39.  Salvation and the hope of heaven - not only will all the suffering of this world be done away with but so too will my sinful nature;

40.  My girls;

41.  A successful hair cut mission for all three of them today;

42.  Murray unpacking the dishwasher AND doing the dishes tonight (not by choice of course but who cares as long as I didn't have to do it);

43.  A new in home respite package for Ashlea (what shall I do with my 3 hours a week?);

44.  A comfy couch to plant my backside on now that the kids are in bed;

45.  The hope of sleep.

Philippians 4:6 
Do not be anxious about anything, but by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Photo A Day Jan 12

A bit of retro photography today
Nikon has a new digital camera that looks and feels
just like an old film camera.
I wants it... (this is not it - this is my actual old film camera)


Today I am thanking God for:

34.  My sister for minding the girls this evening so I could go to church and then do the grocery shopping - don't say I don't live on the wild side!  What would we do without Aunty Carolin?

35.  A bit of fun this afternoon with the old film camera;

36.  Digital cameras.  Who has the patience to wait for photos to develop?


Psalm 107:1 
Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; 
His love endures forever.



Saturday, January 11, 2014

Photo A Day Jan 11


It's very important to have people help you blow out the candles when
you're 92




Today I am thanking God for:

31.  Birthday lunch with the family for my and my Aunt's birthday.  We made do with 10 candles as between the two of us 135 would have been required.  She might be 92 now but every school holidays Aunty Doris used to always take us to Manly or ice skating at Macquarie Centre in her little purple Torana (that later became my first car);

32.  Arnott's Creamy Chocolate biscuits;

33.  Another two lizards evicted from my house.  I may have screamed like a little girl when I thought this one was about to run up my leg.  Anyone got any tips for keeping them out?  I am tempted to get a cat.  Or dog.  Or whatever other animal can catch these creatures.





Psalm 107:1 
Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; 
His love endures forever.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Photo A Day Jan 10

I think we've spent as much money on post-swimming-snacks this week as we
spent on the actual lessons!


Today I am thanking God for:

28.  An unexpected respite package!  The respite year doesn't officially start until July but somehow we have managed to jump in half way through the year and get a package.  I'm not sure what it involves yet - will find out Monday;

29.  A week of swim school done and dusted.  The girls have had fun and made progress and it has been a great source of Compulsory Outdoor Fun Time.  The question now is Can I psych myself up for weekly lessons again???

30.  Ashlea's behaviour while the girls have had swimming lessons has been brilliant.  I took her in the water on Monday which was fun but it has been too cold since then so she has had to keep herself amused (in her wheelchair) for the rest of the week.  She has been so well behaved.

Selfies with Mumma
She discovered that if she sat on my lap and put her
feet up on the wheelchair that was quite comfy

Psalm 107:1 
Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; 
His love endures forever.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Photo A Day Jan 9

An accurate number of candles may have resulted in the need to call the
fire brigade so these few will suffice...


Today I am thanking God for:

25.  43 years on this earth;

26.  A pleasant day for my birthday.  My sister got some flowers and a gift for the girls to give me so I had something to open this morning, then we met friends at the pool after swimming lessons, another friend came to visit and we finished off with dinner at the neighbours - and a salt, gluten and dairy free cake;  

27.  Some awesome behaviour from Emma today.  Firstly she was brave enough to try diving into the pool at swimming and then tonight at dinner she was by far the best behaved of all the kids AND she ate more than all the others put together.  A birthday miracle!


Psalm 107:1 
Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; 
His love endures forever.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Photo A Day Jan 8

"What did you say???"
Whenever Ashlea hears something
she doesn't like the sound of she responds with
What did you say? and this quizzical look.

Today I am thanking God for:

22.  My dishwasher.  Just as I was feeling a bit whingy today about having to unpack the dishwasher I realised that just having a dishwasher is something to be thankful for;

23.  My e-reader.  I love that when I decide I want to read a book I can read it RIGHT NOW;

24.  The chance to have a natter with a friend while my kids shared their Minecraft wisdom with her kids.
Psalm 107:1 
Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; 
His love endures forever.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Photo A Day Jan 7

History repeats itself.  As a child I had swimming lessons in
January.  For that week it was always cold and rainy.
So the cycle repeats itself with my children.

Today I am thanking God for:

19.  Bumping into a friend we haven't seen for ages at swimming;

20.  The sound of my girls playing together.  They are all such screen addicts that I have had to introduce 'Compulsory Outdoor Fun Time' and also 'Compulsory Play With Ashlea Time'.  Play with Ashlea time seems to involve much squealing and giggling.  I LOVE listening to it;

21.  An outing to Max Brenner tonight with some mums who get it.


Psalm 107:1 
Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; 
His love endures forever.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Photo A Day Jan 6

 Let's paint ourselves with chalk they said.
It will be fun they said.
And it was - until they couldn't wash it off.

Today I am thanking God for:

16.  Summer swim school for the girls (it has been a long time between swimming lessons), fun in the pool for Ashlea and I, and friends to hang out with at the pool after.  Also friends (and friendly strangers!) who helped Ashlea and I in and out of the pool;

17.  Salt free sausages - I think they're delicious but I'm not sure that anyone else agrees with me;

18.  Is it bad that I am also thankful that our fish have finally died.  I am planning on disposing of their bodies once the girls have gone to bed tonight and I am NEVER again agreeing to keeping fish as pets.  It's probably bad to thank God for the death of one of His creatures isn't it?  If you would prefer something more sanitary I could say I am thankful for finding Ashlea's lost furby - which I am - but nowhere near as thankful as I am about the demise of the fish!

Psalm 107:1 
Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; 
His love endures forever.



Sunday, January 5, 2014

Photo A Day: Jan 5


He flies through the air with the greatest of ease...

Today I am thanking God for:

13.  An encouraging sermon in church this morning about viewing people (and life - everything and everyone) in the light of eternity;

14.  The neighbour's council clean up to put our rubbish out on;

15.   Mangoes.


2 Thess 5: 16-18  
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Photo A Day: Jan 4

Do you need a closer up pic of what's going
on in our backyard?

Today I am thanking God for:

10.  Long, lazy summer days spent in our backyard beach;

11.  A lizard evicted.  On 13th Dec I posted on Facebook about a frantic chase around my lounge room to try and chase out a (large) lizard.  I finally got him out of the house today.  Yes he has been living under my lounge for the last 22 days;

12.  A few people willing to join me in the thankfulness challenge.


Here it is - This is what Ashlea spent her Christmas money on.
We all approve.

2 Thess 5: 16-18 
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. 

Friday, January 3, 2014

Photo A Day: Jan 3


Ashlea pretending to sleep to show you what it looks like when
children sleep in past 9am - no way was I going to risk waking any
of them up with an ACTUAL sleeping child photo!!


Today I am thanking God for:

7.  School holiday sleep ins - none of my children were awake before 9am today;

8 A bit of ingenuity and practical thinking.  I needed to inflate something today so I used the jumping castle pump rigged up to ever decreasing hose pipes until I could hold the hose in front of the little blow hole thingy (you know like on a beach ball) and get it blown up without having to expend too much of my own energy;

9. A successful outing to the shops with the girls today.  They had Christmas money to spend and it was burning a hole in their pockets.  They all bought toys rather than gadgets so it was a double win - the outing counted as screen free time and the things they bought will lead to yet more screen free time.

Also last night's spider killing moment for those of you who didn't see it on Facebook is worthy of mention again.  I am thankful that Carolin spotted this blighter BEFORE he had got into my car.  I am thankful that I was able to successfully dismember him without him crawling up my leg.  I am thankful that for now I will not have to repeat the 'huntsman on the visor while driving' experience.




2 Thess 5: 16-18 
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Photo A Day: Jan 2

Who needs Wet'N'Wild when you have Wet'N'Mild at home???


Today I am thanking God for:

4.  Friends to drink tea with while our children play (as far as play dates go it was a bit of a fail as my girls played minecraft and her boys played Wii but sometimes it's about the Mummies not the kids!);

5.  Slip and Slide fun with the girls;

6.  Thursday night dinner with the neighbours (oh no did I really give thanks for that in week 1 and now can't mention it again for the rest of the year?).


2 Thess 5: 16-18 
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. 



Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Photo A Day: Jan 1

Excuse the green eyebrows - fire breathing dragon
does not wash off easily

Today marks the beginning of a new challenge - to find 1000 things to be thankful for over the course of 2014.  I find it incredibly good for my mental health to focus on the things I have to be thankful for.  Positive thinking has never really cut it for me - it seems too airy-fairy for my concrete style of thinking.  Thankfulness is far more concrete as it reminds me of actual real things I can be thankful for.

It goes without saying that the one I am thankful to is God - the giver of all things. 

Rather than kicking of with something big and momentous I am going to start with something rather mundane.  Although if you knew the number of apples Emma eats you would realise this is a bigger deal than it sounds.

Here we go - 1000 Things To Be Thankful For:

1.  Today Emma has decided that she CAN actually eat apples with the skin on thus relieving me of the task of constantly peeling and cutting them up for her.

2.  I have had a reasonable start implementing some new things with the girls today.  I'm not calling the changes resolutions or saying them out loud otherwise they will be doomed to fail, but at least I've made a start (although I am about to try and make them do some reading - you may need to wish me luck with that).

3.  For the luxury of time to sit and read a book - I call it a luxury even if the kids don't.  I probably should add that after reading Call The Midwife I am also very thankful to have given birth to all my children in the 21st Century with all it's modern, life saving technology!


2 Thess 5: 16-18
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

PS If anyone's game to join me in the challenge just leave a comment :)