Thursday, March 31, 2011

Rough places smooth


I will lead the blind by ways they have not known,
along unfamiliar paths I will guide them;
I will turn darkness into light before them
and make rough places smooth.
These are the things I will do;
I will not forsake them.
Isaiah 42:16

I found this verse the day we found out Amelia's cystic fibrosis diagnosis. I had not much idea of what CF was. I knew it wasn't good. This verse has helped me through the last 3 and a half years of Amelia's life. We have had our ups and our downs along the journey. We have worried and been scared. We have also had fun and gotten a huge amount of joy from having Amelia in our lives.

We went down to Melbourne last Thursday for Amelia's latest clinic visit with her team at the Big Building. It was an excellent visit. We had some results back at the start of this week showing that Amelia is absorbing her enzymes properly and after all this time she is the healthiest that she has ever been in her life. 

In. Her. Whole. Life. As you can imagine, we are pretty excited about this. It is a relief to know that for the moment, things are great. We don't know how long things will stay this way, but we are going to celebrate anyway. We are going to go out this weekend and do something together as a family. We are going to breathe in the fresh air and laugh and enjoy life. Who knows what will be in the future? But for right now, I am enjoying the fact that my family is healthy and happy. Life is good.

They cried out to the Lord in their trouble,
and he brought them out of their distress.
He stilled the storm to a whisper;
the waves of the sea were hushed.
They were glad when it grew calm,
and he guided them to their desired haven.
Psalm 107:28-30

I will be sure to share what we get up to on the weekend. I hope there will be lots of photo taking to remember this great occasion.

Making things out of Zoobs

Esther and Ellamay got a set of these things each for Christmas. They are called Zoobs. I had never heard of them before. They played with them for a bit at Christmas time and then they were packed away and forgotten about. They found them again a couple of weeks ago and have played with them every day since. They come up with all kinds of creations.

Ellamay made a camera

This is Ellamay's camera

Esther made glasses

Esther decided she needed glasses.

It came with a book showing how to make different things and also the other sets that are available. They have added more of these to their ever increasing list for their birthday's in June. I think they are really quite fun. I don't like having toys in the house that don't get played with so these are a winner here.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Burning off

Fire in the paddock

Burning off

We are enjoying some lovely Autumn days here. Cool nights and warm days. The farmers are preparing paddocks for crops and burning off the dry grasses before the wet weather returns. This is in the paddock across the road from us. It is great to watch. The flames crackle and dance around as the grass all burns away.

Heat from burn off

The heat rises leaving a wavy horizon.

Smokey farmer

The vigilant farmer watches over the burn making sure it all goes to plan.

Smokey scene

And the smoke floats across the paddocks and joins up with the clouds in the sky.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Osnaburg and hoop

I have been going to my local fabric and craft shop a little too often lately. They had that spotty fabric on sale there and I had to go back to buy some more and, well, it's nice to feel inspired by fabric at the moment. My latest purchase was 1.6 metres of this osnaburg. I only just found out what osnaburg was from this post at Wild Olive. A fabulous stitchy blog I have recently stumbled upon. I was terribly excited to find the fabric and bought the remainder from the bolt. Now I am planning all kinds of stitching projects.

Embroidery Cottons

Embroidery beginnings

I have been sketching up ideas and screwing up paper and starting again. I have photocopied pictures and adjusted pictures and I have finally started one small stitching project. It won't take much of my fabric for this one :-) True to form, I have also starting making a couple of other things at the same time though. I will get around to sharing them. At the moment, why don't you just look at all that pretty cotton. Perhaps I need some more of that too :-)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Dancing Doodles book

Dancing Doodles book

I bought a couple of these books for Esther and Ellamay when they had their grommet operation back in February. They have been pretty popular, even though I think they don't quite get the concept yet.

Dancing doodles ballerina page

Dancing doodles shoe page

I bought some more copies to go with the notebook and pen roll holders I have been making up for birthday presents. So far they are going over well. It's great to hit on something that is popular with kids. I just hope they don't all get sick of getting the same thing by the end of the birthday's this year :-)

You can find the Dancing Doodles book here. There are a variety of other books in the same style which I think would be especially suited for older kids maybe. Or grown ups. I did my fair share of colouring and drawing when I was stuck in hospital for weeks waiting for Esther and Ellamay to be born. One of these kinds of books would have been just the ticket!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Green spotty skirt

I am in recovery mode at the moment. I had a terrible migraine at the end of last week so I have been sick and suffering all weekend. I am really over feeling so off too. Today I am pretending not to have any headache at all (even though there is still a little head soreness going on) and I am trying to be useful. Tim took care of me and everything else while I was sick so today I am trying to achieve some things around the house.  I am on a break at the moment though :-D

New spotty skirt

During the last week, I have been sewing. First I made Amelia's green spotty skirt from the fabric she had claimed in the previous week. It is such an easy skirt to make. It took me under an hour but I am sure it could be made faster if I didn't have another pair of hands helping me. It turned out great. Amelia tried it on when it was finished and didn't want to take it off.
Amelia and some 'pity' flowers

Amelia being a poser

She is such a poser! Do you recognise the birdie top I made last year? I still haven't attempted anymore of these tops. Like everything, it's on the to-do list still. I also made Esther and Ellamay a skirt each last week (photo's to come) and another notebook and pen roll holder. Not a bad effort for my week I thought. Not sure that the momentum will continue now that Tim starts back at work tomorrow :-(

Me and Amelia

Here are some photos I had to share. I bought a cheap remote for my camera and so Amelia and I had a play with it. I took the one above. (That's me with Amelia, by the way. *Waving*) I still have my glasses on after finishing sewing the skirt.

Amelia's self potrait with remote

This one Amelia took of herself. You can see the remote in her hand. She thought it was fantastic to be able to take photos with Mummy's camera and not even touch it. I thought that was good too. It's such a heavy camera for a little girl to hold. We walked around the yard together and she would just stop and point the remote at the camera and start jumping around and posing. Most of the photos were pretty blurry but it was fun. Maybe I will get in some photos more now.

I guess I had better finish up. So far today I have only managed a little housework and I have baked some brownies. There is still lots to do before bed time though.

Have a great week.

Tim in the garden

Tim gardening

Tim is back to work tomorrow. It has been so nice having him around the last couple of weeks. He has been trying to get the yard looking nice because it has been neglected for a long time. We have had so much rain over the summer that the drought is over and we are now off water restrictions so getting the garden in shape is a priority again.

He bought a big garden shredder (which I am afraid of) and he has been pruning back all the trees and plants around the yard and making everything look tidy and loved. The girls think it's wonderful because it is carving out all kinds of interesting cubbies under the trees and Tim has got a massive compost heap down the back.

Tim planted a little row of hedge plants around the gazebo out the front. It is all mulched around now and they are growing beautifully. I can't wait to see it all grown up and needing a trim.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

New notebook and pen holder

Here is the latest project I have been working on. My new (hopefully improved) notebook and pen holders.

Notebook and pen roll holder closed

Actually, I am calling them notebook and pen roll holders. Does that make sense? Now that I have typed that it kind of looks like it's a holder for notebook and pen roll's. Hmm... Oh well. Maybe you can see what I am getting at when you look at the pictures.

Notebook and pen roll holder

When I made the notebook and pen holders for Esther and Ellamay's birthday's last year, I followed a couple of tutorials I found but mostly just made it up as I went because I wanted the notebook to be held in a different way. The way I made the last ones only had space for ten pens too. I had bought packs that had twelve pens. My solution to this last year was to leave out the grey and the dark blue pen. I figured they would use the other colours more and they could have the extra pens if they wrecked any of the ones they had. This time though, I decided I would make the holder have enough spaces for the full set.

Notebook and pen roll holder open

I measured and figured and made a pattern. I wasn't really sure how it would end up but I didn't let that stop me :-) Once I had finished the sewing I put in the pens and notebook. It didn't look right just having it folded in half so I just folded the pens on top of themselves to put it away and think about it for a while. I kept coming back to it and decided that it looked pretty cool they way I had packed it up. So there it was. I attached the button and smiled. A finished project.

Notebook and pen roll holder half closed

I made two pretty quickly (aka: over a couple of days - I had help from Amelia you see) and have two more cut out ready to sew. I now have an excuse to go and buy some more colours of this fabric. The little girl who received the pink one loved it which makes me happy that I persisted with the project and that it didn't disappear into the mid-craft pile (as so many projects often do). And Esther and Ellamay told me that everyone in their class wants one now. It looks like I will be getting a lot better at sewing these too :-)

Pretty pens

Meanwhile, don't you just love pretty pens all lined up. I do. Stationery is lovely. I think I might add one of these for me to the list. I deserve one too. What colours to make it though?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Ready to sew

Ready to sew

This is some of the fabric I am using to make the new notebook and pen holders I am working on for upcoming birthday's. So pretty. I hope to go back to buy some more this week. I have been so productive making things that I really need some more. :-) Well, almost. I don't usually make things so quickly when I buy fabric. Usually it sits there until I can think of what to do with it. There was lots of colours and I want to buy more. And thread. I never think to buy matching thread. Amelia has claimed the green spotty fabric for a skirt. I guess that is on the list with the other stuff to do.

I will post the notebook and pen holders in the next couple of days. Have a great week.

Sunday, March 6, 2011


Helping in the yard

Helping daddy

A lot of gardening has been going on at our place. Tim has been pruning trees and giving everything a good tidy up. The girls have been out there right in the thick of it (aka: in the way) trying to help.

3 Kids in the garden

Such little sweeties. They love to be around Daddy.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Paper cup lighthouses

This is a quick, last minute craft I came up with for the kids to do during Amelia's pump time.

Paper cup lighthouses

I love lighthouses. I have a collection of little wooden ones from souvenir shops. This craft was from a sudden inspiration that hit me when I was trying to decide what we could make using these LED battery operated tea light candles. I found mine at the Reject Shop in a pack of 4 for $3.

We used a paper cup, a plastic cup, coloured paper, glue, markers and our LED candles. You can probably see how we made these. We covered the paper cups in white paper first and then added strips of red paper. Using our markers we added windows and a door. Then we added the bottom half of a plastic cup (which was a little smaller than the paper cup) for the top. We coloured the top with the black markers, added the LED candle and we were done!
Paper cup lighthouse lights

Ellamay added a Barbie sticker to her lighthouse because apparently Barbie can be a lighthouse keeper as well as all her other careers :-)

The kids loved this. They have their lighthouses in beside their beds now. The candles flicker just like real candles so it makes the lighthouses look great in a dark room.

This would make a cool craft even with out the candles. Perhaps you could use some al foil in the top for the light. Or stick it over a torch. Just a few thoughts. (I probably don't need to point this out - but I will. These LED candles are not suitable for small children. They are a choking hazard.)

Have fun. If you have any great ideas for pump time activities, let me know :-)

In the garden

Been in the garden?

You can see when kids have been around. Things start appearing in different places :-)

Friday, March 4, 2011

Button sorting on the pump

Buttons and pump time

Even though I try to have really super fun activities for the kids to do while Amelia is on the pump in the afternoon, it is hard to come up with something new every day. Especially if it is getting late and I need to be getting tea ready and kids bathed and what not. Our afternoons and evenings are crazy trying to fit it all in. Anyway, fortunately for me, buttons are still fun.

Sorting buttons

They sort them into colours using their tea sets.

Amelia sorting buttons

They like to pick out their favourite buttons and talk about what they would like to use it for.

Amelia and the pump

And anything that keeps Amelia happy while she has her medicine can only be a good thing. Not that the little monkey will keep the mask on!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Still green and other things

Red maple

Autumn is here and I am waiting for the leaves to turn. The weather has been so cool lately. Not at all normal for this time of year. We are still usually hitting 30 degree C days at the start of March but its been in the low 20's. Not that I am complaining. I prefer this temperature and I love autumn. The kids are disappointed though because they were hoping to go swimming once their ears had healed enough from the grommet operation.

I am so behind in my posting of stuff! I will have to get a couple more photos taken so I can post some actual crafty projects. I have managed some lately. The girls have friends with birthday's this month so I have been sewing like crazy trying to make something for them. And I am proud to say - I have achieved! I made some note book and pen holders slightly different to the ones I made for Esther and Ellamay's birthday's last year. Now that I seem to have hit upon an idea with them, I am going to (try) to sew up a couple more to stash away in the cupboard for birthday's later in the year. Won't I be terribly organised then?

It's been grand having Tim home on holidays this week. I am a bit sad that it's almost half over already. We went out together yesterday without any kids and investigated new heating and cooling options for our house. Might sound boring but it really was a nice day. And I did drag him around a few shops I wanted to look at too :-)

How's things at your end of the world?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Golden Orb Weaver

Golden Orb Weaver

This is creepy cool. I hate spiders but love to photograph webs. This spider has been living on our front verandah and obviously enjoying life there too. I told Tim the web looked a goldy yellow colour and he didn't seem convinced. So I googled around to find out what kind of spider our little friend (or foe) was.

Beautiful Golden web

It is a Golden Orb Weaver, one of the largest spiders found in Australia. I think that it has a dandy web. Look at the intricate pattern. Amazing. I don't like bugs but you have to admit that is a pretty amazing thing. According to one site they like to eat locusts. Well, plenty of them around here! I read that their web is so strong it can even catch small birds and bats. Blerk, no thanks! When I first noticed the spider making a web out the front I left it grow because I wanted to see what the web would look like but now that it is over a metre big, I think it's time to go. Don't really want lots of little baby Golden Orb Weavers around. They grow into big ones eventually.

Golden silk web

God certainly put creativity into all things.