Sunday, January 31, 2010

a bit of Aussie goodness...

I've learned to eat sandwiches a little differently since moving to Aus. 

We had lunch a couple weeks ago with a family who lives down the street.  Set out with all the 'regular' sandwich fixin's (like meat, cheese, tomato, lettuce) were cucumber slices and beetroot slices!!  Who would do such a thing...

But I like cucumber and beets, so I gave it a 'go'.  And the results were stupendous!!  A little extra crunch and a bit of sweet added to my wonderful lunch.  :-)  WooHoo!!!

Now, a sandwich just isn't a sandwich without the tangy taste and tantalizing crunch of beetroot and cucumber on my sandwich.  mmm, mmm, good.  ;-)

Friday, January 29, 2010

Flashback Friday - Loving on Riley, 2000

Little Brenna, Age 2 
Where ever we go, if little ones are around, she becomes a 'Pied Piper'. 
She's drawn to small kiddos, and they follow her around.
I'd guess it started here...
when we started watching our little neighbor three days a week.
Although Brenna was just two, she was a big helper!
Neither of the Griffith kids have lost their touch with the little ones....
it just takes longer to warm up to the big one.  ;-)
on a side note, I miss Riley's mom. 
She was a great friend and a fun neighbor.
I'm sure she still is... just not livin' next to me.  :-(

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Thankful Thursday - sunhats and aloe

The sun is hot in Australia.  They say (no, i don't really know who 'they' are, but they do say!) that the sun's rays/effects are stronger here than in the states.  You really can't go outside without one of my new best friends, sun block. 

But I now have a couple new friends this summer.  The first is 'Ms. Sunhat'.  I had no idea there were so many styles of hats, nor that some had better SPF ratings than others.  My new sunhat has a 50+ SPF rating.  (no idea what that exactly means, but bigger is better!)  AND it's cute!  I'm not a hat person.  My sister is, she looks cute in any type of hat, but me, not so much.  So finding a hat that looks cute on me, is a big plus! 

Here's the big news...  my friend Ms. Sunhat doesn't work, if i don't wear it.  Who would have guessed??  But, wearing hats in the hot sun is... well, it's hot...  and i'm not fond of hot.  hmmm....

Which brings me to my second friend... aloe!  He comes to the rescue when I neglect my first friend.  Isn't that sweet of him?  ;-) 

So, I'm working on building my connection w/ Ms. Sunhat, trying to spend more and more time w/ her... and reconnecting w/ Mr. Aloe, who is a very steady and helpful guy.  Hopefully, I won't need to rely on him much in the future.

Brenna's wearing her cute sunhat...  guess i misplaced mine
(really, it was so hot, i don't know how anyone kept a hat on! ugh!)

Shawn and his sunhat... where did mine go??
Both pics take on Australia Day while we were in Wollongong enjoying the festivities.


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Monday, January 25, 2010

Tuesday's Tangent - bandaids

I like band-aids.  They come in so many shapes and sizes.  You can also find fun, colorful, and even character band-aids. 

When I was younger, I liked putting on band-aids just for fun.  The most memorable occasion when was I was about 16.  Just put a cute Care Bear band-aid on my hand and caused some fun conversations. 

That Care Bear band-aid came from my sister's stash.  She also loved putting them on, as did both of my children.  Sometimes they'd have a plethora of band-aids covering their body for big, little, and non-existent boo-boos. 

Although they're created for a particular purpose, covering wounds, band-aids are useful in other ways too.  A sweetly given band-aid can ease any childhood injury, it doesn't have to be open or have blood.  It eases pain just in the offering.  Sharing a 'fun' band-aid can bring smiles and joy, making someone feel special as well.  Wearing silly band-aids can start a conversation. 

I like band-aids. 
For something quite small, it can do so much.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The end of summer....

Summer ends in two days for the kids.  I can't believe that summer break is almost over!  What a difference it seems to make celebrating Christmas and New Year's in the midst of summer vacation.  Or so it seems to me.  It's a shock that school is starting again in just a couple days. 

But it's been a lovely summer.  We've spent time with family friends, had some lazy days, and gone camping.  The kids have been to friends' and had friends over.  They've gone to movies and cooled off at the beach.  They've even started to learn to surf, thanks to a good Aussie friend.  (sadly, I'm the only one who hasn't had a 'go' at surfing yet... but my time will come...)

Here's a few pics from our summer fun!

A family outing to Wollongong harbour with a lovely walk.

Darian and Brenna enjoying some time together playing cards.

Visiting with friends at the Dapto Community Carols.
(yes, one's a Canadian)

Enjoying the sun and the crowd at the carols.
We've got our song books out ready to join in.

A special time of worship with the Mullins.

A quick pic before the New Year's Eve fireworks in Wollongong.

A first surfing lesson from Greg.

Getting ready to ride the wave...

Looking like he's done this before.

Enjoying a quiet afternoon relaxing and reading in the backyard.

Shawn on his first outing w/ Greg.

For the record, it's summer, the break, that's over... not summer, the season.  The season's going strong and has several weeks, or a couple months left it in.  ;-)

Friday, January 22, 2010

Flashback Friday - White Water Rafting '07

Today would be a perfect day to revisit our adventures in 2007.
(as today is hot, hot in the Illawarra... and at 9 this mornin' warm winds were blowing!)
Jane and I took the kids white water rafting in the hills of North Carolina!
It was such a great trip!  We all had so much fun.
It isn't too far back, but it's a great memory!
I'm ready for another trip!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Thankful Thursday...

Sometimes it's a challenge to be thankful for the little things...  that's what this is mostly about.  The unexpected, or even silly/odd, things to be thankful for... things that might not be thanked often... or maybe just special moments of thanks for the usual suspects.  ;-) 

When we were making a couple batches of peanut butter balls before Christmas, I brilliantly burnt my lip w/ some very hot melted chocolate.  It even blistered!  ouch! 

Which made be very thankful for ... Blistex cream!  So glad I had some from the states... and happy to find some here too.  It helped the pain and healing in my sore lip.  Thanks for the great way men's minds can create and solve problems.  And help my ow-ies. 

Brenna and Darian making peanut butter balls!  :-) 
Their friends and ours enjoyed the treat! yummm

Friday, January 8, 2010

Friday Flashback...

In May, before we moved from our home in Michigan, we took a family trip to Disney World.
I had dreamed of taking my kids there... as my parents took their kids.
It was a time of wonder and magic, beautiful moments together
and mystical memories.  We planned and prepared.
Then had the time of our lives.
One little adventure,
that lead to
so many

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Tuesday's Tangent...

I've just discoverd that my camera is still on Central Standard Time in the US...  kinda odd looking at my Christmas pics and seeing the wrong date...  weird.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Uncontainable Joy...

So, what about.... mercy, new birth (good to think about in a new year), times of suffering mean being refined, God's love, salvation...  those are all things to ponder in this section.  Without a doubt.  and there's so much more as well... layers and layers...  (at least to me, but truly, i'm no Biblical scholar)

Here's what struck me...  a sandwiching of praise, rejoicing, and joy.  These verses begin with "praise", you find "rejoice" in the middle, and at the ending there's "joy". 

And all I could think was, "Where's mine?" 
What happened to my desire to praise?  Why am I not rejoicing more?  And joy? I don't feel full of joy, let alone the "enexpressible and glorious joy".   Why not??

Now, those might seem odd to focus on.  We all know that life does not bring constant joy.  Heck, life's not even fair, so how could i think there should be joy?  But I have been there, I have felt that way.  So, what's happened with me?

When I looked closer, I found that I'm missing something... I haven't been making the choice... here's what i'd been forgetting... praise for God's great mercy... rejoice in an inheritance that never fades... filled with an inexperssible and glorious joy because I love him and receive the goal of my faith... 

I didn't misplace my joy... I simply lost focus. 
If I focus on God's mercy, my inheritance, and love... I know I will find joy beyond measure. 

Where's mine?  
... i guess it's always been here, I've just been looking in the wrong direction.
That's what I found in 1 Peter 1:3-9...  what about you?

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Is it cloudy in here?

Do you ever have a moment where you feel like you can see again?  but maybe you didn't even know things were cloudy?  And in that moment you think, "oh yeah, I knew that"... so it's kinda like an epiphany, but not new...

Yesterday I had one... during our team worship, we were looking at 1 Peter 1:3-9.  (Thanks, Corey) It's neat to me that although we all read/heard the same section, there were several different views.  And not oddly, what struck me was different than what others brought up.

That is, until Shawn mentioned the idea... in contrast to how i was viewing it.  (and again, that's not odd.  I like that we have different views)

So, how 'bout you...  what strikes you in those verses?  I'd love to hear.
(and I'll share in my thoughts in my next post, but I don't want to make this one too long)

Wordless Wednesday - walking along...

Friday, January 1, 2010

Christmas Catch-up

Here's a few shots from our first summer time Christmas...
Thanks to all the family and friends, and Skyline, for helping make this Christmas memorable!
One fabulous occurance that I didn't get any pics of was being able to open gifts and share memories w/ family and friends on Skype!  Thanks for sharing part of your days; it was good to be with you!

Darian just opened his stocking gifts... 

my gift from my sweet girl...  she added one of her nicknames...

Perhaps the first time I've opened gifts in a tank-top... but I'm still sporting the snowman pjs!  :-)

I think this was B's favourite gift... (well, one of them)... she loves to wear it, even if mac-n-cheese is not so popular over here...  Thanks, Aunt Jane!

Opening the box from Skyline!  :-)  Each of us had a bag of goodies! Thanks to all for the love and connections that were sent in this package!  We are truly blessed to have your support and love! 
(I'm impress we were able to wait for Christmas morning to open this!)

Okay, I'm sure this isn't Shawn's favourite pic... but how could i resist?? 
(and can you see in the mirror... Brenna's holiday greetings w/ her new window makers?...
"mErRy cHrIsTmAs!")