Friday, April 30, 2010

Friday Flashback - Family 2006

Gathered together after a long 'Grandparent Tour' 
one sun-filled, fun-filled summer.
So blessed to have great kids and wonderful parents (both sets)
who make priceless summer memories together.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Thankful Thursday - heart

I am not a rhythmic person.  I can hear a basic beat, but I cannot keep a beat for a sustained time.  And, please, don't even try to think that I could keep a steady beat AND do anything else!  (maybe even breath)... really, that's a complex task, right??  ;-)

So, in light of these difficulties for me, I am very thankful that my heart does not need my assistance to beat.  My heart was created to keep it's own rhythm, it's own steady time.  I am thankful and praise God for that amazing occurrence! ...because, if it was up to me, my poor little heart wouldn't have lasted long.

Sometimes, it's the little things that I'm really thankful for.  ;-)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Tuesday's Tangent - bats

I've never been a big fan of bats, the flying kind, that is.  (I'm not greatly fond of the other type of bats as they require hand-eye coordination of which i have very little... but that's another post).  I've always thought the flying bats were kind of creepy.  And anything that moves quickly can make me squirmish. 

But, last week, when we went to Sydney to apply for new passports for D and B, I saw heaps of bats flying from the Botanical Gardens over the Opera House and into the harbour.  VERY COOL! 

Bats are stunning to watch.  They're incredibly graceful and quite unique.  When they fly in front of lights, their wings are translucent.  Crazy!  I could have stood and watched them fly overhead for hours.  Who knew!

Silly me, I should have been appreciating them for what they were created to be, not comparing them to other things and judging them for what they were not.   hmm... 

The Harbour Bridge at dusk.
If you look closely, you should be able to see tiny black
dots in the upper left corner... those are bats! :-)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Thankful Thursday - chocolate

... 'cuz some days just call for chocolate.  ;-)

Some days are chocolate - straight up.  Other days require chocolate with peanut butter or maybe mint.  Once in a while, the day needs chocolate with a bit of crunch.  But there are days, that are best treated with chocolate. 

and so, I'm thankful for the delicious creation!
and the many, many varieties.
and the family and friends who share the love.  ;-)


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tuesday's Tangent - ice

Ice machines and ice buckets are not as easily found in Aussie hotels. 

Just thought y'all might want to know that.


Friday, April 16, 2010

Friday Flashback - Fall 2005

A special visit from Aunt Karen, Kristen, Jamie and Ben.
They came to visit us in Memphis, and we had a great time!
Obviously, this is a bedtime story, Thanks, Aunt Karen.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Thankful Thursday - flowing water

Sounds silly, I know.  But these 'thankfuls' are for the little things, or maybe the overlooked things... and they're for me, and I do like a bit of silly now and again.  :-)

Last week, we had busy day of meetings and events.  Brenna was invited to go shopping with a friend in Sydney.  :-)  Good fun!  One meeting took us a bit more north than we normally venture.  And, since it gave me some free time, I went exploring and rediscovered some streams and waterfalls.

I love the sound of flowing water.  The way it moves, trickles and rushes is peaceful and calming to me.  I could sit and listen to the sounds for hours. 

I'm thankful that God created not only beautiful sights, but also some wonderful sounds.  Sounds of creation that bring peace and joy. 

a slow trickle...

a fiercer rush

Me and my exploring buddy for the day. :-)

Wish I had sound to go w/ the pics... but that just didn't happen.  :-) 

Monday, April 12, 2010

Lessons from the garden... tomatoes

We started a winter garden last year.  Well, okay, Shawn started the garden, but I did take some pics!  heehee.  It gave us some fantastic veggies... snow peas, lettuce, purple beans, carrots, silver beet, beetroot, to name a few (the ones I remember).  Then Shawn replanted for summer and we had some delicious tomatoes and capsicum (aka green peppers).

At first we were very good at keeping it watered and weeded.  I visited it every morning to give it a pep-talk and watch the baby lizards scurry away at my foot steps.  But after a while other things got in the way.
(and that's a totally different point...)

If you were to look at our garden this week, you'd actually ask... "What garden?!?"  It's quite overrun and jungle-like.  It doesn't resemble much of what it was created for.  There's grass and weeds overtaking the area.

 But here's the beautiful thing... I went out the other day and discovered some tomatoes growing.  Even amidst the neglect and garden sadness, there was something able to grow and fulfill it's purpose.  Some plants produced a bowlful of fruit.  :-)  Plump and round and red. 

I like that.  It gives me hope.
Sometimes life gets messy, or isn't orderly the way we'd anticipated.  But, in the middle of that, something can still grow and thrive.

Thanks, tomatoes.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Brown Eggs -2

A little bit of funny...

A couple days before Griffith Family Day, we were invited to dinner at a friend's house.  :-)  Good fun!  We joined the Tylers and some of their neighbors for some pizza making, mmmm....

While we were chatting in the kitchen, I mentioned my plight (only brown eggs) to the other ladies.  One of them looked a bit pondering, then agreed that Aussie eggs are cream-colored, but was sure they could easily be dyed.  So we chatted a bit then took out some eggs.  After sharing with her that eggs in the States are white like the bowl on the counter, she was surprised at how dark the local eggs were.  She hadn't  understood what I was whinge-ing about until then.

It's nothing big, or surprising, but it so made me smile!  :-) 
I like those moments. 

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Brown Eggs

This was our first Easter in Oz.  It was full of new experiences.  Traditionally, the week before Easter, our family celebrates "Griffith Family Day"- a day about and dedicated to our family.  There's not much that's "must-do" that day, but there are a couple things.

It's the one day of the year where the family joins together and eats cookie dough. ;-)  (yeah, i know, it could be hazardous to our health... we survived this year... it's all good)

It's also the day we dye Easter eggs.  That's always a day we enjoy.  There's a lot of creativity and heart that goes into making just the right eggs.  And we often have a bonus guest or two adding to the decorating fun!  :-)  I have many GRAND memories of sitting/standing around a table transforming eggs into bright and colorful gems!

This year we discovered a technical difficulty.  Australia sells brown eggs not white.  I haven't seen one white egg since I've been here.  And, I haven't noticed it till now... when I wanted to make some yellow, orange and pink eggs.

So, we pondered what to do, and thanks to friends on Facebook, had several suggestions, too.  So, we boiled our eggs, and colored them... with Brenna's school crayons!  :-)  They weren't as bright, but they were still fun to do together.

The finished product... 
minus the ones that we'd eaten by the time I remembered to take a pic.

The kids and I coloring eggs... truly!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Friday Flashback - B & Aunt Katie '05

Aunt Katie and Brenna
sharing some love.
Christmas visit to Pennsylvania.
Brenna's developed several wonderful traits
from both of her aunts. 

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Thankful Thursday - kids

And believe it or not, not just my kids...
Kids make me smile...  whether we're hanging out w/ friends who have them or I'm wandering the shops... kids and the things they do make me smile!  deep from the inside smiles.

Yesterday while I was in the shops with Darian, a mum was pushing her girls (about 3 years old, twins, in princess dresses) in a shopping trolley (aka - cart).  One of the little girls was chatting away with mum.  Sweet in itself.  But then I heard what she said...  She asked if it was February.  Mum told her no.  Then she asked if it was March.  And mum explained that it wasn't March either, it was April.  The little one quickly responded, "What happened to February and March?"


I'm not sure what mum said next... but shortly after that I heard her say comfortingly, "We'll see them again next year."  Wonderful!

Kids, they make me smile.
So glad they're around... my own and others.  :-)  Yay.

a morning greeting at preschool :-)
Joy in small things.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Tuesday's Tangent - Fall

Actually, it's not fall here, the season's called Autumn.

It's beginning to change seasons.  The evenings are cooler.  It's nice to snuggle up to keep warm since the air is getting cool once the sun goes done.  The days aren't so hot... really, I've worn a sweatshirt on several days recently, so it must be getting cold.  ;-)  (heehee... if you know me, you know that's not quite true..)

But it's all feeling a bit odd.... 'cuz my brain is thinking that if the temps are going down and Fall's comin', then there are certain things that go along with that. Like my mum's birthday, but that's not till October.  And I'm craving some fresh apple cider... but I'm not sure I'll find any around here.   And the leaves should change colors any day now... but the trees aren't the same...  (and really, it's probably not that cool yet)

But this isn't fall... it's Autumn... and it's only April. 
and it's all just a bit odd... for today.

(fall in TN)

Welcome Autumn!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Holiday fun...

A couple weeks ago, Shawn and I were blessed by showing some Gosford friends around the Wollongong area during their holiday.  (Here in Australia, 'holiday' is the term you'd use for a break from work... What Americans would call a 'vacation'.)  I'm grateful they trusted us to show them around a bit and shared their time with us.  Sometimes, it's easy for me to think of times like this as an interruption or a bother, but truly, this was a blessing to me. 

Here's Shawn with Andrew and his mum, Ann
enjoying the view from Stanwell Tops.

Posing for a picture... 
with other visitors and some hang-gliders in the background.

Taking some pics on the Grand Pacific Drive
well, part of it anyway. ;-)

The Drive out over the water...
and the stunningness of God's creation.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Friday Flashback - Early Family pic '95

 Shawn, Darian and I way back when...
seems like such a long time ago.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Thankful Thursday - laughter

Nothing brightens the day like laughing with a friend!
...or with the most wonderful hubby ever who's always nearby to share a laugh! 

I don't think I've ever pondered how fabulous, utterly terrific laughter is.  It livens and refreshes my spirit and attitude.  As my sweet sister would say... It's good fun!

And I'm not only thankful for laughter, but for those family and friends who share in the laughter... who make me laugh and laugh with me.  The world is a better place because of a little giggle now and again, because of a wee chuckle here and there.

Oh, and there's just so many types of laughter...  that makes me smile too!
What kind of a laugh-er are you?