22 October 2016


After an amazing week away in the Gold Coast, it has been back to reality for us all.  Lately we've been...

Busy renovating again.  As soon as we arrived home from our holiday, we spent a few days in our garden, laying weed matting, planting plants and covering them in black bark.  Finally, after a year of overgrown gardens our outdoor area is looking tidy! Our kitchen has also slowly been coming together.  While we were away we had our floors stained black and we are loving how they look. Thank you Ted for such an amazing job (we would highly recommend Ed's Floor Sanding Whangarei if you need your floors done and live locally).

Celebrating our second eldest boy's birthday who is now 15 years old!!  How did this wee guy turn into this guy below???  This guy is super precious, and has such a sweet heart.

Although, he may have to stay away from titanium rings for a while after recently getting one stuck on his finger which resulted in a visit to our local hospital to have it removed!

I'm loving our church blog and had the awesome pleasure of writing a little piece on their recently. We have a great bunch of authors contributing pieces regularly, so check them out here to be inspired and encouraged.

Enjoying some sunny days and looking forward to summer coming!

Getting back into a bit of crochet - currently working on this mustard granny square blanket...

Enjoying this precious family of ours.  Our eldest is nearing the end of school and has a few options ahead for next year.  It just feels like the other day we dropped him off to his first day at school!

Looking forward to sharing some kitchen renovation pics with you soon.  Have an amazing week!

For more Lately/Loving posts, visit here.

17 October 2016

Gold Coast Family Holiday!

We've just returned from the most amazing week away in the Gold Coast, Australia!

For years my Dad & Mum have talked of taking our 4 kids and us over to Australia for a week of theme park fun. Finally, during our NZ term break, the dream came true!

My Dad has had a crazy year health wise, so the fact we could still all go despite, and the fun time we had together as a family was very precious before he continues into some quite intense treatment ahead.  

Thank you so much Dad & Mum for such a fun week away.  I know the kids will remember this time forever - so many amazing memories were made and first time experiences were had!!

Our trip started with 3 of our 4 children experiencing flying on a plane for the first time...

We left New Zealand (and a very wet week) behind us and arrived to the most amazing weather, and breathtaking views from our apartments in Biggera Waters...

Symon's big brother Maurice, wife Sandra and family live in Brisbane, so it was wonderful to be able to catch up with them too while we were on holiday!

We had tickets for 3 theme parks for the week (Wet'N'Wild, Sea World and Movie World). 

Firstly, we visited Sea World - the perfect place for all ages, with lots of fun rides for the family, animals and activities to fill our day with.

Our penguin-obsessed girl in her happy place...

So much fun, especially the Sponge Bob rides...

The highlight of our day would have to be the dolphin show.  Our eldest daughter had been talking about this show for months - she had heard the usually someone was chosen from the crowd to pat and feed one of the dolphins during the show, and she totally believed she would be the one. Being the faith-filled mother I am (*cough cough), I gently encouraged her not to get her hopes up, but still to pray and see what happened.

To cut a long story short, our girl was chosen out of around 2,000 people to interact with the dolphin!

A pretty cool and emotion experience (a few of us had tears in our eyes, including the main guy in charge of the show!).  FYI this dolphin is called Kiama and was rescued at the Kiama blow hole.

Highlights of Sea World would have to be the dolphin show, the rides (especially Jet Ski Rescue and The Storm Coaster), patting the sting rays, the Sponge Bob zone, and seeing our eldest enjoying the Dora show (hehe).

The next day we hit Wet'N'Wild, and had so much fun!  So many extreme rides to keep the older boys happy, as well as a lot of fun for the younger ones (and us adults).  I did try a few extreme slides and rides, but by the end of the day felt a tad nauseous! Absolutely loved this place and so did the whole family.  

That night we checked out the Surfers Paradise Beachfront Markets. We really enjoyed checking out the different stalls, with the kids buying a few fun items and also having the opportunity to do this...

Slightly cheesy pics but a pretty cool opportunity for all of the kids!

This night was one of the highlights of the trip for one of our children. There was such a neat atmosphere as we walked along together at night - highly recommend checking this out if you are in the area.

We had a break day the next day, which included a road trip and doing a bit of shopping.  A few people had recommended checking out the pelican feeding at Labrador. These birds are so massive and fun to watch as they gobble up the fish leftovers from Charis Seafoods.

The next day we decided to visit Movie World!  This place is amazing - like a mini movie set with heaps of thrill rides, shops, shows and a great area for younger kids as well (don't tell anyone but I quite enjoyed the kiddie roller coaster after screaming my head off on the Superman Escape ride earlier in the day).

The boys loved Arkham Asylum (eeeek), Superman Escape, The Batwing Free Fall and The Green Lantern as well as many of the other rides!

The girls loved the parade, getting to be annoyed by The Joker, and the shops!

The next day Symon and the two boys decided to check out Dreamworld to overindulge in more thrill rides while us girls and Nan & Pop visited a shopping mall and more of Surfers Paradise!

The rest of the week included us re-visiting some of our favourite theme parks again, checking out more shops and ending our trip with a delicious all you can eat dinner at Southport Sharks Food Frenzy Court.  I may have ended up becoming a Southport Sharks Aussie Rules club suppporter so that we could save some money on our meals (shhhhh - don't tell anyone).

We have had the most amazing holiday with so many memories made - times like this I am so thankful for photos to help the memories stick (just be thankful I haven't posted them all here!).

Thanks again to my parents for taking us all on such an amazing holiday experience.

We loved our time in Australia - but it's always so good to be home!

17 September 2016


It's been a rather busy few weeks with one too many kitchen renovation dramas and too many winter bugs still lingering.  It's time for some good old fashioned reminiscing and thankfulness...

Thankful for my sweet girl and an amazing camera and lens we were gifted by two different people in the same week!  Can't wait to start learning how to take proper photos... it's all about moving away from the comfort of the 'auto' button people!!

Thankful for great friends who go on road trips with you especially to taste delicious goodies!  We loved our visit to Makana cafe!!

Thankful for our coffee machine and crochet!  When you've been washing dishes in tubs for a few weeks, and don't have much of a space to call a kitchen, little things like being able to make delicious coffee at home is a bonus!

Loving exploring our local Quarry Gardens...

And Boo - we love this sweet girl.  She may be getting older, have a strange aversion to baths and be scared of our cat Barney when he sleeps in her bed, but she's a sweety.

Loving getting to make my very own Bubble tea at home recently after being given some Bubble Tea pearls.  I love coconut, so tried this recipe and loved it!

Loved going to the hairdressers recently - I was only about 4 months late in spending my Mother's Day present!

Hockey season is over - our girl's last game so so exciting to watch (I think I may have embarrassed her and her team with my yelling and shrieking!).

Loving my family - and so looking forward to the term break coming up soon and getting to spend some good time with them.

So remember to take stock of the good things, and remind others to as well.  As my good friend Annika recently shared, Perspective is Everything!

For more Loving/Lately posts, click here.

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