27 August 2016

Bula from Fiji!

Symon and our eldest son have just returned home from 12 days in Fiji!  They went with a group of 14 others from our church to serve and encourage 4 churches we partner with and assist during their bi-annual conference.

This was Symon's fourth time visiting Fiji, and our eldest son's first - first time in Fiji, first time out of New Zealand and first time on an aeroplane.

Our son Jasher absolutely loved his time there and really wants to visit again.

It's amazing how you can travel on a missions trip hoping to encourage others and be a blessing yet often you return home and find you have been more impacted and encouraged yourself than you expected. That's the general feeling I get from those that travelled on this trip.

The people of Fiji are beautiful, warm and friendly and have an amazing sense of humour.  They welcome you into their homes, share their stories and many have such a strong faith in God despite the sometimes overwhelming trials they have to face.

Symon was so impacted by their respect and honour for older people, something that sadly, we often don't see in our culture, as well as their thankfulness and joy for what they have.  I think so many of us could learn a great deal from these amazing people.

I'd love to travel to Fiji with the next team, but until then I'll just have to keep listening to the stories, gazing at the photographs and praying for this beautiful Nation and it's precious people.

It's so good to have my guys home again though... soooo good!

02 August 2016

My Favourite Lemon Recipes

It's that time of year here in New Zealand (middle of winter) when your lemon tree is laden with so many lemons that you don't know what to do with them.  You offer to give them to friends and family, but they too have lemons coming out their ears and politely decline your offer of lemony goodness.

I shared some of my favourite lemon recipes on facebook last week as I was making a couple of lemon loaves and some lemonade and was amazed at the response I got - so many friends and family were thankful for the delicious recipes they could use their lemons in.

So here you go friends, I thought I'd copy the links to some of my most favourite lemon recipes in one spot so that you can make and share with friends to your hearts content.

Let me know in the comments if you have a favourite lemon recipe (and share the link too!).

As the saying goes, when life gives you lemons...

I love this lemonade recipe!  It's so delicious with the lemon rinds included, and you can change the amount of sugar you add to your own personal taste.  Recipe here, underneath the Lemon Rind Biscuit one listed.

Lemon Rind Biscuits
These tasty biscuits are so nice and rather different from the usual biscuit flavour.  Recipe here.

Lemon Loaf
This is one of my most favourite lemon recipes!  My mum is known for making this one alot, and it's fun to use limes instead or with your lemons.  The sticky topping is delish.  Recipe here.

Lemon Honey
This would have to be one of my most favourite spreads!    Recipe here.

Lemon Yoghurt Cake
Something a bit different again, this Lemon Yoghurt cake is delicious!  Recipe here.

So there you go people!  Enjoy these lemony recipes and make something amazing out of all of those lemons!

For more delicious recipes visit here.

25 July 2016


Lately I was reminded of the importance of thankfulness and choosing to focus on the good rather than the negative.  Recently, my girls and I decided to check out a local petting zoo at a farm near by. We were so excited, especially when the rain cleared and we finally reached our destination.  As we went to park the car and visit the cute animals, a man (possibly the owner of the farm) came and told us that the parking area had been closed due to the earlier rain causing too much mud, and we would have to park quite a way down the road and walk through some farm land to get back to view the animals.

We parked down the road and started walking through the farm land, only to realise that the land was boggy and us silly townies had not worn the right clothes (think jandals, nice shoes etc).  Our shoes were covered in mud, it started to rain and our pants had mud flicked up the back of them.  One of the girls got an electric shock off the fence, we were struggling to dodge the cow pats and half way through the paddock we nearly turned around, but then decided to keep going.

To cut a long and muddy story short, we persisted and ended up having some awesome moments with some gorgeous animals, including miniature pony rides and even a bowl of Affogato for me!  At the end of the day as I was sitting down with my youngest and we were chatting, I reminded her that if we looked at the negatives, what a horrible day we had had... yet if we chose to focus on the good stuff, what a wonderful day we had.   I don't want to live my life focusing on the negative things - I want to live a thankful life, despite the downs, cherishing the ups.

So here is some of the good stuff from the last few weeks from our world...

Some sweet moments from our farm visit...


Loving spending special time with the kiddos these holidays.  They went back to school today, and it's rather nice to be back into routine again, but those lazy holiday vibes are so nice for a few weeks every so often!

Loving coffee - enough said!

Loving this guy who has recovered enough from his knee surgery to start ripping out our kitchen! The place is a shambles at the moment, but I'm trying hard to keep my eyes on the goal.  Even though it's dusty and messy, the end target is what I'm holding out for and it's going to be so worth it! p.s. this is his going home to renovate face...

Stay tuned for a finished kitchen post in a few months time (hopefully!!).

And finally, just have to share this beautiful pic of my lovely Nana, hanging out with my girls.  Love that they get to spend time with her, play games with her and enjoy having a great grandmother in their life.  Super thankful.

So remember to take stock of the good things, and remind others to as well.

 For more Loving/Lately posts, click here.

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