31 December 2015

The Year that was...



I'm pretty sure I just blinked and 2015 came to an end!  Life seems to be flying by lately (with not many blog posts happening very often either!), so I'm pausing, and as I have done in previous years I'm taking stock of this year (mainly for my sake) and remembering some of the great things that have been, and looking forward to many great things to come.

Here's to an amazing 2016!!

2015...

Although I didn't blog too much this past year, there were still some great adventures had, creations made and delicious things consumed throughout this year!

Adventures


We've had a few adventures this year, one of the biggest being moving house!  As well as a few road trips with the family, including the girls doing amazing at their first time surfing, we had an awesome time travelling down to Hobbiton for our first family holiday in ages!  Symon also had an amazing missions trip to Fiji with our church (I missed him so much!).



Could you include accidentally putting a Shepherd's Pie upside down onto your neighbours couch an adventure?


Makings

There hasn't been as much crafting or renovations this year as I had hoped, but thanks to my hubby surprising me with a new sewing machine, here's to a super crafty 2016!

We were able to renovate our laundry before we moved, and so far have renovated one of our girls rooms in our new house!  





Crafting wise, there hasn't been too much crochet happening lately, but a few softies (Pink Bunny, Blue Bunny, Bear Softies, a Skunk Ape softie among some) as well as an Amigurumi Cupcake and some last minute Christmas stockings.

 


Baking...



There were a few yummy food creations and recipes shared in 2015 (click here to see them all) but here are a few of my most favourite ones...

My daughter's Penguin Birthday Cake, PB&J Cupcakes, the most delicious Gluten Free Chocolate Cake, and my favourite Lemon Loaf recipe!

  
Lessons Learned...





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This past year has not been without it's challenges.  There has been tears, sheer exhaustion and many moments where my faith in the Lord has been the main thing that has pulled me through - but there has also been a few lessons that I've shared along the way, lessons like Choosing Joy no matter what, Celebrating the Season of your life, and taking the time to have a Family Health Check.

My family is so precious, and throughout the year the moments I have loved are gathering to celebrate birthdays and other occasions.  One of the highlights of 2015 was one of my boys deciding to be water baptised - a powerful declaration to everyone of his personal faith decision.



2015 has been great!  Happy New Year people!!








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To check out past Year in Review posts, click here.



30 December 2015

Christmas Pineapple Fruit Cake





I've never ever made a Christmas Cake before, and while telling my Mum-in-Law this just before Christmas, she gave me a copy of a very old and simple recipe that she had stored away with her recipes.  She even sent me home with half the ingredients so I was pretty much ready to go!

This cake is easy, cheap to make (compared to some fruit cakes!) and so moist and delicious!

I just have to share it - sadly I have no idea where this recipe originates from, so if you do, please let me know!

Even though Christmas has come and gone, who said you can make a holiday fruit cake!?!


Ingredients
1 x 450g can crushed pineapple
175g butter
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
4 eggs
1kg mixed dried fruit
2 tablespoons orange marmalade
2 cups plain flour
2 teaspoons mixed spice
Red glace cherries and extra canned pineapple to decorate

Lightly grease a deep, 23cm round cake pan, line with 3 layers of paper, brining paper 5cm above edge of pan.

Drain pineapple; reserve  cup liquid.

Beat butter and sugar in small bowl with an electri mixer until combined.  Gradually beat in eggs. Stir in fruit, pineapple and marmalade.  Fold in sifted dry ingredients and reserved pineapple liquid. Spread mixture into prepared pan.

Decorate with cherries and extra pineapple.

Cook in a moderately slow oven 160°C for about 3 hours, or until cooked when tested.  Cover hot cake with foil; cool in pan.



For more delicious recipes visit here.


28 December 2015

Christmas 2015!


Christmas has come and gone, and it was wonderful!

The Christmas celebrations started at our place with a beautiful Christmas Eve service at our church - so good to get your focus on the most important One right from the beginning.



We had our first Christmas at our new home - and despite fears "it just won't be the same", it was great (1 big bonus was not being woken up at 2am then 4am to check if it was okay to get up and open presents like in previous years)!  We then had a full day of hanging with my side of the family, first at my parents house, then at my Aunt and Uncles home.








Boxing day was Christmas round 2, hosted by my awesome sister-in-law who graciously let us skip hosting this year due to our house being in a bit of a 'renovation disaster' state still (next year!!). Little kids definitely make Christmas, and it's so cute now seeing the next generation getting all excited about presents!






The children have all had such a fabulous Christmas, and I just love those days following where you eat leftovers, don't bother about strict bedtimes, everyone is occupied with their new toys/books/games, and you can just hang with family!

Apparently this coming summer in New Zealand is going to be crazy hot, so we are looking forward to lots of beach trips, local water hole visits and fitting in some renovating amongst it all.

One of the biggest gift hits this Christmas was our youngest getting her biggest dream of some pet frogs!  She has 4 Southern Bell frogs named Jelly, Kevin, Kermit and Rocky.  Her and her dad are having heaps of fun setting up their tank, catching flies and researching all about frogs (continue to keep me in your prayers people - I can sense that after finally having cut down the pet obsession to 1 dog and 1 cat that there is a resurgence of pet addictions coming...).




So wherever you are, sending my holiday love and have a safe and wonderful New Year!




 John 3:16  For God so loved  the world,  that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.




24 December 2015

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone!

We attempted a lovely Christmas family photo just for you... But ended up with a crying child, blurry and freaky faces - yes, this sums up our family pretty well!

Have a wonderful CHRISTmas!



Isaiah 9:6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 





23 December 2015

It's the most wonderful time of the year...

It's the Eve of Christmas Eve... the most wonderful time of the year.  Although there hasn't been any sleigh bells ringing around these parts, there has been a lot of fun and excitement and Christmas celebrations...

There's been the Star Wars new movie excitement, with my son hosting a movie marathon for his mates before the official release...




There's been shopping shenanigans - this is what happens when you take a male shopping with you...



There's been catching up with friends - these ladies are some of the awesome pastors in our city I get to hang with throughout the year...



We've had carols in the park...



Christmas celebrations at church...




Beautiful handmade gifts...




Handsome boys who share the same name...



There's been quick #husbandnaps in between functions and events...



We've been enjoying harvesting our own vegetables from our garden...



There's been quick Christmas stocking upgrades (Hello Kitty no longer is cool for my 8 year old)...




Christmas baking galore (I even made my first ever Christmas fruit cake!!!)




And a special party today, to celebrating Jesus birthday!



It certainly is the most wonderful time of the year...


21 December 2015

Bear & Skunk Ape Softies!

I've had a few moments to play with my new sewing machine lately and finally finished a "Skunk Ape" softie my eldest son has been asking me to make for a couple of years!  

If you don't know what a Skunk Ape is, click here - basically it's a strange creature that my cryptozoology obsessed son loves (personally it just looks like a bad photo of a monkey if you ask me).  




It matches perfectly with his Dad's Yeti Softie and Big Foot Softie!


I've also had some fun designing a simple Bear Softie using some recycled fabrics I had stored away...







Love these guys - so cute!




For more softies, visit here!


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