09 July 2018


The months are flying by and I feel like there is so much to keep a note of! Here are a few of the exciting things happening around these parts lately - keeping a thankful heart and noting all the good stuff! 

Our daughter was water baptised last month. She decided all on her own about this decision and it was so lovely to watch her declare her faith publicly... 

We celebrated my beautiful Nana's 86th birthday with some family time. Love my Nana so much and so blessed to have her in our lives. 

The official ball photos came out and I loved seeing how great our boy and all his friends looked dressed up! 

Our church has just recently started selling proper coffee on Sundays and our cafe team has done so well training and serving coffees. I'm super proud of them! 

Absolutely blown away and loving our school's recent production! Our 3 youngest were involved and did so well, but I was so proud of every single child involved - seriously impressed and already looking forward to next year's production! 

Our eldest son has been doing a bit of domestic flying for work this last month. It's been so cool seeing him enjoy new experiences and also having the chance to explore a new city that is still on my bucket list to visit one day! 

Lastly, we have a new little addition to our family.  After losing our much loved Barney, we knew we wanted to find another female cat and have kittens again, just like we had with Barney.

Meet Ripley Drake, our 17 month old Birman x Ragdoll. 

We love her so much already... Although Boo isn't too sure. 

So much to be thankful for!

For more Loving/Lately/Thankful posts, click here.

Farewell Barney

Last Sunday we sadly farewelled our beloved giant tabby cat Barney, who was 13 and a half years old. 

We had kept Barney from a kitten after his Mum Wilma had a litter of 4.

Barney was the most chilled out cat ever - he hardly ever scratched anyone, even when half strangled by little kids (accidently of course).

He was also the most giant cat around! I often would hear someone walking on our porch outside and be expecting a visitor, only to discover it was Barney! 

He was a slight danger to have around our kids when young due to the risk of suffocating them with his giant fluffy frame. He loved to sneak into cots to sleep with our babies and sleep on faces, and in his later years, Symon's beard became one of his favourite things to snuggle in the night.

Its so sad to see a pet get old and unwell, but I'm thankful for the great memories our family has to share with the longest living cat we've owned as a family.

We'll miss you Barney Baloo Drake. 

P.S. Barney has his very own hashtag on Instagram "#barneydrake"


My Dad has many old photo albums of family members as well as medals from the war, special documents and letters. 

I'd love one day to document many of these things properly, but until then, just posting these beautiful old photos of my grandmother and grandfather (Bernie Nan & Pop Alan) on my Dad's side here for the record.

I just love this photo of my Dad sitting on Santa's knee... He looks so unsure! 

How do you store or display old photos family photos and/or memorabilia?

19 June 2018


Lately things around these parts have been rather full on, so much so that I've been forgetting things (always a sign for myself that I need some time out).  Last Saturday I took my kids to two different events and BOTH TIMES I took them to the wrong locations! Seriously... it wasn't funny at the time. 

Some days you just have to breathe, thank God for his mercies (which are new every morning), and start the next day with a fresh slate.

Keeping a thankful heart helps too... no matter how crazy life is,  there is always something to be thankful for.

So here we go! 

Thankful for our son's first time going to a ball. He looked rather dashing if I do say so myself. I'm also super thankful we actually got him to the right location for the ball in the end! 😂 

Really looking forward to seeing the professional ball photos! 

Also cracking up at his instagram post that night... 

Loving that our youngest has finally learnt how to crochet! Being a fellow lefty made it heaps easier to teach her. Her current project... a blanket for the kittens we are going to get (one day when our old cat dies 😂😂).  As you can see in the photo below, Barney the old cat is blissfully unaware of these plans... 

Last weekend the kids from our church had the awesome opportunity of joining with Bethel Church NZ's amazing idea to help our local Mayor sweep our beautiful Hatea Loop.  There was a great bunch of kids that turned out, and our Boo even won a 3rd place prize for being a "living broom". Our Mayor seemed to think Boo was rather sweet.. 

We've celebrated a tonne of birthdays here lately (our oldest son turned 19, as well as Symon & my mum celebrating their birthdays).  Thankful for a whole group of lovely family and friends we get to do life with. 

Captured this shot of my Dad photographing a beautiful sunset on the way home from my cousins engagement party. Love my Dad and love his photos! 

Loving tasting the best ham & pea soup I've ever had recently at The Rusty Tractor Cafe in Kerikeri. Soooooo yum! 

Super thankful for this girl who participate in the 40 Hour Famine recently and raised $340 by not talking for 40 hours! *utter bliss for us I tell you!

Loving crochet - enough said.

Although it's super challenging at times, I'm loving and thankful for the opportunity to be a pastor with my hubby and see amazing people's lives changed. ❤️

After a knee injury from running, I've become sooooo unfit! So excited to finally get back on the bike (haha - pun intended) and start using Symon's Electra Townie bike to get fit again. So much fun and so good for mental health getting those endorphins going. 

So excited and thankful that our church is finally going to have great coffee! Our team is training hard and we are looking forward to selling delicious Merito Coffee soon! 

Every year, all the kids in New Zealand look forward to their schools annual Cross Country - just kidding! Some kids do, but most don't. My kids were busy counting down how many cross country races they had left in their life. 

This year I was so thankful my Dad came along and took photos of most of the kids in the whole school, including mine. So good! 

Seriously though... Anyone agree?! 😂 

Finally, still loving my letterboard... and so thankful for humour. Its what keeps me sane! 

So much to be thankful for!

For more Loving/Lately/Thankful posts, click here.

25 May 2018


I've been thinking about words a lot lately and how powerful they really are.

We are living in a time where words don't seem to carry as much weight as they used to. We don't think much about breaking a promise, talking about others behind their backs, commenting negatively about people online or consuming the latest goss for fun in the shiny magazines sold at our local supermarkets.

As a parent and wife, I'm so aware that my words impact not only my world, but the world of my kids and my marriage.

So lately I've been imagining my words are like seeds.  When we sow seeds into the garden, we expect to grow something because we know they are living and there will be something produced from them. My words are exactly the same.

Instead of being casual with my words, I've started to imagine them being like seeds... realising that they will have an effect when planted, whether positive or negative.

When I talk to my children, my words are like seeds... they will either negatively or positively affect my kids. Same thing goes for the words I speak over myself, my husband and my friends.

Lately, I've been asking myself what kind of garden I am planting in my life with my words. Am I looking around at a life full of weeds and thorns which are the result of years of negativity and criticism, or have I planted words (seeds) of hope and encouragement into my life and those around me?

If my words are like seeds, am I as careful and thoughtful with my words as I am when I plant seeds into my vegetable garden at home?

One area I've really had to watch is the way I use my words when speaking negatively about or to myself.  One question I ask myself is, "Would I let someone speak to my friends or kids the way I speak to myself?".  I've realised that my relationship with myself sets the tone for every other relationship I have.

I want to be someone whose words encourage (give courage to) others, not discourage (take courage from) others.

When I speak, 3 good things to check are:

1. Is it true?
2. Is it kind?
3. Is it necessary? 

Without realising it, one of the most powerful things we possess are our words – especially over others. 

With your words you can tear down or build up. Your words can change the course of a life – you can destroy dreams, or you can spark hope.

Chose your words wisely. 

I recently spoke on this topic at our church here

16 May 2018

Things I'm loving...

It's that time again - a little summary of the last few weeks and focusing on the good stuff, cause keeping a thankful heart is the secret to a joy-filled life (in my opinion anyway!). 

So thankful for the opportunity to recently attend an awesome conference recently (Life Conference) with these amazing people... 

Getting to see some of our beautiful friends while down in Auckland!

Loving this line on my letterboard for this week (see if you can spot Boo too)... 

Loving the evening sky, especially when you can see a roller-coaster in it! 

Loving Krispy Kreme... need I say more?

Sooooo loving crochet! I hardly sit down to craft lately, so when I do, it's such a treat. This blanket for my son is taking a lot longer than I'd originally planned... But hopefully it will be finished sometime this year! 

Lastly, absolutely loving my family. We got to have some special photos on Mother's Day - some of them at our church with the coolest props!

So much to be thankful for!

For more Loving/Lately/Thankful posts, click here.

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