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Royalty, Wife, Mummy, friend, teacher, student & fitness blogger

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Expand our boundaries.. drive our tent pegs deep

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Sunday night at church, Pastor Nina preached from Isaiah 54.  It was a fantastic message that re-affirmed what’s already very clearly in store for my 2016.

Enlarge the place of your tent, and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out;
do not hold back; lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes.

3 For you will spread abroad to the right and to the left, and your offspring will possess the nations and will people the desolate cities.  (ESV)

While I don’t usually like referring to The Message translation, this time, I think it’s a good read.

Clear lots of ground for your tents! Make your tents large. Spread out! Think big!
Use plenty of rope, drive the tent pegs deep.
You’re going to need lots of elbow room for your growing family.
You’re going to take over whole nations; you’re going to resettle abandoned cities.
Exciting right !!!  While I completely realise that this text speaks of what was going on at that time, I firmly believe that we can learn from this and apply it to our lives today.  (as we can of all scripture)
On Sunday night, Pastor Nina used a fantastic (& very entertaining) illustration of having a children’s play tent on the stage, which she actually climbed into, showing how little room there is in there, how cramped and uncomfortable any length of time in there would be.  To flipside of that though is that some people choose to stay in that tiny tent, seeing it as safe & secure.   “I need not have any fear of God asking me to do anything big, because I simply don’t have the room to do it.”  (Side note – Believe me, I completely get that stepping out is scary…  you never know what God is going to ask of you (Jonah), but I can tell you right now, it’s so worth it.)
In contrast, a big comfy chair and a large tent covering a decent sized area was brought up on stage, showing how we can spread out, allow God to have the room to work in our lives, equip us for ALL that He has in store for us.   It immediately took me back to the vision that God gave me a couple of years ago (I’m pretty sure I blogged about it).  I was shown myself, wearing a VERY BIG, like CRAZY BIG fur coat (I assume it was faux, to be fair to all animal lovers out there.. I would never buy a fur coat.)
I was initially very confused by the vision and enquired of God what He was trying to tell me.  I immediately got a response from Him, explaining that the coat was very big, in order for Him to fill it… with Blessings, with provisions, with skills, gifts & talents in order to equip me with everything I would need in order to do His work in His Kingdom for His glory !!
The ‘drive your tent pegs deep’ really spoke to me also.  To not just have a surface commitment to the things of God, but to dive in deep, have solid foundations, set aside decent time.  Once again, of course, I nearly ALWAYS find in any message that it points back to two things.
1.  We need to have a close personal relationship with Our Heavenly Father, Jesus our Saviour & Redeemer, and The Holy Spirit.
2. Be actively studying His Word on a daily basis.  Imagine it’s liquid in a big ole’ bucket and you wanna tip it over yourself in your quiet time each morning. :0)
Yes, I know I point these things out all the time, sorry for the repetition, but I really want that point to get across.  If we’re doing these two things, we’re on a very good path with The Lord and all that He has in store for us.
What I learnt/was reminded of today – Being shown things in illustrative form is often a very effective way to teach a biblical truth, or be reminded of a truth that maybe you’re not submerged yourself in of late.
What scripture verse am I soaking in today?  The one above, Isaiah 54:2-3.
Blessings Peeps !!  xox

Life is continuing….

Oh my goodness, if I’d left it another two days, it would have been an entire month between blogs…that’s downright SLACK !!!

So much has been going on.. which does help to explain my slackness in the blogging department.

The highlights are –

  • Baby Boy Lucas is now HOME and powering on like the little warrior he has proven himself to be.  He’s settling in at home, putting on weight, getting to know his big brother, and is having his first immunisations today.

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  • I scored myself a not very pleasant intercostal injury about a month ago and am actually still suffering from that.  However, it IS improving (PRAISE GOD !!) so things ARE on the up & up.  I think I did it because I did either too many sit ups, or did sit ups incorrectly.  I had both an ultrasound and an X-ray on my right side chest/ribs etc but it didn’t show anything.  As a result, I’ve had to change my exercise routine …  for the first two weeks, I couldn’t do ANYTHING.  I am pleased to say though that I must have been doing just enough to keep the weight loss train going as the number has continued to drop slowly each Tuesday morning for my weigh-in.
  • We are now down to only two weeks and two days until we sail far far away across the sea !!!  Our renewed passports finally arrived so this is a relief.  I cannot even tell you how excited & humbled I am to know that I get to enjoy two weeks ‘off the job’.  No cleaning, cooking, washing….  Thank you Jesus !!!
  • Sadly there is ups and downs (more downs)  in family over the last few weeks that look to be continuing for a while.  However, God is teaching me a lot throughout.  It’s so easy to see someone’s actions as selfishness on the surface, but when looking deeper, you can expose emotional issues that deserve additional care.  Also, sadly, it is human nature to ‘arc up’ when someone does something to upset you, when in fact, we’ve been commissioned to Love thy neighbour, repay bad with GOOD, do all we can to expand God’s Kingdom, and most importantly, be the LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS !!!
  • DH is really enjoying having his aeroplane and being able to go up to the airfield whenever he can and go for a fly IN HIS OWN PLANE.  He’s been waiting a very long time for this and is LOVING IT !!  He’s also made a nice group of friends up there, which is just as much a part of the whole ‘scene’ he’s been wanting to be apart of for so long. They sit around with their drinks and discuss all things ‘planes’.  I’m really really happy for him.  & as you can see, the kids are enjoying it too.

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  • The biggest homeschool excursion (78 people) I have ever organised went off without a hitch (or any drownings)… Woot Woot !!

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  • Miss 14’s dance comps all went very well.  Now to enjoy the break before it all starts again in Feb 2016.
  • The 2016 homeschool journey has been decided on which is also a weight off my shoulders.  The older two kiddos are currently working through diagnostic testing for next year and are doing very well with them.

So there you go, that basically brings you up to speed, to a degree, on our lives.

Even amongst the ups and downs of ‘life’ I love how God makes ‘lessons’ out of all situations, good & bad.  I’ve also been reading Jefferson Bethke’s Jesus>Religion which is really opening up my view on things.

Blessings xox

Eat clean.. train dirty… trust God

Eat clean… train dirty… Trust God !! So… after an up & down kinda day. . I’ve decided this is going to be this season’s hashtag.
I have had 2 opportunities in recent days to be pretty naughty with my clean eating plan. .. and I am so happy to say that on both occasions,  I was able to either stick with my clean eating. . Or in the one instance I didn’t,  it was such a minor ‘slip up’ that I didn’t even feel the need to beat myself up over it.
I am actually really pleased with my resolution on this.  I just know that I know that God is providing me with the strength and perseverance I’m asking for,  as I normally wouldn’t be able to resist these ‘treats’. As I said on a previous blog entry. . My bodies likes & dislikes are changing.
I’m also loving having my 17yr niece to bounce ideas off. She is a vegetarian recently having gone completely vegan, so she is full of fab healthy ideas.  She seriously makes the best healthy snacks… that you wouldn’t even think are healthy.

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(Ps.. She didn’t actually make THESE exact ones. . But hers do look just as yummy)
I’m also experimenting with my new Nutri-infusion which has been amazing !! I am really so happy with it. . It actually DOES do everything they say it does, which can be rare for things bought off the tv.  A friend  and I did a shop at the local fruit & veg market yest,  so I’m well & truly stocked up for some yummy nutritious goodness in smoothy form.

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This actually was my daughter’s first smoothy attempt, but I used her pic seeing as my smoothy had spinach in it so therfore wasn’t this pretty colour.

I read some interesting information last night about drinking berry based drinks with your food as it assists with digestion due to the acidic content.
Here’s some healthy info for you all on this and other healthy gut foods. …

What is the key to good gut health? The answer is bacteria, millions of which inhabit the digestive tract breaking down food, helping to propel food through the digestive tract and providing protection against harmful invading organisms.

Foods that are high in fibre, rich in nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, or that contain live probiotics, will encourage the growth of health-promoting bacteria colonies and support overall equilibrium balance in the digestive tract. Eating foods that are overly refined, processed or low in fibre will meanwhile place additional strain on the digestive system, potentially disrupting the important balance of health-promoting bacteria.

Berries are an excellent food for digestive health. They provide a good source of fibre, antioxidants, and polyphenols, which can selectively favour beneficial colonies of bacteria in the digestive tract.

Recent research on polyphenols has shown they interact with beneficial species of bacteria (similar to pre-biotics, which “feed” the good bacteria). The interactions encourage healthy bacteria growth. All types of berries, whether fresh or frozen, contain polyphenols.

Seaweed & chia seeds, as well as cruciferous vegetables (kale, cabbage, broccoli and silverbeet, to name just a few) are excellent foods for gut health; they provide various phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals, as well as a good source of fibre. Phytonutrients can benefit the gut by increasing the balance of good bacteria and also contain anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties.

The fibre content of cruciferous vegetables is particularly important as it can help move food through the digestive tract. The fibre in leafy greens in particular also promotes the growth of good bacteria. Pre-biotics are food sources for healthy bacteria; without them the healthy bacteria (probiotics) are unable to grow. Hence, the growth of beneficial colonies of bacteria is largely depending on the intake of both probiotic and pre-biotic foods.
Yoghurt is also fantastic but it should always taste sour, not sweet. The sourness is a reflection of the lactic-acid bacteria that have developed during the fermentation process in the milk.

Regular consumption of yoghurt can positively influence the balance of microflora in the gut, creating more of the “good guys”, such as lactobacillus and bifidobacterium probiotics. These types of probiotics can help manufacture B-complex vitamins, as well as vitamins A and K, which are great for overall health as well as playing a role in a well-functioning digestive tract. They also help boost the immune system and inhibit the growth of pathogenic bacteria.

Sadly (coz I don’t really like it) oily fish – such as salmon, sardines and mackerel are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, such as EPA, and DOHA. These fatty acids can play a vital role in healthy bowel function. They can work to lubricate the digestive tract and keep digestion flowing smoothly. They can also help to reduce inflammation and strengthen the intestinal lining, which can help to protect against gastrointestinal diseases.

& lastly in my disgestion lesson for tonight (lol)… Ginger is a traditional spice, revered throughout Asia for its ability to relieve gas and reduce abdominal bloating. In herbal medicine, it is considered to be an “intestinal spasmolytic” – in other words, a substance that can relax and sooth the digestive tract.

The active component of fresh ginger, known as gingerol contains anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties, which can alleviate symptoms associated with gastrointestinal discomfort.

Aren’t you all glad I’ve educated in this fascinating topic?  Well, if it doesn’t interest you,  try to get interested coz I can tell you that my body is a whole lot happier on a clean eating diet.
It does seem ‘un-fun’ at times,  but that usually only happens when your 1. Using boring ingredients,  or 2. Not thinking outside the box.
When it comes down to it,  it’s really all quite interesting and worth educating yourself on.
Ok peeps… that’s enough from me for tonight.
Blessings xox

Cameras, Croup & Linen

So peeps….  this was basically my day today… and not particularly in that order.  If you want to hear it in order… it went like this.  5.45am…  Hearing Master 10 barking like a seal with that oh so lovely seal-like cough that just screams CROUP !!

Oh how I hate the sound of that cough.  It does, however, appear that we will escape a hospital visit this winter as the previous night I was woken to his coughing at 2.45am and the previous night to that, around midnight… so he certainly seems to be making it further though the night.  The poor kid was tuckered out so much today that he was asleep at 3.30pm and slept for 2hrs…  that has not happened for a VERY long time.

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I’m praying for even greater improvement through tonight and that he’ll be well on the way to full recovery t’row.

So….  next would be ‘Camera’ as I continue my in depth research into what camera I should upgrade to when I get my insurance claim back from the break-in.  I’m pretty much decided on the Canon 7D with a twin lens kit including an 18-55 and a 75-300 lens, but it’s still such a big decision.  I really LOVE LOVE LOVED my DSLR Pentax Camera prior to our burgle-buddy taking it….  I seriously got the BEST pictures with it and I’m missing it terribly.  Yes, I know, it’s a camera, get over it…  I’m trying !!!

So then comes LINEN !!!  The kids & I, along with my Mum, went to a dear friends house this morning for a Lorraine Lea Linen party.  I cannot remember the last time I went to a linen party, so I was pretty excited about it.  I have to say I was very pleasantly surprised with the prices, but maybe that’s because last time I actually went to a linen party, I was probably still povvo-poor-person and the prices seemed as scary as my mortgage.

We have had the same donna cover on our King bed since we built this house 4yrs ago, so I have to say I carry no guilt at buying a new one today.  PLUS it was 40% off, so hey.. WIN-WIN !!!  Seriously though….  what is with the prices of doona covers ???  They’re just two flat sheets sewn together right??  LOL

I also booked to have my own party in a few weeks as my wish-list was simply too long for my bank balance to handle in one go.  Darn that House Rules TV show for stirring up the desire to ‘zshuzsh’ up my house.  Yes, I know that isn’t a word, hence why I can’t spell it, but technically, if it’s not a word, I can’t misspell it anyway…  BAM !!

It sounds so weird to even say, but I have so grabbed onto what the designers would always go on about on the show… mixing up patterns, colours and textures.  I’m suddenly into the idea of a gorgeous throw rug on my lounge…. that of course no-one will be able to use in case they mess it up.

Plus I have my guest bathroom downstairs that basically hasn’t been touched since we built the house.  I hung a fancy mirror in there that I bought years back, but it seriously doesn’t go well in there at all, so I really need to ‘do’ that bathroom.  Ka-ching is all my husband hears …. ha ha.  Actually, he is surprisingly into the idea of ‘zshuzshing’ up the house too.

I’ll try and keep you updated with pics.  In the meantime…  Nighty night peeps !! Here’s praying for a great nights sleep for Master 10, and the rest of the house.

Blessings xox

Heading the Paleo Way, via Adelaide & Darwin :0)

Sooooooo… I’m in the process… towards the end of the process as I tend to jump into something once I’ve decided.. to ‘Go the Paleo way’. The more I research it, the better it looks !!
In these last few months in particular, I have been so unhappy with the way I feel in my own body.. and it’s not just about what size I am… I feel 100yrs old some of the time… my hips, knees and ankles ache, plus I’m having trouble with one of my shoulders. I simply feel ridiculous that I suffer from these type of joint issues at 38 !! I know I eat reasonably well, but of course I have the odd slip up.. and mostly it’s because I’VE BOUGHT IT INTO THE HOUSE !!! My bad !! The good thing about that is that it’s easily fixed.. JUST DON’T BUY IT !!
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I have read so much information even just today that makes me so excited to get into this healthier lifestyle… I can almost taste how much better I’m going to feel.
It’s going to be tough while away, but I can only do my best with what I have. I’m glad we’re doing the ‘self catered’ holiday option, as it gives me so much room to eat/cook healthy.
The two things that concerned me the most when I started on this research journey were :
1. What do we have for breakfast when Cereals & bread are out? Well, in my searching, I’ve found this..
Breakfast Salad with Eggs Over Easy
I think this may become one of my ‘breakfast of choice’ when I need something in a rush. Plus it’s a good source of protein and vegetables to start the day. If I can have the veggies already cleaned, chopped and stored in the refrigerator it can take less than 5 minutes to put this breakfast together.
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For those that are interested… Here’s how you prepare it.
Melt some grass-fed butter or coconut oil in a small frying pan over medium high heat.
Crack two eggs and cover, then prepare your salad on a plate.
Combine fresh baby spinach, peppers, onion, carrots, tomato, celery, avocado, broccoli or any of your favorite vegetables.
Cook the eggs to your preferred doneness; I like mine over easy (the juices from the egg run over the veggies and create a delicious dressing as you eat).
Season your salad with some sea salt and pepper, maybe a touch of avocado or olive oil and any other seasonings. Top it off with your two eggs and enjoy.

I mean seriously… how easy does that sound !! I also found this.. I think the kids will LOVE these.
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My 2nd concern was lunch…. How do I substitute bread? I couldn’t believe it when I saw such an obvious idea of using lettuce leaves as your bread when making wraps (which is a meal we have a LOT). I think I’ll enjoy finding lots of great recipes for the kids & me to enjoy during the school day. I found the above recipes on a great blog site by a Mum just like me, so it’ll be fantastic to follow her blog and see how she does the Paleo way as a family.

I do think that DH will struggle with the smaller dinner size idea, as he likes to come home from work and eat a big meal, but I’m hoping he’ll notice the benefits in his own body in a positive way so that he sees the benefits of the change in routine. I will have to form a new brekky routine though and get up when he does and eat as a family as opposed to us eating a little later after he’s left. I suspect that I if I leave him to his own devices, he’ll revert to Weetbix each morning. I can’t see him cooking himself an egg… but who knows, maybe he’ll surprise me.

I’m pretty excited about this to be honest… I mean, getting healthier is of course appealing, but finding ways to make our food choices super yummy and appealing will be a challenge that I’ll enjoy taking on. Having made the decision to not purchase anything Halal Certified a few months back, out grocery purchases won’t need to change as much as they would have prior to this. I just need to source a good organic home delivery mob, and I’ll be all set.

Now, of course, I am going to go before The Lord with this first, before making any final decisions. One area I have been feeling convicted in is not having taken every decision before HIM !! Not just the big ones, but the little day to day ones too, so I’m going to head upstairs now, spend some time with my Heavenly Father, do some journalling… and continue to seek His guidance on this. I do realise, however, that I am simply choosing to live a healthy life for our family, not some diet fad, so of course that in itself is His will for us, but still… I’m trying to best to bring EVERYTHING before Him.

Of course, I’ll be keeping you all posted… as I’m sure you’re sitting on the edge of your seat with the fascination of our lives… Bahahahahahahaha.

Blessings peeps xox

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