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Fi mum23

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

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responsibility

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

Why worry… God totally has this !!

Who woulda thought, but man oh man, it’s complicated making decisions in regards to your children’s schooling pathway.  As you al know, I homeschool my 3 treasures, but it’s more accurate to say that they do Distance Education.  We are ‘homeschooling’ this particular semester due to changes at the school we were enrolled with, but this was always going to be a temporary arrangement until I found the best DE fit for my children.  I thought I had found it when I was told of a new College opening only 2 suburbs away, but further investigation proved that maybe it wasn’t.  Nothing against their curriculum or activities on offer, (that, in fact, was awesome) but I’ve been finding that my children are getting rather bored with their ACE paces.  While they probably would have reasonably happily continued with their paces throughout their schooling, I don’t believe I’m being a responsible parent to just continue with something they’ll toretate, but should find something that they will actually LOVE. (well, ok, at least really like.)

DH has also shown some concern over this year and last with the kids not doing a huge amount of computer work, with their curriculum being almost 100% paperwork etc.  This is always been a little bit of a concern for us as it doesn’t entirely prepare them for university where they will predominantly work on computer, transferring files, uploading /downloading files, making spreadsheets, scanning in & emailing images, getting files from one digital device to another etc etc.  As well as future workplace proceedures possibly involving all of the above and maybe more.  The on-line DE will much more thoroughly prepare them for the future.

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So, as a result, everyone is very happy with the decision to go with on-line DE as of first semester 2016.  Well, Master 10 won’t be so happy, as he has a further year of paces before he can go onto on-line curriculum as a grade 7er in 2017.

It has certainly been an interesting journey if I look back on the kids starting school, until now.  It seemed like it was going to be such a seamless pathway.  In lots of ways it was while they were at ‘mainstream’ school, but I guess with Miss 14 getting into the high school subjects, it makes things a bit more challenging.  Decisions needs to be made etc so as to have the BEST pathway mapped out for her to reach her desired goal.  And with Master 13 only two years behind her in school, these decisions aren’t far away for him either.

While the ACE paces hold a lot of great content, and revise a lot of important topics often, they are proving to be a little boring for the kids at the end of this second year.  Now, having said that, I don’t want to knock ACE as a curriculum as I really do think it is a sound resource, but I think it just comes down to different kids suiting different styles of learning, etc.  It is a real blessing to have been able to have these 2yrs with all 3 kids at home on the ACE paces and I don’t regret this pathway.

God has truly been so faithful to us through this time. One of those ‘memories’ came up on FB last week. It was a memory of the school holidays ending 5 yrs ago and I was saying that I would miss the kids when they returned to school, and then jokingly said “Maybe I should homeschool them”…. followed by a comment that went something like this “Nah, I care too much for my sanity to do that. LOL”  Very funny to read back on when you see how the journey mapped out later.  Is my Sanity in place??  Probably not at times (LOL), but I know that I’ve followed God’s leading throughout.

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With all this in mind, it makes me pretty excited to see what God has in store for us in the future.  Even when something has seemed confusing or illogical, we’ve always been able to look back and see that it was the best path for us as a family…. proving that God’s totally got this !!

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

I can’t blog about this without once again mentioning the great Godly friendships that I have in my life, both homeschooling Mums, mainstream school Mums, and also educators.  I know that God has placed these people in my life to confirm leading from Him.  (& when needed, correct me of misunderstood leading.).  It’s also beyond beneficial to have friends going through the same decisions and being able to discuss things with them, bouncing ideas off one another etc.  I am also so grateful for the help we’ve had from seasoned homeschool parents who’s children are through and now into university, or even completely through uni and now in the workforce.  It’s been of great encouragement to have these seasoned HS parents to speak to as it really highlights how much diversity can be in a child’s schooling pathway.  For example, I have some friends who have solely schooled with ACE from Prep to 12 and now their children are either in Uni or successful in the workforce, others did part HS (with ACE or other great curriculum) and part on-campus schooling.  (This seems to be more prevalent in the southern states… it doesn’t seem to happen so much up here… although that could be changing.)

Also, there are many situations where children are HS’d up to grade 10 and then they go to a good day school for senior. I just love the diversity and that we as parents can really take control of our children’s education and make sure they are learning in a way that is best for them as a whole person !!

There are certain elements of our homeschooling lives that I won’t change with the transfer over to this new DE plan.  The most obvious being normal household chores and responsibilities (Some might be saying “Well, why would you think of changing these anyway?” but I’m mentioning it because some of these are within the school day, so I’m just making the point that these will continue around the on-line schooling set-up.).  The 2nd being our Character training.  I’ll still have the kids work on a particular character trait and corresponding scripture verse for a period of time that I will determine as suitable.  Also, excursions separate to those of the school we’ll be enrolled with.  I will continue to attend other homeschool excursions, as well as organise excursions with other homeschoolers.

So now to dive into the on-line diagnostic testing !!  Woot Woot !!  Fun times ahead !

Blessings Peeps !!  xox

 

Being in good company

I’m gonna be honest. .  I’m struggling tonight. 
I want to be walking the right path.. I NEED to be walking the right path as I have little eyes watching me and little ears listening to me.  (and some big eyes & ears too)
However these very encouraging facts don’t make the path any easier.  The bumps are still there,  the ‘stones’ are still thrown, the misconceptions of me by others are still there. 
I solidly believe that I not only witness to my children through things that I say,  but possibly even more so by things that I DON’T.  When I’m abused by a family member and I don’t respond in like tone or with harsh words.  When I’m treated like a ‘goodie-two-shoes’ but choose to stay silent and not ‘defend myself’.
When I’m outright verbally attacked,  but refuse to take the bait and retaliate. .. they see that.   & you know what else they see… the frustration on the person’s face when I won’t lower myself to their level. 
Isn’t it interesting (& frustrating) that we can KNOW that God’s opinion is the only one that matters and yet the darts fired by others still hurt.  I often wish that I was impervious to these comments etc but I also know that I am taught a lesson through everything single dig at me,  every single comment made. .. and every single not-so-subtle insult on Facebook. 
I actually started this blog last night but the fact that I stopped part way through turned out to be a blessing in itself as I actually needed to be reminded of my own words when dealing with someone today.  
Praise The Lord it was actually a really great day today spent at the beach with Miss 14 & niece 17 (well great day except for the sunburnt back of the legs. .. what on earth).  Lots of time to think and talk to Jesus while the girls were out paddle boarding.  Something about being at the beach (I think it’s actually in any natural setting) that gets me closer to God.

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I am constantly blown away of late with the relevance of each mornings devotion and how it has been speaking directly into current situations & struggles. If you don’t do a morning devotion,  I’d really encourage you to as it is just the BEST way to start the day. 
So, getting back to my title. .. with all that I’ve been dealing with in days of late… I am comforted knowing that Jesus was hated,  he was ridiculed,  he was treated as a fool… so when I feel treated like this. . I know I’m in good company. 
Blessings peeps 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

Godly friends help me to be my Husbands greatest supporter !!

Seriously, the school holidays just draaaaaaag on so much.  I’m sure if I could drive, we’d be here there and everywhere during every school hols, but being stuck at home just makes you feel like you may as well be doing schoolwork.  surprise surprise, the kiddos don’t feel the same way.

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We’ve certainly been enjoying the catchups with friends though.  We spent the day with some lovely friends yesterday who have recently moved house, so it was lots of fun to explore their new property etc.  We came home with a few spoils from their garden…  some cuttings and fruit etc.

We have similar age kiddos, with an extra youngster thrown in in their family, so everybody loves being together.. and has a buddy to pair off with.

And then today we’ve had another great family come to visit with us at our place.  Similar situation where there’s lots of kids to buddy up with… the kids just love it… and the Mums do too.

These great times with great friends really brings it home to me that I am hugely blessed in the sisters in Christ department.  It really blows me away when you look back over the years and see how God brings people into your lives at particular times and those friends help you in ways that you just wouldn’t have ever expected or anticipated.  Actually both of these friends I have seen today and yesturday have actually been my friends for probably 10yrs-ish but we’ve really only become very close in the last two years or so.  It’s amazing how God works things in your life in the exact way that you need it.

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With so much negativity around us these days, it’s beyond a blessing to have such Godly women surrounding me.  I know I probably say these types of things all the time in my blog entries, but it really is a HUGE thing in my life.  To be able to navigate the world as it is today, make Godly decisions, be accountable and stay humble… these types of friends are IMPERATIVE as far as I’m concerned.

It think it requires a maturity too that I didn’t have years ago, in order to make yourself accountable to these good friends.  Just KNOWING that you ARE answerable to others, that you’ve ASKED others to pull you up if needed.  It does take a strong friendship to have someone tell you you’re heading down a bad path.. and take on that advice and heed it.

I big one for me that I know I’ve mentioned before is how much I dislike wives dissing their husband amongst other girlfriends.  Even when I lacked the spiritual maturity I’m still working to improve today, it never sat well with me when women would do this.  Way back then, I didn’t even have a grasp of the spiritual implications & responsibilities of our role as a wife (pretty embarrassing to admit it, but I know I need to focus on the positive that at least I have that understanding now and can move forward in that understanding).

I definitely benefit from like minded female friends (wives) around me, and by the same token, struggle a little when around women that do put their husbands down.  It’s not just the obvious of ‘if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all” but the realisation (& then constant reminder) that we are to be our Husband’s greatest supporter.  (even when they’re being a total Jackass.)  I think what maybe others don’t understand about it is that they assume that we just ‘condone’ rubbish behaviour from our husbands when we refuse to bad-mouth them, but our responsibility goes so much deeper than they imagine.  We need to be the one our husband will go to if he is struggling with an issue (possibly that issues is being a Jackass.. LOL)… and he’s not going to do that unless we have a great relationship in the first place.

From what I’ve seen over the years of broken relationships… so much infidelity comes about because someone took something they were struggling with to someone of the opposite sex, OTHER than their spouse.  Seeing this over the years has certainly brought it home to DH & I that we need to be able to go to each other when needed, coz if we don’t keep up that open comfortable rapport between each other, we may be tempted to take it to others … and that’s just a disaster waiting to happen.

So … to sum up… I am extremely grateful for the women that God has put in my life, because they are instrumental in helping me to be a Godly wife, Mother & Friend.

Blessings peeps !!!  xox

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