Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter - The Long Weekend

I love Easter!  Actually I love any excuse to celebrate with family and friends. There just isn't enough excuses to celebrate in my opinion.  Easter though, is up there with one of my most favourite time of the year.  It holds such scared meaning for us as a family, meaning that goes far beyond the humble Easter Egg.
The old 'EB' doesn't get much on a look in around here, yes the kids still get Easter eggs and greedily eat most of their eggs before the weekend is out. I mean come on that is what I would do! (I mean do - shhhh)

Easter weekend is filled with traditions both old and new, ones that even if we wanted too the kids don't let us forget them.  Again I love traditions, they are so important in a family, they are what holds us to each other, what gives us a sense of belonging to something much bigger than ourselves. In saying that there were a couple of traditions that we missed this year!

The wind and the rain threaten to dampen our Easter spirit this year and it nearly did a good job of it too. Our power went out at lunch time on Thursday and when our power is out we have no water.  Of course when we have no water everyone is extra thirsty aren't they!  We hold a family life group at our house every second week and at the last minute had to change locations for the occasion.  You just cannot have people at your house when you are flushing the toilets with buckets of water out of the pool!!  Family night went off without a hitch and saw the kids hunting around the house for various symbols pertaining to the Easter Story. The great big world of blogging is a treasury of good creative ideas for just about anything!
Check it out here!

Easter Friday - still no power! Groan.  I can cope without the power but no water......not my favourite! So after a quick clean up around the house we packed ourselves off for a Easter visit to Grandmas house armed with HOT CROSS BUNS of course (oh and a basket piled high with a few days worth of washing - Grandmas are good like that aren't they)  After a lovely morning of visiting and indulging on Easter treats we returned to our power back on!! Um Yay!!!  I have to admit I was getting a little grumpy about the whole no water thing.  Here is what our afternoon looked like.

Yip clean up duty!!  Not so sadly we lost an ugly old orange tree in the storm!  
Saturday we braved the town to do some last minute Egg shopping (stupid of us really) and to get a few bits and pieces for a shared lunch on Sunday.  Seriously everyone should stay away from town on a day stuck between two public holidays. Its just crazy dangerous!

Easter Sunday - the highlight of the weekend!  Even when I woke this morning and sat reading my bible, the day felt holy and sacred. I often get overwhelmed while thinking about what Jesus did for me, me who is so undeserving.  Brings tears to my eyes just typing this.
But while it was a super special day it certainly wasn't immuned to 'pre-church-I-just-want-to-get-out-the-door-with-the-house-tidy-and-no-one wearing-their-breakfast-on-their-face-and-still-in-their-pyjamas' stress and other everyday battles incidences.  
After all we are all human aren't we and I certainly don't want to pretend otherwise. 

Church was pretty special this morning.  I think everyone comes with an expectant heart and ready to worship and to thank and praise our Father. I love that.
This morning I had goosebumps.
Maybe I am a little bias but Jamie preached an awesome Easter message (his first one ever!) and together the whole congregation shared not only in the taking of communion together but a celebratory morning tea!  What a blessed morning!

Do I dare say that I do find it a little sad when chunks of the congregation are missing due to it being the long weekend and people take the opportunity to go away.  I get the spending time with family and making the most of the long weekend, we have done that in the past plenty of times but they really did miss out on something special today.

We were blessed this afternoon. Blessed with the company of good friends, AMAZING food and by golly a large quantity of laughter.  And the chocolate oh the chocolate! Eggs upon eggs upon eggs and then we can't forget the chocolate game!
Can one ever have enough chocolate?  Today I am thinking maybe.  
(But ask me tomorrow, my answer no doubt will be different.)

We thought that we could put off the traditional Easter Egg hunt until tomorrow. We tried to sell it to the kids by stating it would draw out the Easter fun even further. But alas it was not to be.
The weather wasn't our friend so we had to hide ALL 72 eggs inside! I hear you gasp!  No worries 66 of them were teeny tiny ones and 6 were big ones AND there are 6 kiddies!!!
It is actually quite hard to think of hiding spots for that many eggs when you are confined to two rooms!

Here in New Zealand where get an added bonus day off tomorrow being Monday, which makes the total weekend a glorious four day weekend!
 Ahhh I wonder who will get to sleep in tomorrow morning? I wonder if it will be me.
(please pick me please pick me pick me please)
Tomorrow will see us (weather permitting) doing another post-storm clean up of a tree down at church but other than that who knows. Its so nice having some free days with no plans.
 They can be very rare at times.

What Easter traditions do you have? 

Saturday, April 12, 2014


Its Sunday.  And you know what I don't really have anything for you today. Nothing. Zilch. Zero. So I am just going to write for a while and see what comes out.

Truth is its been one of those weeks, those weeks when you just go through the motion, just doing what you do to make it through. I hate living like that. It seems so....boring, so unpurposeful (spell check tells me that that it isn't word - oh well, English teachers don't look now).  I hate to feel like I am just ticking time, ticking moments, ticking jobs off.  To me that isn't living, well definitely not living very well.  I know you can't always have "moments", "excitement" "revelations" and that sometimes life just does happen around you.
But  B-O-R-I-N-G!!!

It doesn't help that I am in the throes of morning (all day and night) sickness, have a headache that just won't go away and that I want to scratch out the inside of my mouth of that awful metallic taste you get when you are pregnant.  And oh and the hunger the hunger is the worst!!!  This pregnancy I have been so hungry all of the time.  I can eat a full dinner and I am hungry in like ten minutes, fluffing around the pantry for something else to eat.  Pathetic isn't it!  I am not usually one to complain, but there you have it all my complaints in one go. I'll stop now.

And here is my 13 week pregnant self! 
 Please excuse the 'I-have-just-had-Sunday-afternoon-nap-I-have-a-headache' look that I have going on!

This week has been busy. Meetings, four soccer practices, schooling, kid drop offs at various activities, sleepovers etc. It rained for three days straight in which my washing piled high to the moon and most of my kids decided to changed their duvet (bed) covers one night and threw the previous ones in the wash. We have no dryer, need I say more!  I weaned Jesse (16mths) well he actually weaned himself which in all honesty took me a while to come to terms with. Plus I knew that the rest of my family were coming together in another part of the country far away from here to farewell an Aunty, my Mums sister Nina.  I  also survived my husband been away for five nights which makes me appreciate him even more, be in awe of solo Mums who do this every single day of there lives and to the men and women who spouses are overseas or away for long period of time.  You all ROCK I tell you!!!

I know we can't always have it happy happy joy joy. We can't always be living on the highs of life.  If we did we definitely wouldn't appreciate them and the remarkable moments and opportunities that come across our paths.  But putting things in perspective though I did have some lovely moments of my crazy boring week.

- Steps were made to bring me closer to launching a ministry for new mothers - I am super duper excited about that!
- I spent time an afternoon with a precious friend who got my washing in AND folded it while I napped on the couch. (you can only do that with precious friends)
- I got to lead a wonderful bible study with equally wonderful ladies. Beautiful ladies with huge hearts who inspire me, encourage me and challenge me.  What a privilege!
- My husband bought home enough meat to fill our freezer!  Oh so grateful for that!
- Got to celebrate with an amazing couple (who just happens to be my brother in law and his fiance) their engagement! Great night!
 - Was able to catch up with my bestie, in person!  You can never do enough of that!
- Got to go to church to worship our amazing God and chill and catch up with members of our church family.
- AND finally tonight, my husband is cooking dinner YEAH BABY!!  AND its venison back steaks in red wine and garlic jus (fancy word for sauce - yeah I can be a little bit fancy)

So I managed to pepper out some highs to my week. Things that I can appreciate, cherish and thankful for. Things that force me to look back and think well my week wasn't so bad after all.  Can you do that?

Hey would you look at that, I did manage to have something to say, something for you after all!  It really isn't like me to NOT have anything to say, I had just to dig a little deeper this week.

How has your week been?

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Where we are now.

Is it bed time yet?? This daylight savings thing has really knocked me for a six.  I mean I was wanting it to be bedtime at 2pm this afternoon!  I probably should go to bed once the kids are in bed but I can't I have a blog to write.  I must not let myself down!!!

Sorry no photos tonight,  oooooo you are in luck I found one pertaining to this post!

I get a few people every now and then that want to know what we are up to, how we are doing and where we are going.  So I thought I would give you a wee update on the daily life of the Budd family.

Its nearly been 2 1/2 years since Jamie suddenly lost his job. Two and a half years that have just flown by. Two and a half years that have been some of the hardest but totally the best years of our lives.  We firmly believe that we are where are right now is exactly where God wants us to be.  Last year Jamie took on the mammoth task of studying.  I say mammoth because it was such a task for him, for he barely made it through four years of high school.  I say mammoth because I think embarking on any kind of studying when you have a family to support and be a purposeful parent is AMAZING!!!!  He completed his Diploma of Ministry and this year we decided that he would continue with his study and complete a Diploma of Ministry Leadership.  I am super proud of him, super proud that he manages to study and complete his assignments well before they are due (unlike me who would leave it to the VERY last minute)  I am proud that he still is able to be an awesome involved Dad and loving husband.  I am proud that every time he preaches he just gets better and better. I so enjoy listening to him.
Graduation Day!!
(color co-ordination not intentional)

So in all this, me being proud of him and all tha,t there is real life.  Real everyday life. I am not going to lie to you and paint a pictures of rainbows and roses because it hasn't been.  Its been tough. I know I said earlier that its been the best years, they have but they still have been tough. Real tough.  Living off the a student allowance and family assistance (from the government) has not been easy. Not.At.All.   The word surviving comes to mind but is actually an understatement.  We have had some very hairy times. Like the time we where couldn't even afford 100g of shaved ham or a postage stamp. Oh we laughed at that, lay on our bed and laughed. I mean what else could you do.  BUT in all this we have seen and experience some amazing miracles of Gods providence.  Like the time when we had NO meat in the freezer and our food budget doesn't really extend to vast quantities of meat unfortunately.  In one day the day that we thought to ourselves 'What are we going to do?' (I kid you not) we got given three HUGE bags filled to the brim of meat, all from three DIFFERENT sources, all completely unrelated!  All sorts too, from roasts to chops, sausages to mince, beef, lamb and pork!  Talk about meat week at the Budds.  You can not deny God at work at times like those.  Yes there have been times when we really didn't know how we are going to get through the week or even the next few days. Those are the times when we have had to completely put all our strength and faith in God.  No bags of money fell out of the sky or magically appeared in our bank account but guess what - we did get through those days.  It just took some creativeness on my part in regards to meals etc.

Some maybe thinking, if you are where God wants you to be then why are you struggling so much?  Why are you just surviving??  You know I can't really say why - I am not God.  And if I am completely honest with you then I will tell you that there have been many times when I have asked God the same thing.  My conversations goes somewhat like this....
HELLLLLOOOOO GOD!!  COME IN GOD..... Are you there?
UM just wondering if you have forgotten us?  You know us....the Budds.....six kids.....studying your word...interning at church..... yeah you know THE BUDDS!"
But of course he doesn't ever forget us does he.  We may feel like it at times but he doesn't.

Joshua 1:9 says "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go"

God is with us - I like that! I LOVE that!  So my guess to why this is like it is, is this.  We are learning, learning and growing and stretching. My guess is that through us is an amazing testimony of Gods faithfulness, love and providence.  A testimony of Gods power!!  Who doesn't want to be used like that!!!  Jamie and I prayed many many years ago  that we wanted to be used be God in a powerful way, that we wanted to be a family of faith! And we couldn't get there by being rested on our laurels and left to our own devices!  I am ever so thankful. So thankful for this journey we are on.

My hardest time is when I think my kids are missing out on things. It really gets me down. I think its a Mama heart thing.  Our kids didn't ask for this crazy life that we are living and I pray frequently that they don't grow up resenting us, God, or our faith.  Reality is though - that in the grand scheme of things they aren't missing out on anything of great importance. No we can't go camping at the beach, No we can't just hop off to the movies, No we can't have takeaways tonight all that stuff is just stuff - not essential! They aren't starving and have a pretty good life if you ask me.  If we do the best we can I have every faith that God will do the rest!!

Life is full of surprises and our latest one wasn't really a surprise but was at the same time.  We find ourselves excitedly expecting another blessing - due in mid October.  We are very excited and can't wait to meet this little one.  Every child we have been blessed with has just added that something extra to our family and I have no doubt that this one will do the same.  Seven children!! I know crazy times right!!! Already the kids have been coming up with names, names that no one should EVER name their children but for some reason they think they are suitable!!

I often ask God for ideas for a home business so I could at least bring in some extra money. (Especially since I have spied some funky black boots that I might like!)  So far he hasn't given me anything and I am not the crafty creative type so I can't really make anything to sell.Crikey I am still crocheting a blanket that I started weeks ago and its just a dolls blanket!!  So for now I'll continue to do what I am doing and Jamie will continue to do what he is doing and we are happy!  Thankful and happy!

My prayer for you, is that you too will feel God and see God move in your life!  You are probably reading this going No no no no not if it means going through what you are!!! No no no!  But our story will not be the same as yours could be - your will be totally unique to you and your family!

"So do not fear; for I am with you; 
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." - Isaiah 41:10
(my all-time favorite verse EVER!!!)

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Presently I am...

Kelle over at Enjoying the Small Things declared that this be "Lazy Blog Week" and I am OK with that.  In fact I am going to embrace it.   Soooo  I am going to pinch borrow an idea from a couple of blogs for which I am a regular reader of.  So if you are wanting a blog of substance you better check back next week!

Here goes...

Making - Attempting crochet blanket to satisfy my inner Nana
Cooking - Yoghurt and Honey Lamb Chops (new recipe) not my favorite
Drinking - Water and Stinging Nettle Tea
Reading - The Bible, Quest for the Promised Land (novel)
Wanting - New Black Boots!!!! that and garlic prawns
Looking - At what to plant in my winter garden
Playing - ????
Deciding - What to do this coming weekend?
Wishing - For my children to hurry up and go to sleep (small things)
Enjoying - These long early autumn/late summer days and the gradually appearing autumn colours
Liking - Cadbury Nutbars - satisfies my terrible hunger pangs
Waiting - For my husband and son to get home
Wondering - How many weeks are left of school?
Loving - Pottering around in my garden
Pondering - Will I get to eat Garlic Prawns?
Considering - The book that I am writing and where to from here...
Watching - Two cute as pie kittens and their Mama Cat.
Hoping - That we will get no more surprise bills for IRD
Marvelling - At how fast the year has gone already.
Needing - to sleep, sleep sleep and sleep oh and throw in some eating there too
Wearing - Currently my Pyjamas - it is Sunday after all.
Smelling - Yoghurt and Honey Lamb Chops (still)
Following - Alaska - The Last Frontier, Nigellisima and The Gourmet Farmer
Noticing - The lounge needs vacuuming AGAIN and that I need a haircut.
Knowing - That God has it all under control
Admiring - Black Boots
Buying - Not a lot......Black boots (I wish)
Getting - Ready for school tomorrow and a meeting tomorrow night
Bookmarking - New Blogs, 'Things to do with toddlers whilst homeschooling' pages, Pinterest pages
Opening - The backdoor for the mama cat to come in
Giggling - At Tuck and Lulu - two wee black and white kittens, ADORABLE!!
Feeling - Pretty groovy about most stuff really!!

How about you???

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Taking it Slow

My boys latest craze at present is the 'Slow Mo Guys', and if you have never heard of them you can be forgiven because I would be totally in the dark if it weren't for my boys.  Check them out here on YouTube if you like they are actually quite fascinating!    The Slow Mo Guys   They are a couple of guys that take videos of random stuff E.g Watermelon vs Rubber bands, video it and then slow it down, right down until its almost frame by frame.  There is probably a technical term for this but I have no idea and my boys aren't here for me to ask.   My boys have even had a go at making their own Slow Motion Video of dropping a water balloon from a height, filming it, editing it and posting it on YouTube.  Check it out if you please!!

But it was this fascinating Slow Motion Video that caught my eye. 
 Its totally amazing!

 I am uh-em 36 years old, so I have been around for a few years, we had dogs as pets growing up, my Dad used to show dogs, friends have dogs, and neighbors have dogs.  Farmers have dogs, there are dogs on the street and in the park. They are everywhere!!  And in all my life I did not know that this was how they drank.  Sure I knew they lapped water with their tongues but that's as far as it went.  It wasn't until I saw this video that had been slowed down virtually frame by frame that I could actually clearly see how they drank.

So while I was hanging out the washing yesterday I was thinking about this concept, the concept of slowing things down and how things become so much clearer and how you notice so much more of a seemingly small everyday concept.
Watch that video again and you can see the air bubbles that enter the water on his tongue. You can see every drop and droplet of water. You can see the texture of his nose and the minuscule hairs on the end of it

At the risk of being incredibly cheesy, one could learn a very important life lesson from this concept of Slow Motion, of slowing things down. Everyone's life is busy and there is really no way around being busy unless you make a purposeful effort, a conscious effort.  Whether you are a working Mama or a Stay-at-Home Mama, a student or an empty nester, everyone is busy.  But the thing with being this busy all the time is that we can't, we don't notice the small stuff, the seemingly unimportant stuff.
Slow down would you and I mean S-L-O-W D-O-W-N!  You don't really need to check your phone right now, to check Facebook this instant and you don't really need to vacuum that floor again.  You don't really need to fold that washing right now, not all the time.  What are you missing out on?  What are you not noticing? What aren't you seeing clearly?
My challenge to you is to take some time everyday, just once a day and just stop and be. Go and be with your husband, be with your Mum or Dad, be with your teenager, be with your little one cuddled up on your knee, maybe even be with the one that you carry inside you. Just be.
What do you feel?  What do you notice?  What can you see? What can you hear?  What can you sense?
Stop thinking about what is for tea or what you are going to bake next week for the school bake sale. Stop thinking about how you have just noticed dust under the computer desk or what you are wearing to work tomorrow.
 Just STOP, Breath and Be.

Notice the wind on your cheeks, the crunch of grass under your feet, the curls at the nape of your little boys neck.  Notice the smattering of freckles across your daughters face and how she licks the ice cream off her top lip. Listen to your teenager as you lie on their bed as they do their homework, paint her nails while you are there.  See your sons face when he masters a BMX jump or proudly finishes the lawns for you.  Smell the sweet salty scent of your toddlers head after they have been playing out in the sun.  Breath in the perfume of lined-dried-in-the-sun washing as you gather it in by the armfuls.   Notice the glistening beads of water  sprinkled sporadically on the broccoli after a shower of rain.  Hear the song of the Cicadas and the chatter of the birds as the bed down for the night.

I really could go on and on but my point is, is that there is so much for the noticing, and hearing, the seeing and the experiencing but it can only happen if you slow down.  
You and your life will be richer and fuller for it.
Its called LIVING LIFE!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Birthday Season in Full Swing!

NB: No one has been punched in the face in these pictures, my camera has developed a black smudge on the lens and depending on the direction of the lens or the position of the subject it can look dubious!

Yes its the beginning of birthday season in our house.  Birthdays are a really big deal and we celebrate well.  Traditions have been created within our family and continue year after and year. (as traditions do - duh)  This year Kaitlyn turned 7 and while 7 isn't  generally considered by many as a "wow-you-are-7" number (not like 1, 5 or 10), we felt we needed to make it an "oh-my-goodness-you-are-7-that-is-so-cool".

Our birthdays always starts off the night before when decorations go up, then with present opening first thing in the morning and then progress on to birthday breakfast of choice.

Because turning 7 is something to be celebrated, this wee little lady got treated to getting her ear-pierced. She had asked me a couple of weeks prior if she could get "holes in her ears" and I thought that would be a pretty special birthday present.

One very excited girl (and one nervous Mama)

Ear-rings in and a celebratory morning tea was in order!
(I was so glad that was over)

Definitely can't have birthdays without cupcakes!!
Its been a long standing tradition that the kids can choose their birthday cakes or choose to have me make a surprise one for them.
Kaitlyn's request was a giant chocolate cake!  And really you couldn't get anymore chocolate than this one.  Maybe even bordered on too much chocolate - if that is even possible!
(Did I just say that?)

I found this photo on my camera, I am assuming one of the kids took it.
I actually think it looks quite cool in all its blurry-ness!

Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday dear Kaitlyn
Happy Birthday to you!

Three days later......
The changing of the decor'!
Sophie wanted a Minnie Mouse party for her special birthday!
She was turning 5!

Birthday wishes from big brothers always appear on the windows all ready for the morning festivities!
When you are five you get to have TWO birthdays!  One for a few friends where party games are played and a special table is set!!  No Big Brothers allowed at this table!
They did get fed though!
You also get to decorate/create you own ice cream cake!
This brings out the control freak in me - I want to help!!!

Her creation!!!

Minnie Mouse would be proud!  You know I am not the most creative person around and I am more than willing to admit that I did not come up with any of these ideas myself. Pinterest is a wonderful thing for those of us who are creatively challenged.  Even for those of us on a budget you can still glean ideas and make them your own.

I will say though that the table cloth was my idea, 
one of my rare (very very rare) creative clever moments!!

The table is set, already to enjoy!

Another Pinterest gleaned idea!

When working with ice cream cakes, you have to work fast as they melt really fast and burning candles on top of them doesn't help either!

Party number TWO!! Is a party with family, extended family, good friends and important people in 
Sophie's life!

More Cupcakes!
Sadly I can't take credit for these beauties!
Thanks Aunty Tash!

Presenting opening for little kids always has the potential to be a little embarrassing.
In my observation of many many children opening presents - they ALL just want to open them as fast as they can and most will say at least one inappropriate thing. I don't think they are being rude - its just EXCITING and they are LITTLE!!
I have learnt not expect any child to gush over a present I give them when they open it.
 Life is too short to get offended over it!

Sophie definitely had a Minnie Mouse theme going with her presents this year.
We love Minnie Mouse around here!

This year Sophie's choice of cake was....a unicorn or a volcano!
Random choices and poles apart!
I choose a volcano purely for selfish reasons....1. a volcano is far easier to make and takes less time and 
2. A unicorn really???  Did you not see my last attempt at an animal!!

Sophie was very very blessed with her two special days!  They are so many people that are important and that we appreciate their input into her, ours and other kids lives! 

Celebrating is an important part of our family life. I don't think as a society we do it enough or very well.
That is why we make an effort to create a big deal of even seemingly small things (or seemingly unimportant birthdays like 7) because its those small things that make up the majority of our lives.

"Birthdays give us the opportunities to stop and appreciate all the beautiful things and people that we have been Blessed with." -Author Unknown

Happy Birthdays Girls!!!

 See below the reason why I did not attempt an unicorn!  Jesse's 1st birthday cake was suppose to be a duck but turned out looking like a .....seagull with a broken beak and issues with its feathers perhaps?

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Just Across the Road

Its maize season around these parts which makes for free entertainment for little people, especially little people that love cool big trucks and monster like tractors. I have to admit even I find them pretty fascinating. I wonder what it would be like to be at the controls of such a powerful beast?? I am such lady, aren't I?

We were fortunate to be just across the road from this paddock, although I am not sure if the people whose washing was on the line when the dust was stirred up were thinking that exact same thing.

Little boys in gumboots are just adorable!!
Can't say the same thing for the shoes that I am sporting though.

I love Maize harvesting season. I am not entirely sure why that is but I find it somewhat comforting seeing and hearing the big trucks, tractors and combine harvesters driving our roads and paddocks nearly twenty-four hours a day.
 I probably wouldn't feel that if they were out my bedroom window at two in the morning.

We are in desperate need of rain. Farms are looking bare, brown and very sad.  It is hard to imagine that in a few short months though they will be long, lush, green and delicious looking.
 (if you were a cow of course).

 I love finding simple experiences that aren't too far from home that the kids can observe and do.  Simple everyday experiences.  I don't ever want to be too busy or too overwhelmed with life that I might miss such a simple everyday but intriguing activity.  I don't ever want to be too preoccupied with the to-do list that I don't walk my kids across the road and watch the harvester harvest.  I don't ever want to not notice again.  My kids were taken with the gigantic machinery and spent a good while just watching them go about their business, waiting for them to come back around and waving at the drivers through the dust cloud.  

Whats been happening in your neighborhood?