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Asher Silas birth story

(Having issues uploading photos so will add those later) 

With both my previous pregnancies I didn’t have much notice about when the birth would happen… Elijah because he was an elective c-section at 39 weeks, when the doctor decided the day before and Naomi because I had no real contractions until after my waters broke. So this time I was very excited when cramping started the weekend before Asher was born. My midwife was doing stretch and sweeps every appointment from 38 weeks, and I was doing everything from hands and knees sitting to rebozo to get him in the optimal position for birth. He managed to turn into a good position but his head wasn’t low enough yet. So I took to heaps of walking on the weekend of the 10-11th September, we went to town both days, walking down the hectic hill we live on and back.

On Monday 12 September I saw my midwife Emma at 9am after having cramps most of the night and being totally shattered with 3 hours sleep. She did another sweep, this time his head lower, and she said I was around 1-2cm dilated but that my cervix was still long. However things were looking positive.

When she left I started having mild irregular contractions. Emma had suggested that I do stair climbing to get his head lower and get the labour properly started, so I asked my friend Nicola who lives close to me, if I could come and walk up and down her stairs that afternoon. So at 3:30pm I was walking up and down her stairs, it was super awkward but I could feel he was definitely lower. After a cup of tea and timing the irregular contractions, the kids and I headed home at 5pm. Much more intense contractions began once we got home.

Chris brought Burger King for dinner, thankfully because I was quite sore. We put kids in bed, and I had lots of contractions irregular but becoming stronger.

I spent time on Pilates ball and swaying and hugging Chris through the contractions. Around 8pm I spoke to Sharon (my friend and the student midwife who was following me) and Emma and discussed that we would head to hospital when contractions were regular around 3min apart, 1 min strong and consistent for an hour. Emma said I should get as much sleep as possible through it all. I was just about to head to bed for a nap at about 8:45 and was hugging Chris through a contraction when my waters broke. When I went to the bathroom to change clothes, I found that my waters were green tinged. Chris phoned Emma’s pager and messaged Sharon. Emma phoned me and decides we head straight to Wellington hospital. She came via the house to pick us up. We called Ruth (a lovely lady from church) to come sit with the kids while we head to hospital.

Got to hospital just after 9pm, settled in delivery room on monitoring machine, laughed and chatted with Emma and Sharon in between contractions, Chris was amazingly supportive. Contractions are around 4min apart and lasting a min, regular and getting more intense. I manage to breathe through them, and reminding myself of Phil 4:13.

Meet various midwives and staff in hospital. The OB on duty was a gentle lovely lady who doesn’t seem at all like the typical idea of a surgeon in my mind. She comes to explain that they will closely monitor progress because meconium is present in waters and I’m a VBA2C its a higher risk. All good. Met the lovely anaethetist as well and talk through the various anaesthetic options etc, although I’m set on not having anything for fear it slows labour.

Contractions get stronger and more intense. Quite painful now.

Emma does a VE and I’m around 4cm dilated, she is however worried as she thinks baby’s head is molding into the pelvis, so it may not fit. OB checks and says she agrees with dilation but not molding, likely just membranes.

Contractions get super painful and I’m struggling to just breathe, also very close together. Chris is my rock, holding me and helping me breathe.

After another hour or so, OB speaks to her boss, the OB head on duty, who was ok with my TOLAC but wants to see progress. She does another VE and sees dilation hasn’t changed. Not good progress and with meconium and some dips in baby’s heartrate with contractions, even though he coped amazingly well for the majority of them. She starts talking about what next.

Contractions are now bringing me to tears and it feels like his head is going to break open my pelvis. I can’t cope well, Chris holds me and we “dance” and Emma rubs my back and shoulders. Gas and air does nothing for pain just makes me sleepy and dizzy.

I’m tired from no sleep and in a hell of a lot of pain, knowing I can ask for an epidural but will likely end up in theatre due to failure to progress and the potential fetal distress, I start considering a c-sec.

I’ve spent this whole pregnancy begging God for a VBA2C, and the last few weeks just praying that His will be done. OB comes with papers to sign for a c-sec and Chris and I agree, no discussion needed, I cannot cope with the contractions at all and baby’s heartrate is dipping. I remember just saying over and over that I can’t do it, and with every contraction I was just like “not another one”.

Theatre team is assembled and we all get dressed in gowns and scrubs. Unlike the tears I cried with Naomi’s c-sec, this time I cried more with relief. Sharon and Emma and Chris tell me I’m super strong and that I have done amazingly, even the OB says she’s impressed with how I remained dignified and didn’t swear even though it hurt so much.

In theatre I start getting scared of the drugs again, and the contractions are coming thick and fast amid them trying to prep me. Petrified of moving while anaethetist puts in spinal needle, I feel like screaming and am crying while Emma holds me so doctor can do the local and put in needle.

The feeling when the spinal took effect was amazing… I had struggled so so much with the pain of the contractions that I can’t begin to describe the relief.

We had decided that Chris would do skin to skin in theatre as I had felt really bad with Naomi and couldn’t handle the skin to skin. Anaethetist chatted to me straight through the surgery and helped keep my mind off it, while still keeping updated.

Soon we hear “Head is out” and we hear the very welcome sound of a very loud pair of lungs. Asher Silas has been born at 2:33am on 13 Sep 2016. He is green from the meconium, which is funny since Elijah was red/pink at birth, Naomi blue and now Asher was green. OB makes sure to wait for his cord to stop pulsing before clamping. They show him to me and whisk him off to the side to check apgar (which he passed with flying colours) and see that he hasn’t inhaled meconium. Chris goes with and as soon as midwife is done with checks, he gets a towel-wrapped little baby to hold. Mister weighs in at a whopping 4.39kg!!

His head is slightly molded so can see that he struggled to get into my pelvis. God is giving me peace that this was part of His plan, I am finally able to start healing from the other c-sections, and deal with the fact that I will never have a full on natural birth. I’m grateful to have experienced labour though.
I did skin to skin with Asher in recovery, and fed him, he latched pretty well, although the midwife said he has a bit of tongue tie. I was in recovery for a long time because the doctor and midwife wanted the blood clots to come out, so lots of pushing on my insanely sensitive belly. Eventually got wheeled to a room/delivery suite (due to hospital being full) at about 5:30am. I was so so so tired but couldn’t sleep.
At 11am I had to insist on being allowed to get up and walk and go shower, which they reluctantly allowed, even though policy in NZ is only after 24 hrs. Shower helped me feel more human. Was however still on catheter, which I managed to convince them to remove at 4pm. After the whole day of noise and feeling like the staff have forgotten about me (as my roommates all get moved to rooms and helped with stuff), I finally got my own room in the evening. So managed to get some sleep, not much but better than nothing. And Asher didn’t wake up for the littlest things because we had a fairly quiet room with own bathroom etc.
We got discharged on the 15th and have been chilling at home since… hoping to recover super fast this time, although I can feel some pain around the wound site if I forget to take my pain meds and my back has some pain where the needles went in… but I will survive and God has been really good in helping heal my heart, and giving us a very healthy baby boy.

sparrows and flowers

God has been making me think about these verses lately, when our future seems uncertain and the world is a mess.

“And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin,yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. “But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! “Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’“For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

“So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Matthew 6:28


This one is so beautiful as well, I was sitting now on the couch thinking how to start this post, and its raining outside, but the little sparrow birds were finding bugs and crumbs on the porch. It just reminded me of this verse, and how God looks after even though tiny seemingly insignificant creatures. Yet here I am fretting and freaking out about our own future.

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. Matthew 10:29-31

I have this amazing friend who I met online, who is probably one of the most faithful and God-trusting people I have ever met. In talking to her, I have been so challenged and reminded of the grace and love of our Abba. How just as our children trust us implicitly for everything they need (and want), we are God’s children, and He cares for us just the same. She reminded me that in everything we can call on Him, even if its literally crying out loud to Him to help us, He will do it.

Two songs came on Pandora this morning while I was making breakfast, that both literally spoke to me about this.

I see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on
And there will be an end to these troubles
But until that day comes
Still I will praise You, still I will praise You
Oh no, You never let go
Lord, You never let go of me

(You never let go – Matt Redman)

And an old favourite by Casting Crowns:

I was sure by now
God You would have reached down
And wiped our tears away
Stepped in and saved the day
But once again, I say “Amen”, and it’s still raining

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear Your whisper through the rain
“I’m with you”
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

And I’ll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
And every tear I’ve cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I remember when
I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry to you
And you raised me up again
My strength is almost gone
How can I carry on
If I can’t find You

But as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
“I’m with you”
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

I lift my eyes unto the hills
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord
The Maker of Heaven and Earth

Our Father in Heaven just requires that we trust Him, not people, not ourselves. Sometimes we get ourselves into the kinds of messes that seem like its the end of the world, but to Him its small potatoes… He is the God who spoke the planets and stars into being. He took dust and created man. He took a rib and created woman. He is the God who calmed the storm with a word. He is the God who beat death, time and time again. He is the God who opens wombs that seem barren for years. There is nothing that is impossible for Him.

I guess that just leaves us to pray, cry out, and wait expectantly for Him to work, because He loves us.

(image source)

a foot in two worlds

In the past year our lives have been pulled out of their comfort zones, and tested and tried time and time again. We have lost a loved one to the vilest disease, we have left behind friends and family that have been our support for ever, we have moved to a country that is 11000km away from “home” and had to try and adjust to “new” language and new culture. We have made some new friends, but still long for the comfort of old friends. We lost a much wanted baby, at only 7 weeks pregnant. Relationships have been tried as well, and most have come out stronger, and some have been seemingly irreparably damaged. We have been blessed with another precious life that’s growing, and should join us in September. We have seen so much more of the world and met people who have changed and challenged us.

Considering all of this, I sit and wonder, why so many people can immigrate and integrate seamlessly into their new country within months, and others, like us, have one foot in each country, and yearn for “home”. I have tried to create home here, and I have done my best to make a house a home, I have realised though, that it’s the people that make a home. Yes, having us 4 together is obviously home, yet, there is always a vacuum. Extended family, friends, those people who make a place home. Many people tell me that you eventually make friends in your new country that are as good as family, and that may be true, but they can not replace those who have known you since the beginning. Those people who know why your nose is bent a bit (thanks to extreme clumsiness and impatience), those who know that you used to be a vehement feminist and didn’t want children, those who know that when you wanted kids it was hard to conceive. Those people who have seen you at your worst, and love you because they know behind the sarcasm and the aggressiveness, is a fierce friend who loves deeper than many can. Those people who know that sometimes all you need is a hug, although you shun affection. Those people who have left marks on your heart, and on your skin. Those people who were your first advisors, your first champions, your heroes, the people who were always there… but now they’re not. Those people you miss like there is a physical chasm in your body, heart and mind.

I feel like this sculpture by Bruno Catalano, like there is a massive hole where people belong. I’m not sure I will ever be fully at home in an adopted country, my heart beats to an African drum, and the smells and sounds of my beautiful home country call to me daily. Maybe one day they will call us home.


image source



I’ve gone back and forth for the past year about whether to resurrect my blog, or start a new one or give it up all together. I haven’t written here for over a year and I don’t like the bulk of what I wrote in the past. That said, I am not sure I want to delete it all, as I think its all about the gradual change, or growth I have gone through. I think my blog is a good 8 years old already.

I don’t want to be labelled. I don’t want to win blogging awards, or do giveaways (unless its a totally mind blowing thing that relates to what I believe). I won’t do reviews, unless again its something that I choose to do because I believe in the book/product strongly. I am not a mommy blogger, goodness knows the world doesn’t need another one. What the world needs is someone who speaks the truth, in love. Someone who will stand for what they believe even if the rest of the world doesn’t agree. I want to write about what is on my heart, even if no one reads it. I think that’s why its taken me so long to write again. When I started this blog at 21/22, I wanted people to read what I wrote. I wanted to get stuff and give stuff away and wow, did I live for comments. Its taken me this long, to get to  the point where I realise its not about me. I need to write with conviction. I need to write what the Lord lays on my heart. I won’t write what people want to read but what they should read. I am not very PC, but I will try and be gentle. I doubt I have any readers left, so if someone stumbles on this post, then maybe come back every now and then and see what I write.

I won’t promise to write daily, or to use fancy cameras to take awesome pictures, but I will hopefully get the quality over quantity thing down.

I’ll leave you with this until next time…

“Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.” Ephesians 4:15

Is God really good?

How many of us, can honestly say, like Shadrach, Mesach and Abednego… That if God does not give us what we think will make us happy, or what we want: “If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will never serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up. ” {daniel 3:17-18 || ESV}

God is good. That’s it, it’s not dependent on how we feel about it. He is good even if you lose your job, even if you get sick, even if you have a miscarriage, even if your dreams shatter. Through it all He remains unchanging and constant. He is the Author, the Creator, He placed our dreams and desires in our minds. He gives us life, and hope. No matter what our circumstances, He is good, He is enough.







the whole world is in uproar and discussion about Robin Williams, suicide and depression. From the naysayers who say, just get over it, to the people who suffer themselves and are angry at the ones who don’t get it.

I thought I would weigh in with my two-cents.

After two pregnancies in 2 years and having a horrible birth experience with my first, I can see I suffered postnatal depression after Elijah was born and then again when I was pregnant with Naomi. Its a real thing. Its not a slump you can pull yourself out of. I was in denial and didn’t see it as an issue, but it affected my whole life. I didn’t have the overwheming desire to down bottles of aspirin, but I did have the overwhelming feeling that I was drowning. The lack of desire to do things I actually enjoyed, and pushing people away, the desire to stay in bed all day and just forget about the world. Yes, I didn’t have it so bad that I would kill myself, but I definitely wished I could run away from my feelings… ever try escape your own mind… yeah not an option.

I have friends and family who really do suffer from depression, its a real problem, a real disease, and its not their fault. They can take medication and numb it, but they can’t get away from their own minds. I would probable have gotten worse, but I had an awesome support system, if not for my friends who checked on me while I was pregnant with Naomi, and my husband who was there to keep me grounded, I may have lost my mind. I also hear the argument, to just trust God, and give it to Him… which is so true, but its totally easier said that done. The best post on the Christian perspective on depression is by Ann Voskamp. As Christians, and humans, we need to rally around those with mental illness and depression, not shun and judge them. Help them trust God, help them see His love, when they feel like drowning. Funny story is that some of the friends who helped me most were atheists and Buddhists…

You can be different and you can struggle and you can wrestle and you can hurt and we will be here.Because a fallen world keeps falling apart and even though we the Body can’t make things turn out — we can turn up. Just keep turning up, showing uplooking up.”

If we only knew what fire every person is facing — there isn’t one person we wouldn’t help fight their fire with the heat of a greater love. (Ann Voskamp)

If you suffer from depression, seek help, and know that there is no shame in depression or other mental illnesses, just as there is no shame in cancer or heart problems. Christ died for us all, and He is there to carry us through everything, the church needs to step up and be His hands.

letting go of perfect

I am a perfectionist. OCD. Call it what you like.

I was raised by a mom who managed to keep her house in shipshape all the time, even today her house is never messy or cluttered. I inherited this, which is not a bad trait, except that it became an obsession for me. I clean, tidy, declutter, sweep, move my kids and husband out the way to sweep where they stood, shout at them to pick up, and have heart attacks when they unpack something when I just cleaned.

Slowly however, I am learning to let go. I am decluttering and organising the house in a way that makes it slightly simpler to tidy quicker and easier, but I am trying to let go of the obsession and to focus on being present, and pleasant. We live in this house, my kids play, and they play hard… unpacking every single toy… so I am letting go.

Obviously the house needs to be clean, because dirty is just gross, so we have a lovely cleaner who comes in once a week and saves my sanity. I do laundry and dishes but for the rest I just let go. Its quite liberating really, to just step over the toys instead of screaming. I am by no means “cured” but I am getting there. Hopefully soon the clutter will be slightly less, then it will be simpler.

Instead of focusing on the mess I will focus on raising my family to focus on what is important, God’s word and loving each other and others.

So that’s my confession for the week…

papa shaped hole in our house

My husband is currently 15000km away, in Amsterdam for a conference. I always thought I was awesome and could do this parenting gig almost single handedly.

I. was. wrong.

My kids actually miss their Papa, I mean seriously miss him. Naomi (18 months) has meltdowns when looking for him in the house. Elijah (3.5 yrs) is slightly less dramatic, but he is so much harder to manage than normal.

I miss my friend, my love, my sounding board, my partner in this crazy life.

I am not cut out to be alone as a mom. Which makes me appreciate him so much more, and also sympathise so much more with my friends who do this permanently, with no other option.

I am just grateful that we answered God’s call for me to be home with the kids and to homeschool and all the other things we do as a family because of His calling. I am grateful that Chris supports me by working insanely hard, and by being there to listen and partner with me as we raise our little people. I could not do this permanently. Or at least not by choice or without an insane amount of grace, coffee, chocolate and wine.

I think all I am trying to say is, I have a massive appreciation for what Chris does as a dad, husband and provider. Absence makes the heart grow fonder for real. This is a really good post to remind us all of what a real romantic man is. He is a man, like mine, who steps up to his role as husband, father and provider.

elevation or degradation

‎”Every woman, whether rich or poor, married or single, has a circle of influence within which, according to her character, she is exerting a certain amount of power for good or harm. Every woman by her virtue or her vice, by her wisdom or her folly, by her dignity or her levity is adding something to our national elevation or degradation.” —John Angell James

 some days I wonder what I am adding to this world, whether it is elevating or degrading. I’d like to say that most of the time, my input to society, or at least my family is positive, but sadly as a very sinful, albeit forgiven, woman that is not always the case. I used to often write about biblical womanhood, and modesty, and what it means to follow Christ as a wife and mom, but I haven’t in a while. Newly inspired, I would like to start today.

my circle of influence, is mostly my immediate family,  so husband, and children. they see me at my best and at my worst. Recently I have been more and more convicted, both from my loving husband and wise women online, that I show more of my worst side, my temper, or just my impulsive worldly ways, my addiction to being online, and the fear that I may just miss someone’s really irrelevant status update. That leads to me losing my temper more because my children act out as they want my attention. so I have been really challenged to put down the phone, tablet, laptop, and engage with my children, so that I don’t only yell our of frustration because they are bugging me while I am doing what is ultimately folly. I realized this even more when my husband gave me his FarmVille game to take over, i played it like an addict, racing against time to fill orders for a computerized character, and to make as much money as I could to buy the next thing I need to fill more orders in my race against time… and what I realized is it’s such a waste, a fun waste, but a waste nontheless. I would reach for the iPad as soon as I could get up in the morning and play FarmVille for half an hour, and then run late with everything. Which would make me edgy with the kids, and my husband, and the dogs, rabbits and chickens (The real ones in my garden). I realised that playing this game, and being online all the time for fear that I miss something is degrading. my legacy to my children should not be a mama who was plugged into a screen all day, and yelled when she was running late due to her own faults, but a mama and wife who is plugged into the family. it’s not about how many friends I have on Facebook, or how many peach yogurts I can make on FarmVille. It’s about begin friends with my husband, and knowing him, about connecting with real life friends when I can, or at least having meaningful conversations online, not just cyber-stalking, and it’s about playing and engaging with the little people I have been blessed with.

i don’t want to write for other people anymore, to do product reviews or write to see how many comments I get. I want to write what will elevate, and encourage my daughters one day if they read this blog, about being a mom and wife. I have likely lost all my readership anyway, but thats fine, I will not promise to post often, but when I do it will be meaningful. I write now more for myself as a reminder or even a journal to see what I have learnt, and maybe someone else learns or maybe not, but it’s ok. For now I will let go, and play with my kids and hang out with my man. Hopefully that will be enough to elevate our nation and our world.

Review: Spring Board Books

The lovely people at Shelton Interactive sent Elijah and Naomi some board books to review. Due to some personal crisises and big changes in our lives, we have taken forever to write this up (Apologies to the ever patient Katie). These three books are specially for Spring, so if you’re in the Northern Hemisphere, these are for your seasons… but for those in the South, they are still a great buy. I have reviewed some of Callie Grant’s books before, and as usual she is a winner in our home.


Jesus Saves Me – A sweet book with full colour photos, all about how we are Jesus’s sheep and he is the good Shepherd. Very good for small children, as the photos seem to attract them more than illustrations do, well for my kids anyway.

Little Seed: A Life – This little gem is all about the life cycle of a seed, but brings it back to God who is the one who makes everything grow in His time. The illustrations are wonderfully bright and it is definitely a book that can even be used in teaching some basic biology.

Close as a Breath – My favourite of the three, the illustrations are beautiful, and the story is precious. I relate to it, as I remember walks with my dad as a little girl, and asking a million different questions. Definitely a book to get hold of a treasure.

As I said, these books are a win, so if you can get them, do! They make lovely babyshower or dedication gifts, as they are lovely and chunky for baby hands.

(I was given these books to review, but have not been remunerated for my opinions, and as such they are my honest opinions)

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