The Metabolic Clock – book review

The Metabolic Clock: Speed Up Your Metabolism and Lose Weight Easily by [Rennie, Julie]

I first stumbled upon the book ‘The Metabolic Clock by Julie Rennie’ on my mum’s bookshelf. While I was over at her house, I couldn’t stop reading it and when I left I took it home. I stole borrowed it. Since then I have read this book over and over again. After we moved mum just gave it to me!

It has helped me set some good habits – like not going to bed past 10pm. And it has inspired me to be the healthiest version of myself I can.

I love this book!

What it’s about:

It teaches you how to speed up you metabolism to help you lose weight based on the metabolic clock. It shows you how to change lifelong patterns that have been preventing you from living life to the full.

What I love:

The gluten free flourless chocolate cake recipe in the back of the book is yum! I use coconut oil instead of butter to make it dairy free too and it turns out great. It has the consistency of a mud cake and it makes a great treat. I’ve made the spicy bean stew many times too and it makes for a hearty filling vegetarian meal. Sometimes I don’t like to eat too much meat and it’s good to have a few vegetarian recipes up my sleeve.

The pictures in this book are beautiful – I love inspiring photography and nourishing food photography.

It teaches you how to think positively and how a negative view of yourself can impact your health and weight loss.

The 21 day lifestyle challenge has helped to go to bed before 10pm. I have struggled in the past with disciplining myself to get to bed at a decent hour. And with babies still waking me in the middle of the night – an early bedtime is essential to my well being and ability to function and think clearly throughout the day.

A few things I don’t agree with:

The book briefly mentions yoga and meditation. I choose not to do these things as they are associated with eastern evil religious practices. As a Christian I don’t want any part in stirring up the wrong spirits.

All in all – it’s a great read and the best thing is that it inspires me to keep up with my health regime. I’ve been riding my bike weekly and going for at least 3 power walks a week. Plus I’m always looking for ways to improve my diet.

Blessings, Peta

*I thought I’d do a review of a few of my favourite books. There’s no affiliate links.

 

 

 

 

Arrow turns 6! Including his birth story

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March 2011 – Arrow’s first week of life outside the womb – I am 22 years old.¬†

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Arrow Truth Goddard….”you named him what??” Yes Arrow, his name is Arrow!! ūüôā

Our strong Arrow turns 6 today!

Happy Birthday to our precious little man!

Arrow is physically strong yet kind and caring. He’s not afraid to kiss his mum and play babies with his little sisters. He’s as tough as nails and has still never needed to see a doctor. He is¬†our warrior, strong willed and stubborn yet loving and tender. He’s serious and doesn’t always see the funny side,yet we can still make him laugh. We love him dearly and our family wouldn’t be complete without our Arrow.
Let me share with you his story which was posted on my old original blog (The Heart Of Our Home) – here is is again for you in case you missed it.

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I fell pregnant with Arrow when our first bub Francis was around 8 months old. We were VERY excited to be expecting again, and we prayed and prayed for this baby after suffering a miscarriage only 3 months earlier. Right from the start I knew this baby was strong, though. I got through the¬†first¬†trimester with the usual morning sickness. Constant nausea but no vomiting. By 16 weeks I felt fantastic and¬†we began planning a natural birth. I wanted more than anything to birth this baby into the world as naturally as possibly. This was the first birth that we really planned properly. I read many books on natural birthing, and God¬†worked¬†on my heart and helped to overcome my fears. I have ALWAYS had a terrifying fear of giving birth – especially without an epidural. And God gently worked¬†on me and we did it! Would I do a natural birth again? Yes I would. Did it hurt? YES it did. But do I need to be afraid? NO I don’t. God designed women’s bodies to¬†give birth,¬†and I did it!! It was such a massive moment of transformation in my life.
Later in¬†my pregnancy I couldn’t get away from the scripture in Psalm¬†127

Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.   As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.

God gave me a strong revelation about children that I believe is very different from the world’s thinking of children. Our children are VERY important.

From this moment on I decided that I would dedicate my life to raising children for the Lord. With full support from my husband. I decided that nothing would come in the way, no job, no career, no ministry would be more important to me than raising my family in the best way that God shows me.

This is why we named our son Arrow.

He is our Arrow, our weapon of defense against our enemies. He is our reward and gift from God. We are very blessed.

His middle name is¬†‘Truth.’ This stands¬†for the truth of God’s word coming to pass as we birth our Arrow into the world.¬†We dedicated our son completely to the Lord.

We didn’t know if we were having a boy or a girl until after the birth, but during my later stages of pregnancy we had only picked one name – Arrow – I couldn’t even think of any girls names. God knew though, that we were having a son and he placed him in our womb for a special reason.

I was very over due – 2 weeks and 2 days in fact, before I finally gave in to the doctors and came into the hospital to be induced. Everyone thought I was crazy waiting for so long past my due date, but I knew in my heart that my baby needed more time.

 

The doctor broke my waters, and proclaimed that my baby has a head full of hair!! Wow, we were very excited, yet nervous for what was ahead of us.

The contractions came on steady all morning and Luke and I walked around and around the hospital grounds. I had a really strong contraction right in front of the waiting room of the medical clinic. I grabbed Luke by the scruff of his shirt and leaned over him, clamped my eyes shut and breathed deeply. “Okay, we need to go back into our room NOW.” So back inside we went, where we spent the entire length of our labour alone in our hospital room. We hardly saw a midwife and no doctors were in sight. I was doing quite well up until the last couple of hours of labour where I started to lose confidence. I sat on the birthing ball the entire time I was going through transition labour. Luke¬†sat behind me, rubbing my back and praying. I began¬†moaning like a cow, I couldn’t help it –¬†I had to let the noise out, it was the only way I could cope. I was sweating, feeling sick &¬†light-headed. I was fanning myself profusely with my orange pregnancy record book. My body was so exhausted that I almost dropped of to sleep sitting up between contractions. (I had no idea that I was probably fully dilated and ready to push for a while but I just kept sitting there on that ball!)

In agony I proclaimed to Luke that I had had enough and was going to see if the heat of a shower would help with the pain. Luke helped me into the shower. I was still moaning, and I stamped my feet in the water.¬†I felt weird, I can’t explain it, but I had an overwhelming urge that …something…was about to fall out of my body. (I later discovered that that something was indeed a baby!)¬†Luke¬†pressed the button to call the midwife and she comes into the shower cubicle.

Midwife: “What’s the matter?”

Me: “I think it’s coming out!!”

Midwife: “Get out¬†of the shower..”

Me: “Noooo”

Midwife: “You have to hop out now”

Me: “NOOOOO”

Midwife: “The baby is coming out and I’m not ready to catch it while you are standing in the shower, so hop out NOW”

 

Still moaning, but much louder now; I’m helped into a wheel chair and ran into the delivery room.

The midwife wants me to get up on the bed but I feel the baby literally dropping inside of me and I gag and drop to my knees on the floor.

In this moment I completely panicked, I looked in despair at my pale husband and yelped in a quiet voice: “Luke, help me!”

Everything else is pretty¬†much a blur to me. I can remember the midwife telling me that I couldn’t give birth on the floor and she¬†pulled out a birthing stool, which I sat on with Luke behind me.

Arrow shot out of me on that stool with such great force, I didn’t even push. He was living up to his name already.
He was out in – 2-3 minutes.I had a 2nd degree tear!

He was my biggest baby yet: 8lbs, 5oz,

Born 7:34pm on the 21st March 2011.

We were overjoyed. I needed rest, Arrow breastfed well and I showered and we all snuggled up together in our room exhausted, yet deeply satisfied.

 

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6 years old now!

 

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Our first sunflower and our Arrow

We are so glad he is a part of our family!

Blessings, Peta

Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook review

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I’ve been following Trim Healthy Mama on and off for around 4 years just after the first book was released. Initially I followed it strictly and I lost the last of the weight I gained from my third pregnancy quite quickly.

Since then I seem follow THM passionately for a while, then I go off it for a time and go with Sarah Wilson’s JERF philosophy (Just Eat Real Food).

Right now I am losing weight from my fifth full term pregnancy. Once again I’ve been using THM, a bit loosely mind you. I have the original THM book but I also purchased the new cookbook.

In a nutshell here’s my review:

I didn’t like it at first – but now I do.

I opened the book when it first arrived and was horrified to see that the THM ladies had made their own sweeteners and baking blend. I’m not a fan of ‘fancy’ ingredients and I didn’t want to order their expensive products. I just wanted to make healthy recipes out of easy ingredients I could buy locally. I tried a couple of recipes that didn’t use the special ingredients and wasn’t that impressed. We got busy moving to a new house and location and I was pregnant with my fifth baby. I tossed it on the bookshelf for a year.

I tried again.

The summer school holidays just passed I pulled out my book and decided to give it another go. I even ordered the baking blend and some THM sweeteners. The recipes I tried this time – I really enjoyed.

The drinks ‘Shrinker’ and ‘Singing Canary’ – wow!

And I love the wicked white chilli, the lemon herb drummies and the pancakes. I love to eat, so eating pancakes while losing weight is a winner for me.

I won’t be ordering their baking blend again because, lets face it, it’s expensive. Instead I will make up my own baking blend based on almond meal. I’ll keep using stevia though. It’s a natural sweetener that’s very low calories and keeps your blood sugar low. Sounds good to me.

I think it is possible to follow THM without ordering the expensive products or using specialty ingredients. But if you want to buy the products then go ahead – they are top quality.

So what’s the verdict? Is it worth buying the cook book? I’ll say yes.

Blessings, Peta.

 

 

 

Garden therapy

I love gardens and I love vegetables! The sunshine and fresh air and hard physical work from digging and weeding makes me feel so refreshed! I’ve been making gardening a priority this week, because I know I need it.

I’ve begun a project of growing my own seedlings from seeds instead of buying them from the nursery. While these little beauties grow, I’ll be busy preparing the soil with compost and blood and bone and removing all the weeds.¬†dscf4524dscf4525dscf4527

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“Look mum, a mud diamond”¬†

 

Blessings, Peta

Preventing Postpartum depression

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I know the feeling. You are tired. I mean REALLY tired. Not the kind of tired you felt after having a late night in your teens. If you don’t have children and you think you are tired. Trust me – you are NOT tired.

But the kind of tired that suffocates you. It’s suffocating because you can’t see the end in sight. It makes your hands shake and your body want to shut down. You’re not just sleepy, you are weary. Fatigued. Brain dead.

All the things that you must do are overwhelming you. You feel guilty and your gut wrenches with anxiety as you think of all the things you are behind in. The party you just couldn’t make it to because leaving the house seemed like such a feat. All the people you are letting down. The gifts for extended family members you needed to send 4 weeks ago. The health check for one of your children that is way overdue. The bills. The mess. The house. The dirt. The mess. The washing. The baby upchuck that you¬†still haven’t cleaned off the couch from a few days ago. It’s bad. It stinks.

I get it. After I had my fourth baby I used to stay up late because I didn’t want the next day to come. I would then cry myself to sleep not knowing how in the world I would get my sleep deprived self up the next day and do it all over again.

But things did get better. Thank God, and my mood slowly improved.

Before I go on I want to say to you

“Just because you have had a stinking bad day doesn’t mean that you have a bad life”

Really, it’s going to get better. Everything will be okay

I would say that over the course of the last several years of having pregnancies and my five babies I have had postpartum depression twice. After my second baby and after my fourth. I have also experienced depression and anxiety throughout 2 of my pregnancies. Both times was quite severe and led me to need to speak to doctors and counsellors. ¬†I even spent some time in hospital while pregnant with my fourth baby recovering from severe anxiety and depression. I couldn’t even get my children lunch without my hands shaking and knees collapsing and having to go retreat to my bedroom to lie down for some time. I have learnt some things about myself now and have learnt to recognise the early signs of postpartum depression. If I pick up on the signs and commit to making a change I can feel almost 100% better within a day. And the feelings of low mood go away. I have, by the grace of God, not suffered from postpartum depression this time by watching for warning signs, and kicking them out before my mood spirals out of control. I have been able to stay positive and look at situations that arise calmly and rationally without becoming overwhelmed.

My baby Willow is now almost 9 months old. Postpartum depression can sneak up not just in the exhausting newborn period but also anytime in you baby’s first couple of years. Or any time in life, really. Being a mum can be tough even at the best of times. That’s why having feelings of deep joy, fulfilment and peace are such an important part of mothering. The deep joy we feel will get us through our days with thankfulness and peace. We will serve and love our families with a sense of fulfilment and with a smile on our face. We will live life intentionally and with motivation. Depression is an illness and can take time to get better, so for me, it’s worth keeping up with some healthy habits to help keep it away.

I understand that depression can be a complex issue at times and can be caused by a whole heap of issues combined. Maybe relationship troubles, money troubles, grieving for a loved one, past issues, or hormonal imbalances have triggered the depression. Some of these things we can’t prevent. If this is the case then speaking to a professional is a really good idea for you to work through these issues in your life. So you can walk in freedom without a heavy weight upon your shoulders.

When you are pregnant or after your baby is born, and you are prone to depression,  I encourage you to note down some warning signs and behaviours you notice in yourself. If you have been feeling low take note of what has changed since before these negative feelings came. Have some negative habits and thought patterns begun to develop? When I notice my mood getting low and negative thoughts hitting me I stop and ask myself these questions. Some of them seem so simple, but they really make a huge difference to my life.

  1. Have I been taking my daily walk/bike ride?

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I have a half hour slot on my schedule that I use to exercise. Getting out in the fresh air for a walk or bike ride is a life saver for me. The sunlight and fresh air clears my head and soothes my soul and is a very important part of keeping my mood stable. Often when my days get busy and I have to be out and about with children’s appointments I might miss my time outdoors exercising. Sometimes all it takes is a few days of getting out for my walk and I’m feeling much better.

2. Have I been spending time in prayer and reading God’s word?

Bible Journal

The Lord is my strength and He is the one I am living for. So it makes sense that when I spend daily time in prayer I feel at peace in my soul. I notice that I go about my days with confidence and can handle stressful situations and crying children much more calmly when I have spent time in prayer in the morning committing my day to the Lord.

I silently pray in my heart all day long, but I also have two times in my day that are reserved for prayer and reading the Bible. After lunch when myself and the children have quiet time. They quietly play with a toy on their own or read and the baby and 2-year-old nap and I use this time to pray and read God’s word. And more recently (because I am feeding Willow less at night and sleeping better now) first thing in the morning before the children wake up. I set my alarm and sit in the lounge in the early hours praying to the Lord quietly while the house is still silent.

When I don’t focus on the Lord I become grumpy, short-tempered and think of worldly things, which causes negative feelings to arise in me – which can push me towards depression. So daily time with the Lord is my lifeline. He is my lifeline.

3. Have I been having deep and heartfelt conversations with people I love and trust?

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When I’m feeling down I can lose the motivation to go out and can begin to isolate myself. This is the opposite that I should be doing! I have learnt that I run best with seeing friends other than my husband at least one or twice a week. When the kids are sick etc and I can’t make it to church a few Sunday’s in a row I notice a decline in my mood. So I make sure now, that I get out and about during the week and see some people or invite a family over. I’m a social person and need regular contact with the ‘outside world’ outside the home to keep me feeling peaceful.

4. Have I been eating with mindfulness?

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What I eat can affect my mood too. If I eat too much sugary food I find that it really affects me and the next day or so I can feel lethargic, depressed and have zero motivation until the sugar is out of my system. Making sure I am eating healthy foods and not overeating keeps me feeling good. Over eating and weight gain can be a source of stress for me and can lead to sad feelings. Having a daily plan of what I’m going to eat and sticking with it the best I can keeps me feeling good.

5. Have I been spending too much time on social media, or internet? Or reading magazines? Bad habits can creep up when I’m tired; if I notice that I have been spending a lot more time on social media or lounging around a lot I try to change quickly. Did you know that too much time spent checking and scrolling through social media can cause us to feel depressed? I know this is true for me. I can be having a good day but then begin looking at facebook and see pictures of people doing stuff that looks exciting and think that I’m missing out. Or that everyone is up to something and I’m not. Or I don’t have what that person has. And I really don’t look as neat as that person…I haven’t even brushed my hair. Or my children aren’t behaving like that persons is. Or I accidentally see a photo of someone from the past that I was hoping to never be reminded of again. Seriously. Am I the only one who gets like this sometimes after checking social media? After all, isn’t that why people put things on facebook to begin with…to boast? If not to boast then to moan about something or someone?

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Anyway. I have noticed that too much facebook is not good for my mental health. Over the years I have put some serious restrictions on my facebook usage and deleted it for a time too. I now do not check it at all until the evening after the children are in bed. I do not have the internet on my phone and I have made a deal with myself to NEVER check facebook in the morning. I don’t always stick to it, but when I do I notice a world of difference to my mood throughout the day. If you are prone to depression and notice you are on social media alot – ask yourself; How do I feel after checking facebook? Is it benefitting my day? Are there restrictions I can put in place for myself to spend less time on it and more time in the real world? It’s worth giving it a go.

6. Do I have a plan or schedule for my days to give me direction? Something that prevents depression and low motivation is to schedule my days at home. With a schedule I feel productive and like I have a good plan for my day. One year a few weeks after Christmas I was feeling really foggy. I had been out of my usual routine for a while over the holiday period and noticed that I was lazing around a lot and losing motivation to do anything at all. I started to feel a little depressed for a couple of days. After praying about it I realised that my days had no direction and were rather aimless and the low productivity was causing my low mood. I wrote a morning routine for myself to follow and stuck it up in the kitchen where I could see it because I was so sluggish in the mornings. I then planned out my day and aimed to work on a particular project – like decluttering, for 30 minutes every day for the rest of the holidays. A few days later I was feeling motivated again and the low mood lifted because I felt productive.

7. Have I been getting enough sleep? This is a tough one because new mums usually don’t get enough sleep. Even mums with older children wont get enough sleep if they have a particularly wakeful child. There are times during the newborn baby period when I just have to sleep when I can and go into survival mode. But when my babies get older I have to be careful to not get into some bad habits.

– staying up late and sleeping in regularly causes depression for me.

I don’t know why exactly this happens but I do know that when I sleep in too late I am awakened by children who may have been tearing up the house while I was snoozing. I wake up having no time to pray and have to leap out my bed feeling already behind in everything. I feel really groggy and am usually NOT in a good mood. Staying up too late can cause the sleeping in. So a good happy morning begins the night before. If I make sure I go to bed at a good time – never later than 10pm (though that time may be different for you) I usually feel so much better the next day, even if I’ve been woken during the night. Then I make sure I set my alarm to rise at a good time.

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These days I set my alarm to wake before the children wake up so I can pray ¬†and exercise before Luke goes to work. I feel in charge of my day and this keeps me feeling positive. I don’t always make it out of bed when my alarm goes off if I’ve been woken by the children in the middle of the night. But I just try again the next morning. It’s all about setting up good, healthy habits and not about getting upset when things don’t go as planned.

This was a long post! Well done for making it to the end! Lets set ourselves up with good, positive habits that will keep us smiling through those early years,and beyond, of motherhood. God bless you as you press on.

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Me and Willow

*please note: If you are already suffering from depression please don’t suffer alone. It’s okay to seek outside help from a pastor, doctor or counsellor. If your depression is severe please don’t wait. Make an appointment to see someone as soon as possible. This post is about how I have done my best to prevent postpartum depression based on my own past experiences and is not meant to be medical advice. I pray you can have a happy and stable postpartum time with your baby and older children and you can enjoy this blessed, yet often exhausting time.

Blessings, Peta

 

Postpartum weight loss update

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Our first zucchini and tomato in our new little veggie patch!

I am now 8 and a half months postpartum after the birth of Willow our 5th precious bundle. I have been slowly losing weight. At first, when I was still breastfeeding her, I lost nothing, then just a little here and there. Now that Willow is fully weaned and drinking from a bottle my weight loss has sped up. I have trouble feeding my babies past six months old (except for my first who fed for 13 months). My milk supply, no matter how hard I try, just isn’t enough for my hungry babies when they get older. But that’s another story.

I’m here to happily say that I’m almost there – 5.5kg away from my pre pregnancy weight. I have lost 10.5kg since coming home from hospital and have gone down a few dress sizes. The weight is coming off slower than previous postpartum times but I’m getting there. Progress, no matter how small, keeps me motivated. I gained a little weight over Christmas – whoops! But thankfully lost it again within a few weeks of being extra careful with what I ate.

How am I doing it? Trim Healthy Mama. This program is my go-to whenever I have weight to lose. I’ve used it after my last 3 babies to lose weight and it has been effective every time. I am learning to practice mindful eating and not just shoving food into my mouth whenever I feel like. I try to think before I eat.

As for exercise, I have a half hour slot in my schedule that I allow for exercise. I am loving taking my bike out for a ride. I find it really calming and it clears my head. I walk too, and sometimes run for a few minutes during my walk. My aim is to exercise 5 times a week – but usually I get in 3 half hour sessions.

I’m really thankful to have been successful so far in losing my postpartum weight. But I know that many of you haven’t been so successful. Yet.

I want to give you a big hug. Your body is beautiful, it has bore a precious child. Don’t be hard on yourself, your body changes SO much after you have a baby. Give yourself some time and you too can lose weight if you want to. Feel free to have a chat in the comments if you have any postpartum weight loss related questions. I’m happy to help or have a chat.

Blessings, Peta

Managing your home and using a schedule.

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Miss Savannah

I was first introduced to the concept of scheduling my family a few years back when my first three were all little from reading Erika Shupe’s blog¬† Large Families On Purpose. Over the past few years I have tried a few different schedules but if they are run by the clock, it hasn’t gone well for me. I have a very loose schedule written up now. Well, it’s more or less a routine than a schedule because it doesn’t have any times on it – except for meals and bedtime. It works somewhat but it’s perhaps a bit too loose. There are moments in my day that aren’t working.¬† And some things that I consider important are getting missed. I’ve been scratching my head for a while wondering and praying about how to order my home life so every thing works. I love the idea of the home running like a well oiled machine. Everyone knows what they are supposed to be doing and when and everyone working to help each other reach a common goal. My home doesn’t look like a well oiled machine…it looks more like 2 parts of the machine (me and Luke) trying our hardest to keep order in the home while the other parts of the machine cause chaos. It’s time to get every thing and everyone running smoothly.

Will you join me on my journey into scheduling? I have almost completed my first day of following my new schedule from start to finish. In fact; the only reason I am even writing this right now is because my schedule said

  • 7:30pm – Blog.

I am amazed at how much I have accomplished today! The best thing about a schedule for me is that it ‘thinks’ for me. My mind is often a jumbled mess as I go about my day – especially in the mornings. This is because I have so much I need to do and all of it is reasonably urgent (change the toddlers nappy before it explodes, feed the baby, shower etc) and I often go running from one thing to the next trying to decide on the fly which thing is more urgent and needs to be done first. My schedule eliminates the stress of making 100 decisions because the decisions I need to make – such as feeding my baby her breakfast and when to put on the first load of laundry – have been made for me ahead of time. It makes me more efficient at getting these things done because I can work on the task at hand more wholeheartedly knowing that all the other things on my mind will get done when my schedule says so.

*Edit – I wrote the above in the last week of term 4 2016 – so around 4 weeks ago. I decided to make a schedule for myself for the summer school holidays too. The schedule has really taken the lethargy out of the holidays that I often feel after Christmas. Often I will sleep in (as long as I can) in the holidays and sluggishly go about my day. My mind would be a jumbled mess, full of things that I knew I needed to get done but I struggled to decide which task was most urgent. My school holiday days are going better and I feel like I’m living with much more intention. I also am making sure that I don’t get so busy with the urgent tasks and I allow time for things I feel are important. Like reading a story to one of my children. And exercising. I haven’t followed my schedule 100% of the time but overall I feel I am achieving more in my days then I was before.

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Making a ginger bread house with all the cousins

We have begun a 10 minute ‘power clean.’ Just before the children’s bed time too. I set the timer on my phone and we all rush around and see how much stuff we can put away before the timer goes. After wards I am amazed at how much tidier the house can look in such a short amount of time!

My eldest two children have been busy this week with swimming lessons, so I tweak the schedule to work around us going out too. A home schedule doesn’t mean I am always home, I work it around our outings. But also I find a happy balance so I am not going out so much that my home responsibilities are not getting done.

Do you run your days with a schedule or do you use a looser routine? Let me know in the comments. Do you follow a schedule during the school holidays?

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Holiday fun – we spent a week on my parents farm before Christmas.

Blessings, Peta

 

 

 

New years resolutions

I’m big on making new years resolutions. In fact I get giddy with excitement every time the new year comes rolling along. I think and dream about how amazing the new year is going to be and all the great things I want to accomplish. Even since I was a teenager I would sit down and write a whole page, or three, of new years resolutions. But in the last two years I’ve begun to feel a little different. I noticed that most of the resolutions I made were way too ambitious for the season of life I’m currently in. My goals weren’t getting done and I was getting frustrated about all the things I wasn’t getting done.

This year instead of a page or two of ambitious goals I’m going to make a list of prayer points instead. I hope to take the focus off myself and my own plans and focus on God instead. Having an eternal focus, I believe, is a great start to the new year.

I’ll leave you with some photos of our Christmas photo shoot ūüôā

Blessings, Peta

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Caring for the elderly and another nursing home performance.

Music is my husband Luke’s passion and one of his giftings. A ministry of serving the elderly with music has been on Luke’s heart for a long time now.

It helps that Luke also works in aged care and knows the ins and outs of nursing homes. I think this generation has somewhat lost the respect for the elderly that it used in past generations. The elderly in the nursing homes are someone’s mum or dad or someone’s brother, sister, auntie or uncle.¬† They are people just like you and me, only in an aged body. We are all going to age. No matter how much we diet and exercise and use cosmetics. It is destined to happen to all of us. Ministering to the souls of the aged is a privilege and seeing the joy on the people’s faces when they see our babies and hear Luke sing is heart warming.¬† Our family has been invited to some nursing homes for a performance and visit. First Luke sings and plays guitar for 30-60 minutes, while I sit with the children. After the show I bring the children around to meet some residents.

We have done a couple of performances and the invite has been sent around to other nursing homes and we now have a few more booked in up to Easter 2017. Our hearts desire is to have our children join Luke up on the stage eventually and one day (in the far future) me up there too singing and playing guitar. We pray our family can be a blessing to the residents of the often dull and lonely life in the nursing homes we visit. Please pray for us as I try to organise the children to come along as it is usually a huge ordeal to get everyone ready for the day, keep them quiet during the performance and travel to the location we have been invited to. Also I feel like I am specifically spiritually attacked by the enemy¬† in the weeks leading up to a performance. When I’m down I bring everyone down, Please pray for strength and protection and a sound mind.

Here are a few snapshots from Luke’s performance last week:

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Setting up – Francis loves plugging in all dad’s pedals

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Setting up before the residents arrive

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Arrow and Willow

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Holly at the activity table

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Keeping busy during the performance

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Savannah is great at keeping baby Willow happy!

Blessings, Peta

A Reality check on my to do list.

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My Life has gotten pretty busy since baby number five was born six months ago. Actually things have been super busy since baby three was born, really. Every morning I get up and write a to do list like I usually do. But ‘extra’ things just aren’t getting done. (By extra I mean cleaning something or baking a cake or …having a shower.) I realised that I needed to get real about how long it takes me to do the important and urgent things in my job as home schooling mum of five. It is time-consuming caring for a baby, even a super placid and happy baby like Willow.

Learning to work out how long it takes me to get things done and accepting how long it must take has been a saver to my sanity. I have had to say no to many other activities I could be involved with inside and outside the home so I can completely focus my time and energy on these five. And still have energy left for my best friend and hubby Luke. This is a full on time in my life and I take my job seriously. I’m raising future leaders for Christ and it’s taking a lot of sacrifice and prayer and choosing to have a good attitude.¬† There are lovely happy moments in each day that I treasure and there are other moments where I feel like running away or hiding: or both. God gives me grace as I continue to learn how to do this parenting-thing. And he gives me the strength to begin each morning and get through the day again and again.

This is everything I must do on my home school days and how long I have worked out it takes; give or take a few minutes.

  • Feed Willow – 30 mins
  • Serve and eat breakfast – 30 mins
  • Change and dress Holly and Willow and help the children with their morning routines – 30 mins
  • My own personal grooming (shower, dressed, moisturiser etc) – 30 mins
  • Clean up from breakfast – 30 mins
  • Sort and put on a load of laundry – 30 mins
  • Hang out laundry – 20 mins

This brings me to 10:30am and we sit around the table and do school work. – 1 hour to 90 mins.

  • I often feed Willow again while we’re doing school and change a stinky nappy or two, fix 100 snacks for starving children and deal with a meltdown or two.

The afternoon goes much like this:

  • prepare lunch including baby food – 45 mins
  • Eat lunch – 20 mins
  • Quiet time and devotions – 45 mins
  • Home school session 2 – 45 minutes
  • Clean up from lunch – 30 mins
  • Feed Willow – 30 mins
  • Give Willow solids – 20 mins
  • Hang out laundry/fold and sort – 45 mins
  • Cook/prepare tea/ set table etc – 1.5 hours
  • (Bath/shower children – Luke usually does this when he gets home while I’m cooking)- 1 hour (3x a week, more if someone is extra dirty or stinky)

We eat tea around 5:30 – 6pm

  • After tea I feed Willow again – 30 mins
  • Tea clean up (Luke usually does this) – 30 mins
  • Bedtime routine including listening to my two sons reading and family worship – 45 mins to 1 hour

We put the children to bed around 7:30pm, lights out for my 7-year-old at 8pm. Our 5-year-old goes to bed at the moment at 8:30pm because he doesn’t get to sleep very well and is noisy and disturbs his older brother that he shares a room with. He is asked to sit quietly on the couch with books or a quiet toy.

There you have it – my day is full! I’m accepting it and acceptance gives me peace and contentedness. I am no longer trying to fit too much in anymore after having an honest look at how long everything takes in my day.

If I need to do something extra I need to pray about it and get wisdom about how to go about it. For example I really want to get in a little exercise so I often pop tea in the oven, put my shoes on and leave the children with Luke and dash out for a 20 minute power walk or bike ride around 3 times a week. We do our cleaning, too, in small bursts here and there.

I’m learning to not get upset anymore if certain things aren’t getting done. I choose to ignore mess on the floor as I feed my bub her life-giving milk.

Don’t be shy to have a chat in the comments. Do you have a new baby? How are you going with getting stuff done around the house while caring for little ones?

Blessings, Peta

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