To Laugh or to Cry?

Thismorning I decided to do some baking. I had a bag of lemons to use up, so I decided to make my favourite lemon loaf times four! I don't do much bulk baking, so I wasn't quite prepared. All the ingredients just fitted into my mixer, but then I added the milk. As you can imagine it splashed all over the bench and ran down the cupboards onto the floor! I emptied the mixture into my biggest pot and cleaned up the milk. I got out my hand mixer and added a bit more milk. I had it all mixed up and so I turned the hand mixer off as I pulled it out. Well, I thought I had turned it off, but instead I had turned it onto turbo! So mixture flew everywhere! Including over the window I had finally gotten around to cleaning yesterday! I just about cried. Then the thought came to me, "I can either cry or laugh. My daughters are watching me and how I respond. It's frustrating but really not that tragic! It only takes a bit of time to clean up."
I try and teach my children not to stress and get upset when things go wrong for them, so I need to set the example.
Sometimes it does me good to cry, but sometimes I just need to see the humor and laugh! Some things really don't matter. By the end of the day I had a clean kitchen and three delicious lemon loaves and some lemon muffins. It wasn't such a big deal after all!:)

I love this verse but need to be reminded of it often.
Proverbs 5:15 All the days of the afflicted are evil: but he that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast.


Worry is a Waste of Time!

Do you worry a lot? I'm learning that a lot of what I worry about either doesn't happen, or God gives me the help I need at the time.
In other words, all my worry is for nothing! It's a waste of precious time!
I do need to think ahead and be prepared, but I should be praying instead of worrying.
This week my husband was away for most of the week, so I was going to be on my own with three children under 5yrs. My husband has had to work long hours lately, and I have found it difficult to get through dinner time without his help. So I started to worry about how I was going to cope when he was away for 5 nights.
Guess what? The worrying was a waste of time. A few days before he went away, my Mum unexpectedly contacted me and asked if I would like to bring the children to their home for a week (They live 41/2 hrs away). It worked out perfectly, and instead of having a difficult tiring week, I had a VERY relaxing week with lots of babysitters to help! :) My husband was able to come and pick us up at the end of the week and bring us home again.
But even if that hadn't happened, God would have helped me through.
At the moment there is a possibility that our (unborn) baby has a heart problem. We are going for a scan tomorrow to find out. While I was staying with my parents, my dad reminded me of this verse in 2 Timothy. God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
His advice was, "If there is a problem with your baby, you don't have to be afraid. You just have to go through it and God will help you."
And I am learning that this advice is very true! Worrying does no good, and God will always help us through the difficult times.


Some Encouraging Verses

I have felt a bit worn out this week. My husband has had to work very long hours, and my children have been waking up very early! One day was especially busy and I was absolutely exhausted by the end of it. After a good nights sleep I woke up feeling just as exhausted. I wondered how on earth I was going to get through the day. Looking after 3 little children, being pregnant and keeping my home in order takes a lot of energy! I was afraid I was not going to be able to cope.
At the breakfast table I read Psalm chapter 34. It so cheered me up and gave me confidence that God would help me. And He definitely did! I am sharing the verses in the chapter that were really encouraging to me. I hope they're an encouragement to you too. God is so good and always willing to help!

Psalm 34:1 I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.

4 I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.
5 They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed.
6 This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.
7 The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.
8 O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.

15 The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.
17 The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.
18 The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.
19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.


If Mummy's not happy...

There is so much truth in this statement! I've just been thinking about it, and it's been a reminder to me that much of my home's happiness depends on me. I remember when I was growing up, if my mum wasn't happy, neither were we.
And yet there are many times that I am not happy because of discontent, resentfulness, bitterness, unthankfulness and the list goes on. I forget that I am affecting my whole home.
 As mothers we make such a difference to how happy our home is. While there are times that we have real reason to feel sad, we can make our home happy by giving thanks in everything and rejoicing in the Lord always.


Inexpensive Activities #1

Last post I talked about the importance of spending time with your children.
Here are some ideas for practical inexpensive activities that are fun! Most of them you have probably thought of, but hopefully there might be a new idea for you to try!

1) Tea Parties
A few times I have taken my children to a coffee shop and had something special for morning tea. It's fun to do every now and again, but since doing that I have found that you can pretend you are at a coffee shop at home and the children still have just as much fun and there is no cost! Coffee shops do get expensive!
You can have cake with a fork on plates and a milo in mugs or glasses. My children love straws with their drinks. You can decorate with a table cloth, flowers or light a candle. A teapot is fun and special for the children! Or chocolate milk or juice. Just whatever you have!

2) Make a book
You can staple paper or cardboard together to make a book. Then the children can decorate by gluing pictures, drawing, stickers, glitter etc. One time we made little books and glued on different scraps of material. My four year old once made a little book by herself and on page one she drew number 1 and drew one thing on it. The next page number 2 and so on. She needed a bit of help with some numbers, but I was impressed!

3) Wash the car
I still haven't tried this one yet, but plan to one day. Most children love playing with water!

4) Make jewelry with beads and string

Helping with housework makes them feel grownup and they don't see it as work. Maybe it changes when they get older. I only have preschoolers!
Washing dishes, cleaning windows, vacuuming, taking dry washing off or pegging wet washing on clotheshorse when it is wet outside, mopping the floor, cleaning the walls or dusting, and folding washing are things that my children have enjoyed helping me with. It takes longer to do with them helping, but it is a way to spend time with them and get something done at the same time!:)  A while ago, it was a cold wet inside day, so I rinsed all the dishes well in hot water and then let the girls have turns washing and drying them (as in the photo). They loved it! My four year old told me as she was having her turn washing, "I'm a big lady!" :)

6) Make kebabs for morning tea

This isn't something we do often as it is a little bit of work, but my children love it and it is healthy. You can use any kind of food that goes on a skewer. Grapes, bananas, strawberries, marshmellows, pineapples, cucumber, cheese, meatballs, luncheon or ham all work well. Chop them up into squares and put them on a skewer.

7) Roast marshmallows on the fire

8) Make a collage picture
Get some paper or cardboard and find some things for the children to glue on. Pasta, macaroni, rice, lentils, coconut, leaves, buttons, colored paper squares, tissue paper, you name it! Salt is quite fun to glue on especially on black paper!

9) Puzzles

10) Baking/Cooking
There are so many fun things to do in the kitchen with your children.
Cakes, Biscuits, Muffins, pizza, buns, bread. Also, Icing and decorating what you have made!

11) Make icecream sundaes!
Put icecream in a bowl or glass and decorate away!

12) Painting
You can make paint by mixing 2 tblsp flour, 4tblsp water, 1 tblsp salt and food coloring.
You can make outside paint by mixing equal amounts of cornflour and water. I would usually do either half a cup of both or one cup of each. If you pour it into muffin trays, then put drops of food coloring in each cup you will have lots of colours. This is good for a sunny day. My children paint the concrete then the sun hardens it.
Also, for a sunny day, you can put water into muffin trays and put drops of food coloring in to make colored water. My children like painting outside with this too.


Time for Your Children

I've just been reading a book about the life of a French queen. I felt so sad to read how she grew up wondering if her Mum and Dad really loved her. She didn't even get to live with them—she had a governess looking after her. They didn't visit her very often. Other people were far more important in their life than her. Growing up as a princess she was as rich as possible, and yet all she wanted was her parents love and time—not their presents. One day when she was an adult she heard a nun talking about her mother very positively.

Your mother was a pious woman, I think,” Sister Nicole said one evening as they sat together.
Perhaps,” was Jeanne's rather ambiguous answer.
Are you not certain?” the nun questioned.
Jeanne shook her head.
She would stroll through the woods at twilight, your mother. And every evening after her stroll she would go into our chapel, kneel down, and pray. Then she would rise and retire to her rooms for the evening accompanied by her ladies. These ladies had nothing but good to say of Madame, your mother, nothing but good.”
What sort of things did they say about her,” Jeanne asked, studying the nun.
Well, they said that she always was interested in what each one was doing. They said she was kind and often gave them gifts to help with family, with marriages...”
Sister Nicole stopped when she saw that Jeanne's lips were pursed and that her forehead was wrinkled in thought.
Is there something that troubles you, child?”
Jeanne shook her head again. How could she tell the kind nun of all the hours that she had, as a child, coveted a kind word or a thoughtful question from her mother?
The nun went on to describe her mother some more.
Jeanne sat quietly, like a statue, her right hand cupped under her chin, staring off into the distance. In her mind's eye she could see a small child running about a large estate with no one to tend her but servants.

This is just one part of the book in which you see her craving for her mother's time and love. You can see it all through the book.

Reading this book reminded me of how important it is to spend time with our children.

Once I watched a video called “The Secret Garden” about another rich little girl whose mum didn't have the time or desire to be a Mum. She was only interested in parties and social life. This girl's parents got killed and she was left an orphan. Twice on the video she made bitter comments about her mother. One was “My mother didn't have time to tell me stories (or read to me, I can't remember which). I can't remember what the second comment was but I'm pretty sure it started off “My mother didn't have time...”Those comments have stuck with me and I hope they always will.

As mums we are so busy and there is always so much to do. But if we don't have time to spend with our children, we are too busy.

Children don't need lots of brand new toys and clothes. They need time and love.

It's not always easy.

It costs more to do something with your child than it does to buy them something. It costs time and patience. I have made it a habit to make time to do something with my children once in the morning and once in the afternoon. In the morning my youngest girl chooses something to do, and in the afternoon my oldest girl chooses something. Something that doesn't take more than ten minutes—like a puzzle, a game, coloring in, or reading a story. I don't always feel like it and there are always jobs waiting to be done. Now that my one year old is getting bigger, I need to spend extra time doing something especially for him, as he can't usually join in with what I'm doing with the girls and he wants to. More time!! Sometimes I wonder if it's worth the effort. But when I read stories like this, I'm positive it is!

My children don't get many brand new toys or clothes, but they do get time with Mummy.

I'm not someone who dreamed of being a Mum. My dream was to be an overseas missonary. I didn't see the significance of being a mother. God has had to work on my heart a lot and He still does! I need to remind my self often of the importance of being a Mum. So this post is written for me!

Somebody said, “If you want your children to turn out well, spend  twice as much time with them and half as much money