Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Books I've Read This Year

When I was younger, I could easily be labelled an avid bookworm. Sadly, I don't make nearly as much time to read nowadays and books often sit on my "to-read" shelf for several months before I finally get to them. I thought I would share some of my favourite reads form this year though, in case any of you are interested.

End of the Spear by Steve Saint

Steve is the son of Nate Saint, one of five missionaries killed in an attack by the Indian tribe they were trying to reach. After studying, marrying, and having four children in America, Steve moved his family back to Ecuador by request of the Waodani, the tribe responsible for his father's death, after his aunt Rachel Saint passed away. This book tells his and his family's story. 

Generation Change by Zach Hunter

When Zach learned of the slavery that once took place in America, he knew he would have done something about it. But then he found out about modern-day slavery. If he would have acted before, why not now? Zach has written several books, and in this one he shares practical advice on how to get involved in changing the world. Why wait for someone else to change things? Get started!

Set-Apart Femininity by Leslie Ludy

One day I'll buy my own copy of this book, and read some of Leslie's other books. I LOVED this book from beginning to end! Leslie writes about femininity's purpose and it's true design in a personal and easy to read way. I think this is a must-read for every woman, young or old!

Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis

Katie's life was turned upside down when she spent the summer of her last school year on a mission trip to Uganda. Now 24 years old (as far as I can see), Katie lives in Uganda, and is a single mom (sorry, she's American) to 13 Ugandan girls. In addition, she provides food, medical care, and education through her ministry, Amazima. Her life isn't easy but she loves it! 

Mamarazzi: Every Mom's Guide to Photographing Kids by Stacy Wasmuth

You don't need to be a mum to read this book! Stacy gives lots of great advice on the various aspects of photography, especially focusing on child photography. A great resource if you're looking for some guidance in your own photography!

All images click for credit.

What are some of your favourite books?

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Christmas Presents

While our family doesn't officially celebrate Christmas, we exchange gifts with the rallies (and, in the past we have travelled to Wellington to be with everyone). So lots of photos here for those rallies :)

This year, Uncle Bill and Aunty Melissa bought two Oxfam gifts for us.
One for chickens, and one for goats, sending them to help people in Papua New Guinea.
I've always loved the idea of gifts like this so it was really cool getting them this year: thanks!!!

Lip gloss, chapstick, shampoom and conditioner, etc.
That sort of thing always goes down well with our girls. Thank you!!

Aww so cute!

Is this what photographers mean when they talk about framing one's subject? :P hehe

Had to try out my new baking moulds :P
Lots of great gifts there. Thanks everyone!! We hope you liked yours :)

Friday, December 27, 2013

Bryce's Birthday

Our Christmas Eve baby is 6 now!

: : For birthdays in our family, each person gives a gift, and chocolate is permanently on the gift list! : : 

: : Don't you love their smiles? : :

: : Danielle's latest adventure: glasses! And yes, she absolutely loves them! : :

: : A builder someday? : :

: : It's traditional in our family to receive a psalm book on one's sixth birthday. : :
Bryce was really looking forward to getting his own!

 : : Nike!!! : :

: : Bryce and gifts : :
Happy 6th Birthday, Bryce!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Recent Crafty Fun

Mostly my season's greetings cards, plus a few others . . .
So glad I bought Stampin' Up!'s Fifth Avenue Floral stamp set; I just love it!
And this one was lucky enough to get a matching envelope! 

Thought I'd have a go at decorating my own letter paper.
When I finish a textbook for school I like to also finish with the notebook I was using,
but leaving a pile of empty pages at the back of old notebooks seemed like a waste so
started ripping them out to write letters on; I used the guillotine to slice the ripped edge
off. I guess blank paper works fine but I prefer something more exciting (lol) so I tried
stamping it. Definitely some designs turned out better than others :)
And hey, now I don't have to buy expensive letter paper :P haha
Oh yeah, now I have to actually use it, right?

Thursday, December 19, 2013


How are these for some serious Christmas lighting?!

These are the best two pics, but seriously, this small cul-de-sac is amazing! Nearly every house is elaborately lit!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

End-of-Year Homeschool Picnic

At the end of each year, our homeschool group has a picnic to celebrate(!!) Sadly attendance seems to fall each year nowadays :/ So next year -- come!

Perhaps blur the background to give a sense of motion?

About the only group-y photo I'm afraid!
Oops I've exposed for the sky so my subjects are dark!

I LOVE this for a portrait!  (Composition and candid, modern look)
Perhaps if I blur the background a little more, more attention would be placed on my subject?

Love the leaves framing this pic!
Could perhaps adjust the exposure though?

Thursday, December 12, 2013

In Memory of Yesterday's Date . . .


I know I'm a day late, but I kinda wanted to post with yesterday's date in case I ever look back through my old posts, since the date was cool . . . :P And since this is the last year (for a long time) that we'll get this pattern. 

I do have some other cool ideas for posts, but time is limited so I'm not sure exactly when I'll get to them. Sorry :( You can always drop me a comment though to help motivate me :P haha

Friday, December 06, 2013

Mum's Birthday | | Stampin' Up! Party

Usually we have a family dinner with presents for Mum's birthday, but this year she thought it would be nice to spend some time with her friends and make some cards together (one of her hobbies, when she finds time {smile}). So last Friday night she had a Stampin' Up! party. We had a fairly small group but that worked out well, with more space around the table and everyone being able to talk.

Why do I always try new recipes when we have visitors coming?!
I had never made eclairs before, but I was flicking through my recipe book looking for inspiration and this recipe looked easy so hey . . . my first ever attempt at making eclairs from scratch succeeded! 

Eclairs, custard squares, vanilla cupcakes (If you use your imagination, the icing looks like beautiful dark red roses [Mum's fav] haha), and choc cake. All but the cake were new recipes :P
It was a late night, but we all enjoyed it. (Yep, I love experimenting in the kitchen! ;)) So, happy birthday Mum, and thanks to everyone who came :))

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Carpet Cleaning . . .

A couple weeks back we cleaned the carpets; and Mum shot some interesting pics. . .

: : Cute! : :

: : Can't go a whole afternoon without internet!! : :

: : And I wanted to finish a couple of skirts I started the night before : :
(No, I've never been normal and I probably never will be :P)

: : Oh dear! : :

: : How to keep it like this? lol : :
: : Photo roughly divided into thirds, slanted line. Love! Now just need to reduce the DoF!  : :

: : Home made swings :P : :