Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Book Review || Growing Up Duggar

Growing Up Duggar: It’s All About Relationships is by Jana, Jill, Jessa, and Jinger Duggar, the four oldest girls in a family of nineteen children. These stars of TLC’s popular reality show, 19 Kids & Counting, share never-before told stories of growing up in the Duggar household and offer readers a closer look at who they are and what they really believe in their first book.

As the subtitle indicates, the theme of this book is relationships, and each chapter focuses on a different one: relationship with yourself, your parents, your siblings, friends, guys, culture, your country and the world. The girls chose not to have a separate chapter on your relationship with God because that is fundamental, not in addition, to every other relationship.

The first chapter covers your relationships with yourself. Jessa shares about a time when she continually compared herself to others and felt she didn’t measure up. “I had friends who were really beautiful, and whenever we were together I compared myself to them and always came up lacking something.”She goes on to tell how she learned there are ten unchangeable things that we each must accept about ourselves, and that when we reject ourselves we ultimately reject God’s creation.

Known for their conservative views, the Duggars harbor plenty of questions about their views on dating. Disagreeing with society’s norm of casual dating, the family follows a practice called courtship, or dating with a purpose. Several principles of courtship are shared, such as getting to know someone in real-life settings: “Getting to know the special young man we’re interested in within a family setting is one of the biggest differences in dating and courtship. . . . We want to see how he reacts to normal family events.” Then, after sharing some of the character qualities the girls look for in potential life partners, older brother Josh and his wife of five years, Anna, share their courtship story.

: : Jessa, Jinger, Jana, Jill : :
Jana, Jill, Jessa, and Jinger wrote this book to help answer some of the many questions they receive from curious fans in letters and emails, and to empower, hopefully, readers to use their own lives to benefit others. With a ministry schedule longer than even their tv show seems to evidence, these girls are sure to inspire readers to make a difference in the world themselves.

Both thought-provoking and entertaining with stories of the younger kids’ antics, I found this book an enjoyable read and would recommend it, along with the Duggar parents’ books The Duggars: 20 & Counting and A Love That Multiples, both to those who have just heard of this family and are curious, and to long-time fans.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Triple bunk set!

So I posted photos of our new room here and here. I meant to post more photos on completion, but the bunks took a long time in the painting stage, so only made it into the room a week or so ago. 

: : From my eyes'-view :P : :

: : The bottom one is on the floor, and the top is really close to the ceiling : :
Danielle is on top, Diana's on the middle, and Maria and Laura top-and-tail on the bottom.

: : And Mum painted our wardrobe doors too :) : :

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Church Picnic || Cornwall Park

March 1st saw a number of people from church gather at Cornwall Park for the day. Hooray for having too much gear to fit in one vehicle; a good drive by oneself is always good. ;)

We enjoyed a picnic lunch of filled rolls and bacon and egg pie (someone remind me to put curry or something in the pies next time, okay?) and set up volleyball and swingball.

Don't you just love our net? Initially they'd tried slinging blankets over the rope between the trees, but found it was difficult to play when the ball kept disappearing on the other side of the blanket. [smile] Occasionally the ball got caught in the tree but for the most part this was a great makeshift net!

Lunch. And the barbies are ready for dinner :)

Swingball: Amelia, Keith, Megan
During the arvo more sports were played and many of us walked up the hill (some more directly than others lol). While we were walking up we found a really steep patch (the path was next to it but hey . . .) so think: "Run up, slip, slide down." Haha.

People often use these rocks to write things. Here our group made F.P.C. (Free Presbyterian Church)
We finished the day with a barbecue dinner and group worship, by which time it certainly didn't feel like summer any more. :P 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Folded Page

Are you looking for quality Christian literature for your children?

Look no further - my aunty recently launched a web-based business selling Christian children's books!

Browse available titles at The Folded Page or see the company's Facebook page.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

10 on 10

So perhaps it's more usual to start a project like this in January, but hey. Beginning today, I'm going to post ten random photos on the tenth of each month: the shots will all be taken the day before. Granted I don't have my dream camera or anything, but this is a small and easy project to improve my photography. Leave me a comment telling me your favourites!

: : Gotta love selfies! : :
Perhaps there's another reason for this shot. Notice anything different?
After having braces for more than 4 1/2 years, I got them off yesterday!
See my post about when I got them on! Wow I looked different back then. :P

: : Love how these lines came out! : :

: : Vivid colour on a fairly dull, textured background : :

: : Yes, I love flowers : :
: : Umm, yes. I think you've seen Snowbell before !: :

: : Ladder for the bunks that {one day} will go in our room : :

: : Smile!! : :
: : Yummy! : :

: : And I love coffee too . . . : :

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Danielle's Birthday {11yrs}

Here's a photo recap of our family "gift-giving session" for Danielle's birthday:

Each of us down to Diana has one assigned night per week to cook dinner;
hence cookbooks have made it to our gift lists. :)

It may be Danielle's birthday, but the presents intrigue several children.

Random . . .
Happy Birthday, Danielle!

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Wellington Adventure! || Part 2

Click here to read part 1.

On Tuesday, Aunty Melissa had to get someone a birthday present (#scoreforme) so we hit a couple of shops after dropping Nana at her friend's place, then headed to a bowling alley for some fun.

A few more shops and a grocery trip later, we headed home for a few hours. Then out to a barbecue dinner, where I met lots of new people [and didn't take any photos]. 

Aunty Melissa, Olivia, and I made for the mall on Wednesday morning for a few hours shopping. (For some reason Harry didn't think that sounded very exciting, so we left him at home with Nana.) I tried on several things, but ended up settling with just a couple of bracelets (yeah, I can be great at window shopping ;)). Oh yeah, and the coffee was good! :)

Later we picked Uncle Bill up from work and went to the Fisherman's Table for dinner. 

Group photo :)

Cousins: Olivia and Harry
After that it was straight to the airport for my short flight home. *sigh*

To these:

Thursday, April 03, 2014


As of today, we have three teens in the family . . .

Happy 13th Birthday Monique!

This past year Monique has enjoyed
  • continuing with violin lessons
  • beginning piano lessons
  • spending several hours each Friday helping our pastor's wife by entertaining the children or cleaning
  • practising her culinary skills with one assigned night to cook each week

Leave Monique a birthday wish in the comment box! :)

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Response to a Comment || Of Homeschooling and What It's Like

A while ago a commenter suggested I post about what it's like to be homeschooled, what I use, and how I/we do it. 

So, what is it like? For me, normal. I've been homeschooled since I was five years old, and have never been to school, so I don't know any different! But that's not very specific so here goes. I love the flexibility it provides. We can get up, start, finish, and eat whenever it suits. We can visit places or go on holiday during less busy times while most people are at school; it's so much easier to get jobs done quickly if there isn't a maze of people to work your way through! I can easily book appointments or music lessons during school time and study before and/or after them.

What do I use? I love Apologia science (Junior series by Jeannie Fulbright, high-school texts by Dr. Jay L. Wile). The books are written in a conversational style, which I find much more interesting than a bland presentation-of-facts approach, making it easier to remember the content.

For my other subjects I use publications from BJU Press. Before I started their English curriculum (during intermediate), I certainly didn't find workbooks on the subject easy! I think I may have known nouns and verbs, but adjectives and adverbs were foreign to me. Although my inherent English was, I think, pretty good, I had little understanding of the mechanics behind the subject. I've since completed their grade 12 (NZ year 13) text, and for the past several years, English has been my favourite subject!

How do I/my family do it? Well, it's in my nature to be independent, so once I learned to read it wasn't uncommon for me to work alone. Basically, I (and now also many of my siblings) complete various textbooks as our core curriculum (much the same as school students complete homework I suppose). While we generally work alone, Mum is available to assist in either providing or locating a source of help if need be. We regularly use the library and internet for research projects. 

And extra-curricular activities? All but two of us currently take music lessons of some sort, and some of my siblings regularly take swimming lessons. Throughout the years we have enjoyed gymnastics, pottery and art classes, athletics, soccer, dance, and attended a knitting club, homeschool sports club, and book club at a local library.

I think that about sums up my thoughts on the topic for now. Thanks for reading!