Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve

I'm glad I made the effort to go into Daisy's. I've not done any scrapping or card making for months now, and even though I had good intentions with my stuff in the boot, I didn't even get it out of the car. I needed to be with my close friends, to just chat and be normal.

I shed some tears and enjoyed being surrounded by friends. I was home around eleven. I read from a beautiful Max Lucado book that my dear friend Barbi bought me, and I found some solace there.

This morning, I was rudely awoken by a grumpy husband. Mickey had thrown something in the bin, which was actually a gift left at the front door. My kids are well trained, that if there's a plastic bag at the door, it needs to be taken to the rubbish, this time, though, it was a bottle of wine left by a neighbour. Naturally Peter was cranky, and I awoke with his initial outburst. That seems to have set the tone for the day.

I'm on auto pilot. I don't want to do Christmas Eve. A day that's always been a highlight for me, has no lustre this year. It's raining outside, and my heart too is filled with tears. How can I prepare food and have everyone here to celebrate when one of the main guests is no longer here. I'm finding today harder than any other day so far. My heart is heavy, and I have much that still needs to be done.

Peter went out earlier to say goodbye to my Uncle who came up for the funeral, and he came back and said everyone was coming later, than usual. This has given me a reprieve. Time to collect myself and get organized without the rush.

The gifts are under the tree, they look meagre. Thank God I'd already bought them before Dad died, otherwise I doubt there'd be anything at all.

I've prayed lots already this morning. For comfort and peace........

Heavenly Father
As we come together this afternoon, I pray that we can still rejoice. I want to rejoice in the birth of your Son, and also in the aura of the wonderful family I have. Lord, give me strength, to get through today and tomorrow with grace and serenity. Lord, give my Mum and Ricky the peace too, so they can enjoy this time as well.  I know that Dad is forever in our hearts and that he wouldn't want us to be miserable today. Knowing is one thing, but I want to feel that and be comfortable with that in my heart. I have been filled with your peace and your holy spirit all week long, I've felt your presence there, very strongly. Please continue to comfort me.

In the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit - Amen.

Friday, December 23, 2011


It's been a hard week.

Dad's funeral on Tuesday, was beautiful. It was simple, touching, emotional, prayerful and a celebration of a life well lived. I am grateful that I found the strength to read the eulogy I'd written, and also the words that Billy-Joe had written for his Opa.

We had a wake back here afterwards. About 20 people came back to our house, we had loads to drink and eat. It was a nice time, we laughed and had fun, but it's tinged now with a sadness that can't be explained. I guess it's guilt. Why can we laugh, when Dad is no longer here. He should be sitting in the midst of all this, enjoying himself and enjoying being surrounded by those who loved him best. Having my uncle here has been great. Especially for Mum. It's a good connection to the past.

I still can't believe that he's gone, and I keep reliving those last moments of the last few weeks and of the time we spent in Rainbow together. Yesterday I made my Vanilla Kipferl, not until I'd had a cry though. I made them primarily for my Dad, as they were biscuits he was used to having back in Austria. They smell so divine when they come out of the oven and they're sprinkled with vanilla sugar and icing sugar. I hope they serve vanilla kipferl in heaven.

Last night, everyone was here again, just the family. Eleven of us, had a few drinks and pizza for dinner. It was good fun, but I hurt every time I look at my Mum and I see that faraway look in her eyes. I feel so sad for her, knowing that after Christmas, the real mourning will begin. No one will be around her everyday and the reality of being alone will hit her. Mum and Dad were such creatures of habit, and they did everything together.

Christmas will not be the same this year. The kids are excited and so for them we've not cancelled it. I don't even know if I've got enough gifts. I haven't wrapped them yet, or sorted them out. I've just been buying and shoving them into the cupboard. I don't know if I'll have the gifts in time for the girls. I hope they arrive today.

I sit down, looking for some respite, from thinking and from doing chores, but I can't settle. I've not picked up my Kindle, nor have I watched a movie. I need to study too, and have done nothing....... My sleep patterns are all over the place.

I miss you so much Dad. xxxxx


It's been a hard week. Dad's funeral on Tuesday, was beautiful. It was simple, touching, emotional, prayerful and a celebration of a life well lived. I am grateful that I found the strength to read the eulogy I'd written, and also the words that Billy-Joe had written for his Opa. I still can't believe that he's gone, and I keep reliving those last moments of the last few weeks and of the time we spent in Rainbow together. Yesterday I made my Vanilla Kipferl, not until I'd had a cry though. I made them primarily for my Dad, as they were biscuits he was used to having back in Austria. They smell so divine when they come out of the oven and they're sprinkled with vanilla sugar and icing sugar. I hope they serve vanilla kipferln in heaven.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Letter

Dear Dad
My quiet moments are filled with thoughts of you. Especially as I prepare my heart and mind to say goodbye to you today.

We've put a day together that we hope you will enjoy. I want you to look down and see how much we all love you. We want it to be special and beautiful and for you to see how much you meant to us. We will endeavor to celebrate your life. You've left us with many precious memories, and I'm so glad that I have them. It brings you back to life in my mind's eye.

I find it hard to realize the finality of what has happened. I'm not angry that you're gone but I feel an overwhelming sadness and emptiness. You were such a big part of our lives and it's impossible to imagine you not in it. Sammy told me that he can't imagine life without you. Already he is thinking of special occasions that you won't be with us anymore. He wants a chair left for you, and a plate of food too.

I'm so very proud to be your daughter. I'm so happy that we got to spend time at Rainbow with you. My children will cherish that memory forever.

I love you Dad. Forever and ever. Xxxxx

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Good Bye

If you gazed upon the heavens tonight and felt the sky looked a little brighter, it's because there's a new star in heaven. This morning, Saturday 17th December my beloved Dad became a new shining star. 

After a short hospital stay due to a pulmonary embolism he suffered a massive heart attack and left this world for the hereafter. 

It's 3.30am and sleep currently eludes me as I reflect upon yesterday. I spent the day surrounded by the love of my closest family and dearest friends. 

Dear Heavenly Father, look after your new angel. Let him know that we will look after his beloved wife and we are so grateful for having had him as our Dad, husband and friend. He will be sadly missed but will live on forever in our hearts. I'm so proud to be his daughter. 


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Two days in a row!!

Don't faint, as I've blogged two days in a row.

I'm so glad that I emailed one of my close friends about my camera dilemma. My 35-55mm lens is broken, the auto focus doesn't work. Im reluctant to get it repaired, partly because it's just a basic lens and it could be expensive to repair. My gf came to my rescue with her advice and has loan me an old 18-55mm lens. I will buy a much better camera once I'm working. The loan lens is incredibly slow and I miss the image stabilization, but I'm very happy that I've now got a lens I can use at Christmas time. 

I had two firsts today. I gave myself my Simponi injection under the watchful eye of a lovely nurse at my GP clinic. Then In the afternoon I donated blood for the first time. The size of the cannula was a bit scary and I didn't watch that being done. One can always tell when someone cannulates all the time as it's barely painful even with the 16 gauge needle!!!

The nurses at the blood bank were just lovely and took great care of me. I got a cup of icy cordial and some delicious slice. Billy-Joe came with me and they looked after him too!!!! I felt fine afterwards. We visited Dad for a few minutes. We got home and I had a nap. I was very tired and slept for an hour. I awoke and thought I'd start prepping dinner. Big mistake. I hate peeling prawns at the best of times but today it made me almost faint. I had to sit down for quite a while the I got up and cleaned them better. Now I don't want to eat them. 

Bunny has just come home and the prawns are for a salad for our dinner. I don't think I can eat them.  

It's funny, I have a good stomach for many things but fish isn't one of them. Also this morning, Izzy brought home a headless mouse and then proceeded to empty out the gizzards and pick and choose what she wanted to eat. I was gagging while getting my cereal ready. Thankfully Mickey picked  up the left over gizzards!!! I feel lousy just writing about it now lol. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Update- a brief one

It's hard to believe that 2011 has almost gone, and what a year it's been. So many pivotal moments and much to reflect upon. 

I've not been the best of bloggers or journal keepers. Not for a lack of wanting to, but with the many things I want to do it comes down to priorities as time seems to go by so quickly and there's simply not enough hours in the day. 

I wanted to read my devotions daily, but have lapsed. Thankfully my devotion and dedication to learn more and become closer to God is stronger than ever. He's been my constant companion and along with my wonderful husband and boys He's been my strength and also my calmative. I'm sorry that I've not completed my Word project. It's rather profound how that helped me. My word 'Focus' literally gave me focus and became the impetus for one of the most exciting years in my life. God definitely moves in mysterious ways and it still amazes me that Billy-Joe becoming so ill was the precursor to my epiphany. 

Last week we came home from ten days away. It was a special time because Mum and Dad came with us. We rented a large house with a pool. I was unwell with tonsillitis for a few days so was very happy to chill out and do not much at all. The boys went fishing and to the beach. I read, studied and slept. We went out to dinner some nights and cooked a few nights. Funnily enough the nights we ate in were the most fun. 

This week I've been looking forward to doing some Christmas related jobs although I'm not particularly feeling very Christmassy which is unusual because it's a time of the year I love. I've baked my Christmas cake and the tree is up. I took some beautiful Christmas shots of my boys in front of the tree. If I get my act together I'll print some and adhere it to the front of cards. I put a sentiment on the image so my card is done!!! Now I just need to get the pics printed. 

This week has been a little tumultuous, and hasn't helped me to feel Christmassy. My beloved Dad was admitted to hospital with a pulmonary embolism. Thankfully he's doing really well and responding quickly to the treatment. The more he tells me about it, and the more I consider his health in the prior  months, the more I realize he's been quite ill for many months. I'll have to question him further but I wonder when the clot began, as he would have had symptoms, either a sore leg or arm. I don't know if he realizes ow incredibly lucky he is to still be with us. I know he's not been well and he would have been reluctant to seek treatment just in case it jeopardized our holidays. Visiting him in hospital is an absolute delight. His recount of the day's happenings are filled with his cheeky comments and his wicked sense of humour with the medical team. I think he's feeling very very relieved and they're taking great care if him. I'm so glad he's where he is. Thank you God for keeping him here with us.

I love him so very much. 

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Rainbow Beach

I wish I would write down my every thought. My every down and my many many joyful moments.

We've been on holidays for nearly a week. It's been so good. The sun shines brightly every single day except for one which is so much better than what we had last year. The kids are wonderfully behaved. We laugh, have fun, eat, drink and spend lots of time just reading and being quiet. Dad has read five books I'm on my second. Bunny has taken the kids fishing once or twice every day. We've cooked good food, we've drunk good wine.

Bunny and I have even slept together most nights. Tonight he's sleeping upstairs because he imbibed a little more lol.

I'm about to go to sleep listening to the latest Michael Connelly book. I'm currently reading the latest Lee Child one on my Kindle.

I'm tired. Content. Blessed.

Saturday, November 12, 2011


I wonder to myself and in my prayers. Am I enough? I read so much, hear so much about the pain around me, about the strengths and heartache around me and also the ever wondrous presence of God's Love. I listen in awe to the stories of others triumphs and stressors, of good times and bad. And I wonder am I enough? And I know I'm not. And I'm grateful that I have time and opportunity to continue to grow and develop and that one day I may just be enough. Kind enough, loving enough and compassionate enough that I can make a change, an impact. I've made a start. Out of my comfort zone, working hard to become a nurse I may fulfill my goal and ultimately fill God's purpose for me. I've never done things conventionally, I'm slow to learn sometimes, slow to embrace new possibilities. Maybe, just maybe one day I'll be enough. Enough to make a difference, enough to show my gratitude. There's work to do in my heart. There's fears to conquer and doubts to quell. One day with God's Grace I will be enough.

God is able to accomplish, provide, help, save, keep, subdue… He is able to do what you can’t. He already has a plan. God’s not bewildered. Go to Him. – Max Lucado

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The relief is palpable.

Once upon a time, in a land far far away. I used to get bored!! I can't even comprehend being bored now. My life is so full and there's barely space to fit everything I want to do, let alone time for being bored.

This weekend, I feel like I can breathe a little easier. My schedule is beginning to lighten, in that all my assignments are completed. The relief I feel is very liberating.

Last weekend, I'd hit a wall, metaphorically speaking. I'd spent the entire week, in fact the entire term keeping my uni friends bouyant and reminding them of their positive attributes and that there was no reason to be stressed. Unfortunately by last Friday, I'd got a to a point where I had nothing left to give as far as consoling and supportive words go. I can't say enough for my husband, who spent the weekend, being my friend, lover and rock. By Monday morning, I was back to my normal self. Full of confidence,  happiness and with a good attitude once again.  I don't know what I'd do without him. He's so good to me. Love him to bits. We had a nice weekend. On the Saturday night he took me out to the local Thai restaurant. Their food is divine and even though it was bucketing rain, we had a nice night. On Sunday we went out and purchased a coffee machine. We settled for a Nepresso Latissima+ (passion red).  For someone who doesn't drink a huge amount of coffee, I've certainly made up for it this week. I've had about 15 cups or something already this week. The coffee is delicious. Our milk consumption has gone up too!! We opted for the machine with the pods, primarily because there was a demonstrator in store and we could taste the coffee. We were both impressed and managed to get a $600 machine for $428.

On Wednesday, we headed to Brisbane again to see Billy-Joe's Respiratory Paediatrician. We received some very good news about his asthma. Billy-Joe, after ten years, is no longer on any puffers!! Fingers crossed that he stays well. His spirometry reading was identical to the one they took last time when he was still on his full meds. Needless to say, we're very happy about that. It's been a part of his life for so long, and now no more. I'm praying that he stays healthy. We'll also be going back to him, if anyone suggests that Billy-Joe needs to go back onto meds.

It's been a good week overall, albeit a busy one. On the Tuesday, I spent the day with Julz finishing our poster on gas exchange. We're pretty rapt with how it all turned out. We handed in the written portion today, and will hand in the hard copy tomorrow. I'm sure we'll get a good mark for it. On Thursday I had to co present a health promotion that we'd devised. Three of us worked together. It was about breast feeding, and it went well. I think we'll get a good mark for the too. I've got an essay due soon. It's complete, except for the reference list. So basically all my major assessment pieces are done and dusted. Now I've only got four exams and one practical exam that I need to concentrate on.

In five weeks, we'll be heading off to Rainbow Beach with Mum and Dad. We're all looking forward to the break and to enjoying being together.

I went to church this morning, popped in and saw my Mum and Dad, and then came home. I made a huge batch of pikelets and some good coffee. I went on the treadmill too, for the first time in ages. Unfortunately a lot of the weight I lost has snuck back on again, and I'm not happy about it. I know exercise is good for me, and it's become a time issue. I am hoping I can fit it in now. It's important for me to stay well and to be at least a little fit.

The boys are off playing golf. A gf called in for coffee for an hour and now I'm heading back to my books. I'm meeting Julz tomorrow before the lecture to do some more revision for Anatomy and Physiology.

Enough leisure, off to work now. Until next time.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Update - Dot Points

I don't have time to wax lyrical, because that's what it would become, were I to post all that's on my heart and mind.

  • I'm happy, very happy in fact, happier than I've ever been.
  • I'm also busier, busier than I've ever been.
  • Studying full time, with three kids, and a husband isn't easy, but much easier for me than some others. 
  • I consider myself very blessed and lucky because of the support and help I've got.
  • Had a shitty afternoon today, because of computer issues. I even took my BP at one point, and it was 160/100.
  • Love love love technology, until it has a conniption. 
  • Can't leave a problem, until it's solved.
  • Prac a few weeks ago, was fabulous.
  • I know this is what I want to do, not that I had any doubt before.
  • I know, I've got the right attitude, just have to hope the memory holds tight.
  • Loads of exams and things due shortly. I'm working on deadlines at the moment.
  • Anatomy and Physiology is my favourite subject, but so incredibly full on.
  • Next year, is going to be huge. With two days a week, clinical, and two days at uni, it's going to be huge. 
  • Needless to say I'm praying lots at the moment.
  • I"m doing a subject over summer semester. It will make my load less for the semester when I have an 8 week clinical placement. I have no idea how I'm going to  manage that, only God knows, and there's no point worrying about it now. Again, I will pray lots and hand it over the the good Lord.
  • I met and made a gorgeous new friend, an RN at the aged care facility where I did my placement. She's beautiful, smart, a deep thinker, good fun, funny, intelligent and I'm so pleased I met her. 
  • I wish I could work with her more, I could learn heaps from her. I especially learned how not to do things while I was on prac, not from her directly, but with her. This isn't the correct place to post details so I'll leave that one.
  • I'm currently listening to The Four Agreements on audio, Lyn recommended it to me, and it's awesome and quite profound. 
  • I've listened to 'The Help' and loved it.
  • I'm trying to become an advocate for an elderly lady I met at church years ago, and have no idea how to go about it. Well I have ideas, and I know there's help around, but I'm a little reluctant to pursue this line of enquiry. 
  • I'm enjoying all the little things in life too, a cup of tea, quiet time, time with my kids, good wine and talks with my husband, time with my parents when I can see them, reading a good book, laughing, cooking....... life is good.
  • Since I've started studying, the only thing I miss, is spending more time with friends and family. I know it's only for a short while, and I pray they understand. When I'm at home, I study, or take time out to just read and be. I like to keep housework/chores up to date, but have loads of help too from my kids, especially Billy-Joe.
  • Am still very sad that Steve Jobs died. I listened to his address to Stanford Uni a few years ago, and I love his words. I will watch that many times, as it reaffirms where I"m heading at the moment.
  • Am drinking good wine at the moment.
  • I miss my brother.
  • I want to spend more time with Suzy, Karen, Barbi and my Mum. 
  • I want to get to know Lyn better, again I need time....
  • I've made some lovely new uni friends. It's interesting though, that once again, I've taken on a nurturing role for the girls. I do admit thought that I love being a help and comfort to them.
  • The weather is warming up.
  • Church this morning was fabulous. I love God and my Church, although I've not found my place there yet. I'm so glad I went back after such a long time away.
  • Enjoy my Kindle, but am not impressed they brought out new ones, cheaper.
  • Bunny has been doing some chores around the house.
  • My car now can park off the road. Not bad seeing we've been here for ten years lol. On the 19.10 actually.
  • Billy-Joe is doing great off all meds. 
  • He's growing
  • I love him
  • He annoys me 
  • He's beautiful.
  • I'm blessed.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

RIP Steve Jobs

Not since Elvis Presley died have I felt such sadness and sense of loss from the death of someone I don't know personally.

He has brought so much to my life. I have literally had many moments of pure delight when reading about, and using Apple products. The man was a genius. His vision and commitment to his ideas are just so inspiring. I enjoyed seeing him present new products. I wish I'd met him.

You will be deeply missed Steve Jobs.

My heart goes out to your wife, family and friends. Your legacy will live forever and you will always be remembered. At Apple, you will always be the foundation.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, September 19, 2011

First Day on Placement

Today was my first day on placement at an aged care facility. The only thing I got to do was feed one gentlemen. I also definitely know I don't want to work in aged care. There are only a handful of RNs in the facility. Two are on the floor as clinicians, and two hold management positions. The staff are mainly AINs (assistants in nursing) and ENs (enrolled nurses). As far as I can see we will be doing AIN work, so the mornings will be full on. I fed a gentleman today. There was no conversation but he was happy for me to feed him and he was grateful. I spoke to some of the other residents and it will be better tomorrow when I have time to interact. We did loads of paperwork and formalities today. Fire drill, confidentiality papers, manual handling procedures etc. I'm only there for this week. The first year undergrad students are there for two weeks. I'm so glad I've got next week off. Our facilitator is a nice guy and the group I'm in are lovely too. Most are young, there's one guy in his late 30's and one woman who's well in her 50's I think.

Monday, September 05, 2011

It's been a long time again between posts. My mind is never quiet, constantly whirring with new knowledge, deadlines and responsibilities. 

It's hard to believe the semester is half over. I'm an eighth of the way to another degree lol.....  

Every day I learn something new, well lots of new things, and sadly most seem to leak away out of my brain. Oh I wish I had some more RAM!! All the content makes sense to me, which is a good thing, so hopefully the knowledge will consolidate and become more readily available by exam time. I enjoy my time at uni. I've met some great people and there's a bunch of us that have quickly become friends. There's something special about being with a group of likeminded, and similar aged people all doing the same thing. We all learn from one another, and support one another. 
I'm challenged every single day. It's invigorating actually. I feel very much alive and very happy with what I'm currently doing. I've also never been so tired in my entire life. My every moment is full. In my spare time, I study. Which means, I have no spare time. So far though, I've not had to stay up late to study, but even when I did my first degree I never did that. I can't think when I'm dog tired, so there's no point. 

By far my most challenging subject is Anatomy and Physiology. The lecturer is a doctor. After a shaky start, she's doing really well. The amount of content and work involved is just huge. I put in more work into that one subject than the other three twice over. We cover a body system a week, and there is so much ground to cover. The subject also has weekly laboratory homework, plus online quizzes every second week, and the in between week there are laboratory questions which are assignments. 

If I were to have 'favourite' topics covered thus far, it would be the endocrine system and haemotology. 

We book time each fortnight to go into a nursing lab to practice our skills. i can't wait till we do injections and IVs. At the moment, we're spending most of our time doing assessments. 

I'm all set for my first practical placement which is in two weeks. I've got my shoes, two uniform blouses, black pants, nurses watch, and all my paperwork is done.

I've enrolled into a subject for the summer session. I figure that it makes sense to lighten my load toward the end of my studies. I figure I should keep up the  momentum while my motivation and energy levels are still high. There's a two week break over Christmas/New Year and I'd only be on campus once a week. I can do my research from home. 

Bunny and the kids have been absolutely fantastic. Their support, love, enthusiasm and encouragement has been a huge help. I'm so proud of how well the kids have adjusted. They're amazing. I love them all so very very much. 

Monday, July 25, 2011

I have begun

I still can't believe that I've been accepted into Uni and that I've officially started today. The academic skill stuff, and much of the 'housekeeping' side of things has been done. I still need to do my First Aid course. I had it booked in for last Wednesday, so I could get it done, before formal studies commenced but the course was cancelled due to insufficient numbers. Not sure when I'll do it now, am toying with the idea of doing much of it via e-learning, and then just doing the practical exam component face to face. It means it doesn't take out a whole day somewhere down the track for me.

I'm grateful for my analytical and pedantic tendencies. Without those personality traits, things would be so much more difficult for me. I've got the menus planned for this week and next, the kids' have their chore charts written up. I've had a lecture this morning. Not sure if I'll continue with that one, as she spoke to the powerpoint, which we have access to on the net anyway. I'd already completed the pre reading task but hadn't taken many notes, as I wanted to see in what kind of depth the lecture went. I'm glad I didn't write to any great depth, as the info is quite vast. I now know to what level I need to study for.

I'm pleased too, that so much is on the net. The only lecture notes I had 20 years ago, were the ones I wrote. Mind you, toward the end of my degree, there was the odd lecture I didn't attend, as it was simply powerpoints from a chapter in our textbook. So much easier for me to read an do my own notes. On Mondays, I'm there twice, with a trip home in between. So I'll see how I go. It was interesting this afternoon, with the kids doing their homework and me sitting down doing some too.

I've met some nice people already. One lady, travels from Gympie, she's got three kids too, but unfortunately doesn't have a supportive husband like I do. I wonder if she'll be able to complete the degree. He's using emotional manipulation on her, making her feel guilty. I'm blessed as Peter and the kids are being so supportive. I couldn't do it without their support, so I pray she's able to continue. She's quite worried too about the degree, even though she has a science degree, which is about as old as my teaching degree, she's concerned about writing essays and the IT side of things. I'm not concerned on either of those points.

This is an exciting time.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Pre Uni Academic Skills

So far this week, is fabulous at uni. I'm pleased I enrolled in these preparation courses.

Not only have I learned some new skills, I've learned that some of the skills I have are indeed good ones and real skills. Not just something I made up, lol.......very heartening for me. The lecturer today was different to yesterday's and I really liked her presentation style. She's funny, interesting and delivers information in a way that suits me. Even her revision of yesterday's information, made me realize the value of the day, much more than yesterday's teacher did. I'm so excited, even more so than before.

Yesterday focussed on note taking skills and today was effective reading. I feel like I'm going to attack my workload in a much more methodical and efficient way. Thank God, I thrive on structure. I am so much more aware of what's available too, insofar as assistance goes. Perhaps things are much better organized now than they were 20 years ago. Certainly having access to the info on the net makes things much more readily accessible.

Unfortunately, there's no one in my course, doing this prep stuff, but I've met some nice people already, and, have had the opportunity of passing on knowledge that's been given to me by my friends and niece who are currently studying.

It was so good having the kids back at school today. I was up early, and had dinner in the slow cooker by 7.45am. Silly me, didn't consider that I was out each morning this week, when I planned slow cooker meals on the menu for this week. The kids have come home happy and positive, and apart from the usual hassles of getting Sammy to focus (it's 5pm and he's STILL sitting there doing his homework!!!!) it's been a good afternoon. I added some things to the slow cooker, went down to the treadmill, did some weights and my stretches and am now enjoying a glass of wine, all showered and dinner is simmering away.

I'm happy, I'm excited, I have a goal and a purpose!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Busy times and lots on my mind

It's been a huge week, finished off with a very relaxing few days.

The entire week was filled with doctor's appointments, re testing of my eyes and we celebrated Mickey's birthday. My baby turned ten. My beautiful youngest child, who is full of energy and so full of life. He embraces everything he does with a passion and attacks it full on. He's growing up very quickly. In part because he's the youngest but also because he's extroverted and full of enthusiasm. He's played golf six times this week and Peter says he's improving in leaps and bounds. He already hits further off the tee than his father does, much to Peter's chagrin. He's already set his eyes on playing a few competitions next year. We don't push him and are just encouraging his love for the sport and share in his excitement. We have no intention of becoming overbearing and pushy parents. Thank God we've never wanted to live vicariously through our children.

Mum and Dad came on Tuesday evening to celebrate Mickey's birthday. I made a lasagna and salad, a flour less chocolate cake and iced cup cakes for his birthday dinner. They also came on Saturday night aid had a ball that day cooking for them. I made a French onion soup, roasted pork belly and a panna cotta for dessert.

Monday I went to the doctor and had blood tests to check my immunity levels on communicable diseases. Sammy was still coughing so he had a nasal swab and blood test for whooping cough.

In the afternoon I decided to attack the treadmill again. On my physio's recommendation I bought Gel heel raises for my track shoes. I walked for 15 minutes and joked for a few of them. It felt good and the pain didn't get that bad that I had to stop.

The next day I wanted to take the kids to Caloundra to walk along the boardwalk as it was a glorious day. We got five meters from the car and turned right around and headed back to the car. It was windy and the wind was quite chilly. Not at all conducive for a nice walk. Instead I took them for ice cream and then we visited Nanny and Darby. They were both well and I'm glad we popped on.

When we got home Peter had lain the slab for our carport. Hopefully next week our cars will be off the road. No more grass dragged into my car or inside. We've talked about doing it for years and it's finally going to be a reality. I hope the roof comes on it soon too. No more worrying when we have hail storms especially with my new car.

The next day I had my eyes rechecked and my glasses will be remade as I'm having trouble reading the MacBook or iMac with them. The reading part is in a different place from my previous pair. Thankfully they can change my new pair so I'll be able to use them for my studies. I thought that my prescription had changed so much that they weren't suitable for intermediate length work anymore.

I took Sammy back to the doctor after a phone call in the morning confirmed that he did indeed have whooping cough. I'm immune to whooping cough and will require a HepB booster and a regime for Hep A. Sammy is on antibiotics for five days. It's ironic really as he's much much better, I'm glad I took him though and even happier knowing that now he's definitely immune. The rest of the family must be too as everyone is well.

Friday I hibernated. Between appointments, errands, chores and taxiing kids around all well and having loads on my mind I needed Friday to regroup and catch up on rest. I slept in late, and had a Physio appointment. My back was still not good from the day spent at the airport. When I got home from the appointment, I laid down and actually slept for two hours. I went out to Daisy's and was almost considering not going to the Scrap for Charity for the next day. In the morning I decided to do my ironing first, I hate havin a big job hanging over my head. I'd slept extremely well the night before and felt surprisingly good. My hip and back felt heaps better so the thought of sitting all day didn't seem to daunting.

I had a lovely day. I made some nice cards, enjoyed seeing my friends, especially one of my closest, whom I'd not seem since before I went away. Barbi catered, the food was good and one lady Yvonne, made a divine cheesecake. I will get that recipe.

Today I went to church. I'd missed it and really enjoyed the service. I feel at peace within myself today. I've been thinking so much all week, I'm so nervous and worried about what's ahead of me. I had some kind words spoken to me yesterday. Encouragement which was timely. I'm concerned my academic skills are gone. Concerned that my memory will fail me.

I know I don't need to be exceptionally brilliant to become a nurse, which is good because I'm far from it. My interest and passion for knowledge in this field will see me through. I'm so keen to start. My wonderful family is so full of support too. We know we are headed for different times. I'm so blessed that my Faith is playing an important role for me too. I can't do this alone.

This week will be interesting. I've enrolled in some pre uni classes. It's been a long time and I'm keen to revise those skills and learn some new ones.

Off to bed now. A big week ahead. The kids have one day more off, and Peter is still off this week.

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Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Home Again

Feels good to be home. After a long delay at the airport due to fog a two hour flight leaving in the morning ended up having us home at around 6pm.
Mind you I'm not complaining. Australia's aviation track record is what it is due to their safety regulations and caution, but it did make for a long and tiring day. I suffered from a crook back for a few days as I spent too time sitting. I did make a point of getting up and walking around probably not enough. Far out those aircraft seats have to be the most uncomfortable seats ever. Then the seats on the airport shuttle just added insult to injury on my sacrum lol.

Yesterday I had a 'woe is me' kind of day. Wishing I was back in Victoria, ongoing concerns with my health and a feeling that I'm too busy added to the knowledge of going back to study. The evil Jenny was on my shoulder telling me all the things I can't do. Thank the Lord she doesn't appear very often. She's debilitatingly negative and tragically miserable. Between my medication and my faith in God I'm able to quash her most of the time. Sometime however, when I'm tired or not feeling 100% she'll rear her ugly head. Nowadays I know to just take things easy and that those feelings will go away. No longer do they linger or have a lasting impact.

I took Sammy to have his cough checked out. I had tests done to check my immunity for communicable diseases as I head toward my nursing placements. Thankfully my GP put me back on HRT. The hit flushes are getting worse and are hampering my sleep too. I work hard at being a positive and 'glass half full' kind of girl and the hot flushes are beginning to wear me down.

Yesterday I went on the treadmill. I'm so conscious of getting older and I've put some weight back on. The chronic Achilles tendinitis was supposed to improve with the meds I'm on but it's been twelve months and no change. Before I went away my Physio suggested I put heel rises in my shoes to shorten the calf muscle and hence decrease the strain. I did fifteen minutes. I hurt, but not like I had done and certainly not bad enough to stop. I was busy today but will go on for longer tomorrow. I think the exercise will be even more important while I'm studying.

Ten years ago today Mickey was born. I no longer have a child in single figures. We had a nice evening. I baked him a large almond and chocolate cake and some cupcakes too. We had lasagna for dinner. I baked and made less than I normally do but I didn't want to eat it and I also have been rather tired and wanted to keep it a bit simpler. I'm glad I did. It went off well. Everyone was happy.

I've got a free day tomorrow. I'm looking forward to a sleep in.

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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Update on our last day.

It's been days since I've updated. I've not had the peace and quiet to sit and reflect.

Being back in the town where I was born and where I spent the first 27 years has at times been quite surreal.

Even after 22 years, I still love this town. I still have emotional ties here. With my aunt and uncle, my godmother and the fact I went to school and had my first jobs here. Driving around I enjoy seeing the old buildings, the beautiful heritage buildings in town, the old wool sale yards which are the facade of a modern Westfield shopping centre. Parking is cheap and traffic is light. Along the esplanade is as beautiful as ever calm waters with expensive yachts lazily bobbing upon them. This area is again being upgraded and it's a lovely place for visitors and locals alike.

Were I to drive around here I would still be confident. Actually with a population of over 200000 it's an easy place to get around in. Low traffic, great road systems, make for a more navigable area than home.

My aunt and uncle where we are staying is just down the road from the last place my parents lived before moving to Qld, so this area is especially familiar to me. I was saddened to see the church that Ricky and I went to when we were kids is gone. This church doorstep was also where I landed 32 years ago when I had a head on with a car. It was a Baptist Church. A very conservative one but filled with lovely people. I spent many an outing, from progressive dinner to singing hymns in Melbourne and to the weekly youth group and Sunday Church. I loved it there. Sadly the building isn't there anymore. There's a house there now. I've asked my aunt and she doesn't know what happened to it. I've emailed the council, I hope they can tell me what happened to it. It would have been around 1977 the last time I went there and I can find no reference to it on the web.

I've spent lots of time talking with my aunt and uncle. It's funny, I've spoken hardly any German in the last 30 years and yet it's still there. I guess one never really loses one's first language. It won't matter how old I am they remember me speaking German as a child and therefore I still can. They even speak to Sammy in German. It wouldn't take long for him to pick it ip either, but four days isn't quite long enough for that.

Flying home tomorrow. Looking forward to seeing my boys, friends and family. Love it here but there's no place like home.

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Location:Waurn Ponds, Geelong.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Enjoying our time away

Today I've opted to have a quiet day at home. Laureen has an appointment in Geelong and I decided to stay home and enjoy some quiet downtime. We've been here a week tonight and the time has gone by quickly but we've also packed lots in.

Sammy has been unwell but has just kept going and hasn't let a bad cold and flared up asthma spoil his time in any way.

Laureen's house is awesome. It has the latest mod cons and is centrally heated and spacious. With six of us here it's not crowded. The water out of the taps is regulated so you just turn it on in the shower and when it comes through it's the right temperature. Oh for gas hot water. I love the granite bench tops and the roll out appliance cupboard with the kettle and toaster. The toaster is brilliant. Toasts whatever to perfection. No pale bits around the edges of the bread. The dyson handheld dust buster is amazing but at over $500 is a little expensive for me. With a house this size though it's worth it. The walk in pantry is huge, about the size of a small bathroom. A very comfy and warm house. I've only used the electric blanket a couple of times and not the entire night as the brick house stays so much warmer than our house.

We went and saw the light and sound show at Sovereign Hill. It's the story of the Eureka Stockade. It was absolutely freezing but worth seeing. We went to Sovereign Hill and did a mine tour. It was a new one about a mine in Creswick that had collapsed. Even to date it's the largest gold mine disaster in this country. I enjoyed that tour. It's amazing to think of what the men and their families endured back then. We also had our photo done dressed up in olden day clothes. They will post it so I hope it turned out okay.

We went to Melbourne twice. Once to the Victoria Markets and then again for the Tutankahmen Exhibition. We enjoyed the train travel. Very relaxing. I had my first ride on a tram and nearly caused everyone to fall over like a line of dominoes as I was busy making sure Sammy was holding on and yet I wasn't holding on myself lol. Those things brake suddenly and I went crashing into this poor woman. Thankfully she was okay and accepted my profuse apologies.

Laureen and I went out to dinner one night to an Italian Restaurant which was nice. Sammy wants pad thai so on Friday we are off to introduce Laureen and Geoff to Thai food. Yesterday we went to a beautiful cafe which was in a hotel. It had dark furniture and fireplaces everywhere. The cakes were divine. I met Laureen's girlfriends all fell psych nurses which was so cook to put faces and personalities to their names.

On Saturday we are off to Geelong and I'll stay with my Aunt and Uncle until we fly home on Wednesday.

I'll upload photos when I get home. Just wanted to update before I forgot important info.

I've enjoyed talking to Laureen about nursing. I'm so excited to be doing this course and also petrified to the same degree. She runs her household the same way I do so I really believe that organization is the key.

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Monday, June 13, 2011

Leaving on a jet plane.............NOT!!

Best laid plans of mice and men, and moi lol......

Who would have thought that a cranky volcano in South America could affect little old me sitting here in Queensland. My girlfriend, suggested I buy a lotto ticket. It's the first time I would have flown in six and a half years and the volcano picks this long weekend to spew forth ash.

I thought I was being a tad extravagant by deciding to go away for two weeks. I justified it by saying, I've only been back once in 22 years, and going for a week in 2005 wasn't anywhere near long enough. Added the catalyst of this trip, seeing the Tutankhamen Exhibition in Melbourne Museum, it was a perfect reason to go. Now I'm extremely pleased that I booked it for that long, as it stands now my trip has been cut short by three days!!

All being well we fly out on Wednesday night. Were I flying to Melbourne, I could probably get an earlier flight, but Avalon is easier for Laureen to come and pick me up, and then easier for my Uncle to take us back to the airport. I have gone onto the site to see if I could get an earlier flight, but I can't even access a schedule as it says 'sold out'. The flights to Melbourne are much more expensive too, and funnily enough are still accessible on the web.

I got up last night at 3am and was on hold for an hour to rebook my flight. I felt that I'd have more chance of speaking to someone at that ungodly hour than I would have during the day. This morning I was able to reschedule the airport bus, so all is rebooked.

Now I will keep praying that the ash no longer causes any problems.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Flying or not flying

Can't believe this. The first time I've set foot on an aeroplane and now it looks as though a volcano in Chile may thwart my travel plans.

I know safety is paramount. So it's with prayer and fingers crossed that I go to bed tonight.

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Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Ramblings for today

It's another busy week. Yesterday we bought dear Bunny another ute. After all the debacle with not being able to borrow the funds earlier this year, things have worked out after all. We feel so blessed to have been offered a vehicle from a family member. A great car that's been well looked after so we know we are buying what we think we've bought. It's a 2002 model triton, nothing real exciting in then larger sense but fabulous for us. Since Dear husband cooked the motor in his old ute he's been desperate to buy another. Having an unreliable car is not good at all. Whenever he was a bit late home I'd worry that it had completely died. His weekly fuel bill was enormous and was having a serious affect on our weekly finances. Bunny doesn't know himself. He's so happy with it and I'm extremely relieved.

I had a suspect mole biopsied last week. The doctor was sure it was a skin cancer. It was certainly only prayer that kept me calm. I always think that my years of sun worshipping will come to bite me. I admit I still like a tan but I don't get burnt, I always wear sun screen, when out in the sun, and thankfully I've kept my face out of the sun for many years now. I curse my spotty skin but am fortunate that my skin on my face is still good. I don't want the tanned leathery look that women my age get when they've had too many years in the sun. It's a shame I didn't stop sunning the rest of me then.

Afterwards I headed out to the uni to organize my Blue Card application. There were hundreds of kids there, young kids not uni kids. I saw the teachers that were supervising them and I felt not a single pang of regret. I absolutely, definitely don't miss teaching. Do I miss the money? Of course I do, but not enough to go back. It's odd though, walking through the campus and not feeling out of place. After a confusing drive to find the admin section I required I was very very excited to learn that the application was free for students. After spending the last few weeks looking at all the expenses I've tallied this was another one of those where you pay money but really get nothing to show for it. I am rapt it's free. I've still got a few other things to organize (and pay for). I need my Hepatitis B shots, a police check and I need to redo my First Aid and CPR courses too. I also need a uniform for pracs and a medical kit. Naturally all those cost money. I've also got my book list and have been sourcing books. I can save some money off the uni book shop by using I'll keep an eye out for second hand copies to see if I can get it cheaper.

I had to go into BigW and buy some warm socks and some shoes for when I go away. In also wanted to call in and see one of my best friends who's heading to Brisbane as both her children are having tonsillectomies. I wanted to see her and give her something. Something that would let her know I'm thinking of her but also that someone far greater than Inwas watching over her.

I can't believe it's only five days till Sammy and I go away.

As an aside, I've been taken off HRT. Much to my chagrin and displeasure I might add. I've been on it for quite a long time and have been grateful for it. Now, however my GP decided it's been long enough and that I should try to go without. Easy for you to say! Every time a hot flush would overcome me I'd curse my thirty something male GP. I've some research though and I'm reluctantly agreeing with him. I can't stand these waves of heat, but the possible alternatives aren't worth the risk. I'm taking a herbal concoction which has been purported to have good results. I hope they kick in. The slightest bit of uncertainty or angst can trigger one off as well as the ones that just happen anyway. When I come back from down south I'll review my diet as I know being as healthy as possible is very important. My main concern is that with uni coming up I don't want to have to cope with menopausal symptoms as well as the normal stressors that my extra commitments will add onto my already busy life.

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Monday, June 06, 2011

Super Food Ideas

I love the fact that my iPad is now used for recipes and it's so easy to have on the kitchen bench.

I'd heard that Super Food Ideas was adding an e magazine version but was disappointed as I'd read it was only going to be .50c cheaper than the paper copy.However I was very excited to read on blog that each copy was only $1.19. That's fantastic. I love the way it's set out and it's so cheap. I won't have to throw out an old SFI magazine again. You download the app from the iTunes store for free and then you can buy issues through the app.
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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A busy Day

I seem to be doing lots of errands and appointments at the moment. In a way I feel like I'm nesting. Just like I did before my first child was born. I want to get as much organized before I go down south and before I go to uni.

Mum some cake which she wanted to give me so I popped in this morning and had a coffee with them. I had an appointment to have my moles checked. I had to have a biopsy taken of one on my neck as the doctor thinks it's a sun cancer. Hope it comes back clear, otherwise I need more cut out. While there though I got into a conversation with a practice nurse. She's an EEN and feels she's too old to become an RN. I told her I was going to do nursing and asked how old she was. She was the same age as me and she admitted she didn't think I was too old!! Plus I did a spiel on the iPad. I said I gave her lots to think about. She told me one of the receptionists was doing her nursing and I had a quick chat with her before I left. She's in her third year, has a young family and also works. Talking to her gave me heart. I hope to keep in touch with her and talk to her some more. Her girlfriend is doing nursing at USC like me. She's going to put me in touch with her.

Afterwards I headed in to Woolies and picked up some vegetables and had a quick browse in Big W. I then headed out to the new Vinnie's store. For $7.50 I got Sammy a nice lime green beanie, a pink fleecy scarf and a long but short sleeved warm cardigan. With the return of my hot flushes I like my body quite warm but my arms bare. I was rapt with my bargains. I returned home and then checked my Voicemail to hear that my new glasses have arrived. I headed out and collected them. My glasses are blue and green, I love them. My new sunnies are black with a large blingy crystal on the arms. I love both of them and they're quite comfortable too.

Once home I had some left over chicken soup for dinner and continued watching some of the Movie that I'd taped last night. It's based on a Catherine Cookson novel called The Cinder Path

My Dad rang to tell me that he'd possibly broken his wrist as well. Last week, while walking along the road near his home, with the sun in his eyes and a truck coming towards him, he didn't see that there was. Part of the road washed away. The uneven road causes him to fall. He suffered nasty deep cuts in both hands that required several sutures. His wrist is quite so and swollen so today he had an x-ray to see if it's broken. I worry about my parents. Not being able to use his hands, my Dad is quite incapacitated. My Mum hasn't driven much at all in the last ten years and now lacks confidence to even drive short distances. I love my Mum and Dad ao very very much and am worried about them. I naturally want them to be well and safe and happy. I'd feel much better if they lived in a retirement village but my Dad has always baulked at the idea. I'd like it much better if they were in a place that was easier to look after, both inside and outside. I'm glad that I'm close. Ricky is home at the moment. We didn't speak but I know he's worried too. It's our turn now to worry about them.

After school pick up I decided to race onto Specsavers to have my sunnies adjusted. Billy-Joe and Mickey went into EB Games and when I went in to collect them we noticed Ricky and the girls in there. We spent a lovely half hour or so having a coffee with them.

I looked at some sites as I need to do my First Aid and CPR course, have my Hepatitis B shots and also get my blue card done before I can do any nursing practicums.

The house is quiet now. My favourite time of the day.

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Friday, May 27, 2011

I can't do it alone

It's been another busy busy week. Honestly, one wouldn't think I'm a Mum at home, with the schedule that I set myself. Between going to Brisbane for Billy-Joe's appointment and the car being serviced, having to go to uni to have my student id done, and all the general household stuff, it's been a hectic week.

To say I'm scared about studying full time is an understatement. Add in to that the headaches I get, and the pain of my various troublesome tendons and arthritic joints, am I being too optimistic? I think back to when I did my teaching degree, and I spent oodles of money and time having physio and massages. My thoracic spine was giving me lots of trouble then, and is still the same now. Once my head is bent over books for hours at a time, this will only worsen. Am I crazy to think I can have a job where I'm walking and am on my feet all day? Spending the day at Chermside on Wednesday, left me with sore achilles and sore feet.

I could look at all that and think it's too hard I can't do it, but I'm feeling very determined. I look at my motivation for doing this, and they're numerous. I do want to work, I want to do a job where I feel I belong. I want to learn more and be a part of a team to help others. My teaching degree could have fulfilled that, were it not so damn hard to get a permanent job. I did look into what I could do to finish my Special Education degree, as I know having that would assure me of work, not permanent work straight away, but it would greatly increase the chances and I'd be working close to home. I know I am suited to that role, but it's not where my passion is. Honestly I can't really explain why studying full time for two years to become a nurse is more appealing than studying for a Graduate Diploma for Special Ed. I've always been drawn toward nursing, and spending time in hospital with Billy-Joe just made me realize how much all over again.

I know I can't do this alone. I've already lost count of the prayers I've said. There'll be so many more as the load becomes a reality and I'm in the thick of things. In many ways I know I'll cope with the studying okay, it's the added pressures of having a household and family to take care of.

I'm motivated by the thought, that when I'm working, I can employ a cleaner again, that will be a huge help. The kids are getting older and know they need to help me. My husband is getting older and finds the long hours he currently works is getting harder and harder. Me working again, will take the pressure off. I don't think he'll work any less, I just think he'll work the same with the knowledge that if he wants to he can cut back. There's a big difference. I've not worked in the last 18 months and he's working harder than ever. He now sees a light at the end of the tunnel.

I've got a few more weeks to enjoy being at home and to get my head in the right place. My trip to Geelong and Ballarat, is timely. A time to spend with Sammy and my long time long friend. This will fulfill the yearning and homesickness I feel for Geelong. Even after 22 years, I still miss the place. I'm looking forward to so many different things. Clothes shopping, seeing the different foods, seeing the prices of fruit, meat and vegies at the markets, walking around rugged up in a coat, seeing the gardens. I wish it was spring so I could see the flowers that I miss. I was so excited at the florist's the other day when she put out a huge bunch of freesias!!! My absolute favourite flower, I couldn't justify spending $3 for a stem though, ridiculous. I hope mine come up in the garden......I miss lilac trees, and magnolias, and tulips, and cottage gardens, growing vegies without them being eaten completely by bugs, flowering fruit trees, roses........ there's lots of things I miss. Going home for a bit will be lovely.

Don't get me wrong, home is here, but Geelong, is home home. Where I was born and where I grew up.

Thank goodness my blog is called what it this post has gone all over the place. Lots of things on my mind at the moment. Lots of things to enjoy and look forward to, but with a level of cautiousness too.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The future shines brightly

I've been so incredibly busy of late that I wonder if I'll even have time to do what I've planned for the next two years.

I've been accepted into uni. On the 25/7 I will commence my nursing degree.

When I received notification last week. I couldn't wait to accept the offer. Somehow I thought if I didn't accept it immediately it may disappear.

I've been overwhelmed with the response of friends and family. I've not had a negative comment come my way. Most of all I'm thankful for my supportive and encouraging husband. I couldn't wish for a more understanding man.

Today I went to uni and walked around and organized my student ID. I sat at the cafe and didn't feel out of place there at all. I just soaked up the ambience. Actually the campus is beautiful and not overly large. I'm looking forward to exploring it more. It's a nice feeling too, knowing that there are a few people there that I know.

I'm excited. The time ahead is going to be incredibly busy. I know I'm going to feel stressed and far too busy. I'll need reminding of that frequently.

Just a short update for today.

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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Saving Faith

I think it's sadly profound how a throw away statement from thirty years ago can still have a palpable effect today. When I got married the first time I agreed to marry in a Catholic church although I wasn't prepared to convert. My prospective husband called me a heathen as my faith and understanding was of an eclectic nature. Even though I had a faith and was prepared to say my vows in a Catholic church even though that was not my choice. I graciously agreed his parents' preferences.

As a preteen, teen and young adult I had an ongoing journey in Faith. My baby brother had a best friend whose family were involved in the local Baptist Church. My brother and I attended regularly, every week we were an avid part of Sunday School and the sermon. I praise my parents in my prayers often for their attitude which they bestowed upon me. I loved learning about the Bible and I was comfortable to ask questions. I felt blessed that I could take part in communion without having gone through a rite of passage. My dedication earned me a lovely Bible and various bookmarks which I loved. I knew the chapters of the Bible off by heart. I attended choir performances in Melbourne, I went to countless pot luck dinners. I loved it there. The church was in a colourbond shed, plain, nondescript. Inside it was a simple church with pews and pulpit. I'm sure there was a cross somewhere. Simple, plain and full of wonderful people.

I wanted to convert to Baptist and my parents in their wisdom told me to hold off until I was older. I felt such a sense of belonging to that church. My parents never attended, nor felt pressured to. The Minister would come and call on Mum from time to time, if I remember correctly Mr. Green even started the lawnmower for Mum when she wanted to help and surprise Dad.
My parents let us attend all the events we wanted to go to. The only time Mum ever took umbrage was when we had communion (once a month) and the roast lunch had to be delayed because we would be home later than usual.

When I began my first job I had a girlfriend who was Catholic. I spent a lot of time with her and her family. I'd attend the beautiful Catholic Church and went on some camps. We would go to an evening mass and it was special. The priest was young and we'd be invited back to the presbytery afterwards for pizza and lemonade and it was great I loved it. I could have stayed there and perhaps not made some of my early life mistakes had they not jumped on me and tried to convert me the moment they knew I wasn't Catholic. Such a shame. This wasn't the last time that church folk thwarted my journey of Faith. Unfortunately my stubborn nature often felt pressure when I was confronted with opinions differed to my own and rather than wade it out I left. It's a shame. They too were good people wanting to share their faith with me and I was frightened. Not strong enough within myself or my faith to take it for what it was. Too young and stupid and scared of what might transpire.

Enter stage left a prospective husband who has no willingness for church attendance but because of familial pressure insisted on a Catholic wedding. I have no issue with that. I'm a Christian after all. Denomination means naught to me at this stage. Even now it means little.

The only point I took issue with, was that I wouldn't say 'I obey' and I'd ask curly questions at the pre marital sessions. Those questions endeared me not to Catholicism at that time. Again my faith was tested and I was pushed away.

It was because of my questions and curiosity that my first husband labelled me a heathen.

Fast forward seven years...........

Now I've had two failed marriages and I'm painfully and debilitatingly ill with a slipped disc. I'm sad and believing I have come to a point where I've seriously given God a reason to finally do me in. After all my sins and transgressions God has finally had enough and has decided that a normal life was too good for me. Why else was I in the prime of my life, with two failed marriages, few friends and I'm in and out if hospital in chronic pain.

I spent a lot of time on my own. My parents were wonderful during this time and spent hours sitting with me, I honestly don't know what I would gave done without them at that stage of my life. I still had too much time on my hands. Time to pray, to think, to ponder. Someone on the nursing staff brought me a Bible. It was a little red New Testament Gideons Bible. I can still remember the evening after many days of searching for answers when I came across a Psalm which made me realize that God wasn't punishing me. I can still feel the relief wash over me. That moment when I knew that God was neither vindictive nor punitive.

During the months of pain and the time around my surgery I felt at peace and I had an inner strength gained from my prayers. For a few months during this time I attended the Lutheran Church in Nambour. I chose here as that is what I was baptized and my brother, his wife and her family worshipped there.

I never felt a connection with this church. Again my faith was stalled. My Christian growth once again went into hiatus.

I never lost faith or ever doubted in God. It was no longer a priority in my life.

I've always prayed. Often even just reciting the 'Lord's Prayer'. I was so conscious of not always coming to God with a shopping list that I wouldn't pray my own prayer. The Lords Prayer said it for me. It was a comfort. I knew the lines of communication were still open but I wasn't putting any conscious thought or effort into it.

I fell in love and married again. Years later, ten years after my hospital stint, I had a baby who was quite ill. I knew that God was with me during that time. Apart from when my Dad was in hospital and had his triple bypass, and my illness, I'd never before known that level of uncertainty which can come with the 'unknown' or where the future is uncertain. A premature baby who has breathing difficulties is wrought with worry and uncertainty, but the whole time we were in hospital I felt sheltered in a way I can't explain.

I had a long walk from my hospital bed and to the Intensive care unit where Sammy was, and, again lots of time to think. Several times a day I would walk past the chaplain's office and I yearned to have someone to talk to and someone to pray with. Being the day before the Y2K. I had no chance of finding anyone to talk to.

Once home the reality of two young children hit me and it hit me hard. I was lonely. It was no longer easy to go out. my children needed their routine and they needed to be home and in their beds for naps.

A friend came and visited me one day and I told her I was lonely. She gave me a phone number of a lady who ran a mothers group for children at preschool level or younger.

I attended this MOPS group for many years. The woman who ran this group was to become my best friend. This friendship began the start of my life as it is now and she's also become the catalyst I was looking for to become part of a church I love.

I started at the MOPS group early on 2000. It was a fortnightly group for mothers of young children which was under the auspice of the local Church of Christ. The children were looked after for two hours and we would spend the time with other mums. The first part of the morning we would complete a craft. After a morning tea we would read from and discuss aspects of a Christian book on families. These mornings was a Godsend for me. I was able to be sans kids, make new friends and begin to build a special friendship with a wonderful lady.

The MOPS morning before Easter we were all given an Easter egg from the ladies if the church. Attached to these eggs was a strip of paper with church service times. That Good Friday I was there and my church life was forever changed. As I entered the church foyer I was greeted by sincere welcomes which overwhelmed me. On entering the church proper I was taken aback by the volume and tempo of the music and the sight of a full band up on a stage.

Week after week I felt myself being swept up with the worshipful mood and the wonderful songs of praise. The first time I'd heard Barbi sing, I felt goosebumps run up and down my arm. Never before had I heard such heartfelt singing in praise of Jesus. I was touched, deeply so. The first time I partook in Holy Communion I felt the Holy Spirit. A feeling of such serenity and warmth overcame me, I cannot explain it as anything else. I was where I was meant to be. It was like coming home into safe, comfortable and welcoming arms.

For the next few years I went along regularly and attended all the information evenings and talks as I was hungry for knowledge. I made a public acknowledgement that Christ was my Lord and saviour.

During this time I was again pregnant and spent a lot of time in and put of hospital. Pregnancy with Mickey was not an easy time. Sammy was still so young and such a handful. The church was fantastic toward me. I had their emotional support, as well as food and visits which were all very much appreciated.

Mickey was born and not well. Thankfully he didn't require a trip to Brisbane like Sammy. The pastor and his wife visited while Mickey was in the special care unit. I'll never forget how his vital signs improved as we stood around him praying.

The following years saw many changes in my life.

At this point Barbi and I were fast friends and our lives were firmly intertwined.

God was smiling upon us and we were blessed with the opportunity to buy our own home which was across the road from where we currently lived. That's a story unto itself though, so I won't go into that now.

We also started Daisy's during this time, so that was very exciting and while I'm no longer a business partner, Daisy's is an important part of my life. God has also blessed Daisy's from the staff who work there, to the whole ethos of the place. It's become Barbi's ministry and Daisy's is so much more than just a store.

Sadly the church went through so many changes during this time to the point where it was no longer the church it had once been. They caused so much hurt and pain for Barbi and her family, it was not a good time. I left the church. I couldn't be a part of a place that could cause so much hurt and heartache. MOPS changed the venue, they went from a larger centre to the church foyer. This felt that we were no longer welcome. The funny thing is that this area is used for gatherings nowadays and I no longer feel displaced.

I'd stopped going to church about 7 years ago and while I wanted to return the timing wasn't right. I went to the carols just before Christmas and then started going to church from then.

The pastor is amazing. Casual, learned, passionate and wise. I admire him. I enjoy how he interprets the Bible. I can use his translations in my daily life. Things I can do to become closer to God. Things I can do to become a better Christian.

While my knowledge of the Bible is still scant I enjoy devotional time and love my conversations with God. I have found an inner peace which is wonderful and I come to God now for everything. Sometimes I will forget and then it comes over me in a rush, that I'm not alone. That He understands and will alway listen.

Daily I pray for myself and for others. For those close to me, and for those I don't even know.

I find I am much more able now to accept that things are in God's hands. It's brought me a calm I've never before even imagined. I'm a long way from being a perfect Christian (I don't believe there is such a being). But it's something I will always strive for.

I see the Lord's presence in all areas of my life and for that I'm eternally grateful.

Now I look forward to growing in my Faith and to living my faith every single day.

I have loved this quote since I was a young teen.

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

Reinhold Niebuhr

The words have always had a powerful effect on me. Now the do more than ever.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Another day in the big smoke

Today we had Billy-Joe's appointment with the paediatric rheumatologist. Thank God he's been given the all clear from any vasculitis related diseases. It doesn't look like he's got arthritis or any auto immune diseases either. He's small because he's small, and many boys who have puberty late, end up being quite tall, and it's not unusual for those boys to not have their growth spurt until around 16 years of age. That made us feel better. He's growing, just very slowly. His weight is good for his height too. Put it this way, it's a much better situation than having an obese child. He will have more tests done and we will continue with more in depth respiratory tests to check further into the coughing issue. So at minimum, we'll have another three visits to Brisbane before this is complete.

We had a good day, although it was very tiring. We hit a massive storm on the way home and I crawled into a petrol station as visibility was extremely poor. We waited around 20 minutes and then drove home the rest of the way in rain. I've always been scared driving in the rain, I didn't do too badly and it was absolutely torrential. I'm glad I pulled over.

We had a nice time at the shopping centre. I bought Sammy some winter clothes for when we go and visit Laureen, and I got a knitted tunic top and a stretch tunic top that I can wear with tights here and when we go down South. We went into Typo and I bought the letter 'I', a heart and an apple. I also bought some little douvers to put cables in from the computer, to stop them falling down behind the machine when items are unplugged. I loved the coffee travel mug and the metal mail holder too. Some great things there.

We had a late lunch, junk food, which I could have done without. I won't have dinner, a bowl of muesli or something later on with a cup of tea is all I need.

I can't believe it's Wednesday already tomorrow.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Random Stuff

Everyday I have blog posts floating around in my head. I've mentioned this before, but it's something which I do daily. I have things I don't want to forget, little, trivial but important things. Things that make up my life.

Apologies that the photos are all over the place. Blogo just puts them anywhere lol.....

This was a leaf insect the cats were after in the garden and I rescued it from them, I've never seen one before. This is the biggest insect I've ever seen, he was so heavy.

It's been a huge week. With the Nursing and Health Expo last Sunday, and then another jaunt to Brisbane on Wednesday, added to the norm, it was a tiring but interesting and exciting week. I can't believe my little car has already done 2000kms, when most of my driving consists of school and stuff. I will have watch this as my insurance policy is dependant upon the amount of kms I drive. I still so very very happy with the choice of car I made. It's an absolute delight to drive. The Camry, (old lady car) was good to drive on the open road, but was slow, sluggish and the handling around roundabouts wasn't the best. This little car, while I do notice that it's a small motor, is easy to handle and responsive, love it. Love the bluetooth feature, so awesome to be able to ring and receive calls, with a small click of the dashboard, or by speaking.

I had my hair cut and recoloured. Not sure if I like it, or if I should go back shorter and more into a bob, or add more layers.....

Wednesday's Brisbane visit was primarily for Billy-Joe's specialist review. The pneumonia recovery is travelling along as expected so all is well there. His breathing and lung capacity is still down, so the whole is it asthma or not debate, is still out of contention, until the pneumonia is completely gone. He had to do a breathing test, have a chest x-ray and also needed a long list of blood tests done. Unfortunately, the phlebotomist, couldn't find a viable vein, and after two attempts and a slightly nauseous boy, we left pathology having left no blood behind. I'll take him to the local hospital tomorrow, so hopefully it will be better. I've had him drinking more fluid this weekend, so this will help. The specialist is concerned as Billy-Joe has many of the same markers as I do, with inflammatory indicators. As my arthritis is still being monitored and a correct treatment hasn't been reached yet, we need to keep a close on him too, as it's possible he has something too. The constant coughing is also an issue, which he will watch. He has dropped his seretide strength, so this will be interesting to see what happens from here.

We made a good day of it too, and left home after I dropped off Sammy and Mickey. We spent most of the day at the Westfield shopping centre. I bought Billy-Joe some new winter clothes, and then we went to see Hop. I love Bunny Rabbits, so much, and when I saw the shorts for this when Billy-Joe was in hospital, I knew we'd have to go and see it. It was just gorgeous, wish I could have a stuffed Bunny like that, he was so cute........

Now another week has passed and I've not even finished that post grrrrr.............

Since the visit to Brisbane, we've had some school holidays, although they are whizzing by at lightning speed. On the Monday we went and had lunch at Peter's place. He has his friends' kids stay most holidays and enjoys it when we come over too. It was a miserable rainy day, but we ate and drank coffee and the kids watched movies and played games. The hours just went by. I'd wanted Billy-Joe to have his blood test done before we went there but there were heaps of people waiting, so we left. We almost got drenched, as it was teeming down, just for something different......

I admired this bracelet on Flickr the other day and my girlfriend bought it for me. I was so surprised and I think it's absolutely beautiful. Love the two colours and also the fact she's bought one with a Bunny on it.

The rest of the week and Easter has just flown by too. I did housework and Daisy work, and even went out into the garden on one day. Good Friday Billy-Joe and I went to Church. It was a beautiful service. I find this service so special, a service of hope. Eleven years ago, I went back to church and it was a Good Friday service. The message really hit home with me. Barbi has been encouraging me to come back for many years. I was so disillusioned with what happened many years ago, that I felt I'd never go back to church. After she's been back to Church of Christ again for a few years, I still wasn't ready to go back. I knew there was a new minister, one who specializes in 'healing churches' and their congregations. I'm glad I didn't go back then, even though the man is just lovely, he's a little hard core for me. I don't take kindly to fundamentalism and find this type of preaching is what keeps people away from church. The current minister is a younger man. Probably in his early forties, with a staunch Catholic upbringing, with most of the ritualism stripped away, but with a need to still favour some traditions and rituals. I like that, as my faith is not 'straight down the line' and I need to be 'taught' from someone who's theological views are from different arenas. In the years, I've not attended church, my faith hasn't gone away or anything, but I find it became aimless and yet I was always hungry for knowledge and to become closer to God. My Sunday mornings of praise and worship stay with me for the entire week, and help me to stay focussed, calm and safe. My prayers aren't pretty, or prosaic, rather their conversations with the Heavenly Father. Billy-Joe enjoys coming with me, and finds the services interesting and thought provoking. Having an almost 15 year old boy coming willingly with me, is a precious gift. I'm glad it's something we enjoy together.

I would have liked to go to church on Sunday, to celebrate the resurrection of Christ. It would have been rather special to be there for the Easter Sunday service. It's too hard for me to make it though. With family coming for lunch, I'm busy. Actually I wonder, how in years past we used to go to Peter's parents' house as well. Such a huge day. Even though Dad isn't 100% we had a fabulous time together. We are just so comfortable together, it's pretty cool actually. Before Mum and Dad arrived, we drove up to a friends' house to collect an outdoor table they no longer wanted. It was so good having a larger, sturdier table and using the old one for the salad and stuff. We had our Easter Hunt and the kids had a ball, I got some nice photos, even though the light was not the best and my ISO was quite high. I wonder how these pics will print out, they always good okay on the screen. I'd love a faster zoom lens, or a camera that takes better photos, and goes to a higher ISO. I just love the look of photos taken in the later afternoon. The colours are so saturated, and our garden looks sensational. The girls came around in the early evening and had some Easter Cupcakes with us. It's just great now that Julia drives, as she can come when I ask her to. Kiana came along too, which was lovely.

I asked Mum and Dad, if they would come on holidays with us. We get on really well, and spending a holiday with them would be great fun. Plus an added benefit is that we can use their car for luggage. We'll take my little car and their car and pack as lightly as possible. I've already looked up some houses, and because Mum and Dad agreed and are happy to go halves, I've seen some amazing homes. Just beautiful actually. I was almost beginning to think we wouldn't go away this year.

Trying to get Mickey to take a pic of my haircut. I said just get my head, meaning fill the frame with my head and don't worry about my body or background lol......

Today, I got up early, after listening to my audiobook for quite a few hours. I had breakfast, fed Mickey and then went back to bed after I'd been up for an hour and a half. I laid snuggling in my bed and then read some of my ebook and then got up and got ready to go out to another BBQ. Peter's sister and her partner and their little girl are moving to WA, so today was to say goodbye. Honestly I'd have been quite happy to stay home. It was nice though. The rain held off and the house is on an amazing property. Trees, kangaroos and not much else. Peaceful. The kids had a ball playing with Lily, their youngest cousin. Her little face was quite woebegone when we left. Being an only child, she enjoyed their company.

The day Billy-Joe and I went to Chermside I was so excited when we walked past the Apple Store. I'd actually forgotten it was there, so you can imagine my delight when we accidentally stumbled onto it. Loved it, it was huge, and so cool that they clapped as someone walked out with their new iPad.

Enjoying a drink at lunch.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Another trip to Brisbane

Yesterday Billy-Joe and I went to the Nursing and Health Expo

It was exciting on more than one count. I have only ever driven into the city once in all the years I've lived in Qld. Pretty pathetic really and wouldn't be a huge issue except that Peter doesn't know his way around either so whenever we need or want to go there it's a huge drama or we shelve it because it's too hard. I bought the Tom Yom app for my iPhone and it's given me confidence. I figure if I don't know where I am the GPS might lol. Probably not the best way to be but having said that even though I don't know exactly where I am I wasn't totally ignorant of mu surroundings and I changed lanes when I needed to, even though the GPS didn't tell me to. It was great as I couldn't get into parking so at least Tom could tell me where to go as in Brisbane you can't just turn around. So with the one way streets I tend to lose what little sense of direction I have. 

The expo had lots of stalls with representation from the various unis and then lots of employers and agencies. I'll definitely visit again when I finish. I did learn that the options for work are huge. We spent a good hour and a half there gathering info and talking to CQU, USC and QUT. I was impressed with CQU. I've now added them to my preferences. I think I could cope with external studies especially when it's run as well as they do it. I remember when I was doing my teaching and then afterwards when I started the Grad Dip in Special Ed that USQ and CQU were the forerunners of external studies. UNE has always had a good reputation too for distance Ed. 

We stopped at the Caboolture Service Centre and had lunch. Shouldn't have eaten the KFC but it was good seeing Billy-Joe eat a huge burger. Neither of us ate dinner so I guess it wasn't so bad. 

I've changed my preferences now, I've deleted QUT graduate entry which I'd just thrown in there for the ski of it. They won't consider my last degree which okay as I've no intention if driving to Brisbane many times per week. They do have a campus in Caboolture though. 

Now I gave USC Graduate Entry as my first preference although I don't like my chances. I've put down for CQU as my second preference and it's still on my QTAC application, so they've not barred those two. Fingers crossed. 

I took my Dad to the doctor today as he's not well. He's been having fevers and hallucinating too. The doc thinks he might have Pneumonia!!!!  I certainly pray that he doesn't. Or, if he does that it's a mild case. Very mild. My Dad says he was hallucinating about all his family who've been gone many years. His sister, his brother, and his Mum. He said they'd come to get him. I reckon they can just keep waiting.  I'm not ready to let him go. I'm sure there are others who agree with me. I still can't believe he's now over 80. I hope he gets better very soon. Tomorrow he goes back. No doubt to check his white blood cell count. And they say kids are a worry!!!!

I told Mum and Dad about me wanting to go back and study. The more I think about it the better the idea feels to me. All the 'lostness' I've felt lately has gone. I have direction again. Who would have thought that spending two weeks in hospital with a sick child could lead to me going back to study. I remember when I started at the Special School I'd looked up study options. Option which would only take to years part time study but which would qualify me as a Special Ed teacher and virtually guarantee me work!! Sadly it left me cold. Am I a good teacher ? Yes! Is it my lifelong ambition? No. Perhaps if the entire system was different, things might be different. Perhaps too if I'd stayed with teaching instead of having having my family. I don't know. All I know is that my heart isn't in it. Not at all.


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