This post is being written as a formal good-bye to this blog.
I have really enjoyed learning how to have a blog through this site. It is a beautiful way to capture memories, meet new people, be inspired, and process life.
My heart is to inspire others to live a life of more than words...the confession of our mouths is one thing, but if not paired with action is useless. I'm grateful for the emails I have received from some readers who have been encouraged to make a difference in their local community and world at large. I'm grateful to this space for challenging me to continue to have an outward focus and search for meaningful and creative ways to bless others.
I'm not completely dropping off blogging planet. I'm just moving. In real life and cyber space. My husband and I were offered the opportunity to be house parents for an indigenous community in the Tiwi Islands (above Darwin) and yes its still classified as part of Australia. We will be responsible for around eight children, and will have to get them ready for school, do homework with them, cook meals, run afternoon programs, everything a parent does I suppose.
This opportunity is so-wonderful because it means my husband can also work in the area he is passionate about-community development, young people etc. Now. I would be lying if I said I have no apprehension, doubt or worry. Truth be told I'm packing it a little. There have been so-many emotions I've had to deal with, saying good bye to friends, to the kiddos at the school I worked at (insert lots of tears here), not living close to civilization, leaving our beautiful home, shopping centers...
But. I know it will be worth it. Fact is, I feel myself becoming too-comfortable in this life we're living. I know that I am called to cross-cultural community development in the long term, and for the short term...well we have now been given the opportunity to love and live in a local indigenous community. We get the opportunity to live lives of more than words.
I pray you too, will find the courage to live out the dreams of your heart, no matter how difficult it may be.
As I mentioned above, i'm also moving cyber space location. Lots of our friends and family asked us to keep them updated about our new lives. After having learned the basic blogging ropes I thought that having a blog would probably be the easiest and most exciting way to keep people up to date. So, if you would like to follow our journey, we can now be found at The Maetoloa's
There are new adventures to be had...
I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and New Year.
Sunday, 28 October 2012
This week Smell The Roses Returned at the beautiful blog belonging to Jess at Lovely Little Things. It returned with a particular task which pretty much sums up the week that was for me.
The challenge was to Take a leap of faith, do something you're afraid to do.
So I did it.
I quit my job.
If you've read my blog for very long you'd notice that a lot of my posts stem from things that take place in my work place-I work as a Chaplain for a Primary School. I love my job. It has been such an incredible source of blessing and joy over the past two years. It's just that I've felt for a while my season there was coming to an end.
Last week, I was officially offered a PA position at a small company my friend works in. So, I took it. The door opened to this job a couple of weeks ago and nothing has seemed to shut the door...not my having to stay at my current workplace for another six weeks, not my having a holiday coming up in December, not my lack of experience in administration...nothing closed the door to this opportunity.
Me resigning from my job was really hard. In fact I was scared to talk to my boss. But it was something I had to face in order to bring about some much-needed change in my life.
I start training two days a week next week and then go full time after the school term finishes...
In my leap of faith, I can only pray that I am caught in the arms of the one who holds all things in His hands...
Friday, 26 October 2012
I can't believe we are about to enter our last week of October? What the frock? So to end this month is true Froctober style I am re-capping one of this years favourite events.
This year I ran the Shine program at school for year 7 girls. The foundational concepts of the program are worth, strength and purpose. You can read more about the program here. To end the nine week program we ended with a special high tea. The girls brought a dress to wear, a present and word of encouragement for another girl and were escorted to the hall where a beautiful high tea awaited them.
- The space we used was quite large, it is a school hall so we had to be strategic in decorating as the area was so-large. We decided to focus only on the front part of the hall close to the stage so we could use it to present their awards and certificates. This way we could use all our efforts to decorate a smaller area. If you have a large space, then a good tip is to focus on making one area of it look really good.
- We borrowed a lot of things for this event. Table cloths, glass vases, beautiful tea pot sets, props for the photo booth-all borrowed. I had two friends who were recently married so they still had things left over from their decorations, do you have any recently married friends you could ask? This helps to keep things cost effective.
- The trick that I think really set this event apart from other events we've held there would have to be the choice we made to hire chair covers. The chairs are these big plastic things which are blue and green, I knew if we went all out with everything except the chairs, it would not look as good. We saved money in a lot of other areas and I managed to find them for around $3.00 a cover including the organza bow. If you really want something to look special, then make sure you ensure the chairs are decorated to fit the theme.
- I used a pinterest inspired project to personalize mugs for each of the girls. I used the good old sharpie and bake trick to create mugs with the word Shine, their name and the words-worth-strength-purpose. I baked them for an hour at 350 degrees celcius. Aside from the mugs the girls received a certificate of completion and a gift from another student.
- Food wise we kept it nice and simple with sandwiches and scones with jam and cream. I made the scones the night before using this super simple recipe, 3 ingredients is all it takes.
This particular event was one of my favourite to organize and hold. The girls were in disbelief when they saw the hall, as it had never looked so good (if I do say so myself). The girls truly felt treasured and blessed by the effort we put in to making them feel valued. It was the perfect ending to our 9 week program.
I hope you enjoyed the Froctober series.
Saturday, 20 October 2012
Here is a recipe I wanted to share as I feel it is a great one to cook when guests come over. Plus, who can beat the taste of a fresh home-made pizza?
What I love about this recipe, is that you can prepare it in stages and even allow guests to participate in the making of it (if you like).
Here's what you'll need:
2 c flour
2t. dried yeast
2t. baking powder
1/2 t. bicarb soda
1/2 c warm milk
1.2 c plain yoghurt
2t. olive oil
2t. lemon juice
500g tinned tomatoes
2 cloves garlic
1/2 t. salt
1T tomato chutney
1 sprig of rosemary leaves chopped
Here is where you get to be creative and add your favourite pizza toppings. For the pizza I made for this occasion I used sausages and fresh produce I bought at the market that morning.
To make the dough, combine the flour, yeast, sugar, salt, baking powder and bicarb soda in a large bowl and mix well. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, yoghurt, egg, olive oil and lemon juice then pour into the dry ingredients and stir until combined. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave in a warm place to rise for 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
Meanwhile, make tomato sauce by placing all the ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 mins or until thick puree forms.
Heat the overn to 200 degrees celcius. Lightly oil a large pizza tray.
Turn the dough onto a surface lightly floured and knead for 2-3 minutes or until smooth. Press onto prepared pizza tray then cover with toppings: first the tomato sauce, then your desired other ingredients.
Leave the pizza to stand for 5 mins then bake in the oven for 15 mins or until all the toppings are cooked through.
*Note I like to bake the dough before I put the toppings on to cook. I bake it for around 15-20 mins, or until it is golden brown in colour.
Monday, 15 October 2012
This past weekend my friend and I went to the Mount Tamborine craft markets with our Sweet Tweat stall. It was an early start to get up the mountain by 6:30, but it was, as always, a beautiful drive. This was our second try at having a market stall. We have tried to find a market that would fit our handmade goods. The craft markets today were all hand-made or home-grown stalls, so we thought it might be a good place to try.
If I’m honest, I don’t think we really did any better than at the previous markets we went to (which were a lot closer to home). We were encouraged by another stall - holder to keep coming, as often you don’t sell much on your first stall appearance. It can take a while for people to get to know what you sell and start to think about your products and come back to get them.
It can be a bit discouraging to leave a market having only sold two items, and its hard to feel like you’re putting a part of you on display for the public to see and feel rejected in a sense. But. We will keep going. We are going to try a different market next Saturday. It’s a bit closer, it’s a bit bigger and hopefully we will be able to sell some more of our things. We want to sell our current stock so we can start making some Christmas things for the markets. So, heres hoping. Heres to pursuing creative adventures, dreams both big and small.
Hope your weekend was wonderful.
Sunday, 7 October 2012
Well its here again, time to share another special event. If you missed last weeks, then not to worry, you can check it out here. Last week I re-capped an African Jewelry Party. This week I'll be re-capping an event I held at school last term-Father's Day Morning Tea.
I'm on the mental health and wellbeing action team at school, seeing I'm the Chaplain it kind of only seems appropriate. One of the things we discussed earlier in the year was the need to have our students parents involved more at our school. So I thought it that at both Mother's and Father's Day we could invite parents to our Chapel services and have a special morning tea for them. We have two campuses, so its quite a lot of work having to do it for both Upper and Lower Primary, however it was well worth it.
Today, as I said I'm going to re-capp our Father's Day Morning Tea and Chapel Service. We had a cowboy themed morning tea. We made a video about a 'Super Dad" that we showed at Upper Primary and we had the class leading worship share things they love about their Dad during Lower Primary's Chapel service. We then had the service as usual, which was really great to have our Dad's along to join us for praise and worship and the message. It was great to see our students interact with their parents in a positive setting at school.
Unfortunately because I was 'running' the event I didn't get a whole lot of pictures to share, and because it's a school event, I wouldn't be able to share photos of the kids anyways. But you will get the idea;
|The middle photo on the bottom is from Lower Primary Campus and the rest are from the Upper Primary Campus|
- A tip in knowing where to start when planning an event is honestly to have a "theme" that you can work with. Once we had the western theme, we knew what foods to serve that would tie in with it.
- RSVP-we decided to scrap the idea of having an RSVP to the even as we felt it may inhibit those Dad's who decide to come at the last minute due to the fact they didn't RSVP. We really wanted as many Dad's to come as possible so we just left it open ended and I think this worked the best for this kind of event. At both morning teas we had enough food and in fact some children even brought food for us to serve up.
- For Mother's day we made our whole chapel service focused on Mother's, however for Father's Day we decided to just keep Chapel as normal but just add something small during the service to honour the Dad's. If you are holding a special event alongside a pre-existing event then it's up to you to decide how to integrate the two. The Mother's Day Chapel and Morning tea was a blast, but having our Dad's come to our normal services was just as great and I think its safe to say they were both equally blessed by our efforts
- For almost every special event I hold I go to this site: Hostess With The Mostess Seriously if you have not checked this site out, then you must. It has amazing ideas for almost every occasion you would want to celebrate. Check it out.
|Our Chapel decorated for the Celebration Service.|
Do you remember this post? about the 40 hour famine for World Vision at the school I work at? The students gave up food for 8 hours (because they are in Primary School they only give up food for 8 hours instead of 40).
Our goal was to raise $3500 this year as last year we raised $3000.
Unfortunately we didn't reach our target. We did however raise a bit over $2000. So it was still a really great effort by all the kids. We even had one particular individual raise $750, a mammoth effort. It was great to see students become really passionate about raising money for the 8 hour famine. Some students set up stalls selling bookmarks and pre-loved goods at lunch time to help raise money.
On the day we gave up the food we ended the 8 hours with a sausage sizzle and a special celebration chapel service. It was a really great way to end the day. The students felt what it was like to go hungry and try to concentrate during a school day. It is a great way to let the reality of poverty-hunger that children all over the world experience on a daily basis sink in.
It really was a privlidge to be able to raise greater awareness about global issues amongst our primary school.To find out more about World Vision and the work they do around the world then check them out here.