Saturday, August 19, 2023

Moving week and other things...

 This week was a long one, especially for Blossom and Ross because they moved house. Though the house is much smaller, and the rent much higher, they are immensely grateful to have found a new home for their family in a time of rental scarcity here in North Queensland. 

One of my main jobs this past week was to mind the children while hubby's responsibility was to help with all the heavy moving, and to get everything from one house to the other in his 4WD with huge trailer attached. 

On Monday Charlie and Rafaella came to stay with me, while Cully May helped her mummy with packing. I took the kids to the kitchen shop so I could get new scone cutters, and some crumpet rings. Both of them were fascinated so we spent quite a while looking at all the interesting baking tools until tummies were growling and I knew it was time for morning tea. We went to Banjos for some sweet treats and as it's just near hubby's work we bought him some as well and drove around to drop them off. The grandkids love to visit Poppy at work! Next we headed to Officeworks for some colouring books, fresh pencils, and a few office supplies I needed for home.

Once home they were insistent that we bake cupcakes, so with little stools pulled up either side of me at the kitchen bench, we got to work measuring, weighing, filling patty cases and of course - licking the bowl!

Of course every cupcake needs sprinkles, right? They did such a good job...

After all that baking we swam in the pool, and as the water was quite cold, they hopped into a warm bubble bath afterwards, before we packed up the cupcakes and headed back home. Blossom, Ross and Cully May were pretty excited to see the cakes the little ones had made for them.

On Tuesday I caught up with housework (and rested up a bit as I was a bit tuckered after the previous day) and then on Wednesday while hubby was off doing the big move, I had Cully May and Charlie while Rafaella stayed behind with mummy.

I took the kids to Bunnings to get sunflower and pumpkin seeds, plus a few more punnets of flowers to bed in around the veggies, and they had a long play in the playground before tucking in to some savoury pastries and juice. Next we went to the library to return all the family's books as Blossom felt they'd be better off returned now than packed in a box for moving. Both kids loved the hula hoops, built a city out of amazing painted wooden blocks, coloured in, and generally played around until Cully May suggested it might be time to go home and make lunch. 

After lunch we went swimming and at one stage Charlie had said he'd had enough, so off he ran to get his towel. I turned to watch Cully May show me how she used the kickboard (she was swimming with it over to the side to get out of the water) when I heard a huge splash behind me and turned to see Charlie had jumped in! His little head bobbed up and I swam two long strokes to grab him as he went down for a second time. Honestly, this is the way to give Nana a heart attack. I had screamed "Charlie" so loud that the whole neighbourhood must have heard. 
Grabbing him I said, "Come on sweetheart, let's get you out of the water and we'll go inside" to which he laughed and replied, "No Nana, me swim more!"...I tell you, Charlie and Rafaella are miniature Bear Grylls, whereas Cully May is the cautious one always considering actions before following through. Thankfully all the kids have swimming lessons, but it was still a scary moment for me. 

Once inside it was bubble baths, a rummage through the dress-ups box for Cully May, then afternoon tea while watching the old animated movie, Little Bear. About five minutes in and Charlie was asleep... Cully May and I decided to play around with a really good app I'd just gotten for my iPad. It's called Waterlogue and turns photos into various types of watercolour paintings. She scrolled the photos on my iPad and chose loads to alter within the app, and then asked me to take photos of her and Charlie to use. 
Here's the photo I took of her...

...and these are the paintings made by the app from the photos. She was thrilled!

Just before dinner I took them home, their NEW home this time, and met up there with hubby who was just finishing up the move. We left the family to settle into their lovely new abode and headed home for a simple pasta dinner and an early night. 
Thank you to everyone who prayed they'd find a home, because we all felt your prayers. 
Thank you also for praying about Ross's job...unfortunately he found out the night before the move that he's being retrenched and will be unemployed if you have some prayer time, would you pray, according to God's will, that he will get another job please? ((thank you)) 


Last week on Sunday we decided to get out of town and do something we've not made time for lately - a country drive. We drove 95 km south-west to Mingela, then 40 km south to Ravenswood (a gold mining town) where we discovered it was market day (more like half a dozen car boot stalls, but lovely), and then 90km along a dirt road to Ayr, before turning back to the highway and driving 100 km home again. 
Along the way we saw a mother emu with six babies, casually strolling over the track so as to keep her babies together (normally emus will take off running very fast as you approach); a brolga dancing in the bush; and many gorgeous cows, many with their calves. I was in heaven.

HUSBAND AT HOME and a renewed health priority...

Hubby actually started two weeks holiday break from his job on Tuesday afternoon (so that he could be of assistance to Blossom during the move and afterwards). They began moving the heavy items that afternoon, as he was able to pick up the large trailer early. This helped enormously by giving them a head start on the move, because moving everything else on Wednesday took all day and into early evening. 
So with him home for two whole weeks we're putting our focus on the garden prep for spring and summer, as well as getting back to juicing each day. I'm also baking low, or no, refined-sugar for the time being, substituting raw honey, dates or maple syrup, and removing some of the wheat based items I cook regularly. 
These gluten free biscuits (cookies) I made were really yummy.

Made from almond butter, almond flour, maple syrup, egg, coconut oil and some dried cranberries you only need to enjoy one at a time because they are quite filling. 
You'll find the recipe HERE but I replaced chocolate chips with the cranberries. 


Ondrea and I have been online friends for quite a few years now. We've rejoiced many times as each of us welcomed new grandbabies and shared a lot of alternative medicine information back and forth. We have chatted about crochet blankets (Attic 24 being our muse!) and stitchery, and have even had a couple of long distance phone calls when an email just wasn't enough. 
She knew how stressful the past six weeks have been for our family with everyone being sick over and over and over again; and how I was the only one not to succumb so I did what I could for my beloveds. My own malady came from back-to-back migraines, 4 or 5 a week. 
So this period of time was filled with more prayer than usual for Blossom to find a home in time, for healing to come upon the family, for Ross's job, for their finances, and also for my husband's own work situation as well as my decision about whether to design again or not.
And just the other day, when I was ready to collapse into a ball and sleep for a month, this precious letter arrived from Ondrea, out of the blue, full of kindness and care...

She didn't think it such a big thing, but honestly, I did. 
When you are primarily a giver and rarely the receiver (which, please know, I do not mind at all) it's the unexpected moments like these that cause tears to fall, the tears which you didn't realise were all pent up inside. Her gift was like a reassuring warm hug, a gentle voice telling me "I know you're weary and need a hug of your own, and I care about you."

And isn't this the best bookmark? I think for sure it was made for me.


The move is complete. Blossom loves the smaller house and says she really feels like it's "home". The children are happy. Ross is optimistic.
Hubby is bruised and sore after helping them move house, but ever so glad to have had time to help our family. He's excited to work around our own little quarter acre for the rest of his holiday break and already we've been out and bought two new fruit trees, decided on what next with regards to growing spaces, priced a few things to make family gatherings more fun, and planned a day-trip up into the mountains next week. 
My roses are all blooming and their scent fills the air around my desk...

My sewing room is in chaos due to my being busy with family and staying on top of homemaking the past couple of months, so now that the decision has been made to design again for the next 12-18 months, I really need to get in there and declutter (I have quite a bit of Blossom's which we'll sell in a garage sale when she's settled and has time), and then write patterns for the three new patterns I've already completed.
If you're wondering, yes, the decision to start a new Stitchery Club which will run for twelve months, was due to financial need and I am not embarrassed to say that. We have a mortgage to kick over and I'm already 64, so helping my husband to achieve that goal while I am still able is my delight. He works so hard for us, and blesses me beyond words. God gave me a real treasure in this man and I thank Him each morning for my Mark. 

Ladies, whatever your situation in life, look for opportunities to show kindness, care and love to those who may be having a difficult time in one way or another. Your small act many mean the world to that person you've reached out to. 
If you have a need offer it to the Lord, Who will lovingly direct you along the path He wishes you to take, and if your flesh rises up and doesn't want to obey (I really felt that way about designing again..) surrender your will fearlessly, because He who shows you a way forward SHALL make that way open wide before you. There is nothing more freeing than surrendering to our God. 

Okay, that's enough for this week's post, I'm sure you have lives to live and things to do. Thank you for dropping by again, and I am praying that *you* are touched mightily by the hand of our Heavenly Father in the days ahead. He knows you, He knows your situation, He knows the way through. 
Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart and lean not on your own understanding...

Hugs and blessings

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Lin said...

Lovely long post Jennifer. I am glad that all went well with the move and hope that Ross will soon find new employment. Those children are such a delight. xx

Ondrea said...

Wow! What a busy time! The children look so happy and healthy despite having recently been ill. Looks like you had fun times with them apart from the scare cheeky Charlie gave you. They are so photogenic. Love the recipe and shall try it soon. So sorry to hear that hubby is being retrenched and that more stress is in store but with your faith I am sure you will all cope knowing things will work out ok. May Blossom and her gorgeous family find much joy in their new home. X

Joanne said...

Hi Jennifer,
Saturday morning starts today with a new coffee mug :) and your blog :)
I enjoy your geography and wildlife "lessons" :)
That was a very full week you write about !
After what you all have been doing Monday does seem like a long time ago. Shopping and Banjos ! Banjos looks tasty on Internet :)
Cupcakes with sprinkles look so good !
Bunnings ! You get a lot of walking steps in a day !
Plus all that swimming !
Those grandkids are so cool !
Brolga ! That must be an amazing bird to see in flight and in a group !
Those villages! Google writes " Ayr is a rural town and locality in the Shire of Burdekin" Shire ! Reminds me of the Robin Hood days.
Glad you two were able to get out for a road trip.
Peter and I went to Delft yesterday to visit a museum and then the old city centre. It was lovely !
I'll have to check out Waterlogue . Thanks for the tip :)
Great to hear Blossom feels at home at her new address :)
Sounds like you two are having lots of creative ideas together for the future :)
Looking forward to seeing the new Stitchery Club ! I'm sure all your fans will be supporting you !
hugs, take care,

Anonymous said...

Oh Jenny. Praying for Ross to find a wonderful job and health and joy for you all. ❤️

Jill at emeraldcottage said...

That's a lot of sprinkles! Sounds like you are having a very busy and challenging time right now. How lovely to receive some happy mail :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the lovely post. I will keep you and your family in my prayers. I pray that God finds the perfect job for Ross. The children are so beautiful and growing up so quickly. How wonderful they are close by and you can enjoy them. Thank you so much for your blog, it brightens things up for me. I look forward to your stitchery club.

Fran said...

I am (quite selfishly) glad there will be a return to designing for you, though not so glad about the reason. I enjoy your designs immensely and find them instantly recognizable when I come across them other places than here. You have a unique talent. Thankyou for so generously sharing it with others.

Sending strength and love that all will come easily for you, leaving some energy for your lovely family.
Fran on the west coast of Canada

Susan said...

I'm so glad things have worked out for Blossom's new home, and I have already prayed, and will continue to pray, over Ross's job. The Lord loves them and you and He will never lead anyone where they oughtn't to go. Thank you so much for all your prayers for Lizzy during your own tough times. All of us have benefited from your prayers, and continue to do so.

Miracles continue for all of us and all of you, and I'm sure more are coming. I will be joining the new stitchery club, because I never want to miss a single one of your designs. The Lord has blessed me through them, and through you, and never a day goes by that I forget that. I love you, Miss Jennifer, and your whole family, and pray for all of you every day.

Allie said...

So happy to see the grandies all looking so healthy and well - praying for that to continue, for all of you! Lovely pics of those beautiful children. Please get some rest dear girl, I know your days are so full, but rest is important too. Love you so very much, always praying for you and yours!!!
ps - those are my kind of cupcakes.....

terricheney said...

I will keep Ross and his job in prayer. My daughter was let go from her job in June and it took 170 applications/40 odd interviews and three months to be offered a new position and her fully qualified with all licenses etc. It was a tight time financially for us and her as we tried to help.

I shall also keep your design launch in prayer so that you can help with that mortgage. We are blessed to be mortgage free but it took a lot of sacrifice to get there. I found all sorts of little side ventures to earn extra bits to help. It was worth it all.

Thank you for the lovely post. I understand the weariness and the joy mixed in together as you did what had to be done.

Kay said...

You are such a wonderful granny, your grandchildren will remember these special times with you all their lives. X

Mrs. White said...

It was so nice to read this post about all your family has been doing. The time you spent with the grandchildren and the help you and your husband give to your family is precious. I Pray all the needs of your family are met and there is peace and joy in all your days!

Tammy said...

Dearest Jennifer,
What a lovely long post to read from you. The children look wonderful. I can't believe how fast they are growing up. So happy to hear that the move went well and that they are all moved in now. I know you had a very busy day keeping the kids entertained and I would have been scared silly when Charlie David went into the pool. Prayers continue for you and your family members Dear.

love Always,
Tammy Lyons

Winifred said...

What a lovely post Jennifer, thank you.

Love those photographs they are beautiful children & so pleased they are now settling into their new home. I'll be praying for them especially Ross for a new job for him.

Looks like your winter has been better than most of our summer Jennifer. I'm not a fan of heat but crumbs the rain we've had this year has been unbelievable. I have no idea how there have been no real floods but at least the lawns are really green & I haven't had to water the flowers & pots. I'll enjoy watching your garden growing over our winter now the darker nights are setting in.

Miriam said...

It's always a pleasure to read your post. God bless you all , particularly the little ones. Yes, I will remember your family and requests in my prayers.
Big hug,

Janni Harlick said...

Such a lovely long blog post! Thank you Jennifer for your beautiful update on your life. The Grandchildren are growing up so quickly. Enjoy every moment with them. Cully May looks so like her mummy! It certainly looks like they had lots of fun with you on the days you cared for them. I hope that Ross finds new work real soon. Love that you all live a prayer filled life. Praying for peace to be in your heart and that Jesus will provide all you need.

Nancy from Maine said...

Jennifer, your posts are always such a blessing. God uses you in a mighty way. Your words bring a calmness and peace. Each day, I seek to have eyes to see the many joys life has to offer. You are one of those joys. Thank you for being clay in the Potter’s hands. I was especially blessed when you ended with my dear mother’s life verse. He is so worthy of our trust.

Love to you and yours.