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Happy Australia Day! This is a day when there is a great swelling of national pride, especially this year with all the natural disasters that have been occuring around our country (floods & fires). I love Australia Day, it is a total excuse to do very typical Australian things; BBQ’s, eatting lamingtons & pavlova and most of all spending time with family.
This year we had a BBQ in our local park with my parents & younger sister. It was great to sit & catch, also enjoy the weather. For the last few days we have been having beautiful weather, which has been so refreshing from the months of rain that we have been experiencing & were the cause of the flooding that we saw. The sunshine has dried things out around here & I have been able to get into our garden & fix some of the damage that the rain did.
I am so thankful for the wonderful country that I am blessed to call my home, even in the midst of disaster Australians step up & do what needs to be done to help their fellow Australian. Whether its giving money or mucking in to help someone clean up their home. I don’t know anywhere else in the world where I would rather live, especially today.

>All good things……

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It is that time again, the end of holidays. My WH (wonderful husband) has been on holidays from work for the past two weeks & tomorrow is his last day before he goes back to work on Tuesday. Yes I am sad…..I have really enjoyed the time that we have been able to spend together.
Things havn’t worked out as we had planned, with the floods that our state has experienced. But hopefully in the next week we will be able to reshedule our tickets to go & see Wicked the musical.
I don’t really mind that this did really work out, we still had a great time & did some great things together. Particularly going to help with the clean up in Brisbane, felt so good to know that we were really helping people.
This week we are going down to Brisbane again, this time for a compleltly different reason. On Australia Day (Woohoo, public holiday) we have tickets (along with a few people from our church) to see the ‘Indescrble Tour’ with Louie Giglio & Chris Tomlin. If you havn’t heard about ‘Indescrible’ google it, get yourself a copy & watch it is breathe taking & life changing. I am so looking forward to going, it is going to be a great event! Even better for going with people you know & love.
Life is going to go back to ‘normal’ with my WH going back to work, it has been a wonderful holiday to me as well. My WH has been doing all the cooking, cleaning & laundry which has been absolutly wonderful for me. And makes things extra sad that it is coming to an end. LOL!!!
Oh, well I will make the most of tomorrow.

>Count Down Begins!

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We are off to New Zealand!!!!! This weekend me, my WH (wonderful husband) & my sister started planning our holiday to New Zealand that we will be taking in the middle of this year. This trip has been in the works for a couple of years now, since we came back from our trip to Cairns in 2009. At that stage I was working part-time & we thought that we could save up enough money pretty easy & go to New Zealand in 2010. We of course didn’t know how our circumstances would change, and that I would lose my job & we would become a one income family.
Despite a reduction in income we decided that we still wanted to go, so pushed the holiday back a further year to give us twice as much saving time. And here we are……beginning of 2011 and officially planning & booking our holiday. So exciting!!!
Neither myself or my WH has been overseas, so we are also going through the process of getting our passports. We got the paperwork on Friday, had our photos taken on Saturday (they were awful photos!!!! But aren’t all passport photos? Something about not smiling) & our wonderful Pastor signed our photos & paperwork as guarantor today. Worked out that I have known our Pastor for about 9years, wow!
We nutted out a rough plan with our Travel agent on Saturday, he was great loads of suggestions and ideas. We are using a travel agents that we used to book our Cairns holiday (though different branch), we weren’t happy at all. When we arrived in Cairns we had nothing booked, airport transfers, rooms, tours…nothing. Thankfully I had our paperwork that proved that we had in fact paid for everything so the lovely people at the place we were staying booked everything for us. People told us they were surprised that things went so wrong, and that they had never had a problem with this travel agent but had used a different branch (the one that we are using to book this holiday). So far a vastly different experience (yeah!).
So our basic plan is the fly in Dunedin, drive to Queenstown, ski, then day trip to Milford Sound, back to Queenstown get a campervan (yep we are campervaning!) go to Fox Glacier, up to Greymouth, then into Hanmer Spring & into Christchurch which we will fly out of. That is the very basic plan, probably add a few more stops as we have alot of flexibility with having a campervan.
Now none of us have ever skied before, never even seen snow! So we are also shopping around for what we are going to need for the skiing portion of our trip. We are going to do a combination burrow, hire & buy. Our travel agent suggested investing in a jacket (one with a removable liner), and I have a friend who does a bit of snowboarding that I can burrow gear off, and we will hire what we can’t burrow or justify buying just incase we don’t like skiing.
It is funny, now that things have gotten rolling my mind has been turning to my travel journal. For our last couple of major trips I have kept a travel journal & also done a whole album about our holiday. This trip I will definatly be doing another travel album, not sure about another separate album (maybe digital!?) but we will see. Can’t wait to share what I have descided upon travel journal wise.
Can’t wait for this trip!!!!

>Courage & Other thing in 2011

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My word for 2011 is Courage, this year I want to take that leap, do things I wouldn’t normally do, live without excuses. Which is a great follow on from the word I choose last year Believe, which was all about believing in myself (my abilities, talents & passions) & in believing in God (that he knows what is best for me & on strenghtening my relationship with God).
I have been thinking about how to put in to actual practise the word Courage, I mean it’s all well & good saying these words but they mean nothing if you don’t do anything about them. Right? Right.
So here are my thoughts:
1) Stop dreaming & just do it
I am a dreamer, an imaginer & a planner. This year I am going to do the things that I dream about. There is no time like now.
2) De-clutter
I come from a family of hoarders, not anywhere near as bad as those people that you see on current affairs shows, but still clutter piles up in parts of our home very quickly. I am going to be courageous and throw out alot of the clutter & really organise the rest.
3) Speak up
I am a quite person, I don’t like to make myself heard no matter how passionate I feel about an issue or situation. I have a great fear of speaking in public and by public I mean anywhere outside of my home & family circle.

>Our wet week

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This has been an amazing & heart breaking week. The floods that Queensland has experienced has done so much damaged & has taken people lives (in some cases entire families). We are lucky that where we live has not been affected by any sort of flooding. Behind our home are ponds that did break their banks, but the water didn’t come as near to our backyard as we thought might happen, the worst that has happened was the two drains at the start of our road blocking causing about foot of water to cover the entrance of our road doing quite abit of damage to the road service.
Me & my WH (wonderful husband) took a few walks around our neighbourhood to see what the amount of rain that we had was doing. Pretty much all the creeks were full & ponds had well & truly brocken their banks.
We are hoping to be able to go down to Brisbane and help with the clean up, but you don’t want to be in the way so we are just being patient. The best thing that we can do is donate to the flood appeal, which we have a couple of times. I have a link to the Flood appeal website in my previous post, please donate people in Brisbane are going to need that money to help rebuild their lives.

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This shows how fast the flash flood in Toowoomba rose & was flowing. Scary. There have been 9 people confirmed perished & 66 people missing. My thoughts & prayers are with the families who have lost loved ones & those who don’t know where their loved ones are.
If you would like to help the victims of the Queensland Floods please donate to the Queensland Government Flood Appeal, people are going to need all the help they can get.

>New art

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I have been using a social bookmarking site for the last month or so, and I think I have become ever so slightly addicted. I use a site called vis.ualize.us, basically when you are surfing the net and come across a picture or photo that you like you can bookmark it using this site. Which is great for me, I am a very visual person and have a collection of pictures and photos on my computer that I have come across while surfing some of my favourite home decroating & lifestyle websites. Problem being that when I want to go back to the website that I originally found the picture (particularly if it is a picture of a craft idea or decorating style I want to replicate) it is almost next to impossible.
But using vis.ualize.us remebers for me where I got the picture from. Today I was on the vis.ualize.us and came across a picture that someone else had bookmarked in their own account, and I just hand to link it to my own account.
I am thinking of printing this image and framing it. For anyone who knows me this is sooooo me. Not sure if I will hang it in my craft room, bedroom or in our lounge…….leaning towards craft room or bedroom.