Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Time to get serious!

Ok, it's a new year, a new start.

I have decided that this year I am going to do battle.  With food, my mind and my health.

I have realised over the last year or so that I have an addiction... food! You may laugh and say that's not a real addiction, but it is.  It controls my life the way that alcohol or drugs or nicotine do for others.  I have struggled with it for years, but now I am finally going to do something about it.  It's time to get serious about my health, physically, mentally and spiritually.

I have discovered a website called www.proverbs31.org where they not only have a fantastic blog, but they go through books together and study the bible and work out how we can be the best 'Jesus girl' that we can be.  Sorry guys, this is just a girl thing, but there is a site for you too... www.fatherswhodarewin.com

This January, proverbs 31, are going through a book called Made to Crave.  I read the introduction online and thought, wow, this is me! The tag line is 'satisfying your deepest desire with God, not food'.  This is going to be a difficult journey for me, but I am going to do it.

Week one has already been interesting.  I have already been challenged and it's only day 3. The first thing I was challenged with is that I need to actually believe the word of God. The bible says  'no temptation has seized you, except what is common to man and God is faithful, he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bare.  And when you are tempted he will provide a way out so that you may stand up under it.'' I have always just sort of glossed over it.  But Eve, who was the first person tempted,  was tempted with food!  This verse suddenly means so much more. Food cravings are important to God, he does want to help.  They are common to man, even Jesus was tempted with food, so God knows its an issue and he cares about it.  God is faithful! He has provided a way out! I can resist! I just need to stand up under this verse and use God's strength to walk away! I CAN do it!

Secondly, there are more types of cravings in my life than I thought. I had thought that food was my only issue.  Actually it's not. I totally crave the love and acceptance of the people around me. Especially my in-laws  I was badly bullied in high school (for my weight!) and have scars that run deep from it. All I want is to be loved and accepted for being me. But actually I DON'T NEED it, I want it. God's love and acceptance is all I NEED. I need to turn to him to fill it, not them. I need to totally change the way that I think and therefore the way that I act.  This is going to be a raging battle within me. Mind verses heart, heart verses mind.  It's not a simple fix, it's going to be a battle that I struggle with daily, as is food, but it's a battle that I want to take on and I want to win!

So this is me.  Happy New year!

Monday, 23 December 2013

Christmas in the Sun!

It is Christmas Eve.  We have now been in New Zealand for 6 months.  6 whole months!

I cant quite get my head around it.  We live in New Zealand.  And it's Christmas.  And its Summer. And it's the end of the school year.  And we live in New Zealand.  I wonder how long its going to take for me to get used to it?!?

Christmas has taken me by surprise a little this year.  I don't think I'd realised how much of the 'Christmas feeling' was associated with the cold and the dark.  I'm usually ready for Christmas by the beginning of November.  As soon as it starts to get cold and the first lights go up in the shops (September!) I usually start my shopping.  In NZ Christmas doesn't start until December 1st. There is no sign that Christmas is coming until then, and even then it's nothing like the UK.  There are very few lights as it gets dark so late it hardly seems worth it.  There is a lot less Christmas music playing and only a handful of brass bands and carols.  So much of what I think of as 'Christmas' is missing.  For the last 2 weeks I've been reminding myself that it's Christmas.  I have felt so totally unprepared for it!

At home, the Sunday before Christmas was always our Santa Party.  The day when the village Father Christmas would come to the houses with presents for the kids.  We would have a little party with another family and wait for him to come.  The kids would get louder and more excited as the time went on and the adults would have mulled wine and mince pies and try to cope with the noise and energy levels of the 5 kids.  Then we'd all get our coats and boots on and stand outside in the freezing cold as he came down the street and then eventually he was there.  Presents delivered. Happy Children. Exhausted adults.  This year we thought we'd carry on at least one of our traditions and have our usually santa party, but with a different family, obviously! As we now don't have a village santa to drop round, we just had the sleigh bells.  It was amazing to see the children's faces when they heard the bells.  It was such a surprise to them.  Magical! It was so nice to be able to do something that we would normally have done.  I was doing it for the children, but actually they don't seem to mind that everything is upside down and back to front.  I think we needed it more than the kids.  I honestly don't think they are finding it any different to normal.  They just take everything in their stride and carry on regardless!  I on the other hand have had mulled wine every night this week, made a hundred mince pies and had the Christmas candle burning, just to remind myself that it's Christmas.  Kids are so adaptable, but it would seem that you CANT teach on old dog new tricks!

We were planning to have a BBQ for lunch tomorrow, but this morning I changed my mind.  I need my roast. I need to set the table with the crackers and do something traditional.  Hubby has just been sent out to get the red wine for the gravy. I'm not doing a turkey, they are just so ridiculously over priced, beef it is! With Yorkshires! That's good enough for me. 

And thanks to Mary Berry the roast will be followed by Tunis Cake. 

It is going to be a totally different kind of Christmas this year.  I'm looking forward to having a family day with lots of fun and games and laughing. It doesn't really matter what happens on Christmas day, or what the weather is like, or how many fairy lights there are.  At the end of the day the aim of the day is to celebrate the birth of Jesus and we can do that anywhere in the world, no matter what our traditions.  The ladybug likes to sing happy birthday to Jesus, so we'll do that with the Tunis cake!

Friday, 29 November 2013

Lego Nativity

Well, we are coming up to Christmas. We are very nearly in December now and if I'm honest I'm not feeling very Christmassy at all. In the UK this was my favourite time of year. The days are getting shorter, it's getting cold and crisp outside and all the fairy lights start appearing. I love the whole atmosphere of everyone getting ready for Christmas. I don't like the shops trying to make everyone spend and spend and spend, but I love that everyone gets together.  Families and friends all try and meet up and make the effort to find out how each other is doing. And the fact that it usually involves food is always a bonus!

But this year the days are getting longer, the weather is getting warmer, there are no fairy lights to be seen and we have no family around. So... We are making new traditions!

To try and get in to the Christmas mood I have created our own lego nativity as a surprise for the kids.
Here it is...

It was pretty easy to do actually. First just find some bog standard lego people. You'll need one lady for Mary, then about six men; Joseph, 2 shepherds and 3 wise men. Then an extra head and round white block for baby Jesus!
I found an all blue body for Mary, then cut out a rectangle of material for the headdress.  I needed to use a little bit of blue tac to keep it in place because the material kept slipping on the hair.

For the shepherds you can use the cloaks and hoods from Star Wars figures if you have them (I used  the emperors for one of my shepherds) or you can cut out a rectangle for the headdress and a separate piece for the cloak...

The Wise men also have cloaks.  I was able to get some turbans from the Lego shop (in Cardiff) but if you don't have a local Lego shop you can try www.bricklink.com or you may have a crown or two in one of your own Lego sets. I then found some interesting and colourful shaped pieces for the gifts.
And of course there are then the animals. We already had horses for the wise men to ride, so I just needed to make a sheep for the shepherds.  After a quick search on Pinterest I created this sheep.  Lets just ignore the fact its twice as big as the shepherds!