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‘Joy to the World…’

I always feel that this time of year is chaotic, the shops are full of crazy people filling their carts with anything and everything they can find, they spend as much money as they can on their loved ones… well my friends that used to be me, but not this year, I’m simplifying my life, I have set a limit for each child, all year they get things they need, I do not need to break my bank account to prove I love them with gifts and possessions, there are more important things in life like experiences, family time and love.


I want to teach my children about giving, not just about receiving, I want them to learn that this season is not just about what they want or need.  I don’t think anyone of my children actually need anything, they are loved, we live in a nice house that has running water, heat and a new kitchen (wink, wink), each one of them has a closet filled with clothes and we eat good healthy meals, most of the time, anyway.  In addition to all of the basics of life we have phones, iPads, computers and a lot of the luxuries in life many people just dream of… so I ask myself what can I really buy each of them that they don’t already have in one form or another…


What we do need from time to time is a vacation, not just a trip away but a vacation from just our day to day life, a day trip to the zoo, an hour in a coffee shop sipping a hot drink and just talking to each other, or even a longer stay in a new place, somewhere to rewind, relax and recharge… and all these things are really what Christmas should be about, not who spent the most money.


My plan this year is not to get stressed, my two younger children have been told Santa can only give five presents to each child, big or small, so Florrie wants a Baby Alive doll, Baby Alive diapers, a kitten… and then she struggles to think of anything else, Tate wants a Tonka cement truck, that is all… so really five gifts each is more than enough.  My teenage daughter’s list is the most difficult and the longest, trying to make her understand has proved the hardest, her list of four makeup products is $200 in itself, that’s without the rest of the list, usually I would stress myself out getting every item on her list but this year she has had to prioritize the things she wants most, and Blu is easy, computer games, a couple of items of clothes, even an IOU for future games that are coming out next year and he’s done.


As for my older children, well a few years ago we all decided to put names in a hat and just buy one larger gift for the name you pulled out, at first I was opposed to this but as time has gone on it has simplified my Christmas a little so I just have to think about Lewis this year, of course he is the most difficult to buy for, I just need a few hints… now if I can ignore everyone else asking me for ideas for their person it will be truly easier for me to concentrate on my one present I have to buy.

We will also be donating a gift this year at our local library, I feel we are truly blessed and there are so many people out there who are not as fortunate as our family… whatever your plans this Christmas, just remember the most important part of this festive time of year is spending time with your loved ones, not money, and if you can’t get that most wanted gift it really doesn’t matter, it will all be forgotten this time next year and they will want something else… just have FUN 🎄🎄🎄

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Tate's milestones

Tate…

Tate was 10 months old on Monday… I know mind blowing, 10 months already! This child is a whirlwind, he is a speedy crawler and has his mind set on getting into anything that does not look like a toy, he loves cell phones, DVR’s, remote controls and just anything that looks techy?

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He still doesn’t like food, I’ve tried puréed foods, whole chunks of food, but nothing takes his fancy… He grabs for anything I may be eating and mimics my chewing actions, but he just doesn’t want to eat anything himself… I’m really not worried it will come eventually, for now he just loves to nurse, and he’s a chunky little monkey so obviously my milk is still good for him!

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His new thing this month is his ability to nod his head and say no, he loves doing it and smiles so widely as he is so pleased with himself. He loves to clap hands and he has discovered he can open doors, he is addicted to doors when he can get near them!

After the great start he had with sleeping, he is now at 10 months a very light sleeper, this kid will wake himself right up from a deep sleep at the sound of anything! I can just about manage to get him in his own bed for about 2 to 3 hours per night, then he’s awake, I put him into my bed then I fall asleep with him, not ideal, but I really need my sleep and I’ll get it any way I can!

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Being a new parent with both Florrie and Tate has taught me to cherish every precious moment, as a parent of children in their twenties and teens, I can tell you they grow up way too fast, don’t focus on the negatives of parenting little ones, just enjoy each and every positive they bring into your life… Some people don’t know how I can have 8 children, and cope, to that question I will just say, I’ve learnt that life is short and that having 8 children is a blessing in so many ways, it’s crazy, but this is my life and I can honestly say I love them all to the moon and back again!

Now back to my little Tate, Tate… He is all boy and I am totally in love with his cute little smile… I’ve told him that although he loves standing he is not allowed to walk too soon… He’s my baby and I’m not ready to leave this baby stage too soon!

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Creating his own adventures…

Pad Thai noodle salad… So good, I had to blog about it, I added a couple of additions like chicken and noodles, personally I think this salad works well without the chicken but in my house a meal is not a meal without meat in it… Boys! I also used my favorite Costco super food salad and Trader Joes sesame seed butter instead of almond butter, but it worked well, so here is the link… Pad Thai salad… Enjoy, we definitely did!

It is a very strange life, that of an ex-pat… My Mum arrived, she stayed, we lunched out, drank some wine and of course coffee, chatted and had so much fun… Then she is gone home and life goes back to normal again, until the next time she is in town, then we get to do it all over again!

Who out there cannot believe how fast 2013 has flown by already, I know I definitely cannot! It seems like only yesterday Blu was bugging me to go the 8th grade trip for 3 days away, I finally gave in and paid the first installment in December… It’s not that I did not want him to go and have fun, it’s just I am a worrier… What if’s always come into my mind, he is my baby and I am not ready for a big trip like 3 days away with the school… Anyway the months have flown by, he is not only sitting on a coach on his way, as I type this, but he is graduating from his school in the next couple of weeks and then heading over to his new school very soon… Where have all the months this year gone to? And for that matter where have all those years gone to since I held my beautiful, blue eyed baby boy in my arms… All grown up and out there making his own adventures in this world… Scary, but so exciting too!

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