Sunday, 27 January 2013


photo by

Do you write lists? Shopping lists? To do lists? Goals lists?

Sunshine loves lists. It struck me just how much when in the space of a week she had either written or made mental lists & even suggested that I make them over several different things. If it was just one, it wouldn't have been so remarkable, but by the time she was suggesting it to me, I thought, this young lady loves order & organisation!

The first was a mental list she made in terms of clothes she was going to wear for the week. One of the challenges of moving houses between Mum & Dad is ensuring they have the right clothes, especially uniforms when school is on. Sunshine is particularly organised and said she had chosen what she was going to wear everyday, folding her clothes in neat piles set out for Monday - Sunday!

Wow that is super organised & totally self initiated!

The next lists she made were a menu and shopping list. This was out of necessity post dental work that made eating 'normal' food difficult. Having a hunk of metal cemented to the roof of her mouth in pre braces work up made eating anything hard a struggle. To overcome this she suggested we write a menu list for the week to make sure she had soft foods (that wasn't just soup, ice-cream & jelly) for dinner! Who's the Mum here?

To go with the week's menu planner she wrote a corresponding shopping list to buy the ingredients needed for the dinners she had chosen! And put both on the fridge door as a gentle reminder!

Lastly but certainly not least was a suggestion from her to me to write a pro's and con's list to help with a decision I was making. Over dinner that happened to be just Sunshine and I, all her other siblings were other places, she maturely asked how my day was. Besides general stuff, I told her I had a difficult decision to make. We were candidly chatting about this when she asked;

"Have you tried writing a list of all the good and bad things for that?"

Far out! My 11yr old was counselling me on how to use lists to their advantage! How cute I thought and tried to remember if I had ever suggested the same to her before. How did she know to do this? Intrinsically practical! So over dinner we went through a verbal list of all the positives and negatives together. I was a little overwhelmed at her lovely objectivity which seemed way beyond her years. Sometimes our children delightfully surprise us, this was definitely one of them.


Cherishing my daughter's love of lists
Cherishing when they initiate organisation and order
Cherishing precious, memorable moments together 

Saturday, 19 January 2013


Sunshine loves to do the self-serve, scan it yourself check-out @ Coles. Grocery shopping this week, we didn't have a full, full trolley, so we did go through the self check-out just for novelty factor as it certainly isn't any faster! Not because of Sunshine but because of the machine! It kept asking for assistance!

We got to the car which was parked a fair distance from where we bought the groceries. Putting the bags of shopping in the boot of car and underneath everything noticed a lonely pair of sockettes.

I knew I didn't scan them. Sunshine said she didn't scan them and Thoughtful Princess who had put them in the trolley didn't scan them either. One of the girls commented, "they're only $3 something, don't worry about it".

We were at the car. Coles was a fair walk back. There would be effort required to take them back & pay. For a split second I considered not bothering......

Then quickly said, "stealing is stealing even if it's $3 or $300, take them back!". Then the protests, "but we didn't mean to take them, it's just a mistake". I gave Thoughtful Princess the money & told her to take them back & pay.

She did.

Integrity in the little things prepares us for integrity in the big things. 

This will always be tested!

Sure enough a day later, DW realised he had a shift next week at work right when he wants to go up the coast. He said he was going to call in sick. I said no, you will try & move it, speak to someone & explain. He wrestled with this. They can't move the shift, so again he said he would call in sick. Again I said no. He has now decided not to go up the coast. A hard price to pay, but one I want him to learn early.

Integrity in the little things prepares us for integrity in the bigger things.
Cherishing the opportunities to model this when we can.

Monday, 14 January 2013

Write to express not to impress

photo by fanpop 

My kids think this blog makes them sound perfect! I certainly don't think so! Maybe they haven't read all of them. They protest sometimes about what I write, but quietly I think they don't mind. I haven't been unfriended on fb yet, the threat is ever there by my sons!

I would much rather shout their praise for positive stuff than slam them for the disappointing stuff. We grow from strength to strength with encouragement and so quickly feel unloved, judged or condemned if not.

Thoughtful Princess actually asked if I write this blog for me? This was very perceptive. As a way of capturing family moments & cherishing the little things they do, to help remember & record them. Mmmmmm I think she's right.

Sunshine's dance friend has her instagram name as;
dance_ to_express_not_to_impress. I love this! How insightful for an 11yr old! I have borrowed &  morphed it; write_to_express_not_to_impress.

For years I have been writing out my soul, since a child; dear diary soon became dear God as I sought to understand spirituality, people, myself, life & what it's all about. Literally have boxes of diaries & journals, have kept nearly all of them, I can't bear to part with them, it's a part of our family history. It is interesting to go back & read stuff written 20+ years ago, of dreams & desires, some have come to pass, some have faded, some have intensified.............

To write is to breathe for me, absolutely necessary and absolutely natural. So even if nobody read these blogs, I would still write. Some start in a journal, some come straight from my heart to the computer, some are written in my head while driving.

My beautiful four know I love to write & thoughtfully gave me a journal for Christmas, as did a few other friends who know me well. I am well stocked with a journal supply for 2013. Even with the advent of computers to type, to blog, to share thoughts, status updates, there is something about picking up a pen and physically writing over typing that facilitates the expressive process.

I am very easily pleased, a nice pen, a beautiful journal, a creative space, a blank page & time to write........

We all love a personalised hand written letter over a generic printed newsletter?Appreciate a hand written birthday card posted snail mail or hand delivered over a fb wall message, email or text? Maybe this year in 2013 we can rekindle hand writing & surprise someone with a hand penned note........

Cherishing the joy of written expression
Cherishing my four for letting me scribe about them 

Saturday, 12 January 2013

is he really?

Photo by Jennifer Cash

Is he really 17?
Feels just like yesterday he was born,
jaundiced & 7lb 7.
Today he is sun tanned & weighs more than me!

Is he really in grade 12?
Feels just like yesterday he started prep,
knotted shoelaces & digging in the sandpit.
Today he works, goes to TAFE & plans to be an electrician! 

Is he really getting his license?
Feels just like yesterday he learnt to ride a bike age only 2,
super energetic & a risk taker.
Today he finishes his L's & waits for his P's. 

Is he really nearly an adult?
Feels just like yesterday he was a toddler toilet training,
learning a,b,c & playing lego.
Today he mows the lawn & goes surfing up the coast! 

He really is my son,
And I am so glad to be his Mum!
EQ you are a delight to my soul,
Your humour, your perspective on life, your character,
are your greatest assets, thank you for being wonderful you! 

Happy 17th Birthday, 
love Mum 

Friday, 11 January 2013


Royalty Free stock


Is not a wrong emotion
Is not a wasted feeling
Is there for a reason,
a season
to stir
to be uncomfortable
to rise up
to agitate
to activate change
to motivate action

As with pearls that undergo years of friction and irritation, water washing over them, enclosed in a confined space, to create a beautiful jewell, so often it is with us in the afflictions, agitations & frustrations of life.

Rather than resist or complain, surrender & give thanks,
Be patient, wait, to see something beautiful arise out of it.......

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

it's the little things

photo by Nattu @ Holley Gerth

I came home last night to an empty house (& Muffin ). After 2 weeks of holidays with my beautiful four, they have now gone to their Dad's. I hate the first night without them and am not embarrassed to say so. I never get used to it. As it is with grief, we never totally get over things, we just integrate the loss into our lives.

A beautiful clean kitchen greeted me. I burst into tears. This is not the first time. Thoughtful Princess often cleans up. Most times I ask that the kitchen be tidy when I get home from work, but when they do it without being asked, it is so much more appreciated. Self initiation and motivation in our children has got to be one of the most heart warming of all.

Often I will clean their rooms as my way of being with them even when they're not here. I went into Sunshine's room - totally tidy! Again shed a tear. Her newly made tissue pom poms hanging so delicately, her bed nicely made, her books neatly stacked, her shoes all in a row, her desk neat as a pin.

Thoughtful Princess who had avoided cleaning her room all holidays, the same. Bed perfectly made, I could actually see the floor of her room, clothes that had erupted everywhere over the holidays were now where they should be, in her cupboard. Another little tear and sigh.

It's the little things that mean so much! 

I sent a text to thank them & say how much I appreciated their thoughtfulness.

The reply;

" You are most welcome, we're glad those little things helped".

Cherishing the little things that make life so sweet

Monday, 7 January 2013


Holidays have brought with it time to do some much needed deep cleansing around the house. The back pergola, cupboards, blinds etc and cleaning the sneaky cobwebs that accumulate in the corners of every room.

Wiping them away got me thinking of the cobwebs that accumulate on the inside of our lives as on the outside. Spaces in our lives that often get ignored and only become evident when we look up......

A new year brings new thoughts, ideas, hopes, dreams, expectations and as much as I agree with setting goals, prioritising and aiming high am a little overwhelmed by all the blogs and books on the market with 21 suggestions to maximise my life;  7 steps to financial freedom, 5 steps to get more out of your job, 10 steps to a happier family etc, you know what I mean!

These are all excellent in themselves and am sure when applied rigorously all work wonders for some but for me they seem to cause more anxiety than liberty! I feel intense pressure reading them as if some magic formula or techniques followed will grant the perfect life! Yet in reality they seem more like a recipe or set up for failure. Why is that? Does anyone else think like that?

So back to the cobwebs - having a deep cleanse on the inside maybe warranted. This is something I can do. Maybe I can't fulfil the 21 steps to whatever, but I can take a look on the inside. To help do this I am not going to detox with an apple juice diet though that might be a good idea. Rather look in the corners of life that I often avoid. I have been journalling furiously, hoping writing can be a part of the creative, cleansing process. I am amazed at what even one day's pouring forth brought to the surface........ the old has gone the new has come.

It's interesting that only in a time of rest have I noticed the cobwebs. In all the normal busyness of life I hadn't even noticed them! It's like we stay so busy taking care of everything and everyone else, what we think is important that only in rest times can we see other places that need our attention. The cobwebs maybe a negative attitude, an unhealthy mindset, unforgiveness, a missed opportunity or a forming bad habit. If we always have our heads down & never rest or look up we may miss those places that need our attention. 

Cherishing time to rest & clean out
Cherishing the joys & benefits of journalling
Cherishing cobwebs for being symbolic 

Sunday, 6 January 2013

aiming for the stars

Photo by Keri Judd  French Blue
"Aim for the moon you may just fall upon a star" - Clement Jones

I often find myself paraphrasing this a tad & telling my four to aim for the stars & you may just hit a tree, if you aim for a tree you may only hit a blade of grass. Not quite as poetic, probably the voice of reality rather than of a dreamer, being a pragmatic sort, promote dreaming with a good dose of hard work and bended knee to achieve it. 

There is a Hebrew quote that also says, "without a vision the people perish". Often think of this when I  lose focus, feel like life is foggy, not quite perishing, but you get the drift. We all need to dream, to focus on something; our families, our work, our study, our causes, whatever empassions, motivates & drives us, pursuits or dreams that fill our heart & souls or we do just float along in life. 

There is a time to float and a time to fly, a time to plant and a time to reap [another kerri paraphrase!].

As the new year brings a natural inclination to set new goals and maybe readjust dreams I find myself as a mum journalling the hopes and aspirations I have for my four in this coming year. We had a fun time setting new year's resolutions for each other driving up the coast, though done in jest, much said was true. As a parent the balancing act is encouraging our kids to aim high, not too high that they get disillusioned or bitterly disappointed but high enough to stretch themselves beyond their comfort zone.  

Guess if we don't dream big, or have permission to let our imaginations run wild, we may never know.

Lest we forget the God factor. He is so often left out of the equation or brought in as a last resort rather than consulted in the dreaming, planning process. We put in our effort and leave the outcome to Him. This is a place of trust rather than of worry or striving. His invitation is to peace, not anxiety. I like this place and encourage my four to find Him in this.

Sunshine was given a book of devotions for Christmas by a treasured friend who lovingly prays for our family daily. She told me that the very first one she read really spoke to her. She said, "it's just for me, read it Mum". So grateful she could take it and apply it to her own life.

It was about doing ones best & letting God do the worrying. Sunshine errs on stressing rather than the relaxed lassez-faire attitude of some of her siblings. Being a perfectionist lends her to this, but she said her goal this year is to stress less & let God do the worrying. I thought for an 11yr old this was a very mature goal to have! For her a career in dance is aiming for the stars, but along the way she has other goals that will help her get there, stressing less is definitely one of them!

There are dreams that seem to be self serving and those that are inclusive of seeing others thrive - I think these dreams are often honoured, as we find the best life has to offer is in giving not just receiving.....

Cherishing time to dream
Cherishing my children's imaginations
#hope #expectations #anticipation #bring on 2013 

Saturday, 5 January 2013

The piano

Cleaning the piano yesterday was reminiscent of how we came to have it. A story of family folklore worth telling.

It is coming up to 3 years since we moved into our current home. The 15th January is our 3rd year anniversary! The longest we have been in one place in a decade. When we first moved in I was super keen to buy a piano. Having not had a real piano for many years, making do with keyboards and the like, not quite like the real deal.

DW was having weekly lessons at his Dad's house on a keyboard there, however when he was with me he had nothing to practise on, our keyboard had packed it in! A lovely lady from our Church had 'coincidentally' offered us the option to 'babysit' her piano around this time. She had offered it first to her family but no one had wanted it. Great!

We needed one, so yes was our answer. Happy to babysit for an indefinite time frame was the arrangement. Then came the news that her son wanted the piano after all. So off to Ellaways we went in search of an affordable piano. We settled on one, even finance approved, ready to sign on the dotted line, when that still, small voice said, "wait, sleep on it". 

It was a substantial financial commitment over a 2 year period and I thought no harm in waiting a day or two to make sure we had made the right decision. I felt embarrassed to tell the kind shop assistant who had helped us considerably, that we would get back to them in a couple of days, but for some reason really felt to wait.

The very next morning, 7am, the phone rings. The lovely lady from Church was on the end of the phone apologising for the mix up but her son had decided now not to take the piano and did we still want it?

I was stunned at the timing! She had no idea that we had been at Ellaways just the day before looking to buy one. Nor of my sense to wait. How fortuitous was that! Impeccable timing, serendipity at its best. Here was another time that I listened to the inner prompting and the reason for waiting was made apparent within less than 24 hours!

Three years on we are still babysitting her piano and cleaning it made my heart rise with deep gratitude again. Ever in awe of the 'coincidences' in life that can draw us to the One who loves to delight us with good gifts if only we have eyes to see, ears to hear & patience to wait.......

Cherishing the goodness & kindness of God in others
Cherishing the gift of music that fills our home thanks to the generosity of others 

Friday, 4 January 2013

I can drop you off

These 5 simple words to my son have become his recent favourite. EQ has been working out at the gym after work most days lately. He usually asks to be dropped off, but he is thoughtful enough to not ask if he knows I have had a particularly busy day to-ing & fro-ing in the car, he doesn't just assume, which I am grateful for. God love him for that. So most times I offer if he doesn't ask.

The routine goes that I drop him off, skateboard in tow & he rides home. So the other night, he said he was going to the gym, I said the 5 simple words, "I can drop you off." He quickly replied, "Mum they are the best 5 words ever, even better than I love you"! Right here, right now they are his 5 favourite words, over time they will change, however......

Instantly I thought of Gary Chapman's 5 love languages, one of them being, acts of service. The act of dropping him off to gym was demonstrating love not just saying it. It was a good reminder of how to tug at my teen's heart. Also a reminder that I will only be dropping him off for the next 27 days as he is booked to do his license test at the end of this month.

Ridiculous as it sounds, I have been feeling very nostalgic every time I drop him anywhere of late! To work, to gym, to his mate's house, to go skateboarding........ knowing that very soon he will be driving himself, it's like all of a sudden dropping him off has become a novelty! Maybe being on holidays helps too!

We are actually almost at that point in time that I imagined all those years ago - the knotted shoelaces place that historical time I deliberately & intentionally CHOSE to cherish my children & every moment with them, even in the ordinary & mundane little things.

When he was 5 years old, running late for pre school & fussing frustratingly over his jolly knotted shoelaces. I then went forward in time to when he would be out driving and possibly not home by midnight & longing for the simplicity of those knotted shoelaces.....

We are almost there. To that imagined future place. He is almost driving solo and I am choosing to cherish the days of drop offs and pick ups like there is no tomorrow! Hoping like crazy that I won't be wondering where he is at midnight!

Cherishing my son
Cherishing routine
Cherishing love languages