Friday, January 23, 2009
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Other happy things of note:
Yesterday (yes, this is a happy thing that happened to me yesterday but I was too busy wallowing in my lack of internet banking that my priorities messed up and I didn't mention it...) I went to a discussion with James and the missionaries in our ward :) I am always deeply nervous of these things and only said 'yes' out of duty, but it was wonderful :) It was 2, then 4, then 5 girls who live close by, and who are here from Kiribati to study nursing at Griffith on scholarship. They were beautiful and I felt the spirit strongly. When the missionaries were teaching about the Gift of the Holy Ghost I really wished I was teaching, and could tell the girls what I felt about the Holy Ghost, and then the Elder turned the time over to me to tell the girls what I felt about the Holy Ghost lol :) I told them how he makes me feel happy, and like I just love everyone and life so much I want to burst with gratitude, and how I feel warm inside, at the same time. I told them how sometimes I get up to a nightmare and find it hard to get back to sleep, so I pray to Heavenly Father to bless me with peace so I'll be able to sleep, and I feel the Holy Ghost come and bring peace to me so I can sleep. I told them about how sometimes the Holy Ghost reminds me of things that are important, and how you can come to recognise the Holy Ghost as opposed to your own thoughts. One of the girls wants to come to church this Sunday so I offered her a ride since we live around the corner. I hope she comes, and I hope I get to see them again, they were beautiful.
Today I went shopping with James, where we got cute things like bright red,pink,purple and blue folders, a bright pink rubbish bin, a bright red rolly-teacher chair, bright yellow flowers, a bright green photo frame/clock, and bright blue plastic tablecloths then went up to school to my new classroom to create! :) We went in yesterday to meet my teaching parter (she's lovely) and check out the room, and I'm so excited! Yesterday my main impression was that the pinboards that cover most of the walls and are painted a horrible pinky-purple had to be covered up! Today I was stoked though, as we covered them with the blue would-be tablecloths, my whole classroom transformed! I put up our beautiful Edsco posters, put out flowers, fastened brightly coloured material that covers other miscellanious ugly things, etc., etc., I can't wait for school to start! This is way fun!! :) Tomorow is my first official day - teacher planning and professional development during school hours, and I'm excited! We're also moving my red classroom couch (thanks James! :)) in tomorow afternoon :) I've been going through all my teacher things, and picking out resources from previous experiences to take in, ideas for lessons, etc. I'm really excited :) Like, really :) I'll post photos when I remember to take my camera in! :)
Made a yummy chicken dinner tonight :) It was already marinated so I just chucked it in the oven, but isn't it fun when you take it out and can't help picking at your own meal cause it's so nice?! :)
Happy 2nd Wedding Anniversary Jonny and Jessima!!! :) I got to babysit angel Jenna for a bit while they played tennis and basketball at our place, lucky!! :)
I'm really excited for school to start.
My internet banking is working.
All is right with the world, once more (happy sigh). xo
Monday, January 19, 2009
On Friday at work I tried to get into my internet banking, but to no avail. My password just kept bouncing, and just as my little sister said 'If you type it in too many times it will lock you out', I got locked out. I called the banking people, and got given a temporary password, then reset my password, and then on Sunday I went on to bPay our tithing and got locked out again :( I called 'the people' to get a new one, which they gave me, but I can't reset it - the computer won't let me. Everytime I type in a new password it resets the 'type in your new password' page. I tried many, many bizzare number and letter combinations, capitals, smalls, everything I could possibly think of, to no avail. I called back 'the people' but no - they said to go into a branch and check it out today. When I explained this to the lady at the bank today she gave me a new temporary password. I tried to tell you that getting a temporary password from the bank, wasn't my problem. That in actual fact I've had a few, and they've been highly successful. That temporary was not good enough!!! She then explained to me which boxes on the login page to enter all the information into.
I tried again! - I told her I knew that, and that I am in fact a very regular internet banking user, and that it was more the problem with the resetting of the permanent password. The lady looked slightly confused and annoyed, pushed the temporary password towards me, then smiled and said 'yes well here is your temporary password, so you just pop this in, and then you'll be prompted to change it. Try using some numbers or changing around the letters in your previous password. Let us know if you have any more troubles'. (sigh).
I came home, logged in with my temporary password, and am locked out again. It didn't like ANY of my new passwords, and I'm sure I'm barely short of trying every possibility under the sun!
I check our internet banking every day. I go on, I see where the money's come from, and where it's gone. I see how much we have in our savings, and add more from our every day account into our savings, so we can't spend it. I log in again to transfer from our savings to our every day account when we find out I've been a little optimistic with how much we can save this week, again. I just like to know. I like to see where we're at. I want to pay our bills. I want to see our $0.50 interest come in, and watch the rent go out. I'M ADDICTED!!! (sigh).
I'm going to the bank tomorow.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
I read and watched Pollyanna when I was just a little girl, and I loved it. I loved her eternal optimism, and the part where she tells about where the glad game came from. (I'm also getting warm fuzzy feelings about vague memories of her falling out of the tree and breaking legs, the Sunday evening meal, the whole town coming to visit as she's carried downstairs, then her whole town waving goodbye at the trainstation, and the pretty light patterns made from hanging crystals... will have to re-read.) I wish I had a copy with me I could quote the story from, but her and her father used to be very poor, and the only things they got basically were from the church chest. One day she was thrilled to get the church chest, hoping there was a doll inside, but all there was was a pair of crutches. As she got upset, her dad invented the Glad Game - finding something to be glad about in every single situation. When she asked what there was to possibly be glad about, he said they could be glad that they got the crutches, because they didn't need them!
I have enjoyed this game on my own and sometimes to the torment of those around me for as long as I can remember, and luckily for you, today is a Glad Game sort of day, and I'm going to start us off:
- I am glad our air-conditioning unit at work has broken down when it's 29 degrees celcius (84.2F), because it's helping me to appreciate air conditioning. I've never really been in a sauna at all before, let alone for this long.
- I am glad that it's only 29 degrees today - it could be worse... I could actually be in an oven...
- I am glad that I picked today of all days to bring my own leftoever dinner hot lunch in, because it helped me to appreciate the frozen yoghurt Brodi bought me for lunch dessert, when I don't normally like ice-cream because it's too cold!
- I am glad that I have absolutely nothing to do today at work other than answer the occassional phone call, because it's helping me have no desire to have a loafing job, and be more and more excited about starting my new official primary school teaching job next week. Also, because I am sitting doing nothing, and sweating. Imagine how much I would be sweating if I were moving more than just my fingers!!!
- I am glad that the chocolate Freddo Frog in the drawer behind me only half melted in our office-sauna, because I can still eat it without getting chocolate all over me and looking suspiciously unprofessional when clients come in.
- I am glad that I seem to have hay fever or allergies for the first time in my life, or I still can't shake the flu I had a couple of weeks ago, because it makes me so grateful for the most of my life when I am perfectly health and strong and non-sniffly :)
- I am glad that I have to work while my wonderful husband has the afternoon off so we can't hang out, because I just called him to say 'hi' and he's scrubbing the walls of our spare room, having noticed while putting new sheets on the bed and cleaning up, that they had some marks. How cute his he?! :)
I am glad for other things that don't take as much effort to be glad for too, but that's my start to the Glad Game today - see if you can turn something around too! :)
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Anyway, here's a picture of James' breakfast in bed:
Yup - those really are chashews you can see in there! The bowl, is oats, with sultanas, cashews and almonds on top, again topped with mango peach yoghurt. James was stoked. If I woke up to that on one of my birthdays, I'd just have to cry. No bacon, eggs, or coco pops. James is a saint - he lives the best way he can in every way, including food. Tonight for a treat he's eating the leftover fruit. When I suggested on the way home that we stop for a treat he said he had just been thinking about what a treat it would be, to finish it off. I was thinking more along the lines of copious amounts of chocolate (sigh). I have a generally healthy menu, and I like to be fit and healthy, but not for a treat, and not on my birthday!!! :) And yup - that's the size of the plates and bowls I have to use for the man!!! - Lol just kidding - that's a platter. The bowl is his regular though.
I love James! He is a wonderful husband to me. Before he was a wonderful husband to me, he was a wonderful missionary. Before that he was a wonderful friend, and son, and nephew and grandson. One day (hopefully in this life!) he will be a wonderful father. I am blessed to have a husband who is my friend, who I love hanging out with, who is good for me, who I can talk about anything with and to whom I get closer every day. I am blessed to have a temple marriage, and to be sealed to a husband who is a worthy Priesthood holder, who teaches me so much, and who has righteous goals and purpose. I am grateful that James is such an active and hard working person, who is always itching to play sport or work hard or help someone out, and that he loves doing fun active things together. James always makes me happy :) We're a great team, I'm unbelievably excited to take that team through the eternities! Happy Birthday James, I love you!!! :) xx
PS: Today we also got good news - James got his uni transfer, so in a month and a bit he'll officially begin studying what he would LOVE to do with his life - highschool PE and SOSE teaching! :) Fun, I'm glad he'll finally be doing something he loves. I just keep reminding him that he might have to get into private school admin to support our 7 children :)
Monday, January 12, 2009
Micky is quiet - he rarely speaks in family discussions, partly because he is quiet, and partly because he has sisters and even a brother or two who are so busy speaking loudly over each other that he rarely gets a chance. (In fact, I blame Micky's quiet for me neglecting to post about him yesterday - I would not have not posted on Tammy's birthday, because she is NOT quiet.)
People like being around Micky, because he is cheerful and easy to get along with. Micky accepts everyone - I've rarely heard him say a bad thing about anyone. Lately, Micky has been absent from our family circle a little more often, but when he's there, he's made up for it with the presence of a girl he's been bringing along, who we all like too. She is hard working and blunt and smart and grew up in the country. Micky has been happier than ever lately, so that's good!
Anyway, the reason I really should have been posting about Micky yesterday when I was spilling my life story to you at the same time as I told you about our cool fiesta, is not that he's engaged, but rather that it was his birthday! Happy 26th Birthday Micky! I totally think of you as a menace to society even if that title is rarely used these days for boys your age, but I have faith in your amending that soon ;) Hope you had the best day EVER, and have fun on all those dates we planned, and even the 'Choose Your Own Adventure'! ;)
Love lots, Abby xo
Sunday, January 11, 2009
James' 23rd Birthday is on Tuesday, but it looks like it's going to be one of those week-long celebrations! :) Yesterday morning my Jonny and Jessima (and Jenna!) came to surprise James with his early birthday present - putting on a nice breakfast for us. It was yummy and fun, and they even decorated our place a little bit in a birthday way! :)
Last year for his birthday, Tammy gave James a voucher for a Mexican dinner, because he loves Mexican food, and Tammy used to live in Utah where there are more Mexican places to eat and Mexican food is a lot more common than here, so she learnt how to put on a yummy mexican feed! :) The idea was that she would teach me to cook it in the process, so that I can cook them for James in the future! Because this voucher has not yet been redeemed and it's almost the next birthday, we decided to have it last night. It sort of quickly became this year's birthday dinner, and my whole family along with James' parents (he is an only child!) were invited.
Yesterday morning when Tammy came to pick me up to go shopping for ingredients, we quickly became carried away by each other's ideas and encouragements and ended up at a nearby party shop for Mexican decorations. Tammy blew my budget just as quickly, and we ended up with a good mix of fun decorations, then we bought ingredients, and even a Mexican Fiesta CD to help with the mood. By the time we were heading home we also invited a couple who are friends of James and mine to share in, so it was becomming more of a party than a dinner.
When we got back to my place we sort of
kicked Jonny and James down to the tennis/basketball court so we could surprise them. We only had 2 hours to cook this amazing feast (Tammy was aiming for a CafeRio-style meal) and clean and decorate our little unit, so Tammy cooked and I decorated so I'll have to learn how to cook it next time! We didn't get many good photos, but here's the spread (Black beans, pico de gallo, fake wine and onion black beef, cilantro ranch dressing, cafe rio shredded chicken, cilantro-lime rice, tortillas, cheese, cruch corn chips, lettuce, guacamole, fresh cilantro, tomatillo dressing, etc, etc) and a couple of other shots including the pinata (every Mexican Fiesta party should have one), James getting into character, the boys doing the dishes, and Tammy and my favourite cute little asthetically-pleasing bowl of tomatoes, limes and chillies :)
Overall it was a really fun night. Half of us (including all the boys bar dad who was tired) went down and played some sport and went for a swim, then there was pavlova for dessert and the birthday candles. Thankyou Tammy! You are the most wonderful big sister in the whole world. You are smart and funny and exciting and it turns out you can cook! :) And thankyou mum and dad for coming early to help and always being there!! And James - you are wonderful and I love you sooooooooooo much!!! I hope you enjoyed the fiesta! :) Happy Birthday! xo
When James and I first got married 23rd November 2007, I went through a really tough time. I'd always wanted to be the perfect traditional wife and mother - perfect house, perfect dinner every night, etc., but I'd never bothered learning how to cook, figuring I'd be doing it forever and I'd just 'pick it up'. Unfortunately I wasn't suddenly the perfect wife, and I still (somewhat unsurprisingling in hindsight) didn't yet know how to cook anything at all. We also didn't have children straight away like we'd planned, and I sort of crumbled around the edges. Last year for James' birthday (less than 2 months after our wedding) we decided to have a barbeque with family and a few friends, and I lost it. My mum and two sisters came over that morning to help me out (James was working and I was going to get everything ready so he could walk straight into the BBQ upon arrival), and I just sat there, not having a clue what to do. They didn't want to be pushy, so they were waiting for my cue, but I just crumbled. In the end dad came over and took me shopping for ingredients while my blessed mother and sisters cleaned our unit, and then dad did the BBQ while mum did salads, and I just felt stupid and scared of people coming over. My familiy were shocked! - I'd always been so confident and capable, but I had a really hard time when I first got married. I think it was not living at home for the first time, not being perfect, not being pregnant, and wanting soooo badly to be perfect, like my mother, like I always thought I would be, being so far from it, having a messy house and not having the time to clean it working all the time and studying, etc., whatever - a big mix of things.
I'm telling you this so I can tell you my happy ending :) Last year James worked full-time and did a TAFE diploma in Business - Human Resource Mangement. I studied full time in my last year of primary school teaching (including big pracs and internships), and worked 3 jobs part time. James is the ward Young Mens president and I'm the music leader in primary, but for half the year he was the Ward Mission Leader and I was the 1st Counsellor in the Young Women's Presidency. James played basketball Wednesday nights and I filled in for women's games in the same comp. I've never stressed much before - I could never see the point or be bothered. Last year I made up for it: 22 years of stress in one. I stressed like never before, over seemingly insurmountable tiny little bumps: I stressed about not having kids, I stressed about the relationships between me and my families, I stressed over uni, I stressed over work, I stressed about not being able to cook, not having our little unit clean all the time, not keeping up to scratch on my viola. The year went by in one big ball of stress and feeling like a failure. I don't think I've ever felt like a failure before, but this year it was like I could barely keep my head above water, 24/7, and it seemed like I kept failing at EVERYTHING! In October, I was rejected from my dream job (apart from motherhood!), which I had apparently been a 'shoe-in' for. I didn't know what we'd do next year, with James hopefully going to study full-time and I was terrified.
Fasting, praying, enter November:
My wonderful husband suggested I take a week off all work in the week after I finished uni forever and my full-time 6-week stress-filled internship, and spend some time and some of our savings, 'doing up' our little unit. Enter the happiest week I've had all year, and possibly in my life.
I spent the week cleaning our little home, and shopping for little bits and pieces to make it ours. I got a pretty quilt and put together a non-set of cushions and a throw rug, and bed-side pieces for the spare room, and got it right. I bought white and blue towels for the spare bathroom, then got matching little candles. Mum bought us a little wooden outdoor setting I 've wanted since before we got married to put on our previously depressing little veranda, as well as bed-side tables (finally! - our little 'poofs' went straight to the spare room :)). We even got a new kitchen bin - something that sounds so insignificant but has made such a difference! I cleaned and altered and cooked and fulfilled my divine role by making our home a little closer to the temple - a place of peace and refuge, a place to feel the spirit. A place no longer cluttered and confused and messy. I am so grateful for that week, for my husband for knowing or being inspired to encourage me to do those things that made me so happy, and for caring, and coming with me, and suggesting, but for letting me create, for letting me choose. For my mum for helping us out by buying those things, and coming with me some days.
I graduated from uni after 5 years and on the same day I got a phone call offering me a wonderful job teaching year 6 at what seems like a great school nearby. James graduated from TAFE and got accepted into Uni.
I turned around one day and noticed that the sun was shining. I know that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ carried me through this year, that they knew every second how I was feeling and was giving me all of those experiences to help me learn and grow. I know that I couldn't have done it without the Holy Ghost comforting me. And suddenly it was a wonderful year. We achieved so much! James has a diploma and can study full time! I have a degree and will work full-time. I've learnt to trust in the Lord, and am no longer crying once a day, or even once a week or fortnight because we don't have children yet! I know that last year wasn't the best time for us, and that it will happen in the Lord's time.
So last year I spent the day of James' birthday celebration sitting on a chair in our little living room, trying to distract my mum and sisters from the fact that I felt helpless and lost, while waiting for them to save me. This year I spent it with one of those sisters in a delightful afternoon of planning and giggling and shopping and decorating and cooking and preparing :)
I'm so grateful for 2008, and I'm grateful for my family.
Enter, 2009... :)
Friday, January 9, 2009
- In the July 2008 Ensign (a Magazine distributed by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) there was a focus on Sharing the Gospel Using the Internet, including a particular talk by M.Russell Ballard. I can sometimes be pretty shy to open my mouth and tell people the things I know because I don't want to 'force' them to hear it - but I'm not going to be worried about that on my blog because nobody will be forced to read it at all :) If anybody wanders on here who has questions about spiritual things, or who would like to know more about our Saviour Jesus Christ, hopefully they'll follow one of the links I plan on making to http://www.mormon.org/ or http://www.lds.org/ so they can learn more. Or maybe one of the spiritual experiences I'll share will help someone to know that Heavenly Father loves us and cares for us.
- I have recently been reading (while working as a receptionist and having not much else to do!) the blog of a friend of my sister at her recommendation, called Divergent Pathways. What a wonderful sweet sister who writes this! She really has uplifted me, and what usually turns into about half a day of reading depressing news stories and random other things online (while I sit at my computer in this big lonely foyer waiting for the phone to ring!) turned into a wonderful, uplifting day. This sister has other blogs - one about her children, but this is just her blog, and as far as I can tell she uses it to write uplifting and wonderful stories and remind herself and everyone else of gratitude and love. Reading this blog has been the final push to me to start this blog now. It is just mine, and I will try to do something similar :)
- As I read the Divergent Pathways blog I thought how special this must be for her and her family to read back on and remember wonderful experiences they've had. In that way, it's sort of like a journal! I am not a very good journal writer, am a much faster typist and have had a few flings with Word document journals, but they didn't last forever. This is bad because it's a commandment to keep a record or journal, so I am going to use this as a journal. Hopefully I won't read back on this 'journal' and be bored, because just in case anyone else reads it, I'm going to try to fill it only with the interesting and wonderful things that happen in our lives.