Tuesday, December 30, 2014


LAST DAY OF 2014!!
Rather than looking back - let's move into 2015 with new ideas to add into life.

1. Smile as you shower for a HAPPIER you. You could smile whenever you turn on the water - flushing the toilet, turning on the washing machine or dishwasher, bathing the kids, rinsing fruit and veggies... - A happened-on idea.

2. Put your ear rings on before your makeup. WOW, glam you! You probably look good enough to skip the makeup. - A happened-on idea.

3. Find "five things to be thankful for" each day, NAME them in your mind. - A family practice during the morning walk.

4. LOOK at the moon and stars in the night sky and spot the satellites as they pass by overhead. - My Mum's evening practice.

5. Begin and end every day with a glass of WATER. - Charlotte Mason.

6. Take 5 SLOW DEEP breaths while you drive or ride on public transport each day. - The sign on the wall at North Shore Hospital.

7. Put the washing on LAST thing at night and hang it out early morning. - Don Aslett.

8. Close your eyes and listen for a few minutes to the birds singing or cicadas chirping... It actually takes practice to LISTEN to them. - A happened-on idea.

9. Choose to think on and remember THE GOOD and not make mental lists of wrongs against you. - "Love keeps no record of wrongs." 1 Corinthians 13:5.

10. Become a learner of something you know nothing about. A lot is written about the benefits an adult brings to learning something new, but great things develop within an adults to be back in the beginner/LEARNER SEAT. - A handed-on idea from my sister, Pip.

11. Always be in the process of reading a physical book, so that new ideas are given for you to CONTEMPLATE. - Charlotte Mason.

12. Get the daily TOUGH things done at the start of the day. - My Mum.

13. Send a daily message to encourage or BRIGHTEN someone who is unwell, in difficult times or worrying. - My sister Jules' practice.

14. Develop a CREATIVE space in your week to garden, do art, knit, sew... so you design and decide. - Edith Schaeffer.

15. Take a walk and get 15mins of SUN every day. - Charlotte Mason.

THISWEEKWITHTHEKIDS ~ Pick out what works for YOU and add your own ideas to it. This way you are choosing to be refreshed by small things as you keep living, minimising complaining or the decision to give up.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014


As we are now into the 2 week count-down until Christmas, there is an awareness in our family of the need to get the Christmas tree and decorations up and organise the family Christmas meals and gifts. But everyone at this stage is mesmerised by work deadlines before the Christmas shut-down, moving house, bidding on a house auction and frantically looking for summer jobs... The year's demands and strains will be sticking with us right through into the Christmas season!
In December 2010, I put up a post about the high incidence of difficulties, troubles, disagreements, arguments and bust-ups occurring at Christmas when the family gets together. Today we tend to come into the Christmas season from wild busyness and pressure.
Family Christmas can be the place where some want to tell of their year's successes or of their disappointments, but the essence of Christmas gatherings is CONNECTION. How can you move everyone's attention from their stress realities to a position where we are brought back into relationship with one another, so peace and goodwill towards each other is promoted??
There are lots of ways this togetherness can be brought about. Here is one simple suggestion ~ 
Ask everyone to bring a photo of one happy memory to the family gathering which they can briefly talk about. It could be a photo from childhood or something wonderful, thrilling or an encouraging and happy moment in 2014. 
Many times over the years in our household when someone is in the midst of trouble, tragedy, stress and unhappiness, a pile of old family photos sitting on the bookcase being thumbed through, has started a new conversation, given a mental holiday, brought laughter  leading to a different mindset.
THISWEEKWITHTHEKIDS ~ Whether your 2014 has had some tough times or not, try including a Good Memories Meal into your Christmas season to reorientate, refocus and develop improved family connection.