Life stages & Hospitality

Supremely hospitable is probably one of the best ways to describe my wonderful parents. They have had people in their home in one way or another most days of my life. It is something that I loved as a child and teen, particularly as an I’m an extrovert! This model of service and love toward others has definitely affected me. For example, when Cameron and I were considering marriage, a major must was him being willing to have our home open to serving others in many ways. Clearly, he was on board, because we married soon after.

Hospitality was so easy as newlyweds and before kids! We have had many people in our home through the years, but hosting people overnight was suddenly less appealing with babies in the house. (Not to mention, there was less space!) During the young children years, we have mainly stuck with dinner guests, which even then could be challenging with naps and bedtimes.

Sometimes I would compare myself to the things I remember Mom and Dad doing and would feel like I should be doing more.  Thankfully, God is gracious and would bring to mind that I am serving Him in various ways and it doesn’t have to look exactly like what I imagined, especially in my current stage of life. What people are doing now as their service to God is very likely different to what they were doing ten years ago!

What really brought this to mind this week is the gift of this house we have just begun renting. For the first time ever, we have plentiful space for entertaining/hosting/blessing others and it thrills my soul. We have always hosted people for meals with thankfulness no matter the abode, as those who visited our derelict Ashburton home can remember well. (Thank you, Lord, that it has been demolished now, finally!) Now, we have multiple spare rooms and beds and eagerly anticipate the ways God will use this home for His glory.

Hospitality doesn’t have to be complicated. What it does often require is a sacrifice of your time, and that’s tricky in today’s busy society. Being a blessing to others can be through getting together for a coffee and shouting theirs, or having them over for a chat and a snack. It doesn’t need to be lavish to be wonderful. God says that even giving a cup of cold water in His name is good! For those of us who claim the name of Christ and call ourselves Christian, we should be constantly seeking ways to serve others and share the love of Jesus Christ, as He showed through His examples.

For us, it feels like God is letting our season of hospitality change a bit, and get closer to what we have always desired. We are eager to become part of the local community and share the Gospel with those around us. We look forward to starting a Bible Study and sharing the hope that is within us. We look forward to ministering to our neighbours and work mates and sharing how God has affected our lives. In everything we do, we seek to please Him and show His goodness.

So please, friend, if you will be in the Mackenzie Region of NZ, reach out and we will gladly welcome you.

Feedback time- what is a way that hospitality of some sort has affected your life? Perhaps it’s been through the blessing of being on the giving or receiving end. I would love to hear from you, and I’m sure it would bless others.

Our amazing miracle home!

We had high expectations and they ended up being low! It is AMAZING here!!

Hey all, we are SO delighted with our new home!! God is good, even in the hard times (valleys), but this is definitely one of the mountains! As we walked the property and house for the first time, we were so overwhelmed with gratitude. There were more rooms than we even knew about!! Here’s a run down I had typed out for my Mom and a picture for reference!

Two small square rooms (one will be office), one Lego room
One small single bedroom will have desk and bed (school room)
One double bedroom (boys’ room, gets late afternoon sun)
Our huge master bedroom off play/sun room (has Cozy – our plane fusilage- by window, king bed, still plenty of room! Gorgeous ceiling!!
Play room/sun room with cork floors and a fireplace will be used a lot mid morning onwards.

In modern bathroom there is a double door storage unit built in behind door for bathroom stuff and towels. Yayyyyy!!! Also a toilet, shower, and bath. Three switches- one for heater, one for light (which also apparently turns on a mirror heater so it doesn’t fog up?!!), And third switch is for the fan. Shower is decent.

When you walk in the main door from garage, there’s a HUGE ENTRYWAY. Like proper foyer. Maybe 8 meters forward and five across? Vinyl stone look floor like I loved in Rathmore house kitchen/dining area. I didn’t know this room even existed!!! It has high ledges along the walls in front and to the left side and shelves along the right side as well as a corner cupboard just as you come inside.

If you turn to the right , as I thought, there’s the modern bathroom on the right. There’s a little window above the toilet and the other main window you can see from photos. When you come out of the bathroom, there is a hallway straight in front of you and a door. Those two rooms are our bedrooms. On the right is ours, on the left is the boys. And the heat pump DOES work, even though she said it doesn’t. God is good.

If you turn right out of the bathroom, and go down that hallway, there is a very small not quite square room that will be the Lego room. It doesn’t get much sun, we’ll see.

If you keep going down hallway you step into sun room and the spare bedroom is off that to the right. Very sunny bedroom, got too hot in there for Mum and boys yesterday. That will have a spare single and the desk. The sunroom has some high shelving against the wall. (Not the full shelving! That’s a different room altogether!!)

Ok, that’s the right side of the entryway. If you turn to the left from the foyer, the first door is the kitchen , second door is the huge lounge. Right now all we have for that room is the piano and bookshelf. Lol! I put some stuff on the mantel to have something there. If you walk into the lounge from entryway, straight ahead you can see on your left is a folding glass door, kinda like french doors but quadruple folding that go into that other lounge space off the kitchen. I think they took the lounge picture from that spot. Our plan is to turn the small lounge off the kitchen into a guest area with king sized bed/dresser/ room divider and have a curtain rod over the glass doors for when we have guests. When we don’t have guests, we can use the room as overflow seating.

If you take the first left off the entry way, you’re in the kitchen, which has dish drawers and double oven!! To your left is the “dining area” and biggest , newest wood stove. We haven’t used it yet because there are dead birds at the base of all of them. Wood gets delivered today. The door at the end of the dining room goes to the laundry/toilet/shower. The door in the side wall goes to a huge storage room with sink and a small room at the back of that which has a window and door to the outside. That will be the office. So really it’s five rooms, entryway, storage room, two bathrooms, and four living spaces!!!! And tons of storage everywhere!

The gardens have just enough hill to keep them interesting! When you drive up, the garage is in front of you and to the left of that is the clothesline and to the left of clothesline is the wood shed. It’s about as big as the garage! I can’t really describe the gardens, they are just well established and very interesting with heaps of trails here and there and everywhere. There may be a suitable swing spot! There’s a huge magnolia, and heaps of every flowering tree I know names of and many I don’t. I’ll ask Cam to draw a floor plan of the house and property. There are horses grazing in the lower section and cows in the fields around. They just plowed a field yesterday, so I am interested to find out what they will plant. I can’t wait to meet the neighbours and farmers. We only have to maintain the top section, so that’s good! Yippee! It’s ten times better than I imagined! Beautiful sun in the dining/kitchen in the mornings, then gorgeous in sun/playroom and school room most of day, then it moves around to our room and boys room for mid afternoon/evening! Perfect! We are so, so thankful! We can’t wait to welcome lots and lots of visitors! Come one, come all! 😍💖

“For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.”
Ephesians 3:14‭-‬21

I will praise thee , O Lord , with my whole heart; I will show forth all thy marvelous works.
Psalm 9:1

The last day…

This is the last day of managed isolation at the Christchurch Airport Novotel. Fourteen days have finally passed and tomorrow we should be allowed to leave- between 7-7:20am.

We did enjoy the views, thank you, Lord!

Tomorrow’s my last day on Facebook for the foreseeable future. I may occasionally need a thing or two there, but it will be an inactive account. That’s hard for me to imagine, but necessary and good for my family. We need to shift some priorities and change some habits, and FB is part of that picture. I am working on updating the blog as I can, so in the mean time it may have some dated stuff since I haven’t used it lately.

Today’s the last day of being a townie. Country living, here we come! We know a lot of work will be involved and further travel, but we are excited to figure out all the quirks and adjust accordingly. God is faithful- everywhere! We look forward to watching the boys explore the large space they will finally have for adventures! Thanks for joining us in this adventure!

Will you share in the comments about one of your favourite childhood spaces? Town? Country? Attic? Park?

Also, at the bottom of my page, you should be able to see a “follow by email” option if that suits you for keeping up with our lives. Thank you for caring! We feel so incredibly loved!

Feijoa Coconut Cake (Gluten & Dairy Free and Paleo)

I need this!!!

Hungry Cub

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Feijoa is an innocent little fruit which divides the passionate. You either love it or hate it. For me; I’m in the loving camp.

If I recall correctly I first encountered feijoa on a family trip to Auckland when I was about three. My brother called them three-joeys and the name kind of stuck. To me ‘three-joeys’ are some kind of hybrid of pears, tomatoes, and something I can’t quite put my finger on. But they’re addictively delicious! I love the fact feijoas abound in Autumn, just when you’re feeling a little sad about declining summer fruit numbers; along come feijoas to brighten any dish.

This cake is ridiculously easy. One of those, throw-everything-in-the-bowl-and-mix-it-all-in-one-go recipes. As I said; easy. Try it out to go with that cup of tea on these balmy Autumn afternoons.

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Feijoa Coconut Cake (Gluten & Dairy Free, and Paleo)

1 cup feijoa flesh (just the innards), chopped…

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Green Tomato Bread

Oh yummy!! I think I need to make this once we have moved next week! I have a heap of tomatoes that aren’t turning red before the move! Apparently it’s pointless to try to transfer the plants, so I’ll pick what I can! I’ll do a follow up post and let you know how it goes!

Delicious gluten free Basil, Spinach, and Feta scone/muffin concoction

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These Gluten Free Basil, Spinach, and Feta scone/muffin thingys taste amazing!!! I’ll share this epic experience with you so you can make your own delectable delights!

First tip– Try to use some expired ingredients for the yeast (about one heaped tsp, maybe? The number by the tsp amount had rubbed off!) and 2 2/3 cups of gluten free bread mix (expiry date had rubbed off as well, so not sure how old it needs to be to get my epic results. 😉 )

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I can’t even read the best before on this one, so if you want my results, go for about ten years old. 😉 hehe

 

Best before 11/11/14 (so only a few months off..  )
Best before 11/11/14 (so only a few months off.. )

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Second tip– Use a few non-expired items, but definitely don’t measure! I used about five fresh spinach leaves from the garden (maybe about a cup and a half chopped up if measured), about 1/5th of the feta cheese block (cut up), and a sprinkling of dried basil (likely around a tablespoon’s worth).

We LOVE spinach, so having it in the garden is a MUST!
We LOVE spinach, so having it in the garden is a MUST!

Mmmm.. time to plant more basil! Dried is good, too!
Mmmm.. time to plant more basil! Dried is good, too!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Third tip– set in warm place to rise for an hour…and when it doesn’t rise, don’t be sad- just pop it into muffin trays (fill them 3/4 full) and turn the oven onto whatever you usually use- umm… I think I did it around 200C (?) and walk away and forget about them. (WHOOPS!) This recipe had more than 12 muffin’s worth, so I just spread some out on a flat tray and it made amazing flat bread that was eaten too quickly for photos!

Fourth tip– find yourself doing something else in the kitchen a little while later and hear the fan running in the oven. Start frantically whispering “oh no! Oh no!!!” because you have absolutely NO idea how long you left them and grab the oven mitts as you throw the oven open, only to discover the most perfectly browned scone/muffin concoction you have ever made. Go figure!

Fifth tip– eat while warm. ALL OF THEM. You know you want to. Just do it. 😉 Save the next lot. hehe. We ate about half of them and I did freeze some for kindy lunches, but still- even then, pleeeease eat them warmed up to get the optimal yumminess!

 

In case you missed all that- here’s the condensed version:

1 2/3 c lukewarm water with 1 heaped teaspoon of active yeast- set aside for twenty five minutes.

Add 2 2/3 cups of bread mix into mixer and then add what should be frothy yeast mixture to it. (to be fair, my yeast is expired, so it wasn’t very frothy, lol)

Before mixing, add random amounts of feta cheese, basil, and spinach and then mix all together for about five minutes, then scrape the pan and make sure everything mixed well.

Now, cover and set in warm place for an hour to rise (or not rise in my case…again, likely due to the expired yeast.)

Now pour into muffin trays and the left over onto a flat tray on baking paper and stick in the oven at 200C (ish) until they look like mine. (sorry, I have no clue how long I forgot left them in there!)

Now take them out, eat, and enjoy! Mmmmm… and adding a bit of butter or coconut oil just makes them even more delicious!

Oh yeah, and be sure to wash the dishes straight away once you are done, as I did. 😉 I’m totally showing off since you know I’m bad about doing dishes!! (see my post “The Great Dish Dilemma” here! haha!)

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I would love to read about some of your favourite recipes! (especially GF ones!) Please leave your links in the comments so I can find them and use them! Thanks!

 

From the fingers on the hands that accidentally made amazing things today…

Lydia

 

How to save on rent…

MOVE.

Yep, that’s what we’re doing, so everybody should do it, too, am I right?! Haha, nah, I doubt everyone wants to go through the hassle, and if we’re honest, neither do we! Alas, it’s not really up to us as hubby is going from a good paying job to minimum wage, thus the necessity of change.

As I’m sure that all of you are faithful followers of my blog because you hit “follow” last time you were reading my ramblings, you will have read the post about my husband losing his great job recently. Here’s a link to the beginning of the story, and this blog will be an update to calm your curiosity! 😉

10563199_651968334911588_5123040647543176932_nSo I wrote that post about a month ago now, and we received four weeks notice from his work, so thankfully we’ve been paid until now. God is so good, and we are thankful for His provision! It worked out that hubby basically had two months off over summer- completely paid! Albeit it wasn’t the most awesome way to spend summer…the uncertainty, anyway! We got in a lot of family time, though, and that WAS awesome!

Hubby applied for and got a job at the local gourmet burger place- Burger Fuel…pretty much our favourite place to eat. 🙂 WIN! He starts on Monday and we’re so stoked that he has work already! As I mentioned in the previous post, he had gone more than a year without a job last time because of his ridiculously amazing qualifications and superman skills, so it’s a huge answer to prayer that he got this job so quickly! THANK YOU for those who have been praying for us!

We realised once he lost his job that we would need to move as our income would very likely go to minimum wage, so we started looking for a new house over a month ago. Nothing was ever quite right, and the one place we were super keen on had an agent that just would NOT get back to me for anything. (I can see the blessing in that now!) Yesterday, after ever so slightly bugging a real estate lady, we were able to view a place that had potential and we confirmed that we wanted it. It is $115 a WEEK ( A WEEK!!) less than our current rental! I know those of you living in other countries may not pay much in rent, but over here in the most beautiful country in the world, our rent rates are dumb- I guess we’re paying for the views. 😉

We will miss our hillside home that backs onto the gondolas (as seen here!) and has lake and city views, but for that savings, we praise God for His provision! And you know what?! When we went to see the house, we realised that the views were beautiful there, too! Oh, how God gives over and abundantly above all that we ask or think!  Check out the view from the new place!!!

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Tell me you aren’t impressed with that view?!! I was so amazed! We have loved our last two houses as they’ve been on hills so we don’t feel smothered from a city atmosphere, and now I don’t even have to look at houses! Sure, there are houses on both sides and behind us, but WOW! What a view! And do you know what is even BETTER?! We are directly below the flight path- and only about one kilometre from the end of the runway as the crow flies! My boys (all three of them. 😉 ) are going to LOVE that! I love it! There’s a reason aeroplanes is in the name of this blog!

Part of why the house is so cheap (only $195 a week!) is that it’s on quite a dodgy road…sometimes considered the worst road in the town. I talked to a close friend (who owns a house two doors down and has had it for twenty years) to get his opinion. He assured me that this part of the street is fine, so you can breathe easy now! (in and out, in and out…sloooower…that’s better!) Do you know what? We’re not afraid!

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” 2 Tim 1:7

Everywhere we’ve gone over the past few months, God has given my husband and I amazing peace in choosing the homes we’ve chosen. We’ve seen His hand of protection in the bad areas that we’ve lived in (pretty much the only areas we can afford!) The safest place we will ever be is in the centre of His will, and we have no doubt that we are there now- and will be in moving to this new home.

We look forward to getting to know our neighbours, and we’re sad to be leaving the amazing neighbours we have now. Check out this welcome home note from our neighbour, Lisa, that we found when we got home a week ago…

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…there were even “footprints” up to the door! My three year old was tickled pink! He adores our sweet Lisa! Yes, we will definitely have to visit her regularly!

So that’s the latest anyway! We’re moving- AGAIN. We have been in this house for FOUR WHOLE MONTHS now, after all! That’s how long we were in the last house, six months in the one before, and seven and a half months in the one before that. We hope that this will be that last move for a while! Maybe a year?! Dare we hope?!

How many times have you moved? Do you like change or detest it? We are obviously not too phased by change and probably thrive just a little bit too much on it, but I am sure that some of you have stayed in one place much longer than we ever have! I would love to hear your stories in the comments below! Maybe some moving tips?! Pretty please?

The ramblings of the crazy woman who is packing up her house yet again…and the mama of this adorable boy whose face shall go instead of mine this time!

He was having fun on the swing at the playground just across the street from the new house!
He was having fun on the swing at the playground just across the street from the new house!

LydiaPs. Here’s a song that always encourages my heart…

When we arrived home from our honeymoon, our house had confetti all over…

…and we STILL don’t know who did it! It’s been over five years and we don’t really hold out hope of discovering the culprit! If it was you and you’re reading this, go ahead- let us know! You have done well to keep it under wraps for all of these years!

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So who was it?! Time to fess up!

Have any of you done something like this? Been the victim of such a thing? I admit that I did plenty of tp-ing in my youth, but none recently! Are YOU a prankster? (btw, I totally do NOT recommend ever putting shaving cream on a window and allowing the sun to bake it on…)

A baffled woman,

Lydia

Hubby and I while in Rarotonga on our honeymoon...completely unaware of the havoc being reeked at our new home!
Hubby and I while in Rarotonga on our honeymoon…completely unaware of the havoc being reeked at our new home!

These are a few of my favourite things…

Anyone who knows me knows that I get excited about, well, pretty much everything. I LOVE great customer service and great products, so when I find  them, so I do tend to rave a bit! Here are a few of the things I raved about this week…

This awesome BLOG that is super inspiring and written by a super cool mum. I’m not terribly crafty, so I need inspiration like this to get motivated! Her blog is http://happymumhappychild.co.nz/ and on facebook she is at https://www.facebook.com/happymumhappychild?pnref=lhc

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This awesome SOAP that is all natural and super duper lovely on the skin! I picked it up from a local mum who has been selling it for years now and it’s a new fave in this house! Hubby really likes his man-musk one, and I love my pink grapefruit one, so it’s a big WIN. Oh, and she’s very affordable too, especially considering the ingredients are actually GOOD for your skin! Check her out at her facebook page- https://www.facebook.com/vintage.violet.naturals

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We are big fans of natural immunity and home remedies in this household, so our main go-to is Nutribiotics Sodium Ascorbate from iHerb. It’s the most easily absorbed form of vitamin C, and we take it at the first sign of illness. It’s a natural pain reliever and anti-histamine. You can imagine that you don’t need many things in the medicine cabinet when you have this! iHerb has a ton of great stuff at cheap prices, and if you want a discount on your first order, you can use the code LBW350 and get $5-$10 off.
NutriBiotic, Sodium Ascorbate, Crystalline Powder, 16 oz (454 g) - iHerb.com 2015-01-25 08-35-21

I’m pretty much always excited about the great products that are available through my website, one of which is the face wash. I never imagined that I would ever RAVE about a face wash, but yeah- it’s awesome. It’s available here http://www.bestmascaraever.co.nz or comment below if you’re in NZ and want to save on shipping. 🙂

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I’m sure I’ll have more things to rave about soon…life is too short to ignore the little things. 😉

From an excited mama,

Lydia

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The Great Dish Dilemma

THIS.

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This is the great dish dilemma. 

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They just keep appearing!  Whyyyyy?!

From what I have heard, most people have a chore that they dislike and put lowest on the priority list. Dishes is mine.

I have good phases where the dishes are done promptly– for a day or two, phases when they get done fairly regularly– when hubby takes on the dishwasher role, and normal– when they get done because we have run out of either bench space or clean dishes.

Honestly, though, I don’t hate doing dishes! I actually enjoy the hour in which I get to do them in peace when Hubby watches the boys and I prop my tablet on the windowsill and watch a Hallmark movie on youtube. This happens because hubby just wants them done, and so do I!! It’s not a conspiracy!

And you know how there is always that one dish that proves more challenging than the rest- the one you soak three times? This is mine…

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The porridge bowl. I love porridge but hate the bowl cleaning. But hey, to get more porridge, I have to clean the bowl, and so the great dish dilemma continues.

But hey! Before you’re totally grossed out, my house can be pretty much spotless in less than half an hour on pretty much any given day if I hear that someone is coming over! I’m a pretty tidy person generally. This is just my weak spot domestically. Well, this and my whole “lightning storage”, but that’s another post entirely!

What is your thing? What chore do you prefer to avoid or delay?  Please tell me I am not alone in this?! I’m sorry if this makes clean freaks freak. 😉  Feel free to swing by and remedy the problem!

The true confessions of a real-life mama,

Lydia

Be real! You have to have a weak spot somewhere!
Be real! You have to have a weak spot somewhere!

My life as a mum with aeroplane loving boys