Category Archives: Adventures

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!

My Grandma- my kindred spirit.

Anyone who has ever read or seen Anne of Green Gables will understand the term kindred spirit, and perhaps wonder at the term being used in relation to my grandma. If you knew us, you’d understand.

Our husbands get it. They see our similarities and love for adventure, yodeling, Bing Crosby, and live shows. They see our fun-loving, zany sides and our sincere and crazy love for them.

My grandma is hilarious and fun to be around, and she turns 80 today. You would never guess that by looking at her, though! She is so beautiful and adventuresome and happy that she looks AT LEAST a decade younger!

 

My beautiful grandma and my Great uncle grandpa when we were exploring Milford Sounds on their last trip to NZ.
My beautiful grandma and my Great uncle grandpa when we were exploring Milford Sounds on their last trip to NZ.

She was married to my handsome grandpa for over 50 years, and they were amazing together. We loved spending time with them and they always made the effort to come visit us. They have always lived in a big farm house in Michigan, but they didn’t let that stop them from visiting us when we lived in Florida, and later they made 10 trips to New Zealand to spend the North American winters down under, basking in the sun and warmth (that we are currently enjoying- sorry!!)

Several years ago, I had the privilege of flying back to Michigan with my mom to help grandma take care of grandpa in his last weeks of life. It was a sobering, precious time that I treasure. Grandpa was so special to all of us grand kids. My fondest memories of him from my youngest days come from when the cousins would stay the night at Grandma and Grandpa’s house. Grandpa would always tell us a wildly hilarious story of his youth and then pray with us and kiss us goodnight. It was precious, and I felt so loved. You can see why I am thankful to have had those last weeks with him.

Grandma survived his passing with the peace of God that passes all understanding, and God provided her with another wonderful man a few years later. God has a real sense of humour, because she married my awesome, widowed Great Uncle (he was her brother in law by marriage) and they are so delightfully in love! I may or may not have greatly encouraged that marriage as I have always has a special love for that particular Great Uncle, and I have photos of him and I when I was just a little girl.

My grandma is the only, and I mean it when I say ONLY person who has ever asked for me to “yodel some more!” haha. She gets a real kick out of it while everyone else cringes…she’s awesome! 😉

I love my grandma, and I am so thankful for her!

Do you have any awesome memories of your grandma? Is she on Facebook as well? My grandma is so onto it with these things! I love it!

I’d love to hear your stories about your grandma and your memories together!

One spoiled girl,

Lydia

Beautiful South Island lake views!
Beautiful South Island lake views with my parents and Grandma and Grandpa D.

Contentment during unemployment- is that even possible?

My husband lost his job this week. We’ve known for a couple weeks that it was a possibility, so it wasn’t a shock. (It was a shock when we found out a few weeks ago, though!)

Again we can’t help but be curious about what God has in store for us! Here’s a little bit of our last experience of unemployment…


We had been married only 7 months when my husband was made redundant from his “good” job. They said there was re-structuring happening, and to no surprise of ours, despite them saying they’d call back when they needed more instructors, that never came to pass.

He took a six month automotive course and that has been paid for time and again by all of the things he learned and has applied to our cars and friend’s cars.

At this point he was diligently looking for work and doing some online designing. I was working two part-time jobs as Nanny and Secretary, and then later as a call centre staff for our tax department. I loved it! After a year, I got pregnant, so you can imagine that we were kind of wondering when he would get work! I was going to have a baby in nine months- that much we knew!

Time went on and it was fairly stressful, obviously quite tight, but God always provided. Sometimes we’d get to church and friends would have some groceries for us. Things wouldn’t have added up on paper…but we never lacked. God is so faithful! (We were still learning the “trusting in God completely” thing!)

When I was 34 weeks along, my waters broke one morning right before work and we had a little boy show up less than five hours later. He was pretty healthy, but spent three weeks in NICU doing a bit of growing. Now we were really starting to think “Ok, God! Any time now would be great!”

Within a week of J coming home from hospital, Hubby got a temp job which turned into a full time position. Praise God! We were thrilled. God’s timing was actually perfect (It’s so silly that we mere humans are surprised at God’s perfectness, isn’t it?!)

Had Hubby started a job earlier, he likely couldn’t have had any time off for the baby, and he was so helpful in that first week and the three weeks in NICU. It was a special time for us all, and after that, we could appreciate God’s timing so much more.

That, combined with having long waits for our children, we’ve seen the beauty in God’s timing, and we’ve learned so much trust. I LOVE these verses. If everyone followed them, think of the joy that would surround us!

Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.

Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity.

11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.

13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

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So, here we are again, this time anticipating  God’s plan. We certainly didn’t expect it, but He knows exactly what is happening and why, and He can provide our every need. In the mean time, we’ll keep trusting him, rejoicing in him, thanking Him, thinking on the blessings He has given us, and learning through this time. Please do pray with us as we seek only His best for our lives!

Have you seen God miraculously providing for you in difficult times? I would love to hear how He has shown Himself faithful to you! Click here to read about hubby getting a job!

To God be ALL the Glory.

With a heart full of peace that passes all understanding,

Lydia

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How to build a free fort! (well, almost free!)

Have you ever had more time than money?

I’m pretty sure it’s a common scenario!

We lived in a very, very rough house for eight months during some work training my husband did in Canterbury, so we wanted to make the outside as child-friendly as possible for the long winter months ahead (That house is another blog entry entirely!). I had seen a lot of Pinterest ideas for pallet forts and was super excited to try to make one!

I went down the road (literally only 500m from the house), and the Countdown guy so graciously loaded these pallets into the boot of our car. I got six all up! Woohoo! Well on our way to building our first ever DIY fort!!! (the biggest mission was getting them to the very back of our long section!) There are pretty much always free pallets available- either from your supermarket or industrial area, and the most recent fort we build was free as well due to me gathering random bits of wood from along side the road or behind Bunnings! (I’ll show it to you soon!)

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Can you spot the hidden pallet? Just kidding, it’s not there! hehe

Next, we grabbed a couple rubbish doors out of the shed that had been left full of junk and J happily watched while eating snacks!

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The only thing we had to buy was a bulk container of screws for $10, and we used less than half of them!

After a couple hours of putting it together (did I mention that our internet hadn’t been turned on yet? That helped our time management!) As happened this last time as well, I got things started, and hubby did the a decent part of the grunt work. I love working together with my hunny!

And VOILA! Check out this cool fort!! J LOVED it!

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I would love to see your clever creations! Link to your blogs below or tell us all about them in the comments!

See ya next time!

A DIY lovin’ mama (or rather a cheapskate, free stuff lovin’ mama!)

Lydia

PS. I absolutely loved living down south! This picture was taken at Lake Tekapo!

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Do you ever get out and do the touristy things…

…that are in your own backyard? In our case, it’s the gondolas– literally!

WE LOVE THE GONDOLAS!
WE LOVE THE GONDOLAS! You can juuuuust see them amongst the trees back there!

We are absolutely loving our home here in Rotorua! We love the amazing views from this lovely home on the hill that backs onto the gondolas and mountain biking tracks. We opted for a one toy birthday for our three year old, asking instead for money for an annual pass to somewhere. At the time, it was intended for Hamilton Zoo as we lived two km’s away, but with a sudden move, we ended up having the gondolas staring at us daily and it was a no-brainer choice! Josiah LOVES all things aeroplanes and rockets, so he loves to fly in the sky in the gondolas!

This was J and E's first ride up the mountain in the gondola!
This was J and E’s first ride up the mountain in the gondola!

We love how many free things there are to do around Rotorua, like this list, but perhaps there are some hidden gems in your backyard as well! My parents were amazing at taking us places when we were kids, especially zoos! We had a sticker on our van that was for some association of Zoos in America, and it gave us an annual pass into all of the Zoos in that group! It was pretty cool!!

What local things do you enjoy? Do you have a kid’s section in your local museum (if you are in Palmerston North, you HAVE to make your way to their museum and kid’s section! It’s epic and free!) ? Free parks? Did you grow up doing things like this? I’d love to hear how adventures out and about made an impact on your childhood!

Excited to hear your stories,

Lydia

Me and my handsome hubby enjoying the ride, the views, and probably some kissing. ;)
Me and my handsome hubby enjoying the ride, the views, and probably some kissing. 😉