31 August 2010

My Life is a Garden

As my thoughts turn towards Spring and the onset of warmer weather, I have begun to contemplate the sad neglected state of my garden. The rampaging weeds, the unpruned roses and uncut grass...

I took my camera out into my jungle garden and saw a bunch of things that spoke to me about Life...

Weeds will grow without any effort on my part. Keeping weeds out is a full-time job.

{So it is with negative thoughts, fears and sucky attitudes. If I give them an inch they will take a mile.}

 Some weeds can look remarkably similar to flowers. Can you tell the difference?

{Sometimes it's difficult to tell the difference between Truth and lies. Difficult. But not impossible}

It's the scent. A True Flower smells like Heaven.

The most beautiful and precious flowers require the most work. Hard pruning brings out their best and increases their blooms.

{Anything worth having must be worked at. What doesn't kill you can only make you stronger.}

The tenderest blooms are the most easily bruised and broken.

{I must protect what is most precious to me}

Every rose has its thorn.

This bitter fruit may make you wince, but it's the best thing for Winter's ills. When life hands you lemons, make Lemonade.

Noxious weeds left unchecked, will take over the garden, smother the trees, choke the flowers.
Noxious weeds are so hard to get rid of. The smallest root left unpulled will reap another poisonous harvest.

{Selfishness, gossip, jealousy, envy, hate... root them out wherever I find them}

In winter nothing grows. Nothing buds. All looks dead and bare, barren.

{Sometimes my life looks like that}

But all that is needed is the first warming breeze, the smallest glimmer of spring and life bursts forth again.
Where there is life there is Hope. And every winter must come to an end.

{So it is in my life. Spring will come if I just hold on and don't give up}

Things that were dried and dead can be revived when the rain comes. My garden can bloom again.

{Sometimes I neglect the important; Mercy and Grace give me a second chance.}

If you look closely, even the ordinary can be beautiful.

The simplest things can be the sweetest.

Gardens are for playing in. Flowers are for picking. Life is for Living.

And beauty is everywhere if you take time to stop and look.

Mary Mary quite contrary, How does your Garden grow?

(Linking up with LouLou "At My House")
29 August 2010

Five Go Adventuring Again

Remember the Famous Five?? Anne, George, Dick, Julian and Timmy the dog who were always saying things like, "I say, Dick..." and "Jolly good show!" as they rode off on bicycles for glorious picnics with ice lollies and lashings of ginger beer?

This post has nothing to do with that at all. I'm just trying to be clever with the title of this post, where five of us (Mr G, Dash, Miss Fab, Scrag and Mummy) ride off in the Black Stallion for some jolly good adventures, some ice lollies and lashings of... er... H2O???

Rotorua was our Adventure Destination this weekend. The purpose - a work do staying at the Novotel, on the Lakefront. Posh! The weather forecast... heavy rain.

Rotorua is a thermal tourist mecca in the central North Island known locally as RotoVegas and RottenRua. It smells of sulphur, which takes some getting used to, as I warned the kids. But that sulphurous smell has its benefits... mainly that nobody can tell when you have, er, let rip!!

When we arrived in town on Saturday afternoon and it was not raining as had been forecast, clever Mr G said, Let's head straight to the Luge!

The Luge is incredible family FUN. First you go up up up in a gondola with breathtaking views over the town and Lake.

Then you don helmets and line up, up, up and wait for your turn to go down down down the circuitous mountain tracks on these little go-carts (luges) at lifethreatening speeds.

The great thing is that you can take kids up to age six in front of you (which only counts as one ticket) so our eight-ride ticket stretched pretty far.

Daddy and Scrag buddied up and me and Miss Fab braved it out together leaving Dash to adventure on his own. My thrill-seeking son was up for anything and managed pretty well, only crashing once or twice. Eek. But no harm done.

When you get to the bottom of the endless track you jump on... chairlifts! And get taken back up, up, up to the top of the mountain ready to ride again.

This was by far the coolest family thing we have ever done. Maybe even better than the theme parks at the Gold Coast. We had so much fun!! And because we rolled up late in the afternoon by the time we got up to the top for our second ride, guess what... no queues! Just jump back on a luge and off we went.

A Scary Moment (where mummy had to save the day...)
On our second chairlift ride, daddy was ahead with Scrag, and Dash had to go on the chairlift by himself... he jumped on and the lift started to go... without the safety bar being lowered! Dash couldn't reach it and the operator was on his walkie talkie not paying attention, so mummy had to chase the chairlift up the hill and quickly pull the safety bar in place before Dash's chair was out of reach. My heart was hammering. imagine if my little son had had to ride all the way to the top if the mountain with no safety bar?? You can bet Mr G told the manager at the other end. Oh Yes. But thankfully mummy managed to be a hero and RUN. Phew.

Some Cool Moments...

Meeting Mr G's eye as the Five of us swung skywards on the gondola. I knew what he was thinking. Ten years ago we imagined a moment just like this. Ten years ago before we were even engaged, we were on a chairlift and he painted a picture for me of our life together... "There'll be me and the two boys, and you and the girl..."

We always pictured two boys and a girl from that moment. And here we all are. The coolness of telling that story to our kids as we rose up the mountain together...

Waiting for the boys with Olga the Russian princess...

Chairlifting with my girl...

A specially made gluten free omelette for her breakfast... Photo by Miss Fab (her KidsClick Delicious entry)

Miss Fab made the beds in the kids room. So perfectly. She was so proud of herself we didn't have the heart to tell her that the maids would come and rip the sheets off as soon as we were gone...

Cracking up with Mr G as we watched Scrag admire himself as he danced and pranced naked in the full length hotel mirror. That boy is in love with his reflection. But what's not to love???

Some Oh Dear moments...

Realising Too Late that I should have checked the kids' clothes bags to see what Miss Fab had packed for them. No socks. No good shoes. Going out to dinner at a posh restaurant with work colleagues and wearing... a summer dress with pink boots, no stockings. A collared shirt and black pants...over a collared t-shirt and scuffed white trainers. Oh dear.

Realising too late that the bag with the nappies and wipes is sitting on the bedroom floor back in Auckland. We have one nappy and three swimmers to last until morning. Oh dear.

We survived the lack of socks and nappies and my casual approach to packing for a measly one night away.

As the rain poured down a day late, this morning we headed forty minutes south to Taupo, on a whim, to see our dear friends Phil and Nic.

Nic who dragged me out on their boat last summer. Nic who got me biking. Nic who first helped me start getting over myself. They've been living in Taupo but will be returning soon to Auckland. It will be soooo lovely to have them back!

On the way home the kids all slept briefly... but when they woke and got restless Daddy entertained them by playing the whistling version of "Name that Tune". Hilarious. "If I Only Had a Brain" was unrecognisable. I have no idea how the kids managed to guess so many.

Now we are back, and the kidlets are all tucked up in bed, asleep. It was a great weekend.

But guess what? Yesterday morning I could not be bothered with all the effort required to pack us all up and go out of town for just one night. At that moment, as I let Miss Fab get on with the packing (cos I could not be bothered) I would have quite happily stayed home. And missed out on the best family weekend in ages.

A change of scene was exactly what we all needed. Some family fun and togetherness. As we turned into our street, Dash was leading us all in a chorus of our rappy family motto... "Peace! Unity! Loooove! And having FUN!" Even Scrag was getting in on the act. As we pulled into our driveway we were all still laughing.

It was worth the effort. One night away felt like a whole weekend. It did us gooood.

What's your favourite weekend things to do as a family??