About Me

My photo
Where do I begin? I guess At the beginning! I live in beautiful Tasmania, Australia with my wonderful hubby, Matthew and our four angels (part time devils) Isaac, Reuben, Isabella, and Charlotte. Currently I'm a stay-at-home mum and I absolutely love that. Nothing else compares. I'm also studying the Master of Teaching part-time and I'm serving as the relief society president of our ward. I love being outside, especially in summer. I love big windows & lots of light. I love swimming, running and mowing the lawn! my favourite vegetable is carrots (or potatoes if mum's baked them) and I love fresh fruit salad. My most favourite thing to do is spend time with my precious family.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


I'm so sick of doing this!
Today I finished writing my last assignment for the year...
Hooray! I'm half way.
Last week I enrolled for next year...upping the anti, slightly, by enrolling in full-time study.
A couple of days later I thought to myself, "who are you kidding?"  I realised I was feeling tired with the grind of listening to lectures, participating in tutorials ( I have to because no one else talks! and they all want a job standing in front of people talking for a living - go figure??) reading long arduous chapters and articles, in journals I've never heard of, and writing never-ending assignments.  So I got it in to my head that if I study full time next year it would all be over sooner and I could get on with the fun stuff.
It didn't take me long to knock some sense into myself.  Don't get me wrong I'm not underestimating my ability - I know I could do it...I just don't want to.  I enjoy having time to do other things and even though many of the readings I have to do and lectures I have to listen to are a little on the boring side (mostly because they are so repetitious) I am enjoying the learning.  I think I might not enjoy it so much if I was even more time-poor.  I need time to spend with my family, to clean my house, do the washing, take the dog for a walk, cook dinner, bake for school lunches, read my scriptures, read the ensign, pray, serve others, re-organise the visiting teaching list (again!) go visiting teaching and try to fulfil my calling.  I know if I studied full time I wouldn't have time for most of these things and they would be put on the back burner. That's not really an option.  So...I'm going to enjoy my few weeks off, I'm going to go to the temple, visit my sister, do a bit of shopping, get my sewing machine out, get in the garden, wash the dog (actually that has been on the back burner for a while now...oops) bake stuff, clean out the cupboards, paint the kids bedrooms, and get fit...actually full-time study is starting to sound like an easier option now!

P.S I spend so much time typing it could almost be considered a super power.  If anyone ever needs something typed up...I'm your [super]woman :)

Monday, October 1, 2012

Good intentions

I want to blog I just haven't got the time right now. Give me two or three weeks and I'll put something up :)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Blanche's Excellent Adventure

During June and July I was fortunate enough to take a holiday.  I turned 40 while I was away and originally the plan was for Matt and I to have a romantic holiday together 'somewhere requiring a passport'.  It didn't work out for us to go together however Matt suggested I go to Indonesia and spend some time with Declan. So I did!  I completed my uni assignments, sat an exam then took off the very next day and was gone for just over 4 weeks.  I can't even begin to explain how much I missed Matt and the kids but at the same time I had some amazing adventures.  One of the highlights for me was skyping with my family from the Shangri La Hotel in Kuala Lumpur on my birthday.  My gorgeous family made a yummy chocolate cake complete with [way too many] candles, sang a harmonious 'happy birthday' and arranged for me to 'virtually' blow out my candles and cut the cake.  I didn't let them see but I had tears in my eyes as we chatted about what I'd been up to and vice versa.  I'm so grateful to Matt for suggesting I take this trip and for being so capable in my absence and holding the fort like a true legend!

I went with a brand new passport (that's a whole other blog post) which now has stamps from Singapore,  Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Myanmar.  I had a wonderful time.  Declan is the BEST holiday planner.  If you are ever traveling in Asia please contact him.  You will be thankful you did! I spent 9 days in Jakarta - that place is nuts and in all truthfulness I really didn't like it there - hanging out in Declan's classroom, practicing ma skills! and generally having a fun time as their school year drew to a close.  The British International School where Declan works is quite a prestigious school.  He has had the President of Indonesia's grandkid in his class (wouldn't want to send a bad report home for that one would you?) and at the moment has the grandkid of a woman (Susi) who happens to own an airline (Susi Air) and a chain of hotels (among other things).  That is how Gus, Tilly, Felix, Declan and I came to be the only ones on a chartered flight from Jakarta to Pangandaran.  Collected by a driver and taken to a hotel to stay all for FREE!  how generous is that?  Oh my goodness!

We received so much generosity from others it was almost unbelievable.  Before living and working in Indonesia, Justine and Declan lived and worked in Chiang Mai, Thailand.  When one of Declan's past students from his school in Thailand caught wind that Declan was coming to visit with his sister, she insisted we stay at their resort!!!.  When we arrived at the Lanna Resort not only did they insist we stay for no charge but also supplied us with a brand new car to use for the 10 days we were there.  All of our meals and any other conveniences we needed were all supplied free of charge...so, so generous.

We fit lots and lots in to the 10 days in Chiang Mai then flew to Phuket for a relaxing few days then spent 24 hours in Bangkok (long enough in my humble opinion) before flying back to our respective homes.  I was totally exhausted when I returned home.  It took a full week to feel back to normal.  It was so wonderful to spend some one on one time with my brother.  We both needed it and benefited from it.  I feel very fortunate to have had the experiences I have had during my trip and to have shared most of them with Declan.  I can't remember the last time we spent time together, alone without other distractions...probably when we were teenagers and we didn't really appreciate it or even realise how precious time alone is.  There's far too much to fit into just one blog post so I will do a number of posts over the next little while detailing some of the highlights...Myanmar needs a whole post to itself!  I'm still sorting through photos all while trying to keep up with uni and catch up with things that fell by the wayside while I was gone.

Stay tuned...

Thursday, May 3, 2012


Earlier this year I resolved to do more blogging.  I haven't done it and my excuse is rather lame.  I'm just busy and I guess it's not a priority.  I have, however, been very vigilant at keeping a written journal.  I find something very therapeutic about the old fashioned skill of writing words on paper with a pen.  Still, I did make a resolve so I will endeavour to do be better.

I've had a pretty full year thus far between being a mother and wife, relief society president and uni student.  Some how it all seems to work out.  I have been getting great results at uni - better than expected - which is fabulous because I just want to pass all my units and not have to repeat anything.  I know Heavenly Father is blessing me as much as he can and for that I am so grateful.  I know that things aren't really just working out somehow, I know that I am reaping what I sow.  Before I was called as RS president I had an experience, as many do, which led me to believe I would be getting the call from Bishop.  I was vacuuming the living room and it suddenly hit me, I burst into tears!  I knew what was coming and I had an overwhelming feeling that this was right for me and that Heavenly Father needed me in that calling.  I got a distinct impression that despite how under-qualified I felt, the Lord would qualify me.  I love this calling (most of the time).  It is by far the most demanding calling I've ever had and certainly the one which drains the most from me in every way but at the same time it is also the one that has enabled the most personal growth and development, the one which has taught me the most and opened my spiritual ears and eyes the most.  My testimony has grown far deeper roots than ever before.  When I was set apart I was blessed with good health and an ability to fulfill all of my responsibilities as a wife, mother, relief society president and in any other personal pursuits I should take upon myself.  I am reaping the fruits of that blessing on a daily basis.  Don't get me wrong, my life isn't always plain sailing with everything going right all the time.  The last few years have seen me go through some difficult and painful times, probably the hardest times of my life have occurred during this time and some are still ongoing but Heavenly Father never fails to bless me with the understanding and clarity of mind that I need to be able to keep on keeping on.  In a recent meeting with the Stake President he said something which struck a chord with me; If we consistently do what we know we should, if we strive to do all that we can, if our priorities are right we will be prepared for whatever comes our way, be that a calling, an assignment, an experience, a job, whatever.  If we are fulfilling our responsibilities as Latter-day Saints, to the best of our ability, the Lord will bless us with whatever we need at the time so that things will work out.  The spirit gently whispered 'that's true' and I can see it happening in my life more and more.  I'm unable to find the words to describe how thankful I am to have the Gospel as the central part of my life.  What would I be doing right now if I didn't? who knows? I don't want to know!  I'm happy with my life.  I love my husband, he's great.  I love my kids, they're pretty nice most of the time so I'll keep them around for a while, uni is stimulating and good for keeping me young(ish), my calling is kinda awesome.  What more could I ask for?  Hmmmm....that will be my next post!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

New Resolve

This year I will blog more!  Thanks Simone :)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

First things first...

AGES ago (like in August 2010) you might remember Reuben had the most awesome Masterchef Birthday Party ever. Well a few people asked for the recipes and I did promise to post them.  There's good and bad news...I'll start with the bad: I don't have all the recipes anymore BUT I do have the two best ones and here they are:

The satay chicken can be found here (this is what we are having for dinner tonight and what prompted my memory)

And the Chocolate Self Saucing Pudding is an old one from mum's ancient cookbook (you know the old photo album Bride?)  and I have to say that if anyone has ever perfected a recipe it is me and this one.  Ask anybody!
It's not the ingredients that make a difference it's how you do it and I'm sorry folks but you either have it or you don't  :)

1C SR flour
60g butter
1/2 C caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1/2 C milk
2tsp cocoa
1 1/4 C boiled water
1/2 C brown sugar
1Tb cocoa

cream butter & sugar, add vanilla and egg.
add sifted flour and cocoa alternately with milk.
Spread this mix into a greased pudding dish.
mix brown sugar and cocoa together and sprinkle over the top of pudding
carefully pour boiling water over the top.
bake for 30-40 min moderate oven.
Delicious with ice cream or king Island cream.

Thursday, October 20, 2011


Don't keel over...I'm blogging...because I've finished uni for the year!  

It feels so good to have some time for other things.  Over the last month I have been compiling a list of things to do once uni finishes.  Some are just for me, some are things that need to be done because they've simply been neglected for a while, and others are things I never seem to find time for.  I can't wait to work my way through it all.

It has taken almost a week for me to get out of study mode.  I would wake with that feeling of (almost) panic.  That horrible feeling when you know you have much more on your plate for the day than time could possibly allow.  Yesterday the feeling was gone...

I'm really happy with how this year has panned out.  Yes, it was a little crazy at times and I did have to burn the candle at both ends but only for a little while.  I'm happy that I decided to study part-time because it has allowed me to enjoy what I'm learning, have time for study, reading, assignments and all that and still be a mum and wife and relief society president and do a few hours of 'real' work a week!  My results have been really pleasing.  I've done so much better than I expected and I don't take that lightly at all.  Each time I opened a marked assignment my heart would be in my throat and I'd be talking to myself saying something like, "If I haven't passed this one then that's it, I'm just gonna get a job somewhere."  Then I'd scream with excitement to see that all was fine and that my hard work had paid off far more that expected.

I will probably do a bit of a catch up blog at a later stage but for now I'm enjoying my garden, sorting through the kids cupboards, painting, and best of all I now have time for a little bit of photo taking.