motherhoodfaithfitness

sharing the joys, triumphs and struggles of faith, family and fitness!

December goals…not quite there yet!

So I set myself a couple of goals this month, let’s see how I got on with them?

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Here’s my progress…
Front splits…so close but yet so far, not flat by any stretch of the imagination (or hamstrings)

Faster 5kms…well I’m maybe a minute or so faster…but not sub 30 yet, I’ve run at that pace in races but not on a normal everyday kind of run!

Drink 2lt water…probably getting this one right, it’s been so hot!

Limit junk food and sugar to weekends…um no, to be honest I didn’t really try 😦

Organise and prioritise…I’ve achieved some success here, my workouts have been consistent and I have had all the ingredients to make good clean meals, have I always chose these this month, not always, but most of the time! It’s been my sugar snacking that’s unravelled my menu plan!

So what’s the plan?
I have 4 days left of this month, I could say “meh, let’s put them onto January’s new year resolution list” or I could take the bull by the horns, get some serious stretching in every day, put those chocolates away until the weekend and run my little heart out. I’m choosing the latter! I’ll let you know on January 1st how I got on!

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More advent-ures of Elwyn and Elsie

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This week we have helped the children in our house donate outgrown clothes to Goodwill, written and posted their overseas Christmas cards, decorated a beautiful real Christmas tree, baked brownies for the new neighbours, bought a couple of gifts for the Kmart wishing tree appeal and made a cup of tea for mum and dad! We’ve been busy little elves, and we have a few more adventures planned before we hibernate for 11 months. We hope the values we have brought to the household will remain with the little ones (and the bigger ones too) Love is Kind!
From Elwyn and Elsie Elf

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Embracing the homemade treasures

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I think I alluded to my Christmas tree habit in my last post,

My plan: Let the children put all their pasta decorations, paper creations, broken popstick animals and salt dough stars on….then once they were in bed… tidy the tree up, hiding the ugly broken ‘treasures’ around the back of the tree, out of sight. Then make everything symmetrical, colour co ordinated and beautiful.

This year was different. I don’t know why, but I had a change of perspective and a change of heart.
As I watched them pull their creations from the Christmas box I saw on their faces pride, joy, memories of school classes, the friends, and teachers they had made them with. These were not just bits of clay, crepe paper and cardboard to them!

My 10 year old daughter presented to me a paper angel with her face on it, her little chubby 5 year old face, in her new school uniform. How could I hide these treasures from our view?

So instead of hiding them, I wrote their names and year of creation onto them and took time to talk to each child about their decoration. When and where did they make them? Where should we hang them?

I realised that anyone can have a pretty tree, with any given theme of their choosing, traditional red and green, vintage gold and silver, bright and funky black and fuchsia pink; but no one can have a tree like my family’s, with crafts spanning almost 20 years, each telling its own story.
The nativity set they had made in Sunday School, the baby Jesus with the manger legs chewed off, the popstick reindeer my eldest son made in primary school. Those baubles and pegs might not be worth anything to a stranger, but to me and to the children, they are priceless, and deserve pride of place on the tree. So once the children had decorated the tree, I looked on and declared “It is good”, flicked on the fairy lights and enjoyed looking at our family story tree.

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A time to work and a time to play

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Finally, term 4 is over and as a school chaplain I get the summer holidays off. I finished maternity leave in January this year when my little baby was 6 months old so it’s been a year of struggling to manage the work/home life balance. Now with (paid) work over for the year it’s time to play!
I must admit I find it difficult to switch off work mode (this includes boring menial housework too) and actually ‘play’, but I’ve made a list of the activities I’d like to focus on this summer. I’m going to try to do at least one a day, and not just the regular ones I find easy (like eating) but the ones like, playing games, going to the beach, reading stories with the children, exploring, and turning my phone off to read a book, a real book, one of many I have sitting on the bedside table for months and months.
My children are still small and I want them to remember their mum as someone who wasn’t too busy to play with them. I’ve got a long way to go, I’m an impatient, grumpy, selfish mummy at times, and when I hear myself scolding them for wanting my attention, I feel sad and disappointed in my mothering. But today I took them to the beach, wrapped presents and read a bedtime story, now I just have to work on doing it all with grace and patience!
My prayer tonight is ‘love is patient, love is kind, Lord please fill me with this love, and help me to be a patient, kind, playful mum, wife and friend’
Tomorrow we’re going out together to the Christmas tree farm, then the “wonderful” task of decorating the tree begins, (yes I’ll be completed stressed out and will have to ‘fix it up’ when the littleys go to bed). Love is patient, love is kind, help me to play!

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Neonatal reflections

Tonight I was blessed to be part of a wonderful group of mums who packed 60 bags of goodies for the mums of babies in 3 of Adelaide’s neonatal units.
These bags will be given to the mums on Christmas Eve, and contain practical and thoughtful gifts, like baby wipes, Tim tams, a journal, and the sweetest little knitted Christmas beanie and first outfit (one that allows for wires and probes and easy nappy changes)
“Women Who Have been There”
is the brainchild of Jenny Joy, an Adelaide mum who after having two premmy babies saw the need for a support group that really knew what other mums went through, when their babies had to be left in hospital while they went home, often to look after other children, sometimes unable to drive into hospital to visit due to a c/section, and the emotional roller coaster moments in the unit.
As well as Christmas goody bags, “WWHBT” provide monthly morning teas for parents in the unit, pamper packs for Mothers’ day, special gift packs for country mums who may have been flown into the hospital in an emergency, with just the clothes they are wearing, as well as several playgroups and online support. It’s an amazing group, and Jenny is a beautiful kind soul who just loves helping, listening and caring for the mums she comes into contact with in the hospitals.

I have also had two premmy babies, and with my 15 month old son, this group was a link to the hope beyond NICU. My baby would gain weight, successfully feed and be able to go home. And he did….and he is truly a blessing to our family.
So helping pack these bags tonight was a reminder of those weeks of being driven to and from hospital, sitting next to his humidicrib for hours, watching his little chest rise and fall, missing his baby shower because he came so early, and the joy of every weight gain, moving into an open crib, and establishing feeds.
It’s a crazy time, and you feel like you’re in a bubble, where your world revolves around machines that beep, finding ways of getting down to the hospital, and expressing milk when there is no baby at home to nurse. I am so thankful for the support of family, friends and this group who made the Neonates journey a little easier, with meals, visits, prayer, financial support, and lots and lots of love!

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20131212-231230.jpgwww.womenwhohavebeenthere.com.au

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School holiday legs workout

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Today is legs day.
My obstacles:
-I have my 5 kids home from school/uni/childcare.
-I have limited weights at home.
-I have no gym membership
Solution:
Use the children as weights! For squats, lunges, and sit ups.
Outcome:
Wobbly legs – a sure sign it was a great workout
3 happy children who spent an hour with mum, counting, getting piggy back rides and tummy time cuddles (bub lying on my chest for sit ups)
Funniest moment when 15 month old who is barely walking was trying to do squats with me!
Love my family, love my exercise, what a happy blend this morning!

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More dancing?

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Last night I watched my nieces in their end of year dance showcase, they have worked so hard at ballet, tap, jazz, acro, contemporary, hip hop, and musical theatre.(yes my sister practically lives at the dance studio, and pays the equivalent of a small fortune in fees)
I loved watching the dancing, and as I’ve started doing a few tricky moves at pole I can now appreciate the technique and difficulty of the choreography.
So now I’m hungry for more, do I take a hip hop class or a contemporary class at my daughter’s dance company one50 dance, or an extra pole class, or do a Zumba class? Dancing is infectious and it makes me feel so happy and alive! I know I’m an oldie as far as dance classes go, but who cares? Now I will go investigate the options!

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Goals….confessions

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So it’s only the 8th and I’m failing miserably at my set goals, I’ve only stretched twice, run once and already succumbed to the tantalising temptation of my Christmas arch nemesis…the humble but deadly mince pie! 😉
So today I’m going to get drinking (water that is!) and take some time to organise and prioritise!

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Ring ring, the kindness elves next mission!

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My children’s Nanna lives the other side of the world and has been quite poorly, so Elwyn and Elsie our family kindness elves have asked my children to give her a call tomorrow, to wish her a Merry Christmas and tell her all their end of term news, she will be thrilled!

I love this new kindness elf tradition, it’s getting better day by day. My children are learning to spot opportunities to be kind outside of the missions and the feedback they are getting is encouraging them to be people of courage and character.
Care, kindness, consideration, respect, and gratitude. I hope these qualities are instilled in them long after the tinsel, the tree, and yes even the elves are put away.
Happy Elf Advent-ures!

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Meet the Kindness Elves

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These little cuties are Elwyn and Elsie the kindness elves!
They are the newest of our Christmas family traditions, and I’m having a lot of fun with these two!
The idea behind the kindness elves came from a primary school teacher who wanted to focus on acts of kindness in the lead up to Christmas as opposed to the ‘behaviour’ focus of Elf on the Shelf.

It’s only day 3 of our little guests visit, so we haven’t done many acts of kindness so far, but we have picked a flower for our teacher, written to our sponsor child, and today the children have gone to school on the look out for someone who looks sad or is alone at playtime. Their mission is to give them a smile, a hug (if it’s appropriate and they know the other person!) and a smiley face sticker.
I have had fun posing the elves and writing the little notes and I know the children will be blessed in being kind to others.
I have lots of ideas for the remaining 20 days, bake for our new neighbours, buy some animal food for our local shelter, donate some provisions to the local community food bank, pray for our family, friends, the world, read a story to their baby brother, make a cup of tea for Dad.
The acts don’t need to cost a thing, they can be as simple as feeding the cat and giving her some love!
Kindness is sadly lacking in our world, and I’m hoping that these small deeds can bring a little hope and joy into my children’s world, and teach them the true meaning of Christmas,
In God’s kindness and love, He gave us Jesus, the hope of the world, saviour and friend.
I’d love to hear your ideas for the next 3 weeks of ‘Elf missions’
Enjoy the advent celebrations! 🙂

http://theimaginationtree.com/2013/11/alternative-elf-on-shelf-tradition-kindness-elf.html

http://blog.theconnectionweshare.com/craft-activities-ideas-for-kids/advent-calendar-activities-for-kids/

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