Saturday, September 15, 2007

Loving Spring :-D

Well Spring is here & I've got to say it's surely welcome!!

We live on a 1/4 acre and it's a lot of yard to mow. Mark had been borrowing a ride on last summer and I don't know what was worse spending all morning pushing a push mower around, or driving to collect a ride on, do the yard & take it back? So the other week we were sitting on the patio looking at a yard that about to explode with growth after a weeks rain and Mark said, we need a ride on. I thought about it and I said "I know you want one, but it's not a necessity so go for it if you can get what you want for under $1000" For those of you who knows ride ons, I pretty much gave him an impossible task. Mark has high standards when it comes to mechanical things and he wasn't going to buy junk. He looked at me and said "I'll never find a good one for that money!" I responded with "Well let's pray for one, God can do it". So I did, I prayed for a mower. The next week, I get a phone call from Mark on his way back from inspections and he says "I'm just popping into the mower place, just for a look". Half an hour later he rings back and says "Can you transfer $720 for me?" I quized him about the mower and he assured me it was a good one, needed some work, but the motor was great he knew the problem was in the deck. So he paid the money and waited for the guy to deliver it the following Tuesday.

That day Mark was out on inspections and the guy dropped it round. The kids and I felt bad that he didn't get it on Father's Day and it wasn't much of a surprise because he chooses his own presents. So we got to scheming. I cleared out the shed to make room for it & put it away. Mark had asked that I just get it put on the patio. All day Mark would ring and ask if it had arrived and I said "No". So just before I hid it, I got all the kids on it and took a photo. I then loaded it onto the computer as a screen saver. So Mark gets home and has to cross the patio to get in the back door. No mower. The kids and I are chatting to him and they even say, "Sorry it didn't come today Dad" I then tell him I took some nice photos of the kids today & bring up the wallpaper on the computer & there is the big photo of 5 silly kids sitting on a mower. He just beamed!!! and said "I was hoping you were teasing me on the phone, but when I got home and saw it wasn't on the patio I thought, nup, it really didn't come!" So we surprised him after all :-D That night he started working on it & again it rained all week & by the first sunny day he had it fixed. It only cost him $5 in parts too! He's now got a renewed passion for working on a project, we're now praying that God brings us a cheap ski boat to fix up :-D Mark and the boys can tinker & we can all get healthy doing a sport we all love :-D

The September Newsletter of Scrap of Faith is out!! Read it here :-D

I saw this on Becky's blog & thought I'd see where I've been & am going too :-D

20 years ago I . . .
1. I was 11 and living a carefree childhood in Cardwell, North Queensland.
2. I lived at home with my family.
3. My parents owned a Newsagents & general store & our house was on top.

10 years ago I . . .
1. I was 21!.
2. Mark and I had been together for 1 year.
3. We had our own place at Joyner.

5 years ago I . . .
1. I had 2 little girls.
2. Mark bought a motorbike
3. We had our own business doing QS reports for a couple of years

3 years ago I . . .
1. I had 3 kids & was pregnant with our 4th.
2. We had just moved to the house we are in now.
3. I started on a slippery slope of letting the enemy in and God out.

1 year ago I . . .
1. I had 4 kids and was pregnant with the 5th!!! (when will it end LOL).
2. Was well on the path back to God.
3. Started Scrap of Faith.

So far this year I . . .
1. Have had God be a real part of our life as a family.
2. Started a Newsletter for Scrap of Faith
3. Started writing articles about Christianity for women :-D

Yesterday I . . .
1. Did some work.
2. Did some scrapping.
3. Had my SIL and her kids over.

Today I . . .
1. Slept in
2. Went grocery shopping
3. Made banana muffins.

Tomorrow I. . .
1. will have family day & rest day.
2. Go to the park to have a picnic & spot eels & turtles.
3. Visit my Grandma.

In the next year I shall . . .
1. Keep saving for a house.
2. Hopefully have some builders as clients.
3. Keep growing in the Lord :-D

It's late & DH is lying here beside me with his head under a pillow trying to sleep LOL.

So I will finish with 5 things I'm grateful for.

1. The Lord always providing no matter how trivial
2. Happy healthy family
3. A DH who can fix things
4. A DH who's my Prince & I'm his Princess :-D
5. Spring :-D

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

A face lift or a faith lift????

Scrap of Faith has had a face lift!! I came up with a new logo for the newsletter header and the feedback about it was good & Nattie suggested just having it as the header for everything. I like it :D
So we've had a face lift how about you come visit and get a Faith Lift :D

AND it's our Birthday!!! YEHAHH!!! Perferct pressie for our first birthday, nice new happy colours!!

In November we are having a charity crop day to raise money for Mercy Ministries. They help young women who are struggling find hope and a future. The next two weeks I'll be busy securing sponsors for this event.

So far though the entry is $20 and you get a calico bag full of goodies and LOTS of giveaways on the day. Check out the info HERE

Plus we finally got the August Newsletter out. Grab a cuppa & have a read

Not much going on in the Clifford house except school, work & Scrap of Faith. July to October is a bit full on with those things for us. Makes the Summer Holidays all the more blisfull! Oh the "highlight" if you call it that would be getting my wisdom teeth out!! My confession is "It has been 14 years since I have seen a dentist!" I had LOTS of opperations in my mouth as a 10 year old then braces from 11 to 13. By 17 I was SO over dentitsts. Well my top wisdom teeth came through and they were so far back and awkward I couldn't brush them properly and they were starting to hurt. Silly old me would rather face the pain then go visit a dentist. Finally I gave in and Mark & I prayed before I went in and I prayed whilst getting the needles. & I can't belive I'm saying this, but, It was actually great! Troy the dentist is really easy going and puts you at ease & I actually walked out of there laughing. If you live in Brisbane & want a good dentist, visit TROY here. If you want a wonder cure for getting over the fear of needles, check out God :D

Well that's it for now, just a quick one :-) Stay safe & happy.

Things I'm thankful for right now:
1. God
2. The newsletter is out
3. The beautiful SoF DT who work hard every month
4. The rain we had
5. My husband
6. Friends with great sponsorship advice.
7. Getting my teeth out
8. Life :-)
9. All our provisions are met

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

I'm still alive!!! Really I am!!

Well time flies when you're having fun & given how time has flown since my last post I must be having a lot of it ;-)

But before go on, go and click play on my new song. I just love this song and brings both Mark & I to tears. It's called "Letters From War" by Mark Schultz. Love this one!!

Okay six months WOW!! what's been happening? I think I'll go dot point so this update doesn't go in the "to hard basket".

* I have a crawling, happy go lucky baby!!! Cowps is just such a little piece of heaven on earth!! He has been just a wonderful bubby and such a little charmer, ever so smiley & ever so snugly. He's terribly cute when you put him to bed, before he even reaches the mattress he assumes the sleep position, legs tucked under, head to the side, thumb in the mouth. Eyes are closed as soon as you lay him down. Just to cute my little darling.

* The weather has been so great and we have been going down to the park near the sales centre at North Lakes of a weekend for lunch and to go eel and turtle spotting! The kids think it's just great and all of us will hang around for ages just peering into the water for a chance to see one LOL. or trying to find them when they swim under the deck. Even Alec gets in on the action!!

* I cut my hair! Oh yeah I cut my hair!! Now for those who really know me this is a BIG DEAL! Mark loves long hair & I mean really loves long hair and after me taking 19 years to grow it long, I was happy to keep it long. I love long hair too. Mark would often joke that the only way I would ever get a divorce would be to cut off my hair. Well the hair got cut off and we're still married!! So why is it gone you ask? Well I don't like making private things public, but I am all for giving God the Glory. I wont give details, but our marriage really got taken through the fire and if we didn't love God and fix our eyes on him then we wouldn't be here today. Things happened in the past that I'm not proud of and through Christ's redeeming blood I became renewed and to show God & Mark my true heart, I wanted an outward showing that the old me is gone and only the new me is moving forward. Nothing of the old girl left so even the hair that was on my head when the old me was around was cut off. Mark was shocked to say the least, but he understood and to show he was serious about the two of us both moving forward together in Christ he shaved his hair off too!! We burnt the old hair and offered up our life to Christ to mould and use us for his service. I love my husband, he is my best mate, my true love and I am just so proud to be called Mrs Clifford and that we are in life together.

* Scrap of Faith has changed!! We now do a newsletter every month, and just did our first one & the next one is out soon!! Check it out here. We're also organising a Charity crop & a retreat!!! All details are in the newsletter! But we're moving in new directions and really excited!! I love Scrap of Faith :-) And we're 1!!! Can you believe that!! Yep we're 1 year old this month!

* I have two girls who can read!! Yeah So awesome to walk the school journey with them and see these milestones reached! I'm just so proud of my girls. They have big hearts and try so hard. Holly tells me that when she is older she wants to do "Kingdom work" for God. Hannah has started making her own song and dance routines and all of them are about her love for God. Tonight at dinner Holly, Hannah & Mitchell were saying that the kids are going to form a band and their first album is going to be called "Angel". At the moment they are all going to play guitar LOL. Alec doesn't know it, but they have allocated him the drums. Hmm Looks like that leaves Cowps to be on Keyboard LOL

* Work has just been flat out!! I prefer to be busy than have nothing to do, but this has been crazy!!! Some weeks I have no idea what direction is up or down?? But we're getting there and we're thankful for the work that is coming in and trying to make hay while the sun shines and store up for the quiet summer months. I pray this year we can really take the two weeks off, be on top of the work and not have a care in the world. We've been telling the kids that we want to save up for a full camping set up so we have the freedom to go away whenever without breaking the bank.

Well I need to go to bed LOL. I have an early start in the morning so I can try to get out for a coffee with the lovely Chris Millar and Co. It has been forever since I have caught up with my pals IRL so it's a much looked forward to morning.
Catch up soon. & I'll try not to make it 6 months this time.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Blown Away!!!!

Well for once in my life I was left speachless!!!!

I arrived at Nat's place yesterday for us to head out with the kids for a day of adventure. As I'm chatting away (not like me LOL) she says "This is for you, just a little something the SoF girls put together" Well I was just like I said "Speachless!!" Here was this awesome gift box full of little & big goodies for me and Cowp's and all these beautiful gift tags!! I have never felt so blessed in all my life to have such a thoughtful thing done for me!! When you have baby number 5 people are so over it, but the SoF girls have prayed over me, blessed me & surprised me like Cowp's was my first!!! So totally beautiful to feel spoilt!!! Praise God for such wonderful Girl friends even though we are seperated by 1000's of miles!!

The basket was full of such awesome little goodies; A book I wanted, is a hardback with 3 editions in it: The power of a praying woman, The Power of a Praying Wife & The Power of a Praying Parent, can't wait to read it :) A gift voucher to a beauty salon, Massage here I come!!! Lots of clothes and bubby stuff & scrapping goodies!!! And of course the beautiful tags that I will be making a special home for!!!

Also I was spoilt with more meals from my Sister & Kylie G one of the beautiful girls from my close circle of Brissy friends :) That took us to 3 weeks of not having to Grocery Shop!!! How wonderful is our Lord in providing this huge support network for us :)

Yesterday Nat & I took the kids on the train into the museum & art gallery. We all had a fantastic day & it is great that the cultural centre is free!!! I can see so many more trips into the city in our future. The kids love it, such an adventure for them!!

Love this Man!!!

Just got to love how he and the kids read stories together!!!

We went up the beach the other day to visit Karen & Steve again & to see Mark's family. Aunty Marg gave the kids an awesome bubble blowing kit. One of the "blowers" is awesome with each swish I swear we get 100 bubbles out of it!!! So we have been having a lot of fun running around the yard with it. Even the dog loves it. I have never seen a dog go so crazy about chasing bubbles. He totally wears himself out!!! So now when I don't want to take the dog for a walk, just swish some bubbles about LOL.
And now the final days of holidays.... Next week it's all systems go with school & work back on deck!! So this week I have been busy planing the lessons & covering books. Okay I will confess I love covering school books, freak I know!!! Just finished it this morning & now hanging out for the next shipment of books that I will be ordering mid term!!
Things I am thankful for:
An Awesome God &
1. Such beautiful friends
2. Innocence of Children
3. Slow cookers
4. Airconditioning
5. Family
Have a beautiful long weekend everyone :D

Monday, January 15, 2007

What's going on!!!???

Another post in just a week!!! What is happening here??? LOL Just thought I'd keep shocking you all ;-)

Well today the wonderful Chris Millar and her two beautiful girls came around for a play & more importantly to take some photos of the Mr Cowper :) That Chris is an absolute legend with the camera and baby photos. The two of us had fun mucking around with a few props and Mr Cowper was a very delightful model. A huge thanks to Chris for capturing some truly beautiful photos :)

So sit back and relax and enjoy a small sample of the photos. Oh boy do I have some scrapping material LOL.

We also had a wonderful visit from Karen & her family last week :) Was so nice to finally met her DH Steve & daughter Chloe :) They are spending some time at the Sunshine Coast this week so we are going to have a short break and spend the night at the Beach house and visit with them again before they head back to Rocky & some rellies from the Coast.
The weekend just gone was a mix of busy & quiet. On Saturday we had my Parents, Grandparents, Uncle Col & Aunty Kay with my cousin Cara & my sister Kym with her DH Michael & their kids, Grace & Connor. So Saturday was fairly full :) Sunday I took the little Man to his first Church service & the rest of the day was just hanging with the family.
We are still a very blessed little family here. Another round of meals were dropped off on the weekend so we are still sorted till Thursday!!! The last grocery shop I did besides Milk & Bread was before Cowper was born!! Man has that grocery shop gone the distance!! A big big thank you to everyone who has provided for us.
And Finally today is Mitchell's birthday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY MITCH!!!
Will post some piccies of that later on, still need to get the cake shots!!
Forgot to end my last post with the 5 things I'm Thankful for:
1. The wonderful way our Heavenly Father provides for our every need
2. The generosity of family & friends
3. A healthy little baby
4. Our life
3. A clean house

Monday, January 08, 2007

WoW Time Flies!!!!

I can't believe my last post was so long ago, that we had just found out that the little bundle we were expecting was a boy.

Well This Saturday 6th Jan at 6:36am after 3hrs of Labour little Cowper Mark Clifford entered the world! I'll share the birth story at the end of the post so those who get a bit EWWW about these things don't have to go there LOL. We are all doing great and just so blessed to have another little one in our life. I just forget each time how much I love that newborn smell and how utterly devoted and in love you and this little person can be with each other right from the first second. Oh and Cowper it's pronounced Cooper, it's a family name and is Old English.

So besides makin' babies what else have we been up to?

- Got through 1 year of Home schooling with great results. The kids and I are loving the work we do together. Both girls got really good reports from the work we submitted and are really excited that this year they are Grade 1 & 2.

- Both Holly & Hannah were awarded all their badges for Girls Brigade and the two of them are just flourishing so much for us having Pine Rivers Uniting Church in our lives. The friendships they have made from Sunday School and Girls brigade have been so good for them & the enthusiasm for God has just blossomed. Mitchell just loves the creche there too.

- Scrap of Faith has just grown into the most beautiful little community of Christian Scrappers. It is just so inspiring to see so many people supporting each other, praying for each other & seeing how God is working in their lives all the time. Also the friends that it has bought into my life are just the most wonderful gifts from our Lord.

- Our business has been going well. At times I would get frustrated that it took me away from being a Mum, but this year because of home schooling we really got our lives structured and Mark has really blossomed by taking on more of the workload I now look at ADS as a blessing not a burden as it allows us to support our family financially and both be at home for our children.

- My Dad retired and he and Mum just today arrived home from a 7 week holiday in the UK. First time overseas for the two of them!!! My Sister & her family are living in the UK till July and are having a great time there so was great for Mum and Dad to see them and tour around. I can't wait to hear all the stories. So much better in person than via emails

- Mum also had a Melanoma scare just 2 weeks before they were due to leave!! She had the op within the week of leaving. A Few worried days there but in a fairly simple op all of the melanoma was removed and they were able to go on the trip as planed. So no more Melanoma but one hell of a talking point on her leg!!

- And we all had chicken pox. Well everyone except Mark. We were a little worried about the pregnancy risk, but with so many wonderful people praying for me and bub we got only a really mild case and the whole thing was over and done with in a week!! So healthy bub & healthy family in time for our holidays!

- We had a fantastic summer holiday at the end of the year. We had a week at Maroochydore and then a few days at Mark's Brother's place at Gympie. They have just moved out to 120acres and the kids just love the wide open spaces. We took Mum & Dad's dachshund with us and he was the best "Farm Dog" out of them all. While at the beach the weather was perfect and was wonderful to have the time together as just us without a care in the world.

So that brings us to Cowper's Arrival so those who don't like birth stories best to tune out now.


Well being number 5 you would think that all fear and doubt would be gone by this one, but no it still hangs around. On Thursday the 4th of Jan (his actual due date) I started to get contractions early in the morning. I did the wander the house, and get active to see if it would grow stronger. In the end I went back to bed, burst out crying and said to Mark that I had no idea why but I was really scared about going into labour this time. Mark asked me if he wanted to pray and he prayed for us. I had also put a post on SoF letting the girls there know my fears and asking for prayers and encouragement. I was given heaps!!!

By the afternoon because it had been on and off all day I called my midwife who suggested that I get the kids taken care of now and not wait till I was fully in labour as I may not give myself time. I rang Kym my sister not thinking that anything would happen, but she too suggested that the kids go to her place and it didn't matter for how long, but that Mark and I could probably do with a little rest before the baby came. So on Thursday night the kids went to my sisters and Mark and I went out for a Mexican Dinner. Jo my midwife rang that night to see how things were and I had had a little more, but it fizzled too.

So come Friday morning and nothing happening over night Mark suggested that it be a good day for a baby as kids were taken care of, we had both had a great nights sleep and EVE was in 24hr down time LOL. So we pottered around together all day and just enjoyed being the two of us sharing the last few days of pre baby together. Come Friday night I had had the whole day with not so much as a niggle so I had decided that if no action come Sat lunch I would rescue the my sister from the kids.

So Friday night after some movie watching we finally go to bed around 11:00pm and just as we're falling asleep the rowdy neighbours crank up a party and their electric guitar playing!!! I finally managed to get to sleep only to wake again at around 2:30am (party still going) I tossed and turned for a while and around 3:30am started getting contractions again. At 4:00am I thought I might try to get it going again, but after Thursdays effort wasn't hoping for much. At 4:15 my waters broke & that is a first for me!! So I woke Mark & rang Jo & she told me to stop talking and come in. So Mark and I made the journey to the hospital without having to worry about dropping kids off etc, just had to get the two of us there. When we arrived at the Birth Centre at 5:00am Jo had the room all set up and ready to go for us and I got straight in the shower.

A little while later Jo came in and said that the Team Leader from Birth Suite had been informed that I had arrived & because it was my 5th birth they were worried about the higher risk of hemorrhage and wanted to put a bung in my hand to allow quick access for fluids just in case. I was really hesitant about it. I felt very covered in prayer and at full peace that God was looking after Cowper and I and no harm would come to us. Jo then explained it all to Mark and he came to me and said he would like it if I had it put in. In the end I said I would have it put in. My only reason for not wanting it was worrying about the "interfering" would slow my labour and make me uncomfortable. But I thought Birth Centre midwife's don't usually push for something unless they feel it warranted.

So finally around 6am I finally start to feel the change from transition to pushing & the doctor to put in the drip access still hadn't arrived. So as per usual with the other boys I couldn't get my head into a space of wanting to push so I tried a few things and ended up collapsing on the bean bag and just resting. I also asked Jo to double check that yes I was fully dilated and all was good. She reassured me it was & it was just up to me to when I feel ready. Well as I'm laying there trying to talk myself into getting the desire to try the doctor comes in to do my needle. I had already gotten up as I was wanting to try getting onto the birth stool again to see if that would help with the pushing desire. So now I'm stuck in a doorway between the bathroom and the birth stool and a doctor is trying to shove a needle in my arm while I'm trying to not go with contractions and hold still for her. First she grabs my right hand and I said "No, in my left please" so she changes hands, gives me a little local then sticks the big needle in. She then takes it out and Jo is gripping onto my hand like nobodies business and I asked "Is it in there?" and she said "No Darl she went right through the vein" I then look over and see the doctor coming at me again with another needle and Jo suggesting she try the big vein in the side of my arm, so I have 2 options stand there and let her have another go or jump on the birth stool and push this kid out. I decided on the second one. I just said "I'm sorry no" jumped on the stool and started pushing. (nothing like a botched needle to get you motivated!!)

So as I started to push I could feel him crowning and Jo urging me to slow down and Mark also urging me to slow it down. The only thing I could think that would stop me going so fast was to put my hands on his head. So for the whole crowning and his head coming out he was in my hands. I then kept them on him for the whole remainder of the delivery feeling his shoulders emerge etc and Jo quickly got him as he came right out and passed him straight up to me. That was the most awesome experience having your baby in your hands the whole way out!!! So at 6:36am little Cowper Mark Clifford arrived into the world safe and sound.
It was then that day as Mark and I were hanging out at the Birth Centre with the little Man that Mark revealed to me that since I came into him crying on the Thursday morning he had been scared out of his wits that something was going to go wrong with this delivery. Hence the wanting me to have the bung put in. But if he hadn't told me that I would never have known, the Thursday & Friday & all through the delivery he was strong and supportive and was there for me 200%. All this from a guy who is honest in saying that being at a Birth is the last place on earth he wants to be the whole thing really grosses him out and even after 5 he can't get used to it. Things we do for love :)

Given all was well with Mum & bub and that I was just desperate to be back with all my kids, Mark and I left the hospital the same day at 6:00pm and headed for home.

So my battle scar from the whole event was a silly swollen hand from the doctor trying to stick me. I now have bruised knuckles like I tried to punch someone LOL. So little Cowper has just been a little darling and this time I'm trying really hard to just be a mummy to a new born and not stress about other things. Will have plenty of time to do that in weeks to come. I have also been really blessed with my sister, Chris & Jac bringing us meals that we haven't had to want for anything this week. I think I can honestly say that from days before to days after baby number 5 has been the dream entry into the world. Praise be to God!! All our prayers answered by our Heavenly Father!!