The Seasons Of Life

Our family has just had a huge celebration! My Dad had his birthday and it certainly was one to celebrate. He turned 90 years old! That’s right 90! Not only was the age worth celebrating, but my Dad as a person needed celebrating as well. He is an amazing person! Always has been! I have been very blessed having him as my Dad. He is the best Dad a person could have (I’m not biased at all)

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My Wonderful Dad!

Of course I had to make him a cake for the occasion πŸ™‚

My second attempt at making a cake using fondant. The first was for my youngest daughters 21st.
My second attempt at making a cake using fondant. The first was for my youngest daughters 21st.

We had the party at my eldest sisters place, and us four girls and my sister in law made all the food for afternoon tea. People arrived from 1pm and stayed until approximately 6pm. At one point there were 80 people wandering around the gardens or sitting and chatting! Β Dad had a great time catching up to old friends and family.

Cheers Dad! You are worth celebrating!
Cheers Dad! You are worth celebrating!

Mum felt just as special as Dad did, after all they are ‘one’ really, after 67 years of marriage πŸ™‚

Ohhhh that's cute :-)
Ohhhh that’s cute πŸ™‚

Only two of my adult children and their family were able to come to the party. My eldest sisters daughter came, along with her family as well. And, my brothers son came too.

Mum and Dad with all the grandchildren and great grandchildren that came to Dad's party.
Mum and Dad with all the grandchildren and great grandchildren that came to his party.

It was so good to be able to have all our immediately family together again. A great opportunity to get a group photo!

From Left to right - Myself (the baby of the family), Kerry (2 years older than me), Dad, Mum, Judy the eldest, Lynday (two years younger than Judy), and Rodney (the middle child and only boy of the family)
From Left to right – Myself (the baby of the family), Kerry (2 years older than me), Dad, Mum, Judy the eldest, Lynda (two years younger than Judy), and Rodney (the middle child and only boy of the family)

So I titled this post ‘The seasons of life’, because of the fact that my Dad and Mum are in the ‘Winter’ season of their lives. Thankfully they are well and still having a great time of ‘living’, although Mum is a little slower nowadays. I really can’t imagine life without my precious Mum and Dad to chat to, have our weekly family dinner time together, and have their continued input into my life. I have been blessed to have them both as my parents, and I am so very thankful.

Both Robin and myself (and all my siblings) are now in the ‘Autumn’ season. The times of our lives have gone so fast. When I was younger and surrounded with lots of children, each demanding my time and energy in some way or another, and I was frequently tired; people used to say to me that these years would pass before you knew it, and your children would be all grown up and left home. In fact, sadly, because of the busyness of life, I often wished that those years of freedom would come sooner. Now, I would love to go back in time and live through those years again. It was a wonderful life and I loved being a Mum to my young children. I loved the feeling of being vitally important in their lives. Now they are individuals, adults that are making their own way in life. Each unique personality doing it their own way, and I am so proud of them all. I am still important to them, but in a completely different way. And that is healthy. That is the way it should be!

Celebrate the seasons of life people. They move along so fast, they really do!Β  Memorise as many moments as you can along the way. Take heaps of photos, and journal your life. It will all be great to look back on, especially as you enter the less energetic seasons of life.

Yet in this Autumn season, there is still so much to look forward to. Robin and I now have the ability to make decisions about our lives, that no longer impact our ‘children’ like they used to. We can make plans for holidays together, have evenings out regularly, and generally do as we please. Does this sound selfish? I see it as a reward for selflessly parenting our children first and foremost during their formative years, and into adulthood. We can now become a ‘couple’ again, and enjoy the wonders of discovering life together as a couple.

Yes! This season of life is great!

PS…. As part of my celebrating ‘who I am’ in my Autumn years, I have decided to let my grey show! It has been a great topic of discussion, I can tell you. But I am happy with who I am. I don’t feel the need to impress anyone, or feel I need to try to keep young looking. I am actually loving my hair, and wish it was actually white all over. And you know what…. it is very freeing πŸ™‚

Creations and Celebrations

The first half of our year is full of celebrations starting with Robin’s birthday on the 2nd of January. This year was his 60th and we celebrated his day with a lovely wine tour in the north of Sydney!

My 60 year old man :-)
My 60 year old man πŸ™‚
Celebrating Robin! All the family together minus Simon, Stacie and their three children!
Celebrating Robin! All the family together minus Simon, Stacie and their three children!

Joanna’s birthday was on the 15th of January and Jayden James turned 9 on the 29th. Within that week we had Ella turn 1 on the 4th and then on the very next day Casey turned 9! Phew! But that doesn’t end the February birthdays. Leeara and Jessica both had milestone birthdays, with Leeara turning 18 and Jessica 21 on the 24th! Yes they share the same birthday. Leeara is now at University, and we are very proud of the beautiful young woman she has become πŸ™‚

Jessica’s 21st was a biggie! And I decided to do most of the decorating myself! And did I have fun!

Let’s start with the cake…

So first of all I made two Caramel Cakes for the bottom of the whole birthday cake
So first of all I made two Caramel Cakes for the bottom of the whole birthday cake
I joined the two with butter cream icing
I joined the two with butter cream icing
And I covered them as best as I could with butter cream icing :-)
And I covered them as best as I could with butter cream icing πŸ™‚
Once the icing had hardened a bit I smoothed it out by putting baking paper on the cake and rubbing over it with the flat of my hand
Once the icing had hardened a bit I smoothed it out by putting baking paper on the cake and rubbing over it with the flat of my hand
Now this is the fondant I used. Approx $6 per packet. I thought that was a bargain compared to other brands
Now this is the fondant I used. Approx $6 per packet. I thought that was a bargain compared to other brands
And here is the cake with the fondant on top of the butter cream. I rolled it out flat and then with the use of my Ikea mat, I rolled both the mat and icing together, and then unrolled onto the cake. Gently rubbing with my hands to get the icing to mould around the bottom edge of the cake
And here is the cake with the fondant on top of the butter cream. I rolled it out flat and then with the use of my Ikea mat, I rolled both the mat and icing together, and then unrolled onto the cake. Gently rubbing with my hands to get the icing to mould around the bottom edge of the cake
I did exactly the same with the top of the cake only this cake was a vanilla cake. Separating some of the fondant, I coloured it with red food colouring. I then rolled the red out flat and cut circles and stripes and also stars for the lettering to go on.
I did exactly the same with the top of the cake only this cake was a vanilla cake. Separating some of the fondant, I coloured it with red food colouring. I then rolled the red out flat and cut circles and stripes and also stars for the lettering to go on.
I let the stars harden overnight onto the skewers and then put the lettering onto them
I let the stars harden overnight onto the skewers and then put the lettering onto them
And here is beautiful Jessica with her 21st cake!
And here is beautiful Jessica with her 21st cake!
I also made a welcoming blackboard gto celebrate Jessica. I actually copied this from a board I found on Pinterest!
I also made a welcoming blackboard to celebrate Jessica. I actually copied this from a board I found on Pinterest!
And with the help of my cricut and some vinyl and a white board, I made another celebration board :-)
And with the help of my cricut, some vinyl and a white board, I made another celebration board πŸ™‚
Instead of a birthday key, I purchased a blank black canvas, and along with a white Gel pen, Jessica's friends could write messages to her. This is now wall art for Jessica :-)
Instead of a birthday key, I purchased a blank black canvas, and along with a white Gel pen, Jessica’s friends could write messages to her. This is now wall art for Jessica πŸ™‚
I asked Robin to get some chipboard and I drew a huge number two and one on it. He cut them out with a jigsaw and I painted them black.
I asked Robin to get a sheet of chipboard and I drew a huge number two and one on it. He cut them out with a jigsaw and I painted them black.
Both the two and one were covered with photos of Jessica growing up :-)
Both the two and one were covered with photos of Jessica growing up πŸ™‚
And here is my gorgeous girl with her '21' photo board <3
And here is my gorgeous girl with her ’21’ photo board <3

We hired out a local club and had a wonderful evening together. Jessica is my baby and to think she is now 21 is unbelievable. Where have those years gone? Jessica is very talented, and a beautiful young lady. I am very proud of her πŸ™‚

The birthdays haven’t finished yet! On the 18th of March we celebrated Luke’s 1st birthday with an amazing Star Wars themed party, which I have written about approximately three blogs down! Go have a look. It was the best themed birthday EVER!

The whole house was set up in a Star Wars theme to celebrate Luke turning 1 :-)
The whole house was set up in a Star Wars theme to celebrate Luke turning 1 πŸ™‚

In early April Daniel came to New Zealand with daughter Sophie, and while they were staying here, I decided to put on an early 1st birthday for her. Her actual birthday is the 21st of April, but she would be back home in London by then. It was fantastic having them both to stay so it really was a double celebration! I purchased ladybug table napkins and decided to make her cake to match them. Here’s what it turned out like…

The ladybug theme! Copied from the table napkins and plates :-)
The ladybug theme! Copied from the table napkins and plates πŸ™‚
The table set up for her party. We had family here to help celebrate and brought pizzas as well....yum!
The table set up for her party. We had family here to help celebrate and brought pizzas as well….yum!
Here's Daddy Daniel cutting Sophie's cake
Here’s Daddy Daniel cutting Sophie’s cake
And beautiful little Sophie with her cake :-)
And beautiful little Sophie with her cake πŸ™‚

Simon’s birthday was next on the 17th of April, and coming upΒ next weekΒ is mine!

I think I may have a party???

It’s January 2013!!!

I can’t believe how fast the last year went! Who would believe that we are now heading towards the middle of January 2013 already!

Well….life is great! I had a fabulous Christmas and even managed a week in Sydney with Matthew, Rebecca, Leeara and Casey (and had a night out with Ben and Chloe). Robin and the girls were also in Sydney for Christmas day so we had a lovely family time. Jessica and I had to fly back home on Boxing Day because I had to work the next 2 days and Jessica had booked to go to ‘Rhythm and Vines’ music festival.

Since being back home I have had Simon and the 2 boys staying plus Ben and Chloe came to stay for about 5 nights as well. We tried to do as much as possible together for those 5 days. Simon left and went up to Hamilton where he is going to be best man for his friends wedding, and Ben and Chloe flew back to Sydney. I still have my 2 grandsons staying and have been having so much fun with them.

Robin and Joanna got back home on the 6th of January and both have been working again this week. Life is slowly getting back to normal and that means routine!

Joanna turns 21 on the 15th so the next big event will be her birthday dinner. Luckily for me, she has booked her party at a local venueΒ so I won’t have to be preparing food.

My crafting life has had to be put on hold during the Christmas season, but I have plenty of photos printed out ready for when time once again becomes available. I can’t wait! One thing that I have managed to fit in though is shifting a heap of my very old photos from their old unsafe photo albums, to new albums that are acid free. I purchased lots of photo life pages from ‘Simon Says’ and have found them a very quick way of getting the photos into albums and yet making them slightly more interesting than just plain photo albums. I have a long way to go before finishing them, but I am very happy with the progress so far.

I also made a few crafty things for gifts and also for selling in my sisters craft shop. I will attach some photos!

I will also add some photos of my fabulous family and of our time together celebrating our Saviours birthday πŸ™‚

Jo Jess and Leeara Jo Ben Jess and Casey My three youngest :-) two beautiful Daughter in laws Joanna and Casey my two daughters Dad and daughter Rebecca and Casey Beautiful Joanna In the pool together Matthew and Casey Cute Casey Christmas dinner prep Christmas dinner Christmas dinner photo Ben teaching Jayden Bat down Bat down together night at the park lights two gorgeous grandsons boys doing what boys like to do At nana nanas Our santa sacks Casey and Rosey Up to mishief Christian? Dad Simon and Christian on the walkway Christian Jayden Ben and Chloe Jayden on his bike Simon helping Christian The boys at the windwand Flying Christian Jayden at Fitzroy pool feeding the rabbits at Pouakai animal farm boys feeding the animals Jayden and the goats Christian reading the map at Pukieti Map reading time a good photo spot Nana (me) and my grandsons Maori carvings and the boys Swimming at Corbett Road The water was freezing cold Cheeky Christian A Cricut creation doorstops I made for christmas My Christmas banner

My favourite Pictures from last week

Jessica has had her final day at Sacred Heart College. That means my baby has finished school! How scary is that! Although she is happy and can’t wait to get to Uni next year, I am feeling less excited. Home is not going to be the same without her! At least Joanna will still be here (when she isn’t at WITT, the hospital, with her friends or at Powerco…busy girl that she is). Robin and I are going to have lots of time with just the two of us…I guess we will cope πŸ™‚ Mmmm lots of time to scrapbook, do other craft and maybe go away and explore more of NZ and maybe another overseas trip???

Last Tuesday evening we had the school prize giving and then Wednesday night the leavers dinner! Jess had a fantastic time with her friends. This week has started off with exams for her. The first being Statistics at 1pm today. She really needs to get good marks to be accepted into Uni. The type of degree depends on her exam results. It may be Chemical Engineering, but it may also be a Science degree???

My grand daughter Leeara put some photos of her and Casey (her sister) on facebook and I just love them. What fabulous photos of two very pretty girls. I thought I would share the photos and also the ones of Jess with her friends. And then I am off to bed. mainly music tomorrow and I need lots of energy!