Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Christmas Traditions

I love Christmas. Not as much as some people, but I still love it.
My family doesn't go overboard with it because we believe that the main focus of the day should be on Jesus as the 'Reason for the Season'. However, we still give presents and eat good food :)

A few of the Christmas traditions that my family has are:

1. Kris Kringle
This is where each person puts their name (along with 2 or 3 things that they want) into a hat. Each person draws a name, and then buys that person a gift to the equivalent of $30. It cuts down on the expense of buying presents, and means that each person gets something they want.

2. Nativity Scene
There's always a Nativity Scene no matter where we are. Most years we've had the same nativity scene up (one that my parents have had for years), but this year we're at my sisters' place, and she has a Willow Tree nativity scene up.

3. We always read the story of Jesus' birth

Last Christmas we went to Stansbury for a week, and this year we've gone to Mt. Gambier for Christmas. As much as I hate being away from home, and being unable to go to my church's Christmas Eve and Day services, I do enjoy being away from the hustle and bustle of things (in a sense) and being able to relax a bit :)

I love Christmas, and I love the way my family celebrates it :)

Hope everyone has a very blessed Christmas!!!

Thursday, 5 November 2009

6 Challenges in 1 Month

I've found that if I don't challenge myself to do something and tell quite a few people about it then I don't end up doing it or I burn out halfway through. Ie. running, keeping my room clean etc.
A challenge means that I'm only doing it for a particular amount of time, and telling people means that I'm accountable to finish it.

With no further ado, here are the 6 challenges and their rules:

Challenge starts: 9th November 2009 and finishes 6th December 2009 (4 weeks)

1. Cook dinner two times per week
Rules: Use recipes from the cookbook entitled "The Potluck Club Cookbook" from the section entitled "Potluck Dishes It Up (Casseroles)". Must use 8 different recipes.
(I already cook dinner 2 times a week, but I want to improve my cooking skills by not only cooking easy dishes)

2. Run 3 times a week
Rules: Run on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday working up to 1.3 kms in 3 weeks at the absolute outside. (Saturdays are also acceptable if one of these days don't work out)

3. Clean my room for 20 minutes a day
Rules: No matter whether or not my room is neat, I must clean it for 20 minutes a day.

4. Wake up at 7:30 each morning
Rules: I must start getting up at 7:30am. I read my Bible in bed, so this means that I don't necessarily get out of bed straight away, but I must begin doing something whether it be reading my Bible or getting out of bed.

5. Eat 2 pieces of fruit per day
Rules: I have to finish two pieces of fruit a day.

6. Vacuum the house once a week
Rules: Before the week is over (Sunday) I must vacuum the whole house. My Mum will be very happy about this challenge :P
(This is one of my jobs that I'm supposed to accomplish every week, but don't generally tend to accomplish)

I'm tempted to add more, but I know this will be quite a challenge for me to accomplish so I'll leave it there.
Should be fun!!

I'll be blogging the recipes that I cook, and hopefully I'll be blogging about the different aspects of each challenge as I go :)

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

They left :(

On October 1st, my sister Narelle and her family arrived from America to spend 2 1/2 weeks with my family. We haven't all been together for 3 years, and they had never met my youngest nephew, Caleb.
It was a great time! It was very busy because we were trying to cram a lot of stuff into the short time, but it was great to spend time with the kids and get to know everyone better.

I had lots of fun chasing Jared (the youngest) around the house threatening to kiss him. Jekkie (2nd youngest) would run away a little bit, but mostly she would turn her head to avoid the kisses. It was fun hugging them and mucking around with them.

Lydia and Jordan were lots of fun to hang out with, but they would just ignore me when I gave them a kiss so I didn't get a chance to chase them over the house much.
Although, Jordan would 'hit' me and then run down the other end of the house, so that was fun :P

Jekkie had this thing where, once she liked you and accepted you she would hit you. It was really funny seeing the confused looks of people once she decided to accept them :P

We went down to Mt. Gambier to visit my other older sister who lives down there. Narelle and her family had never seen her house, and they really wanted to see it. We spent a few nights down there, and while it was fun it was also really noisy because she has a smaller house and so the noise seemed to be twice what it normally was because there was so many people and kids there!

On Monday (just gone) it was a really nice sunny day (the first day since they'd come) so we headed to the beach. It was so lovely and warm and lots of fun to hang out. A couple of other homeschooling families came, and the kids had loads of fun hanging out and playing with them. A few of us got mildly sunburnt (despite the sunscreen), but we didn't mind.

They left on Tuesday and I didn't want them to go :( Lydia and I talked about shredding the tickets so that they had to stay, but that would've been pretty costly for them so we decided against it.

I'm really thankful that I got to spend time with them, but the house seems a lot emptier :(
However, at the same time it seems to have settled back into routine fairly easily, so that's something to be thankful for as well :)

Monday, 14 September 2009

Food is yummy!

I made tea on Friday night, and it turned out really well. So, I decided to share it with you.

I got the recipe out of a cookbook that I got for review, and made a few changes which I'll mark with an asterisk (*) and explain at the bottom.

Crock-Pot of Spanish Rice
2 lbs of lean ground beef * (about 1 kg)
1 cup of chopped onion **
2 green bell peppers, chopped (capsicum)
1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes (800-828grams)
1 (8 oz.) can tomato soup (230grams)
2 1/2 tsp. of chili powder ***
1 1/2 tsp. of salt
2 tsp. of Worcestershire sauce
1 cup of rice uncooked ****
1 cup of water

Brown beef in skillet; drain off fat. Combine all ingredients in slow cooker, stirring to blend well. Cover and cook on low for 6 1/2-8 hours, or on high for 3-3 1/2 hours, or until rice is done. Do not use quick rice.
Serves 8

* I had about 1 1/2 kg of mince, so I used it all
** I had no onion, so I used onion salt. I plan on using onion next time though
*** I cut down the chili powder to about 2 tsp. and this worked really well with the extra meat because it wasn't overly spicy.
**** I put in another 1/2 cup of rice because of the extra meat

With the extra meat and rice, this made heaps! It tasted great, and although you could taste the chili, I could eat it comfortably (I have a very low tolerance for spicy foods).

Thursday, 30 July 2009


Rach and her family went away on the 20th for a holiday, and they asked Elyse and I to house-sit for them.
They get back tomorrow, and I'm kind of wishing they didn't (no offense Rach. I want you to come back, I just don't want to leave your house :P). It's been fun, and it's been good.
Without any further ado, I give you a list of pros and cons about house-sitting for Rach's family:


  • I don't have to check with someone every time I go somewhere.
  • I can read lots
  • I'm only vying for the computer with one other person :P
  • I don't get told to clean up
  • I have a 50/50 say in what we have for tea
  • I can have the music up loud without someone telling me that the kids need quiet to concentrate on school
  • I've had some good conversations with Elyse
  • I've been able to spend time with Elyse even though we've been going in opposite directions a lot
  • I've been referring to Rach's place as 'home', and my home as 'Mum & Dad's' :D

  • It's a little bit scary knowing that I am ultimately responsible for my actions
  • I've been on the computer a little bit too much
  • I'm responsible for cleaning up my own mess, and no one else will tell me to clean up
  • It's been hard to motivate myself to work (I have been sick as well which has something to do with that)
  • I've had to drive 20 minutes in order to get to all the church activities I'm involved in as well as work in the first week.
  • Elyse and I have had to organize what we're having for tea, or if we're going to our parents houses for tea
It's been really good, and I've really enjoyed it. I miss my family a little bit, but I'm sure if I was to house-sit for longer I would end up missing them more.
It's been lots of fun doing my own thing, and it's been good to live with Elyse because I haven't seen heaps of her for awhile because we've both been busy.

I've been sick the whole time that we've been house-sitting which has been a bit hard, but it was really only this week that it got really bad :(
I'm slowly getting better though I think. I'm not looking forward to going home, but I am at the same time because I miss my family and I miss my normal routine :)

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Catch Up

Well, once again it's been way too long since I've posted, so instead of catching you up with what's been going on in my life (because it's way too long to go through) I thought I'd just post about what happened today :)

I was working today, and Dad needed a 100-metre tape measure so he got me to ring around a few places to find one. I found one at a place about 15 minutes from home for a reasonable price, and so Dad asked me to head down there and get it. I decided that I'd wear Mum's brown boots because I'd been wearing them last night, they were comfortable, and they looked good :)
Anyway, I got to the place, and I walked in and I'm thinking "Okay, I feel SO out of place!" It's a tradesman's store, I'm wearing high-heeled boots and a long denim skirt, and clip-clopping everywhere...
There was a few tradies there, and some of the looks they had on their faces made for a good laugh at myself. I clip-clopped my way through the store looking for the tape measure, but couldn't find it and so I ended up having to go and ask at the desk. I finally got it, paid for it, and clip-clopped my way out.
It was pretty funny, and it made for a good break in my day and gave me a chance to laugh at myself!

Wednesday, 10 June 2009


I was thinking about Steve (my brother-in-law) today, and I thought I'd share some thoughts about him :)
Steve died in March of last year after being married to Kristy for 10 weeks.
I didn't know him for very long, and I really wish I had been able to get to know him better, but some of the things that I remember about him are:

  • When I was learning to drive, he would ask me about how I was going, and if he found me studying my driving rules book, he'd ask me questions about driving and what the rules were nowadays (:P)
  • I remember one time where I was studying my rules out in the dining room, and he sat down next to me and started chatting with me about driving and telling me stories of when he learnt to drive :)
  • He was really happy for me when I finished school :)
  • He gave me an icecream maker for Christmas of 2007 :D
  • He was SO happy when he married Kristy!
He was a great guy, and I'm really thankful that I got to know him!

Friday, 5 June 2009

Pounding stakes is tiring

Well, I got a message yesterday informing me that I hadn't blogged in awhile, so I figured that I should blog.
Today was good, but crazy. Dad asked me yesterday if I would be willing to go help Jimmy pound some stakes into the ground, and considering that I would be getting paid for it, I said yes.
So last night I set my alarm for 6:45am so that I'd have plenty of time to get ready before 8:30 which was when Jimmy was coming so that we could go work. As it turns out, it's best not to go to sleep after 11pm the night before you have to pound stakes into the ground. My alarm went off at 6:45 and then again at 7, and both times I turned it off and went back to sleep. I ended up waking up around 7:20, and then dawdled around for awhile, so at 8:30 I was still eating breakfast when Jimmy turned up. Luckily Dad had to explain to him what we were meant to be doing, so I had time to finish breakfast and brush my teeth.
We ended up at the substation around 9, and after Dad showed Jimmy where he had to set up, we started working. Unfortunately, some things came up, and in the end I had to go down to the shops by myself because Jimmy had to look after the equipment. That meant that I had to drive Jimmy's car coz it was the only one that we'd taken (not much point taking two). Well, I managed to drive down there, to home, and then back to the substation without stalling it! It was great! I revved it a little bit much because I wasn't used to the clutch, but I was really happy that I didn't stall it.
After that, things went a bit more smoothly until we had about 20 minutes left in which to finish it before I had to be back home before my piano teacher turned up.
It ended up that Dad drove my car to the substation, and stayed there to help Jimmy finish up while I drove home. It was great to drive my car after driving Jimmy's! My clutch is so much lighter, and the gears are easier to shift. Driving Jimmy's car made me so thankful for my car :)
I got home just a couple minutes after my piano teacher turned up, and you'd better believe that she did not let me forget it!
So now I'm pretty tired, but feeling fairly good about my work this morning :)

Wednesday, 13 May 2009


Well, I haven't really posted an update on TAFE in awhile, so I thought I would do that.
I've pretty much finished all of my theory work for Cert 2. All that I have left to do is a resume, which I'm gonna do on Friday at TAFE, and then I'll be finished theory.
That means that on Tuesdays I'm now in the pracfirm all day trying to finish off the one department that I have left! That's right, I am really close to being finished Certificate 2 in Business!!
After that, we're going to sign me up for a second traineeship with Dad so that I can do Certificate 3 in Business Admin.
I'm a little bit sick of studying, but I'm getting some good skills, and it means that I can do more work for Dad. That means that he can focus more on the work that actually brings in the money, which means that he's doing the work that brings in the money which pays me :P
So yeah, I'm really happy that I'm almost finished Cert 2 :)

Saturday, 9 May 2009

What's happening in my life

On Monday I had my dermatologist appointment, and she gave me a stronger cream to put on my legs. I'm supposed to put it on twice a day for a month, and to try shaving without soap.
The cream seems to have already made a massive difference! My legs have barely itched this week, and I haven't scratched them! It's great, especially considering the fact that I've been wearing long skirts all week. I'm LOVING it!

On another note, I've eaten waaaaayy to much junk food this week. If I keep going like this, I'm gonna be broke and as big as a house. Maybe even two houses!
So this week, my goal is not to eat anything that I've bought with my own money.
For example, cream buns, jam buns, icecream... (coffee doesn't count :D)
I really want to eat healthily, but I need to learn to tell myself no.

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

My legs

For the past 2-3 years, I've had a rash on my lower legs. In the past year and a half, it's gotten really bad. I've times where I cannot stop scratching, because while I'm scratching I have relief.
As a result, my legs have been red and raw at times, and I can't shave for weeks on end.
Near Christmas it was getting better and seemed like it had gone. Then I started absentmindedly rubbing my leg, and then scratching, which brought it all back again!
I had a week of relief from it a couple weeks ago, and I thought it might be on its way out, but then it came back full force, and so I've decided to go see a dermatologist. I rang up on Friday, but then found out that I needed a referral. So I went to see a doctor to get a referral, and finally made the appointment today!
My appointment is next Monday at 2:45pm, and it would be great if you could all pray that it would be able to be stopped coz I'm sick of living with it :)

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Jittery, jittery

Wow! I don't think I have ever drunk as much coffee in one day as I did today.
I'm jittery. That should tell you something :)
It wasn't weak coffee either. It was strong, espresso coffee.
I took a barista course today because I've always wanted to learn how to make cafe style coffee. I made cappucinos, caramel lattes, iced coffee (espresso style), hot chocolates, and watched the other girl make affogatos, and normal lattes.
I drank one and a half cappuccinos (one c? two c's?), half a caramel latte, and an iced coffee (well, that's all I can remember anyway).
I'm not hypo because coffee generally makes me sleepy. This lot hasn't been too bad, but my hands are really jittery. Because I'm not used to drinking this much coffee, the guy teaching us told us to drink lots of water over the next 24 hours. In a little over an hour I've drunk almost a litre of water :) I'll probably drink another litre by the end of tonight.
I'm feeling pretty tired, so I'm gonna go. Catchya later

Friday, 3 April 2009

My Week in Hell

Otherwise known as My Week Without Computer :P

It wasn't too bad. It was really hard not to be able to go on the internet and waste time, and it was really hard to think about what else I could do instead.


My room is clean. I now have my brother's old bookcase in there, and my room looks pretty cool. I cleaned it on Sunday, and almost a week later it's still clean!! Miracle of miracles.

I've exercised on my gym ball more. Man, bouncing up and down on that thing for 3 minutes and 48 seconds really kills your legs!
I also got a sore back and really sore shoulders coz I was punching the air for most of that time. Yeah, I'm not really used to that.

I didn't dig into God's Word as much as I had planned, but I did do it a little bit. I started a book called 'Do Hard Things' by Alex & Brett Harris, which is great! I haven't finished it, but it's really, really good.


My plans for the next week are that I'll only spend half an hour on the internet/computer a day. No more. Also, I won't go on straight after work. Instead, I'll do something else like read my Bible, clean my room, wash/iron my clothes, or read a devotional/inspirational book.

It taught me that I can live without the internet, and that I accomplish so much more if I don't go on :)

Friday, 27 March 2009

Computer usage

I've recently been reading a book for book club called 'What Happens When Women Say Yes to God' by Lysa TerKeurst.
In reading it today, I've really been challenged to dramatically cut my computer usage.
In chapter 3, Lysa writes about how God told her to stop watching TV.
Here's her reasons as to why God told her to stop watching TV: "I wasn't a TV junkie, ... but as I prayed, I felt God telling me why the TV had to go. I enjoyed sitting down after a tiresome day and being entertained. God showed me that I was vulnerable and empty during those times. It wasn't that what I was watching was bad -- it just wasn't God's best. I was filling myself with the world's perspectives and influences, while He wanted to be my strength and fill me with Himself. I knew it would be hard to break this habit, but I was determined to ask God for the strength to do so. I prayed that my desire to please Him would be stronger than my desire for television."*

I've been feeling that through this book, God is asking me to dramatically cut my computer usage. I go on the computer several times a day. I go on before work, after work, late in the afternoon, before bed, and quite often at other times of the day as well.
I was talking to a friend the other day, and saying that I wanted to dig into the Word of God, and really grow through that.
I feel that always being on the computer is filling me up with things that God doesn't want me filled up with, and that I'm putting the computer before Him. I feel like I HAVE to go on the computer because 'something might have happened!'.
I don't want to HAVE to go on the computer every day because I feel like I can't function without it. So, for the next week I'm not going to go on the computer at all except to check my email address that I use for book reviewing, and (of course) to work and study.
I plan to use the leisure time that I would usually spend on the computer, for spending time digging into God's Word and doing my jobs at home.
In a week I'll evaluate how it's gone, and plan what to do from then on. Please keep me accountable to this, and I'll try and post about what I've learnt in the time that I spend with God.

*'What Happens When Women Say Yes to God' by Lysa TerKeurst. Chapter 3, pg. 44.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009


I hope everyone else can see the changes that I've made :)
Because if they can't, there's not much point in changing my blog.
What you should be able to see is that it's green and black now. What do you think? Please leave me a comment and tell me :D

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Kids' Bible Study

I said a couple weeks ago in this post that I was going to be teaching the kids' Bible Study at our home group. A friend of mine, Josh Clancy ended up going to be helping me, and the Thursday before last was our first week of teaching together. It went really well, and we worked well together.
Last Thursday though, Steph (his sister) rang me to let me know that Josh couldn't get onto me, and had asked them to let me know that he wouldn't be doing it anymore because he was feeling too stressed because he was involved in too much and needed to cut back on some things.
I was disappointed that he couldn't do it, but I understood why he had to.
So now I'm doing it by myself, and last week was my first week of doing it by myself. I was expecting there to be about 13 kids, so I was praying heaps beforehand and trying not to freak out. However, God was good, and there only ended up being six kids there. We went through the study too quickly, and ended up having ages to play games, but it went really well otherwise!

God is SO good!

My Icecream Flavour

Your Icecream Flavour is...Neopolitan!
You aren't satisfied with just one flavor. They say variety is the spice of life and this shines through in your Ice cream of choice! Just don't eat all the chocolate and leave the strawberry and vanilla behind!
What is your Icecream Flavour?

Find out at Go Quiz

Saturday, 21 February 2009


It was confirmed on Thursday night that I'm going to be teaching the kids' Bible study at home group.

I'm really excited, but sort of nervous at the same time.
I'm excited because I know that God is going to use me for His Kingdom, and I'm excited to see what He's going to do with this, but on the other hand, I'm nervous because I don't want to teach them incorrectly, that they won't respect me, and that they won't learn anything.

However, I'm stil excited because I know that God is in charge, I know that nothing is impossible with God, I know that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

I'm praying that God will use me in a huge way through this, and that I would grow in Him through teaching.

To God be the Glory, Forever and Ever, Amen.


I wrote this in my diary the other day, and although it's not perfect I decided to share it anyway.

"The throne of God is at the centre of the universe, and empires and emperors are among the creatures of the outer circle who exist to give praise to God."*

This sort of gave me a new perspective on things: I exist to give praise to God.

Everything I do: The way I act, dress, talk, and think, all of these things should give glory to God. They should be evidence that my life is about giving praise to God.

If I say crude or perverted things, yell at my brother or sister, talk back to my mum, say something negative to/about a friend or myself, or bludge when I should be working or studying, then how is that going to give praise to God?

If my life is about giving praise to God, then I should be saying wholesome, encouraging things, speaking kindly to my brothers and sisters, respecting my parents, encouraging friends, refusing to say negative things about people and about myself, and believing that everyone (including me) is precious in God's eyes.

This would then prayerfully change how I feel about my family and friends, and how I react to them and speak to them. People should see a definite difference in my life, I would know that my worth is in God, and all of that would be bringing praise to God.

* Quote from "The God I Don't Understand" by Christopher J. H. Wright. pg. 64

Thursday, 5 February 2009

My Dirty Car

I got my car in late October. I bought it from my older sister, and although she was going to clean it before she sold it to me she didn't end up cleaning it because things were hectic for her around that time.
Fast forward 3 months later, and I still hadn't cleaned it. Need I mention that it was filthy?
I kept meaning to clean it, but kept putting it off because I didnt' want to clean it by myself.
However, on Tuesday morning, my Mum called me out to my car and told me to bring a microfibre cloth so that I could clean the bonnet of my car. She told me that if I didn't clean it, my paint would deteriorate, and it would cost heaps of money to repaint my car.
So, like the good girl I am, I cleaned the bonnet (after Mum had lovingly chucked a bucket of water on the bonnet for me), and then I decided that I couldn't have my bonnet looking clean and the rest of my car filthy, and I proceeded to clean the rest of my car. Only, while I went around and cleaned the doors, boot, spoiler, etc. I had conveniently forgotten that the roof needed cleaning too! Well, much as I wanted my car to look perfect, I wasn't about to clean my roof and then have the grubby water spill all over the rest of my clean car!
So, the roof on my car is still grubby, and so are the windows, but I plan on getting my tall little brother to clean my roof (somehow without water :P), and I'll clean the windows soon :)

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

This year

I just came back from music practice about 1/2 an hour ago (boy, how time flies when you're on the computer!), and it was great. It's so good to be back singing, and having fun with my friends. In devotion, Mr. Stacy talked about looking for the hand of God in your life.
Well, this week I've felt God tapping me on the shoulder saying "Julia, I want you to focus on me. None of this brushing me off stuff. Just look for me."
I've found that the more I read my Bible, the more I want to read it. I'm doing a study plan to read through the Bible in a year, and so far it's really good, but I seem to want more. I guess it's sorta like, when you drink water and you just keep drinking because you're thirsty. Like the times that, no matter how much you drink you just keep wanting more. I feel sorta like that, but I keep putting off studying the Bible.

I don't know why I wrote all this, but I guess what I want this year (God willing) is to focus on him with my whole heart and not to let things (like guys) get in my way..... so, please pray for me :)

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Over a month...

That's how long it's been since I've blogged! Sorry, Rach!

In the past month a lot has happened.

We went to Stansbury on the 19th of December to spend Christmas away from home. Michael, Mel, Caleb, and Tim all came down on the 23rd, and we celebrated Christmas on the 24th because Mike, Mel, and Caleb had to go back that night.
We played tennis on Christmas Day, and ate 3 types of roast meat for lunch.
I got a CD player for Christmas, a nice top, a picnic rug, and a few bits and pieces.
We got back from Stansbury on the 26th, and Kristy and I went into Koorong with Rosie because of the sale :)

We left for McLaren Vale on the 28th and spent a very fun week there camping with people from church. We celebrated Mum's birthday on the 31st, and New Year's Day on the 1st. We were struggling to stay up until midnight, but we all managed to do it. Just.
We left McLaren Vale on the 5th, and were home for 4 days before leaving for Mt. Gambier on the 10th. It was great being down in Mt. Gambier and catching up with Kristy. I read lots of books, and we got icecream at Badenocks (spelling?). The coolest thing was that on Sunday afternoon, we had just gotten icecream from Badenocks and we spontaneously decided to go to Portland (about 1 1/2 hours away in Victoria). We hung out there for most of the afternoon, and we went into this little cafe that had HOMEMADE ICECREAM! We were soo wishing that we hadn't bought icecream earlier because they had Apple Pie Icecream, and Coconut Icecream, and a whole bunch of other flavours, and they all looked absolutely delicious!

We got back from Mt. Gambier on the 14th, and it's really nice to be done with travelling. I loved the time away, but it's nice not to have to pack up and ride in the car for a couple hours anymore :)

P.S. That was a really run-on post :P