4 things I adore about my 4 year old.

And though she be but little, she is fierce.

Hi friends,
Ok it’s 7:30pm on Monday October, 16th 2017.
In 2 more sleeps I will have a 4 year old. I don’t know if I am emotionally prepared to have my baby turn 4.
FOUR! 4! 1, 2, 3 – FOUR!!! FOUR! I don’t know how many more ways I can type the word, but I am freaking out…
I struggle every birthday, it is so bitter sweet for me. I am so very grateful to God that she is growing up so healthy & smart and I love watching her learn & become her own person, but at the same time I long for her as a little bubba.
I love seeing old videos of her pop up on my Facebook, I have never noticed how much her voice has changed and maybe that is because I’m with her 24/7, but when I hear her on video 1 or 2 years ago, oh my gosh – it is so sweet, my heart nearly bursts.
I could talk about and gush over my daughter all day… I am truly so proud of the little girl she is. So to keep this post somewhat short, here are…
Four things I adore about my darling four year old…

  • She is fierce – so fierce… Fiercely independent, has a fierce thirst for knowledge – she loves to learn and is so incredibly bright, she is fiercely protective of her baby brother and she has a fierce attitude – which at times can be challenging, but I know it’s important to be wired that way, I am too. She’ll grow up not taking nonsense from anyone and be incredibly determined in life. I am so proud she is fierce.
  • She is wise. She is an old soul and understands things far beyond her years. She’s very perceptive of things that are going on around her and in our world, she often doesn’t need to be told about things, yet she understands what I am dealing with. Even the words and phrases she uses often surprises people. Words like; father, goodness gracious, oh my goodness, oh dear, darling, actually and similar – the list is endless and she’s so hilarious. She loves learning new words, what they mean and then using them.
  • She is an absolutely incredible big sister. She loves her baby brother and Trent and I are so proud of how caring she is towards him.
  • She loves music, she sings along to all the country music I listen to and often can be heard singing a country song as she falls to sleep. Her all time favourite song lately is “the outback club” by Lee Kernaghan.
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If you would like to read my column that was inspired by LuLu check out the latest edition of Highfield’s Style HERE

Our darling LuLu is such a bright, active, creative, fun, sweet girl – we are so proud of her and cannot wait to watch her grow & thrive even more during this next year. She has changed us into the people we are today and we will be forever thankful to God for our darling little sweetheart. Our snuggle bug, our wild & fierce, daring & clever, beautiful & hilarious LuLu bug.
Happy 4th birthday LuLu. I love you so very much.

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Come shopping with us! {Mummy – Daughter Vlog & Haul.}

Hey friends,
What a week! But it’s Friday, I made it to Friday (praise Jesus) and I have a new video for you all!
Click HERE to watch a shopping vlog & haul with LuLu & I! Aug shopping.jpgThis was a really fun day out for just us girls. LuLu was super excited to feature in a video, she’s been asking for awhile to be in them (trying to jump in, lol) So she was so happy to film a few little pieces…

I’m pretty sure though unfortunately from this day, LuLu caught the flu at the shopping centre… Over the weekend she was a little out of sorts, by Sunday night she was complaining of headaches, Monday she was miserable, Tuesday was spent on the couch watching TV & then the early hours of Wednesday morning we were up the hospital in emergency because she had super high temperatures… Thankfully by Thursday she was feeling better & temperatures were down and today she is almost back to normal! And because it’s the way things go, she is going back to being full of energy & I’m starting to feel very unwell… So I am dreading going through the cycle she just went through, it seemed horrific! Gosh, I hope mine is something minor and not the flu!

Anyway, I am off to rest… I hope you enjoy this video! Please leave a comment below, or on the video saying “HI” to LuLu, I’ll read her the comments! Or connect with me on social media!
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Have a great weekend!
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Mother’s Day Craft. {2016}

Hello friends!
Mother’s Day is quickly approaching, which is exciting. My sister should have had her little baby by then, so it will be a very special Mother’s Day. 
To celebrate Mother’s Day, LuLu & I made some cute cards for my Mum & Grandmother (her Ninna & Great Nin). 
We just used a sheet of A4 sparkly glitter card, but you could make this craft smaller for a card. 
Our card is a bit more like a poster to hang on the fridge and wall! 
It is a card that also gives the lovely ladies in our lives a special bouquet of flowers!


This craft is very simple and you only need a few basics things and the main item you probably have in your pantry!
You will need;

  • Cupcake/patty pan liners.
  • A piece of paper or card. (Any size you like, a plain card or an A4 sheet)
  • Green pipe cleaners, paint or felt for the stems.
  • Glue.
  • Scissors.
  • Glitter or buttons or any other embellishments you would like to decorate the centre of the flowers with. 
  • An extra piece of paper to add a message. (optional)
  • Pens, markers, crayons etc.
  • A magnet if you want to make it hangable on a fridge. 
Steps;
  1. Pick out your cupcake liners and flatten them, LuLu loved doing this! 
     

  2. Lay out your design on the piece of card. This is the part where if you want to trim the flowers with scissors, you can now. Laying it out is helpful so this way you can plan how they will look and they will fit. LuLu picked the colours of the flowers and I stacked them together, while we were doing this craft we were going over our colours and also talking about patterns (dotty, swirly etc) 
  3. Glue your flowers together and then to the card, I found glue stick wouldn’t work and we used craft glue. 
  4. Embellish the middle of the flowers with glitter or anything you find pretty. We of coursed used glitter – because glitter is always necessary according to LuLu.  
  5. Attach stems, we used green pipe cleaners & hot glue (I did that). I find pipe cleaners wont stick with regular craft glue. But painting, drawing or even using a felt stem would work as well. Work with what you have. 
  6. Attach a Mother’s Day message. We attached a small banner to the top and have written a message on the back of the cards. If you wish to attach a magnet, do so to the back of the card. And ta-da a bright and lovely bunch of flowers that will brighten someones day. This card could also work as a birthday card or just a sweet little gift to remind someone you love them!
This craft is very basic, but I think it is very sweet & any Mumma, Grandma, Auntie – whoever would love it. They are beautiful bright flowers that will never die! The best kind!
If you make this craft I would love to see them, please show me on my social media;

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I hope you are all having a lovely week.
This weekend is my husbands birthday & my sister is due very shortly to have her baby – so it is a very exciting & lovely time for us all!
Take care friends!

Toowoomba Royal Show {2016}

Last week was The Toowoomba Royal Show… We spent some time there on Friday and I thought I would share some of the photos from our lovely day with you all.
We arrived early for when the gates opened which allowed us to visit stalls and walk around while it was still very quiet, which I feel works best for us with LuLu.
Our first stop was the petting zoo because I figured it would be busy during the rest of the day…

LuLu got to bottle feed some animals.
And feed an alpaca some gum leaves!

LuLu also got the chance to ride a pony with a riding school, she absolutely loved it and blew the instructors away with how confident and calm she was & how well she could ride – for a 2 1/2 year old who has never ridden a horse before! (Well, a real horse – she does love her rocking horse!)

 The 3 of us wandered through the livestock areas, LuLu loved looking at all the calves. She made friends with this little one, “Midnight”.

By the time we got to side show alley there was still only a very few people there, which for us was perfect. Trent was able to take LuLu on the dodgem cars without the risk of someone crashing into them… (Which I know is the point of them, but it’s not that fun for a little 2 year old)

We had a beautiful morning together.
We came home and Trent left for work and later that evening LuLu & I returned to the show for dinner & to watch the fireworks. I really wanted to take LuLu at night, because there is something fun about going to the show at night time!

We played some more side show games, her favourites were the clowns and fishing games. 

After the impressive fireworks display, we headed on home…
We had the most lovely day as a family and during the evening LuLu and I really enjoyed our Mumma/daughter time. 
What is your favourite part of the show?

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Making hearts with my sweetheart. {Easy D.I.Y Clay Ornaments}

Valentine’s Day is this Sunday…
So this upcoming sweet holiday has been the perfect excuse to do some crafting with my tiny sweetheart! 
This past week we made some little clay ornaments…
She is at the age now where she is very interested in helping out in the kitchen so she really enjoyed helping make them, rolling them out & cutting out the shapes.
They do take a little time to make, but LuLu had a very fun time making them and painting them with her best little friend.
The dough is very soft to work with and not grainy, it dries well and is a beautiful white colour. 


“Not salt dough, clay ornaments” –
Ingredients;

  • 1/2 cup cornflour (corn starch)
  • 1 cup bi-carb soda (baking soda)
  • 3/4 cup of water.
  • A few drops of lavender (or any essential oil you like) *optional.
  • Food colouring *optional. (if you wish to add colouring, mix with water first then add)
Useful items;
  • Small/medium sized sauce pan.
  • Spatula/wooden spoon.
  • Measuring  cups.
  • Bowl.
  • Wet chux/cloth.
  • Rolling pin.
  • Cookie cutters.
  • Straw.
  • Paint/glitter/embellishments/clear varnish or clear drying glue.
Making the clay;
  1. In a small-medium sized pot add all ingredients. 
  2. Stir over medium heat, it will be very liquidy for a few minutes. 
  3. Then suddenly you will notice the texture start to thicken, keep stirring. 
  4. When it looks like very smooth dough take it off the heat. 

  5. Place the clay dough in a bowl and cover with a damp cool cloth to cool down. (About 1/2 an hour) 

  6. When cool, dust cornflour over a smooth surface and knead the dough.
  7. Start rolling it out flat – you don’t want it to be too thin because that will cause it to crack. Try to not over roll it too many times as that can also cause cracking. (about 1/2 a centimetre thick is good) If you find the clay is starting to dry out or crack a tiny bit as you are rolling it, wet your hands lightly and roll the clay back into a ball. 

  8. Cut out your shapes. You can use cookie cutters for this or stamps (trim around the edges once you’ve made the imprint with a stamp) and you can even make hand prints.
  9. If you plan to hang your ornaments, make a hole in the top with a straw. 
  10. To harden you can either let air dry over night or for a day or pop them in the oven at 80degrees Celsius (175 Fahrenheit)  for an hour, turning them over 1/2 way. *Mine could’ve had a bit longer in the oven, so you could extend the cooking time for an extra half hour or so – but check them regularly, they did finish drying over night. 

  11. Once baked/air dried – decorate however you wish. We used paints & glitter and sealed them with a clear varnish.

This craft was lots of fun for both of us. I also made a few little gift tags to use on gifts. The clay was super easy to make, with the addition of lavender it also smelt nice and the bright white of the clay was very pretty – so if you didn’t want to paint it – you don’t need to. If you didn’t want to involve your child in the making of the dough (because kids in the kitchen can be a bit of a handful sometimes) you could easily whip this up while they were asleep at night and then they are all ready to paint and decorate the next day! This was the perfect activity for a play date, both girls seemed to really enjoy painting the ornaments. 
These love hearts will make very sweet little Valentine gifts for our loved ones! 
I really love doing activities like this with LuLu, it may just seem like a craft or play – but she is learning so much through play.
She was learning;
Maths; Measuring and shapes. (She now tells me every time she see’s a heart)
Science; She saw the mixture change form. From dry ingredients, to liquid and then to a clay. And then from a soft clay to a hard ornament. She also learnt that the clay was hot, but we had to wait for it cool down.
Motor skills; Scooping and tipping ingredients, mixing, kneading, rolling, squeezing the clay, cutting, painting, sprinkling glitter, helping thread the twine and hanging the ornaments.
Literacy; Following instructions and older kids would also be learning to read a recipe.
She also learnt patience while the clay was being cooked on the stove & while it was cooling.
So please always remember every single thing we do with our children is a learning experience. They are little sponges and take it all in, they love to learn. You don’t have to sit down and do actual lessons – play based learning is so wonderful for little kids. 
So I encourage you to try this craft, I would love to see your beautiful ornaments.
Make sure you hashtag #MotheringwithHeartandJoy or share it to one of my social media accounts!

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I hope you have a lovely Valentine’s Day with your loved ones. 


To read my previous 2 posts that have been very popular click HERE and HERE.

On the blog today; making hearts with my sweetheart! ❤️❤️This clay ornament recipe is very easy and is handy to…
Posted by Modern Wife Life 31 on Monday, February 8, 2016

Wife Life; Surviving night shift life with a toddler in Summer.

Hello dear friends!
How has your week been?
Our week has been quiet but busy… Trent has been on night shift this week, so our days are normally very quiet because he needs to rest. But after he leaves to work LuLu and I have been having some very busy afternoons.
So let’s talk about shift work, it is very common today – almost all my friends have had some experience with it. Either they do or have done it, their parents did or their partners work shift work. Thankfully the shifts my husband works are family friendly hours. He gets home at good & reasonable hours and also has a good amount of days off. We are very fortunate, but the days he works are still hard on our little girl who loves her Daddy very much and always wants to be close to him.
The way we deal with – “survive” the nightshift side of shift work at this season of our life is just to keep busy. LuLu misses her Daddy a lot when he is working, doesn’t matter if it’s day or night shift or even if he has just popped out to the store to grab milk, she misses him anytime he isn’t with her – so to help with that I try to keep our time together busy and with lots to do. 
Now Trent doesn’t do FIFO or live away from us, he comes home at the end of every shift and I am very thankful for that – so I am not an expert on dealing with extended time away from my husband and LuLu away from her Daddy, but I thought the way we run our life may encourage or inspire one of you, especially if you are in a similar stage of life & situation to us.
Trent leaves for his nightshift in the early afternoon and he returns home just after midnight – so that gives him a good chunk of time to sleep when he first gets home and he has a few extra hours in the morning after LuLu and I wake up, then he is awake and spends some time with LuLu – this week they have been in the pool every day. It’s been very hot here so the nice cool pool has been a real treat! 

Our little fish loves diving in the pool for her toys.

While they swim, I either pop out and do groceries, tidy up around the house, do laundry, catch up on my jobs, sometimes join them for a swim and then I make lunch. We have a big lunch when Trent is on nights and he takes leftovers for his dinner. 
LuLu has a nap after lunch and Trent sometimes does too and then he leaves for work… When LuLu wakes up we have afternoon tea (bowl of fruit) and she watches a small amount of TV.
After 3/3:30pm LuLu and I head outside. While Trent is on nightshift I use our afternoons to try and get lots of jobs done outside, especially when the weather is so nice & warm and the days are a bit longer.
I really enjoy getting a lot of jobs done in my day, it makes me feel good & satisfied knowing I did something today and chipped away at my always growing “to-do list”. I also feel I am helping Trent out a lot by taking away some of the jobs that he often does. He is off working hard, so if I can mow the lawn to save him doing it on his days off – that makes me happy & that time on his days off can be better spent as family time or he can relax after working hard. I know I don’t “need to do” these jobs, Trent would easily do them – but I like being helpful to him and that is also part of the calling of being a wife. (Genesis 2:18) 
LuLu loves outside time, so she thinks it is the best thing when we put on our sunscreen, hat & shoes and get ready to head outside.
This week we have so far; bathed the dogs, hosed the gardens & lawns everyday, pulled weeds out of the garden, washed the car, mowed the lawns, washed out the garbage bins – you know basic tidying up around the outside of the home and we also baked some cookies & painted our nails as a treat and the other afternoon my parents visited. So our afternoons have been jam packed & full of jobs but also fun. 

Pats for the freshly bathed doggies.

I always make sure that I when do a job I either try to include LuLu as much as possible or straight after I am finished we do something fun so LuLu feels involved and it is also enjoyable for her.
LuLu is now at the age where she can wander around the yard & play or follow and help me – she just loves being outside. Some jobs like washing out the bins, she obviously doesn’t help with – but I make sure she has something to do – like have a bike to ride while I quickly get the job done. I always make sure I can watch her as I work. With washing the car, mowing the lawn, watering the plants, baking – these are jobs LuLu loves to help me with. She washes her Little Tikes pink truck & bike, she has her little mower, her own watering can and loves to help hose and she’s a great little helper in the kitchen.

Our 2 little “big rigs” all washed.
Helping me out by hosing the plants.

While I mow the lawns LuLu has a ton of fun toys to play with outside, she has a trampoline, cubby, little climbing toy and I also set up her water table for her to play with. This week we have also been setting up the sprinkler with our tank water, LuLu has been having a ball running through it in the afternoon.

Water table fun… If LuLu is getting bored with the toys that come with the table, I just bring out some toys from inside. This Kewpie doll was mine when I was younger, and its the perfect dolly for her to bath.
Running through the sprinkler.
Bouncing on the bounce with Ninna… Grandparents, friends & family make great distractions too for little kids when a parent is off working…

One afternoon I got the hose out while we were playing on the trampoline – “The bouncy bouncy” – our wild & fearless little girl thought it was the best thing in the world. In no time at all she had worked out how to run & slide with her feet and she was having a ball! 

We often are outside until about 6pm’ish – then we go inside dirty & exhausted from our big afternoon of playing and doing some jobs. Our night routine is to have showers, eat dinner – which is often leftovers from lunch, tidy up and then read books while LuLu drinks her milk, clean our teeth and get ready for bed. 
Once LuLu is asleep I finish tidying up the house for the night, put the dishwasher on and then I either read, check my social media, text friends or watch a movie (often I am doing more than one of these at once – LOL) 
But that is how I survive night shift with a toddler in Summer. Every season of life and the year is different and brings new challenges – but I think at this stage of our life when LuLu is an active, outdoor loving little toddler and the weather is so nice & warm – having a busy afternoon is the best, for us. Your idea of a busy afternoon maybe visiting friends or family, doing crafts, heading out to do some shopping or heading to a local park or library. You have to make your time with your child, your own. I really like showing my daughter that it is great to get outside, help out, be active, enjoy nature, take care of our home, have fun & it’s ok to get a bit dirty & messy when we are working. I also like having LuLu help when it’s appropriate for her to help, I believe it is creating a good foundation for her to grow up knowing that it is important to help others & help with jobs around the house. (She is very good with her little jobs, if you would like a post on that let me know!)
The other thing I want to note here, is when we are outside in the afternoon my phone is inside. The photos included in this blog post are taken quickly on my little point & shoot underwater camera, mainly at the end of the afternoon… I try to make a conscious effort every day, especially when it is just the 2 of us to spend time with LuLu with no phone. I use the time after she is asleep to check & update my social media. I really do encourage you to try the same, even just 1 hour – leave the phone on charge. 
Our afternoons together have been really beautiful & wonderful this week. I especially love the time when we are just holding hands walking around hosing the plants and the grass, we have little chats, water fights, we laugh – it is just lovely. I love motherhood I really do and it’s moments like that I will treasure forever. 
I know night shift/shift work can be stressful and overwhelming at times & it is hard on children when they miss their Dad/Mum, but I hope this posts encourages you. Even if you don’t have to worry about shift work, I hope this post motivates you to at least just go outside this afternoon – set up the sprinkler and run through it! It doesn’t matter how old you are, it’s always fun!

Get outside and dance under the sprinkler, do it! I highly recommend doing it at sunset, even quickly set a timer on your camera and take a quick photo to remember the fun.

But in all seriousness, I truly hope this post helps someone. Last year our season of life was different, LuLu was younger and I couldn’t get as much done – but now she’s older and wants to help & would be outside every second of the day if I let her. So you have to do what you can at your season of life, but my biggest suggestion & tip for you if your partner does shift work – especially nights – is to stay busy. It can get lonely and boring and the hours can drag on if you let it – but I really find staying busy or having plans makes it so, so much easier. Make a plan, say “this afternoon, I am going to hose the garden” or mow the lawn, paint a picture, have a play date, do a messy craft outside, bake a treat, call my friend or watch a movie after the kids are asleep etc. 
I think getting outside with kids & having water play instantly makes them happier, so if you can do that – do it, especially if they are cranky! Also make life easier on yourself, make enough food at lunch so you can eat leftovers for dinner, it’s easier to have leftovers than cook a whole new meal. 
I find having lots to do makes the time go faster and it makes the whole experience a lot easier on our daughter and also myself. We have night shift weeks that aren’t so busy, fun & successful and I often find they drag on and aren’t enjoyable and then I find myself getting down. But the days we plan to do something or even just get outside and play or do a small job, makes it a lot more enjoyable and pleasant. Having a very busy & active afternoon also makes us both tired and helps us sleep – so that is also a bonus. (I don’t know about you but I don’t sleep that great without my husband!)
Does your partner do shift work? How do you handle it? Do you have any tips? I would love to hear them, leave me a comment below or on my social media! Please also let me know if you would like to hear our week works when my husband is on day shift.
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Have a lovely afternoon, we are on our final night shift for this run, so I am off to wash down the outside windows & my brother is coming to visit and take LuLu swimming.
Enjoy your weekend…

Sunflowers, us, resolutions & realisations.

My first post of 2016…
I thought I would share some happy & sunny photos of the 3 of us and just have a chat…
Yesterday we were up early and headed out to a small town about an hour away from us, we were chasing sunflower fields… We found a field and pulled up for a quick family photo shoot, it was just us and the camera & tripod.

Sunflowers just make me happy, they are so bright and lovely to look at…
I really love how these photos turned out, we got some really cute ones. 

Now let’s chat about the New Year….
I’ve headed into this year with the mindset of calm, simple & slow. That’s how I want our life to mainly be, sure there are times in life when it’s busy chaos – but I don’t want my whole life to be like that – sometimes the madness, good & bad can’t be avoided. But I want to have a life in which I can savour moments, a life where I am not stressed constantly & a life that is good for me & my family. 
So with that in mind, that is what has inspired this years resolutions… Not that my resolutions are anything crazy, new or out of the normal, they are pretty standard and the things I aim for and pray about daily… 

  • Mother to the best of my ability and with all my strength & heart.
  • Be the best wife I can.  
  • Live a slower & simpler life.
  • Buy less, choose well.
  • Be content, calm & stress less.
  • Be an encourager.
  • Become wiser.
  • Continue to be strong in my faith & live a life that leads others to God.
  • Live my best life.

Now of course I have a few little personal goals…

  • Go on a small family trip this year… At least one.
  • Hunt another deer. 
  • Start our veggie garden.
  • Make more from scratch.
  • Declutter & organise my home.
  • Sew a quilt – well, just sew something more complex than bunting or a cushion.  

2015 was a year a few things made me see life & just situations differently. So these are a few realisations I am bringing to 2016.

  • We cannot control life, God has a greater plan for us and every aspect of our life. We can either fight that and become discouraged & down or we can just trust in the Lord and know that we will eventually see his plan and he will provide for us what we truly need. Sometimes our idea of what we need and want isn’t right and even though at the time we are sad things didn’t work out, we eventually understand why it didn’t.
  • Pain will happen, pain doesn’t necessarily go away – you just learn to deal with it. And pain and hurt is ok, it happens to everyone on some varying degree, we are all carrying around pain & sadness – that’s why it is sometimes good to be kind to everyone – we have no idea what anyone else is dealing with.
  • I’ve also realised we do not own anyone, their feelings or circumstances. Friends or family – they are their own people and will do what they do. We can offer words of advice or explain why their behaviour is perhaps causing us pain but we cannot make them do, say or act how we want or how we would. But sometimes people are just hurtful, selfish & not healthy to be around and it is ok to let people go – especially friends. Some friends/people are for seasons in our life and there to only teach us lessons and others are there for our whole life. 
  • Life is to be enjoyed, my idea of enjoying life maybe the total opposite to other peoples and that is ok. My life is mine and I am here to live my best life.
  • Being happy is a choice. Being sad is a choice. Sometimes it is ok to be sad, but don’t dwell in it. Be sad, experience it and then pick yourself up and choose happiness. If you find yourself struggling to be happy or feel good, stand up and look around. Everything in our lives is a reason to be happy & grateful. Having a grateful heart makes a happy mind. Reading this blog, this means you own a piece of technology & have an internet connection, the tap you turn on for a glass of clean water, you are alive and most likely in fairly good health – each of those things as basic as they are are reasons to be grateful & happy. How you see your life effects your attitude and feelings.
What are your resolutions? Did 2015 make you have any big life realisations? I would love to hear!
Leave me a comment below or on my social media…