Memories, lessons and randomness

Hi dear ones,

I’m very thankful for my husband. He’s amazing. Just wanted to let you all know that. 🙂

For our news from the last few months, we’ve been “settling in”. We’re getting routines down and getting our little wonderful apartment in a way we like it. We bought most of our furniture off a craigslist type website called “Gum tree”, we’ve “shopped” Steven’s parents home and Steven got some furniture from a bulletin board at work.

We had our Australian wedding reception in September and a church outreach event end of September. In October we visited Steven’s dad’s parents ( we wore our wedding finery again) to get pictures with his grandparents. Then suddenly a few days later Steven’s Gran passed away. So we had another trip up to visit Dad’s side of the family and for the funeral. A rather sad time. But I’m just really thankful we went for that visit. Steven and I both had colds and were quite miserable the whole time but if we hadn’t gone we would have had regrets for missing seeing Gran one last time. We don’t have any regrets from that. Also as a result I’ve taken to documenting stories and facts about family on both Steven’s side and mine. Heritage and memories are important and if we don’t write things down they will be lost.

It’s summer now, and back in October (spring) I started my garden. I’ve grown tomatoes, lettuce and some herbs and struggling with aphids on my capsicum (pepper), broccoli and cauliflower plants. We’ve picked many tomatoes thus far and I’m shocked at the sweetness… Looking forward to more soon. I have such fun memories of gardening with my dad that I enjoy doing the little I can on our little verandah with pots.

I got a lot of pictures printed from our wedding and receptions and have been working on thank you notes. They are all done but three. (I think) and I still need to mail some cards to family. I’ve already sent thank you notes, but I want to send them more photos. Sometime soon I hope to create an online photobook of pictures from our wedding as well as scrapbook pictures.

Steven built a book press for me that is very helpful for my book repair passion. I’ve kidnapped a stack of hymn books from our church and have done most of them with a few left to be done sitting in our spare room. Little did I know way back in 2006 when I learned how to carefully take books apart and repair/make new covers how much that skill has been helpful since.

Steven finished up the test flights and requirements for his private pilot’s license in November. So I got really excited and of course baked him a celebratory cake. 🙂 We did a family (Steven’s parents, sisters and Nanny) Thanksgiving meal on the 1st of November. It’s a bout halfway-ish between Canadian Thanksgiving and American Thanksgiving. I did a chicken roast and all the fixings. I’m looking forward to something similar each year. It does make me more appreciative for what my mom and Grandma have done in the past in organising and serving up a meal with so many dishes. I’m glad I did simplify many aspects of the meal and had my “menu” all planned and took a few days to prep, so it was quite simple, but still tiring.

Steven had a work conference in Melbourne the last week of November so his work paid for us both to stay at a very fancy hotel for three nights. We used my Qantas flyer points to pay for most of my flight and his work covered his and meals (fun way to spend Thanksgiving!) I did get very tired from the trip and walking everywhere down town Melbourne. If you ever go, try out the free trolley that circles the old section of the city. I did it about three times one day.

I’m still struggling with back and neck and shoulder pain/chronic fatigue symptoms and have to be careful with how much I do. So we are slowly trying to get my energy back up and healing. I’ll have several days with no symptoms then several days with pain little energy. I’ve been doing stretches from the chiropractor, and now just added in a bit more walking and done a few days of modified (slow and just a few repetitions) of pilates. I do feel like my neck is able to turn more in just the few days. I’m still struggling with a nagging headache. Wondering if is sinus because it’s constant.

We went to a concert of the Messiah at Town Hall in Sydney just before Christmas.  And we enjoyed a Carols in the Park one evening in Canberra. We spent Christmas day with Steven’s family and the 26th of December we did a video chat with my sister and her in-laws and my parents and grandparents and learned that my sister is pregnant with a baby boy!!! That makes me just a bit excited.

My Christmas present this year was a wonderful sewing machine. I think it’s smarter than me. The first sewing I did on it was repairing a pillow case. Then some other mending. I did finally get started with a fresh project a few weeks ago that mission where I’ve completed four quilts in just a few weeks. I’ve tried a bit of applique and done a pot holder, table runner and mug rug.

I started this blog five years ago as a newsletter for friends and family as I started off student teaching then planning to teach overseas. What we’re thinking is to still use it as a newsletter but also as an outlet for posting my “creations” or projects, so that pictures of my quilts aren’t just accumulating on a SD memory card. Hopefully random pictures of pot holders or quilts or paintings, sketches or repaired books won’t bore anyone. I’ve run the idea by Steven and hope to post a bit more. We don’t plan on making this a tutorial or diy blog though. 🙂 So don’t plan on seeing patterns or how to instructions. Most of what I make I got the idea from somewhere else…

End of December we went up a bit north of Sydney to a four-day church camp (think conference for families) with a church in Sydney. Last minute Steven and I discovered we were needed to lead discussion groups after each preaching session. So that was an interesting challenge to lead groups with just a starting title question to get discussions going. I tried to brainstorm and we had a few ideas to take into each session to share and hopefully help others. It’s a bit scary though when you feel like being a newly wed and even though I have a lot of theories on being a wife and mother, I don’t have the experience to go along with it. The ladies were gracious and participated well. Steven was involved with music for several sessions and I was privileged to sing in two quartet specials.

On our way home we took a detour and visited Steven’s mum’s godparents. I’d heard a lot about them but never met them so it was nice to meet “Uncle” Pete and “Auntie” Eve. They both started sharing stories and I tried to write down many of them during our visit. We were also able to get a few pictures during that visit as well.

We are working through a stack of to-dos, for Steven that’s get in some flying in to keep his license for the aero club, and we’ve applied for a new passport for me. It’s a slow process to get my various forms of id linked. It’s a bit of a challenge when I have half my documents in one name and the other half with my other name. Hopefully we will get them all sorted out soon. 🙂

We also traded vehicles. We traded in the ute Steven bought in 2010 for a Mitsubishi Pajero. The comfort is so much better and it’s much easier for me to drive (less painful on my back and shoulders) and parking/steering is so much better. With getting that registered we got my driver’s license for ACT done (cue clapping). 🙂

The other day we drove past a chest of drawers but the side of the road marked free. I asked if we could stop to check it out. one drawer was busted, I didn’t like the huge handles and it didn’t seem to be in the best shape so we left it, but there were two long boards that would make a nice shelf, and a smaller board with brackets and screws attached. Clean, free wood is nice! Later Steven got to musing, hmm, maybe the shelf and brackets would make a good base for our floor fan with the busted base (also from the side of the road). So He drilled holes and attached screws and remade the shelf into a base using one of the brackets. Two free items  made a usable fan. We’re both trying to use what we have.

This weekend we are attending a wedding in Sydney and we’re planning a youth group activity. I’m teaching Sunday School once a month now. We’ll be talking about Noah in my next lesson. I’ve been wondering things like, “Does the Bible say it took a 100 years for Noah to build the Ark? or do we just assume that’s so?” and “I wonder how many children Noah had before the flood, was it just 3 sons or more?”… A few others are “Why do we think Noah was ridiculed, other than passages in the New Testament telling us he preached destruction to come?” and a few more.

We are trying to be careful with spending in order to have more savings for a house someday. Where that house will be is another question…

We’re praying for direction and wisdom.  Please let us know how we can pray for you.

In Christ,

Beth (for both of us :))

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