Father’s Day 2013

It’s exactly a week ago we celebrated Fathers Day with brunch here at our home. We had a great day together and also enjoyed having our friends Jenny and Bruce with us as well.

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This year Vanessa and I gave Dad a gift that keeps on giving thanks to ADRA.

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We also headed up to the most awesome Muogamarra Nature Reserve, a bushland reserve near Cowan, which is only opened for 6 weeknds of the year when the native wildflowers are in bloom. It’s the type of place our Aunty Shirley would love.

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I had never seen a bush of Waratahs in flower until now.

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We hope you had a great Father’s Day, Dad. It was awesome to spend the day as a family out in the bush. Xo

Happy Birthday Hugh!

This afternoon on Facebook my status update read: “Today has been seriously off the charts magnificent”. This was a total understatement.

Today our close friends Mark and Erica (well pretty much Erica…) gave birth to Richie and my newest little mate… Hugh Charles Aitken.

I ran out of a training meeting this morning when Mark rang me to share the news. “Oh my goodness! What’s going on?” “I’m a father.” I just burst our crying with total joy when he said those words. “Oh Mate, that is amazing. Oh my goodness, I’m so happy. I can’t stop myself. I’m crying like a baby! That’s fantastic news!” I actually had no idea if it was a boy or girl for few minutes until I think I asked “Hang on what is it?” I was in such a state of excitement for them. He told me again that it was a boy and at that point I confessed that on Sunday night I dreamt they had a boy. I found out today that both my sister and my mum dreamt they had a boy too. Random! Anyway, Richie was away in Kempsey today speaking at a school Chapel for NAIDOC week, and kinda missed out a little bit of the excitement but Mark rang him to share the news and hopefully we’ll be able to go over and hang out on Sunday.

So Huey, HC, Ninja, Ninj, Ginger Ninja, Sarge, (these are just a little selection of nicknames for him and his parents don’t actually know yet :) – except Clare suggested Huey which I think is awesome) you are an absolute miracle and like I told you today, God has big plans for you my little mate. Can’t wait to watch you grow into the boy, and eventually the man, that God has destined you to be. You’re Aunty Bec was smashed with tears of joy today for you little buddy. Especially when you were thrown at me by your super-cool Mum for a cuddle: “Hi Aunty Bec, I’m Hugh!”

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Thankful

This week we’re thankful for our family who have loaned us various big ticket items.
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My Dad lent us his car to drive to Queensland after mine blew up on Christmas Eve Eve.

Thanks Dad! We love you!

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Thanks also to Barge & Aunty Nerilye for dropping their air-conditioned caravan up for us to sleep in at Congress.

40 degree nights doing youth ministry never felt so good!

Thank you! We love you!

Merry Christmas

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Richie and I hope and trust your Christmas Day was filled with love, joy and a sense of peace. It is so easy to get wrapped up in the presents and the Christmas lunch or dinner, and forget why we celebrate this day. It’s the most profound gift ever given to humankind. The promise of salvation, forgiveness, freedom, grace and mercy. A new life and a new hope.

Jesus is the reason. Period.

How silently the wondrous gift is given. Let earth receive her King! New life, new hope, new joy He brings.

Radiant beams from thy holy face with the dawn of redeeming grace. His law is love and His gospel is peace.

Joyful, joyful! Come and worship, come and worship! All glory be to God on high and to the earth be peace.

Let all within us praise His holy name. Glory to the newborn King!

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Words all taken from Oh Holy Night, Silent Night, O little Town of Bethlehem, Joy to the World, Away in a Manager, Hark the Herald Angels Sing, Joy to the World, Angels from the Realms of Glory, While Shepherds watched, Jesus Oh What a Wonderful Child.

Joy to the World graphic made in InstaQuote by me. Original Babuble picture taken somewhere from Pinterest :)

Happy Birthday Dad!

It’s not Dad’s birthday till Chritmas Eve, but tonight we got the Combo Deal and celebrated his 63rd, and the Pye’s Christmas.

We decided earlier in the week to hit up Yulli’s in Surry Hills for a vegan and vegetarian spread. Tonight was packed and we were lucky we booked.

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Afterwards we battled the club-like lines at Messina to get our desert. And, it was totally worth-it!

Happy Birthday Dad – we love you and thank God for you!

Being an Aunty…

…is awesome!!!

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Kiara, our niece and her boyfriend Jarrod, have stayed with us this past week. It has been heaps of fun and tonight I was spoilt with a Sunday roast. It was fantastic!!!

We’ve only got a few days left together and then they hop on their plane to head home to Brisbane.

Talk about good times, good food and good memories :)

The weekend in pictures…

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Coco came to church to be featured in Richie’s Children Story at Castle Hill SDA Church. The girls loved her, the boys hung back and watched Richie’s slide-show. You know they were too cool for school. At one point Richie looked down at her and she was on her back with her paws up lapping up the love with 10 sets of hands scratching her tummy. She was in heaven.

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After pot-luck lunch at Castle Hill we shot back to VP/MP’s for a catch up and a cup of tea. I had my first mango of the season and it was awesome.

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Love lazy Sabbath afternoons sitting in the shade in the backyard of Oakleigh.

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This photo is for Aunty Shirley – I’m sure we’ve got a photo of Ma, Pa, Dad and you standing together somewhere in that front yard. Life in the Cream Fibro!

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We shot into the city and hung out with some more friends visiting from the Gold Coast who stayed in a hotel overlooking Hyde Park. Noice.

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Dinner at il Putino Trattoria on Crown St.

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Hmmm yum Italian.

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I loved that our weekend finished with a play and a read with this lovely little man. I can’t believe Emmett is old enough to sit on my knee and read Peter Rabbit with me. Of course, I do the reading  but I’m sure it won’t be long and he will read it to me. Isn’t the cutest?!?

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Happy Birthday Mum! You’re looking hot for 60.

My parents flew in this morning. They are pretty tired, but my Dad came back to work at lunch-time. After 30-odd hours of plane travel, he comes back to work within 3 hours of arriving home. CRAZY!

In honour of their return, I’ve decided to post about my Mum’s 60th which was on the 2nd of August.

As you know, or may not know, we celebrated Mum’s birthday as a family in Madeira.

On the day of the 2nd, we drove around some of the most beautiful spots on the island and Mum ended up climbing most of the way up the highest mountain on Madeira Island. It was pretty cool considering mountain climbing/trekking isn’t her cup-of-tea.

That night we headed out to a restaurant with traditional dancers for espatada to celebrate. It was a really fun night and we enjoyed the best espatada in Madeira. In all honesty though, I still think Marcus makes better espatada. The dancers ended up getting Mum out on the dance floor and we all sang Happy Birthday – she was loving it!

Afterwards we shot home and had cake and ice-cream to finish the evening.

It was a super fun 60th which I reckon she’ll never forget!

Remind me to fill you in on the Edinburgh Tatoo which we took her to as her present. That yarn is a whole nutha blog post altogether…

Happy Sabbath from Madeira

20110806-025222.jpgSabbath Lunch at Marcus’ Grandma & Grandpa’s

Happy Sabbath from Madeira.

I haven’t blogged since last month – it’s been a bit of a hiatus and that is because there has been no time to blog during this crazy week. I really need to go back and fill in the blanks since Lourdes.

At lunch today Marcus asked me why I hadn’t blogged about Madeira.

I told him I didn’t like it.

I lied.

So here it is Marcus!!!

This place is incredible. The landscape is stunningly diverse. The mountains feel like the Himalayas (summits more like Aussie alpine), the small fishing village up the road looks like something from the Greek Isles and the weather feels kinda like Hawaii. There are no level roads in Funchal, except for the freeway to the airport. You either go up or down the side of the mountain and the roads are steep and narrow.

My photos are going to be a bit ordinary so you need to watch out for my blogging sister… hint hint Fan!

We’ve had a fun time in Madeira, (that’s a bit of an understatement really) and no doubt we’ll come back and do some more walking and exploring in a few years with Marcus and Vanessa.

20110806-025314.jpgThe view from Grandma’s driveway

20110806-025339.jpgFishing village at Camera de Lobos – close to where Winston Churchill lived

20110806-030545.jpg Summit of Pico do Arieiro – 3rd highest mountain on 1818 metres. This is where we opened Sabbath last night.

Life in a Cream Fibro

Soon my sister and her husband will be moving into my Ma and Pa’s house. It’s a fabulous fifties fibro.

It was a total mess but Marcus and VP (with help from Marcus’ parents and our Parentals) have given it a massive facelift – it’s really had dramatic plastic surgery a la Joan Rivers, except it’s really pretty, unlike Joan Rivers.

Soon they will begin their new life in a cream fibro. Have you ever read Alison Taits “Life in a Pink Fibro”? It’s a great blog and now I’ve suggested to VP to start herself a new blog called “Life in a Cream Fibro”. Original, hey?

Check out the nice Baltic Pine floors. (They are Baltic right Dad?) They were wet when we were there on Good Friday. Hence the top photo and this one below which I had to lean in through the door. My Grandfather built this home with his own two hands in the late 40’s – early 50’s. Dad was telling us that they lived in a tent on the land until Pa & Ma had enough money to build the garage. Then they moved into the garage and began the house. There was a massive shortage of building supplies at the time due to the war and the finish date of the home was extended. Finally Ma had her own kitchen and Pa had his own lounge room to one day watch man walk on the moon.

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UTS Represent

This lovely young girl, my sister, is going to be graduating in the next few weeks from the University Technology Sydney.

After the day I was baptised, and until I got married, Graduation Day was the best day of my life .  THE BEST.

I was told that it was going to be so boring and totally a waste of time, so I turned up with majorly low expectations.  Reality was, the sense of achievement was on par to climbing a mountain, especially with the adrenalin kicking in as I walked across the stage. I was lucky enough to push the boundaries and have a cheer squad of about 15 attend, unlike other poor  Graduands from city universities who are allocated a total of 3, yes ONLY 3 tickets. My support team, with Mum as the ring-leader, stood up and cheered, screaming my name as received my degree and did a little dance (Ok, so the little dance was in my head).

So UTS, cough up some more tickets so that I can see my sister take her degree in her hand and party like it was 1999.

THINK. CHANGE. DO.

THINK – of the poor family members who want to get into the assembly hall.

CHANGE –  your 3 ticket policy.

DO – give me a ticket already.

Do you get my drift UTS?

Things We Loved In February

Was meant to blog about this little list the first few days of March. Nevermind…

Things we loved in February:

#5 – Turning 30 Baby, Yeah!

#4 – Weekend at the Gong – singing with 150 SDA Pastors + their families “I Surrender All” was incredible. Long morning walks on the Gong beach, late night coffee runs with our new K-Ville volunteer pastors was fun, and watching the “Old Boys” play tennis and Putt Putt Golf was hilarious.

#3 – Oscars – I went to bed at 1am and was awake at 5am, and I wasn’t even grumpy – MAJOR WIN in the Reid household according to my husband :) The day after I saw an email in my Hotmail which advertised tickets for the 2011 Oscars Live in Gold Class. One day too late! Next year I’m so going! What a cool day out!

#2 – Valentines Day without presents – why? Because my husbands presence is enough for me. Oh vomit. A double date with your sister and her husband is a winner as well.

1# Visitors – How we LOVED having Carrie and Simo stay with us. It was totally fun!

Great read on fostering and adopting children

I stumbled across this blog a while ago and this morning I went over to check if there was an update on the newest member of the Portis Clan.

Joy writes beautifully about her family. It is encouraging, it is funny and beware, it’s a tear jerker.

 
There are no unwanted children.
Only unfound families.

 

Richie, and his little brother Rodney, were placed in emergency foster care when they were very young with The Reids (now my in-laws!) and our niece is adopted, so this stuff hits close to home for us.

Cheeky from birth!

Richie (3yrs) & Rodney (18months) - Reid Home, Park Ridge, QLD

Chicken Legs on his BMX with his big brother, Shaun, in the background

Go check out the Portis Blog and see if it hits your heart-strings as well. Below is a snapshot of what you can find.

21 Foster Parenting Truths As Seen By a Veteran Foster Parent from Keith Thompson:
My wife and I have been doing foster care for 17 years. Along the way, we’ve learned a few things that seem to be given when working for our children.
1. Love may not be enough, but when you add unlimited patience and a sense of humor, you can usually get through.
2. Things go best when you go by the book – but you have to be using the right book!
3. Having a spirit of contention accomplishes nothing – especially when you are trying to work with the “system”.
4. You can’t help every child, but you can still cry for them.
5. You can’t help every child, but you can still pray for them.
6. Some people know how to fix a broken child, and some people know how to fix a broken system – very few people have the time and talent fix both!
7. You can feel close to God when changing a diaper.
8. Foster Care is the worst paying job in the world.
9. Foster Care is the best paying job in the world.
10. Enjoy the good days when they come – on the bad days, find someone to serve.
11. Kids who’ve had it rough in life need good, strong parenting.
12. Kids who’ve had it rough in life need someone to serve them.
13. Knowing when to be a parent, and when to be a servant brings the greatest joy and success.
This is the one I’m most partial to:
14. Abused kids are used to being yelled at – try using funny voices instead!
15. Never let a child go to bed without a “tuck-in”.
16. A 10 year old who’s never been allowed to be a 10 year old, will not become a 10 year old upon arrival in your home – pick your battles and conquer one behavior at a time.
17. ALWAYS expect that the children will not resemble their “resumes”.
18. Children are more important than furniture.
19. Work as if everything depends on you – Pray as if everything depends on the Lord!
20. The greatest lesson the Lord has ever taught me about fostering children came during a church meeting one Sunday. Our newly arrived, nine year old foster son came in during the meeting and asked me to tie his shoes. My first thought was to scold him for not being able to tie the shoes himself. My next thought was to kneel down and tie them for him. My final thought was – I am kneeling at the feet of the Savior!
21. And since I have still not learned everything, my most recent lesson comes from someone I only recently met. When we ask ourselves why a child had to be born to such an abusive parent, remember that the birth of a child is the keeping of a promise made in heaven.
Orphans of God

Who here among us has not been broken
Who here among us is without guilt or pain
So oft? abandoned by our transgressions
If such a thing as grace exists
Then grace was made for lives like this

There are no strangers
There are no outcasts
There are no orphans of God
So many fallen, but hallelujah
There are no orphans of God

Come ye unwanted and find affection
Come all ye weary, come and lay down your head
Come ye unworthy, you are my brother
If such a thing as grace exists
Then grace was made for lives like this

O blessed Father, look down upon us
We are Your children, we need Your love
We run before Your throne of mercy
And seek Your face to rise above