Saturday, July 14, 2012

Brisbane bound ...

We are headed to Australia to establish a new lifestyle and adventures for our family. New Zealand is our beautiful homeland, our whenua. We shall be back but for now educating our sons and work opportunities beckon. My family of origin are all there so we have lots of support and there will be lots of gatherings as we visit lots of friends and family who have already made the move.

Last week, my friend Maxine turned up with a gift. The coolest jandals I've ever seen. At the time we were thinking about emigrating but weren't quite sure. Somehow those jandals tipped the balance for me. The idea of living in a warm place, warm enough for skirts and jandals. Then my mother emails and says she has got me a position in FIVE op shops. Hmmm, that surely is a sign from heaven. God is speaking my language.

Of course there are deeper reasons for moving. Jandals and op shops aside, our eldest son will have a better education and Rich has better job opportunities. We cannot get that here. Change is good. Family is our priority and giving our kids the best chance they have in life. There's great churches, a multitude of them that we are excited to visit and find a spiritual home with.

It will be great to live closer to my parents, my grandmother, and my brothers and their families. We are all about whanau and the idea of having them all nearby is mind blowing. For almost 17 years we've done it ourselves and it will be nice to have a cuppa with my grandmother or go out with my parents for dinner. To see the kids playing with their cousins and to celebrate birthdays and Christmas together. My mum is so excited she's about fit to burst. 

They say that moving house is one of the most stressful things one can do and emigrating takes it to a whole new level. We are no exception to the rule. Packing down the house has become a major mission as we are due to leave soon. Meanwhile lots of friends have jumped on board to lend a hand. I love the community we are a part of here. Family, friends and church community fill our lives. Interest groups and community organisations I've formed that will go on without us ... all entwined in our narratives. I am looking forward to the next chapter of creativity, spiritual growth and family stories. I can't wait to get started establishing communities and groups. Its what I do and love. 

The next few weeks will be taking care of details, packing, sorting, visiting and saying goodbye to the plethora of people in our lives in this country. In the meantime, because my home is in upheaval and I'm surrounded by boxes, I've enjoyed this blog House Handmade written by my friend Shells who immigrated here from South Africa. Her family have just finished building their home. There's lots of lovely eye candy and it keeps me dreaming about the home we can establish in a new country. 

I've been filling my senses with images I've collected on my Pinterest, chiefly my pinboard 'my vintage home' board and cruising Ebay Australia a bit excited. Australia is a very old country compared to New Zealand, and I love old things. I know right! Op shops. Ebay. Garage Sales. New 'old' stuff. And checking out all the handmade movement there.  Right. Back to packing. :)

Friday, July 6, 2012

Precious things

I have news. We are moving. Its been a very big week to say the least. We've been a part of this community and lived in this home for the better part of eight years. I have for the longest time dreamed of a larger home, with room for the boys and their friends, a craft space for me and bigger living areas for entertaining purposes. 

We have a lot of stuff. Its all my fault. My boys own things like guitars, computers, playstations and scooters. I, on the other hand, am a collector. A gatherer of things vintage. My favourite thing is looking for treasures. So as I scanned my home and inwardly groaned at the idea of emptying the house, plus a very full large garage of all that vintage stuff, plus all my art and craft supplies gleaned over the past SIXTEEN years, to say I was overwhelmed is an understatement. 

However, once we decided where we were going, it became simpler. Sort of. So I have decided to let go of lots of things but keep the absolute treasures I cannot live without. The glass statue my mother gave me, my sister-in-laws hiapo painting, Dagmar's print, my art deco teapot, my favourite coffee pot, some of my silver spoons, my retro coffee mugs and the Italian cut glass mirror also from my mum. My art books and some of my sewing supplies. The antique Japanese sewing box my husband gave me one year for my birthday. A couple of my stitch works and my crochet granny blankets. A hatbox and the glass sugar bowl that winds up and plays music also from my mum. A special quilt my mum gave my son for his first birthday. My Agee jars and a crate of milk bottles. The cushion cover and bunting that my friend Betty-Ann gave me. Some of my vintage prints. My blue typewriter. My camera. My knitting needles and yarn. 

We are off on a new adventure. The destination is a secret a while longer as we hold it in prayer but its going to be awesome and we are more than ready. I am prayerful that this will bless our family. Our time in this place is up and we are grateful for the many memories we have had here. For the lessons learned, the consolidation of our marriage, our unity, our learning as a family. For the friends we have made and community that rose up around us and loved us. 

Titahi Bay has been an awesome place to live. I highly recommend it. The people are warm and friendly. Its a great place to raise kids (though I would suggest to look further afield for high school options). It feels like being on holiday with the ocean mere minutes away, golden sand, swimming in summer and great photos to be had at any time. 

The photos below are symbolic of the kind of haul I would often return with from my thrifting adventures. I am looking forward to new adventures, to new 'old' things and my little artistic self is having a little jump for joy as I anticipate setting up a new home and viewing our new location through the lens of my camera and this blog. 

The silver teapots were $5-$10 each and my silver cutlery was bulk priced about $3.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

peanut butter cookies

Hello. Its the school holidays here and I have discovered the best peanut butter cookie recipe ever! Its so easy and delicious and fast. I used this recipe here. Its the easiest thing.

Three Ingredients Cookies. 

1 cup of peanut butter
1 cup of sugar 
1 egg

Mix and roll out spoonfuls of the mixture.
Flatten with a fork on a baking paper covered tray.
Cook at 180C for about 15 minutes.

Cool and enjoy.

Soooooooo goooood. I had a couple of large family sized jars of peanut butter in the pantry that the kids weren't really eating. You could sandwhich them together with chocolate spread like Nutella if you have it but they are just as good plain. In the next few batches I made (because they really are that good and simple), I threw in some cranberries and chocolate chips. I made a triple batch of cookies and added a cup each of cranberries and chocolate chips. It says to use castor sugar but I didn't have much of it, so I chucked in ordinary sugar and brown sugar too. These are just as cookies should be, crispy on the outside and chewy in the centre. 

My three year old helped with everything. It was simple as.

It did get me thinking about how kids at every single school, kindy etc has peanut butter allergies these days. How come they didn't exist in our day when we were growing up? I don't want anyone harmed but we love peanut butter and nutella and it really limits what I can give the kids for lunch some days. That's why the darn stuff is all up in my pantry still. I wonder if Indian kids get peanut allergies as I've heard from a very young age, they are given mashed up peanuts in everything. Meanwhile, you must try these cookies as long as you don't have an allergy to peanuts. Not gluten, no wheat, no dairy. Easy as.

 "I want that one" said my youngest.

Dig in boys.

 Milk and Cookies

The proof is in the eating. x