Friday, October 30, 2009

Photostory Friday - Carter's story

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

How sweet it is to share a baby with 6 older siblings. They might battle each other most of the year, but the love really shows when these special times come around. The truth is I didn't want this little guy. My husband was bugging me for 2 years and I kept telling him we had our 6 like we planned....everyone else told me I should have another...(can you believe the audacity)...I just told em right back they could go have another. ....telling me I should have 7 kids, what was wrong with them?



I tried so hard to believe we would live happliy ever after with our clan of 6, but often I would sit down at the dinner table and still feel someone was missing....ever had that feeling? I'd look at the table and how we fit so perfectly and wonder how we'd squeeze another person. I even reasoned in my mind that we could do for almost 2 years with a high chair, maybe that would give us time to get a bigger dining room....and of course the thought would be interrupted.

Well, I started feeling really, really, tired, but then the familiar feeling of aching in the legs came every day, and I tried hard to deny what I knew. I even couldn't figure out the weight gain, just hoping the next 2 years that I was so ready to selfishly start enjoying again would work out exactly how I planned. Who am I kidding, just how many of our plans come into being?

So I realized I was pregnant, and I realized I was going to get that I told you so grin from the culprit. We were having another difficult time in our difficult marriage...and he'd recently asked what he could do to make me forgive him. Quite spontaneoulsy I wrote a list, it was pretty short actually. Lets see if I remember...heat by next winter, internet, maternity jeans & an extreme marriage makeover. Sure enough he was so excited to hear maternity, he missed the rest. (I told him not to worry because it was saved on the computer).

I was tremendously blessed when God moved a Nigerean doctor dh worked with on a missions trip to stay with us a few months, who was willing to deliver our #7. My husband had delivered #6 at home, but I really wanted a doctor to be present this time. Around 11pm I started having weak contractions, and the big little guy was born in a birthing pool in my son's room about 6.30am just in time for his siblings to meet him before going off to school.

In case you're wondering, we still don't have heat, our neighbour hooked up free internet for us, we found a wonderful pair of jeans on sale the next day for $16 at the Gap, and the extreme marriage makeover...dh just thought that meant fulfilling the first three things on the list.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Amazing Best Buy giveaway!!!!

I don't know about you, but this is good for me. McMama is having a giveaway on her blog for a Best Buy gift certificate worth $200! Just leave her a comment telling her which Samsung appliance would bring the most enjoyment and beauty while creating the most ease and harmony in your life. Drop by her site and read the rest of the details.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Virginia Soaps and Scents giveaway

Virginia Soaps and Scents is giving away a sampler pack with 3 bars of soap (coconut lemongrass, fresh orange and oatmeal, milk and honey), a shampoo bar and a laundry soap kit to one Raising Olives reader.

To enter go to:

About the soap…from Virginia Soaps and Scents...

Most of us have grown up calling the rectangular thing in the shower stall soap, when most likely it's not - it's probably detergent. You see, during World War II the glycerin in fats was needed to make armaments. Women turned in their scrap cooking fats to support the war effort and they learned to use oleo margarine and detergent instead of butter and soap. Their patriotism was truly remarkable and inspiring, but after the war, butter and soap had to contend with those new, yet firmly entrenched products developed during wartime. Many of these products could be mass produced for much lower prices. But sometimes we do get what we pay for - like acne, dry stripped hair, suds that won't rinse out of clothes, and phosphates polluting the water - and oh, yeah - TRANS FATS!!

So what's in real soap? Oil and water bound together with sodium hydroxide. That's it. Basically, a fatty acid (the oil) combined with an alkali (the sodium hydroxide) creates a salt (the soap.) The alkali is neutralized in the reaction, leaving a cleansing, moisturizing compound we call "soap."

We use many combinations of oils in our soaps, but almost all will contain olive oil and coconut oil - in combination with other oils such as lard, cocoa butter, safflower, sunflower, canola, peanut, palm or soybean oils.

We've experienced unbelievable results since we began using our own soaps, which, by the way, we wouldn't ask you to pay money for if we weren't willing to use it ourselves. Two of our teenagers are off oral medications for acne. We've heard several similar testimonials from others, too. One customer cancelled a dermatology appointment for acne after just three days of using our soap. The more "senior" members of the family have experienced a decrease of lines and dryness. Plus - we try to make it look and smell good.

We won't claim it's a cure-all for everything that ails you, but it's a great shower companion.

Photostory Friday - Mug Shots

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and Kelli

Isn't it funny how, over time, you get this kinda sixth sense, a Mom's sense, with kids. I'm talking about the one where you always know where they are and what they're doing. You can go into the kitchen and know who ate a bowl of cereal, just by the way the cereal box was left, by which counter the milk is on, and the cupboard doors left open. You know what those kids are up to all the time. Every noise you hear describes the toy they're playing with...or being dropped to the floor. Every thud reveals their mischievous sneaking.

One of my favourites is....the mug shots they leave on the camera, when they've taken it without asking. Yep, I can follow their footprints, thumbprints, and mug shots all over the house and pretty much tell you the story of our day.


These photos weren't actually taken by me....but as it is officially my camera, I claim all copyrights. Heck I'm Mum, and my rights rule!!!

Jumping for Joy

I hope so....because....wait for it.....dh said he found a trampoline. I mean a real trampoline, the ones they made before the little round jumping mats were made. Kinda brining up a blast from the past for me. Now I don't have a lot of talent (at least not discovered) but one thing I was good as was trampolining.

When I was about 9 my Mum allowed me to do gymnastics. Then one day a coach from York, England turned up at our YMCA looking for some kids to train. Well, I had bugged my Mum & Dad relentless for a trampoline for what seemed like years....remember when those years went so so so so so slowly, every year was like a lifetime. One day they took us out and guess where we went....we were looking for trampolines. They actually bought one. Now my Mum & Dad didn't buy much....both having been thru the war, they were avid collectors. Both of my Dad's cars he owned turned vintage before he even sold them. Mum kept everything, in case it was good for something. We didn't waste a thing. If anything broke, Dad fixed it.

So I got a trampoline. And I bounced, and I bounced, and I bounced. Yep, when I came home from school. That's all I did. I really don't remember doing anything much other than going out and riding my bike round the neighbourhood.

By the time the coach came looking for prospective trampolinists ironically just a month later, I had already taught myself all the basic moves, and a front somersault from a book I borrowed from the library. I was chosen, to trampoline. But not without sacrifice. For a little while I was the happiest kid in the world, at the Y 3 days a week, bouncing, flipping, bouncing, turning, bouncing, flying thru the air. I was preparing for my first gymnastic competion, and was very excited.....until....

Mum said I had to chose.....tramp or gym. I couldn't believe she would do such a thing. Choosing between the only 2 favourite things in the world for me. Well, I figured tramp was 2 days and gym only the trampoline won. It was a good choice.

OK, now I really can't boast much about the success I had trampolining. My first competition I came 4th, then it was 3rd, but after that it was 1st every time....on to the State...the 1st year I came 3rd (I remember I was actually too young but they let me compete anyway). Again 1st every year. But for what others trained weeks for, I always did my 2 nights a week. No special treatment. I waited what seemed like all night for my turn to come around for another 5 minutes of fear and flight, as my coach pushed me on. My talent, just like breathing, came naturally.

My only Australia win was in the open synchronised competition, 1977.

I wondered as I grew older, and knew I would soon be leaving school, what would happen to my tramping. I knew it couldn't go on. The thought of losing my trampoline was like losing my best friend. And it did end like that....due to conflicts over the scheduled World Championships coming up in Hawaai, my Mum pulled me out of the last Australian competition. I was sure I'd win. School finally finished, so did college, first job, I moved out, then away.

The last visit to my parents house was when my first son was 4 months old. I anticipated for months, opening the sliding door, running down the patio, and into the air, flying free. I was so excited, when I finally got home, I went to the back door, and there was a big, empty back yard. Only grass. The trampoline was gone.

So dh said he'd bring this trampoline home....dare I wait. Maybe once more I'll jump for joy.....

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Get a Rockin' Rear View

Tighten Your Backside

I just signed up to  Jillian Michaels' newsletter, and I have to say it's one of the few newsletters I actually open and read. I try to do my exercises every day. And I still do almost the same routine I did when I was 17....that was 30 years ago. I don't keep up with the new fads much, but I'm gonna tell you, 20 minutes a day of old fashion exercise works. Anyway I'm posting this because it's a new exercise and honestly I need to work a little harder in this area these days ;)

So you think you need a machine to work your glutes, hamstrings, and lower back, huh? Arnold Schwarzenegger didn't think so. He relied on stiff-legged dead lifts, which produce killer glutes if done properly. Dead lifts were cool in the seventies and eighties, but modern machines made them seem a little too low-tech to be effective. But this classic exercise of the bodybuilding era is worth a second look.

Working the glutes, hamstrings, and lower back in a free-form position means that the rest of your body has to work a little harder to support itself during the exercise. And that provides bonuses, such as improved coordination and balance. It also burns more calories.

Want to give this dead lift a try? Here's how to do it:

Stand with your feet slightly closer than shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent, or "soft." Hold a barbell in your hands, or dumbbells in each hand, in front of your thighs, with your palms facing your legs. Keep your back straight and your shoulders pulled back.

Bend your torso forward slowly, lowering the bar or dumbbells toward the floor. Keep your knees slightly bent and your back flat through the entire movement. Lower the bar until your torso is almost parallel to the floor. From this position, focus on your hamstrings and exhale while slowly lifting your body and the weights back to the starting position. Repeat.

Adhering to proper form is extremely important during this move; otherwise, you can injure your lower back. To prevent injury, keep your eyes focused forward. This helps keep your back in the correct position. Don't round your shoulders or bend your knees too much, and be careful not to use too much weight.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Friend Makin' Monday

What makes me happy....just a few of my favourite things....


Sydney rock oysters

My parents house at Tanilba Bay

Sydney Beaches

swimming and catching waves

my kids

a good pair of jeans

my bed (although it doesn't look like this)


travelling, anywhere, anytime

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Life - the way I see it

If you'd like this as your wallpaper, click on the photo, it will reopen, and right click, save as wallpaper.

A Cute Autumn Song by Katherine Mansfield

Now's the time when children's noses
All become as red as roses
And the colour of their faces
Makes me think of orchard places
Where the juicy apples grow,
And tomatoes in a row.

Come then, find your ball and racket,
Pop into your winter jacket,
With the lovely bear-skin lining.
While the sun is brightly shining,
Let us run and play together
And just love the autumn weather.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Fall sale at Children’s Place

Children's Place

I had to do the weekly shopping yesterday and when I went outside it was cold and raining. Not a problem for me…yet…but I had no warm jacket for the little guy. So detoured over to my favourite outlet mall hoping to get something reasonable. Yikes I had no idea kids clothes were so expensive. I gave every baby boy item I could find in the house away when I had my dd, sure we were done. Usually we’re given clothes by the garbage bag full…a lot, but I still haven’t received anything for the little trooper. Anyway, some of the things were marked 1/2 price, so I got these two jackets for $18 with tax, although it got so cold today, I guess he’ll need something even warmer. I swear this global warming is making the weather colder.

There’s lots of lots of tops, hoodies, warm fleece sweaters, shirts, shoes etc.

Boys cord pants are $10.


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Do NOT Let Your Child Get Flu Vaccine -- 9 Reasons Why

I'm not opposed to the idea of vaccinations, I think they were definitely an excellent deterent against disease. I am however, very much against what is going on right now with this whole agenda. And now that I have a blog I will let my opinions be known. I felt more strongly than ever this year that God was leading me to pull our children out of the schools. I have read that these vaccinations will be made compulsory and are now being administered to in some school districts in school hours, without parents present.

This year it is more important that you protect your children and loved ones from the flu vaccines than influenza itself. In his article published on, Bill Sardi details 18 reasons why you should not vaccinate your children against the flu this season. Here are nine of them:

The swine flu is simply another flu. It is not unusually deadly.

This is the first time both seasonal and pandemic flu vaccines will be administered. Both seasonal flu and swine flu vaccines will require two inoculations. This is because single inoculations have failed to produce sufficient antibodies. This is an admission that prior flu vaccines were virtually useless. Can you trust them this time?

Adjuvants are added to vaccines to boost production of antibodies but may trigger autoimmune reactions. Some adjuvants are mercury (thimerosal), aluminum and squalene. Why would you sign a consent form for your children to be injected with mercury, which is even more brain-toxic than lead?

This is the first year mock vaccines have been used to gain FDA approval. The vaccines that have been tested are not the same vaccines your children will be given.

Over-vaccination is a common practice now in America. American children are subjected to 29 vaccines by the age of two. Meanwhile, veterinarians have backed off of repeat vaccination in dogs because of observed side effects.

Modern medicine has no explanation for autism, despite its continued rise in prevalence. Yet autism is not reported among Amish children who go unvaccinated.

Researchers are warning that over-use of the flu vaccine and anti-flu drugs like Tamiflu and Relenza can apply genetic pressure on flu viruses and then they are more likely to mutate into a more deadly strain.

Most seasonal influenza A (H1N1) virus strains tested from the United States and other countries are now resistant to Tamiflu (oseltamivir). Tamiflu has become a nearly worthless drug against seasonal flu.

Public health officials are irresponsible in their omission of any ways to strengthen immunity against the flu. No options outside of problematic vaccines and anti-flu drugs are offered, despite the fact there is strong evidence that vitamins C and D activate the immune system and the trace mineral selenium prevents the worst form of the disease.

For even more reasons -- 18 in all -- please review the full article on

Sources: September 16, 2009
Living Wisdom E-Newsletter, September 2009
New York Times September 18, 2009

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

According to a recent New York Times article, more than three million doses of swine flu vaccine will be available in the U.S. by this week. I just returned from the 4th International Vaccine Conference with NVIC in Washington D.C. this past weekend and many people there told me that they were already administering the vaccine in their state. I hope to provide important updates from that conference in the upcoming weeks, as there were some outstanding speakers.

I also learned at the conference from Dr. Vickie Diebold who is the consumer representative on the federal vaccine panel, that the CDC has budgeted over 12 million dollars to BLAST kids this fall on TV with characters such as Elmo from Sesame Street to propagandize them to be afraid of the swine flu and make sure that they get their vaccine. This is over 50% of the total amount ($21 million) they have budgeted to determine if the vaccine is even safe.

Twelve MILLION dollars confiscated from US taxpayers to brainwash the public and manipulate the truth. What a major perversion of the liberties that many of the founding fathers of the US gave their lives for.

Rest assured that there’s plenty of confusion and misdirection when it comes to flu vaccinations this year. And, as you can tell from the list above, you have every reason to question the validity of the information you’re given by government health authorities about the swine flu vaccine.

Fortunately, even conventional doctors and infectious disease experts are starting to speak out and take a stand against the current recommendations. In the video above, infectious disease expert Dr. Kent Holtorf goes on the record stating that neither he nor his children will take the swine flu shot, because the health risks are simply too high.

Confusion and Irrational Conclusions Reign

First of all, nearly all of the swine flu vaccines that will be made available in October will be a nasal spray type that contains live virus’, which is not recommended for pregnant women, people over 50, or those with asthma, heart disease or several other health problems, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The nasal spray causes a much greater immune reaction, and since it contains live virus’ they may multiply too quickly if your immune system is already compromised.

The rest of the article is here if you're interested in reading further:

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Our Renovation – Before Pics

Here's the plan...

The house is 100 years old...about 1200 sq ft. 1st fl measures 18ft x 23ft. There will be another 1600 sq ft added, plus the basement.

Side view of house, garage & pine tree. Dh has already taken all the maples out the previous years.

I've got butterflies!!!

2 summers ago we went to the butterfly exhibit at the Museum of Natural History. Here are a couple of photos one of my crew snapped that day, but I thought with the cold closing it, it might be a nice indoor project for the kiddies. You can view the live webcam here:

Let’s talk about UGG Boots’ history today.

From Australia's Official Dictionary: The Macquarie Concise Dictionary - ugg boots / Australian 100% merino sheepskin lined boot. Also called ugh boot , ugg boot.

Did you know that Australian Sheepskin Ugg boots have always been called Ug, Ugh or Ugg boots and have been made in Australia for almost 200 years? "We always called them Uggs, Smith says, "long before it was a trademarked brand." Brian Smith, Founder UGG Holdings, Inc. Los Angeles Magazine October 1st, 2001

The Ugg Boots Story

The original Ug Boot. "Ug," (also spelled "Ugg" and "Ugh" in Australian dictionaries) is not a brand name but an age old generic term for this style of Australian-made sheepskin boot. In Aussie slang, the Ug name is short for "ugly." In terms of comfort, however, the Ug Boot is a thing of beauty. The softness of the Australian Merino sheepskin produces a boot with a snug, cozy, form-fitting feel that’s more like a sock than a shoe, yet it’s rugged enough for outdoor wear. The fleece lining has the astonishing property of providing year-round comfort. In cold weather, the plush fleece provides an insulating layer of warmth by trapping your body heat, much like goose down does. But in the heat of summer, the natural fibers of the fleece actually cool your feet by wicking away perspiration.

Growing Up in Uggs

By the 1970s, in Perth, the largest city on Australia’s West Coast, Ugg boots were being manufactured by several small companies in the area. Perth has much the same climate as Southern California and is also a haven for surfers, whom Aussies call "surfies." And it was the community of surfies at the great surfing beaches at Margaret River near Perth who first adopted Ugg Boots as their footwear of choice and made them a symbol of the Aussie surfing lifestyle.

Ug Fever Spreads

From the beaches of Western Australia, Ugs were soon seen on the feet of East Coast surfers from Brisbane to Sydney. And it wasn’t long before some of these surfers -- the ones who traded their surfboards for skis in the winter -- found that their Ugg Boots were just as at home in the ski resort areas of the Snowy Mountains as they were on the warm sands of Sydney’s Bondi Beach.

It was Aussie surfers, traveling the world in search of the perfect wave, who first introduced their mates in Southern California to the pleasures of the Ug Boot. Ugs soon became a cult fashion among those L.A. surfers who could depend on a buddy ‘down under" to send them a pair of boots.

Ug Essentials

Today the Ug "secret" is out. You’ll find these versatile ugg boots to be in fashion on beaches from San Diego to Santa Cruz and in ski resorts from Tahoe to Vail. And today, you don’t have to "know someone" in Australia who will send you a pair, since there are now a number of companies importing boots of this type. But, if you want the genuine article, you do have to know what you’re looking for because, no matter how they spell it -- Ug, Ugg or Ugh -- there are several importers with look-alike products that fall short of being the real thing.

If you want genuine Ugg Boots -- well-made boots with all the qualities that made the original so desirable -- you’ll want to make sure that.....

The boots are made from 100% Australian Merino Sheepskin. This will ensure your purchase is made of the finest Sheepskin hide avaliable.

Please Note:

Beware of very cheap imitations... quite a few boots on the market are made of cow suede with sawn on sheepskin inner fleece off cuts.... Don't take the chance and purchase these boots.... the external cow suede does not breath like 100% sheepskin does and will leave you with a smelly sweaty boot... But I must say these boots do look like the real thing but just don't cut the mustard when compared to authentic ugg boots.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Walmart Gift Card Giveaway!

Want a gift card to Walmart? I know I could use one....they sell everything there....I'm sure I could find something to buy lol!!! Brandy at Brandy's Big Bargains is having a giveaway...

$40.00! Yes, that's right! A $40.00 gift card for one lucky winner! How cool is this? I told you that this would be my biggest gift card giveaway to date. Many people ask where I get these gift cards. Well I will tell you that I am always doing surveys, and reading emails for points, anything I can think of to get points built up, and then when I have enough, I redeem them for gift cards or cash. I was able to redeem some points this past week, and got myself two of these great cards. So I am passing along some great savings to a lucky winner. Here's how this giveaway is going to work:

go to:

to get the rest of the details and enter to win! Good luck!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Life - the way I see it

These pic describes my life right now....slightly downtrodden, but with lots of colour, & bathed in God's light. I love to see God's reflection in our world. It was just amazing when He saved me 18 years ago and I was reading the bible, how everything started to make sense.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Michelle needs...according to Google

This looked like fun so I had to do it.

Michelle needs to create names for her imaginary friends. ...they already have names.
Michelle needs to learn to be more careful with her Voodoo. ...yeh, hubby, be careful now.
Michelle needs to hire a Goon....hmm like it's not enough that I married one already?
Michelle needs a family that will be patient, consistent, kind, loving (Sounds like the perfect family-where do I get one?) ...any takers?
Michelle Needs to Work Harder at Finding Talent...too late, I'm already married.
Michelle needs more love in Manila: ...more stations should play her song...if I can make it there, I'll make it anywhere!
Michelle needs to take an extended break from golf after this weekend...and dh need to take an extended break from fishing
Michelle Needs to Fire Her Stylist...honey, it says here that I was supposed to have a stylist!
Michelle needs to stay home...that's all I do because...
Michelle Needs A Car! :). I've been telling dh that for 15 years.

I've even picked one out.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Extreme Makeover

Here's what I've accomplished this week. I couldn't believe I lost 2 lbs last week too. That's 4 lbs altogether, just from exercising....I don't diet, but I do eat healthy food.

Sunday - started my 10 minute dance fitness dvd, which was fun. It didn't feel like it was doing anything, but it did get my heartbeat up and my legs were really tight after. I can't dance for anything, maybe I'll get better. Finally got my exercise room going, had to bring the dvd out, but luckily we were given a video player, so the kids can watch their 100 videos that they haven't seen for 2 years.
Monday - nothing
Tuesday - stretch, weights, yoga - I have a whole routine going now. Walked to the school to watch the badminton game.
Wednesday - 30 min dance fitness dvd
Thursday - stretch, weights, yoga. Walk to school.
Friday - nothing