Thursday, 31 October 2013

Lydia and a Camera

As this title may somewhat imply, I was taking photos of Lydia yesterday. Lydia is sooo photogenic. We have, like, dozens of photos of her! Anyway, I took more yesterday. Here are some of the fruits of my labours. I'll just post them here as they come.

I love this picture :)

Whoops. Cut off her head there!

Lydia and Toffee

(I'm not sure what she's trying to do to our rhododendron here. Maybe eat it???)

A recent photo of me (taken yesterday). Photo credit Danella.

As you can possibly see, I love taking photos. I don't think they are particularly amazing, but oh well. I'm learning. :)

I'd better go now and get ready for my violin lesson. See you later!

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Two Forts And A Birthday Cake

First of all, I'd just like to say thank you for your feedback. At times I feel really depressed and wonder if anyone actually reads my blog at all! But when I get lots of people who fill in the form and say "it's okay Bonnie, you're doing great!" it cheers me up a lot. :)

Thank you very much also to you people who suggested different things... it's funny, some of you said one thing and some of you said the complete opposite! Obviously in that situation I can't follow everyone's advice but I'm going to try different things and see what works for me. Thank you once again for all your advice.

Right... now that's out of the way, I have photos for you! These photos are of Johnny and Caleb's birthday. Now, we were going to be away on holiday while both these boys had their birthdays (Nov 30th and Dec 2nd) so we brought them forward so we could celebrate while Grandma and Grandad were down from Nelson. We celebrated them (on Tuesday I think it was?) on the same day and Sophie made a big cake.

Enough said. On with the photos.

Caleb in his 'present fort'. I think he thinks it's an igloo, from the way he's shivering!

Johnny in his fort. Excuse the mess everywhere. That's normal in the life of our family!

Both of the boys on opposite sides of the lounge

On with the presents! Johnny in full flow.

Wow, LEGO games! What could be better?

Some of the spoils

Danella and Lydia watching the fun

Even Jacob got something too! Here's a little chap who loves chocolate.

Sophie being very industrial and putting all the wrapping paper away nicely. Ten points, Sophie!

This is Johnny and Caleb with the cake Sophie made. It's a castle with a LEGO knight guarding it and turrets and things. It's actually way more impressive closer up, too! Sophie is a great cake maker.

Close up

Jacob giving Johnny present-unwrapping advice

Troop of eager onloookers! Left to right: Johnny, Danella, Abbie (in back), Ben, Lydia, Caleb and Sophie.

Ben, Lydia, Caleb and Jacob admiring Caleb's presents.

Our week has been super-busy, what with preparing for exams next week and both sets of grandparents being here in Christchurch! How has your week been?

Saturday, 26 October 2013

In Which I Ponder My Usefulness As A Blogger And Ask For Your Assistance

If you are like me, you sometimes find yourself staring at a blank screen thinking "I want to post something.... but at the moment I just CAN'T think of ANYTHING at all!!!!" If you are like me? I don't schedule posts. Silly me. :P The problem I find with scheduled posts is that when I am in the mood to schedule posts, I can never think of anything to post about. Sure, I occasionally think of something, like onions or a whole string of posts about family members. But I normally find myself stuck for ideas.

There are several things you may be thinking. Some of you may just be asking why I try to post so often. I honestly do not know. I guess it stems from my frustration from other people's blogs! I honestly dislike blogs where people post very seldom. Not that I have anything personal against your blog, dear reader, if you happen to be one of those hardly-ever-post bloggers. It's just that I personally like blogs that continually offer me fresh posts. :) That's my personal preference.... I may have stepped on someone's toes!! Sorry if I've just offended you!!

Some of you may be wondering why I have even have a blog at all. I know some very fine people who do not happen to blog. Well... it just comes down to personal preference again. I just happen to like having a blog. I guess that is all there is to it.

And the last camp of you are probably wondering what all the fuss is all about. Sure, I can just post a few photos, right? Or a poem? Short story? Pearl of wisdom? No sweat! Er... yes... um... quite.

I personally like my posts to be momentous. (I know - you would never have guessed, right???!!!) I like them to be fresh. To come with some zing. (Like my onion post... pardon the pun.) I would like to post not just random things... but useful things. At least, I try to. Usually I fail. Miserably. *droops head as tears run swiftly down cheeks* 

I am sorry if my blog appears entirely frivolous to you. My personality is such that I may appear somewhat frivolous to those who don't know me very well. (And sometimes even to people who know me well!) 

But what am I trying to get at here? Well, to be honest, I'm not sure. 

You see, I don't really see the point of continuing blogging like every Tom, Dick and Harry if my blog doesn't really matter. DOES it matter? Seriously? Will it matter, in twenty years time, if I ever blogged at all?

The answer to that question is, probably not at all.

So. Here is my proposal. I have a form embedded most helpfully below for your convenience.  All I am asking you to do is this. I would like you to fill it out. Anything you write on it will be strictly anonymous unless you choose to divulge your credentials. What I want is your HONEST opinion of what you think I should do. If you aren't going to be honest, I will consider your answer irrelevant. If you are prepared to state what you actually think (remember - it's anonymous) I admire you tremendously and thank you for helping me out. 

Thursday, 24 October 2013

On Onions

Well, I was cutting up an onion today to make curried eggs for lunch, and I was wondering why onions make you cry. I know that the only way I get relief from my tears is to wear goggles when I cut up onions, and this is not very convenient!

I found, in my travels, why onions make you cry. I also found out some other interesting things, too!

When you cut an onion, you break cells, releasing their contents. Amino acid sulfoxides form sulfenic acids. Enzymes that were kept separate now are free to mix with the sulfenic acids to produce propanethiol S-oxide, a volatile sulfur compound that wafts upward toward your eyes. (I know - I would never have thought of this.) This gas reacts with the water in your tears to form sulfuric acid. The sulfuric acid burns, stimulating your eyes to release more tears to wash the irritant away.

Cooking the onion inactivates the enzyme, so while the smell of cooked onions may be strong, it doesn't burn your eyes. Aside from wearing safety goggles or running a fan, you can keep from crying by refrigerating your onion before cutting it (slows reactions and changes the chemistry inside the onion) or by cutting the onion under water.

Above are the three main colours of the many types of round onions you can get. (Of course, you can have spring onions too.) I actually didn't know you could get white ones!

Further Reading
(I found waaaayyy more information about this subject than I bargained for!! Here are a few of the most interesting pages I found.)

- This page has some basic information about the onion, what to use it with and what to substitute it for.

This page is rather interesting, listing most of the commoner types of onions. And even out of the common ones I found plenty that were new to me!

This Wikipedia page has a lot of interesting onion info.

This page tells you what sort of onion to use when. I found it fascinating.

- For those of you who like the practical side of things, here is a pile of onion recipes. Some of these look really nice!

What have you learnt about onions that you didn't know already?

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Thank you for praying

In this post I asked for your prayers for a close relative of ours who was having major surgery to remove cancer on Monday. Well, I am thrilled to be able to tell you all that the surgery went very smoothly - so smoothly in fact that it took a whole hour less than they expected! Thank you so much for your prayers.

Monday, 21 October 2013

To Show a Ferris Wheel and a Goat

On Saturday our family went to the Ellesmere A and P Show. It was fun! We met friends there, Abbie won some prizes on her horse Colby and all of us children apart from Jacob entered exhibits (such as baking, art, woodwork, flower arrangements, handwork etc) in the exhibit sheds and won various things. 

Here are some photos from the day. Unfortunately Abbie had her camera most of the day and took entirely horse photos, which I am sure you do not want to see!!! So I've only got goat photos and ferris wheel photos.

This is Daddy on the ferris wheel with Danella and someone else behind Daddy. I can't see who it is sorry!

Sophie and some of the younger ones right at the top

We found these goats partway through our travels. There were four wee kids that were SOOO cute!! I just wanted to pick them up and cuddle them. :) The kids aren't shown and I think these are older goats.

I was told the name of this goat but I forgot it....

Abbie with Colby and some of his ribbons.

All in all it was a most successful day. How did you spend your Saturday?

Sunday, 20 October 2013

And the winner is...

Daniel S!

Congratulations, Daniel!!!

Your prize is the book Twice Freed, by Patricia St John.

Have a great Sunday everyone!

Friday, 18 October 2013

1 More Day To Go

Seeing as though my giveaway has only one more day to go, you may as well enter again!!! Enter as many times as you can because this may well be your last chance. You do want to win, I presume? Well, if you do, you better enter as many times as you can.... you only have ONE MORE DAY to do it in!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Prayers Much Appreciated

A very close family member of ours is in Christchurch at the moment waiting to have major surgery on Monday to remove a cancerous growth that is over 20 cm long. He is not a Christian and his wife says that they don't know if he will live through the operation. (His wife is not a Christian either.) He also has lost an extremely large amount of blood over the past few months too so will need a blood transfusion before the operation.

Can you please pray that he won't die before he becomes a Christian!!!!! We all love him dearly and don't want him to die at all...
but will you pray that God's will be done in this situation...
and that God will be very real to him all throughout his operation, and God willing, his recovery afterwards.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

A Grand Bicentenary

A Grand Bicentenary! That's 200 posts!!!

*bows, waits for clapping to die down*

Aside from the obvious implications of this, I must first apologize most profusely for the absence of the winners of the giveaway. I hinted that I might announce the winners on my 200th post. Well, the long and short of it is that I couldn't wait another four days before my 200th post. :P

So... here, in all of it's glory, is my 200th post. :)

Before we go any further, here is my giveaway, so you remember to put your entries in for today. Don't forget this all-important action.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now, I know I should be presenting something full out and flawlessly fabulous on this auspicious occasion. Problem is, I couldn't think of anything!!! So this is just a normal, nice, post, (at least, I hope it is normal and nice!) with some photos I took this morning. Ten of them. A nice, even number.

Let's take them as they come, shall we? Here is a shot of my favourite clematis. :) Climbing up the trellis outside the garden outside one of the bedrooms. As you can see, it has taken over the trees nearby somewhat, but no one cares because it is so pretty.

Wisteria covering the trellis that leads from our backyard around to the ranch slider in the dining room. This smells absolutely divine at this time of year.

One of our rabbits, Toffee.

Lydia with some other flowers (there are lots of gorgeous ones out at the moment - an amateur  photographer's paradise!)

This flower hangs over the other trellis, (yes, that's all the trellises now!) it is tangled with more wisteria and looks really pretty.

Lydia with clematis

Such a beautiful girl. xxx

Lydia with wisteria, framed by the rosebush on the one side and the backyard on the other. See the bokeh in the background??? I'm so proud of that. :)

Apple blossoms, still wet with dew

The famous canoe Adventurer in the woodshed.

That was my 200th post! What should I do for my 300th???

Have a great day everyone. :)

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Clematis, Giveaway, Bluebells and more

Unto you, my humble reader, I have decided to present a collection of Six Random Photographs, some taken by me, some not. This idea was unfortunately stolen from another blog, one The Chronicles of Storyteller.

Before we begin, my I once more draw your attentions to my giveaway. This is an excellent opportunity to enter. A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to secure for yourself an entry into my fabulous draw. You will be in to win a mystery prize... it is indeed a worthy book, you can be sure of that. 

And there is only FOUR days left in which to enter!!!

Well enough of that. I am sure you are all longing to enter, but if you aren't, let me assure you that I am longing for you to enter.

First random photograph. This is me. I was the judge at Abbie's horse show on Saturday.... this is the 'Awesome Judge' look. :)

The clematis vine outside one of our bedroom windows. This is sooo pretty!! Allow me to take you closer in to investigate these gorgeous blooms further.

Here we go... sooo beautiful... just like you :)

Yup... I love all these photos of flowers. I can't help myself... I have this thing about gorgeous flowers. 
Speaking about gorgeous flowers, our wisteria vine has blossomed. I hope to take some photos of that for you to enjoy sometime. Spring flowers are just the best.

And lastly... just for you we have a cute photo from, once again, Abbie's horse show. This is such a cute photo I just had to share. Even though it has a horse in it. :)

The stunning subjects of this photo are Emily and Riley, pupils of Abbie's riding school. 

OH YES! I just remembered!! This is my 199th post!!! That means that next post will by my 200th! An auspicious anniversary to celebrate indeed... maybe I should announce the winner of my giveaway then. That would be awesome. What do you think?

Well, that's all from me today folks! Enjoy the weather... keep happy... keep smiling... keep entering my giveaway.... :)