Wednesday, 31 December 2014


Isaiah 43:9
Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.

Isaiah 40:31
But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

Revelation 21:5
And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.”

There's something awesome about a new year. A sort of fresh start. A new beginning. It holds a whole lot of exciting surprises.
The beginning of this year, 2015, is a wonderful opportunity to take the time to focus yourself on the Lord. Spend time in His word and rededicate yourself to him. Spend time in prayer, seeking His will for this year. 

Lamentations 3:22-24
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”

I hope your 2015 is wonderful!

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Sunday, 28 December 2014

A + A // Tall brother + Sudden shock + 2015

Must be time for another awkward and awesome post, don't you think?

- Straining my voice. I couldn't really talk above a croak. Not the nicest feeling, especially coupled with the most painfully sore throat I've ever had in my life!
- When you are lying in bed one night, trying hard to go to sleep when all of a sudden you get shocked out of your skin when something that is hanging up beside your bed suddenly falls onto the floor very loudly and very quickly. Gave me such a fright.
- Heading out the door when Ben was coming in the door. Passing him and suddenly realizing that in the not-too-distant future he's going to be taller than me.
- Tripping over nothing whatsoever.
- Losing in cards. Continuously. Then when you finally get good enough cards to actually win, the very next round your cards are terrible again and you lose. And the person next to you rubs it in. :(

- That our pool has at last had it's cover taken off and we can use it! Yay for swimming again!
- Warmer weather
- Watching little siblings opening Christmas presents. A wonderful thing to behold. :P
- Long chatty (handwritten) letters
- Strawberries!!!!
- Finding out something that you have been wanting to know for absolutely months. For a naturally curious person, it is hard indeed. Patience is not one of my virtues unfortunately!
- Receiving entries into the poem competition. Seriously though guys, I need more than one!! Enter, one and all!
- 2015. I wrote a (very) short poem to celebrate the new year that I thought you might enjoy. *clears throat dramatically*
Twenty fourteen has been very dear
But twenty fifteen rings bright and clear
It's going to be a wonderful year!

- The fact that God will never fail. I've written a post on the topic of 'courage' and 'God in control' and am going to post it sometime soonish. So that's something you can look forward to. (Because I just know you really look forward to my posts.)
- The fact that I could think of heaps of Awesomes and like virtually no Awkwards. That is how it should be.

Do you like strawberries? 
Have you entered my competition yet? 
When was the last time you had a sudden shock?
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Friday, 26 December 2014

The Bonnie's Blessings New Year Poem Competition

Ladies and gentlemen, listen closely now.

May I present to you.... the Bonnie's Blessings New Year Poem Competition!

I was informed that I should do another competition for my readers because apparently I don't do enough. So here is the next competition, with my apologies and hopes that you like it.

What You Must Do:
Read the rules. Then write a poem on the topic "2015". Enter it into the competition by filling in the form below. Then wait for the deadline. Easy peasy. :)

The Fine Print / Rules
1. The length of the poem is entirely up to the author.
2. The author may decide whether the poem is to rhyme or not, however rhyming is strongly recommended.
3. The topic is "2015".
4. Any poem clearly not written on the topic shall be disqualified at the judge's discretion.
5. The primary judge is: yours truly, Bonnie. In the event that the competition is difficult to judge, other judges may be called in for a second opinion. (These will probably be my parents.)  
6. Authors of poems that are entered into the competition consent to having their poem published on the Bonnie's Blessings blog should their poem gain a place in the competition.
7. Authors may enter as many entries as they wish.
8. One poem per entry please. If you wish to enter more than once, please fill in the form multiple times.
9. The judge reserves the right to disqualify any entries that do not abide by the rules.
10. All place getters shall have their poems published on the Bonnie's Blessings blog.
11. The grand prize winner shall receive the opportunity to guest post on the Bonnie's Blessings blog.
12. The judge's decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
13. Deadline is 10th January 2015
14. If you don't like these rules, tough. Don't enter. :P

Looking forward to reading all your marvellous entries!
And I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas.
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PS. I seem to be having some problems with my form. If you enter a poem, would you please leave a comment saying you did so? That way if I don't receive your entry at least I know you've entered it and we can work something out. :) Thank you!

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Merry Christmas from Bonnie

Guess what today's post is about...... yup, it could hardly be anything other than a Merry Christmas post, could it???

But before I get on with it, I want to you to have a wee listen to this beautiful Christmas carol...

Isaiah 9:6
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Luke 2:10
And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.

Luke 2:11
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

I wish you great joy this Christmas and blessings abundant for 2015. :) May the Lord be with you and may you shine His light wherever you go.

Monday, 22 December 2014

Pondering on Punctuality

For those of you who didn't know this (and if you didn't know this, you don't know me very well!), punctuality has long been very important to me.
In a perfect world (or if I had my way... lol) my family would depart our home with time to spare, not get caught in any annoying traffic jams, not get lost, but quickly and easily arrive at our destination at least ten minutes early.

I wish!

More often than not, on a typical Sunday morning at about 9:30 (we usually need to leave by about 9:40 if we want to be there on time), you would find Dad still in the shower. Mum still needing to feed Jana. The washing not on the line. A bunch of the little kids not wearing church clothes and, terrible thing above all other terrible time-consuming thing, having lost their shoes. 

Which leaves me, (the unofficial person who usually ends up going around hurrying everyone up, "Jacob, get in the van. We are leaving in four minutes!") with two options.

  1. Run around like a headless chook yelling at everyone and trying in vain to make the clock go reeeeally slow for the next ten minutes.... and getting everyone really stressed and annoyed with me.
  2. Or slow down. Calm down. Take a deep breath. Look around. Find something that I can do, maybe start hanging the washing on the line or looking for Caleb's shoes. And gently and quietly help get everyone ready for church... without panicking, screaming and quoting what the time is.

I think that being on time is important.

But not as important as my sanity and the peace of the family.

This may seem like a very basic truth to you, and apologies if this post isn't relatable at all! But for years I have struggled with that 'very basic' truth and often, to my shame, find myself picking the first option not the second option.

I think it's because of my personality. I am a very impatient person. I like to have everything done when I want them done. (I remember once when I was younger I told my Mum that "I like surprises. I just want to know what they are and when they are coming.")

Impatience. That's the root of my obsession with punctuality.

Because there is nothing wrong with punctuality. I think it is very good to be on time and a noble goal to strive for. It is impolite to be majorly late to things.

But is it worth making enemies of your entire family and stressing everyone else (and yourself) unnecessarily?

No. It isn't. Most definitely not.

It is not the end of the world if we are five minutes late. (I have been told this by the wonderful members of my family time and time again.) Nothing terrible is going to happen to us. So why is it so hard for me to quit stressing out?

It's not easy.... but with the Lord's help I'm trying to change.

What do you struggle with?
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Saturday, 20 December 2014

Holiday Photos #2

Here we have the second installment of our holiday photos. To see the photos in the first installment, go here.

So for a quick recap... we stayed in Westport for five days, then went to Nelson where we stayed with our grandparents for nine days.

To view any of the photos bigger, simply click on them.

All of the following photos are from our time in Nelson except for the first three. Apologies for the number of photos, I was trying to have as few posts as possible on this subject because I personally hate massively long series (e.g. installment #8, two more photos... and so on :P) So I've managed to squish them into two posts, but each post has lots of photos. I'm sure you won't mind. Anyway, you don't get to choose. :P

These first three photos are from Westport. We did this awesome thing called Underworld Rafting where you walk through these caves underground and then hop in a tube and float through more caves, this time glow-worm lit! It's truly breathtaking and one of the most awesome things I've ever done in my life.

Before entering the caves... the cave entrance is behind Dad (he's the one in the red helmet)

Yours truly, all set to go floating through those glowworm-lit tunnels

Sophie going down some rapids after leaving the cave


We went up the Moutere valley to see a whole lot of our family history. It was fascinating! This very pub is the oldest pub in all of New Zealand. It was built by my great, great, great, great grandfather. Now isn't that great. :P

I think this is such a cute photo of Jana in Grandma and Grandad's driveway.

What do you do when you're on holiday? You play connect four, of course.

Or you play with meccano. That's an option too. ;)

My beautiful sister Sophie on the steps of Grandma and Grandad's house

We visited a glass blowing place while in Nelson. This is just one of hundreds of intricate, handmade, beautiful glass works. They are stunning.

Sophie and Lydia swimming at the Twin Bridges swimming spot on the Aniseed river. 

Sophie, Johnny and Ben

Who is taking photos of the photographer????

Dad, Ben, Sophie and Johnny
A view of the whole swimming hole. If you look carefully you can see Sophie, Ben and Johnny roughly in the middle of the photo.

And that's all our holiday photos! We had an absolutely marvellous time away, as you no doubt can tell.
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Thursday, 18 December 2014

Holiday Photos #1

Here we have the first installment of our holiday photos. To see the photos in the second installment, you'll have to wait for a post that is shortly coming out.

We went away for a fortnight. We stayed in Westport (a little town on the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand) for five days, then went to Nelson (top of the South Island) where we stayed with our grandparents for nine days.

To view any of the photos bigger, simply click on them.

All of the following photos are from our time in Westport. Apologies for the number of photos, I was trying to have as few posts as possible on this subject because I personally hate massively long series (e.g. installment #8, two more photos... and so on :P) So I've managed to squish them into two posts, but each post has lots of photos. I'm sure you won't mind. Anyway, you don't get to choose. :P

This is my favourit-est photo of all the holiday photos. Isn't it (and Jacob) cute? It reminds me of a hobbit house, for those of you LoTR lovers! It's at Mitchells Gully, a historic gold mine.

The entrance to Mitchell's Gully

You go on a walk that takes you around Mitchells' Gully, the old gold mine, and see lots of old relics left over from the gold rush. You also get to walk through lots of tunnels, like the one the boys are about to enter.

Inside a tunnel

This is a cool photo! From left: Lydia, Danella, Johnny, Mum, Caleb, Sophie, Ben, Dad and Jacob. They are all standing in tunnel openings.

An old stamping battery, used to get gold out of sandstone


This is at a little bay we stopped at. I don't remember the name of it. 

Carter's Beach, where we stayed while we were in Westport. Dad and Jacob having fun.

We went to Cape Foulwind (seal colony) and walked along a ridge path over a cliff looking out onto a bay. This is Danella and Lydia.

The view from the track

A small portion of the track (it took us an hour or so to walk the whole thing)

All the walkers except for yours truly who was behind the camera - L-R - Ben, Caleb, Sophie, Danella, Lydia, Mum, Johnny.

Sophie in front of the house where we stayed (see our van parked in the carport and all our stuff under the other one? We did move all our stuff, don't worry.)

This photo is from Denniston. It's a historic coal mine on a mountain. It's famous for the Denniston Incline, the top of which is shown here. It's a 45 degree slope down the side of the mountain, which the miners used to get coal from the top to the bottom. It's a fascinating place to visit. We only have this one photo of it unfortunately! It was really foggy as the top of the mountain is virtually always in cloud as you can see.

We did this walkway up Charming Creek. (Isn't that such a cool name!) Here is Dad, Jana and Jacob on the swingbridge from which you can see an amazing waterfall. The walk took about two hours.

And... the waterfall. You can't get the full benefit of it unless you see it in real life!

Stay tuned for installment two.... coming soon!

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Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Quick Question

Just popping in real quick to ask out of curiosity what your favourite Christmas carols are.

My favourite is O Holy Night, closely followed by Mary, Did You Know?

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Monday, 15 December 2014

Death. And dying. Scary?

Death and dying. It's a massive topic. And a scary topic, if you're like a lot of people the world over. I think it's scary because everyone's a little bit unsure of what exactly happens to you after you die and what dying is like. It's fear of the unknown.

For us Christians, however, it shouldn't be scary. We know where we're going. If we have placed our faith in Jesus Christ (who came to earth as a man, lived a perfect life and then died on a cross for the sins of the world) we will go to Heaven when we die.

Romans 5:8
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

John 14:1-4
“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.”

Romans 14:8 
For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s.

I think it's the thought of the actual death itself, not what happens after we die that is so scary.

I always used to kind of shiver a bit when anyone died and sort of pretend that it wasn't a reality that we will all have to face one day. But it is. And I have found it immensely helpful to think it through (rather than steer clear from the subject!) and actually develop some convictions and thoughts on the subject of dying. So that's what you're reading now. 

Firstly, I absolutely cannot wait to get to Heaven. Jesus is there. My Jesus, my Saviour, the One who paid the price and gave his life on the cross of Calvary so that I might live with him forever. My Lord and my King! I can't wait to get to Heaven and see him there. 
To look upon his face, the one who saved me by his grace, what a day, what a glorious day that will be! (To steal the lyrics of a song that describe it beautifully.) To actually be in his presence. I get really happy and excited when I think of it. 

Psalm 16:11
You will show me the path that leads to life, in Your presence is fullness of joy.

In the presence of God... fullness of joy... oh how wonderful that will be. And I get to stay there forever! For all of eternity!!

When you kind of realise that the only way to get to Heaven is to die, dying isn't really scary anymore. You see, dying is really a means to an end. It's a necessary step in order to get to see Jesus. Unless you're like Enoch and Elijah, (who didn't have to die to get to Heaven - read about in the Bible if you like), you will have to die on this earth so that your spirit will enter Heaven. It's the only way to actually get to Heaven. To die.

Some people are scared by the thought that they might have an agonizingly slow, painful death. But no matter how cruel, painful or slow your death is, it will be nothing compared to eternity. It really doesn't hold any fear for me now because I've realised that no matter how awful the death itself is, I would GLADLY do it because I want to be with Jesus. And it will be nothing compared to eternity.

The following quote is from the book The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis.

"It is better to see the Lion and die, than be Tisroc of the world and live and not have seen him." -Emeth, a Calormene soldier

I feel like that about Jesus. It is better to see him and have to die in the process, than be ruler of the entire world and live and not get to see him.

2 Corinthians 4:17-18
For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Revelation 12:11
They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.

And one last verse to leave you with. I've saved the best for last. :)

Philippians 1:21 (emphasis added)
For me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

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PS. Oh, and yes, I'm back from holiday now. :) I have a bunch of photos from our fortnight away that I'd love to share with you when I manage to upload them to the computer! 

Friday, 12 December 2014

A Christmas Poem - written by me

Are you all ready for Christmas? Looking forward to it? I am! Very much so in fact. I thought that today I would help you get all excited and in the Christmas spirit by sharing a Christmas poem that I wrote myself a couple of weeks ago. 

I was a bit nervous about sharing it as I'm not completely sure whether I like it or not... so do please let me know what you think!

Anyway, here's the poem.


A Christmas Poem

Christmas has come. This is when everyone
Remembers Jesus' birth.
That sweet little babe, Christ Jesus his name
God's gift to men on earth.
The shepherds bow down, the manger surround
They worship the tiny King
His entrance quite lowly, though he's perfect and holy
He is the reason we sing.
God knew that we sin, and that we need Him
To help, so he sent us His Son
To enter earth as a man, that was God's awesome plan
So we would never be alone.
Our hearts full of praise, our thanks to him we raise
Our God, we know, is able.
He's rest for the weary, born of Joseph and Mary
Now sleeping in a stable.

    Let's not forget the real Reason         for the season!

    Bring on Christmas.
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Tuesday, 9 December 2014

A + A // The missing post box + Jacob and his truck

- Deciding randomly that it would be fun to try and recite a poem that you memorised years ago. So you start off quite happily, putting gestures and lots of vocal variety into it, until you are about half way through. Then that awful moment when it's like: What. Comes. Next?
- Needing to post a letter on the way to something. "Oh, there's a post office! They always have a post box somewhere near them!" Then going over there and standing in the doorway of the shop looking lost. "Where on earth is that post box? It should be somewhere round here!" Then having a nice elderly gentlemen notice my lost look and the letter in my hand, take me firmly by the arm, point me in the right direction and say "The box is over there, lovey."
- Wanting to throw an apple core into the sink in a spectacular way from a long distance. And trying, and missing completely. Fail.
- In someone else's vehicle in the backseat. Addressing a question to the person in the passenger seat, only to have them loudly say something completely random and off topic. Then realising they were in the middle of a cellphone conversation and you didn't know.
- Answering the phone in the evening: "Good morning, you're speaking with Bonnie!"
- At the AGM of your public speaking group when they are asking for nominations for people who want to be President and lead the committee for 2015. There's a long silence and suddenly everyone looks at you and wants to know why you aren't putting your name down...long story short after lots of persuasion and arm-twisting and people voting for me, I'm now President for 2015. Yay! *pulls hair out* I have no idea if this is a good idea.
- Laughing out loud at something you read in a book and everyone within hearing distance looks at you.
- Another phone one. Answering the phone then hearing absolutely nothing on the other end of the line. So you try again. "Hello? *pause* Is anyone there? *pause* Hello?" Then eventually (after about ten years) the other person hangs up.
- When you have one of those scatterbrained days when you can't find anything that you're looking for.

- A letter arriving that I certainly wasn't expecting and was a lovely surprise.
- Seeing photos of little babies. Or better still, seeing them in person.
- Strawberries from the garden!
- That I am, right at this moment, on holiday. That fact is very awesome.
- God's faithfulness
- Finding ways to make your room Christmassy. (Shown below is a shelf in Danella and Sophie's room.)

- Singing in a choir at Church on Sunday morning. It sounds awesome when everyone is all harmonising together and singing the right thing! ;)
- The Bible on audio. We put it on our ipods so we can listen to the Bible whenever we go on long trips or whatever! It's a great way to hear God's Word and pass the time. Two birds with one stone. What could be better?
- Jacob playing with his truck (I just thought it was a cool photo :) )

- Stuffed pancakes
- Playing this awesome game called 'Body, body' with a whole lot of people who had never played it before after you suggested it. :) Then having them absolutely love it and want to play again.
- Water fights on a hot day.

What has been awkward or awesome about your week?

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Saturday, 6 December 2014

Recipe // Pasta Salad

Here is one of the Smithies family's favourite recipes: our famous(ish) pasta salad!

- 3/4 cup uncooked pasta (for a genuine Smithies feel to it, use pasta spirals)
- 1/2 cup raisins or sultanas
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter (or almond butter)

Optional (but will definitely improve your salad)
- Roasted and salted almonds
- Raw, chopped celery, tomato and cucumber

Cook the pasta well in boiling water with a bit of salt. When the pasta is cooked completely, tip the water out of the pot (but leave the pasta in the pot :) ). Put the pot back on the stove and keep cooking, but stir in the soy sauce, honey and peanut butter. Cook, stirring continuously, until the large lumps of soy sauce, honey and peanut butter are pretty much gone and the pasta has a kind of 'glazed', shiny look. Take the pot off the stove and turn off the heat. Now add the raisins or sultanas, almonds, celery, tomato and cucumber. Give it all a good stir and serve.

This recipe doesn't make a massive amount. I don't usually measure how much ingredients I use, I just kind of shove a bit of everything in (going by 'feel', I guess!). Experiment with the quantities a bit until you get it right for the number of people you are making it for. :)

Would you like to see more Smithies family favourite recipes?
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Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Happy 7th Birthday, Caleb!

Today is a very special day - my brother Caleb turns seven!

Caleb Luke is the eighth oldest child in our family, and the third oldest boy.

Caleb is such an awesome brother. He's so compassionate and always ready to share what he has with others. He loves creativity and making stuff.

Happy seventh birthday, Caleb! Have a great year being seven and may the Lord bless you greatly!

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PS. Most of my family and I are away at the moment until the 12th Dec so all posts from now until then were automatically scheduled by me before we went away. :) I will not be able to reply to comments, emails etc until then.