Thursday, 28 January 2016

Recent Family Goings-On

I realize it's been a while since I've updated you on what's been going on in my family recently.

First of all, I have some exciting news to share. You may have seen the photo I posted in my last post. Well, it has a meaning.

My family is very excited about the fact that we're going to welcome another little baby brother or sister into our family this year!! :D

Mum and Dad told us on Christmas Day and we were all very thrilled, as you can imagine!!!

Our new sibling will be here towards the end of August 2016. This will be my tenth sibling - the eleventh child to join our family. Exciting times!


Here are a few recent photos of some of us.

Two beautiful sisters - Lydia and Danella

And another beautiful sister - Miss Jana! She has the cutest facial expressions. 

This is a handsome young man. Jacob is 5 now. (Can you believe it?)

Two more handsome young men - Jonathan and Benjamin

Here are my fantastic and very youthful-looking parents. (Don't you agree?)

We went to a model railway on Sunday afternoon. It was good fun. The younger children especially enjoyed riding on the train.

Jacob, Jana and Dad

Some of the scenery

There was a playground as well...

...and a boat dock for model boats. It was a really nice afternoon outing.

Danella and Sophie went on a three day cycle trip for their Duke of Edinburgh awards. Here's Sophie with her bike.

Looks like they had fun! :)

What do you think - do you reckon our new baby will be a sister or a brother? :)
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PS. Going to be away with my family for the next week or so over on the West Coast. Have a great week! Got a few posts scheduled. :)

Saturday, 23 January 2016

Bonnie's Bookmark Tutorial

Today I wanted to share with you my tutorial for making bookmarks. It's quite easy, lots of fun and surprisingly quick! I have made quite a lot. They make lovely gifts.

Materials needed:
- Piece of card - I recommend cream coloured card, but white or any other colour works too
- Pencil and rubber
- Watercolour paints
- Gold glitter paint (optional)
- Black pen(s) to go over the finished product with
- Something to put in the hole at the top - tassel, ribbon, cord etc

Skill level required:
Anyone can do it!

Fun and enjoyment to be had:

Firstly, here are a bunch of random bookmarks I've made. I do all sorts. The first thing you need to do is have an idea of what you want to put on your bookmark. I will usually pick a favourite Bible verse and go with that, then illustrate and design the bookmark around the verse.

The next thing you need to do is find a piece of card that is the size of the bookmark you are wanting to make. Punch a hole in the top of the card.

This is just so you can see the size of the card I'm using for this tutorial. I quite like this size. 
Any colour of card will work fine, you'll be painting over it anyway. I usually use a light cream, which I like because it gives you a warmer looking finished product than if you just use white card.

Now I draw on the bookmark the design I want. Use pencil. Trust me, use pencil. This is the part where you can experiment. Try something, rub it out, try something else. Keep modifying your design until you have a pencilled design you're happy with. Until you have lots of experience doing this sort of thing it takes some practice to fit all the words on the bookmark evenly. Experiment with ribbons, flowers, leaves, swirls and all sorts. At the top of this post was a few other bookmarks I've done you can use for inspiration if you like. Also Google images is great for inspiration. And Pinterest. There is all sorts of inspiration out there if you want it.

Now the fun bit! Take out your watercolour paint. For this tutorial I'm using a red paint, a yellow paint and a gold glitter paint that isn't a watercolour one, it's just a general glitter paint. You can use whatever colours you want. I really like lots of colours with yellow. Blue with yellow goes nice, purple with yellow, red with yellow, green with yellow... and the gold glitter paint works with pretty much anything too. 
For this tutorial I'm using red. But the colour bit is completely up to you.

Mix the red paint with some water and start painting your bookmark. I really like the cream card because if you just use white, the red will look more red whereas on cream it comes off as pinker which I like. 

Paint the entire card red. Don't use too much paint and don't try to be a perfectionist. Bear in mind that the dried watercolour will look a bit lighter than the wet stuff.

When it's all painted (and you don't have to wait for it to dry, just go for it), go over and paint some yellow on top. Don't put yellow on all of it. I like to paint yellow in horizontal lines almost like 'stripes' coming from different sides of the card. It just gives it a bit of interesting colour.

Notice how you can still see the pencil underneath the watercolour. The watercolour gives you a nice colour on the page but you can still see your design underneath.

There, this photo shows you better where I've put yellow. After you've yellowed, go ahead and paint some glitter paint on the card. I just did this randomly - kind of over the yellow, sometimes not. Just keep doing it until you're happy with how it looks.

Then leave your card until it is completely dry. Probably a good hour or so, maybe even more if you've used tons of water with the paint.

When your bookmark is completely dry, begin going over it with a black pen. This is where you want to be really careful because if you don't follow your pencil lines exactly, you'll still be able to see pencil with the pen peeking through from under the watercolour! (A good illustration of this: See the pencil beside the 'I' in the 'for I have' from the photo above!) Tut, tut, Bonnie. Make sure you're happy with the pencil design before you watercolour because once you watercolour, the pencil's there to stay.

And that's pretty much it! Complete going over the pencil, making your bookmark look nice and pretty. 

After that you can add a tassel or gold cord or ribbon or something else to the hole you punched at the top of the bookmark. Just cause it's a nice finishing touch. :)

Have a fantastic day!
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Wednesday, 20 January 2016

A + A \\ Puns and Pranking

- Doing a camp activity blindfolded and having one of the other leaders quietly sneak up behind you then suddenly grab you and scream in your ear. Of course you scream (naturally) because you were so scared you just about had a heart attack. Then all the campers in the vicinity (and leaders) laugh long and loudly because of course it was hysterically funny. And having the story told rather a few too many times throughout the rest of camp so that eventually everyone had heard and had a good laugh about it. You're welcome, guys. Glad you enjoyed it. *bows often*
- Mishearing vital information and blithely going about the rest of your day performing tasks wrong.
- Holding conversations via chat message with your friends that you made in China and them sending you messages in English that are so grammatically wrong you just haven't got a clue what they are trying to say. :)
- When someone says something and you respond wittily but it is too late at night and so no one 'gets' your wittiness until like a full minute has passed and you eventually start hearing the groans.
- Emptying a coffee urn after being on morning tea duty at Church and managing to spill coffee all over the floor. Like seriously, all over the floor. Everywhere. Made a nice big mess.
- Managing to break your left jandal during camp in exactly the same way and on exactly the same day that your sister manages to break her left jandal. Same kind of jandal and everything. We've both had them for years. So strange.
- Tidying up the morning tea stuff after morning tea at church was over and coming out to find that your handbag, which you'd carefully left in a certain place was completely gone. Then realizing that your helpful family, when tidying up all of their stuff to leave, had noticed your handbag and taken it too, thinking you'd forget it otherwise. Which would have been find if they hadn't come to Church in a different vehicle and had already left. And the keys to the vehicle you had driven were in your handbag. Which they had taken with them. And your phone was in your handbag too.
- That feeling of horror you get when you accidentally publish a blog post that you'd been meaning to schedule for like a week from the date you accidentally published it. And then have to quickly revert it to a draft, apologizing mentally to all those poor souls who would get a notification through their following channel telling them I've made a new post when in actual fact there was no new post. :(

- Making lots of new friends
- When people attempt to prank you and lay all sorts of elaborate plans but you don't fall into their traps and their pranks completely backfire. Ahhh, the satisfaction.
- This joke:
Q: What happened when the ship carrying blue paint and the ship carrying red paint crashed into an island?
A: The sailors were marooned.
- Having fantastic Bible teaching
- Spitting a plum stone from across the kitchen and having it land directly into the colander. So you feel very pleased with yourself.
- This song. Danella and I heard it when we visited a couple of churches in China and loved it. It's got such a beautiful tune. Listen to it, then scroll down for the English translation. (Danella and I liked it so much we learnt how to sing it - and that's saying a lot, because Chinese songs are incredibly hard to learn if you don't understand Chinese!)

Here is the English translation of the words:
You are my Lord. You lead me in the path of righteousness.
In the high mountains and the low valleys you protect me.
In the midst of a million people you love me and know me.
Your promises of blessings will never change.
Step by step, this is the path of grace.
Your love, Your hand will grasp me tightly.
Step by step, this is the path of hope.
Your love, Your hand, will guide me through this path of life.

- Friends who will pray for you and stick beside you no matter what you're going through. I'm so thankful and grateful for my friends.
- Annnnnd my family of course. My family is absolutely amazing. 
- Watching 'The Making Of" movies. It's so interesting seeing the deleted scenes and bloopers and watch how they made the movie. Fascinating. 
- Having lots of fun making tons of bookmarks. I never used to use bookmarks but now in my old age I'm getting a bit forgetful and it's harder to remember where in the book I stopped! Hence the need for bookmarks. So I make lots so there's always a few on hand. Nice and useful things, bookmarks. I might do a tutorial on how I make my bookmarks sometime actually.
- Exciting opportunities.....

Do you get frightened easily?
Are you accident prone?
Do you know any songs in other languages? (Do you speak any other languages?)
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Sunday, 17 January 2016

What's on the Bookshelf

Greetings, friends....greetings, greetings and then maybe even some more greetings!

Today I thought it would be fun to do something a little different. I am a bit of a bookworm and am always on the lookout for a good book! If you are a bookworm as well you can go ahead and get really excited because here's my first official Bonnie's Bookshelf Book Recommendations post... featuring recommendations of books from pretty much my entire family!!
My family recommended all sorts of books. From Christian living books to comic books, there's bound to be something for everyone so read on!
Here we go... in no particular order....

Book: Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfield
Recommended by: Lydia (age 10)
A fictional story of three children on the stage. Published in 1936.

Book: Intimate Friendship with God by Joy Dawson
Recommended by: Danella (age 16)
Comment: "I like the perspective of this book, the author looks at things from a slightly different angle. Highly recommended."

Book: The Secret of Terror Castle by Robert Arthur Jr.
Recommended by: Johnny (age 12)
First book in the popular Three Investigators series

BookWar in the Heavenlies by Derek Prince
Recommended by: Mum
This is an awesome book. Discover why God allowed evil in the first place, why it continues to exist, and what difference spiritual warfare makes in this battle.

Book: The Complete Book of Chalk Lettering by Valerie McKeehan
Recommended by: Bonnie (that's me)
Comment: This is honestly a fantastic book. If you're interested in art or hand lettering or pretty things or just curious, this book is for you. I don't do chalk lettering but this has helped me with my everyday lettering! I found it at the local library and snapped it up and am so glad I did.

Book: Tintin comics by Herge
Recommended by: Jacob (age 5)
I think Jacob likes these because although he is learning to read, he isn't able to read chapter books like his brothers yet so he enjoys looking at the pictures in the comics! :)

Book: A Better Way To Pray by Andrew Wommack
Recommended by: Dad
Comment: "Not sure how I feel about this book. It's very provocative and interesting. Well worth a read."

Book: Suzy's Six Birthdays by Elizabeth Prentiss
Recommended by: Lydia (age 10)
Suzy's Six Birthdays was written by the same author who wrote Stepping Heavenward, if you're familiar with that. Lydia was given Suzy's Six Birthdays for Christmas and loves it.

Book: Alfred Hitchcock's Sinister Spies compiled by Alfred Hitchcock
Recommended by: Ben (age 13)
A collection of eleven fictional spy stories. Some are better than others but overall this is a great book.

Book: This Present Darkness by Frank Peretti
Recommended by: Bonnie
Comment: This novel is absolutely fantastic. I read it first when I was quite young (maybe ten or so) and it was really scary so I'd recommend it for young adults or older. It's a great faith strengthening novel about spiritual warfare. Frank Peretti knows how to tell a story, that's for sure.

Book: The Narnia series by C. S. Lewis
Recommended by: Caleb
These are a fictional bestselling series about a land called Narnia that is ruled by a lion named Aslan. The series has certain allegories to God, good and evil, creation, our lives as Christians and more. Great family read-alouds.

What's on your bookshelf?
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Thursday, 14 January 2016


It seems like when it's time for the New Year everyone gets real reflective about their lives. All of a sudden bloggers are posting about their resolutions and pondering on the past year.

I guess it's because once a year is quite a good length of time to evaluate yourself. You know, how you're going etc.

And the beginning of the year is a great time to do just that.

Last year I didn't make myself many New Years Resolutions. I think I did make some, although in typical Bonnie fashion I forgot to write them down (thinking to myself no doubt, "I'll remember them") and of course..... I can't remember them now!

I have a 'word' for the year. A word to focus on, to ponder on, to use to keep me on the right track. I've already posted about that.

But I think a set of goals would be nice too. And so I have seven. You'll be glad to know I've written them down this time... here and in my diary! :D (Twice! No way I'm forgetting this time....)

In my post where I talked about my word for the year I said I was doing that instead of some resolutions. And that is still true. These goals are not resolutions. They are goals (surprisingly). There's a difference. (I think.)

I want to go deeper in my relationship with God.
I think this goal is going to be on my list every time I write it at the beginning of a new year. At least, I certainly hope so. May I never consider my relationship with God good enough. May I always want more of him, want to press in deeper to him. May I never be satisfied with a little of him!!

I want to be less 'self' absorbed.
I can tend to be extremely selfish and wrapped up in myself sometimes. This year I want to work on humility and thinking of others. Seeing others as more important as myself.

I want to be more intentional in my relationships with those around me, both within my family and in my friend circles.
Several of my good friends are moving away this year, my best friend to attend University in another city. Changes, changes. I sometimes look at my life and think, do I really have many friends at all?! I know friendships only happen if you want them to and you must work at them... but so many of the people I know have shied away from a closer friendship with me. I like to think of myself as a friendly person. What have I done wrong?!
So this year I want to try harder. To keep those friends I have. To keep friendships intentional because if you don't work at it, it will drift away. And to work on my relationships (especially within my family). :D

I want to attend a barn dance.
Some of my goals this year are slightly random. :P This one is just because I have always thought a barn dance would be super fun to attend and I haven't managed to get myself invited to one yet! I was going to organise one myself to celebrate my 18th birthday (this year) but it's not working out so well. It still might work out but we'll see... perhaps for my 21st. In the meantime, maybe someone else will organise it and invite me! :)

I want to become a bit less awkward.
Come on, who doesn't?? Haha. I consider myself to a very awkward person. I always say the wrong thing at the wrong time and regret it after I've said it! I am most definitely not a shining example of ladylike behaviour... oh well. (I can't be good at everything, lol :P :P :P.) This year I would like to try and become a tiny bit more refined.... not enough to not be able to write Awkward and Awesome posts anymore, just enough to not embarrass myself so much.

I want to focus not on what I can do, but on what God can do and is doing.
This is slightly vague, I'll admit. I'm not even exactly sure myself what this will look like. I guess it's just keeping tuned in to what the Holy Spirit is saying, you know, praying for people if the opportunity arises and so on.

I want God to be glorified in 2016 with my life.
This is last because it's most important. Overshadowing my word for the year, overshadowing my goals for the year, this goal is number one. It's my life goal. I want God to be glorified through my life. Because if He is glorified through me then I am happy. None of the others matter.

Have you got any goals for the year? Do share! I'd love to hear them!
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Sunday, 10 January 2016

And the winner is....

Congratulations to Ashley, the winner of my giveaway! Yay Ashley! :) Email me using the contact form on the sidebar to claim your prize. Make sure you let me know your postal address.

I'll be away at kid's camp for a week from tomorrow but when I come back I'll package up your prize and send it off!

Thanks guys for entering! You are all awesome! :)

A couple of photos from my time away at Equip Bible Conference......

Have a fantastic week guys! Congratulations Ashley!
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