Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 Review

2010 has felt largely just like "another year" not many life changing, exciting, or out of the ordinary things happened, but a lot of little achievements were made and many little adventures were had along the way.

Graeme and I rang in the new year dressed as Shaggy and Daphne from scooby do and had a great time at Primal Getaway. We also got to preach there, and spend time with awesome people!
We also moved houses (to the house next door) and thoroughly enjoyed having a linen cupboard!!

My sister also visited from London and my oldest brother Murray and his lovely Lady got married!!

I started an internship with my church, something that I have wanted to do for a while. My internship was to be doing Primal Youth and Getaway, but later changed to other things.

Your Best Life conference in Auckland

Our good friends Dan and Rachel were married (yes, I am wearing the same dress to both weddings. I only just realised now!) and Graeme went to Wellington to see John Mayer live!! + The 3 day Encounter Summit which I helped organise as part of my internship.

Graeme turns 24 and we celebrate with dinner and a poker party! :)

I go to Auckland with a bunch of lovely lovely ladies from C3 Christchurch

We head to Auckland for 30 Seconds To Mars live and have a blast!! + Everywoman Pamper, another event I ran as part of my internship.

7.1 Magnitude earthquake in Christchurch scares the crap out of us, so we escape to Nelson for an adventure with good friends! Unfortunately we come home to find aftershocks are still happening, and are still months later.

Everywoman Swap-eroo, another event as part of my internship

My belated 21st birthday and a trip to the secret spot!!

The end of my internship, the start of a new job, Christmas and lots of joy <3

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Day

For Graeme and I, Christmas day was first spent together over a cup of coffee, then a lot of present opening and sunshine and backyard games at the Mutu's, and then lots of laughs and drinks at the Hawes'.

I had a great Christmas Day and really enjoyed myself. Both places we went to really outdid themselves with all the food and good stuff happening, I feel like I stretched my tummy so much because I'm still so hungry and its Monday now! At the end of the night I fell asleep on the couch and was woken up a few hours later when it was home time!

My "commercial free" Christmas was a success. We were still given presents, and I appreciated the ones we did get A LOT, because I seriously wasn't expecting anything. Also, we handmade a few gifts to give to a few people. So, I did not spend a second longer in a mall than I needed too, and I loved that aspect. This is definitely something I want to install in our family in the future, surprisingly Graeme went along with my plan and I think it worked out well for both of us :)

Here's out christmas at the Mutus...

 The sunblock dance

 We got a swingball set for Christmas! Hoorah! 

We hope you all had a wonderful day with lots of family and friends, joy and celebration for the greatest birthday in history! Jesus, we love you, and we love celebrating you!

Be safe on the roads this holiday season xx

Christmas Tree at the Mutus!

It has been decided that I can (thankfully) never have a real Christmas Tree in our house. As soon as I walked into the parents in law home I could smell it and it went straight to my allergy reaction center.

Never the less, we had so much fun decorating the tree this week with the family, especially since Izy and Steve were over from Australia :)

Also, you can view a video here and see what we're like at midnight and high on the excitement of Christmas :)

Holiday Adventures!

Graeme has got the next few weeks off work and we  made the most of last week by spending time with Izy (Graemes Sis) and Steve (her partner).

They. Are. So. Much. Fun.

My favourite moment was when we went into town and went on the horse tram! So much excitement for a $2 donation!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Week 2 - F & V Tally

This week I have done marvelously! I think I was so shocked by last weeks statistics, it scared me into succeeding this week. As you will see, I actually had many servings over the weekend following!

Saturday - Subway (Including a record helping of lettuce, capsicum, red onion and cucumber) 1, Pear 1.
Sunday - Pear 1, 
Monday - Capsicum .5, potatoes 1, pear 1
Tuesday - Peas and carrots (inside an indian curry, thanks for the tip Janelle!) 1.5
Wednesday - 
Thursday - 
Friday - Pita Pit (lettuce, capsicum, cucumber, beetroot) 1

Total: 8

Okay so I got off to a great start, then sort of fizzled out. I only include things here that are considered at least one serving, that is a portion that would fit in my hand. 

This week thanks to a delicious pot luck, we had an abundance of deli meats, so every sandwhich I had I included lettuce, which I never do by choice, so I was also proud of myself for that.

+ I bought Graeme extras. I cooked him broccoli most nights, and got him blueberrys for his lunch this week.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Peasant Princess Series

If you are single, engaged, married, happy, upset, divorced, widowed, remarried, this is a great series for you.

It is a video series by Mars Hill Church, teaching pastor Mark Driscoll and goes through the book in the bible called Song of Songs - it's a series of love poems or love songs about a young peasant girl who married the great King Solomon. There is so much to learn out of it.

I have been married for nearly two years, and as I type this I am only up to the 4th video, but already I have learnt so much.

check out the preview or Part One and let me know what you think.

I'm considering doing it as a study in our connect group after we finish our current one. For This Love members especially, flick me an email with your thoughts.

My Commercial Free Christmas

This year I am really trying to get in the holiday spirit and shun a commercial Christmas all at the same time. This has been a really big challenge.

So far, I am yet to buy a present for anyone and don't plan to.

  • I have seen how stressed out present shopping can make people
  • I know first hand that I don't need anything
  • I don't believe santa is going to drop it down the chimney for me
  • Buying presents for everyone in the family and all my friends is unrealistic, considering i've been unemployed for the greater part of this year
  • I just don't understand how feeding commercialism is helping to celebrate Jesus

When we celebrate present giving we are celebrating St. Nicolas. Did you even know he was real?

In this last week while I have worked at probably the busiest mall in Christchurch, I have witnessed screaming kids wanting more material possessions, frantic mums flying through sale tables and stressed out dads with lists from their wives for presents they have to come home with.

No thanks. That's not for me.

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE gifts. Infact, gift giving is my main love language. However, when I give or recieve a gift, I want it to be for the right reasons. Not because we feel pressured to give on a particular day, or have to return the favour.

I have asked my parents not to give me gifts, aside from a gift we've already been given, I am hoping that will be the extent of it.

All that aside, this is the most exciting Christmas I have ever had, and definitely the one I feel most festive about. I can't wait to spend it with family and friends.

I would love to hear your response to this, for or against, it will give me more things to think about :)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Dear Husband

Dear Graeme, Today while knitting my booties I am watching videos on how to have fun and positive marriages instead of watching my usual sex and the city reruns. I would like to think that shows you that I put you first, even when you're not around.

Looking forward to you coming home to create more memories together.

Love, Sophie

P.s, I loved watching Despicable Me with you last night and sipping free wine in bed :)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Lunch Time

Today I sent Graeme to work with the most delicious lunch I have ever prepared. Lettuce and ham sammies, homemade yoghurt, muesli bar, mint chocolate bickies, peanut m&m's, blueberries, apples and pears... yum yum!

AND, whats more, all of the packaging in his lunch was reusable... lunch box, tupperware containers, and now our reusable sandwhich bags! They are handmade and super cheap from One Cheeky Monkey. Check them out and order yourself some!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

This Love Christmas

Graeme and I run a fortnightly connect group for young married couples (like us!) at our house every fortnight. I LOVE our connect group, the people in it, and what we do, and it is definitely one of my most favourite parts of belonging to a Church.

If you go to church but don't go to a connect group (or cell group, bible study, home group, life group etc), definitely find one that you will fit in with. They will help you connect with people on a much more personal level and will be a real support for you when you need it.

This week, we had our Christmas special, it was delicious, we swapped secret santa presents, Hollie and I sung Boney M Christmas carols, we had our next study (on a wife's vital need of openness and honesty), then played cards and watched some Glee with the left overs. It was magical <3

For the evening, I added to my minimal decorations with some home made attempts at putting the Christmas spirit in our house. What do you think?

Also, Perry and Hollie showed up in co-ordinated Christmas colours! We all realised except them! We promptly put a mini tree in their hands and had a fun photo shoot while they were still stunned and confused :D I <3 Hollie and Perry :)

My New Blanket Top

I am currently working on my first large scale knitting project. Up until now I have only completed little things, like Love Booties.

(hopefully it will look like this when I'm done)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

At The Weekend

At the weekend, John came over for a visit, and when he left we heard a chainsaw in our driveway going off. Turns out he was sick of the tree hanging over the drive way. Reason #245 why John is awesome. Thanks! You are a legend.

I also baked cookies :)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A Prayer Book

I have been feeling a huge calling to prayer recently. I think that prayer is essential and important in any christians life, but some times I go through seasons of being more desperate in my prayer life and God becomes more real in it. Now is one of those times.

Yesterday I made myself a prayer book and dedicated a page in it to most people I know and wrote down all of the prayer needs I could think of. I am gradually making my way through it and will use it in the future for when I'm not feeling so inspired to pray.

Now I just need a pretty cover for it :)

4 YEARS LATER EDIT:: Writing this in 2014, I recently found this book and went through it, only to discover that prayer had been answered!!! Thank you God! 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Sophie is going to Africa!

As you can [hopefully] tell, Africa is a huge part of my life.

I have wanted to go ever since I was 13 and snuck into my sisters room and discovered a booklet about World Vision. What I saw shocked and horrified me and I promised myself I would not forget it and do something about it when I was able to! Many years on my heart still aches for the realities of this world and I still feel Africa (or maybe God) whispering my name.

Lately, it has been yelling my name, so I thought it was time to do something about, which is why I have signed up for a short term missions trip to Uganda with Tent Peg Missions. (!!!)

It's for one month in June/July, visiting the Home Of Hope Orphanage (an orphanage for children with disabilities), praying, ministering and preaching. I am so super excited. This trip is all about the power of God and I couldn't be more thrilled, nervous and sure of anything else.

I'm looking forward to this next step in life and what God has in store for me. I have realised I am only one person with very limited resources going for a very small amount of time. I'm sure Uganda will teach me a lot and change me in ways I can't prepare for, more than what good I will do. At some point in my life I hope that I could give Uganda something back for all the ways it will grow me, but all I can offer right now is my love, and the gospel.

At this stage I will be going husbandless (Graeme is still yet to decide if he wishes to go), and right now I am moneyless. I will definitely be relying on God for his provision of strength, love, safety and finances. Prayers would always be appreciated.

This is the team who went on the trip this year - so next year you will see my sunburnt face there too! :D

A Letter From A Distant Land

YAY! Someone took up my plea for penpals and sent me this beautiful card! And who was it, other than the lovely Diane from Dearly Dee.

She's super amazing at anything creative, and does amazing Scrapbooking. She's an inspiration, so stoked I heard from her via snail mail! Go check her blog out!! :)

If you want to write to me, I promise to write back [eventually] [it took me a month to write back to Diane, but I did it!!]. 

Thanks Diane!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Christmas Cheer

Happy December 1st everyone! Today as soon as Graeme got home from work we put up our little Christmas tree!

Christmas is positively my most favourite time of year. First of all, retail super giants are playing worship music, everyone aims to be happy and cheerful and Jesus is [mostly] celebrated.

Now that I have my own little family, I have been thinking about the type of lives we live and what legacy's we want to leave our children (when we get around to it).

As a kid, I loved putting up our Christmas tree on December first. I loved the baubles, the colours and always remember my mum playing carols.

So today, Graeme and I started our own traditions - we put up own little tree together. We have a 4ft second-hand tree with ancient balls to go on it, and can't afford an upgrade just yet, so we wrong short prayers on cards and hung them up, along with name tags that we got for free in the mail from NZ Post - I jazzed them up a tiny bit with stars and gold ribbon.

In the spirit of giving this Christmas season (still considering whether or not we are going to buy presents. I'm seriously considering cutting out this material tradition completely. Your own thoughts?) we are going to ice lots and lots of gingerbread hearts and deliver them to our neighbours on Christmas Eve too.

What are you planning this holiday season? Any family traditions that you love? Leave me a comment below! :)

An Introduction to Hammy & Steven

I would like to introduce you to our children, Hammy (Hamissou) and Steven.

[left] Hammy is from the very south of Niger, in a little village. He has recently been expelled from school but managed to stay in education until he was 14, so I am very proud of him. Hammy now wants to be a truck driver and is one of 5 children, and thankfully still has his 2 parents.

[right] Steven is a little cutie. He collects sticks for firewood for his family and likes to play hide and seek. I would love it if we could play hide and seek with him one day <3 Steven had recently started school and comes from a large family aswell.

Graeme and I sponsor these kids for a small amount a week and they bring us such joy in our lives.

World vision are looking for more sponsors for these two kids

If you have been thinking about sponsoring any of these beautiful children in need of help then this Christmas season, please give. Contact me if your heart has been stolen by either of these two cuties and I can hook you up with the right people! :)

Much love and blessings, happy December xx
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