"Worrying about tomorrow means that you are missing some of today" Corey Allan of Simple Marriage

Thursday, January 27, 2011


So I am attempting to get through 'The Love Dare', again.  I did not get very far through it last time.  More than likely something 'frightened me' or something was 'too hard' so I just let it go.  I don't know what or where it was (can't have been too far into the book) but I shall give it a much better go this time.

I have a bit of a plan for reading and completing the dare this time.

Firstly I will review the chapter and write my achievements for the day each night, and then read the chapter for the next day, so I am prepared for the following day.

Secondly I have decided to get up half an hour earlier than usual.  This means that I will be getting up at 4.30am!  Yes that is 4.30am on work days, of which I will spend 15 minutes reading, and taking notes from The Bible, and then 15 minutes re-reading the current chapter from 'The Love Dare' and writing down the dare for the day, so it is in the forefront of my mind.

Thirdly I am just going to have to get brave.  I don't know what it is about me, but I am 'afraid' of love - although I don't really know if that is it, or just what I think it is.  The word 'love' does not come easily to me.  I only ever tell TJL I love him when I am trying to be 'funny' and embarrass him by yelling it out when we are outside in the hopes that the neighbours and/or boss will hear me.  I never tell my parents or sister or friends that I love them, except in the sign-off part of birthday and Christmas cards, so that doesn't really count, as that's pretty easy.

I think, perhaps, my biggest fear is embarrassing myself.  The risk of TJL laughing AT me, or asking me what CRAZY thing I am up to now, or even the risk of embarrassing him (as in a friend of his had a note from his ex-girlfriend in his toolbox that TJL found, and of course TJL then ribbed his friend mercilessly forever).  I guess it makes me nervous that if I did that for him he would hate it, or be embarrassed, or he would just be uncomfortable, or just treat it as a joke, when it wasn't.

Yeah, I wonder why love is so hard for me.  I guess upbringing has something to do with it.  My parents rarely told me that they loved me (although I knew and still know that they do - actions speak louder than words!), and I always HATED being hugged and kissed by aunts, uncles, anyone (and still do, even Mum and Dad aren't allowed to).  My 'rule' is altered for the nieces and nephews, and I can say 'I love you too', to them - but only if they said it's first, and I'm still not THAT comfortable with it.  I can, however, tell my animals that I love them, easy peasy!  A fear of rejection, perhaps.

I think I'm just crazy.  Or different perhaps.  Perhaps I don't have to fit the mould of everyone else.  Perhaps I don't have to 'gush' about how much I miss TJL when I'm away (truth be told, I don't miss him THAT much, which sounds terrible, but it's not.   I am so used to having lived alone and I never get to be alone now so now, I cherish being away).  Perhaps I just have to make my own spin on Valentines day, and while I am reading blogs that are doing a 25 Day Praise Plan for Valentines day, perhaps I need to take what they are suggesting I do, and just do it in my own way.

I am also planning on writing down each night "I love TJL" and maybe, just maybe, I will get confident enough to say it out loud and mean it.

Lord, see how flawed I am!  You sure do have your work cut out for you, but We are working on it, aren't We!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Farm 'shopping'

TJL and I went and walked over a couple of farms that are on the market today.  One is just up the road from where we currently live, and the other was about 20 minutes away.  I can't believe how tired I am after having walked over them.  Just how unfit am I?  Lets not even begin to pretend I want that question answered.  I am pleased that we walked rather than drove our vehicle though, as obviously I need the exercise.

We preferred the first farm.  Originally it had a 'homestead' of some sort on it, and I am just IN LOVE with the foundations - as crazy as that sounds.  I only had my phone to take pictures on, so I might have to head up next open day and take some on my camera 'proper'.  Can one really purchase a farm based on the remains of a homestead - I think so.  Of course it all depends on what the bank will lend us, what our parents will lend us, and what the vendor wants, but it sure was a nice property.  Ideally the owners of our current farm will want to sell sooner rather than later and we can buy here, but OH THOSE FOUNDATIONS!  Pathetic description is a rectangle of concrete (are you thrilled yet) but with these neat stone pillars.  Totally overgrown etc, but if you can build within the original, WOW.  And the view of Mt Taranaki you would get, just awesome!  And in my head I can picture raising a family there, having guests over to admire the view, you know how it goes in fantasy land ...

Second one we looked at was not as good.  Just didn't feel 'right'.  Of course we bumped into people that TJL knows (he knows EVERYONE in this district).  And typically they had a wee one in a car seat in the back, and she was expecting again.  *sigh*  At times you just feel surrounded by it all.

I'm just waiting patiently, well as patiently as I can.

I have picked up the tablets I need to start on the next cycle in the hopes that my folicles will WAKE UP and grow larger than the measley 9mm they were last time (I think, from memory).  Then of course I will  need to go and have equipment put where equipment should never be put, to see what effect the stuff has had.

Hoping for a miracle as per usual, and our first month on this regime we will get pregnant (well taking tablets on day 3 to 7 of a cycle is hardly a regime, but it's a start).  Really, all we can do is pray that God decides that now is our time, and if He decides it's not, then we shall just carry on and hope that His plan gets revealed more and more as the days go by.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Relax and chill out day

Today I decided to have a 'day off', and to just hang around and relax.  The difference to having this day and one of my usual 'lazy' days, is that today I am choosing to do it without the guilt.

My job involves four long 12 hour days of work, followed by 4 days off.  People, TJL in particular, see the 4 days off and figure that I have the life of Reilly (note to self: Google Reilly after this to see where exactly that saying came from).  But those four 12 hour days really take it out of you, and usually on my first day off I tend to laze around doing next to nothing, but I feel guilty about it, which wears me out.  Quite often at this time of year I may have one or two days 'off' photographing an event, so taking into account the amount of time it takes to sort through them all (anywhere from 1000-3000 photos), my days off usually aren't.  In which case work colleagues say 'but yeah, that's not really work when you enjoy it'.  *sigh*

And then there is the guilt.  I don't fully relax knowing TJL wants me to vacuum, wash, fold, garden, cook, clean, help milk, walk dog, shift calves, clean the fishtank, you know - the endless list.  Not to mention what I want to do - catch up on emails, blogs, FB, read my bible and ever growing reading list.  Not to mention pay bills, sort out filing, finances and accounts.

So I forever feel ex.hau.sted!  Sometimes it feels like there is a never ending stream of people who 'want something' from me.  Work expectations - I can work my bench, plus the bench of a colleague away, plus do all of my sections dishes, and transcription check the work of colleagues from 2 other sections, and then do other sections dishes, all in my 12 hour day.  What everyone else is up to is beyond me (especially seeing as how some of them then stay on and work a bit late!  To do what?  Aside from working their bench, I have done everything else).  And in a typical work environment, the one who works 'the hardest' then gets even more work to do as bosses know it will get done.  Home expectations have been listed above.  Photography expectations that I go out and photograph an event and have the photos all loaded within a week (does not happen!)  Friends and family expectations - visiting, socialising, gifts, food!  See, I have just worn myself out thinking about it.

Today is just about being 'free'.  I am not going to do anything. at. all.  In fact I am reading blogs and emails, reading magazines and books, and watching TV.  And I am NOT going to feel guilty about it.  Mind you, perhaps me doth protest too much and I am feeling guilty!  Tough!

Following are some photos I took today - see I have at least left the house, TWICE.  Once to shift calves, and once to see the new bulls and what TJL is up to.

 Flowers in the garden


 TJL - who says 'stop putting photos of me on FB', but I know he doesn't mind really.

 TJL with Stella - look at those pleading eyes - 'Help me Mum!'  Is it any wonder she is out of control and jumps all over him!  TJL is just asking for it.

 Borrowing MY label maker to label his tool box thingee - I wonder if it will be returned!

 Heckle and Jeckle

 Latest arrivals (as of today at 1.30pm) Starsky and Hutch

Super Dog Stella

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

TJL 36th birthday

Yesterday was TJL's 36th birthday - yes, technically, I am a 'cougar', but it's only three years, and I don't think it REALLY counts at our age.

We spent the evening with TJL's Mum, Dad, Sister, BIL, and their 4 children.  As TJL's sister had a funeral to attend earlier in the day, TJL's mum had 3 of the 4 children.  So 'Mum', 'Dad', and 3 children arrived at 6pm, pretty much on.the.dot.  Sis, BIL and #4 did not arrive until after 7pm, so we had the task of 'entertaining', which, once you find 'bouncy balls', was pretty darn easy.  Would have been easier if we had 3 bouncy balls, but two was enough.  Especially for TJL when the kidlets found out that IF you bounce the ball out into the paddock, TJL has to go and fetch it.  Now THAT'S a FUN game!   

 What would YOU do if you saw this pack advancing toward you?

 G2 being 'oh so cutsie', solely for the photo

 'Take a photo of me dancing, Aunty Sally'  G2, for some unknown reason, calls me Aunty Sally (or Sandy), amongst other things.  I think at one point I was Uncle Kathy ... lol.  I just answer, regardless.

 J all smiles, unless he didn't have one of the two bouncy balls, or if he wanted the camera himself

 'I have the bouncy ball!'

 'I'm gonna get that bouncy ball'

 'Here I come, rahhhhhhhh!'

 C with a bouncy ball and a twirl

 Lets make Uncle T fetch a bouncy ball from the paddock, AGAIN

 Hey!  Wait for me!




Uncle T!

Another way to entertain them all, was to let them 'play' with my small point 'n' shoot camera.  They got some good shots.  The goldfish were photographed MANY times.  And for some reason, so was my chest - which I didn't realise until I looked at the photos today.  And a lot of close-ups of faces.  Really funny.

And as an aside, my stomach HURTS from today.  I hope that this is 'normal'.  I think it most likely is, but I am feeling pretty 'blah'.  Will see how I am tomorrow, as to whether I think I need to see a doctor or not.

I must admit I am super glad I still have one more day off work tomorrow, YES! 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Clean, clear, and under control?

Finally had my HSG this morning.  Ugh.  I can think of a bazillion better ways of spending 20 or so minutes (like the 20 or so minutes I spent waiting to go in to have the HSG).  Mind you, I could probably think of a bazillion worse ways of spending 20 or so minutes (like how I would imagine Chemotherapy to be).

Anyway, it looks like my tubes are clear ... 'Hooray!', although I must admit I have been kind of focusing on adoption lately, rather than having our own, so weirdly enough, I have mixed feelings.  HOW.  CRAZY.  AM.  I?  Obviously I am glad my tubes are clear, but I do want to continue to look into adoption regardless of whether TJL and I have biological children or not.  The adoption side of things will just have to be put on the back-burner for a while.  I guess, due to my age, I am still a bit confused as to what path to take.  If my tubes were blocked then adoption would definitely be the forerunner.  As they aren't then biological comes out ahead.  I guess the fear is, if we go biological and fail, will we be out of time for adoption (in the sense that I am getting ever closer to 40, and NZ 'law' has it that the parents will not be more than 40 years older than the youngest child).  Guess it still gives us two years to get a 1 year old, so not so bad.

Coincidentally, this morning when I took a look in our 'spare' room which would be 'the baby's room', God whispered in my ear (well in my thoughts), that I haven't exactly 'prepared' for any arrivals and perhaps it is time to do so.  Not in the sense of full on nursery decorating etc, but we (I) could make the room more child ready and appropriate.  And if we are unsuccessful in all of our endeavours (biological child, adoption, fostering) then the room would be ready for any one of our 8 nieces and nephews to come and stay, and would be ready for them in the meantime too.

So this afternoon I wait for a call from Dr Fufu as to our next step.  From memory I will start a minimum level dosage of some kind of hormone to activate my lazy folicles on my next cycle, which will be February.

Exciting.  Scary.  I am so GLAD that this is in God's hands, and I can just 'relax' myself about it.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I've got an appointment - woop woop

Aunt Flo started today, so 8am I was on the phone to the radiology department to try and book a hysteriothingeemablobit.  First couple of times I rang I was a bit early and they had not opened yet.  Then I got through but got the answer phone, so I rang twice more, before leaving a message on said answer phone.

And then I waited.  And I wondered.  And I worried.  And I asked TJL what time I should call back if I hadn't heard anything (he said 9.30).  So I folded washing, and worried, and wondered until I thought.  WHAT AM I DOING HERE?  God is taking care of this, just relax, it is in His capable hands.

And less than 1 minute later the phone rang.  Hooray.  It was the clinic.  Hooray!  Someone had rung in and cancelled and I had an appointment booked for 19th Jan @ 9.00am!  HOORAY!  Thank you God, I am truly a blessed being.

So in a weeks time we shall know whether my tubes are blocked or not, and then what course of action we will take.  Tubes not blocked = hormones to wake up my lazy folicles and prayer that we conceive.  Tubes blocked = adoption or get said tube(s) cleared.  Whatever happens I praise God for taking my worries upon Himself and leaving me to just be.

Monday, January 10, 2011


 Yesterday was the last day the 'bulls' got to be out with the cows, so after last nights milking TJL took B1 out and put him in with B2.  Originally both B1 and B2 were in with the cows, but we had to separate them as they were fighting.  Having spent the last 18 months together, we figured they would be fine being back together now no females were involved.  We were wrong.  Some time in the early hours, while TJL was milking (and I was sleeping), B1 and B2 had a fight, smashed the fence down, and B2 decided to 'explore the neighbourhood'.  I must admit, living in an area that is ALL dairy farms, the only worry was if a vehicle hit him, no real worries that the human residents of the area would be terribly scared of a Jersey Bull, unlike if he was in a city *cue screaming residents here*.

 The result of two bulls fighting, three broken posts - the fence had no chance

 Yep, they created a bit of work for TJL, and the neighbours, as we 'hunted' B2 down.

 TJL digging a post hole, to replace the smashed one

 B2 was found and had gone in this direction.  I got to stand, and wait.  I wasn't too sure how far away he was (apparently around 2kms).  And wait.  And wait.

 Then I finally heard the motorbikes, and B2 bellowing, and out he popped from the neighbours driveway

 TJL and the boss brought B2 along the road and up to our driveway (where I was positioned to turn him into his paddock).  He did attempt to go up the boss' driveway, boss yelled 'you're not bl**dy going in there' and so down he came further to our place

 And into our place he trundled, bellowing most of the way

 Safe and sound back in his paddock, he proceeded to tell the entire neighbourhood about his adventures.

 He then settled back into his paddock

 Had a bit of a dust bath

And made right with the world.  He is such a HANDSOME fellow, I'd love to give him a cuddle, but I don't think he'd appreciate it.  Since his return he has had a couple of big sleeps, must have been quite an adventure for him.  Funny how last night I asked TJL if we should close the road gate but I could not explain my reasoning - note to self - 'next time listen to 'your gut', it's actually God having a whisper in your ear!

After these fun time adventures I finally decided to make my first ever strawberry jam.  Ummmmmm.  Most of my jamming strawberries were now mouldy!  Argh!  So I just used what I had.

Cut and then slightly mushed strawberries

Same weight in sugar

Give 'em a bit of a stir

Boil around 10 minutes (I did only about 6 minutes as I was paranoid they would burn)

Prep the only 5 jars you have, just incase ...
Find out you only have 3/4 of a jar worth. 

Have yet to taste test it, shall have it on toast tomorrow, I am so looking forward to it!  Hmmmmmm jam!

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Big girl pants

So I did it, I phoned CYFS, but I didn't get very far as the lady who deals with inter-country adoptions isn't in until tomorrow.  Told you, very small country, it sounds like only one person deals with it ... lol.  Hopefully she phones tomorrow, or the next day, otherwise I am back at work and TJL might have to deal with it - oh no!  lol   The cool thing was, on my drive back from town Joyce Meyer came on the radio with the profound words she once heard 'do it afraid', and so that is how I am choosing to approach this foray into adoption.  Do.  It.  Afraid.   So, in-spite of my fears that Trent is not 100% onboard with adoption (see next paragraph), in-spite of my fears that it is going to be 'too hard', 'too expensive', 'too much work' and a whole heap of other things swirling around in my head, I am going to pursue adoption in-spite of my fears.  God will provide all that I need.  God will give TJL confidence.   God will provide the funds. God will see us through the hard work, the trials, the tribulations.  God will direct us to where-ever he needs us to be.

TJL did say today that he is nervous.  And he kept saying 'its a big step'.  And generally I got the impression that he is not all that keen, but he knows how badly I want it, so he is 'going along with it'.  To which, I pointed out that, that just would not work.   It has to be either both of us wanting it or not at all.  I posed the question - 'would you prefer adopted children, or none at all?', and I was not too sure of the answer.  He said he wanted children.  To which I pointed out, that, then, was it not best to get all of the homestudy and checks underway now so we are good to go should adoption be our path.  To which he agreed.  I think, perhaps, that it is happening a bit too quick for him, despite the fact we have been trying to conceive for over 2 years, and I have been mentioning adoption for the last year.  He still holds out hope for a child of our own, whereas I just want children, regardless of where they come from.  And who, aside from God, knows what is going to be.  We may have our own, we may adopt, we may just stay a family of two, regardless of which, it is in Gods hands and we will be happy with his plan.

On another subject, I did a wee bit of a kitchen tidy-up today, so I have chucked in a few before and after photos.  I purchased a small two shelf bookcase for $12.50, which I now store my herbs, spices, and breakfast condiments etc.  I think its pretty amazing how much difference it made to getting my, previously user unfriendly containers of herbs etc off of the bench.  I am very happy with myself!





My new spice and condiment shelves.  I LIKE IT!  (and TJL does too, and thats what counts!)


 I brought up the idea of adoption (from Russia) up with TJL this morning, and he was totally open to it, so I am going to try and put my 'big girl pants' on tomorrow and phone CYFS (the Government organisation that deals with all the guff in NZ - bonus of being a teeny tiny country, options are limited, usually down to one ... lol) and see if they can send me out some information.  I have a strong dislike of using the telephone, hence the need for 'big girl pants'!  I can access a lot of information on the internet, so I think I might just be getting the ball rolling.  I have not exactly given up on having our own, but time is ticking and if I don't get onto adoption soon then the adoption clock might run out too.

Of course now I have been kind of given the go-ahead (surely by now TJL knows that I am likely to become obsessed with the idea, so he should not give me any inkling to progress with something unless he is sure he wants me too), my mind is full.  I want three (TJL would prefer two).  My reason for wanting three is to do with a) chances are we would get them sooner and, more importantly, b) hopefully it would mean a bit less trauma flying around the world with strangers you are going to be living with.  It would be like a wee built in support system.   Ages would be around 7, 4, and 2 (as they they would fit in with their cousins (7 of them aged 7 to 1 currently)).  And Russia, because they would 'look like us', which I think would make it easier on them at school etc.  Told you, obsessed already!

Anyhow, tonight we went to TJL's nieces 6th birthday.  C turns 6 tomorrow.  TJL's sister has 4 children.  At one point she had 4 children under 5.  If you are looking for your fertility, I think TJL's sister has it.  I'm guessing that she has mine!  Lol!
Birthday girl C

Next one down, G

Number three, Big Boy J

And the baby of the family, S

A good time was had by all, and I am glad that I FINALLY got some photos of TJL's nieces and nephews.  I do have INTENSE guilt that our home is covered in my nieces and nephews pictures and only have one set of TJL's

Lord, please give me the strength and courage to phone CYFS tomorrow.  Please continue to guide TJL and I on whichever journey you have chosen for us.  Thank you for our continued blessings.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Bless my family

I think the biggest 'problem' I have with being childless, is the fact that I don't feel like I have a family.  Yes, I have my parents, and my sister, and TJL and his parents and his sister, and our sisters respective children, but we don't have 'our own' family.  We are, quite simply, 'a couple'.  A couple of what's might be the question ... hahaha.  And yes, we have a dog, and goldfish, and chickens and cows, but even though childless people call them their 'children', quite simply it's just not the same.  And so I either think I am missing out, or perhaps I just feel isolated in that I want a family and don't have one, and EVERYONE else out there does (yes, I know logically this statement is far from true, but sometimes it feels that way).

So today I decided that TJL and I ARE a family.  That's right, we are a family of 2.  If God blesses us with children in this life, whether biological, adopted, or fostered, then YES!  Thank you Lord!  It will be a dream come true.  If he decides that this is not the path for us, then I shall rejoice in, and focus on blessing, my family of 2.

And it's already working.  I had to go to the supermarket today after work.  I work a roster pattern of 4 days on, 4 days off.  And those 4 days on go from 6am to 6pm (so I'm up just before 5am),  usually getting home at 6.30pm, so it's a LONG day.  I don't mind supermarket shopping, really I don't, well not that much.  Sure people are ALWAYS in MY way, and they take FOREVER in the meat section, and park their trolleys in the most INCONVENIENT of places, and I just want to shop as fast as I can and THEY are all holding ME up.

Today, though, I focused on the task of supermarket shopping as blessing my family.  I relaxed the pace.  By shopping for wholesome food I am blessing MY FAMILY.  By selecting cleaning products and bathroom products I am BLESSING my family.  And look at all of these other people blessing THEIR families.  Oh happy days.  And you know what.  I shopped with a SMILE on my face, no scowl.  And the reception from other people, a smile back.  I repeat - Oh. happy.days!  By the way, where did I EVER get the idea that I was so much more important than EVERYONE else?  What a big head!

And now, I have the slow cooker on ready for tomorrows dinner.  To bless my family.  We are headed out to a concert tomorrow night, so I figured that I would get the dinner cooked tonight, switch it off tomorrow morning, and then we can just do a quick reheat tomorrow night before heading out.

Can you tell I am LOVING this concept of having discovered that I do have my own family.

It is amazing how the more I open my heart to God, the more I receive, and in ways I never imagined.

God, I love you unconditionally, as you do me!

Monday, January 03, 2011

It's all about me ...

... but not in the way you would think.

So I finally got home today, and after 3.5 hours of thinking, I was excited to be home.  Eager to receive the greeting from my significant other, who would be waiting for me like an excited puppy.  Cue ...

*Bubble Burst*

I'm pretty sure most of my greeting consisted of 'Hello MJ', and then I think there was some talk about mini-sprint race cars and what he has been up to.


In, what feels like ALL the blogs I read, the wife (not that we are married - long story involving me being an atheist until 2010) is cherished by her husband.  Whether they are struggling through infertility, have 1, 2 or more children, they appear to be lovingly cherished by their husbands, and I feel that I am not.

So I sulk.  I know, oh so mature!

And so enters God.

I begin to read some blog posts, and one of the first posts is by Time Warp Wife and then another one by Come Have a Peace.  And so I have a nice timely kick in the butt.

It's not about TJL and his actions, it's about me and MY actions, and my REactions to him.  Do I act in a way that makes him WANT to cherish me?  Do I act in a way that he has the CHANCE to cherish me?  Have I been providing the company and home that he yearns for?

The resounding answer to that would, of course, be NO!

And so, before I begin to complain that TJL is not 'acting' in a way that pleases me, I need to first begin to act in ways that please him.  I need to be more submissive so he knows that I do need his support and help. I need to slow down and give him a chance to approach me with his thoughts and ideas.  I need to keep a better home and garden.  I need to listen to him fully rather than distractedly.  I need to be the person to him that I wish he was to me, and only from that point can we begin to move forward.

I am thankful I have Gods strength to help me work on my many flaws, as I certainly would not be able to progress to where I need to be on my own.  How I survived for 38 years without God I will never know.  Perhaps that is because 'survive' is all that I did do, with God, I know, I can now begin to thrive!

Sunday, January 02, 2011

The Day after New Years Day, day

Another gorgeous summers day, twas the day after New Years day *sigh*.  I have to admit, it is only once the Christmas Trees are down and decorations put away does it really 'feel' like summer.  I guess that is the Northern Hemisphere influence of Christmas (snow, dark early, hot drinks and meals) that kind of makes a NZ Christmas experience feel like it lacks somewhat.  I mean, we have to stay up until past 10pm to get the true effect of our Christmas lights ... oh how hard done by am I?  *joking*   And this is coming from someone who has never even been to the Northern Hemisphere (yet), so how much are 'we' influenced by media?  A lot obviously.   But yes, Summer is here with her beautiful (and dangerous) sun, meaning we swim, and swim, and have bbq's - oh the pure joy!

We did not get up to much yesterday.  Helped the sis pull down her Christmas Tree - 'Goodbye Christmas, see you 'next' year' was the call.  Just so you know, a 1 year old and baubles DON'T mix that well, they were strewn all OVER the show.  Lucky he is so cute.  When he wasn't causing that kind of chaos, he was busy climbing up the ladder just like Daddy (this was under adult supervision, and when finished, the ladder was removed from side of house).

I just absolutely must help Dad fix the windows!

G begged to play Monopoly - I bought a set for ME for $20 and thought I would bring it down for  a bit of fun.  Looks like we might be purchasing another $20 set for the sis' family as G just loves it.

 Finally playing Monopoly -  'I'M BANKER'

And Miss T, was just Miss T.  Causing mischief at many a turn, with either a 'NO!' when asked if she had done something naughty, or a 'whatever!' at everything else.  Confound her and her new cute haircut!

 How cute and innocent am I, playing 'Strawberry Shortcake'?.  What the photo does not portray is how Miss Shortcake was being contorted to be 'a bridge'

Family chaos fun.

And me?  Two days and no fizz!  And I have eaten a lot less than usual.  Minor 'chocolate' and 'dessert' indulgences, but heck, I'm surrounded by temptation AND I was hungry!  But the indulgences were extremely minimal by my standards.

All n all a fantastic Day After New Years Day