Wednesday, February 1, 2017

does she even know what that means

Shayne goes into the yachtshop to buy spare anchor for CHRISTIE. Carli and I are waiting in the car. After a couple of minutes....
C: Now where has that gigolo gone to? (meaning Shayne)

Friday, November 4, 2016

Reese's Process Journal - Green Apple Cake

by Reese Caitlyn Brodie
Year 5 - The Learning Centre

  • 4 cups chopped green apples
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 tablespoon milk


1. Cut apple into thin slices
2. Pour into the bow, then add sugar to the mixture.
3. Mix until most.
 4. Pour into a separate bowl.
5. Use the same mixer bow, add your eggs and mix well. When ready add all the other ingredients.

6. Mix all the ingredients together. Don't forget the apples!
7. Grease Pan with Butter
8. Pour mixture into pan
9. Into the oven it goes for 45 minutes at 180°C

Best served warm with whipped cream! 



dust covered eyes

I am coming to the conclusion that depression is not something that happens overnight. It happens slowly, dresses itself as something else and if you don't recognise it for what it really is - you wake up one day and it's all a bit too much for you to manage if you are not careful.

The best way I can describe it would be like putting on weight... something happens, you start to give into little things like diet, exercise and sleep and before you know it, you have put on all this weight. The other thing I find funny (not funny haha) is that whatever stage I am at, I am not quite happy with my body shape and weight. Due to my underactive thyroid, I am now struggling to lose weight - in fact I the only thing I have been consistent in lately is putting on the kgs. Anyway, when I look back at my photos for the last 10 years, I think to myself - I was still unhappy about my weight then? I would love to be that again! What was I thinking but I guess that is human nature (or my nature at least).

Anyway - back to my main reason for this post. Looking back at this last year, I think I have been suffering from depression even though I am incredibly blessed with family, friends, work and home. I have so much to be thankful for but it feels like I've been just going through the motions with a screen over what's really going on inside. I'm quite disgusted with myself actually that I've let it creep up on me and have become so self oriented.

I have let the things that have been thrown my way get to me - grieving the loss of Ely (that is something I have to constantly have to manage and will never go away for as long as I have breath in me), being diagnosed with underactive thyroid and stress around work environment.

Maybe depression like fat. It is always there and something I need to be mindful of and manage especially as I get older. I have my coping mechanism which I have been ignoring which is prayer and worship. Instead of waking up and starting my day with prayer, I go straight to a book I am reading or check out what's been happening in the world of Instagram and Facebook. I kiddingly tell myself, in 5 minutes time, I am going to put my phone down and I will say my prayers, commit my day to Jesus. Instead, 5:00am comes too quick and I am jumping out of the bed to get Reese to swimming by 5:30 and my day is full on the go till 8:30 when I get to bed and straight into my book before I fall off to sleep.

I dislike confrontation and instead of meeting my issues head-on I procrastinate? not sure if that correct - would be more like deviate. I also like to think I am supposed to be supermum and superwife all the time - that's a huge load to take on ontop of everything else going on in my life. To make it worse, sometimes I think and talk myself into thinking that I can do it all on my own. Eeeerrrrrr! WRONG!  It gets to a point (after hiding from the issues), I finally stop, give in and do what I should have done in the first place and do and practice every morning - Pray. Give it all to Jesus. It's an amazing phenomenon, in my prayer, I ask Jesus to take everything off me - my day, my family, my worries, my joy -everything and let His will be done in my life. It's almost like instantly, the load just comes right off and everything just seems so clear and light. I can see what i should be doing and because the pressure, load and expectations especially from myself has been handed over to My Father, I can hear His voice guiding me and speaking to me and be free to worship Him. And worshiping Him makes me happy.

This week I had that wakeup call. Nothing drastic happened, I just woke up with the realisation that I am not truly happy and excited about life and I shouldn't be living like this. This is not the life Jesus intended for me to live. Jesus died on the cross so that I may live - truly live - not just go through the motions of life. That is why He died on the cross - so that we may live. We let life and all it's tiny "dust" build up and cover and dull everything around us. We let it cover our eyes that we don't clearly see His Love, His Creation, His Gift, His Blessing.

What really cemented this for me was coming across this song "Victory Belongs to Jesus" by Todd Dulaney. The song spoke to me in such a powerful way - took the focus off all the things around me and took it to where it should always be - Jesus. Thank you Jesus for Todd Dulaney's and everybody involved in the making of the album's life. It is my prayer today that You bless each and everyone of them.

Today's bible verse that also convinced me to carry on and post my thoughts and experience even though I don't think anybody will read it is this:

"Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity."

1 Timothy 4:12

I am far from perfect and deserving of His Love, but it is given to me anyway. I am blessed beyond measure and am extremely thankful.  Below are some photos from last weekend when we took the girls and some friends on a camping trip to Kadavu.  How can you not be in awe of God and His blessings?

Loloma and Blessings


Saturday, October 22, 2016

Looking back

When i first started blogging I had 2 separate blogs going on at the same time, one for my recipes, one for my ramblings such as below. Then one day I realiased that when I am home, 90% of the time I am in the kitchen and the family gather around the kitchen to tell me about their day, do their homework and eat etc. It is not just a place for cooking, it's the heart of our home and that is how those 2 blogs merged into this.

I haven't quite figured out how to move the posts from that blog to this (don't know if that's possible and am worried that if i start searching now this post will not get published today).

For some reason, whilst getting ready to have my quiet time this morning, I was drawn to read my last post from my previous blog and I just had to repost and share it as it was a great reminder. There are a lot of quotes out there saying let go of the past and don't look back but i think it's good to sometimes look back and be reminded of how far you have come, the lessons you have learnt and to be thankful of where you are at this point in your life.

Warning - it's a very long post.

Tuesday,  5th August 2014

Letting Go

Yesterday was another hard day to get through.

Since Ely's left us, i have not dreamt of him till last night (and i dream a lot!)

In my dream, he was as i've always imagined and wished for him - to walk, talk and whole. He sat next to me and we chatted about nothing and everything - a bit similar to the times when i had him at home and i'd go into the room, pull him up on my lap, cuddle him and whisper in his ears about everything that was going on.. the weather, what i saw on my way to and from work, what every family member was up to etc. In the dream it was kind of like that but the other way around. He was doing most of the talking. I can't remember exactly what we spoke about but i do  remember a couple of things - Ely asking how Bubu was doing and how I was doing. All too quick he told me it was time for him to go. I begged him to stay a little bit longer, crying for him to stay and when he suddenly disappeared i found myself waking up crying.

As a mother, I have had a lot of doubt as to how well i took care for him - what could i have done better for him and did i really do a good job - most of the time i think that maybe i could have done better or differently and my prayers of late has been a result of those thoughts. Whenever i go to the girls room to check on them whilst they are asleep, i would lay my hands on them and pray protection over them, pray for guidance on how to be the best mother to them and that i do not make the same mistakes i made with Ely. At other times, I wonder if he is okay. Is he really in Heaven. Is there really a Heaven.

Most of the day was in a haze, tears would well up whenever i thought about him and my dream and the feeling of regret and doubt was especially heavy.

My faith and relationship with Jesus i have to say has been what has constantly pulled me through and continued to guide me especially during this last year. A falling out with a friend a couple of years ago was a turning point in my life. I didn't like who i had become, I didn't know and see how i got there but i knew that I had to make some changes and one of the most important change i needed to make was to get back to Christ as He is the only one that truly knew that turmoils in me.

The first year back into following Christ was the hardest year in our marriage. Shayne is not a believer and this was the one thing we didn't agree on or could do it together but i saw that the girls loved it and loved Jesus. There was a lot of talk and outside influence on my immediate family trying to turn us against each other, casting doubt and hate all around me. Thanks to Freedom Church and Ropate & Gitte my understanding of what it really means to have a relationship with God was shared to me and I experienced and felt the AWESOMENESS of it all. That was the foundation I needed to help me deal with the loss of my mother in law - Marita and a few months later, my 14year son, Ely. I needed to be strong for my family, to keep my head on and through it all show love for Christ is love.

There was a moment I remember distinctly in the first 8 hours of Ely's passing that i experienced the physical pain of my heart breaking, feeling so overwhelmed that didn't know how i was going to go on. My cousin Miri just called to tell me that they are going to do an autopsy on Ely the next morning. I put phone down, went to my office and cried - I wasn't mentally and emotionally prepared for "them" to cut my son up! Even though i was surrounded by family and friends, I felt alone in my grief. I cried out to God, asking Him how am i going to move on when a quiet voice reminded me - in all things be thankful. Ha! Are you kidding me?! How could i be!  But over the pevious months, I had learnt to listen to that voice. I closed my eyes and prayed - giving thanks for Ely's life, for the honour of being his mum for 14 years even though we were told initially it was going to be only for 1 year and later 5 years maximum. For all my family who are standing, waiting to help out anyway they can, for Shayne who married me and took on Ely even though he had a rule not to go out with a girl who has a child from another man, for Yaca....there were so many things to be thankful for. With every prayer of thanks, i felt light till eventually I was calm and secure in the knowledge that Ely was already in Heaven, it was only his body that was here on earth and that God was going to be by my side throught out.

There has been other times in the last year that I've come close to losing it and I've heard the voice or read something that i feel is God talking to me. Yesterday's voice came in the form of a daily devotional i subscribe to (but don't always read on a daily basis)

How Do I Let It Go?
"Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness, And rivers in the desert." Isaiah 43:18-19 (NKJV)
Three-year-old Elle arched her arm and pointed her fingers. "You're frozen, Gaga!"
I stopped in place, one arm behind me, the other in the air. She giggled, then quickly unfroze me.
If you are in the vicinity of anyone under the age of 6, you're familiar with the movie, Frozen. In it, two sisters struggle in their relationship with each other and in finding acceptance.
At one point Elsa, the older sister, sings these words:
"Let it go, let it go ...
"And I'll rise like the break of dawn ..."
Let it go.
Those are words I sensed God speaking to me years ago.
Let go of the past that you cannot undo.
Let go of the warped view you have of yourself. It doesn't match the one I have as your Heavenly Father.
Let go of the hurts that hold you too tightly.
Just as I playfully stood frozen while my granddaughter giggled, there was another time when I felt frozen. I couldn't take a step toward healing.
"Let it go, sweet daughter," was a whisper I heard from God to discover the Suzie He saw me to be.
Maybe you've sensed God asking you to let something — or someone — go.
Let go of the mistakes you once made. I've forgiven you.
Let go of the anger that's consuming your thoughts.
Let go of condemnation, so you can live free.
You want that desperately, but it can be hard to let go when you don't know what that means. May I share the definition of letting go with you? It was freeing for me when I finally understood it.
Letting go is giving up what is beyond your control to embrace what you can change.
In Isaiah 43:18-19, God spoke to His people through the prophet Isaiah saying: "Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness, And rivers in the desert."
The people held so tightly to the past that they missed the new things God wanted to show them.
God speaks the same warning and truth to us. We can't control the past, but we can focus on the miracles around us today.
We can't control the words that once shaped our hearts, but we can replace them with truth from Scripture.
We can't control negative people, but we can choose joy for ourselves.
Letting go isn't easy in the beginning, because holding on is our natural response. But there's so much hope! Just as the prophet Isaiah describes new roads in the desert and rivers in the wilderness, as we give up what we can't control to embrace what we can change, new ways of thinking, relating and living are carved into our very being.
And the beautiful thing about letting go?
It doesn't just change us.
It has the power to alter the next generation, and the next after that, like the cute little blonde-haired, blue-eyed darling chasing her Gaga through the house, singing, "Let it go!"
Dear Jesus, I've wanted to let go for a long time, but I didn't know how to do that. Now that I do, I'm ready to take that leap of faith. I give up what I cannot control to embrace what I can. Thank You for carving new roads in the desert of my heart and new rivers in the wilderness of my life. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Did you enjoy today's devotion? Click here to subscribe.      


Thursday, October 20, 2016

in limbo

So for sometime now, I feel like I've been in a limbo. Just going through the motions for being a working mum, wife. I haven't been motivated to do much and quite happy content lazy to move or be moved. I haven't done any exercise in a while, haven't been eating as well as I should and my biggest problem in all this I think is that I haven't been faithful in spending time in prayer and devotion.

Don't get me wrong - we have been busy - creating lots of memories for the children, going on heaps of adventure etc but in the back of my mind I still have this nagging feeling that something is lacking and I know exactly what it is but have been in denial. I don't know about you but my life and the "tabs" in my brain and life just seem to be more manageable and organised when i commit them to the Lord.

Whilst going through various social media this week i came across this bible script a day challenge. So I am getting on this band wagon and maybe try for one a week and if i do more than one a week - great! but baby and manageable/ realist steps.

I thought - okay lets start off with one of my favourite - I Corinthians 13:13 - Love! Easy! But when i opened up my bible - it opened up to Isaiah  and my eyes was automatically drawn to Chapter 38 verse 20

Monday, October 27, 2014

stuffed toa (chicken)

It's often when the pantry, fridge and freezer is running dry that I get most creative in the kitchen. Most of the time I have no idea what I am going to cook for dinner till I get home and open the freezer. One of the key things about my cooking is that it has to be quick. I get home from work around 5:30 - 6 and need to have the children fed and in bed by 7:30 on a school night. Of course asking the husband if he had any preference is useless because it's always "anything" - not very helpful. Tonight was one of those nights and husband thinks that tonight's dinner is worthy of a spot on the blog. I have to apologise that I don't use precise measurements.

8 pieces of Boneless chicken
Bunch of coriander (use the whole plant including the roots) chopped finely
2 tablespoon sundried tomatoes (I used the one in olive oil) - finely chopped
125g chopped bacon
4 cloves garlic - crushed
1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese
2  cups couscous
3  cups boiling water
2 button mushroom (only because that's how many I had left and I wanted to use it up before it goes bad as they are super expensive here in Fiji)
1 bottle pasta sauce
1 carrot

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 200° C
  2. In a bowl combine coriander, sun dried tomatoes, bacon, Parmesan cheese, garlic. Set aside.
  3. Loosely wrap each boneless chicken pieces in cling wrap and beat till flat and thin using a meat tenderiser (this is to keep the chicken from falling apart).
  4. Scoop a spoonful of the bacon and coriander mixture in the centre of the chicken and roll it close using toothpicks to hold it in place.
  5. Lay the chicken in a deep oven proof dish. Pour in the pasta sauce around the chicken and cook (about 30 min).
  6. Turn chicken over at the 15min point. Have your chicken sitting in the middle of the oven as having sitting too high could burn the chicken on the outside and raw on the inside.
  7. Whilst the chicken is cooking. Put couscous in a pot. Throw in any left over stuffing mixture, chopped mushrooms and finely chopped carrots. Mix well. Add boiling water and cover till Chicken is cooked. Serve immediately. 

Makes 8

notes and local shopping tip:
  • when i do my fortnightly shopping, i usually buy a few packets of boneless chicken from Cost U Less as they don't take up too much space and great for last-minute don't quite know what to cook days.
  • the sundried tomatoes in olive oil is also from Cost U Less.
  • parmesan cheese is hard to come by in Fiji so if you see some, get more than 1 packet because chances are they wont be there the next time you come around.
  • couscous from Cost U Less and Lazy Chef in Flagstaff
  • i would probably have used basil instead of coriander but my basil plant is not looking so great at the moment so had to substitute with coriander/cilantro. morris hedstrom and lazy chef usually stock fresh basil.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

weekend madness

As i write this, all three girls are all over me! We are waiting for Shayne to come back and pick us up - Saturday mornings the girls have sailing lessons till 1pm. Shayne and I have our sailing training in the afternoon so that Sundays are kept free for family day. We use to do our sailing training on Sundays whilst the girls go to my parents for the day but Reese has decided that Sunday should be Family Day.

It's cold and wet in Suva today and am not sure if it will stay like this the rest of the weekend but if it does we might head out tomorrow morning in search for the sun and a surf - from memory high tide is at 8am.

I was going to sneak in a bit of me time this morning whilst the husband and children are busy but Shayne has just volunteered my services to water blast the boat ramp at the National Sailing Centre. It gets very slippery and last year, I slipped on the ramp whilst putting our boat in the water and had a slight concussion. Had memory loss for a short while which really freaked me out - my life flashed across me. Lesson learnt: Be extra careful. Life is short, you never know when you are going to go and if and when you do, what will your children and family remember the most.
This is a rare family photo (less Ely) whislt on holiday at an Uncles farm in New Zealand last year. Was pretty cold for these Fijians