Friday, December 30, 2011

A Christmas Gift With a Twist

This year for Christmas, I decided to give Big Spring a gift with a difference. I got the idea from the blog "find joy in the journey" and could hardly wait for Christmas Eve to come so he could open it up. I was somewhat nervous, however, as I wasn't sure he would be as excited about it as I was. But, I needn't have worried... Big Spring LOVED it! So, what was this gift? I guess you could call it our Activity Box:

In this box, contains an envelope for each month of the year. Each envelope contains a pre-planned activity for us to do. Big Spring isn't allowed to open each envelope until the beginning of the relevant month. I let him open up January's envelope early, but you won't find out what the activity is until after the event and I blog about it!

There was one extra envelope in the box, which held 'instructions' on what the box contained and how to 'use' it:

The envelope contained a calendar, representing booking in our date for each activity, written instructions, explaining the box and a block of chocolate, in case Big Spring felt a bit ripped off for not having received something tangible for Christmas that he could use straight away (he also got a wallet from Little Spring, but still!).

My plan will be to scrap book about each date night, so we have a collection of our (hopefully!) memorable dates throughout the year... and possibly beyond if this concept takes off as a yearly tradition!

I also plan to blog about each event, so stay tuned for each of those!

Monday, December 26, 2011

An Orphan's Lunch

As I mentioned in my previous post, we were hosting an 'orphan's' lunch for people from church who had no family here in Cairns to spend Christmas with, like us. The day was a huge HIT! Everyone had so much fun and we ate some very delicious food! Here's how the day looked:

We had church in the morning, where we spent our time celebrating the birth of Jesus with great passion.

Little Spring and I came home to get the final preparations done for our big lunch and Big Spring headed up to the Tablelands for a Christmas service at Atherton.

The table was set and ready (actually, it was set and ready on Christmas Eve morning - for those of you who know me, I'm overly organised sometimes!):

So I had plenty of time for finishing touches to the house (cleaning etc) and making Mum's German Potato Salad (a tradition each Christmas) before everyone arrived.

While waiting for Big Spring to get home, we ate plenty of cheese, dips, crackers and other Christmas treats. When Big Spring arrived, the feast started and the 3 couples and 1 single lady who came to join the Springs for Christmas laughed and had a wonderful time and ate until we could barely eat anymore.

At this point we'd only had main course, not dessert, so to give our stomachs time to make room for dessert, we opened our Kris Kringle presents. Always fun!

Then the feast continued... pumpkin pie (made by me!), pecan pie (made by another American!), pavlova, fruit salad, fruit danishes (affectionately nick-named dessert pizzas by the group because that's what they looked like - pizzas!) and my Rudolph buttersnaps.... sooo much food!
Once we let dessert settle, we headed out to the pool for the rest of the afternoon to relax and enjoy the fine weather. Later in the evening, everyone gradually went home. We collapsed on the couch, exhausted, but happy and very satisfied!

We're looking forward to hosting another 'orphan's Christmas next year!

I pray that you and your family/friends had a wonderful, relaxing Christmas.

(Sorry that there weren't more photos, but I was too busy enjoying myself to remember to take photos, except the group ones at the table!)

Monday, December 19, 2011


Christmas is just around the corner. As it seems to each year, it has really crept up on me! It is certainly going to be a new experience for us this year. It's the first time that we aren't going to be around extended family. Every other year, either we've travelled to them, or they've travelled to us. Instead, Big Spring has church commitments (being a pastor, that's not surprising, with Christmas being one of the main seasons on the Church calendar!), so we aren't able to travel to them. And with us being up in Cairns, it's a long way to travel for them, and would be leaving behind other family members, so it's understandable. So, what will our Christmas look like?

Christmas Eve:
We'll be attending (or leading, in Big Spring's case) a 7pm service at church. We'll then head home for a quiet family night of opening up our Christmas presents (a tradition with my family that I had growing up, that now works well with Big Spring being a pastor!).

Christmas Day:
Church in the morning again. This time at 8am. Big Spring then heads up to his second congregation in the Tablelands for an 11am service. He'll hopefully be home by 1pm, when we are hosting an 'orphan' Christmas Day lunch... there are a number of people in our congregation that don't have family up here to share Christmas with, like us, so we decided to host lunch for those people. It should be a heap of fun! We'll have a Kris Kringle and lots of yummy food and drink. It's certainly going to be very different from having Christmas with our family. Instead we'll be celebrating with our Church family, who are just as important!

What family traditions do you have at Christmas? I'd love to hear how you celebrate!

My prayer for you and your family this Christmas season is that while you celebrate the birth of our Saviour, Jesus Christ, you have time to stop and reflect. Christmas can get so busy; so many presents to buy, big Christmas lunches to cater for, dealing with a influx of family members living in close quarters with you, or you them: it's easy to forget why we have Christmas. So, try to remember to stop, breathe and remember the first Christmas.

Wishing you the comfort of His love, the joy of His salvation and the peace of His presence.

(image credit)

... "You will be with child and give birth to a Son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus..." (Luke 1:31)

Just for a little bit fun, find the Springs singing "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" dressed up as elves... I'm sure you'll have a good laugh... just click on this link.

Busy, Busy, Busy!

I'm up to my old tricks of getting quiet on here! And why is that? I've been very busy with:

- interstate travel
- dinners, brunches and other catch ups with parishioners
- a root canal
- my Avon business starting to really boom/bloom and turning more into a business than a hobby
- dealing with the "Terrible Twos" of my 'angel' Little Spring!
- the build up to Christmas and all that entails
- helping friends move house

I'm sure one could forgive me for being silent on my blog!

So, our recent interstate trip actually included 2 different States. Firstly, we flew into Melbourne for Big Spring's sister's wedding

A beautiful, relaxed family!

The newly married couple and our niece & nephew

The Spring family, minus Little Spring, who was having a nap

The Happily Married Couple!

We then flew off to Adelaide to see Big Spring's best mate be ordained into the Lutheran Church of Australia... hard to believe that Big Spring was in the same position a year ago! Wow, how time flies!
The new pastors of the LCA for 2011

Big Spring and his best mate, Jade (Jade doesn't look proud at all, does he?!)

Little Spring and her friend, Trinity (Jade's daughter)

Jade's proud family (the youngest is Kohen, our newest godchild!)