Sunday, March 28, 2010

My Room With a View


A Blog This Challenge


This is my view. This is what I look out on from my desk. This is where I create extraordinary fictional characters and scenarios. This is where I mark my children’s school work. This is where I read email, Facebook, blogs and Twitter. It’s also where I study and where I write.

I have taken time away from this spot in the past few weeks . It’s been great to gather my thoughts and check my direction. I know I need to spend more time writing fiction, what I love most. I need to spend more time editing the novel I wrote back in November for NaNoWriMo.

As much as I enjoy the challenge of writing blogs and the challenges that many blogs like ‘Blog This’ give us to challenge ourselves, I’ll be taking a step back. You will still see the odd post but possibly only 1 or 2 a week. I will still drop by to read your amazing blogs but probably only once a week instead of a daily ritual.

I’m sure this is a short season.



Be blessed

Love hope and grace

Michelle

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Easter Means Yummy Yummy Chocolate

With Easter just around the corner, the world goes chocolate crazy.  Two and a half years ago it was brought to my attention that the cocoa in most of the chocolate we eat is farmed by children in inhumane slavery conditions. Don’t just take my word for it. Research and read for yourselves. Here are just a few links that you can find information regarding this.



http://www.laborrights.org/stop-child-labor/cocoa-campaign

Or watch a 2 minute you tube clip HERE

Easter is all about Jesus, he wouldn't want children being treated inhumanly so we can enjoy chocolate.

Right this minute my children are playing in the room behind me. Happily. They have all their needs met. They have more than enough food. They have weekly activities to entertain them. They are loved, cared for and treated as all children should be.

I read about child slavery and can’t help but weep. It’s crazy, in no way is it fair.

But I live in hope. I live hoping that every time I write something, every time I speak and every time I post a letter, that I cause a ripple effect. I hope the ripple causes waves. I hope the waves give off energy. I hope the energy is used to make a change. I hope that people stop accepting that others are being treated as slaves. I hope that you are as challenged as I am and take action. I hope that complacency and apathy is smothered. I hope that everyone can find hope and joy in their lives and live with peace.

It starts with me. I have been purchasing fair-trade chocolate about 50% of the time. Last night I made a commitment - I will now buy only fair trade chocolate and I hope you follow and encourage people in your world to think before they purchase cocoa products.

Together we CAN make a difference. Please take a moment to visit one of my favourite organisations Compassion and see how you can make a difference.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Live Free Walk


I am passionate about many things. I hate to see people suffer. While I have a voice, I will use it in every way I can.


PLEASE SPONSOR ME IN THE ‘LIVE FREE WALK’

The walk is to raise money for Teen Challenge, who is building a home in Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia for young women. While the girls stay in the home they will be in a program that helps them recover from drug and alcohol addictions, eating disorders, self harm, depression, anxiety, suicidal, tendencies, unplanned pregnancy and the effects of sexual, physical and emotional abuse.

Over on the right hand side you’ll see a donation link. The 5 km walk is on the 17th of April. If you are unable to sponsor me I would greatly appreciate your prayers for both the day of the walk and for the funds to finish the home.

My goal is to raise $1000. Please donate generously.


At this point in time there are no other facilities like this available in Queensland for young women.

 I think back to when I was a teenager I had suicidal thoughts, depression, eating disorders and I was a binge drinker. I don’t know how I made it through when so many don’t. I will share with you a little bit about my experience with an eating disorder…

I developed anorexia nervosa during primary school, somewhere between the age of 10 and 12. I was a chubby kid and I began to starve myself with the aim to be thin, thinking that I would be accepted. I didn’t realise I had a problem. I told myself I was petite and didn’t need to eat much.

When I moved away from home, not eating seemed to be picked up quickly, mostly by my friends’ boy friends. I hated being accused of having an eating disorder so I began to eat more regularly and with eating came extra weight. I exercised but the extra kilograms didn’t drop off quick enough so I started vomiting. This was my secret. Through my eyes, I was petite and I didn’t have a problem.

After I married Shane, I stopped for a while but started the routine again when my clothes got tight. This lifestyle continued for 2 years until I fell pregnant. After our third child was born, the urge to purge came back. It was only at this point that I realised I had a problem and it was out of control.

One night while the children were in bed and I was alone, I fell to my knees. This was too big for me to fix. I called out to God loudly yelling ‘No more!’ I asked Him to heal me in the name of Jesus.

That night I received healing. At times when I look in the mirror I still have distorted vision but I will continue to believe that one day I will see myself as God, and everyone else sees me.





Thursday, March 18, 2010

Daddy Date

This story first appeared at Soft Whispers in the Pic 1k challenge.

Friday Flash Fiction



Her wings clung to her back, flapping but getting her no where. Little Lucy wanted to fly like a butterfly and flutter through the garden.

Daddy, said he’d take me out, she pouted

Daddy never takes me anywhere. The voice in her head pounded loudly, out weighing her mother calling her in.

‘Lucy,’ Lucy didn’t hear.

‘Lucy!’ still Lucy flapped her wings and looked to the sky.

‘Lucy, Lucy, can you not hear me?’

All Lucy could hear were her own thoughts.

If Daddy would only take me out, I know I would be like a butterfly, I could fly and flutter about.

‘Lucy,’ this time her mum grabbed her arm.

Lucy jumped.

‘Lucy, please come in a take a bath so you are ready for when Daddy comes home.’

Lucy smiled and thought silently, you mean he’s really going to take me out tonight?

She skipped inside, carefully placing her wings on the table and proceeded to the bathroom. Bubbles nearly escaped the bath and when she sat down only her head could be seen.

‘You look like a bubbly butterfly,’ her mum laughed.

‘Really?’ Lucy asked excitedly ‘Like a real butterfly?’

‘Yes! Now be quick, Daddy will be home soon.’

Lucy washed herself, partly dried herself and skipped back to her wings.

‘Slow down, you need to dry off some more of those drips and get dressed before those wings go back on.’

Obediently Lucy rubbed herself dry, found her prettiest dress and within minutes her wings were back on. Before her mother came back into the room, Lucy was outside dreaming of flying again.

‘Hi honey, what’s for dinner?’

‘You are taking Lucy out remember?’

‘No, not tonight, there’s a game on TV.’

‘But you promised her.’

‘Nah, not tonight, I’m too tired.’

‘Look at her Jack,’ Lucy’s mother looked out the window, ‘She’s dressed and ready. You can’t just cancel on her now.’

‘She’ll be fine; you’ll tell her for me won’t you?’

‘No.’

‘She’ll be too tired to go out now, it’s getting late.’

‘Jack,’ Lucy’s mum said slowly, ‘Look at her.’

Together they looked through the window at their daughter. She was examining the garden, watching closely, there seemed to be a moody sadness over her.

‘You do this all the time,’ Lucy’s mum was near tears, ‘You promise to take her out when you leave for work and than you change your mind.’

Lucy’s mother turned back to the window blinking away her anger.

‘You are right, she is just delightful,’ he said. ‘I didn’t realize it was that important. What daddy wouldn’t want to take his princess out?’

‘Thank you,’ Lucy’s mum smiled.

‘Are you ready to go Lucy?’ Jack opened the door.

Lucy ran and flew into his arms, just as a butterfly would.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Awards Awards Awards

There are so many cute awards here in blogland.
My beautiful sister has awarded me with the Beautiful Blogger award. She began blogging with the attitude of her blog title Do I Really Wanna Blog and it seems she does want to and blogs often - the real stuff, she's very honest. Thank you Thea.
I was also honoured to be awarded with the Happiness Award by Annika  @ A Swede Abroad .... Thank you Annika!!!!
The Farmers Wife has also tagged me in a 10 happy things meme - so I guess I'm killing 2 birds with 1 stone!




Beautiful Blogger Rules:

1. Thank the person who nominated me for this award.

2. Copy the award and place it on my blog.

3. Link to the person who nominated me for this award.

4. Share 7 interesting things about myself.

5. Nominate 7 other beautiful bloggers.

Seven interesting things...
1. I don't think I'm that interesting
2. I drink way too much tea
3. I enjoy coffee most days
4. I eat chocolate nearly every day
5. Writing brings joy to my soul
6. I wanted to homeschool by children before I was even married
7. I go to church every week - sometimes more than once.

Oh, you are all so beautiful... how do I pick??? You tell me what is beautiful about you.. don't be shy now :-) Comment with something beauitful about yourself and you can pick up an award for yourself.


Happiness Award RULES:

1. When you receive the award you must thank the person who awarded you this

2. Name 10 things that make you happy
3. Pass the award to 10 other bloggers and inform the winners.
 
 
I've listed 10 thinks that make me happy on a previous post that you can read here
 
Today as I sit here off the top of my head... here's another 10...
1. My hubby
2. God
3. My kids
3. Writing
4. Reading
5. Rainy days when I don't have to go out
6. Autumn (fall)
7. Spring
8. Internet connections - I have great online friends
9. Connecting with friends in real life
10. Tea and chocolate
 
I am so bad with the tagging thing. Also very lazy...
I hate missing anyone so here's the deal.
I'm passing it on to 10 of you who haven't recieved an award from me before.

If you already have both of the above awards... consider yourself tagged ... I'd love to read 10 happy things on your blog.
 
Thanks for dropping by.
 
love hope and grace
Michelle

Saturday, March 13, 2010

My Saturday was…

This is an old post but I thought I'd re-post it for this weeks blog this challenge


We have many plastic bins with lids to sort the kids’ toys. One for Lego, one for Barbie, one for Polly Pocket etc. Keeping things sorted is the hard thing...

This morning I walked into one of the bedrooms and the door knocked over one of the plastic containers… Hmmm bits and piece of everything spilled onto the floor…

When I investigated further most of the toy and bit and pieces were out of the boxes and on the floor.

Grrrr kids! [outside playing] Decide to do it myself… Start sorting… Polly… Barbie… Dolls clothing that needs a wash…

Take the dirty dolly clothes to the basket, basket overflowing remember I was going to do a couple of loads of washing, begin to sort dirty clothes…find some clean shirts (miss 6 being lazy)… shake them out…

Take the clean shirts to my daughter’s cupboard to hang them and notice its bulging. Check the sizes and pull out all the size 4’s (the clothes that miss 6 has finally grown)…

Make 2 piles one to put away for miss 2 to grow into and one pile to give to a friend… Take one pile to box… box is full… find a new box… notice a pile of books on the floor…

Pick up books and put them on the shelf… where was that box for clothes?

Kids come in and are ready to start making a magnificent craft creation...

Get them to clear their desks and pull out the bits and pieces needed… oh, still need a box for clothes…

Go back to full box, seal and label… notice dish drainer full…

Clear dish drainer ‘Cut this please mum, stick this for me, hold this while I glue it’ …

Cut, stick and glue....notice sink is full…

Start to wash dishes, stopping regularly to help the little crafty ones...

Back to the dishes… now, where is a new box?

Find a new box to put size 4’s into. Place clothes for friend on table… see a box of hand-me-downs from big cousin - hair bands, clips and jewellery….

Begin to sort big cousin’s pass ons between three girls… OH the dishes…

Return to finish washing dishes… middle child has crafty meltdown … put her in timeout… MIL rings…

Chat chat chat…bye… remember I was doing a load of washing…

Go back to sorting the washing … oh, I was thinking about visiting Mum today – my sister’s kids will be there…

Ring Mum, as I put the washing in the machine. While chatting, notice more books on the floor…

Hang up, pick up books and put on the shelf, see hair bands which have now become bangles on my boy????? See sealed and labeled box …

Pick up the size 4 box and put it… well somewhere to get it out of the way… see the computer…

Check email, sit for a minute or two… Dad rings…

Mum had to rush to her mother (my Grandma) – she’d pressed her emergency button…

I pretty much drop everything and head out to Mums incase I need to sit my niece and nephew if Mum has stay with Grandma…

Arrive… Grandma OK… Mum home…Sister, Brother in law, neice and nephew all there...

RELAX…see boxes that need sorting at mums…

Size 2’s for my miss2…while I’m at it, I decide to sort through all the girl boxes stored at mums…

Return home at dark to… what I’d left…

Which would be OK if this was a one off … but this is how I live… multi-tasking not finishing much…starting lots…


2010 Goal… become a finisher…

Monday, March 8, 2010

MY 100TH BLOG COMP....AND THE WINNERS ARE.........

Wow! I was whisked away for my birthday unexpectedly so I was unable to draw the prizes when I said I would. I am sorry if you checked by to find nothing posted.



So, here are the winners using www.random.org with hubby watching over my shoulder to keep me honest.


This first number to come up was….. 5 – Jemi Fraser– The bracelet is yours (if you still prefer that one) please leave comment or email your details to me.

Winner number 2 is… 1 – Megan. Megan what’s your second preference? Please comment or email

Winner number 3 is… 7 – Jo Princess Warrior! Which would you like? I’ll be seeing you soon so I can give you your lovely jewellery in person

Fourth and final winner is…10 - Janet.  (Janet you didn't link back to your blog - I'm guessing I know who you are but I'll need you to confirm by emailing or commenting here) Also, I’ll wait to see what the others choose before I know which one I’ll send you – so glad you love them all :)

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!

Thank you everyone for entering and making bloggy land so much fun.

I’m loving cyber space so much I’ve set up a Face Book fan page. I’d love to connect with you there as well @ Michelle Dennis Evans

Love hope and grace

Michelle

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Happy Birthday to ME!!!

Happy Birthday to me!


Happy Birthday to me!

The one day in the year to celebrate ME!!!!!

I began to think we wouldn’t do anything special because the weather hasn’t lent itself to a picnic or getting out and about. I was beginning to think this year would be a day not much different to every other day of the year.

A couple of days ago I set a challenge for a few friends including myself. … Date night… the challenge was that everyone was to plan or go on a date with their hubby over the next week. With my birthday coming up I thought it would be the perfect opportunity. I began to plan, booking in hubby first, but he was somewhat difficult and said he wanted to organise it then proceeded to do nothing! (so I thought)

Have I mentioned that I hate surprises?

What does any good wife do when nothing has been planned for her birthday – yep I cried! One date, a couple of hours, one night that’s all I wanted.

Hubby caved and told me that I’m just too hard to surprise (I don’t like surprises – ya think he’d get that in 14 years)

He’s booked lunch! We’re off to lunch with family and then my Mum and Dad are taking the kids are hubby and I are staying in a hotel for the night … Happy Birthday to me! Happy Birthday to me! ….Where… I don’t know – he tells me he’s forgotten the name (liar!)

As for my challenge… I’ve still got to organise a date with hubby.

Oh, and if you’d like to give me a gift for my birthday, just head to that little box on the right hand side of my blog where you can sponsor me for the Live Free Walk.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

100th Blog Post

Yes, it's true - this is my 100th blog post!!!


Since I've been blogging and reading blogs I've come to love the give-a-ways. I have won a gorgeous Calendar from Maree Jaeger Photogrophy, Climbing Mountains by Stacey Charbachi from Narelle Nettelbeck and some delicious Harry’s Rocky Road Easter eggs from Your Cheeky Monkey.

To celebrate my 100th blog I’m giving away Fifth Avenue Collection Jewellery.

How to enter…

Leave a seperate comment below for each of these – 1 entry per comment.


1. Follow my blog - easy!

2. Tweet a link back to this blog and mention @michelledevans

3. Blog about my competition and link back here (please leave your URL in the comments if you do this)

4. Tell me which piece of jewellery you’d like to win - you can include 2nd preference if you like.

5. Sponsor me and my kids in the Teen Challenge walk (over on the right hand side)


Here are the prizes...


A Little Lavish Earrings



Extravaganza bangle 7.5 inches (black hematite with Swarovski crystals )




Sparkle On 16 inch necklace




Sweet Coquette ring size 10



Who gets which one??  1st drawn out first gets first choice, 2nd drawn gets second choice and so on.

I’ll be using random.org.

Entries will be taken until midnight Sunday (Queensland Australia time)

Make sure you check back - the winners will be posted on this blog on Monday the 8th of March.


SPONSORSHIPS WELCOME!!!
You may have noticed I have a donation box on the left hand side. On the 17th of April the kids and I will be walking 5 kilometres to raise money for Teen Challenge. The See Her Live Free program is building a home to house young women suffering from life altering problems. It’s a place where they can go to get back on their feet – there is no home like this in Queensland. Please sponsor me… I’ll love you forever if you do!!!!