Family


Hubby and I were married on January 8 2000. He’s 37 and works as a social worker, a job he loves (most of the time) especially when he’s able to work with young people. He and I used to be youth pastors for our church in Christchurch. He’d love to pick it up again one day, and eventually pastor a church.  He’s an excellent and inspiring leader, and I believe he is on the path to a great future.

Hubby is my favourite Ginga, pretty much good at everything he puts his hand to (which is sometimes annoying for a competitive person like me) and has the weirdest sense of humour out of everyone I know. Lots of times he’ll sit laughing his head off at some lame joke that I just can’t believe anyone would find funny. I’m funnier than he is. I am. I crack myself up all the time.



Wiseguy is 13 years old and definitely the thinker out of our kids. He’s got a great mind for problem solving and is a great conversationalist. Team that with his awesome confidence and you have both the makings of a great leader, and a raging tantrum thrower when people (such as his siblings) don’t immediately do things the way he thinks they should. Hehe.

Wiseguy is quick-witted though, with a great sense of humour. He enjoys drawing and reading and of course, playstation. He’s a very social person, barely home on weekends these days, but he’s chosen his friends very well and I’m proud of the boys he chooses to spend his time with as they fit into our family really well. You can follow his 2012 blog HERE.


Boy


Boy is 10 years old and refers to himself as “a little bit wild,” which is actually quite a fitting description. He’s Mister Rough-and-tumble who will try absolutely anything once – a quality I both admire and cringe at. This is a boy who has eaten a bug for “man points”.

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Boy has his sensitive side too though. Part of his “wildness” involves being a boy who wears his emotions on his sleeve. He needs constant praise, which isn’t difficult to give since he’s a lot like his dad in that he’s pretty darn good at everything he puts his mind to. He’s a passionate hockey player, he started speaking in full sentences before he was even a year old, and he’s a pretty skilled short story writer too. You can follow his blog HERE and HERE.



Princess is 7 years old and the life of every party. She’s turned our world upside down from the moment she was born, surprising us all by...well...being a girl. She likes everything in her world pink, fluffy and/or sparkly.

Princess is very outgoing with a big personality, mainly because she’s spent the first 7 years of her life being fiercely protected by the rest of the family. She was our miracle baby, the end result of a complicated pregnancy that involved months on end of hospital visits, scans, doctors warnings and many, many prayers. It was a journey that took us to the brink of our faith and taught us a lot about putting our trust in God. We learned that faith is not about knowing God loves us and so everything is going to be ok, but rather faith is knowing that even when everything isn’t ok, God loves us and His hand is on our lives. We learned to put our faith in God, not in a desired outcome.

And so we named our princess Victoria Faith, so that we will never forget what we learned.




Frog is 9 months old and lots of fun. He's happiest when every single member of the family is home and gets a bit out of sorts when someone is missing. He has a real personality of his own these days - he enjoys noisy, rough and tumble play with Daddy and the boys, loves music, and certain TV shows like The Wiggles. 


Froggie came along at a time in our lives when we thought we were well past the nappies and plunket stage. It's been so different this time around, with a teenager and a baby in the house, in a way it's like tht first baby all over again. So much has changed in the world of parenting, with trends like cloth nappies and baby-led weaning being Oh-so-vital, and I'm smiling away and thinking about how with each of the other three kids there were different things that were absolutely necessary if you wanted your child to have the 'best possible start to life'. I'm a more relaxed mum this time around, more confident in my own abilities, and so I've been able to just enjoy each stage without the stress over 'shouldn't I be doing this, this way?' or 'shouldn't he be doing that?' He's just perfect and we're just enjoying him.


Baby “Angel”


Prior to having Princess, we lost our third child through miscarriage in July 2003. It was early on at twelve weeks, but was a great loss to our family. Baby #3 was our only planned pregnancy.

After losing her I grieved for a long time, but I did it openly and fully so that now, although there is still a piece of my heart missing, I can talk about my grief experience without having to go through it again. God has given me, through that experience, an ability to minister to women going through similar experiences. I discovered that within the church there had been a secrecy, almost a sense of shame, surrounding miscarriage, and that when I talked about my sadness, others opened up and wanted to talk about theirs too. I found women who had held onto their secret grief for up to thirty years, never dealing with it, so afraid to admit they felt sad, angry, confused, in case they were judged by their peers for lacking in faith.

It has been a blessing to me to be able to hold hands with these women as they permit themselves to feel and name and express genuine emotions over a loss that was no fault of their own. To reconnect women to God, after years of being disconnected from Him and from a loving church community, all because someone, somewhere failed to support her at the lowest point of her faith, and represented the Father all wrong.

Though it was by far the hardest thing we have ever been through as a family, it is a comfort to know that through God’s amazing grace, her life has had meaning and purpose, and just because she existed, women have come back to the Father.


Jools

There is some debate over whether her name is spelled Jools or Jewels. She came into our family in April 2010 when her previous owner wasn’t able to take care of her anymore. She’s about a year and a half old and is the most awesome dog in the world.


Sophie’s mum appeared one evening on my back porch. I thought she was a stray. She was affectionate and beautiful, and despite the fact that I am seriously NOT a cat person, she very quickly found her way into my heart. I started feeding her, I couldn’t help myself. Over the next couple of weeks I realised she was pregnant. One day she showed up with an empty belly, followed by my neighbour across the road, who it turned out had also been feeding her, believing she was a stray. 

Long story short, we discovered she actually belonged to a girl who had recently moved in next door. The kittens were fine, although the girl explained that she wasn’t able to take care of them and was planning on drowning the mother and her babies! So my neighbour took them all home and we shared the kittens around and we named ours Sophie. She’s my BFF. I still hate cats, but she’s fabulous. Just the right mixture of sweet and nasty – much like me really.


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