The Springs

Welcome to Vaughn and Nell's website, updating you on our lives! Thanks for visiting and we hope you enjoy catching up on what we're up to!

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Location: Cairns, Queensland, Australia

I’m proudly a full-time Mummy, looking after our beautiful daughter (nicknamed “Little Spring” in my blog) and a full time wife to a wonderful Lutheran pastor (“nicknamed “Big Spring” in my blog). I was born and have lived in Australia my whole life, but I also have a US passport and a passion for all things American… especially food and my family!

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Just In Case

This post is just in case anyone subscribed to the RSS feed to my new blog using the link I gave. Oops... I had used the link from my old blog, so you won't receive any updates for my new blog.

I'm so sorry! I've fixed the link, so you can now get the RSS feed to my NEW blog!

Friday, May 06, 2011

Fun in the Sun

Now that the weather has cooled off a little and it isn't wet, we've been using the backyard a whole lot more now. Amy LOVES running around, so I set up a chair outside and have started working on my cross stitch again, while she runs to her heart's content!

That was yesterday. Today, Vaughn decided to come out and join us. With my cross stitch and his coffee, Bible, iPad and everything else balancing on a spare chair, I thought it would be good to set up the outdoor table that's in the pool area, in the backyard instead... get more use out of it. So, Vaughn brought all the set over and we both sat down and felt very content. It just felt right, like we are getting closer to having the house set up exactly as we want it! There are still things to do, but we have a plan and are achieving things. It's nice when it feels like home!


It's not often I get packages, so I was very excited to discover that 2 had arrived today!

Firstly, I won a give away from a dear friend so my prize arrived today... some magnets, badges, cute tape, a pink pig and a lovely note. She makes the magnets and badges herself - check out her etsy store!
And the second package wasn't exactly for me - it was a free gift from Huggies (I had to pay for postage, but still, good value!) for Amy to play with. We're planning on giving it to her for her birthday. That's over 3 months away so lets see if she gets it then, or if I can't resist getting it to her sooner!
So, a happy day for mail today! I wish every mail box check was this exciting!

Guiltless Shopping

I haven't had to do it often, thanks to the generosity of others, but earlier this week, I went clothes shopping for Amy. It was so much fun and I didn't have any guilt, because I wasn't shopping for me! For some reason, I've always felt guilty when I've shopped for clothes, even when needed. But, when I shop for Amy, there's none of that guilt, so although I have fun when I do shop for myself, this particular occasion was even more fun because there was absolutely no guilt!

Some adorable clothes to keep my gorgeous little girl looking beautiful!

(After I got home, I discovered that the security tag was still attached to one of the outfits (far left hand side - black & white striped) so how annoyed was I that I had to go back to get it removed!)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

7th Heaven

I used to love watching 7th Heaven when it originally came out. And now, I'm enjoying it all over again, watching the re-runs. Without intending to, I've started watching it from a whole other perspective, now that I am married to my own "Eric Camden". Although, I'm glad to say that Eric and Vaughn aren't that comparable, but more on that later.

I've found that I'm quite inspired by "Annie Camden"... I love watching how she handles life as a wife, a mother, a stay-at-home-mom and the wife of a minister (yes, I've mentioned wife twice, but there are different roles at play in each 'title'). She has a much larger family than me, but as a stay-at-home-mom myself, I like seeing how 'perfect' life could be (unobtainable, but nice to see, nonetheless!) and how to ideally cope with raising kids. Yes, I know it's all fiction and not real, but the show's a good role model - with so many dysfunctional TV shows out there, it's great to watch one that encourages good values, morals etc. I do find that Annie is a little too accommodating of Eric's ministry at times, which brings me to my next topic:

"Eric Camden". As I said, I look at the show in a different light now, being married to my own version of Eric. But, I was also quick to point out, he and Vaughn aren't really that comparable. They are both ministers of religion, but how they respond to their calling are two completely different views. Vaughn has always looked at his priorities as follows: 1. God 2. Family 3. Ministry. God and Ministry sound like the same thing, but they are distinctly different. Just because you follow God, doesn't mean that ministry should be equal in priorities and always take preference over everything else in your life. And so we have the example of Eric's priorities: 1. God 2. Ministry 3. Family. I get so annoyed with how he continually gets his family to take a back seat while he sorts out ministry issues in the church. Of course, it's great he's so dedicated to his congregation, and I'm sure his parishioners are grateful for his 24 hour availability, but I think he should prioritise his family a lot more. Of course, there are times when family do need to 'sacrifice' their father/husband, so he can help someone, but it should be the exception, not the rule.

A couple of most annoying examples:

1. Annie's mom passed away. On the day of the funeral, Annie spend the whole day grieving alone while the wake was held at their house. Where was Eric? He was counseling a married couple having issues and helping a heap of other parishioners who were coming to him with problems during the day (all these people were attending the funeral/wake at the house).

2. Eric was seen going into a hotel with a married woman by Annie and the kids who were sitting in the car at a set of lights. We then see that he's checking this woman into the hotel because she's leaving her abusive husband and Eric is counseling her. I don't have a problem with this. My problem comes later in the show when one of the kids mentions what they saw (Annie didn't want to bring it up because she knows Eric has a lot of confidential counseling and she trusts him). He brushes it off and says that he can't talk about it because of confidentiality. As he's been to the hotel a number of times, the small town starts talking and gossip is ripe in the church and on the street. Annie starts to get wind of this and although she verbally supports her husband, you can see it's bothering her as she doesn't have a clue herself as to what's going on. Finally, by the end of the show, Eric tells her exactly the situation and she's there, supporting the abused wife as well. My thoughts? Why not explain from the beginning (when one of the kids first brought it up), the situation with the woman? He doesn't have to give names or full details, but at least give Annie something concrete to know, as opposed to hearing all the horrid rumors going around. It appeared to me that the absolutely confidentially of the situation was more important than his marriage and reassuring Annie that nothing was happening, instead of brushing it off as 'confidential'.*

I was going to write on a couple of other times, but I've already vented a little too much already, so I'll stop here! I'll close, letting you know that I still love the show and will continue to watch it, but just sometimes it really grinds my gears to see Eric prioritise his parishioners over his family, time and time again.

* I don't want to know what's going on with Vaughn's ministry and know details of counseling he's conducting with people when I really don't need to know (I'd rather not know!). However, I know that when a situation occurs where it's best I know something (rather than nothing), Vaughn will let me know enough to not worry. I spoke to him about the situation above and he completely disagreed with how Eric responded as well. Phew! It wasn't just me! Communication is the key. You don't have to break confidence to put someone's mind at ease and you'd think Eric would trust his wife enough to give her some basic information!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Forrest Gump Goes to Heaven

I received this in an email and just thought I'd share it with you as well!

The day finally arrived. Forrest Gump dies and goes to Heaven.

He is at the Pearly Gates, met by St. Peter himself. However, the gates are closed, and Forrest approaches the gatekeeper.

St. Peter said, 'Well, Forrest,
it is certainly good to see you.
We have heard a lot about you. I must tell you, though, that the place is filling up fast, and we have been administering an entrance examination for everyone. The test is short, but you have to pass it before you can get into Heaven.'

Forrest responds, 'It sure is
good to be here, St. Peter, sir.
But nobody ever told me about any entrance exam. I sure hope that the test ain't too hard. Life was a big enough test as it was.'

St. Peter continued, 'Yes, I
know, Forrest, but the test is only three questions.

What two days of the week begin with the letter T?

How many seconds are there in a year?

What is God's first name?'

Forrest leaves to think the questions
He returns the next day and sees St. Peter, who waves him up, and says, 'Now that you have had a chance to think the questions over, tell me your answers.'

Forrest replied, 'Well, the
first one -- which two days in the week begins with the letter 'T'? Shucks, that one is easy.
That would be Today and Tomorrow.'

The Saint's eyes opened wide and
he exclaimed, 'Forrest, that is not what I was thinking, but you do have a point, and I guess I did not specify, so I will give you credit for that answer.
How about the next one?' asked St. Peter.

'How many seconds in a year?
Now that one is harder,' replied Forrest, 'but I thunk and thunk about that, and I guess the only answer can be twelve.'

Astounded, St. Peter said, 'Twelve?
Forrest, how in Heaven's name could you come up with twelve seconds in a year?'

Forrest replied, 'Shucks, there's
got to be twelve: January 2nd, February 2nd, March 2nd... '

'Hold it,' interrupts St. Peter.
'I see where you are going with this, and I see your point, though that was not quite what I had in mind....but I will have to give you credit for that one, too. Let us go on with the third and final question. Can you tell me God's first name'?

'Sure,' Forrest replied,
'it's Andy.'

'Andy?' exclaimed an exasperated
and frustrated St Peter.

'Ok, I can understand how you
came up with your answers to my first two questions, but just how in the world did you come up with the name Andy as the first name of God?'

'Shucks, that was the easiest
one of all,' Forrest replied.
'I learnt it from the song,

Andy walks with me,
Andy talks with me,
Andy tells me I am his own.'

St. Peter opened the Pearly Gates,
and said: 'Run, Forrest, run.'

Monday, April 11, 2011

Washing Day

Ironically, now that Autumn is here (and Winter on its way), I'm finally able to use the washing line out the back. Our first week here in Cairns, I put washing on the line because it was such a lovely day. Big mistake... this is Cairns and in Summer, it's the wet season. It's called the wet season for a reason... because it's wet! Funny about that! Suffice to say, the lovely day, although still lovely later on, became a lovely wet day, so my clothes didn't dry and got even wetter! From then on, I've just used the dryer. I couldn't bear to try using the line again, when I thought it would stay fine, only to discover that it rained.

So, I've risked it today - it's just gorgeous outside! And with the end of the wet season and the beginning of dry season just around the corner, it's a much better risk I'm willing to take! It's so nice to see the clothes outside getting air dried for a change! Obviously much better for the environment, for the clothes and for our bank balance!

Laugh for the Day...

I just received the funniest email from my cousin. She recently ordered some panties online (I know in Australia that panties sounds dirty/not quite right, but that's what they call them in the States!) and when she got the email to say that they were on their way, she proceeded to tell her husband that "they shipped my panties."

He then did a double take...

He thought she had said "I sh*t my panties." Hmm. Awkward!

Even now I'm laughing! Okay, so maybe you didn't find that as funny as I did, because you don't know my cousin and can't picture what that would have looked like, but I really laughed out loud as I read it the first time!

Friday, April 08, 2011

30 Photos

1. Someone you spend a lot of time with:

2. A picture of you:

3. A random picture of you and significant other:

4. An old picture of you:

5. A picture of something that makes you happy:
(baking... especially using my Grandma's recipe book (recently 'published' by me, typing up all her recipes from her recipe tin) and my Nana's mixing bowl...)

6. A picture of your siblings:

7. A picture of a person you miss:
(how am I suppose to pick just one, when there are so many people I miss?!)

8. A picture you've never posted on your blog before:
(my beautiful Grandma Ellie - Mum's mom (whose recipe tin I typed up)

9. A picture of who knew you then and know you now:
(I'm not sure what is meant by this, but this is a picture of people who have known me my whole life: my mum (left) and her sister, Aunty Ellen) NB: Amy's known me her whole life!!)

10. A picture of your favourite place:
(Again... how to pick just one! This is my cousin's house in the US - can you spot a pattern with where I'm getting many of these pictures?!)

11. A person you can tell anything to:

12. A picture of your everyday life:

13. A picture from a place you love:
(Mum's 60th, in Hamilton, where I grew up - see also #10!)

14. A picture that reminds you of good times:

15. A class photo:

Whew... half way through!

16. A picture of the best day of your life:
(see also #11)

17. A picture that always makes you laugh:

18. A picture of your spare time:

19. A photo from a great night:

20. A picture of people who are closest to you:
(see also all of the above pictures. Disclaimer: this picture only represents those closest and is not exhaustive! Even only choosing 2 pictures (not 1) was hard enough - too many special people in my life!)
21. A picture of someone you always have a good time with:
(someone please help me: how do I turn this around? I still haven't been able to work it out, after all these years on blogspot!)

22. A picture of your parents when they were around your age:

23. A picture from last summer:

24. A picture of your closest friend, of the opposite sex (not your significant other):
(sorry, Lauren, I copied you with a different picture!)

25. A picture of your favourite vacation:

Nearly there!

26. A picture of an accomplishment:

27. A picture of your closest friend:
(I don't like picking just one, but this beautiful woman and I have been through a lot together: having our daughters close together, supporting our husbands through Sem, waiting to find out where were were placed for 2011 and moving away from our family and friends (both placed in the QLD District - yay!)

28. A random photo from photobooth:
(don't know if it was meant to be photo taken from a webcam, but these are actually photos taken in a photo booth! If it was the former, see #2!)

29. A photo that makes you smile:
(it makes my heart melt, too!)

30. A picture of someone you'll never let go of:
(come on! These are way too hard to choose just one! This is our godson, his parents and sponsors)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

If I Wasn't Already In Love With My Daughter...

Then this would just make me fall in love with her. I just LOVE this video of her falling asleep after eating her lunch today. I can't help watching it over and over again! What can I say? She's my gorgeous, sweet daughter!

And she's learning some new phone habits! If you listen carefully, I'm sure she says "bye" at the end of her 'call', before hanging up the phone!