Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Our Year, A Thankyou and Merry Christmas

I'd just like to say a big thankyou to my blog and facebook readers.  I really appreciate you taking the time to read my posts.  I've made some wonderful new friends and we've created a fantastic community of like minded poeple who want to live the abundant life on a budget.  Your comments are greatly appreciated and have bought many smiles to myself and my family.  My life is overflowing with joy.

It's been a BIG,  BIG year and completely unexpected in so many ways.  We started off in February with Darren leaving his job to be available for his ministry work.  This was and continues to be a huge leap of faith for us as we wait on God for "his " work. .

We set out on our new lifestyle by cutting our spending to a minimum,  planting more fruit trees,  expanding our vegetable growing,  cutting out all unneccesary spending, making do with what we have and cooking and baking everything we can from scratch.  With all of this came pure joy and contentment.  Most importantly,  God provided for ALL our NEEDS.

Then we had a camera crew come calling on us.  Our family's story went to air on A Current Affair on 23rd of June.  We knew we had a story to tell,  but never in our wildest dreams could we have known it would touch so many people's lives.  The response was so overwhelming with A Current Affair announcing the next night that I'd joined the team.  I almost fell off the couch.

About two weeks later I launched my blog and facebook pages so that people could find me and learn more about our simple but abundant life.  I'd never blogged before and didn't really know how facebook worked.  A whole new world was opened up to me. I also learnt how to use our digital camera and to take reasonable photos.

The next week 3AW the talk back radio station in Melbourne asked for an interview.  Darren and I made our way to the station to be interviewed by Denis Walter who had followed our story.  The interview went well and people started finding my blog.

A Current Affair has given me the opportunity to help others with their budgets,  inspire mums and dads to cook and bake from scratch. and to find cheaper ways to do things.  I've learnt to travel by myself,  to pack lightly and to work with a camera crew.  I'll be forever grateful for the opportunities they have given me.

A funny result of the tv stories is that now I have to dress better when I'm out and about.  No longer can I duck into the shops for milk when I've just finished cleaning a client's home.  Complete strangers now stop me to talk about the latest tv story.  It's an odd feeling to be recognised but I'm glad the stories have people talking about the simple life.

I've made new friends with fellow bloggers like Annabel from The Bluebirds are Nesting , Tania from Outback Tania ,  Joolz from  Simply Joolz , Brandy from The Prudent Homemaker , and Tanya from Flood Proof Mum . Most importantly I'd like to thank my special friend Cath Armstrong from the Cheapskates Club who has a blog called  Debt Free Cashed Up And Laughing .  She believed in me and told my family's story to a reporter from A Current Affair and the rest is history.  All of these bloggers have been a source of encouragement and inspiration to myself and my family.  Thankyou so much.

As this year draws to a close and a new one begins,  I pray that you have a glorious Christmas filled with love,  laughter,  good food and peace as we celebrate the birth of Jesus.  The greatest gift ever given and the reason for the season.

Here are some photos from this year.

Wendy  xoxo

Christmas Decorations

A few of our chickens

Denis Walter from 3AW

Our lemon tree

Wholemeal bread with extra goodness

Cranberry hootycreek biscuits

Chocolate brownies

High tea at home

Garden produce

Home made laundry powder

Lemon chicken


  1. Natalie Brotherston23 December 2014 at 08:57

    Hey Wendy - it has been so good reading your blog and catching up in person after such a long time!

  2. Dear Wendy,
    What a huge year you have had! When you look back and I read that it is just so many things in a year!
    Thats what I love about the end of the year. Looking back and considering the year and all the blessings that we have had.
    And then planning some aims and goals for a new year. It is quite exciting.
    Last nights show was really wonderful. The best one I think. Your Christmas tree and your meal looked so beautiful. You would have encouraged and inspired so many people. Also it is nice seeing the whole family in the story. As a family you are a wonderful testimony.
    Thank you for mentioning my blog Wendy. Have a beautiful Christmas and I am excited for 2015! lots of love, Annabel.xxx

    1. Annabel, I've just learnt how to do links. xoxo

  3. It's been lovely 'following' you this year Wendy! All the best to you and your family.
    God bless.

  4. It is great to look back to what has been a big year. For you Wendy, it was even bigger.

    I am so pleased that I found you and your lovely blog, as you have been very inspiring and I have learned so much about living an even simpler life while saving pennies. I have always been frugal, but you came up with fresh ideas that I could incorporate into my day to day living. Hubby will be forever grateful for the Cranberry Hootycreek biscuit recipe, it is one of his all time favourites now!!

    I watched ACA the other night, and I had my best friend Wendy here too. She is now inspired! I thought it was very well done, so much so that I think it was your best show so far. I look forward to seeing you again next year!

    I want to wish you a wonderful CHRISTmas full of peace, love and hope that Jesus brings. May your New Year be a truly blessed one!

    Lots of love,
    Tania xoxo

    ps thank you for mentioning my blog :)

    1. The biscuits are yummy. They are a favourite in my home too.

      It's been great following your blog and getting to know you Tania xoxo

  5. Have a super time celebrating the reason for the season. Looking forward to seeing what 2015 will bring.

  6. Hi Wendy

    Thank you for a wonderful year full of savings ideas as well as friendships. It certainly has been a very big year for you.

    The blogs you have listed are some for further investigation in the new year for me, with the exception of Annabel's Bluebirds are nesting....this is a wonderful blog also that I follow

    I would like to take the opportunity to wish you and your Family a Very Merry Christmas as to all your followers and see you again in the New Year

    Take care all and be safe and Happy


  7. Merry Christmas Wendy. I love your blog and hootycreek biscuits. Robynne

  8. Thanks wendy for ur tips n stories, as a single mum on a disability pension, u have really opened my eyes to where my money was going..and now how i can hang on to it more. My kids love all the homemade baking..the lunchbox choc chip muffins r a hit. Have a merry christmas..n cant wait to learn more next year :)

  9. Thank-you Wendy for a year that has encouraged me to stay on track with my savings and has week in-week out kept me inspired to be creative in all sorts of ways to save money. Being part of a network of ladies who are like minded has been so helpful. Many people are not as positive when I speak of my frugal ways and I'm sure that if it wasn't for blogs like yours and Cath's, I would of felt very discouraged. Because of my frugal ways my family is in a much much stronger financial position. Through budgeting and saving in small ways, I have gained the confidence to take full charge of our families finances, which I had always left to my husband out of fear. I believe since beginning to budget (it will be two years 17th March) I have grown as a person. I really do feel so much more confident and happier and it all began with saving 10 cents here, a dollar there, with groceries, to now dealing with our bank manager and many many dollars. Learning to manage our finances and create and achieve goals has been so liberating and fulfilling. People focus on the money side of it and narrow it down to the insignificance and pettiness of saving a few dollars but it has been a journey of understanding myself, learning self control, the discipline of staying on track, of empowering myself, of taking charge of my life, of releasing a spirit of fear and stepping into a transformed life. I always felt frustrated in life and although deep down I was an ambitious person, I always felt confined to let my husband lead because of insecurities. My husband feels joyous that I am soaring and he can release something that he never enjoyed doing and wasn't his strength, to me, as I realise that I love managing our finances and am really good at it. Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you. I have religiously waited for and read your blogs to help develop the new me. Please never let anybody reduce what you are doing to be an insignificant saving of a few bucks. You are helping to empower people to reclaim what God has put inside them. Feel Encouraged!!! Many abundant blessings to you and your family for releasing you to do this. Liz.

  10. Dear Wendy,
    Haven't had access to internet for a few weeks, so just caught up on your posts. I love your recipes , and look forward to reading more in 2015.
    Best wishes to you and your lovely family for Christmas and the New Year.
    Thanks for all you do.

  11. It is always amazing how much we learn as we seek to make the most out of the blessings that God has given to us.

    I think it's wonderful that you are helping others find hope and joy in making the most of their means.

  12. I'm doing a bit of catching up on reading too Wendy! Thank you and its always enjoyable reading what you have been doing. I'm still baking and encouraging my 12yo daughter to learn also. Easy recipes always help and encourage her.
    Making my own washing powder is an absolute bonus and I have told people about it.
    Being mindful of spending and making grocery lists plus menu planning has certainly helped me and my family.
    Making Christmas cakes and little chocolate/truffle balls was enjoyable and a saving. My daughter and I walked around the neighbourhood giving the truffle balls as presents and spreading Christmas cheer. It was so much fun!
    Thank you so much and keep up the inspiring posts Wendy! Hope you and your family had an enjoyable Christmas!


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