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“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” Joshua 1:9

January 20, 2015

Dear Diary: Letters from Macmerry

19th January 2015

Dear Diary,

Today was the last day I was on my own with the three kids before their parents arrive back from China. It will be exciting to start working with their parents in their jewellery business rather than just looking after the kids. I am really looking forward to learning new skills, and adding to skills for looking after children I have learnt.

Skill 1. Always use persuasive words strongly when talking with kids... eg. Say "Can you please empty the dishwasher?", rather than "Maybe if you could please empty the dishwasher?"

Skill 2. Make projects exciting with prizes for the best _____ fill-in-the-blank

Skill 3. I have no idea how mothers cope with their children from birth, so I really can't say that these skills are even plausible.

The thing with kids is that they are all different, so it is difficult to please more than one kid at once. I know this because I have many younger cousins. I am so lucky to have many cousins who are younger than me, so that I have a lot of experience with children. Otherwise I don't know if I would have been okay looking after the kids.

Waiting for the 104 bus to take us to the Tranent library. (This didn't happen today, but I forgot to post it with the last post)

Anyway, today we had a slightly more structured home-schooling day, since we created a schedule on the weekend. I divided the day into five parts, and labelled four subjects and chores into the parts. Hopefully we won't come across any problems, but we might have to work out how we will be doing subjects which one of the children doesn't have... eg. Elias doesn't have Science. However, I think we can work something out when it comes to it :D

It is again at 11 p.m. that I am writing this post. I am squating on a low stool in Alisha's room trying to type on the desk. My shoulders are really starting to ache, so I think I really should continue on the bed.

It always happens that we go to sleep at around 11 p.m. I am not sure how the evening moves so quickly... Tonight we stayed up watching parts of a Winnie-the-Pooh movie on youtube, imitating grumpy Eeyore, and reading a Winnie-the-Pooh story from a book. The story was about Pooh's unexpected find of the North Pole, while trying to save Roo from floating too far down the stream. It was very cute :D

All-in-all, I have no idea what tomorrow will bring. I better go to sleep now, since I didn't get to sleep yesterday. I am pretty sure I didn't, but I could have had a dream about not getting to sleep...

Till next time,

Laura

xoxo

January 18, 2015

Dear Diary: Letters from Macmerry

14th January 2015

The Task: Looking after three children for ten days.

The Reason: Parents away in China (12 hours away!!)

Dear Diary,

Sorry it has taken me so long to write this. I have been very busy getting used to Edinburgh city, and then now with the Riley children :D They are very well-behaved kids, but sometimes they get into a bouncy mood and are hard to calm down. I try to help them with their home-schooling, and I think it is working out well. However, It is hard to tell if I am actually helping :D I have learnt that when they get into a jumpy mood, which is usually when tired or hungry, I get them to play a game. I got this game on my phone called 'Heads Up', and they love it!! It is kinda like charades.

Today we went to the Tranent library, which is one bus stop away from here in Macmerry. It is a county outside of Edinburgh. The library wasn't too large, but there were many books packed into the one building. Lots of childrens books, and I got a Famous Five DVD and a recipe book. Elisha likes cooking, so we are are planning to bake a lemon drizzle cake tomorrow. I think we all enjoyed our little excursion. However, the only downer was having to wait half an hour at the bus stop for the bus to come. Should have planned that better!!!

I am writing this post at 11p.m. at night. The wind is howling outside, and the letter hole on the door downstairs keeps opening and closing from the wind. It feels quite scary, but we all know God is watching over us. We just finished reading our daily Winnie-Ther-Pooh story, which was one where he rolls in the mud and flies up in a balloon and calls himself a cloud. He does this because he is looking for honey in a bee hive:)

Anyway, I must read now. Or go to sleep, whichever one comes first. The wind can keep you up all night, as it did on my first night here... So, hence why we are all staying up reading. (Eliaas is asleep) I am hoping that we will all get really sleepy and will forget about the wind. Let's hope that happens anyway...

Till next time,

Laura

xoxo

January 15, 2015

Edinburgh, Scotland. Here I come!!

7th January 2015

Today was one of the greatest days of my life!! Not because I had many 'cuppa teas', but because I could walk, walk and walk. Yay!! What I love <3

The previous day we left Helsinki, Finland in the early hours of the morning. We then arrived in Edinburgh in the aftrenoon. It was lovely getting to our apartment, and we went to bed early after a lovely walk peaking in at shops. Oh, New Years sales!!

I found it quite wierd waking up in a double bed, in my own room. Two things I have not had for a very long time, well, never a double bed. After having my regular poached egg breakfast, I began googling and reseaching where to go today. From this research I drew a track to follow, which would give us a great lay of the land. Dad was still quite tired, so he said that whatever I came up with we would do. Hence, the long walk. hehe:)

My pencil-drawn trail. The trail continues to the left off the picture for a while.

Our apartment is located in the New Town of Edinburgh on Queen Street. To begin our treck we headed north along lanes and lanes lined with typical UK-looking apartments.

Our apartment in the New Town

Walking along the lanes with typical UK apartments.

As we neared to Stockmarket we headed over the bridge. But, before we could Dad stopped and told us to come on a walk below the bridge.

The rapids under a bridge.

Dad is so cute like that :) He loves to take pictures of the rapids in Finland, and he now has found his favourite place to take pictures here in Edinburgh ... the rapids :D

Anyway, we then headed down the river on the other side of the creek. As we headed left onto Ann Street we saw some magnificent gardens, where the homes seem to be quite the expensive type. I could tell this by two things: the cars were all rare, costly brands, ie. a jaguar, and I happened to glimpse a maid dressed in a black and white apron uniform in a window staring back at me. It was like stepping back in time.

I loved the draping Ivy over the walls. Actually, I discovered a notice stating that there is an Ivy problem in this area :)

Walking through the Edinburgh cemetery on the trail. We actually got to glimpse the sun here :)

We were all hungry and needing the bathroom, so we stopped off at the Dean Gallery of Modern Art. There is a lovely view from there, however unfortunately there was a disturbing sign in the way, so I didn't take a picture. Some things are best untaken :D

My lunch at the Dean Gallery was a turkey and leek pie with dry kale. Very rich sauce, and the turkey was gorgeous. The kale, which tasted like a combination of lettuce and spinach, was great to the finish off the meal on a high note.

After our lunch we were all set to begin our walk again. We walked to the entrance, put our jackets on, and realised that it was bucketing outside!! One thing that we have realised about the weather in Edinburgh is that it is very unpredictable. One minute it can be sunny, and then the next it can be raining. In addition, the rain doesn't usually last a long period of time. Hence why we could wait for not too long at the gallery for the rain to stop, which it did in less than 2 minutes.

After heading over a bridge near to Dean Village we walked towards West End. It was really raining this time, so we just walked through West End. There are many lovely looking shops there, so I woud love to go back sometime.

Heading from West End we headed North to Charlotte Square, which is really just a square of a private yard. I thought there may be some shops or something around the square, but no. Just apartments. Abit of a let down.

Charlotte Square, a bit of a let down. Especially in the weather.

On a bright side of things, it was blissful to get back to the main shopping street in Edinburgh. It showed us that there were actually other people out in this weather :D

The bustling Princes Street. The street has views of Edinburgh Castle on top of the rock, which is very magestic to look at.

It was at this time that I began to feel abit 'teaish' (meaning pekkish for tea). We were all deciding where to have some tea, and decided to start walking up to the Royal Mile. This is the Old Town, which is the main tourist street and is lined with old buildings housing touristy shops, cafes and red phone boxes. Not just London.

Unfortunately, It was raining again. And despite our theory that the rain doesn't last long, this time it didn't stop. My jacket that I thought was water-proof turned out to actually only be wind-proof, not water-proof :(
Heading down an alleyway from the Royal Mile. That guy behind us was a bit dingy, so we were glad to get to the bottom of the alley way.


This was the end of our walking trip, and we were all very tired because of it. Despite that though, we were all very happy with our little tour. I have now a way better understanding of the coordinates of Edinburgh city. Much needed noe that I will be staying here for a coupe f months :D

Right now I am sitting at the dining table in our apartment. My legs are very exausted, so I can't wait to get to sleep. Hence, I will be signing off from Edinburgh.

Now you are uptodate,

Laura

xoxo

January 4, 2015

Mastery of self: Definitions

What does mastery of self actually mean? And how do you achieve a mastery of oneself?

I have asked myself this question many times, and the answer I found is that it is different for everybody. There are certain guidelines we can follow to achieve mastery, but the what and the how are two completely different questions with two times a billion amount of answers. I have hence created a summary of my own definitions of mastery of self:

My own definition of mastery of self (from many a wonder of thoughts) is finding your inner calling to life, and then following through with it. I believe that once you acknowledge your life-calling, you begin to follow a light that will lead you to your own mastery of self.

According to the Bible we find our inner calling thorughout life as we open doors to opportunities God opens up for us. God opened up the door for us to move from Australia to Finland, but the catch here is that He likes to wait to tell us the rest of our master plan for life.

While according to the book "The Concise Mastery" by Robert Greene, your calling for life is within you from birth and one just has to find out what it is exactly. As life inevitably moves forward towards becoming adults you will, most of the time, lose sight of your calling as life drifts on. In this way your mastery comes from within you, rather like the Bible shows us.

However, the difference between psychology and religion is that the Bible shows how God knows the plan for our life, and psychology shows us how we have to discover it ourselves.

One thing though that I think both things share is that it will not be easy to discover our mastery of self. Either way we will be have to be patient and happy, otherwise fear will catch up with us and we will never find our mastery of self.

The 'path' to mastery is not easy, like walking through thorns.

Through my life in primary and upper secondary school I have found that studying is like walking through a tunnel of thorns. One day I realise I am horrible at essay writing, and the next I find I am horrible at studying for exams. However, one thing I have learnt from these trials and tribulations is that once you study one thing over and over, or edit essays again and again, you improve.

In this way, where there have been failures successes have always followed. Many times the thorns of life may bring you down, and you will most probably be able to rise up again, but don't let them bring you down. God says that He is the light of the world, and He has come to save our sins. Since He is the light of the world, without Him there will be no light, and I don't know how anyone can survive like that.



So remember to always be glad with what life throws at you, and take the bad with the good.

Have a truly wonderful New Year week, and please share your thoughts on mastery of self in the comments section below.

Laura

xoxo

January 2, 2015

Mastery of Self

Have you ever wondered how scientific research in Psychology can define how to live the most fulfilling life? I have.

I recently studied Psychology in the International Baccalaureate program last year, and am interested in how Psychological research can truly affect our lives. And so I am going to be writing a 'Mastery of self' compilation of summarys from books, articles, and research, as well as adding my own observations from life.

I aim to not only learn to better my own life, but also to better my reader's lives. I hope and pray you will enjoy coming with me on my journey through Psychology.

by Leonardo da Vinci

To start with I will leave you with a quote by Leonardo Da Vinci: "One can have no smaller or greater mastery than mastery of oneself"

Have an awesomely powerful week,

Laura

xoxo