Sunday, March 11, 2012

Gold Coast Retreat (and our first kangaroo!)

Our Gold Coast Retreat was a fabulous experience, and I've included most of my photos below:

First of all, this is Felicity and Alia at the registration.  Felicity is the amazing mum who helped these Australia retreats come together. We just can't thank her enough. 

We were so blessed to get to hold the Retreat at Rose Gordon's home.  It was the PERFECT place for mothers to gather for a weekend of inspiration, and her whole family was so welcoming and gracious.  Thank you, Gordon family!

Here are some photos taken during our "Speed Friend-shipping."

Saren and I were so excited to bring our 12-year-olds (Alia and Ashton) with us:

Our Friday session focused on Taking Care of the Person Inside the Mom:

We had lots of great group discussions:


I need to do a whole post about our amazing caterers.  Here are some photos from our "Afternoon Tea." (That's what they call snack time here).  Aren't they beautiful?

On Friday night, we played some fun games together, and it was wonderful to just relax and laugh with new friends.

Reverse Charades is one of my new favorite games.  Alia and Ashton helped run the logistics, and the mums who participated were hilarious! 

Felicity's mum and sisters got to be there, as well, and it was wonderful to meet them!

Here's a photo of me, Felicity, Naomi, and Saren:

Honestly, I miss these mums already.  It's helpful to have photos to look at, but I just wish we were all neighbors.

More small group discussions from Saturday:

Our darling caterers made this lovely "Power of Moms" sign for the serving table (I brought it home with me . . . it makes me smile):

Even the forks were cute!

Here are a couple more photos of the delicious food (I could never create something like this on my own in a million years):

Alia helped pass out Saturday's treats for Morning Tea:

These bags melted my heart.  Power of Moms was just a dream five years ago . . . and now our logo is on darling bags passed out to mums in Australia.

Ashton helped Saren run her PowerPoint slides for Family Systems:

And this is one of our panels--featuring Naomi, Vanessa, and Nadene (three wonderful women!):

Can't resist a sleeping baby! 

And here are several more photos from Saturday afternoon:

Felicity's sister Melissa took some wonderful photos and posted them on her blog, Backchat.  I know this blog post is getting incredibly long, but I'll post the photos here--just so I can see them all in one place:

Every time I look through these photos (I've added to this page three time), I feel like I'm re-living all the fun!

The Sunday after the Gold Coast Retreat, we went to church and loved the people who greeted us there so warmly.  It was fun to hear the hymns sung with an Australian accent.

Then we took a few hours on Sunday afternoon to drive to O'Reilley's, where they have a tree-top walk.  You can climb up two ladders like the one pictured below and see everything above the rainforest there.

We were driving along the road and there were THREE wild kangaroos standing there.  We felt like the paparazzi!

We are so grateful that we had the chance to visit the Gold Coast.  I want to write more, but Spencer needs help stapling a card he wants to send to his Grandmother, and he is jumping up and down on my lap.  He's also begging me to get him a kangaroo.  (I wish!)

Saren has written a report on the Sydney Retreat on her blog, so please check that if you'd like to see more photos . . . and I'll keep posting more photos over the next week or so.

Have a wonderful day!



  1. Great pictures and what a wonderful conference. So glad you were able to see a kangaroo! Enjoy the rest of your time here. N x

  2. I miss you guys and all the other ladies too! Thanks for such an interesting and inspiring few days. Enjoy the rest of your time in our beautiful country (and please come back soon!) Christy xx

  3. I feel like a star being featured in one of you photos!! :) I loved the retreat and can't wait to implement so many of the fabulous things I learnt. Will be sure to keep in touch! xx

  4. uplifting words, wonderful company, delicious food, fun games - I had a great time. So glad you and saran came! x Melissa

  5. sorry - i meant Saren (that was just a typo)

  6. April I know what you mean. I would so live us all to be Neighbours! loved meeting you all and got soo much out of the retreat I cannot wait to get started on implementing everything I learnt xo enjoy the rest of your time in Oz!

  7. Thanks for posting April. We're soaking in every little word we can find. Looks fabulous!

  8. Oh it looks amazing April! It gave me chills to see those cute bags and read what you said about them. You guys are helping moms (mums) all over the world. Love you!

    1. Thanks, Shawni! We so missed having you there. Lots of mums asked about you--and they're hoping you can join us in 2014. My Grace will be 12 by then, and she wants to come--along with you and your Grace and Saren and Isaac. I hope it works out!


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