December 10, 2007

Merry Christmas from the Munzer Family

Merry Christmas!

This is the first year that we’ve been a little family of three, so we thought it would be a good opportunity for us to write a letter to you, to let you know what’s been happening for us over the last twelve months. In January our family grew as we welcomed little Cara Louise into the world. Helen is loving being a stay-at-home Mum watching Cara learn and grow. Andrew has been occupied with the continuation of his degree in English Literature at Bristol University. During the summer break he found employment at the local hospital, doing clerking on the Mental Health Ward. The job was originally only offered as temporary work for 6 weeks, but it continued on until December.

This summer we joined the Munzer family senior for a week in St. Ives, a lovely seaside town in the very south-west corner of England. The Mediterranean climate and surfing locations made for lots of fun, and a memorable time all together before Andrew’s sister Hannah left for her mission in the Dublin, Ireland Mission in late August. She’ll be gone for eighteen months, but we stay in touch through regular emails.

Together with our friends Matthew and Rebeca Barwick-Barrett, Helen and Andrew both became Directors of our very own company this year, a web development start-up called ‘Bunz Media’. The projects are still in fairly early development, but Helen has been able to put her skills to use, doing lots of the skilled work on the websites. The launch of the first site will be expected in early 2008 – we’ll keep you informed!

In church Helen was called onto the Young Women’s Presidency, and has enjoyed working with a small number of young women in our little ward. Andrew has continued to serve on the Bishopric, striking fear into the hearts of his fellow ward-members by choosing the speaking assignments for Sunday meetings. Cara has provided endless entertainment for the entire ward, and has been very good in meetings. In November Helen’s mum Carol celebrated her sixtieth birthday, and Helen joined all her siblings in a visit to the London Temple. It was a wonderful occasion, to all be there together to show our gratitude to her, as an extended family.

The year to come promises to be an exciting one – the end of Andrew’s Undergraduate degree, and a move to a different location is likely. Who knows exactly where we’ll be in a year’s time? Wherever it is, we’ll keep you up to date, and hope to have even more adventures to report on, next December!

Thank you, most of all, for your friendship and love,
Love from,

Andrew, Helen and Cara xx

December 07, 2007

Laughter, the Best Medicine

Reader's Digest always have a section entitled, 'Laughter, the Best Medicine' and I think that the phrase is so true. What better for you than a good laugh. Also, see this Ensign article. Babies sure know how to laugh. We need to video Cara's laughter, but in the mean time, this is a few of my favorite baby laughs from YouTube.

Hope you had a laugh!

December 01, 2007

Philadelphia - Film review

Film about a guy who sues his firm for wrongful dismissal, due to having AIDS. A very emotional film, with lots to think about.

An American Tail - Film review

What a great movie. So many great songs! There Are No Cats in America... Somewhere Out There... and Never Say Never. What a great idea as well - to never say never. Is it always best to stay positive? In this film you can see how Fievel changes as soon as he meets some who have lost hope. His whole countenance and character change. Luckily for him his family was not far away. I love that this film is about family and about unity as a people also. What a great idea to have the mice get rid of the cats. At one point a mouse asks to the crowd of mice.. "are we mice or men?" to which they all shout "MICE!". Fantastic!

November 28, 2007

Tooth Extraction

At the weekend I started having toothache. By Sunday evening it was getting really bad, and so I tried to call an emergency dental centre. Our dentist out of hours number turned out to be NHS Direct, and the out of hours department was only open until 6 that evening, I called after 6.

The nurse advised painkillers, including a form of Ibuprofen that was not in tablet form. I find it hard to take tablets. Andrew went all across town to get me some, as everywhere near was closed.

On Monday the dentist said I could come along, and they'd slot me in when there was a gap. I waited for less than hour, and then was seen. I had an abscess. It would have been possible to have a root canal, but I decided to have the tooth pulled instead. It's right at the back anyway, and root canal does not always work - also the tooth pulled was one 20 minute appointment, and the root canal would be three 40 minute appointments.

So.. today my tooth was pulled. I have a big gap in the back of my mouth. I was quite nervous this morning, but it wasn't painful at all, I can feel it now, but the actual pulling was fine, and was sooo quick!

Note: I tried to search for a good tooth photo for the post, but couldn't find one. I did get to see mine, and it was much nicer looking than any I could see a photo of.

November 24, 2007

High School Musical 2 - Film review

OK, I admit, I watched High School Musical 2. It makes me happy. I love all the songs and dancing. I prefer High School Musical to it's sequel, but this one is still filled with lots of singing and dancing, and of course, has a happy ending.

Did you know there are Sing-Along and Dance-Along versions of this film?

Reign Over Me - Film review

This was a good movie, but not the best. There was a lot of swearing, so beware. Adam Sandler does a good job in this more serious of role. However, I thought that he would seem more different than his usual characters.

When people grieve differently, or even act differently to most, what should we do about that? Should we makae them conform to what we think is 'normal'? When should people be hospitalised for mental problems? Should the state get involved?

I think in this story Charlie did need help, from a friend, not from an institution. You'd think if people had a full-time job caring for people, then they would have more time than family/friends to devote to them, however they don't have the same capacity to love. I think we all just need to love each other more, and not judge each other. It's hard, but we need to try not to think as if we know what others are thinking - about us or about themselves.

November 23, 2007

Starter for 10 - Film review

It was great to see a film where I knew a lot of the scenery and places. It is set at Bristol University. I thought it was a good film, I wished it had more to do with University Challenge, but it was a good story.

At one point Rebecca points out to Brian that sometimes the people you care about the most, just don't care about you. I think sometimes this can be the case, and that is when we are probably most unhappy. Which is why it is so great when we have two-way relationships.

My favorite quote for a long time was from Moulin Rouge: "The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return."

Sliding Doors - Film review

This was released May 1998. I didn't remember a whole lot about the film, apart from the fact that I loved it. It is a thought provoking film. Small decisions, or even things that happen that we don't have control over can hugely affect our lives. In this case, where a little girl was stood on the stairs, or whether or not a mother stopped her child from getting in a strangers path.

So, small things can make big changes, and this is illustrated well, but will some things happen anyway? Will we always, no matter what meet a certain person, or end up doing a certain thing?

November 18, 2007

Mothers Who Know

I've read a lot of peoples comments on various blogs to do with Sister Becks talk. I enjoyed her talk at conference, but was quite distracted by Cara at the time, so when I first read the anti-blogs I really wanted to see the transcript of her talk, because I couldn't believe the things people were saying that she had said.

It turns out that I agree with everything that Sister Beck said in her talk, I can see how some may take what she said in the wrong way, but nothing she said went against church teachings in general. A lot of the main issues, I think, sprang from the commandment to multiply and replenish the earth and the fact that Sister Beck stated that housework, cleaning and cooking etc was a part of nurturing.

Our Stake RS just had an activity where we watched the RS Session of General Conference. This was the first time that I had seen the two new RS councilors. It was interesting to note that one of the councilors is a single woman, who has no children, as was Sister Dew a former RS president, whom I very much admired. Sister Beck is not saying that her counselor is bad for not having children, and not being married, she is just saying that we are commanded to do those things.

In YW today, we had a lesson on Celestial Marriage, in the lesson it spoke of the commandment to have children. (I wonder how those women who did not agree with Sister Becks attitude towards motherhood would teach this lesson?) One of the questions that was put to the YW was: Do you think you would be more selective in your dating if you had decided now that you would be married in the Temple? I said that I definitely had been more selective, which meant that the list actually wasn't that long. Someone else said something like, until you're desparate.. this lead me on to one of, I think, one the most important things we should be teaching our single members... Marriage and family is central to God's plan, but it is better to be single, than to marry the wrong person. I may have gone slightly off topic, seeing as most people don't have a problem with the idea of marriage.

I think this blog summed up Sister Becks real message best:
Whether you are a mother or not you should be desiring and preparing to be a mother, because you will keep forever those things you learn, and if you desire children and prepare to be a mother, you will be a mother, even if it’s not in this life.
Sister Beck was saying that we should value motherhood. Also, this blogger points out that:
She didn’t say that nurturing = housework. She is actually elevating the housework that you do to the level of “nurturing.” Like this: Nurturing = Homemaking. A part of homemaking is housework. Therefore, when you are doing housework, you are really nurturing your children.
I really want to be better at housework type things. I know that having the house tidy and cooking healthy yummy meals with make a great deal of difference to our family life, why not praise these great things. I want to enjoy doing them, but at the moment I'm still working on it, and also the world view, and mine to an extent, is that these things are trivial, they are not honored. I liked Sister Becks talk, but on a further look, I love it.

The article that got me thinking about this all again is here, it talks about this webpage, I agree with most (not all) of the statements they make, I just don't understand why it needs to be anti Sister Beck. For your reading perusal, should you want to read more, and there are LOADS of comments on most of these I with post more links to blogs on this topic. [1][2][3][4][5]

November 16, 2007

The Others - Film review

I had seen this film before, but couldn't really remember a lot about it. The twist is good, but probably was best for me the first time watching. It is really well filmed, but I have a lot of questions about the story. Also, I did find it quite slow, which isn't my favorite kind of film.

*** Don't read on if you haven't watched this film - SPOILER ***

Why does she kill them? Is her husband dead? Why did she see her daughter as an old lady? Why could only the girl see Victor? How come we could only sometimes hear the others, and see doors opening, surely they would have opened the curtains and doors more than we saw? Also, who took the curtains? Victors family? and why did they?

Time, and how we use it

I've recently became aware of RescueTime, an application that tracks the time we spend using different application, or viewing different webpages. I'm really impressed with it, and think it will be good to know exactly how my time is spent while using the computer. Maybe I'll post some times for you.. or maybe I'll keep it to myself, we'll see.

From their blog I found this article about self-discipline and time management. It made some very good points.

November 15, 2007

A new blog

Just thought I'd let you all know that I started a new blog today. There are only a couple of posts at the moment, but feel free to have a read, and comment.

November 08, 2007

YouTube and LDS Public Affairs

One of the latest YouTube videos posted by LDSPublicAffairs. I like it, it's simple and effective. What do you think about these videos being added to YouTube? I think it's great, however with the way that YouTube then offers other similar videos, they are not always similar. After watching this very video I quickly clicked through to a few questionable videos opposing the church. I lot of them don't make sense to me as a long time church member, but this could really be bad for an investigator or new member. Just some thoughts..

October 28, 2007

The Golden Compass

I think I already blogged about how excited I am for the film 'The Golden Compass' based on the book by Phillip Pullman. The UK version has a different title - Northern Lights. So, I was quite surprised to read this blog and following that these articles [1][2]. The books didn't quite end as I had suspected, the children did kill 'God' but this 'God' wasn't Heavenly Father in my eyes anyway. I had no idea that people would be opposed to these books, and especially people who hadn't read them. I need to re-read over the last book to really remember what happened, maybe I would have preferred it if a Christian had written it, but I am still really excited to watch the movie and would recommend the books to anyone.

October 21, 2007

Ha ha!

Ha ha!
Originally uploaded by Munzerr
We went out for a walk at the downs yesterday. It was chilly, but lovely to be able to just walk in the fresh air together. Cara loves being outside - we all enjoyed ourselves very much. Daddy snapped this one as we were both laughing.

September 17, 2007

My Birthday

Originally uploaded by Hedgen
For my birthday this year we went on a steam train. I had mentioned to Andrew that it would be quite fun to go on a train ride with Cara, but I hadn't even thought of a steam train. It was great!

Cara really enjoyed the day, which made it even more enjoyable for me and Andrew. We finished the day with dinner and Cara was getting lots of attention in return for her beautiful smiles.

Thank you Andrew for making my birthday a 'Day of Fun'.

St Ives

St Ives (12 of 14)
Originally uploaded by Hedgen
Can't believe I haven't blogged about our holiday to St Ives yet. This probably isn't the best photo.. but it is of the sand thing we built one day.

It was great to have some time away, just to relax and enjoy each others company. Andrew, Cara and I joined Andrew's family. We were able to celebrate Hannah's 21st birthday while away, and wish her the best as she is now in the mission field serving in Dublin, Ireland. She will be such a great missionary.

We stayed in a cottage just 2 minutes walk from Porthmoer Beach, which was always great for body boarding. Cara enjoyed lots of attention from Grandparents, Aunt and Uncles, and Andrew and I were able to enjoy time alone together - Thank you Munzer family! we loved our holiday with you.

September 06, 2007

I just made a John Travolta film Quiz .

He has been in so many great movies.. and some really silly ones..

Which is your favourite?

I can't choose.. Grease, The Boy in the Plastic Bubble and Hairspray is pretty good too.. I have to confess to watching all 3 Look Who's Talking movies recently, and they were actually very entertaining.

PS I do like John Travolta, but I love Andrew - he's the best!

August 17, 2007

Our amazing brains!

Seriously - our brains are amazing! Weird how by being so amazing we actually see things not always in there true sense.. hmm.. what can we learn from knowing this?

August 15, 2007

I am so excited to see this film!

The Golden Compass aka Northern Lights.. this will be the first film I've seen, where I've read the book first. I am so excited! It's such a good story.

August 05, 2007

I won a competition!

I just added my comments about Tagging to the LibraryThing discussion board, and now they are sending me a book. It wasn't because what I said was great.. I was picked at random.. but it's still cool. I wanted a tagging picture to go with my blog and found somewhere that I could make a tag cloud of my blog.

See top of my blog.

Here is a copy of my post:

Tags are amazing! For me the sights that make the best use of Tags are these...

Flickr - the first tagging site I ever used. An archive of all my photos. If I want to find a photo of my cute neice, I just type in her name and they all come up. Also, a huge mass of others photos. I would always be able to find a photo from someone to go along with whatever I decided to blog about - great!

Facebook - So, I loved Flickr already for photo tagging, but then along came Facebook - where you tagged someone in a photo, and then they would know, and there friends would know. It's great! So, a friend uploads a photo, with me in it, tags me and everyone else.. I get notified, look at the photo and see that some friends I haven't seen in ages are also tagged - from there I can contact them, find out how they are doing etc. Even people who I don't know may upload a funny photo, or video or post a note about a person that I do know.. more insight into my friends lives. Amazing.

BoardGameGeek - so this is my newest venture. I am a board game geek - I have just bought my 100th board game, and you know what? I don't get to play them very often, it's really hard to decide what to play.. depends on your mood, who's playing an how many people want to play.. It takes ages to find a suitable game... but when you can tag your games.. you can search for a game with particular tags.. say, 'short' and '3-player'.

OK.. so my final one may not be classed as tags.. but surely a search engine really just searches via words which are tags....?? Do you agree?

Tags.. what an amazing invention.. I'm still trying to get used to using them effectively in G-Mail, Blogger and LibraryThing actually. In LibraryThing I use others tags.. but don't really put tags on my own books to use.

August 04, 2007

Being a Mummy

Originally uploaded by Munzerr
I didn't know whether to blog about this or not.. but I decided I would.

Sometimes, I find being a full-time Mum really hard.

It's funny, because I think I'm a strong, abled person, and Cara is a beautiful, amazing, sleepy girl. So, really, I should find being a Mum easier than most.

A lot of the time I do think that my being a Mum is easy. I get to stay at home, be with my beautiful baby girl, go out for walks, watch films, shop... there are lots of perks - especially with only one, especially good little girl, but amazingly, sometimes it's still hard. I think hardest, funnily - when I sit down and relax, or try to. I think for me it's the constancy, I'm always listening out for Cara, in case she needs me. There's never been anything so constantly on my mind, maybe there should have been....

I read this blog today, it's what inspired me to write about my feelings.

I love Cara! She's going to change my life for the better! Thank you, Cara! and Thank you Andrew!

July 31, 2007

Selling stuff on ebay

I've never actually sold anything on ebay.. although I have bought a few things.. check out this sale.

July 30, 2007

My Real Age


...and I thought I was old. Wonder how old Cara is using this age calculator.

July 23, 2007


What a great film!? Apparently they are making a re-make.. with the star from High School Musical - no-one can be as good as Kevin Bacon.. except maybe John Travolta.

July 02, 2007

A game of Chess

For our Family Home Evening activity this week, Andrew and I played a game of Chess. It was a really fun game! Chess is so good - there is so much to think about.

I've been playing a few games of Chess over the internet, a move at a time. It was nice to play a whole game in one go. Steve and Alan recently beat me online, and tonight Andrew beat me too... I'm off to read some books on Chess strategy.

June 14, 2007

Helen Strikes!

Helen Strikes!
Originally uploaded by Munzerr
We went bowling for Alex Tovey's birthday. I like this photo Andrew took of me.. I did get a couple of strikes, but I'm still better at Wii bowling than the real thing. Andrew beat everybody, both lanes - so well done Andrew!

May 25, 2007

Spinning Fast

Park 20.JPG
Originally uploaded by Hedgen
We went to the park with Linda and her girls. It was quite a good park, lots of different things to play on, for all age groups. My favourite was the gerbil wheel, especially when Andrew had a go, and fell off...! and also these little spinny things. I was going so fast, I felt really sick. Can't wait until Cara is old enough to enjoy all the wonderful fun you can have at the park.

May 22, 2007

Running With Angels

Running With Angels 059.JPG
Originally uploaded by Hedgen.
Bristol Stake RS once again hosted a 'Running with Angels'. It was a 5km run/walk for all the women in the Stake (young and old). We raised money for Breast Cancer Research UK, and also raised the bar in our own fitness.

I am so unfit! I ran as much of it as I could, and I really felt it that night and following day. I didn't do a lot of excercise while I was pregnant, and I haven't done a whole lot since. Next year, I'll hopefully be able to run the whole waya again. It was a great event.

May 11, 2007

Mary, Martha and Me

Southmead Ward has a RS book club, and on Wednesday I borrowed this book. Tonight I finished it. It was a really good read. Made me think. She writes in a way that is easy to read and understand, but thought provoking, and is backed up by scripture references and quotes from the apostles and prophets.

I need to 'do' more for the right reasons, and learn to study the Gospel even amongst a busy life. Even if that life is full of good things, God is the most important. All good follows a devotion to Christ.

I would definately recommend this book.

April 24, 2007

Aunty Helen

With Aunty Helen
Originally uploaded by Munzerr.
Not only was is great to see the new addition to the Cook family.. but to see Emily, Naomi and Liesl.. they have all grown up since we last saw them. Liesl is looking so much like her mummy!

New Cousins

New Cousins
Originally uploaded by Munzerr.
Cara is no longer the youngest in the extended family. Martha Heidi Cook was born 23rd April 2007 - Just 12 weeks after Cara. I can't believe how much Cara has grown! Martha was born a little heavier than Cara, and she looks tiny. Her mass of hair is amazing! She is such a cute and with it baby. She would stick her tongue out at any opportunity, and seemed very awake when we saw her. We are just waiting for the next little cousin to arrive now... another girl?

Note: Heidi is closer to the camera than Cara - she is tiny!

March 22, 2007

TopUP 2007

I got a letter this morning, from my employer - UnumProvident. I qualified for TopUP 2007, which is the UnumProvident event for employees who have been given an excellent rating for the past years work. The past couple of years the events have been long weekends abroad.. this years event will be at a luxury 5* hotel in central London, with a gala dinner and a luzury overnight stay, plus a bonus of £1,000. What a wonderful suprise!

March 14, 2007

Thumbs Up

The boys' thumb war
Originally uploaded by mooncici.
My thumbs are only little, especially compared to Andrews. However, we had a thumb war to decide who got to choose the film to watch - and I won! easily I might add.. we wanted to watch the same film anyway, that's the funniest part.

March 13, 2007

The Great Gatsby

I've been reading quite a bit recently, and thought it would be a good idea to keep a record of what I've read.

The latest book was 'The Great Gatsby'. Apparently known as the great book of American Literature. I have to say it captured me. I really wanted to find out what happened next. I'm not sure what I learnt from this book - maybe just that I have a great life. Most of the people in this story couldn't say the same about their lives.

February 19, 2007

New Calling

I was given a new calling today - Enrichment Leader! It was a bit of a suprise to be called into have an interview today. I had no idea what calling would be in store, but this is great! It's something I feel I can really put my heart into. I want to get the RS of Southmead Ward having fun, learning and socialising with each other. What's best is this calling will not be interupted by having a baby whatsoever. I can't wait to get started. Next month, March is RS birthday month, so we have chance to have a really big Enrichment night, one of the 4 official ones, really soon. Working with Rebecca Amery, counsellor for Enrichment, will also be really fun.

Cara is just as beatiful as ever, and such a good little girl. Andrew and I are so blessed!

January 31, 2007

Cara Louise Munzer

We have a little girl! I really can't believe it. She is so cute. It's great to finally be at home as a family. We are so blessed.

I had so much I wanted to say when I came to write this - but it's all gone from my head. I think I'm still a little woozy from the pain relief or something, but motherhood has been really great and our little girl is just so great. When she is asleep and away from my vision for a bit I know that she's cute - but when I get to see her again I realise just how cute.. awwww she is the best!

Cara asleep on her Daddy like that was so cute to see!

More photos here.

January 24, 2007

Baby's Due Date

So.. today is Baby's due date. No signs of him yet, but I guess it could still happen today. Andrew and I went for a walk this morning - we heard it's sometimes good to start things moving. I also took to jumping a little this afternoon.. oh well! Baby knows best when to join us. Tomorrow we have an appointment with the Doctor, we'll see what he says.. although he has always said a week late to be fair, so I guess maybe he's right. The midwife said they'll induce if nothings happened by 12 days overdue.. so in 12 days baby should be with us no matter what. We are so excited and just can't wait to see our little one.

C'mon baby!

January 18, 2007


I spent most of today beginning to catalog our books. First I set out to find a way to do it. I was hoping to find some nifty website that would help me.. sure enough there is. First I found Shelfari.. this was OK, but I much prefer LibraryThing. Check them out, and let me know if you join too, and I can look at your library of books.

Click here to see my LibraryThing catalog, or here to see my bookshelf on shelfari.

January 14, 2007


Yesterday, we bought a Wii! Can't believe we found somewhere that had them in stock.. We played on it quite a bit last night, but then had to leave it to go to a Youth Standards Night, where Andrew and I had been asked to speak. We spoke about the 'For the Strength of Youth Pamphlet' our talks were only part of the whole evening, which was really good. I felt the spirit. This afternoon we went to the baptism of Sam Amery, this was also a really lovely meeting filled with the spirit. I am so glad to know that the church is true!

Oh! and by the way - Andrew is addicted to the Wii. We'll have to take video of him playing and post it up - it is hilarious, especially boxing!

January 07, 2007

The world of the internet

I decided to start using Google Reader today, and have ended up adding a lot of feeds. It's been really interesting. Thanks Stevie for introducing me to it.

Just one of the interesting sites I found while adding feeds was this one.

Have a go and see how well you know me, by going here.

And also an interesting article about the church.