Friday, June 15, 2012

Time For a New Blog

Well faithful readers, this morning I finally made a decision regarding what to do with my blogging. I will now redirect you here:

Time for a brand new chapter! Hoping you will all join me. :)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

William David Turns Four

While I continue to think on whether to blog and what to blog, I will share this precious photo from tonight of my precious baby boy. He is growing up so fast and I can't express in words what a beautifully kind and amazing little man he is.

Happy 4th Birthday William!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Suggestions.... please?

Dear friends,

I miss blogging. I don't know what to do. To blog again? Or not to blog again? How to blog? Continue this blog? Start a brand new blog?

Thoughts, please?

Monday, September 12, 2011

September Sunshine

Aside from one very cold snap here this week, Spring has definitely sprung in our corner of the world. The children and I have been enjoying lots of sunshine, morning and afternoon. I seriouslylove this time of year!

I have been packing away winter woolies, bringing out and sorting summer clothes, and starting to think summery thoughts. :)

Beach day with Will last week

Since playing Marian in "The Music Man" early this year, I have been walking daily around the lagoon/parkland in our town. I am now blessed to live only 1 minute from this beautiful place, and William and I enjoy walking around the track every day after dropping the older kids to school.

The Lagoon early morning

And the Lagoon at sunset....

It's so nice to get out doors. So much of our time is spent indoors and it's important to get plenty of fresh air! I know the walls start closing in on me if I don't get outside enough.

A lot of my indoor time at the moment is being spent learning choir music...... it is such a challenge, so much hard work, but I really am loving it.

Spending hours every day at my piano may exhaust me, but it sure makes me happy.

Happy September, Spring, sunshine.... and music!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


It's spring! So so happy to have winter behind us. It sure has been a cold one.

Today was the first really warm day so far, and William and I took advantage of the weather and headed to the beach. I actually had 3 long walks today, in different places, just to be out in the sunshine.

A beautiful day with my littlest boy.

So many nice things happening in my life at the moment, I wouldn't even know where to begin but its just been one of those happy weeks. :)

Hope yours has too.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

A Little Celebrating!

Let the fireworks explode, the streamers unravel, the balloons fill the air, the music play! Today, we celebrate 700 posts at Ferns by the Fireside!

I asked you to tell me what you would like me to write about on this landmark occasion. ;) Okay, it's not really a landmark occasion but it feels like somewhat of an achievement!

So, here goes.

Amanda said "I would like you to talk about the expectations you had for your blog when you started. How is it different, and how is it as you imagined."

Well, I started my blog back in 2008 when several of my friends had started blogging. I thought "yay! a chance to write!" I do love to write my thoughts and express myself through the written word. It also seemed like a good way to journal our family's life. As for expectations, yes, I think it's pretty much been what I expected. I expected it to be fun, fulfilling, to bring me joy and be a way to connect with other women who blog. It has met all my expectations. :) I didn't know I would continue to blog for so many years, and so regularly. And I can't imagine that changing really. I could probably do this forever quite happily!

Renata said: "Congratulations on almost 700 - that is impressive! I really like Amanda's ideas. Also would you share how your faith in God has been strengthened through this difficult time you're currently going through".

Great question. Well, my faith in God is very strong at the moment. I do find, like most people, that when life is going along swimmingly that you tend to rely very much on yourself. It's easy to think that yes, we are in control and yes, we have our life quite sorted and everything is fine, thank you very much. :) When difficulties arise, whether it be poor health, troubles in relationships or an issue with a child, we turn to God in prayer. I believe He uses these times to strengthen our bond with him. This season for me has been a reminder that the world is a fallen, broken place. The ideal I had for my family is currently not the reality and that makes me so sad. For a long time I have clung to visual pictures of the "ideal" life - I have striven hard to meet these ideals, and they haven't always been realistic. This isn't in itself a bad thing, I would actually consider it a positive thing. But. God is teaching me that despite our brokenness, His love prevails. In spite of our circumstances, He is here. He truly does never leave us or forsake us. He is very present here in this home - He provided the children and I the perfect home in the perfect location, at the perfect time. He has taken care of finances. He has surrounded us with people who love us unconditionally. And He continues to provide the children and I with opportunities to grow and experience joy. All of this reminds me what an awesome God He is, and how very much He loves his children. So I guess the answer is - God is using this experience to draw me closer to Him, and for that, I'm very thankful.

Jen said "I would love to hear why you started a blog in the first place."

Thanks for your comment Jen - I think I answered your question in my response to Amanda's question! I started it to journal my thoughts and keep a record of the things happening in our family. :) The children and I love looking back on older posts as most of our best photos have been uploaded to the blog!

Melanie said "When I put my daughter to bed, each night I have to come up with a story about when I was little, so maybe you might write us a story about when you were little? Either that, or your 700 favourite books? (hehehe)"

Hmmmm...... I think I'll go with telling you a story about when I was little! As much as I love books, listing 700 of them would be somewhat too time consuming. ;)
Wow Melanie, first let me tell you that I love your bedtime tradition! My kids would love to hear more stories of when I was little!
They like hearing this story. When I was 8 months old I reached out to a little orange teddy bear when I was sitting in my pram, in a pharmacy. I was insistent I wanted him. :) My Mummy bought him for me, and he became my most favourite toy. She tells me the story of early one morning when I was about 15 months old, waking up to a blood curdling scream. She raced into my bedroom in the semi darkness to find me cowering in one corner of my cot. Orange Ted was right down the other end in another corner, and I was pointed madly at him. On closer inspection, Mum realised that his little black nose had come off, and was sitting in the opposite corner of the cot! I was seriously freaking out! Right then and there, at 4am, Mum sewed Ted's little nose back on. And I promptly fell back to sleep, cuddling him in my arms. :) To this day, I don't cope gracefully in a crisis situation! If one of my kids has a badly scraped open knee, I feel like cowering in the corner of the room just as I did when Ted lost his nose!! Of course, I don't. ;) Ted went on to have many more adventures, such as falling in the family swimming pool and losing most of his stuffing. Mum had to sew him a brand new body. I must remember to post a photo of him for you - I still have him, sitting in my bedroom. :)

Trish said "Congratulations Saminda! I would like to know what advice you would have for a new blogger just starting out."

It's great to see you blogging Trish! I like that you have chosen the theme of gardening. I think with blogging it's good to have a basic theme - it helps give your blog an identity. :) My advice would be to fall into a rhythm of blogging that you are happy with. Don't lay pressure on yourself to blog more often than is realistic. With four beautiful little people in your life, I know you are busy! So keep it simple. Sometimes blogging regularly - even just a short post with a picture and a caption - a few times a week can help keep the flow of your blog. But I have had, at times, weeks where I haven't found the time to blog. Accept this and don't put pressure on yourself! Blogging should be fun, and a reflection of who you are. And don't blog for other people, blog for yourself. :) Having said that, please include some photos of your gorgeous kiddos in your garden - I don't see enough of them!

Amanda said "Congrats Saminda! I would like to know your favourite Bible verses (maybe your fav 3?), why and what they mean to you. I love hearing how God uses His scriptures in peoples lives!"

This is a hard one. I have so many favourites that it is hard to narrow it down to only 3. One of my favourites I have in my sidebar - Psalm 4:23 - "Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it." I also cling tightly to Proverbs 3:5-6 - "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight." :) Um...... only one more! Well this next one I love so much that I bought a canvas with the verse printed on. It hangs in my kitchen, where I spend most of my time.

Psalm 46:10 - "Be still and know that I am God". For me this is a daily reminder to slow down, to breathe, to trust, and to listen to what He is telling me.

I also asked my children to share their favourite verse with you. They both chose the same one! Psalm 23, The Lord is my Shepherd. :) They really love this verse, I think because it's full of the quietness of God's strength, and all His promises to us.

And finally, Wendy said "Saminda, I would be interested to know how you feel that complete strangers can follow your life through your blog and you have no idea who is looking. I have met you through a friend, but have been following your blog and would love to know your perspective on Internet and personal security as I would be afraid that people could know so much about myself."

Wow. Big question! Do you know, this is not something that genuinely worries me? I don't know why - many bloggers I know use false names for their children and basically keep all personal details private. I understand their desire to do this - I have just never felt the need to, for myself. For me, there is something exciting about the not knowing who is reading the blog! I tend to hear from a long lost friend (or someone I barely know!) from time to time say "oh, I love reading your blog!" I actually enjoy thinking about who may be reading and enjoying seeing our family grow. Having said that, I don't tend to give very personal information away (though I do tend to share my emotions fairly openly; this is just how I'm wired!) But as for the town we live in, the school my children attend, etc., these details are not included in the blog for privacy reasons. Maybe I just hope and trust that the world is still a fairly honest place? This is probably naive but I pray that whoever's out there reading is genuine- family, friends, or friends I just haven't met yet. :)

There! I hope this has answered your questions and I thank you, faithful readers, for sticking with me through 700 blog posts! I know some of you have been reading since The Beginning. :) Have a great weekend everyone.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Life Changing News

Last week I received some life changing news. I am happy to tell you, the news is good news. :) In fact, the news is great news.

In a somewhat random and spontaneous 48 hours, I was told the executive producer and artistic director of the internationally renowned adult choir, The Australian Voices, were coming to my town to promote their current touring show, "Moon". After meeting with these amazing men to discuss the involvement of local singers in the opening number of the show, they informed me that they are also recruiting new members to join the choir. They asked if I would like to audition. I knew very little about them. I went home, logged on to their website, and did some research. I was inspired.

One of the main purposes of this choir is to commission Australian composers to write music for the choir, music about things which are iconic to our country. Then, they tour the country and the world singing this music. It's contemporary, it's unique, it's very complex at times, and very very beautiful. And it seems that while they do sing some more traditional, classical music, a lot of their contemporary pieces are very theatrical, incorporating elements of theatre such as lighting, projections, and costuming. Wow. I wanted to be part of it.

I spoke to Stuart. I spoke to my extended family. I had the full support of everyone. So, I went back to the theatre that afternoon, and I auditioned. It was gruelling. I had to sight sing a very difficult, chromatic passage the director had written on the whiteboard, having never heard the passage played. On my second attempt I sang it correctly! I also had to sing some difficult intervals, and in my best "choral voice" - no colour, no vibrato please - I was asked to sing our National Anthem. It was intense. I loved every minute. :)

They told me clearly that they still had a week of touring/promoting/auditioning to do, and very limited places to offer. I wouldn't hear anything for a week at least.

The very next morning I opened my email inbox and there was an email from the producer. The title of the email was "Welcome to The Australian Voices". I could barely breathe and I sat there for a full minute before opening the email! But it was true, my audition was successful and they were offering me a place in the choir!!! :-D I was (and am still) absolutely shocked!

I am so very very grateful for the incredible support my family and friends have shown me at this time. I have negotiated with the director of the choir regarding my availability for the remainder of 2011 (and negotiations will continue into 2012). He has been helpful and very flexible, understanding that I live 3 hours from the city (where the choir is based) and have very young children. My job now is to learn all my parts by myself, from home - no easy task I can assure you! The music is beautiful but a challenge to learn and to sing. I will be singing 2nd Soprano, which was my part when I sang in the Queensland Youth Choir for 7 years as a teenager. This whole process is bringing back fond memories of that time!

As for international travel, well I considered myself ineligible for that. However upon further investigation, and financial consideration, it seems I may actually be touring with the choir this year to Europe. Europe!!! And here I was thinking I wouldn't get overseas until I was in my 60's! Yes, they - sorry, we - are touring through Germany and France this November/December. The choir covers the cost of all travel and accommodation once in Europe. I will need to pay for my flights from and back to Australia, but if the tour is financially successful, the choir will reimburse members for flights also. The tour is for 3 weeks, but as my brother is getting married on December 10th I will only be going for the first 2 weeks. May I admit I'm grateful for that? 3 weeks away from my children would just be too long. In fact 2 weeks will be very very hard.

I'm going to have to fill my suitcase with photos of them! :( And already I'm planning to make a CD for them, with a spoken "letter" for them to listen to from me each day. And a half hour or so of me singing the sleepy songs I sing to them each night at bedtime. Hopefully this and a few other little things will help the time of separation which will be very different for us. My wonderful parents are going to help Stuart out with the care of the children - and thankfully, the 2nd week I'll be away is the first week of their summer holidays. Then I'll be home and we will be having a big family wedding and holiday time!

And I will have had my first experience of Europe. Singing. Music, travel, adventure.

God is so profoundly good, and surprising! Why he has considered me worthy and free to go and do this, I do not know. But I do know that before and after I auditioned I prayed over the decision - that it would be his alone. Honestly, this was not planned (at least not by me :)) so I didn't mind either way. He has allowed this. It feels like a beautiful gift and I'm blown away by the musical opportunities this choir will provide for me, whilst still allowing me live here in the country town where my children - and Stuart - are so settled and happy. To have all those big city opportunities without actually having to move truly is an answer to prayer.

Those of you who know me will understand that this is COMPLETELY out of my comfort zone! The very idea of leaving my family and friends and travelling to a foreign country with people I don't even know terrifies me! So maybe God is going to use this to teach me and grow me. I imagine it will only do good things for my confidence - an area I've always wanted to improve in.

Praise God for life changing surprises!

Stay tuned for my next post - my 700th post! Please leave a comment here if you would like to contribute.


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