Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Out of the mouth of Elijah.....

Just after breakfast this morning, Elijah says to me:

"Mamma, it's really very clever- we are just like monkeys and bees!"

"Really?" I ask. "How, Elijah?"

"Well, monkeys have 5 fingers on each hand, like us." Okay, that I understand. But bees?

Upon asking him how we are 'just like bees' he replied with a coy smile:

"Because they live in families". :)

I love my boy!!!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

A day with cousins!

We had a great day yesterday for the first day of holidays! Just waking up late and getting to take our time getting dressed, lounging around with cups of tea......... I could do this every day!! :) My Mum and Ray arrived at lunch time, and then we all headed up north to Bargara to visit Ray's son Jeff, his wife Jed and their two gorgeous girls Kiele and Alani. Our children met and played last summer holidays and got on SO well, they have been asking to visit the girls again ever since! Needless to say, a fun time was had by all. :) And Jeff and Jed have had a lovely outdoor spa installed since our last visit, and the children loved the novelty of getting to go "swimming" in winter! I think the water was 32 degrees C, so very very warm!

Pizza for dinner, a movie for the kids and some great conversation and a game of pool for the grown-ups, and late home to bed.

We enjoyed some time in the park with Mum and Ray this morning. The model trains were running, there was a jumping castle and Stu took Saraya and WIll on the Mary-Ann (steam train) as well. Today is a beautiful winter day, so great weather to be out and about in.

Everyone's resting at the moment, Mum and Ray have gone home :(, and I think we're going to do some gardening soon. I bought pea, broccoli and strawberry seedlings the other day and want to get them in the ground.

Happy Sunday, everyone!

Friday, June 26, 2009

It's holidays!!!

It's late in the day, and we are officially on winter break! Stuart is home (early, hooray!) and playing with all the children in the backyard. Lots of squeeling involved. :) We've had a great last day of term- 2 and a half hours spent at the park this morning with lots of friends, burgers from Hungry Jacks for lunch, a nice long rest time, painting (again....), planting of daisies, and playing in the yard for the children while I got the back lawn mown. Beef and vegie noodle stir-fry coming up for tea. It's a new recipe where you marinate the sliced rump steak for a few hours first. I hope it's yummy. All in all, a good day!

Stuart ended up staying home last night to spend some time with me and I was so thankful. Will seems a bit more settled today so hoping he sleeps better tonight. Stu is going to the movie tonight instead, and I'm going to watch some So You Think You Can Dance auditions on TV. :)


I cannot believe that Michael Jackson died this morning. Such a shock, and a reminder that it happens to us all........ So sad, and I'm sure there will be media hype galore. He was a legend and this news has shocked the world I am sure.

My parents arrive tomorrow afternoon; I can't wait to see them. That's all from me for now!

Updated with the promised photos.........

"Under the Sea" pastels - top: Elijah, middle: me, bottom: Saraya

Tissue paper garden scenes: Elijah's "Playing Hide and Seek in the Sunflowers", above and



And this? Well, I couldn't resist including this photo of my role-playing children from tonight. :) They really make me laugh!! And I promise I never really wear my bras on the outside of my shirts. ;)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Some rambles.

Just a few short minutes to blog.

Well, yesterday was a better day with the children. We visited 2 lots of friends which was a great change of scene for all of us. This week has still had it's ups and downs, but I'm glad the children are more settled than they were on Tuesday! Looking forward to this week ending.

We've been gradually wrapping up our bookwork for the term, and enjoying a few more art activities. Tissue paper garden scenes yesterday (modeling Monet's amazing garden paintings- Saraya's even had a bridge over water :)), and some more work with the pastels today. We did under the sea drawings. I'll post pictures sometime!

Everyone is resting now. I'm planning on taking the children out this afternoon. We need to buy some fresh fish for tea, and I'd like to get some seedlings for the garden so perhaps we'll visit the nursery. Not sure what the weather's doing though- it seems to be threatening rain yet again. This has been such a wet winter so far!

No dancing yesterday afternoon, or for the next fortnight. :( I'm missing it already. Vocal Ensemble was good last night; we're performing 4 items in the Eisteddfod here in August, and it's great to sing with a good group of singers. Now I just need to choose my own items- a few ideas but no decisions yet! I need to come up with a straight solo, music theatre piece (always my favourite) and a sacred song. Hmmmm.......

William is teething. I just noticed yesterday that he has cut his 2 top eye teeth. That makes 10 teeth- not bad for a 12 month old. My kids always teeth early for some reason. It could explain all his waking in the past 3 or 4 nights. :( Poor boy. I'm going to forfeit going to the movies with Stuart tonight (end of term group thingy; Sally was going to come babysit) because I just feel wrong about it- if Will wakes (inevitable) he will be so sad if I'm not here! And so will Sally. So maybe I'll watch a girly flick on my own instead and just chill out tonight. There's still some more wine left, so that and some dark chocolate ought to make it a special night anyhow. :)

Only 2 more days until the winter holidays begin. I can hardly believe we're half-way through the year already.

My left-over pumpkin soup is bubbling on the stove so I'd better go save it! And make some lunch for the children too. Will put up some photos sometime in the next few days. A Presto!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Today, I haven't been a very good Mummy. I have been quite cross and used my 'sour face' way more than necessary.

I have been frustrated many times with my children who were most likely just crying out for some quiet, one-on-one attention. Tuesday is our busiest day (Wednesday is also pretty busy....) and it can all just be a bit much sometimes.

More confessions.........
My children were really off today. They broke our birdbath, played with the hose in the freezing cold just before dark, bounced our flower arbour (still no flowers on it) around the front yard, found Stuart's facepaint and used it without asking, fussed and whined and complained about everything. I didn't even want to see them by the end of the day.

Saraya didn't do any official homeschooling until 1 o'clock this afternoon.

She whinged the whole way through it.

We were totally out of routine.

I am really, really, nauseatingly tired today.

I spent too much while grocery shopping.

I ate 2 and a half cinnamon donuts, half a big packet of Deli-Rock rice crisps (oh yum) and drank 2 cups of coffee this afternoon. And very little else. :( Totally not me. Obviously seeking some comfort food!

Stu is settling a very unhappy William to sleep......... and I just don't want to go help him.

I'm sitting here blogging and drinking red wine. I still haven't cleaned up the dinner dishes. :(

Yep, this is me, transparent me at the end of a too-long, too-busy, too-everything day. Thought I'd be real here, through thick and thin!


The positive spin? Well, all 3 children will be asleep soon. I know tomorrow will be a great day because really yuck days are always followed by really great ones. Don't ask me why! I guess everyone is trying hard, I am aware of doing a better job, we'll all have a good sleep and feel better in the morning.

I will sit and cuddle my husband soon, and that always makes me feel better.


Another thing that's just come to mind. An old man who was behind us in the checkout today spoke to me after watching me and the children for awhile.

He said, "Excuse me, I just wanted to say that you have a beautiful family. As you get older you realise that it doesn't matter what you achieve in life, or what you build up. The important thing is the legacy you leave behind you- your children. What they are capable of, their abilities, and the values you teach them."
Yep, he is so spot-on. I thanked him, assured him I couldn't agree more (even on a bad day :)) and he said "God bless you" and smiled such a re-assuring, lovely, wise smile I almost wanted to hug him and adopt him as my Grandpa. :)

So I will sit and think about that conversation some more tonight. And tomorrow will be a better day.

Monday, June 22, 2009


A rainy day here at home, spent creating portraits in the style of Mary Cassatt. Paints first, then details added in pastels.

A wonderful experience, enjoyed by both children! "Can we do it again tomorrow Mamma?" summed it up. :)

The results:

I helped the children with their outlines by 'modeling' holding Will for them.... and helping Elijah a bit with the sketching of his and Will's bodies. The background paint-work and pastels were done independently by the children- I'm really proud of their efforts! A bit disappointed though that Eiljah asked Saraya to add eyelashes to his painting- and she did. :( Not entirely his work now, but oh well!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Dishwashers, procrastination and paints. Oh my. :)

This morning as I stacked the dishwasher I came across our ice-cream bowls from last night. It was late when I'd taken them to the kitchen, and I didn't bother rinsing or soaking them... and guess what? Because I'd left them to deal with in the morning, the ice-cream was all stuck and difficult to get off. I ended up having to wash them by hand.

Why on earth am I sharing this unusual piece of information? Because it got me thinking. About procrastination. About those things that we put off doing, because it just seems too big or too difficult, or we just can't be bothered at that moment. Like rinsing the ice-cream bowls. And just like the bowls, anything that we put off just gets to be a bigger job. It gets more overwhelming. It hangs over our heads. We feel bothered by whatever it is that we know we should do. Well, maybe not with little things like rinsing bowls..... but bigger things. Things we want to do, but just put off.

Stu and I are both very very good procrastinaters! Maybe it's a family talent- I've noticed Saraya also seems to have a gift for it. Sometimes (ok, frequently) we just get overwhelmed and fill our time doing other things instead of that thing we really need to do. Or should do. You know what I mean.
After all this thinking I decided to spend time doing something today that I have been putting off. For the past few weeks our bedroom had been getting out of hand- papers galore, hand-made gifts from the children, clothes to sort, lots of dust, etc. etc. I kept looking at it thinking how much I would like to get it cleaned up- but then never did anything about it. Until today!

If I'd thought about posting this sooner I would have taken some photos- maybe another day. I spent an hour or so sorting and tidying, moving a few things around, and dusting. The room looks SO much better. And I feel wonderful!! Isn't it true, that when we actually get down and do the things that are 'too hard, so I'll handle it later', we feel much better than when we were putting it off for another day? I'm looking forward to sleeping in my room tonight! And I'm feeling determined to sort out my 'messy bench' and our laundry room of disaster..........


And I just want to say how grateful I am for my husband. Despite his work-load this weekend, he still made time for us today. He took the big kids to the town Toy Library this morning, to swap their toys over- and they came home with some great stuff!

Including scooters for both the children! Something they'd never tried before. I plan on taking them to the park to scoot tomorrow!

By the time they got home Will was awake and er- 'joining in' with the board games. :)
Always a challenge!

Then after lunch Stu took all 3 kids out to collect kindling for the fire as we're expecting some cold weather next week. They also went to the shops to get a few bits and pieces- including some art supplies I asked them to pick up! So we are now equiped with paints, brushes and pastels, and oodles of great art paper. I am so excited!! I plan on doing lots of art with the children during our last week of term next week. We have a great book of projects to try with kids, based on the ideas and styles of various Impressionist painters. Saraya is so keen to try a Renoir style painting after studying many of his prints this term.

Thank-you Stuart for making time for me. I love you. xo

Friday, June 19, 2009

A good Friday

Today was a good day. Sweet, simple blessings.

A phonecall from my Mum :)
A clean and (mostly) tidy house.
The discovery of the first 2 eggs laid by our chickens- hooray! We've been waiting....
A sweet comment from my Father-in-law on my blog-- thankyou, you made my day!
A gorgeous time down by the river with my kids this afternoon.
A successful Arts night out at the school. My little girl danced like a princess! And my hubby? I just love him so much right now. :) He is amazing.
Cuddles with my littlest boy and kisses with my bigger boy before bed. I feel like I've connected with them both today- always a good feeling.

Cookies and cream ice-cream......... well, that's next on the to-do-list. Need to go get some from the freezer for my hard-working husband who is now up late (again) trying to work on report cards and falling asleep writing. :) I think I'll have some too. Just to keep him company, you know. ;)


Thursday, June 18, 2009

An Excursion

We took a break from our regular routine today to join some other homeschooling families in our area on an excursion to the Hervey Bay fire station. It was fun!!

Admittedly the fire chief who toured us was a little dry, and took a long time answering some questions so the younger children found it a bit dull. BUT once they got to hop inside the fire engine and explore some of the equipment, they really enjoyed themselves!

The fire chief answered many questions, explained about the various parts of the engines, let the kids have a go squirting the hose, and demonstrated getting into his gear FAST! Plus the firemen gifted all the kids with rulers, stickers, fridge magnets and colouring books as we left, which were appreciated! You can imagine what my children are busy doing this afternoon. :)

It was nice to spend time with some other families walking this road. I didn't get to know any of them well in the time we were there, but it's just nice to know they're out there! Both of the other homeschool families in our street (yes, there are 3 of us in one street!) were also there so I knew a few familiar faces. Probably about a dozen families attended today, but I know there are many others in the wide bay. We'll try to get along to these events when we can.

Life is plodding along nicely this week. Stuart is still very busy in the evenings with report cards so I've been reading quite a lot, sitting up late with him. I'm re-reading "The Lineage of Grace" by Francine Rivers. This is a must-read, and one of my absolute favourite books.
Yesterday was also dance class and vocal ensemble in the evening, two big highlights in the week for me!! We're all a bit weary as usual for Thursdays, and both boys and I have a touch of a cold as well- not too bad, just a bit congested and a cough at night. I'm feeling better today though.

Tomorrow is homeschooling and cleaning in the morning, then we're playing with friends in the afternoon which will be nice as we haven't seen them for ages. After an early tea we'll be heading out to Stuart's school for their "Celebration of the Arts" night. Saraya's dance class is performing and Stu is part of that- they're doing "In the Jungle, the mighty jungle......." and Stu is the big daddy lion to all the cubs (the children in her class are 4, 5 and 6)- very cute!! We need to pick up his lion's mane from the Brolga Theatre this afternoon.

On that note, I'm off to make us all some afternoon tea and tidy up my very messy house. :)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Oh my goodness!!!!!!.........

...................... Would you believe this is my 300th post???!!!!!!! I cannot believe I have actually written that many posts! And in only a little over a year........... wow. I still LOVE to blog. :)

You'd think I'd have something awesome to share for my 300th post........ but sadly, I don't. No competitions or funny stories or poetry or anything. Only a pretty typical update on our life as it stands this week. :) But then, that's what this blog's about, right?

So, a few photos to share firstly. Ah, it's so good to finally have the computer to myself! All day it's being used by either one of the children, or sitting idly looking at me saying "blog, you must blog" while alas, I must homeschool my children or do the washing or cook a meal!!! And night-time it's usually hijacked by Stuart who admittedly is working very hard on end-of-term report cards and assessment for school at the moment. But right now it was free, and here I am. :)

I've been doing a bit more baking again lately. Since we had an island bench installed in our kitchen, and 3 perfect timber stools to sit under it, baking with the children has become a breeze! Just as I had imagined it would.

These were banana, rolled oat and date cookies from our 'Healthy Kids Cookbook'. Very yummy, they didn't last long! It's nice to make something together.

Saraya and Elijah have enjoyed building cubbies and having little picnics in their play time the past couple of weeks. This was a trampoline afternoon tea picnic. :)

Complete with sultanas, cherry tomatoes and bottles of water. Very gourmet indeed!

This boy just gets sweeter by the day. Honestly, he brings so much joy to me. I'm still trying to work out how to spend quality time with each of the children. Saraya and William seem to get it by necessity, but I feel like Elijah sometimes doesn't get enough. Typical middle child I suppose. :( I'm determined to do better though!

And, ahem........ well, this is evidence of me still very much on the journey of learning to balance homeschooling, housekeeping, general life, and of course caring for my younger boys as well:

Let's just say it was early in the morning, Saraya and I were in our school room, engrossed in mathematics and the boys were quietly having the time of their lives!!! Some of the tissues survived the "It's snowing!" game, and were stuffed back into the box. Many however were shredded and ended up in the bin. As you can see by Elijah's face, he's really a pretty happy (and somewhat mischievous) boy. :)


A few people have been asking me how I structure our days at home. If you're interested, I thought I'd share our basic schedule for our week days- though they certainly don't all run like this.
Monday, Thursday and Friday mornings we're home and this is pretty much what we do, but Tuesday mornings we go to Mainly Music at 9:30am, and Wednesday's either Playgroup or Prayer Group at 10am. Homeschooling just slots around these things on those days!

7am - ish - Up and dressed. Put Stu's lunch together, unload dishwasher, make breakfasts etc.
Help the children with their morning jobs, get a load of washing on, beds made, feed the chooks etc. All the morning stuff.

8:30am- (and we are getting more on time with this! It's so hard on really cold mornings!)- Begin homeschooling. Elijah usually starts out with us, so I tend to do things he enjoys such as Bible reading first. He then either wanders off to play or sits and works on an activity book beside us. That's always a bit tricky for me, but I'm getting there!
Saraya works on maths and literacy every morning. Usually we'll tackle a new maths concept every few days. I like to make sure she's 'got it' before moving on. I'm using a combination of her workbook from school, hands-on manipulative's and applying the ideas to real life. A lot of extra math happens naturally throughout the day too- I try to seize the opportunities!! Literacy includes handwriting, phonics work, spelling, creative writing and reading. Most of these we do daily. We also memorize a new Bible verse each week. I use these for copywork for Saraya, and she also types them out on the computer so we can stick them up on our wall. I've discovered she's a very visual learner like me, so we're sticking a lot of things to the wall!!

9:30am- Elijah gets to watch Playschool. I keep on working with Saraya, though she likes to pop out to see the story. :)

10am- Saraya has a break and joins Elijah for the ABC Educational program of the day- these can include music, animals, technology, maths and other topics. All excellent! I use this time to do other things.... phone calls, emails, housework, settling William for his nap, etc.

10:30am-ish- We eat a snack for morning tea, then resume our homeschooling. Saraya and I read a couple of chapters of our chapter book (right now it's 'These Happy Golden Years' by Laura Ingalls Wilder), and Saraya also reads me a book or two. Elijah's usually around and listening/ having a cuddle as well, and Will's usually asleep by this time. Once he's napping I find things so much easier! After reading I'll get Saraya to do whatever is left to do- sometimes computer work, sometimes spelling lists, sometimes a project of some sort. Sometimes she also has ideas about what she would like to do, and I like to give her the chance to take the initiative in her learning.
We also do a session of music and one of art each week. The children LOVE doing picture studies of famous works, and are so keen to get painting- I just need to get some decent art supplies!

11-11:30am - All homeschooling is officially over for the day, and the children usually head outside for some free play. I do other stuff- whatever needs doing. Sometimes this is sitting with a book and a cup of tea! (though to be honest that's rarely for more than 10 minutes at a time...)

12:30pm-ish- We eat lunch. Sometimes I'll choose to read to the children or discuss some new idea with them while we eat. But not always. We often eat outside in the sunshine- the day has usually warmed up by then!
Once we've eaten the children always get into a game of some sort and I take the opportunity to sort dishes, laundry, cooking, whatever needs doing. Will's also up by now, so I give him lunch too.

1:30pm-ish- Rest Time. Ahhhh. I feel relaxed just thinking about it. Sure, William is almost always awake and toddling around, but my big two disappear for about 45 minutes, and the house is quiet! And I don't have to answer any questions. :) I also give Will his bottle and like to read during this time, and spend some baby play time with him.
When my big two are done resting (which consists of reading books or quiet play in separate rooms) we sit and chat about our afternoon ahead and usually some sort of play starts up again.

3pm-ish- Afternoon tea time, then we head into our afternoon activities. Monday we're home and the kids play outside mostly. Tuesday is dance class for Saraya, and we often do something else in town while we're there, like the library or shopping. Wednesday afternoon our babysitter extraordinaire comes and plays, and I go to dance class with Stuart. I LOVE Wednesdays!! Thursday afternoon Saraya has a play date with her friend Chloe, either here or at Chloe's house. I want to start doing something special with the boys during this time.... not sure yet. And Friday afternoon is our Nature Walk- we go walking somewhere, take pictures, collect things and draw in our notebooks. The children have actually told me it's their favourite part of their week!
4:30pm-ish- Bath time, tidying up, free play while I'm doing a million things including preparing a meal. Often I have little 'helpers'. :)

5:30pm- Stuart gets home, and we eat dinner. Clean up. Brush teeth, use the toilet, collect cuddly toys from around the house, find storybooks etc. etc.

6:30pm- Bigger children into bed. Stuart then spends time reading with Saraya and Elijah. I rein in Will whilst cleaning up from dinner etc.

7pm- We child-swap, and I go pray and sing with the children. Stu spends time with Will in the lounge room- always lots of laughing and wrestling on the floor involved. :)

7:30pm- I 'potter', caring for Will, catching up with Stuart, making cups of tea, whatever- all building up to that final, sweet moment when William drinks his milk and goes to sleep for the night. This is usually by 8pm. And then? Well, I do whatever the heck I like. :)

So, that's it. Our weekdays!! Weekends? Well, Stuart takes charge on Saturday mornings and often takes the children on an outing of some sort for a couple of hours. This is primarily to give me some head space of my own. I use it to clean or read or garden or homeschool plan (I always plan out the next week during this time- it probably takes about an hour). The rest of the weekend is family based- we don't plan much these days, just use the time to reconnect and rest and play and do things at home or church or with friends.

All in all, I am loving life and feeling ever so close to my God and my family. I have so much to learn, and feel blessed beyond measure. Life is full of excitement and beauty and wonder!!
I just feel grateful for everything He offers.

Thanks for reading my friends; have a great rest of the week!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Some photos!

The computer is fixed, and here are the missing photos of Elijah's birthday last Sunday........

The just-woken-up-and-dressed-and-'ohmygoodness it's my birthday' smile.

Present number 1!!! This serious of shots just says it all......

The froggy cake!! When Elijah requested this cake in our birthday cake book, I really did NOT think I could pull it off. But I was actually thrilled with how it turned out!
Stu helped me cut and decorate it once the 2 slabs were baked- I was very thankful.

We all actually fell in love with him, he had such a cute little face!

New bongos from Nanna and Grandpa, hooray!!!! I think he enjoyed his 4th birthday! :)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


I'm sorry I haven't got to post since Saturday. We've been very busy celebrating Elijah's birthday, having visitors, etc., AND our computer has been having some massive issues. Stuart is still working through them- I have no idea what's wrong with it, but it seems to be pretty sick!! At least I can blog, though no photos!! :( Very sad about that- I had so many I wanted to share.

Anway, I though I'd just share that we had a great day on Sunday. :) Eljiah woke up very very excited, as expected, and enjoyed his birthday breakfast and all his presents! It had rained all night Saturday, and was still threatening on Sunday, so we put off our plans to bushwalk that day. Mum and Ray arrived about 10am, and gifted Elijah with a set of cute bongo drums, and a steel drum as well!! He loves them, and has been drumming ever since. :)

We had his frog cake for morning tea, played for a couple of hours, had lunch, the kids watched a dvd, then we all went for a drive to the original 'Maryborough site' to explore the history and great walks by the river there. The weather had cleared by then, and it was lovely!
Dinner at McDonald's (guess who requested that one?) then home for baths and bed. Mum and Ray headed off as the children headed to bed, exhausted! It was a good day.

And guess what? We woke up yesterday to the most glorious day, and since we were having a public holiday we decided to make the drive to Mount Walsh! Elijah got his birthday wish after all. :) We packed a picnic lunch and did the walk- steep and rocky though it was- and got much further than we did last time we visited. The children did SO well. We found a spot up high on the mountain, and sat in some long grass just off the walking trail to eat our picnic. The view from up there was stunning, and we got to enjoy that beauty and peacefulness together. It was a real red letter day! Such a pretty place.

And back to the norm today. Stuart's at work; we've done homeschooling this morning, been to Mainly Music in town, done the grocery shopping, had lunch, and now everybody's resting. Though I can hear that Will's just woken up! He's got a nasty cough today- I don't know where it's come from- so I'd better go tend to him.

Have a great Tuesday everyone!!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

A Birthday Eve

I'm sitting here tonight and thinking about my first-born boy, my Elijah Samuel. Tomorrow he will turn 4. I can hardly believe it.

(Saraya and Elijah at 2 days old)

Elijah has been a gift to us since the moment he arrived. His nature is sweet, he is creative and loving and forgiving and generous. As a baby boy, he was pure gorgeousness! Each day with him is an absolute gift, and I treasure his company and conversation. He is such a special boy!

(and really really looks like Will did at this age! This is Elijah at about 8 weeks)

Tonight as I kissed and cuddled and sang him off to sleep, he whispered in my ear "Mamma, I can't wait for tomorrow morning. It's going to be my birthday when I wake up!" Then, "Mamma? I can't stop smiling. What if I really can't stop smiling and my smile just keeps going across the whole world, forever?!" He is so excited. :) I'm actually amazed he went to sleep at all. I can hardly wait to see his excited face in the morning!

Tomorrow we will celebrate with breakfast, presents, cuddles, reflections on the last 4 years, especially the day he was born, eating the requested 'froggy' cake (which I finished tonight and am thrilled with- a rare thing- I will show photos soon!), having Nanna and Grandpa visit, and driving up to Mount Walsh an hour west from town, having a picnic lunch there and going for a big bush walk!! This was what Elijah wanted most to do on his birthday. He loves to us all to be together, doing something fun like this. We are praying against rain however, as it is forecast to be miserable. :( If it rains, I guess we'll stay home and play games and spend time with my parents- it will still be a good day. And Monday just happens to be a public holiday here, and forecast fine, so we may get a second chance at the mountain walk!

Elijah, you are such a blessing to us all. Your sweet smile, your gentle nature, your creativity, your kisses, your music, your ideas and imagination, your generosity and love for others are all things I treasure about you. I know God is going to do AMAZING things in your life. You are going to change the world, I know it! Everyone who knows you is blessed by you and I know you will continue to make a difference to those around you. :) I am so happy God chose me to be your Mamma. I am so honoured! I love you so very much, and wish you a wonderfully happy birthday tomorrow. You will be 4!!!! WOW!!
Have a great day little man, I love you.

P.S. To Jen - I completely forgot, I meant to give you a sincerely honourable mention this morning!! I LOVED your little verse about William, it really reminded me of Beattrix Potter's Peter Rabbit which I dearly love! You are so clever, I'd forgotten what a clever writer you are. Please start writing on your blog again- I miss it. :( Thanks so much for playing Jen!!

And, drumroll please...........

We have a winner!!!

I really thought it was going to be Helen with her hilarious and clever boomerang comment (Stu threw a boomerang into his eye- don't ask- last year and was off work for a week or two!). I was all geared up to tell you what a loyal and fun and generous, beautiful friend she is to me.............. oh, I just did! good!........ BUT. There was a (late, I gave special dispensation) entry which just topped the chart in terms of entertainment value.

Drum-roll please..................... Grandad Fern is the winner!!

When he phoned to ask if he could please still enter, even though he was a day late (yes, that really did happen! I was quietly ecstatic about his enthusiasm for my blog :)), I knew we were in for a great story. Something clever and witty and entertaining. Something very much like this man. He is Stuart's Dad, and a wonderful storyteller.

My favourite thing about him? Well, I love that he gifted Stuart with a great general knowledge (which he in turn has shared with me over the years- I think I've learnt more about history and geography in my married life than I ever did at school), a free and easy childhood complete with lots overseas travel, and a self-confidence to get out there and have a go which has really blessed Stuart over the years. But my most favourite thing about Dad Fern is the way he shows his support and love for us as a young family. He is always saying something encouraging about our children, or our home or marriage or our life in general that just helps us feel like we're doing something right. :) It's great to have parental support and encouragement- I just value that so much! SO. With no further ado, I will now share with you the wonderful winning answer to the burning question..............

"How DID William get his black eye?"


Grand dad, Papa Stuart, Elijah and William decided to go on a long sea voyage. This was meant to be a home schooling excursion to visit the ancient historical sites of Troy, the plains of Marathon, Thermopylae, Rhodes, Crete and others. The voyage was also a male bonding trip so Saraya stayed behind to look after Saminda.

The Four Fern boys loved sailing Grand dad's boat "JAG" up the coast; past the Great Barrier Reef where they watched the whales and dolphins frolicing in the water; through the Torres Strait admiring the large sea turtles as they surfaced to breathe; then westward they sailed into the vast, lonely expanse of the Indian Ocean. As the happy crew sailed into the Gulf of Aden, they knew their outward journey was nearing its end. They only had to sail up the Red Sea, past the place where Moses led the Israelites safely across to the promised land and they would be in the Mediterranean Sea where there were wonderful things to see and do.

The serenity of sailing speedily across a glistening sea was shattered by the roar of a powerful engine as an unknown boat pulled alongside. Somali pirates were swooping onboard. Grand Dad drew his naval officers sword and handed his midshipman's dirk to Elijah. Elijah and Grand Dad thrust and parried and gradually pushed the pirates back to their own boat. The leader of the pirates did not want to see his henchmen defeated, so, armed with a long curved knife, a pistol in his belt and a machine gun in his hand he leapt onto the deck of "JAG" and declared "I AM THE PIRATE KING!"

Stuart had been oblivious to the sound of battle as he was playing internet war games with his distant friends, but the pirate king's declaration made him think he was back at Savoyards Theatre so he emerged gracefully from the cabin singing "HURRAH FOR THE PIRATE KING, HURRAH FOR THE PIRATE KING, IT IS IT IS A GLORIOUS THING TO BE A PIRATE KING." An icy, withering glare from the pirate king was sufficient to send Stuart slithering back through the hatch where he scurried off to a far corner quivering in fear. Afterall, it is well known that Stuart is a cowardly lion.

William, seeing Grand Dad and Elijah were no match for the heavily armed pirate king, threw himself bravely into the fray. History records many brave charges such as Marshall Ney's cavalry charge against the Duke of Wellington's troops at Waterloo, Colonel George Armstrong Custer's charge at the Little Big Horn and charge of the Light Brigade against the Russian guns during the Crimean War. None of these compare with the selfless bravery of William against the pirate king.

At full pace William charged and reaching up at high as he could, headbutted the pirate king's knee. William may have suffered a black eye but the pirate king suffered a humiliating defeat. In attempting to avoid further onslaught from William, he leapt backwards and fell into the water. Weighed down by all his weapons, he would have drowned but for his pirate crew grabbing him by the collar and pulling him onto their boat. They fled into the distance not wanting to incur any further wrath of the Fern boys.

Stuart the cowardly lion slinked from the cabin full of praise for William's bravery. "Only if I had such courage, I could be King of the Jungle", said Stuart. William's wounded eye was like a noble badge of courage, earned for great bravery in protecting others. All the other Fern boys then sang "HURRAH FOR WILLIAM, IT IS IT IS A GLORIOUS THING TO BEAT THE PIRATE KING".

Then off they sailed to enjoy their home school excursion hoping not to meet any more pirates on the way home.

Oh, and if you want to know the actual thing that happened - Will fell down our 3 back steps. But it's a lot more fun to think of him head-butting a pirate king!! Thanks for reading!

Thursday, June 4, 2009


While Stuart was at the movies tonight I settled the children then spent an hour reading the story of a sweet little boy named Jonah.  I have cried and prayed and feel like I have been on an emotional rollercoaster as I read this family's journey.  I know there are lots and lots of babies who need prayer, but my heart is really breaking for this sweet little guy tonight.  His life so far has been so difficult.  Things just don't make sense sometimes.

If you have the time or interest, click on Jonah's button on my sidebar to 'meet him', and join me in prayer for his continued growth and health.  I know God's strength and love and provision can overcome all the sorrows of this earthly life - including Jonah's. 

Our morning

Our morning thus far.....

I have fed, washed and dressed myself and the children, and fed the chickens.  Made beds, brushed 3 lots of hair and 4 lots of teeth. :)  Tidied up a bit.  Put on a load of washing.

I have read a few stories to Elijah and worked on handwriting and subtraction with Saraya.  We have played with William, and the two older children have also played with a big tub of split peas (works like sand, just cleaner!) and little animals and cars/diggers.

Right now everyone's eating apples and sultanas and watching a program about growing / harvesting / using apples!  After this is a great music program which the children love........ we'll follow this up by playing a few music games and singing some action songs / playing instruments, then onto some more housework and reading before lunch.  Geography this afternoon. :)

Sorry this isn't really very interesting.... I just felt like writing something ........ I get like this sometimes!!  Oooo, I need to say that dance class was SO great last night - I am finally feeling like I am 'getting' the choreography after 5 weeks of work!  After working through the dance a few times we did it full fledge with the music just before we came home- and I can only describe it as an adrenelin rush!!!!  I got it!!  I did it!!!  I LOVED it, and came home on such a high!
Back to reality today. :)  I still have the 'dance energy' running through me though- very helpful! And so nice to have a little break and some couple time doing something we are learning to love, every Wednesday.  

I have loved reading through everyone's comments on my last post. :)  Don't forget to add your bit if you haven't already!

Hope everyone's having a great day!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Time for some creativity!

Okay my lovely bloggy friends, it is time for you to explore your creative side.  I know you can do it!

I regret to say that Andrew's recent observation that William looked as though he had a black eye was correct. :(  Yes indeed, something did happen to cause that sore puffy eye............ something happened.  Am I going to tell you what that something was?  Well, yes.  But not yet.  (And those who know - 'sshhhhhhh!!!').

First, I want YOU to come up with an interesting / far-fetched / hilarious / serious or not-so-serious description of what may have happened.  I will then choose my favourite, post it onto my blog, mention your name (of course) and share with my readers my most favourite thing about YOU.  :0)  To make you feel good, for making the effort and all.  :)

SO - get creative!!!!

How did my sweet little William get his black eye?????  

Contest closes midnight Thursday 4th June.  :)


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