Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Hmmmm, this new blog background is very pink! I don't think I'll keep it for long. But it's nice to have a change. :) And speaking of pink, no I didn't give Michael the pink sash Ann!! His fiance turned 21 a few weeks ago, and it was hers. He didn't keep it on for long. ;)

Today has been nice so far. Tuesday is our town morning - Mainly Music and grocery shopping. I like having a home day followed by a town day, and so on. Balance is a great thing!

We've just had lunch and I'm sitting down for a breather while the children are into a game outside. Saraya has just washed some of her dolly clothes (again...), and now the children are set on capturing a little toad they have found and setting up a home for it! How to drag them inside for story time..?! It is nice they are so happy to play outdoors. They would do it all day if I let them. It hasn't always been this way, so I really really appreciate it!

Tonight I am excited to be joining a group of ladies who meet fortnightly for dessert, conversation and Bible study. It's run by a really sweet friend, and I'm quite looking forward to it. I haven't been part of a study group for about a year now, and I'm definitely due for one. :) It's always a pleasure to go out in the evening after a long day at home too!

Yesterday was a brilliant day because I purchased our Brisbane tickets for Wicked!!!!! :D Only 179 sleeps to go, apparently, according to a friend of mine who is going the same night as us. ;)

Now off to round up these kiddlies. I can no longer hear them, so they have ventured far! Time for rests, then the rest of the grocery unpacking, and some singing practice for Saraya and I, and more outdoor play before winding down with baths and dinner. Have a great Tuesday everyone.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Michael's 21st Birthday

Happy Birthday baby brother!!!!!

Hang on, when did you get so much bigger than me??!

And when did you become such a clown?

Wait, you've always been a clown!! Laughing with you has always been fantastic!

The food and drink and company was fantastic. :)

And we got to see some extended family we hadn't see in a long time!


........ and Michael with his beautiful fiance (he proposed 1 week ago!) Monica.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Dot Points

* I am feeling much much better than I was a week or so ago. So much has been going on..... I just needed to pray, to slow down, to have some good talks with my husband, and things are feeling better. Not health-wise (we've all been sick!), but spiritually and emotionally better.

* Homeschooling has been slow and steady this week. We did a huge maths component, some science and a whole lot of reading. Saraya hasn't been well, so we've been resting a lot too. We watched Mary Poppins. Again. ;)

* In our reading piles: I am reading The Secret Garden (unabridged) to the children and we are all LOVING it. The children know the musical well, and so the story is familiar to them already. It is beautifully written and I would highly recommend it. Stuart may be starting The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe with them next week. Eek! They are growing up so fast. And I am re-reading Wuthering Heights (for myself), one of my favourite classics. Next on my pile is Atonement by Ian McEwan. Stuart is re-reading The Silmarillion by Tolkien.

* My little brother turns 21 today!!! We are off to his party tonight. He also announced last Sunday that he and his girlfriend are engaged! They have been friends since they were 11 - she is absolutely lovely. Very exciting. :)

* Stuart's big sister had a baby this week also, baby Ezra. Hooray for another nephew to love!

* Piano teaching is going so well, I am going to take on a couple more students. Lots of positive feedback from the children, they seem to be enjoying themselves which makes me very happy.

* Eisteddfod planning commences in earnest on Monday. We have 5 songs to get polished and costumes to organise before the 2nd of August!

* Our kittens Molly and Slinky Malinki are growing so much, and are so loved. I feel very blessed to have them in our family. :) Great decision.

* The garden is sorely neglected lately, though potatoes seem to be doing very well - hopefully there are some developing below all that mulch..... The tops look great!

* My dear friend Kate left last night for Victoria. :( Parting was hard, but I pray the time away will be wonderful for her. And we do get to look after her car while she is gone (could be 6 weeks, could be 6 months....) which is a little bonus! It will be such a help to have a 2nd vehicle.

I need to go pack. Will hopefully have some nice family photos to put up next week. Have a great weekend everyone. xx

Friday, July 16, 2010

Us This Week

It has been cold. William and I have had a flu. Lots of post-production stuff to do with the Gala Concert has kept us very occupied. Meetings, phone calls, emails, letters. Stuart has gone back to work. I have spent time with friends. The children and I have visited the library and read lots and lots of books. We have chewed through a few more Firefly episodes with Kate (trying to get through all 14 before she leaves next week!). I have missed my family. I have struggled with lots of things. The kids and I have had an extra week of holidays. We will commence homeschooling formally again next week. I have cooked lots of soup, with lots of garlic. :)

And today, with me with fevers and a cough and very little endurance, we rested.

I actually slept in bed while the children played and watched a DVD and drew and coloured in and dressed up. They were amazingly helpful, praise God! And then we sat outside on a rug in the warm winter sunshine and had a picnic. And they had milos and I had tea. More tea.

And the sun warmed me. And Kate texted me to tell me she had just bought me a hot water bottle. Because she knows I am constantly cold through winter (if you don't know, I am an absolute frog!). And I cried. Again. For this thoughtful, wonderful friend, leaving.

And then I looked upon the little hand clutching my pyjama pants (in which I stayed all day today), and felt better.

The crusty face of my littlest son grinning at me.

My big girl, my responsible, mother-hen daughter, running her way through her day. This girl amazes me.
My big boy, my soft boy, by my side.

He is so loving. I am so blessed.

The wood ducks on the lawn. The sun overhead. The gum trees. The birds. The kittens at our feet.

He cares so much. He is faithful. Through the long days. Through the flus. Through all the unknowns. I cling to this. I cling and I trust and I hope and I listen.

So, that's us this week.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Annie Orphan Photo!

Act 2 of Saturday's Gala Concert was a series of medleys, celebrating / representing the six musicals which have been performed at the Brolga Theatre over the past 10 years. One of them was Annie. And Saraya was cast as the littlest orphan, "Molly" - whom her kitten is named after!!! Needless to say, she was SO happy and enjoyed every minute.

Here is a photo of the six orphans in the wings (minus Annie, not sure where she was when this was taken), with Saraya in the front. Isn't she gorgeous?! I know I'm biased and all. But she was so encouraged by lots of positive comments regarding her singing voice and facial expressions on the day. :) So onwards and upwards for Saraya! I can't wait to see what's coming her way.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Oh My.........

I feel a catch-up is in order!! My blog has been sorely neglected lately; so much has been going on here that I simply haven't made the time to fit in blogging as well. Today is the last day of the school holidays, and Stuart has kindly taken the children out for a little while. So while I have a chance, I'll do a quick catch-up!

* Yesterday / last night was our local theatre's 10th anniversary Gala Concert, for which our family has been rehearsing for many weeks. After much time and energy singing, staging, costuming and driving hither and thither, it's all over.

In some ways, it was a success despite extremely limited rehearsal time. In other ways, it was a total disaster. :) I'm not going to go into it here..... but suffice to say there were MAJOR issues with the sound (microphones primarily) which made it very difficult both for the performers and the audience. Quite devastating after all the effort the cast had put in to this show!!!! I am still reeling. But. Lots of positive and encouraging feedback despite all odds. And amazingly, I still enjoyed myself. And it was a blast to have our whole family on the stage together - yes, even the children were involved!! :D

* My parents came along to watch, and met us in the foyer with these beautiful gerberas - all individually wrapped, one for each of us. So sweet! Mum did take a few photos too, so I'll get them from her sometime soon and put them up.

* The time I spent away in Brisbane has given me an amazing new perspective - God is really helping me deal with my self-induced guilt over ever doing anything for myself! I've lived with it for years and He is showing me it's unnecessary and time to change. Hooray!!! So I am really trying hard. I am sitting down more often despite mess around me, am taking the pressure off with cooking everything from scratch during busy seasons (like lately), and truly taking more time out just for me. These holidays have been pretty wonderful, and I'm already starting to feel better.

* I have a new plan for homeschooling this term which I am hoping will make things smoother for both Saraya and I. Will share more in another post.

* Eisteddfod planning begins this week! Only 3 weeks to go. I am entering 2 solos and 2 duets (hopefully), Stuart is singing a solo and duet (with me :)), and Saraya is in for 2 solos. This will be her first Eisteddfod so it's very exciting.

* It's now Monday as I didn't finish this yesterday - see what I mean?!! I just can't seem to fit blogging in at the moment..... We are still resting today, unpacking bags from our busy theatre weekend (lots of banana peels, and makeup.... ;)), and cleaning my very neglected house. I can't stand mess and dirty floors - hopefully by tonight all will be back to normal! Homeschooling will begin more formally again tomorrow. Saraya and I will sit down shortly and work on our plans for this term.

* Piano teaching starts up again this Saturday. I'm looking forward to seeing my little students.

And that will do for a catch-up for now! I haven't even been consistently reading blogs lately, but will endeavour to do so more as life settles down again. If it does. ;)

All in all, things are going well here. My clouds of recent depression seem to be lifting, and as a dear friend said to me "Be proactive about changing the things you have some control over, and leave the rest up to God. Just trust Him with the rest of it." So that's what I'm aiming for. :)

Blessings to everyone! xx

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Surprise Parcels!

I mentioned recently that during a blue week I was having, we received a beautiful package in the mail. There were in fact 2 packages which arrived a few days apart. Sweet Amy, whom I have never met but have been online friends with for about a year now, sent us lots of bits and pieces from her home in Montana.

My children LOVE getting mail of any kind, but an overseas parcel? Well that's enough to send them ecstatic!

We have especially enjoyed the books you sent Amy, as well as the delicious Barbeque sauce! Oh, and I love my vanilla candle. It gets lit at least once a day. :) Thanks so much again for your heartfelt generosity in this package, your prayers and your friendship!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Home Safe and Sound

2 wonderful days away. Lots and lots and lots of laughing. And definitely some crying too. :) And praying. It was absolute therapy for me, this little time away. Just what I needed. And time with Kate is always a blessing. She is a wonderful friend.

We spent a day in Brisbane city with Kate's friend Jane, had lunch at Southbank (see the size of that beer?!?! I hadn't even had a beer in a couple of years.... and didn't quite make it through this one, though it tasted great!) and caught the Citycat (a very fast water taxi) to New Farm Park. There we drank coffee and sat among the roses in the gardens and talked...... lovely.

Tuesday we headed to Boonah to visit some of Kate's family, truly beautiful people. And we had a long drive home that night during which time we talked (some more ;)) and sang our hearts out to the Wicked soundtrack (to which I am still chronically obsessed), many times over.

I feel like I need to do this more often! Not just want to, but need to. I felt so rejuvenated coming home... and Stuart did such a great job here. The children were happy to see me, and I was happy to see them. All round, an excellent experience!!!

And now we are on school holidays until the end of next week. Stu has some work to do for school (as always..), but we're getting some stuff done on the home front as well. And the children are loving having their Papa around. :)

I will be thinking lots about how to manage things better next term, avoiding the burnout I started to experience last term. I'm looking forward to getting some ideas on paper. I'm such a list lover!

Hope everyone's week has been a happy one.


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