Monday, January 31, 2011

Sunday at the Park

Stuart had some work to do yesterday afternoon, so I decided to take the children to the lagoon in town to visit the playground and the wildlife. It was too beautiful an afternoon to stay indoors!

Cool and refreshing (and messy) water and sand play...

We took bread to feed the ducks...

How sweet to spend our Sabbath afternoon surrounded by peace and beauty.

I love this photo of my two eldest sitting and marvelling over the black swans. :)

William and I returned to the lagoon this morning after his swimming lesson. It is about a 45 minute circuit to walk around, which is excellent for me. ;) He sat in his stroller and enjoyed the view while I pounded the pavement. More about exercise / health etc. in a later post this week. Lots to share!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

My Baby's First Day of Kindy

He was so brave, so excited with his big beaming smile and big blue eyes.

He insisted on carrying his backpack all by himself.

He took to easel painting like a fish to water...


I slipped out, and did my day alone. It was full. Of phone calls and errands and housework and music teaching. I missed my baby. When he gets home soon with his big brother and sister and his Papa, I cannot wait to cuddle and kiss him! I am so looking forward to hearing all about his adventures at kindy.

Praising God for the courage to let go today, to trust, to breathe, and to rest in His love and provision for my son.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Australia Day!

Today is a public holiday. I love how it splits our first week back at school nicely in half!

Today we celebrate our nation. Australia is a wonderful place to live. It is a safe country, a very relaxed one at that. :) We are surrounded by beauty and a great climate for camping and swimming and beaching and outdoor activities in general. Though a little hot in summer!

Today we are home; Stuart is taking care of the land - 6 hours of mowing :( - and I am working with the kids indoors, sorting toys and cleaning.

But. In exactly one hour we are stopping everything, and sitting on our verandah to enjoy "Happy Hour" - a very Aussie time of day - with cold drinks and some nibblies. I can't wait. :D

Happy Australia Day to all my Aussie friends! And to my overseas readers - come visit our beautiful, laid back land someday will you? We'd love to see you!

Monday, January 24, 2011

First Day of School 2011


She is delighted with school! She adores her teacher, and has already made a couple of friends. She got to do craft and other fun activities ("we are having a whole week of that Mama!"), ate all her lunch, got to read her own book from home during their afternoon "rest time" (big floor cushions and everything, hooray!), then finished her book after a celebratory afternoon tea once we got home. Fruit cake, watermelon and strawberries. We chatted in bed tonight about why boys are often silly about girls. I imagine this won't be the last time we talk about this! Anyway, she's gone to sleep one happy girl. :)


Elijah surprised me this morning by being up at 6:15am, and standing by the door, fully clothed, all chores done, backpack on his back, by 6:45am! It was a long wait for him until it was time to go. :) He enjoyed his first day, popping his bag in his locker, sitting on the carpet with Mr Fern and all the kids and getting stuck into some play. He says he didn't talk to any other children, so I'm praying he will make some friends soon. He's such a quiet little boy, but I think school will ease him out of his shell a little more. His favourite time of the day today was Music Class. :)


Today was the first day ever that William and I have spent alone together. He enjoyed playing at Prep this morning, but was happy enough to head off with me into town. We went to his swimming lesson, dropped some forms off at his kindy (and had a little visit!), delivered some mail, picked up a second pair of school shorts for Saraya, had sandwiches at a cafe in town, did the grocery shopping and came home. We barely had time to unpack and hang some washing before heading out to pick the kids up!! Tomorrow will be quieter. :) He is delightful company and I know we will treasure this time together.

Thanks so much to you all for your encouragement and support during this time of change. It's been challenging, that's for sure. None of our children have ever been to child care, day care, kindergarten, preschool, or Prep before. Saraya did a year of grade 1 and a term of grade 2, but that is all we've encountered before in the way of out of home care.

One of the big upsides for me is that Thursdays and Fridays (Will's kindy days) will be my first real break from full time mothering in 8 and a half years.

I must admit, I'm excited!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Thankful For This Man

Today, as we simply spent time together at home and at the park, I marvelled at how much I truly love my husband.

He is such a devoted and kind man.

He always makes time for little William, even when he is being his most demanding self. "Play with me Papa!"

And he is so much fun to be around!

All the best to all the little ones (and their Mama's) who are going off to school tomorrow. Mine are asleep early, good food in their bellies, uniforms laid out ready. May tomorrow be filled with wonder, excitement, and new beginnings.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Thank You

Thank you all for your encouraging thoughts this past week. I have savoured and appreciated every single word. :)

We are having a happy weekend. A little singing lesson for both Stuart and I with our Music Man vocal coach this morning, then an afternoon spent in play and relaxation, a bit of exercise here and there, and a movie night tonight with our little princess. We watched The Little Princess! Such a story of imagination, of courage and bravery, of determination. Saraya was inspired. :)

We had a delightful afternoon at the children's school yesterday. The school invited all the students to come and meet their teachers, pop their books into their desks (all that covering and labelling is finally at an end, hoorah!), and just hang out for a little while with one another. Saraya met her new teacher and already adores her. She is kind, gentle, softly spoken, interested, enthusiastic about teaching, calm......... everything I could have hoped for. Saraya's class just happens to have 16 girls and only 7 boys, so she is sure she will find a few kindred spirit friends among all those girls! Elijah and William played in the Prep room with lots of Preppies and the dashing Prep teacher ;) (for new readers, he is my husband.) Elijah is still feeling a little overwhelmed, but I trust that once the year gets under way and routines established, friendships formed, new things learned (he is just dying to read!), he will be happier.

My babies are growing up. I am going to be brave and begin to release them a little. I will pray, and watch, and listen, and be there for them every single day in all the ways I can. I am accepting this new season.

It's a wonderful life.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Reflection and Confessions

May I tell you something, my dear readers? I have been thinking and reflecting a lot about my last post. Being very honest with you, it was hard to put all of that out there to you. I am still processing the decisions we have made regarding the children's schooling this year. I haven't yet fully moved passed the guilt.

Yes, I am feeling guilty about putting them in school, and William in day care 2 days a week. For the past 10 years (even before our first baby was born) we have fully believed in and advocated homeschooling and full time mothering. I now know from personal experience that all of these choices can and do change as you monitor the progress of your family, and the development of each child. For us, this year, we firmly believe it to be the best decision for our family. And yet I still struggle with feelings of guilt. Like I'm not being the best Mama to them that I ought to be.

Why is this?

Another question for you.......... If all our children end up in school for the next several years, or all the way through to senior, what do I do? Stuart says he is happy for me to stay home, part-time music teaching and homemaking, being there for our children after school, keeping our home peaceful and running smoothly.

I am so thankful for this. My only concern is "what will people think of me?" What if they think I ought to be working outside the home? And there is the consideration of being able to contribute financially to the household etc. I know it doesn't matter what people think. And really, a decision about this doesn't need to be made at this time. :) I guess I'm just thinking ahead of myself, wondering, pondering thoughts and searching for answers.

I do so love being with my children. I am afraid if I start to search for a new career, pursue new studies, etc. that my attentions will transfer too far out of the home and it will be difficult to care properly for my family while the children are small. Can anyone relate to this? When they are older, perhaps it will feel more right to do these things.

The other day we watched the movie "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" and then sat and did some drawing together. I am soaking up these last days of all of us being home together, all the time.

Saraya's beautiful work - the flying Chitty Bang Bang and the house and invention room below.

I did a little sketching which Saraya coloured in.

William drew this one! I was amazed by his form here. :)

Elijah's "Funny hand men with ears". ;) He deviated from the topic a little!

This little man has fully embraced the idea of going to Prep. He will be almost a year older than many of the children in his class - but I don't mind that one bit. :) Look what he did yesterday:

I told him the letters a few at a time from the kitchen, and he wrote out "Welcome Saminda" on the verandah in chalk. Wow!

And this big girl? Well, as long as she has books in her hands she is happy. :)

We visited the library yesterday. She has gobbled up two of these stories already.

I know there won't be as much time for this once school starts. But I have to believe that the months and months of time reading she had last year will help her in her studies at school - and in life in general.

And I will do everything I can to make sure she still gets plenty of free time to keep exploring stories and adventures.

Please friends, I would appreciate any of your ideas / thoughts / opinions on all of the above. I guess I'm after some encouragement. I feel a bit lost "leaving" the beautiful homeschooling community I have been part of the past few years (both real life and online) - despite the fact that we are doing school, I will still parent with very much a homeschool mentality. I'm sure some of you understand what I mean.

Thanks, once again, for listening to my rambles. :)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

My Life Now

Sorry I've been a slack blogger lately. Life has been very full of wonderful summer holiday things! With the flood seemingly over and behind us, lots of other things have been keeping us busy.

We've had trips to the pool and the water park and the indoor playcentre, we've been school shoe shopping and school book covering, pencil labelling, etc. - and I even had a spontaneous trip by train last weekend for my little brother's engagement party! We are meant to be travelling to the city again next weekend to see the musical Wicked, but it may be cancelled due to the recent flooding. We know up until the Friday night performance is cancelled - but Saturday is still yet to be announced. I'm not giving up hope yet!

The children start school next week so we've been talking lots about that, praying, preparing, etc. I think we're all feeling a combination of excitement and nerves.

But mostly my life right now has been full of this:

Remember this post? Well, Marian is slowing entering my subconscious as I learn all my lines and music and try to get my head fully around this rather complex character!

Our first rehearsal was on Monday night. The whole cast was together for the first time and we worked on a chorus number. I'm not in many of the chorus scenes, so won't be required Monday nights again for the next few weeks. Wednesday nights are Principal rehearsals (SO excited for tonight!), and Saturday mornings are purely singing with our vocal coach for the show. I've had to shift three of my own piano students to lesson times through the week. Life is certainly going to be full for awhile. Once we get into February and March, rehearsals will be Monday and Wednesday nights, plus Saturdays and Sunday afternoons. Final couple of weeks before we open we need to be available to go in every night of the week. Eeek! With no family in town, this is an enormous challenge for me. Thankfully Stuart and I can tag-team quite a bit as we're mostly in different scenes - but once we start doing full runs of the show, our wonderful babysitter Hayley and a couple of special friends will be caring for our little ones at night time. It will be a whole team effort! :)

I am so excited about this opportunity, and am going to be working very hard to ensure life stays as calm and smooth for the children as possible for the next 8 weeks........ until it's all over. Theatre is my passion, and it's so good for my spirit to be working on a project like this one. While the children are at school, William and I will be busy keeping all the cogs of home life turning. :) And he will be in care two days a week in a fantastic day care centre here in town. He is calling it "Kindy" and is beyond excited about going! We went to visit last week and I just feel a huge sense of peace about it. I will use that time for piano teaching (I've got three, maybe four students to fit in on weekday afternoons), housework, cooking, appointments, shopping, singing practice, exercise, etc etc. And maybe a bit of rest here and there. ;)

Last year was quite a harrowing year in many ways. Health problems were the main concern. Then there were issues within our family - things that just weren't working well. We are all feeling quietly hopeful that 2011 will be a year of balance for all of us. Balance for good physical and mental health, balance of work and play and rest. Balance of time at home and time 'out in the world'. :) Time to read and time to delve into scripture, intentional time for prayer and spiritual growth. I just want to draw closer to my Saviour this year and trust and rely on Him more than ever before.

Wishing you all a balanced, happy and healthy year too my friends! Oh, and thank you for listening to my rambles.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Absolute Truth

Thank you Amy for the link.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


The water is receding. Praise God!

I went out at sunset to sweep the verandah and feed the cats their dinner and lock up the chooks. Peace seemed to be reigning in my garden tonight.

Molly had moved into the downstairs floor of the dollhouse outside!

The sky still looked a little foreboding.... but no rain, huzzah.

The chooks were clucking and grazing before bed.

And my sweet pixie of a girl was sitting watching the sky.


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Helping Hands

A section of our town remains cut off by the still swollen river, and we had heard supplies were running low over there.

Stuart put out a call on facebook a few nights ago, and also contacted the SES workers to see if we could rally together some care packages from our side of the river and send them over. The SES volunteers were just wonderful, offering to take over whatever we brought down to them.

Well, the response was amazing!! Many many people contributed bread, milk, tinned food, nappies, formula, toilet paper - all the essentials! A local butcher also brought a fridge load of fresh meat which was wonderful. Stuart went over with the first load (yes, there were several) to make sure it got safely to the emergency relief centre over there. I believe the goods were all locked up last night, and today authorities and volunteers have worked tirelessly to distribute it to those in need within that community, and to some outlying communities which were even more desperate.

Saraya worked hard taping boxers up ready to cross the water.

Then joined lots of friends in the park while we waited for Stuart's return.

Most of the park is still underwater! The levels had receded, but are rising again today due to continued rainfall this week.

And Stuart came back to us safely!

Despite the horrific tragedy our state has faced / is still facing this week, it is wonderful to see people helping each other out. It was nice to be part of that spirit yesterday. :) Thank you all for your prayers - they are much appreciated.


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