Sunday, 26 July 2015


Last time I wrote it was about our school holidays.

The final day we sussed out a new church, which conveniently is not only local, but Lutheran which is my family's denomination. You could be wondering why we hadn't been there before (which would be a good question). Mostly when we go to church we go with my mum, but her church is 40 minutes away. I have been meaning to find one closer to home for about 8 years (I am a fabulous procrastinator).

The girls came home from camp excited about a church near us with a youth group where some of their friends go. Perfect!

The sermon last Sunday was on the importance of compassion for others, but also about looking after yourself. The need to take holidays and not burn yourself out was also mentioned. Sold! It just felt right.

And it was one of those moments where the message just came at the right time.

Last week was pretty ordinary. Not awful, but tiring and definitely not the best week ever.

DB when to take Buglet to get her learner drivers license. We couldn't find her passport.

This lead to us having a big fight. Not really surprisingly in the circumstances.

I hurt my back. Two trips to the chiro has helped, but is not how you want to be spending your money the week before you go on holidays.

Work was insane. When I booked the trip I was booking around the girls' school and my monthly meeting cycle. I totally forgot about the mid-year insanity. I have no idea how. I've only been there for 10 years.

Monday I broke my phone. This means only very limited access as I have borrowed the Pixie's phone and it just doesn't support much.

I was very sad about the phone. I had been looking forward to being able to take lots of good photos, not to mention I won't have access to my audio book, fitbit syncing, or farmheroes for the trip. You know what, its all about priorities.

But you know what, I have been reminded none of it matters. Tink basically said toughen up and I can listen to a movie on their laptops if I need to (although she did relent and put audible on her ipad for me). She may get this very sympathetic attitude from her mother. Admittedly her father is not much better. The Monkey Butler lent me a camera.

More importantly, I realised that no having constant access to social media can only be a good thing for spending quality time with the children. I am not sure how the children feel about this. I will let you know.

I need time out, and I refuse to let the little things ruin a long awaited holiday. We have worked too hard to get here.

Convenient picture of lemonade.
We took it as part of our alphabet adventures.

Plus it is a good time to practise what I preach .... taking those lemons and turning them into lemonade.

Look out Bali ..... we are on our way!!!

  • It is doubtful I am qualified to give parenting advice, there is still time for me to stuff up.
  • I am writing this at the airport, so it may not make any sense!
  • We probably shouldn't be trusted with breakable things.
  • I am not even allowed to give legal advice without supervision.
I would recommend finding more reliable sources for any advice of any nature.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Time together and time apart

School went back today.

These school holidays went from one extreme to another.

We spent the first weekend of school holidays heading south. Firstly to Bridgetown to visit the lovely Lela and my God-children, and to attend the Winter Wonderland.

Pixie on a log
We went for an early morning walk to tire her out before the drive.

There is a saying, "friends are the family you choose for yourself" and I love this part of my family. I love that our children love hanging out together, even though half of them are teenagers. I love that this is a friend I can discuss anything with. I love that we have so much fun planning for adventures that are just us as as adults, as well as our lives as parents.

Our babies are getting big though. I realised I have hit a new stage of my life when I realise I was being addressed as "Auntie" by a person a good head taller than me and with a man's voice. I should note here that I am still taller than my girls and than all my sisters, and my brother wasn't quite 14 when he died so this is a new experience for me!

Lela and I had discussed going to the pub for a quiet drink after the family festival was over. We both discussed with our eldest children if they would mind babysitting the little ones for an hour. Not only was everyone agreeable we were strongly encouraged to go out; they had plans for at home that didn't include us. Don't worry, the children were responsible - we were told "be home before midnight and don't bring home any boys". Yes. Seriously. (Don't blame Lela's parenting, that was one of my girls!).

We ended up deciding a pyjama party in Lela's room would be more fun and that way we didn't have to worry about curfews.

Tink, Nanna, and Pixie at Augusta

The next day the girls and went to Augusta to spend time with the girls' great-grandparents (DB's grandparents). I haven't been down in a very long time, and I am so, so glad we went. The time spent with them is very precious.

We taught Nanna how to play a new card game, I was given a massive pile of books, and Pixie and Nanna informed me that it was tradition for her to buy them scratchies. Pixie won $106 so I can't see me winning the argument about vetoing this tradition any time soon!

After that, the girls spent 4 nights at a church camp (which coincidentally was at a Scout campsite were DB basically spent his formative years, and which is one of my most favourite places ever), they then spent two nights at J's, followed by a the rest of the school holidays all over the place at sleepovers, with DB, and the odd one or two nights at home.

Lutheran Youth at the Scout Campsite
When your worlds collide

It felt like so long since I have seen them ... this is the conversation the Pixie and I had last night in an evening cuddle .....
"Did you miss me or just your puppy?"
"60 40"
"Aww ... hang on ..... Am I the 60 or the 40?
"The 40. That's still pretty good .... and I missed the Sisters 11 percent"
"You know that doesn't add up to 100?"
"Who said it has to add up to 100? It is adding up to 111?"
"What about the kitten?"
stressed silence
"Or is she one of the Sisters?"
"She is one of the Sisters .... wait ... that's mean .... I missed my puppy 60%, you 30%, the Cattern 7%, and the Sisters 3%."

Dancers in the nightclub window
(Not me) It was very cool.
It got to the point where one friend asked if I had sold them because I had had so much childfree time. I am pretty sure I have been out more in the last 10 days than I have in the last 10 months. Friday night I was so tired that Buglet took one look at me, told me she would sort herself out for dinner (the other two were out), and sent me to bed. I slept for 12 hours. Maybe I am not cut out to be a party animal?

My guard puppy.
Pixie: I took a photo, Mama, cos you two were just so cute
The bonus of this is that it means I have been missing them. This is convenient considering we are about to spend a week, just the four of us, on our first overseas family holiday. 4.5 sleeps to go! (Ok, technically it is 5, but I am working on the theory that we won't sleep much Saturday night so that makes it half a night).

PS there should have been a lot more photos with this post, but I have cleverly managed to break my phone. If you want to see more, check us out on Instagram.

  • It is doubtful I am qualified to give parenting advice, there is still time for me to stuff up.
  • I would not take maths advice from the Pixie.
  • We probably shouldn't be trusted with breakable things.
  • I am not even allowed to give legal advice without supervision.
I would recommend finding more reliable sources for any advice of any nature.

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Party of Twelve

Just in case you missed my last post, it was the Pixie's birthday last week. Much celebrations were to be had. We do like celebrating.

In the midst of the celebrations, I took a few little moments to reflect on the crazy collection of people that make up my family.

The day after Pixie's birthday we went to visit DB for dinner. Never let it be said that we cannot make our own amusement. When I was little my mum told me only boring people get bored, and I have refused to be bored ever since*.

Other people might make drives less stressful by making them shorter. Not us. We amused ourselves on the drive to DB's work (about 90 minutes away) by making it longer. To be fair it wasn't so much the driving that took longer but the random stops to take pictures for our Alphabet Photograph Scavenger Hunt.

Buglet also decided that she was going make as many dad jokes as possible. Her father thought this was a great idea. I was much less convinced. Sadly, I can't share any of them with you because the whole experience was too traumatising to remember.

The only one I have remembered from the day was Buglet telling off someone for turning off the fans before she had finished dancing because "I like to perform for my fans".

I will pause here for a minute while you finish groaning.

Pirate socks - I was watching Buglet and Pixie do a pirate dance.
You can tell they are my feet because the socks match.

*Side note: I tried that line on the girls when they were little. It didn't work so well. Pixie cried for about an hour because "You said I was boring, Mama. I can't help being bored. Now you think I am boring". In my defence, that was not the intention. But you have been warned - use this line at your own risk.

Sunday night we had dinner with my family. We went to dinner at Sizzlers (all you can eat buffet type place for those of you who may not have heard of it).

I always tease the girls for only eating yellow stuff when they go to Sizzlers. At least until they get to the dessert.

A perfectly coloured meal - if you are a member of my family.

There were 12 of us at dinner that night. Mum, three sisters, two brothers-in-law, two nieflings, plus us. Every single person's first course was shades of brown, yellow, and beige. (Me included. Mum and I were having pumpkin soup; not a variation of pasta, potato, corn or cheese!). Tink insists that she had red bits so she was different. One BIL insisted on going to get green stuff when he heard me teasing so I don't think that counts. Did I mention that I am the oldest?

My family. The perfect example of how nurture wins over nature.

Sharing this photo because this beanie makes me laugh.

PS the alternative title for this post (in case anyone was wondering after my recent musings about blog titles) was "50 Shades of Beige", but I just couldn't bring myself to write about my family with "50 Shades" in the heading!

  • It is doubtful I am qualified to give parenting advice, there is still time for me to stuff up.
  • I would not take road trip directions from me.
  • I am not qualified to give nutrition advice.
  • I am not even allowed to give legal advice without supervision.
I would recommend finding more reliable sources for any advice of any nature.