Little Rays of Sunshine

After a harrowing week with Sophie’s epilepsy, the arrival of our newest family member, Laura, was like a ray of sunlight. David is no longer the baby/youngest of the family! Not only our lonely horse, Moony is happy, the kids are very much in love with her. She’s like a little puppy, wanting to follow you everywhere, coming for cuddles, splashing through the waterholes. In another years time, breaking her in will be easy.
 More bananas!
 Splashes of colour throughout the garden, such mood improvers!
 Pretty peas

 Zucchini overload coming up

Having a break at the river, the BMX track was sweaty work!


School Holidays

Little Moon Dancer (Moony), being the perfect kids pony for our youngest two. When David sees her, the only thing he want is “up!”. Then whinging all the while when Alex gets his turn.
The fences are holding, a large part and all the gates will soon get a major overhaul. We’re all very exited, a new friend will join us next week...

 School holidays are so much better when Oma (grandma) is around...
 Making the most of the beautiful weather: Woolgoolga Beach. With a grandpa to fly the kite.
 Finding familiar letters. A, L, E, X for Alex, M for Mum, S for Sophie,...

 Little (angelic) rascal
 Almost winning
Opa (grandad) fixed, tweaked and pumped up all the bikes, no more training wheels.
Turns out Alex can ride a bike too!
 Waiting for the bus, who would take the grandparents back to the airport again.
Time to say goodbye.
It’s not often they see their grandparents in “real life”. But the time we have together is extra special. Two weeks of camping, walks, reads, sleepovers, games and tickles have made many happy memories to cherish.

Party Time

With so many special birthdays and anniversaries to celebrate this year, there was a very good reason to throw a party. Since most of our friends have kids, we decided on a picnic party, a lazy afternoon of music, drinks and a bbq. Just like our wedding reception 10 years ago.
The kids (all 55 of them!) were as fantastic as the weather, the treehouse a big hit.
Sander was adamant we needed to set up a volleyball net (yes, our wedding reception had one too).

Tim was adamant we needed soccer goals. His friends wholeheartedly agreed.
 Just a couple of picnic rugs, to lie down on. Life can be easy.
Fiona Boyes, a brilliant artist, with many years and albums behind her, makes her a true blues legend.
I ran into her a while back on a network event after she relocated to our region, she is such a lovely person! We were lucky she was in the country, just gearing up for her new (13th!) album release. Singing away under the gum trees, magical!


With the kids happily at home with the grandparents, we snuck out for two nights at Emerald Beach. 
Just the two of us, a very special treat. 
Going out for dinner, long beach walks, coffee dates, quiet lunches and sleeping in. Although we still woke up at 5am (David’s normal time), we could just go back to sleep. 7am has become feeling extravagant!!!
 With beach after beach, divided with beautiful rising headlands, we could walk for hours.

Two nights were just perfect. 
While the kids...


After more then two years, my parents were back for a visit. We met up with them in Brunswick Heads for a camping holiday. A camp ground right along the Brunswick River.
 Spoiled by aunty Lisa, with gifts from Rio.
Our campground was a little out of town, which wasn’t a hardship with such a beautiful walking track .

Whenever we go to the beach these days, there is always a couple of whales splashing around.
Kids highlight: going for a paddle


One of these weeks...

It’s been a crazy couple of weeks. When I wrote here two weeks ago, David was feverish. He had woken up with a swollen hand and a temperature. No clue what happened during the night, but we soaked it, couldn’t see anything in there, so he should be better soon. Or not...
Overnight he worsened, the beginning of a couple unpleasant days.
Over the next weeks he improved, he worsened, then improved again, but not enough. An ultrasound: an abscess that needed draining, after several consultations, it turned out to be something for the surgeon and anaesthetist. That was crazy Friday, now he is happily running around showing everyone his boxing glove (which safely hides his drain). He should be able to do without it by Wednesday.
Just before his operation. He was having a ball, flirting with nurses, running amok through the kids ward. Not a care in the world, as kids should.
A couple of weeks ago, our miniature horse, Moony, lost her equine friend next door. Ever since she has been lonely. As a result, our run down fences, that were great for those 5 years she’s been with us, were no longer able to keep her in. Our lovely neighbour behind us, notified us that she was there, harmless, chatting with the horses from the next neighbour. So we went to get her, and again, and again, we patched up one weak spot after another, but she would just find another one. Then the owner of another property send a couple of texts to squabble (Moony couldn’t get in, but the owner worried her horses would be stirred by our mighty miniature). After many bad nights and crazy busy weeks, I was starting to loose the plot.
About a month ago we had a fencer in for a quote, to replace a part of the fence and add some new gates, which he could start in November. He saved the week when he came to help out with some sturdy repairs on crazy Friday. She has been in ever since, looks like we’re winning the battle.
But the fact remains, she is lonely.

We’ve asked around for another family with horses that could take her, a couple of close calls, but no luck so far. We love the little girl, she’s a great kids pony, very patient, I would hate to loose her, but it’s hard to see her so miserable.
The other option is to add another horse, so she has companionship. Risking double trouble, but I think it would solve the problem, especially now the fences are soon to be upgraded. I’m looking at a Haflinger, a horse breed that has always been very special to me, I learned to ride on one and have ridden many more since then. They’re quiet, sturdy, versatile, with a very sunny nature. They make great kids ponies, but are big (and strong) enough for adults (me!!!!) to ride. Decisions...
Having had bags full with hand-me-down clothes and toys, the kids had a bit of a Christmas week. They’re down to their last week of the term, soon we’ll be catching up with my parents!!! 
We’re having a couple of really great things planned to look forward to. A break, yeah... ;-)


Spring Garden

After a two year break with little babies, this is the first garden bed that got planted a couple of weeks ago. It has taken off, a bit of a green jungle, since I don’t believe in tidy rows. It just makes it too easy for pests to work their way along the banquet. The interplanting of different types of plants creates balance where plants help each other out with providing shade, mulch and while pests get confused. 
Beans, peas and tomatoes along the trellis with herbs along the front for easy access. All kinds of different annual flowers are mixed in along the seedlings to attract some friends to the party.
Since the kids helped planting here, its a bit of a surprise garden bed too. Turns out they love parsnip and beetroot (chips)!
On the right you see the next garden bed, which got planted out a month ago.
A close up:
dill, parsley, parsnip, spring onion, silver beet, bokchoi and mixed lettuce.
While on my garden break, I’ve let the beds go, but focused my attention on the border, which keeps the grass from sneaking up on the vegetables. Here you see asparagus alongside the other permanent plants, trees and bulbs.
Only a meter deep, but this permanent border bed has capsicums, eggplants, chillies, flowers, asparagus and bananas in the back. Along the left you see the proper garden bed with garden waste piling up, the chicken coop is due in a couple more weeks. The chooks will clean it all up, compost, fertilise then spread the mulch and it will be ready to plant out again. And so we go, round and round in this mandala garden.
Along the entrance, in the border a kaffir lime tree shares the space with ginger, parley, mint, flowers, asparagus, while a sweet potato plant is making plans to invade.
Flowers and chillies are alongside a mandarin tree and a lillipilly shrub, bordering eggplant, capsicum and beans before the proper garden bed starts. 
  A dry spot in the garden has now Aloe vera flowering
 A mulberry, mandarin and a plum tree are happily sharing spaces with some grevillea.
The drier top of the border is perfect for an olive tree, rosemary, lime tree, curry plant, callistemon, bay leave and thyme. While a passion fruit is starting to make a pest of itself. The chook dome in the background, home to 6 lovely chickens keeping us in eggs.
The view from the deck, homegrown dinner taste even better when you can look out onto your hard work.
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