Alex and Sophie have joined Tim on the Aikido dojo.
Aikido’s philosophy stands for the art of peace (not pieces). 
Self defence, changing the energy of an opponents attack into deflection, without harm.
when it’s too hot to cook...
Dinner, has become a very simple affair at our place, afternoons are mostly filled with after school activities, not leaving much time to cook. Lots of salads, fruit, legumes and a bit of meat.
Corn has been our main carb stable for the last couple of months, making the most of the summer harvest. Leftovers are highly favoured, making the meals a bit more diverse and are providing me with lunch.
Rosie, our free as a bird new “pet”.
Alex’s 5th birthday party, his best friends and whole kindy class!
Dragon fruit in flower, so big!
The dam’s new vegetation along the dam wall is starting to look much and healthier, more important it’s becoming stronger! She’s at maximum level, it won’t need much to start a flood now.
Rainy days and rainbows, Summer has started to pack her bags,
but while I’m sitting here dripping with swear on a muggy 35 degree day, she hasn’t left the building just yet.
Sick days, 
our feisty 3 year old turns into a teddy bear, and only wants me as a pillow.
Inspired by a glut of eggs and a free Saturday morning.
Baking bread with a dark chocolate and walnut swirl.
Expanding the granola, 
now also in the kitchen and on the shelves at A Perfect Blend Espresso Bar in Grafton.
Launching the snack packs, rebranding one of my granola’s, loving a good pun.

Besides, I’ve started developing a new granola, something for when the colder days are upon us.
I love this part of my work.
Biggest Playgroup has come and gone, at least 200 kids turned up for the day and had a ball. 
A big event to organise for the committee, but a great way to showcase where we stand for: play and a strong community. 
 The main bathroom, finished!
Loving our very basic and natural new shower and vanity.
(Much easier to clean too!)
Soccer season,
the admin site of it is keeping me rather busy, many evening and free moment spend, 192 registered!
And now all 4 have decided to play this year!
Coaching session with Alex, lesson 1, there’s no climbing involved in soccer.
Loving the change we’re seeing in Sophie, she has been seizure free for 2 years, and spasm free for a year. Something to celebrate!
Last month we lowered her medication, a risk, but we suspected that they were making her sleepy, making it hard to concentrate, to take on challenges and learn.
Already she has so much more energy, she’s tackling things a school, has energy to play and wants to do things, it’s making my heart sing...
Piano lessons, aikido and now also soccer, because there’s more to life then academics.
I’m trying to hold down the fort, while hubby is in Thailand, with his mate Erik.
Tim spend all weekend building a hydraulic arm, David get’s to test it.
I love it when they challenge themselves while helping and encouraging each other.
Looking at my poor (pumpkin) overgrown garden.
My fingers are itching, but my back is sore, signalling me, it’s carrying enough and wants some down time. So I listen, for now.


Double Digits!

And then one of a sudden, our eldest, Tim, has reached double digits!
We tried out a new concept for his birthday party. 
Instead of birthday presents from his mates, he asked for a contribution to an afternoon of fun.
Memories over more stuff.
Climbing, running, swimming, gaming and a sleepover in the tent.
Although the last part turned out to be too hot and muggy to fall asleep and so they all ended up crashing on the couch.
Snags on the fire pit, until the next downpour changed that into a smoking mess,
marshmallows on the Weber taste just as well...
The reality of having a birthday on a weekday. An early start for a market restock, school, soccer training, a mum up to her ears in sign on duty and a dad with an early volleyball game.
And an exceptional busy week meant no time to bake a cake,
I did however had some leftover slice...
 A “new” bike (we’ve hit adult size now!) and bookstands for our reading worm.
It’s all about engineering, chemistry and robotics these days...


Chaotic weeks, beach and saying goodbye

Making the most of the heatwave:
Safety Beach, awesome waves
 and great climbing rocks!
(The monkeys of Gibraltar)
Bathroom in progress, we’ve gone into week 3.
We survived the very stinky waterproofing with dragging our mattress into the living room.
The floor tiles are in, quite a feat when needing to accommodate curved shower screens!
Grouting the floors and putting wall tiles up are on for today.
The house will be a noisy construction site for another 2 weeks, I can’t wait to have a real shower again and cut out the stumbling out in the dark to use the portaloo...
The end result will be make it totally worth it.
Craft morning at the gallery.
I’ve picked up my crazy quilt again (on the right). Tidying up threads at the back are so much more fun under the shade of a tree, with a cuppa and great friends.
The last two weeks have been very busy,
with the kids starting school, they are tired and tempers fly easily.
Tim and David both got sick and the week became a mess.

Taking a breather and making sure we touch base, quickly falls on the wayside.
A cuppa fixes a lot of things...

The trip to the beach was perfect, with the waves crashing down on you. Do you stand your ground or do you ride the waves to back to the shore?
I’ve become a soccer mum+
Soccer sign on days are upon us...
The dragon fruit keeps growing, fascinating.
Yesterday evening was hard. Our little Moon Dancer (Mooney) didn’t turn up for dinner.
The horses are normally calling out for me at the fence, together, but only Laura was there.
I found Mooney laying in the corner of the paddock, alive, but with heavy, laboured breathing, frothing from her mouth and thrashing around. Our little girl was unable to stand up and was in a very bad way. With the small chance she would have contracted Hendra, I knew we had to keep our distance, the hardest thing, you want to comfort her. The veterinarian was called and it was fairly obvious there was no coming back from this, putting her down would be the most humane thing to do.

This morning we had to tell the kids that their friend had passed away. Remembering together all the happy memories we made with her. She will be missed.
The kids are at school again and I’m waiting for the bobcat to turn up...
Sweet dreams little Moon Dancer, may the Milky Way be your dance floor.


Starting School

Alex started school this morning. 
Cool as a cucumber, he lined up and followed his teacher in.
Leaving me and David, not in tears, but still a bit unsettled. 
No doubt, Alex is so ready for the next step in his education. He’ll thrive on the mental stimulation.
But I keep thinking of how little Alex was (9 pounds, but still), 3 days old and being lugged around in the sling, when Tim started his first day at kindergarten. 
Only to be taking those steps himself today.
David misses his little big brother, but also loves the special one-on-one time with me.
With Alex now at big school, David was very keen to start preschool, he had his first day last week.
Alex proudly showed him around and introduced him to all the teachers.
He had a great time and loves the play based program.

And before you tell me that I won’t know what to do with myself this year.
Believe me, I will!
Between my granola, kids activities, soccer club, playgroup, craft group, a household to run, sports and a horse to train, I’ll have plenty on my hands.


Back to school

Last week of school holidays.
Slowly we’re getting back to normal, getting organised for school, plowing through the washing after 10 days of camping, playovers, sleepovers, catch up with friends, puzzling and confirming the after school activities in the week planner and getting the house ready for the jackhammer.

Picking blueberries at a neighbouring farm was a highlight in this busy week. We drove home with almost 7 kilo’s of blue goodness!
Friends that came down for the long weekend were so impressed with the taste and quality of the berries that I ended up with another impromptu picking session alongside my friend Sanne. Without the kids we were a lot more efficient too: 11 kilo’s to share.
January in Grafton: Mangoes!!!
A friend has opened a health food bar in Maclean. I’ve been asked to stock her shop and kitchen.
Sure looks nice!

I can see the kids starting to get bored. 
Kids are literally climbing the walls! Tim is sticking to the hallway, inside, where Alex has been targeting the roof of the house. Sitting on the back deck, “hey, it’s just like someone is walking on the roof”. “Alex!!!” 
Quite an accomplishment without a ladder, he just shimmies up the support posts of the front veranda.

New house rule: no climbing onto the roof!
(the drop towards the back is almost 6 meters!)
He has been limited to the roof of the carport...
The state of the bathrooms and toilet: very bare.
But at least the jackhammers have finished.
A portaloo (temporary toilet) on the driveway will be our reality for the next couple of weeks. Showers are out too, bit unlucky that we’re having a rather cool summer at the moment! Rain keeps falling, creating beautiful skies and an overflowing dam.
Sunflowers, so happy and bright.
The main deck is currently my sanctuary,
a tool free part of the house...
Making lists and getting work done. Busy with organising the start of the soccer season, the sign up days have started. I’m sharing the role of treasurer and registrar and we have our work cut out for us!
After years of barely any growth, our dragon fruit has started growing madly in the last 6 months, quadrupling its size. It has started fruiting, we’ve counted eight buds so far, so exiting!
The bananas trees are loving the rain.
 Bananas for our monkey


Camping at Hat Head

The Hat Head campground has the awesome layout being enveloped by the Korogoro Creek and the Pacific Ocean. The creek fills up with the tide and is fantastic for all kinds of water activities.
For ten days we got to call this home.
Camping, there is no better way to appreciate your bed, house and their comforts you take for granted!
We like to keep our holidays fairly basic, if we would like a house in the forest with a view on the lake, with a pool and great kitchen, we can just stay home...

Camping is close neighbours, making new friends, exploring, walks for toilets, showers and tap water. No electricity, no fridge, (no coffee machine!) or other electronics.
And after a cold southwesterly, that was raging for days on end, no gazebo. 
The tent (barely) made it through thankfully.
Our luxury was time, 
spend together, 
just hanging out.
Sitting for hours watching the waves.
The kids frolicking in the surf
Or sand
“The Gap”
 “Hat Head Hilton”
 Quiet talks
Going for day trips,
Smoky Cape Lighthouse.
Also a great vantage point to see the big swell caused by king tides combined with a raging south westerly. The beaches were getting mercilessly pounded.
 The gaol ruins at Arakoon.
Picnics in the national park.
After dinner swims.
First thing mentioned when we start packing up again:
“Picking up Tyson again!”
“Sleeping in my own bed!”
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