Category Archives: Everyday Family

Around Here ::

Around Here

….. we have been busy, coming and going visiting family members, attending various appointments and simply taking part in the activities that make up the way we spend our days at the moment.

It’s been a week of contrasts …. busy travels interspersed with quiet days at home. A lot of my normal homeschool expectations have fallen by the wayside this week and we discovered once again the beauty of allowing more relaxed time without me having any input into the way the hours should be spent. It’s a pleasure to observe the children create and learn on their own as we simply live life together – sometimes all of us could be found in the kitchen creating quite a mess, other times all of us could be found in the studio creating works of art while other moments found us all engrossed in our own individual pursuits.

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Around here there has been::

:: Music – always music

:: Cooking – always good wholesome, healthy, life-giving foods brewing in my kitchen

:: Sewing, Stitching and Knitting – a given around here

:: Painting, stories, puzzles, games, outdoor adventures, and all manner of other children’s pursuits

:: Reading some books which had been started but never completed. Favourites include – Son of Charlemagne, Pollyanna, Uhu the Owl and Peter Rabbit & Grug for the youngest listener. (Grug is his favourite character at the moment. These books are simplistic in their illustrations and stories with a charming portrayal of the Australian bush.)

:: Planning for a new venture we are embarking on

:: Trying to plan the year ahead but finding such a task quite difficult for some reason

:: Loving the quiet simplicity of the days here at home

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Linking up with: Weekly Wrap Up

Postcards from North West QLD – Part 5

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It’s our final visit to outback Queensland today. I hope you have enjoyed travelling along with me. Today, I’m marvelling in the beauty found when you look hard enough in this rugged country. Who would have thought such delicate flowers existed, or the brilliance of a sunrise can show off intricacies of a spider’s web, or indeed, that a little lizard would be so willing as a photographic subject.

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West QLD 43 West QLD 42 West QLD 17 West QLD 16 West QLD 14 West QLD 13 West QLD 12 West QLD 11 West QLD 3 West QLD 2There does seem to be a common theme running through our holiday snaps: Red dirt, sunsets & long, flat, open roads. And I must say, that’s pretty accurate – North West QLD at it’s best. I never thought I’d call this part of the world ‘beautiful’ but travelling here and exploring it as we did, I’ve come to appreciate the unique, rugged beauty which is on display.

I’m Grateful for: The little things.

The past couple weeks have been as ‘normal’ as life gets for us. And, oh, how lovely that is – sometimes – for just a short time – just to catch up in between the excitement which makes up the rest of life – of course.

It has been a week to enjoy the little things around here:

*Last weekend we celebrated our Nicholas turning 11. Really… they do continue to grow these children of mine. And I feel so privileged to have a front row seat as this maturing is happening. It’s really quite an honour to be a part of the life of this eldest boy of ours.

*The littlest one ‘practicing’ the piano after the big ones have finished. Then he proceeds to do his own ‘school work’ of course. It must be such a delight being the youngest of four, having those big kids around to copy and learn from.

*The children all found cozy beside the bookshelf. All happily intent on reading the very same book.

*The sunshine streaming in the windows.

*The therapeutic rhythm of knitting needles working some wool into a wearable garment. It’s really a meditation of the hands and I’m enjoying it immensely right now.

*Filling the hours with books both old favourites and new.

Yes, the little things are definitely the right things to be enjoying around here right now.

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Postcards from North West QLD – part 2

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I brought you the first instalment in our western QLD camping trip here and today I thought I’d share a few more photos and memories. It was an experience which we will all refer back to regularly in our ‘best-family-memories’ discussions for many years to come, I’m sure. Our trip has several distinct memories for us, some of which are captured in this series of photos:

:: Long, straight roads where the scenery changes very little even after several hundreds of kilometres travelled.

:: Some firm favourite audio books which will be forever linked to outback QLD in our memories. Including: Winnie-the-Poo, The Wind in the Willows and The History of Classical Music, narrated by Aled Jones (I do agree, it is a strange collection of stories to be linked to a place which is such a stark contrast to the locations in which the stories are set).

:: The HUGE, clear, blue skies which sit so beautifully in contrast to the endless, brilliant, red dirt.

:: Waterholes and rivers which always provided a welcome stopping place – whether it was for a snack, lunch salad or place to set up camp.

:: The full moon (and nearly full moon) rising over the flat surrounding landscape which was made all the more beautiful when our camp was situated on the only ‘high’ spot for miles around.

:: Camp fires and the hours our whole family spent in discussion or quiet, comfortable, companionship as we watched the embers burn low before retiring for the night. And, of course, the unmistakable flavour of camp-oven cooking – YUM.

:: Sunrise and sunset – each and every day. Yes, we enjoyed these bookends to the day immensely, which is quite obvious when looking through our entire photo album from this trip – a large percentage show the natural brilliance which is captured in the dawn and dusk light.

:: And so much more……




I’m Grateful for: Winter Days

Winter in Queensland. It has to be my very favourite time of the year. Clear, blue, sunny skies fill our days and the nights are just crisp enough to make snuggling in flannel pi’s under a patchwork quilt ever so appealing. Once the morning frost and coolness has gone and the sun is out in full splendour, the outdoor world seems to call us with it’s mild temperatures and warming light.

With days as ‘perfect’ as they come, we have been taking full advantage of these winter days this past week.  Any projects we are working one (sometimes known as ‘school’ work) tend to migrate to our outdoor table and the children don’t seem to make it indoors till the cool evening sends them in. Actually, to be truthful, they do poke their heads in the door to make sure food is going to be forthcoming, but otherwise it’s an outdoors kind of life we are leading at the moment.

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My studio has one entire wall of glass and a door leading outside, which makes it all a bit hot in the summer, but in winter it’s my very favourite place to be. I can write, sew or somedays just play with fabric and feel like I’m right in the midst of all the outdoor action, observing it all at a distance. Yes, I think I’ll find myself here in my studio very often in the coming weeks.

And for now the outdoors action is pleasing me no end. Knights can be found in battle while the lovely damsel keeps their armour intact and delights all with her beauty. Or maybe it’s a 4WD ute driving around the yard (made out of an old packing box, of course), or a lovely young lady, dressed in a smocked dress, sawing away at wood for some project she has in mind. It’s all putting a smile on my face and reminding me of the absolute joy and beauty to be found around me every, single day.

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Postcards from North West Queensland – Part 1

3 1/2 weeks; big, open skies; long, empty roads; bright, starlit night skies; a camper trailer and my fantastic family. It was a recipe for success, yes, really it was. Days spent meandering throughout this diverse state of QLD, new areas to discover and explore fully, ‘famous’ rivers to throw a line into, campfires to cook on, creeks to swim in and driving hours filled with new music and audio books.

Just typing that brings back so many delightful, lifetime memories. Our original plan for this trip was to head to the southern states but as the time drew closer the outback of Queensland seemed to draw us. It was all a new area to explore for me and the children which made it even more adventure-like. While these kind of landscapes are familiar to me as I’ve seen enough photos having lived my whole life in this state, I’d never actually experienced the vastness, the openness and the raw, rugged beauty myself.

So with provisions stocked (grocery shops, I figured, would be few and far between on the routes we were taking) and a family raring to go we turned the car North-West and drove. With only a very basic idea of where we would like to go, we explored new areas, stayed till we were ready to move on and took the advice of other travellers to help determine our next destination.

As expected we returned with memories a-plenty and a stock of photos to match. So I thought I’d share some of the beauty we captured on film here with you. Random shots which capture the essence of our trip. I’ll spread the visual feast over several posts (otherwise I’ll bore you to bits with the same red dirt/blue sky kind of look over and over again) and if you want any more details of specific places feel free to leave me a comment.

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When The Family Gathers

A new family member – niece/cousin – is most certainly cause for a family gathering and celebration. And all of ‘us’ descended upon the new parents this past weekend. You know how it goes: a long weekend, a one-week old baby coupled with the prospect of spending a few days with some of my most favourite people, whom I’m blessed to call my family. Yes, most definitely cause to gather, celebrate and simply enjoy each other’s company.

The long hours of driving have become almost ‘normal’ to us now, so we jumped in the car at first opportunity and revelled in the fun, joy and laughter that these 20 people gathered in the same place create.

Cousins who live so far apart became inseparable for the entire weekend. Aunts (yes, me) kidnapped the baby as often as possible and reminisced as I smelt that gorgeous new baby smell and listened to those sweet little sounds only a very new baby makes. The biggest cousins were infatuated with this new addition to our family. Coffee shops were inundated when we arrived (some a little fearful at the prospect of 10 young children!). And generally it was a gentle hum of chatting and laughter which accompanied us wherever we were gathered.

Oh, the delights of family gathered together.

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Finding Home Again

Oh my, we are coming and going to far flung places around the country with an alarming regularity these days.

Some of our travels have been long in the planning – like a 3 1/2 week camping trip around north-west Queensland. (photos and stories to come soon, I promise)

Other trips have been very much unplanned – like the unexpected death of a Grandmother and the various visiting/travelling which surrounds such an event.

But some journeys have been taken by choice – silly, wise or crazy, I’m not sure which, but there are some things you just ‘NEED’ to do in life – like driving for an 18 hour round trip to meet a new little niece (and visit the parents and rest of my family in the process, of course!).

And the tripping isn’t finished yet – tomorrow night we are off again…..

But today, just today, I find myself at home. Just me and the children with no great ‘to-do’ list in front of me – only the usual roundup of unpacking bags, washing clothes and repacking bags. A whole day for us to find the rhythm of home again. Oh and how we are enjoying it. In between trips to and from the laundry and clothesline, I’ve delved into the things which signal home to me most of all. With children by my side I have read several of their old favourite books while drinking tea, found my sewing table again (after the hive of activity in our 2 days home last week as Holly and I found it essential to sew for our new littlest family member), got the almost-finished winter pi’s out ready for a spot of quiet sewing this evening, drank more cups of chia-mint tea as we all sat round the table working on diaries from our recent trips and more of those type of things – all with my delightful companions/children by my side.

Yes. It is essential to breathe deep on a day like this. While the washing and cooking all continue at a greater-than-normal volume, I’m finding many moments to be still and enjoy finding ‘home’ again.

Sewing Table 2(This was the state of my sewing table prior to it’s clean-up, as it was littered with the remnants of little, baby girl sewing projects from last week. The choice of fabrics was the hardest – far too many gorgeous combinations – and of course I planned on making far more than was humanly possible to create in the limited time I had. But some of these fabrics will sit patiently and wait till my sewing time is more prolific – because little, baby nieces have got to be the most fun to sew for, I do think.)


Weekending – The Stitching and Breakfasting edition

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It was an impromptu Saturday morning decision to jump in the car and visit my parents. The lure of a group of beautiful ladies meeting together for ‘coffee’ and stitching for the entire afternoon was very tempting, along with the willingness and encouragement of my dear husband to allow me to go for a girls only night away. So I quickly gathered a stitching project or two, threw in some clothes, gathered Holly along with her knitting and jumped in the car – without much more thought than that. The result was a physically relaxing but mentally stimulating day and a half. A rare and precious opportunity to spend time alone with my daughter – long car trips to chat away together and time for her to join the ‘ladies’ drinking tea and stitching.

With it being my intention this year to say ‘Yes’ to these types of opportunities more often, this was timely and I’m very glad I said a wholehearted ‘Yes’.