Seeing the beauty…

The other day I posted a photo onto Facebook of Megan and myself. The comment I added to it was:

Sunday morning cuddles…complete with pimples, crows feet, un-brushed hair and an egg on Megan’s head where I dropped the phone on her!!

I usually hate ALL photos of myself, and only ever see my flaws in them. I had originally wanted to post this photo with the idea that we were still in ‘morning-messy’ mode but proud of it. I added the typical self-deprecating comments which is a habit formed long ago.

But the more I looked at the photo (when reading the comments on Facebook), the more I changed my opinion of it. I started to see the beauty that others seemed to see straight away.

I saw the clarity and similarity in Megan’s and my eyes.

I saw the way that my daughter can look right through you.

I saw the luxurious textures in my dressing gown and Megan’s blanket.

I saw that I don’t need to evoke a smile to get a beautiful photo of Megan.

I saw the haphazard way Megan’s hair had fanned out and fallen, a bit like a shampoo advertisement.

I saw my crows feet and thought “hey, I’m lucky if that’s all I’ve got!”

I saw the way the morning light fell over our faces, relishing the fact that I had caught one of those rare (or hard for me to catch) moments of great lighting.

I saw the shadows and contrasts that only black and white photography can.

I saw our dog on the very edge of the photo, snuggling in for his own cuddles, hoping no-one would shoo him off the bed.


I rarely do any photo printing these days, unless they are good enough to be framed and put on the wall. And this one will be. It will remind me of that lovely Sunday morning when Megan and I shared a cuddle, but also that I need to look past the self-negativity entrenched in me and see the beauty there.

Winter Update…

It’s been a while…a LONG… while since I posted anything bloggy, so here’s a family update…

  • Got selected by her gymnastics club to join a squad development team. We are super proud of her and can see some huge improvements in her skill level, though the class is for 2 hours after school and is at a really inconvenient time. We are persevering for now…and will see if she is still interested after the September holidays.
  • Has the most wobbly tooth right at the front that just refuses to fall out! It actually looks like a buck tooth because it’s so out of alignment to the others!


  • is dealing with the emotional upheaval that goes with being a 5yr old boy! He goes from 0 to outraged in 2.4seconds and can turn with an angelic smile and say “I love you mum” very soon after. His emotional spectrum gives me whiplash!! 
  • Is doing amazingly well at school. His reading is improving exponentially, he loves school and his teachers love him (clearly they don’t see the above point at school!)
  • Is still obsessed with making paper planes. He is actually quite good at it, but I’m soooooooo totally sick of finding folded paper all throughout the house and my classroom!


  • Is still a bit of a gym junkie, going 3 times a week. Our evening life seems to revolve around his gym schedule but I don’t mind (much) since he is taking the initiative to look after this health.
  • Has joined the SES. The SES (state emergency service) are the go to people that the police, firies and ambos (fire brigade and ambulance) call in to help with emergency situations. It is voluntary and mike is loving all the training he has been doing before the new recruits are allowed out onto the field during emergencies. I wasn’t aware of just how often the SES are called upon. I thought hey we’re just there to help during floods, bush fires, search and rescues, etc. Apparently they do a huge amount of work with the police, protecting the integrity of evidence, cordoning off crime scenes, etc.


  • School has been pretty full-on in the last few months…though really, when is it not! I do have to admit though, that I am seeing light at the end of the tunnel! My little preppies (in their first year of school) are amazing me with how well they are able to read, write and tackle all things school related. It almost makes me want to put my hand up to take another on another batch next year….almost!
  • Our garden has been quite neglected lately. The winter weather has been miserable and only the last few weekends have been bearable enough to trek outside to see what’s growing. We currently have…snow peas, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, rosemary, thyme, swede, turnip, onions, beetroot, garlic, rhubarb, potatoes, figs, apples, pears, peaches, strawberries, plums, lemons, mandarins and passionfruit! The veggies will be harvested in the next month or two, but the fruit will need a few more years before they provide us with much.



  • We have been counting down (slowly) towards our cruise next year. We have researched the heck out of cruising and I think I have found every trick to saving money or saving baggage space as I can!  

     That’s it for now!


After battling her son and his obsession with electronic devices and games, a friend recently threw out a comment that got her son worrying…

“You’ll get game-itis if you keep playing that iPad!”

She told him it affects his eyes and means he can’t play on any device for a week until it clears up. Rushing off to look at his eyes and see if he really had contracted game-itis, the little gamer has now severely reduced his amount of screen time. We giggled about his concern and how just the suggestion of an illness had worked for him.

I told Megan and Alex about game-itis and told them of how they can keep it at bay! We told the kids that for every hour of game time, they needed to compensate with an hour of outside time. Both kids avoid playing outside, and almost never go outside alone. But as an incentive to iPad time….perhaps things would be different.

Even of horribly cold days like today, when it would be easy for the kids to stay warm inside with a device, we sent the kids outdoors, rugged up, to play! And they happily did.


Don’t be fooled by that sunshine…it was bitterly cold today!

I was surprised that they didn’t argue when told they needed to even up the device time/outside time scale. Normally, when asked to spend time outside, the kids would fight tooth and nail against it. But perhaps because it only needed to be in small amounts of time, they are more willing to venture out.

Though I would love to throw in some ‘book time‘ to the mix, I think giving the kids’ eyes a break from up-close focussing and getting their bodies moving is most important for now.

Time will tell if this works!

What’s that mean…?

Though tiring when the kids were little, their endless questions make my heart swell. These little questioning minds are in good stead to serve them well in the future. 

Asking “why” or “how” deepens children’s general knowledge. It opens discussions about what they notice and helps them to make sense of the world around them. Although it can be the last thing I feel like doing, I try to be honest and direct with my answers to their questions. And the ease of the Internet and Google Image make things so much quicker when difficult questions come my way! 

Megan and Alex constantly ask “what does xxx word mean?” And I try to give as close an explanation as a can, without dumbing things down. Explaining the meaning of a word expands vocabulary which children can then use in their conversations, their reading and writing. We often get comments on the ‘big words’ that our kids use, and use appropriately. 

However, their reading ability is where I have seen the biggest benefit of all those questions. If readers can make connections with what they read to their prior knowledge and extensive vocabulary, they develop a deeper understanding of what they have read.  And that’s the whole point of reading, isn’t it? To be able to understand?


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