Wednesday, December 29, 2010


We have enjoyed a camping holiday as we made our way from Sydney to Ballarat.  We spent a week at Wallaga Lakes Park.

On our drive down Ben complained of pain in his groin and we found he had swollen glands in both neck and groin.  After a first night of howling winds and pouring rain, Ben crawled out of bed and vomited bile on the floor of the tent.  He couldn't even keep down drinks of water all morning. 

After hunting around I finally managed to contact a doctor in Narooma who could fit him in at 3pm.  By the time I got off the phone, he was out of bed and feeling a little better and he steadily improved throughout the day.  By 2pm, I rang the doctor and cancelled the appointment as Ben's glands had gone down and he asked for, ate and kept down a sausage roll for lunch.

The children enjoyed the jumping pillow;

riding the scooters they got for Christmas, although the roads were not very scooter friendly;

and going in a hired canoe with Daddy.

We also went swimming, both at the beach and in the pool.

We visited Mystery Bay, which is the last known whereabouts of our ancestor, Lamont Young, who I wrote about in this post. His boat was found near the rocks on this beach.

We also went on the Montreal Goldfields Tour, which was very interesting.  It gave us an increased understanding of the history of the area, and was also interesting to Simon and I to compare with the goldfields history of our hometown of Ballarat.  The children were excited to reveal their relationship to Lamont Young when we got to that part of the tour, and we were all fascinated by the trick of water divining with two bits of fencing wire.  All the children were able to locate the underground streams along the track.

On Christmas Day we attended the local Baptist Church in Bermagui.  We then had a lazy middle of the day with the children busily eating some goodies they got in their Christmas bags and playing with their new toys.  Later in the afternoon we attempted to go for a walk until we had a close encounter with this little chap.  We didn't want to run into any of his adult relatives so we decided to give up the walk and have a swim instead.

Unfortunately, the beach we went to was covered in jelly fish, including a Blue Bottle that I nearly stepped on.  We ended up making sand sculptures and had a lot of fun.

Christmas day finished with Burritos for tea before the rain set in again.

On Boxing Day we packed up our campsite and headed south, to freezing cold Victoria.  We camped at the Mitchell Gardens Caravan park in Bairnsdale with Simon's brother and his new wife.  We were very close to an excellent playground and even though the weather was cold and wet and a bit miserable, we still had fun.


Friday, December 17, 2010


I have always been fascinated by ants and as a child I could spend hours watching the ants do their stuff outside my grandparents house.  As an adult I still find them fascinating, but I am happy to execute any that make their way into my house and try to steal my food.

This post is not about those naughty ants.

Recently I have had the opportunity to witness the ants near our house swarming.  I have never seen this before.  I'm not sure whether it's because of the difference in temperature between Victoria and New South Wales, or whether I just never stopped to look before.

Last week the Honey Ants swarmed.  

Last night I went to check on our garden and discovered the little black ants were having their turn, but their take off point was my vegetable plants.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Abby's Baptism

Abby was baptised today.  I tried to include a video, but it doesn't seem to work just now.  Here is the testimony she wrote and read out:

Good morning everybody and especially any visitors with us.  Thankyou for coming today.

 I put my trust in Christ when I was bout 4 years old.  I have decided to get baptised today and these verses from the book of Romans in the Bible help to explain what baptism means for me.  I am reading from 'The Message' version of the Bible.

Romans 6:3-5
That is what happened in baptism.  When we went under the water, we left the old country of sin behind; when we came up out of the water, we entered a new life in a new country of grace - a new life in a new land!

That's what baptism into the life of Jesus means.  When we are lowered into the water, it is like the burial of Jesus; when we are raised up out of the water, it is like the resurrection of Jesus.  Each of us is raised into a new light-filled world by our Father so that we can see where we're going in our new grace-sovereign country.

1 Peter 3:21b also explains about baptism.

Baptism is more than just washing your body.  It means turning to God with a clear conscience, because Jesus Christ was raised from death.

I am choosing to follow Jesus every day of my life.  I hope you can find the time to do that too.  
Abby giving her testimony

Just before dunking.  The water was freezing and she doesn't like to put her head under the water.

Simon praying with her afterwards.

The cup cakes Simon made and I decorated.  They were consumed at the church lunch.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Ezra's 'photo'.

Today Ezra came down stairs and begged me to go to his bedroom and look at his bed with him as he had "made it up".  Expecting to find some attempt at making his bed, I was surprised to discover that to him "made it up" meant he had set up a scene with his animals.  His sheep Niki was taking a group photo of the other toys with an old camera.  It was very cute and I couldn't resist taking a real photo of what he had done.

Here is the scene Ezra had set up.

And here is what the picture would have looked like if Niki could really take a photo.

School Presentation Day

On Wednesday our school held their annual Presentation Day.  We had received a letter informing us that one of our children would be receiving an award, so we attended with extra eagerness.

Tim received the Year 3 Citizenship Award, which also included a $20 gift card for Angus and Robertson.

Our kids also sang some Christmas songs.  Year 3-6 sang "We Need a Little Christmas" and K-2 sang "Rudolph".

Monday, December 6, 2010

Grass fun

The oval behind our house got mowed today.  Because it has rained for the last week, the grass was very long.  This evening our kids went out with a neighbour and had an enormous amount of fun playing in the clippings.

 Ben as "The Incredible Grass Man"

Thursday, December 2, 2010

More garden...

Today's goodies.  Carrots, celery, snow peas, lettuce and a cucumber.

Pirate telescope

In the supermarket this morning Ezra saw a toy pirate telescope.  He really wanted it, but it didn't look like very good quality and I was not willing to pay the asking price for it.  When we came home I experimented with making one from a paper towel tube and an extra bit of cardboard cut from a box, all covered in aluminium foil.  He's very happy with it, but is now feeling the need for a hat and an eye patch.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Wind On The Hill

Last week, on a visit to my local Op Shop, I purchased a book which has brought back many memories from my childhood.  It is The World of Christopher Robin by A.A. Milne.  It contains two of his books, When We Were Very Young and Now We Are Six.  When I was little my dad used to read me poems from these, or often just quote them from memory. Every now and then I come out with bits and pieces from different poems, so I was thrilled to find this book and be able to share them with my kids.

So... for the past week at bedtime we have added a poem or two from here to our regular Bible story and 'other' story.  Bed time stories are getting a bit long.

One of my favourite poems is Wind On The Hill.

No one can tell me,
   Nobody knows,
Where the wind comes from,
   Where the wind goes.

It's flying from somewhere
   As fast as it can,
I couldn't keep up with it,
   Not if I ran.

But if I stopped holding
   The string of my kite,
It would blow with the wind
   For a day and a night.

And then when I found it,
   Wherever it blew,
I should know that the wind
   Had been going there too.

So then I could tell them
   Where the wind goes . . . 
But where the wind comes from
   Nobody knows.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Garden Progress

Our garden is growing wonderfully.

Yesterday we ate the first snow peas.  They never even made it into the house.

Tomatoes are thick on this bush.

 Teeny tiny cucumbers are appearing.

Corn is sprouting.  Soon Simon will need to go out with a 
pastry brush and ensure all the corn is pollinated.

 But...  my pride and joy are the roses which are just beginning to open.
I love roses, especially red roses, and these ones (Mr Lincoln's) are meant to have a beautiful fragrance.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Crochet t-shirt design

I've been very busy with these little flowers lately.  I keep thinking of new projects I could use them for and I still haven't completed the original project which involved curtains for Abby's room.  I must get back to that sometime.

This t-shirt was created because of a suggestion by a friend of mine and so I made my first one for her daughter.  I decided to do some little clips to go with it as well. 

I really like my little flowers.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Next job

Today, Ezra decided the bathroom needed cleaning.  He has informed me that when he grows up he wants to be a "cleaning man".  He begged to do the toilet until I showed him how.  Maybe I can assign him that job from now on.  I wonder what other cleaning jobs I can give him...

Thursday, November 18, 2010

My helper

When we had our fourth child we decided to name him Ezra because it means 'helper' and I was pretty certain I was going to need one.

Today he has lived up to his name.  He got the cleaning bug.  After wiping down the walls in our stairwell, he got started on our kitchen cupboards.  I helped with the stairs, but my fingers were getting wrinkled by the time we got to the kitchen and he was doing such a good job that I just left him to it.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Hair clips

I had a little friend visiting with me today and she inspired me to get back to work on an idea that has been hovering in the back of my head for awhile.  Here is the result of her inspiration.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Vegetable garden

It's been many years since we have been able to have a vegie garden, so we were glad to be offered the use of one here at college.  Several weeks ago we took our kids shopping and let them each choose something for the garden, and then Simon and I just added the extra things we wanted.

Abby chose strawberries, Tim chose carrots, Ben chose tomatoes (several varieties) and Ezra (with encouragement from me) chose corn.  we also bought cucumber, celery, snowpeas and several different varieties of lettuce. We had already planted a bean Tim brought home from school and some sunflower seeds.

<== Little tomato already growing.

Bean flowers ==>

<== first strawberry

Sunflower ==>

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Avoiding Study

Today is one of my study days.  I have an exam next week and I have alot of study to do.  Therefore I am here at my computer, reading blogs, doing holiday research and generally avoiding what I ought to be doing.

Our children have begged us to camp somewhere over Christmas, so I have booked us into a lovely looking Campground at Lake Wallaga on the South Coast of NSW.  My reason for choosing this spot is that it is very close to a piece of my family history.

In 1880 my Great, Great Grandfather, Lamont Henry Graeme Young, who was a geological surveyor, was called to the newly discovered Montreal Goldfields near Bermagui, NSW.  While he was there, he and four other men got in a boat and headed up the coast.  They disappeared.  The boat was found in very suspicious circumstances in a bay, now named Mystery Bay, but the men were never seen again.  No trace of their bodies was found... apparently.  You can read about it on wikipedia here.   Cyril Pearl also wrote a book about this, titled 'Five men Vanished'.

Earlier this year when my parents visited me, my Dad went to the records office and took digital photo's of all the original documentation about this event.  He has been going over some of it and has developed his own theory about who was responsible.  This morning I discovered a new article (well, not really new, it's from a newspaper in 1887) with information I had not read before which strongly supports my Dad's theory that Carl Schneider, Lamont's assistant, was responsible for the murder of his companions and was seen numerous times after the event.

This interesting research reminded me of a story I wrote about this event several years ago.  I am a member of an online Christian Writers group named FaithWriters who have weekly writing challenges for their members.  Several years ago we were challenged to write something in the 'mystery genre' and I wrote a story about my family history.  It was titled The Missing Husband and told the story from my Great, Great Grandmother's point of view. I received a 'Highly Commended' for it, which means my story came fourth or fifth in my entry level.  I was pretty excited at the time.

If you are interested in reading my other entries at FaithWriters, visit my FW's profile page.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Photo dates.

Simon and I have a tradition of having dates with our kids.  On Monday afternoon after school, one parent will take one child on a date.  When that parent has worked through the children over a 4-week period, the other parent has a turn.  We would love to be able to cover all the kids in a two week block instead of over four weeks, but we are still working on that.  On a date we take the child who's turn it is to do something special with them (eg: go out for milkshakes and donuts; go for a walk/bike ride; wander the toy section of Target/Big W and dream of what we'd buy if money was not an issue; visit a playground; etc) and I always try to give them time to ask questions they've been pondering, or share things that may have been bothering them, or things they are excited about, and then at the end I pray with them before we head home.

For the last few weeks Simon has been taking the kids on "photo dates", meaning they take our old digital camera and Simon takes the new one and they go on an adventure walk through Macquarie University, taking photos of anything that interests them. I have been very impressed with some of the kids photos and decided I should share some.

Here are some of Abby's photos...

some of Tim's photos...

and some of Ben's photos...

Ezra begged for weeks to use the camera, but when it came to the actual day of his date, he decided to go for a bike ride with Simon instead.

It's been nice to see the kids get excited about 'their date', but at the same time it is a little sad that they can't get such individual attention more often.  We really need to reorganize life to make more time with them.  I am hoping to do some cooking with them on my date with each one over the next few weeks.