My little man's boots were placed so carefully beside my shoes after gardening one morning. Toby is such a gorgeous character full of energy and ever helpful to the point of demanding and instructing. A little like his mother, things have to be done the right way... his way.
He had so much fun today in a cubby house I made in between some shelves with a board for a roof, a blanket draped over top and soft pillows to snuggle in. Toby often comes up to me with a large pillow or blanket on his back declaring that he's a turtle and today was one of those days. I had to feed Toby the turtle his morning tea in the cubby house. With a blanket on his back he crawled about the house, he would stop and retreat into his shell, thinking nobody could see him. Donald and I were required to "find" him many times, each time he was found it was as joyful as the first. He makes me smile my little man.
It's my brother in laws Birthday today. He lives in Ireland with my sister Gabby.
I'd make a cake for you Neil but I'm afraid it wouldn't last the week and a half journey to Dublin, plus the postman would most likely throw it in the back of the van and get squished by the rest of the packages that would be thrown in on top of it. So you'll just have to be satisfied with our wishes through blog land and hope the postman did actually deliver a package to you some time this year for your present.
Halloween is just around the corner and our church is having a trunk and treat activity for the primary children on Halloween. So I persuaded my very talented husband to make us a poster for the activity.
Very cool huh? Very Tim Burton-esque.
Last year we held our first trunk and treat and had a ball, see here, it was my very first blog post.
It's always a sad day when my mum heads back home after staying with us. She arrived with a giant box of my favourite chocolates and fresh strawberries from the farm around the corner from her house. After much shopping, visiting plant nurseries, going out for lunches and morning tea's, she doesn't leave until she's bought me some beautiful flowers and books for the boys.
So here are some glimpses of her stay. Cowgirl Jan at the Pioneer heritage day.
Grandma with the boys cruising the streets on their bikes.
More battles with Tobyone
Breakfast with Grandma, always sharing her porridge with the boys as they sit like little baby chicks with their mouths open begging for more.
My mum has very long hair which she plaits and wraps around her head.
With Grandma around the house is always tidy, dishes done and laundry all clean and folded, now it's back to messy house, dishes in the sink and my mountain of laundry. We love you and miss you Grandma and appreciate all that you do for us, even if we don't say it much.
After a morning of weeding and gardening on Saturday the boys and I retreated to the "Green room" for a little peace and quiet. Ethan is just beginning his quest, Sam is a seasoned traveller with the second series and I am nearing the end of the journey with the third and final series of Deltora Quest by Emily Rodda. I've really enjoyed this gruesome tale as well as sharing the story with the boys.
When I was in my early teens I used to dream of living in the country in the early 1900's. I loved old photographs that my high school had of the early days of it's existence as a boarding school for girls. I would spend my lunch hours in the old library at the antique polished wooden tables pouring over the old photograph albums that were there for us to touch and see, which I'm sure are under glass cabinets in the new modern buildings now. I used to sit by the window seat in the library dreaming of the romantic life that once was. The school was built in 1901 by the Green family and was a huge three-storey old wooden Queenslander, with stained glass windows and plantation shutters on the outside.
Our class rooms used to be the boarding bed rooms and I would drift off in class examining the wooden panelling wondering what secrets it could tell me or looking at the stained glass windows marveling at the fine hand painted details.
Our locker room was on the outskirts of the class rooms which used to be the balcony. A little different from it's original state with the plantation shutters and no glass in the bottom of the window seats.
Our art room was at the top of the school with a wonderful old shifty wooden window frame that you could sit on and look out to the islands of Moreton Bay and catch a cool breeze on those hot steamy Brisbane days. A little creative haven at the top of the school. It was very old and run down, but I loved the old building, the network of rooms and the history and stories held within its walls. Sadly the school is no longer in that old building but has moved further afield to greener pastures and new buildings. The old building was moved to a private property in the outer west of Brisbane and is now some ones home. I miss those days of dreaming.
Since last Saturdays Pioneer heritage day I have been thinking about the old photo's they had on display. Photo's of the streets in my area as it was in the late 1800's and early 1900's.
They have given me new hope that I can dream again as I walk the streets around my home. The bush and the dirt roads, I can imagine what it was like as I go for my early morning run or the boys collect wood for our BBQ.
My book that arrived last week is "The mother in me". When I purchased it, to save money, I got it sent via surface mail. A few days later I looked up how long it would take to actually arrive from the US to Sydney...6 to 8 weeks. So I was very excited that the postman delivered it to my door around 4 weeks early. I have been reading snippets every second day to savour it, as it is a compilation of essays and poems by mums, mums to be, mums trying to be mums etc. etc. The beautiful thing about this book is that the stories are so personal, full of love, heartache, joy , realities and happiness of motherhood. I am inspired by their different styles of writing, their different points of view but all have the same notion that motherhood in every respect is a life changing experience...one for the better, no matter how hard it is.
This Saturday (US time) you can purchase the book through here, (or read more about it) all royalties from the sales (from Deseret books) will go towards the Nielsons recovery fund. Silly me didn't know about the special sale of the book this Saturday otherwise I would have waited, but I can tell you it's worth waiting for.
Last night Sam and Ethan danced up a storm at their school dance concert. They have been learning and practicing their dance routines at school for the whole year and finally the night of the dance concert came. The boys were excited, they got their costumes on and had their hair slicked back and a little eyeliner (which was required). Some poor kids mum's were a little heavy handed with the black eyeliner and looked a little like ancient Egyptians. Each class had an International country theme, Sam's was China and Ethan's was Mexico.
While Donald juggled a restless Toby, I juggled the camera and video camera. It was difficult to get any good photo's, bad lighting and lots of kids jiggling around on stage and both Sam and Ethan on the opposite side of the stage to where we were sitting, but I did make some fun pics with lots of movement in them. Sam's class was a sea of red in their Chinese costumes, the girls waved fans and the boys waved their swords menacingly. Ethan's class were fun in their Mexican sombraros, both boys and their classes danced beautifully.
Today was a funny morning. Ethan kept telling me that they had to wear pyjama's to school for a pyjama movie day. We didn't get a note home from school yesterday telling us about the pyjama movie day so I was a little worried about sending them to school in their evening attire. Instead of walking to school I decided to do the drive by, just in case we had to come home for a quick change back into their uniform. I should have trusted my children, even though I called our neighbours across the street and they were also going to school in their pj's, they were telling the truth. Seeing as the dance concert was last night I think the teachers just wanted an easy day for them. So they rocked up to school along with the other kids with pj's, slippers and pillows (to sit on for the movie).
....relish my life as I live it, find joy in my journey and share my love with friends and family. The wise words of Pres. Thomas S. Monson.
There have been times I haven't found joy in our journey, many ups and downs, bad health, low esteem etc. etc., but I have always found joy in my children. I am striving to get the best out of this journey that I am in and have felt a stronger desire to improve myself, in that way. I realize that I'm here doing what I'm supposed to be doing, raising my family, and I want to be doing it. I want my family to know, both near and far, that they are the most important people in my life.
I want my children to look back and see and remember the little things that we did. That is why I blog. I love photos and the feelings and memories behind the photos. I want to make people smile. I want to share with my family and friends who are far away photo's of my growing boys, an activity, a recipe, a thought or a feeling. That is what I want to share along with my love.
Most of all my blog is my journal, my memory of the things my family do and I don't mind sharing it. I hope you get a laugh and feel the love and joy.
I find joy in my family and the journey that we are taking.
In the late 1800's and early 1900's the area that we live in was all farmland and orchards. At the local scout hall every year they celebrate this heritage with an orcharding and farming day with displays, historical photos, farm animals and hands on activities for the locals and their children. After the boys left Saturday morning on their bikes, we all walked down the road to share of this heritage. There were baby animals to pat....
...and fresh clipped wool to touch, feel and keep after a sheep was clipped the old fashioned way, the boys were so engrossed.
After sitting down and having our sausage sandwiches the cow milking display started and the boys went over to watch. As my mum, Donald & I were talking about those crazy parents who let their children wander away unsupervised (tongue in cheek), we got up thinking that we had better check on our boys when we saw this....
Sam was being lifted onto the cow after he had been milking her, a rather strange sight and the guy was saying "now where's mum?". To which we stayed around while Ethan got to milk the cow and take some photos. Ethan wasn't bad at milking either.
We ended up going back several times to pat the baby animals, hold the chicks and the fluffy ducklings. I think we all got our farm animal fix for a little while.