Earth Hour – Burning the candle at both ends

We are having a beautiful Melbourne time here over the school holidays…a week of mad rushing around getting our fix of an old urban life. For A and I it is always a trip down memory lane as we drive past both of our old houses and say, “Look, that is the house where you were born and where we did…..”

We have rented a townhouse in the inner city and it has been brilliant so far. So close to everything…50 metres from a main shopping strip and the heart of real city life.

So far we have:

  • Played in the rain at the zoo
  • eaten at Tran Tran
  • Had coffee at Brunetti in Carlton
  • Yum Cha at Plume, Doncaster (…with sisters(in-laws) and babe)
  • Heard John Hiatt at the National Theatre, St Kilda
  • Had dinner with friends and more friends and more friends
  • Shopped at all the good op shops and some new shops
  • Breakfast at Torch, Richmond
  • Churched at St Judes

Now the work, conferences and meetings begin…..and we have barely sat down in days. But it is energising. More to follow….with pictures.

Easter Monday – kids at play

So how much chocolate can one family of 6 consume….? We had a big Easter Sunday lunch and had family friends and their parents and new friends all gathering together yesterday. One family pulled out due to illness, but as a result a large number of the kids did too; so we had too many eggs and not enough kids for yet another Egg hunt. We have jar fulls of eggs now…literally.

Today the girls played with their Ma and sewed, while J hung out with his Dad. Lily and I mooched about and started the massive relocation/cleanout/autumn declutter. SO much stuff. We have been here for 4 years now and in this house for 3 years. But in the last 10 years we have managed to move every few so a natural cull of the clutter has happened fairly regularly. I am amazed at the expansion of plastic in our lives and of children’s stuff – artwork and precious treasures. I am working on the theory that more organisation of key family spaces and places will enhance our life and mine in particular. Do you nag the kids to clean their rooms?

The newly tidied playroom cupboard now means that the kids can see all their games to choose and can see where it needs to be returned to at the end of the game, as well. Hhhmmmm. J had a new interest in his army men and the girls rediscovered Go Fish! I love seeing them play. J started to say that we had no time for boardgames but realised mid sentence that if he didn’t play xbox or watch dvds there would be more time.

We are off to Melbourne tomorrow for a holiday and some work/conference squeezed in at the end.l

Ready, aim fire!!

Madeleine’s new doll that she made with her Ma. The doll is called Gabriella. (Anyone seen High School Musical, hhmm??)

Bella playing a competitive game of Go Fish.

Lily and Jake goofing about.

Dinner: Portuguese Piri Piri Chicken – it looks black but was succulent. Well done A!!

A Good Friday

We set out early this morning to explore the Grampians with some good friends. We ended up heading north and arrived at Buandik on the edge of the Grampians. The hot weather has been replaced with blue skies and a 20 degree day, so it made walking and climbing and exploring with the kids so easy. They had a great time collecting walking sticks and moving fast to the viewing platform of some amazing ancient Aboriginal art. It blows your mind really to think that at the time Christ was born, these works were being made. Apparently the hand prints were made by blowing ground ochre out of your mouth. The colours are stunning and always after a walk upwards, the view is stunning. Each new plant the kids discovered, each new bird or animal all seemed like such a blessing. No hurry, hurry, hurry today. Just good company and God’s creation.

We said that this is one of the reasons why we live where we do….and we must make an effort to enjoy what is out our door. Stay tuned for camping adventures sometime soon.

You can see people and other line markings on this image.

This is the other dad and some of our seven kids between us all.

Jake and friends wave from a climb up the rocks of a waterfall – minus the water.

Our week in pictures….

The last week of the term and the end of a long hot run of weather. We have had allergy breakouts, nightmares, vomit, sleep walking,loads of work for A, free play with cardboard boxes for the girls, the older two making burritos together and tonight we iced biscuits for Easter – to give to teachers and friends. And yes, J continues his runescape protest.
Hopefully we will manage some family time to reflect on the days ahead.


I have read countless blogs recently and people have posted their inspiration boards for all to see. They are usually lovley collages of ideas, pictures, fabric… name it and it is there. Here are 10 things that have inspired me this week:

  • Cold beer on a hot, hot day!
  • My youngest child in her first set of plaits.
  • Being hugged when crying.
  • Friends that pray for you.
  • Friends that encourage you over the phone.
  • Honesty.
  • Beautiful fabric
  • A Painting of a pomegranate
  • Reading and reading late into the night.
  • God’s promise of peace.

It is important to snatch those few moments each day to give thanks and realise that God gives us gifts, surrounds us with people and places and beautiful things, tragic things….all to remind us of Him.

To Runescape or not to Runescape, that is the question?

The last weeks have been dominated by a persistent question from our ten year old.

“Can I play Runescape?”

This is a multiplayer online game that takes you on quests and overland adventures using spells, magic and powers. You can earn gifts, money and in turn you have the opportunity to buy the things you require for your journey. It all seems harmless enough. But…..

  • The game is framed by advertising.
  • You create your own AVATAR.
  • The game has a permanent online chat that is moderated BUT players use their own language to check out potential “HOT GFs.” (Hot girlfriends!)
  • You can turn the chat line off but an aim of the game is to chat and trade.
  • You may not want your child saying prayers to foreign God’s even in a game so that he can win goods and power.
  • It is recommended for teens not tweens ( even though this is the largest market for the game)
  • There is evidence of some players killing for no reason other than to “KILL”. This has been titled playkilling and is not a part of the intended or imagined game.

We have read reviews and had discussions with our child and he in turn has asked friends why they play. The conclusion… well, we would be happy to have your help here. If you know of the game check it out and make a comment.

Some have likened it to Dungeons and Dragons. And I know there are some of you who read this who know what that is all about.

I suspect that there are other more general rules that one must have about screen time and general viewing and playing that informs one’s decision about Runescape.

Some have named it Run Escape. Do I want my child being pursued? Do I want them playing online games period? I found these reviews.

Let me know what you think.

Our house

Last week an older gentleman from the local history centre brought around this photo of our house that we think has been taken in the 1880s. It was built we know in 1876 for a doctor, who died three years later. Rumour has it that he left the house to his housekeeper, so who the lady and three children are remains a mystery.
What is amazing for us – as we are in the process of talking plans with our architect – is that the entrance you can see where the children stand no longer exists and already the upstairs window is bricked in. Why? We don’t know and as you can imagine many tales exist.
We love our house and hope we can be good stewards of this amazing piece of local history.