This week...

Friday, August 19, 2016

A flock of Ibises have visited Sunnyside Farm this week.  At least a hundred birds meander effortlessly around the crisp, blue skies and then land on the grass, enjoying seeds from the winter pastures.  Two days ago they made the small 'cow' paddock their home, but this morning I noticed them in the front paddock.  Eli has particularly enjoyed watching them & he only laments that his video camera (that he would pull out almost daily & take footage of the birds around the farm) went for a swim recently.  Poor boy was filming ducks from the side of the dam when the dog nudged him & he dropped the camera into the water.  Sadly, it no longer works.

This week we had our BOSTES homeschool registration visit.  Our last one was two years ago.  I was ridiculously nervous knowing this was coming up.  I do know that I ensure we do the work & tick the boxes, but I was still unsure how it would go as this visit included assessing my proposed learning program for Stage 5 (years 9 & 10).  I had heard they were particularly picky with this older stage. Needless to say, my almost sleepless night before the visit was unwarranted.  We were given two years registration (& the inspector didn't read even half the paperwork I had prepared)!  This is the maximum we could get, so it was quite the relief after it was done.  

Olympic fever continues with much cheering of our Aussie athletes.  That, combined with the beginning of the Little Athletics season, has meant the boys have been busy training.  Javelin is their current choice as the twins are only beginning javelin this year.  Should you visit, please watch out for flying sticks....

Life continues to fly along.  Adding two extra children has certainly made life a little busier. After so many months, it is finally beginning to feel a little more natural having these children around.  People ask how we are going & I tell them that some days are good & some are hard & then occasionally there are those days that are really, really hard & these make us wonder why we are doing this.   Thankfully those days are getting further apart & more good days are filling the gaps. Please don't get me wrong, we do know these kiddos are amazing blessings, they've just been so hurt that sometimes its hard for them to get past that.  Time & God....

The sky is clouding over & the wind has risen signaling that rain is near.  I'd better go & feed the lambs before I get stuck getting wet.  I'd rather stay by the fire, but duty calls....

Have a wonderful day friends

An Update

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Last week we finally got connected to the NBN via satellite.  I'm ridiculously excited as we have been testing the capacity of this new Internet connection since then.  So far we've been able to run three Youtube videos all at once on different devices.  Previously we couldn't even properly run one without having to wait for it to feed again & again & again!   What makes this so exciting, though, is that it has opened up so  many more options for homeschooling our big kids.  But what I'm dancing with joy over right now is that I've just tried uploading these photos & it only took me 5 minutes!!! 5 MINUTES...instead of the previous hours it would take.  Before this new connection I had to set the computer to upload just before I went to bed & then hope that the Internet hadn't glitched overnight & that they were uploaded in the morning.  Needless to say it was a chore & thus the reason this space has sat silent for far too long.  But now... well now if only I could find some extra time in my day, I can easily post! YAY!!

The past few months have flown, have been wonderful, have been difficult & have been memorable for so many reasons.  We are still working at melding our new children into our family.  This just takes time & persistence. I'll leave that for another post, but needless to say it is challenging, yet we are seeing immense progress!  

One major thing that occurred in June was that Dave hit a kangaroo with our white Vito & it was written off.  This meant we had to find some new wheels & fast.  We did hire a car for a while, but it was costing us a bucket-load of cash, so finally we just had to buy something.  We were blessed to find a Valante.  It is practically the same as what we had, only it is prettier inside (& silver).   The Valante is newer and this particular one has an extra seat. I was a little worried about getting a car that we already filled up (most of these cars are 8 seaters), but it was either these or a huge van. There just doesn't seem to be middle options in Australia.  So 9 seats it is & we'll purchase a trailer for long trips as 8 people use a lot of luggage - especially when one requires a port-a-cot and high chair.  The twins have to help wash it each week which is why they are industriously scrubbing away in the photo!

Lambing season has come & almost gone on the farm.  So far we only have 6 poddy lambs & we are thankful for that!  We simply would not be able to do the 50 we had last year with all the family changes this year.  6 lambs are easy & the children are more than capable of doing the majority of the work.  We've been abundantly blessed with a relatively easy lambing season in the paddocks, with only a few losses! We are so thankful for this.  

Cooking, gardening, mowing grass on the few days it hasn't rained this winter...these occur whenever we find a chance to do it (& the gardens desperately need care, so please don't think I have everything together at all)!  Homeschooling is going well, with Olympic fever filling the air of this old farmhouse!  Watching the Olympics is a great incentive for the scholars to work hard & fast. We've hooked up the TV antennae for these couple of weeks so we can watch the television programming of it :)

We've had a beautifully rainy winter & everything is overflowing with life!   I'm not sure what all this rain means for the farmers' crops, but I do know that everything is oh, so pretty right now with wattles 'popping' & green, green grass everywhere!

I intend to post a little more regularly, but will see if life gets in the way again!
Have a lovely day friends

That thing called Love... and other thoughts

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Already these photos are vastly outdated.  The world has since turned a beautiful green and no longer do we crunch through dry grass to tend to the chickens, instead all around is the beginning of a lush pasture, promising nourishment to the many animals that rely on it!  Days of rain have filled our dams to the top and provided wonderful moisture to the thirsty earth.  All around the farmers' crops are beginning to grow and what once were brown fields are now vibrant greens. 

Winter has come to Sunnyside.  Days of woodfires, soups and blanket wrapped story-times!  Combined with muddy puddles, growing gardens and plenty of animals to keep us busy.  We were late starting the fire this year with such a warm autumn, but I am proving my fire lighting expertise now (ha ha - Dave says I use too many firelighters, but at least the fire is going!!)  The warmer weather also gave our winter veges a great start and soon we will be harvesting the first tastes of these greens we enjoy! Today I picked the last pumpkin left on the vine as long as possible.  What is left of the frost bitten vine will become food for the fast-growing piglets when I get the chance to clean out that garden.

Our newest little kiddos are finally feeling like part of the family.  I'm sure it's normal when you take on partially grown children, but at first we really felt at a loss with how to introduce them to people. It almost felt like we needed to clarify that they were not our bio children, yet whenever we did that people were so lavish with their praise of us that we were quite embarrassed.  The weekend before last we took a family day and surprised the children with a trip to trampoline park in the city!  While there a lady asked if Miss Toddler was my daughter and it was the first time I confidently said "yes", without feeling I needed to explain. That was a big milestone for me.  

Homeschool is continuing to chug along.  I am so thankful for children who are diligent with getting most of their work completed if I am busy.  I am still trying to find balance with everything, but no longer feel like I am drowning in all the responsibilities I have.  Most days everyone is achieving  their educational goals and as long as I've spent a couple of hours a week doing planning (usually on Saturday nights), the weeks go fairly smoothly.    I am finding that the best time for uninterrupted reading aloud to the twins is at nighttime once the little ones are asleep. (Mr. Preschool will sit still for most of a story, but will give his opinion and Miss Toddler doesn't sit still for longer than 0.04 seconds!)   So after family devotions, the twins and I curl up, all three of us, on Jud's bottom bunk and enjoy our stories.  Zai and Ellie always listen as well. Which makes for a very nice way to end the evening.  

Dave and I were discussing what we would like to do if money was no object.  I told him that I would like to be doing exactly what I am doing now.  I feel so blessed to be able to be at home with these six (six!!) precious children.  Love is really beginning to grow for these new little ones!  I am blessed to live here on this little farm with all it's many critter, to have a wonderful husband that I don't deserve, great friends who are more like family & a church that supports us and loves us all!

I've been missing writing here.  I was fairly bursting with the need to write tonight.  I have so much more to record, but time is beckoning me to bed, with the knowledge that tomorrow will be another busy day!  I'm just thankful to get a little time!  

Goodnight friends!

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