Spring rains here on the farm....

Sunday, September 11, 2016


 Spring has sprung here on Sunnyside! 
My white Bearded Iris' have popped in the garden.  Last year I separated one large bunch into many throughout my flower 'half circle' .  This year they have rewarded me for allotting them the extra space with a stunning display!  I can only hope that the purple ones I also transplanted will be equally as extravagant!  The canola crops ripple along the bottom of our valley with their bright yellow flowers. I can't help but admire their beauty each time I step outside.  I am so glad the neighbours decide to plant canola as I couldn't imagine spring without these pretty yellow patches intermingled with the varying greens of the pastures & grain crops that fill the other paddocks.  Spring is in the air & beauty lies all around.

We've had some rain.  Actually, we've had loads of rain. Our paddocks are very wet - far too wet to drive on (read: far too wet to bring up the sheep for lamb marking - & we have some BIG lambs already).  Friday night, for the very first time since we've been here, the highway that our little farm fronts onto was closed due to flooding. Zai & I snuck out the next morning to try & get some photos, but already the water had receeded.  We did manage a few photos of flooded paddocks & water rushing through streams that generally hold just a trickle.   The forecasts are telling us that the rain will return.  I'm not going to complain because the beat of raindrops on our tin roof is one of my favourite sounds & I know come summer that we will appreciate the overflowing dams! 
The twins helped me to start our seeds for our summer garden last weekend.  This year I am experimenting with peat pots as well as the normal pots I generally use.  We shall see how they go.  I grabbed them by accident as I was running through Masters after arriving back from Brisbane a couple of weeks ago.  I'm sure my foggy, 'I've been travelling on two plane flights with a toddler ' brain wasn't thinking properly when I picked the pots up.  Since I have them, I thought to give them a go.  So far the seeds have come up in those & not the others.  I know that I am late starting the seeds.  I always like to have them in by mid-August, but this year it just didn't happen.  Thankfully they are in now.  Actually, I'm late with everything this year.  Taking on our two precious youngest children has sure meant I've needed to extend bucket loads of grace to myself as we work out the new logistics of family life. I'm learning to relax just a little about the less important things such as starting seeds at a particular time.

I had to include a photo of Eli and his blow gun.  He designed this thing & had loads of fun shooting clay pieces everywhere.  Once his brother built one, I relegated the clay shooting to outside.  I'm still finding clay everywhere.  Of course then the other boys each needed one (4 sons... 'nuff said) & they've even been making them for friends.  Boys.....

The hammock is finally being used again as the weather warms a little (well when it's not raining that is).  Ellie will spend her time happily laying there doing schoolwork.  I'm not sure that's normal school protocol, but hey, we homeschool & hammock schooling is allowed! 

The big children have just finished their movie & its time for me to say goodnight here & become switched on Mummy again (the little ones have been asleep for a good hour as they were TIRED)!

Have a wonderful week friends!

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
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