Some Time Out…

We have just come back from a glorious 9 days in Broome, WA.  Along with my sister Lou and her family, my Dad, his partner and my little bro, we enjoyed a real holiday.  One where you actually relax and feel like you’ve had a break.  Cannot remember the last time we had one of those.  I had a thousand things to write, but once again I’m just too tired and staying up way too late and really must head to bed if I have any hope of adjusting back to Melbourne time.  Here are some family snaps…

How did you enjoy your school holidays?

Have you ever been lucky enough to spend some time in Broome?

Another Weekend in the Country…

We seem to have enjoyed quite a few weekends away lately.  It is so good spending time outdoors.
Last weekend we were with my extended family in southern NSW on one of my favourite properties.   My parents no longer own the farm where I grew up, so being able to share with my own kids, a space where I spent quite a bit of time in my own childhood was pretty special.

 The gastro that slowly passed from one family member to the other on our return home was not so special.  Amazing how much kids really can fend for themselves!  It was my turn on Tuesday and thank goodness Goose was home from school as she managed to get breakfast, lunch (sandwiches) and dinner (baked beans) for all.  I couldn’t have been more grateful or proud.  Four movies later and they are still sporting fake tattoos all over their bodies (the crab on Bear’s forehead is my particular favourite) but they survived just fine!  

How gorgeous is this property.  I could easily live here permanently.

21 adults and 8 kids, tents, tennis, long lunches on the lawn, dessert making competitions, kids style party games for Mr FGB’s birthday, bagpipes, food fights, the annual Australian poetry competition to win the prized golden rabbit trap…
but for the kids, catching yabbies was by far the favourite activity of the weekend.
Do you have a favourite place from your childhood where you love to take your own kids?

A Creative Camping Weekend

We had such a lovely time camping over the Easter long weekend.  Four nights with my Mum, sisters, their husbands & kids.  7 adults & 5 children.  The weather was perfect.  It started to rain as we were driving out of the camping ground.  Timing.

There is a strong creative influence in our family, so we got up to quite a bit of camp ‘art & craft’ over the weekend with not one of them organised by me!  Going camping with  aunts & uncles who are artists, sculptors, builders & crafty mamas can be quite a bonus!  So much creative fun to be had outside with nature!

They made their own paint from dirt, charcoal & leaves.

They made their own charcoal in fire, using sticks, foil & coals

and did some sneaky grafitti…

They carved sculptures using rocks (children) 

and knives (the sculptor uncle) 

and even chainsaws (the builder uncle)
 This cricket set below was made with the chainsaw, freehand!

Climbed cubby houses.

 Rubbed paper with crayons to discover the secrets beneath.

Children waking at the crack of dawn and long days meant that there was still plenty of time for other non-creative pursuits …

firewood collecting

reading in the hammock

climbing trees

nature collecting

eating potatoes overcooked in foil in the fire

Sack races
making even more easter baskets and hunting for easter eggs

Eating too many easter eggs
Some Bear Grylls re-enacting

and lots of precious quality time 

spent with those we love

and the absolute highlight – learning to ride on two wheels for the very first time!

I love my little family, I really do.  Now I’m home.  Never more keen to have a shower!    Exhausted and doing load upon load of dirt encrusted washing!

What did you get up to over the Easter long weekend?

Are you a little addicted to taking photos like me?  I took over 500 photos….(!?!)


This Saturday I’m grateful for…

- Birthdays.  I love feeling special for a day and being allowed to make it all about you!  Can’t believe it’s been a year already!

- New cameras!  Best birthday present ever from Mr FGB & the kids!  Although maybe the squashed toilet roll covered in sequins made especially for me by 2 year old Frog, all on her own, might just rival the camera in the present stakes…

- Rare photos of me with all 3 children (even if one was covered in hours old face paint).  We must remember to take more of those – so important!

- Mothers.  Mine has just returned from 3 months in Rwanda.  You can read about her travels here.  So grateful to have her back.  We missed her very much.

- Weekends away.  Staying at Mum’s this weekend in her gorgeous old home in Heathcote that still hasn’t sold.  If you are interested in a tree change check out this post.

- Festivals, sunshine & family.  Heathcote Food & Wine Festival today with sister Lou & her kids was lots of fun!

Being grateful today & joining in with Maxabella.


…for a day of catchup and recuperation at home while Mr FGB and his Mum take the kids to the snow for the day.  Before Mr FGB’s change in work situation earlier this year, a few hours on my own, let alone a whole day, was unheard of!  I am not taking this day for granted.  This change has meant a dramatic drop in work hours for a few years, and while this may be difficult financially, the benefits are enormous.  

I am grateful that last weekend, while spending a few days at our favourite beachside destination, I got to spend some one-on-one time with each of my kids.  

“Running for our lives” on the beach, collecting ‘pink’ seaweed, chasing seagulls, getting wet & sandy and building sandcastles with two year old Frog.

Walking on the golf course collecting piles of pinecones for the fire and future projects,  spotting some confused blossom in the middle of winter and running from the rain with an almost 4 year old Bear.

Flying kites, collecting driftwood and trying to spot a Hooded Plover, while disagreeing over it’s correct pronunciation, with 7 year old Goose. 

Then time as a family playing Yahtzee and Twister, eating popcorn and MasterChef style dishes.
In our ridiculously busy lives, these times away are all the more savoured.

It’s the small things.

This Saturday, as always, I am truly grateful for my lot.

For more gratefuls, head over here.

P.S. I’d be remiss not to say how grateful we are for our wonderful friends who let us use their holiday use so regularly.  Or for how grateful I am for my sister Lou who did some last minute babysitting for us last night way past her bedtime.  Above and beyond the call of duty – thank you.

P.P.S.  I am also rewinding this post today over with Multiple Mum at Weekend Rewind


- for the fun times had last weekend at ‘cousin camp’. Country mountain air is just so good for the soul. I’ll never be able to shake my country roots. 5 acres, beautiful views, great company… not to mention a huge bonfire, billy carts, a tree swing, deliciously hearty food prepared by others and best of all – plenty of willing & capable babysitters!

- that one of those cousins took some gorgeous photos of my kids with their fancy camera!

- for my Mum & 2 sisters & my gorgeous husband who give up their time & are so invaluable to me in keeping afloat in the overwhelming chaos that I seem to find myself in quite a bit these days. You’ve been particularly helpful in the past week. Thanks!

- that today I have a small chance to breathe & catch up.

- that once again Goose was very understanding when the tooth fairy was her usual ditzy self! She has been a day late a number of times before, but this time she actually got it right, left some coins, left a note in reply to hers, ate the chocolates and sprinkles left behind, but ….. somehow forgot to collect the actual tooth….

- that none of you are going to mind that this blog post is a couple of days late… it’s been a busy week/weekend (as per usual!!) and blogger was down for a couple of days…

I find it healthy to try and find things to be grateful for, a “glass half full”/polyanna look at life. For other ‘grateful’ posts that I’ve written, you can head over here.

…for others ‘grateful’ lists, you can head over here. While there you might like to read her advice on juggling too many motherhood balls, I think I need to read it very carefully...

What are you grateful for?


…for ‘big girls’ who decide all on their very own that they will absolutely NOT be wearing nappies any more!

Even though her mother was not at all sure that she was ready – neither the child or the mother who was feeling quite frankly that she just didn’t need this right now! But the child was adamant and to her parents utter surprise, it’s worked! A few accidents, but that’s OK.

I feel like giving her a great big kiss each time she goes just in sheer gratitude and relief of making this so easy!
After so many many exasperating months with the others in this area, I was determined to wait until she was ready in her own time. I just didn’t expect it so soon and just like that, we are out of nappies! Thank you little one – I’m so very grateful as your Mum really needed that right now.

What are you grateful for today?

* Apart from a few days setback when camping when she refused to go behind a tree or in a hole, precious child that she is! We had to bring out the “pink princess pull-ups” & bribe with a few choccie eggs to avoid any more accidents that are just not fun while in the middle of nowhere!


…for joy found in small moments.

…for weekends away as a family

where sand mermaids never go out of fashion,

and walks on bush tracks bring welcome sweet treats

and the classic game from my childhood – ‘Pooh Sticks’.

…for joy in the everyday things that make up my life.

I’ve written this quote before on this blog, but its still profound.

The ordinary arts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest.
Sir Thomas More (1478 – 1535)

What are you grateful for today?

* These events happened last weekend, but as I was busy having these moments, I did not have a chance to blog about them until this week.


- Dappled sunlight and home made healthy icypoles. Put in any combination of pureed fruit or yoghurt and you can give them to your children any time of day and give them seconds and even thirds with no guilt at all.*

- The sweet and strong waft of mint as I brush past the overgrown & ever expanding plants on the way to the clothesline every day. Every….single….day…multiple…times do I tread that well worn path to the clothesline.

- Mr FBG being home for two whole actual weekends in a row and today makes the third ….. heaven…. and something we haven’t had for longer than I can remember. Not sure if he feels quite the same, as he spent the whole day last Saturday pruning the trees around our yard that were suffering from years of neglect … I’m grateful that things are finally starting to get ‘done’ around here!
What are you grateful for?

* a few people have asked me about these recently – you just buy the moulds at your local supermarket. You can get fancy and do rainbow stripes with multiple fruits or lazy and pour in ready made fruit juice. The BEST is pureed mango..mmmmm.
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