Sunday, December 31, 2006


It's New Years Eve here today. 13 years since I met Cary. What an interesting journey this has been!

I've been looking around the house at the decorations we had for Christmas. Our packages from the US still haven't arrived so the kids and I made most of our own decorations. We collected gumnuts that had fallen from the trees in the front yard and painted them and sprinkled them with glitter. Then I tied them onto some string and wrapped them around our Christmas tree. Sami did some colourful finger-knitting which we also wrapped around the tree. The kids collected feathers and seashells and pinecones and even some cicada shells that all went on the tree. We did buy a couple of things to finish decorating the tree - a strand of lights, a few shiny balls and some red bows. It was one of the best trees we've ever had.

The new year approaching has me pondering the year gone by. Wow - such a big year on so many levels. I am so grateful for all of it. Still sad about some of the people and animals we had to leave behind. On the whole though, I am in a very good place physically and mentally. Achieving all that I have this year has given me even more courage to pursue other personal dreams. I am so excited for this next year!

I really do hope that 2007 will be an exciting and happy year for you filled with good health, joy and peace.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Christmas in Australia

For over 12 years, I've been dreaming of a warm Christmas. This year I got one! It has been unseasonably cool here - in the low to mid 20's C (not F!) instead of the low to mid 30's.

My Mum and brother were already staying with us and my sister and her family were 5 minutes walk away at the local caravan (trailer) park. On Christmas Eve, we all enjoyed dinner together. Sami went to bed early and AJ went soon after her, but said he felt like throwing up. A few hours later he woke up burning up. I brought him in to sleep next to me so I could keep an eye on him but he kept waking up. I finally remembered I had some homeopathic remedies that would help his fever and they did. At 5:30am on Christmas morning, I heard AJ whispering to Sami excitedly about the big 2-seater tricycle under the tree that he had already taken a peek at. Suddenly I was wide awake, remembering what day it was and having memories of a Christmas 3 or 4 years ago when Sami opened most of her presents - very quietly - before I woke up.

AJ is so thrilled with the trike. It fits him perfectly and is at the lowest seat setting so he has plenty of room to grow with it. It has a seat in the back which Nicholas rides in. AJ was happy to ride that around inside the house while the rest of us had some breakfast and tried to wake up a bit. We also had to wait for everyone to arrive. Sami and AJ were so patient about waiting for gifts, they just enjoyed being with their cousins and mucking about. There were quite a few little fun fights of balled up paper flying across the room. At one point in the morning, Sami happily said to me "This is just the best Christmas!". There were lots of laughs and hugs and general silliness.

We didn't go overboard with presents for the kids. This has been such a big year. I wanted the emphasis to be on family fun rather than gifts. So AJ got the trike and a few other little things. Sami got a new wooden recorder, a sewing box and craft things. Nicholas (Nuke) got a wooden firetruck and a couple of other small toys. Cary and I chose not to exchange gifts this year.

I pretty much overlooked any 'Santa' stuff this year. Not that I do a lot usually, but this year I didn't even leave any treats out for the big guy. The only reference Sami made about him was on Christmas morning when she and AJ and Cary and I went to look at the tree and AJ said "look what Santa brought" and Sami said "so he IS real". I guess she had been doubting. AJ starting talking about Santa on Christmas eve when he asked me to send Santa a letter asking for 3 things one of which was the trike, so I got that right. The other two things were spy stuff and walkie-talkies (which I didn't have for him). When I told him it might be a little late to send a letter and he might not be able to get all of those things, he suggested we email him! Later on Christmas day, he said "Santa didn't bring me anything". He didn't count the water pistol he got as it had broken during the water fight. I suggested "wasnt' the trike from him?" He had seen the trike at the Tender Center here and knew that I had put a bid in on it, but I didn't tell him that I had won it. I was able to pick it up one day while he was at school and I had it hidden in the garage for the past 3 weeks. I don't think he quite believed that and seemed a bit disappointed by the lack of Santa magic this year. Sorry AJ.

After gifts were opened, most of the family headed out into the beautiful sunshine to the vacant lot next door for a game of cricket. That got everyone nice and warm which led into my sister's family tradition of a big water fight on Christmas Day. Oh what fun that was! It was our family + Geoff (my brother) vs Ros and her family. So much laughing! I felt a bit bad about wasting so much water when there is such a big drought happening in the country. But I am pretty careful the rest of the time, and it's not like we just let the taps run non-stop while we were refilling our water pistols and other water toys.

While we were having the water fight, Mum was inside working on food for lunch. We all chipped in to help when we were cleaned up and enjoyed sitting down together for Christmas day lunch for the first time in 21 years. With the addition of six grandchildren and my husband. That was pretty special.

An afternoon storm rolled in after lunch and we played inside while it passed. Then we got into our swimmers and headed to the creek for some more cricket and kayaking and swimming. An easy, light dinner and an early night rounded out the day. What a great day!

In the couple of days since Christmas, we've all just been hanging out and playing. Ros and her family left yesterday and Mum and Geoff are leaving tomorrow. Today we went into the shops for a couple of things, but after seeing the crowds, Cary and the kids and I decided to leave it for another day and went to the Fisherman's co-op for some prawns. I am checking out the sale brochures for a little digital camera that I can easily carry with me which will hopefully make it easier for me to put photos on here. I will keep on blogging. I think I was just a bit overwhelmed when I last posted and blogging was feeling a bit too one-sided during a time when I needed to connect more personally.

Cary has now been here one week. Before now, he's really only spent a combined total of about 24 days in the country. The last time he came here was 7.5 years ago. So a lot is new to him. He is enjoying the weather and the lifestyle and the generally slower pace here. And the family of course! Nuke had grown so much that Cary didn't recognise him at the airport. Ok, the fact that Nuke had fallen and busted his lip open earlier in the day didn't help. We got Cary some new clothes so now he's looking more the part of an Aussie beach bum. He's loving the sounds of the birds and bugs around here and all of the greenery. We are all enjoying having him here.

Life is bloody good!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Happy Holidays

I haven't been blogging because I just haven't had time. Or, frankly, the inclination. I've been wondering if I wanted to continue or would I just prefer to have meaningful contact, whether by phone, email or in person, with friends and family? Or myself. I've been giving more thought to my relationship with me. It's as though I am coming into alignment and I'm rethinking my priorities.

Life has been so challenging and busy and beautiful for the past 3 months. The past few weeks have been especially busy but fun, with Sami's birthday, end of school year things going on, a trip away to visit family and Cary's arrival on the 20th. Cary loves the area and the house. This is a great house - 4br, 2 bath, 2 living areas, mostly tile throughout which will help keep it cool in summer, as well as the fact that it's a brick house and has lots of windows that allow the sea breezes to drift through. The colours are light and earthy. It's a very comfortable, easy place to live.

I sincerely hope y'all have a happy, healthy, safe and low-stressed Holiday season and I wish you Peace and Joy for the new year.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Sami's 9!

Happy Birthday Sami Sunshine Girl! Thank you so much for all the love and lessons.

Sami is so excited today! She was awake early, opened some gifts which she gladly let the boys help with, ate some mangos, then it was time for banana birthday cake. A few phone calls then outside to catch penny lizards while waiting to go to school. She's very happy to share her birthday with her friends at school with the added excitement that they are moving classrooms today, getting ready to start a new school year at the end of January after the summer break. This afternoon, we are going to the Big Banana and then to Pet Porpoise Pool ( Will blog about that later.
I feel very blessed right now and very grateful for the love, health and abundance in our lives.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Sami's First Sleepover

Yesterday was Friday here. In the morning I took Sami to school with her pillow and blanket and other items necessary for a sleepover. She met her fellow classmates and teacher and they all loaded into two 15 seater vans. Sami was so excited. She kept waving to me happily while she waited patiently for everyone to get organised. Her eyes were sparkling with a sense of new adventure. It didn't take long and they were off. "Bye Darlin', be careful" I said silently as her smiling face disappeared from view. They were all off the the Promised Land (seriously - that's what's it's called). Apparently a beautiful place not too far away with a freshwater creek and rock slides and lots of bush to explore. Then the whole class was having a sleepover at the teachers house!

The boys and I were busy. We had playgroup all morning and then we came home to tidy up for a visit from my Aunt who was calling in for a cuppa on her way south to visit my Grandma. After her visit, we went over to the creek for a swim, home for baths, dinner and eventually bed. It was rather quiet and we kept wondering what Sami would be up to.

Today all the parents were to meet the returning vans at a national park picnic area for a family picnic. I got there a little early and the vans came around the bend tooting their horns with the merry sounds of children singing. Sami was still smiling but when she hugged me, she had a few tears as it just hit her how much she'd missed me. Sweet girl. The teacher and other parent helpers were all beaming and talking about what a great time they'd all had. I tell you, Tracey (the teacher) is such a wonderful person, I really could not ask for a nicer teacher for Sami. Tracey will be Sami's teacher right through until the end of year 7 which is part of the Steiner/Waldorf philosophy (to keep the same teacher with the children all the way through primary school).

Dear Sami was so tired when we got home but managed to find enough energy to go swimming with us at the creek. There were lots of fish, up to 6" long, swimming all around us. The water is so clear they are easy to see. AJ was trying to catch one in a bucket for Sami to have for dinner. I can see he's going to enjoy the fishing net he's got coming for Christmas. Nicholas is pretty fearless in the water. He keeps wading in until the water is up to his chin and then he just stands there laughing. Of course I keep a very close eye on him and am usually right next to him although sometimes he pushes me away a bit as he thinks he's ready to be Mr. Independent. Not yet mate.

Sami had a very early night and Nicholas wasn't too far behind her which gave AJ and I some quiet one-on-one. We were playing tic-tac-toe on a chalk board when he started adding more lines and before long we'd made our own game up. I just adore him. We had such a fun time together.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

One size does not fit all

Isn't it wonderful that we are all so different? How dull the world would be if we all came programmed the same, like robots.

How beautiful the world would be if we could approach our differences with curiosity rather than conflict. Gentleness not guns.

You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one.

Conflict comes in so many forms and is a part of growth to a certain degree. The way we deal with conflict can define our very being, shaping how we show ourselves to the world.

There is no one right way for everyone, we all need to find our own way. If your way works so great for you - fantastic! But don't assume it will work for me too. If you want me to know something, teach me gently, not like I'm an idiot.

Monday, December 04, 2006


I'm not very good at posting photos, I'll have to play around with it in all my spare time (ha!).
The first photo was taken during Sami's school play. She's 3rd from the right, playing a recorder. The play was performed in her classroom. If you look out the window you'll get an idea of how green it is around there. The walls of the classroom are stone, the floors are wood, the roof is corrugated steel, painted with special heat reflecting paint. One end of the room has a large circular rug and lovely wooden and cloth play toys and musical instruments on one side, and big cushions for sitting and reading on the other side. Up the other end of the classroom are the wooden desks with ergonomically designed chairs and a large chalkboard. Outside of the classroom is a verandah with two large low tables for messy craft projects or for eating at, and pegs to hang backpacks and hats. The children all remove their shoes before entering class as part of the transition from outside time to inside time. When inside, they can go barefoot or wear slippers in cooler weather if they want to.
The second photo is our new home in Moonee Beach.
I'll post more photos soon.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Confession & wishes

I don't want a million dollars, unless I could use it to help others (kids and animals and the environment). I don't want a big house, yacht or a personal plane.

I do want a simple life. I would like to actually own a house with some land near some water. I want to grow our own veges. I want to be a part of a big small-town community. I want to live in an area where family and friends pop in for a few days or or a few hours when they pass through. I want my children to know the security and joy that these would bring.

I am more concerned with making a life than making a living. I wish that Cary's concern for the latter would involve less stress and more of the former.

I love the area we are living now and could easily put down roots here. Finally - after 20+ years of being restless and wanting to move around, I'm ready to stay put. I feel I have most of what I just wished for. To complete the dream, I "just" need to buy a home and see Cary move in a new, happier direction. Working on both of those.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Finally back online!

Hey ho...what an adventure! I don't know where to start in writing about the last 2+ months. It has been a rollercoaster ride, that's for sure. At the highest points, I felt connected to the land and sea around me, old friends and family. I delighted in the joy my children and I felt when exploring the area and in simple pleasures. At the lowest points, I walked a dark line. I cried, I yelled and I almost broke. One day I walked into a health food store looking for some soap, but instead, something made me ask for something to help with stress. It turns out that the lady I was talking to was a naturopath and she made me a special tonic that has helped unbelievably.

There was so much to do and deal with. Deciding on what area to settle in, a house, a car, which phone company, where to buy furniture, food, insurance, etc. Interviewing for the school. Dealing with hassles regarding the car I bought and the A/C that didn't work. Dealing with the phone company when the phone line didn't get put in when it was supposed to. Taking care of 3 children. Catching up with some of the people we hadn't seen for years. Health issues, family dramas and so much more.

I would have liked to have the internet earlier to connect with the life I'd left behind. But I guess not having it forced us to adapt mentally much faster to our new life. I found support in new (and old) friends instead of relying on friends in the USA.

Things now are settling down. We are all very happy with this area. To say Sami loves her school would be an understatement. It is the right fit for her right now. She is thriving. She loves the rhythm, the people, the environment. She was in a class play last week that performed for parents and the school. She was beaming the whole time. She's learning to play the recorder, to speak Indonesian, all kinds of crafts. She's really enjoying reading and math now too. In some ways, I'm a little sad that she didn't react like this when we were unschooling, but really, I'm so happy to see her loving this. She is so content and has mellowed within herself. She has lots of friends, has had playdates and sleepovers and been to birthday parties. Her teacher is lovely. Sami decided that she wanted to learn tennis so she's been taking lessons one afternoon per week and loves that too. She has really bonded to the females in my family. It's a beautiful thing.
AJ is enjoying all the different bugs and birds and lizards and crabs around here. He goes to preschool 3 days a week at the same school ( and enjoys it. I go to a playgroup with both boys at the school one morning a week which is just lovely.

This place feels like home to me. It is soothing to my soul. I love looking out at the water and the lush green hills. The people are friendly, the birds are singing and chattering, the frogs croak, the weather is exciting and it feels so good to be here.

Cary will be here next week. I hope he loves it here as much as I do.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Last post from USA

I woke up at 4am again. I slept well, but hope I can get a bit more sleep before the big trip. I was lying awake thinking of the journey this has been and will be. Specifically about our 'stuff'.

I had felt good about the decision to load a pallet with our stuff. Then we decided not to even do that, but to just sea-mail a few boxes through the post office. I spent a LOT of time downsizing even further, weighing boxes, figuring out exactly how much it was going to cost through the PO. I sold off a lot more of the things I had wanted to take originally. And it felt ok. At the last yard sale I sold a lot of the books I had wanted to take. I was ok with that because it felt like the small box that I had finally downsized to, had given a clear indication of where my focus for future growth lay. Through sorting through my books, I was able to see the path of what is important for me to do in my life. It was an interesting experience. And I felt good about it.

A similar experience with sorting through more of the toys and things I had wanted to take. I had felt really ok with selling off some of the really neat toys the kids had. I kept thinking "this would be too heavy / they don't play with this very much". Again, it allowed us all to focus on the toys they do play with so I can keep this in mind when we do settle again. I will be more mindful of what I buy instead of just buying something because it's made of wood, or I think it's neat.

But just now, I was lying awake thinking of some of the books and toys and other household things I would have kept if I had stuck to our plan of taking the pallet load. I was feeling a bit pissed off at myself for not being firm in that decision. But I think that there has been so much going on, in a relatively short time, that this has been like a band-aid that was pulled off quickly - it just hit me what has happened and I had a shock for a moment when I wish the band-aid was still there, but after the sting wears off, I'll realise that I feel much better.

If I had not been back-n-forth, I would have missed the valuable lesson in where to focus my growth and what toys are important to my children. I probably would have started accumulating 'stuff' when we get settled again instead of being more mindful of what we get and how we spend our time and money. It's also a lesson in Trust. If those books and toys and things are meant to be in my life, they will reappear. It's a lesson in trusting myself, that I made the right decisions. It's a lesson in Gratitude for the things I do still have. And it's a lesson in Living Simply so that we can Simply Live.

I'm grateful for the lessons. I do wish I could have had those lessons in a less stressful way but perhaps they wouldn't have been so effective.

I've had to say goodbye / farewell to some very dear friends over the past couple of days. A couple of times I've wondered if we are really doing the right thing, do I really want to leave these wonderful people? I have been so blessed with my friends! At least with the internet, it makes it much easier to keep in touch. Thank you dear friends for your love and friendship and support and laughs and tears and lessons.

This time in 24 hours, we will be sitting on a plane over the Pacific Ocean. This time in 48 hours, we'll be playing on a beach in Australia. It's all good!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Cary's IN!!!

We just got word today that Cary's Australian Immigration Visa is approved!!!!!

I am so thrilled to have this news before we leave in TWO DAYS time! Ack! What am I doing playing around on the computer? Too much to do still...gotta go... just had to share the good news!

Monday, September 04, 2006

We're off to see the Wizard...

..or something like that. I do feel a bit like Dorothy only my tornado has had me spinning for weeks. My 'house' - my kids and some of our stuff - will soon be dropped into the land of Oz where we will follow the yellow brick road on a life-changing adventure. I already feel myself changing in ways I cannot yet put into words. I do wish that the other part of my home - my husband - was coming with us. A part of me is a bit nervous about what lies ahead. Another part is wonderfully excited about all of the possibilities and chances to reconnect with family, friends and the land I love. There is another part that knows and accepts this journey on a much deeper level as something I do need to do without Cary. This first part that is, until he is able to join us. It's a chance to get back in touch with myself and stand firm in my courage and creativity. Not that Cary has ever tried to make me a part of him; he's always appreciated that I was an individual. I feel that I have given up parts of myself along the way, which is actually not fair to him or I or the children.

We are now down to 9 days left in the USA. Any regrets? Well I do wish I'd seen more of the beautiful and interesting places here, such as the Grand Canyon and Zion, and taken a drive up the west coast. But I am very grateful for all of the interesting places we did go - Florida, Mexico, different parts of California, Utah, Sedona and the drive across country when we moved here from Maryland. I'm content. When Nicholas is a bit older, we'll come back and do those other things.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Stuffin Stuff

Trying to organise the stuff we were going to take had me so stressed! Trying to figure out what goes, what gets sold or donated, how much will fit on the load, dealing with a ton of paperwork for that, packing boxes so they were full but not too was all too much. The stuff was ruling my life. I hated that feeling. We are ready to go to the next level and just sea mail boxes of photos and sentimental things and leave everything else behind. Once we made that decision, I felt so much more relaxed. I sat down with AJ and we played cards - I don't remember the last time we have done that. It felt so good to reconnect with him after being so busy dealing with the physical stuff - our material possessions - that was just draining me.

Sami and AJ both had their hair cut a few days ago. AJ wanted his short so it could be spiked up on top. It looked great the first day but I don't have any gel so now it looks flat, but he still likes it. Sami does not like brushing her hair a lot and it was getting very knotty especially with being at the pool so much this summer. She also does not like doing anything with it except for maybe wearing a headband. She has been saying for a while that she wants it cut really short. Funny - when I was young, I always wanted long hair but my Mum insisted it be kept short because when she was young, she had been made to have long hair and always wanted it short. I had imagined that I would have a daughter who would want to have long hair and would love to let me braid it and do fun things with it. Nope. But I do have a daughter who knows her own mind and is free to follow through on most things, but definately her own hair choice. So my sweet Sami now has a very short, slightly layered bob cut that looks great on her. And she is happy about that.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


I feel like I'm in the middle of a living jigsaw puzzle. As the preparations for this move come together, the picture looks clearer. The edges are mostly in place and now we are filling in the middle.

We had a yard sale on Saturday which went very well. We sold so much stuff. And it was so easy. I felt a little sentimental when selling a couple of the kids things, but it was really ok. It didn't even bother me to sell the kayaks as I know we'll be getting more. We've booked our load into the freight company and have some paperwork to complete for that as well as finalising what we're taking. I've got some of our luggage packed that we'll be taking with us. We'll be having one more big yard sale on the Saturday before we leave.

I'm getting very tempted to take very little with us. Reducing the obscene amount of stuff we had has been so liberating! How much do we really need? How much stuff does it take to make our house a home? Or is it even the stuff at all? What if we were in a beautiful area with lots of nature to explore? Would we need all that stuff?

I think back to my own childhood. I remember some board games we had that we would play during cold and/or rainy weather. I remember a few of the toys I had. We didn't have tons of stuff. We had a swing set, a pool and miles and miles of bush, a creek, a lake and each other. They were truly the best "stuff" of my childhood.

Friday, August 25, 2006

In the quiet moments..

I have been keeping so busy. I need to be busy right now as there is so much to do. It also helps me to only think about what needs to be done.

But then the quiet moments just before sleep come. Last night I was feeling grief over some of the things we are selling. Some of the kids things. We're taking as much as we can, and their attitude towards releasing things has been amazing. But we just cannot take some of the things that they have really enjoyed due to size or other reasons. I wonder if those things mean more to me as I see the potential for future enjoyment, as well as knowing how much they have liked certain things in the past, whereas they live more for now.

Also in those quiet moments, I do a wing check. I feel like I / we are taking a running leap off a mountain top. Some parts of our plan are as close to specific as we can get without actually being there - such as the area we want to live. My brother is giving us a car which is very nice of him and helps take care of that detail. I have a pretty good idea of what the kids and I will be doing. How will it all be different, and how will it still be the same. How will we change? Will it all be good? What will be compromised as I shake the stagnant compalcency from this life?

My wings are good, I'm ready to fly!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

21 days and counting!

We finally made a decision to freight 100 cubic feet of our stuff over to Australia. To calculate this, we have a 4'x4' square on the floor and a mark on the wall at 6' high. We are packing boxes and stacking them densly in this area. When we are finished and satisfied with the things we have chosen to send, we need to do an inventory, seal the boxes and deliver them to a warehouse in Las Vegas. There they will put them on a pallet and freight them by sea to Oz and then deliver them to our door. It feels good to have made this decision and now we can work on selling everything else. I have advertised some of our stuff and am already getting a good response. It's actually been easy to let go of these things. I'm happy with the decision and the amount of stuff we will be taking. It will be nice to have some familiar things around us, as well as new things.

I'm really amazed at how easily Sami and AJ are giving up things. Sami told AJ "they have toys in Australia too". Their attitude towards this makes it all so much easier.

We've got a big yard sale planned for this coming Saturday. In between packing, sorting, planning and keeping 3 children and 1 big kid entertained, life sure is busy at the moment. I'm so excited! I do admit to brief periods of questioning this whole process, such as last weekend when Scooby left our home permanently. Cary took him back to the rescue group where we had gotten him from. They wanted to be the one to find him a new home. It was very sad, but it was necessary. His energy was adding to the chaos in our house which I needed to minimise. That night, I couldn't sleep, thinking about him, worrying if he was ok. I got up and sat in the living room. I picked up a magazine and read for a while. When I went back to bed, I had a very clear dream that Scooby had been placed with a family as a companion for a 7 year old boy who was an only child. In my dream I saw them playing together and I saw Scooby sleeping on the boys bed. I remember many of the details of the childs room. I haven't been remembering any dreams lately and this felt like an angelic message that Scooby was ok. In my mind, I thanked Scooby for the love and lessons he'd brought us in the 8 months that we had him. Later that day, my wise friend Cat reminded me that people and animals play a part in our lives for exactly the length of time that they are meant to. She's so right. I have made some good friends here and good memories. I'm ready to close the chapter and start anew. I know some friends will stay in touch and others will move on to touch others. And that's all ok and good.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Chapter closing

I've done it - I've booked tickets for the children and I to go back to Australia in 4 weeks. It's time. I am so ready. I feel very calm at the moment. My attachment to the physical stuff here reduces every day. Slipping out of this skin was uncomfortable at first, but now it feels like it's sliding off effortlessly.

We still have moving quotes coming in but I'm ready to sell it all and just sea mail over the photos and sentimental things.

I don't think I'll be blogging much for a while. I want to focus on what needs to be done and enjoy this last month here. I want to spend less time on the computer and more time being goofy with my children.


Monday, August 14, 2006


There is a little girl inside of my heart, skipping around in a spring meadow singing "I'm going home!".

Then there's moments of disbelief and concern about how it's going to feel after being gone for 12.5 years. And concern for Cary and the kids and how they will adjust. Actually, I feel the kids will be fine.

How American have I become? I've gotten used to conveniences like all of the shops available so close, gas half the price it is in Australia, ordering books and supplies online whenever we want them. I've become quite a consumer - is that what I'm teaching my kids? I think they are pretty thrifty as they enjoy going to yard sales and thrift stores, but they also want to get something every single time we go to those places.

I've been thinking about what I want to take to Australia when we go. Our first moving quote came in much higher than we'd imagined. I need to cross some things off the list, but how much?

The snake symbol has been coming to me again lately. I feel like I am about to shed this American skin, and with it a lot of the physical stuff I've accumulated since I've been here. When I do this, I will be able to go forth, with a fresh new skin - a much wiser one, ready for a new beginning.
When I came to this realisation, I felt an actual relaxation in my etheric body and felt my guides high-fiving each other saying "yay, she finally got the point!".

I have been attached to some of my books, but you know what, they have books in Australia too! And everything else we need - it will be provided. Trust.

This whole process - it's so exciting, a little scary, but then I go back to exciting. I am tending to get a little overwhelmed at times thinking of all that needs to be done while also tending to the needs of everyone else in the house.

Deep breath. Do what I can. Trust it will all get done.
The only constant in life is change. Remember that suffering comes not from change itself, but from resistance to that change. Flow with it. It's all good.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Blue Butterfly

That was the name of a movie we watched a couple of days ago. Highly recommended! Great family film. The DVD had an option to choose a G-rated version (no swear words). It is the story of a 10 year old terminally ill boy who wants to go the the South American rainforest to catch a particular blue butterfly.


Cary came up with a new nickname for Nicholas - "Nuke" (noo-k). It kind of stemmed from Nicolai / Nicky Noo Noo. With the high amount of energy he has and the trail of toys etc he creates, it fits him really well.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

No more soy

I went back to the naturopath today. She said my lungs and liver were looking a lot better, but my adrenals were still not where they should be although there was a slight improvement. She checked me for a soy allergy and it came out positive. All of Sami's organs tested high meaning that they were stressed, same with AJ but not quite so high. It turns out they have the soy allergy also. She wants us to stop taking all forms of soy and to go on some homeopathic meds to get rid of the overgrowth of candida we all have in our systems. She also wants us all to go through a thorough allergy testing to see if there is anything else we need to avoid. That's going to make it hard being a vegan. So I'll see how I feel introducing a little dairy back into my diet. It wouldn't be very often. We can have rice or almond milk instead of the soy milk we were drinking. I can make my own ice cream or there is a rice version available at the health food stores. I don't know if there is a non-soy, non-dairy cheese available, I'll have to look, not that I do much cheese.

Did I mention recently that I'm very excited about going back to Australia?~!!!!!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

It's coming together....

We have Nico's Australian passport back already. That only took one week from when Cary took it to LA. The embassy in Washington that's handling Cary's Immigration visa should have everything they need now. I've made appointments to have moving companies come to our house to give us quotes on moving our stuff to Australia. And I'm sosooo excited!!!!! It hit me this morning "I'm going home!!".

I am grateful for the home-base that this has been here, and for all of the adventures we've had and friends we've made. But deep in my heart, it's not where I want to be forever. I am grateful that I've been able to spend so much time with my children and I'm grateful to my husband for the lifestyle we've had. I am hoping that he will be able to relax a lot more in Oz, that he will find enough things to keep him entertained and interested. I know my family will make him feel very welcome and I'm sure it won't take him long to get to know a lot of the locals. I hope he grows to love Australia even a tenth of what I do. He's worked so hard for so long, he needs to enjoy some of the good life!

I have tried to 'bloom where I'm planted' and I've been happy here. But now...

I'm going home! I'm going home! I'm going home!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Mr. Walker

Our little Mr. Walker aka Nicolai Noo Noo is proving to have a very independent spirit! He insists on walking around the grocery store with us now - he will not sit in the shopping trolley for very long at all. He likes to help by bringing me things he thinks we should buy. He prefers to walk all on his own too - he does not want to hold anyone's hand.

Last week, he got a couple of little wooden toy cars out of the car basket and was pushing them back and forth on a low table making engine noises. It amazes me that some children do that! AJ did it, Sami did not. Nico likes to imitate noises. He will pick up a telephone and say something that sounds very much like "hello". He babbles a lot as if he's trying to say so much. And, you wouldn't believe the volume that comes out of him in his attempt to keep up with Sami and AJ.

He's in the process of switching from two naps a day to one, so that's interesting.


When I woke up this morning, I felt tired. I was excited because I didn't feel reallllllly tired like I usually do. Recently I went to a naturopath who said my adrenals were exhausted, my liver was full and my lungs had residue tobacco in them. For a week I've been taking homeopathic supplements to work on those three things and I think that maybe they're starting to kick in. I'm going back on Monday for a follow-up and she is going to check Sami and AJ at the same time (for free!) to see if they have any imbalances. When Cary had his medical recently, he was told that he was in great shape. But I would like him to go to this naturopath to have a deeper look and make sure he gets to his 50th birthday in December, as fit and healthy as possible.

I am so excited about going to Australia!!!

Monday, July 31, 2006

Summer Fun

We've been going to the local public pool a lot this summer. I don't know why we haven't done that in previous years. Anyway, it is so refreshing to go there. Not just because it's well over 100 degrees most days and the water feels wonderful. But because it's never crowded and that makes it so much nicer than going to one of the public pools over the hill in Henderson.

The local pool has a main pool which looks like a square, 25m in length. It's divided in half with half open for free play and half divided into lanes for lap swimming. Most days we go, I like to do some laps. When we first started going, my shoulders would be starting to ache about lap 6 but after another lap, it's like they got into the groove and it feels like I'm just flowing along, part of the water. I like to do at least 20 laps. Sami sometimes swims alongside me. She's taught herself a lot of new tricks this year as well as swimming freestyle strokes. Sometimes she and I will both get a kickboard and just kick up and down the lap lanes. She's strong and I have to work to keep up with her! I think I have more strength in my upper body from lugging children around for so long so I'm much faster in the water when I can use my arms.

The pool center also has a large wading pool for kids 7 and under. AJ and Nicholas like to hang out in there. Nicholas gets himself out, walks off to get some toys and gets back into the pool by himself. He's getting very independent! AJ just got brave enough to stick his head under the water and open his eyes. He used to panic when his face would get wet. He has a big crush on one of the lifeguards there. Her name is April and she is so nice to him and all the kids. The last time we were at the pool, both Sami and AJ learned how to do cannonballs. Once they started, there was no stopping them! AJ still likes to wear a lifejacket when he's in the main pool and doing the cannonballs and he's getting very confident.

The other pool they have is a diving pool and it's 12'6" deep. They have two diving boards, one is about 5' off the water, the other's about 18' off the water (guessing). In my life, I've often watched diving on the tv and been fascinated. But I've never dived off a board before. It looked so different from diving off the edge of a pool. I've been watching all the people dive off the two boards at the local pool. Some of them are very young children - fearless little people and very inspiring. I thought "if they can do it, so can I!" I watched and waited until there were not many people in line and walked up to the lower board. Cary and the kids were watching and Cary said my very first dive off that had hardly any splash - just like an olympian. Urged on by that comment, I put too much thought into my second dive and totally blotched it. Then I went to the big board. As I started climbing the ladder, I could feel the adrenalin starting to pump. I got to the top and walked half way out and turned to look back at Cary and the kids who looked so far down. For a split second, I almost turned around but decided to conquer my fear and walk straight into it, or off it in this case. I got to the edge and jumped feet first into the water. It was so exciting! I'll work up to doing something more graceful, but this was a start and I was pleased. I've never enjoyed heights and don't think I could ever jump out of an airplane and have no desire to want to try that. When I got out of the water, I said to Cary "now it's your turn!" He also does not like heights and he jumped off the high board with about as much grace as I had done.

We are about half way through the worst part of the heat. July and August are so very hot here. But our visits to the local pool as a family as well as getting together with our friends and just hanging out at home reading books and playing and watching movies, are making these hot and lazy days of summer very enjoyable.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

The next step

Cary flew to Los Angeles yesterday to go to the Australian Embassy to submit a passport application for Nicholas. The first passport app. has to be submitted in person. We had to arrange an interview time and I was told to allow half an hour though it usually only takes 15 minutes. I wasn't sure how long it would take Cary to get from the airport to the embassy so I allowed a little extra time in case of traffic. He got there about 45 minutes early and there was no-one else waiting. He asked if he could get it done early but was told "oh no, we have other appointments". Cary looked around the empty waiting room and thought "really, who, the invisible man?" He saw the lady who was going to do the interview buzzing busily in the background and she eventually agreed to do the interview a few minutes early. He stood on the other side of 2" thick bullet-proof glass and gave her the application. She looked it over, went to take a couple of photocopies (she wouldn't accept the ones that I had included even though there was nothing wrong with them!) took the money and that was it. Cary said it took less than 5 minutes!

I'm glad he didn't fly over just for that or we'd have been pretty peeved. After the embassy, he went to an "approved" doctor (there are 4 in LA and none in Vegas) and had his medical done for his Australian Immigration Visa. He said it was in a very very bad part of town. He was the only white person there and he was wishing he wasn't carrying the laptop with him. The process took about 2 hours, but it's done now and he's home safely.

That should be everything we need to do to get him into Australia. The next step is just to wait until they decide to process the application. Unless they're too busy buzzing back and forth interviewing invisible people.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Sunday 23rd July

As a note to my previous entry, normally, I wouldn't encourage my kids to enter an eating contest, but after I saw the small servings they were dishing up for AJ's age group, I ok'd his entry. The prize that he won was a coupon for a free blizzard ice cream from Dairy Queen. He cashed that in today, ate a few bites and put the rest in the freezer. He always knows when he's had enough of any kind of food.

My computer is running very slowly at the moment which is annoying!

'Whale Rider' was another great movie we watched again recently. Sami was right into it, though AJ couldn't stay interested.

I've been thinking about my journey as a mother. When Sami was born, my world revolved around her. I did not disturb her nap times and I spent many hours on the floor with her, reading and playing. With AJ, I still would not disturb his naps but I had less time for both kids to entertain them as much as I had previously. Now with Nicholas, he just fits in around whatever else we are doing.

People often ask me if we are going to have any more children. I'm open to another one, but I'm also perfectly ok if that doesn't happen. I think I'm ready to move on to a new phase.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

I scream you scream we all scream for ice cream

We all went up to the local public pool again today. They were giving away free ice cream and had an ice cream eating contest. AJ LOVES ice cream. He was in heaven. He decided to enter the 5 and under division, and he won! Ok, there was only one other kid in that section, but he was still thrilled.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Bits n Pieces

Several days ago, the ants came marching back into our house - just 24 hours after Cary and I were commenting on how we hadn't seen any ants for a while. I had rediscovered my 'Clean House, Clean Planet' book and looked up natural remedies for ants. The first one, liquid soap and water, didn't seem very effective. The second one was pepermint oil and water in a spray bottle &/or peppermint oil on a cotton ball wiped along the ant track. AJ wanted to help so he chose the spray bottle and I wiped with the cotton ball. I noticed that the ants just went around where I wiped. AJ was doing a fine job with the spray bottle. The ants were only in the office this time so when AJ was finished, we closed the door. We took two small paper cups with some honey in them and put them outside the office window to help draw the ants out. I didn't need to go back into the office until the next morning. I was greeted with a very pleasant peppermint fragrance (so much nicer than nasty chemicals!) and zero ants!

I got my hair cut a few days ago. Just trimmed and shaped a bit. I do want it to grow long again. I imagine myself as an older lady with a long silver braid down my back. In the winter I shall wear overalls and a purple shirt. In summer I'll wear yoga pants and a funky shirt my grandkids have painted for me.

Nicholas is walking all over the place. I love catching the tender moments when Sami or AJ hold his hand while walking up the hallway or sooth him if he falls.

I think if I put a red pointed hat on Nicholas, he would look like a garden gnome (without a beard). He's just so cute and chunky.

I feel really tired at the moment so I'm rambling. I really should get to bed. Hey Ros - "good night, God Bless, sweet dreams and don't forget to say your prayers"! (The last thing my sister and I said to each other many days that we shared a room as kids.)

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Movies n stuff

Cary and I watched a good movie a few days ago called "Last Holiday". Queen Latifah plays a working class gal who is told that she has 3 weeks left to live. So she decides to live fully for the time she has left.

The kids and I recently enjoyed "An Angel for May" about a boy that goes back in time and helps a girl named May. I won't give too much away, it was just a nice story.

We all really enjoyed "Delivering Milo". It's about a soul that doesn't want to be born but he gets a short while to come to earth and check things out. Very good.

I know there were some others but that's all I can think of for now. I like movies with a message and preferably some laughs too. I can't stand violent movies.

Last week I took the kids to see a storyteller at a local rec center. He was very good and incorporated some little eyeball finger puppets into the some of the stories. They were so cute so I ordered some which got here really quickly. They were at . They have been providing a lot of fun around here as we try out different ways to dress them up with hair and hats etc.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


I am going to try and post some photos:

Hiking in Sedona, Nicholas' first birthday...then back to the motel for a vegan b/day cake.

We have a walker!

Yesterday, at 13 months and 5 days old, Nicholas really started walking! He's been cruising the furniture for 2 or 3 months, and walking with assistance for about that long too. On his first birthday, he took a single solo step. Since then, he has been working on his balance by standing up and letting go of whatever he was holding on to. He would take a couple of solo steps and gradually a couple more over time, especially with AJ's encouragement. But yesterday, Nicholas just got up and started walking right across the room by himself. He thought he was so clever that he kept doing it! Sami and AJ were just amazed and would clap and cheer each time he did it, which made him want to keep doing it again! Pretty soon he'll be running after them.

Some other things the kids have been up to recently...

Sami and AJ spent quite a while one morning last week weighing water - they wanted to see how much water they needed to put in the little measuring jug to make the scale reach 16oz, then the same thing with ice. I need to get a bigger food scale again. I picked one up at a rummage sale recently but accidentally left it there.

AJ got a box of little plastic animals, mostly dogs, at a yard sale on Saturday. It also came with some doggy accessories and a little house. The $2 we paid for that has given Sami and AJ at least 6 hours of play. They have been having such a good time with them!

We've been reading a lot of books lately. The local library has their 'summer reading program' going on at the moment. For every 12 picture books or 5 chapter books that the kids read or have read to them, they get a free book to keep and a chance to win a prize. Last week they both won a prize and were very excited about that. The prizes are small, Sami chose a giraffe bookmark and AJ chose a leopard slap-on bracelet out of the treasure chest.

Sami is growing up. Sometimes I look at her and get a glimpse of the teen or adult she will be. I think partly is because her front teeth have grown in. After 6 years with no front top teeth, she just seems older now. She's getting so tall and she is solid and strong. I sometimes forget that she is only 8 years old. I remind myself to enjoy doing all the young girl things with her while I can because that time will be over before I know it. She is so helpful around here. She's always picking up toys that Nicholas has strewn about. I think that's because she prefers things to be neat though.

I am so blessed!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

My Man

I am so lucky! Sometimes I think about all the strings the Universe pulled to get Cary and I together. Amazing! Two people on opposite sides of the world, destined to be together when the time was right. The first time I held his hand on the night we met on Hamilton Island, I knew we had been together before and that this was something very special.

Here we are, 12.5 years later and I love him more all the time. Life with him is never dull! Sure we've planned things that haven't worked out, but I would prefer that than knowing I was staying put in the same place indefinately. He works hard to provide a comfortable lifestyle for the kids and I and totally supports me staying home with them. He is also constantly looking for ways to do more with our finances, to spread the nest eggs. I like the idea of having adventures rather than expensive material things.

I love the intimacy we share on many levels. It just gets better!

Sure, things aren't always great and we've had some challenging times. But I remember all the strings that were pulled to bring us together and know that we're meant to be together. We always come through shining.

I love that he supports my individuality. He has always encouraged me to follow my dreams and goals. He listens when I talk, even if he's in the middle of something else, he will stop and give me his full attention, even if I'm just rambling on. I have learned so much from him and the love he gives me supports me in learning more about myself.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Snakes and Rocks

After the recent events involving snakes, I decided to look up my animal Medicine Cards to see the significance of the snake. These cards come from Native American Indian traditions. So the key word for the snake is 'transmutation' some of the main comments are - "exemplified by the shedding of Snake's skin. It is the energy of wholeness...teaches you on a personal level that you are a universal being. Through accepting all aspects of your life, you can bring about the transmutation.. If you have chosen this symbol, there is a need within you to transmute some thought, action or desire so that wholeness may be achieved.."

Interesting. I recently had a ring made that has four words stamped on it "love peace whole trust". I chose the first 3 words as a reminder of my true essence..I am love, I am peace, I am whole (and therefore, I am perfectly ok just as I am, I do not need to compete or compare myself with others or do anything special to make myself better). The last word, 'trust' I had put on to remind myself to trust in the Greater Power that has more control over my life than I do. When I glance at the ring, the word that is showing at the time, is always the one that I need to be reminded of. It has seemed to be on 'whole' a lot lately.

Nicholas is cutting 3 molars and one eye tooth. Ouch! He's been awake a lot at night though generally ok during the day with the help of some homeopathic tablets and gel. He has been getting up earlier than usual. This morning he, and therefore I too, were up a bit after 5am. I decided to go for a walk so I put him in the stroller and off we went. I've been walking several times recently and he has been quite happy in the stroller. He seems to like the little folding stroller but did not like the bigger stroller I got for him a while back. Maybe the smaller one makes him feel more snug.

Anyway, so we had a nice 40 minute walk. When I got home, Sami and AJ were up and playing. We all had some breakfast and piled in the van to take Scooby for his run. When we got to our usual spot, I was feeling tired and wasn't up for hiking so I suggested we just explore the area near the van. I put Nicholas on a blanket while Sami, AJ and I looked at different rocks and brought some back to the blanket for Nicholas to bang together joyfully. We sang songs and watched some flying bugs dance in the air. Someone had dumped some dirt and rocks there and we found some smooth rocks and river rocks that we decided to bring home and paint. When we got home, Nicholas and I washed the rocks. Thanks to N, they got washed several times each. I enjoyed the grounding experience of holding the rocks while wetting them. I checked our paint supplies which were very low. As we needed several miscellaneous items besides more paint and brushes, we decided we'd take a run to Wal-Mart. I was still feeling tired and wasn't sure if it was a good idea, but decided to make it as quick as possible.

All went well and we got back home in time for lunch. I was waiting for N to take his nap so that we could paint. When that finally happened, I was in the middle of doing something else that I wanted to finish first. Sami couldn't wait so I put some paper down on the dining table and went to finish my other job. When I came back 5 minutes later, she and AJ had emptied all of the new paint onto the paper and they were mixing it together. Sami had her entire arms covered. She had put paint in AJ's hair. There was paint on Sami's chair, the floor, their clothes and I lost it. The cute litte plaster characters they had chosen at the store to paint today were sitting there half-painted and wide-eyed like innoncent bystanders. I had envisioned a peaceful painting playtime together and they had turned it into a huge wild mess. I was not happy and made that very clear. I think I over-reacted due to tiredness and I also needed to eat. Sami went to one bathroom to clean up and in the process made a huge mess in there. AJ went to the other bathroom, touching all the walls on his way. We finally got everything cleaned up, right before Cary got home. I really blame myself. I should have put the other job on hold to go and paint with the kids. But I really thought they would not have done that, at least to that extent. Sami has always loved to paint herself but usually she'll stick to her paint project first.

Cary had to go to the Post Office so he took Sami and AJ with him. I found a few other paints and sat down to paint a rock. I wanted to paint a rock to put by our front door with the message on it "Peace Welcome Here". After the earlier incident, I thought I should add a big "Please!". I felt more grounded and peaceful painting the rock. I did it fairly simply so I wouldn't detract from the message. I was happy with the finished result and left it to dry. When Sami got home, she saw it and decided to add a whole lot of dots and squiggles to it without asking me. She proudly showed me what she'd done and I just had to smile. Somewhere in all those colours and chaos is a message of peace. Kind of like my life.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


I made cookies last night. I cheated and used a box mix from the health food store. The thing is, they actually turned out well for a change. Breads I can do, cookies don't usually work for me. They were (I use the past tense as they disappeared very quickly) chocolate chip cookies. I've been eating a lot more chocolate lately. I've never really been much of a chocolate lover, but in the past year or so, I've found that a little bit on stressful days helped me through. Chocolate therapy. Better for the body and less expensive than drugs! I've probably had more chocolate in the past month than I have in the past 5 years combined. But I'm over that now. Probably because we're unpacked again, are moving forward towards moving to Australia and maybe because I've started taking a little apple cider vinegar in water several times a day. I think it's helping to balance my body in several ways. Maybe it will help me reduce the much higher amount of fat I've been consuming lately. Between extra fat and chocolate, I've put on a few pounds. But I am really liking bananas and peanut butter together. Slap some nut butter on a sliced banana, or put in a smoothie with some soy milk and a little carob powder, or just mash it up with some honey. Frozen bananas with nut butter, carob and just a little milk blended together make a very easy ice cream. YUMO! But I am starting to feel like I need to reduce the amount of fat in my diet.

Yesterday our neighbour warned us that another neighbour had spotted a rattlesnake when they were walking their dog in the desert a couple of days ago. (The day before I had bought a toy rattlesnake at a yard sale for Nicholas.) I was thinking about how rarely I've seen a snake in the wild in all my years of living next to the bush and hiking. Actually only once. I wonder if that is partly because I never expected to see one and did not focus on them. This morning as we got to our spot to run Scooby, I made a mental note to stay on the main path as there might be less chance of seeing a snake. Then I got deeply engrossed in thinking about our plans for Australia. Scooby was bounding off the path all over the place chasing bunnies and lizards. Sami was behind me readjusting the new hydration backpack she got. AJ ran ahead of me pretending to be a hawk. Nicholas was snuggled next to me in the sling. I was looking down at the ground, but not really seeing it until suddenly a very well camoflauged snake slithered in front of me. It was the same colour as the sandy dirt, about 3 feet long and about 2 feet in front of me. It brought me back to reality and the present moment as the shock of seeing it had me let out a girlish squeal. The rest of the walk I was grounded in the present, aware of my surroundings and I felt a hightened awareness of all life around me both seen and unseen. I felt a deep respect and appreciation for nature and the natural lessons life provides. Interesting how snakes were coming to me - the toy one, the talk of one, the thought of one, then the actual sight of one. I was born in the year of the Snake too.

Last night it really hit me (again) about the sacredness of my children and my role in their lives. Not just as the birth vessel, but the Guide in their early years. It is so easy to get caught up in the daily stuff of life that I tend to not see the bigger picture. I think with less material stuff in our house, we are free-er to connect more with each other. I have such an important job here. These 3 souls are entrusted to me for a short time. Not to shape them, but to water their seeds of individuality, to encourage their shining selves to share their light with the world. No longer will I feel that I am "just not doing enough" with my talents. I am. I am a Mother!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Finally unpacked

I have over 100 unread emails that I'm tempted to just delete. Last night I unpacked the last box back into our house. I have a large pile of papers and things to sort through, but apart from that, we're officially all moved back in. I have been thinking about how to live more simply while still providing an interesting environment for the kids and a calm, uncluttered environment for Cary and I. I think I'm getting there. I got rid of 3 tall bookshelves, two smaller bookshelves and two little tables. With less furniture, there is less temptation to put stuff on it. We have three boxes of kids toys and games in the garage that I will rotate with the stuff currently in the house. I put all of the little people and animal dolls in a big container and set up the wooden castle and tree house on top of the train table (with the train set stored underneath for now). Sami and AJ have spent hours playing with all of that. I also left a large closet empty so that the kids can keep using it as their "secret clubhouse".

I have not found my funky purple couch yet. I did get two folding purple mushroom chairs for temporary use. We were at a yard sale yesterday and saw a little green and tan striped two-seater in very good condition. Cary bargained the price down to $80 but then pulled back and told me that he really didn't want to get it as he just wants to get to Australia and doesn't want to get anything else for the house. I was very pleased to see that drive in him. So I'll look for my funky purple couch when we get down under!

I have been so busy getting the house back together that our food supplies got very low. Cary came with us to Whole Foods today and we did a huge shop to restock. We had lunch there then came home and unpacked. Then we headed up to the Boulder City public pool and enjoyed a very refreshing swim for about 20 minutes before a thunderstorm started moving in. So, back home to get into our PJ's and watch a movie.

Earlier today we took Scooby for his daily run in the desert. He needs that or he'll just get pent up and drive us all nuts. We take him to an area where we can just let him run free. It's been interesting for us. We see lots of wild bunnies and lizards. A couple of weeks ago we even saw a coyote. The coyote was about 100 feet away and just stood and looked at us for about 20 seconds then went on his way. We've seen evidence of other coyotes with bunny remains in various conditions.

We've been thinking a lot about whether to take Scooby to Australia with us or not. He is a great dog. A bit of a blockhead sometimes, but he has a great heart, is gentle with the children, very protective of me and an excellent watchdog. He is a sweetheart. But the whole process to take him over - vet visits, crate training, the actual flight and then quarantine. I don't know if I want to do that to him. My friend Cat has offered to take him. I know he adores her and she would give him a great home. She has other dogs that he would love to play with. I think he would be happier there. It's a hard decision but one that we need to make soon.

Oh good, more rain is starting to fall. How lovely!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

From rain to sunshine

I didn't sleep much last night. I was feeling so sad about Sedona. I had been looking forward to so many different aspects of it, including the school for the kids. I really thought that they would have enjoyed it. They have been fighting so much lately, I thought they would have enjoyed a break from each other as well. So I lay awake thinking about everything. At 6am I was woken with a loud thunderclap right over our house. It was so nice listening to the rain that followed.

I decided to focus on moving to Australia. I looked on the net and found some more Steiner schools that I haven't already visited on trips there. I want to incorporate more Waldorf ideas back into our lives now. Maybe I'll start a waldorf-inspired life-learning group here (WILL).

Today is the 4th of July. Cary is at work and when he gets home we need to unload the truck with our stuff in it that's sitting out the front of our place. I have some ideas of how to re-do the place and I'm looking forward to getting things set up. I think there will be a lot less stuff in here and several boxes staying packed until we get to Australia.

It is beautiful and sunny now. Gotta go, there's a little baby crawling beneath me trying to turn the computer off.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Spring Cleaning

Thursday morning I was feeling very very low and upset. I almost didn't go to the Lifeleaners event at the Children's Museum. I had a lot of phone calls to make to stop the connection there (Sedona) and disconnection here of utilities etc. I felt so confused and didn't feel like facing anyone. But I knew my kids would enjoy the day so I decided we'd go. We got to the museum late of course and my friends there were so wonderful that I soon felt so much better. I was able to joke about the situation and start thinking about the postitive side of this.

When I told my sister about the change in plans, she was amazed. I really thought I was out of here this time...I got so much closer than I have any other time! My sister mentioned the cliche of how when one door closes, another one opens. I told her that this felt like one door had opened and been slammed shut in my face. She said it was more like a revolving door. Yeah, that too. Especially as we'll be staying in the same house here and nothing has really changed on the outside, but it feels like a lot has changed.

I started to thinking about what I'd learned from this whole experience. I see several lessons. One is the example I was to my children on how to deal with stress. I don't think I past this test very well so I'm sure the lesson will be repeated. Another lesson was in my attachment - not just to physical things, but to ideas and imaginings of how things may be. Another lesson is in the amount of control I actually have over my life.

So what now? Well the house is almost empty so it's a good time to do some spring cleaning. I'm doing a little, but I've got a crew coming in on Monday to give the whole house a good scrub from top to bottom. Tuesday is a public holiday which means Cary will be home. So we are going to unload the truck. I'm enjoying having less 'stuff' around so I'm going to give more thought to what I want to put back in the house. We had gotten rid of our old beat-up couch so we are looking for a decent one to replace it. I told Cary I want a funky purple couch. He said "whatever you want". "Damn right" I said.

Where do we go from here? Maybe Panama, maybe Australia. Who knows? I'm not sure anymore.

Sami and AJ have accepted this all so easily. When I told them we would not be moving, they just said "ok" with the same tone as when I had said we were moving. Sami later said that she had been looking forward to playing at the new house with the secret closet. Our hall closet is currently empty. So I hung a couple of sarongs on the door side of the closet, and put some cushions and a blanket in there and the kids are thrilled with their new 'secret closet'.

Nicholas is teething and has two big molars coming through. We've been so busy lately. Things should be getting back to "normal" around here in another week. Or more.

Thursday, June 29, 2006


We have almost finished packing up the house. With the exception of two closets, curtains and the last minute things, we were pretty much done. Cary and the kids had already fully loaded the 20' box truck we have. Utilities were all taken care of, kids and I were excited and it seemed like it was all systems go.

Until 6:30pm last night when Cary got home and dropped a bombshell. He doesn't think we should go.

There are many good personal reasons for going. But the business deal is starting to look shaky. Actually, it has been looking that way but Cary didn't say anything sooner. The dealership is not ready to go yet and the guy has been stringing Cary along with other possible deals. Except now he also has another guy working for him doing the things that he wanted Cary to do. So Cary doesn't feel confident in trusting this guy. He would rather stay here where he is self-reliant and knows the area and has things set up rather than go to a new area that he doesn't really know. If we did move to Sedona, Cary would still need to come to Vegas for at least a few days every week. So what's the point?

Financially, it seems right that we stay. Personally though, I thought it would be such a positive move for us all individually and as a family. I'm very disappointed.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Adventures with AJ

So I'm trying to pack up the house and I see AJ go into the bathroom. No big deal. Except that 10 minutes later, he's still not out. "Are you OK?" I ask. "Yeah, I'm just squishing some ants". One of our neighbours must have had their place sprayed because the ants came marching into our place by the dozens. So when AJ finally emerges from the bathroom, the floor is soaked and all of the towels are rolled up in a big soppy mess on the floor. Nice, a big mess to clean up. OK, so I took care of that and got back to packing. AJ went to watch a movie with Sami for a little while. Then he found a dead cockroach and decided to dissect it on my cutting board with my good kitchen knife. I walked out to the kitchen at just the right time to catch this. I explained that that wasn't the best place or knife to use to perform such an operation and the other stuff was packed up already. So then he just wanted to chop it in half to see if any blood came out. None did. "That's why it died - it ran out of blood" he announced.

So I wash the cutting board and knife in very hot soapy water and go back to packing. Evidently, AJ thought everything needed washing again so he was back in the kitchen with the little sprayer hose washing the few dishes in the sink and getting water all over the benches in the process. Argh - the electrical stuff! I got back to the kitchen just before the water was so deep that it got into the wiring on my vitamix. Sheesh.

His next trick was to pull the cushions off the couch and bounce on the couch and then onto the cushions that were arranged in a line on the floor. He got so worked up that he bounced the wrong way and literally bounced off the wall!

AJ and Sami decided to go outside and play with the hose and the little wading pools. AJ likes to be in control of the hose so Sami took my big umbrella to protect herself a little. He found other ways to spray her and basically keep her from being able to enjoy splashing in the pool. So I said it was time to turn the water off. He did but then started putting dirt into Sami's pool. She had had enough and came back inside. Of course, he came looking for her to see how he could annoy her even further.

Instead he decided to play with Nicholas. He likes to play a little rough with him and Nicholas actually likes it, most of the time. AJ will pick N up and plop him down onto a big cushion. N laughs at this. I just shake my head. Boys! I love that AJ plays with N a lot and can be very sweet and gentle with him as well as a bit rough.

Ok, so then Cary decides to start loading the big truck. Sami helps take out some of the lighter things. AJ does what he can and then decides that he is going to be in charge of pressing the buttons to make the lift gate go up and down. He runs inside to get his green stool, puts it out on the road next to the truck and assumes his position. He is very happy to have such an important job!

Living with AJ is an adventure. The boy starts talking the moment he gets up and doesn't stop until the moment before he goes to sleep. If I try to watch a movie with him, he talks through most of it. He is so busy and such an interesting thinker. I am amazed by some of his comments and questions. I am so grateful to have him in our family.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Back to plan A

So far none of the 8 moving companies I contacted have gotten back to me. That's ok. Cary got the AC fixed on the box truck today and I bought a hand truck cart. That will probably end up being one of the best $23 investments I've ever made. We've made a good dent in the packing so far. All utility companies have been contacted for the switch on. Must remember to turn off things here.

We're going to load the van first thing in the morning and Cary will drive it down on Thursday. It's all starting to fall into place. The kids are so excited - every day they ask me if we can move today. It's been a bit hectic around here with so many details to take care of, and Sami and AJ have been picking up on all of that and they have been bouncing off the walls a bit.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Hurry up and wait

Cary brought home a big box truck. We were going to load it up this morning and he was going to drive it to Sedona on Monday. Once he got there, he was going to hire a couple of guys, unload it, drive it back and do it all one more time. But it is so bloody hot and the AC in the truck is not working. So Cary loaded about 8 boxes in it this morning and then decided he would be much happier hiring a moving company to do it all.

So once again the plans have changed slightly and I have to wait for the moving companies I've contacted to call me back so that I can then figure out which one is going to be best and hopefully set a firm date.

Every move seems to get bigger and more of a pain in the butt. We have tended to add a child between each move, and that probably contributes to me having less time to think and get organized as well as just having more stuff.

'This too, shall pass'. We will get through this. This time next month, we should be nicely settled in our new place with all utilities and services operating nicely. One thing at a time. I just can't stand the current chaos. Every room is half pulled apart and boxes are piled up all over the place. I'm trying not to feel like a dog chasing it's tail at the moment.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Letting go..

I have been so involved in what we are about to go to with the move to Sedona, that I have not been thinking about what we are leaving behind. We have a new home to go to that the kids are very excited about as it has steps and a couple of fun little hidey holes. Cary's excited about it as it has million dollar views of the rocks. The kids are excited to go to school, Cary's looking forward to working there and I'm hoping to get reconnected with my inner healer through different groups and classes.

We have made some wonderful friends here and that will be the hardest part about leaving. The internet and phone calls makes a distance seem so much closer. But it's not the same. However, I know it's time to move on and so I will keep myself busy with packing so that I do not have to think about the sad side of leaving here.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Breathing deep

and waiting. We may have a house in Sedona, Cary's trying to wrap it up but the owners are in Europe at the moment and it's taking a while. If so, we have 10 days to pack up this house. If not, we have to keep looking. As I've been looking around here, it appears that we don't have a lot of 'stuff', but when it comes to packing it up, it sure feels like a lot. So I've been thinning it out even more as I pack. I am so excited about the move, just the actual moving has me on the edge of being totally overwhelmed. Mind you, it's not the easiest thing to do while taking care of 3 children 24/7.

I've also been trying to do more deep breathing when it comes to parenting. Being a mama is such an honour and joy, but such bloody hard work too. Mentally. I really do try to use techniques like those in PET (parent effectiveness training) and NVC (non violent communication) - which are basically the same. But my past conditioning keeps getting in the way. Damn I want a fresh slate! Marshall B. Rosenberg (NVC) says that we should not try to be 'perfect' parents as we will just blame and attack ourselves every time we are not that, which would not benefit our children. Instead, aim "to become progressively less stupid parents", learning from the times we wish we'd done things differently.

An interesting point Marshall makes is that in order to give our children what they need, we need to be getting the emotional support we need as parents. For so many years, I thought that a "good" mama would put her children first all the time. There were many times when I really wanted to go for a walk (or somewhere) by myself while Cary watched the kids. But their pleading eyes when I was leaving made me give in and let them come with me. That didn't give me the break I needed which ultimately didn't help them either. Trying to exercise at home doesn't give me the same release as it would if I were at a gym as I am still "on" as mama. I've just realised, it really is ok, and important too, to ensure my needs are met. Not in a selfish way, but in the PET & NVC ways where the aim is to meet everyones needs. Maybe my block has been knowing my own worth. Ooh, I actually feel something shifting in me as if I've turned a key. Wow. Instead of just saying that, I'm really feeling - Knowing - it. A little breakthrough moment here at 3am. I should get up in the middle of the night more often! It's a wonderful, quiet time to actually think.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Even more changes

We just got back from 5 days in Sedona. None of us wanted to leave. After an initial spaz attack by everyone as we reacted to the energy there, we all calmed down and got into a really nice flow. Our family felt closer and more in tune with each other than it has for a while.

We spent a fair bit of time in the car, driving around to different areas, getting a little frustrated with the houses we were looking at. Finally we realized that we only really liked the West Sedona area and, although there was nothing available in that area at the time, we released it to the Universe to help us find the right place.

I have spent a lot of time online trying to find other homeschoolers in the area. As I kept coming up empty, I started exploring other options. Immediately, the information for a new Waldorf charter school came to me and I made some enquiries about that. Things fell into place very quickly and easily for that. This past weekend they had a "meet the teachers / staff" event and we went along. There were a bunch of kids there and Sami was nervous but soon met another 8 year old girl who had been unschooled and they connected. AJ looked very comfortable there. The energy of the kids and parents was very similar to the lifelearners, in that same free-spirit way. Both kids did not want to leave when it was time to go and are excited to go back. So we have them enrolled and we will see how it goes. There's only about 12 kids in each class. I am open to them going and if I don't think it's working out to their advantage, and if I find other homeschoolers, then I'll take them out. AJ would be going half-day and Sami full day. I'm sure I'll miss them, but they want to go and I need to release my attachment to the way I think things should be. While they are at school, I can spend a bit of time on the biodisel business and with Nicholas one-on-one. Or just doing other things I want to like working on some websites, or exploring some of the little shops or maybe even catching up on some of the projects I keep putting off like organizing the family photos.

I thought I'd feel like a bit of a traitor to the unschooling theme by enrolling my kids in the waldorf school. But I don't. It's about life-learning and this is another option / lesson for all of us. So much for what I blogged about school less than a month ago. But this school is nothing like 'regular' school and I feel good about the choice. There have been times when I felt as though I wasn't doing 'enough' for them in recent months. It will be interesting to see how this goes.

Nicholas had his first birthday while we were in Sedona. We all went for a beautiful hike in the morning. Oh the air was so crisp and smelled so good. Several times the children actually stopped talking and the peace of the area was soothing to the soul. Sami and AJ were asking lots of questions and telling stories and were really excited about the hike and we all had a great time.

Yesterday Sami asked me "what if we were just toys for God to play with?". I thought that was a pretty deep question and we explored that concept for a while. Children are amazing!

Monday, June 05, 2006

ch ch ch ch changes..

When I was 5 years old, my family moved to a new area. I wasn't happy about the change and did not like my new school. I did like the area we lived with all the bush around and a creek and a lake and hills and rocks to climb. When I was 14, we moved from there and I was really unhappy about that. I rebelled big time. But I eventually calmed down.

Since then though, I have been very open to changes and moving to a new location. I travelled around Australia on my own with no thought of putting down roots anywhere in particular. I think those early shake-ups in my life opened up the possibity of the wonderful things we can find in new areas. Recently, Cary and I decided that the time was right to move back to Australia and started moving towards that goal.

Several years ago, I felt a calling to go to Sedona. A couple of months ago I finally got there for a few days. I thought that was that. But it seems as though Sedona is not done with me. Cary has been offered an exciting business deal there in the biodiesel industry. I'm encouraging him to explore it further. It's the kind of setup that we could duplicate in Australia. We can learn a lot about it here and then go anywhere with that knowledge.

So we do still plan on going to Australia, just with a detour to Sedona for a while. Maybe a year, maybe longer. I'm glad I'm open to change. I'm excited about getting into the alternative energy industry. This is totally in line with who we are and our goals.

My concern about moving there has been in finding an unschooling group as great as the one we have here. Even an eclectic homeschooling group. It looks like there may be something similar just starting up in Flagstaff. Which will be a bit of a drive, but not more than what we're used to doing here.

I don't want to think about packing yet. Cary's in Sedona at the moment and he will look at a couple of houses while he's there. If he doesn't find anything, he wants us all to go there next weekend to have a better look

I've been enjoying my time here with the kids. Yesterday morning we took Scooby for a run in the desert near the water park. We found a dried up pond and spent time exploring that. The kids loved all of the bunnies, birds and lizards they were seeing. I really should take them into nature more often. After growing up in such a lush environment, I have found it difficult to appreciate the local desert environment. I have a feeling that will change when we move to Sedona.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

School vs Life!

When the local school let out for the summer last year, the local paper interviewed some of the middle school kids. One of them was so excited about the summer break because "now we don't have to learn anything". That comment stayed with me and I thought how very sad it was that she had that view about learning.

I recently overheard some traditional homeschoolers talking and one had said how that were finished with their lessons for the year. Again, how sad.

People, the learning and the lessons NEVER end!

I am so happy that we are living the life-learning route in our family. Our children are free to pursue the things that interest them, they enjoy learning from living their lives. They do not see learning as a chore but they are excited with every new discovery. Oh that more children could have this opportunity!

If ever my kids had to go to school, or really wanted to, I would consider some kind of alternative school - Sudbury first, Waldorf second. But those schools are not everywhere. And luckily, my children do not want to go to school. (at the moment)

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Life is Good!

I am very content with life at the moment. We are finally dialed in to our plan to move out of the USA. We are going full steam ahead on Cary's Immigration Visa to Australia. Planning on spending some time in Panama before heading down under.

Cary's finally realised that quality of life is a priority. He's been looking at the obit's in the paper and seeing how young so many people are when they died. I think it kind of scared him into living more fully. He will be 50 in December and wants to live the lifestyle that we talk of so often - by the beach, growing our own veges, working enough to be quite comfortable, and being in a more laid-back area. It feels so right now to proceed with this, like it's what we're meant to be doing.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Mama's Day

Yesterday was Mother's Day. We had a perfectly lovely day. My family presented me with hand-made cards from each of them (Cary helped do one from Nicholas). We went back to the Henderson ArtFest as I wanted to exchange a ring I had bought there the day before. I usually buy myself a little something for mother's day. Why not? I can appreciate all that I do in my role as a mama. It's nice to give yourself a pat on the back sometimes.

We went to lunch at Sweet Tomatoes. I like the salads there but for some reason, towards the end of the meal, I always feel like I have to rush. Maybe it's the company I go with. The kids are always back and forth getting another slice of pizza or a muffin or whatever. After that, we went an hung out at the big water park which was just a zoo - sooo many people. At least the water there is warm unlike the local water park that has freezing cold water.

I love being a Mama. I love each of my children. I am so blessed!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

So Grateful

Ah yeah, I'm feeling much better today. I really do feel thankful for my life. Even if I'm not living in the area that I want (near the ocean!), I am living the life I want. My children and I are free to live and explore and enjoy. If we were to move to Australia, would we still have this? Would I be pressured to put the kids in school and get a job? I think I'd miss what we have here. I would like a little more adventure though. I love to travel and have done so little of it compared to what I would like. But hey, count my blessings. We are planning several trips later this year. We'll see. So often we plan things that just don't happen. I get so attached to those plans that I end up disappointed when they fall through.

We really are so lucky. We have so much that we just take for granted. Food in the house, Air conditioning, Electricity, Clothes, Vehicles, ...just for some basics. Then there's Love, Freedom, Creativity, Knowledge, Connection with others etc.

I would like to do more, and I am working on doing more to be a positive influence. I am the stone that creates the ripple. I am one of many that are conscious of the shifts towards a more peaceful earth. I am an important part of the whole of the human race. God does not make mistakes. My life is just as important as yours. We are One.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

So ordinary

I feel so bloody ordinary. What have I done that's wonderful? Made a difference? Inspired others?

When I was a child, I always felt different, like I had a very special job to do. So here I am, 41 years old and what? What have I done with my life? Yeah, yeah, lots of things. But it's not enough. I feel unfulfilled. What's missing?

I tried talking with Cary about this and he just tries to fix things. Which is very nice, but not what I need. I need to talk about it and try to find my own way through this. So I guess I'm back to blogging.

Maybe for now, I need to focus on the needs of my own family and appreciate all of the things I do have. Gratitude and Service seem to be a little low in my life at the moment.

"To the world you may be only one person, but to one person you may be the world." I need to remember the important role I have in the lives of my children.

What kind of validation am I looking for? Am I not starring enough in my own life that I feel I need to have a "more important" job outside of the family for that financial reward and recognition?

I don't know, I'm just frustrated right now. I want to do more. Maybe I need to be more first.