Thursday, August 28, 2008

wild family

A typical moment in our family:

Oh this is fun...we could get carried away with this!

Wild Man

Cary wanted to get in on the action too...caught us as we were playing with the video aspect:

Hope this works.

kids pics

testing 1..2..

We just got one of those computer camera thingys so I'm trying it out:

Ah yeah, that was fun. Must get the kids on here next.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Moving into the house has brought back a familiar feeling. Unpacking our 'stuff', I left 'til last my personal boxes of paperwork. In those boxes are bits and pieces of ideas I've had over the years of things that have interested me. Things that I thought I could someday follow up on and make a living from.

But making a life took over.

I look at those boxes and feel a little overwhelmed, a little guilty that I'm not 'doing' more with my life. But when I put those feelings aside for a moment, I remember how much I've grown in the past year, 3 years, 10 years and more. And I remember that I am 'Being' so much more than I ever have. Everything is unfolding perfectly. A flower has to pass through a lot of dirt before it can bloom. I am still a seedling.

I already incorporate a lot of the things that interest me into my own life. If I am meant to take any of these things to a larger audience, it will happen naturally. I Trust that.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Image or Attitude?

How much of what we present to the world comes from our external self (image) and how much from our internal self (attitude)? To what extent can one influence the other?

I've been pondering this for several weeks now. Recently we decided to sell the Mercedes Benz wagon that Cary had bought me for my birthday. She has a couple of minor problems so we thought we'd just get a cheap runner and sell off all of our vehicles until we see a deal on something newer and nicer.

So, we got the cheap runner - a decent looking / running station wagon. But it's not the Merc.

When I first got the Merc, I wasn't attached and thought, "ah yeah, this is nice to drive for a little while". (My husband, a car dealer in the US, has had me in a lot of different cars over the years.) But I found that I felt good driving it too. Does driving a Merc somehow get more respect from other drivers, or was I respecting myself more by feeling proud of driving a nice car? Did the car have anything to do with my attitude? Do I really care what other people think?

The other car we got is a fine car. The paint is a little dull, but she runs well and I'm grateful I have anything to drive. But it does not stand out in the crowd (or the parking lot) like the merc. Do I want to stand out? No, but I don't want to be a part of the crowd either and I like driving something that not everybody has. Is that it? I don't think I'm a snob, but I do like to be different. I might not look too differently to most people - I am perfectly happy in jeans & a t-shirt and black workboots or thongs. My hair is natural and free, like me. I don't have a ton of piercings or any tatoos.

So why did I feel uncomfortable driving the new (used) car? Why did I look at the Merc sitting outside, with no buyer, and feel glad that we had such a nice car outside of our place? I'm not sure yet.

Having nice things is ok. It's ok to want them and it's ok to keep them. I'm so used to selling things. Maybe my time with the Merc just isn't up yet. It could be that simple.

simply home

I am really liking living in a house again. I like this area too. Yesterday, I went for a big bike ride with Nicholas on back and AJ on his bike. Within a few minutes we were riding along next to the ocean. Ah, my sparkly friend!

The last two saturdays we've been out yard saleing to find things we needed to fill up the house a bit. The first thing we really needed was a full size fridge and we found just what we were looking for at the right price. We've also bought two desks, two office chairs, some colourful dinner plates, surround-sound system (yeah, we really needed that!), a lawnmower, and some books and games for the kids. Cary had already bought a couch, tv and a few other bits and pieces before we moved in.

So the place is coming together. Everyone seems happy with the way things are. I still have to sort out some boxes in the office area and the garage, but apart from that, we're comfortable. On my wish list for next week is a monitor for the computer in Summers room, a bike for Cary so he can come riding with us, some gardening tools and a couple of things for the kitchen.

I have a new mindset when we go to yard sales. I no longer buy something just because I might use it or it's pretty or (the biggest thing) it's a bargain. I no longer want a bunch of stuff around me unless it's something I will use often and it's pretty and it's a bargain. Perhaps a subtle shift, but it feels big. Living simply in the caravan for a year helped me to really get this.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

moving in, moving on

We are living in a house!

We moved in last Thursday. That day, Cary and I kept saying to each other "this feels weird". And we spoke about the next time we go on the road - in a much bigger camper. As I unpacked the first load of stuff, I thought that it was nice to be able to spread out a bit. As Cary brought all of the stuff from storage, I initially wanted to get rid of it all, as I didn't want to get cluttered, but I knew we had some special stuff in there. As I started unpacking it, I found lots of the kids toys and books. I'd take arm loads of things into Summers room. She started getting agitated and then finally said "Ahhhh...that's enough more in my room!!!" She, who used to like having all of her things around her, now wants most of it in a box in the garage that she can go to when she wants. She wants her room kept simple and neat. Preferably with no boys bothering anything in there.

After a few days of being in the house, I stopped counting the number of days left in our lease and started to think "this is nice". This is not a big house, but I am delighting in the space. Especially at night when we can easily move around inside without bothering anyone else. Nicholas has been loving pushing cars up and down the hallway and re-discovering toys the toys from storage. AJ must have been really pent up because he can hardly keep still. When we sit down in the evening - on our big 'proper' couch - he is constantly bouncing, turning upside down, getting up and down, going back and forth to the kitchen, dancing with the commercials for 'Australian Idol' and being very busy.

As I put all of the boys toys into their room, it felt way too busy. I've since reduced it a bunch and it feels much better and they can get to the things they actually play with a lot easier. We'll have a yard sale in a few weeks when I've finished going through the boxes in the garage. I've been through everything once, but will need to do it again now that I'm not in a hurry to get the house set up.

I've been doing a ton of washing, as I had many more sheets and towels in storage than I remembered. Luckily, this house has one of the good old huge rotary clothes lines typical of many Aussie homes and I can get about six loads of washing on it easily. As I was folding some of the sheets, I realised that this house does not have a lot of storage room, and how many sheets do we really need? We have a large linen cupboard in the hallway, but I've taken up one whole shelf with my books to avoid buying an extra book shelf. I just don't want excess furniture or stuff around us. One stack of sheets and two stacks of towels (one for beach & one for bath) in the linen cupboard should be plenty. A short stack of pillowcases, another for tablecloths and place mats, and a larger one for cloth napkins should only take up one whole shelf. Then I have another shelf for the kids games and craft stuff. I'm enjoying setting up the house keeping it simple but setting up enough stuff to enjoy and spread out. I'm really looking forward to having that yard sale and getting rid of a lot more stuff. We have a goal of how much money we want to raise and will use some of that for a 12-month family pass to the local bird & wild-life sanctuary.

Nicholas has been having a fever on and off for the past week, as well as a bit of a cold. He's having a major growth spurt with it as his clothes are all suddenly shorter and his speech has changed - not his voice, but the way he thinks and puts sentences together. He's been playing by himself more, chattering away to the little people and cars, imagination in overdrive. (what a beautiful thing!)

We just put a child's seat on the back of my bike for him so we can start riding our bikes to a lot more places and use the car less. Summer and AJ had gotten used to riding their bikes in the caravan park and are now getting more confident about riding on the roads. Most of the roads around here have a bike lane which is great but there are often cars parked in them so they are learning to be careful when riding around the parked cars, especially if there is a car coming from behind. The lane is usually wide enough to allow for that, I was concerned that they might panic a little in that situation but they were fine.

As we pulled down the camper last week, I realised that I hadn't taken any photos of the set up we had that time. Nor had I taken photos of the kids or anything for quite a while. I must change that.

Enjoy your day!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

We're moving!

Yesterday marked one year that we've been living in the caravan. It was fitting that it was also the day that we signed the lease on the house we'll be moving into on Thursday! We got the house I put the application in for - even though I'm "not working"!

The weather has been so beautiful lately and there is no rain predicted for some time. I bet the first time it does rain, I'll happily dance from room to room delighting in all the dry space. I am looking forward to having some extra space for us all to spread out and not be so cramped. The house is a basic 3 bedroom place with a good size covered patio and a fenced yard. It also has some garden and an area they called a greenhouse, but it's not a true greenhouse. It's more like an area suitable for plants, with walls on 3 sides. We should be able to grow some veges and I'm looking forward to starting a compost.

So the chapter closes on this particular segment of our lives. We definitely want to continue this at some point. Maybe not full time, maybe just as a winter get-away. who knows? The adventures continue!

Friday, August 08, 2008

lately around here...

Nicholas (3) has said several times in the past few days "I don't want to get bigger", as he snuggles into me. I think he realises that he's getting closer to weaning and does not want to give up the "oobie". He usually only has oobie around bed time, but he does like to know he can still have it anytime during the day if he wants. Before he was born, our midwife would feel my belly and say that the baby felt "really juicy". He was born in the bag and from his first moment out of that, he has always been "juicy". He is just so vibrant and loves to experience everything he can.

AJ (7) loves to rough-house with Nicholas and Cary, he teaches Nicholas all the different things he learned in gymnastics and he still loves the wild birds and is very gentle around all animals. He appears to be in a dreamy world a lot of the time but he's always thinking about how things work and relate together. He's very interested in words at the moment and is always asking "what does this say?". He loves to look at comic books and try to figure out what they are saying by looking at the story in pictures.

Summer (10.5) still enjoys drama class ..and being dramatic. She has a very strong will and feels happiest when we have a planned rhythm so she knows what to expect. I try to do that for her, but things tend to change at the last minute on a regular basis around here. That can be hard for her. If she is in balance she can handle it, but sometimes the slightest thing sets her off and she'll be on a roll for the rest of the day. She doesn't like to be rushed or feel like she has too many things to do. She has her own unique style in clothes and loves to listen to my music like Amy Steinberg. She's getting taller, and often borrows my shoes or clothes.

Cary has been feeling frustrated with trying to do business here. He's finding roadblocks with silly little rules and regulations. But, he's bouncing back and looking into new avenues which is exciting.

I put an application in on a rental house a couple of days ago. When I dropped it off, the lady at the counter looked it over and said "oh. you're not working?". I smiled and said "I'm raising 3 children, that's a full-time job." She gave a fake smile and looked back at the app. I keep hearing from people that it doesn't matter how much money you have in the bank, or how creative you are in creating your own income, the realtors want to see proof that you have a paid job. One of the frustrating silly rules. Anyway, the right place will turn up for us.