Thursday, 3 September 2015

The last days of Winter...

Unbelievably it's the first week of Spring and before the heat really arrives and turns everything brown and dry I wanted to remember what the last few days of winter looked like from the top of this very green and lush hill. We've seen some beautiful weather and some glorious views over the last couple of weeks. I still feel so grateful for every day I wake up to this landscape.

Just love how this pair of skippies were hanging out together next to those daisies...

It's pouring with rain today and freezing, have got the fire on and muffins in the oven ready for afternoon tea. Clemmie's playing with dolls and textas (!!) and in the best news of all, training this afternoon has been cancelled due to wet weather! I love home days like these. Hope you're warm and dry and getting lots of rain too xx

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Introducing Snowflake and Bluebelle!

My apologies if you've been on the edge of your seats waiting on more baby alpaca news, it has been one thing after another up here (think plumbing problems, back to school chaos after our holiday, driveway problems, flat tyres - see driveway, and generally life getting in the way) but I'm thrilled to tell you that the babies and mums are all thriving, and also, they're -


At least, that's how they appear to my untrained eye. (And I got up pretty close). Anyway, girls are great news because it means they won't need to be re-homed away from their mothers which would have just about broken my heart. 

And they have names! Meet little Bluebelle Winter (born in winter) on the left and Snowflake Augustine (born in August) on the right. (Can you tell that I took control of the naming process?)

                   Otherwise known as Bluey and Snowy! (You can't join this family without getting yourself a nickname).

Beautiful Bluebelle.
Sweet little Snowflake
Not sure if you can tell in these photos but these little ladies are just tiny and their noses are so soft and downy. And that fur has just this week become really fluffy and they've both filled out a little more. Can't get over how well everyone's coping. They're feeding beautifully, are skipping around chasing each other and have already learned to spit!

I think the thing that surprised me most about them is how different their little faces are. I just assumed we wouldn't be able to tell them apart but they have very distinct faces and colouring. We've had visitors every weekend since they were born and the consensus is that Snowy got the looks and Bluey the personality. Poor little girls.

Anyhow, one month in and everyone's happy. Even Ajax has relaxed a bit and spends his afternoons up there with the girls trying to eat their pellets. Am thinking that he's thinking he's an alpaca too. All part of the family...

Sunday, 9 August 2015

The babies are here!

Groetjes allemaal! We've been home from Amsterdam for a couple of weeks and I have lots of pretty photos to share but in the meantime I'm so excited to announce that...

The alpacas have given birth!

Now I'm just going to wait a minute while you take in the gorgeousness of this sleeping little day old bundle of fluff...

I keep saying that I've found heaven and it's right here on this hill in the shape of two newborn alpacas.

Just look at them both ...

I know I've seen some cute babies in my time but honestly this pair just might take the cake. The best part is they were born without any help from me. Thanks to the grace of God, nature just took over and I didn't even need to boil the kettle! I happened to look out the window last Monday and saw Martha with her little one just born and wandering around looking so beautiful and relaxed.

Then I had a couple of days with Ruby seeing doctors in Sydney and came home to find Martha with her precious baby.

And so the fun begins! The hardest part is trying to stop this dog from rounding them all up. Clearly we didn't prepare him for babies very well, he won't leave them alone and their mothers have been looking at Ajax with a complete look of disdain. I would love to know what they're thinking, their faces seem to be saying "Hey relax mate, they're just babies!"

I have to say, I can see the family resemblance. Those kids have certainly got their mothers' legs! And now that they've each survived a couple of nights up here in freezing conditions, I feel like I can relax a bit now too. Was so worried that the births would be stressful, but from where I stand it couldn't have been easier. If only all births could be like that.

PS: No names yet. Still haven't gone in to check if they're boys or girls. Martha spat at me big time the day before she gave birth (obviously in pre-labour and a little grumpy) and I haven't got up the courage to get too close just yet!

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Taking Stock - June

I just went back and counted six Taking Stock posts that I've begun over the last twelve months and not finished let alone published. I love reading Pip's and everyone else's but I just can't seem to get through a whole post of my own. It feels a bit overwhelming for me when I have so much else going on. Anyway, I've decided to make it easy for myself and answer a few of Pip's and then add in a few of my own.

So this is what I've been up to lately...

Making: Fires now that the cold has set in.
Cooking: Comfort food. Soups, brownies, muffins, pasta, quiche. Basically anything Ruby will eat and take for school lunch the next day. She seems to have found her appetite again.
Drinking: Cups and cups and cups of tea.
Noticing: How much my kids love home days. Have never been one for heaping lots of activities on my kids after school, I'm a believer in kids needing down-time. And I love how they enjoy being at home. All Clemmie wants to do lately is "play"; she asks me first thing in the morning and straight after dinner can she "play"? So play she does. And all she wants to play with lately are Barbies.
Marvelling: At just how when my car battery died last week it was right at the end of soccer training so I was surrounded by soccer dads and their handy jumper leads. It was perfect timing. Thank you dads!
Looking: At schools for my baby next year.
Deciding: On none of them. I think I'm pretty good at making decisions and problem-solving but I have never been more indecisive in my life. She's falling through all the cracks and everything seems too hard.
Wishing: For a crystal ball so I could see our next year.

Enjoying: Listening to Clementine talking! For a little one with hearing loss and constantly sore ears, she has suddenly come alive with her speech. I can't get over her and the words she knows, she's amazing. And she just doesn't stop!
Giggling: At Clementine talking on her Peppa phone. That child spends ages on her phone. She sits on the lounge, walks up and down the hallway, takes it in the car and to the shops and is chatting on it the whole time. But it's the way she speaks on the phone that makes me giggle, because it's exactly me - "Hello? Yes? Ummm, okay, love you, BYE!"
Coveting: My quiet time outside in the afternoons; feeding the alpacas and hanging out with the dog on top of the hill. And taking photos of the sky and the landscape.

Watching: My reality TV show of choice: Masterchef. Love Masterchef. Also, the FIFA Women's World Cup early in the mornings.
Loving: The colours of the outfits worn at the French Open this year. All that orange and pink and purple with the red clay was stunning. Especially when Rog was wearing it.
Liking: All the pretty pictures on Instagram.
Buying: Giant man-size shoes for my pre-teen. Also, an e-reader for me.
Reading: Just finished The Rosie Project and The Rosie Effect. Took me a while to get into them. Now I just want to read them again but this time from Rosie's point of view!

Missing: My husband who has been in Amsterdam all year. Missing him like crazy.
Organising: House-sitters, school stuff, airline tickets and flight support for our visit to him in Amsterdam next week (!!!)
Cleaning: Our house. Specifically the pantry and linen cupboard.
De-Cluttering: Everything! Have been ruthless and it's made me think that maybe I should book in some house-sitters every year. I am loving the feeling of less stuff, especially in the pantry.
Packing: Lots of layers for goodness knows what weather a Dutch summer will bring.
Praying: That all will go well on our holiday; that Ruby will sleep on the plane; that Clemmie's ears won't be too sore and that our time together will go so slowly. Am praying too, that God will give me the strength to hold it all together with three kids on a long distance flight.
And Wondering: If Clementine really will just talk the whole way to Amsterdam!

This first half of the year has been without a doubt so challenging, and I'm fully aware that it's not over yet. A couple of nights ago I lay awake wondering just whose bright idea it was to travel to the other side of the world with three kids, two of whom have special needs. I'm so thankful to have found some beautiful house-sitters who appear to love our pets and house, a travel agent who has helped organise airline support for us, and a husband who will be waiting with his arms open (for me to hand the kids into while I sleep for a week!). I'm planning to take lots of photos of our travels but probably won't blog here until we return. I'll still instagram though if you're interested in copious photos of tulips? So until then, take care and tot ziens xx

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Weekly Stills: A Collection

Well I don't know what happened to icy cold winter last week as the last few days have been glorious.    
However the days are still speeding by. Time does not seem to listen when I ask it to sit still! Here's a few photos from the last week or so.
  1. Mon Petit Chou made a guest appearance out in the garden so thought I'd bring it in out of the cold.
  2. Was one of those intensely dramatic sky days. Love those days.
  3. First day of winter and I bought myself some tulips. 
  4. That fog hung around all morning, love days like that.
  5. Another tulip shot making the lemon curd muffins look pretty. That was afternoon tea with the grandparents which stretched on to dinner. Love days like that too. 
  6. Think Clementine has developed a love of colour, cutting and pasting and collage. That's my girl!
  7. She's also developing a love of Barbies and imaginative play. Here are the girls (complete with bedhead hair) "asleep" on the lounge. She tells them "your bed, my bed", which is what I've been telling her every single night since January when she's ended up in our bed. First you sleep in your bed, then you can sleep in my bed. She loves hearing that every night. 
  8. Rest assured it's not only our ceilings that are covered in cobwebs, it's the garden too. You would not want to be afraid of spiders up here, they are everywhere. They seem to especially love succulents; every pot of succulents is covered in cobwebs, they must love those hiding spots.
  9. Got this chair re-covered and of course I went with pink! 
Hope your days are warm and sunny too xx

Friday, 5 June 2015

Friday Skyday

A few photos of today's sky on a freezing first Friday in June...

Winter, you have well and truly arrived! 

Joining in with Skywatch Friday.

Sunday, 31 May 2015

Weekly Stills: A Collection

And so we come to the last day of Autumn and what was a pretty tricky month for me to get through to be honest. So many memories in the month of May.

  1. Sunrise a couple of weeks ago, a Friday I think.
  2. Daisy, Daisy, Daisy. Her ninth birthday came and went in a blur. It was a miserable day, with just my girls and I, and they were both sick. Needless to say it was the first birthday I didn't make her a cake or do much at all. I did spend some time under her trees where I noticed all the little daisies her father planted are blooming again. And in saying that, I did plant her a rose. A Mother's Love, and if I could find a Father's Love, I would have planted one of those too. What I would give to see her again. 
  3. Church on our hill.
  4. Took this photo to get a good look at Milly and try to work out just what the heck is going on in her hair? Those things don't seem to be moving little creatures thankfully, but has she been rolling in pellets or gotten stuck under a low lying branch? Am so confused. 
  5. Found this beautiful rose at the nursery for just $10. Brought it home, planted it, gave it a drink and was rewarded with this beautiful bloom. It's a Clea rose, it smells and looks beautiful.
  6. Has been one of those wet and foggy weekends, and yes, soccer was still on.
  7. Abraham Darby blooming again.
  8. This is the face (and crossed eyes?) of cute Ajax, busted trying to eat those red roses I'd just picked behind him. Cheeky chops.
  9. And the Summer Memories rose on my meditation table on the last day of Mindful In May today. Have loved being a part of that program again, I find it really therapeutic and even I can manage ten minutes a day. Looking forward to continuing.
I think it was the fastest May in history, don't you? Where does the time go? All I can say for you June, is, go very slowly