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

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Weekly Stills: A Collection

I don't know who I think I'm kidding with this "weekly" collection of photos business, am lucky to get a set up once a month. Won't bore you with the details but there is a lot going on on top of this hill. Am drowning in paperwork, appointments and organising stuff. After I post this I'm going to take the vacuum on a walk through this house and quite possibly the mop as well. In the meantime, let's look at the photos...

  1. We're in scarf weather, I love scarf weather.
  2. And I love that sky from a few weeks ago, those colours were unbelievable.
  3. Happy Mother's Day girls. We can't wait to meet your babies!
  4. A few of my favourite things: succulents in concrete pots, a new pile of firewood and the view of course too.
  5. Saturday afternoons at our place: pizza dough proving next to the fire.
  6. The view from the top paddock.
  7. The view from our bedroom window. We haven't seen him for a while, he's looking well thank goodness. When he disappears I tend to worry about him, he seems a bit fragile sometimes.
  8. It's four o'clock on the butterfly clock. My favourite garden place is closing down and everything must go at heavily discounted prices (truly Sherb) so I self-gifted myself this rusty pedestal and sundial for Mother's Day. Someone has got to help them clear out their stock. It may as well be me. 
  9. I've been spending lots of afternoons up under Daisy's trees lately. May crept up on me this year and Mother's Day got me a little unsettled. It's Daisy's birthday at the end of the week and I've been wondering how I ever coped having her birthday and Mother's Day in the same week. Sometimes it feels like she was just a dream. God I miss her. 
  10. My gift from Clementine, hand-painted and hand-grown. She's stuck eyes on the front and blue bows on the back. It's the cutest thing, I just love it.
  11. My current reading pile. From the bottom up - Understanding Exposure - meant to be a must have for those of us who don't understand exposure (i.e: me).  - He'll Be OK - the subtitle to this is Growing Gorgeous Boys Into Good Men and I can't wait to learn how!  - Good Living Street - have heard good things about this but it might have to wait until I can understand exposure and have grown my gorgeous boy into a good man. And finally - We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves - I don't have enough good things to say about this book. It completely broke my heart after I finished reading it on Mother's Day morning while I waited for sleepyhead Ruby to wake up. Which is another reason I felt so emotional that day. It makes me cry just thinking about it and I can't wait to read it again. If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it, but maybe don't google it first! I love to read the ending of any book first but am so pleased I didn't with this one. There's a bit of a twist in there. Heartbreaking. 
Well that's enough procrastinating, the house won't clean itself. Hope you're all well and making time to read. Any tips for dealing with paperwork and getting stuff done would be appreciated! Will see you soon xx

Friday, 1 May 2015

The Sky Last Night...

I took these photos last night, just before dark, when I'd got the dinner and a fire started and everyone was otherwise occupied inside. Lately I've been trying to switch off the news and get outside for a while. It just seems to be overwhelmingly heartbreaking, both close to home and all around the world. I often wonder how much sadness people can take. It just seems too much to bear.

So last night I headed up to Daisy's trees with my camera and my intentions and sat for a while to breathe it all in and all out. And to have some strong words with my God.

The sky was quite simply, glorious.

Milly and Martha have spotted the dog. Run dog. 
I also had some company.

You might think that it's all very peaceful up here and mostly it is. Until your peace is interrupted by a couple of pregnant alpacas and a kelpie cross dog, who just can't seem to get along. The girls see the dog and possibly think FOX! The dog sees the girls and probably thinks HOW CAN I BEST IMPRESS THEM? Then tries his hardest by turning himself inside out around them. The girls give a great impression of caring less. With extra spitting. Poor Ajax.

Anyway, the peace was beautiful while it lasted. As was the sky. As always I came away filled with gratitude for this special place and the peace it gives me. I pray that God will restore a sense of peace to those who have none right now.

“There is a light in this world, a healing spirit more powerful than any darkness we may encounter. We sometimes lose sight of this force when there is suffering, too much pain. Then suddenly, the spirit will emerge through the lives of ordinary people who hear a call and answer in extraordinary ways.”                                                                                                                                                                                                - Mother Teresa

Linking here with Skywatch Friday.