Sunday, 27 September 2015

lily // seven

Our girl, our daughter, is seven! 

Oh, Lily, how can this be?

A real 'school girl', and more and more her own little person. I just stand in wonder as 'wonderful you' unfolds before me every day! This is the gift of the first child... the vanguard of the family, everything new and fresh and exciting. The punishment is that we experiment upon you, stumbling our way along this parenting path, so eager to 'get it all right', not always achieving that goal!! Thankfully, you are so very patient and forgiving as we find our way. But oh you, you are a joy to parent :)

It has been a pleasure to watch  you flourish in your second year of school. No longer the 'baby' of the school, you are an eager, dedicated, conscientious student. It amazes me still to see you read so fluently, I giggle when you suggest we 'add an adjective' to a recipe we are writing, I'm amazed at how you discuss fractions over breakfast and count and identify currency, then inform me gravely about the strategies used for measuring mass. Bursting with knowledge, it's a beautiful thing :) I love being invited into your world and seeing how much bigger that paradigm gets every day as you soak up so much.

Oh Lily, I love your silliness, your creativity (when the muse strikes, watch out! you must and you will create. I love watching you feverishly building and sticky taping at the craft table). You are kind and thoughtful, always aware of others, picking up on social cues at a level far beyond your years. I love to watch you learn about the world and learn about God, piecing together your faith in a heartfelt, sincere way. Your spiritual insights are precious beyond words. May you always hold that treasure in your heart. It is more valuable than any other knowledge, sweet girl, just knowing who God is and how much He loves you! 

Seven year olds are just the best to chat with! Where once you were more reticent to talk about your day, now you are over flowing with stories and questions and long in depth recounts of all you learn and question and know. I soak it up, genuinely fascinated and eager to catch every drop, knowing the tap may turn off far too quickly! Wondering about the world together, it's a delight.

You thrive on independence, always begging to cook dinner, to pack your own lunch and usually have yourself completely ready for school before anyone else in the family is even out of bed!! You are self-motivated, organised and so responsible. You fiercely care for your little brothers, though at times I think you actually consider yourself their second mother!! ;)  Not quite, my little mother hen, not quite!

We love you, little Lily. You are a devoted and doting big sister, a caring friend and a delightful, loving daughter. A bright spark in our world, keep shining, little heart!

'Though she be but little, she is fierce.'

The Annual Interview with Lily 

What are you going to be when you grow up?
A doctor

What’s that going to be like?
It looks fun!

What are your favourite toys?
My little beanie cat toy and the cat softie that you made me!

Who are your best friends?
Addi, Hayley T, Izzy, Marilyn

What makes you happy?
When I get lollipops and when a friend comes over to play.

What makes you sad?
When I have a bad dream, and when I fall over.

When you dream at night, what do you dream about?
Scary things....

What do you like to do with Daddy?
Jump on the trampoline, he jumps me very high!

What do you like to do with Mummy?
I like it when Mummy gives me a birthday present. I like when we go out at night together just us!

What do you like to do with Eli?
Play games like jumping on the trampoline.

What do you like to do with Miles?
I like when we have smooshy cuddles and kisses! And when we do school.

What’s your favourite colour?
Red and black

What’s your favourite book?
Bloom by Kelle Hampton (!!!)

What does Daddy do during the day?
On Saturdays and Sundays he stays home and on the other days he goes to work and does work and has lunch. I'm pretty sure it's tricky work. 

What does Mummy do during the day? 
She looks after kids. But not me! Don't write me because I go to school... she looks after the brothers.

What do you do during the day?
I go to school and play and do work. 

It's good to be seven because.....
I'm older than my siblings!

She bought these boots with her own birthday money. Little gold stars for my little star. Those boots were made for walking - and many big adventures. Though admittedly they are a size or two too big ;)


Crafting, box creations, any kind of sculpting and creating. Play dates with friends, reading chapter books. Reading, science, Japanese class. Gymnastics. Playing with her brothers, especially 'teaching' them. The trampoline, lollipops and chocolate.


Mushroom risotto, any risk of her brothers being hurt, her Mum crying. 

The obligatory 'awwwww' collage. Oh, how she grows....

Thursday, 17 September 2015

#highlightsreel // a 'fancy' high tea with my little lady

I am still in catch up mode and yes, these photos are harking back to around July!!! Oopsies ;) 

And so...

Lily's 7th birthday and our special birthday outing.

Milkshakes and grocery shopping.
Family fun and child's play.

Simple moments of love and joy and healing within our everyday....we count our blessings, we count them one by one. We count our blessings and see what God has done....

UNO is the favourite after-dinner family game these days... we just love it, and the kids are turning into card-sharks, haha! 

Our girl turned seven. Seven!!!!! Seven?? Somehow it's true.

We had a simple birthday dinner with the family. This year Lily requested pavlova for her birthday cake. This kinda socked me in the guts for two reasons. Firstly, because it was her first time asking for a cake that wasn't a butterfly or ballerina, etc (sniff! so grown up!) and also because pavlovas are what her Papa was absolutely renowned for. Knowing Lily, this is probably why she requested it. She misses her Papa so much. Oh, and he made the best pavlovas!!! Light as air, crunchy as all get out. Made with so much love and generosity. It was bittersweet to attempt one in his absence, knowing he would have loved to make one for her, wishing I had asked him for more tips (pavlovas are so tricky!!!!), and simply thankful to have a special memory of Papa represented at her birthday dinner. Oh, these days are a muddle of emotion, to be sure....

I am soooo not crafty but thanks to encouragement, help and ideas from my crafty friends (Jess! Kate! Amber!), I made this little softie cat for Lily for her birthday :) It feels freakishly good to actually make something for your kid's birthday. Who am I again?!!! ;)
Happy to report she loved it!! It was so cute - a few nights later she told me at bedtime 'Mummy, I just love my cat so much I try to hold it in my arms all night while I am sleeping so you will see how much I love it, but then when I wake up I accidentally have let go!!'. Aw, sweetie pie, I think I already get the drift!!
Not much gets between me and a good chocolate milkshake!! Not even a three hour wait
just to sample the famous Freakshake at Patissez here in Canberra. Oh yes, it was worth
the wait!!!! Deeelish, and so fun to finally get in and check out this cult following!
This is the shake your dreams are made of....
Yes, it's as insanely delicious as it looks. Mmmmmm!!!
I think I need to go back already!
This little guy tagged along, showing utmost patience. I let him share a little bit of my shake
and as you can see from that intense stare, he is hoping I don't attempt to take it off him
anytime soon!!
The kids found a special viewing platform for their Lottie dolls, heehee! What can't Ikea spice racks be used for?! ;)
Who is watching who?!
One evening I discovered Lily snuggled up in her little nest on the top bunk, reading through her animal encyclopaedia and taking careful notes in her exercise book about the things she was reading. Most precious sight everrrrrrrr :) Pretty sure this kid could just homeschool herself ;) 

It was time to celebrate this little seven year old! It wasn't Lily's year for a party and we prefer to focus more on 'experiences' rather than 'stuff' for birthday gifts, so we decided to have a special day out for this year's experience! After some brainstorming with my girl, we came up with a fantastic day of fun together (Mark took Eli out for his birthday, so it was my turn to do this birthday outing). As a verrrrrry special treat, we decided to go to a fancy High Tea together, followed by ice skating in the city on the temporary outdoor rink. Quality time with this kiddo, it just doesn't get better than that. She is growing up so fast, I want to soak up these moments and treasure them in my heart forever. Loved making memories with her, and enjoying her absolute glee at such a la-dee-da day out on the town :)

A little mother-daughter magic ahead....

Very proud of her own purse, lol...
I heart this face. So much spunk, so much sweet joy!

She wanted to dress matching, and so (knowing how fleeting this stage will surely be!) 
I got on board and we tried our best, under her creative direction of course!
Blue jeans, black boots, green tops. cardigans, beads and top knots. Matchy matchy :)

So blessed to have a daughter - this one in particular!
Sometimes we just need a little girl time :)

Soaking up the atmosphere at the very swish hotel we went to for high tea - The Burbury. Stunning views, modern fit-out and beautifully attentive service! Lily was in awe, she just sat there for a few minutes, quietly taking it all in...
The happy face of a girl who just saw three tiers of yummy treats arrive!
They know how to do High Tea right!! A layer of sweet treats, a layer of scones with
jam and cream, and then some savoury mini sandwiches! Tick, tick, tick!
Don't mind if I do!! We declared the creme brulee and the vanilla pannacotta the best of the bunch. The pots of tea were sooo
lovely and high quality too. Lily was beyond thrilled to get her very own pot of rooibos (naturally caffeine-free) tea... a real life tea party!! They also had sugar bowls with proper lumps of sugar in them. The cutest moment of the day was when Lily used the mini tongs to pick up a lump, then dropped it straight into the pot, rather than the cup! Heehee :)
Slamming down the pannacotta - her fave. From here, I put down the camera because we had lots of delicious goodies to gobble, chatter to partake in and delightful togetherness to enjoy. Afterwards we skipped off to ice skating and had a grand old time slicing up that ice! And she mastered skating in proper grown up skates - she was mega proud of herself :) Thank you, my little lovely, for a sweet day in your company xx
Seriously, grocery shopping with my little buddy just became even more of a breeze, thanks to these awesome Trolley Bags! They are seriously soooooooooo handy and helpful, gets me through the check out in no time with no repacking required. I love how they fill the whole trolley, and are so quick and easy to rack up at the register too. Clever or what!!?? Miles approves! #gifted
He is brave and true, my little man rockin' out his new PJs!
I am such a huge fan of open-ended construction toys and so we were thrilled when we were sent these awesome top quality Geomags! I remember toys like these from when I was a kid and have been wanting some for my kiddos too. They are even cooler now with colours and panels to make building even better! The kids have been loving playing with these as they offer so many ways to build and create and explore.  Open ended toys put the kids in charge, and it's always inspiring to see what they come up with! #gifted

Magnetism is so magnetising! :) So much fun to explore...I can't help but play too ;)
'We made an owl!'
Love the sturdy steel rods and inviting colours!
'Play is the work of childhood...'

Till next time, folks, take care and... just by the way, thanks so much for checking in on this little space! xx

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

eli // five

Our little Tiger has turned five.

Beautiful boy, I'm so thankful for this reason to celebrate you. In the midst of so much sorrow and stress lately, there is you. Pure joy and energy and life. Your Papa had such a tender place in his heart for you - he adored your antics, your outlook, your energy. Till those last days he still loved hearing 'Eli stories' (and you always supplied plenty!!). I am so grateful you had that special connection with him. Watching you grow, I will always feel an extra bittersweet tang, knowing how you charmed your Papa, and wishing he was here to watch you flourish.

Oh Eli. One of the things I love most about you is your open heart. You are without guile or agenda or artifice. I love your purity of spirit, your sincerity of hope. I am so grateful to get to know you, to unlock the puzzle of your amazing mind. My first son, my middle man. When you (frequently and casually) tell me you love me, it shoots straight from your heart to mine, a little arrow of love that shoots straight and true. I send that little arrow straight back to you! You are such a loving, caring, thoughtful little dude :)

You are endless energy, endless joy and joi de vivre. You are snuggles and bouncing and adventure and helpfulness, wrapped up in a package of dizzy delight. For such a little guy, you amaze me at how thoughtful you are, always thinking of others, concerned for them, ready and willing to help. The first to pick up a dropped spoon or run to someone who's hurting. You 'notice' people, you notice things, You ask deep and thoughtful questions, your little mind seems to always be ticking over big issues. Your love for God and perceptive, simple faith is so beautiful to behold and watch unfold. You observe the world around you, you question and you wonder and you wander. Never stop, little man, never quench that thirst, that joy for living!

We got to know so much about you this year and I am so utterly proud to watch you continue to grow and learn and strive.

I love you oodles, my darling son xx

My handsome son, my middle man!
We call him 'The Noisemaker' for a reason ;)

The Annual Interview with Eli...

What are you going to be when you grow up?
I want to be a Dad 

What’s that going to be like?
I think I will have dark hair. And dark skin. And I will have lots of colourful shoes like the rainbow. I want to be a good Dad. Actually.... I want to be Santa Claus!!

What are your favourite toys?
I love money, I can keep it to buy something at the shops.
I love my Finn doll.

Who are your best friends?
I have someone but I can't tell you her name... ok.... her name's Lily!

What makes you happy?
When Daddy does lots of funny things to me... like funny faces!

What makes you sad?
When Miles is too rough with me. 

When you dream at night, what do you dream about?
I''m really trying to get a dream about Shrek.

What do you like to do with Daddy?
Play games with him, like play hungry hippos. And play chess.

What do you like to do with Mummy?
I like to play Hungry Hippos and other games with you too.

What do you like to do with Lily?
Make a show on her camera together, I love Lily's camera.

What do you like to do with Miles?
I like to play with him. I like to play chess with him too.


What’s your favourite colour?
Blue, green, purple, orange, red, white, silver, gold (the list went on and on)

What’s your favourite book?
Hippo's Cant Swim

What does Daddy do during the day?
He has breakfast with me and then he goes to work and writes things and spends money so he can buy things with it. I love him because he just loves me. I'm wishing for me to go to work with him.

What does Mummy do during the day? 
You read books with glasses. At night you can watch a show.

What do you do during the day?
I like to do the dishwasher and the washing and play outside. I like playing with you because you love me and you do lovely things for me...

It's good to be five because.....
I want to be a big boy and spend lots of money.

Mum's note: Very amused at the monetary focus this year!!! Lately the kids have been learning about the value of money and suddenly very keen to collect it ;)

Being five is sorta overwhelming too... so much pressure!!
Got the giggles...
Such a boy!!
Blue Steel

Love those deep blue eyes!

And of course, the all important collage... my, oh my, how he has grown!
And yet, still stays the same?! The curls have gone but those blue eyes are here to stay xx

We love ya, Eli!!! Enjoy your sixth circle around the sun....