Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Safety Blanket

My Muddy Organiser has a safety blanket, not a literal safety blanket but a little friend who has always been by her side. Her Best Friend is the one she can always rely on, the one who has always been there to do things together with first, from preschool to school to ballet and birthday parties. Everything is always OK because she knows no matter what her safety blanket won't be far away.

Over the last few weeks I've realised that my gorgeous, soft-spoken Muddy Pixie has lost her safety blanket, she had one, just like my Muddy Organiser did, a buddy who has been there since she was a baby, and she still is there, but she has shot ahead in leaps and bounds and with her extrovert personality has made countless new friends and my Muddy Pixie has found this a bit too overwhelming.

So, I've made it my mission to take a bit more time to help foster new friendships for her, to have some play dates with some other little friends to see if there is anyone she takes a shine to, another little girl that might be feeling lost like my Muddy Pixie is. Someone who can maybe be that safety blanket for her. It may not work, she may not like her, she may not like them, who knows what goes through their heads when they make a decision on something, but I figure it's worth a try. It breaks my heart when I see her looking so lost and I would dearly love to put some light back into her life and give her that safety blanket I think she needs.

Do your kids have a safety blanket, a friend they can rely on? Are they new friendships or old? Any ideas for good play dates?

Monday, February 25, 2013

Crutching Time

At the moment we are crutching our sheep. Basically this means shearing some off around the head and the bum. It helps stop the sheep from becoming wool blind and helps to prevent flies. We get the sheep into the yards the night before and then in the morning they're run up into the wool shed into each of the pens the shearers use. This year Muddy Hubby and his brother are doing their own crutching, and Muddy Hubby is whinging about how sore he is before the day starts, just at the thought of crutching. It doesn't stop him though, he gets in and gets them done.
The Muddy Kids help out when they can, they've each got a small broom and depending on who is home they practice picking up the wool after the shearer finishes and taking it to the wool table to pick out the stain and dags and put the remaining good wool in the bale.The sheep are then slid down the chute and into pens under the woolshed, to make their own way out into the sunshine.

Sunday, February 24, 2013


Muddy Baby Boy - Enraptured with the sheep running out of the pens after crutching.
Muddy Pixie - Insisted on wearing a singlet just like Muddy Hubby does in the shearing shed, learning how to pick up the crutchings and pick them, has made me so proud this week.
Sadly this week I only have two images of my Muddy Kids to share. I agree with Jodi when she says once they are at school, it is so hard to capture all that you want of them.
Joining in with Jodi from Che and Fidel for 52 - A Portrait a Week for 52 weeks in 2013.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Gratefuls on Struggle Street

I've struggled to hit my stride this week and get back into routine. I've chosen to linger and savour the sounds of the morning rather than get up and make sure all the lunchboxes and eskies are packed. I start one task, only to get sidetracked with another and not remember I had already started one. I'm not sure whether it's the after holiday let down or there's something else ticking over in my mind, whatever it is it's not made this week an easy one, today was the worst of all.

In all the struggle though there's been rays of sunshine that I am so grateful for.

Having good friends that listen to me rant or worry or just make me laugh, good friends are wonderful and special and I am so very lucky to have some lovely ones in my life.

I am extremely grateful to my neighbour who picked up my 'snake sticks' for me today, because I couldn't get to town for another week, now I just need to charge them up before strategically placing them in the house yard.

I am grateful for my gorgeous Muddy kids and the love they have for farm life and farming, for the joy they get from going to work with Muddy Hubby and helping out where they can. That is so precious and I hope they never lose it.

My Muddy Puzzler has done a complete turnaround on her bus enthusiasm, so I am grateful for the wonderful and caring preschool staff that encourage her and praise her and ensure she feels safe on the bus and make sure she's happy to get on and off.

Today though the thing I am grateful for is  those 'lightbulb moments' you know the ones, where you've been struggling to find the answer to a puzzle and suddenly inspiration strikes and you see it in a different way and you know how to go forward. Yes, that today I was very grateful for, now to just try and put it into action.

I am linking up with the wonderful Bron who is hosting 52 Weeks of Grateful at Village Voices. Stop by and have a read, you won't regret it!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Mr Independent

With my 3 Muddy Girls the biggest drama I had/have is probably their introvertness (not sure that it's a word but works for me), now with my Muddy Baby Boy it is the total opposite. He is a real Mr Independent, happy to go off on his own, or preferably with Muddy Hubby if he can. He is an explorer, a constant little boy in motion, seeking out his next big adventure. Packaged with his independence is his determination, his determination to do whatever his big sisters are doing, or whatever takes his fancy at the time really.
As much as I love it, it is certainly keeping me on my toes and some days I honestly struggle with how to parent him. If he is told 'No' or 'Stop' he lays down on the ground and chucks a massive tantrum. If we go walking and he wants to stop, he just sits down, there's no carrying him, he will get up and keep going when he is ready. If he sees something he wants there is no stopping him until he gets it, even if it means falling off the table in the process or banging into things as he pushes his way through, there is no fear, just total focus on his objective. Some days I long to be like that, so I can't really complain because it's a trait I admire, but it sure does make some days challenging.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Back to reality

After a week away our world came crashing back to earth quickly. My friends the snakes have moved in while we've been away. Once chose to make it's home under the swimming pool tarps while the second one chose to greet me at the back door when I went to go outside, sliding between the metal and the mesh. It was not a happy welcome home.

I have resolved to invest in some 'snake sticks', which I have been unable to purchase in town as the only shop that stocks them is sold out. So they will have to wait til I am in the next biggest town for work next week. I have heard a lot about these 'snake sticks', some people think they definitely work, others think they don't. Effectively they're solar powered and they send out intermittent pulses at a frequency that deters the snakes to a 10m2 radius, apparently the snakes don't come within that radius. At this point I am willing to give anything a go.

My other purchase has been some Guinea Fowl. These birds are excellent at alerting you to snakes, they flap and squawk and surround the snake, giving you a chance to get the kids safely inside and try and find a way to deal with it. They are only little, but I have placed a lot of pressure on these birds to do the job they've been purchased for! It helps that they're very cute and get even cuter as they grow. And just because I couldn't resist we have a new rooster, we've called him Bobby, he's a blue crossed with gold Wyandotte and looks like he'll be a good looking bloke.

Sunday, February 17, 2013



My Muddy Baby Boy - Determination is absolute, I will climb these stairs on my own and will reject any offer of help.
My Muddy Puzzler - Concentrating on her beach finds
My Muddy Pixie - So very proud of herself, fishing for the very first time
My Muddy Organiser - Amazing me with her growing confidence and how much she is growing up so quickly!

A portrait of my kids 'once a week for 52 weeks in 2013'. Joining in with Jodi at Che and Fidel.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Grateful for bits and pieces of our holiday

We have had a lovely relaxing week away, just us, as a family hanging out together. It's rare and we have soaked up every bit. My Muddy kids have done really well, trying to get along and help each other when they need it, play together more and more and just enjoy being together.
Over the week though there's been a few things I'm extremely grateful for.
I am Grateful for my Muddy Hubby who is not afraid to get himself dirty to help the kids have the most fun. He will sit in the sandy shallows and help them enjoy the surf, he'll let them bury him in the sand til he has sand everywhere and then he'll turn around and help them bury themselves.
Consequently I am grateful for the beach showers, which meant I could shower off most of the sand and it didn't have to be carted all through the cabin we were staying in.
I am grateful for the shells on the beach that kept the Muddy Girls entertained for hours, collecting them, washing them, sorting them, talking about them and finally sharing them by showing them off.
I am grateful for the abundance of parks on the coast which meant the kids didn't get bored with the same one over and over.
Overall I am grateful for a relaxing family holiday, it's been long overdue but we have soaked up every second and made the most of it.

Linking up at Village Voices for 52 Weeks of Grateful, hosted by the lovely Bron. Please stop by and check it out.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Jumping Pillow Fun

With a beach a 100m from our cabin door, a pool, a playground, rainforests and waterfalls to explore, the Muddy kids are of course always requesting the jumping pillow! Luckily at the moment the holiday park is quiet, so they have had a good run at it whenever their heart desires.
Each time they request the jumping pillow though my calves say 'Thank You' while my pelvic floors say 'squeeze tight', I really must remember to keep up with those exercises!

Sunday, February 10, 2013


My Muddy Organiser - Laughter, Always Laughter
Muddy Pixie - A rare smile rather than a silly face, enjoying a quiet moment on her own.
Muddy Puzzler - Caught in motion, excitement of the first morning of our holiday
Muddy Baby Boy - Busy, but stopped to smile at me on his way past......

Surprisingly I managed to get all four Muddy Kids in this week. Aiming for a Portrait a Week for 52 Weeks alongside the talented Jodi at Che and Fidel.

Friday, February 8, 2013

A Grateful Week

Tomorrow is a great day - tomorrow we go away on holiday. Yes it will probably take us over 8-9 hours to make it to the coast, but we will meet up with friends and celebrate a very special friend's wedding. We then get a week of beach action before heading to the big smoke for an engagement party for one of my cousins.

Each and every member of the family is busting with excitement and it's been a busy week trying to get things sorted before we go. I am one of those people who cannot go away unless my house is spotless, there's no washing hanging around in baskets and my lawn must be mowed, so it's keeping me on my toes.

I am grateful though for my lovely mother-in-law who looked after my kids so I could finish the packing and the cleaning unhindered.

I am grateful for my sister-in-law for keeping me supplied with vomit bags, because the reality is we will not make it to the coast without at least one vomiting child, and I would rather be prepared than spend my holiday trying to get the smell out of the car.

I am grateful for my Muddy Organiser's care and kindness, looking after her baby brother when I need her to just take his hand to help him walk somewhere or keep him busy while I complete a task, she continues to amaze me with her thoughtfulness.

I am also grateful for my hairdresser, for fitting the kids and I in for hair cuts before we go away, for knowing my kids so well that they are comfortable enough to let her wash their hair and cut it without clinging to me like they used to.

It's these little things that make me smile this week and that I want to link up at Village Voices for 52 Weeks of Grateful, graciously hosted by Maxabella Loves. It's definitely worth a look.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


With the kids being on their 'Pear Diet' I have been trying new things, pushing my boundaries of comfort in the kitchen. My latest challenge was Marshmallows! This recipe is from the Friendly Food Recipe Book that accompanies the Elimination Diet. It's Delicious and pretty simple.

50g (1/3 Cup) Powdered Gelatine
250ml (1 cup) Cold Water
880g (4 cups) Sugar - I used Castor Sugar
500ml (2 cups) Boiling Water
125g (1 cup) pure Icing Sugar
60g (1/2 cup) Maize Cornflour

Putting it all together:
Sprinkle the Gelatine over the cold water and set aside.

Put the sugar and boiling water in a large saucepan. Stir over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Add the gelatine mixture. Stir Until well combined and dissolved. Boil steadily without a lid for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool until lukewarm.

Pour the mixture into the large bowl of an electric mixer and beat on high speed until white and thick. Pour into two wet 20cm square deep cake tins. Refrigerate overnight.

Sift the icing sugar and cornflour together into a bowl. Cut the marshmallow into squares using a large wet knife. Remove from the tins and toss them in the icing sugar and cornflour mixture until they're well coated. You can then store them in layers, separating them with baking paper so they don't stick together.


Monday, February 4, 2013


I have been reading about Jodi's 52 A Portrait a Week and admiring everyone's lovely photos for a couple of weeks and saying to myself - that's something I really must do. So with 5/52 I am joining in at Che and Fidel for A Portrait a Week. I'm picking two of my 4 kids each week to take photos of to include, I'd try for 4 but know I'll fail so I'm aiming for two!

Baby Boy - Trying on Dad's and Mum;s boots for size, always keen to get outside.

Muddy Organiser - Head deep in a book - I love that she loves reading so much.

Thank You Jodi for this lovely idea.