Monday, April 22, 2013

Warrumbungle Wanderings

Back in January the nearby Warrumbungles were hit with devastating bushfires, they pretty much wiped out most of the national park, very little flora or fauna survived. We watched each day from home as the smoke billowed up as it continued to blaze.
This weekend we packed up the Muddy Kids, grabbed some lunch and headed up to check out how nature fights back after this kind of devastation. There is a pocket of greenness at the bottom where we set up camp for lunch and explored the creek, it's almost like an oasis, for as you continue to drive up in to the park the only green is where trees are beginning to reshoot. It was amazing to see.
We reached the only lookout open at the moment and walked the short walk to the top for an awesome view of the park, but it also took your breath away to see how much damage had been done. A definite eye-opener thinking about just how long it will take to fully recover. It is however a geologists dream, a rare opportunity to see the rock layers which are normally under the cover of trees. It was also a good chance for the kids to see what all the smoke and fire they saw back in January was about, allaying some of their fears and answering their questions.


Sunday, April 21, 2013

Grateful for Sleepovers and Besties

Since I've added an extra day into my work days I have struggled to find time to catch up with my friends and subsequently my Muddy Kids have also missed out with only a small amount of spare time to fit in a long list of things. These school holidays thought I've tried to make a conscious effort to let my Muddy Kids get some quality friend time in. We've had sleepovers and play dates and netball clinics. All things that would normally have to slip by the wayside.
It has been so delightful for my two big Muddy Girls to go on a sleepover together and see how much fun they had, my wonderful friend made snow globes with them and let them watch a movie and have a spa. We had the Muddy Pixie's bestie over for a play and they had so much fun playing in the wool shed, jumping on the wool bales and playing hide and seek in the sheds. We even braved the world of having a friend for a sleepover and it was lots of fun. Not only has it kept the kids entertained and they are falling into bed exhausted each night but the smiles on their faces and the joy it brings me lets me know it's worth the effort.


So this week I am grateful for my Muddy Kids friends for being so special and bringing such lovely friendships into their lives.
Linking up over at Village Voices for 52 Weeks of Grateful, hosted by the lovely Bron.


A portrait of each of my kids every week for 2013
Muddy Organiser - Exhausted after her first foray into a Netball Clinic but adamant to tell me everything about it
Muddy Pixie - So excited to have her bestie over for a play - captured in the middle of play
Muddy Puzzler - So cheeky climbing the slippery dip
Muddy Baby Boy - Following along, just trying to keep up
Linking up with Jodi at Che and Fidel for the most amazing collection of photographs for 52 - A Portrait a Week

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Tantrums and All

I am feeling strangely reminiscent this week, I have been looking at old photos of the Muddy Girls at the same age my Muddy Baby Boy is now - almost 20 months, which other than the tantrums is one of my favourite ages. They are into everything, exploring, emptying cupboards, climbing everything. I am amazed though at the differences as well between all my kids at this age, from their interests to their skills development they are all so wonderful and individual.
By far though my Muddy Baby boy has proved the most physically challenging, as I run to try and catch him before he falls, or run after him as he takes off out of the house yard and toward the shed, or rescue him from the tree he has just climbed, or wrestle him down to change his nappy, or keep him challenged inside on a rainy day when he's an outside kid.
He is a boy through and through and I am loving every second of it, including the tantrums.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Too Fast.....

My Muddy Puzzler is a little bit of an enigma, stronger in nature than her older two sisters and focused on whatever task she chooses to pursue, even if she knows it's the wrong thing to do and it will turn my smile upside down, once she starts something she must finish in her eyes.
For me she is growing way too fast, she is three and a half going on thirty three, she is way more ahead in areas than her older sisters were at the same age, focused on practicing writing letters and copying them whenever she can, doing somersaults on the grass, riding a bike, all things that even now her older sisters sometimes struggle with.
I am in awe of her everyday, especially when she shows me something new she has learnt to do. I know she has her older sisters leading the way and she is desperate to be doing exactly what they're doing but for me it's all too much too quickly. I want her to slow down, I want to savour her being a 3 year old, tantrums and all.

Sunday, April 14, 2013


A Portrait of my kids each week, every week in 2013
Muddy Organiser - Deep in counting for Hide and Seek
Muddy Puzzler - Wind in her face as we head up the paddock
Muddy Baby Boy - In his element, outside with a piece of machinery

Muddy Pixie - Sadly I could not capture her this week, the enthusiasm for life and having her first sleepover with her bestie.

Linking up with the very talented Jodi at Che & Fidel for 52 - A Portrait a Week.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Loving Music

Tomorrow night Dubbo is hosting Triple J's One Night Stand. Dubbo is our nearest regional centre, it has a population of about 40,000 and tomorrow night they are anticipating the population will increase by a 1/4 as 10-15,000 people converge on Dubbo to attend the One Night Stand.

Business in the shops is reportedly booming, there isn't a single bed in any accommodation left, and I imagine many will be sleeping in cars or on the floors of friends or not sleeping at all, as people do whatever they can to make it to this free concert.

It amazes me that sooooo many people will converge in one spot, and all for music. Yes that's right Music. Music is bringing people together in a major rural centre, it's got people travelling huge distances to be there. Music is bringing joy into people's lives and boosting the local economy (even for a short time).

I know music is an important part of my life, and the music I listened to growing up still influences me today, I can only hope I pass that love of music onto my Muddy Kids and one day they might be making a trek to a music concert like this one.

This week I am Grateful that Music has this kind of power, the power to get so many people in one place. The power to bring a big concert like this to Dubbo, which has never experienced anything like it before. The power to bring smiles and joy.

Linking up for 52 Weeks of Grateful over at Village Voices. Take sometime to check it out.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Eyes Have It.....

A little while ago a friend of mine was telling me about her little boy, he had had his eyesight screened at preschool and they had recommended that he have a full eye examination by an optometrist. Lo and behold he is longsighted and needs to wear glasses all the time.

The first time I saw him with his glasses on I made a really big deal about how cool he looked and how great it must be to see things clearly. His Mum was telling me he has been remarking on things all day like he's seeing them properly for the very first time 'oh wow Mum can you see that, that's great', 'look at that Mum'. It was such a joy to watch the world open for him.

A week later I spoke to another friend who had just had her little boy's grommets put in and when they got him home it was as if he was hearing things for the very first time, she put the dishwasher on and he came running up and pointed to the dishwasher and looked at her with amazement that it actually made a noise. It was so heart warming to hear such positivity.

Last week we got a recommendation that our Muddy Pixie see an optometrist, nothing major but after having both these conversations with parents I was straight on the phone to book and appointment. I got off the phone and a day later decided to also book in my Muddy Organiser just to be sure she has no problems, yes I know it's overkill and it's only because she's been holding her book too close to her face, but I'd rather be safe than sorry down the track.....

Sunday, April 7, 2013


A portrait of my kids every week for 2013
Muddy Organiser - Water, fresh from the bore, pumped up by the sun
Muddy Pixie - How quickly tears turn to a smile when the camera comes out
Muddy Puzzler - Eating an apple picked straight from the tree
Muddy Baby Boy - This morning tea stuff up the paddock is serious business
Linking up with Jodi at Che and Fidel for her 52 - A Portrait a Week

Grateful for Reading

As the mornings start to get a bit cooler and the weekend dawns you seem to get that urge, to just snuggle down in bed a little more, pull the doona up and try and sneak in a sleep in. Work days are fine, my brain switches on and I jump up and into the day, but Saturday and Sunday mornings I crave even an extra five minutes of doona time.

Lately on a weekend my Muddy Girls have been getting themselves up, visiting the bathroom and heading back to bed to read books to each other. The Muddy Pixie and Muddy Puzzler sit listening attentively to the Muddy Organiser read them book after book, before they take turns making up the stories in their books and reading them out.

It is a joy to listen to them, all from the comfort of under the doona, yes I may not be asleep but I'm cozy and I'm ridiculously happy listening to them read books, knowing they love them as much as I do.

This is what I'm grateful for this week, the joy of reading, so happy it has been instilled in my Muddy Kids.

Linking up for 52 Weeks of Grateful, hosted by the lovely Bron of Maxabella Loves..

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Off to the Zoo

Easter Sunday saw an obscene amount of chocolate delivered by the Easter Bunny, so to help use up some of the sugar high the Muddy Kids were on, we packed up and headed south to the Zoo for the Day. We are lucky to have the Western Plains Zoo only 100km away so it's doable as a day trip.
Muddy Hubby and I put on our walking shoes and pushed two prams around the whole zoo (the map says it's 5km, but I think it felt longer especially with side trips here and there to see specific animals). I was very proud of the Muddy Kids, they did quite a bit of walking, they also took it in turns riding in the bike carts their cousins were traveling in, but they still came home absolutely busted, not sure that there was one ounce of a sugar high left - until the next morning when they started all over again!
My favourite animal had to be the Galapagos Tortoise Hatchling, I find it so amazing that something so small can grow so big, with such a big shell.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Grateful for the Garden

Thursday afternoon I knocked off work early, I got to pick my kids up from Preschool and School for a change (Muddy Puzzler was very excited not to catch the bus) and the sun was still shining by the time we arrived home. After two days in the office I was itching to be outside, so Muddy Baby Boy and I put on our ear muffs and jumped on the lawn mower to mow the lawn. I was in heaven. I love being outside, I love pottering around the garden, doing little bits here and there.

This week I am Grateful for the Garden, for time outside to just potter around.

I am Grateful that I found time to plant my garlic and start to dehead the dead roses, that I can sit and soak up the fresh air, lie on the grass and play with the Muddy Kids. I am Grateful that we have space to do it, to run and run and chase and fall down, to ride bikes and scooters and plant veggies and flowers and grow our own fruit.

Without the Garden I think things would be a little less bright, so this week I am linking up for 52 Weeks of Grateful about my spacious garden that brings me and my family happiness.