Monday, 27 November 2017

Nevaehs First Camp



So you may have seen me post this photo on my social media pages today asking who in our family went on camp this morning. The answer was Nevaeh! 

This is Nevaehs very first camp and first night away from both Mum and/or Dad. 

Packing her bag last night with her she double checked to make sure she had everything off her list and gave two ticks to each item! She was so excited but this morning she was full of nerves. "Mum, I have butterflies" she said to me as we waited for the buses to arrive. "You'll be fine, just think of it as an excursion, and because you're having so much fun you get to stay the night!" She repeated that to a friend who was feeling sad too and together they boarded the bus.  

Her brother stayed with her the whole time. Putting his arm around her a few times when he sensed that she was getting nervous. When it was time to say goodbye, she said goodbye to Jie, and he replied "It's not goodbye Nevaeh, its see ya tomorrow" and he waved as he jogged to assembly. (I couldn't ask for a more loving brother than that for her).

So off she went, on her own little adventure. She comes home tomorrow and I can't wait for her to fill the house again. It's been so quiet and boring without her here. 







Read More

Friday, 24 November 2017

Justine's 6th Birthday

Justine has just celebrated her 6th birthday and her 3rd birthday with us.

Celebrating Justine today was truly a treasure. It doesn't take much to make her smile as we have found that her love language is "new things" and of course, on our birthdays we get new things so she was the happiest girl in the world. For her birthday she received a toy box which was filled with toys for her birthday. Not just a few toys but a lot of neat new things to play with.

She spent the morning playing with the toys from her toy box with Nevaeh before Kindergarten. She asked for her peers and teachers not to sing happy birthday to her but to make the day even more special, it was also her teachers birthday too.

After Kindergarten and school we met up with a few family friends and one of Justines friends at McDonalds for a play. She got absolutely spoiled with shopkins and dolls and crafts and a pram and doll carrier from her friends. As we all sung happy birthday to her she sat behind her cake grinning ear to ear. I softly told her to blow out her candles after we stopped singing and she did so with ease. Such a special afternoon for our special little girl.

A few days after her birthday she received a 50 dollar gift card in the mail from her Poppy Sam to which she spent on more dolls and two little Hatchimal Eggs.

Before bed on the night of her birthday she come and gave me a kiss and hug just as she always does but this time it was followed with "This was my best birthday ever!" as she skipped off to bed. When I checked on her later she was cuddling her toy with her new purse beside her pillow. 













Read More

Save 10,000, Get my Drivers Licence and Own a Car

So this blog post has taken me a long time to write but I accomplished 3 things from my bucket list back in February this year!

While I was booking countless driving lessons with my driving instructor Sarah, I was also putting money away to save for a car. As my confidence behind the wheel grew, so did my bank account. I was budgeting and at the time the kids weren't involved in sports or extracurricular activities after school so saving seemed to be a piece of cake. Two months before I went for my test I had saved 10,000 for a family car. Being that it was December I did spurge a little on making Christmas fun for us all so by the time I went for my licence I was down to 8,000 to buy our first car with.

My best friend Carmen's partner Tez came with me only a few days after I got my P's to help me look at a few cars. I didn't know what I was looking for in particular but I had my eye either on a Hiace or a Kia Grand Carnival.

I had finally found the (family) car of my dreams! It was a Gold Kia Grand Carnival 2010. It was at a car yard, had low Ks and had a  month registration on it. When I had a closer looked there was no looking back, I had to have this car. The only problem was that it was 400 dollars over my budget and the guy selling it wouldn't budge. He told me I wouldn't find another car like it for cheaper, and that 8,400 was as low as he could go. I was forced to walk away. Daylight was running out this Saturday and so was my hope in finding a car. I remember praying for the Lord to take control, and if it was His will for me not to have a car yet than I was okay with that too. But honestly. I really wanted to be able to drive the kids to Church the following day. That was what I set out to do. So I jumped onto a car sales app in between checking out the car yards and found a similar car to the one we just looked at. This one was 8800 with even lower Ks and 12 month rego. It was through a private seller so I decided to call him. I organised to meet him at a McDonalds car park so Tez and I could look at the car. It was great! But still I knew I only had 8000 to spend. I started negotiating but it seemed to be no use. I begged him and told him that this car wasn't a "want". I "needed" this car. The man wouldn't budge. Again I was forced to walk away but this time I was in tears. I really thought I could talk him down. But just as we went to get in the car to leave, he comes over to us and tells me he would give it to me for 8400 if I paid cash today. While that was really generous I just didnt have the money. I wish I did. I scrolled through my phone and saw a friend whom I knew had been saving. I knew she wouldn't need her saved money for at least a few months so I called her. Desperately asking through tears she loaned me 400 and we finally dealt on the car.

I had a car!

I put the P plates up in the windows there and then and drove behind Tez all the way home just 3 days after passing my test.

And as promised, we went to church the following day!


Read More

Friday, 17 November 2017

Mums Passing










This year has been the worst year in my life. In February my mother passed away from a drug overdose in her unit in Carlton, Victoria. I was notified by police the day after she was found. During this time, my family and my sister didn't involve me and my brother in the plans for her funeral and when my mothers cousin notified us both that Mum was to be cremated my brother and I were so angry. We could never agree to that knowing what we knew about Mum and her fear of fire. It was so hard to fathom how my sister, a drug addict and my Aunt, who had a life intervention order on my mother and hadn't spoken to her in over 20 years could burn her when it was totally against who she was. I struggle to this day to understand this. Long story short, Mum was cremated in Traralgon on the 16th of March 19 days after she passed away. My sister agreed to have an autopsy; which I think was unnecessary as it was quite clearly an overdose and when I received a copy of the coroners report and found out more than what I needed to know about my Mum. It was painful. My brother and I met with police in Melbourne to write a eulogy about Mums life. That was Hard too. But the hardest of all was going to Mum's unit. It took so much strength just to walk through the door for me. It was a small one bedroom unit with two small windows. It was hot and muggy and full of what was left of my mother. The first thing I noticed as I walked in was her coat rack. Full of the most outrages coat. It made me smile. To the right was her bathroom/ laundry and it was very cluttered with clothes, buckets and cleaning/beauty products. I looked up to find that I was looking at a mirror that my mother would have used to reflect herself every day and that again made me emotional. I broke down and my brother caught me. I pulled myself together and skipped what I saw to be her bedroom. I went through to the lounge room and my Mum seemed to love Aloe Vera. In her lounge room were two arm chairs, a bean bag, a small tv unit, a side cupboard, a toy box and a round table just to the left with three large Aloe Vera plants and a few small succulents. My Mum must have tended to them daily to grow so large. Another thing I noticed and sort of frowned upon was the graffiti on her wall. In the moment I was embarrassed I guess. The man who accompanied us through the unit didn't seem surprised or shocked so I guessed he must have seen it all before. For me it was like my Mum who once taught me to respect people and property didn't uphold that in her final months of life. I turned around and on her kitchen table were make up, a few different jewelrey holders which hung second hand jewelry, mirrors, ash trays, lotions, knick knacks, lighters etc. 

These are some photos from Mums unit.





Mum's bedroom was by far the hardest. I left that until last. Mum was found in her bedroom and treated by ambulance beside her bed so everything she was wearing was still there on the floor as I walked in. The Jewelry and her size 6 (Yes! She was a size 6) shorts she had worn were the most signification. I just cried. 

The man who was with us left soon after and my brother and I had to go through the unit for anything of importance. I placed her jewelry, make up and beauty products in her handbag as they were the most sentimental for me and the kids. As I looked around I was just thinking about what each of the kids would have liked to have. I found Essendon Memorabilia and so grabbed that for Jeanette and I found salt rocks which Jie still keeps beside his bed today. I grabbed a few blankets, her perfume, some books/paperwork and Mums diary's. 

Sister (right) Mum (left)
Mum didn't have much, but through reading her diarys and notebooks she shared her heart and her home with others who lived just as rough as she did. Other street people would pop in and sketch things and write on her wall or fridge. So while at first I saw her wall as being embarrassing I guess it bought comfort to Mum and showed me that she was happy. Living her life with friends, listening to Madonna and having a good time. 

To understand more about my Mum and my relationship please read here.. or write "Mum" in the search bar in the top left hand corner of this page.

Although I still find myself crying in the car when hearing a song that reminds me of her, or when I smell her scent, Mum always told us that she would die with a needle in her arm. 
And she did..

And I have come to accept that it was her choice, and that's okay.

I just wish I had more time with her.
~

Read More

Monday, 6 November 2017

Max had Surgery

Yes, you heard correctly. Our 10 month old beautiful labrador had surgery.

Seeing Max off his food, looking very uncomfortable and totally not himself was such a hard thing to see. After 2 days of him acting really strange I took him to the local vet. I took him to after hours and was seen at around 2am early one Monday morning. In the 10 minutes I was there he was given two needles: one anti-nausia and one pain relief and costing me $285. Watching Max closely and seeing that he was no better, not eating or drinking I took him back in at around 9am Monday morning. They put him under observation and on fluids for the day. It was hard us not having him home but we were reassured that it was for the best. We got a phone call the next afternoon that he had perked up and was ready to be picked up. He was on a strict chicken and rice diet and so we bought him home. Thinking that Max was on the mend we went about the next few days but when he refused his chicken and rice, was really stand offish refusing to come near us and self subotaging (digging under the prickle bush out the backyard and throwing himself under it) I took him back to the vet. This time I demanded blood tests and Xrays. He stayed over night on fluids again and when the Xrays and bloods come back "normal" I was stumped. The Vet asked if she could open him up to make sure there was nothing stuck and after much thought I finally agreed to put him under. I just wanted my boy back to normal. So the next afternoon he went into surgery and sure enough they found a plastic cork shaped thing lodged in his intestine. If I hadnt have done surgery he may have died. Needless to say over $2000 later and 50 stitches Max was finally allowed to come home. I also got him spayed while he was under so he was very sore. Strong pain killers were his best friend over those next few days and his stitches healed beautifully. Today, Max is doing so well. No amount of money could buy the love we have for him and the joy he brings to our home.


The day he got his stitches removed
*apparently also available in Coles and Big W
Read More

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Remember Forever {Phillip Island}

These past school holidays were the best!
We were invited by Carmen and family to join them at Phillip Island and boy did we have a blast!
If you have been following me on Facebook or Instagram than you would have already seen some of these photos but this is one family vacay, but with us all enjoying everything Phillip Island has to offer, I just have to document here on the blog!

Day 1 
We settled into the holiday house.
Kids played table tennis.
Had BBQ burgers for dinner.

Day 2
We went to Cowes beach.


Day 3
Went to Nobbies.
Went to Smiths Beach.
Took Jeanette, Jie, Hiram and Noyah fishing at Cowes Pier.

Day 4
Went to San Remo to see the Pelicans.
Cooked sausages on the BBQ for lunch.
Spent the afternoon at the Wild Life Park.
Again did some night fishing with Jie at San Remo.
Enjoyed fish and chips on the pier.

Day 5
Pancakes for Breakfast!
We went to A-Maze n Things.
Played Mini Golf.
Played board games in the evening.

Day 6
Took Jaspa to see the motorbikes at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circut.
Searched for and found Pyramid Rock.
Walked along Ventor Beach.
Stopped for icecream at Newhaven.

Here are some on my favorite photos, in no particular order..











 

Read More

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

One-on-One Time

Parenting six kids is sometimes a challenge.
People often ask how I do it..
How I manage or how I cope..

Over the next few days I'm going to share with you a few tricks of the trade with the first one being *drum roll please* 

RELATIONSHIP!


I make it my effort to get to know each of my children daily. I ask them questions that tell me things about them and I make myself available for them to come to me with things on their hearts. Every child is different and the way they open up and share can sometimes catch me off guard and just when I think I know them quite well, they surprise me with something new.
Children grow, its inevitable. and so do I in my way of thinking, listening and understanding them. Each child challenges me and as a mother and Aunt to them all I love hearing it all. Sometimes I prompt them to tell me about their friends and the happenings at school other times they question me about things on their minds. Each child is different and I have different relationships with each of them. The way I speak to Janai for instance is completely different to the way Jie and I are with each  other. It all comes down to relationship. I have two children who are not shy with their opinions or get embarressed about things to easy but then I also have two who sometimes shut down all together until they're ready to share and come to me. This is where its important to make one-on-one time for them. Living in such a large family in such a small home is hard even for me. I take personal phone calls in my backyard or in my car just for privacy so I get that its sometimes hard for the kids to speak to me without being in ear shot from another child so this is where our one-on-one days come into it. For Christmas this year I gave each child 2 movie vouchers for them to use anytime they wanted/needed some me and them time. Away from the others. I was quite impressed when they actually used them throughout the year when they did want that time with me and not just to get out of school. But I also ask the kids at different times throughout the year (usually when I see that they are struggling with something or have something on their mind) if they'd like to spend a day with me.

Today Jeanette and I spent some quality time together. I gave her the day off school and we went down the coast for lunch. She has been through a fair bit over the last few months and with court now over and the verdict being that she will be with me now until just before her 18th birthday I wanted to get a feel about how she was feeling about it all. She too had been hinting for weeks now that she wanted a me-her day so it was bound to happen eventually.

As we sat on the beach together we each shared bits and pieces of where we were at. Our fears, thoughts and daily lives back home. Today Jeanette shared something I will never ever forget. Something I wasn't expecting to hear but something I didnt realize that I actually needed to hear. I asked her what she thought her life would look like if I had never got involved when I did just over 2 years ago. Her reply still plays in my head. Sprinkling sand through her fingers looking directly at me she said "To be completely honest, I'd either be locked up, wanted or dead". Now for me and maybe even you, this statement may feel a little extreme. But reality is the group of friends Jeanette was around before she came here are either locked up, wanted or now not with us. This is very real to her and not something I knew she thought about. I am so proud that her and I have such an open and honest relationship. Loving her is easy but sometimes communication can be hard. Today was a good day for us. Hopefully future one-on-one days will keep that communication open so she can continue to grow and thrive and trust again.
 


Read More

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Family fun at Three Sixty in Caroline Springs




 
 











Today I surprised the kids with a trip to Three Sixty in Caroline Springs. They had no idea what I had planned for them and after trying to squeeze it out of me their faces of excitement as we pulled in was worth keeping it to myself. I told them to dress in something they can move in, fill their drink bottles and after Hirams basketball this afternoon the kids bounced until they could bounce no more. 
 
Read More

© 2017 A LOT OF LITTLE BITS OF LOVE, AllRightsReserved

Blogging from Bacchus Marsh, Australia