We’ve added a new friend to our menagerie. 
Laura is happy with a new friend, even when he doesn’t let her boss him around. She has great respect for the reach length of his legs, she has now become the little one. 
Thinking how our little Moony, who passed away in February, would have been able to run straight through his legs!
This is Chester, who was a kickass racehorse. But after 5 years of running, his heart wasn’t in it anymore and he got dumped retired. 
The owners no longer willing to pay agistment, abandoned him and so he became “free to a good home”. Three months after his last race, still filled up with high power racing foods, I saw him and rode him. Even though he was a bit jittery, he didn’t set a foot wrong, willing to work and give things a try. 
After a life of running full speed (straight) ahead, trotting and circle work were difficult for him. Unbalanced as he was, he tried his hardest and stole my heart. 
And so this beautiful, giant, chestnut Thoroughbred came home with me.
The first two hours in a big paddock saw him running around like a loon. 
Bucking his bum off and doing victory laps of freedom. 
I must admit that I had a moment of: “what did I bring home?!?!?”
But he has slowed down, getting the power food out of his system, his hooves tidied up and general checked over by a vet. He’s a beautiful gentle soul.
I’ll be focusing on ground work with him. Getting him into better habits, more flexible and balanced. Starting his re-training at the very beginning, while building a strong foundation to advance from. 
But for now, most of all, letting him just be just a horse...
This beautiful groomed to the nines horse, that saw most of his life being stabled, got into the dam  first chance and covered himself in mud. This big guy loves water, the dam is a great hit.
Chester was the name of the guy that build our dam...
And that’s how he got his “second life name”, Chester the Chestnut.
Only 8 years old, I hope to have many good years with him.


Autumn Holidays

Two weeks of school holidays.
Making the most of it.
Slowing down.
Watching the waves
Taking a break
Picnics by the water
Enjoying honeycombs from our friends hive.
Horse riding and potlucks with friends
Sophie had the time of her life!

Checking out the water dragons by the river.
BBQ by the beach
Sharing the rock pools with the wobbegongs
Swimming and exploring
Camping along the beach with friends

Anzac Marching
 Another successful Full Moon get together
 Almost independent.
Date night with hubby: salsa dancing!
With a special Cuban birthday dance for one of the dancers.

Nights are getting nippy, the PJ’s have come out of storage...
Soccer, soccer, soccer.
It's going great, however I’m still a little frazzled with everything involved.
The kids have stepped up, taking on more responsibility. Sophie loves helping out with fundraising, and odd jobs like handing out balls with our new mascot.
Seeing them play from the distance, Alex is this blond tornado whizzing over the field, David with two hands in the air celebrating his first goals, Tim being a wall in defence.
And Sophie finding her feet. 
Playing in the backyard and swimming with the waterlily’s.
Even though the swims in the pool are getting very short.

Enjoying a lazy afternoon at home on this extra pupil free day,
tomorrow is back to school, work and play.


Autumn - Playing in the Back Yard

Our backyard is:
So many waterholes, to tramp through and to play with the dog.
It always amuses me, that the kids make sure they’re clothed, but barefooted, when we go out to play. 
Only to be stripping clothes as they go, running free, wild (and nude), climbing, splashing, jumping and exploring.
This is what I envisioned as a perfect childhood: space to play.
The dam, for sticks, stones and designs for rafts,

and swimming.
Many walking tracks, also doubling up as awesome BMX-tracks.
Coming up to the end of our forest, our gully, drains into the neighbours dam,
it’s such a serene place, about half a kilometre away from the house,
Just the birds twittering and dragon flies playing around you.
But don’t get tricked, it can get really spooky after prolonged rain, with a river pounding trough.
So many pretty mushrooms.

Checking out all the different types of waterlilly’s that are popping up in the dam and waterholes.
Sophie is in love with the blue tinged ones.
The one spot in the house yard that I’m not allowed to mow,
the kids tell me it makes a perfect spot for hiding games and Jedi fights.
All four kids and the dog are hiding and you wouldn't know if it wasn’t for their giggles.
Two found!
Laura has besides her paddock, the whole 20 acres of forest to roam, the girl loves running! 
Same as with the kids, it’s great for her physical development to have space to roam. The rocky, muddy and hilly ground is making her very surefooted. 

Last week we had her first training session, I enlisted the help of a professional trainer to guide me through the process.
Little miss bossy boots did great, accepting everything we did with her, no fuss. Plastic bags flying, noisy banging, sudden movements, overall touch or a saddle on her back. She was cool as a cucumber.
Until we got the part where she had to actually work. Like a belligerent teenager (that she is in horse years), she didn’t accept being told what to do and especially not by a man!  She threw a hissy fit that was just like any other strong willed three year old and then came back in for a cuddle.
We’ve got home work to do... 


Riding it out

Sander is finally getting fit enough that he can make it through the day without naps, his strength is still lacking, but he’s adamant to go back to work tomorrow. 
At least he’s eating again, has some white blood cells back in his body and can walk again without help. 

The kids all had their first soccer games, they had a ball!
Alex scored his first goal and was high fiving his way around the field. David was a little overwhelmed but did great for most of the session, Sophie a little late (me being frazzeled with other stuff) and Tim did great on a bigger field. 
Photo’s, uhm no... 
Maybe more luck next week, although it looks like we have one starting at 8:30, then the other 3 at 9:30, in three different locations! With Maclean being the furthest to travel (60km). 
Better set up some carpooling... 

At least we have everyone signed up, and 95% of the fees sorted, it's been another big week with spending at least 20 hours processing registrations, money and vouchers. 
I’m having great fun with it, things you enjoy give you energy. And I’m making sure there is some fun down time in the mix. Craft mornings with friends are great for the soul...
This week I'll have to park the soccer stuff and spend my focus and energy on my granola, with the school holidays coming up next week, I have to triple my work load to be able to still meet orders for those weeks. 
One more week, Woody Head is calling...
Seeing our first koala, on our ridge!
Very shy and I didn’t wanted to spook little fella, so no close-ups. It’s great to see them around!
The kids all get to choose their chores for the month, they keep surprising me with the jobs they like to take on. Besides their own responsibilities (school bags, cleaning their own rooms, sport bags,...), they all have to pitch in, with jobs that suit their age.
Our Easter walk, although delayed, was still a great success. The older three are now clued in the fact that you can make magic happen. Leaving little eggs to find for each other.
David was shaking trees wherever he went, when you do, little chocolate eggs fall out (with some brilliant throwing arches from Tim).
 and other little surprises....
 Pizza Party.
with a view...
Midweek walk through the forest to clear the head and cool down in the dam.
Nurse Sophie will look after you when you feel a little off.
End-of-terminitus is real...
Spiderwebs in the mist...



Do you think Alex likes his new quilt Oma Evelien made him?

Sander developed a very high fever on his second day home from Thailand. On the 4th day of fevers we made it to the hospital, to rule out malaria (he was in a low risk area) and to to hook him up on some much needed fluids. Blood work came back, it’s off, but luckily clear of malaria.
Although still very weak, thankfully he’s on the mend now.
Our first Amongst Friends, Gum Trees and a Full Moon 
get-together of the year. 
With Sander still out of action, 
our kids all offered to pitch in so they could still have their night with friends.

It was a lovely evening, a cloudless sky and a beautiful and very bright moon, which gave enough light for the kids to ride their bikes, run around, wrestle on the trampoline and play hide-and-seek in the shadows.
Easter egg hunt for little boys in training for Thailand...

Working in two teams,
each team gets to hide eggs on one side of the house,
then they swop sides to find them, but get to give each other clues...

Halfway through the weekend I managed to stake my foot on a branch while Tim clocked out with a mild fever,
Our Easter walk has been postponed until further healing.
Playing in the sandpit, made with leftover tiling sand...
Making the most of the last warm days.
Enjoying the butterflies
 A friendly horse
Trying to tempt someones appetite,
baking fresh, egg enriched, bread
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