It has been a good year!
For Georgia, 2015 was her final year of primary school, a bittersweet concoction of emotion. She represented her class on the SRC for the second time and worked on the school’s magazine committee. The grade 6s had their school camp in Melbourne, which she loved. Our Amazonian tween achieved her orange belt in karate. She also enjoyed another year doing girl guides – 2015 was her sixth year of girl guides. In 2016 Georgia will be starting high school and will be participating in lone guides because of her busy schedule. You are most likely to find Georgia reading, or writing posts for her blog (Planet Georgia).
Matthew is as tall as my shoulders as I write this. All his swimming and karate is helping him grow big and strong! Matthew also loves reading. I feel quietly excited when I find my children reading under their bedcovers by torchlight at 10pm. One of Matthew’s favourite activities is playing in the paddocks and in our forest. He also loves playing on his Xbox. Minecraft is one of his favourite games: “It’s the best game in history, I think,” he says. Matthew takes after his father; he has become engrossed in computer programming. He likes creating games!
Elora did kindergarten this year and the change from four years old to five is vast. We celebrated her birthday in Canberra with her auntie and cousins this year. Ellie is really wanting to read and write and is quietly teaching herself to do so. She loves helping! She always wants to help us in the kitchen or doing outdoor jobs. She also loves swimming. One of her favourite things is playing with her barbies and dolls house. She still adores her little Raffie but she is sucking her thumb less and less. Her favourite colour is pink.
Sarah is my little life saver. She is walking and learning to talk, saying things like mum, dad, nana, ta, hello, hi, no. She still wakes a few times a night and I am still breastfeeding her often. She is a very smily baby! She visits her friend Kylie once a week for family day care and she is enjoying it.
Monte won the ‘Senior student of the year’ in karate this year. He is now a purple belt! He’s working at home and on the farm; his newest passion is his pigs. He has wanted pigs for a long time (I finally acquiesced!). There are a few things in store for Monte in 2016, one being a slight change with his work situation. Monte went to Adelaide this year to spend time with his parents and to help out after his father, Gordon, had open heart surgery. We visited Monte’s sister, Sarah, and her family in Canberra this year. It was a very special time! I don’t know what I would do without this amazing man in my life.
I am grateful for being able to take time off work to be home with my family. In fact, I am not working in 2016 either. I feel like I am gradually building up my emotional strength and I hope to build up my physical strength in 2016 as well. We enjoyed a seaside holiday to Swansea over my birthday this year. It was a lovely little getaway to the east coast. I did a permaculture design course (PDC) this year and I am enjoying putting what I’ve learned about permaculture to use on our property as well as planning how to make an income with my accreditation. As well as my family, my passions are cooking, my yarn craft (mostly crochet) and my animals (ducks, chickens, rabbits). I’m loving the garden and I love it that Sarah is now old enough to wander around while I spend time gardening. I recently went to Adelaide for the first time in over 2 years so I could visit family, including my sister Sophie, who lives in USA. I took Sarah and Georgia with me; it was a special time.
On the farm front, we introduced ducks, pigs and rabbits to our menagerie this year. We got rid of our sheep because our dog chased them. Our goal is to become self sufficient in regards to our meat needs in 2016. We are producing a fair bit of food, but still not enough to cover all our needs. We are growing a big crop of potatoes. We grew large quantities of broad beans and garlic, and we have a lot of fruit and berries growing. We are trying to produce a lot of perennial food, like rhubarb and nuts. Each year we get closer to our goal of living more sustainably. We have a few goals for the garden, one being a new vegetable garden in a paddock close to the house. It will possibly consist of another polytunnel and a netted garden tunnel as well. One of the reasons we got our pigs was to prepare the soil for that new garden.
In regards to our house, not much has changed throughout the year. However, we are finalising the plans for an extension. We oscillate through ideas, but the crux of the design is to add two more rooms so we can have a guest room, and our children can all have a room of their own. We also hope to build a cellar to store our produce and preserves. The bedrooms (possibly a new main bedroom and office) will be straw bale but the garage will not. It’ll be kind had fun to do all that again. And kinda crazy. But we need the space.
Well, here’s hoping for a wonderful year in 2016.
Love to you and yours!