Aged 8 kids in our Church have to make a very important choice.
Who to ask to be their sponsor? Who to help guide them as they grow up to be (hopefully) well rounded, confident and good members of our society? This person must be someone who will continue to bond with their sponsor child over the coming years and will step in as an extra adult in their life to teach and mold them side by side with their parents.
It's not just a photo shoot on the special night where they have their Confirmation. Its a friend and mentor for the long haul.
Two years ago Gareth chose his Uncle Joe.
The Hunter Valley is a breathtakingly beautiful place. The views that wrap around you are so amazing, the colours, the silence, the vineyards lined in rows of perfection extending as far as the eye can see. Match that view with a crisp Winters day and layers of warm jackets and your breath forming vapour clouds in front of you and you have a glimpse into our Sunday.
Did I mention it had to be in school holidays, oh, and on a modest budget? Not only were we wanting to have a family break now but we are saving towards a visit to Ireland, England and Wales in January of next year. Poor Angela. She did a wonderful job, presenting us with many options and finally guiding us in the direction of a cruise.
Now I wasn't 100% sure at first. I had an odd preconceived idea of being compacted inside a floating shopping centre with hundreds of other travellers, eating from long buffets and having 24 hour entertainment pushed down my throat. Friends who had cruised sang the wonder of them. Particularly from a mothers viewpoint. No cooking, no cleaning up, no housework, no laundry. Finally I conceded. Angela managed to get us two cabins, side by side, and with an interconnecting door so we had the space we needed for the five of us and still had a little bit of privacy after the kids went to bed.
Each day there were 101 things we could do and to be fair to the cruise everything but alcohol was included. There was no need to drip feed the kids little bits of money to keep them amused. They had the option to dip in and out of various activities that were running all day for the different age-groups. There was a 24 hour soft serve ice-cream machine that they could go up to as often as they wanted and indulge. Being school holidays there were lots of families on board and it didn't take the girls long to make a great group of friends with some other really nice teenagers.
I thought I might stop at this point and maybe blog a little more on our favourite parts of the cruise later. Any questions? Throw them at me! This was taken as we had just arrived on board. The cruise ship was moored in Circular Quay and was nestled between the iconic Sydney Harbour bridge and the Opera house. I was rugged up and ready to relax. Camera slung around my neck but many photos being taken on the iphone while we were still in Australian waters and had phone signal so we could text them to family to let them know we were safely aboard.
Thanks so much for the great comments after yesterdays post. You have given me back some drive and enthusiasm and some ideas on how to find a way to balance blogging with my growing kids.
I am really looking forward to getting back in the swing of things again and hopefully getting to catch up on your lives too as I make some time to sit with a cuppa and catch up on the last few weeks of your blogs,
I feel like I have fallen off the radar. I have said before that life gets so busy that it is hard to do everything that I want to do. I often think of the role of a mum being similar to a circus entertainer spinning plates. Every plate is important, some more than others. The essential ones you have to keep spinning no matter what else happens, kids, husband, friendships, work. A few smaller plates will always be spinning too but if you don't watch out and try to do too much those plates will start falling.
Blogging has been one of my plates for almost 9 years now. I don't think that I have ever had wanted to put it down but over the last few months I've blogged less and less. I'm finding that it's not so easy to write about what our family is up to as the girls get older. When they were little there seemed to be an unlimited amount of blogging opportunities in our day to day lives. Baking, crafts, playing at the park, trips to the beach. Now that the girls are in their teens they understandably don't want every moment of their lives journaled in a public place. What started out as a way of communicating the adventure of our new life in Australia to immediate friends and family has grown into a platform reaching many more people.
So what to blog about? I still have my own interests, reading, baking, photography, and recently I have been on a health kick which has drawn in new readers but I'm struggling to find what topics to blog regularly about.
Another annoyance has been the "Anonymous" comments that have flooded my inbox recently. Over 100 in the last month alone. Nothing offensive or personal. Just bland, poorly written attempts to sound like a real person but quickly linking to their website for fake designer goods, pills, dating web-sites and swedish wood burning fires?! Today I have installed "word verification" which is a pain for normal commenters but will hopefully weed out the unwanted spam.
There have been a few nice things happening over the last few weeks that I should be blogging about. We are just home from a holiday and the camera is calling me to peek at the photos that we took. What better excuse than some fresh photos to stir up the blogging mojo?!
If you are still reading this thanks for being patient! Hopefully there will be a bit more fresh writing here over the coming weeks. What do you like hearing about? Why not tell me in the comments section (if you don't mind the word verification step)
As for you spammers, although a Swedish wood fire sounds quite appealing on this crisp Winter's morning I really don't need a fake handbag, a new husband or some pills to improve my current one... I 'm spinning enough plates at the moment, Thanks anyway!