the rambles of a family of five in Australia

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reflections from rain and how to be thankful

So…it is raining at home (not particularly heavily, just a constant fall of water from the sky) and we three are a bit under the weather. Naturally, E and I chose not to go for our usual walk, using the rain as our ‘get-out-of-exercise-free’ card. However, it occurs to me that this is probably bright spring weather in the UK, and, over there, people will think we are nuts for choosing to curtail our outdoors lifestyle on such a gorgeous day.

I am sitting at the computer sipping honey-and-lemon in hot water with just a sliver of ginger in it, and wondering whether a lemsip would have been a better idea.
There is washing to fold, boxes to be filled and Don Carson’s reflections on the Sermon on the Mount to read. What I really feel like doing is sleeping, followed closely by re-watching another episode of The West Wing or starting Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast trilogy (which has defeated me in the past, but I am determined to mine for the gold that I’m sure is there, somewhere).
At the same time E is sitting on the floor in his second pair of leggings for the day, banging his beloved wooden spoon on the floor boards and chugging water from his cup. He would really like to be outside on the grass, staring down Miss Chook and throwing mud at the plovers. He has been a cross little critter the last few days: a combination of a foul cold and some impending teeth. He can, however, still conjure up a smile at bathtime, or when we’re eating something he thinks he would like to try too. Last night we finally wised up and administered some Dymadon and the effects were extraordinary: our grizzling, cross little boy began cooing and smiling for about an hour and a half before bedtime – butter wouldn’t have melted in his mouth and it was as though he’d been perfect all day. He was lovely and we were loving it.

Today is a day that makes me want to complain because it is not the day I want it to be, but by anyone’s standards it is actually a great day in a lovely place, with family who love each other. My lack of thankfulness for God’s good gifts has been made plain to me over the last few weeks, so the list that follows is an exercise in recognising and appreciating the good things I have been taking for granted:

* Friends who drop toys off for E to borrow, since ours are all packed.
* Our usual good health – always taken for granted – but missed in the middle of a miserable cold.
* The big adventure we are embarking on!
* Having a verandah big enough for E to run around on while it rains.
* Jesus’ death on the cross for my sins – a wonderful redemption.
* A husband who changes nappies and whose patience begins when mine is running out.
* A little boy whose great delight is snuggling on my lap.
* Woolworths’ location 2 minutes away – fantastic today when the ingredients for chicken soup were not in the pantry.
* Friends who are available for a ‘sanity chat’ for those times when it is all a bit ‘whelming.
* Family who visit, hang out and help out – so thankful!

No pictures today – just imagine green fields, gray skies and mist swirling through the treetops to a soundtrack of rain – you get the idea!


packing to move overseas

Using A Packing List :: One Bag

We are in the middle of packing up our house in order to move to the uk.
It has turned into a three-way pack: stuff to send; stuff to store; and stuff we are using now and that will come with us on the plane.
The first two categories aren’t giving us too much trouble, but the third has had me tied in sleepless knots on and off for weeks now.
The plan is (and it might change, as we’ve not booked our tickets yet) that the three of us will leave Australia together and fly to a stopover destination (yet-to-be-determined) where E and I will disembark and Rob will carry on to England.
That way, we are not inflicting a possibly cranky baby onto the same people for close to 24 hours (and thereby running the risk of a mutiny); Rob will have a chance to begin getting over jet-lag; pick up the car; install the baby seat, and be able to pick E and I up at the airport. Meanwhile, E and I will have been able to have a break from the confines of the plane seats and give him a chance to acclimatise (sort-of) to travel without going through the wringer.
However, this leaves me with the need to pack for 1-2 days on the ground at our stopover as well as close to 24 hours in the plane.
I don’t want to be wrestling with a pram and seventeen bags so Mum found a great baby carrier that E seems to enjoy and which will keep him close while in the airport and hotels etc.

 Yay, Mum. In addition, most airlines are willing to lend strollers for use in airport terminals, so if I need to put him down and have a break from body contact, that’s a good option in my book.
So I come to the need to decide what to put in my one suitcase and one piece of carry-on luggage. This stuff should mean that we are clean, (relatively!) well-dressed, reasonably amused and not dead from lifting excess weight.
Do you have any suggestions for a packing list?

Me and my lovely Mum


on the first day of christmas my true love gave to me…a surprise move to the uk

It’s official. After 6 weeks of ‘umm’ing and ‘ahh’ing, our little family is off to the uk – the fantastical motherland of writers; artists; preachers and poets who have nurtured, consoled and challenged us. We are heading off on a book-related adventure: Rob will be working in book-land; while Hailey and Ewan will be reading new books avidly and trying to experience the scenery and culture that permeate our existing favourites.

Packing our library: so many friends to choose between …

The fact is, we are looking at the bright side: the chance of travel; seasons like Enid Blyton used to write about; Christmas actually being cool and crisp (and possibly snow-bound, judging by the recent performance of the weather); short plane and ferry hops to Europe etc, because we are going just the three of us and we are going to miss our family and friends in Australia very much.

January 2010

We pray that God will go before us and light our path; that this move will be a blessing to us and to those we meet; and that in all things we will look upward to our Heavenly Father and witness the new life that comes through His Son.