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* 


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.

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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. 
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Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Hirams 10th Birthday

Turning 10 is a pretty big deal around here so I knew I'd have to give my one and only nephew a birthday to remember. 

Hiram is a bright and beautiful boy whom has the potential to do whatever it is in his heart to do with his life. At this age though, as of right now, Hiram dreams of becoming an NBA player. 

Hiram has found his passion playing basketball for two teams and he really is a natural.

But back to his birthday! On his actual birthday he woke up, received his gifts and lots of happy birthdays! 

This year he received everything he asked for and some! Nike Hustles (new basketball shoes), Fidget Spinners, the pie face game, basketball skins, 2k17 NBA Xbox 360 game and.. wait for it.. x2 tickets to Jacob Sartorious one and only concert in Melbourne.

"Best Aunty in the Galaxy!" - Hiram at 7.45am

But that's not all. He was surprised when on the night of the concert a stretch limo showed up to pick him up!! 

This boy had the absolute night of his life and went to the concert in style.

Happy 10th Birthday Hiram! You deserved everything that made your day great! Keep thriving towards a bigger brighter future mate. I love you loads.
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Thursday, 13 July 2017

Keeping Connected

Reconciliation Week

During Reconciliation week we learned a lot of awesome facts and figures about our people. The Australian Indigenous culture is the oldest living culture in the world and one I am proud to be a part of. I love being part of a community that respects our culture and which allows us to celebrate it especially through our annual Reconciliation Week. We had Wurundjeri Elder, Uncle Bill Nicholson do a welcome to country, smoking ceremony and talk a bit about our cultures identity and lost land and languages. Afterwards we raised the flags and enjoyed morning tea with all who came.


This year, with a car we went here there and everywhere for NAIDOC Week! We kicked things off in St Albans for a culture event where the girls beefed necklaces, the boys played the didgeridoo and we all came together to yarn, dance and eat!

On the Tuesday we went to the movies in High Point where VACCA booked out three cinemas for all us mob with free popcorn, drinks and ice cream for everyone! I went to see Cars 3; Nevaeh, Jie, Justine and Hiram went with Carmen and Shay to watch Despicable Me 3 and Jeanette and Janai watched Wonder Woman with Jorja. Afterwards we grabbed some lunch together before trekking home. Everyone had a great time!

Wednesday we headed to Werribee with Carmen and enjoyed a family day! This time our friend Cherie came with us and all the kids had a ball playing, painting boomerangs and rocks, did more beeding and even tried some traditional hip hop dancing with Miss NAIDOC 2017. They received goody bags and a free Tshirt. Another amazing day to remember!

On the Thursday I was up early heading to the local radio station to promote our very own Family Fun Day in Bacchus Marsh! We had Uncle Jayden Lillyst teaching the young ones songs in his language, telling dreamtime stories and showing the kids a story using indigenous ancient art symbols! I think even I learned something new! We also had face and boomerang painting and scratch art and ochre for the kids to enjoy. Traditional games were organised but unfortunately didn't go ahead but we all enjoyed a BBQ and yarn as the day wound down. 

Naidoc 2017 was by far the best! Thank you to all who came to celebrate our beautifully thriving culture with us!! We hope to see you all again next year.

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Friday, 5 May 2017

You Missed This: Mighty Max

We are so excited to announce that Max has graduated from Puppy School!

Max was top of his class two weeks in a row performing at his best and earning his treats!

Max now knows how to be gentle, sit, lay down, stay, stand and bark on request. 

Our clever boy also goes to his bed when told, goes on his mat only when chewing bones or treats inside, is fully toilet trained, comes when I whistle, sits when I stop walking and jumps in and out of the car when asked! 

We are so so proud of our clever boy and can't wait to teach him new skills. 

We love our Max to the Max!

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Blogging from Bacchus Marsh, Australia