Thursday, 30 April 2015

Excitement..

Things are getting pretty exciting around here as the weekend is approaching..

Friday will be a busy day as the kids and I venture into the city to protest. This is becoming quite enjoyable time to come together as a family to stand up for what we believe to be right in our country. In June 2012 we were at our very first protest, click here to read more.. Last month we, Jie and I again protested, but this time for basic human and land rights for our indigenous people here in Australia. Click here for more info..  Friday will be Nevaeh's first time marching.. We are all very excited..

Our first protest in 2012.

Saturday morning we will wake up to more excitement with Dad, the kid's Grandfather dropping in at approximately 6am to pick Jiedyn up for a boys fishing trip to Deniliquin, NSW. Dad and Jie will drive over the Victorian/New South Whales border and camp beside the famous Edward River. 



Nevaeh whom turned 6 over the weekend is excited about her birthday party this Saturday! She has invited four special friends to help her celebrate it here at home. She has been counting down the days and sleeps ever since.. I have been meaning to give her a Golden Book Birthday Party for two years now as she loves books and learning to read. This has been a very hard theme to track down matching items as both local and international online party sites seem to always be out of stock. So Nevaeh has decided on a PJ movie day instead! Although she hasn't yet decided on a Movie she knows what PJ's she will be wearing. All this week she has been excited, I just hope these 4 special friends show up for her..

BUT the biggest surprise of all will come on Sunday! When Nevaeh will get to see her best friend from Kindergarten! She misses this friend very much since being at school because her besty attends another school. Nevaeh has no idea that this little girls Mum and I have arranged this and has not seen this friend since the last day of pre-school. It is by far the most exciting thing I'm anticipating this weekend!

Follow us on Instagram to watch as each surprise unfolds over the weekend and I'll try and update our blog on Sunday! Have a great weekend guys.. 

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Monday, 27 April 2015

YOU ARE 6IX

Nevaeh Anne Baker
My precious little girl
You are so so loved
And you are not afraid to grow up

You are my wild child 
You are caring and kind
You are beautiful
And you are fun

You love learning
love dancing
love reading
and love listening to your Mum sing

Nothing in this world is too hard for you
Your a risk taker and I love it

Your a thinker and a do-er
a  burst of laughs
and are happy to be who you are

You are carefree
You are outspoken
You are smart 
and you are ready to be 6!

HAPPY 6TH BIRTHDAY
PRECIOUS GIRL
I love doing life with you..

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Wednesday, 22 April 2015

SOS BLACK AUSTRALIA


Australian Aboriginal people have been living on the mainland for more than 40,000 years, (around 35,000 years for Tasmanian Aboriginals, possibly more), making them one of the oldest indigenous cultures in the world.

Traditionally, Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders had a strong relationship with the land and had a deep sense of spirituality, kinship and community life, as well as of reverence to their ancestors. However, colonization drastically changed the lives of these people. Practicing their cultures and traditions was hindered by limited access to their sacred sites, especially when they were placed in mission compounds.
In case you haven't heard, the Australian Government has plans to not only shut down, but forcibly remove Indigenous Australian families off their community in WA. Just so we're on the same page let me run through a little bit of Aussie history with you..







The term ‘stolen generation’ refers to the implementation of the Aboriginal Child Welfare Policy from the 1930s, but most notably during the 1950s. Over this period up to 100,000 Aboriginal children were forcibly removed from their families in the mistaken belief that they would be better off living in a white community. The children were raised by church organisations, fostered or adopted by white parents or given to state institutions. Because they were so young when they were taken, many grew up not knowing who their parents were and were denied their heritage and culture.

The legacy of the stolen generation has had an enormous impact on the Aboriginal community. In 2007, the Australian Government formally apologized for past events as a first step in reconciliation leading to the social, economic and political inclusion of Aboriginals in Australian society.

From around the time of settlement, Australia was considered a Crown dominion; therefore, all inhabitants, including Aboriginal people, were regarded as British subjects and had the right to vote. However, under the new Commonwealth of Australia, Indigenous people were not included as citizens of Australia and could therefore not vote. It was not until a 1967 referendum that citizen rights were returned to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
On 3 June 1992, the High Court of Australia gave Aboriginal land rights legal recognition with its famous Mabo decision.


The case centered on the Murray Islands in the eastern part of the Torres Strait Islands between Australia and Papua New Guinea. The Merriam people, led by Eddie Mabo, took the action in the High Court to overturn the doctrine of Terra nullius. The Court found that under Australian law, Indigenous people have native title rights to their land. The decision ruled that these rights existed before colonization and still exist under the common law.

Yet here we are in 2015 still fighting the government for land that wasn't theirs to take in the first place. Families have been torn apart and are still being town apart, many languages have deceased and still our Indigenous people of Australia are being forced from the only home they have ever known. Land that has been in their families for hundreds of thousands of years. What our Government is doing is unfair and unjust so we have been taking to the streets of Melbourne to Support our Indigenous brothers and sisters living in remote communities in WA whom are under threat of becoming homeless in their own country. Here are some photo's of me at the most receent protest..

At the protest in Melbourne 

on April 10th

The next protests will be held in every major city all over Australia on the 1st of May. I have invited my Melbourne and Brisbane based friends to their nearest rally. I'll be in Melbourne on the 1st and am very excited to egt behind this campaign once again. The last one was such a good cultural experience for my son and he too wants to be present at the next one. I know the one in Brisbane was amazing a few weeks prior to ours with them stopping to do a corroboree on every major intersection in the Brisbane CBD. Man I would have loved to have been there to see that! It shut down the city for hours but never made headlines. With thousands of people in the city protesting for basic human (and land) rights and not one newspaper reported it. How ridiculous is that? We protested on the 10th here in Melbourne and because of the numbers the media couldn't overlook us. We hit the big time on the 6pm news as our mainstream newspaper reports we were described as "Selfish Rabble" with them focusing more on the fact that we held up traffic and trams than what is really going on. So we're going to be there again and again and again until they start getting the message..

Always Was, Always Will Be Aboriginal Land!

For more info checkout the hashtag  #sosblakaustralia
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Saturday, 18 April 2015

My Mum is Homeless and I feel Helpless..

I still remember the day when my Family Service Officer told me that my Mum was living on the Streets in Brisbane. I remember her facial expression when she told me, where we were and how it made me feel. I was 14 years old.

As much as it made me feel sad, it also made me feel mad. I was mad that I was still waiting for her to better her life for us. So we could be with her. So we could be the type of family my friends had and that I envied. While in foster care all I ever wanted was my family back together, happy, healthy but most of all together again. I actually thought Mum would fight for us as she did when we were 9 and 10 years old. But this never happened. And on that day, while sipping a iced chocolate at the West Field Shopping Centre in Strathpine I knew I'd be in foster care long term with no hope of ever going back to Mum.

We had barely any contact with Mum throughout our time in Foster Care. When we were first placed in State Care we were allowed access visits once a week, then access visits an hour every other week to phone calls every other month. I remember wanting more but talking to her under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol made me so mad at her. I remember telling her to call back when she was sober but she never did. Each time I spoke to her she was high. I felt that she had one thing to do, call us sober and she couldn't even do that. I began hating her.

On my very last placement I was housed with a family who had only just became carers to have me. My foster mother worked at the Bahloo Womens Youth Shelter in Woolengabba and her and I became close while I was living there. I didn't fit in at all surrounded by drug addicted teens and disrespectful youth. She and her partner applied to become Foster Carers and within a few short months she quit the shelter and I was on my way to live with her and her family in Bundamber.

I enrolled in TAFE and was doing well at school but apparently didn't fit in to their lifestyle at home and as a result they locked me out of the house one night. I had short shorts and a singlet on. I had no shoes or my purse and no matter how much I tried begging to go inside, banging, calling their phones there was no way they were letting me back in. I was confused and scared. How they could just leave me outside on a cold night was so unfair. So I scrolled through my phone in need of a place to stay.

I don't know why I stopped scrolling at my Mum's name but I did. Maybe it was because I knew she was homeless and on the streets and now so was I. I pressed dial button and made maybe the worst decision of my life.

For the next 12-15 months I lived on the streets. My Mum was well known everywhere I went and it wasn't long before I had found her. The first time I saw her since being placed in care, she was sitting on an old ripped and stained mattress under a bridge chroming (sniffing paint) with street kids as young as 11 years old. That is an image that never leaves a child's memory after longing for a Mum for as long I had.

I walked over and angrily snatched the bottle of paint out of her hand. In doing so I was confronted with 4 indigenous young people who stood to abuse me. "Are you okay Mum?" they asked her. I tried to explain to them who I was but I had to back off because they were now really angry fueling each other. Mum denied I was her daughter saying that she was their Street Mum now. I left feeling so hurt and angry. All this time I wanted my Mum and here she was sitting with homeless youth who called my Mum, Mum. That hurt.

Within the time I lived on the streets I was subjected to who my Mum was. She was a well known Prostitute and apparently good at what she did. She was described to give anybody her last even if it meant she would go without. She was known to always be in the company of a man though she was never in a relationship. After asking her for money one day she said to give her an hour and to meet me somewhere. Upon arriving she came out of a nearby hotel handing me half of the specified amount, she explained that she was waiting for the other half. We waited on the step and a guy arrived in a Taxi. She embraced him, introduced us and told me she'd be back in an hour with the rest leading him up to the hotel. I left mortified and feeling sick. I knew she was a prostitute but her putting it in front of me like that was very confronting and uncomfortable. I never asked her for money again.

Most of the time I bumped into her at the 139 Club or the Soup Kitchens. Depending on if she was sober or not as to whether I said Hi or not. It's sureal looking back now. Mother and daughter in a homeless soup kitchen eating the only meal they'd have for the day not even looking each others way. I loved her but didn't like who she had become. I was quite embarrassed actually sometimes even denying being her daughter.

When I found out I was pregnant at 17 years old while heavily addicted to drugs and living in a house filled with prostitutes and other drug addicts I knew I had to better my life. I had been asking God for some time to give me a way out of the life I was living and I saw this baby to be the answer to my prayers. It was opportunity to better myself and I was determined to take it with both hands.

For two weeks I held my Youth Allowance, cold bited (begged for money) and saved every penny I made. I found out that my brother was no longer in Brisbane and had moved back to Melbourne with our Father. I intended to move back to Melbourne to find my sister whom I knew was already a young mother herself. I found Mum who was with her husband and told my partner at the time that I was leaving. He could come too but I only had enough money to get myself and my Mum back. Our partners came up with the money to come too and we booked our tickets with stolen pension cards.

With the money we had we could only get to Coffs Harbour. We stayed at a backpackers with all the money we had left before we again had no where to stay. Mum and her partner pitched a tent on Macauleys Headland. My son's father stole money so we could afford to stay at the caravan park. For three days the three of them were high every hour of the day. They were Dr Shopping and would split the pills. They would take the pills with alcohol to advance the effect of the medication and became argumentative, angry and violent. I lost count how many times I got beat up for asking them to calm down or be quiet. I was pregnant and should have lost my baby.

When we finally arrived in Melbourne it was somewhat a relief for me. I was so excited. Mum called a family member who put us in contact with my Nana. Nana gave my sister our contact details and we slept on the streets for two nights waiting for her to call. It was very uncomfortable but we had no choice. The nights were cold and as a result my asthma began to play up. I wasn't used to the Melbourne air.

Upon reaching my sisters house that was the end of my time on the streets. She took us in but it would take 6 other people to put us up before finally having a place to call my own just 2 weeks before my son's due date in November 2009. Our first place was in emergency accomodation in Powlett Street, then once Jie was born we moved into tempory housing in Lord Street before finally settling in the house I'm in today. 10 years ago now.

While I have made an amazing life for me and my children here, Mum and I had only seen each other twice since I moved here. It had been the choice I made for my family. She was no role model and to be honest I've always remained that because she was never a mother to us, she has no right to take on the title of being a grandmother. I chose to have nothing more to do with her.

Just recently, over the school holidays there was a protest in Melbourne. While at the Protest I saw my mother in the distance for the first time in 6 years. The last time I saw her before this was at my Grandmothers funeral in 2009 and she was drunk. I pointed her out to Jie who was beside me. "That's Mum's Mum" I explained to him. He has always struggled to understand why I have dark skin when my father is a "white fella". He now knew why. He wanted to say hello to his grandmother so after the rally I went to see her on my own. She didn't recognize me at first. I had to introduce myself. She was overly excited and embraced me warmly. She was sober. The most sober I had seen her in a very very long time. I introduced her to my son Jie and Jie to her. She grabbed him and hugged his so tight. He was scared. He wasn't expecting her to be so outrageous I don't think. She began introducing us to her people, elders and street folk. She wanted to get dinner with us and so after the Rally she invited us back to where she was staying. It was just so good to see her. Sober.

She took our hands and held them tight. She hadn't changed much. Still a small frame with no front teeth but she did have more scaring on her face, more gray hair and I swear she had gotten shorter. Her and Jie talked about school and his friends as we walked to a laneway. She took down a side street called Baptist Place and introduced us to streeties along the way. Realizing that she too was homeless I wanted to turn back. She showed us where she stayed. In an alley way. I felt sick. I didn't want Jie knowing that. I thought she was going to show me her unit or something, not the back streets of Melbourne. I felt sad for her but she was so happy still introducing us to her friends. How can someone who lives on the streets, begs for money and eats hand outs be this happy and okay about it? and proudly show us around?

She took us to what she described as the water wall. There were volunteers giving out food for the homeless and Mum encouraged us to dig in.. I told Jie not to eat anything, that the food in the boxes are for people who don't have food. I told him that I'd buy him something on the way to Pops. He was fine with that. Mum ate though. Together her, Jie and her friend pregnant street friend Kelly sat watching a busker. As I was sitting there I was astounded at how she is still alive after all she has
been through and took a photo just as she asked me to come and sit with her..

(click to enlarge)

I know she put herself there and has chosen this as her lifestyle but she is my mother. She was once my protector, my comforter, the one I relied on. The person she is now reflects on the way she was treated as a child, as an unfit mother and as an indigenous person in Australia growing up with absolutely no family to pull her out of the hole she put herself in. She has been out there on her own and finds comfort in those who validate her choices. She feels she doesn't measure up to mainstream society and told me that she has accepted this type of life for herself for the rest of her life.

I'm the one who hasn't accepted it. I cannot change her and the way she lives or stop her from using or prostituting but I can change my view on the way I see her. Underneath the scars, the mental issues, the drug effected woman is a mother who once loved me more than life itself. I only wish there was more I could have done in the time I spent hating her. Now, she doesn't want help and has openly admitted that she doesn't want to change her situation.

We exchanged numbers and I have called her throughout the week to see how she is going. Each time this week she was high. She wants to speak and see my kids but for now I am refusing to subject them to that. I love her but how do I help someone who doesn't want help? How do I explain this to my children especially Jie who finally met his Grandmother? How do you actively love and respect someone who doesn't respect you or anyone else around her? I thought I had overcome that way of life but someone I care about and love is still out there..

I ask you to please pray for me, my Mum, our relationship and her life.. I've always believed that it's never too late for someone to change their life around, but now, seeing and hearing her on the phone, I'm beginning to doubt that there is hope for her. I love my Mum but don't know how to help her..


I've just linked this post to these three Weekend Blog Hops.. 
Faith and Fellowship Blog Hop



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Friday, 17 April 2015

Our School Holiday Lowdown + Pictures

Tomorrow is Friday and is the last day of the first week back to school. Yet I haven't shared how our School Holidays panned out. Two weeks off and not one blog post.. Man, I better catch you up!

The kid's broke up on Friday the 27th of March though I gave them the day off. I can't remember the reason behind why I gave them a day off but I'm sure there was a completely valid explanation..

So Matt picked Nevaeh up for his weekend with her that Friday and so it was just Jie and I for the weekend. We cleaned up and did shopping before lounged around most of afternoon. I got another assignment finished and submitted it and we ended the night watching a video in Jie's room.


The second day of the holidays consisted of just about the same though I got through the kids school washing including their bags, hats etc.

That night after deciding that Jie was bored out of his brains we decided to go and "steal" his friend Tristan! My friend Sheena came over for a late night visit and from the Jie and I went back to their place to snatch up Trist for the night. His younger brother Gabriel also wanted to come so we ended up having a small movie night, read books and went to bed. Jie was thrilled to have company.

The next day the boys played and played. When Nevaeh got home from her Dad's she too joined in the fun. The day went really quick and so the beginning of the holidays kicked off in full swing, that night we went out for dinner to a local place just up the road from us called Stoney's Club. The meals were pretty average and so we didn't stay long but it was nice to get all dressed up for a family night out.
Tuesday I got high marks for the assignments I had submitted. Later on I organised to go out for dinner and a family movie night with Matt (My husband + Nevaeh's Father) for Easter as the kid's and I were leaving the Thursday before Good Friday to spend the Easter long weekend with my Dad and watch Richmond (Jie and Dad's team) play my team on Thursday night. As usual it was a waste of time with Matt spending all of maybe 20 minutes with us  being more worried about catching the last bus home because he was tired. I was frustrated at his effort, or lack there of and the Kids and I hired a movie and enjoyed the rest of the night together.

On Thursday we packed our bags and headed to Dad's. We wasted time here and there knowing that Dad wouldn't get home from work until after 5.30pm and I bought myself some wintry clothes from Kmart. Once Dad got home he was excited to give Nevaeh her Tiger's tee. She loved it! Richmond went on to win and it ended up being a really great night.


Friday afternoon Dad took us for a trip up to SkyHigh in Mount Dandenong, the view was stunning.

Saturday we enjoyed some family time shopping and taking the kids to the Train Park in Bayswater. When we got home we played a few games of cricket before settling in with a movie.



On Easter Sunday we we messaged our friends and family as we lay in bed. I spoke to the kids about the significates of Easter and together we chatted about Jesus for what felt like forever. We got up and had breakfast before packing to go home. Dad offered to drive us, I hesitated but he said that it will give him something to do for the day.


The two hour trip home was long. The kids fell asleep as I sung along to the radio and made small talk with Dad about the old houses we crossed and us constantly getting Red traffic lights.

Once back in town Dad stopped so I could buy milk and bread and the kids had woken up now excited by the Easter gifts they knew they had when we returned home.

Dad didn't stay long wanting to get back in time for the footy game on TV that afternoon. We made arrangement to catch up the following weekend as Croydon was playing their first game of the season and he left. As I unpacked our things, the kids hid Easter eggs for each other out the back. All together they had about 8 little eggs and a little lindt bunny, bugs and bees pack. They enjoyed them.


That night I opened my bible and enjoyed a hot chocolate while the kids slept.

The following day being Easter Monday I was eager to get back into my studies. Jie and Nevaeh hung out together playing outside and playing the wii and uno cards. We went out for dinner to a local place we'd never been to that night after a neighbour had recommended it. At the time our favourite place to eat was closed due to relocating and the place recommended had a pretty bad reputation. In nine years I remember going there once and I walked out never intending on returning. But we made a booking and I was absolutely shocked at how beautiful it was. The kids coloured at the table as we waited for our meals. It was art on a plate.


I tweeted and posted a photo on instagram and friends who lived locally were just as surprised as I was. It even captured the eye of a local photographer who is now looking forward to doing some photography for his Flikr (photo sharing) page..

The following day I caught up on the housework and study, helped Kel move furniture into her unit. Later on we went out for dinner with Aunty Kel before she came back to ours  for a movie night.

The day after that we did some Easter shopping and went to visit some friends and family. For those who werent home we left bunnies and flowers at their doors. We shouted Uncle Al (my brother whom I hadn't seen since Christmas) and his partner Bel dinner and ended up staying the night there Wednesday night.


Thursday Nevaeh had a friend from school come over to play and on Friday Matt again picked her up and Jie and I were excited to go to a massive protest in the city (more on this in my next blog post.) before again going to my Dad's for the weekend.

After the Rally in the city we caught the train to Dad's getting in just after 11pm. Dad was half asleep when we got there and Jie and I pretty much crashed straight away. It had been such an exhausting day/night.

Saturday morning was non existent to Jie and I with Dad waking us just after 12pm. We got ready and were soon pit stopping at the TAB to put our bets on, at Cellarbrations for our preferred drinks before arriving at the footy oval at Croydon for the first game of the season.

We didn't stay long but I was wrapped to be able to see my grandfather.

Dad invited a friend back to his house just before half time and we drank, watched footy and the races on TV pretty much the rest of the day.

Saturday night I took Jiedyn to the movies to see Sponge Bob's new movie as I knew Dad had planned to watch Saturday night footy and to be honest I was sick of footy and so was Jie. So we hit the local cinema instead and ordered Pizza for Dad.

Sunday was a slow day. We made our long journey home via train. We met Nevaeh at Aunty Kel's on the way home and spent our last afternoon of the holidays throwing our boomerang around Peppertree Park.



So there you have it! Ever single moment of our Easter School holidays..
Because we were so busy I haven't had a chance to catch up on my favorite blogs, so how was your Easter break?

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Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Our little back to school story..

Sunday night before the kids were due back at school Monday I put them both to bed bang on 7.30pm. Partly because it was a school night but mostly because I was totally exhausted after a jam packed weekend. More on this later..

So after reading to the kids (we're currently re-reading Andy Griffiths tree-house series again) and tucking them in we all went to sleep.

At around 11pm I woke up and saw that the hallway door was shut and I could hear that the heater and TV was on. I jumped out of bed and upon opening the hallway door I see my two kids fully dressed in their uniforms with their shoes on watching Pokemon and eating breakfast. 

I couldn't help but laugh..

I told them that it was still night time but they insisted that it was nearly morning..

11pm and ready for school..

How eager to get back to school?

I love that they love school. This term Nevaeh has started catching the bus too and from school with Jie and is loving the independence. I hope they always enjoy school and stay eager to learn..

So proud of the little people they are becoming..
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