Monday, September 07, 2009

Okay, it's a blog post!

Um, well, that year went by pretty quick! The reason I originally started this blog was to keep my brother and SIL up to date with what was happening while they travelled for a couple of years. They returned late last September and since then I got slack on the blog front. I think that the ease and interactiveness of Facebook has seen me using that as an alternate photo catch up place.

Anyway, Melissa is forcing me to blog, so blog I will!
My brother and SIL got to meet a 15 month old Lucy in the flesh for the first time, she was suprisingly receptive to these perfect strangers and applied a lovely embrace to them both at the airport.

A short time later 7 kids + 5 adults took a two week trip to sunny Queensland. As all parents that holiday with kids can attest to, a holiday with children is ... interesting. The days started very early and were very very tiring, but the most important thing is that all the kids brought home such great memories.

Charlotte and I in Queensland

My middling turned 4 and had an awesome birthday and great Christmas. Four is definitely her age. I didn't really realise until we left 3 behind just how crap the Year of Three was. She is a fantastic kid, clever and caring and deliciously different. She started kindy at the beginning of the year and took to it like a duck to water. She fit right in and is as happy doing crafty work as she is rolling in the sandpit. She is a mixed bag, you can never really tell which Charlotte you are going to encounter on waking each day. The snuggly buggly lovey one, or the ... other one.

She also started ballet this year, like her sister before her, she is not a natural, but what she lacks in grace she makes up for in enthusiasm and I look forward to seeing her perform onstage in a few short months. Charlotte also became an unofficial Girl Guide, alongside Ella. They are not meant to start until they are 5, but her behaviour and her listening skills are exemplerary at Guides apparently, so each week my two big girls go along and do all kinds of Girl Guide things together.

First fireworks

My baby powered through some big milestones. Toilet training at the ridiculously early age of 20 months has meant that she has just seemed so grown up for such a long time. Her cot is gone now, the cot I remember sanding back to raw wood and painting it purple whilst pregnant with Ella over 7 years ago. Raff slept in in when he was a baby. There are few remnants left of us having had babies in this house - no highchair, no baby toys. I'm just surrounded by big girls. Lucy, I sewar she thinks she is 10 years old. She is smart and sassy and bossy and funny and wise. And cute. Cannot forget The Cute.

My eldest and my youngest with birthdays only 11 days apart, saw the middle of the year pass us by very quickly. Ella turning seven was very cool. I look at her and see all the little girlness has melted away. She tall and lithe and lean, growing into the young lady she will be. She has astounded me by powering her way through the first 6 Harry Potter books. I remember myself devouring them all such a short time ago, so I am just rapt to be able to engage her in some really interesting discussions about the characters. She is a third of the way through the final book and is already in that dither that only heavy duty readers understand - to read through the book as fast as possible to reveal the story, or to meander through it, with long pauses to soak it in, knowing that you will never be new to these pages ever again.

I put this one in of Ella, because I think she looks so much like my (favourite) cousin Lee.
Her party inspired me to do something cool for their parties each year. It was such a magical day, with such great kids and a truly appreciative daughter. We had a Pirate theme and it was just so much fun. It took a lot of planning and organising, but the end result rocked.

So, that brings me to me. What have I been doing this year? Well, in March I bit the bullet and replied to an ad in the local paper requesting volunteers to assist seniors with some basic computer skills. I was nervous beyond anything you could ever imagine. I am not a natural born speaker, I am more of an observer, so I really trod out of my comfort zone. I now put in 7 or so hours each week helping people demystify computers. We start with 'This is a mouse, this is how you click' It is that basic. So to sit back and watch 3-4 people at a time wandering through the www on their own steam, Googling whatver they want and shooting emails off to children and grandchilden has been fan-freakin-tastic. It feels good and I love the things I have been involved in.

I highly recommend this sort of volunteering to anyone that feels like they need to be doing something a bit more fulfilling than the daily housework grind. The things I have taught, the things I have learnt, the laughs we have had, the generations we have crossed. To see the joy of success, the conquering of fear, the successful wrangling of new terminology for all.

Raff is heading for some change also, some of that change may require me starting to help with this money earning thang and I am seriously thinking of starting up a little business on the side teaching skills. It seems I have patience and a way with words that can cut through the complications for people. I would love to spread this far and wide.