Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Hello 2012

I've been on holidays with Ron and Rebekah visiting Ron's family down in Victoria (a neighbouring state - for my non-Aussie readers). We had a wonderful holiday. It was a very 'social' holiday for us, a bit different to most others we normally have as we spent all our holidays with in-laws and friends. Normally we spend at least a week a two of our holidays just by ourselves but this time it didn't work out that way. Nevertheless it was still lovely and nice to have a break from our normal daily routines and spend Christmas with my in-laws. They are truly a great bunch of people!
Rebekah got to have loads of fun with her cousins on Ron's side and spent lots of time with her grandparents. I'm sure these memories will hold a special place in her heart as she grows up.

I didn't really know my grandparents at all as they all passed away when I was a baby / very young child. After having Rebekah I've come to realise what a special relationship it truly is and she is so blessed to have wonderful grandparents on both sides of the family.

We started back 'school' the week after we got back which was about three weeks ago as we don't follow the school terms.

I have also been busy de-cluttering since we got back. I find coming back from holidays a great time to de-clutter, clean and re-organise in general.
While on holidays, we (Ron and I) usually spend time assessing the past year and talking about the year ahead and what we would like to see change / happen over the coming year. This time was no exception, so we've come back with some good thoughts and ideas which we'll try to implement by the grace of God.

One thing I've already implemented is doing our laundry and some general house cleaning at night. This has helped me be more relaxed in the mornings while we have been doing school work. I felt like I needed to focus more on Rebekah and her work in the mornings without being distracted. It's amazing how this small and simple adjustment has already improved the quality of our school time.

During December our church did a series of teaching on finances and we've been working on some of those things we learned that we need to put in place one of them being saving 10% of our income. We worked out that we only save about 5% of our income but we are endeavouring to change that this year and so we spent some time reviewing the family budget and have come up with some good plans to increase our savings!

Over the last year or so I've gotten to make a lovely friend who homeschools and who lives very close to us. We have decided to do monthly nature walks together this year which I'm really looking forward to. Nature walks and study are fun times for us and I think Rebekah would enjoy it even more with other kids around. We didn't get to do it as much last year and I'm hoping that 2012 will see an improvement here!

I've been also busy catching up with my mum who also got back from her trip to India just before we got back to Sydney. She was away for about 8 months so we've had a lot to catch up on and it's been lovely for both of us and also lovely for Rebekah to spend time with her maternal grandparents.

I'll be visiting your blogs very soon, if I haven't already. In the meantime, here's some pictures from our trip:

Rebekah insisted on taking her three favourite stuffed toys this trip:

Tuppy (puppy) on the far left, Cordie (Corduroy named after that famous picture book character) and last but definitely not the least and the one she is holding is Jakie (named Jacob though I always insisted it was a girl, Rebekah thought it was a boy, maybe secret inner desire to have a little baby brother?). Taken at a motel in Albury:

She has a sense of humour! This was taken outside a historic courthouse at Seymour near Melbourne:

Panning for gold at Sovereign Hill, Ballarat:

Rebekah got to sail for the first time which was very exciting and she absolutely fell in love with it:

Fishing, Rebekah got her first fishing rod and I can see lots of fishing time with daddy up ahead:

Werribee Mansion (near Melbourne), a historic old house with amazing gardens. They had a few fun things for the kids to get involved in as you'll see below:

Rebekah having a try at how they did the laundry in the old homestead:

Playing 'croquet'

and hopscotch with 'Aunt Sally' in the background ( a game where you try to knock the heads off the poles and apparently they were all political figures, some things haven't changed in Australia, we still like knocking our pollies don't we!)

and lastly, on the Monet bridge at Jugiong a few hours south of Sydney on our way back home. My blog header currently has her at the same spot last time we went down that way about a year ago:

p.s: Confession time - I've had this in draft format for about two weeks! :) I'll be around to yours soon, I'm sorry I've not been a good blog follower for the past couple of weeks!


Clara said...

My blog hasn't been very exciting anyway, so don't worry about it! I'm kind of on an unofficial blogging holiday that is lasting a lot longer than I expected...

I've never heard of Werribee Mansion - sounds like a great place to visit though. My children loved Sovereign Hill, although we didn't have time to pan for gold ourselves...

Sounds like you had a great holiday!! :)

This year I decided to try to do my chores etc outside of school hours too - and spending that time closer to the children is working out really well for us, so I can really relate with you on that!!

Lovely to catch up, Rosemary! :)

Catherine said...

Hi and welcome home!

I recognise a LOT of those places you visited. We're not far from Werribee. :)

It sounds like you had a very refreshing break, which is very good for calming your spirit ready to work again (esp. getting a heap of motivation with housework!)

Lovely to read about all you've been up to. :)


Sarah said...

Welcome back's nice to hear from you and all about your lovely holiday season. Lovely photos, Rebekah is growing very fast. xxx

Joluise said...

Welcome back and thankyou for the update, sounds like you had a wonderful break and Rebekah had a ball. I haven't seen much of Victoria and therefore been to non of these places - one day perhaps.

Jeanne said...

Welcome home. I've missed you! It was lovely to see you while you were here.

joyfulmum said...

Thank you ladies!
Clara, it's nice to find that you can relate:)
Catherine, I didn't know you lived close to Werribee:)
Jeanne, Jo, Sarah and others, I will pop over to your blogs over the next day or two, I've missed all my bloggy friends too!

Beloved's Bride said...

Lovely photos! It looks like she is enjoying herself and all the activities!

So nice that she can spend time with her Grandparents. We have a special relationship with ours as well.

Ganeida said...

You are a great blog follower & I look forward to your visits. I feel all sort of nostalgic watching your Rebekah grow up. She is becoming a most beautiful young lady with a lovely personality. well done mama!

Eve said...

Now I am catching up to you with comments :-)

It was so fun to see the photos of your hubby and daughter. Now I know where that bridge is located, and how neat it is a Monet bridge! He's one of my favorite artists.

I know what you mean about cleaning and organizing after a holiday. It's such a good time when perspectives are like a clean slate, ready for improvements. Good luck in your goals!

Penney Douglas said...


Your holidays look like they were so much fun! I didn't realize that the bridge in your header was Monet's bridge! I should have recognized it. I painted it myself. ;) He's one of my favorite artists, too.

I love Rebekah's hat in the pictures.

How neat that you and your husband plan together. We need to do that, too. We are so random that it's hard for us to both focus on the same thing at the same time. But I'm going to try to get my husband to sit down with me sometime and see what we come up with.

Thanks for visiting and commenting. It means so much to me!

Probhita said...

Nice to find you here even though you're way down under! Your little girl looks so sweet! How old is she?

Fellow CM-er,


Ruby said...

And my apologies for taking to so long to get back over to you.
Loved you holiday pics. The Ballarat photo reminded me of our fabulous trip to Vic at the end of 2010.
Have a wonderful year with schooling etc. I also find if I take the time to sit for the morning things go much better. I need to control the urge to run out and hang washing and other pressing jobs.

Jedidja said...

I love your daughters smile.