About Me

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So glad you have found us. We are a nomadic family of 9 travelling Australia with our six daughters, and our one son and forever missing our precious daughter Serenity who went to be with Jesus at 13 hours old on 12 March 2011. Her short life has changed our lives forever! As we travel we perform at shows, festivals and fundraisers with our dogs, help out on farms and also sell handmade woodcraft, dog collars, leads and capes. We are also doTERRA wellness advocates. Follow our joys and trials here.

Monday, 28 March 2016

The Saga of the Broken Leg


Since we have been working here on the farm, Freya has learned to round up the cows and bring them in for milking.  She is excellent at her job, and very enthusiastic.


On Friday 11 March when we were doing the afternoon round up a cow turned round and tried to head back where she’d come from.  Freya went in to stop her and the cow carried on going and poor Freya got tangled up in her back legs!  Freya yelped once then stood there holding one leg up and waited for me to get off the motorbike and come to her.  We scooped her up and finished bringing in the cows (with Sparkie) while Freya took a ride on the motorbike.

We took her to the vet who with a quick examination in which he almost lost his nose, told us that is was probably broken (which we thought anyway).

They took her off for an x-ray (with a muzzle on now).  Returning shortly they confirmed that both bones in her front leg were broken.




After a 3 day long weekend stay at the vets Freya was operated on late Tuesday Morning.  We were very worried about her and missed her tremendously.  They decided that the best outcome for Freya was to put a plate in her leg – also the most expensive option!



On Thursday, almost a week after the accident we got to bring her home!  She was so happy to see us that the vet was worried all her uncontrollable-bouncing-with-excitement would damage all the hard work she’d done in repairing the leg!


Once home she settled into her crate with a new very comfy mattress as she now has to spend the next 12 weeks in here or on short, controlled leash walks.



We don’t like to ask for money, but we’d appreciate any help towards the vet bill which is already in excess of $2000 and she still needs more x-rays to check in the healing process.


If you’d like to help we have set up a Go Fund Me campaign at


Tuesday 29th we head back to the vet for her first post op visit.  Hopefully it will be all good news and we’ll be able to start 15 minute walks twice a day.  For the last two weeks it’s just been short walks out to the toilet – boring!






Saturday, 26 March 2016

Change Ahead

I can't believe its been almost a year since I've updated this blog.  Lots has happened, more than one blog can contain.

We have spent the last six months working on a dairy farm in South West Victoria.  It has been much busier than we envisioned and many times we wanted to move on but we gave the farm owner our word that we'd stay till the farm or the herd sold. So we buckled in and have all learned new skills that I am sure will be useful in the future.


A couple of days ago the owner rang to say the farm had sold! Despite knowing this day would come it still was a shock to us all.  The change over happens in about six weeks but the cows go up for auction in four weeks.

Having spent the last five months in a house it's going to be different going back into the bus. We don't know how long we'll be on the move or if we'll get another job after a short break.

In our spare time we've been working on some money making ideas. We have bought a sewing machine and made some capes for service dogs. We have the parts now for collars and leads.

Earlier this week we signed up to become DoTERRA Independent Wellness Advocates. Essential oils are something we are passionate about and can't wait to learn more them and start using them for our family. You can check our website at Aussie Oils if you are interested.

Aussie Oils
We haven’t had a lot of time for scroll sawing, but hope to pick that up again when we finish here.
2015-08-05 11.32.03

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Always Keep Fighting

Trigger warning

Back in March this year Jared Padalecki (Supernatural TV show star) launched a campaign through represent.com to raise awareness and funds for mental health, in particular depression, suicide and self harm. The funds from this first campaign went to To Write Love On Her Arms.

This campaign coincided with the Angelversary of our 8th child, Serenity.  With this in mind we decided to support the campaign and bought three tee shirts.

It has become somewhat of a motto for our family.  We want to spread the word that no matter how hard life may be, never give up, always keep fighting!

A month or so later fellow Supernatural star Jensen Ackles joined Jared in another Always keep fighting campaign.   This campaign sold more than 60,000 tee shirts!   We bought one each.

Our slogan on the back of our bus also spreads this message.

So from our family to you and yours, when life looks bleak, and you don't see any way through, always keep fighting!  Remember that there is someone here who is cheering for you.  You are not in this battle alone.

Friday, 13 February 2015

Recap and Update

Someone was asking me how we were going because they hadn't heard much from us!
It's been a busy time since we last updated here. I've been relying in our oldest daughter's blog (http://www.mysparkie.blogspot.com) to keep everyone up to speed.

I'll do a quick recap here:

In September we started our trek down from Queensland to Victoria for a few appointments. Sickness hit us at Millmerran so we stopped for a few days at the showgrounds ($20 a night) so we could have power to run a heater. We made a break for Goondiwindi where we stayed at the showgrounds ($25 a night) and the next morning we had two new tyres fitted at TyrePower (highly recommend this crowd, who came into work on a Saturday morning because when we made the appointment they'd forgotten it was going to be Saturday!)
Millmerran Showgrounds, QLD

Next stop was Narrabri (18/night at showgrounds) where we hunkered down while the driver recovered from the flu! As we drove through Moree where we always stop at the awesome playground, no one wanted to stop.

A few days later as we were travelling between Gunnedah and Dunedoo the bus started to splutter and was really struggling on the hills. We pushed on to the next “town” of Coolah. It was dark so we stopped the night opposite the servo. Next morning Mike and some of the girls walked into town to find someone who could fix our problem which we'd identified as a crack in the injector line. The local hay contractor and also mechanic came out, spent several hours including taking the injector line away to braise, and put it all back together and only charged us $120 and was worried he'd charged us too much! So without further ado we headed off. We met him on the outskirts of town and he told us to come round to his shop and he'd clean up the engine from the diesel leak. Certainly a top bloke!

Our engine getting a clean!
Bus was still running a bit rough but had much more power!

Had a good trip from there, stopped at Ariah Park ($10/night) and met another bus family. Always good to meet others living the same or similar lifestyle to you.

Ariah Park, QLD.  Camping with friends
Somewhere along the way the alternator started rattling! We made it to Narrandera and called into a place where we hoped they'd be able to fix it at least temporarily as it was starting to sound like it was going to self destruct! They called in the mobile machining guy who took the fan and pully off and machined it down. It sounded much better!

A couple of days later we made it to Victoria! We stayed with some friends and helped them move. It made us all realise how fortunate we were living in a bus and when we want to move it's no drama, just put stuff away and get rolling!

After we left Benalla (a great town and really worth exploring) we headed south, after driving about an hour or so the alternator light came on! As it was getting dark we pulled in to the next truck stop! As we were driving a day or two later, Jireh said, “The bus sounds like a train!” When we stopped at camp we looked underneath only to find that we were missing two alternator belts! We now wished we done some heavy vehicle mechanic work in our past life! We charged our starter batteries overnight as we had to make the train the next morning as it was now obvious we were not going to drive the bus to the appointments in Melbourne!

Charging starter batteries roadside!
After making some enquires we found out that it was safe to drive the bus without the alternator as long as we didn't do any night driving! This is a challenge for us as we love to drive at night!

We finally made it to Geelong where we parked in a friends driveway while we decided what we were going to do. A guy came a took out the alternator and after taking it apart gave us the prognosis; it was beyond stuffed! On a positive note: the bearing was near new!

Our royally stuffed alternator.
We spent the next few days ringing round and driving round (in a friends car) to see if we could locate a new or reconditioned alternator. The only one we found was on ebay – for $1000 – and all the way from England!

We decided we needed to pick up some work to enable us to pay for it and get our home on wheels back on the road.

The jobs we were looking for were temporary, part time jobs. We ended up with a (more than) full time job managing a 380 cow dairy farm! We told the boss we could give him three months work to see him though a tough time.

Feeding the Jersey calves

Jasmine feeding hay to the cows.

Jessica milking in the rotary cowshed.
The older girls have gained some valuable work experience and we have be able to get a new (or reconditioned) alternator, solar panels, a fridge and a satellite vehicle!

Our time here is coming to an end. We are all more than ready to have our life back and not be ruled by the dreaded alarm clock!

We plan of spending the first few weeks after we finish here installing solar, and fitting the new alternator!  The job has been so busy that we've had no time to work on the bus so we've just bought the things we need and will fit them on the bus when we have time.
On the 1st of February we had our 7th anniversary of living on the road! There have been good times and there have been the not so good times and there have been the downright awful times! Living on the road doesn't mean that life is always good, life happens where ever you live.
Seven years on the road!

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Operation Oil Change

It’s a horrible feeling when you are driving along at night and you turn on the light to check your speed (the dash light doesn’t work) and you notice the oil pressure gauge is doing a dance then staying up at maximum, then dropping to normal, then dancing, rising, dancing then dropping.

We drove to the nearest free camp and stopped the night.  Did some research the next day and decided the most likely problem was old oil.

A couple of days later we drove to the nearest town (Gladstone, QLD) and went searching for an oil filter.  Easy task, eh?  Well, no!  We arrived in town at around 10:30 and finally found a place that may be able to order one in by around 5 pm!  That night we did some more sleuthing and found that they were quite hard to get in Aussie, but easy in USA.  Decided to go with the local parts place (Maxiparts) to hopefully get it quicker as we didn’t want to drive the bus much more and risk damage to the engine.

We rang them early in the morning then waited ALL DAY for them to call us back!  Finally on Friday afternoon after several calls to them, we got one ordered – from Darwin. 

And so we waited!  We parked up next to the Junior Sports Grounds and waited for someone to come tell us to move!  (No one did)


Late Monday afternoon, we got the phone call saying the filter had arrived!  We asked if they could deliver it out to us, which they did at no extra charge – or maybe that was included in the $40 freight charge from Darwin!

First thing Tuesday morning we got onto the oil change only to find the bungs were done up so tight they would not move at all!  We spent a frustrating day trying to get someone with the proper tools to come and help.  We thought about syphoning it out, then someone on facebook suggested it too.

So now it’s Wednesday!  We take a walk to the local Supercheap Auto and purchase a hand syphon and set to work on emptying the oil sump. 


We ended up removing the filler pipe to make our job easier.


Our next challenge was to remove the old filter.  We banged a screwdriver though the bottom to use as leverage and hit it with the hammer!  It didn’t want to come off at all!  Finally we noticed a minuscule movement!  The cheer brought out some of kids to have a look!


Once the filter was off it was a relatively easy job.  We bought some ultra black silicone gasket maker as the old one round the filler plug was shot!


Once it was all put back together, we filled the new filter with oil, filled the sump with oil and hoped and prayed that we’d fixed the oil pressure problem!


After dinner we took The Odyssey for a spin, and the she ran like a well oiled machine!! What a relief!

Meanwhile Jireh ….


Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Friday the 13th

At least once a year we like to put together a video of a day in our life.  This year we choose Friday 13th June to be that day!

Follow this LINK  or click on the picture to see what we did on Friday 13th!


Saturday, 21 June 2014

Humorous Answers to Common Questions

We were inspired by another travelling family when they posted on facebook some answers to questions they regularly get asked.  Here are the questions and our (tongue-in-cheek) answers.


    1. Are they all yours?  Of course not, we pick them up as we travel.
    2. Are there any twins?  Not as far as we know.
    3. Don’t you have a television?  Nope! We got sick of not being able to get reception so we sold it.
    4. Do you have a house to go back to?  Nope, houses are way over-rated!
    5. Did you win lotto? Yes, um, No, actually didn’t even buy the ticket!
    6. Do you home school?  Nope, the kids do fly in fly out schooling!
    7. Bet the bus goes through some fuel!  Nope, it runs on the smell of an oily rag, oh, hang on, that’s the rag from mopping up the oil leaks!
    8. How do you make a living?  Dole bludgers and government handouts and sending the kids to work!


Hope the post brightened your day.