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, 31 December 2012

The Best of 2012

As the year 2012 draws to a close we can thankfully say it was easier than 2011, although it too has had it’s share of tragedies.  I’m not going to talk about them here.  This post is going to focus on the good that has happened.


Explored and swam in some lovely beaches in South Australia and witnessed some beautiful sunsets..

A kite surfer at sunset at Whyalla, SA


Revisited Peterborough, caught up with Sarah’s Nephew and his now wife.



Due to the heavy rains in the north, we took a detour through Monash where there is an awesome playground, and a few k’s east the beautiful lake Cullulleraine.


Making it back to Queensland, catching up with friends and staying at Wallumbilla again!



As is a tradition each year, we watch the girls perform and win ribbons and cash at the Gympie show.

2nd place
gympie show 2012

2nd Place in the dog high jump at the show


On the last day of May, Lassie had 9 puppies!  June was spent watching them grow!

lassies puppies
Don’t nobody touch my babies!


Building shelves/storage units in the bus.  Had a friend help put in 12 volt lighting.

canon July 2012 788


Family get together in Townsville!  Unfortunately one brother couldn’t make it.

from back left; Kirsten, Joseph, Joshua F, Christopher, second row left; Jasmine, Destiny, Abigail, Jessica n Tess, front row from left; Suzanna, Jireh, Gabrielle, Chana n Lassie, Chantel, Joshua T
Most of the “Thomas” Cousins


Staying with the other side of the family in Sydney

Mackay Cousins
Two Mackay families!


Exploring the lovely Lake Macquarie, NSW

Lake Macquarie
Rainbow over Lake Macquarie


Found a park named after us!



Swimming at Ariah Park Pool almost every day!

pool fun

Friday, 14 December 2012

Alphabet of Habits

I’ve been thinking of all the habits of successful people.  Some of which would be beneficial to incorporate into our life.  I’m not expecting to incorporate all these immediately into my life!  Change takes time.  New habits take time.  I’m thinking of incorporating a new habit every two weeks or so.

Before I go into my list of habits of successful people we need to define success!  To me success is living a deliberate life, achieving the goals and dreams you were born to achieve.

So without further ado here is my alphabet of habits!Chantel -instagram

A.  Alone time.  Time with just you, no distractions; no electronics, books or music.   Spend time listening to yourself.  Feeling your feelings.

B.  Be proactive: choose your response to stimuli.  Instead of just reacting.  You alone have the power to choose your reaction.

C.  Embrace change:  be adaptable, embrace the new and unfamiliar.  Change brings new life and creativity.

D.  Live deliberately:  consciously choose your life.  Make decisions that will help reach your life goal.  Live the opposite of auto-pilot.

E.  Eat well, stay well.  A healthy diet leads to a healthy, happier you.  Healthy eating and living a healthy lifestyle can stabilize our mood and boost energy

canon July 2012 315F.  Stay focused; when you have set your goal, don’t waiver from it.  Keep focused on the big picture.

G.  Set life goals:  know where you what to go in life.  Have clarity and certainty about what you want and don’t want.

H.  Humility:  never forget to admit and apologise for mistakes.  Be willing to learn from others.

I.  I need help:  never be too proud to ask for help.  Learn from others who have been successful before you.

J.  Find success in the journey.  The journey is as important as the destination.  Have fun and enjoy the journey.

K.  Keep relations harmonious.  Never get so busy with success that you forget the important people in your life.

L.  Laughter: include intentional laughter in every day.  Laughter relaxes you, releases positive endorphins, and brings joy into your life.  Laugh everyday!

M.  Be motivated by lessons learned.  Don’t let setback hold you back, forgive yourself, learn from it and move forward.

IMG_8142N.  Never give up!  See each setback as a learning opportunity, and grow.

O.  Opportunities.  See opportunities and run with them.

P.  Practise what you preach.  Don’t talk theory, live reality!IMG_5831

Q.  Quell your fears.  We all have fears, choose not to be controlled by them.

R.  Relax: know when to hit the off switch.  Take time to enjoy what you have and have fun doing it!

S.  Slow down:  make time to enjoy the journey.  Slowing down allows more time to be present with yourself. 

T.   Be thankful: each and everyday choose an attitude of gratitude.  Gratitude refocuses our attention on what we do have bring with it contentment.

U.  Seek first to understand.  Before judging understand.  Before criticizing understand.  Listen with empathy, and seek to be understood.

V.  Visualise:  have a clear picture of what you want you life to look like.  Plan your best reality.

W.  Except your weaknesses; learn the value of always learning.  Be constantly learning as this gives room for personal growth.

X.  Execute your plan.  A plan no mater how perfect will not be a success unless executed!  Set your goal, make a plan and work to actively achieve it.

Y. Don’t use someone else’s yard stick.  When you fall into the comparison trap, you’ll never measure up.

Z.  Get more zzzz’s: as the old age saying goes, Early to bed, early to rise makes men and women healthy, wealthy and wise. It has been said that the first hour of the day sets the tone for the whole day … going to bed early helps with that!

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Ariah Park Swimming

Ariah Park is a historic town of 500 people (or 509 when we are there!)  The camping ground ($10 per night + $5 if you use air con) is next to the swimming pool complex.

They have three separate pools, a toddler pool, junior pool and a big pool with a diving board.  Cost is $3 adult, $2 child, $1 under five, $1 spectator or a season pass for a family is $160.

So for $20 our family had a lot of fun!


Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Sweet 16!


On this day 16 years ago, at midnight we became parents!  There were three people with watches in the room when Jasmine was born, one said 11:59, our watch said 12 midnight and the hospital clock 12.01am …. so they went with the 12.01 as the hospital computer would not allow a midnight birth time! 

Today started with an early (for us) phone call from Jasmine’s Auntie!  It woke us all up, but not all stayed awake!

Later we rose and had our normal hot drinks, coffee, NRG MAXX, Chai or plain milk depending on taste.  Jasmine opted for having her presents after she’d walked her dog – got to love her priorities!














The little guys helped me wrap the presents and waited on the bed (as is traditional) for the birthday girl to return from her walk.





















After a hot start to the day, a storm rolled in!  In town the BOM recorded 101km (55 knot) winds.

storm 2storm







Now that the weather was cooler, the younger guys played on their bikes and in the new puddles



while the older ones re-enacted some scenes from Stargate Atlantis!










With all their energy burned out and the tummies once again empty it was time for cake!


16 Candles!!  Took a while to light and a while to blow out (relighting candles are like that).


Here’s to another year of living, loving and learning!

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Sculptures and State Parks

After paying $10 to gain access to Lake Burrendong State Park we were very disappointed to find that the main attraction, the water slide, only operated on weekends!  The only pool that was open was the toddler pool that was about 20cm deep.  We thought ok, lets swim in the lake … um … no … blue green algae may be present in the water!  So plan “c” find a BBQ and make pancakes/pikelets only to find the BBQ had been out of service since January this year!


After getting over the huge disappointment, the older girls took the dogs for a walk and came back feeling better!  Amazing how a walk can improve your mood!  We cooked some pancakes/pikelets on the gas cooker and enjoyed the view.


The girls got out their toys and set up an elaborate game at the tables under the gazebo, even using the old BBQ as part of the area!















After the pikelets were finished, and the game was over … it was time for ….


A fun game in the toddler pool!







I would not recommend this State Park to anyone … unless you are happy to look at the view.

After drying off we headed out of the Park to find a place to stop for the night.  We noticed at the turn off for the Wellington Caves some interesting looking sculptures so we turned in to check it out.



















We decided it was as good as any a place to spend the night!