About Me

My photo
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.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

What a Crazy week!

The week started out ok.  We broke camp at Rollingstone on Monday morning after spending a few days enjoying the water and not enjoying the snakes!

After picking up some supplies in Townsville, we headed to the off leash beach so the dogs and children could run off their energy before going to the rellies flat!  After a couple of hours of fun in the sun we had a late lunch and headed back into The ‘Ville to watch movies with their cousins.

This is where life started to turn crazy!  After dinner (kindly bought by Sarah’s niece Abigail) and another excellent movie (Fireproof) we retuned to the bus to find dog throw up and dog poop everywhere! <insert gagging sounds>  Turns out it was Sparkie who had a very bad case of gastro.  She continued to throw up and we noticed the throw up had blood in it and that she was also bleeding from the rectum.  So at around midnight we found ourselves at the emergency animal hospital!

After a couple of hours of running tests, poking, prodding we decided we’d take her back out to the bus and spend the night in the carpark. 

Felt so sad for Jasmine, for those of you who don’t already know, or follow her blog at “My Sparkie”, this is her dog, her best friend, her confidant when know one else will listen!  Jasmine was up every two hours (from 2am till 8am) to take her beloved Sparkie out to relieve herself. 

By 8am Sparkie was looking a little better.  So we left the vet car park and went shopping (again!).  We were all feeling very positive.  At around 10am, Sparkie started coughing up her water and needing to relieve herself every 15 minutes.  Over the next few hours few hours her condition deteriorated so we again called a vet (a different one because the other one was only a night vet) as she was now refusing all food and getting very lethargic.  The vet fast tracked out appt so we were able to go in by 3pm.

She lay on the floor of the consult room and fell asleep her breathing very shallow.  The vet examined her; more poking, prodding and the inevitable temperature taking up the rectum!!  Poor dog!!  Sparkie was very good … all Jasmine’s “how to act when at the vet” training really paid off!

After the examination, Sparkie sat on the floor and left behind a huge amount of bright red blood!  It was scary to see.  We told the vet we needed something to clean up the blood – he took a look and quickly went to get a towel!

We decided, that weather we could afford it or not, if we wanted to save Sparkie’s life she needed to be on the drip and remain overnight with the vet. 

It was very hard leaving her behind!  The first time ever we’ve had to leave her overnight!  It was a long night! 

Morning dawned bright and sunny … but no call from the vet!  I guess I’d expected them to ring as soon as they opened!  We waited and waited.  I thought, well if they don’t ring by 9am I’m ringing them!  The suspense was killing me!

At 9am the phone finally rang!!!!  There was silence as I listened to what he said.  “Sparkie had bleed a lot during the night but had enjoyed her breakfast and was no longer bleeding!  We’d like to keep her here for the day and keep an eye on her.”  Whew!!!!!!!  We could all finally breathe again!   I asked if we could come and visit her to which they replied; “sure”.

With everyone motivated to break camp, it didn’t take long to be on the road to the vet!  Sarah and the four oldest girls went in to see her.  She was so delighted to see us!  She wagged her tail, sat up and lapped up all the love and attention from the girls.  Jasmine told her to lie down, which she gladly did, rolling over for some belly rubs!!  We spent half an hour with her, loving on her. 

The rest of the day was spent at the Atkinvale library.  We waited for the phone to ring!  Jasmine was just getting ready to go visit her again when we got a call with the best news we’d had all week!  Sparkie could come HOME at 4.30pm.  The next couple of hours went by so slowly! 

Finally it was 4.30 and the whole family wanted to go a pick her up!  They really need to make vet consult rooms bigger!  It didn’t take long to hear the instructions for a bland diet (chicken and rice), how much medication she needed  - not that I heard all of what was said with Jireh and Suzanna just having to make conversation right then!

The vet went out the back and bought Sparkie out to us … she was very happy to see her family, wagging her tail and looking brighter.  The children all loved on her.  Jireh could not stop hugging her and saying how much he loved her!

It’s now a week since she went to the vet … she is now back to normal!  She is forever hungry (which she never used to be!), keen to do her tricks and just generally a pleasure to have at home.

This graphic was made by Jasmine when Sparkie was admitted to the vets.

forever and always2web

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

And Now She is 10!



10 years ago I was anxiously awaiting the birth of our 4th child.  Having had three c-section births, a brush with cancer I was determined to prove all the medical people wrong and have a natural birth!

We found a supportive obstetrician, told her our plan and thought it was all fine.  About 4 weeks before our due date this supposedly supportive Ob told us that we needed to have a c-section!  That she had never realised we were planning a natural birth and could I please come to a booking in appt on such and such a date!!  Um … no I cannot come!!

We rang and cancelled the appt and told the nurse to not reschedule another one!

To cut a long story short … Chana was born naturally, in water, at Hamilton Hospital, NZ!  They do allow VBAC, despite what they will tell you!!


We had a nice brunch at the Tyto Wetlands in Ingham.  Unfortunately it was too windy to light the candles!  We got one to light for a couple of seconds – just long enough for Chana to blow it out with the help of the wind!


When everyone had stuffed themselves with party food we headed down the broad walk to enjoy the view from the 11 meter  tower.













The TYTO Wetlands is a great place to run off the calories in the food!













Chana, Suzanna, Gabrielle and Jireh taking a rest on a seat conveniently placed on the broad walk







The view from the top of the 11 meter tower


The tower


Gabrielle enjoying the view!



Another thing that made Chana’s day special was

a phone call from her cousin Abigail.


Here is one of Chana’s latest jokes that she loves to make up.  She is always playing with words and makes us laugh at her jokes.

“What do you say to a cat who won’t come when it’s called?”

“Tsk, Tsk, Tsk and shake your head”




Sunday, 2 September 2012

Happy Fathers Day

We hadn’t planned a lot for father’s day this year but the day turned out ok.


Jasmine and I went food shopping and bought some “nice” food!  After driving to a beach we set ourselves up at a picnic table and had a feed!

When the food was gone the girls and Jireh dispersed to find something to do!  The older two took their dogs and explored along the beach.  The next two followed and found a fallen tree that made a fun place to play!  We speculated that maybe the tree was there because of Cyclone Yasi in February last year that came ashore about 50 km’s south.







Chantel enjoying the fallen tree.

While Mike and I sat on the rocks the younger guys played in the sand!










Some of the girls found a couple of coconuts still with the husk on!  The dogs had a go at getting the husk off, but in the end the girls did a better job!  The milk was refreshing and the flesh delicious!

After running and playing everyone was hungry again, so we topped off they day with hot chips from Flying Fish Point Cafe!


How was your fathers day?