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.

Friday, 29 November 2013

From SA to Vic and almost back again and 33 point turns!

With our South Australian Rego due on the Odyssey we tried to reregister online, but were given the message that we needed to phone in.  So we dutifully phoned in but didn’t realise we needed a credit/debit card to pay over the phone.  All was set to go, we just needed to put money on our debit card.

Two days later we phone again, card in hand only to be told we now could not do it either online or over the phone, we needed to come in to a South Australian Branch!  We were by this time in Seymour, Victoria about 500km form the nearest SA service centre.  They would not budge!  Apparently our SA drivers license, that was to have been posted to NSW had been returned and now they would not release it until we fronted up in person. The operator we spoke to said they did not post interstate, yet when we transferred our license to SA the lady at the desk had no problem with it! 

We now had two days to get this sorted before our current rego expired!  A 500km trip in two days was not what any of us wanted to do!

We had mail to collect so decided to go and collect it and hope that our SA drivers license was amongst it; it was not!  As it was now close to 10pm we choose to stay put and hope that either SA would be kind to us and understand our situation or maybe we could transfer to Vic rego.

First thing Thursday morning with rego due Friday, we phoned SA again, explaining our situation again, they still would not budge!  So we phoned VicRoads asking about transferring our rego.  Yeah, they said, that’s no problem!  Phew!!  Appointments were made and we breathed a bit easier!

By lunch time on Friday we had our Vic plates!!  Woo Hoo!!

vic plate

On another note;  we took a trip out in the Odyssey and used the GPS to find our way out of one town to the next town.  Hmmm … bad mistake!  We ended up on a narrow road with a lot of traffic behind us, and in front of us a 3 ton load limit bridge!  We put our hazard lights on, and got out of access the situation. We thought that with a bit of skill we could get turned around.  So Sarah went up to the top of the bridge and stopped the traffic while Jasmine helped direct Michael and make sure he avoided a stake that was inconveniently placed on the side of the road!  After much skill and manoeuvrings we got her turned round!  The other motorists waved to us as we drove away feeling very relieved!

There was signage approaching the bridge, but when we checked them on the way back they did look like they were pointing to the side roads!

This is a pic from Google Maps of where we turned round.  Fortunately there was a side “road” not that we could go far down it, but at least we could put our nose into it!

33 pt turn

Thursday, 10 October 2013

The one in which we buy a bus …

Some people have asked if I’ve blogged about our new wheels … here it is!

About 6 months ago, after trying for years, we sold our Volvo (The Auroara).  We then bought a Toyota Hiace Commuter and travelled with a tent.  There were positives to living/travelling in a tent; fuel was cheaper, we could drive further in a day, we could camp at different places, Jasmine could use it to learn to drive.  There were also disadvantages; after a long day of driving we still had to set up the tent, the zips on the tent kept breaking so we had to find a BCF and swap it for another one, it was really cold, we had to always be aware of the weather.

When we sold The Auroara, it had always been our intention to get another bus.  We figured we’d be in a tent for around 6 to 12 months.  After 5 months, though we’d all really had enough of tenting!  My hat goes off to any families who travel long-term in tents!


After a long trip down from Mt Isa to do a show with the Superdogs in Quorn, SA we now had time to look for a bus!

The first one we looked at, everyone loved, looked great on the outside and in the photo’s, but on closer inspection has some serious problems that we were not prepared to deal with.  The kids were very disappointed.  We had three in the area to look at, so with one crossed off we rang the second one, sorry, sold one and the other I have will take a while to be ready … we didn’t have a while in that area as we needed to be in Melbourne for the Pregnancy Loss Association's Memorial Walkathon that we were performing at.

Now we were down to the last one, or actually he had two the same.  So next afternoon found us looking at not one but two Leyland Tigers!  Now our very good friends have one (The Tumbleweed Project) so we have a soft spot for Tigers!  It took ages to check out two of them!  Hey, takes long enough going through one 38 foot school bus!  After about two hours of looking, poking and asking questions we decided that one sounded better than the other when the engine was running.  We put a deposit on it subject to a test drive the next day.

On arriving home to our tent we found this:  


A massive wind and rain storm had swept through our camp, broken almost every pole and ripped the tent in several places.  It was totally beyond redemption, even MacGyver could not have fixed it! The only thing that stopped us from all falling apart was the thought that tomorrow night we would most likely be sleeping in a bus!  So for our last night we all nine of us piled into the van!  It was rough night, but at least we were dry!  Next morning we packed the tent into the rubbish bin!

After we broke camp (pun intended) we headed off to test drive the bus.  It drove well, so we paid our money and drove back to where we had been camping.  Everyone was happy to once again have a solid roof over our heads and not have to set up the tent EVER AGAIN! (well not that tent anyway!)


Sunday, 15 September 2013

Performing in memory of

Sunday 15 September 2013 we performed in memory of our babies we have lost. 





Pregnancy Loss Australia had their annual fundraiser to raise money to assist families who have lost a baby through miscarriage, still birth or neonatal death.  When they asked for stall holders and entertainers for the event we offered our Superdog Trick Show for the event.  It was an honour to sponsor such and event.

To be able to bring joy into the lives of others who have also suffered loss or losses is a privilege.  If for 15 minutes we can make people smile, take away the pain or give them something else to focus on our show is a success.  Judging by the number of people who came over to watch, and those we spoke to after the show, I think we succeeded in our purpose.


Having suffered multiple miscarriages and a neonatal death there we lots of emotions stirred in our family too.  The girls who perform with the dogs were very keen to do this in memory of their siblings lost and especially their forever little sister Serenity who went to be with Jesus at 13 hours old on 12 March 2011.


Balloons were released at the end of the day … a very moving experience.

Not sure how much was raised in total, but it was in excess of $20,000!  Awesome effort by all involved!

Thursday, 18 July 2013

First Time in the Northern Territory

After the show in Mt Isa, we were booked for our first show in the Territory!  We were all excited about it as we’d never been in that state before.

We left Camooweal around 11 am and embarked on what we think is the most boring drive we’ve been on in all our travels so far!  The distance to Tennant Creek from Camooweal was almost 500km’s with lot’s and lot’s of nothingness in between!  To quote Sheppard and Ford in Stargate Atlantis:  “I’ve never seen so much nothing!” “And I’ve never gone so far to see it!”

We didn’t get a photo at the border because of the graffiti on the sign.

We arrived in Tennant Creek , a town of around 3000 people at around 7pm.  Lots of Aboriginal people were just wandering the streets.  We checked out the town then headed to the showgrounds to set up camp.

Next day we talked to the show secretary who had only found out the day before that the Superdogs were even coming to the show!  We walked around with him while the thought about were he could set us up to perform.  Really the only place to set up was round the back and mostly in the sun.  We asked for some chairs so we could set up a place for the audience only to be told “we don’t have any chairs, all the locals will just sit on the ground.” 

Our first performance of the day didn’t have many people watching which was disappointing and made it hard for the girls and the dogs to stay positive and perform their best.  After that performance we headed off in search of some chairs (that they apparently didn’t have) and we found all of seven (7) of them!  And for our next performance we actually had people come and sit in them!    Never once did we have people come and sit on the ground!  Lesson learned: if you want a present audience, set up some chairs!

Another piece of advice we were given by an elderly gentleman who watched our final show of the day was:  give it your best even if there is no present audience and then the dogs will also give their best.  He was right!

It was a hard day, about 31 degs and we were looking forward to spending the afternoon/evening relaxing.  We bought some cold drinks and headed back to camp.  As we were relaxing and thinking about dinner we noticed a very drunk Aboriginal male heading over to our camp.  He came and stood beside Mike (who was washing the dishes) just looking over his shoulder!  Rather disconcerting to say the least.  He then staggered round and sat down under the tree about 1 metre from our table and watched us from there!

On looking round we noticed all the other showies packing up and getting ready to go and decided we didn’t want to be in the showgrounds on our own!  So we told the girls that we had a change of plan and we were packing up (at 7pm) and leaving as we didn’t feel that it would be safe in a tent.  I’ve never seen our girls pack up so fast!  By 8pm everything and everybody was packed into the van!  Our usual pack down is about 2-3 hours!

We headed off, had dinner outside a gas station and hit the road back to QLD!  Spent the night in our small (3 person) tent with 5 people in it and the older girls and dogs sleeping in the van.  We woke to a beautiful day, being Mike’s 50th birthday!  With still about 400k’s to go we decided to postpone his birthday till later and packed up and headed east!

We are now regrouping after a busy time and preparing for our next gig at Mt Isa’s Paws Hoofs and Claws Christmas in the Park fundraiser on July 27.

IMG_5163We put the chairs in the only patch of shade!













Chana and her crazy dog Lassie!













Jessica and her energetic dog Tess!













Jasmine and her smart dog Sparkie!













Chantel and her pretty puppy Freya!

If you want the Superdogs to perform at your show, festival or fundraiser, please don’t hesitate to contact our agent, Mac Brothers Circus.

While in the Territory the Superdogs were also interviewed by ABC Radio.  You can find the audio HERE.

A Tribute to My Dad - 1926 - 1998


Dad age 5-6

Dad age 5-6(2)











Dad was born on the 19 July 1926 (Beth correct me if I’m wrong) as the 2nd of three boys.  Dad was the boy who you’d find standing in the middle of the road pretending to be a cop and directing the traffic.  He was the one you’d find in the crowded down-town area looking at the sky then when everyone else looked up he’d “melt” into the crowd.  He was the one who tricked his dad into buying him a German Shepherd puppy when dad had said “No” to an Alsatian! 

Dad age 21

Dad was always the optimist.  The cup was always half full.  If it was cold and wet it was a good time to stoke up the fire and make the room so hot the rest of us had to leave the room.  We’d try and sneak the door open, but he’d always notice and tell us to shut the door as it was too drafty!  So we’d dutifully shut it and either leave or cook!  Dad would never buy a house that didn’t have a fire in it with a wet back so we could save on our winter water heating bill.

Dad was always up for an adventure.  Every year we’d go for our Christmas holiday, usually 2 weeks away.  These were my favourite time of the year.  We got to have Dad 24/7 and he was always up for a game.  One year he bought a runabout with a small outboard motor on the back especially for the holiday.  We’d go out in the boat fishing or just exploring all day. 

I remember waiting till Dad got off the phone (he worked for the church – long story that I’ll not go into here) usually around 9pm for him to come outside and play hide and seek with me!  He didn’t seem to care that it was late and the neighbours may be sleeping, he’d still yell, “Arrrrggggghhh!” as he ran for home after I found him.  He was usually easy to find because he’d be wearing his white shirt and sometimes his tie as well!

Dad was never too busy or too sick to help somebody else.  Even if he had spent all day in bed with a cold/flu if he got a call to lead worship or preach that night he’d get up, get dressed and go!  It did bug me a bit though as I’d have been begging him all day to play with me and he’d have said he was too sick!

Another memory I have is when he had to go into hospital for a hernia operation.  Because of his belief system that he could not get so sick he needed treatment, he didn’t tell us (or me anyway) why he was going in!  A day after his op when we went to pick him up, the nurses had given him what they called “Fairy Mixture” which not only relieved his pain but put him on a high!  He did not need a wheelchair to get out to the car and he certainly did not need anyone to carry his bags!  He did pay for it though for the next few days when he was so sore he kept telling me to stop making him laugh!!

In his latter years, after waiting most of his life, he got the opportunity to go overseas to work as a missionary!  He’d wanted to go to Japan when I was about 4 years old but the church we were part of at the time did not want him to do that.  He even bought a book called “Japanese in 30 days” so he could have a basic understanding of the language.  He never did go to Japan, instead he and mum went to PNG where Dad taught at a Bible School.

Dad and me - wedding

My wedding – August 1995 (6 weeks after mum had passed away)

Mum passed away in 1995 and Dad remarried in March the following year.  A little earlier he was diagnosed with cancer.  He went through Chemo which slowed it down a bit but made him sick.  When I was in hospital in Nov 1996 waiting for our first child to be born, Dad was in another hospital across town.  He’d ring me from his hospital bed and we’d compare the food menu, his was always better than mine!  He got out of hospital in time to come visit me and meet his granddaughter. 

I was with him in December 1998 when he was told how long he had before cancer took over.  I asked him how he felt about it, he replied, “Me feel?”

He was in hospital on New Years Day, he told every nurse that came into his room, “This year I’m going to Glory!”  He was not afraid to die, he was confident he knew where he was going. 

A few days before he died, he called us all into his room as he wanted to celebrate communion for the last time on earth.  He hadn’t talked much for a day or two as he slipped in and out of consciousness, but after communion he started to sing in his normal LOUD voice!  I’d love to be able to remember the song he sung so if any family remember please leave a comment for me.

He also talked to each of us children (actually we were adults!) individually as he wanted to make sure there was nothing between us and him before he died. 

That was just over 15 years ago … while pregnant with Jessica who is very much like her grandpa!

Miss you DAD!

me and dad

Dad and I on a Christmas holiday in 1969

Monday, 1 July 2013

Light at the end of the tunnel

Sometimes the tunnel can be extremely long but there is always a light at the end.


This lifestyle of travel is an interesting one; you get time to think!  Thinking can be dangerous! 

Roll back the calendar about 2 years … we’d recently lost a very precious and much wanted baby daughter, Serenity.  As a family we were reeling with the shock.  Grief affects everyone differently.  Some of us just wanted to be depressed; some of us wanted to do something different; some of us just wanted our old life back! 

One day, while camping in Goomeri, Jasmine and I went to buy some food and noticed a sign on the shop window about a festival coming up and that they were looking for entertainers.  I knew Jasmine wanted to perform, but was not sure that the timing was right!  We sent off an email anyway and when they emailed back they festival was keen to have us!  So the Superdog Trick Show now had it’s first public performance!

Preparing for this performance gave us all a much needed focus and the show went well and was a success.

After this there was not much to look forward to, and not knowing how to get any more performances we drifted.   We picked up one or two shows the following year, but is was very slow going with not much positive response to our emails. 

This year, we decided to push things along a bit by emailing some different agricultural shows. We decided to focus on the smaller, inland country shows and hey presto! we had success! 

At the show in Winton, QLD we met another performer (Roy Maloy) who has been in the entertainment industry for many years.  He gave us a few pointers and most of all believed in us!  It is amazing how having someone who believes that what you are doing is actually ok, can boost the confidence of the whole family. 

We now have a fresh focus, a fresh determination to be the best Dog Trick Show you will ever see.  The girls (who are the trainers) have been inspired with confidence that what they are doing is worth it.  That they can and have performed well and that the audience loves it!

So the light at the end of the tunnel just got brighter!

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Mt Isa Show

What an epic weekend!  Our tent is very quiet tonight; after two day’s of performing three shows a day everyone is beat! It is a healthy tired after spending most of the day outside in the sun doing lots of walking, running and talking.

We had the privilege of once again working alongside Australian Circus King – Roy Maloy.  Roy holds six world records in circus including walking on stilts 76ft high and also laying on a bed of nails and having a 1/2 ton block of ice lowered on him with a forklift, then smashed with sledge hammers! 

We first met Roy at the Winton Show where Chana assisted in one of his performances; this time Jessica got her moment of fame!


In appreciation for her help, Roy made her a balloon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle!








The girls and their dogs did some awesome shows!  Everyone we spoke to loved it even those who were not “dog people” said it was very entertaining and great to watch.



































And our crowd ….


Blogger Labels: tent,Australian,Circus,Maloy,world,records,sledge,Winton,moment,fame,Teenage,Mutant,Ninja,Turtle,performances

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Superdog Trick Show Again!

Life has been so busy that this blog has had to take a back seat!   Last time I updated here we’d not long sold the bus and bought the Hiace Van!  Now that was way to long ago!  We still have the van and the tents.  Are we enjoying it?  Well, some days we do and some days we don’t, just like the bus!  It is often harder to find a place to set up as we now need grass so if we cannot find a place to set up we have to sleep all 9 of us and the dogs in the van!  We have done it a few times, but it’s not the best nights sleep.  The kids sleep well, but us adults are not as flexible as we once were and a night in a squishy seat takes it’s toll! <insert creaky sounds>   When we do find a place to set up it’s usually a place we can stay for a few days.  Setting up and packing down every day is not my idea of fun! 


This is us camping at the Winton Showgrounds where we performed with the dogs. 

Speaking of the dog shows … don’t forget to check out the Superdogs facebook page and give it a “like”.  They are doing really well and getting lots of positive comments from all who see them performing or practicing.  At the Winton Show even the other entertainers took time out to watch them saying they’d never seen anything like it before!  Another stall holder told us that everyone he spoke to was either coming in to see the dogs or leaving talking about them! 


This is the first performance at the Winton Show, by the last time we had a much bigger crowd! Exciting stuff!

























I was going to put a video on here, but seeing as I’m writing this outside reception area it’ll have to wait. Or check out the Superdog Website which has links to all the videos.

Not sure when I’ll get to update here again, but we regularly put updates and photos on our facebook page so if you haven’t “liked” it yet, we’d love to have you join us.

I’ll leave you with a bit of humour to brighten your day.

dog humour

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Why the Change

Several people have asked us why the change?  Why did we go from an all under one roof 38 foot ex school bus to a Hiace commuter and tents.  Well, here’s the blog post where I endeavour to answer those questions!

Let me go back 4 years when we bought the bus … we’d done 1 year in a Jayco Eagle towed by an 8 seater Falcon station wagon!  When we got pregnant with Jireh, it was time to upgrade our rig to something we’d all fit in to travel.  At the time a bus seemed the best option.  Michael got his MR license, bought the bus and moved into it all in the same week! 

Fast forward 1 year, we’d had enough of the bus!  We found it restrictive on where we could go, it was costly to keep on the road and Michael did not like driving it!  We put it up for sale at that time with no interest at all! Over the past three years we’ve periodically advertised it with varying interest.

Our decision to change rigs was not a sudden one!  We’ve talked about it for years and made lists of the pro’s and con’s of different types of rig.  Each time the decision was the bus had to go!

Another reason we decided to change was to facilitate our oldest daughter with getting her drivers license.  As she approached her 16th birthday late last year we knew the time had come that The Auroara needed to sell!  So with renewed effort we advertised her again.  We had a lot of interest while we were based in Newcastle, but nothing came to fruition.

We’d almost resigned ourselves to the fact that it would never sell unless we dropped the price ridiculously low!  We talked about it and decided that the price we had it at was the lowest we were willing to advertise her for.  Then the now new owner came, looked and willingly gave us the price we had asked for!

So recapping on our reasons for the change:

1.  We didn’t like driving it

2.  The cost of driving it

3.  We want to explore different, not bus friendly places

4.  We want to facilitate our oldest daughter to get her drivers license

If you have any other questions we are happy to answer them.

wild life

Thursday, 14 March 2013


I asked a question of Facebook recently “Change is good, right?”  Most people said it was and that one could not move forward without it.  One person said that if it was change for changing sake then it was not good.

On Monday, 4 March 2013 a guy rang up asking if we still had our bus for sale and could he come and look at it please.  A couple of hours later, he’d looked at the bus, told us he’d buy it and given us a $500 deposit! We’ve had the bus advertised off and on for about 3 years, had a lot of tyre kickers, a few fraudsters and then finally 1 genuine buyer!  It took us all by surprise!

The bus (The Auroara) has been home for four years.  Jireh was bought home from the hospital to the bus.  Serenity was born in the bus … so there were many memories.  When it hit home that she was really sold, it was a bit emotional for us all!  There wasn’t much time to dwell on it though as we now had to source another vehicle!

We’d been looking on Gumtree and Ebay consistently and knew of one that sounded like a go, but it was in Newcastle (we were in Carcoar Dam).  We phoned about it and found out it was gone!  Now what?  The new owner wanted to take possession of The Auroara as soon as possible.  No pressure at all!!

We spent the rest of the day scouring the internet and found a couple that sounded sort of interesting.  I emailed them both and next morning heard back from one of them (still waiting to hear back from the other one!). We phoned him up, made a time to view it, packed up the bus and left.    We arrived in the small town of Bowning, NSW a bit later than we’d expected, had a quick look at the van and decided we’d wait till morning to test drive it.

Morning came and everyone was up early excited to be test driving a car!  It drove nicely, looked ok on the outside and inside so we put a deposit on it! 


The next couple of days were spent sorting out the “stuff” in the bus and dealing with the RTA!

On Friday at about 1pm we met up with the guy who’d put the deposit on the Auroara to do the change over.  His wife said to him, “Do you realise you are buying these children’s home?”  Was sad yet exciting to see her drive away.


With mixed emotions we watch what had been our home for 4 years drive away without us!

Our new van the “Puddle Jumper”, was waiting across the road.  When all the formalities were over, the kids all piled in, we drove across the road and collected out stuff that we’d left under a tree!

Adrenalin was running high as we drove off to start the next chapter in the life of Wheel Education.