Monday, 31 December 2012

2012: Our Year in Review

I sobbed my way through January in anticipation of our beautiful firstborn's departure to boarding school.  And though those first days and weeks were tough on everybody, we could not be more proud of Sarah's incredible attitude towards her schooling and her amazing work ethic which have seen her come through her first year with flying colours.  I am grateful to still have three in primary school this coming year, Sarah's move into Year 9 should be nowhere near as traumatic and I will enjoy every moment of Jessie's last year at home.   

We enjoyed Sarah's first weekend at home in February and celebrated Jessie's eleventh birthday.  And it rained.

We received most of our rain in March, attended a show ball, baked and ran.

April saw our local show host a Brahman Feature Show, cattle sent to the meatworks, the first weaner steers taken off and the last of the branding.

We excitedly headed to town in May for Beef 2012, the triennial beef exposition showcasing all our industry has to offer.  More weaning took place, more rain (the two so often seem to go hand in hand) and Matthew and I enjoyed a few days in the west judging at Alpha and Emerald Shows.

June saw a teenager join our ranks, I enjoyed my annual trip to the races with the local ladies, and the two older girls and I attended our first ever Junior Beef Show in less than pleasant weather conditions.

As the wet Winter continued, we took our last round of weaners off in July, participated in school sports, the CQ Carcase Competition and I managed to pull a bogged feed truck carrying 24 tonne of grain out of our front paddock despite the disbelief of the driver.

My baby turned 8 in August, we fenced, made hay and discovered hokey pokey cheesecake while the first calves of the season started hitting the ground.

September saw school holidays upon us, embryo transfer calves being born, Mama Pig had piglets, the older girls and I ran in our first fun (?) run and we bought a couple of Brangus bulls.

The first week of October always heralds the world's largest bull sale ... Brahman Week.  Wallace and Jessie attended school camp at North Keppel Island, Sarah started rowing and my mum gave us a terrible scare with a very serious health issue related to her Crohn's disease.  Oh, and I turned yet another year older.

With Melbourne Cup behind you, the next stop's always Christmas.  Four pigs went into the cold room in November, the smell of smoking hams wafted through the house and the kids and I enjoyed the solar eclipse.  Molasses continued to go out to hungry cows, we attended our first secondary school presentation night and we experienced a small hail storm.  Most excitedly, we collected Sarah from school for the last time this year.

We started December with a quick trip south to catch up with Matthew's family.  Sarah was able to attend all the younger kids' end-of-year school events, we painted her bedroom, branded some calves, have enjoyed a couple of quick trips to the beach, caught up with lovely friends, had two male birthdays in the house and ate far too much over Christmas. And of course we welcomed Ruby's beautiful pups.

Wishing everybody a wonderful 2013.

We are most definitely hoping for a wet start.  As I'm prone to do at this time of year, after over-doing Christmas and feeling a lot like this little tyke, 

I'm planning a healthy 2013.
My main hope to run more and eat less.

And I'm starting that today.

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Summertime Blues

The big fella's had a bit of a fight on his hands pulling me out of holiday/Christmas mode.  Running heifers through the yards for needling and dipping helped.  I retaliated the following day, organising a day trip on Grandad's new boat.

There was snorkelling,




Jessie pulling up a stripey, cod and a grassy sweetlip, 

swimming and snorkelling off Monkey Beach (South Keppel)

some ipod listening,

as well as a drive-by past XXXX Island (formerly Pumpkin Island),

We're so fortunate to have these beautiful islands right on our doorstep.
Hopefully there'll be time for another trip these holidays.

Thursday, 27 December 2012

A Room Make-Over

With Sarah commencing her school holidays two weeks before her younger siblings, we set about a little painting and re-decorating of her and Jessie's bedroom.  Fuschia walls replaced with a far more subtle 'beige' also known as Taubmans Martini.  Fortuitously, my builder parents have been saving leftover Martini from several building sites, which will be the colour of choice for the entire house, hopefully to be completed sometime this year.

An old pine bookcase given a lick of red paint by the girls.

The hot pink and white bunks experiencing a little Antique White.
But my favourite transformation by far:

This pine drawer/door combo bought when Jessie was born and now housing tween/teen clothing.

A roll of cheap paintable Bunnings wallpaper, some Ebay door furniture and voila.

With wallpaper stuck in place with some spray-on adhesive, painting commenced.

What's not to love about a paint colour called Afternoon Storm?

The untidy wallpaper edging to be hidden by some narrow timber moulding.

Measured, cut and then painted with primer first, then a high-gloss appliance white (both in spray cans).

And glued into place.

Thankfully I've never been accused of being a perfectionist, for if you were to look closely you'd find paint streaks and gaps.  We call it rustic.

This bedside table also received a coat of afternoon storm.

No special effects though, other than sanding the knobs back to reveal some of the white undercoat.
Truly, I meant to do that.

We've still got curtains to sew, and a ruffle along the bottom of the bunks to hide the spare mattress underneath,  artwork and photos to hang, a rug to find. 

But most hard to believe is the still constantly present mess of strewn clothes on the floor.

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Christmas Puppy Love

The tip-toeing of youngsters could be heard before 5 Christmas morning.  The discussion regarding a 6 am rise, subsequent feeding of animals, coffees for Mum and Dad, all before present opening at 7 obviously dismissed in the excitement.  

The sound of the screen door closing suggesting they may be off to feed the hungry hordes.
Then the distant cry of "Puppies".  "Puppies".  "Puppies", reached us. 

And we too, were bolt upright, scrambling from bed, searching for workboots and racing for the dog cages, pyjama-clad.

To meet Ruby's most precious Christmas gift to us ... six babies ... three males, three females.

Not due until the 29th, we could have saved a pretty penny on Christmas shopping had we known how the timing would unfold. 

Children not as keen as would usually be the case to head for town to enjoy Christmas with my family.

Home again now, I'm not expecting to sight children for at least another five weeks.


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