Tom Tom


lotus tom tom square zeke

Mid last year we adopted a lovely black and white cat called Tom Tom. He previously belonged to a nearby family and Ryan and Lotus had often played with him in the street when the family suggested we could keep him if we wanted. Ryan thought he would make a great pet but i was reluctant for some time until one day Lotus and I met him on one of our afternoon walks. He seemed to like our company so much that he half followed us (and Lotus half carried him) for the rest of the walk and then all the way home.


At home we gave him some food and let him out so he could go home but he just came back – again and again! He seemed to be choosing us and Lotus was so happy to have a pet that I finally agreed to keep him. Since then we have all really enjoyed getting to know Tom Tom. He is such a gentle, playful and curious cat! He is very tolerant of Lotus, loves chasing toys, climbing the tree with Ryan and being on or near the trampoline with Lotus.

ryan lotus tom tom

He is also surprisingly interested in water and likes to play with the bath water, investigate the toilet bowl, watch the washing machine fill up or help me with the dishes! He still often follows us for a walk whether its down the creek or up the street – sometimes even in the rain!

tom tom rain napa 2lotus tom tom road










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Andy’s big adventure


A few weeks ago I went to Sydney to visit my sister for her birthday. It was my first proper holiday away since Lotus was born and Lotus really wanted me to take one of her teddies with me. I choose Andy bear and he proved to be a wonderful travelling companion. He was very easy going and did not complain even once! He was also very happy to be photographed and I certainly had a lot of fun photographing him. Here are a few highlights from our adventure.

We did lots and lots of walking exploring some of Sydney’s beautiful coastline:


Coogee beach


Rock hopping below the cliffs

andi on the rocks

Andy and I on the rocks above shark bay.


Hanging out with my big brother and sister


Sydney’s colourful street art!



Sad to be leaving…


…but happy to be home!


I think Andy caught the travel bug!

I wonder where his next adventure will be?



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Home schooling…


Today was our very first day of homeschooling and it has gone encouragingly well.  We started the day by Lotus choosing a special letter and number for the day. Lotus decided on the letter B and the number 1 and whilst we chatted a little about the number 1 and some basic addition, much of our conversation and activities throughout the day related back to the letter B. First we collected small objects from around the house that all started with the letter B then assembled them on a tray and took turns to close our eyes whilst the other person took an object away and then guess what object was missing. This progressed into swapping objects around and guessing the changes. Lotus has enjoyed this kind of game for some time now but it was the first time we did it with a special focus on a certain letter.  I also wrote out all the names and together we sounded out the words and matched them to their objects on the tray. We also turned the word matching game into a treasure hunt for larger B objects both in and around the house.


At some stage during the morning Lotus became very busy working on a birthday banner for her ponies.

busy lotus

We finished the banner together and played birthdays with lots of present giving and imaginary cake eating alongside a healthy morning tea.

birthday banner

After the ponies birthday Lotus set up a beach day holiday in the car port…


At the beach we bought imaginary ice creams and went swimming, surfing, snorkling, shell collecting and whale watching.

surfing lotus

We finished the day with a short bike ride in the beautiful afternoon light and are looking forward to the rest of our homeschooling week which should include a variety of activities such as painting, cooking, gardening, reading books, talking, singing, dancing, playing the piano, spending time with animals, going to the library, more bike riding, being out in nature and of course meeting up with friends and other home schoolers.

Should be lots of fun!DSC07343


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Up the tree and down the creek


ryan lotus swings

One of the things we love about our new house is the beautiful big fig tree in the front yard. It provides shade for Lotus’s swing set and trampoline and is also home to lots of little birds that are always chirping away in the background. Just yesterday we met a possum sleeping in one of its hollows. Ryan plans to eventually build a tree house in it but for the meantime has set up 2 rope swings, a tyre swing, a hammock and 50 m of marine rope strung through out the tree which is helping Lotus branch out in her tree climbing capabilities.


If Ryan and Lotus are not tree climbing, swinging or jumping on the trampoline then they are usually off down the creek which is just at the end of our street….

ryan lotus thumbs up 2DSC06000

The creek was pretty dry for much of the year but since we have had regular rain over the past couple of months there has been a decent amount of water for paddling in. The best place to cool off on a hot day is actually under the bridge where it is surprisingly deep even though the bridge appears so low. Whilst the creek near our house is a great place to cool off it lacks a nice flat shady patch of ground for stretching out, relaxing and picnicing so we sometimes adventure further a field to other local swimming spots where we can picnic, play, explore, read books and colour in for hours on end…


How are you staying cool this summer?







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Its been quite a while…

Its been a quite a while since i last posted and of course a lot has changed over the past two years. The biggest change of all is that in March this year we moved to a new home. There are lots of wonderful things about our new home and the location is definitely one of them. Although we are much more car dependent out here in the country it is very beautiful and peaceful. Our lovely big verandahs look out onto green rolling hills  and the main sounds we hear are cows mooing and lawn mowers mowing. verandah

Our block also has a few already established fruit trees including passionfruit, paw paw, lime, lemon, orange and a pomegranet. We had heaps of passionfruit a few months ago so were making passionfruit muffins, pies, yoghurt, cordial and iceblocks! I didnt get any photos though but did take these of Lotus and the pomegranets:


lotus pomegranet

We have been a bit slow on getting a veggie gardening established but are already starting to enjoy some brasilian spinach, parsley, tomatoes and cucumbers!


Eventually we will put in more fruit trees, natives and veggies but in the mean time we are a bit too busy enjoying lots of other things about our new home – but i will share some of those with you next time 🙂






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DSC00413 DSC03440DSC03537DSC04499DSC04474DSC03616Over the past few months Lotus has become increasingly interested in and adept at doing puzzles. She can now do some 12 piece puzzles all by herself and enjoys doing larger ones with assistance. Here are just a few of the many puzzles she has been working on. Some of them we have bought new, some we borrow from the library and others we have found second hand in op shops. Lotus is very much into “trucks and diggers” at the moment so the transport puzzles are a favourite that she can accomplish on her own. She also enjoys doing the children of the world puzzle with assistance as she loves hearing us talk about all the different children when it is finished. 

What are your children’s favourite puzzles?

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Strawberry lane

DSC04427Over the past few weeks we have been enjoying picking fresh strawberries from a local farm on Strawberry Lane in Eumundi. It has been a wonderful experience being out in the beautiful countryside and seeing first hand how strawberries are grown on a large scale. Its amazing to see how many workers are involved in picking, packing and maintaining the strawberry plants. Paid pickers use curious three wheeled bicycles to carry multiple trays of strawberries and to have some where shady to sit whilst they work. 

Although the farm is not spray free I appreciate that they try to spray as little as possible and do not allow people to pick strawberries for a few days after spraying. I still prefer to wash my strawberries before eating but Lotus is free to eat as many as she likes out in the field. Then we take the rest up to the packing shed for weighing at $10 per kilo.  DSC04275DSC04392DSC04310DSC04400

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Snow Pea Teepee


About two months ago we made Lotus a Snow Pea Teepee.  We used some old pvc pipes and string to make the frame and Lotus helped plant a combination of snow pea seeds and home grown snow pea seedlings around the base. I initially put some pavers in for stepping stones to avoid trampling the plants but Lotus did not take any notice of them so now we have some planks of wood to walk on. Lotus seems to really enjoy the wooden paths as they are a bit like balancing beams.  About two weeks ago the snow peas started to flower and now over the past week we have been snacking on fresh crunchy snow peas!  It has been such a success that I am already planning to make a bigger one for next year!


pee teepee 2 pea teepee

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Going for a little wander…


Lotus often asks to go for a little wander down to the dam. She will happily spend a long time there: climbing on the rocks, squelching in the mud and throwing sticks and stones into the water. Its a lovely place to spend time together talking about what sinks and floats and watching how even the smallest stone sends ripples out far across the water.

Sometimes the guinea fowl like to follow us on our adventures…DSC04021DSC04004Near the dam there are lots of fruit trees that Lotus is always keen to check on and find out what is flowering or fruiting. Recently we have been enjoying star fruits and hill gooseberries. The hill gooseberries are very different to the cape gooseberries. In fact they are a lot more similar to a blueberry only with furry skin and lots of seeds. It took Lotus a few visits to the hill gooseberry bush before she started to enjoy them. hill gooseberry 2DSC03970DSC04047

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At the library

DSC02295We love our local library and try to visit regularly to stock up on piles of books and generally just enjoy the cheerful child friendly space.

DSC02777Usually the very first thing Lotus wants to do is head out into the courtyard for a drink and a play with the child sized water fountain. The courtyard is also a favourite place for having a picnic, running around and balancing along the garden wall.

DSC02793Back inside there is some very important shopping, cooking and dishes to be done…

DSC02308…and lots of books to be read.

toy libraryThere is also a small toy library we can borrow from. We really appreciate this as it adds a bit of diversity to our at home activities without the extra expense or clutter.  We have enjoyed some lovely wooden peg puzzles, pound and roll balls, a caterpillar lacing apple and even some aboriginal animal art matching cards and dominoes sets. However the wooden snail was Lotus’s favourite for many many months. She always chose it – even if we had only just returned it! I felt like we were stopping other children from enjoying it too so Grandma Rikki kindly gave Lotus another pull along snail for christmas.

snailLotus’s very own pull along snail has been much enjoyed and now Lotus is happy to borrow other toys such as this magnetic pen and ball train.

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