It’s been awhile since I posted a family update and truthfully, so much has happened that I barely know where to start, which is why I haven’t written. You know what it’s like when you leave a job till later on and then it seems like it becomes bigger than Ben Hur and you don’t know where to start? That’s how I’ve been with blogging. But like my husband is fond of saying, “How does one eat an elephant? One bite at a time”.

We had a wonderful break over the Christmas period. Much to my disappointment, we didn’t have our typical softball holiday and I missed it terribly. We have been doing the softball trip for nearly 10 years now to watch Miss A represent the state in the National Softball Tournament but alas, this year she was too old for the U/19s and whilst she does play in the Open Women’s team they go away every month for an extended weekend and it’s just not the same for John and I. So we stayed home this time. However I noticed some good things from staying home. While we love going away for a week or two, we did notice how we felt much more rested. This isn’t a surprise as I often feel like I need a rest after going away on holiday – they’re such hard work 🙂

We also have developed a few new hobbies in the family. John has always loved watching and studying about the stars. He has always wanted a telescope but it’s just never been a priority. Until now. It all started after we watched the very interesting DVD, The Star of Bethlehem. John started researching telescopes, sold a few things on ebay, and then we bought a second hand telescope. It all sounds so easy and uncomplicated but let me assure you it was anything but! John has a tendency to get slightly obsessive with his interests and passions. This hobby is no different. Except for the fact that Master C also started showing an interest. Oh, I neglected to mention that John’s initial interest is in building his own telescope! Not, one is never content to simply purchase one and use it. One must know how and why it works and endeavour to build one’s own! Of course. However, in order to fan the flames of interest with Master C it was thought that we could purchase a ready made telescope for him to use now whilst together they set about building one. This building of one is a work in progress- starting with researching and collecting information.

We had many family get together’s over the holiday break and some of these included the children’s *friends*. Yes, it’s no longer just John, myself and four or five kids but when we all get together there are now ten of us! And it’s great fun. I love having everyone over for a meal. We also had a day trip to Victor Harbor where I got to practice a little of my new hobby. Photography! I have been so inspired by my dear friend, Urban Daisy and her photo blog that I decided to pick up our family camera and start to learn about it. Whilst I’ve been inspired by Urban Daisy’s blog I am motivated by my family. I want to learn how to take good photo’s of my children and one day, my grandchildren, God willing.

Over the past few months our family dynamics have changed quite dramatically (which naturally happens as the children get older anyway) and this has led me to sit back and re-evaluate some of my activities. We have some ‘okay’ photo’s of our family but we don’t have any real lovely ones. I want to change that. So learning about my camera and how to take photo’s is the first step. John wants to save and buy me a groovy camera but I’m quite content with the little one we have for now. It’s a good starter camera (Fujifilm FinePix S8000fd) and I can always upgrade later on down the track. For now I have no idea what I am doing. I am learning- teaching myself something new! And yes, I am having trouble with the technical side of things. I practice a few times per week, whenever I can really. I don’t have that natural knack of being able to naturally ‘frame’ my shots or get the best angles… I’m hoping that will come with practice. I’m also having difficulty in getting clear pictures… I need to learn more about the manual settings rather than the auto function. And lighting- I know it is so important but I need more practice. I’m really enjoying the Digital Photography School articles and getting a lot out of them. You can see some of my recent efforts in our kerugma photo album (2011) .

Regular readers may remember that we have lived in ten homes in the last 10 years, although living in this current home has put a halt to our record. What began as a one year posting has turned into a three year post. And we will be here at least for the next 3 years. So, for the first time in a long time I am beginning to garden again! I have prepared some of the ground in the backyard and will plant some vegetables and herbs and in the coming months I want to rip out the front garden and start from scratch again. Defence homes are so boring. Practical, but dull. I’ve been busy reading through my old gardening books and magazines, refreshing myself with all things mulchy and earthy 🙂

In January, Master J went on a two week promotion course with the Air Force cadets.  He passed well and has now been promoted! He’s also looking for a part time job so is considering not playing football this year.

Academics? Homeschool matters? Oh yes, that. I almost forgot. We are homeschoolers! 🙂 It seemed a shame to stop the delight directed learning that the boys (and John) were involved in just to get back to starting lessons so we didn’t! Once John went back to work, we slowly started a few lessons, easing back into our ‘working rhythm‘. Master J is enrolling in Open Access College as a home based student and once he settles into that I will post updates of what subjects he is doing. Master C is continuing on with his plan, much the same as last year. I didn’t quite get around to setting his schedule up on paper and he rather likes one so he amended the one from last year and set up his own! I’ll post his schedule in a separate post.

Miss R celebrated her 18th birthday in January. She doesn’t live with us at home but it was lovely to have a small gathering of family and friends over for a BBQ.

Miss A is still as busy as ever. No, even more so! She has decided that she doesn’t want to work as a Personal Trainer at the moment. She simply loves being a Barista and doing her Latte Art work. Between work and softball there is hardly any time left but she is managing to find some to spend with a ‘special someone’ in her life.

Well, that’s about it for now. The post that I just had to get out of the way so that I can start blogging again.