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More Radio

Yesterday I was contact by the lovely Fiona from ABC Mid North Coast to do another radio interview.

This time the topic was mobiles, computer and TVs in bedrooms of very young children. Recent statistics show children as young as four having their own phones, texting friends and interrupting sleep patterns because of the need to stay connected. ( What the....? ) We also spoke about the difficulties and dangers of kids having unsupervised access to computers and televisions.

I believe that there are no rules when it comes to parenting. What may seem right for one family may be unsuitable for another. Does an eight year old need a mobile phone ? My first thought was "of course not", but I am sure that if my child was in a shared parenting arrangement, for example, then further consideration would be given.

I guess the issue is not so much the phones or the computers/televisions in bedrooms it is the parenting that goes with. Using television/computer games as a babysitter or buying a mobile phone because of a nagging child, or an attempt to keep up with a peer group seems to say more about parenting than about the phone or computer to me.

Personally, I limit access to particular things because I think childhood is sacred! There is plenty of time to grow up and I certainly don't want to hurry the process. I don't want a tv programme (that airs in a 'family' time slot of 7pm) highlighting issues of divorce, drug taking, teen pregnancy, suicide, domestic violence to be seen by my children at this stage. There will be so much exposure to those themes in 'real' life before too much longer for them, that I don't think they need to experience a 'simulated' version of the issues just yet! I will try and hold out a little longer.

Having said that, my strategy is more 'distraction' than anything else. I don't 'ban' things, I just subtly offer alternatives or make other things seem more attractive.

I am sure as my boys get older this will become harder and harder, but for now, I will extend the joys of childhood for as long as possible.


Confession Time

My name is Michelle. I have a coloured paper addiction.

It has been two hours since my last crafting session.

My addiction is serious.

It is starting to interfere with my daily functioning.

It is preventing me from blogging as regularly as I should.... and from.........ironing!

Must.....look.......away.......must not be seduced...by the .......beautiful

colours.............must......not........... ( well maybe a little bit won't hurt.........)

Garden Update

I can't believe after the awful weather we have been having that our garden is still standing! At one stage last week I looked out through the rain covered windows and was sure these plants were horizontal. The wind was incredible, not to mention all the rain and flooding.
The carrots here are going strong and my experimental onions ( to the right) are really coming up well. I haven't grown onions before so I hope they are going to be a real hit as they are one vegetable we use all the time. Behind that you can see the potatoes and broad beans coming along really well.

Looking at this little area today, it seems as though things are recovering. Thank goodness. I have a lot of seedlings that I have raised and am hoping to put into their new homes this week, but I couldn't put them into pure mud!

These two little tomato plants are going quite well, considering. They are little chili plants that are coming up around them. A friend around the corner from us had the most beautiful huge tomatoes all organically grown and she had chili plants practically wrapped around them. As you can guess, there was not a bug to be seen. As such, we are trialing that method with these two plants.

... and of course, how could I forget my lovely ladies that always do their job so well. Here they are turning scraps into eggs. How delightful!



Tomorrow it will be our youngest son's 8th Birthday. I can't believe it!

Yesterday we took a group of kids up to Port Macquarie to spend the day at the indoor rock climbing centre. The trip was pretty slow because we have had such awful weather. At least it was patchy. We were ready to cancel the trip if it didn't clear up a little because the last place you want to be in the rain is the Pacific Highway.

There is a lot of flooding around at the moment. Although the rivers have broken their banks around here, there are no threats to houses. Unfortunately that was not the case a little further north. Kempsey and Grafton were being asked to evacuate and we listened to the local ABC broadcasting emergency instructions all the way up. The highway was blocked just north of Port Macquarie - so there was very little traffic.

Once we got to the centre the boys climbed the walls ( must have been all those lollies! ) and also had a game in the laser skirmish maze. The day went quite quickly really - I know I was exhausted after holding up seven young climbers all day, not to mention the blisters on my hands!

Driving back, number 2 son was chatting away all grown up with his friends when he suddenly tapped me on the shoulder and lent forward and touched two fingers together with me. This is our secret family ritual. It dates back to when our eldest was too little to talk properly and used to reach out two fingers and say ' sou sou' instead of 'love you'. It became a habit that whenever we were going anywhere we would touch fingers and say 'sou sou' to each other.

When youngest son did it in secret so his friends wouldn't know what he was doing, I thought he must have had a truly wonderful day - although if you ask him he will day ' yeah, it was good' in a really cool, laid back sort of way. ...... after all, that's what you do when you are eight years old!


Changing Seasons

Autumn really snuck up on me this year. We were swimming, water-skiing and applying sunscreen right up until about 3 weeks ago. That's when I saw the first red/yellow leaf drop to the ground. As soon as that leaf hit, everything started to change. Step by step I noticed that nature had begun preparing for the change of season and I instinctively started doing the same.

Don't you think it is funny how we naturally follow the course of nature - although we rarely stop and think about it. The biggest changes for me seem to be at the beginning of spring and the beginning of autumn. In the spring time we start to open up the house again. The front door starts letting the sun in through the day, the windows are opened up wide to let as much warmth in as possible and you feel the need to clean everything out and start afresh. It reminds me of a flower coming into bloom and slowly opening each of it's petals.

Autumn is the opposite. The flower starts to close and tuck itself in tight to weather the cooler months. The jumpers come out, the socks go on and the snuggle rugs are put out on the lounge. In our house the change of season means that we put blankets on each of the beds and even an electric blanket, ready to warm the beds before getting in each night.

Each winter I add the old pink blanket ( pictured above) to our bed. It is one that belonged to hubbie's mum and dad. It is so old, it even has their surname (and ours) embroidered in the corner. I love things that stand the test of time. They seem to bring their story with them!

In the garden there has been a period of nothingness. The last of the summer crops come out and the winter ones go in. Until they emerge, it looks like a heap of dirt with nothing to show! Lately things have started to come to life. There are potatoes, broad beans, peas, beetroot, carrots, broccoli, onions and still loads of celery, spinach and a few different herbs. I am just hoping the garden survives this awful weather we are having. We have had very wild damaging winds and about 71mm of rain in the last four days. Once again the back yard is completely flooded. This morning I had to go out a dig a trench to let the water out of the chook pen as they only had one little island to stand on !
Do you like the roses pictured above ? They are from my garden. I have them beside my bed because they make a room so pleasant and lovely and their smell is beautiful! So, does he love me, or does he love me not ? Considering he gave them to me from our own garden...... I'd say he loves me !

April Theme: Re-organise and Transition

In the Southern Hemisphere, April is in Autumn.  The days here are still warmish, but there is a sneaking whisper in the wind. That whisper ...