Thursday, November 10, 2011


I can NOT believe what a year it has been??? And almost over too! The past couple of months have seen us celebrate Madson's 6th birthday, move home - and not just around the corner but to a lovely little nook of the Gold Coast Hinterland, AND have a baby!!! Not much at all. Seriously - I only just now feel like I'm finally starting to get some grip on life again and baby is almost 2 months old!!!!

So I am closing this bog and starting a new one to document our new way of life. If you'd like access to our new blog pop on over to or just shoot me an email on and I'll add you to the list. Some of you I might just add myself anyway! :) :) :)

And here are some final pictures from the past few months...

Madson's 6th birthday...

Unfortunately he was super sick on the day, so while his friends were running around at the park he was snuggled on Nanny's lap the whole of his party - poor thing?

So we felt we needed to celebrate again when he was feeling much better - this is a happier face!

In August we went on our first family holiday - down on the Gold Coast - it was AWESOME!!! We loved it and so did the kids. It was too cold to swim but we enjoyed going for bike/scooter rides/walks along the beach and took the kids to PutPut on one of the days - needless to say they loved it!

Here's mummy and McKinley attempting a hole - poor kid was severely handicapped by her mother!

Madson really enjoyed himself and did pretty well...

As did West in his own special way!!!! hehehehe

This was their crazy faces at the end of the course - needless to say they would LOVE to go again!

Soon after that we spent a Saturday morning at the KP cliffs helping out with an Amazing Race for the Youth of ward - it was AWESOME and so well organised!!!!!! Our kids had great fun running around and helping out at the pit stops Ystyn and I were responsible for...

One of the challenges was to drink a whole ice cream tub of jelly with a straw - West and Madson are having a go with some left overs here - I LOVE this photo so so much!

 And then we come to the arrival of our beautiful baby girl Emersyn. She arrived on Tuesday 20th September at 3.40am. She is absolutely precious and the older kids love her to bits - literally! There is nothing on earth as magical as a newborn baby, sweetly sleeping on your chest, softly breathing. She's already almost 2 months old and is starting to smile and recognise us now and its just the best thing in the world.

This is my favourite photo of the few we have taken - somehow its much more difficult to get the camera out 4th time around - perhaps that more to do with the fact that an SLR is HUMUNGOUS in comparison to the small point and shoot we used to own...I MUST take more photo's of her.

So there you have it.

I have pictures of our new home and adventures on the new blog, so if you're interested in keeping up with the Francis household come check that out...

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I am still recovering from all our family festivities last week - would it horrify you if I was to say I am still in my pyjama's at 12.30pm??? :) Its school holidays - I figure I'm allowed :) :) :)

I'm not quite ready to do a full write up, but thought I would share some of my favourite photos from the week...

I'll be back to hopefully share some photo's of the Cowboy Party we had - my younger sister painted this AMAZING photo booth with Woody and Jessie which was the highlight of the night, but unfortunately our camera was awhol and all the photo's from the night are on my older sister's point and shoot which is now in NSW. So - I will be back with those! :)

Hopefully my Dad had a really great time, and felt all the love we were trying to show through our efforts - we do love you lots and lots and lots Dad, and hope you had a wonderful wonderful birthday! xxx
Now to start thinking about Mum's 60th next year? sigh. Tired already! hehehehhee

Sunday, June 19, 2011


What a week! We've ALL been sick at some point over the past week - Madson started it with chills and fevers on Monday and then Ystyn came home from school on Tuesday and went straight to bed and didn't leave it till Friday morning when he forced himself to go back to work, and I came down with it Wednesday and am still in bed, and West and McKinley have alternated between temperatures and coughing and even a little of the vomits. Its been a trying week. We've never had the experience of both Ystyn and I being sick at the same time - usually its one or the other and there's always someone around to attend to the kids, but not this week. This week Ystyn and I have lain side by side in bed, coughing and spluttering and trying as best we can to ignore the bickering or complaining coming from the lounge room of wherever the kids have congregated.

A yuck week. One I hope we don't ever have to repeat. We've been so blessed though with such kind people dropping off meals and medecines - I'm so embarrased to admit that my medicine cupboard consists of Panadol (adult and childrens) and some Benedryl at the moment for coughs. That's it. No Vicks. No Vitamin C. Not even any Savlon cream or something similar. How bad is that!?!?!?! Thanks to our lovely home teachers it is now a little more extensive :).

Anyway, I don't have time to be sick this coming week. Its my dad's 60th birthday, and my sister and her family are driving up from NSW (have I mentioned this before???) and we've got some really fun family things planned and I DO NOT HAVE TIME TO BE SICK!

I just had to post these photo's of Ystyn's eye though - he played in a large soccer competition last weekend and took an elbow to the eye and this is how it looked yesterday (Saturday) a whole 6 days after it had occured, so you can imagine how pretty it looked the day after...

How pretty does that look!!!!!! It looks like make-up, but I promise it IS not! I've quite proud of this black eye - its pretty awesome and has looked so gruesome all week - add to that a hang-dog, sick-as expression and I've had one good looking face to look at all week. :) Love him lots and lots and lots.

And here's a couple of action shots from the weekend - he LOVES his soccer. I'm glad (most times) he has something he is sooooooo passionate about (believe me, I don't know anyone else who is as committed and insanely in love with something - if he could marry it he would!).

And lastly a photo of Madson from the same day - this is when he started getting sick, poor thing. Look at that face - so so sad. He just lay on the picnic rug or sat on my lap the whole time and shivered. Now that I've had the same thing I feel so bad for making him stay to watch his dad play, he really should have been home in bed.

Hope you're all well and healthy - seriously - being sick is HORRID! I will definitley have some fun fun photo's to share at the end of the week...I can't WAIT to be together with my family - I MUST be sick, that is not a sentiment I feel too frequently???? :) 

PS: All that excitement about cleaning to a new routine from last post???? Zip, nada, zilch has been done this week of course. I will have to get back on track next week after family have left - there's always a spanner to be thrown when you've just got a new routine down pat hey. Oh well, try, try again as they say! :)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Lessons I'm Learning

I've learnt a few lessons this week - or at least had a few thought provoking moments. There's a couple of things I struggle mammothly with - housekeeping and mothering! How ironic that all I have to do is add 'wife' to that list of things and it pretty much defines who I am at this time of my life. So feeling like I am FAILING at 2 out of 3 of my job descriptions has left me feeling pretty blah, to put it mildly.

Anyway - I've found a new blog that I am LOVING - I have started at the very beginning of her blog and am reading my way forward - check her out if you like - she has over 5000 followers so its safe to say she'd a pretty awesome read :) She has a mix of crafty and thoughtful stuff as well as a blog of parts of her life, and its pretty awesome to read certain sentences that indicate she's a member of the same church too...I always love finding other members out there.

So - I read a post last night that totally spoke to me - the topic for her blog readers to comment on was how they balance keeping house and caring for their children. I don't feel like I do either of these things well. At all. The first one - I hate housework. With a passion. I very rarely feel that sense of accomplishment that you're meant to feel at the end of a job well done. Why you might ask? Because, as soon as I complete one job I turn around and see the SEA of other jobs to be done. I feel OVERWHELMED almost all of the time. I cannot believe the amount of mess 3 little bodies are able to make in the shortest space of time. Sometimes I think we just have too much stuff and need to throw it all out. Sometimes I do throw it out. No matter what I do, I feel like I live in a dump. And the thought of cleaning it just makes me want to cry/sleep/run away/anything BUT clean it. And the thought of adding a 4th little body to all of this existing chaos is starting to really freak me out.

We actually had a really funny conversation at our kitchen table the other morning - Madson was talking about when we have the next baby (after this baby) and I was quick to say to him 'Oh honey, we won't be having another baby - this will be the last one'. Well, he wanted to know why we wouldn't be having any more babies, and I answered him 'because mummy finds it really hard to keep the house clean with our little family now and its going to get harder with more babies', and Ystyn piped into the conversation with 'don't worry Madson, mummy hasn't been able to keep the house clean with 1 baby, 2 babies or 3 babies, so it doesn't matter how many babies we have'. I burst into tears. He didn't mean it the way it sounded. Ystyn is THE kindest and most understanding husband when it comes to what does/doesn't get done around here. But it really hurt BECAUSE ITS TRUE!

So finding this post was just what I needed.

Reading some of the ideas given on this blog were really really good. I have tried a few of the ideas before, but the one that is really giving me some hope at the moment is to take one room/job a day and concentrate on doing that. So today I set myself the task of kitchen and laundery. And I did it. And I feel awesome! The bedrooms are still a pigstye, but that's tomorrow's job, and I know the bathroom and vacuuming and mopping are all going to get done before the week is out. And it means that I don't feel the usual guilt today that I normally feel or the same feeling of overwhemling hopelessness. So I'm really looking forward to seeing how the rest of the week pans out.

The second thing that really struck me from this post and subsequent comments was in answer to the 'how do you know if you're doing a good enough job as a parent'.

Seriously, I feel like I am one of the worst parents/mothers ever. I am always sending my kids away to play/entertain themselves and a hundred and one other things that I don't have the strength to admit to you. But one commentor said something like  she realised she needed to treat her children with more kindness. She realised that she was doing all the other things she needed to do as a mum - feed, clothe, bathe, read to, play with, but that sometimes she forgets to implement kindness. This really struck a cord. I guess I kind of come from the old school of 'tough love'. But I need to use more kindness. As much as I might feel overwhelmed and out of my depth, I love these little people more than anything else EVER and I need to work so much harder to be KIND to them. I tell them I love them all the time, but I also need to work harder at being KIND to them. Everyone deserves KINDNESS. And I can do better.  And that's an exciting thought - I can do better.

Thanks for bareing with me through such a long post - I just had to get some of my thoughts out of my head and down on 'paper'. Check out Cheri on i am momma hear me roar - she is serioulsy amazing! I'm so grateful for such inspiring people out there - I feel like I'm surrounded by so many amazing women who I learn so much from.
And you're one of them.

Sunday, June 5, 2011


WARNING: Following post may contain slightly weird and highly disturbing on at your own risk!

So - we're driving along to church this morning and I overhear a conversation Madson and West are having and tune in because I was sure I wasn't hearing right - but Madson was telling West that he couldn't breathe properly because something was stuck in his nose and he need the 'booger-pickers' to get it out. !?!?!?!?!?!?!?!??! So I asked Madson what the 'booger-pickers' were and he says 'you know mum, those things you use to get the boogers out of our noses'. Ahhh - the penny drops, and it is I - his mother - who has taught him the need/use/existence of such dreadful things as 'booger-pickers'!

See - I have a real thing for little kids and crusty boogers - especially in their tiny little noses where I and a tissue can't reach. So I may have been known on occassion, in the privacy of our own home, to get out a pair of tweesers and use them to clear out the offending items. I don't remember doing this for a very very long time now - the two boys at least are pretty good at being to blow hard enough to dislodge any gross stuff, and McKinley always seems to have a runny nose rather than a crusty one, or maybe with 3 I just don't notice such things any more, but I swear I haven't used the 'booger-pickers' for a LOOOONG time - hence the confusion when Madson used the term. Funny what things they remember and make names for (I have NEVER called tweesers 'booger-pickers'!!!!).

Needless to say when we got home after church today the 'tweesers' were employed in their secondary role and Madson can now breathe clearly again. :) Too much information????? I DID warn you!!!!! hehehehehhehe.
Just one of those funny moments we get to share with these little cherubs of ours...go on now, share an embarassing one of you own....hehehehhehehe.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Australia Day

We celebrated Australia Day this week in the traditional way - with a Pancake Breakfast!!!!! So much fun getting together with members of our ward and having a chat and being out in the heat - and those pancakes WERE delicious - even with the wafting smells of bbq from the next group over! :) The only bad part - the major tantrum thrown by Mr Madson when it was time to leave!!!

Aunty Lisa had these awesome Australia tatoo's (only on Australia Day!!!!) that she shared around so the kids all got one and I braved one on my cheek (though I did have serious misgivings about it coming off - I couldn't do school pick up the next day looking like that - what would everyone think!!!!! :))

I can't remember if everyone else had a nap but I definitley did, and then we had a little time for some back yard cricket! It was actually really fun! Madson's pretty good at hitting that ball, and West gives it everything he's got. It was so nice to be able to play with the boys without the constant fighting - though we did start the game with this face....can't remember why, but Madson's pulling out some great one's and even better screaming now that he's a 'big school boy'!!! (I actually think he's exhausted and a little overwhelmed with big boy school at the same time as absolutley loving it - his behaviour is a little 'fun' these days...)

 We quickly got over this face to have lots of fun batting and catching and running after the ball lots. I was definitely feeling a little lethargic so I was bowling from the comfort of the outdoor bench! :) Such an energetic mother am I!!! :)

Little Miss McKinley has started pulling the FUNNIEST faces - how's this for one! Hilarious! She was quite happy running around the yard playing her own little game and coming over for a bit of comic relief every now and then! So funny...

And now for a few action shots...

This is a better face right? Those cheeks are just CRYING out to be pinched!!! :) xxx

I loved that we could play a game without the squabbling over who's turn it was - the boys were awesome and we had a really enjoyable time!

And this was Ystyn's pose for the day - Triple J Hottest 100 (on EVERY single stereo in the house, so as he walked from room to room he wouldn't miss anything!) and watching the cricket! I think he had a great day! :)

I love being Australian. I love living in Australia. I love our free country and all the blessings that come from living here. I sometimes stop in amazement at how good we get it - sure, Centrelink is ANNOYING but they give us a little bit of money just for having kids - we would have the kids without the extra money, but its a nice little booster to the weekly budget. I love how there is a public health system that to me seems almost as good as the private (is that blasphemous to even suggest that????) - seriously, we've had all 3 of our kids through the public system, and apart from a pushy mid-wife the first time around we've been supremely blessed with our doctors and nurses and such. I'm definitley not the most educated in the ways of government and parliment and all of that sort of stuff but I still love living here and think that we have it pretty good. I love the land - driving down the east coast on the way to Sydney are some of my fondest memories of growing up. Passing through the Central Coast - just gorgeous! Not to mention our beaches and National Parks and wildlife...

 Ok - so I DID just think of something I HATE about Australia! THE BUGS!!!!!!! I HATE BUGS - with a passion!!! I am one of the squealy type who will leap 5 meters in the air and scream like a banshee if anything so much as flies near me. I HATE that there are dangerous snakes in our bushes and grasses - could be in my backyard - and I have awful fears of my loud, noisy, YOUNG kids stumbling across one. I HATE spiders - could anything be more terrifying in looks! I know you're not meant to judge on looks alone, but COME ON!!!! They are DISGUSTING!!! And what about the supersize cockroaches that are the bane of my existence. I definitley have some radar that says 'fly at me, fly at me'!!! Ystyn is witness to a number of MASSIVE speciments that have literally zeroed in on me and flown at me - he watched one in our apartment as a newly married couple  - it was sitting on the bathroom door, and when I saw it I ran and jumped on my bed, throwing the covers up to protect me, only to have it fly down the corrider, around the corner and then land on top of the sheets that were the only protection between me and it! I could have died!!!! Or what about the SUPERSIZE moth that STALKED me for about a month during my last year at high school. I would walk into my bedroom at nightime, ready to go to bed, and there it would be sitting, on the pelmet of my blinds, staring at me while I got into bed. Of course I didn't get into bed with it still there - dad was called to come and remove it (I would NEVER touch a bug/moth/insect/reptile/whatever willingly!). I would go to sleep thinking I was safe only to wake up early the next morning to get ready for seminary - the house was quiet, I was the only one up - I walk into the bathroom, get undressed and step into the shower and THERE IT WAS - IN THE SHOWER - STARING AT ME!!!!!!!!!! I swear - this went on for a month!!! My younger sister can bear witness to the fact - and obvioulsy I am still scarred to this day! I HATE BUGS! So imagine my horror that my children are now beginning a collection of Rhino beetles, which, even though they are dead, still have little suckers that they delight in putting on me just to see my reaction. Thanks to someone who shall remain nameless (:)) my precious little angels have at least one each as well as a few cicada shells, which also have little suckers. They're not quite so bad though, seeing as they are only a skin and all......:)

Sorry to have digressed on such a tangent - I got all heated there for a second - hehehehhe - but inspite of all that nastiness, I still love this country, and feel so proud to call myself Australian. I can't think of a better choice my parents made then bringing us here as a young family. I feel like this is home and always will be and I love it with all my heart.

Happy belated Australia Day everyone!!! xxx

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

First Day!

It was Madson's first day of Prep yesterday - sob sob!!!! He's been so excited talking about his 'big boy' school and his new teacher and having his uniform and school shoes and the hundred other things they need to start school (????) and we've been so excited along with him. He's really grown up in the past 6 months and is so ready to start learning and developing that clever little brain of his and I am so excited for him.

We woke up fairly early on Monday morning and he got dressed all on his own and packed his bag himself (once his lunch was made). He starting getting a little apprehensive as the time got closer to leave and was asking repeatedly whether I would be staying with him...I was just focused on getting out the door on time! (My new year's resolution - get him to school on time! So sad to say I may have already broken that resolution!!!! :)

Anyway - it was all good and exciting and I was just doing what had to be done - it wasn't until we actually walked through the school that it hit me - my little boy was going to school!!!!! I was dropping him off and leaving him here for the WHOLE DAY, trusting other people to care for him and look after him and be kind to him. And I felt so un-prepared! I hadn't taught him enough. I hadn't done stranger danger with him, or had I taught him enough about being kind to others or how to use him manners. Would he have friends, would people be mean to him - all of those horrid things that kids do and have happen to them, and I can have no control or influence over from here on out. Ahhhhhhhhhhhh! I am so scared! You so want to keep them in a cocoon for their whole lives but its their journey too, and the good as well as the bad will help tehm to learn and grow and develop into good little people. He is such a good little man - so kind and nurturing and I want to protect him so badly, but its time to start letting go right? :)

Anyway, I had to stop and sit him on the pathway for some last minute instructions and lessons (nothing like a crash course) and some time to try and collect myself. I was gone from that moment on though - a mess! I was trying so hard to be brave, but friends of ours popped in to wish Madson a happy first day and seeing another kind face make me lose it - I couldnt' speak for sobbing so hard - right at the front door of Madson's classroom!!!!! How embarrassing!!!!!!!!! I didn't see any other mothers being loony bins, just me!!! :) I feel so happy for him and so sad all at the same that crazy? Its day 2 today and its better, but there's still that underlying mourning? I guess change always brings that quiet sadness - and there's so much still to come! Little West starts Kindy this week as well, and then before we know it all 3 will be at school together. Life is just steaming by...

Anyway, here are some shots I snapped on our first morning - I love Madson's grin in these - so sweet and excited.

Look how happy he is. This is the beginning of so thing will never change though - how much you love them!!!!