Pool Air Time

This is where we have spent most of our school holidays.

In the backyard pool.

What a blessing it has been.

We are a dedicated, committed, and fanatical pool family.

We love spending time with each other, racing and playing games.

Here is Sam, who has overcome all his swimming fears and getting some serious air time with Dad!

Harmony loving the height and sensation of being thrown.

Nathan is getting bigger and heavier, but Matt can still give him some serious air and he loves it!!

Even little Libby has to have a turn and she comes up out the water happy and ready to go for more.

Go Libby!!

Here we have some of the cool pool dudes!

Harmony 2010

Well, what can I say about Harmony.

This girl is on her own agenda.

She has very selective hearing and only does what she wants.

Therefore spending a lot of time in her room.

Harmony has a kind nature and tries her best to help others.

She loves to sing and dance.

She has a strong desire to read and be like her big brother and sisters and is getting very good at it.

Harmony has a big beautiful smile.

It lights up a whole room.

She is just starting to get some freckles and it adds to her gorgeous face.

Harmony loves to swim in our pool.

Her swimming skills have improved so much in the past year and she has turned into a little mermaid.

Since receiving an ipod, Harmony has been doing a lot of dancing.

After receiving some dance instruction from Liahona (our dance professional at the age of 8), she has been busting some great moves.

I love this picture of Harmony.

It reminds me that she always wants to be first in the door and will rush out of the car, block the doorway, and wait for me to get there to open it.

This generally causes some fights of course!

I also love it because I think she looks so pretty in the picture and she is wearing her badge from church which she loves to attend.

This is a typical Harmony picture.

This poor Cinderella dress has been thrashed by the amount of times Harmony has worn it. 

She really does think she is Cinderella.

I love that she gets Liberty involved in her 'dress ups' and they often parade around the house together in their costumes.

Harmony likes to go all out, with jewellery, makeup, hair accessories and shoes.

Harmony is in Year 1 this year and is excited to learn and learn.

We love you Harmony!

Chelsea 2010

My oldest girl is all grown up.

In the past year she has shot up in height and in maturity.

Chelsea is a delightful daughter who laughs a lot, likes to be involved in everything going on around the house (good and bad) and is very talented musically and artistically.

She looks really beautiful when she smiles and has a real kindness in her face and on the other side of that - if she is not happy with you, her face says it all!

Chelsea loves to swim and spends a lot of time in our pool.

She loves to go to the beach, swim out deep and take on the waves.

As you can see from this picture Chelsea is towering above the other girls.

You can also see some attitude coming with this growth!

Man are we in trouble!!!

I snuck out the backyard to take this picture because I think it describes Chelsea perfectly.

Here she has all three children lined up to have their turn having a hold of the chickens. She is very patient and really cares about people and especially children.

Chelsea loves art. 

If there is ever an opportunity to get some face painting done, Chelsea is in there. 

She loves the artistic side of it.

This year Chelsea goes to the middle school. 

She is looking forward to having Home Economic (cooking) and Art as her subjects.

Chelsea loves anything to do with food and cooking.

We are putting this love to good use and she is helping out in our kitchen more.

I am very excited about this!

Chelsea is also a very good friend and cares about deeply.

Go Chels! we love you and look forward to spending the year with you.

Photo shoot

This is an example of a normal photo shoot in our house.
I say 'O.K kids line up against the wall' and they all line up nicely.
I get the camera out and hello, a fight erupts immediately

It goes from this....

to this...

to this...

to one minute later this...

to 30 seconds later this cheeky face.
I love how Sam knows it is best to stay out of this one!

C & N Adelaide Adventure

This year as I now have a daughter taller than me we felt it was time to start the trips to Adelaide to hang out with cousins.

Both being such sensational and responsible children, Chelsea and Nathan took on the challenge of being the first to go - we did not have to ask twice!

From brisbane airport to Adelaide airport.

Hanging out with cousins and trying to survive in the heat.
They had so much fun (thanks Adelaide family) and did not miss us once!

They even got to go to the Zoo to check out the Panda's.
Very happy children!

The welcome home.

Back to reality and being surrounded by others!!!

We sure missed them and Liahona learnt to appreciate her older brother and sister as she did not like being the oldest at all.

Sam 2010

Well, my Mr. Sam. What a character.

He is very expressive with his face, very sporty and is the type of child who if left alone for 2 days, would be found fully fed, dressed, bathed and ready to walk out the door for the next adventure.

He is a self motivated kind of guy.

Sam loves to swim.

The expression above says it all.

I put him in swimming lessons and he hated it, screamed the place down.

Now he asks me every single day when he can go swimming. All I hear from him is 'Mum, I am waiting, waiting, waiting, waiting to go swimming. Can I go now?'.

Generally Sam is a very happy little chap.

But when things don't go his way, tears is the only way he chooses to communicate - so unfortunately I see this face more than I would like.

This year Sam is off to Kindergarten and we are excited to see what new things he learns there and who his new friends will be.

He is very friendly and loves to run around and explore.

We love his frowns and they always make me smile!

He is such a handsome fella!

We love you sammy and look forward to having fun with you this year.

Nathan 2010

Nathan finished last year very happy with his school year. He received the Spirit Award for his age group and was voted Student Leader for this year, 2010, in year 6. He is looking forward to the challenge and the skills that he will learn.

What a handsome boy with a talented mind.

This is the view of Nathan that I get when I come into my room. Pillows up against the wall and the DS plugged in so that his game does not get interrupted when it runs out of charge.He could happily spend all day like this if I let him.

Too much time watching Star Wars.

Nathan is good at just sitting down at the piano and hashing out a song. We should get some lessons organised!

a chat about motherhood

Recently I had a chats with friends about being a mum and motherhood. It is a topic I am quite passionate about and with which I have some strong opinions and emotions.

We talked about the challenge of being pregnant and the difficulty deciding whether to do it again. Now I love kids, but I hate being pregnant. I know, hate is a strong word and there really aren't many things I hate in this life but being pregnant is one of them.

Weird I know, seeing as I have 7 kids.

Generally, when I decide to have another baby I always in my mind expect that the pregnancy will go smoothly. I assume that I will be able to cope with all the other children, that I can cope emotionally and physically with the demands placed upon me and that our family will continue to run like it always has....right???.....wrong!!!

Normally I have to make some serious changes to cope.

I have to lower my standards...let things go...accept that for me being pregnant means I can't do the things I normally can do, no matter how hard I try...and boy do I try! I would often push myself and end up hurting myself physically and find myself an emotional mess.

There were times when I tried to take charge and do things my way, when I tried to keep fighting with what I expected should be happening.                                 

Only when I could not take it anymore would I be reminded that I needed to do things differently to get through having this child and then I would change direction. Unfortunately I had to learn this the hard way many times!!

I also had to keep things in perspective. Sure there are so many other things that are necessary and would be great to do and will benefit you, your family and others in so many ways. But having a child is a blessing and life changing. Motherhood is so important and I believe a worthwhile adventure.

However, keeping this in mind it is very difficult when your mouth tastes terrible, when you have kids that are hanging off you wanting food, when your husband wants you to feel good about yourself and when you look in the mirror and see a blown up, miserable, sore, worn out lady looking back at you and you say to yourself....what the heck have I done???

Oh! yeah! I have been there and it ain't pretty.

All I can say is:

- it really is worth it
- it is so important 

- sometimes everything and everyone will just have to wait
- you are beautiful when you look at yourself, really beauty is in the inside
- do what ever you need to, to get through it

...I had to eat a large packet of voilet crumbles every week to survive with one of my children (not something I recommend as it took me ages afterwards to work all those violet crumbles off!)

Being a mother and having children is hard work and being pregnant can sure be a pain but the time passes and you eventually do move on from the child bearing stage to the child rearing stage.

I am so happy at this time of my life to be in the child rearing stage.

Thanks for the memories ladies and the awesome chat.

Anyone else dislike being pregnant???

Sunbeam Superstars

Things have been progressing and changing in the Ellis house.

The 'twiners' have grown up.

At church they have moved up from the 'baby nursery' class to the 'sunbeam' class.

This means they have changed from having 2 hours of play time with toys/songs and plenty of people to dote over them to a slightly more formal classroom setting with one teacher, a little longer lesson and spending time combining with the older kids in a large classroom setting.

Sam and Eli are getting the reputation of little superstars.

They run around the classroom (much to my disgust) rushing up to the bigger kids (who think they are so cute and love to rub their hair) and pretend to be punching and fighting with them.

It has become a great game that you can't help but smile at but a game that I am determined to stop!

As I helped them the first Sunday go to their new classroom, and stayed with them a little while to settle them down, I felt a little teary as I couldn't believe we had survived through all those early years.

I also loved being able to be there, to participate and see them growing up into the big, little boys that they are now.

Who would have thought that these little darlings, so innocent, so special and so gorgeous would grow up to the cheeky, funny, energetic and handsome boys we have now.

The photo says it all!

Watch out girls, the Ellis boys are coming to town!

Typical Sam face with Eli trying his best to do the right thing so he can get a lolly of course.

Lets hope some of that discipline they learn in the classroom comes home with them before I go totally insane.

Love you boys

Eli 2010

I have a soft spot for Eli.

Well, I have a soft spot for all of my kids, but soft spots for all different reasons.

When Eli was born we had an immediate connection, the first time I held him he relaxed into my arms and I knew, that he knew, I was his mum.

I have loved being his mum ever since.

He always looks so handsome when he is dressed up.

Eli has a shy, cheeky smile that slowly spreads across his face and I love it!

When he is thinking about something he tips his head to the side as if it helps him make a final decision, unfortunately it is normally making a decision on what destructive thing he is going to do around the house.

He is a real chicken lover.

He loves to hold them, chase them and carry them every where around the back yard.

Eli has decided that Penny (pictured above) is his chicken.

This is the face that I see the most.

Eli frowning, upset, whining about something and wearing his top the wrong way.

This year we are hoping he becomes better at dressing himself, keeping himself occupied on 'good activities' and smiles a little more.

I love this picture of Eli.

He is feeling so happy and proud of himself.

This is his first drawing of people. We had no idea he could draw!

It is a picture of Dad, Mum and Sam. Sam is the one on the end with big eyes.

I am sure that means something, don't know what yet.

This year Eli is going to Kindergarten and we look forward to seeing him make new friends, get involved in making things, playing and wearing himself out being a boy.

Liahona 2010

A time of change is happening for Liahona.

Her best friend, Mikaela, for the past 3 years has moved to Perth and she faces the task of finding new friends at school this year.

Mikaela will be very missed by our family - she was such a great friend to Liahona and knew her so well.

Mikaela and Liahona practising before the School Disco.

It was their last 'night out' together.

They had great fun and danced up a storm at the Disco - winning some prizes for best moves!

Liahona doesn't know this yet but she will be moving from lounging in front of the television to spending more time doing homework.

Starting Year 4 means more work and responsibility to get good grades.

She is very clever and can be very committed to learning and improving her knowledge.

We have great expectations for Liahona and she always delivers with a smile and wiggle!

Ever the performer and artist - Liahona plans on developing her talents more this year and we are looking forward to what she has in store to show us.

She has been working on conquering Michael Jackson dance moves and has finally mastered the moonwalk (which I prefer than so many of his other moves!).

Her front teeth have fallen out along with a few others and her smile is still beautiful to look at.

We love her spunk and energy.

Liberty 2010

My baby girl is growing up.

This year for 2010 Liberty gets to spend some time just with me. I am looking forward to it.

With the big 4 at school and Sam and Eli going to Kindergarten a couple of days a week, we will be able to hang out, chat and have some fun.

Of course I am personally excited that I can finally go to the shops, one child screaming has to be better than 3...

This picture reminds me of how much Liberty loves to swim.

Her constant asking 'Pool Mum, Pool Mum' lets me know that when she wants to do something she will not back down until it happens.

She is very confident in the water and loves to spend time swimming around our pool with her life jacket on and really doesn't mind when she gets splashed or someone jumps in a little too close to her.
Generally Liberty loves to have fun, run around and giggle (hmmm... I wonder where she gets that from Chelsea!), and to participate in everything the big kids are doing.

Since receiving this gift she now has something she can enjoy that is mainly just for her.

Cruising around the back veranda is her new favourite past time.

I love this picture of Liberty.

I love the cheeky smile.

I love the little rolls on her tummy and that she was running around the backyard having fun.

I expect she will do a lot of growing up this year.

I look forward to watching her develop but will miss my little one.

Thomas the Tank Engine Visit

As a family we are always looking for great family activities to do and recently decided to take the young boys off to see Thomas the Tank Engine here in Brisbane. It is called 'A Day out with Thomas' and a fun activity for children.

My three boys, boy do I love these little men.

They have grown up so much lately. They love to wrestle together, play games together and (much to Nathan's disgust) they all share the same bedroom.

Sam and Eli are so lucky to have such a great big brother to hang out with and I know deep down inside Nathan loves it when they copy him and want to be like him.

Although these boys are always full of energy I still love it when we take them out and they fall asleep exhausted from playing and laughing. Nothing like seeing a sleeping child. Gorgeous!

Some days I am praying for this to happen with Sam so I can get a break from his adventures!

Growing up in a big family can make it difficult to get some special time with Mum and Dad.

We try to plan activities that allow us to have some one on one time with the kids. Well, in our situation one on two time, with twins. Matt took Sam and Eli to have 'A Day Out With Thomas'. Eli loves Thomas the Tank Engine and they had a wonderful time playing in Thomas, meeting the Fat Controller and I even think Dad had a great time too!