Koala Sanctuary

For nature appreciation this month we went to the Koala Sanctuary.
It is in a lovely setting with lots of bushland around, a peaceful environment, minus the Ellis family. Seven crazy kids all excited to see koala's - sorry everyone else that decided to visit that day!

Sam all excited to see a Koala close up, awake and moving.

Liahona and Nathan doing fake smiles for me - not mum with the camera again!
Thanks kids.

This is totally off topic but I just HAD to take a picture of this ladies hair. It was just so bright pink..sorry who ever you are but I admire your spunk and hair!

Overall we had a great time looking at the koala's.
So happy they were active and moving around.
They really do look like cute, fluffy koala teddies but come equipped with sharp claws and angry grunting noises.

Angelic Music

What a little angel!

Yesterday I was doing some cleaning around the house and I heard this delightful singing coming from another room. It was quiet, it was sweet and I just had to go searching to find out who it was.

I discovered a little angel sitting at the piano singing beautifully and playing her own music. Made my heart melt!

Choose The Right

One of my favourite things around our house is right at the front door.

I love this hook hanger that I found in a shop, I love this sign (about the kids) which totally applies in our home, I love my hat hanging up and even better I love it when Matt's hat is hanging next to mine. As soon as I step in the door and see our hats hanging up together it reminds me that we are a team, that we work hard together and that I am not alone in my challenges.

I painted these letters 'C T R' and hang them up. They stand for 'Choose The Right' and serve as a reminder to all of us that when we step out the front door we are faced with many choices. I wanted the kids to be mindful of trying their best to make good choices, to choose the 'right way', meaning that even though they are young, they know the difference between right and wrong and even if they are in situations where they are feeling pressured to make a wrong choice that they remember they are not alone and that in the Ellis family we try our best to choose the right. Kind of a really long mouthful but I hope you get the gist of what it means for us.

It is really a simple message but I hope it helps the kids some day when they need it the most.


A typical Sunday morning for us starts with reading our scriptures in the lounge room. We try to keep this room as a quiet room. It has no television and a lounge big enough for us all to fit on (this was difficult to find!). Then we start our day with family prayer. Great way to start the day!

Sam and Eli normally try to sneak in a game on the DS, which is only supposed to be played on Friday night and Saturday. Sam loves wearing ties at the moment. He wants to be like Dad. On this day he wanted to wear his tie with stripes because Dad had a stripey tie on. Great choice Sam!

Matt always looks so handsome on Sunday. Alright, he looks handsome every day! Matt plays the piano at church and is always heading out the door with his Primary children's hymn book! Love you sweetheart!

Harmony was a princess this Sunday, wearing her tiara and as you can tell was very excited about it...

Chelsea chilling out before we head off to church with those gorgeous curls and wearing my earrings!

Libby all excited to go out the door, loaded up with her supplies in her backpack, looking very cute!

Liahona all dressed up to impress and to learn new things from her teacher and catch up with her friends at church.

We belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and if you want to learn more click HERE


I love it when we have a free Saturday.

When we can hang out at home, relax and the kids can play together and get creative. Chelsea and Harmony started off by decorating the sliding the door in the kitchen. It looked lovely. Thanks Grandma!

Then Liahona and Harmony decided to move it to the window at the front of the house. It looked great when we drove in the driveway later in the afternoon. Adds great character to our house. Thanks girls!

While all this creative work was going on I found a shoot out in the kitchen. Eli, Sam and Libby were on one side, with there homemade guns, making a lot of shooting noises at the enemy on the other side of the kitchen.
(Sam is now such a skilled fighter, he can pick his nose and shoot at the same time. Go Sam!)

Here was the enemy. Seriously out numbered!
But with a larger, far more dangerous weapon!
Run little ones, RUN!!!

Book Dreams

I found this picture below and I adore it!

I love the garden, the colour, the clothing, the hair and the book.

Reading is one of my favourite past times. I devour books!

I read them fast and soak them in. As time is often short for me to get time to myself, I speed read to get the book finished.

I love the relaxed, tranquil nature of the picture and dream to be in such a setting with the freedom to read.

My reading is often done late at night or whilst I am cooking dinner (which explains sometimes why the food does not turn out the way it should) and mostly when I have several children crying and wanting my attention.

The family can usually tell when I am seriously into a book when I am reading at the dinner table - rarely happens - and I just can't put it down.

I reflected on the picture and for a brief moment wanted to change places. To be in that garden, peaceful and soaking up a good book. The more I looked at the picture and put myself in her shoes, or in this case, her very elegant outfit, I realised I would be alone. Sure I have moments when I crave being alone but generally I am happy to be a mother of many children and to be surrounded by my cherubs.

I can have my quiet time alone in years to come, to slowly read the books I want. I think I will appreciate the beauty, the stillness and the words more by then.

For now it is back to chaos and speed reading.

Whirlwind Adelaide trip

On the weekend Liahona and I took off to Adelaide for a whirlwind visit!
We did not start off very well as we missed our flight on the Friday night (don't ask!), but we managed to get a flight the next morning and to make it to the event we were scheduled to attend.

It was Liahona's first time on a plane (that she can remember) and she was a little scared during the take off and landing but otherwise very excited to be on a plane and to have a window seat.

On the Friday Liahona was given the class pet for the weekend, so guess who ended up having an adventure with us - Floyd the dancing zebra. Man, was the pressure on to make sure we knew where Floyd was the whole time - nothing like leaving the class pet behind! Happy to report Floyd made it safely back to class but I doubt he will ever be the same after spending a weekend with the Ellis family!

Liahona loved being able to hang out with some of her cousins without any brothers and sisters around to steal her limelight!

Whilst I was in Adelaide I wanted to try a 'Frog Cake'. I remember eating them during my Uni days and loved them. First of all I was shocked at how much this little baby cost - $4.30...boy have they gone up in price! Now I know they are only made in South Australia but for such a small thing they sure cost a lot. So after consuming this sugar packed delight, I happened to glance at the packaging and discover that it contained 1300 calories!!! No way! there is totally no food in this cake, all sugar and fat..so that was my last frog cake ever..so long little buddy...our friendship was great while it lasted but I am moving on!

We stopped off at the beach down south and I was reminded of just how beautiful Australian beaches are...totally gorgeous day!

Liahona working it at the beach!

Me, well I am doing something at the beach!

To finish off our Adelaide trip, we had to stop at the Chocolat shop and get ourselves a iced chocolate because, well, we worked hard catching up with family, chocolate was the theme of our whole visit, (thanks for spoiling us family) we made it to everything we wanted to and we had such a long flight ahead of us..we needed something to keep us awake!

That's my reasons and I am sticking to it!

A broom, a bag and a snake !!!!!

Sometimes in life you have experiences you aren't prepared for. When these experiences come along, often you find you have more strength then you thought you had. I had one of these experiences this week.

I was busy cleaning up the kids bedrooms and rushing around the house getting things done with Sam, Eli and Liberty at home. I had finished putting another load of washing on (we always have a load of washing on around here), and had cleaned up someone's mess in the kitchen.

I then decided to head down to my bedroom to check on Eli and Liberty who I remembered were playing on the DS's. Sam was following me, hassling me about more food from up the top (I keep all of our snacks up in a top cupboard) and he was really starting to get to me.

It was in this setting that as I rounded the corner to walk down the hall way towards my bedroom that I received a shock! Out of the boys bedroom which is right next to mine crawled a snake!!!

I stopped in my tracks and in a few second's this is what my mind saw and did:
Snake!!! AHHHHH!!!
It's in the house!
Liberty is on the floor.
It is sliding towards Liberty.
It is 2 steps away from Liberty
Stop the snake!
Don't take your eyes off the snake.
Yell at Sam, 'Get me the broom quick'
Sam, 'There's a snake mum'
Sam runs to get the broom
Say calmly to Liberty, 'Libby, snake, get on mum's bed, QUICK!'
Snake has lifted up it's head and in strike pose!
Liberty is all excited to see a snake but get's on the bed quickly.
I start to sweat, feeling sick.
Sam hands me the broom.
I grab the broom and slam the broom down on the snakes head, holding it down on the bedroom floor.
I tell Liberty, Sam and Eli to go into the rumpus room and close the door.
I realise I now have a very mad snake trapped under a broom and I can't believe the situation I have got myself into.

I was sweating it big time. Deep breaths, deep breaths. 
I really don't like snakes and am scared of snakes and here I am looking down at a snake wriggling right underneath me. Aaaaahhhhhhh!

I was racking my brain trying to work out what I could possibly put this snake into, whilst I was holding it down. Ice cream container, NO, plastic bag, NO, glass jar, NO....Help!

So I did what any good wife would do, I got Sam to get me the phone and called my darling husband, Matt at work.

This is me: 'Matt, there is a snake in the house'. 
Matt freaks out: 'A Snake!'.
Me: 'I have the snake trapped under the broom, I need help trying to work out what to put it into'.

Then followed a conversation that was supportive of what I had done, many ideas of what to do, but offered no real solutions on how I was going to get out of this mess.

I then decided I was going to get this snake into a bag. 

I started to get a little teary because I knew I was on my own and (let's not go into the conversation that happened afterwards about the fact that Matt did not drop everything and come and help me!) it was hurting my arms holding this snake down and I knew I needed to dig deep to get this snake into a bag. As I looked down the hall way I could see one of the kids library bags (you know the material draw string kind) sticking out of the hall linen cupboard.

I yelled out to the boys to come help me and they eventually (after many frustrating directions) got me the bag. I then sent them back off to the rumpus room to watch television and to close the door. 

Once I had the bag I tried to place it on the ground so that the snake would crawl into it but by this time the snake was really mad. It was flipping it's head around everywhere and was bitting the broom and anything it could reach. 

Man was I scared!

This is where I stopped. I said a prayer. I refocused and told myself I can do hard things and put the bag on the ground in a better position. I then slowly released pressure on the broom and let the snake crawl out from under the broom. I only let pressure off when I saw it's head starting to go into the bag and prayed it would stay in there long enough for me to tie it up.

I could not believe that the snake crawled into the bag, stayed in the bag and I was able to tie it up and take it outside to wait for Matt to come home to dispose of it! 

As I have wandered around the house this week, hoping there are no other snake family members visiting, I have reflected on my snake experience and been amazed at the length you can go to as a mother to protect your kids.

No way would I ever think I could take on a snake to protect my kids, but I did!

I love being a mum and like most other mum's, fly into action to help my kids. But I was reminded that I really, really can do hard things and can take on my fears, one prayer and one tear at a time!

The magical fairy library bag that saved the day! Go the fairies!!!

After calming down a bit and being able to look at some snake pictures I think it was just a tree snake that was in the house. It was not a green snake which was what was freaking me out! It is hard to work out what type of snake it was even though I spent a lot of time looking at it. I wasn't looking to determine what type it was, I was looking to make sure I was not going to get bitten.

Well, I am sticking with the tree snake plan because thinking about a real venomous snake in our house freaks me out way too much!

Oh! well, back to stripping back all the beds, and looking at the floor all day!

The great chicken escape

I don't know what it is with these chickens, some how we ended up with crazy chickens who think that there sole purpose each day is to escape the Ellis house.

I mean C'mon, we are not that bad. We feed them, love them (alright maybe they feel a little too loved some days with the kids hugging them, kissing them - YES... I have tried to stop this happening, and playing with them all over the back yard.

But let me just say that these chicken's owe me some serious eggs BIG TIME.

A little while ago I woke up one Saturday morning and could not hear the chickens. I normally listen out for them every morning as our bedroom window faces towards the back yard. I knew something was not right because it was TOO QUIET! Always a danger sign around our house.

I went out to the back yard to investigate and after some searching discovered no chickens. I then enlisted Matt and the kids and we checked all over the backyard in their favourite hiding places. Still no chickens.

This meant only one thing.
They had escaped.

So off I go out the front of the house. Just fresh from bed, down the street.
After checking around our neighbours house's I could see there was still no chicken's. Time to get serious.

With all the kids out on the front lawn in their pyjama's watching me, I began the great chicken hunt.

The hunt involved: Me - looking very dishevelled searching all the front yards of our neighbour's houses early in the morning, making loud chicken noises and calling out even louder 'Pecker, Penny' in my best farm voice I know how.

Did I mention before these chickens owe me BIG time!

Well, after making a fool of myself for several minutes (which I have to say felt like hours) our lovely chickens decided to present themselves. Once the kids saw that I had found them they took off running and the great chicken chase was on trying to capture them and bring them back to our yard.

Too bad no-one had a video camera that morning - what a sight!

We have had several other escapes since then and we are constantly adding wire, poles and other contraptions to our chicken's home. Always interesting around here....

Family Motto/Mission Statement

Recently I was checking out someone else's blog (I am a bit of a blogaholic at the moment, always looking for fresh ideas to help with these seven cherubs) and they shared their family motto and what it means to their family.

Matt and I created a family motto when we were first married and I still LOVE it!
It is quite long because we had so many things that were important to us and it is also like a mission statement to motivate us when things get tough.

Our union will be of great love.
We provide for each other's continued development.
We organise and direct our lives to give us joy and happiness.
We exercise wisdom in what we choose to eat, read, see and do.
We celebrate and participate in uplifting family traditions.
We make our house, a place to we want to come home to.
We wisely use time, talents and resources to bless others
We serve worthy purposes in society
We hope to leave a legacy of the strength and importance of families.

There are so many wonderful treasures packed into those words and I think I will have to do a few more posts to share what they mean to us and some of the things we have to do live up to this motto.

I really need to get myself organised and put it up on our wall, framed and looking lovely. It really is worth the effort.

Days like these

I am so thankful that on days like these (when Sam and Eli are sick) that Liberty knows how to entertain herself. That she is happy to just sit at the computer and click her little heart out on ABC KIDS....don't know if I have said it before...but I LOVE ABC KIDS!!! what a blessing as a mother!

I am also thankful that she loves Dora and is happy to sit and watch a Dora DVD, in her Dora outfit, with some of our Dora dolls and will stay in the same place until it is finished. Leaving me to rush around and get things done and not have to worry about what she is up to....

Thanks Libby for being so understanding!!

Kids camera fun

The kids keep asking me to use the camera and I finally gave in a let them have a try...after a serious talking to about camera care of course!

So Sam, Eli, Harmony and Liahona went out in the backyard to take some pictures and I think they did a good job!

Sam upset because he couldn't have a turn.

The girls gave in and he took the next picture..well done Sam!

Eli was not interested in taking any pictures...he just wanted to dig up the back yard...I love that he is wearing his top inside out and that he got himself dressed that day.

Rain drops

I have been looking for examples of kindness around our house.
I was delighted to find Chelsea and Liberty outside giggling and having fun with an umbrella. Liberty was so happy with Chelsea and was having so much fun in the rain that she started kissing Chelsea to say thanks. 

Create a Compliment Day

Recently, I was inspired by a friend to start a new tradition in our home. We are always looking for ways to praise our children and to encourage kind words, so we started a 'Compliment Day'. 

As we have 7 children and there are 7 days in the week, we assigned each child a day of the week. For example: Sam has Monday, Liberty has Tuesday and Liahona has Wednesday.

Each child has their own special day to receive extra love and attention. On their 'compliment day' everyone else in the family gives them compliments all day! 

So on Monday Sam has 8 other people giving him praise and complimenting him on every thing that he does. They are not over the top gushing compliments, although they are fun to do, but simple nice comments to help each person feel special.

It can be easy to feel forgotten in such a large family and this is a fun way to remember each child. A small act to help them feel special.

The kids love it and I love it! I have found that it has made a big difference in our home. It is wonderful to hear; 'you look wonderful today...', 'I like the way you are eating your breakfast...', 'thank you so much....you are such a good helper' and '....you have nice eyes', being mentioned around our home.

As all the kids take up the days of the week, Matt and I need worked out a plan so that we could get compliments too! We decided that Mum and Dad get compliments every day of the week and it gives the kids a chance to remember to praise us as well.

Having a compliment day in our home has really turned our thoughts and comments to each other around and it has bought a lovely feeling into our home. I love that it is a simple way to share love as a family and to keep the tone kind and loving.

Student Leaders

During the week Matt and I were excited to attend a student leadership ceremony at the school. It included all students from year 4-12, so the gym was packed out with parents, teachers and students..

Nathan received a certificate and badge for Student Leader for year 6.

Liahona received a certificate and badge for Class Representative for her class in Year 4. 

Sam, Eli and Liberty also came with us and were thrilled to see Nathan and Liahona up the front of the gym getting their certificates. The two of them had big smiles on their faces and sure loved all the attention.

I was impressed that they are willing to give this leadership thing a go and happy to try to be a good example to others.

I am loving it too, because now I have something else to motivate Liahona to do her homework....got to keep your grades up to be a class rep!

World's Greatest Shave

You know as a parent when you have one of those moments when you are so proud of your kids that you feel you heart is going to burst. Well, I had one of those moments today.

During the week Chelsea came home and decided that she wanted to participate in the World's Greatest Shave. I was really supportive of this - it is a great cause and I loved the idea of her thinking about others. But Chelsea did not want to colour her hair - she wanted to shave her head! I was a little shocked and thought that she would change her mind or there was some other reason behind it.

After some serious questioning from me, Chelsea still stayed determined to do it. I was amazed at her dedication and courage. Her willingness to sacrifice those golden locks for a greater cause and to endure unkind comments to raise money has astounded me!

So off I went to the school today to capture this moment on camera.

One last look at those golden ringlets before they disappear for a while.

Most of the school had gathered in the undercover area to witness the hair colouring and hair shaving. There was a long line of children waiting to get their hair coloured and Chelsea and one other boy waiting for the shave.

When Chelsea stood up to take her seat, the students at the school went crazy. 

They screamed, they yelled, they clapped, they whistled, Chelsea smiled and me, well I cried.

Chelsea's teacher running her fingers through her hair asking me one last time 'Are you sure?'. She had so much trouble bringing herself to cut it.

Very excited for the cutting to begin.

When Chelsea's teacher picked up the shaver and started to shave her head the whole undercover area erupted with noise and cheering. Go Chelsea!

Let the shaving begin!!!

Getting shorter and shorter...can you tell Chelsea is loving this!

About as straight as Chelsea's hair is ever going to get. No curls!!!!

The end result...short hair...a big smile...happy Chelsea and a proud, proud mum who has learnt so much about courage, determination and helping others from her daughter.

You are gorgeous Chels!