6 Years

It’s been 6 years since I last heard your laugh or heard your voice. 6 years is a long time, but 6 years ago today feels like it was only yesterday. The events of that day will never leave me. I still feel the pain and shock of your unexpected passing.

I often feel I want this chapter in my life to end. I am tired of it constantly being in my head and being the pivotal moment in my life. I want to move on and forget that it ever happened. Not to forget you, just the terrible event that happen 6 year ago. The event that changed our lives for ever. I don’t want to be that guy whose wife passed away. I don’t want Alec to be the kid that doesn’t have mother. I am tired of having explain our circumstance to others and I don’t want to feel the constant guilt and regret that I could of done more. One different decision could have sent us in a different trajectory and prevented this terrible event from happening. But I can’t go back in time and life keeps rolling on.

It has been a busy and hectic year. The family continues to move forward. Riding the up’s and downs of  life. We decided to do a major renovation to the house Miranda and I brought together. This will be our home to raise our family.

We moved out of the house for three months and are currently now living in it unfinished. The parts that are finished are amazing with all 3 kids having there own rooms now. But it has been tough at times.

Alec finished year one with flying colours. His reading skills are amazing and his maths is not far behind. He has also found a love for soccer and we plan on joining a club this year. I not sure I want to be a soccer dad.

Over the year Alec has grown into a proper boy. Cheeky, talkative and doesn’t stop moving and loves my dad jokes.

He a very much a independent child happy to play by himself and not a follower. I was concerned early in the year. I thought he was having trouble making friends at school. But it turns out he is well liked he just likes doing his own thing. Walking with him though school he get a lot of hello’s. Especially the girls. When I ask him who they are he replies “just a friend”.  I then ask him what there names are and he replies casually  ” I don’t know “. They all know Alec’s name.

Alec has a amazing imagination. He constantly coming up with plans and idea’s. He gets so absorbed in them and can get a bit upset if they don’t work. He loves Lego and building stuff. I might have company in the garage as he gets older.

As he is growing older and more aware he starting to ask more in depth questions about your passing. I am finding myself  freezing and wanting to avoid the topic. I think Alec sensors this and will change the subject. It’s something I really need to work on. Death of a loved one can be difficult to talk about, especially to a 6 year old who lost his mother.

As another year is upon us Miranda and I are busy getting the house sorted and everything ready for the new school year. It’s going to be another busy year. In all the busyness of life I never forget you or the wonderful and amazing person you are. Even during the times when I get angry at you for leaving me in this mess, I never stop loving you and I miss you with all my heart and sole.

Love Loves

Peter

What a Year.

As this insane, crazy and difficult year comes to a close a update from the Kethel Boys and crew is well over due.

As the regular reader’s might of noticed I haven’t written much this year. The hectic pace of the year has left me with very little time to sit down and write. Hopefully next year I will have more time for writing and more adventures to write about.

So what have the Kethel Boys and family been up to this year? Well the short answer is lots. The long answer is below.

First thing first, all of us are heathy and well. Apart from the usual cold’s and flu’s of course. I was sick for a couple of weeks due to a virus which left me with no energy and fatigued. With rest and two weeks off work I recovered to live another day.

Covid 19 has been the hot topic this year. If that wasn’t enough of a ordeal for our family, we decided it would be a good time to do a major renovation to the house.

We started getting quotes at the beginning of the year as Covid 19 was just a news story from distant lands. Normal enough really.

As the lockdowns started we were having plans drawn up and getting serious with build details. The impact of the pandemic meant our builder and was able to start much early than anticipated, and as the builders got in to full swing on the demolition phase of the build we moved into a little old house in Manly.

What have we done to the house.

We enjoyed living close to the bay. However after 3 months with the 5 of us living in a very cramped house we were very happy to move back into our own home. Even if it meant Miranda and I have to sleep in the lounge room. The renovations are still going and will continue into next year.

Starting to look much better.

Before the renovations we had to deal with the lockdown and schools closing.

Home schooling proved to be a bigger challenge than expected. The problem we had was juggling a baby Hayden and getting the time to spend one on one with the kids. At the age of 6 and 7 we couldn’t just give Alec and  Siannah the work and expect them to self learn.IMG_7583

I don’t think we completely failed as teachers. We figured as long as the kids continued to progress we were happy.

Keeping the kids entertained while stuck at home was also a challenge. We started getting the kids more involved in the house chores. We brought small art projects and encourage them to go outside and get active. The climbing wall was a god sent. Alec and Siannah spent hours playing on the wall making up games, such as who could hang on the overhang the longest.

We have tried to stay active during the entire year not just during lock down. Siannah continued with her ballet. Doing remote classes at home when she wasn’t able to attend. Alec has fallen in love with soccer and has done a couple of after school programs. We plan to join a club next year. Hayden is always active. I don’t think she know how to walk. She just runs everywhere. She is now older enough to be a passenger on my bike and we have gone on many rides together. She absolutely loves it and get upset if I go for a ride be myself.

 

 

Sometimes being active doesn’t go to plan. Two times this year Siannah had to go to hospital.

The first time Siannah fell of her scooter and used her head and a steel post to stop. The big hit to her head gain her few hours under observation at the hospital.60930321258__51A06B69-B681-4D37-9CD0-1325DADBFFEF

The second time Siannah used the front brakes on her bike going down a hill. This sent her over the handle bars. The result a day off school, some skin missing and a x-ray on her hand. No major damage done.

Miranda was not impressed. Both times she was in my care. In the entire 8 years of Siannah’s life Miranda has never had to take her to hospital. I have done it twice this year.

Birthdays and easter were much smaller affairs due to the Covid restrictions. Alec was the only one that got a big party. A week after his birthday everyone was in lockdown. Siannah turn 8, Alec 6 and Hayden 1. It was really disappointing we couldn’t have a big party for the Hayden. But a small price to pay considering the alternative.

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Hayden dressed up for Halloween.

Camping trips were lacking this year. Apart from the two trips early in the year which has be written about, we only got one other in. We made a long weekend out of father’s day and toke the camper up to a family farm. It was great to get away.

This was also our first trip in the new camper. Well new to us. With the growing family I decided to upgrade. The new camper is actually 2 years older than my original one. Same brand but the larger model. I will have to do a write up on it one day.

Talking about going away, we a busy getting ready for Christmas and this year we will be spending it with Miranda’s family in Newcastle. Everyone is really excited. This trip has been planned for 12 months. But the final decision to go was only made at the end of November. Many times this year we were sure we would have to cancel. We are still a little apprehensive traveling across the border, but we will be keeping a eye on the news in case that is any signs of border closers.

Like most people we are looking forward to the new year. 2020 has been a year nobody will forget. The world has been thrown into turmoil and the stability of our lives thrown away with it. When simple things of visiting a relative or hugging a loved one is not possible your perspective on what is important changes, and with it your priorities. Christmas is a time to celebrate, catch up and re-connect. Don’t let it go to waste.

From our family to yours we wish you a Merry Christmas and a wonderful new year.

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My Home Climbing Wall

In my early twenty’s I regularly went to a indoor rock climbing gym. I would climb till my arms were so pumped and sore that I would have trouble driving home. I enjoyed the challenge and the exercise. Slowly over time I climbed less, until it was a distant memory of a time before work, life and being adult took over.

Many years later when I was looking for a sport’s activity for Alec. Rock climbing seem the obvious choice. Alec enjoyed it and I started getting back into it as well. Soon I had family members wanting to join us and rock climbing became a bit of a social event.

The bug got hold of me again and I started to improve quickly. I soon found that I needed to climb more than once a week if I wanted my climbing to progress.

This motivation is what I needed to make the decision to build my own climbing wall. I had always toyed with the idea, but as always not enough time, no suitable area and the list went on and on.

The plan for the wall was simple. But it soon turn much bigger and complex project. With a angled section and a overhang.

I started with a bare wall in my garage. I then made a frame for a angle section and screwed on ply wood to box it in and gradually filled in more sections of the wall and some of the roof.

 

Before the ply could be screwed to the wall I had to fix a thread into the timber for the climbing holds to be screw into.

For this I used t-nuts. To fit the t-nuts a 12mm hole is drilled and the nut placed in the hole. Each t-nut then had 3 screws to hold it in place.

This was done to every piece of ply that covered the wall and roof. A total of 283 t-nuts was used. So that meant 283 12mm holes drilled and with each t-nut having 3 screws. 849 screws had be screwed in.

Once the timber work was completed it was time to paint. First I painted the entire wall white. Then the rest of the family help decorate it. Everyone got involve even Hayden.

The next step was to make the wall safe for the kids and myself. With the overhang being 2.6 metres high off the ground. I had to have something that you could fall onto with out getting hurt.

I ordered a crash mat on-line thinking it would come complete. But Instead I got 2 big pieces of foam than a week later I got the cover. To be fare the company I brought it off did ring me to tell me that’s how it’s done. They didn’t mention however the foam would come in two pieces which created I bit of confusion at first.

With the wall finished I have no excuse not to climb. I now also have a small obsession with climbing holds. Over time I will increase the amount and variety to add to the fun. After all I have 283 places to put them.

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Happy Climbing everyone.

Somerset Dam

If it seems like all we do is go camping, well I starting to to think the same. This time we toke the kids out of school on the Friday and made a long weekend.

Somerset dam was or destination and we would be meeting up with family and friends for some much needed relax and family time.

With our complicated family dynamic we try to involve all of the different family groups in our lives. We strongly believe it is very important for Alec and Siannah to be connected with the family of their late parents. We will be spending the weekend with the family of Siannah’s father.fullsizeoutput_1602

Somerset Dam is located 115km west of Brisbane. From our place in the east of Brisbane we have two options. Travel south around the city via the Logan motorway or travel north around the city via the Bruce Highway than on to the D’Aguiler highway. Time wise both are about the same. We decided to travel both way’s. South on the way there north on the way home.

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Selfie time…..again.

Leaving on Friday we had a longer than expected trip. We hadn’t even left Brisbane when we toke a wrong turn trying to find hot drinks for the road trip. Those highway roadhouses can be confusing. We then took the scenic but longer way around Lake Wivenhoe. However we made the most of it and decided to have long lunch at the town of Esk. Good thing we weren’t in any hurry.20200228_115450

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Some play time in the park.

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Not a bad setup hey.

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Somerset Dam

We finally arrived at the relative empty NRMA caravan park on Lake Somerset and set up camp. Later that afternoon the caravan park started filling up and by Saturday morning the park was a hive of activity. Obviously a popular spot for a weekend camp.

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The kids helping set up camp…. I think.

We spent the day enjoying the company of family, friends and the cool water of the lake.

On the Sunday morning we packed up camp then spent the rest of the day down at the water till it was time to leave. We had very tired kids and we knew it will be hard to get them up for school in the morning. But it’s well worth it. After all it takes a village to raise a child.

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These are the type photo’s you get when your 9 month old daughter wakes up at the crack of dawn.

Evans Heads

With a very busy year ahead of us, we decided it would be nice to have a small break and some quality family time before the year kicks off. We found a spare week at the end of the school holidays and started planning where to go.

Our first plan was to go back to Woodgate but with reports of the Irukandji jelly fish  around the area we thought it would be best we head south instead. Evans Heads was our destination. Neither of us had ever stayed here and I had only visited the town once a couple of years ago.

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The in car selfie before we leave is a thing now.

A easy two and half hour drive from Brisbane makes Evans Heads the perfect place for a short getaway. We made good time traveling down the coast along the smooth four lane Pacific highway. Only a small section of road between Ballina and the Evans Heads turn off is yet to be upgraded. But work is well under way. fullsizeoutput_15ce

We arrived and found the caravan park in Evans Heads, checked in and set up home. Well, once we sorted out sites. We weren’t happy with the first site that was given to us, but a phone call to reception quickly sorted it out.

The first two days was spent around Evans Heads. Relaxing, exploring and enjoying everything that Evans Heads has to offer all within walking distance from camp.

 

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On this remote and lonely beach you can see the tracks of the allusive Hayden monster. This animal is fast and with her cuteness will snare her prey with no mercy. ( Read in David Attenborough voice. )

One activity in particular was a huge success. I took the kids fishing and we actually caught fish big enough to eat.

I had taken kids fishing before but nothing serious. I just used bread or meat out of the fridge for bait. I think the kids clued on and I was asked if they could use real bait this time. So a packet of frozen bait prawns were brought and the hand reels rigged with the correct size hooks and sinkers. We were getting serious.

It turns out using correct bait and rigging actually helps. We found a spot on the river and it wasn’t long before we got our first bite on the reel I was holding. Unfortunately I failed to bring in the fish. But it was a little bit exciting.

Not long after Alec got bored holding his reel and deciding to put it down on the rock next to him. Straight away the reel took off. I quickly grab it and I reeled in our first fish. With help from Alec of course. It was good size bream but I decided not to keep it and released it back into the water.

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The action slow down a bit and I spent a lot of the time re-baiting and casting out the lines for the kids. I did try to explain to them you have to leave the hook and bait in the water to catch fish.

Then all of a sudden Siannah realised she had a fish on and all by herself pulled in a another bream. The kids really wanted to keep it so it was the end of the line for Nemo and in the fridge he went. fullsizeoutput_15ca

On our third day we decided to do some beach driving. Between Evans Heads and Ballina is one long beach that joins the two towns. It’s thirty kilometres long and open to beach driving. No permit required just the usual road rules and speed limiteds that have to be obeyed.

While we waited for the tide to go down we explored Evans heads and found a look out.

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Not a bad looking crew.

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Looking north. This is the beach we would be driving on.

The vehicle access to the beach is on the northern edge of the town. It was easy driving with the beach wide with plenty of hard packed sand.

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Tyre’s aired down, hubs locked ready for some beach driving.

About ten kilometres up the beach we come across a rocky section. With the tide still receding it started to get a bit tricky to continue without sending the patrol in for a swim.

We decided this would be a good place to stop and have some beach fun. We put out the awning and camp chairs. Then set about the hard task of chilling out on the beach. Everyone had a ball swimming in the surf, exploring the rocks and playing in the sand.

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After some lunch and with tide all way the down. We decided to keep driving up the beach. I have known for many years about the beach run between towns, and I have always wanted drive it. It being on my bucket list maybe a little strong but you get the idea.

We followed the beach all the way to the southern side of the Richmond river. Ballina town being on the northern side of the river. A large break wall protect’s the mouth of the Richmond river, which the two older kids and I explored while Miranda gave Hayden a feed. We then turned around and headed back down the beach to Evan Heads. A awesome day out. These sort of days are fast becoming our favourite way of enjoying the beach.

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The kids on the break wall. Why is it so hard to get both kids looking normal and the same time in a photo.

The last full day at Evans Heads we spent doing what we did the first two day. With one exception. Miranda showed off her superb culinary skills and showed the kids how to gut and scale a fish. Nemo was getting eaten. The kids found this a mixture of interesting and gross, but the end result yummy.IMG_2154IMG_2156IMG_2163IMG_2166IMG_2167

That night we dressed up and headed to the local hotel for a final bit of fun before the pack up and drive home the following day.

It was great little break and Evans Heads certainly impressed.

The case of the missing Tooth.

I was playing with Alec in the water at the beach when I notice he was missing a tooth.

I ask him where his tooth was and he didn’t even realise he had one missing. After a bit of probing he told me the tooth must of come out when he was eating his sandwich he had for lunch. He remembers taking something out of his mouth that he thought was shell and threw it away.

Alec has had a couple of wobbly teeth for a while and has been super excited with the prospect of receiving a financial windfall from the tooth fairy. Now with the tooth lost he was a little upset.

So we suggested he find a special shell to give to tooth fairy instead. Surprisingly this worked. Alec received his loot for the shell and the tooth fairy even wrote him a letter saying how awesome the shell was.

So if you are down on the beach between Evans Heads and Ballina, keep a eye out for Alec’s tooth. Or a crab with a big tooth.

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5 Years

It has been five years since we lost a amazing mother, a loving wife and a beautiful intelligent woman. It’s been a long and at times difficult five years and I don’t think there is a day I haven’t thought about you. I feel my memories of you are fading away as time marchers on and new memories take over. You go though the pain of never seeing or embracing a loved one again. Then slowly your memories are also lost. Is that the way it’s meant to work?

Alec and I have had a busy year. With a milestone, a addition of a new member to our unique family and a big decision made.

Alec finished his first year of school. After a rocky start everything just clicked for him. His reading is amazing and overtook his class mates with his site words. Finishing all 200 before the year was finished. You would be so proud.

Alec is generally well behaved, however he is at that age now that he likes to push the boundaries. He also has a bit of cheek about him, which he displays at the worst possible times. Like when he is getting in trouble. I think we are both to blame for his cheeky behaviour. Luckily Miranda has more patience than I do.

Having a family unit is really good for Alec. As he matures his own personality is moulded and strengthen with the rough and tumble of family life. Something that I could never of provided on my own.

I am a father to a amazing little girl. She is now 9 months old. We are a family of five now, 7 if you include the dogs. Both older kids love the new member of our family and she brings joy to household with her big personality and easy going nature.

I made the big decision to sell our house. There were many reasons for the sale. The moving on process is one reason, I never envision myself living in it ever again. I also had too much attachment to the house and I found it hard having strangers living in it.

I was a bit emotional the last time I visited the house. It was a mixture of feelings. I wasn’t sad to sell it, in fact I think it was a relief.

The house was a big part of lives together. We brought it together, renovated it together and it was our home for our little family. I couldn’t help think what could of been if events hadn’t gone the way they did. We were meant to raise a family and grow old in that house. There is no chance of that now. And hasn’t been for 5 years.

This coming year is going to be a another busy one. As we move forward and build a life as a family I see the future again and the future looks bright. The sadness of losing you will never go away. But the joy in my heart that I get from the family Miranda and I have built from the ashes of the past overcomes that sadness. Maybe, thats how it’s meant to work.

Love Loves Peter

 

 

Family Holidays

fullsizeoutput_14d2.jpegSchool Holidays are here again and another camping trip has been organised. This time we will be giving Miranda and Siannah a taste of touring. Instead of going one place and staying there till we go home, we will be staying at two different places during our time away. This would be more than enough moving around while traveling with a four month old.

Obviously Alec and I are old hats at touring. However Miranda and Siannah haven’t done much of this sort of traveling. With the possibility of doing some much larger trips in the future, this will give us a chance to figure out what works and what doesn’t.

We will be spending half our time in the bush and the other half at the beach. A good mixture.

Cania Gorge will be the bush part of our trip. Located 500km north/west of Brisbane, in the North Burnett region. It is a pretty little spot with some bush walks and a lovely relaxing caravan park to stay at.

Our second stop will be the beach side town of Woodgate. It located between the towns Harvey Bar and Bundaburg. Woodgate will be a new experience for both of us as neither of us have been there.

We left on the first Monday of the school holidays, a day behind schedule. Our original plan was to split the drive to Cania Gorge in two, stopping overnight along the way. That’s if we got all the packing done. But the packing didn’t get done so we decided to leave on the Monday.

Leaving on the Monday was a good call. We were far more relaxed and organised than if we had pushed ahead with leaving on Sunday. We got away at a good time and headed north. We followed the Bruce Highway to Gympie then turned west and traveled inland and further north along the Burnett Highway.

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Car and camper packed and ready to go.

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A selfie before we hit the the road.

We stopped regularly, timing them with Hayden’s feeds and of course wee and meal breaks for the older passengers. Hayden was a champ and slept most the way, the other two children only fought and got cranky about half the time. Not a bad effort.

We got to camp a little later then expected but still plenty of time to set up before night fell.

The following day we didn’t do much at all. It had been a big day of traveling to get to Cania Gorge and everyone needed to settle in and have a easy day.

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Good morning from Cania Gorge.

The kids had fun riding there bikes around the park and making new friends. In the afternoon we went to the daily bird feeding done by the caravan park. I think we did this every day that we were at Cania Gorge.

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On the second day at Cania Gorge we decided to do a small bush walk. The two older kids needed a little bit of motivation at first but were mostly fine once going. Hayden got the easy way out. Miranda carrying her in the baby back pack.

After our walk we headed into town to pick up some groceries and grab some lunch. Monto is your typical small county town. The main street is home to a small grocery shop, the usual variety of shops that services the locals and of course the standard county pub. Two in Monto case. One either end of the main street.

On our third day away we went for a drive further into the Cania Gorge National Park. We admiring the rocky cliffs that make up the gorge. At the end of the gorge is Cania Dam.

I also managed to fit in a bike ride.

Our last day at Cania Gorge was spent at camp. Resting and getting organised for the following day of packing up camp, traveling and then making camp again. This will be a test for the family.

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I think we have made ourselves at home. The longer the stay the longer the pack up.

Miranda and I both got up early on our leaving day, well earlier than we had been. We started the morning choirs of sorting breakfast and getting everyone dressed. Then the pack up began. We had done a small amount the night before but the majority of it had to be done in the morning.

By ten o’clock we were driving out of Cania Gorge retreat and heading to our next destination.

We back tracking a little down the Burnett highway then turned left and headed east toward the coast. The going was a little slow as we negotiated some hilly areas. The Patrol with the camper attached struggles a bit on the hills. We stopped at a little town called Mount Perry and spoiled ourselves by having lunch at the Mt Perry Federal Inn. If you are in the area it’s worth a visit.

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Not a bad spot for a cold one and a feed.

We arrived a couple of hours later at Woodgate to a very busy caravan park full of families making the most of the school break. We checked in and then squeezed the camper into our spot between the other camper’s and caravans. It was a bit of a shock after the wide open camping we had at Cania Gorge.

We used our first day at Woodgate to get to know our surroundings and of course having some beach fun. Which happens to be across the road from the caravan park.IMG_5457

After our day of relaxing it was determined we need to do some grocery shopping. The local convenience store at Woodgate just wasn’t going to cut the mustard when feeding a family of five. The nearest major town was Bundaberg a forty minute drive north of Woodgate

It wasn’t all chores while in Bundaberg. While in town we figure we couldn’t bypass a visit to the famous Bundaberg rum factory. The Factory run regular tours.

The tour started at the museum then onto the molasses storage shed which is supplied from the sugar mill next door. We were then shown the process of fermentation and last but not least we got to taste the finish product at the bar. I am more of a scotch drinker but I found the tour interesting and the tasting of some very special rums wasn’t to bad either.

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School holidays aren’t always about the kids. The adults have to have fun too. Geez we had our bogan going on that day. LOL

The weather had turned for the worse on our third day a Woodgate. Windy and overcast with the occasional spot of rain. However we couldn’t complain as we had seen how dry it was during our travels and any rain was sure welcomed by everyone. So we made the best of the weather. Knocking out some chores in the morning while the kids had fun riding around the caravan park.

In the afternoon we thought we would check out some beach driving that we had been told about. We set off to the southern end of Woodgate beach and found the vehicle entry point. With the tide out and plenty of hard packed sand to drive on, we toke the risk of not letting the tires down and careful drove onto the beach.

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Ready to drive on the beach.

It was smooth running as we drove down the beach till we reached the inlet to the Isis river. At this point the beach swung inland as it following the river. A little further along the river our progress was blocked by lack of beach. We turned around and found a spot on the main beach to get out and have a play. Making sure you didn’t get blown away by the strong winds.

After a short and but windy beach play we went for a explore around the Woodgate area and worked out a plan for the next day.

We woke up on our forth day at Woodgate to much better weather for holidays than the previous day. Weather perfect for the plan devised the day before. Another day chilling on the beach.

On our explore the day before we found a great little swimming area at Therodalite Creek, located at the northern end of Woodgate beach.

We spent a good part of the day swimming, making sand castles, playing ball games and just chilling.

Our fifth and last day at Woodgate we decided to have one last beach trip. We spent the morning at Woodgate beach right across the road from the caravan park. The weather was perfect, the water temp was perfect and the beach perfect. Geez it’s going to be hard to go home.IMG_5474

We spent the rest of the day procrastination, finding better things to do than start packing for the trip home the next day. Bike riding, playing in the park and having one last ice cream by the beach was much more fun.

For dinner we treated ourselves at the local Hotel.

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Our last day of our holidays was spent packing up camp and driving home. The four hour trip straight down the Bruce highway gave us a chance to look back at our trip away. While Cania Gorge was loverly we were totally blown away by Woodgate. We will definitely be back.

As a family we survived the camper trailer for two weeks. We came away with a better understanding on what we need to improve for future larger trips. Maybe something a little more adventures next time.

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Healthy Mum

I thought I would share this story done about Miranda for The Healthy Mummy.

I am constantly amazed at the dedication and hard work Miranda puts in getting healthy and fit.

Healthy Mummy

 

If you are wondering, apart from Miranda using the Healthy Mummy Products we don’t have any other connection to Healthy Mummy. We are not receiving any sort of payment for this post or the original story posted on the Healthy Mummy site.

A Boys Weekend

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The mid year school holidays are here and that means trying to keep the kids entertained for two weeks.

I thought it would be good to do a small camping trip. Unfortunately Hayden is not old enough to go camping. A little too cold for a 10 week old this time of year. So it was decided my self and the two older kids would do a weekend away. But that plan changed when Siannah decided she would rather stay at home with mum and Hayden. So I invited a mate and his son and made it a boys weekend camping trip. Mick and his son Lennox, Alec and myself couldn’t wait to have a weekend away from those pesky woman.

We decided to go down to Levuka 4×4 Park a place that Mick and I have been many times before.

Arriving Saturday afternoon the weather wasn’t the best. With light showers at regular intervals we only got to see blue sky briefly between the clouds as they rolled over our camp spot. After setting up camp and getting a fire going, We settling in for the night hoping we would wake up to better weather in the morning.

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All set up for the weekend.

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Hamburgers for dinner. Nothing flash but it filled our belly’s.

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The property’s owners dog decided to spend the night with us.

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Not a bad fire considering everything was wet.

The next morning we woke up to the same weather as the previous day. We didn’t let this dampen our mood or our spirit for fun and adventure.

The first activity of the day was a small bit of four wheel driving. We aired down tyres, locked the hubs and went for a muddy drive around the park.

Well once everyone had finished playing with our new found friend. It spent the night sleeping in one of our camp chairs.IMG_1655IMG_1656

 

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Tackling the rainforest track.

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Then a small water crossing.

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And to finish off with some really slippery mud.

We stopped at a lookout and had some morning tea while admiring the view of the surrounding county side, before heading back to camp.

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Now thats a good looking bunch of blokes. 

Once back at camp the activity’s and fun continued, and so did the showers. Mick and I spent a lot of the time trying to keep the kids warm and dry. Between the showers the kids enjoyed playing outside, but it was often hard getting them back under cover when the rain returned.

The afternoon was spent riding bikes and playing with remote controlled cars.

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It was a hard walk up the hill.

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Lots of fun riding down the hill.

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Alec having fun making ramps for the R/C cars out of our firewood.

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As the day quickly drew to a close we set about getting the fire going and something ready for dinner. Dinner was Mick’s job. I organised dinner the first night.

A fire for the night proved to be difficult to start. Everything was wet and we had run out of fire lighters. But being rugged out door men we got it going. Our methods probably shouldn’t be discussed in a open blog post.

As night settled in we ate lamb stew around the fire and had roasted marsh mellows for dessert. A good way to finish a fun day.

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The following morning we slowly packed up camp and made our way home. We had only just started to relax. Maybe next time we will make it a longer trip.

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With the camper hooked up we are ready to head home. Muddier than when we arrived.