RSPCA Cupcake Day

One of the things that really matters to me is social justice, and making a the world a better place for all to enjoy! I used to be part of a local TEAR group and enjoyed learning about & raising awareness of various issues, but ended up deciding that my time would be better spent doing it with my kids rather than off on my own. I really want to share my passion for this with them, and hope that they’ll also choose a life of compassion and advocacy for the poor and disadvantaged.

I figured they’d enjoy it more and have a bigger impact (and more fun!) if they banded with some other kids to do stuff, so our “World Changers” group was formed! It’s a small group of home educating families, with parents whose christian faith inspires their passion to help the poor. Our aim is to get together once a month or so to learn about an issue, maybe do some simulation games, and partner with the kids as they brainstorm ideas about what we can do to make a difference!

The first thing we did was my daughter Molly’s idea (she’s an avid animal lover!!) and it’s more about helping animals than people, but they’re part of this world too! We did a fundraiser for the RSPCA called “RSPCA Cupcake Day”. All the kids made cupcakes and promotional posters, then we got together to run a stall at a local park after a home ed excursion to a worm farm (definitely no connection between worms and cupcakes!!). We had a lot of fun and raised $130 for the RSPCA! The first step was for each family to make and decorate their cupcakes at home, and make some signs for the stall.

Molly enjoyed using LOTS of lollies to decorate her capcakes!
Molly enjoyed using LOTS of lollies to decorate her capcakes!
These are some of Declan’s creations. Every face tells a story.
These are some of Declan’s creations. Every face tells a story.
Hard at work
Hard at work
Things got a bit silly after awhile! :)
Things got a bit silly after awhile! 🙂
I’m VEEEERRRRRYYYY happy! :)
I’m VEEEERRRRRYYYY happy! 🙂
Cupcakes ready to go!
Cupcakes ready to go!

Then it was time to meet up at the local park. We had invited some other homeschooling families to come along (cash in hand!) and we also knew there would be other families at the park who might be interested in purchasing such delicious looking cakes for a great cause.

The kids had a lot of fun running their stall and everyone was very supportive and encouraging of their efforts. For the younger kids it was like playing shops! Some of the more outgoing kids enjoyed going around to people they didn’t know and trying to get them to come and “buy” a cupcake for a donation to the RSPCA. Everyone went home with fuller tummies, and the knowledge that together we’d made a difference.

Two very excited “shopkeepers” holding the fort, waiting for customers
Two very excited “shopkeepers” holding the fort, waiting for customers
YES! Customers!
YES! Customers!
A team effort
A team effort

Donations to the RSPCA Cupcake Day can be made until 3rd October 2010, so if you’d like to make a donation, go to

Our “Rainbow Bay” Holiday

We’ve just returned from such an amazing, wonderful adventure! First, we enjoyed a MUCH needed holiday break at beautiful Rainbow Bay on the Gold Coast. The people who were in the unit we’d booked prior to our arrival had requested to stay an extra few days, so we were moved to a different unit from the one we’d booked. As we walked in to the unit, we just kept walking…. and walking…. and walking! There were absolutely massive, beautiful living spaces including two kitchens, plus there were 4 bedrooms & 3 bathrooms, and all up there was pretty much 360 degree views since we had the entire floor to ourselves!!! We quickly checked to make sure that we were in the right unit, and were delighted to find out we were – for no extra cost! What a blessing! After having so much stress & busyness over the past few months, with Geoff working multiple jobs and studying his masters at the same time, it was such a blessing to be upgraded to such a beautiful place. And for no extra money!

A progression of photos showing about half of the view of the ocean from different windows in the unit (beautiful!). I wish I could have taken a video from one side all the way around to the back of the unit – a full 360 degrees! On most days we were treated to a performance by whales on their journey south.
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I love the sky and the lighting in this photo from our balcony! Not as much as I love my firstborn dude though. :)
I love the sky and the lighting in this photo from our balcony! Not as much as I love my firstborn dude though. 🙂
AUSTRALIA ZOO
One day Geoff took D & M to Australia Zoo, mostly because of M’s absolute passion for all things “animal” and also because of the hero status she ascribes to Bindi Irwin. She didn’t get to meet her, but hopes to be able to one day!
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MOVIE WORLD
Our other big day out was when we all went to Movie World (half price tickets made it even more awesome!).
Molly got to pose for a photo with "The Gang" from Scooby Doo, which was a huge buzz for her because it's currently one of her favourite shows!
Molly got to pose for a photo with “The Gang” from Scooby Doo, which was a huge buzz for her because it’s currently one of her favourite shows!
She was too short to go on the main thrill rides with her big bros, so while they were off having an awesome time on all the roller coasters, she burned some rubber in the dodgems!
She was too short to go on the main thrill rides with her big bros, so while they were off having an awesome time on all the roller coasters, she burned some rubber on the dodgem circuit!
We had some fun trying to get the camera working in the dimly lit “big kid” dodgem ride area, with the bright lights on the cars. We tried adjusting the shutter speed, using the flash & no flash, and adjusting the ISO, but in the end decided there is still lots to learn about our new 2nd hand digital SLR camera! Regardless, we all decided the photos were actually pretty cool! This is Travis – obviously going WAY too fast for the camera LOL.
We had some fun trying to get the camera working in the dimly lit “big kid” dodgem ride area, with the bright lights on the cars. We tried adjusting the shutter speed, using the flash & no flash, and adjusting the ISO, but in the end decided there is still lots to learn about our new 2nd hand digital SLR camera! Regardless, we all decided the photos were actually pretty cool! This is Travis – obviously going WAY too fast for the camera LOL.
Molly was officially tall enough to go on the scary Scooby Doo roller coaster, but after the boys tried it out, they thought it would be too scary for her. She was not to be perturbed though and decided to have a go. She was obviously WAY too tired to walk though! ;) Oh, and for the record, she thoroughly loved the ride! It certainly helped having her big bros try it out for her first so they could explain what it was like.
Molly was officially tall enough to go on the scary Scooby Doo roller coaster, but after the boys tried it out, they thought it would be too frightening for her. She was not to be perturbed, however, and ended up absolutely loving it! It certainly helped having her big bros try it out for her first so they could explain what it was like. She was obviously WAY too tired to walk though! 😉
Declan got to go up the front and be a volunteer in making a film at the “Hollywood Stunt Driver” show. (He’s on the left towards the back, with the black, red and white shirt on)
Declan got to go up the front and be a volunteer in making a film at the “Hollywood Stunt Driver” show. (He’s on the left towards the back, with the black, red and white shirt on)
It was such an entertaining, funny show – we all had an absolute blast. Check out the car split into two halves by the bike!
It was such an entertaining, funny show – we all had an absolute blast. Check out the car split into two halves by the bike!
I think my older boys were just about salivating at the thought of being able to drive like that one day!
I think my older boys were just about salivating at the thought of being able to drive like that one day!
Here, the funny character in the show proved at the end of the show that he actually CAN drive a car (probably the best stunt driver there!) when he ended up driving over the top of the rooves, and into a building, which immediately burst into flames!
The funny, clown-type character in the show proved at the end of the show that he actually CAN drive a car (in fact he was probably the best stunt driver there!) when he ended up stealing a car, driving over the top of the roof, and into a building, which immediately burst into flames!
The kids all had different favourite rides, which, of course, had to be ridden over and over and over again! I’m sure I got queasy before anyone else – and I only went on the little kid stuff LOL!
FUN ON THE ROAD
Life is about the journey, right? We love road trips! We often listen to audio books together, and just enjoy the time, stopping at various places to discover new things and enjoy some fun together. Not that it’s perfect of course. Life never is!
Molly having fun on a playground ride at the caravan park at Nambucca Heads where we stopped overnight. Look at that HAIR!!
Molly having fun on a playground ride at the caravan park at Nambucca Heads where we stopped overnight. Look at that HAIR!!
Travis learning some tricks on the Z-Flex, during a break for lunch
Travis learning some tricks on the Z-Flex, during a break for lunch
Skater Chick!
Skater Chick!
What a handsome lad – otherwise known as the one who seems to hate having his photo taken (hence why there’s not very many photos of him on here!)
What a handsome lad – otherwise known as the one who seems to hate having his photo taken (hence why there’s not very many photos of him on here!)
I have no words! ;)
I have no words! 😉
SURFING
One of the big reasons we discovered beautiful Rainbow Bay was because Travis and Brady knew it was a great spot to surf, with about three or four awesome breaks all within easy walking distance (and all VERY close to our awesome unit!). But alas, the swell was not our friend, and for our ENTIRE holiday of two weeks there was barely a wave in sight! Seriously, on most days it was like Pacific Lake, not Pacific Ocean! Anyway, out of sheer determination, the boys did attempt to catch a few little waves on most days. Here they are at D-Bar.  See the HUGE waves?
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So there you have a very LONG blog post outlining a little bit of our holiday to the Gold Coast, and some of the fun we had along the way. We felt very blessed and privileged to have such a wonderful holiday in such a gorgeous part of the world.  It was a fantastic opportunity to reconnect as a family in the midst of a hectic crazy year!

Winterfest and “Just Macbeth”

Winterfest Medieval Fayre

We finally made it to our first ever medieval fayre and had an absolutely awesome time!

The kids were able to have a go at holding the giant falcon bird, during the "Birds of Prey" demonstration. They were amazed at how heavy it was!
The kids were able to have a go at holding the giant falcon bird, during the “Birds of Prey” demonstration. They were amazed at how heavy it was!
It was SO exciting to see jousting in real life for the first time! Even though the camera was accidentally on the wrong setting. This is the best of many blurred photos I have!
It was SO exciting to see jousting in real life for the first time! Even though the camera was accidentally on the wrong setting. This is the best of many blurred photos I have!

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It was fun to watch grown men playing with swords & shields in the fighting re-enactment. They had to re-do the scene multiple times because it was being filmed, so it was interesting to see that process too!
It was fun to watch grown men playing with swords & shields in the fighting re-enactment. They had to re-do the scene multiple times because it was being filmed, so it was interesting to see that process too!

It was fun to watch grown men playing with swords & shields in the fighting re-enactment. They had to re-do the scene multiple times because it was being filmed, so it was interesting to see that process too!

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It was so awesome and pretty SCARY at times, seeing the guys walking around in costume like this!
It was so awesome and pretty SCARY at times, seeing the guys walking around in costume like this!
Then it was the kids' turn to dress up!
Then it was the kids’ turn to dress up!
Look at THIS scary looking dude!
Look at THIS scary looking dude!
A "dude-ess" - also scary looking!
A “dude-ess” – also scary looking!
Finally, an opportunity to beat up his little sister!
Finally, an opportunity to beat up his little sister!
And the mighty come-back!
And the mighty come-back!

“Just Macbeth” by Andy Griffiths (blood red font, of course)

The day after the Medieval Fayre, we had another awesome treat. A trip to The Opera House to see a performance of “Just Macbeth” by Andy Griffiths. A great way to introduce Shakespeare to kids! And equally entertaining for adults. We laughed so hard – it was absolutely hysterical. Absolute silliness in true Andy Griffiths style, complete with a brief flash of…. butt nudity! 🙂
We weren't allowed to take photographs of the production, so this will have to suffice.
We weren’t allowed to take photographs of the production, so this will have to suffice.
The excitement from the Medieval Fayre the day before, and the brilliant Andy Griffiths production, had us all on a high. And Sydney Harbour is always so beautiful anyway. It was truly just a wonderful weekend!
The excitement from the Medieval Fayre the day before, and the brilliant Andy Griffiths production, had us all on a high. And Sydney Harbour is always so beautiful anyway. It was truly just a wonderful weekend!