Category Archives: Holidays

“The Silent Bells”

If you are looking for a lovely Christmas story this season,

you might like “The Silent Bells”.

A dear friend blessed our family with a copy of this book

and we loved it.

The story is based on a Swiss legend.

The ‘Silent Bells’ are bells that hang in a cathedral

and that could not ring until the ‘right’ gift

was presented to the carved baby Jesus in the Nativity creche.

Anne-Marie, the main character in the story,

is excited about the coming Christmas

as a prince is coming to the cathedral and his rich gift will surely make the bells rings.

However, her own gift to the Christ child is uncertain,

particularly after several encounters with strangers.

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If you want a Christmas book about love and generosity,

then “The Silent Bells” may be the book you are after.

(Sadly, you’ll have to hunt for a copy of this book in secondhand stores.

I found this copy for my nieces at Abebooks.)

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Posted by on December 14, 2016 in Holidays, My Library


St Patrick’s Day

I don’t agree with the huge fuss related to St Patrick’s Day

– all of the green food and the commercial hype –

and I say that having married into to a large Irish family.

But, at the same time, I think children need to be aware of what St Patrick’s Day is all about, in order to be culturally literate.

So, this week, we read a handful of Irish related books.

We started with a great little book about St Patrick.

I loved this simple book.

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Then we read “Tim O’Toole and the Wee Folk”, which I absolutely did not like at all.

The story seemed to promote an easy life, greed and selfishness.

But we were exposed to ‘wee folk’, which seem to go hand in hand with St Patrick, so we can tick that off.

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And, finally, we read “Finn McCool and the Great Fish”.

Finn was my hubby’s favourite childhood character so, each year, I find a Finn McCool story to read to our boys.

This one was a truly lovely choice

with a beautiful message.

It’s the best Finn book we’ve read so far.

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So no, there was no green food at our house on St Patrick’s Day.

We didn’t even wear green.

But we did read some quite ‘greenish’ books.

I hope that counts.



Posted by on March 18, 2015 in Holidays


Holidays Just Around the Corner

Term two is drawing to a close.  Just one more week of school for QLD kids.  It went entirely too quickly for my likings.  But holidays are a nice way of wrapping up a term and preparing to start another.

My men however won’t be stopping for their normal holiday period…well not entirely.  Since we have our overseas trip coming up (aaarrrrgh!!!) and Hubby home on 7 weeks of leave, our holidays will be anything but normal.

I suspect life will become all about packing and panicking the week or two before we leave for the U.S. and all about weariness and washing the week after we return.  With the 17 days of oversea travel crammed in the middle, I suspect we won’t be doing anything that looks like standard school around here for about a month, come late July.  Consequently, I’ve decided that we’ll postpone our usual end of term wind down and continue on with school.  :O

Surprisingly my little men didn’t keen over dead when I told them.  Hey, over the long weekend I managed to pull off a half day of school on a Saturday and again on the Monday public holiday.  I really should check their temperature and make sure they aren’t losing their fight.  Hehehe.

Well we probably won’t do our normal overflowing, action packed days.  We have been working for ten weeks now and physically and mentally we (read “I”) need a little down time.  I’m thinking we’ll do half speed days instead and maybe even on Saturdays, who knows.  Okay, well that could be optimistic!  🙂

Since Hubby will be home, it will seem even more out of whack to be doing school so we’ll feel our way through the time and see what sort of routine we fall into.

Hubby’s also keen to do some schoolwork with the boys.  In the past that kind of thing hasn’t gone well.  The boys are used to homeschool and Daddy is used to school.  The two are very different.  But maybe the extended practise period will help the two parties meet in the middle somewhere.  Otherwise there’s plenty of books on our ‘to be read aloud’ list that can be shared by Daddy.

Then with my ‘not-holidaying’ afternoons I suspect I’ll be getting my house back in order and fretting about planning our first overseas holiday!!  Gosh, it’s right around the corner now and bearing down on me like a freight train.  Can you tell that ‘change’ and ‘Tracey’ don’t go well in the same sentence?   Deep breathes…someone hand me a paper bag QUICK!!!

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Posted by on June 13, 2013 in Family Life, Holidays


What’s Happening in July???

So has curiosity nearly killed you all…wondering what huge thing is happening for us in July?

Well it’s big.  Very big.

Super exciting.

One of those once in a lifetime things

…well for impoverished single income families on a teacher’s wage.

Can’t stand the wait any longer?

Sure you don’t want to wait until the next post?



We are going to America!!

More specifically – the west coast of the U.S.

Better still…

It’s all expenses paid

…by my little brother.

Yep, he’s taking my whole family, plus my parents.

See, it pays to be nice to your siblings as kids.

Hubby has been to the U.S. and loved it, but the boys and I have never travelled overseas

…unless you count Tasmania and Hubby assures me that it doesn’t qualify.

So we’re very excited

and terrified (well that’s just me)

and overwhelmed by the planning involved (that would be just me too!).

Thankfully, my brother, a seasoned traveller, with take care of the details.

I just have to pack bags (mind boggling enough!)

and organise passports

(Can you believe that these will cost nearly a thousand dollars!  What a total bureaucratic rort!)

Then we just have to count down the sleeps.

Hubby’s putting in the paper for leave tomorrow.  Mr Boss better say yes now

…or we’re leaving hubby at home

Don’t think we wont.  Hehehehe.

Although we probably will need someone to carry our bags.

Better bring him.

San Fransisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Disneyland, Legoland (as per Brayden’s request), Yellowstone (maybe, hopefully), Las Vegas (only for the pretty lights), the Grand Canyon and more I’m sure….

Here come Tracey and her little men!!

…and hopefully one Hubby man too, if he can sweet talk his employer.




Posted by on January 22, 2013 in Family Events, Family Life, Holidays