Thursday, 23 April 2015

family camp 2015 // kangaroo valley, part two

More moments from our family's very special week away in Kangaroo Valley...

A little morning at the beach. Miles was fascinated :)

Cousins exploring together

My sweet niece Frankie and her epic mullet, blowing in the wind :)
Little knees, holes in jeans, collecting acorns to put in pockets.
Although it's called Kangaroo Valley, wombats were the most popular animal to spot!
Gettin' air on the giant trampoline. Old school style with no nets! ;)

This kid was obsessssssed with this tractor!
Epic baked potato dinner!!
Miles was all over this scooter business :)
This wonderful man. We love him so.
Tickles with Nana :) Always a fun time with Nana!
It was fascinating to stay by an olive grove, right at Olive Picking time! Over 700 trees, heavy with olives...

Amazing Mark took five little guys for a bush walk :)

The little trailer used for gathering the olives as they are picked from the trees.
Oh Eli. Winning my heart just with the simple act of grating the cheese with complete focus and dedication :)
Our family portrait, taken by the one and only, wonderful Alex Vaughan, my sister in law!
When you have nine cousins under seven, any group photo attempts are pretty much chaos. Delightful chaos, that is ;)
No words.

Part One here.
Why this was such an important time together for our family, here.

Friday, 17 April 2015

family camp // the olive grove of kangaroo valley {part one}

Recently, our clan went on our annual getaway/reunion (we've been going for about seven years now!). There was quite a gang of us - our parents, the five siblings and our partners and our ever increasing collective brood of children - currently tallying nine! Twenty of us all up, which makes for quite a gathering - our complete family together, as we so rarely are...

Due to David's condition, this year was bittersweet, to say the least. Hastily organised, and not even being sure until the night before that he would actually be able to make it, the time was all the more precious. I was just so grateful that we could be there, together. It was lovely, relaxing and noisy as it can only be with nine children under the age of seven!

We stayed in Kangaroo Valley, in a cluster of cottages nestled in an olive grove. We had the whole place to ourselves, so the kids ran wild and free. We spent our week pottering around the place, thankful to just be together. Eating, laughing, playing, crying, knitting, talking, hiking. It was what we all needed, just to do these simple things together.

Time together more meaningful than my words can convey, so I will let the pictures do the talking.

Feeding the animals at 5pm each day was a real highlight...where we stayed was sort of like a farm stay too, and the kids just loved visiting the animals :)

The seven older cousins, all lined up to feed the ducks. A rare moment to capture them in one space!
The triplets, hanging.
This old tractor was the main attraction for the whole week. 
love x

Dinner time was a chaotic affair, as it can only be with nine tired, hungry children! At least one child was crying at all times. But it was still so wonderful to eat together at this huge trestle table each night.
Good times around the campfire. We roasted marshmallows and damper with the kids, then the adults sat up late chatting around the fire till all hours. Ok, we adults had our own round of marshmallows too!

Early morning bed head and TV. It is holidays after all ;)
Lily showing her little cousin Alaia all the photos on her camera. Love sneaking up on sweet moments like these!
Lily insisted on taking a photo of me with my 'big camera'. In the interest of 'the mum stays in the picture' here I am in all my scruffy camp life glory ;)
David loves bird watching. Three eagles circling up in the sky was enough to lure him out of his cabin in the morning sunshine to glimpse them through his binoculars. :) 
The morning dew weighing down a delicate web.
One family would cook for all 20 of us each night, rotating around so we only had to cook once and then just enjoy the rest of the week. We ate like kings, needless to say.... like when Woz whizzed up this amazing batch of pork dumplings and noodles. Divine!
Me, Alex (SiL) and Anne (sis). My little sister has gotten into knitting and soon enticed Alex and then myself to join the gang. Scarves were knit amidst laughter and a few tears too. It was a fun little project, keeping the hands busy was quite soothing. Turns out knitting is like riding a bike - once you know how to do it, you never forget! I learnt as a child and it all came back to me :)

We celebrated the first birthday of this little cutie, my niece Frankie!

Airplanes with Daddy. 

More to come xx