Thursday, 29 August 2013

Term 3 Highlights

Well here we are in week 7 of 9, almost at the end of Term 3, how fast is this year going? Each term gets better and better for us out here as our relationship and rapport continues to build with the girls.We have had about 12-14 girls and sometimes even 15 girls for most weeks this term. It's been a busy 6 weeks that is for sure.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, since we have not updated the blog this entire term I figure by posting some picture highlights it will surely make up for our lack of updates. So here is Term 3 at a glance.

Before I post pictures of Term 3, I have to post some important ones from Term 2 when our good friend Lauren came to visit. Here we are looking for mud muscles. My face pretty much sums up the feeling of squelching through the mud.
It was a long and muddy day, so we finished off by having a dip in a really pretty river. Thanks for coming to visit Lauren.
When holidays came, we flew to the Solomon Islands and spent some quality time with the family. It was the first time being back since we were married, it was so special to to be together again.
Shortly after we returned they began doing some back burning in the forest areas around the college. As you can see this made for one very smoky week. 

A bit over a month after burning off, and look at the beautiful new green plants coming out of the ashes. Such a pretty time around here.
Dunstan is still going fishing with the boys on the weekend, however this term they have found a spot that actually seems to have fish:)
The brother of our Deputy CEO of the Tiwi Land Council came out for a visit. I had actually met Brendan and his wife last year as they came to the school I worked at. He and his wife head up a wonderful children's ministry called OK Kids. Here you can see him having a sing along with the girls.
In week 5 half of our girls went to participate in a football competition in Darwin, it was called the Ryco cup.
Here they are warming up, note that most of them are not wearing shoes. They were one of the two teams who didn't play with footy boots. These girls are a tough mob.
And there it is... the girls came home with the cup, champions for two years in a row now. So-proud.

For the girls who didn't go to Darwin for the footy, we took to the beach for a fish and BBQ. Here you can see one of the girls cooking mud muscles from a hunting trip on the weekend.

Two fish were caught this afternoon, she was very happy with her catch.
This is Sheree, Mohu and Meleani. They are the house parents for the other girls house. It was so-nice to have an outing with the other girls house.
What a great job we have! hey Dunstan?
6 of our girls were chosen to go on a trip to Melbourne. They stayed overnight at our house on Friday and left Saturday morning. We are excited to hear their stories when they return.   
This last weekend Dunstan and I went for a bike ride to South Beach. It took 55 minutes each way...
Neither of us wanted to sit down after that ride... ouch, we now know why they sell padded bike pants.  But it was really nice to have a change of scenery for a little while. 

The next change of scenery we will be seeing is BALI. In just under three weeks we will be going to Bali for the September school holidays. We are going with a couple of other staff from the school as well, needless to say we are all looking forward to a lot of relaxing, eating and shopping.

Well, hopefully you feel filled in on the goings on of Term 3 in the Tiwi Islands, well from Tiwi College, FGH4 anyways... 

There will be lots of exciting things coming up in term 4; The Tiwi Ashes, Nadine's Mum and Dad are visiting, Christmas... Lots to look forward to. As always, we love keeping in contact with friends and family from afar, this term we have been especially blessed with skype dates, packages, emails, and even video messages from Nadine's old work place. Personalized correspondence helps take the sting out of miles that separates us. So thank you to all who have made an extra effort this term. 

Much Love,
Mr & Mrs M

Monday, 3 June 2013

The Great Outdoors

Being out here in the middle of nowhere does cause you to pursue certain activities that you perhaps wouldn't normally when living on the mainland. When you're out here, living in small community you have to make your own fun. Dunstan and I have been enjoying the outdoors through a couple of new little "hobbies"; Fishing and Gardening. I'd say Dunstan is more the fisherman and I'm more of the ideas woman with the garden. Our weekends of late, have really consisted of both gardening and fishing. So here are some pictures of our progress in the garden and fishing adventures.

Before moving up here, we really had no prior experience in gardening. We knew the basics-dig. plant. water. but out here we have definitely found our inner green thumbs. It's actually been really fun to see our garden take shape as we've chipped away slowly on weekends and with the help of the girls we are beginning to see growth.

 This term, come the weekend, the boys (mainly the other house parent husbands) are itching to go for a fish. Thus far, I'd say there have been a couple of 'successful' trips, but for the most part I think its all about the male bonding time. (Just quietly, the most successful fishing trip to date was when the wives came along). The place they go fishing is called South Beach, which is beautiful, but of course inhabited by crocs. There have even been recent sightings of a 4m croc down at the beach where they are fishing, but of course this doesn't deter their enthusiasm.
They use hand lines

And there are a couple of rods

I caught a fish! or in this case a shark
Here is what became of the shark; "Shark Bites"

Pisa cooking up a storm with the crab he caught

We live somewhere really beautiful.

Would you like to come up here and go fishing? 

Well, that is all from us for now. We are in week eight, four weeks to go, woo whoo! This Friday one of our good friends Lauren is coming to visit us on her way to East Timor. We are excited to host our first visitor up here. We hope she will be the first of many and that the above photos will entice you to come eat our home grown veggies and go catch yourself a nice big fish or crab or even a shark to eat for dinner.

Mr & Mrs M

Sunday, 19 May 2013

I'm no extremist.

I really am not and never intended to be a raw food extremist when I first signed up for this Raw Food Course. If anything, I simply clicked the purchase button to which my credit card is conveniently linked upon reading this deal. I'd say I'm curious and really just beginning my journey of learning more about health and nutrition. Upon further research this week, I came across some negative reviews in regards to eating raw. You see apparently cold/raw food is hard to digest as the body has to heat the food up to  37 degrees before proper digestion can occur. In the process of your digestive system trying to digest the raw food, it can essentially only end up being able to do half the job its supposed to and therefore not even be able to absorb all the nutrients that are found in "raw foods". This would of course defeat the purpose of eating raw in the first place.

So, where does this leave me? 

Well. I still am keen to trial a 28 day dietary change of some sort. I think having this course will help keep me on track. I do not however intend to go 100% raw. In fact, the course does suggest you can try to just start switching one-two meals to be raw daily. So I think this is the approach I will use. I will try to incorporate other dietary changes I have been researching in regards to; limited sugar, gluten, processed foods, vegan etc and not have it be strictly limited to raw.

See, I'm no extremist. I will probably stuff up and fail on many occasions throughout the 28 days. But I'm willing to try something. And you've gotta start somewhere I guess.

*I haven't even ordered the necessary ingredients to begin this new diet it will be another week until I can begin. 

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Raw Food Beginnings; 10 things I"m learning.

Here is what I'm learning so-far as I read through the program guide of the 28 Day Rawsome Transformation Program that I just recently signed up for. 

This is me taking 10 simple points on how I can best plan and prepare for me to follow the program.
  1. Download and print all the files received from purchasing this program
  2. Get familiar with the recipes and write out an achievable menu plan
  3. Choose my official launch date. This will have to be Thursday or Friday of next week that is when I'll be able to get an order from the barge by.
  4. In this week leading up, begin to cut down on 
    "dairy, meat, alcohol, soft drinks, sodas, artificial sweeteners, alcohol, refined sugar, frozen dinners, chocolate, coffee, nicotine, wheat ie. bread, baked goods, pasta, pizza. On launch day you will eliminate these foods all together".
  5. "Follow the 80/20 rule, 80% vegetables on your plate and 20% protein or gluten free grains (such as amaranth, millet, or quinoa) on your plate is a good guide to go by".
  6.  The program suggests to throw away all the foods you will no-longer be consuming. This however is impossible for me as we have to feed twelve teenage girls who would likely have my head if I started throwing away their nutella and ice cream. So, in this area I must simply exercise awesome self-control.
  7. "Check my equipment" Well. here it suggests that I make sure my juicer and blender are in good working condition and to consider purchasing things like a vege spiraliser and dehydrator...but I'll wait to see what happens before I go all hard out like that.
  8. Learn to deal with cravings and figure out what it is that my body is actually needing verses wanting. As well as assess the  emotions behind the cravings as well. This could be good.
  9. I pretty much just wanted to copy paste the entire point on Stop Counting Calories. This interests me as I've just entered a weight loss challenge, so it will be very interesting to see if I can still loose as much weight as those who count calories. Heres what they say;   "A raw food diet is not about deprivation or calorie restriction. In fact the more you restrict calories, the more your body thinks its in a famine and will hold onto weight. When your body is receiving optimum fuel it will utilise it all for energy, and not get stored as fat because it recognises it as REAL food! You will find you can eat as much salad, sprouts, superfoods or have as many green juices or smoothies as you like and still lose weight. Fat is a toxin store so by consuming detoxifying foods your body will begin to release stored toxins and the fat will melt away. Your body will reach an equilibrium when it is at its optimal weight. Nuts are nutrient dense foods and loaded with good fats which are crucial for bodily functions, and an important part of the raw food diet, however use in moderation. Stick to the 80/20 rule her"
  10. Use the journal provided every day of the 28 program. I will try as best as possible to do this here on the blog as I think a digital version will serve me better and something I can refer back to easily.
 *An important side note to remember in all this is I don't want this new diet (food I'm consuming) to become majorly expensive. So I will try to stick to the Dirty Dozen Clean Fifteen, Which is a list of foods which are ok to buy from the store as per usual and ones that you should really buy organically based on their pesticide residue. We also are in the process of planting our own garden so, this will not just appear overnight, so I"ll allow myself to be flexible where need be in this area. 

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Term 2; campfires and hairy men.

Well Hello There.

Greetings from the Tiwi Islands. 

I don't know about you?, but this year is just flying! I can't believe we are about to begin week 5 of term 2.

It was really great to go back to Brisbane to visit family and friends for the holidays. We came back feeling very refreshed and supported. We were unsure what to expect from the girls coming into term 2. However, we have been pleasantly surprised at how well everyone settled back into routine. There is also a sense of closeness and relationship has obviously just come through time as we all learn to trust and enjoy each other. Of course, we've had some hard times thrown into the mix but as I sit here to write this it's the good and more pleasant times that I remember most and will share with you here.

Our house serving at Community Dinner in week 2
 As it is the dry season now, it means nights are a bit cooler. We have made a nice big area to have bonfires after homework and have also taken the girls out for drives. They like trying to hunt for possums, however I'm not sure who of our girls will actually run out of the car when they see one?. The girls and even some of the boys get quite scared at night time due to stories of the "hairy man" running around and grabbing people...But they never cease to surprise me, so we shall see when the time comes.
Nancy teaching us how to make damper

We have had pretty much a full house (12 girls) since the beginning of this term. We have two new girls who have joined us and are such a great addition here at FGH4. It's also been encouraging to have the girls from last term come back every week. This week the senior girls are away for work experience in Darwin. They were a little nervous, but we know they will do a great job and hopefully they will learn a few things from being away. 

Our two new girls (sisters) Jessie and Kathleen
Well thats us for now.

Thought it was about time for an update as before we know it the term will be over.

We'll be back soon, as you can see we have changed our blog around to be something that documents all different areas of our life. So feel free to subscribe via email or just check in whenever you think of us.

Your prayers and encouragement is greatly needed and is changing lives out here...

Mr & Mrs M

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Football and other Fun Festivities...

It's the holidays!!!!!
I can't believe how fast this term has gone. Today we said goodbye to our girls and tomorrow we fly off the Island for a two week break over Easter. Before we go I thought I'd post a few pictures of whats been happening the last few weeks of this term.

On Sunday a couple of weeks ago the local footy grand final was played between the Tiwi teams. We drove about 30 minutes, then caught the barge over to the other Island to watch the game. We were able to check out some local art and as you can see passionately cheer on our teams (just kidding we left after the first quarter because it was sooo hot) But a fun outing none the less.
In week 8 our girls footy team made it to the grand final, in the women's competition. As you can see from the above photos our girls came away victorious and won the game. It was a great afternoon and so-wonderful to see our girls play so-well.  Very proud house-parent moment. Go the Baby Bombers!!!
As the end of the term was drawing near, and keeping in theme with Easter I had the girls decorate some Easter eggs to decorate our Easter Tree. We also made invitations to our Easter afternoon tea where the girls would be cooking all the different foods they learned to prepare throughout the term in life skills.
The girls did a great job in preparing the food and as you can see there was quite a nice spread.
Here are some photos of everyone enjoying the food. The girls invited some of the female members of staff to come along.
In the last week we had a house party, watched the movie Hop on the big screen and had an Easter egg hunt. I also did a wee bit of baking and packaged some little treats for them to take home.

 Well I think you're all caught up on the latest of whats been happening in Family Group Home 4.
We fly into Brisbane on Saturday morning and are looking forward to catching up with you!