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Archive for the category “Ma Raison D’etre”

How Do You Cope? 6 KIDS!!

“I don’t know how you do it. I can’t even handle two”

I hear this a lot. When Simon and I set out to have a family we knew we wanted four children. That was one of the things that brought us together. When we got to four, five was definitely planned and then six became the icing on the cake.

I can’t claim that they are all angels. Each and every one of our children test us. Thankfully, not all at the same time.

So how do I do it? My husband is away nine months of the year and I homeschool. The buck pretty much stops here. I am the CEO, CFO, GM, president, chauffeur, housekeeper, nurse, physician, drill sergeant… Bottom line is, I am a mother. One thing I am not, and never can or will be is their father. That is a role solely reserved for their dad.

Yes, my faith helps me a lot. I could not do anything without His divine grace and mercy but all those times when I am put to the test I am also supremely human. I do the best I can and sometimes the best I can manage on the day is to be angry, grumpy and unreasonable. On other days my best is getting all the schoolwork done, the house spotless and a couple of gourmet, chef inspired meals on the table served with a smile.

My point is I am not perfect. No one is. I have bad days just like everyone else. I try not to beat myself up about it. I apologise, I get up, I move on,  I keep going forward. I try to learn from my mistakes. That’s how I do it.

My family is my safe haven. They see the best and the worst of me but at the end of day we are a family and on those days when I feel like giving up and walking out (and I have had a few of those) I remind myself that our children are human too. They have their bad days and their very good days too, just like me.

At the end of the day our main goal is to show our children that perhaps one of the most valuable things we could teach them is that we are all human trying to do our best and tomorrow is a new day and we can all try again. In our family, we do second chances.

Peace everyone! ❤

The Secret To My Success!

Ok so I have been slack again. Life has a way of getting in the way for some reason… I guess that kinda happens with six kids… They all got sick… we were away… and the excuses keep coming!

Here is the clincher – If someone else said the same thing to me, my advice to them would be simple, write up a schedule or a timetable and stick to it!!

Don’t we all just want to find that extra hour in every day? I have found that several things help me get through my day productively and efficiently and the first of these things is a schedule. I have a plan for every hour or two and I try as hard as I can to stick to it. The bonus is, if I get through what I hope to achieve in that hour or two I have extra time just for me – to read a book or play some Facebook game!! 😛 You See, FOUND! An extra 15 minutes!! It is very rewarding! And on the rare occasion I don’t meet my deadline, it is not a big deal, tomorrow is another beautiful day.

The reason this works for me is that when I am on a schedule, I focus on what I have to do rather than running around in circles trying to do six things all at once.

I have to qualify, I am not a nazi with my timetable, there have been times when everything gets tossed out the window for a day to explore the great outdoors. Throw in the kids and homeschooling and some days can be very challenging but on the whole, most days, it works extremely well.

You will be amazed how much time you suddenly have when you get some focus into your life!

I think I will schedule “lists” into my next post!

Good night everyone!

Jacqueline xx

I’m on the Top of the World

Happy on my bike

What is it about completing a challenge that gives you that ‘Top of the World’ feeling? Even a baby challenge?

Sunday just gone saw me racing in my one and only Triathlon this season. The Nissan-BRW corporate. I did not do much preparation or training except for a couple of swims, a few short runs and my normal weekend cycling. The fact that it was a short Tri, only 400m swim, 10km bike ride and 4km run is my excuse for my pre-race complacency. So although I am only 90% happy with my splits, my times were not unexpected BUT the bonus is I have this warm, buzzy, glowing, feeling that has been around since Sunday.

To be perfectly honest, I thought I did amazing in the swim. To put it into perspective, 12 months ago I was close to tears, panicking before the swim and hyperventilating for the most part of it. This year I actually enjoyed myself. I was calm and in control and in ‘the zone’. I nailed the bike leg, average speed 30km/h! Yeah Baby!! But I was very confident I would. And then the run… I was hurting for the first km, I just could not get rid of that stitch. This really disappointed me on the course but when I finished and looked at the split, 25 minutes for 4 km… that is not far off my normal, cruising run speed…. so I am suspecting that once I pushed through the pain I got stronger towards the end and powered home!

I’m just a legend!! 😉

Now the key is to somehow bottle this buzz and release it next year when the Triathlon season opens up here again. I can’t wait! And this time I WILL be training!! Bring it ON!!

Lets Get REAL!

The trigger for this post was a question asked over a coffee one day after a cycle – “Who would you rather have as a role model? The fresh faced 19 year old pro athlete, (who works damn bloody hard to be the best) or a lady, maybe in her 30s, has children, a husband, job and a mortgage and who may not be a pro athlete but still competes in her chosen sport and does reasonably well?” Overwhelmingly, the people I ask that same question to, tell me, the latter… So am I missing something here or are the advertising companies completely missing a huge marketing opportunity?

For example, I LOVE Revlon, especially their ColorStay range. I have tried other colour fast make up but Revlon is the only make up that does does what it says and goes the distance. I put it on and it stays on until I take it off. I also LOVE to swim, cycle and run and as vain as it makes me look, I do, on occasion, wear make up while I train and race and yes, I might be hot and sweaty but the ColorStay still looks fantastic even after a hard session…

I’m not saying I want to be the next Revlon poster girl, but surely it would not be that hard to find a REAL lady with a REAL life to help sell their product? Seriously, as much as we all want to look like that  hot, young thing on that ad after we buy whatever she is being paid to tout, we all know deep down we aren’t going to become a super model or famous actress when if we do buy it and use it. Sorry to kill your hope there.

But, maybe, just MAYBE,  if the girl next door told you that it works? It REALLY works! Wouldn’t you be more tempted to buy it?

And maybe to make it more REAL I should aim to be the next Revlon poster girl! So here goes, I’m swimming in the river tomorrow…an hour of drills… I’ll let you know how my lipstick holds up!! Photos and all!! Stay tuned!

The truth about big families

A good friend (who has 6 children just like us) e-mailed me this article today and it is definitely worth sharing…

For all my friends who wonder how on earth I do it… this is for you… EVERYTHING in the article could have come from my keyboard.


The truth about big families.

And you do this because…?

Yeah maybe I have some masochistic tendencies… How else would you explain putting my hand up to run the 10km leg in an Olympic Distance Triathlon AND THEN knowing the event is round the corner, not actually doing any run training till the week before the event?

It was a stinking HOT day and I was one of the last runners off. I was confident I could do the distance but I was nervous because I had never run in that sort of mid day heat before. I even entertained just chucking a dummy spit and not running!! BUT I did run AND I did survive AND I ran a reasonable time too. But of course I am paying for it now. 2 days post event and I am walking like a zombie!! It is quite funny actually.

I would have been ok if not for the fact that I really didn’t want to be the last runner in so on the last 5 km I decided to sprint and do some mini intervals just so I could overtake some people… Like I said, I might have some masochistic tendencies!! But hey, I wasn’t the last runner over the line.

And if I am really honest with myself, I really did enjoy it!!

So maybe half marathon here I come?

Ripples In Week 2

Two weeks of Vac Swim down, two to go and we have had our first ‘drama’ sessions for the year. It started with jelly fish infested waters and ended with our first attempt at running away from home… With 3 apples and a small rug I didn’t think No. 1 was going to get very far.

I have to admit jelly fish stings are not very pleasant but it is a tough love attitude around here. So, “Toughen up princess!” was the order of the day. I am really grateful that the teachers also supported that attitude.


Level 7 Vac Swim In The Bag!!

She finally did get on with the rest of her lessons for the week and even passed level 7!! YAY!! (I knew she would – but she had to get over the jelly fish phobia first and actually swim!!)


Level 4 Here We Come!!


Too Easy!! Bring On Level 8!!

My other 3 Vac swimmers all passed too!! WooHoo!!

Towards the end of last week I was congratulating myself on how lucky I was that I had gotten to 12 years of motherhood without any of my children even once telling me that they hated me… And so guess what happened? Yup! No. 1 didn’t actually say it to my face but I got a letter with a litany of hates… I’m thinking I’m gonna keep that and give it to her when her daughter turns twelve!! Hahahaha!!

Oh the joys of girls, pre-teens, puberty and adolescents!! Just think, I only have another 5 more kidlettes to go!

Watch Out 2013, Here Come The Anthonys

Week 1 – January 2013

It is that time of the year when I look back at the year just gone and wonder if things could get any crazier this year… It is also traditionally New Years resolution time… I usually make it a point not to make any resolutions but I thought I would do something different this year.

My two resolutions are to start running again and to post here at least weekly. Seems easy enough… I’ve already gone for my first run – 4km on new years eve, and today, my first blog post for the year. Off to a great start already!!


So far 2013 has been good. The kiddies swimming lessons at the beach are in full swing. 6.30 is an early start for children who are used to getting up after 8. This week we have only had 3 days of lessons due to New Years Day falling on Tuesday but things are rolling along nicely. I think, after 6 years we have fine tuned our beach visits to perfection!! We have not been late once or forgotten any food, drink, goggles or towels!!

I have only good things to say about Vacswim. For less than $60 a year for four weeks of lessons for 4 children what do I have to complain about? The best thing about these lessons is that my children have learned to swim.

So just to emphasise this point here. I DID NOT need to pay mega bucks for baby/ toddler swimming lessons for years on end. My children can swim and I no longer feel like a neglectful mother for not availing them of the opportunity to have lessons that at such a tender age, they will promptly forget!! There are plenty other ways I bond with my children and besides, I don’t like getting wet!


Ok, so I haven’t posted for a while. Its not that I don’t want to or haven’t thought about it, I have. A lot. I am guessing that my reticence is a reflection of my state of mind lately. It feels like I am on the cusp of something great but I am holding back. Worried about taking that step that will launch me over the edge into flight.

It is many things; fear, insecurity, not enough self confidence/ self belief.

This nagging feeling that maybe, just maybe I am about to bite off more than I think I can handle?

But upon reflection what have I really got to worry about?

This has been a HUGE year for me. It started off with my first ever Triathlon, for a laugh, and has escalated into so many personal goals reached and smashed than I ever dreamed possible.

In February I told myself I would be happy if I could just run 5km without stopping. I have since run over 10km and smashed my 5km PB to under 30 minutes. I have cycled more kilometres in the last 9 months than I cycled in the last 20 years. And so much more. All this while homeschooling the 6 munchkins, dealing with pre-puberty blues and being constantly, persistently broke.

2013 is promising to be year of adventure and new horizons. Simon finishes his apprenticeship (THANK THE LORD!!!) I am planning a whole new curriculum for the munchkins and I have somehow said yes to being part of the Northern Beaches Cycling Club Women’s Development team… I think this means I will be riding in races and helping other lady riders…

Helping other lady riders to learn how to ride and get confident on their bikes – No Worries. But RACING? Me? Hmmm…

And therein lies my self confidence issue. I know I am a good rider BUT because I ride with so many other REALLY fast & powerful riders who have so much more time to train and ride than I do, I am usually the slowest out there.

On the upside, I have been helping out in a beginners ladies riding group and also riding with a ladies who have  started riding again after a long break from their bikes and who have just bought a new bike and this has boosted my confidence hugely.

So the bottom line is basically I guess I am just going to do what I do best, jump and learn to fly as I go – Such is the story in the Adventures of Jacqueline

So What is Your Excuse?

Firstly I must apologise for this long break between blogs… I have been having a crisis of sorts regarding my blog. It is not that I struggle to find topics to blog about but more the fact that looking through all my “old” posts it all just seemed so disjointed. One day its about food, another day the children and then my cycling or triathlon training… In my minds eye “Its a dog’s breakfast!!” This personal revelation of course induced blog paralysis in my uber perfectionist personality, hence the pause…

It has taken me this long to ‘get over it’ and after much consideration and discarding of different ideas to trial and deliver a more focused and purposeful blog offering, my complicated mind finally came full circle and realised – THIS is my life!! THIS is what I do!! THIS is what defines me. In all these seemingly disjointed, unrelated posts there IS one common thread – ME!!

No, not just some vainglorious ego trip, but more the journey of a homeschooling mother, wife, friend and woman making her way through a beautiful life, trying to make life beautiful.

And to give credit where it is due, this blog (link below) also helped me along a little.


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