Tuesday, December 22, 2015

First Communion

Princess and The Man had communion for the first time this last week. It has been something they have both been looking forward to for some time, but most particularly over the last two months.

Making their confession of faith
Being welcomed into our congregation

Hot and happy after church.
We were privileged to be able to time it at the same time that Christian's father and brother and family were with us. Christian's brother was the one who remembered to take pictures for us on this big milestone. When they arrived at our house a day earlier someone asked The Man about what he was up to and his excited reply was: "I'm having communion for the first time tomorrow!!"

The Man is currently expressing a great desire to fly planes in remote places and tell others about Jesus. He loves the work that Missionary Aviation Fellowship are doing and would like to join them. This all came about from watching The Wild Brothers and an SBS show about the world's most dangerous places to fly.

The morning of their first communion I gave Princess a cross to wear and The Man a silver love heart with a cross in the middle and the Lord's Prayer in German on  it.

Princess was amazed that her visiting cousin didn't know that it was a cross she was wearing (she kept calling it the letter T). Because of this, she determined to buy a bible for her cousin to read that she may know about Jesus love and forgiveness for her. We are always astonished at how easily Princess talks about her faith with her friends.

Remembrance Day

Remembrance Day

Remembrance day is held on the 11 of November. On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month 1918 a peace treaty called The Armarctice was signed and the fighting between the Allies and the Central Powers stopped.

A moment of silence is held each year to remember those who fought and those who lost their lives in World War 1. 10 million people were killed and 20 millionaire wounded. The war had been on for 4 years. It has been 100 years since that dreaded war but we still remember it.

We should remember Remembrance Day because it is apart of our heritage, and it is part of our nations story. Many people died in that war and just forgetting them would be terribly sad, it took human lives to win that war and neglecting the fact that people died for you to live (like Jesus) would be horrible.

If we keep on remembering this day we will know what happened and what it cost for you to live free.

Lest we Forget.

Written by Tiger

Renovations Mark II

Our kitchen now!
I thought that renovations were finished...and then we had our tornado.

So now, thanks be to God, we have had our kitchen painted (covered by insurance), and our chimney repaired to better than it was (covered by insurance).

How good God is!!! We were struggling to work out how we would do this on our own, what looked like a disaster in the tornado has turned out to be for our good.
The kitchen when we arrived

Friday, November 13, 2015

One Year Here

13th November 2014
What an amazing year it has been! We have done so much in such a short time. Of course, it really does help to having a tornado help you along with some of the clearing, although they are rather indiscriminate so I don't recommend them if you can avoid it. You can see a seat on the verandah in the first picture, this was taken by the tornado.

13th November 2015

As you can see from the second photo, we have removed a few trees...but...our car was parked in front of a 130 year old pepper tree in the first photo and in the second photo it's just a black stump. This tree was removed by the tornado, burnt by us in an attempt to get rid of it, but it's hollow, so we are now keeping it...and the amazing tree has started to grow again! It just shows how wonderful God's creation is...designed to repair itself.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

People Power.

 My wonderful younger brother arranged a working bee for us to get some order out of our tornado damage. We both underestimated how it would go. He underestimated how many would be here to help and I underestimated how much would get done.

Taken in the evening after the tornado
The garage, lying flattened in front of our blue van, was taken away three days after the tornado. This was a part of the "make safe" that the insurance company does.

Taken after our working bee yesterday.
There were large quantities of trees chainsawed into fire wood for the house. Sheet metal, papers, clothes, bits of plastic and glass were picked up. Fires were made to get rid of the leafy branches. It was amazing how much we managed to get done.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Man's Tornado Experience

I was walking through the damage and I saw mama's
PJ's on the bush. It was very funny.
We were in the house having rest time. It was very, very windy. More windy than it normally is. The tornado took just a short time.

When we went outside and saw everything down I felt very sad and scared because we had just finished all our renovations and now we had more work to do. I was worried that the big tree in our back yard would fall on the house. I was frightened because we had never, ever seen a tornado in action.

This is outside our front gate after the working bee left.
I walked through the damage looking for my geese Martha and Marguerite. It took a long time to find them. Marguerite died in the storm and Martha died later, after the storm. The gander, Zachary, left Martha to find Marguerite once Martha died. It was very sad.

Two news paper reporters came and channel 7 and 9 news came to interview Mummy and Skipper.

People from church and friends came to help clean up a week later. They chainsawed lots of fallen down trees and cleaned everything up and started some fires to get rid of the excess wood.

As Told by The Man
This a photo of our backyard after the workmen left.

Princess Tornado Experience

I had been reading a book on my bed when I decided to go and look out the window to see how bad the storm was. I saw the archway fall down and so I called the kids into my room and we saw a tank land on the verandah and a 100 year old tree with our property sign on it fall down.

It was very quick. It only lasted two minutes or so on our property. It wasn't scary at the time. But when we went outside we could see the tornado over our neighbours place. That was a bit scary. The main scary bit about it was that our place was really messy and we lost two geese.

But it had it's funny side on some things. When the car window got pushed in and the light sucked out Mummy's PJ's which were still in the back were sucked out and thrown onto a bush. One of the 20 000 litre tanks got smashed up and disappeared!

The garage was ruined. It had all our unpacked things in it. The silo collided with one of the tanks in the middle of the house yard at a tree where you drive your car around. We lost a whole heap of trees and our big pepper tree in the front yard became a weird sculpture. Our trampoline got smashed up after it went cartwheeling across the yard.

Since then we had a working bee and got the place really tidy and cleaned up. We are really grateful for that.

 Written by Princess

The Adventures of Princess

10 years ago in 2005 Christian and Sarah Joy fandrich had a baby girl with they named Princess Grace Fandrich. Princess had a older brother named Tiger. Tiger and Princess liked playing together. Christian was a Doctor. Sarah Joy used to be a teacher, but now she is a mum. 

When Princess was nearly one Christian decided to be a pastor. So they moved to Adelaide. Christian learned to be a pastor at Sem. They lived in one of the Sem houses. Princess liked playing with her friends at Sem. While they were still there Sarah Joy had 2 boys whose names were The Man and Tank. 

When Princess was 4, Tiger was 6, The Man was 2 and Tank was a baby, Christian finished studying and they moved to Toowoomba. There was their first church. They lived there for 5 years and while they were there they had two more babies whose names were Joybug and Skipper.

In 2014 they got there first call to Burrumbuttock, they moved that year. They bought their own property, it had 13 acres. Princess liked to see how different the place looked. 

Then in July on Saturday the 11th, at 3pm a tornado hit their place. The place was a mess!! The shed was destroyed and the tanks were ruined. On Tuesday the shed was taken apart and put in a pile. On Saturday they had a working bee come out. 

It was one of Princess' adventures.

Written By Princess
Mummy changed the names

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Tiger's Three Minutes Of Terror

Three Minutes of Terror, that's what the Border Mail is calling it. A 10 days ago a Tornado ripped through our property of Stoneleigh leaving uprooted trees everywhere and our garage was completely flattened.

We were all resting when suddenly we noticed that it was really windy outside. Princess called us to her room and we saw the tree with our property sign on it fall across our driveway so we couldn't get out. Mummy was calling for Daddy and Joybug was screaming. The tornado was only over us for a few minutes and then we went outside and we saw it over our neighbours property. We were all pretty frantic. Mummy started calling people whilst Daddy assessed the damage and I went to check on the sheep and see if we could get out the council gate.

During the storm I was pretty shocked but didn't have time to be scared. When we saw the storm over our neighbours property it was pretty distressing but I kinda coped with it. Now that we can see all the damage it all looks like a lot of work.

Over the next few days we were making headlines. We were on the front page of the Border Mail, in the News Weekly, on Win News, and Prime 7 News and even had a radio interview with ABC Victoria Statewide Drive, it was quite a hectic few days. After the insurance assessor came, workmen came to clear away the garage, trees on our home and metal lying around.

On Saturday we had a big working bee and in that one day we got the whole place cleaned up...well, sort of, all the branches and leaves were in burn piles, all the logs were chopped up for fire wood and any junk was put in pile that were to be taken away. During the working bee I worked with my cousin, he cut the wood with the chainsaw and I pulled the wood away and organised them into piles.

All in all it was hard work but in the end we survived.

By the Tiger.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Tank's Tornado Story

This is my uncle cutting up a log.
When the tornado hit I was awake, talking to Mummy on the bed. Then I heard a weird rumbling sound. I thought it was lightning and throwing cricket balls. The trampoline went flying like it was an aeroplane out of control.

The trees fell down like they were made in weird shapes and most of them were broken down. I was scared. I wasn't scared of the wind. I was scared of the big tree falling down on our house. I was thinking: "can people jump into a tornado and go up in the air?"
This our geese. The grey one died.

Since then, most of the time we have been working lots of days to clean up the mess. We've nearly done the whole mess. Most of the place looked like a big, big tornado came over. It was good that it wasn't a cyclone because they go slower.

It is good that people came to help us clean up the mess. Most of the people there had chainsaws. We had one and that one was enough to help. We liked the people that came over. One person brought 4 chainsaws. We like people helping us.

As told by Tank

This is my cousin. We found a lamb in the paddock
and we caught it.

Saturday, July 11, 2015


The end of the storm.
This picture shows the end of a tornado that went directly over our house this afternoon. You can still see the end of the tail touching the ground. When the storm passed over our house it was about 20 to 30 metres wide.

Our front gate.

Our great tree that welcomed people to our home.
We were all inside at the time of the storm. I had just laid down at the front of our house for a rest with Tank and Skipper. Christian and the other children were at the back of the house, also resting.

The storm took less than two minutes to pass, but the damage it did was incredible! Our saddest loss was that of two of our geese. Both our females were thrown about by the storm and died fairly quickly from injuries. Our gander was quite bereft.

Barely a tree was left unscathed in it's path. We lost one garage that was housing our unpacked things from the move. My car, the blue van was damaged.

There is going to be a lot of cleaning up to do!!! But there are many things to be glad about:

We were not outside!

This was once a large pepper tree,
probably 130 years old, with a large amount of
shade (and termites no doubt)
Our neighbours were not outside! (We saw the storm go directly over their house also, they lost some sheds and have some house damage but were all safe).

We have loads of wood for the coming years!

We finished our renovations to the termite damaged area (this storm would have knocked down the house, as it is we have now found more termite damage because of the storm).

We are insured. They have been called...and now we just have to wait for that to pan out.

We arrived home at midnight today instead of midnight tomorrow. Not knowing how it all happened would have been quite shocking!

We have WONDERFUL emergency services people. They were out within an hour clearing our roads.

Emergency services clean up
Our beautiful home...Christian is near our gate.
We have a fantastic community! One neighbour (and parishioner) dropped everything and came right around to help. Another called the footy club to alert them of the storm and we were given the leftovers from todays footy match (We don't even know a lot of these people!!). Three other parishioners dropped over and helped clear out Christian's books from the downed garage so that they wouldn't get damaged from the rain.

We are so grateful to God for His wonderful protection. When all the hooha had settled down, we gathered together in the lounge room and read Psalm 46:1-3

Around our sheds.
Looking up to the back paddock.
God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
 Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
 though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling.

The trail of disaster to our neighbours place

Monday, June 22, 2015


Pepper being hugged by Tank and fed by The Man

Pepper taking Tank for a walk
(although he says it was the other way around)
 Pepper, our beloved horse died today.

Pepper knew she was a horse, but was very gregarious. She loved being around us. She thought she could walk right in to wherever we were, including our house (if we let her, we kids did, but were careful not to let Mum see). She was always very gentle, and yet she was feisty too. She knew full well that she was the queen of the horses we owned. She was the boss horse, but a graceful elegant one at that.

She was the last of Grandma's hand reared horses, trained to both saddle and harness.

As a saddle horse she was good, but as a harness horse she had no equal!

She pulled our little sulky on a four week adventure from Sydney over the Barrington Tops mountains to Inverell. Our route was well over 700km. We even made the Tamworth newspaper and had a small spot in the local Win News.

That was quite an adventure! But she was such a good horse that we didn't have to hobble her at night, she stayed near our camp (and her horse friend Sam) and happily munched away.

Recreating my Mother's five kids on a horse photo.
As kids, when we lived in the western suburbs of Sydney, we had so much fun with her. Who else at our school could say they lived on an average 1/4 acre block and had a horse!? We would agist her down next to the Great Western Highway. We would ride her up in the George Street bush in Mount Druitt, which is where I finally got the courage to go against the dogs and chased a nasty dog that was scaring her all the way back to it's home.

Pepper walking inside...again.
Like all horses, she could occasionally get a bit flighty, but I distinctly remember driving with Mum down Pennant Hills Road in Sydney and so long as we kept singing she wouldn't flinch at the huge semi-trailers zooming past (it was highway status even at that time).

The singing was one of Grandma's great tricks with all her horses. It would distract them from whatever they were worried about and they would listen to the song. Grandma used to sing all sorts of hymns to her horses. We did too.

Travelling with horses can be a bit touchy. But not with Pepper. So long as she knew we were going she was happy. My favourite floating memory was the time we took Pepper in the double decker bus that my folks used for ministry in the Presbyterian Church in NSW. We drove up the highway to the central coast. Pepper standing next to one of the downstairs windows. It was so funny to watch the kids in the passing cars looking so bored by the trip (no DVD players in cars back then) and suddenly seeing Pepper and yelling and screaming to their parents about the horse in the bus!

We thank God for the wonderful memories we all have of Pepper. All my children have precious memories of her, and my childhood memories of her are unsurpassed.
Riding Pepper and Sunshine at Geebung Flat
(that's a young Tiger on board too)

Thursday, May 28, 2015

The End Of Renovations!

It is finished!
I do love the butterfly my beautiful family gave me for Christmas

It's feels so good to know that it's finally all done!

Yes, there are still projects. I would like to have some raised veggie beds, and there are a few walls that need a lick of paint. But the renovations are done. So what did we do? First there was the pantry by Tiger and Grandfather, then there was the fixing of the termite damage and at the same time the electrical work and landscaping at the back door, then there was the fitting out in the laundry and now finally the tiling is done.

I still think my favourite renovation is the laundry. So practical, so usable, so sensible and so well done! A few years of thought was put into it, and if there was a next time I would put the drier over the washing machine (or the other way around) but it didn't work with my plumbing.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Local Wildlife

We've seen a bit of interesting wildlife at our place in the past few weeks.

Tiger and the boys were cleaning up a pile of corrugated iron and found this little turtle. Yes, we are glad it was such a benign creature, but the weather has been pretty cold so I would have been seriously surprised to see a snake.

We released him into our dam, after taking note of the beautiful pattern the creator made on his back and the lovely way he could scrunch up in his home.

Granny came to visit and deliver some much needed cupboards. As she was unpacking the cupboards we discovered she had a stowaway!

This beautiful, tiny bat travelled with her from near Inverell, in the north of New South Wales, down to us on the southern border of NSW.

We don't know much about bats, except that even my children know that they carry disease. We used to be concerned about Hendra Virus when we had horses in Toowoomba. Thus we got gloves before touching.

We emailed our friendly scientist Dr Danny Wotherspoon, who's always been part of our family. He said: 

"That is a most exciting find indeed! Bats are really hard to identify even when holding one in the hand. There are many small features to look for. Good to see that you had gloves on. That one is in the Evening Bat family, or family Vespertilionidae."

Unfortunately the pictures we took were not clear enough to be able to identify it definitively. But we know that this one belonged to the suborder of Microchirotera or microbat. And he certainly was small, the body was no bigger than a mouse.

Uncle Danny believes that he has probably found other bats in his species and gone into hibernation now for the winter. So it possibly ends well.

Quote from Dr Danny Wotherspoon 
BSc, Dip Ed, Grad Dip Bushfire, MA, PhD, 
Councillor, Ecological Consultants Assn NSW

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Burrumbuttock Babies

We have had our first baby at Burrumbuttock. We came home from church today to find this cute little lamb.

Tiger is our shepherd. He did a great assignment learning all about our breed of sheep a few months back. For the past two weeks he has been carefully feeding our little herd of 12 dorper ewes (and one Ram) every two days, whilst wearing a bright coloured jumper. He has trained them to recognise his voice, so that they happily come whenever he calls. However, whilst they are coming closer to allowing him to touch them, this ewe was not ready for us to go any closer to her and her baby than 5m or so.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Big Boys Camp: Germany: Travel Day(s) Part 2

This morning we got on the train and went to Albury where we met mummy and the other kids when we got home we gave the kids presents and settled in. We have had a wonderful time in Germany and I can't wait for next years camp.

Big Boys Camp: Germany: Travel Day(s) Part 1

Today we got up and did a thorough clean of the house and then left for Frankfurt. We flew via Hong Kong to melbourne which took about 20 hours on the way we watched lots of movies such as Paddington and Captain America. We arrived back safely in Melbourne where we stayed the night at a budget hotel. Since today was ANZAC day daddy was supposed to be in Jindera but we couldn't make it.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Big Boys Camp: Germany: Day 13

Aglasterhausen and Frankfurt 

In the morning we drove to Frankfurt to drop off the car and pick up a new car. Our new car is a tiny four seated Fiat with a sun roof, city mode (to help with stopping), and lots more. We visited Oma in hospital, and then went home and went for a swim but the pool was all booked.  It was a very busy day.

Big Boys Camp: Germany: Day 12


That's us with Herr und Frau Schulte
Today was a wonderful day (until the afternoon) but I'm getting ahead of myself.

In the morning we took Oma for a blood test appointment and then had lunch with a couple called the Schulte's in Aglasterhausen.  Daddy went to school with their son Tobias.

Then we went home and had a rest and then packed to go for a swim for after our visit to Oma in the afternoon.  But the swim never happened.

When we visited Oma the nurses told us that Oma had to go to hospital again because the blood tests that had come in said that there still might be an infection in her knee.  Daddy dropped Tiger of at home and visited Oma in hospital. And we never had our swim. We were supposed to fly home the next day but Daddy changed the flight and we have to take home the car tomorrow.

Big Boys Camp: Germany: Day 11

Aglasterhausen and Mannheim 

Daddy's cousin Gwen
This morning we took Oma to church in Mosbach. Daddy thought the organ music was great.  There was a baptism, and the church was about three quarters full.

I'm listening to the audio tour in English
Then we went to see Daddy's cousin Gwen in Mannheim.  Gwen lives in Giessen, just north of Frankfurt, which is not far away. When we got there the traffic was horrible. There was some kind of protest going on and police were everywhere! There was so much of a delay that you could get out of your car and not have to move it for a long time!

We had lunch at a Turkish restaurant and then went to look at the palace there in Mannheim. On the way back to the train station there was police every were! Normal police as well as riot police with awesome suits. We think they were there because of the football match that was going on.

Apparently there are some bus companies in Germany that go interstate for only €15,00.

Big Boys Camp: Germany: Day 10

Aglasterhausen and Sinsheim 

Today we took Oma to the market in Mosbach. Then we went to a medieval fair at a castle in Sinsheim and watched a mock fight. During the fight some of the people wielded fire balls one chains. Grandfather would have loved it.

While we were there Tiger bought a horn (trumpet) made out of cow's horn.  Lots of people turned up in medival costume.

We also went to the Sinsheim Tecnic Mueseum and it was amazing! We saw (and went in) lots of  planes including one of the Concordes of Air France and a Russian copy.  There were lots and lots of cars, tanks, and displays.

We also watched an IMAX film about life in the ocean. Tiger also went on a water ride that pulled a boat up a hill and then let it go into the water and also a ride the went round and round and turned over.

Big Boys Camp: Germany: Day 9


In the morning we visited Oma and managed to get her to stand up (assisted and leaning on the bed). Then Daddy left Tiger at home while he visited the doctor briefly.  We then went for a walk around Aglasterhausen.

This is the primary school he went to when he was six years old.  The house he lived in with his family and Oma was just next door.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Big Boys Camp: Germany: Day 8

Tiger and Oma

We arrived back home in Aglasterhausen at 2:00 in the morning. On the A6 Autobahn there was a traffic jam (Stau in German), because of a car crash.  Daddy had to find our way back home by the back roads.  In the morning we woke up to go to visit Oma and pick up a letter from the doctor. In the afternoon at 6:30 Uncle Rolf left for the airport, so now it's just us two.