What it’s like in our household of 11 people

What it’s like in our household of 11 people

Jodi Bingley Photography

It’s 8 am, and the older girls wander down with a basket to the hen house, it’s time to feed the chickens and collect fresh eggs! There is laughing and giggling and they are all excited to reach down and pick up fresh warm eggs! It’s a great start to each day and they are the kinds of moments we love in our life. There is pure fresh happiness, a house full of little girls and a handsome little boy and a wonderful husband. It really is a daily adventure. Every day is a blessing

My husband Mark, 37, and,  I live in a little rural town near Canberra with our nine children,  yes, that’s right 9 children! Eight girls, and one boy! Their names are Georgina, Charlotte, Franchesca, Abigail, Catherine, Elizabeth, Rose, Martina, and Michael.

We have a busy, but well-managed household. Every day at our house we always fun, full of love, joy happiness and laughter! Living in a rural town is lovely, but it also has it disadvantages too. We do not have any shops and have travel 45kms to get groceries and other normal day items.

A lot of people ask me “how do you cope with a large family” or “do have a TV? Or “Your husband must be a CEO!” I always say that although life is hard it’s hard for the right reasons. A large family is a blessing a truly wonderful experience. Honestly, it’s really not that bad, we just do what we have to do and draw strength from our Christian Faith. We have hard days like anyone else, and sometimes life throws some difficult challenges our way, but I would not have it any other way! We have also been very smart, and fortunate, with our finance. We purchased our home in an affordable and up and coming area and only 45 minutes from the Capital Canberra. My husband works full-time and I stay at home looking after and homeschooling the children. Life is good!

At 1:30 pm we stop our busy day for some lunch and some garden play! The children absolutely love being in the garden with the animals! I capture these special moments on camera, as really, every day is a special day! I know that my husband and I will cherish these moments forever!

As a family of 11, 1 dog, 7 hens, 1 duck, 1 cockatiel, it is very important to shop around and find the best deals! We do our grocery shopping once a fortnight at Aldi and we set a budget of $450- $500  for our food shopping. Petrol money and bills money is kept separate, However, I do keep some extra money aside for any other extra expenses we have throughout the fortnight. We buy 48 litres of milk, 3-kilogram blocks of cheese, and 2 thickened creams. That’s a lot of dairy!REPORT THIS AD

I like to meal plan for the fortnight. I think it is very important to do this especially in a busy household like ours. We do sometimes shop at Costco, Coles and Woolworths to see what’s on special. For Sundays, we often buy really big pork and cut it in half. We cook 1 half for Sunday roast and then use the other half the following Sunday. otherwise we buy 2 chickens. We boil the left over’s and use it to make curry the following night.

If you want to save money on petrol, birthday cakes or other items I recommend going to your nearest Costco store. (if you have one) You can find some of the best deals here.

We shop around for the best insurance policies. We have an awesome deal at Saint George Bank for our vehicles (through Alliance), and home and contents insurances. We bank with service one for our mortgage and main accounts, and so far we have found them the best bank to deal with. They also are very good to bank with, if you have a larger family, they treat you fairly from our experience.

We save money by not buying too many luxuries and finding the best deals. We have seven hens and 1 duck which we free-range and get a good quantity of eggs. We also have been growing some vegetables and fruit which has been really great for us!. Another smart way to save money is by opening up a Christmas club account with your bank. Ours does not let you withdraw the money until November 1st. We try to put $150 in the account once a month. Holidays are ad hoc when we have available funds but we normally getaway for 2 weeks per year.

We are not penny pinchers, dole bludgers or anything in between. We work hard, save money and do the right thing for our family and community. We are not big spenders either. We always make it work no matter what! No one ever goes without. We are adaptable and able to adjust our budget needs if and when we need to.

When it comes to buying clothes and shoes I like to shop at places like Kmart, Target, Best & Less, Big W and even charity shops like St Vincent De’Paul. My mother in law is a hairdresser and often cuts the kids hair for me which is wonderful and a big benefit for us. Not everything has to cost money, like days out etc, why not take a picnic in the park or go to your local botanical garden? Lakes, beaches national parks and bush walks are also great ways to enjoy time with your family.  Be creative with your ideas. Kids will absolutely love that!

Or the typical day is very busy but after baths, dinner and other activities we are now finished and snuggled up on the, very large, lounge together. We talk about our day, how we are all feeling and what the new day will bring. We look at our tribe with so much pride, love and joy it makes us so happy!

At 8:30 pm it’s time to be tucked into bed and get comfy with bedtime stories. My husband and I use this time to reflect on our day, discuss the future and enjoy each other’s company.

We (my husband and I) feel so incredibly blessed to have our family. We thank God for our blessings and graces. We are no different from anyone else. We are part of your community. We are Australians.

My tribe – Jodi Bingley photography

Claire Louise Hooker

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How to think about photographic consent for your child – Colin Anson

How to think about photographic consent for your child – Colin Anson

Colin Ansen

In our digital age, sharing photos of our children is a common occurrence. From birth and right through school, parents share every aspect of their life with family and friends. In fact, according to research conducted by cybersecurity company McAfee, 30% of Australian parents use social media to post a photo or video of their child at least once a week, with 12% posting at least once a day. This was despite 71% understanding that the image might end up in the wrong hands.

A 2017 University of Florida study found that “when children appear in Facebook photos, 45.2% of the posts also mention the child’s first name, and 6.2% reference the child’s date of birth”. On Instagram, it was worse: 63% of parents referenced their child’s first name in at least one photo in their stream and 27% of parents mentioned their child’s date of birth. Almost one in five shared both pieces of information.


It’s not just the parents themselves who are keen on sharing images of their child – photos are a big part of a school’s activities – from the daily photo at childcare to establishing student identity at high school, from school newsletters about students’ achievements to institutional marketing material. 

As parents, we’re responsible for protecting them until they are old enough to make their own decisions about their online presence. So how can we hope to protect our children from security risks when their world is full of situations where their photo is being constantly shared? 

The first step is to gain a better understanding of what correct photographic consent looks like, so you can push back if you’re asked to sign a consent form that is in any way coersive. It is becoming more common for educational institutions to issue a permission slip upon enrolment in a school or childcare centre, asking parents if it is okay for them to photograph their child. Please be aware that not all permission slips are made equal.

For example, schools should never ask parents to sign a consent form that lasts forever. Consent must always have a use-by date, because a lot can change in a short space of time. Schools should obtain fresh consent from parents and guardians regularly – once a year should be the bare minimum.

In a similar vein, push back if your child’s school attempts to ‘bundle’ consent into one form. You are not truly consenting If you’re being asked to do it all at once, or to tick one box. Instead, schools must provide the opportunity for parents to have greater choice and control over what the school can do with their child’s images. 

This is because family needs and individual circumstances are constantly shifting, and a situation that was once okay may no longer be. Unless schools can consistently renew consent for specific situations, they risk exposing children to serious harm.

Always speak up if you ever feel like consent is being taken from you in a way that could be considered coercive. If your school is banning children from enrolling or entering an event unless their parents have signed an ‘all-in’ consent form, for example, then they’re not collecting true consent. 

In cases like these, parents might feel pressured to sign the form, even if they have legitimate and serious reasons for not allowing their child to be photographed. Instead, schools should always make it clear that deciding not to give consent will have no bearing on your child’s experience.

Navigating the digital world will always be a complex task – for adults and children alike. But if you get image consent right you’ve fought a big part of the battle in protecting your child’s digital footprint and will help educate them to become more responsible digital citizens in the future.

About Colin Anson, CEO and co-founder of pixevety:

Colin Anson is a digital entrepreneur, and the CEO and co-founder of child image protection and photo storage solution, pixevety https://pixevety.com/ 

In 2012, Colin saw an opportunity to create a unique business within his area of passion, photography. He witnessed first-hand the potential risks and harm the mismanagement of photos can have on children. And he became an advocate for protecting every parent’s right to determine how their child’s photo is used, and protecting every child’s right to safety and digital privacy. After learning of the minefield of privacy laws and the daily stress for schools in managing and sharing the photos of every single student, Colin decided to do something about it. And pixevety was born.

Calming cards for kids

Calming cards for kids


In collaboration with Oh Beehave Kids

The Calming Cards are designed to help you teach your child calming and soothing techniques. Each pack comes with a set of 10 cards with different techniques for you to try with your children.
Each set costs $30. You can use my discount code; TRIBEOFMINE where you will receive $5 of your set of calming cards which is so awesome! Please note that the discount code expires on November 18th. These cards would make an awesome stocking filler for Christmas too.
Not only are these cards calming, but they are also very educational too. Suitable for ages 3 and up (with parental guidance)

Calming cards can be used in a variety of contexts, including;

1.A calming corner (or calming space) in your home

2.Out and about

3.Calming activities before bed

4.Classrooms

5.Day Care Centers

Here are some of the techniques that the cards uses;

1.Deep Breathing

2.Muscle relaxation

3.Grounding

4. Visualisation

When can the cards can be used?

1.Winding down before bed

2.Out and About

3.Calming Corner

4.Classroom’s

5.Day Care’s

5.Family Activity

6.Desk at work

I can’t wait to try these techniques with my tribe! Wish me luck 😉

I will receive a small commission on every purchase made using my discount code.

Oh behave website:
https://parentingtherapy.com/calming-cards/

Claire Xx

Meet the Tribe

Meet the Tribe

Meet the Tribe

Hello everyone,

I thought I would introduce you to my tribe one by one. I hope you will enjoy reading about them all as I did writing about them. They are all so different form one another and have such amazing traits and personalities. I feel very proud of them all. I feel so blessed to have nine beautiful children. We are a full-house and we are full of love. Life is amazing.

Georgina

This is my eldest daughter Georgina. She is 11 years old. Georgina is smart, caring and full of life. She is extremely good at art and crafts. She also loves Science and writing stories. Georgina loves looking after the chickens and ducks and one day wants to be a vet. I am very proud of the young lady she is becoming. 😍

Charlotte

This is my second eldest daughter Charlotte. She is 10 years old. Charlotte is a very kind and caring person and loves to help out her younger siblings. She always asks me if I need help with anything. Charlotte is very strong-willed and is always determined to get things done. Charlotte loves arts/crafts, dancing and singing. She told me she would like to work at an airport one day. I am very proud of her and the little lady she is blossoming Into.🤩😍

Franchesca

This is Franchesca. She is 8 years old. Franchesca was born at 28 weeks gestation which was absolutely terrifying. It was a very tough time for us all. But she amazed us all be growing stronger and stronger everyday and she only spent 6 weeks in the hospital NICU before coming home at 35 weeks gestation. Franchesca is strong, smart and is an avid reader and enjoys reading storybook collections. Franchesca loves to help out with her siblings. Franchesca also likes science and art. Franchesca told me she wants to be a mummy when she is older. Franchesca is my miracle girl and we are very blessed to have her. 😍😘

This is my daughter Abigail. She is 7 years old. Abigail loves to sing like me and is actually pretty good. Abigail loves music, gardening, baking and art. Abigail is acing reading all her school books. Abigail is doing her first Holy Communion in 2 weeks which she is really excited about. Abigail is not sure what she wants to be when she is older and said she is still thinking about it. Abigail is very talented and caring and I’m very proud of her and all her achievements.😘
.

Catherine – twin 1

This is my Daughter Catherine. She is 6 years old. Catherine has a non-identical twin sister called; ‘Elizabeth who you will meet tomorrow in the series. The twins were born 6 weeks early and had to both stay in NICU for about 6 weeks. We eventually came home but Catherine got sick and had to go back to go hospital where she spent another 2 weeks recovering and growing. Catherine has an eye condition called ‘Amblyopia’ which is another term for the ‘lazy eye’ she wears really awesome glasses but didn’t have them on for this photo because they were being fixed at Specsavers. Catherine has big blue eyes and people always tell her she looks like a Disney princess. Catherine is a bright girl and despite her eye condition is coming along really well with her reading and writing. She has always been a fighter and a go-getter. Catherine is very much a sensitive soul. She is kind and caring. Catherine loves going to the beach and swimming in the sea. Catherine’s favourite subjects are art and Geography. Catherine amazes me every day and I am so proud of her.

Elizabeth – twin 2

This is my daughter Elizabeth. She is 6 years old and she is also Catherine’s twin sister. They were both born at 34 weeks gestation and spent 6 weeks in NICU. They are non-identical twins and are very different from one another in looks and personalities but together they have a very strong and unique bond. The bond they share is so beautiful.
Elizabeth is kind, caring, stubborn and cheeky but is very affectionate and loves hugging her baby brother. Elizabeth loves to sing and do arts and crafts. Elizabeth also loves going to the coffee shop for a cake and a milkshake. She also loves going to the beach. Her favourite subjects are music, English and art. I am very proud of my little ‘busy Lizzy’ 😍

Rose

This is my daughter Rose – Olivia. She is 4 years old and is turning 5 next month. Rose Rose always introduces herself as ‘wose’ which is really cute.🤗
Rose gets grumpy easily but it’s quite easy to make her laugh too.
Rose is such a bright little button and already wants to do big school ‘homeschool‘ with her older siblings. She has been unofficially schooling with them for 2 years now and has learnt so much already and is eager to learn more. Rose really loves Reading eggs and Maths Online. She is a great little singer and adores bunny rabbits. Rose is always hugging her brother and showing him books. Rose is kind, caring and full of life. Her favourite subject is Art. I am very proud of my little Rosie Posey. 😍

Martina

This is my daughter Martina. She is 2 years old and is turning 3 on January 31st. Her middle name is Alice. She is growing so fast and is so full of life! She has such character and make us all laugh every day.
Martina is currently growing her molars which has been painful for her. She has also been going through the terrible 2 phase 😂
Martina is currently toilet training and although it’s early days she is doing really well with it. Martina loves Peppa pig so much and takes a giant soft Peppa pig toy to bed with her every night. Martina loves to be in the water and has no fear of it at all. She loves the bath with her ducks, She also loves going in the sea, swimming pools and even in our inflatable water parks we put up in our garden throughout the summer. I think she will be a great swimmer as she gets older. When Martina is out and about she waves and says “hello” to everyone. Martina is showing a strong interest in books and colouring in books. I am very proud of my youngest daughter. Being 2 years old is hard but she is AMAZING and is growing into a very beautiful little girl. 😍

Michael

This is my son Michael. Michael is now 20 months old. His birthday falls on Valentine’s day and is also the day before his sister’s Franchesca. Michael was born at 38 weeks but had a rough start to his life with breathing issues and he spent a week in the NICU. After this minor blip, Michael grew from strength to strength. Michael is very tall and his almost the same height has his sister Martina Michael is strong and very clever for his age. He loves to play with his toy trucks and cars. Michael is very sweet-natured and is also very charming. He loves cuddles and kisses from us all. He is adored by his 8 sisters. Michael just loves life and is always smiling. He is a very happy little boy. Michael is saying new words every day but his favourite words are; ‘yesh’, ‘okay’ and ‘ickles’ as in Michael’ and 😂 Michael loves his blue soft bunny rabbit that he takes to bed with him every night. Michael loves to dance to Bob the builder when it comes on the telly. He is also a great little dancer. I’m so proud of my little Prince charming. He is such a beautiful boy and we feel so blessed to have him after having 8 beautiful girls.

Family

Thanks for reading

Claire xxx

Red Gum – Beach tents – Review

Red Gum – Beach tents – Review

Beach day fun!

In collaboration with Red Gum
.
Hey everyone,
As you all know my family and I love the beach and we would spend every day there if we lived nearer to one.
About a week before our trip to the New South Wales South Coast, a lovely little new business called Red Gum reached out to me and asked if I would like to collaborate with them. When I saw that they were selling cute baby beach tents I thought they looked amazing and so handy! I, of course, said yes!

Red Gum sells a range of beach tents, beach pool tents and sleep tents for your little ones to enjoy at the beach, park or even in your back garden. They are UV protected and they come with pegs so that it stays secure to the ground. They have about 7 different designs for you to choose from too. These beach tents come in circular zipped bags with carrying handles so that you can carry them easily to the beach. The tents are easily foldable and can be flat-packed into the bags without any hassle. They are so light that even the kids can carry them for you! 😎

Another awesome thing about the tent is that if you dig a hole in the sand and place your tent over the top where the pool insert is, you can actually fill the small insert with water or sand so your little bub can have fun whilst being protected from the sun 😁

The tents range from $49.95 but at the moment Red Gum is having a spring clearance sale and has a 20 per cent off happening right now!


My kids absolutely loved having their picnic in the beach tents and told me how cool they thought it was. Michael was very tired and teething and had a little nap in the baby sleep tent which worked out really handy for us too! If you are planning a beach day then I highly recommend these tents for your day out!


For more info go follow @red_gum_contriving who will happily assist you with any inquiries you may have

Thanks again Red Gum.

Website: https://redgum.page/collections/all

Claire Xx