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Sunday, May 4, 2014

WIN 1 OF 5 HOYTZ FAMILY MOVIE PASSES – ENDS SOON!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Tell Me Sweet Little Lies



“I need a hug,” said my wife, throwing her arms wide and drawing me in. She was looking sad but in a fake way.
“What’s up?” I asked her.
It turns out Miss7 had been running roughshod over her emotions today.
“I love you, Mummy,” Miss7 had exclaimed this afternoon, throwing her arms around Tracey and giving a squeeze.
It was one of those moments which comes out of nowhere just when you need it most and makes you realize nothing else matters – not the dishes, not the floors, not the folding pile. Especially not the folding pile.
“I love you, too,” said Tracey, returning the cuddle and throwing in a kiss for good measure.
“But I love you more,” said Miss7 seriously.
“I don’t think that’s possible,” said Tracey.
“I do though. I love you more,” Miss7 assured her mother, clearly wanting to play the game.
“No, I love you more.”
“No, Mummy, I love you more.”
“No, I love you more.”
“I love you more.”
You get the picture. Apparently, it went on for a bit.
Until…
“I love you more,” said Tracey. “So stop lying,” she added for variety.
“Okay,” said Miss7…
…and ran off.
Hilarious. It’s the sort of thing which usually happens to me.
“It’s okay,” I told Tracey with mock sympathy. “I still love you.”
She smiled. “I love you too.”
“But I love you more,” I joked.
“Okay,” she said…
…and walked off grinning.
:) I've moved to a new site :)
http://www.bigfamilylittleincome.com/
“Raising a family on little more than laughs.”

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Crickey! I'm Giving Away A Family Pass To Australia Zoo!!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

I loved our day at Australia Zoo. Well, most of it. There was this one thing which happened which scared the absolute bejesus out of me.
Until going to Australia Zoo the only snake handling experience I’ve ever had was with Allens Killer Pythons. I don’t even like to handle worms and suddenly I was being handed a body double for Nagini, Lord Voldemort’s scaly pet.
“I’m a little bitohmygodIdon’tknowaboutthisdoesitbite?” I said bravely while my voice hit some new high notes.
“Only if it senses fear,” the handler said, wrapping it around my shoulders. “Smile for the camera.”
And now you can have fun like that too :) I'm giving away a Family 5 Pass to Australia Zoo. Good Luck!!!

Also, here's the full post - it's a great read. Naturally ;)
Australia Zoo - Review & Giveaway


When not over here, Bruce hangs out at his Big Family Little Income Facebook Page.
”Raising a family on little more than laughs.”

Saturday, December 14, 2013

BIG4 HOLIDAY PARK – REVIEW AND GIVEAWAY


This giveaway ends Sunday night - get your entry in now to be in the draw to win two nights cabin accommodation at any of the 180 odd BIG4 Holiday Parks throughout Australia - valued at up to $400!

 ”Raising a family on little more than laughs.”

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Sweet Justice


Loose lips sink ships and any chance of further secret treats: every six year old worth their sugar knows that.
“Quick!” Tracey told Miss6. They were about to pick up our two littlest kids from the daycare centre. “Faster! Use your teeth. Crunch it up.”
After stopping off at the servo, Tracey had purchased them a lollipop each, and now needed all evidence gone before they could leave the car.
Is there anything sweeter than a treat your siblings aren’t privy to? It’s a secret joy for as long as the sugar lasts.
“Have you swallowed it all?” Tracey wanted to know. “Good. Now give me the stick so I can hide it.”
Miss6 is pretty good at this sort of thing, unlike her big sister, Miss9, who takes great pleasure in letting all her siblings know. It might not surprise you to learn Miss6 gets more secret lollipops.
No, Miss6 would never tell. She’s too smart for that. It’s us adults who aren’t too clever.
Inside the daycare centre, Miss3 and Miss1 were, as always, thrilled to be reunited with their mummy and raced over for hugs.
Tracey picked Miss3 up and planted a kiss on her cheek.
“Hello, mummy!” beamed Miss3.
“Hi, sweetie,” said Tracey.
Suddenly Miss3 stopped smiling and frowned. She gave Tracey a hard look and asked, “Have you had an iceblock?”
“No,” said Tracey, guiltily.
There was a pause for thought.
“Have you had a snake?” knowing our weak spots.
“Uh-uh,” said Tracey, shaking her head and refusing to open her mouth.
Briefest of pauses.
“You’ve had a lollipop!” declared Miss3. Then she grinned and turned to her little sister. “Yay! We’re having a lollipop.”
So Tracey got to stop at the servo again on the way home.
And Miss6 got to sit quietly in her seat and enjoy her second lollipop of the day.
 When not over here, Bruce Devereaux hangs out at his ‘BIG FAMILY little income’  Facebook Page.
 ’raising a family on little more than laughs’

Friday, June 7, 2013

Potty Mouth


"Urrrk," said Tracey as she walked out of the bathroom last night. "Urrrrk gak uuurrk."

"What's wrong with you?" I asked Tracey as Miss1 tottled past her towards the lounge room.

"Gawwwk!"

I know this sound. Years of morning sickness, preceded by years of drunken debauchery, have etched it indelibly into my brain.

For a brief few seconds the idea Tracey was pregnant yet again crossed my mind, but then I remembered it was early evening and these days I'm shooting blanks.

"Are you sick?" I asked, outstretching my arm towards her in a soothing and sympathetic manner while simultaneously taking a step back. She shook her head. "Well, what's happened?"

She went to open her mouth to tell me.

"Urrrrk urk," she said, bringing a hand up to her mouth.

I could see her eyes trying to fight the urge to gag and settle her throat down. Finally she took a deep breath and brought her other hand up. She was gingerly holding a toothbrush between two fingers.
If living with Tracey has taught me anything it's you don't just reach out and take something she's offering. That way is a minefield of crappy jobs like changing dirty nappies because of the 'you touched it last' rule.

She tried again.

"Found. Emmy. Urkk." She settled herself. "Cleaning. Toilet. Gawwwk! Urrrrrk!"

'With your toothbrush?" I finished for her.

Tracey nodded vigorously.

"That's funny!" I said, grinning.

She frowned, vigorously.

"Seriously, it could be worse," I laughed. "It could have been my toothbrush."

Tracey pointed into the bathroom and I stuck my head in. There were two other toothbrushes on the floor around the loo. My toothbrush was still in the bowl.

"No biggy," I told Tracey. "I'll just buy some new toothbrushes tomorrow."

It wasn't until this afternoon when I arrived home with a handful of new brushes that Tracey explained the real reason she was gagging so badly.

"That's not the first time I've found the toothbrushes out of the draw," she told me. "Sometimes there'll be one on the vanity or in the sink. Sometimes I'll pick one up off the floor and give it a rinse. What I was wondering is how many times she's cleaned the toilet with a toothbrush and I've just given it a rinse and shoved it back in the drawer."

And then Tracey got to see me do my awesome impersonation of a pregnant woman, after which we found a high shelf to house our new toothbrushes.

When not typing away at his new blog domain (here: Big Family, Little Income
and checking his stats every two minutes, Bruce Devereaux  hangs out at his 
Big Family, Little Income  Facebook Page. Come and join the fun :)

 ’raising a family on little more than laughs’

Saturday, March 30, 2013

EGGCON1



We are on high alert here in the Devereaux household.

There's definitely an air of expectation about the place. Likewise there's an air of urgency and an air of anxiety. We're keeping an air of panic in reserve. There's also an air of excitement, but that's just the kids at the moment. Tracey and I are hoping to join them and breathe a lungful of that in closer to morning.

It's 8.30pm and I've just had a coffee.

The goods are ready for the drop, the targets are all confirmed in their bunkers and Joint Chiefs of Staff have just come out of their final, top secret briefing behind a locked bedroom door.

"We don't go in until we can't see the whites of their eyes!" is the sort of thing we didn't say.

Read on at our new website BIG FAMILY LITTLE INCOME :)


Our 'BIG FAMILY little income' Facebook Page
 'raising a family on little more than laughs'


Sunday, February 3, 2013

CAR SEAT REVIEW MaxiCosi Goliath (air) protect


yay
I went all Rocky Balboa after successfully removing all the fabric in
two minutes. Coincidentally, my same best time for removing a bra.

When you have seven kids you build up a wealth of knowledge about certain things - like cheap nappies are a great way to save money if you aren't so worried about keeping all the pee in.

One area I believe I'm qualified to teach at University level is the field of car seats. I've bought and installed about a dozen, including a complete upgrade and fit out when the government decided to change the laws to better protect the nation's munchkins.

Even now, our car has three car seats fitted for Miss1, Miss3 and Miss5.

When it comes to this sort of equipment I have very specific requirements.

Firstly, Tracey has to like it. Fortunately, the range of Maxi-Cosi car seats (and capsules) look a million bucks. Better, in fact, than the car I'll be driving our Maxi-Cosi Goliath <air> protect around in. While I've no doubt my kids will work tirelessly towards grubbing it down to our level, the easy to remove and machine washable fabric means we can keep it looking nice for a good while yet. One thing you can't do in a shop when you're looking at these sorts of thing is break it down. I wanted to know how quick and easy it would be to take the fabric off and put it back on.

"Shouldn't we install it and take a photo in the car first?" Tracey asked me as I set the car seat on the dining table.

"You don't think I'll be able to put it back together," I accused her. She didn't deny it.

But she needn't have worried. It took exactly 2 minutes to take all the fabric off and, despite my wife's lack of faith in my abilities, only 4 minutes and 24 seconds to have everything back in place. Not bad for a first run.

page1The dismantle. The reassemble.

Secondly, I want the car seat to be light (I could juggle the Goliath with one hand even in the box) and so easy to install I don't need to look at the instructions. What is the point in having to look at instructions for car seats? When I need to adjust the seat when Miss1 grows to the next level or to re-install it if I remove the seat to vacuum and chip away at the dried food under it, there's no way I'll have kept the original instructions handy. They'll be long gone: tossed with the box. Installation needs to be intuitive and simple. Or attached to the car seat. And guess what!? With the Goliath, they're both!
pages
I want the car seat to help me avoid tickets from well meaning police officers. Meaning, I want it to meet or exceed all Australian Standards without me needing to think about it. This is why we don't try to save money on car seats by buying them at garage sales or on ebay - you don't know if they comply with the new regs. Quite aside from putting your child in unnecessary risk, the $330 for the ticket (for each child) would have been far better put towards a new car seat.

The seat must also be supremely comfortable for the same reason I listen to Hi-5 instead of ACDC when I'm cruising the hood with my posse. I want my kids happy. Where at all possible, I want them to sleep.
Golitath-NewNoice.

But ultimately, what I need is for the seat to best protect my kid because we put a lot of work into making them and grown rather fond of the little blighters. Australia has the toughest standards in the world and the Air Protect even goes beyond these in its efforts to keep our kids safe.Fortunately we live in a country where the powers that be also think protecting our kids is important, so they've legislated some very strict standards. 

Which is lucky because given my track record behind the wheel I'm going to put them through their paces at some point - probably when I'm squeezing into a park at the shopping centre. Thanks to the Goliath's revolutionary air protect technology, when I'm battling it out for a spot in front of Woolies our little miss is better protected from side impacts (which apparently cause a shocking 1 in 3 fatalities in children).

page2
There's even an insulated bottle holder.

Then, because I'm super-lazy and ultra-demanding, I want the car seat to never need replacing. Ever. I don't want a seat which will do the first four years and then I'm required to go out and buy another one. It's not the money so much as my preference for spending the bulk of my shopping time in Dick Smiths or Sushi Bars rather than the bub section of Big W or K Mart. The Maxi-Cosi Goliath will do from 6 months to 8 years, depending on the size of your kid.

Then there's the price.  Even though we want the very best for our kids, we're all working to a family budget. The Goliath won't break the bank. At a recommended retail of $349.95 the Goliath works out at about $50 a year for the seven odd years use you'll get out of it.

And if that's not enough to sell you on this car seat, I don't know what is.

_MG_2148bbMiss1 was most impressed with her new car seat being installed because it meant she could have the box...
_MG_2113cv

...to share.

Disclaimer. While the good people at Maxi-Cosi were kind enough to send us a car seat to test and tell (FOR FREE!!!) we have not received, requested or been offered any payment for reviewing their product, nor did we guarantee a positive review. BFLI have received a number of products since blogging began to trial but we haven't done more than test them because don't like the idea of bitching about something we were given for free. This post boasts our genuine opinion of this product.

For more information on Australian Standards go 
to Department of Transport & Main Roads - CHILD RESTRAINTS

For more information on MAXI-COSI (air) protect Goliath 
Convertible Booster Seat - HOW IT WORKS

To find out where you can buy MaxiCosi car sets & capsules in your area - CLICK THIS LINK

Head G-Force Comparison graph


Wondering where we've been? Wonder no more.


 We've moved. Here's BFLI's new home.

BIG FAMILY little income WEBSITE

Saturday, February 2, 2013

The Plant

Wondering where we've been? Wonder no more.


 We've moved. Here's BFLI's new home.

BIG FAMILY little income WEBSITE


157_5794
Tracey planting the plant in her sister's car. 2003. This will make more sense after you read the post below.

Reading a recent article about a game of tag  a bunch of middle age men have been playing every February for years has reminded me of our own bit of fun with Jason & Bel (Tracey's sister) and Joshua & Mel (Tracey's bestie).

Years ago, Tracey and I held a How To Host A Murder party and bought some props from a thrift shop to set the mood in our dining room. The best purchase we made was a tall, plastic rainforest plant. In the cold light of day it was hideously ugly but it sure made us laugh.

The plant's uncanny ability for producing mirth revealed itself when Tracey's sister, Bel, and her hunka-hunka burning love, Jason, were moving furniture from under their parent's house to their new place in Brisvegas. We decided to give them the plant as a housewarming gift. They didn't want to deprive us of it. We decided to insist.

Tracey and I spent the better part of two hours trying to sneak the plant into the back of the truck while Jason and Bel's backs were turned. Finally, Jason stomped down the ramp and 'planted' the offending thing at our feet. It was the end of a really, really long day of moving stuff. "We don't. Want. The plant."

"I don't think he wants to play anymore," I whispered to Tracey as he walked away.

"He's tired. He doesn't know what he wants," Tracey assured me. But we stopped trying to get it in the back of the truck. Until right at the end when they were closing the doors. I distracted them while Tracey shoved it in. "They'll thank us later," Tracey assured me as they drove off.

They didn't. When they opened the truck doors the tall plant stood grinning at them in all its plastic splendor.

"Fark!" Jason apparently, appreciatively said. But what they did next would change all our lives for the better. Instead of tossing it in the bin they decided to give the thing straight back next time they came to town.

We were thrilled because it meant we could give it straight back to them, again without their knowledge. Here's a vid of them driving off, beeping their horn in farewell as we rejoin in our evil doings.


This time Jason discovered it a mere hour down the road when he glanced in the rear view mirror of their hatchback and spotted the telltale stalk sticking up through their luggage.

And so a game began which has kept us all savagely amused for years as the plant has made its way from one home to another in all sorts of imaginative and creative ways.

Jason & Bel really weren't very good at this game initially. My favourite was when we folded the plant in half and stuffed it into an empty suitcase of theirs. They only discovered it six months later, the night before they went on a holiday, and started packing.

Eventually the plant had been shoved and folded and tossed so much in its journey's back and forth up the east coast of Queensland, it was nothing more than a sad leaf on a stick. We sent it to that great big plastic rainforest in the sky and replaced it with a couple of life-sized kids dolls (why not?) and Tracey's bestie, Mel and her husband, Joshua, joined in.

By this stage Bel and Jason had moved to G-town and soon the Twins were cropping up in gardens and cupboards across town, often in compromising positions. It was a great game. Whenever you had one of the other couples over you'd go to great pains not to leave one of them unsupervised for fear they'd be hiding the Twins in your washing machine.

Then, about three years ago the game just sort of fizzled. It was sad, but we guessed it had run its course. Eventually, we stopped waiting for the twins to turn up and even allowed Jason and Bel to wander out of our sight in our house.

But last week Tracey got a call from her friend. They'd been doing a clean out in the garage. "Oh my God!" she said to Tracey. "We just found the twins in the garage!"

Of course we see what happened now. The game wasn't over at all.

Best. Hiding spot. Ever.

Well played, Jason & Bel. Well played. Looks like you guys have leveled up.


Wondering where we've been? Wonder no more.

 We've moved. Here's BFLI's new home.

BIG FAMILY little income WEBSITE

BIG FAMILY little income Facebook 
 'raising a family on little more than laughs'

About Me

My Photo

Bruce Devereaux is one of the nicest people he knows. When not at work he enjoys reading, writing, hiding from his children and not changing nappies.

 

His career, and if we used the term any more loosely an e might fall out, has included a gardener, a personal lender, a console operator, a stop/go man (not as big a bludge as you might think but great if you’re into sunburn, abuse and varicose veins), a cleaner of banks and pubs and, for a very brief period, a door to door salesman (until the last door he knocked on was answered by a very scary woman with tremendously hairy legs).

 

Bruce Devereaux currently works as a forty-five-year-old award winning customer service officer (glass statuette available upon request) for the Bank of Queensland and as a very casual employee for Corrective Services. He likes to believe he excels at both but then he has always been prone to exaggeration.

 

His favourite colour is green, with a picture of Dame Nellie Melba on one side and General Sir John Monash on the other. His favourite flower is self-raising.

 If you see him around town, call his wife immediately - he's probably snuck out and left her alone with all the kids.


 

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