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Saturday, December 14, 2013


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.


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


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.

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Sunday, February 3, 2013

CAR SEAT REVIEW MaxiCosi Goliath (air) protect

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!
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.

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).

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 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

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Saturday, February 2, 2013

The Plant

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 We've moved. Here's BFLI's new home.

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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.

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 'raising a family on little more than laughs'

Sunday, January 27, 2013

I take a leak in my car

When it's raining hard, parking can always be a problem at our local supermarket because everyone wants to be under cover. I was thinking about this yesterday on my way to the shops when suddenly our car started acting out.

A long period of neglect has obviously upset our Pajero. She's been making all sorts of noises and throwing bits of herself on the ground. So last week we had her serviced and gave her a couple of new tyres, but it was too little, too late, I fear. Going by my drive to the shops, she's still chucking tantrums.

At first I didn't realize what was going on: I just all of a sudden felt moist in my crotch. I looked down to find I'd wet my pants. This really surprised me because I made sure I went before I left home.

It took me four more corners before I worked out what was happening, because the next three corners I took were right turns. But on the fourth corner, when I turned left, I saw a stream of water leave the top of the windscreen and dump itself into my lap.

Another right corner. Nothing.

Left. The wet patch between my legs expanded, like I'd thought, 'Oh well, I've started, I may as well finish off and then I'll change my pants.'

And the truth is I was contemplating going home and changing my pants, but then I realized I'd strike the same problem on my way back to the shops every time I turned left.

Which was when I realized this solved my parking problem.

Instead of battling for a position under the shops I had my pick of the parks out in the open in the pouring rain and by the time I got inside the rest of me matched my crotch perfectly.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2013


Hi everyone! Bruce here. I'm so tech stupid I have no idea if this is how I'm supposed to do this. Thing is, we've moved over to our own site. Please click below on the link to follow us there :)

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Sunday, January 20, 2013

Getting over the hump

The dog across the road is like the ultimate canine criminal - it is a master of breaking and entering. We've had issues over the last few years with this dog somehow getting into our yard and having its way with our dog, Jazz.

It's always been a bit of a lark with the owners but a couple of months ago we had to ask them to at least attempt to keep their dog in their yard because ours was on heat.

"Not a problem," they said. "We'll make sure we shut the gate." And then, a few days later, "It was the in-laws, you know. They don't think to close it properly."

"Ooo, is she pregnant then?" the nice people who clip Jazz's coat every summer asked us a few weeks later. They were feeling her belly and seemed quite keen on the idea.

"We hope not," Tracey assured them. Jazz is a Samoyed whereas the dog from up the street is a Stafford or something. She's white and fluffy, he's black, short haired and has a head like Bob Hoskins. We figure their pups would be as odd as Donkey and Dragon's.

But it's been a couple of months since she was clipped and she's still fat and we've no puppies, so all is well.

But today, the youngest owners of black dog were over playing with our kids and I heard them talking about how their dog and, to be honest, I'm especially pleased for our Jazz that he won't be fathering her babies, because it turns out he's a bit of a cad.

"He had babies with dogs up the road," the young master was telling my kids. "He escaped across the road and humped them."

"I know what hump means," Master7 told him.

"It means making babies," said Miss9.

"It means pooing in our garden," said Miss5.

"No, it doesn't," Master7 assured her.

"Well, that's what it was doing," she assured him right back.
"It means sex," said Master7. "Their dog was having sex with our dog and now they have to have a baby."

Well, that's certainly how it's always worked for us.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Daddy's in charge

Tracey called me Friday to say there was a 2 day photographers workshop in Brisbane she desperately wanted to attend. Naturally, I said I had no problem with her going.

"How many kids you taking?" was the only question I asked.

"Funny," she said without a hint of a smile in her voice. I remember when she used to find me hilarious.

So at 5am this morning, having got up, given Miss0 a bottle, showered, made a coffee and snuck out onto the balcony, Tracey was waiting for my mother to pick her up to take her to the train station.

At 5.30am, the kids woke up.

"Dad! Where's Mum?" Master7 bellowed from the other side of the bed.

"She's gone to Brisbane," I reminded him.

"So can I play the DS then?" he asked. Tracey doesn't like the kids spending too much time on the electronics.

"Yes." With Mum out of the way, he knew this weekend was destined to be awesome. "Just whisper, will you? Now go away and don't wake your-"

I was interrupted by the sound of Miss0's bottle hitting the bedhead. She tossed it, grenade fashion.

"Never mind," I said, dragging my sorry ass out of bed. There was no use trying to get back to sleep. Miss0 wails like a banshee until she's taken out of the cot and set free. And because she's a climber I'm worried if we leave her too long in the cot she'll work out she can get out without our assistance.

In the kitchen I found a note from my wife, giving me my orders. I love she feels the need to include things like 'breakfast' and 'baths' on the list, and things like 'give baby food, not just bottle'. There was a bit on Agony Uncles last night which I think sums up my wife, and probably most wives, nicely - delegation, with micro-supervision.

Then mid-morning both grandmothers arrive, almost in formation, to take away Miss5 and Miss3 for the day, leaving me with only Miss9, Master7 (both attached to their iPods) and Miss0, who, like me, slept for a three hours this afternoon.  I see this as proof our parents read my blog because last time Tracey went away things didn't go very smoothly. (link - Daddy Poppins)

But things have gone much better today. When Tracey called to check up on things, Miss0 had just woken me up from my nap.

"How's it going?" Tracey asked me.


"What's that screaming?"

"Nothing. It's the telly."

"It's the baby. What's going on?"

"She fell off the lounge."

"Why was she on the lounge?"

"We were sleeping."


All things considered, I think the day went rather splendidly. Everyone fed, bathed, read to and a night of beer, pizza, Bladerunner and The Fifth Element ahead of me.

Then, after the blighters were in bed, I looked at the list and realized I hadn't ticked one final item off the list.

But that's okay, I figure they can brush their teeth in the morning. I'm calling today a success.

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Release the prisoners!

Our kids have been locked up in our house for two weeks and are at the point where they're driving their wardens up the wall.

As anyone who has watched Supernanny knows, time seems to take longer for little kids. It must bend or something. I guess that's why she suggests kids stay on the naughty spot a minute for every year of their age: Three minutes to a three year old is like seven minutes to a seven year old.

Which probably means, for our five year old daughter, she's been in lock up for about 18 weeks.

Sure, we could make the effort and carry Miss9 to the car and go out more, but this heat has us feeling super lazy and, as excuses go, a broken leg is a good one.

So when we took the family out yesterday on parole the conversation coming from the back seats gave us a big dose of the guilts.

"Look! It's a blue car!" Suddenly the world was full of colours and people and places. It must be what it's like to be released from prison. Everything was new and wonderful and much more interesting than before they were incarcerated. "A yellow car! Look! Traffic lights!"

"That's the soccer ovals! I remember them"

"Oooo McDonalds!"

In a mirror image of the Naughty Corner Time Conundrum, it was a long, long five minute drive for myself and Tracey. Especially me, because they soon made it personal and Tracey sided with the inmates.

"A pink car!" said Miss5. "Dad, you've got a pink car."

"No, I don't," I called back to her. "I have a red car. That's why we call it the Red Rocket."

"The Red Bucket," corrected Tracey. Okay, so it's a little old and crappy.

"Should be the Pink Rocket," said Master7. Okay, so it's a little faded.

"The Pink Bucket," corrected Tracey.

Obviously the whole lot of them are suffering from Cabin Fever.

But if they keep dissing my sad little car I'll cancel parole and throw them all back in the slammer for another couple of weeks.

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Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Case of the Deadly Dora

"Bedtime," I called out to my munchkins earlier tonight, and got the usual chorus of responses.

"I'm thirsty!"

"I'm hungry!"

"I'm need to go to the toilet!"

This frustrates me. No one ever yells out, "I'm still picking up my toys!"

And it's not like we randomly change bedtime, so it shouldn't come as a surprise every single night. We don't, for example, tuck them in at 5pm one day and then, on a whim, 9pm the next.

I raced around mustering them towards their rooms and eventually managed five out of five in their beds. But we weren't done yet.

"Where's your pillow and doona?" I asked Miss3. She was lying on a bed made with nothing but a bottom sheet.

"I show you," she told me, and shot out of bed and past me before I could say anything else. Thirty seconds later she reappeared at her bedroom door with her pillow in one arm and dragging her doona with the other. She'd probably been using them to make a cubby house in one of the other rooms.

I settled her back into bed and decided to lie beside and chat for a second. It's one of my favourite parts of the day - lying, chatting with them or tickling them or pretending to sleep on them and having them chuckle and laugh, and then big kisses and hugs before moving onto the next kid.

I threw myself down onto her pillow, ready to snore loudly in her ear.

"JEEZ!" I yelled, abruptly sitting up as pain shot through my skull. "What the...???"

"I show you," said Miss3, ignoring my outburst and subsequent rubbing of my scalp. "I got presents."

And out of her pillow she pulled a Dora doll, a soft puppy and some Barbie furniture. I suspect my sore head was from Dora bashing me over the head with the dining table. The puppy looked too innocent to be involved in any rough play.

Anyway, I shouldn't complain. At least they were off the floor :)

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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

We help a Georgian woman buy moo-cows

Here it is! The post you've all been waiting for: my monthly KIVA plug.

If you've joined the ranks of KIVA supporters, now might be a good time to log on to the KIVA site to see if enough repayments have hit your account so you can lend the money out again.

If you're still a KIVA virgin, this is what our favourite organisation.

Here's what KIVA has to say about itself - "We are a non-profit organization with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. Leveraging the internet and a worldwide network of microfinance institutions, Kiva lets individuals lend as little as $25 to help create opportunity around the world."

And for our 71st loan, our family has decided to help Madona from Georgia, mainly based on how much she looks like she could be a distant family member of ours - those eyes, those cheekbones, that mouth. Seriously, she might be an Auntie a few times removed.

Here's what Madona's KIVA application had to say about her and what she's hoping to do with the $25 we contributed to the $975 loan she requested:

"Madona is a 52-year-old farmer. She lives in the village of Laneti in the Samtredia district with her daughter and son, who is a soldier. The family earns its income by farming. In particular, they have a calf and three milk cows. They use the milk to produce traditional Georgian cheese and sell it at the local open market. In addition, they have a small pig-breeding farm with one pig and several piglets. They sell the piglets to a wholesaler. Along with these activities, the family has a plot of land where it grows green vegetables. Madona has requested a loan to expand her cattle shed so she can increase the size of her herd and have a place for her animals to stay. The cheese produced by Madona is high quality and in demand in the local market. According to her estimation, when she has more cows she won’t have any problems selling the increased amount of the cheese they produce. A larger heard will have a positive impact on her family’s income and allow them to improve their living conditions by buying more items for their household."

KIVA is a great way to help people not as fortunate to be born in countries with all the advantages ours have. They'll get there, I'm sure, but meanwhile there are people working hard to improve the wellbeing and health of their families. For $25 (which they repay) I'm happy to help.

If you'd like to check out what KIVA is all about, here's a link

And if you do join, look us up (Team Devereaux) in the Paying It Forward team :)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


"Mummy and I have something special organised for you kids this weekend," I teased Miss5 at bedtime tonight. Tracey and I had just finished reading her a couple of bedtime stories.

"EEEEeeeEEEEEeeeeEEEEE!!" she squealed, jumping out of the sheets and jumping up and down. Of all our kids, Miss5 is the one who has to let her excitement out for all the world to see. "What?! What?! What?!"

"I'll give you a hint," I told her while Tracey tucked her back into bed. "We have to leave the house."

Miss5 shot out of bed again. "We're going to Tin Can Bay!" she bellowed.

We go to Tin Can Bay every year for a week or two, to relax and ride bikes and drink beer. I do the bulk of the beer drinking, but the kids do get to fetch them from the fridge for me. Tin Can Bay is the laziest little town I've ever been to, and we love it.

"Yay!!" came a yell from the other room, and another from the bathroom.

"No, we're not!" I called back before they could all build up to fever pitch and there'd be tears when I told them the game was cancelled.

"I'll give you another clue," I said as Tracey tried to push Miss5's head towards the pillow. "It involves big balls."

My young daughter was up again. "We're going to Geoffrey's!" she bellowed. "Yes!"

Geoffrey is Master21 and he lives a couple of hours away in Brisvegas. I have no idea why he's the first thing which comes to mind when Miss5 hears big balls. She's obviously never heard him squeal at a spider.

"Yay!" yelled Master7, sticking his head in the bedroom. "Awesome."

"We're not," I told him. "We're not!" I yelled to the rest of the house.

"Final clue," I said. Tracey wasn't even bothering to put her in bed at this point. "You use bumpers."

Miss5 leapt up, spun around but then froze facing me. "Bumpers? What are they?" she asked me.

"This game is going well," said Tracey. "You should do a pilot."

"We're going Ten Pin Bowling," I said, ignoring my wife.

"We're going Ten Pin Bowling!" Miss5 bellowed, jumping and pivoting on the bed in a frenzy of glee.

The rest of the house was oddly silent.

"We are!" I called out.

"YAY!!" came yells from other rooms, and we were finally able to remake Miss5's bed and put her to sleep.

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