We started making fire.

(Photo credit www.shineanthology.wordpress.com)

Now we have every form of technology known to mankind.  We’re progressive, yeah, that’s it.  We’ve come SO far.  So fast….

So, if we’ve come so far then why is there so much chaos?  Why do we seem to have LESS time despite the fact that our iphones, home security systems and ipads are all in sync?  We are sicker, more depressed, and disconnected like we’ve never been before.

And with each generation we get “smarter”, and more tech savvy, so much so that we as parents are struggling to keep up with our children’s cyber activity.

Imagine finding out that your daugther’s birthday party was posted on facebook and that 214,000 people had been invited??  Don’t think you’d be hitting the “Like” button on that one!!  Sound crazy? Well this is exactly what happened a few days ago in Australia, read all about it here.

Technology is our major source of connectivity at the moment with the texting, facebooking, and tweeting replacing the good old days of email, land line telephones, and personal letters.  When I was in school I had a pen pal.  Her name was Jacqui Lozinski and we wrote each other religiously.  I used to wait for those letters to come….I’d get one and write another back as soon as possible.  “WRITE BACK SOON!” would always be written in bold at the bottom of my letter and there would inevitably be some kind of message scrawled on the envelope along with stickers or funny little drawings.  Now I watch Olivia as she enters childrens chat rooms such as Club Penguin or Moshi Monsters.  We have actually had to ban these sites in our home as we’ve had a few incidents.

I got a call from my mother in-law one day.  “Stephanie, I just got my credit card statement and there is a $7.50 charge for something called Club Penguin? Is this something Olivia belongs to?”

Uh….yeah, well she does now!! Thanks to you leaving your credit card beside the computer (ok, I’m not blaming her but you’re 8 years old at the time and you really wanna join…and there’s your ticket, sitting right THERE. What’s a girl to do?)!!  I was totally mortified as I really expected more from Olivia but tried to imagine myself in a similar situation, and well..yeah, I probably would have done the same.  Doesn’t mean it’s right BUT…..sometimes you have to put yourself in a kids shoes to understand why they do things.  So, needless to say there were many apologies along with the appropriate discipline and talks about cyber safety. Check this site out for some great pointers and tips on keeping your kids cyber savvy.

And as we deal with all things “WIRED” this gives us less time to enjoy the things we ironically talk about online like “spare time” or “relaxation”.  Now that I blog, I spend a lot more time on the computer than ever before.  I take photo’s, upload them, edit them if needed and organize them into files.  I read other people’s blogs….comment on them and feel inspired by them.  Because we have lived overseas for so many years it is natural that the computer becomes our main way to feel connected to our loved ones and friends we’ve made along the way.  BUT…there has to be a happy medium.

Sometimes it’s too easy to get caught up with our phones…

But thankfully there’s always a kid or two kicking around to remind us that we can feel connected to those we love, in the moment here and NOW.

In light of the recent devastation in Japan,  Christchurch and the unrest in Bahrain, I feel conflicted.  On one hand, I feel blessed to know within an instant that my friends and family are ok with a browse through status updates or an instant message, yet on the other hand I feel like the computer is the last place I should be when there is so much to enjoy in the outside world.  We are blessed to be living our day to day lives without fear or devastation.

New Zealand is a place of beauty and a good place to reconnect with nature.  This morning I woke up to this.  It was a bit dark as we are entering autumn but who doesn’t like to see a rainbow first thing in the morning?















As the tsunami was sweeping over Japan, we were completely unaware and doing exactly what we should be doing on a Friday afternoon,  enjoying family time in one of our local parks/beaches.  I called James earlier in the day and said “Can you get off work early today? I really feel we just need to get these kids out to the park and just be together as a family?”.  I made some homemade pizza’s and Liv even gave our new Friday tradition a name “Pizza in the Park”.  I made it simple and just piled the warm pizza into some containers, threw them in a cloth bag and off we went.  In fact, it was such a quick and simple prep that I forgot the essentials of baby wipes and nappies!! Lucky for me there were no accidents!!

It was such a lovely evening and the girls just reveled in fact that we were all together….doing the simplest of things.

Lily had a go on the flying fox….















How could I not be proud of such a wonderful big sister?





























Turns out baby likes flying fox….

And there was big sister Ruby who was a bit more hesitant than usual.















Yet always the perpetual cheerleader….















I noticed the cutest thing about my Ruby at the park that day.  She had just completed her whole first week at school and we are Oh! so proud of her as the speech therapists and teachers are all singing her praises at how well she’s settling into mainstream school.  I think the comment from the speech therapist was “You should be so proud.  I mean it, really.  I don’t think you know how well Ruby is settling…….she is coping with her first week of school better than most mainstream kids!!” Awww, shucks!! Well, she IS a Hamilton after all….goes without saying doesn’t it?? (Sorry, proud mother moment……ahem).

Right, so we get to the park and as soon as we get near the play area, Rubes sits down and starts taking off her shoes.  So I put them back on…..and I turn around and she’s taken them off again….and not only that, but they are lined up neatly on the edge of the play area.  Olivia then informs me that at school they take their shoes off to play in the sandpit and Ruby is spending lots of her free time in there.  The kids also have to take their shoes off before entering the classroom….sigh….how cute is that? She’s already adapted brilliantly to a routine (albeit very simple) and now thinks she has to do it everywhere she goes!! Love it!!

Ruby and her red shoes….

In and out of tubes they wove, 3 happy girls together and free to connect with nature and each other. And not a single phone or computer in sight…


















And the more I watched them and tried to weave in and out of the tubes myself I realized that this is when we’re the happiest.  The kids running free, James lugging them to and fro, me climbing in and out of places I shouldn’t be in with my camera, snapping away and it’s all good.

Looking through my lens is when I can really STOP and see the beauty in each of my girls and appreciate them for who they are in all their individuality.

Olivia strong and self assured.  A caring sister and a natural leader, she is growing up right before my eyes….and I am blown away by her beauty.

Ruby with her calm and unassuming nature.  Always watching and learning before attempting, and possibly crafting a plan to use at a later date!!  Yes, she does keep me on my toes but I wouldn’t change it for a minute!!

Oh, and Lily…..my sweet, sweet Lily girl.  The cheekiest monkey of the bunch…..a little fairy to keep us on our toes and give us her constant displays of affection.  This girl loves a good hug and sloppy kiss and does she run??  Those little feet never stop……

So, in my bid to live a simpler life I have been trying to buy as little as possible.  Even though I have had several clear outs in my home, I still feel overwhelmed by the amount of stuff I have accumulated over the years so another purge is in order.  Going through my craft supplies I realized I had quite a few packages of blank cards which I had bought from the $2 shop and filed away.  I got thinking that I have taken so many photo’s since getting my camera in November, yet I have barely printed off any.

I decided on making some homemade cards by getting some mini prints done at my local Kodak shop and just slapping them on with a big of glue.  I am not a super craft person who will sit long enough to do anything too elaborate yet I had all these blank cards so this seemed like a good option for me.

Cards from $2 shop

Glue stick and scissors (the mini prints come on a 4 x 6″ Kodak paper so you get 2 prints on this size of paper and need to cut them in half to separate the pics) and away we go……instant box of miscellaneous greeting cards!!
















I’m pretty happy with them actually!! Took me all of about 20 minutes and I feel proud to showcase some of my favorite snaps!

If you are not into photography then you can still make some lovely cards with the simplest of materials.  I made this card for a friend who just had a baby and all I did was recycle a notecard a friend sent by cutting out a shape of a funky bird on the front and that’s it! I also recently have used magazines and cut out images and pasted them on.  If you find something quite funky, or a cool phrase or word it can look really good.  Less is more I say!!

Now I can sit down and write a letter, or two and try and feel connected through something other than just my computer.

“I like my new telephone, my computer works just fine, my calculator is perfect, but Lord, I miss my mind!”-Author unknown

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  1. Tash Reply //

    Love it :o) Those cards look really cool Steph!!! And of course Ruby was a superstar at school, you knew she would be, how awesome to get those lovely comments :o) xxx

  2. Amy Reply //

    Wow, I love your blog! Oh and your children are pretty darn cute too 🙂 I’m a speech-language therapist, sister to an older brother with Down syndrome, and consider myself somewhat of an eco hippy…. I feel like we have much in common!
    I look forward to reading more from you and seeing more of your beautiful photography 🙂

    • Nektar Reply //

      Hey Amy!! Wow, there definitely are a few similarities there! Will go over and have a look at your blog. I love sharing ideas and getting inspiration through like minded people. How old is your brother?? Happy Easter!!

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