Fridays with Finley {12th December 2013}

Dear loved ones, 

Christmas is almost here! It’s hard to believe another year has almost past. It’s been a good and busy one for us and we are looking forward to relaxing over the break and spending lots of time on the water. 

Finley is growing up so fast and learning quick. The past few weeks he has had a big focus on parts of the face. I go to get him from the cot in the morning and the first thing he does is point and say ‘nose’, then at night as I’m putting him to bed ‘eyes’. He can point to ‘mouth’ and ‘ears’ and almost has the sounds but isn’t quite there yet. He is saying lots more words now – nut, snack, water, bath, swim.
His favourite things at the moment include popcorn – he is absolutely crazy for it an fish. He loves pointing them out and saying ‘fisshh’. I took him to the pet store this week and he was in heaven. He ran back and forth from the fish to the birds completely excited by it all. He also loves helicopters and planes. Grandpa taught him the noise to make and now anything that slightly resembles a helicopter acts the part and gets flown around the house. Thomas the tank engine has made a big impact too. He went to nursery in Sutherland and they had a battery powered Thomas on the line and Finley was hooked. We have a few Thomas books so he reads them with delight and Shae has leant us some trains and track which we will bring out for him at Christmas. He has naturally gravitated to the traditional boys toys but equally enjoys pushing his dolly around in her pram and feeding and putting her to sleep.
We continue to visit the library each week for read and rhyme. Finley is old enough now to mimic the actions and is shaking arms and legs, opening and closing hands and having a great time. His favourite song is the ‘Dingle Dangle Scarecrow’ closely followed by ‘Open Shut Them’. He has some lovely little friends who he loves to see there and they all love to cuddle and play together.
Wishing you lots of love and happiness over the Christmas season.
Much love,
Jade xo
ps. I've included some Christmas photos from last year. He has grown so much!

Fridays with Finley {21st November 2016}

Dearest loved ones, 

My apologises for such a lengthy gap between updates. The past two months, not unlike the whole year have flown by and it's been hard to keep up. Since the purchase of our land we have been incredibly busy making decisions and signing contracts. Within the next few weeks our plans will go to council and then we can breath for a little while. We anticipate that next year will be a 'house' year. There is much to be done to finish it all off. 

The man of the hour, our little Finley is not so little any more. He is growing rapidly, producing a big belly that soon turns into height. He climbs everything, chairs and tables and nothing is safe from his grasp on benches and shelves. He loves to jump from things into our arms, mimicking the one, two, three in preparation for the jump. He finds the whole thing hilarious. He loves when the three of us are together. Lately he has been chanting 'mum' or 'dada' when the other is absent. As you can imagine for me at home it's a long day of trying to explain that 'dada' is at work! 

We were lucky enough to have two weeks with Courtney before she leaves for her mission to Hamilton NZ on the 5th of December. This was a very busy and exciting few weeks including the BeyoncĂ© concert, climbing the Harbour Bridge and lots of fun time together with Finley. Courtney took Finley swimming and saw the difficulties of trying to hold a child who just wants to dive in despite not being able to swim! She was a huge help to me during this time and developed a really strong bond with Finley. He can't quite manage her name but today he did say 'nee' when he looked at her picture. While she was here I did photo shoot for her and have attached two of the pictures I took. It was great to put the skills I learnt at my photography course to practise.

A few months a go we had a family photo shoot with my good friend and brilliant photographer Shayla. I've attached a few for anyone who didn't see them on facebook. We were so happy with how they turned out. We are glad to have captures Finley at sure a precious stage. 

We hope you are all well and enjoying the lead up to Christmas. I can hardly believe that it is only a month away. 

Much love, 

Jade xo

Fridays with Finley {27th September 2016}

Dearest Family and Friends,
Things are going well around here. The big news of the month is the purchase of our block of land! We camped out for three days/nights with the help of Edward to secure the block and we got it! Very exciting times around here. Finley got to meet some of his soon to be neighbourhood buddies. There are going to be quite a few kids around his age which will be nice for him as he grows up. Next step is the build, we are hoping things will begin in January and we will be in the house by July. 
Finley is doing great, he is a such a treasure. Lots of new words are streaming in – shoes, nose, belly and park. He understands really well now and will follow my instructions to put books away or sit down for food etc. He has also learnt to pray and folds his arms in preparation, lately he has been folding his arms at random points throughout the day and nodding at me to start praying. It is beautiful and makes me think of the scripture about us all being little children, he is so innocent and pure and a great reminder to me of the reality of God. 
We are loving the weather and go to the park most days. Finley has mastered the big kids slippery dip and walks around confidently, he definitely thinks it is his turf. The park is next to the beach and lately he’s been stripping off and heading into the waves, he absolutely loves the water and thinks the waves splashing over him is hilarious. 
I feel very grateful to be a mother. It’s a real blessing to be able to be home with him, it’s the best job in the world and as he grows the moments just feel so precious.
Hope you are all well, 
Love Jade xo 

Fridays with Finley {5th September 2013}

Hello Loved Ones, 
 The sun is shining and things are good in our part of the world. How about you?  Finley is great! Loving life and finding new adventure and mischief every day. He is walking confidently now and figured out how to get up without the aid of a wall or parent. With this came climbing, anything and everything - I watch in trepidation but mostly he manages not to fall off anything. Though this past week he did have a visit to the hospital because a finger he jammed started to swell quite badly. The doctor pricked his little nail to relieve the pressure and Finley didn't even make a peep - amazing. I'm not so sure I'm in for the injury side of parenting - just thinking about it makes me queasy. I guess I'm just going to have to get over that.  

The weather and water has been beautiful here and we bravely took Finley out on the catamaran. I was stoked to be on the boat, as I'm usually with Finley on the sidelines. Finley was very quiet and had a concerned look on his face the whole time but we are sure we will win him over soon enough. Levi is thinking of starting a mini kayak for him, ready for when he can swim too - lucky little boy.  We have quite the little talker, lately Finley has been having long conversations with us, that make no actually sense but leave you feeling like you are the one who needs to learn the language. He is getting right into dancing too, he has invented his own little routine of arms swinging side to side, out in front and over his head. He is quite the little character.  

Wishing you lots of love,  Jade xo


Fridays with Finley {14th August 2013}

Happy Friday everyone! 

We have a relaxed weekend planned after a busy few weeks so we are very excited it's Friday.  Finley took off walking this week all on his own, no mum or dad there to catch him! It was on my birthday, so a wonderful gift. He has since been tottering around the house, looking very proud of himself. He has also found his 'moves'.

We attended and participated in our Stake Road Show this past Saturday and Finley loved the performances. He invented his own little dance routine with arms flailing about and clapping - it was gorgeous. The Road Show was great fun, Levi did a hilarious performance as a member of 'Flabba' - Fat Abba - slightly offence but very funny! And I made a reappearance as the White Witch of Narnia.  Levi fitted Finley's seat to my bike on the weekend, so this week we have been taking off for rides. Finley loves it, we mostly end up at the park which he loves. My mum use to ride around with me on her bike when I was little and I remember loving it too. I'm happy to have another mode of transportation in the day - it definitely makes a difference for us.  

I hope you are all doing well. We love and miss you, 

Fridays with Finley {2nd August 2013}

Well we have lift off! Finley took his first independent steps last week. He trod very cautiously at first but built up to taking 5 steps on his own. He soon realised that with walking comes falling, so has since been a little hesitant but we are sure he will be off with out the help of mum and day in no time. 
We are hearing lots of sounds now, he says hello and bye, ta without being prompted and has mastered the 'gobble gobble' turkey noise and the neigh of a horse! Very funny. He is loving puzzles and is placing pieces with little prompting. He has found his 'belly' and when prompted will pull up his shirt and bang his chest like a gorilla....I may taught him that one! 
Now that the sun is out we are loving the park and get there at every opportunity. We are thinking of getting him a trike that I can push along to the park instead of the pram. He loves being out and about so I'm excited for summer. 
We hope you are all well. We think of you all often and only wish we saw you all more.

Fridays with Finley {18th July 2013}

Hello everyone! 
Well with the sunshine has come health to our household and life has been looking up! The weather has been beautiful the last few days, almost like summer, so we have been making the most of it playing in the backyard and going to the park. I've seen a vision of us spending our summer days at the beach across the road swimming and playing in the sand - I can't wait. 
Still no walking from our little man, but he has been using his ride on sheep as a zimmer frame which is very cute. Yesterday though he took his first independent steps - sort of. I've been holding his hands and letting go once he has a bit of momentum, which means he takes a few steps but as soon as he realises he has he drops to his knees. It's very funny. He'll get there and I love watching him try. 
He has mastered our back stairs and loves going up and down. But most of all this kid loves laundry. He will sit in our laundry for up to half an hour packing and unpacking the washing machine, turning the knobs and pressing buttons. He is yet to discover how to shut the door though so no actually washing takes place yet...though I'm sure we will move on to that. If this is any sign of the future he will be a great little help around here. 
The big news of the week is our helicopter ride. At the beginning of the year Levi was given a prize for coming 2nd in the 'Quick and Dirty' Boat building comp. He kept it a secret and last Saturday surprised me by driving to the launch pad before telling me what was happening! He gave the ride to me but luck was on our side and there was a space free so they offered it to Levi for $50! Finley was going to be minded by the owner but in the end they told us their kids were practically born in helicopters and that we should take him up. So up he came. Levi and I had an absolute blast, it was one of the most amazing and memorable things I have ever done. We were up for 25 minutes and flew along the coast of Newcastle which is beautiful from the air. What an experience! Finley wasn't such a fan but I'm sure when he is older he will relish in the fact he got to go in a helicopter when he was just 1 year old. 
Life is good. And I hope it is in your part of the world too. Would love to hear your news. 
We love and miss you all,

Fridays with Finley {5th July 2013}

Hi All,
It’s been a shocking few weeks in the Catton household – we’ve been plagued by seemingly endless sickness. Finley had three different afflictions all at once, poor little thing but I’m happy to report we are all on the mend. It helps that the sun in finally shining again after weeks of rain. 
 In positive Finley news, we’ve been tracking his height on the chart the QLD Ryans gave us and in the past month he has grown 4.5 cms! I knew all the food he eats must be going somewhere. He really is an amazing eater – though he shares with his mother an aversion to potato! Not encouraged by me at all – I wonder if it could be genetic? ; )

Despite sickness he is progressing well. He has great word recognition, waving when he hears ‘bye’, breaking out into a fit of excitement when he hears ‘bath’ or ‘breakfast’, ‘lunch’ or  ‘dinner’. He is fairly obedient and listens to ‘stop’ and ‘no’. He is testing out new sounds and makes a whole range of great noises when he flicks through an animal book on his own – when we read it and make the noises he listens and watches our mouths intently. He has discovered the joy of the kitchen and actually spends much of the day resorting my shelves and draws. No walking yet but he is balancing on his feet well and can toddle along with just one hand held. He’s a cautious little thing and wants to get things right – it’s fun to watch.
Good things are happening in our lives – Levi turned 32 and had a quiet birthday with a big carrot cake! He has also been offered a permanent position with his company which gives him great security and peace of mind. In other news we are preparing to buy a block of land here in the coming months and I’m getting ready to launch a little blog of all the interesting things I get up to.
Hope life is treating you all well, we love you! 



Fridays with Finley {13th June 2013}

Dearest Family and Friends, 
Finley says hi or hu to you all. We are starting to hear a lot more sounds from him and even some short words. Banana is 'na-na', he can say 'up' for it's intended meaning and we're not completely sure it is  in context but he says something that sounds a lot like 'church'! It is lots of fun hearing him practise sounds over and over. Our little boy is really growing up. 
He's getting pretty cheeky too. The dishwasher is his holy grail and the picture above depicts one morning where he finally made it before mum or dad snatched him up  - he was so proud of himself. He has also discovered the fun of magnets, our house has become his playland now and he goes on large round the house investigations. To my great joy he has become really affectionate too, giving lots of cuddles. 
We have had a difficult few weeks with cold, rain and sickness but we had a few guests to cheer us on. Shae, River and Ava dropped in for a visit on the home stretch of their round Australia trip and were joined by Mum, Dad, Courtney and Tristan to share the long weekend with us. Finley loved the company of kids and we enjoyed fish and chips and a smorgus board of cakes in celebration of Dad's birthday. 
Finley continues to be a joy. We hope you are all well, we'd love to hear your news. 
Love Jade xo

Fridays with Finley {26th May 2013}

Hello loved ones, 

Life has been busy around here and I haven't found the time to keep you updated as much as I'd like. This morning it is rainy and cold and I'm taking a break from some sewing projects so thought I'd write. 

Finley is doing great, actually really great. He is learning at a rapid pace and it is so fun to see. He has been learning how to place puzzle pieces, stack wooden rings on a post, sort shapes and make broooommm noises as he plays with his trucks. His favourite activity though is taking out and putting laundry in the basket - what a good helper! Words and sounds are starting to pop out including 'naa naa' for banana and 'no' for most everything : ) We are hearing him explore sounds to himself - ahh, ba, da, na, ma, ta, uhh and his favourite fhhh- we think he might be trying to say Finley. He has also learnt how to propel himself down the slippery dip! He continues to be a great eater with his favourites at the moment being pumpkin soup, banana berry smoothies and bananas. 
Finley had a great time with our friends dog Hugo while he stayed with us. He learnt to bark and say a form of dog during the week. Life is busy and fun in our home with him and we love it. 

This past week we visited Canberra and bought Levi's brother Edward back to stay with us. We had a nice time visiting Canberra. We visited the Carillon where Levi proposed to me and enjoyed eating out at a few places we use to go on dates to. It was freezing! It made me wonder how I ever survived living there for 4 years, anyway we were happy to get back to warmer weather though it hasn't lasted long : ( Winter is upon us.   Edwards visit has been wonderful. It was great to have him with us and Finley loved the company! 
Also check out Finley all ready for his first hair cut in the pictures. 
We hope you are all doing well - would love to hear you news and updates. 
Lots of love from us, 
Jade xo 

Fridays with Finley {2nd May 2013}

Morning All,

It's been a little while and so much has happened in Finley's little world. The biggest news of course is that he turned 1! He had a lovely day, beginning with opening presents from Levi and I. We gave him a ride on sheep which he takes very seriously, concentrating very hard whenever he is on it. After his nap he woke to a house full of people who love him and he enjoyed his party crawling around with the other babies and eating, eating and eating. Some friends and I had made lots of baby friendly snacks and he loved them! As we sung him Happy Birthday and he attempted to blow out the candles on him amazing Levi constructed fruit cake, I'm positive he realised that it was all for him. He got a little shy and looked around and starting waving to everyone! What a treasure. It was a wonderful day of love for our little boy.

Finley seemed to change over night as he began his second year. He really looks like a little boy now. Our baby is gone I fear and we cherish the little 'baby' moments we have left. He is crawling up on all fours now and is master of cruising the furniture. He loves books and technology. He goes crazy over our computers and phones - oh no! He has a great sense of humour and is loving to play tickles and cuddles more and more which I love. Favourite foods at the moment and spaghetti bolognaise and grapes, but he is a great eater - we are very lucky on that front.

This past week was a tough one with the emergence of two back teeth. Not nice for him or us. The poor little thing was beyond help at times and we are glad they have come through. We hope we have a little break before the next lot come.

This week we are dog sitting my friends Labrador Hugo - so this week is all about dogs. Dog books, practicing saying dog and barking. We think by the time Hugo goes home, Finley might just have it : )

We hope you are all happy and well,

Lots of love,

Jade xo


Fridays with Finley {6th April 2013}

Hi All,

Life is good in our part of the world. The weather has taken a cold turn but we have still managed to soak up some sun in the afternoons with a few visits to the beach and park. We were worried Finley hated sand but he seems to have taken a liking to it now and has been enjoying digging and crawling along the beach.

We had a beautiful and busy Easter with just mum visiting this year. We hiked 
Mount Tomaree together, snorkelled Fly Point and went on a bike ride. We celebrated mums up coming birthday and remembered the reason for the season with some scripture study and a little Easter hunt for Finley.

Finley is active and busy. He is getting more confident pulling himself to standing and you can just see he is desperate to take off and get into everything. He really is such a sweet little thing, we are noticing more of his personality coming out too. Whenever Levi is home he just doesn't want to be out of his arms, he loves you to be right there with him but doesn't necessarily want you to interrupt his play - it is very funny.

We hope you are all doing well and had a wonderful Easter.

All my love,

Jade xo