What’s your choice for the next school holidays … Nature or the Roller Coaster?

nature or the roller coaster

What’s your choice?

As a family we spent much of our time over the recent school holidays here in Australia off the grid – away from TV, technology, and often totally unaware of the time.

The absence of those distractions provided us as a family with much needed quality time to connect, and enjoy a slower, simpler existence.

As well as having no idea of what day it was or the date (but that often happens in my daily life anyway!), I reflected on how long it’s’ been since we really did that – too long!

Taylor Niko and Michael - Splitters Falls Grampians - July 2014

On a fun family hike to Splitters Falls, Grampians

With the holidays now finished, this week has seen us switch back on to our real-world life of kindergarten, school, sports and schedules.

I’ve already noticed that reality has hit us hard … and it’s only a week in!

Reality bites sometimes.

This morning (and yes, sadly I have to say the same of yesterday – and the day before – too) I found myself with an attack of the “Hurry Ups” – squarely aimed at my kids. This is a habit I’ve been trying to kick in acknowledgement that my kids are not little adults and they don’t want to hurry like I too often do.

But old habits die hard, and it’s frightening how one can slip so easily back into them.

Know the feeling?

No wonder my five year old Nash thinks my favourite Thomas The Tank Engine song is ”Busy”

“We’re busy so busy,
Our wheels don’t touch the ground,
Dizzy we’re dizzy,
With rushing round and round,
It’s pulling this and shunting that,
No Sir, Yes Sir Topham Hatt,
We’ll go here and there and back,
We’re busy, busy, busy, busy, busy, busy, busy!”

At least he hasn’t start calling me Sir Topham Hatt – YET.

Life’s way too short to hurry it up all the time, and it’s definitely a habit that I DON’T want to pass on to my kids, so it’s back to the drawing board tomorrow.

Come to think of it, I can learn from them and slow down a little more myself. I should also play more often. Enjoy the journey and not just focus on the destination.

enjoying the journey

Getting side-tracked is half the fun!

Kids are wise little things, we just need to make the effort to slow down, switch on to them and pay attention.

A while back I was pondering how quickly our kids were growing up, and it led me to wonder just how many weeks there are between birth and 18 years. I worked it out (with the calculator on my iPhone of course) …

Just 936 weeks.

That’s it.

And time flies.


Kids grow up so fast.

I think that’s a pretty strong case in point for slowing down, getting away from distractions, switching on to each other and making some cherished memories with your kids.

The natural world is the perfect place to do just that.

So are our Family Nature Connection Retreats.

Our next one is during the September 2014 school holidays. Are you coming?

From Friday 19th to Sunday 21st September 2014 we’re going to be taking a small number families who really want to spend some uninterrupted quality time with together to have some fun in the gorgeous Otway Ranges in Victoria, Australia.

There’s even an option to stay an extra night on Sunday night if you want to, allowing for a long, relaxing Monday too. We never want to leave what my kids call “Pennyroyal Farm” (aka Pennyroyal Otways Retreat).

We only have room for five to seven families and we’ve purposefully kept it small so we can make sure we give each family a really special experience.

To find out more and to book your family’s spot now click HERE!

Here are just some of the activities and experiences we have planned for you and your family

• Cubby Building Challenge
• Screen Time versus Green Time – Striking the balance
• Connecting Conversations
• Night Walk / Star Gazing
• Building Positive Family Connections
• “Kids Nature Adventure” Report
• “The Passion Test” for Families
• Big Family Dinner – Tin Foil Dinners
• Connecting with Nature – Sowing the seeds of learning
• Up the Creek Adventure (Keep an eye out for the resident platypus family!)
• Nature Bucket Lists

And, here’s where we’re staying!


Pennyroyal Otways Retreat, Otway Ranges, Victoria, Australia

Looks pretty amazing, right? Well, it sure is!

Don’t miss it, it’s going to be a fantastic weekend. Go HERE to join the fun!

Unlike the “Hurry Ups” habit, slowing down and taking the time to make cherished family memories is a habit that I DO want to pass on to my kids.

But it’s something we continually have to work on, and we have to make sure we schedule it into our normal routine. If we don’t, life’s many distractions seem too easily to get in the way.

From talking with lots of other parents, I know that we’re not the only family that has those challenges.

It may sound a bit sad that we have to schedule in quality time with our kids, but like so many things, if we don’t set aside regular time for it, another one of those 936 weeks is over and Monday morning it all starts again.

So please join us these next school holidays on our

Family Nature Connection Retreat

Friday 19th to Sunday 21st September 2014.


Book your place HERE now to enjoy some uninterrupted, no distractions, off-the-grid quality time with your family during the September school holidays.

kids dont remember their best  day of television

Get connected and make cherished memories with your family.

BOOK YOUR FAMILY’S SPOT and put it in your calendar NOW to experience first-hand how spending time in nature can help you nurture those strong and meaningful bonds that we all want to have in our families.

You’ll make some wonderful memories with your kids, meet some other nature loving families and we’ll make sure that you you’ll learn lots of ways to help you put that quality time and connection back into your regular routine back at home.

So what’s your choice for the next school holidays?

Will you join us on our Family Nature Connection Retreat or take your chances on the Roller Coaster?

What is your greatest takeaway from these interviews?

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