Friday, December 21, 2007


(At her Playgroup, December 2007):

What do you want to be when you've grown up?

Dressed up like Ariel

What will you need to learn at school?

Do painting and make a picture of Mummy

Are you going to get married?

Yep, to Samuel

Are you going to have babies?

Yep! I girl

Are you going to be a grandparent one day when you get old?

Yep, when I'm 12 years old!

What do you want Santa to bring you?

Ariel dress-up.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


What a special time Christmas is for kids.

And birthdays! I turned 70 last week: and at a little party, Millie was sitting on my knee when the Happy Birthday song was sung. She had those candles blown out before I could draw a breath!

Bella's Grandma built a new bed for her, to replace the portable cot we used when she had weekly sleep-overs with us. Bella slept for 13 hours straight in it! They are very good girls (except when Bella loses her dummy in the middle of the night!)

Millie's in the habit of asking two interesting questions these days. When she's leaving us to go downstairs: 'Will you miss me?' And when she comes upstairs again: 'How can I help?'

My two brothers and their wives from Sydney - Graham and Melodie, and David and Jan - visited us last week. Jan gave Bella ten finger puppets: and she wore them with dancing joy! Bella's Grandma found a little carry-case for them, and they and Bella have been inseparable since!

Here's something I just posted onto our Humour blog:

Rowland Croucher

Sunday, December 02, 2007


...for a couple of hours, and called back to Grandma:

'Will you miss me?'

(Remember she's four: and still very cute :-)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Last Saturday the little family went to their church - Ringwood Salvation Army - for a Market Day (proceeds for Mainly Music, an outreach program which Amanda leads each week: terrific ministry).

Bella's Dad, John, was helping with barbecuing sausages, and had Bella in a carry-pack on his back. She eventually needed to run around, of course, so John let her down. Soon she approached the barbecue and was about to touch it, when John and another guy lunged and grabbed her - which of course gave her a terrible fright. She was only slightly burned.

We arrived home at the same time as John and Bella, and she went to Grandma and clung on to her for a full five minutes, very tightly. Poor little one!

This afternoon I came home from a few days away (in Sydney), and Millie's first question was 'Did you miss me?' 'Of course I did, Millie!'

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Millie's preoccupied with weddings and marriage lately.

I buy my wife Jan (Millie's grandma) flowers regularly - mostly lilies.

But in the heat they droop, and eventually die...

Grandma was talking to Millie about flowers - and other creatures - dying, and later the little one went to the sad flowers and said: 'When I marry Samuel he's going to give me different flowers, and they will never die.'

About marriage, she talks about a sheep marrying a dog, and various toys being married to each other...

Bella is also getting more gorgeous... She understands most of what we say to her, and her speech and motor movements are gradually improving, though she still suffers a developmental delay. She's very good with her glasses, and obviously enjoys the better vision they give her... I have a beautiful hour each week with Bella: we go shopping together when Millie's in Kinder-Gym. I'm hoping next year to spend a precious hour each week with Millie as well...


Thursday, October 18, 2007


Little Millie now 'takes charge'. If Jay (her cousin, who lives with us and is 15) wants a toasted ham and cheese sandwich Millie jumps up and gets the ingredients from the 'fridge for grandma.

She now has a habit of knocking on my study door when I'm working inside. Today, as usual, she came to my desk, climbed up on my knee, and we had this conversation:

Millie: what are you doing tomorrow?

Going swimming with Auntie Judy.

Do you like swimming or KinderGym better?


OK what's best - swimming, KinderGym, or your trampoline in the backyard?


Ah, hah, what about swimming, KinderGym, trampolining or playing with Sarah next door?

Oh (and her face lights up) playing with Sarah!

Sarah's about 8 or 9 and is teaching Millie how to skip; they draw with chalk on the pavement or road (it stays there until the next rain) and they play a lot of hide-and-seek. We have wonderful neighbours.

Hope it's not so long before I visit here again!


Rowland Croucher

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


Last night we saw the full moon eclipse: beautiful!

Millie's having a hard time at Kinder right now: a little boy hit her once, and each kinder-day she doesn't want to go. The staff have been terrific, helping her face this challenge - including encouraging the boy to play with Millie. Please pray for her - and the little guy too.

Bella's got a flu-like wog, and was in Jan's arms for a lot of today. Please pray for her healing. Bella has her glasses, and there's been little trouble getting her to wear them. I took her on our Tuesday shopping expedition yesterday, and she looked so cute with her glasses: lots of people smiled at her. Her mum and grandma always ask 'How was she?' and every shopping-day there's the same response: 'Perfect!' (Helped of course, by some healthy nibbles occasionally of a cheese-stick, or a couple of grapes or beans!)

Here's another shot of the moon from last night:

Thursday, August 16, 2007


It's been a while...

Out littlest one - Bella - and I are very close these days. She comes straight to me with her arms in the air to be picked up, and snuggles her head onto my shoulder. This is related to the special time we spend together - just the two of us - doing the weekly shopping on Tuesdays.

She's probably going to need glasses soon: a trip to the ophthalmologist this past week indicates she's short-sighted. Interesting how they work that out when a little one won't easily sit still for a proper examination!

Bella's not a social girl like Millie. At the Thursday music mornings conducted by Amanda (which Jan attends with the little ones), Bella clings to Jan most of the time - except that in the last two weeks she's 'jigged' a bit with the music.

She's very insistent that she share anything Millie's playing with: takes a lot of wisdom and patience to keep them both happy if there's only one desirable toy!

But she's advancing slowly: her verbal skills are behind average for her age: but just now she said four syllables ('Thank you Grandpa') - though not articulated clearly. And she's very good at putting pictures and numbers into their shape-slots...

Millie is becoming more independent. Sometimes she doesn't want to sleep upstairs or downstairs when arrangements have been made to do so. 'I don't want to!' is a favourite phrase these days!

Yesterday, twice, she said when asked to do something by Grandma, and later, her Mum: 'Not now! I'm far too busy!'

We love them both dearly, but they're tiring!


Friday, July 20, 2007


Millie's been talking about teeth.

'When I was little I had no teeth. My Mum has lots of teeth, and now I have lots of teeth.

Soon I'll start losing my teeth.'

Yesterday Grandma said to Millie (who was looking at a book while having breakfast): 'Now you don't get down (from the kitchen bench) until you've finished breakfast.' Millie apparently didn't want any more breakfast, so she dropped the book on the floor, and hopped down to get it. Grandma roused at her, so she put her head on her arms on the bench-top, morose and sad...

Bella can now recognize quite a few letters, and she can say more words. It's lovely to welcome her into my arms. This morning she snuggled into my shoulder, yawning...

Rowland Croucher

Thursday, June 07, 2007


Yesterday Millie was playing with scissors and cut a swathe of hair from one side... reducing her mother, then Millie to tears. They came up to Grandma to figure out what to do... Go to the hairdressers? No. Grandma suggested a new hair style, which seems to work OK. But during the discussion, Millie went to the tissue box and got two: one for herself, and another for her Mum... and she went over and dabbed her Mum's eyes!

Bella is two-something, but has the developmental age of an 18-months-er. When on Tuesday I came downstairs to take her shopping, I only had to mention the two words 'Shopping Grandpa' and her face broke into the most beautiful smile we've ever seen. We had a wonderful hour together.

Did I mention that Millie saw our Australian Prime Minister on TV and asked 'Is that man God?' (Where did she get that idea from?
Millie and Bella look so cute helping their Mum hang up washing: they have their own little peg bags made by Grandma strapped around their waist, and their own little low-down clothes-hanger

Thursday, May 17, 2007


Both Millie and Bella can come upstairs on their own to visit us. Millie comes to fetch something, and it's always a delight to welcome her! And she's very good at finding what her Mum sends her for. (And you should watch her proud demeanour - 'big girl now').

As I write, a little girl Millie's age has been abducted in Portugal. I got an email this morning re-routed from that little girl's uncle, asking the world for help.

You might have wondered why there are no pictures of our two princesses on this Blog... As the Americans say 'Go figure!'

This morning Millie has gone swimming with her Auntie Judy: Millie loves that fortnightly appointment. Bella is in the next room occupying Grandma's attention: she can be very demanding sometimes, and it's frustrating for her not to be able to communicate always what she wants. But she has half a dozen sign-language communications, and we're speaking to her in simple ways, emphasizing names of things rather than putting sentences into the form of more complex questions.

Have a good day: and you might like to visit a heap of new Blogs I'm setting up.


Rowland Croucher


Millie has lots of 'Big Girl Now' statements. I've just had breakfast (porridge) with her and Grandma, and this one went like this: 'I don't need nappies when I sleep 'cos I'm a big girl now. Look at my muscles! Are you proud of me?'

A minute later: 'And thank you Grandpa for buying my hair elastics.'

I've just been down to pick up Bella from her cot. She has a cold, and her breath smells awful...

Have a good day!


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Sunday, April 22, 2007


Millie the other day, after Grandma had a difficult time buckling her into her car-seat: 'Perfect! Mission complete!'

She also is very polite: 'Excuse me Grandpa!'

Some Millie-wisdom: 'God made everything and he made jelly!'

There was half a nice biscuit left (we limit the amount of sweet stuff she eats because too much sends her 'hyper'). Millie: 'See that biscuit: That has Amelia Jasmine Southwell's name on it!'

Bella is slowly developing, but not quickly enough (she's being taken to a developmental delay pediatrician this week). One of her favorite phrases 'Love you!'

Bella understands lots of things now, though her vocabularly is limited. When I said to her the other day 'Would you like to go for a walk?' she immediately put her hand into mine. We walked around the block, swapping her hands so her shoulders wouldn't get too tired, and we had a lovely time.

Have a look at the 10 new blogs I'm creating (300 articles) - they're listed here April 22, 2007.


Rowland Croucher

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Millie and Bella Love Entertaining Us

We joined the little family for dinner a while back, and Millie wasn't well. She had a small bucket with her, and was sick into it. Then she got up from her chair and showed each of us! She sometimes does that after she's been to the toilet too...

Yesterday we took the little girls for a walk to 'Millie's Bridge' - the new freeway being constructed, with a bridge over the creek alongside which we go walking regularly. Millie's looking forward to driving on the freeway to the beach with her Dad...

Millie loves talking on the phone. Most three-year-olds are shy with telephones, but not our loquacious little one!

Millie talks a lot about 'when I'm...' - 'When I'm five I'll go to school', 'When I'm a big girl I'll have vitamins too!' The other day: 'I'll have another birthday one day!'

Bella and Millie love 'Cruskits' - wheaty (airy) biscuits. They both love noodles/ spaghetti. Millie has weetbix and milk for breakfast: Bella prefers yoghurt and banana...

They both get 'hyped up' sometimes... hope they're not being too visually stimulated. We carefully monitor the amount of TV they watch (Disney Playhouse channel mostly).

Until next time

Rowland Croucher
(John Mark Ministries)

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


Today our two gorgeous girls and their parents returned after three weeks away. Bella stayed on Grandma's knee cuddling into her for a long time (well, half an hour or so), and Millie sat on mine for the same time. We talked about the beach, and their friends, and Napoleon the DVD (about a dog) they saw in the car as they travelled.

Millie and I went for a walk tonight to see a house that's been demolished nearby - demolished while they were away. When I told her about the 'house that was broken' she replied: 'I can fix it with sticky tape!' She's always positive!

Well, we went to see all the rubble and the pile of timber, and saw broken glass on the ground, and Millie was very thoughtful!


A few other vignettes:

* Two months ago after Grandma switched off The Sound of Music video, Millie said 'I'm sorry Grandma for making too much noise... It was all my fault!' (that's in the category... 'Where did she hear that?'

* Millie was taken to Beck's wedding (Beck boarded with us for a couple of years) and talked about the one-hour car trip. 'We went through a tunnel!' Someone asked 'Where was it?' 'Straight ahead!' she responded.

The Things They Say...

More soon (that's a promise)

Rowland Croucher