Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Millie has brought home her first 'school report'. She's five!!!

Her 'Kindergarten to Prep Transition Report' ranked her all C's (for Consistently; the others - D = Developing, NA = Not Apparent)


* Social Development: 'Millie has a quiet nature. She listens and participates well...'

* Emotional Development: Millie is quietly confident and relates well to both children and adults. She is very persistent and works hard to carefully complete tasks'

* Language/Communication Skills: 'Millie expresses herself in a clear manner initiating conversation with children and adults'

* Fine/Gross Motor Skills/Self Care: 'Millie has good fine/gross motor skills and enjoys these activities. Millie has a mature pencil grip and good control'

* Academic/Thinking Skills: 'Millie enjoys learning. She works well by herself, always completing tasks. She can write her own name'

* Child's Interests:
'Millie enjoys art/craft activities - drawing, painting, making things, dressing up, imaginative/dramatic play, cooking'

We are all very thankful to God and to these wonderful teachers/carers for their love and care for our beautiful grand-daughter!

Rowland Croucher

Sunday, October 19, 2008


Millie and Bella have spent a few hours with us this morning.

I've just given Millie a drink of apple juice, and she said: 'This apple juice is good: it fixes your hiccups!' (Now why didn't I think of that?)

Millie had a special part to play yesterday at a Ringwood Salvation Army Special Kids' Day. She and others did the actions to songs about Nehemiah, Trouble etc.... very creative, and Millie has wonderful physical coordination...

Bella is her most charming self, with a smile which melts us!

They have both been playing with one of those little plastic whirly-things which fly away when you pull a string (my old brain has forgotten their name).


Rowland Croucher

Sunday, August 17, 2008


Bella was playing on the floor with Grandma and Millie came into the room. Immediately Bella said: ''No Miya... my game'. Bella's a tease - bumps into Millie and pushes her around for fun. Cheeky girl!

Yesterday was Millie's big 5th birthday party with about 15 of her friends (brought by their Mums... there were no Dads there for some reason). They all dressed up as princesses: beautiful! Millie had 'slept over' with a friend the night before and was a 'perfect little girl... good manners... slept well' according to the friend's Mum. When her Dad came to collect her Millie didn't want to go home!

Yesterday at the party Millie was the perfect hostess, carrying a plate of cupcakes around for her guests. All the girls had their faces painted by Millie's Mum as a special treat. And of course there was a chocolate hunt in the side yard. An unforgettable time for the 5-year old.

The other night when the girls slept over with us, Grandma talked softly to her to get her off to sleep. 'Millie, the birds are asleep, little children everywhere are asleep, the possums - which clatter on our roof every night - are asleep...' Millie interrupted: Grandma, the possums aren't asleep... they sleep in the daytime!'

Thursday, August 07, 2008


It's the 8th day of the 8th month, and today Millie is five.

We're having two parties - one with 'folks' as the Americans say, and another with her friends.

This morning she got up early (about 6 am as usual), and her Mum and Dad gave her some presents. Now she's with us until Kinder this morning.

'Do I look bigger?' she asked this morning. She showed me her foot as she was dressing and asked if it was big.

We don't give her many sweets, as it makes her go 'hyper' but this morning she requested a full chocolate biscuit after breakfast (porridge) 'cos now I've five... and I won't go crazy!'



Tuesday, August 05, 2008


It's the once-every-two-months breakfast my wife has with her 'girl-friends' (all Baptist women-pastors) so I get up early to mind the little ones. Millie and I watched Cinderella 2 and had a lovely time. Then her Mum took her to Kinder (where she cried again - happened a bit lately: perhaps she's wanting to hang out at home and be more unstructured).

Then Bella and I had breakfast together. After she'd eaten/drunk a bit she came over to my chair for a spontaneous cuddle. Nothing beats that experience!

Bella, her Mum says, has 'Global Developmental Delay'. Her motor movements are improving, but her speech still has some way to go. She says 'O' and we don't yet know whether she means 'off' or 'on'. We're all learning a bit of sign language to help clarify her requests.


Rowland Croucher

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Sunday, June 22, 2008


Grandma's been away for ten days, and the two little girls are delighted she's back. Right now they're baking cup-cakes in our kitchen with her.

This morning I was watching Millie dance -very beautifully - in sync with the TV children. Jan told me she asked Millie where she learned to dance. Mummy taught you? No. Learned at Kinder? No. 'A fairy came in the night and taught me!'

Beautiful imagination!

Rowland (proud grandpa)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


(In both senses)

Millie and Grandma came home from Kinder.

Grandma: 'I have to go to the toilet.'

Millie: 'Can't you hold on?'

(If only she knew!!!!)

(Millie, a couple of hours later, discovering Grandma on the loo again): 'Not again!'

Another time recently she smelled the deodorant spray in our bathroom and said 'That smells like vanilla!' (It was vanilla flavoured!)

And a couple of days ago there were enthusiastic celebrations of Bella's first success in this general area!

Now it's my turn to look after Bella. It's a beautiful Autumn day in Melbourne, so we'll go for a walk.

Rowland Croucher (Grandpa)

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


Millie now puts complex sentences together, and makes interesting connections between things...

For example: she was drinking vanilla-flavoured milk and said 'Grandma, this tastes like the smell in your bathroom when you use the spray' (which at that time was vanilla-scented!).

Last night she showed Grandma her sore knee. 'Does it hurt?' Grandma asked. 'Yes, a lot,' Millie said. 'Oh, I'm so sorry,' said Grandma. 'Oh but it's not your fault!' Millie reassured her!

Today Millie went to the Doctor. She's been waking with urinary tract soreness.
During that time Jan and I looked after Bella, who was just a delight. We went for a walk with the dog, and she helped find sticks for the dog to chase. Bella's mum was reassured by the specialist yesterday that Bella is capable of catching up developmentally, and we've been encouraged to help talk to her in story-form, and encourage her imagination.

Rowland Croucher

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


The little girls have a rabbit each... quite an education. One of them is frisky - and bits if he/she is fed up with being manhandled. So there's a beautiful mix of excitement, tears, and curiosity about them the last few days! (And our border collie Lockie of course is very interested, too.

Bella has been seen wandering around 'singing' into an improvised microphone. So cute. She's becoming more confident by the week.

This morning, Grandma asked: 'Would you like me to take you for a walk, Bella?' Bella: 'No, grandpa!' (Much to Jan's amusement). So I took her for a walk down by the creek, and as soon as we started, as usual she said 'e ow' (her way of saying 'big house'!). We pass a large house under construction, and talk about it each time...

Millie is very athletic, climbing up on everything (bit of a worry, with us living on the second floor of our home)...



Wednesday, March 05, 2008


Bella is very bright. Sometimes we've only told her something once, and days later she's remembered. I sometimes take her on a walk by the creek. We look for ducks, and listen to the kookaburras. We turn a corner and leave the bush-track and the other day she said 'Bei How'. I couldn't work it out, until 50 metres further on she said it more plainly. It was 'Big House' - a new house being built: I'd used those words once or twice a week earlier. She's very bright, but still has a somewhat ungainly walk and has some difficulty with pronunciation. She's also practising her jumps, and is very proud of herself doing that!

Millie as every four-year-old does has picked up phrases here and there. When the little ones come to sleep upstairs, their grandmother sings a lullaby softly to them. The other night Millie was very tired and said 'I just want some peace and quiet Grandma'!!!'

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Doesn't time fly? Bella turns 3 on St. Valentine's Day, so that's easy to remember. Her Grandma stayed up late finishing the little doll and crib (and a small box for spare doll's gear). She took a quick look at it, and went to play with her lego.

This morning Bella and Millie go with their grandma to 'Mainly Music' at their (Salvation Army) church: their mum is sick with a pain in her tummy (gall-bladder?), so both Jan and I are minding the kids quite a bit this week. (Their Dad is away all week on a school camp). This afternoon I take Millie to her swimming class: I'm looking forward to that.

Meanwhile, back to my sermon for our church next Sunday - on Nicodemus, as Heroic Risk-Taker for God.


Rowland Croucher