Welcome to my website!
I am a wife and homeschooling mother of six children, living in rural New Zealand. My passion is to encourage and inspire others. Over the years I have been able to communicate this passion through songwriting and singing, and public speaking. For the last ten years I have discovered the thrill (and effectiveness!) of writing – my books travel far further afield than either time or money enable me to go myself. Let me tell you a bit about myself and the wonderful family I have been blessed with…
We are eight Booms living on a small homestead in Whangarei, New Zealand. Chris and I have been married now for 28 years. I met him in Hamilton shortly before I went to Borneo to be involved in missionary work. Some months later he came over for a visit and declared his love. When I returned to NZ a year later our romance blossomed and we married in 1987. We have been blessed with six beautiful children! I am a full time home schooling mother. What a wonderful life it is.
I spent some of my childhood in Papua New Guinea, where my parents were missionaries. It was a fantastic childhood – weird and wonderful pets, jungle clubs, huts by the river…
We came home to NZ when my twin sister Penny and I were ten. I went on to do my nursing training and worked for the next ten years in both public and private hospitals and as a practice nurse in a doctor’s surgery. I finished nursing when our oldest son was born, and since then have swapped my nurse’s uniform for my teacher’s garb. I have been homeschooling now for 22 years and it has been my ‘magnum opus’. But whenever I get a spare moment, I love to write! More of that below.
Chris is involved in agricultural research and farm consultancy, and in his spare time built our new family home (with lots of help from his wife and children!)
Chris and I are also singer/songwriters (in our spare time!), and have been travelling around New Zealand now for 23 years, singing at churches, camps, conferences etc- most anywhere we’re asked! This has become more and more challenging and complicated as our family has grown, but what a blessing it is! We now have the added joy of having our children perform with us at our concerts…exciting! Let me introduce the family:
From left to right: Jacob 12, Eliza 18, Angel the dog, Kate 21, Samuel 13, Rosie and Chris, Josiah 22, Milly 16
The big move. In 2007 we made the big move from Hamilton to Northland and bought 11 acres of land, complete with river and a 90 year old barn which was to become our home. When I first laid eyes on the ancient barn, all I could think was, ‘We could live here!’
I never dreamed that the next four years would hold so much fun and so many memorable moments. We knocked the barn into some semblence of order, evicted the resident possum, put in a few windows and best of all, set up a Homewood stove which was to become the heart of the barn – cooking our food, heating our water and keeping us warm through the cold winter months.
I love cooking on our woodburning Homewood stove, tending the vegetable garden, and enjoying the constant challenges that go hand in hand with a small block. In the first six months, we survived two ‘one hundred year’ storms. The barn creaked and shook and groaned, but outlasted the onslaught. Those were exciting, nerve wracking days and nights of gale force winds, rain so loud on the tin roof that we couldn’t hear ourselves shout, rescuing animals and anxiously watching to see if the barn roof would lift off.
In our second year I began writing Where Lions Roar at Night, a family read-aloud book telling all the fun and adventures we had in our first year of living in the barn. The second book in The Barn Chronicles, Where Arrows Fly, was published in 2010, and the third, Where the Crickets Sing was published in May 2012. The last book in the series, Where the River Rises was published in 2014. For more information on the series please check out The Barn Chronicles page.
While I have been writing and homeschooling, Chris has been working hard at building the new Boom family home. It has been a family project with all the children helping. It took us three years of hard work, but we finally moved in September 2010, just in time for Josiah’s 21st. We still have more internal doors to make, landscaping etc to do, but we are loving living in our very own home. It’s warm, too!
In 2002, Chris gave me an enrollment into a four year comprehensive writing course for my birthday present. It was my best presie ever! I loved the course, and writing quickly became a passion. It took perseverance and lots of discouraging moments before I finally had my first story accepted for publication in Guide Magazine. After that initial acceptance it seemed to became easier and easier.
One of the passions I have had for many years is to encourage parents in the wonderful and challenging task of raising their children. So, in 2006 I began writing a series called The Gift of Values. Volume One was published in 2007 and in 2008 The Gift of Values ~ Volume Two was published. I am in the process of writing Volume Three.
After a year of living in our barn, the story of our life here just had to be told! Where Lions Roar at Night just about wrote itself. I have always kept a very detailed diary and the book was very easy to write as I chuckled my way through the entries, remembering those special moments.
One of the great joys (and challenges!) of my life is home schooling the children. I’ve been doing it for 22 years now, but am learning all the time.
One of the joys of our home schooling has been seeing the creation of a children’s book and CD, The Happy Prince. This began as a simple unit study for school on compassion, which developed into something much bigger.
The Family in 2016
Josiah, our eldest son, is 26. In 2013 he took some time off from his degree and did a three-month stint in Washington D.C where he was a leader at Sonshine Camp. He loved it! He returned home and finished his degree in Property Valuation from Massey University by correspondence. He now works as a valuer in Whangarei. He used to work part time at Homewood stoves with his uncle and cousin, and still occasionally helps out with building the wonderful Homewood stoves. He loves to play soccer, hockey and guitar.
Kate is 25. In 2012 she worked in Cambodia for five months after completing her music degree at Vision College. While there she wrote a music programme for the prisoners of Cambodia. On returning to Hamilton she taught at Vision College and tutored private students. She has gone barefoot for three years now in an attempt to raise money for orphans in Cambodia and has set up a charity called Shoeless.
Last year she moved to Wellington to begin her masters in Music Therapy. This year she will be writing her thesis.
My book Where Lions Roar at Night is dedicated to her, because without her help, I would never have found the time to write it. She ‘gave’ us her gap year and spent 2008 running the barn, cooking all the meals and home schooling her younger brothers and sisters, so I could get out and help Chris build (and write!) What a joy that year was. We miss her very much.
Eliza is 22, and is an opera singer! She loves music. In 2014 she graduated from a music degree, and was then awarded a Sir Edmund Hillary scholarship to do honours at Waikato University in Performance. She graduated with first-class honours and is currently doing a post grad course withe Malvina Major at Waikato Uni. Her year is busy with teaching lots of students, studying herself and lots of travel and competing.
Milly is 19 and is in her second year of a Bachelor of Nursing degree at NorthTec, Whangarei. She is kept busy with all her involvements in youth group at our church, soccer, hockey and singing.
Samuel is 17, and is in his second year of a building apprenticeship. He always used to say he wanted to be a carpenter when he leaves school and now it’s a reality. He has just had his growth spurt and is now over 6ft 2″. Taller than his dad! He’s mad keen on soccer. I am teaching him guitar and he enjoys singing, and has a deep, rich voice. Samuel really struggled to learn to read, but when he was eleven he just took off and is now devouring books every day, much to his younger brother’s disappointment. “All Sam ever does now is read!” Pure music to my ears! But when I clapped my hands at Jacob’s complaint, he told me, “It was not meant as a compliment!”
Jacob is 16 and full of fun. He continues to love soccer and also plays twilight hockey. He enjoys learning piano and bass guitar. He still occasionally does all manner of flips and stunts on the trampoline, all designed to freak his mother out. He still loves to play with LEGO and makes all sorts of amazing creations. Maybe he’ll be an architect or an engineer??