Meet the Simmons-Swann-Birds

Why hello there! It’s been a while since I last posted here because we have been heads down bums up, sliding around getting Talking Tree Hill ready for you. Ta DA! We are officially blessed, open and have had 3 really successful lookseys of the property. People have come to see what us busy beavers have been up too…rain or shine we’ve been out there with the most amazing creatives putting together the bones of Talking Tree Hill. And we’re stoked, slightly exhausted and totally totally sitting in our element, all of us, as a family.

So this post is about you meeting us the Simmons-Swann-Birds. The slightly crazy old family who have dedicated the last 18months setting up the first phase of Talking Tree Hill…what a ride and a slide down many slippery slopes.

Firstly, I want to thank my beautiful sons for their unbelievable ability to play on there own, pitch in and help how they can (yes there was whinging -but thats all part of it) and there absolute change in how they interact in our new world. The world of living and loving life, outside in nature and carving out our legacy. You have to do it together or it doesn’t work. So thank you boys your amazing.

So our big announcement is…

Mark has resigned from his job!!! He is coming back to the land – ummm and yes some part-time work elsewhere on the Island to keep the family humming.

Now we introduce ourselves – we are bowing and curtsying to you.

Mr Marmark Swann…

Marks a dyslexic DJ creative with a passion for gardening. His engineering/mechanical mind means the DIY/Innovation aspect of Talking Tree Hill can now shine. His love of music, animals and his family means he needs to be here. When you live on a small Island and commute into town every day leaving the house at 5:30am and coming back in at 6pm, it can get a bit much. It’s hard to maintain with a young family and developing your purpose . It’s a lot. And that lot needed to change. So were doing it, giving it a shot…it’s all in people. Marks bringing his skills to Talking Tree, he gets to be on Island living the dream. Hurrah now he can take the kids to school 🙂

So on to the Avion Brothers…

Zachy is 9 and has the most incredible vocab (and a fabulous voice) loves innovating, reading, lego, the beach and rugby. I’ve always admired Zeze’s curiosity of the world and the depth of his understanding and empathy. He attends the Waiheke Island Steiner School which brings our hearts joy for the small classes, the focus on the child as whole, and how it’s centering him as a person. Zachy navigates a busy life extremely well it’s not easy now days being part of ” a modern family” it’s a lot to navigate and being an active founder of Talking Tree Hill. Go Zaza.

Leo is 3 and developing into one of lifes’ characters. Everything is funny, has a “why” in it and there’s a lot of movement. Leo would like to be permanently sleeping in one of our beds, loves playing anywhere and makes us all cry with laughter…a lot, he also hugs a lot. Leo’s the CEO or little boss of our family. He over loves the animals and cruises on his bike. Vehicles are Leo’s happy place…thats Marks excuse for having two diggers I’m sure. He attends Fossil Bay Kindy and works with me at Piritahi Childcare.

It’s a privilege to attend these early childhood centres. They have the most amazing staff, ethos and access to nature. We feel like we belong in both of these places. That’s really important to us as a family. Connection to people and the land. It is how we’re re-imagining education, its what makes us tick.

Then there’s me…

Kirsten…someone with a lot of energy (Mark would say to much) drive and passion for my family and life. I LOVE reading, imagining, creating stuff and EDUCATION – always have always will. Music is my go too, as is laughter and travelling. I LOVE paisley, orange lipstick and tea parties. I very much dislike mice and bad smells.

I can’t remember a time when I haven’t been thinking, reading or wondering what the Kearnyland would look like (and feel like) and Talking Tree Hill is that. Its taken 40 odd years to get to this stage and I knew in my heart it would happen. If I worked hard enough and dreamed big enough…cos you have too. You have to do what your meant to do and be fearless. So for me thats using my multi – passionate self to re-imagine education to keep our children, and our planet healthy.

I hope you’ve learnt a wee bit more about us and why we do what we do…simply put because we love it!

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