We kick ourselves, the time’s come round, this monster we’ve created,
When wild exploits in fine detail and rhyme are clearly stated,
Whose mad idea was this?” we scream, try putting brains in gear,
The cards are late!” — the plaintive cry — a typical Smith year.

Let’s start with Lee, the disadvantaged member of the crew,
At five foot nine she doesn’t get respect when she is due.
When offspring tower far above, the best she can expect,
Is pats on head from fearsome heights, and painful crinks in neck.
She pampers, clothes and feeds the mob, all with a cheerful grin,
Then gets the working clobber on and heads off to the gym.
Not pumping iron, aerobics and the thought of bulging pecs,
She runs the child care centre (well what did you expect?)
Then she’s organising, packing, mailing in extremes of trial and stress,
What spare time? — she’s the backbone of this thing called NfS!

Now Alex has the internet (at forty bucks a card)
Rents it out to Ben on hourly rates — this girl is hard.
Doing great at school, more academic prizes, wants a car,
A prefect for debating (knew her mouth would take her far!)
The L plates nestle in the drawer, but drivers all take heed,
The time is near for our Big Al” to mount her trusty steed.
The Beetle’s been restored, arrives back here some time next week,
God help the poor pedestrians, knees shaking as we speak.
She cooks a bit (the pasta), helps with NfS as well.
Corrects Mike’s dyslexic scrawl, the proof reader from hell!

Ben just got a new bike, Torker Kickback BMX,
A chrome machine that’s built to take it, full of mean effects,
Like handlebars that spin around, and stunt pegs front and rear,
Lee heads for the valium, and Mike another beer.
There he is, our six foot plus with voice still going deeper,
Eats us out of house and home (yeah, food’s not getting cheaper).
His music tastes are different, country doesn’t get the nod,
The stickers on the CDs just say Warning…” Oh my god!
But that’s all part of growing up, or so the experts say,
And when the runs are added up, our Ben will have his day.

We moved in May to new abode, now Mike has got a shed,
The little things it takes to please, three meals, a comfy bed.
NfS just seems to grow (with eighteen hour days),
The cheques come in from time to time, and sometimes even praise.
A few trips there to break it up, Mildura was a test,
Then Gympie, Sydney, Darwin (had to lay his Dad to rest).
It’s been an interesting year, and that’s to say the least.
Some grey hairs, we’ll blame that on this country music beast.
Radio is off the list, just one too many tasks,
It’s family, friends and music, what more could this bloke ask.

So raise your glasses, join the Smiths and toast a year that’s been,
We hope you have a great New Year, and Christmas in between.

Mike, Lee, Alex & Ben