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The Family Bandwagon

Our family is spread out across the country and across the world, and what better way to keep in touch than a collaborative digital journal?

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Happy New year

Best wishes for a wonderful 2014, to all of my family.May all of your hopes and dreams come true.
I am going dancing tonight. Carolynn is having friends here.What plans does everyone else have?
Thursday the Bendigo ones are meeting for tea at JoJoes.

Saturday, 21 December 2013

I won something!

I won something!

A week or so ago I saw a competition on The Livingroom (I think it was -- we weren't actually watching, just surfing for something to watch). Typical "25 words or less" with a website under tenplay -- or maybe I just went to the site looking for a way to win an Xbox One? Whatever the case, I entered (with a barely witty appeal to the competition sponsors, Temple & Webster) ... and a few days later I got a call telling me I'd won!

Not a small prize, either: a $20,000 living room makeover, complete with our own personal interior designer figuring it all out for us, and delivery and "bump in". We don't even need to be here! Once I'd gotten over the feeling that it must be a joke or a mistake, I was excited: what with the house and everything, we were planning on a pretty austere Christmas (no presents for each other, but of course we have some stuff for Jules). But winning this competition is OUR Christmas present!

On Friday morning I met Jess, our designer (see her style on Pinterest). She toured the house, measured stuff and helped me pick some "styles" from a bunch of magazines. Really just a fact-finding mission for her -- she'll go away and select some things from the suppliers to Temple & Webster and get back to us with options. Since we do most of our "living" throughout the whole house, there's a good chance at least (I'm flying blind here really) that her suggestions will run all the way from our little kitchen to the outside balcony where the dining table is. We might even get some bedroom stuff, towels, and possibly garden supplies! Who knows. I'll yay/nay stuff when she comes back to me, then I expect there will be a bit of back and forth until we're set on the "look", if not the individual items. So freakin' excited!

(Dee's taking a passive role, which was a surprise to me (perhaps doing our place in Cockatoo was stress enough?).  She just wants to come in one day and have a new living space, which I totally understand. It will be a surprise! Luckily I'm reasonably confident that I can pick stuff that she will like -- and, more importantly, veto those that she would hate! And of course I'll try to take some "before" and "after" photos -- they're the best part of any reno show, aren't they?)

In other good news, our house sale is now unconditional -- the buyers have been approved their finance, and the building inspection was clean. We're going to ask if they want to move up the settlement date (it's February at the moment) but I'll be taking a (frequent-flyer points) flight down to Melbourne (and a visit to the 'go if I can squeeze it in ;-)) to get the last of our stuff. (Yep, part of the sale deal included the furniture, so we don't have too much to move. Perfect, as we were just going to sell it on gumtree anyway!)

I really feel like our karmic investments are finally paying off.

Friday, 20 December 2013

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Happy Birthday Carolynn


Happy birthday cousin Carolynn! Sorry it's late, lemme put the clock back ...

Monday, 16 December 2013

Work, swords, costumes, and general fun times.

It's my final week of work - I'm taking two weeks off over Christmas/New Years, and rather looking forward to them. Last week I was averaging 10 hours a day trying to hit a deadline for a job. It's not fun. On the plus side, though, I made the deadline ;)

On top of that Shihan contacted me to say he'd decided to come to Bendigo for a training session rather than doing one in Melbourne. That caused a mad rush to find an available hall, since my usual dojo was pre-booked. Thanks to Cheryl's quick thinking and Lisa's useful contacts I was able to organise the EUC Hall. I've since discovered my estimated 8-12 students has ballooned out to more like 20. The Melbourne guys disorganisation led to Shihan deciding to come to Bendigo in the first place, so I shouldn't have been surprised to find out only today that there's about 8 coming up. Anyway, the logistics are sorted I think and it's a huge win for the Bendigo club - hopefully if we look after him Shihan will consider coming here for gradings in the future too :)

Speaking of the dojo, we had our end of year BBQ Sunday. Cheryl did a Herculean effort organising stuff for that -and- did the actual barbecuing while I waltzed around teasing the teenagers and generally not being very productive. She is a saint. I was sorry to see Daria wasn't feeling well, and Lisa took her and Trin home. Lucky for Jared and Carolynn Nanny couldn't resist the temptation of a free hamburger and took us up on our offer to join us for lunch so she could shuttle them home afterwards ;)

We've been organising our costumes for Lisa's birthday party too. We're being a bit secretive about who we'll all be going as - all I can tell you is I've done my best to grow a beard in the last month for my costume. Oh and we're very thankful Edith is nearby and knows how to sew :)

After that Christmas day is going to be relaxing by comparison, even with two very excited little kiddies ;)

That'll do from me. Oscar's got a Kindy concert on Tuesday during which he'll apparently sing "lots of songs" and Nanna, Granddad, Nanny and Nanny's Nana are all coming to watch, but I might let Cheryl post about that after it's happened.

Cheerio!

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

School, Moving and China!!

So I know its been ages since my last post but I've been busy. I have finished uni and decided that this isn't the course for me, so I've applied at TAFE her in Bendigo to do a cert 4 in professional writing and editing that I find out in a week or so if I'm in, and I hope I am pretty confident with it. I get my uni results next week so I'll see how I went with that. Other than that I've moved from where I was and I'm now at Nanny's and still collecting stuff from mum's because I was there for a couple of weeks before I moved, and after thinking that Brady and I were friends I learnt that he wants nothing to do with me really but oh well friendships can fall in a heap.

I've been to China so I'll do a short post about it and put it up in full on my travel blog. So China was great fun I got to bond with a few of the girls (all younger than me) and fall out with them over little things, like knocking on the door and running away lots of times and invasion of privacy. We climbed the Great Wall and visited all the places the emperor and his family lived and visited. We spent 7 days for 3 hours dancing although I didn't do all the hours because I managed to get sick and injure myself :/ I have lots of photos that I will put up on facebook at some stage too. We had lots of eastern food and the occasional western food, like KFC, McDonalds and chips and tomato sauce. The photo is from the second day at the Ming Tombs :)

Christmas is coming ....too fast

Today I bought myself a new Janome sewing machine. The old one couldn't be repaired. It was fine one day and giving me no go messages the next. I bought a Janome 6030 so still computerized. Hope it goes for 20 years. Made me tidy up the sewing table so that's a bonus. It was one up (so dearer) than the one I thought I'd get.

Also went to check out toys. Visited Big W, Target and Toyworld. Yoiks!!! Think I know what I want to get Lily and Oscar if they're still there when I get back. Damien seemed to think they'd prefer toys Nanny had chosen over money. Got some things to wrap for Trin and Daria but I think they'd rather the money and I'm sure Jared would too.

I'm lending the trailer to a friend next month (or February) so I put the current rego sticker on (was 2010). Took some hunting to find where to put it. Then discovered the paint was peeling from the numberplate so I scrubbed that, spray painted the white and today made a rough job of redoing the black. Looks much better. The trailer really needs a coat of paint. Not sure if that will happen.

Dancing is winding down. No Tuesday's now. Castlemaine tomorrow will be the last until March. A few Christmas dances coming up. We went to Maryborough on Saturday and I was pleasantly surprised to find I could do all except one. (provided I had Clive to dance with).

Glenn do you want to keep the Big o Box of cables? I thought Carolynn could check if they are out of date  and if I could take them to the recycle yard. I found a suitcase full of floppy drives etc that I'm tossing.

I have three Christmas trees this year. Lisa's light up purple one in the lounge, a small one I quickly decorated to take to Spinners and a small fibre optic one the girls decorated(so well I had to loosen the tinsel so you could see the fibre optics.)

Started the Christmas lunches last Friday with the Gadabouts, Monday Probus, Wednesday Day Club, Friday Mad Hatters. Nana also went to the War Widows today, but didn't come to the Gadabouts. Thursday I'm going to Nana's to help get ready for Christmas. I changed her smoke detector batteries on Monday so one job done.

Carolynn has settled in well here although we're hardly ever both here at the same time. She and Lisa cleaned the old room last Sunday and the carpet cleaner is coming Thursday. That will finish her with them once she gets her bond back.

Looking forward to Oscar's kinder concert next Tuesday. That week will be for getting ready for Lisa's party.

Love to all. Waiting for more news.

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Happy Birthday Dee!

We've been quiet on the Bandwagon (and other places) for some time now. Mostly we've felt squeezed, I think - moving, work, the house in Cockatoo...

Happy to say we have one of those mostly sorted out now - we have accepted an offer on Baker Street! ("Mostly" because it's contingent on their finance and a building inspection - we SHOULD be fine but will know on the 19th.) Less than we wanted, but it is just a liability for us, an ongoing source of  expenses and stress. So it's a massive relief!

We had a long lunch and the afternoon together yesterday,  and today (Dee's actual birthday) we are... scrubbing the outdoor furniture, eaves and pavers?!? Don't tell ME I don't know how to show a girl a good time!

(Disclosure: Dee is scrubbing. I'm playing cars with Jules. # DadLife)

Otherwise things are okay. My work at Palantir is always busy, but especially so at the moment because my pilot finishes in January. Dee is submitting a proposal for funding her own project which would see a 12 month extension to her contract, so we have our fingers crossed on that one too.

Jules is totally settled into day care, and his vocabulary is steadily increasing - a speech therapist claimed he was not as developed as he should be but I think that's bollocks: he's a shy boy, so didn't really want to talk to her. He does still love his dummy so we're trying to encourage taking it out to speak.

I think I've said it before but we all really love living in Sydney. This area is so nice, Dee's work colleagues are great, we can cycle into the city, there are beaches and parks and markets and cafes.

Christmas is coming up mighty fast. We are staying up here this year, so will have to get on a Hangout on Christmas day. The Melrose family are visiting (from Scotland) on Tuesday so that will be fun; Dee's mum and brother are joining us for Christmas.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Signing in from Shaft St

So it's been about 6 weeks since I've posted, that's better than 6 months LOL  So, I've officially finished work until February when we start back. It's sort of a relief, I've got those 3 days a week back to sort out this house, but I also won't have the extra $$ coming in. It's not too bad, we can survive, I've just enjoyed watching my account balance rise, if slowly. The car is going into the mechanice tomorrow and I hope it's not going to cost too much. My ignition has been playing up, by that I mean it won't lock without jiggling the key madly. I was thinking about when it started and I remember when we parked at the club for Trinity's cali break-up I was sure that I locked the car, but when we got back my door was unlocked. Nothing was missing so I didn't think too much about it. What can I say, I have children and it's not uncommon for me to find the car unlocked, usually it's one of their doors though. So I suspect someone has tried to steal my car and stuffed my ignition, b@$t&s. I'm also still having trouble with the alternator, or that is my suspicion anyway. Will ask the mechanic tomorrow and hope that 1. it doesn't cost me too much and 2. I get the car back in time to pick Trinity up from school.

I spent last Saturday at home cleaning out the shed, or attempting to make more room for my own stuff. There was still a lot of stuff belonging to Adam's family. I've bagged up clothes for Cheryl's mum or sister to take to the Phillipines, thrown out heaps of old schoolwork, and found a heap of books. I was going to keep the books, or donate them to playgroup, but since it's likely we'll see Rick in just a couple of weeks I'm considering giving him the option of delivering them. Under the books was a photo of Adam from primary school, I'm keeping that. I made room for 2 of Carolynn's tubs so that means there is a little more room in the laundry, but I have a long way to go to make this house less cluttered.

Jared has finished up at school, including 2 weeks of orientation and Bendigo Senior. He's made some new friends. Hopefully he'll help me out around the house for the summer holidays, but I won't hold my breath. He's warned me it's time to get him to work shortly so I'll cut this short...

Monday, 2 December 2013

Rugby is the national sport

I know, I know.. I said I was going to update the bandwagon weeks ago.. sorry! I've been overwhelmed with work lately and haven't found the time nor inspiration to write a post.

I've been able to recuperate somewhat this weekend - B & I joined one of our mates to see Wales play Australia at the rugby! :-)

Millenium Stadium is in the middle of Cardiff, so match days always cause a big stir in the city. Around the stadium becomes super-busy as 70,000 people try to get in and find their seats before kickoff. All the bars in town fill up, especially those showing the match on TV. To avoid these crowds we decided to have a drink in the pub near the university. Unfortunately we weren't the only ones to have that thought! Properly hydrated, we wandered past Winter Wonderland and into the throng, stopping to buy a match day scarf as we headed to the gates.

Our seats were on level six, so we had a great overview of the game. I felt like a tiny island in a silent sea during the Australian national anthem (and yes, I sang!) and was completely immersed by the Welsh national anthem - so many voices! I still don't really understand the rules of rugby but it was a good game and I think I know more about the game now than I did before.

It was really good fun. It's just a shame that the weekend is over so soon!

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

4 weeks until Christmas!

Time is flying by now and it's less than a month to Christmas! Cheryl and I share a Google calendar (which means it's on all the computers and both our phones, very organised ;)) and the weeks are filling up with events.

We all got our eyes tested a few weeks back - Cheryl will be picking up her glasses this weekend, and me the weekend after (Lil is wearing my chosen glasses in the photo), as well as doing some weird eye test where they put drops in my eyes to make my pupils widen and then take photos - the general photos don't get up around the sides of the inside of your eyeball, and the optometrist recommended doing this once every 4 years or so. I've never had it done, so that'll be fun.

We also got Ossie's eyes tested, which you might have seen on Facebook. He was terribly nervous, and did his trick of not saying a word. Luckily it was less of an issue for the optometrist than when we went to the speech pathologist ;) He was well prepared with a sheet of letters Os could point to, iPad activities and other games.

Ossie's vision is fine. It's one point long-sighted, which isn't an issue and shouldn't (fingers crossed) degrade over time. If he can avoid my stupid super-shortsightedness and astigmatism that'd be great.

We also had Oscar's Kindy Art Show/BBQ last Friday. Oscar's picture is great, and has pride of place on the lounge room wall :) Apparently there's a concert coming up which grandparents are welcome to come and watch - Mum I'll send you details. It'll be during the day.

My Iaido Christmas breakup is approaching, we're going to have a barbecue in the park. Should be nice. Then Shihan is visiting Melbourne, so a few of my students might go down to grade. I think I'm more nervous than if I was grading myself, actually.. I know these guys are representing me. We'll be making the most of the final 3 classes, that's for sure. The club is going well, anyway - I'm averaging 4 or 5 students a night, which is great. I only need 3 to cover the hall cost, but we could certainly fit in more now.

On Sunday I looked after the kids while Cheryl went to the Food and Wine Festival. I'll let her fill you in on that one - as for me I took the kids shopping and then we lazed around the house in the afternoon.

We've got our planned movie for Lisa's birthday party - I'm not revealing anything, except to say we might be appealing to Edith's greater sewing ability if we can't find what we need in op shops. I think it's going to be a great evening :)

Oh, and if you've made it this far I'll ask again - who will be around for Christmas?

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Buick and Christmas

Hi family,
Had a friend from dancing (John Floriani) come and see the Buick and the Torana a couple of weeks ago. He then went to Tassie. Last night he rang to ask if I'd sell him the Buick. He hasn't mentioned an amount and said he'd asked some friends of his who said it could be worth anything from 20c to $20000.

Since I was at Castlemaine when he rang (Clive), I asked a couple of men there what they thought. Advice was to get more advice and that whatever John offered, he'd plan on making a profit when he sold it.(They know John more than I do)

After he'd been here and I'd taken the cover off it, I realise how neglected it is. I need to vaccuum and polish up the leather.Also pulled out the photo albums and the diary of work done Dad had kept. He'd spent $10000 and 1800 hours on it.

I first thought I'd ask what all of you think since I'll share the money between you, but since then, I don't think I'm ready to sell it, so it might sit here a bit longer.

Very interested to hear what you all think about it.

Also, Dayna and Bruce and Glenn, Dee and Jules, Nana has given me money for you for Christmas. ($50 each for the adults and $40 for Jules) I'll put it into the Australlian bank accounts. Glenn and Dee, if there is something you'd like to get for Jules please do or if you'd prefer to bank it for future needs, that's fine. Ditto for yourselves of course.

I plan to do the same thing for all of you from me, and for the same amounts. Lisa and family and Damien, Cheryl and family you get the same deal from me, unless you want to sort out about season's tickets to the Pool.I wondered about evening up the totals since Dand B get less since there's only two of them but that's too hard.

Plenty to think about.

Thank you Damien for your update.

Love, Mum

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Quick update as promised ;)

Just a quick one from us - our weeks aren't nearly as interesting as Mum's I'm afraid :) We did put up the Christmas tree the weekend before last. Oscar is so excited by the idea of Christmas so we decided we might as well kick it off early. The kids loved putting the tree together and decorating it, although both of them have a tendency to just put every decoration on the same branch. I think we'll have to make putting the tree up on November 1 a bit of a family tradition.

We're going to get an advent calendar for December and watch as Ossie's brain gradually explodes from the building excitement.

We also had a picnic for Landon's birthday. The weather was beautiful.. lucky he wasn't born a week later since it's been pretty cold and rainy since then.

Last weekend we drove to Melbourne to check out Highpoint Shopping Centre again. It's a good one - huge and out our side of the city, so you can avoid tollways and the like. Daiso is the best store there.. it's like a Japanese $2 shop. I bought socks! Tutti Frutti is also a winner.

But that's about it for us, apart from that it's been work and kindy, looking after the kids, iaido, the same old same old. Somehow the weeks are still flying by mind you. I haven't worked out when (if) I'll take time off for Christmas but I'm sure I'll get a week or so in. Gotta catch up on sleeping in ;)

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

November

A fortnight since the last post. I know Carolynn is waiting to get past her exams.

I've been enjoying life, since returning home from Phillip Island. Morning tea with the Gadabouts, Oaks Day lunch with the U3A (didn't win the best dressed or best hat but Mum won a $50 voucher from IGA),  and visitors for tea when I made pasties on Sunday3rd..

I have been dancing including a Masquerade at Danceland on 2nd,  a Cup Eve dance on Monday at Spring Gully which was another chance to dress up, Trentham last Friday, Kyneton on Tuesday and a good crowd at Spring Gully on Saturday 9th. Another  a good crowd last night(Monday 11th). Resting time ahead as Clive has a meeting tonight so no dancing until next Thursday. Clive and I are meeting two friends of his (both ladies of course ) for tea at the Borough Club then gong to the dance at Eaglehawk. Last Sunday we went to Gisbourne to a friend's place where we had a lovely lunch and enjoyed seeing her new house. Came home the scenic way via Heathcote.

Mum had a surprise visit from Elaine and Arnold on Sunday.

Mum and I joined the Probus folk for lunch yesterday at Thomas's kitchen. Food is good but one wok, one cook means service for 37 is slow. We were lucky we'd ordered the lemon chicken since that came out early. By one, when we'd finished some folk were just getting their Mongolian beef.

My sewing machine decided to not work so this morning I've taken it in for a service and repair. It has been a lot of years since anything was done so probably due.

Finally rain here so the tomatoes will be growing without me needing to water.

I have some silk worm eggs I've taken out of the fridge. A week and still no hatching but this sudden cold snap has probably discouraged them.

With a couple of days home now, I hope to get onto some spinning. Melva asked me to crochet some squares together for her so that was the handcraft project until I got it finished. Still crocheting a dragon so I need to get back on to that too.

Hope all of you are well. Love to keep up on Facebook even if we don't get to talk much. Love from Mum

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Happy Halloween

This morning I came back from the water-cooler to find a tiny skeleton dancing on my laptop...


Happy Halloween everybody!

Happy Halloween

I've just had a really fun evening making my first real jack-o-lantern. :-D I made a mini one when I lived in London but this is my first "real-size" pumpkin. Bruce made one too - you can see the photos. :-)

This week is fairly quiet for me after another busy one last week (three Spectroscopy in a Suitcase visits and an open day at the uni).  I've been catching up on paperwork and not doing much after-hours.

Unfortunately B found out today that his job is going to finish early - they don't have enough work for him and didn't get the extra funding they were hoping for. It's a real drag because it means B has to start looking for new jobs again - we thought he'd have until March, not end of November! O well.

We're popping over the channel to southern France this weekend. I'm looking forward to wine and cheese. ;-) I'll update after we get back.
*hugz*

Monday, 28 October 2013

Angry cats are the best cats

Saturday we took the kids to the Bendigo Show. We knew someone at the gate and got in for cheaper, which was nice. The kids really enjoyed seeing all the animals - Lily certainly liked the flat-faced "angry" cat ;)

The kids also did a cooking class and made rice paper rolls. You may have seen the photos on Facebook. Right at the start the chef accidentally sprayed Lily with water, which made her cry (she was probably a bit tired anyway). Still, she recovered and made her roll, then when she started making the second one she sprayed Ossie in the face, so he cried, and that made her cry again as well. The chef kindly gave them both a hat and apron combo which cheered them up enough to taste their rolls, at least :) He only had about 5 or 6 to give away so it really was nice of him (and yes, he had a variety of colours including green and I think yellow or red).

After that I took Os on a ride (a spaceship thing that moved around while a video played at the front) and Lil got a balloon (since she was too small for the ride) and then we headed home. It was a nice day out. I'd planned on buying an Adventure Time showbag, or maybe one of the lolly ones, but they were $28 each! Just a bit too much to spend on a whim, really.

Sunday Cheryl went to the movies with Oscar. He's been wanting to go with her since he and I saw Monsters University - I guess he wanted to share the experience with his Mummy, which is sweet :) I took Lil to the playground in the mall and then we all met up for lunch.

Tomorrow he's off to school! Just one hour in the morning, and he'll be there with cousin Daria which I think he's really looking forward to. I do hope he enjoys school as much as he's enjoyed Kindy.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Brooklea Park Banter

Back from holiday and straight back into it! My week was a little insane really..

Monday: drove to Aberystwyth for a Spectroscopy in a Suitcase session (the team there are just starting with the scheme).. unfortunately, crossed wires meant there were no students, only one teacher for the session.. oops!
Spent the evening talking to members and non-members at the RSC Mid-Wales Local Section Mixer Meeting.

Tuesday: drove to Swansea after a morning meeting with two of the RSC team who had also stayed in Aberystwyth. Spent the afternoon catching up on emails in my hotel. (There was initially a Chemistry at Work event scheduled for the day but it was postponed - and I'm very glad that it was!).

Wednesday: Chemistry at Work event in Swansea - we delivered our Body in the Lab session five times throughout the day to a total of about 80 students. Phew! Stayed at the hotel again.

Thursday: The second of my Chemistry at Work events for the week, this one in Neath Port Talbot. This time we had six sessions throughout the day and I was really tired by the end of it. I thought that I was going to lose my voice during the day (it was really husky on Wednesday night) but somehow I made it through! Finally got home to see Bruce. :-)

Friday: Another early start, this time to head towards Barry for an outreach session followed by a Spectroscopy in a Suitcase session. Busy day but a great bunch of students! By the time I got back to work (3pm-ish) I was really tired and decided to finish early. :-)

Saturday and Sunday: Sleep! And did my best to get better. At the start of the weekend I was sure that I'd lose my voice sometime this week but I was definitely feeling a bit better by Sunday evening.

This week isn't quite as bad as last week - we had a SIAS session today (just in Cardiff, so no long drives) and tomorrow is another day similar to the Chemistry at Work days (six sessions throughout the day)! I'll fill you in on it all next week. :-)

*hugz* to all.

Monday, 21 October 2013

Same old same old... or is it?

Ok, my turn. The year is flying past too quickly, and yet so much has been happening in this little house. In the school holidays I got new glasses, Carolynn had an eye test and also needed glasses, and I bought a new bed. Add Carolynn's trip to China and my plan to buy a new car has been postponed, so we're stuck in Bendigo for a bit longer since I have been recommended NOT to take the Laser on long drives. It's good advice, I'm finding when it's been going for a while it's running pretty rough. I'm sure the alternator is having a hissy fit despite the auto-elec saying it's fine.

Carolynn can update about her trip later, for now - she joined the Bendigo Chinese Association (BCA) Plum Blossom Dancing Team earlier this year after finding out that there would be no senior calisthenics team for Sabelle. Trinity is now a Sub-Junior so we've still had 4 comps this year. Anyway, the Plum Blossoms got a grant to help them go to China to learn more about the culture and to attend a dance school to learn more about traditional Chinese dancing. I thought it was a great opportunity for Carolynn and supported her going. She left last night for an overnight flight with those of the team that were going, there's a photo on Facebook. We're on Skype and waiting to see her online. I bought Skype credit for her to use but it will need to wait until she's somewhere with free wi-fi.

Jared's still with the BCA Lion and Dragon Team but has given up karate for now. He also got his Ls on Friday - eek. Now I have to psych myself up to take him out in the Laser! To top it all off he got his first job as well last week. A junior in the kitchen at Pizza Hut. The problem is his hours, 6.30-8.30pm. The girls have been staying up and watching Dr Who, which is difficult but does mean we can all go and pick Jared up, but it does delay their bedtime that bit more.

As I said before, Trinity is a Subbie in calisthenics. They performed their best at the last comp in Shepparton. They placed in every item, but it was their 4 firsts that gave them the points to win Aggregate. Basically they got the most points over all, there are points for placing in items. I could explain it all but I'm not sure you need to know :)  They've also had comps in Melbourne, Echuca and Horsham in the last couple of months, so lots of travelling - carpooling of course, and not in the Laser. Their end of year concert is the 9th of November and then we're all done with cali until next year. Trinity loves it, it's just great for her self confidence, she's come a long way since she started 3 years ago.

Now Daria, she's going to a big school girl next year. Orientation starts at the end of this month, of course Damien and Cheryl know that :)  Of course all of her orientation days fall on group days for work. It's not too bad, orientation is 9-10am and group starts at 10am. We're supposed to set up at 9.30am so it's possible I can help out a bit before I pick Daria up. It's also kinder for her so she'll be late to that too.

Work for me is going well. I have some training days coming up so it's good that I can work around most of it. I love the flexibility, but I'm also looking forward to finishing up for the year in the first week of December. I'm so not ready for Christmas... at all!  I'm going to need to do some serious last minute shopping. I'll have a handful of Mondays where Daria is at kinder and Trinity is at school and I can get out alone ;)

I think that's about it for our news. Busy but run of the mill for us.

Plaguehouse

Hi all,

I'd somehow missed the visit to Kryal Castle, but it looks like you had heaps of fun!! Been a while since we went, and we will definitely have to take Jules along next time we're down that way.

This weekend hasn't been much fun for us -- we're all sick (Jules least of all, but I suspect it's something he brought home from daycare) so it's been long nights of coughing, some throwing up and general misery. The only "silver lining", if it even counts as one, is that Dee and I have miraculously chosen different nights to be sick as dogs, so that one of us at least could look after the other (and Jules, of course). Not fun at all, but fingers are crossed that we're getting better (and that J-dog doesn't get the throwing-up virus).

Last weekend was better; quiet, but still a fun little day of garden maintenance for my birthday. It's getting so hot here these days! You've probably seen all the bushfire warnings; nothing near us, thankfully, but I'm glad we're not still in our "tinderbox" house in Cockatoo, that's for sure. Oh, we haven't sold the house yet either. Poop.

So it's been pretty bleugh for us, and I'm enjoying reading all the fun stuff that OTHERS are doing instead of doing them myself! :-)

Kryal Castle

Hmm.. looks like comments have disappeared again, so I'll just say sounds like Dayna's having a great time and Mum you're being very productive!

Last weekend as I'm sure you saw on Facebook we visited Kryal Castle. I'd heard a while back that it had closed down, which was a shame, and then heard that it had reopened with new owners. The weather was looking to be good so we decided to check it out.

(Also, we've been out to Castlemaine, to Daylesford.. this area of central Victoria is really nice countryside to drive around for little trips, especially while everything is so green)

Kryal Castle isn't cheap - it cost us around $70 for the four of us - but had events throughout the day and lots of other stuff to see. Apart from the main area that had weapons displays, guys on horses spearing rings and hitting little shields and stuff and, of course, the main event of jousting, there was also a pantomime show the kids loved and a story reading (of which Os was the sole spectator  for the first 5 minutes or so) and a bit of foam swordplay too.

There were some new things - fairies, dragons and other kid-friendly fantasy elements - and some stuff I remember from when we visited like the stocks, the maze and the throne room. Although the torture chambers were still there (we didn't go in) generally I think it's tending more towards kid-friendly entertainment instead of more historically accurate and somewhat terrifying medieval stuff.

This coming weekend if the weather is nice we might check out the Bendigo show. It's nice to have the kids at an age where we can have a day trip out together.

The photos are up on facebook if you want to check them out: https://www.facebook.com/damienmason/posts/10151648256510683

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Church St Chatter

How hard to top a holiday in Spain. Thank you for the lovely postcard. Lisa had her's as well and loved it.
Wondering how Glenn and Dee are affected by the nasty bushfires in NSW.

I've been busy in the garage and have finally got rid of the old air con and some boxes of metal. I'm now in the process of filling it up again. I've moved the desk from the back room (loose legs Glenn) and the computer parts as well. Now the organ is in that spot and I have a space in the spare room in case Carolynn moves in. Fraid the workings of the pianola are sitting in the carport. Not sure what to do with that. The shed is a strong possibility.

Also mowed the lawn, trimmed the edges, made four small Christmas cakes and the Christmas puddings. Suddenly we have a taste of summer with 31 the forecast for today. Turn off heater, turn on air con.

Don't know how to write around the picture.

Been dancing although we had Tuesday off. Clive is watering the race course and the hotter it is the later he needs to do it. Coming up this week is a Gala Ball at  Kyneton, Spring Gully with Rod McKenzie, and a Daylesford tea dance on Sunday That should hold me until I get back from Phillip Island.(29th to 31st October)

I helped Lisa on Friday, when she'd had the call that her new bed would be delivered. Not enough time to paint the room but it was very well vaccuumed and now she has a great place to hide lots away, yet still have it accessible.Probably still a lot we moved that needs to be moved back.

Looking forward to more news from everyone. I know Jared has lots to tell and Carolynn will in another 10 or so days. Love and hugs from Mum/Nanny.
Space in the garage.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

A Spanish Holiday

You can either read the post below, or watch the video summary (10 seconds per day) here:  http://youtu.be/JpsqieuM0bQ


Saturday (travel travel travel)
After an early breakfast, we piled in John's car to head to Luton airport. Our holiday had started (well, if you didn't count the cheeky wine I had Friday afternoon before we drove to Wednesbury). Eventually, after two hours drive, 15 minutes in the bus, a lunch break, queuing for half an hour, a two hour flight and a coach ride for forty minutes, we arrived at the hotel we'd call home for the next seven days; Hotel Royal Sun.

Our stay is "all inclusive" - as much food and drink as we care to have... And that includes alcohol! Don't think I'll be keeping track of my food this week.. and I'll cross my fingers that the scales aren't too mean on our return.


Sunday
Today was a day for local exploring. In the morning we wandered along Santa Susanna's main straight and in the afternoon we explored the shops in the next "town", Malgrat (although you really can't tell where one "town" ends and the next begins!)

The first couple of tourist shops were really interesting - I love seeing what kitschy souvenirs are on offer - but after a while everything became a bit same-y. I still managed to buy myself a new hat (it's a hat winter for me) and looked at dozens of handbags (mine is on its last legs and apparently Spain is a good place to buy them).

Between all this looking and shopping we found time for our meals at the hotel, a drink by the beach (at the back of our hotel), a drink at the hotel John and Gwen stayed in last year (same chain so it didn't cost us anything), and a scenic ride on a little train (we thought it just went up and down the main straight... apparently not!). We were pretty worn out by the end of the evening so we didn't get up and join the (mostly line-) dancers in the bar, even though the live singer was pretty good.. she was also very good at pretending to play the keyboard. ;-)


Monday (markets!)
Up early today to head to Blanes (bla-ness) for the market. Everybody loves a good street market! There was something for everyone - clothes, handbags, scarves, toys, jackets and more. The market stretched along the path beside the beach and seemed to go on forever. There were bargains to be had if you were lucky/could be bothered rummaging (I found a pair of €5 shoes that match my green dress, and a €6 grey jumper for work).

After a substantial snack (that we had to pay for!  There weren't any of the chain hotels there), we made our way back to Santa Susanna and the lads had a swim in the sea. It wasn't warm enough for me -  the morning had been lovely but the clouds covered the sun as soon as we got back to the hotel. :-( hopefully tomorrow will be good and I'll get to go for a swim.


Tuesday (sunshine and cocktails)
(Happy birthday Dad)
Made the most of the sunshine today and spent most of the day by the pool. We went for a quick dip early on (brrrr! Had to keep moving or it felt too cold!) and then spent the rest of the morning on the loungers drying out and warming up. We also made the most of the "cocktail of the day" - a mixture of peach and kiwi schnapps with some lemonade. :-)

Late afternoon we went for a swim in the Med. The sand is like tiny little pebbles so it hurt to walk on but is easier to dust off. :-) The sea was warmer than the pool and got deep really quickly - after two steps I couldn't touch the bottom! It was really relaxing to just bob around for a while and then lay on a towel in the evening sun. This is what holidays should be like!


Wednesday
(Happy birthday Gwen)
Cava for breakfast for Gwen's birthday (and most days this week ;-) ) and then up the coast to Calella for the day. Spent the morning wandering along the pedestrianised high street looking for bargains. There were plenty of bag shops but the ones we went in had really pushy sales people. I'm sure you know the type - they follow you around, rearranging everything you touch and every time you pick something up to look at it they tell you how wonderful it is. Needless to say, none of us bought anything. :-)

We headed to the local chain hotel for a morning drink (it looked really close but the map lied - it took AGES to get to!) and ended up having a few to make up for the walk. :-) We didn't have as many as some people had obviously had and we were happy to be staying in a different hotel. =-O

On the way back we took the train one stop past Santa Susanna and I bought the handbag I'd seen on Sunday (at least it was still there). By the time we got back to the hotel we were all pretty tired. But we still had time for a celebratory pastry with a little candle for Gwen (including singing, even though she told us to shush. :-) you can't shush a birthday!)


Thursday (an excursion)
A slightly earlier start today so we could spend the day in Montserrat, a monastery on the top of a mountain.

The coach journey took about 90 minutes and was broken up by some facts about Montserrat from our tour guide, Annalise. For example, Mont = mountain, serrat = sawn, The sawn mountain - sawn by angels.

Montserrat is a holy place because back in the 10th century someone saw the light of the Virgin Mary in the hills. Monks came to the place and lived in the caves for years, until an Abbott came along and built the monastery (completed in 1026).

People who made the Virgin Mary statues decided they needed money, so they placed the statues along the roads and spread rumors that it was lucky for people to leave money at these statues. People would leave money and all their belongings! Initially the monks condemned this, saying it was a lie. But then saw that it was a good way of raising money and installed the Madonna. People have been making pilgrimages since!

Rather than driving all the way, we caught the rack railway up the mountain and had a few hours to explore. Unfortunately we missed the boys singing live because there were too many people in the church (and they only sing for 10 minutes!).. but the views were amazing! And we'd been able to hear a recording of the boys as part of the audiovisual visit included in our ticket. Also included was a tasting of some of the liquor that the monks make - it was fairly regimented, no time for contemplation of the flavors, just one shot after the other: herbs, walnut, hazelnut & Catalan Creme. We would have bought a small bottle but they only had large ones so we bought flavoured chocolate instead. :-)

The time disappeared and before we knew it we were back in the bus and on the way back to the hotel. Needless to say, we are all tired (but happy) and won't be staying up late tonight!


Friday
Initially B & I were going to go to Barcelona today but when we saw the weather we decided to leave it for another trip. After low- to mid-20s for most of the week, today is cold and wet (expected top 13 degrees!). I didn't bring clothes for this weather!! After a lot of deliberation, we headed back to Calella for the morning (we had to pick up our embroidered towel souvenir) and had a relaxing lunch for two (Gwen and John stayed at the hotel).

The hotel's evening entertainment was probably the best of the week - a flamenco show. Watching three talented dancers strutting their stuff was a fab way to finish the holiday. It's back to the UK tomorrow.


Saturday
Another day of traveling - the reverse of last week. :-)

I'm not looking forward to going back to work on Monday - I've got a very busy week coming up. I'll add some photos to this post once I've had a chance to go through them. And hopefully I'll remember to write another update next week. :-)

Your turn!

Monday, 7 October 2013

Doing well

Just noticed we've had 57 posts this year, big improvement on 26 for 2012.

When I read the email Clive's sister sends to him and her family each week on Sunday, I feel guilty about what I tried to start here but have let fade away.

Weather is now great and I've planted some tomatoes and petunias. I need to water them as the ground is quite dry despite the rain earlier. We're picking snow peas and the other peas are close ( close enough that the little girls did some picking  and eating yesterday.)

We enjoyed Damien's birthday tea at his place. I hope the friend's gathering at the Dumpling House went well on the Wednesday.

I continue to go to dances including a couple of Sunday afternoons lately. Should be fitter but no weight reduction (frustrating). Clive and I are dancing in the street tomorrow as part of Seniors week.(yoiks!!!) The Spring Gala on Saturday had over 100 there so most successful dance I've been to in Bendigo.

Had a session at mum's to tidy the top of her wardrobe. Now I'm trying to add from my wardrobe before I visit the op shop (to drop off).Very slow progress.

Had a couple of days at Lisa's in the holidays so we worked on the lounge, the girl's room and the wardrobe in Jared's room. Now all of Carolynn's things are out so Jared can store some of his things in there. Hopefully that will keep his room tidier. Carolynn was there to sort what came out and I have visited the op shop to drop off already.

Damien has given me his old Iphone 4. I need to put money on it. It has the sim from Jared's broken iphone so will be with telstra while I use that.

Wondering how Dee, Glenn and Jules are getting on after Jules had a session of conjunctivitis. One of the problems of childcare is sharing of goodies like that. I hope it has all cleared up and doesn't come back.

Dayna and Bruce  seem to be travelling a  lot. Hope you are both well.The new treasurer at Spinners has a daughter called Dayna as well. She's 28.

Love and hugs to all. Mum

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Happy Birthday, Damien!

Hope you enjoyed your day yesterday! Presents, food and family! :D And hope you enjoy the rest of your birthday week :)
Looking forward to a game of Creationary later!
Love you lots and lots
<3 Chez Os Lil

Monday, 9 September 2013

Li'l Lily's Birthday Party

We had Lil's birthday party on the weekend, and were once again reminded how handy it is to have family around when Mum, Edith and Rach all brought food, and I caught Mum and Edith doing dishes part way through the day :) I'd modified a picture of Li'l Lulu to make it Li'l Lily for the invites, and that set the general theme for the party - tiny versions of food (mini party pies and party sausage rolls, little quiches and pizzas, hotdogs made from a cocktail frank and dinner roll, chicken nugget parmas, and Cheryl's delicious mini muffins and tiny rumballs). Thankfully we made up for the size with volume, and I don't think anyone went home hungry.

Lil had an amazing time. She tore through presents while we were getting food ready, but lucky for us Mum and Auntie Denise were there to write the gifts on the back of the cards so we knew who gave what, and Carolynn took some photos for us too. Actually there were a few people taking photos over the day (Joel took the ones in this post) so we'll have to gather them all together for a look.

Then we had a bit of a treasure hunt outside (little bubble blowers and a chocolate ladybug) and the kids returned to doing what they do - drawing on the pavement with chalk, playing on the swing set, riding bikes around and generally enjoying the beautiful weather in the way only small children can :)

Back inside for an amazing cake that Cheryl had made (and that she cut up perfectly - there was only one small piece left over after dividing it amongst 30 or so people) plus the aforementioned muffins, cupcakes and more cookies than even I could eat.

That led, of course, to even more crazy running around until the end of the day. Not having relied on Cheryl's family enough already we went there for dinner. Combined with the dishes being done already it meant there was not nearly as much packing and cleaning up as expected.

It was really good to catch up with everyone and to see the kids all playing together. I think Cheryl did an amazing job getting everything organised beforehand and cooked on the day, and I know everybody loved the party bags she put together - both the kids, who got big ones, and the adults who also got one :) Huge thanks to everyone for the help, especially Mum! Also Edith and Rach, not that they'll read this ;)


Thursday, 5 September 2013

Post goes here

I wanted to write about our trip to the zoo the other week, but I just haven't got around to it.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Spring has Sprung

Church St Chatter

Time does fly. Just checked the last post and two weeks at least have past.

Enjoying beautiful weather so I've been working in the garden. Finally have the front yard weeded and I mowed again as well.The line trimmer I bought dropped the spool while I was trimming around some trees. Man at Fitzys couldn't see how to reattach so they gave me a new one. Must get out and use it to see if it lasts better than the first one.

I've weeded/tidied along the carport garden now.Think the other side of the house is next to be done.

Today I decided to change the flannelette sheets so that led to removing everything from under the bed and on top of the bed, turning the mattress, vaccumming  etc. Need to tackle the dressing table and cedar chest tomorrow. Rain is forecast so that will keep me inside.I plan to gradually work through the house. but that could take all Spring.

Clive is booked for a day surgery procedure on 13th September in the afternoon. He thinks we'll still go to the Daffodil Ball on the 14th. I don't. We'll see.

Sorted the Utility companies and I'm with Energy Australia but since it's the Victorian division that used to be TruEnergy, I'm starting again. Mum and Denise also have the same deal but they just continue since they were with Tru Energy that changed it's name to Energy Australia. Worked out the numbers and it's cheaper for me than Red or Origin.

Mum and I went to Lily's 2nd birthday celebration with Edith, Landon, Damien and Cheryl. We'll also go to her party this coming Sunday.

Otherwise I continue to dance five nights a week (floor at Spring gully has been very slippery the last couple of weeks so I don't wear the proper shoes) Enjoy spending time with family and Clive. Do cooking only when plates are needed (so I don't eat the leftovers) No weight loss.

Look forward to hearing what the rest of you have been up to.

Love from Mum/Nanny/Ann

Monday, 19 August 2013

Brownhill Creek Blogging

We're in Adelaide! My Iaido club are running an instructors seminar this weekend, which gave us the justification to come up here for a bit of a holiday. I'll be working at the GDD offices for 4 days as well, which will allow us to claim the trip on tax ;)

We drove up over Thursday and Friday, and the kids were really well behaved. Lily actually slept for about 2 hours when we started, and woke up just in time to go crazy on the Horsham Maccas playground while Cheryl and I got some lunch (the kids ate sandwiches in the car before we got there). Cheryl is also very clever and wrapped up some activity books for both kids so they got to unwrap them and have a play when they got a bit bored in the car.

We stayed in Bordertown over night and arrived in Adelaide rather early Friday, so we decided to swing past a shopping centre for a bit of lunch and a wander. Then we dropped our stuff off at the caravan park and then headed in to Chinatown for dinner. Oscar has been asking for the triangle sushi and pork buns for a very long time, so he was rapt to finally get them.

Saturday we headed to Chinatown again for lunch (so much good food there, although Os wanted "the same as what I had yesterday") and then into the main city for a look around. There's a new shopping centre in the Mall now with an Apple store, so the kids played on iPads for a bit, ate some Menchies, and then we headed home. We decided to have dinner at home and an early night since it had been a big trip over.

Sunday we went to Marion shopping centre (more Menchies!) and the kids played on the indoor playground there. It seems like this trip is all about us slotting in time to do the things we want to do between the kids playing on stuff. Well, that and eating at all the places we want to eat at (Sunday night was Sushi Train)

Today I'm at work and Cheryl has taken the kids to the Beachouse, which is a big job even when there are two of us so we'll see how she goes. They dropped into the office before heading out there and were already going crazy :) After work the plan is burgers from Fancy Burger and then home for another early night. Tomorrow might be Harbourtown for them and Good Dog for me. Wednesday, though, I'm taking the day off and we're all going to the zoo. I reckon that will be great fun. Pandas!

That's it for me for now.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Church street chatter

It's been a while.
I didn't read Glenn's post on Jules birthday until tonight. The cake looks great and the idea was wonderful.

Clive and I flew to Sydney on the 8th August after leaving his car in the Busy Beaver car park. We had a wonderful few days with Glenn, Dee, Jules and Lucy.Glenn very kindly organised transport for us from the airport and back to the airport, On the Friday and Monday we made use of Pensioner Excursion tickets, where for $2.50 we could use buses, trains and ferries to get around Sydney. Friday we explored the Rocks where there was a food Festival happening. We had a ferry ride and walked more then bused back to Annandale. Went with Dee a few times to collect Jules from his delightful Day care centre. Great facilities hidden away in a shopping centre.

Saturday was catch up on housework day for Dee after returning to fulltime work. Clive pumped up Glenn's bike tyres and enjoyed a ride into Sydney and back. Glenn and Dee did some shopping and I had Jules time.
We walked Lucy in the great park behind the house a few times. I'm sure she misses Clive. With the stairs to the attic bedroom we should have kept up our fitness.

Sunday, Dee came for the Lucy walk so she was allowed off lead for a good romp. I took Jules to play in the playground. Also had a Sunday trip to Berry for lunch and a chance to explore the area. Many thanks to Dee for all of the driving.

Monday we again bused in to the city. We walked across the bridge (20minutes each way) rather than climbing over it ($235 each). Had a delicious lunch in a Guylian eatery, with a glass of wine then iced coffee to follow.More walking round Circular Quay to the Opera House and around it. Getting very windy but the ferries were still operating so we took the ferry to Balmain then walked up the hill (and up and up) to catch the bus back to Annandale.

I've posted the photos on Google. Glorious weather the whole time we were there. We look forward to returning in the future and exploring further afield on the trains.

Since returning home, we went to the Day Club's 7th birthday on Wednesday.The entertainers, the Hoffman's performed. Excellent.I was the photographer for the Day Club as well as the gadabouts, so was kept busy. There were over 100 people there.

I bought a cordless line trimmer and a new washing machine. Machine was delivered on Friday and Lisa brought a sick Trinity to my place while she had playgroup.Trinity was crying over aches in arms, legs, all over. After a sleep, she said it hurt her ribs to breathe.  The Doctor said it was a virus and to keep up the panadol. By Saturday, she seemed much improved. So strange how quickly these things come and go.

Tried out the line trimmer on Saturday. I had a problem with the line and difficulty getting it out and more difficulty getting it back in. Even Dave who mows for Mum couldn't do it, so back to Fitzpatricks. Man there fixed it but if I get stuck again I'll take it back again.It did a good job a trimming the garden edges and I mowed before the rain returned so the yard looks tidy.

I seem to have many clothes to be put away so that's the project for next week. Also looking into who to go with for electricity and gas now my Energy Australia contract has run out.

We've been back dancing since Thursday, each day including an afternoon at Moama today. Monday and Tuesday to go before we have a Wednesday rest.

Looking forward to more news from my family on what they are doing.

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Aquarium

It's been about a million years since we posted any news here, which means too much has happened to be able to recap -- so instead let me tell you about Jules' birthday!

Going for a bit of a 20,000 Leagues thing, we spent the morning at the Aquarium, complete with those underwater tunnel under the bay. We saw lot of freaky creatures: enormous sharks and rays, tiny Nemo and Dory, a smiling dugong and something with tentacle for a face...

Lunch was fish and chips at Bondi -- Jules flirted and got a bucket of pencils and a free bubbacino (he made a mess with both). No matter what I did, I couldn't convince him to eat a lemon.

Home for a nap, and then cake and presents.

You may have already seen the yellow submarine cake Dee made, which was inspired by The Beatles and Octonauts both. We also decorated the verandah/balcony with homemade jellyfish (bowls with ribbons), a balloon octopus and streamers.

Just driving home from a day up the coast now . We'll have to go again with Nanny and Clive, and actually remember to pack swimmers this time.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Happy Birthdays!

Happy Birthday to Jules, Ann, Trinity and...oh, me! :p

Hope everyone is enjoying their celebrations!

Looking forward to when Jules and Trin are older and maybe we can all have a four-day non-stop birthday party together ;) 


Monday, 29 July 2013

Long Time No Post

So its been a while since I last posted but a lot has happened in that time. I am back at uni after a few weeks break which has been nice. I have classes 3 days a week this semester, doing math, programming and databases.

A few friends and I have been on a few roadtrips to Vaughn Springs, Mt Macedon (to see what little snow was there) , a few towns between Bendigo and Melbourne and Lake Mountain, which was closed when we got there :( Two weeks ago Shaun and I went to Upwey for dinner in this nice little Thai resturaunt, they had amazing food it all looked really good but having never had Thai it was a hard decision. Last week he asked me out after dinner at home, he makes me happy and he makes me smile, Mervyn thinks he is super amazing and the reason we are together, in a way he is because he started the conversation that lead us to knowing how the other felt but it was Shaun that asked me. I went to Melbourne with Shaun, Ange and Jen on Thursday and we went to China Town and Crown Casino, I had never been to crown and I won $10 on the pokies, then Shaun and I had dinner in Lygon Street at Tica Tera. Saturday night we had a friends engagement party, it was heaps of fun and lots of photos got taken :)

I'm going to China at the end of October with the BCA Plum Blossom dancing team to learn more about the culture and to learn more dances at professional dance schools as well as doing some touristy things. I shall try to update more oftern :)

Monday, 22 July 2013

Happy Birthday Dayna!

According to Google it's currently about half past 12 in the night on the 22nd over in the UK, so it sounds like it's time to kick off the birthday celebrations :)

Happy Birthday! I trust you'll have a break from work and find time for a quiet drink or ten ;)

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Stop! Hammer Toe!

Hey all, a quick update from me to explain the toe shenanigans I've been getting up to.

So for starters, it turns out there's a name for the freaky curled-around toes I have - it's "hammer toe", and it's generally caused by bad footwear. I've had it pretty much forever, although since moving to Bendigo I've been walking barefoot more and it's actually been easing up a bit.

On Saturday while at what I think we'd all agree was an awesome party I was up in the playground with Lily, who wanted to crawl through some tubes for a bit of a look. I followed her, but as I clambered over raised ladder-style steps that were clearly made for tiny feet I felt pain in my toe. I checked it once we got out, and realised along with pain I couldn't move said toe (the second along) and it was no longer curled around - it was, in fact, almost normally straight.

This freaked me out, so we headed off to the doctor, who, after commenting that he hadn't seen toes like mine before (thanks dude) said he didn't think it was broken, or indeed that anything was wrong with it, but we could get an x ray anyway. I thought, given his lack of familiarity with my freakish feet, a second opinion was probably worthwhile, so Monday (after a weekend of quite a bit of pain, ice packs and bad sleeping) I got photos taken of my bones.

Today we went back to another doctor, and he cleared it all up. My bones weren't broken or dislocated, what I'd (probably) done was torn or snapped a tendon or ligament. If I take neurophen and use either hot or cold packs to lessen the swelling the pain should hopefully go away, and my toe should heal up. But yeah, my toe hadn't straightened up because bones were broken, it had straightened up because the tendon that was too short and causing it to curl around had snapped.

Interestingly, if you look up possible solutions for Stop! Hammer Toe! if stretching isn't working they suggest a surgical procedure where they cut the tendon. So I suppose I've saved myself some money there. Too bad for old righty, since I'm not going through that again just to have a matching pair of feet.

Here's hoping it heals up before the Iaido seminar in Adelaide at the end of August.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Gordon St Gossip

I opened my dojo, Zen Shin Kan, last night. I had four students - Carolynn, her friends Conor and Dylan, and an older guy named George who came up from Kyneton. George will be an occasional student with that drive. I hope Carolynn and her friends continue - all three of them did really well. I don't know if it's just having a younger brain, but they were picking up the fundamentals very well.

Of course there are two types of students - those who pick up the style naturally, with little trouble, and those (like me) who have to work at it and persevere. The thing to realise is that after 10 years these two students are indistinguishable :) so I guess the best trait in a new student is patience.

But yeah, I think it went well. We covered a bit of cutting, a bit of a waza, and some general principals. A lot to build on.

The hall I'm hiring is $15 an hour, and I'm hiring for 2 hours to allow set up and pack up time. I'll charge my students $10 a class, so the mathematically-minded amongst you will be able to work out that I need a minimum of 3 students each class to cover the cost. Based on Reynella, that means 4 or 5 ongoing students would be ideal, since inevitably people miss occasional classes. The hall isn't huge - it fit the 4 people along one wall okay, and if there are more that that I'll line them up on the other wall.. but if it got much larger than that we'd probably have to look at moving.  So I have an ideal class size in mind of 5 - 8 ongoing students - If I got that I'd be very happy :)

I bought some bokken online and they got shipped here in a week, which was great. I might get some more so I can return the plastic bokken to Adelaide on August. I need to buy some wrap to rewrap my two iaito so the students can use them when they're a bit more advanced.

I also signed up to a sword club, which provided me with a license to own the swords. You need this even for a blunt sword, sadly. Lisa, Carolynn mentioned you have some of Adam's swords in a cupboard somewhere - I was thinking you can either join the club (it's $25 a year) or I can put them in the cupboard here until the kids are old enough to join the club themselves. I'll post the club info on facebook.

Of course the best part about getting the dojo kicked off is that I now have an excuse to train once a week.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Brooklea Park BBQ

I agree with Mum - it's July! !?!

The highlight this week was our impromptu BBQ on Saturday. We bought a little charcoal barbie during the week (one we can easily pack into the shed, or a cupboard, or take in the car - you can see it in the photo below). The weather seemed good so B went and bought charcoal and some vege sausages while I sent a message to some of the people at Uni. Our neighbours' son and partner are staying with them at the moment, so they joined us on the lawn and two of my workmates also turned up. It was a really lovely afternoon with sunshine, tasty food and drink, and great company; and it turned into a fun evening too - when it got too cold to sit outside our neighbours went home and the rest of us ended up playing the Wii for a few hours. :-D


Not much else going on for us last week - I tried to have two days off but worked from home for one of them and then had a ChemNet event, two Spectroscopy in a Suitcase sessions (one I couldn't go to so my team had their first trip alone) and an education conference.

Bruce says that everything he got up to is in the last post.

This week I've got to sort out a bunch of Outreach events for July - though I had today off (mostly.. had some emails to do in the morning) and it's Bruce's last week at the school (so he's not doing much at all :-P).

Your turn!

Monday, 1 July 2013

Gordon St Goss

It's the beginning of school holidays and it's nice for Os (and Damien!) to have a break from the 8.15am kindy starts. Hopefully we'll be able to do a few activities etc when Os is feeling well (he had another episode of "being-sick-due-to-not-eating-enough-dinner-the-night-before", or ketotic hypoglycemia), but I think he may have recovered as his appetite has returned and he is back to bugging Lily! :-\

Last Saturday we had Lisa and the kids (-Carolynn but +Maddison) over for dinner. The little kids had a ball running around and going nuts :p It was nice to have everyone here. 

The next day I went to a Thermomix demo- it was awesome :) So much great food and a very impressive machine! Then again, for $1939 it needs to be pretty damn amazing!! 

Tuesday was my mum's birthday, so we headed over there for dinner. It's always hard to find a birthday present for parents, and because of my mum's type 2 diabetes it's even harder as we don't have the usual chocolate/treat food as a fall-back. I did, however, bake her some spelt bread (thanks Dee for the recipe) and vegie muffins, as well as a wholemeal sugar-free banana and blueberry birthday cake! Os also bought her some watermelon seeds to plant :) 

Friday night was Carolynn's ex-teacher's farewell/birthday drinks at the Golden Vine. The kids enjoyed being out "late" and it didn't take long for them to warm to Josh & Belinda and start calling them "cheeky bum!" :)

Damien has organised his dojo! He has a hall (close to Lisa's house) and has set a day and time for each week. I think it'll be great for him to get back into it. He has a lot to offer as a sensei! I'm looking forward to being able to help out with the promotion side of it... but that will happen when we're back from Adelaide. I'll let Damien tell you all more about it :)

I think that's it for now!



Church St Chatter

and now it's July
I'm definitely not good at a weekly post.
I've been dancing regularly but still eating the tempting suppers so no weight loss. I think I posted to the 6 month challenge.
Been to help Lisa a couple of times so making progress there. I found a bookshelf at the church garage sale so that's given her more book storage space. Also managed to put together a flat pack cupboard Denise and I found at the op shop. More storage behind a door for Lisa when I take it there next Thursday.
Got my hair cut last Tuesday then came home to put in a colour to cover the grey.
Had some Red Hat functions and more lunches out at various Clubs. Also last Tuesday Mum, Clive and I went to a fundraiser at the Star cinema. We enjoyed "A Song for Marion". I liked it better than "The Great Gatsby". I saw Lisa has the book. Perhaps I should read it again.
The church had a garage sale last Saturday and I got rid of some things as well as buying.
Trying to reduce the amount in the wardrobe. I found the jacket I wore to Damien and Cheryl's wedding will no longer do up. Pesky shrinking wardrobe.However there's a skirt that was great for dancing and it still fitted.
Clive has found he can't make it for the trip to Phillip Island in October so it will be Mum and I and Denise and Pete.
Looking forward to our visit to Sydney in August.
All for now. Keep posting everyone as I  love to read about what you have been doing.

Friday, 28 June 2013

Brooklea Park Piffle


Ok so this is my first post on here – mainly because I’m lazy and I believe in being succinct, which doesn’t usually make for good reading!
Since Dayna’s last post we haven’t really been up to much, just the daily grind of going to work, eating, sleeping, that sort of stuff. Last week I was offered a new job at the science centre in Cardiff, I start on the 8th of July (yay – 1 week to go) and I’m really looking forward to it. It does mean I miss out on the nice 7-week school summer holiday, but I’ll still be glad to leave the school, it’s basically run by the parents and they complain about everything! It’s just not worth the hassle and they haven’t exactly treated me well!
Needless to say we went out for a few tinnies to celebrate my new job but apart from that we haven’t been out much – ‘cept for a trip at the weekend to the ‘bargain shops’ which resulted in us buying lots of ‘tat’ which we probably don’t need.....but hey - it was cheap!

At the end of July we’re going to Prague, which is in the Czech Republic. They have relaxed laws on prostitution so it should be quite interesting – just kidding J hopefully we’ll get some nice weather to do some exploring - so look out for the postcards soon to be heading your way.

Hold on – just need to shut the window...our groundsman Jeeves is mowing the lawn and it’s frightfully noisy!
Ah that’s better...where was I? Oh yes, I was about to mention our new BBQ which I bought the other day. It’s a ‘proper’ BBQ...i.e. one which is fuelled by charcoal...not one of these ‘let’s just have a gas grill outside’ – what’s that all about?? It’s good that you don’t have to wait 20 minutes before you can use a gas BBQ...but BBQ’s are for men to show off their inner Homo Erectus and somehow gas grills just don’t seem dangerous or manly enough to me! Though I have to agree that they are easier to use. Apparently we’re not actually supposed to have BBQ’s at our place, but since nobody has officially informed us of this I chose to ignore the hearsay, and purchased a portable BBQ which we can hide in the garage. Ok so the smell might give it away when we use it, but we can always blame it on the neighbours J or rely on the driving rain to somehow contain it.

Anyway, as I said before we don't really have much to report and I’ve already rambled on enough, so I’ll say ta ta for now and I’ll go and feed Ky a tasty mouse....mmmmmm
Speak soon

Friday, 21 June 2013

Gordon St Gossip

I don't keep a diary but Cheryl and I both use a shared Google Calendar to keep track of our week, so I can use that to work out what we've been up to these last few weeks.

We went to a friend's birthday at Piya Wat a couple of weeks ago. It was the first time we'd been in a very long time.. Cheryl went there for her hen's night, so as a couple it was from before 2004. It hadn't really changed :) The food is good, exceptional really, and a very reasonable price. Be warned, though, I got a salad and it was spicy! You'd want to check with the waiter if spicy is not your thing. But yeah, it's a fancy eating experience at a good price :)

We also finally got the car serviced this week. Mum, the guy you recommended was great! Really nice, good service and very affordable. Our poor car has a few things that need fixing, so no doubt he'll get repeat service from us.. but yeah, the last time we got it serviced they ended up doing an extra $1,600 in work which may or may not have been necessary.. in retrospect I should have told them not to and got a second opinion. I know we asked them to fix the boot cable and they charged us $20 to inspect the bonnet cable and say it wasn't broken (with an additional note that the boot cable was) so that particular garage will never get any more work from us or anyone who knows us.

The reason we wanted to get it done (apart from that it was about 6 months overdue) is that we're going to be visiting Adelaide in August. We've been looking for an excuse, to be honest, since our good friend had a baby recently, and I know I miss the Chinatown food court. Then the head dojo emailed me about a 2 day seminar they were running for instructors, so that gave us the final excuse. The plan is to head up on a Thur/Fri, stay for a week while I work at the GDD offices, have the weekend seminar, then come back Mon/Tues. It means 4 days of not working, which is a fair bit, but then I've been working a lot recently and a mini holiday would be nice. Plus this way Cheryl and the kids get a holiday while I work, which will be nice. Good to see everybody as well.

Oh, speaking of working a fair bit, this week we had a mad push to get a site launched by Tuesday US time (Wednesday lunch for us). I had built the original templates (well within budget I might add) and then passed it off to someone else to finish up. Then it had to be converted to a CMS, which essentially meant rebuilding the site in a slightly different language.. this was passed back to me on Thursday, with the launch Tuesday. That's not enough time! Still, I worked on the weekend, pulled a couple of rather long days and we got there.. and the additional benefit is I only have to work 3 hours today! I'm going to go to Kinder with Cheryl and the kids this morning. Should be fun.

Oh, one other thing - I took Ossie to Kindy yesterday morning. As we entered a little girl (Lillian) said to a boy sitting next to her (Foster) "Here he is!" and Foster said "Hi Oscar". Os somewhat mumbled a reply and went off to play with a wooden train set, at which point Lillian came over to join in. If you ask Ossie he says his friend is Abby, who is Foster's sister.. but I suspect Lillian and Foster consider him a friend as well, even if he's not aware of it. Of course when I asked him about it he couldn't remember who Lillian was and claimed that she -was- Abby.. so who knows :) Anyway, it's really nice to know he's making friends. Hopefully they go to Specimen Hill next year as well.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Church St Chatter

I really need diary entries to remember what I've been doing. Last Monday was a public holiday here and Clive and I drove to Melbourne to deliver some items for a friend of his then went to Williamstown RSL to meet other friends for lunch. We had a most enjoyable day then came home to get dressed up to go dancing that night. Really good turnout too for a Queen's birthday dance. Tuesday Clive had a meeting at night so I had a quiet night home alone.Wednesday I took Mum to the Day Club then we watched the DVD of Pam Ayres when I brought her home. A rainy day.Wednesday evening Clive came over for dinner but we didn't go to Castlemaine. Thursday we danced at Eaglehawk. Only 20 more than the committee. Talk of going into recess for the winter.Friday we were off to Trentham. Very chilly out but a good night of dancing. Saturday was the Winter Gala so glammed up a bit. I've changed my FB profile pic to one taken that night.
I managed to fit in defrosting the freezer, washing the car, general house cleaning and Thursday and Sunday pm at Lisa's.
The Church is having a garage sale so I called them and hope they'll collect some bits I'd like gone.

Brooklea Park Banter


I agree with Mum - time is flying!

June means (British) Summer, such that it is... and we actually had lovely weather for a couple of weeks. Last week (when the photos are from and when I started this post) we were sitting on the verandah drinking cider (Mum, we even found a berry Bulmers in our fridge.... did you drink all the ones we gave you for Xmas?). This week, it's grey and rainy and you'd be decidedly damp if you were sitting on the verandah this evening. :-/

This week has been same ol', same ol' with both of us feeling overwhelmed with work - B with report writing and marking and me with trying to keep on top of lots of stuff..

We had a lovely but busy weekend last week - Friday we headed to Rochester in Kent for Pete and Charne's joint birthday party (Pete was my boss when I started at Cardiff - he and Charne held some great dinner parties, right Mum?). Their party was on Saturday night and involved lots of food and drink. Sunday we drove up to Birmingham for the Bon Jovi concert at Aston Villa Park. Rock on! They played for 3 hours!!! I don't know much of their later stuff but they played a good lot of their oldies. Lis, I thought of you. :-)

The last week of May was the Urdd Eisteddfod in Pembrokeshire. The Urdd is a bilingual youth festival. The RSC worked with the Institute of Physics and the British Science Association to host a stall. Happily this meant I only had to look after the stand for two of the six days - Friday and Saturday (yes, some of my weekend!). Bruce came along to help out (a volunteer/voluntold) so we tacked on a couple of days and relaxed in a lovely little b&b in Pembrokeshire.

I think that just about takes us back to our last post. The only other thing of note was that I strained my foot at a conference. It was all bruised and swollen but I could always walk on it - I think I've attached the photo collage of the first week. We went to get it checked out one evening and spent 5 hours in A&E. :-/ Not fun but at least they told me that there weren't any breaks. It's still achey today, even though it has been nearly a month. O well. I'm taking it easy and it will get better eventually. :-)

So, that's our mammoth update - we'll try to update more regularly.
Lots of love to everyone!!

Thursday, 6 June 2013

and now it's June

So good to have family support for Lisa and the family with Adam's death. Such a long drive for Glenn and Dee but it was great for Mum to have a chance to see Jules and how he has grown.Maybe we'll get her up to Sydney. I thought I'd wait until I see what the steps and stairs are like.Beautiful flowers have brightened Lisa's lounge. The flowers from the coffin, Lisa gave to Mum for Papa and Tony's grave and she said they looked lovely.

Dee cooked a couple of meals here. Delicious.Thank you Dee.

We enjoyed lunch at Grilled with Lisa, Carolynn, Jared and Maddi then visited Damien and Cheryl's place.

Lisa is doing very well. She has made a start on sorting and discarding although I haven't had a chance to be there for her this week.

We are having a lunch for Mum's birthday here on Sunday. I'm taking her to a Red Hat lunch tomorrow.

On Tuesday Clive and I went to Kyneton. First time we've been since April.Where did May go??

Yesterday I had a Spinners meeting and also met Clive's family at lunch time (his three siblings all got together for lunch when the Swan Hill ones had appointments in Bendigo at the hospital.)I couldn't join them for lunch as it was a meeting at Spinners and I'm the reluctant secretary. Not as reluctant as the President who resigned this month.

Today I made soup, did some laundry, dyed my hair (and now have an orange fingernail) and am going to see the Great Gatsby at the cinema, compliments of Financial Index.

Went to Sutton Grange Gala night on Friday evening. Shocking weather (wind and rain). Now I know what's needed to win these sashes.(gloves, bag) Don't think that will ever happen to me so I'm not going to bother. Danced Saturday at Spring Gully and again on Monday night. Eaglehawk tonight after the movie. The numbers there are so bad they miss us if we miss going.

Still don't resist supper enough so the weight stays on despite the exercise.

Last week was the 40th birthday for the Spinners. It went off very well. Not sure how long the group will continue as the members are ageing and can't do what's needed to keep going. so it falls to less and less people.

What has everyone else been doing?

Friday, 24 May 2013

Gordon Street Gobbledygook

A busy couple of weeks for us! This week we toured a few of the primary schools in our area and we have decided on Specimen Hill for Oscar...so he'll get to see Trinity & Daria more often! Damien and I (thankfully!) both had the same thoughts on the schools that we saw. We found the staff at Speci to be very approachable and friendly, with a genuine interest in their students' well-being. The grounds are a good size with shaded play areas, there's a garden and plans for an outdoor classroom (it'll be completed by the time Os starts). We were very keen to tour Quarry Hill where my brother's kids go but found they had a very strong academic focus but possibly to a fault - lots of statistics that look good on paper but not that warm, friendly atmosphere of Speci. And Spring Gully... they are a school under development. A couple of great study areas, but then lots of concrete and steps everywhere. And a terrible canteen menu!
As well as school tours, I took Os (& Lil) to a drop-in speech pathologist. He is having trouble with a couple of sounds (S & L) and the pathologist thought it would be a good idea for him to continue having sessions. Just need to get a recommendation from kindy, and then a 6 month wait for an appointment :-/
Speaking of kindy, Os still really enjoys it. He told us he has a girlfriend! She is blonde and had a bunny on her t-shirt. He doesn't know her name ;) He knows Elliot from Lisa's playgroup, but generally he doesn't know names but is happy to play with everyone :)
Lil has her own special appointment next week- paediatric physio to assess her walking... she tends to be pigeon-toed when she walks quickly/runs. Looks like it is a hip-related thing which will hopefully correct itself  by around age ten.
Damien has been working hard, but was still able to look after the kids while I went to the school parent info nights :) And because he started stupidly early this morning he also had time to go out for lunch with us :)
We had Ann & Clive over for dinner last Sunday, and my parents are due back this Tuesday. My sis' boyfriend/our landlord looks like he's returned from his overseas trip, too, so very soon things will be "back to normal" ;)
That's about it I think. I'm sure Damien will fill in the gaps :)

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Church St chatter

Doesn't time just fly by.

Clive and I enjoyed dinner at Damien and Cheryl's on Sunday. He has given me an old tablet so I can see if I'll use it. Only problem was that I can't connect to my WIFI. I'll try again now that Carolynn has gone but she did turn her phone connection off.

Saturday I went to an Oasis party. Very overpriced bamboo wear. Carolynn is having a party since she took a lucky dip and 50% would get the book a party star. No one else took a chance.
I had a cold last week so took cold and flu tabs to dry up the nose when I went dancing. Clive was also not well so we skipped Kyneton on Tuesday and Castlemaine on Wednesday. Improving now.  We did go to Eaglehawk on Thursday, Kyneton on Friday and Spring Gully on Saturday so the dancing shoes are getting a work out.

I finally tidied up in front of the garage. The greenhouse is fuller now. Can't find a key for the padlock on the garage door so I'm looking for bolt cutters. The chiminea is still there since I haven't heard from Tracey again as well as an exercise bike and a heavy wooden bench.

I tidied my shoes as well so I could check on what boots I have.(many)A box of Lisa's is destined for the shed once she checks what is in there. Also pulled out Castle Greyskull and what figures are there. Can't find original He Man. Maybe there's another box up in the cupboard. Daria and Trinity have had fun with them.
Daria had a day here on Wednesday as Adam wasn't well enough for her to stay at home. She decided we'd had fun so I wonder if she'll be teary again if she comes tomorrow.

We have had some very chilly weather although I mostly got the laundry dry. Still trying to eat my way through the freezer so haven't been to IGA since I got back from Tassie. Did call at Aldi and at Coles.

Hope all are keeping well. Love and hugs from Mum

Friday, 17 May 2013

Presents

I just received a beautiful blue dragon brooch from Etsy in the mail. Thank you who ever sent it.

While cleaning up in the spare room, I found two parcels labelled Oscar and Daria. I think they are from Dayna and Bruce for birthdays. I also have Trinity's. Sorry if so I missed out on giving Os his but he won't mind a late present I'm sure.

Lisa rang to say I don't need to collect Trinity. The doctor came to Adam instead of him trying to get there. More prescriptions and a wait until Wednesday.

Monday, 13 May 2013

Gordon St Grapevine

"Grapevine" makes it sound like I have some juicy gossip to share, but alas, no, just a regular post ;)

I was going to just post a comment to Damien's post, but I  noticed with Lisa's post that it's saying there are zero comments (at least for me) even though there are four there now. So to be safe, I'll do a new one.

Firstly, geez, Damo! Should have been Father's Day yesterday, I reckon! You have been busy busy busy! And still managed to help out with the kids! Better make sure I think of an extra special present for September :)

So yes, busy week for us, although after reading Damien's post I feel like maybe I could have done a bit more! Monday morning I took the kids for a "quick trip" to Big W to print some photos for my parents to show family in the Philippines. Os had kindy that afternoon.
Tuesday morning Damien took Os to kindy. In the afternoon I drove my parents to the bus stop and waited until their ride to the airport arrived. I then took the kids out to the uni to pick up my sister and she joined us for dinner.
Wednesday morning we went to Lansell Plaza. Os had completed his "toilet chart" and was due for a prize :) He wanted a Thomas toy from the vending machine and luckily he got a "good" one (I personally would have been disappointed if he got another set of boring tracks! ;).
Thursday was kindy morning again, so Damien dropped Os off and I went in an hour earlier for the special Mother's Day morning tea. Damien looked after Lil at home and it was really nice to spend time with my little boy. He brought me a scone that he had helped make and then we played in the sandpit. I'm sure you saw the photos of him buried in the sand! Unfortunately that did mean that there was a few little piles of sand on the carpet later on at home. Haha! In the evening Damien and my brother picked up some shelves from a friend- woo hoo! Shelves in the laundry and the office now :)
Friday was playgroup day. We're always late :p But after a busy week it's nice to let Os have a sleep-in. Os loves running around with Daria, and they both like playing with the toys :) We never seem to get there in time for craft, but to be honest that would be more for me anyway ;) Friday night we had my sibs and niece and nephews over for dinner. I made mini pies- beef Guiness & onion for the big people, and mince pies for the kids, with mashed potatoes and green vegies. My brother's wife brought over a fruit crumble. All of it was delicious (if I do say so myself!). We usually all catch up at my parent's place for dinner Sunday night, so it was nice to still eat together even though my parents are away.
Damien covered Saturday- Oak Forest and Castlemaine. It was a beautiful day! I ran into a primary school friend at the cafe. Haven't seen her for over ten years and it was great to have a chat. After lunch we looked through a cool store that had a lot of bits and pieces for around the house as well as antiques. It was quite a large store even though it looked like a tiny cottage from the outside (think TARDIS ;) Both kids napped on the way home. Yay!
Sunday I enjoyed a lovely morning with Damien and the chickens: breakfast and presents :) Then dinner that night where we ordered a little too much, so leftovers for lunch today. We don't go out for dinner as much as we did in Adelaide, so hopefully we're saving money, but it is always nice when we do. The Dumpling House is our current family favourite, although we really must try some other places for dinner! When we were back home I found another handmade gift for me in Os' kindy bag haha! He had forgotten about it :) All up, a really nice Mother's Day. The kids are at a great age where they can make/do things... it's very sweet :)

So, that's pretty much our week. In between those things I have been working on my resume and doing baking (nothing interesting.. mostly healthy stuff for the kids). The kids have been good. Os has been sharing his dreams with us, practicing writing, helping me with baking, and Lil has been... a cheeky little monkey :) She still likes to chat, sing, climb, play with her babies, mimic us and most importantly eat a LOT! :)

Hoping this week is a little less busy for Damien, with maybe lunch out and some quiet time to catch up on Game of Thrones & Downton Abby :)