Gareth had a fun birthday party this weekend with 7 of his school friends. They played table football, swam in the pool and stuffed their faces on sausage rolls and jelly. What more could a seven year old want!
Who in their right mind would give a birthday child a dinosaur excavation kit? A kit made of of a brick of terracotta earth. A kit that needs to be hammered and chipped until the brick of terracotta dirt has become a mountain of terracotta dust and sludge all over the white kitchen floor? Not Anne!
Thank you Mr Jennings for being such an inspirational teacher who combines the ability for kids to think he is cool and yet has gained the absolute 110% trust of all the parents. We couldn't have sent our kids away on such a big journey with just anyone.
Sian is in her final year of Primary school. Historically in Year 6 they go on a school trip for 4 days and 3 nights to Canberra with their teachers. It costs a lot of money and we paid it over installments with her school fees since January. They are allowed to bring spending money but were encouraged to offer to do extra household chores to earn it.
Over the last 6 weeks Sian has cleaned windows, spread topsoil in the garden, stuck stamps and airmail stickers on Christmas cards, licked envelopes, cleaned bathrooms, folded laundry and sometimes just been my slave for an hour as I called out a list of small jobs to help tidy up the house when it was getting too much for me after a long day in work. She really earned her money! Many of her friends were talking about bringing in the region of $50. Some were working hard for it, some said they were just going to be given it. Sian certainly fell into the first group! When she had reached $42.75 there was an unexpected surprise. Granny in Ireland wrote Sian a letter and inside was $10. I had lost my slave, thanks Mum !
And so on Monday morning the alarm went off at 5am and at 5.01 Sian was standing at the foot of our bed dressed and grinning and ready to set off to school for the coach. It took us slightly longer but by 5.30 we had woken and dressed Gareth and Rhiannon and were on our way. I didn't bring my camera but got out the mobile and tried to take a few photos on it. It was so early that the light wasn't great and the photos are a little blurry and grainy but I'm sure they show how excited they all were.
I did get a lump in my throat as Sian hugged me goodbye. I'm sure she will have a great time.
This last couple of weeks has been so busy. The lead up to Christmas starts early when you have to post 80% of your gifts overseas. I'm feeling a little overwhelmed and that's the polite way of putting it.
Sorry my blogging has been so sporadic. Sometimes you have to make choices and unfortunately feeding kids, working and sleeping occasionally has to take priority over time on the computer! Hopefully after this weekend things will calm down. So much has happened that I want to blog about if I get a chance.
Sian, my eldest, is in Canberra on a school trip, I made, wrote and posted almost 50 Christmas cards and wrapped, weighed and posted 30 gifts in 8 parcels costing in excess of $250 in postage alone. I'm feeling financially stressed but glad to be contributing to the Australian economy via the Post Office.... I gave my Constipation lecture in work. I feel lighter now :-) Gareth will be 7 tomorrow! I made invitations to his birthday party to look like Pokemon trading cards which used up one of my valuable days off work, that must explain why the house looks like someone broke in and trashed it before sprinkling little bits of crumbs and dirt all over the floors. We have had outrageously hot 40 degree days followed by rain and 21 degrees followed by 36 degrees and sunny again. Gareth forgot his sunscreen on his face on one of the 40 degree days and has lobster red face with white eyes where his swimming goggles were.... It will make for great birthday photos! Tonight I am making 33 ice-cream cone cakes for Byron to bring in to Gareths class in the morning to celebrate his birthday. I will be leaving for work at 6.30am and hope to wake Gar in time to open a present or two with me. It's days like this I hate being a working mum. Then there is payday and that is when I am grateful I have a job in this economic climate.
I'm glad I got all that off my chest. So now you all know why I am a little behind.... If only I really had a little behind, sigh!
Not my normal topic for this blog but.....
If you aren't Irish, the background to this story is that Ireland played a football game against France to see who would go forward to the World Cup finals. A French player admitted deliberately using his hand to stop the football going wide of the goal and the French then scored and won as a result of this foul. It wasn't seen by the ref (thus the spoof opticians advert) and it has now blown up into an International political argument...
After our eventful breakfast picnic by the vines of the Peppers vineyard we packed up the car and went exploring to see what else was on offer. We discovered a treasure trove of little shops in converted stone buildings surrounded by fountains and flower gardens. It was amazing to think we have driven past this vineyard many times without realising what was hidden down the long driveway far from the view of the road.
Gareth sat by the fountain and chilled out with the fish and then we finished our morning in the cool interior of Cafe Enzo.
Mr B and myself were happy to stick with our coffees!
...until another weekend!
The weather forecast was for a glorious sunny weekend so we decided to eat breakfast outside on Sunday morning. Anywhere but at the kitchen table.
I've mentioned spiders on the blog before.
When we first came to Australia for my brothers wedding it was November 2003. Everywhere we went we saw magnificent trees covered in purple flowers. When we next stepped off a plane two years later it was October 2005 and again these fabulous trees were everywhere we looked.
I love Halloween. But one week into November I have had my fix and I really can't care less if I never see another glow-in-the-dark skeleton again. Well at least until October 2010. Take plastic spiders for instance. A harmless prank. Designed to give a sudden fright until your eyes focus and you work out it is not real.
Now that the Summer is finally on its way and the days are warming up we are getting the chance to play out and about so much more.
Melbourne Cup is THE biggest racing date on the Australian calendar! It is a horse race held in Victoria on the first Tuesday in November. It is said that the whole country comes to a stop at 3pm: Thus the name "The Race that stops a Nation"
Our kids love the random spontaneous letters that arrive from Granny and Grandad Joe in Ireland.
They always know when one has arrived as it has the distinctive Irish stamps and the big green customs label. It rarely makes it from the letter box to the front door without being torn open and this latest letter was no exception!
I enjoy when the girls have friends come to our house for a sleepover. They are at an age now (nine and eleven) where they entertain themselves, watch a movie or play in their rooms. Anytime we have kids staying over there is an unspoken rule....