For someone who is normally fairly quite private about religion I am going to do two religious blog entries in a row. The first one was a proud moment, this one is more humorous. I am known to raid Byron's wallet in a panic as I run out to Saturday night Mass as I rarely seem to have any notes in my own. So often when Byron goes to pick his wallet up on a Sunday I hear him call out "I've been robbed" This time I thought God should leave him a little note...
Both my girls have been Altar servers over the years. Gareth has watched on and whispered to me that he cannot wait to have his turn. In our church you need to have done three sacraments before you can train as an Altar server, Reconciliation, Confirmation and Communion. Gareth did all three last year and finally it was time to train up the newest recruits. He did his practises in school time and then was given a date for his first "real" turn at our parish mass. His sister helped him to get ready...
Thank you so much for your friendship over the last year. I hope you are all having a wonderful Christmas and find yourselves in the company of people you love and who love you back. May 2013 be a great year for us all. Full of health and happiness (and a few good blog posts!)
...read the instructions!
A lot of our gifts to local friends and teachers are home-made. It costs us very little in terms of money but we put time and energy into it and enjoy the fun of making them.
This year I decided to make some shortbread biscuits. Sian was given a music note cookie cutter earlier this year by her friend Gemma. This made great cookies for her piano teacher.
I persuaded Byron that going to a show as a family would have a much bigger impact and better memories than putting an extra gift under the tree (adding to the already overgenerous pile from Grandparents, friends and extended family) And so we found ourselves booking the very last tickets in the back row of the Sydney Opera House tonight.
When the show finished we waited outside the stage door and were able to meet Alex and Sian got her autograph. It was all I could do to take a blurry photo of Sian and Alex on my phone and not push Sian out of the way and hug Alex myself!
I've been a slack blogger recently. More and more this year I find that blogging has slipped down the list of priorities. I think that when too big a gap stretches from the last published blog post the pressure seems to mount as I mentally count the things we have been getting up to and should have blogged, but haven't. There just doesn't seem to be the time to commit to words the things that have been happening in our increasingly busy lives. The more days tick by, the more unwritten posts sit in my head, the guiltier I feel and it all becomes too much so I push it to the back of my mind. Kind of like the ironing mountain that was engulfing the laundry room. Well yesterday I tackled it and after about 4 hours it is done. And today I am going to try to break the blogging drought with a post or two. Even if I have to back date them so they fall in vaguely chronological order to read back on in the future. Is that allowed? Will people miss out if the post gets buried in the past? Does it matter? See how I get my head in a muddle?! I hope that I will find a good rhythm again where blog posts flow in a fairly regular pattern and fit in with the whole work/family/cleaning/cooking balance. We can dream can't we?!
I love when free activities are available to kids. So many people are struggling to pay their bills with electricity, food and petrol prices creeping up at an alarming rate. It can be hard to find things to do outside the home that don't drain the bank account.
When a friend told me about a free Art exhibition about fashion and the catwalk I decided to bring the kids along for a look. We are very lucky to live close to Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery. We wandered through the exhibits and pretended to be models strutting up and down the red carpet. We were they only people there and were not a bit self conscious until we spotted the security cameras pointed at us!
There was a design table set up with blank card models and postcard sized papers with fabric images printed on them ready for you to create your own outfit. When we finished we could take our creation home or stand it up in the special grooves along a cat-walk and leave them behind to inspire the next people who came along.
After slapping on the sunscreen we jumped in the car leaving a long To-Do list and all our cares behind us! Two sets of friends who live just a few houses apart (and next to the lake) sent an invite out far and wide inviting friends to bring a picnic and water gear and chill out on the reserve outside their houses.
It was supposed to be a crazy hot day but the plans had been made long in advance so we decided to brave it with lots of cold drinks and shady hats etc. Surprisingly although it was hot the cloud cover protected us from intense glare and with lots of sunscreen applications no-one got pink.
It is so lovely when you can throw a group of kids together from a mixture of backgrounds and ages and yet they manage to have fun. It is a really nice bunch of families and it feels like a big safe extended family with everyone helping to keep an eye out for each others kids.
We left our house at midday thinking we might only stay a couple of hours but then found ourselves packing up as the sun went down and driving home in the dark! Sometimes the best days are those spent having simple outdoor fun!