Sunday, March 25, 2012

Thanks Amber!

Rhiannon and her year 7 friends had some religion homework. They had to chose a person they knew and then answer a set of questions on them. The questions covered topics such as relationships, faith, community and parish involvement. The final part of the homework was to "sum up" the person in a general paragraph.

One night I got a phone-call from Amber, one of Rhiannons friends. I assumed she wanted to chat to Rhiannon about something but it turned out she had chosen me for her homework and wanted to ask me the questions.

The next morning I got a message from Amber's Mum, Karen. It contained a photo of the final homework that had been handed in. When I talked to Karen later she was joking that they expected to see the photo on the blog later. I asked would it not be big headed of me to put such a brag post up and Karen laughed and said that everyone already knows I'm big headed and just do it!

So hear, reluctantly blowing my own trumpet, is Ambers opinion of me...
(thanks Amber, I owe you a cookie!)

"I think the behaviour that you see in Gina 
mostly is her relationship with her family and 
others. Gina is always with her family as 
much as she can be. She makes home 
made cookies, cakes and is always taking 
funny photo's. When ever I'm at Gina's 
place she always makes me fell welcome. 
She gives us hot chocolates, cookies and 
cakes. Gina is funny, fun loving, nice, kind, caring 
and great to be around. I admire this 
because its great to spend time with 
others. She will give up her time to be 
with her family. Gina has a very strong 
faith and this shows in her beautiful 
caring nature"

Friday, March 23, 2012

Afternoon tea

Sometimes on the way home from school mum needs to do some jobs.
If I am really good and then tell her I am Sooooo hungry while looking
at her with big eyes full of 9 year old love she caves in....

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


This morning we brought Madoka and Nanae to St Paul's school with their suitcases in the boot.

There was a special assembly to wish them well and I stayed to watch with some of the other parents.

Imagine my pride when Sian and a friend were chosen to give a speech to wish the Japanese visitors a safe travel home.

 There were many tears as the bags were packed under the coach and eventually the girls parted hugging and promising to keep in touch. We still keep in touch with Akari and Manami, our students from two years ago and so I am sure we will not forget Madoka and Nanae either.  
"Sayounara Madoka and Nanae
Safe travel home to your parents.
I'm sure they miss you and will be glad to give you a great big hug at the airport.
I hope you enjoyed your stay with us and have as many wonderful memories as we do!
All our Love,
Gina, Byron, Sian, Rhiannon and Gareth

A summary of the last few days in photos...

There have been so many fun stories and photos to tell about the last few days but I know if I don't get them posted soon life will take over and they will stay hidden in depths of my computer folders! So here to summarise the 6 days are our favourite snapshots of our lovely visit from Madoka and Nanae...

The Australian Reptile Park.

We had a great day out at the weekend with many of the other families who are hosting Japanese students. 
The highlight of the day had to be Elvis the massive salt water croc...*
We did a head count on the way home and accounted for everyone! 
* No Japanese students were harmed in the making of this blog entry 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Gareth the Convict.

This is my little Gareth as he prepared to head into school today...
Don't feel sorry for him. He was dressing up as a convict for a school theme day. 
He had the sad mournful look down pat until I distracted him and he broke character...
And then looked away and regained his composure once more...
Bring on the Oscar!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Happy St Joseph's Day!

My Grandfather Joe and Grandmother Josephine are in my thoughts today, as are my Dad Joe and my brother Joe. Not forgetting my little nephew Cian Joseph too!
Joseph is a very special name in my family as you may have guessed. 
The kids are coincidentally at St Joseph's school here and so today they celebrated their feast day with Mass, a concert and a sausage sizzle.
So to all the Joe's out there, Hello, don't forget that today you are top banana!
And now I shall go and ring my Dad to tell him to make the most of his special day!

Saturday, March 17, 2012


The International language of shopping helped us through our first day together!

Happy St Patrick's Day - Japanese style!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Japanese Visitors.

Today we welcome two beautiful girls into our home.
Madoka and Nanae
The next few days are going to be fun.
Tonight has been gift giving, origami making, translating and giggling.
Memories of Akari and Manami  this time two years ago.
New friendships in the making!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Getting ready for March 17th...

The Annual Shamrock Cookie Bakathon has begun. 195 cookies and counting...!

Roll on St Patricks day!

Sunday, March 11, 2012


The sun is slipping lower in the sky.
The temperatures are dropping and the colours are softening
Summer ebbs away and Autumn creeps in. 
I'm not ready to put away the sunscreen yet...

Friday, March 09, 2012

Happy 14th Birthday Sian

Happy Birthday Dear Sian.
14 years ago I went to bed with a stomach stretched huge and tight. 
I woke in the early hours of the morning and dashed to the bathroom, my waters broke and we were off to the hospital. 
The excitement was huge. 
No mobile to text Grandparents. 
No Facebook to update friends. 
No blog to post pictures on. 
Just your Dad and I , happy newly-weds about to change overnight into parents without a manual. 
The last 14 years have taught us many things. 
Not everything can be learned from a book. 
More fun can be got from an empty cereal box than an expensive toy.
Home-made gifts are worth more than all the tea in China.
and finally... 
14 years of love and boundaries, hugs and trust can produce a wonderful girl. 
A girl who knows her own mind. 
Who is individual and cannot be moulded. 
A girl who shares our characteristics and added her own too. 
A girl who we are immensely proud to call our own. 
Sian Molly Baynham. 
You are loved with all our hearts.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Growing up.

I like that my eldest daughter is growing up. Not everything is a bed of roses but yesterday there was a distinct advantage to her being in High School.

Food Tech.

Yesterday she learnt how to make Spaghetti Carbonara and then part of the homework was to make it and serve it to your entire family!

Today I thanked the Lord for Food Tech teachers!

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

The Rock.

I have removed my poem The Rock from this blog for personal reasons.
If anyone would like a copy of it I am very happy to email it to them.
My contact details are in my profile,
Gina xo 

Monday, March 05, 2012

Balanced diet.

As a mum you try to strike a balance between healthy food and treats. Not always an easy balance but we try. This week I brought home a big bag of seedless grapes from the shops. They are in season, cheap and so sweet and delicious. The kids are happy to munch their way through a bunch in the blink of an eye and I have to hold back on enough to go in their fruit break lunch boxes for the following day.

As a dad you are allowed to break all the rules and cause chaos in the kitchen. At least that's what Mr B thinks. He saw a bunch of grapes sitting on the kitchen table as not just a healthy snack but as a means for getting as much chocolate hazelnut spread into your mouth as possible in as short a period of time. He introduced the concept to the kids and within milliseconds there was a sorry looking bunch of stalks and an empty tub of chocolate spread.

Thanks Mr B. 
Thanks a bunch...

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Happy St David's Day 2012

Dydd Gwŷl Dewi Sant hapus !