Thursday, December 29, 2011

Loving the Eighties

I bought a Spandau Ballet album when we were in the UK a few years ago. Yes, I still like them.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Loving the Eighties

Lots of Duran Duran to choose from! Which song would you have chosen?

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Happy Birthday Andrew!

Weekend birthdays are great, especially when they are followed by two whole weeks of holidays. I think we'd have to admit that there are some disadvantages to having your birthday fall a week before Christmas, but at least we're all in a celebratory mood. Happy Birthday Andrew!

You can't exactly tell but Bethany was feeling very nervous when this photo was taken. It was Thursday night and she was just about to perform in her first ever piano concert.

I was contemplating what would happen if she found that she couldn't play at all, but she controlled her nerves and played well.

Toby played brilliantly, of course, and received a special mention from his teacher. He just loves to play!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Christmas Story

This delightful video was played at the Carols on Sunday night. So cute!

Loving the Eighties

It takes a little while to get going, but it's a great song.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Silly Season

Even by our standards, last weekend was a bit mad. Jossie, Toby and Andrew all had Christmas parties on Friday night. On Saturday, in between dropping kids at birthday parties, friends' houses and picking up friends, we did some Christmas shopping (it's a relief to see that coming under control). On Saturday night I had seven women (plus Joss and her friend Hannah) making Christmas tags. During the afternoon I had thought that I might prefer to curl up with the new Sense and Sensibility on my laptop but ended up having so much fun stamping.

On Sunday morning all three congregations of our church went to the Multi-purpose Centre at the school to celebrate our 75th anniversary. We had lunch together afterwards and watched the scary weather roll in. Thankfully, the decision had been made on Friday night to move the Inter-Church Council's Carols in the Park to the school. I spent a fair bit of the afternoon sound checking and running through the performers' biographies and the run sheet as I was hosting the event with Benjamin Shuhyta who is a journalist on our local Prime News. I do a fair bit of MC work at the library and church but this was by far my biggest gig! Here is a very dark picture of me on stage. Next stop Carols in the Domain.

It was a bit rough on the kids to get up for school after a late night at the carols and it was followed by the Junior School Musical and Presentation Night. The musical is called A Creepy Crawly Christmas. I have only a vague idea what it was about because the sound wasn't brilliant and I couldn't understand any of the lyrics. I took Bethany up to her classroom beforehand and helped her get dressed. The costumes were outstanding.

Not exactly camera shy, all the lady beetles wanted their photo taken. I was really just humouring them and took this without waiting for proper smiles and lots didn't fit in. Things started to get a bit hairy when they all demanded to see the photo and find themselves. Luckily, they were called together to head down to the show before I got hurt.

This is the whole Junior School dressed as insects.

As usual, Bethany put her heart and soul into her dance and was a delight to watch. We were (obviously) too far back for good photography. We were also too far back for proper identification. We took lots of photos of this boy on the right and watched him very closely, only to discover that Toby was in a different costume all together and hadn't appeared yet. It didn't even twig that this boy had a broken arm!

Toby is in the group of dragonflies below and had the misfortune of breaking a wing which he then had to hold up with one arm. He kept looking at his friends and shaking his head as he did the dance with only one arm. We think he coped very well under the circumstances.

When the musical was over the award giving began. They give one to all students in the Junior School. Bethany got hers for excellent story telling.

Toby got his for a caring attitude and excellent achievement in mathematics and spelling. That's him with the glasses on, next to the very large caterpillar.

Tuesday night was Jossie's Presentation Night. They don't all get awards but Jossie got one for academic excellence in English, Mathematics and Human Society in Its Environment. We decided not to keep Bethany up for another late night, so she and I stayed home. I finished making the teachers' presents. Little boxes filled with Christmas tags. Jossie's teacher got a cake because she doesn't cook and is a coeliac so doesn't get good cake very often! Belinda Jeffrey's buttery almond and coconut cake is the best! Not that I even licked the spoon because I have ceased to eat sugar (really! It's not that hard).

That brings us to today, the last day of school. The children are now on holidays. There were floods of tears when I arrived to pick them up as Jossie said good-bye to her friends. They are all going to the movies together tomorrow but won't go to school together anymore so it was very sad.

We are having a nice, quiet evening at home this evening. Tomorrow night is the piano concert - Bethany's first!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Secret Santa

We did Secret Santa at the work Christmas party on Saturday night. The brief was to spend $10 on something silly, fun or nice. I went for nice and bought my recipient something handmade from the Makers' Space at the museum. This is what I unwrapped at the restaurant.

It's a very large pirate ship. I know it's a pirate ship because of all the pirates. Can you see who they are?

Harry Potter pirate.

Captain Jack Sparrow.

Those aren't hairy legs, they're wooden legs. Where to hang it?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Sunny skies

We had some extraordinary storms last week. As Andrew picked me up from work thunder clapped right above our heads and it was so loud that I screamed, I got such a fright. As we drove to pick up Bethany we saw flashes and sparks from the power lines overhead, it was very dramatic! Hail too. I rang the library to check that it hadn't flooded again, I really couldn't face ripping up the new carpet.

By Friday the weather was glorious again, perfect for a 21st birthday party at Downside. Daylight saving ensured beautiful light at 6.30 pm.

The family did a wonderful job of decorating the old place.

Downside means bush dancing and the drummer very kindly let Bethany have a go. She was surprisingly good! I think the tongue position is crucial.

With lots of 21 year olds and other grown-ups around, the kids had to make their own fun.

Until Aunty Mim and Uncle Bill arrived! They are staying with us but were running late so came straight to the party. Mim was thrilled to discover that Joss is now a tiny bit taller than she is.

Saturday was a properly relaxing day, though we got a fair bit done. We packed a picnic and went to the lake. The kids and Andrew rode around the lake (some of them managed to go around twice) while Mim, Bill and I minded the blanket.

It was so nice to see them, I wish it could have been for longer, but who has the time for long visits at Christmas?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Loving the Eighties

Ah, 1982, I was only 10. I'm am using that as an excuse for why I loved Boy George and wanted to marry him.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

New school

Last Tuesday, while I was in Sydney, Jossie had her orientation day at the high school she will be attending next year. Jossie is so good at trying new things (except food - she's the fussiest eater) and had such a good time and made new friends. She came home abuzz with excitement for the new adventure. Andrew and I also got to see the school and feel the excitement on Sunday afternoon when we had an information session and tour of the school.

It's a very nice school with plenty of space, one of the many advantages to living in the country.

Sunday afternoon was just one part of our busy weekend. On Saturday night (with much preparation during the week and on Saturday afternoon) our church held its annual Café by Candlelight. Delicilous desserts (the banoffee pie! My last sugar hit for a while), a gospel talk, Christmas tag making and lots of talking. I was the MC and Liz and I ran the tag making so it was lots of work but a really great evening. I didn't even think of taking a photo.

Toby and Bethany had been with friends while Jossie, Andrew and I were at the school and by the time we had picked them up, it was time for the Estella Christmas party!

The kids were so excited about it! We shared the excitement with Nelly whose hair looked fabulous when striped.

There were lots of games for kids.

Lovely, old-fashioned games that require moving and don't have a screen.

Bethany's age group was very well represented and while she came second in her heat for the sack race, she didn't place in the final and was distraught. She had to go home for a little bit she was so upset! Sometimes it isn't that encouraging to tell your children that you came last in pretty much every race you ever ran/swam/jumped in.

Even the big kids had a turn.

It is very sad that this is the last Christmas party that the Ks will have in Estella. They move to Melbourne in January and we'll miss them a lot.

Santa came and handed out bags filled with lollies. Andrew found these two behind a tree. They hid so that we wouldn't tell them when to stop eating lollies. Smart kids.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Loving the Eighties

It appears Promised you a miracle won't work out of Youtube. This one does though. Ahh, the Breakfast Club, classic movie.


Before I tell you about my trip to Sydney, I forgot I had these photos of the little concert Toby played in a couple of weekends ago. A girl in his class decided to raise money for clean water in the developing world, so she asked her friends and school mates to play in a concert.

These are all the kids who performed. The iPhone belongs to Shep who appears to be taking a photo of Toby, probably to send to Andrew who got out of was unable to attend. Nelly (the littlest Shephard) recited some poems.

After church on Sunday, Claire, Michael and I flew up to Sydney for the Public Libraries New South Wales SWITCH Conference. I have no idea what SWITCH stands for. We arrived too late for a South West Zone AGM but with a few hours to spare before the  welcome reception, we gave the Art Gallery of NSW a call and were terribly pleased to hear that they weren't busy. We saw the Picasso exhibition! It was pretty fabulous. I really enjoyed seeing his work right up close. He had such a strange way of seeing things!

The welcome reception was held at Kinokuniya, the biggest book shop in the Southern Hemisphere (long may they live!).

What a fabulous spot to sit and read! They offered us 20% off for our libraries and also for ourselves so Michael and I bought pressies for the kids. I bought Toby Troubletwisters by the lovely Garth Nix and Sean Williams, Bethany, Milly-Molly-Mandy and I did look briefly at the teenage shelves but the volume was overwhelming so I bought Jossie her own copy of Little Woman. It warmed my heart to see all three children reading their books the next morning. Toby insists on reading in the car until he feels sick - it is so hard to discourage reading!

We stayed at Rydges World Square which is in such a handy spot. This $4 bottle is placed next to the beds! I wonder how many people think not getting up and walking to the bathroom where there are glasses and a tap is worth $4.

The conference itself was very good. The ceiling decorations are a bit distracting but we learnt a lot and got some great ideas. It was very exciting for me to hear a speaker from Orange County Library System in Florida - she brought Tricia, Jessica and Megan much closer for 20 minutes.

We didn't go to the conference dinner but went to Kushiyaki Azuma instead. So, so, so good. As it turns out, we probably should have gone to the dinner as we were given a highly commended for our Quick Picks service - here's a little video of Jeannie showing us how it works.

The Readit2011 twitter reading group I am involved with also won in the social media section.

There is a new T2 shop in World Square!

Super fabulous tea.

Really beautiful tea things.

A little man tea infuser. Favourite shop in the world.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Over for another year

Yesterday Andrew played in the last two shows of My Fair Lady. It has been great, especially as he had friends to do it with, but we will probably all enjoy the freedom that comes when it finishes.

We don't have any good photos from the show, these two come from the theatre's facebook page. There are people we know in the photo above, it is of the cast and crew, but I can't find them!

We have had a good weekend. Two extras slept at our house on Friday night. Not as much sleeping as usual, and a ridiculously early start for a Saturday, but I do like it when the kids have friends over. I spent much of the day washing, ironing and cooking (much is probably an exaggeration) as I am off to Sydney this afternoon for a library conference! There are three of us going and I have charged my camera so will share the experience.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Saturday, November 12, 2011

My Fair Lady

The show was fabulous! It was fun, funny, elegant and sweet. The kids enjoyed it very much, particularly because they knew Mr Shephard and he was brilliant as Alfred P Doolittle.

Toby had a birthday party until 6.30 and we didn't get home from picking him up until 7 so we had a very quick dinner before getting dressed and leaving for the theatre. Sadly, this meant that I didn't take proper photos of everyone dressed up. Toby wouldn't sit still for a photo in the velvetty red light of the theatre.

Toby and Bethany nearly died (the melodrama was their own, not mine for once) of thirst before the interval. A bottle of water and a small cylinder of Pringles got them through to the end - around 11.15pm.

Bethany did need constant reminders to leave Jossie alone and that the people behind can't see through flailing arms and legs but she did have fun. This morning she carried on the fun by having a bleeding nose and fainting, really fainting, at the sight of the blood! I take it she's going to be hideously squeamish like I am - I really don't think it suits our personalities to be so delicate in this way but it can't be helped. She wants to be a vet.......