Friday, September 30, 2011

Family fun

Our visitor-filled holidays are almost half over! Sare, Ty and kids came to stay for a few days and they have been days filled with merriment. They arrived late Tuesday afternoon and looked after our kids on Wednesday while Andrew and I were at work. I finished at 3, as usual, but after sorting dinner out, went back to work from 6.30 til 9pm. We had our very first HSC Lock-In where we opening the library exclusively for HSC students. We weren't sure how it would go, or if more than 2 students would come so were thrilled when 18 students and 1 teacher came and they all loved it, asking for us to hold several more before the HSC!

Working such a long day was even more worth it when I remembered that I won't be going back to work again until Tuesday, thanks to a flex day today and the long weekend. That meant that I could enjoy Thursday with our visitors. Sare helped Joss with the crystal making kit she bought at Questacon.

We made the obligatory trip to the Junee Licorice Factory. Jossie, who wore that memorable outfit to the pool last week, objected to Bethany's choice of attire. Pick your battles, I say. If she wants to go out in the holidays with orange feather hair and blue eyeshadow, I'm happy for her to do it!

Sadly, I didn't get many good photos of everyone. We played lots of games and enjoyed lots of good food.

They left this morning and I have been making mini muffins all afternoon for our church's street fair tomorrow. I wonder if I'll get a long sleep in at some stage.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Loving the Eighties

I love the way Paul Weller can sing with chewing gum in his mouth.

Sunday, September 25, 2011


Friday was the last day of school for term three and Jossie's last day in her Wagga Wagga Christian College winter uniform! She and Toby went to Kids' Club on Friday evening and we realised that it was her last Kids' Club as next term she'll go to SAYGE, which is the youth group. Kids' Club and SAYGE both allow kids from the year below (year 2 for Kids' Club and year 6 for SAYGE) to come along for fourth term. She's growing up! The last Kids' Club for each term is held at the pool and she and Toby both looked 'interesting' when we hopped into the car. Toby's board shorts are longer than his sports shorts and Jossie put this little outfit together herself. Funnily enough, I remember being big on long, striped socks, though I was in year nine at the time. Very advanced is Jossie!

I have been rather busy in the last week with our church's Big Day Out. Each year the whole church heads somewhere, usually a little way out of town, for a day of fellowship and teaching. For the first time I was asked to organise the catering...... for 120 people! I was freaked out to say the least and I can't say that there were no tears involved in the lead up, but with lots of help it all came together in the end, thanks be to God! We had it at Downside which is not a town but an old hall on the way to Coolamon where they have bushdancing. We went there recently for Narelle's birthday.

The weather was perfect and while I didn't get to experience the day in the same way as everyone else, I know they all had lots of fun.

After lunch there was cricket......


and Bethany's favourite, face painting.

All my head space had been taken up with my job for Saturday so I had nothing planned for dinner afterwards. We went into town and tried a Chinese restaurant we hadn't been to before. We haven't had great experiences at the others we have tried over the years but were pleasantly surprised and the kids really enjoyed it. I tried to talk them into fried ice-cream which was a favourite of mine as a child but they didn't like the sound of it (?!). We were right next door to Gelatissimo so had gelato instead - the pistachio was very nice but I missed the batter.

I took this photo this morning. It's the garden next door to church and I just loved the white blossoms against the sky. The kids now have two weeks off school and I am very pleased that I won't be making school lunches tomorrow. Shame I have to go to work though.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Loving the Eighties

Those were the days, when real men wore eye liner and lipstick, not fake tan. One of the female singers has a rat's tail (I had one in year six) and the lyrics are positively sinister! I really did like Phil Oakley, though.... he also sang Together in Electric Dreams. Did you know that Bud Cort did the voice of the computer in that movie? That's a little bit of Harold and Maude trivia for you. My head is full of useless information!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Travel all over the countryside

I remember going to Canberra in Year 6. We looked in the gate at The Lodge lollies and didn't sleep in our motel. That's pretty much the extent of my memories of that trip. Jossie and Toby have both been on big excursions in the last couple of weeks and took my old camera in order to capture their memories.

It's interesting to see what they think worthwhile photographing. Joss took plenty of photos of Parliament House.

This is one of many fuzzy photos of the Senate. I think, on the whole, Joss enjoyed getting away from school with her friends most of all.

Toby, on the other hand, talked non-stop for ages when he came home from Dubbo. He told me every story he had been told about escape attempts at Dubbo gaol.

He tried to remember every single animal he saw.

This is Jossie's favourite animal. Ever since she went to Dubbo Zoo two years ago and bought a soft toy rhino called Greg (her choice) she has been rhino mad. She wants to be a rhino when she grows up.

Bethany bought a giraffe at Taronga Zoo earlier in the year so she also has a favourite animal. We discussed, before Toby left, which animal he would buy. I suggested a lion because that is my favourite (Aslan), or a meerkat because they are so funny.

He came home with Steve.

Though he didn't take any self portraits on the bus (a shot very popular with Joss) he did take a few of friends photographing him.

And this one of his teacher in the stocks. I'll bet she wishes she had some of these in the classroom.

It's nice having everyone back home again and now there is only one week til the holidays! We're having lots of visitors, can't wait!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Loving the Eighties

This one is for Andrew who still loves Nik Kershaw. We bought one of his newer albums when we were in the UK and listened to it in the car as we drove through Scotland so I would have to say that I am rather attached to him myself.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Day in Junee

Andrew, Joss and Tobes got home from Sydney on Monday evening, having had a fabulous time. Jossie also had tales of her excursion to Canberra, including some funny stories told to her at a behind the scenes tour of the National Library. This photo is typical of excursion photography. You can even see trees if you look hard enough.

We unpacked the weekend's suitcases and packed one of them again straight away as Toby left for Dubbo the very next morning! He slept at Western Plains Zoo last night. As he and Liam lined up to climb on the bus yesterday morning, David told Toby not to be eaten by a lion..... an elephant will look much better in the photos. I wonder if they got any sleep at all.

I had one day in which to get Jossie's clothes washed as she is going to a maths camp in Sydney today. As I went to pack for her last night I realised that, not being a camping family (really Amy?), our one sleeping bag and torch were in Dubbo! Alice saved the day and Jossie is all packed and excited to go. Not excited about the maths, just the camp.

We had a branch meeting yesterday. There are thirteen branch libraries in the Riverina Regional Library. Wagga is by far the biggest, bigger than all the others put together in fact, and the different councils take turns hosting the meetings. Junee is very handy to Wagga, only 25 minutes away and there are some lovely old buildings in the town. The council building is art deco and very pink, inside and out. We went across the road for morning tea, to a lovely old house called Belmore Manor. Why did the colonials feel the need to call their houses manors? We have one in Wagga too.

A view of the pink council building from the front garden.

They even had an ex-parrot.

Tonight, we're down to one child! I would comment on how quiet it's going to be, but.........

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Mad Week

It has all been happening this week! On Monday and Tuesday Bethany was still having very high temperatures so one of us had to stay home with her. I had spent Thursday and Friday housebound so Andrew took the job. I had to take two lots of thirty people for a walking tour of Wagga's historic buildings on Monday and Tuesday afternoons so was very thankful that Andrew was able to take those days off.

On Tuesday morning, however, one lot of carer's leave was not enough as Toby had to perform three times at the eisteddfod! I stayed home with Bethany while Andrew watched Toby perform beautifully. He brought home two trophies and a highly commended! He played again in the evening with children much older and some were even doing seventh grade piano (Toby just did his first grade exam) and he came fourth. So proud.

On Thursday I went to the Rules Club which is like an RSL or leagues club. I spoke about the library to the lovely ladies of the View Club. I don't usually do work things on my day off but they only meet on Thursdays. They were really lovely and I enjoyed a huge plate of what I call country chinese food, followed by peaches and custard. The ladies heard about everything that goes on at the library and many said they will be seeing me there more often.

Stampin' Up has a brilliant deal at the moment on starter kits for becoming a demonstrator. I couldn't say no. I am not exactly loaded with spare time so am just becoming a hobby demo which means that I have joined to save money on stamping supplies for myself and friends can buy from me too. I'll hold the odd class or workshop, the girls at work want me to make Christmas tags with them, but mainly I'll just go on as usual, making cards for myself and to sell at markets. I do love it.

Yesterday afternoon, before the disco, Bethany and I said goodbye to Andrew and Toby as they drove off for Sydney. They stopped somewhere along the way, meeting a bus that Jossie was on, coming home from her Canberra excursion. An elated but exhausted Jossie hopped off the bus that was heading south and hopped into the car and headed north again! We had a bit of a diary failure that saw Bethany's party scheduled on the same day as her grandmother's 70th.....oops! So Bethany and I stayed home while everyone else went to Sydney.

I hopped in to bed after midnight, preparing for a big party is time consuming to say the least. I probably didn't need to stamp 25 lolly bags with five different stamps each.

Bethany was very excited this morning. Still sporting the crimped hair.

Airborne Gymnastics is a great place for a big party with lots of active children. This was taken right at the beginning and I'm not sure she had that control again.

As promised, Bethany ate the icing and strawberries from her cake. The biggest hit on the food table was the plate of rum balls minus the rum, Bethany's request. I was pleased that the sandwiches all went and the carrot, celery and dip was at least tasted.

I confess that I was rather glad when it was over, though not nearly as glad as the girl running the games! A whole class of year one students, plus a couple of extras, can be very rowdy. Now we are at home and Bethany is enjoying her presents, thoroughly pleased with her day. Job done then.

Loving the Eighties

Tim has Phat Beat Phriday after a mate of his started Big Hair Wednesday. I was never into rap or big hair rock (except maybe in year nine when I fancied the keyboard player from Bon Jovi. What?!). The eighties were the only years that I was really into the music that was in the charts and I confess that I do love to get a bit nostalgic about the music now. So, not tying myself down to a particular day, I may share some of the songs that I loved when I was young. It will probably read as a list of whom I fancied....

I was ten years old when this song came out! I did fancy Howard Jones and even had a dream about him once. I also fancied Boy George in that year........ are ten year olds these days so naive?

Friday, September 9, 2011

Disco night

After almost a week of high temperatures while battling a mysterious virus, Bethany has been back at school since Tuesday. She has come home weary in the afternoons, not terribly hungry and keen for a lie down. I thought this might mean we'd get away with missing the disco. No such luck. Bethany felt perfectly fine and had spent all day discussing hair with her friends as this was no ordinary disco. It was a crazy hair disco. We did consider red hair spray to go with the crimping and teasing but I, most selfishly, knew that I would not be keen for hair washing and blow drying after arriving home past Bethany's bedtime and with many jobs still between me and mine.

In the end she was pretty pleased with the 'do'. We picked up a friend who just had her enrolment interview at school as she is starting kindy next year. I remembered that Bethany went to the disco the year before she started school. I think the fact that Bethany, as a third child, was used to school, rowdy big children and noisy crowds meant that she was a little better prepared.

That girl in the middle seems perplexed.

Bethany quickly kicked off her shoes and joined in the madness.

Nelly had the best crazy hair by far! She won a prize.

The plaits were all different colours and held up by helium balloons. Her face was fabulous too, putting my efforts with the crimper and comb in the shade. She does have an arty sister in year nine.

In the end, a good time was had by all. Now, of course, it's 10pm and I have just put Bethany's cake in the oven. I'm having flashbacks of the last time I made this huge chocolate cake the night before a party at Airborne Gymnastics....... Milo jumped up and ate the top off the cooling cake and I had to start again!  

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Shooting with Hello Kitty

Ah, twelve year old girls. So grown up in many ways but still so giggly and girly. I had thought that Jossie was a bit beyond character birthday cakes but I was wrong. Thankfully, this one wasn't hard to do. Hello Kitty!

I offered a card making party but, for some strange reason, they preferred to spend time shooting each other with lasers. There was a little posing going on beforehand.

It all went out the window once the war games began.

They had such a lot of fun, great idea for a party. Sadly, Toby didn't play as Joss wanted only girls. He was every bit as dejected as he looks here..... for the entire two hours.

Bethany had a high temperature so was happy to laze around playing phones and chatting.

Now I just need to gear up for Bethany's birthday party on this Saturday. With her whole class. All by myself. Easy.....

Happy Fathers' Day

I have put the apostrophe where it is for a reason! Happy Fathers' Day (for Sunday) to the three dads in my life.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Belated birthdays

It's lucky that Milo isn't a lady..... this is him, fast asleep.

I had stamp club on Thursday night, so much fun, and did mean to take lots of photos but forgot! This was taken right at the end, we certainly make a mess. My three finished cards are at the front.

Jossie's birthday party is today! Yes, her birthday was in July and it is now September. That's what you get for having a birthday in the holidays and having busy lives. It spreads out the fun. I have never been one to get crafty over birthdays, cakes have been the biggest effort, but this year I employed my new paper skills (and some of Liz' hardware) to personalise lollie bags. Luckily Bethany has been ill so I stayed home from work yesterday, it took an age to die cut all those letters!

Jossie had lots of fun filling them.

Twelve girls are going to spend the afternoon trying to shoot each other with lasers. I did mean to make the same bags for Bethany's party next week but as she has invited the whole class, I think I'll have to do something that doesn't take quite so long!

In case you were worried, we took Bethany to the doctor this morning and it's just a virus. It hasn't affected her tongue, either.