Sunday, August 31, 2014

A day in the sun

I have spent a few hours in the garden this weekend, not only hanging my washing outside, but weeding and watering. I planted my bulbs much too late, but one has managed to flower anyway. Andrew planted another couple of trees out the front, too. All very satisfying, it is.

The street our church is in, as well as those of  the suburb we visited to drop Joss and Bethany at their friends' this weekend,  have streets lined with blossom trees, pink and white. I love it when the blossoms are out, but it is over so quickly. Our own pear trees' leaves are fast appearing. 

After our assignment filled week, we are looking forward to the eisteddfod, for the next couple of weeks. Then, it will almost be the holidays! Whirlwind.......

Saturday, August 30, 2014


Oops, regular blogging didn't happen this week. There wasn't much to report, to be honest. We had a couple of last minute school assignments that took up several nights, plus preparation for a card making night tonight, many rehearsals for Andrew and all the usual things.

Thankfully, soccer is finished! So, Andrew was free to take Joss and Toby down to tennis registration, and Bethany and I were free to help our friend Gareth move stuff from one garage to another.

It's the warmest day we have had in a long time. My arms are bare and I can imagine the day when we will have to put the cooling on! I shall miss winter, when it has gone properly, but it will be back.

Saturday, August 23, 2014


Paddocks are a brilliant yellow and bare trees are starting to burst with delicate white or pink blossoms. I hung washing on the line outside and brought it back in, dry, after four. There were people in summer dresses at the last game of soccer yesterday , though I think they were being too enthusiastic, and we took off Milo's coat. Winter is slipping away.

I hope today is as warm because Andrew has been nominated to do the ALS ice bucket challenge. Nominated from Ireland!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Book Week

I didn't realise this was going to be my very last Book Week parade. I'll admit that my greatest emotion is relief, I have always found the costume business wearisome, but there is a lot of joy on the day.

Last year's was my proudest effort with the making of a Rapunzel wig, but I have gotten crafty in past years, too. Not for Toby, though! He wore his Superman costume at least twice.

I was hoping Bethany would wear her onesie, but she wasn't keen, so we pulled out the trusty velvet dress (useful for Rapunzel and Susan Pevensie for Joss) and a pretty bottle of perfume and she went as Lucy Pevensie with the restorative cordial Father Christmas gave her. Father Christmas also gave her a small dagger, but we don't have one....

Monday, August 18, 2014

Top 10

Amy mentioned it in passing almost, but I thought I'd record a bit more about Toby's efforts on the weekend as he really deserves it. The NSW Junior Road Championships have been in his sights for many months now and it is what the club has been focussing on, with Mon & Wed training, plus weekend races, other weekend rides and hill training.

Tobes entered into the 3 sections: Road race, Time Trial and Criterium. Unfortunately the Crit was cancelled due to the heavy rain, but the Road race and TT conditions were great. Toby finished 7th in the road race, only 3 seconds behind the winner (and new state champion). I put my Garmin on his bike and he was doing 43km/hr as he crossed the finishing line - not bad for a 12yr old.

The TT happened a few hours later and he came in 9th - beating all other Wagga entrants in his age category. The TT is a pretty lonely affair, but he put everything into it and is now in the top 10 in NSW for both categories.

Joss came to cheer the club on and help out.  She didn't compete, but is looking forward to track season starting again in a few weeks. She has been riding really well at training and blasted a PB at last weekends race, taking 2mins off her best time. She'll be on the podium one day...

Sufficed to say - I'm pretty proud of them both...

A small  section of the field heading out on the road race

First corner in the time trial

Fanging it to the finish of the time trial

Joss and her kids :)

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Rainy day walk

Bethany loves to have Hannah over after church. After such a wet morning, we took advantage of the break in the rain to take Milo for a walk. There are sheep and lambs across the road from us at the moment, including a little black lamb, They ran away when I tried to take a photo.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

As predicted

One of the dads from Bethany's team brought his proper camera to the game yesterday to take the team photos. He had to struggle for space with all the phone wielding parents.

Yes, the rain has come. It looks comfortably settled in. We know from watching le Tour, that riding in the rain is very dangerous, so they have cancelled today's competition. Safety first!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Toby rode in the state championships for road cycling today. He rode really well in the road race and the time trial and is very pleased with his results. He came seventh in the road race and ninth in the time trial (first Wagga rider in his age group). The rain held off so it was a great day. There is more riding tomorrow and much rain predicted!

Given the early start, the kids didn't go to youth group last night, but relaxed in front of the fire in the backyard. I went to a work trivia night. We came second, which pleased me, but there weren't enough book related questions for my liking. There were far too many cashews in my reach, too, at least at the beginning of the evening. Somehow, they had disappeared by the end. 


Bethany has been counting down the weeks, then days until she would be allowed to change her earrings. Getting her original earrings out was the hard part, but it's all over now and she is sporting little rose gold studs, just like mine and Mama's.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Birthday party

There's nothing like going to a 30th birthday party to make you feel young, and there's nothing like a pizza and cake party to make everyone feel awesome! Even I joined in the cake celebrations because I made a fructose free Japanese cheesecake, zebra style. Happy Birthday Sonya!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

High distinction

Toby did his fourth grade piano exam a couple of weeks ago and received his certificate last night. He had been nervous and made mistakes he wasn't happy with. He worried for no reason, though, because he was awarded an A+, high distinction. He worked very hard and thoroughly deserved it, we're very proud of him.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

An awesome day

It's not best practice parenting, but for the last couple of years another parent and I have been offering our children money to score a goal at soccer. It made it more fun for the parents, I confess, and over time they increased the money from $10 to $50. I was fairly confident that I would never need to actually pay any money.

Bethany's team really enjoy playing, though they have not won a game this season. As parents, we haven't had many goals to cheer for, so we have been cheering when our goalie makes a save or when we got the ball up our end of the field. They have been improving steadily and Bethany has had a few chances, then finally, towards the end of the game, Bethany kicked a goal and the crowd went wild. 

Bethany herself said that she almost cried with happiness. She said that nothing could spoil her mood all day, and I am pleased to say that she did maintain it, all the way until 10.45pm!

We have a bonfire for church each year, at a farm near Junee. We roast marshmallows, play night soccer, spotlight, sing songs (Andrew brings his guitar) and eat supper. We all had a great time with our friends and it wasn't muddy or particularly cold. I remembered to wear two pairs of socks, so I was perfectly snug and even got to talk about Jane Eyre. An awesome day indeed.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Friday nights

I love a two day working week! The weekend is here and we celebrated by going to music practice (Andrew) and driving the kids to youth groups. St Andrew's is the other Presbyterian church in town, a magnificent old building, campared to ours at least, and their hall gets a good workout on Friday nights.

This week, Toby's youth group went bowling. I tried to get a photo but he was not keen, I'll say no more about it. I was itching to have a go myself.

Bethany and I are enjoying our Saturday morning tea. It's a civilised way of starting the day, though I had a little struggle maintaining the dignity when Bethany wanted to drink hers through a straw. I ask you.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Disco time

Ah, the junior school disco, here we are again. I was unimpressed to hear that it had a flouro theme. I don't like having to buy something for an event lasting all of an hour and a half, and it's not 1985, where would I buy fluorescent clothing? 

As it happens, flouro is back and I found a dress combining flourescent pink and orange with purple and sequins, all for $7. Awesome. I also got to crimp hair. I think I'm going to be all Katy Perryed out by the end of the evening.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Home again

I had a lovely time with Mum and Dad. It's going to be hard work getting up early tomorrow morning, but it's back to reality! Andrew had a very busy time of it while I was away, and did a great job. 

We have lots of fruit from the orchard to remind us of sunny Broke, and Bethany has a disco to look forward to tomorrow night. I do hope I can find something flouro for her to wear.....

Saturday, August 2, 2014


When we were at Easter Convention, I conceived a plan to go to One Love with my Mum and sister-in-law. One Love is a new women's conference, held not in Katoomba, but in the awesomely repurposed Australian Technology Park, just next to Redfern Station.

In the end, Mum wasn't able to come, so I asked an 'old' friend I don't get to see very often, and she was able to come. 

I left home on Friday, listened to Geraldine Brooks' People of the Book, and drove to Tim and Shona's on the Central Coast. How I love to spend time with them and their little people!

On Saturday morning Shona and I caught the train into town and met two school friends out the front. It was so lovely to see them, and the organisers went to considerable trouble to make it a special day. Three great speakers from overseas, a wonderful band to lead the singing and much special food - T2 tea, macarons, food trucks and high tea. It was a special day.

After coffee in Avoca and hugging all the big and little people goodbye, I drove to Broke to spend a few days with Mum and Dad. We have been walking, cooking, eating and talking. I meant to be a help, but Mum is bringing me tea in bed in the morning and I am very relaxed! Last night, when the DVD I brought with me wouldn't play in the lounge room, we all climbed into Mum and Dad's bed to watch The Railway Man. 

I am missing my family, but this is awfully nice.