Wednesday, December 24, 2008

We Wish You A Merry Christmas

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a fantastic, adventure filled, wonderously amazing, love and joy filled New Year!!!!!

We are heading off to our beach camping getaway tomorrow, so will be signing out for almost 2 weeks. Don't worry, I will be filling my diary with little stories to fill you in on when we return.

Have a lovely day and may the spirit of today fill your soul. Much love to all.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Dreaming of a White Christmas

'I'm dreaming of a white Christmas..."

Born and raised in Brisvegas and here I am wishing our Christmas here could be white!!! We are enjoying some particularly hot days. The forecast however is for a wet and muggy Christmas day. We had planned to be sitting in my brothers blow up pool under his Great Aussie Deck...will have to wait and see.

We had a lovely weekend. We celebrated Christmas with my dad and his wife on Saturday. Lots of gifts, swimming in the pool and way too much food, as always. Sunday I braved the shops again and then had a lovely summer solstice celebration with friends to finish off the weekend. Kev found some friends to 'jam' with and the kids ran around like crazy. I enjoyed the beautiful company of my friends.

I hope the next few days for you all aren't too crazy. I am having a well deserved massage this morning and then, off to do the grocery shopping!! I hope we can all remember why we are celebrating Christmas and not get too caught up in the negative side. I am looking forward to spending some time with a family I dearly love and find this a great opportunity to appreciate all that I already have, and put some hope into a brighter future for us all.

Happy days before Christmas!

Friday, December 19, 2008


The kids and I caught the train into the city last night and met Kevin on the way. We had a quick look at the Myer Christmas windows, a little shopping and then over to Southbank. It really is a beautiful oasis in the middle of a bustling city. We had a lovely dinner, a walk through the markets and the kids couldn't resist a swim in the lagoon.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Enjoying the sunshine

We had a lovely playdate with Harry and Sam's cousins this morning. Lots of playing, loud noise and bomb dives into the kiddie pool. What a lovely way to spend a summer morning.

We had a classic Aussie BBQ for dinner tonight on mum's little camping BBQ - lamb chops! Yup, I still haven't had enough lamb!!!! The boys thought it would be a good idea to roller blade around the deck. Happy Days.

PS Sam is going through a stage where dinner time is a nightmare!!! Just thought I would share :)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas Cookie Exchange

Yesterday my friends had a cookie exchange. We met at the local Botanic Gardens. The kids brought a box (or bag in our case) and decorated them whilst sitting on a rug under a shady tree. Then they went around the circle and delivered their home made cookies. It was a lovely gesture and a great way to avoid the mass consumerism that can be Christmas.

The cookies I made were pretty delicous so I thought I would share the recipe. They are egg free!

Lemon Blueberry Biscuits

1 cup Blueberries (fresh, frozen or canned)
¾ cup Butter
1 cup Sugar
1½ tsp Grated lemon rind
4 Tblsp Yoghurt (or sour cream)
2 cups Sifted plain flour
2 tsp Baking powder
¼ tsp Salt
½ cup Milk

Preheat the oven to 190 ºC/375ºF
Wash blueberries and dry on a papertowel thoroughly. Cream butter, sugar and lemon rind. Add yoghurt and beat well. Sift together flour mix alternately with milk to creamed mix, beating until smooth. Lightly fold in berries.
Drop teaspoon full onto a greased cookie sheet.
Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.

In the afternoon I took the boys for a walk to meet their Daddy on his way home. Kev found a second hand bike for Harry for $20 - gotta love that....and so did Harry. Sam decided to give the scooter a go and managed to make it pretty far before jumping back in the pram. Such a lovely way to spend the early evening. Then we had lamb burgers for dinner. I have missed you!

Harry and His Little Book of Stories

Harry has a beautiful Auntie Lan in Canada who gave him a little exercise book to fill with pictures and stories of his adventures Down Under. So Harry decided to write his first story yesterday. He dictated the story to me and then he drew a wonderful picture to go with it. I love these moments of creating with him. His imagination is amazing and I love the quiet time we spend together (Sam was having his nap, hence the 'quiet' time!)

Monday, December 15, 2008

The first few weeks in Brisvegas!

Welcome home!!! Welcome back to the humidity!!! The first few days we saw my lovely family and the kids had a blast together. They played beautifully and it looked like they had never been apart. Family dinners are certainly going to be loud and crazy...2 five year olds, a 4 year old, 3 two year olds and a baby...phew!
The view from mum's deck.

We spent one day at Dad's in his pool....lovely and the kids took to the water like little fish.

I even managed to run into a friend I hadn't seen in over 10 years. I look forward to cathcing up with her and our many other Aussie friends. My girlfriend Janine and her son Jordon come up from Melbourne to stay with us for the week. The day after they arrived we went to the Sandgate Pool for some more water fun.

Janine and I got a bit of shopping done early in the week and then the kids got sick unfortunately. Harry and Jordan were going to have a joint 5th birthday party on the weekend but we had to cancel. Harry had a good birthday regardless as having Jordan here for non-stop playing was a gift enough! Harry did get a scooter from his Pa and Nana for his birthday and he is loving cruising up and down the waterfront. It is amazing how fast he is picking it up and I love to see him exercising with such pleasure.

Sam is starting to feel better today and actually slept through the night last night so fingers crossed all will be well in our world again. We have been going for walks, weather and wellness permitting, along the waterfront here. It is absolutely beautiful and our minds started to think , wow, it is REALLY nice here. ..... then we had to drive somewhere and the beauty came crashing down!!!!! We are definately country folk now and the city life just isn't for us. For another example, the first Saturday night we had here at mums the young 15 year old next door had a get together that went badly. A lot of people turned up that were not invited and to cut a long story short, mum and I spent a lot of the evening there kicking kids out of the neighbours house!!! It is terrible to think that a teenage girl can't have a party anymore unless there are security staff. The other city thing, is the shopping centres. In one breath it is so nice to have so many stores to choose from BUT the crowds and the energy is so draning. Just parking the car is exhausting!!!

Kevin took Harry to Australia Zoo one day which he absolutely loved. It really warms my heart that he loves animals so much. Sam and I stayed home and had a lovely visit with Cath and Kees. I even managed to get to my old babygroup playdate which was lovely. A morning spent by the seaside playing and swimming. I look forward to many more.

Kevin started work last week. He is near the city again which is nice. There is always lots to see and do on his lunch break. He has about a 30 minute walk to the train station along the waterfront, then a 30 minute train ride and a short walk to work from there. Sounds like a lot of commuting but it isn't that bad, he said he is enjoying it.

I plan from now on to try to write each day and keep you updated now that things are settling down. I want all the Canadians to know that we are thinking of you all often. Please write and let us know what is going on at home as it is always lovely to hear from you.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Hong Kong

We left Vancouver on the 26th November, a very special day for me personally, ready for our new adventure. We arrived in Hong Kong 14 and a half hours later (yes, you read that correctly 14.5 hrs!!!) at 8:30pm at night. The boys did remarkably well on the flight and thank goodness for the personal movie screens and the loving cushion of mum and dads laps.

We spent the next two mornings sight seeing and the afternoons at Hong Kong Disneyland. We all had a great time especially us bigger kids on all the rides!). We are planning on stopping in Hong Kong on our return flight to so some more sightseeing. Great place to visit but sure would not like to call it home.

Buzz Lightyear, Goofy, The lighting of the castle

The Disney train, The boys and I on the tea cup ride - FUN!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Packing to leave

What a frenzy of excitment. We finally found someone to rent our house and the packing is well under way. To start with the kids were 'helping' me and even Auntie Lan and my wonderful mother-in-law Gail, came to help. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! My fabulous and I do mean fabulous, father-in-law David came to help Kevin with the huge task of laying the flooring in our bedroom and ensuite. And ta-da.....the end result...........

Unfortunately the kids and Kevin got sick so the last couple of days were frantic and un-organised but we got it done!! I am so sorry to all the people that we had planned to do things with those last few days - don't worry we will be back before you know it!!

I also managed last month to finish the throw rug I was knitting. I gave it to Gail for Christmas so I hope it is a lovely, warm comfort for her this winter!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Well here we are at the 1 week mark for when we start the drive to Vancouver. And here we are, still no bags packed, no master bedroom, no en-suite and no cleaning! We spent Sunday over at the rental house doing work and found we still have another few hours to do there. I feel like today though the motion is going to be started and that pile of washing that is stopping me from packing will be defeated!

Poor Buddy is sensing the move and is very worried. I think he is going to be heartbroken, the poor thing. He is such a needy dog but he will be well cared for. It is hard to think of leaving him though.

Wish me luck with the packing!!!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Renters - check!

I can feel the excitment starting to build. We just received confirmation that the last house is being rented - yippeeeee! Now, mental checklist:

2. Re-create the en-suite
3. PACK!!!
4. Clean the house
5. Enjoy the process

It is so true at any stage of a persons life, that is easy to get caught up. I am trying to stop every now and then, to breathe, and be aware of the process. I mean, this is an amazing opportunity to travel, visit with family and re-affirm our sense of self. To know that our life here is being put on a tempory hold and we will return to waiting, loving arms in both countries.

I am so looking forward to this journey.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Simple Pleasures

All the bustle around here has made me realise, I need to make sure I am still making time for creative play with the boys. So after a rather ordinary day yesterday, where I spent most of my time on the computer or phone, I got the kids to help me make dinner. We decided to try making "healthy" chicken fingers. I used the last of our bread to make the bread crumbs and also added some ground flax seeds. Then I set the kids up with aprons and popped them in front of their 'role'.........
Sam was on flour, Harry on eggs and I was on the crumbs. They did wonderfully and they loved it. Harry especially liked all the textures between all three bowls and I let them have some free play time with them at the end. I know what you are thinking....what a mess but really, it wasn't that bad. What a beautiful way for them to learn and interact. Such a simple, messy task brought them joy and a wonderful sense of accomplishment. And guess what? Dinner time was fight free and they ate all their dinner!!! I don't think they particularly liked them but they ate them as they had had a part in their creation. We did our usual question around the table "What was your favourite part of today"....they both said cooking and playing in the first snow fall. Now if we could only find some reliable renters.....but that is another story!

Friday, October 31, 2008


This morning I am not feeling so excited about all our goings on. Yes, that "S" word is starting to take a hold of me. These are the times that I usually crumbled. I believe the overwhelming part of it all is trying to decide where to start! Should I be starting to pack up our belongings? Should I be finishing the bathroom first? Should I be trying harder to maintain the daily mess around the house? Should I be throwing myself harder into trying to find a tenant?
The boys are soooooooo excited about Halloween. I don't think Sam quite knows what he is getting himself in for but I am sure he will enjoy being all dressed up. I don't think we will visit many houses. I would like to keep the candy to a minimum. I usually end up throwing most of it out anyway. The boys are so used to not having it that a couple of pieces is enough.
One great thing I feel I have achieved is getting the Canadian family christmas presents organised. What a relief and I was able to stick to budget this year which is great.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

My first blog

Things are a buzz of excitment here. Tomorrow the houses on Laburnum settle (hopefully), we are babysitting Arwynn this morning, Harry is off to school in half an hour, we are leaving for Australia in 3 weeks and 5 days!!!! So much to think of and so many things to do.
We are trying to get some renovations finished around here before we leave. I am pulling the wall paper of the walls in the ensuite. It certainly isn't the most desirable job in the world, however I can already see how much better it is going to look. Kevin is working on painting the hall next and finishing all the brown doors. I will be so happy to see the last of the horrible mission brown doors. It trule is amazing what a fresh coat of paint can do.

The colours outside the window really warm my heart. I think fall is my favourite time of year and reminds me again, I am happy to have chosen Canada for our home. The seasons are so inspiring and the changes are a good reminder that things never stay the same.

I am only 4 squares away from finishing my first ever throw rug. It is such an amazing feeling to finish this project and to know I created it myself. I am thinking it will make a perfect gift for a special somone in my family for Christmas. There is a lot of love woven in the wool, what better gift can you ask for than that?