Sunday, January 30, 2011

Australia Day

We celebrated Australia Day this week in the traditional way - with a Pancake Breakfast!!!!! So much fun getting together with members of our ward and having a chat and being out in the heat - and those pancakes WERE delicious - even with the wafting smells of bbq from the next group over! :) The only bad part - the major tantrum thrown by Mr Madson when it was time to leave!!!

Aunty Lisa had these awesome Australia tatoo's (only on Australia Day!!!!) that she shared around so the kids all got one and I braved one on my cheek (though I did have serious misgivings about it coming off - I couldn't do school pick up the next day looking like that - what would everyone think!!!!! :))

I can't remember if everyone else had a nap but I definitley did, and then we had a little time for some back yard cricket! It was actually really fun! Madson's pretty good at hitting that ball, and West gives it everything he's got. It was so nice to be able to play with the boys without the constant fighting - though we did start the game with this face....can't remember why, but Madson's pulling out some great one's and even better screaming now that he's a 'big school boy'!!! (I actually think he's exhausted and a little overwhelmed with big boy school at the same time as absolutley loving it - his behaviour is a little 'fun' these days...)

 We quickly got over this face to have lots of fun batting and catching and running after the ball lots. I was definitely feeling a little lethargic so I was bowling from the comfort of the outdoor bench! :) Such an energetic mother am I!!! :)

Little Miss McKinley has started pulling the FUNNIEST faces - how's this for one! Hilarious! She was quite happy running around the yard playing her own little game and coming over for a bit of comic relief every now and then! So funny...

And now for a few action shots...

This is a better face right? Those cheeks are just CRYING out to be pinched!!! :) xxx

I loved that we could play a game without the squabbling over who's turn it was - the boys were awesome and we had a really enjoyable time!

And this was Ystyn's pose for the day - Triple J Hottest 100 (on EVERY single stereo in the house, so as he walked from room to room he wouldn't miss anything!) and watching the cricket! I think he had a great day! :)

I love being Australian. I love living in Australia. I love our free country and all the blessings that come from living here. I sometimes stop in amazement at how good we get it - sure, Centrelink is ANNOYING but they give us a little bit of money just for having kids - we would have the kids without the extra money, but its a nice little booster to the weekly budget. I love how there is a public health system that to me seems almost as good as the private (is that blasphemous to even suggest that????) - seriously, we've had all 3 of our kids through the public system, and apart from a pushy mid-wife the first time around we've been supremely blessed with our doctors and nurses and such. I'm definitley not the most educated in the ways of government and parliment and all of that sort of stuff but I still love living here and think that we have it pretty good. I love the land - driving down the east coast on the way to Sydney are some of my fondest memories of growing up. Passing through the Central Coast - just gorgeous! Not to mention our beaches and National Parks and wildlife...

 Ok - so I DID just think of something I HATE about Australia! THE BUGS!!!!!!! I HATE BUGS - with a passion!!! I am one of the squealy type who will leap 5 meters in the air and scream like a banshee if anything so much as flies near me. I HATE that there are dangerous snakes in our bushes and grasses - could be in my backyard - and I have awful fears of my loud, noisy, YOUNG kids stumbling across one. I HATE spiders - could anything be more terrifying in looks! I know you're not meant to judge on looks alone, but COME ON!!!! They are DISGUSTING!!! And what about the supersize cockroaches that are the bane of my existence. I definitley have some radar that says 'fly at me, fly at me'!!! Ystyn is witness to a number of MASSIVE speciments that have literally zeroed in on me and flown at me - he watched one in our apartment as a newly married couple  - it was sitting on the bathroom door, and when I saw it I ran and jumped on my bed, throwing the covers up to protect me, only to have it fly down the corrider, around the corner and then land on top of the sheets that were the only protection between me and it! I could have died!!!! Or what about the SUPERSIZE moth that STALKED me for about a month during my last year at high school. I would walk into my bedroom at nightime, ready to go to bed, and there it would be sitting, on the pelmet of my blinds, staring at me while I got into bed. Of course I didn't get into bed with it still there - dad was called to come and remove it (I would NEVER touch a bug/moth/insect/reptile/whatever willingly!). I would go to sleep thinking I was safe only to wake up early the next morning to get ready for seminary - the house was quiet, I was the only one up - I walk into the bathroom, get undressed and step into the shower and THERE IT WAS - IN THE SHOWER - STARING AT ME!!!!!!!!!! I swear - this went on for a month!!! My younger sister can bear witness to the fact - and obvioulsy I am still scarred to this day! I HATE BUGS! So imagine my horror that my children are now beginning a collection of Rhino beetles, which, even though they are dead, still have little suckers that they delight in putting on me just to see my reaction. Thanks to someone who shall remain nameless (:)) my precious little angels have at least one each as well as a few cicada shells, which also have little suckers. They're not quite so bad though, seeing as they are only a skin and all......:)

Sorry to have digressed on such a tangent - I got all heated there for a second - hehehehhe - but inspite of all that nastiness, I still love this country, and feel so proud to call myself Australian. I can't think of a better choice my parents made then bringing us here as a young family. I feel like this is home and always will be and I love it with all my heart.

Happy belated Australia Day everyone!!! xxx

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

First Day!

It was Madson's first day of Prep yesterday - sob sob!!!! He's been so excited talking about his 'big boy' school and his new teacher and having his uniform and school shoes and the hundred other things they need to start school (????) and we've been so excited along with him. He's really grown up in the past 6 months and is so ready to start learning and developing that clever little brain of his and I am so excited for him.

We woke up fairly early on Monday morning and he got dressed all on his own and packed his bag himself (once his lunch was made). He starting getting a little apprehensive as the time got closer to leave and was asking repeatedly whether I would be staying with him...I was just focused on getting out the door on time! (My new year's resolution - get him to school on time! So sad to say I may have already broken that resolution!!!! :)

Anyway - it was all good and exciting and I was just doing what had to be done - it wasn't until we actually walked through the school that it hit me - my little boy was going to school!!!!! I was dropping him off and leaving him here for the WHOLE DAY, trusting other people to care for him and look after him and be kind to him. And I felt so un-prepared! I hadn't taught him enough. I hadn't done stranger danger with him, or had I taught him enough about being kind to others or how to use him manners. Would he have friends, would people be mean to him - all of those horrid things that kids do and have happen to them, and I can have no control or influence over from here on out. Ahhhhhhhhhhhh! I am so scared! You so want to keep them in a cocoon for their whole lives but its their journey too, and the good as well as the bad will help tehm to learn and grow and develop into good little people. He is such a good little man - so kind and nurturing and I want to protect him so badly, but its time to start letting go right? :)

Anyway, I had to stop and sit him on the pathway for some last minute instructions and lessons (nothing like a crash course) and some time to try and collect myself. I was gone from that moment on though - a mess! I was trying so hard to be brave, but friends of ours popped in to wish Madson a happy first day and seeing another kind face make me lose it - I couldnt' speak for sobbing so hard - right at the front door of Madson's classroom!!!!! How embarrassing!!!!!!!!! I didn't see any other mothers being loony bins, just me!!! :) I feel so happy for him and so sad all at the same that crazy? Its day 2 today and its better, but there's still that underlying mourning? I guess change always brings that quiet sadness - and there's so much still to come! Little West starts Kindy this week as well, and then before we know it all 3 will be at school together. Life is just steaming by...

Anyway, here are some shots I snapped on our first morning - I love Madson's grin in these - so sweet and excited.

Look how happy he is. This is the beginning of so thing will never change though - how much you love them!!!!


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Birthday and Bits and Bobs

Its my birthday today and I just had to get on here and say a HUGE thank-you to my mum!!!!! For the past week Ystyn and I have been enjoying the delights of Melbourne with some friends and we only just got back today after a 6 day holiday. I will post photo's of our trip soon, but just had to say thank you to my mum and dad for watching our kids for us while we were gone. When we picked them up this afternoon she'd washed all their clothes, had them all packed and ready, and even had birthday cupcakes for me that she'd made with the kids. Then to top it all off she gave me home made cards and a gift from the kids - a journal she'd kept for the 6 days we were away of nightly messages from the kids and a record of their daily activities. I am SO GRATEFUL for such an awesome gift. We missed them so much while we were gone and now I can kind of catch up on what I missed while we were gone. So THANK YOU MUM for such a meaningful gift and for taking such good care of our kids! xxxx

My in-law's had our kids for 2 weeks in September while Ystyn and I were in Japan on a school trip and I am so so grateful to them too! Ystyn and I have both been so blessed with such amazing and awesome parents!!! A belated THANK YOU to Mum and Dad Francis as well!!!!


 I LOVE those goofy kids! :) :) :) And the cupcakes were awesome too!!! :)