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Monday, September 29, 2008
Sunday, September 28, 2008
As we were entering the Gold Coast area, the kids informed us that someone additional had entered their chat room on their DSs. It was Dani-something or other. After a few km's we were able to figure out that Dani was located in the Volkswagon in front of us.
They chatted as they popped in and out of the chat rooms due to distance on the road. We figured out she was on holidays, lived in the Gold Coast and was having fun.
Pretty cool to think technology has gone this far...
Saturday, September 27, 2008
They swam for a while and Andrew and I went up to the room to read and watch TV. He chose not to swim until we were down at the pool, about as far as we could get from the room and after I asked him if he would change his mind about swimming and he insisted he wouldn't. Should have known...
According to the bartender, it was a lovely cocktail made up of 66% red lemonade (raspberry cordial and bubbly lemonade/sprite) and 33% orange juice on top. Then an orange slice to top it off.
Our parental opinion was yummy, tasting a bit like a push-up pop.
The Big Banana is a tourist attraction in the city of Coffs Harbour, New South Wales and consists of a large building in the shape of a banana. Many banana-related products are shown or sold, and the grounds of the building are a banana plantation. Built in 1964, it was the first of Australia's Big Things.
The original Big Banana has been copied by the Big Bananas at Carnarvon, Western Australia.
The Big Banana is an icon of the area and a local factor of pride. The large recreational facilities attached to the statue are, statistically, the most popular leisure facilities on the Australian East Coast. Especially, the artificial ski slope competes with ski areas in New Zealand for visitor numbers and popularity. Conversely, the locals describe it as being "rather tacky". The Big Banana also includes an ice skating rink, tobogganing and a monorail tour of the banana plantations.
Friday, September 26, 2008
But I find myself getting him to say things, just to hear him speak in that lispy talk.
The kids are so excited and I think Jim is just about down to counting minutes he is so ready to be on holidays.
I have completed the lists, created piles and packed bags. Now I just hope we have everything we wanted to take and not much more than we need.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Emmalee was quite pleased with that idea. She LOVES animals. And this animal loved her. He laid down on the front porch and just let Emme pet him. Over and over. He would roll a bit to get a different spot attended to, but he just hung out.
When his owner showed up, he had no interest in leaving. She had to convince him to come along with her (much to Emme's dissapointment I think?!) Although E didn't appreciate how all the dog fur would float thru the air when she petted him or how dirty her hands got from all the petting! Oh, and Andrew and I couldn't stand the dog smell. Ewwwww.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
After a full term of swimming lessons, both Emmalee and Andrew are going to be moving up to the next swimming group. Its great to see that they are getting those basic swimming skills down pat and now they are swimming with movements that even resemble the strokes they are trying to swim.
Bet they will move up even quicker this spring/summer when they are swimming every day in the pool at home!
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Jim was already hitting the kayak before 8am. Had the pool heater running since Thursday so he hoped it would be warm enough to swim in. When I first turned it on, it was a nippy 12C (54F). So, he talked the kids into jumping in before him. 2 1/2 days later it raised a whole 10C or was nice and warm at 71.6F (NOT!) Andrew technically was the 1st in due to his sister pushing him in before breakfast. The first real swimming pool entry was by Andrew again... He jumped in before Emmalee could. It took Jim a really long time before he subjected himself to the heat of the pool.
He did swim twice before the end of the day, although I have to believe that it was mainly because he had the heater going for two days. I would never think about dipping my toes into it until it hits at least 30C!
We headed down to Balmoral Beach after lunch. It was packed. Again the three nuts hit the water. I sat on the sand and read for a while. Nice quiet afternoon for me. Hopefully it is the sign of things to come!
Here is the lovely table and chairs we found when shopping on the rainy Sunday. I built the chairs and bench on Thursday when they were delivered, but had to wait until Saturday morning to have Andrew F. help Jim move the 67kg table to the back. We got it built and enjoyed our first meal of grilled chicken sammies and salad while watching the boats and sunset.
Ah, how nice to sit outside and enjoy the view, too!
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Tonight he came home around 10:30 with a sparkle in his eye. He came in and told me about this great set of games he had. One of Andrew Ford's friends, Hendrick, was in town and he filled out the foursome. Evidently Hendrick is quite good, so the guys had a great set of three games. In fact, Jim and Andrew had to fight back from 6-2 and took the other pair. Best game they'd had in a long time.
I am glad Jim has an outlet for his energy. Especially during the middle of the week. Gives him something to look forward to and a chance to play tennis with people that keep him competitive.
So, we have internet, we have wireless AND we have our VONAGE back.
Hip Hip Hooray!
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Well, it rained as we hit the outdoor furniture section of Bunnings (our 1st stop) to look at tables and chairs. And it kept raining while we went in and out of many, many furniture stores. Nothing compared to Bunnings with price and almost quality for the price for the patio furniture.
Found a nice TV cabinet/stand at the last store we almost didn't go into. Should have it sometime before school holidays.
Decided to order the patio furniture from the local Bunnings instead of settling for the 15km travel fee we expected. So should have that on Wednesday! We'll then officially be able to eat a meal and enjoy the view from our deck.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
This beautiful fairy outfit/dress is courtesy of mom's last minute sewing skills (thanks Grammy Sandi for forcing me to learn the BASICS of sewing). I picked up the fabric at Spotlight at 1.30 Friday afternoon and went over to Sue's house to borrow her machines and threw this together in a matter of 90 minutes. All I had to do was hand sew on the straps Saturday morning before she left for the thing. Nothing like cutting it close to the wire.
But it all turned out beautifully if I might say so myself. And now she has a Halloween costume all set, too!
Friday, September 12, 2008
Bigpond is supposed to be sending a new modem/router but we won't have it til tuesday or later. So no internet or vonage. And I will have to blog via Jim's blackberry. This sucks!
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
I walked in (didn't register -- money too rich for my blood) and took a spot in the back so I could watch the 'auction action'. There had to be at least 50 people there. Curious as to who would be a bidder. There were two other 'prestige' properties under the hammer after the neighboring property, but I knew I wouldn't be able to stay for them.
The auction got underway at about 6.40 and I had my fingers crossed that I could see the end of the auction and see how high it would go for. Opening bid started at $8 million. The auctioneer convinced the bidder to pull it up to $8.2. Quite interestingly, no one would make the next bid until the auctioneer would have it 'going once, going twice' and then someone would subtly raise it by $200,000 or so. There was alot of conferencing between people and their agents.
When I had to make my exit at 6.49pm, the bidding was between five different parties and it was just bid up to $9million-fifty thousand. I would have loved to see how it ended up...
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
So, he came home after a pisser of a day. Grumbling and more. Had dinner ready for him after he told the kids g'nite. As I was plating up the rest of the meal, he sat down with the remote and started going thru the schedule of taped shows. He gets to the Packer game and out of the corner of my eye, I see him DELETE it. What???? He saw that it was 'viewed' (which happens when I checked out to see if I needed to record the 2nd game) and deleted without looking.
Needless to say, a bit grumpy. We flipped to the 2nd game so he WAS able to see the last 1 1/2 minutes of the game. I convinced him to check out ESPN to see if Sports Center was on to see the highlights. And he got lucky -- they were replaying the Packers game starting in 2 minutes! Of all the luck. So, he knew how it ended, but was able to see how the game got there!
Helen is on her way to a lovely 2+ week holiday in Europe with her husband and she asked if I would teach her 4th grade scripture class after my 1st grade class. Today reinforced why I said I didn't want to teach anyone older than year 1. OMG
First off, no one was in the room -- they assumed since Helen was going to be gone they didn't have a teacher. Ooops! Then, when all 10ish of them show up, they are wild and insisting that Helen said they could play a game all class long.
Gee, I definitely fell off the turnip truck this morning. WAIT... no I didn't. And I spent the next 25 minutes trying to teach them about penance. I think I almost need to work on penance myself after that class. Oh well, only 2 more to go!
I did manage to convince them that if they listened and pretended to pay attention, that I would put together a game for them. Looks like I need to bribe them. Now I just need a scripture-ish game to do with penance and forgiveness and things like that!
Monday, September 8, 2008
There had been a threat of rain all day, but at pick-up it was still sunny. Fingers crossed, it would stay that way... The unfortunate part was that it had dropped at least 10 degrees F over afternoon. By 3.30 it was frigid! Cold and blustery! So much in fact that poor Minty couldn't blow out her candles -- every time her mom lit the match and possibly got ONE candle lit, both would blow out. So she settled for a quick song and a match to blow out at the end. Hope she got to blow out the real ones at home.
Sunday, September 7, 2008
Father's day started at 6am with the kids over excited to wish Jim a happy father's day. A bit early since we went to be at 1am. So I sent them off scurrying to watch tv or something constructive until LATER! 7am became later.
Out came the presents and cards. Jim got a homemade tie and a list of ten things I love about you from Andrew. He got a father's day promise card from Emmalee. He also got Tiger Woods golf for Wii and a belt. That is in addition to the digital frame he was supposed to get but got instead at his meeting a few weeks ago.
Had John & Sophie for brunch after church. Then Jim drove them to the airport along with Emmalee. Then he came home and played with the kids. Took them to Willoughby to ride bikes.
Finished the night off with yummy pasta carbonara meal.
Unfortunately, the night was completed with a lovely temper tantrum from Emmalee. Was a super duper over an hour of fussing, screaming, pleading and pitching a total fit. Something about wanting a story read, not doing what she needed to do, etc. Not fun, not fun.
Saturday, September 6, 2008
Started the evening out at the BLUE -- the really cool bar we had drinks at before. Impressed the non-locals now with our knowledge of COOL places to go. Hung out for a while until dinner time. We wandered down the wharf to the restaurant, Manta. Were escorted to a nice table outside. We all thought we would freeze, but there were two heaters flanking us. In fact, it got warm enough that the guys kept turning the heat down!
Had a wonderful dinner. Amazing conversation.
Went back to the Intercontinental for a post-dinner drink and dessert. Sat and laughed and laughed until midnight. Jim & I had to call it a night since we had a sitter on the clock. Oh, and the fact that we both would have to get up in less that 7 hours from that moment. Still need my happy sleep. Definitely...
Unfortunately the rainy weather kept the crowds away. In fact, much to their disappointment their were only a few people going thru their house -- counting the previous owners, us, Sue and Fiona. Very limited prospects.
So at 4pm, they decided to withdraw the auction. Not sure what they are going to do, but I feel really bad for them.
Monday, September 1, 2008
We walked home from school. Definitely like herding ants -- they were all over the place -- fast and slow, left and right. Made it home with no injuries or lost kids tho.
Fed the starving herds -- let see -- sliced apples (with skin, per Rob), golden kiwis (for the girls), puppy chow, banana bread (warmed per Rob) and black bottom coconut bars (for the girls). It was as if they hadn't eaten all day. Just eating machines.
I will say that the dual playdate is my favorite. Each one has someone to occupy the other one. Not nearly as much bothering of the sibiling. Yes, definitely my favorite.