Sunday, November 20, 2011

Where I Live

Where I live is beautiful, and now homey.  We were able to get everything together for an office party for Brian's team last Sunday.  We worked hard to get everything together, but I think we pulled it off.

Bri bought my favorite flowers
My aunt Elaine got us a subscription for Kentucky magazine - lovely to have a touch of the Bluegrass state in Oz.  Beneath that is a beautiful book of photos of Kentucky given to us from family friends, the Conrads. I grew up with their daughters and then have been friends with my parents for forever. I think all of our guests looked through the book and commented how beautiful our home state is.
Grammy's Favorite Cake and Derby Pie
What Kentucky party is complete without Derby (or in Aussie, Darby) Pie?  And since our family found the recipe for this Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse Pie, this has become a staple as well.  Both were well eaten.

The kids had a great time playing together in the pool.  All of the kids are in the same age group and Nathan is now in love with one of the girls.  He knows she lives in the area and wants to see her again. 

It doesn't show up super well in this picture, but to the right is a beautiful photo of the Ohio River at sunset that our lovely Chancel Choir gave us as a going away present.  It's so lovely to have all of these touches of Kentucky in our house and to be reminded of family and friends when we look at them.

Where we live we can decide to go to the beach at a moments notice, which is what we did this past Friday evening.  We were told that Little Beach was the place to watch the sunset.  The way the bay curves, it gives the appearance of the sun setting over the water.  It's a lovely calm beach that opened up into a surprise as we walked - boulders everywhere.

Yaccaba Head is in the background

Nath loved the rocks

Amazing sunset
While waiting for the sun to set, we saw dolphins maybe 10 feet from the shore.  I'm not sure how well you can see them in the picture, but it was amazing.

It's in the middle of this photo

Where I live the kids are playing in the water in November.  My children have learned to truly swim and love the water in Australia.

Splashin' Around
Will blowing bubbles in the bay

Where I live you can climb Tomaree Head for the most spectacular views.

About halfway up the climb

Fingal Spit in the distance
Islands in the distance
It's amazing how clear the water is.  We are going to take a boat trip to the small islands soon.  They are home to penguins and seals.

Where we live is wonderful, although I could do without some of the fauna.  Here is what we found outside our patio door the other day.

Huntsman Spider
I googled New South Wales spiders and determined it was a Huntsman.  The tag was, I promise, "barely poisonous."  Good to know!  Of course, our theory is that if it lives in Australia, it's probably poisonous.

And that doesn't show the Redback we found.  I was trying to show the boys a huge snail climbing our fence when I looked over to see the Redback spider.  We immediately went inside and got Brian to kill it.  I did assist by handing him the bug spray.

Where I live has become home.  To quote Jack Johnson (hey, my family loves his music) "home is wherever we are, if there's love there too."  And there is, because where I live is also where my three favorite guys live:

Nath is getting better at taking pictures

Brotherly love
And that's a whole lot of love.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

What We've Been Doing...

As a side note, I was going to call this post "What We've Been Up To," but I couldn't end the title in a preposition and "To What We've Been Up" sounds a wee bit pretentious....

So here is why I've been a bit neglectful of this blog...

Can you hear us singing the Hallelujah Chorus?
After three looong months, our stuff had finally been reunited with us - and it felt so good. 

Since we had been told that it would take that long, we had our house in Kentucky packed up a few weeks before we left and moved in with my parents until the big move.  Then we stayed in rental properties for a month until the house we are now renting became available.  Then we lived with rental furniture for 6 weeks.  And I will tell you that a rental mattress is nowhere near the quality of our mattress. 

So for the past week I have been unpacking boxes and organizing rooms at a frenzied pace.  Why so frenzied, you may ask.  Well, because we are hosting an office party next weekend!  We had originally been told that everything would arrive a week earlier, but alas.  Anyway, we are nearly ready, just a few more piles to go.

Part of the piles are laundry.  Clothes in boxes for three months equals a musty smell.  So I began to open boxes and start piling a few things in the laundry room and began washing with our brand spanking new washing machine - which promptly began to pour water all over the floor, getting those piles of clothes even grosser than they were before.  This happened on a Friday, so of course Whirlpool couldn't send anyone to our house over the weekend.  When we got a tech out on Tuesday, he discovered that a part had been left out - the one that keeps the rubber around the barrel tight so it's waterproof.  He fixed it quickly, and I've been washing ever since.

We haven't just been doing boring things.  After all, all work and no play makes Kristi a bit crazy.  We've had some glorious weather, so we've relaxed at the pool.

Add caption
Well, I relaxed.  The kiddos practiced their swimming.

Ready, set...



All the way down the pool

It's hard to believe that last summer we could barely get him to go underwater.  Now we're working on big arms and pencil-leg kicking.  He's doing very well and I can relax a bit with him in the water.  Wills, on the other hand is a work in progress.

Bri, thank me later for the picture that looks like you have more hair

Wills also took some time out to "play" for the All Blacks.  I'm sure he helped carry them to victory.

Watching intently to copy the plays

Over the past weekend we went to Bunnings (like Home Depot) for their Halloween kids workshop and face painting.  The kids made lolly bags for Trick or Treating.  Ironic, since there's not much trick or treating in Australia.

Nath didn't want his face to itch

 I was fine with this on his arm - on his face would've been to close to Mike Tyson's tattoo for my comfort.

Scary pumpkin

Will was growling at people trying to scare them.  He loved this face paint and even cried when we made him wash it off before bedtime.

So that's what we've been doing.  Hopefully I'll be able to get some pictures up of the house soon!