Saturday, February 19, 2011

Rainy day fun

So here I am again - suprising myself at another blog entry. I never intended to blog so frequently - but even without the nudge from my blog crazy sister in law, I would have tonight anyway. Simply for the fact that my family are constantly doing things that I want to remember 5-10 years from now. Today was one of those days, one I'd like to look back on. It probably wont interest anyone that reads it, but its full of memories I want to keep.

Today was a very exciting day for my kiddies. We decided that this year we would enrol them in swimming lessons. We have been visiting the gorge pool so often, one of my kids is bound to sink any day now. I had organised for the three bigger ones to be in the same swim group - primarily for Lani's sake as this would be her very first activity outside of school and something she would do without me. I wasn't positive she would even get into the pool, but I was crossing my fingers. The kids have been counting down all week for this morning. The lesson was at 9am.
Lani had a bad night sleep so I let her sleep in until 8.20am. Once I woke her up, it was craziness all round trying to get her ready in time. We arrived with a couple of mins to spare. The kids were still buzzing as we entered the pool and waited for their names to be called. I noticed when I snuck a glance at the group sheet, that Lani's name wasn't on it. My heart sank as I had a feeling she wasn't going to be able to swim. I asked the manager (who is lovely) and she apologised saying she misunderstood me on the phone. I think she is such a busy woman that she didn't take down all the details correctly. Anyway, she explained that there was no group for Lani to swim in but that the boys could go ahead with their lesson. I looked at Lani and knew she'd be devastated to miss out. There was nothing that could be done for her, so I told the manager none of the kids would be swimming. It wouldn't be fair on Lani to sit and watch her brothers. I was proud of JJ who before I even told them they would miss out said "We can't swim without Lani." They were disappointed - and so was I. I felt sad for nearly an hour for them (I can be a bit dramatic with my emotions, especially when it involves the kids) Its one thing to get my head around things and my kids recovered quickly but I was still trying to catch up! We decided to use the lesson money and take them to the aquatic centre instead. They love swimming so they were happy with the solution. I still wasn't sure what I was going to do about lessons but for today I just wanted them to have some fun. My grey cloud of despair finally dissipated when Lani squealed with delight when she found out we could go on the waterslide. It was such a fun day at the pools. We stayed for a few hours and bought hot chips for lunch. On the way home we stopped past woolies and bought a tub of caramello ice cream to bring home (we discovered this icecream the night before at the Rogers and loved it) Not the best choice for me who ate 7 double coated tim tams the day before, but.....hey, its for the kids - I can sacrifice!!
I nearly forgot....earlier, on the way to the pool, Sisi was busting a move in the back of the car. She was so funny and I remembered I had my camera on me (since I wanted to take a photo of the kids first swimming lesson) I grabbed it and tried to get some footage of her. She didn't do quite the same moves and laugh hyterically like before, but my silly boys made up the difference.

 So after the pool, we came home, Sisi slept, we ate ice cream and hung out a bit. Mum called to say hello and asked about our day. I told her what happened with the swimming lessons and she asked how kids managed to survive 30 years ago before they had private lessons. She reminded me that we never had lessons as kids, our dad taught us to swim and then we had lessons at school. I've always loved swimming, its my favourite form of exercise and I did laps for years. I also swam through and after my first three children. I got slack after Sisi. I've always wanted to go back and only recently have started making plans to get back into the pool. So I realised that I'm a good swimmer and I never had lessons. Mum suggested I teach them instead. I wasn't too sure at first since I don't know proper techniques etc but she pointed out that I can borrow books from the library and look up info on the internet - so now I'm excited! I've been teaching them bits and pieces anyway. At the aquatic centre JJ swam around 8 metres in the deep pool (for the first time) and Benny did around 3 metres. Its a start and it means I'll get back to the pool myself which I'm really looking forward to.

It was still wet outside when Sisi woke up so I thought of something fun I could do with the kids. I grabbed a pen and started drawing - I wish I had have taken a photo of us - I never thought about taking one for our blog silly me. I did take some videos of the kids though. Haha, I just had a look at them, they're all so funny I don't know which one to choose!

After being silly for a while, we played our version of 'mousetrap' Its one we used to play as kids with mum and dad.

While I was cleaning up the kids went outisde to play. I went and had a look and this is what I found them doing..

Its very serious work..

Since they're not allowed to play with the dangerous tools in the shed - they have made their own with bits of wood, rock and masking tape. I love the way they've set up a work bench for themselves. Aparently they're making a snowman for Lani to put in her room.

Then something very strange occured - I had a odd sensation, one I don't remember ever having experienced before - and it wasn't the first time during the day it had happened.

I felt like going for a run  ?!?!

The only thing I've ever craved is chocolate...... in all its wonderful varieties, so this was completely new to me. Craving exercise....I must have gone mad. I know for others who may be reading this (Lisa and Angela) this probably happens to you all the time. For me, its huge (again being dramatic) After the last week of morning runs and other intensive exercises, I was really looking forward to the weekend off. I told Job of my peculiar urge and he said he'd watch the kids while I went for a run  - Awesome!  He had already been this morning. He jogged around our block 7 times. When he got back, he was curious to see what sort of distance he had covered so on the way home from the pool, we set the odometer and drove around the block. It works out to be just under 1km - 960m I think. It means he ran close to 7km this morning!!! Crazy.....he is so much fitter than I am. He challenged me to try and make it around the block once without stopping - that would mean nearly 1km. I said I would be happy with half of that and ran out the door before my kids noticed my absence. Unfortuntely for me, in my haste I completely forgot to stretch. I could feel my legs cramping up as I made my way around the block but I could hear my husbands words ringing in my head and I really wanted to get all the way around the block without stopping. I could even hear my sister somewhere in there telling me to suck it up. I kept running and eventually it didn't hurt so much. I did a full lap!! I was so excited. For the last 10 years I haven't jogged any distance greater than 50m and here I was doing a kilometre - I was so happy that I did another one. The kids joined me for the second lap. The pain returned in my legs and I felt the full effect of not stretching before hand combined with running on concrete. I felt good though - at least I took a step in working off one of those 7 tim tams (and the caramello ice cream) - Kyms going to whip my butt when she finds out.
I'm very impressed by my hubby who has made it a goal to run up to the western junction and back (9km) We'll be doing a marathon in no time! I'm curious now to see what the Kym, Mariah and I run in the mornings. We jog rings around the football oval. I'll be counting my steps on Monday.

So pretty much the rest of the night I've been walking like a cowboy.

How on earth did I manage to blab on about that for so long - this was meant to be a short I'm sure no one will be interested in my ramblings!

We had dinner. I started making chicken kebabs when my boys came into the kitchen horrified that I'd forgotten to make the promised 2 minute noodles. Back to the fridge went the chicken.
After dinner we had some music lessons and reading time. I'm teaching JJ the theme for Mario brothers on the piano. Its a bit complicated so we're playing it as a duet, something just for fun. Benny who has started learning the guitar did some piano tonight too - we did the first line of the theme song from 'club penguin' - a computer game the boys love (we'll eventually to get to Mozart)

hmmmm - I'm still waiting for these videos to upload. Maybe this post wont go up tonight afterall.

**So now its Sunday evening. Lisa gave me some tips at church today for uploading videos. I tried lots of different things, including converting the videos to three different formats but none of them seem to work. Either I'm more technologically challenged then I thought - which is completely possible, or our computer wont allow it. I found a way around the problem though, for some reason I can post them on my blog if I upload them onto youtube first. No one can view them on youtube, its just a way for me to get them on my blog.**

Adios Amigos :)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Paintwork on the Walls

Earlier today I thought I wouldn't have to worry about blogging tonight - but then my girls were so cute this afternoon that I had to make a record of it. Especially since it was Sisi's first experience with paint - can you believe she's made it to 2 and a 1/2 without ever painting?!?! Poor deprived child. Job took the boys out to play tennis after school and Lani asked if we could do something special together. She chose painting. Simple enough - and fun, we love to paint. In the old days, our painting sessions would end in pain fights, followed by a big bubble bath. I should see if I can find a picture.....

haha, can't believe I found it..

I was tempted to put a pic of the bubble bath up too, but its a bit too revealing, I'm sure no one wants to see quite that much of me!

Ok. Moving on!

So here they are..

See...Aren't they cute??

and here's mine (yes, ok, I may sell it to the highest bidder)

Lani and I were all done, but Sisi had no interest in stopping. She painted for ages. Her piece of paper became darker and darker..
and yes she spilled half of that black water in her bowl all over the floor.

Her clothes also became blacker and blacker. I decided it was bubble bath time. I had trouble luring her away from the table. I had to take advantage of her distaste for dirt. "Look at your dirty hands!" I said. Worked like a charm. I went to run the bath.........

...I think you may know the rest...

....there is no photo as I was too busy trying to get a paint covered two year old into the bath without any part of her paint covered body touching anything - then trying to wash all the paint of the two walls and the floor before she climbed out of the bath and returned to slip and slide in it. She did some decorating while I was busy getting her bubble bath ready.


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Only 5 days late... blog about one of my favourite weekends - Conference. I wonder how everyone manages to blog on the right corresponding day? I'm already 6 blogs behind! Not all of them big entries, some are small things I would like to remember 5 years from now - but trying to keep up with them all....any hints??
Ok so back to this blog...
Back home in Melbourne, going to conference was a 3 min drive around the corner. Often we only stayed in the chapel for a fraction of the time before heading off to the parents room (which should really be called the 'social room') to spare other members from our noisy little ones. Problem was the social room was more noisy than my kids - and that's saying something! Last time we went, I remember walking out an hour before it finished, frustrated that I hadn't heard a thing. We usually rely on Ensigns and the Internet now to watch General Conference. So in Tassie, conference weekend is exciting. We travel up to Devonport which is just over an hour away. The Rogers and us love the trip as we make a day of it, stopping off at the cheese factory, chocolate factory and sometimes rasberry farm and cherry shed along the way. Last conference weekend we stayed at a local caravan park. Kids loved it, right on the beach with a playground and jumping pillow. We hoped we'd be able to stay there every six months and save travelling back and forth to Devonport three times (Friday night for Stake activity, Saturday for leadership and adult session and Sunday) But it turned out to be too costly this time round.
So this February, the Tai family set out early Saturday morning so that we could make the most of the day before the guys went to leadership at 3pm. Job has been wanting to take us to a beach he loves since visiting it on school camp. In order to save some time and get to the beach for low tide, we unanimously decided to skip the rasberry farm and cheese factory. Our family is good at prioritising and so we wound up at the chocolate factory. We ate some samples (of course) and bought a chocolate each. Sisi missed this photo as she was asleep in the car.

The only reason we missed buying my favourite ice creams at the cherry shed is because I accidently dozed off (in the passenger seat of course!) I woke up too late to stop the car.
We arrived at beautiful Port Sorell. Job showed us the beach and it was just beautiful. Due to it being low tide, we could walk all the way out to a little island ahead of us. The best part though were the hundreds, maybe even thousands of little crabs. The kids had a ball!!

    Here's an idea of how many there were

They were literally everywhere.

We had to be careful not to step on them. Here's JJ trying not to squish one. All the dark dots are crabs. The kids had heaps of fun exploring all the beach had to offer..

Including star fish and a triangle rock that reminded the kids of a piece of cheese..

We figured we'd walk out to the island first and then go back to the car to get all the bathers....

...but the kids had other ideas

So bathers stayed dry and clothes got wet. Except for Sisi but we're used to her looking like this, she is a chronic nudist. We made it to the island where the little ones found lots of small pools of water to play in and Job and JJ explored. Aparently there are penguins there on the island....during penguin season. We're definitely coming back to this spot!
When we got back to the car, the Rogers had arrived and we had lunch together. Here we are during lunch, seated on a nice comfortable bit of gravel

We hung around eating and playing for a little while..
...and then realised we were fast running out of time. The boys had to get to their meeting soon. The Rogers had a quick look at the beach and then it was off  to the chapel. They were only a few minutes late!

So once we'd dropped off the boys, we took the kids to another beach...I think its called the bluff? This is our usual conference spot. We had heaps of fun playing in the water and drawing in the sand. Lani, Chelsea and I took turn tracing eachother in the sand. I think the drawing of me is quite flattering except maybe for my knee :) I also made and awesome snowman but didn't have the camera on me . The picture with the three drawings is meant to be of me, Chelse and Sisi holding hands.

I LOVE sandy bums..  (as long they belong to babies)

And crazy beach hair.. (I love this photo, purely for the fact that it shows how wild her hair is)  If you can't tell, she's singing wise man, foolish man.

JJ and Lani tried to build a wall to stop the tide coming in....

Then our beach party got crashed by some guys in suits.
It was time to do a swap. Kym and I got changed quickly behind our cars. We gathered the kiddies and set off back to the chapel. Kymbo and I attended the adult session while the boys and the kids went and got some dinner and watched a DVD  in the car. The adult session was fantastic. I really enjoyed it. Kym and I were so proud of Karina who spoke. We knew her insides must have felt like jelly, but she did such a good job. Bronwen spoke too and she was so .....herself! I love it when she speaks or teaches in rs. When Pres spoke, you could have heard a pin drop. We loved all the speakers, I felt uplifted and enriched. Afterwards we drove home, had a sleep, then drove back the next day. Nothing much changed for the Sunday session - I still didn't get to listen to much of it since we were there as a family. I was able to listen to Elder Scott and I was touched. He gave such beautiful counsel to husbands and wives. After that I was in and out with Sisi. Once conference was over we had lunch at the Anvers gardens and took some photos.

Awesome weekend!

Here are some of my favourite pictures from those two days:

Sisi trying to point the crabs out to Benny

The three big kids JJ, Benny and Charlotte. They go everywhere together...


How beautiful is Kymbo..
...and Chelse

The bubs

Have I told you how much I love this face?                               This one is pretty cute too, nice for kisses

I enjoyed looking through these photos of the weekend, but I have to say I have saved the best for last.

Photo of the day belongs to my sister Kym...