Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Date with Ben

It feels like forever since I've done a blog post. Having the flu hit our house has really shaken things up! I was behind in my blogs before getting sick, now I think I may have completely lost track! I have so many things to blog about now, but I will start with today.

Today Benny and I had our date.

Job and I used to take turns taking each of the kids out one at a time on a special date, but we all got busy and starting forgetting. Eventually we stopped all together. We have just recently started back up again and I'm so excited about it. Life is so busy that I don't get enough time with each of my kiddies - not as much as I would like, so these dates are just gold. So priceless.

Benny was so gorgeous. He's been counting down the days to this afternoon. He was so excited this morning as he left for school knowing that when he got home we were spending special time together. He chose to go on a picnic, so before I picked the kids up from school I packed a snack with his favourite foods - a ham and cheese sandwhich, packet of chips and a milky way. We don't have a picnic blanket so I packed an old towel (my dad will recognise it, lol)

                        Job snapped a shot of us before we headed off down to the river for our picnic

On the way to the river, we rode past the cemetary. I have always enjoyed visiting cemetaries. No I don't have a morbid fasination with death, its more a reverence and a connectedness that I feel, sort of like being closer to Heaven. I always find it hard not to get emotional when I see the headstones of little children. I have visited different cemetaries with the boys over the years and they enjoy visiting them too. Benny was keen to walk around and read all the headstones.

                       This one was especially sad (and a little strange), three children from the same family

Most of the graves were over 100 years old.. 

             Some of them, we couldn't make out, the engravings had nearly completely worn away.

We even found a man who lived to the age of 100.


    Once we'd finished, we rode on to the river and passed the cute little lambs on the bank. They were so noisy, baa-ing back and foward between the mums and they're babies - sounded a bit like the noise at our house...except that we're much louder

Once we were at the river, we rode down to our usual spot at the jetty - only to find that it was completely underwater.

If you look closely you can see the outline of the jetty under the water, to the left of the twig. (Maybe try closing one eye and tilting your head to the left...;)  - haha, who really did that??!

                                          Benny chose a patch of grass to lay our picnic out on.



It was so much fun hanging with my Benny. The most special thing about having dates with the kids is how special they make you feel. Benny thinks that spending time with me is the best thing in the world - how can anything ever replace that?

                                           Benny with his imaginary fishing rod - and green fish

                                The ducks enjoyed eating our crusts (I don't eat my crusts either!)

There's no better way to spend time than with those we love. I loved this afternoon, I think even more than Benny did.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Chucking sickies

Literally!!

I hate it when my babies are sick - especially when it hits all of them.

I got home from a night away in Melbourne and found Lani had been unwell. The next day Benny had it and a few hours later it hit Sisi. Its a nasty bug, so nobody come to our house for the rest of the week. The kids have been taking turns with vomitting, fevers and headaches. This is what the house looked like yesterday.

JJ was the only one that went to school and I was hoping he wouldn't catch it. Kymbo came past last night as she knew Job was at work and thought I may need a hand getting the kids to bed. They were in bed when she got here but it was nice to have the company and she helped me drag out the big mattress so Job and I could sleep in the loungeroom with the kids. I didn't get much sleep last night, there was lots of moaning and grizzling. Sisi had a temp most of the night. I caught up on a lttle sleep this morning with Lani.

Unfortunately during the night, JJ came wandering out form his room crying with a tummy ache. There was a spot left on the couch and he has been there most of today. Here are the kids now.
My poor little miserable girl.

I'm sure I'll be in for another sleepless night tonight. Lets just hope I don't get it - or even worse, Job. He likes to moan and groan louder than the rest of us put together!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

TOFW in Sydney

Yipee, I am finally putting this blog up - and only a week and a half late (pat on the back to me!)

So TOFW (Time Out For Women) was just that. Time to get away from normailty for a day or two and share one amazing day with a couple of thousand other women from around Australia. Unreal!

So here's where the journey began -and look who I had to sit next to on the plane!

Hey in all fairness to me, this is the only photo I have on the plane. Even if I managed to get take some more shots, it wouldn't have mattered as she looked like this for the entire trip :)

Ok, here's what my pretty sister really looks like. Here we are at the airport wondering where our mother is?!?! Mum flew into Sydney from Melbourne and us from Launceston. We arranged to meet at the car rental office but mum wasn't there. She claimed we weren't there either. It took us a few minutes to realise that we were at two different locations. Us at the domestic terminal and mum at the international - not like Melbourne or other normal states where the terminals are connected, Sydney has a 4km gap between the two! Luckily a nice lady drove mum to meet up with us.

While we were waiting, we noticed some weirdos. Can't believe who Customs are letting through these days. Her face even distorted my lense and I lost focus! ;)

  Once we finally figured out who was driving, and where were going, we headed off to our Motel. We did what all normal people do when they arrive at their hotel/motel and jumped on the beds. We laid down for a few minutes and then my tummy started growling! - I know what you're thinking - happens all the time!! yep, sure does :)

We had arranged to meet up with some Melbourne friends but we (or maybe I) was too hungry to wait for them. So we drove a few metres up the road and found this Chinese restaurant. It was seriously yummo!! We completely stuffed ourselves and headed back up the road to flop onto our motel beds....again.

  There was a bit of a delay while mum emptied her entire handbag looking for the key to the door!

                                    Chill out time for the normal people...letting the food settle...

                  while the crazy exercise woman tries to work hers off immediately after consuming it!

Once Kym had worked off her fried rice, we drove to Olympic Park to meet up with some of our Melbourne friends. It was so nice to see Kelly and Bronwen as I still miss them.
By the way, that's not my chocolate cake and ice cream in front of me, not sure who put that there?!

We headed back to the Motel (which coincidently turned out to be around the corner from where Jobs family live) so I dropped Kym and Mum off to get their beauty sleep and I popped in for a quick visit with Lois (my sis in law) and Jobs mum.
Lois didn't stop talking until the early hours of the morning! - lol, look how red our eyes are.

My thief of a sister stole my camera in the morning and took this one of me fast asleep. I didn't realise how cute I look when I'm asleep ;)
 Kym complained that I wouldn't put any embarrassing shots of myself on my blog. So just to show that I'm not a spoil sport and am quite willing to embarrass myself as I embarrass others, here's the video Kym took:

                                            video


Once I moved my bottom out of bed, it didn't take us long to arrive back at Olympic Park. We were just a little excited!!!
                                        
                                         The corridors were packed with women waiting to get in.
                    
             Because we had arrived early, we were lucky to get a good seat, not too far from the stage.

Mum and her invisible friend.

One of my favourite photos is not of anyone in particular but of the piano. Yes, I am a sad person.

We missed you Mariah!
 
                                                            Some of the Tassie girls

                                                                   Riff raff ;)

The events manager from America saw Lisa and I in our true paparazzi forms and asked if we'd be happy to take some photos for the TOFW website and possibly the church news. We told her we'd think about it..
NOT! Lisa played it cool but I felt like I had just been nominated for an Oscar! I finally had permission to wander around taking as many photos as I wanted to. The organisers ended up using many of our photos on the Time Out For Women webite and in this video.

                                           

I especially enjoyed taking shots of the mums who had brought their babies along for the day. I couldn't walk past this cute little boy without taking a dozen photos, he was just so gorgeous. I love it when babies try to eat their mums faces.

Unfortunately I don't know enough about photography to take good inside photos, but that didn't stop me :) 


We even got free tote bags

Ok, so  little about the conference. The theme was 'Choose to Become.' We heard from 5 amazing speakers. I loved every one of them but Laurel Christenson and Brad Wilcox were my favourite....I think, they were all so good!

I learned so much from each of them but mostly I was inspired to be better. I learned form Laurel that Heavenly Father expects greatness from each of us and that he knows us so well that where we are today, is no suprise to him. Brad Wilcox helped me to better understand the Atonement and how the Saviour is ALWAYS there for us. I love how he talked about 'being'  - we are human beings, not human doings :)
I was really looking forward to seeing Hilary Weeks. I love her music but I also wanted to ask her a few questions about my music. I found her reserved chair before the function began and asked the lady sitting beside the chair to move her handbag so I could get a shot....of the empty chair..
She looked at me and said "why don't you wait until she is sitting in it"  I said, "No way! Then she'll know I'm stalking her!" this is how I stalk from a distance. I did manage to get closer...
...and closer..
                                                                       Woohoo!

It's thanks to Kym I got that photo. She also signed my music book and told me I could email her to ask all my questions about publishing my own music.  I had an awful miagraine at this point and just wanted to head for the car but Kym insisted I get this photo... and I'm so glad now. Kym was my claim to fame as she had met Hilary Weeks during her trip to America. Hilary recognised Kym as soon as she saw her.
                                         
                                                 I just pointed to Kym and said "I'm with her."

She was amazing on stage. She sung and played better than I expected! What a legend..

We had many more photos with friends and a few with Sheri Dew, but there is just too many to include here. It was so nice to see friends and family that I haven't seen for a long time.

One of the faces I miss terribly :(

Oh, and a shout out to my sister in law Lois, for wearing her glow in the dark jumper. You couldn't get lost in that jumper....very clever Sis (aka plutonium rod) hee hee

Tassie bunch

All gone things must come to an end, and so it did. I am a better person for having gone. One of the best parts about leaving home for a short while is coming back. When the kids saw me at the airport, they looked like they had just seen Santa!
A big thank you to Joe. Without him, I doubt we would have made the trip, in fact they wouldn't have let me in the door as he bought my ticket. Kym, mum and I had never heard of TOFW until Joe introduced it to us. Thanks also to mum who organised and paid for the car and accomodation. Thanks to Kymbo who was lots of fun and bought us dinner......and thanks to myself for coming along and sponging off everyone else!