Saturday, 30 October 2010

A Very Special Swimming Carnival

Yesterday I was asked to take photos at the first ever swimming carnival at Newstead Heights School - Noah's special school that he attends three days a week. It wasn't Noah's usual day at the school, but because I was going along to take photos and it was such a special day, I organised for him to be able to go to the swimming carnival with Di. The carnival was officially opened by a special guest - Melissa Carlton who is an Australian Paralympian.

Luckily there was a spot for Noah to swim in some events, as some other kids weren't able to swim. It was so nice to see him enjoying being in the warm water, and being so awake and alert.

The events were fun ones that some kids could do with a little bit of assistance, and others needed more help from the aides.

The parents and kids watching got involved waving streamers made of the different team colours, and doing lots of cheering.

One of the aides was hilarious and dressed up in a ballerina outfit, flippers, swimming cap and peg on her nose and did some funny syncronised swimming type moves to the song 'Now that I Can Dance'.

Noah had a great morning and was awake and happy for the whole thing...

or at least until the BBQ lunch and ribbon presentation.

The best thing about the day was that one of the students actually planned the whole carnival. She was keen to have a carnival and asked the teachers about it and after months of planning, it was very exciting and special to see if finally happen. She was so excited about it and at the end she presented gifts to those who helped out (including myself) and her Dad got an extra special hug.

It was a very special day, and I'm sure it is something that will happen at the school every year now.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Gym Fun with my Gym Buddies

It's starting to hit me how things are going to change in the next few months. It's going to be really sad as my gym buddies are soon going to be taking a little break, and leaving me on my own at the gym for a while. I know so many other people exercise on their own, or go to the gym on their own, but going to the gym each morning to meet up with my gym buddies is such a nice way to start the day, and it's not going to be the same when they aren't all there with me.

Lisa is going on an exciting adventure with her family for 12 months, and will be living in the USA while Gaz studies at BYU. I'm very excited for them as it's an amazing opportunity, but so sad that Lisa won't be at the gym for 12 months with me. She is lots of fun and makes classes a good laugh with all her jokes and comments about the people who try to steal our back corner or take up our space :)

Simone will be hanging around for a while yet, but no doubt taking a bit of a break when her little man arrives early next year. Looks like she's getting in practice for labour already! Our other gym buddy, Kellie is also about due to have a baby and will be taking a break for at least a little while.

Before things change we are trying to have as much fun as possible at the gym, which isn't hard when we all get together. Our favourite class is by far Body Attack. We love our instructors who not only motivate us to work hard, but also have fun at the same time. A couple of months ago one of the instructors got me up on stage with him during a track which was scary but fun at the same time.

Last week he got me up again, and then for each track after he got someone else up with him. Lisa and Simone did a great job. Lucky I had my iPhone4 to take photos! :)

It's always lots of fun when they have theme classes. Last month was Blue Core, which was a class to raise money for prostate cancer awareness. Everyone was encouraged to dress up in blue, bring a gold coin donation and prizes were given out during the class. It was Aaron's first Core class and he ended up loving it (winning some prizes probably helped) and he was wanting to go back to do more classes.

Yesterday was Pink Core, which was a class to raise money for breast cancer awareness. During the week one of the instructors asked me if I was going to the class and when I said I was, she asked if I minded taking photos instead of participating in class.

I didn't have to think twice and had lots of fun snapping away last night, while everyone else was working hard.

Lots of prizes were given out during the class and Simone ended up winning the first prize of a sports bra!

The second prize was won by Simon, who won a spray tan!!! Can't wait to see him all tanned up! ;)

Because it is a fundraising class, non members are welcome to come along too. It was so much fun having Phebe there with us.

Everyone was encouraged to wear pink, which Aaron had no trouble finding. He loves wearing pink any time. He proudly wore his breast cancer badge that says 'real men wear pink'.

It's great having a family membership at the gym now, as Jalen loves coming along to Spin and Core classes with us.

This pic of Jay was taken by a professional photographer who was also taking photos and donated the major prize of a photoshoot worth $770!

Despite all the fun, we actually do work out (in between the chatting, joking and mucking around). One day this will be us taking classes up on stage -just like our awesome instructors - right girls!? :)

At the end of class the instructors asked who had kids at home under the age of 3. Phebe and Jalen put up their hands and were thrown some pink soft toys to take home for Eden and Kobe.

They were very excited about the toys, when we picked them up from the child care.

At the end of class the instructors gave me a beautiful box of flowers for taking the photos during class.

I would've loved taking photos even if they didn't ask me to, but it was a lovely surprise to get flowers and they do looks really lovely in my new kitchen. I've been spoiled with having fresh flowers in our new house since we moved in - I feel like I should have them all the time now!

I will have to make the most of the next two months or so, before things start changing. I told Lisa today that hopefully I'll get super skinny when she has gone and Kellie and Simone are having a break with their babies, as I'll still go to the gym every day, but will just work extra hard as I'll have no one distracting me during class :)

Monday, 25 October 2010

School Art Auction

The boys school often have fundraising events to raise money to do up the school playground and oval. They do the usual things such as holding school fairs, sausage sizzles, and icy pole days but this year the teachers decided they wanted to do something different, and instead of having a school fair they decided to put on an 'art auction'.

Each class was given a blank canvas and could do any kind of art work on it, based around the the school motto...'dream, believe, succeed'. What each class came up with was so different, but they were all awesome. Harri's class did their canvas about 'dream animals' and was three dimensional with buttons and feathers stuck on it. Harri's animal was a flying snake! I absolutely LOVED their canvas and thought it would look so nice up in Harri's new bedroom.

Jalen's class was geometric shapes, which was very funky.

Noah's teacher LOVES to dance and teaches the kids awesome choreographed dances, to modern songs, so the title of their canvas was 'dream, believe,'.

The night started off with an hour to look at the canvases and wander around the school and classrooms, where there was a lot of other art work on display. While people were looking at the art, there were different musical and dance items happening. Jay was excited to be able to perform in the grade 4/5 band, playing guitar.

There were a few activities for the kids to do while the parents were having their wine and cheese, like a drawing wall which Kobe loved.

Noah was happy listening to all the music being played and having everyone talk to him all night. Aaron was at school camp, so it was nice having Di there (who was there with her daughter) to help out with Noah while I was chasing Kobe around.

Kobe hardly sat still all night, except to listen to Jay play the guitar and every now and then he would go and sit with Jay and give him a cuddle, before running off to do something again.

Harri was so excited to be back at school in his 'normal clothes' (as he put it) so he could hang out with his friends again.

One of Harri's friends Dad is a real estate agent, so he ran the auction. He did a fantastic job at getting everyone involved and bidding. He asked the kids what they wanted for the playground and told them to cheer loud when he said something they really wanted. Of course they cheered the most when he asked 'do you want a waterslide and a pool!!?'. I think they can keep dreaming about that one! :)

It was incredible to see how much people were bidding on the art. The cheapest canvas went for $130 and the average was probably around $350! Unfortunately although I would've loved to have bought the boys canvases for them, they were a bit out of my price range. This canvas was my favourite (and a lot of other people's) and went for $500!! It was done by a grade 2/3 class.

There was also a silent auction with items that were donated to the school - gift vouchers, wine, and other items. In total the art raised $3500 or so and all together they raised around $6700! Even the teachers were amazed with how much the school raised in a couple of hours. It was nice for the kids to know that they had contributed in some way to raising some money for their school playground.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

YW Hike

It's been a full on couple of weeks with Noah being in hospital, moving house, and Aaron going away for three days on school camp (and just getting back yesterday). I wouldn't have liked anything more but to stay home all day today, since it's our first weekend in the house, so we could continue unpacking and organising things, but instead we had a YW hike planned with the girls from church.

I have been so tired and rundown (and have the stress/rundown cold sores to prove it), but knew that once I got with the girls and on the hike it would be a lot of fun and I was right. It was the perfect day for a hike.

We went to Bakers Beach and was hoping to hike to Archers Knob, but the track was closed because of a landslide, so instead we walked part of the track and then headed to the beach. On the way we of course had to have a play at the sand dunes.

Before we left we gave each of the girls an egg to carry and just told them to 'look after it'.

It was all to do with an object lesson on standards and how you can get cracks in them if you let your standards drop, how you should strengthen yourself (some had hard boiled eggs) and how you can give your egg away to anyone else (peer pressure) etc. Toni and I had lots of fun going around smashing girls eggs when they weren't looking. Toni even asked one of the girls to have a look at hers and then smashed it right in front of her! It was all part of the lesson though - and they didn't know what it was about till right at the end :)

The beach was absolutely beautiful. I hadn't been there since high school and thought that we should go there more, but don't think it would be easy to get Noah there.

Some of the younger (crazy!) girls went for a little swim in the freezing water.

It was nice to just sit and enjoy the view while we had lunch. We were even lucky enough to spot a whale!

The girls had a bit of a play before we headed back to the visitors centre.

It was such a lovely day, to spend with awesome girls. We did have three girls get sidetracked for a while and we noticed they weren't with the group and had to send out a search party for them. Finally we found them and they told me that they decided to say a prayer, and in it they said 'please bless the leaders won't be too mad with us when they find us!'. It cracked me up! I asked them if I was mad and one of the girls said 'yeah you were a bit!!' They obviously haven't seen me really mad :)

Being with the girls and having some nicer weather makes me look forward more to summer and YW camp - can't wait!

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