Saturday, 30 July 2011

Bikes and Bales

Our friends Justine and Declan moved overseas around 6 years ago.  Jalen and Gus grew up together and Jay was very sad when Gus moved away - first to Thailand, and then to Indonesia.  We love keeping up with their adventures on their blog, and love catching up with them every 12 months when they come home for their school holidays. 

During the week Jus and I caught up, and she mentioned that Simone and Simon were letting their kids leave school early to go out motor bike riding with Gus and Tilly at Justine's parents house.  I asked the boys if they were keen to see Gus and Tilly and their brother Felix (who they didn't know) and Jay was very excited and said he was happy to leave school at lunch time so we could go out, but Harri wasn't keen on leaving school.  I reminded him it was only one day to which he said 'but I LOVE school Mum - I love doing all the work!'.  He doesn't remember Gus and Tilly like Jay does, so I was happy for him to stay at school with Noah - two boys is so much easier than four :)

Jay and Gus were so cute when they saw each other.  Even years later they still get excited to see each other and hang out.

Jus warned us that we would need to bring out our gumboots, and it was lucky that we did as it was very muddy, but that was all a part of the fun!

It's so strange seeing Jus with a little one again.  Felix is the cutest little man.

Simone and Simon's kids brought out their motorbikes, and Justine's parents also had some, so all the kids enjoyed going to feed the cows on their bikes.

While the kids were off feeding the cows with Justine's Dad and Simon, us girls enjoyed a hot chocolate by the fire (someone had to stay inside with Flynn! ;)

After they got back we went outside to join in on the fun and take photos.  It was THE best place to take photos - so many cool things - huge round bales of hay, old machinery and cool old buildings.

The kids had the best time playing chasies together on the bales of hay.

After a few hours of bike riding and running around in the cold, we had some very hungry kids.  It was a lovely afternoon/evening and it's nice to see that the kids can just pick up where they left off 12 months ago.  It's nice to know that we will all be forever friends, no matter how far away we live, or how long it is before we will see each other again.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

A Forgiving Fairy

Harri came home excited from school yesterday as he had lost a tooth.  It's actually hard to tell where he lost the tooth because of the gap between his two front teeth :)
He had it safely put in a tissue, but somewhere between 3.30 pm and bedtime the tooth had gone missing.  There were a few tears, before he decided that maybe if he wrote the tooth fairy a note, that she may forgive him for losing the tooth, and still bring some money.

Luckily she was very forgiving, and he woke up to $2 on his note. No doubt the money will go towards an extra pack of footy cards this week.

Monday, 25 July 2011

TOFW - Sydney

Mum and I just had the best weekend in Sydney.  We were looking forward to it for so long, and it's hard to believe that it is already over.  We flew out of Launceston to lovely sunny skies (although it was a little bit fresh when we left)...

and flew into drizzly, foggy Sydney.  Nothing could dampen our excitement though.  We were excited to see Chrish and to have a great weekend together. It was actually the first time I had ever been away on my own without Aaron or the boys.

Our plane had been delayed by half an hour, and by the time we found our way out of the airport and onto the right level to find Chrish (who would've thought it would be so hard to get out at the airport at the right spot!) time was ticking by very quickly.

We headed straight into the city and went to the markets for a quick look around (and a massage for me) and then to China Town to grab some tea, which was quite adventful and we had lots of laughs.

We wanted to make the most of our time while we were there as we only really had one and a half days, so we headed to Circular Quay.   It was great having Chrish drive us around everywhere as he is such a pro driver, as he is used to driving trucks in the city all day.  There is no way I would ever drive in Sydney.

We then jumped on a ferry to go to Manly for some dessert.  Because the weather was so bad we weren't allowed on the outside decks, which was lucky as it was so rough when we got out to the open water.  The ferry was rolling around everywhere and at one stage Mum stood up to move closer to the window, so she had something to lean against and went flying in front of Chrish as the ferry rocked! We couldn't stop laughing, but I was (not so) silently freaking out thinking we were going to die and posting all sorts of things on Facebook, telling people to help Aaron with the boys when I died! :)

Despite how rough it was, it was worth it for a bit of fun and to see the beautiful view as we headed out.

At Manly we had a quick look around and then grabbed a hot chocolate and some lollies for the ferry ride back to the city.

On Saturday morning we headed to Sydney Olympic Park for TOFW (Time Out For Women).  It was very exciting to see hundreds of women pouring through the doors.   There was a huge line up to get into the Sports Centre and as you came through to show your tickets we were able to drop off our two items that we were asked to bring along to contribute to some 'possibilities packs' - personal care items which were going to be put together in a pack and donated to women who were escaping domestic violence, and were in shelters. 

Later in the day we were told that Australia had set the record for the most packs being donated with over 430 packs being made up.   These boxes are full of the made up packs to be donated to a local women's shelter. It's great to think that just two small items that we were asked to bring along, helped to make up so many packs.

TOFW was absolutely amazing!! There were over 2000 women there from all around Australia, there was a lot of excitement in the air.  I was thinking how it was probably unlike any TOFW event in the USA which are held in certain cities, because there is only one event in Australia.  This meant that women came from all over the country and was really like one big reunion with friends and family catching up from different states.  We had a lot of breaks, and during the breaks people everyone would just run and catch up with each other.

It was so nice to see some of my cousins and also friends who now live in other parts of the country.  It was also wonderful having so many from Tasmania go to it.   I heard there were over 40 of us from Tassie there all together. 

One of the organisers came up to Leona and me as she spotted us with our 'good cameras' (as she put it).  She then asked if we could take some photos for her and email them to her to possibly be used in different publications, so we of course were excited to go around snapping photos of different people all day.  Sarah captured this on her phone :)

When we arrived we were each given a TOFW tote bag which are really cool.   I can just see us all now sporting our bags at church. 

We also got to meet all of the presenters which was great fun and it was very exciting to talk tot hem in person. 
The best thing about the whole day though was the amazing people who came to speak to us, and especially the messages they gave.   

I LOVED the first speaker Laurel Christiansen's talk so much.  She caught my interest right from the start as she talked about working out and training to run in a half marathon.   I loved her quote that said 'don't be the one thing standing in your way', which reminded me that the only thing stopping me from doing certain things in my life, is myself.

The thing that I got most out of the whole day was that although our lives may not be what we planned them to be and we have moved on from our 'Plan A' to plan b, c, d, etc. we are actually still on 'plan A'.    My life right now IS where it's meant to be, and is no surprise to God.  I never would've planned or hoped to have a child with a disability, but this is still my 'Plan A'.  I also loved Hilary Week's talk about 'the clicker' and how we can choose to focus on either the negative or positives in our lives and how for her focusing on the negatives really brought her down.

We can make a choice to 'click' every time we experience a positive in our life , even just the little things, and this will help us to be optomistic and cope with everything that we have to in our lives - big or small.  I guess I have always had this as my own philosophy in life.  I could look at all the negatives that come along with having a child with a disability, or I can choose to see the positives, no matter how big or small.  I know that if I focused on all the negatives I couldn't cope with the things that I need to do every day and I would also miss out on seeing all the blessing that come with caring for Noah and having him as a part of our family.  That is why I love the quote 'don't count the days, make the days count' as I could choose to focus on how many more days we have to spend together with him, or just make the most of every day, and I choose the latter.

I took a lot of notes on my phone all day, and have so many amazing quotes and stories and scriptures to look back on.  I really liked the quote from Laurel that said 'hope is wanting what I want, faith is wanting what God wants'.

A woman who works at the local women's shelter came to accept the 'possibilities packs' and spoke to us about domestic violence and how many women in the community are affected.  It really reminded me about how lucky I am to have the family that I have.

The Federal Minister for Human Services - Tanya Plibersek came at lunch time, and gave a speech about the donations for the women's shelter.   I spotted her in the crowd during the lunch break and knew I knew her from somewhere, and then it clicked who she was.  I would've loved to have been able to talk to her in person, but by the time I realised who she was it was too late.  I recently got a letter from her office as a reply to a letter I sent her to do with funding for disabilities (or the lack of it) and would've loved to have talked to her more about it, but obviously the timing wasn't right.

Another highlight of the day for me was Hilary Weeks.   It was wonderful to hear her amazing voice live, after listening to her on my CDs at home for many years.

It was a fantastic day and although it was a long day, we didn't want it to end.   Hopefully TOFW will come back to Australia again very soon after all the positive feedback from everyone who went and loved it so much. 

We had an hour or so to kill afterwards before we were meeting people for tea, so Chrish took me on my first visit to Ikea!   What a good brother he is to follow Mum and me around for an hour as we oohed and aahed over everything and complained that we still don't have it in Tassie :)  

We then met a few people for tea at the most amazing buffet place at a bowls club, which Chrish had suggested for us.   It was great to catch up with Penny and Wayne who we hadn't seen for years.

We had the most delicious tea - seafood galore, Chinese, fried food (my boys would've loved the endless hot chips, chicken nuggets, spring rolls, dim sims etc), roast meats and vegies, noodles, salads, soups, bread and desserts including freshly made waffles.   Bonnie and I will be working extra hard in Spin at the gym tonight! :)

At the airport Mum and I sat in the massage chairs and had a 15 minute massage before heading home.

The weekend went way too fast, but I was also glad to be home with my boys - glad to be back home to my 'plan A' :) 
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