Sunday, 29 March 2015

Footy is (almost) Back!

It seems like it wasn't that long ago when we were complaining that the footy season is over.   Even though the season hasn't officially started yet, we were excited to hear that Hawthorn was playing in one of its NAB cup matches in Tassie and was excited for preseason to start.

When we heard they would be playing Collingwood, we knew it would be a massive game for Tassie so we made sure we got our tickets early. We thought it this sign that was put up at the Launceston airport was very funny and clever.

Jalen is not a lover of footy, so he stayed home while Harri, Kobe and I went along to the Hawthorn training the day before the game.
I guess because it was a NAB cup match and most of the main Hawks players didn't come down, people weren't as interested in going to the training, but it was great for us as there wasn't a huge crowd fighting to get players autographs.    I just think how lucky we are that the team we barrack for are in Tassie so often and just down the road from home, and it may not always be that way, so I don't want to miss an opportunity to take the boys to see them while we can.

I was devastated that Hodgey didn't come down, but Kobe was very excited that his favourite player Jack Gunston was playing.  He was lovely to the boys and had a little chat to them and was more than happy to sign Kobe's footy card. He asked Harri if the Hawks were going to win and Harri said 'maybe' which made him laugh.
As we were leaving a lot of the players were walking to their hotel.  Taylor Duryea and Ben McEvoy were lovely and stopped for a photo with the boys.
Dad hadn't been to a game for years, but when he got lots of energy in the few months before he passed away, he said he wanted to come to the game with us.   We kept thinking about that when we were there as he would've loved the atmosphere with the big crowd.  Mum came along to the game with us and it was a beautiful night.
We took this photo and posted it on Instagram and then saw on the screen that they were asking people in the crowd to hashtag their photos, so they could be displayed on the screen. I edited my photo and added the hashtag but didn't really think much more of it.

During the break after the first quarter we were shocked when we saw our photo appear on the screen!  It was funny to get text messages from friends and family in the crowd who also saw it.
It was a strange feeling having most of the crowd go for the other team, as we are used to most of the crowd in Launceston going for Hawthorn. Hawthorn was thrashed by the Pies but we had heaps of fun and loved the big crowd.
 The boys were excited that they could have a kick on the ground after the game had finished.
It was nice to run into these guys on the ground afterwards.  We are sad that they have moved away, so it was nice to catch up with them again. 
I still don't know who I am - taking the boys to the footy and actually loving it!  I'm sure Aaron's love of footy has been transferred to me somehow.  We are looking forward to the season officially starting!

p.s: every time I want to do a blog post and see how awful my phone pics look compared to my good camera, I wish I took my good camera everywhere but it's such a pain to take around and it's just so easy to pull out my phone whenever I want to capture something. I guess now I'm blogging about photos I've taken and things we have done, rather than taking photos to blog about, and I like it being that way.  I'm looking forward to the day when an iPhone takes photos as clear as my Nikon ;) 

Thursday, 26 March 2015

A Busy Year

I knew that when Jalen was elected onto the Student Leadership Board at school that he would be busy, but I don't think I realised how busy he would be.   Being busy was the thing that almost stopped him applying for it, but we talked about how being busy isn't necessarily a bad thing and that there would be so many good things that could come from being on the SLB, so he decided to apply.

It seems like there is always something going on and it's nice to hear how happy Jay is to be a part of it.  He loved taking part in the staff V students basketball and cricket matches. 
Last weekend they all participated in the Relay for Life to raise money and awareness for people fighting cancer.
 We just stayed for a little while, and Kobe kept saying he can't wait until he can do it. 
 This week they had a SLB camp for two nights and three days. 
 It was fun to see photos of what they were up to on the school's Facebook page. 

It's nice to see him getting so involved with things at school this year.  I know it's going to continue to be a very busy, but great school year for him.

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Summer is Over

Summer was a mix of highs and lows as we enjoyed spending time at the beach and pool with friends and family, but we also had the shock and sadness of Dad passing away.  I was already stressed before Dad passed away, as the whole summer holidays I anxiously waited to hear if I had a job teaching this term.  Dad and I spent some time together one day and he asked me about when I would hear if I had a job. I told him that it could be the day before school started and he said 'you'll have a job because you're my daughter and I love you'. It cracked me up and I told him that the Education Department doesn't work like that, but he was sure it would be okay. 

Even though I tell myself not to worry as there's nothing that I can do about it, and I just have to be patient and wait, it doesn't stop me feeling sick as I wondered what I would do if I didn't have a job.  I only found out five days before work actually started that I had a contract, and I couldn't even think about work then as we were planning Dad's funeral. I can't wait for the day when I can relax on school holidays, knowing that I have work after the holidays are over. 

We were looking forward to spending a few days at Mum and Dad's unit before Dad passed away, while Jalen went to a church youth camp.  Dad actually had his fall just a couple of days before we were going to stay with them, and ended up having to go to Hobart hospital but at the time we didn't know how serious things were and there was nothing we could do at the time to help anyway, so we ended up staying at their house on our own, while Jay was at camp.

He had a lovely time at camp with his mates, but Harri and Kobe were sad that Mum and Dad weren't at their house and that Jay was away. 

We ended up having a lovely few days on our own, even though we were anxious about Dad who was in Hobart hospital with Mum.   We spent some time with my cousins and uncle and aunty and had a great game of cricket with them one night.  It was good to have some laughs even though we were worried about Dad.
We were sitting on this beach playing, when we heard that Dad came out of his surgery well and said to Mum 'it's great to be alive!'.  We were all shocked that he came through brain surgery so well, and were so relieved. 
It's hard to believe that the day after this we would get the call from Mum saying he had gone into a coma and it wasn't looking good.   Life can change just so quickly.
Before Dad passed away we spent a lot of time swimming on hot days at the Gorge with friends.  Most days we would text each other, and would organise a time to meet there. We are so lucky to have this place to go to just a few minutes from home.
As always the weather really heated up once school went back.  Going back to school didn't stop us though.  Straight after school we would meet our friends at the Gorge for a swim most nights, as we knew we needed to make the most of it before the weather started to cool down.

Often our swims would then turn into tea at the park as we would grab food from the food trucks. 
It is so lovely to have great friends to hang out with. 

It's lucky I got a job to pay for all the burgers we were having at the park!

One night the missionaries joined us for tea which was fun.   Elder Nonoa has a few fans.
The weather started to cool down about a month after school started, but we are still keen to swim so we ended up booking an indoor pool with some friends. 
Nothing says summer like strawberries, so we were very excited to hear that a local strawberry farm had 'pick your own' berries for half price a couple of weekends ago.  
We were excited for a road trip and went home with kilograms of strawberries.  
We visited the Lilydale Falls on the way home.  Our friend's Gary and Lisa decided to take a nice selfie at the fall.  Jay cracks me up. 
Our summer has well and truly slipped away now, as we are having cool nights and are snuggling under blankets at night while we watch TV.   I hate that summer is over, but unfortunately it can't last forever. 

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Great Euro Circus

While we were in Hobart when Dad was in hospital, we were excited to see that the circus was there.  Aaron and I took Jay and Harri to the same circus four years ago and remembered how great it was, so I told the boys that if it came to Launceston I would make sure we went. 

Kobe was ecstatic when he saw the huge blow up clowns appear all over town and screamed 'I knew the circus would come here!!!'.   I had planned on buying tickets but was blown away when I saw someone tag me on Facebook in a competition that was being run on the circus' Facebook page.  The competition was to nominate a 'local legend' who deserved a family pass to the circus.   It was so lovely that a couple of people nominated us, but I thought that if anyone deserved to be called a 'local legend' it is our friends the Duffys.  They are an amazing family whose son Jack is severely disabled.  We actually met them just after Noah passed away and I was so touched when they came to Aaron's funeral, even though they didn't know us very well at the time.

They have done some amazing things with Jack to raise money for charity and also Jack's needs including Kayaking around Tasmania (with Jack in the Kayak for an hour at a time), running in a marathon (with Jack being pushed by his Dad Chris) and now they are about to walk the Overland Track (65 km!) with Jack being carried on his Dad's back in a pack.   This time they are hoping to raise $70,000 for Life Without Barriers.   You can check it out on a Facebook page that has been set up. 
I decided to nominate the Duffys and was so happy and excited to hear that they won a family ticket, and couldn't believe that we had also won tickets.  The guy I spoke to from the circus was so lovely, and said that he had checked out my blog because someone had put a link to it as part of their nomination for us to win tickets, and he thought that we both deserved tickets and said that he hoped that the circus would put a smile on the boys faces.   It definitely did that! 
 We were very lucky to be given a ticket for Mum as well, and it was nice to all go together.
Even though we saw the same circus four years ago, it was a lot different this time. The acts were just as incredible and we loved it even more than last time. I think the boys appreciated it a lot more now that they are older. 
Kobe was freaking out when the human cannonball act came on.  He was sure there was going to be a huge noise and kept covering his ears and started crying and asking if he could go out.
He was pleasantly surprised that there was no noise and said 'actually that wasn't that bad!'.  He told me that next time we go he will watch it :)
We were amazed at the strong man who could pick up 70 kg weights with his teeth and also move a car with his teeth!
I loved the clowns. They were hilarious and got members of the audience up to do different things.
We also loved the horse act.  He was trained to go to 'sleep' on the bed and when he was told to wake up he kept pulling the blanket back over himself.
The motor bikes riding in the ball is always incredible.
 It went for two hours but the time just flew by, because every act was so amazing. 
Thank you to the kind people who nominated us, and to The Great Euro Circus for the tickets. We had the best time and can't recommend it enough.
The Great Euro Circus blogged about their time in Launceston and I was surprised that they mentioned us - such kind and generous people.  Thank you!
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