Saturday, 31 October 2015


Halloween continues to get bigger and bigger in Tasmania.  Years ago only people who planned their own parties seemed to celebrate Halloween, but now there's lots of Halloween things in the shops, including pumpkins that you can carve.

Kobe keeps asking if we can do something for Halloween, but we didn't have anything planned this year.  My friends - Bec and Tony live in a new(ish) sub division and Bec is one of those people who just gets out there and gets things happening. When they first built their house, there were lots of other new families around.  Bec decided to drop a note in everyone's mailboxes, to suggest that having a little Christmas get together at the park would be fun. 

Since then they have gotten to know everyone, and as more families move in, they have continued to get together for Christmas, Easter and now Halloween.  Yesterday in our local newspaper, they ran a little story about how the homes in the subdivision has organised for the families in the area to go Trick or Treating to each other's homes.

I knew that Kobe and Harri would love it, so I invited myself along and Bec was lovely in letting us join in on the fun.  Luckily we have a heap of dress ups at home, so the boys chose what they wanted to be this afternoon.  Kobe went as Ironman and Harri went as Darth Vadar. Jalen was at a friend's birthday dinner, which I'm sure he was happy about, but I have no doubt he would've liked to join in with the little kids ;)  The boys loved being able to join in with Annie and Thomas, although earlier in the day Kobe started crying, saying he felt nervous about it.   I think he was just worried as he didn't know what to expect, and knew that he wouldn't know many people there. 

All of the houses had been given orange balloons, and if they wanted to join in, they put the balloons outside.

Kobe checking out Annie's stash!

There were lots of witches walking the streets!
Harri was very impressed with the homemade Batman cookies :)  Both boys came home with their buckets full of lollies.

Thanks for letting us for gate crash your lovely neigbourhood's fun Bec.  Kobe is already asking if we can do it again next year!

Thursday, 29 October 2015

A Good Change

It's been a stressful couple of months as I had been told I needed to transfer to a new school, and even though I knew it wasn't the end of the world, it's not something I would've chosen to do as things were really good where I was working before. I knew how lucky I was to be teaching at my boy's school, and I was devastated that I had to move. 

Unfortunately though in the Education Department, you've got to go where you are told to go.  I knew I was lucky to be going to a great school, but there are lots of reasons why it was hard to move, as it not only affected me, but other people as well.

I was lucky that I already knew about five people who work at the school I was transferred to.  The other EAL (English as an Additional Language) teachers there have been so lovely in welcoming me, and making me feel like a part of the team, even though they have been the only teachers there all year.  They even bought me flowers! At first I had a secret admirer! ;)

Everyone at the school have been so friendly and have made me feel really welcome. It's a very multicultural school, and I love walking around seeing all the Afghan students everywhere, as well as all the other nationalities.
I was anxious to get the first week over with, so that I knew the boy's were okay without me around at school, and so I could get to know the kids and routines.

I have gone from teaching nine students on my own, to teaching twenty students (but having to get to know forty students as we work together a lot with all of the students). The first week was a blur of kids, and names that all sounded and looked similar, and I never thought I would get to know them.   I'm into the third week and feel like I know most of them now.  Now I just have to get to know all the staff's names!

I've already fallen in love with the kids. They're all so friendly, and happy despite what they've been through.  The girls are very cute and always come in with new drawings or notes that they've written for the teachers.  I'm already getting a little collection.
The kids make me laugh all the time, and yesterday I had to smile when a young girl looked at my bare legs (I had a skirt on to my knees) and she pointed to them and said 'no this!!' and then showed me that I should be wearing tights like she was.  She then pointed to her head scarf and said 'and this!'.  I reminded her that she was an Afghan girl and that they wore tights and head scarves, but I am Australian and I don't wear them.  She then smiled at me and said 'I bring you scarf!'.  I couldn't help but have a little chuckle.  

On one of my days off work, I took the boys up to my new school after school was over, to show them around. I thought it would be nice for them to be able to picture where I was working.  They loved the school, and were especially impressed with the oval area as it has so many things to do in a small area.   Kobe and Harri were excited that it has soccer and footy goals permanently set up, and also a basketball court.  Since I took them there, they had been begging me to take them up for a play on the weekend. 

Last Saturday we finally went up there, and not long after we arrived two of my new EAL students also arrived to play soccer.  They saw me and one of the boys said 'Mrs King! Your boys here!? Tell them play soccer!'.  I called the boys over, and they joined in on a game with them.  I love seeing my boys interact with them, and also my past EAL students.  
Some of my new students, are friends with my old students. The first week I was there one of the boys said 'you were my friend's teacher at Punchbowl - he said you are good teacher'.  That made me smile :) Yesterday I realised that one of the families, knew one of my families from my old school.  I asked a girl if she knew one of my old students and her eyes lit up and she said very excitedly 'she said she had very special teacher.....Mrs King!! YOU are Mrs King!!' when it clicked that I was the one she was talking about.

Even though it has been very stressful to move schools, I'm really loving the change.  Because there's so many kids I feel like I don't have a lot of time to get to know them very well as I only see some of them a couple of times a week, but I love going to work and seeing them every day.

It's hard to really settle in as I don't know what will happen next year, but for now I'm trying not to think about that too much and just enjoy the change, as it's been a good one.     

Friday, 23 October 2015

Run For a Wish 2015

Just a month before Noah died we were asked to appear in an article in our local newspaper, to help promote a new run in Launceston - Run For a Wish.   We were more than happy to do it, as Noah had received a wish from Make a Wish, and we knew what a great organisation it was, and how much hope it brought to children and their families.  Four years ago we took part in the first ever Run For a Wish with Aaron just a few week after Noah passed away.

I used to be a gym junkie, but after Aaron passed away my priorities changed dramatically, as life of a single Mum set in and I no longer found exercising fun or relaxing, especially as I had to go back to work, and couldn't spend my mornings at the gym with my friends.  

Instead it just stressed me out as I tried to fit exercise in, as it took so much time out of my days, which were now so long, but so short at the same time.  I've been very slack and hardly do any exercise anymore, so even thinking about running wears me out!

Running to me is considered the worst form of torture.  As a child and teenager I was actually a good long distance runner, but as an adult I absolutely hate it.  But since taking part in the first Run for a Wish, we have made sure that we do it every year as a family. Every year I struggle and say I'm going to get fit for the following year but it never happens, so about a month ago, I started panicking when I realised that Run for a Wish was coming back up very soon.

Last week we ran in our fourth Run for a Wish, and as usual it was a beautiful day. It was so nice to have so many friends and family running with us again.   Mum was a gun and came along this year, despite having a broken arm. It's finally healing up but is still very sore, so I didn't expect her to run at all. She did the whole 6.4 km!

Every year we take helium balloons to release at the start, and every year I feel terrible because I have lots of little kids that we don't know, coming up to me to get a balloon, but I don't have enough as I just bring them for our family and friends.
Poor Jay wasn't feeling very well, but came along and ran anyway.

Harri absolutely loves running and takes it very seriously. He was keen to beat his time from last year. 

And we're off!

The first year or two Kobe pretty much walked the whole way, but last year he ran a lot, so this year he was keen to run as much as he could. He did such a good job, and only stopped now and then to walk a little. I was glad he was my running buddy as he's slow and steady.  About half way around he said 'where's Simone!?' when he realised my friend Simone wasn't there for the first time. She was on a special family holiday with her family. 
Kobe has been asking me a lot of questions about Aaron and Noah lately, as he can't remember them very much.  The other day he asked me if I knew that Noah was going to be disabled when he was born.  As he was running, I kept telling him how proud Dad would've been of him, and he gave me the biggest smile. He makes me so proud as he's been through so much in his short little life, but just gets on with it as best he can.
My sister in law Steph pushed my nephew Ezra in the pram the whole way, and then let him out to walk over the finish line. He cracked us up as all he wanted was 'Mummy!' as he kept yelling at her to pick him up.  It was nice to have my brother Eden run it for the first time.

He was so cute at the end, giving everyone high fives!

I was so glad when it was over - 6.4 km felt like 64! Here's hoping I'll be fitter next year! ;)

After every Run for a Wish we have gone to Maccas for lunch, so Simone kept texting me saying how she was sad to miss our traditional Maccas lunch afterwards.   It was McHappy Day too which was nice, as we also spent a lot of time at Ronald McDonald House over the years, so we didn't feel too guilty about having a burger and chips for a good cause.

The run raised over $30,000 for Make a Wish which is wonderful.  I know what a difference it will make to not only a child, but to a families life.  We still talk about Noah's wish and Kobe gets very sad to know that he wasn't alive then, so he wasn't a part of it.  If only we could make another wish to bring Aaron and Noah back. 

Friday, 16 October 2015

Going Back to the Coast

Over the last school holidays, we had some beautiful weather.  It's only spring time, but a few days actually felt like summer.  I kept checking my weather app on my phone, as I have been keen to go for a day trip to the East Coast.  Every summer we would spend a week at St Helens as a family and we loved it so much.  It was where Aaron passed away, so we have only been back once since then, on the two year anniversary of Aaron's death.   The first time we went back we were all feeling quite anxious about it, but I wanted it to continue to be a happy place for us to be, so I'm glad that we went back.

I saw that the weather was going to be in the high 20s (Celcius) on the coast one day, but also that it was going to be windy, but I didn't mind as I knew it would be a hot day and was so keen to go to Binalong Bay which is our favourite beach in Tassie. It's two hours from home, so it's not the closest beach we can go to, but it's definitely worth the drive. We were excited to see the temperature was 30 degrees on the way there (don't panic! I didn't take the photo while I was driving - Jay took it :)
It was nice to get to St Helens and not feel anxious about going back this time.  When we got there Kobe started yelling 'I remember this place now!'. The boys were excited to go to the sand dunes that we used to always go to, which meant we would have to drive past the house that Aaron passed away in.

Kobe always has a lot of questions as he has forgotten a lot over the last few years.   He then asked me where Daddy died. I asked Harri and Jay if they were worried about being there, and seeing the house and they said they weren't, so we went for a drive past the house. It was so weird to look at the house and remember all the things that happened that night.  I felt sad, but I didn't feel any anxiety about seeing it which was nice.

It was so nice to see this beautiful view again.

It was an extremely windy day though, so a lot of the time we were trying to keep the sand out of our eyes. This photo cracks me up so much.
We thought we had a great idea to use our City Slider tubes to slide down the dunes.
Unfortunately it didn't work, but the boys still had a great time.

I laughed so much that I cried, when the wind would get hold of the tubes and the boys would have to chase them down the dunes. 

It started to get very windy and the sand was blowing in our eyes and stinging our arms and legs, so we took off from the dunes and couldn't wait to get to Binalong Bay.   We had a laugh that the statue had Hawks colours around her wrists :)

This is the beach where Aaron spent his last day, jumping in the waves, so although the water was absolutely freezing, Harri and Kobe couldn't wait to jump in.

Jay hates the water, so he avoided it even touching his feet. I was happy to walk in it, as we walked along the beach to the other end.   These two had the best time just playing in the water and kicking the footy to each other. They kept saying how much Aaron would've loved it, and that's all I kept thinking about all day.

We love climbing the rocks at the other end of the beach.

We all sat at the top and admired the view, and talked about the different times we had been there with Aaron and Noah.
The boys kept talking about when Aaron and my brother Chrish would jump of the rocks into the water when the tide was up.

 I could've sat on the rocks all day. Harri and Kobe decided to move to the lower rocks to see if the waves would splash them. 

I sat with the boys for a bit and we loved it when a huge wave splashed us.

We had such a lovely day and it was really nice to go back to the coast again, and not feel anxious or too sad about it this time.  It's nice to create some happy memories there again, as I don't want to think about it as a sad place, because we had so many happy times there together as a family.
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