Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Where to begin! Catch up and another Award!!

Well, I have been popping in to read some blogs every now and then but haven't had the time to actually sit and write a blog post for ages.  Christmas has been, gone and is now a distant memory, we're well into the New Year and the school holidays are slipping away just too quickly.  We've squeezed in a fair bit and now just have the joyous buying of school shoes and kit still left.

Those of my facebook friends are probably up to date but for those of you who aren't I'll share a few of our highlights.

When we first arrived in Australia 3 years ago, 3 days before Christmas, we found ourselves at Bar Beach on Christmas Eve, eating fish and chips that were out of this world and wondering what on earth we were doing here!   We loved it so much that we have made it into a little tradition.  This year we even managed to get a family photo taken by a lovely girl who was also waiting patiently in the very long queue - we were glad we had phoned ahead to order.

We even managed to get a photo of John and me - honestly can't think when we last had a photo without children hanging off us!

Christmas Day was lovely.  The kids are allowed to open their stockings as and when they wake up (pretty early this year but thankfully they know not to disturb us!) then one present before church.  This year's theme seems to have been Lego (again) with lots of books, some pj's and other things thrown in.  We opted for sea food and then cold ham, salamis, bread, cheese and olives etc for our feast.  We had heaps left over and had friends for lunch on Boxing Day to help us finish it off!

More Gingerbread Houses!

We've had the usual tennis camps, walks, days at the beach and pool, and even managed 4 days away in our tent.

She's got a great serve!

Kind brother helping Meg with her new Ripstik walking from Warner's Bay to Spear's Point

Sydney on New Year's Day 

Football at One Mile Beach (also Meg dived through her first waves and loved it so much we had to bribe her out of the water!)

Sausage sizzle dinners at the pool

We bought it a couple of years ago but hadn't used it before.  In fact we haven't tented before (other than the boys in the garden) so were delighted that our friends, who are seasoned campers, came with us.  The tent is so huge that they had one 'wing' while John, Meg, Robert and I had the other and the 3 boys had their own 3-person tent.

Room with a view

The Locals

We had a great time, apart from one night of quite scary winds, the weather was perfect for us ex-pats.  The kids had a screen ban, including ipods, so got their amusement from playing pool, table tennis, football, swimming, flying kites, catching Soldier Crabs, face-painting (Jonathan is quite the expert), making paper, climbing trees, drawing, reading, writing stories, glass-painting, learning to play the guitar, hunting for snakes (we saw a python!) and eating!

Early morning Parkour!

Pool at high tide

er... brotherly love...?

At home I insist on a quiet half an hour after lunch to read which we tried fairly successfully, it also morphed into "Rachel's Craft Hour" so the afternoons were lovely when it was too warm for racing around.  Next time we'll go for longer - such a great time.  The boys taught us some fun games to play in the evenings when the wee ones had gone to bed and Chris serenaded us with his guitar.

Our Camp Photo!

Despite some ribbing I started another Granny square blanket when we were camping, again, I'm using a self-changing yarn in blues and greens which I wasn't sure about but bought in the sale.  It looks better than I was expecting and the boys are already fighting over it!

I've also been trying to be a bit creative when I get the time!  I made a few sets of coasters with my lovely new machine along with mending endless pairs of shorts and jeans.  I've been trawling pinterest for ideas for things to make with scraps of fabric that I've carried around with me for 20+ years and have been really inspired by some very clever people.

Also this scarf which I can't wait to wear!  It's from the Isar pattern, that I can't remember how I got to, which was easy to do and more of the colour change yarn!

So now we're back to thinking about routines, Husband is back working, although he's on sabbatical until July-ish which means he'll be working here (never good...)  and I'm looking to start applying for jobs since nothing positive is happening with regards to Teaching.  Jonathan will start High School and Meg will start at the local Public School with Joseph.  She has mentioned a couple of times that she's scared but she'll be going with the rest of her class from the Infant's School and will  make new friends very quickly I'm certain.

So 2012 looks set to be a big year for us all.  I'll be 40 in March and I'm so delighted that my Ma and Pa will be coming to help us celebrate!

And before I forget, I was really touched to be nominated for the Leibster Blog Award by Sonia from Sonia and Fred.  Apparently it is an award that is to be given to Bloggers with less than 200 followers, "Leibster" meaning 'Dearest', 'Beloved' or 'Favourite'.  Thank you Sonia!

Now to spread the bloggy love -
1. Kristen at Cozy Things
2. Lynne at Pieceful
3. Kylie at Blue Teacups
4. Emily at Unravelled
5. Karen at Gooseberry Jam (although I just noticed she has 201 followers!)

These are blogs I look at regularly and am inspired by in one way or another, please go and have a look for yourselves.

See you soon!


  1. Great to have you back! I just love reading about you and your kids.

  2. Now that looked like an excellent holiday, we are yet to do camping with the boys, I'm definitely up for it but hubby is not.....we'll see!

  3. Ahhh, Christmas in Australia looks so perfect to me. How I long for the warm weather. You're brave to go tent camping--I love the pennant garland you took with you, and I can't wait to see your grannies! Thank you, too, so much for the award. I'm in fantastic company there. :)

  4. Oh wow, Lovely, thank you for the award Sandra, I'm glad you enjoy my little blog. Yes I just stepped over the 200 mark yesterday, I never ever thought I would get so many followers... There are so many things that happen in our everyday I wish I could write about, if only there were another 24 hours in a day!!! I'm sure you can relate! It looks like you ave had a very fun and busy holiday so far. Great Holiday snaps! All the best for 2012... Karen :)

  5. Wow looks like you had a great holiday and certainly have packed a lot in since Christmas. Lovely photos!

  6. Oh Sandra, this is just the loveliest update. You have been so busy and it all looks like wonderful stuff to be keeping busy with too. Love every photo, they are so much fun and capture the moment beautifully. That family shot is a keeper, definitely a frame worthy pic. You have done so well to get creative in amongst all of the other going's on. The coasters are gorgeous :o) Great to see a post from you xo

  7. Hi Sandra, nice to see you back at the blog. Love the camping trip photos, it looks so fun!!! Even bunting on the tent,CUTE! The Isar scarf is one I have had my eye on, yours turned out great. Thank you so much for the Liebster award, I am tickled!

  8. What gorgeous photos and wonderful memories. Love the scarf! Hope you enjoy the remainder of the holidays. xx

  9. Looks like a wonderful summer, loads of fun! Thank you so much for the award, I'll accept that very graciously. xx Kylie

  10. Hello! Thank you so much for the award - I'll be sharing the bloggy love in my next post!
    Your camping trip looks amazing - we went camping with the three kids for the first time this summer and all really enjoyed it - will def be doing it again!
    Emily x


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