Mama Chameleon

Wednesday, January 31, 2007



Floating on Air.....

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I have been accepted to work as a casual teacher at the kid's school! Yeah!!!
So thankyou so much to all the pray-ers and well wishers out there. The interview ended up being in front of the principal and the junior school principal. They apparantly liked my application form answers so well that they skipped the preliminary interview and went straight into the real interview. It went for about half an hour and was more like a conversation.

If and when a permanent part time job comes up, I will go up in front of the board for an interview, but they said they were confident that that they couldn't forsee any issues stopping that going ahead either. AND they said they will provide all the support I need to feel comfortable about getting back into teaching.
I am ecstatic, to put it mildly, though it has all happend so fast that it hasn't even really sunk in!!

And I looked rather professional for the interview too, if I say so myself. Yesterday Hubby helped me find this black teachery shirt Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting(this is a photo from the shop's catalogue. I couldn't get a pic of me in my interview outfit yet, as my camera needs charging and I cannot find the battery!) . I teamed the shirt with a cute pair of shoes ($4 at the local thrift shop), and a friend loaned me a pair of pants. So I looked VERY business-like.


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Tuesday, January 30, 2007



The Mystery of the Dental bill


This week, something happened that I am soooo embarrassed about.
Spindles had a tooth break off because of a cavity!!!

!!!!!!!!!!

Ok, background information necessary (especially for readers called Granny! LOL!)
For starters, please don't be thinking my son's teeth look anything like this:

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The tooth was a baby tooth, and the dental people who checked Spindle's teeth at school last term, flagged this tooth as being a maybe for having a cavity. So I dutifully booked in to the dentist and got an appointment for early March.
Yes, I know, we have a shortage of dentists!
But then the tooth broke off on Sunday, so I called another dentist yesterday with this sob story; a dentist who last year had no room for any new patients.
This time they said that they have a new dentist on board (started working yesterday) who is seeing new patients, and I could have an appointment for this Friday. Fantastic!
Then I asked how much it would cost, that is how much the appointment itself would cost, plus the possibility of maybe having the tooth extracted.
Why did I ask?
Well the costs seem to be so varied. The dentist I managed to get Diva in to last year, cost $45 for a consult.
Then a dentist I called regarding Spindles in another town (I called them because their slogan is "We Cater for Cowards!')charges $65 for the consult, and thought the extraction/ filling may cost anywherebetween $100-$200.
So...... I wanted to get an idea how many kidneys I would need to be donating to go to this particular dentist! :)
Is that cheap of me to ask? Do you guys ask those kind of questions, or should I be calling myself MamaScrooge?

Anyways back to the story... I asked the lady on the phone how much the consult on Friday would cost, and this is what she said:
'We do not discuss finances.'

Me (rubbing my ear, 'cause I was sure I hadn't heard right.): Sorry?
Her: 'We do not discuss money until you have made an appointment?

Me: But have I not just made an appointment?
Her: Yes. But we do not discuss finances over the phone.
Me: Oh! So I can pop in this afternoon and find out how much money to bring along on Friday?

Her: No. Just come in for your appointment and we will take care of that after you see the dentist.'

HUH???
Are you kidding me? Is that for real. for that matter, is that legal?

Now if I had any other option, I would be outta there, with skates on.
And if it was just me going for the appointment for ME, I would have been a lot more vocal.
But I have no other options; this is the only dentist I could get in to in the next two months.
And I felt I should be careful about pushing the issue, 'cause I had images of an evil dentist pulling Spindle's teeth out willy nilly with no pain relief and cackling "Now who's Momma is gonna poke and pry about the bill?! Ha, ha, ha!'

So on Friday, we will see how much it all costs! I am going to guess $65 for the consult, and $30 for the extraction. What is YOUR guess?

Moving on, our kids caught the bus today! That is a major hurdle for them to have hurdled!

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It has been nearly 2 and a half years since they last caught a bus, and it was a bus full of high school kids, some of whom were not overly pleasant. I had not planned to get them back to bussing so early in the year, but the catalyst was Funny Farm's daughter who now also goes to the kids' school. She was catching the bus from our bus stop, and I thought it would be great for them to all get on and start together.
And it went fabulously. My kids were so nervous as usually, a large group of high school kids get on at our stop. But not today. It was just the four of them, and it was only primary school aged kids already on the bus. Funny's hubby and I drove along to where the kids have to change buses, to see that it all went well, and the precious man driving the bus showed the kids what to do. It went fantastic. I am so relieved. Thanks God!

And only one sleep till my interview! Yikes! *knocking knees*

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Hubby has been so awesome with doing mock interviews. I know everything in my head,but went it comes out of my mouth, it is all gibberish. I cannot get it out. So Hubby has helped me make it really short and snappy, and given me tons of practise, so I am really hoping that I remember all that we have gone over, and that it is more like a friendly chat between me and the principal.

Pray for me. 10:00 tomorrow (Wednesday) which is about 4:00 or 5:00 Tuesday afternoon for you in America or Canada respectively.

Posted by michelle :: 10:32 am :: 7 comments links to this post

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Sunday, January 28, 2007



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Happy Australia Day!

Well, a belated Happy Australia Day at least.
Of course, I was far too busy celebrating on the actual day to do any blogging! *grin*

Hubby was still away, but the kids and I travelled out to see some friends of our (two families) who share farm about an hour's drive out bush.
Thankfully it was a fair bit cooler up there, and we had a fabulous time.
After a swim in one of the property's dams, all the kids, bar Spindles, were really excited about having a ride on a horse.



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Then they all got to have a ride in the tinny (Tinny is Aussie slang for 'small aluminium boat'. This particular tinny happend to have a motor attached to it)

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And the camera even captured the rarely sighted Mama Chameleon having a go.

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Here are some pics of the property.

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So, rather a photo blog than too much news, but boy did we have a great day.

Talk soon!







Posted by michelle :: 12:55 pm :: 4 comments links to this post

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Thursday, January 25, 2007



Application update
Hi all! This'll be brief. First of all, thanks so much for your sweet comments regarding me going for the casual teaching job.
The update is this: I ended up filling out the application form the very same day (Tuesday) that the teacher (junior principal) spoke to me. Striking while I had adrenaline coursing through me, I guess!
Hubby liked my answers as I told them down the phone, and I barely changed anything. The next morning I took the form in to them and dropped it in at the front office.
Well, today I got a call and a preliminary interview was set for Wednesday at 10:00.
Eeeeeks!
So the wheels are in motion and I am feeling a bit excited as to where this will lead!

In other news:

Yesterday we ventured into 'big town' to do some errands rather cautiously. Why? The world famous (well in some parts of the world!) Country Music Festival is on, and the town is chock full of people wearing big hats! Our errands were in the town centre, so we had to park over a kilometre away, 'cause the streets are all closed and all the close park taken.
It was still fun to be a part of the party atmosphere on the main street. Every five paces, a busker was set up, yodelling or jigging or strumming on their guitar. And masses of people filled the street, just soaking up the atmosphere! here are some pics other people on the net have taken. I forgot my camera!

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Then last night, the kids had Funny Farm's delightful children over for a sleepover last night. It went really well, and they were all asleep at a decent hour. *gasp*

In Topsy news:

Have you all heard of The Wiggles?
Well, Topsy just lurrrves The Wiggles. And he is especially fond of waking Jeff up. If you do not know what that entails, watch the clip below:


So Topsy, as I was saying, loves waking Jeff up. He stands up, cups his hands to his non-existant adam's apple (instead of his ears) and yells 'Chay cha Chech! (Wake up Jeff!) to Jeff whenever that bit comes on, on our Wiggles video at home.
Well I only just realized that it might be fun to show him that we can do that to each other.

So I started doing the limb dangling, droopy-eyed sleeping Jeff thing, and Tolpsy responded brilliantly, waking me up with vigour!
Only... it has backfired.
He rather quickly has worked out how to pretend to be asleep himself. He angles his head to one side and keeps his eyes wide open, to ensure that each and every one of us is participating in waking him up. At first it was really cute and hilarious.
I would say in hushed tones to the kids 'Alright everybody, Topsy has fallen asleep. Why don't we see if we can wake Flynn up. Let's count to three and call out 'Wake up Jeff, everybody!( yes we kept it as Jeff, so we didn't confuse him). 'Ready? 1..2..3...Wake up Jeff!'
Then Tospy would 'wake up' gleefully, then imitate us waking him up, and then would promptly 'fall asleep' again.
20 minutes late, however, the four of us were still wearily intoning '1..2..3...Wake up Jeff ' as Topsy's
bright, exuberant eyes in his sideways tilted head shone as merrily as they had the first time we did.
He would have kept doing it, and we almsot kept doing it to 'cause his excitement was so cute!

Later when he had forgotten, I managed to get about 10 seconds of it while he was in the swing, before the battery died. I had to remind him, and then he got back into it, after the battery died of course.
So here he is, nearly asleep for real, but still it gives you an idea. We'll charge up the camera and do a real one with the other kids tomorrow.


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Tuesday, January 23, 2007



Divine Intervention?


This Mama has been doing a lot of work towards filling out a job application form without ACTUALLY filling out the form itself! I don't want to make any mistakes, so it needs to be re written! Plus once I send the form in, I will need to go to an interview. EEks!!!
You see, girlsies, I have not been in the work force for 12 years. Doesn't that sound like forever when you say it aloud?
Oh my! I have not sat for an interview for ages. I am sure I won't even remember my middle name when it comes down to it.

And today didn't help. I had to go to the kids school (where I am hoping to get work) to their preloved uniform shop where a $70 dress can be purchased for $5 and it still looks like new! Gotta love that huh?
Anyways, I was at the shop, and I saw all the teachers and all the new teachers going into a classroom for their orientation. They were dressed in T-shirts and shorts, but they all looked so confident and relaxed and TEACHERY!! The opposite of me.

I mentally backed out of the whole process then.
Maybe in a couple of years, I thought, turning to go home.
'Mama Chameleon, Mama Chameleon!' (LOL!) I heard a voice calling out.

I turned to see the primary school principal striding towards me. That woman is phenomenal. She has PRESENCE and her voice commands ATTENTION.

What did she want?
Well, she said she'd heard that I had asked for a casual teaching application form, and she wanted to know if I had finished filling it out.
I said I was getting there (well I sort of am!), but that I was a little tentative, having not taught for 12 years.
She brushed all that aside and said that she really hoped I would get the process started quickly; that she really didn't think that there would be any problems, and that she had something I may be interested in. I followed her into her office.

What she wants me to be ready for is a 5 week block in Term 2 that will be perfect for the tentative teacher.
5 weeks, working four mornings a week from 9:30 -12 :15, teaching the same class Numeracy and Literacy only.
So only once class and only two subjects. And out of those 3 hours I would be gone, Topsy is asleep for 2 of them.

What do you think about that?
So this afternoon, I spent a couple of hours filling in my application for practice, and Hubby who is away at a conference this week is calling tonight to listen to my answers and approve them. (he says I always under-sell myself, so he wants to make sure my answers are positive!)
I really feel like the principal calling me over this morning was Divine Intervention, because I was going to give up. Even though it is not a done deal, it sounds positive. something to strive for. I will keep you all posted.

In other new, Diva's bee-stung arm is still sulking occasionally. Here is the set of hives it came out with yesterday only in the area affected by the sting. It did the same thing tonight.

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*Our good friends took us out for breakfast to celebrate on of their boy's birthdays. Her Hubby is away too, so it was two mamas and 7 kids. Such fun! I felt guilty she was paying but not guilty enough not to enjoy my cooked breakfast!

*Roly has two totally wax-blocked ears, plus an ear infection from swimming. Watch this space for some amazing ear wax pics, after he gets it all syringed out! LOL!

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*Spindles is having trouble sleeping at night. Arrrgh!

*Topsy blows kisses and is giving amazing hugs and kisses now. He also tries to say everything we say. I will have to capture it on film.

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Friday, January 19, 2007




Four Long Hours!
We have had a madhouse full of kids today! Roly and Spindles' friends who also happen to be identical twins have come to stay for two days, and so of course Diva has had a special friend over too.
Topsy? Well, he is having fun running around after all of them.

Actually, while the visiting kids have been here, I have been able to get some prep done for the possibility of an interview about doing casual teaching. I will get more done on my application too soon, but right now I am sitting down and catching my breath for a moment.

I had actually planned to do quite a bit of prep and glean classroom management (aka discipline) ideas from the net (my fellow bloggers whos who are teachers may be able to point me to some sites or have some good ideas of your own!) last night, but something came up:
Diva's hand!!!

A couple days back we had been swimming, and as we got began towelling ourselves dry, Diva started to scream. My first thought was 'hornet' because they are all around the pools here.
But I saw the bee's stinger and scraped it out immediately.



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Well, all seemed fine, but then yesterday evening (more than 24 hours later, mind!) I noticed that the stung hand had become really swollen. I chugged over to Funny Farm's house (she is a nurse!) and she recommended going to Emergency (that is what we have to do here, as there are no after-hours doctor's)

We got to Emergency by 6:30 or so. A bunch of people were already there, no one looking too ill.
We'd only been there 10 minutes, when the entertainment showed up.
OH...MY!
Two women, one with a girl Diva's age, and one with a boy slightly younger.

The boy's mother was highly verbal and she had left her volume switched up to Max....

'Timothy! Sit on that seat and shut your trap!
'Don't go into that toilet again...... Timothy..stop right now. Don't make me come and get you Timothy! ..... Oh *%#$ I will belt you if you even touch the toilet door.....RIGHT! Now you've done it.... wait till I get you!
(all yelled from her chair with absoutely no indication that she was even contemplating getting out of it!)

Don't you dare touch that can machine, Timothy, or I'll belt you! Timothy, will you stop playing with that can machine?! Oh ho ho, you'll soon know the meaning of pain, my son!'
Timothy, don't try to get in between those two vending machines, you'll get stuck, and no one is going to help you get out. Timothy, you'll get stuck....Timothy?...are you stuck? Hold on baby, I'll help you out!
(I think the rest of us were disappointed that she didn't actually just leave him there till it was his turn to see a doctor!)
And on and on and on!

The interaction was so loud, we couldn't hear the person who came out to shout out the next patient's name.
I ended up getting the giggles, because it was so surreal, and the boy's mother looked at me a moment, and started to chuckle as well! Phew! Cause I certainly didn't want her to start on me!

Trying to work out which of the four was actually sick helped pass the time for a while. It ended up that the girl, who's mum didn't have a car had an infected earing hole.

The only thing that caused little Timothy to sit up and pay attention, was when the other woman's daughter told him 'If you don't stop being naughty, they'll take you across the road and lock you up with my Daddy!"
The local penitentiary is right across the road from the hospital, and once , her mother realized that now the entire emergency room was now aware that this was where her partner resided, she blushed bright red and started to giggle uncontrollably.

It was a crazy night, I tell ya!
Four long hours (!!!) of it before we were on our way home.
Diva's hand is still swollen but she is on antihystamines.


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Talk soon. Take care!

Posted by michelle :: 3:17 pm :: 12 comments links to this post

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Tuesday, January 16, 2007



Ch..ch..ch..ch changes! and Bravery! *Edited!*

Remember how I really wanted to find something to do from home?
Well, Hubby has really been encouraging me to instead see if I could get 1 day a week casual teaching this year, as it will give me practise and confidence in the area I have trained in, and the pay is sooo much better than doing online surveys!
*edit* (this is the same as being what you guys in the States call a substitute teacher. I would go into a primary classroom where the teacher is absent and do a day's teaching)
So I have decided to jump in boots and all, and at least try to see where applying takes me!
I guess the worst they (they being the schools and the government! Eeeks!) could do is say 'no, you need more training.'
You see, I have not done any real teaching ever! I have my degree, but I have never taught in a classroom of my own, having started a family so quickly after finishing uni.
I HAVE taught road safety lessons in all the primary schools in our country's capital city for a period of 1 and a half years, and have 3 casual days under my belt from three years ago. not a whole lot to go on, I know!.

I have two options open to me.
1. Apply with the NSW gov and start from scratch (seeing as I have not taught in over 4 years). That means I need to be supervised for 200 days. The plus of this is that with all the school, i will probably get more chances to work on the one day a week that I choose.
2. Try to get casual work through our kid's private school. I have already got the ball rolling in this area. The plus here is that I know a lot of folks and know that i will be taken care of, but I may not get so many days as I could in the public schools.
So I am a little stressed. One day as a casual teacher, I was confronted by a student like this:

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I am also worried that the classrooms I teach may end up like this:

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Or this:

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But I am desperately hoping that I will soon remember how to get the students doing this:

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The thought, of getting all up to scratch with the new curriculums and getting ready to be interviewed by a panel of people (at the kid's school) is VERY daunting.
The thought of leaving my sweet little boy is also probably foremost on my mind. Thinking about that has caused me to just about go grey, I think.
But the thing is, God knows and He is in control. Since yesterday *grin*, I am approaching it like this:
If I get knocked back, well, then the time is not right, and I will keep doing volunteer work with the kid's ministry here at church and try and brush up on my teaching knowledge and skills till I feel ready to go again.
If I get a good interview and get approved to teach casually, then I feel at peace knowing that God will give me the strength and courage to get back in a classroom!
And my dear friend Funny Farm runs the world's best family daycare in her own home, so I can get Hubby to drop Topsy there after his morning nap. Funny Farm is fantastic and has so many amazing crafty ideas and such energy, I know Topsy will lovehis time there!
So, this year may be full of changes for me, and of course my little family.
Crops: Here is a pic of the first fruits of our labour. Two delicious looking cucumbers. They were yummy tasting too!

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Posted by michelle :: 3:38 pm :: 11 comments links to this post

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Sunday, January 14, 2007



Summer Camp was FANTASTIC!!!
*slightly edited version in order to answer my sister's question*


Hi all! We got back yesterday. I have briefly checked everyone's blogs out (great to see how you all are!) and will comment soon.
Well, after feeling apprehensive about going to Summer Camp with a toddler and three wary children, everything went so smoothly. Thanks God!
Oh and here are a couple of pics of the beautiful Blue Mountains where the conference was. The three peaks together are the famous Three Sisters.

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We arrived at lunchtime on the Saturday, and as soon as lunch was over, I started 'networking' for the kids. Roly and Spindles got out their cricket set and started a game of cricket, but Diva was huddling near me, so I began a conversation with a sweet looking girl in the sandpit, within earshot of Diva. We soon established that there were points of common interest, so I extracted myself from the conversation, gently pushed Diva in the general direction of the sandpit, and disappeared.
All the kids ended up with great buddies. The morning program that they had been apprehensive about was really well done. Spindles who had been especially worried, ended up in the same group as a lovely boy from where we were staying.
Our accomodation is the closest one to the conference centre. The couple thousand people who didn't get into our accomodation, rent houses in the town close by or camp. We loved where we were though, because their were tons of kids on site, the meals were catered and we were close to the ACTION.

*edit* The beautiful blonde girl in one of the pics below, is my dear friend Louise's older daughter, and the boy standing next to Roly and Spindles in the posed pic is her oldest. I only wish I had got a picture of her and her Hubby and their 'cute as a button' youngest daughter!

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A typical day at CMS summer camp?

7:45 Breakfast
8:45 Hustle the kids down to meet the double decker buses for their program
9:00 Hubby goes to hear key note speaker, and I take Topsy to creche. It was a very sad environment for the first couple of days (what with about 75 toddlers crying!), so I stayed with Topsy, and held other weeping children while Topsy had the time of his life!

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10:45 officially mission electives, which I loved last time we went, but this year, as creche closed at this 10:45, Hubby and Topsy and I all headed home to have naps. Topsy had his cot in the ensuite section of our room (more on that later!).
12:20 pick up hot offspring from the buses!
1:00 lunch
1:30-5;00 free time, in which we visited friends, hiked down to a waterfall a couple of times, and went to the local pool on several occasions.

5:30 dinner
7:30 Mission focus. This is when I would go to the dining room and watch a live feed from the conference centre while Hubby read in our room as Topsy slept. The other kids would watch a movie with the rest of the kids.

9:00 supper (late night snack) in the dining room
9:30 Missionaries share about their lives. One of these was always held at the place we stayed at, so I went to a couple of them.

Highlights:
* catching up with 'best buddy' Louise, who has been a faithful and dear friend for years now and her family. All our kids really enjoyed catching up with each other too!
* Seeing the kids grow as they learned to get to know other kids. Also seeing them thinking hard about the important stuff. Though Roly said late in the week "I'll be glad to get home, so I can rest my mind for a bit!'
*meeting amazing people from all around our State, so keen to hear what god is doing throughout the world.
*watching Diva and her little friend Zoe develop the most special friendship. They even share a lot of the same mannerisms. Like they are long lost twins or something!

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Irritations
*it was often difficult to have good conversations when Tospy was on the go ALL THE TIME! Two years ago when we were last at Summer School, I could just sit back and chat for ages. i missed that.
*mealtimes were trying as Topsy was able to very easily get out of his highchair. And he never wanted to sit in the chair for some reason. Thankfully, about halfway through the week, i remembered that I had brought his booster chair from home. Once he is in that, he is there till I decide. Mealtimes became a pleasure after that.
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* Our room was right next to the grassy patch where the kids played cricket. And the cricket ball thudded hundreds of times against our wall. Now that did not grate on my nerves unless my baby was napping, and I was attempting to get some much needed rest.

'Doh!' moment
I said earlier that we housed Topsy's cot in the ensuite part of our room. To be precise, most of his cot fitted into the shower recess, which was great, because then we could read and talk quietly in our room without disturbing Topsy's sleeping patterns.
One night however, Topsy took ages to go to sleep. He wasn't crying, just making surprised noises. I just left him be, as he wasn't distressed, and eventually the noises stilled.
Just before we turned out our light, I went in to cover Tospy with his blanket, and got a shock.
His entire bedding was SOPPING! And the poor little mite was curled up tight into the only dry corner of his cot! *AGAHST!!*
So of course I made a mental 'note to self'- when putting Topsy to bed, make sure the shower head is down!!!!

Talk Soon!

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Friday, January 05, 2007



Computer broke.....
Gone for a week...
*kisses*

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Tuesday, January 02, 2007



Visitin' the Family!


Today we went to Gunnedah, about an hour away. Gunndeah is where we spent Christmas. I have lots of family there, and seeing as some of my cousins who live several hours away are there for a couple of weeks, I thought we'd travel up to see them. All my cousins have children that our kids call their 'cousins'. They enjoy each other's company a lot, so it was a really fun morning we had, with them all playing together.
Here are some pics that will bore most of my blog buddies, but my parents and sis will find it interesting to see how the cousins are all growing up!

Four families are represented here (my kids as well as the children of three of my cousins)

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So there we were, playing at the park, when all of a sudden the sprinklers came on, and I mean, they were coming at us from all sides! It was an ambush. It happens just about every time we come to this park, but as it is the best park in Gunnedah, beggars can't be choosers, right?!

It was a cool and overcast to begin with, so getting wet was not a pleasant thought. But Topsy thought playing tips (tag) with the sprinklers might be a good idea, and he hurriedly advanced on the closest one before anyone noticed and took him away.

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Staying just out of reach (of the water, that is ) was fun for a while. Aunty Sue played the game too!

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But inevitably the icy cold water won, and he got sprayed!

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Aunty Sue rescued him.

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His gratitude was underwhelming! *eye roll*

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In other news, in a couple of days, our family is driving down to Sydney, where we will stay overnight with Mom and Dad before going to CMS Summercamp in the blue Mountains. CMS stands for Church Missionary Society. CMS throws a week long camp in the New Year and any CMS missionaries that are on furlough come and hold excellent and informative seminars about what they are doing in the countries they are in. There is always an inspiring and uplifting speaker as well and fantastic music. We stay on site, so it is the one week of the year, where I do not lift a finger to cook any meal. Totally catered for!
The meetings go from 9-noon, and during that time, the kids are at a kid's program and the missionaries come down and visit them too..
Spindles is a little anxious about meeting new kids. We are going with some Sydney friends who also have kids, but they may not be in the same groups together. Anyways, we are praying that friendships will form, and are also going over ideas of ways to make friends and conversation starters. It sounds funny, I know, but the kids have not had to meet new people for ages! :)
So I may get one more blog in before we go!

Our Christmas lights were humble, but SO pretty, and I was really impressed that we actually managed to get them up, so here are a couple of pics, that do NOT do them justice. I have to figure out how to do night shots!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting


Posted by michelle :: 6:37 pm :: 5 comments links to this post

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