Saturday, 29 September 2012

KFC Anyone?

Today was the designated boating excursion day to the fish markets. Jonah had slept from 3:45pm yesterday right through until 6am this morning, so the rest of the family were up shortly after. The children were excited and looking forward to fishing afterwards and so were on their best behaviour! A quick breakfast, followed by piano practice and we were all ready for breakfast round 2 at 9am. So yoghurt and fruit it was.

We picked up Poppy, waited for Natasha and drove towards Nanna and Grandpa's at 10am. With the arrival of the Yeohs, we hopped onboard. Unfortunately, the wind that was blowing picked up just as we cast off. Despite the engines running, the gusts literally blew the boat into the pier which gashed a hole into the side of the boat. Poor Grandpa was devastated, he thought he had ruined everyone's day. Looking on the bright side, the insurance will cover the bill to fix the damage and the boat was due to be slipped anyway. That didn't console Grandpa much though.

A child who is a homing beacon for anything dirty...

Natasha, a colleague from my previous company

Walking down the pier, the one next to Natasha is where the great tragedy occurred!

Nanna and Grandpa's boat

Getting the boat ready

Arrival of important dignitaries

Jonah is ready!

Children blissfully unaware of happenings outside...
We trooped up to the apartment for a change of lunch plans. Emergency KFC came in handy which made Poppy very happy (his favourite chicken dish). Some lovely wine helped Grandpa feel better. It didn't take him long to return to his happy self. It was a leisurely afternoon of lunch, followed by pumpkin pie, a spot of tennis, watching some of the AFL grand final, and finally heading home. Perhaps not what we had planned but still filled with fun.

We made some pizzas at home for dinner and the children crashed not long after. It will shortly be bedtime for the adults as we have another big day tomorrow!

Lara, now aware that I blog, wanted a photo of her hair taken and recorded

Home made pizzas

Content with a different kind of water activity

Friday, 28 September 2012

Awwww...My Heart Melts!

Dearest Lara only just discovered that I blog! She was trying to leave a comment for me after reading a post, and was disappointed to discover that she couldn't. Bless her!

So I promised to blog her comment on her behalf. Here it is...

" Thanks mum for making this website. This website is really cool. I wish I could make one of these websites just by myself like you. I think this website is cool because it reminds me of my holidays with you. I also like this website because you put pictures in it and make it to share with the family."

Prelude To A Long Weekend

It was always going to be a good day for the children. I woke up with no voice, and anything I squeaked out just made me sound like Scooby Doo. We got dressed for a very warm spring day with a top temperature of 33 degrees Celsius and set out for our first stop of the day, Costco. We had to replenish our weekly 9L supply of milk, stock up on snacks for our boating trip tomorrow and drinks for a party the following day.

Unbelievably, there was no traffic at 8.51 in the morning. This is unheard of for Sydney roads. Consequently, we arrived rather early at our destination. We took the opportunity to get poll parking position with the Costco carpark and strolled across the road to the conveniently placed Spotlight. We had things to purchase.

Elliot's much loved bible needed a cover. Having looked at the stock standard covers, we then decided that perhaps a bible bag might be better. The inspiration came from a pin on Pinterest. Luckily, instructions were included. We had Malcolm's old jeans to use, as well as Lara's old school uniform to recycle. All we needed was the magnetic snap closure.

Hopefully what Elliot's bag will look like when finished...
The bible that is to be protected

It was rather fun wandering around in Spotlight looking at buttons, various snap closures, materials, bits and pieces for arts and crafts. We ended up walking out with a glue gun prepared to make some hair bows for Lara and a flower corsage for me out of my old pyjamas...Stay tuned to see how far this whim goes!

Walking out of Spotlight with our loot

We headed back to Costco to line up for entry. We had our obligatory Costco lunch and churros after our shopping spree. It was then back home to start on our project. With all the pieces cut out, we needed to wait for Daddy to make our way up north to Oma's house to borrow her sewing machine. Alas, when we got there, we discovered that we forgot to bring our keys! So no sewing for today. Once again, stay tuned for the results of the bible bag!

Costco rope drop!

I don't know why I keep taking photos of churros...I can't help it!

Cutting up daddy's old jeans

Is child labour illegal?!?!

Time to chop up Lara's old uniform for the lining

We went back home and picked Malcolm's grandfather up along the way for a dinner of butter chicken and roti. Everyone loved it! Its an early night tonight in for another big day tomorrow.

Butter chicken, roti and beans

Someone enjoying it just a touch too much!

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Mike Is Back!

The children came home this morning after spending time with nanna and grandpa. It was then off to the cinema to watch Madagascar 3. The children had been singing and performing "Afro-circus" for a while so I wasn't sure if taking them to see the movie was a kind or a stupid thing to do! We entered the theatre with home baked cookies for snacks and all three watch enthralled for the entire time.

Lunch was a fare of "orange fish" or better known as salmon sushi and sashimi. It was then off to check on progress of our new home. They were somewhat disappointed as they forgot that Oma and Opa were still on holidays. However, to the children's delight, they discovered that Uncle Michael had returned from his travels. He had been traipsing around Korea, Indonesia, Singapore and Hong Kong, and brought home goodies for each of the children. Uncle Brian was also there sorting out light fittings on his new home, and so cousin Alysa was there to play with. Uncle Michael was the coolest for providing nori and prawn crackers for afternoon tea.

Uncle Michael is home!

Look at those gorgeous curls!

Lara's growing collection of hair accessories

My awesome present...from Hong Kong Disneyland!

Three very happy children

Alas, the fun afternoon had to end as we headed home for piano practice, dinner, and the ritual of a Thursday night Disney movie whilst mum and dad are off at trivia. Wish us luck!

Wednesday, 26 September 2012


With the return of Malcolm's parents, we found ourselves children free for 2 days. We took this precious opportunity to dine out in peace. As it was a last minute decision, we gravitated to what has now become our usual in such circumstances...Waqu. It is modern Japanese cuisine which is close to home, and on a weekday night usually has availability for 2 diners right if you rock up right up opening time. The 6 course degustation menu changes seasonally and is quite good value coming at $68 per person. The food also comes out quickly, very important for people who are used to scoffing their food down!

We tried very hard to remain serious as we listened to the wait staff announcing each course. Sweet and efficient they were, but their japanese accents were at times difficult to decipher! It was a good thing that we remembered to take a photo of the menu...

We tried very hard to work out what this was but couldn't. As it was compliments of the kitchen it wasn't on the menu! Whatever it was made of, it was delicious!

Jerusalem artichoke soup with mushroom puree

Prawn and asparagus on asparagus puree, yuzu sauce and powder, with prawn and scallop shinjo accompanied by crispy prawn chips. Don't ask me what yuzu or shinjo is...

Chicken and duck terrine with celeriac sauce, fig jam and sherry vinegar marinated grape. A surprise hit! Looks ordinary but packed with flavour.

Pan fried barramundi with black sesame sauce, buttter and bread sauce, smoked bacon foam, and sauteed shimeji

Roasted duck with red wine sauce on parsnip puree and beetroot crumble. Mmmmm
The dessert was awesome! Green tea and white chocolate mousse with strawberry sorbet, cassis and ganache, and coconut and tapioca sauce.

Last but not least, some macaroons to take home. Cardamom mango, greentea and raspberyy and caramel coffee

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

79 Days To Go

All good intentions of blogging a post at 80 days out from our European adventure got thrown out the window last night. As I suffered physically through the day, I had to lament at my less than desirable state of fitness. How is it possible to still have residual aches and pains from only 1 hour of bush dancing that happened 3 days ago? As we inched towards our departure date, I realised that it was time I relinquished some control. I was not achieving much with regard to organisation and so I welcomed the help of another procrastinator in the form of my dear husband. He had inherited the role of shore excursion co-ordinator a few weeks ago.
So far the move has proven to be a good one. In Cyprus, we will be visiting a UNESCO listed village on donkeyback where they still make their own haloumi. We will be learning about typical village life which include ‘dancing, cooking and eating’. In Turkey, we will be visiting a castle, canyons, and having a massage. He was most excited to find a private tour operator by the name of Digger Dan in Israel, a man with a similar sense of humour to himself who offered the most interesting tours. I especially love his page on payment. Unfortunately, he was sorely disappointed to discover that the services of Digger Dan has been snapped up by someone else for the day. Digger Dan has recommended a friend and I hope he or she is just as good.
The plan is to hike towards the pyramids of Giza and Cairo from Port Said, and to tour the Alexandria whilst in port. Tour operators are yet to be determined.
As an aside, the children had another concert last evening. Both children sang well, and Elliot gave a wonderful performance of Bach's Minuets and Gigue on the piano. The children were very happy to have nanna and grandpa watch them. Unfortunately, this rather slack mother forgot to take video footage. Even photographs were forgotten...sigh

Sunday, 16 September 2012


It is never a waste of time to re-read this beautiful passage
The three congregations of Cornerstone Presbyterian Church gathered at Stanwell Tops for Getaway, the church's annual camp. Our guest speaker was Christ Chia, from Singapore, who took us through 1 Corinthians. On arrival on the Friday nights, we were unfortunately too pooped to attend the first talk and slept through until the next morning. It was with joy as always when we are able to have breakfast that we don't have to prepare ourselves! And so the wonderful weekend of hearing God's word began as we worked through Paul's letter to the Corinthians drawing parallels to the modern church of today. The talks were challenging but yet encouraging at the same time.

The beautiful backdrop of wonderful weekend sitting under God's word

Breakfast cooked by someone else!
The talks were interspersed with fellowship, small group discussion, good and of course games! Malcolm was dismayed when his favourite Levi 501s purchased from Montana at $16 ripped straight down right next  to the zipper! The children had been waiting patiently for Saturday nights bush dance and it disappoint. And it was lot of fun! Many took the task of dressing up very seriously! The theme was Australiana. I, personally, needed the opportunity to work off the panna cotta that I had scoffed down at dinner time. 303 calories per hour, I was informed...

My boot scootin babies!

Cricketer extraordinaire?

The very cute gumnuts with costumes made by mum!

Cannot be any more Australian...bogans!

Perhaps the cutest and most eloquent bogan of them all!

Julia Guillard is in the house! With Ned Kelly...

Lara enjoying the bush dancing
After the Sunday services, the final talk, and lunch. We unfortunately, had to leave. We headed straight for Malcolm's parents house for dinner. Oops I lie, we detoured via Costco where I discovered that pumpkin pies were back in store. Woohoo!!! Armed with a precious pie and lamb chops, we finally drove towards the in-laws for a relaxing end to the weekend.

Chilling out with Poppy after an exhausting weekend

Jonah very content to lie down and watch cartoons

Pumpkin pie...gotta love Costco!

Friday, 14 September 2012

Return Of The Grandparents

It is with great frustration that I lie here typing on my iPhone. We are at Stanwell Tops for the annual church getaway. My 3G phone connection with Optus is sadly faster than my Telstra wireless broadband. Go figure...I am unable to upload my photos from the camera so hopefully everyone will be content with text alone. I will update with images as soon as we get back home. I will keep this brief as typing on a small surface with one finger is rather tiring! 

We welcomed home Malcolm's parents from their European adventure. They surprised us with a visit this afternoon bearing gifts for all. The children were ecstatic to see them as was I. I thought they weren't going to be home for another 2 weeks! It was a shame that we were on our way to Church camp so we only had about an hour together. We will certainly look forward to dinner on Sunday with them to catch up!

Addendum...Yay! Found free wifi. Here are the photos

Everyone happy to see to each other again

Jonah very happy with his "real" football

As was Elliot who also received keeping gloves

Lara couldn't wait to try on her Hungarian national dress

Little bag from Abu Dhabi. For an iPhone I was told...

Am I that transparent? My gifts were Disney related. If you wish to know, Malcolm received Star  Wars figurines from Europe...

Yay, a Hungarian scarf for me as well

Our stop after battling 2 hours of traffic trying to get out of Sydney!